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    Shadow Isles

    Who I am
    Aina Prat
    @ainaprat

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    For the Legends of Runeterra regional card collection, see  Shadow Islands. Edit • Image • Reference

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    Shadow Isles

    By Unknown Author

    Starring: Elise, Gwen, Hecarim, Kalista, Karthus, Maokai, Thresh, Grows, Viego, Yorick

    "  alttext = Aspect of Original "Behold the might of the Shadow Isles."
    hecarim

    The land now known as the Shadow Isles was once a  beautiful kingdom, but it was shattered by a magical cataclysm. Black Mist permanently envelops the islands and the land itself is polluted, corrupted by the malevolent sorcery. Living things found in the Shadow Isles are slowly stripped of their life force, which, in turn, attracts the insatiable and predatory spirits of the dead. Those who perish within the Black Mist are doomed to haunt this brooding land for eternity. Worse still, the power of the Shadow Isles grows stronger with each passing year, allowing the shadows of undeath to broaden their reach and harvest souls throughout Runeterra.




    Summary

    • 1 Lore
      • 1.1 Champions of the Shadow Isles
      • 1.2 Other related champions
    • 2 History
      • 2.1 History update
    • 3 The Black Mist
    • 4 Hecarim
      • 4.1 The Shadow of War
      • 4.2 No one survives
    • 5 Karthus
      • 5.1 The voice of death
      • 5.2 Funeral at sea
    • 6 Kalista
      • 6.1 The spirit of revenge
      • 6.2 Invocation
    • 7 Mordecai
      • 7.1 The iron nightmare
      • 7.2 Shadows of condemnation
    • 8 Thresh
      • 8.1 The Ruthless Jailer
      • 8.2 The collection
    • 9 Yorick
      • 9.1 The Shepherd of Lost Souls
      • 9.2 Funeral rites
      • 9.3 'These islands ... how they scream.'
    • 10 Maokai
      • 10.1 The Twisted Treant
      • 10.2 Night flower
      • 10.3 'I am surrounded by empty, soulless and impassive carcasses ... but I will make them fear.' '
    • 11 Evelynn
      • 11.1 The widowmaker
      • 11.2 The shadows call
    • 12 Elise
      • 12.1 The queen of spiders
      • 12.2 Silk threads
      • 12.3 'Beauty is another form of power, capable of striking stronger than any sword.' '
    • 13 The Prince's Lament
    • 14 Related
    • 15 References

    Lore

    Hidden from outsiders for many centuries, the Blessed Isles enjoyed a golden age dedicated to the knowledge, philosophy, and protection of magical artifacts from all over Runeterra. Helia, the capital of the Blessed Isles, was filled with renowned archaeologists, astronomers and scholars from every imaginable discipline, while the common people lived a peaceful life of pastoral simplicity in the surrounding countryside.



    The Shadow Isles were once a beautiful kingdom, long ago torn apart by a magical cataclysm. Now, Black Mist permanently engulfs the land, polluting and corrupting with its malevolent sorcery. Those who perish within it are doomed to be a part of it for all eternity ... and worse yet, each year the Mist extends its reach to harvest more souls in Runeterra. [2]

    Shadow Isles Champions

    Elise Gwen hecarim Kalista Karthus Maokai Thresh Vex Viego Yorick


    Other related champions

    • Gangplank defended Bilgewater against the Black Mist.
    • Illaoi defended Bilgewater against the Black Mist.
    • Kindred seeks to end the abominations of the undead on the Isles.
    • LeBlanc commissions Elise will bring him magical artifacts from the Shadow Isles.
    • Lucian and Senna seek to purify the Shadow Isles and their inhabitants.
    • Miss Fortune defended Bilgewater against the Black Mist.
    • Nautilus defended Bilgewater against the Black Mist.
    • Olaf defended Bilgewater against the Black Mist.
    • Vladimir lived in the Blessed Isles before the Ruin. He is also a blood relative of Viego and Kalista.

    History

    Terrible are the stories that are told of the islands of the shadows ...



    As soon as I set foot there I knew instantly that there was something strange about that place. My skin itched and I felt an intense nausea in the pit of my stomach. It was not a place for

    the living. But I also knew ... in the depths of my being I knew, that the islands welcomed me, they wanted me there. As I entered them, I saw death all around me: ghostly-looking trees, grass and flowers enveloped me in their terrifying glow. It was all so calm and so beautiful. I ran my hand through a spectral blade, which was flying in the wind, but there was no wind. It was then that I understood that death was another world and that I was at the door of it. At that moment I heard the song, the song of the spider. My partner started screaming in terror and fell to his knees, I gave him a hug, I told him that he had nothing to fear, that he was going to go to a better place. I'll take you all to a better place ...

    -Elise, The Queen of Spiders

    History update

    The Shadow Isles were once a beautiful kingdom, but that was before a magical cataclysm struck them. The Black Mist permanently covers the islands and the land itself has been tainted, corrupted by an evil enchantment. The island itself drains the life of those who walk on it and, in turn, attracts the insatiable predatory spirits of the dead. Those who die at the hands of the Black Mist are condemned to roam this melancholic land for all eternity. And worst of all, the power and scope of the Shadow Isles increases more and more to reap the souls of all Runeterra.



    The Black Mist

    The Black Mist spreads over land and sea in search of living beings, leaving them defenseless to the horrors seen in its thicket. The poor souls return with the Mist of the Shadow Isles. As time passes, they will forget their friends and families, even themselves, becoming part of the terrible force that grows each year.

    hecarim

    Shadow of war

    Hecarim is an armored colossus who rides from the Shadow Isles at the head of a host of spectral horsemen to hunt down the living. A monstrous hybrid of man and beast condemned to ride for all eternity, who enjoys killing and crushing souls under his steel helmets.

    Born into a long-forgotten and fallen empire, Hecarim joined a legendary company of horsemen known as the Iron Order, a brotherhood whose members had sworn to defend their king's lands as a squire. Within it he endured the harshest training imaginable, a terrible regimen that made him a formidable warrior.

    As an adult, Hecarim easily mastered all forms of combat and the stratagems of war. After seeing how easily he surpassed all the other squires, the Knight Commander of the Iron Order realized the greatness within the young man and recognized him as a possible successor. But as the years passed and Hecarim racked up one victory after another on the back of his mighty steed, the knight commander began to glimpse a growing darkness in the heart of his lieutenant. Hecarim's bloodlust and obsessive hunger for victory were eroding his sense of honor, and realizing this, the knight commander realized that the young knight must not become lord of the Iron Order. He summoned him to his private chambers to inform him that he would not be his successor, and Hecarim, although enraged by the news, swallowed all his anger and continued with his duties.

    A new war came and, in the course of a battle involving the Order, the knight commander found himself surrounded by enemies and separated from his brothers. Only Hecarim could come to aid him, but in a moment of resentment, he decided to turn his back and let his commander die. At the end of the battle, the surviving knights, oblivious to what their vengeful brother had done, knelt on the bloody earth and vowed to serve him as lord.

    Hecarim rode to the capital, where he met Kalista, the king's general. Kalista realized that she was facing an exceptional man and therefore, when the king's wife fell injured by the poisoned blade of an assassin, she entrusted the Iron Order to remain with the monarch while she left in search of a cure. . Hecarim agreed, but the fact that he was assigned a task that he considered insignificant planted the seeds of resentment within him.

    He stood by the monarch as he plunged into a regret-induced madness. Seized with paranoia and enraged at those who wanted to separate him from his dying wife, the king sent the Iron Order across the kingdom to put down riots that only he saw. Hecarim led the Iron Order in a series of bloodthirsty operations of repression, which earned him a reputation as a ruthless executor of the king's will. Entire cities were burned and the Iron Order put hundreds of people to the sword. The kingdom was plunged in darkness and, upon the death of the queen, Hecarim began to weave a veil of falsehood around the king. He told him that he had discovered the truth about the murder and requested his permission to invade other countries with the Iron Order, with the sole intention of further fueling his sinister fame.

    But before he left, Kalista returned from his mission. He had found a cure for the queen's illness in the legendary Blessed Isles, but he had come too late to save her. Horrified to see what had become of the kingdom, the general refused to tell what she had discovered and was imprisoned for her defiance. Hecarim, seeing an opportunity to further increase her influence, decided to visit her in her cell. After promising that he would do what he could to contain the king's fury, he managed to convince her to tell him what she knew. Thus, reluctantly, Kalista agreed to guide the king's fleet through the enchantments that protected and concealed the Blessed Isles.

    Hecarim led the withered and sickly monarch to the center of the magical archipelago, where he met the guardians of the portentous place and demanded their help. The guards offered him their sympathies, but told the king that there was nothing they could do to help his wife. Enraged, the king ordered Kalista to kill them one by one until they obeyed. Kalista refused and came between the king and the island's inhabitants.

    Hecarim realized that he had reached a crossroads in his destiny and made a decision that would be his sentence for all eternity. Instead of supporting Kalista, he thrust a spear into his back, then ordered the Iron Order to destroy the inhabitants of the Blessed Isles. He and his warriors sacrificed the guardians until one of them, a stooped old man carrying a lantern, would lead the king to what he was looking for: the secret to resurrect his wife.

    But when the queen came back to life, she did so as a rotting flesh monster, eaten away by maggots, who begged to be allowed to die again. Horrified by what he had done to his beloved, the monarch cast a spell to end their lives and remain united for all eternity. The spell took effect, but unfortunately, without anyone being able to foresee it, the numerous and powerful relics that were kept on the island multiplied its power by a hundred.

    A hurricane of black fog surrounded the king and from there it spread throughout the island killing everyone it encountered. Hecarim left the king to his fate and tried to return to the ships with the Iron Order, fighting the spirits of his former victims, turned into wraiths by the black mist. One by one, the knights fell into undeath, until only Hecarim remained. When unleashed witchcraft took hold of him, he merged with his mighty steed creating a monstrous abomination that was the true reflection of the darkness in his soul.

    Screaming with rage, an agonizing transformation spawned the titanic beast known as the Shadow of War, a metallic monster made of fury and resentment. The sins of his former life, augmented by a swirl of black magic, gave birth to a creature of inexhaustible malice and terrifying power.

    Now Hecarim is a slave to the Shadow Isles and patrols its nightmarish shores, slaying all who meet him, in a grotesque parody of his ancient duty. And when the sinister archipelago spews the clouds of black mist, the titanic centaur, at the head of the spectral host of the Iron Order, rides to slaughter the living in remembrance of his distant past glories.

    No one survives

    The icy surf broke over a desolate shoreline, stained red by the blood of the men Hecarim had already killed. The mortals he had left to kill fled along the beach in terror. Black rain rained down on them as puffy storm clouds floated down from the mourning heart of the island. Hecarim heard the screams being thrown at each other. His words were a guttural warrior chant that he did not understand, but whose meaning was obvious: They believed they could live to reach their ship. Yes, they had a certain dexterity. They moved in unison, their wooden shields intertwined. But they were mortal, and the shadowy centaur could taste the stench of their fear.

    He circled them, skirting the crumbling ruins, hidden in the mist rising from the ashen sands. The echo of their hooves made sparks fly from the black stones and pierced the courage of the fleeing men. He watched the mortals through the thin visor of his helmet. The dim lights of their twisted spirits flickered like wisps in her flesh. They disgusted him, but at the same time he coveted them.

    "May no one survive," he said.

    The iron of his helmet muffled his voice, which sounded like the last exhalation of a hanged man. The sound twitched the nerves of mortals like the squeak of a rusted blade. Hecarim, intoxicated by his terror, smiled when one of them dropped his shield and, desperate, started running towards the ship.

