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Roleplay / Academy of Merlin

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Dear Prospective Student,

Don't worry about anyone looking over your shoulder. Only those with Sight - the ability to see things for what they really are - can read the true contents of this letter. The Blind, those lacking sight (primarily made up of mundanes, the nonmagick folk) will only see an ordinary letter to one's lover.

Congratulations! You have been accepted to the Academy of Merlin, located northeast of Cardiff, Wales. Perhaps you did not apply to our school - perhaps you were chosen instead. Regardless of the reason, you are now set on your path to come here. Do not worry about anything but travel expenses - our aim is to educate the next generation of magic, not empty the pockets of their parents.

Perhaps you have not heard of the Academy, which is unusual but not unheard of. We are a prestigious magick school with the rather famous Merlin's Oak in the center of the campus. You may know the legend of Merlin being turned into an oak tree by Vivienne, his treacherous apprentice. That legend is far more than mere fiction, my dear student. Merlin's power makes the campus the perfect environment to learn magic from our brilliant professors.

In the event that you are from a mundane household, another letter will follow this one shortly, saying you have won a scholarship to a highly prestigious academy for you to show to your guardians.

You will find enclosed the student handbook, a list of school supplies and directions to the school itself. Please read this handbook in its entirety, as there is important information enclosed within.

I look forward to seeing you at the beginning of the year, my dear student.

— Headmaster Louis Soulstone

The Academy of Merlin is a fantasy school roleplay that takes place in modern-day Wales, in a sort-of made-up area northeast of Cardiff. Students from all walks of life attend the Academy to study under the professors of Headmaster Louis Soulstone, the current headmaster of the Academy. However, all is rarely well at the Academy. With factions of characters from a discriminatory government bent on imposing their own rules on nonhumans, a not-so-secret secret agency dedicated to bringing justice to the magick world, three towns full of colorful shopkeepers and dangerous gangs, and a mysterious terrorist organization with their own agenda, life at the Academy is rarely dull.

The first arc, the Vivian Arc, in-story began September 2014 and ended June 2016. The second arc, the Magickless Arc, in-story began June 2016 and will end summer 2017. The third arc, the Demon Arc, began in-story summer 2020.


The old forum on Gaia Online is located here, while the new one is here.

The Academy of Merlin contains examples of:

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    Tropes A to M 
  • 13 Is Unlucky: Both played straight and inverted. Unit 13 was certainly bad news, but the Thirteen Treasures are treated as anything but unlucky.
  • Absurdly Spacious Sewer: The sewers in Justus are huge. They hold a (smashed) teleport to the Secret Organization, an entrance to the Catacombs, and various slimy... things.
  • Academy of Adventure: Merlin's Oak is so powerful that it tears open dimensional rips, allowing students to explore pocket dimensions of various sizes. There are also several hidden entrances to the Catacombs below the school, the forest where Carrmin resides, and the local tri-town area to explore. Within the Academy itself is a nightmare-inducing nurse's office, a labyrinthian library complete with its own ghost, and a small room behind the groundskeeper's home known as the Rumor Mill with scores of rumors scribbled on the walls and floor. On top of that, the Academy is a frequent target of various attacks or other plans. All in all, it's impossible to be bored.
  • Action Dad: Several fathers qualify and have seen their fair share of action, including Barad, Ramses, Sebastian, Fado, and Lance.
  • Action Survivor: Graduates of the Academy often survive terrorist attacks or other, more personal threats on their life depending on their sideplot.
  • Adjective Animal Alehouse: The Murky Trout Pub, a popular hangout spot for adults in Justus.
  • Adults Are Useless: At times played straight, at times averted. While the professors of the school itself are generally useless, members of the Secret Organization rarely are.
  • Aerith and Bob: Students and other characters often come from around the world, so names can vary from Lucia and Snezhana to Zachary and Quentin.
  • After Action Patch Up: Dangerous situations are often followed by a more calming scene where characters rest, are healed, and recover from whatever action just ensued.
  • Air-Vent Passageway: Rowan went through one of these on food group's quest to save Axel.
  • Alchemy Is Magic: Alchemy is a subclass of practitioner, largely concerned with magical circles and Equivalent Exchange. It's also pretty handy to create magical components enchanters are able to use for enchanting.
  • All Myths Are True: If the myth exists, the creature/treasure in it probably does as well. It's less a question of "does it exist?" than it is "how powerful and rare is it?"
  • All There in the Manual: Character's SIDs often reveal information that might never be explored on in RP, or explain small quirks in further detail.
  • Amputation Stops Spread: This is the only way to deal with fade: in order to prevent it from spreading, the affected area must be Broken. The alternative is turning into a statue.
  • Animal-Themed Superbeing: Deities, the race that concern themselves with looking after various environments, are all themed to one animal or another. Marinel is a deep-sea angler fish, Karyan is a unicorn, Keanu is a goat, and so on.
  • Animal Motifs: Lucian is associated with snakes, Janus with wolves, Ekaterina with dragons, and Tomas with bears.
  • Another Dimension: There are multiple known dimensions, but one that comes up repeatedly is the Nine Circles, better known as the Domain of the Dead. It's from this dimension that demons come from.
  • Anti-Magic: Unit 53 was responsible for creating a bomb that essentially drained the magic out of surrounding magicks.
  • Anyone Can Die: Zig-zagged for the most part. Students in general have Plot Armor as they're considered the "main" characters, with a few rare exceptions being Vivian (who became a villain and was an NPC in the first place) and Scarlett (who died from garnering too much power and there was also another character by the same player in that friend group). Sideplot characters and more minor characters, on the other hand, are more likely to be killed in bad situations.
  • Artifact of Doom: Several, most in the custody of the Secret Organization. Such artifacts include:
    • A Hand of Glory, retrieved by Marianne and Simon on a mission to expose a black market dealer.
    • Della's Conch, a magical shell that once belonged to End's friend Della (though it's more considered an Artifact of Doom for sirens, according to Naomi).
    • A number of unnamed artifacts Simon collected in Arc II, which ended up being used to construct an Anti-Magic bomb.
    • Apophis' Scroll, which contained the soul of a powerful magick named Apophis.
  • Awesome Mc Coolname: Several characters. Magnus Ironvein, Rowan Lockwood, Icarus Domitor...
  • Awesomeness by Analysis: Ekaterinas in general are good at noticing small things off the bat, and piecing information together from there. It's one of their greatest strengths.
  • Back from the Dead: Chang, Bambi's brother, whose soul lives on in a pig golem.
  • Badass Crew:
    • Psqwad, a small group of Secret Organization members hailing from the French branch. They are an incredibly formidable force when working together.
    • Unit Seventeen has their teamwork down to a T, with individual strengths and weaknesses that balance each other and leave few holes in their defense.
  • Batter Up!: Janus keeps a bat in their house. Just in case.
  • Battle in the Rain: Arc III's Holiday Ball takes place during a rainstorm. Said rainstorm actually ended up weaponized by Sage to use against Ezrael.
  • Being Human Sucks: Humans have the shortest lifespan, can't wield any of the cooler-looking elements, and can't understand Elven or Dwarven.
  • Beneath the Earth: The Catacombs, a living system of stone and dirt tunnels, that runs underneath the campus, the forest, and the town.
  • Big Entrance: There are plenty of examples, but the one that takes the cake is Yvonne arriving in the aftermath of the Black Dragon aboard a giant flying chicken.
  • Big Fancy Castle: The Academy's main building, where all the classes take place, is a massive, six-story castle with a high tower containing the Headmaster's Office at the very top.
  • Black Market: Simon originally ran one out of his cart, but after he quit the illegal life Yorick took over.
  • Boarding School: The Academy has on-campus housing, and students come from all over the world to attend.
  • Body Horror: So many examples. Magic only expands on the kind of body horror that can take place.
    • It's possible to lose a limb to fade, like Simon, Fin, Della and Nell.
    • Guts' leg got crushed in a mining accident.
    • Egon has the literal mouth of a monster, which he covers up with a mask.
    • Magnus, a homunculus, is capable of losing limbs and later sewing them back on, though.
  • Body Snatcher: Perdix could possess Icarus temporarily.
  • Bookcase Passage: A bookshelf in the library swings open to reveal a staircase that leads down to the Catacombs.
  • Books That Bite: A few of the books in the library have a bit of an appetite.
  • Building of Adventure: It's entirely possible to have a death-defying adventure without ever leaving the campus.
  • By the Power of Grayskull!: Cards are required to call out a phrase in order to use the power of their Card. The phrase is up to the Card, since it requires some kind of verbal trigger but it isn't always super specific.
  • Calling Your Attacks: Egyptian magic needs to be written down and verbalized to activate it. It can lead to some very badass battle cries.
  • The Cameo: Gert, Lily, Carrmin, Sharyn, and Sharrika are all cameos of previous characters from another magical school roleplay.
  • Cast Full of Gay: Magic literally makes you gay. There's no such thing as a straight character, or if there is, not for long.
  • Cast Herd: Characters tend to group up into groups of five or six and earn nicknames that often reflect the whole group.
  • Cast of Snowflakes: It's practically a canonical requirement to have something special or something heavy on your shoulders to attend Merlin.
  • Characterization Marches On: Characters will often change after the first few times being played as the players get a feel for them, but some also lose some traits from one semester to the next.
  • Characters Dropping Like Flies: Potato's first event had the two only NPCs previously met both biting the dust in different, horrific ways.
  • Chilly Reception: Pepito made a nasty first impression on the Other Kids, and his reputation hasn't improved very much with them.
  • Circles of Hell: The Nine Circles make up the Domain of the Dead, ruled by Lucifer. Each Circle punishes souls for a different sin.
  • City of Adventure: Justus, with plenty happening every day, both magic and mundane.
  • City with No Name: Town Over, the town next to Justus, and Town Across, the town across the river accessible by ferry.
  • Class Representative: Each house has a house representative, responsible for attending meetings concerning each house's necessities and planning certain activities. They're something like a prefect and an RA rolled up into one.
  • Color-Coded Characters: Each character has a specific color that they're associated with, and often has a color scheme they tend to dress in to go with it.
  • Combined Energy Attack: Interelementwielding, a complicated technique that involves two or more magicks combining their elements to create something new. Combing elements can result in almost anything from glass to lava.
  • Common Tongue: There are very few communication difficulties at Merlin due to the Headmaster's language debarrier. Characters interpret any speech as their own language, so while there may be a few mishaps with grammar and the like everything is more or less understandable.
  • Conlang: Ian created a new computer language to translate magic into computer data, which included developing a math system to work within it.
  • Conveniently Coherent Thoughts: Zig-zagged with elf empathy. Elves can communicate with animals based off their empathy, yes, but it isn't exact thoughts and they can only get a general idea of what the animal is feeling. It takes practice to speak with them effectively.
  • The Corruption: Taint and fade corrupt one's body in different ways when you tip the balance of power in the world too much in one direction or the other.
  • Crazy Enough to Work: "A stupid plan that's ridiculous but it might do the trick" might as well be Janus's motto.
  • Crazy-Prepared:
    • Unit 53 thought ahead for several parts of their plans, staying ahead of the game until nearly the end.
    • On the flipside, Unit 17 has about two dozen backup plans to their other dozen backup plans.
  • Create Your Own Villain: Ezrael does this twice with two different people. In the first arc, he whispered in Vivian's ear until she snapped. In the third arc, he literally created Ahellia from himself, only for her to end up acting not quite how he expected.
  • The Croc Is Ticking: Vivian was often preceded by lighthearted humming.
  • Custom Uniform: So long as students follow a few regulations, they can customize their uniform as much as they please.
  • Cute Kitten: Tomas is home to two; Hmm, a cat that moved in a few years ago, and a white cat that's been around Tomas as long as anyone can remember.
  • Dances and Balls: The Academy holds two parties a year: the Halloween Party and the Holiday Ball. These parties are usually heavily dreaded, since something always goes wrong during them.
  • Dangerous Forbidden Technique: Spells that induce taint or fade are outlawed, since they're extremely dangerous and likely fatal to the caster.
  • Dark Is Evil: Taint is a black, dusty substance that spreads on contact and eats away at one's body until it's all that's left.
  • Dark Is Not Evil: Luna is a chaotic, ever-changing substance, but without it, the world would be little more than a simple structure.
  • Dark Secret: Just about every student has something—no, almost every character. Secrets range from being a literal mask to turning half-fish to actual murder to accidentally stealing a magical hotspot that was the only thing keeping a couple very angry gods at bay.
  • Demihuman: Elves and dwarves, along with any partial fae that manage onto the Academy's roster and any combinations in between.
