The eighth Factions arc, Divinity, began in the year 26 CLE on the 23rd of May, and concluded on the 30th of October. It was preceded by Lines in the Sand. It ended on 30 October, 26 CLE, with Bandle City as the victor.
In this arc, four factions fight for control of a nexus discovered on the ocean floor, charged with divine energy. Each faction sees its appearance as the fulfillment of prophecy. And in the fluid metaphysics that govern Runeterra, whichever faction gains control of the nexus will likely find its prophecy proven true, as control of the nexus will allow them to make it true.
The four factions involved in this League dispute are Icathia, Bandle City, the Freljord, and Bilgewater. They have organized into two rival alliances: Icathia and Bandle City on one side, and Bilgewater and the Freljord on the other.
Summoners may pledge their allegiance to one of these four factions. Once made, the oath lasts for the duration of the dispute, scheduled to conclude in approximately three months.
- Declare for a faction (closed on 30 October, 26 CLE)
- Submit match results
- Summoner List (NA)
- Faction Rosters
- Balance of Power
Balance of Power
This chart summarizes match outcomes to date.
Factions win points when they win matches and lose points when they lose matches. A typical 5v5 Summoner’s Rift match has a base value of 10 points. That is adjusted in two main ways. First, we compensate for skill differences using data gathered over 1000+ Factions matches. Second, we apply a 1% match value adjust for every 1 point of Balance of Power gap between the factions. This encourages underdog factions to take a risk and challenge the dominant factions.
A new nexus, aligned with divine magic, was discovered at the bottom of the ocean. The astonishing appearance of such a focal point of celestial energy was claimed as the realization of four factions’ prophecies:
- Icathia: the City of Uun’Zek’Nare. Icathia sees the nexus as the dimensional anchor of an Icathian city “destroyed” by a Magelord armada in the Second Rune War, when Icathia was a rogue province of the Shuriman Empire. With control of the nexus, Icathians believe they can bring the great city back, and unlock its archives—which would contain a source of “pure” Icathian magic not filtered through Shurima or dimmed by the Empire’s slow deterioration.
- Bandle City: the Launch Pad. Bandle City is built around the Mothership, which they revere as a sort of deity. Yordle culture bears an obsession with “getting it ready”. Some believe this was accomplished during the Hextech Revolution, when they used pyrikhos to refuel the Mothership and travel to the moon and back. Yet the appearance of this nexus has renewed interest in old prophecies about a “Launch Pad”, long believed to be purely figurative, e.g. a metaphorical reference to Bandle City itself. If the Launch Pad literally exists, this nexus might enable the construction of a platform for launching the Mothership far beyond the moon, deep into the cosmos.
- Bilgewater: the Serpent’s Nest. Many supernatural beings perished during the Rune Wars, when mortal use of rune magic poisoned the arcanosphere. It is said that one such being, a powerful avatar of Nagakabouros, hid away from the encroaching tides of magical distortion within a fortified nest, sleeping over her eggs. The nexus could well be a manifestation of such an arcane pocket-dimension beginning to open.
- The Freljord: Ylsa’s Memory. Lissandra has brought forward ancient texts that elaborate upon traditional stories of Ylsa’s Memory, a pendant said to have been worn by the Three Sisters, reunited after their deaths and then lost at sea. The ancient texts of the Frostguard have collected many different stories about the famous pendant worn by the Three Sisters. While the details vary a great deal, the stories agree that each of the Three Sisters played a part in crafting the pendant; Lissandra found the purest shard of True Ice, Avarosa sculpted its shape and Serylda split it into three. The magic ascribed to the pendant runs the gamut from the marvellous to the truly unbelievable, but its true power lies in the tantalizing promise of uniting the Freljord just as it once united the Three Sisters. Whether the pendant truly contains the memories of the ancient heroines or is protected by the spirit of Ylsa is a matter of much speculation.
The League has cordoned off the area and restricted access to these four claimants, whose dispute it has taken up. Bandle City and Icathia have formed an uneasy alliance, as they both seek to align the nexus “up” toward the cosmos. Similarly, Bilgewater and the Freljord both intend to link the nexus with the natural world “below”.
- Prologue: The Right Weapon
- A Nyrothian Summoner meets with the Rift’s old shopkeeper in Shurima, and tries out weapons forged by Runeterra’s many nations.
