The player character of the game. You are an agent of Kyros who was chosen by Tunon to serve as a Fatebinder and rose to prominence in some way or fashion.
- Ambadassador: Diplomat is one of the chosen backgrounds and the player gets various opportunities to negotiate with others.
- Badass Beard: Males are given various options for beards.
- Badass Bookworm: Fatebinders are stated to be Warrior-Scholars, and several backgrounds such as War Mage or Guild Apprentice have you coming from an educated background. The fact that your character is literate means that they're already better educated than most.
- But for Me, It Was Tuesday: Considering all the choices you make during the Conquest, sooner or later you'll end up stepping on someone's life over one choice or another. During the Conquest your character can have significant impact on Lantry, Eb, Sirin, and Barik for example. By default, your character won't even respond to these accusations or give any indication they realize or care.
- By-the-Book Cop: The Fatebinder can be incorruptible and resolute when it comes to adjudicating, which easily earns points with Tunon. In fact, one of the Conquest choices has the Fatebinder whip some commanders of the Disfavored and Scarlet Chorus for trying to bribe them.
- The Chessmaster: Various outcomes on the "Rebel" path let the Fatebinder prove they can play the long game as well as anyone. You can play-act at sympathy to get the rebel leaders to meet you in person, then cut them down. You can join them and then play the legal system to force Tunon to join the rebellion. You can join them with the intention of turning them into your own personal army, slowly convincing them that submission is better than death, using them to unify the Tiers, and then handing the Tiers over to Kyros, to cheers from the rebels.
- Combination Attack: There are unlockable techniques where you work in tandem with companions to perform special attacks.
- Death Glare: A frequent dialogue response, to the point of being a possible Character Tic.The Fatebinder: [Glare silently.]
- Dirty Cop: When asked to adjudicate, the Fatebinder can usually offer to change the verdict based on which party contributes the most rings to "the Court." Doing this is a way to make some easy cash, but upsets Tunon if he learns of it, since the Adjudicator expects his subordinates to be as incorruptible as he is.
- In the trial of Archons in Act III, the Fatebinder can choose to spare an Archon for later recruitment while convicting the other even if they had fewer pieces of evidence against the (relatively) innocent Archon; Tunon will not frown upon this arrangement.
- From Nobody to Nightmare: The character's origins can be as simple as a common soldier to a former slave gladiator.
- The Gift: The Fatebinder has read one Edict already, which is a big deal in itself. But the fact that they survive it, read and survive a second, and resolve it, makes heads turn.
- Hope Bringer: This is actually possible to do, though it requires showing an excess of mercy during the Apex campaign during the Conquest and Act I. By the end of the Rebel Path, the Fatebinder has become the Archon of the Tiers and united them under their leadership, becoming a symbol for freedom and resistance against the Overlord — even if you insist every step of the way you're only doing it so you can rule supreme in the Tiers.
- In-Series Nickname: Conquest choices provide the Fatebinder with various Noun Verber aliases. They'll have a total of two such nicknames.
- Peacebinder or Queenslayer: Whether Apex was subjugated with peace talks or by slaying their Queen.
- Governor: If you were in charge of Lethian's Crossing.
- Stormcaller: For reading the Edict of Storms.
- Firestarter: For reading the Edict of Flames.
- Quakebringer: For reading the Edict of Stone.
- Interspecies Adoption: A Hunter background Fatebinder was raised by the Bounding Viper Beastmen tribe until the Disfavoured wiped them all out. A Hunter Fatebinder gets a lot of unique lines when talking to Killsy and other Beastmen tribes, and some of those lines imply they still prefer Beastmen to humans.
- Judge, Jury, and Executioner: The player character, as a Fatebinder in the armies of Kyros the Overlord, is supposed to take this role with regards the conquered population. It's up to players how to use it — although the job isn't completely oversight-free, being under the "watchful eye" of the Archon of Justice, Tunon the Adjudicator, who can execute the player if he deems that the player's actions violated Kyros's laws.
- Magikarp Power: The "Thrust" ability can be imbued with abilities from other talent trees, not just the talent you've chosen at the start of the game. This gives it cumulative effects, but it veers into Awesome, but Impractical since you spend 4-5 talent points to get all talents, but it remains useful if you add an additional ability.
- Mouth of Sauron: As Fatebinder, you serve as Kyros' representative and enforcer. Verse outright calls you the "mouthpiece of the Overlord" after she realizes that you have read two of Kyros' Edicts.
- Multiple-Choice Past: You can choose up to eight different backgrounds as well as how you rose to prominence within Kyros' Empire, as well as numerous choices for your actions during the Conquest of the southern Tiers.
- Noble Demon: If the player so chooses, they can be very liberal about interpreting Kyros' law while still serving their empire.
- One-Woman Wail: Whenever you resolve an Edict. Something of a leitmotif for the player.
- Party of Representatives: Your companions, as one would expect for a party-based roleplaying game: a Scarlet Fury, a Disfavored soldier, a Sage, a Tidecaster, an Archon, and a Beastwoman.
- Player Headquarters: The Fatebinder can take over Spires, mysterious towers built by an ancient civilization, to serve as their headquarters. Each Spire can be customized and the Fatebinder can teleport between Spires.
- The Quiet One: Can become a Running Joke. Do this enough and others will come to expect it of you, viewing you as an eccentric if you respond to direct questions with brooding silence. It's Tunon's Berserk Button, and Eb finds it an endless source of amusement, impersonating you to your face.The Fatebinder: [Glare silently.]
- Reformed Criminal: Can be played straight or subverted with the Lawbreaker background, serving lawfully or abusing your authority as you see fit.
- Relationship Values: Relationships with your companions are measured between Loyalty (positive) and Fear (negative), which are measured seperately. Progressing in either of them can improve your companion's combat ability and even grant new abilities for you.
- Rules Lawyer: On an epic scale. Kyros' magic is bound to their Edicts, but it's worded in such a way that a clever Fatebinder, such as the Player Character, can Loophole Abuse it to resolve it in a way that the Overlord never intended.
- For the Edict of Storms, having high Lore, visiting Calio or the Burning Library allows the Fatebinder to coach Amelia on how to reliniquish her baby's title as the last Regent of Stalwart.
- For the Edict of Fire, it can be lifted simply by physically removing the Silent Archive from the Burning Library.
- Servile Snarker: The Fatebinder is subordinate to Kyros, Tunon, and the other Archons for most of the game, so you can definitely play it this way if you choose the right options.
- Silent Snarker: When there are no words for how dumb that thing that NPC just said to you was, or how suicidal they'd have to be to challenge you, or you just really want to get under Tunon's skin.The Fatebinder: [Glare silently.]
- Start My Own: Why yes, it is an option to build your own empire.
- Training from Hell: It is mentioned in a blurb that you were one of the very few who underwent personal survivalist training with Bleden Mark and one of the only ones to survive the experience with all their limbs intact.
- Would Hurt a Child: An optional solution to getting rid of the Edict of Storms involves killing a baby.
Kyros the OverlordThe Overlord, Kyros has ruled for centuries conquering the land and now has sights set on the Tiers.
- Ambiguous Gender: Kyros's gender is not public knowledge. Most men assume that Kyros is a man and most women assume that Kyros is a woman. Only the Archons have met Kyros in person and know Kyros's gender, but when they are asked about it, they always reply with "Kyros is mother and father", avoid the question, or, in Sirin's case, randomly switch gender pronouns because she thinks it's funny to keep it a secret. For the record, Kyros is referred to as a woman more often than not, especially by Tunon (though when pressed, he gets annoyed and refuses to elaborate), probably because the Tiers, where the game takes place, is matriarchalnote , though the rest of Kyros' empire enforces gender equality in all regards.
- Big Bad: Kyros is the ultimate villain of the setting, the one responsible for most of its conflicts and mass killings, and ruler of most of the known world.
- Equal-Opportunity Evil: At least in regards to gender and apparently sexuality; their laws explicitly enforce gender equality, and a lesbian marriage is at least not commented on as unusual by anyone. With regards to non-humans, it's not so clear. All races are also apparently allowed to serve the Overlord, though that doesn't mean that everyone in the Empire shares that view.
- Kyros also allows people who have crossed her to serve under her; see Graven Ashe and the Disfavored, Bleden Mark and Sirin. Subverted with the latter two that Kyros never fully trusted them, limiting Sirin's powers with a magic helmet and creating countermeasures to subdue Mark should he rebel, and allowing Tunon to have access to said countermeasures as well.
- Evil Overlord: Played with. Kyros is without a doubt an Overlord; whether she's evil or not depends on your experiences with her subjects and whether you offend the sensibilities of said subjects.
- Meaningful Name: Kairos is the modern Greek word for 'weather', while in ancient Greek it's one of two words for time — chronos is the word for sequential time, while kairos refers to a given season, a specific moment or opportunity (the 'supreme moment'). Could be coincidence, but it's fitting for an immortal who seized power and whose Edicts tend to mirror natural disasters.
- The name Kyros is the Ancient Greek form of Cyrus, as in Cyrus the Great. As very successful and famed conquerors and rulers, this is unlikely to be a coincidence.
- No One Sees the Boss: Kyros only meets with Archons, and interacts only with them and through Edicts.
- Not So Omniscient After All: Kyros likes to project an image of being omniscient, all-powerful, and infallible, but as the game's plot progresses it becomes clear that it is not the case:
- According to Sirin, Kyros was actually helpless against her magic, and she believes she could have successfully pushed Kyros into committing a Psychic-Assisted Suicide, if she hadn't gotten excited and lost her nerve for a moment. More importantly, Kyros was embarrassed enough by this event to spare Sirin's life and instead install a Restraining Bolt on her if only to prevent the story from coming out.
- Kyros's Edicts, while extremely powerful magic, have to contain several very specific clauses to get them to work, making it possible for a skilled Rules Lawyer to render them ineffective through Loophole Abuse. Such as by "wiping out" a royal bloodline by simply having the last heir, an infant, disinherited so they don't have to be killed to end the edict. Kyros' Edict of Execution in Act I also failed to include the year — so if the Fatebinder spends eight days just lazing around before reciting the Edict, they will have until the next year's Day of Swords to fulfill the Edict.
- During correspondence with Myothis, the oldest Fatebinder, you get the chance to ask about Edicts. One of the pieces of information Myothis says she's discovered is that the Edicts actually seem to be more powerful than Kyros. Once an Edict has been enacted, nothing can stop it without fulfilling its clauses — apparently, not even the Overlord. This is confirmed when one of the Spires lets you see the whole of Terratus as a swarm of currents of magical energy. Almost all of it has been affected by past and present Edicts with only a few small areas untouched, implying that Edicts permanently affect the land even after they've run their course.
- All of Kyros's Edicts in the Tiers are to some degree counter-productive to their stated aims. The Edict of Storms wiped out many of Kyros's own troops and made Sentinel Stand unassailable. The Edict of Stone didn't manage to actually kill Cairn, but destroyed Azure's farmland, which is why the kingdom was invaded in the first place. The Edict of Fire destroyed little of consequence and gave the Sages enough time to preserve their accumulated knowledge. Perhaps most egregiously, the Edict of Execution would have wiped out most of Kyros's forces in the Tiers and at least two Archons in exchange for eliminating only the most feeble of the rebel factionsnote . It's telling that ending Kyros's own Edicts is critical to enforcing their will.
- Person of Mass Destruction: Kyros can declare Edicts, which create (un)natural disasters severe enough to wipe out all life in a small country.
- Pragmatic Villainy: While Kyros's laws have harsh punishments, most of them simply amount to "do not disrupt Kyros's rule"note . Kyros also allows their servants and Archons considerable leeway on how they fulfill their duties, as long as they ultimately uphold the law. This means that the Empire is simultaneously Equal-Opportunity Evil (see above) while also allowing Fantastic Racism to prevail in at least one of its elite armies.
- Pronoun Trouble: As a result of their Ambiguous Gender and use of the Royal "We", Kyros is variously referred to him or her, and somewhat more rarely them. As Kyros has not expressed a clear preference, this is mostly left to the whim of the speaker.
- Royal "We": In supplementary material, particularly the wiki, it's possible to read the Edicts in totality, and Kyros self-refers using collective pronouns.
- Shrouded in Myth: Kyros is probably the most well-known person in the entire world, but very little is known for certain about them. Besides the situation described in Ambiguous Gender above, there are even people who believe that Kyros is actually a group of people, a Legacy Character, or some kind of giant beast.
- Sorcerous Overlord: Kyros, the strongest magic-user to ever live, commands the power of Edicts to fell their enemies or motivate their minions, and this is a power unique to them. By the end of the game, the Fatebinder too can declare Edicts.
Barik of the Stone Shields
Barik is the quintessential Disfavored soldier. He embodies all of the rigid and uncompromising values that Graven Ashes iron legion holds dear. Hes polite, respectful of authority, and doggedly intolerant of anyone born outside of the Overlords long shadow.
During the war against the Tiers, Barik did not retreat with the rest of the Disfavored when word came that the Overlord Kyros was about to proclaim an Edict upon the realm of Stalwart. As Kyros Edict of Storms swept across the land, Barik was caught in the magical winds — winds that bore the weapons and armor of Bariks phalanx and the enemies they fought. . To this day, Barik wears his armor of fused iron and bronze — durable protection, yet an unyielding mark of his failure. No one has been able to free him from the armor he was sealed into by Kyros Edict.
- 24-Hour Armor: Not by choice. His armor, as well as many other scraps of metal, were fused into a solid shell around his body by the Edict of Storms cast at Stalwart. He notes that he has to constantly keep it oiled to prevent it from rusting. His personal quest in the Bastard's Wound DLC gives him the chance to finally remove the armor, although possibly at the cost of Graven Ashe's life.
- Achilles' Heel: Crush damage. While the least common type of physical damage it's still frequently found amongst melee fighters, and Barik's otherwise impenetrable armour is defenceless against it.
- Affably Evil: He's honest, honorable, loyal, brave, unfailingly courteous, and occasionally shows a gentle streak. He also has completely accepted the Disfavored's Fantastic Racism against Tiersmen and Beasts, and supports dealing with rebellious natives mercilessly.
- Animated Armor: Despite appearances, he's not this. Although during one Loyalty conversation, he worries that he might be on his way to becoming this. Fortunately, "Bastard's Wound" reveals that he is flesh and blood beneath the rust.
- Aw, Look! They Really Do Love Each Other: For all his clear dislike of Verse, if you side with The Voices of Nerat to assault Ascension Peak, during the resulting clash between Graven Ashe and The Voices of Nerat, Barik pulls Verse away from the resulting blast. She tries to stab him for his trouble. Also when Graven Ashe wants the Fatebinder to kill Verse, Barik doesn't outright speak up against it, but it is noted that he suddenly looks at the Fatebinder with a nervous and very pleading look in his eyes. On the other side of the coin, Verse is the only one who can snap Barik out of his Heroic BSoD if Graven Ashe dies.
- If you ask Barik about his opinion on Verse if you're on both characters' good sides, Barik will mention that his sister is crude, undisciplined, chaotic and everything he is not... Which also includes being much more independent, self-assertive and follows her own will and desires, virtues he himself has long since abandoned as a member of the Disfavored. Your character will note that Verse is trying really hard to look like she's not listening in on you.
- If you've completed Verse's personal quest before facing The Voices of Nerat in Act III, Nerat will offer to spare you if you let him devour Verse. If you accept the deal, Barik will immediately offer to take her place, because his honor demands that he protect his kin. Verse desperately tells him to shut up.
- Badass Boast: He makes a few on the Legion's behalf, but rarely talks himself up... at least until combat begins.Barik: I am a shield wall unto myself!
- Bash Brothers: With Verse, however reluctantly. The player can ask or order them to train together, unlocking an additional combo unique to them.
- Blessed with Suck:
- While his armor makes him a durable warrior, it also means that he hasn't been able to be clean for god knows how long. It's noted that he smells like a combination of sweat, shit and any oils used just so he can move.
- Barik's personal quest in "Bastard's Wound" reveals that Ashe's healing aegis thinks that Barik's armor is a part of his body thanks to magical interference from the Edict of Storms, which causes the aegis to "heal" any attempt to remove Barik's armor. What is normally the greatest blessing of the Disfavored is what keeps Barik in his steel prison.
- Boisterous Bruiser: He used to have an impulsive streak, but he suppressed that tendency in favor of becoming the best Disfavored soldier he could be. His battle quotes make it clear that he still loves to fight, though.
- Bring It: Most of his battle taunts. He can definitely take it.Barik: Send me your champion!
Barik: Send them at me in waves!
- Children Are Innocent: He appreciates having Sirin in the party, finding her a counterbalance to all the grown-up cynicism of the rest of them. He also gets upset by you choosing to end the Edict of Storms with infanticide, despite it being the child of a traitor.
- Clingy Costume: Barik's twisted armor cannot be removed. His personal quest reveals that this is because the Aegis considers Barik's armor to be part of his body thanks to the magical interference of the Edict of Storms. The Aegis treats attempts to remove Barik's armor as if they were attempts to remove Barik's skin.
- Critical Status Buff: Has multiple talents which trigger at critical health, which boost his stats, increase his already heavy armor, heal a large amount of health, and allow him to remain conscious at 0 HP.
- Dishing Out Dirt: One of his combo attacks with the Fatebinder, unlocked when his Fear of the player is high enough. All enemies within an area around Barik are engulfed in columns of solid rock and temporarily petrified.
- Empathic Weapon: As a companion, he eventually gains the ability to control the blades within his armor, commanding them to lash out at nearby enemies and giving him bonus damage to any enemies engaging him.
- Foil: To Verse. They join almost at the same time and represent Kyros' two opposing armies. They are about as different as can be in outlook and almost never agree about anything save that the Vendrien Guard needs to die. They're also half-siblings, as you learn much later, and their family situations were pretty much the reverse of each other as well.
- Gameplay and Story Segregation: As a New Game+ bonus, you can purchase an item very early in the game that removes Barik's armor without going through his quest if you completed it on a previous playthrough. This is only for gameplay purposes — for the purposes of the story Barik is still stuck in his armor.
- Heroic BSoD: If Graven Ashe dies, Barik has a complete breakdown. If he's still willing to be in your party, the most you can get out of him is a sob when you mention Graven Ashe. Pre Bastard's Wound, in the epilogue (if you didn't help him), Barik even stops fighting or moving, becoming a statue by the side of the road. The only one who can shake him out of it, most surprising of all, is Verse.
- He Cleans Up Nicely: In "Bastard's Wound", if Barik's armor comes out, he has a massive beard and smells horrific, since he hasn't been able to shave or bathe since the Edict of Storms was declared about a year prior. A world map event allows the Fatebinder to convince Barik to clean up. If Barik does so, he turns out to be surprisingly handsome.
- Human Pincushion: His combo power with Verse involves her firing multiple arrows into his armor, at which point Barik fires them all into surrounding enemies.
- Hero-Worshipper: Of Graven Ashe, like all of the Disfavored.
- Just Following Orders: Barik will justify most of the acts you ask him to do in non-Disfavored playthroughs this way. While he'll openly criticise you repeatedly, he will never actually act on any of it until you face down Graven Ashe. He'll even quote the trope almost verbatim if you point out to him that he's helped you kill Disfavored.
- Knight in Shining Armor: Superficially, he has many of the qualities, such as honor, courage, a sword and shield. Like his armor, however, he's ultimately a rather twisted subversion of this. Verse notes that underneath all his pretty sentiments, he's an intolerant hypocrite and just as brutal and bloodthirsty as she is.
- Luckily, My Shield Will Protect Me: He starts off with a shield equipped, and several of his talents put it to use.
- Made of Iron: Almost literally. Max out his Sentinel tree and buy a few forge upgrades for his Clingy Costume armor and he's easily the toughest party member.
- No-Sell: His stratospheric armor rating means many incoming attacks are reduced to Scratch Damage.
- Mighty Glacier: Whether you spec him for damage or tanking, Barik's talents are of the 'stand still and trade damage' type. His Clingy Costume makes him Nigh-Invulnerable to piercing and slashing damage but also gives him a giant recovery penalty, which means he won't be hitting often no matter what you do.
- Mismatched Eyes: Removing his armor in Bastard's Wound reveals that he has one blue eye and one red eye, just like his half-sister Verse.
- My Country, Right or Wrong: Overlaps with My Master, Right or Wrong. Barik is loyal to the Northlands (in the form of the Disfavored) and Kyros. At the game's outset, those amount to one and the same thing. This changes considerably should the Fatebinder side against the Disfavored, and becomes even more contentious in the endgame, when the Fatebinder, now the so-called Archon of the Tiers and Archon of Edicts, declares war against Kyros. "Bastard's Wound" allows the Fatebinder to subvert this trope by convincing Barik that Ashe is unworthy of his loyalty because of Ashe's borderline genocidal attitude towards the Tiersmen.
