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Heroes Community > Tavern of the Rising Sun > Thread: Basic Lessons in Faction Lore
Thread: Basic Lessons in Faction Lore This thread is 2 pages long: 1 2 · NEXT»
Cepheus
Cepheus


Honorable
Legendary Hero
Far-flung Keeper
posted March 10, 2008 05:26 PM bonus applied by pandora on 12 Mar 2008.
Edited by Cepheus at 19:19, 14 Mar 2008.

Basic Lessons in Faction Lore

I wrote this lengthy description of the Might factions in Heroes I-IV for Azagal, who wanted a summary for use in the Hero Contest (and didn't use any of it ).  So, rather than let it go to waste or whatever, I said "why not post it somewhere and let everyone else learn a little something they might not know?"

So, here it is.  If there's any interest, I might make more lore-related summaries.  Not of Heroes V though, I don't care for its storyline much.


Heroes Chronicles: Warlords of the Wastelands

In the early days of the "Silence", before the events of Heroes I, the continent of Antagarich (Heroes III) was ruled by the Wizard-Kings of the Empire of Bracaduun.  The Empire, established in the south, conquered every land from east to west.  Their reign was absolute.

Until a mighty warrior named Jarg made himself known, that is.  The Wastelands in western Antagarich were populated by the Barbarian tribes, and Jarg single-handedly unified his people against Bracaduun, ready to fight for their freedom.  Jarg formed a great horde of warriors, one never before seen throughout all of history.  He managed to lead his armies to victory and drove the Wizard-Kings out to the sea, where they began to recover over time.

Eventually, after years of a wise rule, Jarg was claimed by old age.  His foolish sons squabbled over power, and the Empire of Bracaduun re-emerged.  The Wastelands were quickly taken back, and the once-proud Barbarians became just another race under their terrible rule.  The Bards, elder Barbarian storytellers, were essentially outlawed and forced to go into hiding, leaving the Barbarian culture in decline.

Around 100 - 200 A.S. (After the Silence) a young Barbarian named Tarnum was born.  Growing up under the strict, opressive laws of the Wizard-Kings, his story began when, while herding sheep, a bloodied old man approached.  The man introduced himself as one of the last Bards, and told his final stories to Tarnum before dying in his arms.  This inspired the young Barbarian to meet with the Chieftain of his clan and start an uprising against the Wizard-Kings.  However, the Chieftain, a sympathiser to the Wizards (like most others of his stature), just laughed in his face.

Tarnum challenged the fat goblin, and narrowly won, much to the surprise of everyone nearby.  Now the Chieftain of the clan, he began organising another war against the Wizards.  Defeating the Wizard-Kings' representative in the region, a clanlord named Rabak, Tarnum led his armies to victory, expelling the Wizards from the area.  They proclaimed him an outlaw and a criminal, though he (of course) defeated their enforcers.

Many wars commenced.  To bolster his forces, Tarnum conquered and enslaved the creatures of the Mudlands to the north (he'll pay dearly for this later) and, with two enormous armies, defeated the Wizards in the nearby Wallpeak region and pushed them back through the mountains.  However, as Tarnum led his forces through the mountains, the Wizards summoned a magical avalanche which destroyed half of his horde.  Weakened, he led his armies to a nearby valley.

The valley was populated by Jarg's descendants.  Tarnum hoped to find allies there, but Jarg's descendants instead chose to side with the Wizard-Kings!  Enraged, Tarnum went berserk.  The Wizards had slaughtered everyone dear to him and oppressed his people beyond the point of reason.  Now Tarnum had his forces murder everyone in the valley, Wizard or not.  His own captains began to suspect that he was going off the edge, so they mounted rebellions against his rule.

Tarnum then pretended to stop his madness, and invited his captains to a great feast.  Warily, they joined him, though it turned out that he had poisoned their wine.  Each and every one of them (including his best friend Hardac) died before his eyes, cursing his name.  This final transgression was too much.

After Tarnum finally conquered Steelhorn - a major city and probably the capital of the Empire of Bracaduun - and eliminated the Wizard-Kings once and for all, a young knight named Rion Gryphonheart pulled Bracaduun's human refugees together and formed the kingdom of Erathia in central Antagarich.  He met Tarnum's armies in battle, and even killed Tarnum in a duel.  But the Barbarian Tyrant's story doesn't end there.

After his death, Tarnum entered the Hall of Judgement, to stand before the Ancestors, a trio of Barbarian "gods".  For his monumental crimes, the Ancestors deemed him unworthy of entering Paradise, and cast him back to the mortal world to redeem himself as the Immortal Hero.  The Barbarian race endures.

(By the way, a lot more stuff happened to Tarnum during this game, but I left it out because it doesn't affect the Barbarian race.)



Heroes Chronicles: Revolt of the Beastmasters

The year is sometime around the 600s and 700s A.S.  It's been centuries since Tarnum's downfall, and he's been performing numerous monumental tasks for the Ancestors ever since, trying to redeem himself for his crimes.  Let's skip the main plot in this episode, which has nothing to do with Barbarians, except for the second-last scenario, where we learn that the Barbarians have evolved over time.  They're no longer a proud, unified race - since Tarnum's death, they've become money-grubbing mercenaries.  While this game has a great storyline, we'll skip it since it has nothing else to do with the Might faction.



Heroes Chronicles: The World Tree

Chronologically, this episode is the next in the series which features Barbarians.  The year is somewhere between the 700s and 800s A.S.  Tarnum's been continuing to perform tasks for the Ancestors, and now he wakes up in the middle of the night after hearing a ringing cry in his head - "Save the World Tree!"  He doesn't know what the World Tree is, but he knows it's damn important, so he travels hundred of miles northeast to what is most likely a region west of the Land of the Giants, based on a hunch.

There, he meets a Barbarian tribe waging war inside some tunnels which lead to the life-giving World Tree.  They are battling the Necromancers led by a monstrous leader named Vorr.  Tarnum quickly learns that Vorr is in fact one of the three Ancestors.  A tribe in the Wastelands began to worship one of their war gods, and Vorr accepted the worship, drawing power from it and becoming a dark god.  Now he has imprisoned the other Ancestors, and, in his insanity, has allied with the Necromancers.

After months of good storytelling which we won't go into here, Tarnum defeats the Necromancers.  He learns from a Druid named Nilidon that the World Tree isn't within the tunnels - the tunnels are in fact the roots of the World Tree itself!  However, Vorr decides to quit destroying the Tree and escapes north to a mysterious portal in the Sparkling Mountains.



Heroes Chronicles: The Fiery Moon

This is a direct sequel to Heroes Chronicles: The World Tree.  Tarnum and the Barbarian tribe have departed the World Tree's roots and are pursuing Vorr north to the Sparkling Mountains.  They cross an enormous desert named the Endless Sands and travel through a dry wasteland known as the Nameless Land, fighting what are presumably Kreegans (aliens from the depths of the Void which look like demons) on the way.  Tarnum begins to wonder where the Kreegans have come from.

Then they reach the Sparkling Mountains, and fight elemental armies before reaching the Sparkling Bridge, a portal which leads to any location in the universe provided you have the right key.  They learn that Vorr is in league with the Kreegans, and has travelled to the distant Fiery Moon to prepare an invasion of the world of Enroth.  Furious, Tarnum and his allies slaughter the Kreegans and follow Vorr to the Fiery Moon itself.

There, Tarnum finds the prison Vorr has locked the other two Ancestors in.  Freeing them, he heads off to kill Vorr.  However, the Ancestors beg him to reconsider, as it turns out that if Vorr dies, the other Ancestors die with him - and Tarnum too will die, as his immortality is linked to them.  But there's no stopping the Barbarian.  He's so determined to prevent Vorr and the Kreegans from turning Enroth into a copy of the Fiery Moon that he'll stop at nothing to destroy them.

He foolishly leads his armies straight into battle with Vorr's.  Vorr's magic decimates his forces, and many of his trusted captains are killed.  By a stroke of luck, Tarnum survives.  The Ancestors present him with a bottle of sap from the World Tree, which, when consumed by Vorr, will cure his madness.  After a few refusals, the Ancestors convince Tarnum that restoring Vorr is for the best.

Finally, Tarnum overcomes Vorr and, as he lies dying, Tarnum pours the World Tree's sap down his throat.  Vorr emerges, restored, and Tarnum has accomplished yet another task on his way to being redeemed.  Let's skip ahead a few hundred years...



Heroes I: A Strategic Quest, and Heroes II: The Succession Wars

Both of these games take place on Enroth, a continent far across the ocean from Antagarich.  We are now in the 1100s A.S.  Four factions are vying for control of Enroth, one of them being the Barbarian hordes led by the fierce Lord Slayer.  The Enrothian Barbarians, though similar to those of Antagarich, are very different in some ways.  They have little storyline significance in Heroes I and II, apart from the fact that they're a pure Evil faction rather than Neutral.  We'll forget about them for now, but remember that they'll eventually become one with the Antagarich Barbarians when the factions merge in the world of Axeoth.



Heroes III: The Shadow of Death

Set around the year of 1163 A.S. on the continent of Antagarich, this is the first time we properly revisit the Barbarians of the Wastelands in almost eight hundred years.  Since Tarnum's rule, they have managed to establish a true kingdom under the name of Krewlod.  Currently ruled by the Ogre, Duke Winston Boragus, they are (surprisingly) a fairly peaceful and neutral nation, only engaged in petty border wars with the swamplands of Tatalia to the north.

The Barbarians of Enroth and Antagarich now sort of come together, as Crag Hack, a mighty warrior from Krewlod, finally returns home after fighting in Enroth's Succession Wars (Heroes II).  He pulls together an army and goes off in search of some artifacts for a Wizard named Sandro, who offers him gold and land.

In the end, it turns out that Sandro has duped him.  The Wizard runs off with the artifacts, and Crag Hack promises to "rip his arms off and shove them down his lying throat".  In the end, it turns out that Sandro was in fact a despicable Necromancer with plans for world domination.  Crag Hack allies himself with a half-Human, half-Genie Barbarian named Yog, and together they lead Krewlod's armies in an alliance with the Elves of AvLee against the Necromancer kingdom of Deyja, where they finally defeat Sandro, avenge the deaths of thousands and destroy the evil artifacts he's collected.

Of course, Sandro managed to escape.  Trying to kill him off in a storyline would be sacrelige *cough Heroes V*.



Heroes Chronicles: Clash of the Dragons

Here we meet Tarnum once again.  This story has nothing to do with the Barbarians, as it takes place in AvLee (Elven lands), but it does feature Waerjak, who becomes important later.  Waerjak is a young Barbarian orphan who Tarnum has adopted as his foster son.  He appears in this game but does not have any major role.  Remember him!



