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Arc Warden
Arc Warden Lore.png
Associated with
Heroes Zeus minimap icon.png Zeus
Factions Radiant
Dire
Places Mad Moon
Gods Primordial Consciousness
Radinthul
Diruulth
Species Wraiths
Other Lore Nemesis Stones
Nemestice
Order
▶️ It is not to aid the Ancients that this war is joined, but to destroy them both. This disunity must end.
Arc Warden explains its stake in the war of the Ancients

From the shattered Primordial Consciousness, Zet the Arc Warden wills itself into being with one goal in mind: to restore unity by reuniting the fragments of Radiant and Dire back into the one unified intelligence that they once were at the beginning of the universe, or destroy them both should the conflict spread even further.

Biography[]

Arc Warden minimap icon.png Zet, the Arc Warden
Before the beginning of all, there existed a presence: a primordial mind, infinite, awesome, and set to inscrutable purpose. As the universe thundered into being, this mind was fragmented and scattered. Two among its greater fragments—who would come to be named Radiant and Dire--found themselves locked in vicious opposition, and began twisting all of creation to serve their conflict.

As war and cataclysm threatened the nascent cosmos, the will of a third fragment made itself known. Naming itself Zet, this intellect sought to resolve the disharmony and return all to perfect unity. Appalled by its kin's conflicting nature, Zet gathered the sum of its power. In a sudden flash, it overwhelmed its siblings, and fused the warring aspects into a stellar sphere before hurling them into the darkness to orbit a nondescript world. Harmony was restored, though only the barest fraction of Zet's strength remained. Setting its gaze on the prison, Zet chose to use its weakened power to serve as watchful warden until time's end. For uncounted aeons, this vigil stood.

Life flourished upon the world below, oblivious to the dangers imprisoned within the softly glowing moon, or of Zet's struggles to contain them. As the captives' eternal clash reverberated within, the surface of the prison shuddered, over time beginning to crack. Ultimately, Zet's depleted power proved insufficient to contain the breach, and at last the moon was shattered. The prison's ancient inhabitants had escaped to sow their conflict anew.

Flung to the farthest reaches by the prison's explosion, Zet was transformed by the dissonant energies of its former captives. No longer of single form and thought, its presence had become split among many—some lesser, some greater—each connected by a fleeting arc of consciousness. Struggling to suppress its own disunity, Zet sped toward the burgeoning conflict of its siblings, bending its fractured wills toward a singular conclusion: the aspects of the primordial mind must be made to reunite, or all must be destroyed lest the conflict spread further…


Before the universe came to be, there was a singular presence: an ancient consciousness, the Primordial Mind, an infinite intelligence who could think inscrutable thoughts that no mind of the past, present, and future can hope to penetrate. In the moment when the universe was created, this mind was shattered into many fragments. Although all of these parts shared the same progenitor, these mental fragments soon gained individuality. Two among its greater fragments—Radinthul and Diruulth--fought each other and twisted all of creation with their powers of enthrallment to serve their conflict.

In this cascade of moments, a third greater fragment, the unsung Ancient, made itself known. This intellect named itself Zet and strived to stop the appalling disharmony that it had just witnessed in the first moments of its conception. Focusing all of its power, Zet overwhelmed both of its siblings and fused them into a single form, trapping them both in an inert crystalline sphere. Zet hurled this sphere into the darkness of space to be adrift for eternity until the gravitational force of a burgeoning planet captured this body and turned it into its satellite. The cost of this imprisonment drained most of its strength, but Zet was determined to use its remaining power to sentence itself into an eternal vigil.

Time passes by and the once nondescript world became teeming with primitive lifeforms that rose into significance and then fell into naught but apocrypha. But in each generation of this life cycle, none could escape the glare of this eerie celestial body (which they soon named "The Mad Moon" in their lore) that appeared at all times of the day.[1] Meanwhile, the warring Ancients resolved to escape their prison using the reverberations of their clash, tidal forces, and the orbital stress acting between the planet and their prison.[2] Zet used its weakened powers to contain the breach, but on one fateful night, the Mad Moon was shattered and the resulting explosion expelled moonstuff at high velocity towards the planet and destroyed its surface in an extinction event.

