Red Post Collection: Nasus and Renekton stories, Taliyah Q&A on 5/12, Dragon Discussion, Garen/Skarner follow up, & more

Posted on at 12:19 AM by Moobeat
Tonight's red post collection includes a heads up that the Taliyah Q&A will be on May 12th, Shurima site updated with new introductions and stories for Nasus and Renekton, follow up discussion threads for the Garen and Skarner juggernaut updates, and more!
Continue reading for more information!


Taliyah Q&A on May 12th!

Several Rioters will be hitting the boards on May 12th to host a Q&A on Taliyah!
"The Rioters who created Taliyah are riding a giant wall and are heading straight for the boards! Meet them there for a Q&A at 12 PM PDT on 5/12 to learn how we unearthed the Stoneweaver. 
Dig into more Taliyah news here:

For more on Taliyah, check out our 6.10 PBE cycle coverage!

Shurima Stories: Nasus and Renekton

The Shurima story page has been updated with new introductions and stories for Nasus and Renekton!

Nasus, the Curator of the Sands

"What was fallen will be great again." 
Nasus is an imposing, jackal-headed Ascended being from ancient Shurima, a heroic figure regarded as a demigod by the people of the desert. Fiercely intelligent, he was a guardian of knowledge and peerless strategist whose wisdom guided the ancient empire of Shurima to greatness for many centuries. After the fall of the empire, he went into self-imposed exile, becoming little more than a legend. Now that the ancient city of Shurima has risen once more, he has returned, determined to ensure it never falls again. 
Nasus's brilliance was recognized from a young age, long before he was chosen to join the ranks of the Ascended. A voracious scholar, he read, memorized and critiqued the greatest works of history, philosophy and rhetoric within the Library of the Sun before he'd seen ten summers. His passion for reading and critical thinking were not passed down to his younger brother Renekton, who was quickly bored, and spent his time fighting with other local children. The brothers were close, and Nasus kept a protective eye over his younger brother, helping to ensure he didn't get into too much trouble. 
However, it wasn't long before Nasus was welcomed into the exclusive Collegium of the Sun, leaving home to take up his place in this prestigious academy. 
While the pursuit of knowledge would always be his passion, Nasus's grasp on military strategy and logistics ensured he became the youngest general in Shuriman history. 
While he was a competent soldier, his genius lay not in fighting battles, but in planning them. 
His strategic foresight became legendary. In war, he was always a dozen moves ahead of the enemy, able to predict their movement and reactions, as well as pinpoint the exact moment to push the attack or pull back. A deeply empathetic man who took his responsibilities incredibly seriously, he always ensured his soldiers were well provisioned, paid on time, and treated fairly. Every loss of life pained him deeply, and he often refused to rest as he planned and replanned his troop movements and battle dispositions until they were perfect. He was loved and respected by all who served in his legions, and he guided the armies of Shurima to countless victories. His brother Renekton often served on the front lines of these wars, and the two of them quickly garnered an aura of invincibility. 
Despite the acclaim Nasus won, he did not enjoy war. Though he understood its importance - for now at least - in ensuring the continued progress of the empire, he firmly believed his greatest contribution to Shurima was in the knowledge he gathered for future generations. 
At Nasus's urging, all the books, scrolls, teachings and histories of the cultures he defeated were preserved in great libraries and repositories throughout the empire, the greatest of which bore his name. His hunger for knowledge was not for selfish reasons, but to share wisdom with all of Shurima, to enhance understanding of the world and bring enlightenment to the empire. 
After decades of dutiful service, Nasus was cruelly struck down by a terrible wasting sickness. Some say he encountered Amumu, a long-dead child-king said to bear a terrible curse; others believed he was laid low by the evil magicks of an Icathian cult-leader. 
Whatever the truth, the emperor's own physician declared, with a heavy heart, that Nasus was incurable, and would be dead within a week. 
The people of Shurima went into mourning, for Nasus was its brightest star and beloved by all. The emperor himself begged the priesthood for an augury. After a day and night of communing with the divine, the priests declared it the will of the sun-god that Nasus be blessed with the Ascension ritual. 
Renekton, now a great war-leader, raced back to the capital to be with his brother. The terrible sickness had advanced dramatically, and Nasus was little more than a skeleton, his flesh wasted away and his bones as fragile as glass. So weak was he that as the golden light from the sun disc streamed onto the Ascension dais, Nasus was unable to climb the final stairs and step into the light. 
