The Maulers are a faction in AFK Arena. They are a warrior culture who believe strength is everything, with the worth of something or someone judged by might and usability. Though some have fought for the Hypogeans according to some Peaks of Time stories, this is relatively rare and as a whole are still fighting on the side of Dura.
All Mauler heroes are Ya, and gained their hardy status from living in the near-uninhabitable Scorched Expanse that their creators, the Lightbearers, exiled them to. They have historically clashed with Lightbearers ever since, recently enough for multiple heroes on both sides to have been veterans of the wars between them, but at the current time, they have a very fragile peace with each other.
They're separated into various tribes with their own cultures and beliefs and have been in conflict with each other almost as often as with the Lightbearers. However, the majority of them answer to a Grand Chieftain, a position currently held by Skriath after the mysterious death of the previous Grand Chieftain.
Ascended Tier Heroes
Legendary+ Tier Heroes
Common Tier Heroes
"When most people think of the Maulers, they imagine hulking beasts, bloodied fangs, curving claws, and stampeding hooves. [...]A traveler unwise enough to find himself in these places would not be in danger of being chased down by some centaur with a brutish weapon, nor would he be torn to shreds by a lion-headed monster."
Like the Wilders, Maulers possess a wide variety of appearances. Many have a beast or animal-like appearance like wolves, bears, hawks and lions. Some are part-animal like Golus and Safiya while others are more humanoid with animal-like qualities like ears and tails.
All Maulers are known for their fierce courage and barbaric culture. Most are hostile to outsiders and believe that only the strongest survive. They are also known for being pragmatic and resourceful,
In truth, the Maulers were actually called the Ya, magical amalgamation of man and beast; created by the Lightbearers but were abandoned and left to fend for themselves in the Scorched Expanse. It is said that Dura blessed them with strong bodies and an undying will so they can survive in the Scorched Expanse. She created a fertile oasis for them, which the Ya named it Dura's Gift.
However, the Lightbearers invaded and led to a bitter war in an effort to wipe out the Ya. After years of fighting, some of the Ya left to find a new home to live in peace. However, most of them chose to continue fighting, renaming themselves Maulers, vowing to end the Lightbearers permanently.
Eventually, the war came to a end as both sides suffered heavy casualties. Despite generations of peace, the Maulers continue to hold a grudge on the Lightbearers for abandoning them and remained vigilant against their former creators.
The Steelhorn Cliffs
"The Steelthorn Cliffs are the traditional gathering place of the Maulers. The skies are constantly filled with the black, heavy clouds of brewing thunderstorms, making this area the perfect setting to rally the tribes for war.
Here the horizon is filled with the jagged peaks of mountains, stabbing the skies like a legion of spearheads. Steep, like a well-honed blade, rough but full of wild beauty. The two highest peaks here are known as the Chieftain's Peak and the Paragon's Peak. They serve as the final resting places for the greatest Mauler chiefs and warriors, respectively."
"This rich oasis is a rare and fertile land in the Scorched Expanse. Created by Dura to save the Maulers’ ancestors, it is the primary reason the Maulers have survived to this day.
Of course, as one of the only sources of fresh water and many other natural resources, Dura’s Gift is also frequently the subject of violent territorial disputes. Although the Chieftain ensures sufficient resources are allocated to each clan, the lives of a few foot soldiers are often considered a worthy price for more."
Master and Apprentice
|Use 2 Heroes||Use Two of the following: Elite+||Use Two of the following: Legendary+|
The crack of the whip sounded through the stretched hides of the tipi encampment. Khasos the shepherd was being punished by his master, a centurion general known for his pettiness and proclivity for making life hard for his subordinates.
The general hadn’t had a good fight in a while, so the shepherd’s chances of surviving this incident were slim. According to the customs of the Maulers, the centurion was well within his rights to snuff out the very life he’d made so miserable for so long.
The general wouldn’t miss a chance to add insult to injury, and had opted to mete out the punishment in front of a group of distinguished guests, recently arrived from inspecting another encampment much like this one.
Among them was Brutus himself, the closest thing the Maulers had ever had to a king. He sat in a place of honor, a great rough hewn throne of sorts that disrupted the circular seating arrangement by its sheer size, not to mention his own mass and presence.
In the middle of the circle, Khasos hunched. He wore a hate-filled sneer and stole furtive glances at the great warriors and generals surrounding him. His master addressed the guests.
“This one has lost my sheep! This one has squandered our resources! He blames the storm! Tell me, is the one who cannot combat the storm one worthy of our tribe? Is he worthy of the very blood that flows through his veins? Every breath he takes is stolen! Every morsel he consumes is wasted for not going to nourish his betters! This one will burden us no longer!”
The centurion had a commanding voice and put on a good show, but whenever he made eye contact with Brutus he would invariably avert his gaze, looking to-ward the others leaning forward in their seats.
Scars and fresh lacerations criss-crossed the back and arms of the shepherd, marking the whip’s passing. Every breeze that danced over the new wounds was agony. He raised his head and uttered a challenge. Around the circle, jaws dropped.
Only Brutus seemed unsurprised. The shepherd had demanded his right, as a Mauler, to combat. The hulking centurion flashed a look of indignant fury before regaining his composure. He roared laughter, and Brutus noticed his honor guard were quick to follow suit.
He looked down at Khasos with a wide, predatory smile, and gave him a mockingly friendly slap on the back. Khasos winced and prepared for death.
The Centurion began to throw back one horn of ale after another, toasting his guests and then his ranking warriors.
He jested about the fight to come and Khasos’ small stature. He talked about the ignominy of a task such as shepherding and wondered at one’s ability to fail such a simple job.
Deep in his cups, he began to reminisce about foes felled and bathes won, occasionally going back to compare those worthy opponents with the pitiable wretch before him now. Khasos stood through all of this, seething and quietly shouldering the pain to his body and dignity.
Eventually even many of the guests were noticeably inebriated. They began to call for the fight to begin.
They jeered and chant-ed, not really observing what exactly was transpiring. Brutus had taken only as much drink as custom demanded, and he straightened in his chair as he watched the preparations for the combat.
He saw a feared but overconfident general, stumbling in a semblance of a straight line. He was unfocused and dragged his sword along behind him, the point scoring a deep groove in the earth.
He saw a frightened but furious young Mauler, tense with un-released energy, his gaze sharp and steady. A warrior had begrudgingly handed him a pair of throwing axes, the only weapons available that fit Khasos’ size.
He hefted them, feeling their weight, and took a few practice swings. A few among Brutus’ generals noticed his look, and began assessing the situation themselves. It might not be so one-sided after all.
The master raised his sword high above his head, swinging it in slow circles as he spoke.
“This one wants a fight, but he’s gonna get an execution one way or another! C’mere Iittle shepherd!”
He charged heavily toward a terrified Khasos, who managed to snap out of his paralysis just in time to avoid the first slow arc of the blade.
The general re-gained his balance and executed a careless backhand swipe at Khasos’ belly. This one he avoided more easily, and seemed to remember the axes he held in either hand.
Breathing quickly, the diminutive Mauler circled, watching the general’s movements, gauging his re-action times.
He made as if to throw the axe in his left hand, and the general’s sword was raised to defied it. Everyone watching saw that the aeneral’s reaction was sl000v and slow.
The crowd quieted and some of the warriors began to show worried expressions. The general roared.
“Throw it then, coward! Throw your lithe axe and I’ll catch it with my teeth! I’ll hold you down and skin you with it!”
With a soft grunt Khasos did just that. The axe flew at the general’s leg. He was now focused enough to parry, but not sober enough to maintain his balance after doing so. In an instant, Khasos was on him.