The Ancients were freed, but they returned in a new form that they stole from the very material that made up their prison. As for Zet, it was flung to the farthest reaches of space and warped by the dissonant energies of his siblings. No longer of single form or thought, Zet embodied the very concept that Zet despises the most: disharmony. They were disunited into many parts, a fractured consciousness much like its progenitor. Using the remaining power that they had left, Zet struggled to reunite their separated elements into a single goal and travelled the cosmos to rejoin the fray against the Ancients who had resumed their war.

The Sundered Moon[]

Zet was among the many heroes who were gathered in the Sundered Moon bar. Unlike the other heroes socializing with each other, Zet sat alone in the corner of the pub as if the Self was waiting for someone. Overhearing a conversation between a certain amorous god and his unlucky prey, the Self provoked the former to get his attention, calling him a half-god.

The vexed "half god" left his potential lover and confronted this strange hooded figure by himself. Zet taunts the deity with its superior origins, but Zeus retorts with quips on its lack of pronouns and poor enunciation. Adding to his words, he took the Self's taunts as an invitation to a fight. The Self declares him half correct, saying that Self only came here to fight. Annoyed with this meaningless ebb and flow of talk, Zeus reminded the stranger about why they were all gathered here, telling the Self that anyone it picks a fight with in this bar will tear down an Ancient the next day. Undaunted by his boldness, Zet corrects the half-god by saying that the Self will not destroy one Ancient, but both of them.

Zet revealed a projection of the lore about the two ancient intellects from the "world before your world", Radinthul and Diruulth. It told the story of their battle, imprisonment, and escape. Zet reveals to him that the Ancients have been building an army of lesser creatures to serve their conflict, and if either Ancient were to win, their power would end "both of their worlds". Such a grand task could not be done alone, and like its Ancient siblings, it seeks to amass an army aligned against both Ancients. Zet handed him a scroll and told him to fulfill whatever mystery was inside it.

Unsure of whatever nonsense that Zet had just talked about, Zeus asked the Self if he had any stake in this war. Zet promised him that the Self would "make him whole again" should they be successful in the destruction of both Ancients. Still having doubts with the Self's offer, Zeus asked him to verify this claim by giving him a "taste of this wholeness". The Self agreed and returned to him a small fragment of his rightful power, including a golden helm rimming with divine power.

Satisfied, Zeus relished in his newfound power, completely ignoring the nonsense that led to this moment. He invites the Self to hear about his divorce story while offering it some ambrosia. The Self politely declines because it has work to do, before revealing six other scrolls like the one it gave to Zeus.[3]

Nemestice[]

The Mad Moon's destruction introduced the shards of Radiant Ore and Direstone to the burgeoning planet where most of Dota 2's story takes place. These shards contained the very presence of the two greater fragments of the Primordial Consciousness, both known as Radiant and Dire or Radinthul and Diruulth by Zet.[3] But a third stone—known as Nemestice—was left uncorrupted by the Ancients. Instead, it contained the power that Zet sacrificed aeons ago to seal its warring siblings together into one form,[4] eventually trapping it within an inert crystalline sphere that would become the vessels for both of the Ancients' power.[2]

At the moment when the Mad Moon exploded from within, the shards that contained the Radiant and Dire essence were flung by the blast and captured by the gravitational pull of its celestial companion before falling to earth, with some of these shards being flung away into space or destroyed by the heat of atmospheric entry.[2] However, the Nemestice stones remained afloat within the ruins of the Mad Moon, left behind by its ancient fugitives.

Aeons later, Arc Warden's magnetic compass revealed the impact site of a prophesied Nemestice storm that would precede a meteor shower of the other Nemestice stones. They finally fell to earth in the present age to rejoin the fray against both Ancients, ready to be reclaimed by the jailer of the Ancients...or anyone seeking control over both of them.[4]

Personality and Mannerisms[]

  • Zet always speaks in third person.

Relationships[]

Allies[]

Zet is building an army of Heroes to fight against Radinthul and Diruulth. So far, it has currently recruited Zeus minimap icon.png Zeus into its ranks.

Enemies[]

Zet is ill-disposed towards Radinthul and Diruulth ever since it willed itself into being.

