History Literature / Xenos

16th Mar '16 8:44:17 AM ObsidianFire
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* DragonWithAnAgenda: Prince Kriy of Baros to the Fallen. Kriy is the priest-king of the ReligionOfEvil and is supposed to work solely to advance the Fallen's return. All the while, Kriy was observed consolidating his personal power. His emissaries have offered stand-alone Dark lodges the choice between submission to Kriy and destruction. At a guess, Kriy is well aware of both his and the world's fate in the case of said return of the Fallen and would likely prefer the current status quo. [[spoiler: In a conversation with Vlad, Kriy admits beings a fellow Xenos. Kriy left the USSR sometimes during Stalin's reign and thus entered Arland some 600 years ago. Kriy was likely a communist who supported Stalin before Stalin decimated the old communists. Hence Kriy's hesitation to usher his own demise by invoking the second coming of the BigBad is understandably GenreSavvy.]]

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* DragonWithAnAgenda: Prince Kriy of Baros to the Fallen. Kriy is the priest-king of the ReligionOfEvil and is supposed to work solely to advance the Fallen's return. All the while, Kriy was observed consolidating his personal power. His emissaries have offered stand-alone Dark lodges the choice between submission to Kriy and destruction. At a guess, Kriy is well aware of both his and the world's fate in the case of said return of the Fallen and would likely prefer the current status quo. [[spoiler: In a conversation with Vlad, Kriy admits beings a fellow Xenos. Kriy left the USSR sometimes during Stalin's reign and thus entered Arland some 600 years ago. Kriy was likely a communist who supported Stalin before Stalin decimated the old communists. Hence Kriy's hesitation to usher his own demise by invoking the second coming of the BigBad is understandably GenreSavvy.smart.]]



** Solved in the kingdom of Dekara by a HiddenBackupPrince - the loyal courtiers were GenreSavvy and faked his death years ago.

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** Solved in the kingdom of Dekara by a HiddenBackupPrince - the loyal courtiers were GenreSavvy smart and faked his death years ago.
15th Feb '16 7:27:24 AM MacronNotes
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* LikeAFishTakesToWater: due to YearInsideHourOutside, the Xenos from Earth are rather spread in time on Arland, but seem to rarely become mundane citizens.

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* LikeAFishTakesToWater: LikeADuckTakesToWater: due to YearInsideHourOutside, the Xenos from Earth are rather spread in time on Arland, but seem to rarely become mundane citizens.
15th Feb '16 7:27:18 AM MacronNotes
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* LikeAFishTakesToWater: due to YearInsideHourOutside, the Xenos from Earth are rather spread in time on Arland, but seem to rarely become mundane citizens.

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* LikeAFishTakesToWater: LikeADuckTakesToWater: due to YearInsideHourOutside, the Xenos from Earth are rather spread in time on Arland, but seem to rarely become mundane citizens.
17th Oct '15 7:14:07 PM nombretomado
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** An interlude shows a conversation between two clerics addressing each other as "Es" and "Nir", most likely [[spoiler: Father Estor and the current [[ThePope Maker's Deputy]] ]]. They are discussing the phenomenon of people cropping up in the "blighted spots", which has been happening for several centuries and is well-known enough to have contributed the word "derg", meaning "alien", to the CommonTongue. The Church has often taken interest in these "aliens", [[spoiler: with Vlad's release "into the wild" with the bare minimum of information and no further training being an exception]].

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** An interlude shows a conversation between two clerics addressing each other as "Es" and "Nir", most likely [[spoiler: Father Estor and the current [[ThePope [[UsefulNotes/ThePope Maker's Deputy]] ]]. They are discussing the phenomenon of people cropping up in the "blighted spots", which has been happening for several centuries and is well-known enough to have contributed the word "derg", meaning "alien", to the CommonTongue. The Church has often taken interest in these "aliens", [[spoiler: with Vlad's release "into the wild" with the bare minimum of information and no further training being an exception]].
13th Jul '15 10:28:30 AM jlt314
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* DemBones: Decayed corpses taken by the power of the Fallen may rise as weak undead, commonly known as skeletons. Their power varies with the level of taint around them. Old skeletons evolve into skeleton warriors. Various servants of the Fallen can turn warriors into skeleton knights, increasing speed, strength and martial skill and granting them basic magic skills. Skeleton knights evolve into skeleton mages after killing a certain amount of sentients, gaining taint-amplified basic spells, but loosing melee skills. A skeleton mage can be turned into a skeleton Lord. Skeleton Lords are strong mages providing local control for lower ranked skeletons, vastly increasing the combat potential of skeleton units.

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* DemBones: Decayed corpses taken by the power of the Fallen may rise as weak undead, commonly known as skeletons. Their power varies with the level of taint around them. Old skeletons evolve into skeleton warriors. Various servants of the Fallen can turn warriors into skeleton knights, increasing speed, strength and martial skill and granting them basic magic skills. Skeleton knights evolve into skeleton mages after killing a certain amount of sentients, sapients, gaining taint-amplified basic spells, but loosing melee skills. A skeleton mage can be turned into a skeleton Lord. Skeleton Lords are strong mages providing local control for lower ranked skeletons, vastly increasing the combat potential of skeleton units.



** Desert of Mirrors: The habitable lands were literally burned off the map during the Interregnum and the bedrock was glassed to give the area the new name. Because of erosion, the area became a (technically passable) sandy desert. It's highly hostile due to climate, water shortage and magical fallout. The later caused the restless souls of the previous inhabitants to become Sand Spirits, partially corporeal sapient undead predators who now prey on all sapient life to enter their habitats.

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** Desert of Mirrors: The habitable lands were literally burned off the map during the Interregnum and the bedrock was glassed to give the area the new name. Because of erosion, the area became a (technically passable) sandy desert. It's highly hostile due to climate, water shortage and magical fallout. The later caused the restless souls of the previous inhabitants to become Sand Spirits, partially corporeal sapient undead predators who now prey on all sapient life to sapients who enter their habitats.



# Keeping the very simple technology secret, which alone would cause a competent intelligence agent to grow gray hairs;

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# Keeping the very simple technology secret, which alone would cause a competent intelligence agent to grow gray hairs;hair;



* MoralityKitchenSink: With the Maker and the Destroyer at the opposite ends of the scale, the sentients of Arland represent the full variety of morals.

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* MoralityKitchenSink: With the Maker and the Destroyer at the opposite ends of the scale, the sentients and sapients of Arland represent the full variety of morals.



* NonMaliciousMonster: the Kraken. According to Vlad's experience after empathic contact, the Kraken is sentient, but not sapient, and his initial aggression resulted from the original summoning and the failed control rituals.

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* NonMaliciousMonster: the Kraken. According to Vlad's experience after empathic contact, the Kraken is sentient, but not truly sapient, and his initial aggression resulted from the original summoning and the failed control rituals.



* OurGryphonsAreDifferent: Gryphons are likely a creation of the Chimera school, one of the least known schools of magic. Their sole known nesting grounds are in the Karosa kingdom. Gryphons are smart, possibly borderline sentient, and are tamed by the military, making Karosa the only kingdom with a functioning air force. An adult gryphon can comfortably carry a basket or a net with several passengers or a load of cargo. Vlad compares a gryphon flock guarded by several dragons to a cargo helicopter squadron with an escort of gunships. Vlad's drake Fuzz merely considers them a hard-to-catch delicacy.

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* OurGryphonsAreDifferent: Gryphons are likely a creation of the Chimera school, one of the least known schools of magic. Their sole known nesting grounds are in the Karosa kingdom. Gryphons are smart, sentient, possibly borderline sentient, sapient, and are tamed by the military, making Karosa the only kingdom with a functioning air force. An adult gryphon can comfortably carry a basket or a net with several passengers or a load of cargo. Vlad compares a gryphon flock guarded by several dragons to a cargo helicopter squadron with an escort of gunships. Vlad's drake Fuzz merely considers them a hard-to-catch delicacy.



* PsychicRadar: the Mind school has spells and wards to detect sentients. Life, Blood and Water mages can use related spells to detect living beings in general, and Death and Necromancy mages can detect TheUndead.

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* PsychicRadar: the Mind school has spells and wards to detect sentients.sapients. Life, Blood and Water mages can use related spells to detect living beings in general, and Death and Necromancy mages can detect TheUndead.



* RoaringRampageOfRescue: the kidnapping of the She-Wolves (an all-girl Hunter team) and Dunya for the Catacomb Lords' procreation ritual triggers this for the entire city of Belgor. In most cases, Hunters would try to find and MercyKill the women. After an almost suicidal distraction by the Hunters' Guild, Vlad leads a crack team of Hunters into the Blighted Catacombs. They find the lair of the Catacomb Lords, destroy the guards, kill the vulnerable Lords and save the women.

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* RoaringRampageOfRescue: the RoaringRampageOfRescue:
** The
kidnapping of the She-Wolves (an all-girl Hunter team) and Dunya for the Catacomb Lords' procreation ritual triggers this for the entire city of Belgor. In most cases, Hunters would try to find and MercyKill the women. After an almost suicidal distraction by the Hunters' Guild, Vlad leads a crack team of Hunters into the Blighted Catacombs. They find the lair of the Catacomb Lords, destroy the guards, kill the vulnerable Lords and save the women.women.
** Vlad's undercover mission in the Red Caves ends with a free-for-all chaotic battle where Vlad's party manages to save the slaves and prevent a massive demon summoning.



** After exiting the Blighted Catacombs, Vlad's team rides for Belgor to allow Bishop Aner to exorcise the rescued women and save their lives permanently. The Hunters are intercepted by father Sanr, a [[KnightTemplar fanatic Maker's Servant (a member of Arland's inquisition)]], accompanied by Servant guards and several Maker's Hands (paladins). The Servant incapacitates the Hunters within a clerical barrier spell and orders the women executed by piercing their hearts and beheading them, their tainted corpses exorcised and burned on the spot. Vlad unleashes a power he isn't supposed to have and proceeds to break the barrier, slaughter the Servant guards and the Hands and finally kill the inquisitor.
** A successful rebellion in the Litiya kingdom almost destroyed the dynasty. Loviya, the queen of Litiya, lost her husband and all their children, but saved her toddler grandson. She then took command of loyal forces and reclaimed the throne. Upon reclaiming the capital, Loviya had all the captured noble rebels executed one after another on the exact date of their rebellion.

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** After exiting the Blighted Catacombs, Vlad's team rides for Belgor to allow Bishop Aner to exorcise the rescued women and save their lives permanently. The Hunters are intercepted by father Sanr, a [[KnightTemplar fanatic Maker's Servant (a member of Arland's inquisition)]], accompanied by Servant guards and several Maker's Hands (paladins). The Servant incapacitates the Hunters within a clerical barrier spell and orders the women executed by piercing their hearts and beheading them, their tainted corpses exorcised and burned on the spot. This makes Vlad unleashes a power he isn't supposed to have snap and proceeds to break the barrier, barrier spell, then slaughter the Servant guards and the Hands and finally kill the inquisitor.
inquisitor. [[spoiler: Vlad had descended into the Ice Overlord state and manifested their trademark Ice Blades on his swords. ]]
** A successful rebellion in the Litiya kingdom almost destroyed the dynasty. Loviya, the queen of Litiya, lost her husband and all their children, but saved her toddler 5-year-old grandson. She then took command of loyal forces and reclaimed the throne. Upon reclaiming the capital, Loviya had all the captured noble rebels executed one after another on the exact date of their rebellion.



* SealedBadassInACan: The Chain of Elements houses 4 captive primary elementals, allowing the wielder to use Lord tier magic of Earth, Fire, Air and Water within the limits of mana available. Said captive elementals have been imprisoned in the Chain for the last two millenia with an unexpected side effect: interacting with the Chain's wielders and other sentients slowly enhanced them from nigh-feral common elementals to fully sentient beings. The elementals befriend Vlad and enjoy his company, further adavncing in sentience. While now able to break free of the Chain and to return to their respective elements' dimensions, the elementals unanimously decided to stay.

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* SealedBadassInACan: The Chain of Elements houses 4 captive primary elementals, allowing the wielder to use Lord tier magic of Earth, Fire, Air and Water within the limits of mana available. Said captive elementals have been imprisoned in the Chain for the last two millenia with an unexpected side effect: interacting with the Chain's wielders and other sentients sapients slowly enhanced elevated them from nigh-feral common elementals to fully sentient sapient beings. The elementals befriend Vlad and enjoy his company, further adavncing advancing in sentience. While now able to break free of the Chain and to return to their respective elements' dimensions, the elementals unanimously decided to stay.



* ToServeMan: Goblins and trolls commonly consume the meat of other sentients. Dark lodges use the consumption of sentients as a test of loyalty.
* SesquipedalianLoquaciousness: After Vlad rescued Gil "Goody" and Kolar er Kilam from the Blight, he asks them about Ruv, the Dark mage who took them captive. Kolar breaks into a paragraph of {{Magibabble}} exposition, which Gil sums up as: "If Ruv entered the Blighted Catacombs with active magical shields, he'd attract creatures not forbidden by their Lords from attacking him. Ruv wasn't important enough to be granted safe passage by all Lords, just given a single safe route. So Ruv had no shields up, and was to slow to cast them as you attacked."

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* ToServeMan: Goblins and trolls commonly consume the meat of other sentients. sapients. Dark lodges use the consumption of sentients sapients as a test of loyalty.
* SesquipedalianLoquaciousness: After Vlad rescued Gil "Goody" and Kolar er Kilam from the Blight, he asks them about Ruv, the Dark mage who took them captive. Kolar breaks into a paragraph of {{Magibabble}} exposition, which Gil sums up as: "If Ruv entered the Blighted Catacombs with active magical shields, he'd attract creatures not forbidden by their Lords from attacking him. Ruv wasn't important enough to be granted safe passage by all Lords, just given a single safe route. So Ruv had no shields up, and was to too slow to cast them as you attacked."



** Blood requirement: Vampires can feed sparingly, don't have to kill, don't have to drain large amounts of blood from victim. Vampires need the blood of sentients, but can live on stored blood. Overall friendly.

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** Blood requirement: Vampires can feed sparingly, don't have to kill, don't have to drain large amounts of blood from victim. Vampires need the blood of sentients, sapients, but can live on stored blood. Overall friendly.



** Conversion: Impossible. Vampires are a separate humanoid sentient species who just happen to look like fanged humans. Innate magic of the clans allows to adopt humans as clan members, sharing some abilities with them. Overall friendly.

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** Conversion: Impossible. Vampires are a separate humanoid sentient sapient species who just happen to look like fanged humans. Innate magic of the clans allows to adopt humans as clan members, sharing some abilities with them. Overall friendly.



** Mages can directly infuse a blade with raw mana of an element, allowing the blade to damage magical shields and do elemental damage on contact. Rarely used, but almost a trademark of the Gray Order's high vampires during hit-and-run assassinations. Vlad advises an allied high vampires regarding the use of his species' innate superspeed bursts to profit from this technique when fighting mages: "You can strike the mage's shield six times while he's casting something; it's okay for the fifth hit to crack the shielding spell and the sixth hit to crack the mage's skull." This technique rapidly deteriorates the metal, though.

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** Mages can directly infuse a blade with raw mana of an element, allowing the blade to damage magical shields and do elemental damage on contact. Rarely used, but almost a trademark of the Gray Order's high vampires during hit-and-run assassinations. Vlad advises an allied high vampires regarding the use of his their species' innate superspeed bursts to profit from this technique when fighting mages: "You can strike the mage's shield mage six times while he's casting something; it's okay for the fifth hit to crack the mage's shielding spell and the sixth hit to crack the mage's skull." This technique rapidly deteriorates the metal, though.
20th Apr '15 4:37:51 AM jormis29
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* AnthropomorphicPersonification: Death personally visits the Stoka castle to inform Vlad about the fallout of his mission in Tariya. She manifests as a red-headed teenager girl and introduces herself as [[NorseMythology Hel]].

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* AnthropomorphicPersonification: Death personally visits the Stoka castle to inform Vlad about the fallout of his mission in Tariya. She manifests as a red-headed teenager girl and introduces herself as [[NorseMythology [[Myth/NorseMythology Hel]].



* DontFearTheReaper: as Death visits the Stoka castle, she does so to inform Vlad that the results of his mission in Tariya caused some entity to break the "Covenant" in an attempt at his life. Death negates the attack and the immediate second attack against Vlad and does something apparently lethal to the attackers. Then she informs Vlad that while there's a place reserved for him in [[NorseMythology Niflheim]], she will only accept Vlad's death by the rules and is rather keen to see his story unfold.

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* DontFearTheReaper: as Death visits the Stoka castle, she does so to inform Vlad that the results of his mission in Tariya caused some entity to break the "Covenant" in an attempt at his life. Death negates the attack and the immediate second attack against Vlad and does something apparently lethal to the attackers. Then she informs Vlad that while there's a place reserved for him in [[NorseMythology [[Myth/NorseMythology Niflheim]], she will only accept Vlad's death by the rules and is rather keen to see his story unfold.
31st Mar '15 6:16:12 PM jormis29
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* TheStrategist: Baron Igar el Tars, supreme commander-in-chief of Dekara. Vlad nicknames him [[AlexanderTheGreat Macedon]] [[Creator/GaiusJuliusCaesar son of Caesar]] [[GenghisKhan of the Genghis clan]], later just "Macedon". Baron el Tars, unwilling to deal with the DeadlyDecadentCourt under Queen Al'sa, retired to his barony. He returned to lead the loyalists during the civil war in Dekara and won the decisive battle on the Field of Vengeance while outnumbered 2 to 1. Before the battle, another baron describes Igar el Tars as: "He has not commanded dozens of battles, just seven. He has always been vastly outnumbered, but never defeated."

