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Characters / Heroes of Might and Magic

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Knight's Town (I, II) / Castle (III) / Haven (IV, V, VI, VII)

The Knight in Shining Armor faction, and the only one to have been present in all of the base games. Their troops were all humans in the first two games, composed from various classical soldiers (archers, swordsmen, cavalry, etc.), before the introduction of Griffins and, most importantly, Angels in III. Typically the most balanced and the beginner's faction, they started gaining more flavor with the fourth game by gaining the resurrection ability. Their Might Hero is the Knight and Magic Hero is the Cleric/Priest.
  • Animal Motifs: Griffins in III and V. The background of V, VI and VII also counts eight Duchies, each corresponding to an animal and being a Fantasy Counterpart Culture: The Falcon (Ancient Rome), Griffin (Russia and Eastern Europe), Wolf (Germany), Raven (Scandinavia), Stag (Ireland), Unicorn (Britain), Hound (France) and Bull (Italy and Spain) Duchies.
  • Badass Preacher: Monks in III, IV and V, and Sisters in VI (though the latter serve more as The Medic).
  • Badass Normal:
    • In a world filled with magic and monsters, they are basically puny humans who manage to win most of the time lorewise.
    • This is especially prominent in Heroes 1 and 2: the only non-humans in the Knight faction are a few scattered heroes, none of the troops have any magical abilities, and the heroes themselves only have them if a spellbook is bought. In Heroes 2, victory was achieved with the help of the rather magical Sorceress and Wizard factions, but in Heroes 1, Lord Ironfist won on his own.
  • Beast of Battle: In III, V, VI and VII series, they had Griffin as a flying war beast in battle. By VII, players can use a Dire Wolf instead. Make sense in the campaign as it represents the Wolf Duchy.
  • BFS: The Landsknecht in the VII carries one, as they are capable of cleaving to multiple enemy units.
  • Bling of War: Most of their heroes - monks/priests aside - and some of the units wear rather elaborate armor. Exaggerated from the fifth game onward.
  • Church Militant: Many of their heroes are this, being either paladins or monks/priests. There's also an actual Paladin unit in I, II, III, IV and V, and a Monk unit in III, IV and V.
  • A Commander Is You:
    • The Jack-of-All-Stats faction. In the first two games they were the Pariah faction, being seriously underpowered.
    • In Heroes IV, they have traces of a Ranger faction, having three ranged units — two of which have no distance penalty — and one melee unit with long reach. Their magic is mainly focused on healing and blesses.
  • Crystal Dragon Jesus: Elrath - the god they worship in V, VI and VII - is a literal one, as he - just as the other gods of Ashan - is a dragon.
  • Darker and Edgier:
  • The Empire: The Holy Griffin Empire in V, and the Holy Falcon Empire in VI/VII.
  • Energy Being: The Zealots of the third game, as well as the Glories of the sixth, along with Sun Crusaders, who ride horses made of light.
  • Evil Counterpart: The "Renegades" mini-faction in V's Hammers of Fate campaign presents the same units, but red, with spikes, and coming off as even bigger Knight Templars than any other Knight Templar in the game.
  • Good Is Not Nice: Even at their best, they are not of the All-Loving Hero kind of "good", and will kick your ass if you stand in their way.
  • Good Wings, Evil Wings: Angels are generally depicted with white bird wings, but the Seraphim in V's expansion packs have blood-stained wings that mark them as agents of Holy War and Vengeance.
  • Guardian Angel: Their racial ability in VI, making a stack impervious to all harm for one turn.
  • The Hero: The main characters of their campaigns are typically this.
  • Holy Hand Grenade: Though their magic is mostly focused on healing and defense, it's also useful against Demons and Undead.
  • Humans Are Average: Very prominent in the first games, where they were "average" to the point of being underpowered, but even in the latter ones, they are typically the most balanced, Jack-of-All-Stats faction.
  • Jack-of-All-Stats: From III onwards - cheap, relatively powerful in magic, loads of shooting, flying and defensive units, and powerful heroes.
  • Knight in Shining Armor: A whole faction of them, at least when they are not being...
  • Knight Templar: Unfortunately, plenty of this as well.
  • Light 'em Up: Particularly in V, VI and VII, where they worship the literal Crystal Dragon Jesus of Light, Elrath.
  • Light Is Not Good: Especially pronounced from the fifth game onward.
  • Medieval European Fantasy: Their general aesthetic.
  • Our Angels Are Different: Seraphim in V have Flaming Swords and blood-stained wings!
  • Our Gryphons Are Different: They appear as creatures in the third, fifth, and sixth games. They're mid-tier creatures that fly and have unlimited retaliations. In the original continuity, taming the griffons was the reason King Gryphonheart earned his name.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: The red to the "good" magical factions they are usually aligned with, such as the Sorceress and Wizard. They generally rely more on brute strength, while the latter rely more on magic.
  • Savage Wolves: In VII as a representation of Wolf Duchy.
  • Weapon of Choice: Swords (and BFSes), lances and crossbows are the most common ones.
  • We Have Reserves: Any time peasants show up directly among their troops.
  • White Magic: Usually their prefered school of magic, along with some of the creatures having abilities that qualify, such as Angels being able to resurrect their allies.

    Haven's Iconic Characters 

Morglin Ironfist (I)

The leader of the "Knight" faction in Heroes of Might and Magic I, and the canonical winner of the war against Lord Slayer the Barbarian, Queen Lamanda the Sorceress, and Lord Alamar the Warlock. His father, the King of Varn, was killed by his brother, who then seized the throne for himself and was in turn succeeded by his son Ragnar. Morglin then (probably) tried to have his cousin Ragnar assassinated in order to reclaim the throne of Varn, but when the attempt failed, he fled to the Varnal Hills, where he found a mysterious portal...
  • Manchild: Shows shades of this in his letters to Ragnar. Played for laughs.
  • Revenge by Proxy: His father was murdered by his uncle, and he probably tried to get revenge for his father by murdering his cousin.
  • Rightful King Returns: Subverted. He never reclaimed the throne of Varn from Ragnar, and after conquering Enroth, he didn't really want to.
  • Unreliable Narrator: His first few letters to Ragnar attempted to deflect accusations of attempted murder (including some pretty incriminating pieces of evidence), but from the last few letters, written when he was much better established in Enroth, it's pretty clear that Morglin was guilty as charged. In his later letters, Morglin's only complaints about Guthbert, the man who carried out the attempt on Ragnar's life, were that he had a "loose tongue and couldn't strike a mouse dead", and after conquering Enroth, he considered it fortunate that Guthbert had failed to kill Ragnar.

Catherine Gryphonheart (III, M&M)
Queen of Erathia, Roland's wife, and the Big Good of the third game, where she leads the good factions to liberate Erathia from multiple invaders after her father's death.

Lysander (IV)
The founder and king of the little kingdom of Palaedra, populated by the refugees of Erathia after their original world was destroyed and they had to flee to another planet. The Heroes IV's The True Blade campaign deals with him searching for the titular sword, a sign of appurtenance to the Gryphonheart family that an imposter, Sir Worton, claims to have, challenging Lysander for the throne.
  • Come Alone: Forced to do it to finish the Big Bad mano-a-mano, only to be ambushed by a group of Rogues. Of course, given the One-Man Army late-game strength of campaign heroes, those guys are quite insignificant.
  • Fantastic Racism: Lysander hates Necromancers, as they killed his parents and separated him from his siblings.
  • First-Person Peripheral Narrator: His adventures are told from the point of view of his squire, Milton.
  • Heroic Bastard: The end of his campaign reveals that he is unknowingly a Gryphonheart. Word of God is that he and his brothers are the products of an affair between King Nicholas Gryphonheart and a woman named Iduna. Thus Queen Catherine is his half-sister. Furthermore, Waerjak of the Stronghold campaign and Gauldoth Half-Dead of the Necropolis campaign are his long-lost brothers. You can see the resemblance.
  • Lantern Jaw of Justice: Square-jawed and he's around to bring righteousness and justice to Palaedra.
  • Sadistic Choice: Having to choose between asking the Oracle of the Dawn either where his lost siblings are, or who the imposter Worton's true parents are.
  • Not So Stoic: Right before the final one-on-one battle against Sir Worton, he cracks a joke about how he's going to make Milton the city's new seneschal, a "thankless position" that will require Milton to have lots of contact with pretty women.
  • The Stoic: According to Milton, he rarely smiles, and he often has little patience for Proetho's Boisterous Bruiser personality - at one point, the two of them even come close to blows.
  • Tomato in the Mirror: The campaign ends with Lysander accidentally drawing the sword from its sheath, thus proving that he himself is a Gryphonheart.

Isabel (V)
The main character of V's campaigns, Isabel is the new spouse of Nicolai, the King of the Griffin Empire, forced to repel a sudden demonic invasion.
  • Action Girl: The Haven campaign starts with her refusing to sit and do nothing while her husband-to-be, Nicolai, is off fighting demons. So she assembles a militia, deals with some rebels, then frees a number of cities from the Demons... All the while fighting alongside her army. However, she spends a lot of time - including a part of the last mission of her own campaign - as a Damsel in Distress, and Godric and Freyda are the ones representing the Empire and fighting on its behalf in all important battles, which may place her in the Faux Action Girl territory.
  • Awesome Moment of Crowning: At the end of the Haven campaign, after Nicolai's death, she becomes the Queen of the Holy Griffin Empire (as it was his dying wish).
  • Break the Cutie: For a given value of "cutie", anyway. The story isn't particularly kind to her, which results in some quite big Nice Job Breaking It, Hero/What an Idiot! decisions on her part.
  • The Hero: Of the Haven campaign. Also, the whole Heroes V saga revolves around her.
  • Horrible Judge of Character: Really, Isabel, trusting Markal wasn't a good idea.
  • Knight Templar: As described under the Lawful Stupid entry below, Isabel will not tolerate anyone who shows disloyalty to the Empire. The first two missions of her campaign are all about her dealing with rebels... mostly by killing them.
  • Lawful Stupid: A particularly Egregious example: the first map starts with an encounter with some peasants refusing the conscription. Her reaction?
    Isabel: "You will fulfill your oaths to your lord, even if you must do it in chains! Get them!"
  • Lady of War: Looks the part, other parts... not so much. If anything, she's closer to being The Lad-ette. By her own admission, she's "more comfortable in a camp than at court"; the intro also has her wondering if she's looking stupid in her wedding dress.
  • Medical Rape and Impregnate: What Kha-Beleth does to her.
  • Perfectly Arranged Marriage: Seems like her marriage to Nicolai was like this. Unfortunately, a demon invasion and Nicolai's subsequent death prevent them from becoming Happily Married.
  • Rightful King Returns: Played with. She does reclaim her throne from Biara, but only to make Freyda the next Queen, thus starting the Unicorn dynasty.
  • Roaring Rampage of Revenge: Swears revenge twice - first after being captured by Agrael and learning about the real Beatrice's death at the hands of Biara, and later again after Agrael kills Nicolai. Then there's the whole deal with Biara impersonating her... It didn't go well at first, but at the end, she succeeds in killing Biara. Agrael is... another matter.
  • Royals Who Actually Do Something: She's a noble and a would-be Queen, but when Demons attack, she refuses to sit still and does everything she can to help - including assembling and leading an army of her own.

