Vol. VI, Iss. 6—Published at the Institute of War on 19 July, 27 CLE
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A PROCLAMATION OF THE COUNCIL OF THE LEAGUE OF LEGENDS
By order of the Council of the League of Legends, it is the privilege and duty of The Summoner’s Herald to publish the following proclamation.
Hear ye and be warned! The strife in Qa’hhar shall no longer abide. Contests of arms upon the Fields of Justice having been duly held, the DISPUTE AS TO THE INSURRECTION IN QA’HHAR has concluded.
The Council of the League of Legends, final arbiter among nations and guardian of Valoran’s peace, hereby proclaims the founding of the FREE CITY OF QA’HHAR, free and separate from the rule of the NOXIAN IMPERIUM, proceeding under a democratic government, its interests to be conveyed to the League by representatives of the TEKNOPOLIS OF ZAUN. All Noxian soldiers are to quit Qa’hhar immediately, and never to return except by explicit authorization of that city’s legitimate government.
Let the word of the League be as law, lest all the powers of Runeterra arrange themselves against ye. There may be no appeal.
(19 July, 27 CLE)
Noxus, Zaun Defeat Emperor Azir In Grand Tournament
By Serena Volaren
Emperor Azir’s challenge to Noxus and Zaun has been definitively answered, and the answer is “no”. No, imperial Shuriman troops will not be authorized to roam the vast stretches of Shurima under Noxian control in search of the bandits who attack their trade convoys, and no, the League will not grant the Emperor of Shurima any substantial authority to regulate the use of hextech in Shurima outside the boundaries of the Empire. A decisive Noxian victory on the Fields led to a League ruling that emphatically affirms Noxian dominion over most of the Shuriman Desert, while a much narrower Zaunite win greatly limits (but does not entirely preclude) the Emperor’s standing to object to the spread of hextech in Shurima. The fledgling Shuriman Empire will continue to struggle against banditry and arcane disruption, and will have to either negotiate with Noxus and Zaun or else find another way to achieve its objectives.
Despite his defeat on the Fields of Justice, it seems clear that the intervention of Azir and his troops has bolstered pro-Imperial sentiment within Qa’hhar itself. Especially among the city’s native Shuriman population, Azir is widely seen as a more legitimate ruler than either of the foreign powers currently competing for control of the city. (Certainly, he is more popular than Noxus, after the damning revelation that the June 1 pyrikhos refinery explosion was the result of sabotage by Noxian agents.) Yet others are wary that the Ascended Emperor and his court would stifle Qa’hhar’s development with an antiquated theocratic regime. Both Noxus and Zaun gain considerable support from a subset of native Shurimans who, while not particularly fond of Zaun and outright hostile to Noxus, will accept either one sooner than they will submit to an imperial regime under which any turn around a street corner might bring one face to face with the soul-piercing stare of an Ascended guardian.
(16 July, 27 CLE)
Noxus Struggles To Keep Hold on Qa’hhar
By Ordan Rassenmann
Though Noxus has secured Qa’hhar from the Void incursion that provoked Azir’s entry into the city, its place in public opinion is shaky at best. The people of Qa’hhar do not seem to have forgotten the discovery that Noxian agents caused the pyrikhos refinery explosion that poisoned their air, or that it was the importation of a live Xer’sai into the city that set off the Void incursion in the first place. Governor Sorinius Felk has kept troops on high alert, while the city watch tracks down those responsible for the latest uprising. The Festival of Might and the construction of a grand Nox’toraa were meant to draw Qa’hharians into Noxian culture, but most still consider themselves an occupied and oppressed people.
Until recently, it seemed that the public disdained both Noxus and Zaun, but more and more one hears Qa’hharians speaking positively about the prospect of Zaunite rule after the League dispute ends. The TeknoFest was much better attended than the Noxian Festival of Might, and it seems to have convinced many Qa’hharians that Zaunite hextech is the way forward.
A local bartender from the Nyrothian island of Avalon, Leptos Delkar, said he’d made up his mind: the barriers against Zaunite goods and workers have been bad for his business, and he wants them torn down. Indeed, he’d like to see Zaun in charge. “I tried my best to run my establishment under this Noxian occupation. But you know what? It’s no fun. I don’t like Noxians. They’re mean. And arrogant. And I can’t stand the Ascended. They’re creepy. They just stand there like statues…staring at you.” Throwing up his hands, he exclaimed, “I want the Zaunites back. I want to sell ThaumaKola again!” The nodding crowd that had gathered around him—some in Zaunite dress, but many Qa’hharian in appearance—seemed to share his sentiments, though none agreed to be quoted in this piece.
