Lilith, The Swamp Witch from Ryze's Judgement

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Vashos

Senior Member

02-12-2013

Lore forum, I know we don't have a lot to go on in regards to this particularly subject. Ryze is one of the old champions and one of the more obscure in that we don't really know what the hell his thorn magic is or what the scroll may contain, but I know everyone has some ideas and I'd like to hear them and share some of my own in this thread because I'm working on a little project inspired by the woman who gave him his power.

Namely, I'm working on a character concept for her and some models to do 3d renderings, either for a comic or perhaps even a short film should I find the time to complete one. I also posted for ideas in the player concept forum, but I figured I'd probably hit more of the writer types in the lore forum (and more people who take that stuff seriously). When I start getting the story and renderings ironed out I'll probably be posting up the finished product in the fanfiction forum, but for now I'm just brainstorming and letting it congeal as I work on various art resources I know I'm going to need regardless.

The Basics:

Before I go into what I've got going so far I invite you to take a look at a snapshot of her WIP model I took a week or so ago. As you may notice, Lilith has a very ethnic look, and I don't want to stray too far from that. I think it's appropriate that she have a different appearance than other League champs because in Ryze's judgement he seeks her out for a system of magic not found anywhere else in Runeterra, and it stands to reason this is because she has a unique origin herself.

In my working headcanon, Lilith is the last (or very near the last) representative of an old and isolated people in the Howling Marsh, and that thorn magic, along with any other abilities she may possess, are of a shamanic tradition, and have been taught from one to another in a master-pupil fashion for generations (including Lilith to Ryze). It is not a magic that would have been practiced by all her people but only by those sanctioned to do so, chosen by bloodline, some sort of proving/sign of favor from the spirits, etc. This may also explain by Lilith was willing to teach Ryze - she simply has no one left to pass her knowledge to. It would certainly explain why she'd be pissed he took her scroll; not only would this be a violation against her as an individual but also against a sort of sacred trust Lilith has been raised to expect of the person-to-person tradition of her practice.

Her Magic:

So, what does she do? Is her magic called "thorn magic" or are the tattoos one aspect of a larger cultural practice? Personally, I'm inclined to believe the latter. The Howling Marsh is one of the places in the lore that is notably scarred by the Rune Wars, so perhaps the plants there have adapted in a way that they contain magic in them (like Maokai) and when applied under the skin embue a person with more power, or allow them to channel it better, etc. This lends itself to Ryze's attitude of not wanting to study in a formal fashion. In Lilith's tradition, you don't "learn" magic or "master" it so much as you act like a conduit for power that originally existed (or still exists) outside the mage him/herself. Overtime, this exposure to free-floating Runeterran magic may have turned Ryze his lovely violet shade.

Aside from what little bit of canon lore we have on her, my vision of Lilith is a little inspired by African vodun and other religions. It was actually my theory on the thorn magic that started leading me down this way, because a lot of those religions see everything as being divine and so even mundane things (like plants or talismans) have power. And since the Rune Wars splattered magic everywhere, this is very much the case in this context.

Whereas the usual League mage like Xerath or Ryze might think of the words in their spellbooks as having power, Lilith is more likely to percieve the book itself - the paper, the leather binding and whatever plant/animal source it came from, as being the source of the magic. I mean, consider: in hoo-doo and other off-shoots of African religions, to have power over someone you often need an item that belonged to them. Metaphysical things (like magic) rub off and interact alongside physical things (books). Lilith may have thought Ryze rather foolish for seeking her out to find magic since it's quite literally all around for her.

Lilith Herself:

I want to get it off my chest right-off that I don't think of Lilith as being "evil". Yeah, she's from the Howling Marsh which is (was?) where Karthus was from, and yeah, she believes in spirits and interacts with them, but her take on it is less of the necromancy/"black magic" sense and more in the ancestral-worship variety. In fact, Karthus and necromancy would probably be very repugnant to her as she makes little distinction between a spirit with a vessel and a spirit without one.

