|The Twisted Treant|
|Release Date:||February 16, 2011|
|Health:||565 (+ 95)|
|Health Regen:||5 (+ 0.75)|
|Mana:||377.28 (+ 43)|
|Mana Regen:||7.2 (+ 0.6)|
|Attack Damage:||63.54 (+ 3.3)|
|Attack Speed:||0.694 (+ 15.3 (+2.125)%)|
|Armor:||39 (+ 4)|
|Magic Resist:||32.1 (+ 1.25)|
- 2nd bio
- 1st bio
- League Judgement
|Maokai is a rageful, towering treant who fights the unnatural horrors of the Shadow Isles. He was twisted into a force of vengeance after a magical cataclysm destroyed his home, surviving undeath only through the waters of life infused within his heartwood. Once a peaceful nature spirit, Maokai now furiously battles to banish the scourge of unlife from the Shadow Isles and restore his home to its former beauty.
Long before living memory, a chain of islands erupted from deep beneath the ocean tides as blank slates of rock and clay. With its creation, the nature spirit Maokai was born. He took the form of a treant, with his tall body covered in bark and long limbs resembling branches. Maokai felt the profound loneliness of the land and its potential for teeming growth. He wandered from island to island in search of signs of life, growing ever more forlorn in his solitude.
On a hilly isle covered in soft, rich soil, Maokai sensed a boundless energy radiating from deep beneath the ground. He plunged his great roots downward until they reached a spring of magical, life-giving water and drank deeply. From this potent liquid, he grew hundreds of saplings and planted them across the islands.
Soon the land was shawled with verdant forests, groves of towering virenpine, and tangled woods, all steeped in wondrous magic. Magnificent skytrees with expansive canopies and thickly winding roots covered the isles with lush green foliage. Nature spirits were drawn to the lavish vegetation, and animals reveled in the fertile greenery.
When humans eventually came to the islands, they too thrived in the land’s abundance and formed an enlightened society of scholars devoted to studying the world’s mysteries. Though Maokai was wary of their presence, he saw how they respected the sanctity of the land. Sensing the deep magic within the woods, the humans built their homes in areas not heavily forested, to avoid disturbing any nature spirits. Maokai occasionally revealed himself directly to those he trusted and blessed them with knowledge of the verdant isles, even its greatest gift – the underground spring that could heal mortal wounds.
Centuries passed, and Maokai lived in idyllic contentment until a fleet of soldiers from across the sea beached upon the shores of the isles. Maokai sensed something was terribly wrong. Their grief-maddened king bore the corpse of his queen and in hopes of reviving her, bathed her decayed flesh in the healing waters. Reanimated as a rotting corpse, the queen begged to return to death. The king sought to reverse what he had done, unwittingly casting a terrible curse upon the land.
From leagues away, Maokai felt the first ripples of the disaster that would soon devastate the isles. He sensed a horrific force gathering beneath the soil, and a bitter chill washed over him.
As the ruination spread, Maokai desperately plunged his roots deep into the ground and drank of the healing waters, saturating every fiber of his being with their magic. Before the cursed water reached him, Maokai withdrew his roots, severing all connection to the pool. He howled in rage as the sacred reservoir he had entrusted to men was fully corrupted – the spiraling coils churning underwater until nothing pure remained.
Moments later, the mists surrounding the islands blackened and spread over the land, trapping all living things in an unnatural state between life and death. Maokai watched in helpless agony as all he knew – plants, nature spirits, animals, and humans alike – twisted into wretched shades. His fury grew; the great beauty he had cultivated from tiny saplings fell to ruin in an instant at the careless hand of man.
The enervating mist coiled around Maokai, and he wept as the bright flowers adorning his shoulders crumbled and fell to dust. His body shuddered and contorted into a mass of gnarled roots and tangled branches as the mist leached life from him. But Maokai’s heartwood was saturated with the precious waters of life, saving him from the terrible fate of undeath.
