In the recent Ornn story collection on the League Universe site, we were given a bit of insight on some of Ornn’s contributions to the world of League of Legends. Not only is Ornn responsible for the Freljordian climate, but he also built Braum’s great shield and the bridge over the Howling Abyss.
The Howling Abyss and the War of the Three Sisters
Three sisters came to Ornn and asked him to build a pit and a bridge over it. Lissandra, Avarosa and Serylda were battling great creatures known as the Watchers. Ornn built the prison that the sisters would push the Watchers into and the bridge that would allow the Freljordians to pass over and remember.
While Lissandra has everlasting life, her sisters have perished, with their great descendants being Sejuani and Ashe. It is said that Lissandra infused the bridge with magic in order to keep the Watchers at bay, magic that has eroded Ornn’s beautiful craftsmanship.
The Watchers themselves were a force of great benevolence and power in the Freljord. They turned the everyday humans of the Freljord into the Iceborn, almost super-human beings with great strength and un-aging bodies. In exchange for their gifts, the Iceborn were expected to serve the Watchers.
After many years, Avarosa desired freedom and rose up against the Watchers. Despite Lissandra’s objections (as she was the herald of the Watchers to the Iceborn), a war ensued and the Watchers were lost into the Howling Abyss. This move would eventually lead to the War of the Three Sisters, and end with Avarosa’s death at Lissandra’s hand.
While the great bridge was built to keep them trapped, not much is actually known about the Watchers. They were yeti-like creatures with one eye and endlessly powerful magic. Their eyes and their vestiges can be seen built into the bridge itself, as Ornn painstakingly crafted them that way.
Lissandra has since removed all mention of them from history and is allegedly preparing to resurrect them, although it is unclear if this new lore has changed that, considering that she laid the runes that sealed the Watchers below. It seems likely then that she could be protecting them, allowing them to grow strong and be forgotten about.
Due to the various wars, the Iceborn themselves have all died out or diminished. Lissandra is the only one that remains, or so it is said.
Right now it seems as though Lissandra is the only living creature that has seen or spoken to Ornn (aside from his own brother of course). Perhaps they will meet again one day, although it seems very unlikely that Ornn would be interested to see her, due to his hatred of magic.
The great door
A troll, Grubgrack the Hideous, came to Ornn and tricked him in a drinking game, garnering his services to build a great door for him. This great door would be to guard the troll’s treasure deep in the mountain and would be closed to all thieves. Angered by Grubgrack’s trickery, Ornn played one of his own, building the door and making it un-openable to Grubgrack himself. The description of the door and the mountain suggest a connection with another League champion: Braum.
In the story “Tomb of the Troll Boy,” a young troll climbs a mountain and opens a great door with a rams head built into the front. The boy opened the door and wondered at all the treasure that lay behind it. When he walked inside, it slammed behind him as it had apparently been cursed by the Ice Witch (Lissandra yet again).
The boy was trapped and his village could not retrieve him, but Braum came to the rescue. After trying to break the door down his own way, Braum decided to destroy the mountain instead. He broke through the peek and punched down with his own two hands, eventually saving the boy. When the mountain collapsed, Braum raised the door and saved the boy and the villagers from death. He has carried the door ever since.
If you look closely at Braum’s shield, you can see the ram’s head on the front. The ram is the animal most easily associated with Ornn, as it is what he resembles most and the shape of the fire familiar he summons. Considering that it was also guarding a horde of treasure around a troll village, it seems extremely likely that Braum’s shield is in fact Ornn’s creation.
The bit about Lissandra’s curse seems a little suspect, although she does have a history of using magic around Ornn’s creations. When looking at both this story and the story of the three sisters, a common fan theory about Braum seems more and more likely.
It seems widely accepted that Braum may actually be a living Iceborn, unknown to Lissandra or anyone else. Not only is he strong enough to punch a mountain to death, but he can carry the great door of Ornn like it is nothing. On top of this, he is a timeless hero, and according to the grandmother’s story in the Tomb of the Troll Boy, Braum seems fairly ageless, as his legend has been passed down generation by generation.
One of the more special things about Ornn and his lore is the way that he connects to so many others. The Freljord has always been one of the more bustling hubs of lore, constantly having new secrets to uncover. Creating a god like Ornn after so much has already been established sounds fairly difficult, but it is managed in such a way in the story piece that there is very little retconning needed.
Perhaps one day we will get to see a Watcher make its way out of the Howling Abyss, and Lissandra will truly become a force to be reckoned with.
Much of the older lore was pulled from the League of Legends Wiki.