I know what you're thinking: Well, if Lilith isn't a "bad guy" why does she have a scroll that Ryze is afraid of her using to some (presumably) apocalyptic purpose? This is my biggest mindblock right now. We just don't know what the scroll is about, and given it really has no current signifigance in the lore (Ryze possesses it now so Lilith couldn't use it if she wanted to) I'm tempted to let it be, but that feels cheap and like a missed opportunity to see what the driving force is behind Lilith and Ryze as individuals and as master-pupil.

...and I guess that's enough to get us started. I still have a lot of thoughts whirling on these matters, but I don't want to create too huge a wall of text for you in one go. I need to find a resolution to the scroll problem, and would love any further suggestions or musings you guys might have. Discuss?!


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Merado11

Senior Member

02-12-2013

Thorns sounds like zyra. =P


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Vashos

Senior Member

02-12-2013

Quote:
Originally Posted by Merado11 View Post
Thorns sounds like zyra. =P
Which I sincerely doubt has a thing to do with Ryze despite the word "thorn" being used. Absolutely nothing else connects them, Zyra has a name which is not Lilith, and Zyra is from the Plague Lands not the Howling Marsh.


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Faptain Teemo

Member

02-14-2013

Grace Jones?

I like the look you gave her actually. Any ideas for qwer?


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Vashos

Senior Member

02-14-2013

Quote:
Originally Posted by Faptain Teemo View Post
Grace Jones?

I like the look you gave her actually. Any ideas for qwer?
She was free-hand sculpted in a suite using dynamic topology; she has no reference model - I just eyeballed her according to what I envision in my head.

I am very happy with her look, too, and I got her pretty much in one go which is a good sign that something needs to be done with her. I wanted her to still have course hair like African people do, but I didn't want her to be fully dreadlocked or some other such commonly seen extreme, and I still needed room to paint in tattoos for her lore and I didn't want to overwork her face with that, so I compromised. She only has a few dreads up on the crown of her head (which I actually got the idea from the little psudo-mohawk Pink is known for) and the sides of head are clean. You can't tell by her standing alone, but she's actually rather petite, also. I and some of my friends have started calling her "Miss Lil" because of this. Lil being both a diminutive of Lilith and referencing her modest build.

As for her kit, I said I dumped a post in the player concept forum to that regard, but it hasn't seen much atttention, which isn't shocking to me. Collaboration can be hard to expect of strangers on the internet. I'm still working on pinning down my thoughts for her anyway, and those will impact her abilities. I don't want her to be generic like Ryze is where he basically just blasts people with "magic" as an energy source without any real context for what he's doing (although in Ryze's case this is kind of ok because that's his whole schtick, he's a Runeterran super-mage, but Lilith is more subtle). I'd like Lilith's abilities to match her theme/flavor in a more direct way, like Cassiopeia with her poison (Cass shoots poison, snakes are poisonous, yeh?).

I'm giving it some time to see if anyone any input, but more likely than not I'll end up doing all her stuff myself.


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Sylph

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Emissary of the League

02-15-2013

Seeing this character in the league line up, returned to haunt Ryze would be pretty amazing


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Vashos

Senior Member

02-16-2013

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sylph View Post
Seeing this character in the league line up, returned to haunt Ryze would be pretty amazing
I thought so, too, which is why I decided to do this. I mean, we have a woman out in the Howling Marsh who can knock Ryze on his back-end and laugh about it. That's some heavy artillery.


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Birdy51

Senior Member

02-16-2013

What strikes me the most is the nature of her tattoos... They turn the entire body into a conduit for magic, perhaps in a way not to different from Xerath. However, Lilith obviously found a way to control this magic, where Xerath simply became a being of magic. Still, the similarities of their powers draws interesting parallels.

Thorn magic allows mages to touch the power of pure arcane energy, while still allowing them enough room so it doesn't consume them entirely. The side effects are apparent, such as Ryze's skin tone. While we don't know what Lilith looks like besides her being a beauty, its safe to assume that she herself is purple with a similar pattern of runes found on Ryze. Whatever the thorn magic is, it incites an entire transformation of one's self.


Now as to her character herself... While she might not be purely evil, she does have some rather chaotic elements mixed in. Lilith did bite his ear and toss him to the ground. Needless to say, that while she is not evil, she does have a rather dark air about her.

