Red Post Collection: "A Good Death" - Kindred short story, LoL FB Stickers, Worlds Collide, and more!

Posted on at 8:24 AM by Moobeat
[UPDATE : Added in a set of 1920x1080 wallpapers for the art in A Good Death. ]

This morning's red post collection includes the new Kindred short story "A Good Death", a look at the new set of League of Legends Facebook stickers & an interview with the artists behind them,a Worlds Collide teaser & music track for the upcoming 2015 World Championship, and more!
Continue reading for more information!

Table of Contents

"A Good Death" - Kindred Short Story

First up "A Good Death", a new short story about an actress' fateful encounter with Kindred.
 A Good Death

"Magga was about to die for the fourteenth time. She had bitten into a rotten apple–yet again. Its putrid flesh had, as always, infected her with carrionshade. The actress went through the motions of stumbling to her death while shouting her final words for all to hear.

“Oh, but how wondrous a dream is life? Only now—too late!—do I wake to see its myriad of splendors,” she bemoaned.

With a puff of smoke and glittering powder, Kindred made a grand entrance upon the stage. As per tradition, they were played by one actor, his head covered by two opposing masks. He approached Magga, the white mask of the Lamb facing her.

“Hark! Do I hear a plea for my keenest arrow? Come, child, let the warmth of your heart fade into the cold embrace of oblivion.”

Magga refused, as she had thirteen times before. Any nuance in her performance was buried beneath the ear-splitting delivery of her scream. On cue, Lamb spun around, revealing the second mask–that of the Wolf.

“There is naught ye can do to stave off thine end,” growled Wolf.
“I am but a poor young maiden! Please, let my piteous cry fall on all four of thine ears.”

The audience seemed enraptured by the unfolding dramatics of the Orphellum Mechanicals. With the twin threats of plague and war on the tongues of those in neighboring protectorates, death dramas were all the rage.

Denji, the actor portraying both Lamb and Wolf, descended upon the young actress, awkwardly baring wooden fangs. Magga offered her neck. At the threat of Wolf’s bite, she triggered the device sewn into her blouse’s collar. Ribbons of red fabric unspooled to the delighted pips and yelps of the audience. They’d gotten what they paid for.
By the time the Mechanicals had staggered back to their wagon and set off in the direction of Needlebrook, there were no stars to be seen. Instead, a veil of clouds stretched across the night sky. 
Needlebrook always delivered a good audience, Illusian, the company’s owner and sole dramaturg, explained once more. He staggered around, drunk on his own accolades—as well as the wine Parr had grifted from the locals.

The night wore on, and the troupe had descended into bickering. Tria and Denji lambasted their playwright over the quality of his plots, which fell into a predictable structure: tragedy strikes maiden, death finds maiden, death takes maiden. Illusian argued that complicated plots detracted from a good death scene.

Magga, the youngest of the bunch, agreed with Tria and Denji’s diagnosis, but kept her mouth shut. Had she not stowed away in the wandering troupe’s wagon, she would certainly be somewhere far more miserable. Luckily for her, the Mechanicals had recently lost several actors due to Illusian’s insistence on complete artistic control. Because of his attitude—and obvious mediocrity—they were facing a drought of fresh faces. And so, the Orphellum Mechanicals agreed to contract Magga to die in all their dramatics for the foreseeable future. For which she had been grateful.

Illusian was still smarting from Denji and Tria’s words when he motioned to Parr, their wagoner, to stop and make camp. The inebriated auteur set out his bedroll in pride of place next to the wagon. He then threw the rest of the bedding into the long grass nearby.

“Ungrateful players can sleep in the wilds,” Illusian spat, “where they shall hopefully find their manners.”

The rest of the troupe built a fire and swapped stories. Denji and Tria had fallen asleep in each other’s arms while whispering potential names for their unborn child into each other’s ears. They had nattered on about the day the traveling company would stop in Jandelle, a town so perfect and peaceful they would set aside their vagabond ways to raise their child.

Magga moved closer to the crackling fire so its pops and whistles would drown out the irksome affections of her traveling companions.

