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Aatrox Universe Background
Aatrox
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Once honored defenders of Shurima against the Void, Aatrox Aatrox and his brethren would eventually become an even greater threat to Runeterra, and were defeated only by cunning mortal sorcery. But after centuries of imprisonment, Aatrox was the first to find freedom once more, corrupting and transforming those foolish enough to try and wield the magical weapon that contained his essence. Now with stolen flesh, he walks Runeterra in a brutal approximation of his previous form, seeking an apocalyptic and long overdue vengeance.


AatroxSquare"I must destroy even hope…"  Aatrox
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Background[]

Early Life[]

As a mortal, Aatrox was born and raised in Shurima Crest icon Shurima at the height of its power. He eventually became a champion of the empire, being honored for his service as a strong warrior. During this time, he had served it for all his life. He was a noble warrior and would not hesitate to fight alongside his fellow soldiers in battle.

Ascension[]

Aatrox was one of the first to be granted the gift of Ascension in the ancient times of Shurima, a rite that was reserved for those near the end of their life.[1] Once he was Ascended, Aatrox was granted a heightened role within the military as a member of the Ascended Host. As one of the most powerful of the Ascended, Aatrox fought and even killed Spirit Gods and other powerful beings.[2]

Icathian Uprising[]

When Void Crest icon Icathia rebelled against the emperor, the Ascended hero Setaka requested that Aatrox aid her in fighting them back alongside the rest of the Ascended Host. Answering the call with no hesitation, he helped drive back the Void Crest icon Void when the Icathians tried weaponizing it, an event that deeply scarred his mind and lead to the loss of his wings.

The Great Darkin War[]

Darkin Twilight of the Gods

Aatrox standing among his fellow Darkin, Varus Varus and Rhaast Rhaast

After the Shuriman Empire fell due to the sudden death of emperor Azir Azir, the Ascended renamed themselves Sunborn and clashed with each other due to the lack of leadership and purpose. Their battle brought so much devastation that the mortals eventually began to call these Sunborn Darkin, an old Shuriman word which most closely translated to 'The Fallen.'

During the war, Aatrox was an honored general who commanded several other Darkin to his side in an attempt to unify them again. It's implied that Aatrox was one of five notably powerful Darkin that fought side by side during the war and sought to bring ruin to the entire world once reunited. These Darkin include Aatrox himself, Rhaast Rhaast, Varus Varus, Naafiri Naafiri and an unknown fifth Darkin.[3]

06RU006T1-full

Ryze Ryze witnessing a vision of the Darkin War, seeing the moment where Aatrox and Xolaani Xolaani began their violent conflict.

Aatrox had a particular rivalry with Xolaani Xolaani, who utilized her talents in blood magic to puppeteer the bodies of the other Darkin to her will in an attempt to end the war.[4] Horiffied by this, Aatrox named Xolaani a coward for her methods and honed a deep, violent hatred for her.[5]

Fearing for the fate of Runeterra, the Celestial beings of Targon Crest icon Targon intervened as the LoR Non-Champion Non-Spell Indicator5 Aspect of War, also known as Pantheon Pantheon, rallied mortals to fight back against the Darkin while Myisha the Aspect of Twilight Aspect of Twilight taught mortals how to imprison the Darkin within their own weapons. Aatrox fought against Pantheon with an army of his own, ultimately losing and becoming deceived as he became one of the first Darkin to become imprisoned. Trapped within his sword in a torturous existence, Aatrox continued to hopelessly reach out of his prison in agony.

Modern History[]

Host Bodies[]

Eventually, an unknown mortal man fled a battle and, out of desperation to defend himself, tried to wield Aatrox's sword. Using hemomancy, Aatrox quickly took over this human's body and reformed it as close to his original Ascended form as possible. Fearing that this body was too weak to withstand his Darkin essence, Aatrox looked toward a city caught in the middle of a chaotic battle and planned to slaughter as many mortals as possible and repurpose their corpses to strengthen his new form.[6]

Aatrox possessed many men and women over the years, learning how to take over a body instantly and feast on his enemies' flesh. Aatrox travelled the world in search of a way to return to his Ascended form but realized that there was no escape from his prison and despaired. With that, Aatrox grew desperate and decided that since he cannot truly free himself from the blade, he would instead end all of existence including himself in a terrible cataclysm. Marching with a new purpose, Aatrox brought war and death wherever he went, hoping to create a battle apocalyptic enough to bring oblivion to everything.

