With the supposedly Dota 2 closed beta client leaked, information on the game has been spreading like wildfire on the Internet. No Game No Talk has put together the full list of heroes and their biographies, datamined from the leaked strings file, and hero voice clips which have been uploaded to YouTube. Read on for the full details.
Note: All voice clip videos uploaded by YouTube user Dota2Sounds. “No data” means there was no hero biography data at all in the leaked Dota 2 strings file, but other data (e.g. tool tips, spell descriptions) for that hero was present.
The monks of Turstarkuri watched the rugged valleys below their mountain monastery as wave after wave of invaders swept through the lower kingdoms. Ascetic and pragmatic, in their remote monastic eyrie they remained aloof from mundane strife, wrapped in meditation that knew no gods or elements of magic. Then came the Legion of the Dead God, crusaders with a sinister mandate to replace all local worship with their Unliving Lord’s poisonous nihilosophy. From the landscape that had known nothing but blood and battle for a thousand years, they tore the souls and bones of countless fallen legions and pitched them against Turstarkuri.
The monastery stood scarcely a fortnight against the assault, and the few monks who bothered to stir from their meditations believed the invaders were but demonic visions sent to distract them from meditation. They died where they sat on their silken cushions. Only one youth survived–a pilgrim who had come as an acolyte, seeking wisdom, but had yet to be admitted to the monastery. He watched in horror as the monks to whom he had served tea and nettles were first slaughtered, then raised to join the ranks of the Dead God’s priesthood. With nothing but a few of Turstarkuri’s prized dogmatic scrolls, he crept away to the comparative safety of other lands, swearing to obliterate not only the Dead God’s magic users–but to put an end to magic altogether.
Queen of Pain
The Ecclesiast-King of Elze nursed a desire for pain — forbidden pain. In a less prominent political figure, such desires might be considered unwise, but in a monarch of his stature, to satisfy such thirsts would have threatened the virtue of the Divine Throne itself. Therefore he turned to his dungeon full of demonologists, promising freedom to whoever could summon a personal succubus of torment and bind it entirely to his service.
The creature who arrived, visited upon him such exquisite torments that he named her his Secret Queen, and he began to spend all his spare moments submitting to her clever torments — eventually abdicating all his responsibilities in his pursuit of the painful pleasures that only she could bring. Queen of Pain could bring him to the brink of death, but she was rune-bound to keep him alive.
At last the King’s neglect of state brought on an uprising. He was dragged from his chamber and hurled from the Tower of Invocations, and at the moment of death, Queen of Pain was let loose into the world, freed from servitude–freed to visit her sufferings on anyone she deigned to notice.
The sibling rivalries between Lina and her younger sister Crystal Maiden were the stuff of legend in the temperate region where they spent their quarrelsome childhoods together. Lina always had the advantage, however, with her fiery ardor tempered by cleverness and patience. The exasperated parents of these incompatible offspring went through half a dozen homesteads, losing one to fire, the next to ice, before they realized life would be simpler if the children were separated.
As the oldest, Lina was sent far south to live with a patient aunt in the blazing Desert of Misrule, a climate that proved more than comfortable for the fiery lass. Her arrival made quite an impression on the somnolent locals, and more than one would-be suitor scorched his fingers or went away with singed eyebrows, his advances spurned. Lina is proud and confident, and nothing can dampen her flame.
High Priestess of Mene, the moon goddess, Mirana prowls the Nightsilver Woods searching for any who would dare poach from the goddess’s preserve. Riding on her enormous feline familiar, she is poised, proud and fearless. Born to a noble family, Mirana willingly gave up any claim to land or titles when she joined the Temple of Mene to learn to channel the magic of the heavens. She is attuned to the wheeling of the constellations, her powers shifting subtly with the phases of the moon, from dark-strengths to light. Her bow, which may not be touched except by a priestess of Mene, draws on lunar power to charge its arrows of ice.
A foul creature that has survived countless wars, the Lifestealer has become a thing of legends among the heroes of the world. The legends speak of a twisted, undead horror known only as N’aix; whose power rivals and grows with the strength of those who attempt to slay it. Believed to be a fallen mythical knight, N’aix now stalks the fields of Quoidige and knows no emotion of reason; only the lust for blood and death in all who cross its path.
The clan of the Natural Order are pacifists by birthright. Their guild stands to proect the life force and energy of the forest and all of the wildlife contained within, only acting in preventative ways to maintain their symbiotic relationship with the wild. When conflict descended upon the world, the elite prophets met to discuss their role of stewardship and how best to the protect the land. In the end, it was decided that only the most powerful and mysterious of their kind, the Nature’s Prophet. The Prophet is less a skilled user of natural magic than he is a forceful impetus of the wild itself.
