Isabel and Sheogh (spoilers)

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Postby Corlagon » Jun 6 2011, 12:37

Well okay, now that I know what you know I can properly deal with your questions.

Sources on Ashan
- Ubisoft personnel (the "world team") - Erwan Le Breton, etc (yes, I know about DeathOfTheAuthor but it simply doesn't apply here)
- Heroes V plus expansions (Hammers of Fate, Tribes of the East)
- Clash of Heroes (the "playstation spinoff")
- Dark Messiah plus port (Elements)
- Heroes VI

Non-canon
- Heroes Mini
- Heroes Kingdoms

Info on the Raelag and Sheogh stuff
2006 interview with Jeff Spock and Richard Dansky (Heroes V storywriters): https://www.celestialheavens.com/655

Throughout the story Biara has an important role. In fact, to a certain extent the whole history of Heroes V and its extensions revolves around complications created by Biara. Though the Demon Sovereign is the antagonist, it is Biara's peerless execution of his orders that causes most of the problems for the heroes.


2010 Q&A between Jeff Spock and me: https://www.celestialheavens.com/forums/ ... hp?t=11389

3. How exactly did Raelag end up with the true Isabel?

It may not have come through in the final cutscene, but Raelag was the only one who realized the switch that Biara had pulled. He stayed in Sheogh to free Isabel, and together they fought their way out of the demon world. Exits from Sheogh are neither stable nor predictable, and getting out and making it to the Griffin Empire was a long and challenging process.


...and how come the other three heroes who invaded Sheogh were clueless?

They weren't watching her as closely; they weren't in love.

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Postby Slayer of Cliffracers » Jun 6 2011, 16:03

Corlagon wrote:Well okay, now that I know what you know I can properly deal with your questions.


Thanks for actually taking the time to respond in a meaningful way and constructive way.

Corlagon wrote:Sources on Ashan
- Ubisoft personnel (the "world team") - Erwan Le Breton, etc (yes, I know about DeathOfTheAuthor but it simply doesn't apply here)
- Heroes V plus expansions (Hammers of Fate, Tribes of the East)
- Clash of Heroes (the "playstation spinoff")
- Dark Messiah plus port (Elements)
- Heroes VI


Actually it's only Author Existance Failiure that doesn't apply to Ashan (give them time). Death of the Author is a concept from literary criticism not something that a work has or does not have; it comes in varying strengths. It's something that a person believes about sources and it comes in varying strengths.

1. Strongest- Anything that the author says about his work has no more relavance than anything a fan might say about it. Basically this is a key tenat of postmodernism, the text has no inherant meaning except that created by the fans. Authors cannot rewrite an earlier work.
2. Strong- Anything that the author says about his work has no more relavance than anything a fan might say about it. Basically this is a key tenat of postmodernism, the text has no inherant meaning except that created by the fans. However works can be rewritten by the author.
3. Medium- The author is not a source of canon but their statements explaining the meaning of canonical sources should be favoured over any purely fan-made theories unless those theories are either drastically illogical OR they run against canonical sources in the work.
4. Weak- The author is a secondary source of canon but their statements are overidden by canonical sources establishing the reverse to be the case.

I personally adhere to level 3- Death of the Author. So the opinions of the authors are not a source of canon but instead only a source of theories about canonical information. If I adhered to level 2 I wouldn't be bothering reading interviews because their opinion on the sources is of no greater authority than mine.

Jeff Spock wrote:Quote:
3. How exactly did Raelag end up with the true Isabel?

It may not have come through in the final cutscene, but Raelag was the only one who realized the switch that Biara had pulled. He stayed in Sheogh to free Isabel, and together they fought their way out of the demon world. Exits from Sheogh are neither stable nor predictable, and getting out and making it to the Griffin Empire was a long and challenging process.


Quote:
...and how come the other three heroes who invaded Sheogh were clueless?

They weren't watching her as closely; they weren't in love.



The theory given by Jeff Spock is rather similar to my own except for the bits that I've italiced. As I understand it, the four heroes leave Sheogh with the false Isabel, the real Isabel is left is Sheogh and then Raelag figures out that this Isabel is not the Isabel he fell in love with based upon her actions as the new ruler of the Griffon Empire.

