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One thing about Morde's new lore that I don't like is the fact that he's no longer situated in Noxus, or appeared from Noxus. He's supposed to be from the Shadow Isles, that was never doubted I think, but what I think people are misunderstanding the most is why it's such a big deal with Morde not arising from Noxus.
East of the Institute is Noxus, Mordekaiser originally arose from there.
West of the Institute is Demacia, Hecarim rose from there.
The Institute is situated at the center of Valoran.
I would prefer mention of Mordekaiser coming from the East because then it goes into the idea of where the other Horsemen come from, and where they converge onto. Rather than Horsemen though, I would call them Heralds of the Apocalypse since they're not all horse themed (Hec you're an exception.)
So let's see what's North and South of the League. Far North are the Freljords, while South is the Shurima desert. A frozen Death can approach from the North, while Famine can arise from a desert for obvious symbolism reasons.
How then would this affect the way the game is played, and not just the lore? Why a frozen death, and why not something else?
Because of how strongly influenced the Freljords (and Lokfar) is by Norse, which in turn helped influence Germanic literature in the later centuries, a very simple but effective idea came to mind: Fenrir, the wolf of Ragnarok that devours Odin. From the Freljords we could have a monstrous, frozen, partially decayed or completely skeletal wolf rampage to the League. A monster champion, give him frost based abilities, and have him be able to interchange positions with Hecarim (Top lane/ Jungle).
Hecarim stated that he's from the Shadow Isles. You can have this Fenrir-like creature awakened because of the magical fragility happening in Runeterra, or be awakened by a big bloodied battle between Sejuani and Queen Ashe, or hell, maybe have the Wolf be the cause of the Gelid Vortex that afflicts the northern regions of the Freljord. The wolf's reason for rampaging towards the League? "The Shadow Isles call once more..."
In case we need a brushing up on the Gelid Vortex:
The Freljord is home to many vicious ice storms, but none compare to the Gelid Vortex - a swirling, icy maelstrom which circles the northern hemisphere. Ashe was leading a squadron of elite archers, her closest companions, when they found themselves caught in this wintery nightmare at the end of a week-long standoff with a warring tribe. When she came to, Ashe was surrounded by the tattered corpses of friends and enemies alike. Only divine providence had spared her from the whirling shards of ice, and her hair had turned the color of the arctic tundra. Ashe never again wore the traditional Freljord White Garments of Victory.
She can make a comment on the appearance of the wolf, "I thought I would only see the storm once. I thought the reason was luck, or perhaps fate, for surviving back then. Now I know it was luck."
Ambiguous, threatening, and a pure monster champion with semblances of sentience, Gelid, the Ice Wolf has been born. A very strong (according to Lore) champion that joins the League because she/he (or it) was called upon by the Shadow Isles for ominous reasons. Frozen Death incarnate. Maybe have him a stark black and white contrast to show how much the cold saps away from life. (Maybe the slightest hint of color, like blue for frostiness or grey reminiscent of the fur it once had)
What then would the idea of Famine do? I could imagine Famine be a more support oriented character. Using slows, lowering the enemy's resistances, using DoT's and his ultimate could be Starvation, "Select an enemy champion and an allied champion. Enemy champion loses X resistances, mana, attack, ap and whatever else while your allied champion gains X amount of those things for 2-3 seconds." (This is purely hypothetical and is in no way a good idea for an ultimate and would need to be analyzed ridiculously so)
But why would I suggest for him to do a trade off between an enemy champ and a fellow champ, why lower their stats and raise your own? Famine is typically seen carrying scales. That is how you identify him the quickest and easiest out of the horsemen, the scales that he carries with him at all times. Scales is a sense of balance, how much food per gold you earn, how much time in this world you have left, who needs it more than you, and so forth. Or to quote Revelations:
Its rider was holding a pair of scales in his hand. Then I heard what sounded like a voice among the four living creatures, saying, "A quart of wheat for a day's wages, and three quarts of barley for a day's wages, and do not damage the oil and the wine!"
The scales were used as a way to weigh food during a famine, how much to doll out, the price of food, how much that each person was allowed to have and so forth. Have him come from the Shurima Deserts, a place that has been starved of both magic and resources. In terms of appearance?
Shurima was once a great and mighty civilization. The denizens of the kingdom skillfully crafted enormous sandstone walls and statues that rose from the floor to the ceiling. The regal figures clasped scepters to their chests, and their eyes, plated in gold, would gaze eternally down upon those below them. The kingdom's most renowned structure was the Temple of the Falcon, where all the mages of Shurima practiced their craft.
What if he was Xerath's teacher, raised by the darkness of the Shadow Isles to serve as Famine, and in turn fulfill his own desires in regards to sealing Xerath's power once more?
A mummified, withered falcon headed guy with disgusting plumage that became part of his body when he was raised, maybe the falcon head is his death mask rather than his actual face, or something thin and sickly and there we go: A thin, sickly creature with a self deemed interesting way to support champions. And with that sort of appearance, hopefully make him separate from Nasus and Renekton. (Unless we want the trio of beefcake anthropomorphic creatures)
So that's my take on the Horsemen of the Apocalypse as a balanced team. Yeap. Nothing missing...except an adc for them. Who could be their adc?
Mordekaiser's old lore hinted at the fact that he wasn't the leader, that he could just be the general of his undead army. Who then, is the leader of the Shadow Isles? That, I have no idea.
The King is not the most powerful piece, but it is the required piece for the game of chess to be had at all. The job of every chess piece is to protect the king, their lives matter not. So long as the King lives, even without the Queen, victory is possible. Which player needs to be protected the most? If any of you say the tank I will smack you.
This in turn leads into another layer of the new map's quote, "Mordekaiser cannot be trusted, Hecarim!"
What then is to be done with Evelynn? Or Elise? I'm not sure as of yet. What do you guys think? What do you think about these ideas?
And what about names for these so called horsemen? Heralds of things to come? Banes due to them being perversions of natural forces?
Instead of all the negativity that's been here for the past while, let's try having some fun.
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Aaaah this was such a fun conversation. I think it'd be really cool to delve into what Gelid was before he became one of the Banes: was he an actual wolf? The aspect of "natural" death incarnate before the Shadow Isles found and twisted him? How old is he? Is he the oldest Bane? Just imagine what could be going through the Freljordans' heads when they realize this horrific force of nature was actually sentient. So many things you could do with this. Same with Famine, really.
This has had me wanting to draw up a picture of him since we started talking about it. Famine sounds like he would be fun to draw, too.