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Thread: [Discussion] Best Lore

  1. #11

    WARNING: INCOMING WALL. WARNING: INCOMING WALL.

    I find that Warlock's history raises several avenues of discussion, particularly about the nature of Black Magic in the DOTA2 setting compared to more established continuities.

    While on first glance, Warlock meets many of the criteria for being a Traditional Fantasy Villain, closer inspection reveals strong evidence that this is far from the truth.

    To begin, let us look at Warlock himself. Or rather, let us look at Demnok Lannik, Chief Curator and Head of Acquisitions for the Arcane Archives of the Ultimyr Academy. You see, Warlock is not his profession as much as it is a tool. A means to the end, and for Demnok Lannik, that end is books. Specifically, Magic Books. The guy loves them. Finding them, cataloging them, restoring them, archiving them, hunting down the possessors of overdue books and visiting bodily harm on them, the actual MAGIC of the books never interested him. For most of his life AND his employment as Top Librarian of a MAGIC SCHOOL, Demnok Lannik had no need of magic for his work. It wasn't until he started getting tired of risking his life Indiana Jones-style in the search for MORE magic books that he took an interest in the curriculum of his place of employment. He then went from zero to postgraduate in less time than it takes most other students to complete a single course. And at no point did trafficking with Dark And Evil Powers corrupt him. He wanted to learn Demonic Magic so he could more easily collect spell books, and that's exactly what he does with it (detours into the War of the Ancients aside). At no point did the Dark Side cause him to lose sight of his original goals and turn him into a generic evil sorcerer in a tower. He's the most powerful graduate of the Academy, but all he cares about is his library. He took something that has almost exclusively been seen in fiction as a path to power and domination over others and reduced it to a mere HIKING TOOL.

    Next, we shall look at the Ultimyr Academy. To begin with, IT'S A FREAKING ACADEMY. Think about it. It's an institute dedicated to the organized education of students in the art of SUMMONING DEMONS AND BINDING THEM TO YOUR WILL, and it has been recognized as such by one, if not more, sovereign states. Again, think about it. Legitimate governments recognize Ultimyr Academy as both existing and possessing the qualifications to be labeled an institute of higher education. In a more traditional fantasy setting, such governments would publicly deny the existence of such a group, while privately be seeking it's location in order to destroy it for being a dangerous organization. It's like if ISIS opened up a children's summer camp, and nobody had a problem with it. And again, it's an academy. A school. With students, and teachers, and learning, and graduations, and HELLO, ANYONE ELSE NOTICING THE PROBLEM WITH THIS PICTURE?! WHEN YOU'RE EVIL, YOU DON'T GIVE TWO $#&%! ABOUT ANYONE BESIDES YOURSELF. YOU ESPECIALLY DON'T TEACH OTHER EVIL PEOPLE EVERYTHING YOU KNOW ABOUT BEING EVIL, BECAUSE THEN THEY'RE JUST AS POWERFUL AS YOU AND A POTENTIAL THREAT. Traditional evil wizards only take apprentices on as useful pawns, and get rid of them before they become too strong. THEY DON'T GIVE THEM A DEGREE AND CALL THEM EVERY NIGHT AT 9:00 PM TO ASK FOR A DONATION. At no point in Warlock's back-story is the betrayal and assassination of teachers or other students ever mentioned. Hell, this place actually comes across as SAFER than Hogwarts, a CHILDREN'S SCHOOL THAT COULDN'T GO TWO YEARS WITHOUT A STUDENT DYING A HORRIBLE DEATH. And apart from the utter darkness and the rustling of pages of books not touched by mortal hands in recorded history, the Academy Library is no different from any other school library in existence.