Since all the other characters (Godric, Finden, Zehir) have been on the recieving end of the real Isabel's tyranny they don't really see anything different about the 'new regime'. Afterall the only obvious difference is that the Biara-Isabel is that she is more 'religious' and is a stronger ruler.

Dialogue 3 of Zehir's Hope (canon) indicates that Zehir opened a portal to the Silver Cities taking them and their (rather diminished) armies back to Ashan, that Zehir casts said portal is indicated by the graphics. So Jeff Spock's opinion (not canon) is what happened next is that instead of getting back to Silver Cities as Zehir intended they found themselves lost in Sheolg with the false Isabel. Zehir failed.

This is somewhat akin to when I said that Ethric had lied to Gem about Sandro not being his student recently. It's a statement that a canonical source is actually innacurate to make other canonical sources make theoretical sense.

But the theory has a huge problems with it. Put simply, Raelag must be alone with Isabel to figure out she's a succubus without the others also working it out; but if he were alone he would have been able to kill Biara-Isabel in Sheolg and she wouldn't have been able to get back to Ashan.

It is fairly obvious that Biara is hiding even Isabel-Biara's 'true' form (what we see) behind some kind of illusion magic, otherwise people in Ashan would have noticed her 'green snake eyes'.

It would be a fairly easy thing for Raelag to expose Isabel-Biara before all the others for he must simply dispel the illusions cast around Isabel-Biara hiding the 'green snake eyes' from view. If it wasn't possible to do this then the demons wouldn't need to conquer the world at all. They would rule the world already.

This is the problem with not adopting Death of the Author. Authors are often so exceedingly sloppy in the theories they put forward. Jeff Spock's sloppyness comes to the fore later on in the interview quite spectacularly.

Jeff Spock wrote:10. "In search of power" (a HoF single scenario) revolves around Veyer trying to "create" a new Demon Sovereign because the previous one is apparently dead.

First of all, Veyer is not the brightest light on the Infernal Christmas tree and his interpretation of events should always be viewed as unreliable. Secondly, when a demon is 'killed' it enters the demonic cycle of rebirth; it maintains its old memories but is reborn as a lowly imp and must re-ascend the ladder of power (preferably by stepping on all those beneath it). Thirdly, there is, was, and will be only one Demon Sovereign so Veyer's ambition is wildly optimistic. The questions in this case are more like: Why does Veyer believe that the Demon Sovereign is dead? During which of Veyer's "lives" does this take place?


That there is a new demon sovereign is not Veyer's idea, his imp sidekick tells him "you know- the demon sovereign would smile on you if you were to master this discipline"(gating).

Even within the timeline of Ashan this isn't true! Kha-Beleth had already overthrown and presumably killed the earlier demon rulers. There is no timeless Devil figure that leads the demons of Sheolg other than Urgash.
564 YSD.
2nd Eclipse - Rise of the Demon Sovereign
Total lunar eclipse. This time the Blind Brothers had predicted it, and the Alliance, helped by the Dragon Knights, is quick to react. Only a small band of demons manage to escape into the world. The names of the Demon Lords, Urgash’s first children, are heard no more. Instead, the name of Mal-Beleth, the new and only Demon Sovereign, appears.


So the Demon Sovereign wasn't the first demon sovereign. Others had been demon sovereigns before him, he's just the first to claim the title of sole demon sovereign. So why would the throne stand empty just because Kha-Beleth is gone? Did the throne stand empty just because the demon lords of old perished?
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Postby Corlagon » Jun 6 2011, 16:30

What?
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Postby Avonu » Jun 6 2011, 17:56

Long story short:

When ours four amigos "killed" Kha-Beleth, Zehir, Findan, Godric and "Saint" Isabel (with Heart of Griffin) returned to their countries. They didn't know where others are but they thought that all of them are OK. However Raelag did not return with them but stayed in Sheogh and found Isabel. They escaped demon realm and went to safe place where Ylaya found them eventually.
I assume Isabel had mental breakdown after all these things in HV :P so Raelag stayed with her until she was fine.
Findan after return was busy with Dark Elves assault and Zehir was busy with possibility that his father could still live, so they didn't have time for checking what is with Isabel. And Godric was a platehead.

