Today, Ionia's famous Lotus Gardens were not the site of their usual beauty. Monks from the Shojin Monastery assembled in protest of the Noxian occupation of the Navori Province, which is located in southern Ionia. One of the monks first gave an inspiring speech against what many see as Noxus' needless occupation. He then covered himself with lamp oil, crouched in a meditative pose, and lit himself on fire.
Fortunately, this act does not need to be one of suicide. The Shojin monks have long practiced healing martial arts. However, the burning monk will survive only in a suspended state of agony for many days. When the last leaf falls from the lovingly sculpted bonsai placed next to him, his time will run out. It is unknown what the monks will do when that leaf falls, if action isn’t taken.
Hundreds of miles away, Soraka, the Starchild of Ionia, wept openly when she heard this news. Yesterday, she had this to say:
"It is a sad day when the peaceful monks of the Shojin Monastery must resort to such extreme measures. Ionia is a land of enlightenment. When the only way to find help for one's cause is so horrible, the situation is more than grim. Hopefully, the rest of Runeterra will finally take notice of the cruelty inflicted upon my people by the Noxian government."
League Champion Katarina, speaking on behalf of her father and the rest of the Noxian High Command, responded with the following:
"Our presence in Ionia is for the good of the people. Their economic state is not ready to deal with the rest of Valoran. Their practices are out-dated. Theirs is the domain of sad old men who believe the world should not progress past them. This incident is a tragedy, but it is not a statement on behalf of the Ionian people. It is a statement by those who are unwilling to embrace the future."
Public outcry regarding this event is tremendous. Citizens from Bandle City to the Freljord, from Demacia to the Great Barrier, have expressed their outrage. Images have spread throughout the civilized world, shown on every Crystal Screen and Spinning Wire connected to a network.
Perhaps the most amazing part of this horrifying display is the priest's incredible willpower. Even as he sits burning, he does not cry out. He is letting his quiet agony speak for itself. Some members of a growing crowd of onlookers even tried to put him out. In response, he broke his meditation only long enough to stop them with a firm gesture. This is a powerful statement against what many feel is the oppression of the Ionian peoples.
The images are haunting and the message is clear. However, the question at hand is clear: what will the League of Legends do about what many feel is the legacy of an unsanctioned and inhuman war?
It began only a few years after the League of Legends was formed. Ionia, a peaceful isle in the Guardian's Sea, initially refused to join. The people there chose to pursue enlightenment instead of war. The destructive conflicts between Noxus and Demacia were the primary reason that the League was formed. The two powers agreed to no longer wage war against each other. Noxus, not content to sit aside quietly, turned its expansionistic eye towards those who remained outside of the League's jurisdiction. Their sights settled on Ionia.
The Noxian High Command saw Ionia as a weak target. To them, it was a land of softer things, ill-prepared to defend itself against invaders. Noxian spies began to trade aggressively with Ionia, traveling to the island to study its weaknesses and identify critical targets. When the plan was formed, the forces of Noxus invaded.
The southern provinces of Ionia were the most open to trade. This also made them among the wealthiest. It was here that the Noxian forces landed under the cover of night. Groups of Noxian agents had gone ahead, their spies confounding and sabotaging potential defenses. After being met with little resistance, Noxus’ forces formed their first beachheads and began their invasion in earnest.
The invasion continued, heavily in the favor of Noxian forces. However, Ionia did not surrender. In response to a growing Ionian resistance, Noxus brought in mercenaries from Zaun. If the Noxians were bad, the Zaunites were worse. The mad scientists brought with them inhuman tactics, unleashing their cruel creations on the people. This terror was what finally unleashed the anger of the Ionians.
