On Nagakabouros, Celestial Bridges and Star Dragons

Hey folks, this is going to be a bit different than what I usually see around here. I listed some of my thoughts on League's Cosmology a while back on the Lore of League Discord and got some good feedback and discussions so I figured it'd be worth to post these theories in a more widely accessible community and in a slightly more well-structured format. Some of it may feel intuitive, some of it may feel completely random and some of it may feel more complex for the sake of complexity (and I will admit, Kirkbride's Elder Scrolls and the metaphysical lore therein is a favorite of mine). Some of it is built upon key assumptions and potentially outdated Q&A answers (from before significant shifts in the Narrative discipline). To be clear, this post is not necessarily where I think Riot will take things so much as it is how I can currently see the pieces align. Subjectivity, bias, unreliable and fallible narrators are something I doubt will ever truly disappear from League's setting. There may be no actual interest to explain what is "true" as opposed to show what people *think* is true. If you're not up for philosophical ramblings, a TL;DR section at the very end lists some of the major points of this post. For some terminology, Universe in the context of this post equates to the sum of all planes and realms of existence in the setting (emphasis on existence, as I would argue the Void does not traditionally "exist"). ___ >#Of the Universe and Universal Truths To begin with, I'm going to make one key assumption/theory/choice of terminology: "Universe" encompasses and is the sum of all realms/planes of existence and can be loosely described as the collective functioning of **Universal Truths**. It is, in short, a system and its most important and notable pieces are the Universal Truths, wide-reaching forces that constitute and operate within it. Universal Truths are metaphysical absolutes present in all facets of Creation, the concept/term comes from a post by WAAARGHbobo and tie into the also interesting question of "what constitutes a god?": > [Is nagakahbouros a true god or a manifestation of a universal truth..? Or is that what a true god is?](https://boards.na.leagueoflegends.com/en/c/story-art/Ljw9wJKT?comment=000400000000) As well as its use to differentiate Nagakabouros, the only known Universal Truth, from Aurelion Sol: > [Aol Sol does not reflect a universal reality or truth.](https://boards.na.leagueoflegends.com/en/c/story-art/icewate2?comment=00000000000100120000) For those unaware, Nagakabouros is Illaoi's deity and Buhru's most popular god. It is commonly associated with life and souls and the religious belief of "motion", that life exists to serve and contribute to the universe in some capacity, by living according to its fullest desires and thereby making good on the gift of life granted by Nagakabouros. Riot has never, and perhaps has no true interest in, exploring what Nagakabouros actually is or the multitudes that it encompasses (it is simply far too grand to be adequately explained by words and human language and thought). I do, however, have a loose theory on what it fundamentally is. Regardless of where we look in League's creation, we always find life. Even time and space are inconsistent in the Spirit and Celestial Planes and an old post dating back to Aurelion Sol's Q&A compares the Aspects of Targon, celestial entities, as existing outside of the flow of time: > [The Aspects, however, are more like spiritual entities that exist out of time, potentially in other planes of existence.](https://boards.na.leagueoflegends.com/en/c/gameplay-balance/cfEdVAJd-welcome-to-the-aurelion-sol-qa?comment=00a30000) Nagakabouros would be the universal tendency for life to emerge and grow and thrive, a built in evolutionary principle in the whole of the Universe. To be clear, the intention here isn't to equate Nagakabouros to a life-giving goddess. It is more, or perhaps less, than that. Nagakabouros is just the possibility of life within Creation. It is a basic principle saying "things can and should live". And why does it want things to live? I am drawn to a particular quote by Carl Sagan: **We are a way for the cosmos to know itself.** Nagakabouros, then, in broad strokes, is akin to the Universe's curiosity with life being its own way to answer questions. I believe Buhru is correct in that Nagakabouros is in some ways responsible for their existence (since it is the very possibility of life) but that they are misinterpreting it being the source of life and therefore passions as an implication that life must absolutely follows its passions as their beliefs dictate. I think a better way of putting it is that all living beings are points of view and that their existence is Nagakabouros matching them and attempting to gain insight into ever more specific doubts and questions. Note that there may be other universal laws (and perhaps Buhru is aware of them too), interdimensional absolutes and mechanisms that define and make up the Universe in their collective functioning. It is just that Nagakabouros (or rather, this particular interpretation of Nagakabouros) may be the cause of much of what follows. And I suppose if this interpretation of Nagakabouros was correct, and Buhru is correct about Nagakabouros having a "grand design", then one would wonder what happens when it learns what it needs to learn and what is it that it needs/wants to learn to begin with. And if it truly is sentient, one wonders if it even cares for each and every living being, do we care or even know about every single microbe in our guts? This may give off the impression that I think Nagakabouros and/or the Universe are sentient but I don't believe that to be the case. **Nagakabouros' "will" is for things to live and, in that life, earn an "answer".** This process is the same as gravity "wanting" people to stay on the surface of a planet. It is not an actual being but a principle that all things ultimately pay tithe to, even if it may be leading up to something, much like all things must exist within the confines of the Universe...or do they? ___ >#Of Watchers and What Came Before "At first, there was nothing". This is a common concept in various mythologies, such as the primordial Chaos in Greek myth or Ginnungagap in Norse legends, in that creation is said to emerge from a state of disorder or nothingness. In the context of the Runeterra IP, the Void is said to be what "existed" before existence came to be. [Or at least, that's what Vel'koz's bio enunciates:](https://universe.leagueoflegends.com/en_SG/story/champion/velkoz/) > In that place, in the cold, endless dark, all is equal and empty. For timeless eons, there was purity in that fact. There was peace, if such a term could have any meaning there. > > Then, something changed. Not in the Void realm, but elsewhere. It was existence, it was... something, where before there had been nothing, and its mere presence scraped against the vast, cold, formless entities that drifted in the blackness. If this is true then I think there's three, fairly similar, ways to interpret the Watchers if one was to try and make a system to fit them in: - they are the ripples echoing through "nothing" caused by the Universe's existence or - they are the equivalent of anti-universal truths for the nothing that lies beyond (anti-universal truths) or - they are "anti life" animated by anti-universal truths. However, [we know that bios can be subjective to some extent](https://twitter.com/LaurieGoulding/status/1063275034632871936), as they are meant to be told through the perspective of that champion (see Jayce and Viktor for the most notable of those examples). The following theory relies on the assumption that the previous bit from Vel'koz's bio describes what Vel'koz and the Watchers themselves *think* happened as opposed to a complete factual truth (of sorts) and attempts to reconcile their point of view with the following passage [from the Void's region page:](https://universe.leagueoflegends.com/en_US/region/void/) > Screaming into existence with the birth of the universe, the Void is a manifestation of the unknowable nothingness that lies beyond. In particular, I believe this bit from the Vel'koz bio: > Before this, they had not even been fully aware of their own sentience, (...) Is not entirely descriptive. It could be that the Watchers weren't aware of their own sentience because they "weren't" at all before the universe existed (unlike the Vel'koz telling may imply). And why were they born/awakened? Because the Universe required answers to the important metaphysical questions such as "what is it to not be?" or "what was before the Universe was?". More than just the "scraping" against reality, the Watchers too, much like all living things, would be "questions" meant to provide the Universe with an answer and would be a product of Nagakabouros. Much like a meteor entering the atmosphere and burning, the Watchers would be a violent reaction of Nagakabouros, a key piece of the universe, interacting with the pure "nothing" of the Void. In short, **the Void and the Watchers would exist so the Universe could know what it isn't and therefore know what it is.