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Knight's Town (I, II) / Castle (III) / Haven (IV, V, VI)
The Knight in Shining Armor faction, and now the only one to have been present in any of the base games. Their troops were all humans in the first two games, composed of various classical soldiers (archers, swordmen, cavalry, etc...) before the introduction of Griffins and, more importantly, Angels. Typically the most balanced and beginner's faction, they started gaining more flavor with the fourth game by gaining ressurections ability. Their Might Hero is the Knight and Magic Hero the Cleric/Priest.
- A Commander Is You: The Mario 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.
- Animal Motifs: Griffins in III and V. The background of V and VI also count eight Duchies 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: for both Heroes 1 and 2, the only non-humans in the Knight faction are a few scattered heroes, none of the troops have any magical ability, and the heroes themselves only have it 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 through on his own.
- Bling of War
- Church Militant
- Crystal Dragon Jesus
- Darker and Edgier: The Holy Griffin Empire is much less sympathetic than the previous incarnations.
- The Empire
- 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 Hammers of Fate presents the same units, but red, with spikes, and who come in the campaign as straight Knight Templars.
- Guardian Angel: Their racial ability in VI, making for one turn a stack impervious to all harm.
- The Hero: The main character of the campaigns is typically one of them.
- Holy Hand Grenade
- Humans Are Average
- Knight in Shining Armor
- Light'Em Up: Particularly in V and VI, where they worship the literal Crystal Dragon Jesus of Light, Elrath.
- Medieval European Fantasy
- Our Monsters Are Different
- Our Angels Are Different: From the third game onward.
- Our Griffins Are Different: In the third and fifth games. In I and II, they were in Dungeon and in IV they were in Sylvan.
- The Paladin: A creature in I, II, III and IV, and a class in VI.
- 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
Haven'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 constituing 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.
- Anti-Hero/Designated Hero: The punishment that he inflicts to his own brother, and his Fantastic Racism toward the Kreegans can make him appear as this. To be fair, Archibald could be considered deserving it, and the RPG games make clear that genocide is a reasonable course of action when it comes to the Kreegans.
- The punishment he inflicts on his brother becomes slightly less cruel in light of another of the things revealed in the RPG series: this is not a setting where And I Must Scream applies to beings Taken for Granite, so as far as Archibald was concerned, he'd simply wake up at some indeterminate future point.
- Badass Beard: In III-AB.
- Battle Couple: With Catherine.
- Cain and Abel: With Archibald.
- Cruel Mercy
- Porn Stache
- Return of the King: In III-AB. It's even the title of the scenario he first appear.
- Royals Who Actually Do Something: He goes on the field personally for the final battle of the Succession War. As a Wizard, oddly enough.
- 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.
- The Wise Prince
Catherine Gryphonheart (III, M&M)
Queen of Erathia, Roland's wife, and Big Good of the third game, where she leads the good factions to liberate Erathia from multiple invaders after her father's death. She ultimately has to fight him, after he was ressurected as lich by the Necromancers and took their control. She ultimately appeases her undead father and end the war by finding and letting him kill the traitor Lord Haart, who assassinated the king in the first place. She reappears in Armaggeddon's Blade, this time fighting against the demon Kreegans as they try to create and use the titular Artifact of Doom.
- Action Girl
- Battle Couple: with Roland.
- Breast Plate
- Chainmail Bikini
- Fiery Redhead
- Hot Mom
- Royals Who Actually Do Something
The founder and king of the little kingdom of Palaedra, populated by the refugee of Erathia after their original world was destroyed, and that they had to flee to another planet. The Heroes IV's The True Blade campaign deal with him searching the titular sword, a sign of appartenance to the Griffonheart 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 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.
- Five-Man Band
- The Ishmael: His adventures are told from the point of view of his squire, Milton.
- Lantern Jaw of Justice
- Sadistic Choice: Having to choose between asking the Oracle of the Dawn either where are his lost siblings, or who the imposter Worton's true parents are.
- Tomato in the Mirror: The campaign ends with Lysander accidentally drawing the sword from its sheat, thus proving that he is himself a Griffonheart.
