Yes, another story. Not my fault (this time). Someone commissioned me to insert Pantheon (Atreus) into Worm because they wanted to see literal War stab an endbringer in the face. I'm going to really, really try to make this one shorter than around 20k words. I'd like to say I've finished a story for once, lol. Knowing me though, that's not going to happen.

So, I bring you, Let There Be War.

Chapter 1: Starter

Pantheon, Aspect of War

I left Iula's farmstead behind, as broken a man as I arrived. My armor had dulled and my spear was bent. The star that was my namesake shone dimly in the night sky, like a spark from the forge dying in the breeze. "Aspect of War," they called me. The Pantheon. That very name sounded like venom in my ears.

What pantheon? Where was my brother? I'd left him atop Targon's peak. All I could do was bring back his sword for his love to hang above her mantle. Iula herself was old and gray now, sixty-eight years and more. Would I see her again? Was I destined to lose myself to another? Pantheon. Viego. For how long next time? A year or a century? It mattered not. By blade or time, it seemed I was destined to walk alone.

I did not know how long I walked. Time lost all meaning as I wandered beneath the mountain's shadow. Days? Weeks? None accosted me, for even tarnished, the armor of an Aspect could not be ignored. Then, after untold moons, I heard the familiar sound of ringing steel.

When my mind returned to me, I stood atop a familiar craggy outcrop. Yes, I remembered this place. It was here that I met that mercenary captain, the former Rakkor who had turned his back on the ways of the Ra'Horak. He had come to harvest the blood of the Seer and loot her temple. I'd faced him then, newly freed from the Aspect's grasp and ready to forge my own legend.

'And are you any different than he?' I wondered. Had I not fled my destiny? Had I not cast aside my oaths? Had I not spit upon my brother's memory? Had I not begged Iula to kill me?

Down below, I saw yet another convoy, one that was so similar to those mercenaries yet so different. This time, they were not soldiers but women and children. They were not headed into Targon, but away. The convoy was dressed in tattered rags and I could see little save water and food in their wagons.

'Refugees. Fleeing the civil war.' Or, in truth, oppression. The Aspect of the Sun had taken hold of the Solari order. The Rakkor, the Tribe of the Last Sun, had taken up their arms in service of the Sun and declared all others unlike them to be heretics.

Four Solari warriors had stopped the convoy. Right there on the road, they began to search the wagons, throwing down grain and water to reveal a family. These had the distinct tattoos of the Lunari. I watched dispassionately as words became heated and excuses and pleas fell on deaf ears. It was as Iula said. They were killing all Lunari, and all who sheltered them.

What few men there were in the convoy tried to fight. The women too, for there were none among the Rakkor who could not swing a sword. But they were found wanting before four Ra'Horak. They cut down first one man then another. A woman who raised a dagger met her end at their spear.

And still they fought.

In the span of a breath, I was there. My battered shield, the Aegis of Zeonia, rose and deflected their spears with laughable ease. Skyfall, the spear of Areion, lanced out. Though bent and dulled, it found purchase in the chest of one Solari as I shoved him into his brothers.

"A-Aspect," I heard the whispered gasps behind me.

I did not know why I moved. I'd given up. I'd been ready to give my last breath to Iula. I had once thought that no matter how many evils, be they gods or demons, roamed this land, I could make a difference so long as I drew breath, so long as I fought. I had fallen so many times, and so I had to rise. For honor. For my brother. For those who could not.

But then Viego had taken hold of my soul. Who would protect the people should I lose myself next time? I could not bear the thought of rising again only to become the very threat I fought against.

So I gave up. I gave in. It was for the best. Had I not done enough? Had I not shed enough blood? Buried enough brave men and women? I was so, so tired. Surely I deserved to rest?

'So why did you move?' a traitorous voice whispered in the back of my mind.

My eyes flickered to the gleaming gold of the Solari spears. Even as they stood before an Aspect, their eyes were arrogant. Even as they cut down women and children, they believed themselves in the right. Even as blood of fellow Rakkor soaked their hands, the holy sun they worshiped blinded them to good sense.

"Because I am a man."

Countless battles followed. I fought for memories. For oaths sworn to a brother. For the blood of the innocent. I fought and killed until I heard of a portal made by Solari hands. I heard they intended to make more Aspects, to turn the tide once and for all, to enslave my people to the will of these so-called gods. And so I crested Targon's peak a third time.

There I met Leona, a woman I once called sister, now a puppet to the Sun that claimed her. Aurelion once claimed the sun and moon were two facets of the same coin. I laughed then. What did that matter to me?

As she cast me down to the mountain's base, I wondered how Diana would have ruled in Leona's place. Were they destined to be mirror opposites of one another? Would they have balanced one another?

No. There could be no balance between men and these false gods. So long as my people revered the Aspects, they would remain shackled. It mattered not who led them or what "heavenly truths" they professed.