    With a roar, he galloped out of the brush-infested ruins and clenched the curved glaive as he felt the old thrill of the charge. A memory appeared for a fleeting moment: Him, riding at the head of a host of silver, conquering glory and honor. It vanished again as the man, reaching the black swell of the shoals, turned his head for a moment.

    -Please! No! He exclaimed.

    Hecarim tore it in two with one heinous blow.

    The glaive's ebony blade throbbed as it bathed in blood. The fragile scroll of the man's spirit tried to flutter away, but the voracity of the mist was not fooled. Hecarim watched the twisted soul transform itself into a sinister transcript of man's life.

    He summoned the power of the island and the bloody swell began to stir as a host of sinister knights came out of the water, clad in fine light. Encased in archaic plates of ghostly iron, they drew black swords that blazed with gloomy brilliance. He should have known those men. They had served it once, and still served it, but he had no memory of them. He turned back to the mortals on the beach. He commanded the mists to part and relished the terror that engulfed them as they saw him clearly for the first time.

    His colossal figure was a nightmare hybrid of man and horse, a monstrous wrought-iron chimera. The plates on his body were covered with moisture and etchings whose meaning he barely remembered vaguely. A ghostly fire burned behind his visor, the flame of a spirit cold and dead yet endowed with a hideous vitality.

    It towered over its hindquarters as a multiple tracery of lightning split the sky. He lowered the glaive and, followed by his knights, charged forward, lifting huge lumps of bloody sand and bone fragments. The mortals screamed and raised their shields, but the spectral knights' charge was unstoppable. Hecarim struck first, as was his right as lord of the host, and the thunderous impact tore a splintered hole in the shield wall. Their iron-clad helmets trampled the men to powder. The glaive struck left and right with deadly precision. The ghostly knights crushed all that stood in their way and slaughtered the living in a fury of deadly helmets, spears and blades. Between the creaking of bones and spilled blood, spirits escaped from broken bodies, already trapped between life and death by the black magic of the Ruined King.

    The spirits of the dead surrounded Hecarim, slaves of the one who had slain them, as he basked in the overwhelming bliss of battle. He ignored their howls. He had no interest in enslaving them. He would leave these petty cruelties in the hands of the Relentless Jailer.

    He only cared about one thing: Killing.

    `` Go through their ranks and trample them mercilessly. Crush the living and revel in their terror. ''

    Karthus

    The voice of death

    Karthus, herald of oblivion, is an immortal spirit whose terrifying songs precede the horror of his Dantesque appearance. The living fear the eternity of undeath, but Karthus sees only beauty and purity in his embrace, a perfect communion between life and death. When he emerges from the Shadow Isles it is to bring the bliss of death to mortals, as an apostle of non-life.

    Karthus was born in utter misery, in the rambling suburbs surrounding the Noxian capital. His mother died giving birth, leaving the baby and his three sisters in the care of his father. They lived with dozens of other families in a dilapidated asylum, where they survived on rainwater and vermin. Of all the brothers, Karthus was the most adept at catching rats and the one who most often brought nibbled corpses for the pot.

    Death was an omnipresent reality in the suburbs of Noxus, where many mornings began with the screeching of heartbroken parents who, upon awakening, had found the cold and lifeless bodies of their little ones. Karthus learned to adore these laments and to watch in fascination as the Kindred accountants, having made a notch in their rods, removed the corpses from the asylum. At night, young Karthus wandered through the crowded rooms in search of those whose lives hung by a thread, hoping to witness the moment when his soul completed the transition from life to death. For years, these night tours were unsuccessful, since it was impossible to predict the exact moment when a person would die. The privilege of witnessing the moment of death was forbidden until he reached his own family.

    Epidemics were frequent in places like this, where people were crowded together, and when the plague took hold of the sisters of Karthus, the young man devoted himself with all diligence to watch over them. While his father drowned his sorrows, Karthus, like a good brother, took care of them ... and watched as the disease consumed them. He witnessed the death of each one of them and it was as if a sublime connection reached him at the same moment that the light faded from his eyes, a longing to see what lay beyond death and to reveal the secrets of eternity. . When the accountants came looking for the bodies, Karthus followed them to the temple and set about harassing them with endless questions about their order and the reality of death. Was it possible for a person to exist at the moment when life ends, but before death begins? If such a fleeting moment could be understood and apprehended, could the wisdom of life be combined with the clarity of death?

    The accountants quickly understood that Karthus was the perfect fit for the order, so they welcomed him into their ranks, first as a gravedigger and pyre builder, then as a corpse collector. In this way, he began to travel the streets of Noxus with his wagon of bones to collect the dead. His chants, funereal laments that spoke of the beauty of death and the hope in the embrace of what was behind it, soon became famous throughout Noxus. Many heartbroken families found a hint of peace and relief in their heartfelt elegies. Finally, he was assigned to the temple itself to take care of the dead in their last moments, which allowed him to dedicate himself to contemplating how death took them away. Karthus spoke to all of them and accompanied them to the threshold of death, hoping to find more wisdom in the fading light of their eyes.

    But after some time, he came to the conclusion that he could learn nothing more from mortals and only the dead themselves could answer his questions. The dying souls could tell him nothing about what lay beyond, but amid whispered rumors and scary tales for children, echoes of a place where death was not the end began to reach his ears: The Islands of the Shadow.

    Karthus emptied the temple coffers and purchased passage to Bilgewater, a city haunted by a strange black mist that was said to carry souls to a cursed island deep in the ocean. No captain dared take him to the Shadow Isles, but he finally found a rum-soaked fisherman, burdened with debt and with nothing to lose. His boat faced the waters for many days and nights, until a storm pushed it against the rocky shore of an island that did not appear on any navigation chart. A black mist hung over a ghostly landscape made up of twisted trees and ancient ruins. The terrified fisherman pulled the boat off the rocks and turned the bow toward Bilgewater, but Karthus jumped into the water and splashed toward the shore. Leaning on his meter stick, he proudly sang the lament he had prepared for his own death, and an icy wind blew the words into the heart of the island.

    The black mist blew through Karthus and his ancient sorcery devastated his flesh and soul, but so intense was Karthus's desire to transcend mortality that it did not destroy him. Instead, he rebuilt it again, and that's how Karthus was reborn in the island's waters, a stark specter.

    Knowledge flooded his spirit as he transformed into what he had always believed he should be: a creature that existed on the threshold between life and death. The beauty of this timeless moment marveled him as the shattered spirits of the island, drawn by his passion like ocean predators to the scent of blood, rose to witness his transformation. At last, Karthus was where he needed to be, surrounded by those who truly understood the true blessing of undeath. Imbued with righteous zeal, he realized that he must return to Valoran to share his gift with the living and free them from the weight of the pettiness of mortality.

    He turned, and the Black Mist carried him over the waves to the fisherman's boat. The man fell to his knees before Karthus pleading for his life and Karthus granted him the blessing of death. It ended his suffering and allowed him to rise as an immortal spirit while he sang a lament for the departure of souls. He was the first of many spirits he would release, the first soldier in a legion of undead wraiths under the command of the Song of Death. To his heightened senses, the Shadow Isles were in a state of listless limbo where the gifts of death were wasted. Thus, he would galvanize the dead into a crusade to bring the beauty of oblivion to the living, to end the suffering of mortality and usher in a glorious age of undeath.

    Funeral at sea

    Karthus has become the emissary of the Shadow Isles, a herald of oblivion whose laments are hymns to the glory of death. The legions of disembodied souls he commands support his funerary chants with terrifying voices that extend beyond the black mist through graveyards and slaughterhouses across Valoran.

    The sea was dark and smooth as a mirror. A blood red moon hovered just below the horizon, just as it had done for the past six nights. No wind or whisper disturbed the air, beyond the damned dirge that came from who knows where. Vionax had been sailing the oceans of Noxus long enough to know that such a sea could only be a harbinger of bad luck. Planted in the forecastle of the Black Will, she scanned the horizon with her spyglass, searching for anything she could use to determine her position.

    "Nothing but sea in all directions," he told the night. There is no recognizable land or stars in sight. The wind flees our sails. The rowers have been rowing for days, but wherever we go, there is no trace of dry land and the moon does not wax or wane.

    He took a moment to rub his face with the palms of his hands. Hunger and thirst growled in her belly, and because of the permanent darkness, it was impossible to accurately measure the passage of time. The Black Will was not even his ship. He had only been his first mate until the ax of a Freljordian pirate, struck in the skull of Captain Mettock, had granted him a withering promotion. The captain and fifteen other Noxian warriors lay inside a stitched stretcher stretched out on the main deck. The increasing intensity of the stench coming from the bodies was the only reliable proof of the passage of time.

    Vionax looked back out into the open sea, and then, seeing a black mist rise from the water, his eyes widened. Shapes moved in it, outlines that made it possible to intuit hooked limbs and half-open mouths. The damned song echoed over the waters again, louder this time and accompanied by the painful peal of a funeral bell.

    "The Black Mist!" -said-. Everyone on deck!

    He turned and ran across the main deck toward the aft tower and the ship's rudder. Not that he could do anything to move the ship, but that was his place. A shuddering lament for lost souls spread over the ship as men stumbled from the lower decks, and despite the terror that gripped his spine, Vionax could not help but recognize their poetic beauty. Tears, not of fear but of infinite sadness, welled up in his eyes and streaked his cheeks.

    "Let me end your sadness."

    The voice that had sounded in his head was cold and lifeless, the voice of a dead man. He conjured the image of the iron-lined wheels of a wagon crammed with corpses and of a knife leaving another death mark on a stick. Vionax knew the stories about the black mist and knew that he must avoid the archipelago that lurked behind the eastern darkness. He had thought his ship was far from the Shadow Isles, but he was wrong.

    He stopped short as the mist crept over the rail, accompanied by the howls and squawks of dead creatures. Wraiths, a swirling chorus of the damned, hovered over her, and at the sight of them, the Black Will crew screamed in terror. Vionax drew his pistol and cocked it as a menacing figure loomed out of the mist: She was tall and imposing, decked out in tattered garb that looked like that of an ancient prelate, but with warrior's armor draped over her shoulders and head. fleshless skull. A book hung on a chain suspended from his waist, and it bore a long rod that ran through countless notches. At its tip and in the palm of the figure's other hand spectral lights shone, blazing like shooting stars.

    -Why are you crying? Said the creature. I am Karthus and I bring you a great gift.

    "I don't want it," Vionax replied as he pulled the trigger. With a thunderous report, the pistol spat out a mouthful of fire. The projectile struck the monstrous ghost, but went through it without doing the slightest damage.

    "Alas, mortals ..." Karthus said as he shook his helmet. They fear what they do not understand and reject a blessing that is willingly offered to them.

    The monster glided forward, the sinister glow emitting from its wand flooding the deck with a sickly pale light. Vionax recoiled from the frost of the specter as his crewmen fell, struck down by the light and their souls began to detach from their bodies like wisps of steam. The captain tripped over one of the corpses on the stretcher and fell on her buttocks. He tried to get away from Karthus by crawling over the bodies of his crewmates.

    The stretchers below him moved.

    They all moved, writhing and shivering like fish just pulled out of the water and thrown on the deck of a boat. Wisps of smoke billowed from the tears in the fabric and between the clumsy stitches with which the sailors had sewn them. Faces moved through the mist, faces she had navigated with for years, men and women who had fought alongside her.

    The specter loomed over her, accompanied by the spirit forms of the Black Will crew, outlined by the moonlight.

    "You must not fear death, Lady Vionax," Karthus said. It will free you from pain. It will divert your eyes from your worldly existence to show you the glory of eternal life. Embrace the beauty and wonder of death. Get rid of your mortality. You don't need it.

    He held out his hand, and the lights that hovered above her rose to envelop her. As Vionax screamed, they cut through skin, muscle, and bone to his very soul. The specter clenched its fist and the captain howled as she was ripped from herself from within.

