|Title||The Wuju Bladesman|
|Release Date||February 21, 2009|
|598.56 (+ 92)|
|7.5 (+ 0.65)|
|250.56 (+ 42)|
|7.256 (+ 0.45)|
|66 (+ 3)|
|0.679 (+ 2%)|
|33 (+ 3)|
|32.1 (+ 1.25)|
Master Yi is a champion in League of Legends.
- For outdated and now non-canon lore entries, click here.
|Master Yi has tempered his body and sharpened his mind, so that thought and action have become almost as one. Though he chooses to enter into violence only as a last resort, the grace and speed of his blade ensures resolution is always swift. As one of the last living practitioners of the Ionian art of Wuju, Yi has devoted his life to continuing the legacy of his people—scrutinizing potential new disciples with the Seven Lenses of Insight to identify the most worthy among them.
In Ionia’s central province of Bahrl, a mountain settlement once stood, hidden away in its serene beauty. Here, in the village of Wuju, the boy Yi grew up learning the ways of the sword, chasing a dream that later turned to tragedy.
Like most children, he admired those who wore silk robes and carried blades with poems to their name. His parents being swordsmiths, Yi made a strong impression on the local warriors who frequented their workshop. He spent his mornings in the garden, sparring with his mother, and his nights reciting poetry to his father by candlelight. When it came time for Yi to study under Wuju’s masters, his parents could not have been prouder.
Carrying his talent and discipline over to his training, he surpassed every expectation. Soon, the whole village knew of the “Young Master” Yi.
Still, the humble student wondered about the rest of Ionia. From atop the tallest pagodas, he spotted faraway towns no one else ever mentioned, but when he sought to journey down the mountain with blade in hand, his mentors forbade him. Wuju was founded by those believing their swordsmanship to be too precious to share, too sacred to draw blood—so for centuries, it flourished in isolation, with no outsiders knowing its true nature.
All this changed the day Yi saw vast plumes of smoke rising above the distant towns. Noxian warbands had invaded from the coast, conquering settlement after settlement in waves that washed the provinces red. Choosing the people of Ionia over Wuju’s hallowed tradition, Yi ventured down to help defend the First Lands. To astonished eyes, he swept across the front lines in a blur, routing the enemy with blinding swordplay never before seen by outsiders.
Word of the one-man army spread far and wide, like mist in the mountains. Inspired by his courage, even his fellow disciples joined the fight, and together they journeyed to Navori where the greater war was raging.
The Noxian commanders saw in Wuju a threat that could not be ignored. They scouted the origin of these peerless warriors, and elected to strike at their home without mercy. In a single night, the entire village was destroyed, its people and culture obliterated by chemical fire that no steel could hold back.
After the war finally ended, Yi returned as the only surviving disciple, to find nothing but ruins. The very magic of the land had been defiled, and everyone he had known and loved was no more. Slain in spirit, if not in body, Yi became the attack’s final casualty. With no other practitioners of Wuju left alive, he realized the title of master was his to bear alone.
Grief-stricken, he chose seclusion, training obsessively to bury the guilt of his survival, but the wisdom of bygone masters seemed to fade with the haze of time. He began to doubt if one man could preserve an entire heritage… until he encountered the least expected of individuals.
A curious, monkey-like vastaya challenged him to a duel. Reluctantly, Master Yi entertained the creature’s demands, defeating him with ease. But the vastaya refused to give up, returning day after day with increasingly clever tricks that forced Yi to react and improvise. For the first time in years, Yi felt the spirit of Wuju once more.
The two clashed for weeks, until the bruised stranger finally knelt on the ground and introduced himself as Kong, of the Shimon tribe. He begged to learn from Yi, who saw in this reckless but determined fighter the makings of a new disciple. Through teaching, Yi found his purpose restored. He would pass on the ways of Wuju, and gifted his pupil an enchanted staff and an honorific as a sign of this vow—from that day onward, Kong was known as Wukong.
Together, they now travel the First Lands, as Yi seeks to honor the legacy of his lost home, allowing him to fully embody the “master” in his name.
|"The edge of the sharpest blade is no match for the calm of the peaceful mind."|
Wilted leaves fall from shivering branches, as a gust of wind blows across the mountain slopes. Yi levitates a few inches above the ground, his eyes closed and hands folded, listening to the morning songs of Bahrl jays. The cool breeze touches his bare face, and tickles his brow.
Releasing a quiet sigh, he descends until his boots touch the dirt. He opens his eyes and smiles. Clear skies are a rare, friendly sight.
Yi dusts off his robe, noticing some loose, fallen hairs. Most are black, with a couple white, like wild silk.
How long has it been? he wonders.
Swinging a twill bag over his shoulder, he continues his hike, leaving behind trees that once swayed with life, but now stand still.
Yi glances down the mountain to see how far he has come. The lands below are soft, fragile—treasures to be protected. He looks forward and resumes climbing. On the path ahead, lilies wither, their coral petals turning a sickly brown.
“Didn’t expect to see anyone up here,” a voice calls out.
He pauses to listen, his hand clutching the ringed sword by his waist.
“You also looking for your herd?” The voice grows closer. “Stupid beasts. They always get caught in this area.”
Yi sees an aging farmer approach, and loosens his grip. She wears a simple kirtle, sewn over with assorted scraps of cloth. He bows as she draws near.
“Bah, save your etiquette for the monks,” she says. “You don’t look like you work the land for a living, ‘cause those blades sure aren’t for cutting weeds. What brings you here?”
