Freljord is a cold and harsh region in northern Valoran, a land shaped by the demigods themselves. The Freljordians live in tribes that are led by warmothers, a role either inherited or won in combat. The strongest warriors of the region are the Iceborn, who are nearly immune to the cold around them while also able to wield the magical True Ice which would freeze everyone else to death by a mere touch. While some of the southern tribes have built settlements, the more northern tribes still follow the “old ways”, living a nomadic life and fighting for survival by raiding other tribes.
Statue of Avarosa overlooking the sacred site of Rakelstake.
Thousands of years ago, Freljord was ruled by the legendary three sisters: Avarosa, Serylda, and Lissandra. Each of them had paid a price for their search of power: Avarosa was deafened by the Void, Serylda lost her voice to the first Twilight, and Lissandra her eyes to Volibear. Unbeknownst to the other two, Lissandra ended up making a pact with the creatures of the Void. Eventually, the War of the Three Sisters followed, during which the dark beings known as the Watchers pushed themselves to Runeterra. Finally understanding the destruction her badly chosen allies were to cause to the entire Runeterra, Lissandra summoned all ancient magic around her and managed to freeze the void creatures within True Ice, sacrificing her sisters and their allies in the process. However, the Watchers were merely slumbering in their icy prisons, and Lissandra together with her Frostguard have kept watch ever since.
The frozen caverns of Lissandra’s fortress, The Howling Abyss.
While Lissandra is still alive herself, the tribes descending from the other two Sisters still exist as well. Ashe, the young and idealistic leader of the Avarosans, plans to stop the feuding between tribes and unite all Freljordians under one banner. Winter’s Claw, Serylda’s heirs, are led by Sejuani and are known for their ruthless raids against other tribes. Numerous other tribes also exist, most noteworthy being the Ursine in the far north. They are the fanatic followers of Volibear, some of whom have lost themselves to the primal force and becoming nearly mindless savages. Additionally, the region is also home to several ice troll tribes, most notable of which is led by Trundle.
Short story "The Legend of the Frozen Watchers".
Ashe – the Frost Archer
“I will unite the Freljord.”
Ashe is the idealistic warmother of the biggest tribe in Freljord, the Avarosans. As the only child of the famous Avarosan warmother Grena to survive early childhood, Ashe was always destined for leadership despite it not being something she desired. However, her mother’s relentless quest for the Throne of Avarosa eventually led to Grena’s death and near extinction of the entire tribe. Ashe managed to reach the presumed grave of Avarosa, obtaining her True Ice bow while avenging her mother’s death. Traveling alone in the wilderness, she came across Sejuani, her childhood friend, but the pair’s different views quickly broke the friendship. Managing to save a hearthbound tribe from Sejuani’s intended slaughter, Ashe accepted them as full members of her reborn tribe.
As she continued to merge more tribes into the new Avarosans, her reputation grew. Using the rumours of she being the reincarnation of Avarosa herself, Ashe forged many alliances of the land-rich southern tribes. She quickly found herself in a political dilemma, as she was expected to wed, and a husband from an allied tribe would anger all the others. The answer came in the form of the nearly tribeless vagabond Tryndamere, and while he was initially reluctant to accept the political marriage, the feelings of the pair have slowly warmed up. Leading the largest coalition of Freljordian tribes in generations, Ashe remains determined to unite the entire nation, despite the external and internal difficulties ahead.
Tryndamere – the Barbarian King
“I’ll never yield!”
Tryndamere is a formidable warrior fueled by an undying rage. While his clan was legendary for their stamina and dueling skills, their well-forged blades were no use when the darkin Aatrox came across the clan. While some knelt before the ancient god-warrior-driven-mad, believing he was their boar-god that came to visit them, Aatrox ended up killing most of the tribe. While Tryndamere’s reckless challenge nearly got him killed as well, he was revived by rage, unlike anything he had ever experienced. However, he had to put his vengeful thoughts aside as his clan needed his help.
With threats looming in all directions, Tryndamere decided to travel west where some tribes were said to gather before a reincarnation of Avarosa. He was determined to show his people’s worth, and quickly bested anyone brave enough to face him in a duel. His undying fury was unsettling to many, and his quick healing after battles, which was merely amplified by his rage, caused rumours of practicing unnatural magics.
The Avarosan warmother Ashe did not get worried though, and she pledged to take his tribe as Avarosans if Tryndamere would become her first and only bloodsworn. Despite the political nature of the marriage, Tryndamere has found his rage tempered by the growing affection between the two, and he is even starting to believe she could indeed be Avarosa reincarnated.
Braum – the Heart of the Freljord
“How can Braum help?”
Braum is a muscular Iceborn hero, a cheerful protector of those in need. Braum gained his willingness to help others from his mother, a herder whom he saw aiding even their rival tribes when they were in need. As he grew up, Braum quickly became a local hero before setting out on his journeys to travel across Freljord. Over the years, the tales of his deeds grew increasingly far-fetched, and Braum has just laughingly embraced them. One such tale speaks of how Braum’s shield used to be an enchanted door to a mountain vault, rumoured to be forged for the troll king Grubgrack by the demigod Ornn himself. Braum heard noise within the vault, and as he was unable to break the door, he punched through the mountain’s rock instead. Having saved the troll boy inside, he ripped the door off its hinges to protect the onlooking villagers from the crumbling mountain and has carried it as his shield ever since.
Even though Braum counts no one as his enemies and has no allegiance to any tribe, he has been informally adopted into Avarosan ranks. He sees Ashe as someone who could bring the peace he dreams of among the feuding tribes, which would allow him to retire and become a humble Poro Herder.
