Long before the Shadow Isles was known as a place plagued with death magic and monsters that are filled with hate and regret, it was a place filled with life, harmony, and purity. Although, a story of love, greed, and hate would forever create one of the biggest catastrophes that would change Runeterra as we know it today. Let’s take a look at the origins of The Ruination and how this event became a key point in history to create multiple character storylines and the biggest threat to Runeterra at present.
The Coronation of the Ruined King
In an old kingdom whose name has long been forgotten by the people of Runeterra, centuries before the present storyline, a man named Viego lived as the 2nd in line to the throne. He was a royal so of course, he lived a pampered life. Since he was 2nd in line, no one bothered to teach him how to be a King, and truth be told, he never showed interest in it as well. However, everything would break apart for the kingdom when the older brother died abruptly.
Viego, unfit to be King, was suddenly crowned as the ruler of an entire kingdom. Living a life free of any responsibility until now, he continued to neglect his responsibilities which caused outrage amongst the people and the court. The new King had no intention to rule the kingdom whatsoever. However, he needed to sit on the throne to continue enjoying the wealth and lifestyle he had. Unfortunately, the kingdom can’t remove him from the throne as he’s the rightful heir by blood.
The Love That Changed Everything
Viego was selfish, a man that loved nothing and nobody but himself. That was until he met a seamstress – Isolde – whom he fell in love with, and she loved him too. Viego married her and made her Queen of the Kingdom. For once, Viego finally became a man that cared for something other than himself. Viego’s love for Isolde was true, he was devoted to her. He focuses all his time and resources into making her Queen feel happy and loved.
Unfortunately for the Kingdom, Viego’s love for Isolde did not change the fact that the kingdom was still neglected by the King. As much as the people adored the romance between the two, it only fueled rage for loyalists of the kingdom. Veigo’s allies finally had enough and could not excuse his behavior anymore. They and the enemies of the kingdom plotted to assassinate him using a poisoned dagger. Kalista, Viego’s niece and royal guard, managed to save her king but the poisoned blade would graze Isolde’s skin and afflict her with the poison.
The Madness Before the Ruination
Isolde lay in her bed, slowly dying from the poison meant for her husband. Viego was inconsolable and for the first time, he finally issued orders to the people and his kingdom – save Isolde. He deployed Kalista to travel the world in search of a cure while Hecarim, the Knight Captain, filled her place in the meantime. The citizens were also forced into sending offerings that might help in saving the dying queen.
Viego locked himself inside the room with his wife in his arms. Nothing worked in curing the Queen’s illness; not the medicine of the most experienced physicians nor the healing magic of the most talented mages. Viego spent all of the Kingdom’s riches and treasures to send people to save his wife or buy relics, artifacts, and medicine that might have even the slightest chance to save her. Until the kingdom itself fell into disarray with the King only focuses on saving his love.
Kalista traveled the lands in search of a cure but the other Kingdoms didn’t have what her king needed. At last, he found a place called The Blessed Isles where there was rumored to have a fountain containing water that could heal any sickness or disease. She begged the Elders of the island to give her some water but it took some time before she could convince them to give her a small vial. That was enough. She rushed back to the kingdom to save her Queen, but when she got there, Isolde was already dead.
The King held her dear wife’s dead body as close to him as possible. Kalista saw that she was already too late. The cure can heal any sickness or disease but it can’t bring the dead back to life. Regardless, Viego tried but the waters failed to do anything, Filled with anger and hatred, Viego imprisoned Kalista for treason. Hecarim informed Viego where the waters came from and gave him the idea that placing her body in the fountain might save her.
The Ruination of the Blessed Isles
Viego freed Kalista but in return, she would lead his army to the Blessed Isles. When they arrived, the elders forbade the entry of the Viego’s army stating that reviving the dead would be impossible. Viego was too angry to reason with and he ordered Kalista to kill everyone in their way. Kalista refused knowing that the elder was right and there was no reason to kill an innocent tribe of people for the sake of doing something so unnatural.
In a fit of rage, Viego ordered Hecarim to do it instead and kill Kalista as well for refusing to follow orders. At Hecarim’s command, hundreds of spears flew towards Kalista and the citizens of the Blessed Isles. Multiple spears would stab Kalista until she lay dead on the ground. Viego marched to the fountain, seeing the magic of life made her optimistic. He placed Isolde’s body on the fountain but the result was not as he expected.
Isolde arose from the fountain, her body turned into a monstrous figure that left Viego lost for words. Isolde begged her husband to kill her. Viego respected her wish but decided to go with her so that they could spend eternity together. Viego pushed his blade through both of them. However, the magical energy of the fountain was tainted and twisted the wish of Viego which unleashed a surge of black mist through the island that would be called – The Ruination.
