Lillia is a Fighter class champion in League of Legends.
In Ionia, magic is woven into the land. Forests spread vibrantly, and trees often boast nearly as many colors as leaves, touched by the wonders of the spirit realm.
But there is one forest, hidden away, that draws on a different kind of magic—a garden with a tree at its heart that gathers humanity’s dreams in its blooms.
The Dreaming Tree grew from a seed of the God-Willow, which towered over the ancient grove of Omikayalan. Cast loose when the God-Willow was tragically felled, the seed took root in what came to be known as the Garden of Forgetting. Nurtured by the Green Father, Ivern—as many of the descendants of Omikayalan were—the Dreaming Tree spiraled up, spreading the magic of humanity’s desires each time the dream-laden buds bloomed.
Lillia was born when one of the tree’s own dreams was captured in a bud that fell to the ground before it could bloom—something that had never happened before. Sprouting into an awkward fawn creature with the flower bud still on her head, Lillia’s only company was her mother tree, and the dreams that drifted to the garden each night.
Lillia helped tend the buds, and learned about humanity through them. Enchanted by the people and places she glimpsed, she spent every waking moment experiencing a swirl of emotions and desires that mortals could only see when they closed their eyes.
In caring for the dreams, Lillia also cared for the dreamers. She came to consider each of them a new friend, wanting nothing more than to one day greet the people who imagined such wonders. Lillia wanted it so badly that her own desires eventually gathered in a bud on the tree.
But when Lillia finally did meet humans, it wasn’t like remembering a familiar dream. It was more like waking up.
Something was happening in the world outside Lillia’s forest. War blazed like a fire through the land, and in time, fewer dreams began to reach the garden. The tree itself grew sick, and became infected with burls—writhing tangles in its trunk, which oozed darkness.
Lillia did her best to nurture her mother tree and the dreams that remained in its buds, but it was not long before the garden became so weak that the violence of the world spilled in. One night, warriors entered the forest and chased a lone figure all the way to the Dreaming Tree. With a single errant blade’s slash, the branch containing Lillia’s unrealized dream came thudding to the ground.
Lillia panicked and forced them all to sleep, shocked at the difference between the mortals she thought she knew, and the ones she had found.
They were so afraid—more tangle than sparkle. They were like the burls…
But as the warriors slept and Lillia wept, a dream emerged from the lone figure the others had been chasing. Weakly, it floated toward the broken branch on the ground and moved into the bough’s bud.
Lillia picked it up. She could feel the dream. As she whispered to it and soothed it, it glowed ever brighter—and so did she. The bud upon her head unfurled, and magic swirled around like sparkling pollen. In that moment, swept up in possibility and wonder, Lillia herself bloomed… until, with a sneeze, she sent the magic curling into the surrounding forest.
The humans awoke one by one, unable to remember what had brought them to the forest, or what they had done. None noticed the timid fawn behind the tree. With relief, Lillia watched the humans go, still seeing only confusing tangles—but knowing now that there was still a sparkle beneath it all.
And if their dreams wouldn’t come to the tree, she would have to bring the tree to them.
Taking up her branch, Lillia left the garden and entered the world of humans—a world she had always wanted to know, but one that frightened her now more than anything. It was so unlike what she understood.
Hiding just out of sight, Lillia now helps people’s dreams be born, drawn forward by glimpses of who they could be, and by what may be trapped beneath their tangles. By helping humans realize their deepest wishes, Lillia realizes her own, the bud on her head blooming as she is filled with joy.
Though darkness may be encroaching on Ionia once more, it is but a mask, and beneath it lies the familiar sparkle of hope. Only by braving the world, and braving herself, can Lillia hope to untangle its burls.