Follow TV Tropes

Following

Video Game / Wildermyth

Go To

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/wildermyth_header.jpg
Where does your myth lead?
Advertisement:

Wildermyth is a character-driven, procedurally-generated Strategy RPG for PC developed by Worldwalker Games. Featuring a 2D papercraft art style and comic-strip storytelling, the game takes place in a fantasy setting populated by gorgons, psychic insect-like dragons, machine-based undead, and many other strange entities and spirits.

The player starts with a party of three aspiring heroes, each with their own randomly-generated (though customizable) personality traits and backgrounds. These characters, and any new recruits they pick up along the way, evolve through battles and story events. They form relationships, are changed by their experiences, and craft a legend which is recorded into the player's ongoing legacy at the conclusion of each campaign. Each hero in the legacy can return in later campaigns as player characters (and sometimes, NPCs), developing new legends and relationships (or resuming old ones), growing in myth and power with each campaign completed.

Advertisement:

Wildermyth launched in an early-access beta in late 2019 and has the following story campaigns:

  • The three-chapter "Age of Ulstryx", featuring the Gorgons (late 2019).
  • The five-chapter "Enduring War", featuring the Morthagi (late 2019)
  • The five-chapter "Monarchs Under the Mountain", featuring the Deepists (March 2020).
  • The five-chapter "Eluna and the Moth", featuring the Thrixl (October 2020).
  • The five-chapter "All the Bones of Summer", featuring the Drauven (1.0 release, June 2021).
  • The three-chapter "The Sunswallower's Wake", featuring Morthagi, Drauven, and Human foes (January 2022).

The game is available via Steam and itch.io.