The shepherd-turned-gladiator bared his teeth. Brutus saw a grimace overflowing with anger, fear, and determination. The other axe stayed in hand, and with a savage downward stroke, found the general’s neck.
A crimson spray painted the former shepherd’s face. Complete silence gripped the circle. The general straightened and stepped backward, his hand on his neck, blood pouring from between his fingers.
He looked around at his warriors, confused, searching for an answer as to what was happening and then he redirected his attention to Khasos.
“You…you weren’t supposed to.”
He sat suddenly in the bloody dirt.
“You aren’t allowed. You’re…”
His eyes closed, and he slumped forward.
The flies were already starting to buzz around his body. Brutus rose and walked toward the shocked Khasos, picking up the thrown axe and offering it to him handle first.
The victor looked up at him, just as scared now as he had been earlier.
“You used these well, but you still need training. You’ll come with us when we leave tomorrow.”
The Dragon Slayers
|Use 3 Heroes||Use Three of the following: Elite+||Use Three of the following: Legendary+|
DODGE +30 HP +10%
“Word has it that a dragon was seen emerging from the dark caverns of the far reaches, in no man’s land.”
Hearing these words, the rumble within the ale tent suddenly fell silent.
“It was said that two adventurers, who didn’t value their lives too much, ventured into the cavern and have yet to be seen coming out of it”
Hearing these words, Vurk’s two large triangular ears swiveled toward the voice, twitching a few times as they tried to catch the words better. He shot over towards the speaker and smashed his cup into theirs on arrival.
“A dragon, you say?”
The hulking Tauren sized Vurk up and down and responded gruffly:
“What makes you worthy to speak to me, rat?”
Vurk remained unperturbed. He slowly reached toward his jacket, calmly unbuttoning it to reveal a gleaming badge, the signet of Saveas, to the Tauren. The beast’s expression immediately changed. He dropped to the dusty ground and began kowtowing to Vurk, taking him for Saveas.
“Saveas! My apologies.. If I’d only known”
The hunched figure said.
“Rise, I don’t want you revealing my identity in a place like this. Now tell me what you know about this dragon”
A loud and angry voice bellowed, interrupting the conversation. An angry looking Satyr stood, glaring at Vurk.
“You! It was you who stole my badge! Give that back to me”
The Satyr growled.
“You dare to accuse the great Saveas of stealing your badge?!”
The Tauren asked in disbelief. He pulled up his sleeves, looking as if he were preparing to fight. The two Maulers glared at each other, neither backing down from the confrontation. Saveas leapt at the Tauren with his spear in hand. It was at this moment that an odd-looking witch doctor, adorned in a strange mask and holding a large staff appeared.
Saveas froze in place like a statue, looking as if time had paused for him alone.
“We are all brothers in arms, why do you fight amongst yourselves?”
Spoke the witch doctor Vurk didn’t like it when he couldn’t tell where something was going. He shouted at the stranger:
“Who is this.. this thing?!”
“Who I am matters not, but I know you. You are Vurk, The Devious, the thief that stole from the spider’s nest.”
Replied the witch doctor, turning to face Saveas.
“This one is the head of the Satyr clan.”
Said the witch doctor nodding to the frozen form. The Tauren wore a look of astonishment, thanking the gods that he hadn’t attacked Saveas, as it would not have ended well for him. Vurk noticed the look of rage building in the Tauren’s furrowed brow. He hastily pulled out the badge and handed it back to its rightful owner. Saveas.
“Just a joke! This rounds on me!”
He said as he laughed nervously to himself.
It soon became apparent to the three adventurers that they were brought together for one reason only; the dragon. The dragon presented a challenge for the maulers. Some wished to see themselves named “The Dragonslayer” while others wished to be awarded the large bounty put on its head for killing many innocents. Saveas though simply wanted to test himself, one on one with the dragon.
