|The Crystal Vanguard|
|Release Date:||August 9, 2011|
|Health:||601.28 (+ 90)|
|Health Regen:||9 (+ 0.85)|
|Mana:||320 (+ 40)|
|Mana Regen:||7.206 (+ 0.45)|
|Attack Damage:||65 (+ 4.5)|
|Attack Speed:||0.625 (+ 2.1%)|
|Armor:||38 (+ 3.8)|
|Magic Resist:||32.1 (+ 1.25)|
- 2nd bio
- 1st bio
- League Judgement
|Skarner is an immense crystalline scorpion from a hidden valley in Shurima. Part of the ancient Brackern race, Skarner and his kin are known for their great wisdom and deep connection to the land, as their souls are fused with powerful life crystals which hold the living thoughts and memories of their ancestors. In an age long past, the Brackern entered hibernation to avoid untold magical destruction, but recent, threatening events have roused Skarner. As the only Brackern awake, he strives to protect his kind from those who seek to harm them.
Long before men traversed the scorched deserts of Shurima, the very sand itself shone with primal, unchained magic. In a remote valley surrounded by steep cliffs and jagged rock formations, the age-old race of Brackern unearthed raw crystals from deep within the sand. Each of these noble creatures fused with a single stone, which retained their consciousness long after their death.
The demise of a Brackern was a rare occurrence, as their worldly lives stretched across millennia, but even death did not signify an ending. When a creature’s mortal form perished, its life stone was buried in the valley for safekeeping until a new Brackern could uncover it. This practice protected the vulnerable crystals while preserving the wisdom of the ones who came before.
With a finite number of stones, the young Brackern searched for the crystal meant for them, just as the consciousness within the stone beckoned to the Brackern it had chosen to inherit its magic and memories. In a sacred rite, the rock fused with crystalline flesh, imbuing the creature’s mind with memories and knowledge and flooding them with primal magic. A Brackern without a crystal would not long survive, for they lacked the strength, longevity, and power instilled by the stones.
The young creature named Skarner spent many years searching for the crystal meant for him. Afraid he would die before finding it, he grew more persistent in his search with each passing moon. Day and night, he delved deep into the ground, digging in a methodical pattern that covered the entire valley and neighboring hills with intricate spirals.
Skarner had all but given up when he finally felt an ancient consciousness tugging at his mind. He burrowed down, venturing ever deeper until the world’s heart warmed his shell. Days passed, but the consciousness grew ever more insistent as it urged him onward. Skarner’s pincers closed on a well-worn stone, and he heard a rasping whisper at the back of his mind. Though the voice was faint, he already felt intimately connected to its awareness, and he knew he had found his stone.
The crystal was larger than any he had seen, and so timeworn that its glow had faded to a soft glimmer. Its surface was cracked in several places and dulled from eons buried under the ground. Skarner examined the rock with the tenderest touch, afraid of further damaging something so ancient. The dim glow within pulsed as though breathing in response to Skarner’s presence.
Skarner began the bonding ritual, burying himself deep underground with the crystal for weeks without sustenance. Though he ached with fatigue and his limbs atrophied in starvation, he was not afraid, for the voice within the stone comforted him. When the crystal finally fused with his body, he was overwhelmed with emotion as ancient memories and wisdom permeated his thoughts. He witnessed moments of incredible joy and crushing sorrow from generations long deceased. He felt magic all around him, suffusing his body with a deep connection to the world through a low constant hum, and sensed his kind communicating in a wordless meeting of minds.
When the cataclysmic forces of the Rune Wars began to devastate the world, the Brackern feared the turmoil would soon mark the end of their species. They resolved to hide in hibernation until humans wiped themselves out, as it seemed certain they would. Only then would it be safe to emerge from the sands once more.
The crystalline scorpions buried themselves deep in the Shuriman desert with the youngest and most ferocious positioned closest to the surface, ready to awaken first and defend the others in case of danger. The strength Skarner gained from his ancient life stone made him more powerful than almost all of his kin, so he was one of the last of his kind to enter the long slumber.
