NOTE: I AM NOT A RIOTER. JUST A FANTASY/FICTION WRITER WHO LOVES THIS GAME AND ITS LORE.
What you are about to read is the 1st part of the 1st chapter of a lore story created by yours truly. I will detail the creation of Battlecast Xerath, Viktor's full plot, and everyone's involvement in the eventual war that will tear Valoran apart at the seams.
The city of Zaun is a place where the studies of magic and technology not only intertwine into marvelous techmaturgy, they also run rampant. The citizens, many of which are scientists, mages and inventors, search endlessly for more power and dominance rather than the humble betterment of humanity. During this hour, however, the city is bathed in absolute darkness.
“Sir, it seems we’ve overloaded the city’s power grid again” said General Zykes to his superior.
“It appears we have” said Viktor as he approached his second in command. “Cease all experimentation and evolution for the time being. It is time we found a way to meet our current needs of power”.
“What did you have in mind, sir?” inquired Zykes as Viktor walked towards an enormous, dimly lit generator.
“There’s a certain champion among the League with the ability to either help us discover a new power source… or become one” replied Viktor.
“The secrets of magic are ancient and devastating” Xerath said to Ryze.
After Ryze’s lecture on meta-physical transcendence, he asked Xerath for advice on how to portray this concept to his students during the latter half of the lecture.
“This particular subject is not something that one should take lightly” Xerath continued. “When I searched for true power so long ago, I didn’t completely understand the consequences. It was either ascendance or death. There was no middle ground for me.”
Ryze asked, “What were you after?”
Xerath paused. He replied in a deep, ominous tone, “I wanted to know the truths of this world in the beginning. As time wore on, I realized that those truths were petty and meaningless. In order to create history, you must do something worth remembering. My goal was to become the most powerful being of all time. I achieved that goal.”
“I don’t think that’s true. In case you have forgotten, it was your own fellow magi that sealed you in that sarcophagus”, Ryze pointed out. “If they put you in there, they must have over powered you.”
Xerath let Ryze’s words churn in his mind. He then asked Ryze a question of his own. “Why did you bond yourself to magic? What were you hoping to achieve?”
Ryze answered, “It wasn’t I that chose the magic. It was the magic that chose me. At first, I wanted to learn. The rest of my training was denied to me. They called me a hazard, a liability and a danger to their safety. I searched this continent for years, learning everything available to me. Over time, I realized that two things were evading me; control and true attunement to magic itself. My travels eventually led me deep within the Howling Marsh. Late one night, I found the cabin of a beautiful enchantress known as Lilith. Deep in my heart, I knew she was what I was searching for. I begged her for refuge, being completely fatigued from my journeys. She incapacitated me, taking me hostage. When I awoke, she had me bound down and was marking me with the markings you see on me today. The markings of thorn magic. However, I noticed above her bed she had a large scroll. I felt it calling to me. I could interpret it. I could feel that if its true power were unleashed, it would destroy us all. I tried to warn her, but she thought I simply wanted it for myself. I had to fight her off. It was painful, but I took the scroll from her and our parting was painful. I ran from the Howling Marsh that night. She yelled after me, cursing me. No matter how she feels or the trials that I’ve faced, I have to keep this scroll with me. I am at one with the magic of Valoran. I am magic itself.”
Xerath looked at Ryze and said, “For your own sake, I hope you never lose that scroll. That scroll is a creation of Shurima, older than even I. My people studied for millennia to create it and allowing it to be abused would bring an end to all that exist. But back to our original subject; I do not suggest teaching your students the art of ascension. It’s more of a curse than a blessing.”
Ryze looked over Xerath briefly and asked, “Don’t you want to be free?”
Xerath stared out the window into the sky and replied, “It’s the one thing I want more than anything else. “
“What do you mean why?”
“Well, it’s a simple question. What good does it do you to have this supposed freedom? What will you do once you have it?” Xerath was stumped. All he knew was that he wanted it. He found it strange that he didn’t know what he would do with it or where to go afterwards.
“It’s something I would have to learn alone.”
“My destiny. I can only find purpose once I am free.”
Ryze honored Xerath’s words and didn’t pursue any further. Xerath then decided to search the Grand Library at the Institute of War. Perhaps there he could find the knowledge to acquire the power necessary to break his bonds. Hours went by and Xerath found nothing. Among the thousands of magical sources in Runeterra, he found none that were available to pull energy from.
Xerath grew increasingly frustrated. He had been at this institute for almost a year and has only been able to absorb miniscule amounts of energy. He felt no closer to freedom than when had first joined the League of Legends.
After another fruitless reading session, he decided to meditate in a far corner of the library. After assuming the form of the coffin that had once imprisoned him, he collected his thoughts and wondered just how long freedom would continue to elude him.
