Heroes VI takes place on the continent of Thallan in the fictional world of Ashan, a setting developed by Ubisoft between 2004 and 2008 for use in all of its Might and Magic-related projects, starting with Heroes of Might and Magic V in 2006. Ashan is populated by approximately eleven factions inspired by those appearing in previous Heroes games and real-life cultures, five of which are showcased in Heroes VI. Many of those factions have deified dragons, with their worship system centralized around one or more dragon gods linked to the classical elements (however, some factions like Orcs and the Spider Cult of Necromancers, do not worship dragons, while the Wizards of the Seven Cities are alluded to be atheist and rather regard the dragons as some magical creation); the conflict between the followers of Elrath, the Dragon of Light, and Malassa, the Dragon of Darkness, provides the background for the events of the game. Demon invaders periodically invade and terrorize Ashan during eclipses, which weaken the magical barrier trapping them in Sheogh, an otherworldly prison. Heroes VI also re-introduces passing references to the Ancients, a super advanced society of beings which narratively connected previous worlds featured in the Might and Magic franchise.