Hero of Another Story: Examining the idea of heroes is arguably the main theme of NWN2. So it's not surprising to have the player encounter characters who count as this. From the party members (especially Shandra, who even has a similar background to the Knight-Captain), to all of the major antagonists (particularly Ammon Jerro) the game shows how while the Knight-Captain is still a special case which might justify his or her being the Player Character, there are other characters who have traits that make them cases also.
The player character of the first two installments of NWN2 is at the beginning of the story just a Farmboy/Farmgirl who is, for all intents and purposes, completely insignificant. The only unusual thing about your character is that regardless of what race your are, you're an orphan who was born during a climactic battle between the forces of Neverwinter and demons that destroyed in which their mother died. Your real father, unknown, the character is raised by a particularly grumpy half-wood elf, with whom you don't particularly get along. Sounds like the perfect set-up for The Hero's Journey? You'd be right.Shortly after the village festival that's part fair, part coming-of-age ritual, your swampy hometown is attacked out of nowhere by githyanki and duergar. While everyone is dumbstruck by the seeming randomness of it, your father knows a little something about what's going on and without informing you on all the details, tasks you with removing a single silver shard from the swamp and taking it to Neverwinter, where his half-brother — who you've never heard of before — lives. Along the way you encounter allies and enemies and eventually discover that you personally are more intricately tied to the events going on in the Sword Coast than your adopted father let on.Later on, in Mask of the Betrayer, after being knocked unconscious and dragged to Rashemen away from your friends and allies following the climactic Final Boss of the previous game, you discover yourself possessed of an ancient curse that causes you to hunger for and devour spirits and souls. Curing yourself or embracing the power of the "curse" is up to you.Associated Tropes:
Abusive Parents: To a certain extent. Daeghun isn't implied to physically abuse you, but several characters call him out on emotional abuse and neglect. As it turns out, it's related to how you came to be his foster child.
A God Am I: In the evil ending of Mask of the Betrayer, you master the power of the curse and in the process become a god-killing abomination. Even in the good ending it's possible to use the curse to snuff out the remaining life force of Myrkul, the god whocreated the curse.
The Casanova: As a background trait, though this has no in-game effect beyond a few comments in West Harbor and giving you a few skill bonuses.
Character Alignment: In-universe: It is a game based on Dungeons & Dragons after all. Any, although non-evil is at least implied for the original campaign given that the King of Shadows is canonically defeated by the time Mask of the Betrayer starts. But then again, it's not out of the realm of possibility that Evil Versus Evil resulted.
Cool Sword: The Silver Blade of Gith, no less! Fairly important as it becomes tied to you, mind, body and soul after it's reforging.
Deadpan Snarker: Optional, of course, given the medium, but this option certainly exists.
Did You Just Punch Out Cthulhu?: A number of examples from the King of Shadows to Kelemvor's paragon, but the standout example has got to be the very casual, easy way in which you can eat Myrkul in a truly epic example of both Ironic and Karmic Death.
Doom Magnet: In both the first and second games this is entirely justified. In the original campaign, you have a shard of the Silver Sword of Gith embedded in your chest, which the githyanki and Ammon Jerro both want but which cannot be removed without killing you. And of course, the King of Shadows naturally wants to take you down as a threat. In Mask of the Betrayer, your ability to eat souls makes you a target for both those who see you as an abomination as well as for those who want your ability for themselves.
Doomed Hometown: Zigzagged. Not only is West Harbor attacked at the beginning of the game, it's completely destroyed at the end, too. However, in the canonical ending the inhabitants survived and rebuilt.
Empowered Badass Normal: If a KC of a non-spellcasting class takes levels in a spellcasting class. Also happens when you receive the Illefarn ritual powers and also courtesy of the spirit-eater curse.
Even Evil Has Standards: You can be Evil aligned and still oppose the King of Shadows and the Spirit Eater Curse on ethical or logical grounds.
Face-Heel Turn: It's possible to ally with the King of Shadows at the end of the original campaign, and to manipulate and revel in your curse in the expansion.
Heartbroken Badass: If male, evil, and romanced Safiya, then she will be devoured by One-of-Many in the epilogue of Mask of the Betrayer. You hunt it down, kill it, and then never take another lover again.
Heroic Sacrifice: Optionally, in Mask of the Betrayer. Choosing to bind Akachi to your soul and stay in the realm of the dead forever.
Heroic Willpower: Mask of the Betrayer centers around this, especially if youre going the good route while fighting the dreaded Spirit Eater curse.
Karma Meter: Added bonus in that it's got two axis, incorporating both Good vs. Evil and Law Vs Chaos rather than just the former, as in traditional D&D. Fan consensus is that the former is implemented well in the original campaign but the latter is not, with some (but only some) improvement in Mask of the Betrayer.
Large Ham: A lot of the potential character voices seem to be channelling BRIAN BLESSED. Even the female voices.
Multiple Endings: Somewhat sloppily in the first game, with you either defeating the King of Shadows only to experience a Rocks Fall Everybody Dies situation or joining up with him to kill your former allies for no particular reason. In Mask of the Betrayer, most fans think this was done much better, though some still wish you could have destroyed the Wall of the Faithless for real. Obsidian didn't even bother trying to implement it, on the assumption Wizards of the Coast wouldn't allow that past concept stage.
Plucky Girl: Female PCs will often come across as this. Shandra even lampshades it, stating with no small amount of surprise that she would never have guessed you had such a rough life from the way you act.
Rags to Riches: You eventually become a minor noble and gain command of your own castle. Not bad for a kid from a swamp.
Superpowered Evil Side: The Spirit Eater mechanic, if you're evil, is meant to be powerful but ethically repugnant if various characters are to be believed, but unfortunately it ends up living to its name as a curse all too well. On the other hand, if you're good (in which case it's supposed to be bad), it ends up being Cursed with Awesome, since you can gain a few of the benefits while reducing the negative impact significantly.
In summation, the difference between indulging the hunger itself, or using it pragmatically is also the difference between Blessed with Suck and Cursed with Awesome. Hedonistic self-indulgence against practical restraint? Deep stuff.
The Unreveal: In Mask of the Betrayer it's pretty obvious early on that you've been cursed with something that requires you to eat spirits, though you aren't told this in so many words until the end of the first act. More significant might be the "revelation" that Akachi's punishment by Myrkul is the source of the curse - which a reasonably intelligent player can figure out pretty quickly from the various hints dropped through the game.
Warrior Therapist: You were already good at this game in the Original Campaign (especially with Khelgar and Neeshka, not to mention the trial) but it's turned Up to Eleven in Mask Of The Betrayer where you verbally fight against Physical Gods and win. It goes so far, you'll be seen as a Messianic Archetypeby angels, gain the respect of absolutely everyone you meet and generally come out as the kind of person who starts legends on your path.
Your Soul Is Mine: Due to having the Spirit-Eater curse, the Knight-Captain can do this to others. Also due to having the curse, his/her soul is displaced from his/her body and stuck in the Wall of the Faithless.
"We were risking life and limb for that? None of this make any sense."
— Bevil regarding the silver shard from the ruins outside West Harbor.
Bevil Starling is either your best friend or an implied crush, depending on which gender you are. Either way, he doesn't stick with you for long, serving as the obligatory Guest Star Party Member at the beginning of the game to help you run through the basics of how to play the game. For the most part, Bevil's an upstanding, if somewhat naive, young man with no particular interest in leaving the swampy home that you and he live in.Later on, you discover he survived the third destruction of West Harbor and you can hire him as a captain in your own personal army, though he doesn't join your party. He also shows up in Mask of the Betrayer as a manifestation of your psyche during The Very Definitely Final Dungeon located within your soul.Voiced by Jason Griffith.Associated Tropes:
Guest Star Party Member: He follows you up until you leave West Harbor. Then shows up later to join your army, though not as a party member.
—Tarmas's estimation of his apprentice Amie's role in the story
The other Guest Star Party Member at the beginning of the game, Amie is a wizard's apprentice, the only one in West Harbor (unless you choose a magic user as your base class). Considered a bit odd but pretty, Amie bonded with both you and Bevil early on. If you're a woman, she's your best friend; if you're a man, she's implied to have romantic feelings for you (particularly if you take the Lady Killer background trait).She dies within the first hour. However, she does reappear in Mask of the Betrayer as an aspect of your persona during The Very Definitely Final Dungeon.Voiced by Stephanie D'Abruzzo.Associated Tropes:
Bullying a Dragon: You'd think she'd be smart enough to keep well away from somebody that's giving her master a hard time. But no, she attacks him, and he one-shots her.
"Some take pride in craftsmanship, or in hunting, or in haggling for the best price on a blade or other piece of steel. Me? Talking with my fists is my art form."
