Runeterra (5e Campaign Setting)
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- 1 Setting
- 1.1 Cosmology
- 1.2 Entities
- 1.3 Geography
- 1.4 History
- 1.4.1 Blue Flame Islands
- 1.4.2 Demacia
- 1.4.3 Freljord
- 1.4.4 Guardian's Sea
- 1.4.5 Howling Marsh
- 1.4.6 Icathia
- 1.4.7 Ionia
- 1.4.8 Ixtal
- 1.4.9 Kalamanda
- 1.4.10 Kumungu
- 1.4.11 Lokfar
- 1.4.12 Marshes of Kaladoun
- 1.4.13 Mount Targon
- 1.4.14 Noxus
- 1.4.15 Piltover
- 1.4.16 Plague Jungles
- 1.4.17 Serpentine River
- 1.4.18 Shadow Isles
- 1.4.19 Shurima Desert
- 1.4.20 Bandle CIty
- 1.4.21 Zaun
- 1.5 For DMs
This campaign takes place in the world where League of Legends and Legends of Runeterra exists (to see info about the world in this campaign setting, click this link ).
The Cosmology of this campaign setting is split into a number of natural major planes of existence that are currently known to the kind that live there. There is the main world, Runeterra. Another plane of existence being The Void. And another being the Spirit Realm. Each of these are described below.
Runeterra is not exactly a plane of existence so much as it's a planet of the Prime Material plane, but the campaign takes place on this world. The world of Runeterra has three main continents, Valoran (which contains Demacia, Noxus, and the Freljord), Shriuma (which holds the namesake country of Shurima, as well as Ixtal and the Targonian mountains), and Ionia, an island continent of natural beauty and magic.
The Death Realm
The Celestial Realm
It is said that most inhabitants of the celestial realm see their home as a wondrous and vivid tapestry, woven with prismatic threads of purest starlight.
An age ago, when time itself was young, the inhabitants of the celestial realm regarded the fledgling races of Runeterra with growing concern.
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.
Screaming into existence with the birth of the universe, the Void is a manifestation of the unknowable nothingness that lies beyond. It is a force of insatiable hunger, waiting through the eons until its masters, the mysterious Watchers, mark the final time of undoing.
To be a mortal touched by this power is to suffer an agonizing glimpse of eternal unreality, enough to shatter even the strongest mind. Denizens of the Void realm itself are construct-creatures (such as Cho'Gath, Rek'sai and Kog'maw), often of only limited sentience, but tasked with a singular purpose—to usher in total oblivion across Runeterra.
But there are are some, like Kai'sa, who fight back against the void.
The Spirit Realm
In the spirit realm bizarre and magical places that defies logic, such as Bandle City, can be found. There time is meaningless and the natural laws of the material realm do not wholly apply. In DnD mechanics, this place is very similar to the Faewild, but with notable differences, mainly the presence of places like Bandle City and the Glade, and of the race known as the Yordles.
When you die in Ionia, your soul is sent to the Spirit Realm, where your fate can be tied to whichever spirit you follow. You could follow the
Runeterra is linked to an enchanted place in the spirit realm known as Bandle City. The pathways are rarely seen by mortals, for they only open under particular circumstances, or for those with the ability to read and interpret the language of the yordles.
The term Ascended refers to all humans who were magically altered by a variety of magic but mostly celestial magic. After their Ascension, the Ascended not only retained all of their original magical abilities but also gained more of them. They can channel celestial magic through their connection to celestial entities but do not "gain" celestial magic themselves.
Aspect Hosts are Targonian ascended and mostly a melding of a Human and Targon Prime celestial know as an Aspect, which primarily retain their human appearance. The God-Warriors, known also as the Sunborn, are Shuriman ascended magically altered by the Sun Disc of Shurima using the stolen knowledge of Aurelion Sol and the sun's power, their common form is that of anthropomorphised animals, however they are able to take any form they wish during ascension. Baccai are Shuriman ascended who failed to fully ascend, where as Darkin are Shuriman ascended who drastically altered their bodies with hemomancy. Currently most darkin who are trapped in weapons an approximation of their original darkin forms.
The term Celestial refers to all the beings that originate from the celestial realm beyond Runeterra, one of which is Targon.
Among the first beings that came to be in the universe, they are alien in comparison to the physical and spiritual realms. These beings come in various forms. From the Aspects as representations of concepts and ideals, to the numerous beings such as Celestial Dragons that interact with the world of Runeterra with motives far beyond mortal understanding.