- My Master, Right or Wrong: Barik is the only party member that thinks Kyros's Peace is for the betterment of the Tiers. Reminding him of his oaths to you is how you can keep him in the party, even if you are opposing the Disfavored. Deconstructed if Barik is still with you in Act III. If you choose to fight Graven Ashe with Barik in your party, if Barik's Loyalty or Fear aren't high enough, he will try to defect back to the Disfavored. Graven Ashe will exile him, criticizing him for his hesitation in picking a side, and noting that he has killed many of his countrymen already.
- Noble Demon: By most standards. By Disfavored ones he's practically a Knight in Shining Armor.
- Not So Different: Verse thinks so. Barik is filled with shame by it. Sometimes it's a compliment on her part, other times not so much.
- Opposites Attract: Barik, the strong, loyal, honorable, high-spoken Tiers-hating soldier of Kyros covered in head-to-toe armor, admits he's attracted to Eb, the vulgar loud-mouthed oath-breaking underdressed tierswoman mage. She seems to return it but it's hard to tell with her.
- Optional Sexual Encounter: It's possible to have a fling with him in the Bastard's Wound DLC. If you remove his armor, obviously.
- Pet the Dog:
- He protests harming Amelia and her baby even though she's broken Disfavored codes by having that child with a Tiersman. If Barik remains loyal to the Fatebinder on the Rebel playthrough and the Edict of Storms questline is resolved peacefully, he states he is happy she is free even though he doesn't understand her life choices.
- Barik will help save the Fatebinder and Verse from Graven Ashe's wrath if you align with the Scarlet Chorus in the first act.
- The Pig-Pen: Not by choice, but since he's sealed in an iron suit of armor, he can't wash or change his clothes. When he first joins the party, his description notes that he stinks of metal, oil, and sweat and feces.
- Rule of Symbolism: Barik is trapped is in his rigid, inflexible armor just as he is trapped in rigid, inflexible mindset of the Disfavored code. Getting him out of his physical shell even requires breaking him out of his mental shell too.
- Sadistic Choice: He faces one in his "Bastard's Wound" personal mission: Barik learns that Ashe's aegis prevents him from ever being free of his armor, leaving Barik with the choice of killing Ashe and thus betraying everything he believes in, or remaining trapped in his iron prison forever. If you sided with the Disfavored there are ways around this. Alternatively, if Ashe dies at Bleden Mark's hands, this also works out.
- Shield Bash: An attack he can unlock.
- Sibling Yin-Yang: He's Verse's half-brother. The two despise each other. It veers close to Cain and Abel and their differing allegiance means they often profess the desire to kill one another, though Barik shows that to a degree he does care about his sister. If you side with the Chorus to take over Mountain Spire, as Graven Ashe and The Voices of Nerat face off, Barik tries to pull Verse away from the conflagration of the two Archons fighting. She tries to stab him for that. More generally, Barik is basically an exemplar of all the Disfavored represent, while Verse is as stereotypical and enthusiastic of an example of the Scarlet Furies as the Chorus has ever produced.
- Soldier vs. Warrior: The soldier to Verse's warrior.
- Storm of Blades: His Loyalty combo talent with the Fatebinder.
- Take a Third Option: For his personal mission in "Bastard's Wound" if you are on the Disfavored path, you can get Graven Ashe to rescind his aegis allowing Barik to be freed of his armor without having to kill Ashe.
- Take Me Instead: Barik will offer himself in Verse's place to the Voices of Nerat if Nerat offers to settle things peacefully with the Fatebinder in exchange for Verse.
- War Is Hell: In contrast to the War Is Glorious attitude of the Disfavored, Barik takes this stance on the issue if his Fear rank is high enough, saying the Fatebinder is the only one crazy enough to make peace in the Tiers.
- What the Hell, Hero?: Barik does not take it well if you backstab the Disfavored. Siding with anyone that isn't the Disfavored will have him denounce you as a traitor to the campaign.
- Your Approval Fills Me with Shame: Whenever Verse tells him they're Not So Different.
Verse of the Scarlet Chorus
Verse represents the bravado of the Scarlet Chorus. Shes constantly proving herself, challenging others, prodding for weaknesses, and delighting in the social power play within Kyros more volatile army. Her free spirit and playful sarcasm make her a fitting counterpoint to Barik and his iron walls of emotional repression.
Verse is a Scarlet Fury — one of the elite fighters in the Chorus, possessing training in all manner of exotic weapons and fighting styles. Combat for Furies is an art form, a coordinated dance ruled by passion over reason or tactics.
Like all members of the Chorus, Verse started out as a civilian in the southern continent of the Tiers — an ordinary girl on an ordinary farm. When the armies of Kyros arrived and started conscripting from the local populace, Verse recognized her calling. She was one of the few mad enough to volunteer and begin her new life in the howling mob, where she made a point of rising in the ranks with bloodthirsty ambition.
- At Least I Admit It: Verse is the one that most straightforward about her enjoyment of killing people, with little care for causes or ideals. Whenever she is criticized for her lifestyle, she counters that everyone else is using ideals to hide a more base agenda and she isn't wrong. Barik's crusade for the Disfavored can be seen as bringing order to chaos, but it can be seen as killing any who defy the Disfavored code because he doesn't want to think the code is wrong. Eb is fighting for a revolution, but she can also be killing for revenge against Kyros for destroying her family. Lantry's fatalistic attitude can be seen as progressive and pragmatic, or it can be seen as cowardice. Sirin tries to convince you she is a victim of war, but she could be seen as playing on sympathy to manipulate the Fatebinder so that she won't get punished for her past actions. The only person Verse doesn't have a problem with is Kills-in-Shadow, as she has the same attitude towards life.
- Annoying Arrows: Her combo power with Barik involves her firing multiple arrows into his armor, at which point Barik fires them all into surrounding enemies.
- Arrows on Fire: A common tactic among the Scarlet Chorus, and one of Verse's starting powers. Upgradeable through Verse's Skirmisher talent tree.
- Awesomeness by Analysis: She has a special talent for learning fighting styles quickly. It is said that she can watch a veteran spearman for five minutes and use a spear as if she's fought a hundred battles.
- Aw, Look! They Really Do Love Each Other: For all of Barik's clear dislike of Verse, if you side with The Voices of Nerat to assault Ascension Peak, during the resulting clash between Graven Ashe and The Voices of Nerat, Barik pulls Verse away from the resulting blast. She tries to stab him for his trouble. On the other side of the coin, Verse is the only one who can snap Barik out of his Heroic BSoD if Graven Ashe dies. Also despite her threats, Verse never actually followed through with her promise to reveal Barik's shared lineage with her to the rest of the Disfavored even after he turned down her blackmail attempts — on the contrary, she murdered a Choir boss who found out about it in order to keep it secret.
- Bad People Abuse Animals: Mentions offhandedly that she used to practice her knifework on the livestock on her family's farm.
- Bash Brothers: With Barik, however reluctantly. The player can ask or order them to train together, unlocking an additional combo unique to them.
- Blood Knight: She embraces and downright enjoys the brutality of day-to-day life the Scarlet Chorus.
- In contrast to Barik, Verse doesn't mind at all if you make an enemy of the Scarlet Chorus — after all, if they stand in your way and fail, they deserve it. As long as she gets to stab someone, she's happy. In fact, bringing her to kill Voices of Nerat can end up increasing her Loyalty to you, if she's already loyal/afraid enough not to cut and run when you throw down.
- Bow and Sword, in Accord: Her two talent trees. She starts out equipped with dual-wielded swords and a bow, and can unlock a talent which speeds up and reduces the penalties for switching between weapon sets.
- Curtains Match the Window: Verse has one blue eye and one red eye, and her hair is a mullet made of very dark blue with a red crest on top.
- Dance Battler: Invoked nearly verbatim, since the Scarlet Furies, the elites of the Chorus, literally turn combat into an art form.
- Delinquent Hair: She wears a massive mohawk akin to a rooster's plume, and has feathers in her hair which make it look like the crown is dyed.
- Depraved Bisexual: A subversion; while Verse is bisexual and quite depraved in general, she actually stops short of qualifying — instead, her sexuality is treated almost entirely as a humanizing element.
- Don't You Dare Pity Me!: Verse despises weakness, including in herself, and trying to tell her it's not her fault when she clearly thinks it is only annoys her.
- Dual Wielding: The focus of her Duelist talent tree.
- Enfant Terrible: She claims to have always been able to go across a room to skewer a rat on a knife, and implies she cut up/killed livestock at night for her own entertainment while she was younger until she joined the Scarlet Chorus.
- Even Evil Has Loved Ones: Her personal quest reveals Verse was very close to her Scarlet Fury sisters and misses them a lot. She can also come to care about Barik, at least to an extent.
- Even Evil Has Standards: Verse is a proud member of the bloodthirsty Scarlet Chorus. However, she despises the Voices of Nerat because his monstrosity is too much even for her.
- Foil: To Barik. They join almost at the same time and represent Kyros' two opposing armies. They are about as different as can be in outlook and almost never agree about anything save that the Vendrien Guard needs to die. They're also half-siblings, as you learn much later, and their family situations were pretty much the reverse of each other as well.
- For the Evulz: Violent and aggressive, and applauds the Fatebinder for acting the same way.
- Fragile Speedster: Verse's starting stats are aimed at accuracy and cooldown reduction, and her talents are edged towards mobility, skirmishing and hitting targets of opportunity. She will deal a lot of damage to the right target, but failing to pick the right target for her will kill her fast.
- Jumped at the Call: Unlike most, she voluntarily joined the Scarlet Chorus instead of being conscripted under threat of Join or Die.
- Kill It with Fire: Lights her arrows on fire, and for her Loyalty combo, the Fatebinder channels fire magic into her swords and Verse executes a Spin Attack, dealing multiple hits to each target within reach.
- Mismatched Eyes: As mentioned above, her eyes aren't the same color, one is blue, the other is red.
- The Mole: Nerat sends Verse to join you in part to spy on you. She's fairly open about it.
- My Greatest Failure: Her Awesomeness by Analysis eventually came to bite her when during a battle, she suddenly froze up, causing her fellow Scarlet Furies to die and her absorbing their battle skill.
- Not So Different: To Barik. Self-described. She considers this more of a compliment on her part, but her approval fills him with shame.
- Only Known by Their Nickname: She earned her nickname from The Voices of Nerat himself, who claimed to have heard music within the cries of war and stated that not only was she the loudest of all, her song had too many parts to be easily defined. Asking about her name beforehand will have her simply say That Woman Is Dead.
- Optional Sexual Encounter: It's possible to have a fling with her in the Bastard's Wound DLC.
- Pet the Dog:
Verse: "I enjoy killing, Fatebinder. Doesn't mean I think everyone deserves to die."
- At the end of the first half of her "Bastard's Wound" personal quest, when Verse confronts the mother of one of the people who killed her sister furies. If the Fatebinder allows Verse to decide the woman's fate, Verse chooses to spare her.
- If Graven Ashe dies, Verse will be genuinely distraught about Barik and will freely suggest a way to help him.
- Rain of Arrows: Her Fear combo with the Fatebinder.
- Rugged Scar: The raking scars across her face, visible in her portrait.
- Sibling Yin-Yang: She's Barik's half-sister. She tends to be the more outwardly hostile of the two, while Barik is happy to pretend she doesn't exist, and isn't a living proof that his father wasn't as faithful as he always believed, and is even willing to concede that she has decent combat skills that complement his own (While Verse simply treats him as she would any other source of cover), Verse sees Barik as the living embodiment of her daddy issues. That she never grew up with a normal family because her father only slept with her mom once and then went home to his real family before she was even born. That and Verse' Chorus philosophy doesn't encourage stoic silence. More generally, Verse is as stereotypical and enthusiastic of an example of the Scarlet Furies as the Chorus has ever produced, while Barik is basically an exemplar of all the Disfavored represent.
- Sir Swears-a-Lot: The most foul-mouthed of your companions, at least so far as simple swearing goes.
- Sitcom Arch-Nemesis: Does not get along with Sirin at all (Sirin thinks Verse is an inhuman barbarian, Verse thinks Sirin is a Manipulative Bastard who's playing the entire party), but neither of them will do anything more than snipe at each other while the Fatebinder is around. Verse is also way beneath Sirin in both Kyros' hierarchy and on a personal power scale and probably couldn't do anyting about the Archon's disdain even if she wanted to.
- The Social Darwinist: She decries Graven Ashe's healing of his troops, saying it's just letting the stupid and weak survive while in the Scarlet Chorus, only the strong do. Turns out she's right, as Ashe doesn't really heal the Disfavored, but transfers all their wounds to him instead. Should Ashe die, the Disfavored is almost wiped out instantly as the wounds returned to the Disfavored soldiers.
- Soldier vs. Warrior: The warrior to Barik's soldier.
- Video Game Cruelty Potential: When the Scarlet Chorus and Disfavored come to blows early in the game, if you sided with the Disfavored, you can allow Graven Ashe to kill Verse.
- Villain Respect: The Voices of Nerat singles her out as the pinnacle of what the Scarlet Chorus are meant to be if you bring her to Cacophony to fight him. He even says it right after she says that a weak gang leader, Nerat in this case, needs to be challenged and replaced.
- You Are What You Hate: Verse considers the Voices of Nerat to be a monster in human form. However, Verse suspects that her Awesomeness by Analysis is a weaker version of Nerat's mind-absorbing powers and she is terrified that she will become a monster like him. On a milder, more personal scale, it turns out that she and Barik are siblings, meaning she's got Disfavored blood running through her veins.
Lantry is a Sage of the School of Ink and Quill. Hes a man of letters and numbers, a student of magic and nature, and an archivist obsessed with the accurate accounting of important people and events. His lifes work has been contributing to the Chronicle, the running archive-of-all-things built over the ages through the long work of hundreds of Sages.
Lantry uses his arcane training to witness history where it happens, as it happens — for him, magic is a tool to gain access to the battlefields, backroom dealings, and hidden ceremonies that most have to read about after the fact. As a student of history, Lantry has a certain adoration for Kyros, for no one has the power to define the unfolding march of events quite like the Overlord — nobody in recorded history even comes close.
- Absent-Minded Professor: His outward persona, which includes his substance abuse. It's not that it's a front, strictly speaking, but he pretends to be more eccentric and bumbling than he really is. Being a Sage means that he's a trained spy as much as he is a scholar, and it was probably expected of him to obfuscate a bit.
- Aerith and Bob: Barik(onen), Verse, Eb(b)/Hazen Levenja, Sirin, Kills-in-Shadow... and Lantry, which doesn't sound Greek-ish or generic fantasy, and is a surname and place name in the US and elsewhere (of obscure origin, possibly related to the French Landry or the English Langtree).
- Badass Boast: If you pick up the ability "Recounting the Deeds", he does this... for you, the Fatebinder! Fittingly, it afflicts your enemies with Terrified status.Lantry: You dare to stand against the Tunon's bloody hand of justice?! Well, it's your funeral...
- Becoming the Mask: Even he seems occasionally uncertain as to how much of his eccentric, absent-minded persona is an act. See also Deep Cover Agent.
- Black Shirt: He expresses his admiration for Kyros' ability to shape history on a grand scale. The Fatebinder, too, particularly once you start down the path of becoming an Archon in your own right, possibly the Overlord of your own burgeoning empire.
- Broken Pedestal: With Lexeme, after he discovers she's been altering the Chronicle in the hopes that this might make Kyros go softer on the Tiers. Lantry, in a bout of surprising principle, is offended, believing that the impartial recording of history — the closest thing Terratus might have to journalistic integrity — is more important than a few lives... yet he was willing to sell out the Vellum Citadel in order to save a greater number of those same lives. It's a fine line to walk.
- Combat Medic: He's a support character, but he's capable of combat.
- Cool Old Guy: Nobody in the party seems to think so (which is fair, given that he's a sellout and a sycophant who everyone believes knows more than he's letting on), but he knows an incredible amount about history, his magical powers include controlling time, his inks are also psychotropic drugs, and he's skilled in the art of stealth and deadly with a throwing knife.
- Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass: Not too deeply hidden, but this eighty-year-old man is pretty spry for his age.
- Deep Cover Agent: He's been in the Voices of Nerat's pay since before the war, since before joining the Sages, in fact. Subverted in that he grew to genuinely care for the people he was deceiving, and his attempts to persuade the other Sages to surrender to Kyros in order to save the people he most cared about from a bloody, unwinnable war were entirely in earnest.
- Dirty Coward: What most people see him as.
- Erudite Stoner: His inks are psychoactive drugs that he blends himself. Red is a powerful stimulant, cerulean induces synesthesia ('good for composing music,' as Lantry notes), and sepia is some sort of narcotic. Lantry is constantly taking notes on your travels, which he does by writing on the bandages on his arms... Then directly on his skin, once he runs out of space. The practice takes on a whole new meaning once you realize that the drugs are absorbed through the skin. Although even when you first recruit him he mentions that he drank various reagents when he realized he was about to be captured by the Scarlet Chorus, and spent the next several days — tied to a post and beaten by various Choirmen — in a pleasant stupor.
- The Fatebinder can insist on sampling the inks, much to Lantry's reluctance.
- Even Evil Has Standards: Quisling he may be, but even Landry balks at outright falsifying history.
- The Fatalist: He believes the will of greater powers to be inevitable. He betrays the Sages because he thinks they're throwing away their lives pointlessly for the sake of principle. He turns out to be right, but his is cold comfort indeed.
- Foil: For Eb. He's a healer and time mage, while tidecasting is primarily offensive in nature. Both are older, theoretically wiser arcane scholars, but Eb is a Determined Defeatist while Lantry is The Quisling. She also hates him because he's a Sage, and thus one of the Tidecasters' historical rivals in the Tiers. Not without reason— Sages are in the habit of infiltrating other magicians' guilds and stealing their magical secrets.
- Flat "Yes": During his personal quest in Bastard's Wound:The Fatebinder: Did you drag me all this way to make some new mind-altering ink?
Lantry: [stares at you] Yes.
- For Science!: For knowledge. He treasures knowledge and learning, but he doesn't much care where that knowledge comes from. In which regard Lantry is little different from the rest of the Sages, who've long been happy to infiltrate other magical orders and have stolen lore from them in the past...including the Tidecasters, which is a bit of a wedge between him and Eb. This is why he takes it very well if he is consumed by the Voices of Nerat and manages to take control (Loyalty 4 or greater needed) at the end of the Scarlet Chorus path. All of the knowledge the Voices of Nerat has gathered from his many victims over the centuries is now Lantry's. In Bastard's Wound, this is why he reacts poorly to what his former paramour Lexeme is doing with the Chronicle. By rewriting it to favor Kyros, she is erasing history.
- The Friend Nobody Likes: Nobody trusts or especially likes Lantry, save perhaps the Fatebinder and Sirin. Sirin seems to appreciate his knowledge and the scholarly background he comes from; everyone else will either ignore him or occasionally threaten him, with Eb bearing particularly deep grudge against him, as both a Sage and a traitor. That's right, in a party consisting of a spree murderess, a former rebel, a mind-controlling teenage harpy, a literal monster, and Barik, most consider everybody else to be more trustworthy, with more redeeming qualities, than Lantry.
- Jack-of-All-Stats: Unlike other companions, he has three smaller talent trees rather than two full-size ones. This allows him to be something of a generalist: his three trees roughly map out to rogue (Quill), support mage/debuffer (Sage), and healer/time mage (Preservation), with some overlap between the three.
- Knife Nut: He uses throwing knives shaped like quills.
- Lovable Coward: What he'd like you to see him as.
- Lovable Traitor: You wouldn't be the first group of people he's sold out, but he's very good at making himself useful.
- The Mole: During the Conquest, Nerat paid Lantry to spy on the Sages and convince them to surrender peacefully to Kyros. The second part didn't work out.
- Mushroom Samba: Hands out a couple of these:
- A mild case when you sample his inks. Each player background has an unique associated flashback of its own.
- His personal quest from the Bastard's Wound DLC ends with him roping you into tracking down a field of particular berries so that he can relive his past memories with Lexeme, but muddles through his youth, first meeting with the Voices of Nerat, and more. You have the option of then going for round two, which ends with the whole party naked and features rapid-fire visions of most of the unique NPCs in the game. This breaks a few locked items, but is worth it for dancing Tunon alone.
- The Oldest Ones in the Book: Claims to have come up with some of them. Mocked with "the old 'concealed text in a pile of pig shit' trick."
- Obfuscating Stupidity: Tends to emphasize his cowardice, age and eccentricities to seem more harmless than he really is. Lampshaded by Verse when you first meet him, who mentions she's met several 'old harmless sages' who were as hardened as any Chorus gang boss.
- Purple Prose: Tends to talk in it. His speech is rife with alliterative, internally rhymed flourishes, and he never gives a monosyllabic answer where a complex sentence of at least a dozen words (or more) will do.