    open/close all folders 
Advertisement:
    General Tropes 
  • Aerith and Bob: The random name generator tends to put out mostly Aerith-style fantasy names, with a relatively small number of real names. While the player can reroll as many times as wanted or manually change names, the majority of NPCs will lean toward Aerith names.
  • Alien Fair Folk: Thrixl are Master of Illusion Insectoid Aliens from a parallel world called Terrafact, who just don't get humans that well.
  • Always Chaotic Evil: Subverted. All five of the main enemy types have random events - or in the case of the Morthagi, even an entire campaign - devoted to some of their less villainous traits.
    • The party can find a non-functional Morthagi Sommelier which they can choose to repair. It will then loyally follow and fight with the party for the rest of the campaign... even if the main threat is other Morthagi.
    • The party can have a seemingly wandering Thrixl Seeker contact them in the hopes that the party will accept its aid in fighting the upcoming battle. Beyond a Thrixl calamity card, there is no ill-effect. A party member may also be called by the Thrixl and choose to join them; if they do, their companion will gain a history that notes the Thrixl will never threaten their home, their party, or their people again.
    • The party may encounter a wounded Drauven child. If they choose to help the child and the child lives, a Drauvan calamity card will be removed. In another instance, the party may be trailed by a Drauven warband; if they choose to explain why they're trespassing, the warband will leave them alone.
    • In the Gorgon campaign, it is a warren of Deepists that ultimate provide a cure to restore the god Mo-Atona to the party.
  • Ambidextrous Sprite: Lost or transformed limbs, scars and other asymmetrical features (such as the Gorgonoid Mark from the Age of Ulstryx campaign) will switch sides depending on what direction a character is facing, with the default being to the right based on the arms and legs being labeled L or R.
  • Androcles' Lion: An injured Drauven bird can be nursed back to health and join a party member as a pet, providing a buff to a hero's melee and ranged accuracy.
  • Animorphism: Among the many changes the playable characters can undergo through events is to gain an animal trait, such as having their head and/or limbs transformed into those of a crow (complete with pecking attack), wolf, bear, or frog. Various wings are also possible.
  • An Arm and a Leg: A hero who is defeated in battle but not killed can sometimes lose a limb. Maimed heroes rejoin the adventure after a period of recuperation, replacing any lost limb with a makeshift prosthesis such as a peg leg. At least one story event can also result in a hero sacrificing a limb to escape a grim situation. Certain transformation effects can result in the lost limb growing back, albeit not in the same form.
  • And the Adventure Continues: Each campaign ends with "One story ends..." Whether any of the heroes from that campaign continue their heroics is at the player's whim.
  • Battle Couple: Lovers who do battle together may benefit from the Lover's Vengeance buff. If a hero is attacked by any monster, then that hero's lover will do additional damage to that monster for the remainder of the battle. This buff triggers as often as the situation occurs, and can be a big boost if at least one half of the battle couple is a tanky warrior who can endure the incoming damage.
  • Bewitched Amphibians: A variant: a snapping turtle claims to be a cursed prince or princess and just needs someone to kiss them. The party is skeptical ("I've heard that line from turtles before"), but they turn out to be telling the truth - after they turn into a raging Drauven warchief. The turtle never claimed to be human royalty, after all. A frog's head, along with a long sticky tongue, is also one of the possible hero transformations.
  • Big Creepy-Crawlies: The Thrixl are mysterious insectoid-draconic hybrid creatures with Psychic Powers.
  • Blinded by the Light: Heroes who have at least partially augmented themselves with flame have the option to either burn out upon death, or to explode violently, blinding everyone on the field, ally and enemy alike. Similarly, celestial heroes gain the ability to blind things they attack.
  • Bow and Sword, in Accord: Hunter skills are split evenly between ranged attacks (bows and crossbows) and stealth-based melee. They can be built as pure assassin or pure archer, but it's also possible for them to swap between shooting and backstabs as the situation dictates.
  • Cartoon Creature: The Critter companion vaguely resembles a small, mammalian griffin, walking on four legs, two of which resemble clawed talons, sporting gigantic, flared ears, and with a small beak on the front of its face, which also includes a mouth.
  • Cloudcuckoolander: A hero with the goofball personality or the clown hook can be this, suggesting the heroes attack naked to confuse their foes. (Surprisingly, it may even work.)
  • Character Customization: At any time, you can customize any character's name, physical attributes, orientation, and toggle whether they will automatically start romances or rivalries with fellow party members. When a character is first being generated, you may additionally reroll their starting age and stat bonuses, and make changes to their story hooks and dominant personality traits. Legacy characters may also have their personality traits adjusted between campaigns.
  • Cool Pet: Some events can result in a hero gaining an unusual pet that grants them a bonus to one or more of their stats. Available pets include a small griffin-like "critter," a "fire chicken," and Avenger the golden rabbit.
  • The Corruption: The Gorgons' petrification spreads throughout the land driving animals into frenzies and turning them into monsters. Heroes who fall in combat against the Gorgons may come back with limbs turned to solid stone, and a unique transformation in Age of Ulstryx leaves a character with a lump of Gorgon stone covering one side of their face after being MindControlled by a dying Gorgon.
  • Critical Hit: Referred to as "stunting" (as in, to perform a stunt). Some accessories and abilities can increase a hero's stunt chance, and heroes with a friendship or rivalry established between them gain an increased chance to stunt after their friend or rival lands a stunt. A stunt normally does additional damage, but performing a stunt with an elemental weapon triggers other effects based on the weapon's element.
  • Dark and Troubled Past: Characters can have dark secrets in their pasts which may or may not come to light during play.
  • Dashed Plot Line: Campaigns take place over three to five chapters. Between each chapter, there is usually a time skip of about 10 years before the enemy forces make their next move. This is the primary source of causing the player characters to age, pretty much guaranteeing that your starting party will be elderly or retired by the campaign's end. Certain campaigns have much lesser time skips, but they are a small minority.
  • Disapproving Look: As featured in one pre-battle comic that includes at least one warrior and mystic in the group. While the warrior monologues on, the mystic doesn't need to speak a single word.
