This lore event follows the May 28–29 Featured Matches. The Freljord lost to Bandle City 1–2. Thus, it’s something of a mixed bag for the Freljord story-wise.
Preface—Timi’u, Sage of Lanpoa
An Argyrian yordle named Timi’u, a renowned sage of Lanpoa, will join the cause of whichever faction can give him access to an ancient shard of Argyrian True Ice discovered in the seabed near the new nexus.
The mystery of the Mothership deepened with the discovery of a community of yordles on the Nyrothian island of Argyre. These yordles, who resemble Gnar rather than Bandle City yordles, are organized into rivalrous tribes that continually feud over access to Lanpoa, an artifact much like a smaller Mothership. During the Nyrothian dispute, the Freljord explored Argyre and befriended the Argyrian yordles. They invited yordles from Bandle City to assist them in communicating with Lanpoa, with somewhat controversial results—the Bandle City yordles succeeded, but then reported that Lanpoa wished to speak only to them. The Freljord’s requests, they said, would have to be conveyed through yordle intermediaries. The Freljord was not happy about this. (Some report hearing Sejuani inside her tent, shouting phrases like “skin them all” and “scheming little betrayer-yordles!”) It has been a tense situation ever since.
Timi’u is an Argyrian sage known for his remarkable ability to interpret and even manipulate Lanpoa’s sensors. When the deep-sea nexus appeared, he fell into a vision trance that lasted for days. His yordle friends brought him blankets to keep him warm, and occasionally succeeded in geting him to half-consciously consume a few bites of pie from Lanpoa’s food replicator. A Frostguard healer was asked to take a look at him, but when she approached, Lanpoa projected a forcefield that threw her back into a snowbank. A medic from Bandle City tried next, but even he was repelled, with Lanpoa threatening the terrifying curse known as access denied, and abruptly sealing its doors around Timi’u. His friends feared the worst.
On Monday, May 24, Lanpoa’s doors opened. Timi’u emerged, not only alive, but positively beatific. He held in his hands an artifact, which he named the quadronic scanner, and proclaimed that he had received a wondrous vision. In his vision, he became a sliver of True Ice that broke from Argyre and drifted through the deep seas, past Valoran and its fiery skies set ablaze by the Rune Wars, to eventually sink into the seabed. He begin pawing the air as though drawing, and a yordle hastily fetched him paper and a pen, imported from Valoran. Timi’u drew a pattern, with a circle in the center and lines leading to it from the edges. The image complete, he cheerfully pushed the pen through a point near the central circle, then fell back into the snow and curled up in blissful sleep. Summoners doing field research on Argyre immediately recognized it as a leyline-nexus diagram, and soon both Bandle City and the Freljord had dispatched survey teams.
A young Argyrian yordle walked up to the Freljord diplomat stationed in the island. He was old and crippled, but had always had a way with words and a keen mind. Not very many Freljordians made it to an advanced age, and the position allowed him to feel like he was still active and useful, even if he couldn’t fight as well as he once had. The yordle’s eyes gleamed with excitement, which could only mean something related to that ship of theirs; over time, he had become quite good at reading them.
“Lanpoa has sent us a message!” the yordle said, unable to keep the giddiness from her voice. “It wants to speak with a human!”
“A human?” the Freljordian man asked, incredulous. It was unprecedented. Yordles were very protective of their ancient ships, whether in Bandle City or Argyre.
“Yes! Lanpoa says that we must bring forth the human leader of the land of ice! You know her, don’t you?”
“Hrm,” the man grumbled. “Wording’s important, and the wording on this one’s about as reliable as a hungry yeti,” he mused. “Ashe’s not in a good place right now. But going for one of the others would be disaster. We need consensus.”
The man thanked the yordle and then hobbled to his tent as fast as his walking cane could take him. Inside, he dusted off the polished frostgem, roughly the size of his fist, that he used to communicate with his homeland. “We got…an opportunity,” he said to his superior on the other side. “The yordle ship wants to talk to our ‘leader’. Let’s try to avoid any needless infighting.” A pause. “Yes, I know that’s how we do things, but right now we’ve got bigger elks to hunt. We need a show of unity. See if you can convince them to put it to a vote. Get the Summoners in on this. They’ll sway the rest.”