As grotesque wraiths and horrific abominations flooded the land, Maokai was overcome by a host of lifeless men. He struck the spirits with his branchlike limbs in manic violence, realizing the force of his blows could shatter them to dust. Maokai shuddered with revulsion: he had never killed before. He flew at the breathless shapes in a frenzy, but hundreds more overwhelmed him, and eventually he was forced to retreat.
With his home all but decimated and his companions turned to deathless horrors, Maokai was tempted to try and escape the nightmare of the isles. But from deep within his twisted form, he felt the sacred waters giving him life. He had survived the Ruination by carrying the very heart of the islands within him, and he would not abandon his home now. As the Blessed Isles’ first nature spirit, he would remain and fight for the soul of the land.
Though surrounded by endless hosts of malicious foes and darkening mist, Maokai fights with furious vengeance to conquer the evil that plagues the isles. His only pleasure comes from dealing savage violence to the soulless wraiths who roam his land.
Some days, Maokai subdues the mist and its deathless spirits, breaking their hold on a grove of trees or a small thicket. Though new life has not bloomed in such cursed soil for an age, Maokai strives to carve havens, however temporary, free from regret and decay.
So long as Maokai continues to fight, hope remains, for steeped within his heartwood are the uncorrupted waters of life, the last remaining chance of restoring the isles. If the land returns to its joyous state, Maokai, too, will shed his twisted form. The nature spirit brought life to these isles long ago, and he refuses to rest until the isles bloom once more.
| "All around me are empty husks, soulless and unafraid... but I will bring them fear."
The chill wind whips through cracks in my bark with a hollow whistling sound. I shiver. My limbs have long forgotten the warmth of summer. The towering shapes around me fracture and fall in the gale. The lives within died long ago; now they are my silent companions. Their brittle trunks remain only as empty husks, rough gray sketches of the lush forest that once bloomed here.
A spirit weaves between the trees in front of me, pale and spectral against the night air. A knot tightens in my bark. Normally I would lash my roots through its heart, but today I hold still, trying not to alert the wraith to my presence. I am tired of resisting. That I exist at all is an act of defiance against the curse plaguing these lands.
Its moonlike eyes are vacant. There is nothing alive and vulnerable to fuel its cold bitterness on this isle of death, nothing to be hunted or consumed. The spirit slips between the trees, leaving me to my solitude.
I look across the forest of shadows and my branches waver. My gaze catches – a tiny flame of red growing amid the endless gray. Nestled in a mound of black dirt, the smallest flower bud pushes up from the ground, its petals so bright they burn my eyes.
It is a nightbloom. Long ago, they carpeted the floor of the Blessed Isles, blossoming on the evening of the summer solstice. By morning the flowers wilted, leaving only blackened petals, not to be seen again until the following year. But for one night, they illuminated the forest with blazing crimson, as if the very ground were aflame.
I look around and, for a fleeting moment, hope that if one flower exists there might be others. But there is only the somber gray of these dead isles.
My boughs creak as I take a shaky step forward. I approach the bloom, transfixed, crushing ashen leaves to dust underfoot. My colossal frame towers over its delicate shape. I lean down until my face is inches above the sweet-scented petals. The potent groundwater within my heartwood stirs, awakening in recognition. Life.
The flower’s neck is tilted as if curious. Deep vermillion veins spread across each petal, and its pale green stem is coated with hundreds of silvery, velvet-soft hairs. I could spend eternity basking in its every facet.
Every moment it grows and shifts in subtle ways; its stem pushing ever higher while its petals slowly unfurl. I am enchanted by each movement, however minute. I watch as the bloom spreads to reveal the filaments extending from within, its heady scent flooding my mind with color. For a moment I forget the cold, the hollow wind, and my own bitterness.
A pale light flickers and I flinch. A glowing shape approaches. My bark tingles. Nothing from these bloodless woods is an ally.
The cursed spirit is returning, attracted to the lure of movement. Life is not so still as death.
I flex my limbs in fury, no longer eluding violence. I welcome it.
