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Well, I've seen people asking about the origins of certain items in the game countless times. Some of those have a definite story, which was mentioned, and others are just described as "Rune War relics". So, I decided to get a little creative, and write a little story about each items. I'll update it as I have more time, so... here goes. Starting from the smallest items, onwards to the big ones.
Changelog: 10/09/2011 – Realized I had this thread lying around unchecked. 10/10/2011 – Performed a global re-read, grammar and spell check over every item in the list. Lots of corrections, fixes, rewrites. Alphabetizing the list. Should involve less facepalms over my English as you read Doran’s items now match the JoJ lore. The Lightbringer, Ionic Spark, Hextech Gunblade, Spirit Visage, Soul Shroud added. 11/10/2011 - Rewrites on a few items, credit to Madchen for criticism. 17/10/2011 - Executioner's Calling, Mercury Threads changed in regard to JoJ lore. Will of the Ancients, Cloak and Dagger added. 20/10/2011 - Frozen Mallet, Hextech Sweeper, Force of Nature, Sanguine Blade were added. Beginning work on Legendary items (Tier 3). 21/10/2011 - Legendary Items started on Page 5, with Aegis of the Legion. 23/10/2011 - Tear of the Goddess added. Trinity Force added - credits to Fulgrim. Also, explaining tiers on the same page. 24/10/2011 - Stark's Fervor added. This one's the longest at this point. 27/10/2011 - Happy Birthday, Riot!! Also, added Manamune and bumped the thread. 31/10/2011 - Happy Harrowing, and happy Frozen Heart. 05/11/2011 - Banshee's Veil, coupled with a scheduled bump. 21/12/2012 - With RPs and business, I forgot the thread :< Nevertheless, Prospector's Items and The Bloodthirster.
The elixirs, along with sight wards, are special products of the League. They are substances/items specially designed and approved for use on the Field of Justice, and literally as we speak, dozens of these are being produced inside the Institute of War, with the aid of the staff, and some alchemy-savvy Summoners. It is noted that a Champion cannot carry more than a set amount of those, and there were some places, where consumables have become quite the dispute - of course, those have involved Singed and Dr. Mundo. However, after a while of negotiations, it was determined that only they can use their very specific brews, and thus, they were allowed on the rights of a Champion's weapon.
=====TIER ONE ITEMS=====
An amplifying tome is one of the magic items, massively spread throughout the arcane artists of Runeterra: the main part of the tome is the cover, made of animal leather and enhanced with metal. After the production of the cover, it is enchanted with a few prismatic spells; when those are set in place, the stack of pages is inserted, and the book is ready for use. One who wants to empower his spell, should write the spell's basic figures and formulas down the page, and cast the spell while the book is open. However, the Champion Empowering system of the League takes barely the prismatic spells as the effect - because the Champions don't have the time for writing things down, or... some physically are unable to.
B. F. Sword:
The Broad Frontier Sword is a pretty exotic weapon - being an extremely wide, long, and heavy two-hand sword, it's only use is for defensive positions. The wielders of those were chosen from the most stalwart soliders (and, most strong, of course), who received the special rank of a Demacian Frontier Guardian - every borderline Demacian fortification had at least three to five of those brave men, protecting the fortification entrances. Naturally, few wanted to enter those within the first ranks...
A medium-sized rod infused with magic energies, with its head shaped in the form of a small 6-ray mace. As the hexagonal forms were always the basis of spell stability, a Blasting Wand can provide both empowerment and control for the wielder's spells. This item is often seen used by the Demacian military - for example, Lux's wand is a very heavily modified combination of two such wands.
Boots of Speed:
This here, is the production of a finest class - a pair of leather halfboots, very comfortable and stretching to fit the larger foot size. An irreplaceable thing for those who wear foot armor - without wearing these under your metal greaves, one would have to take them off every ten minutes to give rest to his feet.
These freaky-looking gloves sport long metal spikes sticking out of random places, and may invoke a bit of fear in one who encounters an adversary wearing them. These serve the very obvious purpose of inducing fear into your enemies, and are but a part of the equipment some barbarian tribes residing in the Kaladoun have worn. The tribes are non-existent now; but these gloves still reek with the rage and fury of a fist fighting barbarian. However, the quality of barbarian metals wasn't quite top-notch; the gloves weren't designed as weapons. But if one is lucky enough to hit a vital spot directly with one of the spikes - pity goes to the person on the receiving end.
Thousands!... or, hundreds!!.. or, certainly, at least a few dozen!!! finely forged steel plates, chained together with supplementary metal constructions into a scaled jacket, offering good protection from physical attacks. This type of armor currently leads in the popularity, specifically because it is best designed for magic warfare. It's advantages are countless: it provides more freedom of movement than plate mail, and each scale can be enchanted separately, making it a better base for improvement. And it's cheaper in mass production as well, making it perfectly fit for the average trooper.
Cloak of Agility:
The Agility Cloak is a very powerful item, specially designed for assassins and other fighters who make their bet on speed. It is enchanted with strong energetic spells, and a hidden switching rune, allowing the user to switch the energizing enchantment on and off to prevent side-effects such as an excessive use of the organism's resources. Cloaks like these are a rarity, however - not many people wear one of these, because such items are mostly connected with the underground world. Wearing one suggests that you are either a professional mercenary... or a professional thief.
Not actually "armor", this is what any warrior would wear under a solid plate mail to avoid hurting himself through armor friction, and to make himself more comfortable. Being barely a thick shirt, this "armor" won't protect from even the most average swords or maces, unless worn thrice over. The best protection you could get from wearing this is knowing that you aren't at least naked.
