Suggestion to lore writers: You're doing a TERRIBLE job at the "shades of gray" thing

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Lithillya

Junior Member

01-01-2013

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Don't phrase that like Syndra was some helpless, horrified slave of Ionia. Nothing annoys me more than this kind of creative wording.
Given how you potrayed the Ionians as completly guiltless, it seemed quite fitting.
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Not exactly innocent. Yes, she was young, but there is no denying that she was acting dangerously and needed proper training.
She was a child doing what she loved, only difference between her and any other young one, is that she had more potential than the rest. Recklessness is a part of youth, it's up to the parents or guardians to teach what is, and what isn't okay. Only mention of any attempts at that, is when she's shipped off. Frankly, if they're the kind of people who'd send off their kid like that, I wouldn't exactly expect her to have had a loving home either.
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She was not unwilling. She wanted to be there. She loved it.
It doesn't state whether she wanted to leave or not, it simply states that to her delight, he claimed to want to help her develope her gift. It can just as easily be a case of "Well it's prison, but at least I get to do what I love."
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The reference to "in her youth" implies that she had been being trained in this manner for years, unless people these days refer to "in my youth" as the events of last week. Once she learned that her powers were restrained due to her reckless use of it, her response was to crank it up and murder the master that she had enjoyed learning from for years.
No, it implies that when she was training on her own, she advanced by leaps and bounds, when her powers were suddenly restricted, that was no longer the case.
She may well have been reckless in her own training, but he didn't even tell her what he was doing. First she's sent away from her village because the people there couldn't handle her, whether she was overly fond of them or not, their willingness to simply send her away had to have hurt.
Then when she thinks she's finally found someone like herself who loves magic, someone she can trust, it turns out he's been holding her back, robbing her of the thing she's always loved, without as much as a word.
Her response was -not- to 'crank it up and murder', her respone was to demand an explanation, then when she found out he'd stabbed her in the back, she demanded he release the spell he'd cast on her without her permission, the spell that'd made her miserable. Instead of granting her the freedom to make her own choice in life, he states that if she doesn't comply with the way -he- wants -her- to act, he'll rob her of her magic.
Are you honestly surprised she'd lash out at him after a threat like that? Really?
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How dare my best friend for my past several years try to prevent me from using my powers destructively! I'll show them by destroying them!
How dare I be upset after the man who was my mentor, who promised he'd teach me to develope the talents I've always loved, instead of doing as promised, cast a spell on me without permission, without even a word of warning, then leaving me in the dark, watching as I struggle to comprehend what's going on with my magic.
How dare I be upset when it turns out the man I trusted after the village I grew up in sent me away, turned out to be just as bad as the elders. How dare I?!
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It's fine if you like Syndra, she is indeed an interesting and cool character, but don't make her out to be anything but what she is: a selfish, power hungry murderer.
It's fine if you think the Ionian's are perfect and flawless, but don't make it out to sound like Syndra is anything but a product of the way she was treated. She had potential beyond anything anyone had likely seen before, but instead of helping her develope it, they sought to control her. Of course she'd end up being less than stable.


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Tsaalyo

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01-01-2013

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Originally Posted by Lithillya View Post
She was a child doing what she loved, only difference between her and any other young one, is that she had more potential than the rest. Recklessness is a part of youth, it's up to the parents or guardians to teach what is, and what isn't okay. Only mention of any attempts at that, is when she's shipped off. Frankly, if they're the kind of people who'd send off their kid like that, I wouldn't exactly expect her to have had a loving home either.
Recklessness is indeed a part of youth. What do we know of her parents, of her village? You seem to believe that her parents were powerful magicians themselves. Don't you think they sent Syndra to the mage because they simply didn't have the ability to teach her what she needed? This is why people go to college.

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Originally Posted by Lithillya View Post
It doesn't state whether she wanted to leave or not, it simply states that to her delight, he claimed to want to help her develope her gift. It can just as easily be a case of "Well it's prison, but at least I get to do what I love."
It doesn't state that, yes, so why are you assuming the negative? I've commented only on what's written, not what I assume with no foundation.

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Originally Posted by Lithillya View Post
No, it implies that when she was training on her own, she advanced by leaps and bounds, when her powers were suddenly restricted, that was no longer the case.
She may well have been reckless in her own training, but he didn't even tell her what he was doing. First she's sent away from her village because the people there couldn't handle her, whether she was overly fond of them or not, their willingness to simply send her away had to have hurt.
Then when she thinks she's finally found someone like herself who loves magic, someone she can trust, it turns out he's been holding her back, robbing her of the thing she's always loved, without as much as a word.
Her response was -not- to 'crank it up and murder', her respone was to demand an explanation, then when she found out he'd stabbed her in the back, she demanded he release the spell he'd cast on her without her permission, the spell that'd made her miserable. Instead of granting her the freedom to make her own choice in life, he states that if she doesn't comply with the way -he- wants -her- to act, he'll rob her of her magic.
Are you honestly surprised she'd lash out at him after a threat like that? Really?
She's been training with this man for years. Even with that threat, the sane thing to do is to think on what happened, to calm down, rationalize, maybe even try to understand. But Syndra just splattered him. That is not what normal people do.

