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The Main CharacterYou 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.
- Technical Pacifist: If you opt to let your allies do the fighting for you.
- 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.
- Dark Is Not Evil: You can be this.
- Deadpan Snarker: Can be played as one.
- 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
- 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.
- 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.
Virgil BrummondA 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
- 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 MugA 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
- The Big Guy
- Drunken Master
- Gentle Giant: very polite and soft-spoken, especially for someone who's permanently drunk.
- Lightning Bruiser
- 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 StilesA 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.
- Badass Bookworm
- Half-Human Hybrid: She's a half-elf. Not that it's rare in this world, but most of your followers are pureblood.
- Healing Herb
- The Medic
- Playing with Syringes: A heroic example once she starts indulging in Theurapevtics .
- Science Hero
- Square Race, Round Class: Downplayed: as a half-elf, she has natural affinity to magick but still takes interest in technology. Also justified: her parents succumbed to the plague because magickal cures were ineffective, and she decided to become a tech-doctor.
- Squee!: Try talking to her about the area while in Tarant.
- Sweet Tooth: She likes sweet cakes.
Dog (Worthless Mutt)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.
- 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-AsheA 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.
- Deadpan Snarker: He’s quite snarky. He’ll also react positively to snark.
- Even Evil Has Standards: He will turn on you, should you side With Kerghan.
- Evil Is Cool: Why apparently he became a necromancer.
- Jerk Ass
- Playing with Fire
- Shock and Awe
Magnus Shale FistA (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"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.
- Blessed with Suck: Has orcish sthrenth and vitality, but also the appearance. In the world where Fantastic Racism flourishes.
- Cultured Badass
- Genius Bruiser: By orcish standards. Above-average by human standards.
- Guttural Growler
- Hulk Speak until you goad him into blowing his cover... or are just dumb enough that he doesn't bother to pretend.
- Interface Spoiler: Moving the cursor over him reveals the crossed pistols icon of a human character in the status window.
- Obfuscating Stupidity
- Quintessential British Gentleman
- Spot of Tea: Gar likes Earl Grey, as it is the tea of smart people. He is quite Serious Business about it too, considering he'll blow his cover if you (shock and horror) try to convince him that green tea is better.
Loghaire ThunderstoneThe 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
- The Fettered
- The Good King
- 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.
- 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.
RavenThe princess of Qintarra, who helps you uncover the Dark Elves' plot and later joins your group.
- Archer Archetype
- Badass Princess
- Bi the Way: Whether the PC can seduce her is entirely unrelated to their gender.
- The Chick
- 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.
- 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
Franklin PayneA 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.
- Adventurer Archaeologist
- Badass Normal: Your other followers are either Gadgeteer Geniuses, powerful mages or non-human Lightning Bruisers. Payne is just the man with a...
- BFG: His trusty "Old Mary"
- Cultured Badass
- Gentleman Adventurer
- Great White Hunter
- Large Ham
- Master of None: He has one point invested in each of the technological disciplines, allowing him to craft several basic items, but making him less useful than the other technologist followers who each specialise in two disciplines.
- Weak, but Skilled: Though game describes him as quite a powerful man, gameplay-wise he is too weak to use his BFG properly... but then he proves surprisingly effective with it.
Torian KelAn 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...
- Affably Evil: Very polite for an Token Evil Teammate. Justified because you save him from a terrible fate.
- Ancestral Weapon: his "Ancestral Sword." Sadly, it is now in the hands of Bane of Kree, beyond the Point of No Return.
- The Ageless
- And I Must Scream: Subverted since Torian himself was lucky enough to escape this fate. His fellow Legionaries whose bodies decayed to dust weren't.
- Back from the Dead
- Berserk Button: His skeleton will attack you if you enter his chamber equipped with a Molochean Hand Medallion.
- While he was busy being dead, Bane of Kree devastated his hometown, destroyed his house, stole his sword and killed his descendants. Let's just say Bane sits on Torian's Berserk Button firmly.
- Dem Bones
- Guttural Growler
- Fish Out of Temporal Water: Twice. He was raised as Gray Legionaire a millennium after his death; the PC restores him again after another millennium slides by.
- The Undead
- Well-Intentioned Extremist: At the end, he will join Kerghan regardless of PC's choice, as only Kerghan can "free" his undead friends.
