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Darkin are God-Warriors who are corrupted by the horrors of the Void War as well as self infliction by the use of blood magic. Currently, all known Darkins have been imprisoned in weapons, unable to ever regain their original Darkin forms.

Lore

The Darkin

 
   "We had another name once... Now, we are Darkin."
Aatrox Aatrox
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The Darkin are stated to be a collection of sentient weapons by Eduard Santangelo[1] and the Shadow Order the Shadow Order, of which only three have been revealed in modern times so far.

In truth, the Darkin are corrupt Ascended who were imprisoned within their own weapons in an act that ultimately ended the Darkin War. The nature of their corruption is implied to be self-inflicted after the mental scar left from the horrors of countless wars and those witnessed in the Void War, finally taking its toll on them centuries later with Azir's Azir's death during his Ascension and the subsequent fall of Shurima, leaving them feeling purposeless, betrayed and forgotten by the world they once swore to protect to which they gave their mortal lives to fight for.

In the centuries since, a handful of these weapons have been rediscovered by the ignorant and the ambitious alike.

Darkin Champions


Other Related Champions

  • Azir Azir was previously the ruler of above all Ascended, some of which later became Darkin.
  • Kayn Kayn wields Rhaast Rhaast.
  • Kai and Valmar are part of the body known as Varus Varus.
  • Myisha, a predecessor Aspect of Twilight to Zoe Zoe, gave the Runeterrans the knowledge to seal away the Darkin during The Great Darkin War.
  • Nasus Nasus fought alongside Ascended that later became the Darkin, before Shurima's fall.
  • Pantheon Pantheon fought against the Darkin during The Great Darkin War.
  • Renekton Renekton fought alongside Ascended that later became the Darkin, before Shurima's fall.
  • Tryndamere Tryndamere is the sole survivor of Aatrox's Aatrox's massacre in Freljord.
  • Vladimir Vladimir learns blood magic from a Darkin. He is also the leader of Crimson Circle, a cult of hemomancers, all learn blood magic from the Darkin.

Physiology

The Darkin began their story as revered human warriors of Ancient Shurima, Ascended into serving against the threat from the threshold. After finally halting the Void's perverse incursion, the surviving Ascended entitled themselves as "Sunborn" as first witnesses of a dawn of peace they brought to a now safe world.

Centuries after an age of war with the Void, despite their divine makeup, their minds remained as frail as the mortals they once were. When the light of Shurima finally left the world, many of the immortal Ascended found themselves lost. With no emperor to lead them, these “darkin” eventually fell to warring among their own kind—and the peoples of Runeterra were caught in the middle.The ceaseless warring and the horrors they witnessed slowly took their toll, leading them to fight over who was worthy of taking over the world that forgot them. This started the War of the Sunborn, known better to the world as the Darkin War.

The laws of mortal life held little meaning for the darkin. Over the centuries, they mastered many forbidden forms of primal magic, crafting their own flesh and armor with equal ease, until they were completely unrecognizable as the noble warriors they had once been.

During the Darkin War depictions of the self-corrupted Sunborn, now known as Darkin, as already having a demonic appearance—the result of using blood magic, fueled with each mortal and Darkin life they took, to reshape their own bodies and armor and meld them as one.

Toward the end of the Darkin War, the Darkin were imprisoned within their own weapons and wielded against their brethren until all who remained were likewise trapped. Those who held a Darkin would gain a portion of their power, but through a host was also the only avenue through which a Darkin to gain a mockery of freedom. Even when able to wrest absolute control of a body, the power of a Darkin is too much for any mortal body to contain - condemning the Darkin to a fate of constantly harvesting life force, eventually completely depleting the mortal's energy and being forced to seek another host, lest they be rendered inanimate once more.

To date, a golden-armored warrior queen is the only being known to have held a Darkin and not succumbed to its will. That said, her final act after dispatching all other Darkin was to trap herself and the Darkin Bow the Darkin Bow within a well in Pallas, condemning herself but denying the Darkin freedom as well.

Known Traits

As an Ascended is created, a celestial concept merges with their mortal body and gains them ascended power. When a Darkin is trapped, that concept is trapped/deleted. Humans no longer could even have the thought/idea of what the Darkin was the avatar of.[2]

From the moment a darkin weapon chooses a host, that mortal will find themselves compelled by a power they can scarcely hope to master—no matter what seductive whispers they might hear in their mind. That power will soon take root in flesh and bone, reshaping them into a new, monstrous amalgam.

The weapon's wielder and any Darkin trapped within seem to enter a symbiotic relationship, the wielder gaining a portion of the Darkin's power and the Darkin in turn gain some agency and a venue of freedom. However, the Darkin can parasitically dominate their wielder, thereby annihilating the wielder's personality while in turn freely affirming their agency; similarly, the wielder can extirpate the Darkin's persona to gain full access to the weapon's power. In both cases, the dominated other is described as "dying".

