There was a time of myths and creation, a time when gods walked the earth and their disciples served them eagerly. This time was known as the First Age. That time has passed, unfortunately, but the ones who worship these gods remain. Four races, each claiming themselves as the favored children of creation, have done battle with each other since time immemorial. The domineering and highly adaptable humans, the stubborn and defense-minded dwarves, the lithe and mystical elves, and the bloodthirsty, yet surprisingly cooperative, orcs. Even now, tensions are high all across the continent, from sources such as racial conflict, Machiavellian schemers, radical factions, dragons, giant spiders, hordes of the living dead, and extremely ineffectual nobles. And you're plopped down into the crossfire.
Welcome to Illyria.
Illyriad provides examples of the following tropes:
- All There in the Manual: Unlike most web games in its vein, Illyriad has a complex and extremely pervasive backstory. Small snippets of it are revealed in unit descriptions, but most of the information comes from an easily overlooked side page.
- Ambadassador: Saxil of Tundale. He never fights, but his use of careful analysis has saved lives and impressed a lot of people over his long career.
- Asskicking Equals Authority: Every orc faction in the game, as well as the Sma Uruk.
- Badass Army: Bane's Irregulars, Treggar's Crows, King Sigurd's Praetorian Guard... it's easier to list the armies that aren't badass. Even your own army can be this, if you lead them well.
- Bribing Your Way to Victory: Downplayed. Boosts to production and building construction can be purchased, but none of them give players an overwhelming advantage. Plus, the points for said upgrades can be obtained for free every day.
- A Commander Is You: Humans are Balanced, Elves are Elitist/Guerilla, Dwarves are Brute Force, and Orcs are Brute Force/Spammer.
- Deadly Decadent Court: The Council of Illyria has several members and allies that are unhelpful or even harmful, especially the Lannigolds.
- Expy: Several. Most obviously, the Lannigolds, Nordlanders, and Guardians of Zera are highly similar to the Lannisters, Starks, and Night's Watch.
- Savage Wolves: The Foshnu Ob Wulpor, the horse-sized wolves that orcs ride into battle. They're also sentient.
- You Have Researched Breathing: The concept of haggling needs to be researched, and an expensive research option is required to even give your units different equipment.