The western forests guard their secrets well. One of these is Windrunner, master archer of the wood, and favored godchild of the wind. Windrunner’s family was killed in a storm on the night of her birth — their house blown down by the gale, contents scattered to the winds. Only the newborn survived among the debris field of death and destruction. In the quiet after the storm, the wind itself took notice of the lucky infant crying in the grass. The wind pitied the child and so lifted her into the sky and deposited her on a doorstep in a neighboring village. In the years that followed, the wind returned occasionally to the child’s life, watching from a distance while she honed her skills. Now, after many years of training, Windrunner fires her arrows true to their targets. She moves with blinding speed, as if hastened by a wind ever at her back. With a flurry of arrows, she slaughters her enemies, having become, nearly, a force of nature herself.
Once a powerful sorcerer, Lion earned fame among his brethren for fighting on the side of light and righteousness. But adulation corrupts. With powers surpassed only by his ambition, the mage was seduced by a demon and turned to evil, trading his soul for prestige. After committing horrible crimes that marred his soul, he was abandoned. The demon betrayed him, striking better deals with his enemies. Such was Lion’s rage that he followed the demon back to hell and slew it, ripping it limb from limb, taking its demonic hand for his own. However, such daemonoplasty comes at a cost. Lion was transfigured by the process, his appearance mutated, his body transformed until he became something unrecognizable, a creature with no name. He rose from hell rage incarnate, slaying his enemies and laying waste to the lands where he had once been so adored.
Even the most contented Skywrath is an ill-tempered creature, naturally inclined to seek revenge for the slightest insult. But Vengeful Spirit is the essence of vengeance. Once a proud and savage Skywrath scion, first in succession for the Ghastly Eyrie, a sister’s treachery robbed her of her birthright. Snared in a hired assassin’s net, she tore free only at the cost of her wings, limping way in the ultimate humiliation: On foot. With her wings shattered, she knew her people would never accept her as ruler; and in the high roost of the Skywrath flock, inaccessible except by winged flight, her sister was untouchable. Unwilling to live as a flightless cripple, and desiring revenge far more than earthly power, the fallen princess drove a bargain with the goddess Avilliva Scree’auk: She surrendered her broken body for an imperishable form of spirit energy, driven by vengeance, capable of doing great damage in the material plane. She may spend eternity flightless, but she will have her revenge.
A wiry silhouette hitches forward–uneven of feature and limb, bizarre of gait, relentlessly criss-crossing the battlefield in search of that vital weak point where his talents can do most good, and most harm. Whether broken or mismade it is not clear, but still, none can doubt the power carried in his twisted physique. A long staff thumps the earth as the Witch Doctor advances, deploying a terrifying arsenal of fetishes, hexes and spells. It is a body of magical knowledge learned over several lifetimes in the island highlands of Prefectura, now wielded with precision accuracy against his enemies. Witch Doctor is your best friend, or your worst enemy–healing allies and laying waste to all who oppose him.
Leshrac the Malicious once was a benevolent member of the Natural Order. A wise druid who protected his forest, Leshrac was slain when the first invasion by the Purgers of the Realm invaded. Despite his death, the soul of Leshrac lived on; however, he became horribly corrupt, and his love for nature became hatred, as he lost all that he had lived to protect. Sometimes known as the Tormented Soul and the Guardian of Impurities, Leshrac seeks only to take from others what was taken from him.
No one has ever seen the face hidden beneath the mask of Juggernaut — it is only speculation that he even has one. For defying a corrupt lord, he was exiled from the ancient Isle of Masks; a punishment that saved his life. The isle soon after vanished beneath the waves in a night of vengeful magic. He alone remains to carry on the Isle’s long tradition of ritual and swordplay. The last practicioner of his art, Juggernaut’s confidence and courage are the result of endless practice; his inventive bladework proves that he has never stopped challenging himself. Still, his motives are as unreadable as his expression. For a hero who has lost everything twice over, he fights as if victory is a foregone conclusion.