As Riot’s upcoming game "The Ruined King" is supposed to be lore-driven, Braum seems to somehow find his way to Bilgewater soon.
Short story "The Lost Tales of Ornn", the fourth part (likely) telling the story of his shield.
Braum's LoL Champion teaser:
Tales of Runeterra:
Anivia – the Cryophoenix
“The spirit of winter awakens.”
The benevolent phoenix demigod Anivia represents the eternal cycle of rebirth. A fearsome protector of her homeland, she is revered as a symbol of hope and a harbinger of change among the Freljordian tribes.
Ancient tales tell how Anivia’s birth by shattering her egg of ice brought snow into the world, and the first beats of her wings created Freljord’s harsh winds. She is also believed to have created True Ice, the magical substance that only few can wield in battle. Despite being struck down a handful of times throughout history, she has always returned, with each rebirth coinciding with a dawn of a new era.
Rumours say that Anivia has recently risen again from her icy slumber and appeared before the Avarosan warmother Ashe. While regarded as a wondrous blessing, it is also an indication that a great change is waiting for Freljord on the horizon.
Sejuani – the Winter's Wrath
“Only the strong survive!”
Sejuani is the brutal warmother of the Winter’s Claw tribe, wielding a flail of True Ice as her weapon. When Sejuani was just a child, her mother Kalkia abandoned her political marriage to pursue a long-lost love, bringing shame and chaos upon the tribe. Sejuani was raised by her grandmother Hejian, who had arduous expectations from her but not a lot of time or love to share. During Sejuani’s summer visits to the sister tribe the Avarosans she befriended Ashe and grew to idolize her mother Grena until her grandmother cut all ties with the sister tribe.
After a series of ill-fated conflicts, the word of Winter’s Claw’s decline reached Kalkia, who returned to her old tribe and reclaimed the title of warmother. The lack of resources forced the tribe to rely on the Frostguard for protection, much to Sejuani’s anger. She decided to attempt taking control of the tribe and figured that a successful raid against a Noxian warship could rally the people behind her. During this raid she freed a young drüvask boar, that would grow up to be her loyal steed Bristle. Despite it being unthinkable by ancient customs, Sejuani would go through her plan and challenge her mother for leadership. However, Kalkia died in a struggle with the Frost Priests outraged by the situation before Sejuani could reach her.
With the spirit walker Udyr mentoring the young warmother, Sejuani’s tribe has grown larger and stronger as well as gaining a fearsome reputation for their ruthlessness. Sejuani sees herself as the only one worthy to rule the Freljord and is seeking to destroy anyone standing in her way, including the coalition of tribes led by her former friend Ashe.
Trundle – the Troll King
“One troll to rule ‘em all!”
Trundle is a troll more cunning than most of his kind. This has not always worked in his advantage, as the young troll got himself in trouble by speaking against his chieftain’s raiding plans that he found unwise. Beaten and thrown out, Trundle wandered alone in the tundra, avoiding the threats of other troll tribes and yetis. He spent his nights thinking about the legends of Grubgrack and other ancient troll kings and their mighty weapons gifted by the old gods as symbols for their right to rule.
His travels eventually brought him to Frostguard Citadel, where he met the Ice Witch herself. Noticing how Trundle was able to walk on True Ice, Lissandra told the troll that he was an Iceborn and should stay with her. Declining the offer, he told the Ice Witch how he had been cast out and that he was looking for a mighty weapon with which he could become the king of trolls. Lissandra then gave him the True Ice club Boneshiver, and an unexpected alliance was forged.
Back at his tribe, his chieftain only laughed at him before two hits from Boneshiver shattered the old troll into icy shards. Awed by his newfound power and tales of meeting the Ice Witch, the tribe accepted him as their new king. Trundle’s legend has grown ever since, and more trolls have joined the king who is going to lead the trollkind into a great future.
Lissandra – the Ice Witch
“I will bury the world in ice.”
Lissandra is one of the legendary Three Sisters of Freljord, born thousands of years ago. She lost her eyes when trying to stand against the wild magic of the mortal world and was blinded by the demigod Volibear. As she was no longer able to see, she chose to walk in dreams instead. Among these visions, Lissandra came into contact with the darkness below, and struck a deal with the god-like Watchers – they would grant them near-immortality in exchange for preparing the world for the Void’s coming.
Her sisters were not pleased about Lissandra’s choices, and their growing disagreements eventually led to the War of the Three Sisters. It was at the height of their confrontation at The Howling Abyss when the Void erupted into the world, and Lissandra realized the truth of her allies’ nature. In order to prevent Runeterra from being consumed by these abominations, she sacrificed her sisters and their allies by summoning all the ancient magic around her and entombing the Watchers beneath a never-melting glacier of True Ice. Lissandra soon learned that the creatures were merely slumbering, and they were able to wander through her dreams as easily as she had theirs. As True Ice was all that held the Watchers back, Lissandra formed a plan to gather all Iceborn to join her cause.
Lissandra and her followers, the Frostguard, have tried to make sure that no records of what truly happened that fateful day would exist. Even though she has forbidden talking about the events on the penalty of death, the rumours and legends of the Three Sisters still live. It was prophesied that Avarosa and Serylda would one day return to unite the tribes, and during the history, Lissandra has had many of their so-called reincarnations quietly dispatched. From time to time, she retreated to the shadows to renew herself with the powers gifted to her. She keeps using the dreams of people she has entombed in ice to soothe the Watchers and keep them slumbering.