A race of enigmatic beings wielding powers that are said to be godlike, Celestials are the universe's protectors and caretakers, seeding and influencing the tide of the world's past, present and future towards the greater good. Others interfere directly, as with the case of Soraka's crusade of healing and restoration, while others choose to contribute as a hidden hand, as is Bard's way to protect the multiverse from falling to destruction. Most of them are revered as powerful deities or guardians but they share the same mystery and bond with the heavenly firmaments. A few have been named and identified by the people of Runeterra as its patron: Soraka and Bard.
This section is still in the making.
Runeterra has three known continents, Valoran, Ionia, and Shurima. The rest of Runeterra is believed to be ocean, but has. Runeterra's land has Ten Nations as of now:
- Piltover & Zaun
- The Shadow Isles
The history of Runeterra is vast and often undocumented, leaving a large portion of it unknown.
Blue Flame Islands
The culture of Blue Flame Islands is deeply tied to Bilgewater, the island's nation. Bilgewater, over the years, has become an important stop for trade ships traveling near the Blue Flame Islands. While this increased the nation's wealth and influence on Valoran, the trade routes also brought piracy, and the island's inhabitants found themselves caught in a frenzy of pillaging. Things have relatively settled down since those days. Many inhabitants now strive to unite under Bilgewater in order to make themselves into a strong and independent society. Bilgewater, over the years, has become a vital stop for trade ships traveling near the Blue Flame Island. While this increased the nation's wealth and influence over Valoran, it has also made the nation a major refuge for piracy, and the island itself a tempting target for pirate raids.
Along the western coast of Valoran, the human nation of Demacia shines as the continent's paragon of virtue amongst all the other human settlements. The residents are always striving to sharpen their bodies and minds in the pursuit of absolute justice. The people of Demacia are driven by their common cause to disseminate benevolence and order for the betterment of all beings throughout Valoran. They view malice and selfishness as a disease which should be expunged from the psyche of humankind. Those who come to Demacia and choose to settle within its borders are expected to share the ideals and virtues of its citizenry. Those who seek personal gain at the expense of others quickly find themselves ostracized… or worse.
Freljord is an unforgiving place. A mountainous land covered in snow and ice, it is home to many vicious ice storms. Travel, especially in the winter, can be very dangerous. The elements often claim even those who have spent their entire lives there. Only one storm exceeds the ones found in Freljord: the Gelid Vortex - a swirling, icy maelstrom which circles the northern hemisphere of Runeterra. The Freljordians were once a divided people known as Iceborn (a race once thought to be extinct) with "The War of the Three Sisters" having left the denizens splintered for generations. The region was divided and dominated between three nomad tribes: The Tribe of the Frost Archer, The Tribe of the Ice Dervish and The Tribe of the Winter's Claw, now known as The Avarosan, The Frostguard, and The Winter's Claw respectively. Over the years the tribes would have occasional skirmishes with one another, though the reasons for why they continued fighting had been long forgotten by most.
The Guardian's Sea is the ocean west of the Valoran continent.
Howling Marsh is a small region between Ironspike Mountains and source of Serpentine River. It is known that it is a place filled with undead, making it an inhospitable and unsuitable environment for living but not too dangerous for traveling through if one does not care to stay at all long.
A rebellious vassal-state of ancient Shurima who used the Void as weapons, Icathia is now a barren and forbidding wasteland. And yet, amid the ruins, unspeakable horrors of the Void are beginning to stir once more…
Ionia is a naturally beautiful island nation full of ancient trees, tall mountains and tranquil rivers. The entire landscape is covered with large patches of forests teeming with life. The island nation of Ionia is a haven for beings who seek spiritual evolution and enlightenment. While populated primarily by humans, some yordles and beings of unique origin also make Ionia their home. There are many spiritual centers and schools of enlightenment in Ionia, each one working in harmony with one another to find the answers to life’s mystical questions. Why are we here? Who are we? What does life truly mean? Such pursuits leave little time for thoughts of imperialism; the Ionians are extremely peaceful by nature.
Surrounded by treacherous seas, Ionia is composed of a number of allied provinces scattered across a massive archipelago, known to many as the First Lands. Since Ionian culture has long been shaped by the pursuit of balance in all things, the border between the material and spirit realms tends to be more permeable here, especially in the wild forests and mountains.
