Riot recently revealed that they’ve added a dedicated lore team. But they may have actually revealed more than that in their Narrative in 2018 post. In the “So, what’s in store for the rest of 2018” section of the post, Rioters Ariel “Thermal Kitten” Lawrence and Laurie “Scathelock” Goulding go into detail about the places we’ll hear about later this year.
The team mentions:
The Void, and some of its abyssal mysteries
Ionia, in all its harmonious (and disharmonious) glory
Bilgewater, and the dark, cold seas around it
The mysterious darkin…
Now, what makes this suspicious is the team’s reasoning right above this. They speak about how they used the Swain rework as an opportunity to rework some of Noxus’ general lore.
So far this year, we dove into Noxus with Swain and saw how the empire operates at its highest level. Boram Darkwill is gone, and the ill-advised invasion of Ionia is over (or IS it…?) There were also four new bios—Swain, Darius, Katarina, and LeBlanc—a new color story (“The Black Powder Plot”), and the slightly longer tale “The Principles of Strength,” which reveals how the Trifarix runs things.
If we’re exploring these four locations this year ... surely there’s a reason for it? Just like there was a reason for Swain.
So let’s take a look at the four locations and do some light speculating.
The Void is pretty clear, actually. Considering that Kai’Sa, the next champion, has already been revealed to be from the Void, the reason we’re headed to Void-land is pretty obvious.
Let’s skip Ionia and Bilgewater for the moment and look at the Darkin. Is this suggesting that we’ll get a new Darkin this year? Well, no, actually. At least, I don’t think that’s what it’s saying. We got Kayn last year as well as the Varus lore update. We’ve got plenty of Darkin already and still need to hold off the mystery a little longer.
Instead, I think we’ll be hearing about the Darkin for a similar reason to why we heard about Noxus. Riot has been talking about an Aatrox rework for ages and finally announced that he’ll be getting one soon. Aatrox was the first Darkin we were ever able to play and started the mystery back in 2013. How fitting is it that we should learn more about his race when his rework comes around.
Going back to Ionia and Bilgewater, there are some interesting possibilities. We don’t actually know much about Ionia. We know they oppressed the Vastaya and have fought a war to keep Noxus from conquering them. But internally, they’re somewhat of a mystery to us. As a result, who knows the kind of champion we could get from there. However, this lore could also be tied to the Irelia rework coming soon.
There are relatively boring answers to almost all of these locations. That is, except for Bilgewater. The pirate land of League of Legends has seemed a bit ... generic in the past. The idea of exploring it more is exciting. But rather than getting a rework from there, this seems like it could be a completely new champion.
The interesting aspect of this tease is the reference to the dark, cold seas around it. Could this be a champion related to Nautilus? Nami? Fizz? Possibly. But I have my hopes on something a little more ... godly.
In Ornn’s lore, which details his siblings Anivia and Volibear as well, we hear about Ornn’s fourth sibling. All we know about her is that she’s called the “Seal Sister.” She controls the seas just as Ornn controls the earth, Volibear controls the storms, and Anivia controls to cold. Could we be completing our Freljordian god set with some tales of Runeterra’s most seafaring narration?
All of this is, of course, speculation. But it’s very encouraging to know that we’ll probably have answers to these locations by the end of the year. Even if most of these teases are reworks, the prospect of a real lore team leading the charge is very enticing.