Initially just a simple boy from a remote village, curious and adventurous. When he grew up an old sorcerer Danur came to his village, who recognized him as a holder of a special destiny, and took him under his tutelage to help him achieve his dreams and become a true hero in his world.
Or not. Once a tutorial level ends you find out that the world you have lived in is only a shard of a bigger world of Eador, and that in reality you are one of immortal immaterial beings known as Astral Lords, who decided to incarnate into a material body and live as a mortal for some time, apparently to understand mortals better in order to be able to rule them more effectively. Unfortunately, due to a botched spell you have lost all your memory of your life before your material incarnation, so you have no idea who you are, what you did or why you decided to try yourself as a lord of mortal races. What's done is done however, and now that you joined the ranks of Astral Masters, you now has a mastery of your own shard of Eador - a small world in itself drifting in the Astral Plane under your command, that you can expand by inavding and conquering other shards and absorbing them into your own. Expand you will have, because for an Astral Lord having a strong shard is not only a mean for power but is necessary for survival - demons of Chaos scour Astral Plane trying to destroy anything they can, and your world is the only thing that stands between you and being plunged into Chaos. Other Masters will also not waste a chance to strike at a weaker peer to increase their own power. Like that, you will have to build your own world, and in the process maybe find a way to save Eador as whole, and possibly incover the secrets of Eador and of your own past.
- Amnesiac Hero
- Disproportionate Retribution: In your pre-amnesiac days, you once tried plunging Zarr into Chaos for reading you a commercial. There are some details that put this into slightly different light, but still - you tried killing a guy Deader Than Dead for reading you a commercial.
- Expy: Has many similarities to The Nameless One from Planescape: Torment. Both are powerful immortal amnesiacs with a game-breaking ability (control over time/ability to recover from death and wounds for you and The Nameless One respectively) that no one else has, and they both have a very rich past that often ties up into their present. And they even look similar!
- Hello, [Insert Name Here]: When you create your profile you get to choose the name of your character as well as the name of your home province, that will be the same on all shards you invade.
- Jerkass: In your pre-amnesia times. You may not have been a complete jerk but you were not a saint either, as multiple entries in this profile demonstrate.
- Jumped at the Call: When Danur came to his village and offered to take Protagonist away he did not hesitate at all.
- Never the Selves Shall Meet: Averted . One event early in the campaign has some stranger coming to your castle, claiming to be an astral being just like you and asking for shelter from demons chasing him, and he looks exactly like you (however you fail to recognize him as yourself). If you repel the demons' attack you'll find out that the stranger dissapeared in the meantime, leaving absolutely nothing from him. After you conquer the shard you can tell Zarr about it, and he will confirm that it indeed was you from the past - apparently past!You told him once how he tried to escape demons by jumping into the future, and tricked some gullible castle owner to deal with the demons by promising him some reward only to escape in the commotion without giving anything. Apparently, past!You also failed to recognize that he was conning himself. In any case, absolutely nothing bad happens from two instances of You being in one place.
- Professional Gambler: Maybe not professional, but you definitely were quite a gambler before your memory loss. For example, you got Zarr to be your eternal servant after you beat him at cards, and you are apparently banned forever from a certain gremlin casino after you cleared it out way too many times and it's owner declared you his mortal enemy.
- Time Master: You possess some control over time, allowing you to come back to the past if you made a mistake and want to redo things. Apparently, you were capable to move through time even more liberally before you lost your memory.
- Time Paradox: Averted. Somewhat dissapointingly, the actual outcome of the event under Never the Selves Shall Meet has absolutely no effect on further story of the campaign. You can successfully beat the demons' assault only for past!You to disappear, which results in Stable Time Loop, or you can lose to demons or refuse shelter to past!You, to have demons drag past!You off into Chaos. In this case Zarr tells you that this created a different parallel universe, where events proceeded differently from that point on.
An elderly mage who travelled the world looking for a chosen hero until he found the Protagonist. Taking him under his wing, he promises to teach him all about the world and his destiny. Actually, he's Zarr in disguise.
- But Thou Must!: He will get you to enter that crypt whether you want it or not, going as far as to threaten to kill you if you keep refusing. If you point out that he's bluffing he will admit so, and change the target of his threats to your family, getting you to give in.
- Crutch Character: He will keep resurrecting the Protagonist for free if he dies in the tutorial map.
- Sink-or-Swim Mentor: Downplayed. He made some arrangements beforehand to make it so that you will successfully complete your tutelage, but afterwards, aside from giving you instructions and reviving you if you get yourself killed he will let you do all the work.