- Faction Intro: Icathia and Bandle City
- An Icathian offers some much-needed assistance to a Bandle City Summoner with something to hide. In exchange, she brings back home a proposal for dealing with their piracy problem.
- Faction Intro: Bilgewater and the Freljord
- At one point during this story, Vel’Koz possesses a Bilgewater lighthouse and laserbeams the Bilgewater fleet. I’m not sure what else I need to tell you.
- But I’ll add: Bilgewater Summoners realize something bad is coming just in time to put a warning out and call in some aid from the Freljord. Gangplank brawls with Kha’Zix, Volibear smacks Vel’Koz around, and Nami and Illaoi team up against an underwater Cho’Gath.
- A nexus forms in the Guardian’s Sea. Merricurry channels the energy surge through the Prism Shard her floating lab was using as a sensor focus, preventing an even greater catastrophe and refracting the divine energy into four streams.
- Each faction reacts to the formation of the nexus. At one point, Olaf conducts espionage Freljord-style by stomping through Bilgewater seizing random passerby and demanding they tell him where Ylsa’s Memory is.
- May 28–29 Featured Matches
- Bandle City recruits Timi’u (“Timmy-O!”), a yordle sage from Argyre, who studies the nexus.
- Bilgewater picks up a wild Marai priest named Zomo, who launches a crusade against the abyssal sea monsters who have driven the Marai to the edge of extinction.
- The Freljord sends Anivia to consult with “Lanpoa”, the Mothership-like artifact from Argyre. They discover evidence of ancient human-yordle interactions in the Freljord, and learn how Gnar was frozen. (Spoiler alert: Brand didn’t do it.)
- Icathia‘s local base of operations, an ever-shifting crystalline tower, is invaded by Shuriman Void-wraiths, victims of ancient Icathian wars. Icathia forges a dark bargain with them.
- Week 2 Champion Recruitment
- The Freljord recruits Trundle, who brings his troll shamans to the nexus intent on getting themselves some of these gods that the humans are so keen on.
- Icathia recruits Varus. Having completed his quest for vengeance™ on the killing fields of Shon-Xan, he now follows the urgings of dark voices from beyond(™?) to the Guardian’s Sea, in search of a new purpose.
- Bilgewater recruits Nautilus, whose own origins lie in spooky ocean magic.
- Bandle City recruits Amumu, who honestly is just happy to have some friends.
- June 4–5 Featured Matches
- Icathia beat Freljord and secure the right to investigate a mysterious murder. The culprit is discovered to be a Noxian housekeeper, who inadvertently killed them by invoking a Shuriman artifact. Icathia turns her over to Noxus.
- Bilgewater defeats Bandle City, and places a “perpetual motion” artifact in the center of its new Grand Temple, which it dedicates to all the gods of Bilgewater.
- June 11-12 Featured Matches
- Bandle City convinces the League to sponsor education of the yordles of Argyre.
- Bilgewater find the source of the “blackwaters” that corrupted Nautilus: a warped holdover from the Age of Divinity. They vanquish it.
- The Freljord falters in its attempts to perfect the “Draught of Eternity”.
- Icathia fails to get Korzari, their crazed Icathian mathematician, out of Institute custody.
- Week 4 Champion Recruitment
- Icathia recruits Aatrox, amid rumors that Aatrox himself was present at the Battle of Uun’Zek’Nare.
- Bandle City recruits Ziggs, who leads a fleet of yordle submarines armed with high-yield torpedoes.
- Bilgewater recruits Tahm Kench, who is surely up to no good. What exactly did Gangplank trade this guy?
- The Freljord recruits Gragas. He may have been drunk when he agreed to join.
- June 25-26 Featured Matches
- Nobody actually knows what these matches were about. Some say that learning the truth would unravel your mind and the world in an instant.
- Week 6 Champion Recruitment
- Icathia recruits Brand, a fire elemental who survived the Rune Wars—at least, in some twisted form. Icathia tries to get the League to let them bring him over to a suddenly active undersea volcano near the nexus. They refuse, and it erupts to catastrophic effect. Elemental fires spread across Valoran. Icathia ends up pinning the blame on some of its rivals in the League. Because they’re sneaky like that.
- Bandle City recruits Kennen, who succeeds in communicating with the Mothership and thereby bridges the gap with his Bandle City brethren. Meanwhile, the yordle villagers of the Nuigu Village in Ionia have a shared vision of the Mothership. Yordles from Bandle City set out for Ionia to help them build the Mothership-ordained shrine known as the Signal Dish.
