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Video Game / Heroes Of Might And Magic Ashan

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Ashan is the setting of the Heroes of Might and Magic series after the franchise was handed over to Ubisoft. It is currently the setting for 3 Heroes games and various spinoffs.

HoMM V, by Nival, started out as a remake of III in 3D and a different setting. Not all of the factions returned while most saw significant changes, such as the addition of a specific skill similar to the undead-only Necromancy. Castle heroes could train their human troops up the tiers for gold, Rampart heroes could pick enemies to deal extra damage against, Academy heroes could outfit their troops with mini-artifacts, and so on. Aside from the general layout and a few lack-lustre references to Sandro and Crag Hack, the new game had no connection with anything in the series so far. As for the plot, the game set up a backstory of the demon's ruler, only known as the Demon Sovereign, being defeated and imprisoned by an alliance of the good races with the humans at the helm. At the opening of the game, the current King, Nicolai (Name's the Same), is about to marry Lady Isabel when Demons crash the wedding and begin to invade the country. This sets off the plotline of a set of campaigns following each other in successive order, much like Warcraft III, continuing into the first expansion pack, Hammers of Fate, and indirectly leads into Tribes of the East. Both expansions introduced a new faction with a campaign to go alongside them as well as two additional campaigns that tie into them. They also brought back some of the features of Heroes IV, such as caravans and a variation of the unit choices by giving each unit type an alternate upgrade with different abilities.


Meanwhile a new spinoff, Dark Messiah, was made. Somewhat of an FPS in a fantasy setting (especially in multiplayer), it tells the story of the offspring of the Demon Sovereign, who has the ability to free him or to lock him in for good. Sharing next to no direct relation to the story in V, it was difficult to see how this fit into the overall picture, but Tribes of the East eventually told part of the backstory as well as introducing the orcs that appeared in Messiah.

Yet another spinoff emerged under the name Might and Magic: Clash of Heroes. Set 40 years prior to V, during the War of the Blood Moon, the game is a RPG/Puzzle hybrid.

Might & Magic Heroes VI was released on September 8, 2011. The plot takes place 400 years before HoMM5, where a legendary archangel general who was killed during the war of the elder races returns to life. Under the cover of preparations for an upcoming demon invasion, he unites the peoples of Ashan to eradicate his ancient enemies, but presumably fatally underestimates the human Gryphon Empire. The campaigns will focus on the Big, Screwed-Up Family of the Griffin Duchy, with each of the five children of the Duke joining a different faction after his murder. The game enjoys three expansions: Danse Macabre, Pirates of the Savage Sea and Shades of Darkness, the latter of which added a 6th faction. Might and Magic X, Ubisoft's first entry to the RPG series, takes place in the aftermath of the events of the original story of VI.


There was also a browser game based on Heroes V, Might and Magic: Heroes Kingdoms, but it shut down in September 2014.

Might & Magic Heroes VII was announced at GamesCom 2014, complete with trailer. It was released in September 2015. The plot takes place about 300 years after VI (i.e. about 100 years before V).

Besides many tropes found in the old Heroes of Might and Magic series, the series also makes use of the following tropes:

