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Orianna is a technical marvel comprised entirely of clockwork, but it was not always so - she was once a girl of flesh and blood. As a young child in Piltover, Orianna fell ill, and her dying organs were replaced with elaborate prosthetics until she became the first fully mechanized person. Her closest companion is the mechanical ball she created to serve as her protector and friend. Introspective and curious about her place in the world, Orianna seeks her true purpose.
Growing up in a wealthy district of Piltover, Orianna was sheltered from the cruelties and injustices of the outside world by her father, renowned inventor Corin Reveck. His elaborate designs were so beautifully detailed that even those without a medical need sought his clockwork and mechanically powered augmentations. Patrons swore his work had an uncannily lifelike quality, as if he wove magic into his creations amongst the cogs and gears.
Eager to learn his craft, young Orianna trained tirelessly as his apprentice. Her father was brilliant, but reclusive, and relied on Orianna to interact with his customers. With her inquisitive and friendly nature, she soon became the face of their business.
Though she seldom ventured beyond her neighborhood, Orianna often stole away to the theater, where she watched dancers portray stories through leaps and pirouettes from lands beyond Piltover. Epic adventures unfolded before her eyes: an ageless mage who wandered the desert in search of a spell he'd lost a century ago, a maiden who disguised herself as a rock in a magic-infused jungle, a pilgrim who longed to climb an impossibly tall mountain that healed all who ascended its peak, and dozens more stories of faraway places that thrilled her imagination.
Entranced by the dancers’ tales, Orianna dreamed of one day visiting these strange and distant lands. From the theater balcony, she’d study every movement and detail, then return to her father’s workshop to create miniature figurines that recreated the dazzling show.
One quiet day in the shop, after Orianna fitted an elderly woman’s mechanical hand, the patient mentioned a terrible accident that had occurred in Zaun, the city over which Piltover had been built. An explosion had released a cloud of noxious fumes, poisoning the air in the surrounding streets. Left untreated, the chemicals would cause organ failure and a slow, lingering death. Those infected were sequestered to a medical encampment in the heart of Zaun.
Thinking their skills could help those suffering from the foul air, Orianna urged her father to descend into Zaun and aid the victims. Corin knew exposure to such toxicity was too risky and forbade his daughter from visiting such a dangerous place. But Orianna was not to be dissuaded, and just before dawn, she snuck from her home. She bore as many respirators as she could carry, and donned a protective mask before riding the hexdraulic descender into the depths of Zaun.
Orianna was shocked at the devastation; debris filled the streets at the site of the explosion, and Zaunites walked through thick pooling clouds of toxins with their faces covered by no more than oily rags. Never in her life had she witnessed such suffering. Orianna joined a group of volunteers tending to those most affected by the fumes. She returned, night after night, to repair broken breathing equipment and install esophilters in her patients, allowing them to breathe the noxious fumes safely.
After giving away all her respirators, Orianna noticed a young child with deathly, labored breathing. Without a second thought, she removed her own filtration mask and gave it to the child, donning a handkerchief to cover her own face. Within days Orianna fell ill herself, and soon struggled to breathe even the clean air of her home. Every breath was anguish as her lungs deteriorated from within, and she was forced to face her own mortality.
Devastated at his daughter’s failing health, Corin threw all his efforts into developing his most ambitious project yet: replacing Orianna’s dissolving lungs with automated replicas. Corin used the finest bio-mechanical filtration materials, normally reserved for his highest paying customers. After weeks of sleepless nights developing an exquisite device of clockwork, Corin embedded it within Orianna’s chest. Wanting to prevent Orianna from exposing herself to danger again, Corin installed a mechanism to power her lungs with a key only he could wind. The artificial lungs worked perfectly, and soon Orianna was back to tinkering in the shop.
Sadly, Orianna’s fortune would not last. After a few months of good health, her condition worsened as the blight spread to the rest of her body. Orianna and her father worked feverishly to develop clockwork replicas of various organs, and as each body part failed, it was replaced.
As her anatomy was inexorably altered, Orianna grew more uncertain of her own identity. Over time, more and more of her body was exchanged for whirring cogs and gears. She retained most of her human memories, but felt a peculiar distance from her former self. Her father, too, noticed the change; Orianna sometimes heard him crying late at night. He bought her tickets to the Piltovan theater to cheer her up, but Orianna insisted on leaving halfway through, saying she had already learned everything she could from the show. Devastated at the gradual loss of his daughter’s personality, Corin tried to help Orianna recall her old memories and former demeanor, correcting her when she strayed too far from her past behavior. Orianna followed his instructions, but increasingly grew to resent his interference, wishing she could simply be herself.