    Finally, we look at the Magic itself. For starters, most fantasy settings deny 'Evil' magic the power to heal, or at the very least the power to EASILY heal. Traditionally, 'Good' guys can heal for no other cost besides the amount of magic used, while 'Evil' guys have to 'steal' the health from someone else. Here, Warlocks can heal themselves and their allies for no other cost besides mana, JUST LIKE THE GOOD GUYS. Another traditional bit of evil magic is the Warlock's fear of death. Dying is something they try to avoid at any cost, because dying robs them of their magic and grants ownership of their eternal souls to the infernal being or beings they struck a deal with in exchange for black magic. Contrast that with DOTA2's Warlock, who when killed states that 'his' fiends will not only AVENGE HIM, but BRING HIM BACK TO LIFE. His 'Deal with the Devil' has REDUCED death to a minor inconvenience, instead of the horrible fate it NORMALLY is for his kind of magic users. Next, consider the relationship between Warlock and the Demon bound within his Dreadwood staff. Said demon is (supposedly) the source of his power, and that's not unusual in a fantasy setting. It also refers to him as 'master', which is again not unusual. What IS unusual is the frankly STAGGERING amount of loyalty the enslaved denizen of the infernal realms shows him. If the demon has been summoned at the moment of Warlock's death, it expresses none of the traditional GLEE of being freed from bondage to a mere mortal. Instead, the Demon is upset and desirous of REVENGE against the guilty party or parties, and freely returns to it's prison inside Warlock's staff when the summoning spell runs out. Binding a demon to call you master, I'll grant you, but binding it to fake UNDYING LOYALTY AND OBEDIENCE? Unless Demnok Lannik has one hell of an inferiority complex, this is an example of an enslaved demon feeling GENUINE AFFECTION for it's enslaver. Speaking of the Demonic Golem (why IS it a golem, anyway?), the spell for summoning it requires a second look as well. Despite being called "Chaotic Offering", the only cost of casting it is a sizable chunk of mana. Traditionally, evil magic users have had to sacrifice unwilling victims to their demonic benefactors in order to manifest them in the mortal realm, but that doesn't appear to be the case here.

    In summation, Warlock is less Raistlin Majere and more Dr. Hix.

  2. #12
    Basic Member 1337_n00b's Avatar
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    Well, there's one thing off with the whole Warlock business - we aren't exactly sure if the Academy does only teach dark arts. They may just have various courses... which undermines the picture drawn, somewhat, but also means that they somehow manage to run their business while they have, say, techmages like Disruptor and daemonic warlocks running the same place.

    And it's all rather greatly undermined by how the backstory was evidently given to him after the voicework was done, which means that he doesn't quite sound like the Indiana Jones of forgotten tomes whom he is. At the same time, perhaps, it is even more creative this way. We won't know.
    Heroes this user should seriously reconsider ever picking again.

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  3. #13
    Well, it's never explicitly stated that the Ultimyr Academy is located in Druud; it's highly likely that it's somewhere else and Warlock hasn't been back to the place of his birth in some time. It could very well be that, at a young age, he wandered out of his homelands seeking the knowledge he had heard of in stories of the Oglodi's past and wound up on the Academy's doorstep. Perhaps the leaders of the Academy at the time believed, due to his species, that he lacked the required aptitude for actual magical study and stuck him in the library as the next best thing, only for him to surprise everyone by eventually mastering the school's dark magics in order to better collect the books he had come to love so much.

    There's very little explanation for the mechanical differences between the various magic users. It's possible that Warlock magic, being based in drawing on power from an external source, is actually the MOST widespread form of magic in DOTA2world, with the fancier sorts practiced by Abaddon, Invoker, Pugna, Rubick and others having in-born abilities unique to them.

  4. #14
    Basic Member Nemzal's Avatar
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    Dr. Hix.
    Yes. Perfect.
    Skull ring!

    I feel that a discussion about different types of magic could go on for twelve different threads on its own. In fact, the hints at the different types of magic among the characters was 50% of why I started my Lore for the Uninitiated series!

    What interests me is the hints in Silencer's lore that magic is genetic.

    Specifically, that skill with magic is not only hereditary, but that until Nortrom was born they believed that specific kinds of magic ran through the family, growing stronger if bred properly.
    This means that magic is actually a genetic thing at the very core, on par with the inner-workings of DNA. Proof of this is that Silencer demonstrated a classic example of genetic mutation, the very thing that allowed evolution to happen - his skill with silencing magic was entirely unexpected and unprecedented.

    We also know that the greatest mage who ever lived, Aghanim, fathered Rubick, who (it seems) is also remarkably powerful, or at least has very similar skills to what we know Aghanim was able to demonstrate. Pugna was believed to be a reinarnation of a powerful wizard - and the baby Pugna demonstrated the very same power that the dead Grandmaster did. Hm...
    But then, does that mean that magic is passed down genetically, or through some kind of metaphysical bond between mages and children? Some kind of mental link that binds them together even before the children are born?
    A web of magic among wizards' minds, perhaps, or a nexus of magic?

    I thin I may be getting ahead of myself here.

    Except this might explain why Lina and Crystal Maiden have exact opposite spell potential - this link between them may have split between the two of them, assuming they were born close-to. After all, what's a year or so to a metaphysical link? Or maybe they're twins. I don't know. It may also explain why Invoker's skill with magic hasn't evolved further than the extremely dated method of constructing spells from magical essence; he hasn't got the benefit of years of adaptive magical evolution to allow him more simple spell composition. Perhaps this is why no other mages we see demonstrate the same types of spell as those used by Car-... Invoker, because the old methods have adapted so much that the new methods can't quite replicate them?
    Unless someone does replicate them exactly of course...