Heroes III: The Restoration of Erathia

This game takes place about three years after the Shadow of Death war.  Krewlod's forces are still under the rule of Duke Winston Boragus, and are now beginning to heat up as Erathia's king has been murdered and land is for the taking.  Krewlod and Tatalia have a few minor skirmishes over land but are pathetically beaten back by the Wizards of Bracada (that's the descendant kingdom of the Empire of Bracaduun, less evil but still wizardly).  Krewlod never gets a chance to expand its borders, especially with the Festival of Life coming up.



Heroes III: Armageddon's Blade

What is the Festival of Life, you ask?  Well, every 30 years, the Barbarians of Krewlod have a major celebration and a huge war-contest to determine their next leader.  The candidates, all of whom are clanlords, have to destroy a monstrous beast, clear an entire region of monsters and defeat all of their opponents before getting the chance to challenge the king himself.

Enter Kilgor, a young (and slightly insane) clanlord who has recently killed his father and become a clanlord.  He prefers to use a mace in battle, having once said "you can't hear bones break under a blade".  Needless to say, he's crazy enough for the job.  Kilgor happily leads his band of Orcs, Goblins, Ogres and whatnot through a winding mountain pass in search of the Ancient Behemoth, Razor Claw.  He successfully kills Razor Claw, and is now assigned to clear Krewlod's wildlands of monsters as his second task.

Again, he destroys all creatures in sight, and is now pitted against the three other contenders for the throne.  With brute force, he quickly eliminates his rivals, despite their obvious advantage over him, and reaches his final task: a battle against Duke Winston Boragus for the throne.

Kilgor wins, naturally, and kills the Duke, putting his head on a pike.  This begins a return of the old, destructive ways of the Barbarian culture.



Heroes Chronicles: The Sword of Frost

At the end of the Demon Wars (H3: AB), the Elven Hero named Gelu claimed the almighty destructive sword known as Armageddon's Blade.  Soon after, he announced his plans to travel to Vori, the island of the Snow Elves, and somehow destroy the Sword of Frost, because an ancient prophecy tells that when both Armageddon's Blade and the Sword of Frost come together, the world will end.  Gelu, being the idiot that he is, believes that he can destroy the Sword.

Tarnum, fresh from aiding the Elves of AvLee in the Clash of the Dragons war, attempts to stop Gelu.  But to do this, he'll need an army.  The humans of Erathia won't help - they're Gelu's allies.  And AvLee isn't about to turn on one of their own kind.  All of the other nations are too far away to be of any use - except one, the eastern island of Nighon.  Nighon is ruled by the "evil" Dungeon Overlords, and in his desperation, Tarnum becomes one of them to amass an army capable of stopping Gelu.

But, when he reaches Vori, he discovers that there's another contender for the Sword!  Kilgor, the new King of Krewlod, has sent his third wife, Kija, off north to claim the Sword.  Many battles between Tarnum's, Gelu's and Kija's forces ensue.  In the end, Tarnum captures Kija and races Gelu's forces to the Sword.  However, Kija escapes before the last battle can begin.  What does it matter?  Well, naturally, she gets there first.

With Tarnum's failure, Gelu returns to the mainland of Antagarich to begin his stand against the Tyrant, Kilgor, who now possesses the Sword of Frost.



Heroes IV

The end is nigh!  The armies of AvLee, led by Gelu, wielder of Armageddon's Blade, meet the forces of Krewlod, led by Kilgor, in battle.  A devastating fight ensues.  In the end, Gelu rushes towards Kilgor with the Blade.  Kilgor rushes toward Gelu with the Sword.  The two weapons clash, as foretold in the prophecy.  What happens?  The world explodes, of course!

Well, not exactly.  The swords actually send out a wave of destructive energy which reduces the continents to ash and turns the sea to fire.  Gelu and Kilgor are of course killed.  But, out of nowhere, mysterious portals to another world sprout up all over the planet as a sort of defence mechanism left there by the Ancients, long ago when they created the world.

Millions of people are killed, but countless refugees manage to make it through the portals before the Armageddon claims them.  Many Barbarians survive, including Tarnum (well, he's Immortal anyway) and his foster son, Waerjak.

Fast forward a few years.  We're now on that other world, known as Axeoth, and the Barbarian people have settled in the Tribal Lands in northern Lodwar.  Tarnum and Waerjak are travelling through when they come across a battlefield.  Twenty Barbarian men lay dead.  Waerjak wonders why Tarnum can't become the Barbarian king and stop this madness which will eventually lead to the demise of the Barbarians, for good.  But we know why he can't become king - he'll go crazy and kill everyone, again.  So Tarnum suggests that Waerjak try to become the Barbarian king, and helps him along the way.

The story isn't too long, but it's pretty well written.  Basically, in the end, Tarnum is killed and Waerjak goes off seeking revenge.  His armies destroy the murderer, and he begins to unite all the Barbarians once again, but out of the blue, Tarnum returns (Waerjak doesn't know he's Immortal, until now).  He claims that the Ancestors allowed him to enter Paradise, but he refused, believing that the people of Axeoth still need him.  That's the end... for now.



CREATURES:

GOBLINS
Goblins are everywhere.  They're annoying little pests who can be found all over the place.  Nobody knows when they first appeared (it was long before Jarg's time, that's for sure) but they're found on Enroth, Antagarich... everywhere, except the twin-continent of Jadame, but forget about that for now.

ORCS
Orcs are essentially pig-men.  Forget those generic guys in Heroes V - in the original series, they were pig-men.  Well, not in Heroes III, but in Heroes I, II and IV they were.  Basically, they like shooting from a distance (though aren't very good at it).  Crossbows and axes are their weapons of choice.

WOLVES
Wolves have flitted in and out of the Might faction throughout the series.  In Heroes I and II, set on the continent of Enroth, they proudly fought alone in the Barbarian ranks.  In Krewlod (Heroes III) they've been tamed by idiotic goblins.  In Heroes IV, they have nothing to do with the Barbarians and instead fight among the Druids and Rangers of Aranorn (that's AvLee's descendant-kingdom on Axeoth).

OGRES
Ogres are brutes, but not all of them are idiots, whatever you may suspect.  This is obvious at first glance if you consider that Duke Winston Boragus, an Ogre, ruled Krewlod wisely for over 30 years.  You'll find Ogres anywhere where there's Barbarians - in the hills of Enroth (where they wield axes), in Krewlod (where they wield clubs), in the Land of the Giants (clubs again), and even in the land of Ravage Roaming, a territory on the continent of Jadame (where, amazingly, there's no human Barbarians).

BOARS
Boars appear only once in the ranks of the Barbarians - Heroes III.  They're not even recruitable, but they're Orcish mounts.  In Heroes II, they serve the Wizards instead (for some reason) and aren't found in Heroes IV.

CENTAURS
Centaurs have been known to fight in the ranks of the Enrothian Warlocks, where they wield longbows.  In Antagarich, they dwell in AvLee, where they fight as lancers in the ranks of the Elves.  On the continent of Jadame, you'll find Centaurs who serve among the Dark Elves and wield longbows.  Again, on Axeoth, they wield lances, but now they fight among the Barbarians.

TROLLS
Trolls are much like Ogres.  They serve the Barbarians as powerful, hulking rock-throwers on the continent of Enroth.  Over on Antagarich, they're very different - they are obese, bone-wielding creatures who live in swamps.  A combination of both the Enrothian and Antagarich trolls can be found in the village of Rust within Jadame's Ironsand Desert.  The Heroes IV guys seem to take after the Antagarich ones.

ROCS AND THUNDERBIRDS
Majestic, giant birds who serve the Barbarians in Heroes III and IV.  In Heroes I and II, Rocs can be found among the armies of the Enrothian Wizards, but instead serve the Barbarians across the sea on the continent of Antagarich.  There, too, you'll find the mighty Thunderbirds, who are golden in colour.  (You can also find Thunderbirds in the Elemental Plane of Air during Might and Magic VIII.)  In Heroes IV, Rocs seem to have miraculously disappeared, and are replaced by strange chickens made out of lightning which call themselves Thunderbirds.

NOMADS
Humans.  They're found wandering Enroth, and can also be seen in the Endless Sands, an enormous desert presumably within the Land of the Giants on the continent of Antagarich.  Nomads are found in the Barbarian armies on Axeoth, too.

CYCLOPES
The singular is Cyclops, not Cyclop, and the plural is Cyclopes, not Cyclopses.  That's what any brainy Cyclops will tell any idiot that goes around spreading incorrect grammar.  However, brainly Cyclopes are few and far between.  You'll find them on Enroth, where they use their laser-eyes to destroy the Barbarians' foes.  On Antagarich and Axeoth, they don't have laser-eyes and instead throw large boulders.

BEHEMOTHS
Behemoths are enormous, hulking monkey-like creatures with unbelievably sharp claws.  Fierce and territorial, they're found mainly in Krewlod, but can also be seen in the Plane of Chaos.  One such beast is the monstrous Razor Claw, who Kilgor destroyed during his bid for the throne.
____________
"Those who forget their history are inevitably doomed to repeat it." —Proverb, Might and Magic VIII

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Elvin
Elvin


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What if Elvin was female?
posted March 10, 2008 05:37 PM

Great post ceph Will have to refresh my memory on these, been so long since I played them
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Cepheus
Cepheus


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Far-flung Keeper
posted March 11, 2008 10:26 PM
Edited by Cepheus at 22:48, 11 Mar 2008.

Damn, nobody cares except Elvin  May as well add info on the Conflux, then...


The Conflux Faction


Might and Magic II

Although Confluxes have not appeared throughout the series until Heroes III, the Elementals who inhabit them played a major role in the Might and Magic games long beforehand.  The first game to feature Elementals was Might and Magic II - the legends in the manual relating to the formation of CRON (the MM2 world / nacelle) are best explained by the original source:

"I, Corak, called the Mysterious, have gathered these histories of the world aptly called CRON through personal experiences gained by the use of a magical artifact which allows travel through the very fabric of time itself.

At first, there was only void. Yet, in the nothing something arose. An ethereal substance capable of supporting life came into existence. From the time of this forming shall I, as do all in CRON, reckon time. The shaping of this etherealness took well-nigh one century to occur and develop into recognizable form.

Next, water in vast amounts came from disorder and remained to mix with the ether. Strange beings arose out of this chaotic union. Elemental lords of great power warred for control of the waters. The greatest of these was powerful Acwalandar, mightiest and most majestic of all the Water Kings. Preternatural fierceness combined with uncanny intelligence allowed him to hold unquestionable dominion over all of the other elementals. He reigned supreme for three score and a generation of years, then turmoil erupted.

Potent creatures from an unknown, mystical land charged into CRON with conquest of the brutal Water Lords as their goal. A battle which would last centuries began. Acwalandar and his minions were taken by surprise and the strange beings gained a foothold which they would not release. Puzzlement and fear of the unknown swept through the ranks of the normally stolid water elementals. Who were these warriors who suddenly came
from nowhere? They were Spirits of the Air come from afar to expand their empire. Their lord was terrible indeed, a creature of tumultuous air named Shalwend who could call upon tremendous legions of vicious air elementals to blow back the shocked Water Lords. Air fought with Water for over a century, until reaching a level of equilibrium which neither side could change.

Seeking to upset the deadlock and gain the momentum in the war against the air elementals, Acwalandar charged his servitors to create an ultimate weapon. He received much more than he wanted. His vassals summoned forth incredibly powerful creatures of destruction that would remain under the Water Lords total dominance. Fire elementals were issued forth. These hateful monsters sole purpose in life was to destroy, and at destruction their like will never be approached. They sucked the life out of the Air Spirits without mercy, forcing them to endure a slow, consuming burn until there was nothing left. However, the Fire Lords were few in number and could not totally destroy the Masters of the Wind.

The leader of the burning horde, Pyrannaste, Master of Flame, disliked the iron-fisted rule of Acwalandar and the Water Lords. Any hesitation of a fire elemental in carrying out an order issued by a Water Lord would result in extinguishment. Pyrannaste waited, for he was patient, and even though he and his vassals chafed under the rule of the water elementals they hated Shalwend and the air elementals even more.

Eighty years of servitude and war passed for the Fire Lords until Pyrannaste deemed the time proper for rebellion against Acwalandar. Wanting only to escape servitude while still being able to crush the ranks of the despised Shalwend, the Master of Flame attempted to break away peacefully from the air elementals. At first they succeeded, but resentment and overconfidence built up in the Legions of Water, Are not the fire elementals our servants, brought forth by us to serve our Heeds? Can we not crush them as we crushed the Masters of the Winds? This the armies of Acwalandar thought, forgetting that the might of the air horde must be fought once again without aid. Also forgetting that in order to extinguish a fire elemental, a Water Lord loses much of himself in the struggle that ensues.

Shrewd Acwalandar realized that the Water Lords could not hope to end victorious in a war against both the air and the fire elementals. However, his counsel fell upon deaf ears. What good is the voice of reason to an angry mob? For fifty years Water fought Air and Fire, Fire fought Water and Air, and Air fought Fire and Water. Battles were bloodthirsty; and allies were nonexistent. CRON had transformed into a chaotic battlefield with no one group able to assert itself over the others.

And then came disaster. From places vaguely rumored to exist came the most fearsome creatures yet. Emperors of Earth they called themselves. They were led by Gralkor the Cruel. In one fell stroke they invaded CRON and caused the petty struggles between Water, Air, and Fire to come to an utter halt. Ancient enemies were forced to unite for survival against the new, common enemy. At first, the earth elementals appeared invulnerable. Eighty years and innumerable battles later, a method was found to stop them. Acwalandar and the Water Lords would soak the earth elementals with a flood of water. Then, Pyrannaste and the Fire Lords would bake the dissipated creatures into dry silt. Finally, Shalwend and the Air Spirits would lift the silt into the sky and spread all of the particles across the world, leaving the earth elemental utterly eradicated.

Alas, the effort by the three elemental tribes was too late to stop Gralkor the Cruel and the Emperors of Earth. They had pooled together and formed a giant mass of earthen matter which floated upon water, was immune to fire, and which would not scatter as leaves upon the wind. For twenty more years the elementals attempted to overcome the earthen landmass of Gralkor the Cruel. They failed miserably and the Emperors of Earth assumed command of what would become CRON.

By the year 500, Gralkor and the earth elementals were busily constructing a fixed land area with the toil of their slaves. For almost one hundred years all of the elementals, Water, Air, Fire, and Earth, struggled to perfect the landmass. What they tame up with is what we know as the physical land of CRON.

Rumor of CRON spread to other worlds somehow and an inexorable flow, of what were to the elementals, small, pitiful creatures began to populate the world of Gralkor in the seventh century. The creatures were of many different humanoid types, but they all had basic similarities and resistances which enabled them to survive in CRON. Water beaded off them, air swirled past them, fire did burn them, but only under extremes, and mighty earth they trod upon. The humanoids were able to extract properties from each of the four element's features and use it for their own benefit. But perhaps most important of all, they could weave magic. At first, there were few of these pathetic creatures, but they multiplied rapidly and spread across the landmass. The humanoids strengthened after years of toil and pain. Ambitions grew and they attempted to make CRON their own. This aroused the attention of Gralkor the Cruel and forced him into action.

Unfortunately for the elementals, Gralkor acted too late. The humanoids had been in CRON for over seventy years and had acclimated themselves to all the difficulties which the elementals could produce. They had weapons and spells which could immobilize all but the most powerful elemental lords. Gralkor did not realize this and made a most fatal error, he attacked. He marshaled his forces for the obliteration of the feeble humanoids. The humanoids knew what to expect and lay a trap for the elemental forces.

All of the most powerful spell-casters gathered on the isle of the Ancients and combined their efforts to create an orb of power. This orb had a mystic receptacle, a four taloned claw. There was a talon for each elemental force, and alone that talon could control the elemental creatures it represented. The four talons could be combined to form a holder for the orb. This formed a weapon of incomparable power which could guarantee the complete submission or destruction of any and all elemental creatures. Many tests were made in order to perfect this weapon. Gross mutilations and horrible deaths were the results of most of these. In the latter part of the eighth century there was a human male weak in magic but strong in courage named Kalohn who tested the orb and survived unmolested. Many humanoids died before this because of Gralkor’s attack and the testing of the orb. Kalohn resolved to end it all immediately.

He went to the tallest mountain in all of CRON alone. He then challenged the four elemental lords to do battle. Much damage to the land followed, including the transformation of the mountain into the crater we know as The Dead Zone. Kalohn, armed with the orange, glowing orb emerged victorious and then banished each of the four elemental tribes to a separate corner of CRON and formed barriers to keep them imprisoned. Within each elemental zone he placed the corresponding talon of the mighty claw in the order of the elementals' appearance, water, air, fire, and earth. He kept the orb for himself.

With the elemental forces banished from direct interaction with the humanoids of CRON, civilization evolved and everyone prospered. Kalohn gained much magic power due to his battle with the elementals and his frequent use of the orb. He became King Kalohn the Conjurer and ruled wisely for thirty or more years. Peace spread throughout the land. Education began of the young and living conditions improved. Communities formed and trade developed. People were happy and content.

Then in the mid ninth century, the elementals struck back. Unable to physically enter CRON and maddened at the elementals' defeat at the hands of a single, puny human, Acwalandar studied that which defeated him, magic. He had a great aptitude for sorcery and learned quickly by studying the humanoids who ventured near his realm. He gained particular skill in forming and summoning. Using this skill, Acwalandar formed a fell creature of enormous girth and power. He filled it with life from many of his followers and endowed it with the most fearsome of weapons known to him, fire. He had created the first dragon, a creature of mindless destruction and incredible strength. This dragon was formed just outside of the water barrier and left Acwalandar with the intent to destroy Kalohn and then CRON.

King Kalohn the Conjurer sensed the dragon's creation and the threat it posed. He sought it out to vanquish it and quell the elemental lords forever. He met the dark creature in the beautiful Savannah of Plenty. Unfortunately, mighty as he was, Kalohn had only the power of the now faintly glowing orb with him and perished after a disappointingly quick battle. The dragon breathed barrels of flame and engulfed Kalohn entirely, consuming him in a bath of fiery death. Kalohn had attempted to cast a spell which would form a shield of water to protect himself, but the spell was changed as a last minute surge of power from the orb went through Kalohn's body and caused a flood to ravage the Savannah. For all the might of the dragon, he could not fly without wings and was too heavy to swim. He died a slow death, powerless against the natural habitat of his master.

Aftereffects of the battle were numerous and disastrous. The Savannah of Plenty was destroyed and became the Quagmire of Doom, an area of great evil. However, it is rumored that the orb still exists somewhere in the Quagmire, though no one has ever found it. Dragons entered CRON through once closed corridors and wreaked havoc among the populace. Princess Lamanda, Kalohn's daughter, assumed a tentative command of the land. All of these factors led to regression and the ultimate downfall of the level of civilization which had been achieved.

Now it is the tenth century and chaos reigns. Swords and sorcery have replaced law and order as the way of life. Monsters roam the lands of CRON freely and do as they please. Isolated areas hold out against barbarism, but are doomed to fall. All that remains of CRON's glorious past are old wives' tales of mighty warriors and wizards doing battle against evil hordes and of a tragic lord, King Kalohn the Vanquished."


The four Elemental Lords feature in this game as enemies, though it is so old that I have not played it so I cannot give any details as of yet



Might and Magic III

In this game, set in the same universe - this time on the planet of Terra - Corak continues to relate the story of the Elemental Lords through the manual:


From the corners of the misty Void
Rang loud the battle cry
The Elemental lords of four
Had sworn to fight and die
Fire, Water, Air and Earth
Did meet their might and force
And in their battles bloody mire
Found our land its source


"From the rumors and murmuring I have heard passing through Wildabar these isles are rich with such histories. While talking to a town elder he told me of an ancient rhyme once read before festivals that contained the legend of the mysterious conception of the isles, a legend that today circulates across the land, but altered through the years since the original scroll's disappearance. He read to me a portion he recorded before the original vanished and told me what he could remember of the rest of the tale. Other parts, he said, may be recorded across the islands.

The epic was written in three parts and the fragment he gave me was from the first, in which is contained an account of the birth of the isles out of a great battle between powerful lords of the four elements who used fierce storms to fight for supreme control of the Void, a place where there was no land or sky or ocean. Water and Fire and Air and Earth met in this empty Void to fight for the right to fill it with their presence, but so matched were they in this battle that none could defeat the others, nor could any stop fighting lest the balance be upset and he be overrun by the others. They had become locked in an eternal war none could turn away from. And as the war raged on through the decades, in the midst of the Void where the fallout of the mighty storms gathered and settled, a rich land began to develop. From where, no one knows, but beasts appeared to graze the fields of the new land and take refuge in its forests and caverns. Little notice did the Elemental lords pay to these dumb beasts for there was little threat in their roamings. They were seen as nothing more than the flies that gather around a fallen animal. So the war raged on with intensifying storms that added to the richness of the budding land.