Within a year, Orianna was almost entirely mechanical, save for her heart, which remained miraculously untainted by the creeping toxins.
During the years of Orianna’s decline, Corin had focused solely on his daughter, neglecting many of his wealthy clientele, and losing most of their patronage. Without funds to keep their business afloat, Orianna and Corin were forced to sell what possessions they could and move down into Zaun. They set up shop above a chemtech lab halfway down the canyon wall, and soon found work modifying breathing devices to filter the infamous Zaun Gray.
Orianna’s skill in crafting mechanized clockwork was better than ever, for her hands no longer tired under the meticulous work and her inhuman mind needed little rest. She had no need for measuring devices, for she could glance at a gear and immediately know its exact dimensions, and was able to solve complex formulas that would normally take hours in a matter of seconds. Orianna learned to maintain her own body, greasing cranks, replacing worn parts, and fixing jammed clockwork as needed, though she relied on her father to wind her whenever her gears slowed.
With wheels and gears ticking endlessly within her body, Orianna often became frustrated that time never seemed to move forward - at least not for her. As the months passed, new creases appeared on her father’s forehead and gray hairs grew at his temples. But Orianna’s gears maintained their constant rotation, and she experienced little change. She wondered if her life would continue forever on its steady, immutable course, and felt the loss of all the things she might never experience.
With most Zaunites accustomed to breathing chem-rich air, people visited Corin’s workshop only occasionally, and business slowed. Compounding that problem, Corin had developed agonizing chest spasms since their move to Zaun and was forced to rest often.
One day, Orianna noticed a young sumpsnipe who frequently passed their shop, and spent an afternoon crafting a mechanical figurine for him. The tiny clockwork gentleman tipped his hat and bowed when his key was wound. The child was delighted. Thinking that life in Zaun could use more joy, Orianna designed a series of elaborate figurines. In a place where most objects were purely functional, her wondrous creations brought smiles to many Zaunites. The figures sold faster than she could make them, and the renown of Corin’s workshop grew. Once again, they could afford more expensive materials, even a rare hextech crystal.
With notoriety came more visitors, but not all of them were welcome. Thugs employed by Petrok Grime, a formidable Chem-Baron, stopped by one day to offer Corin their unwavering protection from thieves, scoundrels, and general mayhem in exchange for coin. Corin turned them down, believing it better to stand up to criminals than appease them. But that night, Corin’s shop was raided and all their money was stolen. Orianna spent the next month developing a tool to serve as their protector: a brass sphere that could radiate powerful energy, causing its target tremendous pain. Corin noticed that the ball assisted Orianna in her work automatically, as if they had some unseen connection. As Corin’s health continued to deteriorate, Orianna was forced to obtain costly tonics to treat his pain. She tended to him as best she could, but a Zaunite sawbones confirmed that the chem-rich air had infiltrated Corin’s bloodstream and poisoned his heart.
Despite their advancements in bio-mechanical clockwork, neither Corin nor Orianna had yet developed a mechanism elaborate enough to reproduce the intricacies of the human heart. Her own live, healthy heart had proven especially resilient throughout her illness. Yet it was also an unbreakable link to her past, freezing her in time. Orianna knew her father loved the daughter he once had, but she no longer felt like that girl. Perhaps giving her heart to her father would keep his daughter’s memory alive, since she no longer could. If she could create a mechanical heart for herself powered by hextech, her lungs would no longer need a winding key. Maybe then, time could move forward.
Orianna slipped her father a sleeping draught and crafted her new clockwork heart using the hextech crystal they recently obtained. The bespoke organ hummed with delicate machinery that drew power from the ever-renewing gemstone. It was beyond the scope of anything she or her father had ever created. With help from the ball, she removed the key from her back and installed the new device, knowing her hextech-powered heartbeat would never again depend on someone else. She then cut open Corin’s chest and replaced his failing heart with the last remnant of the Orianna he had known and loved.
Orianna listened to her father’s steady heartbeat through the night, and at dawn, she left for good. Though she still loved him, she wanted to see the world. She had become something entirely new, a lady of clockwork, and now that she was entirely mechanical, she was free.
