|Release Date||August 21st, 2012|
|585 (+ 90)|
|7 (+ 0.5)|
|68 (+ 3)|
|0.666 (+ 3%)|
|34 (+ 3)|
|32.1 (+ 1.25)|
- For outdated and now non-canon lore entries, click here.
- Story #1
- Story #2
|Rengar is a ferocious vastayan trophy hunter who lives for the thrill of tracking down and killing dangerous creatures. He scours the world for the most fearsome beasts he can find, especially seeking any trace of Kha'Zix, the void creature who scratched out his eye. Rengar stalks his prey neither for food nor glory, but for the sheer beauty of the pursuit.
Rengar hails from a tribe of Shuriman vastaya known as the Kiilash, whose society venerated the honor and glory of the hunt. Rengar was born the runt of the litter to the tribe's chieftain, Ponjaf. Ponjaf believed Rengar's diminutive size would make him a worthless hunter. He ignored his child, assuming the runt would starve to death.
Eventually, the young Rengar fled the camp, ashamed that he had disappointed his father. He subsisted on grubs and plants for weeks until, one day, he was nearly killed by a legendary human hunter named Markon. Upon seeing Rengar's state, he took pity on the creature and let it live. Besides, this was no mighty vastayan warrior worthy of Markon's blade.
Rengar spent months following Markon, feeding off the corpses the hunter left behind. He still hoped to one day rejoin his tribe, and so took great care in observing how Markon took down his quarries.
After some time, Markon grew sick of the pathetic Kiilash following him around. He put a knife to Rengar's throat and informed him that the only way to be a hunter was to hunt. He tossed Rengar the blade and kicked him down a ravine, where he was forced to make his first kill to survive.
From then on, Rengar spent years pushing himself almost to breaking point. He scoured Shurima for the most powerful and dangerous prey. Though he would never be as big as other Kiilash, Rengar was determined to be twice as ferocious. Over time, instead of coming back to his camp each time with fresh scars, he began to come back with trophies. He polished a sandhawk's skull to a sheen; he braided the teeth of a shrieker into his hair.
Then, when he decided the time had come, Rengar returned to his tribe, ready to be accepted as a true hunter.
Ponjaf scoffed at Rengar and his trophies. He decreed that only by bringing back the head of the elusive and legendary Void-abomination known as Kha'Zix would Rengar be welcomed back into the tribe.
Blinded by his eagerness, Rengar allowed this cunning beast to get the drop on him. The Void creature ripped out one of Rengar's eyes and escaped. Furious and defeated, Rengar admitted his failure to Ponjaf. As expected, his father chastised him.
But as Ponjaf spoke, Rengar noticed all the trophies adorning his father's hut were dusty and old. The chieftain had not hunted anything in a long time—he had likely sent Rengar after Kha'Zix because he was too afraid to do it himself.
Rengar interrupted his father and called him a coward. Many Kiilash were blessed with strong bodies or comfortable homes. Rengar, conversely, was born facing death. He had taught himself how to hunt, and had the trophies and scars to prove it. Even his own bloody eye socket was a trophy: proof that though Rengar was born with disadvantages, he never gave up.
Rengar leapt onto his father and gutted him from neck to belly. The fiercest hunters of the tribe crowned him with flame-roses, marking him as their new chieftain.
But Rengar didn't need his village's acceptance. All he needed was adrenaline pumping through his veins as he chased down his prey. He left the village, without even pausing to take a trophy from what was left of Ponjaf—his father was not a kill worthy of remembering. Instead, he set off determined to find and slay the Void creature that had tried to blind him.
Not to satisfy the Kiilash, but to satisfy himself.
|"Prey on the weak and you will survive, prey on the strong and you will live."
To be exiled is to be erased.
You are not forgotten. You never existed at all. Each beat of your heart is judged unworthy of counting. Even a slave wears chains, proving their value. Even the dead are mourned.
I am nothing to the Kiilash who birthed me. The name Rengar no longer recalls the face of their kin, son of Chieftain Ponjaf. I am outcast from their hearts as much as their hearths.
There is no return from such a fate.
Or so I was told. Years and blood can change such things.
My heart still beats, and so I went to them with trophies gathered on the hunter’s path. Wordlessly I was brought before my father’s gaze. He offered me a return to the tribe, where my name would be spoken and face remembered, where my heart’s beating would be counted again.
And he named the cost for such a thing.
I must track a shadow. Bladed shard of moonless night. Abomination.
I melt between the trees. I hear, smell, feel. I parse the spoor of a thousand creatures, big and small. This comes from instinct, sharpened by the cold teachings of the human who found an outcast, and set him down the path of the hunt. I still bear the knife Markon gave me.
I search for the wrong-thing that dwells here, unable to belong.
