Herald staff and invited experts critically examine today’s most significant trends.
Perfectly Pleasant Pet Poros
Ever petted a poro? Until recently, hardly anyone outside the Freljord could say they had — and let’s be honest, pretty much everyone is outside the Freljord. I first encountered one while chilling out (ha!) between matches on the Howling Abyss. The little guy just bounced right into my arms! I was totally bummed when they told me I couldn’t keep him. (Or her. Not like I checked!) I seriously thought about stuffing him in my robes and sneaking him back to Piltover, or maybe trying a quickie teleport spell.
The main thing that stopped me — you know, besides wearing tailored robes with no room for a chubby little poro pal, and not wanting to get kicked out of the League for unauthorized use of a Class III invocation — was that Piltover isn’t exactly accommodating to these little furballs. Seriously, have you ever held a poro? They are so incredibly soft! Their fur is just unbelievably thick. Even with those ginormous tongues and their prodigious poro panting proficiency, there’s no way they’d be happy in a Piltover summer, even if I took them swimming in the bay to keep them cool, which I totally would because oh my gosh can you imagine a poro in teensy swim trunks? But anyway, the point is that if you were craving for a poro cuddle-fix you basically had to pack your parka and go to the Freljord.
Let me level with you — for the past few months, I’ve pretty much only accepted match postings for the Howling Abyss, just for the poros. You Summoners out there know the Abyss doesn’t pay that well, even if you’re Platinum Tier. The Summoner’s Rift offers were really tempting, despite a fat Summoner’s Herald paycheck (ha!) to help cover my expenses. But I just couldn’t say no to a perpetual winter wonderland teeming with cuddly little poros! I actually started keeping a few pet poros in my cabin here: Polly, Priscilla, and Pete. (Fun fact: a group of poros is called a fluft of poros.) But I had to hire a poro-sitter when I went back to Piltover for conferences. Ugh! I so wanted to show off my petite poro pals to my friends in Piltover, but the little guys just couldn’t take the heat.
Well, good news! A bunch of geniuses from Bandle City found a way to use pyrikhos to create a sustained low-grade cryomatrix through the use of a poro-sized collar or harness. This keeps them nice and chilly even in the middle of the Shurima Desert. I happen to have a friend from Bandle City, Rin, and I practically beat down her door when I heard about these things. I cashed my latest paycheck from Noxus (hey, a Summoner’s gotta do what a Summoner’s gotta do!) and basically begged her to pick me up a set of poro cooling collars. Rin’s a total doll and got some to me just a couple days later.
The poros love them. Polly’s probably the perkiest poro in my precious little pack of poro pets, so I chose her for a test drive in Piltover. I emptied a little packet of pyrikhos into the collar’s bauble and gave it a shake to start it up. (One packet lasts almost a month! And it glows pink when it’s running low.) Polly looked like she’d just poked her head out into a cool breeze! She was snuggled up in my lap in no time.
There was a killer heat wave that weekend, so I was pretty anxious. I brought a drink cooler full of enchanted ice: the second Polly started looking queasy, I was ready to stuff her inside and dash like mad for the nearest airship depot to get her back to the Freljord. But even while I was sweating buckets in the afternoon sun, Polly was prancing around the Piltovian pavement taking in the new sights and smells. (Conveniently, poro collars come with a très chic leash, so I was able to keep her from scampering off too far.) Not going to lie — I popped one of the collars on myself, and it was actually really refreshing! (The editors want me to point out that this is NOT a recommended usage of poro collars, and the manufacturers totally don’t endorse it. Nobody’s fault but mine if I end up turning into some kind of ice monster!) People absolutely flocked to see Polly, who might just have been the first poro in Piltover!
Poros and poro collars are available for sale by Cuddlepals Incorporated, which is fully licensed by the Bandle City Merchant Guild. Twenty-five percent of profits go to help provide development aid to disadvantaged Freljordian rural villages. The development fund is overseen by Braum personally, so you can bet that it’s going to good use — I don’t know if you’ve met Braum, but I have, and I’m shivering in my stylish-yet-affordable boots (footwear column coming soon!) just thinking about the punitive pummeling he’d give anyone caught pilfering pet poro profits meant to procure proper provisions for poor peasants!