But then a new creature mysteriously appeared in the Void, not dumb like the beasts, but clever in ways of cultivating the raw loam of the battlefield further into a rich provider of food and shelter. Difficult and costly though it was in the midst of the furious storms of battle, a continent was forged in the misty Void.

The forests and valleys settled spry creatures of great influence. thin and strong, the Elves were quite at home among the trees and fields of green.

Though weaker in endurance than some, they were possessed of a high aptitude for the magical arts and resistance to its power and energy.

And in the snowy areas of bitter cold found the Gnomes their home. Like the Elves, they were strong of mind, not body, and a little more prone to the ways of magic. But unlike the brooding Elf, the Gnome was very jolly and quick to make friends.

Because of the harshness of the snowy land their countenance was toughened to the elements, and even more so to magic.

So journeyed then in the desert sun the Dwarf. Small but mighty they survived in the turmoil of the stormy war for little of the elemental realm could do them no harm. After all, it would take a strong creature to find a thriving life in the lands of sand. With little power over magic, Dwarves found their strength in solitude among the dunes.

And in the swamps and bogs settled a tribal people of great strength and endurance. So strong were they that fire, electric and cold could hardly harm them. Because they lacked the greatness of mind for magic they had to rely on their ability to fight to survive, and that ability was developed to great heights, for the Half - Orc lived for battle and saw the opposing of men as the greatest of endeavors.

But scattered across the many diversities of the new found land Humans wandered and made places for themselves among all others. Able to resist all, the elements and magics, and learned in the ways of the mystical arts, they were well equipped to settle where they wished. Soon they thrived across the land and with the others began to tame the beasts and cultivate the fields.

With the arrival of these conquerors of land the Elemental lords realized that while they fought among themselves the very prize for which they were slain was being taken away from them by little mortal beings who in their eyes were no better than the dumb beasts. Each would try to vanquish the mortals with a great storm, but because they could not remove too much of their force from the war the mortals were able to withstand them. In fact, the storms of the Elementals were less severe than the effects of the war itself, so the Elementals had to find another way to purge the Void of these intruders. So an agreement was made to halt the fighting for one day and devote all their powers to create one great tempest of such destructive power that none could withstand it for even an hour.

Air gathered together the strongest of its winds to blow the sands of Earth with such force as to tear away the flesh from mortal bone. And Water prepared a flood to wash the fallen mortals to the center of the Void where Fire would then bake the mire into solid stone. Even combined in total unity the mortals could not survive a day of such torrent. So little hope was there that in the darkest hours before the great destruction all merely stayed in their doomed homes and the helplessness in their hearts made the greatest cry for mercy any world has ever known."


et cetera, et cetera.  Thus, the Elementals are among the mightiest forces in the universe, having created the worlds in the first place.  Let's move on to Heroes Chronicles, set on the same world as the Heroes series, where we come face-to-face with the Elemental Lords...



Heroes Chronicles: Masters of the Elements


The Conflux: a product of the Elemental Lords' alliance

If you read my Might faction summary above, you'll know who Tarnum is.  Well, this time (around 600-800 A.S.?) he is sent by the Ancestors to become that very thing he despises most - a Wizard - and combat the four Elemental Lords, preventing them from destroying his world of Colony.

Why would they do this?  Well, 10000 years before the events of this game, the "gods" (of whom we know nothing) forced the Elemental Lords into a truce of interests, preventing them from destroying any worlds - only creating.  Now, this truce has come to an end, and the four Lords are free to destroy anything they so choose.  Naturally, they have chosen the world of Colony as their target, summoning gateways to propel their planar forces into the physical world.

Tarnum won't stand for this, and King Gavin Magnus of Bracada gives him a Tower from which to prepare for this invasion.  Instead of preparing, he takes the battle to the Elemental Planes, travelling first to the Plane of Air - Shalwend's domain - and passing further into the Planes ruled by Acwalander, Gralkor and finally Pyrannaste.  His companions even discover a fifth Elemental Plane, that of Magic, to which they travel before returning to their own world.  One problem, though - before Tarnum entered the Planes, the lords had already set out to destroy the world.

Tarnum returns to find chaos.  The four Lords have established Elemental Confluxes throughout a remote region in Antagarich and are poised to seperate the four elements, thus bringing an end to Colony.  Of course, with his newfound allies from the Plane of Magic, Tarnum repels the Four Lords and sends them hurtling back to their own planes, bringing an end to the War of the Elements.



Might and Magic VIII: Day of the Destroyer, earlier events


Escaton's Palace in the Plane Between Planes

We are now around the time of Heroes III: Restoration of Erathia.  The techonologically-advanced Ancients from far beyond the Void, sworn enemies of the Kreegans (Inferno faction) who infest the worlds with their deadly menace, instigated a "Scorched Earth" policy long ago - they will destroy any world if it fails to rid itself of Kreegans within a set period of time.  Colony was recently invaded by Kreegans (Might and Magic VI) and has thus far failed, so the Ancients send one of their Guardians - a Planeswalker under the name of Escaton - to destroy the world.

He begins by travelling to the four Elemental Planes, capturing Gralkor, Pyrannaste, Acwalander and Shalwend in succession.  This is necessary for his "Convocation of Cataclysm", a spell which creates a rupture in a certain planet's flow of magic capable of causing great destruction.  However, capturing the Lords causes their elemental subjects to lose their sanity.  Some flee into the Physical world, maintaining their sanity, but those who remain behind go crazy with the lack of a Lord to bind their consciousness.

Some of those who flee into the Physical world find themselves on the world of Colony, upon Antagarich...



Heroes III: Armageddon's Blade

...and lucky for them, too!  The Confluxes begin to manifest across Antagarich just as the Demon Wars between Erathia and the Kreegan lands of Eeofol commence, in the year of 1171 A.S.  Queen Catherine Ironfist, her husband King Roland and the Elves of AvLee have allied against the Kreegans, who plot to build Armageddon's Blade under the rule of the tyrannical Lucifer Kreegan.

Originally a little hostile, the Elementals soon decide to join forces with Erathia against the Kreegans.  It seems that four "new", temporary Lords are guiding them while the real Lords are in Escaton's prisons - Ciele the Waverider, Fiur the Flamewalker, Erdamon the Earthshaper and Tamar the Wanderer command these renegade Elementals on Colony.  In any case, they are instrumental in destroying the Kreegans in the war ahead.  Once the battles are finished and Lucifer Kreegan is dead, the Elementals depart back to their own Planes again.



Might and Magic VIII: Day of the Destroyer, main events


Escaton, about to summon the Crystal Conflux

1172 A.S.  With the four Lords still imprisoned, Escaton has instigated the Convocation of Cataclysm by summoning into being a Crystal Conflux in the city of Ravenshore upon the continent of Jadame, hundreds of miles away from Antagarich.  Escaton then departs for the Plane Between Planes to await the Convocation's occurence.  Four elemental gateways sprout up as conduits for these planar energies - when they reach the Crystal, the world will end.

A party of adventurers gathers to stop this.  Following a succession of lengthy tasks and revelations, they discover that Catherine and Roland Ironfist, along with their sage Xanthor (remember him?  Check the Beastmaster Korbac's biography from Heroes III) have been set off course en route to Enroth by the Regnan Pirates and plan to dock at Ravenshore.  The Enrothians join the Alliance of Jadame (which the party has formed from numerous factions), and Xanthor, studying the Crystal, discovers it is a gateway to Escaton's Plane Between Planes.

The party gathers some necessary elemental heartstones for Xanthor, and he uses these to create a "Conflux Key".  The heroes use this to enter the Destroyer's realm.  They meet with Escaton himself, who does not attack them, reasoning that since Catherine and Roland have eliminated the Kreegans from the face of Colony in the Demon Wars, there is no reason to destroy the world any more.  As a "robot" of sorts, his "programming" renders him powerless to stop the Convocation, but he does deem it allowable to present the heroes with keys to the Elemental Lords' prisons...

The heroes rescue Gralkor, Acwalander, Shalwend and Pyrannaste, restoring the elemental balance in their realms.  In gratitude, the Lords manifest in Colony and combine their powers to destroy the Crystal Conflux, thus bringing a premature end to the Convocation of Cataclysm.  The Crystal's destruction causes a rupture in Escaton's plane, which causes his Palace to collapse - thus killing him.  His last words are "Tell them I have failed..."


The four Elemental Lords destroy the Crystal Conflux

This is just about the end of the Conflux's role so far in the old Heroes story arc, though Escaton the Destroyer will be making a "reappearance" of sorts in Marzhin's "Legends of the Ancients Book III" campaign for Heroes V.



CREATURES

Elementals are basically a fundamental chunk of this faction so there's no real need for further info in this section.
____________
"Those who forget their history are inevitably doomed to repeat it." —Proverb, Might and Magic VIII

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gallow
gallow


Bad-mannered
Known Hero
Avenger
posted March 11, 2008 10:33 PM
Edited by gallow at 22:35, 11 Mar 2008.

Now that i had time,i readed it all and i liked it,really nice job with all that info,specially my taste for barbarian town and the history of homm thats very good man,also i was thinking one day,if they do movies about games,popular ones..then why not about HOMM? imagine,would be like hmm well 3 or 4 movies maybe but would be awesome.

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Vlaad
Vlaad


Admirable
Legendary Hero
ghost of the past
posted March 11, 2008 11:44 PM
Edited by Vlaad at 23:49, 11 Mar 2008.

ALL HAIL CEPHEUS!
Quote:
a monstrous leader named Vorr
Never played that one... Was he the monstrous shadow depicted in the Heroes Chronicles artwork?

Was he present in the game (in any form or shape)? You mentioned a few battles; were those told in the text or did they actually take place in game?
Quote:
Fiery Moon
What did it look like in game? Inferno towns, volcanic wasteland...?
Quote:
Many battles between Tarnum's, Gelu's and Kija's forces ensue.  In the end, Tarnum captures Kija and races Gelu's forces to the Sword.
There's a funny bug in the final mission of the Sword of Frost campaign. Having defeated Gelu, I was able to recruit him in the Tavern. On the other hand, the story went on and on - Gelu this, Gelu that...
Quote:
Gelu and Kilgor are of course killed.
Lies!!! Play WoG!
Quote:
But, out of nowhere, mysterious portals to another world sprout up all over the planet as a sort of defence mechanism left there by the Ancients, long ago when they created the world.
Was that the official explanation...?
Quote:
In Heroes IV, Rocs seem to have miraculously disappeared, and are replaced by strange chickens made out of lightning which call themselves Thunderbirds.
At least they don't look like roasted chickens which call themselves Phoenixes.
Quote:
The singular is Cyclops, not Cyclop, and the plural is Cyclopes, not Cyclopses.
And the upgrade is Biclops - a Cyclops with two eyes!
Quote:
Razor Claw, who Kilgor destroyed during his bid for the throne.
Razor Claw was kewl.