They slept in peaceful isolation as centuries passed before Skarner awoke from his shallow burrow in a panic. Deafening explosions shattered the ground, targeting the Brackern where they lay sleeping and stunning those closest to the surface. A band of robbers had discovered the dormant creatures and were prying crystals from crystalline flesh. Skarner, protected from the brunt of the attack by his crystal, erupted from the sand in a terrible frenzy of sharp pincers and poisonous stabs. Though their numbers all but overwhelmed him, he killed many of the thieves, and the rest fled in terror. Skarner was horrified to learn he was the only one awake, and that many of his people’s crystals had already been stolen.
Skarner tried to revive his dormant companions, but the men had broken so many life stones in their thoughtless theft that several Brackern with damaged crystals died moments after Skarner woke them, while others would not wake at all. For weeks Skarner paced the sand above his sleeping brethren in sorrowful mourning. He was certain the crystals would quickly perish in the hands of men, and mourned their loss too.
Yet as the sun broke over the horizon many weeks later, Skarner heard distant echoes calling in his mind. The cries were faint, but rang clear over the land. These voices of the lost stones reached out to him in terror, imploring Skarner to reconnect them with their kind. Skarner hesitated, torn as to whether he should rescue the lost crystals or continue guarding the still-living Brackern. After weeks spent erasing all traces of the excavation, he could not stand to hear the minds of his kin suffering at the hands of the violent humans, and resolved to set out to save the missing crystals.
Skarner began the arduous task of tracking the stones, hoping no others would discover his kin beneath the sand. Though his search is lonely, he occasionally hears a lost crystal calling to him, a feeling that brings joy and anguish in equal measure. He focuses his sorrow into unshakable determination, and refuses to rest until he has recovered every last life stone.
| "We are one. We cannot be shattered."
The softskins broke our slumber of a thousand spins.
For many long ages, I sensed the world’s dizzying movement. Stars exploded and died above me, though I did not see them. I felt the warmth of the sun flood the sand with life.
When my heartpulse slowed and I curled in the dry sand to warm my body for longsleep, I thought my time below would be lonely, that the earth would not respond to my touch. But all around me were kin. I sensed them rustling in their slumber. I listened to their silent murmurs reaching for my mind. I heard their dreamsongs of worlds upon worlds. A place without softskins, without fear or pain or doubt. A place of great peace.
In the sand, we were all connected; we dreamed as one. Not just the singers, but all living things; the worms curling around smooth rockgrains, the molerats burrowing tunnels to birth their young, even a family of fur-soft spiderlings who rested for a night in the deepdark.
I thought the rocks would be immobile, cold, uncaring. But they, too, were part of us. The stones were warm, and the deeper we burrowed, the closer we got to this world’s wombfire. Each time the underground boiled in rage, I was there; its tremors shook the sand until I sang back with my own anger. We are one, we are all. Your anger is as mine. I heard its gratitude in the raintime when wet drops soaked the sand and the earth grew fat and full.
When the softskins came, the ground knew only pain. Our songs became cries as we were torn and broken and scattered. I heard the sorrowsong as the softskins unearthed my kin. They tore crystal namestones from our bodies as we screamed, louder than earthshakes, and stole them away. I sang long into the many nights, sang until my heart was empty and cold, but they did not return.
Today, I am alone in the aboveplace. Today, the dry wind burns my skin. With every step, the sand grinds against me in protest. I fight my urge to bury myself down, down, to go inside the earth’s deepdark. I am not apart. I am part of the one, not beyond.
From far away, a song of painfear reaches me. The tone is faint, but I recognize the melody, and I send out a song of my sorrow. A note of hope rings back in my mind, clear and fine. Almost, almost.
Another set of stars whirl overhead, and again. The endlessly blinking universe stares down at me. I feel moltenheavy with the weight of above. I should be down, but I am here, alone in the cold air.
I have been above for three moons. A blink of an eye, a sliver of existence. A warming murmur passes silently underground — yet in the aboveplace, I feel the eternity of alone.
Ahead, I hear softskins. They do not sing, they shout. Their tones scratch and clash without melody or cohesion. They burn meatflesh over a falsefire. Its fat smokes the air and I choke on the stench. Why would they do such a thing? The ground is plenty, plenty for all.
The melody calls to me weakly. Almost. The namestone is close.
