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Neverwinter Nights / Shadows of Undrentide

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Main game | Shadows of Undrentide | Hordes of the Underdark

Shadows of Undrentide provides examples of the following tropes:

  • Ancient Order of Protectors: The Harpers, a secretive organization out to fight evil throughout the Realms. The Player Character's mentor, the venerable wizard/cleric Drogan Droganson, turns out to be a member. Another agent, Ayala, is swiftly on the scene after Drogan is poisoned in the raid on Hilltop, and she directs the player's efforts to find a cure and recover the stolen artifacts while she works on treating Drogan as best she can.
  • And Man Grew Proud: The ancient wizards of Netheril destroyed their empire when they sought to claim the power of the goddess of magic for themselves. Instead, they caused all magic in the world to fail for one brief moment — long enough for their empire in the clouds to come crashing violently to earth. Magic returned to Toril, but the vast powers of the Netherese were lost to the ages.
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  • Big Bad: Heurodis, a medusa wizard who served as an apprentice to the lich Belpheron — a survivor of the Fall of Netheril, whose power Heurodis seeks to reclaim for herself. She's the one who hired J'Nah to kill Drogan and steal the artifacts — in particular the tower statue, recovered from the ruins of the Netherese city of Undrentide and instrumental in her Evil Plan to raise the city back into the sky.
  • Collapsing Lair: Twice; during the Interlude, the party is led into a trap and have a Netherese ruin come falling down on their heads. Drogan gives his life to save you and your companion. In the finale, Undrentide once again falls from the sky once Heurodis is defeated, with the player forced to flee into a portal to the Plane of Shadows.
  • Cutscene Incompetence: You and your henchman inevitably get petrified by a medusa at the end of the Interlude between the campaign's two chapters; Heurodis, the Big Bad of the expansion. Normal game rules would allow you to attempt a Fortitude save to resist, but in this case you aren't even given a chance to try.
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  • Evil Sorceress: J'Nah is the wicked sorceress hired to sack Hilltop, steal the four artifacts, and assassinate Drogan. Her employer is revealed to be Heurodis, a far more powerful wizard who once apprenticed under one of the few survivors of ancient Netheril and now seeks to reclaim its lost glory.
  • Fantasy Counterpart Culture: The Bedine are fantasy Bedouins, nomadic tribes who ride camels, wield scimitars, wear veils, and live in tents in the desert. As is common in the Forgotten Realms setting, the sourcebooks say they were actual Bedouins, transported from Earth to Faerun thousands of years ago — through one of Toril's many portals, where they intermingled with the survivors of the fallen empire of Netheril and eventually came to worship their gods.
  • Floating Continent: The ancient empire of Netheril once floated in the sky through their mastery of magic, but crashed to the ground millennia ago. The finale sees the Big Bad raise a portion of the ruins back into the sky as the first step in her plot to Take Over the World.
  • Freudian Trio:
    • Superego: Dorna — Calm, tries to work things through logically
    • Ego: The Player — Reins in the excesses of his/her teammates (hopefully)
    • Id: Xanos — Boisterous, grandiose, a bit of a braggart
  • Hero of Another Story: Drogan is implied to have had a hand in defeating the lich Belpheron in his youth, but that's left as Another Story for Another Time.
  • Karma Meter: While the original campaign rarely gave or took notice of your alignment (unless you went out of your way to do evil things), alignment in this and Hordes is treated like this. Subverting the law (usually by going back on your word or by stealing things) shifts your alignment to Chaotic, while upholding it (keep your word) shifts to Lawful. Good and Evil meanwhile shift depending on if you're good and evil, naturally.
  • Lost Technology: The forgotten magic of the ancient fallen empire of Netheril is far beyond the greatest spells known to modern Faerun. Preventing the Big Bad from reclaiming them is the object of Chapter Two.
  • The Man Behind the Man: Elven sorceress J'Nah orders the attack on Drogan's tower and serves as the mastermind of the events of Chapter One. Once you track her down, she reveals herself to be The Dragon to a mysterious superior later revealed as the ancient medusa wizard Heurodis, whose Evil Plan is to reclaim the ancient magic of Netheril and Take Over the World.
  • Made a Slave: Briefly — the merchant/treasure hunter Ashtara forces the heroes to help him by clamping a Slave Collar around their necks, but frees you after you destroy the golems guarding the ruins.
  • Medusa: One which inflicts an inescapable case of petrification on the heroes. The Big Bad of the campaign is a medusa who served as an apprentice to the Netherese lich Belpheron, one of the few mages to survive the Fall. She intends to reclaim the empire's power, raise its ruins back into the skies, and Take Over the World. She later becomes a lich herself.