An off topic question: Do you have any idea how these creatures would fit in...?



I believe those were created by NWC for H5, at least the Phoenix was.

@ mods: A QP perhaps...?

*goes to read the other article*

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Cepheus
Cepheus


Honorable
Legendary Hero
Far-flung Keeper
posted March 12, 2008 12:10 AM

Quote:
ALL HAIL CEPHEUS!


Agreed!

Quote:
Never played that one... Was he the monstrous shadow depicted in the Heroes Chronicles artwork?


Which chronicle, which artwork specifically?

There was quite a lot of artwork for Vorr actually - here's some.  The first two pictures depict him as an Ancestor (first one with his two counterparts), the others as the manifested Demigod - corrupted from the Krewlish worship.









Quote:
Was he present in the game (in any form or shape)? You mentioned a few battles; were those told in the text or did they actually take place in game?


The battle which Tarnum loses against Vorr is told in the opening text event of the final map in Fiery Moon.  This vaguely tries to explain why Tarnum starts with minimal armies  Vorr is the final enemy hero in this mission.

Surprisingly, in spite of all the cool artwork they made for him, the developers were lazy about his in-game incarnation and gave him Ayden's portrait

He was a high-level Demoniac, pretty tough to beat.

Quote:
What did it look like in game? Inferno towns, volcanic wasteland...?


I can send you the maps if you like.  The first three maps of the campaign focused on Tarnum following Vorr there from Antagarich - the Moon itself was almost totally volcanic terrain (apart from grassy patches), populated by Infernos and a few Confluxes.  Here's Tarnum's description:

"I step off the Sparkling Bridge into the choking heat of a blackened landscape.  The sky above is the color of charcoal; a churning, chaotic storm glowing with an occasional purple spark of lightning.

Somewhere out there, the Ancestors are waiting for me.

"I know how you feel!" I say as my horse snorts with distaste for the smoky air.

And inside I sense that this is a lonely, sorrowful place.  I shake my head, wondering why anyone would dwell in this blistering land."

Quote:
Was that the official explanation...?


Well, not quite - there was no official explanation as far as I know - but Legends of the Ancients has established this.  We lore fanatics take Marzhin's campaigns to be as close to canon as they can get  Additionally, it makes the most sense.

Quote:
Razor Claw was kewl.


Lol, Oakley's links really are great

Quote:
An off topic question: Do you have any idea how these creatures would fit in...?


I have no idea.  There's a Gnoll on the left - return of Tatalia?  And the faerie or a similar one may have appeared in some previous 3DO games such as Dragon Rage, also set in the MM Universe.  I seem to remember a Sprite was a main character in that game.

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Vlaad
Vlaad


Admirable
Legendary Hero
ghost of the past
posted March 12, 2008 12:52 AM
Edited by Vlaad at 00:54, 12 Mar 2008.

Quote:
There was quite a lot of artwork for Vorr actually...
Thanks, I remember those now... But I meant the big guy in the background.
Quote:
Surprisingly, in spite of all the cool artwork they made for him, the developers were lazy about his in-game incarnation and gave him Ayden's portrait
LOL I thought so!
Quote:
I have no idea.  There's a Gnoll on the left - return of Tatalia?  And the faerie or a similar one may have appeared in some previous 3DO games such as Dragon Rage, also set in the MM Universe.  I seem to remember a Sprite was a main character in that game.
OK, those two are no-brainer. But why is the Elf half-wolf? Was there a point in the history of Elves where such a creature was mentioned?

What about the others...? I was wondering whether they were introduced earlier in M&M, like the Megadragon.
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Cepheus
Cepheus


Honorable
Legendary Hero
Far-flung Keeper
posted March 12, 2008 02:22 PM
Edited by Cepheus at 16:20, 12 Mar 2008.

Quote:
Thanks, I remember those now... But I meant the big guy in the background.


Yes, that's Vorr too.

Quote:
OK, those two are no-brainer. But why is the Elf half-wolf? Was there a point in the history of Elves where such a creature was mentioned?


Nope, nowhere have there been werewolf-Elves - though in Ardon, one of the MM worlds, the Elves worship dark gods...?

Quote:
What about the others...? I was wondering whether they were introduced earlier in M&M, like the Megadragon.


There were indeed Megadragons in MM5 and MM7.  They weren't green, though, as I recall.

EDIT:  My thanks Pandora
____________
"Those who forget their history are inevitably doomed to repeat it." —Proverb, Might and Magic VIII

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Cepheus
Cepheus


Honorable
Legendary Hero
Far-flung Keeper
posted March 12, 2008 11:50 PM
Edited by Cepheus at 21:25, 13 Mar 2008.

*coughs*  Onward!  To the Fortress faction:

Might and Magic VIII: Day of the Destroyer (historical notes)

In Might and Magic VIII, it is strongly implied that the native Lizardmen of Dagger Wound Island (a tropical isle south of the continent of Jadame) were originally the products of the Serpentmen living in the nearby Abandoned Temple.  A note on a scroll written by one of the Serpentmen reads as thus:

"It is inevitable; the temple is lost to us. Never did we think that our own creations would turn against us. Nor did we think they could so handily bring about our annihilation. Only I and my assistant, Khsth'thck, are all that remain of the Relic Wardens. This note is for any of the Keepers of the True Vision who come to reclaim the temple.

Khsth'thck and I have already secured the holy idol. Remember, it is the sixth plate, not the fourteenth! We lost Warden Rsh'Dhx when that mistake was made last. I only pray the defenses will hold until you arrive.

Faithfully yours,

Yvwch'vhs xhl'brck, High Nestmaster"


There are other clues throughout the isle that the Serpentmen created the Lizardmen.  As such, the Lizardmen resident on Dagger Wound are the original race, having spread throughout the world to Antagarich and Jadame over the centuries.  It is likely that this "creation" occured before the Silence (an event which marks the turning point of the calendar on the world of Colony).



Heroes Chronicles: Warlords of the Wasteland

Assumedly, the Lizardmen of Dagger Wound spread from their islands in the Ifarine Sea, across the "Endless Ocean" to the continent of Antagarich, where they became native to the Mudlands in the continent's central-western area, integrating with the native Gnolls.  Over the centuries, they tamed the beasts of these Mudlands and became Beastmasters, along with the Witches who dominated their faction politically.

In Warlords of the Wasteland, set around 100-200 A.S., Tarnum the Barbarian sets out to conquer the Mudlands and enslave their people to bolster his own hordes.  Travelling northward from the Wastelands, he receives some inside information from another, clanless Barbarian, discovering that the Beastmasters and Witches are engaged in a civil war -

"She tells you the fighting in the Mudlands is fierce, but primarily between three sides.  Mirlanda, the Witch, flies an Orange flag.  Wystan, the Lizardman, has a Blue flag.  And finally, the Gnoll, Alkin, wears Red.  All are devious opponents, but thankfully their hatred is directed at each other for the moment."

The events of the civil war and, indeed, its origins, are not detailed in this game or any other.  Tarnum, however, managed to conquer the Mudlands, enslaving the Gnolls and Lizardmen, thus damning them to centuries of oppression.  Upon Tarnum's later death at the hands of Rion Gryphonheart of Erathia, the weakened Mudlanders were conquered by the Erathians and put to work as slaves in their own lands - but we'll get back to that later...



Heroes Chronicles: Conquest of the Underworld

During his venture into the Underworld as the Immortal Hero in search of Erathian King Rion Gryphonheart's soul, Tarnum is plagued by nightmares and visions from his youth...

"Again, I dream I am in the swamps, trying to get the natives to join me through the only method they understand - force.

I am covered in mud and blood as I walk through the open gates of a Fortress and stand before the throne of the Mudlands King, a Lizardman so gaunt and pale gray that he could only be dead.  Yet, the Lizardman stands and gestures for me to sit.

"It's yours now, Tarnum," the dead reptile says, "yours to destroy - the throne and my people!  You have won the right."

But I shake my head.  I no longer want to sit in it.  And then I open my eyes.  A dream, but I can still smell the rotting vegetation.  I press my fists hard into my temples and begin crying.  Dreams aren't supposed to be like this."



Heroes Chronicles: Revolt of the Beastmasters

Hundreds of years later - around 600-800 A.S. - Tarnum is ordered by the Ancestors to redeem himself for his crimes against the Mudlanders.  He travels to the Mudlands, now overrun by the forces of the current "Mad King" Gryphonheart of Erathia, and begins freeing the slaves from mines and garrisons deep within the jungles where token forces are preventing resistance.  Mustering this enslaved people, he manages to kill Lord Onsten, an Erathian lord ruling part of the Mudlands.

Baron Paglon is charged with repressing the uprising, but fails and is killed in a subsequent battle.  During this time, Tarnum - with the help of the aged Gnoll Witch Adamina and the young human named Droglo - begins to set about creating order among the wild Beastmasters.  He establishes their first laws and codes of honour, and the enraged Mad King Gryphonheart sends his young son, Prince Niven, to lead a large army against Tarnum's rebels.

Tarnum and Droglo steal into the Erathian camp and capture Niven during these battles, introducing him to the horrors of the slavery Erathia has forced upon the Mudlanders.  Aghast, Niven changes sides and pledges allegiance to the Mudlands.  The Erathians capture the wisewomen and many civilians, holding them for ransom, but Tarnum sends Droglo, Niven and a Gnoll Captain named Brellick to parley with Erathian Earl Rambert.  They ambush the Earl, killing him, but Brellick is slain in the attack.  Tarnum proceeds to free the innocents from Rambert's dungeons.

The war begins to turn in the favour of the Mudlanders as they push the Erathians further east and eventually beyond the borders.  Tarnum allies with his old homeland, the Barbarians of Krewlod down south, to hasten their victories.  After further attacks, the nobles of Erathia decide to reject their Mad King, instead electing Prince Niven as their ruler.  Now the King of Erathia, Niven turns his nation against his insane father.  Meanwhile, Tarnum urges Adamina to declare the Mudlands a nation of its own - the wisewomen decide on a name for this new land: "Tatalia", meaning "Community".