- The Quisling: Is this for the Tiers, or at least the Sages. For his part, he doesn't seem to mind. He genuinely believes that the Vellum Citadel's best hope was simply surrendering to Kyros in return for leaving the library intact. Failing that, he'd like to see Sages like himself turn themselves over to the empire, and make themselves useful, so as to preserve what remains of their collected years of knowledge.
- Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: When his fellow Sages chose to barricade themselves within their library rather than surrender to Kyros as he suggested, rather than dying with them, he got out before Kyros reduced the place into a lava-soaked ruin.
- Support Party Member: He starts out as this, knowing only defensive magic, an armour-buffing ability and a weak interruption attack. His naturally high Lore skill means this can quickly be subverted by giving him more offensive-minded magic.
- Stealth Expert: Concealment magic is one of the Sages' specialties, useful in collecting the knowledge they so crave. His Quill and Sage trees give him bonuses for attacking from stealth or increase Subterfuge skills for Lantry and the party as a whole.
- The Stoner: Highly functional, however, so much so that you might never realize it if he didn't tell you.
- Tagalong Chronicler: His primary motive in following the Fatebinder is to be a living witness to history in the making.
- Time Master: His Preservation tree, in addition to granting him healing magic and buffing his healing abilities, also allows him to slow down time for enemies. It's also his Loyalty power.
- Too Much Alike: With his mentor/student advisor, Chiasmus.Lantry: Uh, yes — uh, Sage Chiasmus. Provost of the School back before the war. Vapid bloviator, insufferable pedant — needless to say, our similarities made us utterly incompatible.
- Troll: When you equip him with an artifact:Lantry: Oops! I broke it! Ha! Oh, just kidding.
- Video Game Cruelty Potential: When you encounter him in the Scarlet Chorus encampment, you can opt to give Lantry over to the Voices of Nerrat for "interrogation" instead of recruiting him. Needless to say, he's killed in the process.
- Vitriolic Best Buds: Although Lantry and Eb come from opposing schools, they momentarily hang up their rivalry when they start discussing magical theory and other scholarly topics.
- Wall of Blather: His history lessons. Just listening to one causes hours-long Time Skips, and he's able to traumatize both the Fatebinder and Sirin with them on different occasions.
- White Mage: A little faster and sneakier than most, but otherwise a classic case.
- You Talk Too Much!: Frequently on the receiving end of this. See Purple Prose.
Eb is a member of an order of mages that study manipulation of water in all its forms. Though their magic makes them formidable in battle, the School of Tides devoted their efforts to the study of the arts and cornering trade along the coasts. While these efforts gave the school prestige and acceptance, theyve also turned the school into a peaceful order, one unready for war and they were defeated with ease during Kyros conquest. The Majority of the school, along with their Archon, fled across the sea to parts unknown, with only four remaining behind.
Having lost her husband, children, home, school, and realm to the war, Ebs life is now little more than battle and living on the run. With the death of her three mentors, Eb is now the last of her kind.
Proud to have been born unbowed to Kyros but unburdened by the delusion that she has any chance of winning, Eb now wages her own war against the invaders, rallying to whatever band of Tiersmen is still willing to fight. Though she knows true victory is impossible, that wont stop her from slaying as many of the foreign invaders as she can on her way out.
- Action Mom: She was, but the war in the Tiers has taken her family from her.
- Amazonian Beauty: Notably more muscular than Verse or Sirin, though not up to Kills-in-Shadows levels.
- Appropriated Appelation: Her real name is Hazen Levenja. Eb is a nickname she got during her time as an apprentice in which she misspelled the word "ebb", causing her teacher to jokingly mock her.
- Black Mage: Some of the most powerful offensive area spells in the game are exclusive to her and she wields multiple elements at once (water, frost, gravity, lightning), although she averts Squishy Wizard.
- Blue Blood: She comes from a noble background, with her mother being a Magistrate of Ardent and her father being an admiral, not that it matters since their lands now belong to Kyros.
- Boisterous Bruiser: She likes drinking, sex, and a good fight, not necessarily in that order.
- Cruelty Is the Only Option: unless you have Bastard's Wound DLC, Eb is the only source for the Sigil of Terratus Grave in the game and thus the only way to upgrade her innate Gravelight spell is to coax it out of her, which will cause major Fear gain for making her give up her guild's most closely held secret.
- Defeat Equals Friendship: In most of the story routes, Eb only joins you after you defeat her (and the last holdouts of the Vendrien Guard) in battle.
- Determined Defeatist: Eb knows that her war against Kyros will inevitably end with Eb dying without even barely inconveniencing Kyros's plans, but she is determined to avenge her people anyway.
- Foil: For Lantry. Both are older, theoretically wiser arcane scholars, but Eb is a Determined Defeatist while Lantry is The Quisling. He's a healer and time mage, while tidecasting is primarily offensive in nature. She also hates him because he's a Sage, and thus one of the Tidecasters' historical rivals in the Tiers. Not without reason— Sages are in the habit of infiltrating other magicians' guilds and stealing their magical secrets.
- Gravity Master: Her Gravelight tree of powers channels the power of Terratus's tide-locked larger moon, Terratus Grave, to lift people off the ground, hold them helpless in midair, smash them back down to earth, protect her allies, and create runic barriers around herself. She acknowledges in her companion dialogue that her control over water and the tides is gravity-based.
- An Ice Person: Her Tidal talent tree grants a boost to frost spells. Technically, however, she says this actually isn't directly related to Tidecasting, but rather something most Tidecasters still learn anyway, since the synergy of ice and water makes it so useful.
- Last of Her Kind: Eb is believed the last surviving Tidecaster on the continent, although "Bastard's Wound" reveals that another survived but went into hiding. On a personal level, she's the only one that remains of her family.
- Lunacy: The moon is the origin of the Tidecasters' powers. Despite many of Eb's powers bathing the target in moonlight, it's not the light itself but rather the moon's gravity that Eb wields in combat. Her Gravelight Skill Tree includes passive abilities that make her Gravelight spells stronger at nighttime.
- Mama Bear: A mother of (late) twins and another son who committed suicide before the war, she has a fairly extreme reaction should you choose to kill Tarkis Arri, the young leader of the rebel Vendrien Guard. Even Kills-in-Shadow picks up on it, calling her a 'broodmother' (maybe the Beastwoman can recognize something of her own protective instincts in Eb).
- Magic Knight: Particularly with her Gravelight talent tree, which greatly boosts her armor and focuses on draining health from enemies.
- The Mentor: For Tarkis Arri, the young leader of the Vendrien Guard. Possibly for the Fatebinder as well, if you're willing to take her advice.
- Mighty Glacier: Wizard variant. She has powerful ranged area attacks and control spells, and her talents let her shrug off both physical damage and magic, but Quickness starts off as her Dump Stat. You can turn this around if you prefer.
- Making a Splash: Eb's Tidecasting magic uses water to control the battlefield. She can even control the blood and fluids within a living person to destroy them from the inside out.
- Narrator All Along: It may not be obvious at first, but she's the narrator of the whole story.
- Obfuscating Stupidity: Tends to act the part of a Book Dumb Boisterous Bruiser when she isn't delivering erudite put-downs or groveling to the Fatebinder.
- Optional Sexual Encounter: Potentially, with high enough Loyalty, in a random encounter added in the Tales from the Tiers DLC involving an aphrodesiac plant that the Fatebinder can choose to eat.
- Order Reborn: If her Loyalty is high enough in most paths, her ending depicts her teaching Tidecaster magic to many eager students. If she is consumed by the Voices of Nerat with Loyalty 4 or higher and you chose to feed the Tidecasters to Nerat in the Conquest, the Voices of Eb works together with her fellow consumed Tidecasters to restart the order.
- Pay Evil unto Evil: Eb has a vengeful streak, and at one point says she'd like to see Barik raped the way Kyros' troops have done to her people.
- Sarcastic Devotee: If she likes you.
- Shameless Fanservice Girl: Implied, though never shown, in the description of her outfit; Tidecasters "conform to social standards of modesty", but only insofar as they must.To these pragmatic casters, fashion that cannot double as a tool is dead weight.
- Shout-Out: To Community, in Bastard's Wound:Eb: Oh, right. Like how we remember kingdoms, phylanges,note , classes, orders, families, genera, and species. 'Kyros, please come over for group sex.' Just take the first letters of each word in the phrase. Easy, right?note
- Sour Supporter: If she doesn't like you.
- Teacher/Student Romance: She slept with her apprentices at the Academy of Tides. From the sound of things, she was far from alone in this.
- This Looks Like a Job for Aquaman: Her ability to frighten the Bane, high magic defense, and possibly being the only party member with access to Gravelight spells means she's uniquely well-suited to tackling the Oldwalls, even if you're not necessarily using her much otherwise. Basically, if the ghost-like Bane are this game's equivalent of The Undead, Eb's Gravelight talent tree makes her the Tiers' version of a cleric or paladin.
- Token Good Teammate: She's pragmatic enough to swear her loyalty to you in return for her life when it becomes clear that the Vendrien Guard is finished, but that could be an attempt to bide time and look for another chance to rebel. As far as the competition goes, Barik and Verse both start the game among Kyros's forces, and are enthusiastic about their respective armies; Sirin is an Archon, however reluctantly, who has spent most of the campaign mind-raping Tiersmen into her personal slaves; Lantry is an eager collaborator who has been taking Nerat's money since before the Vellum Citadel fell; and Kills-in-Shadow hunts and kills human beings for sport. It's not exactly a high bar to clear.
- Tranquil Fury: She denies it at first, but with high enough Lore, the Fatebinder can note that Eb's method of spellcasting has a tinge of rage to it. That you're even able to pick up on this impresses her and earns you a little of her respect.
- Vitriolic Best Buds: Although Lantry and Eb come from opposing schools, she can can momentarily look past her hatred for him to discuss magical theory and other scholarly topics.
- Vulgar Humor: Has the dirtiest mind out of your companions, and while she doesn't swear as often as Verse, she makes up for it in content.
- You Are a Credit to Your Race: If you consistently gain favour with Eb during the game (especially by joining the rebels), she will begrudgingly refer to you as "one of the good ones" (as far as servants of Kyros go) during Bastard's Wound and in Tunon's court during the endgame.
Kills-in-Shadow is a monster. Shes frightening and hairy, stinks of wet animal and has an insatiable bloodlust for violence and slaughter. Shes also a clever hunter, a brutish, skilled fighter, and is tenaciously loyal (unless, of course, she has sensed a weakness) to whomever she chooses to follow, whether that be her ruthless sister, Creeping-Death, who was the last leader of their savage tribe, or a human Fatebinder stronger than even the toughest of Beastwomen.
As the last survivor of her tribe, shes on a single-minded hunt for blood and vengeance, and will not be satisfied until each and every Disfavored has been wiped from Terratus. If most Beastwomen are hyenas, Kills-in-Shadow is a lone lioness — proud, regal, and wholly deadly. Drawn by a spectacular display of strength and prowess, she is now stalking the Fatebinders scent.
- Absurdly Sharp Claws: Ripping foes to shreds with her bare claws is the focus of her Ravager talent tree.
- Affably Evil: Kills-in-Shadow may be a violent beast, but she's quite friendly to her "packmates". And her Loyalty is easily earned; even just asking her questions about herself and her hunts will slowly ingratiate her towards the Fatebinder.
- Ax-Crazy: Kills-in-Shadow likes hunting and killing things. Kills-in-Shadow likes the Fatebinder killing things. The only time Kills-in-Shadow appreciates the Fatebinder preventing or avoiding violence is when the Fatebinder does so with a demonstration of dominance instead.
- Notably, though, she's only crazy by human standards. As beastmen go, she's quite normal.
- Back Stab: Gains various boosts when she can attack from stealth.
- Battle Cry: Her "Primal Scream" skill, which frightens enemies (or terrifies them if used from stealth).
- Blue-and-Orange Morality: As a beastwoman, her code of ethics is slightly off by human standards. Killsy has little interest in many human concepts (or in learning about them) and sees existence mostly as a constant struggle for survival where the strongest (like the Fatebinder) must instinctively be obeyed.
- Beast Man: Beastwoman, in fact. Kills belongs to a race of savage monsters, Terratus's loose equivalent to a Standard Fantasy Setting's goblins or orcs, but even more animalistic, capable of speech but eschewing clothes or tools.
- BFS: The only weapons she can equip are two-handed melee weapons, but she's so huge that she wields them one-handed.
- Blood Knight: The bloodthirstiest member of the bloodthirstiest tribe of the already bloodthirsty Beastmen.
- Brawn Hilda: The most muscular party member, female or otherwise, by a very wide margin.
- Covered with Scars: Her face and naked torso are covered with deep, highly visible scars. If you take her along to the final fight with Graven Ashe, her victory celebration has her rip yet another scar across her chest.
- Damager, Healer, Tank: Damager or Tank. Maxed out, her Ravager tree lets her deal about as much damage with each claw as a BFS, and can attack much more quickly. Her Titan tree focuses on melee weapons, increased durability, and engaging multiple targets.
- Deadly Lunge: Her Leaping Death, Trample, and Stampede attacks all let her move to soft targets without intervention.
- Defeat Means Friendship: You don't have to fight her to get her to join you, but beating Kills and her packmates in combat before allowing her to join the party will win the Fatebinder some added approval with her.
- The Dragon: She describes herself as your self-proclaimed Bolwerk; second-in-command of your pack and the one responsible for whipping the others into shape.
- Even Evil Has Loved Ones: She speaks of her tribe, the Shadowstalkers, with fondness, even when describing how she killed the tribe's old Prima (dominant female and chieftain) to put her broodmate in charge. She liked the old Prima — she just liked her sister more. She's also strongly protective of younger pack members, even from her adoptive packs, like Left-Claw... and Sirin.
- Fastball Special: Sky Blade, her Loyalty combo, has her hurl the Fatebinder into the air to come smashing down on top of a target a few moments later.
- Full-Frontal Assault: She doesn't wear a stitch of clothing, and she has very obvious breasts sticking out.
- Glass Cannon: Despite her high hit points. Killsy can't wear armor at all, can't equip shields or ranged weapons, and has only one spell slot, so no help there. She depends on Hit-and-Run Tactics, ambush attacks, and just generally taking out targets quickly to stay alive — or you can play with the intention of reviving her when she inevitably falls, since she can be built to gain bonuses for fighting wounded.
- Ground Punch: Shadowhunter's Cloud and Snapping Bone, her Fear combo and tank build capstone ability, respectively, have her smash the ground for AoE damage.
- Guttural Growler: Constantly snarling and growling. Like Fallout's ghouls and supermutants, a rare female case of this.
- Hulk Speak: She refers to herself in third person and uses odd turns of phrase, compounding adjectives together, and emphasizing particular concepts by repeating them.
- I Fight for the Strongest Side: It's the Fatebinder's show of power at the Mountain Spire, and preceding victory over the forces at Ascension Hall, that draws her attention. This is most evident in how the Fatebinder gains approval with Kills— acts that gain Loyalty with her add up to relatively small amounts, but acts that gain her Fear usually also come with a comparable amount of Loyalty as well.
- In Love with Your Carnage: Regardless of the Fatebinder's appearance or gender, Kills-in-Shadow shows a deep fascination with the havoc and bloodshed the Fatebinder inevitably leaves in their wake, and in particular, how they smell while doing so.
- Interplay of Sex and Violence: Rut, mate, kill — they're never more than a degree or two apart with Beasts.
- Last of Her Kind: She's the last of the Shadowhunter tribe. There are still many other Beastmen tribes in the Tiers, especially in the Stone Sea, but she tends to turn up her nose at them. With Bastard's Wound, the Fatebinder can learn that other Shadowhunters survived at the eponymous settlement, but they no longer consider themselves Shadowhunters, but "Woundkin" instead.
- Lightning Bruiser: Highly mobile with naturally high hit points. No armor means almost no recovery time on attacks, too. That being said, her lack of armor can quickly make her into a Glass Cannon if she's not managed well, though her Adaptation: Earth/Ice/Lightning talents do add even more HP, and grant her a massive 50% resistance to Crush, Frost, and Shock damage, respectively.
- Living Lie Detector: According to her, Lantry smells of "coal-ink and lies", leading Lantry to ponder what the hell a lie might smell like.
- Magically Inept Fighter: Kills-In-Shadow has Wits 8 when you get her and is absolutely terrible with generic magic, worse then Verse and Barik, with only one spell slot. Yet she somehow manages to invent (or possibly rediscover) a shadow manipulation ability/artifact by reading the Bastard's Wound Oldwalls murals which imply that the Beastmen and their unique ability to adapt to their environment (growing gills in the case of the Mantaborn) were somehow bred or engineered into them, giving them innate magical powers, despite their inability to read which limits the number of actual spells they can learn.
- Mama Bear: Has an unexpected soft spot for younger pack members, and describes this in surprising depth if she happens to be in the party when you ask Sirin how she feels about Kills-in-Shadows: Sirin is young enough that she awakens Kills' protective instincts.
- Nothing Personal: Killsy holds no real grudge against the Disfavored for wiping out her tribe, pointing out that the Disfavored are predators and it's pointless to begrudge a predator who kills you for being a predator who kills you. However she is also a predator, and as such she'll kill every Disfavored in existence because she can.
- One-Handed Zweihänder: Due to her size and strength, she can use two-handed weapons one-handed. Reflecting this, wielding two-handed weapons levels up her one-handed weapon skill instead of the two-handed weapon skill.
- Optional Sexual Encounter: Potentially, with high enough Loyalty, in a random encounter added in the Tales from the Tiers DLC involving an aphrodesiac plant that the Fatebinder can choose to eat.
- Replacement Goldfish: If she is consumed by and takes over the Voices of Nerat, the new Voices of Kills-in-Shadow drapes herself in Beastman skins and renames the Scarlet Chorus the Scarlet Hunters in an effort to replace her lost tribe. She leads her new "tribe" on a bloody hunt against the Northern Empire.
- Roaring Rampage of Revenge: She's on a path of vengeance against Kyros' army, specifically the Disfavored.
- Smarter Than You Look: Killsy looks like The Brute, speaks a mangled pidgin of human language and is a Magically Inept Fighter, but is also a Stealth Expert, surprisingly knowledgeable in pack dynamics even amongst humans, and can be quite philosophical if she wants to be. This particularly comes into play in Bastard's Wound where you can discuss Beastman history with her and eventually have her learn Wrong Context Magic unavailable to the human characters. She is even able to correct Lantry at one point when it turns out the Beastmen have maintained the historical knowledge of what an Antelope was through oral records, and the Sages haven't.
- So Much for Stealth: Played With. She's enough of a Stealth Expert that she can get away with roaring the following upon entering stealth:Kills-in-Shadow: Get ready to go-go! HUNT-STALK-PRROWWLLL!
- Stealthy Colossus: There's a reason she's called "Kills-in-Shadow"; she's a very capable ambush predator despite towering over ordinary humans.
- Stealth Expert: From a Beast tribe whose supernatural adaptive ability allowed them to blend in with the shadows. One of her abilities lets her impart this to others, allowing the active party to gain bonus experience in the Subterfuge skill.
- Strange-Syntax Speaker: Paw-paw-paw. Fast-fast-fast. Do not, I repeat, do not take a shot every time Kills-in-Shadow uses either phrase. Other words may be used, albeit less often, as well as rapid constructions using two words, or multiple different words ("rip-torn", "run-scamper-flee").
- Third-Person Person: As part of her 'no pronouns' shtick, Killsy refers to herself as 'beastwoman' or 'Kills-in-Shadow'.
- Token Non-Human: She's the only non-human party member, though the setting doesn't really have a lot of other sapient species.
- You No Take Candle: Somewhere between this and Hulk Speak. She has a surprisingly good vocabulary for subjects that matter to her, and she's quite shrewd and perceptive, but her grammar is either fundamentally broken, or possibly its own form of Beastman pidgin dialect.
Sirin, Archon of Song
Sirin caused the death of more people before she was seven than most soldiers do in their entire careers. One of the few mages on Terratus who was born with magic, Sirin first displayed her abilities the first time she cried. Her parents quickly learned anyone who heard Sirins voice was compelled by the emotion behind it.
Eventually, tales of Sirins voice reached Kyros, who knew that if this child truly was as powerful as everyone said, she could be a power tool for conquest. Using the Voices of Nerat, Kyros kidnapped Sirin from her family and delivered her to the royal court for training.
Once she was deemed ready (and properly under control), she was given back to the Voices of Nerat to help the Scarlet Chorus in their recruiting efforts. From that point on, her voice was used to convince any and all to join the Scarlet Chorus and fight for Kyros. But Sirin knew that she — and her voice — were simply a means to an end and that the moment she stopped being useful, her life was forfeit, so she did her best to recruit as many bodies as she could for the Chorus while planning a means of escape if the opportunity ever presented itself.
