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TL;DR: A male support champion. One of the most thorough and detailed champion concepts you will ever read. Now with an original League theme song! (See Post #3)
“Perfection is an unattainable ideal. But that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t strive for it.” ~ My father.
Remember that I am nowhere near on-par with the Riot elite; I’m a simple country boy with a dream! I have no design experience, no programming knowledge, no team of designers by my side to tell me when I’m on the right track or not, -- but that’s what I have you guys for!
Table of Contents
1st Post: Introduction, Overview, Lore, Concept Art, Secondary Skins, Statistics, Abilities, Tooltips/Icons, Animations & Particle Effects, Dialogue, Additional Notes.
2nd Post: Gameplay In a Nutshell, Counters, Suggested Items, Alternate Builds, Runes and Masteries.
3rd Post: Change Log, Fan Art, A Storyteller’s Story - the Making of Virgil, Q&A, Credits.
*NEW 4th Post: League Judgment
Virgil – The Wandering Storyteller
Gender – Male.
Race – Human.
Nationality – Undefined.
Allegiance – Neutral.
Age – He forgets. Over 100? Maybe.
Height – 5’9”
Weight – 120 lbs.
Class – AP Support.
Subclass – Reconnaissance.
Virgil is a Master Storyteller. In the earliest days of Valoren the great Storytellers were sworn to preserve the Way of the Word, traveling from here to there collecting and telling stories of might, bravery and valor with unrivaled wonder, so that the deeds of years past may never be forgotten. It is said that these nomadic tale-sharers were able to harness a mysterious force within words themselves and used them to directly influence the spirits and emotions of others.
Virgil is the last artisan of his kind; last of the great Storytellers. He alone bears the weight of a thousand years’ tales upon his memory, and is the only means of preserving the Master Storyteller’s ancient art. He is old, and has begun to sense that his end is near. He has joined the League in the hopes that his deeds there may merit someone to one day tell his tale, and carry on the Way of the Word after his passing.
The name Virgil is a reference to the Roman poet of the same name, and the allegorical guide to Dante in The Divine Comedy. It is currently a working title, here are some other ideas I had;
-Nemo (Latin for 'no-one' or Greek for 'I give what is due'.)
-Hesiod (A Greek poet, who was well known for creating a style of poetry in which the poet regards himself as a character with a set role in life to play.)
-Ethos (the latin word for 'experience' or knowledge.')
-Logos (latin for 'logic.')
-Canto (a method of versifying poetic epics, used most notably in The Divine Comedy and Pound's The Cantos.)
-Lexicus (my tweak on the word ‘lexus’ or 'lexicon,' the stock of words available for use in linguistics.)
-Stoic (a nod to Stoicism, a school of thought founded in the Hellinistic age that followed the ideals of a Sage, or someone who was immune from destructive emotions or circumstances through adhering to a lifestyle devoted to epistemology. E.G. a person who is not easily fazed or affected.)
-Seneca (a Roman philosopher and member of the aforementioned Stoics.)
These are just off the top of my head. If you have any other suggestions let me hear them!
To me, Virgil is the epitome of bravery. He is not a fire-casting prodigy or terror incarnate, he's just a man. Jarvan has his armor, Ryze has access to the most powerful magic known to man, and Virgil is willing to march out onto the Fields of Justice amongst all that and say, 'bring it on,' armed with nothing more than the power of story and an iron will. He's the underdog. The lame horse racing its last Kentucky Derby against all odds. You can't ask for anything more inspirational than that.
Somewhere amongst the peaks of the Ironspike Mountains, an old man sat on a rock to rest. He had just come from Piltover, his head ringing with many a wondrous tale he had heard there, the corners of his mouth lifting slightly as he recalled the wide-eyed and expectant looks of his gathering audiences as he told some tales of his own. Tales of wars and peace long gone, tales of heroes and villains. The greatest tales ever told.
He let his rest stretch on a bit; he hadn’t the strength he could have claimed in his younger years, and his journey had been long. He has left footprints in the streets of Noxus and Demacia both, has crossed the Shurima Desert, has scaled the peaks of the Freljord. He has, at one point or another, been a houseguest of every creature from Bandle City….and some say all the way to the Shadow Isles. His home was the winding road and the open sky, his family and friends were the characters in his tales. He needed nothing else. A long journey deserving of a long rest.
His faint smile faded suddenly. Surrounded by the peaks of the Ironspikes, a grand vista of all Valoren, -- of his entire life’s journey, -- lain out before him like a panorama, Virgil realized how very small he was. How insignificant. He began to worry that soon his own story would end, and with it, all the stories of the world. His time was growing short.
As though to illustrate this thought, Virgil was suddenly seized by a violent fit of coughing. He ignored the blood he spit out afterward as well as the agonizing ache in his chest. All stories ended sometime, no sense in reading ahead.
But was this a fitting end to the story? To die alone, and forgotten there amongst the peaks of the Ironspikes? For the first time, Virgil wondered about the worth of his own story. Would anyone care to tell it, once he was gone? Would he ever be counted amongst the great heroes of old? Would anyone bother to carry on his craft, preserve the art of story for the future?
For the first time, Virgil felt compelled to not only tell the story, but to live it. To scribe something of worth on the last blank pages of his life. To become immortalized like the legends so revered in his tales.
Virgil knew at once what he must do. With bones aching and bare feet bleeding, Virgil gathered himself and his stories and set out to where only the greatest of stories began; The League of Legends. The power of story and rhyme could not die in anonymity with the passing of this old man. He would soon prove whether or not his final chapter would be worth the telling.
“The pen truly is mightier than the sword, my friend…. Strike me down if you wish; my word shall outlive you.” ~ Virgil.
Virgil is an old man who spends his days roaming the world. He has long messy gray hair and a long gray beard. He wears heavy tattered robes to fight off the elements in his travels, and carries a gnarled walking stick. His shoes were worn out long ago from all the miles he treads, so he goes about barefoot with the soles of his feet wrapped in bandages.
Concept Art: (I do not own any of the following artworks. All rights are reserved by the original artists.)
521361 (Courtesy of Éidolon)
486494 486495 486496
Wayward Virgil – A darker, grungier take on Virgil. His bare feet could be wrapped in bloodied bandages, his cloak ragged and riddled with patches. His face would be dirty and his hair would be matted and in his face. His walking stick would be more gnarled and twisted than his original. Heavily hooded robes.
Freljord Virgil – Skyrim-esque, Virgil is wearing a leather chest plate, and a kilt-like garb of cloth and leather, trimmed with fur. He wears knee-high hide boots, trimmed in fur, and a long brown cloak. His physique will be a bit more burly to give him a tougher Norse bard look. His walking stick is a touch longer, with a tattered red cloth banner tied to the top. His beard will be shorter, but fuller and more wild.
Professor Virgil – Virgil’s hair is short and swept back, and he has a neatly trimmed mustache. He is wearing a tweed jacket, vest, and slacks with a bow-tie. He carries a pipe in his free hand, and his walking stick is a neatly-carved staff.
