Decide How Shon-Xan Ends (interactive lore event and vote for next arc’s third faction)

This interactive lore event has concluded.
Read the outcome here.

Ionians, vote to decide next arc’s third faction. Ionians and Noxians alike, participate in determining how this arc’s conclusion plays out and shapes the Factions universe going forward.

The Factions saga is driven both by match outcomes and interactive lore events. It’s been a while since we really did the latter, and I think it’s time to change that, as I believe interactive lore events have a lot of potential to bring participants into the story.

We will be concluding the Shon-Xan storyline with an interactive lore event that puts you, the Summoners, in the center of the action. Summoners from both sides are invited to participate and cast their votes.

As the victors, Ionian Summoners also get to cast a vote to add a third playable faction to the next story arc, in addition to Bandle City and Piltover, which were selected by a community-wide poll.

This event will run through March 28. We aim to publish the conclusion to the Shon-Xan arc on March 30, and launch the new story on March 31. (We may have to adjust a little if RL slams us.)


The Shon-Xan dispute began when Noxian refugees from the Void War fled their ruined lands and came to the Ionian island of Shon-Xan, where they built a settlement in the wilderness. This soon provoked armed conflict and a dispute before the League of Legends.

When Noxus was on the brink of defeat after Ionia’s victory in the first Shon-Xan tournament, it struck back with a ruthless sneak attack. Zed’s assassins killed key Ionian civilian and military officials, and Zaunite war-zeppelins airdropped elite Noxian legions into Ionia to fortify the refugee settlement. The Ionian military mobilized and prepared for full-scale war.

In a last effort to avert catastrophe, Ionia turned to the League to end the conflict once and for all with a second tournament. When Noxus prevailed in that tournament, the Council rejected Ionia’s petition, and fighting resumed. Bloody warfare devastated the island of Shon-Xan. Noxus prepared to deploy its regular military to reinforce the foothold established by its sneak attack.

At first, it seemed Noxus and Zaun would crush Ionia in a matter of days, once the bulk of its forces arrived to join the fray. But Demacia intervened, intercepting and destroying the entire Noxian fleet as it sailed for Shon-Xan with a massive army of refugees and soldiers to reinforce the shock troops that had airdropped in during the surprise attack. The tides began to turn.

At the Institute of War, the Council raced to reach a declaration that would end this war before it spilled beyond Shon-Xan. After a final round of matches and many late nights of diplomacy and argumentation, the Council has issued its edict.

Hear ye, and be warned! This affront to the peace of Runeterra shall not abide.

The Council so declares: that by sunset on the 28th day of March all combat on the island of Shon-Xan must cease. An accounting shall then be made and terms of peace enforced.

Let the word of the League be as Law, lest all the powers of Runeterra arrange themselves against ye. There may be no appeal.

The Ionian military has broken the Noxian legions on the battlefield and forced them into retreat from the settlement. Ionia has surrounded the settlement, and only Riven’s volunteer force and the refugees themselves remain. They are grossly outnumbered and outmatched. A second wave of zeppelins is en route from Zaun to evacuate anyone still alive when this is over.

Each side now has several critical decisions to make before the League steps in.


Ionia has won by a significant margin, but that victory may come in many different forms depending on what each side decides to do. Summoners from each side have been called forth by their leaders to advise them on how to proceed, and to cast their votes to determine their course of action.

Both sides must make decisions. These decisions will influence the probabilities of various events occurring; once all the votes are in and each faction’s choices are confirmed, I will roll some dice and perform some calculations to determine how this all ends.

To help conceptualize what’s going on, I’ve summarized the combat strength of various forces with points:

  • Ionian military: 3,000 points
    • Their morale is high after breaking the elite Noxian shock troops and hearing of Demacia’s intervention. They have the settlement surrounded.
  • Noxian legions: 800 points
    • They have been routed by Ionia and are in poor fighting condition. They have been forced away from the settlement and are now retreating to an evac site in the wilderness.
  • Settlement defenders: 300 points
    • Riven and her volunteer soldiers have done their best to prepare the settlers to fight, but they are no match for Ionia’s army, even behind these fortifications.

These numbers do not necessarily represent headcounts so much as overall combat strength.


For Ionian Summoners

Ionia has won this arc, but now they must decide how to leverage that victory. Is this about regaining every inch of Ionian land, breaking the back of the Noxian war machine, or proving that they value life and harmony above power?

I. Will they pursue the Noxian legions? If so, how much of their force will they commit?

The Noxian fleet has been destroyed. If Ionia can run down and defeat these legions, they will have completely broken the military might of Noxus. However, this will require diverting soldiers from the attack on the settlement.

II. What terms of surrender will Ionia accept from the refugees?

Ionia can make an entreaty to the Noxian refugees before attacking. What options are on the table? Choices range from “none, kill them all” to “let them leave with their lives” to “let the settlement stand.”

III. How ruthless will Ionia be in attacking the settlement?

If this is not resolved diplomatically, Ionia will attack to reclaim their territory. Ionia has options ranging from a cautious attack designed to minimize civilian casualties (which would cut Ionia’s effective strength by a third) to simply torching the entire settlement (which would double its effective strength).

IV. And finally: add a third faction to the list of playable factions for the next arc.

Finally, Ionian Summoners will also get a vote to add a third faction to join Piltover and Bandle City on the list of playable factions for the next arc.

If the faction you most want to play as is neither Piltover or Bandle City, then casting a vote for that favorite faction would likely be a solid choice. You might also consider these factors:

  • Gameplay: Piltover is usually a poke comp, and Bandle City is overlapping AoE teamfight. You might consider a faction with a distinctive type of gameplay.
  • Lore: What faction would, you think, generate an interesting story with Piltover and Bandle City? Piltover and Bandle City are both tech-oriented civilizations. Zaun would be an interesting, darker contrast. Meanwhile, the Shon-Xan storyline has shown some interesting developments in Demacia; maybe you want to explore those.

The choice is yours. You’ve earned it!

How to Participate

You can begin by discussing these questions with your fellow Summoners in the IONIA in-client chat.

When you’re ready, cast your votes.

Shon-Xan Resolution Poll: Ionia

Choose wisely, Summoners.


For Noxian Summoners

Noxus has difficult decisions to make, which will set the course for its future. Do they cut their losses and regroup? Do they take desperate measures for a slim chance at partial victory? Or do they just want to see Ionia burn?

I. Will they order the legions back to the settlement?

The elite Noxian legions have been driven back from the settlement, and are in poor shape for combat. Though they are the finest troops Noxus has, they are no match for Ionia’s military in their present state, and they are poorly positioned. Ordering them back into the fight would risk massive losses. Noxus has already lost its fleet, and many of its soldiers either drowned there or were captured. These elite legions are in many ways all it has left to shore up its defenses back home.

Sending them back into the fight gives the settlement a significantly better chance of survival, though it would remain a slim one. It would also risk the total collapse of Noxian military power for years to come.

II. What terms of surrender will the refugees be authorized to offer?

The refugees will have one chance to make peace with Ionia. Will they offer to surrender? If so, under what terms? Options range from an unconditional surrender as prisoners to demanding full rights to the territory on which they stand.

III. Will Noxus deploy Singed’s nightmarish Zaunite ordnance?

Singed has returned to offer his services to Noxus once again, having been turned away in favor of Riven during Mirrorwater. The Zaunite zeppelins coming to evacuate survivors could be loaded with hextech biochemical weapons.

These weapons would cut Ionian combat strength by 25 to 75%. There would be collateral damage to the refugees, and likely to nearby Ionian civilians. The League might well condemn Noxus for their use and impose a harsher final edict when the fighting ends. So far in Factions, Noxus has been moving down the Reformist path; this would represent a major shift.

IV. Will Noxus help Syndra invoke a Void-tainted Icathian battle-spell against Ionia’s army?

Another dangerous potential ally has come forward. Syndra, eager to punish the Ionian leadership for their lack of vision, has come to Noxus offering her aid. She has discovered an Icathian book of black magic containing a forbidden battle-spell from the Rune Wars. (The sort of spell that almost destroyed the planet and led to the creation of the League in the first place.) If Noxus were to lend her its sorcerers for the ritual, she could invoke the spell.

There is no telling how much damage this spell could do to Ionia’s forces, nor what the other consequences might be. The spellbook’s pages are filled with ancient cursed sigils of Void hexes and dark sorcery. The League would surely condemn Noxus for resorting to such measures, were it to discover it had been complicit in this foul Void-tainted hexcraft.

Whereas Singed will happily show you chemical-smelling pages of diagrams displaying a rough range of numerical outcomes, Syndra will just cackle with insane glee as she proclaims that soon those fools will see her true power. Who knows what fresh hell this might unleash, or how much harm it could do to Noxus. The damage done to Runeterra itself could be catastrophic. But its potential is, shall we say, limitless.

How to Participate

You can begin by discussing these questions with your fellow Summoners in the NOXUS in-client chat.

When you’re ready, cast your votes.

Shon-Xan Resolution Poll: Noxus

Choose wisely, Summoners.


Caitlyn, you monster.

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5 comments on “Decide How Shon-Xan Ends (interactive lore event and vote for next arc’s third faction)
  1. […] this event concludes at the end of March 28, so take a look and have your say if you haven’t: There are some big decisions for both sides to make, and it warms my confectionery heart to see a […]

  2. […] 28 is the last day to cast your votes. We actually don’t have that many cast so far, and on several critical questions some options […]

  3. […] The Shon-Xan storyline is concluding. While we wait for the next arc to begin — click here to get an email when that happens — we’re going to be running some test matches to gather data to improve our balancing system. Any help you can provide would be greatly appreciated. Read on for more. […]

  4. LERY JNKNS says:

    WWSD (What Would Swain [the only person who can TRUELY make a decision in noxus about useage of either method] Do)?

    I think ionians look a little raw, might be time to turn up the heat.

  5. […] EDIT: Click here for the interactive lore event. Both Noxian and Ionian Summoners may participate. Also, as the victors, Ionians get to vote to add […]

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