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Originally Posted by Lithillya View Post
How dare I be upset after the man who was my mentor, who promised he'd teach me to develope the talents I've always loved, instead of doing as promised, cast a spell on me without permission, without even a word of warning, then leaving me in the dark, watching as I struggle to comprehend what's going on with my magic.
How dare I be upset when it turns out the man I trusted after the village I grew up in sent me away, turned out to be just as bad as the elders. How dare I?!
How dare that man hold back my powers... even though they have indeed been growing, just not beyond my youthful control! How dare he try to prevent me from destroying myself and Ionia!

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Originally Posted by Lithillya View Post
It's fine if you think the Ionian's are perfect and flawless, but don't make it out to sound like Syndra is anything but a product of the way she was treated. She had potential beyond anything anyone had likely seen before, but instead of helping her develope it, they sought to control her. Of course she'd end up being less than stable.
Nowhere does it say Ionia EVER wanted to control her. They wanted to make sure she didn't blow up Ionia. Heaven forbid.


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Lithillya

Junior Member

01-01-2013

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Recklessness is indeed a part of youth. What do we know of her parents, of her village? You seem to believe that her parents were powerful magicians themselves. Don't you think they sent Syndra to the mage because they simply didn't have the ability to teach her what she needed? This is why people go to college.
We know nothing, which is the problem. All we're told is that the elders feared her potential, and that they sent her off. Nothing is mentioned of her parents, nothing in the slightest. That sorta seems to imply that they were simply like the elders, afraid of her powers, and as such simply shipped her off.
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It doesn't state that, yes, so why are you assuming the negative? I've commented only on what's written, not what I assume with no foundation.
Actually you make assumptions as well, in regards to whether she wanted to go or not. All that is stated is that she was delighted to find out that it was a school - meaning they hadn't even told her where they were taking her in the first place, awfully kind of them - and that he was going to help develope her talents.
You claimed she was willing, do you think she'd be willing to get dragged off to a place, without even having been told what it was? Does that really sound likely? I make assumptions, I don't deny that, but you are as well, given that you assume the worst of her, and the best of the Ionians.
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She's been training with this man for years. Even with that threat, the sane thing to do is to think on what happened, to calm down, rationalize, maybe even try to understand. But Syndra just splattered him. That is not what normal people do.
There isn't a timeline for how long she spent there, it's simply stated that she learned much during her time there, not how long said time was. Not only that, but ever since she got there, she could feel that something was wrong, something that made her more and more frustrated over time. He can't have failed to notice that, yet he said nothing. How much can he care about her, if he doesn't even take into consideration how she feels?
He's the only one around, he's supposed to be more than just a teacher, given that she was taken from her family, yet he doesn't seem to react to how she feels.
Then when she finally comes to the conclusion that he probably has something to do with the issues her powers have been having, and works up the nerve to confront him, he confirms her suspicions, something that is stated to have been a great betrayal to her, then threatens to seal away her powers.
The rational thing would have been for him to talk to her, not throw a threat at an already hurt young girl. It was obvious she was going to defend herself, at that point she had nothing left. Her village didn't want her, and the man she thought was going to help her, had turned out to have stabbed her in the back, all she had left at that point was the talents he was now threatening to take away from her.
If you read what is written about her motives, you'd see she didn't even do it out of malice, she just wanted her freedom, and to protect her gift. Normal people don't lock others up, or threaten them, or ignore the fact that they're suffering. People did that to her, of course she was going to defend herself.
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How dare that man hold back my powers... even though they have indeed been growing, just not beyond my youthful control! How dare he try to prevent me from destroying myself and Ionia!
Are you intentionally ignoring the fact that he never even bothered to talk to her about it? You're throwing -all- the blame on her, making you seem quite biased to say the least. He said he'd help her, instead he throws a spell at her that hampers her abilities to learn, that drags her down, without even a word to her about it. If he wanted to help her, he would've cared enough to at least tell her. He didn't.
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Nowhere does it say Ionia EVER wanted to control her. They wanted to make sure she didn't blow up Ionia. Heaven forbid.
She didn't behave the way they wanted, so they sent her away to a secluded temple, to live with a single person. Then had that person cast a spell on her without her consent, and without telling her, despite it being obvious how it affected her. You're right, they -totally- weren't looking to control her.


