Tropes: A River Without Water

Set in the years 1348 - 1376 NS, in a section of north eastern Vatharond called Rothirschtal, this multi-generational saga depicts the adventures of four heroes and their children. Focusing on the theme of destiny vs free will, the characters find themselves in a world where the choice they make (and their fathers made) reflect how their story is shaped.

The first part, titled A River Without Water Saga, features the adventures of Anton Halfhand, Sigurt Kraemer, Aldaen Zolmir and Bors Riverstone. They find their village under attack by the elves of the northern forest and soundly defeat them only to discover it was all a misunderstanding and the elven prince, Elegast, was using the village to divine the location of his kidnapped sister. The four join him on the quest while constantly arguing over ethics. They defeat an ogre, question a dragon and defeat the wizard who stole the elven princess.

Along the way, the four heroes met a myriad of strangers and decided to marry them. Anton married Natassia Cloos from the village, Aldaen married Michelle Martin, the foreigner slave, Bors chose the mortal form of an elemental princess, and Sigurt left to join the elves and married the princess.

The story continues with A River Without Water: Separation, set nine years later and follows the kids of the original four, Leonid Antonov, Merrium Kraemer, Ranita Riverchild and Sangar Zolmir II. For most of their lives, they lived upon the ship Triton's Fork with Anton Halfhand for an unknown reason. The story begins with them returning home and reuniting with their families. They then go on a short series of misadventures dealing with rescuing Sigurt from a cave, haunted towers, and saving a fairy kingdom. At the end the village is attacked again, this time by orcs, and is destroyed utterly. Anton saves the children from the attack, but is killed in action, murdered by a mysterious pair of assassins. The children are saved by a mysterious wizard who takes them to different mentors to be trained in order to save the world.

Ten years later, A River Without Water: The Supreme Ordeal picks up when the kids, now teenagers, reunite and are presented with the plot by Father Myra, high priest of the Church of Ornus. An organization called the Order of Praavda is using the recent death of the king to dominate the region using magical stones of mind control. They have sealed the four protective spirits of the land and as such, the land is dying.

The four begin to free the spirits, each one guarded by a soul bending Devil of Truth, while dealing with each other's personality quirks. Oh and they also decide to wage war on the elven kingdom. Along the way they recruit several allies along for parts of the ride and even eventually raise an army.

They discover the existence of a prophesied chosen one called the Firebringer who supposedly is the key to bringing down the Order of Praavda. This is all connected to the reason Anton raised them on a ship and why their fathers mysteriously went their separate ways.

Oh, and Merrium turns into a dragon.

The last part of the story comes in A River Without Water: Unification, set eight years after the Supreme Ordeal in 1376 NS.


A River Without Water contains elements of:

  • Action Girl: Rani
  • Animal Motifs: Rani's "pack" metaphors.
  • Arc Number: Most things in the Supreme Ordeal involves the number 4.
  • Arranged Marriage: Merrium to Gruoch.
  • Back to Back Badasses: Leo and Sangar
  • Bad Ass Normal: While Sangar, Merrium and Ranita are spellcasters and shapeshifters, Leonid arguably remains the most powerful.
  • Bad Future: If Tugarin Zmeja won.
  • The Baroness: Hella
  • Because Destiny Says So
  • Big Damn Heroes
  • Can Not Spit It Out: Everytime Rani talks with Merrium, she runs out of words.
  • Casanova: Sangar
  • The Chains Of Commanding: Elegast is buried under these.
  • Character Development
  • Character Focus
  • Chekhovs Armory: It all comes back around.
  • The Chosen One: The Firebringer
  • Chronic Hero Syndrome: Sangar
  • Control Freak: Merrium by his own admission.
  • Cool Old Guy: Sangar… um, the old one.
  • Cool Sword: Pick one.
  • Court Mage: The Keeper of Green Flame in Elegast's court.
  • Crap Sack World: Everyone is miserable and angry.
  • Crowning Moment Of Awesome
  • Daddy Had A Good Reason For Abandoning You: Did he? DID HE?!
  • Disappeared Dads
  • Disc One Final Boss: Chernomor
  • Earn Your Happy Ending: Heroes have to wade through a lot of crap.
  • Even Evil Has Standards
  • Everythings Better With Princesses
  • Evil Versus Evil
  • Face Heel Turn: Merrium with the chain of torment.
  • Fake Defector: Merrium with Tugarin Zmeja
  • A Fate Worse Than Death: Sangar refused to kill Alexei after their duel.
  • Feuding Families: Zolmir and Crull
  • Full Boar Action: Grosh-mog.
  • Gratuitous German
  • Heroic Lineage
  • Hidden Villain: Whoever runs the Order of Praavda.
  • Improbable Age: Our heroes start off adventuring before they were ten!
  • In the Blood: The story is more powerful than generations.
  • Jerk With A Heart Of Gold: Merrium
  • Jigsaw Puzzle Plot: No one knows whats going on.
  • Jungle Princess
  • Kill It With Fire: Merrium uses fire almost exclusively.
  • La Resistance: The Nightingale and his bandits as well as the Allied Army of Free Men.
  • Missing Mom
  • Mooks: Enlightened
  • My Sensors Indicate You Want To Tap That: Sangar is trying to hook Merrium up with Ranita.
  • Nature Hero
  • Never Split The Party
  • New Super Power: Someone is always getting one of these.
  • Ooh Me Accents Slipping: Many, many NPCs.
  • Really Seven Hundred Years Old: Bianca told Leo that she originally found the prophecy of the Firebringer several hundred years ago!
  • Red String of Fate: The soul bonding of Merrium and Ranita
  • Religion Of Evil: Order of Praavda.
  • Rich Bitch: Pasha vel'Heerser
  • Royal Blood
  • Screw Destiny
  • Sealed Evil in a Can: Draconians
  • Sealed Good In A Can: Spirits of the Land. Also Greiswassern.
  • Squishy Wizard: Averted with Merrium.
  • Standard Royal Court: Now with Eladrin!
  • Suddenly Suitable Suitor: The oft racist eladrin seemed pretty ok that their princess married a human.
  • Tomboy And Girly Girl: Pasha and Vanya vel'Heerser are these.
  • Tragic Keepsake: Leonid's sword and shield from his father.
  • Tsundere: Ranita towards Merrium.
  • Unstoppable Rage: Leonid and Merrium
  • Walking The Earth: Despite riding krins every so often, the heroes mostly walk everywhere.
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