Attack on Demacia[]

At some point, Aatrox gathered and lead a massive army of raiders and lead them to the growing refugee settlement of Demacia Crest icon Demacia. Attacking from the sky, Aatrox faced off against Demacia's winged protectors; the twins Kayle Kayle and Morgana Morgana. As the twins fought him in the sky, Aatrox managed to defeat them and marched alongside his army towards Demacia's gates. As a last resort, Morgana tapped into dark magics and summoned magical chains from the ground to restrain Aatrox. While restrained, Kayle fired a blast of holy flames at Aatrox, seemingly defeating him and his army.[7]

Killing the Aspect of War[]

On his quest to achieve oblivion and enact vengeance against the Aspects that trapped him, Aatrox travelled to Mount Targon and terrorized armies of barbarians on his way there, driving them into Targonian lands. Seeking to reach the mountain's summit, Aatrox faced off against Pantheon and confronted him in a battle in the skies. Aatrox achieved what was thought impossible and stabbed his sword through Pantheon's chest, wounding him so deeply that he carved the constellation of War out of the cosmos, essentially killing the Aspect. Only the Aspect's host Atreus Atreus remained, spitting in Aatrox's face as he sneered and left him to die to his wounds.

Eventually, a fully recovered Atreus returned and stood between Aatrox and an army of barbarians, wielding the now fallen Aspect's dulled spear and shield. Aatrox mocked Atreus for being foolish enough to face him without the powers of Pantheon and fought him, casting Atreus down to his knees. Before striking the killing blow, Atreus managed to awaken the residual celestial power within himself and reignited the powers of Pantheon, leaping into the air and severing Aatrox's sword arm and defeating him.[8]

Recent Events[]

Reaving in the North[]

Aatrox eventually gained a new host and began a rampage in the northern parts of Valoran, such as the Freljord Crest icon Freljord.[9] One night, Aatrox flew across a snowstorm and appeared before Tryndamere's Tryndamere's clan, who mistook the Darkin for their horned god the LoR Non-Champion Non-Spell Indicator8 Iron Boar. As some of the tribespeople began to kneel and pray, Aatrox immediately began to slaughter them as Tryndamere looked on in horror before raising his blade and attempting to strike. Aatrox swatted the barbarian aside and nearly beat him to death, speaking archaic words and laughing maniacally as he succumbed to his wounds.[10]

Future Events[]

Xolaani Returns[]

06RU026T3-full

Aatrox in an apocalyptic battle against Xolaani Xolaani, with Kayle Kayle attempting to intervene.

After Xolaani achieved a newLoR Non-Champion Non-Spell Indicator3 host in Ionia Crest icon Ionia, Aatrox sensed her reawakening from continents away.[11] Aatrox's hatred for Xolaani burned so deeply that he planned to wage a final war against her to bring him oblivion, rallying the rest of the Darkin to join him in Icathia and battle Xolaani.[12]

In Icathia, he faced off against an empowered LoR Non-Champion Non-Spell Indicator7 Xolaani and battled her alongside the other Darkin. However, some of them fell victim to her hemomancy and fought Aatrox against their will.[13] Mihira Mihira, the Aspect of Justice, sensed the cataclysmic battle between the two and descended down to Runeterra with her daughter Kayle to intervene. Kayle and Aatrox fought one another while Xolaani somehow managed to use hemomancy to bend even Mihira to her will, seemingly fusing with the LoR Non-Champion Non-Spell Indicator7 Aspect.