Bringing all its might and martial traditions to bear, Ionia fought back fiercely. Ionian warriors eventually brought the invaders to a stalemate, forcing them back to their power bases on the island. Despite their losses, the forces of Noxus remained in control of three of the wealthiest southern provinces – Galrin, Navori, and Shon-
Xan. Ionian diplomats then sought to put political pressure on Noxus in an attempt to drive them out. However, the Noxian High Command claimed that they were there for the good of the people. They said that Ionia had failed to join the modern age, and that Noxus had sympathizers who supported the occupation.
Seven years after the invasion began, the remaining Ionian Families, brought together by the Duchess Karma, decided that there was only one recourse left. They petitioned to join the League of Legends, so that they could have a match to drive Noxus out once and for all. However, they made their belief that Ionia was being forced to join the League in order to ensure its future security known to the world. Their membership was granted and the match was set. The “Trial for the Isle” was perhaps one of the most famous matches of all time. Unfortunately for those who were wronged, Ionia failed, albeit amidst questionable circumstances. Some insist that Noxus’ victory came as the result of pre-match tampering.
To this day, Noxian forces still occupy southern Ionia. Native Ionians are treated as second-class citizens by the ruling Noxian elite. Soldiers, political dissidents, and anyone else who threatens the Noxians have been interred in labor camps. Forces continue to plunder the wealth and natural resources of the island, sending the spoils back to Noxus. There is much external political pressure, particularly on the part of Demacia, for the invaders to leave. The Noxian High Command claims that they will leave once Ionia has been modernized enough to economically compete in the world and protect itself from foreign threats. However, the situation remains as it has, as the outcome was decided legally in the League of Legends.
There are still eight years remaining before southern Ionia can challenge Noxus once again for their independence. However, recent protests in Ionia, such as the monk self-immolation, are on the rise, and they challenge the League’s authority. Ionians claim that fifteen years was far too long a stay to grant to the invaders. They say that Noxus took advantage of the newly-formed League. Despite Noxian protests that such challenges border on illegality, Ionia has gained much support in the court of public opinion.
It is an overcast morning in Zaun, as are most mornings in the urban heart of the city-state. Once again, pollution blocks the full glory of the morning sun and drains the sky of its pastels. . Visitors have coined a name for this shade of sky: Zaun Gray. It is an unnatural experience to an outsider, let alone color. It takes a little getting used to; looking at the Zaun sky might be akin to seeing the beginnings of a cosmic disturbance.
I’m meeting Dr. Mundo in a private room of the Whispered Rumor, a café that also serves as one of Zaun’s most popular watering holes. His arrival comes with a significant amount of fanfare. He is virtually royalty here in Zaun, and with that comes the trappings of fame – assistants, security, and various hangers-on. It seems slightly out of place, considering Dr. Mundo’s notoriety before his joining the League. I can’t help but wonder how many personal valets and assistants have gone missing when Dr. Mundo’s experimentations got the best of him. With this in mind, I am quick to get the interview started.
TT: Thank you for agreeing to this interview, Dr. Mundo. Our readership certainly wants to get to know you better.
DM: Mundo pleased his work heard of outside Zaun. New patients always welcome.
TT: Duly noted. Your notoriety, your fame from being in the League... how has it affected your daily life?
DM: Life not changed for Mundo. Mundo fights for Zaun and for Noxus friends. Mundo fights for summoners. Mundo also find time for medical research.
TT: So you’re still practicing?
DM: More experiments now that Mundo in League, but now mostly funded by Zaun.
TT: You were nearly suspended from the League for not disclosing your use of adrenaline shots. Do you regret your decision?
DM: Mundo think that silly. Here, try.
At this point in the interview, we took a four hour pause.
TT: You've been described as a bit of a hermit. How have you been able to deal with your newfound popularity?
DM: Mundo always ladies’ man. Now Mundo more ladies’ man.
TT: Does that mean that there's a Mrs. Mundo in the future?
DM: Mundo use masochism for battle arena, not for marriage. (pause) Mundo joke. Mundo waiting for special someone.
TT: You've amassed a cult following here in Zaun. Romantic interests aside, how do you feel about your fans?