    It might even explain Disruptor's affinity with storm magic. His people grew up for generations around storms, naturally giving rise to a genetic preposition towards magic of that type. Maybe that's the same for Chen's magic of hypnotism in animals, or the Nyx Assassin's telepathic abilities?

    Evolution, people! Magical evolution!

    This is why I like Silencer's lore. Until I started writing jus now I had never thought of this theory. I rather like it.

  5. #15
    Doesn't Invoker's lore state that EVERYONE on Planet Dota has innate magical potential, it just normally never develops beyond one to four abilities? Isn't that the explanation for the in-game abilities all requiring mana, even things done by Strength and Agility heroes?

  6. #16
    Basic Member Nemzal's Avatar
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    Of course... but the skill evidently is hereditary! Meaning it must be an evolutionary thing in some way, perhaps similar to how we on Earth evolved to breathe Oxygen. And there are some people who are... better at breathing?
    I don't think this is the best comparison, but you get the idea.
    Perhaps the world of Dota is so filled with magic that, like oxygen, they could either evolve to use it or die? But some, the mages, just grew better and better over the generations, thus developing academic magic even by Invoker's time - which was, of course, a very long time ago.
    In fact, if anything Invoker's thing saying everyone has the potential increases the chancwe that I've hit close to home... because if it's true, then in his time magic skill would have been harder to acquire and everyone would have been able to do it, while nowadays it'd be easier for families of spellcasters and even harder for others!
    (Though I still argue that ingame mechanics aren't necessarily indicative of lore, given that it costs Ursa mana to hit people harder and faster with his fists.)
    Ooh, I like this a lot.

    That said, I never have been a fan of explaining things like magic. It seems to be the opposite of what magic is supposed to be, thematically.
    Still...
    Last edited by Nemzal; 11-10-2014 at 03:44 AM.

  7. #17
    If you can explain magic to a certain extent, you can be consistent with how you apply it to the setting. That's one of the differences between a GOOD fantasy setting and a BAD fantasy setting.

  8. #18
    lycan?

  9. #19
    Basic Member Legion Commander's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sir Mountebank View Post
    I find that Warlock's history raises several avenues of discussion, particularly about the nature of Black Magic in the DOTA2 setting compared to more established continuities.

    While on first glance, Warlock meets many of the criteria for being a Traditional Fantasy Villain, closer inspection reveals strong evidence that this is far from the truth.

    To begin, let us look at Warlock himself. Or rather, let us look at Demnok Lannik, Chief Curator and Head of Acquisitions for the Arcane Archives of the Ultimyr Academy. You see, Warlock is not his profession as much as it is a tool. A means to the end, and for Demnok Lannik, that end is books. Specifically, Magic Books. The guy loves them. Finding them, cataloging them, restoring them, archiving them, hunting down the possessors of overdue books and visiting bodily harm on them, the actual MAGIC of the books never interested him. For most of his life AND his employment as Top Librarian of a MAGIC SCHOOL, Demnok Lannik had no need of magic for his work. It wasn't until he started getting tired of risking his life Indiana Jones-style in the search for MORE magic books that he took an interest in the curriculum of his place of employment. He then went from zero to postgraduate in less time than it takes most other students to complete a single course. And at no point did trafficking with Dark And Evil Powers corrupt him. He wanted to learn Demonic Magic so he could more easily collect spell books, and that's exactly what he does with it (detours into the War of the Ancients aside). At no point did the Dark Side cause him to lose sight of his original goals and turn him into a generic evil sorcerer in a tower. He's the most powerful graduate of the Academy, but all he cares about is his library. He took something that has almost exclusively been seen in fiction as a path to power and domination over others and reduced it to a mere HIKING TOOL.