    Warrior: I'm just saying, when the job needs doing, and needs doing quickly... some of us bash the skulls, and others stand in the corner and commune with the furniture. I'm not saying which way is better. I'm just saying.
    Mystic: [Disapproving Look]
  • Elemental Weapon: Elemental weapons are obtained by encountering and capturing a spirit of Fire, Water, Stone, or Leaf, which will then enchant one of the hero's weapons with its element. Each element causes a different effect when the hero wielding the enchanted weapon performs a stunt: fire weapons do Splash Damage to nearby enemies, water weapons grant an extra action, stone weapons damage enemy armor in an area effect, and leaf weapons heal the user.
  • Fighter, Mage, Thief: Heroes are classed as Warriors, Hunters, and Mystics. The distinction between classes can get blurry in the late game, especially since all heroes can use all weapons, but in general Warriors focus on tanking or melee brawling, Hunters lean toward ranged weapons, stealth, and traps, and Mystics rely on magic called "interfusion" to connect with, control, and manipulate the various features of the battlefield around them.
  • Fluffy the Terrible: The Morthagi mostly have innocuous-sounding names for their various units, such as Sommelier, Butler, and Wardrobe. It's likely that they were originally designed by the Mortificers to fill useful service roles like these, but those days are long gone now.
  • Friendly Rivalry: A given pair of heroes can become rivals through player choice, events, or in-game interaction. Their interaction tends to be aggressive, but they're still comrades who work together to accomplish the party's goals, and their rivalry inspires them to try to outdo one another in battle - when one of them performs a successful stunt, their rival gains an increased chance to stunt as well, indicated by the status "Oh Yeah? Watch This!" It stands out that no hero is ever happy over the prospect of their rival dying in battle, with their reactions ranging from horror to guilt.
  • Frying Pan of Doom: A cast-iron frying pan is among the beginning weapon options for a warrior character.
  • Gameplay and Story Segregation: Any time a hero dies, the resulting comic scenes assume the hero's corpse is available afterward for retrieval, burial, and such. This remains the case if the hero falls while the survivors retreat, or if the hero has a transformation theme that results in No Body Left Behind upon death.
  • Golem: The Morthagi are magical constructs made of metal, glass, and bone. In "The Enduring War", they're revealed to have been created as servitors of one of the fallen empires of the Yondering Lands. They seem to carry out the ancient orders of their long-forgotten masters mindlessly, without thought or malice, but wreak havoc in the process.
  • Great Big Library of Everything: The Library of Light, which may be found by a literary adventurer. Each person can only visit it once.
  • Green Thumb: Mystics can exert basic control over nearby plant life by interfusing with it. The Naturalist and Arches abilities grant more advanced skill in this area.
  • Hide Your Children: The only human under 18 years of age that's ever seen is Eluna's younger sister Elsee in the second act of "Eluna and the Moth".
  • Horrifying Hero: Some of the hero transformations are quite monstrous, especially the Shadow Demon and Skeletal themes, but they are still just as committed to fighting the good fight as their fully human comrades. Downplayed in that it generally goes unremarked upon outside of a few scenes that play it for laughs.
    Any Hero: Want to go scare some kids?
    Transformed Hero: [Depending on personality] Absolutely. / ...Unprofessional. / You're awful.
  • Killer Rabbit: Avenger the golden rabbit, who "wiggles her nose vindictively" upon bonding with a hero. She's a spirit who once took the form of a magic sword. Having her as a pet increases the hero's damage.
  • Lizard Folk: The Drauven are a race of reptilian humanoids. Lesser Drauven resemble D&D's kobolds, but can grow to tower over humans as well as sprouting feathered wings.
  • Lovecraft Lite: It's a fantasy setting, but it's also a point of pride for the developers that there are few Standard Fantasy Races to be seen. The Gorgons and Thrixl are Eldritch Abominations, the Drauven are Lizard Folk, the Deepists are a crazy cult, and the Morthagi are freakish mechanized zombies. The player's group is the only thing standing against the monsters running completely amok, but it's possible to defeat them and completely foil their plans, resulting in 100 years of peace.
  • Mook Maker
    • Morthagi units called "Wardrobes" continually manufacture smaller Morthagi until they're destroyed. "The Enduring War" features the Grand Matron, a giant Morthagi with the same ability, as the end boss of the fourth chapter.
    • To a lesser extent, Murk Mothers for the Deepists. While they don't create new mooks, they can cause monsters that are killed to spawn Horn Children. This ability works even on Horn Children resulting in unprepared heroes facing enemies that keep reviving. Deepist basic Woken units can gain an upgrade that allows them to summon another Woken on their own as well.
    • Thrixl have mobile egg-laying monsters that lay Dream Chrysalis every turn. Unlike the other examples mentioned, these hatch two turns later and do not attack which gives heroes the chance to stem the tide. On the other hand, the eggs spawn Seekers and Thrusks which can put heroes into stasis (preventing action unless another hero removes it) or attack twice per attack using both physical and magical damage (which can quickly eat through defenses).
    • Gorgons have the Staggron which can summon a group of additional minions once per combat. While not nearly as endless as the other factions since Staggron's are large elite units, some other Gorgon units can turn their minions into living bombs and many of their units can corrupt terrain during movement or death which damages heroes and buffs Gorgons.
  • Organic Technology: The Morthagi are a combination of undead and Clockwork Creatures, mechanical life forms composed of a combination of metal, glass, and bone.
  • Our Minotaurs Are Different: Deepists worship minotaurs, and besides dressing as them, can summon them as elite and boss units.
  • Our Monsters Are Different: Quite different.
  • Passing the Torch: Heroes age visibly in the multi-year periods of peace between chapters, and while they'll see through the current chapter once they hit their retirement age, they withdraw from adventuring permanently afterwards. The party's name and legacy, and the responsibility of permanently resolving the campaign, is handed down to younger heroes recruited along the way — potentially including the retiring hero's child(ren). A three-chapter campaign isn't usually long enough for your original characters to bow out before the ending, but longer campaigns will likely be finished by the second or possibly even third generation of heroes. Retiring heroes can also give a boon of XP to another hero of the company upon retiring.
