Video Game: Fall from Heaven

"Hear me, mortals, and heed me well. Whispers of forgotten lore have found my ears, the currents of time flows through my veins with every beat of my heart and bear visions of death and despair... ...As the wickedness of man takes hold of him, darkness will start to engulf his world. At first he will see nothing, only a few of the most gifted will even sense the change. The world will go on as it has, for a time, but the seed of its downfall has been sown..."

A Dark Fantasy mod for Civilization IV, arising from the CivFanatics Civ boards, and one of the game's most famous mods. It is vaguely based on the originator (Derek "Kael" Paxton)'s long-running Dungeons & Dragons game.

After the Age of Ice, the various tribes of the world of Erebus are forming into civilizations once again, seeking to reclaim the glories of a previous age, leave their own mark upon Erebus, conquer everything in sight, or just blow it all to Hell. But untamed Erebus is not a nice place, and many of the civilizations (possibly including your own) will quite happily make it even worse.

A prequel to the mod, Fall from Heaven: Age of Ice was included with the Beyond the Sword expansion for Civilization IV.

You can get it here. A standalone sequel was in the works, but has now been cancelled. (see here )
This mod provides examples of:
  • Abnormal Ammo: The Balseraph Catapult launches live cows, complete with sound effects and the relevant Monty Python and the Holy Grail quote.
  • Added Alliterative Appeal: Alazkan the Assassin, Gibbon Goetia, Kithra Kyriel, the Octopus Overlords...
  • Age of Titles: The Age of Ice scenario.
  • Alien Non-Interference Clause: The Compact forbids the gods from directly intervening on Erebus. By default (unless the game is set up otherwise), it's essentially an unenforceable joke; the Infernals and Mercurians will burst onto Erebus the moment that someone opens a hole for them to enter through.
    • The reason it's an unenforceable joke is that the gods are free to empower their human followers to act in their stead, as well as be summoned into Erebus via human-controlled magic. The aforementioned Infernals and Mercurians (as well as the Illians) take these loopholes to their logical conclusion.
    • The gods are free to exercise almost unlimited power over mortals who worship them, including those who don't consciously worship them but whose personalities are dominated by their precepts. They cannot do much directly against their enemies' worshipers, but can encourage their worshipers to kill them. They can claim their own worshipers' souls and process them into angels or demons.
    • The angels, even archangels, or a god can choose to fall. A fallen angel is treated like a mortal, even if he retains superhuman strength.
  • All There in the Manual: Sort of. The in-game Civilopedia is less then trustworthy, but there is a PDF manual to help out newbies. And if it's a backstory question, go to the forums and ask away.
  • Altum Videtur
  • An Axe to Grind: The most common weapon for foot soldiers is a battle-axe, a tradition descended from the Illian warriors of the Age of Ice.
    • It should be noted that unlike vanilla Civ 4, Axemen are functionally identical to Swordsmen as the tier-2 melee unit. Whether any given Civ uses one or the other is just a matter of cosmetics.
  • Angels, Devils and Squid: Justified. See Eldritch Abomination.
  • An Ice Person: Auric, the reincarnation of the slain God of Winter. And The Illian civilization in general.
  • A Pupil of Mine Until He Turned to Evil:
  • Arc Number: The numbers three and seven (and their multiple, 21) appear all over the place. There are three factions of gods (Good, Neutral, and Evil), and each faction originally had seven gods each until Bhall's fall shifted the balance towards evil.
  • Artificial Stupidity: The AI doesn't understand many of the mod's new mechanics.
  • Awesome, but Impractical: Gibbon Goetia has the ability to allow you to control another faction for a while. However, your actions are limited,and since there is no way to control two civs at the same time, the AI makes a mess of your empire while you're away.
    • For that matter, Auric Ascended, who comes very late in the game. The real strength of the Illians are their three Priest of Winter and their Boring but Practical ability to cover the map with only-produces-food-for-you snow tiles, with cottages, gaining a fairly good Research rate.
    • Drifa the White Dragon also falls under this. Unlike Abashi and Eurabatres, Drifa can't be built directly, instead requiring a ritual to be completed that itself requires that you destroy at least one other civ by then. The thing is, if you're already powerful enough to destroy another civ, then you probably don't need Drifa anyway.
  • Ax-Crazy: Let's see... the Doviello. The barbarians and Clan of Embers. The Balseraphs. The Infernals. And just to top it off, the Mercurians.
  • Badass: Barnaxus, the sentient Golem Luchuirp hero. Really, most if not all heroes when used properly.
