Follow TV Tropes


Web Animation / Tales of Alethrion

Go To
From Level Zero to Level Badass in 9:01 minutes.

We walk the journey of a lifetime
Don't hesitate to take a ride
We walk, heroes in the right time
Don't hesitate to take a ride
The title theme song

It started with "The Reward", a short animated film that was created by students of the Danish animation school The Animation Workshop as their bachelor project. After its release in January 2013, it went viral within days of going online, gaining a lot of attention on Tumblr and Youtube. This led the group, later taking the name of Sun Creature Studio, to expand the short into a full fantasy universe funded by multiple Kickstarter campaigns.

The series focuses on the fantastic adventures of a group of adventurers, most of whom were inspired or influenced by the journeys of the titular warrior Alethrion. However, Alethrion's legacy is not nearly as heroic as some of them believe, and the things that he did, for better or for worse, will shape the future of their world.

The shorts and series, which can be found here, so far include:

  • "The Reward" - The short that started it all, it focuses on the pair of adventurers Wilhelm and Vito.
  • "The First Hero" - A prequel short focusing on Alethrion's life.
  • "Thug's Life" - An animated comic telling the story of the traveler Mira and her companions.
  • "Choose Your Path" - A series of shorts based on Patreon backer voting to decide what the protagonists, Sylvia and Tatiana, do next.
  • "Travelling Deity" - Three episodes, this follows up on Alethrion's ex-lover, Amerath, after she parted ways with him.
  • "Wilhelm's Curse" - Wilhelm must deal with his curse of vampirism.
  • "Outcast's Journey" - A bonus episode focusing on the adventures of Blenn, the illegitimate son of Vito, and Janna, a tribe warrior.
  • "Daughter's Revenge" - Three episodes, this follows the story of Tira, daughter of Mira, the woman who sliced Wilhelm's fingers off, as she prepares to avenge her mother's death.

In 2020, a Kickstarter campaign was held to fund Tales of Alethrion - An Adventure Board Game!.

Not to be confused with any of the Tales Series of games.

Tropes found in Tales of Alethrion include:

