Pernelle The Witch of the Wastes is... the best champion ever.
"The Witch of the Wastes" is a champion that's been sat on my back burner for a while. I was initially inspired by a large number of "animated" or "anthropomorphic" animals that seemed to originate from Plague Lands and neighbouring jungles, including Zargonil. I imagined some sort of witch or shaman had been experimenting on animals, but never really explored this further., , and previously (although his origin has since been associated with Shurima), as well as my own champion concept,
At another point, I encountered the phrase, "the Witch of the Wastes" entirely out of any context and it immediately brought back thoughts of the Plague Witch. There was something... fitting about the title. I learned later that the title belongs to a character from Howl's Moving Castle, but it's still something I'm attached to.
And then today, I stumbled upon some artwork that inspired me. And not just the artwork itself, though amazing, but it reminded me of the vine-bender from Avatar; as well as the living-brush ability I drafted for Zyra; and the brush-burrowing ability from Heroes of the Storm's new champion, Dehaka, whom I had learned about only earlier the same day. I suddenly wanted to create a plant mage, but one that's very different from- a champion who brings the jungle alive and has very similar windows of strength to and (although in a more intuitive way than Skarner).
I also wanted to explore the possibility of an "assume command" unit, that even her allies can climb into to "shape shift", so to speak. Even just writing this, I imagine perhaps that The Witch of the Waste leaves behind a body suit when she dies that her allies can climb into to gain control. Perhaps, even, the Witch respawns at the body suit's current location... "blooming once more", so to speak.
Pernelle's personality draws parallels from Glaistig Uaine from the web serial, Worm, in that she speaks with an air of someone who is aware of the world's plot and how each of the characters plays a part in the eventual end. On top of this, it is never quite apparent whose side she is on.
Little of what she says makes all that much sense, or she uses too many metaphors and analogies that the original meaning is hard to make out.
I had originally intended for her "name" to simply be Witch, with her title being "of the Wastes", such that she is technically nameless and remarks on this in her quotes. However, the name Pernelle (also spelled Perenelle) has been nagging me to use it and given the character of Pernelle, it's not an inappropriate name for The Witch of the Wastes.
Pernelle's abilities all interact with Brush. To improve Pernelle's experience, she will see targetable nodes within each brush (or multiple nodes within larger brushes).
The following ultimate was ported from Heroes of the Storm in an attempt to preserve the scrapped Similacrum ability (see below), although it may not be the pinnacle of design. Mounts are a relatively unexplored niche, and a giant battle plant that tears apart civilization isn't a bad pet.
- Abhorrent Growth