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* TheStrategist: Baron Igar el Tars, supreme commander-in-chief of Dekara. Vlad nicknames him [[AlexanderTheGreat [[UsefulNotes/AlexanderTheGreat Macedon]] [[Creator/GaiusJuliusCaesar son of Caesar]] [[GenghisKhan [[UsefulNotes/GenghisKhan of the Genghis clan]], later just "Macedon". Baron el Tars, unwilling to deal with the DeadlyDecadentCourt under Queen Al'sa, retired to his barony. He returned to lead the loyalists during the civil war in Dekara and won the decisive battle on the Field of Vengeance while outnumbered 2 to 1. Before the battle, another baron describes Igar el Tars as: "He has not commanded dozens of battles, just seven. He has always been vastly outnumbered, but never defeated."
22nd Jan '15 12:54:28 PM jlt314
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* IfYoureSoEvilEatThisKitten: common practice by Dark lodges all over Arland, and on the Baros island ruled by the Dark prince Kriy. Neophytes of Dark lodges are commonly required to perform a HumanSacrifice and to dedicate the soul of their victim to the Destroyer. On Baros performing such a sacrifice is required to merely be granted entry to the castles of Baros at all. Vlad notes that this includes everybody, from Kriy's personal advisers to the lowest servants.

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* IfYoureSoEvilEatThisKitten: common practice by Dark lodges all over Arland, and on the Baros island ruled by the Dark prince Kriy.ReligionOfEvil. Neophytes of Dark lodges are commonly required to perform a HumanSacrifice and to dedicate the soul of their victim to the Destroyer. On Baros performing such a sacrifice is required to merely be granted entry to the castles of Baros at all. any restricted area. Vlad notes that this includes everybody, starting from Kriy's personal advisers to prince Kriy of Baros, and ending with the lowest servants.



** Vladislav Istrin has accumulated several names over his time on Arland. He's master Hunter Vlad "Lightning", [[spoiler: reincarnated Hellaren, the Ice Tour[[note]]note the similarity between "Istr", Vlad's surname's basis, and "Ice Tour", the way Vlad is called. "Ice Tour" is rendered in latinic letters in the novels.[[/note]]]], master Ranger [[SdrawkcabAlias Dalv]] "Jester", baron el Vira, later baron el Stoka, later count el Artua, founder of the Joker magic school Vlad er Joker, Maitre (an otherwise nameless hired assassin), later Slav, a freelancer MagicKnight, and later "mister Hunter"[[note]] the name is inconspicious when spelled out in the CommonTongue.[[/note]]. Note that due to "Vlad" and "Slav" both being short forms of "Vladislav", both introductions work as ExactWords to pass {{LivingLieDetector}}s.

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** Vladislav Istrin has accumulated several names over his time on Arland. He's master Hunter Vlad "Lightning", "Lightning"; [[spoiler: reincarnated Hellaren, the Ice Tour[[note]]note the similarity between "Istr", Vlad's surname's basis, and "Ice Tour", the way Vlad is called. "Ice Tour" is rendered in latinic letters in the novels.[[/note]]]], master Ranger [[SdrawkcabAlias Dalv]] "Jester", "Jester"; Vlad baron el Vira, later baron el Stoka, later count el Artua, Artua; Vlad er Joker, the founder of the Joker magic school Vlad er Joker, school; Maitre (an otherwise nameless hired assassin), assassin); later Slav, a freelancer MagicKnight, and later "mister Hunter"[[note]] the name is inconspicious when spelled out in the CommonTongue.[[/note]]. Note that due to "Vlad" and "Slav" both being short forms of "Vladislav", both introductions work as ExactWords to pass {{LivingLieDetector}}s.



* ImmortalitySeeker: while the life extension rite is limited to once per person and requires a special case investigation under clerical jurisdiction, there is no technical reason against unlimited use. Dark lodges hence offer the prospect of eternal life to the acolytes. Vlad notes that sufficiently unscrupulous individuals may well employ a Life mage to perform the rite and to alter their appearance every time, going for a permanent MyGrandsonMyself solution. The ritual may be addictive or merely so tempting that the Church declared it an unholy temptation.

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* ImmortalitySeeker: while Made possible by the life extension rite is ritual invented by a Dark lodge. Life extensions are limited to once one per person and requires a require special case investigation case-by-case investigations under clerical jurisdiction, jurisdiction. Yet there is no technical reason against unlimited use. Dark lodges hence offer the prospect of eternal life to the acolytes. Vlad notes that sufficiently unscrupulous individuals may well employ a Life mage to perform the rite and to alter their appearance every time, going for a permanent MyGrandsonMyself solution. The ritual may be addictive or merely so tempting that the Church declared it an unholy temptation.



** Hunters' Guild started as one, but the actions of both the elven princedom of Ritum and the secluded elven tribes of Satum cause the Hunters review their political position.
** Rangers' Guild also started impartial, but with the marriage of Dalv "Jester" and Kenara, the Slaughtering of Siluien things begin to change. The foundation of the Artua county and the alliance between Artua and the vampire clans further the Rangers' involvement in politics.

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** Hunters' Guild started as one, but the actions of both the elven princedom of Ritum and the secluded elven tribes of Satum cause the Hunters to review their political position.
** Rangers' Guild also started impartial, as an impartial faction, but with the marriage of Dalv "Jester" and Kenara, and after the Slaughtering of Siluien things begin to change. The foundation of the Artua county and the alliance between Artua and the vampire clans further advanced the Rangers' involvement in politics.politics even further.



* KnightFever: Arland's nobility technically goes in tiers, but actual levels of prosperity and power are rather loosely related to the title. Vlad has encountered nobles from kings to knights. Hunters and Rangers completely ignore titles.

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* KnightFever: Arland's nobility technically goes in tiers, but actual levels of prosperity and power are rather loosely related to the title. Vlad has encountered nobles from kings to knights. The Church and both Hunters and Rangers completely generally ignore titles.inherited titles, though.



** Lady Loviya, widowed grandmother queen of Litiya. She owes Vlad and often provides crucial information generally not available outside of royal families.

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** Lady Loviya, widowed grandmother dowager queen of Litiya. She owes Vlad several debts and often provides crucial information generally not available outside of royal families.



* KrakenAndLeviathan: sometime during the Interregnum somebody decided to take control of northern Satum's river system. Northern Satum has only two major rivers, flowing from the West and the East toward the middle of the continent. The rivers meet in the Sweetwater Sea with the Krays island in the middle of the sea's southern part. The Kraken, a partially sapient omnicidal manifestation of raw Water magic, was summoned at the northern tip of the Sweetwater Sea, effectively ending waterway travels. The Kraken summoning wasn't an act of spite or despair, but a strategic decision, as at least one amulet to control the Kraken survived the Interregnum and upon resurfacing, became the focal point of a 5-sided free-for-all power struggle.

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* KrakenAndLeviathan: sometime during the Interregnum somebody decided to take control of northern Satum's river system. Northern Satum has only two major rivers, flowing from the West and the East toward the middle of the continent. The rivers meet in system by summoning a Kraken into the Sweetwater Sea with where the Krays island in the middle two largest rivers of the sea's southern part. northern Satum meet. The Kraken, Kraken is a partially sentient and borderline sapient omnicidal manifestation of raw Water magic, magic. The summoning was summoned at attempted to gain control over the river-based trading routes of northern Satum, as the summoner most likely owned an amulet of Kraken control. The summoning worked, the control ritual failed, an a feral Kraken now inhabits the northern tip part of the Sweetwater Sea, effectively ending waterway travels. The Kraken summoning wasn't an act of spite or despair, but a strategic decision, as at Sea. At least one amulet to of Kraken control the Kraken survived the Interregnum Interregnum. The amulet was recovered and upon resurfacing, became the focal point of a 5-sided free-for-all power struggle.struggle. [[spoiler: Vlad was the one to recover the amulet and to bind the Kraken to his will.]]



** The Joker magic school is somewhat unusual in training both male and female mages for armed and magical combat. Female students of this school hence become this trope as female {{MagicKnight}}s.
** The Chaussers of the Dragons' Ridge on Ritum, and the elven empire they oppose, both have female warriors. Vlad met a retired Chasseur, now [[spoiler: a Mother Superior of a branch of Saint Auna's Order]], in the Artua county.

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** The Joker magic school is somewhat unusual in training both male and female mages for armed and magical combat. Female students of this school hence become examples of this trope as female {{MagicKnight}}s.
** The Chaussers of the Dragons' Ridge on Ritum, and the elven empire they oppose, both have female warriors. Vlad met a retired female Chasseur, now [[spoiler: a Mother Superior of a branch of Saint Auna's Order]], in the Artua county.



** Vlad mentions the russian proverb "умирать, так с музыкой!" (literally "to die with music", meaning "to go out with a bang") to Nork, a captured assassin from the Baros island. Nork, with some surprise, notes that this is the favorite proverb and acceptable modus operandi of Kriy, prince of Baros island.

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** Vlad mentions the russian proverb "умирать, так с музыкой!" (literally "to die with music", meaning "to go out with a bang") to Nork, a captured assassin from the Baros island. Nork, with some surprise, notes that this is the favorite proverb and acceptable modus operandi of Kriy, prince PriestKing of Baros island.



** This was how Torin of Melor adopted Aliana - he found her mother dying in the woods and taking care of the baby as his own was the woman's last wish. Contrary to popular rumors about Aliana being Torin's bastard child and her mother's death his fault, this actually happened. Vlad is GenreSavvy enough to doubt that a dying woman with a newborn child simply managed to stumble into a king in the guarded forest. [[spoiler: Vlad's not fully wrong here - Torin did find a dying woman. Aliana's mother was an elven fugitive from Satum. She sought to encounter Torin, assuming that Torin's bodyguards would kill or at least stall the elven assassins following her. Aliana's mother was indeed mortally wounded in the ensuing skirmish, and did bequest her daughter to Torin, but Aliana was over a year old already.]]

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** This was how Torin of Melor adopted Aliana - he found her mother dying in the woods and taking care of the baby as his own was the woman's last wish. wish was for him to adopt the baby and raise her as his own. Contrary to popular rumors about Aliana being Torin's bastard child and her mother's death his being Torin's fault, this actually happened.the story is true, although Torin has omitted a few crucial details. Vlad is GenreSavvy enough to doubt that a dying woman with a newborn child simply managed to stumble into a king in the guarded forest. [[spoiler: Vlad's not fully wrong here Vlad guessed true - while Torin did find a dying woman. woman, she was an elven noble and a fugitive from the elven empire of Satum. The child bequested to Torin was Aliana, but she was a half-elf and at least a year old at that time. Aliana's mother was an elven fugitive from Satum. She sought to encounter Torin, assuming that Torin's bodyguards would kill or at least stall the elven assassins following her. Aliana's mother was indeed mortally wounded in the ensuing skirmish, and did bequest her daughter to Torin, but Aliana was over a year old already.skirmish.]]



* LeadTheTarget: Vlad uses a well-timed axe throw to kill a mage who was good enough to teleport around a cave during the fight, but made the mistake of following a predictable pattern.

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* LeadTheTarget: Vlad uses a well-timed axe throw to kill a mage who was good enough to teleport around a cave during the a fight, but made the mistake of following a predictable pattern.



** Vlad himself, from a business-analysis economist, to Hunter, Ranger, count el Artua and founder of the Joker magic school.

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** Vlad himself, from a business-analysis economist, to Master Hunter, [[spoiler: Ranger, count el Artua and founder of the Joker magic school.]]



** Another Xenos, from the late 30-ies of USSR under Stalin, ended up on the Baros island. He avoided being sacrificed and joined the ReligionOfEvil. [[spoiler: As prince Kriy of Baros he's been the priest-king for 600 years.]]

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** Another Xenos, from the late 30-ies of USSR under Stalin, ended up on the Baros island. He avoided being sacrificed and joined the ReligionOfEvil. [[spoiler: As prince Kriy of Baros he's been the priest-king PriestKing for 600 years.]]



** An elemental Overlord power overrides the blood purity issues of werebeast clans. A child born of a werebeast and an Overlord becomes the first of a new totem clan, e.g. Snow Wolves for an Ice Overlord and a werewolf mother.

to:

** An elemental Overlord Overlord's power overrides the blood purity issues of werebeast clans. A child born of a werebeast and an Overlord becomes the first of a new totem clan, e.g. Snow Wolves for clan. [[spoiler: Vlad, an Ice Overlord Overlord, and a werewolf mother.Arna "Black" become the parents of the first Snow Wolf.]]



* LivingLieDetector: Mind mages detect lies easily. Life mages can read individuals by monitoring their vitals, but are rarely proficient in doing so. Blood mages can usually master the closely related Mind school to some degree, e.g. for this purpose. Mind Mages can also defend themselves from detection. Working with MetaphoricallyTrue statements and abusing the ExactWords of the question works unless the Mind mage goes from questioning to [[MindProbe forced memory scanning]].

to:

* LivingLieDetector: Mind mages detect lies easily. Life mages can read individuals by monitoring their vitals, but are rarely proficient in doing so. Blood mages can usually master the closely related Mind school to some degree, e.g. for this purpose. Mind Mages can also defend themselves from detection. Working with MetaphoricallyTrue statements and abusing the ExactWords of the question works unless the Mind mage goes from questioning to [[MindProbe forced aggressive memory scanning]].



** After Vlad beats up several young nobles from Narina in Matvey's inn, sir Berg el Peran, the commandant of Belgor, issues a Hunter-Apprentice's amulet to Vlad. This instantly elevates Vlad to membership of the Hunters' Guild and thus to nobility, allowing the nobles to challenge Vlad for a duel. For sir Berg, this allows to resolve the situation with Vlad, technically a commoner, assaulting nobles, and is acceptable within the ethics of the Hunters and within the written law of the Orkhet and Narina kingdoms.

to:

** After Vlad beats up several young nobles from Narina in Matvey's inn, sir Berg el Peran, the commandant of Belgor, issues a Hunter-Apprentice's amulet to Vlad. This instantly elevates grants Vlad to the membership of the Hunters' Guild and thus to nobility, allowing the nobles to challenge Vlad for to a duel. For sir Berg, this allows to resolve the situation with Vlad, technically a commoner, assaulting nobles, and is acceptable within the ethics of the Hunters and within the written law of the Orkhet and Narina kingdoms.



** The King's Crowns kill the wearer after twenty years unless either removed or manipulated. While the removal can be performed easily by most clerics, the manipulations require a person possessing a "pure soul" and related to the wearer. The second condition, however, can be fulfilled by marriage to any relative of the wearer.

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** The King's Crowns kill the wearer after twenty years unless either removed or manipulated. While the removal can be performed easily by most clerics, the manipulations require a person possessing a "pure soul" and related to the wearer. The second condition, however, can be fulfilled by adoption or marriage to any blood relative of the wearer.



* LovePotion of the [[SingleTargetSexuality Love Only Person X]] kind: the Golden Dust. When used by consenting partners, makes them MindlinkMates, forming a two-way telepathic and empathic link. Since Golden Dust doesn't endanger the life of a user, it will pass common poison detection spells. Golden Dust can be used with multiple partners, although results are rarely nice.
** The single known antidote to Golden Dust doesn't negate the effect completely. When taken by both users, the links are greatly weakened. When used by one person, the resulting mind-link is one-sided, causing one person to adapt a SingleTargetSexuality and the other to gain MoreThanMindControl over the victim. Vlad assumes that this use of Golden Dust caused the ill-fated affair between Eran I of Dekara and Al'sa, ultimately leading to the civil war in Dekara.
* LoyalAnimalCompanion of the BondCreatures variety: Drakes form an empathic bond with the first person they see upon hatching. Should the bonding misfire, the drake will try to kill the human, and failing that, will commit suicide.

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* LovePotion of the [[SingleTargetSexuality Love Only Person X]] kind: the Golden Dust. When used by consenting partners, makes the Golden Dust turns them into MindlinkMates, forming a two-way telepathic and empathic link. Since Golden Dust doesn't endanger the life of actually harm a user, it will pass common poison detection spells. Golden Dust can be used with multiple partners, although results are rarely nice.
** The single known antidote to Golden Dust doesn't negate the effect completely. When taken by both users, the links are greatly weakened. When used by one person, the resulting mind-link is one-sided, causing one person to adapt a SingleTargetSexuality and the other to gain MoreThanMindControl over the victim. Vlad assumes that this use of Golden Dust caused the ill-fated affair between Eran I I. of Dekara and Al'sa, ultimately leading to the civil war in Dekara.
* LoyalAnimalCompanion of the BondCreatures variety: Drakes form an empathic bond with the first person they see upon hatching. Should the bonding misfire, the drake will try to kill the human, human and failing that, will commit suicide.suicide afterwards.



* MagicIsMental: with the exception of the clergy and the servants of the Fallen, this holds true. Mages have to learn, understand and downright trust their incantations, gestures, rituals and runes, since merely having a pool of {{Mana}} and the affinity to an element doesn't make a mage. Dunya, Matvey's daughter, has the potential to be a Death Lady, but lacks training. Kolar er Kilam, during his first meeting with Vlad, needs several minutes to cast a simple fireball, as he lived through months of being systematically tortured with a PowerNullifier / RestrainingBolt artifact.

