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Plot Overview

Page history last edited by James Koppel 6 years, 6 months ago

When Richard of Carracia lost his hand in battle, the wizard Roethel presented him a new one, one fueled by an internal lightning, with a mind of its own and the strength of a thousand.

 

On that day, he became Richard, King Ironfist.

 

And on that day, he condemned his family to centuries of betrayal and bloodshed.

 

Current Version

 

Shortly before the Silence, on the planet of Raia, the Ancients attempt to create a race of supersoldiers. The plan backfires, with the failed experiments murdering much of the planet's populace and sending the rest into a magical insanity. The Governor of Raia manages to save his son Rothbard by sealing him in the planet's control room. There, Rothbard grows up and learns to infuse magic into the technology around him, stopping his aging and becoming the Artificer. After a decade in the Control Room, Rothbard leaves and manages to activate a portal to another world, carrying a large cache of technology with him and a desire for vengeance against the Ancients.

 

Hundreds of years later, Richard of Carracia usurps the throne, forcing his brother Samuel the Wise from their castle in a scuffle that costs him his hand. Fleeing his kingdom by boat, Samuel, accompanied by his wife and daughter, stumble upon the Everpresent Isle, a mysterious fog-shrouded island which somehow lies on many worlds and yet none at the same time. There, Samuel and is family are accepted by the Seers who occupy the island, and meet Rothbard, who has come to the island to study under the Seers and learn their fate-binding magic. Rothbard offers to curse Richard's bloodline to suffer Samuel's fate repeatedly. Samuel accepts, and offers his blood to help forge the Iron Fist. Samuel's daughter becomes a Seer and marries into them.

 

Disguised as the traveling wizard Roethel, Rothbard presents the Iron Fist to Richard, promising that it will "grant you the strength of thousand men and the power of a thousand suns, and will give your sons kingdoms you were unaware of." Richard accepts, and takes the name "King Ironfist." The Iron Fist becomes an heirloom to the throne of Carracia, and the Ironfist dynasty conquers many lands, yet are plagued with familial strife. A descendant of Richard is forced into exile, when he and his followers discover a portal to VARN, where they establish the branch of the Ironfist seen in Might and Magic VI. One of his descendants, Morglin Ironfist, is again forced away and through a portal to Enroth, as told in HoMM I. His sons Roland and Archibald undergo another blood feud, as told in HoMM II: The Succession Wars.

 

Back on Carracia, prince Hadrian Ironfist kills his father and blames his brother Lionel. Lionel steals and dons the Iron Fist and flees the castle, accompanied by the player, his loyal cousin, and an elite troop of Dragon Riders. Fleeing through a foggy valley, they suddenly find themselves on Enroth. After announcing himself and being initially mistaken for Enroth's ruler, Roland Ironfist, he soon decides to attempt to seize the throne from his distant cousin. However, across the worlds of the Ironfists, the leaders begin have visions inspiring them to construct the Gem Monoliths, structures of great magical power. On Enroth, Roland orders the construction of the Torres Zaphiri, or Sapphire Monolith, which can send powerful lightning great distances. Lionel's forces flee, using powerful weather spells to cover their retreat, but find the portal by which they arrived sealed. Trapped on Enroth, they board ships and search for a more hospitable land. A few Dragon Riders are left behind, and become raiders, as they are later seen in M&M VI.

 

Lionel's forces arrive on the Everpresent Isle, and are shocked to discover that their leader, the Grand Seer, is another distant cousin, a descendant of Samuel. Answering few of Lionel's questions, the Grand Seer tells him to "sail the winds of fate and let it lead you to your destiny." Lionel's forces sail away from the island, accompanied by a few seers, and suddenly discover themselves on Raia, now a wilderness inhabited only by barbarians. Lionel begins receiving visions and gets an urge to construct the Emerald Monolith. However, feeling an unnatural influence and wondering about a connection with the ruins around them, Lionel ceases construction. At this point, Rothbard himself appears, and reveals that the oddysseys of Lionel and his relatives, their subsequent success, and the urge to construct the Monolith, were caused by the fate-binding spell placed on the Iron Fist. Rothbard wishes to place several worlds in a “time-bubble” free from Ancient or Kreegan interference. To do this, he needs the Gem Monoliths constructed on five different worlds, and is using the Ironfists to accomplish this. Once completed, he will activate the spell, destroying the monoliths in the process. However, the spell is fueled by "Fate's Bargain" -- if the spell succeeds, an unknown one of the five worlds will be destined to be destroyed. 