When the blue gem’s glow dimmed to nothing, the diplomat frowned and hobbled out of the tent. He wasn’t sure he wanted any of the three to have political support, even if it was temporary.
“What’s wrong?” a voice called out. The man turned and saw another Argyrian yordle. Cyvado. Fur white as snow, one arm. He’d heard about an incident with some of the… things that lurked in the ice caves. Argyrian yordles all seemed friendly enough, but he’d seen the fire in them. It was rare, but not something he’d easily forget. “From the looks of you, you’d think we’d have called for your leader to be sat in timeout.” Though her gaze was serious, she attempted a friendly smile. “Being allowed to enter the grace of Lanpoa is a gift no human has ever received.”
The old man nodded. “I know, lass. Things are… complicated, back home. It’s not as easy as just calling our leader over. A warlord and a mage have about as much power as our Queen, and each of them lead their own tribe. The Summoners back home have been trying to keep a balance, but this call your Lanpoa just put out may throw all that hard work to the winds.”
Cyvado nodded back at him. “I see. Politics are complicated in your land. My brother doesn’t say, but I can tell that they are as hard to navigate as the ice bridges here. One wrong step and you slip away,” she said with a tiny smile that was both knowing and sad.
“Krocylea is still fresh in people’s minds,” he continued. “It happened under Ashe’s leadership and by Lissandra’s advisement. And Sejuani has the temperament of an ornery boar.”
Cyvado chuckled. “I’ve heard the tales. No wonder my brother likes her.” She paused, then looked back towards the village. “Lanpoa would not do this without a reason. Have faith.”
The old man nodded noncommittally and she walked away, back to her people. He hobbled to a nearby rock and sat there, feeling tired and faded, like clothes that had been worn too long. They might’ve sewn his tears and patched up his tatters, but the thread had been worn too thin.
Ashe was a brash, self-righteous lass that was too young to make the decisions of a Queen. Lissandra was a naive bookworm that spend far too much time locked away in some distant tower reading strange lore. And then there was Sejuani, an aggressive warlord with not a single diplomatic bone in her body. He did not envy the others back home: it would be a difficult decision. Each of the three had virtues and strengths, unique talents that they could bring to the table, but they all had their flaws, both great and small.
Everything had worked so well, when they had kept the three in a tense balance. And now this.
In such a volatile dispute, where leaders might have to make snap decisions without being able to contact their advisors, the choices they made would change the Freljord’s course. Ashe might fall prey to deception and her own self-righteousness. Sejuani to overconfidence and making enemies out of allies. Lissandra to underestimating the dark powers the Freljord was currently tangling with. Each would have challenges to overcome, and if the divine nature of the nexus was related to belief and personality, the choice could have dire repercussions down the line.
Summoners—Which leader to send to speak with Lanpoa? This will be taken as a tacit support for the leader to take the reins for the dispute, at least until a vote to change the leader occurs (though it is not guaranteed). The choices are Ashe, Sejuani and Lissandra.
Discussion thread: Lore Event I (Freljord)
Voting will close no earlier than Sunday, June 5, at 5 p.m. Pacific.
Lanpoa’s message had been a disaster for the Freljord. Ever since the events at Nyroth, Summoners, diplomats and what passed in the Freljord for the nobility had been maintaining a tenuous balance in the political power between Ashe, Sejuani and Lissandra. While Sejuani had been appeased by her victory against Ashe the previous year, she was still stubborn as always. Ashe herself was unwilling to relinquish her rightful place as the Queen of the Freljord, and even though Lissandra had officially pledged herself to Ashe, it was concerning how many scholars, mages and Summoners went to her instead of Ashe for important decisions.