  • Badass Normal: Grigori Adventurers upgrade to the normal unit types (swordsmen, archers, mages, et cetera) but also passively gain experience until they reach 100, making them incredibly dangerous.
  • Beware the Nice Ones: Ethne the White, secular leader of the Elohim, is a Female Expy of Buddha and bastion of Incorruptible Pure Pureness. In the official scenarios released with the mod, she summons Basium to defend her people against the evil factions. Yes, him. She ends up asssasinated for this by the Sidar, who were trying to mantain Balance Between Good and Evil (sort of).
  • Big Bad: Overall, Agares. In-game, any evil leader that becomes particularly powerful will probably qualify. Likely examples include Auric Ulvin, Tebryn Arbandi, and Hyborem.
  • Big Bad Ensemble: Agares, Ceridwen and Mulcarn/Auric Ulvin have variously been the greatest threats to Erebus at various points in time. Laroth is working on usurping the non-interventionist Arawn, God of Death, and becoming the fourth.
  • Black and Grey Morality: There are a few genuinely virtuous leaders (The Elohim leaders, for example) but this is the overall feeling. Good and Neutral characters are frequently Anti-Hero flavoured, while evil characters, with the possible exceptions of Mahala and Sheelba leave little doubt they live up to the title.
  • Black Magic: Is your mage playing with Death and/or Entropic magic? They'll be joining the Infernals as a manes if they get killed.
  • Blood Knight: The Eidola, the demon version of the Proud Warrior Race Guy
  • Blue and Orange Morality: Most angels tend to fall in this category. Specifically, Basium and his Mercurians are only 'good' in the sense that they fight demons, so that they will ally with any non-Ashen Veil civilization regardless of alignment.
  • Bonus Level Of Hell: The Lord of the Balors scenario.
  • Capitalism Is Bad: The Runes of Kilmorph religion features an inversion of this trope. Their philosophy is opposed to Evil (though it permits Neutrality) and glorifies the idea of getting rich through hard work and excellence. It's not a coincidence that the religion was first revealed to the Khazad, who consider greed to be a virtue.
  • Celtic Mythology: The names of the majority of characters come from here.
  • Character Alignment: Civilizations start out as good, neutral or evil, which plays a large role in diplomacy. It's very hard for good and evil civilizations to get along, but not impossible. Adopting state religions can change alignment; for example, switching to Order turns a civilization Good, while the Ashen Veil turns you Evil. There are other gameplay effects of alignment; most importantly, only good or neutral factions can go for the Altar of the Luonnotar victory.
  • Chivalrous Pervert: Falamar. A less-than-chivalrous impostor of his attacks a woman in the opening text of one of the scenarios, only for the real Falamar to show up, kick his ass, and escort the poor girl home.
  • Chronic Backstabbing Disorder: In terms of story there are a couple of people who qualify, and this being Civilization it runs rampant in the game.
    • And the Council of Esus religion has a synergy with this attitude.
  • Circus of Fear: The Balseraph civilization's hat. Occasionally mixed with Rule of Funny.
  • Circles of Hell: There are six Vaults filling this role, plus Ceridwen's Portal Network that connects them.
  • Conservation of Ninjutsu: The standard military units are represented by a group, but most of the more powerful units depict a single fighter.
  • Crapsack World: The default state of Erebus. Most (but not all) civilizations, if not actively evil, have some skeletons in their closets(often animated with black magic). In case that's not enough, there's Armageddon.
  • Creepy Child: Keelyn, who was raised by summoned demons. Cardith Lorda, though basically decent, is a small child sharing a body with an ancient gold dragon.
  • Crystal Dragon Jesus: The Order definitely has some shades of this.
  • Deal with the Devil:
    • The Ashen Veil religion's theme in general. Most of those who sign up for it want something out of it, but by the end, they're trying to damn all Erebus simply to justify their own existence.
    • The Infernal Pact technology in particular fits. A civilization who researches this develops a lot of benefits, most notably the ability to halve their food consumption by sacrificing the weak...at the small, small price of summoning Hyborem and releasing Hell Terrain unto Erebus.
  • Death World: In the early stages of Civilization, barbarians represent a minor but incessant nuisance. In Fall from Heaven, they are far more dangerous.
  • Defector from Decadence: Cassiel, who fell because he could no longer accept the Gods meddling in Creation.
  • Did We Just Have Tea with Cthulhu?: Charadon is a scary resurrected Ax-Crazy who forbids his people to craft even their own axes and teaches them to act like wolves but he will always enjoy a nice cup of tea.
  • Did You Just Punch Out Cthulhu?: The safest way to kill Auric Ascendant is with the Godslayer, but sending soldiers en masse will suffice.
