Did you know that, since their removal from the Fields of Justice, most Purple Minions are now employed in the Factions Lore department? It’s true!*
We’ve been working them very hard lately. Still, with the frenetic activity of the Nyroth arc, we’ve ended up rather behind when it comes to lore. We’re at something like 22 lore updates—notice the huge warning sign of me not actually knowing what number we’re at—but until recently, only the first three were actually linked on the page, because I hadn’t yet completed final drafting, review, and editing of the others.
Obviously, there’s lots to do right now, but if Factions is “matches that determine the course of a story”, then that story has got to matter at some point. So I took some time out from other Factions tasks to get at least the first ten lore updates packaged up in a form where I’m not too embarrassed to post them.
To do this, I had to rein in my tendency toward perfectionism. There are probably some typos. There are many places where the language could be better. Many of the updates are lacking illustrations or other formatting. Some of the island updates still include some rough “WIP” notes about dice rolls and the like. The reality is that a lot of the polishing will have to happen during Intermission.
I’m posting them here, in part to announce their (much-delayed) listing, and in part to invite you all to take a look and help us out with comments. If you see something that seems off, ask about it. If you see an error, let us know. The same goes if you have an idea for an addition, including if you think there’s a nameless Summoner reference that your own Summoner character could fill in for. While it’s obviously important to point out problems, it’s also nice to hear about what we did right, so that we can keep doing those things, and (honestly) because we value the encouragement. We do this to create stuff that people will like, and hearing that people like it is a big deal.
*: It’s not true.
Previous Factions Lore
First, let me link you to the main Factions lore index. If you’re new, you might want to start by taking a glance at this. The Previous Storylines page is a particularly concise summary of what’s happened so far. This will give you some context, and a better idea of how things are supposed to look. (Speaking of perfectionism, some of the earlier updates are a bit more slapdashy than I’d like; another reason why I want to have a nice long Intermission when this arc ends on December 22, so that we can go through and clean all that up. But enough on that.)
The First Ten Nyroth Updates
Here are the first ten updates. I hope to bring us up to the present time with a second “loresplosion” in the next few days.
An airship expedition travels to the island of Nyroth and reports back.
Interactive Lore Event I
A brief interactive lore event following the prologue.
Update 1: The Harrowing Approaches
A brief introduction to the Harrowing season.
Update 2: Time To Troll
The Freljord recruits Trundle by petition and wins Udyr’s allegiance on the Fields.
Update 3: Not Your Hero
Nami hires the mysterious mercenary known as Jax to fight for Bilgewater.
Update 4: Avalon (Exploration by Bilgewater)
Bilgewater liberates an island from berserk hextech automata.
Update 5: The Harrowing
The Harrowing comes to Runeterra.
Update 6: Death and the Dead (Exploration by the Shadow Isles)
The Shadow Isles discover an island of undeath: and necromantic forces beyond even their control.
Update 7: Emain Ablach (Exploration by Bilgewater)
Bilgewater restores a verdant island to prosperity, and gives Maokai hope of one day revitalizing his home in the Isles.
Update 8: The Automata (Exploration by the Freljord)
The Freljord pursue automata spotted on the mainland of Nyroth.
Update 9: The Ancient Library (Exploration by Ionia)
This is where the jokes about Ionia and libraries come from.
Update 10: Aeaea (Exploration by Bilgewater)
Not all island have to be sinister. This one has sunshine, parties, and fruity drinks, as well as plentiful vowels.
Subsequent updates are indirectly linked. Some are almost done. Some are basically placeholders. Feel free to glance at these, but note that I haven’t given them a pre-publication check-over yet, so the presentation and content may be quite mixed.
I’ve created a discussion thread on our forum. This is a good place to leave comments and suggestions. All feedback is valued, whether it’s “CupcakeTrap, you wrote Twisted Fate so terribly that I am going to find where you live and burn it to the ground” or a simple “nice! I liked the bits about life as a Summoner” or “I really liked how Montesque64 connected the matches to the battle”.
Next, I’m going to get that simplified, consolidated World Systems event posted up with Naggarok’s help, so that you all can help decide how the story continues.
Everyone’s welcome to contribute lore to Beyond the Battlefield or the Summoner’s Herald. (On the latter, your best bet is to contact Companion Prism, who is compiling a new Herald issue as we speak.) I write this aware that, after CrazedPorcupine’s departure from the internet for the next couple years, we are currently lacking a BtB reviewer, and there are some pieces in the backlog; I will do my best to either review them myself or assign someone to do so. Unfortunately, there are so many pressing admin tasks at the moment that it may take me a while.
I cannot give enough thanks to the staff of Factions. I’ll list the official lore team members here, with the caveat that this cannot be a complete list, and I’d hate for anyone to feel wrongly omitted. (This is especially true since the entire concept of Factions is lore fused with gameplay and Summoner decisions, and so of necessity many non-“lore team” people contributed to these pieces.) I thought about keeping it vague precisely because I was afraid of forgetting someone, but decided it was better to at least take a try at naming most of the people who’ve worked so hard bringing the Factions story to life:
Assistant Author: Agrofox (emeritus)
Roleplay Director: Theras Arkna
Summoner’s Herald Editor: TheTactician
Summoner’s Herald Editor: DarkbreakerEx
Summoner’s Herald Author: Companion Prism
Beyond the Battlefield Reviewer (emeritus): CrazedPorcupine
Beyond the Battlefield Reviewer: MaskedN6732
Assistant Author: MistreiuZKo
Assistant Author: Junpei Tenmyouji
If you see them around, please thank them. They work very hard, and they’re a wonderful bunch to work with. Some of our staff members are working several jobs, and cram Factions lore-writing into their very limited bits of free time because of their love for the community and the story we’re building together, page-by-page and match-by-match. That means sometimes we have to play it a little fast-and-loose. We can’t achieve professional polish on everything, at least not immediately. But I’m very proud of what we’ve created together—and I definitely include the members of our community in that “we”. I think that community involvement is a huge part of what makes Factions lore special. We don’t have a multimillion dollar media budget, and we can’t make Factions our 9–5 job (though to be honest our hours sometimes end up in that vicinity). But we have you guys, guiding the story with your passion and creativity, and that’s a Big Deal. So thank you.
Lately, I’ve been focusing on bringing in some Summoner characters from the community, and I’d like to thank all the Summoners who drafted up backgrounds for their characters. I’ve really enjoyed fitting them into the story. (If I had one point of feedback, it would be to scale down the “weirdness” of many of the characters; it’s a lot easier to fit in “Frostguard-trained Freljordian Summoner who idolizes Lux” than “towering stone elemental from the Void who speaks by drawing enormous fiery letters in the air and possessing the minds of all who gaze upon him”.) I really, really want to further develop Factions character creation and roleplaying, but again, that’s probably going to be something that happens during Intermission. Maybe I’ll run a Snowdown adventure campaign.
I’ve made some mention of how overwhelmed staff is right now, mostly to explain why we’re a bit slow. That said, I for one am really enjoying how this arc is developing, largely because of the community’s enthusiasm and creativity. I’m particularly pleased with how, during this most recent clash of factions on Krocylea, people avoided the sort of saltiness that poisoned the community during Shon-Xan and Hextech Revolution. Remember: there’s a big difference between your Summoner characters hating each other’s guts and hating each other IRL. Draw that distinction clearly, and I think you’ll have a lot more fun.