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:

  • 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.
  • A God Am I: The ultimate goal of King Asra and Queen Sindalar.
  • An Axe to Grind: The favored weapon of Montador. Two axes to be precise.
  • And There Was Much Rejoicing: When you kill a rival mercenary and his friends, the other mercenaries at the mercenary guild are cheering. You're also receive a discount at one of the adventurer's shop.
  • Anti-Villain: The Archmage Arsiferus is responsible for dumping a poisonous substance in the City's water supply and causing the death of many people. The toxins came from plants illegally imported in the city and is a byproduct of his research. All these experiments are to find a cure for his dying son Zachari. Arsiferus admit that what he's doing is wrong, but time is running out for Zachari and he has no time to properly dispose of the chemicals.
  • Back from the Dead: The PC and their group, near the end of the second module.
  • Bag of Spilling: When you start Act 2, you have some of your equipment from the previous Act and more can be found in your mansion. However, when you're about to leave town, the captain says he can't set sail with all the equipment you're carrying. You'll have to abandon some of them and you can't even sell any of them. And don't bother trying to give them to your companions, it wont work. The end game is merciful however. Your companions leave the equipment you gave them in a chest and will only carry their default gear. This can be useful if you choose to export your character to another module.
  • Became Their Own Antithesis: Sir Faldor wants to slay you on the spot after you're outed as Chosen of Hecatieus, even if you've done nothing but good and lawful deeds. He argue that followers of Hecatieus are murderers of the worst kind and must be purge from the face of Arterra. Faldor basically resort to murder, exactly what he's been fighting against.
  • 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
  • Big "NO!": When Evanine's uncle is defeated, his infernal employer is displeased with his failure and take him to hell for punishment. His last saying is to utter a Big "NO!".
  • Blind Seer: The Seer was born blind and is capable of seeing in the future.
  • Blood Knight: Montador live for fighting, but only if the opponent is worthy of killing.
  • 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.
  • But Now I Must Go: Done with Evanine. Near the end of the game, she learns that she's half-celestial. After you beat the game, Evanine choose to go to Heavens to better protect the world. If you romanced her, the epilogue says that you'll permanently reunite with her after you pass away.
  • Cannot Spit It Out: The City guard Braden has a crush on Mela, an elven waitress, but he is too shy to talk to her.
  • 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.
  • Dark and Troubled Past:
    • Evanine was an elven princess and her parents were good rulers to their people. Unfortunately, an uncle overthrow them and the people didn't came to Evanine's parents aid, either out of fear or because of shifting loyalties. With her parents dead, Evanine fled and returned to get revenge by killing her uncle in his sleep. She retracted at the last minute because she couldn't bring herself to kill in cold blood. However, her uncle awoken and she was forced to kill him in self-defense. Evanine flew once more with assassins hot on her trail.
    • Act 2 reveal that your foster parents were highly skilled assassins. When you were just a baby, they killed your parents and kidnapped you so you could be sacrificed in a dark ritual. Realizing they couldn't give you away to be killed, they adopted you and hid their presence from their former employers. They led a mundane life as farmers and raised the best they could to atone for their sins.
  • Deal with the Devil: The reason Evanine's uncle is alive despite Evanine killed him years ago. He made a pact with a demon lord and has been plotting revenge ever since.
  • Developers' Foresight: You're hired by pirate lord to kill a rival pirate lord. After he rewards you, you might be tempted to kill your employer and loot his body. Well, it wont work. He sends you to another area to claim your reward and locks the door behind you when you leave. The door's lock can't be picked and the door is unbreakable. If you kill him, there wont be any reward at the designated area. So you're left with two choices: claim the reward or kill him to loot his corpse, but you can't do both.
  • Doomed Hometown: The farm where you grew up is firebombed by your foster father Tobias to take out in invading werewolf. After that, you have no choice but to go to Edinburg to start a new life.
  • Dragged Off to Hell: Evanine's uncle punishment for failing his demon master one time too many.
  • 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.
  • Everyone Calls Him "Barkeep": The Seer is only known as the Seer.
  • 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.
  • Everyone Has Standards:
    • Montador may be a Blood Knight and a big jerk, but he will not accept defenseless women being beaten or abused. He also believes that assassination jobs are dishonorable.
    • Sir Nestor is a follower of Valenur, the God of Justice, but unlike his superior Sir Faldor, he doesn't believe preemptive attacks are justified. That includes killing you just for being a Chosen of Hecatieus, even if you've been saving the city on their behalf.
  • Everything's Deader with Zombies: And werewolves, and vampires.
  • Evil vs. Evil: Sidious and Vannik are both ruthless pirates lords and are waging war against one another.
  • Expy: The game is heavily inspired by Baldur's Gate and Planescape: Torment and it shows.
    • Evanine is an elf like Aerie. The former gained feathered wings at the end of the game while the latter lost hers before the start of the game.
    • Like Fall-From-Grace, Persey is a non-evil succubus. Unlike her, Persey isn't chaste and is very much the opposite.
  • Faking the Dead: King Asra and Queen Sundalar Azurik were doing this.
  • Failed a Spot Check: When you enter the witches' cave, they wont attack you until you speak to them. Same with the Werewolf pack leader. You can leisurely loot his cave and he wont react violently until you speak to him.
  • Fallen Hero: Lord Rayson was a great adventurer in his past and is loved and respected by all in the city. When it's revealed that he started the Rising Evil, he is disgraced and commit suicide. Many people choose to forgive him however. He also might be a fallen paladin, since he gave you his Holy Avenger, assuming you performed many good deeds.
