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Web Video / A Song At Tara

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"Behold the six that I have won, stolen, cheated, brought together. Behold the six from which the emeralds will flow. Behold the six that will save the green fields of Éireann."
Raven; introducing himself to the players by telling them their fate

A Song At Tara is an ongoing Actual Play web video series following a Werewolf: The Apocalypse 20th anniversary edition chronicle. Set in Dublin, the game follows six teenagers who are introduced to the supernatural side of the world when they freak out and transform into nine-foot tall killing machines, thus realising that they are Garou, a race of shape-shifting creatures charged by Gaia to oppose the corruption of the Earth.

There are 58 episodes which are split into three or more videos about an hour long each, and six introductory shorts detailing the starting characters' First Changes. The first 3 game sessions were "prequels" focusing on the teenagers during their introduction to the werewolves of the Raven's Eye sept and their three years of training, after which they started on their Rite of Passage.

The Chronicle is found here on the YouTube channel CharismaToAC.

The Players:

  • Joan as the Storyteller
  • Daniel as Aaron Blackwell; the Shadow Lord Ahroun.
  • Chris as Taliesin Blevens; the Child of Gaia Galliard.
  • Rasmus as Siomha Ní Braoin (pronounced Sheeva nee-Breen); the Fianna Philodox. He later plays Mahdi 'Deadeye' El-Amin the Silent Strider Theurge when Síomha succumbs to Harano.
  • Aja as Taryn Jones; the Glass Walker Theurge.
  • Heine as Conall Burke; the Get of Fenris Ahroun. He later plays Liam 'Killer of Banes' Cavanagh, a Fianna Ahroun, when Conall abandons the sept, having grown increasingly resentful towards the pack and the way things are run.
  • Helle as Fenna Mortensen; the Get of Fenris Ragabash.

"I'll just drop a trope on them":

