LoL Lore: The Story of Azir, The Emperor of The Sands

Azir LoL Lore
Azir ruled Shurima. (Credit: Riot Games)

For this edition of the LoL Lore series, we go back to Shurima and once again face the Ascension ritual which Aatrox also went through according to his champion lore. This time we take a look at Azir though, the emperor of Shurima.

Who is Azir, and what caused him to become the Ascended he is today? Who else is involved in his champion lore? We’re going to be seeing a lot of champions we know and love to play on Summoner’s Rift, but how do they fit into his background? Those are some key questions we hope to answer today.

Interested in more Champion Lore? We have you covered:

Who is Azir According to LoL Lore?

Azir was a previous emperor of Shurima. His champion lore starts off with him as a small boy. He had many older brothers and preferred to study in the library of Nasus rather than learn to fight with Renekton – one of the greatest Shuriman warriors and Nasus’ brother.

Azir met a young slave boy in the library who also loved to learn and research. The two quickly became friends and even though slaves weren’t allowed to take names, Azir gave the slave a name – Xerath.

As time went on, the two grew up together, Xerath becoming Azir’s personal slave. The two promised one another to one day be eternal brothers, but for that to become reality, slavery had to be abolished, for a slave could never climb the ranks to be the equal of a prince.

Then, one day, Azir, his father and brothers made their rounds through the kingdom of Shurima. One night, though, they were ambushed. Azir had snuck off with Xerath, thus surviving, but his brothers weren’t so lucky. This left Azir as the last living heir to the Shuriman empire, much to his fathers' disdain.

Azir learned to be a leader for his kingdom, learned to fight – something he didn’t want to do before – and in secret, started working on a plan to abolish slavery, so that Xerath could be free one day. He didn’t tell anyone, not even Xerath himself, for a single whisper of his plans could lead them to blow up.

Shurima sun disk Lore Azir
The ancestral home of Shurima. (Credit: Riot Games)

Years later, the emperor died as well, Azir becoming the new emperor of Shurima. He ruled with an iron fist, but a just one, and slowly became arrogant. Xerath, still his most trusted confidant, believed that Azir was meant for greater things and convinced him to take the test of ascension to become an Ascended.

  • Want to try out Azir yourself after reading his champion lore? Then worry not because we have lots of Guides, like this mid lane guide for beginners!

Azir did as his friend told him. They decided to hold the ascension ceremony. Right before the beginning of the ceremony, Azir took the steps to the sun disk and made his decree known; freedom to all slaves of Shurima. Not only that, but he also announced Xerath to be his eternal brother.

Unfortunately, Xerath had his own plans for freedom and just before Azir could ascend, Xerath pushed him out of the runic circle, Azir burning and dying in an instant, while power – which was not his to be – overwhelmed Xerath.

  • Thanks to Aurelion Sol and his celestial powers Ascended beings were able to roam Runeterra.

Shurima fell on that day. The once-thriving society was destroyed in an instant, people burned, buildings fell. And Azir saw none of it.

Thousands of years later, when the last of the emperor’s blood spilled over the temple ruins, Azir awoke once more. His rebirth was incomplete but due to his strong will, he slowly regained a physical form with which he could leave the temple.

As he made his way out of the temple, he saw the dead body of a young woman. He could tell right away that she was a daughter of Shurima. He took her body to an oasis to clean it and give it the final respect. This act of selflessness granted him the ascended form he was supposed to gain thousands of years before and with it, he got blessed with the power to rule the sand once again.

Is Azir a God According to LoL Lore?

Azir sun disk LoL Lore
Azir almost completed the ascension ritual before he was pushed out of the runic circle by Xerath. (Credit: Riot Games)

Azir is not a god, though Xerath had him convinced that he was a god amongst men, hence, why he had to partake in the ascension ritual to become an Ascended. At the beginning of Azir’s champion lore, he is a mere mortal, but his arrogance and greed made him want to become more.

With the power of the sun disk in ancient Shurima, humans of great power could become Ascended beings. The power of the sun disk thanks to celestial magic granted worthy mortals abilities most could only dream of.

Is Azir a Tyrant According to LoL Lore?

No, Azir is not a tyrant. According to his champion lore, Azir was a strict emperor, but he worked to be just as well. He secretly planned to overthrow the status quo and to free the slaves on whose backs the Shuriman society was built.

In the end, his secrecy was also his downfall, for Xerath began to harbor negative feelings within his heart and thus used dark magic to gain immense powers of his own to overcome his slave status.

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