"Dance with me, my pet. Dance with me into oblivion."
There once was a Piltovian man named Corin Reveck who had a daughter named Orianna, whom he loved more than anything else in the world. Though Orianna had incredible talent for dancing, she was deeply fascinated by the champions of the League of Legends.
This fascination compelled her to begin training to become such a champion. It is unfortunate that her sheltered, wide-eyed naivete led her to take unnecessary and dangerous chances which ultimately led to her tragic demise.
Orianna's death shattered Corin, driving him into deep depression and an obsession with techmaturgy. He could not stand the void his daughter's death left in his life, so he decided to build a replacement - one that would complete Orianna's dream of joining the League.
What was created is the clockwork killing machine that Corin named after his daughter. Knowing that she was destined to be a champion and seeing the way the times were changing, he created The Ball as her pet and protector. This nearly symbiotic creation uses a different type of techmaturgy, relying more heavily on electricity than clockwork.
Orianna and The Ball now fight as champions in the League of Legends, using her sometimes misguided morality as a compass. She tries in earnest to fit in with those around her. However, no matter how hard she tries, Orianna can never be human and there is always something unnerving and alien about her.
Though she attempts social interaction with other champions in the League of Legends, there are few who can get past her exotic nature. To many, it's as if there's nothing inside, that Orianna is just a soulless clockwork shell - a dangerous and deadly one at that.
However, all along she remains the perfect daughter in her father's eyes.
"We will kill your enemies. That will be fun."
"I have sharp things."
"We are as one."
"Yes, I am a weapon."
"The ball is angry."
"So strange, they scream."
"Why do they keep breaking?"
"I hear soft things."
"This is very exciting."
"This is a fun game."
"The ball is impatient."
"Time tick-ticks away."
"Why are they running?"
"I know what makes them tick. I know how to make the ticking stop."
Orianna does a pirouette and leans back. If she has the ball, it will catch her. If she does not have the ball she falls to the ground.
"They come apart so easily. How do you put them back together again?" (with the ball)
"When you fall, you get right back up." (without the ball)
The workshop is a disaster. Parts lay haphazardly among the fabrication equipment. Mystical substances and materials are strewn everywhere. Plates of half-eaten food grow mold in the corners.
If there were mirrors, Corin would probably be frightened by his own reflection. Disheveled, wild-eyed, and manic, he puts what appear to be the finishing touches on his creation. It is beautiful and intricate, a facsimile of a girl in elegant clockwork.
All that remains is to give it life. However, the enchantment of an Infinity Gear is purely theoretical. Corin is the first to come this close to making it a reality. He gently removes the Gear from the catalyst fluid. It pulses with energy. He smiles a too-wide smile as he places it inside of his creation. The reaction is immediate.
The gears inside the clockwork girl begin to turn, slowly at first. His creation begins to jerk, as life floods to every end of every limb. It is like watching a death spasm in reverse.
Corin clutches a picture of a pretty young girl to his chest as he watches, tears in his eyes.
The clockwork girl was not the first created being to have entered the halls of the Institute of War. The Great Steam Golem had done so years before. However, there was something noble about Blitzcrank, something alive in the way he moved and expressed himself.
This thing seemed dead inside. It seemed like an automaton, trying to act like as if it was alive. The effect was unsettling.
Senior Summoner Montrose appraised the thing that had introduced itself as Orianna. She reached behind her back, unnaturally flexible, and wound the giant key in her back. It's not that she didn't have facial expressions – they were just wrong. There was something in everything she did that was just a little bit off, off enough to be just this side of completely alien.
Then there was The Ball. One might assume that it was her pet, but the relationship was deeper than that. It was as if the two were symbiotically linked. The Ball was just that – a floating ball, equal parts clockwork and some kind of electrical techmaturgy. From time to time, a strange eye on a stalk would emerge from within the sphere, examining the surroundings.
"I wish to be a champion. It will be fun," said Orianna, in a voice that was some approximation of human.
Summoner Carin looked at Senior Summoner Montrose. "Is this even going to work?"
Orianna's body turned, while her head stayed riveted on them. "Of course it will work. I will be a good champion."
Montrose responded. "Orianna, in order to admit you into the League of Legends, we must explore your mind. We are wondering if you have the kind of mind we can explore."
Back in the right orientation, the clockwork girl's skirt began to tick. "My father says yes. I have a mind. Do so. If The Ball is okay with it." The Ball chimes and clicks, but makes no hostile move.
There was a rush of what felt like wind, and then darkness, and then light. There was a young girl dressed like a ballerina. She danced in front of an audience. She was quite gifted. However, this memory was muted, disconnected emotionally.
Colors blur. The Institute of War comes back into focus.
"Orianna, are those your memories?" asked Senior Summoner Montrose.
The clockwork girl laughed. It wasn't playful. It was cold and mechanical. "Those are Orianna's memories. I am Orianna. My father says so."