Godric (V, Might and Magic: Clash of Heroes)
Nicolai's uncle (and Freyda's father and commander), tasked by Isabel to get help from the Wizards, much to his dismay.
  • Cool Old Guy: Despite being of quite an old age, Godric shows no shortage of badassery and charisma alike.
  • Fantastic Racism: Godric really doesn't like Wizards. He doesn't let this stop him from asking them for help - and later working alongside them - when the situation becomes bad enough, though.
  • Incorruptible Pure Pureness: One of the most loyal champions of Elrath alive. Once she takes over the Griffin empire, Biara doesn't even try to corrupt him like she did with so many other knights, instead imprisoning him so that he doesn't cause much trouble.
  • Killed Off for Real: He meets his end in Hammers of Fate, but at least he gets to enjoy his religion's version of heaven.
  • Knight in Shining Armor: Out of all main characters, he's the one closest to this archetype.
  • Only Sane Man: He fulfills this role for pretty much his entire country. Once Markal starts to take things over, Godric is one of the few people to stand against him before everything goes to hell.
  • The Paladin: One of the last true champions of Elrath, and one of the best and most loyal ones, according to Word of God.
  • Undying Loyalty: To Nicolai (and later to Isabel), and to Elrath and the Empire in general.
  • Values Dissonance: In-universe with the Wizards, and Cyrus in particular.

Freyda (V)
Godric's daughter and a major Haven character in Hammers of Fate.

Anton (VI)
First legitimate son of the Duke of Griffin Slava, and new Duke after his father's assassination, apparently by the hand of his sister Anastasya.
  • Decoy Protagonist: He's still a protagonist, but the VI intro suggests he'd have a more central role than what actually happens wherein he shares screen time equally with his four siblings.
  • Hearing Voices: He periodically hears whispers from someone encouraging him to do things, typically trying to convince him to fight the Faceless. Finding out exactly whose voices they are is one of the main arcs of his campaign.
  • Knight Templar: In his first map, to the point of being a borderline Hero Antagonist. He can stay this course or grow out of it depending on the player's choices.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: He can have this realization eventually, if the player lets him.
  • No Celebrities Were Harmed: Looks suspiciously like Cillian Murphy, along with the infamous blue eyes.


Barbarian's Town (I, II) / Stronghold (III, IV, V-TotE expansion, VI, VII)

"We walk our own path, alone."

The Barbarian Tribe faction. Populated with Goblins, Orcs, Cyclops and the like, with the exception of the fourth game, where Orcs and Goblins were replaced by human barbarians and beastmen. The Brute Force Faction, they are since the fourth game pure might (though still able to gain magic skills and to eventually learn spells), while in the last two games they more or less totally drop magic, gaining instead the Warcries' ability, filling the troops with Unstoppable Rage. Their Might Hero is the Barbarian, and their Magic Hero is the Battle Mage/Shaman.
  • Antimagical Faction: In IV, Stronghold towns can't recruit mage heroes, and can't build a mage guild to teach heroes new spells; instead they get a magic dampener that makes enemies' spells weaker. In V, barbarian heroes learn War Cries that are mechanically very different from the spells used by other heroes, and can't use wands that duplicate the effects of spells, as they "find them shameful".
  • Attack! Attack! Attack!: Stronghold units are strong offensively, but vulnerable, meaning they need to crush the enemy as fast as possible. This is reinforced starting with the fifth game thanks to their Blood Rage ability that rewards aggressive actions and punishes waiting.
  • Attack of the 50-Foot Whatever: The Behemoth of the third, fourth and seventh games, combined with More Teeth than the Osmond Family and ridiculously big claws.
  • The Berserker: The berserker is a unit in IV that cannot be controlled and will always exhibit Leeroy Jenkins behavior in combat. The Blood-rage mechanic in V and VI allows a commander to give their units buffs as a reward for aggressive behaviour.
  • Fantasy Pantheon: In V, VI, and VII, they worship "Father-Sky" and "Mother-Earth".
  • Glass Cannon: Stronghold troops generally have very good damage outputs but poor-to-average defense, encouraging aggressive battle tactics.
  • Grim Up North: In the first and second games, they live in the Frozen Wastes to the north.
  • Half-Human Hybrid: In V, VI, and VII, somewhat of. There, orcs are a result of demon blood being injected in human body.
  • Horned Humanoid: Some of their "demonic" alt-graded versions sport horns as part of demonic inheritance.
  • Horny Devils: Sky Daughters look a lot like their apparent "ancestors", succubi.
  • Leeroy Jenkins: The Berserker unit in IV, who can't be controlled. In V, it's actually encouraged through the Blood-rage mechanic, and the official Orcs' strategy motto in VI is "Rush now, think later!".
  • Mayincatec: In VI. In V, they were closer to Mongols.
  • Shock and Awe: Thunderbirds in III and IV, and Pao-Kai (Wyverns) in V are able to use lightning strikes to enhance their regular attacks.

    Stronghold's Iconic Characters 

Lord Slayer (I)

The leader of the Barbarian faction in Heroes of Might and Magic I, he was initially involved in a three-way war with Queen Lamanda and Lord Alamar, but was defeated by the newcomer Morglin Ironfist. Later he allied with Lamanda and Alamar against Ironfist but was unable to stop him from conquering Enroth. Supposedly, his bones are buried in the foundations of the Barbarians' Coliseum in Heroes II.
  • Name's the Same: A standalone map in II revolves around the legacy of a Lord Slayer who brought an end to the war between almost all of the game's factions and ruled an empire as The Good King. It's not clear if this Lord Slayer is an Original Character or an Alternate History version of the Heroes I Lord Slayer.

Crag Hack (I-II-III-IV, mentioned in V and VI)
A classical Barbarian Hero, Crag Hack (who shares his name with a Might and Magic dwarf hero), has is Day In The Limelight in III-Shadow of Death, where he was part of a group of four heroes aiming to stop the necromancer Sandro's Evil Plan, after having been his Unwitting Pawn. With Sandro and the genie Solmyr, he is one of the few character of the old universe deemed by Ubisoft as sufficiently of an Ensemble Dark Horse for gaining a Continuity Cameo in Ashan's backstory, apparently as The Dreaded.

He got his own DLC campaign for VI called "Pirates of the Savage Sea".
  • Accidental Misnaming: He is not pleased with being constantly called "Mister Hack" by Sandro in Shadow of Death.
  • Author Avatar: Originally a Jon Van Caneghem tabletop game's character.
  • Badass Armfold: His artwork for Pirates of the Savage Sea has him doing this.
  • Continuity Cameo: In V and base VI. The Ashan incarnation is the main character of the first DLC for VI, Pirates of the Savage Sea.
  • Cool Helmet: He's usually wearing a helmet with two horns pointing upwards and two pointing downwards. It's even an artifact in VI!
  • Dumb Muscle: In the old continuity, to the point that even other barbarians comments on it (this was a person with decades of mercenary experience across at least two continents — and he still hadn't picked up that mister is a title, not a name!). His Ashan incarnation, on the other hand, is clever enough.
  • Eye Patch Of Power: His Ashan incarnation sports one on his right eye.
  • Handicapped Badass: His lack of depth perception hasn't stopped him from being a renowned mercenary and Ashan's pirate king.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Might and Magic X reveals that this is how his Ashan incarnation ended his days, as a way to make the best out of a bad situation (it was either die from other reasons, and break the curse he was under, or die from the curse, and be Ret-Gone).
  • Horny Vikings: While never commented on, his helmet is the one design element his portrait keeps across all of the 3DO games, and even retains into the Ubisoft era.
  • Insult Backfire: The Holy Falcon Empire of Ashan meant to insult him by referring to him as being "more orc than human". Since orcs are known for their brute strength and toughness, this actually made it easier for him to find work.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: Prior to III, Sandro tricks him into gathering an artifact for him (along with Gem), then uses it to install a puppet king to invade Erathia, kickstarting the events of the main game. To be fair, he does band together with Gem and two other heroes to defeat him later.

Yog (I, III, IV, VII)

Despite studying magic in Bracada with his genie mother for most of his youth, Yog always felt a closer connection to his barbarian father. When Duke Winston Boragus of Krewlod offered him an invitation to join his army, Yog accepted without hesitation. He was featured in the A Day in the Limelight campaign 'Birth of a Barbarian' in Shadow of Death that explained his somewhat convoluted backstory.

In the Ashan continuity, Yog was infused with the essence of a djinn at birth in an experiment. Rather than grant him magical powers as the wizards hoped, he lacked all affinity for magic and was ostracized, eventually finding a family among the orcs and beastmen.

  • Amazing Technicolor Population: He looks human aside from his deep blue skin. He especially stands out among the largely green hordes of goblins, orcs, and ogres.
  • Does Not Like Magic: Despite being raised in a Magocracy, he hated magic and readily rejected it when Boragus tested him. It does fall into some Gameplay and Story Segregation, since he's perfectly capable of using magic outside of the Shadow of Death campaigns.
  • Half-Human Hybrid: Half human and half genie. It's not really elaborated how that union came about, since we never meet his father and his mother wants nothing to do with the barbarians.
  • Gameplay and Story Integration: In 'Birth of a Barbarian', his specialty is Chain Lightning (same as Solmyr), showing his natural prowess for magic through his genie heritage. However, he's unable to use any magic in that campaign, making his innate talents useless and letting the player understand what Yog is willing to sacrifice to feel fulfilled.
  • Pelts of the Barbarian: His outfit after becoming a barbarian, in stark contrast to the wizard robes he wore before.
  • Un-Sorcerer: In the Ashan continuity, the magic experiment that created him sapped all magical potential from his body.

Kilgor (III-AB, Chronicles, intro of IV)

A young, ruthless barbarian warlord who slayed King Winston Boragus in the Festival of Life, making him rightful king of Krewlod according to tradition. He led the barbarians to endless wars, and eventually stole the Sword of Frost and accidentally destroyed the world when he clashed with Gelu and Armageddon's Blade.

  • The Bad Guy Wins: As both the Villain Protagonist of the Festival of Life campaign and villain in the final Heroes Chronicles mission.
  • The Beastmaster: As a child, he and his father would hunt and sometimes capture wild Behemoths. Its his familiarity and kinship with the Behemoths that wins him the Festival of Life (on top of his shear ruthlessness).
  • Fisher King: Following Kilgor's ascension, Krewlod suffered from horrible famines and drought. Granted, this had as much to do with nature as it did him constantly marching armies through the land and occasionally burning crops to snuff out any potential revolutions.
  • Frontline General: Even after claiming the throne, he loved battle too much to give it and was often on the battlefield in the wars he fought.
  • Good Scars, Evil Scars: He has a scar running from his cheek up through his eye, rendering him blind in that eye.
  • Hated by All: Although he was popular with the people of Krewlod during his initial ascent to the throne, respect for Kilgor almost immediately disappeared after his warlike and power-hungry ways came forth. By the time of Heroes IV, his very name has become a swear word. No one hates him more than the few surviving barbarians, who are still trying to escape the vicious savages that Kilgor's actions painted them as.
  • An Ice Person: Briefly, after aquiring the Sword of Frost.
  • Klingon Promotion: To both his father and King Boragus.
  • Names to Run Away from Really Fast: Kill Gore. It doesn't get more obvious than that.
  • Patricide: At the age of eighteen, Kilgor killed his father to gain leadership over his clan.
  • Savage Spiked Weapons: His Weapon of Choice prior to obtaining the Sword of Frost was a spiked mace. In his own words, "You can't hear bones break under a blade."
  • Tyrant Takes the Helm: After killing King Boragus, Kilgor leads Krewlod to an endless war in his quest for power.

Tarnum (Heroes Chronicles, NPC in IV)
"But a warrior is not just a killer. He's a protector! You must have respect for life, and an even greater respect for your ability to take it. Otherwise, you're just a murderer."

The main protagonist of Heroes Chronicles, Tarnum started out as a bloodthirsty warlord, but "the Ancestors" decided to punish him after he died by denying him access to the afterlife, systematically resurrecting him as a hero in any Antagarich's factions, charged to perform various heroic deeds. Tarnum eventually atoned, taking a young barbarian named Waerjak as his adoptive son. He is also the second most important protagonist in IV's barbarian campaign, acting as The Mentor for Waerjak, before being captured and presumably killed by a warlord. Waerjak eventually finds him Back from the Dead, and Tarnum reveal to him his past and how he finally redeemed himself in the eyes of the Ancestors, but chose to stay among the mortals.
  • The Atoner: He was granted immortality so he could atone for the horrible things he did in his life.
  • Been There, Shaped History: A few times throughout his mortal and immortal life.
    • He conquered the nation of Bracaduun, which once spanned the entire south of Antagarich. After his death, the splinters of the nation formed Erathia, Bracada, and Krewlod from the three idealogies of the people.
    • He freed the Mudlanders from Erathian enslavement (a fitting atonement since Tarnum had used the Mudlanders as slaves prior to his death). He led them to the swamps on the west coast of Erathia and founded Tatalia.
  • Blood Knight: In his youth, though by the time he mentors Waerjak he's grown out of it:
    "I have a lesson for you, Waerjak. See here, a pair of mating spiders, and a scorpion - equally poisonous creatures. Watch how the scorpion easily kills the male spider because he is so small. Now, the female, enraged by the loss of her mate, attacks the scorpion with everything she's got. You see, she kills the scorpion, but at what cost? Her own life. Such blind hate is dangerous, and pointless!"
  • Cool Old Guy: By the time he mentors Waerjak, he is not a young man. Doesn't mean he can't still kick ass.
  • Does Not Like Magic: Since his people were enslaved by wizards, Tarnum had a hatred of magic that he never truly surpassed. Even though one of the trials forced him to become a master of all four elements to stop the Confluxes, he abandoned magic immediately afterwards.
  • Gameplay and Story Segregation: Despite his hatred of magic (due to how his people where treated by the Bracadan mages) he can still learn just as many magic spells and skills as any other hero even when he was alive.
  • Genius Bruiser: Unlike his barbarian fellows, Tarnum became a well educated man, learning languages and customs from various cultures, and taught many of these to Waerjak, who notes that it doesn't stop him for being even more badass than the average Barbarian Hero.
  • He Who Fights Monsters: In his first campaign, he gradually went more and more brutal, especially after the death of the woman he grew to love. He gets better, but only after his death, trials, and resurrection.
  • I Choose to Stay: Why? In the man's own words:
    "This new world still needs heroes."

Waerjak (Heroes Chronicles, IV)
The Hero of IV's barbarian campaign, Waerjak grew the same concern than his adoptive father Tarnum: already weakened by the destruction of Enroth (the world of I-II-III), the barbarians were also stupidly fighting themselves instead of uniting their force. Waerjak eventually decided to do unite them himself, peacefully if possible, but is confronted to a Sadistic Choice when he has to chose between saving Tarnum from a barbarian warlord, or liberating barbarian slaves.
  • Altar Diplomacy: Enforces this to end a blood-feud between two tribes he's absorbed into the new barbarian nation. It's never mentioned exactly how well this shook out.
  • Badass Bookworm: Enforced by Tarnum, who routinely makes him read ancient books as well as practice with sword and axe.
  • The Chains of Commanding: Feels these more and more as his campaign goes on, and the barbarian nation unanimously wants him to be king.
  • Heroic Bastard: According to Word of God, he is an illegitimate son of King Nicholas Gryphonheart and a woman named Iduna. Lysander of the Haven campaign and Gauldoth Half-Dead of the Necropolis campaign are his long-lost brothers. You can see the resemblance.
  • Honor Before Reason: He stumbles across a vicious pirate's crew while they're all sleeping, and contemplates killing them then and there, but - with Tarnum's subtle nudging - wakes them and gives them the chance to surrender first.

Sandor (VI)
First, but illegitimate son of the Duke of Griffin. With his half-sister Irina and the Orc Kraal (the Duke's master-of-arms) as his only friends, and finally fed up with his life, he flees to the Orc's Pao Islands to become a Barbarian.
  • Bastard Angst: Downplayed in that he seems pretty happy with his family (besides perhaps Anton), but seems to view himself as an outcast to the rest of the nobility.
  • The Big Guy: Of the siblings in VI, he's the most hotheaded and physically imposing.
  • Freudian Trio: With Kraal as The Superego, himself as The Ego, and Goink as The Id.
  • Heroic Bastard: He loves his family, rescues his half-sister Irina from her abusive husband, leads the Orcs to freedom, and takes charge against the demon invasion.
  • Who Would Be Stupid Enough?: Both Kraal and an anonymous Wolf Duchy soldier comment on how crazy it would be to lead an army into the heart of Wolf Duchy territory to rescue Irina, but Sandor is badass enough to pull it off.
  • Unwitting Instigator of Doom: The first map of his campaign basically sets off the chain of events for the rest of them, despite his intentions being noble (saving his half-sister from a brutal lord).


Warlock's Town (I, II) / Dungeon (III, V, VI SoD, VII) / Asylum (IV)

"Hide, listen, watch, learn... And when the time is right, strike from the shadow."

The Evil Sorcerer faction, specializing in power, both in creatures and in destructive magic. While they are powerful, they are often limited by the expensive prices of their armies and lower growth rates. It has largely remained the same with each game, despite having dark elves in V and VI. Their Might is the Overlord/Thief, and their Magic Hero is the Warlock/Sorcerer.
  • Always Male: In I and II, to go with their theme at the time of being opposites of the Sorceresses. While it was dropped for the town in III along with the opposite-number theme, a nod to was given — the single female Warlock has it pointed out in her description that she is the sole female Warlock.
  • Black Mage: At least in V, Warlocks have a Chaos Magic affinity and possess vast destructive spellpower.
  • Beneath the Earth: In every game where the faction is Dungeon, it's an underground city.
  • Blind Seer: One of the heroes in III is a troglodyte who can 'see' magical energy, making it easier for him to learns spells via the Eagle Eye skill.
  • Bloody Murder: Hydras in V, spilling acid blood when hurt.
  • Chainmail Bikini: The armor of the Furies in V. Also present on the Matriarch, although it's clearly more for sex appeal than protection given that unit's theme.
  • A Commander Is You: Elitist faction, bordering on Game Breaker. A bit of Guerilla, too, with the Thief hero in IV, the Stalker unit in V, and the 'Shroud of Malassa' mechanic in VI.
  • Difficult, but Awesome: The cost of their units means they're weak starting out so they can be hard to use early the game, but once the player learns to survive late game, they're devastating.
  • Disability Superpower: Troglodytes in III (and IV, as neutral critters) are eyeless creatures immune to the blind spell.
  • Harping on About Harpies: Their tier 2 unit in III, bird women that can attack enemies then return to where they initially attacked from. Furies take their role in V, but without wings since they're normal dark elves.
  • Stripperiffic: Female dark elves tend to wear the absolute bare minimum of clothing. Particularly, the Furies and Matriarchs in V, and Chakram Throwers in VI.
  • Swamps Are Evil: Implicit, since this was their home terrain in I, II and IV.
  • Whip It Good: The Matriarch in V, a spellcaster that wields a whip.

    Dungeon's Iconic Characters 

Lord Alamar (I, II, III)

The leader of the Warlocks of Enroth in Heroes of Might and Magic I, he was defeated by Morglin Ironfist but escaped to other lands. Decades later, he returned to Enroth to serve Archibald Ironfist but was again forced to flee when Archibald was defeated. He fled to Nighon, where he helped the Overlords invade Erathia following the death of King Gryphonheart, but Nighon's invasion was ultimately repelled by Queen Catherine.

  • Cool Crown: His headwear in II, although its replaced with a weird blue headband thing in III.
  • Evil Sorcerer: The leader of a whole faction these. He has a knack for picking the losing side of every war, though.
  • Iron Butt-Monkey: Consider how many times he has found himself on the losing side... and that he still comes back for more.
  • Worthy Opponent: Morgan Ironfist seems to think him so:
    "He was cunning, mighty was his sword arm, great his magic, and brilliant his strategies. But they availed him for naught, for in the end I cast him down and my only disappointment was that he was able to flee into distant realms."
  • You Don't Look Like You: His appearance is quite different in each game. In I, he looked like a generic wizard with blond hair and full beard. In II, he has white hair, darker skin, and a trimmed moustache instead of a beard. In III, he's back to blond and fair-skinned, but no longer has any facial hair.

Archibald Ironfist (II, M&M VI and VII)
The "not so good" brother of Roland, Archibald accused him of killing the seers charged to chose a successor after their father's death. Given how obvious who the real murderer was, Roland, after flying the royal castle, started a civil war against his brother. Archibald canonically lost, and was Taken for Granite, until the PCs in Might and Magic VI freed him so that he helps them save the world. He then became a prominent member of the Necromancers' guild.
  • The Archmage: Turns out he both has an extensive knowledge of magical rituals (which is why he has to be freed) and is better at necromancy than many necromancers despite being a Warlock rather than a Necromancer.
  • Big Bad: Of the second game.
  • Cain and Abel: Cain to Roland's Abel. Downplayed in that at the end, neither brother is willing to go all out and kill the other.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: In Might and Magic VII, he can't stand for Roland to be imprisoned by the Kreegans.
  • Red Eyes, Take Warning: Though this might've just been artistic license on the part of whoever painted his portrait.
  • Royals Who Actually Do Something: Just like his brother, he's not above going on the battlefield himself if he feels it necessary.
  • Smug Snake: Especially prominent in his victorious ending. His narration drips with it.
  • Taken for Granite: His fate in the (canonical) ending where Roland won is to be turned into a statue.

