Video Game / Tales of Arterra
A two-part fan module created for Neverwinter Nights.
The first part, Tales of Arterra - The Lost tells the story of a young adventurer, forced to leave his home after a werewolf attacks and his adoptive father sacrifices himself to slay it. Arriving in the city of Edinburgh, the adventurer sets out to forge a destiny of his own. And his timing couldn't be better, for Edinburg finds itself threatened by dark forces, and well in need of heroes.
The second part, Tales of Arterra - The Awakening details the continuing adventures of the hero of Edinburg as he now seeks to unearth the mystery behind his own past and the power in his blood that is awakening.
The Tales of Arterra series contains the following tropes:
- A God Am I: The ultimate goal of King Asra and Queen Sindalar.
- Action Survivor: The PC starts the game as one, running from a werewolf attack on their home. They end the game as one of the most powerful beings in the setting.
- Back from the Dead: The PC and their group, near the end of the second module.
- Big Bad: Averted in the first module, which is an overall case of Grey and Gray Morality.
- Big Bad Duumvirate: The second module has this instead of just one Big Bad: King Asra and Queen Sindalar
- Bonus Boss: In The Awakening, there's an optional fight with a fully grown Red Dragon, who has a serious grudge against humans for killing her mate. Not so optional if you've still got Persey in your party by the final act though, as she needs the power of the altar the dragon guards to stop herself from dying.
- Skippable Boss: If you've romanced Persey, then the dragon can be persuaded to stand aside fairly easily, not wishing to see another lose their loved one like she has.
- The Chosen One: Gods in this setting occasionally choose mortals to act as their Chosen, granting them great power and authority. The more powerful the god, the more Chosen they tend to have. The player character is the Chosen of Death.
- Cruel and Unusual Death: The player character's death in The Awakening is not shown or explicitly stated, but it is mentioned that it was very painful and involved literally being bled dry.
- Dragon Hoard: As the Bonus Boss is a dragon, this is to be expected.
- Dream Sequence: The player character receives several dreams throughout the games, sometimes reflecting on past events, other times being guided by a mysterious cloaked figure along their journey.
- Driven to Suicide: If you find his wife's necklace and his daughter's doll, and give them to him, then Lord Rayson will commit suicide at the end of the first module as atonement for his sins.
- Dude, Where's My Respect?: Averted. As you go along completing the main quest of the first module, various citizens around Ediburg will start to recognize your achievements and treat you with appropriate respect.
- Escaped from Hell: The player character is killed in the climax of the second module and sent to Hell. They promptly re-group with their companions and fight their way out.
- Everybody Hates Hades: Subverted. The God of Death is almost universally feared and reviled, but it isn't JUST because he is the God of Death. Instead, it's mostly because all his Chosen have been evil, sociopathic tyrants who carved trails of destruction across the land. And his clergy wasn't much better. The player character, being the latest Chosen of Death, can be an exception, should they wish to be.
- It's eventually revealed that the God of Death is evil because his Chosen were, and Chosen play a major role in defining a God's existence. The Chosen of Love tries to convince a good player character that this is their chance to re-invent the God of Death as a positive or neutral figure. And if the player refuses to go evil and passes up a lot of juicy magic items after their first death, their tester reveals the possibility that the God of the Sun was the alternate identity of the God of Death all along.
- Everything's Deader with Zombies: And werewolves, and vampires.
- Faking the Dead: King Asra and Queen Sundalar Azurik were doing this.
- Game Favoured Gender: Male characters get access to twice as many full blown romances, get flirted with by several major female characters, and can skip the Bonus Boss due to The Power of Love.
- Grey and Gray Morality: The ultimate scope of the first module. On the one hand, the supernatural creatures are attacking Edinburg in self-defense, as Lord Rayson had been ordering their genocide. On the other, he was doing it to avenge his family, which the vampire lord Drakkar had murdered.