DM: Mundo great role model for kids.
TT: It's been noted by many that Zaun has gained a more favorable political perception since your introduction to the League. Was this your goal?
DM: Mundo keep focused on battle arena. Mundo keeps eyes on prize.
TT: Do you feel like the champions in the League have almost too much power when it comes to deciding some very serious political matters?
DM: Champions only there to fight. Mundo always fight his best.
TT: How do you cope with the responsibility of being a champion?
DM: People can trust Mundo. Mundo brains of operation.
TT: So you think of yourself as a leader when you’re in a Field of Justice?
With the guvners in the League making sure the big names in Valoran play nice, trade is up and the desire for worldly imports is higher than ever. Now, I'm just a simple sailor, so I'm not about to start giving you fashion advice. As my port of call is Bilgewater, however, I do have a thing or two to share with you on the subject of rum. Whether you're ready to toss back a bit of the cure for what ails you, or you're just out to stock the barrels to keep your crew in grog for the season, I'm here to help find just the bottle you're looking for.
If you've got a bit of jink to spare and don't mind paying for a bit of celebrity, you can head on over to Fortune's Favor on Fleet Street for a bit of Miss Fortune's private stock. Rapture is clear as diamonds, with a pleasantly clean aroma of cut cane. To shake things up, Miss Fortune adds a hint of pepper and hot cinnamon to keep you warm on deck during stormy days at sea. To be enjoyed with your favorite tropical fruit, Miss Fortune's Rapture Rum is every bit as much the exotic beauty that she is!
Let me ask you a question, sailor. Have you ever chewed rum? No?! Well then you've probably never run afoul of Gangplank and his fabled Black Pearl. Aged in charred oak casks and infused with some of the richest spices that Valoran has to offer, this rum comes out blacker than pitch and about as thick. Gangplank's Black Pearl is a draught for the true rum enthusiast, only. The rest of you blokes are just going to wind up feeling barmy and running for the deck rails. So be careful! I've seen a bit of the black stuff lay out even the roughest blighter with nary a hint of warning.
This rum is the trademark drink of Myron's Murderhole, one of the most famous and historic bars in all of Bilgewater. Dark in color with the aroma of woody molasses, this infamous spirit is a veritable staple of Bilgewater sailors on the high seas. Richer than its lighter relatives, this dark beauty finishes with an uncanny sweetness that's just perfect for taking the edge off. Enjoy with hot water, or even straight from the bottle. Either way, Myron's Dark will keep you warmer than a pea coat on a blustery day.
This rum is characteristically served at Plankwalkin' Pete's, a newfangled bar run dockside by a barmy lad with a peg leg. Light amber in color, Mount Atin will assail your senses with the aroma of sweet grass, molasses, nutmeg, and just a hint of citrus. A bit dry on its own, your typical dose comes served with tonic and a lime, so after a glass or two you're well on your way to warding off both scurvy and malaria.
DM: Yes. Chairman Dunderson call Mundo leader because Mundo wins. Zaun successful because of Mundo. Mundo brings wins to Zaun.
TT: What does Mundo do when he's not cleaving people on the Fields of Justice?
DM: Mundo have many interests. Mundo recently open shop.
TT: That's right! I hear you now own a business, how is corporate life?
DM: Corporate businessman one of the many skins Mundo wear. Mundo also bodybuilder.
TT: To wrap things up here, do you have a rival? A nemesis? Who is the greatest threat to Mundomania?
DM: (laughs) Mundomania! Mundo using that. Lawyers will work out details. (pause) No one threat to Mundo. Mundo king of battle arena.
TT: So no other champion is standing in your way?
DM: (long pause) Mundo think Anivia is weird. Crazy ice bird throw up frozen wall one too many times. Mundo tired of smashing face into wall.
