"I met Gelu once, and I found him to be an inspiring leader and dedicated fighter. He never would have accomplished all that he has in the past few years without the skills to match his stubbornness."
As a recruit in (and later captain of) the Forest Guard, an elite Erathian guerrilla unit, he achieved several momentous victories for his homeland and for the sake of the world, eventually becoming exalted among the people of Antagarich as the so-called Elven Hero.
However, a chain of events incited by the Kreegans led him upon a corrupting path for personal glory, which eventually resulted in his downfall and, ultimately, the destruction of Enroth. Gelu was half Erathian Human and half Vori Snow-Elf.
Heroes III: Armageddon's Blade
Gelu is a campaign-only hero, first introduced in Heroes III: Armageddon's Blade and appearing in four scenarios in the Armageddon's Blade campaign; he is playable in Shadows of the Forest, A Blade in the Back, To Kill A Hero and Oblivion's Edge. Losing Gelu in any of the maps entails losing the scenario.
Gelu is a Ranger who begins with the Basic Archery and Basic Leadership secondary skills, and possesses a unique specialty; he can upgrade archers, marksmen, wood elves or grand elves in his army into sharpshooters at any time for a price in gold.
Heroes III: The Shadow of Death
In Heroes of Might and Magic III: The Shadow of Death, Gelu stars as the protagonist of the Elixir of Life campaign, featuring in its four scenarios: Graduation Exercise, Cutthroats, Valley of the Dragon Lords and A Thief in the Night. He returns in six scenarios in the Unholy Alliance campaign: Search for a Killer, Agents of Vengeance, Invasion, To Strive, To Seek, Union and Fall of Sandro.
In all scenarios, Gelu again is required to survive, with one exception: he appears as an enemy (green player) hero in Invasion whom Sandro is required to defeat in battle. He starts the Elixir of Life campaign with no predefined bonuses, but begins Unholy Alliance at level 25 with 201000 experience points.
In Heroes Chronicles: The Sword of Frost, Gelu is present as an enemy (green player) hero in the final scenario, The Protectors of the Sword. He begins the scenario at level 29 with 496500 experience, and is equipped with Armageddon's Blade, the Crown of Dragontooth, the Quiet Eye of the Dragon and the Boots of Speed.
Little is known about Gelu. Gelu was found and raised by General Morgan Kendal when he was serving under Catherine Ironfist. Gelu now commands Erathia's guerrilla forces known as the Forest Guard. He is believed to be half human, half Vori elf.
A Destiny Forged in Blood
"Gelu had barely graduated from the Forest Guard, ready for a fight and eager to prove himself. His seriousness was surprising in one so young and contrasted greatly against the boisterous Crag Hack."
As an infant, Gelu was mysteriously discovered by Morgan Kendal during the latter's service under Catherine Gryphonheart, while she served with the Talon Brigade. In the absence of any parentage, he was raised by the Talon Brigade itself, and was "essentially born into the military", rising through the Erathian ranks. He was the youngest individual in history to graduate from the Forest Guard, undergoing his graduation exercise in Gaia's Crest. Over the course of his service with the guerrillas, he became close friends with the Forest Guard's captain, Caleb, and fought alongside heroes such as Tarnum, Clancy, Ufretin and, reportedly, Dracon. Gelu himself invented the Bow of the Sharpshooter, which led to the introduction of Sharpshooter troops in the Forest Guard ranks.
Gelu's first task as a recruit was the assembly of the Elixir of Life; its components had been scattered throughout AvLee and Deyja, falling into the hands of bandits in Shantanna, the Dragon Lords, and the Vampire Lord Vokial. At the behest of his superior, Lord Falorel, Gelu invaded each of these territories and, through stealth and combat alike, retrieved the components for the Elixir under the pretense that AvLee desperately required it to heal its ills, and that the Deyjan lords were poised to obtain and destroy it. In reality, Gelu had been serving under Vayarad, a Vampire seeking to hide the Elixir away and prevent its use against his plans to seed AvLee with his brood in preparation for a coup in Deyja. Vayarad had killed Lord Falorel, assumed his identity and masqueraded as Gelu's commander thereafter.
Upon discovering Vayarad's corpse some time after assembling the Elixir and being initiated into the Forest Guard, Gelu - greatly distressed by the atrocities he had unwittingly committed, and suffering from night terrors while beholding the Necromancers' killing fields across the border - sought atonement, and took it upon himself to lead the search for the killer along the Shandar River. He liberated the city of Soledare from Necromancer control, pressed into Deyjan territory and learned the name of Vayarad's killer: Sandro. Under the orders of King Nicolas Gryphonheart and the Erathian leaders, he sought out the Druidess Gem, who had also been battling at the Deyjan frontier.
