Victory for Ionia
The fervor of Ionia’s stand for freedom proved to be an unstoppable force two weeks ago when Ionian summoners crushed the Noxian occupiers in a stunning upset on Summoner’s Rift. This decisive victory allowed Ionia to reclaim its southern provinces from Noxus. The first kill of the match was a joint effort by Udyr and Ashe, summoned by Guardsman Bob and Frozt. Ashe’s arrow met its mark to strike the killing blow on Miss Fortune as she was ambushed in the center lane. Continued Ionian efforts to surprise Vladimir, summoned by Poisonidon, failed as he evaded the attacks by bearing the pain of several sanguine pools.
Morgana and Singed, linked to summoners Vorath and Friend, ferociously pressed the advance in bottom lane. In response, summoners NeoIllusions and Poruku put up a solid defense with their champions Amumu and Soraka. Ionian defenders Kennen - guided by summoner Eclipse - and Amumu proved to be an instrumental maelstrom of stuns and damage in every team fight. Summoner Edwy, guiding Sion on the Noxus team, made valiant efforts to halt Ionia’s advance, throwing himself into the fray at one point in an attempt to stop the Ionian team from slaying the dragon.
During a shocking moment during the match, summoner Poisonidon’s link with Noxian champion Vladimir was lost, causing the battlefield to erupt with confusion. During the interruption, the Ionians respectfully called a halt to the battle until Poisonidon was able to re-link with his champion. The League launched an immediate investigation into whether foul play was at hand with the disconnection, but it was ruled that there was no ulterior motive from either side.
In the match’s final moments, Roku, the summoner for Miss Fortune, along with the rest of the Noxian team, mounted a noble last stand against their impending defeat. Miss Fortune exacted revenge for giving up the first kill when she successfully slayed the unstoppable Udyr with help from her team. However, the Noxian defense was ultimately overwhelmed by the zealous Ionians when Soraka led the final push to destroy the nexus in the Noxian base. It was a bittersweet end to the match, with Soraka avenging her poor performance during the original match for Ionia.
The League unanimously voted Ionian summoner Guardsman Bob and League champion Udyr as the MVPs of the match for both their bravery and masterful control of the jungle.
After the battle’s conclusion, the victorious summoners were escorted to the Arcanum Vault, which is a holding room for esoteric magical items secured by the League. The Ionian team was presented with two items for entry onto the Fields of Justice. They selected the Boots of Lucidity, an item that grants its wearers movement speed and cooldown reduction during battle. The item is moving through the final stages of preparation and will soon be introduced to the Fields of Justice in honor of the victors.
Noxian forces have begun their withdrawal from Ionia’s southern provinces, with the citizens of Galrin, Navori, and Shon-Xan erupting in celebration prior to their occupiers vacating completely. These regions have been cut off from the rest of Ionia for 7 years, and Ionians from all over the island have descended upon the regions to share food, supplies, and support during a tumultuous withdrawal. Tearful reunions between long-separated families are a common sight throughout Ionia.
Citizens from all over Ionia gathered in droves at the Lotus Gardens. They anxiously awaited the fate of the burning monk from the Shojin Monastery, who incited the protest by setting himself aflame. With the match having drawn to a conclusion almost two months to the day since he set himself on fire, the bonsai at the monk’s side —a symbol of his remaining life force -- had dwindled down to its last two leaves. It was only when the monk was greeted by his sister from the liberated province of Galrin that he allowed the flame to be extinguished. His brethren hastened the monk’s blistered body swiftly back to the monastery for treatment. While it was clear that he would survive, the monk had suffered the loss of his eyes, along with other severe injuries from the intense heat. The invasion, occupation, protest, and finally liberation in this long chapter of Ionia’s history closes not a moment too soon, with the Time of Snowdown now descended upon Valoran. Ionia’s liberation is indeed a capstone to a truly monumental year in the world of Runeterra.
Trial for the Isle
Seven years after the Noxian invasion began the remaining Ionian Families, brought together by the Duchess Karma, had decided that there was only one recourse left. They petitioned to join the League of Legends in order to drive Noxus out once and for all. They made their intentions clear stating that they only joined the League in order to ensure Ionia's future security within the world. Their membership was granted and the match was set. The "Trial for the Isle" was perhaps one of the most famous matches of all time. Unfortunately for the Ionians, they lost, albeit amidst questionable circumstances. Some insist that Noxus’ victory came as the result of pre-match tampering.
The results of the match allowed Noxian forces to legitimately occupy the southern regions of Ionia. Native Ionians were treated as second-class citizens by the ruling Noxian elite. Soldiers, political dissidents, and anyone else who threatened the Noxians were interred into labor camps. Forces continued to plunder the wealth and natural resources of the island, sending the spoils back to Noxus. There was much external political pressure, particularly on the part of Demacia, for the invaders to leave. The Noxian High Command claimed they remain there to assist the island nation's future development, and that they would leave once Ionia had been modernized enough to economically compete in the world and protect itself from foreign threats.