In opening the latest batch of mail from the mighty Mailbag of Justice, it is clear that the recent political saga involving Freljord is fresh on many of your minds. We at the Journal also share your concerns. A new city-state, fully recognized by the League! These are interesting times we live in, friends. Today’s Mailbag addresses those concerns, front and center.
"We all know that Ashe didn't choose Tryndamere out of love, but how goes the other way around? Does Tryndamere feel anything for the Frost Archer? But the bigger question, if they are King and Queen, should we expect a Prince anytime soon? It may not be the best time (with Noxus and the third sister being so hostile), but the royal line is thin. Despite what will happen, I wish the best of luck to the newfound city-state!" -- Aurutha, the Silent Watcher
A number of marriages that have occurred in the monarchies of Valoran (constitutional or otherwise) have been arranged out of convenience rather than love. When Jarvan III of Demacia was married to the then Lady Catherine Spiritmight over twenty-five years ago, the marriage was intended to first and foremost bring unity to two of the most powerful political forces in Demacia – the Lightshields and the Spiritmights. Having said that, it should be no surprise that Ashe and Tryndamere’s marriage is one based on the mutual respect and security of their people. Both of them have publicly expressed as much.
Having said that, who is to say where this marriage may take the King and Queen of Freljord? There’s little doubt in my mind that Ashe and Tryndamere will want to cement the legacy of their actions by producing an heir. This is especially so with Princess Sejani actively working against the new Freljord royalty.
"I am a bit confused about the role of a summoner in the League's matches. I have heard from several sources that the summoner actually has full control of their champion during battle, and that the champions simply serve as ragdolls for the magicians to manipulate. Now, here in Piltover we are all big fans of Ezreal, or "The Prodigal Exploiter" as many of us call him. However, the thought that our skillful champion may not actually be doing any of the fighting himself has upset a great deal of us. Can you shed some light on these concerning rumors?" -- Boush
Summoning is the most challenging of all magical disciplines. There is far more to it than simply relocating a being from one location to another. A summoner mentally and physically links with their summoned being (champions, as we call them), allowing for a fluid symbiosis. A champion is not a puppet of the summoner; instead, the champion is the executor of the will of the summoner. A champion is in full control of themselves, but they are fully aware of the importance and the necessity of the summoner’s will. A champion’s duty is to execute the will of a summoner with the utmost precision and execution.
Bear this in mind, Boush: a champion is never forced to be a part of a battle arena where their loyalties and beliefs are not considered. During matches where city-states are resolving disputes, a champion will never act against their own interests. Garen, for example, would never charge out of the brush at a fellow Demacian if the match were about resolving a dispute involving Demacia.
"The Ninth Priest’s question intrigued me. If the Winter’s Claw tribe were to join Noxus, would not Queen Ashe and Kind Tryndamere go to Demacia for support? If this were to happen, would the league be capable of preventing an all out war?"-- The Lover of Pi
Oh, but were it that easy for Freljord. Demacia and the people that now make up Freljord have a history of conflict, albeit nowhere near as grievous as the conflict between Noxus and Freljord. Both Ashe and Tryndamere have been highly critical of Demacia’s neutrality during Noxus’ barbarian pacification campaigns. In fact, Demacia has been quite protective of its territory, turning away refugees during the campaign’s more bloody episodes. Likewise, Demacia’s northern homesteads have more than once been a target of barbarian raiding parties. Both city-states have a lot of diplomatic work ahead of them before they can bridge a gap that spans decades of distrust.
As for preventing an all out war, the League will take whatever actions necessary to protect its client city-states from all threats – even if those threats are from the city-states themselves.
Madness, people, madness! Only yours truly, dedicated reporter Ram Steed, has the sheer audacity to tell you how it is. I can't even tell you how long it's been since my last report – time is a blur! What I can promise you is that I have been pounding the pavement to bring you more of what you really want – a full blown gossip buffet from inside the League of Legends.
