Part 72: Lore Dump OneLore Dump, Part One
So maybe you're a little confused by talks of Elrath and Ylath the last chapter. If you're new to HoMM, maybe you have no idea about any of that at all. Hopefully this will help clear things up.
All the people of Ashan except for the Orcs and the Wizard believe in Asha, the dragon that created the world. Dragons are a big deal in the game, some of them with almost legendary status. And no, we'll never fight Asha. This is one of those games where the 'god' is good.
She is the creator goddess, the mother of Time and Space, the triple-faced figure of birth, life and death.
She brought the world into existence, and then hatched the six Elemental dragons to rule over it.
She controls the fates of all mortal creatures she spins forth their destiny at birth, measures it through their life, and cuts it at their death.
Asha is carefully neutral. She does not show favor to good men or evil men, Dwarves, Elves or Orcs. All the universe is her creation.
However, she is diametrically opposed to the Chaos principle embodied by her insane twin brother and his demented children, the Demons.
After the Wars of Creation, Asha retired to a safe refuge within the moon, there to sleep, heal and dream.
The Moon is in fact the cocoon she wove around herself. It is an image of the cosmic egg, a means to measure time, the final resting place of the dragons and the gate to the Underworld (where all souls come from and where all they go back after death).
Asha is not worshipped directly. She is above such things. But she is served by the White Weavers, the Blind Brothers, and the Silent Sisters who throughout the world, help the women give birth, perform auguries and supervise funeral rites (thus working as midwives, seers and oracles, embalmers and undertakers).
The Necromancers (Necropolis faction) have chosen Asha as their patron-deity. However, their vision of her powers and attributes is twisted, a perversion of her death-dealing nature.
The Three Faces of Asha:
The Maiden FATE BALANCE THE FUTURE HALF MOON
The Blind Maiden is Destinys herald, stitching here and there, unseen, to make sure that all the living creatures fulfill their purpose.
She is the Hands that can clutch to save or grasp to kill.
The Mother LIFE CREATION THE PRESENT GIBBOUS / FULL MOON
The (ever-pregnant) Mother regards all things as her creation and her children. By giving birth, she set Chaos into form and gives meaning to potential. It was she who spun the first Dragons out of the Void and created the universe, and she continues to encourage it to grow.
She is the Heart, unconditional love, compassion for all good and evil.
The Crone DEATH DESTRUCTION THE PAST CRESCENT / NEW MOON
The Crone is the image of death. Wizened and old, she snips the thread of life with a sickle held in gnarled fingers.
She is the Head, serene intellect, gifted with infinite wisdom and omniscient knowledge.
The number 3 (for her three aspects)
The number 8 (a standing 8 is the shape of an hour-glass, a lying ∞ stands for infinity / eternity)
Asha is a gigantic winged dragon with graceful and noble forms, as fit the Empress and mother of the Elemental Dragon Gods. Her features are angular rather than rounded, perfectly symmetrical, seemingly complex yet absolutely ordered.
Her scales are pitch black as the void between the stars, but myriads of lights constantly blink on her skin, in organized patterns, like microcosmic constellations. Her eyes shine softly with a silvery light but can also burst in a blinding flash like supernovas.
Her wings have a huge span that seems almost infinite to the beholder.
Now, each faction believes in a separate 'aspect' of Asha, the six Elemental Dragons. Many of the dragons also have representations of their power that serve and protect the people that venerate them. For instance, the Angels represent Elrath, and can be seen in Haven towns.
He is known as the Keeper of Secrets, for this mighty dragon sees and hears all. His only weakness is unnecessary complexity in all he thinks and does, which leaves him frustrated and makes him condescending to his fellow elemental dragons.
Young and impetuous, the dragon of Air is the seeker of hazardous knowledge, of crafts that are handed down by the shortlived humans from father to child, of myriad facts about the world which he views from on high. Like the wind, he travels everywhere to collect all the sights and sounds he can pick on his way.
Ylath never asked to be worshipped. His only commandment is that his followers should explore, learn, and enjoy all things in life, but mostly, that they should do as they wish, as long as they respect and honour the world that the Dragons created (this point being the crucial line drawn between Ylath and Urgash).
Ylath is, or was, venerated by the humans of the Haven faction. Duke Ishtar, who we saw at then end of the Prologue, was one of them. However, worship of Elrath has been steadily pushing him out. By tthe time HoMM V rolls around, there is about no mention of Ylath anywhere.
Elrath leads the radiant and immortal Angels.
The Dragon of Light is worshipped as the Sun God and the patron of (legitimate) Authority, Truth, Honor and Justice.
His servants seek to illuminate dark places, conquer evil, and celebrate individual valor and heroism.
He used to be worshipped by his servants the Angels, but they were almost exterminated during the Elder Wars.
In the Modern Age, Elrath became the patron deity of the Holy Empire (Haven faction).
Elrath is the most resplendent of the Elemental dragons. His features are all about nobility and authority. His elegant scales are of the purest gold, but instead of merely reflecting the light, they literally shine from within. His wings are not scaly, but feathery, like his children the Angels.
Elrath has no dragon breath, but when his righteous wrath is stirred, his eyes burst into a streak of blinding light.
As has been mentioned, Elrath is the patron of the humans, replacing Ylath steadily.
Sylanna is beloved of the Elves, silent stewards of her forests.
The Dragon of Earth is the stolid, slow, even-tempered one among the Elemental Dragons.
