So this year, despite Covid’s problems, was pretty great lorewise, but some folks either have short attention spans, little time, or just forgot about checking it out, among other things. FOr that reason I’ve put this together: a TL;DR of this year’s new lore.
This post will focus primarily on our new champions and the various published stories, which can be found on the Universe site. Because of character limits for Reddit, I won’t be talking about champion bios or Runeterra worldbuilding in this post. If you’ve got questions about those, ask me in the comments!
Do note that this will be INSANELY spoiler ridden as I’ll be summarising every story released, with the exception of most cinematics cuz like, come on, those are 2-3 minute watchers guys.
NEW RELEASES AND VGUS
Before we start, it makes sense to talk about the champs who’re new to League and what their deal is, that being Sett, Fiddlesticks, Volibear, Lillia, Yone, Samira, Seraphine and Rell.
What’s his deal?
Born to an Ionian vastayan mother and a Noxian human, Sett was ostracized as a child, and after his father left home he started to get involved in fights, and eventually pit-fighting. This eventually escalated where he took control of the pits for himself, coming in to a position of power in the Ionian criminal underworld, all while keeping it a secret from his mother.
His Story: Big Head, Bad News
Last we saw him he was putting a subordinate in to the ground for being bitchy, and then lying to his mum about it.
What’s it’s deal?
Fiddlesticks is the very concept of fear itself, and one of the “Ten Kings”, a group of mysterious spiritual entities. Fiddlesticks is described as both a king and key bearer for the other Ten. All cultures in Runeterra have myths and legends about Fiddlesticks, but most aren’t wholly believed to be true. Fiddlesticks is real though, and in the wake of civil unrest in Demacia, has taken to stalking the hinterlands, disappearing entire townsteads in its wake.
It’s Story: Voices
The main PoV character recounts how Fiddlesticks disappeared the town of Goldweald in a matter of days, commenting on how everyone started breaking down from their own fears, and how he eventually saw Fiddlesticks full on, and in it, saw something wholly terrible that knew him. By the story’s end the PoV character starts breaking down, before hearing the voice of someone who should be dead, indicating he’s brought Fiddlesticks with him.
TL;DR: Fiddlesticks ate a Demacian town and piggybacked on one dude so it could get a free ride to the next Demacian buffet.
What’s his deal?
Volibear came to be before the arrival of the mortal races, existing in the ancient Freljord back when it was known as the Vorrijaard. Legends tell of how he and his demi-god kin like Anivia and Ornn shaped the lands with their deeds, but as mortal civilizations began cropping up, Volibear took offense. Despite his efforts to quell them, mortals endured and his worship got suppressed, leading to his downfall. Now, millennia later, he’s back and wants to return the Freljord back to its original, more primal and wild state.
His Story: Stormbringer
After an age of slumber and suppressed worship, the Volibear is called to with his ancient name “Valhir”. Awakened for the first time in centuries he storms across the Freljord and fights an army of Noxians, crushing them easily. Afterwards though, he notices the town and dam of those who called him; affronts to nature. He smashes the dam, destroying the town, and tells the people to live as nature intended them to, before heading out to deal with this problem of “civilization”.
TL;DR: Volibear bodies Noxians and Freljordians alike.
What’s her deal?
Daughter of the Dreaming Tree, itself a descendent of the mythical God-Willow, Lillia is a unique entity, born from the tree’s own dreams, and tended her mother for years before ever meeting mortals. More recently, the Dreaming Tree has had burls growing in it, threatening to consume her, and Lillia has set out from the garden, to gather dreams from humanity that might help her mother tree recover.
Her Story: The Garden of Dreaming
She literally just got out of the Garden of Forgetting, where the Dreaming Tree grows, and helped a young girl through dreams of her wayward sister.
What’s his deal?
The older brother of Yasuo, he served as his half-brother’s anchor and guide. They trained at the same school, and when Master Souma turned up dead, Yone went after Yasuo, who killed him. His spirit went to the Spirit Realm, where he was accosted by an azakana born of his own emotions. He bested it, and somehow was resurrected with a mask stuck to his face. Now able to see azakana preying on others, he hunts them to uncover the mysteries behind his return.
His Story: Severed
He most recently helped a young lad being attacked by an azakana, sealing it and thus helping the boy overcome some of his issues, giving him some reassuring words before leaving.
What’s her deal?
A Shuriman woman born in Amakra, her home was attacked by raiders, leaving her and her family homeless. They escaped, and found safety in the Noxian occupied city of Bel’Zhun, leading to Samira coming to serve in the Noxian military. She earned great renown but was eventually discharged, and now operates through her old captain Indari, who gives her well paying, high end, highly risky mercenary work.
Her Story: Daredevil Impulse
Indari sent her out on a mission that puts her on the trail of a wanted criminal, none other than our newest champion Rell. The person funding the mission? None other than LeBlanc herself.
What’s her deal?
Born with an innate magical power to hear souls, Seraphine was born to Zaunite parents who managed to make it in Piltover. Her powers were too much for her, so her parents built a dampener with a brackern crystal. In this time she recognized a presence within the crystal, and it spoke to her briefly. Emboldened, she trained her magical abilities properly, began to work as a performer, and now wishes to use her music to help mend rifts between Zaunites and Piltovans, so the two cities can be truly reunited, all while trying to figure out what the crystal’s deal actually is.
Her Story: Standing Room Only
She had a live performance recently to a mixed Piltovan and Zaunite crowd, hoping to stir the brackern crystal and commune with it through bringing the audience in harmony with each other. It works, and by the story’s end she is readying herself to hear whatever the crystal’s got to say, if she’ll even know what it’s saying.
What’s her deal?
Born with the magic of ferromancy and with parents of different castes, Rell spent much of her life trained in an academy. However, as she grew older, she was infused with sigils by her teachers and her classmates began disappearing. This was because they were having their magic ripped from them to infuse in to Rell via said sigils, with the aim of making her a weapon to fight against Mordekaiser. The process left the children basically catatonic and soul broken: Null. Rell tore the school apart and set out on her own, wanting to get revenge on Noxus, while saving the kids.
Her Story: The Second Grave
Most recently she had a reencounter with an old teacher of hers and his entourage, who also held with them one of her former classmates. She murders them all, and finds her old friend dead from starvation. She buries him before heading on, with yet another reason now to continue on.
Now that the new and the updated are out of the way, now let’s get on to the actual stories. This section is ordered: Ionia, Freljord, Noxus, Demacia, Bilgewater, everyone else, just cuz they got the most stuff this year.
Starring: Zed, Kayn, Jhin, Shen and Akali
While official starting in 2019, the comic ended in 2020, following a 6 issue run. The story follows Zed after Jhin is released from prison and attacks him directly. Zed goes to Shen for help, but Shen openly declares war on him and his order, telling him that he’ll handle Jhin alone.
Zed doesn’t sit idle though and gets a town blown up. Shen beats him bloody and the two finally have a chat about why Zed killed Master Kusho. After this the two team up to get Jhin, who’s gone to Piltover. Akali went ahead of them, but she gets trapped by him, though eventually she ends up being the lynchpin that causes Jhin’s downfall.
Shen and Akali take him to prison, while Zed goes back to confront his ally: Kusho. Turns out he didn’t kill him; he’d convinced him to seperate from the Kinkou so he could operate in the shadows to save Ionia from Noxus. Kusho had been the one to free Jhin, hoping to use him as a fearmongering tool that would force Ionia to rally and make war against Noxus. This is too far for Zed and they fight. Kusho dies and Zed goes back to his order. Kayn has dispatched those not loyal to Zed, but now their former allies, the Navori Brotherhood that Kusho led, will be their enemies.
TL;DR: Zed and Kayn are on EVERYONE’S shitlist now.
The Bow, and the Kunai
Starring: Akali, Kennen and Shen
Set about 10 years ago, only a few short weeks after Irelia’s besting of Swain at the Placidium of Navori, the Kinkou Order, battered and weakened, have reconvened in Shon-Xan to recover from Zed’s recent betrayal of their order. The story is told from the perspective of Faey; an acolyte of the Kinkou of only 12 years of age. Akali is 9 years old at this point.
After seeing a meeting of Kennen, Shen, and Akali’s mother Mayym, all three of whom serve as the Kinkou’s triumvirate of leaders, Faey decides to try and help the adults of the order by taking care of issues for them so they can focus on more important issues. She rallies the child acolytes to scare away a band of warriors of the “Navori Brotherhood”, a group of Ionian nationalists, but in the process the warriors rile up a corrupt spirit which attacks the children.