The main character of V's campaigns, Isabel is the new spouse of Nicolai, King of the Griffin Empire, occuped to repel a sudden demonic invasion. Joining him to fight by his side, and helping Markal to raise him via necromancy after his death, she will eventually be revealed to be the central element in the Demon Sovereign Kha-Beleth's Evil Plan, aiming to making her bear his child who will become the Dark Messiah. She is eventually kidnapped by Agrael/Raelag and impersonated by the succubus Biara, thus turning the Empire into an even more Knight Templar-ish nation.
- Deal With The Necromancer
- Faux Action Girl
- Fake King
- God Save Us From the Queen
- Knight Templar
- Lawful Stupid: A particularly Egregious example: The first map starts with an encounter with some Peasants refusing the conscription. Her reaction? Kill 'Em All!
- Magical Rape And Impregnate
- Red Eyes, Take Warning
- The Scrappy: She is one of the most hated character of the serie, mostly due to her Too Dumb to Live decisions, and the narminess of her phrases.
- Unwitting Pawn: Twice, with both Markal and Kha-Beleth.
Godric (V, Clash of Heroes)
Nicolai's uncle, charged by Isabel to call for help from Wizards and Elves, much to his dismay. Reappears later in the campaign to form a Four Man Band with the Wizard Zehir, the Ranger Findan and the Warlock Raelag. Killed by fake!Isabel in Hammers of Fate. A younger version of him appears in Clash of Heroes. He is Freyda's father and commander.
- Badass Beard
- Cool Old Guy
- Incorruptible Pure Pureness
- Killed Off for Real
- Only Sane Man
- The Paladin: One of the last true champions of Elrath, and one of the best and most loyal, according to Word of God.
- Values Dissonance: In-universe with the Wizards, and Cyrus in particular.
Godric's daughter and a major Haven character in Hammers of Fate. After serving under fake!Isabel, she defects and takes the rebels' side. In the end of Tribes of the East, Isabel makes her the next Queen, starting the Unicorn dynasty.
- Action Girl: More successful than Isabel.
- First Name Ultimatum/Skyward Scream: Does one towards Laslo, after discovering that he killed Godric. It kills Laslo.
- Odd Couple: With Duncan.
- Unexplained Recovery: Was supposedly killed by Markal in V campaign, only to reappear in Hammers of Fate. Apparently Markal just didn't bother to kill her.
- That's pretty much true -- Markal said that he "can kill and raise her, but it's too much trouble".
- You Killed My Father: Towards Laslo and red!Isabel.
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.
- Conspiracy Theorist
- Hearing Voices
- Knight Templar: He gets better.
- No Celebrities Were Harmed: Looks suspiciously like Cillian Murphy, along with the infamous Blue Eyes.
- You Killed OUR Father: Toward Anastasya.
Barbarian's Town (I, II) / Stronghold (III, IV, V-TotE expansion, VI)
"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, were 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 an 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 the BattleMage/Shaman.
- A Commander Is You: The Brute Force faction.
- Anti-Magical Faction: In IV and V, with both heroes' skills and special buildings.
- The Berserker: A unit in IV, and the whole race in V and VI.
- Dumb Muscle
- Fantasy Pantheon: In V, they worship "Father-Sky" and "Mother-Earth".
- Glass Cannon/Fragile Speedster
- Half-Human Hybrid: In V and VI, somewhat of. There, orcs are a result of demon blood being injected in human body.
- The Horde
- Hulk Speak: In V.
- Leeroy Jenkins: The Berserker unit in IV, who can't be controlled. In VI, it's actually encouraged: the official Orcs' strategy motto is "Rush now, think later!".
- One-Man Army: The Barbarian Hero in the fourth game, even moreso than the other heroes.
- Mayincatec: In VI. In V, they were closer to Mongols.
- Our Monsters Are Different
- All Trolls Are Different: In I and II.
- Beast of Battle
- Eye Beams: In II, V and VI.
- Harping on About Harpies: In IV and VI.
- Our Centaurs Are Different: From the fourth game onward.
- Our Goblins Are Different: Strangely absent in IV, where they were neutral creatures aligned with the warlocks.