Not much could be said about the average weapons, which are bread and butter of a fighting man throughout the known history. However, these two are some of the finest craft - the League specially ordered both of them from the best of smiths for use inside their Champion empowering system.
The Faerie Charm is a very common item among young magicians and apprentices - it is widespread across the magic schools and arcane universities of all of the city-states due to it's fairly easy process of construction. Some of these are sold to the public freely at arcane shops. This is one of the first items a young craftsman or a mage comes to know - it helps to maintain the magic energy needed for long spell practice sessions and to learn the basics of gathering the nearby wild Runeterran magic, flowing through the air.
The forest giants, contrary to mountain giants, who are also known as trolls, are much bigger and tough. During the Rune Wars, forest giants made amazing weapons, when put under restraining/mind controlling spells. That being said, the population of them has severely decreased due to their use on the battlefield. However it's not known if there is even one alive right now - and this is yet to be seen by many city-state exploration teams scouting Valoran's corners. This makes a giant's belt a relic of sorts - it carries with itself the very essence of the beast, increasing the resilience of the wearer by a fold. However, due to the fact that three humans fit inside one belt, the only use those belts have found is the use of their essences in the Champon Empowerment system.
The Meki Pendant is a progression from the Faerie Charm in terms of energy recollection - it offers more than double the speed of nearby magic flow gathering. However, not everything that's good doesn't have a side effect - little know, but this pendant originates in the lands near Zaun and Noxus. A pendant made with this technology may not drain the natural energy flow in the air, but also ones who stand too close to the user. Because of that, these are used in outdoor spell-practicing, preferably solo. However, military mages disregard the effect, and freely use it nonetheless.
Needlessly Large Rod:
This rod is one of the revered and powerful weapons of the Rune Wars. Being too.. large and heavy to be carried around, this runic stone emblem enchanted with quite powerful guiding magic enchantments was used only by stationary mages, who fulfilled the role of field or long range magic artillery. Spells cast through this rod could be aimed much more precise, and hit to a much greater effect.
Negatron is a metal alloy, using both magic and forging in its production. Goods made of Negatron are produced as is - there is no phase of metal being supplied as a raw material. Both steel of best quality and a layer of magical glyphs, inscribed with alchemical influence, produce a very flexible material, that can be used as a wonderful magic protector. However, gaining flexibility, the steel loses in density - and thus, in protection from physical attacks. Such material is used to protect miners from prolonged magic exposure, and in lots of magical laboratories for the same purpose. Obviously, some important buildings also include Negatron as a part of its security measures; however, treating walls with Negatron is quite a costly measure.
One of the first needs of an average Runeterran is, of course, protection from magic influence. The ways of negating magic were constantly researched and improved throughout millennia - and in it's modern state, just almost any citizen can order special runes to be embedded on his clothes, house, favorite picture, and whatever else he deems necessary. Such runes protect the item by dispersing but the energy affecting it - and the more precise the rune form, and the larger the quantity, the stronger the protection is. Such clothes are usually used as basic troop protection in magic warfare, or as a method of protection for miners inside mines where magic crystals are found. However, with the recent invention of the Negatron metal alloy, the popularity of these tends to round down to average citizens. The version used in the League's matches is an old, sizeable mantle, designed for quite a large person. And no wonder - the mantle is a sort of relic from the times of Jarvan II; it remembers the shoulders of one of the royal guardsmen, and, judging by the cuts, it saw some action.
This pickaxe is not just some average instrument. The item is a medium between a mining pickaxe, and a weapon, sharpened at both sides, and with a long handle - a product of omnipresent yordle rationalization. It was wielded by one of the famous yordle warriors, who took part in the defense of Bandle City in the old times when its existence was just exposed to sea explorers from the major city-states. Residing near an ill-reputed pirate settlement Bilgewater, the yordles took the offensive on the exploration teams, mistaking them for pirates, and attacked them.
Many have questioned, how could a bow, a naturally very slow to fire weapon, speed up one's attack. The answer lies in the material the bow is made of. The wood component of the weapon is disregarded in this case; but what brings the effect is the bowstring. It is made of finest caping bara whiskers, which make surprisingly good bowstrings. The caping bara is a huge type of rodent, living in the Serpentine jungle.It is insanely agile - a human can catch one only using either magic or ranged weapons.
The Pendant of Regrowth is one of the valued relics gained from the expeditions to Kumungu Jungles - the tribal formations there had lots of forms of shaman magic cults, and one of the strongest ones was the cult specializing in healing magic. However, after the first expedition brought this Pendant back, the late second one suffered a fiasco - that cult was already vanquished during a clan war, and it's suspected that this Pendant is the only thing that's left of it by now.
The Rejuvenation Bead is the most basic item used in healing wounds. You can see these in almost every single place on Valoran - from hospitals to common homes, these are easy in use and in production. A complicated spell that reorders living cells nearby according to their internal memory has appeared easy to be replicated once it was scribed down a scroll - and now, these beads are the panacea when it comes to bruises and small cuts.
Following up on the magic crystals, the gem of ruby has a natural affinity for living substances. A sizeable ruby may be used to store powerful regeneration spells, that activate right as the wielder is damaged, instantly healing him. The effect is so fast, that it creates an illusion of the user having more endurance than expected.
Long before the Rune Wars have begun, the minerals of Runeterra were already filled with nature's wild magic. The mineral of sapphire has a structure particularly suited to absorption of magic energies; in other words, they act as natural capacitors. You can see lots of magic items imbued with this gem, and if you want to know more about this crystal's properties... Taric is always happy to explain.