- Abusive Parents: He toured her through the surrounding countryside as a child, charging money for the Songbird to work her magic. She notes that he was emotionally neglectful as well, though her description of him, extremely lacking in any visible emotion while she was overflowing with them, raises questions as to whether he might not also have been affected by her powers in some way. She compelled him to commit suicide, or at least drove him to it by filling his mind with the guilt of using and abandoning her.
- A God Am I: Has a habit of assembling cults around herself wherever she goes.
- Animal-Themed Superbeing: The Songbird, a name she earned as a very young child.
- The Atoner: If high-loyalty, Sirin's ending describes her walking across the Tiers trying to make up for what she did under Kyros' rule. She sings to its people to remove their fears and despair, eventually creating a cult called "followers of the Songbird" who join her in spreading a message of peace and hope through the Tiers.
- Bad Powers, Bad People: Mistress of mind control, and a minion of Kyros who constantly strains against their control. Subverted: she strains against Kyros largely because she's sick of being the villain.
- Because You Were Nice to Me: Opportunities to win Loyalty with her are few and far between, but you get a massive boost if you went out of your way to track her and choose sympathetic options during the Conquest.
- Broken Bird: Her life has not been kind to her, and that helmet? That's a Restraining Bolt that limits her power and would kill her if tampered with.
- Compelling Voice: Likely her most dangerous ability, allowing her to command others to do her bidding and worship her, albeit severely weakened by the helmet that Kyros has forced her to wear. Overlaps with Mind-Control Music.
- Death by Origin Story: A high enough Lore check (47) reveals that her mother died shielding Sirin from fearful villagers, who were throwing stones at them.
- Defector from Decadence: She was forced to serve with the Scarlet Chorus for most of the Conquest, but she has no love for them, and indeed, the fastest way to rack up Fear with Sirin is by continuously siding with the Chorus. She doesn't like Kyros much either, and is happy to bow to you when you embark on your campaign against the empire, but more than anyone else, she despises the Voices of Nerat.
- Defrosting Ice Queen: She starts off as a Spoiled Brat who tries to Mind Rape you into unlocking her helmet, but if you manage to earn her Loyalty, she grows into one of the kindest and most moral members of your party. Unlike the harsher, more pragmatic and deferential Eb, she genuinely seems to like the Fatebinder, too.
- The Dragon: At the start of the story, she is the Voices of Nerat's vassal and her powers greatly aid the Scarlet Chorus's conscription efforts. However, after the revolt of Vendrien's Well is resolved, Sirin jumps ship at the first opportunity as she despises Nerat.
- The Empath: How Sirin describes her power, she can get a sense of the shape of somebody's conscious and uses her voice to change it. While a crowd is too many to take on at once, she can influence their mood and rile them up into a frenzy. It's also the reason why Tunon and Nerat are are both immune and scary to her, Tunon has next to no presence and she can influence only one of Nerat at a time, but there's plenty more of him to go to the forefront.
- Even Bad Men Love Their Mamas: She'll plead with the Fatebinder not to tell the story of how her mother died. And she's not acting. That said, while forcing her to tell the story increases her Fear, giving her the opportunity to pour her heart out about what happened after holding it in for so long can also increase her Loyalty.
- From Nobody to Nightmare: Started very early. She and Bleden Mark (and possibly Cairn) are what are termed 'wild talents' in-universe, Archons who gained their powers early in life (in Sirin's case as a very young child), without having gained any widespread fame or notoriety to fuel their magic.
- Hero Worship: Of the Fatebinder at high loyalty. Given that a high-loyalty Sirin views the Fatebinder as the one who saved her from a Fate Worse than Death in the form of a lifetime of servitude to the Voices of Nerat, it's more than justified.
- Know When to Fold 'Em: When Kyros orders all Archons to bow to one another or kill each other until one rules supreme; Sirin immediately takes herself out of the conflict by bowing to you.
- Hermit Guru: If neither loyal nor fearful of the Fatebinder, Sirin takes an oath of silence and retreats to a mountaintop, never speaking or singing again. She attracts a fellowship of people who join her in retreating from the world and living in silent contemplation. The Fatebinder leaves her alone.
- Hidden Depths: While outwardly she's maintaining an all-powerful, haughty persona, deep down she's got a heart. She keeps saying she doesn't remember her youth, but dialogues show that she does. Not to mention being burdened by guilt and regrets.
- Improbable Age: Sirin is one of the most powerful people in Kyros's Empire thanks to her unique powers. She's just 16 years old, meaning she was 13 at the beginning of the Kyros' Conquest of the Tiers.
- It Is Pronounced "Tro-PAY": Sear-in, not Siren, though the pun is rather obvious.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Sirin is an arrogant brat, but deep down inside she is one of the more compassionate companions. It's only because of the horror of her surroundings that she acts so jaded and spoiled.
- Jumping Off the Slippery Slope: Not guaranteed, but possible in two endings. In a Scarlet Chorus playthrough, if she's used to take over the Voices of Nerat, she becomes an even more bloodthirsty and insane taskmaster than Nerat was. In any playthrough, if she has very low loyalty and very high fear, she'll start bloodthirsty cults to her power.
- Luminescent Blush: Happens to her fairly often. With high loyalty, she'll do this in normal conversation with the Fatebinder (such as when she says how nice it is being with them), and gets turned Up to Eleven the moment any sort of sexual innuendo is made by anyone else in earshot of her. The first instance of this is when she's asked for her opinion on Eb while the latter is present. Eb responds to Sirin challenging her to a fight by asking if it was a Double Entendre, prompting this.
- Make Me Wanna Shout: Sirin's screams can drive people insane, and cause Psychic Nosebleeds even in those who manage to resist.
- Mass Hypnosis: Part of how her powers were used during the war.
- Meaningful Name:
- Sirin's name is a pun on the siren of Greek myth, whose voice would lead sailors to their deaths.
- There is also the sirin from Slavic folklore, its name derived from the aforementioned siren. In line with the Archon's Animal Motifs referencing birds, the sirin is described as a bird with the head and chest of a beautiful woman. Also in keeping with Sirin's helmet, sirins are usually depicted wearing a crown or halo. A sirin's song is also said to make any mortal listener forget everything on Earth and follow the sirin, ultimately dying, similar to Sirin's tendency to assemble cults and her songs' ability to control people.
- Mind-Control Music: Her song is mesmerizing, capable of swaying whole armies emotionally.
- Mind Rape: The reason people are afraid of her. Gain her loyalty, and it becomes apparent that she's a product of her environment, and only did this out of self-defense.
- More Than Mind Control: Her cultists all believe they genuinely love her, and do her bidding of their own free will. This is what makes her powers so dangerous— as Eb points out, if the party was compromised by Sirin's charms, they might never know it.
- Nice Hat: Like Evil-Lyn's. Sirin definitely doesn't think so, however, since it's locked in place and can't be removed, and dampens her powers, preventing her from becoming a danger to the empire. Before she was fitted with her helmet, she very nearly managed to topple Kyros herself with her Compelling Voice, having merely been brought before the court to show off her powers. In Bastard's Wound Sirin can use the knowledge left behind for her by Cairn and in the Oldwalls of the Bastard's Wound to reduce the burden the helmet places on her, freeing more of her true power.
- Person of Mass Destruction: What she very easily could have become without the Restraining Bolt helmet. She was already capable of almost making Kyros commit suicide at twelve. Imagine what she could have done with just a few more years of practice...
- Power Incontinence: Sirin's powers are unique, and so as a child she wasn't aware of how much they were capable of. This led to tragedy when she improvised a song about wanting to spend time with her baby brother. Problem was, her baby brother wasn't born yet. The line "come out and play" gave her mother a miscarriage.
- Psychic-Assisted Suicide: No longer able to trigger this in others, as a result of her helmet, which was put on her when she tried to do this to Kyros. And nearly succeeded. She did succeed in having her tutor at Kyros's court leap from a window (although she says it was an accident, that she was just toying with his desires and he fell while snatching at something only he could see), and drove her father to suicide when he was brought before her by making him feel the guilt of his abuse to the point where he slit his own throat.
- Religion of Evil: She likes using her powers to set up cults to worship her. If you have a high Fear level with Sirin, then in the ending she assembles a new cult that practices horrific rituals that involve human sacrifice.
- Restraining Bolt: Her helmet (which is permanently attached to her head) prevents her from using her powers at full strength— that big gem in the middle will shatter and kill her if she tries. Her Tier 3 Loyalty and Fear combos with the Fatebinder have her briefly unlock her full power to devastating effect.
- Ship Tease: Get her loyalty high enough, and she starts blushing and nervously laughing mid-conversation with the Fatebinder, after realizing what she's saying could very easily be construed as flirting. Eventually, she'll even start trying to hold the Fatebinder's hand.
- Spoiled Brat: She's used to getting her way, what with the mind control. It's an act, her small way of rebelling against her oppressors. At the same time, she has a large soft spot and approves of compassionate actions.
- Support Party Member: She's functionally a Chanter from Pillars of Eternity, whose songs can buff allies and debuff enemies.
- Telepathy: She's only able to describe it in vague terms, but she 'gets into people's heads' and can 'sense something there' which she manipulates in order to control people. Part of what terrifies her about the Voices of Nerat is that he has no mind in the sense which she would be able to sense or read him. One assumes this is what made Nerat the ideal jailor for her.
- "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Sirin gives a long rant in response to Verse when entering Halfgate, regarding the damage the Scarlet Chorus does to communities it occupies, and how those recruited by the Chorus are little better than dead.Verse: Classic example of the Overlord's devastation. Like a battering ram, the Edict cleared everything in its path — including the farmlands we need to keep the army supplied.
Sirin: Good! Every last one of you can starve and the world will be better for it. Maybe if you didn't force everyone to fight for you, there would be more food to go around. Yes — let's worry about the poor Chorus, trudging through the world destroying everything it touches. What's that? A man was hounded, chased, and tortured, then had a spell of such power dropped on him that it literally tore a town to pieces? Who cares about that?
- Sitcom Arch-Nemesis: Verse. Sirin makes no bones about her dislike of her. Mostly one-sided, since thanks to Sirin's mind control powers and high status within the Empire, Verse probably couldn't (and wouldn't) act against Sirin even if she cared what she thought of her. Which she doesn't.
- Sugar-and-Ice Personality: A textbook case, and her Loyalty and Fear responses, respectively.
- Token Good Teammate: Less so than Eb, but it's made clear Sirin is a reluctant Punch-Clock Villain who hates many of the more immoral actions she's forced into.
- Where I Was Born and Razed: When the Scarlet Chorus came to bring Sirin to Kyros, Sirin responded by screaming so loud that she drove her entire village and the Chorus members sent to kidnap her insane. The villagers massacred one another and only Sirin and a Chorus member who was fortunate enough to be affected by the terror she felt rather than her rage, thus making him flee the scene as fast as possible rather than try and kill everyone around him in a berserker's rage.
Tunon the Adjudicator, Archon of Justice
The Archon of Justice and creator of the Fatebinders, making him your boss. He is the Eldest of the Archons in service to Kyros, having served the Overlord for over 400 years. Though legends tell of many Archons of Justice in the years before Kyros ascension, none have been born to challenge Tunons claim to the title in the past centuries. Tunon is a cold and dispassionate figure, devoid of emotion and sentiment. All that moves him is his devotion to Kyros law. His true face is hidden behind a metal mask, his Face of Judgment, so that none may see his expression and so determine his feelings about a case before him.
The full extent of Tunons powers is unknown. What is known is that the other Archons, beings of immense power in their own right, fear his judgment almost as much as they fear the Overlords displeasure.
- Anthropomorphic Personification: Bleden Mark claims that Tunon is now more or less an incarnation and vessel of Kyros' Law.
- Anti-Villain: As shown throughout the game, he takes his role of an impartial judge seriously and humbly. The Fatebinder's trial can be won for that exact reason.
- Badass Bureaucrat: Tunon is a master bureaucrat and one of the most powerful beings in Terratus. The two are actually related, as Tunon became an Archon through his mastery of legal administration.
- Badass Long Robe: Long and black. Looks even longer thanks to the column of black smoke/shadow which lifts him off the ground.
- Berserk Button:
- He hates it when you choose the "remain silent" options in one-on-one dialogues with him.
- Asking him what is under his mask will cause him to become silent, but project an aura of palpable menace that will get progressively larger the more you continue to ask. This also gives one of the largest Wrath boosts in the game.
- Asking him personal questions about the Overlord (such as badgering him about Kyros' gender) is also a quick way to get on his bad side.
- Bottomless Pits: Surrounding the dais in the audience chamber of his court in the Bastard City. The description text in his court makes it clear that they've seen some use. This is also how he eliminated the corrupt merchant lords of the city when he arrived, opening enormous sinkholes which swallowed up their warehouses, leaving dark gaping holes scattered throughout the city.
- Crazy-Prepared: Worked with Kyros to create a direct counter to Bleden Mark should he go rogue. If the two clash during the Anarchist Path, Tunon will instantly neutralize Mark while lampshading it.
- Death Glare: Tunon is very, very good at these, to the degree that objections in his court are frequently overruled with nothing but a silent glare. Bastard's Wound added an option for the Fatebinder to tell Tunon during their trial that the reason they [glare silently] so much is because they've learned from this example. Tunon's response is to glare at you, to the amusement of your fellow Fatebinders.
- The Dragon: To Kyros, as the eldest of the Archons to serve them. And potentially to the Fatebinder, if they prove to know more about Law than Kyros.
- Drop the Hammer: His giant gavel (it's as tall as he is, and scarier than it sounds). When it strikes, it makes a keening, audio feedback sound effect which takes several seconds to die off. It's definitely attention-getting.
- Expy: Really, really looks like Ronan the Accuser.
- Evil Sounds Deep: He speaks with a rumbling baritone that alone commands authority.
- Foil: To Cairn. Both have powers associated with the earth, Tunon by opening Bottomless Pits in the ground, Cairn by shaping and molding it. Tunon is Kyros' oldest and most loyal servant, while Cairn betrayed her and went on a rampage across Azure. Cairn lived in the wild and eschewed civilized habits before being forced to acknowledge Kyros as his Overlord, while Tunon is a creature of the city and the Court, of metal and black smoke. Yet in the end, Tunon may turn against Kyros as well, and in some incidental dialogue, he speaks of missing the trees and greenery— and his first mask was carved out of wood.
- Humanoid Abomination: Pretty obvious, what with the ominous black smoke and all. Dialogue with him implies he is so devoted to the laws of Kyros that he is able to defy the laws of nature when they contradict Kyros' laws. May well be the fate of all Archons to become this, should they live long enough, at least going by what Tunon and Nerat, the two oldest Archons we see in-game.
- I Resemble That Remark!: When the Fatebinder informs him that they learned to [Glare silently] to nuisances by observing him, his response is a Death Glare.
- Kangaroo Court: Tunon will eventually bring the Fatebinder to one if and when they become too powerful. Delightfully, however, Tunon is so devoted to law that with the right Loophole Abuse, good character witnesses and standing with Tunon, the Fatebinder can be found innocent, "in defiance of all expectation and reason".
- Knight Templar: Overlapping with Lawful Stupid, the first as a function of the second. He is fully aware the spirit of the law is not contained completely within its letter, but is such a Principles Zealot about impartiality and fairness that he refuses to care about the spirit when enforcing the letter, no matter how much it violates the spirit. This can be beneficial to the Fatebinder, if they are legally minded enough to use Loophole Abuse of the treason laws for a lighter sentence — or even get declared innocent altogether, in which case Tunon suffers a Villainous BSoD from being unable to declare you guilty.
- Lawful Stupid: As mentioned under Knight Templar, Tunon's obsessed with the letter of the law. This can prove to be rather detrimental to Kyros's rule. He expects the Fatebinder to follow either Graven Ashe or the Voices of Nerat all the way in order to investigate them. Along the way, both Archons can do severe damage to Kyros's interests.
- For Ashe, the Disfavored blighted the Stone Sea permanently with the help of the Earthshakers, rendering the region all but useless.
- For Nerat, he employed Loophole Abuse in order to gain the secrets of the Silent Archive (forbidden knowledge under Kyros's laws), and gets away with it, if the Fatebinder chooses to prosecute Ashe at Final Judgement. Also, the Chorus wants the Edict of Storms to continue in Blade Grave, contrary to Kyros's wishes.
- Logic Bomb: Tunon's greatest flaw is that his uncompromising view of Kyros and Kyros' Law leaves him open to this. He is unable to compromise or see the letter of the Law debased, and there are a few cases such as supporting the Tiersmen where this can serve to your advantage and force him to agree to some egregious abuses of the Law's spirit.
- If you successfully 'win' The Final Judgement, Tunon is forced to find you innocent of your charges and gets stuck between trying to accomplish the goal Kyros has given him to rule the Tiers, or violate his existence by executing someone found innocent by Kyros' Law. He suffers a breakdown as a result and Takes A Third Option by submitting to the player character instead.
- Loophole Abuse: His one weakness. See Principles Zealot.
- Malevolent Masked Men: Tunon, The Archon of Justice, wears a shiny metal mask covering his whole face called the Mask of Judgment to prevent anyone from seeing his face and learning his true feelings about cases set before them. Tunon has the authority to execute anyone he sees fit, including the Fatebinder should you abuse your power to violate Kyros's laws. Despite his lack of a standing army, Tunon is sufficiently powerful that all of the other Archons fear him. Suffice it to say, upsetting this masked man in a bad idea.
- Morton's Fork: As of the Bastard's Wound patch, several actions you can take during the Conquest or during gameplay (such as delaying the declaration of an Edict, killing the other Archons or saving Amelia's baby) will create these during Final Judgement. You are given multiple dialogue options to attempt to defend these actions to Tunon, but none of your arguments will hold legal water — at best, you can be ambigiously ignorant enough that you avoid outright pushing his Berserk Button.
- Mythology Gag: Obsidian, as is commonly the case, took the chance to reexamine a character from one of their previous games, in this case Kelemvor, the Forgotten Realms' god of the dead and judge of the dead from his seat in City of Judgment, as he appeared in Obsidian's Neverwinter Nights 2: Mask of the Betrayer: impassive white mask, hooded robes, charged with impartially enforcing the law regardless of his personal feelings.
- Noble Top Enforcer: His character in a nutshell.
- Not So Different: He claims to be a totally objective judge, but others who know him speculate that he is at least as partial as the other Archons. At various points, he indicates nothing short of contempt for the Tiersfolk and (especially) Beastmen, calling them barbaric heathens just as the Disfavored do. Most tellingly, he stages a Kangaroo Court against the Fatebinder with the intent to find them guilty no matter what. Bleden Mark accuses him of doing so as a desperate bid to reconcile his own actions with his purpose, and to court Kyros' favor.
- Not So Stoic: When his Berserk Button is pushed or his patience is tested. Also, if your Favor with him is high enough, during your trial during the endgame, you can convince Tunon that you are innocent of any crime under the Overlord's own laws, meaning that the Overlord herself (or himself) may be at fault. With the shock of the realization, Tunon's voice gains a slight quaver that remains in place even as he pledges his Undying Loyalty to you in place of Kyros. He is also absolutely furious if you convince Bleden Mark to turn on him.
- Oblivious to His Own Description: One of his biggest Berserk Buttons is when the Fatebinder responds to him by [Glaring silently]. Yet he's got quite the silent glare himself, which can be lampshaded by the other Fatebinders.
- Power Floats: Touches the ground perhaps once over the course of the game.
- Principles Zealot: Executes the law absolutely, to the letter. He is distinctly displeased when people weasel their way out of the spirit of the law, but he'll accept it. Even when a rebellious Fatebinder manages to weasel their way out of being found guilty of treason while revolting against Kyros.
- The Quisling: Did this in his backstory. As the chief judge of his nation, he saw that Kyros conquering his nation was inevitable. Tunon attempted to make this annexation as peaceful as possible by essentially re-writing their entire code of laws to perfectly correspond to Kyros' laws; by the time Kyros came knocking, his entire nation surrendered and integrated itself into Kyros' empire bloodlessly and painlessly. In a departure from the trope's norm, his people celebrated him for his foresight and Kyros was so impressed by his judgement that he became an Archon.
- Recruiting the Criminal: It's rumored that Tunon gets many of his agents from his own prisoners, since criminals would be the most well-versed in catching other criminals. It will indeed be the case if the Fatebinder has the Lawbreaker origin.
- "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Receives one from Bleden Mark in the Anarchist path, who points out that the whole sham of a trial Tunon is putting you through is because Tunon is desperately trying to reconcile the Overlord's command to rule the Tiers with his role as the impartial judge of Kyros' laws — the Overlord is commanding him to punish the other Archons, but Tunon can't punish the innocent. The fact that Tunon breaks down and surrenders without a fight if you're judged innocent suggests the speech may have had a point.
