The Archronicus is an in-game collection of short stories that reveals tidbits of lore. It was added in the July 03, 2013 Patch together with the second series of tutorials, and as such, celebrates the completion of tutorials by rewarding the player with pages for the Archronicus. These pages do not impact gameplay.
With the Reborn update, the Archronicus pages were hidden in-game. It is unknown if they are still canon.
The Archronicus currently contains three unlockable pages, with each page revealing a little bit of lore of the world of Dota 2. These pages are earned for completing tutorials, with locked pages showing text in an illegible font. Every page also comes with some artwork, usually related to the lore described in the page.
The Mad Moon and the Ancients
The first short story is granted for completing the Dragon Knight tutorial. It speaks about the history of the Ancients, and how they arrived in the world of Dota via the Mad Moon. This short story had already been made available via the Dota 2 Developer forum, almost a year and a half before it would arrive in the game.
- WHEN A WORLD was still a cooling blob, it captured an eerie companion--a glowing crystalline sphere that came to be known in lore as the Mad Moon. This small orb was full of violent radiance--a visual reminder of conflict in the heavens, bright enough to compete with the sun in daylight.
- But the Mad Moon was no inert rock. It was more truly a prison, in which two warring ancient intelligences had been captured and flung into exile aeons before, once the vast Primordials that underlay creation had tired of their endless strife. The punishment for these Ancients was to be locked together in one form, forever falling through infinity...and thus it went until our unfortunate world captured that wanderer.
- For ages, primitive societies rose and fell beneath its weird glare; creatures of varying intelligence and sophistication gazed up in wonder and curiosity, to whatever extent their sentience allowed. Meanwhile, orbital stress and tidal forces allowed the Mad Moon's inhabitants to begin exploit what were at first the slightest of weaknesses, as they set to work prying open their prison. The cracks spread slowly, from the tiniest fractures, until at last there were millions of fissures, vast and aglow with weird energies.
- On one apocalyptic night, the moon finally shattered, torn apart from within. Most of the moonstuff was flung into space or consumed as it hit the atmosphere. A few rare fragments fell to earth, either as fused molten lumps or as jagged crystals. The shards lay where they had fallen, and gradually the land around them recovered. As the survivors of the prehistoric cataclysm recuperated, flourished and developed civilizations, the Mad Moon became less a memory than a dream, with the night of its destruction woven into their myths.
- The fallen shards of primal matter had fractured into their original composites: Radiant and Dire. In its pure form, each type of stone gave off a peculiar energy. For those who settled around the sites, they found themselves feeding on this unearthly power until they had not only harnessed the energy but made themselves dependent on it. They built shrines around the Ancients and revered them, ironically, as godlike entities that had fallen to earth.
- The Ancients, both Radiant and Dire, provided many benefits: kinetic energy, mana, protection, even resurrection. But the emanations changed everything in their influence. Around the Radiant, the effects were bright and colorful, evoking lightness and charm. Around the Dire, a sinister radioactive glow, a visual seepage indicative of poison and decay. Neither force was neutral; they were both perfect complements and total contradictions that could never be at peace.
- As each stone's cultural influence spread, it eventually came in conflict with the societies of its rival. Interference between the Ancients was cause for war, as the presence of one caused a corresponding fall-off in the energy of the other. Each stone could only be restored to full power with the destruction of its Foe-stone. And so the enthralled creatures rallied to protect their land by destroying the neighboring Ancient, and from far and wide the Heroes heard the call to battle and came to join, hardly realizing that in some sense both sides were the same.
Chronicle of Thesos: A Folk of the Keens
The second short story is granted for completing the Sniper tutorial, and speaks about the observations of a Keen called Thesos. In it, he describes about how he obtained the carcass of a dragon, how he dissects it, and his observations.
- A rumour reached the High Bell some days ago of two strange beasts felled at the edge of the grainstock lands. Either by disease, or sword, the stories varied, but always it was spoken of two dragons, dark blue in color and very much dead.
