Factions Lore

Hamsters in space

The yordles refuel the Mothership with the dark sand and voyage to Runeterra’s moon. Art by Summoner 333lom.

Now that we have the enhanced scoreboard up and running, I’m going to be focusing on catching up on lore. There are two main lore developments coming soon™: concluding lore for Hextech Revolution, and a proper opener for Nyroth.

Since we’ve had quite an influx of new Summoners, though, I think it’s a good time to make a quick post about the Factions saga so far. I’ve also written up a short post on the most basic Factions lore, titled Factions Lore 101, as quickie background material.

Our lore team includes Montesque64, Agrofox, MistreiuZKo, DarkbreakerEx, TheTactician, CrazedPorcupine, MaskedN6732, and Theras Arkna. We encourage you to ask questions and share comments on /r/LeagueOfLegends.

Previous Storylines

Mirrorwater Banner
Link: Previous Storylines
This is an index of all previous storylines, with scoreboard charts and quick-and-dirty summaries of what happened. It also includes a list of all lore updates from these arcs. Click on a particular storyline to see the page for that arc, including all lore updates published during its course.

What’s that? You want it summarized right here? Well, okay.

  • Mirrorwater — Magic shiny spacewater falls from the sky. The Freljord wins it. Lissandra is heard cackling louder than usual.
  • Ceruleana — A magical island rises up from the sea between the Freljord and the Shadow Isles. It obviously has nothing to do with the Mirrorwater. Demacia wins control of the island. Its guardian spirit, Ceruleana, appears and agrees to join Demacia’s quest to impose Order on the chaotic world. Ionia is like, “omg wtf no balance”.
  • Discord — Demacia and Ceruleana tilt the cosmic balance toward Order. The balance violently reasserts itself as a Void rift bursts open in Icathia. Ionia is like, “nice job breaking it, hero.” Hordes of Void demons and undead ravage Valoran. Their advance is halted only in a desperate last stand at the gates of Noxus. The Void’s Champions are now freed, and rule over Icathia, which the League has been forced to recognize as a member state.
  • Shon-Xan — The final battle against the Void left much Noxian land contaminated and cursed. Refugees flee across Valoran; some settle in Ionia. War breaks out. Karma’s politicking (combined with impressive victories on the Fields of Justice) secures League authorization for Demacian intervention; the Demacian navy obliterates a Noxian armada and turns the tide. Ionia wins. Noxus falls from superpower status due to its staggering losses, though it does manage to retain ownership of a small patch of land by using Zaunite biochemical weapons to hold Ionia off until the League’s truce goes into effect.
  • Hextech Revolution — The Void’s contamination spreads to the ruins of Shurima, there mixing with ancient enchantments to create “dark sand” (“pyrikhos”) which proves to be a versatile and abundant but dangerous hextech energy source. Yordles fly to the moon in their Mothership, refueled with dark sand. Ceruleana warns Jarvan III that a Void rift is opening within Zaun’s dark sand mines, saying Runeterra will be devoured if the mines are not destroyed at once. When Zaun refuses to close the mines, Demacia attacks, in direct violation of League law. Zaun’s pyrikhos-fueled HexKorps breaks the Demacian army and drives them back. When the Void rift really does start opening, Zaunite scientists close it down with science. Jarvan III is arrested, and Zaun wins the League dispute.

You want it even faster? Fine! This is basically tweet length: Mirrorwater Lissandra bwahaha Ceruleana Demacia gets OP Discord Void wrecks everything Shon-Xan Noxus, give it up Hextech Revolution Zaun gets OP.

The Story So Far

MapofValoran-Ceruleana-NewContinent
Link: Storyline
This page provides a narrative overview of the Factions saga to date.

Interactive Lore Events

Bandle City Champions
Link: Interactive Lore Events
We’re just starting to really formalize this system, but from time to time we invite Summoners to cast their votes as to what their faction does next. This began in the Mirrorwater arc, when Noxian Summoners were asked to decide between Singed’s ruthless “victory at any cost” tactics or Riven’s old-school “strength with honor” principles.

The Summoner’s Herald

Summoners Herald I-1 Front Page
Link: The Summoner’s Herald
This is our in-universe newspaper, in the style of the Journal of Justice. It is published at the Institute of War, and reports on international news.

Beyond the Battlefield


Link: Beyond the Battlefield
Beyond the Battlefield is for community-written lore, especially lore that isn’t directly related to the central Factions storyline. Anyone can send in their writing for review. We check submissions primarily to ensure there are no conflicts with Factions canon. All Beyond the Battlefield works that are published have been vetted in this way, and are themselves Factions canon. In other words: we invite anyone who would like to do so to contribute to building the Factions world.

Pretty Pictures

Void Runes
Link: Factions Artwork
We are fortunate enough to have lots of awesome community art, as well.

Factions Lore 101

Here’s a quick overview of the most basic elements of Factions lore.

Instituteofwar_small

The League of Legends

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 League of Legends is a supranational entity founded after the unchecked use of high-level battle magic nearly destroyed Runeterra. It resolves international disputes through matches on the Fields of Justice, fought by Champions who are aided by mages called Summoners.

