Characters / Arcanum: Of Steamworks & Magick Obscura

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Player Character

    The Living One 

You were one of the passengers aboard the airship IFS Zephyr when it was shot down by Molochean Hand ogres. Amidst the wreckage, you encounter a dying gnome who gives you a strange ring and implores you to "find the boy". Not long after, you learn that you are in fact the reincarnation of the Panarii hero, Nasrudin. So begins a journey that will soon determine the fate of all Arcanum...

  • Actual Pacifist: One of the hardest self-imposed challenges the game has to offer, but definitely possible. There's enough ways to escape battle or incapacitate enemies without maiming or killing them for the protagonist to be played as such.
  • Badass Bookworm: You can be this by choosing the corresponding background.
  • Badass Normal: If one hasn't made any investment in magic or the technological skills that opens up possibilities for making stuff, and opts instead to maximize stats and combat skills.
  • The Chosen One: Or so does the prophecy imply.
    • The Unchosen One: As Pelojian points out, it doesn't actually matter whether you're The Chosen One or not; you've taken on the role of the hero and you're playing the part.
  • Dark Is Not Evil: You can be this.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Can be played as one.
  • A God Am I: You may become this at the end of the patched game if you sides with Kerghan until the very last moment and then declare godhood when he demands to know the reason for the betrayal.
  • Guile Hero: With the Persuasion skill.
  • Moral Event Horizon: Invoked and enforced in the "Sold Your Soul" background trait. You receive a 20% bonus to your Magic affinity, but you start with -20 Alignment and you can't go higher than that.
  • Multiple-Choice Past: You can give yourself a more general background, or pick from several pre-made characters who all have more detailed backstories.
  • Non-Specifically Foreign: On several occasions you may declare yourself a visitor from another continent, but that's about the most specific you get.
  • Omnicidal Maniac: It's an option.
  • Physical God: Arguably after completing the ancient gods’ quest. You’ll receive massive boosts of heath, fatigue and several skills and attributes.
  • Right Man in the Wrong Place: You start as nobody who by pure luck survived a zeppelin crash. You end up reshaping the political map, pulling rightful kings back onto their thrones, establishing alliances between world powers and cleaning cities from bandits and monsters. Or intentionally screwing that all up beyound repair. And, ultimately, either saving the world or extinguishing all life.
  • Science Hero: To allow for this is pretty much intrinsic to the idea behind this game.
  • Schrödinger's Player Character: In a sense. At the start, you will find the dead bodies all of the preset characters that you did not pick (and if you made your own, all of them will be dead).
  • Sole Survivor: Of the zeppelin crash. Carried to the extreme in the evil ending, where you are left the only living thing in the entire world (including microbes and all), although certainly not for long.
  • Warrior Poet: You can become knowledgable in dwarven and elven philosophy, and the Cold-Blooded Dream of the Bedokaan through the course of the game, while still administering beatdowns to whoever dares stand in your way.

Premade Player Characters

    Merwin Tumblebrook 

http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/merwintumblebrook.png
"Merwin Tumblebrook was raised in a small halfling town, where he showed a proficiency in various technological disciplines, but was also prone to random acts of theft and pilfery. Although not an evil child, his dresser was often full of the ill-gotten possessions of his friends and neighbors, as well as the occasional gold-leafed religious relic from a temple in the nearby human village. When young Merwin's tastest began drifting to explosives and the contents of the local treasury, his parents thought it time to take action.
Merwin has boarded the IFS Zephyr en route to Tarant, where he is enrolled in the spring semester at the Westrel Military Academy for Promising Young Men. Needless to say, he is less than exuberant over the whole affair."

    Godfrey Castleburger 

http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/godfreycastleburger.png
"Godfrey Castleburger grew up on the rolling hills of his family's estate. The son of a wealthy and influential businessman, Godfrey was tutored daily by the best teachers, and excelled in economics and the dialectic method. In his free time, he was trained by a master in the technological discipline of Gunsmithy, and is well trained in the making of firearms and hopes to become an expert marksman.
Having finished his compulsory education, young Godfrey is being sent to Tarant on the IFS Zephyr to broaden his experience in the new world, as well as to sow any of his proverbial wild oats before he returns to assume control of the family business."

A wealthy gnome merchant's son, Godfrey was sent abroad on a learning journey.

  • Arms Dealer: His family's business is based on this, and his selected skills seem to be along the lines of him following in their footsteps.

    Horace McGinley 

http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/horacemcginley.png
"Horace McGinley was born under a bad sign. An orphan from birth, he found himself in a daily battle with life and its peculiar quandaries. After running away from various homes and institutions, Horace found himself on the streets, homeless and hungry. Carving a niche for oneself in such an environment is difficult, but Horace was anything if not determined. After falling in with a group of local street toughs, Horace began to learn the ways of combat and thievery, and even began dabbling in the ways of magick.
With the money from a few successful heists, Horace has booked passage on the IFS Zephyr to Tarant. It's not that life won't give you anything, he thinks, it's just all in the way that you ask."

A half-elven thief, Horace grew up an orphan. The money he stole he used to buy airship tickets.

  • Orphan's Ordeal: He did not get along in orphanages, and thus ended up on the streets. This led to him becoming a thief.

    Muck Evil Eye 

http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/muckevileye.png
"Muck Evil Eye was born in a remote ogre village, the offspring of an unusual union between a human male and Histreg Wide Thighs, an ogre female whose appetites tended toward the exotic. Muck grew up an outcast, scorned by his fellow ogre because of his human heritage. He frequently found himself fighting because of aspersions cast at his family and his character; in time, he became the most feared, if not the most despised, warrior in his village.
Muck, because of his human blood, is a tad smarter than the common ogre. Upon hearing of employment opportunities in the new world for half-ogre bodyguards, he's taken a job in the boiler room of the IFS Zephyr in exchange for passage to Tarant."

A tough half-ogre raised among ogres, he's working aboard the airship to pay his way.