Meanwhile, "Saint" Isabel used (part of) Isabel soul (ripped from Isabel when she was prisoner in Sheogh) to maintained her disguiese. When Arantir released Isabel spirit, Biara disguise was gone and she used Heart of Griffin (now covered by prince Andrei blood, so it can be use by demons) to summon her allies.

Now about Veyer - someone who designed that map didn't do his research well. Kha-Beleth wasn't killed in end of HV, he just disappeared (from heroes sight). As we see in DMoMM he is quite right.
Veyer (or rather map desinger) thought that his master is dead.
And Jeff Spock answer is also not so well thought out... same as answers about moons of Ashan. :P
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Postby lotusreaver » Jun 6 2011, 23:50

Excellent summary. Well put.

Alas that the in-game cutscenes were not so clear and concise.

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Postby ThunderTitan » Jun 7 2011, 20:51

Slayer of Cliffracers wrote:So the Demon Sovereign wasn't the first demon sovereign. Others had been demon sovereigns before him, he's just the first to claim the title of sole demon sovereign. So why would the throne stand empty just because Kha-Beleth is gone? Did the throne stand empty just because the demon lords of old perished?


Actually that said quite clearly that he was the 1st Demon Sovereign, and before him there was a sort of council of Demon Lords. L2READ PLS.
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Postby Avonu » Jun 8 2011, 6:19

Actually before Kha-Beleth there were six Demon Overlords - twisted images of Elemental Dragons created by Urgash:

Ur-Hekal: Demon Overlord of Hate
Ur-Aazheel: Demon Overlord of Proliferation
Ur-Jubaal: Demon Overlord of Madness
Ur-Traggal: Demon Overlord of Pain
Ur-Khrag: Demon Overlord of Destruction
Ur-Vomoch: Demon Overlord of Voracity

After Second Eclipse all what was left of them were six empty armors standing in Kha-Beleth citadel as proof of his power.

Thanks for Marhzin and Corlagon for correcting wrong Demon Overlords names and their dominions from Ubi offical site.

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Postby Slayer of Cliffracers » Jun 8 2011, 12:13

Avonu wrote:Long story short:

When ours four amigos "killed" Kha-Beleth, Zehir, Findan, Godric and "Saint" Isabel (with Heart of Griffin) returned to their countries. They didn't know where others are but they thought that all of them are OK. However Raelag did not return with them but stayed in Sheogh and found Isabel. They escaped demon realm and went to safe place where Ylaya found them eventually.


That's the bit I don't think makes sense. Raelag staying in Sheog. I think that Realag left Sheolg with everyone else and then returned there to rescue the true Isabel some time later when he figured out what was going on because.

a)His true love wouldn't behave in such a tyrannical way (that's for him).
b)He was already tricked by Biara before in the form of Shadya so is very aware of Biara's ability to turn into people.
c)He already knows the Demon Sovereign and Biara's characters and methods.

The reason it doesn't make sense is if Jeff Spock's theory is correct, then that would mean that Realag figured out that Isabel-Biara was fake when he is in Sheog (this is despite cut-scene indications that they returned from Sheog instantaneously).

He cannot be alone with the Isabel-Biara or else he would killed her. He cannot be together with the others or else he would exposed the Isabel-Biara to them or at least raised his suspicions. Therefore it is clear that Raelag finally worked out what was going on only when he was neither in the presence of Isabel-Biara or any of the other characters from Zehir's final mission.

Since in the absence of either the actual Isabel-Biara or any ability of her part to act in an obviously evil way Realag cannot realise this Isabel is a fake; Raelag simply cannot have figured out that Isabel was a fake, logically Raelag must have returned to Sheog alone rather than staying there.

