Content of the article: "Lore TLDR : Demacia is not evil, and Noxus is not good."
This post is mostly in response to some points i've seen mentioned in a fun thread about Yiaboos.
There seems to be a preconceived idea around here that the lore rework reversed the previous position of Demacia and Noxus, with Demacia becoming a monstrous kingdom built on the blood of mages, and Noxus the cool empire accepting every culture in its fold. This is false. The lore we got shows us both the bad and the good of both nations, and give us a good understanding of the people who live there, and a inkling of the different factions vying for power.
I will try to give and small tldr of the situation of each nation, but don't hesitate to correct me, as i'm writing this pretty quickly.
First thing to address, Demacia was meant to be a safe haven created by common folk fleeing the mages during the Runic Wars.
Their prejudice towards magic is not rooted in superstition, but in their history.
The Good :
- If you are not a special being, Demacia is the safest place on Runeterra. The climate is favorable and bandits are mostly raiders from other countries. You will most likely never know famine, natural disaster or even murder or thievery.
- Demacia military is pretty open to anyone who has the skills, and will treat prisoners fairly ( see Xin Zhao story, and Cithria in LoR )
- There is a strong sense of unity in core demacian principles
- Contrary to popular belief, they were welcoming of immigrants, if they "fit" the demacian philosophy ( but this is not much true in current years ).
- Mage can visit Demacia, as long as they don't use their powers. This is a little more complicated nowadays.
The Meh :
- From my limited understanding of the situation, being in mage in Demacia a few years ago was not that bad ( not good, but not bad like today ). You were "registered", but if your power was not considered a threat, you would just be given a warning ( That's my understanding from the Cithria story ).
- Demacia is a place where the law is strong. This is good when the lawmakers have good intentions, but right now, this is not the case.
The Bad :
- Being a mage. Before you would doubt yourself, and be in a bad spot. Right now, you get arrested and jailed, then spend your days restrained and forcefed a antimagic potion which affect your health and cognition.
- The nobility. The nation was founded by people of somewhat equals status, but through the years a stagnant aristocratic society has formed. Even if a commoner can rise in the ranks of Demacia military, being of noble birth gives you a shortcut to position of power, creating a strong class divide.
Also, if you are a mage but from a noble family, your powers can be restricted and you can circumvent the law. This doubles down on the problem, and is a major factor in Sylas Rebellion.
- Sylas. He suffered, but his only goals is the destruction of Demacia. Problem is, if you are not a mage, you deserve death. Right now, he is assembling an army in Freljord, which means the northern province of Demacia will soon be in a bad state.
- The mageseekers. Started to protect Demacia from the legitimate threat of mages, the organisation has grown in power, and realize that the only way to keep their privileges are to keep Demacia afraid of all mages, and to establish a sense of distrust.
We supposed that they are the one behind the assassination of Jarvan III during Sylas uprising, giving them even more power and control over the people, and preventing any reforms from Jarvan IV.
What's Next :
- This is more of a hope for the future, but right now, is debatable. The royalty and the new generation of nobility have more progressive views on a lot of the Demacian issues.
Jarvan IV was pretty progressive but the death of his father changed him, his evolution will be a big part of Demacia change ( and he still wants the dragon thighs ). Fiora will do big things for the place of women in nobility. Lux will likely change the popular view of mages.
Same as Demacia, Noxus has a reason for their flaw. Their aggressive colonialism and battle tendency comes from the fact that they live in a barren land, and the only way to survive is to pillage or conquer other lands for their resources.
The Good :
- If you have the drive and the talent, you can become anyone in Noxus. Your background, ethnicity or race doesn't matter as long as you prove worthy. Noxus is the perfect land of opportunity and new beginnings.
- Big focus on technology / civilizational advancement . When Noxus conquers a territory, they don't suck it dry, but they invest a lot in local infrastructure development, which will have lasting positive impact for the region.
- "Fair" rule. This is mostly new, and due to Swain coup. The previous ruler, Boram Darkwill, was a lot more obsessed with riches and preserving his life, so they didn't really care for the damage to the conquered nations ( this can be seen in the first Ionian Invasion ). But now, as long as you provide the empire with soldiers and resources, you will be able to keep your culture and a semblance of independence.
- This is a bit like the first and the previous point, but you don't need to conform to a specific standard to "fit" in Noxus. You can be what you want, as long as you bring something to the table.
The Meh :
- Even if they bring a fair share of improvement, Noxus is still ruthless in their conquering spree.
- It seems Swain has a greater goal, and want to unify Runeterra against a coming menace, but will sacrifice all he has to in order to fulfil his ambition.
The Bad :
- Being a average redditor in Noxus. If you are not very good at something and a bit weak, there's a good chance you will not reach adulthood. And if you survive, there's a good chance you will die as fodder on the front line. The environment is also pretty harsh.
- They dabble a lot in weird magic, and don't hesitate to sacrifice people for a greater goal. People are disposable, as show in Rell biography.
- This is not directly related to Noxus, but the return of Mordekaiser will change the country.
They completely destabilized Ionia, and led to the release of dangerous individuals ( Jhin, Syndra ).
What's next :
The next Ionian invasion will give us more about Swain goal, and will show us if their warfare is more "humane".
In the event of a void invasion, Noxus might become the last bastion of hope in Runeterra if they managed to unify enough people.
Thank you for reading ! Please tell me if you disagree or if i got something wrong !
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