In the final battle against Mad King Gryphonheart, Tarnum himself slays the Mad King just as he deals the Immortal Hero a mortal blow.  Tarnum's body is returned to Tatalia, but due to his immortality, he rises again and disappears before his burial.  The Mudlands are now ruled by Droglo, Erathia by King Niven in an uneasy peace.



Heroes III: The Restoration of Erathia

This game, set in the late 1100s A.S., features Tatalia as a fully-fledged nation, at least three centuries after its original "creation".  The swamps are ruled by King Tralossk, a Lizardman.  Here is a tale from prerelease Heroes III featuring Xanthor, an Erathian scholar (more info on him in the Conflux summary), and his venture into the swamplands:

"My friends, what an amazing adventure I had! Three days ago, we set out for Stillbog, a new Fortress city deep in the western swamps. Since that region is technically beyond the border of Erathia, and therefore hostile, an armed escort was hired by the University to protect our group, which consisted of myself, my assistant, Gregor, and another colleague of mine, Professor Marcus Finch.

The journey to the Tatalian Lowlands normally takes two weeks, but our guide, Korbac, a Lizardman native of the lowlands, knew of a travel gate that would cover most of the distance and reduce our travel time to just under five hours. An interesting fellow, this Korbac. He calls himself a Beastmaster, which if I remember correctly is what the male leaders are called in the Lowlands. Our escort consisted of a dozen halberdiers and twenty heavy crossbowmen from the nearby town of Highcastle, plus one mage from the Tower city of Silverwing. I'm sure we looked like a motley crew, but as the sun rose, we departed.

By mid-morning we had reached the travel gate. It crackled with a strange energy, and through it we could see a dark forest. Apparently, morning had not reached that part of the world yet.

Korbac took half the pikemen and crossbowmen through the gate. There was a loud *CRACK!* as each person stepped through, but we could see them safely on the other side, peering about the darkness in search of any hostile creature that may be lurking in the shadows. Before long, we were given the signal, and through we stepped, first Marcus, then Gregor and I, and the mage. There was no sensation as we passed through, it felt no different than stepping through a normal doorway. On this side, as I watched the remaining soldiers come through, the gate made a soft "bubbling" sound as each person emerged.

Once my eyes had adjusted to the darkness, I could see what Korbac had told us earlier. The gate had taken us deep within the Tatalian lowlands. All around us lay murky, reed-choked pools. Our arrival had obviously surprised the local animal life into a cautious silence, but now as we stood there in the deep shadows created by the canopy of great, moss covered oaks, the nighttime sounds of life slowly returned. The deep booming of bullfrogs, the background noise of insects, and the occasional hoot of an owl created a grand chorus as we lit torches and set out to the north.

It was perhaps half an hour later that we found ourselves on some higher ground which allowed us to see the sun peeking above the horizon. In the dim light, we could make out a large cave mouth in the hillside above us. Korbac peered inside for a moment, sniffing the air. Without warning he cursed, hurling his torch into the cave's maw and drawing two long daggers that I hadn't noticed earlier. In the light of the torch, I could see several eyeless figures charging at us. Troglodytes!

An order was barked, and the halberdiers moved to meet the charge, but it was too late. In an instant, two dozen troglodytes had poured out of the cave and were heading toward us, and I realized that my own curiosity had put us directly between them and the crossbowmen who were now taking aim. I could no longer see Korbac, but I did spot a woman with a bow who appeared to be leading the troglodytes. She looked toward me, and I realized, too late, that I had just met the gaze of a medusa.

When I finally came to, I discovered a gruesome scene around me. The fight was over, and as I struggled to my feet the mage informed me that I had been quite solidly turned to stone, but that he had been able to revive me that very moment. He also told me, much to my relief, that I was lucky that I had not shattered into a hundred pieces when I hit the ground, pointing out what looked like the broken statue of a halberdier at the feet of two more statues near the mouth of the cave. I felt a sudden chill despite the warm presence of the sun that had by now risen above the trees.

The dead included seventeen troglodytes, three halberdiers (besides the three who were stoned), and five crossbowmen. Professor Finch told me that the remaining troglodytes had fled back into the cave after our guide, Korbac, had slain the medusa, apparently from behind. I realized then that I didn't see Korbac anywhere, and was relieved to learn that he had taken the medusa's body down to the edge of the marsh for proper disposal. While we waited, the mage revived the two intact guards.

Troglodytes and medusas are denizens of the underworld. I have been able to study both in the past (safely, I might add), but they were always under heavy sedation and not much of a threat. To see them in the wild like this was quite a treat, though not something I really look forward to doing again any time soon.

By the time Korbac returned, the rest of us were ready to move on. He told us that we were perhaps less than an hour's walk from Stillbog, and that we should expect to see the first of the town's scouts in half that time. Sure enough, not twenty minutes later we spotted a dozen gnoll marauders keeping pace with us. Korbac said nothing, though Marcus, Gregor and I quietly chatted and scribbled some hasty notes. While this was another opportunity for me to view these creatures in their native habitat, I have to admit that our experience with the troglodytes that morning had left me more than a little frightened.

Finally, we arrived at Stillbog. The place was bustling with activity, and I was impressed with just how much had been built in such a short time. Korbac chatted with a human woman named Verdish, who he introduced to us as the town's leader. Her hair was unkempt and her face was painted with wild colors, and she wore a garb similar to Korbac's. She also had long strings of beads which wound around her arms from her shoulders to her wrists which made a strange clattering sound as she moved (it wasn't until later that I realized the beads were teeth from probably twenty different animals).

The town itself already had most of its basic structures completed. Several gnoll huts were set up along the shore of an inlet that would eventually allow a small shipyard, assuming we were close enough to the sea. Across the compound, what originally looked like the lumpy bases of several trees turned out to be the dwellings for almost three dozen lizardman archers. Behind, the foundation of a large stone structure was being laid. We were told this would be to house the gorgons that would be arriving soon from another part of the Lowlands. In the center of town was a cage containing a great dragonfly. Verdish informed us that they had been completely unable to tame this creature, hoping it would start a hive in a tree that had been specially hollowed out for that purpose. They were unsure now what to do with it, as another dragonfly had already been sent for.

After discovering that there were no other creature dwellings here, Marcus, Gregor and I sat down with the soldiers to eat our lunch. While we were eating, Gregor asked about the large trench that several lizardmen were digging in the southwest part of town. After telling us that it would be a moat, Korbac said that according to Verdish, the frequency of troglodyte raiding parties like the one we had seen this morning had been increasing over the last several months. It turns out that Stillbog had been created as an outpost, as an attempt to stem the ever-increasing tide of raids from the subterranean creatures. He also added that we had been lucky - the raiding parties usually contain beholders!

Whether he was just kidding around or intentionally trying to scare us, Korbac had managed to put most of us on edge. Every sound got our attention, be it a chirp, chop, splash, or thump. As night fell, we were finally starting to relax and feel safe. That is when the attack came.

The sound of a war horn was our first warning. Everyone was alert, and Korbac and Verdish began barking orders in assorted languages. Marcus, Gregor and I were taken to the center of the compound where we were ushered up a rope ladder into a stout tree whose base was nearly twenty feet across. Fifteen feet off the ground, the wide base abruptly ended, leaving a bowl-shaped top ringed by branches which provided us limited cover but excellent visibility of the preparations going on below. I looked down, and could see the crossbowmen and mage climbing up behind us, and the halberdiers forming a defensive ring around the base of the tree.

Off to our left I saw Verdish and most of the lizardman archers climbing into another tree, while in front of us the gnoll marauders were hastily setting up several wooden barricades made from sharpened sticks. A similar activity was taking place to our right, just beyond the caged dragonfly. Korbac stood in the center, halfway between us and the forward barricades, issuing orders. Somewhere he had procured a shield, and instead of his long daggers he now held a heavy, broad-bladed sword.

Another horn sounded, closer this time, and we could just make out several shadows approaching. As they reached the edge of the light from the compound I could see they were more gnolls, probably the same scouting party that had escorted us that morning. They came through the compound, then took up positions to our right. When I looked forward again, I could see that the preparations were complete. Archers had arrows knocked, and the marsh had grown silent around us.

There was a sudden crash through the treetops to our right, and a screeching sound as four harpies made a diving attack on the gnolls at the barricades. The crossbowmen immediately turned and fired, bringing down one of them as they circled upward back toward the darkness. Instantly they began reloading, but no sooner did the body of the fallen harpy hit the ground than all hell broke loose. Into the light charged nearly thirty troglodytes, followed by the round, tentacled forms of what could only be beholders. Still the lizard archers had not fired, but I could see Verdish wildly moving her arms about. Though I have little training in the mystical arts, I could clearly see that she was casting a spell.

The spell took form, and the ground beyond the forward barricades softened beneath the feet of the troglodytes into a thick, gooey mud, slowing their charge. It was then that the lizard archers finally fired, having a much easier time shooting at targets that weren't so mobile. At the same time, the mage with us pointed his staff at the nearest beholder, letting loose a bolt of fire that burnt the creature to a crisp.

To our right, the gnolls had engaged the troglodytes that were coming over the barricades. Though outnumbered, they stood their ground. The crossbowmen began firing at will to help cover them. To the front the mired troglodytes were still pressing on, though they were falling rapidly under a rain of arrows from the lizard archers, and any troglodytes that reached the near side were cut down by the Korbac and the gnolls.

Suddenly, the tree to our left exploded. Bits of wood and fire went every direction, and the blast knocked me to one side. I would have surely fallen out of the tree had I not been able to grasp one of the branches. While Marcus and Gregor tried valiantly to pull me back in, the mage was taking aim with his staff once more. I looked in the direction he was facing, and through the smoke I could see a robed figure riding a black horse - a Warlock! That must have been what had blown up the tree, I thought. The mage fired, but the bolt dissipated before it reached its target. The Warlock, however, took aim at us, and my hair stood on end as a great bolt of lightning shattered our tree into a million splinters.

I was thrown to the ground, twisting my ankle badly as I landed. The top half of the tree had been blown open as if from within, or peeled open like a fruit. My ears were ringing, and the pain in my ankle was unbearable. All of the halberdiers had been knocked down by the blast, and most were now climbing to their feet. I couldn't see anyone who had been in the top of the tree with me, and feared the worst. As I looked around I saw the forward line of gnolls crumbling under the onslaught of the troglodytes and beholders. The halberdiers, now thinking they had nothing to guard, moved to help the forward troops. The right flank was faring better, so I crawled that direction.