But sleep never came. Instead, Magga tossed and turned, thinking about the looks on the audience’s faces as the coiled spurts of blood unfurled from her neckline. A pretty maiden struck dead by her own naïveté was all the theatrical pomp Illusian could muster, but the crowd lusted after the gruesome façade.

Eventually, she left her bedroll and set out into the woods to soothe her unsettled mind.
In the dead of night, Magga came upon a low grassy mound with slabs of standing stone at its base. Although she could not read the inscriptions, her fingers traced the familiar etching of Kindred’s twin masks. This was a place of the dead, a burial site built long ago.

She felt a chill on the back of her neck that compelled her to look up. She was not alone. Magga immediately understood what she saw, for she’d encountered a crude impersonation of them night after night. But poor Denji couldn’t begin to instill the dread washing over Magga. Before her, perched on a weathered barrow-archway, was Lamb herself, flanked by her ever-faithful counterpart, Wolf.

“I hear a beating heart!” said Wolf, his black eyes twinkling with delight. “May I have it?”

“Perhaps,” replied Lamb. “I sense she is afraid. Speak, beautiful one. Tell us your name.”

“I-I would have yours first,” stammered Magga, stepping backward. Her slow escape was halted by the speedy Wolf, who materialized unsettlingly close behind her.

He spoke directly in her ear. “We have many names.”

“In the West, I am Ina to his Ani,” said Lamb. “In the East, Farya to his Wolyo. But we are Kindred everywhere. I am always Lamb to Wolf, and he is always Wolf to Lamb.”

Wolf reared up and sniffed at the air.

“She is playing a boring game,” said Wolf. “Let us play a new game, one of chasing and running and biting.”

“She is not playing, dear Wolf,” said the Lamb. “She is frightened and has lost her own name. It hides behind her lips, afraid to come out. Worry not, dear child, I have found your name. We know it as you know us, Magga.”
“P-please,” Magga stammered. “Tonight is not a very good night for—”

Wolf’s great pink tongue lolled out of the side of his mouth, and he proceeded to cackle.

“All nights are good nights for pouncing,” said Wolf, laughing.

“All days are, too,” Lamb said. “With light comes a clear shot.”

“There is no moon tonight!” cried Magga. She used what Illusian had taught her—to gesture grand, so those in the back could see her movements. “It is hidden by a blanket of clouds, tucked away from my eyes and yours. Without the moon, what would be the last thing I would see?”

“We see the moon,” replied Lamb, as she caressed her fabled bow. “It is always there.”

“There are no stars!” said Magga, trying again, this time gesturing smaller and speaking quieter. “No menagerie of twinkling diamonds, glittering in the midnight hue. What more beautiful view could one hope for whence one meets Lamb and Wolf?”

“This Magga-thing is playing a new game,” growled Wolf. “It is called ‘stalling.’”

Wolf stopped moving and cocked his head to the side. He turned his sideways snout toward Magga before speaking. “Can we play ‘Chasing the Magga-Thing and Bite Her to Bits?’?” Wolf clacked his fangs together loudly for effect.

“Let us ask her,” said Lamb. “Magga! Do you prefer Wolf’s chase, or my arrow?”

Magga was trembling now. Her eyes raced to take in every last detail of the world around her. It wasn’t such a bad place to depart. There was grass. There were trees. There was the ancient archway. There was stillness to the air.

“I would prefer Lamb’s arrow,” she said, looking at the rough crusts of bark on the trees. “I’ll imagine myself climbing to the highest boughs, like when I was a child. Only this time, I will never stop climbing. Is that what it is like to go with you?”

“No,” said Lamb, “though it is a nice thought. Fear not, little maiden, we are just having our fun. You have come to us tonight; we have not come for you.”

“I cannot chase Magga-thing,” said Wolf, with a hint of disappointment in his voice. “But there are other things nearby. Other things ripe for the chasing and the biting. Hurry, Lamb. I am hungry.”

“For now, know that your theatrics have pleased us, and we will watch them until the day we meet again.”