It was at this time the witch doctor decided to introduce himself. He told the men/maulers of his name. He was Numisu, the first witch doctor to use his voodoo magic in bathe, an unprecedented and awe-inspiring ability. He hoped to use the dragon’s blood for his own voodoo magic, to strengthen his totems. Vurk, upon hearing this, reflected on his bad luck.
His chances of slaying the dragon and taking all its vast treasures for himself were dwindling by the moment.
“Out of blows, friendship grows! Drink up my friends, it’s on me!”
Vurk said as he raised his cup to Saveas and Numisu. Saveas gradually let his guard down as the three of them smashed their cups together. Vurk gave a quick glance at the flagon of ale, confirming that the sleeping powder had had secretly added had entirely dissolved. He made a convenient excuse, promised to return shortly, and ventured out into the night in search of his dragon.
He entered the cavern full of confidence. He had come prepared, with enough poison on him to kill a whole herd of cattle, or one dragon. Silently descending, he soon saw the shimmer of gold and jewels before his eyes. There lying amidst the shimmering riches lay the thina. soundly asleep. Vurk tread softly. determined not to rouse the giant from its slumber. He drew a large dagger, slick with poison and then softly pushed it up under one of the dragon’s scales. To the dragon this was nothing more than a mosquito bite, and a few minutes later, Vurk could no longer hear the great beast drawing breath.
“Everything is weak when it’s sleeping”.
He then pulled out a large sack, planning to fill full to bursting with treasure.
His moment was interrupted when Numisu and Saveas came rushing into the cavern. Seeing Vurk atop the mountain of treasure threw Saveas into a rage.
“Vurk you conniving rodent!”
He launched his spear towards Vurk. Vurk stood still, locked to the ground in shock as he saw the spear fly toward him in slow motion. He could only watch as the sharp gleam came closer and closer, only for it to graze the top of his head, thudding into
the surface behind him. He turned to see the spear’s final landing place, and to his horror it wasn’t lodged in anything. It was held in the grasp of the awakened dragon, transfixing Vurk with its gaze and very certainly breathing.
“Run! What are you waiting for!”
Saveas yelled, already starting back the way they’d came. Numisu immediately summoned a war totem to keep the beast distracted for a few seconds while Vurk managed to make a quick escape.
The three ran for their lives as the dragon chased in hot pursuit, Vurk still with his large sack of treasure draped over his shoulder. They looked back behind them to see the war totem burst into fragments when the dragon’s tail smashed into it. The dragon was gaining on them. They’d have to stand and fight.
Numisu gesticulated wildly, summoning war totems from every available surface. As quickly as he could call them into the world, the dragon would swipe, bite, and lash at them, shattering Numisu’s work left and right. Saveas darted in and out of reach, presenting himself as a target before nimbly hopping aside, jabbing out with his spear to draw attention or discourage attacks. Vurk was nowhere to be seen until he appeared as if from thin air on the monster’s rippling back. Bounding off of spikes and scales, he made his way to the thing’s head. It shook its massive skull about, trying to dislodge the annoyance, and then suddenly, with a screech, it collapsed. A crossbow bolt was planted deep in a giant golden eye.
The heroes had each accomplished what they sought to do, and it was obvious that with their various disparate talents used in concert, they would be even greater than the already considerable sum of their parts.
|Use 2 Heroes||Use Two of the following: Elite+||Use Two of the following: Legendary+|
She had never imagined this could come to pass. Driven from her newly acquired throne, the young queen Safiya fled the lands of the Sphinx with the few followers who had been able to escape with her. Night after night she journeyed, hiding away for a few fretful hours of sleep during the day.
She used her obfuscation magic to cover her tracks, but she had to get far enough away that none of her own people would ever happen to chance upon her. Simply being seen by the wrong set of eyes could mean her death.
Eventually the land became dotted with the months of caverns. It seemed like the dark openings yawned in every ravine and hillside, and occasional strands of wispy web drifted in the breeze. This had to be the land of the Arachin.
