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"I wish I could truthfully say this is the most shocking treason I have ever witnessed, but unfortunately, it's not."
Catherine Ironfist[5]

Lord Haart is a recurring character in the Heroes of Might and Magic series, acting as a playable hero in the first three titles and as a secondary antagonist in Heroes of Might and Magic III: The Restoration of Erathia and Heroes of Might and Magic III: Armageddon's Blade.

A talented and valiant Knight, serving the Ironfists and Gryphonhearts for decades with seemingly unblemished loyalty, his allegiance secretly lies with the Necromantic Order - a fact which leads him to betray his allies and king, only to bring about his own downfall.

BiographyEdit

Service to the CrownEdit

Some have said that Lord Haart's departure from Enroth was due to ties with a Necromantic cult, but his service to the crown of Erathia has been as spotless as it was to Roland Ironfist before the Succession Wars.OffBck

Born before the First War of Enrothian Succession, Haart served among Morglin Ironfist's retinue during the conflict, and aided in the founding of the Kingdom of Enroth.[6] Though human,[1] it is unclear whether Haart hailed from VARN-4 or was native to Enroth.

Twenty-five years after Lord Alamar's defeat, when Morglin's son Archibald usurped the throne, Lord Haart swore fealty to Archibald's rebel brother, Roland Ironfist. As a talented warrior and strategist, he acted as a counterpart to Archibald's military commander, General Corlagon. In the final battles of the Second War of Enrothian Succession, advised by The Commander, Lord Haart succeeded in capturing Corlagon and reclaiming major territories from the usurpers.[7]

While Lord Haart defended these territories, Roland and The Commander pressed on, besieging their enemies' fortresses and dethroning Archibald. Roland assumed the throne, reunifying the kingdom.[8] However, despite Haart's seemingly spotless servitude to the Ironfists, his true loyalties did not lie with the dynasty. In truth, he was a servant of the Necromantic Order, though his dual loyalty was not revealed until the Restoration Wars.[9]

Betrayal of TrustEdit

"With Lord Haart's access to Steadwick, poisoning King Gryphonheart's food was a simple task. Acting on orders from King Vilmar, he sought to avenge the banishment of the necromancers from Erathia. I have special plans for Lord Haart."
—Catherine Ironfist[9]

HIIISongFatherDELordHaart

Catherine and Lord Haart invade Gryphonheart's citadel.

Lord Haart's ties to the Necromancers of Deyja were well-concealed, though it was still rumoured that he departed the continent of Enroth for Antagarich due to affiliations with a necromantic cult.[1] Famed for his services as a battle commander under Roland Ironfist, he settled in Erathia following Archibald's defeat, joining the Royal Erathian Military Command.[10] He was given command of a holding, Castle Haart, on the northerly, forested Erathian frontier west of Deyja, and acted as its border lord.[11]

Under orders from Deyja's King Finneas Vilmar, Lord Haart sought to avenge the banishment of the Necromancers, an act carried out long years ago by Erathian King Nicolas Gryphonheart.[9] He hoped that Sandro's plan for conquest could successfully topple the powerful nation, and plotted to poison the king. In 1164 AS, as Haart left for maneuvers further into Erathian territory, Sandro staged a skirmish at the border and took his castle. Sandro deposited the appropriate Vial of Poison in the castle, leaving Haart to recover his lands - and obtain the implement of regicide.[11]

Vengeance and RetributionEdit

"Throughout my life, my father emphasized my duty to the kingdom and my duty to justice. Today I did both, by delivering to my father Lord Haart - the traitor who poisoned him and imprisoned his soul in an undead corpse."
—Catherine Ironfist[9]

King Gryphonheart died at Steadwick in his sleep in late 1164, having consumed a goblet of poisoned wine.[12] His killing threw Erathia into a frenzy as the Overlords of Nighon and the Kreegans commenced their invasion of the eastern border.[13] Lord Haart continued his ruse when Catherine Ironfist - Gryphonheart's daughter - returned home; he joined her forces, proving himself "one of her most trusted generals" and even participating in battle against the Deyjan forces, utterly unsuspected.[12]