- Red and Black and Evil All Over: Black Cloak, White Mask of Doom, with red and gold highlights. The same color scheme extends to the rest of his court in the Bastard City.
- The Stoic: Played with, he is described as never displaying emotion, but uses his mask to not show how he feels about cases. So he's not ''completely'' stoic, otherwise he wouldn't need the mask. See also Berserk Button above.
- Super Smoke: Hovers on a column of roiling black smoke, which is all that remains behind when he teleports. The same smoke seems to rise out of the bottomless pits which ring the audience chamber at his court.
- Trial by Combat: In non-Anarchist paths, if he is convinced to join the Fatebinder, he'll preside over one featuring the Fatebinder and Bleden Mark as combatants.
- Videogame Cruelty Punishment: Unlike other factions in the game, there is no bonus for gaining Wrath from Tunon. It makes him more disagreeable to the Fatebinder's opinion and eventually provokes him to send Bleden Mark after you. Also, if his Wrath is too high, the Fatebinder cannot win their trial at Final Judgement.
- Villainous BSoD: In the best outcome of the treason trial, where Tunon realizes that Kyros may have violated the letter of their laws, if not in spirit— which forces him to turn rebel himself, in order to carry out Kyros' sentence. As one might expect from Kyros' oldest minion and believer in the Overlord's cause, he doesn't take it well.
- Villain Teleportation: Leaving only a puff of black smoke behind. Seems to be a common trait among the older Archons. Bleden Mark and the Voices of Nerat demonstrate it as well.
- Was Once a Man: Tunon is reluctant to speak about himself, particularly about what lies beneath his mask. It's ambiguous, but he mentions that it was Kyros who gave him his first mask, which was carved from wood. It does not seem to be a happy memory for Kyros's most dedicated servant.
- White Mask of Doom: Has at least three, and is never seen without them. The one he wears most frequently, as seen above and on the game's box art, is the Face of Resolve. In fact, according to your fellow Fatebinder Nunoval, Tunon seems to be able to change between them without actually removing them. If you defeat Tunon in battle during Act 3, you can loot the Face of Resolve from his corpse (if corpse is the right word). It shows up as the Face of Judgment in your inventory. It's an artifact helm which deals heavy Corrode damage in a wide area when the wearer is critically hit, as well as being able to freeze enemies in a block of ice. Asking him too many questions about the mask can lead to a rather disturbing possibility. He becomes rather upset if you continue the line of questioning.
- Who Wants to Live Forever?: During your last visit to Tunon's court, after defeating him in battle and as he lays dying, Tunon notes that natural laws and Kyros's laws do not always align, and that he will be glad to finally rest after so long struggling against nature.
Graven Ashe, Archon of War
General of the Disfavored, one of Kyros elite armies. Before serving Kyros, Graven Ashe fought against the Overlord in defense of his homeland. It was during this desperate defense that Ashes powers as an exarch began to manifest. His soldiers would rise from the battlefield, healed of all but the most lethal wounds. These abilities allowed his army to resist the Overlords invasion for longer than any other since the early days of Kyros conquest. They also brought him to the attention of Blood Ruin, then Archon of War and leader of Kyros invading soldiers.
The final battle between Graven Ashe and Blood Ruin was the greatest of the Age. Though Ashe ultimately emerged triumphant — claiming the mantle of Archon of War — he and his army were weakened by the battle and Ashe was captured by other Archons loyal to Kyros. Graven Ashe was dragged before Kyros. No one knows what the Overlord said, or did, to the rebellious general. But from that day forward, Graven Ashe served Kyros loyally as the new Archon of War.
- The Adjective One: 'Graven' Ashe. It refers to his 'death' and defeat at Kyros' hands when the Northern rebellion was finally put down. Ashe 'rose from the grave' to become the Great General of the Disfavored.
- Affably Evil: Ashe is racist, elitist, borderline genocidal against his 'inferiors', prone to Disproportionate Retribution, views everyone who's not a part of his Legion with caution at best and worthy only of extermination otherwise, and serves as the iron fist of an Evil Overlord who is trying to Take Over the World. On the flip side he's also an honest and honourable man who respects those who aids him in return, and A Father to His Men who commands Undying Loyalty from them.
- Bald of Awesome: Doesn't get more intimidating than a guy with the title "Archon of War". The Voices of Nerat claimed that Graven Ashe "had so much hair" before he bowed to Kyros and had to deal with Nerat on a regular basis.
- Barrier Maiden: If killed during the endgame, most of his remaining soldiers in the Disfavored camp drop dead on the spot, presumably as the wounds Ashe took upon himself catch up with them. Even the ones who don't die suffer a severe mental breakdown, becoming little more than husks, wandering catatonic through the country. Barik is far from immune to this effect, although he can shake it off if you ask Verse for her help.
- Blessed with Suck: His power to protect his men comes with some nasty side effects for Ashe himself, namely taking all of their pain and injuries upon himself. It's unclear how he can do this and still remain standing.
- Bling of War: In a unique way — his armor is distinctive and fancy by blue magic radiating off parts of it rather than usual forms of gaudiness for armor.
- Drop the Hammer: He holds a large maul, with an unusual squashed-globe head— more like a mace than a hammer. You'll get to see him swing it if discontent arises over the choice of which force will be the vanguard to take Vendrien's Well Citadel. Not to mention if you fight him at Iron Hearth in Act 3.
- Empathic Healer: He takes the injuries of his men onto himself and has been suffering countless wounds for centuries.
- Fantastic Racism: Ashe considers the Tiersmen to be barbarians who are fortunate that Kyros has come to civilize them. Ashe also despises the Beastmen, to the point where he has no problems ordering the Disfavored to commit genocide against them.
- A Father to His Men: Ashe cares deeply for all of his Disfavored. The Disfavored care for him in turn and call his protective aegis, "Graven Ashe's love". Ashe is also a deconstruction of this trope, as his love for his Disfavored makes him somewhat reluctant to risk their lives.
- Foil: That insufferable buffoon the Voices of Nerat, naturally. Ashe is forthright, honorable, efficent, and beloved by his men in all the ways Nerat is not; Nerat is a conniving, obstructive clown and spymaster who seems to care only for self-aggrandizement. Ashe is a brilliant general, whose troops are highly disciplined and in awe of their leader, while Nerat is largely hands-off, allowing Klingon Promotion, encouraging human wave tactics, and breeding a general air of paranoia and treachery within his army's ranks. Ashe believes in trust, loyalty, and fair dealing— meanwhile, practically everyone thinks that Nerat is planning some long-term con and will turn against Kyros like he has everyone else. Despite appearing to be an old man, Ashe is the younger of the two Archons, and he believes that Nerat resents his achieving an equal rank and army in far less time.
- Graceful Loser: If you kill Ashe, he spends his last moments giving you advice on dealing with the burden of leadership.
- Healing Hands: His power essentially gives all of his troops a Healing Factor that allow them to quickly recover from all but the worst of injuries. At times, it's sort of more like a zombie army. When Graven Ashe dies, almost all of the Disfavored outright die. Those that don't are husks of their former selves, and have a mental breakdown soon after.
- I Have No Son!: If Amelia is returned to her father alive and well on the Disfavored route, Ashe disowns her for willingly bearing a Tiersman's child.
- Impossibly Cool Clothes: You read what we said in Bling of War, right? Blue magic radiating off parts of his armor!
- Large and in Charge: He's very big and he leads the Disfavored army.
- Made of Iron: Not only himself but he blesses every Disfavored with an aegis that allows them to survive a staggering amount of punishment.
- The Men First: Done literally in the form of his Aegis, as he willingly takes on the pain and suffering of his soldiers. The inherent downsides of the trope also comes into effect, with Ashe even admitting when defeated that he cares so much about his Legion that he has problems sending them to battle.
- Meaningful Name: 'Graven' is more of a title than a name, given to him after his final defeat by Kyros' armies. Like the Disfavored it was a mark of shame, given because he died (metaphorically) that day, to be reborn as one of the Overlord's generals. 'Ashe' is his given name, and while he doesn't have any special connection with fire, it does still carry the suggested meaning of death.
- Names to Run Away from Really Fast: Someone with a name like Graven Ashe is clearly not a person you want to get on the wrong side of.
- Not So Different: To Nerat, as the player will discover in different playthroughs. Both Archons will gladly salt a region to spite the other. Ashe orders the Edict of Stone to be lifted in the Stone Sea, but at the same time leaves a blight in order to force the Chorus to leave the region, while Nerat leaves the Edict of Storms in place, condemning Blade Grave to perpetual decline.
- Outliving One's Offspring: Graven Ashe has had four children. Two died during Kyros's wars to form the Northern Empire. A third died under suspicious circumstances (which Ashe believes was the work of the Voices of Nerat ; he is correct) at the start of the Vendrien Guard's rebellion. Ashe's daughter Amelia went missing during the battles in Stalwart, although Ashe's aegis lets him know that she is still alive. Ashe can potentially outlive all of his offspring, as his daughter fell in love with the Regent's late son and had a child with him, which is a problem since this child's life prevents the Edict of Storms from ending. On the Disfavored route, you can potentially kill Amelia if you can't find another way to end the Edict of Storms. On the Scarlet Chorus route, Nerat takes Amelia prisoner and executes her after stealing her mind.
- Playing Both Sides: Ashe corresponded with the Sages during their battle with the Scarlet Chorus, providing them with information. He also struck a truce with the Vendrien Guard after his son was taken hostage in their initial uprising and thus caused the rebellion to grow unchecked, as you will learn if you consistently support The Voices of Nerat during Chapter I.
- Power Echoes: He speaks with an echo to his voice.
- Psychic Link: His aegis allows him to feel all of the pain any Disfavored feels no matter how far away. From small cuts, getting killed, or just feeling ill.
- Purple Is Powerful: It's the color of the Disfavored.
- Reasonable Authority Figure: The Iron Guard are noted in the lore to provide Ashe with advice as well as protection, and he is noted to listen to and treasure your advice. In-game he even comes to appreciate the Fatebinder's perspective and will grant favour even with disagreement if it's voiced reasonably... Despite this, there is no way you can talk him out of blighting Azure.
- Stupid Evil: Is usually not this, but Ashe's decision to go along with the Earthshakers' plan to blight the Stone Sea is poorly thought-out at best. It permanently ruins Azure, which is the Tiers' breadbasket to begin with, and it violates Kyros's laws (the Fatebinder can raise this at Final Judgement as evidence against Ashe).
- That Man Is Dead: It's right in the name. If your Favor with Ashe and the Disfavored is high enough, they describe how the Northern rebels and their leader Ashe died fighting the empire, and rose anew as Graven Ashe and his army of the Disfavored, swearing their Undying Loyalty to the Overlord.
- This Is Unforgivable!: If you side mostly with the Disfavoured during the first act, the Voices of Nerat will get enraged during the final argument and let slip that they killed and assimilated one of Ashe's sons after ransoming him back from the Vendrien Guard. Ashe's response is to outright attack the Voices moments later after declaring there can be no cooperation after that reveal.
- Underestimating Badassery: Eb says that she used to believe that Ashe was a harmless old man, an Archon-in-name-only past his prime. That was before he and his Disfavored cut a bloody swath through the Tiers and she realized that Ashe depended on old-fashioned strategy and good soldiers rather than grand displays of mystical might to win his battles.
- Undying Loyalty: Extraordinarily tough himself and for all appearances utterly loyal to Kyros, Ashe's Aegis, his unique power as an Archon, protects his soldiers from grievous injuries that would kill any other soldier, and in return, his men shower him with praise and are willing to suffer any amount of Cold-Blooded Torture rather than betray him. A very literal example— when Graven Ashe finally dies, many of the Disfavored drop dead on the spot, while others fall into a catatonic state, as his power transferred all their injuries to the Archon, and killing him causes all their injuries to suddenly catch up with him.
- Weak, but Skilled: Compared to other Archons, some of whom can control the very ground they stand on or hypnotize entire armies into their service, Ashe's Aegis is kind of... underwhelming. Yet this power, combined to his strategical brilliance and the training of his soldiers, enabled the Disfavored to conquer much of the Tiers despite their limited numbers.
- You Kill It, You Bought It: Graven Ashe earned his position as Archon of War by killing his predecessor in battle during Ashe's failed defense of his homeland against Kyros's armies.
The Voices of Nerat, Archon of Secrets
Many questions surround the most enigmatic of Archons. Only Kyros and the eldest Archons remember the Voices origin, and the answers to questions about his identity may grant power over the Archon. Or they may be merely a series of false trails, mysteries engendered by the Archon to distract his enemies. Beyond all of the questions, a few facts are known. The Voices serves Kyros with a fanatics devotion. Even the slightest hint of treason is enough to draw his wrath. Many believe this is the reason that the Voices despises Graven Ashe with such intensity; he refuses to forgive even though the Overlord accepted Ashes surrender.
The Voices of Nerat has formed his own army under Kyros rule. Forsaking the whispers of his spies and the sanguine gloom of his torture chambers, the Archon of Secrets now marches to war as leader of the Scarlet Chorus. Less an army than a howling mob, the Chorus is like a swarm of bladed locusts that ravages the land — and people — they march over. The only rein on their wildness is their Archons brutal nature.
- Ambiguous Situation: If you kill Nerat, several characters, as well as the epilogue narration, doubt that Nerat's death is permanent. However, whether Nerat will truly return one day or if this is just paranoia generated by his general air of mystery is left unanswered. Given the manner in which Archons are thought to gain their powers, this may well be a Self-Fulfilling Prophecy.
- The Assimilator: Absorbs the minds and possibly the souls of others and adds their knowledge and prowess to his own. The longer you work with Nerat, the more victims you send before him, and the more powerful he may potentially be should you choose to fight him during the endgame. He admits that this power has its limits: much to his regret, he can't absorb the powers of other Archons this way — only their personalities.
- Assimilation Backfire: After working with him for a while, the Voices of Nerat will ask you to sacrifice a companion to him. This can have an unexpected side effect: if the companion's loyalty to you is 4 or greater, they will suppress Nerat and take control of his Mind Hive. On non-Chorus playthroughs, Verse can similarly take control at the end of her personal quest.
- Bad Boss: It say a lot that many of the Scarlet Chorus is actually morally offended by him, only kept in line by his competence and raw fear. That's not to say that a few members aren't fanatically loyal, but the majority aren't too thrilled about being led by Nerat. Should he die, the Chorus is only worried that he faked it.
- Clap Your Hands If You Believe: Nerat got his start as a skilled interrogator serving under the Archon of Misery. Eventually, he became so skilled at his job that rumors spread that he could steal the minds of his victims. It's implied that these rumors are what fuel Nerat's powers. In his Final Speech, the voices says that he wasn't always a perpetually burning Mind Hive and implies their condition was caused by the reputation they inspired in others.
- The Collector: Extracts the minds/souls/personalities of leaders and other powerful, noteworthy individuals and adds them to his mental collective.
- Consummate Liar: Nerat has a reputation for lies, hidden agendas, and, of course, secrets. Some people advise the Fatebinder to be careful around Nerat, because when everybody expects you to be dishonest, telling the truth can be just as deceiving.
- Dead Guy on Display: Something of a hobby of his. Every prisoner you send back to Nerat becomes this — tortured, soul-drained, and mounted on spikes at the front of his 'court' in the main Scarlet Chorus camp at Cacophony.
- Deadpan Snarker: Both verbal and non-verbal, as every twirl of his staff sends a bit of snark to your mind alone when he's deliberately baiting Graven Ashe.Fatebinder: Done bickering?
The Voices of Nerat: Us? Never. How else will we keep each other at the top of our crafts?
- Court Jester: He sounds like the Joker, capers about twirling a scepter with a face on top, and freely mocks and criticizes others for his own amusement. This might not be his appointed role at court, but he plays the part to the hilt.
- Dirty Old Man: One of the personalities inside Nerat desires Sirin. It's one of the reasons why Sirin hates Nerat.
- Enigmatic Minion: Only Kyros and his eldest Archons knows who the Voices was before becoming an Archon. The only thing certain about the Voices is that he is fanatically loyal to Kyros and he ensures that anybody who gives the slightest hint of treason against the Overlord will suffer a slow and painful death.
- Even Evil Has Standards: The Scarlet Chorus under the Voices conscripts their soldiers through force — usually forcing everyone in the village to fight and taking the survivors. But apparently even the Voices of Nerat Wouldn't Hurt a Child, because one of his specific commands is Honor and Guard the Young. Children under the age of majority are exempt from conscription, and must be protected and cared for until they come of age. From that point on, they're fair game.
- Foil: His rival general Graven Ashe, of course. Ashe is straightforward, honorable, and too serious by half for Nerat's tastes; the Voices of Nerat is a evasive, truth-mangling, openly murderous jester of a man who Ashe can barely stand to be in the same room with. Ashe is a brilliant general, whose troops are highly disciplined and in awe of their leader, while Nerat is largely hands-off, allowing Klingon Promotion, encouraging human wave tactics, and breeding a general air of paranoia and treachery within his army's ranks. Ashe believes in trust, loyalty, and fair dealing— meanwhile, practically everyone thinks that Nerat is planning some long-term con and will turn against Kyros like he has everyone else. While Ashe has served Kyros dutifully ever since the Northern Rebellion was put down, however, Nerat may actually be more dedicated to furthering Kyros's Peace— the spirit of the law, rather than the letter.
- Graceful Loser: If you kill Nerat, he spends his last moments warning you of the dangers of belief into Archons. If you sided with the Scarlet Chorus during the game he's even moreso, dying with what is implied to be regret that he's unable to join you for all the 'fun' that's coming your way.
- Hoist by His Own Petard: "Bastard's Wound" reveals that Nerat arranged Verse's entire career in the Scarlet Chorus to turn her into a being with the same abilities as him, so he could become even more powerful by consuming her. If Verse figures this out before her final confrontation with Nerat (and have enough Loyalty), she can trick him into consuming her and steal his body.
- Humanoid Abomination: Glaringly so, and just barely humanoid at this point — he seems to be made little more than green flames inhabiting a ragged red robe, under a metal mask with multiple faces.
- I Am Legion: Refers to himself in the plural third person and sometimes sounds like multiple people are talking in one voice. He even says the trope name aloud (well, 'We are legion,' anyway) if and when you fight him during the endgame.
- Irony: During Lantry's final personal quest in an Anarchist playthrough, Nerat (in a vision) mocks the Fatebinder as "being fattened by Bleden Mark" for future slaughter. In a Chorus playthrough, the Fatebinder feeds minds to Nerat to "fatten" it and can get a loyal companion to take over.
- Mad Artist: How he views his skills as a torturer and architect of the war. He also intimates that whatever he's become as the result of his powers, he views that amalgam of minds and souls as his great unfinished masterpiece. He inspires his share of Loony Fans, and fear isn't the only reason some members of the Chorus follow him.
- The Mad Hatter: He is entirely aware of how insane he is, and how he is seen. For instance, the Fatebinder may find him randomly kneeling on the ground, intently studying a seemingly ordinary patch of dirt. When the curious player approaches him, he knows exactly what's on their mind:The Voices of Nerat: And upon finding us languishing on the ground, the Fatebinder wondered 'what new madness has the Voices devised today?'
- Malevolent Masked Men: A rather frightening mask, adorned with spikes and made to look like the face of a disapproving man.
- Medium Awareness: During Lantry's final personal quest, Lantry's memory of the Voices is fully aware they're a hallucination and a memory and abandons the memory to start chatting with you about current events instead, including whether or not you've killed the real-world version and pointing out that your mind is probably not too healthy either for letting the memory get so off-script.
- Mind Hive: Is referred to as a Hive Mind in-game, but for the purposes of this wiki, he's really an example of multiple minds in a single body, the amalgamation of the thoughts and memories of all those he's consumed — the eponymous Voices absorbed into Nerat's collective, many distinct personalities yet only one controlling will.
- Mind Rape: Aside from his interrogation techniques, Nerat is rumored to be able to do this to create a telepathic link between himself and minions.
- Monster Clown: Frequently called a clown, mostly by Graven Ashe, which only seems to amuse him further. It's also certainly no coincidence that the Scarlet Chorus is referred to as a circus of pillagers and rapists on more than one occasion.
- More Than Mind Control: Whatever he does to his Eyes to make them loyal. According to Verse, who only saw the results splattering against the tent from the outside, it seems to involve Cold-Blooded Torture and Meatgrinder Surgery.
- Multiple Head Case: His mask has more than one face. When one of the other personalities in his collective takes the fore, the mask swivels in place. When Nerat reassumes control, he physically smacks his mask back into the 'front'. This might just be a theatrical flourish.
- Not So Above It All: If you choose to fight Nerat in the final act, you can begin your conversation by calling him the Archon of Blathering. Nerat will sarcastically note how childish you are, before calling you the Fatebinder of Farting.
- Not So Different: If you kill Nerat on a non-Scarlet Chorus path, he uses his last moments to warn you that you are on the path to become the same type of monster as he is.
