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Worlds of Might and Magic - part II


Our journey continues as we arrive on the mysterious world of Axeoth. The Sixth Mirror on Xeen brings us to the great city of Arcania, capital of Great Arcan, the magical realm ruled by the crippled Queen Emilia Nighthaven and her famous genie advisor, Solmyr ibn Wali Barad. Great Arcan is quickly establishing itself as the most powerful nation on this continent, and nothing seems to threaten the peace that was so actually paid for a decade ago – although rumours do speak of restless devils growing in number in the necromantic kingdom of Nekross. So far they have been contained by the cunning rule of the master of Nekross, Gauldoth Half-Dead, but who knows for how long? When the time comes, let's hope Great Arcan and its neighbours, the knights of Palaedra and the Elves of Aranorn, will be able to unite their forces against these insurgents.

Lamentably, it appears that nobody has ever managed to connect together all the cultures living on Axeoth – in distant Chedian, people live like barbarians, while in Lodwar countless small kingdoms with wildly different cultures thrive onward. Far to the south, the Magistracy of Soronne perdures in its tutorship of the arts of Might & Magic to aspiring heroes (and villains!) and Sendark's undead armadas continue to roam the treacherous Sea of Mist, where many-a-ship has disappeared ...

It is no wonder, then, that one of the difficulties valiants face when exploring Axeoth is the lack of proper maps detailing its landmasses. The one we bought from some red-haired wizard-turned-pirate seems approximate at best, as several continents are missing altogether. Surely, in the great academy of Farndale, master cartographers would suffer a stroke if faced with this travesty of an atlas, but hopefully it will be accurate enough to convince a captain from the great city of Uludin to navigate our way to the far-away lands of Aalondor. Our trip towards that vast megalopolis brings us to more enchanting locales: for instance, the peaceful county of Devonshire, where a beautiful young bard named Agraynel sings the tales of heroes of the age of legends.

One such champion gave his name to the Ancient device we are looking for in Aalondor. The Gate of Anduran is no ordinary monolith (as if such wonders could be described as merely ordinary!): it allows the traveller to journey through both time and space. Because our next destination was prematurely destroyed a few years ago by the clash of the cursed swords – Armageddon's Blade and the Sword of Frost – we must return to an earlier era in order to pay it a visit ...


Enroth, perplexingly, was both the name of a continent and the planet harbouring it (although some scholars now prefer to use the term "Colony" to designate this world – no respect for Iseldir's canons!). The Gate of Anduran has brought us to the Misty Islands, where the academia of the Ironfists' kingdom pursues its fine art. Needless to say, we do not wish to disrupt the time-space continuum and provoke timey-wimey conundrums, so we choose to embark on our sojourn as mere projections, capable of travelling through the lands, but as immaterial as ghosts.

We use this ability to attend – invisible students as we are – a lecture from His Grace Albert Newton, Marquis of Mist, and High Sorcerer of these lands. Our thirst for knowledge quenched, we travel to Free Haven and from there, onward to Castle Ironfist. Temporally, we stand at a point before the Night of Shooting Stars and King Roland's capture by the Kreegan invaders. This is that balmy yet ephemeral time of peace which followed Roland's victory during the Succession Wars against his ... not-so-good brother, Archibald. It is no ordinary August evening either – today Roland marries the stunning Princess Catherine Gryphonheart of Erathia. We watch the festivities with bittersweet intimations, all too aware of the tragic fate soon to befall this beautiful world ...

But again, there is so much to see and so little time! We cross the Mire of the Damned – treading dangerously close to the Tomb of Ethric the Mad – hoping to visit the mines of the Enrothian dwarves. King Rocklin remains secure on their throne tonight, but he'd best stay wary of his Seneschal, Snergle ... Taking advantage of secret tunnels beneath the Carator Mines, we sally forth to the westerly desert of Dragonsand, where, long centuries ago, the Day of Fire destroyed the original colonies of the void-farers.

Heading north again, we find ourselves in Blackshire, gleeful in seizing the chance to visit the lair of the terrible werewolves haunting these piceous hills. Since we're just ghostly spectators, the wolfmen can do us no harm. The great knight Lord Kilburn won't be so lucky ... Our destination, Castle Kriegspire, lies within reach: here, we stumble upon the warlock Agar, conducting his unnatural experimentations. His latest idea? A flying eye shooting death rays. Not the safest of ideas for one of Enroth's most brilliant – if agitated – minds, as he will soon learn for himself.

Back to reality. We press a button on the interface of the Gate of Anduran to travel to the next continent upon this doomed world: Antagarich.


Whereas Enroth was unified as a single nation by Lord Morglin Ironfist some 30 years prior, Antagarich has always been home to various quarrelling kingdoms. As we travel in space we also find ourselves moving forward in time and, as we arrive, the continent is in turmoil. King Nicolas Gryphonheart has been assassinated, and the unholy alliance comprised of the necromancers of Deyja, the warlocks of Nighon and the Kreegan devils is now marching on the kingdom of Erathia. Who would have thought that a single mastermind had orchestrated such chaos? The lich, Sandro, had plotted it all, but he was betrayed and put in jail. His accomplice, King Finneas Vilmar, was unwilling to share power and glory with his second-in-command, but Vilmar lacked the cunning needed to bring his dark forces to victory, eventually making one last, lethal error of judgement.

While the heartlands of Antagarich are at war, countless skirmishes simultaneously erupt in the borderlands of Tatalia and Krewlod. The beastmasters and barbarians have been enemies for years, ever since the mad barbarian tyrant Tarnum enslaved the Mudlanders to combat the Empire of Bracaduun. Both factions wage their own private conflict. In the snow-capped south, beyond the barren desert, the Immortal King Gavin Magnus – ruler of Bracada, the old Empire's scion – still procrastinates in deciding whether to intervene in this squabble, seeing no profit in doing so – yet.

The capital city of Erathia, Steadwick, will soon be besieged by the dark alliance, and General Morgan Kendal prepares his defences as best he can, waiting for reinforcements from Enroth. Queen Catherine is on her way, but several weeks remain until her arrival at Southport beckons. Only then will the war for the Restoration of Erathia truly begin.

We make a brief detour to briefly visit the northern continent of Jadame. A tropical land defined by its mystery and danger, Jadame is populated by minotaurs, dark elves, trolls and dragons. Elsewhere, they would be branded as evil creatures – here, they are but common folk, an everyday sight. Ravenshore, the continent's merchant-capital, is also frequently raided by the Pirates of Regna, headed by Emperor Hareck IX, whose name dominated conversation back in Enroth.

But again, time's course accelerates, years pass like flickering seconds, and we find ourselves in the middle of a great battle – the last battle, staged some twenty-five years from the century's end. Gelu, the half-elven ranger, and Kilgor, the reprehensible barbarian king, march against each other. One wields Armageddon's Blade, the other brandishes the Sword of Frost. These fools herald with them the end of the world, as was once predicted. And as the fires of the Reckoning rip the planet asunder, the Gate of Anduran returns us to Axeoth.

Our journey now nears its end. Of course, several worlds remain to be visited – Cron, Ardon ... but their sights and sounds must await the advent of another odyssey. You see, it has emerged that trouble is brewing in Ashan, a distant world located on the other side of the Void ...