Black Winter is the ninth Factions arc. It was preceded by Part VIII: Divinity. It began on 28 November, 26 CLE.
See also: Introduction
The year is 26 CLE. The Black Mist has spread across Valoran, plunging its nations into a Harrowing seemingly without end. Only Demacia and Ionia have thus far shown the ability to drive it back: Demacia by calling on holy magic to banish the ghosts back to the realm of the dead, and Ionia by summoning the spirits of honored ancestors to mediate with the harrowed souls and restore balance. Having tried and failed on their own, the League’s quarreling member-states have at last agreed to band together in a joint effort. As the Demacian approach of banishing the spirits and the Ionian approach of summoning more spirits to Runeterra are antithetical to one another, the decision has come to the League of Legends, final arbiter among nations. A contest of arms upon the Fields of Justice will determine the victor.
As a Summoner, your talents are much in demand, both for matches held on the Fields and for perilous operations conducted outside the Institute. Demacia calls for purity, and Ionia for harmony; only one can prevail.
- Faction declaration (sign up here)
- Champion rosters
- Submit match results
- Forum community thread
- Arc manual
How To Get Started
If you’re new to Factions, you’re probably thinking, “wait, so how do I actually get into a match and join the story?”
- Join the Discord server. A lot of coordination happens here, especially with the recent client changes.
- Join the forum. This is another place where people gather.
- Join your faction’s subforum. Post in that thread so that a mod can grant you access to your faction’s private subforum. You don’t want those [conniving Ionians/arrogant Demacians] snooping on you, after all.
- Be on the lookout for custom match invites. Factions matches are organized as custom games.
- Add some friends from the signup list. And if you see a random friend invite, consider accepting; it might be a faction-mate.
We’re going to be working out some additional coordination methods to compensate for the loss of public chat. Hopefully, the tips listed above will help in the meantime.
Balance of Power
This chart reflects the balance of power between the two factions as they fight through the Black Winter.
A faction’s Balance of Power influences, among other things, their odds of success in lore events and other World Systems rolls. A higher BoP generally means the story breaks in the faction’s favor.
- 31 October, 26 CLE: Black Mist crashes through Bilgewater and sweeps across Valoran, beginning the Black Winter. (See: Prologue.)
- 24 November: High Councilor Kolminye gives her “Black Winter” address. (See: Introduction.)
- 28 November: League dispute begins between Demacia and Ionia. (See: Introduction.)
- 12 December: Demacia recruits Kayle.
- 13 December: Ionia recruits Jax.
- 14 December: The Institute comes under attack once more. (Week 3 World Systems)
- 17-18 December: A tournament is held to determine which side would have authority to command League assets (including nonaligned Summoners) in this struggle. Demacia received reinforcements in Piltover, while Ionia won assistance in Shon-Xan.
- 21 December: Taric enters the dispute, pledging for Demacia.
- 21 December: Yasuo enters the dispute, pledging for Ionia.
- 28–30 December: A three-day solar eclipse tests the resolve of Demacia and Ionia to the limit. Ionia is forced to pull its forces back to defend the homeland, while Demacia maintains a global presence despite an assault on its own borders. (Week 5 World Systems)
- 31 December: Alistar enters the dispute, pledging for Demacia.
- 31 December: Zed enters the dispute, pledging for Ionia.
This outline currently contains some placeholders.
- Background: The Harrowing (from 24 CLE)
- Week 1
- Week 1 Champion pickups
- Demacia recruited Leona.
- Ionia recruited Syndra.
- Week 1 World Systems rolls
- Demacia helps Ashe hold her citadel against an undead attack, but gets tripped up in Freljordian politics.
- Ionia reconnects Bandle City yordles with their ancestors—but Mr. Chompers devours a handful of cupcake festival participants, and Veigar succeeds in his latest evil plan.
- Summoner’s Herald Vol. V, Iss. 1
- Week 1 Featured Matches
- Demacia versus Ionia
- Lore Update 1
- Week 1 Champion pickups
- Week 2
- Lore Event I
- Demacia saves Piltover from catastrophe. Meanwhile, it searches the Freljord in vain for the necromancers it believes responsible for the Black Winter.
- Ionia fights a costly battle to defend Nyroth against Neritum and Daeyux. While it focuses on Nyroth, however, Syndra wins support in Shon-Xan, promoting the worship of Ionia’s dishonored dead.
- Summoner’s Herald Vol. V, Iss. 2
- Week 2 Featured Matches
- Lore Event I
- Week 3
- Week 3 Champion pickups
- Demacia recruited Kayle.
- Ionia recruited Jax.
- Week 3 World Systems rolls
- When the Institute itself comes under attack, Demacia and Ionia launch a joint effort to defend it. They are ultimately successful, with Demacia’s overall approach of banishing the undead and purifying the Institute winning out over Ionia’s strategy of mediation.
- High Councilor Vessaria Kolminye reactivates the Summoner Corps.
- Demacia secures League reinforcements in Piltover, which returns to normalcy and begins contributing fascinating new advances in vivatronic technology to the effort to combat the Black Mist.
- Ionia wins League support in Shon-Xan. This saps Syndra’s support base, as moderate leaders turn from the veneration of ancient tyrants and warmongers to more traditional Ionian magic, backed up by the League’s arcane expertise.
- Lore Update 2
- Week 3 Champion pickups
- Week 4
- Week 5
- Arc Resolution
- Lore Event II
Temporarily placed here for convenience:
- Prologue to Arc X: Acquisition of Personnel
- Zaunite corporate and political interests begin making not-very-subtle inquiries with Summoners about their potential availability for a dispute in the League.
|ChI poll||Champion I||Lore Update I||+|
|WS I poll||WS I||X|
|ChII poll||Champion II||Lore Update II||T|
|ChIII poll||Champion III||+|
|WS II poll||WS II
|Lore Update III||—|
(Wraps on the following Thursday, January 5.)
(Final “X” FMs to be moved to the start of January, given that the 5th week ends with Christmas.)
- Ch: Champion pickups. Three WS rolls (one per stat). Tally SLs. Can get up to 3 (+) draws. (There are four recruitable Champions per faction. The fourth is recruited in parallel with WS II.)
- WS: Major lore events. One decision per faction, with intertwined consequences. Three rolls.
- Second Lore Event moved to an epilogue event.
- Lore Updates: Factor in events from the preceding two weeks.
- +: “Buff” FMs, with Demacia and Ionia fighting over “power-ups” for World Systems and Quests. (e.g. leveling up NPCs, getting bonus rerolls.)
- X: Shadow Isles FMs, where each faction scraps with SI. Difficulty set by WS events.
- T: Tournament matches.