** All of these theories, of course, a rather roundabout way to say that the Void is the cosmic counterweight of the Universe and a metaphysical necessity for its prolonged existence which perhaps may be intuitive but I figured it worth attempting to dissect. ___ ># Of Celestial Concepts and Plato's Forms What makes a thing a thing? How do we know what a door is despite each door being different? Plato argued that we could tap into the "Forms", the quintessential essences of things, that defined what everything was and what anything could ever be. The concept of Plato's forms is, in a rather simplified manner, that there are ideal "Archetypes" of things that exist beyond material constraints and that the world we live in simply has material representations of these glorious archetypal Forms, as if echoes of their immaterial essence. The Forms are the cosmic molds in which all things come from, that reside in a world beyond the physical and beyond time and space. This last bit may sound familiar, since we already know the celestial Aspects of Targon reside beyond time and, odds are, beyond space too. But you may possibly be asking why the importance of platonism in League's lore. In short, I see a lot of Plato's Forms in Celestials. We don't know a lot about celestials (which is probably not at all a shock for those that have kept up with the setting) but we do know of Celestial Concepts. At least some celestials, like the ones that empower the earthly Aspects, are actually akin to living ideas and thoughts and concepts. They are abstractions manifest. For example, I'll point you towards the following quote again by WAAARGHbobo who fleshed out this idea as he worked on Aatrox (or at least, that's when we first heard about it): > [This is subtle difference. Volibear is not the god of war \(personifying that concept -or aspect\). But Volibear is a war god. \(popular in war and related-to/invoked-during/summoned-in/empowered-in war\)](https://boards.na.leagueoflegends.com/en/c/story-art/EkUVEaF1?comment=0013) As well as: > [how do you explain a 4th dimensional being/ concept and abstraction made real by magic?](https://boards.na.leagueoflegends.com/en/c/story-art/E6sm7oxA?comment=00020001000000000001) And even: > [This is a war between "ideas" where the very thought, understanding, conception, or expression of a thing can die. What would happen if the very idea of War was deleted and ceased to exist? \(and let's not kid ourselves and think it would be all rainbows and gingerbread cookies.\) What if the idea of protection was deleted? Does it stop or do we all become just a little less connected to reality?](https://www.reddit.com/r/leagueoflegends/comments/8una0m/were_the_team_that_updated_aatrox_ask_us_anything/e1hd40d/) As well as this quote by Scathlocke: > [An Aspect is the concept, embodied in a mortal vessel. Otherwise it could not exist and operate within the Mortal Realm.](https://twitter.com/LaurieGoulding/status/1061366466220441601) Which is to say, Celestial Concepts are very similar to the concept of the Forms. They are the metaphysical firmament of reality and thought and, like we know from Aatrox as seen on the following quote, their death will cause mortals (and maybe even entities beyond that) to forget what they were and may even make the universe incapable of allowing those concepts to exist: > [\(...\) it's complicated because the celestial concept Aatrox merged with and gained his ascended power from -- has been trapped/deleted. Literally the ideal/idea he represented ceased to exist when he was trapped. Human's no longer could even have the thought/idea he was the avatar of.](https://www.reddit.com/r/leagueoflegends/comments/8una0m/were_the_team_that_updated_aatrox_ask_us_anything/e1gr7fd/) Connecting this basic definition of Celestial Concepts to the first part of the post, Celestial Concepts too are Nagakabouros at work. They are the "first questions", the broadest definitions of things so as to allow more specific and more complex questions to follow in their wake. In short, they are broad because Nagakabouros must first understand "most things" before getting to the "nitty gritty" of the world. And even the possibility of Platonic Forms being akin to the thoughts of the divine has been discussed academically in the past (and in Plato's line of thought, all forms emerge from the first form, the "Form of Good"). In short, if "every book is a remix of the dictionary" then **every possible iteration of reality is a remix of the Celestial Concepts.** They are the ideas that drive the world, they are what make a thing a thing and, in themselves, simultaneously define and are composed of all versions of their own concept. They are the blueprint of Reality, at least of the Physical Realm. To draw from Emanationism, the Celestial Realm is the "source" of all things and the physical universe is an emanation/echo of it. Or, like Kayle says, it is a "world beyond worlds", a world of perfection and purity and abstraction (but not necessarily of "good"). Every war, for example, is but a fraction of what the Celestial Concept of War (that some humans call Pantheon) is and is enabled by his existence, this Concept lies outside of time and space and physical requirements. This abstract nature, that is beyond any material constraint but also of any true material existence , is also what forces Celestials to either channel their power through humans (like the Aspects of Targon are fond of doing) or to sacrifice much of their own nature to forge a physical shape they can use (like Soraka, although it is not confirmed she is a Concept and there may exist other kinds of non-conceptual entities hailing from the Celestial Realm). After all, what form could War possibly take in the physical plane if not one of its limitless facets (like, say, the ideal warrior as imagined by the Rakkor)? A possible exception lies in Bard, whose nature and relation to Celestials is unclear but who utilizes material objects as though sock puppets with which he can interact with the world. Consider also Targon Prime, the "city of silver and gold", that mortals can glimpse atop Mount Targon. What if it is the archetypal City? The City that defines all other cities? The channeling of abstractions via the limited lens of mankind also opens the door for subjectivity and bias (much like the Forms are incompatible with a concrete existence, "perfection" can only be achieved in the world of Forms and Ideas), as shown in the Ascended of Shurima, who utilized the celestial knowledge gifted to them by Targon, shaping it into the Sun Disc we know of today and making the celestially empowered god-warriors of their empire often animal-like in shape due to their own culture and their symbolic representation of the Concepts they were drawing power from: > [The animal theming \(or lack thereof\) has to do with the Shuriman language/orthography and cultural symbology. > Somewhere between ancient egyptian and chinese ideographs, shuriman concepts have symbols --often with multiple meaning depending on the context.](https://boards.na.leagueoflegends.com/en/c/story-art/ineA9uOv?comment=000a) > [So the word/concept/symbol for "Lord or Emperor" might be a golden bird... Thus when someone "embodies" that ideal -- they might take on some of that symbology. But that does not mean all shuriman concepts are animalistic--](https://boards.na.leagueoflegends.com/en/c/story-art/ineA9uOv?comment=000a) And: > [Targon and Demacia \(which has a deep cultural relationship with targon\) have a different core language and symbolic tradition than shurima— so yes they represent the same “concepts” in very different ways. Shurima’s traditions and language favor symbolic animals and objects \(birds, chains etc...