The children try to fight, and in trying to protect a reckless Akali, Faey loses a leg. Kennen, Shen and Mayym arrive to sort the spirit out, and in the aftermath Faey screams her frustration at the young Akali, while Mayym reassures her.
Akali is left alone. without a living father, without her mother’s care, and without Faey’s friendship, she walks in to the forest in tears.
TL;DR: Everyone in the Kinkou needs a god damn hug, Akali included.
Between Light and Shadows
Kennen heads for the Raishii temple, there to see about an urgent plea sent by them. Speeding across the entirety of Ionia to get there, he arrives at the temple, only to find the temple acolytes are beset by a dark presence; their own doubts, manifest as azakana. Kenne banishes them from the Kinkou, and after a light scuffle, the acolytes leave. This wasn’t a decision made of malice though; it had been their unwavering dedication to the Kinkou that had worn them down over the years, allowing the azakana in. Not bound by their duty, they can now truly heal.
TL;DR: Kennen fires people because they’re being nibbled on by baby demons.
Starring: An Ahri cameo
A Spirit Blossom occurs at the port-town of Weh’le, and people flock for the chance to attend, as Spirit Blossom festivals are when the souls of the dead blood in said blossoms, allowing the living to commune with the dead, and they’ve been exceedingly rare since the Noxian invasion of Ionia.
The story focuses mostly on a family, going over various legends and stories and their many different interpretations. These stories have parallels in the Spirit Blossom event that followed, with legends about the beings that Spirit Blossom Ahri, Yasuo, Yone, Vayne and Thresh depict. The story ends with a look at some Noxians who’ve gone awol, reflecting on how alone they feel so far from home, among people who hate them for what they did, and deeply fearful for the future now that Noxus is coming back.
This story also has Ahri briefly in it, where she’s looking for a bodyguard. She isn’t named in the story but you’ll know when she pops up.
TL;DR: A piece mostly focused on Ionian culture, history and mythology, framed against the backdrop of a looming reinvasion of Noxus.
A Piece of Shadow Cake
Starring: Xayah, Rakan & a Zed cameo
Following the liberation of the Kepthalla vastaya, Xayah and Rakan are called to help the Vlotah tribe.
Ages ago, the Vlotah had a deal with humans who moved in nearby. The humans erected a Quinlon to make the land more habitable for themselves, and stayed clear of the Vlotah’s lands, respecting their ancient territories. In recent times Zed’s Yanlei took over, using the Quinlon to siphon more magic from the land, to the Vlotah’s detriment.
Xayah is immediately ready to destroy the humans and their settlement, but Rakan’s a bit apprehensive about just casually murdering hundreds of innocent Ionians. After the two meet one of the locals, an old lady who’d very much piss in Zed’s morning cereal, the two set out to break the Quinlon, and the story becomes a retelling of the cinematic “Xayah and Rakan: Wild Magic”.
They succeed, and wild magic saturates the land, destroying the town. Xayah reveals she warned the old lady ahead of time this’d happen, trusting in Rakan’s judgement about them, much to his relief.
TL;DR: This is literally “Xayah and Rakan: Wild Magic” but with WAY more context.
On his way to Weh’le to get to the Spirit Blossom festival, Yasuo helps a young boy get his kite back after losing it in the branches of a tree. He succeeds, but the boy’s brother arrives to take him home, commenting that Yasuo’s not someone to hang around with. It hurts more than Yasuo would like to admit, so he bids the boys farewell and sets off quickly.
Kin of the Stained Blade
Starring: Yasuo, Yone, Ahri
Following both “Perennial” and “Brotherhood”, Yasuo awakes from a nightmare- memories of his brother Yone, of their clash, and Yone’s death. He meets an elder and realizes he probably won’t get to commune with his brother before the festival ends, but the elder takes him to a river where he can do it. In the process though, he laces Yasuo’s drink, leaving him vulnerable. The elder is in fact an azakana, and has been hunting Yasuo for some time.
A masked stranger appears, and Yasuo fights him until he realizes it’s Yone, back from the dead. With the azakana’s nature revealed the two team up and Yone seals it.
Yasuo is ready to accept death, but Yone leaves him with forgiveness and well wishes. The two part ways. Yasuo meets Ahri in Weh’le offscreen, and the two head for Bilgewater. Their story will continue in “Ruined King”.