In the Fields of Endless Carnage, far to the south of Quoidge, a corpulent figure works tirelessly through the night — dismembering, disembowelling, piling up the limbs and viscera of the Fallen that the battlefield might be clear by dawn. In this cursed realm, nothing can decay or decompose; no corpse may ever return to the earth from which it sprang, no matter how deep you dig the grave. Flocked by carrion birds who need him to cut their meals into beak-sized chunks, the Butcher hones his skills with blades that grow sharper the longer he uses them. Swish, swish, thunk. Flesh falls from the bone; tendons and ligaments part like wet paper. And while he always had a taste for the butchery, over the ages, Pudge has developed a taste for its byproduct as well. Starting with a gobbet of muscle here, a sip of blood there…before long he was thrusting his jaws deep into the toughest of torsos, like a dog gnawing at rags. Even those who are beyond fearing the Reaper, fear the Butcher.
When the gods have nightmares, it is Bane Elemental who brings them. Also known as Atropos, Bane was born from the midnight terrors of the goddess Nyctasha. A force of terror too powerful to be contained by sleep, he surfaced from her slumbers, fed upon her immortality, and stole his vaporous form from her inky blood. He is the essence of fear. Mortals who hear his voice hear their darkest secrets whispered in their ear. He calls to the hidden fear in every Hero’s heart. Wakefulness is no protection, for Bane’s black blood, continuously dripping, is a tar that traps his enemies in nightmare. In the presence of Bane, every Hero remembers to fear the dark.
Like a golem or gargoyle, Earthshaker was one with the earth but now walks freely upon it. Unlike those other entities, he created himself through an act of will, and serves no other master. In restless slumbers, encased in a deep seam of stone, he became aware of the life drifting freely above him. He grew curious. During a season of tremors, the peaks of Nishai shook themselves loose of avalanches, shifting the course of rivers and turning shallow valleys into bottomless chasms. When the land finally ceased quaking, Earthshaker stepped from the settling dust, tossing aside massive boulders as if throwing off a light blanket. He had shaped himself in the image of a mortal beast; he bleeds now, and breathes, and therefore he can die. But his spirit is still that of the earth. And on the day he returns to the dust, it will greet him as a prodigal son.
Sandking is a guardian of the Scintillant Waste, a vast desert whose shifting sands are alive and sentient. In outward appearance, Sandking resembles a huge arachnid, but his exoskeleton is a form of magic armor, forged by the Djinn of Qaldin. The armor is filled entirely with sentient sand, giving Sandking a solid appearance. In this form he strides the world beyond the desert, acting as warrior and sole ambassador of his kind.
Nevermore (Shadow Fiend)
It is said that Shadow Fiend has the soul of a poet, and in fact he has thousands of them. Over the ages he has claimed the souls of poets, priests, emperors, beggars, slaves, philosophers, criminals and (naturally) heroes; no sort of soul escapes him. What he does with them is unknown. No one has ever peered into the Abysm whence Shadow Fiend reaches out like an eel from among astral rocks. Does he devour them one after another? Does he mount them along the halls of an eldritch temple, or pickle the souls in necromantic brine? Is he merely a puppet, pushed through the dimensional rift by a demonic puppeteer? Such is his evil, so intense his aura of darkness, that no rational mind may penetrate it. Of course, if you really want to know where the stolen souls go, there’s one sure way to find out: Add your soul to his collection.
Sven is the bastard son of a Vigil Knight, born of a Pallid Meranth, raised in the Shadeshore Ruins. With his father executed for violating the Vigil Codex, and his mother shunned by her wild race, Sven believes that honor is to be found in no social order–but only in himself. After tending his mother through a lingering death, he offered himself as a novice to the Vigil Knights, never revealing his identity. For thirteen years he studied in his father’s school, mastering the rigid code that declared his existence an abomination. Then, on the day that should have been his In-Swearing, he seized the Outcast Blade, shattered the Sacred Helm, and burned the Codex in the Vigil’s Holy Flame. He strode from Vigil Keep, forever solitary, following his private code to the last strict rune.
Through a process of divination, children are selected for upbringing by the Sisters of the Veil, an order that considers assassination a sacred part of the natural order. The Veiled Sisters identify targets through meditation and oracular utterances. They accept no contracts, and never seem to pursue targets for political or mercenary reasons. Their killings bear no relation to any recognizable agenda, and can seem to be completely random: A figure of great power is no more likely to be eliminated than a peasant or a well digger. Whatever pattern the killings may contain, it is known only to them. They treat their victims as sacrifices, and death at their hand is considered an honor. Raised with no identity except that of their order, any Phantom Assassin can take the place of any other; their number is not known. Perhaps there are many, perhaps there are few. Nothing is known of what lies under the Phantom Veil.
