With the rework of Warwick, one of League’s oldest champions, the lore team at Riot is taking the time to rewrite several of his stories, and the stories of those close to him. While not all of the slated stories from the dark, oozing pits of Zaun have been released, the wolfey star himself finally had his new bio revealed. While I was hoping for answers, I am still left with one big question. Let’s dive in.
In the bio, we learn before Warwick was abducted by Singed and turned into the wolf man of our dreams, he was a newly reformed gangster of Zaun, a dark underbelly that literally rests below the glimmering streets of Piltover, the techno-city. When Singed takes Warwick from the streets and transforms him into the monster we all know today (the process of which you can read about in another story by Riot), Warwick is augmented with rage- and power-inducing chemicals. These chemicals send him into a frenzy, especially at the scent of blood. For those wondering, the weird spikey thing on Warwick’s back now is the centrifuge that holds/injects him with these crazy steroids.
If you are familiar with the Batman villain Bane, cover him in hair and give him longer ears and - boom - Warwick.
The bio spends a lot of time giving us the same story from both Singed’s and Warwick’s perspectives. However, that story ended when Warwick tells Singed a name (?) right before “dying” and being thrown out into the streets of Zaun. At this point, he was still a man, but the bio revealed how Warwick became the mess of fur and teeth that he is now. Once Warwick’s heart had stopped, the chemicals began to form him into a killing machine, the wolf creature that he is today. Once the metamorphosis was complete, his heart began pumping again, and a new Warwick awoke.
While Warwick spent a brief amount of time killing everything in site, he has now turned over somewhat of a new leaf, trying to direct his blood lust in a more purposeful direction. While he is losing whatever made him human, Warwick still feels as though he cannot escape the sins he committed while in a Zaun gang. As a result, Warwick has turned his bloody gaze away from the “innocents” of Zaun and has tried to focus on those who remind him of his old self.
So is Warwick some kind of weird vigilante in Zaun? Yes? Maybe? Not really. As seen in “If They Run,” a story released along with his bio, Warwick tries to only kill the wicked, but...he has some self-control issues. He makes Wolverine look like a saint.
“If They Run,” is a story told from Warwick’s perspective, where he follows a young Zaunite girl through the pipe network of the city, essentially trying to use her as bait for some gangsters. Warwick considers killing her a few times, but holds back, knowing she is not his true target. When Warwick finally chases the girl into an alley way, he hides himself in the shadows, waiting for her to be ambushed by some real bad people. But he hesitates too long and someone draws a blade, presumably cutting the girl. The scent of blood sends Warwick into an uncontrollable rampage, causing him to mindlessly kill all the thugs in site. He attempts to save the girl, but, in the end, Warwick does not know if she was able to get away or if she suffered a far darker fate.
Warwick: by no means a good guy, but also, maybe not the worst? It’s the thought that counts.
After reading through these two stories, the question that is still lingering for me is: what name does Warwick tell Singed right before he “dies” in the workshop? Is it Soraka from the old lore? Could it possibly be Jinx? Warwick does have a pretty serious accusation to lay at Jinx’s feet whenever he meets her in game. Perhaps we will find out more when Riot releases the rest of the Zaun stories, or maybe, it is a mystery that will forever be lost to the shadowy streets of League’s darkest city.