- Bilgewater recruits Jax, who is determined to stop Aatrox before he acquires divine power from the nexus. With Icathia thwarting his attempts to accomplish this by more roundabout means, Jax is forced to confront Aatrox himself. (And this time, a snarky comment about fishing isn’t enough.) Aatrox provokes an uprising of Bilgewater’s angry have-nots, and Jax in turn calls upon the legend of Captain Coro, the Reaver King who led Bilgewater in raids against the Magelords and Protectorate during the Rune Wars. Jax strikes Aatrox down. Miraculous and inspiring sightings of Captain Coro spread through Bilgewater.
- The Freljord recruits Udyr, who seeks to preserve the natural environment amidst all this supernatural “divinity” commotion. To do so, he finds a spirit animal, the Glacial Turtle, who will represent the Guardian’s Sea and keep these rogue divinities in check. As a first miracle, the Glacial Turtle empowers Anivia to encase the undersea volcano in glacial ice, halting the eruption.
- July 9-10 Featured Matches
- “The Fifth Survivor”—The thaumic shockwave of the nexus formation wrecked a passing ship. The four survivors of this dreadful explosion were discovered at sea, delirious with psychic visions of the divine, and conveyed to the Institute of War for treatment. Bandle City and the Freljord discover that Zaun’s PsiKorps is holding captive a fifth survivor. They cooperate to free her, and succeed in their mission.
- “The Arrangement”—Icathia and Bilgewater discover that they each have a traitor in their midst, and that these two have come to a comfortable “arrangement” whereby they rat on their respective factions and take the credit for the intel their counterpart has so generously provided. They agree to cooperate to bring the traitors in. Icathia promptly locates and disappears its traitor—”disappears” being a truly appropriate word for the masters of the annihilating emptiness between dimensions. Bilgewater travels to Noxus to hunt down its traitor, only to learn that Icathians have snatched him up and delivered him to League custody. Icathia has betrayed them!
- Week 8 Champion Recruitment
- Icathia recruits Nocturne, using the nexus to provide an interdimensional conduit for him to slip out of his cell at the League and strike out at their enemies in their dreams. Bandle City thwarts them, but the dreamscape is fractured. The Lich Queen Nefara, corrupted by the Void, calls out to the dreamers of Valoran, and to the cursed sands of Icathia brings new recruits for the cults of the demons who dwell between the stars. (Damn, Icathia, you scary.)
- Bandle City recruits Heimerdinger, whose brilliant mind extends the work begun by Doctor Merricurry and constructs a techmaturgical framework for modeling the flow of divine energy. He discovers Icathia’s plot, and constructing yet another remarkable device, a dream-interface, he assembles an ethereal army to defend the dreaming Summoner whom Nocturne is targeting. Nocturne is repelled, and Bandle City earns the Summoner’s gratitude.
- The Freljord recruits Nunu, who fights to stop Bilgewater from re-establishing a lunar shrine. The influx of divine energy to the lunar pantheon would surely awaken the Freljord’s own deities of the moon…chief among them the dread demon-god known as The Ghoul, heralded by the new moon. But the Freljord fails, and undead attack Willump’s Yeti village. They are saved at the last moment by the arrival of the Frostguard.
- Bilgewater recruits Diana, who now leads the restored Lunari order. Bilgewater’s victories over the Freljord on the Fields secure authorization from the Council to break the seal around the Grey Harbor. That seal was put in place after the Harrowing of 11 CLE, when Hecarim’s forces captured and desecrated the lunar shrine. Diana is victorious, with the unlikely aid of the lunar goddess known variously as The Rogue and The Gambler.
- Week 8 Quest Draws
- Bandle City advances its Might Quest from Step I (“Size Does Matter”) to Step II (“Friendship Guns”) using schematics Timi’u (Timmy-O) helped retrieve from Mothership debris on the ocean floor.
- Icathia falters in its Influence Quest, remaining at Step I (“Enemy of all Life”) when Commissioner Weyoko Degani is arrested on corruption charges related to the illegal export of dangerous Icathian artifacts.
- Bilgewater advances its Might Quest from Step I (“Manablight”) to Step II (“Moonsilver”) when the Lunari Order establishes a sacred coldforge to produce undead-slaying moonsilver weapons, and a detachment of Noxian Lunari worshippers arrives to join those preparing to defend Bilgewater from the Black Mist.
