The Last Castoff
The Last Castoff is simply that: the latest in a long line of bodies cast off by the Changing God after being created to house his consciousness and serve the needs of his current agenda. That so many of the Changing God's bodies still live might suggest something about how much (or how little) he values them, how readily he walks into danger and how readily he flees, and the sheer survivability of any given castoff.
Most if not all tropes which apply to the Last Castoff apply to the other castoffs as well, and in fact, being so new, considerably less to set them apart from others of their kind — not even so much as a name to call their own.
- Amnesia Danger: The lack of memories makes things naturally harder for you.
- Amnesiac Dissonance: Central to the game — your recovered memories are not your own, but rather those of the Changing God, who has created and worn countless bodies for his own inscrutable reasons over hundreds of years. One possible interpretation of the ending Reveal is that this trope is actually being played totally straight.
- Armor-Piercing Question: "What does one life matter?" The game gives you a chance to choose your answer, though you may find your definition changes over the course of the game's story.
- Artificial Human: Created by the Changing God to serve as a temporary body, then cast aside.
- Back from the Dead: Constantly. The Changing God builds his bodies to last, so the Castoff is able to recover from otherwise lethal injuries.
- Badass Bookworm: The Last Castoff sure updates their journal a lot. Emphasized by certain descriptors and foci, and assumed if you're playing a nano.
- Battle in the Center of the Mind: All the time, with the Sorrow and others attempting to gain a foothold in your mind.
- Born as an Adult: Like all castoffs, whose bodies seem to be almost grown or sculpted rather than born, going by some of the memories you recover.
- Came from the Sky: The Last Castoff enters the game by waking to life and consciousness... in complete freefall, hurtling towards the Earth. You have just enough time before impact to remember being attacked and falling out of something in orbit, and to realize that wasn't you in that memory. Appears to be standard procedure for the Changing God.
- Catchphrase: "Updated my journal." "Making a note." "Annotated my logbook."
- Character Alignment: The five Tides allow the player to carve out their Castoff's personality. Rather than D&D's two axes allowing up to nine combinations, however, it's possible and indeed common for a given Last Castoff to combine multiple Tides, with different names for each — a character who manages to somehow balance all five in one game is referred to as an Idealist.
- Character Customization: The game offers few ways to customize the Last Castoff's looks beyond a choice of gender. That you cannot customize the Last Castoff's appearance is actually a plot point, however, as the game intentionally thrusts you into a situation where you have to wear someone else's face, and by extension carry the weight of their past, while trying to work out what you are and how you want to be remembered.
- Cloning Blues: All the castoffs have this to some degree or another. How much you let it affect the Last Castoff is up to you as a player.
- Exactly What It Says on the Tin: You're the most recent in a very long line of bodies cast off by the Changing God. Whether or not you'll actually be the very last remains to be seen. Likewise, the descriptor and focus you choose are basically a declaration of intent for your character: a Slick Jack who Brandishes a Silver Tongue or a Tough Glaive who Masters Defense, for example.
- Expy: For a certain other nameless amnesiac with regenerative powers in another game called Torment.
- Eye Scream: One possible body modification at the Chirurgery: yanking out one perfectly functional eyeball and installing a swanky new one in its place.
- Fashionable Asymmetry: The Castoff's tattoo is on their shaved right temple.
- Feel No Pain: The Last Castoff can transmit their suffering to others nearby. Alternatively, they can take on the burden of their pain.
- Fighter, Mage, Thief: Glaive, nano, or jack, respectively. The player also gains access to one of three different foci, representing defense, stealth, or social expertise, respectively. Unlike the original Torment, this choice is set early in the game and cannot be changed.
- Gadgeteer Genius: The Mechanical descriptor and Nano type.
- Gameplay-Guided Amnesia: As in Planescape: Torment before it, the Castoff's amnesia is used to provide justification for explaining the setting in simple terms, dropping not one but two companion guides in your lap — or rather, having you crash in on them through a glass dome. Others who recognize you as a castoff may be more willing to put up with your general cluelessness and answer your questions sincerely. Or not, especially if you're pretending to be the Changing God.
- The Generic Guy: Compared to the other castoffs, you start out this way, lacking their specialized knowledge or long histories with each other. You're even outwardly human with a neutral light brown skin tone, whereas other castoffs have been alien species, cyborgs, mutants, and Amazing Technicolor People. Being a castoff might make you unique compared to most non-castoffs, but this being the Ninth World, even that is something of a sliding scale. Ultimately, you do have a unique purpose, in that your body was built to the exacting specifications required to activate the Resonance Chamber: no other castoff can.
- God Guise: If you pretend to be the Changing God to gain the allegiance of his cult. It's actually not that hard to do (and you even get an achievement for it) since they are pretty eager to believe it. It's possible to slip up and reveal the deception, but unleashing a Tidal Surge will "convince" them that you're the real thing. It also shifts your Tidal domains to more closely match The Changing God's Blue and Silver, since abusing the Tides to force people to serve and worship you is totally something he would do.
- Guile Hero: The Charming, Clever and Slick descriptors, and the Brandishes A Silver Tongue focus.
- Healing Factor: Although unlike the Nameless One, it only kicks in if you take damage that would otherwise kill you.
- The Hero: Of the whole videogame.
- Identity Amnesia: Your character doesn't have any memories of their life before the Changing God left. Unlike most examples of the trope, though, this is mainly because your character, quite literally, did not have a life before the Changing God's departure — the Last Castoff is born the moment the Changing God departs his body. The Last Castoff is not recalling their own life, but fragments of the Changing God's life.
- Immune to Fate: As with the Nameless One, the Last Castoff's future can't be read, even when your companions' can.
- Impersonating the Evil Twin: If you're lying when you say you're the Changing God, and if the Changing God is as evil as some people (like Aligern) say he is.
- In Medias Res: The Last Castoff is "born" this way, waking up as the Changing God leaves their body, falling to Earth from around cloud level.
- Journey to the Center of the Mind: The Last Castoff enters a representation of their own mind called the Castoff's Labyrinth when they die.
- Kleptomaniac Hero: Downplayed. Standard RPG rules apply, but chances to swipe loot in NPCs' homes and camps are relatively rare. It's far more common to find numenera in the rubble of the setting's countless fallen civilizations instead, where it may have lain undiscovered for thousands if not hundreds of millions of years.
- Mind Rape: Unleashing the Tides against people to force them to cooperate has this effect. This usually shifts your Tidal domains to Blue and/or Silver, the same as the Changing God's. Assaulting someone's mind with the Tides to extract information and/or to force them to do your bidding suits The Changing God perfectly.
- More Than Mind Control: Via Mind Rape. Not everyone is susceptible, however — it seems most effective on beings who are somehow connected to the Changing God or the Tides, such as the Cult of the Changing God or the Bloom. The sanity of ordinary humans tends to be affected poorly as well, and with it their physical health. Altering the past via the Tides, the Last Castoff's unique ability, may also be involved.
- Naïve Newcomer: There are plenty of opportunities to play the Last Castoff this way, if you choose. Moreso than the Nameless One, where the nature of your starting surroundings tended to force you to be more cagey and ready for a fight.
- No Name Given: The Last Castoff technically has no name, although the Changing God went by Adahn while traveling in what would eventually be your body.
- Not the Fall That Kills You:
- Averted in the beginning. You can try a number of things to slow your fall at the beginning of the game, but in the end, even Aligern's hastily deployed esotery can't slow your fall enough to save you. Good Thing You Can Heal.
- The earliest Non Standard Game Over can be achieved by going into a straight dive and accelerating your descent.
- Power Tattoo: Somewhere between this and Birthmark of Destiny. Whatever else they might look like, all castoffs have the same pentagonal tattoo branded on their heads. Whether or not the tattoo itself has anything else to do with their shared abilities (or the weirder powers of the Changing God) is unclear. One character later implies that the tattoo makes it easier to access your mind. Presumably, the Changing God gave his bodies tattoos to make it easier to Body Surf.
- Really Was Born Yesterday: Effectively true — the castoff's body was created artificially in a lab, and they only awaken during the fall that kicks off the game. They have the wherewithal to think and function as an adult, but almost no knowledge of the world other than the piecemeal memories left behind when the Changing God abandoned them.
- Resurrective Immortality: Dying is necessary for solving some of the puzzles, and is likewise required if you want to return to the Labyrinth.
- The Smart Guy: Certain builds, if you put most of your points into Intellect. Also the Clever, Intelligent, Learned, Mechanical, and Mystical descriptors.
- Stern Chase: Is being pursued by the Sorrow for their sire's crimes.
- Talking the Monster to Death: Like the Nameless One before them, with the right build the Last Castoff can convince others to stop fighting, stop living, or even stop existing with the right dialogue choices. At various points, other characters such as the Specter and Sorrow try to talk the Last Castoff to death. The player has the option of letting them succeed.
- Telepathy: As a nano with the Scan Thoughts ability, you gain additional insight into the thoughts and motivations of NPCs while speaking with them. Even if you're not a nano, it's possible to buy an artifact which grants the ability once you reach the Bloom.
- Tyke-Bomb: Like all castoffs, the Last Castoff was purpose-built. You were designed to use the Resonance Chamber, and only you can use it. In addition you have the ability to use Meres — recordings of the past — to actually change the past they recorded.
- The Unchosen One: If the Last Castoff chooses to put an end to the Changing God's millennia-long machinations or hijack them for your own purposes, it won't be because of destiny. Like any other castoff, your survival was an accident.
- Younger Than They Look: The Changing God's bodies are created as fully formed adults, some of them barely getting any use before being discarded. Castoffs are effectively "born" in the moments when the Changing God's consciousness leaves them, which is confusing and can be quite traumatic, since he frequently leaves bodies that are about to die.
The Changing God
The Last Castoff's erstwhile sire, a man who has been around for thousands of years, hundreds of centuries. So named because he uses the numenera to craft new bodies for himself, transplanting his consciousness between them, constantly changing his appearance and rendering himself effectively immortal.
- Abusive Parents: Plenty of the castoffs seem to think so, although there are just as many that disagree and believe the Changing God has purpose in mind for them, or is at least benign for giving them life. Latter parts of the game reveal he's even worse than his enemies think. His plans involve a Grand Theft Me on the Last Castoff and using the Resonance Chamber to kill all the castoffs to escape the Sorrow. And if you reveal that his long-lost daughter, Miika, the Ghostly Woman of the early game, could finally be brought back to life and cured, he refuses to believe it's her.
- Ambiguous Gender: Although he has taken many bodies, male, female, and neither, there still seems to be an in-universe tendency to refer to the Changing God by male pronouns by default. His original body was male.
- Body Backup Drive: Always has a fresh body ready to go. In the event of any threat to his current body, he abandons it and transfers his mind into the new one. He's been doing this for thousands of years at this point, and his castoff former bodies are numerous enough to practically form a kind of subspecies of their own.
- Body Surf: The Changing God obtained pseudo-immortality by constantly moving his consciousness into new bodies as necessary over many aeons. There's technically nothing apart from distance and convenience stopping him from taking back any of his old bodies, if he wanted them, but since he makes incremental improvements on each new body, his older castoffs are all but obsolete to him at this point. The Specter, an AI backup of the Changing God's personality, tries to take back the Last Castoff and pick up where the real Changing God left off during the endgame.
- Brain Uploading: His early research into prolonging his life delved into this, but he ultimately dismissed it — he wanted to live on personally, not create a copy of himself. His insistence on making this distinction can end up being a means of Talking the Monster to Death when you confront the Specter, an AI backup of the now-dead Changing God, during the endgame.
- Character Alignment: Events late in the game indicate that the Changing God's own tidal affinities are blue and silver, as seen when seeing his consciousness jump out of the Last Castoff in a flashback. Fitting for an immortal scientist who will do anything for more knowledge and to keep himself alive.
- Cloning Blues: He expressly doesn't think of the castoffs as people, so he feels no sympathy for them at all. Played with when it's revealed that the original Changing God is dead, and the Specter is actually just a neural clone recorded before he died. While the Specter is quite convinced that he's the real Changing God, or at least the closest thing to continuity possible, you can convince him that he's just a copy too — at which point the Specter admits defeat, and promptly gives up the ghost.
- Contrasting Sequel Antagonist:
- Tides essentially turns the dynamic of the original Torment on its head, with the Changing God being the Nameless One if he were a villain. Well, more of a villain. Another kind of villain. It also makes the Sorrow, which superficially looks like the Transcendent One, into a Well-Intentioned Extremist trying to curb the harm Changing God is doing.
- Also interestingly the case with the main antagonist from its fellow Spiritual Successor Pillars of Eternity, the two branching in some interesting ways. Thaos being an entirely selfless villain, with the horrors he commits being calculated, deliberate actions taken to stave off the worst excesses human beings are capable of. By comparison, the Changing God's uses for his immortality are petty and self-absorbed, entirely indifferent to the damage he does, setting off a neverending war largely by accident.
- Crazy-Prepared: Like any good lich, the Changing God has multiple contingencies in place for any possible risk to his person. Part of what makes the Sorrow so dangerous to him is its ability to blow through his defenses — physical and mental. Presumably to defend against exactly the kinds of abuses and defenses summoned up by others who abused the Tides in the time when the Sorrow was first created.
- The Dark Side Will Make You Forget: Was originally trying to save his dying daughter, but is now only concerned with keeping himself alive.
- Expendable Clone: He views his castoffs as this. The Specter, who started out as a full-personality backup of the Changing God, also started out of this, aware of and accepting the fact, at least until the real Changing God was, in fact, killed by the Sorrow.
- He's essentially a villainous version of the Nameless One, without the downside of losing his memories with each death. With his egotism, superficial charm, hyperrationality, endless strings of contingency plans, and, shall we say, practical nature, he's a dead ringer for one of the Nameless One's nastiest and yet most influential incarnations.
- He started out searching for the secrets that eventually fueled his own immortality out of an earnest wish to help those close to him (his daughter, the First), before losing his humanity and compassion somewhere along the way... Not unlike Jon Irenicus, the Big Bad of Baldur's Gate II.
- Faux Affably Evil: He's noted for his easy superficial charm. And you're exposed to it firsthand whenever you speak with the Specter.
- Gadgeteer Genius: His mastery of the numenera is what fuels his immortality and a large portion of what makes him so dangerous.
- A God Am I: After so long, it's not clear who came up with the name, or indeed if the Changing God himself takes his divinity as a given, but he does openly refer to himself as the Changing God or at least the Specter does, after The Reveal. He certainly does nothing to dissuade his worshipers in the Cult of the Changing God, nor the castoffs who serve him in the Endless Battle.
- A God I Am Not: Seems far more interested in cynically manipulating his believers than in actually being the central figure of their religion. From the Last Castoff's memories of him, he seemed to find their worship more convenient than flattering.
- Hidden Villain: You don't actually encounter the Changing God at all, since he's revealed to have been killed by the Sorrow during the opening moments of the game, shortly before you awakened. You don't discover this until about halfway through the game, at Miel Avest.
- Hoist by His Own Petard: He brought the Sorrow upon himself.
- Immortality Immorality: There are immortals who don't abuse their long lives, or grow distant from their humanity. The Changing God isn't one of them. Yet even then, what makes him worse than his various castoffs or other immortality seekers is how ruthlessly driven the Changing God is to prolong his own life, no matter the cost to others.
- Immortality Seeker: The crux of his background as well as his current motivation. He's lived for thousands of years, yet in the process he's made many enemies, including the relentless Sorrow. Everything he does now is simply a means of buying time until he can find a way to save himself from the Sorrow. He ultimately fails — before the game even began, in fact, since his consciousness never actually made it into another body after abandoning the Last Castoff.
- Ironic Name: "Changing" is fitting, but "God" is debatable. Everything that happens in the game is a result of him trying and failing to save his daughter, eventually giving up even that in favor of prolonging his own life — here meaning that he would wipe out all his castoffs, even the ones still loyal to him, in an ultimately selfish bid to stave off the Sorrow's hunt for him. When not appearing before those who actively worship him, he acts anything but godlike, being remarkably cynical, practical-minded, and self-absorbed.
- It's All About Me: He only cares for his own existence, to the point that he's willing to kill hundreds of people and endanger the very fabric of reality if it means he can live forever.
- Lack of Empathy: Big time. Especially apparent in his behavior towards the First Castoff.
- Living Forever Is Awesome: He cares about nothing else, and given his personality, he does seem to enjoy himself when he's not on the run from the Sorrow.
- Manipulative Bastard: He's capable of being quite charming to those he wants something from.
- Mythology Gag: Uses the alias Adahn, a name that the Nameless One frequently gives when asked as a Running Gag in Planescape: Torment.
- Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!: By unlocking the Tides over the course of trying to save his daughter from a weapon based on related technology, the Changing God brought the wrath of the Sorrow down upon himself. All his subsequent abuse of what he'd learned to stay alive and one step ahead of the Sorrow only made matters worse, as the Sorrow is an ancient security system designed to prevent the Tides from ever being used.
- No Name Given: We never learn the Changing God's real name. It might even be Adahn, for all we know.
- Our Liches Are Different: Resembles one of these, being a powerful "magic" user who has survived far beyond the normal span by projecting his soul outside his body. Actually something of a inversion — rather than leaving behind undead beings and a trail of bodies sacrificed to keep him alive (like the Nameless One, however unwittingly), the Changing God actually leaves behind new life in his wake, albeit life which is often deposited unprepared and alone into incredibly perilous situations.