Thespian Virgil – Virgil is attired similar to a Shakespearean actor, with a pencil thin goatee and mustache. He wears a slashed doublet, wide reticella lace collar and cuffs, and breeches. He may wear a wide-brimmed hat with a feather in it. His walking stick may be capped with the infamous skull from Hamlet (ironically the skull of Yorick.)
Beatnik Virgil – Virgil is attired similar to 1950’s Beat Generation poets; a black beret, sweater and pants and round-rimmed ruby glasses. His hair is pulled back in a ponytail, and he has a neatly trimmed mustache and goatee. His walking stick could be changed to a mic stand. A scarf would of course be necessary.
These numbers have undergone rigorous revisal, but in the event that anything looks off please do not hesitate to point it out.
-Health: 345 (+65/level)
-HP/5: 4.5 (+.5/level)
-Memory: 300 (+45/level)
-Memory/5: 5 (+.75/level)
-Attack Damage: 35 (+2.5/level)
-Attack Speed: .638 (+3%/level)
-Armor: 8 (+2.7/level)
-Magic Resistance: 30
-Movement Speed: 330
Flat Stats at Level 18:
-Attack Damage: 77.5
-Attack Speed: .963
-Magic Resistance: 30
-Movement Speed: 330
*Virgil is not a mage; he thus has no ties to the arcane. He relies instead on the power of the stories that he has memorized over the years. Virgil therefore relies on “Memory” to cast his abilities, rather than mana. Memory is explained in further detail in the Additional Notes section.
**Scaling Ratios are new territory for me; I’m poor with formulas. My ideal setup would be to have the defensive abilities scale better than the offensive ones, so that even with a full AP build his shields and heals are more impactful than his damage output. Do the values I’ve come up with reflect that ideal? Feedback would be great.
Turn the Page - Virgil's storytelling power increases as he tells his tales, gaining additional 3% of his total Memory regen with each ability he casts for ten seconds after casting the ability. Effect stacks for each champion (ally or enemy) that is effected by the ability. Virgil does not receive this bonus if he is the only one affected.
Master Storyteller - Virgil demands the rapt attention of his listeners, empowering his next ability. (Empowerments are explained under their respective skills.)
-Costs 10/20/30/40/50 Memory.
-Cooldown refreshes upon Empowerment of next ability.
-Virgil receives 1 extra stack for Empowered abilities. Not multiplicative.
Perfect Audience - Empowered. Casting Q a second time, Virgil hushes (silences) all enemies in front of him in a cone.
-Magic Damage: 70/90/120/150/190 (+.3/Ability Power)
-Silence Duration: 0.5/.75/1/1.25/1.5 seconds.
-Cost: 65 Memory + cost of Master Storyteller.
-Cooldown: 25/22/19/16/15 seconds
-Cone Width: ~80 degrees.
-Virgil receives 1 stack to Turn the Page for each enemy champion he hits.
Lover’s Ballad – Virgil recounts a sad sonnet of star-struck lovers unable to be together. A targeted ally is moved by the lovers’ plight, being healed for an amount.
-Heal Amount: 50/120/180/250/330 (+.6/AP)
-Cost: 50/80/110/140/170 Memory
-Cooldown 15 seconds.
-Grants 1 stack to Turn the Page.
King’s Verse – Empowered. Virgil tells the story of great kings of old. Targeted ally is inspired and driven to conquer their opponents, receiving a shield that reduces incoming damage and grants lifesteal and spellvamp for the life of the shield.
-Shield Strength: 80/120/160/200/240 (+.7/AP)
-Lifesteal/Spellvamp bonus. 3/6/9/12/15%
-Cost: 80 Memory + cost of Master Storyteller.
-Cooldown 15 seconds.
-Virgil receives 2 stacks to Turn the Page for casting this ability; (1 stack Master Story teller + 1 stack King's Verse.) If he chooses to target himself, he receives only 1 stack.
Warrior of Old - Virgil tells a story of a great warrior in such vivid detail that it conjures up the image of the ancient hero from his tales. The summoned warrior charges headlong into battle, cleaving through enemies and blazing a path (linear.) Allies moving along the path gain bonus movement speed. Enemies the warrior passes through take magic damage.
-Bonus MS: 10/15/20/25/30%
-Magic Damage: 60/85/110/135/160 (+.4/AP)
-Cost: 40/50/60/70/80 Memory.
-Cooldown: 20/18/16/14/12 seconds.
-AoE Cast Range: 1100
-Trail Length: 700
-Grants vision of an area it passes through.
-Virgil receives 1 stack to Turn the Page for each enemy champion hit.
-The targeting indicator will function like Viktor's Death Ray, castable in any direction from any point within Virgil’s sight radius.
Knight’s Tale – Empowered. After a short delay, summons the image of a knight on horseback. The knight rushes forward, impaling the first enemy champion it touches with its lance and pushing them along the length of the trail. All enemies the warrior passes through take magic damage. Allies moving along the path gain bonus movement speed.
-Bonus MS: 10/15/20/25/30%
-Magic Damage: 100/135/170/210/240 (+.5/AP)
-Cost: 40/500/60/70/80 Memory + the cost of Master Storyteller.
-Cooldown: 20/18/16/14/12 seconds.
-AoE Cast Range: 1100
-Trail Length: 700
-Grants vision of an area it passes through.
-Virgil receives 1 stack to Turn the Page for each enemy champion hit.
-Shares a cooldown with the Unempowered version of Warrior of Old; e.g. a player cannot cast Warrior of Old and then immediately cast the Empowered version.
*Think of it like a crazy inverse blitz grab. It has the same end result and can be just as hard (if not harder) to pull off. This mechanic alone will give Virgil a solid learning curve.
R - Ultimate
Never-Ending Story: Passive - When he senses his end is nigh (below 35% HP) Virgil gains an additional 15 movement speed every 2 seconds, up to 75 movement speed. The effect then decays; Virgil loses 15 every 2 seconds, returning to his original movement speed. Virgil receives 35 tenacity throughout the duration of the effect. Cannot be triggered more than once in 120 seconds.
Active: Virgil tells his most compelling tale yet; the story of his life. All allies within hearing are Inspired and forget their own worries, gaining additional armor and magic resist for 6/8/10 seconds. Enemies within the AoE are Enraptured, being slowed and drawn to Virgil. If an allied champion dies while under the Never-Ending Story buff, Virgil dedicates an Ode in their memory; having his Memory bar replenished and receiving 1/2 of the armor and magic resist the fallen ally had received from the buff.
-Armor and MR granted: 30/50/70 (+.3/AP)
-Lure Duration: 1/1.5/2 seconds.
Buff Duration: 6/8/10 seconds.
-Cost: 100 Memory.
-Cooldown: 110/90/60 seconds.
-AoE – 900 units
*Virgil’s Ultimate cannot be Empowered. A Q-R combo will result in Virgil readying an Empowerment, casting his Ult like normal, and then applying the Empowerment to the next spell cast (Q/W/E).
Tooltips and Icons
The ability list outlined above contains a considerable amount of detail, and therefore a considerable amount of text. It was brought up that while all this detail is great on paper and provides clarity…. how does one fit it all into a tooltip without taking up half the screen? Like this!
