Meet Taliyah, the stone weaver.
Well, technically a stone weaver.
Riot Games unveiled the latest champion to join League of Legends with an ample lore entry today. The story of Taliyah the stone weaver unfolds over seven captivating chapters, though we don’t have any specific in-game champion details yet. You should absolutely read her introductory short story, but in case you need a quick recap, here’s the TL;DR lore:
Taliyah hails from Shurima, always wearing a Shuriman sparrow ornament in her hair. A worshiper of the Great Weaver, she possesses the ability to manipulate stones: she can warm them, raise them from the ground, fire them with a sling, and even turn them into bowls (likely not to be included as a champion ability).
Unable to fully control her power, Taliyah leaves her home to protect her tribe and family (her father, Babajan, is the only named member). This attempt at heroism lands her in the hands of Noxus, who want to use her power to their violent ends. She refuses, and basically, they toss her into the ocean.
After washing ashore, she later finds herself in the snowy mountains of Ionia, where she accidentally causes an avalanche that buries Yasuo. Being a good person (read: not a murderer), she rescues the wind-master and brings him to shelter. Kind of an Airbender himself, Yasuo tells Taliyah that destruction must also come with creation, she cannot avoid it, but what matters is ‘the why of her path’.
Frustrated, Taliyah tells him she must go far away, that she does not trust herself. He responds, “A bird’s trust is not in the branch beneath her.” He also has a knack for calling her Little Sparrow.
After her lecture, she heads out to hunt, soon coming face to face with a great Ionian snow lion. The confrontation forces her to ‘leap off her branch’ and use her powers to their full extent. She crumbles the earth under them and sends the lion off a cliff, and Yasuo steps in at the last second to rescue her from the same fate.
“I didn’t realize you were serious about bringing down the mountain, Little Sparrow.”
With a grunt, the man pulled Taliyah up onto the newly created ledge. “I now understand why much of your desert is flat.”
Yasuo continues to teach her, trying to impart lessens of concentration and self control – much like Toph does while teaching Aang earthbending in Avatar, wink wink. In her training, Taliyah ends up shredding her clothes and borrowing Ionion treads from an inn, and it’s not clear whether this robe or her coat from home (or neither) will be reflected in her in-game model.
At that inn, Taliyah learns from a merchant that the god Azir has returned from the grave and risen Shurima’s lost cities, seeking new slaves. This clearly discomforts her, but maybe not as much as nearby guard who start falsely accusing Yasuo of assassinating the village Elder. Yasuo then murders the crowd of guards, a surefire way to prove your innocence, with Taliyah ultimately saving him from the captain. After the battle, she uses her abilities to make a stone wave that carries them away, all the while thinking of her family, as she often does while stretching her powers.
Once safe, Yasuo and Taliyah separate, the former looking to finish his work in Ionia, the latter beginning her journey home to protect her tribes from enslavement. He tells her to head to the anti-Noxus Freljord, where she might find passage to Shurima. Before he disappears, Taliyah hands him a length of wool from her tunic: “It’s a tradition of thanks among my people. To give a piece of yourself is to be remembered.” He uses it to tie back his hair.
“I trust that you will weave the right balance. Safe journey, Little Sparrow.”
That’s all for Taliyah for now, but really, when you get a chance, go check out the full story over on her new League of Legends page.