Days of Redemption
"Several days ago the AvLee Council of Elders commanded Gem and myself to avenge the deaths of Lord Falorel, Lord Fayette, the Dragon Lords and all the other victims of the Necromancers' raids. At the border we encountered this... this horrific scene. The Deyjan lords must be destroyed before all of AvLee is harvested for their undead armies."
The Elder Council commanded Gem and Gelu to collaborate in avenging the deaths of the Necromancers' victims, launching a punitive campaign upon Deyja. Taking a leave of absence from the Forest Guard, Gelu led AvLee troops in the siege of Castle Crypthome, and agreed to cooperate with the Barbarians Yog and Crag Hack, his Forest Guard allies under Caleb, and Erathian troops under King Gryphonheart. Together, the various parties launched a six-point invasion of Deyjan territory from Bragden: Gelu led operations in the city of Meadow Brook. Sandro, equipped with the Cloak of the Undead King and the Armor of the Damned, easily routed the alliance, killing Caleb and forcing Gem and Gelu to flee northwest, towards a tributary of the Shandar. Under Yog's advice, Gelu participated in scouting the region, seeking to find the components of the Angelic Alliance to utilize against Sandro's artifacts.
Gelu knew the region well, but fretted over a lack of news from his allies, suspecting a trap and surveying his troops with foreboding dread and uncertainty. Contemplating his life, he realized none of his training with the Forest Guard had prepared him for the consequences of his mistakes, and felt certain that the day of redemption would come for him one day. However, he banished these thoughts and focused his attention on the crisis caused by Sandro, reflecting that "perhaps then the demons of sleep [would] allow him peace at last". Upon claiming the sword's components, Gelu, Gem, Yog and Crag Hack attempted to regroup, but were divided by a Deyjan blockade led by Sandro's armies. As they battled their way through the region to regroup, Gelu received a letter from the Forest Guard's leaders.
"He quickly read it and then flew into a rage, screaming unintelligible words and pounding his fists against trees and rocks." It explained that "Caleb, Captain of the Forest Guard, was killed in the last skirmish with the Necromancers," and that Gelu had been selected as his successor, asked to return to Erathia as soon as possible to be trained in the formal duties of Captain. This was an unhappy promotion, and Gelu chose to avenge Caleb before assuming his duties, participating in the defeat of Sandro in the Necromancers' lair. Though unsuccessful in killing Sandro, Gelu and his allies managed to wrest the artifacts from his grasp. Choosing to disperse all of the combination artifacts throughout the continent with the realization that every single one of them was corrupting in its own way, the four heroes departed, separating in the snowy night to distance themselves from "a disaster history may never record".
A New Assignment
"Under the Queen's orders we are to wage a 'hit-and-run' war along the AvLee border. Our only support will be local militia hostile toward the Kreegans. Should we be captured, Erathia and AvLee will disavow any knowledge of our actions. Otherwise... this task is no different than before."
Under Gelu's command, the Forest Guard grew into the best guerrilla unit in the Erathian military, overwhelming enemy forces up to four times their size during the Restoration Wars. At the war's end in 1167 AS, Queen Catherine awarded Gelu the highly-prized Erathian Medal of Gallantry. When Lucifer Kreegan III succeeded Xenofex as ruler of Eeofol, he announced his nation's intention to set the world on fire with Armageddon's Blade. Catherine immediately declared war on Eeofol, and ordered Gelu to set the Forest Guard's skills to work on a new purpose, directly harassing the enemy from the AvLee border. Waging a "hit-and-run" war, he commanded the operation from his base in Diasamere.
Some days into the Shadow War, he and his men were met by a traveling caravan of gypsies, one of whom - Nayestra - agreed to read their fortunes. Gelu's "odd appearance and striking presence" led Nayestra to back away, intrigued and frightened. Reading his palm, she explained that his lifeline was uncertain yet his destiny was clear - that he was to become "a widely known figure, one of great import, yet there [was] a dark road as well". Gelu listened in rapt attention as she saw great evil in his future, unsure whether an outside force or something from within was the root of these intimations. Nayestra concluded that he was "a strange dichotomy to be sure", but glowed at the overpayment when he pressed a gem and several gold coins into her palm.