- Our Ogres Are Hungrier: In I, II, III and IV.
- Our Orcs Are Different: Even among the different games. The first, fifth and sixth games looked humanoids, when those of the second and fourth games were pig men, and for the third, greenskin. In the Ashan universe, they were "made" with humans criminals and demon blood, and enslaved after having saved the world from Demons.
- Proud Warrior Race: In IV, V and VI.
- Shock and Awe: Thunderbirds in III and IV, Pao-Kai (Wyverns) in V.
- Stripperiffic: Shamans in V and Harpies in VI.
Stronghold's Iconic Characters
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 Darkhorse for gaining a Continuity Cameo in Ashan's backstory, apparently as The Dreaded.
- Author Avatar: Originally a Jon Van Caneghem tabletop game's character.
- Beard of Barbarism
- Continuity Cameo
- Cool Helmet: it's even an artifact in VI!
- Dumb Muscle
- Horny Vikings
- My Name Is Not Durwood: not pleased with being constantly called "Mister Hack" by Sandro in Shadow of Death.
Tarnum (Heroes Chronicles, NPC in IV)
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 ressurecting him as a hero in any Antagarich's factions, charged to perform various heroic deeds. Tarnum eventually atoned, taking a young 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 presumately killed by a warlord. Waerjak eventually find him Back From the Dead, and Tarnum reveal to him his past and how he finally redeemed himself but chose to stay among the mortals.
- The Atoner
- Cosmic Plaything
- I Choose to Stay
- Mentor Occupational Hazard
- The Obi-Wan
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 barbarian 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.
- Badass Bookworm
- Lantern Jaw of Justice
- Meaningful Name: "Griffin" in the old barbarian language.
- Offered the Crown
- Only Sane Man
- You Killed My Father: but he got better.
First, but illegitimate son of the Duke of Griffin. With his 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.
Warlock's Town (I, II) / Dungeon (III, V, VI as a minor faction) / 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. Their Might is either the Overlord or the Thief, and their Magic Hero the Warlock/Sorcerer.
- A Commander Is You: Elitist faction, bordering on Game Breaker. A bit of Guerilla, too, with the Thief hero in IV, and the Stalker unit in V.
- Black Mage: At least in V, Warlocks have a Chaos Magic affinity and possess vast destructive spellpower.
- Beneath the Earth: In III, V and VI.
- Casting a Shadow: The Dark Elves worship Malassa, the Dragon of Darkness, in V and VI.
- Difficult but Awesome
- Disability Superpower: Troglodytes in III (and IV, as neutral critters) are eyeless creatures immune to the blind spell.
- Elemental Powers: Due to their focus on destructive spells.
- Equal Opportunity Evil
- Order Versus Chaos: Chaos against Academy's Order in IV.
- Our Monsters Are Different
- Everything's Better with Dinosaurs: The fifth game give to the dark elves mounts who look like theropods.
- Eye Beams: Beholders in III.
- Harping on About Harpies: In III.
- Hellish Horse: Nightmares in IV.
- Highly-Visible Ninja: Rogues and the Thief Hero in IV, Scouts in V.
- Hydra Problem: Hydras in I, II, IV and V.
- Bloody Murder: Hydras in V, spilling acid blood when hurted.
- A Load of Bull: Minotaurs.
- Medusa: In III and IV.
- Mix-and-Match Critters: Manticores in III.
- Our Centaurs Are Different: In I and II.
- Our Dragons Are Different: The iconic black dragons, some of the most powerful creatures of the whole game.
- Our Elves Are Better: Dark Elves in V, which bear great resemblance to both Dungeons and Dragons and Warhammer counterparts.
- Our Gargoyles Rock: In I and II.
- Our Genies Are Different: Ifrits in IV.
- Our Gryphons Are Different: In I and II.
- Pig Man: Orcs in IV.
- Stripperiffic: The Furies and Matriarchs in V.
- Swamps Are Evil: In I, II and IV.
Dungeon's Iconic Characters
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 canonnically 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, he can't stand for Roland to be imprisoned by the Kreegans.
- Evil Brit
- Red Eyes, Take Warning
- Royals Who Actually Do Something: Just like his brother, he's not above going on the battlefield himself if he feels it necessary.