\) — while targon prefers celestial bodies or events \(starlight, dawn, the moon\) thus the manifestations of even similar concepts can be quite different.](https://boards.na.leagueoflegends.com/en/c/story-art/ineA9uOv?comment=000a00010000) This idea of a world representing the purest, most ideal, forms of all things is also not entirely new to League's lore. I could see this bit from Malphite's (presently outdated) lore, for example: > [There is a world of perfect harmony, where all are part of the whole. The Monolith is the essence of all creation, and its denizens are but singular pieces of it. It is beautiful in its symmetry, and in its almost complete lack of uncertainty.](https://universe.leagueoflegends.com/en_US/story/champion/malphite/) Hinting at connections between Celestials and the Monolith itself (of course, this is reliant on the Monolith remaining a canonical concept once Malphite is updated). Taking a step in another direction, however, I wanted to discuss the concept of a celestial hierarchy. In Platonic thought, all ideas comes from the Form of Good. For League, I think one should consider what ideas could possibly spawn other ideas. I do not feel confident in making any specific claim in this regard but I will say that Change (or as it is represented by the inhabitants of Mount Targon, Twilight) is a big one. If Change can be understood and "added to the Universe's repertoire of tricks" then that opens the door for numerous concepts to follow in its wake. Effectively, however, I would say that the celestials have less an hierarchy proper and more a web in which new concepts can be born of the mixing and tampering with other "older" concepts and in which they are reliant on each other (how different would War be without Protection?). For example, consider War. A recent conversation I had with other lore fans was about Pantheon being Ares and Athena both, because he embodies War in all its facets, be they the physical prowess and skill of soldiers, the violence that it entails, tactics and strategy as well as brotherhood and camaraderie between soldiers. I think it's possible there are Concepts/Aspects that embody these more specific traits and they may have incarnate "components" of themselves as well. In this view, Celestial Concepts are not just "themselves" (and that's already saying something, since they contain multitudes by virtue of the sheer breadth of things they represent), **they are gestalt beings of all the minor concepts/"sub-concepts" that they have beget or that begot them.** So Pantheon is the gestalt of all minor Concepts embodying specific forms or ideas of War and these minor Concepts may be themselves gestalts. The concept of a Sky Father is common in various mythologies but I doubt Targon or the Celestials as a whole actually have an emperor or definite ruler. They are all Sky-related deities (or at least, best perceived and commonly represented as such). I will return to the association of the Celestial Realm with the heavens in a future section Before moving on to the next section, however, I would introduce one last question regarding how much humans merging with Concepts truly matters. We know from this post, also linked earlier, that Change was changed by its merging with Zoe and that, indeed, that effect may have been partially why it even chose her to begin with: > [The intention with Zoe was to show that the Aspect choose Zoe because she was so naturally going to be and act like it needed to. \(Literally to personify it as a physical avatar\)](https://boards.na.leagueoflegends.com/en/c/story-art/E6sm7oxA?comment=00020001000000000001) > [I.e. that the line between the two personalities and consciousnesses would be unclear even to them. They have a sense of "the other" but not where it begins, and just kinda "default to trust."](https://boards.na.leagueoflegends.com/en/c/story-art/E6sm7oxA?comment=00020001000000000001) > [Merge in this instance wasn't meant as a one way street. The Aspect changed Zoe some... but also she changed the aspect. \(It was clearly cruel previously\)](https://boards.na.leagueoflegends.com/en/c/story-art/E6sm7oxA?comment=00020001000000000001) > [Pure headcanon, but I assumed when the Aspect was looking for its next vessel \(in this case Zoe\) the aspect of twilight knew \(felt? saw?\) on some level* that it needed to change... because the world was changing. And what it represented was changing.](https://boards.na.leagueoflegends.com/en/c/story-art/E6sm7oxA?comment=00020001000000000001) So one wonders, what that merging could do regarding the actual expression of that concept in all of Creation. Could the Aspects of Targon (or, Change at least) be weakening reality by "changing" their very essence with human hosts? And what of the Darkin concepts, who perished or were imprisoned, when the Ascended that called on them were trapped into weapons? Did such an act benefit the Void? ___ >#Of Runeterra's Creation and Axis Mundi One could think that getting closer to the physical realm would mean the metaphysical talk would die down a bit but it may just be getting started. A few months ago we learned about (or received confirmation of) a very important detail in an Ask Riot post about Runeterra and the World Runes: > [The world is indeed called Runeterra \(literally, “rune-world”\) because of the World Runes—these immensely powerful artifacts are the actual tools of creation, which unknown celestial beings were using to fashion a whole new plane of existence. For some reason, this work halted, incomplete, and the runes were left scattered and hidden within the world they were creating.](https://nexus.leagueoflegends.com/en-us/2019/01/ask-riot-does-sion-stink/) This section will go a bit deeper into what I believe the process of Runeterra's creation entailed and what its true purpose was. It will also go into a realm of heavy speculation (as if the others didn't) so be warned. I'll start by noting one critical detail about Runeterra: every plane of existence that we are currently aware of is present in Runeterra. Now, obviously, we would probably only hear about a plane of existence once it was relevant for the people of Runeterra and their story as that is what Riot is primarily concerned with. With that said, this section will assume that the presence of all these realms of existence is critical to Runeterra's importance and, indeed, to the original plan of these aforementioned "unknown celestial beings" (henceforth called Worldsmiths or Worldmasons). In short: **Runeterra was meant to link all of Creation**. Take a look at this bit from Frozen Hearts, a short story featuring Nunu and his mother: > [We could travel to a bridge that once spanned the sky! Only it collapsed in a forgotten age, and most of it lies hidden behind the clouds. But, can you hear that? Someone is step, step, stepping along its edge.](https://universe.leagueoflegends.com/en_US/story/frozen-hearts/) A bridge in the heavens first led me to think of the fabled Bifrost Bridge of Norse mythology which connects Asgard and Midgard, the domain of the Norse gods (or the most well-known, primarily Aesir) and the domain of Man (Earth). In some modern interpretations, however, the Bifrost allows the Aesir to travel to all known realms. A while back, I was researching Ivern's primary themes and influences and came across this description for World Trees from Encyclopaedia Britannica: > [World tree, also called cosmic tree, centre of the world, a widespread motif in many myths and folktales among various preliterate peoples, especially in Asia, Australia, and North America, by which they understand the human and profane condition in relation to the divine and sacred realm. Two main forms are known and both employ the notion of the world tree as centre. In the one, the tree is the vertical centre binding together heaven and earth; in the other, the tree is the source of life at the horizontal centre of the earth. Adopting biblical terminology, the former may be called the tree of knowledge; the latter, the tree of life.](https://www.britannica.com/topic/world-tree) > [In the vertical, tree-of-knowledge tradition, the tree extends between earth and heaven. It is the vital connection between the world of the gods and the human world. Oracles and judgments or other prophetic activities are performed at its base.](https://www.britannica.com/topic/world-tree) > [In the horizontal, tree-of-life tradition, the tree is planted at the