Follow TV Tropes


Video Game / The Trader of Stories

Go To
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 the future games are going to have more diverse cast.

Developers' blog is found here.


The series so far consists of:


Tropes in The Trader of Stories:

  • Alchemy Is Magic: Bell's Heart features potion making.
  • The Alcoholic: The inn patron in Bell's Heart. Claims it's due to being spooked by the ghost. The bartender doesn't mind much, since the guy drinks enough for 6 people.
  • All There in the Manual: In Bell's Heart Myosotis carries the manual (helpfully written for her by her sister). You don't need to access it to win the game, it's pure Worldbuilding.
  • Alternative Calendar: A Grain of Truth measures years in "Blossoms" and days in "Breaths".
  • And the Adventure Continues: Bell's Heart ends that way.
  • Animalistic Abomination: In the climax of Chapter I, the, for lack of better word, monstrous wolfeer that somehow ends up in the Forest. Wolfeers run away from it.
  • Anti-Frustration Features:
    • Clickable areas can be highlighted via a button, preventing a Pixel Hunt.
    • The second game has a map that acts as a Warp Whistle.
  • The Anti-Nihilist: The general tone of Wiseman's talk with Myosotis is: stop obsessing over your past, girl, and make use of the time you have!
  • Ambiguously Brown: Myosotis resembles a Romani or a Native American in looks and dress (but is actually neither, since it's a Constructed World.)
  • Awful Truth: A Grain of Truth hints there might be something really, really bad in Myo's past, and the Wiseman knows all about it. But won't tell. She might be a Living MacGuffin, Chosen One and/or Dark Messiah — or possibly just very unlucky.
  • Badass Mustache: The elder trees' bark grows in a way that resembles bushy mustaches.
  • Barefoot Sage: The Wiseman.
  • Bed Trick: In Bell's Heart a girl in the village did this to Derrida, causing said person to become the ghost in the lake. And the real father of the present-day mayor.
  • Breaking the Fourth Wall: Myosotis, in the second game, talks back to the player when asked to do things she deems stupid. Some characters even ask who she's talking to.
  • But Thou Must!: The goddess Willow really doesn't want to cause the Oak additional pain by reopening His wound to get fresh sap, but it's the only way.
  • Call a Smeerp a "Rabbit": The people of Forest Bed sometimes use words we know in different ways. For example they call their steeds "horses" despite them being different sorts of creatures.
    • "Breaths" are their days, "Blossoms" are their years. Justified Trope — the light in this world comes from the Great Tree, in 24 hour cycles resembling our days, and the Tree's blossoming marks years.
  • The Call Left a Message: Dew's sword has been patiently waiting in its box since before Baccataxus came back from his travels. And that's a long time ago.
  • Cerebus Syndrome: A Grain of Truth is (until the ending, that is) Lighter and Softer than the whimsical Bell's Heart, but also much harder (with more classical Point-and-Click puzzles).
  • Charm Person: Bell's Heart. By means of a magical charm.
  • Chick Magnet: Derrida in Bell's Heart. He only has eyes for the school teacher though, despite the racial divide.
  • Cruelty Is the Only Option: Ingredients for the two potions in Bell's Heart include: cat's fur, hair of the person you want charmed, an amulet and a pot to boil these together — and the last two you have to swipe from the old lady's house. Okay, maybe she doesn't mind much, but you only find this out if you talk to her, and you don't have to.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Myosotis, more so in the second game.
    • Also, the wiseman in the same game.
  • Did We Just Have Tea with Cthulhu?: The Wiseman has a heart-to-heart with... someone who knows way more than a human ought to. Also communes with the Tree.
  • Disabled Deity: In the story Myo learns in prequel Chapter I, goddess Willow weeps so hard her eyes become dull and unseeing .
  • Divine Conflict: In the backstory we learn in Chapter I one of the many things it led to was creation of the Dancing Trees in an attempt to Restart the World. It was suitably world-shattering.
  • Does Not Like Shoes: Myo, as expected of anyone dressed like a Hot Gypsy Woman.
    • And also the Wiseman.
  • Drowning My Sorrows: Omorica after it turns out Pinutros was interested in her sister, not her.
  • 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 talk like Yoda) about the Force.
  • Dub Name Change: First Born Jaśmin turns into Cedar in English, because "Jasmine" would be too girly.
  • Fanservice: Some of the poses Myosotis strikes in Chapter 1 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.
  • 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.
  • 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 Living Things: The Wiseman is unbothered by a bird nesting in his hair. Couple of years before Radagast, no less!
  • Foreshadowing: The ending of the second game 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.
  • Glowing Eyes of Doom: Wolfeers have glowing red eyes visible from offscreen.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Love Letter: A clue to the Bell's Heart story.
  • Narrator: Intros and outros feature narration by Myo herself.
  • Magical Guide: The Wiseman.
  • Meaningful Name: Myosotis is the scientific name of forget-me-not.
  • Mini-Game: Mahjong and jigsaw puzzle in A Grain of Truth.
  • 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."
  • 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.
  • 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 wakens from connecting with the Great Oak, she finds that it's been 10 "Blossoms" (years).
  • Quirky Town: Everywhere she goes, Myosotis meets people of unusual personalities or occupations (some more than others).
  • 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.
  • Spot of Tea: 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.
  • Star-Crossed Lovers: The theme of Bell's Heart.
  • 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).
  • Steam Punk: Mild example — the wiseman owns scientific equipment including a movie projector.
  • Story Breadcrumbs: Myo gathers them. It's her job.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.


Example of: