DOTA 2 Novel/Novelette

Not sure how many people here know about DOTA II but it is one of the most played games in the world. This year’s tournament even reached a grand prize of 5 million dollars, and the total prize pool for the entire competition was 10 million dollars, so, you know it’s big.

I’ve played Dota for a while now, and last year, I decided to write a story about it. Hopefully, all these pro people on Dota Lore won’t flame me, but whatever. At least I get the attention. Here’s the first chapter.

Dota 2 – Chapter 1

Northern Fold

“The sun’s setting… better get back…” A young woman with a quiver of silver tipped arrows on her belt and a bow of fine mahogany wood in hand, strides quietly through the trees. She is no stranger to the forest and each step is as delicate as it is deliberate. Her hood covers her face in shadow, and only the light of the moon guides her path. Losing her way is not a concern, for her instincts inform of a creeping danger within the darkness.

“Third tree…fourth tree to the left…” With her light step and slender form, she quickly strides through without the slightest sound. She identifies her way back, recognizing every broken branch and each toppled trunk she had previously hurdled over, until…

The fourth tree she previously passed now bears a peculiar protruding shape embedded within its trunk. Intentionally inconspicuous, but easily seen by the ranger’s eyes. Stepping in for a closer observation, she reaches in with her mind already guessing what she has found. Before her hand touches the strange rod, multiple eyelids from multiple eyeballs along the shaft suddenly open and turn to her.

“Oh…no…” she quickly jets past the trees back down the road she came. On the path ahead of her though, she hears the sound of fast shuffling feet. Someone is already there coming towards her.

“I need another road,” she whispers to herself.

Looking around, she sees only trees and the single path she took. Behind her, she hears multiple branches snapping under the heels of boots, signaling another pursuer. Thinking quickly, she draws her bow, pulls back and releases a powershot through the dense row of trees ahead of her. The powerful arrow guided by the strength of the wind, pierces a line straight through and destroys the row of trees, clearing a path. Behind her, the sound of the pursuer’s feet quicken.

Listening to the pursuer’s footsteps behind her, she mutters, “There is more than one now.” She begins sprinting down the path she created, dodging a small camp of satyrs and gliding past more trees back to the path she recognizes.

Behind her, the howl from several wolves informs her of their distance, and of her hunter.

“Lycan, you bastard.” As she sprints, she glances over her shoulder and catches a quick glimpse of the Werewolf beast, Lycan, and his two wolf familiars no more than twenty feet behind her. Lycan, a man capable of transforming into a werewolf by desire, is a dangerous foe, and not one should ever face alone.

A glimpse of his blood red mane along his back is only dwarfed by the crimson glimmer in his eyes, a shine raged on by the innate bloodlust of the wolf. The enormous wolf double the ranger’s size has caught her scent, unwilling to relent until her blood is spilled. His two wolf familiars are smaller in size, but hold just as big an appetite. Their fur is the darkest black she has ever seen, and their stride through the dark forest like two streaming shadows. They would be invisible if not for the red in their eyes.

The sound of their feet grow louder, closer. One of the wolves takes a bite at her feet, the sound of its jaws snapping sharply as if it were beside her ear. She manages to keep a calm demeanor despite the rapid beating of her heart.

Threatened, she summons the power of the wind once more. From under her feet summons a strong gust pushing her body forward and rapidly quickening her pace. A visible haze lifts her body forward as she runs, gaining distance between her and her pursuers.

The ranger leaps over fallen trees, vaults over boulders and hops steps over small obstacles, and even then, her busied senses hear another set of running feet along the row of trees. In her peripheral vision, she sees nothing. Her instincts tell her otherwise.

She quickly turns a corner over a tree, rolls into the nearest bush and draws her bow. The wolves quickly charge past the same corner and immediately spot her, but too late. Aiming for the biggest wolf, Lycan, she fires a special arrow. A springy rope splits from the tip and strikes the wolf master’s chest, immediately expanding and wrapping around his arms. The rope extends to the wolves beside him, wrapping their feet and claws in an orgy of clumsy, fidgeting bodies.

“Next time, Lycan,” she says and continues sprinting down the path. Lycan howls watching her escape from his grasp.

In the distance, she sees her encampment.

“The first tower!”

The light of the tower was even more beautiful than the light of the moon. The tall ivory pillar, pristine with the symbol of the Radiant glowing in the night is a beacon of sanctuary at the frontline of the war. Seeing her salvation, she runs a path straight to the gates.

“What’s the rush?!” growls a gurgling low voice. Behind her in a puff of smoke appears a skeleton. Her invisible stalker from the forest, the skeleton dons a spiked helmet and thick gauntlets of fire red. Within its chest lies a bright burning stone heart, visible through his ribcage. No more than a half second after appearing, its readied bow releases multiple flaming arrows sent straight towards her head.

The Ranger tumbles to the side to face him, pulling back her bow to fire. She releases the string and the breeze forces the arrow forward once more in a gleam of light. The skeleton archer turns its body to the side and watches the arrow narrowly breeze past his rib cage.

“That’s all? You missed!” Turning back, he sees she has already fled.

“Guide my feet!” Her boots begin to glow a dark blue and her quick pace hastens even further, her feet moving at an abnormally rapid speed.

The gates of the first tower open and the guards welcome her return. She quickly slides in and her pace gradually returns to a normal pace. Her pursuers wouldn’t dare charge the grand gates of the first tower without a readied army.

“He disappeared in a mist of smoke, madam,” shouts one of the guards from the tower.

“Good,” she replies and continues walking.

The great high tower stands at the center of the large encampment. She walks past the campfires and  groups of soldiers eating and resting, heading straight for the main tent of the bastion.

“Where the hell was Drow!” she shouts as she enters.

“Drow,” the man sitting inside responds, “was busy fighting another wave of Dire.” The man, whose skin was tanned and darkened by his days in the desert, wears a majestic helmet of embedded jewels and a turban drooped over the side of his ears. His eyes shine golden with tenacity. Many consider him to be the most righteous and loyal soldier of the great Radiant Empire.

Chen, the Holy Knight, is captain of the Northwest First tower.

“Well I almost died! No thanks to either of you,” she pulls up her hood and locks of her bright, crisp red hair emerge, breathing a fresh breeze of air.

“Well, her duty is not to scout. There were enemies and she needed the bounty. What did you manage to do on your escapade?”

“Escapade? I was scouting the northern forest, and ‘bumped’ into Lycan. Oh and Clinkz. Those bastards keep prowling that place. He’s been  there for the past month and I don’t know why. I’m fine though, mind you. Nice of you to ask.” She starts brushing off the dirt and twigs from her cloak.

“We know Lycan has been feasting in that forest for some time, but not enough manpower to stop him.”

“It’s warded by the way. If we were to get in there, they’d know. Those damn eyeballs nearly stopped my heart. That ugly skeleton was stalking me the whole time. I could feel him beside me. Can’t believe I missed him,” she remarks, furiously gripping her bow.

“I see. You’d better be more careful next time. Not even the swift Windrunner can escape every encounter.” The man pauses for a moment, and reiterates, “But again, I must ask. What were you trying to accomplish?”

“Since you’re finally asking nicely,” she takes a breath, “I managed to ward the entire west side of the forest.”

“You mean…”

“Yes,” the Windrunner responds with a smile, “We can see everything they’re doing now.”