The Field of Justice known as the Twisted Treeline is being decommissioned. The Council itself has not yet made an announcement, but on 31 July, 29 CLE, Summoner Mort of the Riotous Fists Clan revealed that the decision had been made. It seems clear that the rituals required would have to be performed during the kind of arcane conjunction that only occurs during a Harrowing.
The Twisted Treeline was constructed in the early days of the League, well before the Shadow Isles were themselves recognized as a member-state. Its declared purpose was to bind tears in the arcane foundations of the Isles, using artifacts from the nations of Valoran, and carefully devised runespells. It seems to have worked, and it is expected that the Council will say as much when it makes its announcement, congratulating the nations of Valoran for another success, much as was the case with the Crystal Scar. Then again, some say the Twisted Treeline’s real purpose has always been to give the League a foothold in the Isles, allowing unscrupulous Summoners to negotiate dark deals with the masters of the undead. According to this school of thought, the “success” of the Twisted Treeline is less the result of expert arcane engineering, and more due instead to the cooperation of those truly in control of the forces of undeath. Either way, the decommissioning of a Field of Justice that has stood for decades raises awkward questions about what happens to all those artifacts, to the runespells that still run through the Treeline’s foundations, to the League’s archives and arcane facilities on the grounds…oh, yeah, and to that gigantic spider that ate a dragon. (Who wants to volunteer to deliver that eviction notice?)
Over the past few weeks, other factions have unsuccessfully fought the Shadow Isles for the return of the artifacts they contributed to the Treeline’s construction. Some think the legal precedent might dictate a different result once the decommissioning is actually underway. Even then, however, it is far from clear how such artifacts could be extracted from the Isles. Dragging spooky artifacts through a haunted swamp and just hoping nothing goes wrong is not an appealing prospect. You could send an army, but history advises against trying to guard against the undead by just throwing more…bodies…at them. And the League probably has something to say about the idea of all the nations of Runeterra deploying armies to the Isles at the same time, to remove rune-charged artifacts, during the Harrowing.
Speaking of the Harrowing, one has to wonder just what impact this might have when the Mists blow in this year. Maybe it really is true that Karthus and his allies have restored balance to the Isles. Even if so, there are many factions that do not want his “gifts”.