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|“||A lifetime as a slave has prepared me for an eternity as your master.||„|
|“||Your wants are irrelevant. Xerath will kill you whether you embrace your destiny or not. He has come here to end the bloodline of Azir once and for all.||„|
|~ Nasus to Sivir discussing Xerath's return.|
Xerath, also known as the Magus Ascendant, is a villainous playable character in the multiplayer online battle arena game League of Legends, who serves as the overarching antagonist of "Shurima: Descent into the Tomb" and "Rise of Shurima".
An Ascended Magus of ancient Shurima, Xerath betrayed his emperor when driven mad by the power of his own dark sorcery before being locked away beneath the vast desert in a magical sarcophagus. However, with the Rise of Shurima, the Magus Ascendant is now free once more as he strives to make himself ruler of the new earth.
The 84th champion added to the game, Xerath was released on October 5, 2011, and can be played as either a mid laner or support.
Four thousand years ago in the ancient Shuriman city of Nerimazeth lived a boy who would be raised as a nameless slave. Despite this harsh environment, the boy was lucky to have loving parents who were able to teach him to read and write, as well as mathematics and history in hopes that these skills could one day lead him to a better life.
Attendant of Azir
By a stroke of fate, these skills would prove useful to the young slave when he met the young prince Azir, who befriended the boy and named him Xerath ("one who shares") for sharing his knowledge in the library. The least favorite son of the Emperor, Azir was an outcast of the royal family and thus had no problem befriending a lowly slave. Xerath became Azir's attendant, and when he saved the young prince's life from an band of assassins, their bond only strengthened. While the Emperor was furious that his other sons had been killed in the attack (leaving Azir was the sole heir to the throne), Azir himself was grateful and promised Xerath to one day end all slavery in Shurima.
Years passed, and the Emperor sought to produce a new heir to the throne. Having studied the history of past Shuriman emperors, Xerath knew that Azir's life was in danger and suggested he learn to fight in case an assassin attacked. In return for his advice, Azir promoted Xerath, and with his new position as the prince's right hand Xerath gained access to the forbidden vaults of Shurima's ancient libraries. To protect his friend from the Emperor's wrath, Xerath studied the arts of dark sorcery to place a curse on the queen so she would be unable to carry a child to term.
For a time, the curse worked, and Xerath was able to successfully murder each of the Emperor's children before they could be born. But the spell's effect didn't work forever, and eventually the queen gave birth to a son. With no other option, Xerath called upon deadly arcane magic to summon a storm around the queen's chambers, killing her, the Emperor, their guards, and the newborn prince. Xerath blamed mages in the conquered regions of the empire for the assassination, and who would have to face Azir's retribution.
When Azir was crowned Emperor of Shurima, Xerath was ecstatic to be seated at his right hand. But one thing still bothered him: Azir's promise to one day free the slaves so he and Azir could be as brothers. But Azir refused, scolding Xerath for stepping out of line and stating that the release of all the slaves too quickly would lead to the collapse of the Shuriman empire. Furious at this betrayal, Xerath began to secretly plot against his friend, manipulating the young Emperor from the shadows over the next few decades. As Azir's most trusted advisor, Xerath made sure to slowly increase his own power in the empire bit by bit in hopes of one day seizing Shurima for himself.
The Fall of Shurima
Azir's reign as emperor was long and prosperous, and Xerath was at his side, biding his time. Over decades of studying old legends, Xerath formulated a plan that would grant him the power of the gods. The power of Ascension, used by Shuriman heroes of old, could grant Xerath immortality, invulnerability, and the perfect opportunity to usurp the throne. Feeding into the Emperor's hubris, Xerath suggested that Azir, Shurima's greatest emperor, should undergo the ritual that would allow him to join the ranks of Shurima's greatest heroes. Blinded by vanity, Azir agreed with Xerath against the Sun Priests' wishes, and on the day of the ritual Azir made his way to the Dais of Ascension at the great Sun Disc.