The victim of a longevity spell that backfired, Skeleton King has built an empire from the bones of his enemies. He lives only to extend his reach, for as long as he is perpetually building and adding to his domain he cannot die. The walls of his palace are formed of fired bone; the streets are paved with bones of every sort of creature and every enemy; and even the wood and other natural features have been swept away and replaced with replicas formed of bone. From the Ivory Forest to the regal halls of Ostarion, nothing happens in the Empire of Bones without the full of knowledge of its Skeleton King.
Drow Ranger’s given name is Traxex — a name well suited to the short, trollish, rather repulsive Drow people. But Traxex herself is not a Drow. Her parents were travelers in a caravan set upon by bandits, whose noisy slaughter of innocents roused the ire of the quiet Drow people. After the battle settled, the Drow discovered a small girl-child hiding in the ruined wagons, and agreed she could not be abandoned. Even as child, she showed herself naturally adept at the arts they prized: Stealth, silence, subtlety. In spirit, if not in physique, she might have been a Drow changeling, returned to her proper home. But as she grew, she towered above her family, and came to think of herself as ugly because her features were symmetrical and devoid of warts and coarse whiskers; estranged from her adopted tribe, she withdrew to live alone in the woods. Lost travelers who find their way from the forest sometimes speak of an impossibly beautiful Ranger who peered at them from deep among the trees, but vanished like a dream before they could approach. Lithe and stealthy, icy hot, she moves like mist in silence. That whispering you hear is her frozen arrows finding an enemy’s heart.
Morphling is an elemental power at one with the tides of the ocean, the capricious yet constrained rush of rivers, the placid calm of standing water. Neither male nor female, Morphling can take on any form, and from this innate capacity it has gained deep understanding of all the Heroes.
Bloodseeker is a ritually sanctioned hunter, Hound of the Flayed Twins, sent down from the mist-shrouded peaks of Xhacatocatl in search of blood. The Flayed Ones require oceanic amounts of blood to keep them sated and placated, and would soon drain their mountain empire of its populace if the priests of the high plateaus did not appease them. Bloodseeker therefore goes out in search of carnage. The vital energy of any blood he lets, flows immediately to the Twins through the sacred markings on his weapons and armor. Over the years, he has come to embody the energy of a vicious hound; in battle he is savage as a jackal. Beneath the mask, in the rush of bloody quenching, it is said that you can sometime see the features of the Flayers taking direct possession of their Hound.
As a grunt in the Army of Red Night, Axe set his sights on the rank of Red Knight General. In battle after battle he proved his worth through gory deed. (It helped that Axe is pure id, completely unconvinced of his mortality.) His rise through the ranks was helped by the fact that he never hesitated to decapitate a superior. Through the seven year Campaign of the Thousand Tarns, he distinguished himself in glorious carnage, his star of fame shining ever brighter, while the number of comrades in arms steadily dwindled. On the night of ultimate victory, Axe declared himself the new Red Night General, in time to find his troops now numbered zero. Of course many had died in battle, but a significant number had also fallen to Axe’s blade. Needless to say, most soldiers now shun his leadership. But this matters not a whit to Axe, who knows that a one-man army is by far the best.
Among the emblematic powers that populate the Underscape, Razor is one of the most feared. With his whip of lightning, he guards the Narrow Maze, that treacherous webwork of passages by which the souls of the dead are sorted according to their own innate intelligence, cunning and persistence. Drifting above the Maze, Razor looks down on the baffled souls below, and delivers jolts of scalding electricity that both punish and quicken the souls as they decide their own fates, hurrying on toward luminous exits or endlessly dark pits. Razor is the eternal embodiment of a dominating power, abstract and almost clinical in his application of power. Yet he has a lordly air that suggests he takes a sardonic satisfaction in his work. And one can detect a trace of disapproval when he tips his head toward the Overrealm, where his rival Zeus throws lightning about with far too much overt pleasure.
Storm Spirit is literally a force of nature — the wild power of wind and weather, bottled in human form. And a boisterous, jovial, irrepressible form it is! As jolly as a favorite uncle, he injects every scene with crackling energy. But it was not always thus, and there was tragedy in his creation. Generations ago, in the plains beyond the Wailing Mountains, a good people lay starving in drought and famine. Qazmyr Thurifex, a simple elementalist, used a forbidden spell to summon the spirit of the storm, asking for rain. Enraged at this mortal’s presumption, the Storm Celestial lay waste to the land, scouring it bare with winds and flood. Qazmyr was no match for the Celestial–at least until he cast a suicidal spell that forged their fates into one: he captured the Celestial in the cage of his own body. Trapped together, Qazmyr’s boundless good humor fused with the Storm Spirit’s crazed energy, creating a jovial Celestial who walks the world in physical form.