However, she is not as trained as Ryze is. I assume that Ryze knows his magic, partially from his book and past experience. Lilith seems a bit more primal than that. I bleieve you are right in suggesting her roots in voodoo, and perhaps it would not be abnormal tosee talismans or other odd relics such as teeth taken from unkown creatures strewn about her person. Where Ryze demonstrates knowlege through books and magics, Lilith embodies a more sinister brand of arcane energy through nature itself.

The big question now is asking how she fights. Due to the nature of her power, it would make sense if mana makes her stronger as it does for Ryze. I imagine her being a bit more in your face than Ryze as well, in order to reflect her potentially vicious nature. How this translates into her design... I can't be sure about that...


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Vashos

Senior Member

02-16-2013

Quote:
Originally Posted by Birdy51 View Post
What strikes me the most is the nature of her tattoos... They turn the entire body into a conduit for magic, perhaps in a way not to different from Xerath. However, Lilith obviously found a way to control this magic, where Xerath simply became a being of magic. Still, the similarities of their powers draws interesting parallels.

Thorn magic allows mages to touch the power of pure arcane energy, while still allowing them enough room so it doesn't consume them entirely. The side effects are apparent, such as Ryze's skin tone. While we don't know what Lilith looks like besides her being a beauty, its safe to assume that she herself is purple with a similar pattern of runes found on Ryze. Whatever the thorn magic is, it incites an entire transformation of one's self.
That's my thoughts, exactly. Like a battery, Lilith can draw in magic at will, but unlike Xerath who held onto it and eventually transformed because of it, Lilith can let that power back out into the world again. When you think about it, Lilith may have the answers on how to rebalance Runeterra. She can "move" magic as it were while still maintaining her human condition.

Quote:
Now as to her character herself... While she might not be purely evil, she does have some rather chaotic elements mixed in. Lilith did bite his ear and toss him to the ground. Needless to say, that while she is not evil, she does have a rather dark air about her.
I agree. Lilith totally has some dom in her, and I've been playing with that. That's part of why I made her model a little on the small side - tiny woman big attitude makes me laugh. I don't have her painting done yet, but in some of the sketches I've been doing of her, she's got a whip with three snake heads at the lash-end.Very dominant, independent personality.


Quote:
However, she is not as trained as Ryze is. I assume that Ryze knows his magic, partially from his book and past experience. Lilith seems a bit more primal than that. I bleieve you are right in suggesting her roots in voodoo, and perhaps it would not be abnormal tosee talismans or other odd relics such as teeth taken from unkown creatures strewn about her person. Where Ryze demonstrates knowlege through books and magics, Lilith embodies a more sinister brand of arcane energy through nature itself.
Again, this is all in line with my current vision. In Dungeons and Dragons terms (for sake of an easy reference) Ryze is more Wizard/Sorcerer and Lilith is more Sorcerer/Druid. Lilith is more raw, natural and occult, and Ryze is more arcane/"high" magic. They are both very strong but have slightly different brands of magical ability.

Quote:
The big question now is asking how she fights. Due to the nature of her power, it would make sense if mana makes her stronger as it does for Ryze. I imagine her being a bit more in your face than Ryze as well, in order to reflect her potentially vicious nature. How this translates into her design... I can't be sure about that...
Well, like I said before, pinning down her character is doing to influence this, and honestly, her kit and stuff is not my major concern since I'm doing this for the sake of telling a story through still-images or film if I can get the time to do it. It would be fun to have a set of abilities designed for her, but since I won't actually be able to plug her into the game as a fan, it's taking a backseat to her visuals/story/motivations.


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Vashos

Senior Member

02-18-2013

Bump for some arty bits. These are WIPS of course, as you can see they're still very flat in a lot of places, but they'll get my point across. I know it might seem weird to do a model before an illustration but I model a lot faster than I paint and I'm a stronger sculptor than a painter anyway...so there it is.

I have two going here. I originally just had the one where she looks "normal", but I started up a purple one tonight because of Birdy's comments. I didn't want to do her purple originally because a lot of female champs already have that as a major color (Morgana, Soraka, Syndra, etc) but I guess she wouldn't be thorn-magey without that option would she? In her more humanish skin, she'd have tats too, but they'd be the kind of dark green you see in the Human Ryze skin. And I'm not gonna lie, LoL is full of white people and I wanted something different.


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