Z'an Al'urinAn 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.
- Dark Elf Is Not Necessary Evil
- Dishing Out Dirt
- Heel–Face Turn, though only technically, as she really isn't as evil as her character sheet can tell. She must have had it before meeting the PC.
- Minion with an F in Evil
- Shut Up, Kirk!: If you bring her to Loghaire, he'll try to blame her on everything done by Dark Elves. She'll retaliate by reminding him that Lorec was of the same clan as himself, and it's not race or clan that makes a person evil.
- Time Master
- Waif Prophet
SebastianA 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.
- Badass Bookworm
- Science Hero
- Gadgeteer Genius: Can build devices from the electrical college.
- Goggles Do Nothing
- Throw Down the Bomblet: well, he knows how to make bombs and how to throw them.
- Professional Killer: hired to kill leaders of The Boil's gangs.
- Stealth Expert: eventually.
- Master of Unlocking: eventually.
VollingerA gnome that may join your party in Dernholm and who actually is an agent of the Molochean Hand.
- Even Evil Has Standards: A hardened killer he is, he'll be deeply shocked and sickened if you take him to Half-Ogre Isand. Makes sense, as Molochean Hand rebelled when they learned of Derian-Ka's necromantic experiments while what was going on the island is much, much worse.
- The Mole:eventually he will try to assassinate you if didn't became friendly with Molochean Hand.
- Professional Killer
- Science Hero: knows gunsmithing and chemistry.
- Stealth Expert: eventually.
- The Gunslinger: though he knows melee too.
- Death Glare: his avatar is portrayed this way.
- Badass in a Nice Suit: and a top hat!
JormundA 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
- Wreathed in Flames: His preferred tactic.
DanteA 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.
- Arbitrary Headcount Limit: Subverted. Like Jormund, he'll join you regardless of current amount of your followers due to a bug in his dialog script.
- Badass Preacher
- Blow You Away
- Healing Hands
- Magic Knight
- My Country, Right or Wrong: He's still loyal to Cumbria.
- Noble Bigot: Hates orcs and will make a satisfied remark each time an orc is killed.
- Shock and Awe
- Shout-Out: Along with Virgil, to The Divine Comedy.
Perriman SmytheA 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.
- Berserk Button: Perriman is strongly prejudiced against Black Necromancy and will not tolerate being in one party with Geoffrey.
- Destructive Savior: A recent background event that got into newspapers involved Smythe and Willoughsby being attacked while riding the train. With his powers, Perriman beat the attackers but derailed the train in the process with his magic field alone. Thankfully, no one got killed.
- In the Hood: Depicted like this on his portrait and, of course, starts wearing wizardry robe.
- Light 'em Up
- Master of Illusion
- The Medic
- Names To Run Away From Very Fast: Mr. Smite.
- Nice Guy: He's one of few NPC's who will join a dumb player.
- Playing with Fire
- Walking Techbane: Perriman is a good example why strong mages are not allowed into front train cars. See Destructive Savior above.
- Wizarding School: graduated from Tulla, a sort of Wizarding Oxford. No, he won't tell you where it is located until you come there yourself, that's the rules.
Weldo RubinA 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.
- Adventurer Archaeologist
- Collector of the Strange: Asks you to bring him an old Vendigrothian mechanism from the ruins in the desert.
- Gentleman Thief
- Master of Unlocking
- My Species Doth Protest Too Much: If you comment on the fact that most halflings enjoy the comforts of home and how rare it is to see one living a life of adventure, he'll respond that he finds most halflings stuffy and boring.
- Overrated And Underleveled: Not only you meet him late in the game after probably hitting Arbitrary Headcount Limit, he's only level 25 and his skills are not something extraordinary.
Brother JoachimA high ranking member of the Panarii religion, and Virgil's mentor. Seeking him out is the first leg of the player's journey.
- Badass Grandpa: He manages to take out two Molochean Hand assassins by himself. If you fight him, you'll see why: the man can both summon and become a Fire Elemental. At the same time.
- The Mentor: To Virgil
- Playing with Fire
Gilbert BatesA 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.
NasrudinA 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.
- Archnemesis Dad: To Arronax.
- Big Good: In the final stretch of the game.