- Posthumous Character: What he essentially becomes for each of his castoffs, abandoning them in their new bodies to their imminent deaths and flitting off to the next. It's noted that there are castoffs who live and die without ever having met him. From a Certain Point of View, the Changing God has been Dead All Along since his most recent consciousness didn't actually make it off the moon at the beginning of the game, leaving only the Specter, an AI backup of his personality which he used as a sounding board.
- Pride: He does go by the moniker of the Changing God, and Playing God is his stock in trade. His Fatal Flaw is hubris, and his unshakable belief in his own genius, as represented by the Blue and Silver Tides, has driven him to unspeakable acts simply because he is so certain he can succeed.
- The Sociopath: A charming, manipulative, self-aggrandizing megalomaniac who only cares for himself and his own goals. But once, a very long time ago now, he was a loving father just looking for a way to save his daughter.
- Stern Chase: Is being pursued by the Sorrow for his crimes, with his castoffs caught in the middle.
- Talking the Monster to Death: It's possible to convince the Specter that since it's only a copy of the Changing God's memories, it's not really the man himself, and therefore the Changing God has been Dead All Along. If persuaded, the Specter promptly vanishes, making it true, one way or another.
- That Thing Is Not My Child!: The Changing God doesn't even consider the castoffs to be people, much less his children. The First Castoff is hit particularly hard by this. He also refuses to believe that Miika is anything more than a reflection, not really alive since she's "just a copy" of his daughter's consciousness. Which is pretty rich coming from the Specter.Miika: My father fled, saving himself. Maybe he figured he could bring me back without my body. It's the kind of thing he would assume. [Beat] Maybe he didn't care.
- Time Abyss: As mentioned above, the Changing God has been around for a long time.
- Too Clever by Half: His greatest weakness and the source of many of his worst qualities is his assumption that he is irreplaceable, his knowledge and experience making him inherently more valuable than any shorter-lived individual. Assuming he knows better and is simply more important than others drives most of the conflict in the game, including the ones that began well before the Last Castoff ever existed.
- The Unfettered: Has abandoned any sense of morality or empathy in his quest for immortality. There's nothing he won't do, nothing taboo or sacred if it means he can stave off his own death even a little longer, and no person he cares about more than himself.
- Voluntary Shapeshifting: Of a sort, since he can transfer his consciousness into any body, not all of which have been human, or, it's implied, humanoid, depending on the planet/dimension/time period in question.
- What Measure Is A Nonhuman: What does one life matter? The Changing God places no inherent value on consciousness itself or individuality. As such he doesn't view the castoffs as anything more than pieces of himself, to be discarded or reincorporated as needed.
- Who Wants to Live Forever?: Conspicuously averted and repeatedly discussed. Despite being thousands of years old (at least, not counting time spent in other dimensions and at other points in history), the Changing God's entire motivation is to stave off his own death a little longer.
- Year Inside, Hour Outside: Spent a good deal of his already long life traveling between dimensions, across time, and inside the confines of his own elaborately constructed memory palace, making his exact age difficult to pinpoint.
- You Could Have Used Your Powers for Good: Frequently expressed by various characters. Averted by his followers, castoffs and otherwise, who believe he already is using his powers for good. Deconstructed in that the Changing God's research had its roots in trying to save his daughter, Miika, from a wasting illness.Aadiriis: Were it not for the Sorrow... I honestly believe that he would lift us into a new age of human achievement. [...] He has also systematically destroyed every relationship he ever built.
A fragment of the Last Castoff's mind and memories, and your ally and sounding board in the unfamiliar Labyrinth of your own mind.
- Battle in the Center of the Mind: As he only exists as a spectral image in the Last Castoff's mind and whatever backup systems the Changing God left behind, this is effectively the only place he can fight other than by somehow communicating with the Changing God's proxies in the real world. After Miel Avest, he reveals himself as the Changing God, and if he can't convince you to give up your body willingly, he tries to take it by force.
- Expy: Moreso in the beta than the released game, but his glib demeanor and Mr. Exposition role as he guides you through your first waking steps in the Labyrinth are similar to your lovable sidekick Morte the floating skull from Planescape. His actual role as the manipulative figure trying to steal your very life away from you while remaining hidden himself, as well as being a "posturing shadow" making claims to greater importance than he has earned both echo the part of the Transcendent One more closely than the Sorrow ends up doing. As a splinter of your mind with his own agenda who tries to take over and has no compunctions about what he's done to benefit himself, he's also more than a little like the Practical Incarnation.
- Guest-Star Party Member: During one of the betas, the Specter briefly joined you to help fight off the Sorrow as the creature attempted to siphon off portions of the Last Castoff's memory.
- Journey to the Center of the Mind: He only exists in your head, where he's always there waiting for you in the Labyrinth until he reveals himself as the Changing God and tries to take your body back at Miel Avest.
- Mr. Exposition: For the Fathoms, the Sorrow, the Labyrinth and the Tides. He's your guide for the vast mental construct inside the Last Castoff's mind. Also subverted, as he often tells you the Labyrinth is your mind, so it's your job to poke around it, not his.
- Talking the Monster to Death: As a purely mental construct, talking to others is about all he can do unless he can take the Last Castoff's mind and body for himself.
- Talking to Yourself: Describes himself as a splinter of the Castoff's memories, and a part of them. Subverted, as he's revealed to be the Changing God — or at least a figment of his consciousness.
- Tomato in the Mirror: Other than being a part of the Last Castoff's mind, he doesn't know who or what he is any more than you do. This is a lie — he's actually just an Artificial Intelligence based on a backup of the Changing God's memories, and waiting for his chance to steal the Last Castoff's body back for himself. This is a Tomato Surprise for the player, but the Specter knew this all along. This moment comes for the Specter, however, if you convince him that since he's just a copy, that the real Changing God is truly dead — at which point the Specter acknowledges defeat and promptly vanishes.
Twisted, shadowy beings, capable of breaching any barrier whether of matter, energy, time, dimension, or even of the mind itself, in their relentless pursuit of the Changing God, shredding the minds and bodies he cast off wherever they can be found. Spoilers follow.
- Badass Long Robe: Takes the form of a towering hooded woman, whose lower body gives way to a mass of tentacles.
- Big Bad: To the extent this game has one, with the caveat that the Changing God provoked it rather than the other way around; it isn't a danger to the world, it's a danger to you.
- Combat Tentacles: The Sorrow seems to be mostly tentacles, and they're quite deadly, capable of impaling its victims and holding them in place while it burns out their minds.
- Contrasting Sequel Antagonist:
- Similar to the case mentioned under the Changing God's entry, the Sorrow is interesting for the ways it differs from the antagonists of both Planescape: Torment, as well as Pillars of Eternity — in this case to Thaos again. Spoilers for that game follow. Both Thaos and the Sorrow are ancient, immortal Well-Intentioned Extremists, willing to commit atrocities in the name of an abstract greater good. Unlike Thaos, however, the Sorrow can be reasoned with, and it offers you a choice, and a sacrifice, you might actually be willing to make. In a sense, this makes it something of an Anti-Villainous counterpart to both Iovara and Woedica — willing to allow you the freedom of your own choices, but also enforcing the consequences of those decisions.
- Cosmic Keystone: As a defensive system for the Tides, the Sorrow serves as a "lock" that prevents them from flowing freely. Killing it causes the Tides to flow forth and drives thousands of people insane.
- Deus Est Machina: Like much of the Ninth World, it turns out to be an artificial construct.
- Eldritch Abomination: It takes the form of a psionic mass of sentient tentacles that can exist in multiple places and timelines at once.
- For Planescape: Torment's shadows, both in terms of appearance and in purpose: to hunt down and kill the player character. Inverted in that rather than being many distinct entities hunting one man with many minds, the Sorrow is one mind and will with multiple bodies hunting many individuals. In a further twist, none of its victims actually harbor the mind of its true prey but they do make use of the Tides, one way or another, so they do fall under its purview.
- The Sorrow (not its fragments but the Sorrow itself) is a towering hooded figure with jagged red tentacles, which drifts slowly over the map, its bloody energies falling over objects and people like a shadow, and destroying them utterly, from which the only choice the player has is to run — much like Planescape's Lady of Pain, whose bladed shadow cuts anyone it falls upon to ribbons.
- The Sorrow's twisted, patchwork appearance also resembles the tattered, branching, armor-like silhouette of the Transcendent One. The similarities between the two end up being largely limited to those of their appearance.
- Its hood, masked face, implacability and impartial dedication to its purpose also echo Kelemvor, God of the Dead, in Mask of the Betrayer. Like him, it has no problem with you personally, only that you and others who have powers like yours threaten the domain it was bound and charged to protect.
- The ending reveals some similarities to the Catalyst from Mass Effect. An artificial construct which was created by an advanced civilization to stop a problem which was damaging it, ended up solving it by destroying the civilization completely, and now eliminates those following its path. Finally, it's confronted by the hero (who just forced a major antagonist into suicide), and offers them some unpleasant choices.
- I Have Many Names: Death's Mistress, Soultaker, Ender of the Cycle.
- Implacable Man: The Sorrow makes personal appearances in two of the game's (unskippable) Crises, and cannot be harmed in either of them. Being attacked by one is a One-Hit Kill. Like everyone else in the game, the Sorrow is vulnerable to Relativistic damage, which ignores armor and resistance. Naturally, this led one enterprising player to build their Castoff around Relativistic damage and... err, kill the Sorrow, earning praise from the devs. The Lord British Postulate strikes again!
- In the Hood: Any head or face is hidden within the shadows of the Sorrow's cowled cloak.
- Inspector Javert: The Sorrow's central motive is to punish the Changing God. The problem is, it seems to believe that all his castoffs are guilty as well. Which they are, in a sense. Whether they like it or not, all castoffs are aberrations in the Tides, created by it and capable of manipulating it for their own ends, and as long as they exist, the threat the Tides pose to other humans — madness, torment — will continue.
- Names to Run Away from Really Fast: The Sorrow. Renamed from "The Angel of Entropy", which wasn't a lot better.
- Sealed Evil in a Can: It only appeared after the Changing God first ventured into the Tabaht's city of the Underspine. Because the Sorrow's creators believed that the Tides were evil, and conceived of the Sorrow as a means to ensure that the knowledge of how to manipulate them was sealed away forever.
- Silent Antagonist: The Sorrow does not speak, only hunts and kills, its purposes ineffable and its judgment seemingly inevitable... until the very end. With the Resonance at its metaphorical throat, it tries to reason with the Last Castoff instead. This is the first time in thousands if not millions of years that the Sorrow has felt compelled to communicate in any form other than destruction.The Sorrow: Agony bleeds from the world at your passage. The choices you make, no matter how you intend them, describe an arc of pain.
- Stern Chase: The chaser in question, hunting the Changing God and the castoffs and killing them, forcing them to flee.
- Talking the Monster to Death: Unusually, given the game's pedigree, you can't. Or rather, while you can destroy the Sorrow with cutscene power following a dialogue choice, you cannot convince it to give up its goal of destroying the castoffs and restoring the Tides. You must choose: either destroy the Sorrow, releasing the full force of the Tides upon Sagus Cliffs and its surroundings and driving everyone who isn't a castoff to madness; collapse all the castoffs into a single being (the Last Castoff, the First, Matkina, or a resurrected Miika), severing their connection to the Tides; destroy all castoffs, period; or do nothing, leaving all the castoffs alive, the Endless Battle ongoing, and the Sorrow hunting down the castoffs one by one. Essentially, it's possible for the Sorrow to actually talk you to death.
- Well-Intentioned Extremist: It has killed many, even wiping out entire civilizations single-handedly, and executes those who attract its ire ruthlessly. But in the end, when you manage to communicate with it, the Sorrow is revealed to be a defensive system left behind by a previous civilization to prevent abuse of the Tides. It has nothing against you personally, but as a castoff you unconsciously warp and distort the Tides around you and that is why you have to die. It is perfectly content with letting you decide how the castoffs will remove themselves from existence, as long as the Tides are healed.The Sorrow: I offer oblivion. Not everlasting torment. Not punishment. I offer your immortal companion the death it has always dreamed of.
- You Are What You Hate: The Sorrow's powers are fueled by the same Tidal energies which empower all those which it hunts. Then again, who else could the Sorrow ever trust with such a power?
A Hardened Nano who Fights With His Demons
A former Aeon Priest on the outs with his order, now living as a scavenger and tinkerer in the city's Underbelly. He has some unpleasant history with the Changing God.
- Animals Hate Him: Oom can tell he doesn't like him, and the feeling seems to be mutual. Maybe Aligern just isn't a blob person.Aligern: Can you keep that blob away from me? [Oom hisses] Because of that. Is it trying to eat me? Is it defecating? What is it doing?
- Animated Tattoo: The snake-like tattoos on his forearms can be activated in combat to grant him a stacking buff when he repeatedly undertakes similar actions such as attacking, healing, casting buffs, and so on.
- Badass Baritone: A deep, gravelly voice, and a mace-swinging Magic Knight.
- Badass Longcoat: He wears a ragged, battered grey duster.
- Combat Medic: He's basically the cleric to Callistege's Squishy Wizard. His esoteries are support and healing-based, and he's markedly tougher and better-suited to melee combat than she is.
- Character Alignment: Red and Indigo. He's a seething cauldron of emotion who tends to trust his gut instincts, but he's also an intensely loyal person. Which is why he hates the Changing God and by extension the Last Castoff so much: they took everything from him, his family and the whole town where they lived.
- Dark and Troubled Past: Implied by his grudge against the Changing God, but he refuses to talk about it. He saw his family devoured by the shadowy horrors summoned by the black frame the Changing God gave him to unlock.
- Delinquent Hair: A grey mohawk. It's hard to see in his portrait, since he doesn't seem to go to much trouble to keep it standing, but it's visible in-game and on the box art.
- Doomed Hometown: His home village, or rather all the villagers, including his family, vanished after the Changing God gave him a strange black frame to unlock.
- Fate Worse than Death: Suffers one if you bring him to the final dungeon and destroy the Sorrow. Somehow his living tattoos go haywire, leaving him almost comatose and in excruciating pain.
- Foil: For Callistege. The two of them used to be an item, but whatever it was they used to have, it's long gone now. Aligern accuses her of being a lying, backstabbing, conniving bitch in so many words; Callistege says she can't stand his relentless negativity and constant feeling sorry for himself. Both are nanos who worked for the Order of Truth, past or present, but there the similarities end. Callistege has bright pink hair and is wearing a kind of cherry-red party dress, while Aligern is scruffy and tattooed, his coat grubby and drab. Aligern is a laconic, tell-it-like-it-is loner who has no time or patience for niceties, and consequently has few friends. Callistege is a loquacious social butterfly constantly surrounded by her "sisters" who's a skilled player of politics within the Order of Truth, able to talk a great deal while revealing little. Finally, mechanically, while both are nanos, Aligern's a healer/support caster who supplements his esoteries with brawn, while Callistege starts off with a couple of attack powers and an emergency teleport.
- Gadgeteer Genius: He's a nano and former Aeon Priest, so his esoteries (read: "magic" spells) come from his expertise with the numenera.
- Genius Bruiser: He's no glaive, but he's no slouch when it comes to getting up close and bashing people over the head.
- Good Is Not Nice: Despite his abrasive personality and personal dislike of most of the your companions, he's a caring, compassionate man, who can eventually be persuaded to put aside his personal feelings for your sire. There's even an achievement for earning Aligern's friendship and then becoming/revealing that you are the Changing God.
- Grumpy Bear: Comes across this way in comparison to your other companions, especially early on.
- I Will Find You: His primary motivation is to find his wife and daughter, who disappeared when he came to after activating the black frame. In the end, it turns out they've been transformed into his tattoos and with Orth Faung's research in hand, Aligern manages to restore his family and the village where they lived.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: He's a hard-bitten scavenger who bears a grudge, but everything he's done is to get his family back.
- Keeping the Enemy Close: Seems to be traveling with the Last Castoff to keep an eye on them, on the off chance that they're actually still the Changing God. He turns out to be justified in doing so, one way or another. The achievement for convincing Aligern you are the Changing God, or as near a thing as possible — while also keeping his approval — invokes the trope by name.
- Knight in Sour Armor: A man of principle, despite how much the Ninth World has ground him down. Rhin describes him as sweet but sad, "like an uncle no one goes to visit."
- Licked by the Dog: Rhin and Erritis come to like him (despite his best efforts).
- Magic Knight: Despite his lack of attack magic, he can be built into a highly durable frontline fighter who also slings cyphers.
- Mangst: A textbook example. His wife and daughter and the whole aldeia where they lived were wiped off the map when the Changing God came along and had him open up a piece of numenera in the shape of a black folding frame. It's this attitude that's actually a major bone of contention between him and Callistege.
- Mighty Glacier: Solid Might and Intellect, high hit points, Armor, and Resistance, but a starting Speed pool of 2. Not much reason to increase it, either, since Aligern doesn't really have skills or abilities that use it.
- Mutually Exclusive Party Members: He and Callistege hate each other. They make you choose between them as you leave the Reef of Fallen Worlds, after which you can't add one to the party while the other is in it.
- For his part, Aligern is quite open about his resentment of Callistege for her coldness and emotional manipulation, although he's probably exaggerating her ruthlessness. The reason for this is because the Last Castoff's rebirth after crash-landing in the Resonance Chamber warped the Tides around them, leading the friction in their relationship to build to a sudden head. They exchange some very harsh words, and know each other well enough to really twist the knife. Meanwhile being around the Last Castoff causes those same emotions to flare up all over again.Aligern: A parasite disguised as a scholarch. Don't be surprised if she betrays you before the day is done. Actually, that would be slow for her.