Though the darkin's hunger for vengeance is inhuman and eternal, they must overcome the limitations of their new form if they are ever to sate it. Memories of who they once were, what they aspired to be, and what they have become, all now blur together in their flawed, mortal minds.

Aatrox Aatrox usurped his wielder long ago. Rhaast Rhaast actively seeks to gain control over Kayn's Kayn's body. Varus Varus has yet to fully take control of both Valmar Valmar and Kai Kai in their tri-symbiotic existence.

Kayn Kayn asserts that Rhaast Rhaast will die if Kayn "lets go" of the scythe, while it is implied the Darkin's power is lost if they are killed in this fashion. However, Kayn's statement may simply imply that Rhaast will suffer, much like other known Darkin, complete immobility and sensory deprivation until another takes up the scythe. According to Aatrox, this is a fate far worse than death, for the Darkin remains conscious for the full length of their imprisonment. 

Trivia

Darkin profileicon.png

  • Each Aspect is an embodiment of a concept, if they die, the concept they embody (war, twilight, wandering and etc.) will disappear from reality, changing it as a whole. The Darkin had their celestials/concepts already erased, but the efforts of other ascended and mortals with sealing the darkin prevent them from fading into nothingness.[3][4]
    • At the end of Twilight of the Gods, when Myisha Myisha had succeeded in tricking the Darkin and erasing many of them, the Chalicar Chalicar had absorbed the - for want of a better phrase - Darkin DNA essence, which - combined with Ta'anari's heart - would allow humans to craft the weapons tailored to trap the Darkin at a later date.
      • Myisha Myisha turned the combined power of the Darkin (and aspects) against them, so she 'force multiplied' that moment in the amphitheater to be powerful enough to achieve what she wanted.[5]
    • It was revealed during Aatrox's Aatrox's AMA that all Darkin are essentially "Artificial Aspects": The celestial ideals which they (the souls within the weapons) derived from are long gone, making their ascension difficult to reverse.[6]
  • The entity known as Aatrox Aatrox was an elite warrior of Shurima and confidant of Queen Setaka. He fought in the Void War and was traumatized, which led to his self-corruption after Azir's Azir's death and the fall of Shurima. Freed after millennia imprisoned, he now seeks the destruction of Runeterra - if only to end his own suffering.
    • With Aatrox's Aatrox's initial release, it was believed that the Darkin were a race of demon-like beings. However, in Xayah Xayah and Rakan's Rakan's teaser it was stated that the Darkin were a collection of sentient weapons. With Rhaast's Rhaast's release, a Rioter stated that the Darkin are powerful beings and that only the known Darkin were imprisoned within their weapons. With Varus' Varus' lore update that established him as Darkin, it was simultaneously established that the 'powerful beings' were alien refuges that were fleeing the Void's corruption and alien invaders who sought the power of World Runes, with his comic and short story providing different accounts of the Darkin's reason for being on Runeterra. In the refuge account, they were initially revered for their god-like power, but relations eventually turned to war. Both stories culminate in the Darkin's death and/or imprisonment. Aatrox's rework re-established them as having a terrestrial origin, revealing that they were corrupted Ascended before their imprisonment.
  • Varus Varus was sealed away inside the Pit of Pallas in Ionia by a golden-armored warrior queen, before he was released by Valmar and Kai during the Noxian Invasion.
  • It is speculated that Death's Dance Death's Dance might also be a Darkin infused weapon, in observance that melee based Darkin tend to have life stealing properties in their kit and lore.
  • The fate of Rhaast Rhaast varies from game-to-game: either killing Kayn Kayn to become dominant over his body, or being destroyed by Kayn Kayn, based on the outcome of The Darkin Scythe The Darkin Scythe Quest.
  • Despite it seems that the Darkin's corruption is the result of Void-corruption contracted from exposure during the Void War, commonly those psychologically affected by it (e.g.: Malzahar Malzahar and Rasho from Into the Abyss) disregard themselves and give in mind and soul to the Void, opposite to the Darkin's intentions of conquering the world for themselves. Rather, their corruption originates as the result of an extreme form of warfare-PTSD for what they witnessed in that war, and what can do to them and the world.
  • Other notable Ascended who were referred to as Darkin were: Ta'anari (Panther), Enakai (Tiger), Syphax (Chameleon), Zigantus (Bull), Xuuyan (Turtle), Shabaka and Shabake (Raven twins), Moneerah (Unknown), Valeeva (Unknown), Cebotaru (Wolf), and Naganeka (Snake).
  • The two factions within Aatrox's Aatrox's original lore, the Protectorate and the Magelords, were highly likely to be the two factions represented on Summoner's Rift.[7]
    • A stone mural can be seen along the north edge of the map that depicts two factions surrounding a crystal, with a small carving of him visible to the left.
  • Based on Aphelios' Aphelios' biography, Lunar magic allows things to phase into the spirit realm, which would explain how Lunar magic morphed the Darkin's bodies into spirits that were fused into their weapons.
  • Though it is unconfirmed, Valeeva might be Varus' long lost Darkin sister.

Media

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References

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