5 Things To Know About New Champion Taliyah

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Taliyah is On a Mission Back to Shurima

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Most of what we know of Taliyah’s lore comes from her teaser story, The Bird and the Branch. Taliyah comes from Shurima, where her pleasant family life was threatened by the emergence of her supernatural abilities to psycho-kinetically manipulate rock and earth. Following the promise of control over her powers and the chance to engage in some constructive civil engineering, Taliyah joined up with the Noxian military. Noxus being Noxus, they had less benevolent intentions for how to put Taliyah’s earth-shattering gifts to use. Taliyah defied the Noxian’s thirst for blood, and was thrown overboard a Noxian military ship bound to ravage Ionia.

Taliyah managed to scrabble herself into the Ionian mountains, where she ran into Yasuo. After nearly entombing Yasuo permanently under an accidentally triggered avalanche, Taliyah entered Yasuo’s tutelage to learn how to master her elemental control. The windy samurai seems to have done a bang-up job prepping Taliyah for the battles to come, as the pair dispatched a whole squad of Ionian guards hot on Yasuo’s tail after their time spent traveling together. Following this skirmish, Taliyah set out to the Freljord to try and catch a boat back to Shurima (picking up a slick looking skin on the way!)

We find Taliyah surfing back home in the video preview Homecoming. Taliyah probably wishes she could settle back down for some quiet time at home after her harrowing travels, but she has other worries on her mind. Rumors have reached her of Azir’s rise to power in Shurima, with tales of the restored emperor’s plans to enslave the Shuriman people. So far Azir has been presented as a pretty upstanding guy, as far as restored god emperors go, so his role as a potential villain in Taliyah’s lore brings new complexity to our understanding of Runeterran morality. Recent lore updates on the PBE indicate that Taliyah could be running into Amumu, Nasus, or Renekton at any moment as she cruises through the Shuriman sands, and a certain crazed and wrathful Ascended Magus could be in her future if she really does “follow this path until the end.”

Next: Taliyah is a Person. But, Like, Actually.