  • Mentor Occupational Hazard: Drogan Droganson is poisoned by the kobolds sent by J'Nah at the very beginning of the expansion, and a good portion of Chapter One is spent searching for the antidote. Double Subverted — Drogan recovers from the poison, only to die in a Heroic Sacrifice during the Interlude, creating a magical shield that holds up the crumbling ruins long enough for the hero and their companion to escape while Drogan stays behind.
  • The Namesake: Undrentide is the name of the ancient Netherese city which Heurodis seeks to raise.
  • Our Kobolds Are Different: Standard D&D kobolds — small, yapping reptilian humanoids, weak, cowardly, and not particularly bright, but deceptively skilled with traps and ambushes. They attack Hilltop at the beginning of the campaign, poisoning your mentor and setting the plot into motion by stealing four artifacts left in his keeping. They serve a young, unusually friendly white dragon named Tymofarrar — and one member of the tribe, the kobold bard Deekin Scalesinger, is even a potential party member. Dealing with the kobolds forms one part of the main quest for Chapter One.
  • Our Liches Are Different: The Netherese scholar Belpheron survived the ages since the Fall of Netheril by becoming a lich, but was apparently defeated by the Harpers, with his mummified hand being one of the artifacts stolen from Hilltop. The hand is a Red Herring, but Belpheron's onetime apprentice Heurodis becomes a lich herself as part of her ascension.
  • Player Character: You take on the role of a 1st-level adventurer-in-training, one of four pupils of the dwarven wizard, cleric, and veteran adventurer Drogan Droganson. Whether you set out to cure your master or simply to claim the artifacts' power for yourself is left up to the player.
  • Precursors: The Netherese, an ancient magocracy who lived in floating cities high above the clouds and destroyed themselves in a magical catastrophe thousands of years ago.
  • Reptiles Are Abhorrent: Zigzagged. Many of the antagonists for the expansion are reptiles, including a tribe of kobolds, their master the white dragon Tymofarrar, a medusa who is the expansion's Big Bad, Heurodis, and the slave-taking asabi merchant Ashtara. The kobolds, however, are mostly Played for Laughs, Tymofarrar is surprisingly friendly, Ashtara eventually lets you go, and one of your companions is a good-hearted, loyal, only moderately annoying kobold bard, Deekin Scalesinger, who was popular enough to return in Hordes of the Underdark and again for a cameo in the sequel.
  • Ruins for Ruins' Sake: The latter half of the campaign is spent in the scattered ruins of Netheril.
  • Shifting Sand Land: The Interlude between the campaign's two chapters takes place in the Anauroch Desert, also known as the Great Sand Sea, an unusually northerly desert created when the ancient empire of Netheril fell from the skies and shattered the land below. Magical radiation makes it extremely difficult for most normal plants and animals to survive there.
  • Schmuck Bait: One section of the kobold caves includes a treasure room with prominent red arrows pointing to it and four lowered gates around it, which might as well have a sign reading “OBVIOUS TRAP” above it. When you open the chest and just find a note from the kobolds laughing at your foolishness, you're probably sighing and nodding in agreement as the gates spring up around you.
  • Shout-Out: As an Easter Egg, the expansion includes an NPC named Torias, after one of the more active moderators on the Bioware forums at the time.
  • Suspicious Video-Game Generosity: Desert's Fury is an enchanted weapon — the exact type of weapon is determined by your class — engulfed in flames and with bonuses against undead. Undead become extremely common in the dungeon to follow.
  • Taken for Granite: The heroes are petrified by a Medusa during the Interlude. That medusa is Heurodis, the Big Bad. Chapter Two begins with the curse being lifted by the reptilian merchant Ashtara, but not before shackling the Player Character and your companion with a Slave Collar.
  • Talking the Monster to Death: Tymofarrar is, unusually for a white dragon, not particularly hostile or malevolent to begin with, quite intelligent, and rather eccentric by any standard. It's fairly easy to talk your way through his lair without fighting him or his kobold minions. Even without the phylactery which J'Nah was planning on using to kill him, there are a number of ways to negotiate with him, not the least of which being striking up a friendship with the kobold he trained as a bard — Deekin, who eventually becomes a companion option.
  • Two-Part Trilogy: The two expansions are written with the assumption that the protagonist is the same character in both, and that they are not the same person who was the hero in the base campaign (since the base game and Shadows take place at the same time). You can, however, import your high-level character from the OC, making combat in Shadows ridiculously easy.


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