I must explain; the softskins do not understand. Their race is but three turns young; they have only begun to dig; they have barely uncoiled the beginnings of underneath. They speak, but I have not yet heard them sing. They will learn.
I sing in their minds a song of the calmland, so they feel the great beauty that awaits us when we sleep. I sing for my dead kin, so they know what they stole.
The softskins do not sing back. They do not seem to hear me so my voice grows louder in their heads. I sing for our namestones, wrongfully taken. Bring them back, they are ours. You murdered one cluster already. Do not deny our future also. I sing a plea. Let me carry the crystals to the deepdark, so they can bind with us again. I sing to heal this tearing wound.
The softskins are still shouting to each other. One of them releases a rhythmic sound… a laugh? I feel as though my body is being crushed by the air, so I burrow. I am comforted by the weight around me.
How can they not see the ruin they’ve caused? You are heartless, you are crude. How could you sever us like this?
My husk glows skywhite with rage. I will not let these softskins destroy us.
I hear them scream as I erupt from the sand. I summon energy from the ground and store the power in my namestone. A softskin throws a splinterblade and it hits my leg, shattering on my lucent shell. You sing only death. I, too, can sing this song. I release sunbright energy and sharp crystals burst from the ground, impaling flesh and cracking spines.
The falsefire spreads in their panic. Their crude structures of twig and hide burn through the darkness, carrying softskins into the flames. Smoke rises in an offering to the blinking stars. Softskins run from the chaos, but I am faster. I circle around them and lash out at a straggler, slicing his middle apart with my claw. I crush another underfoot. Lifeblood stains the sand. I roar in grief, not a song but a cry. Your blood is not worthy to touch the one and the all.
My tail lashes left and right and I knock the softskins down. I summon the sunbright once again, and more crystals spike from the sand to pierce flesh. So you can hear my song, after all...
I am crude like them. I am violence. I am death.
When I dream I see only rage. I am no longer worthy of the deepdark. But I cannot stop.
Only one remains. The softskin fumbles with a glowing thing of wood and metal. She means to kill me. A false sun blazes from the thing and punctures my hardshell, burning my insides. The light reflects inside my crystal, paralyzing me. I stagger in agonizing pain. I cannot move. I am broken. I am ended.
A fading song rings in my mind. Almost, almost. We are one.
She aims her weapon again and I shake with horror as I see the paling namestone strapped to it. Her weapon drains our life energy. They are wasting crystals to power their terrible song. I feeI I will burst in fury and pain, but instead I pull strength from the ground. I cry out and lash with my sting, impaling the softskin as she writhes like a worm. I grasp the weapon and crush it with a claw. It crumbles to dust, leaving only the skywhite namestone.
I hold the crystal in my mouth where it will be safe. I am here, we are one.
I curl my stinger and she falls. Do not return. Do not take our namestones. We are not yours. We are all. We belong only to the deepdark.
I leave her alive and she runs. She lives not with my mercy, but because I know she has heard my dreamsong, and she has no choice but to sing.
|Skarner, the crystalline guardian, defends the entrance to a realm deep beneath the shuriman wastes. The few who survive trespassing his domain describe a creature of terrifying intelligence, anger, and precision. What this merciless creature protects, no one knows.|
|Centuries ago, there lived a race of creatures as ferocious as they were wise. The brackern were unusual beings blessed with the earth's primal magic, embodied in the form of crystals. Their kind knew of an arcane ritual to bind their life's essence to a crystal, communing with the magic embedded in it. With this power, the brackern thrived in the Odyn Valley, protecting both creatures and crystals alike. Despite attacks from those looking to claim the primal magic, it seemed that nothing could get past the brackern's defenses. Nothing, that is, until the devastation of a Rune War.
