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Video Game: Avadon
aka: Avadon The Black Fortress

After a long and brutal conflict, five nations renewed their pact of mutual protection against the many threats surrounding them, and created the fortress of Avadon as a neutral party to enforce it, with more power than any individual country. To serve it is an honor, and to face its justice is a terror. It is both feared and respected, and those who resent it do so quietly.

You are a freshly recruited Hand of Avadon, somewhere between a warrior and an assassin. You and four other Hands will be sent to fight against a series of seemingly unrelated threats, and to uncover the hidden connection between them. It's up to you to defeat the enemies of the Pact.

Unless, of course, you decide to join them.

Avadon is a roleplaying game from Spiderweb Software, and serves as a Spiritual Successor to Avernum—with a bit of tone and themes from Geneforge, and some clear admiration for Dragon Age: Origins.

The Avadon series is intended to be a trilogy. The first part, Avadon: The Black Fortress, was released on August 17th, 2011. The second part, Avadon 2: The Corruption, was released on October 30th, 2013.


This game provides examples of:

  • Achey Scars: It is strongly implied that Nathalie's arm will never fully heal, as the wound was cursed.
  • Anti-Grinding: The game has a pretty low level cap (30), which you'll likely reach about 80% of the way through the game if you've been keeping up on sidequests.
  • Badass Beard: Redbeard. The intro even gives you a very detailed look at it.
  • Beware the Nice Ones: Redbeard is shown to be a jovial sort, but if you tell him of Lord Deathskull's offer of an alliance, he'll get quite pissed at you for "wasting his time". And then there's what happens if you side with Heart Miranda at the end.
  • Blood Knight: Nathalie. She constantly talks about being "on the hunt" and sees most of the boss enemies as worthy foes.
  • Convection Shmonvection: Lava is simply impassable terrain, and won't harm you if you get near to it.
  • Damage-Sponge Boss: Redbeard in the Rebel ending, to the point that many players have criticized it.
  • Dark Fantasy: In terms of background and overall story arc, though it's got too much of a sense of humor to fully fit the category.
  • Every Scar Has A Story: The PC believes this, at least. You can press anybody about any random mark that catches the PC's eye to the point of embarrassment.
  • The Exile: Shima. If he's in your party when you're in Goldcrag and you try talking to a Holklandan mage in the inn, she'll refuse to speak to you due to your relationship with "the Banished One".
  • Fighter, Mage, Thief: The standard varieties of Hand. Shamans are something else entirely, but the lore would have it that they're quite rare (not that this stops you from playing as one.)
  • Flunky Boss: Zhossa Mindtaker never attacks you directly during his first fight, instead calling it a "game"—you earn a point every time you drop a flunky's HP to 1 and force him to heal it, he'll earn a point if his flunkies kill you and he devours your corpse. (And yes, that's pretty much how he phrases it.) Earn enough points, and he'll eventually flee, leaving his flunkies to die.
  • Global Currency
  • Good Is Not Nice: Zig-zagged if you agree that Redbeard and Avadon are doing the right thing. Redbeard is, in fact, a friendly guy as long as you don't annoy him. But poke around in the catacombs and you'll see exactly how far he'll go in making examples of those who tried to bring him down.
  • Grey and Grey Morality
  • Grim Up North: Inverted - the northern Farlands are a Vestigial Empire and a collection of former Barbarian Tribe groups undergoing urbanization. It's the south that has the Horny Vikings raiders, the blasted wasteland of weird magic, and The Horde of wretches, ogres, and titans.
  • Guide Dang It: As usual for Spiderweb, a lot of stats have effects that aren't fully explained in-game.
  • Guys Smash, Girls Shoot:
    • In The Black Fortress, the melee-focused Blademasters and Shadowwalkers are all male while the magic-focused Shamans and Sorceresses are all female.
    • The Corruption allows all classes to be of either gender and, in an inversion of the trope, puts the player's female allies in the front-line combat roles.