There at the foot of the mountain, I once again found my spark. The star of Atreus, the sole remaining star in the Pantheon Constellation, shone in brilliance as my armor reforged itself. Skyfall straightened and sharpened as the plume of my helm blazed behind me. Countless constellations danced in the Solstice of Astrea as I leapt for the summit to once more answer the Call.


Years? Decades? Time marched on without me as I marched from one battlefield to another. I never again returned to Iula's farmstead. I was ashamed, ashamed of the face I'd shown before my longest friend, ashamed of the way I'd begged for death. Was I marching towards the future or running from my past? I didn't know anymore but I fought on anyway.

Though I never again stepped foot in Targon's shade, I kept contact with the only celestial I respected, Soraka, the Seer whose temple I protected so many decades ago. She gave up much to walk in the flesh of a mortal and I often wondered how different this world could be if the rest of her kind could see as she saw.

I yanked Skyfall from the chest of Anaakca's host as she sank to the the earth. She was a Darkin, yet more of Shurima's cursed legacy. My ancestors had seen fit to entomb her weapon in True Ice, far north in the frozen wastes of the Freljord. They believed an unmarked grave made of Anivia's blessing would keep her sealed forever.

They were wrong. Her power seeped through her tomb, until the eastern forest itself acted as her headstone. A foolish scout from the Winter's Claw found her spear and so his soul was lost.

"How many times must I slay your hosts, Darkin?" I spat.

"For the rest of eternity, Pantheon," she rasped. She offered me a bloody grin, for she knew she would be back. For all my power, I could not break a Darkin weapon.

I sheathed her spear on my back and a sense of profound revulsion filled me as her corrupting magic attempted to seep through my shroud. It would not, she knew and I knew, for the Solstice of Astrea was a relic weapon that belonged once to a previous Aspect. I knew not what I would do with her spear, but I could scarce leave it here, on the northern border of Demacia, where some fool farmer might find it.

I turned and began my walk. Perhaps the Solari could be good for something. Leona and I had a contentious relationship, but she knew more of magic weapons than I and our hatred of the Darkin was one of the few things we agreed on.

I walked on until the sun began to set and the moon peaked out above the horizon. From atop the stars, a single butterfly flew. Its ethereal wings glimmered and scattered motes of light in its wake, leaving behind little constellations that twinkled and faded. A sparklefly, one of the native creatures of Targon that have been transformed by the immense concentration of celestial magic in the area.

It was rare to see one so far from home, but also not uncommon to see them used as messengers. Most often, it was the Lunari who tamed them, but others did so as well. I held out my arm and it alighted on my hand without the slightest weight.

"What news have you for me, little one?"

"Pantheon," I heard the voice of the Seer. I frowned, for if she was willing to contact me like this, it was because she had foreseen some great disaster. Had Aatrox already found a host? "Hanne and Tomis barged into my temple to ask me to reach you."

I thought carefully. They were… Who were they? I'd met so many.

"Iula is dying. She lies on her deathbed. Come, friend, and say your farewell to a life well-lived," the Seer urged.

Memories struck me like a bolt from Valhir. I'd met them but once before, at Iula's farmstead, the last time I was there. They were refugees from Solari persecution. Hanne had been a young woman then, Tomis but a boy not ten years old.


My feet had already started to move before my shame could pull me back. Celestial magic cloaked my mortal form as I leapt through all of Valoran. The continent flashed beneath my feet in but a few seconds. Targon's clouded peak greeted me again.

I alighted on that same farmstead. My legs trembled with the pain of my landing, reminding me that I was but a man.

So little had changed about this place; I could not spot a single difference. Perhaps, in her own way, Iula too had been stuck in the past.

Tomis greeted me at the door. The years had done the lad well. He now stood as tall as I, broad-shouldered and strong as any Rakkor ought to be. Yet though his body had grown, his eyes betrayed his inexperience. I could spy the hint of awe as he beheld my visage. He was drawn to my spear, as so many were, and I could still see the toddler he had been.

"Pantheon," he breathed more than spoke.

"Aye, lad. I've come to pay my respects."

He stepped aside wordlessly. The interior had not changed either. I could still see bundles of herbs hung from the rafters to dry. There, in her kitchen, was the same clay oven I'd used to almost burn her house down.

For an instant, I allowed a bittersweet smile to surface at the memory. I'd wanted to repay her for taking care of me and tried to bake her morning bread for her. I'd only made more work for her instead, ruining the entire batch. What might my life have been like had I chosen a different path? What if I'd never picked up the spear?

No, I supposed there was no use in wondering. It was the privilege of every Rakkor to learn to make war, to raise my spear against every catastrophe that would dare snuff out the Last Sun. I'd believed that once.

Tomis and I walked into her bedroom. Iula lay there, old and frail now, as Hanne tended to her. I saw that even Hanne had grays in her hair now, how time passed…

"Pantheon," she spoke without turning. "You came."