Peaceful and cautious, Earth acts only after long deliberation and study.
She often serves as a peacemaker among her siblings.
She is Natures warden, being very fond of the plants, animals and living rocks that grow on her back, and the only way to wake her wrath is to destroy or defile her sacred groves and stone circles.
Sylanna is worshipped by druids, rangers, hunters, farmers and herders, but also by wood and stone carvers.
She is the patron-deity of the Elves (Sylvan faction).
Sylanna is the sturdiest of the Elemental dragons. Her features are all about resilience and quiet determination. Her thick emerald scales are diamond-hard, and always covered with moss, plants, trees, etc.
Sylanna is wingless and her legs are massive and short (so that she can be closer to the ground). When angered, she can stomp with them to create tremors.
Sylannas breath is a cloud of mineral shards that can tear their targets to shreds or petrify them by covering them whole like a gangue.
Sylanna is the patron of the Elves. She's never mentioned in HoMM VI, since the Elves aren't in this game, though they might appear in a future expansion. She's mentioned a bunch in HoMM V though.
The black Dragon of Darkness is the Faceless foe, the Slithering Shadow with a hundred faces and a thousand whispers. She is the most intelligent dragon and is also called: "Keeper of the deadly secrets".
Darkness is utterly unpredictable. Malassa is unpredictable by nature; the line of her thoughts defies reason. She may spare a life one moment, only to snuff it out in the next. She may offer comfort to one weary traveler, while cruelly destroying another Malassa is a fickle and dangerous mistress and perhaps the most dangerous of Asha's children. Darkness may seem mad, but she knows. Yes, she knows, for shadow has always been here and there, watching you from close or afar, drinking your words and screams, and in her abyssal womb, lie all the forgotten memories and the buried secrets of the past.Malassa skulks, drinking in words, thoughts, and deeds. Secrets that the wicked try to bury, Malassa covets and keeps.
Malassa is mostly worshipped by madmen and doomsayers, fearless spies and assassins.
She used to be the patron deity of the mysterious Faceless but they all disappeared centuries ago and now, she has made a sinister pact with the Dark Elves (Dungeon faction) after the War of Bitter Ashes.
Malassa is the patron of the Dark Elves. Again, she doesn't really make an appearance till HoMM V.
Arkath gathers the Dwarves, grim masters of forge and fire.
The dragon of Fire is rash, hasty, and ill-tempered. Selfish and hot-headed, ferocious in combat, he is ruled by his passions and impulses.
He is mostly worshipped by the thrillseekers, those who see life as a constant struggle and burn it at both ends, but also by those who, like the blacksmiths, shed their sweat and blood as offering to the fire.
Arkath is the patron deity of the Dwarves (Fortress faction).
Arkath is the largest of the Elemental dragons. His features are all about physical power, ferocity and passion. His thick scales are like lava, searing hot and glowing red-gold.
His breath is a stream of flames that incinerates everything it engulfs.
Arkath is wingless and favors a bipedal position (standing on its rear legs to dominate its opponents).
Arkath is the third dragon we won't get to see, being the patron of the dwarves.
Shalassa peoples her dominion with the reptilian Naga, who move freely both in water and on the land.
The Dragon of Water is humble, quiet and secretive. She is the serene mystic, wisest of the dragons, and her knowledge is only second to her sister Malassa, the Dragon of Shadow, for her watery realm is ripe with forgotten lore and treasure.
In all things, she values diplomacy, versatility and adaptability. Yet, if she decides to act, she is swift and indomitable. You cannot hope to win when you are fighting the waves
Shalassa is worshipped by the sailors, fishermen and pirates, but also by the prophets, hermits and wisemen.
She is the patron-deity of the Nagas (Sanctuary faction).
Shalassa is the most graceful of the Elemental dragons. Her features are all about serenity and wisdom. Her scales are a harmonious mix of jade-green and turquoise-blue.
Shalassa is wingless and she has fins instead of legs. In fact, she looks like a sea-serpent or an Asian Dragon.
Shalassas breath can be a tidal wave, a geyser of scalding steam, or a bone-chilling blizzard.
Shalassa is the dragon venerated by the Sanctuary faction. She's similiar to Ylath, in that for some reason there's no mention of her in HoMM V.
Urgash is one of the two primordial dragons. He is the dragon of chaos, brother to Asha, the dragon of order . Urgash is the creator of the demons and is the demons's god. He was jailed in the worlds fiery core at the end of the mythic age after his war with his sister Asha, but wasn't killed and lives on in his jail, burning in his desire for revenge. Some say that the demon capital, Ur-Hekal, hides a portal that can bring everyone directly to the Great god of Chaos.
In the reign of Biara, the Red Church bowed them to the exiled god.
Presumly, the chaos symbol of the uroboros is connected with Urgash and one of his forms.
The Dragon of Chaos is raw untamed potential, primordial chaos in its inexhaustible energy and infinite variety of forms. He is ravenous and insatiable, the snake that eats its own tail. He is the Father of wanton Destruction, of frantic Mutation, of rampant Madness. He is also the father of the Demons. He is long banished to slumber at Ashans core, but the Demons linger, and still strive to carry out his desires.
Urgash is the supposed 'seventh' dragon. He has no connections to Asha, and stands opposed to her and the elemental dragons that represent her. He is also the only one not to be venerated by anyone on Ashan, instead finding his worshippers amongst the Demons.