Though the outcome is unclear, its implied that Ryze Ryze, who accompanied Kayle on her mission to intervene, decided to utilize a World Rune to completely neutralize the catastrophe. [14]

Appearance[]

Aatrox's consciousness is imprisoned within his sword; a large red blade with sharp spikes and black organic platting that mimics steel. In the center of the blade close to the handle is Aatrox's beating heart, which constantly pulsates with his life force.

In his physical form, Aatrox is incredibly large, standing taller than most mortals and capable of increasing his size by repurposing the bodies of his fallen enemies. His skin is a deep red that gets brighter around his chest and he has organic armor covering various parts of his body including his right arm, back, legs, and head. The armor shell on his head forms a helmet with two horns and on his back are two large wings with fleshy membranes that he often grows to raise himself from the ground and intimidate people.

It is unknown what Aatrox looked like in his Ascended form, however it is known that he looked similar to his current form with giant golden wings and shimmering armor.

Personality[]

As an Ascended, Aatrox was known as an incredibly noble warrior who was loyal to the Shurima Crest icon Shuriman Empire as he didn't hesitate to aid his fellow Ascended during the Icathian Uprising. After facing the horrors of the Void Crest icon Void, Aatrox's mind was horribly scarred and he was forever changed by what he faced during the war, seemingly losing his noble nature.

During the Great Darkin War, Aatrox grew violent and mad from the lack of leadership and purpose. He began disregarded mortal life completely, either seeing them as beneath him or simply as soldiers for his armies. Though he was a ruthless and vicious warrior, he still held a sense of comradery with his fellow Darkin, being an honored general among them. Aatrox had an intense sense of hatred for his enemies, especially those he considers cowards or traitors.

After years trapped in a torturous existence within his sword, Aatrox now speaks vicious rage and constant vindication against life itself, loathing his existence and how far he has fallen from glory.[15] Aatrox has grown so desperate to end his suffering that he is more than wiling to commit all kinds of atrocities to achieve a proper end, uncaring of who he kills or destroys in the process. Aatrox has a passion for warfare and battle, constantly taunting enemies and going on tangents about the oblivion he wishes to achieve. Despite this, Aatrox can also speak poetically, especially when reminiscing on his current form and the pain of his existence.

Abilities[]

  • Runeterra Crest icon Darkin Physiology: Aatrox is a Darkin, originally one of the many Ascended God-Warriors of Shurima in ancient times trapped within a weapon. As a Darkin, Aatrox has immense physical strength, gigantic size and access to some celestial magics.
    • Immortality: Because his consciousness is trapped within his indestructible Darkin Blade Darkin Blade, Aatrox is immune to aging and dying as there is no known way to permanently kill him.
    • World Ender Form: World Ender Form: Once Aatrox consumes enough bodies, he can empower his physical form and grow even larger in size and stature to an almost gargantuan scale.
      • Winged Flight: In his World Ender form, Aatrox grows giant wings made of a fleshy membrane. These wings are capable of flight but also grant Aatrox a more imposing appearance over his enemies.
  • Hemomancy Hemomancy: Like most Darkin, Aatrox utilizes hemomancy to manipulate the flesh and blood of mortals for his own purposes. Hemomancy allows Aatrox to both possess and transform the body of any mortal that wields him, reshaping their flesh to create a physical form that resembles his formerly Ascended body. Once he possesses a body, Aatrox can consume the blood and flesh of his victims through his sword, empowering and healing his current host body.
  • Great-Sword Proficiency: Aatrox is trained in the use of a great-sword in combat, having wielded a powerful blade countless times into battle which he almost exclusively wielded in combat.
    • Darkin Blade: Darkin Blade: Aatrox continues to wield his great-sword, now being known as the Darkin Blade. This sword is capable of killing other Darkin, Spirit Gods and Celestials. Most notably, Aatrox managed to kill LoR Non-Champion Non-Spell Indicator5 Pantheon by striking him so hard that he was able to personally carve the constellation of War itself out of the cosmos.
  • Leadership: Though Aatrox is infamous for his vicious and violent nature even among the other Darkin, he has shown capability to rally armies together even as an Ascended in the past. In doing so, Aatrox can drive entire armies into a mad bloodlust to sate his desire for a cataclysmic battle.

