Sixth Arc First Faction: Bilgewater

The normal process for faction selection is as follows:

  1. We hold a public poll to select one or two factions.
  2. Summoners from the previous arc’s winning faction get a private vote to add another.
  3. Staff sometimes add another faction.

I’d like to vary things somewhat this time. Staff has discussed the next arc, and we came to a general agreement that Bilgewater really needs to be in it. It hasn’t been featured yet, and it has a fun, small roster with some unique flavor.  It also seems very well-suited to the theme of exploration and commerce that we’d like to explore with the next arc, which we intend to make a genuinely lighter story with no world-ending events or massive wars. (There might still be some combat with undead or Void armies, or a disaster or two, but overall we think Runeterra really needs a break. Hextech Revolution was supposed to be that break, but, uh, it got a bit crazy by the end there.) We held an informal poll, and found that the community seems to generally agree on Bilgewater.


In an inversion of the usual procedure, I am therefore going to begin the sixth arc planning process by announcing Bilgewater as the first faction. Bilgewater is a maritime civilization that effectively represents the interests of pirates, traders, and aquatic civilizations like the Marai.

I have some work to do to get the research rolls ready for tonight, but once that’s out of the way, I intend to post up the public poll very shortly.

Although this is purely speculative at this point,  I’m considering going even further and actually posting up a scenario with the public poll, indicating what’s at stake or what the argument is over. Each faction’s description would then include:

  • Their objective in the given scenario (what they’re fighting for)
  • The faction’s history in prior arcs
  • Prospective champion lists
    • Core list: Champions the faction will almost certainly start with.
    • Secondary list: Champions the faction will have plenty of opportunity to recruit (e.g. as part of regular lore events)
    • Tertiary list: Some Champions with very tenuous connections who might nonetheless be available as, e.g., tournament prizes.
  • The faction’s power chart, indicating their strength in the following areas (somewhat TBD, depending on how we end up designing these systems, but we can give vague indications):
    • Military (combat capability)
    • Research (tech development)
    • Endeavor (possible category separate from research, for e.g. building stuff)
    • Commerce (possible category for trade/wealth)
    • League standing (possible category for diplomatic heft before the League)
    • (all of the above being pretty speculative, but just an idea I had)

So yes. There will in fact be pirates in the next arc. It looks like the Freljord might be another choice. I’m debating between using the Freljord as the setting, and allowing factions to recruit Freljord champs from the various sub-factions, or just putting it on the poll to see if people want to see a united Freljord as a major player. I’ll probably go with the second option.

You’re all invited to come help think up scenario ideas for the next arc in this thread.


Caitlyn, you monster.

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5 comments on “Sixth Arc First Faction: Bilgewater
  1. BlackRose02 says:

    Cupcake, I would just like to say that I really think you should go with the public poll idea you listed in this article. Knowing more about the faction’s various strengths, motivation, and list of potential champions would be definitely be exciting.

  2. Maevis Pas says:

    If we’re going to do the frejlord as the setting… maybe we could do a faction supporting each tribe of the frejlord. Like, say the votes are Bilgewater, Discord, and Ionia. Bilgewater would support Sejuani and the Winter’s Claw, Discord would be with Lissandra’s Frostguard and Ionia would be supporting Ashe and her Avrosians.

    • Wizard996 says:

      I love this idea. I second this motion CCT, if freljord is the setting, what Maevis says should definitely happen!
      Of course, there’s the issue of how they would back each one, possibly all of the aforementioned other factions are vying over territory in the freljord, since there is much land unexplored that could hold great bounty, and are attempting to ensure that themselves and the ally they are backing get the largest claim.

    • CupcakeTrap says:

      Yes, if it’s an intra-Freljord dispute, then we could have the various factions allying with the tribes.

      If it simply involves the Freljord in some way, then we could basically use the Freljord Champions as an additional Champion pool. Factions could pick up Freljord Champions by winning favor with a given tribe.

      This might be nice in that it’s actually really, really hard to come up with Bilgewater Champions.

      An alternative which was suggested would be to be a bit more lenient than usual with Bilgewater in terms of recruiting “mercenary” Champions like Jax.

      • SonOfTill says:

        I really like the idea of gaining favor with certain tribes. Adds a dynamic kinda like the city-states from Civ 5. And some tribes should definitely get pissed the hell off and refuse to help if you side with others.

        I’m imagining an almost rock paper scissors with how severe each tribes reaction would be. The Winter’s Claw wouldn’t talk with you if you sided with Ashe, Ahse wouldn’t side with you if you went with the Watchers, etc. I don’t actually think there’d be such a severe reaction if you side with the Winter’s Claw for either side though. In my head canon, Ashe pities the Winter’s Claw and Lissandra sees them as little more than brutes and that sort of opinion wouldn’t bare you from dealing with their tribe. But your decisions should still alter your relations with the other tribes and bar certain aspects that would’ve otherwise been available.

        I also think that if any faction would have mercenaries it would be Bilgewater. Nearly all militaries in history have used mercenaries, but I can’t imagine anyone other than Zaun, Noxus and Pilt (under the right circumstances) using mercs. Too much pride for Demacia in my eyes and the same goes for BC. Piltover would only hire ones that were somewhat moral, so I think Sivir would be out. I don’t think Zaun would actually have many mercanaries to choose from, though. Probably a lot of horror stories about test subjects and so they’d only get the hardest of mercs and they’d have very very strict contracts that would ultimately get in the way.

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