The Lands of Arran

Everything About Fiction You Never Wanted to Know.
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Terres d'Arran, French for "The Lands of Arran", is the universe of Elfes, Nains, Orcs et Gobelins and Mages series, and is published by Soleil.

The primary writers are Jean-Luc Istin (Elfes) and Nicolas Jarry (Nains), with lots of different artists - however, note that Dwarves have the same artist painting both issues for the same order: it's a good thing, since those have common characters.

The world of Arran has humans, elves, dwarves, orcs, ogres, dragons, ghouls and troubles. Mostly troubles.

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Tropes used in The Lands of Arran include:
  • Anti-Villain: It turns out Lah’saa merely wanted to stop and somewhat reverse the genocide of elves. Who would think?
  • Arc Welding: Across the series as well.
  • Archnemesis Dad: Dwarves seem prone to having daddy issues. Some (like Ordo) have better reasons for that than the others.
  • Battle in the Center of the Mind: The solution Naa'yn found for the Enemy Within problem.
  • The Berserker: Dwarves from certain bloodlines. Due to heretical origin, the Temple has… objections to this. So those who survive are not "activated" easily, and/or with their way of life visible effects get written off as the result of using battle runes a bit too well.
  • Bittersweet Ending: Usually. When it's not Downer Ending.
  • Blood Knight: There are arena fights, both wrestling and Blood Sport. While warriors of the Shield and Iron Legion are proud of their fighting ability, they act as organized armies fighting in formations first and foremost. But for Lords of the Runes it's all about single combat: the best forgemasters who work with battlerunes, especially violent and ambitious enough to crave this position embrace their rage and make metal an extension of that rage.
    • Ulrog Senior considered excess of violent temper a danger to the entire dwarvenkind, and figured that since the battlerunes are clearly one of the main reasons for this, he would rather not contribute. And the dwarves are stubborn. Most likely he had it worse than most dwarves, however — in the same way as Redwin and Jorun.
  • Boarding School of Horrors: Slurce.
  • Body Surf: Lah’saa did this, both to stay "alive" and to estblish magical connections for her next trick. Possessing demons (at least some) can switch the host.
  • The Caper: Ordo vs. Fort Draz.
  • Character Title: Straightforward in the later 3 series.
  • The Chessmaster: Haruspice and Derdhr think big and work behind the scenes if at all possible.
  • Chosen One: The marked half-elf from prophesy; the first half-elf (presumably due to weird magic, the dude is more or less a living artifact). Alyana.
  • Combat by Champion: "Settling the matters" on arena is a dwarven tradition. Lord of the Runes as a master of dwarven martial/runesmithing art is the champion of the Order of the Forge. Or to look at it differently, it's a safety valve that prevents large scale bloodshed, at the cost of letting the dwarves most prone to wrath chop each other to bits… and making this path attractive for less bright and more ambitious ones.
  • The Corruption: Dark Elves' curse, with eventual transformation into Murth'n Thuns. Foel'yn "the Singular" and Naa'yn found their ways out, but it's not easy, and masters of Slurce aren't happy with them either.
  • Demonic Possession: Possessions happen often enough that there's a special sub-Order of Exorcists to deal with this. Protagonist of Nains #8 (Sriza of the Temple) is an exorcist, so that's where they are shown.
  • The Dreaded: Redwin got quite a reputation, and he earned it the hard way.
  • Driven to Villainy: Lah'saa was just a kid who wanted to stay with her father. Maybe cursed from birth, maybe not, no one seems to know exactly how "you are a Dark Elf now" thing works, only what happens later.
  • Empathic Weapon: The battlerunes are not self-sufficient, they interact with the wielder. Thus some weapons are harder to use. Also, this goes both ways, so the warriors using runes above basic level are infamous for slipping sanity in general, though Dwarves just accept this.
    • Redwin has gone over the top with hate and despair so much that his blade was near-impossible to wield for anyone who isn't as tough and messed up as he was when he made it. But it's pretty much unstoppable.
    • Jorun specifically mentioned he discerned his father's and his grandfather's swords silently "calling to him" at different times, depending on his attitude. Oh, and Redwin is good enough at his craft that he noticed these responses just by being nearby.
  • Epiphany Therapy: Redwin and Jorun had to deal with being consumed by rage. They succumbed to it, but were taught to survive and eventually outgrew the madness, and were stuck in a very unsatisfying state until something shook them out of it.
  • Extra Parent Conception: Alyana is daughter of Tenashep (White Elf) and Fall (Sylvan Elf), but since Fall was bound to the white dragon and Lah'saa (born Red Elf, became a Dark Elf) magically contacted him, while possessing the body of Lanawyn (Blue Elf), those also sort of count (and in case of the dragon, visibly so), so she is "sort of" descendant of all 5 breeds of elves, and (between Fall and Lah'saa) wielders of all Elven crystals.
  • Fake Ultimate Hero: One half-elf tried to usurp position of the Chosen One, then tried to usurp it from a guy mistaken for the Chosen One. Also, Slovtan.
