Defenders 041: Pugna

January 17, 2012


It’s been a long time coming, and I think  Killsbury has chosen wisely.  Here’s Pugna, in all his skeletal glory.

You might not have known this, but pugna is Latin for fight or battle.  Now that I think about it, I bet pugilism (boxing) shares the same root.  108 (!!!) heroes means 108 names, and they come from a variety of sources.  A lot of them are totally made up, as least as far as I can tell. Some, like Kunkka, are tributes to community members. Others have roots in other pop culture, languages, history, and mythology.

I’ve compiled a list of a few of the more interesting name origins I found:

Aurel Vlaicu (Gyrocopter) is named after a Romanian inventor and engineer who built and flew his own airplanes in the early 1900s.
Kaldr (Ancient Apparation) is an Old Norse word meaning (duh) cold.
Mortred (Phantom Assassin) is probably a slight variation on Mordred, bastard son of King Arthur.
Black Arachnia (Broodmother) shares her name with a Predacon from Transformers: Beast Wars.
Rikimaru (Stealth Assassin) is named after one of the ninjas from Tenchu.
Atropos (Bane Elemental) in classical mythology is the name of the Fate that cuts the threads of life.  This is where the word atrophy comes from.

There are loads more that I recognized, and some that I probably didn’t.  So, what’s your favourite hero name in Dota?  Share any name origins you might be aware of in the comments.

Wallpaper. 1920 x 1080.

PNGs Square / Wallpaper


  1. January 18, 2012 at 12:48 am
    Raymond says:

    as far as I know… Lina got her name from the anime Slayers (lina inverse) and sven got his name from a famous swedish body builder whose favorite catch phrase was: Sven is here to pump you up! (Is it still on the 3rd skill description of sven)

    if you want to know more

  2. January 18, 2012 at 8:46 am
    Adam says:

    Wow. That’s a great list… wish I had seen it sooner :P

  3. January 18, 2012 at 11:50 pm
    Player13 says:

    To add to what you said about Mortred’s name, the word ‘mort’ means death in le French.

    Her ulti is also written in French, with Coup de Grace meaning ‘mercy blow’, a killing blow meant to end suffering.

    On a semi-related note, my gaming handle Player 13 also hails from Dota, in an old school kind of way (surprise surprise). Back in the Guinsoo era, within the programming of the map, the Sentinel and the Scourge base&creeps took up individual player slots which when tallied with the 10 gamers totalled 12.

    Roshan and the jungle creeps were also programmed as a ‘computer player’, together taking up the 13th slot. Any time some unlucky (or unwary) punk died to Roshan or the neutrals, their embarrassing death would be broadcast in typical Dota fashion, with the text “ProClinkz123 has been killed by Player 13″. I thought it would be funny at the time to have a handle that alluded the same.

    Especially since the map’s long been updated to correctly attribute the death to the neutrals or Roshan, the moniker Player 13 has remained near and dear to my heart as a reminder of the good ol’ days, and how things used to be.

    (…Like how long it took and how hard it was to get a game started. Geez! These young’uns just don’t know how good they have it!)

  4. January 28, 2012 at 1:55 am
    Jophilli says:

    A bit less subtle, but I feel that a lot of people didn’t recognize some of the old-school Nintendo references. Agahnim’s Sceptre is probably the most obvious one, being named after the wizard from A Link To The Past. The sword Crystalis refers to an NES game of the same name (which features a sword… called Crystalis) which also happens to be a very Zelda-esque game.

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