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Heroes of Might and Magic IV
Stronghold Overview
Written by Bluewind the Genie
May 9, 2002
Stronghold was always the synonym of might direction of development in Heroes and now in the new world it certainly represents the ultimate experience of the Might.

The Barbarians hold the special place in history scrolls. There were legends about their heroes (see Chronicles, extract from the history of the barbarian hero Tarnum), about their way of life and choosing leaders (see Festival of Life, age of the Armageddon's Blade). Even their name itself  the 'barbarians' - became the term meaning something more than just a name for the race, though the Barbarians themselves do not always agree with all the features attributed to them. Let's not forget that the barbarian race is quite an old one with its own lore and traditions, famous bards and even more famous heroes.

It is a fortune that we still have them with us in this new world, though in a very changed shape.
Gone are the nasty green smelly little creatures that were always a nuisance when they have been around, but now aren't they missed? Yes, I am speaking about the Goblins. There aren't any Goblins anymore in the Stronghold army, not the infantry and neither the cavalry on the Wolves.

Without the Goblins, the Wolves became sick and in order to prevent the complete extinction of their species they have been moved to the new Elves' home of Preserve. The Elves sent as a substitute the Centaurs who were too rebellious and unruly for the Elves' taste.

The Orcs made an exchange with the Harpies of the former Dungeon and now live in Asylum.
All the elite units have remained. There are still Cyclops and Ogre Magi, Behemoths and Thunderbirds walking around Stronghold towns. Of course, they are not completely the same as before in Antagarich, but at the same time who is after all those terrible things they have witnessed in the old world?

Some human warriors who lived in Stronghold towns were so traumatised by the experience that developed a peculiar case of insanity. At a battlefield, they become berserks and no medicine can yet help them to cure this terrible illness.

The old memories and old wounds are even more deep and painful for the Barbarians than for other races because it were the Barbarians along with the Elves who were the main reasons of the world destruction.

If Kilgore wouldn't win the Festival of Life and wouldn't become the new King of all the Barbarians; if it would be somebody else on the throne of Krewlod with less ambitions and more sense in his head; if Kilgore's wife wouldn't be so good in following the orders of her husband and wouldn't steal the Sword of Frost just in front of Gelu the Elf's and the immortal barbarian hero Tarnum's noses from the lost frozen elven city of Volee; if Tarnum wouldn't fail in his mission of stopping Gelu; ififif

There were a lot of 'ifs' that could just save the world and the Barbarians played not a small part in all this.

Although, in their defence it must be said that it were the Elves, who have created the Sword of Frost in the first place; and it was Gelu the Elf, who was obsessed with the idea of adding to his own Armageddon's Blade the second most powerful weapon of mass destruction. Others would say that nothing could be done at all, as the ancient prophecy already predicted all these events aeons ago and as soon as the alien Kreegans created the Armageddon's Blade the chain reaction was started.

Nevertheless, the Barbarians were deeply shocked by all those things that happened and vowed never again touch anything remotely close to magic. That's why you would never find anything connected to magic inside Stronghold towns. The magic is banned there, though out of courtesy to visitors they tolerate passing by wizards and spellcasters, but only barely; and it is not recommended to stay for too long in Stronghold if you're practising magic.  However, there are rumours that some barbarian heroes were secretly visiting the learning places here in this world, but even if it is so they are concealing this fact very well.

The only thing we can be sure of when dealing with the Barbarians that if they would continue to survive, they will bring more surprises and undoubtedly some of them will be of a very nasty sort.