For one night, a living thing will exist on these barren isles unmarred by corrupt forces.
The spirit glides toward us. She was once human, but is now translucent and bone-white. Her blank expression grows ravenous as she sees the blood-red blossom.
The specter races toward the flower and tries to inhale its fragile life. Before the bloom withers into a lifeless shade, I fling my limbs forward and lash them about the spirit’s legs. She screeches, recoiling as if burned, and I roar. The groundwater within me is anathema to such unnatural beings.
She twists and breaks free of my grasp. I hoist my roots and smash them to the ground. The impact splits the barren topsoil and sends shockwaves through the earth. The reverberations strike the wraith and she reels in agony. I laugh bitterly. As she stirs, I sling my limbs through her form and she dissolves.
Dusky mist rises from the ground, accompanied by a foul stench. As the wind moans, dozens of spirits materialize before me, their garish faces gaping silently at the scene before them. The nightbloom and I grow before the wall of shadows. I will not let them destroy this one pure thing amongst so much darkness.
I throw all my rage into my blows, driving them back with furious strength. I cannot destroy every spirit on the isles, but I can hold them off for a time. A wraith tries to dart past me. I howl as I lift my roots to pierce its heart, and it dissipates into mist.
My strength is draining with so many spirits nearby, but I refuse to concede.
The flower grows brightly beneath the moonlight, oblivious to this battle for its very existence. A single crimson petal falls from its perfect blossom like a drop of blood. The lifecycle of the bloom is near its end, bringing death, and with it, respite. But I do not crave it. I feel I could cleanse the entire island of its scourge in my fury.
The cursed mist has risen above the treeline and swirls in great clouds. An endless host of spirits pours from the fog, mouths agape with ghoulish hunger. I rise to my greatest height and slam my limbs into the ravenous spirits, shattering one after another into dust. Still, more come.
I howl as I stir the air into a crudely twisting spiral, and nourish the storm with my wrath until it expands in a tempestuous whirlwind. I revel in the chaos as the maelstrom surges in a frenzied circle around me and the flower. It blasts the spirits violently back beyond the trees. From within this nightmare, I have carved a sanctuary where life can grow.
I turn to the flower. We are silent together at the eye of the storm, still amidst the madness. A second fiery petal falls from the nightbloom, then another. My energy drains into the maelstrom, but I do not falter and the tempest rages on. With each passing moment, the blossom droops further until it faces the ground. It is perfect in its slow, natural decay. I cannot look away as it gradually loses its crown of flaming petals and wilts completely.
It is dead.
I lower my branches and the maelstrom quiets. Above me, the sky is slate gray - as bright as it ever gets in this grim place. The gloom of the mist encroaches once more and the spirits return. Their faces are blank, no longer sensing the illicit life of the nightbloom, no longer anticipating the joy of a fresh kill.
They retreat into the hollow woods. I whip my roots through a specter as it passes me, scattering its essence into the fading mist. The others edge farther away from me as they return to their gloom.
Though the land appears unchanged, these isles are not the same gray wasteland they were yesterday. The waters of life stir within me and the soil beneath my roots is fertile again.
Though its petals decay into dust, the luminous nightbloom burns fire-bright in my mind, igniting my fury. Just as these islands were born of burning rock, I will cleanse them of their pestilence in a flaming blaze.
I follow the trailing spirits as they slip between hollow trees.
They will pay for their wickedness.
|Maokai was once a peaceful nature spirit dwelling in an idyllic forest, but the arrogance of humans brought an end to that life. Now he is a gnarled shadow of his former self, twisted by dark magics that defied the natural order of life and death. Infused with power he never asked for, the mighty treant has become a vengeful force of nature, sundering his enemies with wild magic and iron-hard limbs as he searches Valoran for the means to restore the Shadow Isles to its former glory.
Before the Shadow Isles became a land of death, the islands teemed with natural life and beauty. This was never truer than in the isles' sacred forest: a paradise of thriving trees and countless species, both animal and spirit alike. When the king of the Shadow Isles ordered his sorcerers to crack open the barrier separating life and death, the forest served as a well of power the magi drank deeply from.