The Crystal Maiden has a deep affinity with frost and ice. Born in a temperate realm, like her sister Lina before her, she soon found that her innate elemental affinities created trouble for all those around her. Wellsprings and mountain rivers froze in moments if she stopped to rest nearby; ripening crops were bitten by frost, and fruit orchards turned to mazes of ice and came crashing down, spoiled. While Lina was sent to the equator, Crystal Maiden found herself banished to the cold northern realm of Icewrack, where she was taken in by the Ice Wizard who had carved himself a hermitage at the crown of the Blueheart Glacier. After long study, the Ice Wizard pronounced her ready for solitary practice and left her to take his place, descending into the glacier to hibernate for a thousand years. Her mastery of the Frozen Arts has only deepened since that time, and now her skills are unmatched.
As Admiral of the mighty Claddish Navy, Kunkka was charged with protecting the isles of his homeland when the Demons of the Cataract made a concerted grab at the lands of men. After years of small sorties, and increasingly bold and devastating attacks, the Demon Fleet flung all its carnivorous ships at the Trembling Isle. Desperate, the Suicide-Mages of Cladd committed their ultimate rite, summoning a host of ancestral spirits to protect the fleet. Against the Demons, this was just barely enough to turn the tide. As Kunkka watched the Demons take his ships down one by one, he had the satisfaction of wearing away their fleet with his ancestral magic. But at the battle’s peak, something in the clash of demons, men and atavistic spirits must have stirred a fourth power that had been slumbering in the depths. The waves rose up in towering spouts around the few remaining ships, and Maelraun the Tentacular appeared amid the fray. His tendrils wove among the ships, drawing demon and human craft together, churning the water and wind into a raging chaos. What happened in the crucible of that storm, none may truly say. The Cataract roars off into the void, deserted by its former denizens. Kunkka is now Admiral of but one ship, a ghostly rig which endlessly replays the final seconds of its destruction. Whether he died in that crash is anyone’s guess. Not even Tidehunter, who summoned Maelraun, knows for sure.
Zeus is the father of all gods, and treats all the Heroes as if they are his rambunctious, rebellious children. After being caught unnumbered times in the midst of trysts with countless mortal women, his divine wife finally gave him an ultimatum: If you love mortals so much, go and become one. If you can prove yourself faithful, then return to me as my immortal husband. Otherwise, go and die among your creatures. Zeus found her logic (and her magic) irrefutable, and agreed to her plan. He has been on his best behavior ever since, being somewhat fonder of immortality than he is of mortals. But to prove himself worthy of his eternal spouse, he must continue to pursue victory on the field of battle.
Coming to life as a small chunk of stone, Tiny’s origins are a mystery on which he continually speculates. Is he a splinter broken from a Golem’s heel? Is he a shard swept from a gargoyle-sculptor’s workshop? Is he a fragment of the Oracular Visage of Garthos? A deep curiosity drives him, and he travels the world tirelessly seeking his origins, his parentage, his people. As he roams, he gathers weight and size; the forces that weather lesser rocks, instead cause Tiny to grow and ever grow. The bird he calls Little Roc is a constant companion, perched on his shoulder.
While Puck seems at first glance a mischievous, childish character, this quality masks an alien personality. The juvenile form of an insectoid creature that lives for eons, Pucks spends countless millennia in its childish form. So while it is technically true that Puck is a child, it will continue to be so when the cities of the present age have sloughed away into dust. Its motives are therefore inscrutable, and what appears to be play may in fact hide a darker purpose. Its endless fondness for mischief is the true indicator of Puck’s true nature.
Dazzle (Shadow Priest)
Dazzle is a Shadow Priest, who came into his powers after a harrowing spiritual journey through the Nothl Realm. In this ethereal dimension, the properties of light and dark are inverted. Thus his brilliant healing light, beautiful to our eye, is actually a sinister kind of evil; and his darkest deeds are done in a dazzling glow.
Clockwerk belongs to the same race as Sniper and Tinker, and in much the same manner he has offset his diminutive stature by beefing himself up with technology. In Clockwerk’s case, he devised a suit of powered armor that makes the knights of other lands look like tin cans by comparison. His armor is alive with devices that not only protect him from harm, but allow him to rappel from point to point while firing rockets and strewing the terrain with traps.