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* MagicIsMental: with the exception of the clergy and the servants of the Fallen, this holds true. Mages have to learn, understand and downright trust their incantations, gestures, rituals and runes, since merely having a pool of {{Mana}} and the affinity to an element doesn't make a mage. mage.
**
Dunya, Matvey's daughter, has the potential to be become a Death Lady, but lacks training. She later joins the Joker school to unfold her potential.
**
Kolar er Kilam, during his first meeting with Vlad, needs several minutes to cast a simple fireball, as he lived through months of being systematically tortured systematical torture with a PowerNullifier / RestrainingBolt artifact.



** Mages often carry Life magic amulets. MageKiller training hence involves beheading the corpse and puncturing the heart of any mage. Reducing the skull and brains to chunks will do in a pinch.

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** Mages often carry Life magic amulets. MageKiller training hence involves beheading the corpse and puncturing the heart of any mage. Reducing the skull and brains brain to chunks will do in a pinch.



** After the chaotic free-for-all battle in the Red Caves, Vlad orders a few subordinates go down there and behead every single corpse before they plunder the area. Justified since a large amount of taint was released in the caves and zombies are likely to rise now.

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** After the chaotic free-for-all battle in the Red Caves, Vlad orders a few subordinates go down there and behead every single corpse before they plunder the area. Justified The order is justified since a large amount of taint was released in the caves and zombies are likely to rise now.



** Subverted with Aliana el Chanor, adopted princess of Melor. Officially, the king of Melor found a dying woman with a baby in her arms during a hunt. The woman's last request was to raise the child as his own. Rumors call Aliana Torin's bastard child, reinforced as Aliana is recognized as royal by specific artifacts. Subverted trope, as Torin told the story close to the facts, and Aliana is indeed adopted. [[spoiler: Unknown to the public, Aliana's biological father was a royal unrelated to Torin.]]
** Magically gifted children are born more often to mages. Since Belgor has an abnormally high amount of masters and Lords of various magic schools, women often visit the city to become pregnant. This includes married nobles, as the benefit of a mage outweighs the ethical issues and the Hunters' Guild doesn't raise ancestry and parentage issues.

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** Subverted with Aliana el Chanor, adopted princess of Melor. Officially, the king of Melor found a dying woman with a baby in her arms during a hunt. The woman's last request was to raise the child as his own. Rumors call Aliana Torin's bastard child, reinforced as Aliana is recognized as royal by specific artifacts. Subverted trope, The trope is subverted, as Torin told the story close to the facts, and Aliana is indeed adopted. [[spoiler: Unknown to the public, Aliana's biological father was a royal unrelated to Torin.Torin, technically making her a royal bastard child.]]
** Magically gifted children are born more often to mages. Since Belgor has an abnormally high amount of masters and Lords of various magic schools, women often visit the city to become pregnant. This includes married nobles, as the benefit of a mage outweighs the ethical issues of having a bastard, and the Hunters' Guild doesn't raise ancestry and parentage issues.



* TheMedic: Order of Saint Auna. This Order will accept sentients regardless of race, gender or personal history, both as members and as patients. The Order of Saint Auna will provide medical help to anybody loyal to the Creator and at no cost. Saint Auna's Order members will equally enter palace and hut, field and battlefield.

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* TheMedic: Order of Saint Auna. This Order will accept sentients sapient beings regardless of race, gender gender, social status or personal history, both as members and as patients. The Order of Saint Auna will provide medical help to anybody loyal to the Creator and at no cost. Saint Auna's Order members will equally enter palace and hut, field and battlefield.



** The Order of the Lord's Hounds. Officially, this Order doesn't exist, and never existed at all. They are mentioned during an interlude showing a conversation between two high-ranking clerics regarding the possible corruption of another high-ranking cleric in the Narina kingdom. Members have never been revealed until Vlad encountered a Lord's Hound as an undercover infiltrator in a Dark lodge. The Hounds deal with corruption within the Church and with missions where any other approach is unlikely to succeed.
** The Council of Loyals was instrumental in ending the Interregnum and later in banishing the Heart of the Destroyer. Afterwards the Council supposedly was dissolved, but Vlad encounters more and more hints that they have simply moved to the [[AncientTradition background]]. After proving his worth and loyalty again and again, Vlad is treated to the reveal that [[spoiler: both former heads of the Hunters' and the Rangers' Guilds, Matvey "Leather" and Nils "Old Man" are full members, and current heads of the Guilds, Kar "Volcano" and Yens "Quiet" are acolytes of the Council. The current head of the Council is Lady Loviya of Litiya.]]

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** The Order of the Lord's Hounds. Officially, this Order doesn't exist, and never existed at all. They are mentioned during an interlude showing a interlude. A conversation between two high-ranking clerics regarding mentions them in connection with the possible corruption of another high-ranking cleric in the Narina kingdom. Members Lord's Hounds have never been revealed until Vlad encountered a Lord's Hound as an undercover infiltrator in a Dark lodge. The Hounds deal with corruption within the Church and with missions where any other approach is unlikely to succeed.
** The Council of Loyals Loyals. This organization was instrumental in ending the Interregnum and later in banishing the Heart of the Destroyer. Afterwards the Council was supposedly was dissolved, but Vlad encounters more and more hints that they have simply moved to into the [[AncientTradition background]]. After proving his worth and loyalty again and again, Vlad is treated to the reveal that [[spoiler: both former heads of the Hunters' and the Rangers' Guilds, Matvey "Leather" and Nils "Old Man" are full members, and current heads of the Guilds, Kar "Volcano" and Yens "Quiet" are acolytes of the Council. The current head of the Council is Lady Loviya of Litiya.]]



* MercyKill: euthanasia is known on Arland and tolerated to different degrees by different fractions.

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* MercyKill: euthanasia is known on Arland and tolerated to different degrees by different fractions.factions.



** Victims of the "Dark beacon" ritual, used similarly to the mutated bindweed to inflict a slow and painful, CruelAndUnusualDeath, also may invoke the trope. Vlad, aware that the ritual can only be performed of followers of the Fallen, has to [[WhatTheHellHero remind himself]] that leaving those luckless souls to their fate serves no purpose.

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** Victims of the "Dark beacon" ritual, used similarly to the mutated bindweed to inflict a slow and painful, CruelAndUnusualDeath, also may invoke the trope. Vlad, aware that the ritual can only be performed of followers of the Fallen, has to [[WhatTheHellHero remind himself]] that leaving those luckless souls to their fate serves no purpose.purpose regardless of how karmic their continued suffering may be.



** Caused by the Soul Bind spell, described as "the most useless of the most dangerous spells from the Life school" by Kolar er Kilam. Depending on consent of each partner, the amount of shared thoughts and emotions varies, e.g. with a consenting female and unaware male she gets some of his thoughts, while he gets some of her emotions. The danger comes from two additional conditions: firstly, the Soul Bind can only be removed by the Life mage who performed the spell; secondly, the death of one partner permanently removes the bound part of the other. In the above asymmetric case, the death of the male would permanently render the female unable to think, reducing her to a vegetable state and most likely killing her. On the other hand, the death of the female would permanently render the male unable to experience any emotion, which may not be lethal.

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** Caused by the Soul Bind spell, described as "the most useless of the most dangerous spells from the Life school" by Kolar er Kilam. Depending on consent of each partner, the amount of shared thoughts and emotions varies, e.g. with a consenting female and unaware male she gets some of his thoughts, while he gets some of her emotions. The danger comes from two additional conditions: firstly, the Soul Bind can only be removed by the Life mage who performed the spell; secondly, the death of one partner permanently removes the bound part of the other. In the above asymmetric case, the death of the male would permanently render the female unable to think, reducing her to a vegetable state and most likely killing her. On the other hand, the death of the female would permanently render cripple the male unable to experience any emotion, male's emotions, which may not be lethal.



* MixAndMatchCritters: Trademark of the Chimera school. Two new species were introduced to Arland:
** Drakes, created from horses, dragon blood and dragon semen. Drakes are scaly, have horns and bone-spiked clubs on long tails, lay eggs and eat meat (including tainted) but have hooves, live in herds and can and will carry a rider into battle. Drakes are sapient, but supposedly not truly sentient. A drake hatchling is about the size of a dog, an adult drake slightly bigger than a big horse.
** Gryphons, created obviously from a feline predator and eagles, possibly with dragons involved as well. Large, but meek creatures. Gryphons are easily domesticated and can carry riders and large cargo nets slung from their harnesses. Gryphons are endemic to a small region of the Karosa kingdom and considered a strategic resource.

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* MixAndMatchCritters: Trademark of the Chimera school. Two new species were successfully introduced to Arland:
** Drakes, created from horses, dragon blood and dragon semen. Drakes are scaly, have horns and bone-spiked clubs on long tails, lay eggs and eat meat (including tainted) but have hooves, live in herds and can and will carry a rider into battle. Drakes are sapient, but supposedly not truly sentient. sentient and borderline sapient. A drake hatchling is about the size of a dog, an adult drake slightly bigger than a big horse.
war-horse.
** Gryphons, created obviously from a feline predator predators and eagles, possibly with dragons involved as well. Large, but meek creatures. Gryphons are easily domesticated and can carry riders and large cargo nets slung from their harnesses. Gryphons are endemic to a small region of the Karosa kingdom and considered a strategic resource.



* MonsterLord: Zombies, skeletons and mummies can undergo a specific ritual, performed by living servants of the Fallen. The ritual yields zombie lords, skeleton lords and mummy lords respectively. All such lords are stronger, faster and more resilient than the basic undead. They are also far smarter, capable of using taint-infused magic and generally serve as field commanders of large units of undead. Without a lord, the respective undead units loose cohesion.

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* MonsterLord: Zombies, skeletons and mummies can undergo a specific ritual, performed by living servants of the Fallen. The ritual yields zombie lords, skeleton lords and mummy lords respectively. All such lords are stronger, faster and more resilient than the basic undead. They are also far smarter, capable of using taint-infused magic and generally serve as field commanders of large units of undead. Without a lord, the respective undead units loose lose cohesion.



* MundaneUtility: During a month-long cross-terrain chase after a fleeing mage, Vlad and his companions note that none of them knows any spells to cook, clean or repair clothing, treat minor injuries or simply keep away vermin or mosquitoes. Justified as Hunters rarely spend more than a day in the Blighted Catacombs, and the city of Belgor provides for their day-to-day needs in exchange for their loot and fame.

to:

* MundaneUtility: During a month-long cross-terrain chase after a fleeing mage, Vlad and his companions note that none of them knows any spells to cook, to clean or repair clothing, clothing or armor, to treat minor injuries or simply to keep away vermin or mosquitoes. Justified as Hunters rarely spend more than a day in the Blighted Catacombs, and the city of Belgor provides for their day-to-day needs in exchange for their loot and fame.



** The Gray Order is an international organization. This Order's assassins operate in groups of 5, containing a master warrior, usually a high vampire, and magister or Lord tier mages of 4 different elements. Rumors state that the Gray Order always consists of exactly 25 active assassins, grouped in 5 groups as described above. Each group has a dedicated intermediary, and all intermediaries answer personally to the Gray grandmaster. All active members are sleeper agents, living perfectly normal lives between missions. After killing a Gray team, Vlad reveals their corpses to the authorities to find out that e.g. the Water Lord of the team has been a respected professor of Water magic in university of Riniya.

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** The Gray Order is an international organization. This Order's assassins operate in groups of 5, containing a master warrior, usually a high vampire, and magister or Lord tier mages of 4 different elements. Rumors state that the Gray Order always consists of exactly 25 active assassins, grouped in 5 groups as described above. Each group has a dedicated intermediary, and all intermediaries answer personally to the Gray grandmaster. All active members are sleeper agents, living perfectly normal lives between missions. After killing a Gray team, Vlad reveals their corpses to the authorities to find out that e.g. the Water Lord of the team has been was a respected professor of Water magic in at the university of Riniya.



** Aliana, duchess el Chanor and princess of Melor, [[AltarTheSpeed rushed into a marriage]] by Saint Auna's rite with [[spoiler: Vlad "Lightning", freshly appointed]] a Master Hunter to prevent being kidnapped to be [[ShotgunWedding forcibly married]] to an elven royal from Ritum. The interest in Aliana el Chanor is neither romantic (Ritum elves are [[FantasticRacism racists]]) nor dynastic (Aliana was adopted and hence carries no inheritance chances), but the elves believe that formally introducing her to the family would [[TheProphecy lift crucial restrictions from a pre-Interregnum artifact]]. As Saint Auna's rite allows the newlyweds to obfuscate each other's personalities under any circumstances, the elves start hunting for all males rumored to be romantically involved with Aliana.

to:

** Aliana, duchess el Chanor and princess of Melor, [[AltarTheSpeed rushed into a marriage]] by Saint Auna's rite with [[spoiler: Vlad "Lightning", freshly appointed]] a Master Hunter to prevent being kidnapped to be [[ShotgunWedding forcibly married]] to an elven royal from Ritum. The interest in Aliana el Chanor is neither romantic (Ritum elves are [[FantasticRacism racists]]) nor dynastic (Aliana was adopted and hence carries no inheritance chances), but the elves believe that formally introducing her to the family would [[TheProphecy lift crucial restrictions from a pre-Interregnum artifact]]. As Saint Auna's rite allows the newlyweds to obfuscate each other's personalities under any circumstances, the elves start hunting for all males rumored to be romantically involved with Aliana.



** Al'sa, second wife to Eran I of Dekara, supposedly had Eran's first wife poisoned. Later events suggest that Al'sa most likely used a LovePotion to win Eran's favor and the entire affair was an attempt to take Dekara over by dynasty shift.

to:

** Al'sa, second wife to Eran I of Dekara, supposedly had ordered the murder of Eran's first wife poisoned.wife. Later events suggest that Al'sa most likely used a LovePotion to win Eran's favor and the entire affair was an attempt to take Dekara over by dynasty shift.



** Saiana, last living royal of the elven Swords' House of Ritum. Saiana accepts the condition to join Saint Auna's Order and hence to [[DefectorFromDecadence help and heal any sentient being, regardless of race and origin]], in exchange for the safety of her subjects. To put Saiana's decision in context, the elves have been fighting a [[AbsoluteXenophobe war of extinction against all other sapients]] for the last millenium, and joining Saint Auna's Order will reduce her from princess to less than a pariah. Vlad notes that regardless of the downfall of the Swords' House, survivors of the Swords, spared from rape, slavery and the altars of the Fallen on the Baros island, will worship her as if she were the Creator's next child. [[spoiler: Vlad has commanded the Slaughtering of Siluien and took the elves captive, but he]] never intended to sell elves to Baros, instead aiming to show the dissonance between elven royalty and commoners. Saiana's decision serves to prove the point that elves may be redeemed.

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** Saiana, last living royal of the elven Swords' House of Ritum. Saiana accepts the condition to join Saint Auna's Order and hence to [[DefectorFromDecadence help and heal any sentient sapient being, regardless of race and origin]], in exchange for the safety of her subjects. To put Saiana's decision in context, the elves have been fighting a [[AbsoluteXenophobe war of extinction against all other sapients]] for the last millenium, and joining Saint Auna's Order will reduce her from princess to less than a pariah. Vlad notes that regardless of the downfall of the Swords' House, survivors of the Swords, spared from rape, slavery and the altars of the Fallen on the Baros island, will worship her as if she were the Creator's next child. [[spoiler: Vlad has commanded the Slaughtering of Siluien and took the elves captive, but he]] never intended to sell elves to Baros, instead aiming to show the dissonance between elven royalty and commoners. Saiana's decision serves to prove the point that elves may be redeemed.



* NeuralImplanting: a complicated spell from the Life school allows to copy a skill, e.g. fencing, from person to person, including reflexes and muscle memory. In rare cases of compatible magic abilities, a proficiency in a magic school can also be transferred. While old mercenaries are known to offer their skills for sale, buying skills is very risky and both sellers and Life mages cooperating with them are seen with suspicion.

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* NeuralImplanting: a complicated spell from the Life school allows to copy a skill, e.g. fencing, from person to person, including reflexes and muscle memory. In rare cases of compatible magic abilities, a proficiency in a magic school can also be transferred. While old mercenaries are known to offer their skills for sale, buying skills is very risky and both sellers and Life mages cooperating with them are seen regarded with suspicion.



** Vlad finds himself on the receiving end of an involuntary implanting, as a fugitive Black Dragon offers him the entire skill set as payment for an assassination. As Vlad declines, the Black Dragon calmly states that a) this was a test; b) Vlad passed; c) Vlad's personal morals and character will lead him to clash with the person the Black Dragon wanted dead anyway. Then he performs a forced emergency implanting on Vlad, removing the needs for both Vlad's agreement and a Life mage's cooperation.
* NeutralNoLonger: before the Borlderlands barons vote on intervening in the civil war of Dekara by joining the loyalists under Eran I, Vlad ends a summary of his reasons to support Eran as follows:\\

to:

** Vlad finds himself on the receiving end of an involuntary implanting, as a fugitive Black Dragon offers him the entire skill set skill-set as payment for an assassination. As Vlad declines, the Black Dragon calmly states that a) this was a test; b) Vlad passed; c) Vlad's personal morals and character will lead him to clash with the person the Black Dragon wanted dead anyway. Then he performs a forced emergency implanting on Vlad, removing the needs for both Vlad's agreement and a Life mage's cooperation.
* NeutralNoLonger: before the Borlderlands Borlderlands' barons vote on intervening in the civil war of Dekara by joining the loyalists under Eran I, Vlad ends a summary of his reasons to support Eran as follows:\\



* NonMaliciousMonster: the Kraken. According to Vlad's experience after empathic contact, the Kraken is sentient, but not sapient, and his initial aggression results from the original summoning and control rituals.

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* NonMaliciousMonster: the Kraken. According to Vlad's experience after empathic contact, the Kraken is sentient, but not sapient, and his initial aggression results resulted from the original summoning and the failed control rituals.



** The existence of an independent elven language, the elves' refusal to acknowledge the Maker's divinity, the existence of "pure souls" as sentients born with a "shard of the Creator" and the existence of elementary Overlords hint to the fact that the clerical version of Arland's creation is actually wrong and both the Maker and the Destroyer have been assigned the roles of a divine BigGood and a divine BigBad post-factum, or may have actually ascended to divinity as a result of this assignment.

to:

** The existence of an independent elven language, the elves' refusal to acknowledge the Maker's divinity, the existence of "pure souls" as sentients - sapients born with a "shard of the Creator" - and the existence of elementary Overlords hint to the fact that the clerical version of Arland's creation is actually wrong and both the Maker and the Destroyer have been assigned the roles of a divine BigGood and a divine BigBad post-factum, or may have actually ascended to divinity as a result of this assignment.



* OnlyOneName: Hunters, Rangers, priests, monks and members of church-related orders go by their rank, a single name and occasionally an acquired byname. Nobles may keep their family names, but rarely use them. Vlad notes that during a formal introduction, the first affiliation stated is the most important to the person.

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* OnlyOneName: Hunters, Rangers, priests, monks and members of church-related orders go by their rank, a single name and occasionally an acquired byname. Nobles may keep their family names, but rarely use them. Vlad notes that during a formal introduction, the first affiliation stated is the most important to the person. Thus most Hunters will introduce themselves with their rank, name and byname, dropping their hereditary titles.
11th Nov '14 11:39:12 AM jlt314
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* AbsentMindedProfessor and TooCleverByHalf: Kolar er Kilam, a runic mage and genius magic theoretician. His efforts to restore pre-Interregnum knowledge caused him to conflict with the Church and the Order of Sunset, Arland's largest and most powerful union of mercenary mages. Kolar has tried to reach the druids of the Closed Forest, but was taken prisoner, hauled to the Blighted Catacombs, his magic was [[BreakTheHaughty broken]] and he was scheduled to be sacrificed. Kolar's luck turns as he's saved by Vlad, then in Belgor identifies Vlad as a potential mage and shows Vlad basic runic spells. Turns out that runic magic works by placing runes in spatial patterns and the forgotten pre-Interregnum knowledge contained at least [[spoiler: Cartesian coordinates and fractions]]. Now Kolar has sworn loyalty to Vlad and pursues his dream to restore magic to it's former glory, gladly forgetting anything else.
* AbsoluteXenophobe: Elven empire on the Ritum continent. During the Interregnum, the elves on Ritum accused all the other sentients of having caused the war and began a war of extinction against them. The sentients of Ritum were forced to retreat behind the Dragons' Ridge, an impassable range of mountains dividing Ritum broken by a single easily defended pass. The war on the Dragons' Ridge has not stopped until now, just lost in intensity. \\

to:

* AbsentMindedProfessor and TooCleverByHalf: Kolar er Kilam, a runic mage and genius magic theoretician. His efforts to restore pre-Interregnum knowledge caused him to conflict with the Church and the Order of Sunset, Arland's largest and most powerful union organization of mercenary mages. Kolar has tried to reach the druids of the Closed Forest, but was taken prisoner, hauled to the Blighted Catacombs, his magic was [[BreakTheHaughty broken]] and he was scheduled to be sacrificed. Kolar's luck turns as he's saved by Vlad, then in Belgor identifies Vlad as a potential mage and shows Vlad basic runic spells. Turns out that runic magic works by placing runes in spatial patterns and the forgotten pre-Interregnum knowledge contained at least [[spoiler: Cartesian coordinates and fractions]]. Now Kolar has sworn loyalty to Vlad and pursues his dream to restore magic to it's former glory, gladly forgetting anything else.
* AbsoluteXenophobe: Elven empire on the Ritum continent. During the Interregnum, the elves on Ritum accused all the other sentients human and dwarven nations of Ritum of having caused the war and war. The elven empire began a war of extinction against them. The sentients humans and dwarves of Ritum were forced to retreat behind the Dragons' Ridge, an impassable range of mountains dividing Ritum broken by a single easily defended pass. Ritum. The war has since concentrated on the choke-point passes in the Dragons' Ridge has not stopped until now, just lost in intensity.Ridge. \\



* AchillesHeel: Catacomb Lords are powerless during their procreation ritual and rely on secrecy and guard details.
* AdvancedAncientAcropolis: the Closed Forest where the druids dwell. Druids are descendants of the mages who didn't join any side during the Interregnum. They very rarely interfere in things outside of the Closed Forest, although recent events seem to have stirred them.

to:

* AchillesHeel: Catacomb Lords are powerless during their procreation ritual and rely on secrecy their heavily defended secret lairs. The Hunters have occasionally succeeded in interrupting the rituals and guard details.
killing the Catacomb Lords, with the most recent successful attack led by Vlad.
* AdvancedAncientAcropolis: the Closed Forest where the druids dwell. Druids are descendants and heirs of the mages who didn't join any side during the Interregnum.Interregnum. The druids are thus extremely knowledgeable, but their power became bound to the Closed Forest. They very rarely interfere in things outside of the Closed Forest, although recent events seem to have stirred them.



* AllTrollsAreDifferent: Trolls are among the new races who appeared after the Interregnum. Large, nasty, hard to kill, possibly brought to Arland by the Fallen. Trolls inhabit the nameless archipelago off the north-eastern end of Satum and to the west of Baros island. Trolls are fully sentient, worship the Fallen and use tainted shamanic magic. Baros island has a permanent alliance with them, profiting from troll raider fleets and paying them mainly with human slaves.

to:

* AllTrollsAreDifferent: Trolls are among the new races who appeared after the Interregnum. Large, nasty, hard to kill, Interregnum, possibly brought to Arland by the Fallen. Trolls now inhabit the nameless archipelago off the north-eastern end of Satum and to the west of Baros island. Trolls are fully sentient, sapient, worship the Fallen and use a tainted form of shamanic magic. Baros island has a permanent alliance with them, profiting from troll raider fleets and paying them mainly with human slaves.



** Chain of Elements. Another relict of the pre-Interregnum era, this artifact houses 4 elementals of the 4 primary schools. The elementals are bound to serve the artifact's owner, allowing to wield the primary schools at Lord tier power for as long as your mana allows. The elementals have been captive for more than 2000 years and used for various purposes, gaining unusual skills and a lot of knowledge.

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** Chain of Elements. Another relict of the pre-Interregnum era, this artifact houses 4 elementals of the 4 primary schools. The elementals are bound to serve the artifact's owner, allowing to wield the primary schools at Lord tier power for as long as your mana allows. The elementals have been captive and in contact with humans for more than 2000 years and used for various purposes, gaining unusual skills and a lot of knowledge.thus evolved from feral to fully sapient.



** As the physical manifestations of the Destroyer and the Maker battled on Arland, their blood fell to the world. The Destroyer's blood caused blights and "blighted spots", tainted and corrupted sentients. The Maker's blood blessed the ground and the sentients. Small portions of the Maker's blood have been found and preserved, becoming powerful beacons of Light. Dark creatures can not approach them, and their proximity hurts servants of the Fallen.

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** As the physical manifestations of the Destroyer and the Maker battled on Arland, their blood fell to the world. The Destroyer's blood caused blights and "blighted spots", spots". It tainted and corrupted sentients. life forms. The Maker's blood blessed the ground and the sentients.inhabitants. Small portions of the Maker's blood have been found and preserved, becoming powerful beacons of Light. Dark creatures can not approach them, and their proximity hurts servants of the Fallen.



*** Rashid II of Ayra notes that many decades earlier Loviya, then a princess of Karosa, had several suitors, with him among them. While Rashid states that Loviya had the final word, all the suitors most likely had to be royals first. Loviya chose the king of Litiya, massively influencing Litiya's following history.
*** During the festive tourney in Diora, capital of Litiya, the engagement of Shator, heir-prince of Litiya, to Asmina, princess of Velariya, is announced as LoveAtFirstSight. Darin, Shator's close friend, notes that the entire affair was arranged in a "civilized manner", i.e. both Shator and Asmina are effectively expected to produce a heir and also to have lovers for fun and pleasure.
*** Averted with Kert III. and Cheyta of Dekara. Kert, [[spoiler: then a HiddenBackupPrince posing as a minor Borderlander baron]], was wounded during a tourney and submitted to the care of the local Saint Auna's branch. Cheyta, the daughter of a minor noble, was assigned to Kert as a healer, and for them it was LoveAtFirstSight. Vlad, learning their story and checking the personnel list of the nearest Saint Auna's branch, jokingly notes that Saint Auna's Order must have a long-standing policy of matching healers with patients, doubling as Arland's largest matchmaking facility.

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*** Rashid II II. of Ayra notes that many decades earlier Loviya, then a princess of Karosa, had several suitors, with him among them. While Rashid states that Loviya had the final word, all the suitors most likely had to be royals first. Loviya chose the king heir-prince (and later king) of Litiya, massively influencing Litiya's following history.
*** During the festive tourney in Diora, capital of Litiya, the engagement of Shator, heir-prince of Litiya, to Asmina, princess of Velariya, is announced as LoveAtFirstSight. Darin, Shator's close friend, notes that the entire affair was arranged in a "civilized manner", i.e. both manner" beforehand. Both Shator and Asmina are effectively expected to produce a heir heirs and also then to have lovers for fun and pleasure.
*** Averted with Kert III. and Cheyta of Dekara. Kert, [[spoiler: then a HiddenBackupPrince posing as a minor Borderlander baron]], was wounded during a tourney and submitted to the care of the local Saint Auna's branch. Cheyta, the daughter of a minor noble, was assigned to Kert as a healer, and for them it was truly LoveAtFirstSight. Vlad, learning their story and checking the personnel list of the nearest Saint Auna's branch, jokingly notes that Saint Auna's Order must have a long-standing policy of matching healers with patients, doubling as Arland's largest matchmaking facility.



*** Deconstructed with Arna "Black". Her clan's plans for Arna's future ended as she fell in love with a boy from another clan. Her refusal to submit to marriage within the clan ended with her beloved's murder and Arna's duel with the murderer. Arna was exiled and is technically a renegade by clan law.

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*** Deconstructed with Arna "Black". Her clan's plans for Arna's future ended as she fell in love with a boy from another clan. Her refusal to submit to marriage within the clan ended with her beloved's led to murder and Arna's duel with the murderer.several duels of retaliation. Arna was exiled and is technically a renegade by clan law.



** Nobles are rumored to force their vassals or serfs to marry their mistresses, especially upon pregnancy, to prevent inheritance issues.
* AssassinOutclassin: Vlad's duel with prince Djayd of Ayra is interrupted by a team of Gray Order's assassins. Vlad proceeds to dispatch the assassins, although taking several lethal wounds in the process. Luckily, there are a Life and a Death mage of Lord tier present, who save Vlad's life.

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** Nobles are rumored to force their vassals or serfs to marry their mistresses, especially upon pregnancy, to prevent inheritance issues.
issues. A child born "in wedlock" to minor nobles or commoners wouldn't be able to claim heritage from the major noble under bastard laws later.
* AssassinOutclassin: Vlad's duel with prince Djayd of Ayra is interrupted by a team of Gray Order's assassins. Vlad proceeds to dispatch the assassins, although taking several lethal wounds in the process. Luckily, there are a Life and a Death mage of Lord tier present, who save Vlad's life.assassins.



** Arna "Black", heiress to the Black Wolf totem clan. Black werewolf and Master Hunter. Currently a renegade to said totem clan, though.

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** Arna "Black", renegade heiress to the Black Wolf totem clan. clan, Black werewolf and Master Hunter. Currently a renegade to said totem clan, though.Hunter.



* BagOfHolding: rare artifacts known as "Traveler's Sacks". While most likely invented before the Interregnum, this technology survived within the runic magic schools on the Kilam island. Kolar er Kilam expressed his gratitude by crafting such a Traveler's Sack for Vlad.

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* BagOfHolding: rare artifacts known as "Traveler's Sacks". While most likely invented before the Interregnum, this technology survived within the runic magic schools on the Kilam island. Kolar er Kilam expressed his gratitude by crafting crafted/enchanted such a Traveler's Sack for Vlad.



* BeastOfBattle and SapientSteed: Drakes were created to replace horses on the battlefield, and this part of the task went right - drakes are stronger, faster, hard to kill, fearless, protected by scales harder than steel, naturally resistant to magic, have [[HornAttack sharp horns]], [[BewareMyStingerTail a spiked bone club at the tip of the tail]], sharp hooves and impressive fanged jaws. The downside is that drakes are in the wild aggressive herd predators, don't breed fertile offspring in captivity, and are sapient empaths who upon hatching from the egg form a lifelong bond with the first person they imprint at. If the imprinting misfires, a drake will turn against the imprintee or commit suicide; drakes will die with their imprintees or commit suicide if they failed to protect the imprintee.

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* BeastOfBattle and SapientSteed: Drakes were created to replace horses on the battlefield, and this part of the task went right - drakes are stronger, faster, hard to kill, fearless, protected by scales harder than steel, naturally resistant to magic, have [[HornAttack sharp horns]], [[BewareMyStingerTail a spiked bone club at the tip of the tail]], sharp hooves and impressive fanged jaws. The downside is that drakes are in the wild aggressive herd predators, predators in the wild, don't breed fertile offspring in captivity, and are borderline sapient empaths who upon empaths. Upon hatching from the egg egg, drakes form a lifelong bond with the first person they see and imprint at. If the imprinting misfires, a drake will turn against the imprintee or commit suicide; drakes will die with their imprintees or commit suicide if they failed to protect the imprintee.



** The events during the rescue of the She-Wolves for Vlad afterwards. Vlad's sense of guilt and loss push him into a state of TranquilFury, [[spoiler: triggering his Ice Overlord abilities]].
** During a duel, a young noble from Narina calls Arna "Black" a whore and claims that she enters the Blighted Catacombs to sleep with the undead for satisfaction. Matvey reacts with: "[[ThatsGottaHurt He could have died painlessly]]", while Arna proceeds to inflict several wounds on the hapless noble and twist her blades each time.

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** The events during the rescue of the She-Wolves for Vlad afterwards. Vlad. Vlad's sense of guilt and loss push pushes him into a state of TranquilFury, [[spoiler: triggering his Ice Overlord abilities]].
** During a duel, a young noble from Narina calls Arna "Black" a whore and claims that she enters the Blighted Catacombs to sleep with the undead for sexual satisfaction. Matvey reacts with: "[[ThatsGottaHurt He could have died painlessly]]", while Arna proceeds to inflict several wounds on the hapless noble and twist her blades each time.



** "First Strike's Power" by Solar from Koriya, a Fire Lord. Mainly dealing with tactics and strategies of magic in battle. Strongly advocates the idea of a single decisive burst of violence.
** "Power of Weakness" by Karel "Smart", Mind school mage and Hunter. Written as a response and critique to Solar's "First Strike's Power". Advocates the philosophy of finding and exploiting weaknesses instead of relying on pure raw power and brute force.
* BlackAndWhiteMorality: the Destroyer (black) and the Maker (white), who also personify the egoism of individual power and the altruism of communal responsibility respectively, posing more than a few issues for a strongly hierarchical society.
* BlackMagic: averted with Blood and Death magic, Demonology and Necromancy. These schools are strongly prejudiced against, but can be used for good reasons. As Father Aner, Bishop of Belgor, says, it's really important who you're fighting against, not how. However, the taint and the power of the Fallen fit this trope fully. Granted by the ReligionOfEvil, costing souls, focused through suffering, pain and HumanSacrifice and used to inflict pain, suffering, curses, disfigurement and (un)death.
* TheBlacksmith: Common job on Arland among humans and dwarves. Belgor, being the residence of the Hunters' Guild, has very strict rules for opening shop there. Blacksmiths have to offer their wares themselves, and can be put on trial if their wares fail in combat. After an item passes quality control by the Guild, a temporary license is issued. Licenses expire if the blacksmith fails to sell at least one item for a year. Selling faultless goods for five years grants the right to open a stall. Twenty years of faultless work grant the right to set up a house, a shop and a personal forge. At Vlad's arrival in Belgor, there are only four personal shops in Belgor. Merchants export large amounts of weapons from Belgor, as even a temporary license of the Guild drastically increase the demand for a smith's wares.
** Vlad befriends Kerin, a remote relative of the master blacksmith Dorn. Kerin left the clan's settlement for Belgor after claiming that he has nothing more to learn at home. Those claims seem justified, as with hints from Vlad and old steel taken from various undead in the Blight, Kerin re-discovered the technology to produce bulat, a superior variety of damascene steel.

