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Zed Zed and the Shadow Order

The Yánléi (“The Tears” as in the Shadow's Tears, also known as "The Tears of the Shadow" in Ionian)[1], more widely known as The Order of The Shadows Crest.jpg Shadow Order or The Order of Shadows, was founded by Zed Zed and the former disciples of the Kinkou Order. Their task is to protect Ionia and crush any enemy that threatens their rule. Most of the orders members are shadow magic users, sourcing their powers from the Tears of The Shadow artifact from which the order got its name.


Champions of the Shadow Order

Other Related Champions

  • Jhin Jhin was a serial killer previously hunted down by Kusho, Shen Shen, and Zed Zed, before Zed broke away from the Kinkou Order. He also murdered some members of the order after escaping from prison.
  • Lee Sin Lee Sin fought members of the Order in the past.
  • Shen Shen is the leader of the Kinkou Order and a former ally of Zed Zed.
  • Akali Akali is a member of the Kinkou Order whose parent Tahno was supposedly killed by Zed and now wants him dead.
  • Kennen Kennen is a member of the Kinkou Order, and as such is an enemy of Zed.
  • Xayah Xayah and Rakan Rakan are Vastayan freedom fighters who have thwarted several of the Order's plans, particularly where pent-up magic is concerned and have fought Zed at least once.
  • Lulu Lulu has been playing pranks in the Shadow order acolytes who she thinks are too serious for their own good


Master of Shadows

Zed, the Master of Shadows

Zed's story began as a boy on 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, Shen Shen. 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, the "demon" was revealed to be a mere man named Khada Jhin Jhin. 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. Zed refused to let lofty notions of balance stand in the way of punishing evil.

In the temple's hidden catacombs, 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.

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.


The Shadow Order controls, several temples and/or monasteries around Ionia, primarily on the Ionian Mainland of the Navori and Shon-Xan regions.


  • Temple of Thanjuul: Located in Southeastern Navori, it is the Kinkou Order temple of Navori during the time of Master Kusho. During the siege of Thanze, Zed and his acolytes came for the Tears of The Shadow. Currently the Temple is controlled by the Shadow Order.


Shadow Magic

For more on types of magic, see Runeterra#Magic.

Those that master the shadow arts have their bodies physically altered by the use of the magic, some more drastically than others. The Order of Shadows draws their power from shadow tears, a magical ichor which grants them the ability to manipulate shadow magic when tattooed or ingested.[2]

The ichor is generated by some of the Quinlons. Quinlon's are the magical filters and damns scattered around Ionia that attempt to contain the amount of magic released into the region, or limit it to positive and helpful magic. The Ichor is a byproduct of filtering out the "negative magic."

So there is a limited supply of it, but that supply is very very slowly regenerated. The size of Zed's order is however limited by the supply of the Ichor.

Consumed Yanlei's is intense, but limited and short term. Tattoo's allow a much longer use with greater control, but has a less powerful effect.

The amount can vary, So one warrior might only have a single teardrop tattoo on his cheek, or a murdered parents name tattoo'd over her heart, while another person might have their entire torso tattoo'd.

But the size of the tattoo is only one variable describing a person's strength with the technique. The person also needs to be able to harness the power they have. So they may limit the scale of the tattoo for that reason. They also might not emotionally resonate with magic very well.

So for instance, a character like Braum Braum, the magical ichor would flee from his skin. He's too healthy, too happy, too well-adjusted. It would leech from his body probably within a few seconds or hours.

Similarly a character like Tryndamere Tryndamere would lack the emotional control to the harness the magic of the ichor. So giving him more than a tiny tattoo would have rapidly diminishing results.

Kayn Kayn and Zed Zed are special because they can resonate with magic AND can control large amounts of it.[3]

Their shadow clones are potentially shaped by their guilt and hatred. Members that use shadow magic are in constant threat of being consumed by the shadows, becoming demonic monsters or being consumed by demons from the spirit realm. Shadow magic can be burnt from their bodies with the help of chains and null-scrolls. Mages or Quinlons could probably speed up the process of ridding the body of the ichor.


The Order of Shadow

These assassins have taken it upon themselves to defend Ionia from all outsiders, and to move aggressively toward the total a militarization of their homeland. Members of the Order traditionally spend several years learning the forbidden arts of shadow magic.


Notable Yanléi
Master Zed Zed Current Master of the true Shadow Order and its founder.
Acolyte Jovn Yanléi member. Killed by Jhin Jhin.
Acolyte Shieda Kayn Shieda Kayn Yanléi member. Future successor as the Master of the Shadow Order. Wields the Darkin Scythe known as Rhaast Rhaast.
Acolyte LoR Non-Champion Non-Spell Indicator.png4 Ren Shadowblade Yanléi member. Known to be proficient at killing Kinkou acolytes.
Acolyte LoR Non-Champion Non-Spell Indicator.png5 Yusari Yanléi member. A Vastaya that willingly joined the order.
LoR Non-Champion Non-Spell Indicator.png3 Unnamed Acolyte Yanléi member. Known to be a very apt pupil and master assassin.
LoR Non-Champion Non-Spell Indicator.png1 Unnamed Acolyte Former Yanléi member(s). Seen battling Kinkou acolytes. Was consumed by the shadows in the quest for power. Potentially linked to Ren.
LoR Non-Champion Non-Spell Indicator.png2 Mistress Shi Yanléi member. A masked maiden using Shadow Magic for prophetic visions.


Kinkou Order

After the slaughter the Shadow Order members committed to the Kinkou members, the two Orders were at war until the code of Tuonn and Vettan were established. They spent the next few years in a temporary armistice with each Order having their own allowed zone. When Zed Zed sought out Shen Shen to warn the Eye of Twilight about the Golden Demon's the Golden Demon's return, the armistice between the two Orders ended.

Navori Brotherhood

The Shadow Order was allied to the Navori Brotherhood during the first Noxian invasion of Ionia. Later, when Kusho became the leader of the Brotherhood and the patron of the Order, the two organizations worked together in some missions. After Zed realized about Kusho's betrayal and killed him while Kayn Kayn and those loyal to the Order killed the rest of Kusho's followers in their Zhyun base, the two organizations are now enemies.

Ionian Vastaya

The Order has been consolidating Ionian magical power, which is essential for the Vastaya, for their own purposes while also killing and capturing a number of the Vastaya. There have been a lot of struggles between the two groups.


  • It is somewhat ironic, given the nature of real-world ninjas, that shadow techniques are considered both taboo to discuss and evil to practice within Runeterra's Ninja Order.
  • Nocturne Nocturne was made to be by the same shadow magic the Shadow Order uses.
  • Shadow Assassin Shadow Assassin is Kayn's Kayn's possible final form where he becomes a master of the shadow arts and uses Rhaast's Rhaast's cleansed scythe as a tool without any possible corruption from a Darkin.
  • Zed Zed pretended to kill Master Kusho in order to dissuade Shen Shen from following his order and stay with the Kinkou.


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