*The Dreaming Pool*
Featuring the Kiilash Vastayan Kalan, Sirik, her brother Okin, and Syndra, The Dark Sovereign.
I enjoyed this story for a few reasons. For one, it gave us a look into the minds of non-champions, which is something I always enjoy. We're given the chance to look at the League of Legends universe through the eyes of, while maybe not "commoners" exactly, people who aren't necessarily larger-than-life figures. Not Legends, just… people. And Kalan, Sirik, and Okin are certainly interesting people. Each of them has their own goals, ideals, and aspirations, all of which is well communicated throughout the story. Sirik just wants to do her job in protecting Ionia the way she thinks is best, Okin wants to drive the foreigners off his continent, and Kalan… well, at first we think he's trying to do the same thing as Sirik. But later we see another facet of his character, one that I hadn't expected.
We even see two of the non-named characters have emotions. The two big Noxian guards who loved each other in some way, enough so that one couldn't live without the other. It's always great to see when all characters are treated *as characters*, rather than as placeholder mannequins to be gunned down as fast as possible. It really lets us see that Runeterra is truly a *world*, not just the setting of a video game.
Another reason *The Dreaming Pool* is good is that it manages to properly instill a sense of awe in me. We see these Ionian assassins cutting down the majority of these trained Noxian guards with brutal efficiency, but they're eventually defeated by Kalan, a warrior of the same race as Rengar. And even then, Syndra is able to defeat everyone she sees with a wave of her hand right before wrenching an entire fortress out of the earth and throwing it into the sky. We're shown a champion at work, someone who can really be called *Legend.*
Expanding on how every character is their own person, we also get to see how many different people view the world and how they're all just trying to do what they think is right.
Sirik was a guardian of Syndra and believes her to be a threat to all of Ionia. All she wants to do is prevent Noxus from releasing her, and she thinks the only way to do that is by killing her, even though she knows that the Spirit of Ionia is keeping her alive for a reason.
Okin wants to drive the Noxians out of Ionia and thinks that the way to do it is by releasing a powerful fellow Ionian who he thinks can help them.
Kalan agrees with Sirik, believing Syndra to be an uncontrollable and powerful person who could spell doom for Ionia. He's just trying to keep her imprisoned. We also see his view that Ionia isn't a people, simply a place home to many people who are divided and un-unified. But more than anything, as is revealed at the end of the story, he just wants what's best for his children, even if he can't be with them.
Finally, we see Syndra, a massively powerful mage driven by her negative emotions. She claims to hate Ionians, yet she lets Sirik live. Was she driven to kill Okin only by the burst of emotion she felt when woken up? And we see her execute her revenge on Kalan, the person she believes is her jailor. But after everything, she doesn't kill anyone else. All we see her do is lift a fortress into the air and leave. In contrast to the other characters in the story, we *don't* know her goals, we *don't* know why she's doing what she's doing. But I for one, look forward to finding out.