centre of the world and is protected by supernatural guardians. It is the source of terrestrial fertility and life. Human life is descended from it; its fruit confers everlasting life; and if it were cut down, all fecundity would cease. The tree of life occurs most commonly in quest romances in which the hero seeks the tree and must overcome a variety of obstacles on his way.](https://www.britannica.com/topic/world-tree) World Trees, and the more general concept of Axis Mundi (the metaphysical "center of the world"), are a recurring motif in various myths. These Axis Mundi can often be natural in nature, such as trees or mountains and are places where the world meets "the beyond". Using the definitions enunciated provided by Encyclopaedia Britannica, I believe we can see both the tree of life and tree of knowledge traditions in Runeterra and, perhaps more importantly, we can see that the realms that they do bridge do fit a possible representation as "vertical" and "horizontal". Namely: - the **God-Willow** is the Tree of Life, the horizontal connection between Runeterra and the Spirit Realm. The physical manifestation of the planet's life. From Ivern's story we can see that it fits much of the listed traits: it is planted at the "centre of the world" in Omikayalan ([literally called the Heart of the World in Ivern's biography](https://universe.leagueoflegends.com/en_US/story/champion/ivern/)), is protected by supernatural guardians (the Vastayashai'rei that stood guard against the Freljordian invaders) and human life is likely descended from it (as Ionia is called the "First Lands", a fitting title if life did indeed originate there). Even Ivern's story is an unusual take on the hero's quest for the Tree. And, finally, the Spirit Realm is "intertwined" with the physical realm, if the physical universe was a book then the spirit realm is what is written between the lines. It is a realm of sensation and feeling and belief, shaped by thought and emotion, that likely stands at the same "height" as the material plane. Or as stated by writers: > [This was a mirror world where the spirit of every living thing and every of type of thing exists. The souls of every person, the spirit of animals, the essences of species and of locations, elements, and even ideas exist in that dimension as powerful forces, which interact and create a type of magic in Runeterra.](https://nexus.leagueoflegends.com/en-us/2017/04/dev-on-vastayan-evolution/) Important to note, as well, [that in the recent Yuumi teaser](https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a0nz9hde9q0), the leylines on the map contained in Book are very reminiscent of the roots of a tree. The leylines as Book shows them, as another user named Pale Mask noted, could be a representation of the God-Willow's roots, as if it had grown in both material and spirit realm at once. The lines in the teaser are also very similar to our first description of them in the Vastaya dev blog: > [Firstly, Anthony was working on early development for magic in Runeterra, including the notion that it could possibly flow like rivers from a series of portals. These streams of magic (or ley-lines) then trace across the planet, intersecting and mixing.](https://nexus.leagueoflegends.com/en-us/2017/04/dev-on-vastayan-evolution/) - **Mount Targon** is the Tree of Knowledge, the vertical connection between Runeterra and the Celestial Realm. The Celestial Realm, as the name indicates, is often associated with the "above" and the "heavens", likely because the physical universe emanates from it, as if a shadow cast by its light. Axis Mundi, and trees of knowledge, are often places of religious significance and important for divination and the people of Mount Targon are devout believers in the Aspects and their will as well as the hidden wisdom and guidance hidden in the cosmos and the heavens. Using one additional and recent quote from Scathlocke listing paradigm shifts in Runeterra: > * [The Rune Wars](https://twitter.com/LaurieGoulding/status/1119669699824906241) > * [The reign (& fall) of Mordekaiser](https://twitter.com/LaurieGoulding/status/1119669699824906241) > * [The Great Darkin War](https://twitter.com/LaurieGoulding/status/1119669699824906241) > * [The fall of Shurima](https://twitter.com/LaurieGoulding/status/1119669699824906241) > * [The war with Icathia](https://twitter.com/LaurieGoulding/status/1119669699824906241) > * [The creation of the Ascended](https://twitter.com/LaurieGoulding/status/1119669699824906241) > * [The discovery of Mount Targon](https://twitter.com/LaurieGoulding/status/1119669699824906241) > * [The War of the Three Sisters](https://twitter.com/LaurieGoulding/status/1119669699824906241) Note that all of the known events are listed from "most recent" to "most ancient", the only one we're not completely sure about in terms of timeline is the Discovery of Mount Targon but since all others follow that ordering I will go with the key assumption that Mount Targon was only discovered following the War of the Three Sisters. The original plan for Runeterra, as I see it, was that it would be the door, the gate, and the key to link all creation. It would be a dimension in which all things would be linked, the beating heart of the universe, the crossroads of all things. The Bridge, as mentioned in Nunu's story, would be an interdimensional construct, meant to connect the Celestial Realm to Runeterra and, perhaps, even beyond. Runeterra may have been intended only as the foundation for the Bridge to exist upon. It may not even be an actual bridge, but that's the closest word humans have to describe it and its purpose. One important thing to keep in mind is that Change intervened at the time of the Three Sisters as described in Lissandra's biography, in which the realms appear much more tightly interconnected than the present time: > [In a time long forgotten, before the sands birthed and then swallowed Shurima, beings of old magic freely walked Runeterra. The borders between the mortal realm and what lay beyond it were hotly contested.](https://universe.leagueoflegends.com/en_US/story/champion/lissandra/) > > [Into this dangerous and volatile age, Lissandra and her sisters, Serylda and Avarosa, were born. Each sought to harness the powers at war, and each paid a terrible price. Attempting to command the heavens above them, Serylda lost her voice to the first twilight. Avarosa faced the twisting dark beneath the world, and was deafened by its emptiness, waiting to consume all creation.](https://universe.leagueoflegends.com/en_US/story/champion/lissandra/) So Change may have been part of the original group of Worldsmiths behind Runeterra or perhaps it simply grew interested afterwards. Mount Targon's strange carvings, whose purpose and nature have long eluded its residents, may in fact be a map of all Creation or the blueprints for the strange interdimensional construct that would be, or was, the Bridge. The falling of the Bridge likely forced the Aspects to make the mountain their new focus of power and enabled humanity to come to it then. There is also the very important question of: why did the Worldmasons stop? Perhaps they did succeed in their original intention even without completing Runeterra, perhaps they were caught by other celestials or perhaps they were tricked by one or some. Or, perhaps, they discovered a realm that they had never expected to exist, a realm in where entities of unfathomable power and nature had been patiently waiting for an opportunity. In Runeterra, the Watchers found a way in. To add something more to the God-Willow, in specific its location in Omikayalan, the “Heart of the World”, I would urge the readers to look towards the lore of Orianna and Camille in particular: > [Despite their advancements in bio-mechanical clockwork, neither Corin nor Orianna had yet developed a mechanism elaborate enough to reproduce the intricacies of the human heart.](https://universe.leagueoflegends.com/en_GB/story/champion/orianna/) > [More than that, Hakim worried that in carving away Camille's heart, he might cut too deeply and deprive her of her humanity as well.](https://universe.leagueoflegends.com/en_US/story/champion/camille/) As well as the following quotes, respectively, from Sai Kahleek and Twilight of the Gods: > [Jaheje watched as Rek’Sai opened her maw and pulled a sticky ball of dark energy from Shahib’s ruined body. The ball rotated as tendrils dripped to the ground, sticking and stretching as Rek’Sai