  • Freudian Excuse: Sir Faldor is a Chosen of of the God of Justice, Valenur. To him, all enemies of society must dealt with death, as it is the only reliable solution. He also secretly plotted to destroy and expel the other religions from the city. This came from his past, as he came from a family of Valurians knights who wanted their son to follow their footsteps. He wanted no part of this and preferred a life free of duties and commitments. So he joined a local thieves' guild with his close friend. Unfortunately, the very same guild he worked for killed his parents. Full of remorses, he changed his ways and became a Valurians inquisitor. He destroyed the thieves' guild including his former friend.
  • The Fundamentalist: All the Chosens of religions will tell you that their faith is the right one, to various degrees.
  • 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.
  • Good Is Not Nice: Sir Faldor is the Chosen of Valenur, the God of Justice. His dogma teaches to protect innocent, fight for good and order. However, Faldor will resort to execution rather than negotiation and he wants Valenur to be the only religion in the city, making him intolerant to other faiths.
  • Good Parents: Evanine speak of how great her parents were and how they always took good care of her. Your stepparents were also very good to you. They raised you well and tended to your needs. There's a good reason why they did so and you'll found out later in the game.
  • 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.
  • Hitler Ate Sugar: Sir Faldor wants you dead after it's revealed that you are a Chosen of Hecatieus, even if you've done nothing but good deeds and followed Faldor's missions faithfully.
  • Ill Girl: Zachari, the young son of an Archamge. He was born with an incurable disease and is dying.
  • Improbable Infant Survival: Averted. You can kill a small boy and you can see the cult's handiwork on a father's children.
  • Journey to Find Oneself: The player character embarks on one at the start of the second module.
  • Knight Templar: Sir Faldor wants to impose his religion as the only faith in the city and will not hesitate to resort to murder. He also manipulates you into doing his dirty work, as you are neutral in religious matters.
  • Lecherous Licking: The disgusting dwarf, Gaul, can't stop drooling at Mela and sexually harass her.
  • Living Lie Detector: Evanine can sense lying. At first glance, this is because she's a rogue. She actually can, because she has celestial blood in her veins.
  • 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.
  • Loophole Abuse: The spirits are bond to serve their lich master and can not turn against him. However, that doesn't stop them from assisting you in killing him.
  • 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.
  • Match Maker Quest: You can get sidequest to get Braden and Mela to hook up together.
  • Mêlée à Trois: After Ezros killed his father, he gained the support of the priesthood in a bid to take the throne. However, his brother Cano has the full support of the military while his other brother Drakkar is supported by the populace. All three factions schemed to bring down the others, but in the end, there was no real victor.
  • My Species Doth Protest Too Much: The orc Rom and his orcish girlfriend Orna are not your typical average orcs. They want to live a peaceful existence without raiding humans settlements.
  • 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 that 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.
  • Nonindicative Name: The Council of Elders isn't truly made up of old people, some of them are actually young.
  • Non Standard Game Over:
    • In the Arakra pit arena, if the PC ignores Evanines' advice and collapse the pillars in the wrong order, the game will end.
    • If the player chooses to Go Into the Light after their death, the game ends.
  • Permanently Missable Content:
    • Dealing with the two rival pirate lords. Kill one pirate and claim the reward from the other and vice-versa, but you can't get both rewards. You can Take a Third Option and kill them both. However, this will give you no reward aside from looting their bodies.
    • Some enemy parties can be dealt with peacefully. This can avoid very difficult battles and get you rewarded properly, but you'll miss out the content of their corpses.
  • Point of No Return: Several:
    • Act 1: Entering the Deep Slums.
    • Act 2: Leaving Edinburg to Southport and Southport to Sirion. Entering the portal to the Temple of the God of Death. Leaving the Limbo and later, leaving Hells.
  • Pyrrhic Victory: Drakkar unleashed a plague to kill his brothers and their respective supporters. Unfortunately, the disease killed the townfolk and he too contracted it. His two brothers fled and found means to cure themselves with lichdom and lycanthropy respectively. Drakkar resorted to vampirism to survive and remained the sole ruler of the castle with no one to rule but vampires thralls.
  • 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.
  • Set a Mook to Kill a Mook: You can have three undead guardians fight against one and another because they hated each others so much while living that their hatred carried in their afterlife.
  • 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.
  • Spider-Sense: Evanine can sense evil nearby. It's because she has celestial blood in her veins.
  • Take Your Time: There are no rush to finish the quests, as none of them are timed.
  • Thieves' Guild: You can join one in the first game, though they're really more of a "Just Like Robin Hood" type.
  • Ultimate Blacksmith:
    • The dwarven smith Holdur can upgrade your weapon for a price. This include adding +1 incremental enchantment (up to +5), elemental damage and keen edge. If you bring him Mithril, he can craft you an enchanted armor or an enchanted weapon.
    • The Azer Flamefinger also provide weapon upgrade. No Mithril crafting however.
  • 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.
  • The Usurper: Ezros killed his father so he can take the leadership of Castle Modred. Too bad for him his brothers also plan on taking the throne for themselves.
  • 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.
  • Villain with Good Publicity: The Obsidian Order has the sympathy of the populace because the king is indifferent to his people and other faiths's popularity has been decreasing for years.
  • 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.
  • "Where Are They Now?" Epilogue: After completing the game, you're treated with a cutscene that show the fate of important NPC, your companions and yourself.
  • Wounded Gazelle Gambit: The Obsidian Order make use of this trope. The cultists peacefully preaches their religion and sway many followers from other faiths. The Azorites, followers of the God of War, are angry and secretly arrest and torture cultists. This backfire when you stop their operation and it goes public. More people abandon their faiths to the Obsidian Order.
  • You and What Army?: Said by one of the Shadow Weavers against you in the final battle of Act 1. Then, the city watch and many veteran heroes come to your side.
http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/VideoGame/TalesOfArterra