Universe: New Short Stories + Nidalee, Rengar, and Zyra Bios & Map Update

Posted on at 8:32 AM by Aznbeat
The Universe has been updated! New short stories for Neeko and Nidalee, new bios for Nidalee, Rengar, and Zyra, as well as a new Noxian centric short story have been added! The Runeterra Map was also updated with new info on Noxus conquering the jungle and jungle champions!
Continue reading for a closer look!

Table of Contents

Neeko Story: The Monster of Kalduga Outpost

A new story featuring Neeko is now on the Universe!
"Neeko was familiar with the shapes of humans, and while they had their quirks—socks for instance… why?—they never struck her as particularly strange. Not until the outpost at Kalduga. 
The ugly compound was carved into the cliffs near the outskirts of the jungle by a tribe of humans called “Noxians”. They had inhabited the outpost for a while, it seemed, based on how irritable yet comfortable they seemed performing their daily routines. 
Neeko wondered… were they friendly? Did they enjoy cheese breads? There were other questions, too, but these were at the top of her mind when she decided to see for herself."

Nidalee Story - Human Blood

A new story featuring Nidalee is now on the Universe!
"A loud crack. The stench of grease, smoke, and powder. 
These sounds and smells did not belong to the forest. 
The huntress bounded towards the sound, spear at the ready. She followed the acrid scent through the maze of trunks and thick underbrush. 
Before long, she came upon a familiar place—a small clearing by an embankment. This was a quiet place teeming with life, split by a shallow stream of fast-running water. The fish were so plentiful, even a cub could catch them with clumsy paws. The calm air was rent by the howls of something, or someone, in great pain."

Nidalee Bio

A new biography for Nidalee is now on the Universe!
"Far, far from the harsh deserts of the Great Sai, over savanna plains and mountain steppes, lie the great eastern jungles of Shurima. Swathed in mystery, they are home to wild, fantastical beasts, and dense forests blooming with life. But while there is overwhelming beauty to be found there, danger and death lurk nearby in equal measure. 
No one knows how Nidalee came to be alone in the heart of the jungle. Dressed in little more than rags, the infant child sat alone on the leafy soil, her cries echoing between the trees. 
Undoubtedly, that was what brought the cougars. 
A mother, roaming with her cubs, approached the abandoned girl, perhaps catching the scent of something familiar… or at least something worth saving. She accepted Nidalee without hesitation, half leading, half dragging her back to their den. 
The girl lived in the company of beasts, scrapping and playing alongside her new siblings, with no connection to her own kind, or mortal society at large. The cougars raised Nidalee as a creature of the forest, and as the years passed she grew into a capable huntress—but where her guardians favored tooth and claw, Nidalee learned to take advantage of her surroundings. She worked up healing salves from honeyfruit, sought out curiously glowing flowers to illuminate the night, and even used explosive seeds to send territorial murk wolves flying. 
Even so, at times Nidalee began to lose control of her own body. Without warning, her hands and feet flickered between human and bestial forms. Occasionally she would stumble from the den, delirious with fever, following the hazy silhouettes of two strange figures—they whispered after her, their voices jumbled but sweet. They brought Nidalee a sense of comfort and warmth, even though the cougars had taught her to be wary of outsiders. 
And with good cause. 
It was at the height of the summer rains when she first encountered the Kiilash. These vastayan hunters ranged into the forests every season in search of prestigious kills, and trophies to show their prowess. Nidalee's adopted mother tried to chase them away, but fell, wounded by their blades and spears. 
But before the Kiilash could finish the ageing cougar, Nidalee lunged from the undergrowth, howling with grief and rage. Something had changed. She felt the spirit of the jungle cats within her, and was transformed like never before. Lashing out as a beast, she brought down the nearest hunter with her razor-sharp claws, before whirling around in human form once more to snatch up his spear. The other Kiilash growled and hissed at this sight, and to her surprise Nidalee found she understood some of their speech. 
They cursed her, invoking the name of their Vastayashai'rei ancestors as they retreated from the fight, empty-handed. 
Hurling the spear aside, Nidalee held the dying cougar close. Her siblings approached warily, but with the passing of their mother they came to accept this shapechanger as their new leader—from that day forth, she vowed to defend her adopted home against any who would seek to plunder it. 
Over time, she learned to better control her powers, eventually shifting between both forms with ease. Perhaps it was a yearning to find others of her kind that led her to the chameleon-like wanderer Neeko, but the two became inseparable for a time. Nidalee delighted in mentoring her inquisitive new companion, and they reveled in exploring the jungle's numerous wonders together, before Neeko eventually departed to follow her own destiny beyond Shurima's shores. 
Even now, the dense forests remain the last truly untamed wilderness in the known world, and something of an enigma even to Nidalee. Still, in rare, quiet moments, the huntress finds herself dwelling on her own origins—and her encounter with the Kiilash—and whether she will learn the truth behind any of it…"