  • The Ace: The titular Alethrion, the First Hero. Ruthless, unbeatable, and driven, it's fair to say that the only person that could defeat him was himself. And he did.
  • Action Girl:
    • Amerath, though she was more focused on having adventures than getting into fights.
  • Adrenaline Makeover: Vito and Wilhelm slowly grow into the role of badasses over the adventure, and it's visible.
  • Adventure Town: The heroes pass through a few, most notably the colorful tower city.
  • All There in the Manual: Word of God states that the protagonists' names are Wilhelm and Vito, respectively, Vito being the magician and Wilhelm the swordfighter. Their village is named Tohan. It's also stated that Wilhelm spends his time wasting his life in the small village. In general, due to the characters Speaking Simlish, the only way to know the names of the characters is via the video descriptions.
  • And the Adventure Continues: Not only for the two kids (Mik and Ken) who "inherit" the map, but for Wilhelm, Vito, and the two cute girls they pick up — Sylvia and Tatiana — who already seem pretty solid on that Power of Friendship deal.
  • Anyone Can Die Considering the lightheartedness of 'Choose Your Path' nobody was expecting Ken to die, nor the way he did. No fanfare, no final words, just a single crunch.
  • Arc Symbol: Drawings or maps being ripped in two; treasure-map-style crosses.
  • Awesomeness Is Volatile: The high-five that our two adventurers share when they realize that the greatest reward is their newfound strength leads to an explosion of awesomeness so powerful it can be seen from space. Literally.
    • In the First Hero, pretty much anything a hero does results in property damage by the billions.
  • Bash Brothers: The entire series seems to focus mostly on these types of dynamics. There is always a pair of adventurers going on a quest and facing danger.
  • Battle Couple: Alethrion and Amerath were this during their time traveling together. Unfortunately, Alethrion's growing greed slowly splits them apart.
  • Benevolent Monsters: Most are not, but a few rather monstrous creatures are shown helping the heroes out, most notably the vampire lord.
  • Big, Thin, Short Trio: The three thugs from the City — Uruth as the foppish Big, Zit as the sniveling, toad-like Short, and Mira as the Thin and the leader.
  • Book Ends: The story starts in Tohan with the unnamed hero (named Brühn later) passing the map on to Wilhelm and Vito (though seemingly by accident) and ends with Wilhelm and Vito returning as seasoned heroes, "accidentally" dropping the map to pass it on to the next generation of potential heroes.
  • Bounty Hunter: Don't let the moniker of "The First Hero" fool you. Alethrion's Only in It for the Money and you'd better have vast riches to pay him with if you want him to save your village from a monster. And if you try to pay him in anything other than riches, he WILL try to murder you.
    • After having a falling-out with Vito, Wilhelm becomes a part of a supernatural Vampire bounty-hunter guild that targets great beasts to slay with their powerful abilities.
  • The Cameo: Shovel Knight makes an appearance in The First Hero.
  • Casanova Wannabe: Vito at first. After he takes a level in badass his success with the ladies vastly improves and he becomes a Chick Magnet.
  • Convection, Schmonvection: The narwhals seem to be pretty heat resistant, considering that they're swimming through lava.
  • Dance Battler: Uruth
  • Death by Irony: Not only is Alethrion mortally wounded by his own darker half, but he is unable to escape the other side of the mirror to get help because his treasure chest is weighing him down. Bonus points for the fact it weighed down because it contains the living deification of his immense greed, which proves greater than his mighty strength.
  • Did You Just Punch Out Cthulhu?: Our protagonists slay a High God, among other impressive and monstrous beings.
    • Alethrion does one better by killing a whole pantheon.
    • Just as how Wilhelm and Vito slayed a high god. Ken and Mik slayed a Devil.
  • Disproportionate Retribution: When villagers of a town he saved try to pay him in food instead of riches, Alethrion tries to murder them all.
  • The Dreaded: Humun, the banished god, who created humans, and set in motion the conflict between the gods, making him indirectly responsible for all the monsters that roam the land.
  • The Drifter: Amerath. She doesn't care for fame or fortune. She just wants to see new places.
  • Dropped a Bridge on Him: Immediately after the climax of the first episode's adventure, Wilhelm is possessed, fed upon, and almost murdered by a Nosferatu and is only saved due to the merciful actions of a larger and more benevolent creature of the night - a vampire.
    • Ken is also killed very suddenly during the battle with Alethrion's Greed in Daughter's Revenge.
  • Dying Alone: Alethrion.
  • Dying as Yourself: Alethrion.
  • Dying Moment of Awesome: Alethrion is about to lose to his greed when he remembers Ameranth. Using the last of his strength from those happy memories he defeats his greed and dies knowing he did one good thing.