Wolf passed over Magga and disappeared into the woods. The shadowy beast snaked away through fields of tall grass. Magga looked back toward the weathered barrow. Lamb was gone.

The actress fled.
When Magga returned to the encampment, she found it in utter ruin. The wagon she had only just begun to call home had been ransacked and reduced to a smoldering husk. Bits of clothing and ruined props lay strewn across the campsite.

She found Denji’s body near where he’d slept. He had died protecting Tria, whose corpse lay behind him. Judging from the trails of blood, their deaths had not been slow. They had dragged themselves toward each other, their fingers entwined in one last caress before death.

Magga noticed that Illusian had managed to kill two of the bandits before being burnt to a crisp along with Parr in the wagon.

The only thing that remained untouched were Denji’s Lamb and Wolf masks. Magga picked them up and held them in her hands. She placed the Lamb mask over her own eyes and heard the voice of Wolf.

“Chase the Magga-thing.”

The maiden ran the distance to Needlebrook, never once looking back.
The Golden Round was filled to the brim with a sea of twinkling eyes, all glittering in excitement at the velvet curtain. The king sat in the theater with the queen and their advisers, all eagerly awaiting the onset of the dramatics. Everyone hushed as the black curtain lifted to reveal the actors.

Magga sat in a quiet dressing room under the stage. She heard the crowd fall silent as she studied herself in the mirror. The luster of youth had faded from her eyes years ago, and left her with a long shock of silver running through her hair.

“Madame!” said the stagehand. “You’re not in costume yet.”

“No, child,” Magga said, “I only dress at the last moment.”

“It is the last moment,” said the young stagehand, holding the two final pieces of Magga’s costume: the same Lamb and Wolf masks from her days with the Orphellum Mechanicals.

“May your performance be blessed tonight,” the stagehand said.

Magga prepared to leave for the stage. She slipped the masks over her head. The old chill from the dark barrow crept down her spine. She welcomed it—as always.

She enthralled the audience as she glided onto the stage, embodying Lamb’s graceful movements. She thrilled the crowd with her rendition of Wolf’s playful savagery. She, as the twin deaths personified, eased the suffering of her fellow actors, or ripped it from their throats, until the crowd stood on its feet and erupted in thunderous applause.

It was true. All audiences loved a good death, and they loved Magga’s more than any other.

Even the king and queen were on their feet in praise of her work.

But Magga heard no applause and saw no ovations. She didn’t feel the stage beneath her feet, nor the hands of her fellow mummers in hers as they bowed low. All she felt was a sharp pain in her chest.

When Magga looked out over the audience, every single face was either a lamb or a wolf."

Larger versions of the art from A Good Death can be found on radioblur's artstation!

[UPDATE] Riot has uploaded a set of 1920x1080 wallpapers featuring these four images can be found here - (1, 2, 3, 4). Imgur mirror can be found here.

Looking for more on Kindred? Check out these links:

"A Good Death", Mythical Champions, and Lore Discussion

Following the release of A Good Death, a few lore based discussion started to brew on the boards and reddit!

In regards to the "A Good Death" short story, noted:
"Thanks a lot for the kind words. I'm pretty blown away by the number of positive responses to the piece. 
To give you some of the backstory around where A Good Death came from, it was originally written during the champion development process as a story sketch piece to establish the tonal guidepost for Kindred. It's goal was to be a touchstone throughout production to help the production team capture the mood of the champs. Later on, we though it would be fun to release it with some killer original pencil art to help bring the story to life. I'm over the moon with the results. 
This is one of my favorite things I've gotten to work on, and it's super-humbling (and terrifying) to have you guys get to read it. Thank you guys so much for taking the time to read and comment (even if the story wasn't your cup of tea)."
When asked about the exact meaning of the ending, FauxSchizzle commented:
"There are several interpretations of the ending. I've read several of them here (and a couple over on the LoL forums). All I'll say is that when we were finishing up the edits, we had some very good debates about the ending. Ones that kept me up at that night, pondering. I'm honestly more curious about reading your interpretation of the ending.
I think we are doing an AMA soon. Please swing by and ask some more questions!"
As for the actors wearing the masks, FauxSchizzle noted:
"Lamb wears a black wolf mask. Wolf wears a white lamb mask. 
Actors portraying Kindred are one person wearing two masks at once, that they can swap between as their scene unfolds."