TL;DR: Yasuo wants to talk to his dead bro Yone, who obliges him an they do some demon slaying together. Yone gives him well wishes and then Yasuo heads off with Ahri to Bilgewater.
Poetry with a Blade
Starring: Master Yi
Another story from a champion’s past, this one focuses on Master Yi in his youth. Sent by his master to train with Doran. As it turns out, Yi’s having trouble drawing power from the Spirit Realm to wield with his swordsmanship. His master Hurong hoped some time with Doran could sort that out.
Doran takes Yi to a special place where he gets his swords enchanted. The spirits of the area only open the mists to it one day every year, and they bless the swords left there with magic, however said magic dissipates if the swords draw blood. As practitioners of a non-lethal style of swordsmanship, this makes the blades uniquely usable by practitioners of Wuju, and why Doran comes around as he does.
Along the way, Yi has visions, being talked to by a spiritual version of Doran, which culminates in him witnessing the reason why the mists only part one day a year. The site was where, around 10,000 years ago, the legendary Vastayashai’rei battled titans that came from beyond the sky. It turns out the spirit-Doran is actually a Vastayashai’rei, and helps Yi realize he’s too stringent in his meditation and technique. His rigidity is what prevents him from being able to draw magic from the Spirit Realm. The Vastayashai’rei’s power is where Wuju’s practices ultimately hail from.
After this, Yi is able to do as he needs to, and displays his newfound magical swordsmanship by cutting one of the giant swords left from the conflict. They head off, with Doran planning to craft Yi a new blade, as the ones they brought are all unworthy of the soon-to-be Master Yi.
TL;DR: A young Yi gets told he’s too serious to use magic and needs to lighten up. The one telling him this is a 10,000 year old near mythical hero who battled alien giants.
The Dream Thief
Deep within the Howling Abyss, Lissandra realizes one of the Frozen Watchers is stirring, and begins walking among dreams to find suitable ones to feed it, that it might be sated and quiet down once again. The Watcher is dreaming of Lissandra; seeing her as she was before she lost her eyes to the Volibear, but also as a goddess trying to force a black sun below the horizon, as the Watcher looms over them both. This is a dream of Runeterra’s extinction.
She crosses many dreams, among them one from one of her faithful, one of a young Iceborn girl, one of an avarosan warrior, one of an ursine shaman, and one of a dying man. As she passes through them she finds none of them able to sate the Watcher, and has to resort to sacrificing a piece of herself to it, sating it but leaving her permanently diminished.
Each of those she walked through the dreams of is changed somewhat, having recurring dreams of Lissandra upon a monstrous Balestrider. The five each independently make their way to the Frostguard citadel, drawn by their dreams to an as of yet undetermined fate.
TL;DR: A look at the eldritch consciousness of the Frozen Watchers, and Lissandra’s attempts to keep them very much asleep.
A Feast Fit for a King
Trundle arrives in the lands of trolls not under his rule, and coerces one such troll: Sligu, to lead him to this “Yettu” he’s been hearing about. On the way they meet Sligu’s brother Sligu, who is dumber than Sligu.
Sligu explains that Yettu proclaimed himself king after hearing Trundle did so, and Trundle realizes Yettu’s so big that Boneshiver might shatter if he tries to hit him. So he resorts to his backup plan; an eating contest. As they eat and brag about their bullshit stories, Trundle fills his cloak with food, and then after a while, cuts it open so the food spills out, making it look like he disembowled himself so he could eat more.
Sligu realizes what happened and goads Yettu, and the idiot proceeds to actually disembowel himself, killing himself in the process. Trundle claims kingship of the northern trolls and takes Sligu back with him as an ally.
TL;DR: Trundle tricks someone in to killing themselves via knife to the gut. Also my favourite story of the year
The Legend of the Frozen Watchers
This isn’t a traditional story, instead it’s like a biography, sourced from the only written account of the event that led to the Frozen Watchers being sealed in the Howling Abyss.
At the end of the War of the Three Sisters, Avarosa and Serylda lead an alliance of iceborn warriors, the armies of the ancient troll kings, and their ensorcelled Balestriders to Lissandra’s fortress. She decries them, stating they fight because of her bargain, but all they have was a result of that same bargain.
As the fight begins, the Watchers arrive, and are forced to conform to Runeterra’s rules, becoming vulnerable. Lissandra sees them for what they are, and sacrifices the magic and lives of her enemies and allies alike to seal them in a bed of True Ice. Almost all who witnessed the event either died or went mad.
