The Lore Inside the Cards: New Legends of Runeterra Bilgewater Champions Fizz and Nautilus

It’s time to set sail and leave the blood soaked docks of Bilgewater. Put on your snorkel and maybe some shark repellent, because we are about to dive into the ocean’s depths. There we will encounter colorful reefs and their magical inhabitants like the mischievous Fizz, a relict from a long forgotten civilization who like to prank helpless sailors. But beyond the tropical reefs, where the crystal blue shallows give way to a endless darkness, we will encounter gigantic maneaters. The deep sea is also home to cursed humans, who were twisted into demons of the sea by the lovecraftian powers that reside within the abyss.

Pirates aren’t the only threat you should fear when sailing the waters around Bilgewater. Eldritch horrors of gigantic proportions prowl the seas of Runeterra, swallowing up ships with a single gulp as if it were a mere insect. And then there is also the tiny Fizz, a Yordle with gills and a smooth skin instead of fur. By the people of Bilgewater he is treated as a mischievous spirit of the ocean but unbeknownst to them, he hails from a fallen civilization far older than the humans which thrived at the bottom of the sea.

The Origins of Fizz, The Tidal Trickster:

Long before Bilgewater was founded on the serpent isles, there once was a great city below the surface of the Guardian’s Sea, inhabited by a unknown aquatic race. Fizz didn’t belong to their kind but was still treated as a equal, having grown fond of his playfulness and stories. The world was changing however, the oceans became warmer and sea monsters emerged out of the deepest crevices of the abyss. These leviathans would bring certain doom upon the underwater civilization if they didn’t act swiftly, but they hesitated. One settlement after another fell silent, destroyed by monsters from the depths.

Fizz couldn’t stand by while his friends were being devoured by sea monsters, so he volunteered to seek out the survivors in the outskirts of the civilization. Sadly he couldn’t find any survivors, nobody that could tell him what had destroyed their villages. Fizz continued on his search until he smelled the scent of a great amount of blood in the water. He rushed back to the city as fast as he could, but all he found were ruins shrouded in huge clouds of blood. Gigalodons, a monstrous hybrid of dragons and sharks, had destroyed the city. No stone was left unturned, everyone was dead except for Fizz.

Runeterra’s sea monsters tend to be a bit bigger than our worlds average whale.

Fizz was stricken with deep sorrow and fell into a trance like state. He let the currents pick up his limb body, dragging him into the great unknown. Millennia passed as Fizz slept, then the glitter of a copper coin caught his attention. They were thrown from a ship above him as a sacrifice for safe passage through the ocean. To Fizz these ships appeared like big wooden fish that swam on the surface, igniting his curiousness. He swam to the surface and saw even more of these strange objects he had never seen before. Since they had thrown their copper coins to him they must be friends he thought and started swimming towards the source of all these wooden fishes.

At the end of the trail of ships he found Bilgewater. A twisted city full of outlaws and cutthroats for some, a place full of potential friends for Fizz. The residents of Bilgewater quickly became aware of his existence, as Fizz isn’t very subtle with the pranks he likes to play on the people of this lawless place. Nonetheless he became known as a trickster with two sides to him, one which guides fishermen to fortunes and one that leads greedy souls to their certain doom.

The Lore Inside the Cards, Fizz:

There is a reason why Fizz can keep annoying bloodthirsty pirates with his obnoxious tricks, while never feeling the consequences of his pranks. He can move through the water as fast as a bullet and has the ability to evade all incoming attacks with insulting ease. In LoR he also drives his enemies insane by denying all spells targeting him and gaining the elusive keyword on top. When Fizz levels up, he will put Chum The Waters into your hand, allowing you to summon Longtooth like in his ultimate in LoL.

The oceans of Runeterra are inhabited by a number of intelligent merfolk. In the newest set we were introduced to a tiny part of them through cards like the fearsome Razorscale Hunter or fellow amphibious yordle Zap Sprayskin. However, their are still others waiting to be made into cards. One that wasn’t mentioned yet are the Marai, a tribe of sea-bound Vastaya. Within the Bilgewater region are a number of Vastaya followers already, like the Smooth Soloist. They are the descendants of humans who fully united their bodies with the spirit world. The result was a new race of human-beast hybrids. Vastaya have a huge variety when it comes to their physical appearance, some have the appearance of a wild beast like Rengar, while others look very human like Ahri. The Marai resemble the classical mermaids of our own folklore and hail from the ocean west of Targon. They are represented in League of Legends by the champion Nami.

Many aquatic Vastaya call the ocean their home, one of them is Nami.

Another race of fishy people made their debut in the newest expansion and have been left unnamed. For now, the Black Market Merchant is the only one with his own card but a few also appear in the background of other Bilgewater followers. Their squat bodies and catfish whiskers give them a strange similarity to Tahm Kench, a demon who tricks people into bad deals. For now, it’s unknown if Tahm Kench and the unnamed race are in some way connected but the next set might expand on the lore of this unknown race.

Are these catfish-people also Vastaya, or maybe even related to Tahm Kench?

Fizz, despite his obnoxious and prankish nature, is probably one of the least worrisome beings from the ocean a seaman from Bilgewater could encounter. If you take walk through the slaughterhouses of Bilgewater you can look at some of these gigantic leviathans that only the bravest, or dumbest, people hunt for a living. If you wish a safe return to your homeport instead of landing in the belly of one of these beasts, you should throw a coin into a ocean. A legend that also Nautilus strongly believed in, before he was transformed into the monstrous giant from the sea.

