Noxus vs Ionia, some stuff to take into account for round two

Hi everyone! I’m Falrein (better known as Caithresh), and today I wanna talk about something that a lot of people want to see: a round two of Noxus vs Ionia. This thread is mainly about some new stuff that we have to take into account for a second round, as well as some theories (some are mines, and some were elaborated as a group on the Lore of League Discord). So, without further ado, let’s get into it. Quick disclaimer: I think it’s already been said, but Twitter quotes aren’t ultimate truths. Most of them probably are true but what is not written and/or published yet can still change. And some of these quotes are just Rioters’ opinions! I'll just use some because I think they're worth mentioning regardless. ##**_~~Will there be a round two?~~_** Yes(ish). The question is, will it be another all-out war? We know that the [Awaken cinematic]( https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zF5Ddo9JdpY) is canon. But even before, it was teased. In [The Dreaming Pool]( https://universe.leagueoflegends.com/en_GB/story/the-dreaming-pool/) for example, our Vastaya traitor Kalan states that the war is far from over, which hinted back then that Noxus would come back (and even before, in Swain’s AMA (I think? Or was it Irelia's?), it was said that Noxus still had plans for Ionia). According to the lovely Philip Vargas (Riot KneecapPhilly), the scene in Awaken is a [second, smaller incursion]( https://twitter.com/phillip_vargas/status/1087543811243356160). This raises the following question: Why a small incursion? Some of us on the Lore of League Discord have theorized that this “small incursion” is in fact a diversion. If a full war did not succeed the first time, there’s no way a small incursion can do the trick, unless Swain wanted the Ionian forces to be there (but why?). Which leads to my second point… ##**_~~Swain, The Noxian Grand General~~_** After the first, failed invasion, Noxus gained a new leader: Swain. He tricked a demon and gained its powers (as far as we know). Swain is probably one of the smartest persons in Runeterra, and undoubtedly one of the most brilliant tacticians of Noxus. He’s a great asset for Noxus. He most probably organized the army and reinforced it too. Now that he is here, he is one of Noxus’s greatest advantages in the war(s) to come. I am mentioning Swain because even though he was there for the first invasion… His role in the second one will be much, much more important. Now, another crazy theory… What if Swain sent this small incursion in anticipation of something else… Like, let’s say… An evil, undead warlord coming for his Empire…? Ionia is a land full of magic and spirituality, and we know that magic can hurt the undead, so it’s not unthinkable that there might be something there that could help him fight against the Black Mist… Something, or _someone._ ##**_~~Syndra, The Dark Sovereign~~_** Syndra was awaken sometime after the invasion, full of anger and resentment towards Ionia and its people. She even said that she “may owe the Noxians a thank”. Now, why do I think Syndra will play a part in Noxus vs Ionia round two? First of all, because at the end of The Dreaming Pool, the seer seems to indicate she’ll play a role in Kalan’s children’s salvation (more information [here]( https://boards.na.leagueoflegends.com/en/c/story-art/24oG57zF-about-the-dreaming-pool)), which seems to point into the direction that she may join Ionia… Maybe? Another reason why I think she’ll play a part in it is because the amazing Scathelocke [kindly replied to one of my questions on Twitter]( https://twitter.com/LaurieGoulding/status/1089293444172763136). I’m taking this with a grain of salt, but it hints towards the fact that she’ll do something during this Ionia vs Noxus second round. Whoever she sides with (or will she even side with someone…?) will gain an incredible advantage. Her ability to saturate Spirit Magic might be what Swain’s looking for against the Black Mist… Who knows? ##**_~~Noxus, a stronger nation…~~_** Noxus is likely to be better organized now that Swain is here. Whether in term of army or in term of tactics, I think Noxus has evolved. If they decide to go to war against Ionia, they’ll be prepared, and they’ll have plans. They also still have some Ionian territories (including Fae’lor and some south-eastern parts of Ionia too), which may make it easier for them to attack. ##**_~~… That needs some minor fixing~~_** However, Noxus also faces other threats. Shuriman rebels to the south, Freljordian raiders to the north… And on the inside too. Not all nobles agree with Swain’s politics, and this might make it harder for Swain to do as he pleases. There’s also this weird dynamic between Swain and LeBlanc, who might get in his way. ##**_~~Ionia is now ready to fight back…~~_** On one hand, Ionia now has people prepared to fight (the Navori Brotherhood, Zed’s Order of Shadows). And now that most Ionians have experienced war and death, they probably wouldn’t take as much time as they did back then to fight back. They’ll counter-attack if they have too. The Awaken cinematic also shows Kennen and Yasuo fighting alongside Ionians… Could this mean that mentalities have changed? Is the Kinkou ready to fight back? Or did Kennen desert with Akali? In any case, our champions (or at least most of them) seem ready to fight, and that gives them a great advantage. ##**_~~… But still needs to work on some details~~_** On the other hand, Ionia is divided. There are those who want to militarize Ionia (Zed), those who don’t want to fight (Shen), and those who are ready to fight when necessary only (Karma). If they can’t get along, they might get in each other’s ways, and fighting against a united army as disparate groups is definitely not a good thing for Ionia. There’s also the question of the Vastayas, what will they do when Noxus comes back? They have an uneasy past with the humans, but can they truly stand idle and do nothing? ##**_~~In the end~~_** I didn’t include as much stuff as I thought I would, mainly because I think it would have been way too long (I could have mentioned Yasuo and Kennen in separate paragraphs for example, but we don’t know much about their conditions here, etc). So, I wrote down what I think are the two most important elements that could turn the tide (Swain’s intellect and Syndra’s immense power), as well as some other stuff about Ionia and Noxus. Tell me what you think of it, if I missed something, and if you wanna add anything! I'll leave you with a poll, tell me which nation you would like to see victorious if a second invasion happens!
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