|Title||The Enlightened One|
|Release Date||February 1st, 2011|
|534 (+ 95)|
|5.5 (+ 0.55)|
|374 (+ 50)|
|11.5 (+ 0.5)|
|53.544 (+ 3.3)|
|0.625 (+ 2.3%)|
|26 (+ 3.8)|
|30 (+ 0.5)|
Karma is a champion in League of Legends.
- For outdated and now non-canon lore entries, click here.
|No mortal exemplifies the spiritual traditions of Ionia more than Karma. She is the living embodiment of an ancient soul reincarnated countless times, carrying all her accumulated memories into each new life, and blessed with power that few can comprehend. She has done her best to guide her people in recent times of crisis, though she knows that peace and harmony may come only at a considerable cost—both to her, and to the land she holds most dear.
Karma is the living embodiment of an ancient Ionian soul, who serves as a spiritual beacon to each generation of her people. Her most recent incarnation came in the form of a 12-year-old girl named Darha. Raised in the northern highlands of Shon-Xan, she was headstrong and independent, always dreaming of a life beyond her provincial village.
But Darha began to suffer strange, fitful visions. The images were curious—they felt like memories, yet the girl was certain they had not happened to her. At first, the problem was easy enough to conceal, but the visions grew in intensity until Darha was convinced she was descending into madness.
Just when it seemed she would be confined to the healing huts forever, a group of monks visited her village. They had come from a place known as the Lasting Altar, where the divine leader Karma had passed away some months earlier. The monks were in search of the old man’s next incarnation, believing him to be among the villagers. They applied a series of tests to everyone they met, but eventually prepared to leave empty handed.
As they passed the healing huts, Darha threw herself out of her cot and ran to stop them. She wept, telling them of her visions, and that she had known the monks’ voices from the babble in her head.
They recognized the signs immediately. This was their Karma. The visions were past lives rushing to fill a new vessel.
In that moment, Darha’s life changed forever. She bid farewell to all she’d ever known, and journeyed to the Lasting Altar to learn from the monks. Over the years, they taught her to connect with her ancient soul, and to commune with thousands of previous incarnations, each espousing the wisdom of ages past. Karma had always advocated peace and harmony, teaching that any act of evil would bring about its own repercussions, and so required no response.
But Darha questioned these principles, even as she became Karma. Some of her followers were confused. How could she be invested with the Spirit of Ionia, the First Lands’ most sacred manifestation, and yet disagree with their most self-evident philosophies?
Indeed, these beliefs were truly tested when Noxus invaded Ionia. Many thousands were killed as the enemy warbands advanced inland, and Karma was forced to face the harsh realities of war. She could feel the immense destructive potential that swelled in her soul, and wondered what the point of this power could be, if it was not to be used.
The voices of the past urged her to remain at the Lasting Altar, to comfort her people and allow this conflict to pass. And yet, a far deeper truth compelled her to act...
Karma agonized over this, until she could stand it no longer. She confronted a Noxian commander on the deck of his own war frigate, and unleashed her divine fury. This was no single, measured attack—she obliterated the entire vessel and its crew in a heartbeat.
Though many Ionians rejoiced at this apparent victory, the monks believed she had made a huge mistake. She had upset the spiritual harmony of their homeland, disgracing all who had borne the name of Karma before her, and tarnished her own undying soul along with those of her followers. Even if it meant a life of solitary meditation and penance, they implored her to do no further injury.
Karma silenced them with a raised hand. Though she could still hear the voices in her head, it was the Spirit of Ionia in her heart that guided her… and the First Lands were stirring to defend themselves. She did not know if she had been chosen for her courage and strength of will, but Karma knew that sometimes harmony came only at a great cost. Their world was changing, and true wisdom lay not in resisting that fact, but accepting it.
Though the war with Noxus is now long over, there are still many in Ionia who have become only too glad to meet violence with violence, even against their own neighbors. Karma has pledged to guide as many of them as she can to a more enlightened path—to peace when possible, to action when necessary.
|“As Ionia changes, so must I.”
Watai twisted the jade ring on her finger anxiously as she stared up at the monastery carved into the mountainside. The Lasting Altar, home to Karma. She hadn’t expected to find herself back here after all this time. The trip had been painful in many ways, not least because her knees had been giving her trouble. Taking a deep breath, she walked up the path, toward a small shrine that marked the entrance to Karma’s private meditation room.
Her knee buckled as she reached the entrance, and Watai fell hard onto the ground. This damned place. She learned to hate the Lasting Altar when she had visited with Jakgri some sixty years ago, after the monks had summoned him. The memories brought her as much pain as her fall. She struggled to stand.
“Are you all right?”
Watai looked up to see a tall and beautiful woman offering her hand. Although she didn’t know the woman’s face, she recognized the mantle she wore with its twin dragons of Ionia encircling her head like a halo. Karma.
“I’m fine,” Watai said brusquely. “I have an appointment to see you.”
