ADVANCE DRAFT FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Shuriman, Noxian Workers Demand Independence, Noxus Deploys Task Force
Darius Dispatched To Shurima, Expected Not To Appear On Fields Today
by Trammon Velspar, Reporter for the Summoner’s Herald
28 June, 25 CLE—A protest of pyrikhos miners turned riotous yesterday morning, shortly before the start of the first tournament of the present Shuriman dispute. The protesters challenge Azir’s right to speak for all of modern Shurima, and demand democratic governance. It is expected that the League will soon grant Azir’s petition to admit Shurima as a member-state, with Azir himself as the sole recognized ruler, news that is not welcomed by all Shurimans. The present tournament itself was convened to determine ownership of the southern city of Dar’Khos, an ancient Shuriman city that briefly served as a second capital in the aftermath of the imperial court’s destruction and is now a hotbed of Shuriman democratic activism.
After initial attempts by Noxian Summoners to talk the protesters down fell through, Cassiopeia, the High Command’s legate to its Shuriman territories, ordered Darius to personally resolve the matter and “encourage further negotiations”. It is expected that Darius will not appear on the Fields today.
The mines, owned by Zaunite corporate interests, are worked by both native Shurimans and Noxian refugees from the Void War. Tensions have been on the rise since last week, when Shuriman independence activists publicly disputed Azir’s right to represent modern Shurima or speak for modern Shurimans. The trouble began when an independence activist stood to address a crowd inside one of the hextech cinemas constructed by Zaun, less than an hour before a broadcast of the tournament was scheduled to begin. The activist, whose name is yet unknown to the Herald, decried both Azir and Sivir as “a would-be God-Emperor” and “a pawn of the League” respectively, and added that the independence movement had intercepted a confidential communique indicating that the Council was on the verge of declaring Azir Emperor of Shurima, and its sole representative.
The crowd overran local Zaunite corporate offices. Corporate security forces allegedly chose to withdraw rather than open fire on the massed protesters with heavy artillery, though initial small-arms fire and hand-to-hand combat are believed to have claimed as many as several hundred lives.
A number of Noxian Summoners who had been expected to participate in the tournament were called away from the Institute at the last minute to address the emerging situation, leaving Noxus to hastily assemble a new team to avoid forfeiting the match entirely. Meanwhile, the Summoner delegation to Shurima succeeded in talking the crowd down and restoring peace by late last afternoon. However, the negotiations were on the verge of collapse by midnight, and this morning Cassiopeia ordered Darius to personally lead a detachment of troops to impose martial law and “encourage further negotiation”. It is expected that Darius will not be present for any of the second day’s matches. This could spell trouble for Noxus, which struggled noticeably yesterday. Some have argued that the purge of Reformist Summoners during the prior Shuriman dispute has left the Noxian Summoner corps somewhat depleted, with a number of prominent Summoners having either been executed during the unrest or dismissed from the High Command’s roster.
The Herald’s correspondents at the Institute confirm that an expedited ruling was issued by the Council, stating that the League considered this an internal Noxian-Zaunite matter. A Shuriman Summoner’s motion to be heard was denied; as Shurima is still not a recognized member-state, High Councilor Vessaria Kolminye explained, it has no standing to dispute a League ruling not directly related to its petition for membership.
The preceding is a rush dispatch. Further details will be released as they become available.