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Way Home (Дорога домой) is a series of fantasy novels by Vitaliy Zykov (Виталий Зыков), containing 6 novels as of late 2015.

Translator's notes:

  • The Translation Convention is in effect.
  • Names and toponymics are given in literal transliteration (replacing letter-by-letter) on this page. Spelling would vary if names and toponymics were given in transcription (spelling aimed at correct pronunciation of the name).
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  • Both the Russian "принц" and "князь" translate to "prince". The former is a heir to a kingdom or to an empire, while the latter is the ruler of a princedom.
  • The Russian "гном" corresponds to the English "gnome", but there is no better word for "dwarf". Since Tolkien, dwarves became gnomes in Russian texts. There is one mainly subterranean humanoid species in the novels, who exhibit tropes of both dwarves and gnomes of western fantasy.

The series tells a story of five humans abducted from Earth and taken to another world by a magical world-travelling dragon, although his intentions were far from benevolent. The five involuntary dimension-hoppers Anastasia "Nastya", her boyfriend Oleg, Olesya, Natasha and Yaroslav are lucky to survive and now have to make new lives in the world called Torn.

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The series provides examples of following tropes:

  • Aerith and Bob: justified with the local knowledge of different worlds and the various factions taking an interest in the other-worlders. Of the five survivors, only Oleg is still using his original name. The girls all changed their first names before marriage, and Yaroslav legally changed his name when he became a mercenary.
  • Absolute Xenophobe: the dark elves. However, the current events force them to deal with the changing world.
  • Achilles' Heel: the dwarven gunships are extremely vulnerable to remote ignition spells, although the dwarves found an ally in Tlantos to build magic-proof gunboats.
  • Advanced Ancient Acropolis: the elven kingdoms on Grol'd and Gorkh.
  • A God I Am Not: K'irsan is worshipped as a Saviour by two different sects, and the idea causes him some major discomfort.
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  • All Trolls Are Different: the Tark (or Targ) tribes from the northern Sarduor are generally known as trolls everywhere else. Tarks are big, strong and resistant to both physical and magical damage to some degree. The tribes are led by cheiftains and shamans. Tarks are occasionally employed as bodyguards in human lands.
  • Amplifier Artifact: K'irsan's sword which he enchanted as a focus.
  • Ancient Artifact: anything that survived the Age of Wars.
    • The Hammer of Zelod, a powerful magical weapon bound to the Rans bloodline. Found in the Dead Forest by Zelod Rans, used to conquer the lands and form the Zelod kingdom, lost shortly before Zelod's death and recently recovered by Gelid Rans, king of Zelod.
    • The Scepter of Power, national treasure of the Nold republic. the Scepter is lost and Nold holds a mere replica.
    • The Zuu'l'tek, stone tablets with inscribed runes of the Ancients. With the knowledge of the original magical runic script, each Zuu'l'tek can be transcribed into a spell. This is rare due to both the runic script being long forgotten and most Zuu'l'tek being found shattered. K'irsan has memorized an incredibly rare whole Zuu'l'tek and transcribed the "Breath of Eternity" spell from it.
    • Khri'kil rings, also known as Guardians of the Highborn, which bind to the respective owner and grant a number of useful abilities, including limited True Sight and the ability to detect magic and poisons. Khri'kil rings were commonly worn by non-mage nobles during the reign of the Sunset Empire. Lakrista Regnar wears a khri'kil which contains a concealed poisoned barb as a last chance weapon.
  • Animal Eye Spy:
    • K'irsan can use his bond to Rual to this effect, including Rual's ability to see magic.
    • Varrek Minosh uses a spell for this effect.
  • "Arabian Nights" Days:
    • The khalifates of Ralayat, Zikkur, Sural', Laylat, Sura, Zalimar and Khalis, loosely united as the Ultramontane Khalifate.
    • Sultanate of Issor, southernmost country of the Suud continent.