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** "First Strike's Power" by Solar from of Koriya, a Fire Lord. Mainly dealing with tactics and strategies of magic in battle. Strongly advocates the idea of a single decisive burst of violence.
** "Power of Weakness" by Karel "Smart", "Smart Guy", Mind school mage and Hunter. Written as a response and critique to Solar's "First Strike's Power". Advocates the philosophy of finding and exploiting weaknesses instead of relying on pure raw power and brute force.
* BlackAndWhiteMorality: the Destroyer (black) and the Maker (white), who also personify the egoism of individual power and the altruism of communal responsibility respectively, posing more than a few issues for a strongly hierarchical society.
respectively.
* BlackMagic: averted BlackMagic:
** Averted
with Blood and Death magic, Demonology and Necromancy. These schools are strongly prejudiced against, but can be used for good reasons. As Father Aner, Bishop of Belgor, says, it's really important who you're fighting against, not how. However,
** Played straight with
the taint and the power of the Fallen fit this trope fully. Granted Fallen. This power is granted by the ReligionOfEvil, costing souls, is focused through suffering, pain and HumanSacrifice and is used to inflict pain, suffering, curses, disfigurement and (un)death.
* TheBlacksmith: Common job on Arland among humans and dwarves. Belgor, being the residence of the Hunters' Guild, has very strict rules for opening shop there. Blacksmiths have to offer their wares themselves, and can be put on trial if their wares fail in combat. After an item passes quality control by the Guild, a temporary license is issued. Licenses expire if the blacksmith fails to sell at least one item for a year. Selling faultless goods for five years grants the right to open a stall. Twenty years of faultless work grant the right to set up a house, a shop and a personal forge. At Vlad's arrival in Belgor, there are only four personal shops forges in Belgor. Merchants export large amounts of weapons from Belgor, as even a temporary license of the Hunters' Guild drastically increase the demand for a smith's wares.
** Vlad befriends Kerin, a remote relative of the master blacksmith Dorn. Kerin left the clan's settlement for Belgor after claiming that he has nothing more to learn at home. Those claims seem justified, as with hints from Vlad and old steel taken from various undead in the Blight, Kerin re-discovered the technology to produce bulat, a superior variety of damascene steel.steel from samples recovered from the Blight.



** Net "Spear", a master Hunter named after his trademark polearm weapons. Net "Spear" is a rarity among Hunters, as polearms are rarely used in the narrow rooms and corridors of the Blighted Catacombs.

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** Net "Spear", a master Hunter named after his trademark polearm weapons.weapon. Net "Spear" is a rarity among Hunters, as polearms are rarely used in the narrow rooms and corridors of the Blighted Catacombs.



* BloodKnight: Subverted with the Borderlander barons. When facing a choice between killing an enemy now, letting one enemy go to ambush many or letting the enemies go to have them end up in a third-party ambush, most Borderlanders opt for the third-party ambush.
* BloodMagic: Blood is the secondary school using Earth and Water. Kolar handles this as a profound revelation, yielding a mere: "Really understandable. Water in the human body and the elements composing the body. That's easy." from Vlad. Blood mages are rather rare, as adding the General school would move a mage to the less controversial and far better accepted Mind school. Blood mages, together with Death mages and Necromancers, very often suffer from prejudice.
* BlowYouAway: the primary Air school and the secondary Hurricane school. Better-equipped fleets or even single ships will have an Air mage plying his trade on board.
* BlueBlood: Nobles use the article "el" with the name of the property as part of the title. For example, the Hunters' guild-master is addressed as Kar, duke el Raysa, but insists to be called Guild-master Kar "Volcano" instead. Vlad notes that nobles are plenty and titles rather common among Hunters; Hunters are proud to EarnYourTitle and will only use hereditary titles when absolutely required by etiquette.
* BodyDouble: employed by the Melor kingdom for princess Aliana. Vlad's very careful investigations showed that the double has a beauty mark on her belly. Subsequent interrogations reveal that the alleged beauty mark is an irremovable spell designed to kill the double if she ever attempts to remove it for impersonating the princess.

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* BloodKnight: Subverted with the Borderlander barons. When facing a choice between killing an a lone enemy now, letting one the lone enemy go to ambush many his unit, or letting the enemies go enemy unit pass to have them the whole enemy army end up in a third-party ambush, most Borderlanders opt for the third-party ambush.
third choice, putting the overall result before personal glory.
* BloodMagic: Blood is the secondary school using Earth and Water. Kolar handles this as a profound revelation, yielding a mere: "Really understandable. Water in the human body and the elements composing the body. That's easy." from Vlad. Blood mages are rather rare, as adding the General school would move a mage to the less controversial controversial, far less noticeable and far better accepted Mind school. Blood mages, together with Death mages and Necromancers, very often suffer from prejudice.
* BlowYouAway: the primary Air school and the secondary Hurricane school. Better-equipped fleets or even single specialized ships will have an Air mage plying his trade on board.
* BlueBlood: Nobles use the article "el" with the name of the property as part of the title. For example, the Hunters' guild-master is can be properly addressed as Kar, duke el Raysa, but insists to be called Guild-master Kar "Volcano" instead. Vlad notes that nobles are plenty and titles rather common among Hunters; Hunters are proud to EarnYourTitle and will only use hereditary titles when absolutely required by etiquette.
* BodyDouble: employed by the Melor kingdom for princess Aliana. Vlad's very careful investigations showed that the double has a beauty mark on her belly. Subsequent interrogations reveal that the alleged beauty mark is was magically added and carries an irremovable spell. The spell designed to will kill the double if she ever attempts to remove it the mark for impersonating the princess.



** During an attempt at the life of Djayd of Ayra in Litiya, the Gray Order team brainwashed some of the royal guards right after their scheduled screening to use them on the next day.
* BreathWeapon: Dragons breath fire. Only effective defense against dragon fire is being out of range, preferably deep underground.

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** During Before an attempt at the life of prince Djayd of Ayra in during his visit to Litiya, the deployed Gray Order team brainwashed some of the royal guards of Litiya right after their scheduled screening to use them on the next day.
screening.
* BreathWeapon: Dragons breath fire. Only effective defense against dragon fire is being out of range, range. As Vlad jokingly noted: "and preferably deep underground.underground!".



** Kenor and Laera, prince and princess of Riara, are both wearing full armor during an attack on their palace.

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** Kenor and Laera, ruling prince and princess of Riara, the Riara princedom, are both wearing full armor during an attack on their palace.



** Saint Irdis' Order is technically tasked with preaching and political issues, e.g. serving as clerical courtiers. Joining this order requires to have completed some sort of military carreer, though. And the branches are with rare exceptions located on the Ritum continent and involved in the war against the elven empire of Ritum.

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** Saint Irdis' Order Order. Technically, this order is technically tasked with preaching and political issues, e.g. serving as clerical courtiers. clerics at royal courts. Joining this order requires to have completed some sort of military carreer, career, though. And the Saint Irdis' branches are are, with rare exceptions exceptions, located on the Ritum continent and involved in the war against the elven empire of Ritum.



** Belgor, founded to house the Hunters and stand against the Blight.

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** Belgor, founded to house the Hunters and to stand against the Blight.



* ColdBloodedTorture: Among the powers granted by the Fallen are creation and usage of Gems of Pain. Gems of Pain are mana storage units created by slowly and painfully killing hundreds of sentients. The desecrated bodies will then be fed to undead and monsters which don't mind consuming dead soulless husks.
* CombatMedic: Water, Blood and Life mages can use healing spells, but also have considerable combat potential. The effectiveness in both roles greatly varies with the mage's presonality and education.
** Mother Superior Erita of Saint Auna's branch in the Artua county is a retired Dragons' Ridge Chasseur from Ritum. Originally a MagicKnight, she left the Chasseurs and became a healer after a traumatic experience in battle.

to:

* ColdBloodedTorture: Among the powers granted by the Fallen are creation and usage of Gems of Pain. Gems of Pain are mana storage units created created, charged or recharged by slowly and painfully killing hundreds of sentients.sapients and feeding their very souls to the artifact. The desecrated bodies will then be fed to undead and monsters which don't mind consuming dead soulless husks.
** One of the most effective mind shields of the Mind school cannot be lifted by magical means from an unwilling target. When the Hunters encounter such a shield on a servant of the Fallen, Vlad has to fall back on the physical "forcible interrogation" methods from his time in the Russian army to literally torture the crucial information out of the cultist.
* CombatMedic: Water, Blood and Life mages can use healing spells, but also have considerable combat potential. The effectiveness in both roles greatly varies with the mage's presonality personality and education.
** Mother Superior Erita of Saint Auna's branch in the Artua county is a Water mage and a retired Dragons' Ridge Chasseur from Ritum. Originally a MagicKnight, she left the Chasseurs and became a healer after a traumatic experience in battle.



** Master Hunter Life Lord Cheyt "Tenacious" is rather a healer than a fighter. Justified as Cheyt was a professor at a magical university and joined the Hunters to fund his research.

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** Master Hunter Life Lord Cheyt "Tenacious" is rather a healer than a fighter. Justified as Cheyt was a professor at a magical university and originally joined the Hunters to fund his research.



** The CommonTongue grafted onto Vlad by Father Estor works by mapping the Arlandian to Russian and vice versa in his head and in his speech. This has the side effect of Vlad hearing noble titles and understanding them by association, e.g. the monarchs of the northern states become kings, princes and dukes while the rulers of the southern states, e.g. Ayra and the White State, become a sultan and a khalif respectively.

to:

** The CommonTongue grafted onto Vlad by Father Estor works by mapping the Arlandian to Russian and vice versa in his Vlad's head and in his speech. This has the side effect of Vlad hearing noble titles and understanding them by association, e.g. the monarchs of the northern states become kings, princes and dukes while the rulers of the southern states, e.g. Ayra and the White State, become a sultan and a khalif respectively.



* CoolOldLady: Lady Loviya, Grandmother Queen of Litiya, born princess of Karosa, who became queen by ArrangedMarriage to the king of Litiya. As nobles of Litiya rebelled, Loviya lost her husband, two sons and only daughter in the civil war. The only other royal survivor was her 5-year-old grandson Sonad. Queen Loviya took command of the armies and nobles loyal to the dynasty. For two months, Litiya was covered in blood. Loviya reclaimed the throne, exterminated the rebellious noble houses and ruled the country until Sonad came of age. After she retired to a monastery, another rebellion began. Loviya returned to the country to deal with the rebels again. While technically retired, Lady Loviya is a political force in her own right now. She is deeply worried about her grandson's and grand-grandson's future, though.

to:

* CoolOldLady: Lady Loviya, Grandmother Queen (Dowager) of Litiya, Litiya. Loviya was born as a princess of Karosa, who Karosa and became queen by ArrangedMarriage to the heir-prince and later king of Litiya. As nobles of Litiya rebelled, Loviya lost her husband, two sons and only daughter in the civil war. The only other royal survivor was her 5-year-old grandson Sonad. Queen Dowager Loviya took command of the armies and nobles loyal to the dynasty. For two months, dynasty and Litiya was covered drenched in blood. Loviya reclaimed the throne, exterminated the rebellious noble houses and ruled the country until Sonad came of age. After she retired to a monastery, another rebellion began. began, forcing Loviya returned to the country to deal with the rebels again. return from retirement. While technically retired, Lady retired again, Queen Dowager Loviya is a political force in her own right now. She is deeply worried about her grandson's grandson Sonad's and grand-grandson's grand-grandson Shator's future, though.though. [[spoiler: Queen Dowager Loviya is the current head of the Council of Loyals.]]



** Kenara's death caused a fission between elven houses of Ritum and caused a (very carefully hidden) paradigm shift among the druids.

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** Kenara's death caused a fission between elven houses of Ritum and caused a (very carefully hidden) paradigm shift among the druids.



** The common [[SpellBlade Ice Blades]] spell takes a nasty turn when used by an Ice Overlord: the smallest cut on the flesh will start a frozen spot which then grows through the body to leave a frozen statue behind.
** When the Dark lodges decide to make a point, the offender is placed somewhere public, has his arms and legs broken, is eviscerated and an enchanted scepter is planted in the ground through the living body. The resulting artifact serves as a Dark energy beacon while keeping the victim alive, conscious and in debilitating pain until their entire flesh has rotten to dust. The ritual actually uses more power than it produces later and can only be performed on Dark cultists or collaborators; thus it is used solely as an execution by torture.
** The Dark beacon ritual is actually surpassed in terms of cruelty if a follower of the Fallen is executed with Maker's Blood. As Vlad notes that the Maker is supposed to be merciful, Khoriner points out that the effect of Maker's Blood on tainted sentients is a law of nature.

to:

** The common [[SpellBlade Ice Blades]] spell takes a nasty turn when used by an Ice Overlord: the smallest cut on the flesh will start a frozen spot which then grows through the body to leave a frozen statue behind.
behind. The head freezes last.
** When the Dark lodges decide to make a point, the offender is placed somewhere public, has his arms and legs broken, is eviscerated and an enchanted scepter is planted in the ground through the living body. The resulting artifact serves as a Dark energy beacon while keeping the victim alive, conscious and in debilitating pain until their entire flesh has rotten to dust. The ritual actually uses more power than it produces later and can only be performed on Dark cultists or collaborators; thus it is used solely as an a form of public execution by torture.
** The Dark beacon ritual is actually surpassed in terms of cruelty if a follower of the Fallen is executed with Maker's Blood. As Vlad notes that the Maker is supposed to be merciful, Khoriner points out that the effect of Maker's Blood on tainted sentients cultists is as much a law of nature.nature as water extinguishing a fire, and does not represent the Maker's morality.



** Element Fusion ritual. A very old, at least pre-Interregnum, technique which allowed a mage to gain control of Lord-tier abilities. The inherent danger is loosing your personality to the element and becoming an elemental. Earth mages would calcinate and become a stone statue, Water mages dissolve themselves in the nearest body of water, Air mages simply become wind, and Fire mages become a living firestorm until put down. The technique became obsolete after the discovery of safe ways to summon elementals for the same purpose, and is effectively forbidden by most modern schools. According to Ice Lord Ins "Ice", his very backwater and very isolated native tribe's Ice mages still use it, as an improper Element Fusion with Ice isn't immediately lethal.
** {{Doppelganger}} spell, used by Saint Auna's Order. While most people think "KillAndReplace" when the spell is mentioned, Saint Auna's Order investigated the effects of a doppelganger on the living original. They found out that the spell does not only replicate the body, but also establishes an empathic connection. The connection is one-way, slowly funneling the darkest parts of the personality from original to doppelganger. While the doppelgangers were successfully used to treat mental disorders, the potential of abuse and the questionable ethics of creating disposable sapient life finally led to a ban on the technique. Highest-ranking members of Saint Auna's Order are introduced to doppelganger spell theory after promotion.

to:

** Element Fusion ritual. A very old, at least pre-Interregnum, technique which allowed a mage to gain control of Lord-tier abilities. The inherent danger is loosing your personality to the element and becoming an elemental. Earth mages would calcinate and become a stone statue, Water mages dissolve themselves in the nearest body of water, Air mages simply become wind, and Fire mages become a living firestorm until put down.out. The technique became obsolete after the discovery of safe ways to summon elementals for the same purpose, and is effectively forbidden by most modern schools. According to Ice Lord Ins "Ice", his very backwater and very isolated native tribe's Ice mages still use it, as an improper Element Fusion with Ice isn't immediately lethal.
** {{Doppelganger}} spell, originally used by Saint Auna's Order. While most people think "KillAndReplace" when the spell is mentioned, Saint Auna's Order investigated the effects of a doppelganger on the living original. They found out that the spell does not only replicate the body, but also establishes an empathic connection. The connection is one-way, slowly funneling the darkest parts of the personality from original to doppelganger. While the doppelgangers were successfully used to treat mental disorders, the potential of abuse and the questionable ethics of creating disposable sapient life finally led to a ban on the technique. Highest-ranking members of Saint Auna's Order are introduced to doppelganger spell theory after promotion.



** Averted with the taint of the Fallen. Serving the Fallen is a quick way to power, wealth and status as long as you don't mind [[HumanSacrifice sacrificing fellow sentients]] and damning your own soul forever. And in case you dismiss the whole thing as Church propaganda - ask a Lord of the Dead (necromancer archmage); they can actually check on souls of the departed.
* TheDeadHaveNames: the main distinction between the Hunters, Rangers, Maker's Hands, Chaussers, Council of Loyals, Lord's Hounds and night guilds on one hand and the Gray Order, the Sunset Order, Maker's Servants and Dark lodges on the other hand. In their desire for money (Gray Order), power (Sunset Order), fanatical dominance (Maker's Servants) or any combination thereof (Dark lodges) these groups exhibit total disregard for both sentient life and afterlife. [[spoiler: Khoriner of the Lord's Hounds]] confesses that to complete his undercover mission in Tariya, he has played the role of a Dark cultist too well. The confession ends with: "I sacrificed 53 other sentients to the Fallen personally, and ordered 87 more to be sacrificed. I remember every one of them, every face, their pain and their hate."

to:

** Averted with the taint of the Fallen. Serving the Fallen is a quick way to power, wealth and status as long as you don't mind [[HumanSacrifice sacrificing fellow sentients]] sapient]] and damning your own soul forever. And in case you dismiss the whole thing as Church propaganda - ask a Lord of the Dead (necromancer archmage); (Lord tier necromancer); they can actually check on souls of the departed.
* TheDeadHaveNames: the main distinction between the Hunters, Rangers, Maker's Hands, Chaussers, Council of Loyals, Lord's Hounds and night guilds on one hand and the Gray Order, the Sunset Order, Maker's Servants and Dark lodges on the other hand. In their desire for money (Gray Order), power (Sunset Order), fanatical dominance (Maker's Servants) or any combination thereof (Dark lodges) these groups exhibit total disregard for both sentient and sapient life and afterlife. [[spoiler: Khoriner of the Lord's Hounds]] confesses that to complete his undercover mission in Tariya, he has played the role of a Dark cultist too well. The confession ends with: "I sacrificed 53 other sentients sapients to the Fallen personally, and ordered 87 more to be sacrificed. I remember every one of them, every face, their pain and their hate."