manipulated it into a pattern, which she attached between two of the burrows.](https://universe.leagueoflegends.com/en_PH/story/reksai-color-story/) > [When I close my eyes, I still hear the screams of those we lost. I relive how those... things killed them. Worse, how they wiped them from the world, and devoured their very souls.](https://universe.leagueoflegends.com/en_US/story/twilight-of-the-gods/) And, finally, the following comments by Jellbug: > [I do think that hearts have a special magic to them in Runeterra that brains don't possess.](https://www.reddit.com/r/leagueoflegends/comments/5hf8md/ama_were_the_rioters_behind_piltovers_stories_and/db033ec/?context=3) > [I think that hearts have a special magic to them in Runeterra that brains don't possess - one that is difficult to recreate mechanically.](https://www.reddit.com/r/leagueoflegends/comments/5hf8md/ama_were_the_rioters_behind_piltovers_stories_and/db03612/?context=3) You may have already figured out where I’m going with this. From Camille and Orianna as well as Jellbug’s comments we know that hearts are apparently not just blood pumps in Runeterra. Indeed, they have some strange mystical quality to them. I believe that this “quality” is that the soul resides in the heart and that’s what the Voidborn can “capture” and make use of. You can find some connections between Heart and Soul in our real world, where various cultures associate the Heart with the fundamental will of each person (for example, in expressions such as “heart’s desire” or “heart and soul”). Egyptian religion had the concept of jb, the metaphysical heart that is weighted against a feather to dictate their ultimate fate in the afterlife. Acupuncture sees the heart as the core of a person’s Shen (a spiritual essence). Aristotle believed the heart to be the true seat of the spirit and thought of a person. I believe it is in the heart that the connection with the spirit realm (the realm of emotions and faith and sensations) fundamentally lies, hence Hakim’s worry that Camille would lose a part of her humanity with the process. And Omikayalan would be the “Heart of the World” because it is the closest comparison mankind would have to its importance. Ionia, the First Lands, are where the Spirit/Soul of Runeterra resides (or from where it can be tapped into). Leaving one last mythological "hook" behind, I think most people associate the Aspects of Targon a lot with Greek mythology, so what if the Aspects waged war against the Worldbuilders in their own version of the Titanomachy? Where would these old gods be then? In some tellings of the Titanomachy, several Titans are imprisoned in Tartarus, so could the Worldsmiths be caged beneath Runeterra or, perhaps, in the realms of the afterlife (which I believe to be domains within the Spirit Realm)? ___ >#Of Conceptual Cages and Divine Freedom The previous section focused on what I believe Runeterra could be and what it was intended to be. That, does, however leave the lingering question of "why?" unanswered. Why the Worldsmiths want the Bridge in the first place? The attempted answers that follow, for the most part, rest on one critical assumption: **that the Worldsmiths, much like the Aspects of Targon, are Celestial Concepts.** Perhaps they saw themselves as rightful rulers of all things, perhaps they sought to become Universal Truths like Nagakabouros or perhaps they could not bear the thought that reality wasn't wholly dominated by the concepts they embodied. After all, if one was a concept, they could come to see all things as being imperfect and unworthy. If only all of Reality could be forcefully shaped to fit and echo their ideals... Or, a personal favorite, perhaps they sought freedom. Think of the following: **the more you are, the less you can become**. But what if you're something so mind-bogglingly immense like Change or War? Can you grow? Can you become something else? Do you wish to? Perhaps you hate what you are? Or perhaps you want all things to reflect the divine purity that is you? This existence could potentially be one of torment. Remember the earlier Void discussion where I said the Void needed to exist so the Universe could as well? **It's because a thing is as much itself as it isn't anything else**. A circle is a circle, you are you and I'm myself and "a rose is a rose is a rose". But consider a Celestial Concept. What they are is so immense, so definite and specific at the same time that it is so vast and versatile, their existence so pure that they cannot be anything else than what they are, and always have been, and could only ever become, in their timeless realm. They are trapped by what they are, shackled by the immensities they contain. If within you all possible variations of yourself are contained, do you become predictable? Are you free? Or to put forth a more general question: could a Creator ever not create? Or is it always in its nature to create? Unless, of course, they could merge with a human and be "reframed" as if their being was suddenly "seen" from a new point of view, one born of freedom and uncertainty, one born not from the ideality that spawned them but the limited insight of a mortal. I will provide two examples I believe show this "deterministic horror" the best: > [An age ago, when time itself was young, the inhabitants of the celestial realm regarded the fledgling races of Runeterra with growing concern.](https://universe.leagueoflegends.com/en_GB/story/champion/soraka/) > [These creatures deviated wildly, unpredictably, and dangerously from the great designs intended for them by those above. The guidance and fates that had been woven into the night sky often went unseen—or worse, were misinterpreted by their simple mortal minds, leading to chaos, uncertainty, and suffering.](https://universe.leagueoflegends.com/en_GB/story/champion/soraka/) The previous quote from Soraka's bio states that mortals deviated from the "Celestial Plan". I believe that, more than just celestials being unable to comprehend mortal life, they never expected for them to be able to grow so unpredictable. If they were indeed lacking "free will" as we may think of it then they couldn't predict what humanity would do reliably. A premise as terrifying as it was potentially exciting for some of them. **In the "impurity" of mortals may lie freedom** (as they mix and harness and embrace and reject concepts rather than being defined by them). The other example pertains to Kayle and Morgana, the two sisters are humans born from the earthly Aspect of Justice and were imbued by such celestial powers. Both of them also grew to become defined by their views on justice. **Even having a "mortal component", their connection to the Aspect of Justice dictated what they could become.** Imagine that but for a being that is wholly celestial, unmarred by material flaws or laws. And perhaps ironically, is this desire to be more (or less) than what you are, Nagakabouros itself manifesting? Is it "motion" that celestial concepts may grow to wish to be more (or less) than what they are? Would that be a better existence? Humans use celestials to Ascend, but do celestials see the same possibility in humanity? Do they think merging with a human elevates them? I've enunciated the idea that the Physical Plane is an echo of the Celestial Realm previously, as if the shadows cast by Celestial Light (like the Allegory of the Cave), but what of the Spirit Realm? Whereas the Celestial Realm "inspires" material existence, the Spirit Realm is itself inspired by and intertwined with the physical reality. Whereas the Celestial Realm is otherworldly, associated with celestial bodies and the heavens and all that lies beyond the planet, the Spirit Realm is worldly, inherently tied to the people and their feelings and the objects they use and the sensations and emotions they feel. Or using another quote: > [Yeah we discussed the difference between D&D devils and demons a long, long time ago as a useful analogy. \(Going waaaay back to when Tahm Kench was made.