Powers and Abilities[]

Embodiment[]

Zet is the third greater fragment of the Primordial Mind, an infinite disembodied consciousness. Although Zet recognizes itself as an individual consciousness, it is still the Primordial Consciousness in essence, because it refers to Radinthul and Diruulth as its other selves.[5][6]

In its current form, Zet has been warped by the dissonant energies released by the Mad Moon's destruction. It was so powerful that not only did it send the Self flying into the farthest reaches of space, but it even split its disembodied mind into many mental fragments of varying power—some lesser, some greater. With his power weakened, Zet struggled to restore itself back to a whole form, whereas its prime form was able to fuse both Ancients. The result was Zet being able to control its shattered fragments, but it's still not powerful enough to make itself whole. He can still fuse his fractured elements (excluding his main self) to create a clone via Tempest Double, but it is nowhere close to what he once was.

Thence Zet was transformed into a collective consciousness—a mind consisting of many individuals who think the same thoughts in unison. Zet is many, yet it is only one.

Arc Power[]

Zet is an extremely powerful being. The Self overwhelmed both Ancients in a single stroke and fused them into one form, before locking them into the Mad Moon. However, this task drained most of Zet's power, but it has not been consumed into nothing. Instead, the power that it used was locked in the moon as well, which it seeks to reclaim through the rare Nemestice storms to restore itself back to full power.

The Self also has the powers of creation. Zet was able to create a massive celestial body made of crystals to seal the Ancients within it and prevent them from influencing the outside world. As a force of order and unity, Zet can make broken or incomplete things whole again. Besides its attempt to fuse the 2 greater splinters of the Primordial Mind and its attempt to partially fuse itself after Zet was warped by his siblings' energies, Zet was able to casually restore a portion of Zeus' lost powers and imbued him with the energies of the Ancients themselves, making him partially "whole" again.[3][7]

Zet has the ability to summon draconic wraiths from another plane, who gladly serve the warden in exchange for sustenance. By using the Self's being as a bridge between the wraiths' plane of existence and the mortal plane, Zet can call upon these wraiths who will consume the energies found in the mortal plane. The energies they consume in the mortal plane will manifest tenfold of its power in their home plane.[8]

Powers[]

Zet's in-game abilities utilize kindred forces with Io minimap icon.png Io, who also uses electromagnetism. This makes sense with its theme of order and unity, since both electricity and magnetism are binding forces.

Flux is the same power that Zet used to imprison the Ancients. In its current form, it has been heavily weakened due to Zet's power being depleted from fusing and imprisoning the Ancients. At its weakest, this power manifests as a discharge of volatile, fluxing energies that will electrocute anyone unfortunate enough to receive this shocking energy.

By distorting space itself,[9] Zet can generate a Magnetic Field to protect anyone within it from incoming attacks. It's possible that the field deflects attacks by either repelling the attacks with magnetism or distorting space to cause attacks to miss.

Calling upon a lesser fragment of its fractured being, Zet summons a Spark Wraith to perform a watchful vigil around a certain area. Upon materializing, the wraith will patrol the chosen area until it finds a trespasser. The wraith will be drawn to them, infusing the trespasser with harmful magic upon contact.

Willfully accepting its disunity, a temporary Tempest Double of the Self is created when Zet fuses its fractured elements into a single form, creating a perfect electrical duplicate of itself to bring twice the chaos and disharmony to the fight—two concepts that Zet absolutely despises. Perhaps the same process that creates Zet's double was the same process that it used to fuse the two Ancients back into a single form, but the incompatible intellects managed to retain their individuality and resisted the process.[10][11]

Friendships and rivalries[]