  • Permadeath: Heroes defeated in battle have the option to retreat (with either a debuff that lasts the rest of the campaign, or minus a limb) or go out in a blaze of glory. If they're defeated a second time in the same chapter, they have no option to retreat, and their "blaze of glory" is more like a symbolic Defiant to the End. Once a hero dies, they're gone for good for the rest of the campaign, though they can be added to your Legacy and recruited into a new story later on with some of their skills and all of their story hooks.
  • Playing with Fire: Mystics can interfuse with open flames from candles, campfires, and other sources in order to manipulate the fire and use it as a weapon. With the right abilities, they can also use this power to enchant the weapons of other nearby heroes. The event-caused firesoul transformation gives the affected hero a flaming hand and the ability to generate blasts of fire.
  • Psychic Powers: The insect-like Thrixl's hat is their group Hive Mind's ability to manipulate the minds of others, project illusions, and blast foes with psychomagical force.
  • Purely Aesthetic Gender:
    • By itself, gender has zero impact on anything, except that the game will only randomly generate cisgender heroes who are almost always heterosexual. The player may change any hero's gender (including to non-binary), physical attributes, or orientation (phrased as being attracted to men, women, or anyone) at any time, and can mix them up in any way (males with female body types, females with facial hair, etc.).
    • The only thing that makes any gameplay difference is the hero's orientation, as this determines whether the hero may randomly start a romance with another hero of compatible orientation, and thus be eligible for Battle Couple buffs. Any hero, regardless of any of this, may have their children join the party between chapters unless the player explicitly forbids it.
  • Sequel Hook: A series of encounters reference the Evil Overlord Vulta of Graymountain. One has them attempt to trick a character into returning their Amulet of Concentrated Awesome to them, after an ancient hero stole their power and sealed it away inside — cursing one of the party from childhood as part of a Long Game to ensure they'd grow up into someone capable of defeating the guardian spirit the ancient hero became. Upon realizing they're being used, the party has the option of foiling Vulta's return. If they go through with it, Vulta returns to the world. A later encounter, "For the Scavenging" sees a monarch and their servant pass near the party's camp one rainy night, but decides against showing themselves, leaving their return as Another Story for Another Time — unlocking the legacy campaign "The Sunswallower's Wake".
  • Shout-Out:
    • One of the achievements is named Gotta Ca... Must Collect All of Them.
    • One possible randomized legacy campaign can open with a goofball hero saying to the others, "Want some rye? 'Course you do!"
    • The achievement for killing three enemies with poison in a single turn is called Plague Doctor, almost certainly in reference to Darkest Dungeon. While Plague Doctors historically existed, it's the one in Darkest Dungeon who is best known for putting blight (poison) effects on whole enemy squads.
  • Shrouded in Myth: The Legacy system and having the same characters take part in many exclusive adventures is meant to be evocative of similar legends such as King Arthur or Robin Hood. Each new adventure is just another addition to that hero's mythos.
  • Spontaneous Choreography: The "Ohhhhhhhhh...." event has one of your characters suddenly burst into song. The next character has the option of hushing them before the enemies can hear... or, on a successful check, joining in on a duet, with a Punctuated! For! Emphasis! last line that sees the rest of the party join in for the final note. Success grants the party the Courage buff (+2 damage, +2 potency) for 3 rounds.
  • Starter Equipment: Your initial warrior gets a choice of pitchfork, pickaxe, or Frying Pan of Doom, while your initial mystic can choose between a staff or a large wooden spoon that serves as a makeshift wand. The initial hunter always starts with a tier 0 bow and skinning knife. Heroes recruited early in a campaign may start with level 0 equipment of other types as well.
  • Static Role, Exchangeable Character: This trope is the foundation of how the events work. With only two exceptions (Elsee and Eluna from "Eluna and the Moth"), every human character is randomly generated. For NPCs, this just means a different name and face. For events involving the player's company, there are roles filled by members of the local party based on their personalities, relationships, classes, and other attributes. Some events won't appear unless certain criteria are met. Many other events have no requirements, so you could see an event play out with any possible arrangement of characters.
  • Take a Third Option: A common pattern in many events is to have two imperfect choices, then a third option that's only visible when a certain condition is met. For example, when an enemy scout finds your party's campsite and then flees, your two imperfect options are to give immediate chase or stop and prepare for battle. But if you have a wolftouched party member, he or she can easily run down the scout solo.
  • Taken for Granite: As one might expect, gorgons have the ability to turn living creatures to stone. Heroes defeated by a gorgon may escape with one of their limbs petrified. In the late stages of "Age of Ulstryx," the antagonist turns out to have petrified a god, throwing the balance of nature out of whack and requiring the party to try to reverse the petrification before the world drowns.
  • Taking You with Me: Heroes defeated in battle may choose to go down doing as much damage as possible to whatever it is that killed them.
  • Transflormation: Heroes may acquire the "elmsoul" or “botanical” transformation, in which they absorb an ancient tree or vine spirit and take on plant-like characteristics including the ability to photosynthesize. Should an elmsoul hero lose a limb, it regrows as a tree branch, while the lost limb of a botanical hero regrows as a tangle of vines.
  • Two-Faced: One of your heroes may get attacked to be used as a mouthpiece by a gorgon and wind up with half their face covered with crystalline stone.
  • Who Wants to Live Forever?: Two campaigns address the concept of immortality, and each one treats it differently.
    • "The Enduring War" has the entire conflict being sparked by a faction of Immortality Seekers being systematically hunted down by an ancient civilization that made the very machines you're fighting. While it's left ambiguous how morally right the remnants of that faction are, they ultimately demonstrate no interest in harming others, innocent or otherwise, and the initial Immortal Mortificer doesn't show any signs of mental decay.
    • "Monarchs Under the Mountain" has the titular monarchs, as well as select, high-ranking members of their cult, sustain their immortality off of the lives of those who join their fold. While their mental states and material lives are generally alright, the fact remains that they've fallen so impossibly far from their heroic origins that they're functionally just greed-fueled monsters.

