Runeterra Lore and Origins: LoL Character Races

The League of Legends Universe has become so diverse that it has literally created an ecosystem consisting of different creatures and environments that exist in the fantasy world of Runeterra. With the growth of the storyline progressing rapidly, many players are getting hooked on exploring this fantasy world. Let’s take a look at one of the most important aspects of Runeterra’s lore: LoL Character Races! This information might come relevant when the League of Legends MMORPG comes to life in the near future.

11 Major LoL Character Races

There are different species of beings existing inside Runeterra, not to mention the beings that exist outside the terrestrial limitations of the world. To give you a better understanding of the lore and origins of Runeterra, let’s take a look at the 11 most important LoL character races. This should be enough to explain at least 80% of the existing characters in the game without giving you a list that drags in unnecessary information that’s irrelevant to the lore.

The Link Between Viego and The Yordles
Necrit’s Explanation on LoL Character Races!

The 11 major LoL character races are the centerpiece of the conflict that exists in the story. Almost every war that has ever been fought will include these characters and the factions they’re associated with. The League of Legends Associated have chosen some of the most exemplary beings from each of these species to be controlled by a summoner. Let’s get right into it and check out the biggest contributors to the lore.

1. Humans

Humans are the most abundant and dominant race in Runeterra. They control almost 2/3rds of the entire world and are the race that creates the most conflict among all other races. According to Aurelion Sol, humanity’s strongest trait is there ability to adapt to every situation which allows the race as an entirety to survive the brink of extinction. They are driven by greed, curiosity, and the need to attain a higher existence from the rest of their peers.

Darius slashing through the enemy forces
Champions of modern Runeterra

Because of human’s physique and characteristics, they often rely on weapons, magic, or enhancements & augmentations to fight. The humans are also the most diverse LoL character race in the game since their origins differ culturally since countries and nations play a big part in their upbringing. They each have unique fighting styles, weaponry, disciplines, and beliefs depending on where they learned to fight.

2. Yordles

Yordles are a subcategory of the Spirits but are huge enough in the Runeterra lore to stand by themselves. From a meta-perspective, the Yordles were created to be some sort of cute mascot for Riot Games alongside the Poros. The Yordles take the form of little humanoid creatures whose appearances are taken from the humans. This race is thought to have existed in prehistoric times as evidence of Fizz and Gnar.

Teemo jumping over a small root | LoL character races
Friends of the world

List of Yordles: Corki, Gnar, Fizz, Heimerdinger, Kennen, Kled, Lulu, Poppy, Rumble, Teemo, Tristana, Veigar, Ziggs

While most Yordles live in Bandle City, this race is very adventurous and loves to interact with the other races. They are naturally attuned to nature and magic but have adored the physical weapons that other races have developed. They are silly, light, and very friendly which gives them a reputation of being friendly, harmless creatures even though they have some of the most ruthless and powerful representatives in the league.

3. Vastayan

The Vastayans are the beastmen of Runeterra. They are imbued with weak magical powers from an old race deeply connected to the spirit realm. They take on the appearance of both humans and beasts. Due to their physique, they have very little need to use weapons and can imbue magic to use their own bodies to deal extensive damage to opponents. Unlike the other races, the Vastayans have varying appearances and subspecies.

The Vastayan lovers - Xayah and Rakan
Remnants of an old race

List of Vastayans: Ahri, Nami, Neeko, Xayah, Rakan, Rengar, Wukong, Sett (hybrid)

The Vastayan’s are generally conservative and like to keep their traditions. While it is not uncommon for Vastayans to fall in-love with other races, they hold racial standards very high. Because of the innate magical power that the Vastayans inherited from their ancestors, they are usually the targets of greedy syndicates that want to harness the power for themselves.

4. Undead

The Undead are a race of beings that were unable to move on to the afterlife and have retained their previous form. There are two ways a mortal becomes an undead. The first way is for the being to have a strong desire to finish a task that was left unfinished. The second way is for a stronger being to bind them to the physical realm, causing them to be forcibly returned to life most often against their will.

Karthus singing the requiem of death
Living in death

List of Undead: Kalista, Karthus, Hecarim, Nautilus, Sion, Thresh, Mordekaiser, Pyke, Senna, Viego

Most undead reside in the Shadow Isles under the command of The Ruined King, and are bound by imprisoning spells which makes them unable to go outside its shores. One event that causes them to leave the boundaries of the Shadow Isles is called The Harrowing. While Harrowing attacks are almost always small-scale, Runeterra is in constant threat of being destroyed by the undead.

5. Spirits

Spirits is a major species consisting of magical creatures that are highly attuned to the power of their surroundings. Most spirits are the manifestations of living creatures that have taken the forms of animals or other races. While that sounds all and well, a lot of spirits actually manifested from the hatred of these living beings or are cursed by a higher being. A handful of spirits are revered like gods in some regions of Runeterra.

Ivern taking care of the forest creatures | LoL character races
In everything, there is life

Example: Anivia, Evelynn, Fiddlesticks, Ivern, Janna, Kindred, Lillia, Maokai, Nocturne, Ornn, Shaco, Tahm Kench, Volibear

A general belief is that everything has a spirit. From the rocks, mountains, countries, and even abstract beliefs. However, they only manifest themselves when another being acts as a medium to the physical world and helps them mold their forms. One example of this is fear which takes form when living beings start having nightmares or imaginations pertaining to what they are afraid of.