Turn the Page - Virgil's gains an additional 3% of his total Memory regen with each ability cast for ten seconds after casting the ability. Effect stacks for each champion (ally or enemy) affected by the ability.
Master Storyteller - Virgil empowers his next ability.
Perfect Audience - Casting Q a second time, Virgil silences all enemies in front of him for 0.5/.75/1/1.25/1.5 seconds seconds, dealing 70/90/120/150/190 (+.3) magic damage. Affected enemies receive 15% of the damage they deal with auto-attacks as magic damage.
Lover’s Ballad - Targeted ally is healed for 50/120/180/250/330 (+.6/AP) HP.
Empowered: King’s Verse - Shields targeted ally, reducing 80/120/160/200/240 (+.7/AP) incoming damage, and granting 3/6/9/12/15% lifesteal and spellvamp for the life of the shield.
Warrior of Old - Summons a warrior that charges forward, dealing60/85/110/135/160 magic damage to enemy champions, and leaving a trail behind it, granting 10/15/20/25/30% bonus movespeed to allied champions moving along the trail.
Empowered: Knight’s Tale - The first enemy champion struck by the warrior is pushed along the length of the trail. All enemies the warrior passes through take 60/85/110/135/160 magic damage. Allies moving along the path gain 10/15/20/25/30% movement speed.
R - Ultimate
Never-Ending Story – Passive: Below 35% HP, Virgil receives 35 Tenacity and gains 15 movespeed every 2 seconds, up to 75 bonus movespeed. Effect lasts five seconds before returning to base movement.
Active: Allies in range gain 30/50/70 armor and magic resist for 6/8/10 seconds. Enemies caught in the initial cast are Enraptured, being drawn to Virgil for 1/1.5/2 second. If an allied champion under this buff dies Virgil's Memory is replenished and Virgil gains ½ of the fallen ally’s bonus Armor and Magic resist.
These tidbits would be more suited for tooltip descriptions, while all the necessary information is still there. Cooldowns and Memory costs of course are outlined in separate sections of the interface.
(DISCLAIMER: All spell icons used are existing League of Legends icons and are the property of Riot Games. I altered them using photo editing software, but they are not my original work. They have been included as conceptual examples only.)
A champion who has multiple abilities per key needs some way of differentiating betwixt one skill and another. As Virgil has a skill that essentially changes his other spells, I will outline how the mechanic behind selecting abilities will work visually.
When Virgil does not have Master Storyteller proc’d, his spell icons will look like this;
486516 - Turn the Page (Passive.)
486531- Master Storyteller.
486511 - Lover’s Ballad.
486519 – Warrior of Old.
486513 – Never-Ending Story.
When Master Storyteller is proc’d, the spell icons will switch to this;
486516 – Turn the Page (Passive.)
486515 – Perfect Audience.
486509 – King’s Verse.
486510 - Knight’s Tale.
486513 - Never-Ending Story.
By using separate icons to clearly show which ability set is available, Virgil will be more approachable for newer players and his abilities will be easier to identify in general.
A good voiceover actor that I think would fit Virgil well is Max Von Sydow (or someone similar.) He did the VO work for Esbern in Skyrim. Here's a link to a monologue of his from that game.
"We will be remembered for ages summoner. We have much to do."
"And so begins the final chapter...."
"Let us see how the story ends."
"One page at a time, please."
"I'm hanging on every word."
"This will make for a grand tale."
“As you wish.”
"A…. happy ending...."
"At last.... The End...."
"In my end.... is my beginning...."
“Once upon a…. now how does that go again?”
“Ah yes, once upon….. hmm….”
“Once…. *sigh* I really should write these down….”
"There once was a man from Nantucket!"
"Have a seat.... I shall tell the tale of your demise!"
"Your story, is over."
"Yours is a tale not worth remembering."
"Gather round, now...." (Master Storyteller)
"Listen!" (Perfect Audience)
"Hush!" (Perfect Audience)
"Whipper-snapper!" (Perfect Audience)
"Amore...." (Lover's Ballad)
"This is not how your story ends." (Lover's Ballad)
"Need a plot twist? *chuckles*" (Lover's Ballad)
"A long way to go, still." (King's Verse)
"Onward!" (King's Verse)
"Undaunted!" (King's Verse)
"Onward, to the End!" (Warrior of Old)
"Look! A pop-up book!" (Warrior of Old)
"Behold!" (Knight's Tale)
"How's this for imagery?!" (Knight's Tale)
*Each time Virgil uses his ult in the course of a game, he says the next line in the 'story.' If Virgil uses his ult enough times in a single game, the dialogue will cycle again from the beginning. This will help cement Virgil's identity as a storyteller, and give each use of his ult an interactive dynamic.
“In times of old were stories told of days of peace and of war,”
“But gather here and lend an ear to a tale not told before.”
"Our story begins with war's distant din and a land long torn in two,"
"Where champions rose to face their foes and see their land renewed."
"A mortal man would vie to stand amongst those heroes of fame,"
"And prove his worth, so that all the earth may one day remember his name."
"His strength long spent, yet onward he went, his will would not let him fail,"
"So he stares in Death's eyes, and telling no lies, vows he will live to tell this last tale."
"Never forgotten...." (When an Ulted ally dies.)
Champion Interactions; Just for fun:
"Kids these days...."
"Wha-? Speak up, girl, I don't hear so well!"
"Get away, you! I ain't dead yet!"
Particle Effects and Animations:
Idle Animation: If left idle for a period, Virgil will begin to nod off as he leans on his walking stick, his head slowly tilting down and his shoulders rise and fall in slow respiration. After a few seconds, Virgil jerks awake and mumbles to himself.
Walking Animation: Virgil hobbles with a distinct limp, leaning heavily on the walking stick in his right hand.
Dance: THIS. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s58iTzznkp0&feature=related)
Taunt: Virgil shakes his walking stick at enemies, or wags his finger at them.
Joke: Virgil spreads his arms wide, and then scratches his head in confusion.
Turn the Page: A sparkling yellow particle effect rains down over Virgil each time he gains a stack of Turn the Page.
Q: Virgil raises his hand above his head with a clenched fist. When getting ready to Empower his next spell, Virgil is surrounded by a faint white glow.
Empowered Q: Virgil sweeps his walking stick out in front of him, from left to right. A faint disruption of dust flies out in front of him.
W: Virgil raises his walking stick. The targeted ally is enveloped in a deep red burst that emits rising red and gold particles that float up like sparks.
Empowered W: The targeted ally is enveloped in a golden burst that solidifies into a translucent barrier around them, surrounded by whirling gold and silver particles.
E: Summons a heavily armored ghost-warrior armed with a claymore. The warrior rushes forward, swinging his weapon as hard as he can before dissipating into ethereal smoke. The warrior leaves a ghostly, fog-like trail in its wake that persists for a few seconds.
Empowered E: Summons a white knight on horseback, armed with a lance. The horse rears up at the start of the cast, then charges forward. The first enemy champion in contact is ‘impaled’ on the knight’s lance and pushed forward. This trail is a touch brighter and emits a vapor-like effect.
R: (Passive Proc) When Wanderlust is triggered, Virgil is briefly engulfed in a golden aura, and leaves a trail of dust in his wake until the effect wears off. His footprints along the path shine gold for a moment, and quickly fade.
Active: A warm golden glow bursts out of Virgil, giving all allies a golden sheen effect. Allies under the effect are surrounded by swarming golden particles. If an ally under the effect of this spell dies, the particles fly together to form a ghostly monument of the fallen ally’s champion model that hovers over the champion’s body a moment before dissipating.
Death: Virgil falls to his knees, clinging to his walking stick to remain upright. He looks skyward for a moment, reaches out a trembling hand, and then collapses forward.
Memory - Memory is Virgil's replacement for Mana. His Memory pool grows every time he levels up, but cannot be increased by Mana or Mana regen items. Virgil gains additional Memory regen for a short time after casting a spell, the Regen amount stacking for each ally/enemy affected by the spell.
Virgil is not a warrior or a wizard or a sentient automoton capable of replicating human emotion, -- he is just a man who harnesses the power of story. He has no ties to the supernatural. He is a champion for the common man. As such;
-Virgil will have a very low health pool, compensated for by very high mobility and utility.
-He is a melee auto-attacker, making awkward use of his walking stick to berate enemies when necessary; the low health pool combined with no real escape mechanic makes Virgil auto-attacking enemy champions foolish. He is an *old* mortal man, remember; he has no business trading blows with Warwick. It will also make it hard for him to push a lane too far; the carry should always decide when to do that.
-Virgil’s greatest strengths are his great mobility, the decisive use of CC, and his powerful heal, shield, and stat steroid.
-Virgil’s greatest weaknesses are low defense and low damage output.
-Virgil is a “true” support, not a support that can double as an AP caster (I’m looking at you, Karma.)
-Virgil can function not only as a classic lane support, but also as a disruptive roamer. This style of play focuses around utilizing Virgil’s mobility to carry out high-risk reconnaissance into enemy territory, warding thoroughly and moving from lane to lane to harass and assist in ganks. This play style will be discussed in more detail in the next section.
-Virgil’s favorite band is Cradle of Filth.
-Virgil’s secret passion in life, aside from storytelling and black metal, is making Riot lots of $$$ and bringing joy to the League of Legends player base.
Still with me? I am both pleased and impressed. This thread is no mild undertaking, so thank you for sticking around this long! Just remember; for the fifteen minutes it takes you to read this, it took me countless hours (days) to write, proof, and revise! =P Reading it through means a lot. <3
This post will serve as (I hope) a stepping stone to illustrate what Virgil will be like in-game. One of the biggest things I’ve learned on this journey is that it’s one thing to come up with an idea that would be “cool,” but coming up with a “cool” idea that is functional is another matter entirely.
“Does Virgil belong in League?” “What does he have to offer?” “How will he synergize with other champions?” “What would he build?” “Who are his hard-counters?” “Who does he hard-counter?” “Will he break the game?” “Will the game break him?” “Is a cloak and beard fashionable in modern-day Valoren?”
In this post I will try to answer all of the aforementioned questions through a simulation of Virgil in a normal game, from start to finish, including various situations and different builds and how they will affect his play.
Playing As Virgil:
-Mastering the positioning of E in relation to your current situation is key.
-Virgil is dependent on his mobility to stay alive. Consider picking up Cleanse or Quicksilver Sash against CC-heavy teams. Always stay in motion.
-Your E grants vision of an area it passes through. Use this to scout bush or maintain vision on an enemy in the jungle.
Playing Against Virgil:
-Knight's Tale is a devastating ability if Virgil uses it well, but remember that there is a brief channel in which you can guage which direction the Knight will charge in.
-Virgil extremely fragile but hard to catch. Be careful when persuing Virgil at low health; he may be baiting you into an ambush.
-Avoid standing in a group to deprive Virgil of passive stacks, crippling his Memory Regen.
Is Virgil a champion you would enjoy playing? Hard to say when all you have to go by is some brief descriptions of abilities and a bunch of kooky numbers.
Since I don’t possess the technical wizardry to hack into the PBE directly and just upload Virgil for your playing pleasure, (and it probably wouldn’t put me in Riot’s good graces if I did,) I guess we’ll have to settle for the next best thing. I will illustrate, to the best of my creative ability, what it would be like to play Virgil in a real game from start to finish, highlighting commonly occurring situations and how Virgil will perform in them. Think of it like a Champion Spotlight, sans Phreak.
During early lane phase Virgil should focus on the same primary responsibilities of most supports; ward preemptively, protect the carry, and harass the enemy. Take your first point in your E, -- as it will be your primary harass tool and will give your carry more mobility for farming and poke potential.
Take a point in your W next to aid your lane’s sustain capacity and outlast the opposition. Grab Q next for the clutch Empowerment, and use your silence to dissuade a lane opponent from getting too close. Max your abilities in this order; prioritizing your W for greater heals and shields, then your E for more potent harassment. Max your Q last, as this will keep the cost of empowered spells down at earlier levels, and the AoE silence will be most effective in late-game team fights anyway. Take a point in your ultimate whenever possible, of course.
E is Virgil’s ‘bread-and-butter’ ability. Once he has a point in all three skills, he has the ability to bully the enemy. Against a heavy-pushing lane comp (Sivir +Trist, as an example,) Virgil and his lane partner may find themselves backed up under their own turret. By empowering his E and casting it behind the enemy, he can effectively push an enemy into turret range. If in the opposite scenario (the opponent is hugging) Virgil can push enemies out into the open, allowing the carry to get a few quick shots in without being in danger of taking turret fire. Use your flexible targeting indicator to poke at enemies from awkward angles, cutoff escape or attack routes, and punish the enemy support for camping the bush. Use your heal as needed, but save your costly shield for more committed skirmishes or ganks.
As ganks become more common, focus less on harassment for the sake of harassment. Save your abilities for making clutch contributions to incoming ganks, whether they be from friend or foe.
Offensive Gank: Virgil has a strong initiation capacity with a well-placed Empowered E; use it to knock a select enemy out of position. Good players will angle this ability in such a way to give their jungler a speed boost as they come in from river while still knocking the enemy away from safety. Time the cast of your ult well; ideally, you want to have your carry, your jungler, and at least one enemy in range; if one of your ally’s is out of range but you have the opportunity to use your lure on an enemy, always go for an early cast to ensure the enemy can’t flee. If the enemy is already out of range, save your ult.
Hang on to your other abilities and wait for things to unfold. Your first priority should be to cast your silence on the enemy support, preventing them from buffing the enemy carry. Hang onto your shield and cast it on an ally to negate some damage in case a dive is required to pick up a kill, and use a timely heal to buy your tanking ally a little more time under the turret if needed. A good ult under the turret will incapacitate the enemy long enough for your teammates to clean up, and the defensive buffs will help them make it out from under turret fire alive.
Defensive gank situation: Clever warding will let you see an enemy gank coming a mile away. You always have the option of course to retreat and wait for the enemy jungler to go away, or utilize your E defensively; using the basic ability to hasten your retreat from danger, or the empowered version to knock the incoming jungler away.
If you and your lane partner are feeling confident, you can try to bait a gank in your favor. Let the enemy jungler initiate, and prioritize your silence to disable the use of CC effects. You have a lot of options at this point, just make sure you make the right choice for the situation! You can use your empowered E to knock the enemy jungler out of the picture for a moment, silence the enemy support, and put your carry in a more favorable 1v1 situation with the help of a shield. Alternatively, you can fain retreat and lure your enemy into a dive, casting your ult to keep them under turret fire while your carry goes to work. Make sure your allied jungler is nearby to lend aid in case things go awry.
In a team fight, Virgil should wait for an ally to initiate, flash in, and use his ult so that his allies soak up as much of the enemy team's initial riposte as possible and render the enemy helpless for a moment, quickly retreating to the back lines during the duration of the lure. He should hang back for the remainder of the team fight, empowering his Q to silence high-priority targets, healing low-health allies, and shielding allies who are taking a lot of focus. As the fight wears on, he can empower his E to knock select enemies out of the fight or use it as a chase/retreat tool, depending on how the tides have turned.
In the Jungle:
Virgil is an excellent jungler! *hides and waits for Phreak to appear*
^ I don’t suggest this.
Should a team fight break out in the jungle, Virgil should be careful not to direct focus to himself, healing and shielding as needed. His cone silence should work beautifully in close quarters, but he should use it prudently and time it to either silence as many enemies at once as possible or to interrupt enemy abilities at clutch moments. Being fragile as he is, the free-axis targeting style of Virgil’s E gives him the ability to take shelter from a team fight on the opposite side of a wall and cast his E along the path where the action is taking place, harassing enemies with a little damage and providing his allies with extra MS. I don’t recommend using the Empowered version of his E in these close-quarter circumstances, as it could potentially push low-health enemies to safety. His ult should be used with care, keeping in mind the position of your allies and enemies; teams can easily be pulled in different direction in the jungle and his ult does no good if you only catch a champ or two in the area of effect.
Those are the basics of his in-game contributions. Let me know if you have questions about anything I didn’t touch on.
How will Virgil interact against other Champions in the League? At the time of this writing, the 100th champion has just been released, so I won’t be covering the entire roster. =P Instead, I will focus on how he will fare in relation to other supports in the League. These are not based on 1v1 situations, but rather in terms of lane-phase matchups.
Alistar: Virgil’s high mobility makes him a good pick against Alistar; once he has boots dodging Headbutt should be a breeze. Virgil’s heal is stronger than Alistar’s, though more costly. Virgil’s innate Memory regen, however, should allow him to win the sustain war.
Blitzcrank: Again, high mobility means Virgil can dodge hooks all day, but low defense means that if he doesn’t, he’s a goner. The greatest difficulty here will come from having to get in range to heal/shield your carry in the event that they get grabbed, which could turn the focus to Virgil. Play cautiously.
Galio: Galio’s long-range nuke poses great danger to Virgil; Galio can essentially out-harass Virgil while doing more damage. Also, Galio’s E is a direct counter to Virgil’s, making Galio a formidable opponent.
Janna: An even matchup. Both supports will be dueling with skillshot harassment and both have shields, while Janna’s Q and Virgil’s E effectively cancel each other out. Janna’s lack of a sustaining heal may prove her undoing, but her ultimate can be used to counter Virgil’s. Janna’s ranged auto-attack trumps Virgil’s near-useless melee if utilized correctly.
Karma: Karma can out-damage Virgil easily, and should be faced with caution. Spirit Bond counters Virgil’s E, although Virgil has the better heal, and arguably the better shield. A definite threat, but not insurmountable.
Kayle: A timely E can counter Kayle’s Q, and Virgil’s shield can be used to soak up a lot of Kayle’s ranged attacks. Virgil definitely has the stronger heal, but Kayle’s ultimate is a definite tide-turner. Even so, Virgil should have the advantage in the long run.
Leona: Virgil’s worst nightmare. Leona’s up-close-and-personal style will likely keep Virgil and his ally under their turret. About all you can do then is try to land a cleverly Empowered E to knock your opponents into turret range and hope your jungler is on his way. A full Leona combo combined with the onslaught from an enemy carry and Virgil is done for.
Lulu: Beware Glitterlance! Virgil depends on his movement speed, and Lulu’s spammed slow is a real threat. Beyond that, Lulu doesn’t pose much of a problem. Keep harassing with your E and utilizing the speed buff to stay forever out of reach while you shield your carry as they go in to deal some heavy poke damage. Lulu’s Polymorph/Pix combo is easily negated by a shield beforehand and a heal after. Play smart, anticipate Lulu’s next move, and Virgil wins the lane.
Lux: A nasty snare, but your movement speed should keep you safe. Stand still and your dead. Lux’s skillshot-based shield is less reliable than Virgil’s and also less potent, and Lux also lacks a heal. The low cooldown on her ultimate should not be taken lightly, but Virgil should come out on top here.
Morgana: Again, dodge her snare and you negate a huge part of her kit. Black Shield is one of the best defensive tools in the game, putting Virgil’s shield to shame, but Morgana lacks a heal. Dodge those snares, walk around her AoE, and out-sustain your opponents; you can walk all over her if you’re smart.
Nidalee: Dodge spears if you value your life. If you can’t you will be watching a lot of the game with a monochrome screen. Virgil’s heal outclasses Nid’s, and he has a shield whereas she does not, but her capacity for damage is not to be taken lightly. Virgil will be forced to play defensively, but victory is not unattainable.
Nunu: That slow spells certain death if you can’t avoid it, but you can out-harass Nunu easily if you hang back. Your shield counters Bloodboil to a degree, and while Nunu can heal himself, he cannot heal his carry. Pop your ult to counter Nunu’s and proceed to walk all over the opposition with a smile on your face.
Orianna: One of the few champions that can out-harass Virgil, Orianna also has the greater capacity for damage, and a powerful shield. While she does not have a heal, Orianna will still prove a very, very tough matchup.
Sejuani: Problematic for the same reasons as Leona; very aggressive and very up-close and personal. Sejuani’s vast array of CC is Virgil’s greatest weakness. Your jungler will need to provide a lot of pressure for this to end favorably.
Sona: Another even matchup. Sona is the queen of support harassment, and with low cooldowns on a heal as well as a MS buff, this contest will come down to player skill rather than innate champion power.
Soraka: A heavy-duty heal and a no-cost silence make Soraka a tough opponent, and Starcall has a far shorter cooldown than Virgil’s harassment tool. Virgil has in his favor what is essentially a multi-target version of Soraka’s E in his Empowered Q, as well as a strong displacement tool. Catch her in your ultimate and burst her down before the lure ends to take Wish out of the picture and then use your E to chase down the carry.