- The Freljord advances its Influence Quest from Step I (“Who Let Them Join?”) to Step II (“Frostgems”) when studies of the Guardian’s Sea nexus reveal sacred geomancy techniques that allow for the use of frostgems as cheap arcane foci for spells and hextech devices, multiplying their trade value.
- July 23-24 Featured Matches
- Bilgewater defeats Icathia in a battle for control over the “Mosasaren” sea monsters.
- The Freljord defeats Bandle City and establishes a base on an island of significant strategic value.
- Week 10 Quest Draws
- Bandle City advances its Might Quest from Step II (“Friendship Guns”) to Step III (“The Stellar Armory”).
- Icathia advances its Influence Quest from Step I (“Enemy of all Life”) to Step II (“Let Us Do You a Favor”). It gains the divine patronage of Xash’Vok, Breaker of Chains, a Void demon of immense power. (Represented by the Strength card.)
- Bilgewater completed its Vision Quest to develop anti-undead magic, advancing from Step II (“Moonsilver”) to Step III (“Divine Storm”). With the aid of Archsummoner Talik Lathner, who oversees the League’s anti-Black Mist operations, they have realigned the leyline called Androkor’s Trajectory and enabled Nagakabouros to set in motion elemental forces to oppose the Mist.
- Tournament I
- This tournament was fought over the Rune of Freedom, which thousands of years ago broke the gods’ final bulwark against rune magic, shattering their pantheon and plunging Valoran into the Rune Wars.
- Bilgewater took first place, and by reflecting the energy of the Guardian’s Sea nexus off the fractured rune restored some of the lunar pantheon’s lost strength.
- Bandle City took second place, and gained a glimpse at the Divine Flight Path which the Mothership followed long ago. This in turn allowed them to reconstruct a number of garbled maps and data files in the Mothership’s database.
- Week 12 Quest Draws
- Bandle City tried to come to the rescue of a Freljordian fleet attacked by sea monsters, but ended up doing more harm than good, entrenching rather than reversing their “betrayordle” reputation.
- Bilgewater attempted to bring the Atlanteans on board for the Harrowing defense, but Nami fumbled the negotiations and ended up in an embarrassing brawl.
- Icathia successfully out-lawyered Zaun and got its hooks into a critical Piltovian enterprise at an early stage. This sort of subtle manipulation has, over the course of this arc, given Icathia a frightening degree of control over the operations of the League, and brought its Influence Quest to completion at Step III: “Who Watches the Watchers?”
- The Freljord attempted to establish itself as a great power (wrapping its Influence Quest to stop being seen as a bunch of primitives) by answering Ionia and Bilgewater’s pleas for a peacekeeping force to quell a new Nyrothian civil war. But its troops proved insufficiently disciplined, and the situation rapidly degenerated into a bloody occupation.
- Week 12 Champion Highlights
- The Freljord: Volibear
- Icathia: Vel’Koz
- Bilgewater: Twisted Fate
- Bandle City: Gnar
- August 20–21 Featured Matches
- The Freljord gets +3 on its next Influence Quest check.
- Bilgewater gets +d3 on its next Quest check.
- Week 14 Quest Draws
- Bandle City advanced its Influence Quest from “Yordle Traitors!” to “Yordle Traders”, and picked up a major NPC, Sgt. Maj. Zuzu “Two-Pints” Shiptown.
- Icathia failed to advance its Vision Quest, when summoning a Void demon called Pesh’Jeth went badly.
- Bilgewater succeeded in advancing its Influence Quest by a narrow margin, with the help of Lady Luck.
- The Freljord successfully completed its Vision Quest, and picked up a major NPC, Regnar Alred, skald of the Frostguard.
- September 3–4 Featured Matches
- Week 16 Quest Draws
- Bandle City completed its Influence Quest with a dramatic and suitable tarot card draw: The Moon.
- Icathia advanced its Vision Quest, thanks to Nefara’s nefarious assistance.
- Bilgewater completed its Influence Quest, with some help from Tahm Kench, by getting League support to Nyroth so as to enable them to send help to Valoran when the Mist strikes.
- The Freljord got mixed up in some nasty politics associated with Bilgewater’s Nyrothian endeavors, and failed to advance its Influence Quest.
- Tournament II