TL;DR: A historical account of how the Watchers in the Howling Abyss got where they are. It is inherently biased in its retelling, as it’s from an account penned by one of Lissandra’s faithful.
Hero of the Frost Moon
Lissandra enters a chamber of hers, containing ice tombs that each contain a person. Each person is kept alive so their dreams can feed the Watchers and keep them sedate. Considering one of those here is an ancient troll king, some have been trapped like this for 9,000 years. A Shuriman woman comes to save her sister, but Lissandra, using some clever celestial magic, spins an illusion that allows her to trick the woman and seal her away with her sister.
TL;DR: Lissandra is terrifying and a colossal bitch.
A Smoldering Coal
Recounted from a warrior’s perspective, an angry warmother confronts Tryndamere about her tribe being attacked and the Avarosans not being there for them. Tryndamere tries to appeal for peace, offering shelter, food and resources, but the woman wants justice and attacks the PoV character. Tryndamere grows enraged and fights the woman, brutalizing her, and later on the PoV character reflects on Tryndamere’s dual nature as a champion of Avarosan ideals and as a terrifying warrior fuelled by rage.
A Death Knot
Leading a raid in to Demacian lands, Sejuani ties herself a “Death Knot” to rally her troops; a sort of death gambit, showing her readiness to die to the Wolf this day (yes, THAT Wolf). Sejuani uses her flail to freeze the river before them so Bristle can cross, and they’re nearly killed by arrows and drowning as the iceflow breaks, but Bristle finds his footing, they get across and Sejuani’s forces rally with her, ready to pillage.
A Well-Earned Tip
A young lad is helping his uncle at an inn when several tradesmen and later Gragas enter. Gragas orders an expensive ale the uncle hasn’t got the ingredients for, so he mixes something randomly and sends it with the boy. The tradesmen are looking to sell Gragas a fine spice, but it’s a fake. Two tricks is too much, and Gragas attacks the tradesmen, easily beating them. He then reassures the kid, giving him some brewing advice and giving him the jeweled container the tradesmen had as a tip.
A Walk with the Voices
Coming back to the Freljord after his time in Ionia, Udyr arrives at frozen lake among the Winterspike mountains, having been advised to come by his Ionian mentors. Upon arriving he has to contend with a spirit, which mocks him for his what it perceives as weakness in Udyr. Udyr embraces his primal urges and bests the spirit, allowing the frozen lake to thaw and for him to have a needed drink. Feeling better after this test, he’s now more prepared to return to the Winter’s Claw, and see Sejuani.
Seams and Scars
Riven is out with her adoptive father Asa, having dinner with an Ionian woman who serves as a mender. After accidentally breaking a bowl, the mender fixes it, as she can interact with the soul of the bowl itself. She asks to see Riven’s sword, and through it sees people searching for Riven. Realizing what this means Riven reassures the woman, but reveals little else.
Sisterhood of War
Sisterhood of War is split in to three parts, but for the sake of summary, I’m treating this all as one story.
With the second Noxian Invasion of Ionia kicking off, LeBlanc calls for a gathering of several warriors, all but one unaware of their true mission. They are as follows:
- Erath: a young prospect who serves as the animal handler of the group and the main PoV character. He is entrusted with their pack-basilisk for the trip, which he names Talz.
- Tifalenji: LeBlanc’s subordinate and user of a similarly runed blade to Riven.
- Arrel: a Noxian soldier with 4 drakehounds that join her in battle.
- Marit: a Noxian soldier who is also of noble birth, riding a carnivorous lizard named Lady Henrietta
- Tennef: a Noxian soldier who served with Arrel and Marit in Ionia, along with Riven. The three were called because of their ties to Riven.
They set out, arriving at the Noxian held, Ionian fortress of Fae’lor following Syndra’s raising of it in the story “The Dreaming Pool”. Tifalenji tells them their job is off the grid and against Noxian orders to find Riven, her sword, and to bring them back to Noxus.
Over the course of many weeks, they contend with Ionia, including monstrous spirits, a river with dozens of faces that tried to kill them, and they even came across Erath’s own father, who’d also gone awol. Later they were attacked by Navori Brotherhood members and their necromancer, but persevered.