* DishingOutDirt: the Earth primary school and the Sandstorm secondary school. Very common among dwarves. Vlad notes that the best dwarven smiths are to some extent Earth mages.
* DisproportionateRetribution: both the Hunters' and the Rangers' Guilds are willing and capable of fighting entire countries to protect or at least avenge their members and the members' families.

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* DishingOutDirt: the Earth primary school and the Sandstorm secondary school. Very The Earth school is very common among dwarves. Vlad notes that all the best dwarven smiths are to some extent Earth mages.
* DisproportionateRetribution: both the Hunters' and the Rangers' Guilds are willing and capable of fighting entire countries to protect or at least avenge their members and the members' families.families, as shown by the slaughterings of Seren and Siluien.



** A Ranger, accompanied by an elven Life Lady (Life school archmagess, master healer) who carries a debt of life to the Ranger, and some loyal troops happens to save a coven of elven summoners from the House of Swords and their guard detail, including the heir of the House, from a band of desert spirits the summoners have lost control of. The Ranger's unit dispatches the spirits and the Life Lady patches the elves up. During the following night, the Swords, led by their prince, assault the Ranger and his troops, mortally wounding the elven magess. As she lays dying, her final wish is to marry the Ranger to repay at least a part of her debt. The Rangers' Guild recognizes the marriage as valid retroactively and calls for revenge to reinforce the lesson of Seren, lest someone decides that the Guilds no longer care. The Ranger forces assault the city-forest Siluien of Swords, capture the head of the House and his family, kill all armed Swords and take unarmed women and children captive. The head of the House calmly accepts the execution awaiting him and his sons, but asks the Ranger to spare his wife and daughter from the scenes of plundering and raping he believes to follow suit. The Ranger asks the elven lady if she is willing to go free and unharmed in exchange for the women and children of the clan, and the elven lady agrees. Saiana, the elven princess, now faces the same choice, but she asks the Ranger to let any innocent elven girl go in her place, willing to submit herself to the destiny awaiting the captive elves. Surprised by Saiana's decision, the Ranger has the head of the House, his wife and both sons executed, but orders the captives released on a single condition: Saiana has to join Saint Auna's Order for five years. She agrees, ending her House, since by elven traditions Saiana sheds her bloodline with her oath to Saint Auna. This event becomes known as the Slaughtering of Siluien. [[spoiler: The Ranger is Vlad, the Life Lady is Kenara.]]

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** A Ranger, Ranger was once accompanied by an elven Life Lady (Life school archmagess, master healer) Lady, who carries carried a debt of life to the Ranger, and some loyal troops happens troops. They happened to save a coven of elven summoners from the House of Swords and their elven guard detail, including the heir of the House, House of Swords. The elven summoners and their elven guards were in mortal danger from a band of desert spirits the summoners have lost control of. The Ranger's unit dispatches dispatched the spirits and the Life Lady patches patched the elves up. During the following night, the Swords, led by their prince, assault assaulted the Ranger and his troops, mortally wounding the elven Life Lady. On her deathbed, the elven magess. As she lays dying, her final wish is to marry Life Lady married the Ranger to repay at least a part of her debt. The Rangers' Guild recognizes recognized the marriage as valid retroactively and calls called for revenge to reinforce the lesson of Seren, lest someone decides that the Guilds no longer care. The Ranger forces assault assaulted the city-forest Siluien of Swords, capture captured the head Lord of the House of Swords and his family, kill killed all armed Swords elves and take took unarmed women and children captive. The head Lord of the House Swords calmly accepts accepted the execution awaiting him and his sons, but asks sons. Yet the Ranger elven Lord of Swords asked the now widowed Ranger, who led the attack on Siluien, to spare his wife and daughter from the scenes of plundering and raping he believes to follow suit. daughter. The Ranger asks asked the elven lady Lady and heiress of Swords if she is they were willing to go free and unharmed in exchange for all the women and children of the clan, and the elven lady agrees. Lady of Sowrds chose her life over her subjects. Saiana, the elven princess, now faces heiress, faced the same choice, but she asks asked the Ranger to let any innocent elven girl go in her place, willing to submit herself to the destiny awaiting the captive elves. Surprised by Saiana's decision, the Ranger has the head of the House, his wife Lord and both Lady of Swords and their sons executed, but orders the captives captive elven women and children released on a single condition: Saiana has to join Saint Auna's Order for five years. She agrees, Saiana agreed, thus ending her House, the House of Swords, since by elven traditions Saiana sheds her bloodline with her the oath to Saint Auna. Auna disinherits Saiana from her birthright. Saiana is irrevocably exiled from the elven empire. The dynasty of House of Swords is now extinct by elven law, the surviving women and children are pariahs of an extinct House, yet they all carry a life debt to Saiana regardless of her exile. This event becomes became known as the Slaughtering of Siluien. [[spoiler: The Ranger is Vlad, the Life Lady is Kenara.]]



* DragonWithAnAgenda: Prince Kriy of Baros to the Fallen. Kriy is the priest-king of the ReligionOfEvil and is supposed to work solely to advance the Fallen's return. Surprisingly, Kriy is known to consolidate his personal power. His emissaries have been involved in the destruction of Dark lodges which refused to accept his control. At a guess, Kriy is well aware of both his and the world's fate in the case of said return and would likely prefer the current status quo. [[spoiler: Kriy is a Xenos who left the USSR sometimes during Stalin's reign, likely a communist who supported Stalin before Stalin decimated the old communists. His hesitations to usher in his own demise by invoking the second incarnation of the BigBad are understandably GenreSavvy.]]

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* DragonWithAnAgenda: Prince Kriy of Baros to the Fallen. Kriy is the priest-king of the ReligionOfEvil and is supposed to work solely to advance the Fallen's return. Surprisingly, All the while, Kriy is known to consolidate was observed consolidating his personal power. His emissaries have been involved in the destruction of offered stand-alone Dark lodges which refused the choice between submission to accept his control. Kriy and destruction. At a guess, Kriy is well aware of both his and the world's fate in the case of said return of the Fallen and would likely prefer the current status quo. [[spoiler: In a conversation with Vlad, Kriy is admits beings a Xenos who fellow Xenos. Kriy left the USSR sometimes during Stalin's reign, reign and thus entered Arland some 600 years ago. Kriy was likely a communist who supported Stalin before Stalin decimated the old communists. His hesitations Hence Kriy's hesitation to usher in his own demise by invoking the second incarnation coming of the BigBad are is understandably GenreSavvy.]]



* DroitDuSeigneur: offered to Vlad by the Stoka village's resident healer. Vlad declined; she lost Vlad's respect afterwards.
* DualWielding: Most nobles carry a variation of "sword & dagger" as part of their appropriate attire. Justified by frequent duels and the basic etiquette of not carrying shields or heavy two-handed weapons on formal occasions.
** {{MagicKnight}}s using the gestic or verbal-gestic casting style (which is the fastest and hence most common in combat) often switch between DualWielding and the [[SwordAndGun Sword and Spell]] approach.

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* DroitDuSeigneur: offered to Vlad by the Stoka village's resident healer. Vlad declined; declined and she lost Vlad's respect afterwards.
* DualWielding: Most nobles carry a some variation of the "sword & dagger" combo as part of their appropriate formal attire. Justified by frequent duels and The tradition likely arose from the basic etiquette of not carrying neither shields or nor heavy two-handed weapons on formal occasions.
** {{MagicKnight}}s using the gestic or verbal-gestic casting style (which is the fastest and hence most common in combat) often switch between DualWielding and the [[SwordAndGun Sword and Spell]] approach.



* DuelToTheDeath: Only practiced between male nobles. Duels are fought either by steel or by steel and magic. Challenged party chooses the rules. Duels to the blood are possible, but rare. Insults involving family, clan, state or allegiance nearly always result in this trope. Insults to women and children result in duels with next of kin. Proxy fighters are acceptable in some cases, but seen as dishonorable. To prevent a CycleOfRevenge, relatives killed in a proper duel are exempt from vendetta traditions.
** As a group of 7 young nobles from Narina challenge Vlad, he kills the first one and invokes the substitute rule. By this rule, if there are fewer challenged than challengers, the challenged may call for volunteers to join them. Since this happens in Belgor and the fight in Matvey's inn, which led to the challenge, already made city rumors, several master Hunters step in. Five dead young nobles and one breach of the dueling codex ensued.
** During his mission in Litiya Vlad and fellow Hunters Rens and Ley provoked three elves into challenging them. Three dead elves ensued.
** After Vlad's arrival in his lands of the Stoka barony, Vlad learned that a neighbor baron was attempting a hostile takeover of his barony. Upon confrontation with said baron, Vlad uses his opponent's slip of the tongue to challenge him. One dead baron el Ronst, one breach of the dueling codex, another dead baron el Ronst (middle brother to the first one) and an attack on the Stoka village by supporters of el Ronst ensued.
** During a tourney in Vlad's Artua county, a hired assassin Plasma Lord [[LoopholeAbuse arrives during sunset]] and challenges any mage of the county's magical school. Vlad simply declares the tourney's end, officially drops the referee's cloak and takes the challenge. One "Ice Hammer" spell and one dead Plasma Lord follow.

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* DuelToTheDeath: Only practiced between male nobles. Duels are fought either by steel or by steel and magic. Challenged party chooses sets the rules. Duels to the blood are possible, but rare. Insults involving family, clan, state or allegiance nearly always result in this trope. Insults to women and children result in duels with next of kin. Proxy fighters are acceptable in some cases, but seen as dishonorable. To prevent a CycleOfRevenge, relatives killed in a proper duel are exempt from vendetta traditions.
** As a group of 7 young nobles from Narina challenge challenged Vlad, he kills killed the first one and invokes invoked the substitute rule. By this rule, if there are fewer challenged duelists than challengers, the challenged party may call for volunteers to join them. Since this happens in Belgor and the fight in Matvey's inn, inn in Belgor, which led to the challenge, already made city rumors, several master Hunters step in.volunteered; some of them actually called in past favors to have a go at the Narina nobles. Five dead young nobles and one breach of the dueling codex ensued.
** During his mission in Litiya Vlad and fellow Hunters Rens and Ley witnessed an elven visiting party trying to cause a public scene. Vlad, Rens and Ley provoked three the elves into challenging them.them by firmly pressing the elven BerserkButton. Three dead elves ensued.
** After Vlad's arrival in his lands of the Stoka barony, Vlad learned that the neighboring barons el Ronst, the elder two of a neighbor baron was trio of brothers, were attempting a hostile takeover of his barony. Upon confrontation with said baron, barons, Vlad uses his opponent's slip of the tongue to challenge him. One dead baron el Ronst, Ronst (eldest brother), one breach of the dueling codex, codex and another dead baron el Ronst (middle brother to the first one) and an attack on the Stoka village by supporters of el Ronst ensued.
** During a tourney in Vlad's Artua county, a hired assassin Plasma Lord [[LoopholeAbuse arrives arrived during sunset]] and challenges challenged any mage of the county's magical school. Vlad simply declares declared the tourney's end, officially drops dropped the referee's cloak and takes accepted the challenge. One "Ice Hammer" spell and one dead Plasma Lord follow.ensued.



* ElementalBaggage: averted. Some schools, e.g. Sandstorm and Hurricane, can only be used in appropriate areas. Fire, Air and their combination, Plasma, are popular due to not having the problem. Life mages are at their strongest in a dense forest and weakened in a desert. Death mages and Necromancers are weak unless sentients very recently died or very regularly came to rest in the area; they are drastically empowered by large losses of life, e.g. on graveyards, on battlefields or during sieges. Vlad is aware that some Water and Ice spells will use his body for materials if the air humidity becomes too low.
* ElementalEmbodiment: The schools of the four classical elements also allow to summon elementals. Those are not too bright, but extremely powerful. Skilled mages enhance the summoning with a telepathic link between summoner and elemental.
* ElementalPowers: The four classical elements, Water, Fire, Earth and Air, are commonly described as primary. According to Kolar er Kilam, a genius theoretician of magic, Life, Death, Light and Darkness are also primary, although the Church regards describing clerics as mages a heresy. Kolar most likely has a point, though, since servants and creatures of the Fallen can use dark-tainted spells. Clerics from the Order of the Maker's Servants (Arland's inquisition) have used pure Light and Light-enhanced against humans, while this power supposedly only works against the power of the Fallen.

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* ElementalBaggage: averted. Some schools, e.g. Sandstorm and Hurricane, can only be used in appropriate areas. Fire, Air and their combination, Plasma, are popular due to not having the problem. Life mages are at their strongest in a dense forest and weakened in a desert. Death mages and Necromancers are weak unless sentients sapients very recently died or very regularly came to rest in the area; they are drastically empowered by large losses of life, e.g. on graveyards, on battlefields or during sieges. Vlad is aware that some Earth and Magma mages are appropriately empowered when underground. Some Water and Ice spells will use his body for materials water from human bodies, including the casters, if the air humidity becomes too low.
* ElementalEmbodiment: The schools of the four classical elements also allow to summon elementals. Those are not too bright, originally feral, but extremely powerful. Skilled mages enhance the summoning with a telepathic link between summoner and elemental.
* ElementalPowers: The four classical elements, Water, Fire, Earth and Air, are commonly described as primary. According to Kolar er Kilam, a genius theoretician of magic, Life, Death, Light and Darkness are also primary, although the Church regards describing clerics as mages a heresy. Kolar most likely has a point, though, since primary. In support of Kolar's opinion, servants and creatures of the Fallen can use dark-tainted spells. elemental spells, e.g. tainted Fire. Clerics from the Order of the Maker's Servants (Arland's inquisition) have used pure use Light and Light-enhanced against humans, while this power supposedly only works against spells. Yet the power of the Fallen.Church regards describing clerics as mages a heresy.



* EliteArmy: the Black Dragon clan of the Wild Island. The Black Dragons are non-hereditary and exceptional warriors are accepted into the clan based on their prowess.
** While neither the Hunters nor the Rangers are defined as an army, they fit the description when engaged in military operations.

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* EliteArmy: the Black Dragon clan of the Wild Island. The Black Dragons are the only non-hereditary and exceptional clan. Exceptional warriors are accepted into the clan based on their prowess.
prowess. Retiring Black Dragons transfer their skills by NeuralImplanting to their successors in the ranks.
** While neither the Hunters nor the Rangers are defined as an army, they fit the description when engaged in military operations.operations in the field.



A not too large black handle, about thirty centimeters. A guard about ten centimeters from the end of the handle, a cap with a ring at the other end of the handle. A thin chain and a small diamond-shaped flail, three by six by eight centimeters. Doesn't look like it, but weights a couple of kilograms. Surprisingly, the weight of this tool, a tool to brain your fellow sentients, is concentrated in the flail, the handle and chain weigh next to nothing. Physics come to mind, with the whole business of momentum, leverage and other stuff, and the physics say that a device with the entire weight concentrated at the point of impact achieves the maximal effect. Other melee weapons pale with envy. \\
The chain links are made from double-layered cold-wrought steel, combining hard and soft steel to achieve this pinnacle of medieval metallurgy and weaponsmithing. The handle is made of black-wood, and the flail filled with lead and temm[[note]] temm is a rare metal on Arland, likely a natural mercury-rich amalgam[[/note]]. Dorn asks about seams in the flail, and Kerin responds that he, with some difficulties, forged the flail shell in one piece. This demands respect. Forging a shell that normally has to be cast or welded - that's not "with some difficulties", that's ... (Vlad thinks something expletive). Kerin proceeds to show a last resort, pressing a hidden lever on the handle. A 25-centimeter bayonet blade emerges from the handle's bottom end, and retreats into the handle after using the same lever.

to:

A not too large black handle, about thirty centimeters. A guard about ten centimeters from the end of the handle, a cap with a ring at the other end of the handle. A thin chain and a small diamond-shaped flail, head, three by six by eight centimeters. Doesn't look like it, but weights has a couple of kilograms. kilograms of weight. Surprisingly, the weight of this tool, a tool to brain your fellow sentients, sapients, is concentrated in the flail, head, the handle and chain weigh next to nothing. Physics come to mind, with the whole business of momentum, leverage and other stuff, and the physics say that a device with the entire weight concentrated at the point of impact achieves the maximal effect. Other melee weapons pale with envy. \\
The chain links are made from double-layered cold-wrought steel, combining hard and soft steel to achieve this pinnacle of medieval metallurgy and weaponsmithing. The handle is made of black-wood, and the flail filled with lead and temm[[note]] temm is a rare metal on Arland, likely a natural mercury-rich amalgam[[/note]]. Dorn asks about seams in the flail, flail's head, and Kerin responds that he, with some difficulties, forged the flail head's shell in one piece. This demands respect. Forging a shell that normally has to be cast or welded - that's not "with some difficulties", that's ... (Vlad thinks something expletive). Kerin proceeds to show a last resort, pressing a hidden lever on the handle. A 25-centimeter bayonet blade emerges from the handle's bottom end, and retreats into the handle after using the same lever.



* ExpositionBeam: Mind mages can both read and write compressed memories from and to others at the rather small cost of head aches. Obviously used for briefings and debriefings.

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* ExpositionBeam: Mind mages can both read and write compressed memories from and to others at the rather small cost of head aches. Obviously used for fast briefings and debriefings.



