It just wouldn’t be League of Legends without Riot going back and changing a champion’s lore to something totally new once a month.
That’s exactly what fans were given today with new lore introduced to both Ryze and Brand in the form of new bios, a short story, and a web comic.
Brand’s new lore turns him into a spiteful young man named Kegan Rodhe, the son of a Freljordian healer left to raise him alone. His father, according to the lore, was a villainous reaver, and so the villagefolk nearby hated and shunned him, in turn making him hateful and full of spite. After his mother died of old age, he burned down the village and fled, and eventually met Ryze, who was on the hunt for World Runes.
Ryze took Rodhe on as a student and apprentice mage. Eventually, Rodhe took one of the World Runes that Ryze was trying to protect for himself, burning away his former body and turning him into the flaming monstrosity we know as Brand.
In this new lore, Riot doesn’t say exactly how long the two were traveling companions, but it does seem clear that they’ve been racing one another to each World Rune for generations. Ryze wants to protect them, while Brand wants to consume them to gain more power.
In the web comic, we can see what happens when the two meet head-to-head at a rune buried deep within Shurima. While Ryze’s powers in that battle are similar to those he uses in-game, Brand’s seen to be a little exaggerated. Let’s just say he must be holding something back on Summoner’s Rift, because he completely annihilates the entire area they were standing in to get to Ryze.
Although it’s fun make jokes at Riot’s expense for changing lore so often, these new additions are still great. Brand’s old lore left him as just some random Freljordian corrupted by some old spirit, and Ryze just chased runes to find them and hide them from mortals so he could avoid another Rune War.
Entangling the two adds a more immediate threat to Ryze’s quest, which in turn adds a lot more urgency. It gives Brand agency in the world, making him something more than just some angry fire dude.
Over the past year or so, Riot has been amping up the depth of the lore surrounding each champion and Runeterra. Hopefully that includes more stories on a similar scale in the future because these, and particularly the comic, are fantastic.