On the upper slopes of Mount Targon, the warriors of Rakkor live and breathe only for war. However, Targon’s peak is reserved for a special group of Rakkor who answer to a “higher” calling. Members of this group, called the Solari, retire their mantles of war, choosing instead to devote their lives to reverence of the sun. According to legend, the Solari were formed by a warrior who could call the raw might of the sun down upon his enemies in combat. He claimed Mount Targon’s summit, the point on Valoran closest to the sun, for his solar devotion, a tradition which generations of Solari have preserved to this day.
Leona’s parents were traditional Rakkor, both bred for the heat of battle. To them, Leona was a problem child. She was capable of fighting as fiercely as any other – including her childhood friend, Pantheon – but she did not share their zeal for killing. She believed that the true worth of a soldier lay in her ability to defend and protect. When it came time for her Rite of Kor, a ceremony in which two Rakkor teens battle to the death for the right to bear a relic-weapon, Leona refused to fight. For this, the Rakkor leaders ordered her execution, but when they tried to strike the fatal blow, sunlight burst forth, bathing Mount Targon in light. As it faded, Leona stood unharmed and her executioners lay unconscious around her. The Solari immediately claimed Leona, demanding that her sentence be repealed. She donned the golden armor of the Solari and they bestowed upon her the sword and shield passed down from the ancient sun-warrior of legend. The Solari helped Leona focus her abilities, and when she was ready she left to join the League of Legends.
"The sun’s rays reach all of Runeterra, so too must the image of its champion." - Leona.