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Video Game / The Trader of Stories

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Myosotis playing her flute

The Trader of Stories (also known as The Big Old Tree That Dreams) is a series of indie Adventure Games set in the very beautiful world of Forest Bed. The games, produced by the Polish brothers Marek and Marcin Rudowski [1] are of the point-and-click sort and web-based — just click the link to play.

The first installments star a young woman named Myosotis, a traveler who makes it her business to buy stories from people — because, suffering from a severe case of Laser-Guided Amnesia, she hopes to find the story that is her own. Word of God says that future games are going to have a more diverse cast. In flashback / story sequences of the prequels the player characters are the protagonists of the particular story, eg. for Willow's part of Chapter I the point-of-view character is Willow.

The developers' blog is found here.


The series so far consists of:

  • Bell's Heart: When her cart breaks down, Myosotis is forced to stop in a small town with quite a romantic legend of a haunted lake. In the course of her investigation, she discovers how romantic the story really is. Play it here.
  • A Grain of Truth: In her search of a wiseman who might know where to find her past, Myosotis must first unravel the mystery of the Floating Rocks. Play it here.
  • Trader of Stories, Chapter I: The first of a number of planned prequel games that deal with Myo's backstory, this one tells of the time she spent in the Forest of Dancing Trees immediately after contracting the Laser-Guided Amnesia. Play it here.
  • Trader of Stories, Chapter II: After spending nearly a Blossoming in the human city of Bark, Myo's life seems fairly ordered. She works as a waitress and storyteller in Gofung's teashop, has aquaintances, if not friends, and generally makes do. But the amnesia still bothers her, alongside an odd sense of not belonging. Until a Tall, Dark, and Handsome mysterious guest arrives... Play it here.

Tropes in The Trader of Stories:

  • Dream Stealer: A gang of these in Chapter II. Dreams are then used to produce a Fantastic Drug. Losing your dreams results in a depression-like illness.
  • Drowning My Sorrows: Omorica after it turns out it was her sister Pinutros has an interest in, not her.
  • Dub Name Change: First Born Jaśmin turns into Cedar in English, because "Jasmine" would be too girly.
  • Early Installment Weirdness: Bell's Heart is the only game without option to highlight clickable areas.
  • Easter Egg:
    • Ask the Captain in A Grain of Truth if her crew has a long-standing tradition of brewing.
    • Try asking the Wise Man (who talks like Yoda) about the Force.
  • Emissary from the Divine: Enora, the prophet and founder of the Servants of Voice.
  • The Exile: In Chapter II, Scath was exiled by the Shadowchildren for vaguely defined reasons. Dew, however, was exiled for breaking a specific law.
  • Expansion Pack Past: The glimpse we get of Myo's amnesia in A Grain of Truth kind of suggests that she awoke surrounded by people who told her her name and so on. It turns out that she spent Blossomings with people who knew no more about her than she did, before finally meeting someone who recognised her.
  • The Fagin: In Chapter II, Scath is one for the dream thieves, because he needs them - only a small, lightweight kid can fly a kite to catch a dream before it falls back to the dreamer.
  • The Fair Folk: Very mild — the Icy Butterflies are perfectly friendly, but wary of humans and inscrutable. The Dancing Trees fit the "Hidden Elf Village deep in the forest" mould.
  • Fanservice: Some of the poses Myosotis strikes in Chapter I are rather egregious.
  • Fantastic Racism: A mild example in Bell's Heart: Humans and "Butterflies" are forbidden to marry; while not an open hate thing, it still causes tragedy.
    • Also, the people of Bark are suspicious of Growls (Shadowchildren).
  • Fantasy Pantheon: The First Born, children of the Great Oak. They are all named after trees. Upon taking the role of The Sacred Darkness, Birch shed her old identity and renamed herself Voice. Most of Myo's stories feature them and their Classical Mythology worthy exploits.
  • First Kiss: In Chapter II, you can give Ugo his.
  • Floral Theme Naming:
    • Myosotis is the scientific name of the "forget-me-not" flowers.
    • In flashback sequences of the prequels we meet some of the Oak's Children, who are all named directly after trees.
    • The Dancing Trees tend to take their personal names from botanical nomenclature.
  • Friend to All Children: In both prequel games so far, Myo ends up looking after the kids.
  • Friend to All Living Things: The Wiseman is unbothered by a bird nesting in his hair. Couple of years before Radagast, no less!
  • Foreshadowing: The ending of A Grain of Truth hints at the possible destruction of the world in the near future, and Myosotis' amnesia is somehow connected to it.
  • Give the Baby a Father: Happened in the story Myo discovers in Bell's Heart.
  • A Glitch in the Matrix: To break out of her artificially-induced dream in Chapter II, Myo needs to change the pattern of things, effectively creating Glitches in the Matrix.
  • Glowing Eyes of Doom: Wolfeers have glowing red eyes visible from offscreen.
  • God's Hands Are Tied: The Red Codex, a collection of laws that bind the First Born and Guardians, explicitly forbids meddling in the affairs of mortals. It never stopped Rowan. Voice, too, is able to establish her cult quite freely, although after Enora's Vision Quest, most work is done by mortal priestesses anyway.
  • Good Bad Girl: Moralba ain't shy around boys. Or mead. This does not hinder her work in the nursery or her generally helpful personality.
  • Good Smoking, Evil Smoking: Myo smokes a pipe. So does the mayor in Bell's Heart.
  • Grumpy Old Man: Chapter I has Fagusvat, the grumpiest tree ever.
  • Guide Dang It!: Several times. Especially in A Grain of Truth.
  • Hidden Elf Village: The forest of Dancing Trees, for all its The Lost Woods decorations, is one of these. Secluded? Check. Populated by very traditional, yet (mostly) friendly to the lost, helpless protagonist Close-Knit Community of sentients not often met in The Outside World? Yup.
  • High Priest: Mother Superior of the Servants of Voice is a female example (since they're all women in service of the goddess Voice).
  • Historical Hero Upgrade: Possibly. Chapter II begins with Myo's account of how Bark was founded. Later, she's told that her version differs a lot from the official history books, in which Enora was much less manipulative and more saintly. We don't know who's got it right.
  • Holy Is Not Safe: Yes, the Oak's sap is quite holy. It can send you on a Vision Quest, but you're not guaranteed to get back.
  • Home of the Gods: The High Branches of the Oak is where the First Born reside.
  • Horse of a Different Color: Husks are oxen of a different color (that look reptilian, grow bigger than houses and regularly shed their shells). The cloud eater is... an elephant-giraffe-sauropod... never mind.
  • Indecisive Medium: Intros, outros and all the cutscenes are made of static comicbook panels, especially in Bell's Heart. Probably because the demo (later reworked as Bell's Heart) was created as a side story for the comic book the creator wrote while at school.
  • Informing the Fourth Wall: A Grain of Truth at least makes these funny.
  • Interspecies Romance: In Chapter II, Scath's Romance Arc, should you choose it. Optional Sexual Encounter included.
  • Jerkass Gods: Some of the First Born are, notably Rowan, he of meddling with mortals For Science!
  • Job Title: For the series, at least.
  • Kleptomaniac Hero: Myosotis, as befits an Adventure Game heroine (in the second game, she almost sounds proud of it).
  • Laser-Guided Amnesia: Myo knows her own name, recognises her sister, but several years ago has forgotten her entire life story.
    • Possibly justified; she took three Blossoms (the equivalent of years) to come out of the comatose state she was left in after being found. That's plenty long enough to relearn her name and her sister, especially if her sister isn't really her sister at all, but is only a caretaker claiming to be her sister at the request or order of the Guardian.
    • The above is Jossed, or possibly Retconned by Chapter I where we learn exactly how she spent these Blossoms (with the Dancing Trees, not learning her real name, because they didn't know it).
  • Lovable Rogue: Scath in Chapter II has this vibe about him. Except he's not.
  • Love Letter: A clue to the Bell's Heart story.
  • Narrator: Intros and outros feature narration by Myo herself.
  • Magical Guide: The Wiseman.
  • The Masochism Tango: Aumur and Aislin, who seem unable to communicate without verbal abuse. Aislin says they wanted to kill each other when they first met in the university, only to get married this same Blossoming.