Taric: Stuns make Virgil sad. Taric’s is no exception. Dance out of range of Shatter and shield your carry if they aren’t able to do the same. Virgil’s heal is far stronger than Taric’s at later levels, and the two Ultimate’s counteract each other. Keep away from that stun and help your ally poke them down. Taric’s innate tankiness makes this no small feat though.
Zilean: Zilean’s damage potential is oftentimes underestimated. Use your shield/heal to counter Zilean’s bombs as well as you are able. The best tactic here is to use your empowered E to knock the enemy carry away from Zilean and do as much damage as possible before Zilean uses Time Warp to get them out of range. Use the lure on your ultimate to try and prevent Zilean from having time to use his own.
First, I will outline a “full build” for Virgil, based on what he will be in want of in terms of his stats and scaling and synergy with his abilities. I will offer rationalization for each item for clarity, throughout which I will detail Virgil’s ideal build order in a standard game. There are a few different ways that Virgil can be built, depending on the desired playstyle;
Kage’s Lucky Pick: As a support, Virgil will be dependent on Gp10 items to supplement his income, so he should start with an Amplifying Tome. He will want to start with this item over Philo Stone because it offers ability power to boost his heal (making up for no HP regen) and his Memory regen is unaffected by Mana regen. It is also almost 50 gold cheaper than Philo. (That’s almost a Sight Ward, people!) Late game, Kage’s should be built into Deathfire Grasp, which offers additional AP and an active to make up for his real lack of offensive options. Additional cooldown reduction is the marquee stat on this item, however.
Mercury’s Treads: Virgil is highly dependent on his mobility for survival and harassment purposes. The additional MR will bolster his low defensive stats, and the Tenacity will come in especially handy after the use of his ult. Virgil should build boots as soon as possible after picking up Kage’s.
Locket of the Iron Solari: Builds from Heart of Gold, which will be the second Gp5 he should go for after boots. More defensive stats make this item a must-have, and the active synergizes beautifully with his ultimate. Don’t immediately upgrade your HoG.
Zeke’s Herald: Grants health and additional CDR, which every support loves. The passive would synergize well with his W. Get this item once you’ve built boots and your two Gp10’s. Locket should be built after. Exchangeable for Aegis of the Legion if the tank doesn’t intend to buy one.
Zhonya's Hourglass: Huge ability power boost so that he can heal TONS OF… healing? Nice armor, and timely use of the active in conjunction with his ult can guarantee victory in a teamfight if the enemy gets overzealous after the lure. Probably going to be the last item you pick up.
Rylai's Crystal Scepter: A situational item. Ideally, you will want to leave this slot open to purchase wards throughout the game, but if the tank/jungler is willing to take care of warding this item can be helpful. Huge health bonus to keep him alive during teamfights, plus additional ability power. The passive would supplement his E well.
Virgil’s abilities all scale with AP. If you want to get the most out of your heals and offensive abilities, use the following build. This is a risky build, as you sacrifice a lot of defensive stats in the name of more power. Designed for players who like to support with their abilities rather than with aura items.
Kage’s Lucky Pick: Just like in the general build, start with an Amplifying Tome and build into Kage’s Lucky Pick. Again, build this into Deathfire Grasp during mid/lategame. The ability power you will gain from the rest of your build will turn this active into a major nuke. Deathfire should be your second-to-last item.
Heart of Gold: You will need a second Gp10 in your inventory to save up for the high-end AP items you will get later more affordable, and to supplement your stock of wards. Unlike the original build, this item will not be built into anything, but should be used primarily for the Gp10 effect and a little health. Sell it when the time is right to further your build.
Ionian Boots of Lucidity: More CDR means more heals and harassment. You can never have enough.
Zhonya's Hourglass: For this build, you want to go for Zhonya’s earlier than you normally would. Without additional defensive stats, the Armor and Active on this item are must-haves if you are going to contribute anything to teamfights and live. The huge ability power boost will be a major asset to the Active on Deathfire.
Abyssal Scepter: Take defensive stats where you can; this item comes with a nice MR boost. Additional ability power combined with the passive will make offensive spells hit harder. Haunting Guise and Moonflair Spellblade are good (and cheaper) alternatives to this to pick up some defensive perks while still giving your abilities a supplemental boost.
Rylai's Crystal Scepter: More ability power coupled with a sizable health boost. The passive will synergize well with his E, giving his allies even more chasing power. Once you have reached this stage of the build, Virgil’s healing potential will be massive, and his offensive abilities will become a force to be reckoned with. Exchange your Heart of Gold for this item.
6th Slot: If the game has managed to go on this long, Virgil doesn’t really need any more AP. Ideally, leave this slot open for wards. But if you absolutely must invest in a 6th item, make it a defensive one such as Aegis of the Legion or Locket of the Iron Solari. Rylai’s Crystal Scepter is also a solid, (though admittedly more expensive) choice if you still want more AP with a little health on the side.
Virgil’s stats do not make him a suitable replacement for a Rammus or Singed by any means; he is not meant to take the brunt of an assault. But this does not mean that you can’t use a survivability-centric build to safely draw some fire away from your allies while taking minimal damage yourself. Taking an enemy Caitlyn’s ultimate to the face to protect the carry is an ugly but necessary role the support must readily take up if the tank is not present to do so.
Heart of Gold: Since this build is defense-focused, start with a Ruby Crystal and build up into Heart of Gold, rather than shooting for Kage’s Lucky Pick first. Build into Randuin’s Omen when the time is right.
Mercury’s Treads: Magic Resist and Tenacity are a must. Forego this in favor of Ninja Tabi against an AD-heavy team and pick up Moonflair Spellblade for your Tenacity if things like Ashe’s Slow or Frozen Mallets on the enemy team become a problem midgame.
Spirit Visage: This item is the crux of this build. The passive will augment both your self-healing, as well as your passive Memory restoration for more spell-spamming, the combination of the two making you more difficult to bring down if focused. Relatively cheap, you should pick up this item early.
Kage’s Lucky Pick: Staying alive is useless if your abilities have no power at all. Look to this item for an additional Gp10 item and a little AP boost to make your abilities more impactful. You may sell it back later in favor of more defense if needed, or go to your Deathfire Grasp for more Ability Power.
Zhonya's Hourglass: An ideal item on any Virgil build. Armor and a clutch active keep you alive while still giving your abilities a hefty boost.
Guardian Angel: In addition to providing nice armor and magic resist, this item will make your enemies sorry they used all their abilities focusing you during a teamfight. Avenge squishy supports everywhere with a resurrect/heal combo and drop some CC on the enemy team to swing a teamfight in your favor.
6th Item: Depends on what is needed at this stage in the game. Abyssal Scepter, Void Staff, Rylai’s Crystal Scepter, Aegis, Thornmail, and Force of Nature are all viable depending on your opposition.
A fun (if not always viable) support build. Abstract and whimsical, this build favors support players who play with an emphasis to roaming, warding, and assisting in ganks. You lose some offensive and defensive stats through this build…. but the enemy has to catch you for that to matter. You won’t be as helpful in teamfights directly, but rapid and thorough warding of the entire map will ensure your team is always a step ahead of the enemy, and your empowered “E” is a deceptively powerful ganking tool when used in tandem with your allied jungler. This build calls for a lot of perks in the Utility and Defensive Tree to make up for lost gold and experience you will miss out on.