Mutare (III, Heroes Chronicles)
A young woman from Nighon who took advantage of the infighting among the various Overlords to seize power for herself. After defeating the neighboring overlord Ordwald with the aid of the Vial of Dragon's Blood, she sought to conquer all of the dragons.

Tawni Balfour (IV)
"Honor among thieves? Hah! Any thief who invokes such rubbish is a hypocrite! The instant they have the opportunity to stab their best friend in the back, you know they won't even hesitate. A pirate, on the other hand, lives by a different motto. "The last one standing gets the gold."."

The main character of IV Chaos' campaign. A ruthless Pirate Girl, Tawni Balfour was way too happy at the death of her father, the feared Captain Black, and took the opportunity to conquer the Gold Sea above all pirates.
  • Bad Boss: Automatically kills the first guy who showed up for first mate auditions on the grounds that anyone who did so was obviously too ambitious for her liking.
  • Blood Knight: Not that she's entirely happy about it:
    "I feel like a shark - if I don't keep swimming I'm afraid I will die."
    • Deconstructed later in the campaign, where her second mate Eight-Fingers Oba accuses her of deliberately baiting her first mate into betraying the crew, all to give herself a new Arch-Enemy.
  • Hair-Trigger Temper: Reins it in with varying amounts of success.
  • Knife Nut: Her preferred weapons, since they're easy to hide in her baggy clothes.
  • Luke, I Am Your Father: Eight-Fingers Oba, a Cool Old Guy who serves as her Morality Pet, turns out to be her true father.
  • Pet the Dog: Her final conversation with Eight-Fingers Oba, where she makes him retire because she fears that he's lost his killer instinct and can no longer survive as a pirate.

Raelag/Agrael (V, VI)
The protagonist of the Inferno and Dungeon campaigns in V, Raelag starts out as Agrael, the (secretly elven) Dragon of the Big Bad Kha-Beleth.
  • Anti-Climax: The Stinger of the original VI is him dramatically vowing to do some great action that will leave a mark on the world. When he becomes playable in the main VI expansion, it is many years later and he admits that whatever he did after saying those words was the actions of a brash, clueless youngster who failed miserably.
  • The Atoner: For what he did as Agrael. Later revealed to be two-fold: he also destroys the Soul Scar clan that he led to worshipping demons in his backstory.
  • Dark Is Not Evil: As Raelag. He may be a Dark Elf and a Warlock, but he's not evil, and wants to stop Kha-Beleth as much as anyone else.
  • Foreshadowing: Agrael's height is only the same as a human, hinting that he is not an actual demon. His intelligence also is shown as most of the demons prefer to rely on swarming their adversaries, he relies on tactics. Also, the fact that he is immune to the heart of the griffin. It becomes obvious that it only affects actual demons instead of those of other races who aid him. Also note the fact that Agrael can understand emotions outside of evil. It indicates that he has a conscience.
  • Evil Sorcerer: Agrael sure looks like one - and likely was a real one before experiencing how Love Redeems - but as Raelag he completely averts it. He's described as a very powerful spellcaster, but, as noted above, he's not actually evil.
  • Defector from Decadence: Betrays Kha-Beleth and teams up with the "good" guys to stop his plans.
  • Evil Sounds Deep: As Agrael, until he rejects the Soverign.
  • Heel–Face Turn: Starts out as a servant of the Big Bad, only to change his mind and decide to oppose him later.
  • Horse of a Different Color: Most Demon Lords travel on foot, but Agrael rides around on what looks like a Tyrannosaurus. Just like the dinosaurs that generic Dark Elven Warlocks ride.
  • I Did What I Had to Do: That's how he tries to justify Beatrice's death to Isabel. It doesn't work - if anything, it only makes her even angrier.
  • Love Redeems: One of his main reasons for betraying Kha-Beleth is his love for Isabel.
  • Noble Demon: As Agrael. Going as far as offering to run away with Isabel, and promising to protect her after she refuses and calls him a monster.
  • Not in This for Your Revolution: Once he joins other main heroes in V. He isn't too concerned about the fate of Ashan, merely about protecting Isabel.
  • Put on a Bus: In the Hammers of Fate ending. He doesn't even appear in Tribes of the East.


Sorceress's Town (I-II) / Rampart (III) / Preserve (IV) / Sylvan (V, VII)

The Nature Faction. Originally serving as the counterpart to the warlocks in the first two games, they eventually became more associated with elves from the third game onward. As one might expect with a faction of elves, they are more associated with speed than the other factions at the cost of defense, and favor nature-themed magic. Their Might Hero is the Ranger/Archer, and their Magic Hero is the Sorceress/Druid.
  • Mage Marksman: Ranger heroes in V, who can enchant their attacks with harmful spells in order to create Trick Arrows.
  • Treants: Dendroids in III, and Treants in V. They're very slow, but have health comparable to some tier 7 creatures. They can also tangle enemies they attack with their roots, preventing them from moving until the Treant leaves or dies.
  • Wutai: They have an inexplicable Japanese theme to their architecture in III, particularily their mage guild, town hall, and The Thing That Goes "Doink" as a special building. This is despite them not having anything thematically Japanese in their lineup.

    Sylvan's Iconic Characters 

Queen Lamanda (I)

The leader of the Sorceresses of Enroth in Heroes of Might and Magic I. She was defeated by Lord Ironfist.
  • Best Her to Bed Her: There is some speculation that she married Morglin Ironfist following her defeat, though nothing's official. Notably, she's the only one among his rivals whose fate is never established, and her faction becomes an ally to the Ironfists by the time of Heroes II. More substantively, the Queen of Enroth is depicted in the Heroes I manual and looks a lot like the default Sorceress model. Finally, the campaign scenario Apocalypse features two roads: the King's Road, covered in dwellings from the Knight faction, and the Queen's Road, with, you guessed it, dwellings from the Sorceress faction.
  • The Leader: Of Sorceresses of Enroth.
  • Overshadowed by Awesome: She's a mighty sorceresses but Lord Ironfist is better.

Sister Eliza (II)

The leader of the Sorceresses of Enroth in Heroes of Might and Magic II. She was attacked by Archibald because of her public support for Roland. Roland defended her and her guild against Archibald, and she swore allegiance to him.

Gem was one of the greatest Sorceresses that Enroth had ever seen, serving King Roland Ironfist during the Succession Wars. Shortly after Roland had secured the throne of Enroth, Gem left for Erathia, finding a new home in Avlee.
  • The Ageless: She appears in Heroes of Might and Magic games I-IV, a time period which spans approximately 80 years, yet still appears young. IV explains that she maintained her youth by drinking from a special fountain; however, she no longer has access to this fountain as of IV and has started to age normally again, which may explain her absence in later games.
  • Fantasy Character Classes: Though she is listed as a "Druid" in her HOMM III appearance (as the game does not have a Sorceress class), the Shadow of Death expansion for III lists her as Sorceress, the only hero in III to have a unique class name.
  • Friend to All Living Things: As befitting her character class. However, according to her campaign scenario in III, it took her a little while to warm to the Sylvan Castle's dragons, though one could hardly blame her given her experiences with them in II.note  She also appeared to be uneasy of the Dendroids at first, due to an unexplained incident in her past.
  • Hair of Gold, Heart of Gold: Despite being at the "heart of over 80 years of conflicts and wars," she has maintained her gentle demeanor.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: Prior to III, Sandro tricks her into gathering an artifact for him (along with Crag Hack), then uses it to install a puppet king to invade Erathia, kickstarting the events of the main game. To be fair, she does band together with Crag Hack and two other heroes to defeat him later.

Gelu (III-AB and SoD, intro of IV)
A half-elf Ranger assisting Catherine and Roland in Armageddon's Blade, and the heroes Crag Hack, Gem and Yog in Shadow of Death. In a quite egregious case of Nice Job Breaking It, Hero, he ends up destroying the world with the aforementioned sword when it clashes with another Infinity +1 Sword, the Sword of Frost. Easily recognizable due to his red hair and black and white skin.
  • Artifact of Attraction: Armageddon's Blade ends up being one for Gelu. After the events of the eponymous campaign, he returns to the woods with the sword in hand. Catherine hopes it's to destroy the sword, but suspects he plans to keep it. In the epilogue cinematic, we see Gelu posing with the sword and watching how it shines, already swayed by its power.
  • Elites Are More Glamorous: A High Fantasy version of this - he commands the Forest Guard company, an Erathian unit that specializes in guerrilla warfare.
  • Fantastic Nuke: Causes one of these in the opening to Heroes IV.
  • Half-Human Hybrid: Half human, and half elf.
  • Meaningful Name: His name means "frost" in Latin, and he's a half-snow elf.
  • Military Brat: More-or-less raised by the Erathian military, who found him (apparently orphaned) as an infant.
  • Our Elves Are Different: He is not a "normal" elf, but a (half-) Snow elf.
  • Raised by Natives: A slight inversion of the usual formula - this time, it's the Noble Savage-coded (half-)elf being raised by the "civilized" humans, with all the associated baggage.
  • Unwitting Instigator of Doom: Fighting an epic battle to defeat a bloodthirsty warlord intent on conquering the world is quite heroic, but he managed to accidentally doom the world despite himself by doing it.

Elwin and Shaera (IV)
Two elves whose romantic story drives IV's Nature campaign, as Lord Haarke try to keep Shaera for himself.
  • Friend to All Living Things: The debut of the first mission is basically Elwin learning to do this to survive.
  • Genre Blind: Changing the colors of the sails to indicate something to the loved one? Elwin, even heard of Theseus?


Necromancer's Town (II) / Necropolis (III, IV, V, VI, VII)

"Life is change, chaos, filth and suffering. Death is peace, order, everlasting beauty."