- For his part, Aligern is quite open about his resentment of Callistege for her coldness and emotional manipulation, although he's probably exaggerating her ruthlessness. The reason for this is because the Last Castoff's rebirth after crash-landing in the Resonance Chamber warped the Tides around them, leading the friction in their relationship to build to a sudden head. They exchange some very harsh words, and know each other well enough to really twist the knife. Meanwhile being around the Last Castoff causes those same emotions to flare up all over again.
- Mythology Gag: His living tattoos resemble the Tattoo of Bloodletting the heavily inked Nameless One could get. The black frame from his personal quest was, in the original Torment, a spellbook belonging to one of the Nameless One's past incarnations. That incarnation was cast into an extradimensional maze for several years — meanwhile, the black frame is an artifact which trapped Aligern's whole village inside his tattoos for years.
- Perpetual Frowner: He generally comes across as pretty dour toward the Last Castoff and their companions, but as he says to Tybir:Aligern: I smile. You might give some thought to why you, personally, never see it.
- Preacher Man: Was the Aeon Priest (a kind of non-spiritual community leader) for his aldeia (a kind of small, remote village) before the Changing God wiped them out.
- Red Mage: His higher-tier focus abilities increase his armor and weapon accuracy, and while he doesn't have Callistege or a nano Last Castoff's selection of offensive esoteries, he does still have a nano's cypher progression for offense.
- The Snark Knight: Sarcastic snark and world-weary disdain for everyone, check. Not such a bad guy underneath it all? ...Check.Aligern: [after seeing the Last Castoff come Back from the Dead again] Are you enjoying this death and resurrection thing? You're certainly doing it enough.
- Sour Supporter: Justified, in his mind. He despises the Changing God. He thinks you might be the Changing God. Then again, Aligern's pretty sour about everything. Not without reason, admittedly.
- Squishy Wizard: Averted. He's quite durable ("Hardened", in fact) and starts off equipped with a mace.
- Support Party Member: He starts with the healing spell Innervate, and the majority of active abilities he can take are buffs.
A Dimension-Shifting Nano who Pierces Realities
Another Aeon Priest, and unlike Aligern, still in good standing with the Order of Truth. She's constantly surrounded by otherworldly echoes of alternate versions of herself.
- Ascend to a Higher Plane of Existence: Her goal is to attune herself to the Datasphere, a collection of nanites in the Ninth World's atmosphere that holds the collective knowledge of Humanity's past. In the final dungeon you can use the Resonance to let her do exactly that, making Callistege abandon her bodies and become a permanent part of the Datasphere.
- Badass Boast: Also a Battle Cry.Callistege: Probability shakes at my coming.
- Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: According to Aligern, although the two of them did go through a pretty nasty breakup.
- Character Alignment: Red and Silver. A creative scholar, interested in appearances and how the numenera can serve her personally. Her passion is knowledge, but to benefit herself and her reputation rather than for its own sake.
- Contralto of Danger: She has a quite a low voice, and most of the people who know her seem to be a little afraid of her.
- Expendable Alternate Universe: She considers most of her "sisters" expendable in attaining her goals. To be fair, several of her sisters are doing the same... but that in turn (combined with her basic arrogance) makes her Not So Different from the Changing God.
- Fashionable Asymmetry: Her dress after Lady Anshe's upgrades leaves her left arm with a sleeve of mixed brown leather and numenera.
- Fate Worse than Death: Suffers this if you help her ascend to the Datasphere, but then destroy the Sorrow. Apparently the Tidal forces this unleashes botch the ascension, leaving her in an irreversible state of delirious, immobilized agony.
- Foil: For Aligern. The two of them used to be an item, but whatever it was they used to have, it's long gone now. Aligern accuses her of being a lying, backstabbing, conniving bitch in so many words; Callistege says she can't stand his relentless negativity and constant feeling sorry for himself. Both are nanos who worked for the Order of Truth, past or present, but there the similarities end. Callistege has bright pink hair and is wearing a kind of cherry-red party dress, while Aligern is scruffy and tattooed, his coat grubby and drab. Aligern is a laconic, tell-it-like-it-is loner who has no time or patience for niceties, and consequently has few friends. Callistege is a loquacious social butterfly constantly surrounded by her "sisters" who's a skilled player of politics within the Order of Truth, able to talk a great deal while revealing little. Finally, mechanically, while both are nanos, Aligern's a healer/support caster who supplements his esoteries with brawn, while Callistege starts off with a couple of attack powers and an emergency teleport.
- For Science!: Her motivation is to learn as much as possible from her condition and see how best to exploit it.
- Gadgeteer Genius: Like any nano, what appears to be magic is in fact science, and Callistege is more than a pretty face when it comes to the numenera.
- Godhood Seeker: She makes no bones about the fact that leaving her physical body and merging with the datasphere will make her a kind of intangible information elemental, the closest thing the Ninth World can have to a true god.
- Hive Mind: Self-described, though she and her sisters are not perfectly in sync, in thought or deed. This latter fact gives her pause, uncertain as to whether she truly wishes to give herself over to the datasphere and risk being overwhelmed. Of lesser concern, but still noted, is that she would be forcing the same fate upon any other undecided Callisteges across the multiverse.Callistege: I am what you might imprecisely call a nascent, cross-dimensional hivemind. What I must decide now is whether to continue this experiment.
- Insufferable Genius: Depending on who she's talking to, Callistege can be very arrogant, although she pours on the sugar when someone has something she wants. Thus, this is often averted in the Last Castoff's orbit.
- It's All About Me: And there are a lot of her, too. Again, she seemingly tries to tone it down around the Last Castoff, but it shines through in pretty much all her interactions with other characters.
- Lady of Black Magic: A regal noblewoman scholar who specializes in destructive "spells" and cyphers, seeking knowledge and power for their own sake.
- Light Is Not Good: Despite her bright taste in fashion and her superficially pleasant, cheerful demeanor, she's quite ruthless and does not suffer fools gladly.
- Manipulative Bastard: According to Aligern. She's definitely holding a few things back, especially noticeable if you're a nano and can read minds. Notably, one of the skills Callistege can learn and excel in is Deception.
- Me's a Crowd: Her translucent alternate selves are constantly visible around her, usually just slightly out of sync with every move she makes.
- Mutually Exclusive Party Members: She and Aligern can't stand each other, and will refuse to be in the same party together once you leave the Reef of Fallen Worlds.
- Part of the reason they hate each other so much is because the Last Castoff's presence warps the Tides around them. During your rebirth in the resonance chamber, this caused the mild animosity between the two, then still a couple, to flare into an extremely nasty, personal breakup. Their insults hit extremely close to home for both of them, leaving them unable to be around each other. This actually goes a long part of the way toward explaining why Callistege goes out of her way to seem nice to the Castoff — they've seen a part of her she'd normally keep hidden.Callistege: He's useful... At least he was, once. If that pompous laak-nibber — forgive my language, dear — finds one more fault with me, I expect my sisters will murder him in several realities... Hm. There goes one now.
- Part of the reason they hate each other so much is because the Last Castoff's presence warps the Tides around them. During your rebirth in the resonance chamber, this caused the mild animosity between the two, then still a couple, to flare into an extremely nasty, personal breakup. Their insults hit extremely close to home for both of them, leaving them unable to be around each other. This actually goes a long part of the way toward explaining why Callistege goes out of her way to seem nice to the Castoff — they've seen a part of her she'd normally keep hidden.
- Pimped-Out Dress: Pretty much an '80s prom dress, bright red and gold, all ruffles and fluffed-out lace.
- Squishy Wizard: She starts out with some decent ranged powers and a teleport, and she definitely needs them, as she's rather fragile.
- Swap Teleportation: Her unique starting ability lets her teleport by swapping physical locations with another version of her who was already standing there in another universe.
- Terms of Endangerment: Refers to people as darling, dear, and child even while threatening or insulting them.Callistege: Darling, take your thugs and go home. Otherwise we'll have to rip you to pieces, and the world is already so untidy.
- Token Evil Teammate: Callistege is arrogant rather than straight up evil, but it's telling that the actions she most supports are the ones that drive the Last Castoff's alignment ever closer to that of the Changing God.
- The Smart Guy: Starts out with specialised Lore: Mystical, can learn the other Lore skills, and gains tier bonuses that boost Lore.
- Wicked Witch: Rhin perceives her as something akin to a wicked sorceress/stepmother from a fairy tale. She's not far off.Callistege: Come now, child. What could my sisters possibly want from you?
Rhin: I don't know. Hair. Blood. Fingernails. My dying breath caught in a bottle.
Callistege: Children have such imaginations.
Rhin: You can't have that either.
Captain Lanchian Tybir
A Cagey Jack who Knows How To Take Care of Himself
A roguish veteran soldier and retired mercenary who enlists the Last Castoff to help him save his friend Ris from the executioner's block.
- An Adventurer Is You: Mitigation Tank. He's got a good Speed defense, and he starts out with the ability to issue a challenge to enemies, compelling them to focus their attention him.
- Break the Haughty: The Dracogen's reason for seeking him out, while he is being paid to find him, is mostly for the pleasure of taking him down a peg. He more than succeeds.
- The Captain: His rank before he retired.Tybir: Captain Lanchian Tybir, retired. Extremely retired. Once a soldier of fortune, now its plaything.
- Character Alignment: Red and, surprisingly, Gold.
- Con Man: A large part of how he makes his living.
- Cynicism Catalyst: The way he tells it, Tybir was an earnest, honest, callow farmboy when he set out to earn his fortune. He had the serious misfortune of joining up with a mercenary band that, in addition to having a sergeant who cheated and robbed him, went on to fight in the Endless Battle.The Last Castoff: Toughen up, Tybir.
Tybir: Oh, I've had all the toughening I can stand. [chuckles] I'm more leather than man every day.
- Despair Event Horizon: If he kills Auvigne's killer and does not reconcile with Auvigne in the Labyrinth, he abandons whatever morals he has left, sinks even deeper into a life of crime, and ends up being executed and consumed by the Devourer of Wrongs.
- Dirty Coward: If you kick him out of the party, he can be found huddled behind a stack of crates wearing some nondescript robes out of fear of retaliation by his "friend" Ris, who he likewise abandoned to the guards at the first sign of trouble.
- Even Evil Has Standards: He has decidedly few scruples, but he's a dashing con man and soldier of fortune who dislikes needless violence, and as he points out if you put Rhin in the party, even he wouldn't drag a child into danger like that. He will also object if you send her back to the slaver and goes so far as to seduce the slaver as "payment" to buy Rhin's freedom. You even get an achievement ("Buckle Down") for it!
- Extreme Omnisexual: He's slept with men, women, at least one non-human... Whenever you summon him using the bronze sphere, it's to the sound of pleasured moans in the background.
- The Face: His skills lend themselves to this, and if it's not the Last Castoff or Callistege, this role will generally fall to Tybir.
- Gentleman Thief: On occasion, as during one story where he accompanied a noblewoman to a ball. As it turned out as she was dragged off by the guards, she wasn't noble at all, but rather a gentlewoman thief herself.
- The Hedonist: A shameless flirt and Extreme Omnisexual.
- Heroic Self-Deprecation: Not out loud, but his opinion of you goes down significantly when you go along with his own more nefarious suggestions, and when you dismiss him from the party he says it's "probably for the best," all signs of the intense guilt he feels for the kind of person he's become.
- I Shall Taunt You: Like Morte before him, Tybir can taunt others into a frenzy, forcing them to focus their attacks on him rather than others.
- I Take Offense to That Last One!: Also something of an Armor-Piercing Question.Rhin: He acts nice, but I don't think he likes me. I wonder if he really likes anybody.
Tybir: What a thing to say, lass. How could anybody not like you?
Rhin: That's the part of what I said that bothers you?
- Indy Ploy: Favors playing things by ear, since he has a con for every occasion.Tybir: Everything's possible when you keep your wits about you.
- Jack-of-All-Stats: He deals decent damage, has fairly solid evasion and willpower, and can taunt and Draw Aggro. His skillset also makes him great for Talking the Monster to Death, picking locks, and disarming traps.
- Kick the Dog: Some of the cons he wants to try out are pretty brutal. If you can scan his thoughts, you discover that he is thinking of ways to swindle Piquo, which can come across as downright loathsome given Piquo's desperate circumstances.
- Last-Name Basis: He introduces himself using his full name and title, but out of all the many characters you meet who seem to have met him, no one ever calls him Lanchian.
- Lightning Bruiser: In combat, he's more of a warrior than a rogue, but he still relies on his agility to avoid taking hits rather than heavy armor or a large pool of hit points.
- Lovable Rogue: Cultivates this persona, with his affable demeanor, bright clothing, and tales of his dashing exploits, which downplay his achievements just enough to make him seem like the underdog.
- Deconstructed in-game, however, as his actions downplay his lovability and focus on his roguishness, the people he hurts by even his most (supposedly) victimless crimes.
- Love Hurts: Pretty much everything about his relationship with Auvigne after finding the mind-link rings gets cast in this light. See Never Be Hurt Again for more details.
- Luckily, My Shield Will Protect Me: The only party member to start off equipped with a shield.
- Master of None: A mild case, but combat-wise he's not as tough as Aligern, doesn't hit as hard as Erritis, or as fast as Callistege. He does a little of everything, but the main reason to keep him around is if you need a party face or thief.
- Miles Gloriosus: Despite being a mercenary with a ton of old war stories of the stock type common to Infinity Engine/BioWare games. He's not ashamed to cut and run, and if he exaggerates his stories, it's to make them more entertaining, not necessarily to make himself look good. He's also more than willing to admit War Is Hell and that he's much happier to be well out of it.
- Mythology Gag: It's not quite as preternaturally powerful as Morte's Litany of Curses, but Tybir does start out with the Taunt ability. Also like Morte, his supposedly harmless lies and deceptions have led others to harm and even death, regardless of his intentions. Finally, he'll proposition anything that stands still long enough — though unlike Morte, he doesn't limit himself by gender.
- Never Be Hurt Again: A significant part of his motivation. Oh, he'll brush it off in conversation with his usual glibness, but the truth is that he's reluctant to get too close to anyone and, especially, to let anyone get to close to him, for fear of hurting them. This is the crux of his background with Auvigne, the first person to truly love him after his career as a mercenary stripped away much his youthful innocence. Tybir is actually the one who left Auvigne, rather than the other way around, in part to spare Augie the pain of Tybir's own failings, but also to spare himself the possibility of Auvigne leaving him, or worse, seeing him die.
- Mercilessly deconstructed, as Auvigne never stops loving Tybir and spends years searching for him, dying in poverty with their mind-link rings still in his hands. Discovering this is the resolution of Tybir's sidequest in the Bloom. It's sufficiently shattering that the normally chatty Tybir is left at a loss for words.
- Psychic Link: The mind-link rings provided an empathic link between him and Auvigine. Tybir gave his ring to Dracogen as compensation years ago, as something he would definitely come back for. He never did — but Auvigne came looking for him.
- Sad Clown: Especially if the Last Castoff has Scan Thoughts — his friendly banter, his cynical quips, even his apparent fondness for a little light theft, it's all his way of insulating his bruised idealism from what he sees as the "real world".
- Seen It All: He seems to have a story for every weird event the combined strangeness of the Last Castoff's journey and the Ninth World in general throws at him. Even, near the very end, when he's dragged into the Labyrinth, he mentions it is not the first time something of the sort has happened to him.
- Shell-Shocked Veteran: His years as a mercenary took a toll on him, though he remembers them with a strange fondness now.Tybir: Some of the best days of my life, those. Despite the tears.
- Silly Rabbit, Idealism Is for Kids!:Tybir: Simply this — I was once an honest fool, and now I'm not honest and less foolish.
- The Social Expert: He's a fast-talking Con Man with a Silver Tongue, and if the Last Castoff doesn't have Persuasion or Deception trained Tybir can make an excellent party face.
- Team Normal: Out of the recruitable party members. Everyone other than Tybir has some strange talent or piece of the numenera that's unique to them, but Tybir is an ordinary human with no castoff enhancements, nanites, magic tattoos, otherworldly siblings, nor even a possessed pet rock. He holds his own regardless.
- Trickster Mentor: Self-styled, but no one's really buying it. He uses the idea that his cons will teach others the lesson that Silly Rabbit, Idealism Is for Kids! to justify himself, but really he's just a coward who let the world break him down... and far worse from his point of view, in so doing, he helped the world break Auvvie, too.Tybir: Everyone has their lessons to learn in this life. Best that your teachers are kind men, I always say.
- Wide-Eyed Idealism: Describes himself in these terms, as a farmboy who joined a mercenary warband and fought in the Endless Battle, seeing its horrors firsthand.
- You Are Better Than You Think You Are: Auvigne thought so, and the Last Castoff can try and help Tybir live up to that.
An Overly-Impulsive Glaive who is as Heroic as he Believes Himself to Be
A cheerful and strong warrior, constantly bathed in an aura of glowing golden light, seeking adventure and excitement wherever it may be found.
- Allergic to Routine: Seems compelled to constantly distract himself, and becomes evasive and uncomfortable when questioned about where he comes from or who he used to be. The nanotech in his head basically keeps him that way on purpose, as self-reflection weakens their hold over him.
- Audience Surrogate: Not Erritis himself, but the nanomachines which are controlling him, and slowly killing him, call themselves the Audience and are a rather dark dig on players in general.
- Bad Liar: The absolute worst. When he doesn't evade questions by babbling about his heroics, he defaults to blunt and obvious denials.Erritis: Oh. The Valley of Dead Heroes. I like it here. There's absolutely no place we should avoid completely.