  • Area of Effect: Trademark of powerful magic. Spells with this effect are rarely used in close quarters, but common on battlefields and during besieging or storming castles.
  • Arranged Marriage:
    • Lakrista is dismayed to find that her marriage to lord Regnar was nothing of a Cinderella story, but has been carefully arranged in hopes of producing powerful mages.
    • Gelid Rans, king of Zelod, finds himself unable to escape an arranged marriage after he lost the Hammer of Zelod.
  • Asskicking Equals Authority:
    • The Scepter's Law of the republic of Nold. The founding fathers of The Magocracy believed that a stronger mage would be compelled by his own power to overthrow a weaker one. Thus a member of the Masters' Council can apply with his fellow Masters for the permission to challenge the current Archmage. Given the Council's approval, the winner of the duel remains or becomes the Archmage.
    • The strongest mage is also the king of Tlantos, although succession rules are not stated in-universe.
  • Astral Projection: the Astral is a parallel dimension well known to mages. Legends tell about the Vartags mastering the Astral magic and teaching it to the Reptokhors people, who much later taught the elves.
    • Urg shamans commonly involve spirits from the Astral in their rituals.
    • Mages of Tlantos use the Astral to exchange information.
    • K'irsan has used the Astral Path ritual to perform another ritual on a specific location with his body located on another continent.
  • Awesome Moment of Crowning: deconstructed as K'irsan crowns himself the new king of Western Kayen, describing how the environment fits the moment: the palace lies in ruins, the captured predecessor shakes with fear and a dead monster rests at the new king's feet.
  • Beast of Battle:
    • Panthera Awesome: The sentient and possibly borderline sapient markhuz were created in the Sunset Empire for this expressed purpose starting from some feline species.
    • War Elephants: utilized by the United Colonies of Sunset.
  • Benevolent Mage Ruler:
    • K'irsan is seen as such by the people of West Kayen. K'irsan's rebellion has removed an incompetent king, and his rule has brought a measure of law, order and prosperity to the land. K'irsan himself sees the path of a popular king of a strong country as his best bet to survive the coming magical world war / apocalypse.
    • Subverted with Vittor, the current Archmage of the Nold republic. While Nold is styled as a force of progress, it is The Magocracy run by True Mages. Common mages are second class and non-mages third class citizens, while Torg (trolls), Urg (goblins) and Gvonk (actual fellow humans, just from another continent) people are seen as subhuman.
    • Zig-zagged with Ferdinand, king of Tlantos. He is working for his country; yet his main ambition is to restore Tlantos to the former glory of the necromacers' empire of Nekrond.
  • Black Magic:
    • Magic granted by the Sleepers to their shamans and cultists.
    • Necromancy and advanced demon summoning, generally powered by Human Sacrifice.
    • Surviving Ancient spells and artifacts were labelled as "forbidden magic" by the Nold republic due to their destructive potential.
  • Came Back Wrong:
    • Roshag the Log dragon died (messily) after Yaroslav messed up Roshag's Human Sacrifice ritual. While Roshag's body decomposed down to his skeleton, his soul was enslaved by the Sleepers. Their power forced Roshag back into his remains to return as their Harbringer, a blighted abomination. Notably, Roshag doesn't mind becoming an undead monstrosity as much as becoming enslaved.
    • Lord Markus of Tlantos intended to take over Chismar's body - in the case that his own body would have been killed - through the Soul Bridge spell placed on Chismar. As Chismar was killed before Markus, the Soul Bridge forced Markus' soul into the corpse, creating a lich.
    • An unnamed "Ancient One" who died and was buried in the ancient dwarven capital, Heart of the Mountains, has risen as a powerful undead creature following the Crystal Gate disaster.
  • Cold-Blooded Torture: standard across Torn with a few notable examples.
    • The elven Forest's Wrath rite is a form of execution through torture, extending into the aura of the victim.
    • The Kord SlaveCollars enforce obedience through debilitating pain.