There is nothing, amid the teeming life of the rainforest… until there is something. It is faint, but stark, slithering over my senses. The sickly sweet unfamiliarity of it halts me for a moment as I take it in. It is wrong in every way. Repulsive. An enemy to life in ways I cannot describe. It defies everything around it.
The true hunt begins. I follow the trail.
I snake around it, never touching. I endure the wrong-thing’s scent, until the sounds of bloodletting reward me.
Something is dying. Through the trees ahead. It is not dying well.
A pack of jungle raptors. Far from the apex, raptors are still capable predators, and rarely ever prey. Their attacker is either desperate with hunger, or unconcerned by their lethality.
I bare my teeth in a grin. It may be a challenge after all.
The reek of the wrong-thing is overpowering. It clings to the clumps of bright, bloody plumage strewn about the forest floor. I surge up a thick, rugged tree trunk, my claws carrying me silently into the canopy. I crouch there in the leafy shadows, tasting the humidity of the air, narrowing my eyes, seeking my quarry.
It has speed. That is a weapon it has honed to a fine edge. I catch only glimpses as it darts back and forth, finishing its kills and preparing to feast.
The promise of trophies does not spur it to hunt. I sense a greater hunger in its movements, something beyond the primal urge to survive.
When the last raptor dies, the wrong-thing slows. Even so, it is never still. It leaps and slides across the ground like smoke. I can see it more clearly now. It makes my brain itch.
It is like an insect, but not completely. Its parts do not make sense. Limbs and flesh and shell and Taste Their Fear that cannot belong to the same single creature—all inside a glistening outer skeleton, blackish-purple like rotten fruit. The air and light writhe around it. They do not want to touch it either.
That gives me the understanding I seek. The wrong-thing bears the mark of an exile, too. I am ready to send it back to whatever foulness spawned it.
With Markon’s knife light in my grip, I drop from the branches.
There is no sound when I land behind the creature. It pays my approach no heed. I know how to move unseen, unheard, until those sweet, adrenaline-filled moments after a killing blow is struck. I have risen to become an apex predator by adaptation, by instinct… and in this moment my instinct screams that something is not right.
Hesitation saves my lifeblood from joining that of the raptors. I barely see the claw as it slices the air I would have occupied. It knew I was coming. Had I not stopped short, it would have ended me then.
Everything has been too clean. Too easy. I should have recognized this sooner. Ponjaf’s promise has blinded me, confidence soured to hubris, leaving me exposed.
A slick chittering comes from the monster’s throat. Ichor flecks its jaws. There is movement on its back, straining against the carapace. It hisses, a noise I cannot tell is of pain or pleasure, as a pair of new limbs erupt and unfurl into hideous, dripping wings. It has seen the threat I pose, and so it changes. It is unwilling to submit as prey.
Too slow. The creature’s riposte sends Markon’s knife spinning from my grip. Foolishly, sentimentally, my eyes follow it for an instant. The error opens the way for the wrong-thing to strike.
Another bladed claw flicks out. Hot, stinging pain. A roaring between my ears.
I fall back. Blood slicks my face.
I scramble to gain distance, trying to blink the red from my vision. The right eye is a blur. The left remains dark. The roaring will not fade.
I reach for my cheek. I realize what the beast has taken.
Beating the last of the vile slime from its wings, the wrong-thing rises to hover over me. It bares its fangs, either in further challenge or a cruel grin, and holds my left eye up for me to see. Slowly it lowers the blood-slick orb over its fangs, and drops it down its gullet.
My gorge rises. I clench my fists, rubbing at my remaining eye.
The defilement of it. The symbolic shift as this foul creature snatches the role of hunter away from me. I no longer feel any pain. Only rage.
I hurl myself at it. I need no knife. I have the claws I was born with, and the triumphal roar I learned for myself. I will not be defeated.
The red dance of violence seems unending. We each give chase in turn. The abomination is cold darkness. I am the core of a vengeful sun. We cut away at each other, over and over, and the rest of the world no longer matters.
Finally, as night falls, my enemy flees.
Or… is that just as I wish to see it? Maybe it learned all it can from me, and instinct guides it on to greater things. Exhaustion takes hold. I collapse, left with bloody wounds and a new, terrible sense of connection to this monster. It is a bond forged in the moment it ate of my flesh.
The Kiilash know the wrong-thing as Kha’Zix.
In the old mortal tongue, it means, “You Face Yourself”.
True enough, it changed as we fought, growing and twisting. It went forward, always forward to find its edge, where I looked back into myself, back into the past and the tribe of my birth, to summon my exile’s fury.
This was not enough. As it has adapted, now so must I.
For I will have my kill.
Rengar smelled the blood before he saw the dead humans. Six or so, he estimated, but it was tough to get an exact count thanks to the number of pieces they’d been torn into. Their swords were strewn about the meadow, as useful as dulled cutlery.
He knelt, licking blood from the ground.
Cold to the tongue. Still sweet, yet bitter with the taste of iron.
