"You belong in a museum!"
The Institute of War was the headquarters of the League of Legends, a Valoran-based organization of summoners founded 22 years after the fifth Rune War, to serve both as a political mediator as well as a dispute-settlement organization in order to prevent the onset of a sixth war that would finish obliterating Runeterra.
The League of Legends
Until only twenty years ago, Runeterra was on a collision course with disaster. As quickly as Runeterra's denizens would band together in ancient times as tribes, opposing tribes would war to settle their disputes. No matter the era, the preferred choice of warfare has always been magical. Armies would be enhanced or decimated by spell and rune alike. Champions made the most of magical items forged for them as they led or supported armies. Summoners - often the de facto leaders of Valoran's political forces - would unleash mighty magical powers directly against foes and their holdings with little regard for consequence. With such an abundance of raw magical power at their disposal, there was little motivation for summoners to explore more environmentally-friendly forms of warfare.
Within the last two hundred years, however, the dangers of unchecked magical warfare began to expose the fragility of Runeterra to everyone residing in Valoran. The last two Rune Wars drastically altered the geophysical landscape of Valoran, even after magical energy was focused on restoring it. Violent earthquakes and horrific magically-fueled storms made life on Valoran challenging, even before factoring in the horror of warfare on the populace. It was theorized that another unchecked Rune War would tear the world asunder.
As a direct response to the world's growing physical and political instability, Valoran's key magicians - including many powerful summoners - came to the conclusion that conflicts needed to be resolved in a controllable and systematic way. They formed an organization called the League of Legends, whose purpose was to oversee the orderly resolution of political conflict in Valoran. Housed in the Institute of War, the League would be given the authority by Valoran's political entities to govern the outcomes of the organized conflict they would administer.
The League resolved that all major political conflict would be settled through the use of specially prepared arenas strategically located throughout Valoran. Summoners representing a particular political allegiance would each call forth a champion; the champions, leading mindless minions generated by novice summoners manipulating a nexus, would fight to achieve the objective of the arena they were in. The most common victory condition of a battle arena would be to destroy the opposing faction's nexus. These arenas are collectively referred to as the Fields of Justice.
While all major political conflicts were being funneled through the League of Legends, physical conflicts between warring political entities were not completely eliminated. For example, the strategic choice of the League to build the Institute of War directly between the constantly warring city-states of Demacia and Noxus stopped almost all direct confrontation between them, though military skirmishes continue to break out. Instead, the warlike Noxian High Command has turned its ambitions of conquest offshore. Even still, all political entities abide by the governance of the League of Legends. No wise regent would be foolish enough to rail against a vast cabal of immensely powerful magicians, summoners, and champions.
The fights in the various Fields of Justice over which the League presides are not only of great political interest to Valoran, but also of great social interest. The League magically transmits the sights and sounds of the action as it unfolds to specially built arcane receivers located in key settlements throughout Valoran. Watching a fight in a Field of Justice is one of the more popular entertainment activities Valoran's denizens engage in.
The League of Legends is supervised by a council of three powerful summoners, known as the High Council of Equity. Each summoner has been on the Council of Equity since the inception of the League of Legends except for its newest High Councilor, Heywan Relivash; High Councilor Relivash's ascension took place five years ago after the mysterious disappearance of the previous High Councilor, Reginald Ashram. However, after a scandal involving High Councilor Heywan Relivash, he has been stripped of his position, was imprisoned, and has been replaced by Vessaria Kolminye. The Council of Equity is responsible not only for the leadership and guidance of the League, but also to act as the highest court of appeal for adjudication of Valoran's political entities.
The structure of the League is focused around internal organizations that lead their various goals:
- Each city-state is assigned an Emissary of the League, a diplomat who serves as an on-site political representative to enact the will of the League.
- The Adjudicators are the arbiters assigned to a given match in the Fields of Justice.
- The Council is the body of high-ranking summoners which rules over political outcomes once a battle arena match has been resolved.
The League of Legends recognizes settlements with substantial influence on Valoran as city-states. These nations are afforded a great deal of rights and protections within the League, such as being allotted one League Assembly chair. The chosen emissaries are entitled to reside at the Institute of War and cast votes in League Assemblies on their city-state's behalf. They may also appeal to the League for general arbitration of political affairs.
Any settlement can apply for membership in the League and ascend to city-state status. However, they must fulfill certain League requirements: the settlement's population must be of sufficient size, it must have a defined governmental structure, and it must have a means to police itself.
These are the city-states recognized by the League:
Journal of Justice
The Journal of Justice was a collection of news articles divided into volumes and which chronicled the events currently in motion on Runeterra. The start of Season Two would have marked the start of Volume Two but the Journal was put on hold while Riot researched other ways to convey the lore. It was eventually discontinued and removed from being readable in the client in patch V4.2.
Ionia vs Noxus
An event by Riot Games Inc. in which ten players were selected to play an official match that would affect the course of Runeterra's lore. The end result was victory for Ionia and the subsequent liberation of its three Noxian-occupied southern provinces (Galrin, Navori, and Shon-Xan).
- The Battle
Preliminary analyses indicated that this rematch may be the most highly anticipated event in all of League history. The date was decided (10 December, 20 CLE) and the battle began at 6:00 PM (Pacific Standard Time) on Summoner's Rift. The event was live-streamed with the help of and shout-cast by official League commentator David 'Phreak' Turley.
- The Contenders
The League approved ten champions for each side. Each team had the opportunity to ban one champion from entry into the battle. Each side then started a draft until both teams of five were selected:
|Defending for Ionia||Conquering for Noxus|
- The Community
Summoners who were not selected for the historic match were encouraged to stage Custom Games that pit Ionia versus Noxus, in accordance with each side's champion pool. The League invited image captures of the battle results to be posted in an official thread so as to shed light on the odds of victory for each side.
The summoners representing the winning city-state were presented with two items and granted the privilege to select one to be added to shop shelves on the Fields of Justice. The item was named , thus dedicated in the winning city-state's honor.
- The Riches
- Riches were bestowed upon the victors: 6300, and (a skin exclusive to winners of official matches) were allocated to each summoner on the winning team. ,
- The defeated summoners also received spoils to reward a well-fought battle: 3150 were allocated to each summoner on the defeated team. and
- The Sale
All summoners could join in on celebrating the victory for the winning side: select champions from the winning faction were on sale at a lowered price (50%) for a limited time after the match.