Heroes 3.5: In the Wake of Gods Portal > HoMM3: Day of Reckoning update – Snow Elves faction
HoMM3: Day of Reckoning update – Snow Elves faction
Many players will recall Gelu, the half-human, half-Snow Elf protagonist of Heroes III: Armageddon’s Blade and subsequent campaigns. With the exception of Gelu himself, and a somewhat hampered and nebulous presence in Heroes Chronicles: The Sword of Frost (in which they are represented by the Rampart faction), the Snow Elves have been repeatedly heard of but not seen in the world of Enroth. Day of Reckoning (DoR) will finally shift the spotlight towards this mysterious, isolationistic race for the first time.
According to Heroes lore, the Snow Elves are the ancestors of the Wood Elves of AvLee (Rampart), dwelling in deliberate and zealously defended seclusion upon the magically frozen elven homeland of Vori, due northwest of the continent of Antagarich. Centuries of tension and philosophical divergence between these Elven societies attest for us that the Snow Elves are best represented as an individual faction, one you will discover for yourselves in the mod.
The Snow Elf of DoR derives inspiration from the most classical real-world concept of an Elf – the Norse “Ljósálfar” (Light Elves), semi-angelic beings who dwell in a realm likened to heaven. We feel that this mythological rooting and contextualisation is key to an authentic Heroes creature. In this way, the Snow Elves are both internally and mythologically positioned as the forefathers of all other Elves; effectively “one-upping” their Wood Elven descendants, who owe much to Tolkien’s interpretation of the Norse myths.
Snow Elven society orients itself around worship of the long-silent Ancients, and grandiose manipulations of time, destiny, and mortality. Ostensibly the favoured chosen ones of the gods, they defend their homeland with all their worth at the direction of the higher powers’ representatives on Enroth. In exchange, they are blessed with exceptional powers… and significant responsibilities. This paradigm will be explored in greater detail via future updates.
Gameplay-wise, the Snow Elves are tactically robust. Wielding an oracular crystal ball (New World Computing’s writings state that the elven race originally invented these magical tools to rebuke invading armies), the basic Snow Elf can not only initiate their own ranged attacks, but retaliate against ranged enemy strikes. Its upgrade, the most noble and decorated High Elf, influences the speed of all adjacent creatures. “If a human watched the dance of the elves, he would discover that even though only a few hours seemed to have passed, many years had passed in the real world. Humans being invited or lured to the elf dance is a common motif transferred from older Scandinavian ballads.”
Snow Elves are, appropriately as ever, born with characteristic blanched, snow white skin – a motif commonly encountered in snow- and ice-oriented myths and tales, the character of the White Witch from The Chronicles of Narnia serving as one prominent example.
Continuing some of the Heroes games‘ running parallels with Tolkien’s Legendarium, the Snow Elf / Wood Elf / Dark Elf trinity might be likened to the dynamics of the Vanyar, Noldor, and Teleri respectively. Like the Vanyar, the Snow Elves harbour far stronger devotion – and benefit from a far closer connection – to the cosmic powers that be (the Ancients), compared both to their “renegade” Elven brethren and any of the other races in Antagarich.