Renekton's love for his brother was stronger than any sense of self-preservation, and he nobly bore Nasus onto the dais. Ignoring his brother's protests, he willingly accepted oblivion in order to save Nasus. However, Renekton was not destroyed, as was expected. When the light faded, two Ascended beings stood before Shurima. Both brothers had been deemed worthy, and the emperor himself dropped to his knees to give thanks to the divine. 
Nasus was now a towering, jackal-headed being of great strength, his eyes glittering with fierce intelligence, while Renekton had been transformed into a heavily muscled behemoth bearing the likeness of a crocodile. They took their place alongside the other rare Ascended beings of Shurima, and became its protectors. 
While Renekton had always been a great warrior, now he was virtually unstoppable. Nasus too had been gifted with powers far beyond the understanding of mortal men. The greatest boon of his Ascension - his newly extended longevity, which allowed him countless lifetimes to spend in study and contemplation - would, after the fall of Shurima, also prove to be his curse. 
One side-effect of the ritual that disturbed Nasus was the increased savagery he saw within his brother. At the culmination of the siege of Nashramae, which finally brought that ancient city under Shuriman rule, Nasus witnessed the victorious Shuriman soldiers butchering everyone they came across and setting the city ablaze. Renekton led the massacre, and it was he who set fire to the great library of Nashramae, destroying countless irreplaceable volumes before Nasus was able to contain it. This was the closest the brothers ever came to bloodshed, standing in the center of the city, weapons drawn against each other. Under the stern, disappointed gaze of his brother, Renekton's bloodlust waned, and he finally turned away in shame. 
Over the following centuries, Nasus bent his every effort to learning all he could, scouring the desert for years in search of ancient artifacts and wisdom, eventually going on to discover the legendary Tomb of the Emperors hidden beneath the Shuriman capital.
Nasus and Renekton had both been lured away when the Ascension ritual of Emperor Azir went terribly wrong, the young emperor betrayed by his closest advisor, the magus Xerath. The brothers returned as fast as they could, but were too late. Azir was dead, along with most of the capital's citizens. Filled with rage and grief, Nasus and Renekton battled the malevolent being of pure energy that Xerath had become. 
Unable to kill Xerath, they sought to bind him in a magical sarcophagus, but even that was not enough to hold him. Renekton, perhaps attempting to atone for Nashramae years earlier, grabbed Xerath and bore him into the Tomb of the Emperors, bidding Nasus seal them in. Nasus refused, desperate to find another way, but there was no other option. With a heavy heart, he sealed Xerath and his brother within the fathomless darkness, locking them away for all eternity. 
The Shuriman empire collapsed. Its great central city sank into ruin, and the holy sun disc fell from the sky, drained of power by Xerath's magic. Without it, the divine waters flowing from the city ran dry, bringing death and famine to Shurima. 
Bearing the heavy burden of guilt for having damned his brother to darkness, Nasus took to roaming the sands, accompanied only by the ghosts of the past and his grief. A melancholy figure, he stalked the now dead cities of Shurima, watching as they were slowly swallowed by the desert, lamenting the fallen empire and its lost people. He embraced isolation, a lean, solitary nomad who the occasional traveler claimed to glimpse before he disappeared into a sandstorm or an early morning haze. Few believed such stories, and Nasus became little more than a legend. 
Centuries passed, and Nasus all but forgot his old life and former purpose, until the moment when the now buried Tomb of the Emperors was rediscovered, and its seal broken. In that moment, he knew Xerath was free. 
Ancient vigor stirred in his breast, and as Shurima rose from the sands, Nasus traversed the desert, angling toward the newly reborn city. Though he knew he had to battle Xerath once more, hope stirred within him for the first time in millennia. Not only was this potentially the dawn of a new Shuriman empire, but he dared believe it might also herald a long-awaited reunion with his beloved brother. 
Nasus walked at night, unwilling to face the sun. The boy followed in his wake. 
How long had he been there? 
Those mortals who caught a glimpse of the monstrous vagabond always ran, all save the boy. Together, they wove a path through the bygone tapestry of Shurima. Self-imposed isolation chipped at Nasus's consciousness. The desert wind howled around their malnourished frames. 
"Nasus, look, above the dune sea," said the child. 
Stars guided the pair's sojourn across the desiccated expanse. The old jackal no longer wore the armor of the Ascended. The golden monuments lay buried with the past. Now a hermit dressed in tattered fabric, Nasus scratched at his matted fur before slowly raising his head to observe the night sky. 
"The Piper," said Nasus, his voice low and graveled. "The season will change soon." 
