Rakan OriginalSkin

The Vastaya known as RakanSquare Rakan and XayahSquare Xayah

The vastaya are chimeric creatures of Runeterra whose lineage contains both human blood and the spiritual magic of a pre-human race. From the ferocious, bestial power of RengarSquare Rengar to the foxlike allure of AhriSquare Ahri, vastaya can look considerably different from one another, but they all share animal and human characteristics.


History

Vastaya Lore 1

Vastaya overlooking trespassers

The vastaya's origins can be traced back to a hidden corner of Ionia where a group of humans fled in escape of the Great Void War. There, these refugees came into contact with a tribe of intelligent shapeshifting creatures who were greatly in tune with the world's natural magicks. These spiritual creatures, known as the Vastayashai'rei, welcomed the human refugees and eventually produced what Runeterrans now refer to as vastaya - a blanket classification for any number of species of chimeric creatures. Over time, the varied offshoots began to settle in different regions and naturally adopted different forms - WukongSquare simian, avian, even NamiSquare piscine - according to the creatures which most embodied their strongest characteristics.

In addition to their animal-human forms, vastaya are notable for their extremely long lives. Some have been known to live for thousands of years, while others claim to be immortal.

As time wore on and the vastayan bloodline spread throughout Runeterra, an interesting genetic aberration occurred: certain humans with very small amounts of vastayan heritage gained the ability to shapeshift. From the frozen Freljord to the darkest jungles of Runeterra, these shapeshifters can't maintain their animalistic forms for long, yet are still capable of harnessing some of their ancestral magic and change their shape.

Biology

For more information, see Vastaya Field Journal.

Vastaya are sexually dimorphic group of races of various shapes and sizes. Their animalistic appearance depends on the location in which they adapted. However, there are three distinct types of Vastayan appearances and natures:

  • With very strong animalistic features. They closely resemble upward walking mammals which have largely animalstic features in their bodies design and behavior.
  • With mild animalistic features. They closely resemble humans, but still retain a modest level of animalistic elements, most notable feline ears, or feathers. The facial characteristics are closer to human appearance than animalistic.
  • Shapeshifters. They ether retain ether a human or animal appearance of their choosing, but they are able to shapeshift in and out of each forms.

Each type of Vastaya greatly differ from one another in appearance and abilities, but all of them are in tune with the natural magics of the world in various degrees. Some are born in the race (or have ancestral ties to the race and have Vastayan traits manifested), while a rare few are magically altered to become one of three types types of Vastaya. The race has far longer life spans than humans. Some have been said to live for thousands of years, while others, rumors and legends say, might be immortal.

Having Vastayan heritage is not the same as being a Vastayan. A true vastayan can live in the mortal world, but not for very long without access to magic. A true vastayan can also live in the spirit realm, but not for very long without a material form to contain them. The ancient ones were born in the borders between mortal and spirit realms. Long ago those borders were less distinct and more common.

Furthermore, many creatures gain power from the spirits' realms in other ways. Vastayan and creatures with the Vastayan heritage have a common ancient ancestor born from between mortal world and the spirit world. This means they are born with a natural magical connection to natural magicks. Others creatures and magic users have stolen this magic or taken it from the spirit world but they are not vastayan and do not even have that heritage.

Races

Vastaya Lore 11

Vastayan Taxonomy

There are three main Vastayan tribes (sea, landwalker, and sky) each with their own sub-tribes:

Tribes of the Sea
  • Marai (most notable member being NamiSquare Nami)
  • Makara
  • Raylu
Landwalker Tribes
  • Unknown humanoid foxes (most notable member being AhriSquare Ahri)
  • Kiilash (most notable member being RengarSquare Rengar)
  • Khonlui
  • Ophelis
  • Ottrani
  • Lhotlan (most notable members being RakanSquare Rakan and XayahSquare Xayah)
  • Shimon (most notable member being WukongSquare Wukong)
  • Sodjoko (a mashup of various different type of Vastaya)
Tribes of the Sky
  • Besheb
  • Chyra
  • Strig
  • Numerous other currently unknown tribes

Culture

Not much is known about their culture due to the mysterious nature of this race. However, like their biological nature, their culture is a mix of both animalistic and human behavior which reflects both in the races individuals interaction with other sentient and non sentient beings. Their culture is also heavily shaped by the location each type of Vastaya live in.

The Marai Vastaya have cultural and existential ties with Mount Targon. The Moonstone protects its people from monsters from the dark depths of the Guardian's Sea. However, the moonstone needs to be replenished over time, so a Tidecaller of each generation is tasked to retrieve a new one from the contemporary vessel for the Targonian Aspect of the Moon.

The Kiilash Vastaya have cultural and existential ties with Shurima. Their entire society revolves around the honor and glory of the hunt. Due to Shurima having a wide infestation of Voidborn creatures, the Killash see them as one of the most venerated and sought after prey.

The Lhotlan Vastaya have cultural and existential ties with Ionia. Being one of the oldest Vastayan tribes in existence, they have deep ties with their ancestral roots and protect their cultural heritage from the ever encroaching human population of the continent.

The Shimon Vastaya have cultural and existential ties with Ionia. These apelike Vastaya are a wise, cautious people, and as pacifists, chose to build their society away from landwalkers, cultivating their society atop the tallest trees in Ionia. The Shimon see life as an evolutionary climb to wisdom, thus upon death, the Shimon believe they become stones, returning to the soil to begin the climb of life again.