— Khelgar Ironfist
The first potential party member you run into, Khelgar is a dwarven fighter originally encountered not far from West Harbor. After helping him out with a gang of roughnecks (by beating them all to death and/or unconsciousness) and the first wave of githyanki, Khelgar decides to tag along with you because you seem to attract fights everywhere you go, and he wants in.Despite being more than a little thick-headed and stubborn, Khelgar is still incredibly loyal and has his own reasons for being off on an adventure with some random Chosen One from the swamps. Khelgar was kicked out of his clan for abandoning them during an attack by fire giants, and they haven't forgiven him yet. Aside from wanting to rejoin his clan, Khelgar also aspires to be a monk, since the first people who ever beat him in a fight were a group of travelling monks.He survives the final battle with the King of Shadows by way of being pure Badass. In Storm of Zehir, he has joined the Neverwinter Nine and watches over Crossroad Keep in the Knight Captain's absence. Later on chronologically, in the best ending of Mask of the Betrayer he is present at the Captain's wedding to either Safiya or Gann alongside Neeshka or Aldanon.Voiced by Adam Sietz in the original campaign.Associated Tropes:
Badass: Ingame. Attention all noobs: this is how you build a tank.
Character Development: All the party characters undergo some, of course, but Khelgar's personal quest is tied up in it. In order to become a monk, Khelgar has to overcome three trials. They involve overcoming his Fantastic Racism, making good with his family, and developing a sense of justice. Passing all three trials and talking to the priest of Tyr changes his alignment to Lawful Good and resets his class to monk.
Comically Missing the Point: When he first tries to join the monks they say, among other things, that his Fantastic Racism proves he's not ready yet. He responds that he can't be a racist because he's adventuring with a tiefling and an elf, and you know what those types are like!
Even before then, when you try to explain to him that a monk's lifestyle is about more than fighting, such as uniting body and mind, he takes this to mean it also involves headbutting.
Fantastic Racism: He doesn't mean anything by it, but he takes umbrage with Elanee and Neeshka... because they're an elf and a tiefling respectively. You can help him realize that he's not giving them a fair chance.
Oh My Gods!: His "swear" emote is "By Tyr's right buttock!"
Took a Level in Badass: He was always pretty badass, but Storm of Zehir shows that he's become one of the Nine.
Vitriolic Best Buds: His relationship with Neeshka has shades of this in the latter half of the game.
"Someone who doesn't play the odds doesn't last too long in my experience. Well, except me."
A tiefling rogue that the Captain and Khelgar encounter being threatened by a group of corrupt soldiers. After helping her fight them off, she agrees to tag along, mainly for the thrill of adventure.Neeshka is fiery, feisty, and more than a little mischievous. She takes the Fantastic Racism she often gets in stride, barely letting it get to her. However, her fiendish blood makes her vulnerable to certain dark magics, which Black Garius tries to take advantage of in the final battle. Whether or not he succeeds in this depends on Neeshka's influence.Neeshka canonically survives the original campaign's final battle due to her great agility. In the best ending of Mask of the Betrayer, she is seen attending the Captain's wedding along with Khelgar.Voiced by Naomi Peters.Associated Tropes:
True Neutral: In-universe. Not exactly moral, but not specifically malicious, either.
Uneven Hybrid: Tieflings are humans with an evil outsider (normally a devil or demon) as an ancestor. Neeshka is specifically one-quarter devil (Lawful Evil outsider), and her grandfather is implied to be Ammon Jerro's pit fiend ally Mephasm.
"I don't know. She's got pointy-ears but doesn't smell of the Lower Planes, so she's probably not a tiefling. And she's too tall to be a halfling — and too thin. Plus, she hangs out with animals, so she's an elf."
— Neeshka, asked to describe her companion.
A young elf that is part of the Mere of Dead Men's Druid Circle. She follows the Knight Captain during the early parts of his/her adventure, and ultimately reveals herself by helping the party fight off a group of Bladelings and Duergar. She then explains how the Mere has of late become corrupted and barren and that her Circle has been destroyed, and believes that joining the Captain is her best bet to find out the cause of it.In Chapter 3, she learns that her Circle has actually survived, but have, with a single exception, become twisted and corrupted by the King of Shadow's influence. After being forced to kill them, Elanee will either continue to stay with the group, or decide to leave with the survivor in an attempt to find a new home, depending on her Influence.Her fate at the end of the official campaign depends on the PC's choices. If the PC has low influence with her, then she leaves with the only other survivor of the Circle of the Mere earlier in Act III (you can kill her or let her go). If the PC is male and romances her, she sacrifices her life to save him from the Collapsing Lair. Otherwise Ammon mentions that he last saw her pinned by a chunk of debris, not moving, and whether she dies is left ambiguous.Voiced by Ursulla Abbot.Associated Tropes:
Stalker with a Crush: Was assigned by the Circle of Merdelain to observe you as you grew up, and if male, fell in love with you.
Stalker Without A Crush: If you're female. She still came to care greatly for you, but more in terms of loyalty than romantic interest.
The Stoic: She never really gets frazzled except after the incident with the corrupted Circle.
Unkempt Beauty: Companion dialogue suggests that she has dirt on her face or in her hair, and doesn't wash often. She's still attractive.
"My problem is people keep telling me what to do, and I don't need to hear it anymore. I can handle myself. I know my powers, and I don't need somebody telling me how to use them."
A vain, arrogant sorceress that the party encounters picking a fight with two other mages. After resolving the situation one way or another, Qara accidentally burns part of the Sunken Flagon, and is forced to join the party by Duncan in order to pay off the damages.Qara is self-obsessed, arrogant, and more than a little pyromaniacal. She genuinely believes that she is the most powerful magician in Faerūn, and expects everyone else to treat her as such. Her over-inflated ego, along with her general disdain of wizards, causes her to frequently butt heads with Sand.She canonically died in the original campaign's final battle, either having been killed by the party after betraying them (either due to low influence or automatically if Sand stays on the good side), or by having her head split open by a falling rock.Voiced by Jenna Lamia.Associated Tropes:
Deadpan Snarker: She gets a few fantastic hits in on other characters. Particularly the scene during Act I where she inserts herself into an argument/insult contest between Khelgar and Neeshka and shows them both up completely.
Evil Is Petty: Very petty. Her reason for betraying you is that you didn't let her do whatever she wanted with her powers (namely, burn everything in sight).
Expy: A green-eyed, red-headed witch with lots of power who hates being told how to use it and thinks she can do anything? Sounds like Season 6 Willow, minus any good traits.
Face-Heel Turn: Turns on you and joins the King of Shadows if her Influence is lower than Sand's.
Fantastic Racism: Subverted. Most sorcerers are discriminated against by wizards claiming they are undisciplined and dangerous. Qara is both those things and actually looks down on wizards for having to learn to use their magic.
Fiery Redhead: According to her character description, though in-game it looks more like brown. Also, emphasis on fiery.
Hot-Blooded: Not quite literally. But she sure does love fire.
Kill It with Fire: Her preferred method of problem solving. It's slightly annoying - her pyrotechnics have a tendency to destroy loot chests and the loot inside. It should also be noted her patron deity is Kossuth, the elemental deity of fire.
Sociopathic Hero: Doesn't seem to understand that reacting to every slight with a fireball to the face creates more problems for herself and others than it solves, and is more forced to be on the hero's side than following voluntarily.
Stupid Evil: If the previous tropes didn't already give this away, her actions place her in this category.
Spoiled Brat: Her father is the headmaster of the Neverwinter Academy. In fact, it's implied in cut content that one of the reason Sand hates her is that her father fired him.
Token Evil Teammate: She may be Chaotic Neutral, but more often than not she comes across as out purely for herself at the expense of others. Only Bishop comes off worse.
Unskilled, but Strong: As a sorcerer, she naturally has incredible magical power, but she doesn't bother refining it.
When All You Have Is a Hammer: Qara's preferred solution to her problems is to blast everything in sight. This works about as well as you'd expect, even having a hand in her being drafted into the party.
"'Kalach-cha' . 'Kalach-cha' . Well, it's not Gnomish, Elvish, Dwarvish, Orcish, Goblin, or Draconic — well, unless the 'k' is silent, but that would make it "gizzard stone" or the equivalent."
— Grobnar demonstrating a surprising command of language.
An... eccentric gnome bard the party encounters shortly after arriving in Neverwinter. He is a self proclaimed writer, mechanic, and general story teller. He decides to join the party because he believes they're on a grand adventure.While not very good in combat and deeply annoying as a character, Grobnar actually is a mechanical genius - he repairs the Construct and makes it functional.He canonically died in the final battle, in a futile attempt to save the Construct from a falling pillar.Voiced by Andy Pang.Associated Tropes:
Butt Monkey: Everyone in the party makes fun of him, short of Casavir, Zhjaeve, and Shandra. Only Shandra protests his treatment, and very weakly at that.
Genius Ditz: Believe it or not, he is a mechanical genius, as well as several other types of genius, and is capable of some surprising feats of engineering if he's with the party at the appropriate moments.
Overshadowed by Awesome: Bishop and Neeshka are better archers than him, while Qara, Sand, and Ammon Jerro are better spellcasters. This gets taken Up to Eleven, however, if you yourself are a bard — in which case you completely blow Grobnar out of the water in terms of musical and magical talent.
The Pollyanna: Everything reminds him of a song. Even, apparently, getting crushed to death by rocks.
Spoony Bard: Even by D&D bard standards, since his base stats are mediocre at best and his skillset leaves something to be desired.
Stupid Sacrifice: He genuinely thought his three foot tall body could save the Construct from a story-high stone pillar. Long story short, it didn't.
