|The Shepherd of Souls|
|Release Date:||June 22nd, 2011|
|Real Name:||Yorick Mori|
|Health:||580 (+ 100)|
|Health Regen:||8 (+ 0.8)|
|Mana:||300 (+ 40)|
|Mana Regen:||7.5 (+ 0.75)|
|Attack Damage:||62 (+ 5)|
|Attack Speed:||0.625 (+ 2%)|
|Armor:||39 (+ 4)|
|Magic Resist:||32 (+ 1.25)|
- 2nd bio
- 1st bio
- League Judgement
|The last survivor of a long-forgotten religious order, Yorick is both blessed and cursed with power over the dead. Trapped on the Shadow Isles, his only companions are the rotting corpses and shrieking spirits that he gathers to him. Yorick’s monstrous actions belie his noble purpose: to free his home from the curse of the Ruination.
Even as a child, Yorick’s life was never normal. Raised in a fishing village at the very edge of the Blessed Isles, he always struggled to find acceptance. While most children his age were playing hide-and-seek, young Yorick was making friends of a different kind—the spirits of the recently deceased.
At first, Yorick was terrified of his ability to see and hear the dead. Whenever someone in the village passed away, Yorick would lie awake all night, waiting for the chilling cry of a new visitor. He could not understand why they chose to haunt him, and why his parents believed the spirits to be nothing more than nightmares.
In time, he came to realize the souls were not there to harm him. They were simply lost and needed help finding their way to the beyond. Since only Yorick was able to see these spirits, he took it upon himself to be their guide, escorting them to whatever awaited in eternity.
The task was bittersweet. Yorick found that he enjoyed the company of ghosts, but each one he brought to rest meant saying farewell to another friend. To the dead, he was a savior, but to the living, he was a pariah. The villagers only saw a disturbed little boy who spoke to people who weren’t there.
Tales of Yorick’s visions soon spread beyond his village, and drew the attention of a small order of monks who dwelled at the heart of the Blessed Isles. Its envoys traveled to Yorick’s island, believing he could become an asset to their faith.
Yorick agreed to journey to their monastery, and there, he learned the ways of the Brethren of the Dusk and the true significance of their trappings. Every monk carried a spade as a symbol of their duty to conduct proper burial rites, which ensured souls would not lose their way. And each brother wore a vial of water drawn from the Blessed Isles’ sacred spring. These Tears of Life represented the monks’ duty to heal the living.
Yet, no matter how he tried, Yorick could never gain the acceptance of the other monks. To them, he was tangible proof of things that should only be known through faith. They resented his power to easily perceive what they themselves had struggled their entire lives to understand. Shunned by his brothers, Yorick found himself alone again.
One morning, as he tended to his duties in the cemetery, Yorick was interrupted by the sight of a pitch-black cloud roiling across the surface of the Blessed Isles, devouring everything in its path. Yorick tried to run, but the cloud quickly enveloped him and plunged him into shadow.
All around Yorick, living things began to writhe and contort, corrupted by the foul magic in the Black Mist. People, animals, even plants began to transform into vile, ghoulish mockeries of their former selves. Whispers emanated from the turbulent air around him, and his brothers began ripping the vials of healing water from their necks, as if the objects were causing them great anguish. A moment later, Yorick watched in abject horror as the monks’ souls were ripped from their bodies, leaving cold, pale corpses behind.
Among the quieting screams of his brethren, Yorick alone could hear voices within the mist.
“Remove it. Join us. We will become one.”
He felt his fingers grasping for the vial at his neck. Mustering all his resolve, Yorick forced his hands away from his throat and commanded the howling souls to stop. The Black Mist writhed violently, and darkness overtook him.
When Yorick awoke, the winds had calmed, and the once-fertile lands had transformed into the grotesque hellscape of the Shadow Isles. Isolated tendrils of the Black Mist clung to him, trying to overtake the one living thing not yet corrupted. As the Mist wrapped itself around him, Yorick saw it suddenly recoil from the vial at his neck. Yorick clutched the blessed water, realizing it was all that kept him alive.
In the days that followed, Yorick scoured the islands for survivors, but found only the twisted remnants of what once lived there. Everywhere he walked, he witnessed wretched spirits rising from the bodies of the dead.
