Same Character, But Different: There's a curious change in characterization between Reign of Blood's canon version and Ancient Blood – Valnar and Alaine basically switch roles and characters in between games.
In the first game, Valnar is a good-natured warrior who dreads senseless bloodshed, doesn't want to be a monster and hates Asgar with a burning passion, while Alaine is not necessarily evil but quite content with being a vampire and all that comes with it, backing Asgar's world view more often than not. In the end she chooses the good side because of Valnar.
We meet Valnar at the beginning of Reign of Blood. A young warrior living in Klennar and The Hero of the story – or Anti-Hero, as he might soon discover.One night his girlfriend of many years, Aysha, is kidnapped and murdered by a mysterious stranger. Desperate to find her, he's an easy target for the vampire Asgar who turns Valnar into a vampire of the third generation for his own reasons. Now Valnar needs to find out if it's the species or the actions that define whether somebody is a monster or not. And he's still more determined than ever to find Aysha.Ancient Bloodcuts off the branches and starts where the first game's canon ending left off. Together with Alaine and their daughter Jayna he lives in Klennar until a World Sundering spell leaves him and the other two vampires power drained in the past.
Conveniently an Orphan: His introduction text informs us that his parents are dead, but died when he was already able to take care of himself. It doesn't affect his character, it's never brought up again, and is really only there to make sure there aren't any close relatives who might miss him.
Cool Shades: Valnar needs to wear a pair of sunglasses because is eyes are vulnerable to the bright light in the first game.
Informed Flaw: He's a vampire of the third generation and should be much weaker than Asgar (second generation) and Alaine (first generation), but his stats are on par with theirs. According to the narrator, this is because he already had the body of a trained warrior when he was transformed and he is magically inferior to them.
Lie Back and Think of England: The trio once again needs the blood of a human who slept with a vampire to resurrect Alaine in Ancient Blood. So they find a brothel and Valnar grudgingly volunteers to do the deed. He insists he didn't enjoy it.
Sanity Slippage: It starts with having a dream near the beginning of Ancient Blood despite the fact that vampires Cannot Dream. Then he keeps having visions of other peoples' memories, is Hearing Voices that tell him to kill his friends, and gets trapped inside his own mind where he has visions of his worst fears. Even Asgar is afraid that Valnar might snap at some point and kill them all. Eventually the cause of these problems is revealed: Morlon's shadow ghost who possessed Valnar.
Defiance: He hates Asgar with a burning passion and channels his anger into his determination to find Aysha.
This stage is reached at the end of Reign of Blood. The only exception is the Good/Alone ending for which this trope doesn't apply. It works with the other three endings though.
If you want to stretch this trope into Ancient Blood, he spends most of the game in this stage, starting with being a Friendly Neighborhood Vampire with Alaine and generally not whining over the course of the game.
The non-canon evil endings to Reign of Bloodplay this trope straight immediately. He turns against humanity, either with or without Alaine.
At least two of the endings to Ancient Bloodplay it straight.
Sunglasses at Night: Valnar, being a relatively weak third generation vampire, permanently wears sunglasses to deal with extreme light. (In the second game he is strong enough not to need them anymore.)
Turn Out Like His Father: Valnar can become just as cruel as Asgar over the course of the game. In the beginning he even says that he doesn't want to become a monster or a killer.
Unwitting Pawn: Was meant to be used as this by Abraxas in Reign of Blood as a way to lure more vampires out of hiding by creating panic after Aysha's death.
Asgar became a vampire of the second generation 400 years ago, near the end of the Holy Crusade. Remaining hidden for a long time, he developed both a disgust for as well as a deep superiority complex towards humans. At some point before the beginning of Reign of Blood he decided to conquer castle Aldaines and settle down.His fate becomes intertwined with Valnar's when Asgar's love Alaine is killed. In order to resurrect her as a vampire he needs Valnar's blood. Not only does he succeed, he also turns Valnar into a vampire and makes him his servant. When Valnar and Alaine almost fall victim to a murderous vampire called Abraxas, he decides it's personal and joins Valnar on his quest to find both Aysha and Abraxas.He kicks off the plot of Ancient Blood by casting a World Sundering spell under Demonic Possession. When he finds himself, Alaine and Valnar power drained in the past, a new adventure begins.
