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Kinkou Keeper of Masks

"On this day, yours will become the face of discipline, training, humility, and balance. Today, you become Kinkou."
— Keeper of Masks

The The Kinkou Order Crest Kinkou Order is an ancient organization of Ionia which is dedicated in preserving a balance between the physical world and the spirit realm, without showing a preference of ether.

Lore

Champions of The Kinkou Order


Other Related Champions

  • Irelia OriginalSquare Irelia fought alongside Akali OriginalSquare Akali and Kennen OriginalSquare Kennen during the second Noxian invasion.
  • Jhin OriginalSquare Jhin was a serial killer previously hunted and imprisoned down by Master Kusho, Shen OriginalSquare Shen, and Zed OriginalSquare Zed.
  • Karma OriginalSquare Karma fought alongside Akali OriginalSquare Akali and Kennen OriginalSquare Kennen during the second Noxian invasion.
  • Kayn OriginalSquare Kayn is a member of the Shadow Order and as such is a enemy of the Order.
  • Sion OriginalSquare Sion fought against Akali OriginalSquare Akali and Kennen OriginalSquare Kennen during the second Noxian invasion.
  • Yasuo OriginalSquare Yasuo fought alongside Akali OriginalSquare Akali and Kennen OriginalSquare Kennen during the second Noxian invasion.
  • Zed OriginalSquare Zed was a former member of the Order and the original heir to the Eye of Twilight, before he killed his master and made his own Shadow Order.


History

The Order

"Good and evil are not truths. They are born from men and each sees the shades differently."
— Master Kusho

The Kinkou Order is an ancient clan originating in the Ionian Isles and are the self-appointed keepers of Ionia’s sacred balance. The order’s loyal acolytes walk the spirit and material realms, mediating conflicts between them and, when necessary, intervening by force.

The Order employs a triumvirate of shadow warriors to uphold its causes in the world. The three warriors are each entrusted with one of three sacred duties: the pure impartiality of Watching the Stars, the passage of judgment in Coursing the Sun, and the elimination of imbalance by Pruning the Tree. 

The Golden Demon

For years, the province of Zhyun was plagued by the infamous “Golden Demon.” A monster slaughtered scores of travelers and sometimes whole farmsteads, leaving behind twisted displays of corpses. Armed militias searched the forests, towns hired demon hunters - but nothing slowed the beast’s grisly work.

In desperation, the Council of Zhyun sent an envoy to beg Great Master Kusho for help. Kusho feigned an excuse for why he couldn’t help, but a week later, the master, his son Shen OriginalSquare Shen, and star apprentice Zed OriginalSquare Usan, disguised themselves merchants and moved to the province. In secret, they visited the countless families emotionally shattered by the killings, dissected the horrific crime scenes, and looked for possible connections or patterns to the murders.

Their investigation took four long years, and left the three men changed. Shen, known for his wit and humor, became somber; and Zed, the brightest star of Kusho’s temple, began to struggle with his studies. 

Depicted in a variety of plays and epic poems, the capture of the “Golden Demon” would be the seventh and final great feat in the illustrious career of Lord Kusho. On the eve of the Blossom Festival in Jyom Pass, Kusho disguised himself as a renowned calligrapher to blend in with the other guest artists. Then he waited. The famed “Golden Demon” was actually a mere stagehand in Zhyun’s traveling theaters and opera houses working under the name Jhin OriginalSquare Khada Jhin.

Instead of execution, Great Master Kusho ordered the criminal imprisoned. Though he and Usan both thought the killer deserved heavier punishment, Shen accepted his father’s decision. He strived to emulate the Eye of Twilight’s dispassion, and so found himself failing to console a bitter and resentful Usan.

The Order of Shadows

Zed OriginalSquare Usan's heart bloomed with resentment as he was haunted by the memories of Jhin’s grisly murders, and rising tensions between Ionia and the imperialistic forces of Noxus only worsened his disillusionment. Usan refused to let lofty notions of balance stand in the way of punishing evil.

Into the temple’s hidden catacombs, he discovered an ornate, black box. When he peered inside shadows enveloped his mind, feeding his bitterness with contempt for the weak, and hinting at an ancient, dark magic.

Usan demanded the Kinkou strike at the Noxian invaders with every means at their disposal. When Kusho refused, Usan turned his back on the order that had raised him, changing his name to Zed.

