Mount Targon

Mount Targon is the mightiest peak in Runeterra, a towering mountain of sun-baked rock amid a range of summits unmatched in scale anywhere else in the world. Located far from civilization, Mount Targon is utterly remote and all but impossible to reach save by the most determined seeker.

Many legends cling to Mount Targon, ranging from tales of blazing warriors imbued with incredible powers falling from the sky to battle monsters, to fantastical tales of gods and their celestial abodes crashing down to form the mountain. Some legends even go so far as to claim the Mountain itself is a sleeping titan of antiquity.

Like any place of myth, Mount Targon is a beacon to dreamers, madmen and questors of adventure. Those who survive the arduous journey to the foot of the titanic mountain are welcomed as fellow pilgrims by the scattered, tribal communities that have set up nomadic camps around its base.

Here the weary traveller learns of the tribes, such as the Rakkor, who have endured the harsh climate and unforgiving lands around the mountain for millennia. These people are united in their belief that living in the shadow of these cyclopean structures of monumental scale is a true calling of mysterious powers. The origin and purpose of these structures - if such things ever had one - remain a mystery, for mortals can never truly know the minds of the structures’ lost creators. Many faiths find root around the mountain, but all are beholden to the Solari, a sun-worshipping faith whose tenets dominate the land. The Solari high temple sits on the eastern slope of the mountain, reachable only by crossing swaying rope bridges over abyssal canyons, climbing winding stairs weathered into the living rock and traversing whisper-thin ledges cut upon sheer cliffs carved with ancient symbols and vast effigies.

Some brave souls attempt to scale the impossible mountain, perhaps seeking wisdom or enlightenment, perhaps chasing glory or some soul-deep yearning to see its summit. The dwellers at the peak’s base cheer as these brave souls begin their ascent, knowing the mountain will find the vast majority of them unworthy. And to be judged unworthy by Mount Targon is to die.

The mountain’s sheer flanks and the treacherous conditions of its high slopes make it incredibly difficult to climb. Its rocks are littered with the contorted bodies of those who have made the attempt and failed. The ascent is all but impossible, a grueling test of every facet of a climber’s strength, character, resolve, willpower and determination. Some climbers ascend for weeks or months, others for only a day, for the mountain is inconstant and ever-changing. And even for those hardy few who somehow survive to reach the top, the testing is not over. Some who claw their way to the summit do so only to find it utterly empty, an abandoned expanse of ruins and faded carvings beyond human understanding. For unknowable reasons, the mountain has found the climber’s soul lacking.

For a handful of others, however, the summit is said to be veiled in a cascade of shimmering light, through which wonders and far-distant vistas can be glimpsed, the bewildering, tantalizing visions of a mythical domain beyond. Despite attaining their goal of reaching the summit, most fail this last test, turning away in fear from this inhuman realm. Of the rare few who press on, most never return, while others may reappear minutes, years or even centuries later.

Only one thing is certain - those who return are changed beyond all recognition.

The Aspects

The sky around Mount Targon shimmers with celestial bodies; the sun and moons, but also constellations, planets, fiery comets that streak the darkness, and auspicious arrangements of stars. The people living at the mountain’s base believe these to be aspects of long-vanished stellar beings, creatures powerful and ancient on a scale beyond human comprehension. Some believe the power of these Aspects sometimes come down the mountain within the lambent bodies of those climbers found worthy. Such an occurrence is unimaginably rare and amazing tales of their exploits form around such individuals, who only ever appear once every few generations.

It is incredibly unusual for more than a single Aspect to walk the earth of Runeterra at any given time, so the tales of several Aspects manifesting has spread a pall of fear and uncertainty around the mountain. For what threat might be arising that requires the power of so many powerful beings to fight?