The sorcerers' ritual succeeded in corrupting the cycle of life and unleashing forces they could not hope to contain. Vitality seeped from every living thing in the Shadow Isles: great trees withered into gnarled husks, people warped into twisted shades, and forest spirits became hollow wisps. Maokai, the strongest spirit of the sacred forest, watched in horror as his world crumbled and died around him. He fought to mend the wound in the world, but could not halt the destruction wrought by human folly. As the ghastly energies sought to overwhelm the great spirit, he made one last desperate attempt to preserve the life of the land. Maokai inhabited the ancient oak at the heart of the forest's spiritual power. There he gathered the essence of the isles into the tree as the corruption of undeath clawed hungrily at anything within reach. Fortified by boundless magic, Maokai could not be consumed entirely, though the spirit was not left unscathed.
Maokai, now saturated with the essences of life and death, became fused with the ancient oak and contorted into an abomination. For ages, pain and grief were the only companions the spirit had. His boughs grew heavy as he wept at the desolation of everything he had known and loved, and his roots tore from the earth as he raged at the reckless sorcerers that had ruined his home. But all was not lost. Maokai had preserved the last vital spark remaining in the Shadow Isles, and with it, the hope of returning life to the land.
Like moths to a flame, the tormented shades of the Shadow Isles were drawn to the living essence within Maokai. The spirit guarded the seed of life from the relentless undead, but Maokai knew he could not fend them off forever. He needed to escape the land of death his home had become, so he cast himself into the sea and trusted in nature to guide him towards a living land. There he hoped to find the means to cast out the forces of undeath and restore life to the Shadow Isles.
| "To defy the natural order has consequences."
|The twisting magical energies unleashed by mages during the Rune Wars caused an incredible amount of devastation to the natural world. The League was established to control the use of this magic by confining it to the Fields of Justice. By limiting its use to there, they thought that they could prevent it from doing further harm to the environment. It seemed that they were successful until Maokai came into being. During a League match on the Twisted Treeline, Maokai, an ancient oak that stood above the upper jungle, spontaneously roared to life. Ripped from the natural balance by arcane forces, his sentience was forged in chaos. Before the Adjudicators of the League could step in and suppress him, he slew all six champions participating in the match. The scholars of the Arcanum Majoris took a keen interest in him, as they were eager to discover the secrets of his animation.
Maokai was furious, however. He abhorred the existence that was thrust upon him; he felt it was a corruption of nature. He learned to communicate with people in hopes of finding a way to be returned to his former, true state. Seizing the opportunity, the League offered a trade. They would research a way to revert him so long as he agreed to fight in the League of Legends. Maokai was indifferent to verdicts rendered by the League, but he was eager to punish summoners for their wanton use of magic. He agreed to the terms under one condition: once they learned how to turn him back, they would never animate another tree again. He wears a lantern on the Fields of Justice to set him apart from the other trees, and as a warning to the “animals” that would do him harm.
| "I will use this power until I am free of it."
Date: 14 February, 21 CLE
A frenzy erupts on the Twisted Treeline. Saplings scurry in every direction, detonating in multicolored explosions of arcane energy. League Champions and summoners alike rush onto the field to contain an uprooted tree that is not only moving, but also attacking everything in sight. The tree is visibly confused over his violent birth into awareness, and he involuntarily conjures an arcane storm of magic. The storm grows as it absorbs energy from the magical and physical attacks being directed at the verdant force, until suddenly the torrent explodes with enough power to kill everyone present.
A bright orange light falls over the scene as Kayle appears, shielding the group from death. As the dust clears, the tree is contained in an earthen dome by League representatives, and immediately whisked away to the Institute of War for further examination.
The room Maokai found himself in was cavernous, with a reflecting pool stretching across the entire expanse of the floor. A human adorned in flowing purple robes stood in the middle of the room, reflections of light from the pool dancing across her.