A Vampiric Scepter is an almost two foot long staff with a bat head and a ritual blade topping it. As it says, it was a ritual item used by lots of cults worshipping vampirism, and as they eventually perished, it's a very rare item right now. The most common places where one can be found are museums, old reliquaries... and of course, the League's Arcanum Vault. The item may be disregarded as a simple ritual blade, but after a certain degree of study it was found that vampiric energies were indeed present inside the scepter.
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===== TIER 2 ITEMS =====
The story of Doran tugs at the heartstrings. They say Effrem E. Doran was born with a hammer in his hands and a forge in his heart. Every object he touched, he found ways to improve, and he knew that he was destined to be a brilliant artificer. At the age of 15, he was invited to the League with an offer to assume the role of Master Artificer, a dream come true and an unprecedented honor for one so young. However, fate had other plans. En route, his carriage broke an axle. When he leaned down to inspect it, he was kicked in the head by his donkey, a stern blow. He stumbled back onto the wagon, but when he arrived at the Institute of War he was a different boy. The kick had rendered his mind soft, but it hadn’t robbed him of his passion. He still wanted nothing other than to craft, but where once he may have created singular masterpieces, he now crafted…somewhat simpler items, and many of them. He is a kind, goofy, good-hearted soul, and he takes pride in the work he does. His items are daily selected by champions on the Fields of Justice, and he has a permanent home at the Institute.
After the disaster of both martial and magical cataclysm has struck Kalamanda, the prosperous mining village was left in partial ruins, both of physical and magical nature. The miners moved on, along with their families, finding new homes and new places to work at. With the discovery of a Nexus underneath Kalamanda’s remains, the area was quickly reorganized into a Field of Justice, and, just as any location slated for becoming one, it has been looted of forgotten items and relics. Naturally, there were quite a few artificer shops formerly located in the village – a few lesser items were simply left behind among the panic and confusion of escaping people. While not masterpieces, the select few have been established to be the trademark items of this Field of Justice, with respect to the artificers and craftsmen that once lived where battles now occur.
Lots of people have mistaken this rod for a necromantic artifact due to its highly suggestive appearance; however the Scepter bears no relation to that magic school. Containing a Negatron core, the hilt and the skull decoration are made of an efficient magical conductor, which makes the Scepter a weapon of both defense and offence. The most remarkable part of it, however, is the Abyssal Gem in the skull's forehead - an artifact forged by a certain power-hungry Lich, it consumes the magical energy of nearby magic shields and barriers of any sort - even runes designed for magical negation are disabled. The Negatron Core is directly connected to this gem - effectively grounding the consumed energy, it makes the Gem's effect constant, preventing it from being filled.
One may not tell by looking at this dagger... but a grim past lies behind it. This blade was owned by an Ionian merchant once upon a time. The merchant lived secluded with his wife on the island's shore. He was not the social type; however, with a knack for business, he acquired riches far beyond what most think one is capable of. Yet he spent none, gathering it all inside his secret stash. And one day, his wife discovered what her husband was doing all the time - but when she asked him for his reasons, the merchant went into sudden rage, and stabbed her with what was at hand. After that, he called each of his servants in fear that someone else may know of his secret; every single one of them met the dagger, as he entered. In the end, the old man stabbed himself - probably so that no one can learn of the stash from him. When one holds this cursed blade long enough, it's said that he can hear the sound of coins dropping... and suffers a severe wish to hold his wallet closer to himself.
These boots are more of a leftover than a relic - as one can see, they are standard steel greaves worn by most soliders in old Demacian military. They were collected from the field after a fierce battle against a Noxian mage, specializing in mental warfare. However, when the boots found a new owner, it was discovered that anyone who tries to put them on, experiences troubles with their behavior - uncontrollable rage bursts, and overall increased aggressiveness. After a short analysis, it was determined that the boots were cursed - the mental spell causing a warrior to berserk was now engraved inside the very metal, although, to a lesser effect than it originally had.
Slim, light, and sharp - the weapon represents all Bilgewater stands for. Hesitation to take a life is rare here - the pirates, local thugs, mercenaries, almost everyone puts themselves deep into the maw of disorder. Something like a human is not valued much here, unless he can stand for himself - such things are taught through a weapon like this. The one the League utilizes is one that was wielded by Gangplank's father - even being a rich one, and a big nob in the Bilgewater hierarchy, he still had to make his way towards the top... and the energies remaining on this blade suggest that it was the hard way. This blade is bruised and dented - but the cutting edge is flawlessly smooth and sharp. And unlike many other items of the League's vault, this one is probably the least of a wallhanger - to refresh the item's properties, it's regularly given into the hands of some of the most brutal denizens of Bilgewater for direct use. Some ethic types object to this sort of treatments; but few complain about its perfect field performance afterwards.
Boots of Mobility:
The Mobility Boots are a special type of enchanted footwear, worn by Noxian special field troop regiments. They fulfilled the role of swift flankers, carrying lots of throwing weaponry, spears, and a sword, while having almost no defense. Those forces made their bet on fast engaging and disengaging, weakening the enemy ranks and formations via skirmish. The boots store the momentum of each footstep, and released it exactly when the wearer stepped again - it takes some time to adapt to the new pace, but when one does, he could outrun practically anyone.
Boots of Swiftness:
The Boots of Swiftness are the one and only, original pair of boots developed by the order of Demacian Battle Command, for use in the communication system. Some of the best mages present worked on the enchantment, and finally, when it succeeded, the boots were presented to the high commanders. They were much impressed with the result, and were about to order more, but when they heard the price and the ingredients required for each pair... The boots were still used for some of the most urgent deliveries still, but not a single other pair was ever created.
Catalyst the Protector:
One of the absolutely unique artifacts lying inside Vault Arcanum, is this stone, bearing the Icathian symbol of eternity. Upon being studied, the stone showed unusual results - it has the signs of both a magic capacitor, and a vitality booster; regardless of the opposite nature of those two. But the most peculiar effect the artifact has, is hidden, and reveals itself only when a person wielding it shows strong emotions - happiness, joy, fury, satisfaction, or any other similar reactions, in the case if the holder is not of a human kind. When that occurs, the capacitated enchantments are released, effectively restoring the holder's power and health status.
Chalice of Harmony:
This precious relic, finding its origin in the fallen town of Urtisan, was a present from a well-known mage to his friend living in Ionia. It carries a very tranquil enchantment: when one holds it, a feeling of peace envelops him, one feels as if the outside world cannot influence him, and all his vigor returning, almost as if he came back from a pleasant, long sleep. The Chalice was often used for sleeping well or meditating. Some suggested to use this as a way of recovering lost energy during a battle, but the idea was dismissed; and even now, when both the gifter and his friend are deceased, the security measures around this item are high. Those channeling the item's energy to imbue the Champion take utmost caution to prevent the energies of hatred and wrath on the battlefield from influencing the artifact.
Cloak and Dagger:
This set of artifacts represents two unique categories of items in the League - the ones utilizing the Sarlace crystal; and ones crafted by the League. The cloak itself resembles the Agility Cloak, though glowing quite unsubtly; and the dagger has the mentioned crystal embedded into its hilt. The items were mentioned in the 21st issue of the Journal of Justice by artificer Ramune Numer - quoting: “... I will say that these were made here at the Institute. When the two pieces are held simultaneously, their power amplifies. We call this method of manufacture ‘symbiotic fabrication.’ It’s the same crafting method used with Phantom Dancers.”
Emblem of Valour:
This heavy leather mark, topped with a small ruby shaped as a drop of blood, can rarely be seen. Among the Noxian command, this emblem is received as a sign of high leading capabilities and full self-sacrifice to the glory of Noxus. However, those that the Noxian officers now carry do not have the power of the original Emblem, which now lies in Vault Arcanum of the League. That, original emblem, was worn by a leader of a special Noxus strike force, sent into the Demacia's rear to conduct sabotage on its military bases. However, their stealth mission failed, and the force was discovered. But surprisingly, it took a whole month to cut them down on the treacherous terrain of the Bubbling Bog. The estimate losses of Demacia during that were expectedly four times the count of the men in the group. Soaked in enemy's blood, filled by the zeal of a commander's soul, this emblem was sent back to Noxus in honour to the skill and courage of the Noxian men.
A special weapon born from long development in Noxian workshops, it was developed to negate the efforts of Ionian medics back in the day when Noxus fought Ionia in an all-out war. In response to this, the Ionian military changed their tactics and began to utilize more ranged, hit-and-run strategies to keep the Noxians at bay. This was when Noxian smiths countered with the ECLS2 – a modified version of the ECLS1 with an eject-able barb at the end of the blade. With a simple flick of the wrist, experienced users can fire the barb at enemy targets from a distance. It has perfect 50-50 weight balance which is barely thrown off by ejecting the barb. The almost rapier-like shape of the blade offers unparalleled precision versus any other blade in its class. The weapon's history is told more thoroughly in the 17th issue of the Journal of Justice - credits for the materials go to Reira Kashuld.
Codex, is an item not belonging well in the shop shelves of the League, as some love to point out. Being an item taken from a captured Necromancer, the book incorporates the basic knowledge of magic, and was presumably used as a guide to those seeking knowledge of this path. Not containing any Necromantic spells though, the book describes the basic energy collecting and spell powering in twisted ways, relying on one or two forms forbidden. It may be more effective than the average arcane books; and even a bit more powerful itself. Yet the only one found in existence was this tome - it seemed as if it was going to be multiplied and distributed, but the League saw to preventing that.
Force of Nature:
Anyone looking at this huge vest would instantly recognize the craftwork of Freljordi druidic masters. It is composed of entirely leather and beast scales, which are surprisingly soft for an armor piece; but the softness on the outside is compensated by the strongest kinds of enchantments engraved all in one in this artifact. It bears a natural environmental empathy, drawing energy from any nearby natural source and firmly implanting it inside the user. The flow is so thick that it disrupts any other external influence, granting the user amazing regenerative abilities. One great side-effect to that is a strong feeling of emptiness after the vest is removed – the vest acts as a link between nature and the user, and it indeed feels as if a big part of one’s own self is lost.
The unusual, extremely heavy mace kept in a separate storage container at the Vault Arcanum is subject to much speculation. The main qualities of the weapon are quite obvious – excessive weight, a handle that has an attached hand guard as if it was a sword, the superb-quality ice enchantments layering the core of the mallet… But the most interesting part is an unfinished sentence in runic language, engraved on the handle. This has led the artificers to guess that the weapon is a part of the set – the second part of which is either a shield or an identical mallet.