    • The dark elves have tortured the light elven prisoner handed over by K'irsan until the light elf's mind broke, although without finding any valuable information.
  • Common Tongue:
    • Deconstructed with Torn, the language of Nold. The suppression of Gral'g, the older language of the Sarduor continent, is a part of Nold's politics intending the exploitation. K'irsan's rebellion and later takeover of Western Kayen reinstated Gral'g. Torn does serve as lingua franca between countries and races to some extent.
    • Goblins, trolls, dragons, dwarves and elves each speak a distinctive language. Oddly, these languages serve as Common Tongue for each race.
  • Cool Crown: inverted with the crown of West Kayen. K'irsan describes the crown as a simple circlet with three points, after he became the leader of a rebellion and the head of a religious cult, defeated the king's army, stormed the royal palace and defeated the leader of the local chapter of the Religion of Evil to obtain it.
  • Covered with Scars: the elven Forest's Wrath ritual left K'irsan's whole body covered with permanent scars and embedded a permanent echo of elven magic into his aura.
  • Dangerous Forbidden Technique: The legendary archmage Ptolomey of Nold has, according to legends, destroyed the second and third volume of his Magnum Opus "Theory and Practice of Interdimensional Magic" as he deemed the knowledge therein too dangerous.
  • Deal with the Devil: the Sleepers offer their cultists access to magic. When the Sleepers decide to get their due, they can easily claim lives and souls of said cultists, e.g. to create a mortal vessel for one of the Sleepers' demonic servants.
  • Do Not Call Me "Paul":
    • Oleg has repeatedly attempted to influence Yaroslav during their later encounters in West Kayen. Yaroslav reacts poorly both to Oleg's attempts and to Oleg's political agenda, cutting Oleg off and insisting on being K'irsan Kayfat now.
    • Lakrista Regnar has completely left her life as Anastasia "Nastya" behind, although the interest expressed by various factions in her son Selerey comes from her origins.
  • Dragon Rider: the karruz dragons are fully sentient, sapient and capable of magic, serving in Nold Republic's feared "Wings" units. During the attack on the city of Palat the dragons disobey their human commanding officer, burn the city to the ground and exterminate the population.
  • Evil Makes You Monstrous:
    • Played straight with cultists of the Sleepers. When a cultist is chosen by the Sleepers to become a mortal vessel for one of their demonic servants, the power of the Sleepers will mutate them into a new monstrous shape.
    • Averted with dark elves. The Change which occurs when a dark elven mage ascends to the rank of "varrek" grants a demonic appearance, but does not reflect any changes in morality.
  • Exposition Beam:
    • K'irsan learned the basics of Ancient magic from a magical Reptokh repository, although said exposition was delivered in a Training from Hell manner.
    • Ferdinand of Tlantos hit the lich with a set of memories to steer the mindless monstrosity to some degree.
    • The dark elves paid K'irsan to hit the same lich with another set of memories again.
  • Fantasy Counterpart Culture:
    • The Khan' empire corresponds to China.
    • The khalifates united in the Ultramontane Khalifate correspond to arabian states.
    • Gvonk tribes of Sarduor correspond to the mongols.
  • Geometric Magic: large-scale rituals will generally include geometric patterns of various types.
  • Glowing Eyes: K'irsan's eyes glow in an eldritch green hue whenever he accesses a large amount of his magical power. Later the glow becomes permanent and extends to the scars on his face, which rather annoys K'irsan.
  • Half-Human Hybrid: elves breed with humans and produce fertile offspring. Half-elves are very rare due to the elves' xenophobic tendencies.
    • Timarenis Baltusaim, the vizier of Ralayat, has an elven father and a human mother. His daughter Melisandra is considered a quarter-elf and according to the elves of Mallorean, an expendable abomination.
  • Healing Hands: the vast majority of healing spells work at touch range.
    • K'irsan used intuitive tissue manipulation to this effect before learning proper healing spells.