"I do not have faith in a city or a nation, but the people within it."
A paladin who was formerly part of Neverwinter's paladin order, but left in frustration over the order's inability/unwillingness to help the commonfolk. Since then, he has taken it upon himself to protect the innocent, and has formed a tight-knit band of mercenaries to help him in this. He first meets the party when they're investigating orc activity in the region, and offers his help in this. After the orcs are routed, he decides to stay with the party.Casavir is reserved and takes his duties as a paladin very seriously. He follows his code of conduct to the letter and holds himself to an extremely high standard that he admits he doesn't always meet. This inevitably puts him at odds with the openly selfish and ruthlessly pragmatic Bishop, not helped by the fact that they form something of a Love Triangle with a female Knight-Captain.Mask of the Betrayer suggests that he died in the final battle of the original campaign, his back broken in an attempt to hold a door open to allow the party to escape. However, Storm of Zehir strongly implies that he managed to survive the Collapsing Lair, albeit severely wounded. His current whereabouts are unknown, but it is suggested that he has been captured by Luskan.Voiced by Paul Schoeffler.Associated Tropes:
Gameplay and Story Segregation: Minor case with Neeshka's whining that she's allergic to him. She notably doesn't make the same complaint if the Knight-Captain is a paladin, too, and it has no effect on gameplay.
Heroic Sacrifice: According to Ammon Jerro in Mask of the Betrayer, he broke his back holding open a collapsing doorway for the party. Storm of Zehir implies that he survived and was captured and imprisoned by Luskan.
The Hunter: Has been hunting orcs for weeks when you meet him.
The Paladin: Of the Tyrran church. Unlike many paladins, Casavir places far higher importance on Good than on Law. For example, when his order declined to intervene in a spate of orc attacks on the settlements near Old Owl Well, Casavir said Screw the Rules, I'm Doing What's Right, left Neverwinter and went to fight the orcs on his own. He wound up with a band of mercenaries with similar views.
Red Baron: The orcs call him Katalmach, an orc word referring to those who lose themselves in battle.
"If you aren't willing to kill for it, how important can it be?"
A sociopathic ranger that the party first meets in the Sunken Flagon. He is initially a typical, if very assholish patron, but after Shandra is kidnapped by Zeearie, Duncan convinces him to help the party track them down by calling upon an old deal they made. Reluctantly, Bishop agrees, and afterwards stays on with the party for his own reasons.Bishop is an interesting look at what it means to be Chaotic Evil. He genuinely believes that the concept of civilization and culture is a total sham, and is convinced that everyone, even him, is just a rabid animal waiting to strike. He despises being ordered about, but will grudgingly admit he respects the Knight-Captain if your influence with him is high enough.Ultimately, Bishop's beliefs and free spirit are his undoing. During the siege on Crossroad Keep by the King of Shadows' army, he betrays the party by sabotaging the keep's gates and allowing the undead entry. He later shows up at the site of the final battle. If your influence with him is low, he will assist Garius in the battle, and will attempt to take control of the Construct. If influence with him is high, the Captain can appeal to his hatred of being someone's servant, and he will agree to leave in peace.No matter what path is taken, Bishop ultimately dies, either by the player's hand or by being crushed by the collapsing castle during his escape. He makes an appearance in Mask of the Betrayer in a dream, where it is revealed that he has been bound to the Wall of the Faithless. After giving some last few snide remarks to the Captain, he is fully absorbed into the Wall, but not before hand over a fragment of Akachi's mask.Voiced by Asa Seigel in the original campaign, and Dave Walshduring his postmortem cameo in MotB.Associated Tropes:
Covered with Scars: They're not on his model, but his character description says he has a lot of old cuts and burns.
The Cynic: By far the most dour member of your party and convinced that everyone, especially himself, is out for themselves and nobody else.
Deadpan Snarker: Count yourself lucky to say anything in his presence without getting a sarcastic drawl in reply, usually followed by a quick, half-assed Hannibal Lecture aimed at just about anything in the immediate vicinity, and god help any companion who tries to intervene.
Debt Detester: He hates Duncan for saving his life after he destroyed his home village; he would rather have died there. He also hates you, because Duncan called in the debt to get Bishop to follow you. More than anything, he hates being obligated to someone. Anyone. For any reason.
Death Seeker: Can be inferred from some of his dialogue when relating his backstory. Much later, in the Wall of the Faithless, he'll mock you if you try to free him and claim that he's the only one there not desperate to escape. He's glad to face oblivion, scared only of the pain he'll suffer on the way.
Bishop: To forget and be forgotten - that's paradise. It's getting there that's the hard part.
Don't You Dare Pity Me!: One of his core principles. Bishop practically despises anyone who does not share this sentiment.
Exact Words: Born a Harborman and conscripted by Luskans when young. They were grooming him to be a double-agent, and his last act before he made the grade was supposed to be choosing a remote village in Neverwinter and destroying it completely. He chose his own village, and then tried to warn its inhabitants of what he was about to do, but they ignored him, so he burned it to the ground with everyone trapped inside. Including his Luskan trainers and handlers, which his familiarity with his home let him locate.
Flat Earth Atheist: And one breaking the setting rules, no less. Rangers are divine spellcasters, which the Forgotten Realms setting requires to have a patron deity. The loophole is that it's possible one of the gods has chosen to grant him spells anyway (Malar would be a likely candidate), but that falls flat in light of him ending up in the Wall of the Faithless after the original campaign.
Foreshadowing: His cryptic conversation with Grobnar about the Construct's capabilities hint at his true motives.
Freudian Excuse: Was kidnapped as a child, brought to Luskan, and trained as an assassin, whether he wanted it or not. Subverted in that he never tries to use it as a defense for his actions.
Heel Face Door Slam: His warning you of approaching demons and giving you the last piece of the Mask hints that he's started reconsidering his "everyone for themselves" worldview, but he's absorbed into the Wall before it can do him any good.
Heel-Face Revolving Door: Well, he used to work for Luskan, but grew to be so disgusted by them that he left their service and now actively hunts them down. Then he'll join you, but will betray you to the King of Shadows. If your influence is high enough, you can talk him into sort-of heel-face-turning by walking away from the fight with Garius. Finally, if you choose to side with the King of Shadows, he'll come back and help you kill your former comrades, which can be called either a face or a full heel. For goodness' sake, Bishop, just pick a side and stick with it!
"A hedge wizard, somehow set up a shop in the Docks, but it's telling enough he can only run a business down here in the crack of Neverwinter. Got a dry wit, and he'll always rub you the wrong way, so his name's well-chosen."
A skilled, but somewhat haughty elven wizard that runs a magic shop in Neverwinter. He first appears when the Knight Captain tries to learn the secret of the shards, but Sand is unable to give much help aside from pointing them in the direction of someone who can help them. Later on, when Garius' henchmen accuse the Captain of slaughtering the town of Ember, Sand is chosen as their assistant and lawyer. Once the Ember Trials are resolved, he decides to assist the Captain in their quest.Sand canonically survives the final battle by transforming into an iron golem, rendering him impervious to the falling debris of the King of Shadow's lair.Voiced by Fred Berman.Associated Tropes:
The Cameo: Makes an appearance at the Knight-Captain's wedding in some versions of the MotB epilogue.
Deadpan Snarker: In a game filled with these, Sand stands head and shoulders above the rest.
The Exile: Left Luskan's Hosttower and now has to spend the rest of his life in hiding from them.
Face-Heel Turn: If your influence with him is lower than with Qara, he turns on you at the final battle, considering her a bigger potential threat than the King of Shadows.
Informed Attribute: He's supposed to be a great advocate, but if you let him do the talking at your trial, you automatically lose. He might be brilliant in technical points of law, but he's too acerbic to come off well to other people.
Properly Paranoid: He believes Qara to be a potential threat. In dummied-out content, it's revealed that she really is holding back a majority of her power. And, you know ... she sides with the King of Shadows.
Squishy Wizard: Serious artillery (and less prone to destroying loot chests than Qara), but keep him away from anything sharp. However, his school of specialization, Transmutation, specializes in buffs, and he can potentially armor himself well enough to compete with the group's tanks.
A simple farmgirl from just outside Highcliff, Shandra Jerro at first seems like just another NPC, until the githyanki abduct her to use her in the search for her grandfather's Haven. Having lost her farm thanks to getting caught up in the Knight-Captain's business, she joins up with the Knight-Captain's party as a fighter. For a time she acts as a free extra party member , but during the assault on Ammon Jerro's Haven, she realizes that the man they have been chasing is in fact her grandfather, and that her blood is the key to undoing the spells that make Ammon Jerro nigh-invincible. After undoing the spells, he kills her in a fit of anger, not realizing who she was.Voiced by Rachel York.Associated Tropes:
Chekhov's Gunman: You meet her very briefly in a small quest near the beginning of the game, then promptly forget about her. Learning that she's Ammon Jerro's granddaughter comes as a shock, to say the least. She also has a pivotal role in your trial. Lampshaded when you learn of her significance:
Neeshka: Shandra Jerro? You mean the girl with the flammable barn?
Heroic Sacrifice: Spills large amounts of her own blood to sabotage Ammon Jerro's fiend bindings, and is slain by him in retribution.