When Lanpoa asked for the leader of the humans from the land of ice, it became implicit that whoever answered that call would be considered to be calling the shots while the dispute for divinity continued. With no hope for balance, chaos had broken loose amidst the Freljord’s most influential people. Each of the three had their supporters, particularly amongst Summoners, so the hallways of the Institute of War quickly became filled with arguing whenever those affiliated with the Freljord were around.
“This is a diplomatic mission,” said the Summoner Endgame125, more commonly known as Lionel Silverbrace, his bright Demacian smile undeterred by his fellows’ deafness towards his arguments. “Ashe is our finest diplomat.”
“I don’t know,” retorted the Summoner Damaster00777, who went by Deon McGee, absentmindedly running an arc of electricity from one finger to the next, “I think Sejuani’s got what it takes.”
“Lissandra’s the most qualified to decipher whatever Lanpoa wants to say,” pointed out the Summoner CrazedPorcupine, who everyone knew as Synar Celimdha.
“Ah, but what if Lanpoa wants someone to speak for the Freljord? No one can do it better than Ashe,” Lionel pointed out and nodded, self-assured.
“And if it’s a trap, Sejuani’s the most like to get out alive,” Deon countered immediately.
“But why would it be a trap? Argyrians have been allied to the Freljord since its discovery. The Freljord has been loyal to its allies, I can assure you that,” Lionel explained. “Me and my fellow Demacian brothers and sisters would not be here otherwise.”
“And if it’s neither,” Synar intervened, “then we need an intelligent mind to investigate further.”
“I don’t think Argyrians are that complicated,” Deon said casually. “Speaking from personal experience here. They’re pretty straightforward.”
Just when Synar was about to deliver a clever retort, the doors of the large drawing room opened. A respectable crowd had gathered in the hallway outside the room, and the figureheads that had inadvertently summoned it had eventually decided to take the discussion inside. Lissandra, Sejuani and Ashe walked briskly, followed by Summoners, mages and trusted lieutenants. When the doors closed, the room was certainly packed. Had the people inside been in any mood for sitting down and have a casual chat, every seat would’ve been taken.
“As I said outside: there is no consensus,” Sejuani stated categorically, looking at Ashe with reproach. “Stop trying to find same-speak when none exists.”
Ashe frowned deeply, but held Sejuani’s stare. “I thought we were all on the same page. Present a unified front, find the pendant, divide the rewards equally.”
“You will not be the face of that unified front. I defeated you on the Howling Abyss. She,” she said, cocking her head at Lissandra, “holds more favour than you in this mage-tower. You are not strong enough to be the envoy of the Freljord.”
Ashe pursed her lips. Her gaze turned glacial, but she bit her tongue. She took a deep breath, willing herself to rise above her emotions. Rage was for a barbarian. An archer was always distant. “None of us has enough power. I may have less support than I thought, but it’s at least as much as you and Lissandra have. Since I am the only one in this room with actual experience negotiating with foreign powers,” she paused, then turned to the Frostguard princess, “no offence,” she turned back to Sejuani, “I am the most logical choice.”
“If I may,” Lissandra intervened. “Clearly, there is a lack of consensus. That much we all agree on. While I have declared allegiance to Queen Ashe, I am not an Avarosan. If I went to speak with Lanpoa, it would not be taken as…”
“Absolutely not,” Sejuani interrupted her. “I would see her going instead of you. She is a warrior,” Sejuani stated with arms crossed. The foreigner Summoners blinked in confusion. Those that had been born in the Freljord understood.
The corner of Lissandra’s mouth twitched up slightly. “And a fine warrior she is. However, this is not a matter of battle, but of wisdom.”
“And wisdom is not what the Frostguard is known for,” Sejuani retorted swiftly. “Lore, yes. Magic, yes. Cunning,” she said, then gave Lissandra an openly arrogant grin, “too much by half. But wisdom? Wisdom is a shaman’s claim, not a mage’s.”
“Perhaps there is another choice,” Ashe ventured. “We send someone else.” The other two looked at her with curiosity.