It had been spilled less than an hour ago.
Turning over one of the stray limbs in his hand, Rengar found a line of greenish saliva dangling from where the arm had been ripped from its body. He raised the stump to his nose and sniffed.
The saliva smelled foul, like a corpse that had rotted in a puddle of excrement. Just raising it to his nose nearly made Rengar want to vomit, and he had a stronger stomach than most.
He smiled his wide, toothy smile. The creature who inflicted these wounds would be easy to track.
Rengar watched from the brush as the razorhide worked its claws around an old man’s skull and crushed it between its boneteeth. It howled in disappointment, evidently unimpressed by the lack of a crunch.
The giant, four-legged beast stomped through the elderly man’s tent, crushing it with a single step, then biting at the canvas and tearing it apart.
Tossing aside the man’s bedroll, it howled in delight as Rengar heard the scream of a young boy.
Frightened. Good fear. Delicious fear.
Time to eat. Time to silence screams. Time to—
Pain on the back of its neck. Sharp and hot. Something bit it? No. Another pain, then another. Sharp stabs. Something with a weapon. Something with some fight in it.
Maybe something tasty.
Rengar held onto the kirai saber with one hand as the razorhide bucked back and forth, trying to dislodge him. With his other hand, he grabbed a knife and punctured the beast’s leathery hide over and over. He knew he’d never kill the beast this way, but he’d get it bleeding. Confuse it.
With any luck, panic it.
The razorhide dropped to its stomach and rolled over, taking Rengar with it. It was fast—much faster than Rengar would have thought for a creature of its size. He barely had time to dislodge his blades and jump away.
The two combatants got to their feet. Blood trickled down the razorhide’s scales, each one sharp enough to sever a limb. Combined, the scales made for a nigh-impenetrable defense and a thousand small weapons all at the same time. It circled Rengar, sniffing the air. Rengar could tell he’d never win a straight fight against it. It was too big, too quick, too strong.
A lifetime of scars had taught Rengar the secret of hunting. It wasn’t about being strong. It was about knowing when to withdraw, and when to attack.
Right now? It was time to withdraw.
He sprinted away from the village toward the tall grass surrounding it. The razorhide leapt after him in pursuit, its feet pounding the earth. Rengar could hear it behind him. He could be hidden in the grass soon enough, but the razorhide would catch up to him long before then.
He just needed a few extra seconds.
One-eyed vastaya will be delicious. Only one thing tastier than something young: something that just tried to kill you.
Stomp the cat-beast to death before eating? No. Better to swallow him whole, feel thrashing grow weaker and weaker until it deliciously stops.
Unhinge jaw. Bite down, feel warm spurts of blood—
Tripping. Falling. What?
Some sort of weapon—three balls, tied together with leather—tangled around legs.
Still. Broke free easily. But cat-beast gone. Only slight rustle in tall grass to show where he went.
Bound into field after it. Cat-beast: small, scared.
Me: big, fast.
Will stomp all tallgrass down if it takes—
Warmth running down hind legs. From where? Behind?
No cat-beast. Ran away again.
Pain. New pain, in side. Annoying. Not problem. Just annoying.
Start running. Doesn’t matter which direction. Put distance between us. Regroup.
Turn around. Where vastaya? Maybe ran away. Maybe hiding, waiting.
This was the best part. Invisible within the tall grass. His prey cautious, but not smart enough to be terrified.
The momentary silence before the attack. Before the quarry realized just how helpless it was. Before the howls of pain, and the blood, and the adrenaline, and the joy.
Rengar threw his head back and roared.
Where roar coming from? Sounds like everywhere. Not roar of anger. Not roar of fear.
No. This was a mistake. Out in the open. Run. Run back.
Hard to breathe. Why?
The wound in the side. Deeper than it felt? Throat wet. Choking. Blood.
Don’t slow down.
Where is village? This way? No. The other.
Vastaya still roaring. Still getting closer.
Run. Doesn’t matter where. Just r—
Flash of metal. Cool air blowing on stomach.
No, inside stomach.
Feel self growing lighter. Sound of something wet and heavy hitting the ground. Many wet and heavy things.
Look back. Guts. Fluid. A trail of red and green.
Pain. Stinging pain, throbbing pain, stabbing pain. Everywhere.
Can’t stand up. Legs buckle. Breathing hard. Hear footsteps coming closer.
Sound of knife leaving sheath.
Feel something. Something new. Something terrible. Not hunger, anger, joy.
Rengar approached the prone razorhide, its feet still kicking at the air as blood poured from the massive slash across its belly. Its eyes were dilated.
What trophy would he take? The skull? The mane?
The creature lifted its head and worked its jaw, biting at the air out of anger or confusion.
Rengar smiled. The creature’s boneteeth were sharp. Smooth.
One of those would make an impressive addition to his necklace.
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