  • Actually Four Mooks: Since this is Heroes of Might and Magic this trope is always in effect in gameplay, as creatures in the map and in battles represent larger groups of creatures. In VI it crops up in the story as well; The fact that the Celestials are a Dying Race whose actions are highly motivated by their manpower problems is a major plot element in all of the original campaigns, but in game-mechanics terms you're able to recruit them by the hundreds without this ever actually being an issue.
    • Watching cutscenes makes it clear that canonically the events of all the games took place over a much shorter time period and involved much smaller armies than gameplay suggests.
  • Anachronic Order: The order of the games (and campaigns in them) is as such: VII Haven, Elemental Guardians spin-off, VII Stronghold, VII Academy, Entirety of original VI, VI Dance Macabre/Pirates of the Savage Sea, Duel of Champions spin-off, M&M X: Legacy, VII Sylvan, VI Shades of Darkness, VII Fortress first half, Heroes Online spin-off, VII Necropolis, VII Dungeon, VII Fortress second half, VII final campaigns (original, then Trial by Fire), Clash of Heroes spin-off, Entirety of V, and finally Dark Messiah. And that's not even going into the standalone scenarios, which are all over the timeline.
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  • Arc Welding: In the Blood ending of VI, many secondary characters in the prior storylines (both allies and antagonists) are revealed to be Faceless spies in disguise.
  • The Atoner: Raelag aka Agrael in V. A stand alone scenario in the Tribes of the East expansion also reveals Tieru's reasons for leaving Sylvan society to fight demons. A demon made Tieru the Unwitting Pawn in its scheme to drive a wedge in elven society. As seen in a different stand alone scenario, this led to a faction of dark elves turning to demon worship to survive underground.
  • Bad Moon Rising: An eclipse of Ashan's moon means that the seals on Sheogh are broken and the demons will invade the surface. Usually this is something that can be predicted, giving the world time to prepare. Sometimes it isn't.
  • Barred from the Afterlife:
    • Dead souls are supposed to be delivered to the goddess Asha for reincarnation, but those who die particularly violent or unjust deaths can find themselves trapped in the mortal world as ghosts.
    • Also the fate of fallen Angels, deliberately done to defy death and resurrecting them as Celestials, sharing their body with a human
  • Bears Are Bad News: In V, the third-level unit of the dwarves consists of them riding brown bears at first, and black bears or polar bears depending on which upgrade you choose. Both of which are the second-fastest unit of the faction and especially the Black Bear Riders will almost always steal the turn of their victim and push them back one tile. The Polar Bear Riders instead instill fear into their victim, causing them to run as far away as possible. Both of which are immune to a number of spells of the school of dark magic, as well.
  • Big Damn Heroes: In V, the otherwise foppish wizard Zehir almost singlehandedly steals victory from the villains. He frees his own homeland, teams up with the other main heroes, frees the Griffin Empire, and takes part in the final assault on Kha-Beleth. Findan also liberates his homeland from the forces of The Undead in his campaign. In Tribes of the East, Zehir does it again. His campaign is even called "Flying to the Rescue". Hammers of Fate's Downer Ending might have been due to Zehir dealing with personal business while Ashan was going to hell.
  • Bittersweet Ending: In VI, either finale ends with the death of several central characters, never mind the ordeals the main characters had to go through and still have to live with.
    • Also in VII - the order in the empire is finally restored, but only after ten years of civil war.
  • Black-and-Grey Morality: In the Ashan universe: every side has their good and bad sides. The Haven town? It has both Knight in Shining Armor as well as Knight Templar types, in addition to slavery or subjugation of orcs and their brethren (in fact, some major enemies in VI are Knight Templar angels ). The Sylvan town has a nasty history with division of dark elves. Mages of Academy town created orcs and other creatures as slaves, dwarves also has their villains. Necromants have Antiheroes and well-intentioned extremists in addition to villains, as well as in Dungeon side. Only demons are Always Chaotic Evil, and even then...
  • Canon Immigrant: V had Continuity Nods in the form of a couple of offhanded references to Sandro and Crag Hack but otherwise no other mentions of anyone from the original universe. VI greatly expanded on this by exploring reimagined versions of those two characters at length. It also contained reimagined versions of a large number of the generic heroes from the original continuity, such as Lord Haart, Jeddite, Shiva, Atlas, Moander and Kastore.