    • For reasons unknown even to K'irsan himself, his healing spells always put the patient into intense pain while they work. His followers consider this an additional reason not to bug their leader with medical work.
  • Human Sacrifice:
    • Roshag abducted humans to Torn to sacrifice them.
    • An inherent part of the magic styles practiced by the necromancers and demonologists of Tlantos and by the shamans of the Snake Archipelago.
    • Common part of rituals used by adepts of the Sleepers.
    • K'irsan has created a "last chance" ritual designed to save his life, which calls on a sacrifice in exchange.
  • I Know Your True Name: K'irsan learned his true name from the spirit in the Reprokh artifact who also taught him ancient magic.
    • K'irsan has sealed the enchantments on his sword with his true name to empower the weapon.
    • True names are by definition useful when constructing spells to defend your own mind.
  • Language of Magic: the Ancient Kayen of the Sunset Empire. The language was exclusive to the ruling magical nobility.
  • Leaking Can of Evil:
    • The lowest levels of the catacombs under the city of Gamzar held the seal of a particularly powerful demonic entity. The entity's presence leaked into the catacombs' upper levels as an intense aura of fear and dread.
    • The Crystal Gate in the ancient sealed dwarven capital city, Heart of the Mountains, was leaking the abyssal energy it was designed to tap into, causing animals to mutate into monsters and the dead to rise as undead.
  • Linear Warriors, Quadratic Wizards: given time, mages become considerably more powerful - both personally and on social terms - than non-mages. Many societies on Torn (Sunset Empire, Nold, Tlantos, Mallorean, Zelod, Karruz, Urg and Torg tribes) were or are ruled by mages.
  • Look on My Works, Ye Mighty, and Despair!: the dvarwes of the Eagle Range built a Crystal Gate, an artifact designed to provide unlimited magical energy for their subterranean empire by taking it from the Abyss. They miscalculated heavily, as the dark energy has flown through the Crystal Gate as a tidal wave, flooding their capital city, the Heart of the Mountains, and rendering the vast majority of deep caves uninhabitable.
  • Loyal Animal Companion: K'irsan has saved a kayfat's nest in the Dead Forest from a magical predator. The newborn kayfat within bonded with K'irsan, later left the forest, found and joined K'irsan and has been following K'irsan ever since.
  • Mage Killer: in-universe reference to the adepts of Nikerra, an ancient form of Supernatural Martial Arts. Nikerra adepts use aura manipulations as a limited form of Anti-Magic.
  • Magical Accessory: various amulets commonly created by shamans of Targ, Urg and Gvonk tribes. The "civilized" nations consider shamanistic enchantments as lowly cantrips, though. There are some prominent examples:
    • The mages of Tlantos are given special amulets upon graduation from the mandatory magic schools of their country. The amulets serve as a knowledge repository and emergency mana reserve. When the mage advances in rank, their commanding officer upgrades the amulet and its appearance changes. This unlocks more spells and extends the mana storage. From a certain level upward, the amulet will change on its own when the wearer has gained enough power, knowledge and experience, serving as a visible rank insignia.
    • Gkhol, K'irsan's apprentice from an Urg tribe, owns an inherited bracelet of possibly Ancient origin which allows to cast decent fireballs, holds three charges and even recharges from environmental mana on its own.
    • Working from Gkhol's heirloom bracelet, K'irsan has reverse-engineered the enchantments and mass-produced fireball bracelets to equip his entire personal guard with them.
  • The Magocracy:
    • The Nold republic is ruled by True mages, with common mages and muggles as second and third class citizens. The ruler's title is "Archmage".
    • The Tlantos kingdom is ruled by the mages, with the king being the head mage and the nobility ranks comprised of mages arranged by power.
    • The Sunset Empire had no distinction between "mage" and "noble".
    • All elven clans are ruled by mage-princes.
  • Magically Binding Contract: the rite of Girkam's Pledge, where a mage deposits a part of his or her magical power as a security. Blood Magic can be used to bind non-mages for similar purposes.