Relations[]

Darkin[]

Aatrox regards most of his fellow Darkin as his brothers and sisters at arms, being honored among them when he acted as their general during the war. Though he participated in the war and most likely has slain some Darkin in the past, he deeply respects those that remained loyal to him prior to being imprisoned, regarding some of them as old friends and sympathizing with their imprisonment, promising them freedom by joining him on his quest for oblivion. Most recently, Aatrox has rallied most of his Darkin allies to gather in Icathia for a final battle against Xolaani Xolaani.[12]

The Darkin that Aatrox rallied includes his honored captain Joraal Joraal, one of his soldiers named Taarosh Taarosh, his old friends Praa Praa, Baalkux Baalkux, Anaakca Anaakca, Horazi Horazi, Naganeka Naganeka and Styraatu Styraatu.

Aside from them, Aatrox is implied to be one of five Darkin said to bring ruin to the whole world once they reunite, further implying that they all fought side by side during the war. Though not united, these Darkin are Aatrox himself, Rhaast Rhaast, Varus Varus, Naafiri Naafiri and an unknown fifth Darkin.[3]

Rhaast Rhaast[]

Rhaast is regarded as Aatrox's brother, being one of the five Darkin said to have fought alongside Aatrox during the war and destined to reunite and bring ruin to the world. Aatrox does not give Rhaast much respect, as he has yet to fully possesses his current host Shieda Kayn Shieda Kayn and even criticizes his weapon of choice.

Varus Varus[]

Varus considers Aatrox his brother and is one of the five Darkin said to have fought alongside him during the war, destined to reunite and bring ruin to the world. Though the two share a desire the bring oblivion to the world, Aatrox considers Varus weak and unbecoming of a Darkin, claiming that he has become too human and succumbing to his mortal emotions, such as his need for revenge.

It's implied there was some 'memo' given to Varus by Aatrox which explained that Varus had to use two A's in his name, officially naming him "Vaarus." However, Varus thought the memo was absurd and refused to comply, angering and offending Aatrox.

Naafiri Naafiri[]

Naafiri is one of the five Darkin said to have fought alongside Aatrox during the war, destined to reunite and bring ruin to the world. Because of her eager quest to reunite the rest of the Darkin together, she urges Aatrox to 'focus his rage' and join her in her reunion. Along with that, she actually considers Aatrox stubborn, likely referring to his headstrong mission to bring oblivion to the world.

Xolaani Xolaani[]

Aatrox and Xolaani faced off against each other during the Great Darkin War, as Aatrox disagreed with her methods in utilizing her hemomancy talents to manipulate and control all things, including her fellow Darkin.[4] He saw this as a horrifying and cowardly tactic, considering Xolaani a coward and honing a deep hatred for her. In his rage against Xolaani, Aatrox spent years destroying her statues and removing all influence she had.

Aatrox's hatred for Xolaani ran so deep that he was capable of sensing her reawakening from continents away, rallying the rest of the Darkin to gather in Icathia and face her in a cataclysmic final battle.[11] When fighting in Icathia, Xolaani managed to use her abilities on some of his Darkin allies, forcing them to fight him against their will. Though the conclusion of the battle isn't clear, it's most likely that Ryze Ryze used a World Rune to neutralize the catastrophe and prevent total oblivion.

Aspects[]

Aatrox has a deep hatred towards Targon Crest icon Targon and the Aspects, as they were the ones who ultimately betrayed and imprisoned the Darkin, with Aatrox being the first. At one point, Aatrox sought to enact revenge against the Aspects themselves and possibly achieve oblivion by reaching the summit of Mount Targon, but was ultimately stopped by the LoR Non-Champion Non-Spell Indicator5 Aspect of War.