    "Let your soul fly free," Karthus said as he turned to make a new notch in his staff with a sharp fingernail. You will no longer feel pain or fear, or the desire to experience anything except the beauty of what I have shown you. Miracles and wonders await you, mortal. Why wouldn't you want such bliss ...?

    "No," she pleaded with her last breath. I do not want to see it.

    "It's done," Karthus replied.

    '' Death is not the end of the road, only the beginning ... ''

    Kalista

    The spirit of revenge

    Kalista, a specter of wrath and punishment, is the immortal spirit of vengeance, an armored nightmare that comes from the Shadow Isles to hunt down liars and traitors. Those who have been betrayed may seek revenge with tears of blood, but Kalista only responds to those he considers worthy of his prowess. Woe to those who become the target of her wrath, for any pact made with the shadowy huntress can only end in the cold flames of her spirit lances.

    In life, Kalista was a proud general, the niece of the mighty monarch of an empire long forgotten. He followed a strict code of honor and expected others to do the same and serve their kings with complete loyalty. Their king had numerous enemies, and when the lords of a conquered country sent an assassin to finish him off, only the speed of Kalista's arm could prevent disaster. But in saving the king he condemned the queen. The killer's blade, which was poisoned, struck his lord's wife in the arm. The highest priests, surgeons, and sorcerers were called in, but no one was able to extract the poison from the queen's body. Not even the king's magic could do anything but slow his advance. Mad with regret, the monarch sent Kalista in search of a cure. Before leaving, the general summoned the lord of the Iron Order, Hecarim, and ordered him to take his place beside the king. Hecarim accepted the task reluctantly, as he would have preferred to go with her in the search.

    Kalista traveled the world seeking a cure among scholars, hermits, and mystics, but always to no avail. Finally he heard of a legendary place, hidden beyond the eyes of mortals, where, it was said, the key to eternal life was hidden: the Blessed Isles. Without a moment's hesitation, he set out in search of it. The inhabitants of the island knew what he was looking for and, realizing the purity of his intentions, they decided to let his boat reach its shores. Kalista begged them to heal the queen, and the lord of the order told him to bring her there so they could purify her body. Climbing back aboard his ship, they revealed the words of power that would allow him to break through the enchantments that protected the island, but warned him not to reveal them to anyone. Kalista left for her homeland, but was late, as the queen had already died.

    The king, consumed by the madness that sadness had caused him, had locked himself in his tower with the decomposing corpse. Upon learning of Kalista's return, he demanded to know what he had discovered. With a heavy heart, having never ignored an order from her lord before, Kalista refused, remembering the warning she had been given and knowing that it would be useless to bring a body to the island. The king called her a traitor and ordered her imprisoned until she relented. Kalista remained in the cell until Hecarim came to visit her. The knight asked him to help the king find peace, either by returning his wife to him or by helping him accept that she was dead and should be buried in the Blessed Isles. In this way, between the two of them, they could appease their madness and end it all without major evils. Reluctantly, sensing something strange about Hecarim, Kalista accepted the proposal.

    And so the king weighed anchor toward the Blessed Isles with a flotilla of his fastest ships. Kalista spoke the magic words that lifted the veil that protected his destiny, and as the king burst into tears, the glittering coastline appeared before his eyes. The monarch marched towards the white city that rose in the center of the island, where the lord of his guardians received him. He ordered him to bring his wife back to life, but the sage's response was that trying to cheat death was against the natural order of things. The king was in a violent rage and ordered Kalista to kill him.

    Kalista refused and appealed to the great man who had once been the king, but his prayers fell on deaf ears and the monarch again ordered the death of the guardian. Kalista asked Hecarim to second her, but the lord of the Iron Order realized that this was the time to replace Kalista as the king's long-awaited right-hand man. He approached Kalista as if to help her, but at the last moment, in a monstrous act of betrayal, he stabbed her with a spear. Knights of the Iron Order joined in his treachery, spears skewering Kalista's body as he fell. Then a brutal and desperate skirmish broke out between the Kalista and Hecarim faithful and their men. But despite their bravery and skill, the former were very few and Hecarim's hitmen finished off all of them. Kalista, in her last moments, witnessed the death of her men, and with her dying breath she vowed to take revenge on those who had betrayed her.

    When he opened his eyes again, the dark power of unnatural magic blazed in them. The Blessed Isles had become a sinister parody of life and beauty, a realm of darkness populated by howling spirits doomed to the nightmare of undeath for all eternity. Kalista did not know how that had happened, but although she tried to hold on to the memories of her betrayal, they slowly faded, leaving nothing but a burning thirst for revenge in her chest.

    A thirst that will only quench the blood of traitors.

    Invocation

    There she was, the warrior wife, standing among the ruins of her flame-eaten home. Everything she ever wanted, her belongings, her loved ones, everything she had lost to never see. One of those sadness that escapes reason, that was all he had now. And hatred, a deep hatred too, a stifled hatred that nonetheless kept her standing.

    He turned to see the man's face again, just at the moment when he gave the order. He was supposed to be there to protect them, but all he did was spit on their vows. No, her family was not the only one that had been destroyed by her betrayal.

    All she wanted was to get even, go for him, and make him pay. He wanted to take his sword and plunge it into the assassin's chest to see life drain from his eyes ... but he knew he couldn't even get close. Day and night the guards followed him wherever he went, and what was she? A warrior and nothing more. She could never get through the entire battalion, fighting to the last drop of blood, yes, but she and no one else, alone and her soul sad. To die like this would be in vain.

    A chill ran through her. He took a deep breath and knew he would never return.

    On a fire-blackened chest of drawers lay a crude effigy of a man made of chopsticks and twine. The figurine was held in place by a piece of cloth torn from the traitor's cloak. The warrior wife had taken it from her husband's dead fist. To one side was a hammer and three rusty nails.

    He collected everything and went to the threshold where before the assault there was a door, where today there was only a trail of splinters. Outside, he caught a glimpse of the moonlight spilling over the darkness of the fields.

    He reached for the wooden lintel and placed the small effigy of sticks on it.

    "I invoke you, Lady of Vengeance," said the warrior wife, in a low, trembling voice that carried the depth of her anger. Behind your veil, hear my plea. I invoke you, Lady of Vengeance!

    He readied the hammer and drove the first of the nails.

    "I proclaim the name of the traitor once," he said, and spoke the name of the accursed aloud. At the same time, he placed the point of the first nail on the chest of the figurine and with a single blow he plunged it against the hard wood to fix it in the upper frame of the door.

    Suddenly a chill ran down her spine. The room had grown colder. Or was he imagining it?

    "I proclaim your name twice," he said, as another blow of the hammer drove the second nail into the side of the first.

    Something shook her at that moment, forcing her to look away. A dark presence had appeared among the moonlit fields, about a hundred meters away, where the apparition was completely still. The warrior wife began to breathe heavily. He struggled to refocus his attention on the unfinished task.

    "I proclaim your name three times," she said, and spoke the name of the murderer of her husband and children again, just before driving down the last of the nails.

    An ancient spirit of vengeance stood before her in the doorway. He couldn't help staggering or letting out a gasp.

    The otherworldly creature was clad in archaic armor, its skin translucent and its translucent flesh giving off a ghostly glow. The Black Mist enveloped her like a living shroud.

    With a screech of tortured metal, the spectral figure removed from its breastplate the blackened spear that pierced it, the fatal weapon that had taken its life.

    He tossed her to the ground, ahead of the warrior wife. Neither of them said a word; it was not necessary. The warrior wife knew what the offer was: revenge for a terrible price: her soul.

    The spirit watched her with an imperturbable face, eyes engulfed by the flame of icy fury, piercing eyes that saw the warrior wife pick up the treacherous weapon from the ground.

    "I pledge allegiance to vengeance," the warrior wife said in a trembling voice. He placed the tip of the spear against his chest, aiming for his heart. I seal my oath with my blood. I seal my oath ... with my soul.

    He stopped for a second. Her husband would have offered his own soul asking that she, his beloved wife, never have to undertake a path like this. I would have begged him not to condemn his soul by making such a terrible decision. For an instant doubt gnawed at her, while the undead specter gazed at her in silence.

    The warrior wife's eyes were then fixed on an indelible image: her husband lying dead, torn to pieces by axes and swords, and their children scattered on the ground, soaked in their own blood. The warrior wife's heart began to harden into a cold stone from which only courage and determination emanated. With a firm hand, he clenched the spear between his fists.

    "Help me," she implored, no longer in doubt. Please help me kill him.

    And the warrior wife plunged the spear against his chest, to the depths.

    In his last breath, he opened his wide eyes and fell to his knees against the floor. He tried to speak, but only the red silence of blood flowed from his lips.

    The ghostly being watched her die, undaunted.

    As the last drop of life left her body, the woman's shadow rose to her feet. He stared at his insubstantial hands in amazement, then looked away at the empty-eyed corpse lying in a growing pool of blood. The shadow's countenance hardened and a ghostly sword appeared in his hand.

    An ethereal bond, just a trickle of light, stretched between the newborn shadow and the avenging spirit it had summoned. Through that bond, the woman could see the mysterious being in another way. He caught a glimpse of the noble warrior she had been in life: tall, proud, and in shining armor. His bearing conveyed confidence, but not arrogance; Born to be a leader, Born to be a soldier This woman was a commander for whom he would have gladly shed his own blood.

    Beyond the anger that enveloped the vengeful spirit, the bound soul could feel a hint of empathy, could see how the pain at the betrayal united them beyond the oath.

    "Your cause is our cause," said Kalista, the Spirit of Vengeance, and her voice was cold as a grave. Now we walk the path of vengeance together.

    The bloody wife nodded.

    And so the vengeful spirit and the shadow of the warrior wife parted together to lose themselves in the darkness.

    '' When we are offended, we seek justice. When we are hurt, we respond. And when they betray us, the Spirit of Vengeance strikes! ''

    Mordekaiser

    The iron nightmare

    The mournful reborn known as Mordekaiser is one of the most terrifying and hateful spirits of the Shadow Isles. He has been around the world for countless centuries, protected from true death by his necromancy and the force of his dark will. Those who face him in battle risk a terrible fate, as Mordekaiser enslaves the souls of his victims to become instruments of destruction.

    Mordekaiser was a mortal in his time, a brutal witch-king who ruled over the eastern lands of Valoran long before the advent of Demacia or Noxus. He entered combat encased in heavy iron armor and slaughtered all who dared to oppose him, crushing them under his magic mace, Nightfall.

    As hated as he was feared, his enemies finally joined forces to end his black reign. After a long and bloody day of battle, Mordekaiser found himself face to face with his destiny on a mountain of corpses, surrounded by enemies. He died laughing, pierced by arrows, swords and spears, but as he did so he promised his executioners that he would return for them.

    Their corpse was thrown on a huge pyre, amid the celebrations of their enemies. And although the flames could do nothing but blacken his armor, Mordekaiser's body was reduced to a heap of charred bones.

    The fires burned for days, but when they were finally extinguished and the victors departed, a coven of warlocks rushed to the scene and sifted the ashes to collect Mordekaiser's armor and bones. They were carried away secretly, and on a moonless night they laid the corpse on a rune-etched slab and cast an incantation of maleficent necromancy. As his black magic reached its crescendo, a sinister shape appeared on the slab. The ghostly shadow rose to its feet, leaving the skeleton behind.

    It was a specter made of pure darkness, yet its eyes burned with malice. The plates of the armor, blackened by fire, clung to the spirit, as if drawn by a powerful magnetite, as the wizards fell on their knees before their revived master. They had been promised great power for their services, but had not foreseen what form their reward would take.

