No champion exemplifies the spiritual traditions of Ionia more than Karma. She is the living embodiment of an ancient soul reincarnated countless times, carrying all her accumulated memories into each new life. With this insight, she serves as a spiritual beacon to her people, bestowing boundless wisdom and healing in times of crisis. Despite being blessed with power that few could comprehend, she rarely uses her magic for destruction, as it always comes at a considerable cost—both to her, and to the land she holds most dear.
Karma is the living embodiment of an ancient Ionian soul, who serves as a spiritual beacon to each generation of her people. Her most recent incarnation came in the form of a 12-year-old girl named Darha. Raised in the northern highlands, she was headstrong and independent, always dreaming of a life beyond her provincial village.
But Darha began to suffer strange, fitful visions. The images were curious—they felt like memories, yet the girl was certain they had not happened to her. At first, the problem was easy enough to conceal, but the visions grew in intensity until Darha was convinced she was descending into madness.
Just when it seemed she would be confined to the healing huts forever, a group of monks visited her village. They had come from a place known as the Lasting Altar, where the divine leader Karma had passed away some months earlier. The monks were in search of the old man’s next incarnation, believing him to be among the villagers. They applied a series of tests to everyone they met, but eventually prepared to leave empty handed.
As they passed the healing huts, Darha threw herself out of her cot and ran to stop them. She wept, telling them of her visions, and that she had known the monks’ voices from the babble in her head.
They recognized the signs immediately. This was their Karma. The visions were past lives rushing to fill a new vessel.
In that moment, Darha’s life changed forever. She bid farewell to all she’d ever known, and journeyed to the Lasting Altar to learn from the monks. Over the years, they taught her to connect with her ancient soul, and the girl found her own voice drowned out by thousands of others, each espousing the wisdom of ages past. Karma had always advocated peace and harmony, teaching that any act of evil would bring about its own repercussions, and so required no response. But even as she became Karma, Darha struggled to understand this simple truth.
Indeed, these philosophies were truly tested when Noxus invaded Ionia. Many thousands were killed as the enemy warbands advanced inland, and Karma was forced to face the harsh realities of war. She could feel the immense destructive potential that swelled in her soul, and with it, the impetuous voice of young Darha screaming: What is the point of this power, if not to use it?
Karma agonized over this. Eventually she compromised, deciding to kill just one person, but that it had to be the right person to kill. She confronted a Noxian commander on the deck of his own war frigate, and unleashed her divine fury. But instead of a single, measured attack, she obliterated the entire vessel and its crew in a heartbeat.
Though the Ionians rejoiced at this apparent victory, Karma was left strangely empty. The voices that had spoken so clearly in her mind now fell silent, and she felt Darha returning to prominence—this brought little comfort, however, as she realized she had made a huge mistake. She returned to the Lasting Altar to meditate and perform penance for upsetting the spiritual harmony of her homeland. Killing would always be easy, but came at the cost of true enlightenment. She had already tarnished her own undying soul along with those of her followers, and she would try her utmost to do no further injury.
Though the war with Noxus is now long over, there are still many in Ionia who have become only too glad to meet violence with violence, even against their own neighbors. Karma has pledged to guide as many of them as she can to more peaceful means.
And with every conflict she averts, more of the lost voices return to offer their eternal wisdom.
Karma is a woman of indomitable will and unbound spiritual power. She is the soul of Ionia made manifest and an inspiring presence on the battlefield, her allies and turning back her foes. A strong leader torn between tradition and revolution, Karma seeks to protect the peace of Ionia - by force if necessary.
Karma once lived a tranquil life in a small Ionian village. Led by elder monks, the villagers practiced a tradition of benevolent magic and pacifism. Known for her powerful connection to the spiritual realm and beloved as a just mediator amongst her people, Karma embraced these traditions as an essential aspect of the enlightenment sought by all Ionians.
Her inner peace was tested when the armies of Noxus invaded Ionia. While the village's elder monks insisted their peaceful ways would spare them from violence, Karma had heard enough tales of Noxian cruelty to openly question the elders' wisdom. Stern and unmoving, they told her to trust in tradition. When the invaders marched on the village, the elder monks rode out to negotiate a bloodless end to the battle. The Noxian general was offended by their show of weakness and slaughtered the monks himself as he ordered his soldiers to strike the village.