Although these lands' enchantments can be fickle, its creatures dangerous and fae, for many centuries most Ionians led lives of plenty. The warrior monasteries, provincial militias—and even Ionia itself—had been enough to protect them.
But that ended twelve years ago, when Noxus attacked the First Lands. The empire's seemingly endless warhosts savaged Ionia, and were only defeated after many years, and at great cost. Many Ionian settlements were destroyed and a lot of people had lost their loved ones. Many Ionians were consumed by emotions of grief and anger.
These new-found emotions attracted a lot of lesser demons, the Azakana, to Ionia Crest icon Ionia. Eventually these demons became a major threat to the archipelago's inhabitants. The Kinkou Order have dedicated themselves to uphold the balance between the physical world and the spiritual world. To uphold this balance, The Kinkou Order has begun banishing these lesser demons. After Yone became fused with a demon, he began sealing Azakana away in order to learn more about his own demon.
Now, Ionia exists in an uneasy peace. Different reactions to the war have divided the region—some groups, such as the Shojin monks or the Kinkou, seek a return to isolationist pacifism, and pastoral traditions. Other more radical factions, such as the Navori Brotherhood and the Order of Shadow, demand a militarization of the land's magic, to create a single, unified nation that can take vengeance on Noxus.
The fate of Ionia hangs in a delicate balance that few are willing to overturn, but all can feel shifting uneasily beneath their feet.
Secluded deep in the wilderness of eastern Shurima, the sophisticated arcology-city of Ixaocan remains mostly free of outside influence. Having witnessed from afar the ruination of the Blessed Isles, and the softening of Buhru culture, the Ixtali view the other factions of Runeterra as little more than upstarts and pretenders, and use their powerful elemental magic to keep any intruders at bay.
Renowned for its mastery of elemental magic, Ixtal was one of the first independent nations to join the Shuriman empire. In truth, Ixtali culture is much older—part of the great westward diaspora that gave rise to civilizations including the Buhru, magnificent Helia, and the ascetics of Targon—and it is likely they played a significant role in the creation of the first Ascended.
But the mages of Ixtal survived the Void, and later the Darkin, by distancing themselves from their neighbors, drawing the wilderness around them like a shield. While much had already been lost, they were committed to the preservation of what little remained…
Now, secluded deep in the jungle for thousands of years, the sophisticated arcology-city of Ixaocan remains mostly free of outside influence. Having witnessed from afar the ruination of the Blessed Isles and the Rune Wars that followed, the Ixtali view all the other factions of Runeterra as upstarts and pretenders, and use their powerful magic to keep any intruders at bay.
Kalamanda is a city located in the most Northern part of Shurima. It was populated when a mass deposit of gold and gems and two nexuses were discovered near it. The deposit has led the Empire of Noxus to potentially invade the locationKalamanda was once a sleepy non-descript village located at the Northern part of Shurima, only moderately known as a decent place to fish for Valoran trout and not much else.
When the cataclysmic forces of the Rune Wars began to devastate the world, the Brackern feared the turmoil would soon mark the end of their species. They resolved to hide in hibernation until humans wiped themselves out, as it seemed certain they would. Only then would it be safe to emerge from the sands once more.
They slept in peaceful isolation as centuries passed before Skarner awoke from his shallow burrow in a panic. Deafening explosions shattered the ground, targeting the Brackern where they lay sleeping and stunning those closest to the surface. A band of robbers had discovered the dormant creatures and were prying crystals from crystalline flesh. Skarner, protected from the brunt of the attack by his crystal, erupted from the sand in a terrible frenzy of sharp Crystal Slash pincers and poisonous Impale stabs. Though their numbers all but overwhelmed him, he killed many of the thieves, and the rest fled in terror. Skarner was horrified to learn he was the only one awake, and that many of his people's crystals had already been stolen.
Far, far from the harsh deserts of the Great Sai, over savanna plains and mountain steppes, lie the great eastern jungles of Shurima. Swathed in mystery, they are home to wild, fantastical beasts, and dense forests blooming with life. But while there is overwhelming beauty to be found there, danger and death lurk nearby in equal measure.
Lokfar is an icy peninsula on the western coast of Freljord. An unforgiving barren tundra, Lokfar is a place where all creatures must vie bitterly for every resource. The coastal peninsula of Lokfar is among the most brutal places in the Freljord. There, rage is the only fire to warm frozen bones, blood is the only liquid that flows freely, and there is no worse fate than to grow old, frail, and forgotten. In the lands of Lokfar there exists a long tradition of soldiers unlike most others. Berserkers, as they call themselves, are warriors who channel fury from deep within their cores, unleashing pure and savage wrath upon their enemies.