    "Age of Ulstryx" Tropes 
  • Abusive Precursors: Gorgons ruled the world before mankind arose. Ulstryx seeks to cover the world in water to reclaim it for his people.
  • Timed Mission: The second chapter has a time limit for how many days you have to reach the cave with the spear Ulstryx is after. You can extend this time limit by clearing out land segments ran by Gorgon forces. But once time runs out, the chapter immediately ends and Ulstryx will be stronger in the final chapter due to having claimed the spear first. The third chapter has a timer that's a bit less strict in that the game doesn't end if the timer runs out, but every time it does, one of the segments of land will be flooded by water and lost. For every piece of land that is flooded, you lose the resources it would give you right before the final battle when you get one last chance to outfit your party.
  • Your Terrorists Are Our Freedom Fighters: Gorgons see Ulstryx as their hero, fighting back against the humans who have conquered their lands and planning to restore what was lost. That he's petrified the spirit of balance to drown the world in storm is just him doing what's necessary to them.

    "The Enduring War" Tropes 
  • Abusive Precursors: The Mortificers and the splinter faction of the Enduring both had good intentions, but the Morthagi's mindless hunt for the Enduring continually spills back over into a world that has left them both behind.
  • Ambiguous Situation: Is the person bonded to the control device at the end of the fourth chapter as happy with their situation as the surviving Enduring claim? It's left unclear.
  • The Blacksmith: The players rescue an aging smith at the end of the first chapter. The randomly generated smith is also a expert on the Morthagi and their creators, the Mortificers, and goes on to serve as something of a mentor figure in the first few chapters. The Enduring were seeking him out, and led the Morthagi straight to him.
  • Brain Uploading: In a sense. The Enduring are Morthagi bodies into which a human soul has been magically transplanted, allowing the mind and personality to live on after the body dies. The old smith eventually persuades the Enduring to allow him to become one of them. At the end of Chapter 4, one of the party members may choose to become the consciousness for the control core which will allow the Enduring to craft friendly Morthagi.
  • Cult Defector: The old blacksmith joined the Deepists as part of their search for immortality, but left upon realizing their promises were hollow. The facial tattoos remain, however. One event that can happen is a sect of Deepists attempting to recruit a member of the party into the cult. The party member can choose to join in the hopes of discovering information about the cult and likewise, they discover very little that they don't already know but come away with tattoos. There is also the potential for a party member to do so in context of the Deepist campaign.
  • Immortality Immorality: The war which tore the Mortificers' civilization apart began because many people saw the creation of the Enduring as unnatural, rejecting the idea that the Enduring were still their loved ones, and eventually setting the Morthagi to hunt them all down and destroy them. Whether or not the Enduring are inherently evil is left as an open question for the player — they seek the heroes' aid to stop the rampaging Morthagi, and their long lives do not seem to have made them cruel or mad. In the ending where the party chooses to destroy the Enduring, giving the Morthagi no more reason to continue their attacks, one possible "Reason You Suck" Speech has a hero point out that by remaining in hiding for all these years, they have stood idly by and allowed the Morthagi to kill countless innocents in their place, no matter their intentions. Following this, those that choose to assault the Enduring discover that they have not been sitting by idly. Rather, they have been building their own war machines. The pinnacle being a machine dubbed The War Ender which is on par in size, health pool, and ability with Cvawn from the Drauven campaign. The War Ender has the ability to walk over and destroy terrain as well as spray acid on the floor. The implication from these events and their dialogue being that they knew they would be attacked at some point in the future and intended to engage in open war against the Morthahi and other threats, regardless of the devastation to those not involved.
  • Immortality Seeker: The old smith has spent a lifetime searching for ways to prolong that life. The smith hit a dead end with the Deepists, but jumps on the possibility of becoming an Enduring upon meeting one of the few survivors.
  • The Plague: The Mortificers' kingdom was ravaged by a plague in its final days. The process of becoming an Enduring was devised to save them from death, but instead fractured them further.
  • Powered by a Forsaken Child: The forge held by the "good" Morthagi requires a human soul to be bonded to it to control the constructs. One of the party members can volunteer, providing Morthagi reinforcements for the final battle. The rest of the party wonder how much of them truly remains alive as they cannot communicate from inside the forge, and the other Morthagi have to act as translators.
  • Sequel Hook: Of a sort — the smith's dalliance with the Deepists serves to foreshadow the Deepist-centric next campaign. It turns out the immortality the smith sought was real after all, but the Deep Monarchs hoard it all for themselves, stealing the life from their cultists. The smith was probably lucky to get out when they did.
  • "Sorcerer's Apprentice" Plot: The Morthagi are simply machines, acting under the orders of the ancient kingdom which first created them. In the absence of anyone to command them or hold them in check, they run rampant across the Yondering Lands, destroying whole towns or holding people hostage for their own inscrutable purposes, then falling dormant for decades or centuries before another vault opens. In this campaign, the Morthagi had specifically been tasked with hunting down the Enduring, human souls in Morthagi bodies, literally turning over every possible stone in their search.
  • What Measure Is a Non-Human?: Are the Enduring still human? They seem to retain their thoughts and feelings. Is what they want even so horrible, if they do not force it on others?
  • Who Wants to Live Forever?: The Mortificers who saw the Enduring as abominations would rather accept a finite life and a natural death.

