Part 83: Appendix: Mercenary Heroes (Stronghold)Appendix B - Mercenary Heroes (Stronghold)
Might Heroes (Barbarian)
Lightning Master: Automatically starts with the Lightning Bolt spell, and gains a +10% effect when using it.
Biography: Azar Elk was born El Kazar, but the Beastmen he helped liberate preferred this more appropriate arrangement of his name: Azar meaning to break in Orc, and Elk in reference to a tremendous horned buck.
Buck that breaks things, Azar Elk, is a moniker which fits this clever warrior like a deerskin glove. Originally an officer in the prestigious caste of the Seven Cities Mageblades, he was shocked by the harsh treatment inflicted upon the Beastmen fighting under him. He turned against his Wizard masters and followed his troops in their desertion, and exile. Eventually, they sailed east to join the Orc tribes of the Pao Islands.
Azar is a clever mastermind and an expert on the battlefield, knowing exactly how to use the speed and mobility of his Beastmen allies to their best advantage. The Orcs think of him as one of their own, in spite of the fact that he still uses an occasional arcane spell when the occasion calls for it.
Goblin Master: Goblins and Goblin Hunter's Crippling Traps have -1 cooldown.
Biography: Harald was born in the Free City of Listmoor, on the border between the Griffin Duchy, the Dwarven realm of Grimheim and the Northern Steppes of Ranaar. As a result, he grew up with a friendlier opinion on Dwarves and Orcs than most of his fellow Humans.
With time, he grew wary of always having to switch between their respective languages, so he soon created his own dialect, crude but understandable by all, which became nicknamed znorkish by his friends. He now seeks adventure in the Pao Islands, and znorkish is already proving popular among the local Orc tribes.
A likeable fellow most of the time, he nonetheless tends to indulge in unintelligible rants after a tankard or two of Dwarf fire-ale.
Orc Warrior Master: Maulers and Crushers have +7 Health.
Biography: Mokka was born a free Orc in the Eastern Steppes of Ranaar and grew to become a tremendous hunter, respected by Orcs and Centaurs.
One day, a group of Orc refugees from the Pao Islands arrived in her village and recounted the tale of how they had been attacked, and their children sold into slavery. Mokka was enraged by this ignominy and vowed to Father Sky that no Orc would wear chains while she had breath in her lungs. She set out to the south immediately with a small army, in search of her destiny. Alas, Mokkas motivated and courageous horde was ambushed by the Duke of Wolf when she crossed the mountains, and all were either captured or killed.
Sent to work in the mines, Mokka managed to escape in extravagant fashion. She killed seven guards with a pickaxe and rode away on the back of a Centaur. Now a permanent resident of the Pao Islands, a rebel with a cause, she has become an inspiration to all Orcs with dreams of freedom.
Sky Runner: +2 Movement for Harpies and their upgrades.
Biography: Rangi was given her name by her tribe of Red Skull Orcs in recognition of her passion for heights. As a child, she would climb trees, giant rocks and eventually even the rocky face of a smoking volcano. The tribe at first believed that Rangi was a danger to herself and placed bets that she wouldnt make it to her seventh winter, but when her mother tied her to a tree to keep an eye on her, she was released after simply declaring to the tribe Shaman, Rangi thought Orcs born free!
As years passed, the tribe realized that she was the best climber the village had ever seen, and relinquished their fears in pure admiration of her exploits.
It was on one of these occasions that Rangi rescued a nest of Harpies from the attack of a Dire Jaguar. She nearly died for her heroic efforts, and was in turn rescued by the Harpy parents as she hung from a precipice with one hand, three chicks clinging to her back, and a bleeding claw wound running down the entire length of her thigh.
Rangi was greatly revered by the Harpies from that day on, and given the honorary and noble title of Wingless Sister.
Master of Warcries: Skills from the Warcries skill tree are 6% more effective.
Biogaphy: Tazar was only thirty-three days old when his parents, merchants from the Wolf Duchy, took the ship in Nilshaven to Strandholm. A terrible storm fell on the ship, and supernatural titanic waves crashed against the frail skiff, opening its hull as if it were a nutshell. His parents died swallowed by the waves, but Tazar survived. He was found on the beach of one of the Pao Islands by a female saber-toothed Jaguar. Moved by some mysterious animal instinct, she gently took the baby in her maw and raised him as her own.
Tazars first contact with civilisation eventually occurred ten years onward, when a group of Naga poachers killed his mother. Discovering her skin hanging in the middle of their hunting camp, the boy went berserk and attacked the three Nagas with hands, teeth and rocks. His screams of fury and despair brought forth the attention of some Orcs who had been surveying the interlopers. Amazed by the murderous rage contained within this small Human child, the Orcs came to his help and killed the Nagas. They knocked the feral boy out cold and brought him back to their village, where they patiently tamed him, teaching him the way of life of the Orcs. As the only Human to be considered a Jaguar Warrior to this day, Tazar wears the pelt of his mother as a reminder of his origins and as a warning to his enemies.
Players may recognize Tazar from HoMM III, as a Beastmaster, and from HoMM IV, as a Barbarian.
Magic Heroes (Shamans)
Stone Skin Master: Automatically starts with the Stone Skin spell, and gains a +10% effect when using it.
Biography: The baby Arrio was rescued from a burning stable by Orcs fleeing the Bull Duchy. He had been pulled from the dead arms of his Human mother by the tribes Shaman, who raised him as one of her own. She soon found that the orphan shared her sensitivity for communication with the ancestors.
It was during his rite of passage to become a Shaman himself that he encountered his mothers ghost, wandering in fear amidst a horde of Orc spirits who seemed just as surprised as he was by the womans presence. Arrios mother said she had been looking for him to ensure that he was safe. She kissed him and immediately passed on to Asha, leaving her son to his destiny.
When Arrio returned from his dream trance, he explained to his brothers and sisters the portents of his vision, and his Shaman foster-mother answered him in true Orc fashion, Arrio look like Human! But Arrio fight and dream like Orc. Good enough for me. From that day forward, the dream has never been brought up again.
Fire Bolt Master: Automatically starts with the Fire Bolt spell, and gains a +10% effect when using it.
Biography: Born in Stonehelm, Erika started her career as a Wizard for-hire, and one of the best there was. Four years ago, she was lured to the Free City of Hammer Fall by promises of adventure and riches, and was among the heroes who fought valiantly against the insidious threat that lurked within the city. Her mastery of Fire Magic proved her greatest weapon. The rapidity with which she literally incinerated her enemies earned her the nickname of Flame Strike.
During the events that transpired in Hammer Fall, Erika learned that greed leads only to destruction. A fellow adventurer, Arrio, convinced her to pledge her magical powers to the service of a greater cause. She followed him to the Pao Islands to assist the Orcs in their fight for freedom.
Shaman Master: Dreamwalkers and Dreamreavers get +2 growth/week.
Biography: Trusted, if not religiously revered, by the warriors of his tribe, Matewa is young in years and ancient in wisdom. This Orc Shaman is said to have heard the angry voices of the ancestors in his first infant dreams.
Matewa had completed his initiatory dreamwalk by the age of six and wears no twisted or mutated marks from the experience, save for a lightning-shaped scar that crosses his whole chest. A brilliant orator and clever joker, Matewa wields the wisdom of thousands of Orc warriors and hundreds of shaman storytellers.
He often jests that hell be rid of their complaining the day the Orcs rule all of Ashan.
Master of Air: Increases the effectiveness of Magic (Air) by 6%.
Biography: Shiva grew up in the Free City of Stormcliff, but soon understood she was not meant for urban life. In the singing of the birds, in the murmur of the wind, in the growl of the thunderstorm, she could hear the call of Ylath.
At twelve, she said her goodbyes (or rather left them on a piece of paper), packed her bags, stowed away in the caravan of a merchant, and started a life of adventure. She traveled all around Ashan with a group of fellow adventurers and accomplished many incredible exploits, including raiding the Sunken Temple, finding the Dragon Utopia, and surviving the deadly traps of the Tomb of a Thousand Terrors.
Currently, Shiva resides in the Pao Islands with the Orcs, learning from their Shamans the secrets of the one they call Father Sky. Not one to sit still for a long period of time, she intends to go looking for the lost peak where the legendary Thunderbird dwells.
Players may recognize Shiva as a Barbarian from both HoMM III and IV. Sadly, she seems to be missing her characteristic hairstyle.
Master of Earth: Increases the effectiveness of Magic (Earth) by 6%.
Biography: Zouleikas ancestor was the celebrated wizard Agar, creator of the first Minotaur, and she inherited his influential position in the ruling Circle of the Seven Cities. As with all those born to her prestigious family, Zouleika was bonded from birth to a Minotaur who protected her like a shadow.
Wrongly accused of degeneration, her Minotaur guard was put down. His last words to her were, Mistress, set my people free!
Deeply affected by the loss of her bond-mate, who had protected her faithfully for the first twenty years of her life, Zouleika left the Seven Cities and headed for the Pao Islands. She has since become a powerful Shaman, and sworn not to rest until the Wizards have released all of their creations to forge their own fate.
Minotaurs appeared as part of the Dungeon faction in HoMM III and V, and also made appearances in the Asylum in HoMM IV and the Warlock faction in HoMM I and II.