  • Disk One Nuke: In earlier games, civs with an archmage hero coming reasonably early could Dominate Sons of the Inferno, who have good strength and can summon Fire Elementals. It is now significantly harder to do this, but still possible.
  • Does Not Like Men: You play a male leader? You will have a little diplomatic malus with Os-Gabella, who has her reasons.
  • Doom Magnet: Chaos and destruction follow in Hemah's wake, since the mage's nightmares turn into reality.
  • Driven to Suicide: Talia Gosam cheated on her husband, the elven prince and priest of Lugus Varn Gosam. They had made up and he had forgiven her... but due to the whispers of Lethe, Queen of Sorrow, she couldn't forgive herself.
  • Earn Your Happy Ending: While the Fall From Heaven universe is, as the name suggests, usually unpleasant, some of the civilizations are genuinely decent people... and there's the the Altar of the Luonnotar victory.
  • Eldritch Abomination: The Octopus Overlords religion is based around worshipping these.
    • To be exact, the Octopus Overlords are "Incomprehensible Lovecraftian entities created by nightmares of a mad man, empowered by the dreams of the sleeping god of water, who has the Lord of Nightmares and Madness whispering in his ear." Yeah.
  • Elemental Powers: A whopping 21 of them are available to the mage classes: Dimensionnal versus Enchantment, Law versus Chaos, Mind versus Metamagic, Creation versus Entropy, Nature versus Ice, Life versus Death, Sun versus Shadow, Fire versus Water, Spirit versus Body, Air versus Earth, and Force.
  • Encyclopedia Exposita
  • Enemy Mime: The Balseraphs have a sword-wielding mime unit called a Mimic.
  • Entropy and Chaos Magic: both entropy and chaos are names of spell schools. Entropy magic is associated with slower decay, with spells such as wither and rust. Chaos magic is associated with randomness and energy, with spells like Dance of Blades and mutate, providing random bonuses.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: Even some of the evil civilizations will fight against the Ashen Veil.
    • Evil Versus Oblivion: The Infernals and Sheaim want the world to burn, while most of the other evil factions want to rule it (or else just run around plundering everything, like barbarians do).
    • Even Dark Fantasy Has Standards: As a meta-example, the lore and scenarios pack a lot of dark material into the game, but at least one story ended up on the cutting room floor. Originally, the "Cavern of Trials" scenario was going to be played out by a teenage Amurite girl named Tya Kiri. She goes through the trials guided by the spirit of a young boy, who she learns later is actually the soul of her unborn child who she didn't know she was pregnant with. Unfortunately, the trials put so much stress on her body that she miscarries, after having gotten to know and love her child. According to Kael, the original story was so sad that the team re-wrote it so that another Amurite leader would take Tya's place, though the original still seems to be canon; Perpentach references Tya's miscarriage in a later scenario when she appears as a rival to the player (as Falamar).
  • Everything's Better with Penguins: Chaos Magic can randomly summon penguins. If you let them stay, you get a happiness bonus.
  • Evil Is Deathly Cold:
    • The Illians exemplify this. During the Age of Ice, they ruled the world, and now their objective is to restore the fallen god of Winter and smother the world under a blanket of ice once again.
    • The Doviello are the wild men who survived the Age of Ice by becoming barbarian raiders instead of hiding underground in caves. They do not specialize in ice magic (that is the special birthright of the Illians), but they nonetheless thrive in the wild tundra and are indeed savage plunderers.
  • Evil Is Not a Toy: Keelyn attempts to summon and control Hyborem, Lord of the Balors, who is second only to Agares in the hierarchy of Hell. Subverted: she manages to summon and even temporarily contain him, and when Hyobrem escapes she hunts him down with an army, possibly ending in her replacing him as master of the Legions of Hell.
    • In-game, any faction can study the Infernal Pact technology, which gives some great benefits...and summons Hyborem into the world. Hyborem and his Infernals want to see evil people die and become productive citizens of his empire.
  • Evil Tower of Ominousness: Quite a few: The Black Tower from one of the scenarios, and the Tower of Eyes and Tower of Complacency wonders.
  • The Fair Folk:
    • The Svartalfar elves are slavers, pillagers and kidnappers ruled by the Queen of Winter, traditionally worship the God of Deception, and their "pranks" tend to involve murdering anyone they don't enslave.
    • The Ljosalfar of the Age of Rebirth aren't much better. Hunted nearly to extinction by their Svartalfar kin, the majority of the race have become ruthless and militant defenders of their forests, the commander of their military is content to watch the world go to Hell (literally) rather than risk his home in fighting the Ashen Veil, and their chief archmage is a necromancer who sacrificed her own true love to purify corruption from the forest. Of their leaders, only Arendel Phaedra, the Summer Queen herself, remains Good.
