Many of us fondly recall dozens (if not hundreds) of hours spent in Heroes of Might and Magic III. At the same time, few people thought about what the universe in which Enroth is – the world where the events of the third part unfold. That in the campaigns of the original “Revival of Erathia”, that in the additions “Breath of Death” and “Blade of Armageddon” only small details are revealed – offers to dive into the lore of “Heroes” in full. And believe me: the fact that there are aliens in the game is not yet the loudest revelation.



Sword, magic and some blasters

A spaceship in Might and Magic: World of Xeen

Speaking of the Heroes universe, one cannot but mention the role-playing adventures of Might and Magic, in which a series of turn-based strategies originates. The first part, Might and Magic Book One: The Secret of the Inner Sanctum, was released in 1986 for the Apple II. It was created alone by John Van Kanegem, who invented a strange and amazing universe that combines high fantasy and science fiction. Dwarfs and orcs get along well with travel in space here, and closer to the end of the first game, swords and axes were gradually replaced by much more advanced types of weapons. The worlds, according to local legend, are created by the Ancients for experiments that revolve around great heroes and stories with their participation. The essence of the experiments is not known for certain – it is easy to assume that the Ancients are simply bored.

The creatures living in the worlds of Might and Magic usually do not suspect that their planets are not planets at all, but artificially created pieces of earth that are on huge spaceships. So, for example, the world of Xeen is a flat surface inhabited on both sides. This, by the way, was played well in the fourth and fifth parts of Might and Magic: by putting Might and Magic IV: Clouds of Xeen and Might and Magic V: Darkside of Xeen in one folder, the gamer received Might and Magic: World of Xeen – a game that combines in itself both parts of the world and several additional quests, which cannot be obtained in any other way.

Xin Land. The image shows that the habitable surface is literally hanging in space. The other side is also inhabited

“From outside” the worlds, including Enroth, are influenced by several extraterrestrial civilizations: the Ancients (which can be conditionally called good), the Creators (conditionally bad) and krigans – the familiar Inferno. Yes, that’s right: local demons did not come from the depths of hell, but from outer space. In this case, you can move between different worlds using the web of worlds created by the Ancients, which takes place in the very first part of “Heroes”: the head of the knights faction Morglin Ironfist arrived with VARN-4 (Vehicular Astropod Research Nacelle – “Mobile space research platform”), from where he fled, fearing the persecution of Ragnar’s cousin. In the plot of the first part, the matter does not go further than mere mentions of the original worlds, and even that happens mainly not in the game itself, but in the accompanying manual.

Enroth himself, by the way, appeared during the global space battle, and was later reworked by the Ancients into the developing world in the manner of VARN – except that instead of a technological “basis” this time an artificial planetoid was used. By sending one of the VARN platforms to Enroth, the Ancients were able thereby to create two continents – Enroth and Antagarich, on which the main events of the “Heroes” unfold.

It is worth mentioning that the Ancients sent not only VARN to Enroth to create life, but also Melian – the Guardian, an artificially created robot whose main purpose was to oversee the process of colonizing the new world. Soon after the successful first stage of the experiment, Melian transferred his consciousness to a central computer, becoming the Oracle of Enroth – a being who would later be worshiped as a deity. Yes, yes, in the world of “Heroes”, as they say, there is a powerful artificial intelligence at hand, living in a giant computer.

A series of apocalypses

Kreegan in Might and Magic VI: The Mandate of Heaven. Note that they are much less anthropomorphic here than in Heroes.

Before moving on to the events of the original Heroes of Might and Magic trilogy, it’s worth delving into Enroth’s history a bit. If on Earth the birth of Christ is considered the starting point, then for the worlds of Might and Magic this is the event called Silence. For a long time, the people inhabiting Enroth had access to both magic and technology through the Heavenly Forges – special machines capable of creating powerful artifacts and other items. The balance of magic and technology somewhat limited both directions, allowing the Ancients to remain loyal to the subject of the world, and to consolidate the effect on the mainland of Enroth, a colonial government was located – governors chosen by the Ancients themselves.

The situation changed with the onset of the Silence – the moment at which the Ancients lost contact with the subordinate worlds. The inhabitants of Enroth themselves were sure that the connection was interrupted due to the fact that the Ancients were angry with the trick of the governor of Alan. Mayor of one of the largest cities in Enroth and a father of two, he once found his daughter dead near the town hall. Everything indicated that his colleagues were responsible for the death, and Alan could not resist a bloody revenge. Four of the conspirators managed to escape under the cover of a neighboring state, but the angry and distraught mayor sent one of the weapons of the Ancients to those who prevented “retaliation”, literally turning the once fertile land into a scorched desert, later called Dragon Sands. This event went down in history as the Day of Fire.