Pantheon Pantheon[]

When the Aspects first began to intervene in the Darkin War, the LoR Non-Champion Non-Spell Indicator5 Aspect of War was sent out to rally armies to fight back against them. Seeing this, Aatrox fought back with an army of his own, clashing in brutal warfare against the Aspect and his mortal armies. In the end, Aatrox was ultimately deceived by the Aspect of Twilight Aspect of Twilight and imprisoned within his sword. Due to this, Aatrox considers Pantheon's battle against him as treachery, calling him a fiend and a betrayer for what he did.

Many years later, Aatrox sought to reach the peak of Mount Targon and met Pantheon in battle, fighting him in the skies before driving his blade so deeply through him that he carved the constallation of War out of the cosmos, effectively killing the Aspect. When all that remained was the mortal host Atreus Atreus, Aatrox sneered and left him to die to his wounds. Soon after, Atreus recovered and fought Aatrox a second time, managing to reignite the constellation of War with his own mortal will and gaining the residual powers of the Aspect. Pantheon severed Aatrox's sword arm and ultimately defeated the Darkin.

The two of them continue holding antagonism and animosity for one another long after their battle and wish to destroy one another once and for all one day, with Aatrox wishing to achieve true oblivion and Pantheon seeking to fight against all gods meddling with mortal affairs, including the Darkin.[8]

Zoe Zoe[]

The Aspect of Twilight is the one responsible for teaching the mortals how to imprison the Darkin within their weapons, starting with Aatrox being the first. The Aspect's host at the time, a girl named Myisha, was the one who orchestrated the process in the first place and was deeply hated by the rest of the Darkin for what she did.

Though Zoe herself was not responsible for imprisoning the Darkin, Aatrox still holds a disdain for the Aspect no matter who is the current host. Out of all the Aspects, Aatrox wants to kill and torture the Aspect of Twilight the most for what she did, claiming that killing her a thousand times still wouldn't be enough to express his anger towards her.

Kayle Kayle[]

Aatrox fought against Kayle alongside her sister Morgana when he attempted to raid an early Demacia Crest icon Demacia. He lead a massive army of raiders and defeated the twins in combat before getting restrained by Morgana's ability to summon magical chains. During this, Kayle managed to defeat Aatrox with a wave of holy flames.

The two would face each other again during his battle with Xolaani in Icathia, where Kayle and her mother Mihira descend down to Runeterra to intervene in their conflict. While Aatrox and Kayle fought, Mihira was consumed by Xolaani's hemomancy before the entire battle was ultimately neutralized by Ryze.

Aatrox taunts Kayle's celestial heritage, claiming that she is unfit for her ascension to godhood.

Morgana Morgana[]

Aatrox fought against Morgana alongside her sister Kayle when he attempted to raid an early Demacia. He lead a massive army of raiders and nearly defeated the twins in combat before Morgana tapped into dark magics to restrain Aatrox with magical chains. Aatrox was restrained long enough for Kayle to fire a wave of holy flames at him, defeating him at Demacia's gates.

Aatrox sees Morgana's willingness to embrace her mortality as disgusting, questioning why she would be so eager to bind herself to the mortal realm and threatening to kill her the same way he kills all mortal beings.

Mihira Mihira[]

Aatrox faced Mihira when she intervened in his battle with Xolaani. Though he sees Mihira as a worthy opponent, he mostly fought her daughter Kayle before Xolaani's hemomancy completely consumed Mihira.

Ryze Ryze[]

Ryze accompanied Kayle when she and her mother travelled to Icathia to intervene in Aatrox's final war against Xolaani. After meditating on the major events of Runeterra's history, Ryze ultimately decided to use a World Rune to neutralize the cataclysm, narrowly avoiding oblivion.

Tryndamere Tryndamere[]

Aatrox was responsible for decimating most of Tryndamere's tribe after they mistook him as LoR Non-Champion Non-Spell Indicator8 the Iron Boar. Though Tryndamere tried to attack Aatrox for slaughtering his clan, Aatrox swatted him away and beat him nearly to death, speaking archaic words and laughing as he slowly bled to death before miraculously waking up, fully revived by a mysterious power activated by his rage. Tryndamere is deeply scarred by visions of Aatrox laughing maniacally as he slaughtered his people, deeply hating him for what he did.