Haart's ambitions failed due to a cataclysmic reshuffling of power in Deyja. King Vilmar and the Deyjans plotted to reanimate King Gryphonheart to learn Erathia's military secrets. However, Vilmar was killed by the reanimated Lich King Gryphonheart, who replaced him on the throne and proved a far more potent leader.[14] Gryphonheart, now seeking revenge, launched a full-scale invasion of his own homeland in search of his betrayer.[15] The Lich King proved to be too effective a commander for the Necromancers' own good: their agent, Nimbus, secretly exchanged the identity of Erathia's traitor to Catherine in return for her assistance in destroying Gryphonheart.[16]

Aware that his plan had irrevocably collapsed, Haart directly participated in the mission to put an end to King Gryphonheart once and for all, unaware that Catherine already knew of his betrayal. When Stonecastle and Gryphonheart's final citadel were taken by the Erathian forces, Queen Catherine led her generals into the throne room to witness the Lich's demise, Haart among them - but before destroying her father, she pointed out the traitor to him. Astonished, Haart attacked the Lich King, but Gryphonheart gladly claimed his revenge, plunging his undead hand into Haart's body and crushing his murderer's very heart before being granted his final peace.[9]

Burning of TataliaEdit

Resurrected by his cult of necromantic followers, Lord Haart has emerged a more powerful foe than before.OffBck

In the aftermath of the Restoration Wars, the disgraced Lord Haart's corpse was neglected by the Erathians; a cult loyal to him seized the opportunity to raise him from the dead as their leader. Now a powerful Death Knight, the undead Lord Haart required an army to further his future goals, and chose the marshland nation of Tatalia as his collective victim.[4]

HIIIFireC

Haart leads the Necromantic cult at Tatalia.

Opposed almost exclusively by the Tatalian Fire Witch, Adrienne, Lord Haart and his cult members cleaved a path of devastation through the unspoiled swamps. Slaughtering thousands of Gnolls, Lizardmen and wildlife, his forces grew as the nation's political leaders struggled to cope.[17] Haart's timing was well-advised, as Erathia could not lend Tatalia any aid due to its engagement in the Demon Wars - yet while successful in raising an undead horde, Haart failed to consolidate it.[18]

Forced to the continent's northwestern coast by Adrienne's relentless counterattack, he was left to stand and fight with the remainder of his cult members as the marshes began to recover. Confronted and overpowered by the denizens of the marshes, Haart was slain for the final time at his Necropolis. His corpse was interred once and for all in an unmarked grave in the dense forestlands. There, his killer, Adrienne, silently mused over his bravery and ultimate downfall in life, remarking on her own uncertainty whether she had buried a hero or a villain.[18]

"Tomorrow, I will wake and this nightmare will end for both myself, Tatalia, and its people. I do not know if I have buried a hero... or a villain. In my travels I have heard many stories of Lord Haart's bravery and ultimate downfall. When I lay to rest, I wonder if the stories my countrymen tell will speak of me as a fire witch in a land of earth and water... or as a hero."
—Adrienne[18]

GameplayEdit

Lord Haart is one of the nine playable Knight heroes in Heroes of Might and Magic: A Strategic Quest. His unique ID in the accompanying map editor is No. 1.[19] Haart returns only as a playable campaign Knight in Heroes of Might and Magic II: The Succession Wars in Corlagon's Defense, based on Sir Gallant's hero slot - here he starts at level 3 with 3000 experience. His initial skills are Basic Ballistics, Basic Logistics and Basic Leadership.[7]

Lord Haart also appears in Heroes III: The Restoration of Erathia, where he is one of the eight standard available Knight heroes associated with the Castle faction. Haart's specialty is unique only to him - his Estates skill receives a 5% bonus with every experience level he gains. He starts with Basic Leadership and Estates.[1] Haart is the starting hero in the Tutorial scenario, and must be kept alive alongside Catherine Ironfist in For King and Country, the final map of Song for the Father. Here, he begins at level 11 with 15500 experience points.[9][20]

In Armageddon's Blade and The Shadow of Death, Lord Haart is withdrawn from the Knight hero pool and moved to the Necropolis faction as a campaign-only Death Knight. The Knight slot he leaves empty is filled by Sir Mullich. The undead Haart possesses Advanced Necromancy and starts with Slow, while his unique specialty grants Black Knights and dread knights under his command a set +5 Attack, +5 Defense and +10 Damage bonus in battle.[21] Haart appears only as an enemy (Blue player) hero in the Burning of Tatalia scenario in the Playing with Fire campaign, and begins at level 37 with 1800000 experience points.[18]

The files for the original Lord Haart still exist in the expansion packs; though normally impossible to place on maps, he is made specially recruitable if the available hero pool on a map is lower than its basic requirement (ten for each player plus one for each town). Such maps include the Heroes Chronicles previews.