- I set out immediately and found their scaly bodies charred on the property of a grain farmer three day's travel along the ridge road. One great, one small, the dragons lay where they died, surrounded by the footprints of a much larger beast whose marks on the soil were large enough for a full grown Keen to lie down in; and so I did, imagining the impossible scale of the animal in whose track I lay. A grand dragon true, like the stories of old, and like some say still live in the southerly wastes.
- The tracks crossed the land for some distance and ended where the beast took flight at the edge of the field. So not by blade or pathosis had these young beasts met their end, but from an attack by one of their own kind.
- With the good faith of my father's name, and the promise of immediate removal, I was able to purchase the rotting corpse of the lesser of the two dead dragons. The specimen being nowhere near to full grown, I was able to drag it behind my trusty zonkey for several hours to my father's lands. Several days of disarticulation and boiling commenced, followed by a full nights' inurement in wax, until, at last, the entire skeleton was laid out before me in the great hall, available for study.
- Here I draw my observations with careful ink, noting the shape and size of every bone.
- The structure of the wing surprised me. As did the curious architecture of the shoulder. The bones themselves, though very strong, were much lighter than I had expected. More like the bones of a bird than a creature with scales and teeth.
- Most unexpected of all was the remnants of an old shield found in the beast's insides. Dragons are known for carrying steel in their gullets, to help gnash and grind their food. If a dragon (conventionally) breathes fire, how does it keep steel in its stomach, or any such material? But this one carried a most unusual form of gullet iron, and on it the mark of an ancient order seen only rarely in these parts today, a dragon crest, and the seal of the Scaled Knights of Uthorian. Woe to the knight who carried...
The Summoning Sea
- Beyond the reach of Southward's End,
- Where summer's warmth dares not to roam
- Songs tell of ancient treasures lost
- Worth more than titles, lands and home
- At night skies streak in ribbon's glow
- Chill ocean's maze of jagged frost
- Wild winds betray the best of men
- Where boldest captains fear to cross
- Within 'tis said's a hidden coast
- Unknown to neither map or man
- Where once there died a seaborn fiend
- Washed up along its sandy span
- Inside this corpse, the legends claim
- A gem lay hid away from sight
- And who dares hold this stone unique
- Shall see all hidden forms of fright
- From whence the single frigate sailed
- No soul still lives to dare recall
- Brave voyage launched into the cold
- Afraid of neither gale nor squall
- To southern ice and wind they forged
- The dauntless crew did plot their trek
- In times the fields of floe and berg
- Gave glimpse of land to all on deck
- Upon an arctic shore they spied
- Frost touched remains of monster vast
- Old marks from briny wars they saw
- And ice locked teeth to dwarf their mast
- On darkened beach was set a host
- To excavate this mortal coil
- Their picks and tools they lifted high
- Then dug into their grisly toil
- For days and days they hacked and crawled
- As stained was beach in ancient gore
- Through rib and tissue, deep they delved
- And wrought their path to monster's core
- From humid depths came glowing dim
- Strange spectral light of emerald hue
- Great gem matched size with finder's fist
- Worn crew rejoiced; old songs proved true
- Returned to deck with treasure held
- As one all crew did choke their breath
- For ringed they were by wraiths of yore
- Ghost ships long sunk, and those past death
- For hidden from the common eye
- Are ones who drift when lifeblood fails
- Bright gem grants truth to sight they learned
- Then set with fright to raising sails
- Yet ghastly shades no harm intend
- But warning men whose air's still drawn
- To bring sight's stone on waters wide
- Would raise the wrath of deep Maelrawn
- A day and twelve on ocean waves
- Passed laden, anxious crew's retreat
- When came long shadows in their wake
- Lord Maelrawn's servant, come to eat
- By haste and lucky breeze they sped
- Four dawns the scourge kept far at bay
- Until a wisp of earth drew far
- When fickle fortune's winds betrayed
- As beast drew under ship to strike
- Rowboats were filled with man and loot
- Then loosed were heavy chain and weight
- To crashed ship's anchor on sea's brute
- Then deck leaned port as seabeast scaled
- Wild tendril fury came aboard