\) Our mythos is radically different from theirs though as they divide the world into the "Law vs Chaos" and we divide the world in to Emotional/Worldly vs Conceptual/Celestial. i.e. Tahm Kench is about addictive emotions. Zoe is about the abstract concept of change.](https://www.reddit.com/r/leagueoflegends/comments/8una0m/were_the_team_that_updated_aatrox_ask_us_anything/e1gq96r/?context=3) I believe this Emotional/Worldly vs Conceptual/Celestial scale is at the heart of the Spirit Realm and the Celestial Realm and its denizens. And they are opposites, could the Spirit Realm hold the freedom that Concepts dream of? Was it their goal all along? Or do Celestial Concepts define possibilities for thoughts and emotions in the Spirit Realm as they would for shapes and forms in the Physical Realm? And circling back to earlier sections, I talked a bit about how I didn't view the Universe and Nagakabouros as being truly sentient. After all, the Universe is all there is, could it be anything more than that? And Nagakabouros, as a Universal Truth, exists in all things and in all life, and can life as a whole have a will? Or is it too large an idea, too widespread a truth, that its will is diluted or even non-existent? To use another, slightly out of context quote: > [The more powerful a being is, the harder it is: to understand, to be worthy of its intention, or to communicate with. Probably naga is more powerful than the Volibear or Ornn \(because a god > a demi-god\) but which is easier to contact? which is more likely to come to your add?](https://boards.na.leagueoflegends.com/en/c/story-art/gGMAFgfs-why-is-nagakaborous-concerned-with-humans?comment=0005000000000000) Nagakabouros exists in all things and all things are, in a way, a part of it. So, to use a rather incorrect comparison, can it have a unified will at all or is it "pulled apart" by the sheer amount of beings that exist because of it and that it exists within/through? ___ >#Of World Runes and Celestial Empires This section will be a bit lighter before we move into slightly more material affairs and is mostly meant to tackle some lingering questions. What are the World Runes in the context of this theory? A venture to create an entire dimension requires powers that can shape the firmament of Creation. Should the Worldsmiths be Celestial Concepts, their hands are likely tied in the Physical Plane that is anathema to them (recall that they act and rely on vessels to channel and frame their power, otherwise they would likely have to forsake much of their celestial power and nature to operate in the material world, like Soraka). **The World Runes are the "words of creation". If the Universe was a text, they would be the letters.** They're the back-end code of Reality. They are the language that is known by all things, be they celestial or physical or spiritual. In Norse Myth, Odin sacrifices himself to himself, for there is no better offering to a god, no better symbol of the powers and truths they embody, than the deity itself. Odin hangs himself from Yggdrasil and pierces himself with a spear, refusing food and drink, for nine days and nine nights until the runes reveal themselves to him and provide him with the wisdom and power he sought to begin with. The concept of Runes is that they are more than just symbols, they contain power within themselves (hence "words of power") and seem to be a force older and distinct from that of the Aesir. The Celestials, much like Odin in the myth, sought the Runes for their own unknowable reasons, so one wonders what price did they pay to get them? And what about regular, non-World, Runes? **If the World Runes are the language of the Universe then the "generic" Runes are akin to a regional dialect**, representative of a specific realm or interactions between specific realms rather than the totality of Creation and the Universe. And what does that make Targon? Perhaps they are the Worldsmiths themselves. Perhaps Change convinced or tricked them into building Runeterra as a pretext to change itself and, indeed, them. Perhaps they merely picked up the pieces following the Worldsmiths' failure. Perhaps they simply saw some other use in Runeterra. Perhaps they are simply dealing with the fallout of Runeterra's creation and the Void's arrival into it. Before moving on to the next section, I'll leave only a slight, but mostly random, theory: that Poppy's (Orlon's) Hammer was a tool used by the Worldsmiths to bring Runeterra into being, shaping its continents and mountains. The World Runes, as though chisels, and Orlon’s Hammer would be the tools used by the Worldmasons to sculpt Runeterra. ___ >#Of Star Dragons and Dimensional Truths Let's talk about something a bit more engaging: Star Dragons. Referring back to the concept of Universal Truths, there is one possible logical question we can ask: can there be absolutes that are only applicable in a single dimension/plane of existence? The answer, I think, is yes and we may already have one in our roster in the form of Aurelion Sol. Consider time and space as we understand them, consider that the non-physical realms don't seem to be bound by such "trivial" concepts. Time and Space would be examples of Dimensional Truths, the specific laws and rules that define the inner workings of a realm. And Star Dragons, as Aurelion refers to them despite indications that they are not necessarily draconic in shape, are perhaps just these Dimensional Truths manifest. I've been referring to the Star Dragons/Dimensional Laws of the Material Plane as the **Pillars of Creation**, in honor of their apparent cosmic motif. Consider the fundamental principles of our universe: we have things like time and space, heat and radiation, electromagnetism and gravity. Now consider them as magical forces in a universe where everything is potentially alive and you get cosmic entities representing them and tasked, knowingly or unknowingly, with enforcing them (for they are them and that is their nature). And, much like the combined functioning of the Universal Truths define the Universe so do the combined Pillars of Creation define the Physical Plane. These Dimensional Laws are at best described as "energies" in the physical plane, patterns that echo in all of it, potentially hinted in things like: > [Energy never dies.](https://vignette.wikia.nocookie.net/leagueoflegends/images/4/4f/AurelionSol.respawn05.ogg/revision/latest?cb=20160309225614) As well as: > [If only they were aware of the impermanence of being... or the permanence of me.](https://vignette.wikia.nocookie.net/leagueoflegends/images/5/5f/AurelionSol.shutdown02.ogg/revision/latest?cb=20160313155001) Or: > [AOL SOL: Here's the thing:](https://boards.na.leagueoflegends.com/en/c/story-art/icewate2?comment=00000000000100120000) > [Aol Sol made stars. Check.](https://boards.na.leagueoflegends.com/en/c/story-art/icewate2?comment=00000000000100120000) > [Aol Sol made a bunch of stars. Check. Aol Sol is super old. Check. Aol Sol is the only dragon. Nope. Dragons are Gods. Meh. \(see below\)](https://boards.na.leagueoflegends.com/en/c/story-art/icewate2?comment=00000000000100120000) >[ Aol Sol does not reflect a universal reality or truth.](https://boards.na.leagueoflegends.com/en/c/story-art/icewate2?comment=00000000000100120000) > [Aol Sol does not exist or travel between planes. Aol Sol can be trapped, contained, and controlled. Aol Sol can die in some ways. \(Though does not age\)](https://boards.na.leagueoflegends.com/en/c/story-art/icewate2?comment=00000000000100120000) > [Ultimately he is "A True Dragon." An extremely powerful being. Is that a type of god? Meh... The definition of a god is pretty flexible \(based on different cultural norms\) So he could be depending on your point of view. He is super-powerful.](https://boards.na.leagueoflegends.com/en/c/story-art/icewate2?comment=00000000000100120000) Or this explanation of how other dragons pertain to him: > [They way that I've thought about it is that matter imitates the shape of greater energies, similar to how a logarithmic spiral is found in a nautilus shell and a galaxy.](https://boards.na.leagueoflegends.com/en/c/gameplay-balance/cfEdVAJd-welcome-to-the-aurelion-sol-qa?comment=00790000) Or: > [We toyed with the idea very early on that Aurelion Sol had "sisters" out in the cosmos, with their own unique talents. Aurelion's was stars whereas "gravity" or "dark matter" would be another's. This idea became what's known as an "artifact" during the development process, in which it means it fell away from being part of the champ's story. Regardless, there is only one star-forging dragon. There are other celestial entities, but whether or not they are dragons has yet to be seen. Most likely, though, not.](https://boards.na.leagueoflegends.com/en/c/gameplay-balance/cfEdVAJd-welcome-to-the-aurelion-sol-qa?comment=003e0000) A concept which was possibly revisited as indicated by Swain's Soul Fragment line to Aurelion Sol: > [What