When asked about the recent influx of mythical champions with Bard, Tahm Kench, and now Kindred, Meddler commented:
"A few mythical champions in quick succession (Bard, Tahm Kench, Kindred) was a somewhat organic, somewhat planned process. We identified that there was a space there we hadn't fleshed out much, and could do some cool stuff with, as we were working on a couple of concepts that occupied somewhat similar spots. We concluded that was something to embrace, rather than a problem we needed to solve, hence three champs in quick succession with thematic overlap (internal name for a while was 'Year of the myth' as a result). 
Having said that we'll generally be more concrete space for new champions for a while now. The upcoming champs we're working on still have a fairly fantastical nature to them (LoL's that sort of game), but in the more common 'lots of people know they're real and roughly where in the world they might be' sort of way."

When asked if new Rioter and former Warhammer 40k novelist Graham McNeill  was responsible for the recent Kindred and Tahm Kench stories, Jaredan teased:
"The wonderful fellow you are referencing is not the new head of lore, let's not throw a bunch of stuff on his plate! Tahm Kench and Kindred were not worked on by Graham, though you'll be seeing some more of his work soon... (tease). 
Tahm Kench and Kindred both deepen Runeterra's mythology so they're not really main antagonists or protagonists in the manner you reference. 
That won't be the case for all champs, it's just worked out that way in this regard."

When asked to follow up on his previous comment of releasing the short "story sketches" they use to help flesh out a champions personality,  Jaredan noted:

"Sorry about the late response. We're not putting them out at the moment, we're deciding on the best time and way to share them so it helps inform and we can give some good context to how they work and our thinking behind the pieces (and how they affected our thoughts on the character). 
That and there's some things to look forward to already in the next month or so..."

When asked about the upcoming Harrowing and what Bilgewater may do to stop the Black Mist following the events of Bilgewater that would surely shatter MF & GP's "uneasy truce",  WAAARGHbobo commented:
"Sounds like Bilgewater needs a savior..."
[Check out this article and this video to brush up on The Harrowing and The Black Mist]

Lack of Balance Changes in 5.19 PBE cycle 

When asked about the lack of balance changes currently in the 5.19 PBE cycle, Meddler explained:
"Main Reason:
  • Everyone that normally works on balance changes is focused on work for the preseason that'll come out late this year (preseason changes are big, so take many patch cycles worth of work to prepare). 
Secondary Reasons:
  • We believe there's value in keeping the state of the game in the Worlds Patch close to the state of the game on the live servers, so that the game you're playing and the game you're watching don't feel unnecessarily disconnected. 
  • This also gives us a period of low change each year where we can assess how the game does or doesn't evolve when left steady. That further helps inform what we work on, and how, in the preseason/coming year."

Repertoir on Post 5.18 Mordekaiser

In a thread inquiring about Mordekaiser following his 5.18 changes, Repertoir popped in to answer a few questions:
"Hi Malicious, I'll try to answer some of this stuff to the best of my ability. I'll preface all of it by saying none of these are promises one way or the other.
First of all, his notorious Harvester of Sorrow (Great choice for a name btw) and its restriction.
I know we did a bit to help this in 5.18 with it being castable solo for the back-end component, but it seems like there's probably just more work to do on that front. I agree that it having no dot while solo feels particularly awful.
Secondly I think his passive has been toned down a bit too heavily.
Is it just that it never fills up enough? Is it specifically it's not very useful for fighting champions while solo? I have to admit I don't personally have a great read on this.
Metal! Yes, this is more of a visual nitpick but being the Master of Metal comes with certain...Expectations. How about giving his abilities a bit more UMF in terms of VFX. Dig the Q sfx though, really crisp.
This won't be what you wanted to hear, but it's probably better than silence, so... I'll just say it's unlikely that the visuals will change much in the current, as the artists that worked on them have other allocated responsibilities and such. Truly sorry if we missed the mark for you and others on the visuals.
who wouldn't love being able to play their main in all the lanes?
I feel for you on this one. It sucks to have something you enjoyed taken away, especially when you didn't ask for it. I think we'd like to do a bit more for the solo-kaisers out there, and now that the dust has mostly settled with Juggernaut post-release as far as balance goes, we can hopefully do more of that."