There is peace in death. A peace stolen from Lich on the night he was forcibly risen from his frozen grave to serve the powerful magician Anhil. But Anhil chose his dead-servant poorly. Perhaps it was a side-effect of having been buried long years in the permafrost of the frozen North, rather than in a rotting ground; or perhaps it was simply the strength of Lich’s unusual will, a flowering of outrage at his ruptured repose… but Lich was not so obedient as the magician hoped. Lich slew his new master on the night of his own undead rebirth. Now, still a dead-servant, he has became his own master, a thing unheard of in all the learning of men. He is a walker between the worlds — no longer alive, but not quite dead. Drawing power from the cold of his own arctic grave, he condenses ice from moisture in the air. It is an old, cold magic, the conjury of the killing frost.
Tidehunter was once the champion of the Sunken Isles, but his motives are as mysterious as those of his people. We all know the importance of the Drylanders’ shipping lanes, how empires may rise and fall according to who controls the open water. Far less is known of the submarine lanes, and how the warring tribes of the Meranthic Disapora have carved out habitations through endless undersea skirmishes. In the fragile treaties between the Mer and Men, we can glimpse the extent of the drowned empires, but their politics appear complex and opaque. It would seem that Tidehunter tired of such petty strife, and set off on his own, loyal only to his abyssal god, Maelrawn the Tentacular. He stalks the shallows now in search of men or meranths who stray into his path, and with a particular loathing for Admiral Kunkka, who has long been his nemesis.
Born in the Bleeding Hills, Shadow Shaman was just a starving youngling when picked up by a travelling con-man. For two pins of copper, the old con-man would tell your fortune. For three, he’d castrate your pig, for five, he’d circumcise your sons. For a good meal, he’d don his shaman garb, read from his ancient books, and lay a curse upon your enemies. His strange new youngling, part hill trowle, part… something else, worked as assistant and lent an air of the exotic to the con-man’s trade. Always one step ahead of cheated customers, one town ahead of a pursuing patronage, the two trekked across the blighted lands until one day the con-man realized that the little youngling could actually do what he only pretended at. His ward had a gift — a gift that customers valued. And so the youngling was thrust before the crowds, and the trade-name Shadow Shaman was born. The two continued from town to town, conjuring for money as Shadow Shaman’s reputation grew. Eventually, the pair’s duplicitous past caught up with them, and they were ambushed by a mob of swindled ex-clients. The con-man was slain, and for the first time, Shadow Shaman used his powers for darkness, massacring the attackers. He buried his beloved master, and now uses his powers to destroy any who would seek to do him harm.
Riki (Stealth Assassin)
Riki was born middle child to the great dynasty of Tahlin. With an older brother groomed for the throne, and a younger brother coddled and kept, Riki, the small middle son, seemed born for the art of invisibility. It was an art he cultivated, and one which ultimately saved his life on the night that his people were betrayed and his family slaughtered. Of all the royal line, he alone escaped — small and agile, unassuming, using smoke as cover. He cut his way out of the royal grounds, using the advantage of surprise, quietly slitting the throats of one enemy warrior after another. Now free of his royal responsibilities, Riki uses his talents in service to a new trade: stealth assassin. He silences his enemies, sharpening his skills, hoping to one day take revenge on those who killed his family and robbed him of his birthright.
Nothing is known of Enigma’s background. There are only stories and legends, most of them apocryphal, passed down through the ages. In truth, Enigma is a mystery for whom the only true biography is description: he is a universal force, a consumer of worlds. He is a being of the void, at times corporeal, other times ethereal. A beast between the planes. There are stories that say he was once a great alchemist who tried to unlock the secrets of the universe and was cursed for his arrogance. Other legends tell that he is an ancient being of strange gravity, the abyss personified—a twisted voice from out the original darkness, before the first light in the universe. And there are older legends that say he is the first collapsed star, a black hole grown complicated and sentient—his motivations unknowable, his power inexorable, a force of destruction unleashed upon existence itself.
Tinker’s diminutive race is known for its intelligence, its cunning, and its prickly relationship with magic. As a matter of pride, the survive by their wits, and use only those powers of nature that may be unlocked through rational methodologies. Even this forbearance has led to a great deal of trouble, as Tinker can attest. Once a key investigator of natural law, Tinker led a vast intellectual investigation into the workings of nature, founding a subterranean laboratory in the rumored, mist-wreathed wastes of the Violet Plateau. While scorning mages for the dangers they visit upon the world, Tinker and his associates haughtily wrenched open a portal to some realm beyond comprehension and ushered in some nightmares of their own. A black mist rose from the cavernous interior of the Violet Plateau, shrouding it in permanent darkness from which sounds of horror perpetually emanate. Tinker escaped with only his wits and the contraptions he carried, the sole survivor of the Violet Plateau Incident.