Friendly Neighborhood Vampire: Before Reign of Blood he tried it for a while, but he was really more of an Isolated-And-Not-Quite-As-Abusive-As-Usual-Neighbourhood-Vampire. Then he goes right back to being fully evil when Alaine is executed.
Face-Heel Turn: He wasn't much of a good guy to begin with, but by getting more and more power and going crazier by the minute his clash with Valnar brings the story of Reign of Blood to its only logical conclusion: He becomes the true Final Boss.
Heel Realization: Upon finding Valnar and Alaine Taken for Granite in a cave, he thinks back to Reign of Blood, the good times they had and that his actions at the end of the first game went too far and that he ruined everything.
Hero of Another Story: He tends to get his own playable protagonist segments at the start of both games, they're generally among the most memorable parts of the game.
Pragmatic Villainy: Played for laughs in a scene where he heals an injured Nyria simply because the blood on her face is driving his vampiric instincts crazy. Generally, his teamup with Nyria is so full of this that she ends up finding him a strange, but genuinely likeable person.
Stupid Evil: Subverted. He absolutely delights in random cruelty, but will make sure to cover his tracks if he thinks he cannot fight off whatever repercussions his current act of evil would have. He gets more and more reckless as his power increases. When he's depowered in Ancient Blood, he's back to being careful and reasonable. He even refuses to kill the only merchant in the area.
Tears of Blood: The only time he is seen crying is after he burries Alaine near the beginning of the first game.
You Killed My Father: A few centuries ago, after turning into a vampire, he tried finding the vampire who killed his foster parents. He didn't succeed. When he finally meets him, he has other reasons for wanting to see him dead.
The first time we meet Alaine, she's a human and an inmate of Shannar's asylum, found mute, crazy and in constant pain outside of the city. By the time Reign of Blood begins, she has earned both the love of the vampire Asgar as well as the distrust of Shannar's mayor. Being afraid of a potentially contagious disease, the latter decides she's better off dead – and beheads her. Not only does her death cause Asgar to kill Shannar's entire population, it's also what eventually leads him to find Valnar and use his blood to resurrect Alaine as a vampire of the first generation.Left with no memory of her past, she embraces her new existence and helps Valnar getting used to his new life as well.The beginning of Ancient Blood also sends her back to the past, together with Valnar and Asgar.
Amnesiac Hero: She doesn't remember her past at all, or anything that happened before she was put in Shannar's asylum. It doesn't bother her a lot though.
Anti-Hero: More in the first game, than in the second. In the latter, she's really closer to an outright heroic character who just goes along with whatever evils the other two deem necessary.
Five Stages of Grief: In her position as Only Sane Vampire in Ancient Blood she often can't believe her own eyes when Valnar agrees with one of Asgar's suggestions. The issue of whether or not to create new vampires to fight the Elras depicts the stages quite nicely:
Shock and Anger: She's appalled and angry that Asgar and Valnar would even consider creating new vampires.
Bargaining and Denial: Arguing how dangerous to humanity they can be and how uncontrollable they can become.
Acceptance: Eventually she just throws in the towel and says that she trusts Valnar will make the right decision. However, she refuses to actively contribute to the endeavor since it's easier for them to kill Valnar's fourth-generation vampires than her second-generation vampires if they get out of control.
Foil: To Molona in a way. She became a vampire through the actions of her first love interest, has been dead at some point, eventually starts a relationship with Valnar, and both had a period of insanity in the story. Alaine gets a much happier ending.
Love Interest: The player can choose to have Alaine be this to Valnar by Relationship Values, which determines part of the ending. Asgar isn't happy about it, especially since this pairing is the canon ending of the first game.
Quest for Identity: When the vampires visit the ruins of Asran in Ancient Blood and Valnar keeps getting strange visions of Vincent and Alaine 400 years ago, Alaine reveals that not knowing anything about her past or the person she used to be does bother her. Getting answers is so important to her that she'll even let Valnar kill her so that she can demand them from Vincent's blood wraith. At the end of this quest, she discovers nothing in particular. She still has no idea who she used to be besides Vincent's assistant. At least nothing implies that she used to be very different from the way she's now.
Really 700 Years Old: One of the last major reveals in Reign of Blood is that Alaine is actually 400 years old and used to be Vincent's assistant.
This vampire of the first generation who both killed Aysha and once turned Asgar into a vampire is one of the heroes' biggest threats in Reign of Blood. As Valnar and Alaine soon learn the hard way, he systematically hunts vampires and delivers their heads to a Mysterious Employer in exchange for a substantial amount of wealth. And despite the fact that the vampire trio should avoid him at all costs, Abraxas is the only lead they have to possibly find Aysha and find out why he called her Molona.
Hopeless Boss Fight: He can be fought early on when Valnar and Alaine accidently walk into his cave-hideout. If they choose to fight him, he will play with them for a few rounds and then cast a One-Hit Kill spell called Blood Torpor. Cue the Nonstandard Game Over. Curiously, this spell is absent when you fight him for real.
Valnar's kind and caring girlfriend of many years doesn't get much time before starting the plot of Reign of Blood – by getting brutally killed in the middle of the night. His love for Aysha is Valnar's major character motivation at the beginning of the story.Both the fact that her murderer called her "Molona" and her character sheet indicate that there's more to her character than the golden-haired Disposable Woman Valnar is determined to rescue.The prequel Deceit of Heretics provides more information on her character and her life.
Came Back Wrong: Valnar demands Asgar use the same spell he used to resurrect Alaine on Aysha. The only problem: Aysha is neither dead nor human and Valnar's blood isn't the blood of a human who slept with a vampire anymore. It goes about as well as you'd expect.
Dark Secret: Her introduction text mentions that something seems to bother her lately. She's been hiding her identity as a vampire from Valnar.
Happily Married: To Valnar at the beginning of Reign of Blood. Or are they?
Heel-Face Brainwashing: If one supports the theory that her relationship with Valnar was genuine and in fact wasn't all a lie, this trope applies. In the cell phone game, it's revealed that as a human she already was The Starscream to Vincent Weynard and a Manipulative Bitch who had no problems with brainwashing vampires into Meat Puppets and using them for her own plans. Since the game ends when she becomes a vampire, what exactly turned her into the character you meet in Reign of Blood is left unclear.
Was It All a Lie?: According to her claims when you fight her in the Magma Caverns: Yes, it was all a lie and she only pretended to care about Valnar in order to remain hidden. It's never revealed whether this was the truth or only just something the said after turning into an Ax-Crazy monster.
Four hundred years ago, Vincent Weynard was a simple village priest. However, he quickly escaped obscurity once the first vampires appeared, giving a famous prophecy under a Rain of Blood. Vincent took up arms against the vampiric threat for mankind and soon became the central figure of the Holy Crusade, being instrumental for their eventual defeat. As a reward for his services, the church made him a High Priest. In truth, the Holy Crusade was a staged event brought forth by Vincent himself. After finding a Tome of Eldritch Lore that once belonged to the Elras, he quickly realized its potential and turned himself into the first vampire, creating many others in order to create a threat only he could combat, paving a way to power and glory for himself. What he did not know, however, was that his actions were not entirely his own...
Unwitting Pawn: He of all people was this to the Elras all along, with Morlon manipulating him into using an Elras spell to create the race of vampires.
The Children of the Apocalypse
A dark sect organized in a secret headquarter under the city of Asdion. They are most notable for their dealings with vampires, organizing hidden shops in several cities where bloodsuckers may purchase various types of blood and other magical objects. While the World Sundering ritual causes their destruction, a few of their leaders survive into Ancient Blood and, if found, will supply the vampires with blood-related services and arcane objects.
Ascended Extra: They were only generically named in Reign of Blood, but in the next game, they got a bit more characterization, getting four named leaders who can be recruited.
Nyria Erys, the older sister, and Jayna Erys, the younger sister. Though growing up in the simple village of Thyrik, their life has been a fountain of strange encounters and misfortunes ever since Nyria's mother was abducted and almost killed by a vampire.
Cain and Abel: Unusually for the trope, Jayna as the younger sibling is the "evil" one of the two, Nyria als the older sibling is the "good" one. Nyria blames Jayna for the death of her best friend and hates her for it. Comes in somewhat handy when Jayna ends up being an Elras leader's host, allowing for open hostilities. In the end, it is never properly resolved though, since Jayna is killed by the vampire trio, not by Nyria.