    • The king of Tlantos deposited two fractions of his power with the shamans of the Sleepers. The contracts were fulfilled by Chismar and Lord Markus, returning the power back to the king.
    • K'irsan demanded the Pledge from the dark elves, adding the audacity of doing so to the long list of things Minosh would like to kill him for.
  • Magically Inept Fighter: averted as magic isn't available to everybody.
  • Magic Knight:
    • Demonic servants of the Sleepers are monstrous corrupted versions of the trope, with the magic part granted by the Sleepers and knight part coming from the mutation into an armored abomination.
    • Varreks of the dark elves are an entire caste made of this trope. They favor the magic part, given the general preference for magic known of all elves on Torn.
    • Princes of the more militarized elven clans of Mallorean are this trope by definition, since a clan must be led by a wizard.
    • K'irsan complements his magic with considerable swordsmanship skill and his unique enchanted sword.
    • K'irsan's head of military matters, Khrabr, voluntarily underwent a procedure to augment his melee skills with the ability to use at least one battle spell.
  • Make Them Rot: the effect of the "Breath of Eternity" spell, used by K'irsan to cover the enemy army during the battle of Yurga's Field.
  • Marked Change:
    • Dark elven mages who ascend to the rank of "varrek" undergo a metamorphosis known simply as "the Change". Their appearance changes from the typically beautiful elven to a fairly demonic one.
    • Cultists of the Sleepers mutate into monsters when the Sleepers place their demonic servants into such mortal hosts.
    • Averted with K'irsan's eyes and scars. While those started to permanently glow, K'irsan didn't cross any truly significant threshold at that time.
  • Muggle Born of Mages: Selerey Regnar, son to the True mage lord Regnar and Lakrista Regnar formerly known as Anastasiya "Nastya", one of the 5 surviving otherworlders doesn't have access to magic. Some factions are keeping tabs on Selerey's life in hopes that his heritage will manifest in Lakrista's grandchildren.
  • Necromancer: common skill set for mages of Tlantos. For reasons unstated, mages born and educated there exclusively become necromancers, demonologists or Darkness mages.
  • No Doubt the Years Have Changed Me: Lakrista and Melisandre have both encountred K'irsan before or during his time as a slave. Both women are rather surprised to recognize him during a much later episode, as an army unit under K'irsan's command comes to their rescue during the civil war in Zelod.
  • Our Elves Are Better: During the rule of the Sunset Empire, and later the United Colonies of Sunset, the elves (and the dwarves) were oath-bound to the last Precursors. The majority of the elves (and most of the dwarven clans) broke those oaths and joined the emerging Nold under the banner of the Light to fight the Sunset.
    • High Elves: Elven confederates of Nold became the Light elves of Mallorean. They style themselves as benevolent teachers and guardians of Light on Torn. In a moment of bitterness, Brims, the second-in-command of Nold, notes that the light elves really think of all other races as sheep, light elves as shepherds and the True Mages of Nold have been Mallorean's willing sheepdogs.
    • Dark Elves: Elves who remained loyal to the old oaths. They call the light elves "betrayers of the oath" and call themselves "betrayers of the elven brotherhood". The split between light and dark elves culminated in the War of the Stars. Dark elves now find themselves forced to join K'irsat's opposition against Mallorean and Nold.
  • Our Liches Are Different: Liches are necromancers who Came Back Wrong. Liches on Torn are mostly mindless monstrosities which instinctively gather undead armies and attack the living. Most necromancers consider the fate of a lich a disgrace and take steps to prevent it.
    • Lord Markus of Tlantos has built a "Soul Bridge" to come back in the body of Chismar. As Chismar was killed before Markus, the "Soul Bridge" turned Chismar's corpse into a lich powered by Markus' soul.
  • Power Glows:
    • The Hammer of Zelod and the Scepter of Power both glow when their powers are called upon.