Avonu wrote:I assume Isabel had mental breakdown after all these things in HV :P so Raelag stayed with her until she was fine.
Findan after return was busy with Dark Elves assault and Zehir was busy with possibility that his father could still live, so they didn't have time for checking what is with Isabel. And Godric was a platehead.


I think the reason that they don't suspect Isabel-Biara is a fake is simple; she doesn't act significantly differently from how the real Isabel acted when she was ruling the Griffon Empire. The real Isabel is not a *good* character.

Everyone other than Raelag has been on the recieving end of the real Isabel's tyranny, Finden really hates Isabel (remember that he advocates leaving her to rot in Sheog). Raelag by contrast is in love with Isabel.

Avonu wrote:Meanwhile, "Saint" Isabel used (part of) Isabel soul (ripped from Isabel when she was prisoner in Sheogh) to maintained her disguiese. When Arantir released Isabel spirit, Biara disguise was gone and she used Heart of Griffin (now covered by prince Andrei blood, so it can be use by demons) to summon her allies.


Biara's disguise is pretty faulty to start off with. She has those 'green snake-eyes' which neither Beatrice-Biara or Shadya-Biara had. I'd assume that she was using some sort of illusion magic to disguise these 'flaws' but any half-decent mage would have been able to reveal them.

I would surmise that a succubus is naturally able to adopt the form of pretty much any woman. The succubus creature we see is perhaps a form of somewhat flexible 'base' around which is built the form of the woman she is trying to impersonate, which explains the lack of 'detail', the 'details' assumed are those of the woman that the succubus is impersonating. Succubi are not solely used as combat units; they are used as spies and assasins as well.

But there are limitations to this ability, unless she is able to steal some of the soul of a woman then she cannot impersonate them. And if she does not steal all of their soul then there are flaws in the form which require illusionary magic to conceal, magic which can be dispelled. But a succubus cannot steal a beings entire soul without killing them, which means that a succubus can only perfectly impersonate a being that she has personally slain.

This explains why Beatrice and Shadya lack those green snake eyes (or any obviously demonic feautures). Biara has personally slain both people and stolen their souls. But if the person is still alive (like Isabel is) or killed by someone else or in the wrong manner then their form remains fundermentally flawed.

Avonu wrote:Now about Veyer - someone who designed that map didn't do his research well. Kha-Beleth wasn't killed in end of HV, he just disappeared (from heroes sight). As we see in DMoMM he is quite right.
Veyer (or rather map desinger) thought that his master is dead.
And Jeff Spock answer is also not so well thought out... same as answers about moons of Ashan. :P


Kha-Beleth was supposed to have been killed at the end of Heroes V, Ubisoft merely changed their mind about it later. Indeed they make heavy use of this trope Death is Cheap. I'm not sure that the author didn't do the research or whether at that time Ubisoft intended him to be dead for good.

Dark Messiah is set 20 years (at least) in the future from Heroes V original. Point is that the everyone (including the demons) believes that the Demon Sovereign is dead and plenty of would be demon-sovereigns are trying to claim the throne (one of which Veyer supports). When the Demon Sovereign comes back, the winner of this conflict simply comes to a sticky end at the hands of Kha-Beleth and is not heard from again.

That there is no demon sovereign is ultimately the key reason why Isabel is still alive and Raelag is able to rescue her. Isabel is stuck in a demonic prison pregnant with the demonic messiah. She gives birth in prison and the child is taken away according to Kha-Beleth's last orders, but none have the authority to execute Isabel, because the Demon Sovereign has given orders to his demon servants explicitly that none are to hurt her and no new demon sovereign has yet arisen.

The Demon Sovereign doesn't kill Isabel because he first has to inpregnate her (which takes around a month) and then has to give birth to the demon messiah (which takes another 9 months). Because there is less than 10 months of time between mission 4 and 5 Isabel is still alive. If Kha-Beleth had been able to return during the period of time of Hammers of Fate- then there would be no Isabel left to rescue.

ThunderTitan wrote:Actually that said quite clearly that he was the 1st Demon Sovereign, and before him there was a sort of council of Demon Lords. L2READ PLS.