- Nerat is also this with Graven Ashe, as the player will discover in different playthroughs. Both Archons will gladly salt a region to spite the other. Ashe orders the Edict of Stone to be lifted in the Stone Sea, but at the same time leaves a blight in order to force the Chorus to leave the region, while Nerat leaves the Edict of Storms in place, condemning Blade Grave to perpetual decline.
- Painting the Medium: The game's green text is usually used to communicate to the player things that the Fatebinder would already know. The Voices can hijack this text to communicate telepathically with the Fatebinder.
- The Pig-Pen: The Voices' clothes are noted to be ragged and their boots muddy and covered in other people's blood, and that's not counting the burn damage.
- Playing Both Sides: Nerat fought against the Vendrien Guard, but he also provided them with iron weapons, presumably to weaken the Disfavored. He also provided Disfavored battle plans to the Unbroken during the invasion of Stalwart, to weaken the Disfavored.
- The Power of Hate: The power of being hated, if what he says about how he got his powers is true.
- Psychic Powers: Telepathy and absorbing other people into his psychic collective. Rumors paint him as being able to read minds, but given what we know about his powers (or rather, what we don't know), it's unlikely to be that simple.
- Pragmatic Villainy: The Voices of Nerat has his Scarlet Chorus show a modicum of mercy to the overthrown in the interim — so they can conscript any able-bodied individuals into their own forces and send off potential intelligence sources to the Voices of Nerat to interrogate. The Disfavored, in contrast, tend to just execute the surviving resistance in the hopes of breaking their enemy's morale.
- Pronoun Trouble: The Voices are a Mind Hive, and while the original personality of Nerat (a man) seems to dominate, he's variously referred to as him, them, or it. Nerat, who delights in sowing confusion, does nothing to clear things up and variously refers to himself with both we/us/ours and I/me/mine pronouns.
- Seeing Through Another's Eyes: Another of his rumored powers, though again, it's not readily clear whether or not he can actually see through others' eyes or just wants others to believe he can. Though given how Archons seem to get their powers, they might be the same thing, with the latter leading to the former.
- Self-Made Orphan: Or so he claims. The man who would become the Voices of Nerat responded to suspicions that members of House Nerat were plotting against Kyros by interrogating and torturing his entire family to death in public as a display of loyalty. Nerat claims he forgot whether they admitted to wrongdoing or not, and admits that he didn't actually care at the time; he just needed to make an example.
- Skippable Boss: Besides using Tunon's guilty verdict to dispose of him without a fight, Nerat can also be tamed without a fight with any companion (on a Chorus playthrough) or Verse (otherwise, and as the last step of her personal quest) being presented for assimilation. If the chosen companion's Loyalty is 4 or greater, Nerat is overwhelmed and the companion takes over as the Voices.
- Smug Snake: At a meta level across all paths. As long as you can get Verse to Loyalty 4 or higher, disposing of Nerat is as simple as finishing Verse's personal quests.
- So Proud of You: If you kill the Voices of Nerat at the end of the Chorus path to take control of the Scarlet Chorus, he will salute you as he dies.
- The Spymaster: Commands Kyros' spies and tortures Kyros' enemies.
- Tall Poppy Syndrome: Talking to Graven Ashe will have him claim he believes the Voices of Nerat's reason for rarely ever agreeing with him as the forces of Kyros go fight is envy over the influence of Graven Ashe has procured in spite of being among the youngest Archons to serve Kyros, in contrast to the Voices of Nerat himself. Nerat loudly disputes this, instead saying he doesn't think Graven Ashe is nearly as loyal as he seems. note If you sided with the Disfavored, Graven Ashe makes a comment about how Nerat never forgave him for dealing the Scarlet Chorus a humiliating defeat, which might play into their constant bickering.
- Technicolor Fire: Green flames pour from under his mask and from the gaps in his clothing, without burning his robes or surroundings. He seems to have some control over how they manifest, increasing their intensity for effect or when the Fatebinder makes him angry. It's not clear if he even still has a physical body underneath his armor. The only thing we know for sure is that he doesn't have a neck.
- Telepathy: He is capable of speaking into the heads of others, but he can not read minds. This is occasionally integrated into dialogue with green-colored text in conversations with him that will describe him saying something to you telepathically rather than out loud.
- Torture Technician: He got his start working as an interrogator under the tutelage of the Archon of Misery, whose interrogation techniques revolved around Cold-Blooded Torture. Now, Nerat appears to have relatively little need to make use of these skills, but he's rumored to make use of them on occasion.
- Two-Faced Aside: Particularly while speaking with Graven Ashe, Nerat will often say one thing out loud to the general and another to the Fatebinder, the latter through his green text telepathy.
- Undying Loyalty: Utterly dedicated to Kyros, and grows vicious with people who aren't. Including his own parents.
- Villain Respect: Nerat singles Verse out as the pinnacle of what the Scarlet Chorus are meant to be if you bring her to Cacophony to fight him. He even says it right after she says that a weak gang leader, Nerat in this case, needs to be challenged and replaced.
- Villain Teleportation: Seems to be a common trait among the older Archons. Tunon and Bleden Mark demonstrate it as well. Nerat chiefly uses this only during your battle with him, however.
- Voice of the Legion: His vocal tic, which becomes more prominent when he's angry. Occasionally one of the personalities he's subsumed will come to the fore and speak using his voice but with a different cadence or inflection, though this mostly seems to be limited to his most recently assimilated victims.
- Was Once a Man: The Voices of Nerat used to be a scion of House Nerat, a disturbed but undeniably human individual. That changed as he became an Archon. He tells you he wasn't always the way he is now, if you kill him during the endgame.The Voices of Nerat: Our deeds defined us to the people, and the people knew us as a monster. Did you imagine we were always flames, voices and secrets? Think on that, you Archon of misguided decisions.
- Your Approval Fills Me with Shame: During the endgame, if you did not ally with the Scarlet Chorus, Nerat says he and the Fatebinder could have been 'magnificent together'. This can be your response.
- Your Soul is Mine!: His power as an Archon: Nerat can rip the soul right out of a person's body and add it to his Mind Hive. As The Spymaster, he uses it as a form of highly enhanced interrogation. Each soul he takes also adds another voice to his Legion.
Bleden Mark, Archon of Shadows
The eyes of Bleden Mark watch from every shadow. He is Kyros executioner, tasked with ending the lives of those Kyros deems dangerous. There is no army that marches behind Bleden Mark, no city hails him as ruler, and no great monument that boasts his name. While the other Archons surround themselves with human trappings, Bleden Mark is cloaked solely in shadow.
Though Bleden Mark owes allegiance to Kyros, the Archon of Shadows is often used to carry out Tunons judgments. Those whom Tunon finds unworthy, or guilty of breaking the law, will die. It does not matter how many soldiers or mages a guilty woman surrounds herself with — who can protect themselves from their own shadow?
- Affably Evil: A very laid-back man who just happens to be a ruthless and nearly unstoppable assassin.
- Allergic to Routine: Does what he does because it's not boring. It's suggested by the other Fatebinders that the reason Bleden Mark helps you on the Anarchist path is because he's bored of working for Tunon and Kyros. Calio and Rhogalus even warn you to keep him busy, lest he turn on you the way he did his former bosses.
- Big Brother Instinct: Possibly feigned, but he calls the Fatebinder 'kid', offers advice both in person and by missive, and is strangely invested in the player's progress especially if you embark on the Anarchist path.
- Black Eyes of Evil: His eyes, usually golden yellow and glowing, turn completely black seemingly when he's especially angry— he becomes eerily silent, and just stares.
- Brutal Honesty: For being the Archon of something as diffuse as shadows, Bleden Mark prefers getting to the meat of the matter quickly and appreciates people paying him the same respect. He also likes people with simple motivations who are free of self-deception (or so he claims anyway), and the best way to get on his nerves is to insist that something isn't what it seems like or try to cloak your objectives in high-minded ideals or other abstract terms.
- Casting a Shadow: Bleden Mark can use shadows to teleport, allowing him to swiftly kill his targets. They don't call him the Archon of Shadows for nothing.
- Doppelgänger Attack: Shadow creatures. Can shape clones out of shadow to help him take down his targets. If you fight him, he only does this when reduced below a certain hit point threshold.
- Deadpan Snarker: Though how much of it is actual sarcasm can be hard to tell. Given his hobbies, most of his Implied Death Threats are probably anything but implied.
- The Dragon: Bleden Mark is Tunon's vassal and headsman. It's his duty to execute those Tunon finds guilty of capital crimes. He's also Kyros's personal assassin.
- Dragon with an Agenda: The non-Anarchist endings imply he takes marching orders directly from Kyros and defies Tunon by attacking you directly after the trial, for reasons only known to the Overlord. In the Anarchist ending, he's still this but yours instead of Tunon's, and it's implied that whatever you've done during the path either pleased the Overlord somehow or pleased Mark enough that he'd be willing to turn cloak.
- The Dreaded: He's a bedtime story— not the nice kind— for misbehaving children throughout the empire. His ability to be anywhere, anytime make for an extremely effective enforcer, and the fear that he might be looking is enough to keep most people in line, whether or not he actually is.
- Dreadlock Warrior: Long white dreads.
- Dual Wielding: Wields two matching crescent-shaped blades.
- Enigmatic Minion: Though nominally Kyros' executioner and Tunon's vassal, his loyalties are dubious. He's quite helpful to the Fatebinder during the Anarchist path, though he admits that he has his own (unknown) reasons for helping them.
- Facial Markings: A red skull painted over his forehead, eyes, nose, and upper lip.
- For the Evulz: Bleden Mark approves of the Fatebinder doing things he finds funny. Among the things he considers funny: killing people, or ordering them executed, "slowly and painfully", for the crime of wasting your time.
- From Nobody to Nightmare: If asked how he became the Archon of Shadows, he claims that he was just an outcast who once wanted nothing more than to disappear into shadows. Somehow that led to him actually gaining that power. He and Sirin (and possibly Cairn) are what are termed 'wild talents' in-universe, Archons who gained their powers early in life, without having gained any widespread fame or notoriety to fuel their magic.
- Graceful Loser: If you kill Bleden Mark, he congratulates you and asks you not to get yourself killed easily, as it would posthumously ruin his reputation.
- Glowing Eyes of Doom: His eyes glow golden yellow-orange most of the time. Subverted, however, in that as dangerous as he is when his eyes are glowing, when he's angry, his lightless pupils grow to encompass the whole of his eye.
- It Amused Me: Part of the reason he gives for being so helpful on the Anarchist path is that he finds the Fatebinder's crazy rebelling entertaining. It's not clear how much of this is true, and how much is covering his true motivations. However, he also approves of the Fatebinder doing things for explicitly the same reason.
- Knife Nut: In addition to the crescent-shaped punch daggers he wields with both hands, he also wears a number of throwing knives in the bandoliers strapped around his waist.
- Logical Weakness: When Bleden Mark sends you after the Silent Archive in the Burning Library, you can get him to admit that the lack of shadows in a place that is so brightly lit by fire everywhere means he can't make full use of his powers.
- Meaningful Name: Like others in the game, this may not have the same meaning in-universe as it does for the player, but 'Bleden Mark' sounds an awful lot like 'Bleeding Mark'. He is an assassin, after all.
- The Mentor: Bleden Mark coaches you through taking your first steps to power, seizing artifacts and building up your reputation on the so-called Anarchist path. He has also previously put the Fatebinder through Training from Hell, meaning he was this to you in the past as well.
- Might Makes Right: Mark defines justice as 'having the biggest sword' and approves if you say your reasons for going anarchist and discarding Tunon's 'due process' is seeking justice in your own way.
- Murder Is the Best Solution: Bleden Mark thinks that Tunon should have had Graven Ashe and the Voices of Nerat killed a long time ago due to all of the problems their infighting has caused. To earn his loyalty on the Anarchist path before Bastard's Wound, you have to kill them both before facing Tunon's judgement. With Bastard's Wound, he'll still join you if you head to Tunon for Final Judgement, but only if you have enough Favor with him.
- Nothing Personal: This is Mark's general attitude towards his many, many victims. Including whichever Archon(s) he's sent after in the lategame, be it Ashe or Nerat on Tunon's orders, the Player Character on what is implied to be Kyros' orders, or potentially Tunon on what appears to be his own initiative in the Anarchist Ending.
- One-Man Army: He's feared for a reason. If sent after Ashe or Nerat in the endgame, he'll capture and subdue them off-camera despite being attacked by the Archons' elite guards and the Archons themselves at the same time.
- Recruiting the Criminal: Bleden Mark once tried (and obviously failed) to assassinate Kyros For the Evulz. Kyros then conscripted their would-be assassin as their official headsman (and unofficial hitman).
- Smug Snake: In non-Anarchy routes, as he never survives till the end. He only survives till the end in an Anarchist playthrough, and only if the Fatebinder follows his orders to kill both Nerat and Ashe or win Tunon's trial. If Mark attacks Tunon, Tunon reveals that Kyros and him had prepared for Mark's betrayal for a long time, and effortlessly restraints Mark.
- Stealth Expert: Teleportation and blending into shadows are the main uses he finds for his powers.
- Stealth Hi/Bye: Averted, for the most part. Certainly, he can and does frequently pop up out of nowhere, but if he's going to talk to you, he'll usually do so you the courtesy of appearing directly in front of you— if he intends to kill you, you'll never see him coming. And if all he wants to to do is watch, you'll never even know he's there unless you look at his page on your Reputation tab.
- Supernatural Gold Eyes: The color of his Glowing Eyes of Doom. Overlaps with Yellow Eyes of Sneakiness.
- Tom the Dark Lord: Though it's almost always used when referring to him, "Bleden" is actually a title or nickname — it's not clear which. Either way, a few characters refer to him as just "Mark".
- Turned Against Their Masters: In the Anarchist path, if Tunon finds you guilty and sentences you to die, Bleden Mark will turn on him, provided you earned Mark's loyalty. The attempt fails since Tunon and Kyros know how to use Bleden Mark's own shadows to immobilize him, but after you defeat Tunon, Mark swears fealty to you and becomes your personal assassin and headsman.
- Tranquil Fury: When he's really mad, he drops the friendly demeanor and speaks very tersely, if at all.
- "Uh-Oh" Eyes: It's surprising how many of these apply to him. See also Supernatural Gold Eyes, Glowing Eyes of Doom, Yellow Eyes of Sneakiness, and Black Eyes of Evil.
- Villain Respect: Can be earned by the Fatebinder through acts of cunning, ruthlessness, and (sometimes) audacity. He follows the Fatebinder's progress closely, sending missives and giving free advice. The cryptic message "Bleden Mark was watching..." occasionally appears in his reputation log after the Fatebinder takes certain actions. If his Favor is high enough, he may even give you one of his bracers, an artifact-level item. During your final meeting, and first (and final) battle in Tunon's court, if your Favor with him is too low, he admits that he's been looking forward to killing you. If you kill him instead, his last words are to ask that you try not to die too easily, since that would make him look bad.
- Villain Teleportation: Seems to be a common trait among the older Archons. Tunon and the Voices demonstrate it as well.
- White Hair, Black Heart: Tunon's court executioner has distinctive white dreadlocks.
- Worthy Opponent: May come to view the Fatebinder as this, and may end up being this for the Fatebinder during your final visit to Tunon's court.
- Yellow Eyes of Sneakiness: Yellow-orange gold and glowing, actually, but he's definitely sneaky, as the world's deadliest assassin who controls the very shadows themselves.
Cairn, Archon of Stone
A giant of a man composed of equal parts flesh and stone, leader of the Earthshakers and originator of their magic, and a vassal of Graven Ashe before he turned from Kyros, tearing a swath through both the Disfavored and the Chorus as he fled into the plains and forests of Azure. When the two armies finally managed to corner the former "Wild Man of the Hills" in battle near the city of Plainsgate yet were barely able to contain his might, Kyros ordered the Edict of Stone to be read, bringing the renegade Archon's rampage to an end, and reducing the once-verdant realm of Azure to a wasteland, a maze of shifting rock and precipitous chasms: the Stone Sea.
- Ambiguous Situation: Until you get more information, you might think Cairn must be alive, since the Edict of Stone lingers on, but his body seems inert apart from the veins of azurelith which run through it — purple crystals endemic to the region which seem to have erupted in ever-greater numbers since Cairn's defeat.
- And I Must Scream: Cairn's fate after the Edict of Stone is read. Seemingly. His petrified body lies where it fell at the base of the Dawning Spire. According to the Earthshakers, Cairn is effectively comatose — he's technically still "alive" in there but his mind is most likely lost, making it a subversion. Depending on the path you take, Cairn may or may not persist in this state.
- Bad Vibrations: Earthquakes plague the Stone Sea, aftershocks from the Edict of Stone, or possibly the Archons's death throes. The Edict is tied to Cairn's life, and when and if he dies, the quakes do subside.
- Defector from Decadence: Kicked off his betrayal by openly criticizing Kyros. Things went downhill from there.
- Dishing Out Dirt: Mastery of stone, the form of magic that came into being when Cairn became an Archon. He passed it along to his followers in the Earthshakers. The Beasts of the Stonestalker Tribe are quite handy at it as well.
- Earthquakes Cause Fissures: During the final battle between Cairn and Kyros' armies, as the Edict of Stone was read, a significant portion of the city of Plainsgate will fall into one of the enormous chasms that opened across Azure if insufficient troops were mobilised to engage Cairn.
- Fertile Feet: A plant, Cairn's Leaf, useful for its defensive properties, is said to have only grown in places where Cairn walked. With his downfall, many fear that it will disappear from Terratus.
- Fisher King: From a certain point of view, though oddly enough this seems to be all the more true following the Edict which was meant to kill him. Cairn's life force seems to be intricately connected with the azureliths, and tapped into the life within the land itself, to the point where a major Disfavored operation in the area hinges upon a ritual that will use Cairn's body to drain what little life remains in the soil of the Stone Sea, rendering it uninhabitable and starving out the Scarlet Chorus presence at Cacophony.
- Foil: To Tunon. Both have powers associated with the earth, Tunon by opening Bottomless Pits in the ground, Cairn by shaping and molding it. Tunon is Kyros' oldest and most loyal servant, while Cairn betrayed her and went on a rampage across Azure. Cairn lived in the wild and eschewed civilized habits before being forced to bow to Kyros, while Tunon is a creature of the city and the Court, of metal and black smoke. Of the two, however, Cairn ends up causing far greater direct harm to the Tiers, carving a swath of destruction through the once-verdant plains of Azure before becoming the epicentre of Kyros's Edict of Stone. The shattered canyons of the Stone Sea emanated through the Realm from where he fell, and if Cairn's disciples in the Earthshakers aren't stopped, they end up using the last of Cairn's life force to drain all other life from the land itself, leaving an uninhabitable wasteland as the Earth Archon's legacy.
- Jerkass: Has a reputation for being a 'big, sour jerk', according to Lantry, who never met him. Backed up by Radix, one of his most devoted disciples and his successor as leader of the Earthshakers.
- Living Statue: Has elements of this. In life, he was several stories tall, and his body apparently some fusion of both flesh and stone. In his current state, his petrified body lies at the foot of the Dawning Spire, immobile but covered in azurelith growths.
- Nature Hero: Possibly, during his days as the Wild Man of the Hills.
- Nigh-Invulnerable: The skyscraper-sized half-stone man could take down entire armies single handedly without a scratch. Calio speculates that Kyros resorted to using an Edict to defeat Cairn because Bleden Mark didn't have any methods of killing him.
- Not Quite Dead: Stuck at the bottom of a Spire and unable to move or speak, but apparently still alive and in great pain.
- Not Quite Dead: It's accepted as fact that he's still alive since the Edict of Stone hasn't ended. Speaking to the Earthshakers in the area, they not only know that he's alive, albeit comatose, but they're actively protecting and studying his body for magical research, and they intend to expend his life and remaining power to render the land fallow, causing a famine to weaken the Chorus. Shortly afterwards, you get to see him for yourself.
- One-Man Army: When he rebelled against Kyros during the last days of the Conquest, the Fatebinder may have had to sacrifice dozens of Disfavored, hundreds of Scarlet Chorus troops, or both just to slow him down.
- Posthumous Character: Thanks to the Edict of Stone, which occurs during the Conquest and is thus only seen in text by the player, if that. He's Not Quite Dead, but he's been left incapable of motion or speech (unless the sporadic aftershocks throughout the Stone Sea are deliberate on his part).
- Power Crystal: The azurelith formations, which are either a source of power for Cairn or the manifestation of a power he already possessed. The Stonestalker Tribe holds them sacred, calling them 'stone-teeth'.
- Salt the Earth: His Earthshakers devised a ritual that could blight the land for years, perhaps permanently. It was first used to punish nobles from the Bastard City, and if the Fatebinder chooses to follow the Disfavored, the Earthshakers will use Cairn's remaining power to perform a ritual strong enough to blight the entirety of the Stone Sea for millennia, in order to starve the Scarlet Chorus' presence there.