  • Devil, but No God: Sort of. There is, canonically, a Lucifer that oversees Hell, and he has no counterpart in his job. However, he is a Deity, a race of superbeings that together rule over various Domains of the world, and they were created by another Deity...
  • Disaster Dominoes: Arc I was a small mistake that led to a bigger mistake, which led to an even big mistake, which snowballed into an even bigger mistake...
  • Do-Anything Robot: Ian's personal robot, Socket. It's an incredibly versatile robot that can do just about anything: connect to his phone, display 3D projections, channel magic, pick up objects, record video, talk...
  • The Dragons Come Back: Well, dragon. The Black Dragon was released by Unit 13, laid waste to the Academy and Justus, and then flew off to wreak more havoc until the Secret Organization took it out.
  • Family of Choice:
    • Several friend groups end up simply adopting each other as family, as they're more preferable than their actual families.
    • In an amusing example, Shanta and End have been adopted by Muna's family, to the point that they call Zoya and Barad Mom and Dad. Even Simon has been adopted somewhat; Houri and Melissa call him Uncle.
  • Fantastic Fireworks: Justus' New Year's festival ends with a fireworks show that is truly something to behold.
  • Fate Worse than Death: Being banished to the Duat means returning to your body is virtually impossible. The deeper you are, the harder it is to get back. (And without a soul, a body doesn't last very long...)
  • Fantasy Pantheon: The Deities, a race of superbeings that protect and are protected by the various Domains in the world.
  • Finger-Forced Smile: Scarlett's only option to make herself physically smile. It was quite sad and cute at the same time.
  • Fish People: Sirens, mermaids, and naiads all live in the ocean, though naiads and sirens are the fishiest of the three.
  • Flash Step: The spell, Fleet Feet, speeds up the target to high speeds.
  • Forced to Watch: Public punishments were a required watch during the CEE era, such as Naomi's infamous outing and subsequent expulsion.
  • Foreshadowing:
    • Vivian shared her name with Vivienne (albeit a different spelling), who transformed Merlin into the Oak in the first place.
    • Musoke never had any head accessories to act as horns, foreshadowing their mortal status.
  • Formulaic Magic: Designing magitech and writing the code for it involves quiet a bit of clever know-how. Ian invented a language called mathemagicks to streamline the coding process.
  • Gambit Pileup: Arc III is rife with this. Unit One wants to destroy the Oak, Unit Seventeen wants to escape from the Pact and avoid Serafina, Serafina wants to escape the Pact and help Seventeen, and nobody really knows what the Leira still wants...
  • Game Changer: According to the general rules of the world, if you use taint-inducing magic, you get tainted and will die. However, Brands are a workaround to this rule, tainting an object instead of the caster, which makes them extremely useful to the Blood Pact.
  • GMPC: Bethany, a fictional personality created by the captain to sneak a villain in under the guise of a new player.
  • Glowing Eyes: A healer's eyes glint with their magic color as they cast Diagnose.
  • Good Is Not Nice: Though the Council is undoubtedly against the Pact and is dedicated to its destruction, their methods of going about it aren't much better than the Pact's.
  • Good Wings, Evil Wings: Divinity wings tend to reflect the owner's personality or life experiences. Some are batlike, some are feathery, some are bloody, etc. Marianne infamously has a pair of black dragon wings.
  • Graying Morality: Characters with black-and-white views often do not last long, or they change their tune and gradually become more jaded.
  • Great Offscreen War: The Great Magick War between the humans, elves, and dwarves, which took place centuries previous.
  • Guinea Pig Family: The Woods are the best example, with Adel and Monika using their own children as experiment fodder. The Delrayes are another.
  • Guys Smash, Girls Shoot: Inverted with Simon and Marianne. Simon's specialty is firing off fingers from his Artificial Limb like bullets or throwing magic back at anyone that shoots it at him. Mari, on the other hand, prefers to smash through things like a buxom Incredible Hulk.
  • Half-Breed Discrimination: Half-breeds already have a rough time, but the Council's treatment of half-breeds and nonhumans is sickening. Half-breeds are treated like garbage and given harsher punishments while nonhumans manage to skirt around a lot of regulations.
  • Happy Rain: Naomi and Ari caused a thunderstorm to put out the fires, and the resulting rain was happy indeed.
  • Harmful to Touch: Taint, which can spread easily through physical touch, even from person to person.
  • Healing Spring: The Fairy Spring and Fairy Pool, located respectively in Nimue's Forest and the Catacombs, are homes to fairies that are willing to let you use the water to heal so long as you ask first.
  • Hidden Elf Village: Many, many elven communities and other magick communities are hidden away from mundanes via spheres of influence or other illusion magic. A few examples include Shanta's village and Camelot, Gwen's hometown.
  • High-School Dance: The Academy throws two parties a year—the Halloween Party and Holiday Ball. Shit tends to go down at them.
  • Historical In-Joke: The London Fire of 1666? Yeah, that was the Black Dragon. Good thing it's dead now.
  • Humans Are Leaders: The majority of the Council is made up of humans. No wonder most of their decisions are questionable.
  • Improbable Food Budget: Where does the school get all their food anyway?
  • Immortality Begins at Twenty: Zig-zagged. Elves' aging slows down greatly around twenty years old, but they are by no means immortal.
  • Important Haircut: Characters will often chop off their hair for various reasons. Shanta cut hers as an act of rebellion, Ari out of necessity, and Gil cut his while transitioning.
