Runeterra is a world rife with politics, woe and hardship with, the power hungry individuals of Zaun and Piltover being the most common purveyors. Not even the League of Legends champions are exempt, and as such are riddled with sad backstories that forged them into those we know and love today. These stories often come with a huge personal sacrifice, and involve experimentation into magic and madness.
Whether it's the hextech crystals of the Brackern dwelling deep within Shurima, noxious chemicals coursing through their blood, or a plain old, mad scientist meddling with the body in ways they don't understand, these augmented individuals will never be quite the same again.
One of the saddest tales concerns a tinkerer and his lovely daughter, Orianna. Together they created elegant prosthetics for those that needed it most. But Zaun's influence is far-reaching, and when yet another chemical disaster occurred Orianna crept away from the safety of high society Piltover with medical supplies to assist those worst affected. Upon struggling home, to her father's dismay, it was clear she had been infected by the noxious gas which slowly shut down her organs, one by one.
Throwing all their wealth into the work, they continuously produced replacement parts for the young woman until all that was left was her heart. She willingly sacrificed this last part of her humanity for her elderly father in the end, and created her hextech crystal heartbeat using what was left of their savings.
A globally recognized genius by the age of 19, Viktor worked tirelessly to erase human error and create safer working environments for the people living around him in Zaun. Time and time again it was clear to him that what hurt humans the most were what made them human, emotions. The recklessness was what consistently led to accidents happening, and when fumes poured from a factory in the Sump, turning innocents rabid, Viktor was proven right again.
By stealing Jayce's hextech crystal from his lab, Viktor was able to power life support machines that would remove the poison from their blood, similar to dialysis. In a fit of animal impulsivity, Jayce devastated the entire operation with his enhanced hammer, killing everyone Viktor had fought so hard to save. It was then that he realized he must do as he preached, replacing his own human body with logical machinery. Viktor ended up with a small cult following, the Glorious Evolution.
A noble woman operating in the darkness to secure her fellow aristocratic families, Camille Ferros has been playing the unseen role of political assassin for longer than her looks suggest. She felt her own vulnerability when her father was murdered for the family's hextech production, leaving her younger brother Stevan to fill the esteemed boots. Upon hiring Hakim Naderi from the Shuriman coast, she fell in love and was torn between a normal life and one of an intelligencer.
Seeing her wavering commitment, Stevan faked his own attack, swaying Camille's loyalty back to her familial duty and Hakim was forced to augment his fiancé's body with the harvested hextech crystals. He fled Piltover, knowing that she could never love him without a human heart.
Another champion who started life caught between Zaun and Piltover is Renata Glasc. She was only a child when she lost her arm in the attack on her home, targeted by the aforementioned intelligencer, and her family murdered for their success. Renata had encouraged her medically minded parents to sell their amazing medicines to wealthier patrons in Piltover, instead of just giving cures freely to Zaunites. Though they insisted on using their profits to test new concoctions for the terminally ill, often with violent side effects.
This sudden influx of affordable healthcare put Camille's Piltovan peers out of business, and she was sent to stamp out the Glasc family. Using her business prowess Renata exchanged her family's medicines for cheap labor, and the Zaunites just couldn't say no. Glasc Enterprises produced miracle after miracle, becoming a household name in Piltover again. And with her newfound fortune, as well as cheap labor force, she had an augmented, chemtech arm created. Coupled with her mind-altering gaseous products Renata has come to dominate the underworld.
He began as a proud Noxian executioner. But, when Swain usurped the throne Urgot was sent to a Zaunite labor camp to work in the chem-mines. He spent many days living in fear of the Baron Voss that governed the mine and who was known for torturing Noxus' secrets out of her prisoners. When he was dragged from the noxious tunnels, his fear quickly turned to laughter as the baron's blade couldn't inflict pain worse than he had already endured.
Having experienced the worst Zaun had to offer he realized it wasn't the strong that should lead, it's the strong who survived. Anarchy reigned in the depths of the Dredge, where Urgot replaced each of his own weaknesses using whatever machinery he could salvage. Igniting a flammable vein of chemicals underground, the prison split and the strongest spilled out onto the surface. Scuttling about on his new legs, Urgot slaughtered chembosses and their lackeys alike. He was heralded as a savior of the downtrodden, but he held no such values and rooted out the powerful and meek alike.
Once a man, desperate and willing to do whatever to survive the Grays of Zaun, Warwick hunted the other unfortunate souls wandering the wastes. He doesn't remember what led to him being strapped to a cold, metal table in a sordid lab, but he'll never forget what happened to him there. The mad scientist Singed spent weeks mercilessly removing chunks of Warwick's humanity and replacing it with chemical pumps and retractable claws.
When his body finally gave out it was disposed of in the Gray dump. It was at that point Singed's augmentations began to truly work, replacing the dead tissue with stronger flesh and supplanting all emotions with rage. Warwick's world became that of bloodlust, the beast had been released.
At the age of ten years old, Kaisa was swallowed by a fissure opened by the Void. She and her friends awoke in the cold and dark, with the strange whispers of creatures scuttling beyond their vision. One by one Kaisa's friends stopped calling out, and she was left alone to creep along the endless caverns, watched by unseen eyes.
With only a small knife, she fended off the voidlings' attacks, though their corpses would cling to her limbs, digging their dying claws into her flesh. She spent years traversing the fissures, fighting hoards of aliens and adapting her body with the carapaces that seemed to grow with her. When she emerged it was hard to tell how much was the human Kaisa, and how much had become the voidling warrior Kai'Sa.
Viktor and Singed are two peas in a pod when it comes to their work ethic. Where Viktor marveled at the prodound combination of mechanics and hextech crystals, Singed shunned it as a fad for those who didn't care to truly understand their work. When his views got him kicked out of the Piltovian academy he ended up where everyone seems to; the slums of Zaun.
To keep up with his innovative inventions Singed augmented his own body, adding automatic vats of stimulants to push his body for weeks at a time. But everything that goes up must come down, and the crashes he experienced after were physically and mentally devastating. He's not one to question the morality of his projects though, unlike Viktor, and happily produced chemical weapons used against Ionia.
1 Dr. Mundo
Doctor Mundo is not a doctor, despite what his rather dashing skin might suggest. He was actually a patient at the Oswald Asylum that used barbaric practices in an attempt to nullify the unwanted behavior its wards often displayed. Mundo was committed to this asylum not for his own wellbeing, but as a punishment from the chem baron he had worked for as security.
His once healthy mind became unhinged as untested medicines were administered and diabolical surgeries dissected his body. His once strong physique became monstrously powerful, the strange experiments leaving him with inhuman regeneration. Looking down at his white straightjacket one day, and with no memory of his own name or profession, Mundo reasoned he must be one of the doctors at the hospital. With the best intentions, Dr Mundo vowed to "treat" any patient that needed him, whether they wanted it or not.
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