Nasus put a hand on the boy's tiny shoulder and looked down into his sunburnt face. 
There, he saw the soft lines and curves of Shuriman lineage, worn ragged by travel. 
When did it become your place to worry? Soon we will find you a home. Wandering between the ruins of an extinguished empire is no life for a child. 
This was the nature of the universe. Brief moments unfolded into the endless cycles of existence. The heady philosophy weighed upon him, but it was more than just another stone in his endless tally of self-imposed guilt. In truth, the boy would inevitably be changed if he was allowed to follow. Remorse darkened Nasus's brow like a thunderhead. Their companionship sated something deep within the ancient hero. 
"We can reach Astrologer's Tower before dawn. But we'll have to climb," said the boy. 
**** 
The tower was close. Nasus pulled himself up the cliff face hand over hand, the climb memorized to such perfection that he took great liberties with each handhold, tempting death. The boy clambered up by his side, his agile form utilizing every nook and cranny offered by the blemished rock. 
What would happen to this innocent if I gave in to death? The thought troubled Nasus. 
Wisps of fog rolled through the crags of the upper cliffs, each threading the narrow rocks like tiny mountain paths. The boy scurried over the top first. Nasus followed. 
In the distance, metal clanged against stone, and voices could be heard through the haze - they spoke in a familiar dialect. Nasus was shaken from his reverie. 
The well at Astrologer's Tower occasionally attracted nomads, but never this close to the equinox. The boy stood perfectly still, his fear palpable. 
"Where are the fires?" asked the boy. 
A horse's whinny pierced the night. 
"Who goes there?" asked the boy. The words rolled through the darkness. 
A lantern sparked to life, illuminating a band of riders. Mercenaries. Raiders. 
The jackal's eyes snapped wide. 
He saw seven of them. Their curved blades remained sheathed, but the look in their eyes spoke of martial training and guile. 
"Where is the caretaker?" asked Nasus. 
"He and his wife are asleep. The cool evening prompted them to retire early," replied one of the riders. 
"Old jackal, my name is Malouf," said another rider. "We have been sent by the Emperor." 
Nasus stepped forward, betraying the briefest hint of anger. 
"Does he seek acknowledgement? Then let me give it. There is no emperor in this fallen age," said Nasus. 
The boy stepped forward defiantly. The dark messengers backed away from the lantern. Long shadows obscured defensive stances. 
"Deliver your message and leave," said the child. 
Malouf dismounted and stepped forward. He reached a calloused hand into the folds of his shirt and produced a dark amulet bound to a thick, black chain. The geometry of the metal sparked recollections of magic and destruction in Nasus's mind. 
"Emperor Xerath sends offerings. We are to be your servants. He welcomes you to his new capital at Nerimazeth." 
The mercenary's words fell on Nasus like a hammer on glass. 
The boy promptly knelt and snatched up a weighty rock. 
"Die!" cried the boy. 
"Take him!" said Malouf. 
With a heave, the boy hurled the rock through the air, its perfect arc threatening to shatter mercenary bone on impact. 
"Renekton, no!" roared Nasus. 
The riders abandoned their half-hearted deception. Nasus knew then that the caretaker and his wife were dead. Xerath's greeting would come in the form of cold steel. Truth began to eclipse illusion. 
Nasus reached for the boy. The child tore into shadows of memory that dissipated across the starlit ground. 
"Goodbye, brother," whispered Nasus. 
Xerath's emissaries fanned out, their horses bucking and snorting. The Ascended was flanked on three sides. Malouf did not hesitate, drawing his blade and piercing Nasus's side with it. Pain rippled through the ancient curator's body. The rider attempted to withdraw his weapon, but it wouldn't budge. A clawed hand gripped the blade, keeping it agonizingly buried within Ascended flesh. 
"You should have left me to my ghosts," said Nasus. 
Nasus tore Malouf's sword from his hand, shattering fingers and tearing ligaments. 
The demigod pounced on his attacker. Malouf's body cracked under the jackal's enormous weight. 
Nasus leapt to the next rider, pulling him from his saddle; two strikes ruptured organs and stole the wind from his lungs. His broken form spun off into the sand, a ruined mass of agony. His horse reared and fled into the desert. 
"He's mad!" said one of the riders. 
"Not any longer," said Nasus, approaching the mercenary leader. 
A strange fragrance filled the air. Dead flowers spinning on lavender colored threads followed in his wake. Malouf twisted on the ground, the broken fingers of his right hand withered, skin sagging like wet parchment. The barrel of his chest caved in on itself like a rotting spine fruit. 
White-knuckled panic overtook the remaining mercenaries. They struggled to keep their mounts under control, if only to retreat. Malouf's body lay abandoned in the sand. 
Nasus turned east toward the ruins of Nerimazeth. 
"Tell your 'emperor' his cycle nears its end."