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Xulsigae

Senior Member

01-01-2013

I think the mentor hampered her abilities so they didn't grow beyond her control. You can give a child a full, adult sized weapon, but it's better to start them with wooden ones so they don't themselves or others. It's possible that if he hadn't restrained her, she might have killed herself or him far earlier. The fact that she reacted in such a way suggests to me she wasn't ready for her powers. Killing someone so rashly who was trying to help is no way to be anything but 'evil.' Annie does a more mature job with her magic than Syndra in my opinion.
The Elders could have just killed her, but they saw her potential I think and sent her off to be tempered so she could actually live amongst people and help them, rather than cause destruction.


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Canopenerdude

Junior Member

01-01-2013

While I'm almost to the point of making popcorn and settling in to watch the Syndra debate, if the point of this thread is to examine moral absolutism vs. shades of gray logic, then I think we need to 1) realize that Riot is just a bunch of humans like us and are therefore allowed to make mistakes as we do, and 2) examine the individual champions (as has happened in this thread) and not the Nation-states as a whole, because Riot has put more time into champion lore as opposed to world-lore.

In that spirit, here's my opinion on every facet I can remember of this thread:

Noxus. While power-hungry and scheming, Noxus has produced some of the proudest and most illustrious (if not OP) champs in the league. Kat, for instance. She's just as brainwashed as any youth growing up in a dictatorial imperial state would be, and her young life filled with such copious amounts of violence has probably numbed her empathy and compassion to the point of nonexistence. Reading her lore, I feel sorry for her, knowing that she'd probably have been a completely different person had she grown up in say, Ionia. Her first mission in which she gained her scar was the metaphorical straw on the camel's back. Trained from practically birth to fight for the glory of Noxus, and then seeing that her initiative caused more trouble than it was worth, cemented the mindset that she was to be a tool for those that saw her as only a means to an end. She is a victim of circumstance. A pleasingly curvaceous victim, but a victim nonetheless. I too am curious to see more of the relationship between her and Garen, as I could see that becoming a big part in Noxian and Demacian negotiations ("hey, if one of the world's best assassins and the Demacian captain of the guard can get along and even like each other, why can't we?").

Demacia is just as totalitarian as Noxus, but is gilded gold whereas Noxus wears its iron proudly. The high-profile champs of Demacia (Garen, Jarvan, Lux) may be shining symbols of righteousness, but lets look a little deeper. Garen's kind of a blowhard, and while he is skilled, he's also rather full of himself. Jarvan is the same, except he has a messiah complex and is so dramatic I'm surprised his taunt doesn't pull out Hamlet's trademark skull (I was about to call it Yorick's head, but then I realized that Riot has a weird sense of humor and made a champion of of that Shakespearean line). And Lux is just bonafide crazy and brainwashed. So are they really any better than Noxus? Sure, they won't stab you in the back, but they'll more than likely treat you as scum, whereas in Noxus if you manage to kill a few important people you can have your own chance at power (aka the Swain Switcheroo).

Who do we have to represent Ionia? Yi, Irelia, maybe Varus... I know I'm missing a few but they came to mind first. All of them have pretty selfish reasons to be joining the league, but those same reasons could also be seen as very selfless depending on the view. Yi just wants to kill some Noxians because Singed done melted his village. Irelia wants to kill some Noxians because they done killed her dad. Varus wants to kill some Noxians because they done destroyed his village and killed his parents. See the pattern? Ionia's champions lost their innocence when they lost their home. That's very real and very gray.

Piltover and Zaun are having some trouble, yes. Piltover's champs (Cait, Jayce, Vi) are trying just a bit too hard to be the good guys. Well, Vi is ok I guess, but Jayce just annoys me. And Zaun... every time I think of Zaun I see Mundo's face. Honestly, they need more serious champs. Singed is cool, but they need more champs that are serious the way Viktor is. Ah, Viktor. I think his backstory is very telling. When he purged his emotions and became "The Machine Herald", his now-mechanized brain took his original goal of the betterment of society and said "Hey, this worked for me, so obviously it's good. I think everyone should do it because I've shown that it's better because it's better for me". This is the flawed logic of all machines, because it shows no bearing for the concept of free will. Viktor genuinely thinks his inventions will help others, and therefor can't understand why others would reject his goal. So his attack on Jayce wasn't evil. His thought process was 'Hey, my idea is great, so this guy (since he has a similar affinity for machines) must think it's great too. Wait, he's disagreeing with me? He must be simply confused. But I don't have time to explain everything, I'll just take the crystal here and he can find his own way'. He's not evil, he just thinks like a machine, which means that any disagreement amounts to arguing with a collection of 1's and 0's.