Naļve Newcomer: Naļve in the sense that she doesn't quite know how to be an adventurer. When you approach her the first time after she joins the party, the first words out of her mouth are "Did I do something wrong?"
Not So Different: Her backstory is very similar to yours: orphaned Farm Children from Doomed Hometowns forced to take to the road to survive, hunted by githyanki along the way. The biggest difference is that you're The Hero and Shandra's...well, not. Hence, you live and she dies.
Tsundere: Type A. Grobnar will inadverantly reveal that she was really worried for you during the duel with Lorne. If you ask her about it, she vehemently denies it.
"Know that I am Zhjaeve, one who carries the knowing Circle of Zerthimon in mind and hand. Know that I aid the Kalach-Cha in shielding your community from the doom that comes."
— Zhjaeve introduces herself
A githzerai cleric and zerth that was imprisoned in Crossroad Keep while it was under Garius' control. She is one of the only people who truly knows what is happening, and helps the Knight Captain learn about the King Shadows, its origins, and how it can be stopped.Whether or not she survived the destruction of the King of Shadows' lair is completely unknown. Not even Ammon Jerro knows what happened to her.It's commonly theorized that her lack of a patron deity indicates she's actually a psion, not a cleric. Or that since she's part of the Circle of Zerthimon, she worships the githzerai god-king.Voiced by Lisa Emery.Associated Tropes:
Never Found the Body: Ammon Jerro has no idea what happened to her. Lore-minded fans have noted that high-level githzerai can plane-shift once per day, so it's entirely possible that, quest completed, she returned home to Limbo.
Verbal Tic: Know that like a certain other Githzerai, Zhjaeve puts emphasis on words relating to knowing and will. Know that she begins pretty much every sentence with the word know. Know that you will get tired of this. Know that she doesn't care.
"Ammon Jerro? Oh, he was a court wizard of Neverwinter decades ago."
— Aldanon's woefully inadequate description of Jerro
A former court wizard of Neverwinter, Ammon Jerro first became aware of the King of Shadows twenty years before the story starts. He tried to warn people about the threat that it posed, but to no avail. Unwilling to let the threat grow unchecked, he vowed to stop the King of Shadows... no matter what.In a climatic battle twenty years before the story begins, Ammon Jerro battled the King of Shadows in West Harbor at the head of an army of demons, and wielding the Silver Sword of Gith. While his demons fought the undead, he dueled the King of Shadows. He managed to win, but the explosion of power released by the King of Shadows' death throes shattered the Silver Sword and sent Ammon Jerro to Hell.Having made his way back to the Prime Material Plane, Ammon Jerro again plans to fight the King of Shadows by seeking out the shards of the Silver Sword, and binding demons to his will. The party encounters some of his demons and manages to track down his Haven thanks to his granddaughter, Shandra. When the party and he finally face off, he kills his granddaughter in a rage at her unbinding his demons. After realizing his mistake, Ammon Jerro agrees to join the party to defeat the King of Shadows. If the player character's influence with Shandra was high enough, it is possible to make Ammon Jerro admit that his methods of combating the King of Shadows were flawed, and beg Shandra's forgiveness.Ammon Jerro survives the end of the original campaign, and potentially has a minor role in Mask of the Betrayer. The party encounters his body at the Academy of Shapers and Binders, and with a bit of clever dealing can recover his soul and restore him. He explains that he managed to follow the player character during his kidnapping, and is the one to provide details about the fates of your companions from the OC. He joins the player for a small amount of time in chapter two, and also sends demonic reinforcements to aid the player in the final chapter of the expansion.Voiced by Murphy Guyer.Associated Tropes:
Badass Grandpa/Older than They Look: His age is indeterminate but he's at least old enough to be the thirty-something Shandra Jerro's grandfather. Or great-grandfather, or great-great-grandfather; Shandra apparently isn't sure. Likely justifications are that, A, mages have a tendency to live longer than baseline humans anyway, and B, lots and lots of contact with other planes where time can be a little weird. As for being a Badass? He went hand-to-hand against an avatar of the King of Shadows and fought it to a standstill.
He Who Fights Monsters: After realizing that no one took his warnings about the King of Shadows seriously, he decided to act on his own. In order to combat the horde of undead under the thrall of the King of Shadows, he turned to the infernal powers for an army of his own.
A Blade Golem that was sent by Garius' followers to dispose of the party while they were investigating Githyanki activity in Neverwinter. The party manages to drive it off, severely damaging it in the process, and later come across it during the assault on Zeearie's lair. Grobnar, fascinated with the machine, convinces the Knight Captain to confiscate it in hopes of repairing it. Once Crossroad Keep is reclaimed from the Shadow Priests, and after a rather lengthy sidequest, Grobnar is able to repair the construct and make it better than ever.In the final battle, if Bishop fights alongside Garius and Grobnar's influence is low, Bishop will sabotage the Construct, making it turn against the party. With a high enough influence however, Grobnar reveals that he found a way around that.Canonically, the Construct was destroyed in the final battle when both it and Grobnar were crushed by a fallen pillar.Associated Tropes
Dumb Muscle: Oddly subverted; though the Construct is mute, it's got an Intelligence of 13. It's just as smart as Elanee, and smarter than Shandra, Khelgar, Qara, Bishop, Casavir, and even Grobnar. Admittedly, this is mostly so it can take Combat Expertise.
Golem: Made of metal, but in all other aspects very much the type.
Aww, Look! They Really Do Love Each Other: The good epilogue of the main campaign has him refusing to believe you're dead and setting out to search for you. In the good epilogue of Mask of the Betrayer, the two of you have a happy reunion.
Heartbroken Badass: His wife died during the King of Shadows' assault on West Harbor, and he never really got over it.
Hot-Blooded: His character bio explicitly states him to be "expressive and passionate".
Noodle Incident: Something happened between him and Bishop that led to the latter owing Duncan a favor, which he uses to force Bishop to join the party. It turns out he saved Bishop's life after the Where I Was Born and Razed incident. Bishop really, really, really despises him for it.
Idiot Ball: Minor case in Storm of Zehir. Making Khelgar Ironfist a member of the Neverwinter Nine? No problem. But putting him in charge of Crossroad Keep? Surely there were more politically adept candidates. The Knight-Captain's seneschal Kana, for instance, or maybe Sir Neville. Khelgar himself notes that it was a bad idea.
Lawful Good: In-universe. Not mentioned in-game but this is his alignment according to the Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting.
Retired Badass: Used to be a member of the Northern Four Adventuring Troupe before he became ruler of Neverwinter. The Troupe's history is detailed in the in-game book of the same name.
Royals Who Actually Do Something: In addition to laying various intrigues and magical preparations against invasion by Neverwinter's northern rival Luskan, he personally leads Neverwinter's main army in the Battle of Highcliff in Act III, and is badly wounded in the process.
The King of Shadows
An ancient being of pure magic and top contender for the title of Worst Threat the Sword Coast Has Ever Known.In the ruins of an Illefarn city, you learn that he was once human, a great hero and patriot who sacrificed himself in an arcane ritual to create a Guardian to protect Illefarn from invasion by Netheril, becoming a Pure Magic Being who drew his power directly from the Weave. When the Netherese archmage Karsus tried to usurp Mystryl as deity of magic, his power source was interrupted, forcing him into the Sadistic Choice of either dying, in which case he could no longer protect Illefarn, or drawing power from Shar's Shadow Weave. He chose the latter. Illefarn tried and failed to destroy him repeatedly, but their final attempt, hiring the great wyrm Nolalothcaragascint, succeeded in damaging him badly enough he was forced to retreat to the Astral Plane.According to Mask of the Betrayer, he is canonically destroyed by the Knight-Captain.Associated Tropes:
Absurdly Dedicated Worker: His job is to destroy enemies of the Illefarn Empire. He continues to try to carry out that function a couple thousand years after Illefarn has fallen, partly because of him.
Black and White Insanity: His job is to destroy enemies of the Illefarn Empire. Attempting to attack him, a guardian of that empire, means you are an enemy. An awful lot of entities wind up attacking him for silly reasons like his very presence being inimical to life. Just about all of them, in fact. Solution: destroy the world.
The Corruption: He is implied to be one of the reasons the Mere of Dead Men is full of undead (the other being that part of Myrkul's essence ended up there after Mystra killed him). He also drives the senior members of the Mere's druid circle insane.
Mind Rape: Tortures Neeshka, then abuses her diabolic blood to magically bind her.
The Starscream: His plan was to harvest the King of Shadows' power for his own gain. His death at the hands of the Knight-Captain threw a wrench into the plan; he was revived as a Shadow Reaver under the King's direct control.
A pit fiend in the service of Levistus the Still Lord, master of the Fifth Circle of Baator, and one of Ammon Jerro's fiendish allies. He is initially encountered in the githyanki stronghold along with the hezrou Zaxis, attempting to breach the chamber where the githyanki leader Zeeaire kept her portal to the Astral Plane. He voluntarily gives up his true name to the Knight-Captain so s/he can return him to Baator. He is encountered again at Ammon Jerro's Haven, as one of several greater fiends bound in summoning circles and powering the place. The player can later talk Jerro into helping him/her summon the fiend at Crossroad Keep.Mephasm is unfailingly polite to the Knight-Captain and takes a degree of interest in the party's welfare, though nobody doubts that his motives are less than altruistic. He implies through various pieces of dialogue that he may be Neeshka's grandfather.