RENEKTON: THE BUTCHER OF THE SANDS 

“Blood and vengeance.”

"Renekton is a terrifying, rage-fueled Ascended being from the scorched deserts of Shurima. Once, he was his empire’s most esteemed warrior, leading the armies of Shurima to countless victories. However, after the empire’s fall, Renekton was entombed beneath the sands, and slowly, as the world turned and changed, he succumbed to insanity. Now free once more, he is utterly consumed with finding and killing his brother, Nasus, who he blames, in his madness, for the centuries he spent in darkness. 
Renekton was born to fight. From a young age he was constantly getting into vicious brawls. He had no fear, and was able to hold his own against much older children. It was often pride that led to these confrontations, as Renekton was unable to back down, or let any insult pass. Every evening, he came home with cuts and fresh bruises, and while his more scholarly older brother, Nasus, disapproved of his street-fighting, Renekton relished it. 
Nasus soon moved away, having been chosen to join the elite Collegium of the Sun, and in the years he was absent, Rekenton’s skirmishes became increasingly serious. On a rare visit home, Nasus was horrified to see his bloodied young brother return home from yet another street fight. Fearing Renekton’s violent nature would see him imprisoned or in an early grave, Nasus helped him enlist in the Shuriman army. Officially, Renekton was too young for this duty, but his older brother’s influence smoothed away this detail. 
The discipline and regimentation of the army was a blessing for Renekton. Within a few years, he rose to become one of Shurima’s most feared and capable war-captains, and he fought on the front line in numerous wars of conquest to expand the empire. He garnered a reputation for ferocity and toughness, but also for honor and bravery. Nasus became a decorated general, and the two of them served in a number of campaigns together, remaining very close despite their inherent differences and frequent disagreements. Nasus’s skill lay in strategy, logistics and history; Renekton’s lay in battle. Nasus planned the wars, and Renekton won them. 
Renekton earned the title Gatekeeper of Shurima after fighting a desperate battle in one of the mountain passes bordering Shurima. An invading force had landed on the south coast, striking toward the isolated city of Zuretta. If it was not halted, the city was certain to be razed, and its populace massacred. Outnumbered ten to one, Renekton and a small contingent faced these aggressors, determined to buy time for the city to be evacuated. It was a battle that none expected Renekton to survive, let alone win. He held the pass for a day and a night, long enough for a relief force led by Nasus to arrive. With barely a handful of warriors left standing, none uninjured, Renekton was hailed a hero. 
Renekton served on the frontlines for decades, and never lost a battle. His presence was inspiring to those fighting alongside him, and terrifying to his enemies. Victory after victory were his, and such was his reputation that some wars were won without a sword even being lifted, enemy nations surrendering as soon as they heard Renekton was marching on them. 
Renekton was of middling years, a grizzled and battle-scarred veteran, when word reached him that his brother was close to death. He raced back to the capital to find Nasus a pale shadow of his former self, having been struck down by a debilitating wasting malady. The sickness was incurable, similar to the rotting curse said to have cut down an entire noble line in antiquity. 
Nevertheless, Nasus’s greatness was recognized by one and all. As well as being a highly decorated general, he curated the great library of Shurima, and penned many of the finest literary works in the empire. The priesthood proclaimed it to be the sun’s will that he undertake the Ascension ritual. 
The whole city gathered to witness the holy rite, but the tragic illness had taken a terrible toll, and Nasus no longer had the strength to scale the stairs to the Ascension dais. In the ultimate act of self-sacrifice and love, Renekton lifted his brother in his arms, and climbed the final steps, fully expecting to be obliterated in the process by the holy energies of the sun disc. He deemed his sacrifice a small thing to ensure that his brother would live on. He was just a warrior, after all, albeit a talented one, while his brother was a peerless scholar, thinker and general. Renekton knew that Shurima would need Nasus in the years to come. 
Renekton was not destroyed, however. Beneath the blinding radiance of the sun disc, both brothers were raised up and remade. When the light faded, two mighty Ascended beings stood before the onlookers, Nasus in his lean, jackal-headed body, and Renekton in his immense, crocodilian form. Their forms seemed apt; the jackal was often regarded as the most clever and cunning of beasts, and the fearless aggression of the crocodile fit Renekton perfectly. Shurima gave thanks to have these new demigods as guardians of the empire. 
Renekton had been a mighty war hero before, but now he was an Ascended being, blessed with power beyond mortal understanding. He was stronger and faster than any regular man, and seemed virtually immune to pain. Though Ascended beings were not immortal, their lifespans were dramatically increased, so that they might serve the empire for hundreds of years. 
With Renekton at the head of the Shuriman armies, the empire’s military was all but unstoppable. He had always been a ruthless commander and ferocious fighter, but his new form gave him power beyond belief. He led the soldiers of Shurima to many bloody victories, neither giving nor expecting mercy. His legend spread far beyond the borders of the empire, and it was his enemies that gave him the name Butcher of the Sands, a title he embraced. 
There were those, Nasus among them, who came to believe that a portion of Renekton’s humanity had been lost in his transformation. As the years progressed, he seemed to become crueler, relishing the spilling of blood more than was natural, and whispers circulated of atrocities he committed in the name of war. Nevertheless, he was a staunch defender of Shurima, and he faithfully served a succession of emperors, ensuring the security and greatness of Shurima for hundreds of years. 
During the reign of the Emperor Azir, word arrived that a magical being of fire had escaped the magical sarcophagus that bound it in its underground prison. It had laid waste to a Shuriman town, before fleeing across the desert to the east. Renekton and his brother Nasus set forth to recapture this legendary foe. While they were absent, the young emperor, guided by the manipulations of his magus, Xerath, attempted to join their ranks and become one of the Ascended. The results were catastrophic. 
Reneketon and Nasus were a day’s ride from the capital, but even so, they felt the shockwave as the Ascension ritual went awry. Knowing that something terrible had come to pass, they raced back to find the glorious city in ruins. Azir had been killed, along with most of the city’s populace, and the great sun disc was falling, drained of all its power. At the epicenter of the ruin, they encountered Xerath, now a being of pure, malevolent power. 
The brothers sought to bind Xerath in the magical sarcophagus that had held the ancient being of fire. For a day and a night they battled, but the magus was powerful, and would not be held. He shattered the sarcophagus, and assailed them with spells fueled by the power of sun disc, which crashed to the ground as they fought. 
