Self and Enemies
Allies and Enemies
Outside the Great City of Demacia, the stone colossus Galio keeps vigilant watch. Built as a bulwark against enemy mages, he often stands motionless for decades until the presence of powerful magic stirs him to life. Once activated, Galio makes the most of his time, savoring the thrill of a fight and the rare honor of defending his countrymen. But his triumphs are always bittersweet, for the magic he destroys is also his source of reanimation, and each victory leaves him dormant once again.
Galio’s legend begins in the aftermath of the Rune Wars, when countless refugees fled from the destructive power of magic. In the west of Valoran, a band of these displaced people were hounded by a vicious band of dark mages—exhausted from days without rest, the refugees hid among the shadows of an ancient, petrified forest, and their pursuers suddenly found their magic to be ineffective.
It seemed the fossilized trees were a natural magic-dampener, and any sorcery used within them would simply fail. No longer helpless, the refugees turned their swords on the dark mages and drove them from the land.
Some decided that this sanctuary from magic was a gift from the gods, others saw it as a fair reward for their terrible journey, but all agreed this should be their new home.
As years passed, the settlers crafted items of protection from the enchanted wood. Eventually, they found it could be mixed with ash and lime to make petricite—a material with a powerful resistance to magic. It would be the foundation for their new civilization, forming the walls of the new kingdom of Demacia.
For years, these petricite barriers were all the Demacians needed to feel secure from the threat of magic within the borders of their homeland. In the rare event that they needed to settle a conflict abroad, their military proved fierce and formidable… but when their enemies employed sorcery, Demacia’s roaming army had little recourse. Somehow, they needed to take the security of their magic-dampening walls into battle.
The sculptor Durand was commissioned to fashion some manner of petricite shield for the military, and two years later the artist unveiled his masterpiece. While it was not what many were expecting, the winged statue Galio would become vital to the defense of the nation, and serve as a symbol of Demacia across Valoran.
Using a system of pulleys, steel sledges, and countless oxen, they would pull the great stone figure to the battlefield. Many would-be invaders simply froze at the sight of the awe-inspiring silhouette looming before them—the titan who “ate magic” inspired a kingdom, and terrified those who opposed it.
However, no one thought to consider what exposing the statue to such unpredictable energies might do…
Demacia had been mired in battle with enemy forces in the Greenfang Mountains. A skilled order of warmages, known as the Arcane Fist, bombarded the Demacians with crackling bolts of raw, mystical power for thirteen days. Those who had survived this long felt their morale dwindling, and huddled close to Galio. Just when their spirits could be brought no lower, a slow, deafening rumble shook the vale, as if two mountains were grinding against each other. As a great shadow grew above them, the Demacian soldiers steeled themselves for death.
A deep voice bellowed from above. To the Demacians’ astonishment, the sound came from the colossus at their backs—Galio was moving, and speaking, entirely on his own. Somehow, the accumulation of absorbed magic had given him life. He threw himself in front of the Demacians, shielding them from attack after attack, absorbing each fresh bolt into his massive, stone frame.
Then Galio turned, bounded up the mountainside, and crushed every last one of the Arcane Fist into the craggy soil.
The Demacians cheered. They were eager to thank the petricite sentinel that had saved them… but as quickly as he’d come to life, their fearsome protector had ceased moving, returning to his pedestal, just as before. Back in the Great City, this bizarre tale was told in hushed tones by the few who had survived the Battle of the Greenfangs, and was usually received with silent incredulity. That day passed into legend—perhaps a mere allegory of ancient days to help people through hard times.
Certainly, no one would have believed that the colossus continued to see all that transpired around him. Even while immobile, Galio retained consciousness, longing to experience the sensations of battle once again.
He watched mortals pass beneath him, paying him tribute year after year. It puzzled him to see them disappear one by one as time rolled on. Galio wondered where they went when they vanished. Perhaps they were sent away to be mended, as he often was when he returned from war?
As the years slipped by, Galio began to realize the sorrowful answer to his question—unlike himself, the people of Demacia could not be repainted, or have their damage easily repaired. Mortals were frail, ephemeral creatures, and he now understood just how badly they needed his protection. Fighting had been his passion, but the people were now his purpose.
Even so, Galio has been called to battle only a handful of times in all the centuries since. Demacia has begun to look inward, with magic becoming rarer in his world than it once was, and so the petricite colossus remains dormant, observing the world through the murk of his waking dreams. The statue’s greatest hope is to be blessed by a magic so powerful that he will never be forced to sleep again.
Only then will Galio be able to truly serve his purpose: to stand and fight as Demacia’s protector, forevermore.