In the ancient realm of Shurima, revered human warriors laid the foundations for the Darkin lineage. Deemed worthy of divine power, these warriors ascended to godhood, gaining immense strength to stand against the apocalyptic threat known as the Void. This resistance fought valiantly, finally bringing an end to the terror of the Void. The surviving Ascended, proud of their victory and the peace they had brought, named themselves "Sunborn."
However, in the aftermath of the war, they found their minds weren't as resilient as their new celestial bodies. Struggling to reconcile their divine status with their human emotions and mentality, they faced a profound existential crisis. The fall of Shurima, their guiding light, left a power vacuum, and with no emperor to follow, they were like ships lost at sea. The sun that once illuminated their path had been extinguished, and they were thrown into the dark, uncertain future.
This darkness ultimately consumed them. The once noble warriors, now called "darkin," succumbed to infighting, and a brutal conflict ensued. This strife marked the beginning of the Darkin War, where the darkin fought for supremacy over the world that they believed had forsaken them. Over time, the chaos and atrocities of war chipped away at their sanity, causing them to spiral further into darkness.
During this period, they tapped into forbidden forms of primal magic. Their bodies and armors, subjected to the ruthless alterations of blood magic, began to warp and deform. No longer did they resemble the noble warriors they had once been; they had become demonic entities, their once-honorable image replaced by a terrifying one, a far cry from the champions they were during the Void War.
The Creation of the Darkin Weapons
The creation of the Darkin weapons marked the end of the brutal Darkin War. As the Darkin were originally Ascended, celestial concepts merged with mortal hosts to grant them extraordinary power. When the Darkin fell into chaos and war, the Aspects decided to intervene, helping mortals to bind each Darkin into their preferred weapon, using powerful magic and arcane rituals.
These weapons became the physical prison for the Darkin, trapping their celestial essence within. With the Darkin trapped, the celestial concept they represented was deleted, making it indistinguishable what the Darkin once symbolized.
The weapons are sentient, often choosing their hosts based on criteria only known to the Darkin within. Once a host is chosen, the weapon initiates a parasitic bond. Initially, the host is granted a portion of the Darkin's power, creating a symbiotic relationship. This power reshapes the host into a monstrous form and is difficult to control, often leading the host to give into the seductive whispers of the Darkin in their mind.
However, the bond can develop into one of dominance, with either the Darkin or the host gaining control. If the Darkin dominate, they annihilate the host's personality, affirming their agency. If the host dominates, they can kill the Darkin's persona and gain full access to the weapon's power. The dominated party, in either case, is described as 'dying.'
Known Darkins in League of Legends universe
Of the known Darkin, Aatrox, Varus, and Rhaast are some of the most notorious:
Aatrox, the Darkin Blade, is a fearsome entity who once wielded his namesake sword in the wars of the ancient world. Following his corruption, Aatrox was imprisoned within the very weapon he once brandished, a cruel twist of fate. His prison has changed hands numerous times over the centuries, creating an amalgam of hosts that Aatrox has usurped and dominated, forcing them to give in to his will.
Varus, the Arrow of Retribution, finds himself trapped in a unique situation. Bound within his bow, Varus has not one, but two hosts: Valmar and Kai. Unlike other Darkin, Varus has not completely taken control of his hosts, leading to a tri-symbiotic existence between them. They persist, locked in a struggle for dominance, the outcome of which could have dire consequences for the world of Runeterra.
Rhaast, known as the Darkin Scythe, currently resides in Noxus and is wielded by the shadow assassin, Kayn. However, Rhaast has not found a true host in Kayn. The two are in a constant battle for control, with the potential outcomes being Kayn's complete annihilation, Rhaast gaining full control, or a harmonious coexistence. Rhaast's fate hangs in the balance, a testament to the Darkin's eternal struggle for freedom and dominance.
Naafiri, trapped within a dagger, it’s not known for any current host. The details of his history and abilities are shrouded in mystery, but recent whispers suggest he will soon be unveiled as the next champion in the League of Legends universe.
Anaakca is trapped within a spear.
Horazi is bound to a Lodestone or Orb, which is protected by a Targonian Protector Golem on Mount Targon.
Baalkux, residing within a staff, finds himself not in the hands of a mortal but embedded in a tree in The Bandlewood.
Ibaaros is trapped within a harpoon.
Joraal, once a mighty Darkin warrior, now finds himself trapped within an Aegis or Shield guarded by House Fortis in Demacia.
Naganeka, is contained within a ballista, found in the eastern steppes of Noxus and currently hosted by a Noxian beast.
Praa, bound to a fan, is not trapped within the physical realm but within the Spirit Realm, with a Dragonling serving as her host.
Styraatu finds herself trapped within a harp, located in the caverns of Zaun, and is currently hosted by a Zaunite miner.
Taarosh, bound within a Halberd, finds his prison in the haunted isles, once known as the Blessed Isles, and is now held by a dragon of the Shadow Isles.
Xolaani is bound to Bloodletters or a Chain-sickle, currently located in Mistfall, Bahrl, Ionia, and wielded by a pupil of the Wuju Order known as Jun.