  • Improvised Weapon: Mages are pretty much made up of this trope, as they can channel through anything they pick up or put their hand on. This can be just about anything, from pearls to nail polish to eyeshadow to a wall of solid rock.
  • The Infiltration: The Infiltrator on any unit is the spy of the unit, slipping in and assimilating to whatever they must. In some cases, it's a school. In others, it's the Secret Organization.
  • Informed Ability: Some characters may have traits that may never get revealed, due to simply not having the place to show off the skills or due to the player. Both scenarios are understandable.
  • In Love with the Mark: Marianne was supposed to arrest the Merchant for illegal smuggling and several other charges. Instead, she fell in love with him and ended up becoming his fiance six years later. Good going.
  • Instant Runes:
    • Egyptian magic creates these in the process of casting.
    • Magic circles can also count, if the tamer is skilled enough.
  • Intimate Healing: The spell Defibrillate may be the fastest way to wake someone up, but considering the method, many people would prefer just to wait for the target to wake up.
  • I Shall Taunt You: Cati tried to pull this on Naomi when she broke into her house for the second time. Naomi delivered a physical Shut Up, Hannibal! with her fist.
  • It Makes Sense in Context: Adventures can regularly make zero sense at all when casually mentioned, which can often lead to a Flat "What".
  • Jackass Genie: An ambiguously gendered genie is currently flying around because it was freed to make room in its lamp for a carpet soul. Right, that won't have consequences later.
  • Journey to the Center of the Mind: The mindscape is the inside of one's mind, with every little thing symbolizing some portion of their past or personality.
  • Kids Are Cruel:
    • Ian was bullied frequently to varying degrees, from getting tripped at lunch to being choked in a locker.
    • Icarus was a huge shit as a child, as was Gil.
    • Seth had no issue throwing his sister into the side of a building, but then again, he was possessed by Apophis at the time.
    • Alex claims he killed someone. Teo found out this isn't the case; the truth is much more complicated.
    • Oliver Played Kayla, turning her into a puppet without free will.
    • Llyr and her sisters, Barreli and Eele, were forced into this trope via Anenome.
  • The Law of Conservation of Detail: If something is mentioned, it's best to pay attention to it during an event. No detail is too small. A great example: the cockroaches that were actually tiny electronic bugs.
  • Layered World: The Duat is another plane of existence layered onto the physical plane. Likewise, the Domain of the Dead exists in the same sort of "space" as the physical plane, enabling Lucifer to step foot on Earth and still stay within his bounds according to Deity rules.
  • Leaning on the Fourth Wall: Characters will occasionally make mention of the "gods" (read: players) controlling them, or will otherwise poke fun at the fact that they exist wholly in a text medium.
  • Light Is Good: Sol, one of the building blocks of the world, exists in its purest form as a solid block of light. Without it, the world would dissolve into chaos and have no order.
  • Light Is Not Good: Fade is a substance that forms when one gives themselves more power than the universe can bear. It's white, related to sol, and comes off as white marble.
  • Limited Social Circle:
    • Most characters only interact with their friend group, year, or house, and few others.
    • Averted in Arc III, somewhat; characters have been reaching out beyond their usual friend groups, which are more fluid and loose.
  • Little Bit Beastly: Deities are all mixed with some animal to some degree. Eryl, for example, is a dear. Karyan is a unicorn, Marinel is an angler fish, and so on.
  • Living Labyrinth: Catacomb is a giant, and the Catacombs themselves are his insides. Yuck.
  • Lunacy: Luna is a chaotic form of energy that promotes change and fluidity. Moonlight can also be used to charge some magical objects, such as Rowan's glasses.
  • Magic Mirror:
    • Faust hid a Reflection in a mirror.
    • Ronna was trapped inside a mirror for about a century before she was released.
  • Magitek:
    • The magick world has been improving its magitech in leaps and bounds, with Schillertech taking the lead in the technological age.
    • Jun's channeler is a small microchip implanted in the base of her skull. It essentially turns her brain into a computer; she can use it to connect to any other tech in the area.
  • Magical Underpinnings of Reality: Most things in the universe are controlled by magical beings to some degree. Specifically, the creation of the world involved the Deities, a race of superbeings that protect and are protected by various domains of the planet.
  • Major Injury Underreaction: Characters that get mortally injured will often try to write it off as no big deal.
    Lyn@Fate > guess who got SHOT in the STOMACH ✌️
    Lyn@Fate > hint: it was me
    Lyn@Fate > its ok I lived
  • Masquerade The mundane world, for the most part, doesn't realize the magick world exists. Exceptions are few and far between.
  • Medium Awareness: Occasionally characters will display awareness that they only exist within a textual medium.
    Cole: I don't know what a gang is.
    Cole: Suddenly I can't read.
    Bonnie: We're speaking to you.
    Cole: We are communicating over a text based medium and thus Suddenly I Can't Read.
  • Membership Token: Workers around the cities with a pentagram pin are magicks in disguise that can lead one to the hidden side of the store or offer a secret menu.
  • Muggles: Mundanes. They lack magic and (usually) Sight, and are more or less unaware of the magical side of the city.
  • Mythology Gag:
    • Gert, a character from a prior roleplay that happens to live in the area.
    • Also Lily and Sharrika, along with a few hidden GEIOW references sprinkled around the world.