    "Monarchs Under the Mountain" Tropes 
  • Broken Pedestal: The monarchs are legendary heroes of ages past, who became obsessed with immortality.
  • Became Their Own Antithesis: The heroes who became the monarchs, became as bad as the villains they once fought, draining the lifeforce of their followers to sustain their immortality.
  • Path of Inspiration: The Deepist cult. It attracts teenagers and youths with promises of exaltation and excitement and freedom from the banality of peasant life. In truth those who are "ascended" are turned into lower life forms so the monarchs can siphon their lifeforce to sustain their immortality. Only those who show talents as lieutenants are actually ascended, and even then, only because they are useful servants. The entire point of the cult is to sustain the monarchs.
  • The Mole: One of your party members can leave the party to join the cult. Only to return for the final battle, revealing they infiltrated the cult to learn the location of the Monarchs and subvert their defenses.
  • You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: The monarchs killed the witch who gave them immortality, as she knew too much.

    "Eluna and the Moth" Tropes 
  • Arc Words: "My beliefs are as good as your certainties." Spoken by Mothman and repeated by Cvawn in the Drauvan campaign. Both referring to the power of myth and magic that functionally power and maintain both of them; and allow them to shape their destinies.
  • Antagonist Title: The kidnapped Eluna and the cryptic Mothman. The Mothman proves to be the heroes' ally by the end, and Eluna, transformed by the Thrixl, serves as the ultimate Big Bad of the story.
  • Blue-and-Orange Morality: Thrixl come from a world where the rules of reality are not as firm as ours, and they don't quite get human morality. They don't understand why humans would not want to be turned into Thrixl, for one.
  • Can't Kill You, Still Need You: Eluna, once sealed, killed the Mothman, which he is fine with. What he did not expect was the fact that she revived him just to ask why he rejected the opportunity to uplift humanity in the past. The ending implies she's mellowing out and just coming to enjoy his company, and even then she made it clear that she would just kill him again once she's bored.
  • Childless Dystopia: The Thrixl spirit away all the children from the Player Party's Doomed Hometown, leaving the village bleak despite the coming spring. The goal of Chapter 2 is to mount a rescue mission.
  • Dark Is Not Evil: Unwitting Instigator of Doom though he was, the shadowy, secretive Mothman ultimately gives up his freedom for all eternity to keep the world safe from Ecthis and her Thrixl.
  • Dream Weaver: The Thrixl's power is to weave illusions in both the sleeping and waking world. Those touched by their alien homeworld of Terrafract gain similar powers. In the ending, this is how Eluna and the Mothman wile away what might be eternity sealed in a can.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: The Mothman keeps Ecthis busy long enough for the heroes to escape and seal her, and the Mothman, in the Tower of Locks. Forever.
  • Humanoid Abomination: The Mothman is deeply uncanny even at a glance, his movements spidery and precise, his skin too smooth, his eyes glowing. His mothlike wings are likely the least bizarre thing about him, especially since one of the heroes will eventually come to sport a pair of their own. Eluna eventually becomes something even stranger, a towering multi-winged figure with overlong limbs, shining with her own light.
  • Knight Templar: Eluna/Ecthis wants to create a paradise of dreams and magic — but not everyone can come, and she is willing to lay waste to the Yondering Lands and beyond to hunt down those who would oppose her.
  • Know When to Fold 'Em: When Eluna is sealed with the Mothman, the heroes are surrounded by Thrixl, ready for a final fight. The Thrixl however just leave, knowing they can't free Eluna, and killing the heroes does nothing.
  • Light Is Not Good: Ecthis styles herself the Queen of Light, a radiant winged fairy queen, impossibly tall, shining with iridescent color. She intends to remake the world in her own image, which will reduce most humans to mindless horrors, leaving only the mystics behind.
  • Meaningful Background Event: After rescuing the party member that ends up talking with Ecthis, you can see Elsee evesdropping as they and a party member talk about the ramifications of Eluna's transformation.
  • Motor Mouth: In a game full of poetry and delicate prose, the Mothman is a font of soliloquy and metaphor, who loves to hear himself talk. The heroes, and villains, quickly tire of him.
  • Physical God: Ecthis is implied to be all but a Dimension Lord in Terrafract, and is Nigh-Invulnerable in the Yondering. At the very least, nothing the heroes can throw at her does anything more than annoy her. Annoy her enough, however, and she'll push past the party into the tower — exactly where they want her.
  • Sealed Evil in a Can: Ecthis, otherwise invulnerable, ends up sealed away forever in the magical Tower of the Locks, with only the Mothman, her Sealed Good counterpart, as company.
  • That Man Is Dead: Eluna discards her old name and becomes Ecthis, Queen of Light, the conquering empress of the Thrixl.
  • Unwitting Instigator of Doom: The Mothman's adventures in the Thrixl's world drew their attention, as well as the fact that humans could be turned into beings like them. Prompting them to begin kidnapping humans to turn them into lostlings, believing they were assisting in human evolution. One of the most successful was Eluna, who became their queen.
  • Walking Spoiler: The fate of the eponymous Eluna is a major reveal, and the Mothman is a great lover of secrets.
  • Was Once a Man: Most humans taken through the portal to Terrafract come back as shambling mix-and-match horrors. Eluna is captured by the Thrixl and slowly transformed into their "Queen of Light", at least partly of her own free will, in their alien home dimension of Terrafract. Apparently, the process works much more smoothly on humans with the mystic's gift. Similarly, the Mothman spent years wandering the otherworld and was gradually altered to the point where his own parents couldn't recognize him.
  • Your Mind Makes It Real: The Thrixl's home dimension of Terrafract is a world where wishes come true. Because the Thrixl do not wish, this puts them perfectly in balance with their surroundings. Humans, on the other hand, if they bear the mystic's gift, can transform the place to suit them. For the Mothman, this made it his personal playground; for Eluna, into whom the Thrixl put more of themselves, it makes her a Physical God in both worlds.
    • Veering a touch into fear for grown-ups, it's suggested that the reason Eluna became Ecthis is because she was so scared - for her life, for the life of her sister - during her initial capture by the Thrixl, that she wished for the power to prevent that and for a world where she would not experience that kind of traumatic nightmare. And so she became a Physical God, something that could not be harmed nor could the world harm her.

