“What was that?”
You know the feeling. That unnerving “What just brushed my leg you guys — a piece of pondweed or an eel-shark hybrid ready to tear me limb-from-limb?” sentiment whenever you have to doggy-paddle through any body of water whose bottom you can’t see.
It’s a vibe captured perfectly in the card art for Fen Creeper, a 5-cost, 3/6 taunt minion from the Classic Hearthstone set. Monica Langlois’ piece, originally titled “Lolly the Unsuspecting” in The World of Warcraft Trading Card Game features the eponymous Lolly — innocent-looking, barefooted, bespectacled, pigtailed gnomish girl that she is — casting a line into her swamp-water fishing hole of choice, painfully unaware of the macabre, red-eyed Man-Thing looking monstrosity lurking just beneath the murky surface:
That’s pretty ominous. In case the terrifying Creature from the Black Lagoon/The Heap/Jaws motif and skull, rib bones and broadsword, the only vestiges of some poor schmuck World of Warcraft adventurer (who probably failed a Level 20 Wetlands quest), at the feet of the enormous Bog Beast didn’t clue you in.
Let’s not contact the Menethil Harbor Morgue just yet, though. Although all signs point towards Lolly the Unsuspecting soon turning into Lolly the Water-Gagged after a Fen Creeper bearhug, we need to take a look at another Hearthstone card first. One that paints the next picture in the narrative. Bog Creeper, a 7-cost, 6/8 minion from the Whispers of the Old Gods Hearthstone expansion, whose art (by Matt Dixon) depicts a couple of characters we’ve seen before:
It seems the tables have turned, Mr. Creeper. According to the Hearthstone Wiki’s Bog Creeper entry:
This is the corrupted version of Fen Creeper. It appears that the unlucky gnome who inadvertently used the top of the Fen Creeper’s head as a fishing spot has also been corrupted and has now gained control of the creeper. The gnome could be the Gnome Warlock Nemsy Necrofizzle, given the matching silhouette and red goggles.
Wait a minute. Nemsy Necrofizzle? The alternate hero for the Warlock class? Lolly’s been masquerading as an immensely powerful gnome warlock this whole time? A look at Nemsy’s Hearthstone character portrait, featuring the now infamous red-goggled, pigtailed gnome on the shoulder of the Bog Creeper, confirms that we are indeed dealing with the same pair:
Again, from the Hearthstone Wiki:
Not much is known about Nemsy Necrofizzle, however she is believed to be the Gnome featured within the artwork of the Bog Creeper, riding on its back, as well as being shown within the artwork of the Fen Creeper, fishing.
And this from Blizzard’s official Nemsy announcement:
Don’t let Nemsy Necrofizzle’s small size and penchant for peaches fool you: behind those pigtails and goggles hides one of the most powerful Warlocks alive. Nemsy is utterly fearless, sharp as a razor, and she’s always cool under pressure. After all, you can’t command fel energies or summon horrifying demons from the twisting nether just by being nice. She’s your perky little pal–and a bonafide fel-flinging, soul-destroying mistress of dark forces!
Nemsy loves it when her foes underestimate her. Appearances can be deceiving, and she knows that it’s what lies beneath the surface that counts.
Our take? In some, sick alternate timeline, Lolly the Unsuspecting didn’t make it out of her final, leisurely fishing excursion alive. But Blizzard wasn’t having that in an online collectible card video game for all ages. In Hearthstone, Lolly, AKA Nemsy Necrofizzle, planned the encounter all along with the hopes of wrangling her very own Bog Creeper minion — the first of what could be many displays of her power in the Hearthstone universe.
What’s next for Nemsy and her Bog Creeper minion? Sound off in the comments.
Check out last week’s edition of Surprising Hearthstone Art: Chillwind Yeti.