In an instant, the black mist swallowed the entire island. Everyone that died during that day would be transformed into wraiths. Kalista was revived into the loyal soldier that she was holding the spears that pierced her body with her. Hecarim tried to ride away from the mist but failed to escape and was fused with his horse. Other people and spirits in the island were also corrupted by the death magic brought about by The Ruination. And so, the world was torn asunder.
The Shadow Isles
From the Ruination, the once beautiful island reeked of death and decay. Viego became the ruler of everything inside the mist and every wraith followed him without question. However, Viego was still overcome by hatred and revenge. He set the black mist upon the world to consume the land of the living and destroy every living being to avenge the death of his fallen Queen. The world feared the black mist and the horrors that brought about its arrival.
Eventually, though not yet known how, the seers of Bilgewater and probably some powerful mages around Runeterra managed to seal the black mist inside the Shadow Isles. However, once in a while, an event called The Harrowing causes the mists to travel beyond the shores of the Shadow Isles to claim new souls. As if for centuries, the Shadow Isles is creating an army of death for its return to the world to cause another instance of The Ruination but on a much larger scale.
The Return of the Ruined King
For centuries, Viego awaits the return of her Queen at his side to live and love once more. Although, he knows deep inside that her Queen doesn’t wish to return to the world that Viego has created and yet he stubbornly tries to make it so. At times, Viego brings the black mist onto Runeterra in search of clues and trinkets that he could use to make his Queen return. Unfortunately, his return creates death until he’s eventually forced to come back to the Shadow Isles.
The Ruined King still harbors hatred at the world and wishes someday that he could destroy everything in it. The seers of Bilgewater know that it’s only a matter of time before their own seals would break and the threat of The Ruination would once again haunt the Earth. And so, the present times shows that Viego has broken free from his prison and is unleashing the ruination upon Runeterra once more starting with Demacia.
Lucian and Senna: The Sentinels of Light
Very much like the story of the Ruined King, Lucian is a man that lost his beloved wife – Senna – to death. However, Lucian eventually managed to release her wife from the prison of Thresh’s lanterns where she was waiting and understanding the secrets of the Black Mist during her time imprisoned inside the lantern. Senna emerged from the lantern with a new mission – to stop Viego from destroying the world and imprisoning more souls in the mist.
It is heavily implied that a part of Senna’s soul belongs to Isolde. This is that reason why she managed to reemerge from Thresh’s lantern and travel the prison without being consumed by the death magic inside. This is also the reason why the Black Mist has been hunting her for her entire life. Finally, it is the reason why Viego has once again unleashed the forces of the ruination to find her and the reason why Senna/Isolde’s consciousness must stop him at all costs.
The Biggest Threat to The Ruination
It is revealed that Viego has started to unleash The Ruination upon Runeterra. Here are some of the regions and kingdoms that might pose as the biggest threat to his campaign.
Demacia was revealed to be the first city to be attacked by The Ruination. There are two reasons for this: The first reason being that Lucian and Senna might have been in the city since it is Lucian and Urias’ (Lucian’s father and Senna’s mentor) home. However, since Demacians are extremely wary of mages and Senna is made up of pure death magic, this might not be the primary reason for Viego’s attack.
The second reason is that Demacia is the kingdom that has the best defense against magic. Demacians have developed facilities and defenses to fight against all kinds of magic such as anti-magic walls and the golem, Galio. Demacia have also sealed important artifacts, relics, and runes that can empower The Ruined King’s power or a secret document to help Viego revive her fallen Queen.
Ionia is a place that heavily prioritizes the balance between the spirit world and physical world. The Kinkou Order might find the arrival of the Ruined King and his death magic to be a threat to this balance. Using ancient magic and knowledge about how to commune with the spirit realm as well as the help of the Vastayan tribes, they might be able to hold off Viego’s advances and thwart his plans.
Bilgewater is the one region that has been dealing with how to defend themselves against the Black Mist. While it’s true that their current methods have already been overcome by The Ruined King, there’s still a chance that they might uncover secrets that will seal the Black Mist once and for all. The seers and guardians that have kept Runeterra safe from the Black Mist for centuries might still be useful in the quest to end the curse.
Is Ruined King: A League of Legends Story canon?
It’s most certainly confirmed that the Ruined King game will be canon to the current storyline in Runeterra and will serve as a continuation of the series. However, the outcome of the game might not affect the state of the current League of Legends champion pool or design. Although, it will heavily affect the future of the Runeterra storyline.