- Taken for Granite
Tawni Balfour (IV)
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
- Dark Action Girl
- 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.
- Pirate Girl
- Villain Protagonist
- The Unfettered
Raelag/Agrael (V, VI)
The protagonist of the Inferno and Dungeon campaign in V, Raelag starts out as Agrael, the (secretly elven) Dragon of the Big Bad Kha-Beleth, charged to kill Nicolai, and succeedding at the end of the Haven campaign. But, in love with Isabel, he betrays his master and comes in contact with the Spirit Advisor Tieru, who reveals to him the Dark Messiah prophecy, and purges him of his demonic influence. Later, we play as Raelag at his rise to power after his return among the Dark Elves, and his tentative to foil Kha-Beleth's schemes.
- The Atoner
- Later revealed to be two-fold: he also destroys Soul Scar clan that he led to worshipping demons in his Backstory.
- Dark Is Not Evil
- Defector From Decadence
- Evil Sounds Deep: As Agrael.
- Love Redeems
- Murder the Hypotenuse
- Noble Demon
- Put on a Bus: In Hammers of Fate ending.
- Screw You, Elves: As Agrael.
- Significant Anagram
- Spikes of Villainy/Tin Tyrant: As Agrael.
- Stalker with a Crush: He's been doing so since Isabel was born, you know...
- Tall, Dark and Handsome
- The Untwist: The "revelation" that Agrael and Raelag are one and the same comes late in the campaign, but many Genre Savvy players caught immediately the Significant Anagram, the similarity between their special abilities and the not so subtle Foreshadowing.
- What the Hell Are You?: Asked by Nicolai when he turns out to be immune to his Holy Hand Grenade.
Sorceress' Town (I-II) / Rampart (III) / Preserve (IV) / Sylvan (V)
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 the Sorceress (I and II)/Druid (III and IV).
- A Commander Is You: Ranger faction
- Debatable. They've only one shooter, Elves, except in I, II and V, where there's also Druids. They do, however, have a general tendency toward Fragile Speedster.
- Always Female: The Sorceress hero in I and II.
- Culture Chop Suey: In III, with Dwarves, Elves, Centaurs and Pegasus, and a distinct asiatic architecture.
- Dance Battler: Blade Dancers in V.
- Elves Versus Dwarves: Averted in the first three games, with both elves and dwarves in the same faction.
- In Ashan, both the Elves and the Dwarves are on the Good side of factions.
- Fantasy Counterpart Culture: In V, they're Magical Native American, with a bit of celtic symbolics thrown in.
- Forest Ranger
- Fragile Speedster: With the exception of Dwarves and Dendroids/Treants.
- Ghibli Hills
- Our Monsters Are Different
- Beast of Battle:
- Druid: A creature in I, II and V, and the magic hero in III.
- Our Centaurs Are Different: In III.
- Our Dragons Are Different: Green, Gold or Faerie dragons.
- Our Dwarves Are Different: In I, II, and III.
- Our Elves Are Better
- Our Fairies Are Different: In I, II and IV games they had butterfly-like wings. In Ashan, they hover instead.
- Our Gryphons Are Different: In IV.
- Pegasus: In III.
- The Phoenix: in I, II and IV.
- When Trees Attack: Dendroids/Treants in III, IV and V.
- Trick Arrow: Rangers' special abilities in V.
Sylvan's Iconic Characters
Gelu (III-AB and SoD, intro of IV)
A half-elf Ranger assisting Catherine and Roland in Armaggeddon'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 aforementionned 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 Doom / Infinity+1 Sword: The Armaggeddon's Blade.
- Half-Human Hybrid
- Nice Job Breaking It, Hero
- Our Elves Are Different: He is not a "normal" elf, but a Snow elf.
- Rain of Arrows
- Redheaded Hero
Elwin and Shaera(IV)
- 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?
- Mind Rape: What Haarke essentially tries to do to Shaera...
- Murder the Hypotenuse: ... and what he tries to do to Elwin.
- Nice Hat: Elwin. It's even lampshaded in any of its appearances in the fan-made campaign Legend of the Ancients.