In fact, communication was interrupted due to the war with the krigans: insidious aliens, whose main goal is to destroy all other life, cut off a sector of the universe from the general communication, isolating one of the network nodes. The powerful Ancients could no longer participate in the life of Enroth, but they were able to establish further observation – the experiment was not considered a failure.

With the breakage of communication, the Heavenly Forges fell into decay, and with them the Era of Miracles ended – the time when people could still communicate with their gods in the face of the Ancients. The colonial government was overthrown, and soon after the onset of anarchy, power was redistributed among completely different people.

A new beginning

Official map of Antagarich

After the disappearance of centralized power on Enroth, the so-called Age of Monsters began and completely new states began to form. The wizards founded Bracaduun, the barbarians united under the banner of Yarg the Conqueror (later his name will be forgotten, and the barbarians will be reunited by Tarnum, the hero of the Heroes Chronicles sub-series – their lands will be called Krulod), young and obstinate elves will create the kingdom of AvLi in the north of Antagarich, separating from more conservative relatives of Will. The necromancers will name their kingdom Deia, and the warlocks who live primarily underground will create Nigon. Do not forget about Tatalia – a state spread out in swamps.

The last kingdom was the lands invaded by the Krigans. They managed to form an alliance with local demons (hell is also present in the world of “Heroes”) and founded Eofol, desecrating the once fertile lands and turning them into lifeless volcanic wastelands.

All of the above states are located on Antagarich, while the remains of the civilization created by the Ancients continued to exist on the mainland of Enroth. Hence the misunderstanding of why in “Heroes” there is no fantasy (almost). Mechanisms almost made it to the game in the “Blade of Armageddon” add-on: the creators of the series planned to introduce the same Heavenly Forge as a feature of the playable “Factory” faction, but the fans rebelled. This is how the Conjugation appeared – a castle inhabited by powerful elementals from other planes of the world. The players were much more familiar with them, so the appearance of such a faction raised fewer questions. At the same time, life was in full swing not only on Antagarich, where the events of the “Heroes” unfold: the remnants of the races who arrived from VARN artificially created a third continent, Jadam, where several other states were located. Those who played in the unofficial addition “Horn of the Abyss” will be familiar with, for example, the pirates of Regna, with them (as well as with the dark elves) you could meet in Might and Magic VIII: Day of the Destroyer.

At the bottom of the ocean in Might and Magic VII: For Blood and Honor, by the way, there is a spaceship. Still Enroth

Those who played Might and Magic VI, VII and VIII could have been disappointed: local adventures continued not only the story told in “Heroes”, but also the previous games of their own series – with all their travels between worlds, aliens, artificial intelligence and other sci-fi elements. What in “Heroes” directly did not find a place. True, from M&M one could learn a lot of interesting things about creatures that in “Heroes” seem to be something completely natural.

War mechanisms

Armageddon’s Blade official box art. The building on the left refers to the canceled Factory

The angels and archangels familiar to everyone, the seventh level beings in the “Castle”, are actually not divine messengers, but robots created by the Ancients to fight the krigans. The lead designer of the third part, Greg Fulton, told about this in an interview. The reasons for the unification of angels and people can be found in the seventh part of Might and Magic. By the way, in the other ending, the heroes just awakened the ancient forge, which was the reason for the appearance of a new faction in “Heroes”. Alas, it did not grow together, but the smoking chimneys of the “Factory” can still be seen on the official artwork of “Armageddon’s Blade”.

Other powerful warriors, titans, are also mechanoids. The history of their appearance is not exactly disclosed, but it is known that the titans appeared almost simultaneously with the advent of the krigan. Most fans believe that titans, like angels, were created to fight insidious aliens. An interesting fact: the “hatred” of the titans for black dragons has no internal game explanation. Everything is much simpler: during the second “Heroes” gamers often argued which unit is stronger – a titan or a black dragon. The developers decided to beat this by making the units in the third part of the irreconcilable enemies.

One of the few surviving official screenshots of the canceled faction

The most powerful of the Krigans cannot be killed with conventional weapons, so the heroes of the Might and Magic series have to arm themselves with ancient blasters. And with the coming to power over Eofol, Lucifer Kreegan (after the murder of the previous ruler Xenophex by the heroes in the seventh game) unite their forces and the gods of the four elements: water, fire, air and earth. This is how the “Conjugation” appeared – special cities that unite the elementals of all the elements. The purpose of the deities was to try to save Enroth, so they not only fought with Eofol, but also prevented the king of people Roland Ironfist from going over to the side of darkness. He can be seen as one of the main characters in Heroes of Might and Magic II, as well as in an addition to the third part of the series, Armageddon’s Blade.

Death of Enroth

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