Sure she's deadly. She wouldn't still have the title “the Battle Mistress” if she wasn't. Sure she's survived multiple attempts on her life at the behest of the Noxian High Command. Sure she's hotter than a summer day – that red and gold outfit certainly provides her with plenty of space to move. Nevertheless, our lady Sivir may have come up against a force she won't be able to overcome!
For those whose memory is less than stellar, Sivir was arrested last October after going for an alcohol-induced joyride in a hex-tech conveyance, terrorizing her two passengers and a host of pedestrians. She was arrested by Demacian authorities shortly afterwards, if you remember the hype, and she stood trial just the other day.
Judge Haley Suede took pity on Sivir's "I'm just a lonely girl with personal problems" defense and sentenced the Champion to 90 days in a Demacian penitentiary, with time spent in the Fields of Justice not counting towards her sentence.
Listen, I love our Champions – they pay my bills – but one thing I can't stand is the way they're given special dispensation by the courts. If I'd done the same thing, I would be in jail for the next 18 months, and not in a cushy part of the prison.
Oh well. Position has its privilege, but we'll have to see how a jail term interferes with her duties to the League of Legends. More on this as it develops.
Last week, Zaun-based entertainment company Northern Exposure launched its new special entitled "Pads". It is part of the new wave of crystal-recorded shows, which use the newest exciting techmaturgy for personal entertainment. Pads takes viewers into the homes of the League's favorite Champions, so that fans can see how they live. Personally, this reporter feels that our friends at Northern Exposure missed the mark for their reality show. At least a half-dozen better concepts already come to mind, but I digress.
The most interesting part of this tale is the subject they chose for their first show: the notorious Dr. Mundo. Now, what would possess a reasonable individual to choose the Madman of Zaun as a good subject to record? I'm sure there was a little hometown pride going on there and, honestly, who doesn't want to see that guy's lab?
The Mundo episode was produced and distributed according to plan, but this reporter knows a few things that he must expose! The episode was heavily edited and censored. Apparently the Noxian government wouldn't let it air as they originally captured it.
You can guess why.
Several members of the crew went “missing” during the production and have yet to be found. Their families have been given settlements by the Noxian government, and investigations into their whereabouts have ceased.
If Northern Lights keeps making these kinds of decisions, Pads will beshort-lived show, as will the company itself.
I suppose it's no surprise that I get a lot of mail from people. It just hasn't felt right keeping it to myself, so I've decided to expand my column to share with you some of the good, the bad, and the ugly that both fans and haters have taken the time to write to me.
Here's this issue's letter:
"Dear Mr. Steed –
The reason I write is regarding the articles concerning the private life and bedroom activities of Janna. While humorous to some, the effects of healthy bedroom activities might actually be rather beneficial. I have recently done research on the topic, sparked by a letter from a fellow summoner speculating on the matter. The research included no less than three champions of the League who have requested to remain anonymous, but the immediate result states that such activities can actually provide a short term boost to magical capabilities. I intend to send a journal containing some of my conclusions and results in more detail to the relevant League officials, regarding Janna's current situation.” – Munchlord, Zaunite Summoner and Independent Researcher
First off, I'm glad you found my work concerning this matter a source of enjoyment for you. It's always nice when readers hide their compliments amongst their justifications.
Second off, Munchlord, how long have you been on Janna's public relations payroll? Seriously. Bedroom activities leading to boosts in magical abilities? Like Janna's getting down to be a better Champion for the people? Nice try, my friend, but this smacks of some serious propaganda.
For you folks at home, this is the kind of hype you can expect to see whenever a Champion gets themselves into the kind of embarrassing trouble that Janna's most recently found herself in. There are always “experts” who will come to the rescue, so that what might otherwise be identified as questionable behavior can be dismissed without further thought. You be the judge.
Regardless, thanks to Munchlord for writing in!
If you've got something to say to Ram Steed, mail me personally at the Journal. Some infernal techmaturgical machine will get your message and pass it on to me.