When it comes to the big bad of Runeterra, few can match the might of Aatrox, the god-killer. He is the Darkin with the largest presence of them all and for a good reason.
Soon, a new Darkin champion is coming to League of Legends, so what is the story of Aatrox, and how does it relate to Naafiri?
Aatrox League of Legends Lore
Aatrox is currently the Darkin champion with the most official lore to his name, whether it's derived from league of Legends or Legends of Runeterra. He is the leader of the Fallen, or as they are called in old Shuriman, the Darkin. But how did he get there?
Aatrox - Pre-Darkin
Aatrox was once a noble warrior of Shurima, wielding a great sword in battle, to guard and expand the Shuriman Empire, while it was at its peak. He was granted Ascendancy among the first, at the end of his natural life.
As is the case with all Darkin, the concepts tied to them are now non-existent, erased from existence entirely with their fall. We know, however, that his form was of a winged knight, noble and imposing.
As all Sunborn Ascended, he answered the call of Setaka and rode out to meet the Icathian rebellion and beat back the Void, losing his wings in battle, and earning horrendous mental scars.
Aatrox - Darkin Wars
After the fall of the Shuriman Empire, the Ascended, now aimless and leaderless, started fighting amongst once another, as well as enslaving the mortals, using blood magic, in search of ever-greater power.
Aatrox was the greatest of them all, a leader of many Darkin, and the slayer of even more. His main adversary was Xolaani. Her goal was to dominate the Darkin through blood magic, which the former knight found cowardly leading to great clashes between them.
He was the first Darkin to be sealed in his weapon after he was defeated by a coalition of mortal armies led by the first Pantheon, the divine Aspect of War.
- Speaking of weapons, LoL has got quite a few iconic ones worth collecting
Aatrox - Awakening
Aatrox first awoke after a desperate soldier took up his sword to defend himself. After seeing that his power was too great for a single host to survive, he went forth to the closest city, already engaged in a battle of a mortal war.
It was here he slew countless mortals and used their bodies to forge his own through hemomancy, as close to the look he had while Ascended, showing his remorse at how far he had fallen.
After, he searched for revenge, climbing Mount Targon, where he engaged the Aspect of War in battle, and struck such a mighty blow that did not only wound Atreus, the Aspect's host body, but killed the Aspect of War entirely.
Atreus' mortal will, however, reignited the Constellation of War once again, and as the new Pantheon, he wounded Aatrox, who fled to recuperate.
Aatrox - Recent events
The next time we see Aatrox he is in Freljord, where he kills Tryndamere's tribe, only leaving him alive. Not out of altruism, of course, but implanting him with the ability to revive himself, Tryndamere's known rage abilities in League, as Aatrox saw how much potential Tryndamere would have in the future as his host.
It was here he felt Xolaani's awakening in Ionia, calling the brethren to his side to fight his hated enemy, and the Darkin that saw him as their general heeded the call.
Seeing the cataclysmic battle that was to erupt, Mihira, along with her daughter Kayle, descended from Targon Prime, to save Runeterra. The result of the battle is unknown.
All that is known is that Aatrox was battling Kayle, while Mihira was dominated by Xolaani, and Ryze judged the situation dire enough to use the World Runes to neutralize the catastrophe.
Is Aatrox Connected to Naafiri?
Out of all League of Legends Darkin, Aatrox is the one with the most lore. There are two reasons for this. The first one is due to him being the first Darkin champion the game, while the second is due to his character design.
During the Darkin wars, while Xolaani tried to make all Darkin into her slaves, Aatrox considered them all former brothers and sisters, and categorized them into allies to lead or enemies to slay in glorious battle.
Varus' voice lines indicate that there some form of history between him and Naafiri, and it is our theory that they are actually brother and sister. And seeing that Aatrox and Varus are indifferent to each other, we can expect that Naafiri has no special connection to Aatrox, aside from their shared Ascendancy.
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