Created By: kuyanJ on January 9, 2012 Last Edited By: kuyanJ on October 9, 2012

Whole Village Quest

A town, tribe, or civilisation has become a giant adventuring party.

Name Space:
Main
Page Type:
Trope
Do We Have This One??

This is what happens when an author takes a quest story, where the heroic adventuring travel through a strange land to achieve some difficult goal, and puts a whole town, or even a whole civilization, through it together. Normally the reason is that these people are no longer safe in their old homeland (perhaps there was a tier 0 Apocalypse How), and are seeking a new one. As in a normal quest story, the audience gets to see people discovering the strange places in their world, but now there are a lot more people doing it.

When this trope is used, the party going on the quest is much too big to be the Band of Brothers questing parties often are, the internal dynamics being closer to those of a town or nation.

Examples:

Anime and Manga:
  • At the opening of Gall Force: Eternal Story, the Solnoid fleet is enroute to take posession of Chaos after their original homeworld was destroyed by paranoids.

Comics
  • In the Astérix book Asterix at the Olympic Games the whole male population of Asterix's village travels to Rome to take part in the Olympic Games. Only Asterix and Obelix have been to Rome before, so strangers travelling in a strange land is a big part of the story.
  • In ElfQuest, the Wolf Riders are a tribe, and go on quests. There aren't very many people in the tribe, however; at the beginning of the series there are only seventeen.

Literature
  • The third book of Wind on Fire follows a large part of the Manth tribe who, after the destruction of their city, follow a prophet to a new homeland, while struggling against dangerous Wacky Wayside Tribes and other obstacles.
  • In Eldest, the entire village of Carvahall goes on a quest with Roran, which is the subject of the chapters from Roran's POV
  • At the start of Clan of the Cave Bear Brun's group is searching for a new cave because theirs got destroyed by an earthquake.
  • In The Silmarillion, the elves are instructed by the Valar to travel to Aman. Most stop along the way, but three tribes make it. The second of the three, the Nolder, later return to Middle - Earth to retrieve the Silmarils from Morgoth.
  • In the backstory of the Belgariad, the seven gods created seven races of people to rule, but the god Aldur didn't choose, leaving one race godless, wandering the earth looking for a god to lead them. Eventually they splintered, some following a man who led them to the god UL, and only a small part of that party choosing to follow UL. Those became the Ulgo race, while the greater part of their people were struck infertile and died out.

Live-Action TV:
  • In Battlestar Galactica, after the 12 Colonies are attacked by the Cylons, the colonials go in search of a rumored thirteenth colony.
  • The Tribe: The quest to locate Eagle Mountain at the end of Season 1 is such an example, as the Mallrats embark on their journey half-expecting never to return, and the other half doubting they'd actually find what they were looking for.
  • The Skreea in Star Trek: Deep Space Nine left their homeworld when it was taken over the Dominion and became wanderers. Then they discovered the wormhole, which in their mythology was supposed to lead them to their new home. Only, the Bajorans, living on the planet that Skreean mythology identified as their new home, didn't want to share, having only recently driven out the occupying Cardassians and being basically in post-apocalyptic shape for the first couple of seasons.

Tabletop RPG
  • Dungeons & Dragons
    • Basic D&D
      • Modules DA1-DA4. The Afridhi are ordered by their deity Zugzul to march to the east and invade and conquer the inhabited lands there.
      • Supplement GAZ10 The Orcs of Thar, section "Quest for a Blue Knife". A humanoid chief discovers a magical knife. The humanoids go to war to possess it and the knife is lost. In order to find it again the humanoid tribes travel and fight their way across the Known World.

Video Games
  • In Logical Journey of the Zoombinis, the entire population of Zoombini Isle is implied to be fleeing to an uncharted and Soup Can filled continent and, under the player's control, travelling through it to Zoombiniville.
  • In several campaigns in The Battle For Wesnoth, the player character's hometown has been destroyed and the army they command is escorting it's former inhabitants through unknown lands in search of somewhere safe for them to settle.