The emblem known as the Glacial Shroud, was found in Urtisan. The city itself didn't have much in terms of an army; yet the artificers there were one of the best, and this emblem was the pride of one who is now unknown and dead, along with the rest of Urtisan's inhabitants. The item itself is quite big for an emblem - more of a shield in size, it has a ridiculously huge round crystal crafted inside it, although it only shows as if it was a ring in there. An all-purpose item, it could either serve as a prismatic enhancer for a spell you direct; a storage for excessive magic power; or, if you want of course, as something to hold up against your enemy who swings a sword at you - luckily, the metal is strong enough.
Unless you look closely at this mask, you won't notice it - the red paint isn't actually paint. This was used by a certain succubus, dwelling on the streets of Noxus - the mask was the only thing keeping it in its material form. The being took it off when the prey was already careless and trapped - penetrating all his defense this way. Twisted magic energies inhabit this item - and it is certainly not recommended for direct use.
Heart of Gold:
Not actually a heart, but an animal shell, this item is one of the artificial relics modified specifically for League use. The animal wearing this shell is a magic-affinity type, using natural earth elemental magic to strengthen its hide - such animals are found in Ionia, and sometimes taker by rich people as house decorations. A spirit was extracted from one of those, and encased in this shell along with a prismatic spell magnifier to increase the effect. As a result, the one carrying this would experience an increase in durability and toughness. Also, as a side effect of the magnifier is that charcoal that is exposed to this artifact too long may condense so much it would turn into a diamond. This takes time, however, so trying to become rich using this has little sense.
This sword, having an unusual curvy shape, is quite unusual itself - born from under the hands of a smith who despised magic in all of its forms, this blade is meant to protect its wielder from magical attacks - apart from having a certain part having dispersing runes carved on it, the sword is fitted with a powerful magic capacitor that is built inside the hilt. The user can activate it on wish - but due to its need to slowly discharge the energy and not quite outstanding power of this protection, it's better used as a last resort.
With the progress of mechanics mixed with magic, known as Hextech, the use of this technology in weaponry was unavoidable. The best example for that is Heimerdinger - with his constant experiments on his equipment, the League has a lot of trouble adjusting his style to the normal arena. This weapon is another breakthrough, that was achieved a few months ago - it propels metal projectiles through a set of empowering runes, and as the projectile hits the target, a certain portion of its stored force is knocked out of it with an impulse. After that, the barrel rotates, switching the runes to attracting ones, instantly capturing the energy released.
The next logical step after a small gun is… naturally, a bigger one. The Gunblade is an evolution from the Revolver, featuring new components and effects, and then some. It comes in a variety of forms and designs, but there is a set of traditional components. The main component is the energy absorption module, which is linked to: gunfire components as seen in the Revolver, and an enchanted bayonet, which consumes the victim’s energy upon hit. The Gunblade has declared a sort of ‘new age’ of Runeterra – it instantly reached sky-high popularity at weapon markets, and it’s highly possible that soon enough the city-state regiments would come into battle wielding firearms in ample quantities.
This weird-looking pendant usually makes users feel uncomfortable at first; designed in the shape of an eye, the creator also thought it would be nice to mimic the texture as well. The usefulness of the artifact outshines that though – subtly synchronizing with the user’s spells, it sends its own special enchantment in the same direction. Based on light, it envelops objects it hits with a glowing intangible surface, making them easy to spot. The enchantment could also be cast separately by squeezing the eyeball. Not many people know, but a lesser version of this is used as a popular Harrowing prank in Piltover.
Ionian Boots of Lucidity:
One of the recently introduced items, these boots aren't like anything before seen in the League's footwear inventory - more resembling sandals than boots, this item belonged to a great Ionian monk, who was in fact a cultural leader of an entire temple of followers. Over the centuries, these sandals went from one leader to another - in the end, they were so charged with spiritual energy, that it was better to replace them with average ones so that it doesn't interfere with one's own personal meditation. They say that one will find his mind crystal clear when he wears these.
This weapon would be mistaken for an average enchanted bow at first, if not for the unique Ionian design. But the rarity of this weapon lies not just in the decorations, but in the enchantment as well – instead of simply shooting jolts of lightning, it imbues the arrows with an air-penetration spell. The arrow leaves a ‘lane’ in the air, which is used by the lightning bolt afterwards; the precision and power of the blow are heavily increased as a result.
Kage's Lucky Pick:
Being an aspiring apprentice of a mage, Kage's big dream was a classic one - becoming a great mage to protect his homeland, which was Ionia. Unfortunately, Kage's luck in life was poor - he was bad at making friend, and magic gave itself to him quite hard. But things changed when a certain event happened. He bought a present for his loved one at the antique shop - it was a brilliant crystal dagger... which she rejected. And this was when things skyrocketed - success, admiring, wealth - all of this just hopped inside Kage's hands. Time went by, and he became a summoner... only to find the dagger enchanted with a powerful passive charming spell, aimed towards adjacent people. The realization of his success’ nature lied heavy on him, and eventually he sacrificed the dagger to the League, not being able to see it anymore.
A crystal originating from ruby, this alchemically-tuned and enchanted crystal has more power than those of an average ruby one. Usually sphere-shaped for ease of carrying, these are used to boost a solider's natural capabilities and unlock the hidden potential of a human organism - even mages find this of use, especially when a major spell requires long preparation. The use of these is limited though - the fatigue caused by the full-time use of a human's body is hard to recover from; and an army's budget finds it too expensive to double the rations for each solider after every battle.