- Treacherous Advisor: He kills you when you beat the tutorial level. Subverted, as he did this according to instructions that you previously left him, plus seeing how you're in reality an immortal astral being killing your material body has zero negative effects on you.
Your major-domo/sidekick. He is a Gremlin, which appears to be a species dwelling in the Astral plane, with their own civilisation, laws, and customs. What they are like in general is difficult to say with confidence, as Zarr's pronouncements on the matter should be taken with several grains of salt. It seems that they are materialistic(despite being immaterial), mercantilistic, and fond of machinery. He cannot manifest in the Material, but is a nigh-constant presence when the player is between shards in the Astral. As the protagonist is amnesiac at the beginning of the campaign, he serves as the game's main source of information to the player. Zarr is highly opinionated, with a yen for sarcasm and irrepressible tendency towards wisecracks. He has strong opinions on each of the other Masters you encounter, and is all too happy to share them with you.
- Deadpan Snarker: Always, all the time, to anyone and everyone.
- Deus Est Machina: Zarr's dream is to build one. He even has working designs for it, fittingly calling it "God Machine". The only component he is missing to complete it is an actual god to serve as the machine's power source.
- Expy: Similar to the Protagonist, he has a lot of common with Morte from Planescape: Torment.
- The Fettered: For all his irreverent attitude there is one thing that Zarr follows unconditionaly, and that is the code of gremlin business ethic. If he has agreed to a contract he will follow it to the letter, even if it's against his interests, or omits certain crucial information, or if a fraud was involved to get him into it, or even if following it may result in his life being put in an immediate danger.
- Gadgeteer Genius: Comes with being a gremlin. He knows everything there is to know about mechanical contraptions as well as magical artifacts.
- The Imp: He helps you out all right, but not because he's fond of your company or the tasks that you give him. He'd rather just gamble, drink and generally carouse.
- Insistent Terminology. Refers to you exclusively as "Boss". He keeps doing this even after you tell him to stop it. He keeps doing it even when you are telling him to stop it. He even does this when he is agreeing to stop calling you that (in the same sentence!).
- Living Lie Detector: In your initial conversations with Ul-Dagan, Zarr will pop up at a few points to telepathically tell you that Ul-Dagan is lying to you.
- Lost Him in a Card Game: How he came to be your servant, he lost a game of cards to you and his wager was becoming your eternal servant. And he's pretty certain that you cheated in that game.
- Mathematician's Answer: When you ask him how is he alive after that accident when you tried to plunge him into Chaos, he replies simply "I resisted."
- Mr. Exposition: Serves as this for an amnesiac Protagonist.
- Snarky Non-Human Sidekick
The first Master you encounter in the campaign, Oinor is a formerly mortal mage descended from an Ancient. He is obsessed with the laws of Karma, which leads some other Masters to speculate that he transgressed once and suffered for it. His approach to Eador is essentially to try to conserve as much as possible for as long as possible, leading him to greatly fear risk; such behavior form the protagonist will offend him.
- The Archmage: Out of all Masters he fits the archetype the most, and he even had this as a title during his mortal days.
- Half-Human Hybrid: He's quarter-Ancient, which is where he got his magical talent and an extended mortal lifetime from.
- How the Mighty Have Fallen: Before the game started he was one of the strongest and most powerful masters around, but for some reason lost most of his power and was forced to move to the "lower" regions of the Astral plane, practically to the Chaos' front lawn. This is where you find him when you first meet him. Other Masters theorize that this was his comeuppance for some of his former transgressions.
- I Gave My Word: The real reason he lost his power, he did it willingly as per his agreement with the Wanderer.
The first evil Master you encounter, Beleth is a necromancer who seeks power at every turn. At first he is threatening and contemptuous, but as your power grows he will turn oily and servile. He is constantly looking to gain more power as a Master, and will frequently offer deals involving trade of Astral Energy, either to acquire an item of yours or as price for information he possesses.
- Ambition Is Evil: The most overtly ambitious of the Astral Lords, setting for nothing less than complete domination of all Eador.
- The Chosen One: Believes himself to be the one person who is destined to unite the whole Eador and that his victory is just a mater of time, and so he conducts himself like he's already won.
- Subverted Trope: When you meet Stenriya, who was the one who prophesized his victory to him, she explains that he has it is in his destiny to be the ruler of Eador, but he's far from the only one like that, there are others who have such fate. So in summary, his prophecy means that he basically has a shot, and Stenriya had only told him what he wanted to hear and he completely bought it. You have an option to bring him the news.. You also can double subvert it.
- Hyper-Competent Sidekick: You can play this part to him if you agree to serve him. In his ending he pretty much rides into his position of master of the whole Eador on your shoulders.