** After the battle in the Red Caves Vlad begins plotting an indirect attack on the Merchants' Guild of the Krays Island and on the Order of Sunset, a prominent organization of mercenary mages. Since these groups rely on financial power and magical skill, Vlad plans a magical and financial operation. [[note]]Vlad's plans include breaking the forgery protection spell of payment certificates as issued by the Merchants' Guild of Krays and enchanted by the Order of Sunset; producing a large amount of forged certificates and turning forged certificates to cash at the Merchants' Guild and at several notable banks, one of which is in on the operation; then waiting for the banks to declare certificate security as compromised and stopping accepting certificates; then buying real certificates under value; then having the allied bank issue a security patch and declare all older certificates still safe unless issued by Merchants' Guild of Krays or by Order of Sunset; then quietly compensating the losses suffered by the allied bank in; then watching the banks, the Merchants' Guild and the Order of Sunset fight each other. While those few privy to the plans are awestruck, Vlad notes that by standards of TheNewRussia this is a fairly straightforward raid technique from the armory of inter-enterprise hostilities.[[/note]]

to:

** After the battle in the Red Caves Vlad begins plotting an indirect attack on the Merchants' Guild of the Krays Island and on the Order of Sunset, a prominent organization of mercenary mages. Since these groups rely on financial power and magical skill, Vlad plans a magical and financial operation. [[note]]Vlad's plans include breaking the forgery protection spell of payment certificates as issued by the Merchants' Guild of Krays and enchanted by the Order of Sunset; producing a large amount of forged certificates and turning forged certificates to cash at the Merchants' Guild and at several notable banks, one of which is in on the operation; then waiting for the banks to declare certificate security as compromised and stopping to stop accepting certificates; then buying real certificates under value; then having the allied bank issue a security patch and declare all older certificates still safe unless issued by Merchants' Guild of Krays or by Order of Sunset; then quietly compensating the losses suffered by the allied bank in; bank; then watching the banks, the Merchants' Guild and the Order of Sunset fight each other. While those few privy to the plans are awestruck, Vlad notes that by standards of TheNewRussia this is a fairly straightforward raid technique from the armory of inter-enterprise hostilities.technique.[[/note]]



** [[spoiler: Vlad Istrin's problem is being Vlad "Lightning", Dalv "Jester", Vlad count el Artua and "Maitre" all in one person. According to Father Estor, Vlad, as other "aliens" before him]], is a catalyst of changes on Arland - the world itself puts him to the test, using loved ones, family, friends and allies as the stake, and he must fight to survive.

to:

** [[spoiler: Vlad Istrin's problem is being Vlad "Lightning", Dalv "Jester", Vlad count el Artua and "Maitre" all in one person. According to Father Estor, Vlad, as other "aliens" Xenos before him]], is a catalyst of changes on Arland - the world itself puts him to the test, using loved ones, family, friends and allies as the stake, and he must fight to survive.



** Manifestation of the Fallen. The damage dealt to the World's Temple has caused a [[{{Hellgate}} permanent connection to demonic planes of reality]], and the spreading corruption has rendered the Blight inhabitable for normal life.
** Uncontrolled Kraken summoning. The Kraken is an effectively ageless and immortal sentient creature, described as a barely sapient manifestation of raw Water mana. His initial arrival caused tsunami waves and, due to missing control spells, no travel or fishing are possible in the entire area the Kraken now resides in.
** Desert of Mirrors: The habitable lands were literally burned off the map during the Interregnum and the bedrock was glassed to give the area its new name. Because of erosion, the area became a (technically passable) sandy desert. It's highly hostile due to restless souls of the previous inhabitants which now appear as Sand Spirits, an endemic form of partially corporeal sapient undead predators.
** The Wild Island was hit by numerous spells during the Interregnum as well. The direct hit areas are now deserts, and the adjacent ones are at best arid steppe. The magical residue corrupted the climate and the wildlife. The inhabitants of the surviving Empire are in a state of constant warfare to prevent being literally wiped off the island.
** The continent of Nirum was hit the hardest and destroyed. The island of Kilam is the largest remaining coherent piece of land.
* FantasyGunControl: Vlad points out that common MartyStu protagonists in contemporary Russian TrappedInAnotherWorld fantasy are commonly quick to introduce overpowered gunpowder technology to the setting. Vlad also notes that attempting to do so on Arland would pose two major challenges:
# Keeping the very simple technology secret, which would alone cause a competent intelligence agent to grow gray hairs;

to:

** Manifestation of the Fallen. The damage dealt to the World's Temple has caused a [[{{Hellgate}} permanent connection to demonic planes of reality]], and the spreading corruption has rendered the Blight inhabitable uninhabitable for normal life.
** Uncontrolled Kraken summoning. The Summoning of a Kraken. A Kraken is an effectively ageless and immortal sentient creature, described as a barely sapient sentient manifestation of raw Water mana. His initial arrival caused tsunami waves and, due mana with the mindset of a fairly smart dog. The Kraken on Arland was badly confused by his summoning. Due to missing failed control spells, no rituals, the Kraken went feral and neither travel or nor fishing are were possible in the entire area the Kraken now resides in.
took residence in. A successful empathic contact millennia later tamed the being.
** Desert of Mirrors: The habitable lands were literally burned off the map during the Interregnum and the bedrock was glassed to give the area its the new name. Because of erosion, the area became a (technically passable) sandy desert. It's highly hostile due to climate, water shortage and magical fallout. The later caused the restless souls of the previous inhabitants which now appear as to become Sand Spirits, an endemic form of partially corporeal sapient undead predators.
predators who now prey on all sapient life to enter their habitats.
** The continent of Nirum was hit the hardest and destroyed. The largest remaining coherent pieces of land are the Wild Island and the island of Kilam.
** The Wild Island was hit by numerous weaker spells during the Interregnum as well. The direct hit areas are now deserts, and the adjacent ones are at best arid steppe. The magical residue fallout corrupted the climate and the wildlife. The inhabitants of the surviving Empire are in a state of constant warfare to prevent being literally wiped off the island.
** The continent of Nirum was hit the hardest and destroyed. The island of Kilam is the largest remaining coherent piece of land.
* FantasyGunControl: Vlad points out that common MartyStu protagonists in contemporary Russian TrappedInAnotherWorld fantasy are commonly often quick to introduce overpowered gunpowder technology to the setting. Vlad also notes that attempting to do so on Arland would pose two major challenges:
# Keeping the very simple technology secret, which alone would alone cause a competent intelligence agent to grow gray hairs;



* FightingForAHomeland: The Lynx clan was banished, without a chance to return, from their native Wild Island, their chief thought dead. They have lived as wandering [[HiredGuns mercenaries]] until meeting Vlad, declaring him the reincarnation of the Lynx chief and his lands their new home.

to:

* FightingForAHomeland: FightingForAHomeland:
**
The Lynx clan was banished, without a chance to return, irrevocably banished from their native Wild Island, their chief Island for the treason of a Black Dragon who was originally the Lynx chieftain. The Lynx clan dismissed the accusations, but accepted the exile and thought their chieftain dead. They have lived as wandering [[HiredGuns mercenaries]] until meeting Vlad, declaring Vlad. As Vlad had experienced a NeuralImplanting from the surviving Lynx chieftain, the Lynx clan's elders decided to officially dismiss Vlad's story and to declare him the reincarnation "reincarnation" of the Lynx chief and his instead. Thus the Lynx clan declared Vlad's lands their new home.home.
** The vampire clans of the Borderlands have gained the acceptance of the Church and of the Borderlanders by faithfully fighting at their side. The vampire clans are now in turn accepted to peacefully settle in the Borderlands.



* FriendlyTarget: the She-Wolves and Dunya, kidnapped into the Blight. Gil "Goody", attacked by a commando unit of inquisitors. Vlad notes that attacks on those personally close to him follow a pattern and for lack of a name calls the entity responsible "Weaver". Father Estor later reveals that this happens to all Xenos on Arland, and "Weaver" is [[spoiler: Arland itself testing them]], mostly manifested as a conflict with forces of the Fallen.
* FunctionalMagic: Force Magic: mages cast spells by expending {{Mana}} and regain it by resting or by using various mana-storing artifacts. A BackgroundMagicField permeates the world as {{Mana}} of the appropriate elements, e.g. Earth in a cave, Life in a jungle etc.
* GenreSavvy: Since fantasy has rapidly become more popular in modern Russia, Vlad has read his share of it, and also is a knowledgeable fan of medieval history. Vlad, after his introduction to the city of Belgor and to magic, jokingly complains that he didn't get any Marty Stu superpowers on Arland, e.g. his army training being useless compared to medieval swordsmanship and his mana pool too small to become an archmage.

to:

* FriendlyTarget: the She-Wolves and Dunya, kidnapped into the Blight. Gil "Goody", attacked by a commando unit of inquisitors. Vlad notes that attacks on those personally close to him follow a pattern and for lack of a name calls the entity responsible "Weaver". Father Estor later reveals that this happens to all Xenos on Arland, and "Weaver" is [[spoiler: Arland itself itself]] testing them]], them, mostly manifested as a conflict with forces of the Fallen.
* FunctionalMagic: Force Magic: mages cast spells by expending {{Mana}} and regain it by resting or by using various mana-storing artifacts. A BackgroundMagicField permeates the world as {{Mana}} of the appropriate elements, which is enhanced by location, e.g. Earth mana is restored faster in a cave, Life mana - in a jungle etc.
* GenreSavvy: Since fantasy has rapidly become more popular in modern Russia, Vlad has read his share of it, and also is a knowledgeable fan of medieval history. Vlad, after his introduction to the city of Belgor and to magic, jokingly complains that he didn't get any Marty Stu MartyStu superpowers on Arland, e.g. his army training being useless compared to medieval swordsmanship swordsmanship, gunpowder being pointless in the face of magic, and his own mana pool too small to become an archmage.



* GetAHoldOfYourselfMan: Vlad suffers a breakdown due to side effects of an emotion-suppressing spell he used during an infiltration. This seems to trigger his RepressedMemories and cause [[spoiler: PowerIncontinence of his Ice Overlord abilities]]. Shedar of the Lynx clan successfully punched some sense back into Vlad right then.

to:

* GetAHoldOfYourselfMan: Vlad suffers a breakdown due to side effects of an emotion-suppressing spell he used during an infiltration. infiltration mission. This seems to trigger his RepressedMemories and cause [[spoiler: PowerIncontinence [[spoiler: of his Ice Overlord abilities]]. Shedar of the Lynx clan successfully punched some sense back into Vlad right then.on the spot.



* GodSaveUsFromTheQueen: Al'sa, second wife to Eran of Dekara. Previously his mistress, Al'sa had the queen poisoned and most likely ordered an attempt at the life of the only heir. With a remarkable degree of control over Eran, Al'sa "removed" most of the people loyal to the kingdom from the court. An old courtier, who faithfully served Dekara's kings, retaliated by slipping Al'sa a permanent contraceptive potion before succumbing to poison himself. Al'sa's rule was marked by nepotism, debauchery and corruption until a rebellion blossomed into civil war.
* GoodHurtsEvil: During the Interregnum, the Maker and the Destroyer fought upon Arland in corporeal form, and spilled blood. While this has mostly resulted in blessed and tainted locations respectively, some of Maker's Blood was gathered and stored. One such vial is located in the blighted Red Caves in Tariya. Maker's Blood is an opaque white liquid sparkling with white light. Narvion, the grand master of the Dark lodge in the Red Caves and the Fallen's servant for 1500 years, could not even approach the vial with Maker's Blood closer than several dozens of meters. Dara, a much younger and hence less tainted Dark Blood and Mind mage, could actually try to touch the vial for a few seconds, but would need months to recover. Khoriner, one of the youngest and lowest-ranking members of the lodge, could actually carry the vial around and used it to counteract the Dark Flame, an artifact of the Fallen. Vlad, in a moment of doubt about his own morals, uncorks the vial, puts his palm against the opening and tilts the vial. He describes the feeling as a soft and tender touch, noting: "I'm not Dark, maybe not a saint, oh absolutely not a saint, but also not Dark."

to:

* GodSaveUsFromTheQueen: GodSaveUsFromTheQueen:
**
Al'sa, second wife to Eran of Dekara. Previously his mistress, Al'sa had the queen poisoned and most likely ordered an attempt at the life of the only heir. With a remarkable degree of control over Eran, Al'sa "removed" most of the people loyal to the kingdom from the court. An old courtier, who faithfully served Dekara's kings, retaliated by slipping Al'sa a permanent contraceptive potion before succumbing to poison himself. Al'sa's rule was marked by nepotism, debauchery and corruption until a rebellion blossomed into civil war.
** Fourfold at the court of Ayra. Rashid II. of Ayra has 5 sons from 4 legitimate wives, and the court has descended into intrigues and conspiracies, as each wife is struggling to see her offspring crowned.
** Inverted with Grandmother Queen (Dowager) Loviya of Litiya. Lady Loviya has saved the dynasty after the rebellion in Litiya took the lives of her husband and children. Lady Loviya remains a wise and benevolent power behind her ruling grandson Sonad.
* GoodHurtsEvil: During the Interregnum, the Maker and the Destroyer fought upon Arland in corporeal form, and spilled blood. While this has mostly resulted in blessed and tainted locations respectively, some of Maker's Blood was gathered and stored. One such vial is located in the blighted Red Caves in Tariya. Maker's Blood is an opaque white liquid sparkling shining with white light. Narvion, the grand master of the Dark lodge in the Red Caves and the Fallen's servant for 1500 years, could not even approach the vial with Maker's Blood closer than several dozens of meters. Dara, a much younger and hence less tainted Dark mage (of Blood and Mind mage, schools), could actually try to touch the vial for a few seconds, but would need months to recover. Khoriner, one of the youngest and lowest-ranking members of the lodge, could actually carry the vial around and used it to counteract the Dark Flame, an artifact of the Fallen. Vlad, in a moment of doubt about his own morals, uncorks uncorked the vial, puts put his palm against the opening and tilts tilted the vial. vial to have the holy liquid touch his skin. He later describes the feeling as a soft and tender touch, noting: "I'm not Dark, maybe Dark... Maybe not a saint, oh absolutely not a saint, but also not Dark."Dark!"



** The fraction of the Maker's Servants collaborating with the Dark lodge in Tariya. The corrputed Maker's Servants went so far into TheFundamentalist territory that they are willing to participate in a summoning of a literal demon.

to:

** The fraction of the Maker's Servants collaborating with the Dark lodge in Tariya. The corrputed Maker's Servants went so far into TheFundamentalist territory that they are willing to participate in a HumanSacrifice and demon summoning of for a literal demon.power play.



** In a notable episode, the duke of Tariya has committed treason against the allied dragon clans which had their nests in the mountains surrounding his dukedom. As the dukedom was about to be overrun by forces of the Fallen, the dragon clans were gathering from all over the continent to strike back. As the dukedom has always relied on the isolation behind mountain passes and on the dragons, it had no army to speak of. In a desperate move, the duke released an imprisoned Dark mage and provided him with the exact locations and access methods to the dragons' nesting caves, which the Dark armies then attacked. Most of the dragons, arriving in small groups, were killed one by one defending the nests. In the end, the dragons emerged victorious, but took terrible losses. They took revenge on the dukedom by barricading all mountain passes. The dragon survivors also swore an oath of forsaking all future interference in any conflicts with or among other species.

to:

** In a notable episode, the duke of Tariya has committed treason against the allied dragon clans which had their nests in the mountains surrounding his dukedom. As the dukedom was about to be overrun by forces of the Fallen, the dragon clans were gathering from all over the continent to strike back. As the dukedom has always relied on the isolation behind mountain passes and on the dragons, it had no army to speak of. In a desperate move, the duke released an imprisoned Dark mage and provided him with the exact locations and access methods to the dragons' nesting caves, which the Dark armies then attacked. Most of the dragons, arriving in small groups, were killed one by one defending the nests. In the end, the enough dragons emerged arrived to emerge victorious, but they took terrible losses. They The dragon clans took revenge on the dukedom by barricading all mountain passes. The dragon survivors also swore an oath of forsaking all future interference in any conflicts with or among other species.species.
** Entire species were introduced to or wiped from Arland during the Interregnum. Trolls, goblins and vampires are the newcomers, and the werebeast WitchSpecies were reduced to two totems.



* GuileHero: Vlad is becoming this, as events on Arland put not only his life, but those of his loved ones, his new family, his friends and those loyal to him, in danger. This forces Vlad to move from being a Hunter to becoming the count el Artua. Vlad's modus operandi shifts to intelligence and counterintelligence, assassinations, propaganda and large-scale financial manipulations involving counterfeit currencies.
* HadToBeSharp: the clans of the Wild Island. The Wild Island is the largest coherent landmass remaining from a continent destroyed during the Interregnum, and the climate changes, magical fallout and the changed flora and fauna make it [[{{Deathworld}} less than hospitable]].

to:

* GuileHero: Vlad is becoming this, as events on Arland put not only his life, but those of his loved ones, his new family, his friends and those loyal to him, in danger. This forces Vlad to move from being a Hunter to becoming the count el Artua. Vlad's modus operandi shifts to intelligence and counterintelligence, assassinations, propaganda and large-scale financial manipulations involving counterfeit currencies.
manipulations.
* HadToBeSharp: the clans of the Wild Island. The Wild Island is the largest coherent landmass remaining from a Nirum, the continent destroyed during the Interregnum, and the climate changes, magical fallout and the changed flora and fauna make it [[{{Deathworld}} less than hospitable]].