  • Fallen Angel: Let's see... Agares, God of Hope, and the six others angels who rebelled against the One. Bhall, Goddess of Fire, who lately joined them (with collateral damage). All the good angels who did the same.
    • And, for non evil equivalents, Cassiel, who wanted the gods to end completely their war and deliberately falls, and Basium and the Mercurians, who pursue the exact opposite goal.
  • Fantasy Counterpart Culture: Largely averted, but some examples stand out: the Malakim (Bedouins), and the modmod Fall Further has the Chislev (Native Americans). Less obvious examples include:
  • Fantasy Kitchen Sink: And the combinations between civilizations and religions increase even more this fact.
  • Fantasy Pantheon: Technically "angels" (through far more powerful than the others), they were created by the One and their opposition form the main part of Fall From Heaven's backstory. The Twenty-One Angels created the world of Erebus, and many others, before The One kicked them out of the true heaven and cut off all contact with them. They created all the lesser angels after this.
  • Faux Affably Evil: The Balseraphs. Think of them as entire nation of Jokers.
  • Final Boss: Any number of particularly powerful units can wind up being essentially this, but especially Auric Ascended.
  • Five Races:
  • Fantasy Gun Control: Averted, though gunpowder is a very late-game tech.
    • Played literaly with the Callabim who are barred from gunpowder units. While not explicitly stated perhaps because said technology is too dangerous for their cattle to have.
  • Fluffy the Terrible: Keelyn's balor, Giggles.
  • Follow the Leader: Several civilization 5 fantasy mods are planned, including a few by Fall from Heaven team members and modmodders, that will likely use similar mechanics and settings.
  • Friendly Enemy: Sabathiel and Cassiel. They have completely different views on the humanity's role on Erebus, yet are still personal friends.
  • Game Mod: Not only is it a mod for Civilization, it has its own ModMods.
  • A God Am I: Auric, leader of the Illians, believes himself the reincarnation of the slain God of Winter, Mulcarn. He is.
  • Good Is Not Nice: A common trait amongst the good guys. The Order and Mercurians come to mind.
    • The Bannor are also like this, or worse, though there are numerous exceptions.
  • Good Powers, Bad People: Spirit Magic is usually used to bring peace, inspire courage, and generally do good things. The dead archmage Laroth is using it to conquer the underworld and overthrow the non-interventionist God of Death.
  • Grand Theft Me: Gibbon Goetia's modus operandi. Also what Perpentach does when his old body grows, well, old.
  • Grievous Harm with a Body: The Doviello berserkers' preferred method of combat.
  • The Heartless: The Avatar of Wrath. Born of people's hatred, fury, and despair. Since he's created on Erebus during the grand finale of The End of the World as We Know It, it usually takes a very large army to kill him.
  • Heel-Face Turn: The Elohim can construct buildings and units from the original civilization of captured cities.
  • Heel-Faith Turn: Also Faith Heel Turn. The only way to change alignment in the original game is to change religions.
  • Hero Killer: Anyone with the Nether Blade (initially the Sidar hero Rathus Denmora) gains a whopping +80% strength bonus against other heroes. In-story, it also works nicely against Auric Ulvin, though not without side-effects...
  • Hero Unit: Not usually a representation of the player, but very useful and capable of turning the tide of battle.
  • Hired Guns: The Hippus civilization, mercenary horsemen.
  • Horsemen of the Apocalypse: Sthephanos (Conquest), Buboes (War), Yersinia (Pestilence) and Ars Moriendi (Death).
  • If I Can't Have You: "Love most tragic, love most fair... you don't want to know the rest.
  • Infinity+1 Sword: The Godslayer, which slays gods. Also works nicely on mortals.
  • Javelin Thrower: Javelins are used by the Winterborn civilizations (the Illians and the Doviello) in place of bows. They're more offensively-oriented and can be built without archery ranges, but less effective as city guards (the main purpose of Archers).
  • Kill 'em All: The Sheaim worldspell Worldbreak will, if the Armageddon counter is 100 or more, kill every unit in every non-Sheaim city, except those that are fire resistant.
  • Knight Templar: The Order religion. Maybe.
    • Then we have Basium, the leader of the Mercurians. He likes killing demons. And people who associate with demons. And people who use magic of a vaguely demonic nature. And anyone who's been in the same room as a demon at some point in time. And good people, but that's for a different reason: he wants them to return as angels to fight on his side.
      • And he subverts it too, as he knows that the Underworld is far better for the innocents than any evil god's Vault.