Unwilling to go into the infamous tunnels herself, she assigned a different entrance to each of her score of devotees. With a wave of her most powerful spell of suggestion, the wary Sphinx were finally willing to enter the feared tunnels of the Arachin and seek out their equally feared leade, Ankhira, the young Matriarch.
One by one, her followers returned. Each was escorted by at least a few of the fearsome spider people, some coming with large, excitably curious groups. They surrounded the deposed queen, wanting to get a look. It was obvious to everyone from her bearing and presence that she was indeed royalty, and the Arachin maintained a respectful distance.
A murmur rose through the crowd at the approach of the last of Safiya's followers. Behind him marched a contingent of unusually large Arachin soldiers, two bearing flags with strange symbols. In the center of the formation was Ankhira, an imposing figure herself.
Once again, Safiya felt worried and unsure. If these people were anything like in the rumors, she could end up paying for this summit with her life.
"I was told that the queen of the Sphinx was here to see me, but doesn't a queen usually travel a little more comfortably than this?" Safiya bristled at the insult, but maintained her composure. If she was going to turn this situation around she would have to stay calm.
"Queens in exile can't afford the same luxuries as those who still maintain their rightful place." She said through a tight smile. "But we can repay your hospitality tenfold, if the Arachin kind enough to grant us refuge." The venomous matriarch responded to the claim with a bemused look.
"How do you propose to repay us? My people have only ever sought one kind of payment." An odd, clicking kind of laughter rose from a few of the assembled spider folk. "We have no need for the things you others use. Our bodies are weapons. We do not farm. We are not merchants. We simply... hunger."
A murmur of approval in the crowd had the hair of every Sphinx present standing on end. "Then let's sate that hunger. Better yet, let's see that your people have more food than you've ever seen."
"What are you proposing? You've already told us that you've been deposed. You want to send us a few scrawny prisoners each year in exchange for help in regaining the throne you lost? We'd be better off just webbing up the lot of you now. It seems a tremendous luxury to feast on another queen. Even one in exile."
Safiya could read between the lines. She knew this was going well because she was still alive. If the matriarch was as uninterested in her proposal as she seemed, the cat folk would already be spider food. She knew that this young ruler couldn't seem weak in front of her followers.
Much like the Sphinx, the Arachin weren't typical Maulers, but the one constant held- The strong ruled. The weak followed. "We can do better than that. The usurpers will only be the first course in a decades long feast, if you can help me."
"Explain, and speak directly. My people dislike following the winding words of your kind, We speak simply here rather than hinting at shadows."
"Your people dislike anything they can't eat" thought Safiya, bowing her head slightly and pressing on. "When the usurpers are brought to justice, we will capture as many as alive as possible. These will be sent to you. I can see no better end for these treacherous rats. And speaking of rats in the more literal sense... there are some rumors that the Arachin have had a bit of a rat problem themselves. Something about some stolen venoms?"
The assembled crowd chittered and hissed their disapproval. "What do you know about that?"
"Very little happens that we don't know about. We Sphinx are a curious and observant people, and we listen closely to everything that transpires around us."
"Yes. It's true. One of the Durri snuck into my own chambers and left with something that belongs to me. We wish to find him, but we seldom range far from our nests."
"Perhaps with some dedicated allies in the wider world, you wouldn't need to leave your nests to project your power. You are a strong people and a force to be reckoned with, but you're hardly involved at all in the greater power structure. We Sphinx serve as advisors and spymasters for half or more of the Mauler tribes already, and many of those are still loyal to me. Allow us to serve you the same way and you'll see your territories and numbers grow. Help me retake my throne and the Arachin will privy to every piece of information that passes through my court. We would be happy to deliver the thief and the stolen items to your doorstep, and who better to catch a rat than a cat?"
Ankhria smiled, satisfied at last with the smug little feline. "Do you hear that, my children? Go clear away the webs from some of the larger chambers. Our guests will need somewhere to stay."