“Good day for a hike,” Yi replies, his voice feigning innocence.
“So you’re here to train, huh? Noxus coming back so soon?” she asks with a chuckle.
“Where the sun sets once, it will again.”
The farmer snorts, recognizing the old proverb. It is known by most in the southern provinces. “Well, you let me know when they return. That’ll be the day I sail off this island. But until then, why don’t you put those swords of yours to good use and help a frail, old lady?”
She beckons Yi to follow. He obliges.
They stop next to a wooded area. A baby takin whimpers in agony, its hind legs bound by thick, swollen vines that tighten as the creature struggles.
“That there is Lasa,” the farmer explains. “He’s young and dumb, but he’s more use to me in the field than stuck on this cursed mountain.”
“You think it’s cursed?” Yi asks, kneeling by the beast. He runs a palm over its woolly back, feeling its muscles twitch and spasm.
The farmer crosses her arms. “Well, something un-spiritual happened here,” she replies, nodding her head towards the summit. “And without natural magic, the land demands sustenance, even taking life if it has to. Were it my choice, whatever’s up there oughta be burned.”
Yi fixates on the vines. He did not expect to see them this far down the mountain.
“I’ll see what I can do.” He murmurs, drawing two blades from brass sheaths on his boots. As he edges the steel close to the constriction, the vines seem to cower.
The moment lingers. Beads of sweat prickle Yi’s bare face. He closes his eyes.
“Emai,” he whispers, in the tongue of his ancestors. “Fair.”
The takin leaps free, letting out a gleeful, high-pitched bleat. On the ground, the cut vines dangle like loose skin.
The beast springs downhill, reveling in its freedom as the farmer gives chase. She snatches it up in both hands, and hugs the takin close to her chest.
“Thank you!” she exclaims, not realizing Yi has already continued on his way. She calls after him. “Hey! I forgot to ask. What are you training for? The war is over, you know…”
He does not look back.
Not for me.
After another hour, he reaches the barrens. The carcass of a village lies all around him, invaded by the very same vines.
This is Wuju. This was home.
Yi heads for the burial grounds, stepping past toppled beams and stonework, remnants of houses, schools, shrines—the shattered pieces all blend together. The ruins of his parents’ workshop are lost somewhere among the rubble. There is too much to grieve for, and not enough time.
The graves he visits are arranged in perfect symmetry, with gaps between the mounds for someone to pass through. Someone like Yi.
“Wuju honors your memory.”
He places a hand on every hilt of every sword piercing the earth. These are his memorials to warriors, teachers, and students. He does not skip a single one.
“May your name be remembered.”
“Rest. Find peace in the land.”
His voice soon grows tired.
As the sky becomes painted in shades of orange, three graves remain untouched. The closest is marked by a hammer, its head rusted from the mountain air. Yi pulls a peach out of his bag, setting it beside the mound.
“Master Doran, this is from Wukong. He couldn't make the journey with me, but he wanted me to bring you his favorite fruit. He loves his staff, almost as much as he loves making fun of the helmet you gave me.”
He moves toward the final two mounds, guarded by golden sheaths.
“Emai, the weather is forgiving today. Fair… I hope you are enjoying the warmth.”
Yi grasps his two short swords and slides them into the sheaths adorning his parents’ graves. The fit is perfect. He falls to his knees and bows his head.
“May your wisdom continue to guide me.”
Standing, he reaches into his bag to retrieve his helmet. The afternoon sun catches on its seven lenses, each reflection in a different hue. Holding the helmet close to his heart, he imagines the garden of lilies that once existed here.
That was before the screams. Before acid and poison twisted the land’s magic against itself.
He dons the helmet, and a kaleidoscope of his surroundings fills his view. Hands folded together, he closes his eyes and empties his mind. He thinks about nothing. Nothing at all. His feet lift off the earth, but he is unaware.
Opening his eyes, he sees everything. Death and decay, with little hints of life.
He sees spirits that dwell in the realm beyond his own. The vines here trap them as easily as the poor takin, weakening their essence. He knows any spirit strong enough to break free would have abandoned this accursed place. What remains is corrupted… or soon to be.
Pained, mournful cries haunt the air. Yi used to cry out in pain himself, but that was long ago—back when he thought tears might bring back the dead.
He blinks, and the physical world returns. For a moment, he pretends not to bear its weight upon his shoulders. Then, he blinks again.
The spirits continue to cry out. Yi draws his ringed blade.
He dashes in a blur, sweeping across the grounds like a change in season one realizes only after it has passed. In a flash, he is back where he started, perfectly still, his sword resting in its scabbard.
One by one, the vines crumple. Some spill from collapsed rooftops, others shrivel where they lie.
He sits cross-legged to take it all in. Now the spirits sing with joy, and he knows there is no greater sign of gratitude. As they melt away, the land echoes their bliss. Peach blossoms sprout where the overgrowth had held firm. Stalks of limp bamboo straighten, like students ordered to attention.
A fleeting smile softens Yi’s face. He removes his helmet and digs into his bag, shuffling past the other items he brought for the journey. Fruits, nuts… char, flint. Things for himself, and things to cleanse the land for good.
Not now. Not yet.
He retrieves a thin reed pen, and a crinkled scroll. The page is covered in marks.
Yi adds a few strokes by today. Below them are more words.
30 days between clearings.
He knows, soon enough, he will need to grant the farmer her wish, and send his home off in flames.
But not now. Not yet.
- Master Yi's Champion Page
- Universe of League of Legends Page
- Champion rework: Master Yi, the Wuju Master
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