Runeterra Legends: The Story of Shurima’s Rise and Fall

Shurima is known to be one of the greatest and most powerful empires in the Runeterra universe. However, in the present timeline for the League of Legends lore, Shurima is only an empire that exists in stories whose validity is questioned by many since every shred of their existence has been wiped from history. Today, we’ll be learning about the story of Shurima’s rise to greatness and what caused it to be a forgotten relic of the past in today’s timeline.

Beginnings: The History of Shurima

Long ago, the world was devoid of cosmic powers that a few enjoy in present time. It was only until the Targonians, who studied and worshipped the celestials, deceived the great Aurelion Sol into submission that the Runeterrans finally held the knowledge on how to manipulate such powers into their own. With the celestial dragon’s knowledge, the Targonians believed that they could make their world into something beyond the imagination that they had once limited themselves with.

In their quest, the Targonians visited Shurima, a small country in the southern continents and granted them the knowledge that they had acquired. With this knowledge, the Shurimans immediately went to work and created a prototype of a Sun Disc but without the innate magical skill to create such a powerful device, they failed in creating the device which led them to seek out those who have a strong connection with the magical forces of the world – The Ixtals.

Ancient Shurima with the Sun Disc
The Story of Shurima Begins

The Ixtals are a race of powerful mages, who draw upon the natural power of Runeterra and make it into their own. The Shurimans enlisted their help and together, they managed to create the Sun Disc using the powerful magic that the Ixtals were famous for. Upon the land where the Sun Disc was built upon, the capital of Shurima would stand and they would create beings that transcended the limitations of every Shuriman and create the most powerful empire in the world.

Using the Sun Disc, Shurima would transcend their people whose body and spirit could overcome the process. The first Shuriman to be transcended was Setaka who would later be known as the legendary Warrior Queen who was described to have worn a golden helm with a Lion’s Face. Using her newly found powers she wielded the Chalicar, a weapon forged by cosmic and celestial power which was acquired from the celestial realm. Under her might and leadership, she would lead Shurima for centuries of conquest.

The Grand Conquest of Shurima

A prominent highlight of the history of Shurima is that they are known as brutal conquerors. With the power of the Sun Disc, Shurima would create a powerful army led by the Ascended, who are now known as god-warriors, to subdue nearby settlements to join their grand empire. Some would be taken by force while others, such as Ixtal, willingly joined the empire as welcome allies who did not harbor any ill-intent as they believed in the cause that the Shurimans believed in.

Like any empire, the goal of their conquest was to unify the lands and create lasting peace under one leadership. However, if history taught us anything, civilizations ruled by a foreign power through force will only sow discontent and eventually rise against their masters. This has been the case for a lot of the subdued settlements and cities but the might of the Shuriman army would quell the rebellion and if that wasn’t enough, they’d send the god-warriors to deal the final blow which would always work without fail.

The original soldiers of the shuriman empire - Story of Shurima
Behold the might of the Shuriman Empire

Throughout Shurima’s expansion, worthy soldiers who would display their might, wit, and loyalty were invited to become god-warriors through the grace of the Ascended Host. They would serve the emperor and lead armies in campaigns of conquest which would eventually involve unifying the entire world. However, the progress of conquest was slow because every time they’d conquer a land, another would rise against them which would divert their resources into quelling the rebellion again.

Shurima’s might had become unrivaled that it was only a matter of time when they would conquer the world. There were only a handful of civilizations that could stand against them but before they could even march north, the situation in their homeland had grown out of control. The subdued had become so discontent that they had forged a plan that would forever change history and mark the first challenge that the empire would face in its years of accomplishment.

The Fall of Icathia

Icathia was once a proud city that housed powerful mages and noble warriors that protected its interests and rich culture. It was under the rule of Axamuk that Icathia would face against the might of Shurima, led by the Sun Empress and her god-warriors who simply walked over the most powerful individuals that the city could send their way. The mighty wall that had protected them and offered them every strategic advantage against invaders simply crumbled in the face of the Shuriman army.

The debris of the broken wall served as a humiliating reminder for the Icathians of the day they lost. Shurima conquered Icathia and made it into its vassal-state. Shurima created laws to control the Icathians, many of which disregarded any respect for their culture and practices. For hundreds of years, this continued on until finally the city has had enough and began to secretly plot against the empire starting with the rebuilding of the Warriors of Kohari to stand against their conquerors.

A bunch of Shuriman people marching on the streets
Preparing for freedom

On the night of the rebellion, the Warriors of Kohari assassinated every Shuriman official and soldier they could find, filling the streets with screams of agony and blood. They had formally launched a full rebellion which led to the first defeat in the history of Shurima. The Icathians executed every Shuriman for sport and enjoyment and destroyed or defaced any Shuriman symbols such as effigies and plates that contained the image of the Sun Disc.