Languages

Vastaya speak their own language, linguistically unrelated to various languages spoken by humans:

Appart from the human dialects on Ionia, there is also the Vastaya dialect, specifically the Lhotlan Tribe dialect called Baraashi as spoken by RakanSquare Rakan and XayahSquare Xayah.[1]
(Baraashi used elements of the Finnish language as the basis of its language.)

  • Vastaya Baraashi dialect (Lhotlan Tribe)
    • Baasi - I (future tense).
    •  
      Rakan.moveXayahNearby33
      Example of a Vastayan conversation.
    • Faash - They (present tense).
    • Ighilya - Great Grandmother
    • Iminha - Little One
    •  
      Xayah.killNami04
      Mu'takl - A slang for "Blood traitor".
    • Na - To not be.
    • Om - Magic
    •  
      Xayah.killRakan10
      Ouulavaash - Farewell.
    • Soura - To Gather.
    •  
      Xayah.killNami07
      Taitah be tervaash - Rest in peace/well.
    • Tann - Here.
    • Va'h - To be (present tense).
    • Vastaya - Vastaya (the people).
    • Vi-om - Wild-magic.

Trivia

  • Out of universe, the species' name Vastaya seemingly derives from Avestan adjective vahišta "best" < PIE root *wésus[2]. In-universe, this appellation is shortened from their supernatural ancestors' endonym Vastayashai'rei.
    • The tribal name Makara was probably inspired by the eponymous aquatic monster मकर < Proto-Dravidian *mokaray "crocodile" < *mok-/*moṅku- "to devour"[3].
    • Other names might've originated from human languages, due to Vastayans' partial human ancestry, e.g. Marai < "mere (sea)", Ophelis < "ὠφελειᾱ (help)" or unrelated "ὄφῐς (snake)", Ottrani < "otter", & Strig < "streak".
  • Vastaya greatly resemble Yordles in the sense that both are animalistic in appearance and both have a strong connection to magic.
    • XayahSquare Xayah is annoyed that humans mistakenly label Yordles as Vastayan.
  • The true existence and fate of the Vastaya were unknown to western scholars until an explorer from Piltover, Eduard Santangelo, chronicled his findings of this mysterious race during his expedition to the magically infused continent. Upon first encountering them, he coined the term 'Phantasma', but later adopted the local name for them.
    • Santangelo mentions examples of Vastaya ranging 'from the winged humanoids of Ionia or the sporadically-limbed sandshufflers of Shurima, to the Freljordian scaled manatee with a look of perpetual discomfort on its face'.
  • WarwickSquare Warwick's Chem Tech transformation may have been inspired by the Vastaya and their chimeric existence (which SingedSquare Singed might have discovered when participating in Noxus' Ionian Campaign)
    • Despite sharing Vastaya racial features, TwitchSquare Twitch was a plague rat that was transformed by chemical waste and is not a Vastayan.
  • RammusSquare Sentient Armadillos and VolibearSquare Ursine might be species of Vastaya within the Vastaya taxonomy, however Xayah does not recognize them as such in her voice lines.
    • Despite currently being celestial in nature, KayleSquare Kayle and MorganaSquare Morgana might also be a type of Vastaya, however this is unlikely given that the Vastaya are said to be the result from the union of Runeterra born humans and an Ionian shape shifting tribe, though some of them could be the referred ancient ones born between mortal and spirit realms from some of which all Vastaya share common roots with.
    • On the Summoners Rift, the red team's shopkeeper is most likely to be a Vastayan.
  • Some of the Vastaya resided in the sacred grove of Omikayalan, the Heart of the World. In its center stood the God-Willow. This massive tree, dripping with long gossamer leaves that shimmered with golden-green light, was of immense importance to both Human Ionians and the Vastayan people of the continent, which guarded the tree from anyone who wished it harm. Unfortunately, the tree was destroyed by an invading war party from the Freljord, its leader transformed by its natural energy into the being known as IvernSquare Ivern Bramblefoot.

Notable Vastaya

Vastayan Champions Place of Birth & Occupations
AhriSquare Ahri, the Nine-Tailed Fox Ionia; Enchantress of Ionia
NamiSquare Nami, the Tidecaller Mount Targon's Guardian's Sea; Marai Tidecaller
RakanSquare Rakan, the Charmer Ionia; Lhotlan freedom fighter
RengarSquare Rengar, the Pridestalker Shurima; Kiilash Trophy hunter
XayahSquare Xayah, the Rebel Ionia; Lhotlan freedom fighter
WukongSquare Wukong, the Monkey King Plague Jungle; Shimon Wuju disciple

Notable Half-Breed Vastaya

These champions are not considered true Vastaya, but do have some Vastayan blood from the group ether by being diluted descendants of Vastaya or being given / taken the blood. All notable members have some form of animalistic shapeshifting abilities.[4]

Vastayan Champions Place of Birth & Occupations
NidaleeSquare Nidalee, the Bestial Huntress Unknown; Kumungu Huntress; Human given Vastaya blood or a Vastaya descendant
SwainSquare Swain, the Master Tactician Noxus; Grand General of Noxus; Human given Vastaya blood or a Vastaya descendant
UdyrSquare Udyr, the Spirit Walker Freljord; Spirit monk; Human given Vastaya blood

See Also

References