As the Noxians advanced, the villagers prepared to accept death, bound to their peaceful vows. But Karma would not accept death and instead saw another way: sacrificing a single life to spare many others. To save her people, she drew upon the power within and summoned the full force of her will. A burst ofemerged from her body and spiraled towards the Noxian general. The flame took the form of , the symbol of Ionia itself. It was the first time Karma had ever used her powers to harm instead of protect, and neither she nor the villagers had ever seen anything like it. When the magic subsided, the general had fallen before her and his soldiers had scattered. The opposing forces surrendered to Karma's strength, leaving her people, and their traditions, untouched.
While the war raged on, Karma became a formidable leader of the Ionian resistance, but the conflict did not end when Noxus' armies fled the Ionian shores. Ionia became divided between the resistance fighters who craved vengeance and the monks who demanded a return to spiritual tradition. Karma saw a third path, one that combined the strength Ionia found in war with the peaceful traditions the nation still held dear. She now seeks to return her ravaged land to an enduring peace.
Even in her youth, Karma exhibited almost superhuman composure. While her peers explored the torrent of emotions that came with adolescence, Karma meditated in the Lotus Gardens. She was convinced that the true path to enlightenment was a journey inward, to a place within the self, overlooked by most. She exuded such inner contentment that she quickly became a go-to mediator and confidante in her village. Her instructors used to say: "That girl can not only weather a storm, but calm it."
Karma did not live extravagantly. Her parents owned a local business selling antiques in the Navori province and they often struggled to provide for themselves, though they did so with cheery optimism. Her most prized possessions were two exquisitetaken from her family's shop.
When Noxian troops invaded southern Ionia, her village was one of the first to fall. The villages who survived the assault were captured by Noxian forces. It was then that Karma found her calling. By exploiting the insecurities of the Noxian commander, she negotiated the safe release of the villages to the northern lands.
She was present at the Placidium, where the Elders had considered surrender untilimpassioned last stand renewed the Ionians' hope. Karma used this hope to solidify the Elders' commitment to remain defiant against the Noxian onslaught.
For her devotion and charisma, Karma was made the figurehead of the Ionian resistance. She never compromised, and she shared every hardship with her people, even when it came to combat. By tapping into her inner, she discovered that she could bring great force to bear against her foes on the battlefield. She modified her into lethal implements, and was tutored by to enhance their effects.
The Noxians called her 'the Enlightened One', a nickname she embraced, and one which they would come to dread. She joined the League to represent Ionia in the ultimate political arena.
- January 28, 21 CLE
Karma emerges into sight on the wings of prestige. From the topmost tip of herto the lowest hem of her gown, she is the perfect picture of Ionian class. She pauses, poised at the threshold, admiring the delicate ornamentation that League artisans crafted into the Great Hall. Karma has seen the Great Hall on numerous occasions, but her eyes manage to well with appreciation in every instance. As she crosses the hall, grace drips from every movement, and she wades in an air of distinction.
At the marble doors, she touches the frame delicately. They part gently for her, as if they were trying to match the elegance of her motion. She vanishes through the archway, and the room left behind feels emptier than it had before she entered.
The meticulous artistry of the Institute always reminded Karma, by curious contrast, of the chaos of open war. Every inset groove was, to her, the face of a lost friend. She imagined what her fallen comrades might have thought of this comparison when a horribly familiar, acrid stench stung her nose. She turned in time for a brilliant green explosion to fill her view. She swept her steel against the blast, piercing a hole in its expanding wave. Her reaction, though immediate, only diminished the force. She focused her senses inward as air whipped past. Her form was steel while her hair and clothes swirled in the chaos. When the blast subsided, her once-immaculate locks hung in limp disarray and her dress was torn and caked with soil.
There was something unusual about the soil - a pungent smell. Blood. She looked up, bracing for the worst. Nonetheless, she was unprepared for what she saw. No, no... not again. In front of her, as far as she could see, lay the strewn bodies of Ionian villagers. Another green explosion in the distance sent cadavers arcing through the air. The taste of salt stung her lips. She didn't even notice the tears tracing down her cheeks. She saw a shoe, much too small for any adult, raised from the ground ahead of her. A small leg extended beneath it, disappearing into the soil.