  • Amazon Brigade: The Black Fury tribe has a presence in Dublin. During character creation, Daniel says that they wouldn't like being called amazons even though that's basically what they are, because the Amazons weren't actually from Greece.
    • Eventually averted. By the end of the campaign, any Black Fury presence in Dublin is gone. Althea is killed in battle with the Dublin Nexus Crawler in the Flux Realm, and Theodora is killed by Erik when she is revealed to be a traitor to the Sept in the employ of Michael Blackwell.
  • Animal Motifs: In addition to all the shape-shifting animals, there are spirits of every kind of animal and most of the major totem spirits are animals of some kind. Most notable is Raven, the totem spirit of the Raven's Eye Sept that the player characters join.
    • Two of the major spirits; Wyrm and Weaver, have "theme animals" that are associated with them; for the Weaver it's spiders, and for the Wyrm it's dragons and snakes. Even though not all spider spirits serve the Weaver and not all snakes serve the Wyrm, most Gaian werewolves are uncomfortable around those types of spirits, especially dragons.
  • Animorphism: All the main characters are werewolves, and there have been a few references to the other kinds of changing animals. Such as the werebears, weresharks and werelizards.
  • Babies Ever After: Not only are both Aideen and Francesca pregnant by the end of the chronicle, but the epilogue mentions that most of the PCs eventually seek to have children within long-term relationships. Fenna gets rather...evangelical about it.
  • Bilingual Bonus: In-character banter sometimes goes on in Danish. Joan usually translates for the benefit of listeners, but you'll still be Late to the Punchline unless you know the language.
    • Chris playing as Tali occasionally uses a word, phrase or full sentence in Welsh.
  • Blood Knight: Conall (like a good Get of Fenris). His usual response to the sudden appearance of a horrific Wyrm-monster is a flatly intonated but very sincere "Cool." And then there was the time he rushed to attack the Bloodwolf, a massive spirit of predatory savagery, basically just because he could.
  • Brief Accent Imitation: To immerse the players and viewers into the game, Joan will often affect various accents. Examples include Irish, Russian, and a somewhat comedic British accent.
  • Camp Gay: Cecil, the Genius Loci of The Dragon, an LGBT nightclub.
  • Clever Crows: Raven is the totem of the caern in St. Stephen's Green, primarily in his role as a bird of prophecy.
  • Creepy Good: The giant spider spirit in the Penumbra of the local mall. She lives in a dark, web-filled space, rarely shows more of herself than one or two huge legs, and speaks in a near-whisper about eating large animals such as cows. But she is an ally of the pack and Mahdi's friend, and at his request creates a web of moonlight to dredge the Wyrm-taint out of the Liffey.
  • Defeat Means Friendship: After Liam wrestles a very aggressive bull-spirit into submission, it starts following him around like an eager-to-please puppy.
  • Disaster Dominoes: During the pack's early days, Aaron went too far when taunting Conall, who then tried to leap at him with a punch. Heine rolled terribly and Conall ends up slipping and falling onto a nearby pile of wet, smelly garbage. Then he rolls head-over-heels into a lamppost which breaks, falls down, and sets fire to the garbage pile.
  • Eldritch Abomination: The Wyrm and a lot of its more powerful servants very much qualify, the Weaver might also apply even though it reprensents order.
  • Endangered Species: The Garou aren't doing very well these days, less and less of them are born every year, and the number of werewolves who die in battle isn't likely to go down anytime soon.
  • The Epic: As the pack's only Galliard; Tali has taken it upon himself to compose a series of poems recounting their exploits.
    • Based on reactions to Chris's recital of "The Prelude of the Fated Six", and all later poems composed for the chronicle, the complete saga could be said earn this trope.
  • Epic Fail: When Heine earns -2 successes on two different rolls the others jokingly call him "double-botch"
  • Faking the Dead: the entire pack, for about four months, in order to catch Michael Blackwell off guard
  • Friendly Neighborhood Vampire: Sandy van Hartegan, a trans woman while alive and proprietor of The Dragon. She conducts herself with such a high standard of ethical behavior that she doesn't even register as Wyrm-tainted.
  • Gayngst: Not obvious in her personality, but according to her character bio, Fianna (the girl, not the tribe) doesn't get along well with her family because of her "lifestyle choice" in their words.
    • Althea is on bad terms with Siobhan (pronounced Shi-vawn) because she tried to flirt with her and Siobhan didn't appreciate it. Not an unreasonable reaction considering Garou are forbidden from mating with each other. And then Althea's arm got blown off by a sniper. And then she got killed by a Nexus Crawler...
  • Genius Loci: Several examples, from the personifications of Dublin itself to the indwelling spirit of a nightclub.
  • Go and Sin No More: Wynda MacAlpin used to be a member of the Black Spiral Dancers; the corrupted werewolf tribe. However, she was brought to the Deep Umbra realm of Erebus and subjected to the Garou equivalent of a baptism; she was thrown into a river of molten silver which burned all the Wyrm-taint from her body. Now she wants to help the Player Characters.
  • Greater-Scope Villain: As with anything to do with Werewolf: The Apocalypse, the Wyrm exists to be the primordial force behind everything the Garou are fighting against. During the character creation session; Daniel explained the Wyrm to the new players as "The endgame villain that we're never gonna defeat."
    • Kenneth MacAlpin and his entire clan of Black Spiral Dancers seem to have big plans for Dublin.
  • Haunted House: Aaron owns a mansion just outside of Dublin that was built on the site of an older mansion that burned down. Several of the servants were caught in that blaze, and now haunt the new building, though only one of them has enough self-awareness to recognise that he is one of the unquiet dead.