- And if you can read minds, the Audience somehow manages to be even worse than that.[Scan Thoughts] IS THAT SUBTLE ENOUGH we will have to see WE ARE FULL OF SUSPENSE
- And if you can read minds, the Audience somehow manages to be even worse than that.
- Badass Boast: To kindred spirit (and fellow windmill-tilter) Quijana del Toboso:Erritis: We seek challenges that will test our very limits! And then, we will shun those challenges as unworthy of us and seek quests that shake the foundations of the possible. That defy belief! For we are not just adventurers, noble stranger. We are the breath of Adventure herself!
- Badass Creed: Erritis's blessing, bestowed upon Quijana del Toboso.Erritis: May your glory always find you. May your burdens only strengthen you and each of your scars tell a better story than the last. And when your enemies are too many and your wounds too severe, may you fall with a smile on your face and peace in your faltering heart.
- BFS: His starting equipment includes a two-handed sword. Erritis can do very well with any two-handed sword you find throughout the game, too.
- Captain Crash: He's recruited while standing amid the wreckage of an airship which he "borrowed" in Sagus Cliffs' Caravanserai district and then immediately crashed into neighboring Cliff's Edge. Other characters point out that this is supposed to be basically impossible, since airships are so slow and easily piloted that pretty much anyone can do so safely.
- Character Alignment: Associated purely with the Red tide, he's a recklessly impetuous self-proclaimed "hero".
- Cloud Cuckoo Lander: He's not really all there, to put it mildly, and seems willing to do almost anything (provided he can interpret it as heroic) to escape boredom.
- Deal with the Devil: If you take looking into Erritis' condition to its conclusion, the nanotech in Erritis' head will offer to "upgrade" him if you will just leave them alone, shaving years off his lifespan in return for greater performance.
- Demonic Possession: Nano-demons, anyway. This is obvious from the get-go if you play as a nano.
- Destructive Savior: Racked up substantial property damage in Caravanserai and Cliff's Edge merely looking around for acts of daring to accomplish and good deeds to do. He'll also unleash the Iron Wind in the Bloom if you let him, resulting in a Non Standard Game Over.
- The Ditz: His outlook ends up making him jump into a rash of very poor decisions, some of whom can give you a Non Standard Game Over if you don't talk him down from it.
- Dumb Muscle: The only recruitable glaive, with respectable Might and Speed pools... and an Intellect pool of only 2.
- Expy: A dangerously impulsive individual obsessed with a single concept that is nonetheless weirdly innocent and made that way by a faceless master, initially against his will. Squint and you have an inverted Ignus who causes just as much headache and destruction as his arson-based counterpart.
- Fearless Fool: Being afraid would require Erritis to stop and think, which — for him — is completely off the table. He literally cannot reflect upon his actions since it dampens his power, as it betrays that he's not actually in control of his body.
- Hair of Gold, Heart of Gold: He's a straw-haired blond even without his halo, and he almost always objects to cruel, cowardly, or selfish actions.
- The Hero: Self-proclaimed and not entirely undeserved, but deconstructed: in the absence of anyone to "save", he quickly becomes a nuisance, then a liability, and his simplistic definition of heroism often causes more problems than it solves.
- I Just Want to Be Normal: His true personality, when spoken to in the labyrinth, misses his farm and regrets ever seeking adventure. If you manage to destroy the nanites controlling him, he gets his wish, retiring to live a quiet but free and safe life.
- I Just Want to Be Special: He wanted an exciting life, and boy did he ever get it. The shepherd he used to be is regretting it now.
- In Harm's Way: If there's no "adventure" — i.e. life threatening danger — at hand, Erritis will seek some out or make some of his own.Erritis: I should climb a building. No. A tower. And jump off the top. Should it be on fire? Yes. Yes and yes.
- It's All About Me:The Last Castoff: I shouldn't have to say this, but this journey of ours is not all about you.
Erritis: ... Of course it is. I'm the hero, here. I know, I know. You're a hero too. No one's disputing that you're almost as important as me.
- Leeroy Jenkins: Without you there to rein him in, and sometimes even if you are.Descriptor: Overly-impulsive. Act first! Let someone else ask questions later - if then! Erritis has yet to see a downside to this plan.
- Multiple-Choice Past:Erritis: I came out of the west! Travelling day and night to escape the hired killers hounding my every step! [...] From the storms of the south. At first, I think I was only an outline in the clouds of dust, but then... I emerged. Swords in every hand! Cape swirling. You should have been there!
- Nice Guy: Sort of. He's a genuine hero, for a certain definition of "hero" — at the least, he's usually the first person to object if you do anything malevolent or underhanded, and he never hesitates to throw himself into danger for the sake of others. However, he's such a Cloud Cuckoo Lander that he can come off as egotistical — not to mention nonchalant about the collateral damage that his antics inevitably cause.
- Older Than They Look: Erritis was a middle-aged shepherd prior to his possession. His golden glow has put him in his physical prime in more ways than one.
- One of the Kids: He's a bundle of childish energy, naive and impetuous. It makes it easy for him to make friends with Rhin.
- Possession Burnout: In no immediate danger of this unless you accept the bargain with the Audience. While he's not on the verge of death while you meet him, they do seem to have aged him prematurely when you see him without his glow.
- The Sleepless: The Last Castoff can point this out. Erritis claims it's because he doesn't want to miss a second of his adventure. This is true. The Audience won't let him rest for that reason.
- Super Soldier: His numenera-fueled abilities actually make him a mild form of this. If you take the Audience's deal, they enhance him even further, at the cost of further shortening his life.
- Split-Personality Takeover: A very, very complicated case. Erritis is possessed by ancient nanotech known as "the Audience", which was used to create Super Soldiers in a bygone era. "The Audience" has two types of nanite in them — one wants to preserve Erritis to seek "adventures", while the other wants to have him killed spectacularly, which is why he's suicidally heroic.
- Talkative Loon: Sometimes, given his combination of hyperactivity with a total lack of any sort of personal filter.
- This Loser Is You: He's a riff on the stereotypical fantasy hero. Who's controlled by sentient nanomachines who call themselves The Audience, and consist of PARAGONS (bullheaded generic do-gooders), and *cathartics* (who want to see the hero suffer and die because they think that's funny). Not to put too fine a point on it or anything.Erritis: [actually the Audience speaking through him] THIS VESSEL CAME TO US damaged BORING useless AFRAID. WE ARE SAVING HIM FROM COWARDICE fear BECAUSE WE ARE HEALERS voyeurs NO WE AREN'T STOP SAYING THAT.
- Too Dumb to Live: Being possessed by nano-demons means he's usually strong enough to survive his own stupidity, but this has its limits. Specifically, if the Last Castoff doesn't stop him from messing with a jar containing a sample of the Iron Wind the results are catastrophic.
- Unnecessary Combat Roll:Erritis: I know what you're thinking. 'How in the world did you survive that crash, Erritis? The answer is, as it always is, 'backflips.'
[Scan Thoughts] TELL THEM ABOUT THE BACKFLIPS no one cares about the backflips TELL THEM
- Video Game Cruelty Potential: One of the most diabolical choices in the game: give the nano-demons infesting him full control of his body, ramping up his power but making him burn out and die within a matter of weeks. What makes it worse is that the remnant of his old persona knows exactly what you have done, but is powerless to resist.
- Walking Armory: Overlaps with Informed Equipment — regardless of what weapons you equip Erritis with, he also always has two swords on his belt and a dagger on the other hip, though he never actually uses any weapon other than the one on his back.
- Wrong Genre Savvy: Acts like the heroic lead in a Heroic Fantasy story and judges actions by what is most "heroic".
A Lost Child who Shapes Gods
A lost little girl, far from home and on the run from slavers, with only a stone — containing a god, or so she says — for company.
- Apologetic Attacker: She can fight (most likely at range), but she really doesn't want to.Rhin: [on killing an enemy] Oh.. Oh gods, did I just...
- Character Alignment: Indigo and Gold. "Trust and honesty are our bonds" indeed.
- Childhood Brain Damage: Played for Drama. She has recent scars and suture marks along the side of her head from what appears to be invasive surgery, and there's some question in-game as to whether her ability to talk to gods is mystical or the result of this.
- Children Are Innocent: Rhin is sweet-natured and kind at heart, which makes Sagus Cliffs a frightening place, with its slavers and crumbling cliffs. Taking her with you means being on the receiving end of several instances of What the Hell, Player? even if you treat her as well as possible — the hellish eldritch prison of the Endless Gate and the non-optional Womb Level of the Bloom are especially traumatic.
- Companion Cube: She carries a small stone with her, and says that it's the home of her friend Ahl, a god.
- Foil: Her circumstances mirror the Castoff's: abandoned in an unfamiliar place, hunted, new to the world, suffering from memory loss, and talking to the voices only she can hear — right down to even bearing a mysterious mark on the side of her head.
- Earn Your Happy Ending: With or without your help. If you send her through the House of Empty Time, she's adopted by an elderly couple (700 years in the past) and grows up to become a renowned toymaker. After running away from home after the old couple dies and leaves her in the care of their abusive son. On the other hand, your only other options other than abandoning her outright or selling her into slavery are to take her with you through hell dimensions and war zones. Her best ending involves sending her through one of the Bloom's slavering maws — and the alternative to that is to drag her through The Very Definitely Final Dungeon, at which point you can declare that she and the Last Castoff are in fact family. There's an achievement for each of these.
- Gameplay and Story Integration: The best build for her? Carrying huge amounts of Cyphers. Sure enough... when she gets a restat in the endgame, she's a powerful Cypher user.
- Hero of Another Story: Very strongly implied if you send her home properly — meeting you was just a strange, relatively brief interlude on her way to bigger and better things.
- Item Caddy: Since she doesn't have many other options, loading her up on cyphers, artifacts, and regular healing items that can be used on other party members is generally the soundest strategy for her, particularly if you've got the Rings of Entanglement, which mean that any positive fettles and healing received are shared between the characters who are wearing the rings.
- Kid Hero: Downplayed. Rhin has powers most children her age would not, but her prowess is specifically much less than that of your other companions.
- The Load: A bit harsh, perhaps, but she takes up a companion slot, has no combat skills whatsoever, and her starting stats are less than half that of any other character. Justified in that she's only a child — if you bring her with you, it's to help her because she's not as capable as your motley crew of warriors and wizards.
- Made a Slave: She escaped, but the slaver Tol Maguur wants her back. When you meet her, she's hiding from a few men Maguur has paid to bring her back.
- Magikarp Power: A downplayed example. She starts out nearly useless in combat, with penalties to every single weapon type, low hit points, no activated abilities, her first bonded item slot permanently occupied by an item that does nothing, and her only ability a bonus at hiding that doesn't even make her any better than a specialist, with no way to exploit it. On top of this, you can't even remove her from the party temporarily — if you remove her once, she's gone. Also, she starts at the very bottom of Tier 1 (everyone else starts with at least some progression), and her individual level-up bonuses are worse than everyone else because she lacks a character type. She eventually unlocks some extremely powerful abilities — but they're still tied to her Glass Cannon body. Played Straight if and when you recruit her again after sending her home. See the spoiler character for more details.
- Maybe Magic, Maybe Mundane: Is Rhin delusional, or is Ahl real? Unlike in most settings, the nature of the numenera means an ancient being inhabiting a seemingly ordinary rock isn't out of the question. It could be an artificial intelligence, a telepathic echo, some kind of transmission device from another world or dimension. Or she might have a split personality.
- Morality Pet: Definitely acts as one for the player — possibly.
- Multiple-Choice Past: Her fragmented memories mean that several of the things she tells you don't line up.Rhin: I remember... running. And a... fire? But it wasn't the right color for a fire. I don't know... Then I just remember being here. And nothing making sense anymore.
- Mysterious Waif: Made all the more mysterious by her head injury and contradictory accounts of her past.
- Odd Job Gods: Everyone from the village where Rhin is from carries their gods around with them. Rhin's is Ahl, a river god. Not the god of rivers, but rather a god of one river in the village where Rhin used to live.
- She later shapes a God of Hiding which grants her a passive +30%(!) bonus on Stealth tasks.
- If you help her find her way home, her parting gift to you is the God of Finding and Meeting Again which, true to its name, leads a fully grown-up Rhin straight to the Castoff after the Specter traps you inside the Calm.
- Oracular Urchin: A Lost Child Who Shapes Gods, or, as she appeared in the beta, "A Lost Child who Talks to Gods."
- Reality Warper: By virtue of being able to "shape" gods — it's even how she wound up in the Ninth World, as she'd "cut" a hole in space-time while fleeing soldiers.
- Sacred Hospitality: Many of her quotes suggest that her home of Baranth places a high value on the sanctity of the hearth and the treatment of guests.Rhin: My food and fire are yours to use before you go.
- Split Personality: One possible interpretation of Ahl — that he's simply a symptom of Rhin's head wound.
- Squishy Wizard: She matures — a little — into one of these, with her ability to hold onto a greater-than-average number of cyphers. Initially, though, she only has the "squishy" part and not the "wizard" part.
- Stealth Expert: She's only a child, so her skills are limited and combat is far too dangerous for her, so instead, her unique abilities help her to avoid attention, granting her a large bonus to Stealth tasks.
- There's No Place Like Home: Rhin doesn't know how she came to the Ninth World or how to get back, but the object of her personal quest is to find her way back to her home village. The way turns out to be a maw, a living portal in the Bloom, which has taken up residence in the body of a mutant in Little Nihliesh.
- Took a Level in Badass: A huge one. If she is sent back to her homeworld, she returns in the final stage all grown up and with a huge arrays of powerful abilities.
- Utility Party Member: Items are powerful in Tides of Numenera, and a dedicated Item Caddy can be a lifesaver.
- The Unreveal: You never really get to learn the origin of her scars, or the true nature of Ahl, or whether the place she came from is another world or time or dimension or what. Part and parcel of her being the Hero of Another Story, really.
- Video Game Caring Potential: Nothing like coming to the rescue of a lost, amnesiac waif who just wants to go home to bring out the best in a PC. On the other hand...
- Video Game Cruelty Potential: Be rude to her. Drop her off at a timeshifted orphanage. Sell her into slavery — several opportunities arise to do so, including one who "preserves" her by cutting off her head and storing it in a jar until it can be installed in the chest of another "Decanted" construct. Try to kick her out of the party in the Underbelly, or the Necropolis, or the Bloom, or inside the Endless Gate... you monster. She'll refuse to leave in some places — you can't dismiss any party members after you pass through the Endless Gate — but the game goes out of its way to make you feel like a heel for abandoning her.
- Wise Beyond Their Years: Possibly, depending on Ahl's true nature. She's certainly had to grow up fast, and she's positively down to Earth compared to Erritis.
Matkina, the White Death
A Furtive Jack who Murders
An assassin, a feared name in Sagus Cliffs' criminal underworld, and a fellow castoff. The first leg of the game begins with a quest to seek her out, in the hopes that she can educate the Last Castoff on the nature of their condition.
- Amnesiac Dissonance: In addition to the blank slate dissonance all castoffs face, Matkina's mind was riddled with gaping holes for years following an ill-fated parting with another castoff. She wandered through Sagus Cliffs in this confused state for years before the Last Castoff found her.
- Berserk Button: She despises the First.
- Big Sister Instinct: To some extent with the Last Castoff — she keeps her guard up — but she forms an Odd Friendship with Rhin. She's friendlier and more open with her in a way she is with no other companion, almost to Mama Bear levels in some later conversations.
- Broken Bird: A stone-cold badass with serious trust issues.
- Character Alignment: Red and Silver. Tends to stab first and ask questions never. A colder shade of silver than most others in the game, she's a loner who cares little for her own reputation but has an extremely low opinion of others in general.
- Character Development: Matkina is asocial and surly, but if you can overlook her casual attitudes towards death and murder, she can be drawn out of her shell and learn to trust again.
- Desperately Looking for a Purpose in Life: She stumbled into a life of crime, and became an assassin because she had no other skills or ideas at the time. By the time she reconsidered, she was already in too deep.Matkina: Look at all our siblings, what they've done. And here I was, a simple thief, hiding in the country, making no name for myself. Making no difference in the world. Didn't want to be a king. I just wanted to... to be something.
- The Dreaded: Everyone in the Underbelly is terrified to even speak about her.Matkina: You fear me. You know you fear me.
- Et Tu, Brute?: She hates betrayal, after suffering plenty of it. As it turns out, much of it were as much her fault, or simply Poor Communication Kills, as the fault of the other party.
- Expy: Out of all the castoffs in the game, Matkina perhaps most closely mirrors the Paranoid Incarnation from the original Torment, a ruthless, paranoid murderer gone to ground in the Underbelly (literally, in her case) of the city. She's fortunately not as deranged.
- Fragile Speedster: Great speed. Incredible evasion. Okay mental stats. Terrible Might, and no skills that use it. Of course, if you never get hit in the first place...
- Healing Factor: Her Castoff Vitality means she regenerates her wounds upon death. While she doesn't regain all her health like the Last Castoff, this means that despite being a Fragile Speedster otherwise, this makes her a good frontliner because she suffers none of the Lasting Wound penalties for being knocked out in combat that non-castoff party members do.
- HeelFace Turn: She wants to care. She's just lost too many people and been betrayed too many times over the centuries. If you choose Matkina as the recipient of the Castoff merge, and you've treated her nicely, she uses her new life in the epilogue to subdue The Bloom to minimize the damage from the last Memovira's death and then retires into becoming a community leader. In the end, the stories of The White Death die long before she does.