An Admittance From Bilgewater
I have come under a large degree of journalistic fire in recent weeks as a result of my recent article “Inside the Noxian Civil War”. I must confess that the bulk of that particular article was taken from my upcoming novel “Nullified and Voided”. Set in a parallel universe, the book speculates on a future in which Malzahar is ‘cured’, so to speak, of his belief in the inevitability of the Void consuming the planet due in large part to the rapid advancement of his Zaunite allies and instead pledges himself fully to their side and to the defense of Runeterra. The events of the novel and reality remained closely enough intertwined and my confidence in the ability of Jericho Swain to maintain order in his own stronghold remained high enough for me to have released such a teaser as an approximation of fact. A truly staggering number of my colleagues at the Summoner’s Herald raised shortsighted and cruel objections to my judgment, and therefore I deemed it necessary to retreat to my private yacht moored in Bilgewater harbor to recuperate and wait out their hostility.
While on my forced vacation, I have become embroiled in a rising political standoff brewing in the back alleys and taverns of Bilgewater. It seems that the already leaderless and splintered haven of brigands is struggling to reach consensus about the proper way for its people, port, and way of life to remain relevant in the rapidly evolving world of Runeterra. Some are even going so far as to say the Age of Piracy has run its course; that the port can no longer survive independent and fractured; that without someone to claim the long empty title and remarkably unclear powers of the Pirate King, or for some new system of government to arise, Bilgewater and the entirety of Blue Flame Island will cease to be. Naturally such claims are far-fetched at best, utterly implausible at worst when one considers the vast merchant fleet currently sitting outside my portside window. That said, should Zaunite interests be successful in spreading their Warpgate technology (a situation perhaps becoming more likely following the Yuritek Corporation’s recent patent acquisition and their new trademark ‘Chronosphere’ model being marketed worldwide), or should the Municipal Republic of Piltover or the Kirov Conglomerate of Zaun utilize their respective airfleets to revolutionize the shipping industry, Bilgewater’s concerns become more understandable.
Many citizens had already begun to doubt the pirate’s dominion of the seas following the emergence of the goddess Ceruleana and her selection of the Kingdom of Demacia as her champions. This belief was strengthened dramatically after word spread about the role she had played in summoning the great typhoon that decimated the mighty Noxian navy during the war for Shon-Xan, and further still when it became clear that it was at her insistence Demacia sent its forces into the Shuriman Desert against the mines of Zaun. A quick stroll down any given Bilgewater street will reveal dozens of ramshackle temples to Ceruleana praying for her favor along with still greater numbers of posters and fliers calling for some sort of action to somehow remove or at least reduce her capacity to mold the world to her wishes.
With the recent rediscovery of the lost nation of Atlantis at the bottom of the ocean by Bandle City divers, many of the ports more adventurous and aquatic residents have attempted to emigrate in droves to the mythical city with boats, diving suits, and fins. As I write this, no word has come back from any of them as to their level of success or of the sort of welcome that they have received from the aquatic city. No doubt whether due to physiological difficulties or governmental fallout, many will be forced to return to their native land dissatisfied, in the short-term fueling paranoid rhetoric and speculations based on their absence, and in the long-term swelling the throngs of desperate and dissatisfied voices already abound on the island.
Many eyes have turned toward the ruthless captain of the dread ship Dead Pool and longtime champion of the island Gangplank. Though unconfirmed, rumors are abound that the Saltwater Scourge has been in talks with elements from the rising powers in the Teknopolis of Zaun to update their terms of trade and protection contracts, and perhaps to even acquire their whispered understandings and powers against the supernatural. I myself wouldn’t be surprised in the slightest were these rumors to be shortly confirmed; Gangplank has long fought for and advocated on behalf of a strong and independent Bilgewater and an alliance with a fellow mercantile and equally profit seeking state would seem to fit under those efforts. It also seems possible that the dread pirate could be attempting to learn from the rising nation the secrets that allowed for its meteoric rise from being almost utterly insignificant in the grand scale of Runeterran politics to being one of the greatest superpowers in an impressively short period of time in order to replicate that growth in Bilgewater. But I digress.