    D'ren Le'lor 

http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/drenlelor.png
"D'ren Le'lor is a dreamer. The son of an elven hunter, D'ren found himself more interested in the history of Arcanum than he did in bowmanship, although he was quite proficient in the latter as well, and was often found in the library, poring over the ancient texts and manuscripts. Magick came easily to him, and he spent much time studying the ancient runes while his friends were off engaging in contests of physical skill and horseplay.
To D'ren the world is a large and wonderful place. So tonight, after leaving a heartfelt note to his parents saying he would return soon, he has stolen away to the nearest town, where he's booked passage on the IFS Zephyr, bound for Tarant at first light."

A daydreamer, D'ren left his hunter father behind in order to look for adventure.

  • Jumped at the Call: As soon as he felt ready, he left his home to seek adventure in Tarant.
  • Mage Marksman: His basic build, blending archery and magic spells.

    Solomon Doone 

http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/solomondoone.png
"Solomon Doone was born the 13th son of Derzin Doone, the most evil necromancer in a long line of evil necromancers. It was the night of the full moon, and Solomon's mother, a frightful witch whose body was covered in strange birthmarks of the most evil shapes and configurations, died in childbirth at the stroke of midnight. Bezzle Gerts, the twisted, one-armed midwife who delivered the child, remarked that Fergel, the Doone's black housecat, had crossed the threshold into the room just as Solomon uttered his first cry.
Oftentimes fate is not subtle. After a family dispute that left most of the Doone clan unrecognizable or immobilized, Solomon has purchased a ticket for Tarant on the IFS Zephyr. He doesn't bother looking at the seat number."

A scion of an evil clan of necromancers, Doone left his kin behind after an ugly family dispute.

  • Death by Childbirth: His mother suffered this giving birth to him.
  • Last of His Kind: Played with. A number of his family are still alive, but they were all horribly crippled or maimed. He's the only one who was able to walk away...literally.
  • Necromancer: His entire family is made of them, and Solomon is no exception.

    Merik Luggerton 

http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/merikluggerton.png
"The story of Merik Luggerton is not an unfamiliar one. Born into abject poverty, Merik lived with his family in a one-room shanty, working at odd jobs in the factory district of the city in which he lived. Orcish wages being what they were, the family had a lot of trouble putting food on the table.
As in many orcish ghettos, there was a great demand for pugilists, and many were the men who placed bets on the outcome of a brawl between two strapping young half-orcs. Merik found himself in the ring one night, and, upon winning, had more than a month's wages.
Merik fought, and Merik won. Having taken care of his family, he's purchased a ticket for the IFS Zephyr, in hopes of finding a new and better life in the great city of Tarant."

A poor half-orc who lucked into winning in an underground fighting ring. He used the money to go to Tarant.

    Lugard Bloodstone 

http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/lugardbloodstone.png
"Lugard Bloodstone is a miner's son, and over the front door of his home is a plaque that reads: Any Work Not Done With Your Hands Is No Such Thing. Unfortunately, as a child Lugard seemed to excel at what his father dubbed 'senseless tinkering', and a young Lugard's birthday gift to his father of a steam-powered shovel went over like stone shoes at the swimming hole. Still, regardless of his father, Lugard studied long and hard, and looked at the day when he might study among the great inventors and scientists of Tarant.
Lugard's father is old-fashioned, but he is also wise. Upon completing the dwarven rights of adulthood, Lugard has been permitted to enroll at Tarant University, and he's booked passage on the IFS Zephyr, bound for the greatest industrial city in all of Arcanum."

The son of a dwarven miner, Ludgard preferred tinkering with advanced machines. He's traveling to go study at Tarant University.

  • Why Couldn't You Be Different?: Subverted. While his father disapproved of his son's tinkering (valuing manual labor himself), he ultimately let Ludgard follow his own path and arranged for him to attend the university.

    Victoria Warrington 

http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/victoriawarrington.png
"Victoria Warrington was the daughter of nobility, one of the lesser families who lost both land and power in the aftermath of the great wars. As the years have passed, the Warrington name has come to mean less and less, but the family has survived, and holds on to as much of its past glory as society will permit. Victoria is the youngest of three daughters, beautiful and quick-witted. Having been educated in the finest schools of knowledge and magick, she is the model of strong character and good breeding.
But Victoria craves adventure. Many nights, she frequents the local taverns in disguise, hungry for stories, a strong glass of ale, and a game of dice. Tonight she's been lucky, and the poor soul across from her has lost his last remaining possession... a ticket on the IFS Zephyr to Tarant..."

Daughter of a noble family since fallen into disgrace, Victoria craves adventure above all else.

  • Guile Hero: She specializes in speech-based skills.
  • Jumped at the Call: When she had a chance to win an airship ticket in a game of dice at the local tavern, she took it.

    Bel'an T'seraa 

http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/belantseraa.png
"The T'Seraa family name is an old one, and Bel'an has been raised with one standard: elven honor above all. She has been taught the true elven ways from birth, and holds them in her heart like a gemstone. Magick and warcraft are as familiar to her as the sun through the leaves of her treetop home, and she feels a strong kinship with Nature and Her mysteries...
But all is not right in Arcanum, and Bel'an has been chosen by her people to go out into the world, and see what is to be seen. And although her heart breaks to leave the deep elven forests she has always known, there is a peculiar excitement she feels at boarding this... airship?... the IFS Zephyr, and traveling to someplace called Tarant..."

An elven noblewoman, fulfilling her duty by going out into the world and finding out what is happening.

  • Forest Ranger: Her default skill set is based on this archetype.
  • Sheltered Aristocrat: She's never seen the lands beyond her forest home, and part of her wants to be back there.

    Clarisse Vorak 

http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/clarissevorak.png
"Until a little while ago, Clarisse Vorak had a bright future. Having recently moved to the city from a small town, she had apprenticed herself to a well-respected doctor and was well on her way to earning advanced degrees in the Anatomical and Therapeutic disciplines. She was a gifted student, and a quick learner.
That all changed when it was discovered that the small town she was from was actually an orcish tribe. Times and attitudes being what they are, she has been asked to leave her apprenticeship. All of her friends have abandoned her, and her landlord has evicted her on "social" grounds.
In the hopes that the new world has shed such prejudices, she has purchased a ticket on the IFS Zephyr, bound for Tarant..."