- Jack-of-All-Stats: Fittingly, as the party's other castoff (and the other recruitable jack): as an assassin, she's fast and deadly accurate, with one of the best damage tracks in the game; on the other hand her incredible evasion and Healing Factor means she's actually one of the better frontline tanks, as well. Meanwhile, she gains access to a number of AOE debuffs which also do decent damage, and can train in the Cypher Use skill (which lets her carry more cyphers at once), meaning she can also sub in for a dedicated nano in a pinch.
- Licked by the Dog: Oom seems to like her right away, and she doesn't snap or snark at it except to say its eagreness to serve makes her uncomfortable.
- Mind Rape: In her backstory. A fellow castoff she worked with tore random holes through her memories when he betrayed her, and her mind is a bit of a mess when you first meet her. The Last Castoff can use their ability to alter reality via Mere to Ret-Gone the entire procedure, leaving Matkina with two sets of memories, the Ripple Effect-Proof Memory of having her memory be full of holes, and the memory of your alterations keeping her mind intact. Despite the Mind Screw she considers this an immense step-up.
- Ms. Exposition: She knows a lot more of the castoff community than you do, and bringing her along often gives you extra bits of dialogue or options when dealing with them.
- Names to Run Away from Really Fast: "The White Death".
- Never Be Hurt Again: She was "born" in the Bloom, forced to kill just to survive. Every time she opened herself up, usually to another castoff, she was betrayed. She's made it a rule ever since to never trust anyone.Matkina: You want to know why I was hiding before you found me? It's because I learned that I'm best on my own. If you don't have people, you can't be betrayed.
- "No. Just... No" Reaction: If she's in a party with Erritis, he immediately tries to cast her as the Love Interest. This is her response.
- No Social Skills: She's untrained in Persuasion, and can't ever take it above this level. It fits neatly into her character and backstory, as well.
- Oh My Gods!: "Great weeping mechanical gods."
- Professional Killer: She occasionally does jobs for Fulsome, the Underbelly's de facto leader. She also used to work for the Memovira, the leader of The Bloom.
- Raven Hair, Ivory Skin: Her hair is jet-black, and seems to be the only part of her that has any pigmentation. Erritis finds her impossibly beautiful.
- Shrouded in Myth:Crooked Qeek: They say — they say she can freeze your blood by speaking your name. And if you look her in the eyes, all of your hair will turn white!
- Suspiciously Specific Denial: In the Cave of Last Words:Matkina: I'm not hiding! I'm strategizing, planning. Why would someone live voluntarily in a place like this? It's... this is where I stay.
- Too Much Alike: With the similarly cynical, forceful, rather heartless Callistege — and, it's suggested, with the First and Paj Rekken and the various other castoffs. She always hated the idea of becoming as callous as they are.
- Villain Respect: She and Callistege are Too Much Alike, but they eventually come to an accommodation of sorts.Matkina: I admire your ruthlessness, Callistege, if not necessarily your methods.
Callistege: And I feel much the same, my dear. So are we allies, then? Friends?
Matkina: It would be inconvenient if you died. Let's start from there.
Oom, the Toy
A Loyal Guardian who Flows with the Tides
A sentient numenera construct with a mysterious connection to the Tides and the Changing God.
- All Animals Are Dogs: Acts rather like a skittish rescue dog, constantly nervous and on guard even around those it's come to trust.
- Badass Adorable: As Tybir remarks, Oom manages to be quite cute, in spite of being a knee-high blob.[Let it touch you.] The tendril coils around your ankle, cool and dry. Nothing else happens. Apparently, Oom just wanted to give you a hug.
- Blob Monster: Is an amorphous, shapeshifting creature composed of grayish silvery ooze.
- Character Alignment: Whichever Tide the Last Castoff tells it to be.
- Cool Toy: Oom was referred to as The Toy throughout the game's development. At the end of his personal quest, it's revealed that Oom was literally nothing more than a child's plaything, used to instruct the children of an advanced, extinct civilization in how to observe and manipulate the Tides.
- Driven to Suicide: Treat it cruelly enough, and it will let the Sorrow kill it if you bring it into the Labyrinth. If you try to stop it this becomes the only time Oom directly defies you.
- The Empath: As Oom levels up it gets the ability to align itself with the Last Castoff's tides, with each alignment offering a set of gameplay perks.
- Equippable Ally: Oom's Haptic Armor allows it to convert part of its mass into wearable armor which gives one ally a substantial buff to Armor and Resistance as well as all Might and Speed attacks, while preventing Oom from taking actions during combat time or assisting on skill checks.
- Expy: For T3-M4 from Knights of the Old Republic II: The Sith Lords. Both are knee-high Cute Machines who are remarkably personable despite being The Unintelligible, with each having a major connection to a central, enigmatic figure from the setting's pastNote . Even Oom's skittish demeanor echoes T3's nervous, eccentric personality.
- Extreme Doormat: A sentient being with no agency, it literally has no choice but to teach the Last Castoff the Tides. The Last Castoff can abuse it at every turn, up to and including lending it to a pair of mad surgeons who vivisect it, and the most it can do to defy you is refusing to let you pet it... until the very end of the game, when it allows the Sorrow to kill it if you mistreated it enough.
- Item Caddy: As with Rhin, even when denied its actions (such as when using Haptic Armor), a dedicated item-based healer can still be quite useful.
- Kick the Dog: How others treat Oom generally gives them the opportunity to either Pet the Dog or do this.
- Lovable Coward: Oom seems slightly afraid of most of the people and things it meets, even the ones it likes.
- Morality Pet: Can be one for the Last Castoff, depending on the player. Also is one for Tybir, who reveals that he is quite fond of it if you ask him.
- Averted with the Changing God, the people who owned it and its siblings before the Changing God, and its creators.
- Pet the Dog: A fairly literal example, as the Team Pet.
- Serves as a weird example of this for the Sorrow, which is polite and even apologetic to it if you bring it with you on the journey through the Labyrinth.
- Psychic Link: With the Last Castoff.
- Robot Buddy: As a synthetic being, despite its amorphous appearance.
- Shapeshifting: Shapes its semiliquid body into weapons and armor, the shape of which varies depending on the Tides to which the Last Castoff and Oom are attuned.
- Starfish Aliens: Oom's creators, the Dalad, were quite unlike humans. This makes Oom itself a sort of Starfish Android. Judging by how much trouble Oom has communicating with anyone, it seems that their very language cannot be understood by humanoid life forms.
- Stuck Items: Oom's Sploorch (a projectile weapon), its Blbblt and Sploot (bonded items), Oom's Mass and Epidermal Casing (body item and cloak respectively). All of Oom's equipment slots other than ornament are taken up by bits of its own body which can't be swapped out. Which is fair enough, given that Oom doesn't really have hands or a neck, and can't exactly wear clothes.
- Suicide by Cop: Accepts the Sorrow's offer to join its creators in death if its opinion of the Last Castoff is poor enough.
- Support Party Member: While Haptic Armor is active, Oom loses its action on each turn, but can still move and use items. Later, Oom can be aligned to the Last Castoff's dominant Tide(s), providing passive benefits to skills and health, as well as a unique additional ability based on the Tide selected. Silver, for example, gives Oom the Incite Action ability, through which it can command another ally to attack (perhaps somehow indicating an opening for them).
- Team Pet: Passive, obedient, and loyal to a fault, unable to speak but surprisingly personable.
- Tomato Surprise: Oom is actually another construct of the ancient Dalad — the same as the Sorrow.The Sorrow: I understand your companion more than you can imagine. We are created beings, each with a purpose. We are servants of the Tides. [...] I was created with agency. Your companion has none. It must teach the Tides just as you must breathe, even though it knows the ruinous cost.
- Touch Telepathy: Can share its memories with the Last Castoff when they touch their hand to its "eyes".
- Trauma Conga Line: An aeons-long one.
- Was built by the Dalad to serve as a sentient educational tool to teach children how to use the Tides. As long as it could fulfill its purpose, it was happy.
- Got discarded by its owners after it was no longer needed. However, it was built so well that it was still perfectly functional, and was thus aware (and profoundly ashamed) of the fact that it was no longer useful to its makers.
- Saw the Sorrow destroy the Dalad's civilization for abusing the Tides, sparing it but leaving it utterly alone.
- Somehow ended up in the hands of extremely cruel captors, implied to have been the Tabaht, who used it as an endless Tidal battery of sorts. During this, they kept it locked in a burning electrified cage and permanently wired to machines that extracted its Tidal energy, causing it agony every second for centuries.
- Apparently was forcibly split into multiple pieces by its captors, each of which became "another Oom" (in the Last Castoff's words) that was used as a power source.
- Was taken by the Changing God, who left its budded "siblings" behind in their burning cages, and used it as a lab rat in his experiments on the Tides, before imprisoning it in a mirror when it was no longer useful.
- Was left alone, trapped in a mirror lens, in a hidden underground laboratory for years.
- Finally gets found by the Last Castoff, who can be kind or very, very cruel to it, depending on the player's whims.
- The worst part? Throughout all of this, Oom truly wanted to serve its various owners. Its programming forces it to want to be of service.
- Video Game Caring Potential: Oom's most basic desire is to be a loyal servant, and to be appreciated by its masters. Think of a blob-shaped Science Fantasy house elf.
- Video Game Cruelty Potential: Is entirely at the player's mercy and compelled to obey your commands.
- Video Game Cruelty Punishment: Of a sort. If you are cruel enough to it, it will disobey you at the very end of the game, by letting the Sorrow kill it.
A Brave Shaper who Walks Between
Rhin, all grown up. She returns to aid the Last Castoff in the final stage of your journey, provided you sent her home through the maw in Aen-Tozon's chest in Little Nihliesh.
- Because You Were Nice to Me: Because you helped send her back home, despite the danger both to yourself and to Rhin, she seeks you out in the Calm and helps you fight your way to the final controntation with the Specter and the Sorrow.
- But Now I Must Go: She helps you fight your way to the doorstep of the inner recesses of the Labyrinth, but stops short of seeing your decision play out. Her instincts, as usual, are right, and any fighting is done by the time she goes back to her own quest.
- Companion Cube: She still carries Ahl, but gains a number of additional gods by the end of the game.
- Extra-Dimensional Shortcut: How Rhin reaches you in the Labyrinth. She implies that this is commonplace for her now.
- Expy: A lost little girl who summons gods, then goes off to a mysterious Other World and returns after a Plot-Relevant Age-Up? The similarities with Final Fantasy IV's Rydia are likely intentional.
- Kid Hero All Grown Up: And considerably happier than she was when you first met her.
- Hero of Another Story: Stated outright in the ending crawl: a story for another day. Rhin herself says she was in the middle of her own adventure and dropped it to help you.
- Jack-of-All-Stats: She's a decent fighter at both melee and range, knows a few esoteries, and is the best Cypher user in the game bar none. Naturally she's only with you for a very short while.
- Magikarp Power: And how. Played Straight after you activate the resonance chamber, if you previously returned Rhin home — the God of Meeting Again she gave you as a parting gift draws her back to you after she's spent a decade refining her skill of making Gods. Her title on return is now "Brave Shaper who Walks Between".
- Mythology Gag: Wields a sentient crossbow, not unlike a certain backward modron in the original Torment.
- Odd Job Gods: Her skill at crafting Gods has only grown stronger, making her a powerful magic user, a decent warrior, and allowing her to carry the maximum number of Cyphers, eleven. In addition to still carrying Ahl, she now carries the God of Change, which grants her a number of esoteries. Her weapons, a sword and crossbow, are gods as well.
- Plot-Relevant Age-Up: If you help her find her way home in the Bloom, she shows up all grown up in the final dungeon and helps you fight your way through it.
- Reality Warper: She walks between worlds, to the point where she enters the Labyrinth under her own power and hardly seems to break a sweat while doing so.
- She Is All Grown Up: Our little Rhin is all grown up, and also a time traveler now.
- Time Travel: It's not entirely clear how she spent the intervening years or how long she's been traveling through time and across dimensions, but it doesn't seem like it's her first time doing either.
- Walking Spoiler: Just in case you were wondering how Rhin got along after you sent her on through that gut-portal in the Bloom, wonder no longer.
- Year Inside, Hour Outside: Possibly. We don't really know enough about the nature of Rhin's home to know for sure.
The First Castoff
A female Castoff who was the Changing God's closest collaborator until she rebelled against him. Although now deceased, many of the castoffs followed her and continue to fight in the Endless Battle.
- Antagonistic Offspring: She came to hate the Changing God and became his greatest nemesis.
- Calling the Old Man Out: Did so when she realized that the Changing God had no interest in curing her failing body, and by extension didn't care at all for any castoff.
- Everyone Calls Her "Barkeep": The First. And the Memovira. And the Chimaera. Her real name is Maralel.
- Flawed Prototype: Unlike later castoffs, her body began to fail to the point where she would resemble a rotting corpse if not for the artifact mask she wears, which allows her to take on any humanoid guise she wishes.
- Forever War: She and the Changing God started the Endless Battle between them, for reasons that are lost to history. Her death hasn't even slowed it down — the chance at revenge against the Changing God, as well as the centuries-old vendettas between various castoffs, seem to be more than enough to keep the fighting going.
- King Incognito: In her guise of the Memovira, she was able to work next to Matkina, who despises the First and was a longtime rival of the Memovira's even before her ascension for years. She's played the part of at least one other distinct crime lord, the Chimaera, in the time between her "death" and becoming the Memovira.
- Malevolent Masked Woman: Her followers gave her a mask which allowed her to conceal her disfigured face. That's her on the box art. It also allows her to take on a variety of human disguises.
- Non-Indicative Name: She wasn't actually the first body the Changing God cast off, although she was one of the earliest, and seems to be the oldest surviving human castoff.
- Posthumous Character: She's been dead for centuries by the time you come around. Her followers still keep up the war in her name. You later discover this is less than true.
- She Who Fights Monsters: Most people who aren't her followers seem to agree that her hatred drove her to become every bit as bad as her sire.Aadiriis: She was driven, ambitious, and strong, and she cared deeply for all of us, but... her hatred obscured the bonds between us, and she drove us into war.
- Talking the Monster to Death: One possibility. If you merge all the castoffs into one body, depending on the body, assuming it isn't hers, she can be persuaded to go willingly.
- Walking Spoiler: She's been dead for years, but that's her mask on the cover. The game involves Body-Surfing, Time Travel, and clone bodies. You know this is going to get complicated. That she has simply been Faking the Dead all this time and has been masquerading as the Memovira for years comes as something of an in-game Mind Screw for Matkina.
- What Measure Is a Non-Human?: The breaking point between them was the absolute indifference of the Changing God toward his castoffs. From a flashback as the First relives the experience in the Labyrinth:The First: You have a daughter. Right here! The one you're talking about has been dead for centuries, but I — I am flesh and blood. I am alive and begging for your help to stay that way!
The Changing God: You're not my daughter. You're a creation. You're a shell. Do you feel shame when you discard your old clothes? Do you feel pity when a doll burns? I feel as much connection to you as I do that mask.
The castoff founder of the Dendra O'Hur, an order of cannibals who eat the dead, absorbing their memories. He's been in hiding for centuries.
- Cannibalism Superpower: Like the rest of the Dendra O'Hur, Melmoth knows a technique for eating the bodies of the dead to gain their memories. Melmoth's the one who pioneered the technique.
- Dark Is Not Evil: He's not exactly a good guy, but he can be helpful to the Last Castoff, and the people he eats are already dead. He certainly hasn't committed the atrocities as several of several other castoffs you meet. Even the attempt on Matkina's life wasn't actually him.
- Eat Brain for Memories: Not limited to the brain, but otherwise the principle's the same.
- Good Scars, Evil Scars: Has a nasty pitted scar on one side of his face.
- I'm a Humanitarian: Unapologetically so. The Dendra O'Hur believe they're doing the Ninth World a service by preserving the memories of the dead. If they get a meal out of it, so much the better.
- Interrogating the Dead: Melmoth's disciple Imbitu notes that the dead occasionally resist having their memories absorbed even as they're being eaten.
- I Was Quite the Looker: His description says that he might have been handsome once, though that was centuries ago, and the years of neglect have taken their toll.
- Poor Communication Kills: His feud with Matkina, from when they were both part of the past Memovira's organization forced him to flee Sagus Cliffs some decades ago in fear for his life. Except it wasn't Melmoth, but rather their mutual colleague, the woman who would go on to become the next Memovira.
- Really 700 Years Old: Makes special note of the benefits of being able to spend centuries on research and scholarship, and points out somewhat condescendingly that he can't simply impart all he knows to the Last Castoff in one short conversation.
A castoff herself, Aadiris acts as the caretaker of the sanctuary of Miel Avest, a safe haven from the Sorrow and a neutral ground in the Endless Battle.
- All-Loving Hero: She strives to be this, at least where her fellow castoffs are concerned, in part to make up for the harm they cause as well as the suffering they endure.
- Armor-Piercing Question: The game's tagline question is hers. As in Planescape: Torment, your answer is your own, and there's an ample number of options accounted for in the dialogue tree.Aadiriis: What does one life matter?
- Badass Long Robe: Wears a long robe of many colors and is a powerful nano.
- Beware the Nice Ones: Her go-to attack is Maelstrom, which deals 2 damage of each type and means she's at least a Tier 4 nano. Of course, since she's fighting the Sorrow, who has 300 hit points, is immune to any damage type other than relativistic, and deals thousands of points of damage with a single hit, the most she can hope to do is offer a distraction while her fellow castoffs escape.