“Welcome, wayfarer.” The woman smiled beatifically, her dark eyes sparkling, as she took Watai’s hand in her own. “Here, let me try…” Karma flexed her free hand and a pulsing green light surrounded her. Watai’s skin prickled—the glow felt cold against her skin. The woman pulled Watai to her feet. “How’s that?”
Gingerly, Watai tested her leg. The knee held. Yet seeing this new Karma wield this power broke her heart. “I can stand,” she said, her voice tight.
The other woman looked at Watai in concern. “Are you sure? You don’t seem—”
“My leg is fine, Enlightened One,” Watai snapped, pulling her hand back. “But your magic can’t heal every pain.”
She had expected the other woman to look confused or upset, but instead Karma looked… calm.
“You’re right,” Karma said, nodding placidly as she ushered Watai into the simple meditation room. “I can’t heal grief. If you lost someone in the war, there’s nothing I can do except apologize. I’ve spent years apologizing across the country, for the loss and the pain that followed my decision to support… to pursue the war against Noxus. But…” A pause, a deep breath. “I am not sorry that I—that Ionia—fought back.”
Watai and Karma stared at each other for a long beat. “Is there anything else I can help you with?” Karma asked, not unkindly.
Watai took a few moments to compose herself. “My loss was before the war.” She held up her hand. “Do you know this ring?”
Karma’s gaze turned to the jade ring and she gasped. “Yes. I gave it to… No. He? He gave it to someone.” She closed her eyes, covering them with her hands.
Watai knew from her time with Jakgri that Karma was concentrating hard, trying to access memories that weren’t fully her own. “It’s okay. Take your time.”
Sixty years ago, Jakgri had asked Watai, his betrothed, to accompany him on a trip to the Lasting Altar. Watai, who had never traveled outside their village, was excited to see more of the world. Maybe this was how their life together could be from this point on. And so Watai and Jakgri set out together on the two-month journey to the monastery.
You will love it here, Jakgri had exclaimed. His smile was burned into her mind. I know it’s far from our village, but we’ll have the woodweaver grow plenty of bedrooms in our house for your family when they visit. We’ll live together in the town just outside the monastery. Isn’t it wonderful?
But the life they had dreamed of together was not to be. Watai quickly discovered that she couldn’t be so far from her home and family and still be happy. But Jakgri’s path led him here—there was no way he could go back. He had a duty to fulfill. So she journeyed back to their village alone, still wearing his ring, never expecting to return. Never expecting to see her Karma again.
Finally, Karma’s hands fell to her side as her eyes flew open. Her irises glowed the same green that Jakgri’s had when he was speaking with the countless voices in his mind. His past lives, now hers. Karma blinked and her eyes faded to normal.
“Watai?” There was incredulity in her voice, the fear that she was wrong.
But she wasn’t. “Oh, bless the spirits,” Watai said, wiping tears away before they had a chance to fall. “I wasn’t sure if Jakgri was… himself, in you.”
“He is and he isn’t. His memories are mine, but…” She trailed off, suddenly timid.
That was fine. That was enough. Watai looked directly into Karma’s eyes, hoping Jakgri could see her through them. Watai wanted to unburden her heart before she died full of regret. “I’m sorry, Jakgri. I wish I could have stayed here with you, or that you could have returned home with me. I hope you were able to find another to love. I don’t like to think of you alone.”
She removed her ring and placed it in Karma’s palm, closing the woman’s long fingers around it.
“No.” Many voices spoke as one, Karma’s eyes alight with the souls of the past once more. “Jakgri loved you to the end of his days. His only regret in becoming Karma was that he could not share his life here with you. But he was never alone. He had the spirit of Ionia with him always.” She held the ring out to Watai. “He desires for you to keep his ring, if you still want it.”
Under Karma’s watchful gaze, Watai slipped the ring back on her finger. It felt right, for she had never loved another either. “I love you, Jakgri,” she whispered, shaken but elated. “I love you.”
A dark-eyed Karma looked back at Watai. “I’m sorry. It never lasts long.”
Watai nodded, her throat tight. “Thank you. For this.”
“I should be thanking you, Watai.”
“He hasn’t spoken to me,” she murmured. “Not since the attack. He… was disappointed, then went silent. Years without Jakgri’s voice, without the wisdom of the Karma who came before me.” She took Watai’s hands in her own with a sudden intensity. “Thank you, for bringing him back to me.”
Karma—or Darha, as she introduced herself—asked Watai to stay a few days longer at the Lasting Altar. Perhaps together they could begin to heal, as one of them said goodbye to Jakgri and one welcomed him back.
As she left the meditation room, Watai looked at the glint of moonlight on her ring, admiring its fidelity. Like her love for Jakgri, and his for her, it had stayed true, unscratched and unsullied, for over sixty years. Even when she died, when her bones were picked clean by the sky, this ring would remain, a token of the love they shared.
Through Karma, their love would outlast lifetimes.
- Karma's Champion Page
- Universe of League of Legends Page
- Visual Upgrade: Karma, the Enlightened One
- Champion Sneak Peek: Karma, the Enlightened One
Journal of Justice