“An honor to make your acquaintance.” The woman bowed deeply, admiration glowing in her eyes as she beheld the treant. “I shall be administering your judgment for entry into the League.”
Maokai exploded into a rage. "Judgment? You humans woke me, and created this abomination of life, and now you stand and judge me?"
The summoner did not respond. She raised her arms and muttered an incantation under her breath. The floor swam beneath him, and suddenly the room dissolved away.
His roots tingled with familiarity as he found himself standing in a large expanse of trees. The forest around him stood tall, with strong trunks and leaves of every color - this was his home as it had existed eons ago. He ached for what was long passed.
Suddenly, the surrounding terrain exploded. The ground surrounding Maokai sunk and bubbled in grotesque ways. Vegetation as far as the eye could see began to melt with a sickening hissing sound. Humans were running panicked through the forest under a rain of bullets and chemicals. A boy fell to the ground, struck by a stray bullet. The summoner and Maokai were invisible to the chaos erupting around them, but somehow the boy looked straight at them, the life in his bright eyes quickly fading.
The ground below Maokai changed again, accelerating until it became a blur. Maokai stood, trembling, as the scenery assaulted all his new found senses. The acrid odor of trees melting in a pool of acid. A beautiful island the color of the sky splitting asunder into three. A beautiful, ancient city of white quartz twisting into itself in impossible ways, defying the laws of time and space.
Maokai closed his eyes, weary. The League must have assumed they were showing him something new, but it was nothing he hadn’t already known. He had stood for centuries, absorbing the pain and sorrow from the abuses wrought upon the land and the life in its soil.
The summoner spoke quietly, holding the scene that flashed before them in reverence. “We do not ask for any of this, yet it is brought upon us by those who would do evil. By joining the League, you can help us prevent these things from happening.”
Maokai’s disgust had not subsided. “You humans are the ones who are causing this. You ask me to feel for you when all I see is the hatred you bring onto yourselves. When you see your children being overrun with weapons, I see the fallen trees carved into your instruments of destruction. I see the land which has existed before you and which will continue to exist after you suffer for your petty squabbles.”
“Knowing all this, would you still choose to go back?" She asked.
The treant hesitated, surprising himself.
“Or will you continue to stand, impassively, believing that you can affect none of this?”
Her accusatory tone snapped him from his momentary hesitation. "Your wars are no concern of mine. You deign to awaken me to the pain you humans suffer, but before you gave me this curse I already knew your pain and suffering. When the earth absorbs the blood of your children, it cries. I have withstood this longer than you can even imagine. We of the earth do not feel, and thus I am not of the conviction to change how you humans live or die."
The summoner's eyes darkened. It was not the response the League wanted, but it was the only one they were going to get. “Then what will you do?”
“I will walk this path until you can turn me back, as promised.” He paused, and one could swear that something akin to a smile twisted the tree’s mouth. “Until then, I will punish you magic users with these hands you were kind enough to bestow upon me.”
Composing herself, the summoner expelled the illusion with a sweep of her hands. "Very well. That is your answer." She turned on her heel and walked away without another word.
Maokai watched her go, impassively. He noticed the young boy's blood from the illusion lingering in a puddle on the floor, though the body had been whisked away. The treant started to walk past it, but suddenly stopped and turned.
With slow, deliberate movements, he yanked off a chunk of his roots and laid them gingerly in the pool of blood. The roots began to absorb the blood, slowly at first, and then desperately, as if the blood could not be held back. The roots jumbled together into a mess of knots, and then a sapling emerged. It looked up at him with innocent eyes.
Another chance at life. Something inside the ancient tree moved, though what it was he had no idea.
He knew that someday he would return to stillness, but things would never be the same.
- August 21st, Maokai's Twisted Advance into Worlds from LoL Esports
- Maokai's Champion Page
- Universe of League of Legends Page
- Midseason 2017
- Champion Update: Maokai
- Dev Blog: Champion Updates
- Champion Sneak Peek: Maokai, the Twisted Treant
Journal of Justice