Allies meeting Arc Warden

  • ▶️ Abaddon minimap icon.png r Waste not your energy, Zet, but wield it well.
  • ▶️ Centaur Warrunner minimap icon.png r Arc Warden, try to keep up.
  • ▶️ Dark Willow minimap icon.png r If you were so good at your job, how did the Ancients escape?
  • ▶️ Dark Willow minimap icon.png r Warden, your jurisdiction stops at the Mad Moon, right?
  • ▶️ Dawnbreaker minimap icon.png r Was it my transgression that freed your wards, ancient gaoler? The timeline seems to match.
  • ▶️ Grimstroke minimap icon.png r If I prod the other one, do you feel it?
  • ▶️ Grimstroke minimap icon.png r Is "Zet" your name, or just a useful pronoun?
  • ▶️ Hoodwink minimap icon.png r If I had a nut for every bloke who came through these parts with a big head and stories to match...
  • ▶️ ▶️ Legion Commander minimap icon.png r Bring forth the tempest, Arc Warden.
  • ▶️ Mars minimap icon.png r You didn't need to go through all the trouble. I could have solved this problem for you ages ago.
  • ▶️ Mars minimap icon.png r Which one of you two would win in a fight?
  • ▶️ ▶️ Monkey King minimap icon.png r Alright, it's just a suggestion, take it or leave it at your leisure. But maybe you should start talking in the first person?
  • ▶️ ▶️ Monkey King minimap icon.png r Arc Warden, you're not planning on sticking me in the moon or anything like that?
  • ▶️ Pangolier minimap icon.png r So this whole mess is all your fault?
  • ▶️ Pangolier minimap icon.png r Didn't I just see you over there?
  • ▶️ Snapfire minimap icon.png r You two make a lovely couple!
  • ▶️ Snapfire minimap icon.png r To be honest, I didn't factor two of you into my bakin' plans.
  • ▶️ Void Spirit minimap icon.png r Your watch soon comes to an end, Warden.
  • ▶️ Winter Wyvern minimap icon.png r Arc Warden, you have such a magnetic personality.

Enemies killing Arc Warden

  • ▶️ Centaur Warrunner minimap icon.png Arc Warden, your spark goes out.
  • ▶️ Dark Willow minimap icon.png r I wasn't sure if someone could annoy me more than Donte, but then you had to go talking in the third person.
  • ▶️ Dawnbreaker minimap icon.png r If I am to blame for your presence here, then consider this my first act of contrition.
  • ▶️ Dawnbreaker minimap icon.png r Die in peace, Warden. I will see to the end of both ancients myself.
  • ▶️ Ember Spirit minimap icon.png Rest with your tempest, Warden.
  • ▶️ Grimstroke minimap icon.png r You come unbound, Warden. I merely finished what was already started.
  • ▶️ Hoodwink minimap icon.png r This one's heaps of fun! Get to kill him again and again!
  • ▶️ Hoodwink minimap icon.png r Glad I didn't get zapped.
  • ▶️ ▶️ Legion Commander minimap icon.png Never trust a--what are you anyway?
  • ▶️ Mars minimap icon.png r You didn't need to go through all the trouble.
  • ▶️ Mars minimap icon.png r Don't worry, Zet. I'll bring them all crashing down.
  • ▶️ ▶️ Monkey King minimap icon.png r Arc Warden, I'll take you seriously the moment you start talking in the first person.
  • ▶️ Pangolier minimap icon.png r You didn't need to die, Arc Warden. I was going to end this war either way.
  • ▶️ Pangolier minimap icon.png r You're too weak to stop the Ancients. Leave this one to me.
  • ▶️ Snapfire minimap icon.png r I think your story's fulla holes. Just like you.
  • ▶️ Snapfire minimap icon.png r I'm told all this is your fault, fishbowl!
  • ▶️ Spectre minimap icon.png r The warden falls.
  • ▶️ Spectre minimap icon.png r Imprisoned in death.
  • ▶️ Void Spirit minimap icon.png r You thought you understood the true nature of this conflict. Fool.
  • ▶️ Wraith King minimap icon.png Go back and guard your arcs.

Enemies meeting Arc Warden

Others

  • ▶️ Oracle minimap icon.png r I envision not one, but two tempests to twist your fate awry.

References[]

  1. Nemestice Trailer
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 The Mad Moon and the Ancients lore.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 The Sundered Moon webcomic.
  4. 4.0 4.1 Nemestice lore.
  5. Arc Warden response: ▶️ Self unites with Radiant self. For now.
  6. Arc Warden response: ▶️ Self bonds with Dire self. For the moment.
  7. Tempest Helm of the Thundergod description.
  8. Wraithbinder description.
  9. Balance of Power
  10. Demon Edge lore.
  11. Dota 2 developer Lamprey explains Demon Edge's power
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