It's heavily implied that Aatrox intends to make Tryndamere his next host body, possibly even being the one who granted him his mysterious abilities after he nearly beat him to death.[10]

Read More

Biography

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The Darkin Blade

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Still Here

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Past, present, and possible futures—we remember them all.

Aatrox The Cage
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The Cage

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Darkness.

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Death and dust choke the air as a shadow takes shape. It is more ancient and evil than war. And it is growing.

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The Barbarian King

By Ariel Lawrence

The Mageseeker Promo 01
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The Mageseeker

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The Unbreakable Spear

By David Slagle

Darkin To Slay Legends
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Twilight of the Gods

By Graham McNeill

They came to a dead city in the mountain's shadow under cover of night.

Void The Fall Of Icathia
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Short Story • 22 Minute Read

Where Icathia Once Stood

By Graham McNeill

My name is Axamuk Var-Choi Kohari Icath'or.

Alternate Universes

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When all hope seems lost, sometimes all you need is a little spark to ignite that Dragonfire…

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Trivia[]

Aatrox, the Darkin Blade Aatrox, the Darkin Blade
  • Aatrox is between 4396 – 5996 years old, being one of the first Shurimans to become an Ascended.
  • While it was never stated what manner of creature Aatrox took the form of in the past, it was known to be winged and likely something of noble character.
  • It's possible Illaoi's Illaoi's god, Nagakabouros, could free or kill Aatrox's human soul and allow it to return to the cosmos. However, it's complicated since the celestial concept Aatrox merged with and gained his ascended power from has been trapped or deleted from existence, meaning the ideal he represented ceased to exist when he was trapped. Because of this, humans can't comprehend or remember what Aatrox was an avatar of previously.[16]
  • Aatrox was one of the most powerful Ascended. Before his imprisonment, Aatrox had fought and killed spirit gods (avatars like Ornn Ornn), other celestial empowered beings and possibly other Darkin. Later, he killed LoR Non-Champion Non-Spell Indicator5 The Aspect of War himself.[2]
  • Aatrox has spent the most time imprisoned due to the fact that he was the first. Because of this, the magic used to imprison him was botched and likely damaged him in the process, causing his shattered mind and torturous existence. By the time the mages had imprisoned Varus Varus, they'd perfected the process a little more.
  • Demonblade Tryndamere Demonblade Tryndamere may be representative of a "what if" scenario where Aatrox completely claims Tryndamere as his host.

Change log[]

Character blurb
May 2023 Added story from Legends of Runeterra cards and his relationship with Xolaani. Also rewrote lots of stuff and spelling errors.
May 2018 Re-written to accompany his champion update.
November 2017 Re-written to accommodate changes in Darkin lore.

"Some fight for honor, some fight for glory. It matters only that you fight." - Aatrox Aatrox

Aatrox Render old
One of the ancient Darkin profileicon darkin, Aatrox was once a peerless swordmaster who reveled in the bloody chaos of the battlefield. Trapped within his own blade by the magic of his foes, he waited out the millennia for a suitable host to wield him - this mortal warrior was corrupted and transformed by the living weapon, and Aatrox was reborn. Though tales of the darkin have now passed into legend, he remembers only too well the destruction of his race, and wreaks his vengeance one sword blow at a time.
June 2013 Added.

"Some fight for honor, some fight for glory. It matters only that you fight." - Aatrox Aatrox

Aatrox Winged Render old
Aatrox is a legendary warrior, one of only five that remain of an ancient race known as the Darkin. He wields his massive blade blade with grace and poise, slicing through legions in a style that is hypnotic to behold. With each foe felled, Aatrox's seemingly living blade blade drinks in their blood, empowering empowering him and fueling his brutal, elegant campaign of slaughter.

References[]

See also[]

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