As the conflict progressed, Gelu came upon some of the Confluxes manifesting in Antagarich, and was contacted by the heroes Ciele, Erdamon and Fiur, who warned him of the threat posed by Xeron, Lucifer Kreegan's servitor and leader of the Sons of Erebus. They informed Gelu that Xeron was close to forging Armageddon's Blade, but instructed him that "the wielder of the Blade is not invincible". Shortly afterward, his men discovered a dying member of the Talon Brigade who confirmed the story. While Roland Ironfist, General Kendal and Catherine continued their direct assault towards the Fire Coast, Gelu hampered the Devils' supply lines from the north, even unwittingly slaying Xeron's mother in a raid as she attempted to "drink [his] soul".
Portents of Doom
"In my operations, information is always scarce, and never given full trust. Now I am told the elemental Confluxes we have encountered have allied with Queen Catherine in her war to destroy King Lucifer Kreegan. I have orders to move deep into Eeofol, behind the main Kreegan force Catherine holds at the border. There I am to cut off any potential escape route. I pray this is not a trap."
While cutting off the Kreegans' escape routes from Eeofol, Gelu was dismayed to learn of the Erathian nobility's increasing reluctance to support the invasion, and was left with no choice but to rely on his Conflux allies in battle. During assaults near Moortanis, he captured the renegade Judge Devon Sleen - after several hours of questioning, Sleen verified that Xeron had obtained the Blade. Co-operating with Tavin's Guerrillas and Sleen's counterpart - Judge Brandis Fairweather - Gelu outmaneuvered the Kreegans and besieged the Eeofol city of Jagos. There, he and his troops beheld "scores of men crucified upon the battlements", including the corpse of Khazandar, the Grand Forgesmith who had created Armageddon's Blade; Gelu vowed that Lucifer and his servants would pay for this carnage.
After Catherine stepped down as Erathia's queen to appease the dissenting nobles and ensure her victory, Morgan Kendal - now Erathia's regent - dispatched his foster son to assist the Ironfists in their final push towards Kreelah. The Ironfists welcomed his participation as together they consolidated their attack and wrested Armageddon's Blade from Xeron at Kelvishen, though the Elementalist Tamar warned Catherine of visions similar to those Nayestra had foretold. He envisioned that Catherine's friends and loved ones were "beginning to choose a path, which may be divergent from [hers]". Presuming that Tamar had meant Roland, Catherine focused her concerns on her husband. It was, however, Gelu's ambitions which posed a true danger to the future of the world.
Gelu was entrusted with Armageddon's Blade following Xeron's defeat, but increasingly suffered from delusions of grandeur while wielding it. He dreamed of "visions of glorious battles and immense personal power being heaped upon him. He saw himself chosen by General Kendal as the new king of Erathia. Later he saw himself as ending the feuds in Antagarich and being named leader of the entire continent. He saw Antagarich finally at peace." Haunting these vagaries was the image of a finely-crafted sword. "Instantly he knew this was his key to which he dreamt of. He immediately knew this sword was to be his and had been instrumental in creating the world in which he lived during that dream. That sword looked mysteriously like Armageddon's Blade."
Seduced by the Blade
"You must think your quest is for the benefit of us all, but you are misguided. Turn back now before you open a hornet's nest. Listen to me! I will not allow you to succeed, no matter the cost. Do not assume our friendship will restrain me."
Before the final battle in Eeofol, Tamar ordered Catherine to dispatch Gelu to Kreelah to face and slay King Lucifer as the Kreegans' efforts waned. The Elementalist assured her that "he has a destiny to fulfill that no one must be allowed to interfere with, for if he is to fall, everything shall turn to chaos. Oceans will boil, the ground shall swallow entire cities, and everyone will die a horrifying death". Gelu killed the Devil, securing the Ironfists' victory, and then "he and his guerrilla army vanished into the Erathian forests".
Some years later, Gelu declared his intention to travel to his motherland of Vori with the support of the armies of AvLee and Erathia. With the support of his brethren and his lieutenant, Ufretin, he intended to destroy the Sword of Frost, but failed to realize that doing so would almost certainly destroy the world with it. Tarnum, under the guidance of the Ancestors, desperately mustered a Nighon army to stop his former friend, and Kilgor, the new ruler of Krewlod, directed his third wife, Kija, to retrieve the Sword for himself. The three rivals raced to the Sword of Frost in Volee, with Gelu refusing Tarnum's every plea: "I have never failed in anything I have set out to do - whether that is killing an evil Overlord or destroying a dangerous artifact. I will not stop." Even appeals from Ufretin failed to convince Gelu of the folly of his cause.
