The results from the poll begun last night have been quite decisive. This is helpful, because it allows us to rapidly establish opening events and set the stage for today’s matches.
I get it, Summoner. You’re busy. So here’s the quick version.
- The Shadow Isles is attacking Bilgewater. It completely abandoned its blockade of Yoroth to launch an all-out assault on Stormhaven. (This leaves the Freljord and Ionia completely free to just waltz right into Yoroth.)
- We’ll have a best-of-three set of matches starting at 2 Pacific today, Saturday, 20 December, 24 CLE. Signups are posted below. Matches will be streamed at twitch.tv/LeagueFactions.
- The second match will start no earlier than one hour from the start of the first, and likewise for the third.
- Tier configurations are TBD. I’m leaning toward something like HHGGL, but we’ll have to see who signs up. Everyone please put your names in the hat!
- As a battle match, no sanctions will apply. (No bans.) The Shadow Isles can still try to use Night Terrors to ban a Summoner spell.
- The outcomes of these matches will significantly affect the course of that battle. If you’ll be available, sign up below. We’ll select Summoners by lottery. If you sign up, show up.
- Ionia could decide to go help Bilgewater. A poll is linked below. If Ionia does decide to help, it will be able to contribute Summoners to the matches today, as well as up to 1 Champion per match. (Note, however, that sending troops to attack the Isles will reduce odds of success in Yoroth.)
- The same decision goes to the Freljord, though again, it would come at a cost to their ability to secure Yoroth, and it’s not as though the Freljord loves Bilgewater right now. The Shadow Isles are also asking permission to dispatch Karthus, together with a cadre of necromancers and Summoners, to “assist” in Yoroth. Their abilities would surely increase chances of success, but they’d also be able to slant the resolution to their own ends.
- What about tomorrow? That’s a backup date in case something goes horribly wrong today. If fighting breaks out between two other factions, we’ll resolve it Sunday. Else, we might just have a Freljord vs. Bandle City match over Argyre’s mini-Mothership (Lanpoa) or something. A third option is to pack it full of pickup matches, since the arc ends on December 22.
The Story So Far
This is a succinct “catch-up guide” for the arc.
Here are the highlights of the story to date:
- Yordles spotted a new continent to the west of Valoran from their moonbase. (Yes, they have one of those.)
- This continent, Nyroth, seems to have been formed by a constellation of ten nexuses around an enormous “mega-nexus”, within a stormy region of the ocean wracked by currents of wild magic. These nexuses created the mainland and its islands with emanations of elemental earth magic, and established a leyline network that sublimed this chaotic energy into a stable “thaumic matrix”. The great civilization that developed there has used this matrix to create arcane and techmaturgic wonders with (for Valoranians) unimaginable ease, such as a race of sentient hextech automata.
- A thousand years ago, an aftershock from a Rune Wars spell on Valoran traveled across Runeterra’s leylines and disrupted Nyroth’s network of nexuses. The central mega-nexus ruptured, unleashing terrible destructive forces and poisoning the thaumic matrix. The Nyrothians on the mainland perished almost instantly, as falling stars obliterated their great cities and chasms opened up in the ground to swallow the debris.
- The Nyrothian mainland remains toxic to (organic) Nyrothians. Valoranians are somehow immune; it appears to be an after-effect of many generations of exposure to residual Rune Wars energy.
- The only surviving Nyrothians live on the islands, and on a single floating city above Yoroth inhabited by a winged Nyrothian subspecies.
- Bilgewater took a commanding early lead, founding the port of Stormhaven in the northern Monsku region and taking control of many of Nyroth’s islands. Though many expected Bilgewater to loot and pillage, it appointed Nami as its leader and has acted with compassion and honor.
- Bilgewater won the first tournament, and was appointed Valoran’s emissary pro tempore to the Nyrothians.
- The Shadow Isles behaved somewhat ambivalently for much of the dispute. That changed on Krocylea.