League of Legends Facebook Stickers

For the social media enthusiasts out there, Riot has launched a set of League of Legends stickers!

Check 'em out here :

Over on twitter, community artist ffSade commented she & a team worked on the stickers together!
[1] "Got to work with a super team, including @RiotJynx @ohnips and @raspbearyart in order to make these! Hope you enjoy! "

Interview with artists behind League Facebook Stickers 

Now that you've seen the stickers, here's Mhija with an introduction to the community artists that worked on them!
"If you’ve ever wished you could use League champions to express your emotions -- ­­look no further! A new champion-­themed sticker pack has been released on Facebook for your emoting pleasure. Check them out here
These stickers were inspired by memes and inside jokes from the League community, so it was only right that a few community artists had a hand in creating them. Take a look at the artists who contributed their unique style and personality to bring these stickers to life, and read on to discover how they got started in League, how they approach their art, and what inspires them to create champion fan art! 

How did you get started creating League fan art? 
OSKAR: I started playing the game and then it just kind of happened. I would have ideas for what kind of skin would be cool, or just imagine scenarios in my head and doodle those out. I love reinterpreting and re­imagining existing ideas, so League is perfect for me.
SADE: Around the time I stopped playing competitive Smash Bros. in 2011, a ton of my gamer friends tried to get me into League of Legends. Within a couple of weeks, I was addicted. It wasn’t long until I fell in love with a ton of champions, including Rumble (my #1), Caitlyn, Garen, and Fiddlesticks. So I drew them. Surprisingly, people liked them, so I just kept it up.
NIPS: When my friends finally got me to download and play the game, I instantly fell in love with the splash art and how much energy it had! 

From where do you get your ideas when creating a new League piece? 
OSKAR: Just about anything really! Sometimes it’s a champion’s personality, sometimes it’s just something I think is cute, or anything along those lines. I also really love drawing girls, so whenever any of the girls get a new skin or update, it’s easy to make me feel inspired. (More girl champions, Riot!!)
SADE: I get my ideas from playing too much League. It’s fortunate that the game is so vast and interesting, yet also malleable and open to interpretation. There’s something to draw for anyone.
NIPS: They usually come from a sudden burst of inspiration or from ideas I’ve had for a while. I’m usually constantly thinking about the League universe in the back of my mind and some interesting things happen there xD 

What approach do you take when deciding how to depict a champion in your art? How do you stay true to a champion’s personality while still making the piece your own? 
OSKAR: I usually just visualize the champ in any way! I actually am not sure I take into account the champion’s personality, since I just kind of like re­imaging and bending the champions into my own ideas. That’s why League is so fun to do fan art for; most of the champs are base ideas and concepts that us fan artists get to extend and play with.
SADE: The last thing I want to do is capture a character’s essence incorrectly, because that would just be slander. So, I’ll play the champion to get a better feel of their personality (also a good excuse to play more video games). And if I still don’t really get what they’re about, then I read up on their lore. It’s not much, but I do my best to respect the character.
NIPS: I like creating pieces that make the champions as believable and as human as possible. It’s one of my favorite things to do!! To make it my own, I try to put the champion in situations that I feel only I would be best at drawing. Everyone has certain things they’re good at and I think drawing while keeping that in mind results in the best and most unique pieces. 

Who is your favorite champion to draw, and why? 
OSKAR: Leona. She’s my favorite to draw, play, and look at fan art of. I love her so much, she’s the perfect amount of femininity, strength, and overall bad­assery. Not to mention her whole thing with Diana just sort of hits my weak spot. I love conflicting romances.
SADE: Graves has always been my favorite champion to draw. He’s my favorite marksman, and since he has very rugged and rough features, I can be more creative when it comes to designing him. I’ve drawn him so many times, I don’t have to look at a reference anymore. So when I have a sketchbook on hand, sometimes I’ll doodle him out wherever I go.
NIPS: Ziggs! That smile is killer. 