Nyrothians like Delkar account for about one in twenty Qa’hharians. Most of them have come to Qa’hhar to escape recurring bouts of civil strife back home. Nyroth made extensive use of hextech before its collapse a thousand years ago, and hextech-friendly Nyrothians seem naturally disposed toward Zaun.
(17 July, 27 CLE)
Zaun Prevails In League Dispute, Grants Independence to Qa’hhar
By Yevver Leafmoon
The final matches have concluded on the Fields of Justice, and the Council of the League of Legends has ended the battle for Qa’hhar with a binding decree. The decree largely tracks Zaun’s suggested resolution: Qa’hhar is to be an independent city with a democratically elected government. It is no longer within the Noxian province of Aqora, which now contains primarily desert, and Governor Sorinius Felk has left the city with the Eighth Legion, now commanded by Ra’hum Jhi’marr. By an agreement between Noxus and Zaun, this legion shall remain stationed outside Qa’hhar as a defensive garrison, but no troops will be allowed to enter the city itself except by request of the Qa’hharian government. It is expected that, with Qa’hharian recruitment drying up, Noxus will have to increase recruitment efforts among Shuriman mercenaries and even bandits. Jhi’marr, a Shuriman warchief captured and then recruited by Noxus during the Shuriman War of Independence, certainly has the qualifications to manage such troops, but some may wonder if it is wise for Felk to place so much trust in his loyalty to the High Command.
Summoner LordMagmar, leaving Qa’hhar the day after the dispute’s conclusion, predicted the city would soon have a change of heart. “When their streets are choked in chemtech fumes, they will ask for Noxus once more, and we will return.” Jovainus Yorksinson, a battle-mage of the Eighth Legion who had been studying ancient Shuriman ruins near Qa’hhar’s namesake oasis, expressed more academic concerns. “There are ruins here from before the Scorching of Shurima. If I’d only had a little more time. Think of the power locked away in those ruins! But once Zaun finishes spreading their hextech through Qa’hhar, the local arcanosphere will be so distorted that I doubt anyone will be able to work it out.”
Shortly after the last Noxian soldier left the city, the city watch stood by and merely, as it were, “watched” a crowd break down the city’s Nox’toraa. Representative Zebar, a staunchly pro-Zaunite member of the Qa’hharian provisional government, spoke to the crowd. “We are not a conquered people! For years the Noxians brutalized us, but they never conquered us. From the day they built it, that Nox’toraa was fated to fall.”
President Stanwick Pididly of the Council of Zaun, appointed by his corporate constituents to the post on July 15 after former president Magnus Dunderson was deposed by a recall election, has announced that several leading Zaunite corporations will be providing funds and technical advisors to facilitate the rebuilding of Qa’hhar after recent events. Massive shipments of Spirox, manufactured by Zasho, have been brought into Qa’hhar to treat Void sickness caused by pollution from nearby pyrikhos refineries, and large numbers of workers from those same refineries are expected to move into Qa’hhar from Bel’zhun in the near future. Overseeing this effort is Baron Nihr’am Yal, Vice President of Corporate Security for Zasho and senior adviser to President Pididly’s security Czar, Henrik Erson. Though he now resides primarily in Zaun, his return to Qa’hhar brought adoring crowds, cheering him for the daring rescue operation he led into the still-blazing ruins of the pyrikhos refinery destroyed by Noxian sabotage. “Henrik was thinking about dragging Cho’gath into the city square to celebrate the fall of the Noxian regime here, but I told him Qa’hhar had had enough of that lately. So we’re going with a 30% discount on Spirox products, this week only.”
“I bet you all the apples in this cart that a good quarter of that crowd were with Yal’s protection racket,” remarked an apple-dealer named Doern Darkwater. “You think Yal would just give up all this power he has in Qa’hhar so he can play politician in Zaun? He just delegated to his thugs.” When this reporter asked Mr. Darkwater how a simple apple-dealer could claim to know so much about the workings of the Qa’hharian criminal underworld, he responded, “Well, you got me. I must be making this all up, slandering an upstanding public citizen who provides so much ‘protection’ for the people of Qa’hhar. You know, a couple of his guys came over to my shop the other day. They started doing a free security audit, that’s how decent they are. Showed me that my door wouldn’t withstand a red-pyrikhos hexplosive charge. Then they tried to audit my skull’s resistance to blunt trauma, but my associates audited their kneecaps first.” The Herald sought verification of this colorful tale from the interim police chief, Agatha Helt, who declined comment. A former member of the city watch from the dissolved Noxian regime (who wishes to remain anonymous) did remark that organized crime, which “probably isn’t completely unconnected with Yal”, has been spreading through the city. This individual speculated that the domination of the city’s criminal underworld by a single faction may have a lot to do with the departure of Tybalt “Apple-Eye” Valenzek, who disappeared shortly after being offered a promotion into the upper ranks of Zaun’s Corporate Administration Bureau.