Just as I reached the dragonfly cage there was a loud roar from in front of me. I looked up just in time to see a great manticore leap over the barricades, landing in the midst of the gnolls, where it viciously began tearing them apart. My stomach turned.

I looked to the front barricade. More of the beholders were down, and there were a few straggling troglodytes, but the blast of a fireball told me the Warlock was still alive and well even though I couldn't see him. To the right, the manticore was wounded but still fighting, and the gnolls not fighting it had their hands full with nearly double their number in troglodytes while two more harpies attacked from above. We were badly outnumbered, and we were going down fast. I cowered against the base of the dragonfly cage, thinking this was indeed the end.

Over the din of the fighting came the distant sound of a war horn. I couldn't tell from which direction it had come, but looking around it didn't look like anyone else had heard it. The right flank was holding, though only because it seemed like the troglodytes were more interested in finishing off the gnolls than in getting past them. A flash of lightning followed by several screams brought my attention to the front, though I had to peer through the dragonfly cage to see what had happened. The scorched dead, both friend and foe, laying in a straight line meant that a chain lightning spell had been used. I looked for the Warlock, but my view was obstructed by the dragonfly that was moving about inside the cage.

That's when I realized it. The dragonfly! I dragged myself around to the other side of the cage and pulled the pin that held the door closed. Then after tossing the door open, I flattened myself against the ground as the dragonfly emerged from its cage.

Obviously wanting to be the king of the sky, the dragonfly flew straight for one of the harpies, grappling it in midair. They tumbled, but the dragonfly's jaws were locked securely at the harpy's throat, and in a matter of seconds, the harpy's lifeless body dropped to the ground. The other harpy was only slightly more lucky. It and the dragonfly traded slashing attacks as they circled each other higher and higher into the air, eventually vanishing into the darkness.

As they disappeared from sight, I became aware of a deep rumbling sound. As the sound grew, the ground began to tremble, almost as if a stampede were approaching. Suddenly the ranks of the attackers broke, and I could see troglodytes and beholders, with the Warlock hot on their heels, running into the compound, pursued by a pair of tremendous copper-colored gorgons. Directly behind them, some fifty gnolls charged, and I could see a lizardman riding a horse, another Beastmaster!

At that moment there was a rush of wind as a great wyvern dropped from the sky. It swooped low, slashing the manticore with its poison-tipped tail, killing it instantly. A cheer went up from the gnolls, and the wyvern trumpeted its response as it soared upward, preparing to make another pass. But another attack wouldn't be necessary. The Warlock, along with a single beholder and perhaps eight or nine troglodytes, was fleeing into the darkness. We had won!

But what a price we had paid. Less than a dozen of the town's gnoll marauders had survived, and all but two of the halberdiers had perished. Much to my surprise and relief, both Professor Finch and Gregor had survived the destruction of the tree-tower, though Marcus had suffered a broken wrist, and Gregor had a foot-long splinter from the tree through his thigh. The mage was dead, as were all but three of the crossbowmen. The other tree's occupants had not been as lucky. Miraculously, Verdish, though a bit singed, had survived, but all who had been with her had been burned to a crisp.

Like the medusa from that morning, the dead were taken down to the water's edge for disposal. Little ceremony was given, but even with the reinforcements that had arrived it was nearly morning by the time the place was cleaned up. During that time, Verdish healed the wounded, using a strange combination of magical spells and mystical voodoo, followed up with a strong and vile-tasting potion. I don't know what it was, but I slept until mid-afternoon the following day.

We spent the remainder of the day studying the creatures. The wyvern had made itself a nest in a large tree, and now that I could see it in the daylight I realized that it was an elder wyvern monarch. The gorgons trotted about, shaking the ground with each step, but they seemed almost playful. I was surprised to discover the dragonfly back in its cage, and I was told that during the night it not only returned to the town, but it had climbed back into the cage. Several gnolls had begun work digging a basilisk pit, and others were putting up the fencing for what would eventually be a hydra pen.

The next morning we departed. A strong force of gnolls escorted us to the travel gate, but only Korbac, Marcus, Gregor, myself, and the 5 soldiers went through, bound for home. It was an uneventful trip from the gate back to the University, but I think that we had all had enough excitement for a while!"


As for Tatalia's role in the actual game, it is minimal.  The Tatalians launch a brief border war against Krewlod in the south, but are quickly repelled by the Wizards of Bracada before their feuds lead into a larger-scale invasion of Erathia.



Heroes III: Armageddon's Blade

This game features the final storyline appearance of Tatalia's Mudlands (Tatalia also appears in Might and Magic VII, but the only playable region is the Erathian-ruled areas, not the swamplands).  Lord Haart, an Erathian warrior-turned-Death Knight, launches a mysterious invasion of Tatalia with his monstrous armies of undead.  Adrienne, the so-called "Fire Witch" - shunned by her people for practicing Fire Magic - returns home from the Erathian capital of Steadwick to discover this undead invasion.

Adrienne repels the forces of the undead, progressing deep into Tatalia and finally cleansing the swamplands of Haart's forces, travelling all the way to the western coast and charring the fallen Knight's walking corpse, bringing him to his final death.  This is Tatalia's final appearance in the series so far - Heroes IV led to its destruction, and the fate of the Gnolls and Lizardmen is unknown.


This post will be updated, with pretty pictures and creature info!
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"Those who forget their history are inevitably doomed to repeat it." —Proverb, Might and Magic VIII

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TitaniumAlloy
TitaniumAlloy


Honorable
Legendary Hero
Professional
posted March 14, 2008 11:17 AM
Edited by TitaniumAlloy at 11:18, 14 Mar 2008.

Cepheus, you are my hero and whatnot.

I think this thread should be stickied.



Quote:
and even in the land of Garrote Gorge, a territory on the continent of Jadame (where, amazingly, there's no human Barbarians).

I don't remember Ogres in Garrotte Gorge... unless there are some in the Castle I'm forgetting...
Ravage Roaming and Alvar, yes, but not Garrotte to my memory.
Minor detail I guess.
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yasmiel
yasmiel


Supreme Hero
Former Chessmaster
posted March 14, 2008 12:24 PM

Same here, I dont remember seeing ogres there. Just Dragons, D. slayers and Nagas.
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Cepheus
Cepheus


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Far-flung Keeper
posted March 14, 2008 07:18 PM
Edited by Cepheus at 19:38, 14 Mar 2008.

Quote:
Cepheus, you are my hero and whatnot.

I think this thread should be stickied.




And you are right of course.  I mixed up Garrote Gorge and Ravage Roaming - both mountainous regions or whatever... fixing as we speak.
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"Those who forget their history are inevitably doomed to repeat it." —Proverb, Might and Magic VIII

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Cepheus
Cepheus


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posted March 27, 2008 04:14 PM
Edited by Cepheus at 16:16, 27 Mar 2008.

Revival time, with an entry on the Dungeon to boot.

Daystar once asked me a question: "Why are the Warlocks of Heroes III emo?"  I was in a pretty flippant mood around then, so I answered him while spitting venom at some nearby members spouting rubbish about how great the lore of Heroes V's Dungeon is... (no offence intended, venom is a part of my regular diet)  So here was my answer:


"Perhaps it has something to do with the facts that:

- Many of their creations such as Minotaurs and Beholders became uncontrollable during their early years of existence, thus weakening the Warlock forces from within

- The Warlock kingdom on the continent of Enroth was reduced to a scattered brotherhood in Heroes I, following Lord Alamar's defeat

- Their brotherhood joined with Archibald Ironfist during Heroes II, and were once again utterly defeated - most of them were forced to flee across the ocean to the isle of Nighon near the continent of Antagarich

- Those few Warlocks who remained behind on Enroth were killed / driven off the continent by the party of adventurers you play as in Might and Magic VI

- They were first united under the Dragon Queen, Mutare - who was quite pitifully killed after losing a war against the Elves of AvLee in Heroes Chronicles: Clash of the Dragons

- The refugee Warlocks in Nighon began to serve the Dungeon Overlords and the Kreegans during Heroes III, but their attempt to conquer Erathia failed miserably

- Some of them travelled with Tarnum to the Snow Elven isle of Vori during Heroes Chronicles: The Sword of Frost - however, he was beaten to the Sword by Kilgor's wife... not much of a morale booster

- By the time of Heroes IV, after all these disasters over the years, the Warlocks have been beaten down so harshly that they are reduced to the pitiful existence of a multiclass between Nature and Chaos Magic

Plus how can you say that the HV Dark Elves aren't slave drivers? Have you seen those iron muzzles they put on Minotaurs?"



Well, now I'm going to explain all that in excruciating detail.  This reading works dually as a fine cure for insomnia, so tell your friends!


Heroes I: A Strategic Quest

This game takes place on the continent of Enroth, as I may have said a few hundred times before.  For many years, perhaps even centuries (we don't really know), the Warlocks have ruled this land.  They are a brotherhood of powerful dark sorcerers allied with the Necromancers of the south, led by the enigmatic Lord Alamar.  In case you're not familiar with this guy, he's a random hero from Heroes II and III... here's a portrait we planned to use for him in the GotP mod for Heroes V, which seems to have been cancelled (but don't ask me):



Nifty huh?  That's the most powerful ruler on the continent of Enroth!  Tremble in his presence, and run away where possible!  Oh, wait, here's Morglin Ironfist, he'll put a stop to this.  Morglin, a knight from the nacelle world of VARN, travels through one of the Ancients' gates on his world with a small vanguard and passes through the Web of Worlds to the planet of Colony.  On this strange new world, he musters armies from the scattered human populace and founds what is to become known as "the Kingdom", or simply "Enroth" - named after the continent.

Anyway, this new Kingdom of Enroth challenges Lord Alamar's authority.  Hefty battles ensue, also involving the Sorceresses of Noraston led by Queen Lamanda and the Krashaw Barbarians under a warlord named Slayer.  The war ends with Morglin Ironfist's victory.  The Warlocks, once the mightiest group of spellcasters in the land, are reduced to just another of the scattered societies they once ruled over.  As for Lord Alamar?  He becomes a simple hero.  Last I heard he was over in Antagarich, you might have seen him in that thing they call Heroes III.


Heroes II: The Succession Wars

A few decades after the Strategic Quest, Morglin Ironfist dies of old age.  His two sons, Roland and Archibald, wage war for the throne of Enroth.  While Roland sides with the Imperial Knights, the Wizards of Mist and the Sorceresses of Noraston, Archibald forms a pact with the Warlocks and Necromancers.