Western Animation:

Community Feedback Replies: 37
  • January 9, 2012
    LeeM
    • Comic Books: Elf Quest does this a couple of times, first of all when the Wolfriders are burned out of their forest and have to find a new home. Later on Cutter and Skywise leave on a quest to find more elves, then most of the other Wolfriders follow when they realize the two of them are in more danger than they thought... come to think of it, over the years there have been lots of storylines involving itinerant elves on one sort of quest or another. At least nobody can claim the title isn't justified.
  • January 9, 2012
    nman
    • Eldest: Roran's POV chapters involve him and the entire village of Carvahall on a journey.

  • January 9, 2012
    Noaqiyeum
    Real Life and assorted historical fiction: The Jews, repeatedly. (Also the Roma, possibly, but I'm not sure about the details of their history or situation.)
  • January 10, 2012
    randomsurfer
    At the start of Clan Of The Cave Bear Brun's group is searching for a new cave because theirs got destroyed by an earthquake.
  • January 10, 2012
    Tuomas
    In the Asterix book Asterix at the Olympic Games the whole male population of Asterix's village travels to Rome to take part in the Olympic Games. Only Asterix and Obelix have been to Rome before, so strangers travelling in a strange land is a big part of the story.
  • January 10, 2012
    Arivne
    Tabletop RPG
    • Dungeons And Dragons
      • Basic D&D
        • Modules DA1-DA4. The Afridhi are ordered by their deity Zugzul to march to the east and invade and conquer the inhabited lands there.
        • Supplement GAZ10 The Orcs of Thar, section "Quest for a Blue Knife". A humanoid chief discovers a magical knife. The humanoids go to war to possess it and the knife is lost. In order to find it again the humanoid tribes travel and fight their way across the Known World.
  • January 10, 2012
    LeeM
    ^^ There are initially only 17 Wolfriders. Obviously the numbers change over the years because of births, lifemating and deaths.
  • January 11, 2012
    kuyanJ
    ^I've revised that bit now. Is this more accurate?

    I haven't read Elf Quest. Is it true to say that all through there aren't very many wolf riders?
  • January 11, 2012
    Tuomas
    Elfquest shouldn't be in the Webcomics folder. For most of its publication history (the first story came out in 1978) it was a regular comic book, though the creators later on put all of its content online.
  • January 12, 2012
    kuyanJ
    fixed.
  • January 13, 2012
    FrodoGoofballCoTV
    Anime and Manga:
    • At the opening of Gall Force: Eternal Story, the Solnoid fleet is enroute to take posession of Chaos after their original homeworld was destroyed by paranoids.

    Live Action TV:
    • In Battlestar Galactica, after the 12 Colonies are attacked by the Cylons, the colenials go in search of a rumored thirteenth colony.

    Western Animation:
  • January 13, 2012
    neobullseye
    Literature
    • Animorphs - In the Ellimist Chronicles, the titular character leads his species on a journey to seek out a new world after the last one got destroyed, along with about 99% of everyone living there.

    I forgot the exact details; and will add them later if necessary.
  • January 13, 2012
    OneInTwenty
    Pilgrimage? Simplify the title
  • January 13, 2012
    kuyanJ
    I don't think "pilgrimage" would be an appropriate title; in my mind a pilgrimage is generally:

    • something which different people do at different times, whereas generally everyone does this together
    • something which is repeated indefinitely by different generations, whereas this is a one-off event

    R.E. the Animorphs example; my memory is that by the time they set off on that quest, there were only a few members of that civilization left alive. Do people think we should count examples where the people on a quest, while all that's left of a civilization, aren't very many?
  • January 13, 2012
    Generality
    • In the backstory of the Belgariad, the seven gods created seven races of people to rule, but the god Aldur didn't choose, leaving one race godless, wandering the earth looking for a god to lead them. Eventually they splintered, some following a man who led them to the god UL, and only a small part of that party choosing to follow UL. Those became the Ulgo race, while the greater part of their people were struck infertile and died out.
  • January 13, 2012
    kuyanJ
    ^By "quest", I mean a difficult journey to achieve something, not just any collective attempt to achieve something. was there a difficult journey involved in that example?
  • January 13, 2012
    FrodoGoofballCoTV
    Literature:
    • In The Silmarillion, the elves are instructed by the Valar to travel to Aman. Most stop along the way, but three tribes make it. The second of the three, the Nolder, later return to Middle - Earth to retrieve the Silmarils from Morgoth.
  • January 14, 2012
    Koveras
    I suppose the Quarians in the Mass Effect series may count. They travel the galaxy in a giant Flotilla in hopes of either taking back their homeworld from the geth or settling down on a new world. That they still haven't decided which one it should be hinders their progress considerably.
  • January 14, 2012
    DracMonster
    ARGH! The title needs to be some sort of pun on A Tribe Called Quest but I can't think of one, dammit!