- Big Good: A wise mentor figure to younger castoffs, and the caretaker of the one safe haven most of them have. She even guides the Last Castoff to a crucial secret hidden in Zerian's mere. She appears to be this, but then Miel Avest comes under attack by the Sorrow and she gives her life buying the other castoffs, yourself included, a few moments to escape.
- Heroic Sacrifice: During the Sorrow's assault on Miel Avest, as mentioned above.
- I Hate Past Me: The Changing God was in her body when he brought the revolutionary group known as the Jagged Dream to Sagus Cliffs. Even after she was cast off, the members of the organization came to her with their plots, seeking her approval.Aadiriis: I have never taken a life, but blood stains me. I can't feel that again. Ever.
- Just the First Citizen: Aadiriis doesn't even have a title, and even goes so far as to deny that she's the leader of Miel Avest. Subverted in that she actually means it in both cases, just wanting to give the other castoffs some sense of respite, and maybe help find an end to the pointless conflict that characterizes so many of their lives.
- Mentor Occupational Hazard: She's taken it upon herself to offer shelter to all castoffs, and advice and guidance to the younger ones, such as yourself. She sacrifices herself, drawing the Sorrow's attention in an attempt to buy the other castoffs a few more moments' time in which to escape.
- Mythology Gag: Jointly with Aadiris, referencing Ravel Puzzlewell. While Aadiriis is also sequestered away from the world at large, it's of her own free will, and she is not alone or lonely. Like Ravel, however, she does get to ask the game's big thematic question of the player.
- Place of Protection: Miel Avest is shielded against the Sorrow and hidden from its awareness. Or so the castoffs hope. Soon after your arrival, the Sorrow attacks and kills Aadiriis and many of her charges. Aadiriis never blames you and it's implied that the Spectre might have disabled the sanctuary's defenses, but the result is the same.
- Truce Zone: Miel Avest, a domed, cloaked, shielded garden sanctuary, is one of the only places where castoffs are safe from the Sorrow. It's neutral ground in the Endless Battle, where castoffs from both sides meet and speak on relatively peaceful terms. Aadiriis, who supports neither the Changing God nor the First Castoff, is the de facto leader of the place, despite her claims to the contrary.
- Vitriolic Best Buds: She tends to call the other castoffs her friends and tries to see the best in them, whether or not they return the favor.Aadiriis: Sometimes I feel that the Sorrow must hunt us because so many of us are so very disagreeable.
- Young and in Charge: Comparatively. While castoffs don't really age, at only a hundred-odd years old, Aadiriis is a young idealist by their standards. She calls Matkina "big sister".
The castoff founder of Children of the Endless Gate, a murderous splinter sect of the Dendra O'Hur, reduced to a madman clad in rags waiting within the heart of the Gate itself.
- Antiquated Linguistics: With a touch of Sesquipedalian Loquaciousness. Chances are many players had to look up what a "poetaster" was, even if it was just to be sure.note
- Arc Villain: For the Valley of Dead Heroes, as the leader of the Children of the Endless Gate.
- Berserk Button: He's surprisingly hard to rile, given his reputation, but out of all the people who've died at the Children's hands, Inifere tells you not to mention Choi Cai'sul's name. If you ignore the warning, the battle begins immediately.
- Catchphrase: "I am no better."
- Cryptic Conversation: He speaks in internally rhymed, repetitive, figurative doggerel and seems fascinated by the sound of his own voice, although given his long confinement it might be the only voice he had for company for most of that time.Inifere: You've come too far. Too far by far. There is no escape. None leave the gate. [...] This is where pain flays vain lies that hide from our despising eyes the flaws inside our sorry selves.
- Dark Messiah: The Children of the Endless Gate embrace madness and murder in Inifere's image. Their worship fills him with disgust and self-loathing.
- Defector from Decadence: Played with. The Children broke away from the Dendra O'Hur, who consume the flesh of the dead to keep their memories and knowledge alive, literally absorbing them into themselves. The Children, on the other hand, believe that the flesh is a prison, leading them to commit brutal murders in order to "liberate" the spirits of those unfortunate enough to cross their paths. The Children do not eat the flesh of the dead, believing their predecessors' actions to be as abominable as the Dendra O'Hur do theirs.
- For his part, Inifere is disgusted by his 'followers', and in truth he's much more a prisoner of the Endless Gate (he describes himself as a zoo animal) than he is the Children's master. If you can convince him to trust you, you can convince him to kill himself to atone or close himself inside the Gate, eliminating the reason for the Children's takeover of the Valley of Dead Heroes.
- Dirty Coward: As miserable as his existence is, he'd rather live on in the Endless Gate than die. The real reason why he retreated into the Endless Gate was to flee to a place where the Sorrow could not follow.
- Eldritch Abomination: Not him, but rather the unspeakably powerful entities which circle around him, filling the darkness inside the Endless Gate.Inifere: Better two ants make war upon the seasons, brother.
- Even Evil Has Loved Ones: Marcysa was the closest thing to love Inifere, or possibly the Changing God, had felt in a very long time. Too bad she was far worse than Inifere ever was.
- Expy: His madness, long imprisonment, and Cryptic Conversation style closely resemble the confrontation with Ravel Puzzlewell in Planescape: Torment.
- For Want of a Nail: The Children would never have existed if Inifere had faced his fears and confronted the Sorrow when it came for him, all those years ago. The Last Castoff can, if you choose, use the twisted merecaster to Set Right What Once Went Wrong, convincing the younger Inifere to fight the Sorrow, even if it means his death. This adds up to a lot of people being spared a horrible death at the Children's hands over the years.
- Gate Guardian: He has the power to open and close the Endless Gate yet the Children — and the things inside the Gate — won't let him leave.
- Go Mad from the Revelation: The Changing God used his mind to delve into forbidden knowledge. The Changing God's consciousness was able to leave Inifere's body behind, unscathed and unburdened by the worst of what he learned. Inifere, meanwhile, had to live with all of it. The isolation of being trapped with the horrors beyond the Endless Gate with only his own mad followers for company can't have helped any.
- Lean and Mean: He's Nothing but Skin and Bones, clad in rags, and he's responsible for the atrocities of the Children of the Endless Gate by inaction if nothing else.
- Like Father, Like Son: Of the ways castoffs resemble their father, and what kind of person the Changing God must be for that to be the case:Inifere: Isn't the make of the man obvious from his misbegotten offspring? Or do you find yourself so fine that you dream yourself a kingly sire?
- The Man in Front of the Man: The beings which dwell beyond the Gate are far more terrible than Inifere. It's the Children of the Endless Gate who actually keep Inifere captive, seeking his approval for acts that fill him with the deepest loathing and horror.Inifere: In any case, I fear your folly is quite profound. One does not say to the caged calyptor, 'Prithee, teach they zookeepers better manners.'
- Power Born of Madness: Appearances can be deceiving: but scrawny and half-starved as he appears, Inifere is tough enough to present a challenge to your entire party even before the lurking horrors within the Gate start to come to his aid.
- Psycho Supporter: Inifere is mad, but Marcysa, the leader of the cult which became the Children, is actually even worse.
- Ret-Gone: One possible way of dealing with him. It involves persuading the past Inifere to redeem himself by facing the Sorrow even if it means his death, and has the added benefit of ensuring the Children of the Endless Gate never come to exist.
- Screw Destiny: Using the twisted metal merecaster to change Inifere's past can persuade him to go to his death against the Sorrow, averting years of suffering on his part, preventing the Children of the Endless Gate from ever existing, and putting the memory of Choi Cai'sul to rest.
- Talking the Monster to Death: You can persuade, bluff, or intimidate him into giving up without fighting you. If you have his merecaster, you can also convince the past version of Inifere to face up to his fears and confront the Sorrow head on. It gets him killed, but it also means the Children of the Endless Gate never existed, undoing years of misery and death.
- Would Hurt a Child: The sacrifice of the girl Choi Cai'sul.
- Your Approval Fills Me with Shame: Despite being their leader, Inifere himself is disgusted by the Children's actions, particularly the idea that they believe they're following in his footsteps.
The LeviesThe purple-clad city guards of Sagus Cliffs, upon turning sixteen (or the equivalent age of majority for their species), any person may walk into the Order of Truth and apply for citizenship. Upon doing so, they enter an ancient piece of the numenera — which drains a year of their life and uses it to build up an artificial humanoid out of gray sludge, which then serves the city in the new citizen's stead for one year.
- Cast from Lifespan: Sagus Cliff's levy machine directly subtracts a year of life from the user in order to create a levy, one of the city's Artificial Human City Guards, called levies. This ages the person directly, as is the case for Levy captain Sigyn, who gave up multiple years of her life, making her much Older Than She Looks — but it also apparently somehow preemptively voids the events of those years, such that you meet a former thief who would have died in a fire that wiped out a whole neighborhood — he didn't, but his levy remembers, and still feels the extraordinary guilt of it.
- City Guards: Sagus Cliffs' police force is made up of levies, created by a machine that subtracts a year from a person's life to create an Artificial Human which will live for only one year before disintegrating into its component matter. Doing this is mandatory to become a citizen of the city — essentially, it's done in lieu of military service. Nobody seems at all concerned for what this means for the levies themselves — they seem intelligent, but also happy. Whether they're either is debatable, though guard captain Sigyn says they are sentient, and they aren't happy.
- It Runs on Nonsensoleum: The more the process by which the levy machine's life-draining process is explained, the less it makes sense — it's not just a physical year that's taken, but somehow the events/memories of that year.
- Meaningful Name: A levy is a tax or seizure of property by force. Levies are created by volunteers, but still, a physical toll (of exactly one year) is exacted.
- Stepford Smiler: The Levies of Sagus Cliffs are incapable of any emotion other than pleasant blandness. This makes finding one who's quite visibly stressing out in the middle of Cliff's Edge decidedly odd; he turns out to have gotten a "bad year" from the citizen he was made from... and he wants another one.
- What Measure Is a Non-Human?: Are the levies happy? Are they even capable of being unhappy? How would you tell? Their human captain, Sigyn, says they're definitely not happy, and she would perhaps know them best, having given up upwards of two decades of her life to create more of them, but no one else in Sagus seems to mind or care.
The StichaA stichus (plural: sticha) is a kind of insect-like humanoid. Originally from another dimension, a few of them were transported into the Ninth World, and subsequently abandoned. Recently a community of sticha have begun tunneling through the Underbelly of Sagus Cliffs, bringing them into conflict with the inhabitants of the city.
- Expy: Of the dabus from Planescape: an extradimensional species with a bizarre alien language, which the player character can alternately learn/remember.
- Fast Tunnelling: They are remarkably proficient burrowers. Unfortunately their tunnels have resulted in several collapses in the city above, most notable in Cliff's Edge, where several buildings along the cliffside have all but fallen into the sea below.
- Insectoid Aliens: Insectoid visitors from another dimension.
- Pūnct'uatìon Sh'akër: The few stichus names we see contain a lot of apostrophes.
- Shock and Awe: They don't eat organic food, but rather feed on the electricity from Ninth World power sources, as well as the friction produced by striking their claws while burrowing.
- Starfish Language They speak in clicks, Sign Language, and Pheromones. Humans find them difficult to understand, while the sticha don't really grasp the subtleties of human expression or tone.
- Video Game Caring Potential: Rescuing the nameless outcast stichus from the angry mob.
- What Measure Is a Non-Human?: Played straight and inverted. The natives of Sagus Cliffs and the sticha each believe the others to be of limited sapience, and consequently have no qualms about undermining (literally in the sticha's case) or killing one another.
The Fifth Eye
The burnt-out veterans of a psychic war, who now own, operate, and lend their name to a bar built inside what appears to be an ancient factory.
The following tropes apply to the psychic veterans of the Fifth Eye:
- Artificial Human: Ziobe is a mlox, outwardly indistinguishable from a human unless she opens her third eye, connected to her mechanical mind. This doesn't make her the example listed under Living Memory, however.
- Astral Projection: As part of battling in the heart of the mind, they're all trained in this. They can aid the Last Castoff in joining them to confront the Adversaries, if you wish.
- The Bartender: Feriok, who never actually touches the glasses.
- Battle in the Center of the Mind: Their bread and butter, as psychic mercenaries. If the Castoff asks, they'll recount psychic war stories, with varying degrees of willingness.
- Blessed with Suck:Feriok: You know what it's like to be psychic? Let me paint a picture. Imagine every time you're going to sleep, someone comes and starts screaming in your ear. Or objects in the room start whispering about how they want to burn. Or they might tell you their secret names and how to make them float and dance at your command. Or maybe every person you meet is like a house with all its doors and windows thrown open, and you can't help but look in to plunder their secrets. And underneath it all you hear their silent judgments, the truths they hide even from themselves.
- Blind Seer: Subverted. Leto can still see normally, but her perception of the future is blocked by the Adversaries. Probably still counts as a nod to Ravel Puzzlewell's collection of planar avatars.
- Brown Note: The Words of Qra, a weaponized meme. For now they're safely contained in Theboros's mind, but once they infected and laid waste to an entire nation.
- Combat Clairvoyance: Feriok again, as the group's spotter, keeping his third eye peeled for any invisible psychic entities or attacks.
- Cover-Blowing Superpower: Feriok isn't a telekinetic shouldn't be able to tend bar without touching the glasses, which is a big hint that they're the member of the Fifth Eye who fell in battle.
- Drowning My Sorrows: They spend all their time in the bar they own, reminiscing on past battles and memorializing the one who didn't make it.
- Dude, Where's My Respect?: The Fifth Eye saved Sagus Cliffs from the Adversaries, but since non-psychics can't see or sense the Adversaries in any way, nobody knows or thanks them for it. Theboros is particularly bitter about it.Theboros: Best part is, we've sacrificed our lives, our friends and our sanity for a city that'll never know.
- Empty Chair Memorial: Of a sort: one of the five of them is only a psychic projection, and running the bar is a memorial to them.Ziobe: We beat it, though. So as long as I'm breathing, I'll keep his memory alive. He'll serve his drinks and make his bad jokes, and everyone here will feel welcome. It's the least I could do in his name.
- Five-Man Band: They call themselves the Fifth Eye, and there are five of them. Dhama is indisputably The Leader and Ziobe was their primary physical warrior. The other roles are less obvious since we never see them as an active team. As powerful psychics, any of them might qualify as The Smart Guy on another team.
- Go Mad from the Revelation: The Words of Qra, as a "weaponized meme", spread from one mind to another and drive people to madness and death.
- Heroic BSoD: After battling the Adversaries and losing one of their own in the fighting, the Fifth Eye suffered (and are suffering) a collective breakdown, and retreated into the bar they run.
- Hero of Another Story: They were an adventuring party in their own right, and they've assembled in this bar to serve as a bulwark if and when their old enemies return.
- Humans Are Psychic in the Future: It's the (very) distant future, and they're psychic. Of course, the Ninth World being what it is, nobody is particularly impressed by them.
- Last Stand: It only looks like the Fifth Eye spend all day sitting around the bar and drinking. In reality, they're preparing for what might easily be a hopeless final battle against the malevolent Adversaries.
- Libation for the Dead: Like the example under Empty Chair Memorial, they're drinking to the memory of the one they lost, even though to outsiders it appears that all of them are still there. In a bit of irony, Feriok is the one serving them drinks, but, as a telekinetic projection of Ziobe's, not drinking anything himself.
- Living Memory: One of the Fifth Eye didn't actually make it back from their Final Battle with the Adversary, and is only a psychic projection crafted by one of the other four. Ziobe will set you the minor quest of figuring out which of the five of them it is, noting that she wouldn't rule out herself. It's Feriok. Talking to the others will reveal that he wasn't a telekinetic, he was their spotter.
- Mind over Matter: Ziobe, who was their fiercest and most direct warrior, and Feriok, who bartends without ever actually touching the bottles or taps. Ziobe is actually bartending for them, as the Feriok the player sees is just a mental projection generated by Ziobe in tribute to the real Feriok, who died in battle with the Adversaries.
- Mind Virus: The Words of Qra, which Theboros has contained in his mind but has no way of permanently destroying, and which are slowly wearing down his mental defenses. He plans to kill himself in order to ensure the Words die with him. The Last Castoff can persuade him to pass them along to the Castoff instead, allowing them to deploy them as a weapon in a few later conversations.
- My Significance Sense Is Tingling: Feriok, as the group's spotter, specialized in catching invisible psychic attacks before they hit the rest of the group.
- Nice Hat: Theboros wears a wide-brimmed hat. Word of God says it was inspired by the hats favoured by William S. Burroughs, the inspiration for the character.
- Psychic Block Defense: Theboros's specialty. He created the mental walls the other members of the Fifth Eye took cover behind.
- Psychic Powers: They're psychic warriors, each with their own specialties.
- Psychic Radar: Feriok again, as psychic lookout and spotter.
- Psychic Static: A necessary skill for any psychic. Used against them by the Adversaries, as without Feriok, they're blind to their presence.
- Recruited from the Gutter: Not exactly a Rags to Riches story, but Dhama of the Bloom is, as the name suggests, a native of the Bloom. He made it out, which not many people born there can say.
- Scry vs. Scry: Leto, who can read minds and see the future, commonly engaged in this.
- Sealed Evil in a Can: The Fifth Eye couldn't destroy the Adversaries, so they sealed them away... Temporarily.
- Secret War: Nobody in Sagus knows the trouble the Fifth Eye have saved them from. Nobody would believe them if they told them.
- Seers: Leto reads minds and sees the future and can tell you something about each of your companions, but not the Last Castoff.
- The Strategist: Theboros planned the Eye's battles, acting on information from Leto.