I know(obviously). The Demon Lords however were already reffered to as demon sovereigns. This is why it says new and only rather than first and only
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Postby ThunderTitan » Jun 8 2011, 14:43

Well sovereign means king,overlord etc... so it's a question of semantics...


But he was the 1st and only guy that had it as an official title...
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Postby Corlagon » Jun 8 2011, 16:50

ThunderTitan wrote:But he was the 1st and only guy that had it as an official title...


Why on earth did you have to introduce this guy to TVTropes? Now it's completely impossible to mention anything plot-related at Celestial Heavens due to his conspiracy theories that the series' storywriters didn't actually write it and have no say. :P

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Postby ThunderTitan » Jun 8 2011, 18:21

Corlagon wrote:Why on earth did you have to introduce this guy to TVTropes? Now it's completely impossible to mention anything plot-related at Celestial Heavens due to his conspiracy theories that the series' storywriters didn't actually write it and have no say. :P



Because he already figured that out on his own, he just didn't have a name for it...

And i'm hoping that reading that site will make him smarter, and he'll eventually stop being, well himself.
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Postby Slayer of Cliffracers » Jun 8 2011, 20:09

ThunderTitan wrote:Well sovereign means king,overlord etc... so it's a question of semantics...


But he was the 1st and only guy that had it as an official title...


Perhaps but we don't actually know that. Perhaps the demon lords were already called demon sovereigns in the plural. Anyway I can't really see the relavance of this discussion.

ThunderTitan wrote:Because he already figured that out on his own, he just didn't have a name for it...

And i'm hoping that reading that site will make him smarter, and he'll eventually stop being, well himself.


TvTropes is great. It's like a medical encyclopedia for plots. All the things that can go wrong with your story all collected in one place.

And then they decided that sickness is so common it must be the normal state and so Tropes are NOT bad

Which apparantly means that they can't be a medical encyclopedia afterall. :| :| :| :|
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Postby ThunderTitan » Jun 9 2011, 6:03

Slayer of Cliffracers wrote:
ThunderTitan wrote:Well sovereign means king,overlord etc... so it's a question of semantics...


But he was the 1st and only guy that had it as an official title...


Perhaps but we don't actually know that. Perhaps the demon lords were already called demon sovereigns in the plural. Anyway I can't really see the relevance of this discussion.


Yeah we do, based on the fact that they're never referred to as such, which they would be if it was an official title of theirs...


And then they decided that sickness is so common it must be the normal state and so Tropes are NOT bad


That's because there's no such thing as a story without tropes... if you think your story is "totally" original then you're simply ignorant of some stories like it that came before... kinda like those ppl that think Warcraft and Starcraft have original worlds instead of being "inspired" by WH (and of course Moorcock and Heinlein etc.)
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Postby Slayer of Cliffracers » Jun 9 2011, 20:35

ThunderTitan wrote: Yeah we do, based on the fact that they're never referred to as such, which they would be if it was an official title of theirs...


It never says that Kha-Beleth was the first demon sovereign, it's says it he was the new one and the only one.

ThunderTitan wrote: That's because there's no such thing as a story without tropes... if you think your story is "totally" original then you're simply ignorant of some stories like it that came before... kinda like those ppl that think Warcraft and Starcraft have original worlds instead of being "inspired" by WH (and of course Moorcock and Heinlein etc.)


ThunderTitan- that was a joke. Of course I know that, I've read the damn page.
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Postby Mlai » Jun 10 2011, 1:53

Wait, Thundertitan you showed Slayer the way to TVtropes?
Somehow I get the notion that you were less than benevolent in your decision to do that... :devious:

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Postby ThunderTitan » Jun 11 2011, 22:45

Slayer of Cliffracers wrote:ThunderTitan- that was a joke. Of course I know that, I've read the damn page.


Sorry, this part threw me off: "All the things that can go wrong with your story all collected in one place. "


Mlai wrote:Wait, Thundertitan you showed Slayer the way to TVtropes?
Somehow I get the notion that you were less than benevolent in your decision to do that... :devious:


Unfortunately it looks like you can't kill that which has no regard for canon...
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Postby Slayer of Cliffracers » Jun 12 2011, 21:24

ThunderTitan wrote: Sorry, this part threw me off: "All the things that can go wrong with your story all collected in one place. "


That is the joke. It's quite amusing the way that TvTropes functions so well as precisely that but yet is not that.