Knowing that they could not destroy Xerath, Renekton finally wrestled him into the depthless Tomb of the Emperors, and bade his brother seal them inside forever. Knowing there was no other way to stop Xerath, Nasus reluctantly did as his brother ordered. As Renekton and Xerath fell into darkness, Nasus sealed the tomb for all eternity. 
In the darkness, Xerath and Renekton continued their battle. For uncounted years they fought, as the once-great civilization of Shurima collapsed to dust in the world above. 
Xerath whispered poison in Renekton’s ear, and gradually, as the centuries rolled on, his viperous words and the ever-present darkness took its toll. The magus implanted the notion in Renekton’s mind that Nasus had sealed him in on purpose, jealous of his success, and unwilling to share his Ascension. 
Piece by piece, Renekton’s sanity cracked. Xerath drove a wedge into these cracks, corrupting his mind and twisting his perception of what was real and what was imagined.
Thousands of years later, the Tomb of the Emperors was opened by the mercenary Sivir, freeing Renekton and Xerath. Renekton roared his fury and thundered out into the Shuriman desert, sniffing the air for the scent of his brother. 
Renekton now roams the deserts, seeking the death of Nasus, the traitor he believes left him to die. His grip on reality is tenuous at best, and while there are moments when he resembles the proud, honorable hero of the past, much of the time he is little more than a devolved hate-maddened beast, driven on by the thirst for blood and vengeance.
Am I a god? 
He no longer knows. Once, perhaps, when the sun disc gleamed like gold atop the great Palace of Ten Thousand Pillars. He remembers carrying a withered ancient in his arms, and them both borne into the sky by the sun’s radiance. All his hurts and pain were washed away as the light remade him. If this memory is his, then was he once mortal? He thinks so, but cannot remember. His thoughts are a cloud of duneflies, myriad shattered memories buzzing angrily in his elongated skull. 
What is real? What am I now? 
This place, this cave under the sands. Is it real? He believes so, but he is no longer sure he can trust his senses. For as long as he can remember, he knew only darkness; awful, unending darkness that clung to him like a shroud. But then the darkness broke apart and he was hurled back into the light. He remembers clawing his way through the sand as the earth buckled and heaved, the living rock grinding as something long buried and all but forgotten heaved itself to the surface once again. 
Towering statues erupted from beneath the sand, vast and terrible in their aspect. 
Armored warriors with demonic heads loomed over him, ancient gods of a long dead culture. Bellicose phantoms rose from the sand and he fled their wrath, escaping the rising city as light blazed and the moons and stars wheeled overhead. He remembers staggering through the desert, his mind afire with visions of blood and betrayal, of titanic palaces and golden temples brought down in the blink of an eye. Centuries of progress undone for the sake of one man’s vanity and pride. Was it his? He does not know, but fears it might have been. 
The light that once remade his flesh now pains him. It burned him raw and seared his soul as he wandered the desert, lost and alone, tormented by a hatred he did not understand. He has taken refuge from its unforgiving light, but even here, squatting and weeping in this dripping cave, the Whisperer has found him. The shadow on the walls slithers around him; always muttering, always conspiring to feed his bitterness. He presses long, gnarled hands that end in vicious, ebon talons to his temples, but he cannot shut his constant companion in the darkness out. He never could. 
The Whisperer tells tales of his shame and guilt. It speaks of the thousands who died because of him, who never had the chance to live thanks to his failure. A part of him believes these to be honeyed falsehoods, twisted fictions told often enough that he can no longer sift truth from lies. The Whisperer reminds him of the light being shut away, showing him the jackal-face of his betrayer looking down as he condemned him to the abyssal dark for all eternity. Tears gather at the corners of his cataracted eyes and he angrily wipes them away. The Whisperer knows every secret path into his mind, twisting every certainty he once clung to, every virtue that made him the hero revered as a god throughout...Shurima! 
That name has meaning to him, but it fades like a shimmering mirage, remaining bound within the prison of his mind by chains of madness. His eyes, once so clear-sighted and piercing, are misted with the eons he spent in the endless dark. His skin was as tough as armored bronze, but is now dull and cracked, dust spilling from his many wounds like sand from an executioner’s hourglass. Perhaps he is dying. He thinks he might be, but the thought does not trouble him overmuch. He has lived an age and suffered too long to fear extinction. 
Worse, he is no longer sure he can die. He looks at the weapon before him, a crescent bladed axe without a handle. It belonged to a warrior king of Icathia, but a fleeting memory of breaking its haft as he had broken its bearer’s army returns to him. He remembers remaking it, but not why. Perhaps he will use it to slice open his ridged throat and see what happens. Will blood or dust flow? No, he will not die here. Not yet. The Whisperer tells him fate has another role for him. He has blood yet to spill, a thirst for vengeance yet to slake. The jackal-face of the one who condemned him to darkness floats in his mind, and each time he sees it, the hatred carved on his heart boils to the surface. 
He looks up at the cave walls as the shadows part, revealing the crude daubings of mortals. Ancient, flaking images, so faded as to be almost invisible, depict the desert city in all its glory. Rivers of cold, clear water flow in its pillared thoroughfares and the life-giving rays of the sun bring forth wondrous greenery from a newly fertile landscape. He sees a king in a hawk-headed helm atop a towering palace and a dark-robed figure at his side. Beneath them are two giants in armor wrought for war, one a hulking, crocodilian beast armed with a crescent-bladed axe, the other a jackal-headed warrior-scholar. In the reptilian form, he recognizes a mortal’s awed representation of his ascended incarnation. He turns his gaze upon the remaining warrior. Time has all but erased the angular script beneath the faded image, but enough is still legible for him to make out his betrayer’s name. 
“Nasus…” he says. “Brother…” 
And with the source of his torment named, his own identity is revealed like the sun emerging from behind a stormcloud. 
“I am Renekton,” he hisses through hooked teeth. “The Butcher of the Sands.” 
He lifts his crescent blade and rises to his full height as the dust of ages falls away from his armored form. Old wounds seal, broken skin knits afresh and color returns to his supple, jade crocodilian skin as purpose fills him. Once the sun remade him, but now darkness is his ally. Strength surges through his monstrously powerful body, muscles swelling and eyes burning red with hatred for Nasus. He hears the Whisperer speak once again, but he no longer heeds its voice. He clenches a clawed fist and touches the tip of his blade to the image of the jackal-headed warrior. 
“You left me alone in the darkness, brother,” he says. “You will die for that betrayal.”"