  • Continue Your Mission, Dammit!: In the Necropolis campaign in VI, at one point you're supposed to rescue your mentor from captivity and get sidetracked into fighting invading Orcs and Demons. Said mentor's Bond Creature makes regular, plaintive reminders about your main mission. The map is set up such that you have absolutely no hope of winning the main quest unless you finish all the side quests first, so Take Your Time.
  • Continuity Reboot: Heroes V takes place in a completely different universe from its predecessors, with the main factions superficially imitating ones from the third installment (though Might & Magic X implies Ashan might actually be in the original universe after all, just on a world with no known connections to any of the previously seen ones).
  • Crystal Dragon Jesus: All of the gods in V are dragons. All of the dragon units in the game (except for the undead dragons) are the children of the dragon gods. So technically speaking, every dragon in the game (except the undead) is a Crystal Dragon Jesus!
  • Cutscene Incompetence: The undead in the intro movie for VI; in-game, skeletons are ranged units armed with javelins, and fate-spinners are shape-shifters who have one form for ranged attacks and another that specialises in melee. In the cutscene, they all charge into melee against Anton's forces (the fate-spinner doesn't shift into her melee form) and are mowed down by Anton and his men.
  • Dark Reprise: In Heroes of Might and Magic V, the Necropolis town theme is a "corrupted" version of Haven town theme. Fitting, as during the Necropolis campaign, the Griffin Empire is being slowly corrupted by Markal.
  • Decoy Protagonist: King Nicolai in V. The intro cutscene focuses on Nicolai as he fights and beats a devil in single combat. Agrael kills him in a cutscene at the end of the first campaign. Then, he gets turned into a vampire. Then, he gets Killed Off for Real.
    • To a lesser extent, Isabel as well. The Haven campaign puts her at the front, but it's her loyal knight Godric who fights the final battle for the humans. But in the end of Tribes of the East, she kills main antagonist, Biara. The entire Heroes V saga revolves around her though.
    • Ornella in Tribes of the East Necropolis campaign. Slightly subverted thanks to an easily overlooked Interface Spoiler in the campaign selection menu telling that Arantir is the main character.
    • Hathor, Haegeir and Aslaug in VII expansion's Fortress campaign - they are controlled for the first three missions, then Haegeir is killed, more than 100 year Time Skip happens, and you play the remaning missions with the narrator, Vilma. Aslaug even becomes the Final Boss of the final campaign.
  • Did You Just Punch Out Cthulhu?: Wow! Godric, Raelag, Findan, and Zehir: did you guys really kick Kha-Beleth's ass at the end of V? No, he let you rescue "Isabel" to distract you from his real plans.
  • Downer Ending: Heroes of Might and Magic V: Hammers of Fate. The bad guys win. The heroic main characters ultimately accomplish absolutely nothing to stop Big Bad Biara. They end up playing right into the villains' hands well, talons in the final scenario when they kill the Dwarven King Tolghar. Tribes of the East consists mostly of damage control, but this time the heroes except Arantir earn their happy ending.
    • The main game to an extent. Everything seems fine until you see Isabel's eyes...
  • Evil Plan: The entire plot of V is Big Bad Kha-beleth's gambit. Impregnating Isabel, splitting her soul so Biara could impersonate her and wreck havoc in the Griffin Empire (thus distracting all of the heroes); all to ensure that his son the Demon Messiah would have a chance to one day free Kha-beleth for good. Whether or not his gambit actually succeeds depends on the player's choices at the end of a different game, namely Dark Messiah.
    • Not to mention Markal, who exploits Isabel's depression to crush his ancient enemies into the dirt, rise to power as leader of the necromancers, raise the King of the Empire as a bloodthirsty vampire that almost destroys the Elves, take over the Empire and protect his mortality with three relics such that the good guys ultimately require three armies to kill him. He got to rule half the factions in the world all without actually lying to Isabel about why he needed to do it, meaning every single step of his plan was also one of his goals. That's efficiency. Oh, and he also came back to life and tried to kill the man that killed him by pretending to be his dead father in a side scenario in Hammers of Fate, but that didn't go quite as well.
  • Fallen Angel: The Necromancers of Ashan were founded by Belketh, a rogue angel who unearthed the secrets of death magic after parting ways with his kin. Sarah is a more archetypical example, since she gets corrupted by Sheogh and winds up as a Demon Lord with a distinctively angelic appearance. Most of the Angels in the Holy Empire during the main VI plot are arguably this trope on some level, since they hacked together a means to cheat their own god's plan for their souls to instead keep reincarnating themselves in the mortal world.