“But who?” Sejuani asked, incredulous. “There are none that have not sided with either of us in the past.”
At this, Lissandra chuckled. “There may be one whose wisdom is more important than their allegiance. Is it not our custom to seek the counsel of a shaman or seer in situations like the one we find ourselves in?” she asked, inclining her head as though entertaining the possibility that someone might answer her rhetorical question. “There is one that may fulfil that purpose for us in this moment.”
“Her?” Sejuani inquired with a tone that was a blend of disbelief and outrage. “She knows nothing of leadership!”
“She is the wisest in all the Freljord,” Ashe stated. “Lissandra speaks with reason.”
“As far as mystics are concerned, she has no equal in our land,” Lissandra said, extending her arms towards the Champion before them. Summoners murmured all around, their tones a blend of awe, concern and relief.
“She is not human,” Sejuani said, frustrated. “And do not think I forget she has sided with you, Ashe.”
“My soul belongs to the Freljord, child,” Anivia spoke kindly. She floated gently in the air, above the Freljord delegation that had congregated on the highest point of the Windspire, the tallest tower in the Institute of War. “My kinship with Ashe is second to the Freljord’s wellbeing.”
Sejuani narrowed her eyes at the ‘child’ appellation, but considered the cryophoenix’s words. “Do you swear on your frost-blood to speak for all of us, and not just for the Avarosans?”
Anivia floated down so that she could level her eyes with Sejuani’s. The warrior gritted her teeth; she couldn’t deny the chill she was feeling in her bones, but it was the Winter’s Claw’s way to endure. “I swear,” Anivia replied with the simplicity of a being that has no need for superfluousness. When Anivia turned to the others, Sejuani slowly began to recover feeling in her skin.
“There is a slight problem,” a Summoner intervened. “Sejuani has a point: Lanpoa did say human.”
“We can fix that,” another Summoner replied almost immediately. “There are glamour spells we could use.”
“Is that the… human leader…?” an Argyrian yordle inquired. The elderly woman at the head of the Freljord delegation was certainly imposing: tall in that way only a Freljordian could be, with hair white as snow braided behind her and a long, heavy dress and cloak made of fur and white feathers. Her blue eyes glowed with an inner magic that could not be disguised by even the most clever of illusions.
“Temporarily,” both Ashe and Sejuani replied in unison. There was an awkward silence as the group was led to Lanpoa.
Anivia, in her human guise, entered the ancient ship alone. Those that waited behind remained tense. While the others whispered amongst themselves, the three champions remained silent and stared at the shiny metal door before them.
Inside, Anivia was led by a series of faintly glowing lines on the walls. She glided down stairs and across small hallways, tilting an aquiline head towards the low humming and buzzing she sometimes heard inside the walls. She noted, after careful observation, that Lanpoa had been built for yordles, but it seemed to be making room for her as she walked. It was rather subtle, the way the dimensions shifted to accommodate her.
Eventually, she was led to a room, the double doors opening on their own to let her in. To her mild surprise, the room seemed to be a storage room of some sort, with tools and pieces of machinery carefully organised in shelves. The lights on the walls led her to the end of the room, to a blank wall. Anivia waited with the patience of aeons. A square in the wall opened, and from the darkness within emerged a tray with a glittering structure. Anivia recognised the true ice on sight. With long, wrinkled hands that were not her own, she gently took the object. It was an incredibly delicate contraption, larger than a fist but not by much. It seemed to be made of rings and gears, carved in true ice with incredible detail and interlocked with one another.
“Thank you,” Anivia spoke aloud, bowing her head slightly.
A monitor nearby turned on. The image looked old and blurred, with parts of it lost to age. It featured a human handing the true ice object to a white-furred yordle.
When Anivia left Lanpoa, she was smiling. Relief and awe washed over the Freljord delegation upon seeing her, glad that at least nothing had gone too terribly wrong.
“What did the machine want?” Sejuani asked, eyes looking at the true ice contraption in Anivia’s glamoured hands as though it was some sort of explosive. “What is that?”