6. Dragons

Dragons were once considered the mightiest beings in Runeterra because they held so much magical power and exuded a presence that would leave any being breathless. They are a proud race, to the point of narcissism, and see themselves being in a higher stature. They do not believe in mixing their blood with other beings and try to kill every creature that has inherited mixed-blood (such as Shyvana).

The Empyrean dragon soaring through the skies of Ionia | LoL character races
The mightiest beasts of Runeterra

Most dragons live in the jungles of Ixtal. They are a very secluded race that do not wish to interact with other beings whether aggressively or to help them in their times of need. They will, however, act to defend Runeterra from a powerful threat such as The Void if the very existence of the planet were at stake. Some dragons can be found in other parts of Runeterra and are revered like gods.

7. Brackern

The Brackern are a race of powerful crystallized magical energy that have taken the form of scorpions. The most distinct characteristic of a brackern is it’s namestone which acts as the centerpiece for its existence. The brackern are interconnected, allowing them to sense the thoughts of each other regardless of distance due to the namestones. They mostly live in the deserts of Shurima.

Skarner overseeing a brackern cave
The namestones of a sleeping civilization

The Brackern are extremely peaceful which is why they have forced themselves to hibernate for thousands of years after the start of the Rune Wars. Unfortunately, humans discovered the hibernating husks of the brackern and used these crystals to fuel what is now known as Hextech Technology. Skarner is the only active Brackern left and lives to protect what’s left of his still hibernating people.

8. Celestials

The Celestials are the only LoL character race that exists beyond the skies of Runeterra. As the name suggests, they are beings that are connected to the Astral Energies of the universe. While a handful of them have chosen to interact with Runeterra, most of the Celestials do not have a need to partake in mortal events. These are extremely powerful beings whose magical potential far surpasses that of the understanding of any being.

Aurelion Sol standing over Mount Targon
Unimaginable greatness and power

List of Celestials: Aurelion Sol, Bard, Soraka

The celestials are all-powerful and immortal and only their own can control them or strip them of their immortality. The only exception is Aurelion Sol who was enslaved by Targonians. They each have a powerful sense of duty towards ideals like keeping peace, balance, or creating life around the vastness of the universe. The beings of Runeterra, aside from the Targonians, know very little of these celestials.

9. Voidborn

The Voidborn are beings that have emerged or have been corrupted by the darkness of the void. The dark creatures have evolved and are continuing to evolve into the perfect creatures that cause death and destruction. The voidborn are creatures that have been twisted by the ways of the abyss and only live for the sake of causing more destruction. They come to Runeterra through a Void Rift in the ruined city of Icathia.

Cho'gath leaving a trail of destruction | LoL character races
Born from unimaginable nothingness

List of Voidborn: Cho’gath, Kha’zix, Kog’maw, Vel’koz, Rek’sai

The void is said to be only a place of dark thoughts and nothingness. This place is powerful enough to even corrupt other beings from Runeterra, some of them being Kassadin and Malzahar. Most voidborn are have limited-sentience but because of their rapid evolution, some have taken characteristics from the mortals. However, they remain true to their desire to spread the ideals of the void. They are one of the main antagonistic LoL character races in the storyline.

10. Ascended

The Ascended are a race of beings that have transcended their mortal roles which were blessed to them by a higher being, most commonly the celestials. The Ascended do not possess innate magical powers but are instead tied to a host which allows them to draw a significant portion of those powers as if it were their own. As such a lot of them still act like servants and fulfill duties bestowed upon them by their Ascended Host.

Azir commanding an army of sand soldiers | LoL character races
Transcending mortality

List of Ascended: Azir, Diana, Leona, Nasus, Pantheon, Renekton, Taric, Xerath, and Zoe

In Shurima, there is an Ascended race called the Sunborn or God-Warriors that have used the stolen knowledge of Aurelion Sol to fuel their ascension. This means that they do not answer to a higher being. The Sunborn can choose the form they wish to take after ascension, mostly using a mix of humanoid characteristics and revered animal forms. Since the Shurimans are not blessed their powers, there is a chance that their ascension can fail which instead turn them into Baccai.

11. Darkin

The Darkin are also a subcategory of the Ascended much like the Sunborn and Baccai. They are God-Warriors which were corrupted by the void and used blood magic to attain greater powers. Unfortunately, these Darkins became too dangerous to leave free which is why they were imprisoned inside their weapons. They are describe to be bloodthirsty monsters that stop at nothing to spill blood.

Aatrox standing over the world | Lol character races
Old gods imprisoned in weapons

List of Darkin: Aatrox, Rhaast (Kayn), and Varus

The Darkin were once powerful warriors of Shurima who have ascended into God-Warriors. However, once Shurima fell to the void and the last Emperor died out, these God-Warriors were lost and their minds became susceptible to the whispers of the void. They eventually turned against their own and began breaking the laws and taboos of a society they once followed. Today, the Darkin corrupt the host of whoever pick-up their weapon forms.

What is the most powerful LoL Character Race?

Among all the LoL Character races, the Celestials are the most powerful race in the Runeterra universe. They are seen as the all-powerful beings that shape the universe and bestow Runeterran gods their power. The most powerful being is Aurelion Sol who has slain countless of his own kind after being tricked and enslaved by a Runeterran civilization from Mount Targon.

How many races are in Runeterra?

There are countless LoL character races or species in Runeterra. The 8 major races in the game are the Humans, Spirits, Ascended, Celestials, Dragons, Vastayans, Voidborn, and Undead.

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