Previous Update: Madmen of Zaun
Noxus narrowly prevailed in the second tournament of the Shon-Xan dispute, ruling out League intervention in the conflict. War now rages across the island of Shon-Xan as Noxian and Zaunite forces battle the Ionian military, still in disarray after the assassination of its leaders. What was once a refugee settlement has become a military fortification.
Zed’s fist gripped the metal seal and stamped the insignia of the Order of the Shadow upon the parchment in crimson ink.
A Summoner examined the page, then lifted her head to address the gathered crowd. “The Council recognizes and grants the application of Zed, Champion of the League, to fight for Noxus in the Shon-Xan dispute.”
Karma rose from the Ionian side of the chamber. “Then it would appear there is no further pretense. Noxus, through the Order of the Shadow, is responsible for the unlawful killings of no fewer than seventeen Ionian officials. Now they bring forth this assassin, innocent blood still on his hands, as their Champion.” She shook her head. “Noxus has the war it wanted.”
The audience turned toward the sound of Swain’s cane striking the stone floor as he lifted himself up to his feet. “Save it for the peace rally.” Several Noxian Summoners snickered, and Swain continued. “I motion to close this session. We’re finished here.”
A new voice came from the gallery. “You soon will be.”
Xin Zhao strode down the central aisle and approached the raised table behind which the Council’s Summoners sat. Sona followed with a musical flourish.
Surprised murmurs bubbled up from the gallery. Their soft echoes washed over the cavernous chamber.
Karma watched calmly as Summoners from Noxus, Demacia, and Ionia hastened to the front of the room and began arguing. She knew how it would play out. She’d known for weeks. Her eyes drifted over to Swain. She studied his scowling face. You’re not the only one who can scheme.
When the last arguments had been heard, and the Council’s vote announced, Xin Zhao and Sona each signed their names into the Ionian book of declarations, writing with quills in the Demacian style.
Xin Zhao turned to face the gallery and held his spear overhead. “We will throw these Noxian dogs to the sea!” Demacia’s Summoners stood, and their roars and shouts filled the chamber. “FOR THE KING! FOR DEMACIA!”
The tattered remnants of the Ionian navy had watched helplessly as the Zaunite war-zeppelins had flown overhead to deploy legions of Noxian soldiers into their homeland. Now they waited just off the shore of Shon-Xan, preparing for a desperate last stand against the might of the Noxian fleet. Nervous talk circulated of Zaunite submarines and cannons that spewed unquenchable chemical fire over ships and sailors alike.
Their telescopes had just caught the first sight of the Noxian fleet, making an audacious approach in full daylight with their colors flying over their masts. A vast front line of warships, with uncountable refugee ships following not far behind, full of angry Noxians who had been turned away and spent months of misery at sea searching for a new home. Every Noxian was a soldier of some kind. It was said these refugees numbered in the tens of thousands, and it was expected they would fight with the strength of several full legions.
And then with one crack of thunder the bright blue sky turned black.
Winds howled over the surface of the sea, which began to churn and roar. Rain poured from the heavens. A bolt of lightning split the mast of the Noxian flagship.
In the wake of the blinding flash appeared the sea goddess Ceruleana, hovering above the water in her storm-gray cloak. All stared in awe as mortal reality warped around her celestial form. Her voice boomed across the Noxian battle line.
FORCES OF CHAOS, YOU HAVE COME TO DEFILE THIS LAND.
The seams of the physical universe began to loosen. Mana flowed more richly than it had since the Rune Wars, borne on the winds she summoned. Hardened Noxian soldiers fell to the decks, screaming in horror, but they could scarcely be heard over the ocean’s roar. The sigils carved into their weapons and armor burst, their hot blood-magics fading into the salty spray, utterly consumed. Each man and woman felt a god staring directly into their eyes, as she spoke their doom.
KNOW MY WRATH, AND PERISH.
She raised one finger and pointed at the burning deck of the Noxian flagship. A jagged flash of lightning struck through the Noxian admiral’s chest and pierced his heart. He fell to his knees, vomiting fire.
Noxian sorcerers began calling forth counterspells, but their magic was of no use against this malevolent divine power. Tremendous gales smashed the ships apart and flung their crews into the hungry ocean depths. A wave of Ceruleana’s hand brought the Demacian fleet forward with impossible speed. She vanished, and the sky shone bright blue once more.
The Ionian admiral signaled frantically to her lieutenants. The crews hastened to set their ships in motion, to join Demacia in battle against the broken Noxian line.
On the mainland, Noxian and Zaunite forces inflicted heavy casualties. Much of Shon-Xan was in flames. But this turn of the tides had brought hope back to Ionia.
The Noxian victory has won them a Champion not normally within the limits of their roster: Zed, the ninja assassin who leads the Order of the Shadow. Noxus faced total defeat in the tournament, but narrowly prevailed. It is now back in the fight. The storyline will end on March 24, with whichever faction has the greater point total winning control of Shon-Xan.
Zed, the Master of Shadows, will fight for Noxus!
Zed has long been looking for his chance to strike out against the Ionian leadership and face Shen in battle. He’s won his chance with his treacherous alliance with Noxus.
Story: Zed’s lore establishes him as an enemy of Karma and the Ionian leadership.
Theme: Although his primary theme is Ionian, he’s a ruthless killer who rebelled against the orthodoxy to strike out along his own path and win strength at any cost. That’s very Noxian.
Gameplay: Zed is an assassin, and fits well with the Noxian assassination-heavy strategy.
When Noxus had its back against the wall, it turned to its allies to fill out its roster with Champions not primarily associated with Noxus. Karma, a cunning diplomat, bided her time and let Swain play out his strategy. Although clearly effective, his ruthless aggression pushed several neutral Council members over the line. Now, Karma uses their support to balance the scales by calling forth two Demacians to drive back the Noxian assault.
Sona, the Maven of the Strings, will fight for Ionia!
Story: Sona is Ionian, though she was adopted by a Demacian patron and now lives there. Like all Demacians, she is bitterly opposed to Noxus.
Theme: Sona does have some vaguely Ionian touches.
Gameplay: Sona adds a teamfight-heavy support option who would fit well with the Ionian teamfight strategy.
Xin Zhao, the Seneschal of Demacia, will fight for Ionia!
Story: Xin is sort of like pre-rewrite Olaf in that he has “unknown origins.” Hint hint. But he’s a diehard Demacian who has good reason to hate Noxus, which imprisoned him for years in the arena.
Theme: Xin Zhao is clearly modeled after legendary Chinese heroes, and given that Ionia is more or less “fantasy Asia”, I think he’ll fit right in.
Gameplay: Xin is a highly mobile champion, and Ionia traditionally focuses on mobility.
Next Update: A Lucky Break
Images are from the LoL wiki; I believe they are Riot’s.