Neverwinter Nights 2: Mask of the Betrayer Party Members
"If you enjoy tense situations, my affiliation with the feared magocracy of Thay should prove endlessly amusing."
A Red Wizard that appears to help the Knight Captain when he/she awakens in Rashemen, and the first party member gained. She claims to have been sent by her mother, the leader of a prominent Thayan academy, to help the Captain for unspecified reasons, but there may be ulterior motives to her task that not even she is aware of.Unknown to her, she along with her mother and aunt are three fragments of the soul of Akachi's lover, now the Founder. She was planted in the Knight-Captains party as part of the Founder's plan to end the Spirit Eater curse.Voiced by Julianne Grossman.Associated Tropes
Artificial Human: Safiya is an aspect of the Founder, created alongside Lienna and Nefris as part of her plan to end the Spirit Eater curse.
Cool Teacher: This also. One of the least vicious and ruthless Red Wizards anywhere, and she obviously loves teaching. She even begins teaching you a few basics in concentration and logic if your influence gets high enough - so essentially, her idea of best protecting you is making you one of her students.
The Cynic: Whenever you bring up religion or the Rashemi or...a lot of things, actually. She's a pragmatic, critical thinker down to her core by birth and upbringing.
Safiya: (about Kaelyn) That servant of...I've never trusted people of faith. They live their lives divorced from reason.
Safiya: (about Gann) People who talk overmuch about the value of dreams usually want to sell you something.
Hearing Voices: Safiya reluctantly admits to hearing voices inside her head that aren't her own, though they seem to be benevolent. (She recounts a time when she was about to use a spell that would have fatally backfired and the voices suddenly became much louder, breaking her concentration and saving her life.) They turn out to be the voices of Nefris, Lienna, and the Founder.
The Hecate Sisters: Safiya represents the Maiden (with Nefris as the Mother and Lienna as the Crone).
Hot Teacher: Noted as good-looking in her character description.
Naytheist: She rolls her eyes at Kaelyn, is not the least bit unwilling to say that she thinks the people of Rashemen are credulous imbeciles for worshipping spirits, and will almost always react badly if the player character tries to comfort her with any variation on the phrase "Have faith." This seems to be a Red Wizard trait. The Founder's experiences and opinions probably influenced her, as well.
"My crime? It is a serious one. You see...I am too handsome to look upon."
Better known as Gann, this young hagspawn is a Rashemi Spirit Shaman that the Captain encounters while searching for allies against Okku. Abandoned by his parents at birth, the wild spirits of Rasheman raised him as their own. Interestingly and unusually, Gann is quite a Pretty Boy, a trait he takes great pride in. As a Spirit Shaman, he is capable of walking in the realm of dreams, which can come in handy at various points in the game.It is later learned that her mother actually truly loved him and his father, and was forced to abandon him by the Slumbering Coven. Upon discovering this, he implores the Captain to kill the Coven in retribution.Voiced by Crispin Freeman.Associated Tropes:
Boxed Crook: He actually doesn't mind prison too much (especially since he's messed with the runes that keep him from dream hopping), but he was getting a little bored.
The Casanova: He puts his high Charisma score to exactly the use you think.
Druid: Gann's a Spirit Shaman, a spontaneous spellcasting variation of the Druid class that can fight and commune with supernatural spirits.
Mr. Fanservice: A fact he is well aware of. In fact, when you first meet him, he says he's in the Mulsantir prison when first met for the crime of "being too handsome to look upon". He's actually there more or less voluntarily — hiding from his numerous admirers.
Hidden Depths: Frequently deflects questions with humor and snark (or flirtation), but beneath that he's terribly afraid of letting anyone get too close, lacks any direction for his life, and has depths of rage that can be a little frightening.
Lady Killer In Love: Should the Knight-Captain pursue a relationship with him, he falls well and truly in love, going so far as to convert to the worship of Kelemvor to stay with the player character in one of the endings. Some of his endings also have him settling down with a girl you help during the main story.
The Lancer: Both in story and gameplay terms. His preferred weapon is a spear.
Living Dream: Gannayev claims he's one at first, but he'll admit to just being a hagspawn after some prodding and a successful Diplomacy check.
Naytheist: He acknowledges the presence of gods in the Realms, but refuses to devote himself to any of them, or actually acknowledge them as gods at all. This causes some minor crises of faith in the later parts of the game, and one of the endings as well.
Flat Earth Atheist: The Wall of the Faithless, however, he adamantly refuses to believe exists, even though one of your companions (Kaelyn) is personally familiar with it.
The Nicknamer: Usually poetic (he calls Kaelyn "songbird" and Okku "Old Father Bear"), sometimes imbuing them with a taunting affection, like when he calls his jailer "my matron-of-the-cell".
Parental Abandonment: He hides it, but he's enormously resentful of his parents for leaving him until he learns why.
Tailor-Made Prison: Unlike the classic iron bars of the others prisoners', Gann's prison is a windowless room in which every surface is covered in runes. They're supposed to keep him from his usual late-night dreamsex activities, but a PC with a high enough spellcraft skill can notice that Gann's messed around with them a bit.
Trauma-Induced Amnesia: Upon discovering that Gannayev's mother let his father escape, the her hag sisters hunted him down, tore him apart, and force-fed Gann's mom bloody chunks of him - all in front of Gann. Gann naturally - and probably fortunately - remembers none of this.
The Ugly Guy's Hot Daughter: Gender-flipped, and justified. Because his conception was consensual and his parents were actually in love, he came out very handsome instead of ugly like most hags and hagspawn.
Kaelyn the Dove
A half-celestial cleric of Ilmater that the Captain recruits for the struggle against Okku. The party meets her in the Shadow Realm version of Mulsantir, attempting to discover secret information on Kelemvor and Akachi the Betrayer. In exchange for helping her obtain this information, she agrees to aid the Captain.Kaelyn was originally a devout servant of Kelemvor, god of death. As time went on she began to question her faith, specifically regarding the Wall of the Faithless. No longer able to shepherd the souls of the dead to a Fate Worse than Death, she left the Kelemvoran faith and attempted to forcibly tear down the Wall. Though she failed and was cast down into Faerūn, she still wishes to see the Wall destroyed.Voiced by Cat O'Connor.Associated Tropes:
Abstract Apotheosis: In Kaelyn's good ending, she becomes the symbol of hope for all the victims of the Wall of the Faithless.
Combat Medic: As a cleric, she comes equipped with a variety of healing spells and buffs.
Determinator: Her quest sets her against all the laws and powers she was born to serve - and many others - but she hasn't let that stop her.
Dissonant Serenity: She never raises her voice, which can be a bit creepy depending on what she's talking about.
Fallen Angel: In all of her endings, her wings turn eventually turn black. In the optimistic ones, she is still perceived as a savior of forsaken souls, and sees her wings as a symbol of her cause.
Gameplay and Story Segregation: Kaelyn says she's a doomguide but has no levels in that class, nor does she have any of the prerequisites. Forgivable since doomguide wasn't added as a prestige class until Storm of Zehir. It's also possible she was de-leveled for rebelling against Kelemvor.
Neutral Good: In-universe. Gentleness, compassion and honor are all built right into her very essence.
Non-Indicative Name: Someone called "the Dove" would be peaceful and gentle, right? Right. Originally she had that name because she was the mediator of the Menagerie. But when she began the Second Crusade, she essentially declared war upon the gods.
Sherlock Scan: Though she's not particularly worldly, one of Kaelyn's gifts is gaining extremely disturbingly accurate insight into a someone's basic personality, just from looking at them. One dialogue path has her pick up and point out most of Gann's hidden issues with a momentary glance, one of the few times Gann is noticeably blind-sided.
Single-Issue Wonk: Normally mild-mannered, but just mention the Wall of the Faithless, and she'll go on quite a tear - always soft-spoken and gentle, but insistent.
Stereotype Flip: She's a cleric, the only companion who worships a god (Ilmater), and a celestial with wings - but she's bent on tearing down the wall, an act that could well see the Planes crumble or start a war between gods and mortals.
Winged Humanoid: Subverted in that her wings are nonfunctional (i.e. she can't fly). They do allow her to move faster and shield herself from sun or rain, but that's pretty much it.
What Beautiful Eyes: They're completely black, like the eyes of a bird. Gann quite likes them... mostly because they're reflective enough that he can admire himself in them. On the other hand, the party's comments on their strangeness reveals some interesting facets of their characters. In particular, it turns out that Kaelyn is color-blind. Which is to say, she sees everything in black and white.
"I am a god of bears. What is there not to understand? ...I jest, little one. You smell of distant lands. No doubt the spirits of Rashemen are a puzzle to you. In life, I was a bear of flesh and bone. In death, my bond with the land has called me back."
