At this point in the story, Demacia has marched into Shurima and attacked Zaun’s pyrikhos mines, acting in order to stop a prophesied Void apocalypse. This drastic measure, in violation of the League’s peace edict, has triggered one of the largest battles in recent Runeterran history. We held a round of special Featured Matches this weekend, which influenced the course of the battle.
There is lots more story to come on this point, including what I think will be a pretty cool lore event.
For now, here’s a quick summary of what happened.
- We rolled to decide whether or not Ceruleana was right. There were a variety of possibilities. We landed in the absolute worst quadrant: “immediate” for timing, with a magnitude of “apocalyptic”.
- Demacia demanded that Zaun turn over the mines, though it had no evidence to present other than the word of Ceruleana. Zaun refused, and the attack began.
- Zaun attempted to send reinforcements via warpgate, triggering hexplosive pyrikhos charges planted by a Piltovian saboteur. The blast overloaded the gate’s warp matrix and disabled it.
- Malzahar summoned an enormous swarm of Voidlings from within the mine, and sent them to destroy the attacking Demacian army.
- With air support from Piltover’s airship armada and the Screaming Yipsnakes, Demacia broke through Zaun’s fortifications, destroyed the Voidlings, and seized the mines. They began to exorcise the Void from the pyrikhos within, and fought to close the opening Void rift.
- Zaun reactivated the warpgate and deployed HexKorps reinforcements to retake the mine.
- Swain, having put down the Noxian rebels, led the legions of Noxus into battle against Demacia, their hated foe.
- Demacia was forced to abandon the mine before they could close the rift, suffering terrible losses against the combined Noxian/Zaunite force.
- As the broken Demacian army fled, Zaun regained control of the mines.
- Malzahar burst into maniacal laughter as he tore the rift fully open and brought forth the horrors of the Void. The demons immediately set upon Noxus and Zaun. Across Valoran, the skies darkened as the prophesied apocalypse began.
In other words: Ceruleana was right, and Demacia failed.
So where does that leave us?
- Malzahar has (obviously) left Zaun’s roster, to pursue an exciting career at the head of a Void swarm.
- Demacia took massive losses: about two-thirds of its army. Piltover and Bandle City were routed and forced into retreat, though their losses were not so grievous.
- Zaun and Noxus are caught in the middle of an opening Void rift. We’ll resolve that battle later. Demacia, Piltover, and Bandle City might be given a choice as to whether they help fight back the Voidling swarms and get to the opening portal, or leave Zaun and Noxus to their “just deserts”.
- Assuming they win, Zaun will have a decision to make about what to do with this impending apocalypse. The current plan is to give them the following options:
- Do nothing and let the Voidpocalypse begin.
- Try to control the Void rifts, directing the damage to specific factions. Very, very risky.
- Try to close the portal and stop the apocalypse using their mastery of Extradimensional Theory, leaving the pyrikhos in the mines intact. Somewhat risky.
- Let Demacia use its holy magic to destroy the portal and close the rift. This would render the pyrikhos in the mines inert, though the rest of the pyrikhos (including in Field 14) would not be affected. Virtually guaranteed to close the portal.
- The arc will probably be ending in the next couple of weeks. I’ll post on that topic later. I’d like to see how this event plays out before moving on to the details of the conclusion.
Anyway, there’s definitely more to come, but I wanted to give a general preview. I’m thinking we might have a special set of Featured Matches this weekend for the battle between Zaun and the Void.
P.S.: If you want to see the gory details, here’s the GDoc with all the dice rolls. This was the first real use of the military system we devised for this arc. As I’ll mention later, I think that both the greatest strength of this arc and its greatest flaw has been the number of novel, quirky mechanics, like the military and research systems. I’m planning on an extra-long intermission period between the end of this storyline and the start of the next, during which time we can talk as a community about what worked and what didn’t, and what needs to change. At the end of the day, I want to stress: all this dice-rolling and detail is just a tool, a means to help add some structure (and some unpredictability) to the story. As such, the lore team and I are likely going to nudge and tilt system-generated outcomes to make for a better, more engaging story.