A vicious battle was fought near the Odyn Valley and the unleashed chaotic magic poisoned the crystals. The brackern began to grow sick and die, and no amount of defensive magic could reverse the effects. To avoid extinction, their only course was to hibernate underground until the wars stopped. The strongest, most intelligent brackern hibernated closer to the surface to awaken first and assess the world's condition for the return of their race. The recent mining operations and violent escalation in Kalamanda were enough to awaken the first of these vanguards. When Skarner burst to the surface, he lashed out in anger and confusion. Reason eventually won out over his anger when he realized that the agents of the League who found him were simply functionaries. Skarner was invited to the Institute of War to share the brackern's story. In return, the summoners told him about the history that his kind had slept through. Much had been done to curb the unchecked use of magic since the Rune Wars, but it was obvious that the world was not yet safe for his kind to reawaken. For now, however, there is a place where Skarner can use his power to change the world into one to which his kind could eventually return: the League of Legends.
| "The humans have not yet learned to control their magic - what once was Kalamanda is now a crystal scar on the history of this world."
Date: 5 August, 21 CLE
The silence is eerie. The village was once an endless flurry of activity, with the chorus of pickaxes, rolling mining carts, and shouts of laborers comprising the song of Kalamanda audible during every moment of the day. Now, it is deathly silent, lacking even the far-away cries of birds or the whispers of winds moving through the grass. A blue bubble shimmers overhead, enclosing all life inside without regard to the malice or innocence present in the hearts of the trapped.
Suddenly, the ground in the center of the village bursts upwards. The League recovery crew stationed in Kalamanda is unprepared, staring blankly as a wickedly sharp crystal rises out of the ground. It lingers for a moment, as if tasting the air, and suddenly shoots out towards the humans standing close by. They barely manage to dodge out of the way, stumbling over themselves as the rest of the body attached to the crystal surges through the dirt.
It is a massive creature, seemingly carved out of the earth's most precious gemstones. The light gleams off each facet of its segmented body, a halo crowning the unnatural creature's birth into the world. Menacing claws lash out towards the humans, snapping at everything in its path. The League crew defend themselves the best that they can, yelling out hopelessly to yield.
The crystal scorpion lets out a guttural roar, one that is as full of anger as it is of sorrow.
Skarner scurried through the Institute of War, his limbs cramped from trying to avoid scraping his sides on the tiny hallways. It didn't help that humans kept cluttering the way, staring at him instead of making space for their unexpected visitor. An escort led him through an enormous set of double doors, where a human was waiting alone in a dark room. He was relieved to be away from prying eyes, though he knew that what was to come would pry into him far more deeply.
The human's honest demeanor betrayed his purpose before he even spoke.
"I am Bertrand Wordsworth, keeper of history in the Arcanum Majoris. It is an incredible honor to meet one of your kind. I have never found any mention of the brackern in all my studies." Bertrand's eyes darted about, taking in Skarner's impressive form.
"So it would seem that humans seek to eliminate our species, but the knowledge that we ever existed at all as well." Skarner replied evenly.
The historian flushed. "I apologize for being so forward. I wasn't thinking."
"No. It is I who should be apologizing." Skarner's jaws clenched. "Forgive me. This new world is so very strange, and the grievances of centuries past are still recent to my memory."
"So, shall we get on with your rituals of judgment, then" The brackern was eager to be away.
"On the contrary, your little show back in the village, in addition to our conversations, has already answered all of our questions regarding your eligibility for entry into the League. Your commitment to fight for your kind to return is honorable. It is also a thrill for us to receive one as unique as yourself into the organization." He hesitated.
"But you want to know the story of the brackern."
"Indeed." Bertrand raised a scroll in his hand. "I have a spell here, one that will take us back in time."
The crystal scorpion did not answer for a moment. The desire to see his brothers again was too strong to ignore, but he knew the cost. He nodded his consent.
A swell of magic flared through the room. Suddenly, Skarner was again seeing the world as it once was.
The cold dirt of the earth surrounded him, a comforting sensation on his tired limbs. He recognized the exhaustion and madness that consumed him he was in the final moments of his life's quest. Skarner had not seen his kind for years, journeying into the depths of the mountains to find the one crystal in the world that would resonate with his life essence. Skarner's desperation threatened to consume him, after unearthing crystal after crystal that was not meant to be his. With his last ounce of strength, he reached out with his claws through the dirt and finally found the Arachia that would bind to him for the rest of his life.