    Tropes N to Z 
  • Nature Spirit: Elves are a refined type of nature spirit, created from a touch of luna and molded by the First Elf.
  • Near-Death Experience: You'd be hard-pressed to find a character that hasn't had a near-death experience at this point. Near-death experiences can be and are not limited to taint, guns, blades, cave-ins, irate family members, monsters of unspeakable horror, electricity, closets, and hot ice women.
  • Nobody Poops: The only thing a bathroom is good for is holding a dimension rip.
  • Non-Human Sidekick: Many characters will have companions that are usually animals but not always. Some examples include dogs, phoenixes, robots, fairies, cats that aren't actually cats, and zombies.
  • No OSHA Compliance: There are dragons in the forest, dimensional rips that open and close without warning that students have never returned from, a Lotus-Eater Machine that is all to easy to find and is home to an Eldritch Abomination (the entrance to which is in a town of Muggles), and to top it all off a terrorist group that enjoys making frequent visits to the area. How the school hasn't closed down at least temporarily is a wonder.
  • No Such Agency: Secret Organization? What Secret Organization?
  • Oddly Common Rarity: Mundanes that can See are stated to be extremely rare, yet many pop up all over the place. Justified in-universe—Merlin's Oak is naturally a Weirdness Magnet, so those with Sight tend to be drawn to the area.
  • Older Than They Look:
    • Elves' aging slows way the hell down by about their twenties, but special mention goes to End, whose body was in a stasis-like state for over a century, and Carrmin, who is fused with a Deity and is permanently twelve.
    • Ezrael is very old—and yet he looks to be in his twenties. Demons age funny that way.
  • Old Money: Several prominent families, including the Lockwoods, the Gambinos, and the Delafontaines.
  • One-Hit Kill: Vivian's Death Pulse killed any living thing in her path without distinction.
  • Only the Chosen May Wield: Only current students and faculty at the Academy, regardless of how bad the situation is, have any chance at borrowing Merlin's power. Everyone else is out of luck.
  • Organic Technology: Golems and homunculi are essentially organic robots, though homunculi are closer to humans.
  • Our Demons Are Different: Demons make up Lucifer's subjects, and come in various types, though all can shift their appearance to some degree. Others are noncorporeal, others still can build up a huge amount of power, and some can cause illusions that leave very real and deadly wounds.
  • Our Fairies Are Different: Fairies come in thousands of different species and differ with their environment. The desert fae are much more reptilian than one would first expect, for example, and cave fae don't have eyes.
  • Our Ghosts Are Different: The dead stick around if they have unfinished business, don't leave until they've finished said unfinished business, and tend to be attached to whatever said unfinished business is. Some ghosts will instead become shades, like Perdix, or will attach themselves to a person, such as Renee.
  • Our Homunculi Are Different: Homunculi, at least perfect homunculi, are incredibly difficult to create and are formed from various body parts. Failed experiments, at least those created by Maker, are simply referred to as the Parvum.
  • Our Mermaids Are Different: Mermaids, so long as they have a source of water, can remain topside indefinitely and can even temporarily shift their tail into legs to walk around.
  • Our Souls Are Different: Souls are the batteries that keep a body moving. In most cases, once someone dies, their soul returns to a great flow, but there are certainly other circumstances...
  • Oxygenated Underwater Bubbles: There is a spell called Bubble which creates a sphere of water that can be used as a makeshift breathing helmet when moving underwater.
  • Pensieve Flashback: Muna's crystal necklace, as well as Aster's specialty magic, permits the user to view memories held in objects.
  • Phlebotinum Battery: The sun and moon act as different types of chargers for charmed objects.
  • Pocket Dimension: There's a lot scattered around the Justus area, with rips in space-time being caused by the Oak's monstrous power. The most well-known are the fairy tale dimension in Janus Dorms and the Care Bear dimension of unspeakable horrors. Pocket dimensions also exist in different capacities, such as magic mirrors being doors to very small ones.
  • Pointy Ears: Elves and any magick with elf blood often keep pointed tips in their ears. Dwarves, by contrast, have boxier, squarer ears.
  • Poison-and-Cure Gambit: Unit 53's Evil Plan involved infecting nearly everyone in the Justus area with a magic-consuming curse. They tried to bargain the antidote for a legalization law, but failed.