- Meaningful Name: His name in the russian version, Белез, sounds very similar to both "полоз" (a whip snake) and "лебезить" (to fawn, to suck up to somebody). Both are fitting.
- Necromancer: He is one, however unlike many examples of this trope this is not his defining characteristic. Necromancy is merely a useful tool for him, nothing more.
- Small Name, Big Ego: When you first meet him he is openly contemptious to you, treating you like you're small fry compared to his majestic self. But as you progress through the sotry you realise that the only one who is weaker than him is Oinor who willingly lost most of his power and had been one of the strongest masters before that. That guy is literally the bottom of the Astral Lords totem pole.
- Smug Snake: Initially arrogant and condescending towards you, his attitude will quickly change to much more pleasant when you accumualte more power than him.
The first Master to attack you, Doh-Gor is a barbarian granted immortality by the amulet he possesses. He will appear at the beginning of turn 7 or so in the Astral and declare a wish for battle, then attacking you on your home shard. After he is driven back, attacking Masters is unlocked for the rest of the campaign. Doh-Gor possesses no hidden depths whatsoever, he just likes to fight and crush his enemies, preferably at the head of the Orcs, with whom he possesses a permanent alliance. His amulet, on the other hand, is quite important, and once you have conquered his shard and taken it from him, several other Masters will express interest in it. His home shard is a World of War (half price on all unit recruitment & upkeep costs).
- A Form You Are Comfortable With: Inverted Trope: when you release Garros from the amulet, he assumes Doh-Gor's appearance - because he needs to look like something, and Doh-Gor seems like as good form as any. So it's A Form They Are Just Fine with, you never come into picture.
- Amulet of Concentrated Awesome: Bonus points for his one being an actual amulet, the thing he has on his neck is an absolutely insanely powerful magical artifact. To give you a picture - the ritual to become an Astral Lord usually requires a lifetime of research (and that still may not be enough) to discover, and enourmous amounts of resources, knowledge and power to complete. Doh-Gor became a Lord by simply putting that thing on his neck. That's how powerful it is. Justified, as the thing needs to be pretty damn powerful to contain a god of war.
- Bald of Evil
- Dumb Muscle: Plays this part in the game's cast. He behaves just like a barbaric brute that he was in his mortal times, concerned with nothing but battles and war, and other masters dissmiss him just as a dangerous but dimwitted meathead.
- Obfuscating Stupidity: Oinor however notices that for all his crude and brutish behaviour he is surprisingly competent in all matters related to warfare. So he theorizes that Doh-Gor only puts up a facade of a dumb barbarian to trick others into a false state of security, and in fact is quite intelligent. If you defeat Doh-Gor you can find out the truth - Oinor was wrong, Doh-Gor really is nothing but a dumb barbarian. The guy who's been sitting in his amulet is a whole different story though.
- Good Scars, Evil Scars: Has a cross-shaped scar on his forehead.
- No Indoor Voice: Difficult to tell what with the game having no voiceover, but his text messages leave this impression.
- Red Eyes, Take Warning
- Third-Person Person: Often speaks of himself like that, bordering on Hulk Speak.
Stenriya is a witch and a seer, formerly a mortal woman who was granted immortality by one she only knows as the Wanderer. She will occasionally offer auguries to you at the cost of some Astral Energy. She knows something about the Keys of Truth, but what little she knows is a danger to her and she will attempt to put off telling the protagonist of it. Her home shard is filled with swamps, and she has a permanent alliance with the Lizardmen.
- Dub Name Change: In the original russian version her name was Stinhriya. You can see why this was changed.
- Manipulative Bitch: Hoo boy. For starters, read Beleth's entry above. Second, if you talk to her about the Key of Truth she will dissmiss it, then tell you to do a favour for her before she can tell you where to look for it - that favour being eliminating Doh-Gor. If you do so and return to her it will turn out that she sent you to him just to get rid of either you or him, who threatend her world, and she ahd the Key all the time. If you press her for the key, she will tell that the Key is ingrained into her essence, and extracting it will kill her, so she's not giving it without a fight. You then have an option to invade her or to go and look for another way - but if you successfully invade her it will turn out to be another lie. She will survive both the extraction of the key and the destruction of her shard for no worse to wear.
- Really 700 Years Old: She's been around from before the Cataclysm.
- Unreliable Narrator: She can tell you many juicy things about other Masters, but far from everything that she says is true.
Vianta is the queen of fairies, and while good-hearted and kind, she is flighty and easily distracted. She despises Beleth, is friends with Dariol, and hates and fears l'Anshar. If the player promises to destroy l'Anshar, she will promise to assist him, and will send resources and units to help during the conquest of his shard.