  • Dynamic Entry: Alethrion introduces himself to Ameranth this way in the dance party, kicking another dancer out of the scene.
  • Enemy Without: Alethrion's greed.
  • Ensemble Cast
  • Eyes Always Shut: Vito. His son, Blenn, would appear to have inherited this trait.
  • Fallen Hero: "Thug's Life" reveals that Mira started out as an idealistic police officer who gradually lost faith in the system before becoming a thug. Especially after Brühn abandoned her upon finding out she was pregnant with his child.
  • The Fighting Narcissist: Brühn starts out as a regular one before becoming this.
  • Field of Blades: Alethrion sits in the middle of one in the opening credits.
  • Fingore: To Wilhelm, and quite unexpectedly so.
  • Fist Bump: Shared by the two when lying in bed together snuggled against a monster in its lair.
  • Floating Continent: Arist is a floating island.
  • Freudian Excuse: "Thug's Life" reveals that Mira, Uruth, and Zit typically only limited themselves to beating up and humiliating passing adventurers for their wealth. The reason Mira was particularly vicious when mugging Wilhelm was because he owned the map, which previously belonged to Brühn, her former lover who abandoned her after finding out she was pregnant. She wished to burn the map so that she could be rid of his memory entirely. It could also be implied that the reason she doesn't have a high opinion of adventurers in general is because of him.
  • Friend Versus Lover: The actual conflict of "Wilhelm's Curse" as Vito begins straying away his and Wilhelm's quest to cure Wilhelm's vampirism to pursue a romance with Gaya, eventually choosing to settle down with her and start a family, which causes Vito to split after an argument. After finding his own direction in life as part of a guild of similarly abnormal individuals afterwards, he reconciles with Vito in the end, and the two of them part are friends whose lives have just taken different directions.
  • Dirty Old Man: Poppy The Wizard.
  • Gag Penis: Uruth's bulge. Good lord. To an equal or greater extent with Alethrion.
  • Girl Of Five Seconds: Vito and Wilhelm go through quite a few ladies over the second half of their adventure.
  • Greed: Alethrion's primary motivation, his greatest vice, and his ultimate undoing.
  • Gross-Up Close-Up: Under the wrong lighting, angle, and magnification, Alethrion looks rather sleazy. The weird noises he makes don't help.
  • Half-Human Hybrid: Vito's half-lizard bastard son, Blenn.
  • Heel–Face Door-Slam: Alethrion.
  • Heroic Fantasy: Is it ever. The stories of Tales of Alethrion concerns themselves with characters, their blissful, adventurous journeys and the magical world they inhabit, rather than any world-spanning threats or dark ambitions... Mostly.
  • Heterosexual Life-Partners: Arguably so. They're shown to be very popular with the ladies once their adventure gains momentum. On the other hand, the two share a few touching moments and are shown lying in bed together, naked or at least in their underwear by the looks of it, bumping fists.
  • High-Five Left Hanging: In The Reward, Vito tries a high-five with Wilhelm as they find their weapons and gear, this trope as the result.
  • Hollywood Homely: Underachiever that he is, Brühn prefers to go after "okay-ish" girls.
  • Homoerotic Subtext: Being a bromance this trope is played with. Especially at the part with the dragon cave... Wilhelm's reaction to Vito settling down with Gaya in "Wilhelm's Curse" plays out almost like a girl being on the losing end of a love triangle.
  • Hope Spot: We gets this in the form Wilhelm meeting Ken and Mik, making it seem like he can convince them to leave peacefully and without fear of releasing Alethrion greed from the chest. Then Tira opens the chest.
  • I Owe You My Life: The reason Uruth and Zit follow Mira. She saved them from being beaten to death by two adventurers (who they were attempting to rob).
  • It's the Journey That Counts: The whole theme - It's right in the name of the first short.
    • In The First Hero, Amerath understood this from the get-go while Alethrion did not. By the time he did, he had quite literally doomed himself, irrevocally killed major parts of a pantheon and almost put the entire world in mortal danger.
  • Keet: Mik is noticeably upbeat compared to the more reserved Ken.
  • Kid Heroes: Mik and Ken.
  • Ladykiller in Love: Vito crosses paths with a druid named Gaya several times in "Wilhelm's Curse" and quickly sparks up a romance with her. Unlike his past flings, this time he decides to settle down with her and start a family. Unfortunately, that goes counter to Wilhelm's quest to find a cure for his vampirism.
  • Lethal Joke Item: The Jellyfish. These things can either turn you to a monster, Turn you into a puny version of yourself etc.
  • Love Redeems: For the greedy Alethrion. But too late.
    • It was Tatiana love for Sylvia that ultimately make her betrayed the gold dragon of arist.