— Okku, asked to describe himself
A powerful bear spirit that is the sole guardian of the Spirit Barrow. He first appears attempting to stop the Knight Captain and Safiya from escaping the Barrow. Although driven off, Okku soon afterwards amasses a spirit army outside Mulsantir, demanding that the Captain face him in combat. Despite the Captain's attempts at peace, Okku strangely insists that the Captain must die. After a heated battle, Okku is defeated and begs that the Captain kill him before the Curse consumes him. If the Captain chooses to suppress the curses' hunger, Okku will be shocked that they have not given in to their hunger, and offers to help the party as part of a compact he made with a previous Spirit Eater long ago.Okku's clan barrow is the prison the Knight-Captain awakens in at the beginning of the game. To ensure the curse never threatened the world again, the previous Spirit Eater crafted the prison and spent his last days there in the hopes that once he died the curse would be trapped in the prison and never spread to another person. Okku, out of respect to his friend and a sense of duty to end the curse, remained within the Barrow to watch over and guard the prison against interlopers. The curse had disastrous effects on his clan members, most of whom went feral or mad due to the curse's influence.Voiced by Darryl Kurylo.Associated Tropes:
Badass: Oh yes. No, seriously, have you seen his Strength and Constitution? He's essentially Khelgar on steroids.
Bears Are Bad News/Beary Friendly: Once you get to know him it turns out he's a Gentle Giant most of the time. He's soft-spoken and intelligent, known to crack the occasional joke, and a fiercely loyal ally for a good-aligned Knight-Captain, but antagonize him at your peril.
Beary Funny: On occasion. See him scare a spirit badger by roaring louder than him, or threaten to eat people. It's funnier than it sounds, if you are into Comedic Sociopathy.
Blood Knight: Subverted in the fact that he doesn't go out of his way to pick fights - but he likes fights and tends to solve problems by ripping them in half. Much of this can be explained by his being, well, a large bear. How else would anyone expect him to solve problems?
The Comically Serious: He definitely has a sense of humor, but it doesn't always translate well across the spirit-mortal/bear-humanoid divide (and vice versa).
Deity of Human Origin: Or bearish origin, rather. Okku was once a bear of higher-than-usual intelligence, strength and ferocity that attained minor godhood by the virtue of being an exemplar of what it is to be ursine. This often occurs with animals of Rashemen. He would probably rate rank 0 on the divine ranks scale from Faiths & Pantheons.note Rank 0 are extremely minor deities, weaker than even demigods like the Red Knight. They're still distinct from mortals, who don't have a divine rank at all.
Sour Supporter: He is initially quite skeptical that the Knight Captain can end the Curse without succumbing to it, but prove your willingness to resist the curse and he'll warm up to you considerably.
One of Many
"Here is a soul so old, so broken and fragmented... it is not even worth devouring. One would gain more sustenance chomping at the air."
— One of Many
A mysterious spirit entity actually made of many souls in a Mind Hive. One soul is in charge of the rest, dictates their actions as an entity, and is referred to as "One"; the others are "the Many". "One" can be switched with any other soul from "the Many", lending the creature different powers and attitudes. If the Knight Captain chooses to devour Okku, you can offer Okku's pelt as a shell for this creature in the Dead God's Vault.Associated Tropes:
Assimilation Backfire: If One of Many is in your party when you meet the dead god Myrkul, they'll ask you if they can eat Myrkul. Given that unlike the Knight-Captain's Spirit-Eater curse, One of Many adds consumed souls to its collective, Myrkul will take control and try to devour the spirit-eater, resulting in a Bonus Boss.
Badass Boast: By proxy, and for you. It gives an impressive oneto Kelemvor in the Devour Akachi ending if it is with you: "Fool! It is my [spirit-eater's title here] who will hound the gods' steps. And they shall know fear!" It is absolutely accurate.
The Brute: One of the souls is an orc known only as 'The Brute'.
Creepy Child: The soul leading the Mind Hive is a small boy, killed for burning a temple of Myrkul and attacking his family.
Fighter, Mage, Thief: Depending on which personality you allow to take control of the Many, its function in the party will change. The Child personality allows it to serve as a rogue, the Brute personality functions as a barbarian, and the Madwoman as a warlock.
I Am Legion: It even consistently refer to itself using collective pronouns.
Mind Hive: An amalgamation of souls extracted from the victims of Myrkul's death priests; primarily rapists, murderers, heretics...and even a few innocents. Some of Myrkul's priests are there too, thanks to the acolytes of Cyric inflicting some ironic justice. Thanks to all those years crammed in the Furnace, none of them are very sane.
Neutral Evil: In-universe. There are no redeeming features whatsoever to One-of-Many. Even its loyalty to the main character comes only from recognising power that could destroy it forever, and fearing/desiring/hating that power all in equal measure.
Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: When the player character meets Myrkul in the Astral Plane, One-of-Many demands the right to consume Myrkul as vengeance for the suffering of its collective souls in the Furnace. If allowed to do so, Myrkul seizes control of the Many, and tries to use it to devour the player character.
Speaking Simlish: Uses a strange Voice of the Dead that any mortal creature can understand, but doesn't sound anything like ordinary speech.
Token Evil Teammate: Subverted in that recruiting it requires the Knight-Captain to consciously commit a severely evil act. Unless the KC then goes for a Heel-Face Turn, of course...
What the Hell, Hero?: Kaelyn calls the player out for creating an abomination. Its entire narrative purpose, really, is to impress upon the player what their evil might lead to.
Your Soul Is Mine: Like the Captain, it can absorb souls, but instead of devouring them, it adds them to its Mind Hive - thus their memories and personalities are retained, not obliterated.
Neverwinter Nights 2: Mask of the Betrayer Non-Party Characters
A mysterious Red Wizard who usurped Safiya's mother as leader of the Acadamy of Shapers and Binders for unknown reasons. He seems to have a vendetta against the Knight-Captain.Araman is actually the brother of Akachi the Betrayer. His original name was Eveshi. Centuries ago, the two infant boys were laid on the doorstep of Myrkul's temple to be raised there. Akachi became Myrkul's most proud and devoted disciple, and Eveshi/Araman - though never as great - followed in his brother's footsteps, always in aid and loyalty. When Akachi chose to rebel against Myrkul for the sake of his lover, Araman joined him in the Crusade, but when it failed, he repented on bended knee to Myrkul and swore never to betray him again. As a "reward", Myrkul made him immortal and gave him the task of hunting down the Founder and killing her. His takeover of Thaymount was so he could access a portal that would lead him to the Founder's Sanctum. Before he can reach her, however, the Knight-Captain's party confront him and Araman is ultimately killed. He is later seen on the Fugue Plane, defending the City of the Dead.Araman is a jaded, depressed man. To this day, he believes firmly that Akachi's betrayal of his god for his love was madness, and believes that no good could come of upsetting the order of the Planes; his regret for turning against Myrkul has long become a greater conviction that Akachi was wrong. He takes no pleasure in what he does, instead seeing his actions as necessary evils to maintain balance in the world.Voiced by Fred Tatasciore.Associated Tropes:
Anti-Villain: He believes that protecting the Wall is the right thing to do and takes no pleasure in it.
Bald of Evil: As per standard Red Wizard hairstyle (or lack thereof).
Big Bad: The game sets him up to look like one for a while, but he isn't.
The Dragon: To Myrkul originally, and now to Kelemvor.
Killed Off for Real: Assuming you continued the Crusade, he makes a Last Villain Stand after Kelemvor agrees to let you try and get your soul back, and dies fighting you on the Fugue Plane, where there's no coming back.
Unexplained Recovery: Subverted when he reappears on the Fugue Plane. You did kill him in the Academy, but since you're attacking the plane of existence that serves as the afterlife's sorting area for souls and he's a priest of the god of death, his presence is hardly odd.
Used to Be a Sweet Kid: He was Akachi's brother, Eveshi. Akachi gave him the nickname "Ahrraman", which meant "laughter", when they were both children, because Eveshi was always giggling, even during solemn masses and sermons. That bright little boy is one of the very last things left of Akachi, but only in memory and dreams. Araman himself has long crushed out any light or sweetness in his personality.
The Slumbering Coven
A coven of Rashemi hags who gather dreams and ancient knowledge. While undeniably evil and depraved, most of the people of the nation grudgingly accept their presence due to their wealth of ancient knowledge. The Knight-Captain's party is directed to visit them as a source of information about the Spirit Eater curse, but the Coven, fearing that the Captain will lose control of the curse and devour them, betray the party and dump them in a prison under the lake.The Coven turns out to be directly responsible for Gann's childhood abandonment. When it was discovered that Gann's mother had sired a child with a human, and worse, loved both the man in question and the child, the Coven offered her a choice between the life of her child or that of her lover. She chose to spare her son, and was forced to eat her lover alive, the act of which drove her completely insane. Gann is less than pleased to discover this and insists that they die, but the Coven claims that their deaths would rob the world of priceless knowledge and beauty. Ultimately the Captain chooses their fate. In either case, the Coven do end up telling the party the next destination: Thaymount Academy.Associated Tropes:
Dream Stealer: The source of their knowledge, and the payment they extract from their guests.
Dream Walker: Just like Gann, though on a considerably larger scale.
Kick the Son of a Bitch: As valuable as their knowledge may be, killing these cruel and vicious beasts is nevertheless extremely satisfying.