The Undead Faction. First seen in Heroes II, the necromancers serve as a counterpart to the wizards. Their strategy is primarily to overrun their enemies with hordes of undead, with their Necromancy skill and their higher growth rates to emphasize this. In IV they were merged with the demons, but from V onward they were back to strictly commanding the undead. Their Might Hero is the Death Knight, and their Magic Hero is the Necromancer.
  • Clown-Car Grave:
    • The Necropolis's creature dwellings are nearly all graves, and they let you hire undead each week.
    • Due to bugs in IV and V, you can theoretically raise more corpses with necromancy than enemies killed.
  • A Commander Is You: Spammer faction, due to their creatures generally being somewhat below average but recruitable in greater numbers.
    • In VI, they switch from "produce more" to "lose nothing"
  • Dark World: All their town screens are in the dark.
  • Dem Bones: Skeletons and Bone Dragons, naturally. Liches are also skeletal spellcasters, and the heroes in IV were skeletons as well.
  • Deceased and Diseased: A few games give their units disease themed abilities, such as the upgraded zombies in III and V that can spread enemy weakening illnesses, and the lamasus from IV being used as plague vectors.
  • Dracolich: In most of the games, the most powerful creatures they can recruit are bone dragons or ghost dragons.
  • Fantasy Counterpart Culture: Ancient Egypt and Babylonia in VI and VII.
  • Fate Worse than Death: According to the flavor text, transforming someone into a ghoul is the worst punishment sanctioned by necromancers.
  • Fearless Undead: All undead creatures keeps their moral neutral no matter the modifiers.
  • The Necrocracy:
    • Alternate between Types I and II, even if the fourth game implies they have a decent part of living subjects.
    • Might and Magic VI and VII between them weakened this for the Enroth setting, making clear both that it was entirely possible for living humans to lead the most powerful faction of necromancers, and that liches were a relatively recent development. VII also revealed that Deyja has a decent amount of living citizens — they just don't play as important a role in the necromancers' armies as the undead.
  • Glowing Eyelights of Undeath: A side effect of the Namtaru venom with a Lich/Vampire's bloodstream.
  • Spiders Are Scary: Mother Namtaru is the spider avatar of Asha's nightmares. The spider cult of Heresh consequently refer to Asha as the Spider Goddess.
  • Zombify the Living: Sometimes has access to an Undead Transformer, which can convert living units from other factions into undead.

    Necropolis's Iconic Characters 

Sandro (I-II-III-IV, VI, mentioned in V, M&M)
Arguably the most popular character of the entire series, Sandro was the only undead hero of the first game (as a Warlock). A lich with the classical necromancers' obsession to Take Over the World, Sandro was nearly successful in doing so by basically planning the entire events of the third game's campaign, as seen in the prequel The Shadow of Death, thus being the mastermind behind the invasion of Erathia. Unfortunately for him, his first plan, involving two Artifacts of Doom, was foiled by a group of four heroes (including Crag Hack and Gelu), and the credit for his second plan was stolen by the lich he was planning to control as The Man Behind the Man. Sandro make a Continuity Cameo in V and VI, being regularly mentioned as The Mentor of Markal and several necromancers, sadly Killed Off for Real.

He got his own DLC campaign for VI called "Danse Macabre"
  • Big Bad: To Shadow of Death, Shades of Darkness and Heroes Online.
  • Canon Immigrant: Despite the Ashan continuity reboot, Sandro reappears in Ashan in Heroes VI with the same aesthetic and personality, although this version has (allegedly) somewhat different motives.
  • Card-Carrying Villain: Sandro identifies as being utterly evil, and revels in it. Among many other instances from in-mission narration, his first instinct at the prospect of fighting an old friend, Jeddite (who unwittingly helped him along the path to evil), is to coldly use their prior bond to his military advantage and break Jeddite's spirit by showing him just what sort of monster (Sandro's own words) he helped create.
  • The Chessmaster: The first real one in the HOMM franchise, every previous Big Bad being more the "amass troops, smash the good guys" variety.
  • Demoted to Extra: After single-handedly causing the entire plot of Heroes III and being the central character in his own expansion, Sandro only shows up as a random necromancer hero in IV with no bearing on the story.
  • Evil Sorcerer: He trained as a Warlock before becoming a Necromancer. He even pulled an Eviler Than Thou on his former masters and turned his necromantic forces on them.
  • Hijacked by Ganon: Shadow of Death establishes that Sandro was actually responsible for the Restoration Wars all along. Plus, it was all just his plan B when the original is foiled.
  • In the Hood: Thus combined with his Dem Bones give him a very Grim Reaper-like appearance, except in IV, where he wears a weird Mayincatec crown.
  • Macguffin Delivery Service: Pulls this off with four heroes simultaneously during Shadow of Death.
  • The Man Behind the Man: He guided Finneas Vilmar to becoming the Puppet King of Deyja. It was Sandro who orchastrated the Restoration Wars... at least until Finneas tricked Sandro into attacking an innocent lord, giving grounds for his arrest and letting Finneas take all the credit. However, it's implied that Sandro somehow arranged for Finneas' death at the hands of King Gryphonheart, if his narration in the Shadow of Death epilogue is to be believed.
  • One Steve Limit: It's not all that easy to reconcile The Shadow of Death with Sandro being an active open lich during the First War of Enrothian Succession without resorting to there being two necromancers named Sandro who became high-profile heroes. From the same source, it is impossible to reconcile his mentor Ethric as being the in-universe most famous Ethric, despite sharing a similar story (a mage who became a lich).
  • Rage Against the Heavens: Claims to have this as his primary motive in the Ashan continuity.

Gauldoth Half-Dead (IV)
The main character of IV Death's campaign, Gauldoth earned his nickname when, as a young necromancer apprentice, he tried to cast a spell to survive the destruction of Enroth (the world of I-II-III). It... ''partially'' worked, leaving him Two-Faced, with one side of his body becoming undead. The campaign deal with him creating the small nation of Nekross, finding his old master, and ultimately having to fight him when he's revealed to be serving an Omnicidal Maniac mysterious figure.
  • Dark Is Not Evil: He is a necromancer with a very disturbing appearance, but he is capable of kindness and is shown to care for the wellbeing of Nekross' citizens by the end of the campaign.
  • Deal with the Devil: He's the one responsible for the Kreegans being part of the Necropolis line-up, it worked.
  • Emergency Transformation: Attempted to turn himself into a lich in order to survive the apocalypse that destroyed Enroth. It was only partially successful.
  • Go Mad from the Isolation: Particularly explicit at the very start of his campaign, since he's been running around in the woods for years on end, just trying to survive. Any humans who catch sight of him tend to scream in horror and/or try to kill him.
  • Heroic Bastard: According to Word of God, he is an illegitimate son of King Nicholas Gryphonheart and a woman named Iduna. Lysander of the Haven campaign and Waerjak of the Stronghold campaign are his long-lost brothers. You can see the resemblance (on his living side).
  • Muscles Are Meaningless: Way physically stronger than he appears on his undead side.
  • My Master, Right or Wrong: Is incredibly loyal to his master Kalibarr, carrying out many unscrupulous acts on his orders and only turning on him when he realises that Kalibarr is working for an entity that wants to destroy all life on Axeoth.
  • Pet the Dog: Sure, Gauldoth raises deads and summons demons, but he's very careful to protect his living subjects from them. This earns him the name "Father Gauldoth".
  • The Philosopher: He spends part of his campaign travelling with a priest, and enjoys debating the differences between her "Light Is Good" philosophy with his own "Light and Dark are both dangerous extremes".
  • Pragmatic Villainy: Decides it's easier to form an alliance with Great Arcan than conquer it and risk becoming the villainous necromancer the rest of the world unites against.
  • Summon Magic: His specialty; he can raise the dead as allies through necromancy, and he also has knowledge of nature magic that lets him summon animals and magical creatures. By using both in combination, he can also gain the ability to summon demons.
  • Two-Faced: Half of his body has the appearance of an ordinary flesh and blood human... the other looks like a decaying zombie.
  • Unholy Holy Sword: Gauldoth find at one point in the campaign that the Angel's Blade, a powerful weapon against Demons, was created by a Demon to begin with. But since he only needs it to open a teleporter, it doesn't bother him too much.
  • Unscrupulous Hero: He's not particularly altruistic (given the stuff the "civilized" world has thrown at him, who can blame him?), but he's more interested in surviving than any Take Over the World scheme, and he almost never does things For the Evulz.note 
  • With Great Power Comes Great Opposition: He recognises that necromancers like himself are frequent victims of this trope, and goes out of his way to avoid acquiring too much political power because of it or even try to Take Over the World; he has learned of what happened to Sandro when he attempted such takeover.
  • You Have Failed Me: When one of his vampire lieutenants attacks a peasant family without his permission, Gauldoth sentences him to burn to death during the next sunrise.

Markal (V)
A Necromancer desiring to avenge the death of his master Sandro, killed by the Wizards.
  • Evil Sorcerer: He is very evil and a master sorcerer.
  • Exact Words: He did tell Isabel that the artifacts could bring Nicolai back. He did not necessarily give the specific state.
  • Knight of Cerebus: His actions considerably make the plot more darker, and leaves two kingdoms severely weakened.
  • Manipulative Bastard: Manipulates Isabel into attacking the Wizards by making her believe that the artifacts in their possession can resurrect Nicolai.
  • Mummies at the Dinner Table: Keeps the skull of Nicolai's mother as part of a necklace, and is seen talking to it.
  • Nice Job Fixing It, Villain: Granted, he was long dead, or so believed, but Biara takes full advantage of his association with Isabel to drive further people into open rebellion when she declares herself a saint.
  • Not Enough to Bury: Zehir completely disintegrates him to prevent him being raised from the dead.
  • Obviously Evil: Very evil, and his appearance shows it.
  • Roaring Rampage of Revenge: Against the Wizards and Cyrus in particular for having killed his master Sandro.
  • Smug Snake: Very overconfident and arrogant.

Arantir (V-TotE, Dark Messiah)
A Necromancer trying to prevent the Dark Messiah prophecy. The Big Good of the TotE Necropolis campaign, previously seen in Dark Messiah as the main antagonist and final boss.

Anastasya (VI, VII)
The younger daughter of Duke Slava Griffin and twin to Kiril. She was executed for killing her father and subsequently raised as an undead.
  • Clear My Name: The motivation of her campaign, though she's more interested in finding her father's true killer rather than absolving herself.
  • Creepy Twins: Subverted. She is a necromancer, Kiril is a demon master, but both are friendly.
  • Dark Is Not Evil: Try to find friendlier necromancers than her and Sveltana. She has the sweetest personality out of the five siblings, even as an undead.
  • Deadpan Snarker: On occasion.
    Sveltana: These are ghouls. They are the spirits of murderers that we have trapped in undead bodies as a form of punishment.
    Anastasya: How appropriate... we have so much in common.
  • How Do I Shot Web?: Anastasya is a novice necromancer, giving Sveltana an opportunity to teach her (and the player) the basics of raising and controlling undead.
  • Informed Attribute: She's described as having been turned into an "Unliving", but despite the fact that that makes her a Vampire, she averts the entire slate of Vampire Tropes and never directly brings it up. Only some dialogue between Vein and Zakera and her clawed fingers post-transformation provide any clue to this.
  • Interspecies Adoption: She and Vein adopted Zakera, who unlike them is still alive and breathing. Out of genuine love, but it helps that they had discovered that Zakera is Immune to Fate.
  • Interspecies Romance: With the Archangel Uriel.
  • Love Redeems: Anastasya had this effect on Vein, who had a very well-earned reputation as The Dreaded up until that point. When she later brings him back to the Necropolis in an act of Mandatory Unretirement, whether he sticks to his redemption or falls back into his old ways is up to the player.
  • Meaningful Name: Come on, look it up.
  • Never Trust a Trailer: She's set up as an antagonist in the intro, with her undead army fighting Anton, which never happens in the actual campaign. Being narrated from Anton's perspective, the intro is intentionally misleading.
  • Self-Made Orphan: Accused of having killed her father at the start of VI. Her campaign is dedicated to finding out who brainwashed her into doing it.
  • Time Abyss: She's still around in Heroes VII, three centuries after becoming a Necromancer.