A half-orc woman who hid her orc blood in order to apprentice herself to an apothecary, she was kicked out when the truth was found out.

  • Persona Non Grata: Due to being a half-orc (although the fact that she hid it by passing as full human also may be part of it).

    Ke'ree Melange 

http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/kereemelange.png
"Ke'ree Melange has always lived in two worlds. Her father was a human politician, and her mother an elven sorceress, and she has learned to be a little like them both. Having grown up in both elven villages and bustling cities, she has come to appreciate the powers of adaptation and persuasion. She has always excelled in everything she has done.
Ke'ree also remembers arguments between her mother and father concerning the nature of magick and technology, and why one was better than the other. After studying them both, she has concluded that both have merit, and that each has its place. After all, she thinks, if you can't live in two worlds, then you're obviously trapped in one...
Having come to that conclusion, this very afternoon she has purchased a ticket on the IFS Zephyr, bound for Tarant. If there is a new world, she wants to be in it..."

A half-elven daughter of a human politician and an elven sorceress, she set out for Tarant on her own.

  • Human Mom Non Human Dad: Again a flip, her mother was the elf.
  • Master of None: Due to starting with skill points in both magic and technology, she will never achieve the maximum power of either.
  • Meaningful Name: "Melange" is derived from a French word meaning "mixture". It's doubly fitting for a half-elf who seeks to blend magic and technology together.
  • The Medic: Her default skill selection is mainly about having healing for every situation, be it magical or technological.

Party Members

    Virgil Brummond 

http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/virgil_8.png
A young initiate of the Panarii religion, and your first party member. He's the one who tells you about Nasrudin's prophecy and your role in it. Although kind and loyal, there may be more to his past then he's willing to tell...

  • The Atoner
  • Back from the Dead
    • Came Back Strong: Not his physical body, but his mind and spirit became much stronger. Also, he gained the ability to resurrect dead.
  • Badass Bookworm
  • Combat Medic: of Healing Hands variety.
  • Crutch Character: He starts with healing spell, some fighting abilities and minor lockpicking. Due to the game design, even if you go direcly for technology, his spells still remain useful early on.
  • Dark and Troubled Past: He used to be a thief that ran up a huge debt to the local mafia, who eventually decided they'd forget about the debt...after they killed his brother.
  • Jack-of-All-Stats: Decent in combat despite his relatively low strength, learns a few magic spells and also becomes decent at picking locks (though other lockpicking characters like Sebastian and Vollinger will eventually surpass him).
  • Jerkass: Before he found religion and even moreso if the main character takes the evil path.
  • The Lancer
  • Magic Knight
  • Meaningful Name / Shout-Out: Virgil was the guide to the protagonist of The Divine Comedy.
  • Necromancer: starts the game with a basic healing spell from the white necromancy college, and learns more healing spells as he grows in power. Once he reaches a high enough level he will branch out into black necromancy as well.
  • Surrounded by Idiots: Just one idiot in case of dumb PC, but that's more than enough, though Virgil will sincerely try (and comically fail) to cover his irritation.
  • That Man Is Dead: A bit literal variation. After his resurrection, he is calm and enlightened. He claims that he met his brother on the other side, and was able to free himself from his past, to leave the man he used to be behind.
  • Undying Loyalty: As he himself proclaims, he'll be with you till the very end. Even if it means plunging into the Dark side.

    Sogg Mead Mug 

http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/sogg.png
A simple, but friendly half ogre that loves a good ale. He is encountered in Shrouded Hills' tavern, and can be convinced to join the player with a decent charisma. If he joins, he quickly becomes a great fighter and tank.

  • The Alcoholic: Fortunately, a fully functional and jolly one. Or it's just the amount of alcohol it takes to knock this guy down.
  • The Big Guy
  • Drunken Master
  • Gentle Giant: Very polite and soft-spoken, especially for someone who's permanently drunk.
  • Lightning Bruiser: Since he's a half ogre and a dedicated melee fighter, he quickly ranks up Dexterity, Strength and Constitution to maximum.
  • Walking the Earth: This guy has been drinking in every single bar in Arcanum. Althrough he can't tell much about the towns around them...

    Jayna Stiles 

http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/jayna.png
A young fledgling herbalist that lives in Dernholm. She is struggling to try and help the Dying Town, but feels she is too inexperienced to be of any use. If the player has a high enough technological aptitude, they can offer to let her join so that she can learn what she needs to to be of help.

    Magnus Shale Fist 

http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/magnus_0.png
A (relatively) young dwarf from Caladon, bent on finding his lost clan. His quest leads him to one particular jewelry trader, where player can meet him and get him join.

  • Awesome McCool Name: Subtly subverted, in that the name points to Magnus's ignorance of dwarven philosophy.
    • Meaningful Name: Dwarven philosophy rests on the principles of "Stone" and "Shape." Under that philosophy, Shale and Fist are incompatible (you wouldn't want your fists to be made out of shale, compared to other rocks/minerals).
  • Awesome Moment of Crowning: His lost clan turns out to be the legendary Iron Clan. He restores it and is proclaimed chief. And later, if Loghaire doesn't return, even the king of all dwarves.
  • Berserk Button: "NEVER ask a Dwarf the name of his Clan!" Because he doesn't actually know what it is. Shalefist is apparently just his last name made to sound dwarfy.
  • The Blacksmith: Sort of, he can craft some (rather useful) weapons and gear for you.
  • But I Read a Book About It: Magnus tries to behave as "true" dwarves do... well, at least as "Ron's Almanac About Dwarves" says they do.
  • Do Not Call Me "Paul": There are hints that Magnus' real name is Malcolm Schulefest, but he will rather cut his beard than admit it.
  • Gadgeteer Genius: Can build devices from the mechanical college.
  • The Good King
  • Have I Mentioned I Am a Dwarf Today?: Because he's overcompensating due to not knowing anything about his roots.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold
  • Orphan's Plot Trinket: His dwarven gauntlets.