- Panthera Awesome: One of the missions is entirely dedicated to Elwin having to gain the support of the White Tigers.
- The Pirates Who Don't Do Anything: At the start of the campaign, Elwin is a Druid, despite spending most of his time in the elven court being a playboy. After that, he goes through Character Development.
Necromancer's Town (II) / Necropolis (III, IV, V, VI)
"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 the Necromancer.
- Black Knight: The Death Knight Hero in III, IV and VI, and a creature in III.
- A Commander Is You: Spammer faction.
- In VI, they switch from "produce more" to "lose nothing"
- Animal Motifs: Spiders in V and particularly in VI.
- Clown Car Grave: The Necropolis' creature dwellings are nearly all graves, and they let you hire undeads each week.
- And, due to Good Bad Bugs in IV and V, you can theorically raise more corpses with necromancy than ennemies killed.
- Dark World: All their townscreens are in the dark.
- Fantasy Counterpart Culture: Ancient Egypt and Babylonia in VI.
- Fearless Undead: All undead creatures keeps their moral neutral no matter the modifiers.
- Night of the Living Mooks
- Dem Bones: Skeletons...
- Dracolich: ... and Bone Dragons.
- Our Ghosts Are Different: In all games save in I and II, where they were neutral Game Breaker units thank to their ability to create a new ghost for every enemy unit killed.
- Our Ghouls Are Different: In VI.
- Our Liches Are Different: The main ranged attacker.
- Our Wights Are Different: In III, they were ghosts. In V, they resemble Grim Reapers, along with Sinister Scythes.
- Our Vampires Are Different: Famous for their powerful Life Drain ability, who make them one of the most effective creature of the game.
- Classical Movie Vampire: In II and IV.
- Game Breaker: In IV. Since they usually get the first move, having them wait gives them two turns in a row. Dividing them into separate stacks with this tactic means that a small group of vampires can take out a far stronger single stack of other creatures, especially if they're melee and slow.
- Looks Like Orlok: Taken to horrific level in III (see here).
- Bishonen: In V and VI, the latter with a suspicious ressemblance to Arthas from Warcraft III. (see here).
- Our Zombies Are Different
- The Sphinx: Lamasu in VI.
- Spider People: Fate Spinners and Mother Namtaru in VI.
- The Necrocracy: Altern 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.
- The Sacred Darkness
- Sickly Green Glow: in V and VI.
Necropolis' Iconic Characters
Sandro (I-II-III-IV, mentioned in V and VI, M&M)
Arguably the most popular character of the entire series, Sandro was the only undead hero of the first game. 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 mentionned as The Mentor of Markal and several necromancers, sadly Killed Off for Real.
- The Chessmaster
- Continuity Cameo
- Evil Sorcerer
- Glowing Eyelights of Un-Death: In I and II.
- In the Hood: Thus combined with his Dem Bones give him a very Grim Reaper-like appearance, except in IV, where he wear a weird Mayincatec crown.
- The Man Behind the Man: He planned to be so...
- Take Over the World
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.
- Anti-Hero: Type III.
- Balance between Creation and Destruction: Obsessed with respecting it, seeing any who don't as "fanatics".
- Burn the Witch: An attempt at the start of the campaign. Cue Roaring Rampage of Revenge.
- Character Alignment: Lawful Neutral, or most probably True Neutral.
- Dark Is Not Evil
- Deal with the Devil: He's the one responsible for the Kreegans being part of the Necropolis line-up, it worked.
- Emergency Transformation
- Genre Savvy: One of his most interesting traits. Gauldoth don't even try to Take Over the World, even when given the perfect opportunity, saying that it always fail for the necromancers to try so.
- Muscles Are Meaningless: Way physically stronger than he appears on his undead side.
- My Master, Right or Wrong
- 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
- 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.
- 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 need it to open a teleporter, it doesn't bother him too much.
A Necromancer proposing to Isabel to revive her husband King Nicolai, after he was killed by Agrael, while his real aim his to avenge the death of his master Sandro, killed by the Wizards.