Disappeared Dad: It's a minor plot point. The game sets up a Red Herring by making us believe that it's actually Raron, the current host of one of the Elras leaders. As it turns out later, Raron was actually the secret lover of their mother, who ended up killing her father in self-defence and then went into exile to atone for it.
A young woman from Thyrik and arguably the game's fourth protagonist, who we meet as a small girl in the prolog to Ancient Blood. When she was a child, Nyria's father supposedly died in a hunting accident, leaving behind her mother and her soon-to-be-born younger sister. Feeling the need to protect them, young Nyria practiced the art of knife-throwing. This proved to be a very valuable skill when her mother was abducted by a vampire, as Nyria managed to save her despite her tender age. When she became a teen, Nyria was the dream of all the village boys, but showed little interest in romance, instead living out her fascination for fighting along with her best friend, a girl named Jona, by practicing their swordplay in battles with monsters and dangerous wildlife outside town. Unfortunately, one day, her younger sister Jayna came along to watch such a battle and made a critical mistake that resulted in Jona's death.Overcome by the feeling of powerlessness, Nyria soon left home to join King Gerald's army, vowing to become strong enough to be able to always protect the people she loves. She proved to be a very successful soldier, soon ascending to knighthood and even becoming a general.Nyria is lucky to survive the World Sundering and is found by the Holy Warrior Clan, which took her in. Suffering from mild amnesia, she then begins trying to figure out her situation.
Blood Knight: Downplayed, but fighting was one of Nyria's major passions. It goes away almost entirely after she first encounters the Elras, as nobody would relish having to go into battle with them again.
Can't Catch Up: The last time she's playable she's around level 23. You meet her again when the vampire trio is around level 90.
Cool Big Sis: She used to be this to Jayna before Jona's death, and Jayna still seemed to regard her this way when she joined the royal army.
Decoy Protagonist: Nyria really only exists to give the point of view of the Holy Warrior Clan and to get some exposition out. She ends up being largely irrelevant to the plot.
Driven to Suicide: If she's still alive at the Evil/Easy ending, she'll play this trope straight.
Easy Amnesia: She wakes up in one of the Holy Warrior Clan's castles and can't remember what happened. It only takes a short walk for her to remember that she was on a ship when the world suddenly changed.
Some little inconsistencies in what she remembers hint that the amnesia may be worse than she herself realizes.
Everyone Loves Blondes: Literally in Thyrik. Many citizens talk about how she used to be the most beautiful, most beloved girl in town.
Foil: To Valnar. It's even invoked in the prolog when the narrator mentions that Nyria's first encounter with a vampire was very similar to Valnar's and that she handled it much better, despite being a little girl.
Hello, Nurse!: She has this effect on both the village boys in Thyrik and the Holy Warrior Clan. The fact that Asmos abstains from drooling over her might be one of the reasons she seems more sympathetic towards him.
Informed Ability: Despite being technically a general, she displays no particular skill or inclination towards strategy or leading men into battle. It might just be due to having to deal with an entirely unfamiliar environment, however. There certainly was no organized warband of deadly spellcasters to battle in her time.
What the Hell, Hero?: Gives a very justified one to Valnar for stealing her away from her family and turning her into a vampire without her consent in one of the epilogues.
The Elras Mages
An order of mages from ages long past that has now found a way to resurrect themselves. The order is composed of many novices and low-ranked wizards, who serve as apprentices, henchmen and soldiers to a triumvirate of leaders. When they were founded, the Elras Mages vowed to create the ultimate spell and gain control over the entire world, a goal they very nearly achieved with the Stone Tablet, had they not been stopped in the last minute. However, with the world having been changed to a state from 400 years ago, the Elras have gained another chance to realize their ambitions...
The Ageless: According to a flashback, they turned into their hooded appearances by using a machine that was intended to not let them age anymore. The flashback only shows it happening to Ghadar and the new appearance clearly wasn't the intended outcome. But since all Elras mages we ever see are darkly dressed, hooded people, we can assume it worked.
Ambition Is Evil: Their whole situation ultimately comes from having tried to perfect the magical arts.
Ascended Extra: We learn very little about them in the first game. The red chests which can only be opened when Valnar's intelligence stat is high enough and the Bonus Boss Pharaoh Ustra are the only instances when they are mentioned. They're the main antagonists of Ancient Blood.