    Gar 

http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/gar.png
"The world's smartest orc", who lives in a museum in Tarant, amusing people with his kindergarten-level intelligence. In fact, Garfield Thellonius Remington the Third, intelligent, educated, well-mannered pureblood human who was born with the appearance of pure orc due to some genetic quirk. If you are eloquent enough, you may pull him into a discussion about tea, thus uncovering him, and then he may join.

    Dante 

http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/dante_6.png
A former head of Cumbrian church, now an exile drinking at Blackroot's tavern after an argument with King Praetor. Despite this, he's still fiercely loyal to the country and the king and seeks the way to regain the latter's favor. He will join if you are on the quest to collect taxes from Blackroot.

    Dog (Worthless Mutt) 

http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/dog_2.png
A literal dog who gets in trouble after stealing someone's dinner in Ashbury. Despite his name, he is definitely worth saving as he is one of the best fighters in a game especially after he becomes Master of Melee by himself.

  • Arbitrary Headcount Limit: Unlike Dante or Jormund, who are simply bugged, the dog was always intended as not counting to the party limit to further emphasis his loyalty to player's character.
  • Character Tic: His periodical howling.
  • Charles Atlas Superpower: Dog can tear wooden chests, metal doors, stone golems and fire elementals to pieces in couple of bites. To put this in perspective, he outdamages a human character wielding an electric sword with a strength of 20 (maximum for humans) before he becomes a melee master.
  • Cutscene Incompetence: When you first see this lightning fast killing machine, he has been kicked unconscious by a weak civilian with absolutely no combat skills. He was evidently very hungry, but if anything that should have made him more determined unless he was near-death.
  • Epic Fail: Due to game mechanics, Dog critically failing an attack results in him biting his own head off.
  • Glass Cannon: At low levels.
  • Heroic Dog
  • Lightning Bruiser: Eventually.
  • Non-Human Sidekick: His prowess actually comes from this. Since he ain't human, his "natural weapon" is much faster and more damaging than fists, and he's got no ways to invest skillpoints beside stats and fighting, meaning he gets to max STR and DEX (huge damage and action point bonuses) very quickly, becoming a real terror.
  • Shout-Out: He's probably another shout-out to the Fallout series, which has a habit of including killer canine companions.
  • Undying Loyalty: He won't leave or attack even if he hates you - he's the dog, after all. Althrough, if he hates you and you tell him to wait, you'll be unable to get him back - he'll just growl at you then.

    Geoffrey Tarellond-Ashe 

http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/geoffrey.png
A necromancer who has travelled to Ashbury in order to study the large number of zombies that have begun rising in the cemetery. He will hire the PC to investigate the mausoleums to determine what is animating the zombies, and can be convinced to become a party member if the PC is evil or persuasive enough.

    Vollinger 

http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/vollinger.png
A gnome that may join your party in Dernholm and who actually is an agent of the Molochean Hand.

    Chukka 

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The personal bodyguard of Gilbert Bates.

    Jormund 

http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/jormund.png
A dwarf who, unlike his kin, wants to study magic. He went to Qintarra, but no elf wanted him as apprentice, until Wrath, a local jerk, agreed to teach him in exchange for life-long servitude. Decades later, Jormund became fed up with the elves and Wrath in particular but still couldn't leave due to his contract. Good news: Wrath has been conveniently murdered. Bad news: Jormund is now accused in his murder.

  • Ape Shall Never Kill Ape: Why he was a primary suspect. There's still a reason why elves do not kill other elves, though.
  • Arbitrary Headcount Limit: Subverted. Like Dante, he'll join you regardless of current amount of your followers due to a bug in his dialog script.
  • Clear His Name: What you do for him.
  • Idiot Ball: Signing a life-long contract with someone who can easily outlive you by several centuries doesn't seem a good idea...
  • Inept Mage: Played with. He's actually quite competent, fully knowing Force and Fire (yes, he even knows the Disintegrate spell). But he's a dwarf, meaning each his spell has double mana cost note . He does occasionally smite his foes with fireballs or lightning bolts, but more often he turns into a Fire Elemental (the single most mana-draining spell) and drops unconscious in half a minute.
  • Magic Staff: The Staff of Xoranth, not very powerful, but the fastest weapon in the game, and has a huge accuracy bonus.
  • Our Dwarves Are All the Same: He averts it by being a dwarven mage.
  • Playing with Fire
  • Shock and Awe
  • Square Race, Round Class: He's dwarven mage and really comptetent at that. Sadly, he still operates under the standard penalty all dwarves have, making his spells cost double.
  • Wreathed in Flames: His preferred tactic.

    Torian Kel 

http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/torian.png
An ancient warrior from Kree, who lived somewhen at the Age of Legends, but was raised from the dead a millenium later as part of Derian-Ka's Gray Legions to fight The Molochean Hand who rebelled against the order after learning about the horrible deeds of Kerghan, its founder. After their defeat, Torian was among a few survivng Legionaires who returned to the temple of Dearian-Ka. They stayed there for centuries, and eventually their flesh rotted away, reducing them to crumpling skeletons and later to dust...

    Waromon 

http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/waromon.png
A Bedokaan recruited when dealing with poachers stationed nearby his village. It takes a considerable effort to first persuade the chief of his tribe not all "warm-bloods" are the same greedy bastards killing and skinning Bedokaans for pelts and then there is Waramon himself. Being a cold-blooded lizard who spent his entire life as a hunter in wilderness, he can at times provide a really unique insight on world around him, especially after leaving his native forest. He's also a great fighter, picked by the chief precisely because of his combat prowess.

  • Arbitrary Equipment Restriction: Averted. Bedokaan biology and strature is considerably different from other humanoid races of Arcanum, to the point it justifies why he can't wear armour, but hats are fine.
  • Badass Native: Not counting the dog, he's by far the best combat-oriented follower in the game, with self-earned Mastery in Melee and really good statistics. He also becomes expert archer, making him very flexible.
  • Good Pays Better: He can be only recruited after stopping a feud between elves and Bedokaans and finding the real culprits. If player decides to just save the elf held captive by the lizards, chances are Waramon will end up killed in the process.
  • Lizard Folk
  • No Sell: His bare skin has better Armor Class than certain high-end armours.
  • Not Distracted by the Sexy: Justified. He's a member of different biological class than every other race presented in the game. Beauty score doesn't affect him.
  • The Savage Indian: He starts as one and the entire point of his recruitment is to show his tribe they can coexist with outside world.