  • Instant Awesome, Just Add Ninja: It's pretty clear right off the bat what the "Shadow Walker" class is based on—one of his earliest spells is basically a smokebomb.
  • Insufferable Genius: Nathalie is one of these of the magical variety.
  • Item Crafting: You can't make items yourself, but a few NPCs will make them for you if you bring them ingredients, and most types of equipment can be augmented once with runestones.
  • Joke Item: Pretty much everything Craftmaster Nicodemus gives you. A few have some use, but most are just silly. For example:
    • A wand that turns you into an ogre, wretch, imp, or other humanoid. Ostensibly for infiltration, but has no effect on gameplay.
    • Scrolls that make pretty shooting stars that don't damage anything. Nicodemus insists you should be grateful because Hands like things that shoot lightning, and this is "that sort of thing".
    • A pile of bricks that reproduces itself, filling your pack with bricks. Apparently for wall-making.
  • Kleptomaniac Hero: Justified, and practically mandated. Avadon can't equip you, but it can give you the authority to take whatever you can from whoever you can take it from. You can try this on merchants, but they'll mostly laugh at you.
  • Locked Door: Some require lockpicks and mechanical skills to open. Others require special keys. There are also doors blocked by runes, which a require a special knife to open.
  • invokedMemetic Badass: Redbeard is one in universe, as explained by the intro.
  • Mad Scientist: Nicodemus is a mild example. He gleefully creates off-kilter and generally useless equipment for you. Like the Reproducing Bulwark, which replicates itself into a wall at glacial speed. In fact it mostly just fills your inventory with bricks.
  • Multiple Endings: It's a Spiderweb Software game.
  • My Greatest Failure: How Sevilin got his scar.
  • Nature Hero: Jenell both deconstructs and reconstructs this trope in her conversations.
  • Numerical Hard: One, but not the only, way in which difficulty scales up. Enemies gain health and damage on higher difficulties, but also sometimes get extra turns, and bosses usually have a new attack or two.
  • Prison Riot: There's one happening in Avadon's dungeons at the very beginning of the game. Your first task for the Pact is to put the riot down.
  • One Stat to Rule Them All: Dexterity is the best of the four basic attributes by a significant margin.
    • Sorceresses probably need Intelligence more. Shamans are unclear. The other two classes are strongest with Dexterity—even if they're focusing on melee.
  • Our Monsters Are Different: Most of the entries under that heading on the Avernum page are equally true here.
  • Ragtag Bunch of Misfits: Redbeard's private notes observe that you've been assigned the most dysfunctional Hands in Avadon to fight alongside you. It's hoped that you'll be a good influence on them, though it is noted that the opposite is also possible. The latter is intended.
  • Relationship Values: A binary 1 and 0. If your allies don't like you, they won't help you in the final battle.
  • Retraux: It's been compared a lot to Baldur's Gate.
  • Road Cone: The Corruption assumes you sided with Redbeard and killed Heart Miranda in The Black Fortress.
  • Sanity Slippage: In The Corruption, Redbeard is shown to have been hit rather hard by Heart Miranda's betrayal. The fact that Avadon has suffered a massive popularity hit and the keep itself has fallen into ruin certainly hasn't helped matters.
  • Soul Jar: The battle against Redbeard. The golems that you have to kill are even called "soul jars."
  • The Empire: The Tawon Empire used to be this, back when it ruled over much of the continent of Lynaeus. There are those who would like to see it become this again.
    • Avadon is arguably this now.
  • Universal Poison
  • Vendor Trash
  • Wake-Up Call Boss: If you're playing on Tough difficulty, Zhossa Mindtaker will probably be the first boss that will require potions and scrolls.
  • We Are Struggling Together: The entire reason Avadon exists is to hammer this into the Pact members' heads.
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alternative title(s): Avadon The Black Fortress; Avadon
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