In contrast to Gangplank’s silence and the rumors of his machinations, Sarah Fortune has been extremely vocal in her vision of the future: since before the ink on the Shon-Xan Treaty had even dried, she called for closer Bilgewater ties with the Kingdom of Demacia in order to share in the benefits of Ceruleana’s blessing, and again in contrast to his current position, Gangplank made his opinion on that proposal perfectly clear. Somewhere here I have the exact quote, ah: “Ye be more braindead than a salt-addled seacow if yeh think that be the right course to take!” He goes on to, in a rather uncharacteristically well thought-out (so much so it caused many, including myself, to reevaluate the caliber of mind hidden behind his ruthless facade) way, argue that a nation of Pirates has no business dealing with a nation of law, honor, and order. Perhaps his current reluctance to come forward is in some way based on the scale of the riots and fights that occurred between his traditionalist followers and Miss Fortune’s after their debates.
In any case, the winds of change have blown across Valoran already, and it occurs to this reporter that is getting near time for Bilgewater to decide where to set its sails, or risk letting them stay down.
Swain Crushes Reformist Uprising
I submit this column for publication on the same day that I present myself to the Institute seeking asylum. I imagine I shall live here for many years to come.
Why should a proud Noxian Summoner forsake his homeland for the cold marble of the Institute? Because the steel of the axe is colder still. Because if I am to tell this story, I must choose one or the other.
I will give you the facts plainly.
Swain and his kind seek dominance above all else. They will use any means to achieve and retain it. If they can avoid a battle by killing their adversaries with techmaturgical gas bombs, they consider it profitable to do so. They see little difference between conquest and extermination. They look on death and see obedience.
Death is cheap. Swain purchases it as economically as he can. Like the common merchant, he typically buys in bulk: gas bombs, death rays, thaumaplague, all shipped from Singed’s laboratories in maximum quantity. Such is the new Noxian way.
In age, Riven is many years Swain’s junior. In spirit, she is far older. She gives youthful voice to ancient virtues: strength, freedom, conflict, victory. She understands that it is natural and right for the strong to hold dominion over the weak, so long as they are strong. Yet within scattered clashes of swords and the turmoil of mortal conflict her eyes are fixed upon a greater struggle, the struggle of life against death. Extermination, desolation — in these things Riven rightly sees, as the ancients rightly saw, life defeated by death.
To mistake dominance for victory is to mistake the end of a thing for its meaning. The end of us all is death. By embracing conflict, life’s greatest truth, we become strong; to seize this meaning in the midst of death is life’s victory.
Blind to this greater struggle, Swain cannot see the world’s corruption. Swain may hate Demacia for opposing him, but he cannot understand its true evil. Riven would hate Demacia even as it fought at her side, for she understands its very existence as life’s defeat. Demacia has replaced freedom and conflict with serfdom and submission. Out of cowardice, it flees from struggle, seeking “order” and “harmony”, its words for what a true Noxian understands as weakness.
Now you need but one sentence to understand what has transpired within the high walls of Noxus: some opposed Swain, and now they are dead.
Riven took no part in this battle, instead standing alongside the refugees and the lost legion in their painful struggle against sickness and loss. Her formal allegiance is to Swain. Yet after the final days of Shon-Xan, there can be no doubt what lies ahead: a civil war for the soul of Noxus.
I do not know if Riven can win the coming battle. I only know that Swain cannot win. He no longer understands what victory means.
Demacian Summoners Gain Naming Rights in Tournament
Greetings to my fellow summoners, my former Demacian comrades, and the rest of Valoran reading. I write to inform you of the very first Council ruling concerning the recently discovered, and so far unexplored, continent spotted by the yordle Kneelet Softarm while helping construct Bandle City’s new moon base.
Those of you who spend time at the Institute know that the Council chambers have been absolutely riotous ever since the discovery was reported. Every nation in Valoran is demanding the right to explore this new land. Unable to hold all the petitioners at bay any longer, the Council agreed to a token adjudication.