Kija became the victor, departing home to Antagarich with the Sword of Frost and presenting it to Kilgor, who subsequently started a war with enormous consequences. Disregarding Tarnum's warnings, Gelu returned to the continent and carried Armageddon's Blade into battle against Kilgor, now desperate to destroy its counterpart. The two leaders were evenly matched, and came to a stalemate, clashing Armageddon's Blade and the Sword of Frost as predicted. The Reckoning ensued, killing both the heroes, marring the world and displacing the people of Enroth. The potential for "great evil" within Gelu, foreseen by Nayestra years earlier, had at last come to pass.
"As for Gelu, I left Armageddon's Blade in his hands. Following our victory, he and his guerrilla army vanished into the Erathian forests. I do not know if he intends to destroy the weapon... or keep it for himself. In time, I am sure we will all know."
Gelu is a word in Latin, meaning ice or frost.
- Heroes of Might and Magic III: The Shadow of Death
- Heroes of Might and Magic III: Armageddon's Blade
- Heroes Chronicles: Clash of the Dragons (mentioned only)
- Heroes Chronicles: The Sword of Frost
- Heroes of Might and Magic IV
- Heroes of Might and Magic III: Armageddon's Blade. New World Computing. Scenario: Shadows of the Forest. 1999.
- Heroes of Might and Magic III: Armageddon's Blade. New World Computing. Scenario: A Blade in the Back. 1999.
- Heroes of Might and Magic III: Armageddon's Blade. New World Computing. Scenario: To Kill A Hero. 1999.
- Heroes of Might and Magic III: Armageddon's Blade. New World Computing. Scenario: Oblivion's Edge. 1999.
- Heroes of Might and Magic III: Armageddon's Blade. New World Computing. 1999.
- Heroes of Might and Magic III: The Shadow of Death. New World Computing. Scenario: Graduation Exercise. 2000.
- Heroes of Might and Magic III: The Shadow of Death. New World Computing. Scenario: Cutthroats. 2000.
- Heroes of Might and Magic III: The Shadow of Death. New World Computing. Scenario: Valley of the Dragon Lords. 2000.
- Heroes of Might and Magic III: The Shadow of Death. New World Computing. Scenario: A Thief in the Night. 2000.
- Heroes of Might and Magic III: The Shadow of Death. New World Computing. Scenario: Search for a Killer. 2000.
- Heroes of Might and Magic III: The Shadow of Death. New World Computing. Scenario: Agents of Vengeance. 2000.
- Heroes of Might and Magic III: The Shadow of Death. New World Computing. Scenario: Invasion. 2000.
- Heroes of Might and Magic III: The Shadow of Death. New World Computing. Scenario: To Strive, To Seek. 2000.
- Heroes of Might and Magic III: The Shadow of Death. New World Computing. Scenario: Union. 2000.
- Heroes of Might and Magic III: The Shadow of Death. New World Computing. Scenario: Fall of Sandro. 2000.
- Heroes Chronicles: The Sword of Frost. New World Computing. Scenario: The Protectors of the Sword. 2001.
- Heroes 3 - Heroes biographies ("Gelu") at Maps4Heroes
- Heroes Chronicles: Clash of the Dragons. New World Computing. Scenario: The Dragontalker. 2000.
- Heroes of Might and Magic III: The Shadow of Death. New World Computing. Scenario: Clearing the Border. 2000.
- Heroes Chronicles: The Sword of Frost. New World Computing. Scenario: A New Ally. 2001.
- Heroes of Might and Magic III: The Shadow of Death. New World Computing. Scenario: Wrath of Sandro. 2000.
- Heroes of Might and Magic III: The Shadow of Death. New World Computing. Scenario: Secrets Revealed. 2000.
- Heroes of Might and Magic III: Armageddon's Blade. New World Computing. Scenario: Catherine's Charge. 1999.
- Heroes of Might and Magic III: Armageddon's Blade. New World Computing. Scenario: Maker of Sorrows. 1999.
- Heroes Chronicles: The Sword of Frost. New World Computing. Scenario: Tarnum the Overlord. 2001.
- Heroes Chronicles: The Sword of Frost. New World Computing. Scenario: The Capture. 2001.
- Heroes Chronicles: The Sword of Frost. New World Computing. Scenario: A New Enemy. 2001.
- Heroes Chronicles: The Sword of Frost. New World Computing. Scenario: The Barbarian's Wife. 2001.
- Heroes of Might and Magic IV. New World Computing. 2002.