    Perriman Smythe 

http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/perriman.png
A graduate of Tulla, powerful mage and friend of Edward Willoughsby, he can be met near the latter's house after the party visits Qintarra. He's fascinated by your journey and will join if asked.

    Weldo Rubin 

http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/weldo.png
A halfling adventurer whom you meet near the entrance to Vendigrothian Wastes. He has a full thief skillset but unfortunately is too low-level to be of any use at this point of the game.

    Z'an Al'urin 

http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/zan.png
An Elven girl who, despite being a Dark Elf, is prone to question the philosophy and the path of Dark Elves. She joins evil/master of persuade Living One to search for answers all around the world and finally concludes that the best she can do is kill Arronax. She is also a powerful mage and a seer, and will tell about visions she has in every city if asked.

    Sebastian 

http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/sebastian_5.png
A mysterious man, perhaps a mercenary, who is sent by Willoughsby to "clean" the Boil, the criminal part of Tarant (this means "to kill leaders of both main gangs"). He will appreciate every help and joins if you manage to remove one of the leaders.

    Tollo Underhill 

http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/tollo.png
A halfling imprisoned in the Dernholm Pits.

    Raven 

http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/raven_5.png
The princess of Qintarra, who helps you uncover the Dark Elves' plot and later joins your group.

  • Archer Archetype: Amusingly, while the game projects her as such, she falls flat when compared with Waramon, who is much more stoic, focused, detatched from killing and is a better archer anyway. It takes a very specific set of gear to make her truly shine.
  • Badass Princess
  • Bi the Way: Whether the PC can seduce her is entirely unrelated to their gender.
  • The Chick: Completely averted. She's by far the most competent female fighter you can have in the party. And she's a good mage, too.
  • Healing Hands
  • Love Interest: Potentially.
  • Mage Marksman: Prefers bows over melee weapons, and learns spells from the Water and White Necromancy colleges of magic.
  • Making a Splash
  • Mayfly-December Romance: Both with Renford A. Terwillinger and with any (non-elven) PC.
  • Mutually Exclusive Party Members: With Z'an Al'urin. It takes Master of Persuasion (earned for successfully conducting diplomatic mission between two kingdoms) to make the ladies stop hissing at each other.
  • Princesses Rule: Justified as her mother retired due to her incredible age, preparing to Ascend to a Higher Plane of Existence and becoming kind of an oracle. It is Raven who now attends to the administrative and ceremonial matters that would usually be the Queen's job.
  • Rain of Arrows: Just give her a certain magic bow and certain magic gloves and boots, and she will fire 60 arrows per turn (or 15-20 per second). Finding enough arrows for her starts to become the limiting factor.
  • Raven Hair, Ivory Skin: It's in the name.
  • Royals Who Actually Do Something: When you first meet her, she is busy with some administrative work. She joins the party after learning that the fate of the world is at stake.
  • Squishy Wizard: At least on lower levels.

    Franklin Payne 

http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/franklin.png
A world-wide known adventurer, explorer and hunter, who always seeks for some trouble and will follow you gladly to the island of Thanatos - just to shoot a hundred more of a lethally dangerous beasts.

    Loghaire Thunderstone 

http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/loghaire.png
The King of all dwarves, who was forced to sentence the entire clan to banishment under the threat of a world war between dwarves and elves (whose woods are now being destroyed with dwarven technology, which was given to human by said clan). Soon after he begun to suspect that he was deceived ( he was indeed, by Dark Elves) and felt himself a traitor. The guilt finally broke him and drove him to exile. However, the PC can convince him that it wasn't treason, while his exile is.

  • An Axe to Grind: Harrow the First Axe, a massive double-bladed axe passed down in his family.
  • The Atoner
  • Authority Equals Asskicking
  • Badass Grandpa: He's 598, venerable even by the standards of a race with an average lifespan of 600.
  • The Exile: By his own admission.
  • The Fettered
  • The Good King: He was one and depending on how you play the events of the game, he might return - or utterly fail - as such again.
  • Genius Bruiser: One of the largest and strongest dwarves; an excellent fighter; wise, eloquent and experienced.
  • Large and in Charge: His in-game sprite is noticeably bigger than those of other dwarves.
  • Lightning Bruiser
  • Long Lived: He's a dwarf and an old one; old enough to personally remember the last dwarven civil war. And in the ending where he retakes the throne, he lives exceptionally long even by Dwarven standards, reaching an age of 800 before passing away.
  • Royals Who Actually Do Something: As the king of the dwarves (one of the world powers), he considers himself responsible for each and every dwarf, the dwarves as a whole, and Arcanum itself.
  • Sadistic Choice: He was presented with one which turns out to be pivotal to the events of the game: Should he strip the BMC of their honor by allowing the elves to punish them for allowing technology to spread amongst humans, or antagonize the elves and risk plunging Arcanum into a war it might never recover from? He chose the former, and exiled himself from the dwarves to ponder his shame.
  • Shoot the Dog: How he resolved the Sadistic Choice described above.
  • War Is Hell: He knows that better than anyone, having lived through the dwarven civil war.
  • Warrior Poet: You need to know the Dwarven philosophy behind the Stone and the Shape (which Loghaire is intimately familiar with) to have him join you. Or convince him to return to the throne.
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist: He exiled himself because he did succumb to this temptation once, trying to protect his people from the horrors of war by sacrificing a single clan.

    The Bane of Kree 

http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/baneofkree.png
A powerful Barbarian warrior who gathered an immense army and rampaged over Arcanum till he was banished.

