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The Party and the Riddle Pillar

"Well, it started out as a journey and then it just kinda became this whole different 'quest'. Journey... Quest... JourneyQuest."
"Ugh, that's terrible."
Wren (naming her epic)

JourneyQuest: A group of adventurers is sent to claim the Sword of Fighting from the Temple of All Dooms so they can defeat The Wicked Kings. Along the way they manage to slay many orcs and pick up a few followers, even if the party isn't aware they have them. Created by Zombie Orpheus Entertainment, their site is here:

The main party includes:

  • Glorion: A human knight with a love for fighting;
  • Perf (or Sir Perfluous to give him his full name): A human wizard, though not a very good one, as even he admits;
  • Carrow: The party's cleric, and source of Deadpan Snarking;
  • Nara: The Elf Chick and also the party's ranger.

This disjointed bunch is secretly followed around by a young bard named Wren, who chronicles their misadventures.

JourneyQuest provides examples of:

  • Achievements in Ignorance: Happens a lot, actually. Notably, Perf creating the first sentient corporeal undead and Glorion's accidental solving of The Temple of All Doom's puzzles.
  • Action Prologue: The story starts with an encounter between the Bard and three Orcs.
  • Added Alliterative Appeal: Invoked by Silver Tom with his "Let us escape this sad specimen of feckless flailing failure... and other alliterations!"
  • All Love Is Unrequited:
    • Perf is clearly having a massive crush on Nara, while she remains completely ignorant about it.
    • Rilk the orc falls for Wren the bard, except she is too busy with her assignment of creating an epic of the party's adventure to even notice.
    • In turn, Wren is crushing on Silver Tom, something that's well below him and his ego, but it lasts until they actually meet and she's quickly over it.
  • Arrow Catch: Karn, without breaking a sweat.
  • Artifact of Attraction: Although it's very subtle, the Sword of Fighting appears to be one. Perf can't stand the thing, but as of the end of season 3 every other member of Perf's party has come up with a reason they should have it instead. Of course, half the party was planning to take it for themselves right from the beginning.
  • Bald of Authority: Karn, the barbarian king, has his head shaved clean and not covered by anything - not even the crown.
  • Bilingual Bonus: In Episode 1: "Skald" is the Orcish translation for "Bard", and Skald is the Old Norse translation for "Bard".
  • Blatant Lies: Roderick the gargoyle tells these, not because he has anything to hide, but because as half of a Knights and Knaves puzzle he is magically compelled. To show how Blatant they can get, he tells one character that the time is midnight, when it is obviously midday. The fellow, who has only just met Roderick, instantly catches on that a curse is involved, but Glorion, who has been traveling with Roderick for days and is standing right there, still misses the point. After a while he just starts saying everything sarcastically.
  • Blood Knight:
    • Glorion manages to blend the lust for battle and skills of this with the tactical mind of Lord Error-Prone.
    • The Sword of Fighting as well.
  • Brick Joke: Yes, Perf did keep the stone he used to defeat the orc shaman. No, it didn't help him at all against the bounty huntress.
  • Broken Pedestal: Wren has nothing but admiration for Silver Tom and has a fan crush on him... until they meet in person and he proves to be an incredibly self-centered tool.
  • Came Back Wrong: Carrow claims to have his memories and personality intact, but whereas in life he showed compassion and concern for the orcs, after his return from the dead he seems to have no qualms about biting them to death and eating them afterwards... He is slowly realizing this as the second season goes on. His holy symbol burns him, and spells against evil target him too.
  • Cassandra Truth: Perf tells the truth when asked about Glorion by the orcs, but due to Glorion being Glorion the answer makes so little sense they think he's mocking them.
  • Catchphrase: Glorion's "Onwaaaaaard!", which due to his pitch and non-stop use of it grates on everyone in-universe.
  • Clingy MacGuffin: The Sword of Fighting. Perf can try throwing it away all he wants, it'll be back. "Everywhere!"
  • Creepy Souvenir: Grelnock Skullsplitter likes to collect human ears.
  • Crossover: The genie shows up in the third The Gamers movie.
  • Cunning Linguist:
    • Perf speaks any language the plot requires.
    • Bards carry around potions that allow them to bypass the Language Barrier. While Wren uses it on herself to understand others, Silver Tom instead gives it to others, so he can understand them.