Roland wins the war.  Archibald is turned to stone and locked away in the Castle Ironfist library.  The Warlocks are all but disbanded now, and a few of those who remain travel across the ocean to the island of Nighon, just east of the continent of Antagarich.  There, they form an alliance with Nighon's resident Warlocks and Overlords, united under the Dragon Queen of Nighon...


Queen Mutare of Nighon


Heroes Chronicles: Clash of the Dragons

The Dragon Queen, Mutare, has recently claimed the throne of Nighon for herself (Heroes III: Armageddon's Blade).  Now she's mustering a huge army of Kreegans, Overlords and Dragons bent on conquering the world.  Tarnum, the Immortal Hero, pulls together the armies of AvLee and Erathia, and stops her.

That's about it in a nutshell.


The Dungeon town as it appeared in Heroes III


Heroes III: The Shadow of Death and the Restoration of Erathia

Following Mutare's defeat, the Nighons are pulled into an alliance with Sandro the Necromancer.  They build a tunnel from their island across the Nighon Straits and into the eastern regions of Antagarich, from where they can strike at Erathia and gain some revenge.  King Nicolas Gryphonheart has just been murdered, so this should be a cinch, right?

Wrong, because his daughter Catherine returns from Enroth a few months later and leads his routed forces to victory, taking back the capital city of Steadwick and pushing Nighon's armies right back through the new tunnels to their own island.


A beta version of the Heroes III Dungeon which never saw the light of day.  Source: Vlaad's site (http://cartographer.ucoz.com/)


Might and Magic VII

You get to visit Nighon and see it for your own eyes in this game... only the overworld, however, not the deep tunnels in which all of the action takes place.  I'll update this section later.


Heroes III: Armageddon's Blade

This game features the campaign (most likely set before the events of the Restoration of Erathia) in which Mutare rises to power in Nighon.  In the actual Armageddon's Blade period, the Nighons do not partake in any of the wars which are decimating the continent.  However, the Kreegans of Eeofol request their aid while they're being brutally slaughtered and beaten by Erathia.  The Nighons send a fine legion off to help Lucifer Kreegan... who is killed by Gelu, the half-elven Hero of AvLee, before they get there.

"Aw, fiddlesticks" might be the operative phrase here for the Dungeon Overlords.


Heroes Chronicles: The Sword of Frost

Mutare's dead (according to Heroes V: Legends of the Ancients, she was killed by the Minotaur Darkstorm, but that's another story).  Her Overlords and Warlocks have gone wild in their mad attempts to conquer the tunnels and dungeons, claiming land and wealth for their own personal gain.  Meanwhile, on Antagarich, Gelu has claimed Armageddon's Blade... or rather, it has claimed him.  The cursed blade has already begun to work its foul magics on the Ranger's mind, and he's planning to destroy the only weapon in the world that can rival its power -

You guessed it, the Sword of Frost.

Did I mention that Tarnum and Gelu are actually good friends?  No?  Well, they're not any more.  Both of them trained in the Forest Guard at the same time, and though Tarnum is roughly nine hundred years older than his elven chum, he's still not a match for that Blade on his own.  So he needs to muster an army and prevent Gelu from bringing the two swords together, which will destroy the world.  The Erathians won't help him, they're Gelu's allies.  AvLee?  Nope, they're not going to turn on their own Hero.  Everyone else is too damn far away to be of any use, except... Nighon.

Tarnum heads for Nighon and clobbers a few of the Overlords and Warlocks, becoming one of them himself in order to raise a suitable army to stop the mad half-Vori Elf.  Thing is, the Nighon troops are evil, and Tarnum's made a habit of staying away from cruelty and slavery ever since it landed him in a thousand-year-long bout of redemption and suffering while trying to redeem himself for the genocide he committed in his youth.  That makes things a little harder, especially when his own army turns on him, but that's neither here nor there.

To make this long story much shorter, Tarnum brings his fine new Dungeon troops across the sea to Vori, the frost-blanketed land of the Snow Elves - Gelu's people.  Gelu's never actually been there, as he was found on the Antagarich coast as a baby by the Erathians, but the Vori know a Snow Elf when they see one and decide to join Gelu in his quest.  Tarnum is also opposed by the third wife of Kilgor, the new Barbarian King of Krewlod (you saw him in Armageddon's Blade, I hope), as well.

He beats his Barbarian opponent - Kija - to the city of Volee where the Sword is kept, smacking around Gelu's forces in the process.  However, Kija escaped his dungeons, miraculously eluded the Protectors of Volee and grabbed the Sword before Tarnum got there.  She heads off to Krewlod and hands Kilgor the Sword, who proceeds to go on a murderous rampage.  Again.  

That is, before he battles Gelu and causes the world to explode by bringing both Blades together before Tarnum can interfere at all.

Fiddlesticks.


Tarnum and the Nighon armies in Vori


Heroes IV

Well, Nighon's failed so many times.  They failed to conquer the world, they failed to save the world, they failed to get any grip on the world at all outside of their own island.  Now their creatures have passed through the portals of the Ancients to the world of Axeoth, along with a few hundred thousand other survivors.

There basically are no more Warlocks.  The Brotherhood has disbanded, and its members are either serving the Pirate Queen, Tawni Balfour, out on the Gold Sea, or fighting for the Dark Elves of the A'Rikdun clan near Aranorn.  Minotaurs, Medusas, Troglodytes, Beholders, Hydras, Gargoyles, Harpies... they're all footling around everywhere, albeit not together in one faction.  And that's that.

However, it's been revealed that there will be a pretty special character in Legends of the Ancients: Book IV.  Why so special, you might ask?  Well, his name is... Alamar.  We'll just have to wait and see if this is the real guy.


CREATURE INFO coming to a store near you... soon enough
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"Those who forget their history are inevitably doomed to repeat it." —Proverb, Might and Magic VIII

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Elvin
Elvin


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What if Elvin was female?
posted March 27, 2008 04:24 PM

I bet he is, Alamar has been around for a long time not to be included in H5
Yeah I remember the sword of frost, Tarnum's antics and violent/wacky behaviour was really fun As was the all around backstabbing between the beholders and medusas. That game also makes you realize why Ufretin(?) decided to abandon the chaotic ways of the elves and join academy.
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Cepheus
Cepheus


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posted March 27, 2008 04:28 PM

Uh huh  The thing is, the main villain of Might and Magic 1-5, Sheltem, used the name "Alamar" as an alias.  And we know that Marzhin likes digging up the past  So it could well be this guy making a comeback.

That's right too, Ufretin's imprisonment led to the Dwarves leaving the Elves for good:

Quote:
Ufretin was key in convincing the dwarves to leave the leadership of the haughty and chaotic elves and seek a more organized life.  Now that he is getting on in years, Ufretin has taken up the role of spokesman for his people although he probably hasn't given up adventuring yet.  There's a lot of gold to be found out there.

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Elvin
Elvin


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What if Elvin was female?
posted March 27, 2008 04:42 PM

Well if you found a close friend leading your archnemesis, telling you to cooperate and afterwards convincing you he was immortal with a mission and letting you go.. Only to be met with disbelief from your other friend that is about to destroy the world because he's too stubborn to listen to you. Yeah that sucks.
I believe that played more of a role than the elves being chaotic.

What's with going on quests to destroy evil artifacts anyway? Gelu could have it all and bring everlasting peace to Antagarich.
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Cepheus
Cepheus


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posted March 27, 2008 04:51 PM

Quote:
I believe that played more of a role than the elves being chaotic.


Exactly, and there was another small factor in Might and Magic VI.  Rocklin, the King of the Dwarves (who was basically at the head of the whole Elven-Dwarven alliance) went missing and was never found again... I guess that contributed too.

Quote:
What's with going on quests to destroy evil artifacts anyway? Gelu could have it all and bring everlasting peace to Antagarich.


In theory yes.  But the problem with Gelu stems from Armageddon's Blade.  He's not totally to blame, it basically possessed him and played with his mind.  This is referenced a few times:

Quote:
Last eve as Gelu lay sleeping in his bunk; an odd dream came to him.  It was filled with visions of glorious battles and immense personal power being heaped upon him.  He saw himself chosen by General Kendal as the new king of Erathia.  Later he saw himself as ending the feuds in Antagarich and being named leader of the entire continent.  He saw Antagarich finally at peace.  All the while in the background was this lovely woman, her eyes the color of emeralds, her skin like fine silk, her hair the color of steel.  She was intoxicating, invigorating, and mysterious.  In every sequence of this possible future he saw, there she was and she gave him a sense of calm and strength.

The last image he witnessed before waking was that of a finely crafted sword.  Instantly he knew this was his key to which he dreamt of.  He immediately knew this sword was to be his and had been instrumental in creating the world in which he lived during that dream.  That sword looked mysteriously like Armageddon's Blade.


Disturbingly, that text event is called "Seduced by the Blade".  Tarnum references this again in The Sword of Frost:

Quote:
How can that fool of an Elf go looking for the Sword of Frost?  I met Gelu once, and I found him to be an inspiring leader and dedicated fighter.  He never would have accomplished all that he has in the past few years without the skills to match his stubbornness.  But I've never known him to be stupid.

Is he so attached to the Armageddon's Blade that he can't see the danger he's putting the world in?


You could maybe even say that Catherine Ironfist started the whole thing by letting him keep the Blade in the first place, that's pretty unfair though.  Still it would explain why the Palaedrans voiced so much distaste for her during Heroes IV.

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Elvin
Elvin


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What if Elvin was female?
posted March 27, 2008 07:12 PM

Had not thought of it like that. That would make it all the more fitting that an Armageddon's Blade(tm) would have the built-in failsafe in case it falls in the hands of a good leader. The sword's purpose was to bring armageddon after all..
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Markuskg
Markuskg

Tavern Dweller
posted April 24, 2008 11:30 PM
Edited by Markuskg at 00:20, 25 Apr 2008.

Woow! I really really enjoyed reading your posts. I'm heavily interested in the history of the M&M universe (I'm happy to see there are more enthusiasts out there )and reading your posts I learned many interesting things.

Please keep it up, I hope to see more.

I already gave you compliments about your cool site full with interesting facts. I'm sure I read every article and I'm frequently checking it for updates.

A++ for the free time you spend on providing us with interesting information and making us happy.

It's efforts like yours that keep our beloved M&M universe alive.

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Cepheus
Cepheus


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posted April 25, 2008 12:49 AM

Your words are inspirational.  I didn't know anyone still checked The Spinward Tales  Anyway most things, including this thread, are on hold until after July due to my major upcoming exams.  Until they're over I won't be able to find any inspiration to do much other than post a little around here.  But rest assured, these lessons are not over

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