- Beard of Evil
- Complete Monster
- Evil Sorcerer
- Manipulative Bastard
- Mummies At the Dinner Table: Keeps the skull of Nicolai's mother on a necklace, and is seen talking to it.
- Obviously Evil
- Roaring Rampage of Revenge: Against the Wizards and Cyrus in particular for having killed his master Sandro.
- Smug Snake
Arantir (V-TotE, Dark Messiah)
- Badass Bookworm
- Dark Is Not Evil
- Hero Antagonist: In Dark Messiah, though "Hero" may be a bit of a stretch...
- Rogue Protagonist
- Well-Intentioned Extremist
- Badass Bookworm: She was the nerdiest of the siblings.
- Battle in the Center of the Mind
- Brainwashed and Crazy: She gets better.
- Clear My Name: The motivation of her campaign.
- 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.
- 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.
- Interspecies Romance: With the Archangel Uriel.
- 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.
Wizard's Town (II) / Tower (III) / Academy (IV, V)
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 setting, while in III and IV they were native to the snow. Their Might Hero is typically the Alchemist, and their Magic Hero the Wizard/Mage.
- A Commander Is You: Technical/Ranger faction
- Alternate Character Interpretation: The background of V and VI do this heavily. Are they the enlightened, progressive Only Sane Men of Ashan, or the Jerkass Mad Scientists with God complex and no respect for their creatures?
- Arabian Nights Days: In V.
- Culture Chop Suey: From the Greek Titan to the Indian Rakshasa and Naga. Heroes V give them a distinctive Arabian Nights Days style, though.
- Frickin' Laser Beams: The Mages units' attack.
- Mage Tower: The usual Mage unit's dwelling, and the town itself in III.
- The Magocracy
- Order Versus Chaos: Order against "Asylum" (=Dungeon)'s Chaos in IV.
- Our Monsters Are Different
- Big Badass Bird of Prey: Rocs in II.
- Full Boar Action: In II.
- Golem: The traditional ones in all their appearances, plus the Dragon-Golems in IV.
- Griping About Gremlins: III and V.
- Mr. Fixit: In V, they can repair golems and war machines.
- Halflings: II and IV.
- Our Dwarves Are Different: In IV.
- Our Gargoyles Rock: In III and V.
- Our Genies Are Different: From III onward, though V calls them Djinn.
- Our Giants Are Bigger
- Panthera Awesome/Petting Zoo People: Rakshasa in V.
- Snake People: Nagas in III and IV.
- Nay Theist: In the Ashan universe, Wizards don't bow to the Dragon Gods, but work to become one of them.
- Ominous Floating Castle: In V.
- Shock and Awe: Titans
- Steampunk: A little shade of it, most notably with the Gremlins in V being the only ones to avert Fantasy Gun Control.
Academy's Iconic Characters
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. turns out even a god-slaying sword can't kill him. But it's sufficient to leave him in a catatonic state, presumably forever.
- Assimilation Plot
- The Evils of Free Will
- 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 himself know 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
- Nigh Invulnerable
- Well-Intentioned Extremist
Solmyr ibn Wali Barad (III, IV, mentionned in V)
A Genie in a Bottle who gave his word to serves 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 when he had to oppose Emilia Nighthaven and help Gavin Magnus brainwash the entire world.
Narxes: Maybe we should go home? I'm no Solmyr!
- Friendly Enemy
- Humans Are Special
- I Gave My Word
- Shock and Awe
- Spell My Name with an "S": His name is spelled "Solymr" in IV, where he gets his own half of a campaign, but the spelling from III is better remembered, even though he was just a generic hero there (although well-liked due to starting with the powerful Chain Lightning spell).
- To Be Lawful or Good
- Who Wants to Live Forever?: Pitying both himself (for having to remember his failures) and his master (for having to endure wars for ever).
- Worthy Opponent
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 in the nation of the Great Arcan, hoping to resist the various warlords of the region and introduce a bit of order. She would eventually clashes with Gavin Magnus and his plans. She ends the war victorious, but with her legs paralysed.
- I Can't Feel My Legs
- If you take Legends of the Ancients as canon, then she gets better.