Itching to discuss these new stories? Check out the boards thread!

In the thread, Dinopawz commented:
Quote:
I like these new story, but there are a couple of questions that I have, specifically in regards to Nasus:
  1. While I'm sure Nasus knows about his brother escaping the tomb, does he wish to confront him, and if so, free him? His in-game taunts to Renekton hint a general anger at him and disassociates him as his brother, yet his bio showed some potential signs of hope for releasing him from madness. So is he looking for Renekton, and if so, why?
  2. What exactly did Nasus do after the fall of Shurima? We know Renekton spent his wonderful time listening to the corrupted words of Xerath, but how about Nasus? He wandered, sure, but did he like, go and collect knowledge or help people out or something? Or did he literally just walk back and forth in the desert for several centuries? It felt a little like we were cut off there, and we sort of just jumped from "failed Ascension" to "Shurima's rise from the grave" (othr than that, it was awesome, keep up the good work).
To quote the great Iron Maiden, "Questions are a burden, And answers are a prison for oneself"... 
1 - Yeah, Nasus has felt the Tomb of Emperors break open and knows his brother is free. He knows he must face his brother sometime, but he has mixed feelings about that. Part of him welcomes it as a means to purge his guilt, but he doesn't yet know what the outcome will be. Will he be able to fight his brother if he comes at him with fang and claw? Should he? Could he bring himself to kill his brother if that's what it came to? Is there anything left of Renekton to try and bring back? A confrontation between them seems to be inevitable, but his emotions on that score are mixed to say the least... 
2 - Renekton didn't corner the market when it came to insanity. Centuries alone in the desert, bearing a terrible burden of guilt won't do much for your sanity, and while Nasus didn't go as batshit kill-crazy as Renekton, he's still haunted by what he was forced to do and what his actions (albeit for good reasons) have done to his beloved wee brother... He's been keeping out of the way of people as much as possible, trying to let Shurima forget about him and the past, but now the past has caught up with him and he knows he won't be allowed to sit this one out. 
Cheers, and keep coming back for more bios and stories!"
Dinopawz continued:
"Quote:
I looooooooooved Renekton's lore so much!! Being he my main sisnce his released I could not be more happy with how his story is developing! Here are some questions: 
I thought Ascendants were inmortal beings? Has this been changed? Is Even Xerath bound to die too? 
Do Ascendants find power through purpose? Like Renekton being in the brink of death was because he had failed procting Shurima, but now that his objective is killing Nasus he has been renewed? 
Ascendants can get sick?
Cool, thanks man, Ant in Oz will be stoked to hear you loved Renekton's story. 
1 - Ascended beings are not immortal - they CAN die - but it might take a whole lot to actually kill one. 
2 - They gain power from the ritual, but where it continues to come from is a mystery, even to them... 
3 - Nasus got very sick before he Ascended, and it was the ritual that saved his life and turned him into an Ascended being."

[FOLLOWUP] Skarner Juggernaut Update 

Next up we have Riot Repertoir with a follow up thread on the Skarner juggernaut update from last year, looking at the goals of the update, what worked out, and what didn't:
"Hi all, 
I know this is long overdue, but we wanted to get this design followup out there and available to the public so everyone knows how we currently feel about Skarner following his changes in the Juggernaut update last year. What follows is our opinion on the state of the champion in the game currently, including not only the things we think went well, but also the stuff that hasn't quite worked out. 
Our original goals for Skarner were to align him with a Juggernaut playstyle/fantasy and to establish an identity as a powerful objective controller amongst Juggernauts. To that end, there is some stuff that we think is working, and some stuff that isn't. 
Here's what we think is working as of now: 
  • We do think that Skarner succeeds in presenting himself as a much bigger threat around the main neutral objective points of contestation. Interestingly, when the 6.9 patch launched last week, early data showed that Skarner actually benefits more from his team obtaining Mountain Drake's buff than any other champion. That was pretty cool to see.
  • As a Juggernaut, Skarner's access to the enemy backline is meaningfully reduced. In this way, he does more closely resemble a Juggernaut's strengths/weaknesses.
That said, there's some stuff that isn't working, most of which stem from two primary issues with the update: 
  • We probably just shouldn't have tried to make Skarner a full on Juggernaut. Without monumental changes to the champion, he probably will not ever be an effective one. The champion had a history of being a sticky, low damage threat, and trying to make him a Juggernaut meant we had to reduce that stickiness significantly, alienating his current player base's playstyle. Additionally, given the powerful crowd control tools in his kit, Skarner will almost certainly be better off building really tanky and optimizing to maximize his CC.
  • Skarner's Crystal Spires passive occupies too much mindshare within the game for the play it's actually generating. This is especially true for all the non-Skarner's in the game, who didn't necessarily opt in to the experience. The sheer level of involvement required for everyone in the game is a large part of what makes the passive feel "mini-gamey" or arbitrary. Additionally, the magnitude of the effects in the zones does lead to Skarner feeling relatively weak outside of them. 
So what does all that mean moving forward? While Skarner does seem to perform well in his role as an objective controller, he does have the aforementioned issues. Given the opportunity to do some cleanup work on the champion, we would probably look to: 
  • Explore options to reduce total mindshare (especially for other players) required by his passive.
  • Adjust his stat profile to be a bit less Juggernaut-y and a bit more Diver/Vanguard-like.
  • Look to reduce some of his dependency on snowball to succeed. 
Given this assessment, there may be some follow-up work we can do to clean up some of those issues, and we may try some small scope experimental stuff on the PBE to see how they feel. 
Again, sorry for the delay on getting this out. 
Cheers, 
Repertoir"
When asked if they have plans to remove the spire passive, RiotRepertoir noted:
"No. We are considering reducing the total amount that people in the game have to play around it."
RiotRepertoir continued:
"Quote:
That's very disappointing. Do you guys at least have a plan for making them feel like less of a limiting factor for Skarner?
Yes, that would likely be part of any changes we may try out."