ThunderTitan wrote:
Unfortunately it looks like you can't kill that which has no regard for canon...


You must be talking about a different person. :creative: :creative: :creative:
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Postby XEL II » Jun 13 2011, 6:40

Slayer of Cliffracers wrote:
ThunderTitan wrote:
Unfortunately it looks like you can't kill that which has no regard for canon...


You must be talking about a different person. :creative: :creative: :creative:

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Postby Slayer of Cliffracers » Jun 16 2011, 12:30

XEL II wrote:
Slayer of Cliffracers wrote:
ThunderTitan wrote:
Unfortunately it looks like you can't kill that which has no regard for canon...


You must be talking about a different person. :creative: :creative: :creative:

No.


:disagree: :disagree: But I always have plenty of regard for canon. Yet some things (like the mere opinions of authors) aren't canon and sources have to read in context rather than at face value.
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Postby ShadowLiberal » Oct 30 2011, 15:15

Slayer of Cliffracers wrote:
Avonu wrote:Meanwhile, "Saint" Isabel used (part of) Isabel soul (ripped from Isabel when she was prisoner in Sheogh) to maintained her disguiese. When Arantir released Isabel spirit, Biara disguise was gone and she used Heart of Griffin (now covered by prince Andrei blood, so it can be use by demons) to summon her allies.


Biara's disguise is pretty faulty to start off with. She has those 'green snake-eyes' which neither Beatrice-Biara or Shadya-Biara had. I'd assume that she was using some sort of illusion magic to disguise these 'flaws' but any half-decent mage would have been able to reveal them.

I would surmise that a succubus is naturally able to adopt the form of pretty much any woman. The succubus creature we see is perhaps a form of somewhat flexible 'base' around which is built the form of the woman she is trying to impersonate, which explains the lack of 'detail', the 'details' assumed are those of the woman that the succubus is impersonating. Succubi are not solely used as combat units; they are used as spies and assasins as well.

But there are limitations to this ability, unless she is able to steal some of the soul of a woman then she cannot impersonate them. And if she does not steal all of their soul then there are flaws in the form which require illusionary magic to conceal, magic which can be dispelled. But a succubus cannot steal a beings entire soul without killing them, which means that a succubus can only perfectly impersonate a being that she has personally slain.

This explains why Beatrice and Shadya lack those green snake eyes (or any obviously demonic feautures). Biara has personally slain both people and stolen their souls. But if the person is still alive (like Isabel is) or killed by someone else or in the wrong manner then their form remains fundermentally flawed.
I thought that Biara just made up the Shadya character? Is there any proof in the story that the real Shadya was killed by Brianna or the demons? I mean, I recall at one point in the finale of the original Heroes 5 that Raelag attacked Biara and said "This is for Shadya", and Biara replied "But I was Shadya".

Also speaking of plot holes, I'm surprised no one ever mentioned the plot hole of Biara impersonating Shadya and then helping Raelag succeed in so many missions.

What did the demons gain by Biara/Shadya helping Raelag? I mean consider all the harm Shadya helped Raelag do to the demons in those missions.

1) Raelag destroyed the Soulscar clan, the demons own allies, with Shadya's help.

2) Raelag spied on the demon sovereign to learn that he planned on capturing Isabel.

3) Raelag defeated Grawl and foiled his attempt to slow him down and stop him from reaching Isabel in time, with Shadya's help.

4) Raelag fights his way past a demon stronghold to reach Isabel, killing thousands of demons, all with Shadya's help.

To top it all off, if Shadya ever had any doubt about Raelag's true identity he pretty much gives it away at the start of mission #3 when he tells her that he was a demon once. Biara should have known enough about Agrael and Raelag to put two and two together.

You could say that Shadya was spying on Raelag for the demons, but then why didn't the demons ever take advantage of that information and set up a trap for Raelag?


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