* HappilyAdopted: Aliana el Chanor, adopted princess of Melor. Torin of Melor found Aliana's mother during a hunt, and the mortally wounded woman bequested her daughter's life to him. Torin went to great lengths to raise Aliana, and she is fiercely loyal to both her new family and her new homeland.
* HealingFactor: common among Life mages. The Nar beasts of the Borderlands are famous for their extremely rapid regeneration and hunted to draw healing elixirs from their glands.
* HealingHands: basic skill of Life mages. Water and Blood mages can heal others to some limited extent. Saint Auna, founder of the eponymous Order, has healed the sick and infirm ones with her touch without being a mage.

to:

* HappilyAdopted: Aliana el Chanor, adopted princess of Melor. Torin of Melor found Aliana's mother during a hunt, and the mortally wounded woman bequested her daughter's life to him. Torin went to great lengths to raise Aliana, and she is fiercely loyal to both her new family and her new homeland.
homeland. Rumors call Aliana Torin's bastard daughter, as she reads as RoyalBlood by certain spells and artifacts. [[spoiler: Aliana is a bastard, but without close relation to Torin. She was born on Ritum to a human prince, Valud of Soniya, and an elven noblewoman.]]
* HealingFactor: common among Life mages. The Nar beasts of the Borderlands are famous for their extremely rapid regeneration and hunted to draw the main components of healing elixirs from their glands.
bodies.
* HealingHands: basic skill of Life mages. Water and Blood mages can heal others to some limited extent. Saint Auna, founder of the eponymous Order, has healed the sick and infirm ones with her touch without being a mage. [[spoiler: Saint Auna was a Pure Soul bearer and the HealingHands were her Pure Soul power which manifested after she lost her husband.]]



** The princedom of Riara is about to enter a SuccessionCrisis since the only heir is princess Valiya [[spoiler: and she's actually a bastard, sired by Vlad and accepted by the infertile prince.]]
** The Kingdom of Dekara suffered a SuccessionCrisis. At the end the HiddenBackupPrince emerged to claim the throne.

to:

** The princedom of Riara is about to enter a SuccessionCrisis since the only heir is princess Valiya [[spoiler: and she's actually a bastard, sired by Vlad and accepted adopted by the infertile prince.]]
** The Kingdom of Dekara suffered a SuccessionCrisis. At the end of the civil war the HiddenBackupPrince emerged to claim the throne.
** In Litiya and Orkhet both the heir-prince Shator and king Orkhet respectively have recently married, and are now expected to sire heirs.
** Inverted with the sultanate of Ayra. Rashid II. has 5 sons from 4 wives, and the DeadlyDecadentCourt has ensued from the siblings' struggle for the
throne.



* {{Hellhound}}: the bkhuts, shapeshifting demonic spirits, usually take the shapes of a giant, a boar or a dog. The last form has earned them the nickname "Hounds of the Fallen".

to:

* {{Hellhound}}: the bkhuts, shapeshifting demonic spirits, usually take the shapes of a humanoid giant, a boar or a dog. The last form has earned them the nickname "Hounds of the Fallen".



** Matvey's wife, a Fire mage, while heavily wounded in the Blight Catacombs, used a massive flare spell to lure monsters to herself, and then suicided in an explosion, allowing her husband to escape.

to:

** Matvey's wife, a Fire mage, while heavily wounded in the Blight Catacombs, used a massive flare spell to lure monsters to herself, and then suicided in an explosion, allowing her husband to escape. Her last wish was for Matvey to settle down and raise their daughter Dunya.



* HeWhoFightsMonsters and BecomingTheMask: a [[spoiler: priest of the Lord's Hounds]] called Khoriner has been sent to infiltrate a dark sect worshiping the Fallen in a remote location in the former duchy of Tariya. Then he managed to instigate an EnemyCivilWar involving the dark sect from Tariya, another dark sect from Karosa, corrupted Creator's Servants (inquisitors) and corrupted high-ranking members of the Merchants' Guild. Khoriner also timed the events to involve Vlad, Vlad's pupils, a clan of church-approved vampires and a clan of dragons, resulting in the annihilation of both dark sects, the corrupted priests and the corrupted merchants, also preventing a massive demon summoning. Khoriner then committed SuicideByCop, forcing Vlad to kill him. Khoriner confessed that he became too tainted himself; he originally accepted the mission [[spoiler: after emerging from a "blighted spot" decades before Vlad and deciding to use his skills from Earth to benefit the Church]].
* HiddenBackupPrince and NobleFugitive: after the wife of Eran of Dekara died, supposedly poisoned, the king married his mistress Al'sa. Courtiers loyal to the dynasty correctly assumed the life of the only prince to be in danger and faked the prince's demise. A low-key Borderlands' baron died in the capital, but sent his acknowledged bastard son back home, to the barony outside of Dekara. As queen Al'sa was killed during the civil war, and king Eran is on his deathbed without a heir, the Rite of Closest Blood is performed in Dekara, and a young Borderlands' baron crops up.

to:

* HeWhoFightsMonsters and BecomingTheMask: a [[spoiler: a priest of the Lord's Hounds]] called Hounds called]] Khoriner has been sent to infiltrate a dark sect worshiping the Fallen Dark lodge in a remote location in the former duchy of Tariya. Then he managed to instigate an EnemyCivilWar involving the dark sect Dark lodge from Tariya, another dark sect the visiting Dark lodge members from Karosa, corrupted Creator's Servants (inquisitors) and corrupted high-ranking members of the Merchants' Guild. Khoriner also timed the events to involve Vlad, Vlad's pupils, a clan visiting mercenary party led by the freelancer MagicKnight Slav [[spoiler: "Slav" is another shorthand from "Vladislav". The mercenary party consists of church-approved Vlad with er Joker mages and allied vampires feigning Dark control]] and a clan of dragons, resulting dragons. This resulted in the annihilation of both dark sects, Dark lodges and the corrupted priests and the corrupted merchants, also preventing a massive demon summoning. Khoriner then committed SuicideByCop, suicide by forcing Vlad Slav to kill him. [[spoiler: After finding out that Slav is Vlad and Vlad is a Russian Xenos, ]] Khoriner confessed that he became too tainted himself; he originally accepted joined the mission Dark lodge [[spoiler: to use his skills from Earth to benefit the Church. Khoriner was a Russian undercover cop who joined the Lord's Hounds after emerging as a Xenos from a "blighted spot" decades before Vlad and deciding to use his skills from Earth to benefit the Church]].
Vlad]].
* HiddenBackupPrince and NobleFugitive: after the wife of Eran of Dekara died, supposedly poisoned, the king married his mistress Al'sa. Courtiers loyal to the dynasty correctly assumed the life of the only prince to be in danger and faked the prince's demise. A low-key Borderlands' baron died in the capital, but sent his acknowledged bastard son back home, to the barony outside of Dekara. As queen Al'sa was killed during the civil war, and king Eran is on his deathbed without a heir, the Rite of Closest Blood is performed in Dekara, and a young Borderlands' baron suddenly crops up.



** Great evil: The Destroyer [[TheScottishTrope a.k.a. the Fallen, the Cursed, the Damned]]. In the clerical doctrine, second son to the world's Creator who went rogue and now desired to destroy worlds.

to:

** Great evil: The Destroyer [[TheScottishTrope a.k.a. the Fallen, the Cursed, the Damned]]. In the clerical doctrine, second son to the world's Creator who went rogue and now desired desires to destroy worlds.



* HorseOfADifferentColor: A new species, the drakes, was created by the Chimera school with the explicit purpose to replace horses in battle. Worked not entirely as advertised. Pro: drakes are faster, stronger, resilient to physical and magical damage, smart and dangerous. Contra: drakes are empathic herd predators, form a single lifelong empathic bond with their only owner and rider, don't breed in captivity. [[spoiler: Vlad allowed his drake Fuzz to join a wild herd and seek a "girlfriend". To Vlad's surprise, Fuzz became the mate of three drake females and brought them with him to Vlad's castle.]]

to:

* HorseOfADifferentColor: A new species, the drakes, was created by the Chimera school with the explicit purpose to replace horses in battle. Worked It worked, although not entirely as advertised. Pro: drakes are faster, stronger, resilient to physical and magical damage, smart and dangerous. Contra: drakes are empathic herd predators, form a single lifelong empathic bond with their only owner and rider, don't breed in captivity. [[spoiler: Vlad allowed his drake Fuzz to join a wild herd and seek a "girlfriend". To Vlad's surprise, Fuzz became the mate of three drake females and brought them with him to Vlad's castle.]]



** The power and the favor of the Fallen is most easily gained in this fashion. Mages, priests and royalty are especially coveted.
* TheHunter: Hunters' Guild, Rangers' Guild, chasseurs of the Dragons' Ridge. Motivations among members of these organizations vary:
** Dark creatures and Dark lodges are a danger to sentients. The Orkhet kingdom and the Church offer various boons to Hunters to keep the Blight in check. Rangers perform similar tasks across the entire northern Satum.

to:

** The power and the favor of the Fallen is most easily gained in this fashion. Mages, priests and royalty are especially coveted.
coveted as sacrifices.
* TheHunter: Hunters' Guild, Rangers' Guild, chasseurs Chasseurs of the Dragons' Ridge. Motivations among members of these organizations vary:
** Dark creatures and Dark lodges are a danger to sentients.all sapient life. The Orkhet kingdom and the Church offer various boons to Hunters to keep the Blight in check. Rangers perform similar tasks across the entire northern Satum.



*** A peasant kid called Dils lost his entire family at the hands of a Dark lodge. The cultists simply didn't bother to finish off the boy, who survived to become Death Lord and master Hunter Dils "Gloomy", one of the most powerful Hunters. Dils is known for hunting Dark cultists and human servants of the Fallen, often ignoring mindless tainted monsters and undead.

to:

*** A peasant kid called Dils lost his entire family at the hands of a Dark lodge. The cultists simply didn't bother to finish off the boy, who survived to become Death Lord and master Hunter Dils "Gloomy", one of the most powerful Hunters. Dils is known for hunting Dark cultists and human servants of the Fallen, often ignoring mindless tainted monsters and undead.undead in favor of those he perceives as guilty of voluntarily serving the Dark purpose.



** The chasseurs of the Dragons' Ridge are united forces of all non-elven states on Ritum, fighting against the elven empire of Ritum in the elves' [[AbsoluteXenophobe war of extermination]] against all other species on the continent. The conflict has focused on the Dragons' Ridge, an impassable mountain range dividing Ritum in two parts. The chasseurs have been holding the choke-point passes of the Dragons' Ridge until the present day, and they hate the elves with burning passion.

to:

** The chasseurs of the Dragons' Ridge are united forces of all non-elven states on Ritum, fighting against the elven empire of Ritum in the elves' [[AbsoluteXenophobe war of extermination]] against all other sapient species on the continent. The conflict has focused on the Dragons' Ridge, an impassable mountain range dividing Ritum in two parts. The chasseurs Chasseurs have been holding the choke-point passes of the Dragons' Ridge until the present day, and they hate the elves with burning passion.



** Due to common RagnarokProofing available before the Interregnum, large amounts of artifacts and treasures have survived in the World's Temple, which became the Blight, and to lesser extent in other blighted areas. Wannabe treasure hunters often end up as fresh zombies in the Blight, but rare survivors often become Hunters after rethinking their motivations.

to:

** Due to common RagnarokProofing available before the Interregnum, large amounts of artifacts and treasures have survived in the World's Temple, which became the Blight, and to lesser extent in other blighted areas. Wannabe treasure hunters often end up as fresh zombies in the Blight, but rare occasional survivors often become Hunters after rethinking their motivations.



** {{Revenge}}: As Arland's inquisitors often abuse their power for worldly gains, victims of their arbitrary rule yield potential recruits for the Dark lodges. Nork, bodyguard and assassin of choice in the service of Kriy of Baros, blindly accepted the help to avenge his family, and then step by step became a Dark mage. Upon witnessing the power of Hunters, he repents.
** Money: Dark lodges are often led by powerful nobles. They offer power, influence and protection.
* IfYoureSoEvilEatThisKitten: common practice by Dark lodges all over Arland and on the Baros island ruled by the Dark prince Kriy. Neophytes of Dark lodges are commonly required to perform a HumanSacrifice and to dedicate the soul of their victim to the Destroyer, while on Baros performing such a sacrifice is required to merely enter the castles of Baros for the first time. Vlad notes that this includes everybody, from Kriy's personal advisers to the lowest maid or sweeper in the Baros castles.

to:

** {{Revenge}}: As Arland's inquisitors often abuse their power for worldly gains, victims of their arbitrary rule yield potential recruits for the Dark lodges. Nork, bodyguard and assassin of choice in the service of Kriy of Baros, blindly accepted the help to avenge his family, and then step by step became a Dark mage. Upon witnessing the power of Hunters, he repents.
repented.
** Money: Dark lodges are often led by powerful nobles. They offer power, influence wealth and protection.
influence.
* IfYoureSoEvilEatThisKitten: common practice by Dark lodges all over Arland Arland, and on the Baros island ruled by the Dark prince Kriy. Neophytes of Dark lodges are commonly required to perform a HumanSacrifice and to dedicate the soul of their victim to the Destroyer, while on Destroyer. On Baros performing such a sacrifice is required to merely enter be granted entry to the castles of Baros for the first time. at all. Vlad notes that this includes everybody, from Kriy's personal advisers to the lowest maid or sweeper in the Baros castles.servants.



* IGaveMyWord: common part of the moral code for the nobility of Arland. Hunters and Rangers are often known to follow HonorBeforeReason by this trope.

to:

* IGaveMyWord: common part of the moral code for the nobility of Arland. Hunters and Rangers are often known to follow HonorBeforeReason by this trope.trope, even if they normally subscribe to the CombatPragmatist ideal.



** Vladislav Istrin has accumulated several names over his time on Arland. He's master Hunter Vlad "Lightning", [[spoiler: reincarnated Hellaren, the Ice Tour[[note]]note the similarity between "Istr", Vlad's surname's basis, and "Ice Tour", the way Vlad is called. "Ice Tour" is rendered in latinic letters in the novels.[[/note]]]], master Ranger [[SdrawkcabAlias Dalv]] "Jester", baron el Vira, later baron el Stoka, later count el Artua, founder of the Joker magic school Vlad er Joker, Maitre (an otherwise nameless mercenary and assassin), later Slav, a freelancer MagicKnight, and later "mister Hunter"[[note]] the name is inconspicious when spelled out in the CommonTongue.[[/note]]. Note that due to Vlad and Slav both being short forms of Vladislav, both introductions pass {{LivingLieDetector}}s.
* ImAHumanitarian: cannibalism, both ritualistic and as [[IfYoureSoEvilEatThisKitten proof of alignemtn or loyalty]], is used by Dark lodges. During the undercover operation in the Red Caves, Vlad is offered such a meal.
* ImmortalitySeeker: while the life extension rite is rarely allowed and limited to once per person under clerical jurisdiction, there is no technical reason against unlimited use. Dark lodges hence offer the prospect of eternal life to the acolytes. Vlad notes that sufficiently unscrupulous individuals may well employ a Life mage to perform the rite and to alter their appearance every time, going for a permanent MyGrandsonMyself solution.

to:

** Vladislav Istrin has accumulated several names over his time on Arland. He's master Hunter Vlad "Lightning", [[spoiler: reincarnated Hellaren, the Ice Tour[[note]]note the similarity between "Istr", Vlad's surname's basis, and "Ice Tour", the way Vlad is called. "Ice Tour" is rendered in latinic letters in the novels.[[/note]]]], master Ranger [[SdrawkcabAlias Dalv]] "Jester", baron el Vira, later baron el Stoka, later count el Artua, founder of the Joker magic school Vlad er Joker, Maitre (an otherwise nameless mercenary and hired assassin), later Slav, a freelancer MagicKnight, and later "mister Hunter"[[note]] the name is inconspicious when spelled out in the CommonTongue.[[/note]]. Note that due to Vlad "Vlad" and Slav "Slav" both being short forms of Vladislav, "Vladislav", both introductions work as ExactWords to pass {{LivingLieDetector}}s.
* ImAHumanitarian: cannibalism, both ritualistic and as [[IfYoureSoEvilEatThisKitten proof of alignemtn alignment or loyalty]], is used by Dark lodges. During the undercover operation in the Red Caves, Vlad is offered such a meal.
meal. He declined, citing his freelancer MagicKnight persona to the spectators.
* ImmortalitySeeker: while the life extension rite is rarely allowed and limited to once per person and requires a special case investigation under clerical jurisdiction, there is no technical reason against unlimited use. Dark lodges hence offer the prospect of eternal life to the acolytes. Vlad notes that sufficiently unscrupulous individuals may well employ a Life mage to perform the rite and to alter their appearance every time, going for a permanent MyGrandsonMyself solution. The ritual may be addictive or merely so tempting that the Church declared it an unholy temptation.



** Vlad has been named "Lightning" as princess Laera of Riara watched the [[SpellBlade lightning spell on his swords]]. Vlad joined the Rangers under an alias; after he killed a bkhut, the Rangers also promoted him to the master rank, nicknaming him "Jester" for his habit to describe enemies as "victims of our next jest".

to:

** Vlad has been named "Lightning" as princess Laera of Riara watched the [[SpellBlade lightning spark spell on his swords]]. Vlad joined the Rangers under an alias; after he killed a bkhut, the Rangers also promoted him to the master rank, nicknaming him "Jester" for his habit to describe enemies as "victims of our next jest".
1st Sep '14 3:02:54 PM MarkLungo
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* SufficientlyAnalyzedMagic: Magic was a science before the Interregnum, and the idea of TheScientificMethod survived. New spells are created, old spells are modified and artifacts are reverse-engineered by careful research rather then by intuition or by trial and error.

to:

* SufficientlyAnalyzedMagic: Magic was a science before the Interregnum, and the idea of TheScientificMethod UsefulNotes/TheScientificMethod survived. New spells are created, old spells are modified and artifacts are reverse-engineered by careful research rather then by intuition or by trial and error.
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