Rengar Bio

A tweaked biography for Rengar is now on the Universe!
"Rengar is a ferocious vastayan trophy hunter who lives for the thrill of tracking down and killing dangerous creatures. He scours the world for the most fearsome beasts he can find, especially seeking any trace of Kha'Zix, the void creature who scratched out his eye. Rengar stalks his prey neither for food nor glory, but for the sheer beauty of the pursuit. 
Rengar hails from a tribe of Shuriman vastaya known as the Kiilash, whose society venerated the honor and glory of the hunt. Rengar was born the runt of the litter to the tribe's chieftain, Ponjaf. Ponjaf believed Rengar's diminutive size would make him a worthless hunter. He ignored his child, assuming the runt would starve to death. 
Eventually, the young Rengar fled the camp, ashamed that he had disappointed his father. He subsisted on grubs and plants for weeks until, one day, he was nearly killed by a legendary human hunter named Markon. Upon seeing Rengar's state, he took pity on the creature and let it live. Besides, this was no mighty vastayan warrior worthy of Markon's blade. 
Rengar spent months following Markon, feeding off the corpses the hunter left behind. He still hoped to one day rejoin his tribe, and so took great care in observing how Markon took down his quarries. 
After some time, Markon grew sick of the pathetic Kiilash following him around. He put a knife to Rengar's throat and informed him that the only way to be a hunter was to hunt. He tossed Rengar the blade and kicked him down a ravine, where he was forced to make his first kill to survive. 
From then on, Rengar spent years pushing himself almost to breaking point. He scoured Shurima for the most powerful and dangerous prey. Though he would never be as big as other Kiilash, Rengar was determined to be twice as ferocious. Over time, instead of coming back to his camp each time with fresh scars, he began to come back with trophies. He polished a sandhawk's skull to a sheen; he braided the teeth of a shrieker into his hair. 
Then, when he decided the time had come, Rengar returned to his tribe, ready to be accepted as a true hunter. 
Ponjaf scoffed at Rengar and his trophies. He decreed that only by bringing back the head of the elusive and legendary Void-abomination known as Kha'Zix would Rengar be welcomed back into the tribe. 
Blinded by his eagerness, Rengar allowed this cunning beast to get the drop on him. The Void creature ripped out one of Rengar's eyes and escaped. Furious and defeated, Rengar admitted his failure to Ponjaf. As expected, his father chastised him. 
But as Ponjaf spoke, Rengar noticed all the trophies adorning his father's hut were dusty and old. The chieftain had not hunted anything in a long time—he had likely sent Rengar after Kha'Zix because he was too afraid to do it himself. 
Rengar interrupted his father and called him a coward. Many Kiilash were blessed with strong bodies or comfortable homes. Rengar, conversely, was born facing death. He had taught himself how to hunt, and had the trophies and scars to prove it. Even his own bloody eye socket was a trophy: proof that though Rengar was born with disadvantages, he never gave up. 
Rengar leapt onto his father and gutted him from neck to belly. The fiercest hunters of the tribe crowned him with flame-roses, marking him as their new chieftain. 
But Rengar didn't need his village's acceptance. All he needed was adrenaline pumping through his veins as he chased down his prey. He left the village, without even pausing to take a trophy from what was left of Ponjaf—his father was not a kill worthy of remembering. Instead, he set off determined to find and slay the Void creature that had tried to blind him. 
Not to satisfy the Kiilash, but to satisfy himself."