  • Badass Normal: Sure, the Bangellian Scourge is a powerful magical sword but Bane himself is just a very skilled warrior who fought one-on-one with Nasrudin.
  • Berserk Button: He wants his Bangellian Scourge back. He will demand it if he sees it in your hands and attack if you refuse. And if you mention you destroyed it, he'll go totally ballistic.
  • Blood Knight
  • The Brute
  • Evil Weapon: The Bangellian Scourge.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: If you return Bane from the Void, he will grab the Infinity+1 Sword and go on a rampage again. You are the one to blame.

     Kraka-tur 

http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/kraka_tur.png
Once he was a cowardly man, but one day an ancient scroll containing powerful spell of transformation fell in his hands. The man killed Arcanum's last dragon with a poisoned cow, took his blood and used it with the spell to transform into a monster. He took the name Kraka-tur and "avenged" the world for his fears for ten years, but finally was confronted and banished by the Elven Council.

    Gorgoth 

http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/gorgoth.png

  • Obsessed with Food: Pretty much all the dialogue with him is about food and him being hungry.

    Arronax 

See Major NPCs.

Temporary Party Members

    Cynthia Boggs 

http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/cynthia_9.png

    Doc Roberts 

http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/docroberts.png
A respected gunfighting doctor from Shrouded Hills, Doc is the town's actual law, as the official sheriff is a coward. Doc will eventually become a new and much more competent sheriff.

    Lady Druella 

    Murgo 

http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/murgo.png

    Swyft 

http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/swyft.png

    Thorvald Two Stones 

http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/thorvald.png

Major NPCs

    Brother Joachim 

A high ranking member of the Panarii religion, and Virgil's mentor. Seeking him out is the first leg of the player's journey.

    Gilbert Bates 

A genius inventor of steam engine, the primary cause of Arcanum's industrial revolution, one of the world richest men.Actually, he used dwarven technology, a deed which he deeply regrets and which almost costed Arcanum its existence. He is the mysterious "boy" whom you were instructed to find.

  • The Atoner
  • Berserk Button: Anyone who shows any amount of sympathy for labor organizers and union men in general, and Donn Throgg in particular.
  • Big Good: The go-to quest-giver for most of the game.
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?: Gil Bates, an eccentric millionaire, inventor of revolutionary technology. Oh, and his rival is called Appleby.
  • Gadgeteer Genius
  • Lonely Rich Kid: As a young man.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: He's rather saddened by the revelation that the Black Mountian clan were banished for allowing technology to spread amongst humans, making him responsible for their current predicament.
  • My Greatest Failure: Blames himself for the disappearance of the Black Mountain Clan. The player can introduce Loghaire Thunder-Stone to him, who puts his guilt to rest.
  • Noble Bigot: His orcish factory slaves work under conditions that are "almost human!" And as far as he's concerned, he doesn't owe them any more than that. A half-orc PC who sympathizes with the labor movement will get a particularly pointed response from him.
  • Orphan's Plot Trinket: His ring.
  • Self-Made Man: Actually not so much, as his invention was an improvement on an already-existing dwarven engine, though most people don't know that. He feels a bit guilty about this. Also, he capitalized the invention with his inheritance from his father.
  • Uncle Pennybags: Unless you mention labor unions to him.

    Nasrudin 

A legendary elvish hero who fought and banished Arronax the Destroyer long ago. He is revered by the Panarii religion, and the player character is believed to be his reincarnation. However, it eventually turns out that Nasrudin is in fact alive and well, albeit living in seclusion, disillusioned with the things he had done.

    Arronax the Destroyer 

http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/arronax.png
A frighteningly powerful Dark Elf sorcerer that once tried to plunge the world into chaos, but was defeated and sealed in the Void by Nasrudin. His plots to escape drive the plot of the game, or so the party thinks...

  • And I Must Scream: He spent the last 2000 years imprisoned in a magical shell, as punishment for attempting to destroy Kerghan when he was first banished to the Void.
  • Antagonistic Offspring
  • The Atoner
  • Big Bad: Subverted! You're led to think he is for most of the game, but he's actually still stuck in the Void, and Kerghan's the one you've been tracking down the entire time.
  • Cutscene Power to the Max: His power in the Back Story and the ending is far, far greater than his power in the game proper.
    • This seems to be mainly because of a programming Error. He has 50 unspent character points, which if they were spent would make him one of the most powerful characters in the game.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Especially the first time you talk with him.
  • Eleventh Hour Ranger: Joins you after you free him to stop Kerghan.
  • Freudian Excuse: His father Nasrudin elevated him to the Elven Council before he was mature enough to appreciate the responsibilities the role carried, and imparted too much of his arrogance to his son without the experience to temper it. Subverted in that Arronax doesn't think his father's mistakes can excuse the atrocities he committed.
  • Ultimate Evil: In-Universe, the Panarii religion presents him as this; a Satan-figure who's more metaphorical than literal. Which is yet another result of Dark Elves hijacking it.

    Kerghan the Terrible 

The only human ever to serve on the Elven Council in the Age of Legends. Banished to the Void for unrepentant experiments with necromancy. He, not Arronax, is the true villain of the game.

  • Affably Evil: He's very polite and cordial when speaking to you.
  • The Ageless: Only due to the effects of the Void. He has a normal human life span, but hasn't aged in 2000 years.
  • Anti-Villain
  • Big Bad
  • Black Cloak
  • Death Seeker: Deep inside, he just wants to stay in the afterlife, which, as he discovered, is eternal peace and enlightment, but the fear that one day he will be reincarnated or resurrected subconsiously drives him to prevent that in the only way he can, which he then rationalizes as the mission to end all pain and suffering. If the Living One both points this to him and provides the means of irreversible death, Kerghan will thank them and go out peacefully.
  • Evil Makes You Ugly: His studies of Black Necromancy have disfigured him in some way.
  • Expy: To The Master in Fallout. They’re both Well Intentioned Extremists with admittedly well-reasoned goals. There are three ways to complete the game with them: (1) Simply fight them, (2) join them and (3) point out the flaws of their argument.
  • Motive Rant: His impressive description of his study of death to the player.
  • Necromancer: Although White Necromancy (the healing of spirit and flesh, and ressurection magic) was common magic beforehand, Kerghan discovered the entire school of Black Necromancy (harming spirits and flesh, raising souls against their will, and animating soulless bodies).
  • Omnicidal Maniac: Or Omnicidal Sane as he has a well-thought-out argument for it.
  • Start of Darkness: Relatively standard Mad Scientist fare — from For Science!, through Just Think of the Potential, leading to Drunk on the Dark Side. You can witness it through a journal you can find during one side-quest.
  • Technical Pacifist: All of his experiments in Black Necromancy were on people who were already dead. He also never harms anyone directly until the final confrontation with the player, instead manipulating the Dark Elves and the Molochean hand to do his bidding.
  • Voice of the Legion: His Badass Baritone has some unearthly reverberation in it, a trait he shares with Silver Lady.
  • Walking Spoiler
  • Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds

    The Molochean Hand 

An ancient, enigmatic assassin's guild that has agents throughout the world. For reasons unknown, they are determined to prevent you from finding the mysterious boy.

  • Always Chaotic Evil: Not. Most are actually fairly decent folk.
  • Ancient Conspiracy: With a little twist. The original order is thought to have gone extinct, after a long period of their apparent inactivity, so most assume they're copycats.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: They fought against and defeated Kerghan's necromancer order when they learned of their plans. You can cause them to repeat this when everything breaks loose a second time.
  • Hypocrite: They still have a grudge againt the Derian Ka practicing Necromancy, but many high level Random Encounter assassins use Necromancy themselves.
  • Murder, Inc.
  • Sigil Spam: Every one of their members carries a pendant with their symbol, which conveniently makes for easy identification of the mysterious assassins.

    K'an Hua 

High Priest of the Panarii religion. Also the head of the Dark Elves.

    Preston Radcliffe 

A dying gnome whom you find in the burning wreckage of the IFS Zephyr shortly after waking up. Before dying, he gives you a ring and pleads you to tell its owner that he escaped from mysterious evil ready to destroy everything, thus setting the whole plot in motion. He is actually a dwarf posing as a gnome and his real name is Stennar Rock Cutter.

Other NPCs

    Adkin Chambers 

The blind master of Dodge, who lives in seclusion near Stillwater. He was engaged, but Garrick Stout, who had a crush on the lady too, challenged him on a duel, overpowered him and, when he surrendered, blinded him with a sword. Adkin managed to flee, now all he can think about is revenge. He will teach you Mastery only if you kill Stout and bring the latter's eyes to him.

    Alexander, the First Acolyte 

A Number Two and military leader of the Panarii church, and also direct descendant of St. Mannox, the most respected Panarii prophet and the first First Acolyte. He helps you on your quest to find Nasrudin's tomb.

  • Ancestral Weapon: You get to return St. Mannox's sword to him.
  • Badass Preacher: Virgil describes him as one of the most dangerous men in Arcanum, and one of the Panarii refers to him as "the strongest of us". Gameplay-wise, reading his aura shows that nearly all his stats are maxed out, he's the Master of Melee and Dodge and has a crapload of offensive spells in his roster.
  • Church Militant: Due to the tradition started by Mannox, the First Acolyte is also Panarii's military leader. Most of them had only formal training. Alexander willingly put himself through years-long Training from Hell.
  • I Should Write a Book About This: In the good ending, The Living One and both Nasrudin and Arronax move to Caladon and meet Alexander, by that time the head of Panarii. Nasrudin and Arronax spend with him the last months of Nasrudin's life, and afterwards he writes a new chapter to the Archaeon (Panarii's Bible), describing the story of the game.
  • Magic Knight
  • Martial Pacifist
  • Memetic Badass: In-universe.
  • Reasonable Authority Figure
  • Training from Hell: He'd inherited the position of First Acolyte, the military leader of the Panarii religion, which normally means that the Acolyte in question trains with the Caladon guards a bit so he can fight if it comes down to it. Instead, Alexander went to Level Grind in the Vendigrothian Wastes for years before he felt himself ready to take up the role. See Badass Preacher for how it turned out.
  • Tranquil Fury: You can tell that he's royally pissed at K'an Hua for murdering Mannox and corrupting the church, yet he doesn't even raise his voice.
  • Unwitting Pawn
  • You Killed My Great-Great-...-Great-Grandfather: Towards K'an Hua.

    Captain Edward Teach 

A Badass skipper hired by Guilbert Bates to get you to the Isle of Despair and back. Later in the game, you may get him to ferry you to the Isle of Thanatos.

  • The Captain
  • Chekhov's Gunman: Is this himself and introduces another two, Franklin Payne and Stringy Pete.
  • Crazy Awesome: In-universe: he's the only captain crazy or awesome enough to sail to the places he did.
  • The Drunken Sailor: How he lost his ship in the dice game.
  • Foreshadowing: One of his tales is about the Isle of Thanatos, where you'll have to go much later
  • Offscreen Moment of Awesome: The prisoners' leader assumes that you've been on the prison island long enough for your ship being hijacked and her crew slaughtered. When you rush back to the ship, you find her where you left her, surrounded by corpses. Teach casually explains that those dumbasses thought they could take his ship.
  • Pirate: Never proved, and he's honest enough for Bates repeatedly hiring him, but his reputation is not perfectly clean.
  • Sea Stories: He will tell you about his most outstanding voyages if you ask.
  • Shout-Out: To Blackbeard, obviously.
  • Wooden Ships and Iron Men

    Hieronimus Maxim 

A factory owner in Caladon, the inventor of a zeppelin, an airplane, and a machine gun. Unfortunately, his factory was robbed and trashed, planes were stolen (and crashed after being used to shoot down the zeppelin), and the worst, he's going to have his funding cut unless he finds a proof that his heavier-than-air-machines actually flew.

  • Disproportionate Reward: Downplayed - from Maxim's perspective, giving the person who saved his life's work a healing robot, a powerful gun and Mastery training in Repair is far too little. From the Living One's point of view, it's slightly disproportionate because the PC only has to keep that broken camera from crash site with him.
  • Gadgeteer Genius
  • Mr. Fixit: He's the Master of Repair after all.
  • Shout-Out / Expy: the real-life inventor of the machine gun was Hiram Maxim.
  • They Called Me Mad!