    • K'irsan's eyes glow in an eldritch green hue when he draws excessively upon his magic. Much to his annoyance, this glow later becomes permanent and even extends to the scars on his face.
    • Various elements of Geometric Magic glow when powered or activated.
  • Precursors: the world of Torn is so old that it features several generations of them.
    • The Vartags are the oldest known civilization, although evidence of their physical existence is extremely scarce.
    • The Reptokh, Reptokhors and Log dragons were heirs to the Vartag civilization. The Reptokh learned elemental magic, the Reptokhors astral magic and the Log dragons learned dimensional magic respectively from the Vartags.
    • The Sunset Empire has possibly witnessed the final fate of the Vartags and was possibly involved in the destruction of the Reptokh and Reptokhors.
    • The United Colonies of Sunset were the last coherent state to follow the Sunset Empire's tradition and was ultimately defeated by light elves and the emerging republic of Nold.
  • Power Incontinence: K'irsan's bastard son by Melisandre is shown as suffering from this in connection with Ancient magic the boy obviously inherited from K'irsan.
  • Power Nullifier: Black Kord collars are this trope combined with a Shock Collar into a single Slave Collar to enslave magic users.
  • Prophecy Twist: Fior's Prophecy speaks of a coming apocalypse / magic world war.
    • K'irsan, after some research, has deliberately styled his flag to refer to the benevolent faction named in the known fragments of that prophecy, in spite of becoming the dreaded "slayer of dragons" of Kurraz lore.
    • Said Kurraz lore seems to guide the Kurraz dragons to fight against humanity, as their great hope, the Log dragon Roshag, Came Back Wrong and became enslaved as the "Harbringer of the Sleepers" with said Sleepers being some sort of an omnicidal oblivion's manifestation.
  • Randomly Gifted: while True and common magic both tend to run in families, mages are also born from muggles. Mages generally have a higher social standing than muggles in most cultures on Torn.
    • Ptolomey, the greatest Archmage of Nold's history, was born from simple peasants.
    • Ayrung, Oleg's mentor and patron, was born in a simple fisherman's family.
    • Oleg is the only True mage among the otherworlders.
  • The Red Mage: K'irsan has learned the magic of the Reptokh people, absorbed the magic of their nemesis, the Reptokhors people, from an ancient mega-artifact and incorporated the magic of the Log dragons into himself to survive his battle with Roshag, thus possessing three schools of magic generally thought to be mutually exclusive.
  • Remote yet Vulnerable: as K'irsan used the Astral Path ritual to perform another ritual on a specific location, the intervention of a powerful demonic entity caused lesser demons to appear around K'irsan's body. His bodyguards dispatched them.
  • Ritual Magic: commonly used in various fashions by all factions on Torn. As a general rule, the ritual complexity will scale with effect complexity.
    • K'irsan has shown the habit of inventing new rituals, often combining elements from several magical traditions.
  • Scars Are Forever: K'irsan's encounters with magically mutated Tark bloodhounds and the elven Forest's Wrath ritual left him with permanent disfiguring scars across the lower part of his face and all over his body.
  • Sealed Evil in a Can: according to Minosh, the ancient Vartags have sealed a surprisingly large amount of various entities away, presumably exactly because those entities could not be truly killed. Varreks are duty-bound to maintain such seals.
    • The catacombs under the city of Gamzar held a particularly powerful being which has been freed through a collaboration between Tlantos mages and Snake Archipelago shamans.
    • K'irsan has encountered an Abyssal Harrier and sealed the entity in his artifact sword, empowering the weapon further.
    • After the disaster at the Heart of the Mountains, the dwarves of Eagle Range sealed the entire city.
  • Secret Art: the fencing style of Nikerra has been around since the Sunset Empire's rule and is mostly propagated through MasterApprenticeChains. Darg has taken Lakrista's son Selerey as his apprentice. Nikerra includes heavy use of magically supported mutagenic drugs during training. According to classified data from Nold, Nikerra adepts aren't fully human anymore.
  • Self-Fulfilling Prophecy: the elves of Mallorean were warned that "a star not extinguished by the forest's breath" would become their nemesis. They correctly deduced that the prophecy meant the ancient rite of execution through torture known as Forest's Wrath and abolished this single method of execution. Their other methods of taking revenge are so feared on Torn that no elves came to death (except from other elves) for centuries. When K'irsan entered Mallorean borderlands to evade capture, he killed an elf in self-defense. After the elves caught K'irsan, they deliberated reintroducing Forest's Wrath for his capital punishment. K'irsan survived thanks to Rual's intervention, fled Mallorean and became the prophecied nemesis of the elves.
  • Shock Collar: Kord collars keep the slaves in check by inflicting debilitating pain. They have contributed to the idiom "loyalty of the collared".
  • Slave Collar: Kord collars are put on slaves' necks and can inflict debilitating pain. Gvonk tribes' shamans are the last known magic users to produce the Kord collars, while the name dates back to the Sunset Empire. Magic users can be cut off from magic by using an enhanced black Kord collar.
  • Summoning Ritual: Commonly used by shamans and demonologists.
    • Lord Markus of Tlantos takes part in a massive summoning ritual to call demons to the city of Gamzar. The resulting battle is actually a massive Human Sacrifice needed to liberate a servant of the Sleepers, which was sealed in the catacombs under the city.
    • K'irsan has summoned the undead Log dragon Roshag to the Goat Mountains on Grol'd to get him away from Sarduor.
  • Summon Magic: Shamans of human, ork, troll and goblin tribes generally work magic through summoning and interacting with various spirits. Dark elven mages are known to include Summon Magic in their arsenal.
    • Gro'val'dye are angelic beings who can be summoned by a contract artifact and are strongly associated with the Light and the idea of representing a just cause.
    • According to a summoned demon, Summon Magic should not be performed aboard a moving vehicle.
  • Supernatural Martial Arts: the Nikerra school's adepts can sense magic, counter spells and use their auras in combat without having access to regular magic.
  • Superpowerful Genetics: both True and common magic tend to run in families.
    • Subverted with lord Regnar, his wife Lakrista and their firstborn son Selerey. Lord Regnar is a True mage, Lakrista Regnar is an otherworlder integrated into Nold, but Selerey doesn't have access to magic at all.
    • Selerey's future children are expected to be powerful True mages, but that was said of Selerey before his birth as well, and True magic didn't breed true in him regardless of the Regnar clan's ambitions.
    • Played straight with K'irsan and his bastard son by Melisandre - the boy uses Ancient magic pretty much from the craddle.
    • Oleg, the only True mage of the otherworlders, has married the daughter of a disgraced True mage politician of Nold. The effects of such heritage on Oleg's firstborn son remain to be seen.
    • The great-grandson of the resident Prophet of Falir has inherited the prophecy power and finds himself hunted because of his potential.
  • Teeth-Clenched Teamwork:
    • Minosh's reaction to the order to cooperate with K'irsan, since K'irsan has in Minosh's opinion, earned a death sentence already.
    • Oleg's reaction to the order to cooperate with Yaroslav, as their respective lives, careers and political points of view have diverged significantly during their time on Torn.
  • That Man Is Dead:
    • Yaroslav reacts poorly when Oleg tries to invoke their shared origins as they meet in West Kayen, insisting that "Yaroslav" doesn't apply to K'irsan Kayfat anymore.
    • Anastasia "Nastya" has left her life and name behind to integrate herself into Nold as Lakrista Regnar, although her origin as an otherworlder has frequently caught up with her. Unknown to Nastya, at least one faction is still keeping tabs on her and her new family throughout the series.
  • Unequal Rites: True Mages of Nold consider their way of doing magic (spells of the classical elements + Light) to be the only one and discriminate against other human, goblin and troll mages. Elves are exempt due to being either almost unknown (Dark elves) or being regarded as benevolent elders (Mallorean elves).

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