League of Legends Lore: The Origins of Rell and the Black Rose

League of Legends. Photo Courtesy of Riot Games.
League of Legends. Photo Courtesy of Riot Games. /

Ahead of Rell’s addition to League of Legends, let’s look into her lore and the history of the mysterious Black Rose order.

Rell is coming to League of Legends in less than a week’s time and players are extremely excited to test her kit out on Summoner’s Rift. However, Rell’s origins and her ferromancy magic possess a mysterious past linked to Leblanc and the Black Rose order.

Rell’s champion insight page states that Rell’s ferromancy – magical metal manipulation – manifested when she was a young girl growing up in Noxus. Her parents sent her to Noxus’s magical academy, hoping that their daughter could be turned into the next great Noxian weapon. What happened at this academy, though, was a mystery to the girl.

"Rell spent years at this facility, forced to fight the other students under the guise of “learning from one another to improve.” And she defeated every single one.But as she bested the other students and grew increasingly powerful, they began to disappear. Torn from her life, just as the instructors tore the magic from their bodies and implanted it into Rell, their ultimate weapon."

The magic that was drained from the other students was “placed into Rell with the sigil magic, which empowers her own latent powers.” This sigil magic is the clue that Rell’s transformation came at the hands of the Black Rose. But who is this mysterious organization?


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The Black Rose order actually pre-dates Noxus itself, established by the creature known as Vladimir during the days of Mordekaiser’s reign. At the time, Vladimir was rallying the Noxii tribes who were under the subjugation of Mordekaiser.

He eventually joined forces with a pale sorceress from inside Mordekaiser’s inner circle known as Leblanc, who founded the Black Rose. This order was named for the dark magic that these two wove, which caused vibrant red roses to turn black.

The Black Rose helped to overthrow Mordekaiser by destroying the source of his power, the Immortal Bastion, banishing the ruler from the material world. This began the era of the Noxian empire, with the Black Rose operating from the shadows, manipulating the rulers and politics of the region.

This ultimately culminated with the installment of Boram Darkwill as the ruler of Noxus, which created the main conflict between the order and the government. Darkwill refused to install advisors from the Black Rose into his royal council. As a result, Leblanc began to plot to overthrow the sitting king.

This plot was nearly undone by Noxian nobleman Jericho Swain, who uncovered the Black Rose’s plot against Boram Darkwill and executed the conspirators – including his own parents. However, this discovery was all part of Leblanc’s greater illusion. Leblanc created the illusion of her own execution in order to later reappear to Boram Darkwill, promising him the secret of immortality.

Now within his inner circle, Leblanc began to sow the seeds of paranoia into Darkwill’s mind, causing him to become more and more fearful of his own mortality. This paranoia drove him to aggressive war campaigns, instructing his soldiers to scour Runeterra for magical relics that would extend his life, as Leblanc promised.

These campaigns involved dispatching of several key members of the Black Rose to secure artifacts and rumored powerful objects from across Runeterra. For instance, Cassiopeia Du Couteau was dispatched to Shurima to retrieve the secrets to Ascension. This ultimately caused her to become disfigured by the curse of a Shuriman tomb, morphing her into the creature Cassiopeia.

Another campaign to the Shadow Isles was lead by Elise Kythera Zaavan. She was dispatched to obtain ancient artifacts but was manipulated and transfigured by the Vilemaw. Elise never returned, instead electing to stay as worship the Vilemaw as her god.

Today, Swain has taken control of Noxus from Darkwill, following an attempt by Leblanc to ensure his death on the battlefield that ultimately allowed him to wield the power within the Immortal Bastion. The Black Rose continues to plot against the Noxian ruler but remains a powerful force in Noxus.


From Rell’s biography, it appears that her connection to the Black Rose goes beyond mere instruction in their academy. Before being shipped off, Rell’s parents tried to encourage this gift by apprenticing her with powerful mages. Eventually, she caught the eye of Leblanc, who offered her a spot in this academy.

Upon discovering that the sigil that had been grafted onto her arm was amplifying her powers at the cost of the magical power of each opponent she had defeated during her time at the academy, Rell was appalled. She was heartbroken that her power had come at the expense of these other children’s magical abilities, leaving them as “emotionless puppets devoid of memories.”

Her horror was amplified by the discovery that these procedures had, in fact, been overseen by her own mother, the headmistress of the academy. The discovery pushed Rell over the edge.

She ripped the academy apart, flattening the instructors and soldiers, allowing her to lead the other classmates to freedom on the back of her metallic steed. But escape was not the end of Rell’s story.

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She has begun targetting surviving faculty members of the Black Rose academy, killing them in “increasingly public ways,” exposing the order to the people of Noxus. Now, Rell rides as a defender of the weak and an opponent of the Noxian government, who allowed her experimentation. Rell, designed to be Noxian’s ultimate weapon, now exists to protect the people from Noxus’s government.