- Guide Dang It: Several quests can be difficult or confusing to complete thanks to a lack of information. Fortunately, the game comes with a walkthrough.
- Guile Hero: The game encourages the player character to be this, offering more experience and rewards for solving problems through various skills instead of combat.
- Happily Adopted: By all indications, the player character's adopted family were kind and raised them as well as they could. They had good reason to try.
- Heel–Face Turn: The PC's adoptive parents used to be assassins working for the Big Bad Duumvirate before turning over a new leaf.
- Journey to Find Oneself: The player character embarks on one at the start of the second module.
- Living Macguffin: As the Chosen of the God of Death, the player character's blood grants immortality to anyone who drinks it, and is the reason why the Big Bad Duumvirate are hunting them.
- Love Ruins the Realm: In the second module, you learn that the elven queen was seduced by King Asra during his reign a century ago. Her love for him caused her to betray the rebellion trying to overthrow him; as punishment her people were cursed with undeath for eternity.
- Macguffin Delivery Service: In the second module, you end up accidently delivering what the villains need right to them—yourself.
- Mystery Cult: The Order of the Obsidian Eye in The Awakening, a mysterious religion whose cultists preach the arrival of "the Unnamed One", who will overthrow the gods and lead all into an era of peace. The various other religious groups are all suspicious of them. For good reason, as they're working for the Unholy Matrimony villains.
- Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: Lord Rayson's attempts to exact vengeance on the vampires the killed his family directly lead to the rising evil in Edinburg.
- In the midst of trying to discover who they are, the player character ends up aiding the Azuriks in their goals of becoming gods and taking over the world. Whoops.
- Non Standard Game Over: If the player chooses to Go Into the Light after their death, the game ends.
- Ragtag Band of Misfits: The player's party consists of, in no particular order, a half-elf (actually half-angel) ninja noblewoman, a tribal warrior with a chip on his shoulder, a succubus enslaved by mystical bonds and the player character, an orphan from a farm. Who also happens to be the Chosen of Death.
- Religion of Evil: The religion of Hecatieus was this, where the priests basically glorified murder.
- Romance Sidequest: All the companions can be romanced by the appropriate gender—Evanine or Persey for males, Montador for females.
- Spanner in the Works: The Big Bad Duumvirate are screwed over by exactly one thing: Tobias and Margo stealing the PC as a baby. Because of this, their plans were delayed until the PC was old enough and strong enough to protect himself/herself, so even when they did succeed in killing him/her, s/he just came back, even stronger than before.
- Thieves' Guild: You can join one in the first game, though they're really more of a "Just Like Robin Hood" type.
- The Undead: The player character encounters zombies, werewolves, and vampires in the first module, as well as a lich.
- Unholy Matrimony: King Asra and Queen Sundalar Azurik were this in the past, terrible warlords who conquered all of Myr before being defeated in a rebellion. Except they're just faking it, and they come back for real in the second module.
- Unwitting Pawn: The player character gets played by several different people. Lord Rayson in the first module, and the Azuriks in the second.
- Video Game Caring Potential / Video Game Cruelty Potential: Persey is the walking epitome of this. Do you free her from slavery, encourage her to think for herself, and help her realize that she does have worth as a person...or do you continue to keep her as an abused Sex Slave?
- Taken Up to Eleven in the second module, where you can order her to sleep with people you need things from. If you feel like a complete bastard, you can even sell her back to her old master Sigmanis—aka the guy who beat, abused and raped her for twenty years. Doing so will make Evanine and Montador despise your guts, though.
- Video Game Cruelty Punishment: The game doesn't like you being evil. While you do get some very good gear, both genders lose a companion (Evanine) and guys lose both their romantic interests, as both Evanine and Persey are into nice men.
- What Is This Thing You Call Love?: Persey becomes very interested in the idea of an eternal romantic love, and will often question the player on their view on the matter, especially if they're male.
- What the Hell, Hero?: Evanine and Montador are not happy with you if you sell Persey back to Sigmanis.