- In frenzied panic three boats fled
- With ship entangled, kraken roared
- Through tree thick feelers twist and squeeze
- Wood hull made vent to frozen surge
- As half-ship sank, death's master called
- The gem still moved, and neared shore's verge
- In rushed pursuit the kraken swam
- To overtake the first boat of three
- When drowned men froze and wreckage sank
- Did hunter learn its charge stayed free
- As second crew in horror rowed
- Slick grasping fingers closed around
- Yet once again gem was not there
- And third boat's band set foot aground
- So terrified of Maelrawn's rage
- Did thrashing scourge set out anew
- Then breached itself upon the surf
- As kraken flailed, its foe withdrew
- Of fated crew's last port and call
- No grey account still deigns to say
- Some firm believe they made toward home
- Though others tell of hangman's sway
- Of gem and tidal deepgod's hunt
- Vain quest goes on without reward
- Its servants blindly come to shore
- To kill and raze, be put to sword
- For no thrall creature of the depths
- Nor spirit bound in drowning's keep
- Nor Maelrawn the Tentacular
- Shall rest till seas, gem comes to sleep
The Death Bounty
This page is acquired by completing the Last Hitting Training tutorial.
- The ancient Death Bounty Text, as it has since come to be known, was first discovered among the ruins of the great Stonehall Cartularium. The document's significance went uncrecognized for years as it lay untranslated and forgotten, sealed away behind locked the doors of the Historic Archive of Sennos. It was not until scholars studied the document in detail that they came to understand what it represented. This decaying bit of parchment was nothing less than a possible source of martial tradition of Last Strike, now common among all the kingdoms of the contested lands. ,
- Translated from Page:
- Royal Proclamation
- By order of Lord Regent Urthic Laste of Stonehall
- Henceforth shall all fellows of the Armies of Stonehall adhere to the statements below:
- 1. Fellows of the Stonehall military shall now be paid for each killing blow struck against a foe in battle. This reward shall only be granted to the fellow who strikes the killing blow.
- 2. Following the course of battle, each coterie shall be responsible for the tallying and dividing of payment amongst themselves to cover expenses, including equipment purchase and upkeep.
- 3. In the event of a dispute, fellows may challenge one another to duel. The victor shall be awarded the total share held by the vanquished.
- 4. Should a duel conclude by the death of a fellow recompense shall be made to...
Cycle of Solstices
- On the longest night of the year, the dead do not always sleep. For centuries, the learned aesthetes of Keyturn studied the skies from their mountain keep, where generation after generation, they tracked the movement of celestial bodies, copying down their arrangements in the great Book of Heavens. It was they who found the wheel of the world was a thing of many moving parts--a clock of strange rhythms and irregular meter. It was they who counted the number of dawns in each season. It was they who calculated the day of longest night.
- And it was they who first discovered the great cycle within the cycle--a periodic shift whereby in one solstice among many, the barrier between the planes wears thin, the aurora blazes green in the sky, and the undead rise from their graves. And it was they who were destroyed.
- Now we have only fragments of their long studies. The great Book of Heavens is lost to history, though copied remnants of certain passages are sometimes found in the ruins of ancient temples, or in scholarly works of moldering libraries. These fragments are the last view into a lost civilization.
Wraith-Night: The Longest Night of the Age
- Young prince Ostarion was thrust upon the throne by the death of his royal family. The swift, rotting disease that took their lives nearly claimed the prince as well, but the court's mage took desperate measures--submitting the youth to a ritual that pared away all the vulnerable flesh, transforming him into a being of animated bone. The young king emerged from the scouring, convinced that having defied death once, he would never submit to it.
- With a deep mistrust of all things fleshy, Ostarion began to recast his parents' legacy in forms imperishable. Every stone of his kingdom was replaced with its equivalent in bone. Skeleton King's army took dominion over neighboring lands, and as he extended his reach, he extracted the bones of his enemies. Eventually he came to rule over a land cold, white and brittle--and to yearn for something more.