- Good Is Dumb: Downplayed. She is not really dumb, but she is emotional and tends to rely solely on her feelings instead of rational thinking when making decisions.
- For Happiness: Her motivation - she just wants to build a safe world where everyone can lead a happy life.
- The Heart: Can be seen as this for the game's cast - she is probably the most genuinely well-meaning Master, who acts good because she is naturaly kind-hearted.
- Mystical White Hair
- Time Abyss: She is the first and only queen of fairies and has been around since the beginning of time, meaning she'd witnessed the Cataclysm firsthand and lived till the present day. Stenriya (who also survived the Cataclysm) even calls her old, unlike the rest of the Masters whom she mostly refers to as small children. Though, knowing Stenriya, it's more likely that she does this out of spite, seeing how Vianta is eternally youthful, while Stenriya, despite being the younger of the two, looks like a hag.
- Womanchild: Ancient and well-meaning, but whimsical, flighty and ditzy. As Stenriya puts it, she (and other fairies) are eternally young not in a way that they never grow old, but that they never grow up.
Oumm is an enigma to every other character, a spirit apparently native to the Astral who is building his own shard for purposes unknown and possibly incomprehensible. Every character has his own theories about what Oumm is and why he buils a world, but the answer may never be known.
- Beyond the Impossible: His very existence and what he does is considered to be utterly impossible by everyone who knows of him. As an astral spirit he's not supposed to be even sentient, so him taking control of a shard and building his world, is, according to Zarr, akin to a rain wishing to become a turtle.
- Cthulhumanoid: He's not one, but his portrait has him resemble one.
- Star Fish Aliens: Not an alien, as being an astral spirit he is as native to the Astral Plane as it gets, but otherwise fits, as his existance is utterly bizzare and he and his motives are pretty much incomprehensible.
L'Anshar is a lich, once a human necromancer and colleague of Beleth, who has come to believe that life was a horrific mistake and must be purged from Eador. He will demand that you perform a ritual he devised to rid your shard of life. If you refuse, he will eventually attack your shard to try and force you to accept.
- Drunk on the Dark Side: Beleth describes him as what every necromancer becomes when they let the force they use to take control over them. He mentions that l'Anshar essentially is no longer a person but rather an extension of that force's will.
- Faux Affably Evil: When you first meet him he may seem like an awfully reasonable guy for someone who wants to kill all life in the world. He will not start your conversation with threats, and in fact, will never threaten you personaly, he is very difficult to piss off, he will deal with you no matter of your alignment, and he will (seemingly) even take no for an answer to join him in his anti-life crusade. Very soon you will realise that the reason he has no problem with you is because you are immortal, and thus are outside the cycle of life and death. The inhabitants of your shard are a whole different thing. And so, very soon after you meet him he will put you before a choice - either you kill off all life on your shard then and there or he invades and does this for you.
- Glowing Eyelights of Undeath
- Gameplay and Story Segregation: Much is made of his ritual, but if you attack his home shard, while it is classed as a World of the Dead, there are in fact quite a few provinces where humans, demihumans, and monsters still live, otherwise it would be impossible to play the game normally.
- Omnicidal Maniac: He cares about little, perhaps nothing, other than exterminating life on Eador and gathering the remaining shards into a world of undeath.
- Start of Darkness: In his backstory. Before he became a lich he was responsible for the fall of a budding benevolent empire. That empire's territory is now his home shard.
Dariol is the King of the Elves, who inherited the mantle after the elven god sacrificed himself fighting off a demonic invastion that the shard he had built for the elves might survive and thrive for a time. Sorrow for his fallen predecessor fills his thoughts still, and tinges all his conversations with grief. He considers Vianta a friend, and if you speak respectfully of him and his predecessor, will think similarly of the protagonist.
- The Last Stand: He is obsessed with the idea of having one decisive battle of Forces of Good against Forces of Evil. Everything he does contributes to this idea one way or the other.
Last of the Ancients, Ul-Dagan is an Artificer, and is seeking ancient mechanisms and devices for his own purposes. Zarr tells you that he has destroyed several Masters in the past for interfering with him, and he is largely feared and disliked.
- Fantastic Racism: Being the last of Iltens (or as they are better known, Ancients), he disdainfuly treats members of other races as ignorant children who mess with what they're not supposed to.
- Glowing Eyes of Doom: Glowing eyes are a natural racial trait for Iltens and don't necessary indicate villainy, but in Ul-Dagan's case this trope fits. Bonus points for being red.
- Jerkass: This guy likes nobody and has no intention of hiding it. You invariably start at a negative relation with him, and he will attack your shard at the next turn you meet him.