Protests and Rematch
Eight years remained before southern Ionia could challenge Noxus once again for their independence. However, protests in Ionia were on the rise, particularly due to the self-immolation of the Shojin monk, Lee Sin, within the Lotus Garden. These public outcries challenged the League’s authority. Ionians claimed that fifteen years was far too long a stay to grant to the invaders, and that Noxus had taken advantage of the newly-formed League when the ruling was made. Demands for an earlier rematch were made with Irelia, the Ionian Captain of the Guard, at the helm of the effort. Despite Noxian protests that such challenges border on illegality, Ionia gained much support in the court of public opinion. In a stunningly direct speech, Prince Jarvan IV, the Exemplar of Demacia, spoke out against the Noxian occupation. He stated that if the League was unwilling to remove the Noxians from the island nation, then he planned to personally visit Ionia himself.
As weeks passed Chancellor Malek Hawkmoon, the officer charged with overseeing the Noxian presence in Ionia, returned from an emergency conference in Noxus. Hawkmoon gave a stunning response to the protests across Valoran, stating that while the demands on the side of Ionia were unlawful, it was within Noxus' right to grant Ionia its rematch before the proper term had elapsed. Should Ionia desire to meet Noxus on the Fields of Justice again to determine the fate of southern provinces, then Noxus would accept the terms of a rematch. The Convergence of Elders called an assembly immediately following Hawkmoon's speech.
After the Elders' meeting had ended, Duchess Karma announced Ionia's acceptance of Noxus’ offer. The two city-states entered negotiations to solidify the stakes of the match. It was ultimately determined that if Ionia won, Noxus must withdraw its forces in full, and immediately halt any and all extraction of Ionian resources. However, should Noxus prevail, Ionia must completely surrender the southern provinces to the nation of Noxus, and furnish one Noxian designee with a seat amongst the Ionian Elders. This would give Noxus a voice and ear inside the government of Ionia. The League proceeded to approve ten champions for each side. These champions would later meet in a single battle to determine the fate of Ionia.
Aftermath of the Rematch
The Ionia versus Noxus Rematch ended in a decisive victory for Ionia over Noxus, allowing the Ionians to reclaim their southern provinces. Noxian forces began withdrawing from those regions as the citizens of Galrin, Navori, and Shon-Xan erupted in celebration prior to their occupiers vacating completely. The regions had been cut off from the rest of Ionia for seven years and Ionians from all over the island descended upon the regions to share food, supplies, and support. Tearful reunions between long-separated families became a common sight throughout Ionia. Many citizens gathered in droves at the Lotus Gardens. They anxiously awaited the fate of Lee Sin, the burning monk from the Shojin Monastery, who incited the protest by setting himself aflame. It was only when the monk was greeted by his sister from the liberated province of Galrin that he allowed the flame to be extinguished. His brethren then hastened the monk’s blistered body swiftly back to the monastery for treatment.
The invasion, occupation, protest, and finally liberation in this long chapter of Ionia’s history had at last drawn to a close.
The Festival of Fire
Ionians from every province gathered beneath the flowered branches of the Great Tree in the Serene Gardens yesterday for the city-state’s annual Festival of Fire. An early summer tradition, this festival was a symbol of Ionian culture, celebrating the cleansing and rebirth of the spirit. Festivities began in the early morning as citizens poured into the Serene Gardens. Vendors set up shop along the garden’s edges, offering wares of traditional Ionian food, garb, and antique weaponry. Citizens mingled in the shade of the Great Tree and wrote their woes and worries on scrolls to be hung from the Tree’s branches.
During the night, Ionian citizens were treated to various musical and theatric performances pertaining to Ionian history or legend. The headlining performance featured League Champions Shen, the Eye of Twilight, and Akali, The Fist of Shadow, who performed The Tale of Reina, a legend in which an ancient Ionian warrior is hunted by an evil spirit. Akali took the part of Reina herself, dressed in formal Ionian red and white battle garb, and Shen played the spirit that plagued her, adorned with a fearsome mask. As the legend goes, Reina fled the spirit for years, yet it always found and tormented her. Finally, Reina donned her own mask to confront the spirit, but when she turned to face it, it never came again, frightened away by her strength.
When the sun rose in the morning and the Tree had become almost fully concealed behind scrolls, an Ionian summoner lit them briefly aflame. As the magic dissipated, the sun shone brilliantly through the branches of the Great Tree. Master Hana, an Ionian adjudicator, stated that this was the festival's greatest lesson: out of any darkness comes the grandest of light.
- - Birthplace; White Fox of Southern Ionia
- - Birthplace; Captain of the Guard
- - Birthplace; Duchess of Ionia
- - Birthplace; esteemed monk of the Shojin Monastery
- - Birthplace; practitioner of the Wuju style
- - Birthplace; cosmic spiritualist of Ionia
- - Birthplace; student of the Hirana Monastery
- - Birthplace; former Temple Guardian for the Pit of Pallas
- - Birthplace; Kinkou shadow warrior
- - Residence; Kinkou shadow warrior
- - Birthplace; Kinkou shadow warrior
- - Probable birthplace; orphan
- - Warwick's former apprentice
- - Deathmaker; cursed with lycanthropy by Soraka
- - Trained in the art of Wuju by Master Yi