"I have."

"She doesn't have long."

"I was told. The Seer-"

"Soraka can do nothing about age, or will do nothing. You know this."

"Aye," I said quietly. With more gentleness than I knew I possessed, I knelt by the bedside of my oldest friend and took her hand. "Iula."

She opened her eyes at the sound of my voice, but they were milky and dull. Could she see me? Or had age robbed her of her sight? "Atreus?" she whispered, "Is that you, old friend?"

"Pantheon, Iula," I reminded softly. "I am unworthy of that name."

"No," she spoke, with more strength than her frail form would suggest. "You are worthy. You were always worthy. It was I who pushed you onward, with burdens you did not deserve."


"Humor an old woman, Atreus. You fought for so long. You bore the burden of humanity in a world of gods. You honored Pylas' memory as I have. As I rest now, you can too."

"Atreus died on Targon's peak."

"Then be reborn, old friend. Your star shines yet."

"I…" I felt her grip weaken.

Her calloused hand slipped from my grasp as she breathed her last. "Pylas would be proud, brother."

The three of us remained with our heads bowed in remembrance of our friend. Hanne and Tomis were as good as her children. In a way, I felt I'd robbed them their last moments with their mother.

Hanne placed a hand on my shoulder. "Stay with us, Pantheon, at least until the vigil. The world will carry on without its protector for a night."

"Aye, I shall."


"You've returned here, to these frozen wastes. Will you seal me in the same prison I'd escaped before?" Anaakca whispered mockingly in my mind.

I found myself at the very edge of the world, the place known as the Howling Abyss. Here, it was said, Ornn the Forgelord made a bridge that would act as a bar against the Watchers, the ancient evil born of the Void. Whether the world would end from the folly of Shurima or the taint in the Freljord, I truly did not know.

"You don't know a great many things."

"Be silent, creature," I said wearily, too tired to even curse her.

Tomis, Hanne, and I had given Iula the funeral she deserved. She had been a warrior in her youth, fighting alongside me with my brother's blade in hand. She deserved a warrior's death and so I'd burned her body on a funeral pyre. Her ashes had been buried on her beloved farm, her husband's sword acting as the headstone.

The death of my friend had left me despondent. Her last words haunted me still. Would it be fine to rest as well? Could I stop being Pantheon? Had I finally redeemed myself?

"Am I worthy of my name once more?" I asked the howling winds.

"You are Pantheon, a slave to the stars. You will pass while I shall remain."

I stared at the spears in my hands. Skyfall, the legacy of Areion. Anaakca, the curse of Shuriman folly. Aspect or Darkin, neither had the best interests of humanity. No, just their mere existence was a curse on man. If I laid down my spear, I feared another would claim it, one who would not fight as I have. Or one who would become a slave to another as I was for Viego, and one who would not be freed as I was.

"Not this time, Darkin."

"Oh? Will you destroy me?" she taunted. "Go on then, do what none has done before."

"The Void was the beginning of all things. It shall be our end."

"You-Wait! You fool!"

I did not wait. A Rakkor did not hesitate. "Let this be the end of Pantheon. Here, with the death of Aspect and Darkin both, the man called Atreus is born anew. Let your end be my legacy, Anaakca."

As I fell into the space between worlds, the true nothingness that birthed all existence, I heard the screams of my hated foe and knew at least one less Darkin would haunt Runeterra forevermore. Her shrieks and pleas sounded as sweet as the Maven's melody, as pure as the gentlest chimes.

Author's Note

The first section follows the short story, In Battle, Broken. The second follows The Call, a music video. Both are LoL lore canon.

We seldom see how strong the Aspects really are, but there are little things in lore that put them into perspective. For example, in the short story, For Those Who have Fallen, 50 Solari Ra'Horak march on Nerimazeth to wipe out a cult they later find is led by Xerath trying to reestablish a Shuriman Empire of his own. These men travel for three weeks from Targon. Pantheon? He makes the distance in "a moment" and "a leap."

How far is that? While we have no idea how far a Solari elite can march, we know that Spartan soldiers (whom the Rakkor are inspired by) covered 220 km (136.7 mi) in three days on their march to Marathon. They didn't actually make it in time for the battle, but that's irrelevant since we're only concerned about the distance they walked. In three weeks (21 days), that pace gets you 1540 km (956.9 mi). To put that into perspective, the straight line distance between San Francisco, CA and Denver, CO is about a thousand miles.

Yes, soldiers would tire over time, but I'm assuming given the zealotry of the Solari, hilarious magical training, and relic weapons they wear, they could probably keep up a marching pace in line with the Spartans. Which would mean Pantheon crossed the equivalent of about a third of the continental US in a few seconds… in one jump… This is an Aspect.

Pantheon crossing Valoran to head south to Targon isn't unusual is what I'm saying.