- Jeanne D Archetype
- Magnetic Hero
- Special Effect Failure: Her neck at 1:31 in the intro of the fourth game.
- The Messiah
- Technical Pacifist
- Worthy Opponent
Sar-Elam (Background of V, VI and Dark Messiah)
The greatest spellcaster ever in the history of Ashan, who ascended to the form of (yet another) Dragon-God. His disciples went on to found the Academies, the background monastic orders of the Dragon-Knights and of the Blind Brothers, and Necromancy. His dragon skull is a plot point in Dark Messiah. The role-model of every Wizard.
- A God Am I
- The Archmage
- Ascend to a Higher Plane of Existence
- Heroic Sacrifice: In order to seal Sheogh, the demons' prison.
- Scaled Up: As part of his ascension, judging by his skull.
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 cleaning up the mess left by the other heroes. He even lampshades it.
- Big Damn Heroes
- Deadpan Snarker
- Fixer Sue
- Nay Theist
- Parental Abandonment: According to Word of God, his mother died in childbirth, which caused his father to take several levels in jerkass into a bitter man who was never close to him. No wonder he became a Deadpan Snarker.
- You Killed My Father: To Markal.
Inferno (III, V, VI, coupled in IV with Necropolis)
The Legions of Hell faction, composed of various demons, most icconically imps, cerberi and devils. Since the fifth episode (though the fourth already had some flavorful spells), they relies heavily on demons' summoning. Generally considered one of the weakest factions in term of stats, and due to lacking flyers and shooters. Their Might Hero is the Demoniac/Demonlord and their Magic Hero the Heretic.
- Always Chaotic Evil: So far, the only Demon hero not completely evil has been Suraze in IV. The other Inferno heroes in this case were Agrael (secretely a Dark Elf) and Kyril (Human).
- Fire and Brimstone Hell
- Bloody Bowels of Hell: In VI.
- Horned Humanoid
- The Legions of Hell
- Our Demons Are Different: Up to the fourth game they were Kreegans, Sufficiently Advanced Aliens Alien Invaders. In the Ashan universe, they're spawns of the Dragon-God of Chaos.
- Combat Sadomasochist: Maniacs and Tormentors in VI.
- Demon Lords and Archdevils: Arch-Devils and Pit Lords.
- Hell Hound: Hell Hounds and Cerberi.
- Hellish Horse: Nightmares and V.
- Horny Devils: Succubi in V and VI.
- The Imp: In III, IV and IV.
- Mother of a Thousand Young: Breeders in VI, combined with Combat Tentacles.
- Our Genies Are Different: Ifrits in III
- Playing with Fire
- Spikes of Villainy: Even moreso than the other Evil factions.
- Whip It Good: Pit Fiends in III, Succubi in VI.
Inferno's Iconic Characters
Kha-Beleth (V, DarkMessiah, VI)
Demon Sovereign and Big Bad in V, where he's setting up his masterplan to create the Dark Messiah, the only one able to liberate him from Sheogh, where demons are imprisoned.
- Big Bad
- Big Red Devil
- The Chessmaster
- 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 in Dark Messiah.
- Sealed Evil in a Can: He is unable to leave Sheogh, not that it stops his plans.
- Smug Snake
- Tin Tyrant: He's basically a red Sauron with a BFS. Less so in VI, gaining a more "organic" armor.
- You Have Failed Me: Executes one of his minions for failing to capture Agrael.
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 master of demons, his sister is a necromancer, but they aren't creepy at all, nor are they evil.
- Dark Is Not Evil
- Deadpan Snarker
- Enemy Within: "Azzie", aka Azkaal.
- Unwitting Pawn: To the Angels' plans. Like his twin sister
"H3 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 Beast Master, and their Magic Hero is the Witch.
- 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.
- Always Female/Always Male: Respectively the Witch and Beastmaster Heroes.
- Beast of Battle: All their lineup save for the Gnolls and Lizardmen, who only count as Mix-and-Match Critters.
- Bubblegloop Swamp/Jungle Japes
- Our Monsters Are Different:
- Brown Note: The Basilisks turn enemies into stone, while the Gorgons (different from the Medusas, being based on the Dungeons and Dragons design - that is, a scaled cow) instantly kill a part of the targeted stack.
