Widely considered one of the most adept sorcerers on Runeterra, Ryze is an ancient, hard-bitten archmage with an impossibly heavy burden to bear. Armed with immense arcane power and a boundless constitution, he tirelessly hunts for World Runes - fragments of the raw magic that once shaped the world from nothingness. He must retrieve these glyphs before they fall into the wrong hands, for Ryze understands the horrors they could unleash on Runeterra.
Ryze was just a when he first learned of the powerful arcane forces that lay hidden across the world. While on a diplomatic mission, Ryze overheard his master, Tyrus, in discussion with another wizened old mage. In hushed tones, they spoke of the potential danger of something called 'World Runes'. As Tyrus noticed his pupil, he abruptly ended the conversation, tightly clutching the scroll that never left his side.
Over the following decades, knowledge of the Runes began to spread as more were unearthed. The world's brightest minds studied the ancient glyphs, attempting to determine the powers they possessed. Few could even begin to understand the importance of their origins, or the sheer power held within them. Some surmised that the Runes were integral to the creation of Runeterra itself. The first use of these mysterious artifacts proved catastrophic, as they reshaped the landscape of entire nations. Mistrust quickly grew as those who knew of the Runes imagined such 'Makers' Might' being used as a weapon.
Ryze and Tyrus traveled between various nations, trying to quell paranoia and encourage restraint, but their missions became increasingly precarious. Relentlessly, they strove to avert multiple disasters, but Ryze could sense his master's growing desperation.
Tyrus' worst fears were realized when he and his student were mediating a standoff between two warring nations, not far from Ryze's boyhood village of Khom. Each army accused the other of plotting to use runic weapons against the other, and each was prepared to do the same in self-defense. As tensions grew out of control, Tyrus could see it was a conflict he could not mediate. With the two sides determined to go to war, he could do nothing but flee with his protégé.
They had escaped halfway across a mountain range before the battle erupted. Ryze suddenly felt the earth fall away beneath him. The ground seemed to retch and squeal, while the sky above them recoiled as if mortally wounded. Tyrus grabbed Ryze and screamed unheard commands, but the words were swallowed by the unnatural silence around them. For the first time, they were witnessing the effects of two World Runes at war.
Seconds later, reality settled. Ryze and Tyrus clambered to the ruins of a nearby peak and looked back upon the valley where the two armies previously stood. Below, they saw insanity - destruction so massive that it defied all physical sense. The armies, the people, the very land itself were gone. An ocean that was previously beyond a day's journey was now rushing to meet them. Ryze could only fall to his knees and stare into the great hole left in the world. The devastation was complete. Nothing remained. Not even the village he once called home.
Open warfare raged across Runeterra. The first horrors of the Rune Wars sparked fear and aggression among those who now realized the power at their command. Even Ryze felt the urge to join the conflict to prevent further devastation of the kind unleashed on his people. Tyrus was there to stay the hand of his pupil, counseling that the path of vengeance would lead only to more heartache. Ryze was initially vexed by his master's words, but he soon came to accept Tyrus' wisdom.
Traveling across the world to meet with those who held the Runes, Tyrus pleaded for sanity. To ensure the future of Runeterra, he asked that every World Rune be locked away beyond the reach of man. Deeply sobered by the imminent threat of annihilation, some agreed to turn over their World Runes to Tyrus, while others refused to cast aside their newfound power and influence.
Tyrus continued his work, attempting to remove all World Runes from the reach of humanity. Yet as hope for Runeterra grew, Tyrus seemed to unravel. Ryze saw his master grow more distant. While Tyrus dealt with the Runes, he began to send his student on missions that seemed to have little importance.
Ryze was on one such menial errand when he received word of a new cataclysm, this time to the southwest of Valoran, in Icathia. The mage rushed to the scene of the devastation, beset with concern for his master and friend, hoping that he had survived. Upon his arrival, Ryze was elated to find that Tyrus was indeed safe. But Ryze's relief was short-lived. Next to the scroll he had never been allowed to read, sat two World Runes.
The older mage explained that once the World Runes were in play, he had no choice but to use them himself. Ryze was horrified as he realized Tyrus had not just survived the disaster, he had caused it. He continued his bitter tirade, telling his student that humanity was a reckless child, playing with power it did not understand. Tyrus could no longer play the role of diplomat for ignorant power-mongers. He had to stop them.
Though Ryze tried to reason with Tyrus, it was no use. The infinitely wise paragon he'd looked up to since childhood was gone. Before him stood a flawed man, susceptible to the same temptations as the fools he decried. The Runes had corrupted him deeply, and he was sure to use them again and again, taking more of the world away each time.
Ryze had to act, even if it meant destroying his only true friend. He unleashed every ounce of arcane energy he could muster. Tyrus reached for the Runes, determined not to relinquish their power. In grasping for them, the corrupted mage had left himself momentarily defenseless to Ryze's onslaught. A moment later, Tyrus' corpse lay smoldering on the floor.
