Until only twenty years ago, Runeterra was on a collision course with disaster. As quickly as Runeterra’s denizens would band together in ancient times as tribes, opposing tribes would war to settle their disputes. No matter the era, the preferred choice of warfare has always been magical. Armies would be enhanced or decimated by spell and rune alike. Champions made the most of magical items forged for them as they led or supported armies. Summoners – often the de facto leaders of Valoran’s political forces – would unleash mighty magical powers directly against foes and their holdings with little regard for consequence. With such an abundance of raw magical power at their disposal, there was little motivation for summoners to explore more environmentally-friendly forms of warfare.
Within the last two hundred years, however, the dangers of unchecked magical warfare began to expose the fragility of Runeterra to everyone residing in Valoran. The last two Rune Wars drastically altered the geophysical landscape of Valoran, even after magical energy was focused on restoring it. Violent earthquakes and horrific magically-fueled storms made life on Valoran challenging, even before factoring in the horror of warfare on the populace. It was theorized that another unchecked Rune War would tear the world asunder.
As a direct response to the world’s growing physical and political instability, Valoran’s key magicians – including many powerful summoners – came to the conclusion that conflicts needed to be resolved in a controllable and systemic way. They formed an organization called the League of Legends, whose purpose was to oversee the orderly resolution of political conflict in Valoran. Housed in the Institute of War, the League would be given the authority by Valoran’s political entities to govern the outcomes of the organized conflict they would administer.
The League resolved that all major political conflict would be settled through the use of specially prepared arenas strategically located throughout Valoran. Summoners representing a particular political allegiance would each call forth a champion; the champions, leading mindless minions generated by novice summoners manipulating a nexus, would fight to achieve the objective of the arena they were in. The most common victory condition of a battle arena would be to destroy the opposing faction’s nexus. These arenas are collectively referred to as the Fields of Justice.
While all major political conflicts were being funneled through the League of Legends, physical conflicts between warring political entities were not completely eliminated. For example – the strategic choice of the League to build the Institute of War directly between the constantly warring city-states of Demacia and Noxus stopped almost all direct confrontation between them, though military skirmishes continue to break out. Instead, the warlike Noxian High Command has turned its ambitions of conquest offshore. Even still, all political entities abide by the governance of the League of Legends. No wise regent would be foolish enough to rail against a vast cabal of immensely powerful magicians, summoners, and champions.
The fights in the various Fields of Justice over which the League presides are not only of great political interest to Valoran, but also of great social interest. The League magically transmits the sights and sounds of the action as it unfolds to specially built arcane receivers located in key settlements throughout Valoran. Watching a fight in a Field of Justice is one of the more popular entertainment activities Valoran’s denizens engage in.
The League of Justice is supervised by a council of three powerful summoners, known as the High Council of Equity. Each summoner has been on the Council of Equity since the inception of the League of Legends except for its newest High Councilor, Heywan Relivash; High Councilor Relivash’s ascension took place five years ago after the mysterious disappearance of the previous High Councilor, Reginald Ashram. The Council of Equity is responsible not only for the leadership and guidance of the League, but also to act as the highest court of appeal for adjudication of Valoran’s political entities.
The structure of the League is focused around internal organizations that lead their various goals. Each city-state is assigned an Emissary of the League – a diplomat who serves as an on-location political representative to enact the will of the League. The Adjudicators are the arbiters assigned to a given match in the Fields of Justice. The Council is the body of high-ranking summoners which rules over political outcomes once a battle arena match has been resolved.