“This is a sign of cooperation between the humans of the Freljord and the yordles of Argyre,” Anivia said with a gentle smile. “My memories are lost to the mists of death and rebirth, but ages ago, both lands may have neighboured one another.”
“Before Nyroth was sundered,” Lissandra quipped. “Fascinating.”
Summoners whispered excitedly behind the champions, eagerly discussing theories and wild conjectures.
“Did our people make that?” Ashe asked, extending a careful hand to touch the true ice piece. It was cold to the touch, but not any colder than her own bow.
“It was a gift,” Anivia explained. “Crafted by humans to aid yordles in need. All things fulfil their cycle, in time. History, even forgotten, returns to us.”
“I wish we could learn more,” Ashe said wistfully. “This craftsmanship must be from the times of the Three Sisters. We don’t know of any other age that could craft true ice so skillfully. If you could remember those times…”
“I think we can help her,” a Summoner interrupted her. The four champions turned to the group of mages. “Normally, when we perform a Judgement, we use the champion as the focus. We attempt to find their most important memory, something that makes them who they are. We could not do so with Anivia, because of the nature of her memory. It’s not that she doesn’t remember, it’s that we cannot find a focus. There are too many events in the psychic resonance of her soul that we cannot find the most important one, nor can we latch onto any of them.”
“But now we can use that object as a focus!” another Summoner intervened excitedly. “The emotional resonance imbued in the true ice should act as the focus for the ritual, and Anivia herself would be the conduit!”
“I would be glad to remember,” Anivia said.
As the Summoners chanted around Anivia, now in her natural form, bright white mists rose around them. They had chosen a sacred clearing in Argyre to perform the ritual, and the three leaders of the Freljord watched tensely from the sidelines. A strange language was heard from the mist. Another Summoner desperately worked a translation spell, eager to hear what the past had buried.
“Human-friend, for this, you have Lanpoa’s debt,” a voice said, the sound a cross between a child and something wild.
“Hearth-warmth be with you and your tribe, small one,” the voice of an old man replied.
“We will speak to Lanpoa of human-friends. When human-friends are in need, Lanpoa will return aid.”
“May it never come to pass,” the old man said heavily.
“Through blizzard or great beasts, The People will keep their promise,” the wild-child declared, resolute. “Lanpoa will remember.”
The voices quelled. The mists moved, as though stirred by wind.
“We will be lost without them,” a woman said.
“We will endure. It is in our nature,” a man replied.
“No chieftain can replace them. No shaman or warlord,” she continued. “And the Memory is lost as well. When we die, our children will have nothing but stories.”
The mists changed again. Anivia’s own voice resounded in the clearing.
“Your grief cannot be ended, child,” she spoke. Though sadness was clear in her tone, it remained as even and calm as ever. “But if I do not contain it, it will destroy you and everything around you.”
Winds picked up in the clearing. The sound of ice hitting ice repeatedly echoed all around. The wail of an inconsolable child. The roar of a maddened beast.
“May you find it in your heart to forgive me, one day,” Anivia’s disembodied voice said. There was a sound of ice locking against itself with the finality of a tomb. The wailing and the roar ended abruptly. “Sleep, child. Sleep and forget.”
The mists fell. The Summoners looked around, disconcerted. That was all?
“It was I who buried him,” Anivia said sadly, looking at the Argyrian yordles in the distance. “He had lost everything. I did not know what to call it then, but I do now. It was a Champion’s strength that he had, and that I feared would create even more grief and destruction if left alone.”
A heavy silence was cast upon the clearing.
“The yordles kept their promise,” Ashe said quietly. “Is this our time of need?”
Sejuani nodded with uncharacteristic somberness. “We saw it today. There was no unity.”
“What I wish to know,” Lissandra said with curiosity, “is why Lanpoa believes that this is what we need. This artefact merits further study.”
The four champions gazed at the true ice machine-piece, glinting harmlessly under the sun. A promise of something.