Vali has been a soldier for almost as long as he can remember. Born in the norn capital of Hoelbrak, he grew up on stories of great battles, terrifying monsters, and death-defying heroics. Though his parents tried to push him towards shamanism, Vali was eager to test his skills in battle. He enlisted with the Mist Warriors as soon as he was able and, in doing so, joined the endless battle taking place in the Mists; a vast proto-reality, in which soldiers from different versions of Tyria squabble for resources to be allocated in their own fight against the Elder Dragons. Vali isn't sure how long he spent fighting in the Mist War, but he suspects it spanned across decades. When he finally re-emerged into Lion's Arch, it was as a hollow shell of his former self, traumatized by the endless, frantic fighting he had witnessed in the Mists.
In the years that followed, Vali reinvented himself as a humble blacksmith, forging weapons and armor out of the city's bustling trader forum. He was forced to take up arms once more during Scarlet Briar's attack on Lion's Arch, helping to protect his fellow survivors until Garrett and his allies could secure the area. In the wake of the Breachmaker's destruction, Vali helped rebuild the city alongside the Pact forces. He briefly hosted to Garrett following his torture at the hands of Krytan centaurs, allowing him to recuperate away from Pact politics. More recently, he assisted in the construction and implementation of the sylvari Rhianthus' prosthetic limbs following his ordeal in the Maguuma Jungle. Though he turned down the role of the Pact-Commander's official armorsmith, Vali continues to offer safe harbor to his allies - providing a warm beverage, a sympathetic ear, and a place to rest and recover.
Despite this, Vali is beginning to chafe at being stuck on the sidelines whilst his friends fight the Elder Dragons. Having kept tabs on Garrett during the Elona offensive, Vali is growing increasingly worried for the Pact-Commander's wellbeing - and, as Garrett has yet to reach out to him back in Tyria, is increasingly limited in his ability to address it. Recent months have brought a spate of bad news regarding his friends' fortunes, including the sylvari Aescalis' death at the hands of a rogue human god. With reports of the Elder Dragon Kralkatorrik being sighted in the skies above Elona, Vali's lingering guilt at not being able to join his friends on the front-lines is forcing him to re-assess his place in the new world order - and may push him to offer more to the Pact than he's willing to give.