  • Cute Clumsy Girl: Wren is both a cute girl and an incredibly clumsy bard. When he's talking about her with fellow orcs, Rilk points out she's oddly incompetent even for a human, which he finds both amusing and alluring.
  • Cutting the Knot: This seems to be Glorion's method of working through every possible obstacle in his path: brute-force it. Since the Temple of All Dooms is designated for more... conventional and rule-abiding adventurers, him simply hacking his way through it works like a charm.
  • Department of Redundancy Department:
    • "Die in the wrathful flames of my wrath!"
    • "And then he sent a vast army of murder elementals! And they kept coming on and on in vast waves of murderness!"
  • Distracting Disambiguation: Of all the things Perf could've done when ambushed by a party of orcs, he decided to correct them on their use of the orcish language. The line he was criticizing was so far into You No Take Candle territory that the other orcs took time out to agree with him.
  • Doomy Dooms of Doom: The Temple of All Dooms.
  • The Drag-Along: Before the end of the first season, Perf has tried to abandon the quest twice that we have seen.
  • Dungeon Bypass: How Perf and Nara manages to get to the Sword of Fighting without even finding the entrance to the Temple.
  • Embarrassing Tattoo: Perf has one right above his groin.
    Nara: Really? "Meat henge"?
  • Expy:
  • Fantastic Drug: Mixing the fumes from different potions creates a high and hallucinations... along with a lot of unpleasant side effects. Wren does this by accident when she falls on her satchel full of potions; the Dwarf who puts her up until she recovers says she's lucky to be alive after mixing so many.
  • Fantastic Racism: This theme comes up a lot.
    • Mostly, it's Orcs versus humans. A squad of Orcs is tracking the party because of Glorion's Orcish genocide, and they mock human stereotypes when they get the chance.
      Rilk: [an Orc, exploiting a potion and speaking the human language] Our laws will keep us safe!
    • A subtler version is in the rejection of a cleric by his own religion only because he has become undead — but not a zombie.
    • In season 3, Daggie the dwarf and Nara the elf hurl insults at one another as a prelude to a bar fight.
  • Fate Worse than Death: The random elf used as a vessel by the Wicked Kings. Since she wasn't actually killed, she still works as a relay of their discussions, having zero control over it.
  • Funny Background Event: While Perf is discussing with the orc archeologist, Nara and the bounty huntress are fighting in the background.
  • Fur Bikini: Starling's. (There's even a spot in the credits for its creators.)
  • Gargle Blaster: The twiddlebark potion Perf gave to Nara. She has to make pauses between each gulp.
  • Girls with Moustaches: Daggie the female dwarf sports an impressive beard. Remarkably, there's not a gender-confusion joke in sight, though the beard does come up when she makes out with Perf the male human wizard.
    Daggie: Your beard tickles.
    Perf: So does yours.
  • Glory Seeker: Glorion plays this to the hilt, right down to his name, which might be made-up. A "Face Your Fears" type of trap shows a snippet from his abusive childhood, where he decided to be the best and most famous knight in the world, only to end up being a murderous Blood Knight busy with dungeon crawling instead.
  • Gory Discretion Shot: Glorion massacring reformed villains.
  • Gosh Dang It to Heck!: "Sod" and "rut" seem to stand in for much more explicit words. "Rut" is probably a Shout-Out to Firefly. Oddly enough Wren seems to get a pass, and has used such phrases as "shag the tits off a harpy".
  • Heroic Comedic Sociopath: Glorion plays with this trope. He certainly sees himself as heroic, but will kill anyone or anything he feels to be in his way to completing his goal. Carrow says it best: "You killed every single orc to cross our path, and some that were nowhere near our path." That includes orcish women, children and their old and infirm. He cements that he isn't heroic though when he challenges Perf to a duel for the sword and kills him after Perf wins.
  • Humans Through Alien Eyes: It's made clear throughout that the Orcs don't take humans entirely seriously. In the third season when they're trying to infiltrate a town as humans (with magical disguises) their main limitation is that they insist on making fun of everything. The villagers seem to think they're just eccentric, but given that every race in the setting seems to be represented there it's not clear how many actually believe they're human.
  • I Call It "Vera": "Justice is the name of his axe"
  • Ignored Enemy: King Karn and his wife Starling keep having an argument while fighting off a slew of assassins. Probably why Starling got stabbed, really.
