Thursday, Riot released a new story on its lore website, Universe (which is very cool, by the way). The story is told from the point of view of everyone’s favorite
troll pick chemist, Singed, as he narrates a horrific tale of kidnapping and experimentation. Now all of this is speculation (backed up by pretty solid evidence) so keep that in mind, but, this is almost definitely the reworked story of Warwick’s creation. And here is why.
Now, ignoring the fact Riot has literally stated the Warwick update will come before the next new champion at the beginning of last December, there is sizable evidence to prove that Singed is building Warwick here, and perhaps even a hint at the old lore? If we are just diving in here, let’s look at the most obvious hint first. This image:
Here we see a design for a mechanical hand, with sharp metal claws, that Singed is planning on attaching to his victim. Do they look familiar? Well, they should.
While certainly not identical (it appears Warwick is using some kind of weird fingertip covers in his new splash art here), the designs resemble the metal claws of the Big Bad Wolf himself. Old Warwick looks as though he will be getting a update to more than just his visuals or abilities, as Singed seems to have plans to replace a lot of that fleshy body with a newer, more metal version.
In the story, the test subject (who we assume is Warwick, if that hasn’t been obvious) loses an arm, which Singed replaces. We see a silhouette of the completed piece in the final image:
The shape of that arm certainly does resemble our furry friend, and the positioning of his legs and the hunched nature of his body in this picture certainly makes me think “Wolf-Man.”
In case you are not yet convinced, Singed refers to the subject using the word “beast” three times. The first is in the opening paragraph when he is able to “recognize the beast within” before he kidnaps The-Man-Formally-Known-As-Warwick. The second is towards the end when he refers to the subject’s “beastial form.” Finally, Singed aims to track down the test subject, who he refers to as “the beast,” and finish his work in the final paragraph.
This is a story about Warwick. Ok?
Now the interesting question is what stage of transformation will new Warwick be in as a playable character in League of Legends? In Singed’s designs, it looks as though he plans to attach some weird harpoon looking stuff to his new test dummy:
However, in the previous image we spoke about (with Warwick suspended in the background), he is presumed dead by Singed and thrown out into the streets of Zaun (he then wakes up and destroys Singed’s workshop before retreating). So as far as this story is concerned, Warwick has a bunch of weird chemicals in him and a crazy metal Wolf-Man hand...and that is it. So are we playing that guy now? Doubtful. It would be very surprising to see Riot embrace such a different look for a rework (although, possible). Surely, Singed either catches up to him and augments him further, or he finds some other way to cover his body in blue-ish hair before hitting Summoner’s Rift.
Now, I mentioned earlier there is a possible hint towards old lore at the end of this story. Those of you familiar with Old Warwick’s lore know he is very closely connected to Soraka. For those of you who don’t know about this:
Old lore alert:
Soraka was a celestial being who lived in a beautiful garden that protected her. People would come from all around to ask for her healing.
Warwick, on the other hand, was a close friend of Singed (since it appears that Singed does not know his subject in the new story, this has probably been changed) and was basically a kidnapper/bounty hunter. His job was to hunt down people for Singed and other weirdos to experiment on. In an attempt to empower himself, he asked his old friend to make him super cool. Singed required Warwick bring him three ingredients for a transformation potion: silver from the Shadow Isles (where Hecarim and Maokai are from), the fang of a Balefire dire wolf (???), and the heart of a celestial being...
One day, Warwick, showed up to beg Soraka for help, carrying what he said was his dead wife (but was probably just some random lady he killed). She was like “I can’t fix that lady, she is dead. Sorry.” and Warwick got real sad (not really, because he is a liar). Anyway, Warwick and Soraka became friends. Warwick then came to Soraka with a (totally made up) story about finding his (not) wife’s killers. He ran out of the grove saying he would confront and kill them.
Soraka, knowing that leaving the grove is BAD, did so anyway to chase after Warwick. She saw Warwick fighting some dudes (local Ionian drunks or some random crew of dudes that Warwick wanted to murder? Who knows) and she started healing him like mad. In the end, afraid that Warwick would die, she abandoned her own ideals to use her magic for EVIL and kills the group Warwick is fighting. Using her magic to harm rather than heal made her mortal, and Warwick stabbed her in the gut, trying to get at her heart. Soraka, pissed, messed him up with magic, and he ran all the way back to Zaun.
Warwick, unable to get the heart of the celestial being and now all deformed from Soraka burns, decides to be super dumb and drink the not-yet-completed potion, even though Singed tells him that it is a really bad idea. Shockingly, things go bad when Warwick drinks the potion, and he turns into a Wolf-Man. While it makes him strong, he is unable to fully control his blood lust and starts doing a bad job at kidnapping people (because he kills them instead).
Now, we should probably assume that most (if not all) of that story is gone now that we are getting a Warwick rework. However, there is a possibility our new Warwick could still be tied to Soraka. Towards the end of the story, Singed writes about how the man, enraged, shouts a single word at Singed. Later, Singed reveals that this word was a name. Soraka, perhaps?
This is certainly speculation, but, based on the very connected nature of these characters in the past lore, it is certainly possible that Warwick, now beastified, could seek out the mystical healer Soraka to return him to his human state (which will obviously end badly since we have to have to get a champion out of this somehow). Maybe it’s that, or maybe he shouts Gragas’ name because he owes him 50 gold. I don’t know, and you probably don’t either (if you do, please comment below). But, until we have the whole story, I am going to continue to think that we are looking at a Soraka deep cut here, and that I was clever for pointing it out.
Hopefully, we will find out all of the answers (including confirming that this is indeed Warwick) soon, when Riot reveals the full redesign or Warwick on the PBE.