Moving on to Syndra, I think Riot wanted her to be really dark and mean-ish (FLOATING CASTLE, guys. Besides Les Miserables, when has a floating castle been a good thing?). But honestly I just think she never matured. She grew up with this tremendous power, and it became something she loved and thought was hers and hers alone. It would be like if someone tried to take your computer because they built the parts for it (ok, that's not necessarily the best analogy but you get the point). Syndra just wants to revel in her power and use it as she sees fit, for her own personal gain. Irresponsible? Yes. Evil? No.

Any questions?


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DrTemptragon

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01-01-2013

I thought the whole point of the arc around Noxus, from Riven's defection to the death of Darkwill and the crowing of Swain as Grand General was Noxus's version of hanging the guilty for what happened in Ionia.

Riven literally left Noxus because it wasn't Noxian enough for her. IIRC, she's not the only Noxian character to have expressed dissatisfation at how Noxus was behaving. I genuinely think that none of the playable Noxian characters would approve of using chemical weapons instead of physical combat; it's not the Noxian way.

So, while it's not strictly canon, I tend to think that Darkwill was assassinated because of his responsibility for the events in Ionia and because people felt that Noxus had strayed from it's path.

Also, I'm all for more Zuan champs. It's my favourite city-state.


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Canopenerdude

Junior Member

01-01-2013

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Originally Posted by DrTemptragon View Post
Also, I'm all for more Zuan champs. It's my favourite city-state.
I want someone to step up to take on Vi. A Zaunite that can counter what Vi is.


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Tsaalyo

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01-01-2013

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Originally Posted by Lithillya View Post
There isn't a timeline for how long she spent there, it's simply stated that she learned much during her time there, not how long said time was. Not only that, but ever since she got there, she could feel that something was wrong, something that made her more and more frustrated over time. He can't have failed to notice that, yet he said nothing. How much can he care about her, if he doesn't even take into consideration how she feels?
He's the only one around, he's supposed to be more than just a teacher, given that she was taken from her family, yet he doesn't seem to react to how she feels.
Then when she finally comes to the conclusion that he probably has something to do with the issues her powers have been having, and works up the nerve to confront him, he confirms her suspicions, something that is stated to have been a great betrayal to her, then threatens to seal away her powers.
The rational thing would have been for him to talk to her, not throw a threat at an already hurt young girl. It was obvious she was going to defend herself, at that point she had nothing left. Her village didn't want her, and the man she thought was going to help her, had turned out to have stabbed her in the back, all she had left at that point was the talents he was now threatening to take away from her.
If you read what is written about her motives, you'd see she didn't even do it out of malice, she just wanted her freedom, and to protect her gift. Normal people don't lock others up, or threaten them, or ignore the fact that they're suffering. People did that to her, of course she was going to defend herself.
The lore specifically states "in her youth", which certainly means a matter of several years

Second, working up the nerve to confront him? You're acting like she was some cowering little girl. Hell, you even say "hurt young girl". First of all, she's not young anymore, that's why it said "in her youth". Second, she was not then, nor was she ever the symbol of the cowering child you seem to think she was. She was reckless with her powers as a kid and she grew more self absorbed and full of herself with time. And then, even though she thoroughly enjoyed this place of learning, she kills her mentor after he threatened her during a no doubt extremely heated discussion in which she was throwing a massive tantrum.

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Originally Posted by Lithillya View Post
Are you intentionally ignoring the fact that he never even bothered to talk to her about it? You're throwing -all- the blame on her, making you seem quite biased to say the least. He said he'd help her, instead he throws a spell at her that hampers her abilities to learn, that drags her down, without even a word to her about it. If he wanted to help her, he would've cared enough to at least tell her. He didn't.
Are you ignoring the fact that Syndra DID learn a lot, just not as quickly as she wanted? That THAT'S her sole problem with what happened? And maybe, just maybe, because she was such a reckless child, the mage knew not to tell her because he knew she'd react like that?

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Originally Posted by Lithillya View Post
She didn't behave the way they wanted, so they sent her away to a secluded temple, to live with a single person. Then had that person cast a spell on her without her consent, and without telling her, despite it being obvious how it affected her. You're right, they -totally- weren't looking to control her.
Show me where they were training her to kill their enemies.


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Canopenerdude

Junior Member

01-01-2013

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Show me where they were training her to kill their enemies.
just thought I'd point out that he didn't say that they were...


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Tsaalyo

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01-02-2013

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Originally Posted by Canopenerdude View Post
just thought I'd point out that he didn't say that they were...
What else could he mean by 'control'? 'Try to not let her be reckless and kill people'? That's not a bad thing.