Karma snapped upright, raking the air around her with both fans. Tears and soil matted with blood flew away from her. When all settled she was transformed, emotions absent, eyes dark but calm. She was powerful, noble, the picture of dignity against a backdrop of unimaginable horror.
She strode with purpose towards a cackling figure in the distance. Its silhouette was one she could not forget: Zaun's insane chemist, . He stood behind a glowing control panel atop an armored, beetle-shaped vehicle. He gesticulated with zeal as each explosion bit the Ionian landscape. He was human, although the lacking lycanthropy did not register with Karma. She was beyond thought, beyond emotion; ready to do what she must to stop what was happening in front of her.
Zaunite shock troops assembled before her, blocking her path. A wave of her fan and they were gone, their cries muted by the roaring gust. Warwick noticed her with glee. His fingers danced across the controls and a cannon extended from the transport beneath him. It fired a sickly green stream of liquid into the air above her, where it burst like a liquid firecracker. She thrust one fan into the air above her head, blowing back a portion of the falling ooze, though far less than she'd expected. Drops rained down around her. Where the drops touched her skin, they sizzled and burned through it. Karma cried out in agony.
"Delicious isn't it, Duchess?" Warwick exclaimed. "I call it an Aerial Corrosive Mine. The acid is several times heavier than mercury, so your wind techniques won't protect you."
Karma crumpled to the ground, the acid boring into her flesh. She pushed herself up to a cross-legged meditative pose, blinked back the searing pain, and uttered a healing mantra. The pain lessened, although it still consumed her.
"It's not meant to be fired into the air that way. I just wanted you to savor the taste. I'm afraid when I fire it directly at you, your delicate 'weapons' will be useless."
A tinny voice chirped something indiscernible from the control panel. Warwick listened for a moment, and then nodded his head. "I would truly love to play with you some more, Duchess, but there are more Ionians in need of my services." Warwick fiddled with the controls and the cannon lowered, aimed squarely at her. "This ends now."
Karma blinked. Her mind was sluggish, flooded with frantic damage reports from nerves all over her body. A single thought floated to the surface of her awareness.
Just as she consigned herself to join those scattered around her, a blinding ray of light descended from the heavens, landing squarely on Warwick. He screamed as his skin melted away. His body contorted, muscles bursting outward. His head and limbs stretched, yanking joints apart and forming new ones. Long claws cut through the tips of his fingers and toes. He wrenched forward, then back, and when the spasms ceased his spine was long and hunched. His high-pitched wail suddenly turned to gravel, and blue hair stabbed out from every pore of his body. He fell to the ground in a heap. The light subsided.
Not far from him, a new form lay in the mud. Karma fought her way to her feet, acid still eating into her, and stumbled to the form. There in front of her laid . She lay staring upward, her expression vacant., the spiritual icon of her people. The Starchild had lost the celestial radiance which characterized her
Reason overpowered remorse, and suddenly Karma knew she was seeing an illusion.
Soraka's gaze turned to Karma, her eyes piercing her soul for answers. "Why do you want to join the League, Karma?" The voice was sad, resigned.
"Is this vision not enough?" Karma gestured all around them. The pain was suddenly gone. "This isn't really over. These things never really end. All we can do is remain vigilant and try to protect those we love."
"Always one for a speech." Soraka smirked. "How does it feel, exposing your mind?"
"There is nothing on my mind that I wouldn't happily share with you. How does it feel, knowing what we suffered, what you chose to ignore?"
Karma was suddenly alone in the antechamber of the Institute, the doors ahead opened to the League. She appraised her clothes, which were as pristine and spotless as when she entered. With an imperceptible shift, Karma summoned her composure and marched onward.
Previous Champion Spotlight
- Upon Selection
- "An enlightened decision."
- Upon Casting
- Karma chants in an Ancient Ionian dialect.
- "Lath Rian Oune Vi." ("Weave the threads of... ")
- "Gaen Na Kyri Vi." ("Reap the winds of... ")
- "Sae Eleisa Tera Vi." ("Discover the meaning of... ")
- Upon Casting a -Empowered Ability
- " !"("Tranquility!")
- " !"("Magic!")
- " !"("Pain!")
Previous Splash Art