  • The Mirror Shows Your True Self: Whether you're an epic adventurer at heart, a benevolent god, or greed personified, the Mirror of Truth will show you.
  • Macho Camp: Uruth, with his flamboyant Dance Battler moves and obsession with his appearance.
  • Manly Gay: Uruth, according to Word of God. In fact, he was exiled from his village for it.
  • Mood Whiplash: Alethrion's lonely and tragic demise is immediately followed by his map falling into the hands of a sunbathing and cheery Brühn.
  • Muscles Are Meaningless: Brühn has invested a lot of time in attaining and maintaining his impeccable and impressive physique to wow onlookers with feats of beauty and strength, but he's not all that good at fighting, so much so that he's easily bullied by people half his size.
    • Conversely, Wilhelm is practically a stick figure by comparison, and yet is one of the mightiest characters in the series.
    • Averted with Alethrion, who had a Heroic Build, and near-limitless power to match.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: Alethrion's reaction upon seeing himself in the Mirror of Truth.
    • Hit twice in 'Daughter Revenge'. First time by Wilhelm as he realized he jeopardize the world by handing the map over, second time by Tira when she released Alethrion Greed, and in turn inadvertedly having a hand in Ken death.
  • Parental Substitute: As they travel together, Sylvia ends up becoming this to Mik and Ken. Unfortunately, Tatiana doesn't share the same sentiments.
  • Phantom-Zone Picture: Interesting variant as it's only Sylvia mind that get trapped in a painting, Her body is used as a puppet. Luckily destroying the amulet allows Sylvia to regain her body.
  • Physical God: One in The Reward, and several more in The First Hero. It seems to be the way of this world for gods too to have physical forms. They all die.
    • Word of God states that the gods seen so far were not the only ones.
  • Purple Is Powerful: When Vito comes into his own as a sorcerer he wears purple colored lenses and his spells cast a purple aura.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: Vito is Red Oni to Wilhelm's Blue Oni.
    • Alethrion and Amerath
    • Mik and Ken
    • Zit and Uruth
  • Riddling Sphinx: The Sphinx Leitha, unlike most example she benevelant and in mix with Androcles' Lion and just abit of revenge, teams up with Mik and Ken to attack the Gold Dragon of Arist.
  • Sealed Evil in a Can: Alethrion's reflection which he trapped in his bottomless treasure chest; the same one shown at the end of the original short. Amerath has a vision of what will happen if it gets out.
  • The Stinger: After the credits it turns out that if our heroes had just looked behind the mirror...
  • The Stoic: Wilhelm.
  • Superpowered Evil Side: The reflection of Alethrion.
  • Tears of Joy: Vito does it something serious when Wilhelm wakes up after collapsing from blood loss.
  • Technicolor Magic: Vito runs into a cave that spews magenta-colored smoke — and has to be dragged out of it by Wilhelm. But then, his own magic manifests as purple...
  • Terrible Trio: Mira (later replaced by her daughter, Tira), Uruth, and Zit. Also overlaps with Big, Thin, Short Trio.
  • Time-Compression Montage: How the two protagonists turn from young boys to older, epic heroes.
  • Took a Level in Badass: Wilhelm and Vito are far from seasoned adventurers when they start out. But once they realize The Power of Friendship they conquer everything with an unstoppable amount of badassery.
  • Traumatic Haircut: Wilhelm cuts off Uruth's pompadour. Uruth is so horrified that he leaves himself open for a kick in the face.
  • Treasure Map: What sends our protagonists on their epic journey.
    • It was originally just a map Amerath made to keep track of her travels until Alethrion re-purposed it.
  • Two Halves Make a Plot: In an argument over the map, Vito and Wilhelm tear it in two, each being left with a half. This sets them off on the adventure.
  • Ungrateful Bastard: Despite Mik and Ken helping to unpetrify her, Tatiana still contemplates disposing of them and claiming the map for herself and Sylvia.
  • The Vamp: It's implied Mira, the leader of the thug trio, charmed Vito in order to get him to relinquish his half of the map. Years later, Sylvia does the same thing to get Vito to spill the location of the map.
  • Vegetarian Vampire: Vito and Wilhelm meet one on their later journeys, and Wilhelm becomes one himself.
  • Vitriolic Best Buds: At first, at least.
  • Walking the Earth: They may be following a map, but Wilhelm and Vito seem to get into a lot of side quests.
    • For Amerath, this is the whole point of her travels. Of which she documents in a series of maps.
  • Was It Really Worth It?: Alethrion is hit with this, realizing the true love he threw away ultimately wasn't worth all the riches, powers, and prestige he'd gained. Given his greed gets himself killed, he spends his last moments clearly regretting it.
  • You Killed My Father: Mother actually, as it is in Tira's case. Never mind that she was a bandit that tried to rob and murder Wilhelm.

Alternative Title(s): The Reward, Tales Of Alethrion