    Maximillian 

An old man who lives in a distant house in the middle of Isle of Despair and clearly has more in his past than he's willing to tell. He's the elder brother of King Praetor of Cumbria and the rightful heir to the throne who was overthrown and exiled to the Isle of Despair.

  • The Aloner: Chose to live separately from the island's main settlements.
  • ...And That Little Girl Was Me: The conclusion of his story about the prince who was framed up and imprisoned on the island.
  • Badass Army: After returning to the throne, he reformatted Dragon Knights (who were already this) with modern weaponry and technology, including steam horses.
  • Cool Old Guy
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: If you fail to persuade Black Root's mayor to return to Cumbria officially, Tarant will attempt to take conflicted city by force, only to have their troops smashed by Maximillian's Badass Army from the above entry.
  • Drowning My Sorrows: Regulary uses the services of local Hillbilly Moonshiner, but his manners and the ending indicate he hasn't allow the habit to take over him a bit.
  • Frame-Up: Framed for treason and exiled by the Kangaroo Court.
  • The Good King: Unlike his brother, he is willing to embrace both magic and technology in a way similar to Caladon. After his return, the dying country started to rise to its former glory.
  • Rightful King Returns: With a little help of the Living One.
  • The Wise Prince: What he used to be.

    Stringy Pete 

The most cruel, ruthless and Ax-Crazy pirate of all times, feared all over Arcanum. He died more than two centuries ago, but rumors are that his spirit still sails the seas, punishing anyone who plays with his name...

  • Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking: Pete's most horrible sins are: sadistic murder of an innocent for his silver bootstrap buckles, breaking a pirate oath by slaughtering his fellow pirates under control of an Evil Weapon, and peeing on the altar stone. It was the altar of a Greater God, however.
  • The Atoner
  • Ax-Crazy
  • Bonus Boss: Himself and his crew. It's probably the toughest confrontation in entire game.
  • Death Equals Redemption: Literally, since he is already dead for 200 years.
  • Drunk on the Dark Side: He went from already ruthless and cruel pirate to the stuff from nightmarish Sea Stories under the influence of Bangellian Scourge
  • Even Evil Has Standards: Bangellian Scourge is too evil even for Pete, and he found the will to throw it and run away after he killed all his crew when controlled by the blade
  • Flying Dutchman
  • For the Evulz: Why he defiled Halcyon's altar. It backfired spectacularly in his face, as he ended up as a cursed wraith and can't reach Afterlife until atoning for his sins.

    "Sir" Garrick Stout 

The captain of the guard of Dernholm, a close confidant of the king of Cumbria, and the mastery trainer for the Melee skill. On the surface, he is an arrogant, elitist snob, but he does his job of keeping the peace well. In reality, however, he's a depraved psychopath who uses his position to stalk a noblewoman and remove her fiancee from the equation ... by any means necessary.

  • Arrogant Kung-Fu Guy: Well, he's certainly got the attitude.
  • Combat Pragmatist: He carries a vial of the game's most potent poison on him, which he will almost certainly use as his opening move if you fight him.
  • Karmic Death: He ruined the planned marriage between the woman he's stalking and her fiancee (who happens to be the Dodge master) by using a special poison to destroy the fiancee's eyesight. The good-aligned ending for the Melee Mastery quest has you defeating him by using poison. Poison made by the vengeful woman, in fact.
  • Jerk Ass
  • Pay Evil unto Evil: Killing him is treated as a good thing by game morality meter.
  • Stalker with a Crush

    Randver Thunder Stone 

The son of Loghaire Thunder Stone and the King-in-Waiting of the Dwarves during his father's exile. He feels unworthy of and unready for the responsibilities that his father thrust upon him.

  • The Good King: If King Loghaire returns to the throne, then dies in the final battle, Randver will be able to rule over the dwarves without a civil war. He is at least as good a ruler as his father would have been.
  • Reasonable Authority Figure: A subversion. He tries to be this, but due to his inexperience, is prone to making bad decisions. He also can be somewhat unhelpful when the PC asks him to help them find his father; there's a tunnel leading to his father's exile, but unless persuaded, he won't reveal it.
  • Reluctant Ruler
  • Unfit for Greatness: Randver is very intelligent, but he doesn't have the steel needed to be a strong king, and if his father doesn't return to the throne, a civil war will break out among the Dwarves because of his inexperience.
  • The Wise Prince: He understands the Dwarven way of life better than anyone else (including, quite possibly, his father). The tragedy comes from having too much responsibility put on his shoulders, too soon; while he has the potential to grow into The Good King, he isn't there yet.

    William Thorndop 

The master trainer for the Firearms skill. Formerly a bandit, he now lives the simple life of a hermit on the outskirts of Ashbury.

  • Actual Pacifist
  • The Atoner
  • Crippling the Competition: A self-inflicted example; he cut off his trigger fingers with a blunt knife to make sure he could never hold a gun again.
  • The Gunslinger: He's not proud of it though.
  • Heel–Faith Turn: The Order of Halcyon helped him atone when he decided to leave his old life behind him.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: His decision to leave the bandit life behind him came after he shot a young man in cold blood because the young man wanted to challenge him to a gunfight in order to prove his worth.
  • No Good Deed Goes Unpunished: He stopped killing, reformed, atoned and paid for all the evil he did. Thing is, Thorndop didn't kill all his enemies and left some of them alive, with monumental grudge against him.
  • Retired Gunfighter: Formerly Arcanum's finest marksman, now he never wants to hold a gun again.
  • Shout-Out: He's William Munny, but rather than finding love, he found god.
  • Violence Really Is the Answer: Turns out, if you are a cold-blooded killer and gunslinger, better be sure to kill everyone and their dog, or they will come after you with a vengeance.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: To get him to train you as a Firearms Master, you must force him to break the oath of non-violence he took when he joined the Halcyon order. If you're a good-aligned character, he'll try to make you feel terrible about this.

http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Characters/ArcanumOfSteamWorksAndMagickObscura