    Next, we shall look at the Ultimyr Academy. To begin with, IT'S A FREAKING ACADEMY. Think about it. It's an institute dedicated to the organized education of students in the art of SUMMONING DEMONS AND BINDING THEM TO YOUR WILL, and it has been recognized as such by one, if not more, sovereign states. Again, think about it. Legitimate governments recognize Ultimyr Academy as both existing and possessing the qualifications to be labeled an institute of higher education. In a more traditional fantasy setting, such governments would publicly deny the existence of such a group, while privately be seeking it's location in order to destroy it for being a dangerous organization. It's like if ISIS opened up a children's summer camp, and nobody had a problem with it. And again, it's an academy. A school. With students, and teachers, and learning, and graduations, and HELLO, ANYONE ELSE NOTICING THE PROBLEM WITH THIS PICTURE?! WHEN YOU'RE EVIL, YOU DON'T GIVE TWO $#&%! ABOUT ANYONE BESIDES YOURSELF. YOU ESPECIALLY DON'T TEACH OTHER EVIL PEOPLE EVERYTHING YOU KNOW ABOUT BEING EVIL, BECAUSE THEN THEY'RE JUST AS POWERFUL AS YOU AND A POTENTIAL THREAT. Traditional evil wizards only take apprentices on as useful pawns, and get rid of them before they become too strong. THEY DON'T GIVE THEM A DEGREE AND CALL THEM EVERY NIGHT AT 9:00 PM TO ASK FOR A DONATION. At no point in Warlock's back-story is the betrayal and assassination of teachers or other students ever mentioned. Hell, this place actually comes across as SAFER than Hogwarts, a CHILDREN'S SCHOOL THAT COULDN'T GO TWO YEARS WITHOUT A STUDENT DYING A HORRIBLE DEATH. And apart from the utter darkness and the rustling of pages of books not touched by mortal hands in recorded history, the Academy Library is no different from any other school library in existence.

    Finally, we look at the Magic itself. For starters, most fantasy settings deny 'Evil' magic the power to heal, or at the very least the power to EASILY heal. Traditionally, 'Good' guys can heal for no other cost besides the amount of magic used, while 'Evil' guys have to 'steal' the health from someone else. Here, Warlocks can heal themselves and their allies for no other cost besides mana, JUST LIKE THE GOOD GUYS. Another traditional bit of evil magic is the Warlock's fear of death. Dying is something they try to avoid at any cost, because dying robs them of their magic and grants ownership of their eternal souls to the infernal being or beings they struck a deal with in exchange for black magic. Contrast that with DOTA2's Warlock, who when killed states that 'his' fiends will not only AVENGE HIM, but BRING HIM BACK TO LIFE. His 'Deal with the Devil' has REDUCED death to a minor inconvenience, instead of the horrible fate it NORMALLY is for his kind of magic users. Next, consider the relationship between Warlock and the Demon bound within his Dreadwood staff. Said demon is (supposedly) the source of his power, and that's not unusual in a fantasy setting. It also refers to him as 'master', which is again not unusual. What IS unusual is the frankly STAGGERING amount of loyalty the enslaved denizen of the infernal realms shows him. If the demon has been summoned at the moment of Warlock's death, it expresses none of the traditional GLEE of being freed from bondage to a mere mortal. Instead, the Demon is upset and desirous of REVENGE against the guilty party or parties, and freely returns to it's prison inside Warlock's staff when the summoning spell runs out. Binding a demon to call you master, I'll grant you, but binding it to fake UNDYING LOYALTY AND OBEDIENCE? Unless Demnok Lannik has one hell of an inferiority complex, this is an example of an enslaved demon feeling GENUINE AFFECTION for it's enslaver. Speaking of the Demonic Golem (why IS it a golem, anyway?), the spell for summoning it requires a second look as well. Despite being called "Chaotic Offering", the only cost of casting it is a sizable chunk of mana. Traditionally, evil magic users have had to sacrifice unwilling victims to their demonic benefactors in order to manifest them in the mortal realm, but that doesn't appear to be the case here.

    In summation, Warlock is less Raistlin Majere and more Dr. Hix.
    There are alot of assumptions and fanfiction here.

    Quote Originally Posted by Phoenix. View Post
    2013: 10 heroes, 3 reworks, 4 events, hats, 1 arcana and TI
    2014: 4 heroes, 2 events, 2 arcanas, hats, 1 rework and TI.
    Lazyness. Not to mention the lack of bugfixes, and the amount of new ones with each new content added


    Credits to Phoenix.

  10. #20
    Quote Originally Posted by Legion Commander View Post
    There are alot of assumptions and fanfiction here.
    Exqueeze me, what are you talking about? This is all confirmable stuff you can find on the wiki.

    His bio states he was the head of a department at a magic school despite having never learned magic. It states that he completed the task in record time, and once he had his diploma he went back to searching for magic books, just like he had planned to. He has several lines of in-game dialogue stating his pact with infernal forces protects him from death, and his golem has just as many lines expressing it's undying loyalty to him. His ultimate ability require only mana to cast, despite having a name implying a far greater cost.

    The only 'assumption' I've made is taking note of the lack of fluff indicating that Ultimyr Academy is in anyway shape or form hidden from the outside world. There is no line anywhere that implies it's existence is kept a secret from the public, and indeed in one of Rubick's victory lines he considers visiting it.

    I fail to see how applying simple logic to information provided and connecting the dots counts as 'fan fiction'.

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