Sniper was born to the valley folk, deep in the mountains of Knollen. Since time immemorial, the valley folk have survived by hunting the strange, cliff-dwelling steepstalkers above their village–killing them from a distance and collecting their carcasses where they fell. Sniper was among the best of these shootists from the valley, these strange folk for whom projectile weapons are but another appendage, and to shoot is as natural as to touch. On his day of summoning, when he was to gain full standing in his village, Sniper took the ancient test: a single shot from the valley floor to strike a beast down from the cliffs. To miss was was to be dishonored. With his entire village standing vigil, Sniper took his shot. A steepstalker fell; the crowd cheered. But when the carcass was collected, the village grew silent, for the elders found that its central eye had been shot out. This was an ominous sign, the answer to a dark prophesy, and Sniper was sent into exile, condemned to make his way apart from his people. Only when he proves his greatness, can he return to his village home.
In a time of great plague, an obscure monk of dark inclinations found himself promoted to the rank of Cardinal by the swift death of all his superiors. While others of the order went out to succor the ill, the newly ordained cardinal secluded himself within the Cathedral of Rumusque, busily scheming to acquire the property of dying nobles, promising them spiritual rewards if they signed over their terrestrial domains. As the plague receded to a few stubborn pockets, his behavior came to the attention of the greater order, which found him guilty of heresy and sentenced him to serve in the plague ward, ensorcelled with spells that would ensure him a slow and lingering illness. But they had not counted on his natural immunity. He caught the pox, but instead of dying, found it feeding his power, transforming him into a veritable plague-mage, a Pope of Pestilence. Proclaiming himself Necrolyte, he travels the world, spreading plague wherever he goes.
Slardar is a creature of the Deep Ones, guardian of the great wealth of sunken cities and the ancient wealth buried there. In the lightless gulf of the great ocean abysses, he carries his lure-light with him through the secret treasure rooms, and submarine thieves (sent into the deeps by covetous dryland sorcerers) are drawn in by its friendly glow, never to return. He is utterly loyal, and his taciturn nature hides deep knowledge of the most secret places of the sea. He rises to the shallows in spite of the pain caused him by brightness, to commit reconnaissance, and make sure no one is conspiring against the depths. Because he has spent his whole life at great pressure, under tremendous weight of the sea, he is a creature of great power.
Beastmaster was born a child of the stocks. His mother died in childbirth; his father, a ferrier for the Mad King Slom, was trampled to death when he was five. Afterward Beastmaster was indentured to the king’s menagerie, where he grew up among all the beasts of the royal court: lions, apes, fell-deer, and things less known, things barely believed in. When Beastmaster was seven, an explorer brought in a beast like none before seen. Dragged before the King in chains, the beast spoke, though its mouth moved not. Its words: a plea for freedom. Slom only laughed and ordered the beast perform for his amusement; and when it refused, struck it with the King’s blade and ordered it dragged to the stocks.
Over the coming months, the Beastmaster sneaked food and medicinal draughts to the wounded creature, but only managed to slow its deterioration. Wordlessly, the beast spoke to the boy, and over time their bond strengthened until the boy found he could hold up his end of a conversation — could in fact speak now to all the creatures of the King’s menagerie. On the night the beast died, a rage came over the boy. He incited the animals of the court to rebel and threw open their cages to set them amok on the palace grounds. The Mad King was mauled in the mayhem. In the chaos, one regal stag bowed to the boy who had freed him; and with Beastmaster astride him, leapt the high walls of Slom’s estate, and escaped. Now a man, he has not lost his ability to converse with beasts. He has grown into a warrior at one with nature’s savagery.
In Acid Jungles of Jidi Isle, poison runs in the veins and bubbles in the guts of every creature that scuttles, climbs or swoops between fluorescent vines dripping with caustic sap. Yet even in this toxic menagerie, Venomancer is acknowledged as the most venomous. An herbalist, his name long since forgotten, crossed the Bay of Fradj by coracle, searching for potent essences that might be extracted from bark and root, and found instead a nightmare transformation. Two leagues into Jidi’s jungle, the herbalist encountered a camouflaged reptile, which stung him and instantly died. In desperation, he used his partial knowledge of the jungle’s herbal bounty, mixing the venom of the dead creature with the nectar of an armored orchid, to compound an antidote. In the moments before black paralysis claimed him completely, he injected himself by orchid-thorn, and instantly fell into a coma. Seventeen years later, something stirred in the spot where had fallen, throwing off the years’ accumulation of humus: Venomancer. The herbalist’s mind was all but erased, and his flesh had been consumed and replaced by a new type of matter–one fusing the venom of the reptile with the poisonous integument of the orchid. Jidi’s Acid Jungles knew a new master, one before whom even the most vicious predators soon learned to bow or burrow for their lives. But the lurid isle proved too confining, and some hunger deep in the heart of the old herbalist drove Venomancer out in search of new poisons — and new victims.