- Luke, I Am Arronax's Father
- He Who Fights Monsters: He saw himself and his Elven Council as the champion protectors of the world and the "lesser races". Once they discovered the power to banish their enemies to the Void, they got extremely trigger-happy with it.
- My Greatest Failure: after Arronax's banishment, he became extremely disillusioned with his deeds and resigned from any further public activity.
- Noble Bigot: His reputation as a hero of the Panarii is well earned, but he was motivated by a belief in elven supremacy and considered it his duty to shepherd what he regarded as lesser races.
- Time Abyss / The Older Immortal: was considered the oldest living being at time when Silver Lady note was a mere child.
- Stop Worshipping Me: After emerging from his regenerative shell he briefly returned to the main continent of Arcanum and learned about the Panarii religion and his own role in their beliefs. It was enough to drive him into seclusion on the Isle of Thanatos, where, to his annoyance, the natives started worshipping him as well.
- Where Did We Go Wrong?: Towards Arronax.
Arronax the DestroyerA 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...
- 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 TerribleThe 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.
- 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 1. 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 HandAn 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 HuaHigh Priest of the Panarii religion. Also the head of the Dark Elves.
- The Chessmaster: He's been playing both sides against the middle for millenia.
- The Dragon
- Living Relic: He's a survivor from the Age of Legends.
- The Unseen: Unless you work for the Dark Elves.
- Unwitting Pawn: He's working for Kerghan, not Arronax, and he doesn't realize it.
Stennar Rock Cutter aka "Preston Radcliffe"A dying gnome - actually a dwarf posing as one - whom you find in the burning wreckage of "Zephyr" shortly after waking up. Before dying, he gives you a ring and pleads you to tell it's owner that he escaped from mysterious evil ready to destroy everything, thus setting the whole plot in motion.
- Almost Dead Guy
- Beardness Protection Program: He shaved his precious dwarven beard to pose as a gnome. This works especially well because nobody in the world can believe that any dwarf would willingly do such a thing.
- Bring News Back / Bring Help Back
- Distinguishing Mark: His identity is confirmed by the scar over his eye.
- Great Escape: He's the first one ever to escape from the Void.
- I'm Dying, Please Take My MacGuffin
- Make It Look Like an Accident: Though shooting down the whole zepelline to kill just one guy was a little over the top...
- Sacrificial Lamb
Adkin ChambersThe 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.
- Arrogant Kung-Fu Guy: Softens to you a lot if you restore his eyesight.
- Blind Dodge Master
- Deadly Dodging: Critical success in dodging makes an opponent injure themselves.
- Eye Scream: His blinding. Also, he demands Stout's eyes and, if you bring them, crushes them in his hand.
- Happily Ever After: with lady Druella, after you and she pull a scheme to restore his eyes.
- Sense Loss Sadness: Thanks to you, he may get better.
- Sink-or-Swim Mentor: He determines whether you are worth training by sucker-punching you and "seeing" if you dodge. Apparently, the whole training is also like that.
- Who's Laughing Now?: To Stout's eyes.
Alexander, the First AcolyteA 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.
Bane of KreeA 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.
Doc RobertsA 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.
- Badass Bookworm
- Combat Medic
- The Gunslinger
- No Celebrities Were Harmed: Doc Roberts' character is based on Wyatt Earp (whose portrait he shares) and Doc Holiday.
- The Sheriff: Unofficial and later official.
Captain Edward TeachA 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 MaximA 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!
Kraka-TurOnce 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.
- Cowardly Lion: He's a Master of Melee and Dodge and yet he is too scared to actually fight the Living One.
- Dirty Coward
- From Nobody to Nightmare...ish.
- Half-Human Hybrid
- Large Ham
- Miles Gloriosus
- Plucky Comic Relief: His hamminess is just plain funny.
- Scaled Up
- Scare 'Em Straight: A single threat is enough to deflate him. Moreover, even if you bring him back from the Void he will never cause any harm again.
MaximillianAn 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 Alcatraz.
- 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 inmprisoned 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 PeteThe 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
- Bonus Boss: Himself and his crew.
- Death Equals Redemption: Literally, since he is already dead for 200 years.
- 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.
"Sir" Garrick StoutThe 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
- Stalker with a Crush
Randver Thunder StoneThe 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 ThorndopThe 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.
- Retired Gunfighter: Formerly Arcanum's finest marksman, now he never wants to hold a gun again.
- 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.