Sveltana (VI)
Slava's aunt and a highly respected necromancer.
  • Cool Aunt: To Slava, and then to his daughter Anastasya.


Wizard's Town (II) / Tower (III) / Academy (IV, V, VII)

The Magocracy Faction. Debuting in II, the wizards are rivals to the Necromancers and the Warlocks. They specialize in magic and ranged attackers at the cost of weaker melee creatures, as well as costly prices. In II and V they were in a desert settingnote , while in III and IV they were native to snow. Their Might Hero is the Alchemist/Lord, and their Magic Hero is the Wizard/Mage.
  • "Arabian Nights" Days: In V, their architecture was given a very overt Arabian feel to go with their move from snow to desert.
  • A Commander Is You: Technical/Ranger faction. Weaker units than average, but powerful spells to compensate.
  • Culture Chop Suey: From the Greek Titan to the Indian Rakshasa and Naga. Heroes V give them a distinctive "Arabian Nights" Days style, though.
  • Energy Weapon: The Mages units' attack.
  • Full-Boar Action: One of their creature in II.
  • Godhood Seeker: Wizards seem to become one of the Dragon Gods.
  • Golem: The traditional ones in all their appearances, plus the Dragon-Golems in IV.
  • Griping About Gremlins: Available as the tier 1 creature in III and V. They're very much In Name Only however, since they have nothing to do with wrecking machinery. In V, they can even repair golems and war machines. It wouldn't be until Tribes of the East that Gremlin Sabatours would be added, which can muck with machinery.
  • Hobbits: Sling-wielding halflings serve as low-tier ranged units II and IV.
  • Mage Tower: The usual Mage unit's dwelling, and the town itself in III.
  • The Magocracy: An entire society of mages. Gameplay-wise, they focus heavily on spells and have multiple creatures that use magic in their ranks.
  • Multi-Armed and Dangerous: Nagas in III and IV and Rakshasas in V. Biggest perk to this? No enemy retaliation!
  • Nay-Theist: In the Ashan universe, Wizards don't bow to the Dragon Gods, but work to become one of them.
  • Order Versus Chaos: Order against Asylum's Chaos in IV.
  • Our Dwarves Are Different: One of their two tier 1 units in IV.
  • Our Gargoyles Rock: In III and V to VII.
  • Our Genies Are Different: From III onward, though they're called Djinn since V. Their signature move is casting random spells.
  • Our Giants Are Bigger: The unupgraded tier 7 unit, which as you might expect are really big humanoids.
  • Our Titans Are Different: The upgraded form of Giants, which are lightning-slinging warriors and usually a contender for strongest creature in the game. The only time they have an explained origin is that they're giant golems in V.
  • Panthera Awesome: Rakshasa in V and VII, which resemble giant humanoid Multi-Armed and Dangerous lions.
  • Shock and Awe: Titans are generally given a lightning bolt attack of some description.
  • Slave Race: By V and VI, it's made plenty clear that a lot of their troops were built in a lab and never meant to have free will. Actually, hints of this go back as far as III (let's just say gremlins don't carry that ball-and-chain around for their good health).
  • Snake People: Nagas were one of their creatures in III and IV. They were replaced with Rakshasas in Ashan and moved to their own town in VI (see Sanctuary).
  • Spider Tank: Dragon Golems in IV, personally commissioned by Gavin Magnus.
  • Steampunk: A little shade of it, most notably with IV's Dragon Golems, and the Gremlins in V being the only ones to avert Fantasy Gun Control.
  • Suffer the Slings: Halflings in II and IV, which are tier 1 shooters (replaced with Gremlins in III and V). In IV, they deal extra damage to the highest tier units, in reference to David and Goliath.
  • War Elephants: Wizards use elephants as steeds in V, providing them a good view of the battlefield from which to cast spells.

    Academy's Iconic Characters 

Roland Ironfist (II, III-AB expansion, M&M)
One of the two sons of Morglin Ironfist, the canonical winner of the first game's campaign. "Good, kindly and honorable", Roland was forced to flee when his "not so good" brother Archibald blamed him for the murders of the various seers charged with finding a successor to their dead father. Calling his Knight, Wizard and Sorceress allies, he started a civil war against his brother, a conflict constituting the plot of the second game's campaign. Canonically the winner, he turned Archibald to stone until the future generations take pity of him. Later married to Catherine Ironfist, Roland came to her aid in the Armaggedon's Blade campaign against the demon Kreegans, who imprisoned him during the M&M's VI.
  • Hero with Bad Publicity: Roland's decision to subdue half of the lords near his summer palace by force of arms made enemies of the other half, forcing him to subdue them by force of arms too.
  • Pragmatic Hero: Knowing that Archibald quickly gained the support of the barons near Castle Ironfist, and afraid that even distant barons might swear fealty to Archibald too in the absence of a viable alternative, Roland was determined to provide such an alternative... by demonstrating equal military strength and willingness to use it to Archibald's.
  • Rightful King Returns: Sort of. He was kidnapped after II and was held for several years before being rescued, and his introductory scenario in III-AB is called "The Return of the King"... but his return to his actual kingdom occurs offscreen some time after the game.
  • Royals Who Actually Do Something: He goes on the field personally for the final battle of the Succession War. As a Wizard, oddly enough (he is a Knight every other time he shows up in a Heroes game — including the penultimate battle of his campaign in Heroes II).
  • What the Hell, Hero?: Done by the ghost of his father after having retrieved the Armaggeddon's Blade and still marching to eradicate the Kreegans. Although later (and therefore more easily missed) dialogue (with both the ghost and others) indicates that it is not so much the march to eradicate the Kreegans as Roland's motivations that is the problem — too much hatred and a desire for vengeance, not enough understanding of the fact that the Kreegan simply can't co-exist with ordinary mortals in the long run.

Gavin Magnus (IV, background of III)
The inexplicably immortal ruler of the wizard faction of Bracada, and later the Big Bad of IV's Order campaign "The Price of Peace", where he tries to brainwash the entire world to end all wars. It turns out even a godslaying sword can't kill him.
  • Assimilation Plot: The effect of his Crystal Pendulum turned people into mindless puppets.
  • The Evils of Free Will: He comes to believe this after Enroth is destroyed and tries to take control of the survivors' new world of Axeoth through mind control.
  • Face–Heel Turn: He was the leader of the good side in Might and Magic VII, even if he left a lot of things in the hands of his Terran advisors. The destruction of Enroth caused him to jump off the slippery slope, however, culminating in most of the other tropes describing him here.
  • Humanoid Abomination: Not even he himself knows how he became immortal. He also has some weird abilities, like writing with an uncanny perfection, or spotting even an insignificant error in the construction of a room, while being at the other end of it.
  • Knight Templar: In "The Price of Peace", Magnus is willing to go to any length to achieve his ends and unite the world through conquest.
  • Magnus Means Mage: A fitting name for a powerful wizard.
  • Nigh-Invulnerable: Not even a the sword that once killed the God of Sacrifice could permanently kill him; his wounds healed themselves almost immediately. Only the destruction of the Rainbow Crystal that powered his Mind-Control Device ultimately stopped him by rendering him brain-dead.
  • Sorcerer King: With the minor exception of his title (he used Grand Vizier instead. He was still openly and legally the one in charge, note), he was this (understandable, as the ruler of the Wizards' nation of Bracada), before Enroth's destruction. The event was... not good for his mental health, and he went off the deep end.
  • We Can Rule Together: His first attempt to annex Great Arcan was to offer his hand in marriage to Emilia, making her his queen. She refused.
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist: He wants a world of perfect peace and order. Unfortunately, he's trying to bring it about by force, first by conquering all other nations and eventually turning to mind control.

Solmyr ibn Wali Barad (III, IV, mentioned in V)
A Genie in a Bottle who gave his word to serve the man who liberated him "as long as he will walk this earth", and the man turned out to be Gavin Magnus, the immortal ruler of Bracada. Eventually, Solmyr had to betray his master after being forced by him to oppose Emilia Nighthaven help Gavin Magnus try to brainwash the entire world.

Emilia Nighthaven (IV)
The main protagonist of IV's Order campaign "The Price of Peace". A few years after miraculously escaping the destruction of Enroth, she united refugees of her old world into the new nation of the Great Arcan, hoping to resist the various warlords of the region and introduce a bit of order. She eventually clashes with Gavin Magnus and his plans. She ends the war victorious, but with her legs paralysed.
  • Benevolent Mage Ruler: She is a kind hearted, if a bit naive, mage leader that does not make her kingdom an order that tramples upon free will, she always respected her people's free will and giving fair and just trials for both good and evil people (the latter get tossed to jail if she can help it).
  • I Can't Feel My Legs: Her legs are paralyzed by a blow she takes from Gavin Magnus in the final battle against him, while she is shielding Solmyr. If you take Legends of the Ancients as canon, then she gets better.
  • Jeanne d'Archétype: A mage version, but she went from a common girl with a bit of magic experience into a leader of her people that fought against tyranny. Unlike the inspiration of the trope, Emilia won, though with a price.
  • Magnetic Hero: Her simple charisma attracted a lot of people who will fight for their cause, and even made Solmyr decide to throw in his lot to her (though it helped that it's at that time he realized Gavin Magnus had lost it).
  • Rags to Royalty: Emilia was a commoner and daughter of a glassblower, albeit taken in by an enchantress after being orphaned. After she led the charge to defeat the brutal warlords oppressing the people, her followers declared her Queen of the newly formed nation of Great Arcan.
  • Worthy Opponent: Regarded as such by Solmyr, at least. Gavin Magnus also sends her a few letters to this effect, but it's unknown how serious he was.