    Using his newfound mastery of the necromantic arts, Mordekaiser gave them the gift of undeath, caught between this life and the next. They were transformed into liches, vile living corpses condemned to serve him until the end of time.

    Over the next decade, Mordekaiser took it upon himself to take down all those who had defied him. He extracted their souls, and subjected them to his immortal will, as his servants for all eternity.

    Having assumed the mantle of the Iron Reborn, Mordekaiser's reign of nightmare and darkness spanned many centuries. During this period there were several times when he was considered dead, but in all of them he returned, revived by the power of his liches.

    Mordekaiser's bones were the key to his unholy resurrections, and so as the centuries passed, his paranoia about his safety grew. At the heart of his empire he built a monolithic fortress that would come to be known as the Immortal Bastion. And in the heart of this titanic redoubt he hid his remains.

    After some time, an alliance of tribes and warrior parties was formed, whose forces brought the Immortal Hold under siege. During the battle, an unknown thief infiltrated the mighty fortress, eluding its infernal defenses, and stole Mordekaiser's skull. His skeleton had to be whole for the resurrection ritual to take place, but his liches, fearing the wrath of their lord, hid the theft from him.

    On the walls of the Immortal Hold, countless enemies fell to Mordekaiser, but it was not enough to prevent defeat. The fortress was invaded and the sorcerer struck down by an inexhaustible tide of adversaries. They ripped the terrible mace out of his hand and bound his limbs with great chains. But their laughter echoed thunderously through the darkness as they did so. He had no reason to think that he would not be reborn again, as he had done so many times. His enemies bound their chains to titanic basilisks and, with a shouted order intoned, the scaly beasts dismembered him.

    His skull traveled beyond the sea, to the Blessed Isles, a place hidden in mist and legend. The wise protectors of that land knew Mordekaiser's history and his weaknesses. It was they who had ordered the theft to rid the world of his unholy presence, and now that they had the skull in their possession, they hid it deep within their subterranean areas, behind closed doors and magical defenses. Mordekaiser's servants spread out across the world in search of the skull, but were unable to find it. It seemed that Mordekaiser's reign had really come to an end.

    Years gave way to decades and decades to centuries, until one day a terrible cataclysm unleashed over the Blessed Isles. A king whose mind had been reduced to a ruined state by regret and madness cast a spell that plunged the archipelago into darkness and transformed it into a twisted realm of undead creatures: The Shadow Isles. During the witchcraft explosion that ensued, the chamber that guarded Mordekaiser's skull was blown to pieces.

    Drawn like moths to the light, Mordekaiser's liches flocked to the islands. They carried with them the bones of their lord and master, and having extracted his skull from the ruins, they were finally able to once again enter the gates of the world for him.

    Since then, Mordekaiser has forged his own empire in the Shadow Isles, enslaving an ever-growing army of the dead. He looks down upon these sleepless spirits, for unlike him, who chose the path of death of his own free will, they are but lost souls. But that does not mean that you do not recognize its usefulness. In the coming conflicts, they will be the infantry of your armies.

    Unlike lesser spirits, Mordekaiser is not confined to black mist. It is too strong for that. However, its sinister energy gives it not inconsiderable powers. For this reason, at least for the moment, the Shadow Isles are the perfect place to hide and multiply your forces.

    As he consolidates his power and ponders with perpetual obsession how to save his bones, he has begun to look beyond the sea, towards Valoran. He has set his eyes on the empires and civilizations that were born during his absence. And most especially, he is drawn to the Immortal Bastion, the mighty fortress that now serves as the capital of the young empire called Noxus.

    A new age of darkness is approaching.

    Shadows of condemnation

    The Black Mist curled and twisted like a living creature as it crawled around the isolated gray stone castle.

    A huge armored figure walked inside her. His heavy armor gleamed like oil, and inside his horned helmet burned orbs of cruel witchcraft.

    The grass withered under their feet as the wraith battleship marched toward the castle gate. I could see movement on the walls. They knew that death had come looking for them. His name floated on the wind, whispered in terror:

    Mordekaiser.

    Several arrows pierced the night air. Some of them caught up with Mordekaiser and shattered, repelled by his armor. One penetrated the hole between helm and ruff, not slowing its inexorable advance one iota.

    A heavy iron rake stood in his way. The wraith reached out an armored hand and twisted it in midair. The iron tracery screeched in protest as it twisted out of shape, before flinging itself to the side, exposing the sturdy oak gate it protected.

    Above him, protective runes flared with white-hot fire and Mordekaiser stepped back half a step. The Black Mist curled around him, and the defenders could now see the other forms it concealed: shadowy, hate-filled specters that gazed with ravenous greed at the souls of the living.

    Mordekaiser took a step forward, brandishing his massive spiked mace they called Nightfall. It was a weapon of sinister renown, which had taken thousands of lives. With savage violence, he dumped it on the oak gate.

    The runes, weak spells of protection woven together by his enemies, shattered into a thousand pieces, unable to overcome Mordekaiser's black witchcraft. The gate, ripped off its hinges, was catapulted inward.

    Black Mist flowed through the gap, seconded by Mordekaiser.

    The soldiers and pawns of the garrison waited for him in the parade ground beyond. Tadpoles, all of them. His gaze swept their ranks in search of a worthy rival. Finally, his immortal eyes rested on a silver-encrusted knight coming forward, sword raised.

    "Back off, specter, if you don't want me to expel you," said the knight. This village and its people are under my protection.

    In response to his threat, a host of translucent specters and warriors materialized in the Black Mist, behind their lord and master.

    "That soul is mine," Mordekaiser said, restraining his hungry spirits. His voice was deep and sepulchral, ​​echoing with the timbre of death itself.

    He pointed his finger and a cone of non-life maleficent swooped down on the knight.

    His armor glowed for a moment and then returned to normal, without Mordekaiser's necromancy touching the prisoner.

    "Demacian steel," he said with a disdainful smile. It won't save you.

    He stepped forward and landed a sledgehammer aimed at the knight's skull. He stopped him with his sword, although the force of the impact brought him to his knees. Mordekaiser towered over him, tall as a tower.

    The knight scrambled to one side and dodged Nightfall, who had swooped down on him in a deadly arc. He flanked his adversary and struck him in the side, and the sword bit deep through plates and mesh. To a mortal it would have been a final blow, but to the armored colossus it was nothing. Mordekaiser shook off the knight with a contemptuous backhand of his gloved hand.

    The Iron Reborn pounced on him to end the fight, but the knight deflected his blow with infinite dexterity and plunged the blade of his sword into his chest with all his might.

    With a metallic screech, the blade cut through the breastplate just above the heart. There was no resistance from within, as if the armor was hollow.

    Mordekaiser grabbed the knight by the neck with one of his gigantic hands and lifted him off the ground.

    "You thought you could protect these mortals," he said. But now it will be you who takes their lives.

    He squeezed her throat. The knight tossed his feet in the air.

    Eyes blazing, Mordekaiser watched his life slip away. Finally, he dropped the corpse to the ground.

    He knelt down and put a hand on the dead knight's chest. As he rose again, the warrior's shadow accompanied him.

    The spirit of the knight looked around, horror written in his ghostly eyes.

    "Now," Mordekaiser ordered, aware that the shadow was powerless over his will. Kill them all.

    "All things must die ... but I am still alive."

    Thresh

    The Relentless Jailer

    Sadistic and cunning, Thresh is an insomniac spirit who prides himself on his ability to torment and break mortals with parsimonious and agonizing inventiveness. The suffering of his victims goes beyond death, because Thresh also destroys their souls by enclosing them in his lantern for all eternity.

    In an age that the world has practically forgotten, the man who would later go by the name of Thresh was a member of an order devoted to the collection and custody of knowledge. The masters of this order entrusted him with the task of protecting an underground and hidden chamber, filled with impious and dangerous magical relics. By his iron will and his methodical character, Thresh was the ideal person for this task.

    The chamber it was supposed to protect was buried deep within a citadel, situated in the center of an archipelago and protected by runic seals, arcane locks, and powerful guardians. But with the passage of time, the black magic it contained felt its influence on Thresh's innate malice and this, little by little, began to change. Year after year, the relics appealed to his insecurities, taunted him using his greatest fears, and fueled his bitterness.

    Thresh's rancor surfaced in lewd acts of cruelty, as his talent for exploring the vulnerabilities of others flourished. He would slowly tear the pages out of a living book, to sew them back on when it was practically shattered. He scratched the surface of a mirror in which the memories of an old wizard were trapped until it was opaque (and the wizard was blind), then he polished it again and started again. In the same way that a secret wants to be told, there is nothing a spell wants more than to be cast, but Thresh denied it day after day. He would begin to recite the incantation and let his tongue reel out the words ... to stop just before the last syllable.

    He acquired an exquisite ability to conceal all evidence of his cruelty, so that no one would suspect that he was anything other than the most disciplined of guardians. The chamber had grown to such an extent that no one knew its contents as well as Thresh, and thus less important relics were fading from the memory of the order ... as did Thresh himself.

    But the fact that she had to hide her meticulous work caused her bitter resentment. Everything entrusted to her care was evil or corrupted in some way ... Why wasn't she free to use it at will?

    The chamber housed many magical artifacts, but no other living creatures ... until the day a man laden with chains was dragged inside. He was a sorcerer who had infused his own body with pure witchcraft, giving him the power to regenerate his flesh no matter how heinous his wounds were.

    Thresh was thrilled to see what had been brought to him: a creature capable of experiencing human suffering in all its intensity without ever perishing, a toy that could last for years and years. Slowly and methodically, he began to pry the skin off with a hook, then used chains to lacerate and tear the open wound until it closed again. He got into the habit of wearing the chains as he toured the chamber, mostly for the pleasure of the terror that engulfed the sorcerer at the slow screeching that preceded him as he approached.

    Engaged in the details of his torments inside the chamber, Thresh began to distance himself more and more from the order outside. He ate in the underground rooms, by the light of a solitary lantern, and rarely did he surface. His complexion became markedly pale from the lack of light, and his countenance became lean and wasted to the extreme. Members of the order began to avoid him, but even so, when a series of mysterious disappearances took place in his bosom, it did not occur to anyone to investigate Thresh's lair.

    But then came the great catastrophe known as the Ruin and a wave of magical energy claimed the lives of all the inhabitants of the archipelago and plunged them into a state of undeath. While the others howled in anguish, Thresh basked in annihilation. He emerged from this cataclysm transformed into a spectral abomination, though, unlike many who had passed into the shadow world, without losing his identity. If anything, his fondness for cruelty and torture and his ability to discern the weaknesses of others were increased.

    His new reality offered him the opportunity to unleash his cruelty without fear of retaliation and without the limitations of mortality. As a specter, Thresh could endlessly torment the living and the dead and revel in their despair before claiming their souls to subject them to an eternity of suffering.

    Now, Thresh is looking for very specific victims: the smartest and toughest, those with the greatest willpower. What he likes the most is tormenting his victims until they get the last glimmer of hope out of them, then forcing them to face the inexorable agony of his chains.

    The collection

    A hideous metallic screech spread over the fields. Outside, an unnatural mist hid the moon and stars, and the buzzing of insects suddenly fell silent.

    Thresh was approaching a ramshackle cabin. He raised his flashlight, not to see his surroundings but to look inside the glass. Beyond this was something that looked like a starry sky, with thousands of tiny fiery orbs. Each of them buzzed frantically, as if trying to escape Thresh's gaze. His lips twisted into a grotesque smile and his teeth gleamed in the light. Each of those orbs was very precious to him.

    Behind the door a man was sobbing. Thresh sensed her pain and was drawn to it. He knew the man's suffering as if he were an old friend.