When a follow-up report from Bandle City described what appear to be islands surrounding this mystery continent, the Council announced a tournament to decide which nation would be allowed to name them. This clever maneuver alleviated some of the pressure on the Council: even if naming rights are the only stakes, every nation is keen to prove its strength.
It was to my great surprise that the Council then summoned me to their meeting hall. Once I arrived at the dimly lit room, I was told that I was to be placed in charge of organizing the event, and was therefore banned from playing for any of the nations involved. This saddened me deeply, for I would be unable to complete alongside my dear friend, Galio. When I told him of my ineligibility to participate in the tournament, Galio surprised me by announcing that he would refuse to play for the Demacian team in the tournament. And so, he made no appearance in any of the matches that took place.
After the preliminary round of the competition, three factions emerged above the rest: Demacia, Piltover, and The Freljord. These nations sent their greatest Champions and Summoners to the round robin that had been expected to be the final round of the competition. However, upon Demacia’s victory, the Council announced that the final round of competition would proceed the following day; between the currently victorious Demacian team and team of summoners that were to represent the Institute of War itself. This was taken by the public as a desperate last attempt to keep hold of every right over the new continent as possible.
The Council then summoned me to their chambers and informed me that I was to be among those who would represent the Institute, giving me little choice in the matter. Later that day the Council announced, in an obvious attempt to tip the scales in their favor, that all Champions who had not pledged their loyalty to Demacia would be available to be used by the institute’s team. To my dismay, I was still unable to fight alongside Galio under these rules.
The Demacian team took the Council’s challenge head on and won a decisive victory over the Institute’s team. The Demacian team began to celebrate, believing that they had won the tournament outright, but grew frustrated at the Council’s next announcement. The Council had declared, after losing a match on the Fields of Justice to the Demacian team, that the final round between themselves and Demacia would be decided by the best two out of three games and not a single match. It then called upon the famous Summoner known as Naggarok, whose skill had helped lead the Zaunite faction to victory in the Shurima dispute over the dark sands, to fight on their behalf in the next two games.
With these rule changes, the Council team managed to emerge victorious in the second match of the finals. This meant that the third and final match would decide the tournaments winner. The Demacian team managed to rally after their loss and were able to pull off another victory for their city, securing their victory at last.
Several experts examined the matches and came up with a simple conclusion at to a leading cause of the defeat of the Council’s team, although they all agreed that no match is lost for a single reason alone. The match experts claimed that the limited champion roster of Demacia was in fact an advantage over the immensely large roster that was available to the Council team. After watching the process of Champion selection, and in-match performance, the experts concluded that Demacia had a clear strategy in mind — all-in “dogpile” teamfights — while the Champions chosen by the Summoners of the Council had little synergy, leading to a distinct lack of a planned strategy in the matches themselves. This has led many to question how much does a large champion roster help in the Fields of Justice. Several fans of the critically acclaimed show Mythbreakers have already begun requesting that the shows stars, Jayce and Viktor, put this to the test.
The League, however, had one last trick up its sleeve. Still angry at Demacia for violating League law and marching to battle in Shurima, it declared that it would be the Summoners of the Demacian team who would be given the naming rights to the island and not the nation of Demacia itself. They claimed that this is what they had meant by “the tournament’s winners” from the very start.
The Demacian government grew very angry at this, but at the same time its Summoners delighted in the fact that they had received the reward for their efforts. This tournament has been something of a political circus for the League’s public relations. Some summoners applaud the League for finally rewarding the efforts of the summoners and not just the factions they had been fighting for. Many nations, Demacia being the foremost, were angry with the Council for how biased the tournament was and how they continuously changed the rules to favor themselves. A few other nations, chiefly Noxus and Zaun, commended the League for its final decision to reward the Summoners, as Demacia needed to be held in check after its recent violate actions. Some of the public, however, have begun to lose some of their trust in the League. They question if protecting the peace of Runeterra is its only motivation or if the allure of power has corrupted the Council.