Marshes of Kaladoun
The Marshes of Kaladoun are located south of the Serpentine River, between The Kingdom of Demacia and the Institute of War. While named after Kaladoun, it is separated from Kaladoun by the Kingdom of Demacia and falls within Institute territory.
To better understand Runeterra, one might start in the western highlands of Shurima, where legends of the world’s creation often begin…
Like any place of myth, the land of Targon is a beacon to dreamers, pilgrims, and seekers of truth and enlightenment, such as the hardy tribes of the Rakkor who call the mountains home. Mount Targon itself is the mightiest peak in Runeterra—a towering pinnacle of twisted, sun-baked rock that seems to reach ever upward toward the stars.
For millennia, mortals have been drawn to climb Mount Targon, even though they cannot always explain why, and the ascent is known to be all but impossible, save by the most determined pilgrims, chasing some soul-deep yearning to reach its summit. Those hardy few who survive the climb return haunted and empty, or changed beyond all recognition.
Targon is a sprawling, mountainous region, whose people are both resourceful and devout. For thousands of years, the migratory Rakkor tribes have chiseled markets, seasonal homes, and ceremonial chambers into the very mountains themselves. For the Rakkor who choose to dwell closest to Mount Targon, life is an unending pilgrimage—following the sun as the seasons change, they migrate between the solstices to remain in its heavenly light all year round.
The oldest paths through the mountains are marked by ancient gateways of glittering metal, the largest of which have come to mark the end of each phase of the Rakkor’s migration. They celebrate the moment they cross each threshold, before continuing under the sun's bright path. In the low-lying valleys, the Rakkor can easily hunt and forage, grow crops, and tend their herds. During spring and summer in particular, the local flora and fauna are known to thrive even at higher altitudes. For the shepherds leading their flocks to graze on the mountain slopes, it is sometimes easy to overlook the strange patterns that seem to flow outward through the rock from Mount Targon. To the ancient Targonians, these patterns were proof that the mountain itself was forged by divine intelligences. Some Rakkor now believe these otherworldly shapes were once part of a great map, depicting unknown realms beyond the heavens. Others say the markings warn of terrible war that will one day ravage the entire world, setting brother against brother. Despite such wild speculation, the true origin and purpose of these patterns remains a mystery to all. Among the tallest peaks, bitter winds and perilous snows overcome the seasons, creating an everlasting winter. This unnatural landscape is perilous to any stray wanderers, with plants and animals becoming rare sights indeed.
Noxus is a powerful empire with a fearsome reputation. To those beyond its borders, it is brutal, expansionist, and threatening, yet those who look past its warlike exterior see an unusually inclusive society, where the strengths and talents of its people are respected and cultivated.
The Noxii were once fierce barbarian tribes, until they stormed the ancient city that now lies at the heart of their domain. Under threat from all sides, they aggressively took the fight to their enemies, pushing their borders outward with each passing year. This struggle for survival has made modern Noxians a deeply proud people who value strength above all—though that strength can manifest in many different forms.
Anyone can rise to a position of power and respect within Noxus if they display the necessary aptitude, regardless of social standing, background, homeland, or wealth. Those who are able to wield magic are held in particularly high esteem, and are actively sought out in order that their special talents may be honed and best harnessed for the benefit of the empire.
But in spite of this meritocratic ideal, the old noble houses still wield considerable power… and some fear that the greatest threat to Noxus comes not from its enemies, but from within.
Piltover is a thriving, progressive city whose power and influence is on the rise. It is Valoran’s cultural center, where art, craftsmanship, trade and innovation walk hand in hand. Its power comes not through military might, but the engines of commerce and forward thinking. Situated on the cliffs above the district of Zaun and overlooking the ocean, fleets of ships pass through its titanic sea-gates, bringing goods from all over the world. The wealth this generates has given rise to an unprecedented boom in the city’s growth. Piltover has - and still is - reinventing itself as a city where fortunes can be made and dreams can be lived. Burgeoning merchant clans fund development in the most incredible endeavors: grand artistic follies, esoteric hextech research, and architectural monuments to their power. With ever more inventors delving into the emergent lore of hextech, Piltover has become a lodestone for the most skilled craftsmen the world over. For gameplay purposes, use Runeterra: Demacian (5e Race) statistics for the denizens of this city-state.