This impressive relic is a suit of armor, giving off a very weird feeling. That's natural, because the material used for the plates is neither metal nor wood - what was used for it's construction is the scale of a living creature, living inside the Conqueror's Sea. It bears the name of the Leviathan - and is truly colossal in its size. There were attempts to restrain the beast for further study; yet the only result which was achieved was a decimation of the research group - and a single scale, peeled off the creature, floating among the flotsam. Gladly enough, some vessels have remained to carry it back for others to see. What came out of it, we see now - it appeared that the creature's scales absorb blood to regrow and multiply themselves, making a perfect defensive material for those valuing durability in favor of resistance.
A vicious one in the ranks of daggers, the Malady is a blade that isn't meant to kill in one hit, but rather torture its victim. A personal instrument of a certain dead Noxian executioner, the blade found its way to the League - it was a legacy passed down with generations as a sign of this grim job, yet the owner had no one to inherit it. When someone is stabbed with this blade, the vice gathered in it from all previous torture sessions inflicts horror to the mind, and makes it harder to mentally resist enchantments. Almost every criminal or captive cracks up after being stabbed a couple times with this - however, desiring to show their humanity to the other world as peace came, Noxus delivered it as a gift to the League. People are still wondering - if you want to state that you have moral qualities... why gift a dagger that tortured hundreds of souls to death?
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The Manipulator itself looks like a small, apple-sized gold orb. Upon its activation, the orb emits a radiant shine, humming with a slight metallic tune. This is an artificial device, compiled as a part of a certain Demacian project, involving pure mage divisions. It is a compressed set of capacitor crystals, charging from the outside power flow, and another set of smallest redirection runes, which release the stored energy in a spherical pattern, making everyone in a small area receive it. However, using only mages in a single squad proved inefficient - with so much different spell patterns cluttering the space, it is hard to cast anything at all. However, the Manipulator project was still finished - these things were released in limited amount, and almost all are gone, except for this one and a few others.
Another item which gains power through defeating enemies is the tome known as Mejai's Soulstealer. Not actually stealing the souls of slain enemies as the name suggests, the item does something of a similar effect - developed by a powerful Ionian magician, the tome encases parts of magical essence of power, which is present inside any being exposed to Runeterra. Normal magic flow doesn't suit it, as the human organism influences magic energies as much as magic influences the body. The power, gathered that way, could be combined with the user's own, thus multiplying the strength of his spells by a significant amount. However, the artifact didn't serve Ionia long enough - it was stolen by an aspiring Noxian mage during a surprise night raid. Soon the item's effects were discovered, and the tome gained the alias of Soulstealer, while its new owner gained ranks and fame for his power. Honoring the creator of it, League renamed it when the tome was recovered along with other powerful magic relics gathered during League's creation.
The only thing you don't expect to occur on Runeterra is disbelief of magic. Yet things happen, and the Megling Gunner Andy Mercury was one of those who kept denying magic even when it knocked on his door... the hard way. Amazingly enough, that saved his life countless times - his barrier of denial was so strong that it dispersed some quite powerful spells aimed at him. Ironically, the poor yordle’s death occurred via lightning – a natural one though, rather than an arcane jolt. This item is one of the four that uses the Sarlace crystal, adding to the initial item power. It is contained in the binding brooch that's used instead of lace.
The Kinkou Order was always known around the Runeterra - yet not spoken of. Its warriors are as swift as wind, and as stealthy as your shadow. These boots are now extremely rare to find, now that the ninjas don't wear any at all, preferring cloth for dampening the sound. But even so, these boots remain worthy of praise - you can almost feel like you got the moves when you wear a pair of those.
This impressive looking wooden polearm, topped with a hammer, was originally used as a building instrument. However, its use as a weapon was discovered when a certain contingent of workers rioted on a Demacian fortification building site - when hit by such a hammer, a full-armored warrior will definitely suffer a short disorientation. Ironically, the authorities learned the usefulness of this - and soon, such mallets were used by the law enforcement brigades as a non-lethal way of calming down an angry mob.
This is a fabled artifact, and one most rumored about... amidst those who aren't familiar with it. The mechanism of it is still investigated, as the original creator is now perished, but it certainly doesn’t grant eternal life nor does it transmute things into gold. The Stone is barely a regenerating machine of insane power and complexity - so far the mechanism was described as this: the stone determines the complete form of the damaged object, and reconstructs adjacent energy and materials into according chemical minerals or organic cells, and reproduces the object, whatever it may be. However, when someone tried to break a gold bar in two, and see if the Stone regenerates both halves into two full bars, the experiment was halted, and such further research was forbidden.
Not being actually made of quicksilver, this belt is a wonderful tool donated to the League by one of the greatest thieves ever - of course, undetected as he left the sash. Not looking quite a spectacle at first, the enchantment that this belt bears is unique, activating when you unfold it. One part of it increases the user's speed for a brief moment, yet tenfold, allowing him to break out of any restrictions physically placed on him; and the other one absorbs any other sort of magic suppression into the Negatron threads sewed inside the belt. This belt served him well, getting him out of any pesky situation - and now, it serves to break chains and runic bindings on the battlefield.
The composite bow, known as the Last Whisper, originates in the Piltovian Sniper Corps, who were renowned for their stealth - the commander of the squad issued the firing order with a whisper, thus the weapon's name. Hunting the beasts that inhabited the swamps around Piltover back in the time when there was no Hextech, they decorated their bows with teeth of their prey, also serving as Piltover's defense force and mercenaries for other city-states. This bow is decorated with a pair of very impressive carnivorous reptile teeth, which were some of the biggest creatures the Snipers faced – only the most skilled marksmen were able to get more than one trophy from those.