    • The entire Bannor civilization is based on this trope. They are dedicated to destroying evil wherever they find it, and they tend to favor the Order religion.
  • Like a Badass out of Hell: The entire Bannor civilization was (undeservedly) hurled into Hell itself when their goddess fell from heaven. They carved their way out with divine aid, but it's left them a bit intolerant.
    • Such a problem, in fact, that Agares commissioned Esus, God of Deception to build a Hell for would-be escapees who didn't quite make it. In it, his Master of Illusion minions create a Lotus-Eater Machine version of Erebus, and try to fool the trapped into thinking Erebus is even more of a World Half Empty then it actually is, so that they end up going back to the more honest Hells on their own. What happens to people who figure out the ruse is not explained.
    • The Mercurian Angels are also like this: they were hunting demons in hell for aeons, before you or another player summon them on Erebus.
  • Light Is Good: Of all the religions, the Empyrean, religion of the Sun and the Archangel Lugus, is the kindest and most tolerant, seeking wisdom and the redemption of evil. However, this also means that they tolerate far more questionable behavior from their followers than the Order does, and accept Neutral civilizations without making them change alignment.
  • Living Relic: Many of the leaders of the various factions are survivors from elder ages, including angels, elves, and immortal humans.
  • Lost Technology: During the Age of Magic, all twenty-one forms of Mana were in use and their schools practiced. Now, Creation, Dimensional and Force are not currently in use, except in very limited forms such as the Planar Gates of the Sheaim.
  • Magical Girlfriend: Os-Gabella is a deconstruction of the Older Than Dirt version of this trope. She was created by the Angels as a wife for Nemed, the progenitor of humanity, but nobody (including her husband) asked her whether she wanted to sleep with Nemed or bear his children. Eventually, she fled, and later captured Nemed to use for her experiments in killing immortals (so she can finally end her own existence).
  • Magic Knight: Fairly uncommon, but they exist; usually, these are soldier units with access to a spell or two (like the Radiant Guard of the Empyrean, who can use blinding sunlight as a weapon), or individual heroes. Only the Amurites can mass-produce broadly-capable magical warriors.
  • Meaningful Name: "Grigori" is a term in Biblical apocrypha for a group of angels tasked with watching over humanity. Which is quite an inversion, since the Grigori try to escape angelic influence unlike the other nations.
  • Monster Clown: Perpentach, king of the Balseraphs, a telepath who doesn't believe in Mind Over Manners. Every time he invades another's mind, however, he gets a copy of that person permanently placed in his. Suffice it to say, he is quite nuts, though he's learned to enjoy it.
    • The Balseraph hero Loki is also a good example.
  • Mind Rape: The game includes a very dark portrayal of the usually-innocuous Charm Person spell; essentially, it warps the genuine emotions of love and protection that the target feels for, say, their friends or family, and then maps it to the caster instead. The victim still hates the person who's doing this to them, but the mental manipulation is so great that it leaves the victim completely unable to fight back or even defend themselves while the caster's allies cut them to ribbons.
    • The domination spell is a better example, gameplay-wise, since it takes the unit over, instead of just stopping it for a turn.
  • Nay-Theist: The Grigori are are a motley collection of peoples who mostly left their homelands to escape oppressive theocracies. Many were once devout but don't want anything to to with religion anymore. They know that the Angels exist and have considerable power, but they don't believe them to be gods worthy of worship. Their leader is a former archangel who left his post because he believed that the gods had no right to meddle in Erebus or use mortals as pawns in their petty games. Cassiel is a monotheist but believes that The One is such a perfect being that he would never desire worship. Since the one true God has not chosen to reveal himself to mortals, Cassiel believes he wants his existence to be kept a secret. He has provided a refuge to the Luonnotar, a sect that worships The One, but would never publicly endorse their theology or give them any special treatment. Grigori law does not discriminate against anyone based on religious beliefs, so long as believers do not try to force their beliefs on others. The average Grigori citizen is however skeptical of all religions and does not like talking about the supernatural.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: The campaign ends with Auric Ulvin killed. Too bad, it was with a sword who brings is soul right to Laroth, giving the archmage what he needs to become the new God of Death.
  • Not the Intended Use: Both the Doviello and Clan of Embers' metagame is based around strategies that take them away from their barbarian roots to one degree or another. The One True Strategy for the Doviello is to capture and train slaves using Mahala (who represents the Doviello adapting to the new age and turning away from their barbarian roots), while the Clan's most powerful exploit is to combine their ability to produce giant legions through the Warrens with the Soldiers of Kilmorph (dwarven warrior-smiths who can be sacrificed to build things) to create massive amounts of industrial production.
