League of Legends might not have the most balanced gameplay and somehow there is always something to complain about when it comes to in-game mechanics. But this time, we want to take a look outside of Summoner's Rift and explore the Champions themselves. What motivates them to fight? What we found were some pretty brutal and sad stories.
We accumulated those that we felt are the most heart-wrenching and shared them with you. For anyone who wants a deeper understanding of their Champion, head over to the League of Legends Universe site, where each Champion story is explained in great detail!
So without further ado, let's get crying!
Amumu – The Sad Mummy
Amumu’s story just makes you want to hold onto the green mummy. The feeling of loneliness which his lore depicts is very relatable, especially for anyone who might have just moved and is in desperate search of new friends in an unknown place.
Nobody knows who or what Amumu truly is. There are multiple stories and fables about the sad mummy boy. Some believe him to have been part of the first ruling family of Shurima who succumbed to a horrible disease. Amumu was quarantined only to befriend a small servant girl who would tell him stories through his door.
When his last brother died, Amumu became the ruler of Shurima. The young girl didn’t want him to be alone when he found out and opened his door. They hugged, only for the girl to wither away and die.
Another tale spoke of Amumu being a crown prince who sought power through the Eye of Angor. He stopped at nothing to get his hands on the relic. He forced slaves to help him through ancient tombs and catacombs until he found the relic. The slaves then sealed the young leader into the tomb, leaving him in darkness to slowly lose his sanity. Due to the Eye of Angor, his life was prolonged, though he would have to live in loneliness for the rest of eternity.
A third story speaks of a Yordle king of Shurima who swore to live as a beggar until he made one true friend. Thousands walked by him, nobody stopped and slowly the Yordle died of a broken heart. The spirit of the Yordle still walks the Shuriman deserts today, seeking a friend. These stories might not be the same, but all tell the tale of a lonesome boy, seeking a friend but cursed to be alone forever.
Renekton – The Butcher of the Sands
Renekton’s story pulls at the heartstrings. It's the tale of two brothers who cared deeply for one another and would sacrifice everything for each other, only for this love to be corrupted and turned into pure hatred.
Renekton grew up as a strong fighter and soldier. Under his older brother Nasus's command, he joined the Shuriman army and became known as the Gatekeeper of Shurima thanks to his fighting prowess. At one point, Nasus, fell ill but was given the right to ascend and become a mythical protector of Shurima.
Renekton raced back from the front lines to see his brother, but during the ascension ritual, Nasus was too weak. Renekton, ready to offer himself as a sacrifice, picked up his sickly brother and carried him the last steps towards the sun disk. In the end, both of them ascended. However, the ritual did cause Renekton to lose part of his humanity.
The brothers continued to fight alongside one another and had to chase after a sarcophagus which contained an evil fire being. During this time, Azir and his advisor Xerath tried to do the ascension ritual only for it to fail and turn the whole capital to ashes. Xerath became a being filled with dark energy and Azir died. Nasus and Renekton came back, realizing what had happened, and tried to force Xerath into the coffin, but he was too strong.
Renekton saw only one way out. He wrestled the being into a tomb and told his brother to seal it shut, knowing he'd be trapped too. Reluctantly, Nasus did. Centuries passed and Renekton was stuck in the darkness with Xerath, the evil creature whispering poison in his ears, corrupting his mind. Renekton slowly went insane, believing his brother had left him for dead, believing his brother had betrayed him.
Shen – The Eye of Twilight
Shen’s lore is a story of loss and acceptance. He's lost just about everything, but due to the honor of the Kinkou order and the burden of the Eye of Twilight, he never gets to fully mourn his past and has to stay neutral. He is constantly forced to push his feelings back – all for the Equilibrium.
Shen grew up with the Kinkou Monastery. His father, Kusho, was the head of the order and taught him everything. The key to the order was to keep the balance between the spirit realm and the mortal realm. Shen grew up with his adopted brother, Zed, both of them top students of the order.
Shen and Zed often went on dangerous missions together until one day, they had to chase after the case of the Golden Demon. They followed the brutal serial killer for four years only to find out that it was none other than Khada Jhin, who was then imprisoned by Kusho. However, the years of chasing Jhin changed them and Zed became very angry and hungry for more power.
For using forbidden techniques, Zed was ultimately exiled from the order only to create his own and come back years later. He would end up killing Shen’s father, throwing his severed head before him. Shen managed to escape the massacre but had to establish a new Kinkou order with the few remaining survivors. Over the years, Shen lost everything – his home, his father, his best friend.
Skarner – The Crystal Vanguard
We all know something must have happened to Skarner with all the hate Seraphine has been receiving. But it isn’t just her who should be chastised. All of Piltover! The story of Skarner is truly heartbreaking, especially when thinking of real-world comparisons.
Skarner is part of the ancient Brackern race. Each Brackern holds a single magical crystal that retains the memories, hopes and dreams of all Brackern who held it beforehand, thus making the Brackern basically immortal.
Once a Brackern dies, their crystal is buried in the sand for a younger Brackern to find. This created an eternal harmony of crystals calling to the Brackern. At first, mortals respected the Brackern but as wars broke out, they became more power-hungry and violent. Fearing for their ways, the Brackern decided to hibernate until the dangers were over.
As Skarner was sleeping, he awoke to a loud screech that resonated within the harmony of the crystals only to realize that their territory had turned into a wasteland and was now being dug up by humans who were forcefully hacking at the crystals and stealing them from the Brackern. And Brackern without their crystals were doomed.
Skarner managed to get away from the carnage, the dying song of the crystals haunting him, telling him to try and rescue those of his kin who had been stolen. Skarner went on that journey only to hear slight inklings of the songs of the crystal. He ends up constantly torn between feelings of anguish and hope.
Ah, League of Legends, a fun game that every now and then slaps you in the face with a genocide story.
Orianna – The Lady of Clockwork
The story of Orianna is truly heart-wrenching when you think about it – losing your humanity and your emotions? Horrible. Her father desperately tried to keep her alive, but through this, Orianna lost who she once was. Is it really worth living such a life?
Orianna grew up in Piltover as the daughter of an artificer who was known for making excellent artificial limbs. One day, there was a large explosion in Zaun which emitted a dangerous gas. Orianna went to help but came back afflicted by the gas and her lungs slowly disintegrated.
Her father did everything in his power to save her, creating a set of artificial lungs. But that wasn’t enough. Slowly, one by one, all of Orianna’s organs started failing, and her father was constantly creating new artificial ones to replace them. With each implant, Orianna lost a part of what had made her human. Only her heart remained.
Years later, Orianna’s father fell ill and the only way to save him was for Orianna to find a substance that could give him a "new heart". She got her hands on a hex crystal from a chem-baron who asked for multiple installments of money. As soon as Orianna didn’t have the funds to pay him, she was forced to make a decision. In the end, she had to sacrifice her own heart, the last shred of humanity she had left, for her father.
The heart created a device for the hextech crystal and Orianna had become something new – a lady of Clockwork. She left before her father could wake.
And that's what makes games like LoL great: they create depth for their characters and can even make you shed a tear. Don't you agree?