[FOLLOWUP] Garen Juggernaut Update 

Repertoir also posted a follow up thread for Garen's Juggernaut update from last year:

"Hi everyone,
It's been awhile since Juggernauts have released, but we did want to publicize our current opinions on Garen following his update in the Juggernaut patch last year. In this, I'll go over what our original goals were, what we think is currently working, problems that may be worth addressing (as well as ones we accept as costs of the update), and future steps we might take on the champion (if any).
  • Original Goals
    • Solidify Garen as a Juggernaut:
      • Make him a meaningful damage threat throughout the game.
      • Improve his kitability for opponents.
    • Reduce presence and reputation as strictly a situational lane bully.
    • Make games with Garen in them feel different or "uniquely Garen."
    • Keep Garen accessible to newer players.
  • What's Working:
    • Increasing E spin speed with champion level makes his damage scale into the later parts of the game.
    • Villainy succeeds in making games with Garen in them feel unique/different.
    • The changes to Garen haven't compromised his accessibility to lesser skilled players.
  • Problems to Address:
    • Villainy sometimes feels like it ends up on odd targets.
    • Tactical counterplay (especially for melee opponents), is still quite poor against Garen.
  • Known Tradeoffs:
    • Villainy passive can feel tacked on, though not the worst offender of this.
    • Villainy system punishes an opponent for doing well.
    • W is even more boring of a button now than before.
  • Next Steps:
    • The next time we are in a position to do balance/cleanup work on Garen (which isn't something we're actively looking into):
      • Investigate ways to improve clarity on Villainy target selection for opponents. In an ideal world, a target would never become the Villain and not understand why.
      • Investigate better tactical counterplay mechanisms for Judgment (E).
I hope this helps to let everyone know where our heads are at on Garen, and again, sorry for taking sooooooo long to get this out there.\ 
Cheers,
Repertoir"

Meddler on Champion Updates & Protobelt

While we've heard this estimate before, Meddler once again noted it is likely the Ryze champion update will be released before the larger scope Yorick champion update due out later this year:
"Yeah, current expectation is that Ryze's update will be somewhat before Yorick's."
He continued, noting what Ryze's champion update will include:
"Ryze is getting a full update to his model, animations, voice etc, given his age as a champion. Because we're doing that we're already having to redo a lot of the art/sound for his spells. He's got some significant gameplay problems and we're in a position to do substantial kit changes for a much lower cost than usual (lot of the cost's being paid regardless to update his art, so we can piggyback kit changes on it)."
As for a time frame on the future Yorick champion update, Meddler commented:
"I'd expect Yorick before the pre-season if that's what you're asking?"

When asked about Urgot's champion update, Meddler noted:
"Yorick will almost certainly be sometime later this year. 
Urgot won't be this year, he's an extremely strong candidate for next year though."
As for what the issues are with Urgot, he continued:
"Kit issues more than anything else. We'll go back to him certainly, we had to make a call as to which champions to prioritize this year though and other champs had more promising kit directions when we needed to make a decision."

As for what they choose to do champion updates based off of, Meddler  noted:
"Champion updates are chosen based off how much value we think they'll add to the game, not based off whose turn it is. In each case the value's seemed higher from working on Ryze than Fiddle. Some of that Ryze work's been good for him overall (e.g. making him into a mana scaling mage originally helped to differentiate him a lot). Some of it hasn't been great overall (the last rework solved some issues and introduced others)."
When asked about their thoughts on the new Hextech Protobelt added in 6.9, Meddler  commented:
"Quote:
Also if you can tell me what is your opinion on Protobelt. Because i feel that it isnt worth to take compared to the other AP items and in every high elo stream ive seen nobody builds it either. I think that the dash is suuuuuuper short, its almost unnoticable. I wouldnt mind to take a bit of its raw stats and buff its dash
Not sure on Protobelt yet. It's certainly not the all dominating balance wrecking item some were worried it would be, we have kept its power somewhat conservative though since adding a dash to any AP champ that wants it is still potentially pretty scary. Happy letting it sit as is for now and letting people explore it on different champs/builds. If making any changes most likely would be to increase the damage fall off for multi rocket hits and shift that power elsewhere (point blanking most of the rockets may be too optimal at present)."