TriviaEdit

  • Lord Haart's sword was crafted by the smith Galen, according to rumours in Heroes III: Armageddon's Blade.[22]
  • Haart's campaign-only appearance in Heroes II was added late in development. As such, his character portrait from Heroes I was not included in the game; in Corlagon's Defense, he shares Sir Gallant's portrait.

AppearancesEdit

Haart appears in Heroes of Might and Magic: A Strategic Quest, Heroes of Might and Magic II: The Succession Wars, Heroes of Might and Magic for Game Boy Color, Heroes of Might and Magic III: The Restoration of Erathia and its expansion pack, Armageddon's Blade. He is also mentioned in Heroes of Might and Magic III: The Shadow of Death.

GalleryEdit

SourcesEdit

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 Icon-H3 Heroes of Might and Magic III: The Restoration of Erathia. New World Computing. 1999.
  2. Might and Magic VII: For Blood and Honor. New World Computing. Document: Manual ("Welcome to Might and Magic® VII" section). 1999.
  3. "Icon-H3X1 Heroes of Might and Magic III: Armageddon's Blade. New World Computing. Scenario: Return of the King. 1999."
  4. 4.0 4.1 Icon-H3X1 Heroes of Might and Magic III: Armageddon's Blade. New World Computing. Scenario: Farming Towns. 1999.
  5. Might and Magic VII: For Blood and Honor. New World Computing. Quest: Retrieve Plans from Fort Riverstride. 1999.
  6. Icon-H1 Heroes of Might and Magic: A Strategic Quest. New World Computing. Scenario: Castle Ironfist. 1995.
  7. 7.0 7.1 Icon-H2 Heroes of Might and Magic II: The Succession Wars. New World Computing. Scenario: Corlagon's Defense. 1996.
  8. Icon-H2 Heroes of Might and Magic II: The Succession Wars. New World Computing. Scenario: Final Justice. 1996.
  9. 9.0 9.1 9.2 9.3 9.4 9.5 Icon-H3 Heroes of Might and Magic III: The Restoration of Erathia. New World Computing. Scenario: For King and Country. 1999.
  10. "The Legacy" at Nether Gods
  11. 11.0 11.1 Icon-H3X2 Heroes of Might and Magic III: The Shadow of Death. New World Computing. Scenario: Poison Fit for a King. 2000.
  12. 12.0 12.1 "Heroes of Might and Magic III" at 3DO.com
  13. "Rumors from Steadwick" at Nether Gods
  14. Icon-H3 Heroes of Might and Magic III: The Restoration of Erathia. New World Computing. Scenario: A Gryphon's Heart. 1999.
  15. Icon-H3 Heroes of Might and Magic III: The Restoration of Erathia. New World Computing. Scenario: From Day to Night. 1999.
  16. Icon-H3 Heroes of Might and Magic III: The Restoration of Erathia. New World Computing. Scenario: Safe Passage. 1999.
  17. Icon-H3X1 Heroes of Might and Magic III: Armageddon's Blade. New World Computing. Scenario: March of the Undead. 1999.
  18. 18.0 18.1 18.2 18.3 Icon-H3X1 Heroes of Might and Magic III: Armageddon's Blade. New World Computing. Scenario: Burning of Tatalia. 1999.
  19. Icon-H1 Heroes of Might and Magic: A Strategic Quest. New World Computing. 1995.
  20. Icon-H3 Heroes of Might and Magic III: The Restoration of Erathia. New World Computing. Scenario: Tutorial. 1999.
  21. Icon-H3X1 Heroes of Might and Magic III: Armageddon's Blade. New World Computing. 1999.
  22. Icon-H3 Heroes of Might and Magic III: Armageddon's Blade. New World Computing. Scenario: Maker of Sorrows. 1999.


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