As he searched, Yorick slowly pieced together the events that led to the cataclysm: A king had arrived seeking to resurrect his queen, but instead, had doomed the Isles and everything on them.
Yorick wished to find this “Ruined King” and undo the curse he had unleashed. But he felt powerless in the face of the seemingly endless death that surrounded him.
Almost lost within his grief, Yorick began to speak to the spirits around him, attempting to find solace with them as he had as a child. Instead, as he communed with the Mist, corpses left their graves, guided by his voice. He realized the bodies he once laid to rest were now his to command.
A glimmer of hope shone from the heart of his despair. To free the dead of the Shadow Isles, Yorick would wield their power and their strength.
In order to end the curse, he would be forced to use it.
| "These isles… How they scream."
“Help… me,” begged the shipwrecked man.
Yorick couldn’t say how long the survivor had been lying there, bones broken, bleeding into what remained of his wrecked sailing vessel. He had been moaning loudly, but his cries were drowned out by the multitude of wailing souls that haunted the isle. A maelstrom of spirits gathered around him, drawn to his flickering life force like a beacon, hungry to reap a fresh soul. The man’s eyes widened in horror.
He was right to be scared. Yorick had seen what happened to lost spirits taken by the Black Mist, and this—this was warm flesh, a rarity in the Shadow Isles. It had been how long—a hundred years?—since Yorick had seen a living being? He could feel the Mist on his back quivering, eager to wrap this stranger in its cold embrace. But the sight of the man stirred something in Yorick he had long forgotten, and whatever it was would not allow him to surrender this life. The burly monk heaved the damaged man onto his shoulders and carried him back up the hill to his old monastery.
Yorick studied the face of the injured man as he groaned in agonized protest with each step the monk took. Why did you come here, live one?
After completing the climb, Yorick carried his guest through several corridors in the abbey, before coming to a stop in an old infirmary. He eased the shipwrecked man onto a massive stone table and began to check his vitals. Most of the man’s ribs were shattered, and one of his lungs had collapsed.
“Why do you waste your time?” asked a chorus of voices, speaking in unison from the Mist on Yorick’s back.
Yorick remained silent. He left the table and made his way to a heavy door in the rear of the infirmary. The door resisted as he pushed, his hand doing little but leaving a print in the thick layer of dust. He pressed his shoulder against the wood and heaved his entire weight into it.
“So much effort for naught,” sneered the Mist. “Let us have him.”
Again, Yorick answered it with contemptuous silence as he finally forced the door open. The heavy oak dragged across the stone tiles of the monastery floor, revealing a chamber full of scrolls, herbs, and poultices. For a moment, Yorick stared at the artifacts of his former life, struggling to remember how to use them. He picked up a few that looked familiar—bandages, yellow and brittle with age, and some ointment that had long turned to crust—and returned to the man atop the stone table.
“Just leave him,” said the Mist. “He was ours the moment he came ashore.”
“Quiet!” snapped Yorick.
The man on the table was now gasping for breath. Knowing he had little time to save him, Yorick tried to bind his wounds, but the rotten bandages fell apart as quickly as he could apply them.
As his breath grew more ragged, the man convulsed. He grabbed the monk’s arm in agonized desperation. Yorick knew there was only one thing that could save the man’s life. He uncorked the crystal vial at his neck, and considered the life-giving water it contained. There was precious little left. Yorick was unsure if it was enough to save the man, and even if it did…
Yorick was forced to face the truth. In trying to save the man, he was just chasing the memory of his former life, when this cursed place was called the Blessed Isles. The souls in the Mist had taunted him, but they’d taunted him with the truth. This man was doomed, and if Yorick used the Tears of Life, he would be too. He closed the vial and let it rest against his neck.
Stepping back from the table, Yorick watched the man’s chest rise and fall one last time. The Black Mist filled the room, spirits clawing out from it in anticipation. The Mist shivered eagerly, then ripped the dead man’s soul from his body. It uttered a faint, feeble cry before it was devoured by its new host.
Yorick stood motionless in the room and uttered a barely remembered prayer. He looked at the soulless husk on the table, a bitter reminder of the task he had yet to complete. While the curse of the Ruination remained, anyone who came to these isles would suffer the same fate. He had to bring peace to these cursed islands, but after years of searching, all he had found were whispers about a ruined king.