They eventually find Riven, who has spent the last 6 years living with her adoptive father and mother: Asa and Shava. Shava has recently died, and as the group arrive, Riven tells Asa to hide. Riven has a heart to heart with her old soldier sisters, but Erath finds Asa, and Marit fights Riven, leading to Marit’s death. Tifalenji then threatens Asa’s life for the rune blade, but Erath kills her in turn, fed up with everything.
Riven agrees to face judgement in Noxus, devastating Asa. Tenner takes her and Marit’s body back on their basilisk Talz. Arrel takes her drakehounds and heads in to Ionia. Erath takes Marit’s lizard Lady Henriette and goes to confront his father again, finding out he died to those Navori, refusing to hand over the team’s location to them and being killed for it. Erath takes his body home to be buried.
TL;DR: How Riven is taken from her farm life back to Noxus as a prisoner.
The Name of the Blade
Starring: Talon and Katarina
This story is on the shorter side, and is framed against another story: “Message on a Blade’s Edge”. Basically the latter story is happening, and this story is Talon’s perspective of it. He’s stalking Katarina, reflecting on how her father, his mentor, General Du Couteau, had sent him to kill her for her failure before. Talon’s aim is to be the perfect assassin, but he failed in killing Katarina, giving her the trademark eye scar she has today.
Since then, he has seen himself as unworthy of trying again, but keeps tabs on Katarina, watching for her mistakes. If she does, he will take her life, with a blade specially chosen for this purpose, which he has named “Katarina”.
TL;DR: Talon brooding and being edgy while watching Katarina be adhd and edgy.
Proclamation of the Trifarix
Starring: Swain and Darius
Similar to “The Legend of the Frozen Watchers”, this is an in-universe account of a historical event, in this case a piece of propaganda from the time of Swain’s coup 7 years ago.
The gist here is that, when Swain did his coup, he secured aid from the noble houses to establish the Trifarix government, with himself, Darius and “The Faceless”, the representative of the assassins guilds, heading it. However as he did so, he did sweeping policy changes that alienated those same nobles, including the ones that’d helped him without coercion. The piece is far more eloquent than that, but ended by an archivist note about the fallout of everything.
TL;DR: Swain propaganda.
A young orphan is brought before Vladimir by her matron, who listens to the plight of her life, making sure to keep some of her tears, and while he does listen, he does little to truly comfort her. The matron is worried but in the end, Vladimir doesn’t harm the girl in any way. Later on he takes the tears to a painting of his, reflecting that he remembers little of the person it depicts other than what they looked like, and that they were important to him once upon a time.
One Last Show
Sometime after returning to Demacia with her mother Lestara, Sona arrives at an inn and meets up with an old friend, agreeing to do a performance with her before heading out again. She uses the feelings of an elderly person to accentuate her music, but she gets carried away and lets some of her magic be revealed, right in front of some mageseekers. She hurries off, but ends up cornered, having to resort to using her powers to make the mageseekers dance to the point of hurting themselves, even breaking bones, before escaping in to the woods.
Shield of Remembrance
On orders from Tianna Crownguard, Quinn and Valor are heading to meet up with Garen for a mission beyond Demacia’s walls. Because Quinn’s a mega badass she’s doing the insanely long trek on foot.
On the way she stumbles across a busted up house, and a shield from a former knight of Demacia. Evidence suggests bandits have kidnapped the woman and child who lived here, and some magic at play. A fellow ranger, Dalin (The Greenfang Warden from LoR) and his dog Rigby arrive, and the two agree to follow the trail. They pursue them, eventually finding the bandits, and a scuffle ensues before the woman intervenes.
Turns out she’s from Skaggorn, and the bandits are her relatives, getting back back home. She came to Demacia after marrying the knight from before, but with the countrywide lockdown she fears for her child’s safety. Skaggorn was founded by Freljordians, and while the woman has no magic, she fears her child might because of that ancient heritage. The house was likely burned down by other Demacians who saw the magic in the house; old Skaggorn wards, and didn’t understand they were meant to protect the child.
Quinn and Dalin discuss it but quickly come to the conclusion that, in this case, the laws can stuff it and they get the group out of Demacia, helping them cover their tracks. Quinn then sends Dalin to the nearby watchpost to get more security around this area, before heading off to meet up with Garen.
Tl;DR: Quinn is a badass.