- Our Dragons Are Different: Wyverns.
- Hydra Problem
- Mix-and-Match Critters: Gnolls...
- Lizard Folk: ... and Lizardmen.
- Name's the Same: Not to be confused with the Heroes V faction with the same name, which is focused on the dwarves.
- Stone Wall
Conflux (III-AB expansion)
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 the Elementalist.
- A Commander Is You: Game Breaker/Spammer faction. It's even banned in official tournaments.
- Elemental Embodiment: Come in five variations (plus upgrades):
- Fragile Speedster: The Sprites and the Phoenixes
- Our Fairies Are Different
- Fantasy Counterpart Culture: a soft Arabian Nights Days feeling in architecture.
- The Phoenix
"H5 Fortress" (V)
A faction of dwarves exclusive to Ashan. Their heroes use a special magic, 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 Hero is the Runemage.
- A Commander Is You: Like the old Fortress, a technical faction (thanks to Rune Magic) with a strong defense. Close to Game Breaker.
- Badass Beard: On all of their units and most of their heroes (save for the women).
- Badass Grandpa: Inexplicably, all the dwarven creatures' alternative upgrades gain white beards.
- The Berserker
- Everything's Worse with Bears: Bear Cavalry. Yeah, you're pretty much screwed.
- Fantasy Counterpart Culture: Horny Vikings
- Horse of a Different Color: Aforementioned bears, and also mammoths.
- Our Dwarves Are All the Same: The only unit that isn't a dwarf in some way is the fire dragon. Even the Thanes are basically giant dwarves (who teleport and shoot lightning).
- Playing with Fire: Their Dragon-God Arkath, the Fire Dragons and the Flame lord. This also serves as their element of choice, even if their native terrain is snow.
- Proud Warrior Race Guy: Naturally.
- Shock and Awe: The Thanes and Thunder Thanes, and there is also a hero, Svea, who specializes in this.
Fortress' 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.
- Boisterous Bruiser
- Cain and Abel: With his half-brother Rolf, the dwarven King's Evil Chancellor.
- Sixth Ranger
"We strive for perfection in Shalassa's worship."
The first naga and aquatic faction in the series. 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 Samourai, and their Magic hero the Monk.
- Conservation of Ninjutsu: Their special ability is a defensive bonus triggerable when fighting enemies one-to-one.
- Dummied Out, What Could Have Been: Sanctuary was considered for inclusion into Heroes V early during development, but was cut. Some concept art (apparently based on India rather than Japan) and references to the faction in the game resources in V are all that was left.
- Elemental Powers: The Monk hero and his upgrades.
- Fantasy Counterpart Culture: To Japan (which explains some of the names) with some of China, Thailand, and India thrown in.
- Honor Before Reason: They prefer fighting one on one for the sake of honor, with abilities to reflect this.
- Katanas Are Just Better
- Making a Splash: They worship Shalassa, the Dragon-Goddess of Water, and have a close bond with this element.
- Our Monsters Are Different:
- 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.
Sanctuary's Iconic Characters
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
- Arranged Marriage: Leading to I Have You Now, My Pretty, leading to Groin Attack against the Duke, leading to pregnancy.
- Creator Cameo: Subverted: One of the developers is named Irina, but she joined only after the character was named.
- 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."
- Like a Fish Takes to Water: Literally, in her case. She quickly learns the naga customs and rises higher among them than realistically could back in the Empire.
- Rebellious Princess
- Roaring Rampage of Revenge: Against the Wolves, especially if you choose the blood way.
- ↑ (From left to right: (First line:) Asha, a Coral Priestess, Sar-Elam, a Griffin, Urgash, (Second:) Michael, Anwen, a Juggernaut, Gotai, a Ghoul, Wulfstan, Solmyr, a Cyclops, Zehir, (Third:) Godric, Catherine, Roland and Archibald, Arantir, Raelag, (Fourth:) Corak, Crag Hack, Kha-Beleth, Sandro, Sheltem .)
- ↑ Their native terrain in II was Wasteland rather than Desert, but a blasted wasteland is another sort of desert