    A Quest Called The Tribe is the closest I've come. Or A Tribes Quest Calls
  • January 15, 2012
    kuyanJ
    ^I'd change the name to either of those if a few people agreed. Not in the next two weeks, 'though, since I'll be without internet.

    I'm thinking now that it might clarify things if I said something about the people being an Adventuring Party.
  • January 15, 2012
    Generality
    ^5: Regarding the Belgariad: the Godless Ones did physically migrate in their search, covering much of the world (basically Walking The Earth en masse), and eventually settled in a specific location, in fact one considered uninhabitable by other peoples, although the efforts of their holy man and later, their adopted god, made living there easier.
  • March 5, 2012
    kuyanJ
    Should I make another trope for stories where a people lose their homeland and seek another? There would be a lot of overlap, obviously.
  • March 5, 2012
    Dawnwing
    ^ Well, there's already The Migration and Fighting For A Homeland.

    • In Warrior Cats, the forest is destroyed by humans, but the Clans have had a sign from their ancestors on which way to go for a new home, so all four Clans (around a hundred cats total) leave the forest, questing for their new home.
  • April 20, 2012
    kuyanJ
    Should there be more of an emphasis in the examples to the quest-like difficulties of the journeys?

    And for the name, how about A People Goes Questing?
  • April 21, 2012
    fulltimeD
    COLONIAL! Not "colenial."
  • April 21, 2012
    fulltimeD
    The Tribe: The quest to locate Eagle Mountain at the end of Season 1 is such an example, as the Mallrats embark on their journey half-expecting never to return, and the other half doubting they'd actually find what they were looking for.
  • April 21, 2012
    randomsurfer
  • April 21, 2012
    fulltimeD
  • April 21, 2012
    LobsterMagnus
    Real Life
    • Colonists and nomads in general.

  • April 21, 2012
    Astaroth
    Videogames: The plot of Homeworld revolves around the population of planet Kharak finding a star-map with the word 'Hiigara' (our home) written on it, concluding that they are not a native species of the planet, and their subsequent attempts to build a space fleet they can use to travel the stars back to the planet they originally came from.
  • April 22, 2012
    fulltimeD
    The Skreea in Star Trek Deep Space Nine left their homeworld when it was taken over the Dominion and became wanderers. Then they discovered the wormhole, which in their mythology was supposed to lead them to their new home. Only, the Bajorans, living on the planet that Skreean mythology identified as their new home, didn't want to share, having only recently driven out the occupying Cardassians and being basically in post-apocalyptic shape for the first couple of seasons.
  • April 22, 2012
    TwoGunAngel
    @randomsurfer: I would say the Book of Exodus from The Bible definitely counts as one of these.
  • October 8, 2012
    kuyanJ
    r.e. Homeworld: sounds like a subversion if anything, if they fail to leave the place they started.

    Also, I was originally thinking of works where the main characters are part of the adventuring people, and it was used kind of like an adventuring party. In a lot of examples, 'though, it sounds like the main characters aren't part of the adventuring people. What is the function of this in those cases?
  • October 8, 2012
    wanderlustwarrior
    • In the original Shining Force game, the residents of the moving city of Pao are met along the Force's journey, as they try to escape the turmoil of war and eventually settle down. No one from Pao actually joins you, though several characters previously met on the journey join in Pao, and one person you meet in Pao joins later.
  • October 8, 2012
    JonnyB
    Relating to the Real Life example of the Jews above, the Biblical Exodus obviously counts.
  • October 8, 2012
    Chabal2
    • Lanfeust: the entire troll village often ends up on one of these, though not always by choice. In one, they had all been magically enslaved and sent to a work site, in another, many left to attend the Trollympic games.
    • Redwall: one book has the villain take over a sedentary vermin horde and get it moving again, looking for easy plunder.
  • October 9, 2012
    Stratadrake
    How about Village On A Quest?

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