Garen – First Shield
Starring: Garen, Quinn, Cithria
This story I WON’T be giving you a tl;dr for. Why? Cuz it’s paid content right now, a rarity for the lore, and I’d rather you all go buy it and read it. I will, however, give you some framing for it:
- The story is set some time after the LUX comic.
- Garen’s sent by Tianna on the mission mentioned in “Shield of Remembrance”.
- Quinn joins him, as does Cithria, the young Demacian knight girl from LoR that’s blown up in popularity.
- They’re joined by a litany of characters, such as Sergeant Merrek, Eben Hess, and Kriel.
- It’s full of Demacians doing what they do best: being amazing.
It’s a fantastic read all around and I highly recommend it, plus it’s super cheap. Check the link below for directions on buying it!
Destiny and Fate
Starring: Graves, Twisted Fate and a Miss Fortune cameo
After some time after the events of Burning Tides, Graves and Twisted Fate return to Bilgewater. They immediately get stuck in to a job; recovering a Shuriman crown that supposedly would allow it’s wearer to command the beasts of the seas. They find their way to a cavern only accessible via going underwater, and find the crown in question. However, they awaken something dark; a sea witch that tries to haul them off as sacrifice to the “Beasts Below”. They manage to evade her and escape.
Upon giving the crown to their benefactor; a Shuriman prince of some kind, they get out of dodge quick enough to be able to see the prince and his ship be devoured by the same sea creature he tried to control. Meanwhile the sea witch gets in touch with Miss Fortune to get Graves and Twisted Fate, which leads to the events of the Tales of Runeterra short cinematic: “Bilgewater – Double Double Cross”.
TL;DR: criminal hijinks
Dead in the Water
Sometime after the events of “Miss Fortune: Fortune Smiles”, MF’s heading to the funeral of the deceased Captain Aligh along with her right hand man Rafen. The deal here is that with Aligh dead, his crew needs distributed among the other powerful crews of Bilgewater, and the funeral is part paying respects, part divying them up. Aboard they meet Captain Blaxton, Captain Thorne, and Captain Petyr Harker, who MF blew up the hand of in the aforementioned comic.
As they land at Moonshard reef, Rafen is missing, and it’s revealed Aligh is actually alive, and the whole thing was a set up by him and Harker to kill their enemies. They use an explosive cannonball to maim most aboard, before MF fights Aligh directly. This all attracts Nautilus though, as Aligh never paid the tithe, and Naut’s not leaving without it.
MF throws Aligh and Harker to Naut, and since she paid the tithe earlier, he leaves her be, though having cut the ship in half she’s quickly sinking. Rafen arrives, having ducked out when he discovered the truth, bringing a lifeboat and saving Blaxton along the way. Thorne also survives.
TL;DR: MF gets in a tight spot but Nautilus saves the day
Set from the perspective of one Alaiy, this young Ixtali lad spends time dredging through a river using his knowledge of axioms, recovering artifacts from the old world. To the Ixtali people, they believe the world beyond the jungles doesn’t exist, having been erased by the Void long ago.
Alaiy is escorted by his master, one of the Yun Tal, towards his final trial before he too can become Yun Tal. Those in this caste are part of the ruling class of Ixaocan, but they must first demonstrate their power and aptitude by using a magical artifact called the Vidalion to weave elements in to clothing, which will serve as their Yun Tal uniform.
Alaiy gets underway, but as he does so his mind is spirited across Runeterra, and he sees all kinds of lands, venturing as far as the Freljord. As it turns out the Vidallion lets the Yun Tal see across the world, and this test is not only for one’s aptitude, but also to see how the chosen individual reacts to this knowledge that the world beyond the jungle is still there. Alaiy is shaken in his beliefs, but stays firm, atleast on the outside, and is welcomed in to the Yun Tal.
Later he is met by Qiyana, who appeals to his sense of frustration knowing that, in over 3 millennia, the Yun Tal haven’t seen anything about the outside world that’s made them want to drop the facade and move beyond their borders. He decides to ally with her, with the hopes together they can overturn the systems in place, in time.
Tl;DR: Qiyana finds an ally in the new character of Alaiy
Kai’Sa drags a Shuriman man in to the cavernous depths below the sands. The man is the leader of a nearby settlement, and she wants to show him the Void below so he knows just how unsafe it is here, and that he should get his people as far away as possible.
