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File:Bilgewater Bithers Bridge.jpg

Butcher's Bridge, Bilgewater
(by Riot Artist Patrick Faulwetter)

The Butcher's Bridge was an ARAM replacement for Howling Abyss during the event Bilgewater: Burning Tides.


File:Bilgewater Slaughter Docks 2.jpg

Butcher's Bridge, located above the Slaughter Docks.

Once an ancient stone bridge leading to a temple entrance, it’s been kept up haphazardly and primarily serves now as a connection between the slaughter docks and one of Bilgewater’s slums.

Olaf Olaf, Lucian Lucian, and Miss Fortune Miss Fortune and her crew had used the bridge in order to access the Temple of Nagakabouros to seek out answers and sanctuary from the Harrowing and The Black Mist. They were confronted at the temples entrance by Thresh Thresh and Hecarim Hecarim. Illaoi Illaoi, the Kraken Priestess with the help of her God Nagakabouros was able to fend of the advancing undead army and liberate Bilgewater from threat of the Harrowing.

The location was also where Gangplank's Gangplank's later sought out Illaoi's help, contacts, and purification.

20px Wharf Rats are common creatures found on the bridge.


  • The map is a Murder Bridge variant.
  • The setting is an ancient temple built into the side of a mountain (red base) with a bridge leading to its entrance, which a huge city built up around. Even the bridge is mostly held together with wood.
  • All in-game assets updated to be appropriate for Bilgewater's including: rotary cannon-turrets (i.e. they visually rotate to face their target), inhibitors, nexii, collapsing bridge assets, brush, health shrines, etc.
  • 20px Poros have been replaced with little land-piranha known as a Wharf Rat.
  • Gregor is replaced with Bubbs, a little fellow who is funding a submarine expedition and wearing diving gear.
  • Lyte is replaced with Finn, a stocky fisherman and his market stall of hauled merchandise.
    • He alludes to a mysterious Her, a dangerous being of the seas. "If you ever see Her, you'll know why land's the place for you."
      • Another possibility, beside an unknown female yet to be revealed, is that he refers to Kalista Kalista, as she can traverse the ocean with the help of the Black Mist.
  • Background scenery now depicts a Bilgewater city including sharks in the river, moving ships, opening and shutting gates, hanging fish (and more curious monsters).
  • Mark Mark / Dash Dash reskinned - You now throw an Orange Orange and dash as a (rather large, compared to the snowball) pirate ship.

Unique Shopkeepers

The deep sea diver, Bubbs, and the fisherman, Finn, (i.e. the shopkeepers) enforce "limited shopping", preventing champions from purchasing items after they have left the fountain, until after they have been slain in combat. The point when the shop becomes inaccessible to them is represented by a unique animation - Bubbs jumps into his submersible and closes the hatch while Finn walks back into his curtained shelter.

Each shopkeeper has a collection of generic quotes as well as unique quotes for the Bilgewater, sea-based, Shadow Isles, and a fair number of Marksman icon.png marksman champions, as well as special exceptions for Diana Diana, Gragas Gragas, Heimerdinger Heimerdinger and Udyr Udyr. They also make comments about the amount of gold you have and the amount of time spent at the shop. Their extensive list of quotes can be found in the linked page above.


Building Butcher’s Bridge: the Bilgewater event

TLDR: Later this summer, we’ll launch our next event called Bilgewater: Burning Tides. As part of the event, the temporary Butcher’s Bridge ARAM map brings Bilgewater to life for the first time in game. Read on to learn more about the new map and the creative storm at Riot inspired by the possibilities in the teeming port city. [1]

Bilgewater: Burning Tides sails into port later this summer, but content from the event starts hitting PBE over the next few weeks. Consider this article a spoiler-free sneak peek, but you may want to avoid Bilgewater-related news until the event kicks off if you want to follow along with the story.

Bilgewater anchors the latest lore-inspired event after the Shadow Isles, the Freljord, and Shurima. Teams all over Riot felt it was pretty obvious the bustling port would make an awesome setting for an event for a while now. Narrative and world-building teams laid groundwork for an overlap of cultures and styles that’d scuff up the image of the place, and help the gritty black market come alive.


File:Bilgewater Crest.png

We ended up choosing Bilgewater when a dev team built a Bilgewater-style ARAM map from scratch during one of our Thunderdome hackathons. Everyone’s enthusiasm at seeing Bilgewater realized in-game drove the overarching thematic of the event. After the jolt of creativity sparked by Thunderdome, tons of teams across Riot banded together to deliver a Bilgewater experience with a wide swath of content--including a re-imagined evolution of that Thunderdome map.


Butcher’s Bridge brings Bilgewater to life in game. In the new map, the original native culture of Bilgewater and the outside influence from across Runeterra meld together, showing off the stratified melting pot of races, cultures, and creeds.

We've incorporated blends of ancient and modern Bilgewater imagery on inhibitors, nexii, towers, and scattered around the bases. On one side, boat houses flank a temple door, and on the other side a giant ship hull sits ensconced, ringed by temple carvings on the sides of the cliffs. Rotating cannon turrets launch heavy artillery fire along with other small details designed to put you inside the pirate bay.

We're focusing on the visuals in this blog because the gameplay for ARAM isn’t changing at all; you’ll still experience the same frenetic all-random action. It’s just that now, given the nature of the slaughter-docks, you’ll be fighting on what is quite literally a murder bridge.


With the overall event goal to deliver an in-depth exploration of the world, we had to rethink exactly what it means to be a denizen of Bilgewater. Our explorations into the pirates, smugglers, and shanty-dwellers led us to an indigenous island society when it became clear the city had existed for centuries.

From those suggestions, artists evolved the architecture of the islands with vibrant colors, uniquely textured shapes, and decorative motifs. The native culture took on a bigger role in shaping the look of the environment, emphasizing the hunting and harvesting trade the indigenous peoples had made of sea monsters.


File:Bilgewater crest in-game concept art.jpg

Sea monster hunting and harvesting is a common way of life in Bilgewater, and seeing behemoths rise from the deep is just part of a normal day for grizzled veterans of the criminal haven. As a result, you’ll see sea monster iconography all over the event, as part and parcel of Bilgewater’s unique appearance.

The bustle and grind of a busy port betrays the wide variety of influences on the city. Between inverted Freljordian longships against the carved cliff-faces and the slow evolution of indigenous carvings and hints at other regions of the world, the depth in the narrative behind the streets and the culture finds new forms of expression.


File:Butcher's Bridge side-view concept art.jpg

We named the new map after the massive dilapidated bridge looming above the slaughter-docks. Once an ancient stone bridge that led to a temple entrance, it’s been kept up haphazardly and now makes the perfect battleground for an all-random fray.

As Runeterra’s biggest black market, keep your eyes peeled for clandestine, coded messages, illicit hextech pilfered from Piltover, and other easter eggs hidden amongst the shopkeepers’ wares and the assorted scattered items around the scene.

We're putting Butcher's Bridge through the wringer on PBE, and it’ll be moored up there just a little while since we still have some work left to make her seaworthy. One last note on the map: while Butcher’s Bridge is replacing Howling Abyss as your go-to destination for all-random assault during Bilgewater: Burning Tides, we’re still exploring post-event options.

Share your first impressions of the newest ARAM map and the upcoming event in the comments below or over on the boards. We’re excited to hear what you think, and can’t wait to join you for Bilgewater: Burning Tides, the next League of Legends event!


See Also