Unbound by Kinkou doctrine, he raised a following of warriors to resist Noxus but soon enough he realized his own abilities would never match his ambitions without the black box. Amassing his new acolytes, he returned to the Kinkou temple, where he was met by Kusho. The elderly man laid his weapons at Zed’s feet, imploring his former pupil to renounce the shadows in favor of a more balanced path.

Moments later, Zed emerged back onto the temple steps. In one hand, he grasped the box—and in the other, his freshly bloodied blade.

The Kinkou, frozen with shock, fell in droves as Zed’s warriors cut them down. He then claimed the temple for himself, establishing his Order of Shadow, and began training his acolytes in the ways of darkness.

That happened as Shen was far from home, he felt a jolting imbalance within the Kinkou Order—rushing back, he came upon the survivors of the bloody coup. Repressing his anguish, he led the remnants of the Kinkou to safety in the eastern mountains.

Zed’s transformation of the Kinkou into the merciless Order of Shadow was almost complete. But taking up his father’s spirit blade, as well as the title of Eye of Twilight. Shen intended to rebuild what had been lost, his role was not to seek vengeance, but to rebuild the order. Even though they were now few, they would train neophytes to restore and grow their numbers once more.

The Kinkou and the Order of Shadow came to an uneasy accord in the wake of the Noxian invasion of Ionia.

The Rogue Assassin

Five years ago a fourteen years old Akali OriginalSquare Akali, daughter of Mayym Jhomen Tethi, formally entered her Kinkou training, determined to succeed her mother as the new Fist of Shadow.

Though she did not possess the magical abilities of many of her fellow acolytes, she proved to all she was worthy of the title, in time allowing her mother to step down and help mentor the younger neophytes.

But Akali’s soul was restless. She saw that her homeland continued to suffer. She questioned whether the Kinkou were truly fulfilling their purpose. Pruning the Tree was meant to eliminate those who threatened the sacred balance... yet Shen would always urge restraint. Her youthful precociousness turned to outright disobedience. She argued with Shen, she defied him, and she took down Ionia’s enemies her way.

In front of the whole order, she declared the impotence of the Kinkou, all its talk of spiritual balance and patience accomplishing little. Ionians were dying in the material realm, and that was the realm Akali would defend. She did not need the order anymore.

Shen let her go without a fight, knowing this was a path that Akali must walk alone. Perhaps that path would bring her back one day, but that would be for her to decide.

Government

Keepers of the Sacred Balance

Ionia The Kinkou

The Kinkou are the self-appointed keepers of Ionia's sacred balance. Their acolytes walk both Runeterra and the spirit realm, mediating conflicts between them and, when necessary, intervening by force. During the war with Noxus, the Kinkou Order was ousted from its ancient temple by the followers of Zed, himself a former acolyte.

Roles

The Kinkou Order members follow a single leader bearing the title of the Eye of Twilight. However there are different titles and roles within the order.

  • The Fist of Shadow, entrusted with the sacred duty of Pruning the Tree - eliminating those who threaten the equilibrium of Valoran. Before going rogue, Akali OriginalSquare Akali was supposed to inherit the title from her mother Mayym Jhomen Tethi.
  • The Heart of the Tempest, entrusted with the sacred duty of Coursing the Sun - tirelessly conveying the justice of the Kinkou. Kennen OriginalSquare Kennen is the current Heart of the Tempest.
  • The Eye of Twilight, entrusted with the sacred duty of Watching the Stars - exercising judgment untainted by prejudice. Shen OriginalSquare Shen is the current Eye of Twilight, inheriting the title from his deceased father Kusho.

Trivia

  • The Order's name "Kinkou" (きんこう) comes from the on-yomi reading of Chinese 均衡, literally "even measures", & thus "balance" and "equilibrium".
  • Other known order members are / were Althon (Shen OriginalSquare Shen's cousin), Mayym and Tahno Jhomen Tethi (Akali OriginalSquare Akali's parents). Some Kinkou trainees also appear in Legends of Runeterra.
  • Akali OriginalSquare Akali is currently a Ronin / Rogue Ninja of the Order, still part of it, but operating outside of its rules and regulations.[1]
    • She and Shen OriginalSquare Shen parted on neutral terms. Neither hates the other but both disapprove of the others methods. [2]

Media

Akali, the Rogue Assassin - Login Screen

Akali, the Rogue Assassin - Login Screen

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See Also

References

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