That Runeterra Lore is rich in variety and creatures, biomes, society and geography, everybody knows. But what few know is that Runeterra is not only a World of "colorful fairies".
Runeterra is chaotic, with plots that last for generations; Runeterra is dark, with gloomy and ghostly themes; Runeterra is a place of heroes and villains, joy and sadness, traumas and resilience.
And when we talk about trauma and dark themes, we can't not talk about Annie, "The Dark Child".
Before I talk about the relationship between Tibbers and Mordekaiser, it is important to contextualize what we had in terms of information before the reveal of this connection.
Annie is a girl with big powers and, as part of the manifestation of these powers, she summons her "Bear" Tibbers - a bear almost three meters tall which has flames coming out of its body and protects and follows Annie's orders.
Annie didn't have full control of her powers, which resulted in a catastrophe: The death of her entire family.
Annie was raised by her father Gregori, her mother Amoline had abandoned the family while Annie was still a child. Years passed since Amoline ran away, life moved on, Gregori met a woman called Leanna and her daughter Daisy, so he married Leanna and Annie now had a sister with whom she used to play.
One day, while Annie played with her sister, Daisy went after a butterfly, and while she skipped above rocks in a river, slipped and fell in the river. Unfortunately, Daisy was taken by the current and passed away.
Leanna blamed Annie for Daisy's death, which made the girl feel extremely guilty and drove her to desperation. Her pyromantic powers started to spread through the whole house, which caught on fire.
At the end, Annie found herself alone, having lost her sister to the river and her father and stepmother to the flames.
After this catastrophe, Annie was found by Fynn Retrick, a member from the Noxian Conservatory called Ravenbloom (Yes, in reference to Swain and LeBlanc's family), which focused on the development of gifted kids.
When there was news of a lost girl burning with anger at the Ironspike Mountains in the north, Fynn Retrick reluctantly gathered his things and went to investigate, sometime later finding Annie and taking her to the Conservatory.
There, Annie was able to meet a lot of kids who, just like her, were special. Annie met Daani, a vastayah from the Oovi-kat family (the same as Neeko), a boy named Sydell Kythera who has spider-like powers (yes, he is Elise's relative) and "The Prefect", a girl who controls rocks just like Taliyah, but less powerful.
And it is here, in Ravenbloom Conservatory, where we give start to the revelation between Tibber and Mordekaiser's relationship.
Until the launch of the The Eyes and the Embers's short story, we had only bits of information about Amoline Kiosar's past, Annie's mother.
We thought that she and Gregori had fled Noxus because of the Coup d'etat led by Swain which caused the end of the dictatorship imposed by Boram Darkwill (The Noxian Emperor before Swain), because during this coup, Swain hunted everyone who opposed him, including the Noxian Nobility, since he believed the nobility made Noxus weak with its desires and whims.
Because of Swain's actions, there was an exodus from the Noxian Capital named Immortal Bastion (where Mordekaiser's same name fortress is), but the truth is that Amoline escaped - but not from Swain, and instead, from the Ravenbloom Conservatory, because she couldn't take the experiences she was put through anymore, even coming so far as Leblanc and company putting a droplet of fire in her forehead. And that is when we come even further into the past and have the big revelation.
While Amoline escaped from Ravenbloom Conservatory, she was having many visions which were a mix of her past and the past from the creature which had been put into her body. That's right, that "droplet of fire" was a creature which didn't have a physical form - it had an elemental form which manifested through fire and Frensi.
In the creature's past, we saw the moment in which Leblanc (the pale woman) with the help of the Black Rose organization (or the seedlings of the Order) was able to take down the Iron Revenant Mordekaiser's reign of terror, which lasted a total of 500 years. And it is at this moment which we have the following description in the short story:
" A pale woman smiled. At her feet lay the metal titan, destroyed. The two beasts that served him were beaten, forced back. Robed figures surrounded them, chanting in a tongue unknown to her. How the two raged. Amoline saw them falter. She saw their strength sapped until their power was whittled down into two droplets, small as rain. Amoline followed the droplet of raging fire, trapped now inside a small warded vial."
These beings that accompanied Mordekaiser were demons, one described as being a force made of fire and the other a force made of shadows.
We have the theory that the shadow force was the demon Raum (the same one which today is "controlled" by Jericho Swain and is the primordial Secret demon). As for the fire demon, we have the confirmation that it is called Tybaulk, possibly a primordial demon which represents Frensi.
In Annie's launch in Legends of Runeterra, we had the plot twist that the demon was imprisoned in Amoline, somehow came to be in Annie's control and the "Teddy Bear" Tibbers is the physical manifestation of Tybaulk. That means, Tibbers was one of the primordial demons which supported Mordekaiser's Reign, and was directly connected to him, even maybe being a prominent member of this Revenant's forces.
Currently, Annie and Tibbers (Tybaulk) were in Ravenbloom Conservatory learning how to better control their powers, but after a discussion/fight with the so called "The Prefect", Annie manifested Tibbers, which took his real form as the demon Tybaulk and set fire to the Conservatory, causing chaos.
After that, Annie left, smiling and skipping, and we don't know the actual whereabouts of the Dark Child and her Bear Tibbers.
Speaking of which: "Have you seen my Bear Tibbers?"
All of Runeterra's history is in constant evolution, be it in the past, present or even future, (hey there, Zilean my man). We don't have all the information about the set yet, and Riot has been telling us this timeline throughout the years, so it's normal we now have past information which we didn't have, and a really dark part was indeed Annie's story, which is Tibbers.
These new short stories are seeking to tie the loose ends we have and bring us more depth about each existing character in this vast and complex set.
Well, I hope that you who have read this far, have enjoyed this article and that you keep up with Card Realm more and more, because we will bring even more content about Runeterra's lore!
Nonetheless, above all... HAVE FUN!
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