Ryze trembled with emotion as his mind struggled to process what he had done.
As he regained his senses, he found himself alone with the World Runes, their glow inviting him to possess them. Steeling himself, he picked up the strange symbols one by one, and immediately felt them transforming him into something greater, or more terrible, than he could ever otherwise be.
Shuddering, he dropped the Runes and backed away. If these glyphs could corrupt a mage with the strength and integrity of Tyrus, how was Ryze to handle them?
He then realized that if he walked away, someone else would find the Runes and use them. At that moment, Ryze understood the scale of his task. As long as any World Rune remained in play, the Rune Wars would continue and surely doom all Runeterra.
Unsure what possible next step to take, Ryze saw the scroll Tyrus always carried with him. Tentatively, Ryze unfurled the scroll and was illuminated by a radiant glow. Suddenly, Ryze knew what he must do.
Ever since that day, Ryze has wandered the world, driven by the same unseen beckoning that both guides and terrifies him. He constantly rejects the promise of power within each Rune, choosing instead to bind them in secret locations no one can access. He has spent centuries performing the task, his life abnormally prolonged by the magic he has absorbed carrying out his duty. Even after all this time, Ryze cannot afford to slow. The World Runes have begun to emerge once more, and the world has forgotten the price of wielding them.
There are many on Runeterra who are attracted to the study of magic or, in recent times, the emerging field of techmaturgy. For most, pursuit of such knowledge is formalized in a college or university. The halls of traditional study were never for Ryze, however, who felt a more raw and primal connection to the magic of Runeterra than those who tried to teach him. He struck out on his own as a to discover what already called to him.
Ryze traveled the world, seeking the wisdom of powerful hermits, witches, and shamans - anyone who had something to share beyond what was taught in the city-states of Valoran. When he had learned all he could from these fonts of wisdom, Ryze turned to seek the lost, forgotten, and forbidden knowledge in the world, delving into mystical worlds where others feared to tread.
Ryze's tireless searching for magical knowledge led him to an ancient form of spellcraft known as thorn magic. This art required Ryze to tattoo spells on his body, permanently infusing his being with vast arcane power and finally fulfilling his need to bond with the mystical energies of Runeterra. His travels also led him to uncover the giant indestructible scroll he now carries on his back - the purpose of the inscribed spell remains a secret only Ryze knows. He claims it is an abomination - something that he must safeguard from the world. This has piqued the curiosity of many, though no one is sure how to separate the scroll from Ryze, or if it is possible to overcome the rogue mage to do so.
Since then, Ryze has joined the League of Legends to study the magical creatures and powerful will-workers that fight there, in order to complete his exploration of mystical Runeterra.
- Released in V220.127.116.11 (October 23rd, 2009)
The halls of traditional study were never for Ryze, who felt a more raw and primal connection to the magic of Runeterra than those who tried to teach him. As a , he traveled the world, seeking the wisdom of powerful hermits, witches, and shamans. When he had learned all he could, Ryze turned to seek the lost, forgotten, and forbidden knowledge in the world.
This led him to an ancient form of spellcraft known as thorn magic. This art required Ryze to tattoo spells on his body, infusing his being with vast arcane power. His travels also brought him to the giant indestructible scroll he carries on his back. The purpose of the inscribed spell is a secret only Ryze knows. However, he claims it is an abomination, something that he must safeguard from the world.
Today, Ryze has joined the League of Legends to study the magical creatures and powerful will-workers that fight there, in order to complete his exploration of mystical Runeterra.
- Released in Alpha Week 6 (March 25th, 2009)
Raised from the age of two inside the Magi's Academy for Unpleasant Boys, Ryze has never really fit in with his peers. Though his disciplinary record might prove otherwise.
At the age of seven, Ryze snuck into the professors' quarters and used a bolt of electricity to singe the hair from the headmaster's prized poodle, Yipps. At nine, he mixed an ordinary laxative into a batch of fire breathing potion his chemistry teacher was preparing for a class field trip. At the age of twelve, he dismantled the school's zeppelin and reassembled it inside the library. Six months later, he was caught drawing runes of binding on every chair in the academy's auditorium. (It took two full days to unglue the entire student body after the Witches Day ceremony.)
The final straw came when Ryze picked a fight with the first year professors - all of them. Though none of the new teachers were permanently injured, the resulting blast knocked down an entire wing and c...
- Upon Selection
- "Let's go, let's go!"
- "Unpleasant? I'll show you unpleasant!"
- "Right back at you!"
- "Can you handle this?"
- "Let's go, let's go!"
- "Come on already!"
- "Don't hold me up!"
- "Take this scroll and stick it... somewhere safe."
- "I got these tattoos in rune prison!"
- Ryze laughs.
- Ryze laughs.
- Ryze laughs.
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