is this about siblings?](https://vignette.wikia.nocookie.net/leagueoflegends/images/3/38/Swain_131.ogg/revision/latest?cb=20180124090812) Remember also that, despite often speaking of his kind as Star Dragons, Aurelion does not consider "Dragon" an appropriate word to define his nature: > [They call me a comet. They call me a dragon. They have no words for my true form.](https://vignette.wikia.nocookie.net/leagueoflegends/images/f/f8/AurelionSol.start01.ogg/revision/latest?cb=20160309222503) I once saw a comment wondering if Aurelion Sol was the embodiment of matter. At the time, I didn't think much of it but I think that person may have been correct. Returning to Plato's philosophy, the Demiurge is the idea of a god or force that fashions material existence but is not necessarily itself the ultimate creator figure (in fact, it tends to be a way for the "true creator" to act through). And, depending on the interpretation, it fashions the material existence according to the eternal and immaterial Forms. If this sounds familiar, it's because it echoes much of what Aurelion Sol's story is about. Think about ASol's story: he was born with the universe or, at least, with the physical plane. He then sets out to create stars and fill the universe with, well, matter. Stars are important in physics since all but the lightest of elements are a product of stars. I will take one "creative liberty" and say that, in the context of League, stars may be the source of *all* matter. Or to once again call on Carl Sagan: “we are made of star stuff”. In that sense, stars themselves are akin to connections between the Celestial Realm, of abstractions and ideals, and the Physical Realm, of materiality and imperfection. **From the matter that stars may produce, the Concepts can echo through space and time.** They truly are the "furnaces of wonder", they are "adapters" between the abstract and the concrete, the translation between them. Sol was born with a creative urge, perhaps reflected in his remaining kin, of building and creating in the vast expanse of Time and Space (perhaps the “older” siblings). This would be the Celestial Firmament that Aurelion mentions briefly, like Sharjo once said, it is the original ordaining of creation as intended by the Pillars of Creation, the "natural order" of things. Consider also what the Celestial Realm "is" and how it is often described. It is a "higher" reality. Perhaps the "first" reality for it may be composed of the "first questions" that Nagakabouros "asked" and required to fulfill its role and nature and purpose. And how can a "higher" reality manifest in a pesky three dimensional existence? At least, for mankind, in the heavens. The literal "above". And if this is all correct, of course, then Celestials/Targon learning of Aurelion Sol becomes even more intuitive. He built the first stars that would be their way in and his connection to stars could even allow other Celestials to make their way in and influence events. Controlling him, denying or potentially controlling his star forging, would be an immense tool to possess, beyond just its destructive potential. And we know Aurelion leaves a part of himself in the stars he creates, which could explain the importance of the Star Gem Crown and how Celestials could even build it or know how to control Aurelion, from sources such as: > [The dragon known as Aurelion Sol leaves a tiny bit of himself in each and every star he creates.](https://boards.na.leagueoflegends.com/en/c/gameplay-balance/cfEdVAJd-welcome-to-the-aurelion-sol-qa?comment=003e0000) And: > [Each star is one of my hearts.](https://vignette.wikia.nocookie.net/leagueoflegends/images/1/13/AurelionSol.move22.ogg/revision/latest?cb=20160309222222) Important to note that the celestial entities that sometimes come to Runeterra via the portal atop Mount Targon are known by the people of Mount Targon as Wanderers, as shown in Nami's story: > [She’d described some sort of otherworldly humanoid who had risen from the sea that bordered their village. It sounded like a wanderer: one of the lost, confused celestial creatures who sometimes ventured from Targon’s summit. ](https://universe.leagueoflegends.com/en_US/story/nami-first-steps/) But it's important to note that the word "Planet" comes from an old greek word meaning "Wanderer" due to our planets (as well the sun and the moon) having no apparent fixed position in the heavens as opposed to the distant stars. This could mean that Wanderers are Celestials "channeling their essence" or somehow associating themselves with celestial bodies. Perhaps large celestial bodies are useful for the purposes of such metaphysically "immense" entities to channel their power, fitting belief systems like Astrolatry and its associating of deities with celestial bodies (such as various planets in our solar systems borrowing the name of Roman Gods or linking Babylonian Gods with Planets). And what if a being could somehow channel their essence via a celestial body meant to be the link between all dimensions, Runeterra itself? Perhaps that could give birth to a certain Cosmic Vagabond? ___ >#Of Star Metal and the Fabric of Creation But let's take a bit of a step back, although still with the concepts of "matter" and "stars" in mind. If the Celestial Realm is a world of ideas and ideals, is it made of anything? What makes up an idea? I believe there is a celestial equivalent of matter, the building block of abstracts, and I believe we have already seen it: it is the Star Metal used by Ornn to craft Hammer and build the Howling Abyss bridge just as it is the Star Gems in Aurelion Sol's crown. If Stars are truly the source of all matter, if they are the cause of all other matter, then they are as if the most "abstract" a "concrete" thing could be. But again, introducing a bit of magic into the usual "scientific" perception of stars, I believe that they don't create matter through traditional processes of stellar nucleosynthesis or not quite traditionally. I believe stars, as effective gateways and connections to the Celestial Realm and its world of ideas, and powered by the creative thoughts and conception of Aurelion Sol, create a specific type of matter from which all others derive. **A material that can become anything. The very fabric of ideas incarnate in the concrete world. The most "real" thing in the Physical Plane since it is possibility incarnate. The blood of stars, the building block of ideality, the ichor of celestials: Aether.** I believe we can see that material, or offshoots/products of it in things such as: - Ornn's Hammer - Howling Abyss Bridge - Pantheon's Starstone Spear - Rakkorian Gateways along Mount Targon - Aurelion Sol's Star-gem Crown - Kayle blessed metal (Sunsteel?) - Darkin weapons - Moonstone And this material, this piece of the Celestial Realm, this "idea", that contains the possibility of all that follows is akin to Schrodinger's Cat, it exists as every possible form it could ever be before it is forced to collapse into something in particular. Unlike Schrodinger's Cat however this "collapse" requires a truly powerful entity or will. This is why, in the *Lost Tales of Ornn*, it takes Ornn, the embodiment of the creativity and craftsmanship of an entire civilization, to shape it. No ordinary man could do it. And, ancient and knowledgeable as Ornn was and is, he had apparently never seen its like before and was so impressed he demanded all Star Metal as his payment. > [“The other builders cannot make a bridge with the type of stone we have,” the Third Sister replied. “They claim it fell from the sky, and they cannot forge it for all their efforts.” She then presented a chunk of star metal.](https://universe.leagueoflegends.com/en_US/story/tales-of-ornn/) > [If you had seen the star metal, you would think it wise that only Ornn could possibly ever shape this material, for it was almost as stubborn and unyielding as him. Ornn agreed, but he would do the work alone, and required the star metal itself as payment.](https://universe.leagueoflegends.com/en_US/story/tales-of-ornn/) And this material was of such significance that, in the stories, Lissandra manages to use it as a crossbar against the Watchers, in addition to the True Ice that would trap them. As an aside, the comment by one of the sisters that they did not need a bridge is, I think, likely one of the last indications in a by now rare legend of Lissandra's arrogance in bringing the Watchers to Runeterra and thinking she could contain