  • Numerological Motif: Twenty-one gods, twenty-one civilizations, twenty-one Magic Spheres. As you can guess, they are related in some way or another.
  • Omnicidal Maniac: The Sheaim civilization's hat.
  • Omniscient Morality License: Sabathiel: "His mind appeared to work on an entirely different plane. While humans had to stumble through their choices, hoping the one they made was the best possible, the angel simply knew. He was capable of total mercilessness, of deceit and exquisite cruelty, but the results of an action commanded by Sabathiel would always be better than any alternative course of action could have brought. The angel, however heartless and wrong he seemed at the time, was always right."
  • One-Hit Kill: The Godslayer does this to, well, gods. It was created when the gods formed The Compact, where all 21 of them agreed that the sword would be allowed to do this if they ever broke it, which didn't work out well for Mulcarn. In-game, it's the easiest way to deal with Auric Ascended.
  • Only Sane Man: Jonas Endain was the first orc to realize that the priestesses of Bhall were not, in fact, communing with the goddess, and promptly tossed them in their own fire. Unfortunately, just because he was right doesn't mean that Bhall wouldn't notice when he disrupted the ritual.
  • Orcus on His Throne: Acheron the Red Dragon cannot leave the city he is created in.
  • The Order: Oddly enough, The Order (the religion) is not The Order. The Elohim, however, are essentially an Order of hospitallers and peacemakers that became a nation unto itself in the aftermath of Patria's fall, and continue as guardians of the sacred and the world's first line of defense against Armageddon.
  • Our Angels Are Ax-Crazy: The Mercurians, rogue angels who fell for the sole purpose of hunting demons. They don't much care about humans who happen to be in the way.
  • Our Angels Are Different: Archangels are the chief subordinates to each god. Confusingly, each god is also called the Angel of their domain (e.g. Junil is the Angel of Law), as the gods were created as mere angels of The One True God before he abandoned them and they made their own lesser angels to serve them.
  • Our Dragons Are Different: They are weapons of mass destruction from the Godswar. The strongest is Eurabates the Golden Dragon, weapon of the Angel of Creation.
  • Our Dwarves Are All the Same:
    • The Khazad are isolationists who love their gold, have a slight taste for Steam Punk, build the best siege engines in the game, and are completely useless with magic.
    • The Luchuirp avert this. They don't live underground (although they retreated to caves to avoid the cold during the Age of Ice, just like many humans did), prefer Magitek to Steam Punk, and use golems for everything, including and especially war. They're more like gnomes than anything. (In the D&D campaign on which Ff H 2 is based, they were gnomes.)
  • Our Elves Are Better:
    • The Ljosalfar are the local wood elves. As usual, they're masters of archery. But they exchange the usual isolationism for a more proactive approach.
    • The Svartalfar are the resident dark elves. They don't live in caves: depending on the player can become backstabbing city-dwellers or dark versions of their tree-hugging cousins. They're masters of illusion and shadow magic, and they're even more aggressive.
    • Varn Gosam is, as an individual, a "Once-Elf." His father was a mercenary king whose followers abandoned their Elven heritage in exchange for the human culture of their clients. Their last client was Laroth, who trapped them in the Netherworld when Varn was a small child. His older brother Haerlond led the Once-Elves to escape and found a kingdom in a liminal realm between Erebus and the Netherworld. When Haerlond was planning to unjustly execute Talia (an innocent Ljosalfar Druidess, whom Varn later married), Auric Ulvin channeling sunlight into this dark realm and broke down the barrier that separated it from Erebus. Varn saw a vision of Lugus in this light, and devoted himself to become the high priest of that god and embody Light Is Good to the point of being an All-Loving Hero. He came to rule the Malakim, who are not elves but desert nomads. He (normally) follows the Empyrean instead of the Fellowship of Leaves or Council of Esus.
  • Our Orcs Are Different: The orcs of Fall From Heaven are physically like Blizzard orcs (WITH SPIKES!), and culturally straddle the line between Blizzard and Tolkien variants; the Clan of Embers is slightly more the former, the barbarians more the latter. Jonas Endain of the Clan is almost a counterpart to Thrall, except evil.
  • Our Vampires Are Different: The Calabim, a vampiric aristocracy who treat their human subjects like cattle (or worse). They aren't undead, and the blood-drinking isn't necessary; they devour souls for immortality.
    • It's a bit of a Flip Flopof God in that regard, as in some pages of the civilopedia they are stated to eat souls, whereas in some others they are able to subsist on "lesser blood" when in need.
  • Pals with Jesus: The original Bannor who escaped from Hell with the aid of the archangel of the god of law.