 

Lionel swears to fight against Rothbard and destroy the monoliths. The player may either choose to stay with Lionel and rebel against Rothbard, and journey to each of the other four worlds to destroy the Monoliths, eventually invading the home castle on Carracia. Or, he can choose to work with Rothbard and ensure their completion, even as agents of the Ancients, the planetary defenses, awaken and attempt to arm their enemies with Ancient weapons. Either way, the monoliths are destroyed, and the one on Enroth is later replaced with the network of Dragon Towers seen in M&M VI, with Enroth itself being destroyed many years later (see the HoMM IV intro). Thus, the canonical choice is ambiguous.

 

Old Versions

 

Version 1

 

Sometime before the Silence, the Ancients ran an experiment that drove the entire population of a planet insane. The sole survivor was teenaged Rothbard, who escaped with a cache of technology through a portal to Enroth. There, he studied under the Seers, learned powerful fate-binding magic, and combined it with technology, becoming the Artificer and achieving immortality. He then disappeared to begin plotting his revenge.

 

Hundreds of years later, on the world tentatively called Aria ("our" world), the prince Richard loses a hand. Rothbard, under a disguise, appears, and presents him with a prosthetic, which grants him great power. Richard takes the name “King Ironfist” as a result. He is unaware, however, that the Iron Fist contains a powerful fate-altering spell which is now present in Richard's bloodline. Over the next few centuries, various strife causes members of the Ironfist family to split off, somehow finding themselves on the worlds of VARN-4 and the tentatively named World X. Later, an Ironfist flees from VARN-4 and stumbles through a portal to Enroth, where he becomes king. This part is canon, and is elaborated in HoMM I.

 

Back on Aria, events cause Lionel Ironfist, the Warlord (unrelated to the one in M&M VI), to flee the castle, accompanied by an elite troop of Dragon Riders. They somehow find themselves on Enroth. Proclaiming himself Lord Ironfist, he quickly finds himself in conflict with the other Ironfist, namely King Roland, and begins a short campaign to unseat his distant cousin. However, across the four worlds of the Ironfists, the leaders begin have visions inspiring them to construct the Gem Monoliths, structures of great magical power. On Enroth, Roland orders the construction of the Torres Zaphiri, or Sapphire Monolith, which can send powerful lightning great distances. Lionel's forces flee, using powerful weather spells to cover their retreat, but find the portal by which they arrived sealed. Trapped on Enroth, they board ships and search for a more hospitable land. A few Dragon Riders are left behind, and become raiders, as they are later seen in M&M VI.

 

Lionel's forces discover the island ruled by the Seers. After many trials, they manage to open the portal to the home planet of Rothbard, now a wilderness inhabited only by barbarians. A few seers accompany them, and they quickly establish a new kingdom. Lionel begins receiving visions and gets an urge to construct the Emerald Monolith. However, the seers, with a combination of scrying, observing the ruins around them, and tribal memories of the powerful outsider who had crossed the portal a thousand years earlier, combined with a possible appearance by Rothbard himself, cause them to realize the truth: that the oddysseys of Lionel and his relatives, their subsequent success, and the urge to construct the Monolith, were caused by the fate-binding spell placed on the Iron Fist. Rothbard wishes to place several worlds in a “time-bubble” free from Ancient or Kreegan interference. To do this, he needs the Gem Monoliths constructed on five different worlds, and is using the Ironfists to accomplish this. Once completed, he will activate the spell, destroying the monoliths in the process. However, a random one of the five worlds will be destroyed several years later by seemingly unrelated events.

 

At this point, the player may choose. He can either rebel against Rothbard, and journey to each of the other four worlds to destroy the Monoliths, eventually concluding with invading the home castle on Aria, finding the Iron Fist in the armory, and destroying it. Or, he can choose to work with Rothbard. However, in that case, a team of adventurers armed with laser rifles appears, and tries to defeat the player. Either way, the monoliths are destroyed, and the one on Enroth is later replaced with the network of Dragon Towers seen in M&M VI, with Enroth itself being destroyed many years later (see the HoMM IV intro). Thus, the canonical choice is ambiguous.

Changes in Version 2

  • It was observed early on that someone from Aria would be an "Arian," which sounds too similar to "Aryan." The world is renamed to "Carracia."
  • Lionel flees Carracia because his brother Hadrian accuses him of killing their father. He steals the Iron Fist before fleeing, and wears it throughout the campaign.
  • Instead of destroying the Iron Fist at the end, Lionel succumbs to its influence, and orders the towers to be reconstructed.
  • To streamline the plot, World X is merged with the "island" of the seers. The exact nature of the world of the seers is still light on detail, but it is connected closely with Enroth, and can perhaps be mistaken as an island shrouded in fog rather than a separate world. Its Ironfist connection is undetermined. One suggestion is that a relative of Richard, before he became Richard Ironfist, was exiled there. This relative met Rothbard there, and, as a means of revenge, helped him choose his relatives as the recipient of the Iron Fist.
  • The player character is a cousin and loyal friend of Lionel. Lionel will always fight against Rothbard; the player must pick a side. 

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