|“||There is no greater grief than a loss yet to come.||„|
|“||Some call me a prophet. A magician. A mad old hermit. But my eyes have never decieved me. And what I observe... troubles me. I see the same mistakes, time and again. But time, like so many things, is a construct, a convention of those who fear... Confound it! Where was I? Ah, yes! A convention of those who fear their fate, and endeavor to bury the past. But here's the secret. Fate is also an illusion. Should you find yourself in despair, the solution is simple: pick another fate. For victory comes to those who choose their outcome, not those who let it choose them.||„|
|~ Zilean's narration of the Guardians of the Ancient trailer.|
Zilean Ica'thun, simply known as Zilean or The Chronokeeper, is a heroic playable champion in the multiplayer online battle arena game League of Legends.
He is a mage hailing from the long-destroyed region of Icathia, who grew fascinated with time magic. With Icathia's oppression by the Shuriman Empire, they sought the power of the Void to fight back, which Zilean greatly opposed. His fears came true when the Icathians lost control of their magic, causing a permanent opening for the Void to spill into Runeterra. Zilean saved the Icathians from the Void by getting them to take refuge in his tower, then used all of his time magic to displace it from time. Due to this, the tower has been completely separate from time and Zilean now suffers from being displaced amongst timelines, wishing to find a way to undo it in order to save his people.
One of the first champions to be released, he was released on April 18, 2009. He is commonly played as a support, though he is also played in the middle lane.
While voiced by Christopher Swindle in Legends of Runeterra, his voice actor in League of Legends is unknown. In the Japanese version, he is voiced by Masayuki Omoro.
Zilean once lived in Icathia back while it was still intact long ago. He was part of the Icathian council, where he was an expert at magic and studying the physical realm, but he was fascinated with the concept of time as it was an inescapable constant that not even the God-Warriors could evade. The Icathian people were oppressed by the Shuriman Empire and wished to gain access to the Sun Disc as their land had many gifted individuals, but Shurima denied them. While Zilean wanted to support Icathia as well, he believed that rebellion would lead to more conflict, so he tried to make a diplomatic solution by imploring Shurima's allies to support Icathia, but they refused to disobey the empire.
When Zilean returned, Icathia had crowned a new mage-king who suggested that they use the power of the Void to defeat the powerful God-Warriors. Zilean strongly opposed this plan, but ultimately had to watch as they were unable to control the Void's consumption of the entire region. Zilean led as many of his allies to his tower as possible, where he used the full extent of his time magic in a desperate attempt to save them all.
Zilean collapsed onto the ground. When he woke up, he saw that the tower had been completely displaced from time, with everyone frozen in time. He found himself existing in the past, present and future. Effectively, Zilean now exists everywhere, and always has. Even so, he is only too aware of the consequences of trying to bring about change in the world and sparking other unexpected destinies—often conflicting, and almost always more dangerous. Perhaps if he can find a way to save his own people, then the greater disaster might also be averted.
The only question is, what might he be willing to sacrifice along the way?
- Zilean was named after the alias of Riot employee Tom "Zileas" Caldwell.
- The champion Volibear was based on Caldwell's opposition to the idea of an armored bear. Since his addition, Zilean and Volibear would gain buffs as an Easter egg due to their rivalry as an in-joke to Caldwell. The Easter egg was removed after Volibear's rework.
- Zilean was often associated with the song "Oh My Little Baby Boy" by Babe due to it appearing in the popular "Can't Killean the Zilean" animation starring him.