Corin woke to find his workshop filled with hundreds of miniature figurines: clockwork people who could balance upon a string, sing folk tunes, or even juggle tiny silver balls. With such a rich inventory he could return to Piltover in no time. But there was one figure he vowed never to sell: a golden dancer with no winding key, who pirouetted in a dance without end."
Orianna walked through the fairground, empty and still in the evening gloom. Sir Feisterly’s Fantastical Fair opened its gates to delighted crowds of Zaunites but twice a year, and Orianna did not want to miss her chance to see its wonders. She had waited until everyone had left for the day, and the rowdy laughter and accordion tunes had fallen silent. Only the low hum of nearby pipelines pumping steam through the chem district disturbed the quiet. Detritus lay strewn along the ground; colorful streamers and bright balloons mingling with crumpled wax paper that once held sweet jam pastries.
Orianna’s clockwork ball hovered beside her as she passed a stall overflowing with roses, which according to a sign, smelled like each day of the week. She walked by a wind-up monkey holding a pair of cymbals, and a cart laden with sugared apples. None of these Zaun-born delights piqued her interest; Orianna had eyes only for the glass cabinet tucked into a secluded corner at the far edge of the grounds.
A glimmering wink of metal flashed in the moonlight. It came from the mechanical boy sitting behind the glass. Orianna had seen nothing like him, and drew closer, intrigued.
He was clad in a midnight-blue suit and a silk hat. His skin was a shell of pure porcelain that masked the delicate clockwork gears below, and his eyes shone with glints of silver thread. As Orianna approached him, his lips rearranged into a smile.
“Can you keep a secret?” the boy said. His voice reminded Orianna of softly chiming bells.
“Hello,” she said. “Of course.”
“What say we make a trade. My secret, for your name.”
“That seems fair. I am called Orianna.”
“Or-ee-AHN-uh,” he repeated. “Such soft sounds.”
Orianna could have sworn his porcelain cheeks blushed.
“I suppose it’s my turn. My name is Fieram. My secret is that I fear the outside world, though I long to see distant shores and far-off mountains.”
“Is that why you live in a cabinet?” she asked. “Because you are afraid?”
“From here, the world visits me,” said Fieram. “Behind the glass, I am safe. I’m very fragile, you see.” He pointed to a hairline fracture on his forearm. “There it is. I’m getting old.” Fieram’s mouth opened into a lopsided grin. Orianna giggled and shrugged her shoulders, a gesture she had recently acquired, though she wasn’t quite sure if she had used it correctly.
“Oho! You haven’t seen my tricks yet,” said Fieram. He reached into his sleeve and produced a bouquet of daisies with a flourish.
“Ta-Da!” he exclaimed. “And...”
Fieram removed his hat and dipped his head in a nod. A half-dozen mechanical pigeons fluttered from beneath the brim. He brought his hands together in a clap and the entire cabinet filled with opaque red smoke. By the time it dissipated a few seconds later, the pigeons were gone.
Orianna applauded in delight. The ball whirred, impressed.
“Wonderful!” she exclaimed. “Like magic.”
“And that wasn’t even my best execution. Fumbled my sleeve a bit,” he admitted, folding his hands. “But small miracles are my specialty. Like you finding your way to me, in this great city! You, above all others.”
“You winked at me.” said Orianna. “Why?”
“We are kindred spirits, you and I. But you already knew that,” said Fieram. “It’s why you’re here, isn’t it?” He shuffled his feet. Orianna marveled at the subtlety of his movement.
“It is just that I have never seen another like you,” she said.
“I’m one of a kind, aren’t I? Same as you,” said Fieram. He gestured toward her mechanical frame, and winked again. Orianna smiled. Fieram leaned in against the glass.
“Your smile is—”
“Fabricated?” she said. “Yes. I am still mastering certain expressions.”
“... beautiful,” said Fieram.
“Well now you are going to make me blush.”
Orianna’s ball, hovering at her left shoulder, nudged her gently.
“Not now,” she told the ball. She lifted the mechanical monkey from its stall nearby and turned its key. It scuttled about the floor, eyes lit with a red glow, clashing its cymbals together at every third step before slowing to a halt.
“You are not like him, are you, Fieram? All wound up at the turn of a key?” she said.
“You have a mind. You have thoughts.”
“I may be comprised of cogs and wheels, but I have dreams, like anyone.”
“I know you dream of leaving this place. Surely you are lonely behind this glass. Come with me. We could leave now, together,” Orianna said.