    He had only appeared to the man once, decades before, but since then he had taken everything he loved from him: from his favorite horse to his mother, his brother and, in recent times, a servant who had become his confidant. . The specter hadn't bothered to pretend the deaths had natural causes. He wanted the man to know who was responsible for each of them.

    He walked through the doors, accompanied by the squeal of chains he dragged. The walls were damp and covered with years of grime. And the man looked even worse: his hair was grown and tangled, and his skin was spattered with raw scabs, split open by his own fingernails. His clothes, once a good velvet suit, were now nothing more than a pile of rags.

    The man jerked away from the green glow and covered his eyes. With a violent shudder, he backed into the corner of the cabin.

    -Please. Please, not you, ”he whispered.

    "I claimed you as my own a long time ago," Thresh hissed in a voice as cracked as if he hadn't uttered a word for ages. It's harvest time ...

    "I'm dying," the man answered in a small voice. If you've come to kill me, you better hurry. He made an effort to look directly at Thresh.

    "It is not your death that I wish," said the specter and smiled even more.

    He left the glass port of his lantern ajar. Strange sounds came from within him, like a cacophony of screams.

    The man didn't react, at least at first. The voices were so numerous that they blended together like the screeching of infinite shards of glass. But the man widened his eyes when he heard the supplications of some he recognized coming from the lantern. He heard his mother, his brother, his friend of the soul and, finally, what he feared most: the voices of his children, howling as if they were being burned alive.

    "What have you done?" He exclaimed. His hands fumbled until they found something, a broken chair, and threw it at Thresh with all their might. But the chair passed through the specter without touching it, and Thresh responded with a laugh devoid of all mirth.

    The man lunged at him, eyes blazing with fury. The wraith's chains moved like snakes. The hooks struck the mortal in the chest, splitting his ribs wide and piercing his heart. The man fell to his knees, his face contorted with delicious agony.

    "I abandoned them to keep them safe," she sobbed. A trail of blood fell from his mouth.

    Thresh yanked on the chains. For an instant, the man did not move. Then the tearing began. Like a linen sheet slowly turned into rags, he was ripped from himself. His body convulsed violently and his blood sprayed the walls.

    "Let's get started, then," Thresh said. He pulled the captive soul, which glowed with pulsating intensity, to one end of the chain, and inserted it into the lantern. The man's corpse, now empty, collapsed as Thresh left.

    The specter walked away from the hut in the company of the curly Black Mist, lantern high. Only after he was gone, the mist cleared, did the insects resume their nocturnal chorus and the stars in the sky again shone.

    "The mind is a wonderful toy ... and it is wonderful to tear it apart."

    Yorick

    The shepherd of lost souls

    Yorick, the last survivor of a long-forgotten religious order, carries the blessing and curse of power over the dead. Trapped in the Shadow Isles, his only companions are decaying corpses and the howling spirits he attracts. His monstrous acts conceal a noble goal: to free his home from the curse of Ruin.

    Yorick did not lead a normal life even as a child. Raised in a fishing village at one end of the Blessed Isles, he always had to struggle to be accepted. While most children his age played hide and seek, he made friends of another kind: the spirits of those who had just died.

    At first, this ability to see and hear the dead terrified him. Whenever someone died in the village, Yorick spent the night awake, waiting for the terrifying cry of a new visitor. He couldn't understand why they tormented him, or why his parents believed spirits were just nightmares.

    Over time, he began to realize that these beings did not intend to do him any harm. They were just lost and needed help to find their way to the afterlife. And since only he seemed capable of seeing them, he decided to become their guide and escort them to whatever awaited them in eternity.

    It was a bittersweet task. Yorick enjoyed the company of ghosts, but each one he gave rest to was a new friend he had to say goodbye to. To the dead he was a savior, but to the living, an outcast. The villagers only saw a disturbed child who was talking to people who were not there.

    Stories of her visions soon spread beyond the village, to the attention of a small order of monks from the Blessed Isles. His envoys traveled to the island of Yorick, convinced that it could become a tool of their faith.

    Yorick agreed to accompany them to their monastery, where he learned the ways of the Twilight Friars and the true meaning of their symbols. Each monk carried a shovel, a symbol of their duty to perform the funeral rites that guaranteed that souls were not lost, as well as a small vial of water from the sacred spring of their islands. This "Breath of Life" represented the duty of the monks to heal the living.

    But no matter how hard he tried, Yorick never managed to win the acceptance of the other monks. For them, it was tangible proof of things that should only be known through faith. They envied their ability to effortlessly perceive what they were only beginning to understand after a lifetime of study. Despised by his brothers, he found himself alone again.

    One morning, while he was going about his chores in the cemetery, he was interrupted by the appearance of a coal-black cloud moving over the Blessed Isles, devouring everything in its path. He tried to escape, but the cloud quickly caught up with him and plunged him into darkness.

    Around him, all living things began to contort, corrupted by the unholy magic of the Black Mist. People, animals and even plants were transformed into sinister and vile caricatures of his former self. The turbulent air around them was thick with whispers and their brothers began to tear the vials of healing water from their necks, as if causing them deep anguish. An instant later, Yorick watched in horror as the monks' souls were ripped from their bodies, leaving nothing but cold, pale corpses behind.

    Amid the increasingly weak screams of his brothers, only Yorick could hear the times they rang out in the mist:

    "Take it off. Join us. We will be one ”.

    He felt his fingers searching for the vial around his neck. Gathering all her determination, she took her hands from her throat and ordered the souls to stop howling. The Black Mist shook violently and darkness swallowed Yorick.

    Upon awakening, the winds had ceased and the once fertile land had been transformed into the grotesque wasteland of the Shadow Isles. Lonely tendrils of Black Mist still clung to him, as if they wanted to seize the only living being they had not yet corrupted. But as the Mist curled around him, Yorick realized that the vial on his neck repelled it. His hands grasped it, realizing that it was the only thing keeping him alive.

    During the following days he scoured the island in search of survivors, but found nothing but the twisted remains of its ancient inhabitants. All around he could see the wretched spirits rising from the corpses.

    As he searched, little by little, he began to put together the pieces of the events that had led to that cataclysm: a king had arrived on the island to resurrect his queen, but all he had achieved was to condemn the archipelago, with all its population.

    Yorick would have liked to set out in search of that "ruined king", to undo the curse he had caused. But he felt powerless in the face of the infinity of death that surrounded him.

    Almost lost in his sadness, he began to speak with the spirits that were around him, trying to find the same comfort as when he was a child. But as he communicated with the Mist, corpses began to emerge from their graves, drawn by his voice. Then he realized that the bodies he had buried in his day were now under his command.

    A flash of hope flared in his desperate heart. To liberate the Shadow Isles, he would use his power and forces.

    To end the curse, he would be forced to use it.

    Funeral rites

    "Help me," begged the castaway.

    Yorick didn't know how long he'd been there, bones broken, bleeding to death on the wreckage of his fishing boat. He whimpered loudly, but his screams were lost under the voices of the multitude of spirits that dwelt on the island. A whirlwind of specters, drawn by his dying life force like light, had gathered around him, wanting to reap a fresh soul. The frightened man opened his eyes wide.

    It was good to be afraid. Yorick had seen the fate of the lost spirits that the Black Mist carried away, and this ... this was fresh meat, something very rare in the Shadow Isles. It had been a long time - a hundred years? - I had not seen a living being. He could feel the Mist behind him, shivering, eager to wrap this stranger in its cold embrace. But the sight of the man had awakened something in him that he thought he had forgotten, and he decided that he was not willing to allow them to take this life. The burly monk carried the wounded sailor on his shoulders and carried him up the slope, in the direction of the old monastery.

    Yorick studied the wounded man's face, which with each step the monk took contorted with a moan of agonized protest. What have you come for, living being?

    After completing his ascent, he led the guest through the corridors of the abbey and stopped in front of the old infirmary. He laid the castaway on a huge stone table and began to examine his vital organs. He had most of his ribs broken and one of his lungs had collapsed.

    "Why are you wasting your time?" Asked a chorus of voices in unison from within the Mist behind Yorick.

    He was silent. He left the man where he was and went to a heavy door at the back of the infirmary. The door refused to open, and Yorick's hand did nothing but leave a trace on the thick layer of dust that covered it. He rested his shoulder on the wood and pushed with all his might.

    "So much effort for nothing," the Mist scoffed. "Let us keep it."

    Once again, Yorick responded with a dismissive silence until he finally managed to open the door. The heavy oak crawled over the stone tiles of the monastery. On the other side was a chamber filled with scrolls, herbs, and poultices. Yorick stared at the relics of his old life for a moment, trying to remember how they were used. He picked up some familiar ones — bandages, brittle and yellowed with age, and an ointment that had long dried — and returned to the man.

    "Leave it," said the Mist. "It is ours from the moment it landed."

    "Hush!" Yorick replied.

    The man at the table looked short of breath. Yorick, aware that he did not have much time to save him, tried to bandage his wounds, but the rotten cloth fell apart as soon as he managed to apply it.

    The man's breath hitched more and more, and he began to have convulsions. Driven by agonizing despair, he grabbed the monk by the arm. Yorick knew there was only one thing he could do to save her life. He uncapped the glass bottle around his neck and looked at the healing water it contained. There was very little left. He wasn't sure there was enough to save him. And even if it were so ...

    He had to face the truth. In trying to save man, he was only chasing the ghost of his old life, when that cursed place was still called the Blessed Isles. The spirits of the Mist had mocked him, but they had done it with the truth. The man was doomed, and if Yorick used the Tears of Life, he would be damned as well. He capped the flask and let it rest against his neck.

    He pushed back from the table and watched the man's chest rise and fall one last time. The Black Mist flooded the room and the spirits it housed extended their claws impatiently. With one last shudder of greed, they ripped his soul from his body. The soul gave a weak, fleeting cry before being devoured.

    Yorick stood still and recited an almost forgotten prayer. He looked at the soulless corpse on the table, a bitter reminder of a task still unfinished. As long as the Curse of Ruin remained, anyone who came to the islands would suffer the same fate. He had to bring peace to those cursed islands, but after years of searching, all he had found were whispers of a ruined king.

    I needed answers.

    In response to a gesture from Yorick, a fine wisp of Mist penetrated the man's corpse. An instant later he stood up. He was barely conscious, but he could see, hear, and walk.

    "Help me," Yorick said.

    The body staggered out of the infirmary, its heavy, slow steps echoing through the corridors of the monastery. He continued until he reached the stinking atmosphere of the cemetery and walked away between the rows of empty graves.

    Yorick watched him walk toward the center of the island until the Mist swallowed him. Maybe this one did come back with the answer.

    'These islands ... how they scream.' '

    Maokai

    The twisted treant

    Maokai is an imposing and fierce treant who battles the unnatural horrors of the Shadow Isles. A lust for vengeance flooded him after a magical cataclysm destroyed his home, and he survives the rot solely by the waters of life imbued in his heartwood. Maokai, once a peaceful spirit of nature, now fights fiercely to banish the plague of non-life from the Shadow Isles and restore the former beauty of his home.

    In time immemorial, a chain of islands emerged from the depths of the ocean like black tiles of rock and clay. With its creation, the spirit of nature Maokai was born. It took the form of a treant, with a prominent bark-covered body and long limbs like branches. Maokai felt the deep loneliness of the land and its potential for exuberance. He wandered from island to island in search of signs of life, increasingly abandoned in his solitude.

    On a mountainous island, covered by soft, rich soil, Maokai sensed boundless energy emanating from deep within the earth. He sank down his great roots until they reached magical life-giving waters and drank heavily. After drinking the powerful liquid, hundreds of shoots emerged from it, which he planted throughout the islands.