  • Police Are Useless: Averted with the Secret Organization. For once, the adults actually do something.
  • Poor Communication Kills: There are plenty of conflicts and plots that could be easily solved if people would just talk.
  • Port Town: Town Across is a rich port town across the river. It's the ideal place for anyone with some cash to spend.
  • Power Gives You Wings: Divinity is a spell that grants the caster wings. Shanta also has a magic feather that gives her wings, which she prefers to use to get around instead of her magic carpet.
  • Power Glows: Casters will usually glow when casting magic.
  • Power Incontinence: Marianne and Valentina both have a mutation that makes their magic extremely potent and difficult to control. Marianne has much more trouble keeping her magic in check, especially when her emotions run rampant.
  • Power-Strain Blackout:
    • Ari and Cas passed out due to overuse of magic during the final battle of the Vivian Arc.
    • Marianne passed out after the Black Dragon attacked protecting Simon.
    • Ziza passed out after canceling out Apophis's cataclysmic-level spell with a purifying spell of her own.
    • Sage passed out after literally making the rain stop.
  • Protective Charm: Improbability and Turtle are anyone's go-to for defensive magic.
  • Quirky Miniboss Squad: Every antagonistic Unit of the Blood Pact, except together they make a quirky boss squad.
  • Ridiculously Cute Critter:
    • Pigolem, Bambi's pig that's actually her brother.
    • Cinnamon, first Sylvia and then Cabbage's tiny demon.
    • Moby, Raid's owl.
  • Robot Buddy: Socket, Ian's personal robot that he built and programmed himself. Although he's mentioned making it commercially available, so far he hasn't started plans for it.
  • Ruins for Ruins' Sake: There's a mass of underground ruins in the Catacombs that have yet to be explained. They're just... there.
  • Ruling Family Massacre: The Niveres, the ruling family of Camelot, was slaughtered by a Council agent. Gwen was spared mainly because she was a baby and she slept through it.
  • Save the Villain:
    • Marianne saved Lara's life, and in return Lara finally came back into her full power and rebelled against Ezrael.
    • Marianne also unwittingly saved Sage, the Leader of Unit Seventeen. Fortunately, they turned out to be the good guys.
  • Scarily Competent Tracker:
    • The Elfslayer was terrifyingly good at finding and killing elves in isolated parts of town.
    • Jack the Ripper can track Irene through the scent of her blood.
  • Sealed Good in a Can: Merlin's Oak is the man transformed. While he can't move, he still has limited power over his surroundings, and seems to be growing stronger as he's beginning to reach out and communicate to living people.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: Ezrael has a tendency to run when he thinks the situation's out of his control.
  • Secret Test of Character: The Gold Dragon offers a sort of trial to test if someone is worthy of receiving one of its treasures.
  • See the Invisible: Keen Eye is a spell that reveals what ordinary vision cannot.
  • Seen It All: By third and fourth year, students are often fairly used to the strange goings on at the school.
  • Shouldn't We Be in School Right Now?: For a roleplay that takes place at a school, there are rarely any classroom RPs.
  • Sliding Scale of Idealism vs. Cynicism: A common theme among students between first and second semester. Students that are cheerful first semester will often be jaded and more cynical second.
  • Speaks Fluent Animal: Elves can communicate with animals through their heightened empathy, but it works a little differently than direct contact. Rather, using their empathy, elves are able to discern an animal's feelings, and, through experience, can interpret their thoughts through that.
  • Speech-Centric Work: The majority of the roleplay takes place in a live chat, so most of the roleplaying itself is dialogue based.
  • Solar and Lunar: Sol and Luna, the two building blocks of the world.
  • Some Kind of Force Field: The spells Improbability and Turtle function as smaller shields. Sphere of Influence can act as a force field on a larger scale, depending on the rules of the sphere.
  • Soul Jar: Magic lamps are these, and are usually used to capture genies. They can be used for other types of spirits as well.
  • Spontaneous Weapon Creation: Magicks can create weapons out of Blade or other offensive spells, usually customized to their liking.
  • Summon Magic: Summoners can bond items or animals to a sigil and call on them whenever they please.
  • Summon to Hand: The Summon spell can summon just about anything to the caster's hand—other than their channeler.