What does it mean to be a fan artist in the League community? 
OSKAR: Hmmm, I’m not sure what it “means,” but it’s been really fun! I’ve met a lot of really cool people, and expanded my comfort zones a lot through being in the League community. The best part I think is feeding off each other’s ideas and creativity. It really allows for artists and relationships to grow and I think that’s something very important when it comes to growing as an artist!
SADE: To be a fan artist in the League community is being a part of an ever growing family. Here, I’ve met the most passionate and talented individuals that helped change me as an artist. My fans are surprisingly really supportive as well. The least I can do is to continue to improve my skills so I can deliver more enjoyable content in the future. 

Can you describe your art style for us? 
OSKAR: Oh boy, that’s kinda hard. I guess east meets west would be the best way! I take inspiration from western cartoon and comic artists as much as I take inspiration from manga and anime. I love all sorts of retro animation and visuals, so I also try to infuse that into my art.
SADE: I’d consider my art style anime/manga at heart, though I also mixed some other stylistic influences into it. It ended up being a Frankenstein­like amalgam of things I liked, and I always just describe it as a more realistic anime style.
NIPS: I draw without putting much thought into this but a lot of people have told me that it’s similar to what a mix of American comics and Japanese comics would look like! 

How do you think being part of the League community influences your art? 
OSKAR: I never really considered illustrational art in video­games as a career option before League of Legends. Art is such a huge part of what makes LoL appealing. It made me want to paint more. I think just looking at the splash arts as sort of a “goal” for my artistic abilities has been the biggest thing I’ve taken from being a part of the community!
SADE: The League community has shaped my art immensely. Concept artists like Paul Kwon (Zeronis) and Kienan Lafferty (Knockwurst) helped me recognize the importance of character shapes and visual clarity. Other League fan artists are so ambitious, I’m encouraged to improve alongside them. And of course, if it weren’t for the community, my art style wouldn’t have developed nearly as much. 

What do you hope people get from your artwork? 
OSKAR: Cuteness! Smiles! Haha, I don’t know! Ever since I started drawing it became sort of a way to cheer myself up, which is why my art is often very bright, cartoony, and childish. I love that art can get all sorts of emotions and reactions out of people, but the emotion I want my art to give people is a laugh, a smile, or any kind of childhood nostalgia!
SADE: If I can entertain people with my work and make a single person smile, then it makes the entire art process worth it. If someone finds the art worthy enough to use as an icon or wallpaper, that’s even cooler. But if it influences a person positively ­­ such as inspiring someone to play a champion, explore the lore, or even make their own art ­­ then that is the best experience I could ever achieve.
NIPS: I like to make people feel good, so I hope that the energy and vibe of my pieces reaches them! It’s always a pleasure to attempt to communicate that through art.­ 
A big thank you to the artists for speaking with us! To learn more about them and view more of their art, check out the links above.  
And once you check out the new sticker set on Facebook, let us know which is your favorite in the comments below!"

Worlds Collide Teaser & Music Video

A video for the 2015 WC titled Worlds Collide: Teaser has been put up on the LoL Esports youtube channel!

"The 2015 World Championship represents a culmination of the hard work, raw skill, and sheer determination of the best League of Legends players and teams on the planet. From multitudes, only a scant few teams remain. Join us this October as these legends in the making vie to be crowned the next World Champion."
Check out the LoL Esports 2015 World Championship page for more on the upcoming event! Groups Stage starts on Thursday, October 1st!

[UPDATE] The full Worlds Collide song has been posted !  Here's the full track, which features Nicki Taylor, who previously collaborated with Riot on Here Comes Vi!

Download available on the LoL Soundcloud. Lyrics available on youtube description.

For those curious about the song on their favorite music platforms, Riot WENCESLAUS has noted:
"Worlds Collide will be on Spotify/iTunes/etc over the course of the next day or so, hang tight friends!"

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