  • Fire Keeps It Dead: In V, the necromancer Markal is cremated after his death because the heroes are worried he might try to restore himself to life as a lich. It didn't work, as Markal has already bound his soul ro Ring of the Unrepentant. He tries to come back in a standalone scenario in Hammers of Fate, where Zehir finally deals with him permanently.
  • Global Airship: Zehir gets one in Tribes of the East, in the form of a flying city. Though he usually has to pay experience to move it.
    • The Townscreen of Academy is this in general, as all their cities are flying in the skies above Ashan.
  • Go Mad from the Revelation: Alaric goes batshit insane, when it is revealed that the Isabel he served turns out to be the succubus Biara.
  • God of Order: Asha is the Dragon Goddess of Order and creator of the world of Ashan, as well as mother to the 6 elemental dragons that serve as her world's caretakers.
  • Good Is Dumb: Isabel all over. Godric also counts in the sense that his loyalty prevents him from opposing Markal until it's too late. Freyda faces the same problem in her campaign in Hammers of Fate, then gets tricked, along with every other protagonist in the game, to kill the Dwarven King Tolghar for the false Queen. Raelag also acts far too naive when Shadya comes from nowhere to help him.
  • Great Offscreen War: The world in VI is covered in the healed-over damage of the Elder Wars that took place centuries earlier, and a few older, functionally immortal characters even remember them. The ultimate goal of the heroes of VI is to stop the Elder Wars from starting back up again.
  • Guide Dang It!: Unlike I—III and V, the campaigns in VI take place simultaneously instead of following one another; however, the relative chronological order of individual missions is confusing and not obvious, and in no way indicated in-game. You have to consult a fan guide if you want to play through the entire story in chronological order.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: How Anastasya kills Uriel in VI - she mind controls him using the same hairpin Uriel used to make Anastasya kill her father, and prevents him from fighting back against the horde of demons he was fighting.
  • Hot for Teacher: Kiril and Anastasya Griffin were steered from a young age into having the beautiful archangels Sarah and Uriel (respectively) as "mentors". In both cases it's made clear that there was much more going on than mere teaching. And in both cases the angels only did it to manipulate their human partners into taking the fall for their schemes.
  • Meaningful Name: Most members of the Griffin family in VI have names that exist in Real Life, mostly Slavic, and one Hungarian:
    • Slava: glory
    • Sveltana: mangling of Svetlana, light (an ironic name for a necromancer, indeed)
    • Irina: peace
    • Kiril: lord
    • Anastasya: resurrection
    • Sandor: variation of Alexander, defender of men
  • Marital Rape License: Backfires epically on Duke Gerhard of Wolf when he impregnates Irina Griffin this way. When she comes back at the head of a foreign army and kills him, the rest of the Empire has no choice but to accept her claim on his duchy via Klingon Promotion since she was still technically his wife and is pregnant with his only plausible heir.
  • Missing Mom: The mother of all of Slava Griffin's children disappeared shortly after the youngest was born, and despite his not having always been faithful to her Slava considers her The Lost Lenore. She's alive as a Dragon Knight and reappears in her children's adult lives as a Trickster Mentor.
  • Mistaken for Cheating: An example where finding out the truth isn't any better than actual cheating: In her campaign in VI, Anastasya Griffin learns that her supposed lover, the Archangel Uriel, had been using their alleged relationship as a premise to allow a fellow angel named Aurora (whom he speaks of in glowing terms) to pull a Grand Theft Me on Anastasya's body. Naturally she assumes that Aurora must be Uriel's lover. When she learns that Uriel had set her up to be possessed by his mother, she is beyond furious.
  • Never-Forgotten Skill: Might and Magic: Heroes VI: Lampshaded, where after a Hero and his orc friend, Kraal, hijack a boat, they talk about sailing it.
    Kraal: Kraal is island Orc. Will be okay. Sailing is like riding a horse.
    Sandor: Because once you know how, you never forget?
    Kraal: No. Because you fall off a lot. Heh heh heh.
  • Never Trust a Trailer: The epic showdown between Anton and Anastasya in the VI intro movie never actually happens.
  • No Celebrities Were Harmed: Try spotting all the celebrities used as model for the heroes' portraits in VI.
  • Obvious Beta: VII. More than two months after its release, major bugs are still around.
  • Please Select New City Name: Averted in actual gameplay, but in the backstory the name of the Haven faction's Empire has changed over time based on which of the eight Ducal bloodlines the current Emperor comes from. Thus it's the Holy Falcon Empire during VI, has become the Holy Griffin Empire by the time of VII and early V, and rebrands itself again as the Holy Unicorn Empire at the end of V.