An unusually long, wide, and polished blade or crimson color has been attracting much attention since its official approval for use in League matches. The whole nature and mechanism of the sword suggest it as the perfect weapon for a hemomancer – the study of the blade itself revealed that the metal gains its crimson color from blood which was apparently used instead of cooling water while the blade was tempered; as a result, it’s responsive to hemomancy, and could be levitated using that magic type (proven in a serieas of tests). But that’s not all – the hilt of the blade has two short, but sharp spikes on it, which dig deep into the wielder’s hand. As the blade hits an enemy and blood is spilled upon it, a transfusion enchantment is activated, awakening to new strength through repeated hits. It is a common theory that Vladimir is the one who donated the artifact; though the champion himself denies that.
An excellent type of artifact for melee fighters who are also proficient with magic, a Sheen is a shortsword made of condensed magic crystals forged together by a metal handle. As the wielder casts a spell, the disturbed magic flow is then capacitated inside the blade, and released when it hits on something. It is said that sometimes when there are simply too much spells surrounding this kind of weapon, it may capacitate itself at random, without the user even having to cast one. Although this is mainly true for grand-scale Rune War battles, a Sheen is still a very powerful type of weapon for ones who combine melee and magic combat.
The Sorcerer-class mages specialize in giving their spells brute force and power, being the classic battle mage types. While Wizards or Enchanters favor delicate arcane work, every single inch of a Sorcerer's equipment is fine-tuned to penetrate the enemy's defense, and unleash destruction upon them. Some of the disruptive runes are carved even on their boots - which this pair clearly proves over and over.
“As you wear this, you are no more. Your heart is now among us; your kindness is what we take. And give nothing in return, as your heart grows.” – The words etched on the inside of Soul Shroud’s breastplate. The Shroud itself is an artifact of the Empath Circle – one of the most tight-knit mage societies to ever exist, it preached self-sacrifice and unity. While providing a quite beneficial effect, many of those who know the nature of the item fear to use it. The enchantment clutches around the user’s astral body, and links it to nearby allies he selects, sharing his astral energies and soul capacity with them. The notorious side effects are severe exhaustion, accidental revealing of own thoughts, uncontrolled changes in behavior.
A visibly average leather armor suit, this piece of equipment usually associates with devil- and witch hunters. And it’s not far off from the truth – the people of those professions use leather for their armor for its great enchantability. A Spirit Visage is enchanted with very specific magic – it enhances the user’s astral body, protecting it from outwards harm and increasing its connection with the mortal body. They say that this exact piece was taken from the grave of the hunter who started the whole ‘witchhunt’ extravaganza – after years of wear, the enchantment linked its user to his mortal body so strongly that his spirit was unable to leave even in death; which was conveniently ‘fixed’ by the League mages.
Stinger: One weapon not used for its purpose, is the Stinger. Originally crafted as a fine ceremonial dagger in Demacia, this weapon was stolen by a certain yordle thief, whose name remains unknown even now. The point is that even the ceremonial weapons in Demacia are made of steel and are sharpened; the thief found this dagger a very fitting longsword, for his size. Fitting so well as a sword in a yordle's hands, it was used to perform some of the most amazing and fastest moves to great effect. It was discovered in a cave near a small river, where the thief had what was described as a home - inside, there were two corpses: one was the yordle's, and the other one was a huge forest spider that found out the thief's hideout. The dagger was exactly in the spider's body, where its heart was - but the thief, pushed down by the great weight, simply died out of starvation.
Also known as "The Cape of Suns", this garment was a result of a certain experiment. Being very heavy, the cape has two layers of thick cloth, inside which, a third layer of scale-like armor is sewn; each scale has a solar rune engraved in it. When exposed to direct sunlight, the runes capacitate solar energy, and after they have been charged, the wearer can begin releasing the stored power by activating the rune carved on the clip of the cloak. The solar rays would violently burn anyone in the proximity of the user. The original artifact is worn by Garen Crownguard, who received the only Cape ever produced as a reward for his dedicated service. The League using the Cape had lots of trouble with integrating it - first, they had to get rid of the Cape's influence on allies, who also were burned standing near to the user; and just weeks ago, the League declared the solar discharge effect limited to a single one, due to its poor influence on a Champion's health.
Sword of the Divine:
This blade, obviously not a sword, was worn by some of the law-controlling forces back in the day Demacia still believed in gods - the law enforces then could be equaled with inquisitors, and were quite feared among the people. However, they were associated with divine powers, and were handpicked from the church adepts. The divine magic had may different enchantments, and each one received his own, at the beginning of his service. This one was the last blade in existence - belonging to a nimble fighter, it provides certain agility enhancements. A grand-grand child gifted it to the League as he started to work at the Institute as an artificer's assistant - his ancestor's gift was one of the first items to be used by the League since then.
Sword of the Occult:
This weapon is one of the items heavily discussed before their appearance in the League - this blade hides a quite malefic power within itself. It is haunted by an artificial wrath spirit, which finds joy in blood and violence, pacting with anyone who wields the blade. The spirit offers power to those who entertain it - and when pain is cause via this weapon, the spirit transmits a part of its power to the wielder, empowering him; yet takes a toll on the sanity of the owner. Prolonged exposure to such influence causes mental damage, as was proven during the assault on the original owner of the blade, a Zaunite cult leader, worshipping death. As the spirit has achieved so many sacrifices from the cult, its power in brute strength matches was unbearable - the cultist had to be brought down with powerful ranged magic.