“Leave?” Fieram’s expression fell. “I’m afraid I don’t know what you mean.”
“You have no doubt listened to the restless bustle of Zaun, or heard of the grand marvels in Piltover?” Orianna asked.
Fieram cocked his head.
“I like to ride the Rising Howl at dusk to catch the last of the day’s golden rays,” Orianna said. “From the very top you can see the harbor beyond the sea-gates, and the endless glistening ocean. From up there, you can imagine the smell of faraway lands.”
Orianna’s ball whirred as it spun in the air and nudged her again.
“I suppose now is as good a time as any,” she said. “Fieram, would you like to see the world? We could leave together, right now. I can protect you.”
“I can’t think of anything more wonderful,” he said.
Orianna circled the glass cabinet in search of an opening. An iron padlock secured a small door at its base. She raised a fist and brought it down upon the lock, smashing it open.
A watchman approached them.
“Hey! Stop that!”
With a glance from Orianna, the ball shot toward the watchman. It clanged upon impact with his helmet, then hovered in the air as if waiting for a command. Orianna nodded and the ball radiated waves of coruscating power. Caught in the energy flux, the watchman raised his baton and bashed it into the ball, which spun in midair before returning to his target.
A second watchman ran toward Orianna. She tried to pull Fieram through the door but his chair jammed in the opening. “Fieram! Can you repeat your trick?”
The ball reverberated with energy as it whirled around the first watchman. His metal helmet fizzled with sparks. “My tricks?” Fieram reached into his sleeve and pulled out the bouquet as Orianna spun away from the watchman. “No, the other one!”
Fieram replaced his bouquet.
“The very last trick,” she said. “Quickly!”
The mechanical boy drew the bouquet from his sleeve once more.
Orianna spun toward the watchman, her metal dress fanning out in a flurry of sharp blades until the man backed away, baton raised.
“Get away from him, you!” said the watchman. “That’s our property you’re tampering with!”
“From here, the world visits me,” Fieram said.
He tipped his hat and pigeons poured out. The watchman aimed his baton at Orianna’s head, and she ducked just as Fieram clapped. The baton shattered the side of the glass cabinet and crimson smoke poured from the opening, obscuring all movement.
The first watchman had responded to the ball’s galvanic attacks with rageful abandon, throwing all his weight into every punch. The ball was relentless, however, and shot a final blast of energy toward his helmet, and the watchman fell down, unconscious.
Whirring in satisfaction, the ball flew to Orianna. It unleashed voltaic waves toward the second watchman, rendering him motionless.
Orianna stepped into the smoke-filled cabinet. She lifted the mechanical boy from his chair but his legs would not flex to stand.
“Fieram! Fieram, we must leave.”
“Leave? I’m afraid I don’t know what you mean.” A pair of metallic pigeons flew through the broken glass, but dropped to the ground a few feet from the door.
“Fieram, stand up so we can go,” Orianna said, her face falling. “Please.”
“Oho! You haven’t seen my tricks yet.” He pulled the bouquet from his sleeve.
Orianna ignored Feiram’s attempt to tip his hat and dragged him, still fixed in a seated posture, from the glass enclosure. Outside, her ball had cornered the second watchman, who had collapsed in a buzzing heap.
“And that wasn’t even my best execution. Fumbled my sleeve a bit,” said Fieram.
“You are not... your voice is... repeating?” Orianna said. His head lolled back awkwardly and she held it upright.
“My secret is that I fear the outside world,” he said.
Orianna noticed the embroidery lining his jacket.
Sir Feisterly’s Fantastical Fair
He was nothing more than a simple automaton, a spectacle for the crowds.
“I was certain you had a mind. Had thoughts. Like me,” she said.
Fieram looked up at her with eyes that glinted with silver. “I’m one of a kind, aren’t I?”
He shuffled his feet nervously, though they were in midair. “Same as you.”
The ball returned to Orianna and whirred gently.
“We should go,” she whispered. She set Fieram back upon his chair, which she placed just outside the shattered glass cabinet. “I wish you well.”
“Small miracles are my specialty,” he said. “Like you finding your way to me.”
“Goodbye, Fieram,” said Orianna softly. The two watchmen lay unconscious on the ground. The ball hovered at her side as she walked away.
She did not look back until she was clear of the park’s towering gates. As she turned, she thought she saw a glint of metal winking in the distance."