Sar-Elam (Background of V, VI and Dark Messiah)

The greatest spellcaster ever in the history of Ashan, who achieved enlightenment and ascended to the form of (yet another) Dragon-God, being accepted by the others as the Seventh Dragon. His disciples went on to found the Academies, the background monastic orders of the Dragon-Knights and the Blind Brothers, and Necromancy. His dragon skull is a plot point in Dark Messiah. The role model of every Wizard.
  • Ambiguous Gender: Although usually refered to as "he", his true gender and appearance are not really certain in historical record, not least because he could change forms. The djinns reflect this; the same djinn can appear male or female when summoned at different times.
  • The Archmage: The most powerful of all Wizards and original founder of the vocation.
  • Ascend to a Higher Plane of Existence: His enlightenment created the Plane of Magic, where djinns live.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: He sacrificed himself in order to seal Sheogh, the demons' prison, and took himself out of the reincarnation cycle of Ashan in the process.
  • Scaled Up: As part of his ascension, judging by his skull. Though it's worth noting than the skull in question isn't a real one, but a jewelry. However, Word of God confirms that, if Sar-Elam was still physically human, he could turn into a Dragon on whim.

Zehir (V)
Son of The Archmage Cyrus, and twice protagonist and Big Damn Hero, in V vanilla and Tribes of the East. Most of his involvement in the plot consists of him cleaning up the mess left by the other heroes. He even lampshades it.


Inferno (III, V, VI, coupled with Necropolis in IV)

The Legions of Hell faction, composed from various demons, like imps, cerberi and devils. From the fifth game onward, they rely heavily on Summon Magic (though the fourth game had some similar spells, too). Generally considered to be one of the weakest factions in terms of stats, and they also lack flyers and shooters. Their Might Hero is the Demoniac/Demon Lord and their Magic Hero is the Heretic.
  • Always Chaotic Evil: In the old NWC continuity, the only Demon hero to (partially) avert this was Suraze in IV, who works with the protagonist (himself a necromancer, but one who believes in Balance Between Good and Evil) because he realised that his old boss intends to betray him. The Ashan continuity also has non-evil Inferno heroes, such as Agrael (secretly a Dark Elf) from V and Kiril (a Human) from VI.
  • Big Bad: In V, Inferno and characters related to it serve as the main villains throughout the main game and both its expansions, with even Dungeon and Necropolis, the other "evil" factions, fighting against them.
  • Big Red Devil: Seen most prominently in III, where the Devil and Pit Fiend were red humans with horns. Later games give all the demons a more beastial look.
  • Blob Monster: The odd-duck Venom Spawns in IV, which are globs of toxic goo with random eyes and mouths all over their body.
  • Bloody Bowels of Hell: Sheogh is portrayed as Fire and Brimstone Hell in V but in VI it takes on a much more organic feel, with mutated limbs, fangs and eyes jutting out of the landscape and architecture.
  • Combat Sadomasochist: Maniacs and Tormentors in VI, which are demons that filled themselves with Hellraiser-esque Body Horror self-mutilation devices.
  • Chain Lightning: Succubi attack this way mechanically in V, although it's actually chain fire.
  • A Commander Is You: Spammer faction in V and VI, where their racial ability, 'Gating', allows them to summon reinforcements in the middle of a battle.
  • Deal with the Devil: Succubi and Incubi in Ashan are mortals who made pacts with Sheogh. Most of them wind up as low-level cannon fodder in the Inferno armies, but the fact that most Inferno heroes are Incubi or Succubi shows that a few are more successful.
  • Demon Lords and Archdevils: Arch-Devils and Pit Lords.
  • Difficult, but Awesome: Inferno units are fairly weak in terms of stats, but if you know how to use them, they can be devastating.
  • Distracted by the Sexy: An ability shared by the Succubus Seducer in V and the Lilim in VI. Succubi can use it to take control of an enemy stack, while Lilims can only use it to prevent the target from taking actions.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: It's implied that there are some things that even Demons won't do, as shown by the description of one of the human Death Knights in IV; she's capable of evil deeds that 'even the demons balk at'. Among their own, genocidal ranks, the demon Marius in III is seen as a weirdo for her all-consuming hatred of the Rampart faction, and dendroids in particular.
  • Good Wings, Evil Wings: In V, winged units have upside-down bat wings, emphasizing their chaotic/demonic nature.
  • Gruesome Goat: Demons in III (the tier 4 units just called "Demons"), which have goat legs, an elongated face, and baa when attacking or getting hit.
  • Hell Hound: Hell Hounds and Cerberi.
  • Hellish Horse: Used as mounts by the heroes in III. In V, they're recruitable as an Evil Counterpart to unicorns.
  • Horned Humanoid: All over the place, from the aptly-named Horned Demons in III and V, the Pit Fiends in III, the Succubi in V, and the Devils all across the franchise.
  • Language Equals Thought: According to the Ashan games, demons have their own language in which the words for "war" and "politics" are interchangable with each other. As a result, demon "elections" consist of the candidates fighting one another, with the last survivor becoming the leader.
  • Mana Drain: An iconic ability of the imps. Familiars in III convert a portion of any mana spent by the enemy hero into mana for your hero. IV buffs them to passively siphon mana at the start of their turn. Imps in V have a Mana Burn instead, which can be upgraded into either Familiars with a passive mana drain or Vermin with a more powerful activated mana siphon. In VI, this effect was instead given to Breeders.
  • Order Versus Chaos: In V, VI and VII, Demons are the spawn of Urgash, the god of Chaos. Thus, they are at odds with all the other factions of Ashan, but particularly with the Necromancers, who worship Asha, the goddess of Order.
  • Our Demons Are Different: Up to the fourth game they were Kreegans, Planet Looters who merely appeared to be supernatural demons to the residents of the planets they invaded. In the Ashan universe, they're the spawn of the Dragon-God of Chaos.
  • Playing with Fire: Most of their spells are Fire-based.
  • The Power of Hate: Pit Fiends from VI are the minions of the Demon Overlord of Hate, and have several hate-themed abilities.
  • Weaponized Offspring: Breeders in VI, who attack by spitting imps that fly into enemies and blow themselves up.
  • Whip It Good: Pit Fiends in III, Succubi in VI.

    Inferno's Iconic Characters 

Xeron (III-AB)
The Dragon to Lucifer Kreegan in Armageddon's Blade. Xeron is the most feared general in Eeofol, and was tasked by his king to build Armageddon's Blade and destroy the world.
  • Bad Boss: He abuses his minion Xex whenever he delivers bad news.
  • Big Red Devil: He looks like a stereotypical portrayal of Satan. Fittingly, his specialty is Devils.
  • Dragon-in-Chief: He's the main antagonist in the expansion, being the one who drives the plot forward and having personal beef with Gelu. The supposed Big Bad Lucifer Kreegan is a combination of Orcus on His Throne and The Unfought.
  • Even Bad Men Love Their Mamas: He's left in absolute anguish when he learns Gelu killed his mother. (His mother being a hideous demon that Gelu couldn't imagine being the mother to anyone.)
  • Evil Cannot Comprehend Good: Only the artificer Khazandar was skilled enough to forge Armageddon's Blade. When Gelu and Catherine reach Khazandar first, Xeron is confused why they're protecting him instead of just killing him.
  • Half-Human Hybrid: Half Kreegan and half human, although it doesn't slow him down any nor cost him any respect. According to one of the tavern rumours, his father was an Erathian knight that was seduced but not slain afterwards.
  • The Quisling: After Lucifer Kreegan took the throne following Xenofax's death (in M&M6), Xeron immediately swore his loyalty to the at-the-time unpopular new king. This ended up swaying the Kreegans in favour of Lucifer, since Xeron was that respected.
  • Villain Protagonist: The middle of the Armageddon's Blade campaign has you playing as Xeron and fighting Gelu and the Conflux.

Kha-Beleth (V, Dark Messiah, VI)
The Demon Sovereign and the Big Bad of V, where he's setting up his masterplan to create the Dark Messiah, the only one capable of liberating him from Sheogh.
  • The Chessmaster: He plans to liberate Urgash, Godof Evil, and if you don't stop him as Sareth, it'll work. The rest of the addons in V is just a sham.
  • Cool Helmet: He wears a helmet with several thorns pointing upwards.
  • The Corrupter: Sways both Agrael/Raelag (in V) and Kiril (in VI) to his side. Backfires both times.
  • Fatal Flaw: Pride. Both Agrael and Kiril had the power to bypass the seals keeping the demons in Sheogh. While he could exploited their abilities to free himself, Kha-Beleth let both opportunities slip away to focus on a plan to get out of Sheogh under his own power rather than compromise his plans for their goals or share power with anyone. Whether this actually stops him in the long run depends on the player's choices in Dark Messiah.
  • Faux Affably Evil: He's pleasant to everybody. Still he's Big Bad. and he possibly raped Isabel to sire Sareth.
  • Glowing Eyes of Doom: He has ominous fiery red eyes. Averted in V, where his head is covered in flames.
  • Hunting the Most Dangerous Game: Heavily implied. Hunting is his favorite sport, and two-legged creatures are his favorite prey.
  • Luke, I Am Your Father: To the main protagonist, Sareth in Dark Messiah.
  • Obviously Evil: His ominous armor, eyes and flaming head isn't something that is typically associated with goodness.
  • Satanic Archetype: Meets the criteria by the virtue of being the supreme leader of the Demons, thus being an enemy of not only the Good factions, but even the other Evil factions.
  • Sealed Evil in a Can: He is unable to leave Sheogh; not that it stops his plans.
  • Tin Tyrant: He's basically a red Sauron with a BFS. Less so in VI, where he gets a more "organic" armor.
  • You Have Failed Me: Executes one of his minions for failing to capture Agrael/Raelag.

Kiril (VI)
Anton's younger brother and Anastasya's twin, thrust against his will into the demon prison-world of Sheogh by the angel Sarah.
  • Creepy Twins: Subverted. He is a Demon Lord, his sister is a Necromancer, but they are neither creepy nor evil.
  • Dark Is Not Evil: He's an inferno hero leading an army of demons, but he's genuinely on the side of good and just trying to help figure out the mystery behind his father's death.
  • Enemy Within: "Azzie", aka Azkaal.
  • Interspecies Romance: With Xana the Succubus and Sarah the Angel.
  • Sealed Inside a Person-Shaped Can: Kiril shares his body and mind with the demon Azkaal.
  • Take a Third Option: Instead of destroying the Invisible Library or leaving it alone, Kiril brings it to Sheogh instead, neutralizing it without facing the consequences of destroying it.
  • Taking the Heat: Anastasya's campaign reveals she broke a window while flying a kite, and he took the blame for it. This moment wound up heavily defining the public's perception of them both, leading Anastasya to be labeled the "angel" to Kiril's "devil", something Anastasya still feels guilty about. For his part, Kiril doesn't seem to care.
  • Unwitting Pawn: To the Angels' plans. Like his twin sister.
  • What Does He See in Her?: Sarah misleads Kiril, gets him possessed by an archdevil, and banishes him to Sheogh without any explanation, and he meets an alternative love interest there that he's genuinely interested in. He still wants to get back together with Sarah. And in his Tears ending at least, he actually does so.
  • Xanatos Gambit: One of these is why he isn't particularly upset when Raelag pulls the Invisible Library out of Sheogh and kills him. By that point, his main goal was to keep Kha-Beleth from getting control of the Library. If he won, he'd be free to dig in and summon reinforcements from Sheogh while Kha-Beleth wouldn't be able to come after him anymore except during an Eclipse. Since he lost, the Library is safely out of Kha-Beleth's reach and Raelag is now the one stuck with the responsibility of defending it, plus the Demon Sovereign falsely thinks Kiril is permanently dead.