  • Super Empowering: Merlin allows students—only present students, mind you—to tap into his power and perform incredible feats. He doesn't, however, trust adults and rarely allows even the faculty to do this.
  • Super Mode: Marinna and Naomi's siren forms give them a power boost.
  • Super Weapon, Average Joe: Simon has a pair of gloves that emit blasts of power. However, for him, at least, it was a one-time use.
  • Taken for Granite: Fade is a marble-like, stony substance that essentially turns people into living statues if allowed to spread.
  • Technicolor Eyes: Elves' eyes can be just about any color of the rainbow, with the sole exception of blue (and red, which is a color unavailable to the big three in general.) Their actual eye color often varies depending on their ethnicity; for example, desert elves often have yellow and orange eyes, while forest elves will usually favor purple and green.
  • Teleportation: The most popular way of getting around In-Universe is teleport circles, which are a pair of magic circles that teleport to a specific spot. Warp tiles are also shown as an alternative to elevators, though they work differently and aren't as popular.
  • Tension-Cutting Laughter: After the rain began falling after the Black Dragon attack, Naomi began to laugh.
  • Time Skip: Occurs at the end of every arc—the first one was two years, but the new norm is a four-year time skip to fill the school with a brand new generation each time.
  • Training the Gift of Magic: The Academy's goal is to refine and train each student's magical power, and they do this by offering as broad a curriculum as possible.
  • Translator Microbes: The Academy boasts a powerful sphere of influence known as the language debarrier, which covers the entire tri-town area. The debarrier allows people to hear others in their native language, albeit with the accent of the speaker. The only exception is nonhuman languages.
  • Trapped in Another World: Unfortunately, this can sometimes be the case with dimensional rips. It's usually difficult to escape unless you complete a story or a puzzle.
  • True Companions: Friend groups often become inseparable after the joined trauma of simply attending the Academy.
  • True Sight: Sight, with a capital S, is the ability to see the world as it truly is. In the case of the inversion, Blindness is the inability to see magic altogether. Instead of seeing the world as it is, Blind people see instead what they consider "normal"—a horse instead of a unicorn, butterflies instead of fairies, etc.
  • Truth Serum: Veritaserum, ripped straight from Harry Potter, is a potion that forces the drinker to tell the truth. From their perspective, anyway.
  • Underwater Ruins: There are several of these along Wales' coastline. Naomi claims they are leftovers of a siren society, but those are completely unfounded.
  • Undisclosed Funds:
    • Several characters, notably students, spend money without any explanation of where it comes from.
    • Averted in the case of Harta, in that he has no money and no way to get any.
  • Weather Manipulation: It's possible to cause this on a smaller scale with interelement magic. Using Merlin's Oak as a magic amplifier makes it possible to really change the weather.
  • Weirdness Censor: Glamour is a type of magic that can hide the true appearance of things, even from those with Sight.
  • Weirdness Magnet: Justified in that Merlin's Oak is an extremely powerful magical hotspot, and that people are going to be looking for ways to exploit it if possible.
  • Worldbuilding: Merlin is the sum of multiple people's efforts, not just one. As such, the worldbuilding is a communal effort, and the world gradually becomes richer as it grows older.
  • World Limited to the Plot: Defied. Character events are often trips out into real world locations, usually via a teleport circle or an airplane.
  • World Tree: Invoked by Merlin's Oak; it's a massive oak that emanates a HUGE amount of power. Any and all magicks in its radius get a power boost.
  • Writing Around Trademarks: Merky Mouse Clubhouse, and of course, Five Nights at Frank's, featuring Frank the Bear, Ronnie the Rabbit, Chuck the Duck, and Doxxy the Pirate.
  • You Are Number 6: The Pet Project, a prologue to Arc III, featured many characters that were assigned numbers and letters rather than names. The survivors of the ordeal were L6 (Sage), Sh4 (Labron), Sc8 (Jun), T7 (Saidi), and B2 (Paz). Characters that didn't survive included L4 (Catherine) and L2 (Hani).
  • You Can't Fight Fate: A common theme, with a more positive spin. Merlin is able to see those who have a greater fate than others, and calls for them to attend the Academy so they have a better chance of emotionally and physically surviving their incoming trials. Having so many people around them going through the same thing is also a helpful support system.


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