Vastaya Q&A

By Riot Onisaru

The ways of the vastaya can be quite a mystery - even a learned gentleman like Eduard Santangelo was perplexed by the strange creatures native to Ionia. We've brought together our own esteemed Narrative scholars from the Worldbuilding and Champ teams to answer your top questions.

Haven’t yet read up on all things vastaya? Then we encourage you to peruse the coverage both on Universe and the Nexus.

What is it about Soraka, Volibear, Alistar, and Trundle that makes them different from the vastaya?

Soraka, Voli, Alistar and Trundle are all different, distinct species. Alistar is a minotaur - a race which likely evolved separate from the vastaya even if they are sometimes confused by outsiders. Trundle a troll. Soraka is something… different, probably associated with Mt. Targon. Volibear is more akin to a primal Freljordian nature spirit/force of nature.

Why did you decide to pick Zed as the enemy of Rakan and Xayah in the promo video?

Our Champion Publishing team chose Zed to show that Rakan and Xayah aren’t totally villains. Their cause leads them to operate in some morally grey areas, but they ultimately seek a noble goal. Zed corrupting vastayan wild magic with his shadow powers was a clear way to show what Xayah and Rakan stood against.

Does most or all magic on Runeterra derive from the spirit world?

There are a number of different sources for magic in Runeterra, from a realm we would call a ‘spirit world’ to Hextech and beyond. Often it depends on the area you’re talking about. For example, though the kind of magic you mention is most intense and noticeable in Ionia, it intersects with Runeterra in many ways. Then compare the magic of Shurima, Targon, etc. and you start to see a variety of types of magic.

How did Xayah and Rakan meet and fall in love with each other?

Xayah and Rakan were instantly smitten with each other. Give or take several months of chagrin and adventure. In all seriousness, read Xayah and Rakan’s bios and color texts for the full story!

Do bird vastaya like Xayah and Rakan lay eggs?

I’ll be struggling to get that image out of my head for a couple of days, but no, they don’t.

Are Nidalee and Udyr considered vastaya or is their blood too diluted?

They are not considered vastaya, but they do have some vastayan blood.

Are the vastaya not commonly known in Runeterra?

Not many regular people in Runeterra have seen them, but those who have are unlikely to have tied together all the various tribes and their sources. Perhaps the work of Eduard Santangelo might begin to change things? If folks take him seriously (he is a bit of a bragard).

Do the vastaya have any relation to the yordles?

No, they are very different entities.

What is the pact that the vastaya and Ionian people have with each other?

This will be revealed at a later date, but it is a very old treaty between specific tribes of Ionian vastaya and humans that deals with sharing magic.

How did Xayah and Rakan become who they are now?

Rakan is a battle dancer. He has been training in those skills—combining performance with warfare—his whole life. Xayah is a natural fighter who has been honed through combat.

Do the vastaya have a religion? If so, what's it like?

They are close to the spirit world. They do not have an organized religion, they pay respects to the various nature spirits and spirit animals, but have a much closer relationship than human shamans do.

Was it the destruction of the God-Willow by Ivern that caused the vastaya to lose magic and spread across Runeterra?

No. But it didn’t make them very happy.

How did you decide which champions are vastayan and which aren't?

Overall, the vastayan race was created as a concept champions could use as we move forward, both in creating new characters and to help unify certain elements of Runeterra. The exact nature of each creature in our IP was not exhaustively determined from the outset, giving teams like Worldbuilding and ChampUp room to explore.

Can vastaya of different tribes reproduce?

Absolutely. Tribes like the Sodjoko are made up of various tribes coming together. What a child would look like would depend on the parents, the nature and amount of magic the child grew up near, the customs of the tribe it grew up in, and the child’s own personality - especially its connection to the various animal spirits.

Are all shapeshifting champions vastaya?

Not all animal based champions are vastaya. Ascended champions, from Shurima, for example, are not of vastayan blood or magic. See other answers for which champions are confirmed vastaya or not.