- Taken for Granite: Seems to have become increasingly petrified as his powers as an Archon grew. See also And I Must Scream.
The Overlord's Armies
The Scarlet Chorus
The first of Kyros's two main military arms, the Scarlet Chorus is headed by The Voices of Nerat, the Archon of Secrets. The Voices of Nerat treats the Scarlet Chorus like his personal, private horde; running them with questionable competence regarding military affairs and achieving campaign goals, but he utilizes their strengths well.
The Scarlet Chorus's trademark is that it's not quite a formal army, but is a massed horde of mostly poorly-equipped and -trained troops who have volunteered or been press-ganged into service. While this means most of them are terrible combatants, their capacity for information gathering, occupation, and ability to quickly replenish their numbers are assets that help offset the Disfavored's disadvantages in those areas due to their relatively small numbers. The Scarlet Chorus has a long running tradition of "conscripting" any and all able-bodied men and women not needed for the Northern Empire's purposes, often recruiting any surviving enemy POWs, defeated military bodies, and entire villages of people all at once.
- Army of Thieves and Whores: Not exclusively, but it is no secret that many of their volunteers are violent criminals and others dregs of society who gleefully Jumped at the Call when offered a chance to go out and cause wanton havoc.
- It shows up more in their culture, which is crude, violent, and run by the people who can kill and dominate their way to the top. Those who survive long enough to start to assimilate become irreverent and savage thugs that take poor care of their equipment and encampments, and relish looting, murder, and making games of enslaving, torturing, and killing the people who aren't strong enough to serve.
- When placed in charge of an occupation, the Scarlet Chorus wastes no time in waiting to get to the pillaging, raping, arson, and murder of their charges, until senior members can get a handle on the situation by lynching the unruly members of the Scarlet Chorus. Now that says a lot.
- Authority Equals Asskicking: "The Strong Lead, The Weak Serve" is one of the Chorus' only laws. There are no formal ranks in the Chorus: If you're stronger than someone, you'll take a superior position to them by force.
- Badass Army: At the end of the Scarlet Chorus path, they will become this if Barik is consumed by and overtakes the Voices of Nerat. The Voices of Barik adjusts to his new life by imposing more military regulations and hierarchy on the Chorus.
- Blood Magic: One the Chorus mages' specialties. Chorus Blood Chanters subvert the power over water and other fluids that they picked up when Kyros's armies crushed the remaining Tidecasters, using it to wrack their victims with pain and throw people bodily across the battlefield.
- Elite Mooks: Scarlet Furies and Blood Hounds, the most capable and naturally trained recruits who survived the Scarlet Crusade. Scarlet Furies have something resembling formal training, being better trained at combat and taught to ignore pain. Blood Hounds are mages that aren't taught any technique or finesse at shaping magic, but rather channel mana by brute force. Finally, the Crimson Spears, the Voices' Praetorian Guard, attracts the strongest fighters in the Chorus.
- Equal-Opportunity Evil: Unlike the Disfavored who are a very strictly closed club for anyone not from the North, the Chorus will recruit any able-bodied person willing to join them (under the threat of death of course) and are even willing to take Beastmen within their ranks since they're already naturally vicious and savage.
- Even Evil Has Standards: They hate racism, viewing it as stupid and obstructionist, and none of them actually like their master. Respect, yes, some of them, but those "some" tend to be the worst of the bunch and any one with something resembling a conscience is just disgusted by him. They also have rules against Child Soldiers (though "Child" in this case means under 15) and are obligated to protect any children under their care.
- Faction Calculus: Subversive to the Disfavored's Powerhouse.
- Fragile Speedster: Their tactical doctrine looks to have formed a strong emphasis on being able to mobilize large numbers of light infantry quickly, perhaps by accident. Though their other deployment factors means large numbers of casualties, they can be quickly replenished through forced conscription of conquered peoples.
- Gang Initiation Fight: This is usually what happens to willing recruits: They get openly attacked/mugged/challenged by the Chorus' members upon approaching the camp, and once they've beaten (or killed) a few challengers they're allowed to join in full.
- The Horde: Barely organized and typically equipped with rusty weapons and whatever they can scavenge, the philosophy behind the Scarlet Chorus and its main strength is strength in numbers more than anything else.
- If this were an RTS they would be the Spammer Faction, relying on mobility and huge numbers, which so far has more than made up for the horrendous numbers of casualties racked up by their poor rank and file. This also makes them surprisingly effective as operatives and intelligence gatherers.
- As mentioned above, conscripts are given no training or armor to speak of, and are armed with an improvised weapon. Surviving the first battle is considered an initiation rite, and then the troop in question may be given a weapon or a piece of armor that was likely looted off of the battlefield. While there is no formal training to speak of, any initiated members are considered worthy of spending time with his peers to practice and get a few pointers.
- Rather than being organized into squads and brigades and the like, the Scarlet Chorus is "organized" into numerous gangs that form from the recruits, and has a loose hierarchy based around who can bully, murder, and outsurvive the rest.
- Thematically, they have a dirty, worn, improvised look to show that they're savage and uncaring. Their camps are decorated with slaves, fresh bodies, and ragged equipment.
- Initiation Ceremony: Of the horrific kind. The usual Chorus modus operandi is to gather a captured community or army into a large group (exempting only the children), give them improvised weapons, and make them fight to the death. The survivors are considered strong enough to join, and conscripted into the Chorus.
- Join or Die: While they have no shortage of volunteers, they still "recruit" large numbers of people, or see them enslaved or killed.
- Kill It with Fire: One of their mages' specialties.
- Klingon Promotion: It's unsurprisingly common for gang bosses to get their position by killing their predecessors. In the Chorus, a leader who can't keep their own minions in line by breaking heads when challenged is a weakling unworthy of being followed.
- Loss of Identity: One of the first thing the Chorus does to its recruits is to force them to kill their 'old' identity outside the Chorus, most notably (and literally) by forcing them to kill their former neighbours, loved ones or comrades-in-arms as part of the initiation ceremony. Their names are removed and whatever personal belongings they owned before joining are usually taken from them or stolen.
- Meaningful Rename: Successful Chorusmen who do an act that gets them noticed by the upper echelons are given a name, or in some cases chose one for themselves. Verse got hers from the Voices of Nerat, which was considered a great honour.
- Names to Run Away from Really Fast: Cacophony, their main camp in the Stone Sea. The Horde, the main bulk of the Chorus army. Blood Hounds, their apprentice mages, and Blood Chanters, the masters of those apprentices. Scarlet Furies and Crimson Spears, their elite fighters and top lieutenants, respectively. And then there are their individual names: Death Knell. Rip Throat. Wrathrot. Misery. Blood Mulch. Tier Smasher. Red Geyser. Lyric, Requiem, and Verse. And Fifth Eye. Note that these are the names taken by Choirmen once they pass their initiation rights, either self-inflicted, given to them by their new comrades, or bequeathed upon them by the Voices of Nerat himself.
- Order Versus Chaos/Slobs vs. Snobs/Soldier vs. Warrior: The Scarlet Chorus representing Chaos, Slobs and Warriors, the polar opposite to the Disfavored in many ways. They Scarlet Chorus is unsanitary and chaotic, irreverent, undisciplined, only very loosely organized, takes all comers, place little value in one another's lives, rely on an individual's natural talent for killing rather than any training, willing to go at each others throats if they think it'll benefit them personally, and have nothing but disdain for tradition and formality.
- Pragmatic Villainy: They disapprove of the Disfavored's policies of elitism and racism, and use of executions to intimidate the local populace into compliance. Such things are, after all, just throwing away perfectly good manpower that could be put to use as Cannon Fodder in your own ranks.
- Praetorian Guard: The Crimson Spears gang are The Voices of Nerat's personal gang within the Chorus and its members report to them directly. In return they're given authority over other gangs in the Chorus, even letting them override gang bosses.
- Quantity vs. Quality: The Quantity to the Disfavored's Quality.
- Rape, Pillage, and Burn: Standard operating proceedure, though the Chorus would argue they're more into the rape and pillaging than the burning — after all, that is more the Disfavoured's game.
- The Rival: The Scarlet Chorus and the Disfavored: though both loyally work to further Kyros's goals, they're rival arms to his military and have a very strong cultural clash, which isn't helped by the fact that they're forced to work closely together to offset one another's weak points.
- Slave Mooks: What happens to those who join the Chorus by initiation rather than willingly. Conscripts who survive their first battle 'graduate' to regular Chorusmen.
- The Social Darwinist: Another driving force of their philosophy is that the strong have the right to overcome the weak and prosper. Their initiation rites aside, it's accepted that most of their fresh recruits will die during their first few engagements, and the weak will be weeded out over time. This leaves most candidates for leadership and Elite Mooks to be the most accomplished killers and survivors the Scarlet Chorus can draw from, but it also means that they're not necessarily good at their job as a military unit.
- Sociopathic Soldier: Damn near every one of them. While new recruits may be Slave Mooks, those who survive long enough tend to become outright sociopaths who revel in the darwinistic freedom of their new existence.
- Smarter Than You Look: They're awful at tactics, but keep in mind they include a great deal of thieves and other sneaky sorts. They're really good at recon and ambush.
- That Man Is Dead: The second thing lost by all members of the Scarlet Chorus (innocence being the first) is their names. Those who survive long enough to choose (or be given) new names commonly treat their old identities this way.
- We Have Reserves: Yes, yes they do.
- Wouldn't Hurt a Child: The third main law of the Chorus is "Honour and Guard the Young": Those not in their majority yet (younger than 16) are forbidden to be conscripted, and if added to the Chorus anyway (because their parents and community were) are to be guarded from harm. Whether this is because the Voices sees keeping the next generation out of combat as Pragmatic Villainy or if it has a soft spot for children is anyone's guess, but the Chorus follows the law either way.
- Zerg Rush: Their standard operating procedure.
The younger and smaller of Kyros' armies in the Tiers, the legion of Graven Ashe, Archon of War and onetime leader of the Northern Rebellion. Though much a smaller organization than the Scarlet Chorus, they easily make up for their lack of numbers with their extensive training, superior equipment and high discipline. They are made even more durable by the fact that they all share a magical bound with Ashe, which allows to them to regenerate from even pretty serious injuries, meaning they can stay on the battlefield for prolonged periods without needing to rest.
- A Lighter Shade of Black: Compared to the brutality and and wanton bloodlust of the Scarlet Brotherhood, but close inspection of the Disfavored tenets makes it clear they're prototypical fascists.
- Affably Evil: If they're left in charge of Lethian's Crossing during the conquest, and later kicked out, the elder notes that while the Disfavored's rule was draconic, full of strict curfews and harsh taxation, they were unfailingly polite to those who obeyed.
- Badass Army: Every member of the Disfavored is raised to believe they're a part of this, and given what they've accomplished, they have good reason to think so. With the army's focus on teamwork, loyalty, and discipline, this is definitely the ideal they're striving to realize. The iron equipment definitely helped as well.
- Band of Brothers: Each soldier considers him or herself to be one of Graven Ashe's children, and the feeling is mutual. Loyalty, to each other, to Kyros, and especially to Graven Ashe, is highly valued.
- At the same time, the trope is deconstructed, as the loyalty and camaraderie within the Disfavored blinds them to the possibility of alliances and contributes to their dismissal of outsiders.
- The trope is also deconstructed with the Earthshakers, a mage guild associated with the Disfavored. Radix, their leader, firmly believes in the ways of the Disfavored, without realising that tensions were brewing within the guild. In the Rebel path, if the Earthshakers join the rebel alliance with him as leader, the ending notes that the tensions eventually tore the guild apart.
- Boring, but Practical: They are noted to use a phalanx/shield wall as their main battle tactic, which is dismissed by Verse and the Chorus as being completely boring and unflexible, yet is near unbreakable in open combat.
- Cool Helmet: The Disfavored's uniform noticeably includes a cool skull-helmet.
- Defeat Means Friendship: They don't generally subscribe to this doctrine themselves, despite the fact that the only reason they're still around is because Kyros offered the Northern rebels a place in his armies after their final defeat.
- Disproportionate Retribution: They are vicious when retaliating.
- Elite Army: Much more disciplined and organized than the Chorus, and equipped with top-of-the-line iron weaponry, they represent this in Kyros's armed forces. If the Chorus are the Spammer Faction, the Disfavored are a mix of the Elitist and Unit Specialist Factions.
- Elite Mooks: For Kyros's forces as a whole. The Disfavored's own elite soldiers, the elite of the elites, are the Iron Walkers, warriors clad in full iron plate mail during the Bronze Age, and the Oath Bound, scouts and assassins who serve as a given unit's direct link to Graven Ashe.
- Embarrassing Nickname: 'The Disfavored' started out as this, given because the Disfavored were originally a Northern rebellion who were only offered a place in Kyros's army after they were finally defeated. Today, however, the Disfavored wear their name as a badge of pride, secure in the knowledge that they will one day soon earn themselves a new name for their service to Kyros. The Disfavored's original name is never given over the course of the game. Even their original banner is scratched out everywhere it appears, including on the sides of every one of their tents.
- Faction Calculus: Powerhouse to the Scarlet Chorus's Subversive.
- Fantastic Racism: Against anyone not of the North, including the Scarlet Chorus. This even extends to the Fatebinder, although they're careful how they speak to you. It's most blatant against the Beastmen and Tiersmen. Unsurprising, given where the the events of the game take place.
- Honor Before Reason: They'll die before surrendering, die out before allowing anyone not of Northern descent to join their forces, and go to war rather than let the Chorus steal their glory.
- Keystone Army: Killing Graven Ashe causes every wound negated by his aegis to return to the soldier that suffered it. It effectively kills and cripples the vast majority of the Disfavored.
- In the Blood: Every member of the Legion can draw a straight line through their family history back to one of the soldiers who served with Graven Ashe during his rebellion in the North, before Ashe brought them into the empire. They put a lot of stock in their heritage, and absolutely detest the idea of sullying their army with recruits from the Tiers.
- Made of Iron: Graven Ashe's Aegis, sometimes referred to by the Disfavored as Graven Ashe's love, protects his soldiers from harm that might otherwise kill or cripple them. The exact mechanism for how this works is mysterious, and the Disfavored all seem strangely uncomfortable when pressed for details, probably because they're intimately aware that Graven Ashe is transferring their injuries to himself, and he must care a great deal about every one of them to do that. Small wonder Ashe can inspire such loyalty in his men.
- The Men First: Taking after Graven Ashe's example, the Disfavored values its soldiers highly— much more than enemy prisoners, foreign noncombatants, or other filthy outsiders, for example. This is actually justified, in some part — the Disfavored are deep in enemy territory and far from any reinforcements. Although the fact that they'll only accept highborn recruits from their own faraway homeland makes this their own fault as well.
- Mook Depletion: The biggest danger to the Disfavored, owing to their relatively small numbers and inability to replace the fallen. Each loss affects the Legion deeply, not just personally but strategically and tactically.
- Order Versus Chaos/Slobs vs. Snobs/Soldier vs. Warrior:: With the Disfavored representing Order, Snobs and Soldiers. Highly trained, disciplined, strictly organized, loyal to a fault, fearless but not reckless, battle-hardened career soldiers, drawn from family lines who have fought at Graven Ashe's side since before he was an Archon.
- Politically Incorrect Villain: Only Northerners are truly civilized, which is why they are chosen to lead Kyros's armies. They really despise the Beastmen, seeing them as savages who are only barely better than animals, and think of the people of the Tiers as barbarians, as opposed to the Chorus who are (relatively) more relaxed about such things.
- Pragmatic Villainy:
- The Disfavored accept surrender — once. If an enemy wishes to lay down arms and submit to Kyros, the Disfavoured will allow it with minimal fuss in order to save themselves further conflict, but anyone who surrenders and later rebels is killed to the last. To the Disfavoured, this makes sense as giving opposing armies generous terms of surrender encourages an early end to hostilities, and putting down rebels to Kyros' Peace to the last man discourages later uprisings.
- The Disfavored's policy of "Kill all armed opposition" is based on this and not on an innate sadism or murder instinct — the dead simply don't rebel. They look down on the Chorus' habit of press-ganging defeated enemy forces, because there's no guarantee those won't turn back to their old side when forced to fight their former comrades, or feed them info on the Chorus' movements. This policy complicates matters for the Fatebinder when they head towards Lethian's Crossing as a Disfavored ally, as Raetommon refuses to grant passage because of the policy. The resulting hostilities meant that the Fatebinder must then fight the Brotherhood all the way, even during their Civil War later.
- Praetorian Guard: The Iron Guard are both this and an inner council for Graven Ashe.
- The Proud Elite: The Disfavoured ooze pride in being the only fully ironclad part of Kyros' armies, and their reputation of having never known defeat in open combat.
- Purple Is Powerful: They are strongest fighters under Kyros's control and are identified by their purple markings and banners.
- Nice Job Fixing It, Villain!: The Vendrien Guard will note during the Rebel path that if the Disfavoured had taken on defeated militaries' soldiers as Battle Thralls or auxilliaries, the defeated Tiersmen would probably have joined them in great numbers (this was one of the main strengths of its real-world inspiration). Instead, giving anyone who escapes and wants to fight the choice between slavery to the Disfavoured, joining the rebels or submitting to the Scarlet Chorus practically ensured a steady stream of recruits to the rebel cause.
- Quantity vs. Quality: The Quality to the Scarlet Chorus' Quantity.
- Stone Wall: Heavy armor and shields and tight formations are the order of the day for Disfavored forces. With the addition of Graven Ashe's military genius and the magical Aegis he extends over all his troops, the Disfavored army is built from the ground up on outlasting and overpowering enemy forces.
The servants of Tunon. They are tasked with enforcing Kyros's law throughout Terratus. The player character is the youngest member of the Court.
In addition to the player Fatebinder, Tunon has brought three of his senior Fatebinders to the Tiers. Nunoval, the Fatebinder of War, is a jovial man with a brutal sense of justice. Rhogalus, the Fatebinder of Lore, is a cold man who seeks to collect as much knowledge as possible without violating Kyros's laws. Calio, the Fatebinder of Balance, is the highest ranking Fatebinder and is tasked with watching the other Fatebinders for treachery — and with executing treasonous Fatebinders when Bleden Mark can't be bothered.
Fatebinder Myothis is a elderly and unofficially retired Fatebinder that the player character can contact to discuss the mystery of Kyros, the Archons, and the Spires.
- Affably Evil: Calio and Nunoval are very friendly for enforcers of an evil empire. Rhogalus has a much icier personality, but is nevertheless polite to the player Fatebinder, and seems kinder over written correspondence.
- Boisterous Bruiser: Nunoval is a friendly man who loves nothing more than brutally killing Kyros's enemies in glorious battle.
- Covert Pervert: During Lantry's personal quest when the two of you end up tripping on a specific ink and end up mixing some of your memories, Lantry mentions that one memory he encountered was Calio goosing you.
- Freudian Trio: The three senior Fatebinders stationed in Tunon's court. Boisterous Bruiser Nunoval represents the id, the coldly logical Rhogaus represents the superego, and the friendly but ruthless Calio represents the ego.
- Hero of Another Story: Two of the senior Fatebinders read whichever two Edicts the player character didn't read during the Conquest. Nunoval destroys Stalwart with the Edict of Storms, Rhogalus burns the Vellum Citadel with the Edict of Fire, and Calio neutralizes Cairn and brings an end to the realm of Azure with the Edict of Stone.
- Knight Templar: Kyros's law is unforgiving, so this attitude is expected among the Fatebinders. Nunoval in particular is known for the brutal punishments he hands out.
- Not So Above It All: In Act 3, you have the option to ask Calio to try to enact an Edict to check if the Spire will work for just you, or anyone. She's overjoyed to be given the chance (Tunon, meanwhile, is not as doing this gains you major wrath with him).
- She Who Must Not Be Seen: Myothis is never seen in person, as she doesn't reside in the Tiers and is more or less retired. All of the player's interactions with her take place over missives.
- Ship Tease: Calio flirts with and generally seems quite into the player Fatebinder.
A mage school under the authority of Tunon. The Forge-Bound specialize in the crafting of weapons and armor and are the only smiths in the world who know how to forge with iron. The Forge-Bound's magic allows them to create masterworks, but it often comes at a fatal price to the smithmage.
- The Blacksmith: Magical smiths, and the only ones who know how to properly work iron.
- Beware the Nice Ones: The Forge-Bound are the most servile division of Kyros's army seen in the game, but their magic is powerful and the nature of their guild requites them to be in peak physical condition. If they are provoked, they are deadly enemies.
- Fiery Stoic: Their magic lets them superheat their forges and stand within the flames as they craft weapons and armor — capable of smithing iron in an era that has only just begun to take its first steps out of the Bronze Age. Despite being sworn to Kyros and arming his armies, they rarely fight themselves, and consider themselves artisans first and foremost, doing what they do for the love of their craft.