  • Incoming Ham: Glorion has No Indoor Voice and is always trying to act in the most bombastic way, announcing his presence.
  • I Need a Freaking Drink: The Dungeon Master narrating the dungeon is soon pushed into getting drunk as Glorion is plowing through every room.
  • Insane Troll Logic: Everything Glorion says or does, from his statement that "killing equals honor" down to his decision to interpret a riddle literally and subsequently attempt to kill a river with his sword. Much to the exasperation of friends and foes alike, he manages to blindly bludgeon his way through obstacles with surprising efficiency. Usually this is because his very direct and brutal approach, along with his total lack of empathy, allows him to mostly just ignore obstacles designed to defeat traditional heroes.
  • Knights and Knaves: One of the Temple of All Doom's puzzles, with gargoyles. Glorion solves it largely by accident, when he tries to kill one gargoyle by throwing it down the safe path, then notices that it didn't die and decides to follow it in.
  • Language Barrier: Between orcs and humans. Can be circumvented by tongue potions, but when they're out of it, hilarity (or awkwardness) ensues. Rilk in particular has no problem talking, even if he knows the other side won't understand him anyway.
  • Large Ham: Several, notably Glorion (OONWWAAARD!!!) and the Wicked King.
  • Leg Cling: King Kharn's wife does variants of this and just lounging at his feet while court is in session. He thinks it's demeaning and that she should have her own throne, but she likes doing it.
  • "L" Is for "Dyslexia": The explanation for Perf's miscast magic and ability to retrocast: he's dyslexic. Oddly, the human language does not have a word for dyslexia, but the Orcish one does, even though other dialogue implies that Orcs have less use for writing than humans do.
  • Loads and Loads of Races: Being a D&D-based fantasy world, there are numerous classic RPG races. The most common to appear are humans and orcs, with a few elves. Other examples of fantasy races to appear are Daggy the dwarf, a halfling, a pair of ogres, a genie, and even a naiad (water sprite/river nymph)! A couple of races who have only been mentioned are centaurs and merpeople.
  • Magic Misfire: Perf's mode of operation when casting from the book. This turns out to be a very useful talent called Retrocasting, since his failures produce the opposite effect intended. He can invert spells with some effort.
  • The Medic: Carrow the cleric is one for the party, befitting the game logic of the universe.
  • Missed the Call: Nara seems to feel this way about Perf getting the Sword of Fighting.
  • Mundane Solution: Apparently Rock beats Magic. Fantastic little nugget from Perf.
  • Murder Is the Best Solution: Everything Glorion does. Period.
  • Mushroom Samba: Wren suffers from severe hallucinations after accidentally falling on her potion bag and getting hit by all the vapors.
  • Neck Snap:
    • Done to Carrow. As he's undead, it doesn't stick.
    • Karn to the assassins trying to kill him.
  • No Indoor Voice: Glorion. To the point where his "normal" tone is similar to shouting — and usually he's just screaming something to charge.
  • The Nudifier: A combination of the aforementioned Magic Misfire problem and an attempted Gust of Wind spell. Hilarity Ensues.
  • Obliviously Evil: Glorion is completely oblivious that he's a Blood Knight killing everything that moves and is in his general vicinity. Including children, the elderly and even a support group of former bad guys.
  • Offhand Backhand: As part of his Assassin Outclassin' routine, Karn dashes a few of those, without even paying much attention to the assassination attempt.
  • Our Zombies Are Different: Few get more different than what Perf did to Carrow. A soul with full memories stuck in a rotting corpse. Though Carrow is not a zombie. He's very clear on that point.
  • Outdoor Bath Peeping: Carrow and Perf, to Nara. Played for Drama in Carrow's case, as he doesn't care anymore about it.
  • Oxymoronic Being: Carrow, the Undead Cleric... of the undead-hating god Vieris.
  • Paper-Thin Disguise: King Karn trying to stay incognito. Even the drunks recognize him. And they're very drunk.
  • Political Overcorrectness: Subverted Trope. Yart tries to give Rilk advice on wooing a woman without offending her along these lines, including mutually exclusive things like complimenting her beauty and trying to emphasize that you don't value appearance. When Rilk says that now he's just confused and terrified of saying the wrong thing, Yart announces that that means he's prepared to speak with a woman.
  • Pungeon Master: Other than being a lousy wizard, Perf is also lousy at puns, but he can't stop making them.