Skarner uncovered it carefully, relief and awe washing over him, leaving him breathless. The crystal was the largest of any that he had ever seen, let alone those that had responded to a brackern. He pored over the intricate carvings sprawled across every gleaming facet, marveling at the residue from the earth weaving its knowledge into the gemstone for centuries. Skarner curled around the crystal as it began to pulse, soothing all his fears that he would die alone in disgrace if he hadn't found his Arachia.
He murmured the words of binding, and felt his soul sing as it became one with the earth. His first meditation with the crystal left him paralyzed for days, the knowledge of eons past flooding into his mind. The voices of the natural world whispered to him, sharing the secrets of primal magic and the history of centuries past. In the decades that followed, Skarner communed with the crystal almost daily, and only barely started to explore all of the knowledge imbued within it. Skarner passed on everything he had learned to his fellow brackern, and each creature in turn fed the knowledge back into his own Arachia for future brackern.
Then, a devastating explosion rocked the land. Skarner knew what was coming next.
Seconds later, a noxious cloud engulfed the valley, and the crystals vibrated with an alien glow. A piercing hum grew in volume to a deafening shriek. One by one, the crystals began to shatter, spraying glowing shrapnel in all directions. The brackern that were bound to the crystals screamed, dropping to the ground in writhing agony.
Chaos erupted. The brackern called healing magics upon their dying brothers and conjured up shields around the valley. But it was all to no avail - the brackern continued to fall until their numbers dwindled. Eventually, the brackern's desperate pleas awoke the ancient magic in the Arachia crystals, who called them underground. The brackern would fuse with the crystals, their mutual strength protecting each other until the world was safe again for both to exist.
Skarner was one of the last to remain awake, assisting the stragglers underground. His last view of the surface was another wave of unnatural energy rippling through the valley, before he plunged into the ground and cast the spell of hibernation, a prayer for his kind on his tongue.
Sleep began to overtake him. Suddenly, a piercing glow jolted him awake, and his eyes flew open. His Arachia crystal was pulsing, and the scorpion knew something was wrong. This had not happened before in his memory. Skarner reached towards the crystal, and he was abruptly tossed backwards in time once again.
The Odyn Valley appeared as it had long ago, but something was wrong. No brackern were in sight, and humans had overrun the gorge, engaged in war. Robed humans surrounded numerous runes meticulously placed in the center of a circle. Their voices rose in unison, and suddenly the runes fractured and disappeared. In their place, an intense concentration of energy lingered for a second before winking out of existence. A second later, the entire valley shook violently, as an entire city in the distance disappeared in a massive explosion.
The earth shuddered and reached out with fingers of magic for help. They found small creatures, fierce despite their own size, and called them to crystals hidden deep underground. There, the earth imbued the scorpions with power from the crystals, and from their union, the brackern emerged.
The scene dissolved around them, bringing them back to the present. Both brackern and human remained silent as the gravity of revelation weighing down upon their hearts.
Human mistakes robbed them of life. Human mistakes raised them out of nothingness.
Consumed with rage and sorrow, he roared, lashing his tail wildly around the room. The scorpion slammed the ground repeatedly with his claws, as if he could knock the vivid images of his dying brothers out of his mind. Bertrand barely managed to dive out of the way, cowering in the corner until Skarner's emotions subsided.
Bertrand eventually spoke.
"I'm so sorry to make you experience all of that. Yet, it was... necessary." The historian made an honorable, yet poorly veiled attempt to hide his excitement over such an amazing reveal of history.
The brackern's voice was gruff and low, the weight of loss heavy on him. "To have the story of our kind told and remembered is worth reliving the sorrow a thousand times. Have you all the answers that you came for?
"Far more than I ever expected." Bertrand was awestruck.
"Then we are done here."
Bertrand made a motion as if to comfort the creature, but he knew no words that could bring any sort of relief. He bowed deeply, then turned and fled from the room in a flurry of robes.
Skarner remained in the room, the bitter sting of realization lingering.
There was so much in this strange world yet to understand. Every breath, every moment, and every fight in this League of Legends would be a step closer to bringing the brackern closer to living once again.
- Skarner's Champion Page
- Universe of League of Legends Page
- Gameplay update: juggernauts
- Skarner Mechanics Preview
- Champion Sneak Peek - Skarner, the Crystal Vanguard
Journal of Justice