- Shell-Shocked Veteran: All five of them were broken in the fighting the Adversaries, and even more so when it killed one of them.
- You're seeing now the veterans of a thousand psychic wars...
- Theboros's (try saying it out loud) appearance, personality, and hat are based on author William S. Burroughs, who'd also know a thing or two about words causing the reader physical pain.
- Leto can see the future, like a certain God-Emperor of the same name.
- Shrine to the Fallen: The bar is a tribute to the loss they took fighting against the Adversaries. The pipes and archways even give the place a cathedral-like quality, and having Feriok as the bartender keeps him front and center at all times.
- Survivor Guilt: Their mercenary band was called the Fifth Eye, but now there are only four of them, and they spend their days Drowning Their Sorrows and reliving past glories. Safe to say they were all hit with a bad case of this. Telling as well that Feriok seems to feel the loss the least — where he's gone, that kind of pain can't hurt him.
- Telepathy: They're psychics, so they all have a degree of this. Dhama's ability to coordinate between the others makes him their natural leader.
- To Absent Friends: All day, every day. The friend in question is actually Feriok, who despite appearances was killed by the Adversaries.
- Vagueness Is Coming: It's a shapeless malevolence that most people cannot see or sense, but it's not only coming, it's already been — the Fifth Eye fought and died against the Adversaries, beings of pure thought, and they're getting ready to do so again.
- War Is Hell: Certainly the case when it comes to fighting the Adversaries in the battlefield of the mind, as the Adversaries may conjure up any horrors the human mind can fathom.
The following tropes apply to the patrons and other denizens of the bar:
- Anthropomorphic Personification: O, as a sentient vowel and embodiment of an underlying precept of the universe. As in the original Torment, he can expand the player character's perceptions of reality, giving them, in this case, a boost to Intellect and Health.O: Continue. Live. Breathe.
- Expy: From Planescape: Torment:
- The bar as a whole is one to the Smoldering Corpse Bar, right down to its factory-like appearance, interdimensional clientele, and sapient letter O being a regular. As with the Smoldering Corpse, the Fifth Eye offers the player characters a number of unconventional ways to kill themselves... among them sampling the stronger drinks.
- As experienced adventurers who wandered too far and were never quite the same afterward, the Fifth Eye veterans are similar to the tout Candrian Illbourne and Dak'kon. As a group of war veterans, they resemble the fiendish Blood War veterans Aethelgrin and Tegar'in, as well as the long-serving Mercykiller patrons in the back of the bar.
- Sir Arthour Torein, a recurring character from the sourcebooks, is of a similar age to retired Harmonium Guardsman Ebb Creakknees, and will likewise happily exposit at some length on the setting and rules thereof.
- The apparition of the Ghostly Woman is even somewhat smokier than she normally appears, and like Ignus, she's dangerous to the Castoff. Unlike Ignus, she's not the main draw of the place, as it's not clear how many of the other patrons can even see her.
- Humanoid Abomination: Malaise, who you won't even be able to see without the right combination of mind-affecting chemicals from the Fifth Eye's special taps.
- Inn Between the Worlds: Most any bar in Sagus could be this, depending on the night, owing to the city's proximity to the Bloom.
- Local Hangout: As a bar in the Cliff's Edge district in southeast Sagus Cliffs.
- My Greatest Failure: Almas the Soul Keeper asked a question which led to the ruin of his entire civilization. You can convince him this wasn't his fault, but you'll probably wish you hadn't, since the vision (or memory?) you experience suggests that the empire he would rebuild was a despotic nightmare, and Almas taking the throne would make it even worse than it was before.
- War Is Glorious: Clarion seems to think so, and as a recruiter for the Endless Battle, cheerfully proclaiming as much is her way of enticing the Fifthy Eye mercenary band back into action. After their experiences fighting the Adversary, and noticeable after talking to them for even a few moments, you can observe that her approach is way off.
Intangible beings of pure, malevolent thought which entered the Ninth World via the interdimensional maws of the Bloom. The veterans of the Fifth Eye fought them off and sealed them away, but the Adversaries continue to seek a means of returning to Sagus Cliffs.
- Bonus Boss: If you choose to confront them with the Fifth Eye, you do so on a Psychic Battlefield. Malaise splits into eight featureless, shadowy humanoid bodies, each of which grows progressively stronger as the others die. Depending on your party makeup and how much experience you have when you attempt this fight, it can be either extremely difficult, or fairly trivial. It is, nevertheless, one of only a few crises in the game which is entirely combat-based.
- The Corrupter/The Corruption: As much a malevolent force as they are distinct entities, but they seek a "compatible" intelligent lifeform to inhabit. Things that increase compatibility: riots, chaos, murder, global devastation by unstable reactors...
- Demonic Possession: The Adversaries seek physical forms with which to merge and thus gain access to the Ninth World.
- Names to Run Away from Really Fast: The Adversaries. Malaise.
- Poke in the Third Eye: Mental contact with the Adversaries is extremely unpleasant at best, outright lethal at worst.
- Sealed Evil in a Can: The Fifth Eye managed to create a barrier beteween the Adversaries and the Ninth World, but by their own admission it's tenuous and the Adversaries may already be finding ways to circumvent it. In fact a projection of the Adversaries is sitting in a corner of the bar and watching them all the while, in the form of a seemingly invisible, intangible tavern-goer named Malaise.
- Talking the Monster to Death: If you confront them alone, Malaise tests you through a series of questions. Defeating it means either succeeding at a fairly difficult Intellect check... or unleashing the Words of Qra upon it. Either way, this is done entirely through dialogue.
The last of the warlike Tabaht, an invading horde which once laid siege to Sagus Cliffs, nearly conquering the city thousands of years ago.
- And I Must Scream: Made immortal but forced to stand next to the portal in Circus Minor for all eternity, answering questions for passersby.
- Blood Knight: One of the leaders of a Proud Warrior Race, he'd kill you where you stand if it were within his power.
- Chekhov's Gunman: Something of a retroactive case. The Genocide isn't the gunman himself, but rather the man from his story who stopped the Tabaht invasion — the man who would eventually become Changing God. If not for the Tabaht invasion, the Changing God's daughter would never have died of the wasting illness caused by their Tide-based weapons. If he had never begun his research into the Tides, he never would have become immortal, and never would have created the castoffs, awakened the Sorrow, and started the Endless Battle — effectively, he never would have become the Changing God. Much of this is only revealed to you in the very last leg of The Very Definitely Final Dungeon, and only if you finished the Ghostly Woman's sidequest.
- Cool and Unusual Punishment: He was made immortal, but only so he could serve what amounts to a life sentence that would last an eternity.
- Cruel Mercy: Kept alive, made immortal, but unable to move from where he's standing and never allowed to fight ever again.
- Expy: Huh boy...
- For a character who's largely optional, he's basically a walking tribute to Planescape: Torment. His blood-red bladed armor resembles that of Sigil's Harmonium, even though the Tabaht were pretty much the exact opposite of the modern Harmonium — although they did share the latter's overarching goal of spreading order through military might. It was only the presence of the Lady of Pain in Sigil that kept the Harmonium from invading wholesale. In the Genocide's long imprisonment standing in a single spot and Purpose-Driven Immortality, he's an Expy of Vhailor. As a character who was trapped in one place and made immortal as a punishment for bringing ruin to the city — a legend you hear about several times while wandering through Sagus — he's a lot like Ignus. Finally, being forced to stand in a single spot and answer inane questions for years on end, he's also similar to the Post, a zombie in Sigil's Hive Ward, covered in flyers and graffiti and commanded to give directions (by pointing) to anyone who asked.
- As the sole survivor of a warrior race defeated by an enemy they made the mistake of thinking was weak, he's also reminiscent of Mandalore the Preserver, Canderous Ordo, from Knights of the Old Republic II: The Sith Lords — "the shell of their armor on the shell of a man."]]
- Genius Loci: The Tabaht lived in an intelligent city called the Underspine, which they also worshiped as their god.
- The Horde: The Tabaht swarmed over Sagus Cliffs in the ancient past, in the name of conquest and bringing their particular brand of order to the city.
- Human Popsicle: The Tabaht as a whole were awoken from hibernation after untold ages.
- I Have Many Names:The Genocide: I was Ogesti tel Kotu, the Firm Hand of Tradition. They called me one of the Black Three. Enemies did not understand us. They took my name to mean death in a dozen extinct tongues, called me Orphan-maker, Hopesmasher, Death's Child. My armies blackened the earth and the skies. My dragoliths scoured the land. Domination was my duty. If they had known, if they had welcomed us, they might have been our thralls. Instead they became dust.
- Kill the God: Their god, a numenera construct called the Underspine, was killed in revenge for their conquest.
- Knight Templar: The Tabaht believed they were bringing order, of a kind. Even if it meant killing everyone who dared to resist them.
- Last of His Kind: The last surviving member of the Tabaht.
- Lost Superweapon: The Tabaht had a whole arsenal of them, and were nearly invincible until a lone nano stopped them with his own mastery of the numenera, erecting an unbreakable shield over the city. Those weapons of the Tabaht's, though? They were based on the Tides, and the man who stopped them, in researching the underlying forces that powered the Tabaht's arsenal, would one day become the Changing God.
- Make an Example of Them: He was spared and made immortal as this.
- Meaningful Name: His people killed untold numbers of innocents during their conquest... and were wiped out, almost to the very last man.
- Names to Run Away from Really Fast: The Genocide. The Underspine doesn't sound particularly friendly either.
- Mr. Exposition: In-universe — the sole reason for his continued existence is to act as a tour guide of sorts, recounting the history of the Tabaht invasion of Sagus Cliffs to anyone who asks.
- Proud Warrior Race: The Genocide was a shining example of the Tabaht, a race of supersoldiers who arose from their underground chambers and set about conquering Sagus Cliffs and the surrounding territories in the distant past of the region.
- Purpose-Driven Immortality: Immortality was forced upon him, to serve as a living reminder of the Tabaht invasion, as well as to punish him for his part in it.
- Religion of Evil: The Tabaht's purpose was given to them by their god, the Underspine.
- Restraining Bolt: He is incapable of acting independently, and is compelled to answer the questions of anyone who approaches him. His one small freedom is that he needs only answer any given line of questioning once.
- Sealed Army in a Can: The Tabaht were sealed underground as Human Popsicles by some previous civilization.
- The Stoic: From what he says, part of this might have been Tabaht discipline, though a larger part of it is the extreme restrictions placed on his actions and behavior as part of his punishment.
- That Makes Me Feel Angry: Part of his punishment is to be unable to act on the seething hatred he feels. He can tell you what he's feeling, if you ask, but he can't show it.
- Time Abyss: Thousands of years old.
- Underground City: The Tabaht hailed from an ancient underground city which was also their god, called the Underspine.
- Unique Enemy: You can't fight him. He isn't crucial to the plot and no quests point to him. He's just there to fill in the backstory of the game, in fact, yet he has a unique model and a significant amount of dialogue. It's likely that the Tabaht, like the Oasis of M'ra Jolios, were at one point going to play a larger part of the game, but ended up being written out over the course of development.
- Who Wants to Live Forever?: ... as a stationary tour guide? Probably no one, least of all a bloodthirsty champion of a Proud Warrior Race.
- Written by the Winners: Averted. The Genocide seems to be free to editorialize to a degree as long as he's answering the questions he's asked.
Ghostly Woman / Miika
A strange, spectral figure, a woman who appears in the dreams of certain women in Sagus Cliffs, gradually changing their appearance and thoughts until they finally become her avatars in the real world, a process which has been occurring largely unnoticed in Sagus Cliffs for hundreds if not thousands of years.
- Ascended Extra: Her associated sidequest seems like flavor for the City of Adventure that is Sagus Cliffs, but she's intricately tied into the city's history along with that of the Changing God.
- Clone by Conversion: How she propagates in Sagus Cliffs, gradually taking over the body and minds of living women in the city, a process that begins in childhood and usually drives the victim insane in the process, unless they somehow manage to fend her off.
- The "empty reflection" Seria was changed by the ghostly woman but had a portion of her consciousness preserved as a fragment in the Labyrinth by her foster father, the castoff Orseolo, before her death demoralised him into committing suicide by the Sorrow. Their relationship serves as an early foreshadowing of the Ghostly Woman's relationship with the Changing God.
- Loss-of-Self in Cliff's Edge is in the last stages of being taken over by the ghostly woman, to the point where she can hardly remember anything of her past life.
- The young orphan girl Avina is in the early stages, occasionally haunted by visions of a woman she doesn't know telling her she's not herself.
- Sigyn, who now commands the city's levies, gave up year after year of her life to create new levies, aging herself out of the ghostly woman's influence. The levy created by her twentieth year is noted to have been utterly horrifying, and was immediately put out of its misery.
- Hearing the woman's voice in her head drove Kiyatawa to become a murderer just to shut her up, even before she found a sense of purpose in serving the Endless Gate.
- Made considerably worse with the knowledge that this has been going on for thousands of years.
- Chekhov's Gunman: Her sidequest is optional, but depending on how you resolve it, it can affect the ending. It turns out she's the "ghost" of the Changing God's daughter, Miika, her memories and consciousness. After she was injured by a numenera weapon during the Tabaht invasion of Sagus Cliffs, her father, the man who would one day be known as the Changing God, began searching for a cure. He uncovered the secrets of a past civilization, the Dalad, which in turn led him to the Tides — the use of which in turn drew the Sorrow to him, forcing him to accelerate his research and use that technology to prolong his own life, eventually losing sight of why he'd started out on this path in the first place and abandoning a daughter who, for him, had been dead for thousands of years. Her presence during your final confrontation with the Changing God opens up the alternate solution of convincing the God to give up his own existence to finally return his daughter to a life of her own.
- The Ending Changes Everything: A natural consequence of said ending revealing her very relevant identity.
- Expy: She superficially resembles the similarly ghostly Deionarra from Torment, but her madness and ties into the history of her surroundings are more like the twisted fire mage Ignus. The way she destroys lives with her every reincarnation makes her an Expy of that aspect of the Nameless One, for whom another life was snuffed out and made into a spectral shadow each time he died and was reborn.
- For Want of a Nail: A great deal of pain was brought about by the circumstances of her death, spread out across the whole Sagus Protectorate. After she fell ill after being wounded by a Tide-based weapon employed by the invading Tabaht, her father sought a cure, which kicked off his research into the Tides which indirectly led him to become the Changing God, inadvertently creating the castoffs (who then went on to found most of the major factions in the game), awakening the Sorrow, starting the Endless Battle, and eventually leading to the events of the entire game.
- Grand Theft Me: What she (gradually) does to victims of her Clone by Conversion.
- Ill Girl: Had an illness which eventually killed her. It was caused by a weapon based on Tidal energies.
- Mad Scientist's Beautiful Daughter: As it turns out, she was this in life. Although her father didn't really go mad until after she fell ill.
- Morality Chain: She was this for her father. After she died and the chain broke, he eventually became the Changing God.
- Our Ghosts Are Different: This one is, taking over the bodies of countless women across Sagus Cliffs' history and driving them to madness. She's a fragment of her original consciousness, and her continued existence is more or less an unwanted side effect of the combination of numenera her father tried (and failed) to use to bring her Back from the Dead. The technology used to bring her back is Tide-based, which might explain why the Last Castoff can sense her when others can't.
- Soap Opera Disease: The cause of her death, induced by a Tide-based weapon.
- Stringy-Haired Ghost Girl: She's this kind of being; a spectral woman who's even known as "Ghostly Woman".
- That Thing Is Not My Child!: When confronted with her existence during the endgame, the Changing God refuses to accept that she is anything more than a mere copy of his daughter's memories, and not really real — hypocritical coming from a man who has spent thousands of years transferring his memories from one body to the next, and who in that moment is a backup copy of his own mind.
- You're Not My Father: On the other hand, if you give her a chance to confront her father and what he's become in the form of the Specter/Changing God, she doesn't recognize him at all, either. This is in part because he's an Artificial Intelligence based on a backup copy of the Changing God's memories, but also because as the Changing God he lost all compassion or empathy for others, a far cry from the loving father who raised her. You can point out to the Specter that he can't possibly be the real Changing God if even his own daughter doesn't recognize him, but if your persuasive skills aren't up to the task, this can also backfire.
- Walking Spoiler: Her true identity makes her this. She's the Changing God's daughter, Miika.
A repulsive, vaguely spheroid blob of undulating flesh nearly as big as Sagus Cliffs by itself. Pockets in its interior are populated by humans, visitants, and abhumans, who find their own uses for the extradimensional portals which open when the Bloom is fed.
- Abstract Eater: Some of its maws hunger for certain emotions or memories, instead of or in addition to meat, limbs, and various inorganic materials.
- Alien Geometries: Fortunately disguised underneath all that nice, comfortingly solid meat.Merchant: But you told us this was the way.
Grisseler: Used to be. Now it ain't. The Bloom does what it likes.
- Belly of the Whale: Both literally and as the place of the Last Castoff's symbolic and literal rebirth following the Sorrow's cataclysmic assault on Miel Avest and the revelation that the Changing God is alive in the form of the Specter and determined to reclaim your body for himself. The Bloom's own consciousness serves neatly as The Shapeshifter for this portion of the Castoff's Hero's Journey.
- Bigger on the Inside: Given that it's a living portal network, it's implied that it can use its extradimensional connections to renovate its interior as needed. Part of what makes it difficult to navigate is that areas within the Bloom can not only move and shift, but don't necessarily make sense in real space.
- Bird People: A murder of crow-like murden have taken up roost in the Old Slave Block. They're treated as a minor rival gang by the Memovira and her people.
