Champions of the Shadow Order
Other Related Champions
- Kinkou Order. was a serial killer previously hunted down by Kusho, , and , before Zed broke away from the
- is a former ally of turned enemy.
- is a former member of the Kinkou Order. She is currently an independent wandering warrior; given her ideological clash with Shen, it is possible that Zed may try to recruit her.
- is a member of the Kinkou Order, and as such is an enemy of Zed.
- and are Vastayan freedom fighters who have thwarted several of the Order's plans, particularly where pent-up magic is concerned.
Master of ShadowsBeneath Ionia’s veil of harmony lie the tales of those left behind. For Zed, his story began as a boy on the cold steps of the home of the Kinkou Order.
Taken in by Great Master Kusho himself, Zed found his place within the temple’s ancient walls. He dedicated himself to understanding the Kinkou’s spiritual tenets, quickly outpacing his peers both in combat and study. Even so, he felt overshadowed by another—his master’s son,. Though Zed’s passion shone through in every technique he perfected, he lacked Shen’s emotional balance. In spite of this, the two pupils became like brothers.
In time, they journeyed together with their master to track down the infamous Golden Demon. When they finally succeeded in capturing this feared “monster,” it was revealed to be a mere man named Khada. The young Zed marched forward with his blades held high, but Kusho stopped him, ordering that Jhin be imprisoned instead.
Returning to their temple, Zed’s heart bloomed with resentment, and he began to struggle in his studies. 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. While Shen was growing to adopt his father’s dispassion, Zed refused to let lofty notions of balance stand in the way of punishing evil.
He ventured deep into the temple’s hidden catacombs, and there he discovered an ornate, black box. Even though he knew it was forbidden to any but the masters of the order, he peered inside.
Shadows enveloped Zed’s mind, feeding his bitterness with contempt for the weak, and hinting at an ancient, dark magic.
Returning to the light of the temple, he came face to face with Great Master Kusho. Zed demanded the Kinkou strike at the Noxian invaders with every means at their disposal. When Kusho refused, Zed turned his back on the order that had raised him.
Unbound by Kinkou doctrine, he raised a following of warriors to resist Noxus. Any soul who threatened his homeland, or stood idle in its defense, was marked for death without mercy—including native vastaya who wavered in their allegiance. Zed urged his followers to embrace the fervor of war, 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. They etched their flesh with shadowy tattoos, learning to fight alongside shrouded reflections of themselves. ...
Though he did not reconcile with Shen and the remaining Kinkou, now scattered throughout the provinces, they reached an uneasy accord in the aftermath of the war. Zed knew what he had done could not be undone.
- It is somewhat ironic, given the nature of real-world Runeterra's Ninja Order. , that shadow techniques are considered both taboo to discuss and evil to practice within
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