    Soon, the land was covered with a blanket of green forests, groves of tall pines, and tangled thickets, all infused with wondrous magic. The trees reached the sky with their dense foliage, with thick and sinuous roots that covered the islands with lush foliage. The spirits of nature were attracted to such abundant vegetation and the animals enjoyed the fertile greenery.

    When humans finally arrived on the islands, they too thrived on the abundance of the land and formed a cultivated society of scholars devoted to the study of the mysteries of the world. Although Maokai was aware of their presence, he found that they respected the spirituality of the land. Humans realized the deep magic that the forest harbored, so they built their houses in sparse areas to avoid disturbing the nature spirits. Maokai manifested himself directly to those he trusted and blessed them with knowledge about the lush islands, including his greatest gift, the underground spring that could heal mortal wounds.

    Centuries passed, and Maokai lived in idyllic joy until a fleet of soldiers ran aground on the island's shores. Maokai noticed something terrible was happening. Their king, maddened with grief, carried the corpse of his queen and, hoping to revive her, bathed her rotting flesh in the healing waters. The queen, revived like a decomposing corpse, asked to return to death. The king tried to undo the process, but what he accomplished was unconsciously casting a terrible curse on the land.

    Leagues away, Maokai sensed the first waves of the disaster that would soon devastate the islands. He felt an eerie force gather beneath the ground and a bitter chill ran up and down him.

    The devastation continued to spread, so Maokai desperately dug his roots deep to drink from the healing water, drenching every fiber of his being with magic. Before the cursed waters reached him, Maokai withdrew the roots, severing all connection to the spring. He howled in rage at the utter corruption of the sacred reserve he had entrusted to men. Whirlpools were created under the water that stirred until nothing was pure.

    A few moments later, the mist surrounding the islands blackened and spread across the land, trapping all living things in an unnatural state between life and death. Maokai watched helplessly as everything he knew - plants, nature spirits, animals, and humans - turned into miserable shadows. His fury increased: the great beauty that he had cultivated with his little buds had been ruined in an instant in the carefree hands of humans.

    The unnerving mist enveloped Maokai, who wept until the bright flowers adorning his shoulders withered and fell apart. His body shuddered and contorted into a mass of twisted roots and tangled branches, and the Mist tried to suck the life out of him. But the heartwood of Maokai was drenched with the precious waters of life, and that saved him from the terrible fate of undeath.

    As the land was plagued with grotesque specters and hideous abominations, a horde of lifeless men appeared in front of Maokai. He struck the spirits with his branch-like limbs with unleashed violence, and realized that the force of his blows could turn them to dust. The thought shook him: he had never killed before. He thrashed frantically against the breathless shapes, but hundreds more came for him, and in the end, he had to back away.

    With his home decimated and his companions turned into immortal horrors, Maokai was tempted to escape the nightmare of the islands. But from deep within his twisted body, he sensed the life that the holy waters gave him. He had survived the Ruin by carrying the very heart of the islands within him and now he would not leave his home. As the first nature spirit of the Blessed Isles, she would stay and fight for the soul of her land.

    Surrounded by endless hordes of malicious enemies and a darkening mist, Maokai fights to conquer the evil that infests the islands in a fiery sense of vengeance. His only pleasure comes from the savage violence he inflicts on the soulless wraiths that roam his land.

    Maokai fights the Mist and the immortal specters, ending their dominance in some grove or thicket. Though it has been an era without new life arising on this cursed soil, Maokai strives to create small havens, albeit temporary, but free from lament and rot.

    As long as Maokai continues to fight, there will be hope, as its heartwood is drenched with the uncorrupted waters of life, the last chance left for the island to recover. If the earth returns to its jubilant state, Maokai will no longer be twisted. The spirit of nature brought life to these islands long ago, and it does not intend to rest until it blooms again.

    Night flower

    The cold wind whips the cracks in my bark with a hollow, hissing sound. I am shivering. My limbs have long since forgotten the warmth of summer.

    The long figures that surround me break and fall before the gale. The lives within him are long dead; now they are my silent companions. Their fragile trunks are already just empty shells, jagged gray outlines that have nothing to do with the lush forest that sprouted here.

    A spirit snakes through the trees in front of me, pale and ghostly against the night air. A knot tightens in my bark. Normally, I would pierce his heart, lashing him with my roots, but today I am not moving, I do not want the specter to notice my presence. I'm tired of holding on My very existence is an act of defiance against the curse that plagues these lands.

    His moon eyes are empty. There is nothing alive to breathe his cold bitterness on this island of death, nothing to hunt or consume. The spirit sneaks through the trees and leaves me alone.

    I look through the forest of shadows and my branches waver. I can see a small red flame rising from the infinite gray. On a mound of black earth, a flower bud emerges from the ground; its petals are so bright they burn my eyes.

    It is a night flower. Long ago, they used to cover the soil of the Blessed Isles and bloom on the night of the summer solstice. In the morning, the flowers wilted and only the blackened petals remained, and until the following year they did not bloom again. But, for one night, they lit the forest so intense crimson that it seemed the land was on fire.

    I look around me and, for a very brief moment, I think that if I found one flower there might be more. But I only find the bleak gray of these dead islands.

    My branches creak as I take a shaky step forward. I approach the flower, captivated, stepping on and turning the ashen leaves to dust. My enormous structure is imposed on its delicate form. I lean in until my face almost touches the sweet-scented petals. The powerful waters of my heartwood stir, awaken to recognize what I have before me. Life.

    The neck of the flower is lopsided as if curious. There are intense vermilion veins running through each petal, and its pale green stem is covered with hundreds of silvery, velvety hairs. I could spend an eternity enjoying every part of it.

    It grows at all times and changes subtly, its stem getting taller and higher and its petals slowly opening. I am enchanted by every movement, no matter how insignificant. I watch the cocoon open to show the filaments extending from within; its intoxicating aroma floods my mind with color. For an instant I forget the cold, the empty wind, and my own bitterness.

    A pale light flickers and I cringe. A brilliant figure approaches. I feel a tingling in the bark. There are no allies in these bloodless forests.

    The cursed spirit returns, attracted by the movement. Life is not as still as death.

    I flex my limbs furiously, no longer avoiding violence. I like it.

    For one night, a living being immune to corrupt forces will exist on these barren islands.

    The spirit glides towards us. It was once human, but now it's translucent and bone-white. His lack of expression transforms into a voracious gesture when he sees the blood red flower.

    The specter runs towards the flower and tries to inhale its fragile life. Before the flower fades into a lifeless shadow, I throw my limbs forward and twist them around the spirit's legs. It screams, it backs up like it's burned, and I roar. Unnatural beings hate the underground waters within me.

    He twists and gets loose. I pick up the roots and hit them against the ground. The impact splits the barren soil and sends ripples across the land. The reverberations hit the spectrum, which reverses with suffering. I laugh bitterly. As it churns, I pierce it with my limbs, and then it dissolves.

    A dark mist rises from the ground accompanied by a foul stench. The wind moans and dozens of spirits materialize before me; their strident faces gape at the scene. The night flower and I grow before the wall of shadows. I will not allow them to destroy the only pure thing that exists amid so much darkness.

    I strike with all my rage and repel them with relentless force. I can't destroy all the spirits on the islands, but I can hold them back for a while. A specter tries to pass through me. I howl as I lift my roots to pierce your heart, and it dissipates into the mist.

    My strength is depleted with so many spirits around, but I refuse to give in.

    The flower grows bright in the moonlight, oblivious to this battle for its existence. A single crimson petal falls from the perfect flower like a drop of blood. His cycle is ending, bringing death and, with it, rest. But I don't look forward to it. I feel that my fury could completely end the plague that is ravaging the island.

    The cursed mist has risen above the trees and is swirling in great clouds. An infinite horde of spirits rises from the mist with open mouths and unhealthy hunger. I rise as high as I can and beat the ravenous spirits with my limbs, turning them one by one to dust. But more are coming.

    I howl as I transform the wind into a twisted spiral, and feed the storm with my anger until it becomes a stormy whirlwind. I revel in the chaos the whirlwind creates as it whirls in a frantic circle around the flower and me. He violently sends the spirits beyond the trees. In the midst of this nightmare, I have created a sanctuary in which life can unfold.

    I turn to the flower. We are together and quietly in the eye of the storm, still in the midst of all the madness. A second fiery petal falls from the night flower, and then another. The whirlwind drains my energy, but I don't falter, and the storm keeps raging. The flower tilts at times until it looks down at the ground. It is perfect in its slow and natural decay. I can't look away as it loses its crown of fiery petals and completely fades.

    She's dead.

    Under the branches and the whirlwind calms down. Above me, the sky is slate gray, the brightest that can be in this gloomy place. The melancholy of the fog invades everything again and the spirits return. Their faces have no expression, they no longer feel the illicit life of the night flower, they no longer expect the joy of a new death.

    They retreat to the empty woods. I pierce a specter with my roots as it passes me, and I spread its essence in the evanescent mist. The others escape my reach in their return to grief.

    Although the islands seem to have not changed, they are no longer the same wasteland they were yesterday. The waters of life stir within me and the soil under my roots is fertile again.

    Although its petals turned to dust, the luminous night flower burns like fire within me and ignites my fury. Just as these islands were born from a burning rock, I will purify them of its pestilence with a fiery blaze.

    I follow the straggling spirits as they scurry through the hollow trees.

    They will pay for their wickedness.

    'I am surrounded by empty, soulless and impassive carcasses ... but I will make them fear.' '

    Evelyn

    The widowmaker

    As swift as she is deadly, Evelynn is one of the most efficient - and costly - assassins in all of Runeterra. Able to blend into the shadows at will, it patiently stalks its prey, waiting for just the right moment to strike. She is clearly not entirely human, and although her lineage is unclear, she is believed to have come from the Shadow Isles. However, his ties to this tortured kingdom remain shrouded in mystery.

    The shadows call

    Saito Takeda rested his elbows on the lacquered surface of his desk. The thick leather of his gloves creaked as he tapped his fingertips against each other. What in years past had been thick masses of muscle had slowly turned into fat, but he was still a big, intimidating man. His gaze was inscrutable and his eyes had long ago been occupied by cold, soulless, reflective black lenses.

    A pair of oversized bodyguards stood on either side. They were the best money could buy; the brilliant, yet deranged, scientist Singed had turned their bodies into brutal weapons of chemical technology.

    Takeda's inherent violence and ambition had driven him from his humble origins to become one of Zaun's most powerful chemical barons, who were the infamous rulers of the bowels of the city. Today he planned the fall of another of his rivals.

    "Bring her in, Ortos," he said, amid the cloud of smoke that he had exhaled.

    Hidden chains clinked and tightened, and the dark iron doors of his office squeaked open wide. Two other bodyguards remained outside providing silent surveillance. Too much care is never enough. Takeda had learned it the hard way, as his various scars attested.

    Takeda's bald chamberlain, Ortos, stepped forward, leading a small figure toward the entrance.

    The shadows did not detach from her, making it difficult to distinguish her clearly, although Takeda could see for an instant part of a blue-hued skin and a pair of ravenous eyes that reflected the chemical fire appliques of the office. He felt a strange jolt of apprehension at her presence, but ignored it. He was one of the most feared men in Zaun; Why should you feel uncomfortable in your own office?

    'Miss Evelynn,' Ortos announced.

    Takeda beckoned with his gloved hand. Ortos withdrew and the doors closed behind him. Evelynn walked casually forward, moving with sublime grace, the heels of her boots clattering and echoing.

    He stopped suddenly on the other side of Takeda's wide desk and put his hands on his hips. Now he could see her more clearly, since the shadows were left behind, in the corners of the room.

    Her slim figure wore bright red leather and her eyes were yellow and almond-shaped, like a cat's. A wild mane of crimson hair framed his face and sharp canines gleamed as his lips parted to form a sarcastic, mocking smile.