The main antagonists of Ancient Blood. This triumvirate of master spellcasters leads the Elras order in battle and in their mad schemes. Ruthless, brutal and smart, they are a force to be reckoned with and are responsible for a great many evils. They will not stop until they have turned the entire world into a mad laboratory for their magics.Ghadar is their primary leader, a brilliant spellcaster and schemer, the evil mastermind, the brains behind the order's plans. Sadistic and utterly psychotic, he lives for only two things, the magical sciences and his own personal amusement, exclusively at the expense of others. He initially possesses Asgar, but later takes control of Jayna due to having drained all the former's power; and having an attraction towards women with red hair.Gorgoth is the secondary leader and hatchet man. He has a more straightforward and brutish personality, often being mocked by Ghadar, but his mind should not be underestimated, he is a powerful mage after all and can display both cunning and sadism to match up with his colleague. His host body is a man named Raron, whom he picked for his trained warrior's physique.Morlon is the third Elras leader, also the one the least seen or spoken of. His domains are unclear, though it appears he excels in subtlety and manipulation. He is also the weakest of the three as far as combat prowess is concerned. His host is Valnar.
Blood Knight: Ghadar expresses annoyance at missing out on participating in the first battle against the Clan. Gorgoth seems to have a thing for physical brutality as well, given his stated preference for hosts with strong bodies. It is unclear whether Morlon qualifies.
Demonic Possession: The three magically modified their souls to become "Shadow Ghosts" so they could travel freely and possess new bodies. They can only leave their host when it dies, though. Which makes vampires ideal hosts, since their bodies already are dead, so they can Body Surf at any time.
Fighter, Mage, Thief: Although they're all mages and steal bodies as Shadow Ghosts, the trope still applies during the plot of Ancient Blood. Gorgoth possesses the body of a strong fighter, Ghadar is the strongest mage because he can draw upon the powers of Jayna's vampire body, and Morlon's biggest impact on the story is quietly possessing (stealing) Valnar's body and waiting for the time to strike.
Large Ham: Ghadar manages to make Asgar look subtle by comparison.
Loophole Abuse: The reason they created vampires. A shadow ghost can only leave a living host when it dies, but as vampires are already dead, the ghost can Body Surf all it wants between vampires.
Luke, I Am Your Father: Ladies and gentlemen, meet the true collective fathers of vampirekind! Their manipulations are the direct reason for many of the special traits of vampirism. For instance, the realm of Blood Wraiths is just a glorified battery to them, and female red-headed vampires always keep their hair color because it's Fetish Fuel for Ghadar.
Magic Knight: Both Ghadar and Gorgoth use combat skills and enchanted weapons alongside their spells.
The Man Behind the Man: Before Valnar, Morlon manipulated Vincent into creating vampires and killing them, filling the realm of Blood Wraiths so that the Elras could use it as a magical battery much later.
An organisation of knight-like fighters that prides itself on having defeated the Elras Mages. They are composed of simple human swordsmen, though the Clan is supported by a few mages, mostly healers and summoners. The Holy Warrior Clan belives itself to be a force of justice and goodness, building castles next to prominent human settlements and acting as guards and law enforcement for the population. These castles hold the pieces of the Elras Stone Tablet in their dungeons, having been split into fragments long ago to prevent the full spell from ever being used. The Clan does not usually allow women to join, finding them to be a dangerous distraction from duty, but cannot exactly afford to be picky when it comes to having Nyria join them. Despite being unable to seriously match them in power, the Clan outlived the Elras. While they had disappeared by the time Valnar was born, it is implied that the power structures they had established became the foundation for the ensuing monarchy and its royal knights.
Badass Normal: They consider themselves an army of this. In truth, however, the trope is played with and ultimately averted. The Clan can fight back against Elras assaults, but always suffers horrific casualties when doing so. While a regular Clan soldier can kill a low-ranking Elras mage in a single blow as long as he manages to get the first strike, they have absolutely no counter against their overpowering magics, much less their leaders. What truly kills their chances, however, is that they have no clue how to defend against some of the Elras's more tricky spells. For instance, setting up guard posts has little use when the enemy can just teleport their army in for a surprise attack.