Ravaged by Rune Wars long past, the lands south of the Great Barrier are wrecked by chaotic magical storms, leaving the grasp of nature's rule tenuous at best. While abnormal flora or fauna are the norm rather than the exception in these ruined areas, none are more curious than the living organisms found in the Plague Jungles. There, uneven concentrations of magic and life would well up until they burst, resulting in evolution at an unprecedented rate.
The Serpentine River has no form of government, unless one would count a nomadic, gypsy-like folk that roam the river in their colorful barques and avoid combat at all costs. For gameplay purposes, use Runeterra: Demacian (5e Race) or Runeterra: Noxian (5e Race) statistics for the statistics of these folk.
Little is known about the mysterious Shadow Isles. An eternally thick, unnatural fog blankets the islands from the view of outsiders. It is thought that the islands are home to countless forms of undead, though no one seems eager to perform the exploration necessary to find out the truth.
The empire of Shurima was once a thriving civilization that spanned an entire continent. Forged in a bygone age by the mighty god-warriors of the Ascended Host, it united all the disparate peoples of the south, and enforced a lasting peace between them.
Few dared to rebel. Those that did, like the accursed nation of Icathia, were crushed without mercy.
However, after several thousand years of growth and prosperity, the failed Ascension of Shurima’s last emperor left the capital in ruins, swallowed by the sands forever, and tales of the empire’s former glory became little more than myth. Now, most of the nomadic inhabitants of Shurima’s deserts eke out a meager existence from the unforgiving land. Some have built small outposts to defend the few oases, while others delve into long lost catacombs in search of the untold riches that must surely lay buried there. There are also those who live as mercenaries, taking coin for their service before disappearing back into the lawless wastelands.
Still, a handful dare to dream of a return to the old ways. Indeed, more recently the tribes have been stirred by whispers from the heart of the desert—that their emperor Azir has returned, to lead them into a new, wondrous age.
Opinions differ as to where exactly the home of the yordles is to be found, though a handful of mortals claim to have traveled unseen pathways to a land of curious enchantment beyond the material realm. They tell of a place of unfettered magic, where the foolhardy can be led astray by myriad wonders, and end up lost in a dream...
In Bandle City, it is said that every sensation is heightened for non-yordles. Colors are brighter. Food and drink intoxicates the senses for years and, once tasted, will never be forgotten. The sunlight is eternally golden, the waters crystal clear, and every harvest brings a fruitful bounty. Perhaps some of these claims are true, or maybe none—for no two taletellers ever seem to agree on what they actually saw.
Only one thing is known for certain, and that is the timeless quality of Bandle City and its inhabitants. This might explain why those mortals who find their way back often appear to have aged tremendously, while many more never return at all.
Zaun is a large, undercity district, lying in the deep canyons and valleys threading Piltover. What light reaches below is filtered through fumes leaking from the tangles of corroded pipework and reflected from the stained glass of its industrial architecture. Zaun and Piltover were once united, but are now separate, yet symbiotic societies. Though it exists in perpetual smogged twilight, Zaun thrives, its people vibrant and its culture rich. Piltover’s wealth has allowed Zaun to develop in tandem; a dark mirror of the city above. Many of the goods coming to Piltover find their way into Zaun’s black markets, and hextech inventors who find the restrictions placed upon them in the city above too restrictive often find their dangerous researches welcomed in Zaun. Unfettered development of volatile technologies and reckless industry has rendered whole swathes of Zaun polluted and dangerous. Streams of toxic runoff stagnate in the city’s lower reaches, but even here people find a way to exist and prosper. For gameplay purposes, use Runeterra: Noxian (5e Race) statistics for this city-state's denizens.
Although all of the information here and in the links I provided are all you need to know to start a Runeterra campaign, I highly recommend you study up on some history of Runeterra via the League of Legends website. A link to League of Legends Champions and their lore is right here .
No races from the Player's Handbook are permitted in this campaign, instead, I have created homebrew races and provided links to them here.
The world of Runeterra is very different from other fantasy worlds. The only classes allowed from the Player's Handbook in this campaign are Cleric, Fighter, Paladin, Rogue, Sorcerer, Wizard, and Monk. The following links are provided to homebrew classes created for this campaign setting.
These are items, spells, and variant rules provided to add to this campaign setting.