    Enroth Fortress 

Fortress (III)

The nation of Tatalia is home to this Fortress faction. Consisted of lizardmen and beasts from the swamps, they are the definition of a technical faction, relying very much on the abilities their creatures have. Also, when the Stronghold focus on Attack, the Fortress focus on Defense, making them another Brute Force faction. Their Might Hero is The Beastmaster, and their Magic Hero is the Witch.

Not to be confused with the Heroes V faction with the same name, which is focused on the dwarves.
  • Beast of Battle: All their lineup save for the Gnolls and Lizardmen, who only count as Mix-and-Match Critters.
  • Beast Man: Lizardmen (Lizard Folk) and Gnolls (Hyena Folk).
  • Bubblegloop Swamp: Their home terrain, which features a heavy toll on hero movement. Many of their structures are suspended in trees or floating on the swamp water.
  • A Commander Is You: Technical, so very, very much. The only creatures they have that don't have any particular ability are the Gnoll and the Lizardmen.
  • Deadly Gaze: The Mighty Gorgons (different from the Medusas, being based on the Dungeons & Dragons design - that is, a scaled cow) have a Death Stare that can instantly kill the top creature in the targeted stack.
  • Hydra Problem: The Hydra is Fortress's most powerful unit. Each of its heads attacks simultaneously in all directions when it attacks or counterattacks.
  • Lizard Folk: Lizardmen are one of Tatalia's major races, including its royal dynasty, many heroes, and one of the units in the Fortress faction's lineup. Speaking of the Fortress lineup, nearly all of the faction's units are reptilian, except the Gnolls (mammals) and the Serpent Flies (insects, but even they have "serpent" in their name). The Gorgons, despite looking like cows, are also covered in scales.
  • Male Might, Female Finesse: Every Beastmaster is male while every Witch is female. This is in contrast to every other faction, which features a mix of sexes for each class.
  • Man-Eating Plant: Their grail building, which gives a defending hero +10 Attack and Defense.
  • Mayincatec: Present with some of their buildings, particularly their castle and the Gorgon dwelling. However, the majority are nests and wooden huts suspended above the swamp, implying that perhaps the more impressive structures are ruins from another civilization that the Fortress faction have taken over.
  • Our Dragons Are Different: Wyverns are winged bipeds with a venomous stinger, and prefer to roost in arboreal nests. They're a good deal more animalistic than their more majestic chromatic dragon cousins.
  • Power Copying: The intended purpose of Witches. Since the Fortress Mage Guild only goes to level 3, Witches have an extremely high chance to learn Eagle Eye. Unfortunately, Eagle Eye is not very useful, which renders Witches fairly underpowered.
  • Reptiles Are Abhorrent: Downplayed, but still there. Tatalia has been coexisting peacefully with Erathia for some time, but moved in to annex its western lands once Erathia was weakened by the war against Nighon and Eeofol.
  • Slave Liberation: The Heroes Chronicles campaign Revolt of the Beastmasters establishes that they once were enslaved by the Erathians before becoming an independent nation.
  • Stone Wall: As a defensive counterpart to the offense-oriented Stronghold, with many of their heroes starting with Armorer and having a naturally high Defense rating.


Conflux (III-AB)

When the original Forge faction was scrapped due to fan complaints, the Conflux was introduced instead. Consisting of elemental creatures, their armies were weaker than most, but made up for it with boosted growth rates, with the Phoenix in particular being the only tier 7 creature with an initial growth rate of 2. Their Might Hero is the Planeswalker, and their Magic Hero is the Elementalist.
  • Blue-and-Orange Morality: Elementals have no morality in the human sense, essentially living to fulfill the purpose assigned by the conflux that summoned them. While they were pretty much the Big Good of the AB campaign, a Chronicles campaign deals with them attempting to destroy the world. This is represented mechanically, since they have neutral alignment and elementals are immune to mind spells.
  • A Commander Is You: Game Breaker/Spammer faction. It's even banned in official tournaments.
  • Department of Redundancy Department: Psychic Elementals are immune to mind spells... which would be nice, except all elementals are immune to mind spells. Is it an oversight? An artifact from an earlier design? A bit of flavour? The world may never know.
  • Elemental Embodiment: Their tier 2-6 units are all elementals. This includes the formerly-neutral Air, Water, Fire, and Earth Elementals, their new upgraded forms Storm, Ice, Energy, and Magma Elementals, and the entirely new Psychic/Magic Elementals. Like undead, elementals have no moral bonuses or negatives. Unlike Necropolis, this doesn't extend to their tier 1 or 7.
  • Elemental Rock–Paper–Scissors: Enforced. Each elemental is resistant to certain spells but take extra damage from others - for example, Air Elementals are immune to Chain Lightning but vulnerable to Meteor Shower. Additionally, elemental opposites will deal 100% bonus damage to each other, namely Water/Fire and Air/Earth. Of course, this only comes into play for a Mirror Match.
  • Fantasy Counterpart Culture: A soft "Arabian Nights" Days feeling in architecture.
  • Fish People: Water and Ice Elementals. They look like fish-headed women with a snake-like tail that ends in a fin.
  • Fragile Speedster: The Sprites and the Phoenixes, being the fastest creatures in their tiers — and Phoenixes are the fastest creature in the game. Sprites, however, have the second-lowest health per unit, and Firebirds and Phoenixes are tied for the lowest health for a tier-7 unit.
  • Literally Shattered Lives: Ice Elementals turn into an ice sculpture then shatter upon death.
  • Our Fairies Are Different: Pixies and Sprites are their tier 1 creature, refugees from the Sorceress town in I and II. They're fast and plentiful, but can't take a hit.
  • The Phoenix: Noted for being the fastest creature whenever appears and being immune to fire. After being killed for the first time in combat, a stack of phoenixes has a 20% chance per bird to resurrect at full health.
  • Useless Useful Spell: Each of the upgraded elementals sans Magic Elementals can cast "Protection from X magic" (X being their root element) on an allied stack. Protection spells tend to be pretty niche, and you have to sacrifice that unit's actions for the turn to cast these (which given how strong Storm and Ice Elementals are, is not a good use of your turn). Most players will never use these effects.
  • Wintry Auroral Sky: Their grail building is the Aurora Borealis, which fills their mage guild with every spell in the game.

    Ashan Fortress 

Fortress (V-HoF, VII-TbF)

A faction of dwarves exclusive to Ashan. Their heroes use special Rune magic that uses resources and can be applied to creatures throughout battle. As is expected of the dwarves, they specialize in defense, with several abilities nodding to this. Their Might Hero is the Jarl, and their Magic Hero is the Runemage.

Not to be confused with the Heroes III faction of the same name, which is focused on swamp beasts.
  • Runic Magic: In addition to normal spells, Runemages can use a selection of special rune spells. These cost resources instead of mana to cast.
  • Shock and Awe: The Thanes and Thunder Thanes, and there is also a hero, Svea, who specializes in this.
  • Stand Your Ground: Mountain Guards have an absurd amount of armor for a tier 1 unit. However, it's lost as soon as they move. They also can't be knocked away by enemies if they're in their starting position. They're meant to stand still and defend the backline.
  • War Elephants: Their heroes ride into battle atop mammoths, who gore the enemy with their tusks while the hero casts spells.

    Fortress's Iconic Characters 

Wulfstan (V-HoF and TotE)
The protagonist of the Fortress campaign in Hammer of Fate, and token dwarf. Only Sane Man among the dwarves, teams up with the Heroes.


Sanctuary (VI)

"We strive for perfection in Shalassa's worship."

The first aquatic faction in the series, populated by naga and creatures from Japanese mythology. Their battle system is based around all aspects of water as well as honor, favoring to fight enemies one on one. Their Might hero is the Samurai, and their Magic hero is the Monk.
  • Kirin: Their tier 7 creature, which leaves a trail of clouds that speed up allies and stop enemies.
  • Making a Splash: They worship Shalassa, the Dragon-Goddess of Water, and have a close bond with this element.
  • Medusa: Priestesses, which have snakes for hair and take the traditional mid-tier shooter role that Medusas have filled in previous games.
  • Multi-Armed and Dangerous: Kensei, the upgraded version of Kenshi. They're this universe's take on the classic nagas seen in previous games.
  • No One Sees the Boss: The Naga have been ruled since time immemorial by the Eternal Empress, but she speaks entirely through intermediaries and who or what she is is shrouded in mystery.
  • Snake People: An entire faction of these. Coral/Pearl Priestesses and Kenshi are recruitable ones.
  • You Are the Translated Foreign Word: The upgrades to a few of the creatures are basically the creatures' names in Japanese. For example, the Snow Maiden becomes the Yuki Onna, which is pretty much the same thing.
  • Walk on Water: Sanctuary heroes can cross water without using a boat if their army consists of only Sanctuary units.
  • Wutai: Naturally, as an Asian (largely Japanese) faction in an otherwise Western fantasy setting.

    Sanctuary's Iconic Characters 

Irina (VI)
The first daughter of the Duke of Griffin, forced to accept an Arranged Marriage with the family's long antagonist Duke Gerhart of the Wolf Duchy. Liberated by her brother Sandor, she then integrates the Sanctuary faction.
  • Action Girl: She's entirely able to lead an army to defend herself and her unborn child from Gerhart, and can become a very powerful magic user in her own right.
  • Arranged Marriage: Leading to I Have You Now, My Pretty, leading to Groin Attack against the Duke, leading to pregnancy.
  • Determinator: Hinted in the loading screen text for her first mission. "Tether a Griffin's wings, and she'll learn to fly with her claws."
  • Jerkass Woobie: She can be harsh and abrasive, but it's hard not to sympathize with her considering the Emperor basically sold her to an abusive husband in a half-assed effort to keep peace in the realm, and her father ultimately allowed it to happen. Whether her heart of gold shines through or gets snuffed out is up to the player.
  • Like a Duck Takes to Water: Literally, in her case. She quickly learns the naga customs and rises higher among them than she realistically could back in the Empire. It helps that they respect beating people's faces in, whereas her father trying to curb that is what got her married to Gerhart in the first place.
  • Mama Bear: One of the main motivations for her in her campaign is a desire to protect her unborn child from the clutches of his utter shitpile of a father.
  • Rebellious Princess: She has an active, strong-willed personality, and resents how society expects her to sit back and let men rule her life and do as they please with her. Her campaign is about her rising up against her abusive husband.
  • Roaring Rampage of Revenge: Against the Wolves, especially if you choose the Blood way.


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