  • People Farms: The Calabim specialize in industrialized vampirism. Humans are treated like cattle, even down to being clinically mated in Breeding Pits, so that their lords will have all the food they could ever want, along with a massive labor force for their plantations and mines. Furthermore, their society is organized to ensure that even the most rebellious will serve their masters, one way or another.
  • Personality Powers: Each Magic Sphere has such influence on the mage (or the god).
  • Physical God: Auric Ascended.
  • Physical Hell: Hell terrain.
  • The Plan: The One might have let Agares fall and become evil for the sake of preserving free will through out the universe. Or some other greater purpose. This is debated.
  • Pirate: The Lanun civilization, although they still live on land.
  • Proud Scholar Race Guy: The Amurites fit this the best, as a civilization built on widespread magical knowledge and study. The Kuriotates and Grigori are also both advanced civilizations led by philosopher-kings.
  • Proud Warrior Race Guy: The Hippus. The Doviello and Bannor have hints of this too, though the Bannor are more Knight Templar and the Doviello more Ax-Crazy. Among the nonhumans, the Orcs fit this.
  • Raised by Wolves: While the Doviello were inspired by wolves, Keelyn of the Balseraphs was actually Raised By Demons. This made her what she is.
  • Reality Warper: Hemah and Danalin's dreams.
  • Reality Warping Is Not a Toy
  • Really 700 Years Old: Cardith Lorda, who is basically possessed by the soul of a dragon and doesn't physically age beyond ten.
  • Reforged Blade: The Godslayer; indeed, the main point of the 'Age of Ice' scenario is to seek out the scattered fragments of the Godslayer, since only that weapon can bring down Mulcarn, the God of Winter. The actual reforging is passed over lightly, and was apparently performed by Kylorin the Archwizard himself so presumably, it was magical in nature, rather than involving hammers and anvils. Of course, considering the intense magic held in those shards, it may have just spontaneously reassembled itself when all the pieces were gathered in one place.
  • Religion of Evil: The Ashen Veil. Octopus Overlords and the Council of Esus also qualify quite often.
    • The de facto religion of the Illians, the White Hand, also qualifies.
  • Room101: The Octopus Overlords Asylum.
  • Scary Black Man: Chalid Astrakein, a Badass Bookworm who has his own spell, Pillar of Fire, and was incidently the teacher of Gibbon Goetia.
    • That said, he's a pretty nice guy. The Empyrean code he lives by is one of the more tolerant religions in the game universe (as opposed to the Order), so as long as you're not a demon worshiper or other enemy of Good, you're safe with him around.
  • Sculpted Physique: The angels, including Cassiel, Sabathiel and others.
  • Sealed Evil in a Can: Exploring a dungeon can unleash some nasty monsters. Sometimes they are strong enough to wipe out your whole civilization early in the game.
  • Sealed Good in a Can: Brigit the Shining, ancient archangel of Bhall.
  • Shadow Dictator: Sabathiel is this for the Bannor. He's quit them a long time before the time of the official scenarios.
  • Shout-Out: Many. The Grigori cities are named after locations from Final Fantasy VII. The Lanun cities include Innsmouth and Dunwich. You can summon a trio of giants named Larry, Curly, and Moe. One of the Lanun heroes is Guybrush Threepwood. The Tower of Mastery victory is a homage to Master of Magic. The original score list of historical leaders is replaced by a list of fantasy characters, from Cthulhu to Tweedledee. Many references to Monty Python. Hyborem's model is a Bloodthirster.
  • Sliding Scale of Idealism Versus Cynicism: Its exact location depends on what civilizations are involved in any given game, and how well they do. It can go anywhere from a peaceful world ruled by fundamentally good people to a twisted hellscape where evil lunatics fight slightly less evil dictators to determine whether the world will be brutally enslaved or annihilated outright. The canonical position, though, is pretty far on the Cynical end.
  • Soulsaving Crusader: Basium is a deconstruction of this. After they die, good people go to Heaven and evil people go to Hell. Therefore, killing good people gets them to their eternal reward (and some of them come back as Mercurian warriors, creating a feedback loop sort of like an angelic Zombie Apocalypse), while killing evil people puts them where they belong anyway. So, why not kill everyone off as quickly as possible?
  • Soul Jar: Tebryn Arbandi makes one out of Abashi the Black Dragon. (Technically he just inscribed a resurrection rune on her forehead.)
  • Story And Gameplay Segregation: The two are kept in separate corners and forbidden to speak to each other on pain of death. Nothing prevents you from playing lore-wise pacifistic nations as greedy conquerors, and vice versa.