Dragon Discussion

Meddler also jumped on the boards to chat a bit about the new elemental dragons introduced in 6.9.

When asked if they have any plans for dragon changes outside of the ocean drake changes on the 6.10 PBEMeddler noted:
"Quote:
Any changes for Dragons?
Nothing for 6.10, not sure beyond that. It is the weakest performing dragon from what we've seen, it's also the hardest to make use of though, so some of that underperformance might be learning curve. At present we're giving players a bit more time to get used to using it. We'd also like to take a look at how organized teams, whether pro or regular, benefit from it, given its more co-ordination dependent than the others."
[Picture as of the 5/11 PBE] 

As for the new ocean drake design shown above, he noted:
"Whether this revised Ocean Drake model would be too favourable to poke comps, and too limited for their opponents, is something we've been looking at a lot this week. 
Current thinking is that that shouldn't be too big an issue for a couple of reasons. The first is that from what we've seen so far the previous Ocean buff was actually significantly stronger against poke comps than on them, so some degree of shifting power back in the opposite direction is appropriate. The other reason is that when playing against a poke comp we're not seeing the same champions hit constantly, so their is still a reasonable amount of regeneration going on, especially on squishies most vulnerable to poke who can afford to spend a bit of time further back. 
Having said that though there's certainly a risk this skews too far in favour of poke comps. If that happens we'll by looking into either decoupling the mana regen amount from the healing regen amount (mana favours poke, health favours anti poke) and/or shifting the regen to truly out of combat (cancels on taking or dealing damage, with appropriate balancing if that leaves Ocean buff too weak). "
Meddler continued, replying to the suggestion of giving minions the movement speed bonus as well
"Quote:
Another idea I had would be for it to apply a small movement speed buff to minions when a champion is near (sorta like Baron Buff). This could help to push lanes a tiny bit more. 
(If that doesn't sound like a good idea for the cloud dragon buff, maybe it could work as a new champion passive? Every XXX seconds he/she can reassign a lane to give this movement speed buff to so they don't even really need to be in the lane. ... Just tossing it out there lol) 
The out of combat time is 5s, so exactly the same as Mobi boots. Minion haste as well's an interesting suggestion if it turns out to be too weak due to lack of minion waves in the right places to take advantage of that strategic mobility."
Meddler  continued:
"Quote:
One thing to keep in mind is that if the frontline has to keep cycling back behind people in order for the regeneration to "kick in" and heal up the poke damage, then the poke comp gains ground as they shift forward to fire at the new, squishier frontline. Once they suffer enough damage and have to move back behind the original frontline, the poke comp gains more ground. This cycle continues until something drastic happens, such as a forced engagement against the poke comp. 
Now, I'm not against more variety in team comps. In fact, I'd much prefer if League didn't shove 5-man Teamfights down everyone's throat as the only way to win effectively. But if your answer to this potential problem is "the front line can just move back" then poke teams automatically come out on top in all situations, especially if they get strong disengage defenses like the proven Trundle or Janna picks.
Yeah, the front line will have a harder time getting some time out of combat to regen. 
They'll also have larger health pools on average for the % regen to work off however. 
We'll keep an eye on how that goes, dragon buff tuning's one of our biggest focuses for mid-season follow up at present given how much it affects every game."
When asked why they chose out of combat movement speed for air dragon's bonus and if they had considered making the fights a bit more different, Meddler  commented:
"We went with out of combat movement speed because we wanted something that would influence how a team makes strategic decisions (e.g. how can we split push or rotate different now that we have a couple of stacks of this buff?). Tenacity by contrast while it can be powerful doesn't create much strategic play once acquired, more the occasional tactical 'I can take this person now that their CC's a bit weaker' 
We might go further on making the drake encounters different at some point, agree there's potential for more interesting fights there. Something we really wanted to avoid there though was chance spawning a dragon that, because of the team comp you'd picked, was much more difficult for you to do than your opponents. Things that punish melee significantly more than ranged (or vice versa, though that's fairly rare) are things we particularly want to avoid as a result."

When asked about potentially making air dragon give movement speed all the time rather than just while in combat, Meddler  noted:
"Would be an easy way to make it much, much more powerful certainly, suspect we'd probably then have to nerf it while out of combat. Something we want from the dragon buffs is for different games to play differently at a strategic level. Out of combat movement speed should do more for that than lower amounts of always on movement speed (or at least that's the theory, we'll see how that does or doesn't work out once enough games, including some from pro play, have occured with the new dragons)."

As for adjustments to the various dragon symbols in-game, Meddler noted:
"They're being revised at the moment, including clearer symbols on the scoreboard (element colors instead of team colors)."

REMINDERS

Last up we have a few reminders on current and upcoming promotions!

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