Faceless Void is a visitor from Claszureme, a realm outside of time. It remains a mystery why this being from another dimension believes the struggle for the Nemesis Stones is worth entering our physical plane, but apparently an upset in the balance of power on the battlefield of Dota has repercussions in adjacent dimensions. Time means nothing to him, except as a way to thwart his foes and aid his allies. His long-view of the cosmos has given him a remote, disconnected quality, although in battle he is quite capable of making it personal.
A former resident of the Nether Reaches, where he had some familiarity with Viper, Pugna is a evil hellspawn mage who delights in all his sinister power. He sucks the life from his foes, savors it briefly, and spits it out. Nothing pleases him more than to throw down one of his Nether Wards and watch his enemies destroy themselves with their own magic.
The malevolent familiar of an underworld wizard who captured and ‘tamed’ him, Viper was curiously glad to have been sprung from the sealed and unchanging subterranean Nether Reaches where his race had lived for millions of years, after tectonic slippage had sealed them off in luminous caverns. He spent some time appearing to submit to the wizard’s enchainments, while learning what he could of dark magic. But he soon realized that few magics were as deadly as the toxins that were his birthright, so he casually stung the old mage to death, slipped free of his cage, and flapped out to get a look at the greater world.
After years on the trail of a legendary Eldwurm, the skilled dragon-slayer found himself facing a disappointing foe: the dreaded Slyrak had grown ancient and frail, its wings tattered, its few remaining scales stricken with scale-rot, its fangs ground to nubs, and its fire-gouts no more threatening than a pack of wet matchsticks. Seeing no honor to be gained in dragon-murder, the young knight prepared to turn away and leave his old foe to die in peace. But a voice crept into his thoughts, and Slyrak gave a whispered plea that the knight might honor him with death in combat. The knight agreed, and found himself rewarded beyond expectation for his act of mercy: As he sank his blade in Slyrak’s breast, the dragon sank a claw into his throat. As their blood mingled, Slyrak sent his power out along the Blood Route, offering all its strength and centuries of wisdom to the knight. The dragon’s death sealed their bond, and Dragon Knight was born. The ancient power slumbers in the knight, waking when he calls it; or perhaps it is the Dragon that calls the Knight…
Of the Night Stalker, there is no history, only stories. There are ancient tales woven into the lore of every race and every culture, of an impossible time before sunlight and daytime, when night reigned alone and the world was covered with the creatures of darkness — creatures like the Night Stalker. It is said that on the dawn of the First Day, all the night creatures perished. All, that is, save one. Evil’s embodiment, Night Stalker delights in his malevolence. He created the primal role of the Night Terror, the Boogeyman, and as long as there have been younglings, his is the specter summoned to terrify them. This is a role he relishes — nor are these empty theatrics. He does indeed stalk the unwary, the defenseless, those who have strayed beyond the lighted paths or denied the warnings of their communities…
A towering being of unimaginable evil, the Doom Bringer marches the farthest reaches of the world in search of new and exciting ways to satisfy his taste for unrest and greed. Once a feared leader in the army of the Purgers of the Realm, Doom left his position as a comrade of fellow demonic warriors as he simply could not bear the thought of sharing the glory of pillaging and feats of destruction with other lowly demons. Despite no longer leading an army, Doom is a fearful foe in combat, possessing mastery of hellish magic and physical attacks – eventually, the world will belong to Doom.
An elemental power of ice, a timeless cold that predates the existence of the universe, Ancient Apparition springs from a realm where lore has no meaning.
Raised amongst the dwarven mining clan, Gyrocopter grew up with a fascination for making things explode. Such tendencies were considered healthy in the mining society as a dwarf’s skill with explosives determined his pay, his rank, and of course, his popularity amongest the females. Unlike the rest of the clan, however, Gyrocopter sought to use his skills for more than just blowing up rocks. By combining controlled detonations with thick metal to direct their force, the Gyrocopter is able to create everything from engines to missiles. Excited to be able to put his inventions to the test, his presence on the battlefield promises to be a blast!
Spirit Breaker likes to bash people.
Alchemist is named Al and is a chemist.