  • Meaningful Name: "Myosotis" is the scientific name of forget-me-not.
    • Aislin (dream) for a dream researcher who Cannot Dream herself.
  • Mini-Game: Mahjong and jigsaw puzzle in A Grain of Truth. Sliding puzzles in Chapter II.
  • Mix-and-Match Critters: Several of the wild creatures encountered throughout the series seem to be a mix of two or more different types of animals.
  • Mood Whiplash: Intro of Bell's Heart starts with a dramatic bit of narration that segues into "I would kill for a soft bed right now."
  • Mystical White Hair: In Chapter I and Chapter II, Myo's hair is white, even though it wasn't in Bell's Heart and A Grain of Truth. And, as Adalbert says, it's not her natural colour. What makes it mystical, though, is the fact that somehow she can use a Guardian's sword, which would result in a pretty weird death for a mere mortal. Also, the stories about gods "just come to her, like memories".
  • Nice Guy: The owner of the teahouse, Gofung. Also his son Ugo, who quite obviously carries the torch for Myo (Low-Key Yearning style).
  • One of the Boys: Word of advice - don't call Red "little girl". She's the meanest guy in town.
  • Ontological Mystery: In A Grain of Truth, Myosotis is an Amnesiac Hero, and the floating stones' history is revealed through the game.
  • Painting the Medium: Intro of Bell's Heart is made in the style of a comic book. And suddenly Crack! Goes the wheel and several panels.
  • Parents as People: Gofung is a bit of a Bumbling Dad, but loving and responsible. Aumur and Aislin, however, were so negletful their son ran away from home, but they really, really regret that.
  • Plant Person: The Dancing Trees, or most of the cast in prequel game Chapter I.
  • Prophet Eyes: Lady Willow. Blindness is the first thing Myo notices about her.
  • Railroading: In Bell's Heart potion making puzzle, you're not allowed to put the ingredients into the pot in a different order than the recipe says. And you need a special bottle (obtained in the inn).
  • Reasonable Authority Figure: Ticordata in the Forest of Dancing Trees.
  • Rip Van Winkle:In A Grain of Truth, when Myosotis awakens from connecting with the Great Oak, she finds that it's been ten "Blossoms" (years).
  • Quirky Town: Everywhere she goes, Myosotis meets people of unusual personalities or occupations (some more than others).
  • The Sacred Darkness: Voice is the goddess of the underworld, caretaker of the dead and advisor for those who want redemption.
  • Sacred Scripture: The White Codex for Servants of Voice.
  • Saintly Church: The Servants of Voice. They seem to fill the social niche of Christianity in day-to-day life of Bark, running schools, hospitals and an Orphanage of Love.
  • Scenery Porn: All of the games have absolutely gorgeous graphics and exotic landscapes to explore.
  • Shout-Out:
    • A possible one to Discworld's Duck Man: If you ask the wiseman about the bird on his head, the response is "What bird?".
    • Word of God states that Derrida is named after Jacques Derrida.
  • Sibling Yin-Yang: Chapter I has cutesy, perky Juni and her sister Omorica who holds everything and everyone in utter disdain, the Great Oak included.
  • Small Town Boredom: Aceru is chomping at the bit to leave the forest of Dancing Trees, just like Baccataxus did in his youth.
  • Star-Crossed Lovers: The theme of Bell's Heart.
    • In Chapter II, Dew is set on being with her lover, Red Codex be damned. It ends sadly.
  • Stay in the Kitchen: The Dancing Trees have a traditionalist society were men typically become soldiers and guards while young women all work in the nursery taking care of the seedlings, until they take root and begin bearing seeds of their own. This probably has a strong biological component (becoming immobile is an intrinsic part of their life cycle).
  • Steampunk: Mild example — the Wiseman owns scientific equipment including a movie projector.
  • Story Breadcrumbs: Myo gathers them. It's her job.
  • Story Branching: In Chapter II there are two Love Interests and how the Romance Arc plays out is largely dependent on player's choices. You can actually, ahem, play with both guys, but if you do, Ugo gives you a Did You Think I Can't Feel? and Scath, well. Spoilers.
  • The Storyteller: Myo is this, of course. There's an implication that she has such a gift for it that when she "makes up" elements of a story they're more likely to be true than the official version.
  • Strange-Syntax Speaker: The Wiseman speaks like Yoda, and if you ask him about "force" at the end of the game, he makes a shout-out to him, saying I Always Wanted to Say That.
  • Street Urchin: In Chapter II, Red, Scraggly and Sniffles. Curls, the first of their gang that you meet, acts more like The Artful Dodger. Possibly due to being The Runaway by choice, not an orphan.
  • Stuff Blowing Up: One of the potions you make in Chapter II.
  • Talk Like a Pirate: Part of the Cloud Eater crew.
  • Title Drop: Myosotis is known around the land as the Trader of Stories.
    • The fact that the Big Oak "dreams" is also mentioned. It's dreams take form of the clouds. The floating stones from the Grain of Truth are Oak's dreams in their crystalized form.
  • Trademark Favorite Food: Old lady Willow loves her tea so much she has a tea merchant visit her every couple of Blossomings solely for the purpose of buying some. Or so she says.
  • Traveling Salesman: Myosotis. Selling and buying stories, in hopes that one day, she will meet someone who knows her story.
  • Trauma-Induced Amnesia: As we learn when A Grain of Truth goes the way of Cerebus.
  • Twist Ending: A Grain of Truth.
  • Undying Loyalty: Zephyr hangs around for ten years after Myosotis goes into her trance.
  • Wham Line: The ending of A Grain of Truth. All we're gonna say.
    • For Chapter II, it's:
    Adalbert (pushing through the crowd): Excuse me. Myosotis, is that you? Gods, it is you!
  • We Are as Mayflies: The Dancing Trees live several times longer than humans. One of their older members even mistook several generations of merchants to be the same person changing form each visit.
  • Weird Currency: Acorns of the Great Oak. They're silver in colour, for some reason.
  • Weird Trade Union: The crew of the Cloud Eater in A Grain of Truth. They collect clouds, which in this world are solid (if fluffy) and used to make pillows.
    • Myosotis would qualify too, if there were other story traders.
  • Wise Tree: Dancing Trees take root and become immobile when they age, although wisdom doesn't necessary come with it.
  • Worldbuilding: With love.
  • World Tree: The Big Old Oak, a mountain-sized tree that stands at the center of the world. It can be seen from everywhere, and the locals believe it created the world, so they pray to it.
  • Year Outside, Hour Inside: This happens to both the Wiseman and Myosotis while communing with the Great Tree.