He needed answers.
With a single motion of Yorick’s hand, a thin strand of Mist poured into the man’s body. A moment later, it rose from the table, barely sentient. But it could see, it could hear, and it could walk.
“Help me,” said Yorick.
The body shambled out the door of the infirmary, its sloughing footsteps echoing through the halls of the monastery. It continued out into the foul air of the cemetery, walking through the rows of emptied graves.
Yorick watched as the corpse trudged toward the center of the isles until it disappeared into the Mist. Perhaps this one would return with the answer.
|A terrifying and tragic figure, Yorick is a ghoulish being that exists on the edge of mortality. Some say he was the last of his family line, dying without an heir to continue its legacy, and that he was cursed to continue his family's duty even after death. Wielding the twisted shovel he bore in life, he continues his macabre work, endlessly digging and filling graves upon the haunted Shadow Isles.|
|The work of gravediggers is essential amongst the living, but invaluable in the Shadow Isles. There are many shades of death there, and each is embraced rather than feared or reviled. One can only ascend from one state to the next with the magical aid of a skilled professional. At the end of the first Rune War, Yorick Mori made his living as a gravedigger. His family owned and maintained the Final Rest Memorial, one of the oldest cemeteries in Valoran. The shovel he employed for his work had been passed down for generations. Each gravedigger taught his son that this shovel was imbued with the spirit of every forefather, and that those spirits would protect him during the long lonely nights amongst the tombstones. To his eternal regret, Yorick died without an heir, bringing the proud Mori line to a close. His body was interred with his shovel in the family mausoleum, and the Final Rest Memorial soon fell to ruin. Death, however, was not the end Yorick had expected.
Yorick emerged on the haunted shores of the Shadow Isles – not quite dead, definitely not alive – still clutching his beloved shovel. He soon learned that with it he could act as a ferryman for the Isles' undead denizens, helping them climb death's many-tiered ladder. This proved a curse, as a gravedigger must "bury his quota" before he too can ascend, or so the legend goes. No one knows what "his quota" is. Yorick dug tirelessly, waiting in vain for the day when he would be freed of his burden. As decades turned to centuries, the shame of his failures came to a head. He returned to Valoran to find his corpse, convinced that salvation might be buried with it. When he arrived, no trace remained of either the mausoleum or the memorial. Hope nearly lost, he discovered the League of Legends, and there saw an opportunity to immortalize the family name he allowed to be forgotten ages ago.
| "Die first, then we’ll talk."
Date: 17 June, 21 CLE
Yorick finds the mountain's entrance after tireless searching. He has learned about the League in fragments; the unusual nature of death on the Fields of Justice intrigues him. He has no interest in games or politics, but a selfish impulse compels him.
He is hunched, built to purpose, strong. He clutches a shovel always – it is this grip that has held him to this world. He is at once terrifying and pitiful, an aged corpse which cannot rest. He ambles to the space designed for his Judgment, stone doors at the edge of the mountain. The darkness wraps around him as he enters. Its color suits him.
Darkness didn't bother Yorick. He'd spent most of his life in darkness and, more significantly, countless lifetimes beyond.
A lifetime... hmph. Warmskins have such narrow scopes.
Yorick could barely recall his early years in the Shadow Isles, diligently tallying the passing days, then months, then years. When the inner walls of his cave were nothing more than a maelstrom of crooked lines, he stopped. There was no more point to counting days in death than counting breaths in life. He wondered briefly how many lifetimes he might have tallied – another utterly useless exercise.
The chirp of crickets penetrated his thoughts. It was the kind of sound that softly framed deep contemplation, but became piercing madness when focused upon; more life fretting its hour, grasping for purpose, like flames dancing on their coals.
The smell of damp soil greeted him like an old friend, sprawling out around him. Yorick appraised his surroundings.
He stood amongst rows of gravestones which stretched in all directions seemingly without end. There was a pregnant stillness in the air that characterized places that bridged life and death. It was a quality that permeated every inch of the Shadow Isles, though life had long since abandoned its shores. Yorick once mused that these gardens of fresh death were lumps caught in the throat of existence, stale with unease as they contemplated their crossroads.