Zyra Bio

A new biography for Zyra is now on the Universe!
"Zyra’s memory is long, and runs as deep as the roots of the earth. Her kind was young when the Rune Wars raged, when mortal armies fought one another for the very keys of creation. 
Hidden in the jungles south of Kumungu, somewhere between the great rivers that divide eastern Shurima, lay the fabled Gardens of Zyr. Elemental magics had turned the soil there in strange and unpredictable ways, giving rise to fierce, carnivorous plants that preyed upon any creature that strayed within reach. They infested and they devoured, caring nothing for the squabbles of mortals, content merely to coil their vines through the forests and swamplands. In their own way, they were all Zyra… and nourishment was plentiful, even in the midst of war. 
A small company of soldiers, their allegiance long since lost to time, advanced through those lands in search of some now-forgotten prize. They were led by an ambitious sorceress—but they were far from home, bound to succumb to the noxious fumes and spores of that accursed place. 
The denizens of the Gardens set upon them, spined tendrils lashing through armor and flesh with sadistic ease. Though they fought valiantly, the warriors knew they could not hold out long, and turned to their sorceress to save them. Gathering her powers, she wrought a mighty blast. The air burned with runic symbols, casting their eerie light even as the thorny overgrowth closed in. 
In that very instant, a rogue spark ignited the gases of the swamp, and the resulting magical explosion obliterated every living thing for miles around. Of the scattered survivors of the Rune Wars, none would ever know what fate had befallen the Gardens of Zyr. 
Centuries passed. The land where the battle had been fought lay empty and lifeless above ground… but in the depths, something stirred. Long had the energies that were unleashed there settled, and curdled, nourished by the fallout. A seedpod bulged, pulsing with unnatural life, until a creature clawed its way free, gasping and confused. 
It beheld a broken and changed world, brimming with new vitality and new ideas. Its mind was a puzzle of conflicting memories, drawn from the loamy earth and forced into its fledgling consciousness. It could recall the warmth of the sun, the taste of rain, words of power, and the agony of a hundred mortal deaths. 
It—she—called herself Zyra, without quite understanding why. 
As she ventured out into the wildlands beyond her birthplace, Zyra knew she was different from other creatures she encountered. Mortals were fearful and unpleasant things, while more ethereal entities tended to be capricious, or arrogant. None of them seemed to respect the realms they inhabited, despoiling everything with their mere presence, and that filled Zyra with rage and contempt. Almost unbidden, new life sprang up in her footsteps—voracious plant forms that changed and evolved beneath her gaze, hurling poisonous barbs or sprouting fresh tendrils at an alarming rate. 
Unrooted and free to wander, Zyra and her deadly progeny feed, and grow, strangling all other life from the world. She has blighted farmland, overrun entire settlements, and crushed those warriors brave or foolish enough to confront her, always leaving a menagerie of botanical horrors in her wake. 
As the rivers of Shurima begin to run anew, strange flora has been sighted on their banks, spreading slowly westward with each passing season. Whether pulled from the earth or purged by fire, the growth does not seem to be slowing…"

Story: At the Edge of the World

A new Noxian themed story is now on the Universe - At the Edge of the World:
“Seven times,” said Ysard Tomyri, straining to keep her voice level and face neutral. 
Captain Oditz did not answer his first officer immediately, his attention consumed by the maps and reports covering his desk, or at least feigning as much. It was Oditz who had summoned her and, like so much else in their short service together, making her stand at attention in his quarters aboard the Kironya was, above all else, a display of power. 
“I request audience with high command,” said Ysard, unwilling to play the captain’s game this time. 
“I speak for high command here, Commander Tomyri,” said Oditz, not looking up. “A fact you seem either ignorant of, or unwilling to accept.” 
“Seven times,” said Ysard again. “I have requested audience, not to plead or beg, but to promise.” 
“Promise?” the Captain looked up from the spread of parchments, finally glancing at Ysard. 
“Yes,” she answered. “To promise them the glory that I shall win for them, the lands and peoples I will bring, by word or by blood, into the empire. There are expansions being mobilized, envoys being sent out from our borders to secure new lands for Noxus each day. I can win those for them. All that I require is a command.”"

Runeterra Map Update

The Runeterra Map was also updated with new places to explore themed around each of the champions and stories released!

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