The Origins of Nautilus, The Titan of the Depths:

According to legends, Nautilus was once the best treasure diver of the isles. He was a tall and mighty men, with lungs so strong he could steal the wind out of the sails of a wind. As part of a crew of treasure hunters he would dive to incredible depths in order to haul long forgotten fortunes from the ocean floor. He would do this without any diving gear and even so he seemed like a man without fears, Nautilus would always throw a coin into the ocean as a sacrifice before his dives. The people of Bilgewater aren’t particularly religious or in tune with the spirits of the ocean. Many prefer praying to the spirits found in bars, but believe in a lovecraftian deity, that the natives of the serpent isles have worshipped since ancient times, called the Bearded Lady, has still found a place in their culture. Throwing a coin into the sea for protection is a ritual which originates from this old religion.

Years of hauling sunken treasures had slowly depleted the ocean of all its riches. Nautilus and his fellow crew found themself penniless and desperate, there was seemingly nothing left that they could sell for a profit.One day, Nautilus found at that he and his crew were sold to a mysterious foreigner by their old captain. He was allegedly seeking something of incredible worth in the eternally dark abyssal region of the ocean, far deeper than even Nautilus could dive.

Everyone knew this would be a very dangerous expedition but without money they would starve, so they agreed. Nautilus had to put on a heavy diving suit made out of steel, in order to withstand the immense pressure of the deep sea. As always he asked for someone to throw a coin into the ocean, but his crew members had nothing to spare. The foreigner who hired them had no respect for their local traditions and laughed of the request, saying they would have more than enough coins after Nautilus would return from his dive.

Titanic sea monsters aren’t even the greatest threat for sailors.

Nautilus was lowered into the endless depths below him. Light slowly gave way to darkness as Nautilus slowly sunk into the ocean, soon he couldn’t even see the anchor chain that was right next to him. He was entirely alone, only his thoughts keeping him company and whatever swam in the giant black void around him. Then suddenly, Nautilus felt real fear for the first time in his life as something from below pulled on his body. He couldn’t see what had grasped him, Nautilus only felt the pull that was dragging him down towards whatever his captain was seeking.

The ensignia of the Great Kraken, a god that dwells in the depths

He grasped the anchor chain in his terror and climbed up, fighting against the weight of his steel suit and the arms that pulled on him. Nautilus climbed for his live, finally light illuminated the oceans once more, revealing the otherworldly tendrils extending from the darkness below him that are enveloping the steel suit of Nautilus. He could see the outline of the ship, then one of his fingers breached the surface. But the anchor chain broke and Nautilus could only let out a scream, drowned out by the water around him, as he was dragged down into the crushing depths.

Nautilus awoke again at the bottom of the ocean. The pressure that would turn a men into pulp could no longer hurt him, his diving suit had become a part of his body. He no longer felt any fear, instead he was filled with a irresistible desire for revenge against those that didn’t sacrifice a coin for his sake. But once he arrived in Bilgewater, he couldn’t find neither the captain nor his former crewmates. Nonetheless this wouldn’t calm his furry, instead he now punishes all who don’t throw a coin into the ocean, crushing their ships with the giant anchor he once held onto as he was dragged into the abyss himself.

The Lore Inside the Cards, Nautilus:

Nautilus is a giant made of steel, so appropriately he has a massive 12 health in his unleveled form and the tough keyword on top of this, making him almost indestructible. Once you go deep, which means having 15 or less cards left in your deck, Nautilus will awaken and gain a total of 13 power and the fearsome keyword. Fitting for him he synergizes with sea monster cards, the creatures from the depths around Bilgewater. Thanks to the “deep” keyword they all gain +3/+3 once your deck has 15 or less cards left and leveled up Nautilus will also reduce their mana cost by 4, turning your sea monster followers into true leviathans.

Throughout the lore of Bilgewater and its champions you will hear frequently of a eldritch being called the Bearded Lady. The oceans of Runeterra are home to many mysterious entities whose relation with the world a barely understood. Some of these gods are worshipped by the natives of the serpent isles, with the champion Illaoi being one of the most devout followers. But even the inhabitants of Bilgewater, the only place in the Serpent Isles where foreigners are allowed to settle, have a certain respect for these myths. 

Illaoi is fanatically devoted to the Bearded Lady

These gods from the deepest crevices of the ocean may be evil and seek out to devour all life on the surface or they may not even care about mortals. But what is certain is that their presence has a detrimental effect on Bilgewater, as can be seen through the legend of Nautilus. Another human who was cursed and molded into a ghost of vengeance by the ocean’s depths is the champion Pyke. Both of them have a murderous fixation on captains and sailors from Bilgewater, after they came in contact with some sort of eldritch power. Maybe this is proof that the gods of the Serpent Isles seek to eradicate this city or at least harbor resentment for it.

Who is transofrming these humans into living weapons?

We are almost done with out series about the lore of the new champions. Tune in next time when we tackle Gangplank, the most feared pirate of Bilgewater! Make sure you wont miss the wrap up of this series by following our twitter.

cellstealer

Cellstealer’s love for card games started at the school yard, where he used to trade away his valuable Yu-Gi-Oh cards for the ones that ‘looked cool’. Since then he’s played various online CCG's until he decided to stick with Legends of Runeterra. Occasionally he spares opponents from another beating in LoR and channels energy into other productive endeavours such as art, film-making, or playing video games.