Can we expect more vastaya in the future?

We have no immediate plans for any more vastaya, but it’s definitely not been ruled out. We have other areas of Runeterra to explore and create new champs. I’m sure we’ll make our way back to the vastaya at some point in the future.

What makes a vastaya and a magical creature different from one another?

There are many types of magical creatures. Many have no connection with the vastaya or vastayasha’rei (the proto-vastaya). There are even other creatures descended from the vastayasha’rei who are effectively unrelated to vastaya. Vastaya have a human ancestor and a vastayasha’rei ancestor. There is a logic underlying most of these creatures, but having a similar system ≠ similar species.

How many generations does it take to dilute vastayan blood?

A few generations of mingling with other creatures, for sure. I mean, look at evolution. It’s a slow process.

Does the rebellion consist of only Xayah and Rakan?

Currently it is only Xayah and Rakan, but who knows what will happen when and if Coll can rally some other Lhotlan to her side. There is a growing sentiment and displeasure with the human behavior in the Ionian vastaya however.

Why is there a rebellion? Is Zed doing something with magic that affects the vastaya and are they dying as a result?

Not dying, but magical essence sustains their continued existence. The less magic there is, the fewer resources there are to support vastayan life and tradition. Other humans tap into or twist up the same magic source that the Lhotlan vastaya need to survive. This is not necessarily a moral thing, good people do bad things for good reasons, unaware of the consequences it causes others. Zed and his people are unknowingly or uncaringly accelerating the drain of the magical energy though they are absolutely not alone in doing this. This is aggravating the growing tension between humans and some vastayan tribes in Ionia - and directly violates the agreements that were forged between species.

Wouldn't a human & vastaya coupling be considered immoral to other humans and vastaya?

It may seem immoral and unnatural to some, but not to everyone. Runeterra is a place with many cultures.

Why does Xayah sound prejudiced against yordles?

Xayah thinks people confuse yordles for Vastaya as they are all lumped together as “magical creatures.” Not really prejudiced to race, though she also doesn’t like the yordles’ association with humans, and the magic of human ideals.

If the vastaya and Ionia are connected how is it that there are vastaya in Shurima and in the ocean near Mount Targon? How does that work? Is it migration?

While most vastaya need a supply of magic to thrive - they don’t need massive amounts of it and can go extended periods without magic (think of humans’ relationship to water). Vastaya tend to settle near the “springs” where magic comes into our world or near the invisible “streams” of magic that flow from these springs and snake through the world (comparable to ley lines). They can travel beyond though, just as we humans don't all have to constantly live near fresh water rivers.

Xayah’s interaction with Nami says: “We asked you to join us” and “You’re the only one to blame”. What is the Tidecaller’s relation with Xayah & Rakan, why did she refuse to join them, and what is she being blamed for?

Nothing specific, really. It’s hinting at the general feeling Xayah and Rakan have when they have to fight ANY other vastaya. Nobody likes infighting.

Why isn't Nidalee considered part of the Vastaya?

As we've mentioned, Nidalee’s ancestry is too diluted to be considered a true vastaya. Similarly, Udyr is not a true vastaya, because though he can access the power of many animal spirits, he cannot truly change into their forms.

Why the name "vastaya"? What makes them similar? Why was there a need to create the vastaya? Where do you get ideas for new species? Is there some sort of test to check if it's going to work?

The vastaya name was originally created with several goals: it should feel exotic, Ionian, and lyrical. For more details on the rest of this question, check out the /dev “On Vastaya Evolution.”

Do the vastaya have a leader, or a hierarchy? Or an entity?

Within certain tribes they do, but not uniformly, and not across the entire species. Rakan is the best though, according to him. And maybe Xayah on days he can actually remember her plans.


There's still more to be discovered in the wilds of Runeterra - but we hope for now your curiosity has been sated!

2 years ago

Tagged with: 
Q&A, Vastaya

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