- Happiness in Slavery: The Forge-Bound work long hours and often die doing their work, but they all consider it a small price to pay to have the honor of forging great works.
- Playing with Fire: Subverted. Unlike the pyromancers of the School of Wild Wrath (later absorbed into the Scarlet Chorus), while the Forge-Bound's magic controls the heat of their forges and renders them effectively fireproof, their focus is on crafting rather than slinging spells. Note that because they craft weapons and armor, this does not make them any less dangerous in battle, if pressed.
The Tiers in General
Kyros's final conquest, a peninsula far to the west of Terratus, comprising the Bastard Tier, so named for its position as a buffer between the the Northern Empire and the rest of the Tiers, and the Younger Realms: Azure, Apex, Stalwart, and Haven. Unable to unite themselves in the face of the Overlord's armies, the Tiers' collapse was all but inevitable. All that remains is for the Archons to consolidate their rule and crush the last of the resistance.
The following tropes apply to the Tiers as a whole:
- Bystander Syndrome: The reason the Bastard Tier was allowed to fall in the first year of the Conquest, then Apex and Haven in the second year. By the time Kyros' armies marched on Stalwart, Azure, and the Vellum Citadel in the third year, it was too late to present a united front.
- Divided We Fall: Their historical rivalry left the Tiers unable to mount a joint defense against the onslaught of Kyros's forces, and they fell one by one.
- Foregone Conclusion: The Conquest of the Tiers is so inevitable that it's relegated to a part of character creation, a Choose Your Own Adventure prologue sequence depicted with text and illustrations set against a static map of The War Room.
- We ARE Struggling Together: The Tiers' defining trait, and ultimately their downfall. Even with Kyros literally at their doorstep, the Tiers couldn't bring themselves to put aside the hundreds of years spent fighting each other. This still holds true even after the Conquest, but is finally averted in the Rebel path.
The Bastard City
The first to the Tiers to fall to Kyros, consisting of the Bastard City and the surrounding country and farmland known as the Bastard Tier, a melting pot and trading center which straddles the border between the Tiers and the Northern Empire.
- Bottomless Pits: The city is riddled with them since Tunon moved in.
- Kill It with Fire: The School of Wild Wrath, a guild of fire mages whose only purpose in the narrative is to fall to Kyros, defending the Bastard City, with their ranks and surviving elders then willingly absorbed into the Scarlet Chorus, their firepower passing onto the mages of the Blood Chanters.
- Meaningful Name: "Bastard" meaning neither one thing nor the other — the Bastard Tier is part of the Tiers and yet not, standing on the border between them and greater Terratus.
- Proud Merchant Race: Had a reputation for wealth thanks to the merchants and traders who called the city home, until Tunon arrived and plunged their many warehouses and mansions into a series of Bottomless Pits.
- Vice City: Had this reputation in the south, although it's a relatively small city by the rest of the world's standards.
- Wretched Hive: Seen as 'little more than a sprawling slum' by the rest of Terratus, according to the in-game Encyclopedia.
The Queen's Royal Army of Vendrien
Apex's standing army, the oathbreakers who broke the terms of Apex's surrender at Vendrien's Well and kicked off the main plot in earnest.
- The Dragon: Eb for Tarkis Arri. Tarkis herself might become this to the Fatebinder should the player pursue the rebel path.
- Determined Defeatist: They have no real expectation of victory against Kyros' forces, but simply hope that their sacrifice can serve as an example to others who have been conquered by Kyros.
- The High Queen: Queen Vendrien Alata. Depending on your choices during the Conquest, you may have slain her (baiting her into striking you under a blue flag of truce, earning you the epithet of Queenslayer), signed a peace with her, or never met her. The former two make a big difference to how your interactions with the Vendrien play out.
- Honor Before Reason: Even if they learn what the Edict of Execution will do they still fight to the bitter end, willing to sacrifice themselves along with every civilian in Apex in the hope that they can inspire the rest of the Tiers to resist Kyros. They're tragically wrong: if the Edict comes to pass, the Non Standard Game Over reports that the rest of the Tiers immediately surrenders to Kyros.
- La Résistance: A mostly straight example.
- Rebel Leader/Starter Villain: Tarkis Arri, with Eb as The Dragon, insofar as the Guard are your enemies and you are the lawfully appointed agent of Kyros. That can change.
The Bronze Brotherhood
Hailing from the Free Cities along the Tier's southern coast, the Brotherhood were among the various mercenary companies hired to stand against the march of Kyros, and among the few to survive owing to being posted in Lethian's Crossing, relatively far from the front lines.
During the Conquest, the Fatebinder can choose to ignore Lethian's Crossing, leaving the Brotherhood in charge of the Crossing.
- Admiring the Abomination: The Bronze Brotherhood worship the Scourges, the most common form of Bane, spectral creatures bound within the Oldwalls, and seemingly placed there to guard the ruins from interlopers.
- An Axe to Grind: The Axe of the First Brother, a two-handed greataxe carried by First Brother Raetommon. Something of a symbol of office, if the name is anything to go by. Also various other axes carried by the Brotherhood's rank and file.
- Arch-Enemy: The Disfavored. As long as the Fatebinder is not allied with the Disfavored, Raetommon will grant passage to the Fatebinder at Ironhaul Trail.
- Bad Boss: Raetommon, who seems to have Gone Mad from the Revelation at some point before or during his plan to unleash the Bane upon the occupying armies of Kyros.
- Civil War: During the Lethian's Crossing quest chain, the Brotherhood fractures into two factions. The Fatebinder can ally with the other faction against Raetommon's on non-Disfavored runs. If allied to the Disfavored, the Fatebinder cannot pass through Ironhaul Trail without a fight, and the entire Brotherhood would become enemies.
- Drunk with Power: Raetommon, even before he gets his hands on the Magebane Helm, seems to have become a little unstable since taking the position of First Brother, believing only they can free the Crossing, and that they are far more than just one of the many mercenary companies to have come north during the Tiers' bid to fend off the Conquest.
- General Ripper: First Brother Raetommon is sure he can control the Bane and liberate the land from Kyros, never mind the damage the Bane will do to Lethian's Crossing even if he was right. This is made abundantly clear in the ending where the Magebane Helm is removed from the Crossing: the Bane crushes the settlement, forcing survivors to flee.
- Hired Guns: They're mercenaries.
- Not in This for Your Revolution: Although you can change their minds on the Rebel path.
- Only in It for the Money: They used to be. If Second Brother Welby had her way, they might be again. If they retain control of the Crossing (or overwhelm the Disfavored/ Scarlet Chorus garrison left there due to the Fatebinder not resolving the region's quest chain), the ending notes that the Crossing "devolves into a lawless town prowled by mercenaries and thugs."
- Sealed Army in a Can: Not the Brotherhood themselves, but Raetommon believes he can control the Bane in the Oldwalls, turning them into this.
- She Is the King: Whether men or women, all members of the Bronze Brotherhood bear the title of "brother". Because only women can hold land in the Tiers, female Brothers live under the legal fiction of being men as a way of forsaking all claims to land.
- Well-Intentioned Extremist: Raetommon claims high-minded, cultural reasons for desiring to retain hold of Lethian's Crossing— he wants a weapon that can actually put a dent in Kyros's forces, and he's convinced himself that the Bane will obey him. Welby says that he's full of it and almost all of the Brotherhood just want some cash to fill their pockets.
The Unbroken Union of Stalwart
The undefeated defenders of Stalwart — or at least they were, before the Edict of Storms. The Unbroken continue to fight to oust the Disfavored from their lands, although thanks to the Edict of Storms the country is a nightmare of howling winds, enormous spikes and ridges made up of fallen soldiers' weapons and armor, and a layer of rust that covers every inch of ground.
- Elite Army: The only army in the Tiers which has even a modicum of the Disfavored's respect. The Unbroken are undefeated on their home soil prior to the events of the game (not counting civil wars, naturallynote ). Naturally you can change that, depending on where your choices take you during your playthrough.
- Evil Regent/Regent for Life: Played with. The Unbroken have turned against their former liege, but Stalwart's Regent genuinely doesn't seem to want power for its own sake. Rather, he remains holed up in Sentinel Stand because he refuses to surrender to Kyros, even though his death would free the land from the Edict of Storms. He is also protecting his newborn granddaughter.
- We ARE Struggling Together: Par for the course in the Tiers. See Evil Regent.
- Would Hurt a Child: Mattias would, unless you can find another way to end the line of Regents in Stalwart without killing Amelia's child, granddaughter and heir to Stalwart's Regent. If you do, he later regrets his willingness.
The School of Ink and Quill
More commonly known as the Sages, scribes and archivists who have hoarded the knowledge of generations over the past few centuries. They made their home in the Contested Lands, at the Vellum Citadel— better known as the Burning Library since the Edict of Fire.
- Apocalyptic Log: Not as many as you might think, given the sheer amount of writing the Sages did, but you can pick up a few examples during your sojourn in the Burning Library with the two found on the bodies of the Sages who gave their lives to ensure the Silent Archive survived the worst of the Edict of Fire being especially relevant to the quest at hand.
- Book Burning: They actively subverted it. While the Edict of Fire was meant to do this on a grand scale, they were able to use their preservation magic to keep much of the citadel from total damage and many of the books inside from being destroyed.
- Collapsing Lair: If the Silent Archive is removed without an artifact of equal power being left in its place.
- Hufflepuff House: As a faction, they are considered this, despite individual Sages being regarded as dangerous. Their knowledge is considered forbidden under Kyros's Laws, so all factions aligned with Kyros have no use for their services. In-game, both the Disfavored and Chorus paths send the Fatebinder to kill their leader (the Disfavored indirectly, as said leader refuses to hand over a Disfavored scout). Even in the Anarchist path, the Fatebinder ignores them as a faction.
- Impartial Purpose-Driven Faction: Self-described, the School claims to seek only the preservation and spread knowledge. In actuality, they've been manipulating the realms of the Tiers into fighting each other. In the Rebel path, should the Fatebinder invite them into the rebel alliance, they are finally slotted into the position of "firm(er) allies".
- Proud Scholar Race: Librarians, scribes, and scholars, each of whom is expected to contribute further tomes of learning and lore to the school's extensive collected knowledge. The Sages exemplify this trope, to the point where the elder Sages' main reason for fighting against Kyros is because of the Overlord's laws against forbidden knowledge. They feared, and rightly so, that Kyros would have burned their library to the ground whether or not they surrendered.
- Stealth Expert: They have a long tradition of using concealment magic to infiltrate other Guilds, adding their magical secrets to the Sages'.
- Time Master: Their preservation magic works along these lines.
- Unequal Rites: They are hated by other schools of magic due to their habit of stealing knowledge from other schools.
The School of Tides
A guild of powerful water mages, founded by Occulted Jade, the self-declared Archon of Tides. By the time the game begins, there is only one of them left in all the empire; another was added in the Bastard's Wound DLC.
- A Fate Worse Than Death: You can choose to feed the Tidecaster elders to The Voices Of Nerat. If you do, don't ever expect Eb to forgive you for it.
- Duel to the Death: One of your choices during the Conquest may have you dueling the last elders of the Tidecasters to remain behind in Apex.
- Gravity Master: Their control over Gravelight, their name for the power of Terratus's tide-locked larger moon, Terratus Grave.
- An Ice Person: Frost magic is just another part of their watery arsenal.
- Making a Splash: Hydromancy, their namesake and magical specialty.
- Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: Occulted Jade and a good portion of the school fled the coming of Kyros's forces, sailing southwest across the sea. Only a few of the schools' elders remained behind to aid the resistance, though by the time the main game begins, Eb is the sole survivor on the mainland (until the introduction of Wagstaff in Bastard's Wound).
The Stonestalker Tribe
The dominant tribe of Beasts in the Stone Sea, in what was once the realm of Azure. Since the declaration of the Edict of Stone, they have been emboldened to claim more of the land for themselves, using the earth magic which is their namesake to guard their expanding territory. Their Prima is Hundred-Blood, and her deputy and Alpha is Red-Fang.
- Arch-Enemy: The Disfavored. On a Disfavored run, the Fatebinder's only option at the Stone Sea is to eradicate them.
- Asskicking Equals Authority: Physical dominance is central to their culture. Aside from wiping them all out, a number of conflicts with the Stonestalkers can be resolved via trial by combat. If the Fatebinder can best their current Prima Hundred-Blood in battle, the whole tribe will fall in line. Even if Red-Fang and the Beasts under her command were slaughtered for the Azure Shield Red was carrying, Hundred-Blood will accept the deaths if the Fatebinder argued that they were exerting dominance.
- Beast Man: And women, too. 'Beasts' is the preferred plural for the race as a whole.
- Death of a Child: If you attack the tribe at Stone Down Gorge, the Beastcubs will attack you, the same as the adult members of the tribe.
- Defeat Means Friendship: See Asskicking Equals Authority. It's possible to become leader of the tribe, and doing so can earn you the tribe's approval, given the right dialogue options.
- Dishing Out Dirt: Powerful earth magic is their mystics' specialty, and the tribe's namesake.
- Enemy Mine: If you ally with the tribe, but especially during the Rebel path, when they will stand alongside the rest of the Tiers to reclaim the land from Kyros.
- Matriarchy: Inevitably, as Beast leadership is decided by strength, and Beastwomen are much larger and stronger than their males.
- Names to Run Away from Really Fast: Like the Scarlet Chorus, Beast names are chosen for intimidation factor: Corpse-Eater. Blood-Rock. Red-Fang. Hundred-Blood.
- What Measure Is a Non-Human?: The Choirmen in Halfgate have captured a young Beastman, Left-Claw, and the local villagers are ready to stone him to death. It's up to the Fatebinder to decide whether or not a Beast deserves a fair judgment under Kyros's law.
- If Kills-in-Shadow is in your party, she will give you a quest to go to his aid as you leave for the Stone Sea, as he was part of her pack before she left them to join you. You earn a sizable boost to her Fear if you condemn Left-Claw or leave him to die.
A refugee settlement located deep beneath the Oldwalls in the Bastard Tier. It was the only place in the Tiers completely hidden from Kyros before the Fatebinder came along.
The following tropes apply to the Bastard's Wound in general:
- Divided We Fall: The infighting among the Wound's leadership is almost as great a threat to the Wound as Kyros and the Bane.
- Dysfunction Junction: Boy howdy, the Wound's leaders are this and more. While having some talent, Jaspos is a liar with an inflated ego, Wagstaff is elderly and overestimates his own (admittedly substantial) abilities, and Reef-Talon is crippled by guilt and indecision over her mysterious powers. Mell, the steward, is probably the Only Sane Man left in the Wound, and even he has to resort to piggy-backing on Jaspos's scheme against the Beasts in order to cull their strongest, and stop them from abandoning the settlement, now that Reef-Talon isn't around to keep them in line.
- Gambit Pileup: Both Jaspos and Wagstaff have the same plan of sabotaging the Wound's one working farm and pinning it on the other.
- Loophole Abuse: The refugees argue that they are not violating Kyros's prohibition on trespassing upon the Oldwalls because the Wound is located beneath the Oldwalls and not within. Whether the Fatebinder accepts the justification is up to the player.
- Meaningful Name: Bastards is right. Not only because it's a mixture of various different people and cultures, but because everyone in it is pushing their own agenda, lying to each other and to you.
- Manipulative Bastard: It's right in the name. Every non-merchant non-Beastman NPC in the settlement is pushing an agenda, and almost all of them can be caught in various lies and murder plots before the DLC is finished.
- Well-Intentioned Extremist: Jaspos and Wagstaff are both willing to kill to ensure that the Wound has a leader. Either one of them can, in fact, make the Wound into a better place in the ending, before "things" happened and cause the settlement to fail. So can Reef-Talon, to be fair, and you'll probably feel better about helping her than the others, should you discover the full extent of what they're willing to do to keep the Wound safe.
Jaspos, Master of Knapping
One of the two leaders of Bastard's Wound. A senior Forge-Bound mage who has come to the Wound so he can make masterpieces free of Kyros's restrictions.
- Fantastic Racism: He views the Woundkin Beastmen as expendable to ensure the Wound's security, and he has been killing them to use their bones to help purify the Wound's water supply.
- Narcissist: The other Forge-Bound dislike him because he's more concerned with his appearance and personal glory than with making art. He doesn't even actually have a rightful claim to the title of Master of Knapping, and in fact sends you to steal the tools belonging to the actual holder, Cassandra.
- Polyamory: He has both a husband and a wife.
- Small Name, Big Ego: Cassandra confirms that he is Not a Master of Knapping (she is). If allowed to become leader, the ending notes that Cassandra leads her Forge-Bound to Bastard's Wound and kill him and everyone else.
- Walking Shirtless Scene: Like most male Forge-Bound, he doesn't wear much above the waist.
One of the two leaders of Bastard's Wound. Wagstaff is one of the few Tidecasters who decided to remain in the Tiers, although unlike his peers, he choose not to fight Kyros. Instead, he fled to a hole in the Oldwalls and helped to found Bastard's Wound.
- Aerith and Bob: Played for Laughs. Wagstaff, a venerable, somewhat quirky English surname, rather than a one-word Meaningful Name or a vaguely Greek-sounding made-up name. Of course, as a mage, Wagstaff can and does wag his staff... and like Eb, he liked to get frisky with the apprentices, too.
- Downer Ending: If he becomes leader, the ending notes that the Bane eventually kills him, and the Wound fails as a result.
- Fantastic Racism: He views the Woundkin Beastmen as expendable to ensure the Wound's security, and he has kidnapped several of them to force them to participate in a "blood farm" so he can use their blood to purify the Wound's water.
- Teacher/Student Romance: Eb accuses him of sleeping with his apprentices. Wagstaff admits it, although he denies that he's been sleeping with his current apprentice, Insipid Moniker.
- Walking Shirtless Scene: He doesn't wear a shirt. Given that Eb's default outfit is fairly revealing as well, it's probably safe to say the the Tidecaster uniform is the Terratus equivalent of a bathing suit.
Former Prima of the Woundkin, a clan of Beastmen made up of beastmen who have fled oppression under Kyros. Reef-Talon possesses natural healing abilities and sought to make peace between humans and beasts in the Wound, but she fled deep beneath the Oldwalls after her healing ability resulted in every human she used it on going insane.
- The Ace: Of Bastard's Wound. She's able to keep the Wound's beasts in line and her healing doesn't cause Beasts to go insane. Both are big hints that she's the best choice as leader for the Wound.
- Harmful Healing: She has the unique ability (implied to be Archonic in nature) to heal people she touches. Unfortunately, this eventually caused any human it was used on to be unable to sleep or dream, eventually losing access to magic before finally going insane. It has no apparent downside when used to heal Beasts, however. If she learns through the Oldwalls murals that there have been Beastwomen in the past who have this power and were able to use it without harming people, she can learn to prevent her powers' side effects, and thus resume using them as leader.
- Healing Hands: She can heal with a touch, but as shown under Harmful Healing, this had some serious side effects.
- Heroic BSoD: She fled deep within the Oldwalls to become a hermit after she realized that her healing powers were driving humans insane.
- Reasonable Authority Figure: She brought unity and order to the chaotic mess that is the Wound. She can be one again if the Fatebinder returns her to power, ending Jaspos and Wagstaff's scheming AND encourages her by interpreting the Oldwalls murals in ways which inspire her to explore her powers a la Killsy.
- Super Not-Drowning Skills: She's one of the Mantaborn, a tribe of Beasts adapted to deep waters, with webbed claws, bluish coloring, and functioning gills.
A sage chronicler who contacts the Fatebinder offering to surrender to Kyros's justice on the condition that the Fatebinder preserve the lore she has been collecting. Lexeme and Lantry were once lovers, but they broke up over his belief that the Sages should surrender to Kyros.
- Broken Pedestal: While Lantry and Lexeme have their political disagreements, Lantry always respected her convictions. Then, he learns that Lexeme has altered the Chronicle to make it seem like the Tiersmen were always in favor of Kyros's Conquest. Whether the pedestal remains broken or is rebuilt depends on the Fatebinder's musings.
- Meaningful Name: A lexeme is a basic unit of lexical meaning — a word and all the inflections it can take without changing meaning. Run, runs, running, ran, for example, but not runner or runnable. Like most Sages (but not Lantry) she chose it herself.
- Sanity Slippage: Reef-Talon used her powers to heal Lexeme, which had the side effect of driving Lexeme insane, although she is considerably more lucid than the other Sleepless.
- Written by the Winners: The lore that Lexeme is trying to get the Fatebinder to protect is a version of the Sage's Chronicle that has been rewritten to make it seem like the Tiersmen worshipped Kyros and the Archons. Lexeme did this in the hopes that it would make Kyros treat the Tiers better.