    'I've been called in many ways,' she said, 'but, miss? That's new. '

    Takeda leaned back in his seat, studying her. 'Around here many call you the Widowmaker.'

    Evelynn shrugged. 'At least it's accurate.'

    "As far as I'm concerned, I've never been married," Takeda said. 'But the one I want you to kill, Baron Artega Holt, has a wife. Two, actually, and a multitude of lovers. '

    'It sounds totally lovely. They will surely miss him terribly, 'Evelynn whispered. "I would love to meet him."

    "Before I entrust you with this task, I need to have some kind of guarantee," Takeda said. 'How do I know you are the one for this job?'

    'Are you going to make me prove it to you? Slitting someone in an alley, maybe? 'She asked with a hint of irritation in her voice. 'Hasn't it been so long since I stepped on Zaun that I really have to audition?'

    'Every now and then we hear something about your exploits. The Demacian knight commander assassinated last year; it was you, right? '

    Evelynn nodded slowly. 'That's how it is'.

    'And the heir to the Kozar Clan, in Piltover, last week?

    Evelynn's expression hardened.

    'No, it wasn't me,' she said. 'That was the Gray Lady.'

    'Ah,' exclaimed Takeda. 'How interesting. Well, I guess that proves that reputations and rumors can't always be trusted. I will believe what I can see with my own eyes. '

    "Then I'm afraid this will disappoint you," Evelynn muttered.

    The blue-skinned assassin took a step back and disappeared suddenly into the shadows. Takeda's bodyguards tensed, flexing their piston-strengthened limbs in concern. Takeda looked left and right, trying to locate her. Any. He was just gone; it had completely disappeared, as if the darkness had swallowed it up.

    "Not bad," he said. He had heard of her power, of course, but some things were sometimes exaggerated too much. He was pleased to see that the rumors were true in this case.

    Claws grabbed him from behind and blood-red nails dug into his skin as Evelynn appeared from the shadows. She was much stronger than she looked and forcibly turned her head to expose her thick neck. His touch was icy, as if hot blood no longer ran through his veins, and his fangs were inches from her jugular.

    The guards quickly turned and lunged to defend their master, but Takeda raised a hand to stop them on the spot. He knew they would be too slow if she really wanted to end her life.

    'What do you think?' Evelynn muttered, showing her teeth, her icy breath caressing Takeda's throat. 'Did I manage to impress you?'

    Takeda resopló.

    "Not bad," he said. 'Yes, you will do very well. Now let's discuss my offer. '

    'I hope you can afford me,' she muttered, squeezing his neck tighter and leaning in even more. 'I don't want you wasting my time here.'

    Takeda swallowed in obvious discomfort. "I don't think that's a problem," he said.

    Evelynn shoved him away and sat on the edge of the table. He stretched like a cat with complete calm.

    "You haven't asked me the price yet," she said.

    'Whatever, I can afford it.'

    "Money is not my interest, Saito," exclaimed the assassin.

    Takeda frowned. 'So that's what you want?'

    "Much more than you will be willing to offer, I think," he replied. "But I'm sure you will agree."

    'This is not the way things work here,' growled Takeda. 'I am the owner of this district; no one can come and demand anything from me. '

    'You've only seen part of what I'm capable of,' Evelynn said and leaned back smiling. "I am in a good position to have various demands."

    Takeda said nothing, his body was tense. He opened his mouth to speak but Evelynn interrupted him by raising a finger.

    "Don't say anything rash, dear," she said. 'You will be dead before the words have left your lips.'

    Takeda stared at her and froze, not sure what to do.

    'That's it,' Evelynn said after a moment. He stood up, walked around the desk, and strode toward the door.

    "Artega Holt will be dead before the sun rises," he said without looking back. 'I'll get in touch for my first payment.'

    'First payment?' Takeda said.

    'The first of several,' she said taking a moment to look at him. 'You would be wise to remember that I can attack from anywhere where there is darkness. And Zaun is a very dark place. '

    She jerked her head toward the door and raised an eyebrow. Takeda muttered an order and the doors slid open. Before leaving, Evelynn winked at him.

    'Don't take it the wrong way,' said the woman as she disappeared into the shadows. "As long as you don't irritate me, this partnership will work for both of us."

    Takeda sat alone and in silence. After a few minutes, his chamberlain took a look inside.

    'May I be of service to you, my lord?' Ortos said.

    'No,' Saito Takeda said through clenched teeth. He threw his fist against the desk. 'Leave me, disappear, leave me alone. And add fuel to the boiler. There are too many shadows here ... '[1]

    Elise

    The queen of spiders

    Elise is a deadly predator who dwells in a palace without light or windows, deep within the Immortal Hold of Noxus. In her day she was a mortal woman, mistress of a powerful house, but the bite of an evil spider god transformed her into a beautiful, immortal and totally inhuman creature. Elise takes advantage of innocents to maintain her eternal youth and very few are able to resist her charms.

    Lady Elise was born many centuries ago into the Kythera house, an ancient and powerful family of Noxus, where she soon discovered how useful beauty is in influencing weak minds. When she came of age, she decided to marry the heir of the Zaavan house, with the idea of ​​increasing the power of his. Many Zaavan were opposed to the link, but Elise cheated on her future husband and manipulated her detractors to make sure the link took place.

    Just as she had anticipated, her influence over her new husband proved considerable. House Zaavan grew in power, which in turn facilitated the rise of the Kythera star. Elise's husband was the face of their home, but those who knew the ins and outs of the couple knew who really wielded power. At first, her husband accepted this fact, but as the years went by, growing discontent was incubated when he saw that it became the talk of the Noxian families.

    Eventually his resentment turned into a bitter grudge, until one night at dinner, in the midst of his usual cold atmosphere, he revealed to his wife that he had poisoned his wine. He then set out his conditions: if he withdrew from the world and allowed him to take over the reins of power, he would give him the antidote. If not, he would let her die slowly and painfully. With each inhalation, the poison did its fatal work, dissolving Elise's flesh and bones from within. Convinced that he was carrying the antidote, Elise felt a sharp knife through her clothes and began to play the part of the repentant wife. She wept and begged her husband to forgive her, using all her tricks to get close to him without alerting him to her intentions. And meanwhile, the poison was deforming his flesh with grotesque lesions and filling his limbs with agony.

    When she finally reached her side, her husband understood — too late — how much he had underestimated her dislike. Elise lunged at him, thrusting the knife through his heart and slowly twisting the blade to kill him. As he had expected, he had the antidote on him, but the damage had already been done. His face was monstrously disfigured, covered in grotesque bruises and necrotic flesh, like a corpse endowed with hideous life.

    Elise had thus become the mistress of House Zaavan and, due to the nature of Noxian politics, received all kinds of praise for having cut off a weak member of the empire. However, the ideas of beauty and power were so intertwined within her that she abandoned public life and began to veil her face. He renounced the light of day and drove out all his allies and petitioners, bringing his once powerful house into a slow descent into darkness. Elise used to walk alone through the empty corridors of her palace, turned into a dweller of darkness who only ventured beyond its high walls under the cover of night.

    During one of these nocturnal walks, another woman covered by a veil approached her and, after placing a wax seal in the shape of a black rose in her hand, whispered that the Pale Woman would know how to value her talents. Elise continued on her way, but when she was a few steps away, the echo of the woman's voice echoed behind her, promising to restore all her beauty. Even though she knew it was absurd, vanity and the hope of being who she was again inflamed her curiosity. For weeks he wandered the streets of the city, until he again found the seal of the black rose, engraved on a shadowy arch that led to the catacombs of Noxus.

    The trail of hidden symbols led her to the Black Rose, a secret society where those who studied black magic shared secrets and hidden lore. Hidden under her veil, Elise became a regular visitor and soon developed a close relationship with the Pale Woman, a creature of timeless beauty endowed with great power. She embraced the ways of the secret society, but still sought what she had been promised: her lost beauty.

    The Pale Woman told her of an enchanted place known as the Shadow Isles and of an athame with a serpentine blade that had once belonged to one of her acolytes, killed in the lair of a ravenous spider god. The dagger was infused with powerful magic, and if someone recovered it for her, they would use it to restore Elise to her beauty. Elise accepted the proposal instantly and, accompanied by a group of devotees of the Black Rose, decided to leave for the islands, despite knowing that such a prize would have a bloody price.

    He found a desperate and debt-ridden captain, ready to lead his group of pilgrims to the other side of the sea. His ship sailed for weeks until a ruggedly contoured island appeared behind banks of black fog. Elise landed on an ashen sandy beach and led her followers into the cursed depths of the island, like a herd of lambs to the slaughterhouse. The malevolent spirits of the island took many away, but when they finally reached the spider-god's cobwebbed lair, six were still alive.

    A bloated, monstrous creature made of chitin and fangs emerged from the darkness and began to devour the horrified travelers. As her companions died or were immobilized in the web, Elise saw the dagger the Pale Woman was looking for in the hand of a parched corpse. He managed to reach her at the same time that the spider god dug his poisonous fangs into his shoulder. Elise fell flat on her face, the blade of the athame piercing her heart. His powerful magic flooded her and, mixing with the deadly poison, unleashed terrifying transformations in her body. The poison, augmented by the power of magic, altered her flesh and transformed Elise into an even more beautiful creature than before. His scars disappeared and his skin became immaculate as porcelain, but the god's poison had its own plans. Elise's back jerked in an undulating motion as spider legs sprouted from her flesh.

    Elise rose, panting from the agony of transformation, to find the spider god looming over her. A shared power flowed between them and they instantly understood how they could benefit from this unexpected symbiosis. Elise returned to the ship unmolested by the island spirits and set off for Noxus. Arriving in port in the middle of the night, he was the only living creature left on board.

    She returned the athame to the leader of the Black Rose, despite the Pale Woman warning her that the magic that maintained her renewed beauty would eventually fade. The two made a pact: the Black Rose would provide Elise with acolytes to offer to the spider god and she, in return, would give them any relics of power she found on the island.

    Elise returned to settle in the deserted rooms of the Zaavan house, where she became famous as a beautiful but totally unattainable creature. No one suspected her true nature, although there were curious rumors about her, delirious tales of her immortal beauty or the terrifying creature whose burrow, it was said, was at the top of her dilapidated and dusty palace.

    Centuries have passed since her first visit to the Isles of Shadows, and every time Elise finds the slightest trace of white in her hair or a crow's foot in her eyes, she marches to the Black Rose in search of the unwary to be swept away. to the dark archipelago. None of her companions ever return and it is said that she returns from each trip rejuvenated and with new strength, carrying a new relic for the Pale Woman.

    Silk strands

    Those weeks in the ocean had left Markus feeling weak and dizzy, so he was very glad to be back on dry land. The path to the basalt shore was very slippery, which made it treacherous. The twisted and crooked trees in all directions looked like blackened and miserable husks. They cried a yellowish sap where apparently some frightened animal had stuck its claws. A dim light glimmered through the trees, dancing like corpse candles, the brilliance of which drew the unwary souls of the swamp and condemned them forever. There was something like thin, dying leaves on the branches, and it took Markus a moment to realize they were cobwebs.

    The fern obstructed the undergrowth on both sides of the path, and at times the shadow of some creature could be seen fleetingly as it headed into the forest. Perhaps the rats that had infested the ship had followed them even there. Markus had not seen them, at most sensed a swift silhouette of something black and furry for an instant, or heard the characteristic sound of claws running over wood. He had always thought that, from the sound, they seemed to be creatures with many more legs than they were supposed to have.

