Previous storyline: Shon-Xan
This update begins the fifth Factions storyline, Hextech Revolution. See Previous Storylines for an overview of previous chapters of the Factions story.
Hextech Revolution Edit
An astonishing discovery has provoked a new dispute before the League of Legends. This discovery has the potential to change all of Valoran with unprecedented new technology. Which faction will lead the hextech revolution?
The discovery of pyrikhos Edit
Explorers in the Shurima Desert have discovered seams of strange purple sand, calledpyrikhos (“dark sand”) in the Shuriman tongue, which radiates magical energy and burns furiously when lit. It has tantalized hextech researchers across Runeterra with dreams of a potent new techmaturgic energy source, if only someone could solve the tangled alchemical riddles bound up in these fine particles of purple dust.
Bandle City and Piltover set up field research labs in Shurima to investigate this curious phenomenon further. To their surprise, they were soon joined not just by a few similar Zaunite labs but by a massive Zaunite corporate mining operation crewed by thousands of Zaunite contractors and Noxian refugees. It seemed that Zaun planned to first acquire and only later analyze the strange sand that it had taken in such audacious amounts. Perhaps Zaun knew something the others did not … or perhaps it was simply Zaunite impulsivity and greed at work. Whatever the case, Bandle City and Piltover had no serious objections. They had enough for their tests, despite the prodigious quantities Zaun was exporting, and at any rate the seams appeared to be replenishing themselves, even expanding.
As for where this pyrikhos had come from, none could say.
Merricurry’s breakthrough Edit
After months of research, a yordle scientist named Merricurry put on a remarkable demonstration at the Institute of War. A pocketful of pyrikhos sufficed to power a massive engine for hours when burned in a carefully calibrated and intricately enchanted lattice of hextech field projectors etched with Shuriman hieroglyphs. Along the way, she revealed answers to several longstanding questions about the nature of Shuriman magic, which is but little understood by modern hexcraft.
Then Merricurry delivered her most shocking conclusion: she presented evidence that the pyrikhos was attuned to the alien energies of the Void. She argued that this explained the failures of previous analyses, which had not accounted for the intersection of three distinct forces: “traditional” magic, the echoes of ancient Shuriman enchantment, and a new infusion of Void energy from the Icathian rift. She also drew a connection to the toxic Void-tainted muck oozing out of contaminated Noxian soil in the aftermath of the Void invasion, which Zaun had been putting to use in a range of techmaturgic concoctions, including the lucrative arcano-elixir known as pharmakon. The same ethereal ichor that bubbled up from Noxian land likely ran underground in Shurima as well.
The revolutionary potential of pyrikhos was now firmly established. But what of this Void hypothesis? Fierce debate filled the room: was Merricurry right? If she was, then anyone who deployed pyrikhos-powered hextech could subject all of Runeterra to terrible danger.
As the researchers and inventors argued, the diplomats and intelligence agents hastened to inform their superiors. Within the hour, the Council was convened to hear emergency petitions from every state in the League.
The dispute comes to the League of Legends Edit
The Council has granted the petitions of four states, each claiming standing to fight in the League of Legends for ownership of the pyrikhos fields and authority over its use.
As Bandle City, Piltover, and Zaun each had a physical presence in Shurima when the dispute arose, they were each permitted to recruit one Champion with ties to that region.
Piltover, the City of Progress, seeks to revolutionize Valoran with hextech engines fueled by pyrikhos.
Piltover believes it may have discovered the successor to steam power. This could be the catalyst it needs to revolutionize Valoran’s technology on a massive scale and lead the world into a bright new future. Its petition is firmly exclusive: the new evidence of Void contamination mandates that Zaun’s reckless experimentation yield to a more cautious approach, and while Bandle City is welcome to collaborate, Piltover must lead the way.
Bandle City sees a chance to finally overtake its “friendly rival”, Piltover, with new yordle technology.
Bandle City is a long-standing ally of Piltover and a supporter of its quest for scientific and technological progress. However, it has always been a complicated relationship, and never an exclusively friendly one. Those like Rumble, who actively seek to surpass Piltover and make Bandle City’s yordle civilization the leader of the coming techno-revolution, see the pyrikhos as a crucial opportunity to break out of their degrading “fuzzy sidekick” role at last. Some even say this new fuel would be compatible with the Mothership’s engines.
“Research over regulations, results over rules, revolution over revision.” (Motto of the Zaun Techmaturgic Institute)
Zaun is not so squeamish as Piltover: it sees an opportunity not just to upgrade the vehicles that move people around but to upgrade those people themselves. And it has a head start: while working to decontaminate Noxian land after the Void invasion, Zaunite corporations began running secret tests on the Void ooze seeping out from the ground. Even before Merricurry’s findings were released, it had suspected a connection to the seams of strange purple sand discovered in Shurima. The crushing defeat of Noxus in the Shon-Xan dispute, combined with the seemingly unstoppable ascension of Demacian power, has given Zaun a still greater sense of urgency: Zaun can no longer rely on Noxian military power alone. Plans are being drawn up for a techno-army of pyrikhos-powered death machines, mutant supersoldiers, and pharmakon-infused battle mages. Zaun’s time has come at last.
Demacia is furious with Piltover and Bandle City for seeking to harness Void magic for economic gain, and determined not to allow Zaun to become the new Noxus.
Demacia, guardian of order and defender of the weak, demands an end to this dangerous dabbling in the chaotic energies of the Void. Exciting technologies and economic gain cannot justify putting all the people of Runeterra at risk of another Void invasion. With Ionia’s support, Demacia was able to persuade the Council that it ought to be allowed to intervene in the dispute on behalf of all those who might be affected by the ambitious technological plans of Piltover, Bandle City, and Zaun. This foul contagion must be traced to its source and eradicated before something more frightening than “magic purple sand” comes forth. Only with Ionia’s support was Demacia able to convince the Council to allow it to enter this dispute despite its lack of physical presence in the region. The Council insisted upon strict limits to the number of Champions Demacia could enter with, however, and it was not permitted to recruit a Shuriman Champion.
Next Update: Prelude - Breakthrough!