Although the controversy surrounding the tournament will likely be an ongoing debate, I prefer to focus on the positive end of the tournament and commend the Summoners who fought for Demacia in a job well done. While the exact islands that are to be named, and the names that have been chosen, have not been released as of yet, I, along with the rest of Valoran, eagerly await the impending announcement in anticipation. In the meantime, I look forward to facing you in battle on the Fields of Justice and leave you with this final thought: “a guardian is always prepared.”
The Shon-Xan Conspiracy
As a summoner I’ve seen many things mentioned and come and go through the league of legends. The scars of Kalamandra still rest in our hearts, which lead to the inevitable demise of the Journal of Justice (god rest its soul, Void damn all those involved in that scam, even those who escaped it’s wrath)!
With the Summoner’s Herald’s coming, in turn the Shon-Xan conflict is now behind us. And as we look at this incident in hindsight, we ask, what is really going on here!?
Ionia not acting Ionia, Demacia, after 2 Ionia-Noxus conflicts, finally sets sail, Noxus choosing to start war after the recent conflict with the void? Insane, all of it, I say!
Let’s start at the beginning as a summary:
We know Ionia claimed Shon-Xan was unsettled, and opened to the Noxian Refugees.
We know the League itself sponsored each of these nations offering land. They were under League protection.
We know that Ionians in Shon-Xan had no information as all of the Noxian’s coming as per Riven’s testimony.
Where did this all go wrong I ask?
Within reason we know the Ionians suddenly backed off, as though intimidated. Why would Ionians intimidate their own people when they believe in peace and co-existance?
I may believe I know the truth of this whole incidence, and behind Demacia’s surprising assault.
As we all know, LeBlanc stands as the figurative ‘wife’ of Noxian High Commander Swain. Neither are known for being forthcoming with their plans. Why would they when one’s even become known as “The Deceiver” and Swain himself has been known for many cheap tricks in his history with Noxus?
I suggest the following. We know that Riven’s forces were not “on-duty” but rather volunteers. What if the main force of Noxus not only knew this, but plotted to abuse it in order to expand? If they did it slyly enough, would the League know the truth? Would they lose anything if they won as long as it looked like Ionia started it?
Why not? I would bet Swain and LeBlanc had personally sent a battalion to not only intimidate the Ionians, but to personally attack their own people. If they made it seem like Ionia started the war, then anything Noxus did would be ‘legitimate’. Not that Swain wouldn’t mind throwing Riven out to gain aid of the mad chemist himself, Singed. And we all know how ‘generous’ Zaun is at cleaning up Noxus recently during this revolution of Hextech.
Ionia never strikes first unless agitated. The League themselves confirmed Shon-Xan being one of these approved areas. A late report to some people out in the far country is understandable. But not Ionia attacking first, which seems out of character.
While we’re speaking out of character, we should ask ourselves, what has occured with Demacia? In the previous two Noxus-Ionia conflicts, the mighty nation not dared rear it’s head. Yet out of nowhere in a far lesser scale conflict, Demacia has.
Why would this happen? Mayhaps they’ve grown overconfident from their guardian deity, Ceruleana? Or maybe Ceruleana is pulling the strings in a way we can’t imagine?
When I heard of the Mirrorwater, I could not help but think that it had intense binds to the True Ice found in the Freljord. Then the question is: what is Mirrorwater? And why does the description of it remind me of Ceruleana, an Island made of this mysterious substance?
When the Freljord won, three masses of Mirrorwater were distributed. Could it be possible Lissandra, the leader of the Frostguard, obtained Mirrorwater by stealing from a shipment? Could Ceruleana be actually a personification of Lissandra? If so, is Demacia under the Frostguard’s control without us even knowing?
We now stand with war in the Shurima, news having just arrived that a coalition of Piltover, Bandle City, and Demacia attacking a Pyrikhos mine in Shurima. While news is still trickling through to us, we must question if this too is part of Ceruleana’s influence, and to what end her influence is ‘good’ upon Demacia.
Whatever the reason, is not a petition to the League as efficient to order an immediate cease and desist? After all, with void conflicts right behind us, would the League really afford to risk ignoring the advice of a ‘so called’ Goddess?
All I can say summoners is pay careful attention in the near future. Someone’s bound to slip up. And when they do, the answers might all come forth as I’ve stated…