them. If Aether really is reality incarnate, the sheer breadth of the Universe's capabilities manifest, then the purity of its existence, and the sheer potentiality that it represents and fundamentally is, is the direct opposite of the Void. It is the realest thing in all of existence. And from where did it come from? From the fallen Bridge as well as the heart of stars. This bridge extended across the world which is why the material can be found all throughout it (or at least, found in such diverse locations as Targon and Freljord). For example, note the similarity in the following quotes: > [**“They claim it fell from the sky,** and they cannot forge it for all their efforts.” She then presented a chunk of star metal.](https://universe.leagueoflegends.com/en_US/story/tales-of-ornn/) > [**This metallic stone fell from the mountain long ago,** and is now used to mark a delineation between the Rakkoran camp and the unknown terrors of the mountain.](https://universe.leagueoflegends.com/en_US/region/mount-targon/?mv=image-gallery) Note also how Taric, the Aspect of Protector, uses gems that the artists called “[crystallized starlight](https://youtu.be/ca9ffavXrhg?t=532)” so the Protector may have provided the means to build the crown. Taking a step further, Aether would be the "base form" of an idea, as if a piece of the Celestial Realm unaffiliated with any concept or idea. **But what if it was?** What if the weapons Kayle blessed, for example, were attuned to her own take on Justice? A flawed, limited, perspective of a Concept but still an idea, a point of view, a perspective. And her celestial upbringing would allow her to manifest that belief, her take on Justice, into an actual physical thing, converting ordinary steel into something more: Kayle-justice steel. > [Kayle fought in many battles, flying at the head of the growing militia and **imbuing the weapons of the worthy with her own sanctified fire…**](https://universe.leagueoflegends.com/en_US/story/champion/kayle/) I believe this metal and these Kayle-blessed weapons are what is known as Sunsteel in modern Demacia (fitting Kayle's form as a light wielding figure), the same type of steel that Garen's weapon is made of, as stated in *For Demacia*: > [“I’ve heard enough,” said Garen as he strode onto the platform, his long, sunsteel sword hissing from its scabbard. The blade glinted in the twilight, its edge unimaginably sharp. ](https://universe.leagueoflegends.com/en_SG/story/for-demacia/) Let's say then that this metal contains a fraction of Kayle's own power or may potentially act as a conduit for celestial energies to manifest. I think, if this was the case, the only people who could tap into those capabilities would be people who are attuned to the idea of Justice that Kayle herself is. Which is to say, I believe Garen is not a mage like many like to theorize (seeing as he has plenty of other threads in his story to make him question his beliefs) but that, instead, his code of honor and adherence to duty is perhaps exactly what someone needs to tap into the latent power of the weapon. Especially due to how Kayle's quote to him indicates that she condones his views and actions, for now at least: > [You seem worthy, Garen. Now prove it.](https://vignette.wikia.nocookie.net/leagueoflegends/images/e/ea/Kayle_Original_138.ogg/revision/latest?cb=20190223192628) And perhaps, who knows, maybe Poppy's Hammer is also a Celestial artifact and made from Aether, tied to Heroism. In a similar manner, I believe that the Darkin weapons (or, perhaps more aptly now, the Darkin themselves) are made up of a similar "star substance", only one attuned to themselves and their dead/comatose concept. To trap the Darkin, Targon provided the tools to mankind to collapse Concept and Ascended into a single physical vessel (the weapon). The Darkin weapons appear to be all but fully indestructible. The Darkin weapons are now the very fabric of ideality manifest, they are empowered by the ideal they hold inside, as if the flesh of the comatose/dead god protects it. And the darkin? They find themselves in a dark void. They are trapped inside a concept that is now dead or temporarily removed from existence, they perceive nothing, they are locked in the brain of their vegetative deity. **The Darkin substance would therefore be the idea, even if now a hollow one, of that once-concept.** They are the carcass of man and ideal, all that remains from the Celestial sacrificed to craft such a hellish prison, equivalent to a "wound" or a faint "memory" in the Cosmos. Even the Moonstone that the Marai use to ward off the Void in the depths, much like Lissandra figured she would use a potentially Celestial-related metal to ward off the Watchers, may be a substance echoing the power and ideal of the Aspect of the Moon. ___ >#Of TL;DR Indeed, a wise choice. This section will list the main points of the post in a hopefully more accessible manner: - The Universe is the combined functioning of Universal Truths - Nagakabouros is the tendency for life to emerge and may be a way for the Universe to know itself. Every life is a way to answer a "question". - The Void exists so the Universe exists as its opposite, the nothing and the all, a thing must know what it isn't to know what it is. - The Watchers may have been birthed by Anti-Universal Truths or are themselves Anti-Universal Truths or are the result of Nagakabouros posing a "question" to the Void ("what are you? are you alive?"). - Celestial Concepts are the "first questions" Nagakabouros asked, the basis required to ask more complex and specific questions. They are abstractions and ideals manifest. - The Material Realm exists in accordance with the mold(s) of the Celestial Realm, it is an emanation of that first and ideal existence. - The Bridge in Nunu's story is real, it was an interdimensional construct meant to connect all realms. Runeterra and Mount Targon were likely created to assist in this venture. The God-Willow, the "soul" of the planet and nexus of all life, was a focal connection between Runeterra and the Spirit Realm. - The Bridge collapsed for unknown reasons and the Star Metal that composed it fell from the skies to Runeterra. - Ley Lines such as the ones shown by Book are the roots of the God-Willow, or its remnants, in both realms. - The strange markings found in Mount Targon are blueprints for the Bridge or a map of all the realms or both. - The more you are, the less you can become. Celestial Concepts and Universal Truths are so vast that they may not be truly free. Did Change crave changing itself? - Runeterra's creation allowed the Void to enter the Universe. - Targon may be the original creators of Runeterra (the Worldsmiths) or merely following their footsteps or guarding the Universe from what has been unleashed. - World Runes are the language of Creation. If "let there be light" was spoken in any language, it was in this one. All-encompassing, universal words of power. - Regular Runes are as if dialects and offshoots of World Runes, connected to realms and planes of existence rather than the totality of Creation. - If Universal Truths exist, then Dimensional Truths of each realm, whose combined functioning defines that realm, may also exist. - Aurelion Sol and his kin may be Dimensional Truths of the Physical Plane, or "Pillars of Creation", embodiments of physical forces and realities. - Aurelion Sol embodies matter or stars themselves and thus his instinct was to fill the universe with matter. In this creative act, he unknowingly tapped into and allowed Celestial Concepts to resonate in the Physical Universe. - In stars, all matter is born. At first, in a "pure" form. The very stuff that makes up reality. This "Aether" can become all things and is perhaps most well-known as the Star Metal. - It is from the Aether that Ornn created the bridge of the Howling Abyss as well as Hammer. It is from the Aether that the star-gem crown used to enslave Aurelion was made. - The Ather is the single most "real" thing to exist, it is the opposite of the Void, possibility given shape. - Materials such as Kayle blessed metal (perhaps Sunsteel) or the Moonstone that Nami seeks are specific forms of Aether, already shaped and attuned to specific ideals and concepts. - The Darkin Weapons are also composed of a specific form of Aether, one tied to the dead or comatose Concepts that empowered the trapped Darkin as if a metaphysical wound manifest.
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