The Black Cleaver:
Many people know about Liches, the beings made of mages that use Necromancy to trade their soul for arcane power; but less people know about the Dread Knight order. Dread Knights are a different form of lichhood - while a Lich gains in magic power, a Dread Knight uses the same ritual to gain in physical strength and an overall increase of his characteristics. Being the best cavalry Valoran ever seen, they served both Noxus and Demacia at certain times, acting on their own accord and will. This axe is a weapon of a fallen Dread Knight - apparently, it's also the container of the Knight's soul. After a portion of strong sealing spells, the Knight got sealed in this axe forever, without the ability to gain a new body. Using this artifact makes you shiver as soon as you realize what exactly you are holding.
A totemic wooden pole, going by the name of The Brutalizer, is an artifact extracted from a certain mountain giant (read: troll) tribe. Bent by shamanic magic, this wooden branch has folded itself four times over, and was a representation of a tribe's power. The explanation for that part came soon, when the artifact’s power was discovered - the pole enhances its target with muscular power, and a brutal instinct, enhancing his physical capabilities further. In the ritual of a deciding fight, the two clans face their two strongest warriors together to prove that their clan has the strongest one; and with such a rod behind your back, you can be assured that a mere fistfight is nothing to worry about.
A common amateur misconception about this item would be that it is a bow. However, the truth is quite the contrary: The Lightbringer is the enchantment’s name. This enchantment was really popular during the age of witch hunts; and is still popular with hunters and other nocturnal professions that involve tracking. The enchantment ignites metallic objects upon touch, turning average arrows into perfect tracer shots; but the special side to this spell is that the light remains visible even if obscured by objects. The spell itself takes its roots from Divine magic school – the piece in the League’s Vault was personally enchanted and blessed by one of Demacia’s most famed archbishops.
One of the few items in the ranks of advanced artifacts not using an enchantment, is this thorned armor vest. Outfitted with a very interesting mechanism, which has yet to be understood, the suit shoots out thorns in the direction from which physical force is applied. The thorns seem rather endless - most assume that the ammo storage for them is enhanced with a dimensional stretch. Apart from that unusual characteristic, the suit is one of the best armor vests there are in the Vault Arcanum - even major physical shocks go barely noticed by the wearer.
This weapon resembling a dual battleaxe, is one of the most prized posessions of the League - its patterned blades are light, its handle rough, no one would guess the uniqueness of this until he wields it in a battle or sees the weighs on the handle. They were put their because the axe itself isn't made of metal - bone serves as its cutting edge. It is surprising that the blades don't have a single dent to them - but not to those who know of this bone's origin. Tiamat is one of the rarest relics that remain from the dragon age of Runeterra - bearing the name of the last one of them, this weapon is made of Tiamat's one single claw. Now, dragons live only in tales and stories, but this blade reminds us of their might and glory.
Few artifacts that use Void powers are found in the Arcanum Vault - this staff is possibly the only one that ever found its way to the League. Captured during the massive Void Purge campaign that took place in Demacia in times predating the League by a few years, this was owned by one of the cult leaders, which weren't tolerated at all on Demacian grounds. The Purge set back the Void's influence in Demacia years back; but now, with such things as Malzahar and Void beast Champions walking Valoran, it is highly likely that a new Void wave is underway very soon.
A warden's authority is a warden's pride - or so they say. The honorable armor suit worn by a prison warden, it is never taken off at any time. And it is the only reason keeping the prisoners for trying to turn the tables on the guards or on the warden - knowing that the recoil from it can considerably shake almost anyone, it's better not to try and hit this armor suit with anything heavy... unless you want it to return back in your face.
Will of The Ancients
The study of this book is still in progress – written in an ancient language and enchanted in the same manner, the tome’s deciphered content so far describes something similar to a mage religion existing long ago. It worships a certain arcane deity, the identity of which is unknown; but the enchantment of the tome matches its motto – the supremacy of one and his right for all. It synchronizes its effect with the nearest spellcaster, causing the spell patterns to reverse after the spell is finished – if the spell connects, a part of the target’s vital energy is redirected to the caster, replenishing and revitalizing him.
The existing proof of an artificer's clever mind, Wit's End is an example of alchemy and enchantments working wonders together. Instead of using the same elements over and over, this crystal blade was in the process of becoming a Sheen, when the artificer sparked an idea - instead of using the wielder's energy to damage the target, the crystal was re-enchanted to drain the target's energy instead to charge itself. Although the effect is not as significant as with Sheen, Wit's End is certainly a testament to how should one introduce inventiveness to his work.
Being home to dozens of martial arts and proficiencies, Ionia has almost twice as much in the amount of exotic weaponry. These dual blades are used in one of the fast styles, which involves constant repositioning and swift strikes aiming only for vital points, performed at a fast pace. Both blades are pretty light, with one of them shaped for slashing, and the other one for stabbing. Ionian weapons have a tendency to gather the energy in themselves during the time they are used - the non-magic energy of Ki, which is associated with mostly the physical fighters, using their body and weapon.
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Needlessly Large Rod: Used by magicians and summoners who felt that they needed to compensate for their "physical shortcomings"
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Give this good sir a medal for his hard lore work.
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good luck I am excited to see this continue.
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Tier 1 items are done.
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Well done, a good read, I cannot wait for the rest of the items (although you have along way to go). Once this is done, I hope the people at riot will take the time and spot light this.
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Associate Game Designer
This is cute!
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I think that a lore perspective on the items used (insider JoJ article?) during summoner matches would be a cool thing. I've always thought that the artifacts are chosen, and used by the summoner to augment the champions' power, rather than actually using 3 swords at once.. sort of tapping their power.
Adding the lore behind the items individual items is (especially those named for someone) is a great idea.