Boots of Mobility: Start the game with Boots of Speed, a Ward, and Health Potions. Ward your lane preemptively and make use of your potions so that you can use your Memory to heal your carry. Upgraded into the cost-friendly Boots of Mobility give you the maximum reduction of down-time between lanes, and makes you that much harder to catch.
Philosopher’s Stone: While Virgil gains nothing from the Mana regeneration on this item, Shurelya’s Reverie is going to be key. Pick up Philo Stone as your first Gp10 item, with a little health regen as an added bonus. Upgrade to Shurelya’s Reverie later for that clutch Active Effect and great health regen.
Avarice Blade: This where you really throw the enemy off. Utilize Avarice Blade as a secondary Gp10 and hang onto it until late game. Yes, that’s right, you are going to build Youmuu's Ghostblade on a support.
Moonflair Spellblade: Your gold income will be hard to manage, both because of the lack of lane time you will be getting and because of the frivolous purchase of wards. Because of this, look for inexpensive items to give your stats a boost while not cutting into your ward budget too deeply. Moonflair Spellblade grants good Ability Power for its price, as well as Tenacity to get out of those ganks gone awry or the occasional meeting with the enemy jungler.
Force of Nature: Your first “big” purchase. The huge Magic Resist bonus is nice, but you want this item for the passives. More movement speed to keep you forever out of enemy hands and additional regen to keep you at max health as you travel from here to there after a skirmish.
Youmuu's Ghostblade: Why, in Soraka’s name, would you build Youmuu's Ghostblade on a support? With the additional cooldown reduction from this item, your full build (with the right masteries) will put you exactly at max CDR, giving you the capacity to spam a hefty array of spells to ensure a gank goes in your team’s favor. And take note of the Active Effect; 20% Movement Speed and 50% Attack Speed for 4 seconds. Chain that with Shurelya’s Active, Force of Nature’s Passive, Boots of Mobility, and a proc of your own Passive and you will be impossible to catch. Throw in Armor Pen, Attack Damage, and Critical chance, and you just turned yourself into an extremely frustrating, if not particularly effective, backdoor presence. Team fight in mid? Sneak out and assist a large minion wave in pushing to a tower. Will you bring down that inhibitor turret in record time? No. But the enemy team can only ignore you for so long. Serve as a distraction to draw enemies out of teamfights and allow your team to pick off enemies one at a time, and then utilize all your great utility to make an escape before you go off to harass another lane. Make sure to ward your escape routes well! =P Upgrade this item last, as you will need the Gp10 from Avarice Blade in order to keep your stock of wards up.
6th Slot: Wards win games! You have by this point committed to the role of a pure warder. Giving this slot up to anything other than wards defeats the purpose of your entire build, (although you could technically run around at incredible speed and spam laugh, if that’s your cup of tea.) Remember that while this last slot will be reserved for Sight Wards, you can still right-click Oracle’s Elixir in the item shop to consume it, even if you don’t have an open slot. Utilize this trick to sweep for enemy wards and dominate map vision. The same goes for other Elixirs, as well, as you will want to boost your poor stats if you have any gold left over.
A brief overview of rune setups for each of the playstyles discussed in the “Suggested Items” section.
-Greater Mark of Resilience. (+.91 Armor.)
-Greater Seal of Avarice (+0.25 gold / 10 sec.)
-Greater Glyph of Shielding (+0.15 magic resist per level)
-Greater Quintessence of Avarice (+1 gold / 10 sec)
Summary: A standard Gp/10 Support setup. Swap the Seals for more defense if needed, or the Glyphs for AP per level for more offense.
-Greater Mark of Insight (+0.95 magic penetration)
-Greater Seal of Resilience (+1.41 armor)
-Greater Glyph of Force (+0.17 ability power per level )
-Greater Quintessence of Avarice (+1 gold / 10 sec)
Summary: Sacrifice your defensive stats and additional Gp10 to get more late-game power for your abilities. For an all-or-nothing setup, exchange the armor seals for flat Ability Power for added early game power.
-Greater Mark of Resilience. (+.91 Armor.)
-Greater Seal of Resilience (+1.41 armor)
-Greater Glyph of Shielding (+0.15 magic resist per level)
-Greater Quintessence of Avarice (+1 gold / 10 sec)
Summary: You give up offensive power as well as some gold income in order to help bolster Virgil’s low defensive stats. Substitute for Magic Penetration marks for more presence in team fights if you don’t mind giving up some of your defense.
-Greater Mark of Resilience (+0.91 armor)
-Greater Seal of Avarice (+0.25 gold / 10 sec.)
-Greater Glyph of Celerity (-0.05% cooldowns per level)
-Greater Quintessence of Swiftness (+1.5% movement speed)
Summary: Cooldown reduction to help you spam your E in your travels to facilitate escape and reduce downtime between lanes, same reason you will want the Movespeed Quints. Gp10 Seals to bolster your income, and a little armor to help you survive the chance encounter with the enemy jungler.
How I would setup my Masteries for Virgil. To each their own, of course.
Summary: Take your basic armor, MR, and HP perks in Defense and then flesh out the Utility Tree, taking key points in gold income, movement, and CDR.
Glass Cannon: 21-0-9
Summary: Go straight down the AP branch of the Offense Tree, maxing everything. In the Utility Tree, grab Time/Death reduction (you may spend a lot of time dead), and a little extra movement to hopefully keep you from…. well, being dead.
Tanky Support: 0-21-9
Summary: Fill in the Defense Tree with Armor, MR, and HP perks, also taking points in gold gain, CDR, and movement. Same Utility setup as the Glass Cannon page.
Summary: Get the Summoner Spell perk in offense (for Ghost) and two points in minion damage to supplement your kooky backdooring shenanigans. A few points in the defense tree to keep you alive, with the rest being spent in Utility. Movement, gold gain, and experience gain are key, and even the ward perk comes in handy for this setup (for once.)
A Storyteller’s Story - the Making of Virgil
Well, that’s it. Three months of ongoing work, over ten-thousand words, hours upon hours of research, lost sleep, quite a few heavy-handed drinks and one unprecedentedly detailed champion concept that will likely never see the light of day. In a year’s time I will look back at this and probably go find a tall building to jump off of. (Joking!) But it’s done, I had fun in the process, and furthermore have a newfound appreciation for what Riot does every single day. These men and women work incredibly hard to put out the quality product they do; I’ve barely scratched the surface of the amount of effort they put forth and I’m exhausted. Thank you so much for reading! Remember that an upvote without a bump is a sin!
Ask me stuff! Any questions about where inspiration came from, the design process, me personally (I’m FASCINATING), or just anything that didn’t get included in the rest of the post that you’re curious about. I’ll post both the question and the answer here, as well as respond to your post directly. Hopefully this way, I won’t have to answer the same question repeatedly and future readers won’t have to go hunting to see if someone else asked it already. Your question may even bring some major flaws or improvements to my attention! I’ll get it started;
Just a draft for now. Let me know how it sounds.