    "All the Bones of Summer" Tropes 
  • And Now for Someone Completely Different: The opening battle of the campaign's third chapter has the player take control of a war party of Drauven led by the shaman Vrsawl and wingknight Pyarc.
  • The Dead Have Names: At the end of Chapter 4, many Drauven are buried under a rockslide in a desperate attempt to protect Cvawn's retreat. Pyarc arrives late and laments the loss of Drauven she knew, such as "Colr, Tranyen, Mulsc, Yarsa." In a glimpse of things to come, Cvawn is completely uncaring, not even confessing to having given the order that killed so many Drauven.
  • Deconstruction: Of the standard fantasy campaign in which the heroes wage a long-running battle of extermination against tribes of raiding monsters. The human campaign progresses in a very straightforward manner; much of the focus is instead on characterizing the supposed "monsters", giving the Drauven hopes and goals, even an element of tragedy in their doomed quest for relevance in a world where they are often seen as little more than primitive pests.
  • Eloquent in My Native Tongue: While limited to You No Take Candle pidgin-speak when speaking the human Common Tongue of Yandric, when conversing in their own language in the Meanwhile Scenes, the Drauven speak in elaborate poetic clauses, dense with analogy. This is not limited to the leaders, either — even unnamed minions are quick with a simile. Similarly, the warlord Thuvayn, a Drauven raised in captivity by a human keeper, resorts to Hulk Speak when speaking the Drauven language, called Druvwail, but is perfectly fluent in Yandric.
  • Hellfire: Cvawn threatens the player characters with flames so hot that it'll leave their ghosts burning for all eternity. One possible reaction is to laugh at the thought of an allegedly immortal creature making threats on the dead, brushing off the monstrous dragon's threats with a simple missive: Bring It.
  • Inadequate Inheritor: A running theme, inverting the heroic legacy of the human Player Party. As the campaign wears on, each Drauven leader proves a disappointment. Vrsawl is small and weak, and everyone, including Vrsawl, sees him as a poor substitute for his old mentor Drevsnac. However, for all his strength and size, Vrsawl sees Thuvayn as no true Drauven — what intelligence and loyalty he does possess masked by his poor grasp of the Drauven language. Pyarc, groomed from command from an early age, meanwhile, is unimpressed by both Vrsawl and Thuvayn early on, but gradually grows to respect and admire them (in Vrsawl's case posthumously)... even as they find themselves promptly discarded and replaced, with Pyarc being unwilling to abandon course or lead the Drauven herself. Even the mighty Cvawn is not the wise or benevolent dragon-god for which the Drauven had long been searching, petty and supercilious, caring little for the people who spent ages trying to return him to life.
  • Legendary Weapon: The Thorn of the Fens, the Secret Weapon of the Fenspear family line obtained in a sidequest in the final chapter. It's a spear, meaning it has superior range to most melee weapons, but with the dagger's effect of inflicting double damage while flanking. The hero who takes it can carry it into other campaigns, as is usual for artifact-tier weapons.
  • Meanwhile Scene: The narrative is intercut with scenes of the Drauven villains, who are on various quests of their own which the human Player Party only learns a little.
  • Our Dragons Are Different: Few in number, most slain in ages past, highly intelligent and akin to Physical Gods, the largest units in the game. Their remains turn to stone and gradually coalesce into huge, egg-shaped opals which submerge themselves deep into the earth, and hatch with almost all the memories and intellect of their ancient selves. While Cvawn breathes fire and has the general body plan of four legs, wings, and a tail, rather than the scales and feathers of the Drauven, he is also covered in golden fur, with a blunt muzzle and antler-like horns, more deer- or goat-like than traditionally draconic. Cvawn proves to be less Drauvish in other ways, indifferent to the plight of "their" people, much more interested in taking revenge against the human heroes for his own wounded pride than helping build an empire.
  • Poor Communication Kills: Neither humans nor Drauven think the other is intelligent enough to be capable of real communication, in part because neither recognizes just how complex their respective languages actually are. Thuvayn, raised in captivity by humans, has too much hate in him to believe the gap can be bridged.
  • Secret Legacy: The Fenspear family is the last surviving lineage of a company of dragon slayers, whose ancestral vaults hold the weapons which can kill the nigh-immortal dragons of old. It later comes out that the ancestor who founded the family wasn't a great dragonslayer at all, but merely the only surviving member of the adventuring company who gave their lives to bring down the great beasts. However, they were present at the fight, and their ancestral treasure includes the lethal, dragon-slaying venom, its recipe, and a unique, legendary weapon.
  • Secret Weapon: The venom locked away in the Fenspear family's reliquary, making any weapon capable of inflicting lethal damage to a dragon. Somewhat notably, the adventuring company makes sure to leave lots of venom, as well as the recipe, with a neaby village to ensure that the secret to slaying dragons becomes public knowledge afterwards.
  • "Shaggy Dog" Story: The Drauven's efforts to establish a lasting kingdom of their own are doomed; as the monsters of what is ultimately a very standard fantasy adventure, their eventual defeat is a Foregone Conclusion. The human party often thwarts the Drauven's schemes with little understanding of what the latter were trying to do, repeatedly cutting their efforts short rather abruptly. Each of the main Drauven leaders, Thuvayn, Vrsawl, and Pyarc, is abandoned in some way, dying somewhat anticlimactically: Thuvayn's grand destiny ends with a Cavalry Betrayal as Vrsawl keeps forces back to protect the warlord's replacement, the dragon "Summerking" Cvawn; Vrsawl is similarly left to make a doomed Last Stand after after failing their new king; and Pyarc survives until the final battle but grows increasingly disillusioned with Cvawn's selfish, capricious rule, essentially throwing herself on the party's weapons if she outlives him.
  • Units Not to Scale: The dragon Cvawn is the size of a building by the end of chapter 5, making the heroes look like mice in comic scenes. In battle, he takes up only six tiles. This is large, true, but only slightly larger than other high-level monsters.
  • What Measure Is a Non-Human?: Zigzagged. The Drauven are demonstrated to be much more than simple monsters, with a beautiful language and rich culture, albeit one which is rigidly caste-based, with size and the development of their wings determining their caste. However, they have no qualms with raiding human settlements, killing and enslaving humans at will — although the reverse is also shown to be true, both seeing the other as little more than animals. There is one significant cultural disconnect, however — part of the reason the Drauven see humans as violent brutes is because of the manner in which humans will continue to pursue and root out Drauven for months or years on end for what the Drauven see as a single isolated offense, not understanding the humans' desire to avenge the dead or protect the living. Drauven are more pragmatic, with strict codes which dictate a specified end to the Cycle of Revenge, and seemingly place the wellbeing of the tribe and race above the individual.
    Thuvayn: Beast is what they say is Drauven. And Drauven is think them beast? So we are beasts together. A beast family ripping at throats, roaring in darkness, whipping and mocking and chain-giving to each other whenever it. When. A sick and sad family. Is I think, now. We. All.