  • Hulk Speak: As a lupus who spent an undisclosed length of time traveling alone, Mahdi has a very limited vocabulary and simple grammar.
  • Hurricane of Puns: After Tali casually makes a lamb metaphor, he tells Taryn that she better make a Wales joke; she doesn't listen to him, then Daniel, Joan, and Helle join in on the baa-d jokes. Tali is rather annoyed, and it all comes to an end after Joan suggests a way for Tali to calm down.
  • I Can't Hear You: An exchange in episode 52 between Taryn and Liam after Taryn loses her hearing from being blown up and has a building fall on her.
  • In and Out of Character: Long debates over tactics in between combat rounds aren't very common due to the way that combat in Old World of Darkness works; actions are declared in the reverse order that they happen.
  • Magical Native American: Averted. Since the game is set in Ireland the Native American tribes of werewolves are not present, though they do get a mention.
  • Man on Fire: The pack's first two combat encounters contained Fomori who lit themselves on fire.
  • Meaningful Name: Taliesin, a Galliard, is named after the Taliesin of Welsh history and legend.
  • Mind Rape: When the pack first meet with, and then anger Micheal "Black-Razor" Blackwell, he uses a power called "Obedience" on them that forces them all to temporarily follow his orders. Thankfully all he does is tell them to leave.
    • Coming to close to a Nexus Crawler can make even battle-hardened Garou go insane.
  • Names to Run Away from Really Fast: Several Garou characters have one as a deed name. One standout example is Fist-In-Liver.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero! Conall when he leaves Dublin and kills the Caern.
  • Ooh, Me Accent's Slipping:
    • Chris, playing as Tali, tries to maintain a passable southern Welsh accent, since that is Tali's nationality. He doesn't always succeed.
    • Rasmus, playing as Mahdi, has a tendency to veer into an Indian accent on occasion. He usually lampshades it.
  • Overly Long Name: Monserrat dos Santos Marquessa del Santiago Maria de los Remedio(Cut off) Santisma Trinidad Ruiz Y Estevez. (She's Spanish, in case you couldn't tell) Her name is so long that part of it is always obscured.
  • Previously on…: At the beginning of each session, someone (Rasmus in the earliest episodes, usually Chris in the later ones) summarizes the previous session.
  • Primal Fear: The Delirium. Most normal humans who see a Werewolf in their war form will either run away, freeze in fear, faint on the spot, or lash out. Taryn once tried to use this to erase the memories from a crowd who saw a vampire using his powers, as both Joan and several Werewolf: The Apocalypse books have pointed out: the Delirium is not a magic memory eraser button.
  • Ret-Gone: This happens to the victims of the Nephandi. In a variation, they don't physically vanish but disappear from photographs, official records...and the memories of those who knew them.
  • Rite of Passage: A major theme during the early part of the series, after the pack's basic training they were assigned the task of tracking down a certain member of the Black Spiral Dancers and rip them to shreds. They succeed and are made ranking members of the Sept.
  • Running Gag: "Ladies and gentlemen of the listening audience, this is a service announcement..."
  • Sealed Good in a Can: Wynda MacAlpin spent centuries in the Deep Umbra before she returned to the normal world; she didn't age while she was there.
  • Shout-Out: When the pack are told that they're going to the most haunted place in Dublin, Aaron starts humming the Ghostbusters theme. Soon afterwards the others are asking what other supernatural creatures are real and Conall asks about the orcs from The Lord of the Rings and Aaron seizes the opportunity to call Conall a nerd.
    • After a night of terrifying ghost encounters, Fenna says "Are you my mummy?" which gives Taryn quite a fright.
  • Shown Their Work: Many little tidbits of Irish and world history have shown up in the game, from referencing real historical figures and events (like Kenneth MacAlpin and Easter Rising) to a Bone Gnawer Werewolf based on a news story about a homeless man who jumped into a river to save his pet rabbit.
  • Slap-Slap-Kiss: Dublin North and Dublin South do not get along at all, but the background info speculates that each is secretly in love with the other.
    • At the end of the chronicle, when Liffey has been cleansed and the divide between the city spirits has been removed, it's mentioned that Dublin North and South have not stopped kissing each other since.
  • Slash Fic: Taryn wrote a few stories starring her pack mates Aaron and Tali. Interestingly; Aaron took them better than Tali did, and he occasionally joked about them.
  • Sleep Cute: After staying awake for 36+ hours straight, the pack more-or-less collapses in the sept alpha's apartment in a "Lupus puppy pile."
  • Stunned Silence: The in-character and out-of-character reaction to Tali/Chris's Epic Poem recounting all of the pack's adventures from the first session up until the end of their Rite of Passage.
    • And a similar reaction is had during the recital of the last poem of the chronicle.
  • Team Pet: Mahdi, on account of being the only lupus Garou in the pack.
  • Trademark Favorite Food: Conall has bacon.
  • Unstoppable Rage: The more Rage points a werewolf has, and the closer it is to full moon; the more likely werewolves are to frenzy. The pack members most likely to frenzy are, of course, the two Ahrouns. Aaron started with 7 out of 10 Rage points, Conall only started with 5, but he has a Flaw called "Short Fuse".
    • It's stated multiple times that some Ahrouns (mainly those from the Get of Fenris) will sometimes lock themselves up in cages to avoid running wild.
    • Conall flies into a rage and destroys an apartment after Aaron dies.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: The chronicle was so dense with potential subplots that it was literally impossible for all of them to be resolved. Whichever one counts as "the mouse" is subjective.
  • "Where Are They Now?" Epilogue: In the "Post Scriptum" episode, Joan summarizes the players' suggestions for what their characters do after the events of the chronicle.