- As the exploration of the islands concluded, the League granted the Freljord and the Shadow Isles joint ownership of the island of Krocylea, where two mirror-kingdoms had been fighting since the cataclysm, each convinced that the other was their “dark inner self” made manifest. (In truth, both were identical beings replicated from a single original by the damaged nexus.) The Shadow Isles summoned Aatrox, the avatar of war, and launched an all-out assault on the Freljord’s side of the island. The Freljord stood and fought. Both sides resorted to rune spells that tore the island’s leylines out of alignment to power them. The Freljord’s invocation opened a Void rift. It was closed by a combined effort of all four factions, whereupon the Shadow Isles turned on the others and began slaughtering every Krocylean on the island, with the intent of raising them up as undead soldiers. Ionia and the Freljord stood and fought, and narrowly defeated the Isles. (Bilgewater, meanwhile, provided only a small amount of naval firepower.)
- The Freljord and the Shadow Isles were both sanctioned for their use of rune magic. Bilgewater interceded to condemn the Freljord and render their sanctions still harsher.
- The Freljord nonetheless prevailed in the second great tournament, which granted it authority over the Yoroth region, a part of Nyroth surrounded by a wall of mountains which contains the ruptured mega-nexus. Yoroth holds the key to restoring Nyroth, should one wish to attempt such a feat.
Final Island Exploration
Just before the mainland peace edict was lifted, the factions engaged in a final round of exploration:
- The Freljord returned to Argyre, an arctic island inhabited by “prehistoric” yordles who venerate “Lanpoa”, a strange artifact not unlike a smaller Mothership. They used the sway they gained in their tournament victory to convince the League to let them bring along a small research team from Bandle City, in the hopes that they would be able to help them fully awaken Lanpoa. They succeeded…but Lanpoa proved much more interested in the yordles than the humans, and the Freljord is left having to use the Bandle City and Argyre yordles as go-betweens. (Unfortunately, Gnar ate too much rage-gene-infused pie and has a tummyache. He is MIA for the rest of the arc.)
- Bilgewater returned to the paradise-island of Aeaea, which always seemed a little odd to them. Even after recruiting the sorceress Desmeya, apparently a greatly respected member of Aeaean society, many from Bilgewater viewed the island with suspicion. Miss Fortune discovered the island’s secret: virtually everyone on the island is an automaton created by Desmeya, bound to her will. When accused of enslavement and tyranny, Desmeya mildly replied that they did not wish to be free—prompting further arguments that she created them to not wish to be free. It’s a bit of a conundrum; in the meantime, free tropical drinks for everyone! (Speaking of: Katarina has decided that she isn’t interested in a massive battle with skeletons, and will be spending the rest of the dispute sipping frosty beverages on an Aeaean beach.) Bilgewater also returned to Mag Mell, and slew the terrible dragon Tarakona, freeing the people of Mag Mell and possibly resulting in a soup race or two.
- Ionia did something mysterious in the Yanti region. They were very successful at it. (I literally just didn’t have time to decide on a story.)
- the Shadow Isles returned to Neritum, still wracked by civil war after the Isles had slain their tyrant-king Kaius, and restored order by killing absolutely every living thing on the island and raising them as undead soldiers. Then it went back to Daeyux, where a nexus attuned to life magic had fallen out of alignment and turned it into Undead Land, and allied with a ruling class of liches to restore, uh, order there as well.
Now all eyes are on Yoroth.
The Freljord’s victory in the second great tournament of the Nyroth dispute has given it exclusive rights to explore Yoroth, the central region of the Nyrothian mainland. It would be a violation of League law for anyone to enter Yoroth without the Freljord’s authorization.
The Freljord has decided to invite Ionia to join its expedition. (Ionia will gain the ability to exercise some influence over how the Yoroth adventure goes, as a result.) They could also invite the Shadow Isles or Bilgewater, though they did not choose to do so initially.
The Battle of Stormhaven
The Shadow Isles is attacking Bilgewater, leaving the Freljord and Ionia free to explore Yoroth. The two armies are roughly evenly matched.