“I see that, once again, you could not find what you search so tirelessly for.”
Xerath looked up. He replied in a solemn tone, “What do you want Viktor?”
Viktor answered, “I came here to offer a solution to our dilemmas. If you wouldn’t mind accompanying me, I would prefer to discuss this in a much more private area.”
“What do you mean a solution?”
“All will be explained soon enough. But I have learned over the years never to share my information in an area where it could be pillaged or misinterpreted.”
The Magus Ascendant sighed, resumed his normal form and nodded, following Viktor out of the Grand Library.
Xerath and Viktor were hardly acquaintances. They've been on the same team only a handful of times and have opposed each other about as much. Xerath didn't know very much about Viktor, let alone his purpose in the League.
Viktor, on the other hand, dug up every piece of information about Xerath that he was able, as to fully understand him. Viktor was as prepared for this meeting as one man could be.
They came upon an empty study chamber with a large blackboard within. After walking inside, Viktor closed the door behind them and locked it. Xerath felt a little uneasy being locked in a room with a man he hardly knew.
“Why lock the door?” Xerath inquired.
“To remove the possibility of any disturbances. The walls of this chamber are enchanted to be sound proof. I've come to notice that many frown upon my ideas and ventures.”
“So what do you want?”
Viktor walked towards the blackboard, set aside his staff and grabbed 3 pieces of chalk, 1 per hand. He proceeded to map out the continent of Valoran, writing the name of each region as one of his hands came across it.
“I need power. I came close to a sustainable power source when I ‘borrowed’ a rare arcane crystal from Jayce. The fool, however, decided that if he couldn’t have it, then neither could I. He destroyed most of my laboratory and set my research back by months. Instead of simply redoing all my work, I decided to take the next step forward. I’ve created a power generator capable of compressing certain metals into a new, much more durable metal. A metal strong enough that it is fire proof and can withstand the hardships of space and time. This process requires many more times the pressure and heat than it would take to turn coal into diamonds, which in turn requires much more energy. The problem is that each time I attempt to use this machine in my lab, the city’s power grid is overloaded and causes blackouts.” Viktor turned around and faced his compatriot.
Xerath asked, “What does this have to do with me?”
Viktor answered, “I am unable to locate a power source that can fulfill my needs. I have come to you, Xerath, to ask if you could help me find such a power.”
“Why can’t you just continue searching for it yourself?”
“Ah, I was hoping you would ask. I am not attuned to the arcane arts as much as you are. You are naturally drawn to the magic of this world, are you not? Why else would you have joined the League?”
“I am here to acquire my freedom.”
“By absorbing the magic from the many nexuses in the Fields of Justice?”
Xerath stood silently. He wondered how Viktor knew that was his intention. “What do you want from me?”
“The Institute of War will never allow you to syphon their magical energies. I’ve studied you Xerath. You’ll be here absorbing very tiny amounts of magic each year, making what seems like absolutely no progress. I want to help you, but in turn, I expect you to help me.”
“You and I are very alike, Xerath. We both came to the conclusion that our respective natural bodies were obsolete and ascended. We are above the inferior constructs that inhabit these lands. The difference between us is while I enjoy my freedom and am able to help achieve the same, you are trapped within an enchanted coffin. I would like to make you a deal. I am willing to upgrade your ‘living space’ with the ability to harness more of your innate power. In return, I would require you to assist me in finding the power sources I need to power my inventions. You may absorb half of the energies out of each crystal we find, as long as I can keep the remainder.”
“If you couldn’t find these crystals alone, how do you expect us together to find them?”
“Simple. The enhancements to your new armor would amplify your attunement to the magic of Valoran. You can pinpoint the location of what we’re looking for. I know that many arcane crystals exist in the Tempest Flats, the Fyrone Flats and in Urtistan, yet I was unable to locate them on my own. You will come that much closer to your freedom and I can continue my work.”
Xerath pondered this new opportunity. “Is there anything else I should know about this arrangement?”
Viktor responded, “I would need a few bursts of your power to kick-start my generator. Otherwise, I’ve told you all that I have planned.”
Xerath crossed his arms and mulled this over. “Great minds think alike,” Viktor continued. “There’s no reason you should spend any more millennia in your prison, or even longer to attain your freedom.”
Xerath extended his hand. Viktor met him with his own. “Know this,” Xerath warned him, “If I catch even the slightest hint of betrayal or deceit, you will feel my full wrath.”
Viktor responded, “I wouldn’t even dream of it. Now, if you will come with me back to Zaun, we can get to work on your new suit. By the time I’m done, you won’t even recognize yourself.”