  • Plot Device: In addition to their very useful properties in actual gameplay, in plot terms all sorts of epic reality-bending magic rites require a Tear of Asha to be consumed as a material component. Do you need to dispel a massive illusion from an entire kingdom? Reseal the barriers keeping the world from being invaded from Another Dimension? Retrieve a legendary Arcology from the depths of Fire and Brimstone Hell? In this setting, it almost goes without saying that you'll need a Tear for that.
  • Plotline Death: Given the sheer number of commonplace powers in VI that are capable of casually resurrecting people killed in messy battlefield situations, it's quite impressive that Slava Griffin stayed dead when assassinated.
  • Prequel in the Lost Age: VI is set in a time before the Necropolis got kicked out of the Academy (Wizard) faction and thus are still politically considered to be a part of it. Since the Academy wasn't actually set up as a playable faction in VI and the Necropolis was, this means that any time the plot calls for Wizards to appear or do anything, the Wizards in question happen to be Necromancers.
  • Saved by Canon: Since VI takes place four centuries before V and Angels are still around and plentiful as the Haven's most powerful troops in V, veteran players picking up VI already know that Uriel's fears about the survival of his species turn out not to come true.
  • Scenery Porn: Most notably in V, just watch the videos of either faction. For example the Inferno Faction, complete with music!
  • Sequential Boss: The Demon Sovereign and Biara in the finale of V. First, the 4 main heroes have to defeat Biara in seperate battles, then destroy the barrier surrounding the Demon Sovereign in separate battles, and finally defeat him for real in seperate battles. And thats not counting the garrisons they have to conquer first. The last mission is essentially 12 battles in one day, though some of them can be pretty short.
    • In the second mission of Inferno campaign, Agrael has to fight the knight Stephan, and then fight Veyer immediately afterwards. Thankfully it's not necessary to win against Veyer.
    • Godric counts as a minor example in Markal's campaign. Once his army (consisting of Academy units) is defeated, his Haven troops take the field immediately.
    • Markal himself also counts in the final campaign, as you have to fight him three times in quick sucsession.
  • Significant Anagram: Agrael/Raelag in Heroes V.
  • Simultaneous Arcs: In Hammers of Fate, second and third campaigns (and part of the first) all span roughly the same period of time.
    • Same for the base campaigns in VI, with several cutscenes where two storylines cross paths. The two final missions (one for blood, one for tears-aligned heroes) also seem to take place at the same time, with the same opening and final cutscene.
  • Sons of Slaves:
    • During the demon invasion of 330YSD, the orcs were born from a series of experiments conducted by the wizards of the Silver Cities, infusing demon blood into criminals and slaves. They were first used as shock troops and demon-slayers by human armies, and later as indentured mine-workers by the Falcon Empire. In 467YSD, the orcs started a rebellion against their human masters which lasted until they won their freedom in 504YSD.
    • A second series of experiments in 512YSD created the Beastmen (including Minotaurs, Centaurs, Harpies, and Wanizame); they were intended to replace the orcs as slaves, and many of them ended up rebelling like the orcs before them.
  • Take Your Time: VI contains quite possibly the ultimate example of this trope. Irina Griffin starts her campaign pregnant from Gerhard's abuse but you're free to play through the relevant campaign for far more than nine months of in-game time without it ever mattering.
  • Unwitting Pawn: From V, Isabel. She's the pawn of two plans in the same game. The people of Ashan in VI.
  • Warrior Poet: Girlaen from the fifth game is a literal example. He is an elf warrior who, after his first defeat, sends Agrael a poem about how he will seek a Heroic Rematch.
  • Weaponized Offspring: Breeders and Mother Breeders in Might and Magic: Heroes VI are demons whose bodies constantly generate imps, which they then command to fly kamikaze-style at the enemy.
  • Wedding Smashers: In the opening of V, courtesy of the demons.
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist: Neither of the possible final antagonists of VI are particularly bad people, but the heroes are stuck opposing them anyway because either of them surviving would restart a Forever War. The final antagonists of the earlier faction campaigns don't have any such excuses.
  • Zombie Puke Attack: The Putrid Lamassu from VI, a zombie sphinx that vomits parasites at opponents.


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