    "The Sunswallower's Wake" Tropes 
  • Affably Evil: Brakken is a naturally nice person, despite being a Co Dragon to Vulta.
  • Face–Monster Turn: The Vulture Lord was originally a fully good and generous monarch. The personality change came alongside being linked to Brakken through the piece of sun's flame. In an unusual twist, Vulta's original "Face" form was a vulture, while the "Monster" form is human.
  • Gender-Blender Name: Brakken and Vulta are randomly generated to be any gender, yet always have the same names. It helps that they're rather fantastical names.
  • Heroic Suicide: Brakken kills him/herself in order to destroy the last of the stolen sun fragment, thereby transforming Vulta back into a completely ordinary vulture.
  • Humans Are the Real Monsters:
    • One of Vulta's Co-Dragons is an old friend of one of your legacy characters. When Morthagi and Drauven start causing trouble, the friend becomes a Punch-Clock Villain and joins the highest-paying side.
    • The second Co-Dragon has a Small Name, Big Ego, only desiring the fame and prestige of eventually becoming Vulta's right-hand General. He's more Morthagi than man and requires his new recruits to exchange at least one arm for a Morthagi body part.
    • Even though Brakken is a naturally servile person and was the only human who defended Vulta during the betrayal, their link resulted in Vulta gaining a human ambition for power and vassals that hadn't existed before. The party assumes that Vulta wanted revenge Best Served Cold as retribution for the 1000-year-old betrayal, but the truth was closer to an ordinary vulture acting on uncontrollable new (human) instincts.
  • Light Is Not Good: The sun fragment that gave Vulta their powers also caused them to develop human instincts - which did not mix well with the natural vulture ones, as humans are naturally ambitious and vultures territorial, turning Vulta into an Evil Overlord.
  • My Master, Right or Wrong: Brakken is fanatically devoted to Vulta, no matter what.
  • The Power of the Sun: Vulta's powers come from a stolen fragment of the sun, which grants immortality, a change of body shape, and light/heat abilities useful both in and outside of combat.
  • Scavengers Are Scum: Deconstructed. The Vulture Lord started as a benevolent monarch who brought light and heat to a bleak and frozen world, asking only for the flesh of the dead as tribute (as a vulture would appreciate). It was humanity that betrayed Vulta first, taking a benevolent gift of fire and weaponizing it against Vulta in a treacherous sneak attack. From Brakken's and Vulta's point of view, the refusal to pay tribute seems downright arbitrary, and they feel they didn't do anything wrong before the humans' betrayal.
    Brakken: [Vulta] asked nothing of us that [Vulta] did not ask of all beasts. Why must you bury your dead? You'd rather feed the worms?
  • Sealed Evil in a Can: Vulta, who was sealed in a gem prison.

Be remembered.

Top