War still happens, but the League acts as a referee. It sets the boundaries for the conflict, and periodically intervenes to, e.g., determine who will gain control of a valuable port or city with a match on the Fields of Justice instead of actual combat which might very well destroy the object of contention. (The Shon-Xan storyline, featuring a new war between Noxus and Ionia, illustrates this sort of League adjudication.) Although founded to keep potentially cataclysmic wars in check, it also handles smaller disputes. Your average solo queue match might be part of an argument about the taxation of cupcakes from Bandle City or something along those lines.

The League is also the keeper of many powerful artifacts, which are adjudged too dangerous to be in the possession of any one nation-state. Although the League itself is made up of many powerful mages, it ultimately relies upon nations such as Demacia and Noxus to back up its judgments.

Champions

Champions are beings of extraordinary power who clash on the Fields of Justice to resolve disputes between nations. While there are a handful of monstrous Champions imprisoned at the League and forced to fight, most Champions are there voluntarily, having sworn an oath to the League. Motivations for fighting in the League are varied, but typical reasons include:

  • advancing the cause of their homeland in major disputes (the subjects of Factions arcs)
    • Many Noxians see the League as a chance to use their personal might to win glory for Noxus. Those cowardly Demacians would rather hide behind their peasants; the League forces them to face true strength in hand-to-hand combat.
  • maintaining the peace by supporting the League’s mission
    • Many Demacians, being devoted to law and order, have this motivation.
  • winning favor with the powerful nations of Runeterra and its Summoners
    • Braum’s village has surely benefited greatly from the favors he’s won from powerful factions such as Demacia and Piltover.
  • access to the magical libraries and artifact collections controlled by the League
    • Hey, did you just hear someone cackling with insane glee and shouting something like “Now these FOOLS will PAY for what they’ve done”? Oh, right, it’s just Syndra again.
  • gaining combat experience against the most powerful beings in Runeterra
    • Jax enjoys a challenge.
  • attaining personal fame and glory
    • Welcome to the Leeeeague of Draaaaaven.
  • receiving protection from angry nation-states
    • Jinx’s bombing sprees would have landed her in prison a long time ago without the League’s diplomatic protection.
  • and then some, like Sona, just want blood.
    • Seriously, she’s a famous musician who lives in a mansion … and then she decided that she just wanted to kill all day. Okay, okay, she probably wants to show gratitude to Demacia and House Buvelle for adopting her. Or something.

The average Champion is essentially a superhero. Even those Champions who look like “some chick with a crossbow” have been elevated far above the strength of ordinary mortals by the ambient magical energy of Runeterra, or some other source.

Summoners

You are a Summoner. Your arcane talent and tactical ingenuity have won you education at the Institute of War and access to its mystical secrets. You empower Champions with magical items, runes, and spells. You don’t directly “control” them, but you watch over the battlefield and advise them as to their next moves.

Your first oath is to the League itself. However, during major disputes, Summoners (just like Champions) may petition to fight for a particular faction. When that dispute ends, however, you are absolved of your oath; if you participate in the next clash, you may freely decide which faction to fight for, even if they are opposed to your previous allegiance. Summoners gotta get paid, after all.

Factions Summoners sometimes appear in lore updates. We’re also thinking about setting up a formal “Summoner Bios” section, where you can submit brief backstories and descriptions for your Summoners.

—CupcakeTrap

Caitlyn, you monster.

Posted in Uncategorized
8 comments on “Factions Lore
  1. […] people whom I imagined asked me how this will impact previous Factions lore. You can be assured that, other than the removal of all factions, Factions lore is exactly the same […]

  2. […] Zaun, fought with faction-specific Champion lists. We use the outcomes of matches to decide how the storyline moves forward. We organize these matches into “storylines”, also known as […]

  3. […] pretty sure this will not prevent us from telling awesome stories. (Or, you know, you could just read the lore we’ve developed over the course of more than a year.) Below, I illustrate how Factions revises these elements of the story rather than erasing […]

  4. Hexmage says:

    Heck yes. I want to write the cool summoner lore.

  5. Summoner bios, eh?

    Demacian who defected to the void during the void invasion. Following the void’s defeat in Noxus, Anarchist joined Ionia, to repel the Noxian invasion, in coordination with the Starchild, Soraka. After repeling Noxus, he left Ionia to join Zaun in pursuit of ultinate knowledge, where he helped to craft the most powerful force in all Valoran’s history, and met the man who would become his most stalwart companion on the fields of justice, and later entangle him in a passionate romance like none other: Malazhar. After Zaun won the political conflict of the hextech revolution however, Anarchist was blindsided by the Institute as they stole and locker away his beloved malzhar in their dungeons. In recognition of his services, Zaun lent Anarchist an elite Psikorp team which assisted him in breaking the void prophet out of his prison, and acquiring refuge in Bilgewater. Anarchist and Malzahar now live happily together in Bilgewater with their two lovely pet voidlings. In appreciation of the maritime nations assistance, Anarchist is currently offering his summoning experience to the pirate nation, and aiding them in their mission to establish themselves as a true power of Runeterra.

    Cupcake make canon now pls

  6. Rurk says:

    Yes i agree that a summoner Bio page would be a very good idea it would help with…..possible….. “future” projects *cough*

  7. mixizm says:

    Magical mercenary. I like it.

    “Mix, you died cause you face checked that bush!”
    “No, I died because Ezreal wanted to face check the bush and wouldn’t listen because “I Needed a map.””

  8. StormRevolver says:

    oh i like the summoners bio idea :)

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