She hopes to buy the man time after she lets him scurry back home, deliberately fighting the Voidborn coming from the rift before her. They swarm her though, so she resorts to making them hunt her through the tunnels, but eventually they break off from her. They’ve sensed the settlement..
The man didn’t take his people to safety; he rallied them to fight. Kai’Sa confronts him before the Voidborn arrive, and he decries her as a herald of the beasts. Feeling betrayed but also horrified by the possibility he may be right, and she’s unwittingly drawing Voidborn to people through her actions, she resolves that her best recourse is to scare these people in to running. She kills the man and blows up their homes, ensuring she doesn’t hurt anyone else though.
The plan works, the people run for the hills, and Kai’Sa accepts that she’s going to have to be their monster in order to save them as the Voidborn finally make them way to her and she prepares for a fight.
TL;DR: A look at the psychological and emotional toll of Kai’Sa’s everyday life
The Shuttered Manse
Starring: Elise with a LeBlanc cameo
A Shuriman man is sent to Elise’s derelict mansion to kill her under the orders of an unspecified client. Elise has returned home after having managed to capture a Soulgorger from the Shadow Isles, and the power she spent has left her noticeably weaker than normal. Still, she’s not so easily put down and prepares to fight the assassin.
They come to blows, and in the scuffle, the Soulgorger’s prison is damaged and it escapes. The two are forced to fight it together, connecting a little bit as they do so. Despite this and their victory, the assassin takes a lethal blow, his life forfeit.
Later she’s meeting LeBlanc, who’s now prepping sacrifices for Elise to take back to the Shadow Isles so she can feed Vilemaw and be reinvigorated by him. Elise gives her the Soulgorger, and the new prison? The assassin’s own skull, wrapped in her webbing.
TL;DR: Elise is terrifying
Set from the perspective of an unfortunate test subject of Singed’s, who he simply calls “Thinker”, the man is put through horrific testing and bodily experimentation, involving a slew of parasitic teeth being grafted along his abdomen, with the intention of having him merge with another test subject, “Breaker”.
Singed tortures the two for days, but after a time, an explosion elsewhere in Zaun breaks part of their prison, but Thinker’s legs are broken. As the room fills with water Thinker tries to get Breaker out, happy to die for that alone, but Breaker takes him along, and in the process, they two merge as Singed wanted.
They escape, and not only their bodies, but their minds meld together as a single being of incredible might and intellect. However this process isn’t perfect, and events through this part of the story have the two minds conflicted. Singed eventually finds the pair, and tricks them in to a trap, where he effectively gases them to death. Singed initially thinks it’s a failed experiment, but as Thinker manages to spout out more answers to his questions, the mad scientist is overjoyed, as the pair managed to prove more capable than the three prior sets of test subjects Singed had worked with on this endeavour
TL;DR: Singed is a horrific bastard.
Operating from his Nashramae shop, connected to Bandle City via a portal, Rumble sees a Shuriman kid called Anaktu being bullied by Noxian kids headed by one Kesu. The kids also disrespect junk, which is a no-go for Rumble. He spurs Anaktu on, and gets Tristy, the two going to town on them. Kesu thoroughly humbled, has a bit of a whine and cry but does apologize for everything, and he and Anaktu have a bit of reconciliation. Rumble heads home, very much done with dealing with mortals for the day.
Bombs: A Tribute
Shortly after “Ziggs and Jinx: Paint the Town”, Ziggs starts exploring his new home of Zaun, having now shacked up with Jinx. He comes across an old warehouse, derelict and abandoned, and decides to give it a good send off with explosives. As he sets it up, some rowdy kids get inside the place as the countdown’s going, and Ziggs’s policy of “Don’t kill” means he’s gotta jump in and save them. He does, and everything is well, and there’s a big explosion.
This year had a bunch of lore, in spite of the difficulties Covid brought. As said above, if anyone does want a run down of the bio updates or skin lore stuff from this year, ask away below.
As for next year, it’s difficult to say what’s gonna come, but we’re not going in to 2021 totally blind:
- The Wild Rift team teased not only Teemo for Wild Rift, but also yordle related content
- Dr. Mundo's VGU means a return trip to Zaun is likely
- Ruined King means Shadow Isles and Bilgewater attention
- LoR could bring anything, though Shurima seems the most likely
Anyway, thanks so much for reading! I hope you have a great new year’s!
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