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|Title||The Crystal Vanguard|
|Release Date||August 9, 2011|
|601.28 (+ 90)|
|9 (+ 0.85)|
|320 (+ 40)|
|7.206 (+ 0.45)|
|65 (+ 4.5)|
|0.625 (+ 2.1%)|
|38 (+ 3.8)|
|32.1 (+ 1.25)|
- For outdated and now non-canon lore entries, click here.
|One of the brackern, Skarner is an immense crystalline scorpion from a hidden valley in Shurima. Known for their great wisdom and deep connection to magic, the brackern’s bodies are fused with powerful life crystals which hold the living thoughts and memories of their ancestors. In an age long past, they entered hibernation to avoid destruction—but recent, threatening events have roused Skarner, and he now strives to protect his dormant kin from those who would harm them.
Long before the rise of Shurima’s great empire, the remote northwestern valleys were home to an age-old race known as the brackern.
These noble creatures were quite unlike any other. While individually they may have seemed primitive and aggressive, their arachnoid bodies held a wondrous secret—they existed as custodians of a truly ancient gestalt consciousness, perhaps one of the very oldest in Runeterra. Each brackern was host to a single magical crystal, which retained their memories, their hopes and dreams, and everything that made them who they were.
After the body’s death, the core of the crystal was buried with great reverence in the deepest valleys. There they waited for new, younger brackern to inherit them, and take up the mantle of all those who had come before.
So it was, through the eternal harmony of their crystals’ song, the brackern had all but achieved immortality.
The one who would become known as Skarner heard his crystal calling to him from somewhere beneath the earth. Day and night, he burrowed in a methodical pattern that covered the entire valley with intricate spirals, until his claws finally closed around a crystal larger than any he had seen before. Its surface was cracked and dull, yet the dim glow within it pulsed in response to his presence, and its song enveloped him.
When Skarner emerged once more, the crystal was fused with his body, and he was one with all his kin in a wordless meeting of countless minds. He could feel the magic of the material realm all around him—a deep connection to the world, like a low constant hum that resonated through every facet of his being.
Mortals, such as they were, knew and respected the brackern… but also feared them. They would sometimes leave offerings at the entrances to the valleys, which they named things like “the Crystal Scar” in their imperfect, fleshy languages. Over time, though, their focus began to turn toward conflict and conquest, and the brackern resolved to hibernate until this danger was passed. Even if the mortal races wiped each other from existence, it would amount to little more than a single, somber note in the crystals’ unending song.
And so, the brackern slept.
Then, without warning, the song became a scream. Skarner was jolted awake as explosions tore through the brackern’s hiding place. The land had become parched and barren, but mortals persisted—they came armed with fire and metal, delving down beneath the surface to hack the living crystals from his sleeping kin.
Skarner erupted from the sand in a frenzy. He killed many of the murderous thieves, and the rest fled in terror, leaving him to revive his dormant companions. But those brackern whose crystalline forms had been damaged died moments after they woke, and most of the others could not be roused at all, so deep was the trauma to their collective psyche.
He stumbled through the valleys in mourning, He was certain that, even if the magic of the crystals still endured, it would quickly fade in the hands of mortals.
Yet, as the sun broke over the horizon many weeks later, Skarner heard the faintest of echoes calling out in his mind. These were not the soaring harmonies he had known before, but a terrified, urgent keening, imploring him to act. He hesitated for just a moment, knowing that if he went in search of his stolen kin, then those who still lay beneath the sands would be defenseless…
But as the cries died away, he knew he had no other choice, and strode out eastward into the desert.
Though Skarner’s search is lonely, he sometimes hears the cold, disembodied song of a lost crystal drawing nearer, only to fade once more. It is a feeling that brings hope and anguish in equal measure, and he focuses his sorrow into unshakable determination, knowing that the survival of the brackern race is all that matters.
|"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'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