The younger summoner looked to Montrose for his cue. His composure unshaken, he nodded his head. "Then we'll try again."
Shadows, lights, colors. Someone had constructed what appeared to be a lane from Summoner's Rift. The young girl was much older now, and quite agile. She seemed to be training as a champion. There was a tower and it appeared to be fully armed.
The one-eyed trainer coaxed her on with a gruff voice. "Come on, Orianna. Time to learn how to tower dive. I've goosed the power down, but it'll hurt if you get hit."
The girl smiled naïvely. She readied herself, the picture of agility and poise. She began the run as the tower fired bolts at her. It was immediately clear that something was wrong. The blasts from the tower did not seem benign, as they chewed up the ground around her. Her natural grace kept her one step ahead, for the moment, as they began to come more and more frequently. The trainer mashed his controls, trying desperately to turn it off, yelling at her the whole time. However, Orianna was too engrossed in her exercise to notice.
The first blast took her off her feet, knocking her into the ground. Winded, she attempted to get up. The second blast wasn't far behind. She tried weakly to get up, blood trickling from the corners of her mouth. After the third, she didn't get up.
Colors blur. The Institute of War came back into focus.
"Yes, I died," offered Orianna.
Carin, ever the one for formality, replied. "We have entered your mind, Orianna. How did this make you feel?"
The clockwork girl giggled in an inhuman way. "It was fun. I like memories. Don't you?"
Senior Summoner Montrose cleared his throat. "Why do you want to be a part of the League of Legends?"
"Because it is what I have always wanted. Because my father designed me to do so. Because The Ball is impatient to play on the Fields of Justice." As if in answer, she turned to pet The Ball, which began to crackle with energy.
Montrose continued. "And you understand the conditions of such admission?"
"Yes," replied Orianna. "I will play by the rules of your Institute. I will be a good girl."
The Ball whirred and clicked. Orianna added, "And The Ball will, too. Be a good ball, that is."
Clearly uneasy by the experience, Summoner Carin remained silent. Senior Summoner Montrose, however unsettled himself, maintained his air of authority. "Then you shall be a Champion, clockwork girl. The arrangements will be made."
Orianna made a sound that supposed to a girl's squeal of glee and hugged The Ball. While it might have been touching, it was unfortunately only horrifying.
There are many champions in League of Legends who teach us that -- no matter who you are -- it’s extremely important to make sure that you have the right tools of the trade. Take Orianna, the Clockwork Girl, for instance. Anywhere she goes, you’ll see her mysterious, spherical pet following her about.
The befuddlement over Orianna’s mechanical pet started when we found this schematic while rummaging through a few art department sketches. After every member of the Art Team failed to identify it, we began to deliberate about what its mysterious origins might be. While waiting for the results of our highly scientific in-house carbon dating tests, the greatest historians at Riot games have been busily speculating about its possible origins. Theories range from diagrams of a lost Viking rune stone, to blueprints from a first edition Jules Verne novel, to a discarded schematic from Leonardo Da Vinci’s notebook.
But then, where would the Vikings get the technology for a clockwork contraption? What use is a mechanized sphere when you’re 20,000 leagues under the sea? What would Da Vinci want with schematics for a mechanical ball? After debunking all these theories, only one thing became clear: Orianna’s contraption was no ordinary ball.
If working on League of Legends for this long has taught us anything, it’s that when it comes to building a champion, it pays to have an eye for quality. Well, whether you’re a hextech enthusiast or you’re just in the market for a new watch, if you’ve got any appreciation for fine craftsmanship you should have a look at Orianna, the Clockwork Girl and her pet ball. That’s right, we said pet ball! And while it might be strange to see a metal lady walking around everywhere with a mechanical sphere, we’re willing to wager that once you see what she can do with it you’ll be in the market for a pet ball yourself. Just don’t tell your friends you’re headed down to the jeweler’s for a new pet. They might look at you funny.
We’d love to give you a sneak-peak at some of Orianna, the Clockwork Girl’s gameplay features. We’re blazing new mechanical trails with this champion, and we want to share the excitement with you.
Orianna’s key gameplay hook is commanding her primary weapon – an animated hextech ball that she uses as a focus for her abilities. This ball acts as a focal point for all of her skills, allowing her to dynamically control space. By moving The Ball (as she named it) and then activating skills, you can use it to deal magical damage, attach it to allies (then use them as the focal point for your skills), shield friends, or even move enemies out of position. Knowing how and when to use Orianna’s abilities - combined with strategic setup - can deny entire areas of a combat zone or support a key ally and act as a force multiplier.
To add risk to the kit, her passive encourages her shorter-range auto-attacks to maximize her damage output. This means you can play safer and use the long range of Orianna’s ball, but to lesser effect than if you combine it with auto-attacks. We made this decision in order to create an interesting dichotomy of risk/reward that will allow expert Orianna players to stand out.
We want to push the boundaries in our champion creation and your impressions and feedback can help shape this. Let us know what you think!