  • Race Fetish: Apparently an Orcish stereotype of humans is that they all think Elf chicks are hot. Nara mentions the same stereotype, and dismisses Perf's interest in her as an example. Of the story's actual interracial attractions (there are several), only Daggie the dwarf's lust for Perf the human might count, since she does mention being turned on by how skinny he is.
  • Revenant Zombie: Carrow, having retained most of his personality and memories, fits this category of The Undead.
  • Running Gag:
    • Literally, with Perf running away from something as the opening titles roll during season 1 & 2.
    • Wren coughing or choking after drinking a potion.
    • Nara being hit by the bounty huntress' darts and getting high from the drug.
    • King Karn casually dispatching assassins while minding his business.
  • Screams Like a Little Girl: Perf, as the Sword helpfully points out at every opportunity.
  • Sex Slave: The bards' head mistress makes the purple genie have sex with her.
  • Shoot the Medic First: How Carrow meets his demise. It even gets lampshaded by the orcs that turned him into a Human Pincushion.
  • Shaped Like Itself:
    • The riddle pillar.
      Perf: It's a riddle pillar.
      Glorion: And what in valor's name is that?
      Perf: A pillar, with a riddle on it. Hence the term "riddle pillar".
    • The "Vague" spell effects are "kind of hard to nail down". The one time we see it cast it's main impact is causing the targets to argue over what the hell just happened.
  • Shared Universe: Connected to The Gamers franchise via the Hopjockey metasetting (all created by Matt Vancil).
  • Sickening "Crunch!": Carrow has his spine re-set after being hit by an ogre's mace. Since he's undead, the hit itself hardly hurt him.
  • Skyward Scream: Glorion, when finding out that Perf had taken the Sword of Fighting before him.
  • Snarky Non-Human Sidekick:
    • The Sword of Fighting for Perf.
    • Roderick the gargoyle for Glorion. Even though he can't tell the truth, his lies can get quite sarcastic.
  • Skip of Innocence: Wren does those when she's high out of her mind.
  • Special Effects Evolution: Season 1 was just a semi-serious project done in spare time on a camcorder with minimalistic effects. By the time of season 3, it had secured a budget of nearly half a million dollars via crowd-funding and it shows: dolly shots (from an actual dolly), multiple camera angles for the same scene, professional lighting, cleaner and better CGI...
  • Square Race, Round Class: An orc archeologist? Then again, the JourneyQuest orcs seem to be a bit more civilized than average. The first episode also mentions orc bards.
  • Talking to Themself: The Wicked King(s) is (are?) a serious hard case.
  • Talking Weapon: The Sword of Fighting.
  • Temple of Doom: The Temple of All Dooms in fact. Technically not quite accurate, but the Temple of Some Dooms didn't have quite the same punch. The orcs refer to it as the Temple of Select Dooms.
  • Title Drop: Each episode is named after a line delivered by one of the characters in that episode. Wren also drops the main title at the very end of Season 1 when she's trying to think of a good title for her epic. Then she immediately rejects it.
  • Token Non-Human: Nara the elf is the only non-human in the party.
  • Treacherous Quest Giver:
    • The Wicked Kings send the party to destroy the sword, then send several assassins after the party in case one of them turns out to be The Chosen One.
    • Karn assumes that a seer giving him a totally accurate account of the situation and explaining how he can take advantage is doing this to get him out of the country. At least, that's what he wants his backstabbing court to think....
  • Tropaholics Anonymous: Season 2 episode 2 has a gathering of villains trying to reject evil this way. Naturally, Glorion stumbles on them and kills them all.
  • Turn Undead: As a cleric, Carrow has this power. Unfortunately, since he became undead, he can affect himself too.
    • He once turns a large group of zombies while wandering though a city of other undead. But then he looks at his holy symbol and accidentally turns himself, running off farther into the horde of undead who don't react in any way.
    • Bonus points for trying to turn Death herself... and accidentally blowing his own arm off in the process.
  • Unusual Euphemism: In his Establishing Character Moment, we hear Tom describe a "private tutoring session" with an undergraduate bard using Purple Prose. In his first meeting with Wren, even he is impressed with the originality of her profanity.
  • Whatevermancy: Perf is mockingly referred to as "the lactomancer" for his use of the "conjure milk" spell. He's later called a retromancer when his hidden talent is discovered.
  • With This Herring: The only spell Perf is truly proficient at is Mend. However, he gets an insane amount of utility out of it, especially after figuring out how retromancy works.