Knowledge Broker: They drag knowledge from the dreams of mortals, whom they believe will simply die and forget, to add to their enormous collective dream.
Necessarily Evil: How they view themselves. You can disagree, whether from your own sense of ethics or to exact justice for Gann and his parents, and shred their collective dream before destroying them.
Lotus-Eater Machine: Many of the guests are dreaming, trapped inside their own minds as their bodies slowly wither away.
Talking in Your Dreams: Meeting them requires you to navigate the dreams of several other visitors, solving (or ignoring, or worsening) their troubles. Despite everyone involved being fast asleep, these interactions seem to have real-world effects. In addition, on the trip you meet Bishop during his last moments in the Wall of the Faithless. The hags clarify afterwards that yes, the encounter genuinely happened.
The Faceless Man a.k.a. Akachi the Betrayer
The embodiment of the Spirit-Eater curse, dealing with the Faceless Man is the only way for the Spirit-Eater curse to be ended. Its origin is a mystery that drives much of the backstory, and discovering it provides the key to freeing the Knight-Captain.Akachi was once the high priest of the now-dead god Myrkul, who once was god of the dead. When his lover, the Founder, died without pledging herself to a god, her soul was condemned to the Wall of the Faithless and Akachi chose to rebel against his god to save her, storming the Fugue Plane with an army to tear down the Wall and free every soul inside. This became known as the First Crusade, and earned him the title "the Betrayer". Though he succeeded in freeing the soul of the Founder, his Crusade failed, and as punishment he was bound to the Wall himself in her place. Myrkul, seeing an opportunity to spread misery (and to remain alive-in-death by exploiting the Forgotten Realms' early God Needs Prayer Badly system) decided that Akachi had not suffered enough, and so inflicted a realFate Worse than Death on him. He ripped Akachi out of the Wall once he was stripped of his mind, his humanity and everything that had made him a person, and left with an insatiable hunger for souls: the Faceless Man. The Spirit Eater curse is Akachi's parasitic ravenous remnant, attaching itself to people and condemning their souls to the Wall in his place. Over time, his victims are slowly "digested", devouring spirits to hold off the encroachment of the curse, but needing more and more spirits to hold off the hunger. At last they cannot sate themselves and die in madness, and the curse transfers itself to a new host.At the end of the game, the player character recovers the stolen soul from the Wall of the Faithless, but must then battle Akachi for control over it. Depending on what whether or not the three fragments of the Mask of the Betrayer were recovered in the game, the Knight-Captain can choose to restore Akachi and end the Spirit-Eater curse, subdue Akachi and spend eternity on the Fugue Plane, hurl Akachi out of their soul so that they are cured but the curse still exists, or devour the Faceless Man and become a power to shake the planes.Associated Tropes:
Big Bad: In as much as there is one for the game (and that's pretty arguable), the Faceless Man is it. The game ends when he's defeated and he's the direct cause of most of your troubles. It's revealed, however, that he has no mind, memory or identity, only instinct - he can't be held responsible for what his curse makes him do.
Expy: To Darth Nihilus. They're both Chaotic Evilabominations that used to be people and they were turned into said abominations though dark and perverse means. The Spirit Eater is feeding on souls in similar fashion to Nihilus feeds off the force. The primary difference is that the Spirit Eater is a blind parasitic spirit, while Nihilus is capable of independent action. This was likely intentional, since both games were made by Obsidian Entertainment.
The Faceless: It's not just his name; he is always depicted either with a mask or simply as The Blank. It's essential to the curse.
Sadistic Choice: The player character can deduce that the spell-backfire which killed the Founder and sent her to the Wall might have been Myrkul's doing, because her death allowed him to test Akachi's faith. Akachi had to choose between devotion to his god and devotion to his lover. He chose the latter, and as far as Myrkul was concerned, he chose poorly.
Was Once a Man: You see that floating husk with a huge maw and tentacles? That thing that looks some hideously large tick with multiple eyes? It was once a living, breathing man.
The woman who founded the Thaymount Academy of Shapers and Binders several centuries ago, and an incredibly dedicated wizard who didn't believe there was any such thing as "impossible" - only deeds that had yet to be done. She died long ago, but rumors abound of a sanctum beneath the Academy where her greatest work and experiments still reside. Araman is seeking either her or her sanctum, and overthrew Safiya's mother as the head of the Academy to aid his search.She was Akachi's lover and had no respect for the gods; when she died during a backfiring spell, her soul went to the Wall of the Faithless. Akachi turned on Myrkul and marched upon the Fugue Plane, leading the Betrayer's Crusade to rescue her, and he did - but Myrkul's judgement led to Akachi becoming the spirit-eater, and the Founder returning to life knowing he would suffer forever.So determined was she to free Akachi that she did not die, remaining beneath the Academy in her Sanctum and searching for ways to save her lover. She made many discoveries that none could repeat, including a portal into the Astral Plane, a way to completely reforge the shattered Silver Sword of Gith, and a way to split her soul that gave each piece a body and a life of its own. Three such fragments are known to exist, currently: Nefris, the researcher, the ruthless logician and the mother, who became headmistress of the Academy; Lienna, the artistic mind, the dreamer, who ran the Veil Theatre and crafted amazing masks for its troupe; and Safiya, the innocent soul, the creative mind, filled with love, who was raised as the daughter of Nefris and became an instructor at the Academy. The Founder worked her will in the outside world through each of these fragments - and it was by her order that the Knight-Captain became the latest bearer of the curse. Her greatest goal is the end of Akachi's suffering, and she will sacrifice anything to make it happen.
Affably Evil: She comes across as a kindly old lady, despite the horrible acts she has committed.
Anti-Hero/Villain: It's up to you whether she's a hero or a villain, but whichever she is, she's right on the borderline. She wants to end the curse, definitely a noble thing, and she's motivated purely by love. But she specifically chose to curse you (for your connection with the Silver Sword of Gith) and freed the curse from its makeshift binding in Okku's barrow, put you in terrible danger, and has done many extremely questionable things to achieve her goal.
Mama Bear: There is one thing - and only one - that will induce her to attack the player character, who bears Akachi's essence, in anything other than self-defence. By extension, the one thing she loves as much as she loves Akachi himself. It's Safiya. Threaten her and the Founder will die in defence of her "daughter".
Naytheist: She doesn't have a high opinion of the gods, to say the least.
The Power of Love: Damned, redeemed and drove her all at once. It will even prevent her soul from being devoured by the spirit-eater, because the spirit-eater is Akachi and he would not harm her. Unless, that is, the player also devoured Myrkul - then Akachi's love is overcome by the spite of Myrkul, and he's forced to obliterate the person he gave up everything and suffered eternally to save.
The former god of the dead, and creator of the Wall of the Faithless and Spirit-Eater curse.Myrkul was a member of the Dead Three along with Bane and Bhaal, a trio of evil epic-level adventurers who, centuries ago, challenged the original god of the dead, Jergal, for rulership. Ironically Jergal had grown tired of his job and divvied up his portfolio voluntarily. Myrkul came away with death, Bane with tyranny, and Bhaal with murder, while Jergal chose to simply be the archivist of the dead.Fast forward several hundred years (we'll skip Akachi's rebellion since it's described above), and the Dead Three get back together in 1358 DR (the Year of Shadows) to steal the Tablets of Fate from the Overgod Ao. An infuriated overgod casts the entire pantheon down to Toril, only allowing them back if the Tablets are recovered. During this period, Myrkul is killed by Mystra, and Bhaal is slain by Cyric. (Bane is killed by Torm, but gets better about ten years later.) As happens with all dead gods, Myrkul's corpse was set adrift in the Astral Plane, which holds the multiverse together.The Knight-Captain runs across his decaying corpse during his/her escape from the Academy of Shapers and Binders via the Astral Plane. After interrogating Myrkul on various points to the player's satisfaction, s/he is given the opportunity to serve up an Ironic Death with the Spirit-Eater.Voiced by S Scott Bullock.Associated Tropes:
Bigger Bad: Well, he is responsible for the Spirit Eater curse.
Jerkass God: Not as Jerkass as Cyric was during his brief tenure as god of the dead, but that's not saying much. For instance, he took a special pleasure in crafting punishments for his enemies and didn't care if other, innocent people were caught up in them. The Slumbering Coven claims that even in his dreams within death, he's still obsessing over how to most painfully punish old slights. What he did to Akachi was unutterably cruel, and with your help he can inflict even further suffering on the Betrayer by enforcing your command to devour the soul of the Founder.
The Forgotten Realms' incumbent god of the dead, ruler of the Fugue Plane and unwilling administrator of the Wall of the Faithless.His backstory is available in numerous sourcebooks, a novel series, and on the Forgotten Realms wiki.Voiced by Rodger Bumpass.Associated Tropes:
BFS: His favored weapon is a bastard sword called Fatal Touch.
Cool Mask: Presumably meant to make him completely impassive-looking.
Deity of Human Origin: Kelemvor started out as the mercenary Kelemvor Lyonsbane, and replaced Cyric as god of the dead only six years before Mask of the Betrayer. He struggled at first with the impartial judgement required for the mantle, but has since largely come to terms with it.