However, just before Xerath sprung his plan into motion, the magus was shocked when Azir turned around and embraced him, naming him his eternal brother and ending slavery across Shurima. The Emperor's words touched Xerath, but did not sway him from his plans. His ambition was too strong, and as far as Xerath was concerned the gesture had come decades too late. In a swift blast of arcane magic, Xerath vaporized his former friend and took his place at the pedestal, hijacking the ritual to steal the power of the sun itself. The motion caused the collapse of the Sun Disc, the city, and the empire itself, killing everyone in sight as Xerath ascended to the power of the gods.
Horrified by the magus' treachery, the Ascended brothers Renekton and Nasus arrived with a magical sarcophagus to imprison Xerath before he could transform. But it was too late, as Xerath shattered the prison and revealed himself as a being of pure, limitless arcane energy. A great battle followed, which ended in the sacrifice of Renekton as he dragged Xerath into the Tomb of Emperors to be locked away by Nasus, where the two Ascended would continue their battle for thousands of years. Over time, Xerath would twist the weakened Renekton's mind into that of a savage beast, a hollow shell of his former self waiting to be released from eternal darkness.
The Rise of Shurima
Thousands of years after Shurima's fall, the ancient Tomb of Emperors was discovered by Noxian noblewoman Cassiopeia and Sivir, the last in Azir's bloodline. After Cassiopeia betrayed Sivir and unsealed the tomb, she was cursed, and from the sand and rubble emerged Xerath and the now insane Renekton.
Declaring himself the new Emperor of Shurima, Xerath made his way into the desert seeking new knowledge about the world after millennia trapped beneath the sands. After a battle with Pantheon, the Targonian Aspect of War, Xerath was able to claim the city of Nerimazeth for himself, designating it his base of operations to gather information and restore his strength. Xerath felt Shurima's rise and the rebirth of the newly-Ascended Azir, and knows that this is just the beginning. In time, all mortals will come to serve him...
In game, Xerath serves as an artillery-type character, with his abilities Arcanopulse and Eye of Destruction blasting arcane magic in long beams and deadly area-of-effect attacks respectively, each from a safe distance. His passive Mana Surge restores mana as he attacks his enemies, and Xerath can also use Shocking Orb to fire electricity to stun and damage his opponents. His ultimate, Rite of the Arcane, fires a long-range barrage of powerful arcane blasts, at the cost that Xerath is unable to move while the spell is being cast.
As a young boy, Xerath was a generally kind and empathetic person despite his harsh upbringing as a slave. He was shown to be helpful when he met Azir in the library, and even risked his own life to save Azir from the assassin. As a researcher, Xerath was described to be curious and meticulous when carrying out tasks, and proved to be unusually intelligent, with Azir relying on him for advice for the vast majority of his lifetime.
However, when Xerath began to study dark sorcery, things began to change. Xerath revealed a patiently ambitious, manipulative, even Machiavellian side of himself, cursing and later killing the queen and the emperor with little remorse and simply blaming his actions on an already oppressed region within the empire to suffer Azir's wrath. While Xerath assured himself his heinous crimes were simply to protect Azir, this quickly changed as soon as Azir got in the way of Xerath's goals and aspirations, as he immediately started plotting his old friend's demise. However, Xerath does feel a hint of remorse for treachery after Azir makes good on his promise to free all slaves, but even this is not enough to stop Xerath from putting his plans into action.
As the Magus Ascendant, Xerath becomes a godlike megalomaniac with little regard for mortal life, believing that his immortality and prowess in dark sorcery makes him a superior being with the sole right to rule over all mankind. He doesn't regret the cataclysm that resulted from his actions, and even enjoyed his psychological torment of Renekton, showcasing a new sadistic side of Xerath. The defining part of Xerath's personality is his refusal to be a slave to anyone, but as his story suggests, even with the godlike power he has found, he still remains a slave to his own ambition and insanity.
- Xerath's name in ancient Shuriman means "one who shares".
- In contrast, his name in modern Shuriman means "devil" or "hateful", as a result of Xerath's treachery at the fall of Shurima.
- Directly after the fall of Shurima, the Ascended took revenge on Xerath by destroying his home city of Nerimazeth. In modern Shurima, the city now serves as the capital of Xerath's new empire.
- Xerath is speculated to be ambidextrous, since he uses both his hands for different attacks.