Knight in Shining Armor: The reputation they try to cultivate, and what they see themselves as. Unfortunately, swords and morals aren't enough to win a war against the Elras. Or against vampires.
Precursor Heroes: They did, however, contribute to making sure the future wasn't dominated by Elras and considering that the armor of King Gerald's generals bears the Clan's insignia, it seems their tradition eventually carried on to the royal knights.
Redshirt Army: What they actually are, especially from Nyria's perspective.
A Captain of the Holy Warrior Clan. His father, also a Holy Warrior, was a close friend of Sir Aaron's who perished in the final battle for the Stone Tablet. Since then, Asmos has been raised by Sir Aaron as a fighter, hoping to honor the memory of his father. He finds Nyria and takes her in, also showing her around and explaining about the Clan, thus becoming perhaps her closest friend in the order. While Asmos has a good and noble heart, he is naive and still inexperienced.
The highest-ranking commander of the Holy Warrior Clan. Sir Aaron is an aging fighter who led the Clan in battle against the Elras, succeeding in obtaining the Stone Tablet. He also raised Asmos. In truth, he himself killed Asmos's father when he attempted to stop him from trying to use the Stone Tablet to destroy the Elras. However, as Aaron was not suited towards using the spell, it split into nine parts on its own as a safety measure. Then he just rolled with it and pretended to have split it up on purpose, being hailed as a hero by the rest of the Clan.
Badass Grandpa: Not so much now, though at least it can be said that he used to be a good fighter a few years ago.
Big Good: Tries to pass himself off as this, nobody believes him.
Foreshadowing: His headgear is very similar to that of Pharaoh Ustra.
Helping Would Be Kill Stealing: Jinnai makes it clear that he's able to kill some of the Elras mages himself, at least the weaker ones. Yet he doesn't join the vampires' party when they reconquer their castle.
A strange swordfighter who lived in a small cabin in the woods far away from civilization. It was there that he was found by Gorgoth and taken as his host, a state he spends the rest of the game in. He holds the other half of Nyria's father's amulet, much to her shock and confusion. Aside from that, Raron is a mystery. Could he really be Nyria's father?Note: This section is just for tropes specific to Raron. Tropes about the one controlling him, Gorgoth, should go in the Elras Leaders section. Raron actually hails from the village of Thyrik. He was a fine hunter and great swordsman, being close friends with Nyria's father Kerilian, with whom he had many adventures. However, he eventually fell in love with Nyria's mother and they had an affair behind Kerilian's back. One day, Raron confronted him on being too neglectful of his family, having decided to leave Thyrik together with Nyria's mother and Nyria. This enraged Kerilian so much that he attempted to kill Raron, who sorrowfully, but effortlessly slew his friend in self-defense. Wishing to atone for this sin, he left Thyrik behind, becoming the hermit Gorgoth met him as.
The Atoner: Several years before the beginning of the story he killed Nyria's father and went to live alone to atone for it.
Badass Back: Played for drama. Raron turns his back on Kerilian when he realizes he has to kill him, being unable to look him in the eyes when doing so, which only enrages Kerilian more. When he attacks, Raron takes his head clean off in a single half-turn, while keeping his eyes closed, no less.
Badass Normal: Implied, after all Gorgoth considered him an adequate host body, despite the fact that he's not a vampire.
Good Adultery, Bad Adultery: His diary strongly implies the good variant. He genuinely loved his best friend's wife and intended to tell him about the affair before moving away with his love and her daughter.
God Emperor: The descendants of his former citizens still worship him centuries after his death.
Hoist by His Own Petard: It's a smart move to carry a stone that can capture shadow ghosts in case one needs to kill the Elras leaders. It's not smart to have it on your person when you're a shadow ghost and get yourself into a situation where you might be killed.
Making a Splash: He seems to specialize in water-based magics. As a desert ruler, this makes sense to further his God Emperor image with the citizens of his nation.
No Sense of Direction: At the beginning of Reign of Blood, he doesn't even know how to find Asgar's coffin in his own castle.
Not-So-Harmless Villain: Ronak may seem like pure Plucky Comic Relief who can only sweep floors and such, but he's still a friggin' minotaur. Whenever enemies invade the castle, he serves as the last line of defense, tearing them apart or at least making them flee several times throughout the setting.