Don't Fear The Reaper: In stark contrast to his predecessors Myrkul and Cyric, Kelemvor and his worshippers work to ensure that the dead rest peacefully, and that the living understand that death is neither to be feared nor sought. This is at odds with the architecture of many of his temples, since most (including the one in Mulsantir) are repurposed temples to Myrkul or Cyric. And note that this doesn't make him in any way friendly - he is still bound by his role to be impartial and impassive.
God's Hands Are Tied: Kelemvor refuses to let you continue the Crusade after you reclaim your soul, but not because he likes the Wall. He tried to take it down after his apotheosis, but the rest of the pantheon wouldn't let him because it provides a threat that keeps most people worshipping, thereby feeding the gods and through them providing the magic of the Realms.
I Have Many Names: Again, from being a god. His other titles include "Lord of the Crystal Spire" and the somewhat inaccurate "Judge of the Damned".
Narrator All Along: He's narrating cutscenes from the very start of the campaign, but you don't find out that the voice has a name until you reach the Fugue Plane.
Not So Different: Want to know why he does everything he can to overturn Myrkul's judgement upon Akachi without directly undoing it? When mortal, he suffered under a curse that forced him to commit selfish acts so he wouldn't succumb to complete violent madness. It wasn't as severe as the spirit-eater curse, but one can imagine how he might be inclined to sympathise.
Neverwinter Nights 2: Storm of Zehir Characters
The Main Party
An individual, or group of up to four adventurers, who sail on the ship The Vigilant from the Sword Coast to Samarach. Shipwrecked after a storm, the party must work quickly to arm themselves with whatever is at hand to defend against a mob of batiri enraged at a linguistic mistake made by the famous Volothamp Geddarm. After defending themselves, the survivors are captured by Samarachan soldiers, but fortunately are freed by Sa'Sani, the owner of the merchant who commissioned the vessel. She suspects the Vigilant was sabotaged, and hires the player to investigate.Thus begins a lighthearted tale of adventure, discovery and merchant finance, set in both the familiar Sword Coast and the exotic Chultan penninsula.Associated Tropes:
Hero of Another Story: It is generally accepted that the PCs' adventures here take place before or during the Knight-Captain's adventure in Mask of the Betrayer.
Volothamp Geddarm, or Volo for short, is the most famous traveler in all the Realms, as well as a powerful wizard and the author of a number of travel guides to all the Realms. While some of his exploits are certainly exaggerated, if not outright fabrications, Volo is nevertheless VERY well traveled, and boasts a wide array of knowledge about, well, everything, even as he constantly thirsts for additional experiences and knowledge.A fellow passenger aboard the Vigilant, after the ship was wrecked Volo attempted to negotiate with the batiri who came to investigate the wreckage. When negotiations inevitably failed, Volo bought the main party as much time to prepare for their attack as he could. After the battle, he is taken into custody with the survivors until freed by Sa'Sani. He stays in the merchant company's headquarters, presumably to stay near Sa'Sani, and hands out a few small sidequests in the first part of the game. Volo also asks that the player report to him about the locations the party visits to use as material for his next book.Associated Tropes:
Interactive Narrator: He narrates the opening and closing cinematics. After he finishes the latter, you can bluff or threaten him into changing the ending.
The Munchausen: Exactly how many of Volo's claims as to his adventures is not known, but even with that taken into account he's had a fabulous career.
Villainous Crush: Inverted. He has one on Sa'Sani, even after finding out she's a disguised yuan-ti.
The owner of a fairly new merchant company, Sa'Sani is the one who hired the Vigilant, the ship that the player party sailed south on. When the ship is wrecked off the coast of Samarach, Sa'Sani decides to use the player party, indebted to her for saving them as they are, to investigate the odd circumstances and coincidences building up around her. Later, after accusations of consorting with the Yuan-ti are leveled at her, she moves her base of operations north to Crossroad Keep. As it turns out, Sa'Sani is not guilty of working with the yuan-ti, she is one. Her original goal was to place agents in key positions in Samarach and the Sword Coast, but Zehir and his House Se'Sehen supplicants derailed those plans. Her ultimate fate is left up to the player to decide; if she is not killed she can either fade into obscurity if the company does poorly or become either a harsh businesswoman suspected of arranging "accidents" for competitors if allowed to follow her natural business instincts or a celebrated engineer of change and social progress if a promise to not harm anyone during her reconstruction of the Sword Coast.Associated Tropes:
Reasonable Authority Figure: Sa'Sani makes a point of explaining her actions to the main party, and trusts them with a huge amount of discretionary powers in her company after seeing how capable they are.
Neverwinter Nights 2: Storm of Zehir Cohorts
A Chultan druid of Ubtao, the guardian deity of the Chultan jungle, with a deinonychus for his animal companion. He's found in the Samargol market and can be recruited for free since he figures joining an adventuring party is a good way to suss out the rather vaguely described Mission from God he received.Associated Tropes:
Mission from God: He was dispatched to reasonably civilized Samarach from his usual haunts in the Chultan jungle because his god Ubtao sensed a threat to Chult brewing. Ubtao was correct on everything but the scale of the threat.
A Tashalan ranger staying in Samargol while her sister recuperates from wounds sustained in a hunting accident. You can hire her, or you can let her read tarot cards (possibly stacking the deck) which will convince her to join you for free.Associated Tropes:
Bald Women: No word on why her head is shaved bald.
Bare Your Midriff/Stripperiffic: You can hang a lampshade on it, but she justifies it with the explanation that Chult is a hot, humid tropical region, which makes her starting attire quite practical, if not exactly protective.
Blue Blood: She and her sister are scions of a rich Tashalan merchant clan that specializes in the manufacture and export of fine wines.
Dual Wielding: Oddly though, the devs used the two-weapon ranger build, but gave her a crossbow for her starting weapon.
The Hunter: She and her sister make their living hunting wild beasts and selling valuable parts as spell components.
A lightfoot halfling swashbuckler, and captain of the ill-fated Vigilant. You can recruit her after rescuing her and her second mate from the batiri, as she hopes to earn enough money to buy a new ship.Associated Tropes:
The Captain: For the prologue. The epilogues indicate she bought a new ship from the riches earned off her association with the party.
Drowning My Sorrows: First thing she does after she's rescued from the batiri is get shitfaced drunk.
True Neutral: In-universe. She's basically your average blue-collar halfling trying to make a living, and has no time for morality.
A svirfneblinnote deep gnome wizard being held captive by mind flayers in the Underdark Market in Samarach. You can recruit her by killing the illithids (and the rest of the market), then freeing the captives.Associated Tropes:
Clear Their Name: He's wanted for theft in Neverwinter. Turns out a nobleman thought Finch was cuckolding him (he wasn't; the wife was just a friend and admirer), and accused him of stealing a priceless Lantanese timepiece.
Call Back: The OC referred briefly to a bard named Finch who kept losing his hat. This is him.
Mission from God: Traveled overseas from Evermeet on orders from her goddess. Angarradh saw the rise of the Zehiric cult and, being a good deity, decided to intervene.
Really 700 Years Old: Par for the course with elves, but subverted in that she's old enough to show it on her face (looks to be maybe in her forties or fifties if she was human).
A half-orc paladin of Torm, currently staying at the Wailing Wench Tavern in Neverwinter. He'll join you if he likes you (which requires good party members and/or party members that worship Torm), or if you pay him 1000 gp to "prove your sincerity".Associated Tropes:
A very mercenary aasimar rogue, and a member of the Shadow Thieves of Amn, staying at the temple of Waukeen in Neverwinter. She'll join you upon receipt of 5000 gold, though you can talk her down to 3000.Associated Tropes:
Cool Mask: Wears a jet-black domino as a symbol of her devotion to the thief-god Mask.
Square Race, Round Class/Stereotype Flip: She's an aasimar. Beings such as her are usually known for being good because of their angelic heritage, while she's neutral evil in-universe, and a professional thief when the aasimar are typically drawn towards divine spellcasting classes, particularly paladinhood.
Uneven Hybrid: Aasimar are humans with a good-aligned outsider (typically an angel) as an ancestor.
A human doomguide of Kelemvor, the god of the dead whom you may remember was the narrator of Mask of the Betrayer. Septimund is found in Port Llast, where he is investigating nightly incursions by undead from the nearby graveyard.Associated Tropes:
BFS: Favors a bastard sword, also known as a hand-and-a-half sword.
Call Back: Nya, a throwaway NPC in Port Llast in the OC, was an old flame, and returns in SoZ as the necromancer raising the dead in the graveyard.
What the Hell, Hero?: It's possible to summon the ghost of an ancient leader of Port Llast and talk him into using an army of undead to help drive the Luskan occupiers out of Port Llast. But if Septimund is in the current party, he'll react with outrage, leave the party and run back to town to warn them.
A half-drow warlock found in West Harbor. You can recruit him after a sidequest.Associated Tropes:
Large Ham/Laughing Mad: Seriously, every line he has involves yelling at the top of his lungs (often about smashing ribs) and/or laughing. For example, when you ask him how he got locked up in the shrine, he responds:
Ribsmasher: WRONG TURN! HA!
Lawful Neutral: In-universe. Lawful because monks have to be, neutral because he's too insane to be anything else.