    • They do manage to whisper to each other, on occasion. For example, in the civilopedia, Ethne The White has a dream in which she discusses morality with Hyborem. He asks her if she would be willing to push one man into the path of a werewolf to save five others. It happens that a random event can ask the player to make the same choice.
    • Also, the scenarios included with the main mod are more scripted.
  • Summon Bigger Fish: The Infernals cannot come to Erebus until summoned by an existing faction, but Hyborem owes no loyalty to his summoner, and may in fact decide that his summoner's people will serve better as Manes.
  • Tarot Motifs - actually more of a Themed Tarot Deck minigame. Rather than the four suits of ten cards of the minor arcana and regular cards, there are tens suits of four (numbered three to seven). The suits are Angels, Demons and Dragons, and the remaining seven use a Tarot image and are paired with one of the game's religions. There are four specials cards, Death and three Jokers Fools.
  • Technical Pacifist: Corlindale will quickly become this if the player knows what he is doing.
  • Tech Tree: It's a Civilization mod, what do you expect? Differs from the original game's by having a greater variety of shorter, more specialised 'branches'.
  • The Alliance: The mechanics encourage this when the Armageddon Counter gets too high.
  • The Atoner: Corlindale, the Elohim Hero, and Kylorin, at least in the Age Of Ice scenario.
    • The player is also free to do this with any of the evil civilizations by adopting a good-aligned religion to alter their alignment. Some civs, like the Clan of Embers, actually fare pretty well with this strategy, since the Runes of Kilmorph and the Order play to the Clan's strengths far more than any of the evil religions.
  • The Dragon: For a literal example, Drifa the White Dragon is a dragon who is The Dragon to Auric.
    • Hyborem is this to Agares.
  • The End of the World as We Know It: Courtesy of the Armageddon Counter. If enough evil happens on Erebus, plagues are released on the land, the Horsemen of the Apocalypse are let loose... and they aren't even the worst. That honor goes to the Avatar of Wrath. Finally, if the Counter hits 100, All Hell Breaks Loose. Well, moreso than usual. Oh, and the Sheaim and Infernals actively seek to cause this.
  • Then Let Me Be Evil: Sheelba was an orc girl raised by the intolerant Bannor civilization, and of course was treated like dirt by the humans. The final straw came when she overheard her adoptive father say that he wasn't her father, but keeping her with him amused him. He realized that he had become her father about the time she ran off and joined the Clan of Embers.
  • Too Awesome to Use: A few faction-specific heroes can end up being this, usually by being at the end of the tech tree, hilariously expensive or not awesome ''enough'' to use compared to more conventional units you could be pumping out. The debate could be out on Auric Ascended, who requires no less than two high-tech projects to create (one of which halves your population and makes every other civ declare war on you), but can easily have almost triple the strength of any unit in the game. Needless to say, you should stop caring about the effects of The Draw at that point.
  • Token Evil Teammate: In the scenario Lord of the Balors, Keelyn. In normal gameplay, this is rare but possible — usually against the Ashen Veil, but sometimes due to pure, brutal realpolitik.
  • Ultimate Evil: Agares only appear in the backstory.
  • Unwitting Pawn: The Sidar civilization has Shades, men who give up part of their souls to become quite immortal. These souls are used by Laroth as soldiers and weapons in The Underworld.
  • Voice of the Legion: Sabathiel.
  • Who Wants to Live Forever?: Os-Gabella, the only true immortal (can't die even a violent death) in the cast of characters, wants to end her existence and leads the Sheaim in their quest to destroy the world.
    • Not the only character - she has captured her also-immortal husband and experiments on him, using him as a guinea pig to find a way to end her life.
  • Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds: Os-Gabella. She just wants to find a way for her cursed existence to end, and her current plan is to destroy everything, including herself.
  • A World Half Full: After reading a lot of this page, you might get the impression that Erebus is a terrible Crapsack World. Which it is, but the good guys do tend to win out in the end. Evil is often inherently self-destructive, the Compact and the Godslayer protect humanity from the worst excesses of power-mad gods, and the One really does seem to have the good of Erebus in mind despite being something of an absentee landlord.
  • World-Wrecking Wave: Many spells and rituals do something like this, but the best example is Worldbreak, the Sheaim unique spell. It deals direct Death-element damage to every unit in the game based on the Armageddon Counter. Use it too early and it will barely do Scratch Damage, but use it after the AC is over 100 and you can render the rest of the world defenseless while your Death-immune demons and undead steamroll over them.
  • Zerg Rush: The Clan of Embers specializes in this. The AI however are more keen to do this with the Sheaim and their Pyre zombies

Alternative Title(s):

Fall From Heaven