With Noxian restrictions no longer in effect, Zaunite hextech is spreading through the city. Liatine Steel-Spark, a devotee of the Glorious Evolution, has made considerable progress in fusing techmaturgy with ancient Shuriman magic through her collaboration with members of the cult of Xerath. Since the fall of the Noxian regime, she has brought more and more of Viktor’s followers into Qa’hhar, along with the resources necessary for more intensive techmaturgic research. It is said that she has been using herself as the first test subject for many of these daring trials.
Jha’mai Ci’tum, a political operative and prominent member of Qa’hharian high society, took a more conciliatory view. “At the end of the day, Noxus and Zaun are allies. Qa’hhar is now an independent city with close ties to both. For the most part, Qa’hharians prefer the Zaunite way of doing things, but I don’t anticipate a civil war anytime soon. It is time for the strife of politics to yield to the joys and pleasures of life.”
(19 July, 27 CLE)
Questions and Answers
The Future of Qa’hhar
Summoner Random Nom, pledged for Zaun in this dispute, asks, “What will happen to Qa’hhar, now that it’s independent?”
This important question gives rise to many further questions. First among them: what will Qa’hhar do? For now, it is focused on rebuilding, and it is embracing hextech solutions to do so. Qa’hhar seems to be becoming much more Zaunite all-around. Second, one ought to ask how others will respond. It is the first major Shuriman city not controlled by Emperor Azir. Nor does it seem that Azir will be pleased by its increasing embrace of pyrikhos-powered and elemental hextech.
Your humble editor, lacking the gift of prophecy, can only say that we will have to wait and see.
Summoner RaptorAttacks, pledged for Noxus in this dispute, asks: “What’s the deal with River Demons? Do they all look like fish men? Are they all well-dressed gentlemen? Do they come from a terrifying alternate universe where everything is Piltover, but it’s also all underwater, and they’re all fish?”
Until recently, there would be little in the League’s archives with which to answer this question. So-called “River Demons”, such as Tahm Kench, were rarely encountered, at least by anyone who went on to write about these encounters. With no records known to us concerning a possible underwater Piltover, it seemed that these beings were not so numerous as to be a species or civilization. Their origins seemed lost in a dark and mysterious past.
But then the return of the Shuriman Empire brought with it some fragments of ancient Shuriman elemental magic. The records of this great civilization go back thousands of years, into the time of the Rune Wars. And curiously, those records seem to describe a much greater number of such supernatural beings than are found today. The Guardian’s Sea nexus dispute in turn brought new information about the ancient history of Runeterra, going back to the Age of Divinity.
Much of the information gathered during the return of Shurima and the Guardian’s Sea dispute is still being investigated, analyzed, and correlated. The leading theory at the moment is that, before the Rune Wars, Runeterra was ruled by a pantheon of deities, and that many supernatural “races”, primarily various kinds of “elementals”, lived alongside human and other mortals. Being more closely attuned with the arcanosphere, both the gods and these supernatural creatures suffered even more greatly from the thaumatoxic shocks of the Rune Wars, and were all but eradicated. Yet it seems some survived, albeit in an altered form. The abyssal beasts that nearly destroyed the Marai and Atlanteans have been theorized to be the twisted remnants of ancient gods who fled the fallout of the Rune Wars into the oceans, which (as every Summoner knows) function as a massive natural thaumic insulator.
Some further speculate that traces of these supernatural beings entered mortal bloodlines; the Vastaya could plausibly be an example.
Unfortunately, it would be quite beyond the modest intellectual powers (or the available time) of your humble editor to provide a properly researched response to your ambitious query. Perhaps it would not be overly presumptuous to suggest that you, Summoner RaptorAttacks, a Summoner of the League who has already engaged in many adventurous enterprises in strange, dangerous lands, would be better situated to inquire into this matter. Should you do so, a submission of your findings would be welcome in these pages.
Readers of the Herald are invited to submit their questions regarding these articles, as well as general inquiries. We shall endeavor to reply as thoroughly as we can to as many as we can.
Yurstin “thestealthgerbil” Yudling, Acolyte Summoner