A bearded bag of bones, unshod feet worn and bleeding, and coughing so fiercely one may wonder if he was not in fact trying to cough up the kiss of Death itself from his craw. It was initially thought that the old man had stumbled in to the Institute to seek medical attention with his last dying breath, but that was not his intent.
To turn him away would surely only result in the poor man dying outside rather than inside. It was decided to grant him what may very well be his final wish, as ludicrous as it may be.
He now stands in the Great Hall, leaning heavily on a walking stick as gnarled as he is, waiting for the doors to open. No one would have been surprised if he collapsed in the few short steps it would take to reach them. He looks wearily up at the words scribed above the massive double doors.
“The truest opponent lies within.”
Oddly enough, his chosen reaction is to smirk subtly. “This….” He murmurs to himself, “This, is where the story begins.” There is a strange note of youthful excitement in his hoarse whisper.
The doors open, and he takes his first limping steps toward them. With each step the determination on his face escalates, and he stubbornly relies less and less on the aid of his staff to remain upright. He pauses at the threshold, staring into that blackness as though he sees something within.
“…. The story begins.” He whispers.
With his staff hanging forgotten in his right hand, Virgil steps inside.
Virgil is fazed neither by the darkness nor the tangible magic that surrounds him; he has been exposed to plenty of both over the years.
But the darkness soothes him, beckons him. He is aware of every ache, and is so very, very weary. The darkness makes him want to rest a moment; to sleep, and never awake. The darkness stretches on, weaving a silent siren song of peaceful slumber, but he refuses to blink.
There is a rush of color, a roar of sound, a blurred sensation of movement, flittering for only a moment before settling again into impenetrable blackness.
The Summmoner cries out, stumbling backwards, being saved from falling only barely by his associates. His face has gone pale, and his respiration and heartbeat race as though he has just run a great distance.
“I… I can’t.” The Summoner gasped, rubbing at his eyes, as though blinded. “I can’t!”
Senior Summoner Montrose quickly approaches, more concerned for the nature of this abnormality than the welfare of the boy. The young Summoner had shown skill and diligence in his short time at the Institute; he was not one to be the source of pranks or melodrama. Whatever had happened was not to be taken lightly.
“What do you mean ‘you can’t’?” Summoner Carin demands, struggling to keep the groaning boy upright.
“Too…. much….” The boy whispers deliriously, tears streaming down his cheeks. “There is…. too much….”
The Summoners exchanged unnerved glances. What blight had affected this young man so extensively that he could not even keep his feet?
“I will Judge him.” Montrose intoned quietly. “…. Stand ready.”
Taking a deep breath, Montrose readied himself to enter Virgil’s mind. He expected to meet resistance; some mental barricade that had ejected the apprentice from the ritual, but he encountered none. If anything, he was accepted far more readily than he would have liked.
Montrose gasped, the walls of the Institute being washed away in a cyclonic blur. He was assaulted by poignant visions, all of them whizzing by so fast he could make no sense of them. His attempt to tap Virgil’s memories had loosed a deluge that threatened to end him. He was not looking into the memories of a single man…. the life of the world itself was being channeled into his consciousness.
Montrose felt the hands of his fellow Summoners reach out to steady him, but he grudgingly refused the aid, immersing himself deeper, opening fully the link between minds, determinedly letting the memories consume him even while he felt his head was set to explode. He lived a thousand years in a matter of seconds, felt every emotion all at once, every sense stimulated to the point of madness.
And then it was over, and darkness resumed.
After the curious flit of color and sound, Virgil waited patiently in the empty vacuum. He was by no means an expert on the ways of magic and did not bother to wonder over its curiosities. If there was one thing he had learned from old age, it was patience.
Virgil squinted in the pitchy gloom, unsure if his failing sight was fooling him or not. After a few moments though, he was sure; someone approached.
It was an old man, clad in ragged robes, not unlike himself. He emerged from the shadow with a grim purpose on his face. And then, over his shoulder, came another man, walking slowly out of the darkness and into a light that was not readily apparent. By what light Virgil was allowed to see these figures, Virgil could not say; he was still immersed in darkness. The mysterious strangers floated effortlessly out in an infinite nothing, just as he did.
More came, men and women alike. A dozen of them, a score, a growing regiment of somber faces worn with dirt and time. Their eyes bespoke wisdom, masked beneath a deep sorrow. Virgil turned about in the void. He was surrounded by people, an endless circle stretching back as far as he could see. Thousands upon thousands of weary faces silently staring at him, waiting…. watching….
“So it is left to you.” Spoke the First, making him jump. “You, the last of us. The last Storyteller.”
Virgil nodded humbly, suddenly nervous.
“And how does The Story end, Virgil?” The First said. “As it is indeed to end with you.”
“I…. I don’t know.” Virgil stammered. He felt so helpless now in the darkness, so futile. All these faces watching him, expecting…. What? What did they want of him?
The First nodded pensively. “I see. A Storyteller always knows how the Story ends…. How is it that you do not?”
“Because….” Virgil frantically sought a way to put into words the answer he knew in his heart. “The Story isn’t over yet. I have no ending to tell.”
The First peaked an intrigued eyebrow. “You are the Last, Virgil. It is your duty. A tale with no end is not worth telling. Are you so selfish that you would sully a tale that has been told since the First Word?”
Virgil battled back his emotions. What would mankind do without the magic of story in the world? Without the inspiration to dream, to believe in a fantasy, to escape their troubles into a realm of wonder? How could he condemn the world to a future so bleak? His death could not be what doomed the world to its fate.
“There is no ending.” Virgil said firmly. “It is not my destiny to end The Story, it is my destiny to ensure that it is continued! It cannot die with me. I won’t let it.”
The First looked surprised. “A Story with no end? And just how exactly do you plan to tell it? You know as well as I that you are not long for this world. A Story cannot be without a Storyteller, no matter how great.”
“The world.” Virgil whispered fervently. “I will leave the Story in the hands of the world. And it will never be forgotten.”
The First smiled quietly, an expression replicated by the thousands of other Storytellers long past. When he spoke, his voice and softened and deepened in timbre. “And a grand tale it will be. Why do you wish to join the League, Virgil?”
Virgil felt tears well in his eyes. “To tell the story…. And have it remembered.”
“How does it feel, exposing your mind?”
Virgil smiled happily. “My story is for one and all to share in. I give it freely.”
“Welcome to the League”
Montrose knelt shuddering on the floor, overwhelmed. He felt that he had done the Judgments of ten-thousand men in an instant. How he had kept his composure for the duration hinted at a strength within himself that he had never known. The same was true, it seemed, of the League’s newest Champion.
“What happened?” Summoner Carin asked worriedly, helping him to his feet.
“A Judgment.” Montrose snapped, too exhausted to bother with a full explanation just yet. “I admitted him.”
His colleagues were baffled. “An old man? How will he fight?”
Montrose smirked wearily, letting himself collapse into the nearest seat. “He won’t have to.”
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