Now he merely wondered why there was a corpse here.
The body was laid out on a wagon next to a new but nameless tombstone. Bodies didn't bother him – quite the contrary. The prospect of ushering souls through the many rungs of death was one of the few thrills permitted to a gravedigger from the Shadow Isles. Rather, it was the fact that dead bodies (not to be confused with undead bodies) rarely presented themselves so conveniently for burial.
There was a time when Yorick would have questioned this, when he would have tried to identify the cadaver, speak with its family, ensure its name and some pertinent trivia were etched into its tombstone. Now he simply plunged his shovel into the soil, happy to be done with the ghost of curiosity.
With each passing shovel-full, Yorick felt a growing sense of remorse. In some ways he was enchanted by it. Emotions were the liquor of the living. As one crosses his third or fourth century of undeath, the memory of emotions becomes so faded that one wonders why he cares to remember them at all. This is where the disconnect between warmskins and the undead occurs. A gravedigger has a schedule to maintain and warmskins are just so deliriously attached to their lives, even despite decades of preparation for the inevitable. It is, after all, the inevitable.
Yorick had tried to compromise once or twice, burying people alive so they could savor their precious lives to the very last moment, but that was generally twice the headache and nobody ever appreciated his efforts.
By the time he'd dug the plot, Yorick's mind swam with somber anticipation. For reasons he couldn't fathom, this burial meant something. He simultaneously wished it could last forever and that he could be done with it already.
The latter felt more practical. He heaved the body unceremoniously into its plot, then clambered down to refold the arms and arrange it with some semblance of dignity. There was something eerily familiar about it. All the faces he'd buried – the countless faces – bled into each other by this point, why was this one different?
He climbed out of the hole and stared down at it one last time. He hadn't wondered about the life of one of his wards in centuries, but he couldn't help but feel a sense of unfulfilled purpose radiating from this one. Just as he was ready to pile the earth back atop the grave, he slipped. The shovel clattered into the hole.
Yorick hadn't lost grip of his shovel...ever. Panicked, he chased after it, but he slipped again. The soil he'd mounded next to the grave started to slide in on its own, an unprovoked avalanche. Yorick tried frantically to hold it back, but it flowed past him unhindered. He glanced down and it finally came to him.
The shovel rested neatly atop the body, clasped beneath its folded arms. The face -- that face he should have known -- was his own. It was the face of innocence, hope, sadness. It was a face so early on its journey, already convinced it had seen the end.
And Yorick didn't even recognize it.
The soil was falling in a torrent now, it had completely obscured the body and the last bits of the face were disappearing. Yorick dove into the hole and began tearing the dirt frantically. The motion was alien; he was completely lost without his shovel.
When the last grain of soil stopped, Yorick was buried to his elbows.
He hadn't felt anything – let alone this unyielding sadness – so acutely since he could remember.
"Why do you want to join the League, Yorick?"
He looked up. A man stood over him in a robe, some sort of mage. The face was concealed.
"Who are you?" Yorick asked.
"I'm employed by the League of Legends, that's all you need to know."
"I don't care about your League now. I just want that body."
"The body isn't real. It's forged from your memory. A mirage. Normally, I would stand here wearing the face of someone you once knew, but it seems you've forgotten everyone."
Yorick thought about this. It could only be true.
"Why do you want to join the League?" The man persisted.
"I want to do... something else. I want to remember... and be remembered." Yorick felt like something was guiding his tongue. There was water on his face.
What is this? What's happening?
"We can provide that opportunity, Yorick, but we need to know some things from you." The voice never faltered.
"About where you come from."
"I don't remember."
"Not where you were born. I'm referring to the Shadow Isles." Yorick let the words hang in the air.
"How does it feel, exposing your mind?"
The man was gone before Yorick could answer. Yorick felt truly alone, yet somewhere on the fringe of his awareness, excited. This League of Legends would soon taste the allure of death.
- Yorick's Champion Page
- Universe of League of Legends Page
- Champion Update: Yorick, the Shepherd of Souls
- Yorick Mechanics Preview
- Champion Sneak Peek - Yorick, the Gravedigger
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