    The air on this island was immensely humid, and both his elegant tailored tunic and his boots were soaked. The scent ball he held to his nose was not enough to camouflage the stench of the island, and it reminded him of the dump of corpses beyond the walls of Noxus when the wind blew from the ocean. Remembering his home, he felt awkward for a moment. The adventures of the catacombs below the city had given him a pleasant sense of illicit excitement, a reward for having followed the secret symbol of the black-petaled flower. In the darkness of the tombs, he and his companions gathered, devout.

    Where she awaited them.

    He looked up, expecting to see the seductive woman whose words had brought so many men to this place. He saw a flash of crimson silk and the sway of hips before the figure stepped into the thick mist. Sermons on an ancient god filled him with emotion, and when he and thirty men were chosen for the pilgrimage, he was ecstatic with happiness. When they boarded at midnight and the hooded, silent helmsman looked at them, it felt like an epic adventure. However, being so far from Noxus was beginning to cloud his enthusiasm.

    Markus stopped to look the way he had come. His fellow pilgrims continued to advance, pushing like cattle. What happened to them? Behind them was the helmsman, gliding down the road almost as if his feet were barely brushing the ground. His robes rippled in time with his movement, and fear crept into Markus's heart as he was close to him.

    When he turned around, he came face to face with her.

    "Elise ...", he said practically out of breath. His instincts urged him to push her away and run from this horrible place, but the intoxication of her dark beauty outweighed the rejection. That feeling of disgust vanished so quickly that she doubted if she had felt it.

    "Markus," she replied, and the sound of his name on her lips was divine. A wave of pleasure ran up her spine. Her beauty pierced him, and he savored every detail of her perfect form. Her features were angular and sharply defined, to which was added lustrous scarlet hair like that of a highborn girl he had known in the past. Her full lips and the dark gleam of her eyes drew him further into her web with the promise of impending ecstasy. A scarlet and black cape girded with an eight-pointed clasp covered her shoulders, and it billowed even though there was no wind.

    "Is there a problem, Markus?" He asked. Her voice calmed him like a balm. “I need you to be at peace. You are, right, Markus? "

    "Yes, Elise," he said. "I am at peace."

    "Well. I would be disgusted to know that you are not at peace now that we are so close.

    The mere idea of ​​not pleasing her sent panic through Markus up and down, and the young man fell to the ground. He wrapped his arms around her legs, which, like alabaster, were pale, cold, and delicate.

    "Anything for my lady," he said.

    She looked down at him and smiled. For an instant Markus thought he saw something long and thin and shiny under the cloak. The movement was unnatural and nauseating, but he didn't care. Elise put one of her sharp black nails under his chin and raised him up again. A stream of blood made its way down his neck, but he ignored it and followed Elise, who had turned and was leading him forward.

    He followed her, and there was no thought in his mind but to please her. The trees were getting thinner and thinner, and the path ended at a cliff. Seeing the carved symbols, Markus felt a pang. At the foot of the cliff was a cave that resembled gaping jaws, and Markus's resolve faded into fear.

    Elise waved him inside, and he didn't have the strength to resist.

    The inside of the cave was extremely dark and swelteringly hot. This wave of heat stank like a slaughterhouse. Inside him, a voice was screaming at him to run, to get as far away from that terrible place as he could, but his treacherous feet carried him even deeper. Suddenly he felt a drop fall from the ceiling and land on his cheek, and Markus winced in pain as it stung. He looked up and saw pale shapes like larvae, hanging and flailing. On the translucent surface of a newly woven cobweb was a human face, and the webs silenced its cries.

    "What is this place?" He asked, freeing himself from the veil of deception.

    "This is my temple, Markus," Elise said, releasing the eight-pointed clasp to remove her cloak. "This is the lair of the spider god."

    His shoulders twisted, and two limbs tore through his flesh and out of his back; they were long, dark, and cutting. Elise melted into the darkness into a grotesque bloated mass. Her colossal legs bent her body forward, and the dim light from the cave entrance reflected a myriad of facets in her eyes.

    The spider was a huge, hairy lump covered with slimy mutant tumors. The terror of his nightmarish appearance finally broke Markus's spell, and Markus ran towards the cave entrance with Elise's laughter ringing in his ears. The further he went, the more threads stuck to him and slowed his progress. When he heard the sound of claws moving, he knew he was being pursued, and he sobbed at the thought of her touching him. He tripped over more threads of his webbing, and felt something grab him by the shoulder. Markus fell to his knees and the paralyzing poison began to take effect. He was locked up in the jail of his own body.

    A shadow fell over him; it was the helmsman, stretching out his arms. Markus screamed as his robe fell to the ground, revealing that it was not actually a man, but an endless stream of spiders grouped together in the shape of a man. Thousands of spiders fell on him, their screams drowning out as they entered his mouth, his ears, and his eyes.

    Elise leaned down to watch him from the air thanks to her hind limbs. She was no longer beautiful, and even less human. His features reflected a fierce hunger that would never be sated. The menacing form of his monstrous spider god lifted Markus off the ground with razor-sharp jaws.

    "Now you have to die, Markus," Elise said.

    "Why ...?" He stammered with his last breath.

    Elise smiled, her mouth full of needle fangs.

    "So that I can live."

    'Beauty is another form of power, capable of striking stronger than any sword.' '

    The prince's lament

    Today I will tell you a story that is full of sadness. It tells of the daughter of a king known for her goodness and beauty. But that was a long time ago, there is nothing left. It has been dead and buried for centuries.

    A young prince arrived and married the heir. However, the wedding feast was not as happy as the king wanted. She was poisoned by the drink, and the prince set out to save her life.

    Many joined in, ready to assist him on his adventures. They sailed countless miles, and reached the darkest lands. Damn place, every man's bane, the Shadow Isles had a name.

    Enduring the terrible stench of death and lament, they found no trace of life, but of movement. They were spirits of lost souls, a bad omen of his eternal doom.

    The prince's men fought bravely, but a fearsome enemy appeared. He was the Shadow of War, infamous, evil, and invincible. Seeing them die, the prince ran off. He didn't want to die in such a bloody way.

    Alone and lost in the dark night, fleeing the specters of evil, in a moonlit clearing he came across a ghostly monk. He said, “Help me! With your efforts and mine we will fight the evil of these ungodly beings. "

    “Here we are all equal in the eyes of the deceased. The triumph will come with the dawn. Let it be as you say, let's fight together. Today you will learn stealth secrets that have been safe from the living for centuries. "

    They decided to join forces, and in that field of bones they defended themselves from the spirits of the island that had been imprisoned for centuries. Dawn never came, but the end of the fight did. "We have won, monk, now get rid of it."

    The prince heard the ancestral story of a queen, and how after her death her husband lost his sanity and condemned the Islands to the worst luck. All for their pride and thinking that kings could defy nature and its laws.

    His magic unleashed a scourge of evil, the entire island turned gloomy. Shrouded in Black Mist, forever deprived of daylight. Life was extinguished, and time stopped its passage. Atrocious were the consequences of that failure.

    Not in the most remote corner was there a trace of glory or splendor. There was only corruption, depravity, ghostly murmurs of grief and pain. The victims of the calamity themselves now threatened all of humanity.

    The young man listened without a word to the dead-faced monk. He seemed to know everything, he even warned him of his fate: "You can lie as much as you like, but I see through your lies."

    It no longer made sense to hide all the evil things he had done. He admitted without remorse to poisoning his wife under his own roof. He only longed for power, he had never loved her, there was no love in his ruthless heart.

    But, with her last breath, the princess recited a fatal spell. He invoked the Spirit of Vengeance and implored immortal justice. He paid his soul as a sacrifice. Kalista left to fulfill his judgment.

    Then the fog became dense, the time had come. A deep cold began to emanate, and the ethereal huntress appeared. As a sad song ends, the beating in his vile heart ceased.

    When his screaming ceased, in his last agony the prince died thinking that he would never reign. His ambition went too far. Too far, and it was his undoing.

    His soul drifted, seeking sunlight. But instead he found the cadaverous glow of a lantern. Jailer Thresh, pity empty, made it clear: "You are mine now."

    Do not allow this story to ever be erased from your memory. Live a full life with your loved ones. Live, live like someone else. Because your time will come and there will be no turning back ...

    Related

    Shadow and fortune (Chapter 1, you can go to the next one at the end of the same page).

    References

    http://lan.leagueoflegends.com/es/site/shadow-and-fortune/index.html

     v · eRuneterra geography
    Value Nations
    • Demacia
    • Fréljord
    • Noxus
    • Piltóver
    • fence
    Geographic Regions and Locations
    • Howling Abyss
    • Ironspike Mountains
    • Lokfar
    • The great barrier
    Shurima Nations
    • Piltóver
    • fence
    • Icathia
    • Ixtal
    • Mount Targon
    • Shurima desert
    Geographic Regions and Locations
    • Crystal Scar
    • Ixtal Jungle
    • Kalamanda
    • God
    • Serpentine River
    Ionia and Oceanic Nations
    • Stagnant Waters
    • Ionia
    • Shadow Islands
    Geographic Regions and Locations
    • Butcher's Bridge
    • Conqueror Sea
    • Guardian Sea
    • Islands of the Blue Flame
    • The Twisted Forest
    Other Kingdoms Nations
    • Bandle City
    • Mount Targon
    • Emptiness
    Geographic Regions and Locations
    • The clear
    • Emptiness
    Disputed Locations
    • Howl Marsh
    • Kaladoun
    • Kaladoun Swamps
    • Mogron Pass
    • Jungle of the Plague
    • Urtistan
    • Voodoo lands
    Alternate Universe Locations
    • Cosmic Ruins
    • Crash site
    • War Institute
    • Magma Chamber
    • Proving ground
    • Substructure 43
    • Summoner's Rift
    • Valoran City Park
    Game Location
    • Butcher's Bridge
    • Cosmic Ruins
    • Crash site
    • Crystal Scar
    • Howling Abyss
    • War Institute
    • Magma Chamber
    • Proving ground
    • Substructure 43
    • Summoner's Rift
    • The Twisted Forest
    • Valoran City Park
    1. 4Mookai LoR phrase
    2. ↑ Shadow Isles
     v · eRuneterra geography
    Value Nations
    • Demacia
    • Fréljord
    • Noxus
    • Piltóver
    • fence
    Geographic Regions and Locations
    • Howling Abyss
    • Ironspike Mountains
    • Lokfar
    • The great barrier
    Shurima Nations
    • Piltóver
    • fence
    • Icathia
    • Ixtal
    • Mount Targon
    • Shurima desert
    Geographic Regions and Locations
    • Crystal Scar
    • Ixtal Jungle
    • Kalamanda
    • God
    • Serpentine River
    Ionia and Oceanic Nations
    • Stagnant Waters
    • Ionia
    • Shadow Islands
    Geographic Regions and Locations
    • Butcher's Bridge
    • Conqueror Sea
    • Guardian Sea
    • Islands of the Blue Flame
    • The Twisted Forest
    Other Kingdoms Nations
    • Bandle City
    • Mount Targon
    • Emptiness
    Geographic Regions and Locations
    • The clear
    • Emptiness
    Disputed Locations
    • Howl Marsh
    • Kaladoun
    • Kaladoun Swamps
    • Mogron Pass
    • Jungle of the Plague
    • Urtistan
    • Voodoo lands
    Alternate Universe Locations
    • Cosmic Ruins
    • Crash site
    • War Institute
    • Magma Chamber
    • Proving ground
    • Substructure 43
    • Summoner's Rift
    • Valoran City Park
    Game Location
    • Butcher's Bridge
    • Cosmic Ruins
    • Crash site
    • Crystal Scar
    • Howling Abyss
    • War Institute
    • Magma Chamber
    • Proving ground
    • Substructure 43
    • Summoner's Rift
    • The Twisted Forest
    • Valoran City Park


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