However, the news quickly reached the Shuriman capital and so the Sun Emperor sent 5 armies towards Icathia which consisted of tens of thousands of men accompanied by golden chariots, priests, and machines of war to put on a grand display of might. At the helm of the army, they were led by 9 god-warriors which was commanded by Setaka. The goal of this army wasn’t just to quell the flames of rebellion but to serve as an example to the other vassal-states on what would happen if they disobeyed.

Nasus' overwhelming magical power displayed - story of shurima
Ending the flames of rebellion

The Icathians would have lost instantly if not for their powerful mages that kept the Shurimans at bay. Though they had not lost yet, the battle was simply hopeless and so many had already died at the hands of the god-warriors. The powerful mages had one last trick that they had hoped to use as a last resort. In the heat of the battle, a blinding purple light shot up to the sky and consumed the entirety of Icathia with both the Icathians and Shurimans inside getting devoured.

In the wake of the bright light, the whole of Icathia disappeared and only left a large rift at the center of the ruins. The Shurimans outside the wall and the powerful god-warriors were the only one that was spared from the light. As silence consumed the battlefield, a gigantic creature suddenly started tearing the rift open wider as it was trying to get out. The foolishness of the Icathians had opened a rift to the void that would end the dreams of conquest in this story of Shurima.

Dealing With The Void Threat

The history of Shurima would be shaken as the tear between this world and the void had released monstrosities that no normal being could defeat. The only ones that could stand against these beings were the god-warriors of Shurima and the powerful mages of Ixtal. However, sensing the threat of the void, Ixtal transported its city elsewhere to hide from the rest of Runeterra and live in isolation for years to come, leaving the rest of humanity to themselves.

The Shurimans were left with no choice but to dedicate their resources into defeating the voidlings and closing the rifts that have spread around the land. Countless Shuriman lives were lost in the war and even the Ascended died fight against such monstrous beings. Many battles took place to close the rift and oftentimes, it was only a few of the ascended that would return victorious. Unfortunately, a lot of rifts remained and the cost of war was simply too high for the empire to continue this campaign.

A gigantic voidling facing the army of the shurima - Story of Shurima
In the face of a greater enemy

It was thanks to Horok, an ascended hero, that finally found a way to end void corruption by destroying the Void Hearts found deep below the land where unknown horrors defended it. The battles would usually take days and the war against the void took years before it reached its conclusions. When the Shuriman empire finally managed to close all the rifts, the costs they had paid was simply too high that they the empire was on the verge of ruin with its god-warriors falling into despair, creating the first Darkin.

The Story of Shurima continued despite all these nightmarish events. While many god-warriors lost, the empire continued its tradition of ascending new worthy god-warriors and selecting individuals to inherit the throne of Sun Emperor/Empress. However, the very foundations of Shurima had been shaken so much that they were left in a weakened state that the most opportunistic individuals could take advantage of if they had the resources they to do so.

The Last Emperor of Shurima

Countless emperors and impresses had ascended the throne to inherit the will of the Sun Disc. However, at the last years of the empire, Azir was intended to ascend the throne with his childhood friend and confidant – Xerath – as his advisor. However, Xerath had other aspirations since his friend had grown so mad with power as emperor. He urged Azir to become an Ascended, something no emperor or empress had done before, so that he could fulfill greater achievements than his predecessors before him.

Despite the protests of his priests and councilors, nothing could persuade the emperor of the dream that Xerath had installed in his mind. In the final moments before Azir’s ascension, Azir embraced Xerath and fulfilled his promise to him as he declared him a free man, something that made Xerath emotional. As the priests began the ritual, Xerath knew that he could not let Azir die and so the advisor blasted Azir from his place and took upon himself the power of the Sun Disc to save his friend.

Azir commanding an army of sand soldiers - story of shurima
A tragic tale of friendship

Due to the power of the sun being devastatingly strong and the host being unworthy of its power, the Sun Disc blasted everything around it including the capital of Shurima, the Sun Disc, and the surrounding lands. Xerath became a twisted ascended with the remains of a broken empire surrounding him. Nasus and Renekton, who were deceived by Xerath to leave the emperor’s side, vowed to hunt Xerath while he planned to rebuild the empire into his image due to guilt.

The story of Shurima ended that day since the wealth of an entire nation was lost in a single day. Almost every Shuriman died that day, including the god-warriors, with only few survivors forced to live in the harsh desert. With every record burnt to ash and monuments buried in the sand, the grand empire of Shurima stood no longer. However, little did the people know that the last emperor of Shurima – Azir – was spared from the sundering and would awaken someday to rebuild his empire.

Will Shurima be rebuilt in the future?

At present, Azir alongside descendants of the ancient Shurima who believed in the “myths” plan to rebuild ancient Shurima and continue its conquest. The story of Shurima may seem to have been lost to the foolishness of two men but the tale is sure to continue in the future.

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