- Never having trusted flesh, nor wishing to clothe his bones in it, he finally settled on pursuit of wraith energy, a form of pure spirit given off by certain dark souls at death, and taken up by ghosts and other revenants when they need a form with which to walk the earth. Should he shape himself from the wraith essence, he though he might create a body as luminous and eternal as his ego.
- Consulting the ancient mage who had saved the young prince's life, Skeleton King learned of a rare opportunity--a night foretold by certain old sages who had grappled with the unruly and in most ways unpredictable cycles of nature--the solstice known as Wraith-Night, when the dead would rise in such great number that their souls could be harvested and captured in sufficient quantity to complete another ritual. Should he manage to harvest the wraith energy of the undead horde, he could rise once more transfigured--King forever, but this time of the Wraiths.
- From the journals of Azorszos the Bony. Mage-Physik to Ostarion, eldest subject of that ungrateful wretch whom I must hail as King, and who will gladly lead the throng in cursing himself for the role he played in placing our so-called Skeleton King on the throne of bones.
- In this ninth century of imprisonment, I can hide the truth from him no longer. Somehow word has carried to the king that on this year there shall fall another of the encyclical Wraith-Nights which ancient texts portend. He came to me last night and it did not take him much in the way of threats to extract from me the last bit of knowledge I would wish to have willingly given him. And yet with the threat of further longevity, he did wrest it forth, and I pointed him toward the books that lay out all elements of a successful harvesting.
- Only one other, if we are to believe the Eldwurms' sagas, has winnowed the ill-aspected essence that lights the eyes of revenants and ambulatory souls--collected and condensed it in such quantity that from if they could form a new physique. The name of that one, and its presence, is lost to history; perhaps this world could not hold it for long. But Now my King, my lord Ostarion, is determined to be the second.
- I fear for the world should he complete the Wraith-Night ritual. Those who dreaded him in his skeletal form, what will they think of him once he bears the power of the Wraith? What fate awaits the subjects who unwillingly fight for his cause, or otherwise align themselves with his decree? For few can resist his challenge. Our all too errants knights, a pox of our age, consider it noble calling to take up arms form whatever king comes along.
- But this king may well make them rue their code of honor. As the armies of night close in, they might be wise not to defend their king--my King--but think instead of his true motives and consider that the cost of allegiance might be greater than that of rebellion.
- I did win one small boom, assuring all goes well. The king has promised me that if his ascension succeeds, he will reward me for my assistance with my own demise. Perhaps he will add my own meager wraith essence to his own--a cursed thought, but a welcome one if it means to end this suffering. On the day I committed to the rite of ossification that saved his life, I had no idea that by standing so close I would be afflicted by a measure of the effect...enough to strip away flesh but not nerves. My bare nerves wrapped like withered ivy around these leprous bones, sticking at every blast of cold, every chafing fabric, nothing but raw pain for centuries. He has promised me death before, and nothing has come of it. But perhaps now, if I have nothing left to offer him, he will let me die. Call me an optimist. Not an eternal one, certainly, but I have had almost a millennium to practice. I live in hope.
- And now...I hear his arrogant laughter, as he climbs the tower steps. It is time for the final preparations...wish me luck.
- The Mad Moon and the Ancients-story when originally unveiled on the Dota 2 Developer forum had an additional paragraph:
- For all this time, the Ancients had been patiently working to resume the timeless war that had been the cause of their initial banishment. And as Heroes from all over found themselves drawn into the fray, none suspected that they were taking part in the ultimate battle of a conflict that had raged since the beginning of time.
- The Chronicle of Thesos reveals that Dragon Knight serves an ancient order known as Scaled Knights of Uthorian.
- The Summoning Sea is a reference to a thread on the Dota 2 Developer forum that originally began as a place to worship Maelrawn the Tentacular, where members soon started rhyming against each other instead.
- Wraith Night reveals that Skeleton King, now Wraith King's lineage has kept long dictatorship over their empire and the court mage is a prisoner bound to serving them.