- Blob Monster: An amorphous, shifting mass the size of a city, made up of twisted flesh, teeth, and organs.
- Blue-and-Orange Morality: Its only interest in other creatures is to feed, and it doesn't necessarily kill what it eats.
- Cephalothorax: In addition to the maws growing out of its huge bulk, the Bloom can also create "corpuscular"note maws, which are tentacled mouths which float around under their own power.
- Derelict Graveyard: A starship and an airborne passenger train are among the vessels lodged inside the Bloom's guts.
- Eldritch Abomination: A colossal amalgamation of flesh whose tendrils reach into other worlds, with little understanding and less regard for the comparatively tiny creatures it allows to colonize its living body.
- Emotion Eater: Strong emotions are just one of the many things upon which the Bloom feeds.
- The Empath: Can sense strong emotions... and hungers for them.
- A slow-motion shoggoth big enough for people to live inside it.
- The neighborhood inside is a slum of Sagus Cliffs populated by the poor and disposessed, ruled over by a crime lord, and riddled with portals to other worlds, elements it has in common with Planescape: Torment's Hive Ward, Buried Village, and the gate-town of Curst. The murden, psychic vermin-like abhumans, resemble the cranium rat collective in the Warrens of Thought, Many-As-One, on a much smaller scale — but the manner in which you finally confront the Bloom's Heart is effectively that same moment taken Up to Eleven.
- Genius Loci: Justified. A giant sentient meat-blob with a diffuse consciousness and Psychic Powers.
- Mind Hive: Is made up of millions of interconnected minds distributed throughout its vast, amorphous body — some less than animal, some more brilliant than any human.
- Perpetual-Motion Monster: It's advancing toward the ocean at a rate of perhaps an inch a year. Records in the region show that it's been traveling this way for thousands of years — it wasn't always connected to Sagus Cliffs, for example.
- Picky People Eater: It won't eat just anyone. A Castoff with Scan Minds can pick up what an individual maw wants, but for most Bloom dwellers there's no choice but to experiment. It also doesn't kill everyone it eats — sometimes it only takes a limb or a portion of its victim's thoughts or emotions.
- Portal Crossroad World: A rather unpleasant variant, and more of a neighborhood/slum than a whole world.
- Portal Network: Its maws, toothy orifices that open when fed what they desire, link to other planets, other dimensions, and even other times.
- Psychic Powers: Considerable ill-defined telepathic and empathic powers, along with its ability to create interdimensional shortcuts, and its corpuscular maws have to float somehow.
- Talking the Monster to Death: Despite the vast and decidedly alien intelligence of the Bloom, it's possible for the Last Castoff to communicate with it if you have the right skills. If your Mind pool, Intellect defense, and Willpower skill are high enough, you can even temporarily beat back the Bloom's consciousness and take the knowledge you need from it, something not even your sire could claim.
- Womb Level: Caverns of meat differentiated into various organs, mouths, sphincters, and other structures. It's as gross as it sounds. Nevertheless, people have been living inside the thing long enough to build more conventional buildings as well, or take up residence in the various structures that have become lodged in the Bloom over the millennia.
The ruler of the Bloom, and not the first of her name.
- The Don: The great benefit of being the Memovira is being able to open the Bloom's many maws and plunder other worlds at will, and several recent Memoviras have also been crime lords and patrons of thieves and assassins.
- Expy: Takes on Pharod's role of a crime lord and Quest Giver with a mysterious interest in the player character.
- Friendly Neighborhood Gangster: More or less rules the Bloom as her own personal fiefdom, or at least the courtyard surrounding her tower. She sets patrols and guards, policing the area as she sees fit. The ongoing nuisance of the murden and the growing influence of Little Nihliesh are among several signs her power is waning, and her time as Memovira is coming to an end.
- Legacy Character: There have been a great many Memoviras, who only last as long as the Bloom favors them. What draws the Bloom's attention and what loses it are unclear, but the current Memovira has been in her role for about ten years, and the Bloom is already losing interest.
- By all accounts, there's nothing at all pleasant about the way the Bloom disposes of the old Memovira when the time comes to choose a new one. The previous Memovira is still alive, a withered, semitransparent shadow of his former self; barely recognizable to even Matkina, who served under him in his heyday.
- Treacherous Quest Giver: She says she has no qualms about betraying the First Castoff — because she is the First Castoff —, but she's not-so-secretly hoping you'll get yourself killed by the Bloom.
- Walking Spoiler: She's not just the Memovira, she's also the First, who's been Faking the Dead for centuries.
A fixer and numenera dealer of uncertain species who operates in the Bloom.
- Affably Evil: He's always polite to the Last Castoff, and deals fairly with those who deal fairly with him.
- Best Served Cold: Tybir owed him a favor, which he neglected to repay. The Dracogen's way of getting back at him is... elaborate, to say the least.
- The Don: The Dracogen is a prominent crime lord in the Steadfast (appearing in the tabletop game), which is far to the west of Sagus Cliffs and the Bloom. Although he's smart enough to know that he's on the Memovira's turf, and avoids stepping on her toes.
- Dragon Hoard: The most likely explanation for his motives is that he's collecting treasure on behalf of the True Dracogen, a greedy dragon-like creature from another dimension.
- Evil Virtues: Dracogen is a man of his word. This is true whether he promises you a favor in exchange for your service, or whether he promises to kill you and your family for crossing him.
- The Fixer: Very effective at procuring items and favors. As long he limits his activities to this, the Memovira seems content to let him hang around.
- I Gave My Word: His credo. Whether that word is a promise or a threat depends.
- Legacy Character: Every human(oid) to bear the name "Dracogen" is actually the representative of the "True Dracogen," a super-intelligent dragon-like creature. Presumably the real Dracogen knows that it needs agents who are less likely to excessively terrify the people it cuts deals with.
- Noble Demon: See also Evil Virtues. He's a ruthless professional thief and is extremely dangerous to cross, but he is also scrupulously honest and equitable to the people he works with.
- Revenge by Proxy: He would dearly love to have a little chat with your friend Tybir. Tybir has been ducking the Dracogen for years, after unspecified favors Dracogen did for him. If he hadn't, however, he would have known — Tybir's beloved Auvigne came looking for him in the Bloom after Tybir vanished without a word. Dracogen didn't hurt him, but rather, took him for all he was worth, while searching for their mutual friend Tybir. Auvigne eventually died, in poverty and obscurity, having never found Tybir again. The Dracogen's revenge, then, is letting Tybir find all this out for himself, knowing how that he will suffer for it in a way no beating or torture could match, exacting a revenge Auvigne never asked for and would have never wanted. Best Served Cold, indeed.Dracogen: I want you to recall the many ways you could have saved Auvigne. To think of how he might have died. To reflect on the depths of his devotion to you... and shallowness of yours to him.
- Uncanny Valley: He is described as a tall, lean, gray-skinned humanoid with an unmistakable air of menace.
The Order of Truth
A library and laboratory space shared by seekers of knowledge and working scientists and inventors, the Order is a wealthy but exclusive organization which seeks to relearn what humanity has forgotten about the numenera.
- Adventurer Archaeologist: Many of them operate this way, venturing into the abundant ruins that dot the Ninth World in search of Cyphers and other forgotten technologies. Just as often, however, they employ run-of-the-mill adventurers (and petty thugs) to do their dirty work for them, however.
- Crystal Dragon Jesus: All the trappings of the medieval Christian church, much of the same organizational structure, and the same role within society as a whole, but adamantly secular, even though its members are called Aeon Priests. More pronounced in the tabletop game than in Tides, however, since Sagus Cliffs is so far removed from the Order's power center of the Steadfast that it's unlikely the Amber Papacy even knows of their existence — the Order in the city is even more secular and informal than its parent church.
- Doing In the Wizard: Quite determined to prove that the numenera is just technology they don't understand, with a marked dislike of using more mystical terms to describe it.
- For Science!: The truth they seek is that of the numenera, the collected knowledge and science of the ancient world.
- Gadgeteer Genius: What they aspire to be. Membership requires some proof of the applicant's expertise in the numenera.
- Mad Scientist Laboratory: The Order in Sagus Cliffs has all the appearance of one: beakers, tubes, books, sparking lights. and weird organic amalgamations. At one time it was a starship, but it hasn't functioned in millennia.
- Magic from Technology: The area of their expertise is the numenera.
- Our Founder: There's a large statue of the founder of the Order in Sagus Cliffs outside their headquarters — Diviaticu, a varjellen nano. Who was actually the Changing God at the time. You meet his castoff self as a reflection later on.
- Wizarding School: Either this or Mad Science University, take your pick. One of the various options for advising the mutant Piquo is to suggest he see if the Order will take him on as a student. Turns out that, after a little donation, they will.
The Cult of the Changing God
The Changing God's true believers, who gather to study his works and offer their services to his castoffs.
- A God Am I: The player character has the option of convincing the cultists that s/he is, in fact, the Changing God...
- A God I Am Not: ... but you can also deny it, or just freely admit you're not.
- Cult: Helpfully, they put it right in the name. They're fairly innocuous as cults go, doing little more than camping out in Circus Minor, offering a few items for sale and a place to rest for those who can't afford a proper rooming house.
- Cult of Personality: Subverted. They worship the Changing God, with varying degrees of literalness, but he barely even acknowledges their existence. They like to believe that they can bring themselves closer to him by serving and aiding his castoffs, but they don't seem to realize that the Changing God sees his castoffs as even less than human, nothing but tools to be used. They have little in the way of power or influence in Sagus Cliffs, and are generally written off as crackpots at worst, and irrelevant at best.
- Exactly What It Says on the Tin: They're a cult that worships the Changing God.
- For Science!: A few of the cult's members venerate the Changing God with something less than religious devotion, but rather seek to devote themselves to the study of the numenera and attain a measure of the Changing God's knowledge... and power.
- King Incognito: There's always the chance that their god could walk among them in a new body, and they'd never know it. There are even a number of castoffs living in the city who the Cult never knew about.
- Properly Paranoid: It wouldn't be the first time a castoff tried to pass themselves off as the Changing God, so before accepting you as their god, they ask a grueling series of three questions to prove you are who you say you are. Of course, you can just use a Tidal Surge to force them to greet you with the respect due to their god.
- Religion of Evil: Subverted. The cult doesn't actually know enough about the Changing God to emulate him, and are benevolent and community-minded, eager to help one another follow in the Changing God's footsteps — all qualities and goals their figure of worship decidedly does not share. They're well-intentioned, but for the most part ineffectual.
The Dendra O'hur
A cannibal cult, they believe that the strength and knowledge of those they devour will pass on to them. Worshipping their Great Queen Sar'Lavun, the Lady of Maggots, they roam the land in search of new prey, cloaked in rags and tatters and leaving only gnawed bones in their wake.
- Cannibalism Superpower: They have mastered a technique, presumably relying on some form of numenera, which allows them to consume the bodies of the dead and absorb their memories. They avoid most of the problems inherent in doing this (parasites, diseases, some forms of brain damage) by using tubes that grind up and sterilize the meat before consuming it.
- Dark Is Not Evil: Yeah, they're a bunch of freaky cannibals. But they don't kill the ones they eat, Imbitu and Gh'zei are perfectly affable people, and the ones who aren't didn't get that way from the Dendra. Should the player character's body fall into their grasp and come back to life they'll very politely request to continue, paying handsomely for the privilege and offering making sure whatever information they gain goes to the one they took it from. Imbitu even apologises for how vague it is. With Gh'zei, a nonhuman from a world where funereal cannibalism is routine, it verges on Blue-and-Orange Morality
- Eat Brain for Memories: Except they don't stop at the brain.
- Expy: Of PST's Dustmen and Collectors, with the latter's position in the city of collecting the bodies of the dead, and the former's necromantic powers and grave appearance. Their emphasis on preserving the knowledge of the dead and cannibalism are uniquely their own, although they also slightly resemble the ghouls who lived in Sigil's undercity.
- For Science!: Established to safeguard knowledge by their vanished founder Melmoth.Melmoth Leviarm: Each of the Dendra is a library of experience. [...] Every life that vanishes is a loss. Every person has a story. The secret keys of history hide there. I want truth. I want exposure. I want knowledge to live.
- I'm a Humanitarian: They're cannibals, although they don't kill those they eat. Or at least they're not supposed to — it's their function in the city to collect the dead and dispose of the bodies. They try it on the Last Castoff, should they happen to die within Sagus Cliffs somewhere the body will be located, but the Castoff wakes up before they go ahead. They'll offer to continue anyway — but only with your permission, of course, and the promise that they'll share what you know from the memories they harvest from your flesh.
- Interrogating the Dead: A core tenet of the faction is the preservation of knowledge by absorbing the memories of the dead. One even functions as a public servant — the Devourer of Wrongs, who consumes the bodies of executed criminals to help expose accomplices and locate stolen property. The dead occasionally seem to be aware during this process, and occasionally resist, falling into this trope.Melmoth: You get the occasional disease, a strong mind that doesn't want to share its memories with you, but everyone wants to be remembered. Talk to the voices long enough, they realize you're their only true heir.
- Meaningful Name: The name of their leader Imbitu is probably derived from "imbibe", which means both drinking, usually alcohol, and absorbing knowledge. Knowing his penchant for puns, it's quite possible he came up with it himself.
- Names to Run Away from Really Fast: Their patron goddess, the Great Queen Sar'Lavun, the Lady of Maggots.
- Nightmare Fuel Station Attendant: Current leader Imbitu is a perfectly pleasant old man who's just a little too fond of morbid humor, and seems to enjoy collecting misfits and ne'er-do-wells to fill out the Dendra's modern ranks.Imbitu: Oh dear. They really are a suspicious lot, aren't they? Mallet enjoys hurting people, Kiyatawa tells her little lies, and Gh'zei... well. She's quite unique. All in all, they're a horrifying bunch, aren't they? I hadn't really noticed before.
- Time Abyss: Even the ones who aren't hundreds of years old may well contain the memories of their forebears, in effect gaining the memories and experience of many lifetimes.
The Children of the Endless Gate
Death worshipers, some call them. They think of themselves as spirits trapped in flesh, and the horror of their cage pushes them to atrocity. They call themselves liberators and agents of freedom, and they leave no evidence of their passing but a tracery in blood.
- Blood Knight: A small, close-knit army of serial killers who relish violence and torture and seek to bring the 'gift' of painful death to as many people as possible.Klin'Kar: I will flay the skin from your muscles, the muscles from your bones, and free your light into the Endless Gate!
- Catchphrase: The above "See us! Claim us!"
- Death Seeker: Missionaries of death who seek to free others from the prison of the flesh, and welcome their deaths in bloody battle.
- Expy: They take on the Dustmen's belief that the mortal body is a prison, while their enemies the Memorialists believe that there is a better life awaiting us once we surrender our ties to this one. Believing the former without the latter turns out to make the Endless Gate into a bunch of ravening murderers.
- Non-Indicative Name: Lampshaded:Mallet: Strange name, though. If it don't end, it ain't much of a gate, is it? It's more of a hallway.
- Renegade Splinter Faction: They split off from the Dendra O'Hur years ago. While they disdain cannibalism of dead bodies, they're far more violent to the living.
A small cult who inhabit the Valley of Dead Heroes and the Necropolis, self-appointed caretakers who spend their days researching the pasts of those interred there. They believe the Ninth World is the afterlife, and seek a way to return to the real world memorialized by the Valley and its countless gravestones.
- Dead All Along: The core of their belief — everyone in this world is dead, and it is only through acknowledging this that one can begin to find their way out of the Epiphanic Prison of this reality.
- Death Seeker: Considerably nicer than the Endless Gate, seeking mostly to curate the tombs of the Necropolis and give aid to pilgrims, and certainly not hastening anybody to the better world they describe. They do believe, however, that it is only through their deaths in this world that they will find their way to the "true" afterlife.
- Epiphanic Prison: Everyone in the Ninth World has in fact been Dead All Along, trapped in a false afterlife. The Memorialists believe the countless graves of the Necropolis hold some secret which will allow them to transcend this world and go on to something better.
- Expy: Like the Dendra O'hur and the two cults' mutual enemies in the Endless Gate, they represent another aspect of the original Torment's Dustmen, in this case the belief that the world in which they "live" is actually the afterlife, an Epiphanic Prison from which they seek some escape.
- Protectorate: The Memorialists dedicate themselves to tending the Necropolis and its surroundings, learning as much as they can of those interred there, in the hopes that they can find some hint to their own past lives that they might also escape from this false life.
The Extremities of the Great Devourer
Worshipers of the Bloom, an interdimensional parasite the size of a city and whose countless maws open to other planets, other times, and other dimensions. The Bloom's cultists seek to feed its hunger for things which may be physical and may be wholly conceptual, yet for the most part they remain beneath its notice.
- Blue-and-Orange Morality: In embracing the Bloom as their god, they must accept that its whims are entirely alien and its perspective one that regards individual humans as something infinitely lesser than itself. This means that the Bloom Cultists' actions are barely comprehensible even to themselves.
- Gone Mad from the Revelation: Living inside the Bloom isn't exactly conducive to one's sanity to begin with. Communing with the Bloom by imbibing its fluids and volunteering their bodies to its maws hasn't helped most cultists any.
- Junkie Prophet: Most of the cultists are hooked on bloom juice, one of the various... secretions produced by the Bloom. It causes visual and especially auditory hallucinations produced by a temporary telepathic connection between the drinker and the Bloom's Mind Hive.
- Mad Oracle: Of the standing-on-a-street-corner, ranting-and-handing-out-pamphlets variety.