  • Fantastic Caste System: Dwarven society is divided into orders: the Forge, the Retribution, the Temple, and the Shield; there are also the Wanderers (exiles and their descendants). There used to be Order of the Dragon; according to the Temple's old chronicles, it was created for subversive purpose and destroyed in the civil war its founder started, and supposedly it was the reason responsibilities and power were divided this way.
    • The dwarves of Ufgrim kingdom are remnants of the other side.
  • Fiery Redhead: Seems common in Ulrog's clan.
  • Friend to All Living Things: Alyana. When she was born and her mother took her outside, various beasts within shouting range decided to walk closer and say hello, just like that. That's the way things rolled after.
  • Gladiator Games: "Anything goes" style in Rama. Also, the dwarves use arena to settle the disputes, up to Combat by Champion between polities.
  • Glowing Eyes of Doom: Berserkers when raging and those powering up battle runes. Mostly also berserkers, but since they are not identified this way, it cannot be too unusual.
  • Grimdark: Mixed with Nobledark, but grimness is distinct.
  • Hate Plague: The "Mad-Rage" mysteriously taking out some dwarven cities. Abu'Kazan turns out to be not the first city hit by this. Eventually Aral found out the reason, but it's not yet known if and when this will save anyone.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Happens now and then.
  • Hunter of His Own Kind: Faradum.
  • Hybrid Monster: Ogrelins, ogre-goblin hybrids, supposedly created as a Servant Race.
  • Horse of a Different Color: Dwarves ride boars. Some ride bears.
    • Dragon Rider: Dragons are mostly encountered as steeds. So are wyverns.
  • I See Dead People: Sriza, at least after the incident with the possessed. Also, Jarel who recruited him. So may be a prerequisite for being trained as Exorcist.
  • Legend Fades to Myth: The Dwarven civil war time, especially what exactly magic Order of the Dragon could do, is at best very obscure. King Ufgrim opened the mountains up with a single blow of his hammer, and so on. They were quite powerful, but even the details relevant to present threats are largely unknown.
  • Like Father, Like Son: Redwin, son of Ulrog. It Got Worse (or did it?) with his sons, since one of them inherited his talent, and the other his rage.
  • Lizard Folk : The Raykenn.
  • Magnificent Bastard: Slovtan, Lah'saa (the Ghoul war was the least world-shaking of her 3 projects we have seen unfold), Kardum.
  • Make an Example of Them: Masters of Slurce for anyone who doesn't give them fledgling Dark Elves. Kardum for gang leaders, and later for bad customers who would try to rob him.
  • The Man Behind The Man: If you thought Slovtan is an old sneak… well, there's Haruspice, pulling the strings of those pulling strings.
  • Noble Savage: Orcs, though most are aggressive.
  • One-Man Army: When Redwin took his best sword again and had no reason to stop anymore.
  • Our Elves Are Different: Elemental elves. Blue, Green, White, Red, Dark.
  • Our Dragons Are Different: Flame breathing, got "ear" horns, pair of "eyebrow" fins and a chin fin. Seem to be not quite sapient, but some are quite clever. Wyverns ("flying vipers") don't breathe flame and are not as tough, but faster; got a nose fin.
  • Our Dwarves Are All the Same: Stubborn, violent, good at crafts.
  • Our Fairies Are Different: Offspring of Scourgemother, feeding on dreams (it seems that different strains prefer different sorts of dreams), but now that she is locked up (and gone crazy from boredom) they got a bit wild on their own.
  • Our Titans Are Different: The Scourges.
  • The Power of Hate: When Redwin walked down the "path of suffering" enough that he began to shape his own runes just to better express what's in his heart. His greatest achievement was a bit too ghastly even for himself. And while Jorun inherited his rage, that sword felt like it's inimical to all life and left burns on his hands, even from a single swing at an inanimate object.
  • Proud Warrior Race Guys: For the dwarves it's normal to be eager to fight just to prove they aren't second rate warriors. And then there are orcs.
  • Raised by Natives: Sybil's father ran through Orc territories and died there. Sybil was raised as "Ora", and became a bit too wild even for Wood Elves. It turned out that not only Azewën ran from other Wood Elves due to disagreement over their Queen's prophecy about Sybil, but being raised by the Orcs made her much better prepared for her role.
    • Fall — a Sylvan Elf "born at the foot of one of the oldest trees in the world", but raised by White Elves.
  • Rated M For Manly: Dwarves!
  • Reassigned to Antarctica: Arkar'um has Talas-Kadrum, or the Raven's Rampart, or "a place even the vultures avoid". It's a 130 miles long fortification chain in cold mountains on the border. Which serves as a penal garrison, because despite all the crazy things we have seen the dwarves doing, even they as a rule don't go crazy enough to volunteer there, which leaves "it's the gallows or Talas-Kadrum" method of filling it with warm bodies, even though there are as few as about two hundred of them in the quiet time when the only action is hunting moles.
  • Reincarnation: Known to be a thing, but of little practical importance, until either Lah’saa or fate decided that a Chosen One is needed for what comes next.
  • Roaring Rampage of Revenge: Redwin (not much of a surprise here) vs. sorcerers, Gaw'yn vs. masters of Slurce.
  • Sealed Evil in a Can: A bunch of possessed and undead sorcerers. Also, the possessed clay heads.
  • Self-Fulfilling Prophecy/Nice Job Breaking It, Herod: Resulting in Lah’saa.
  • Sink-or-Swim Mentor: Uncle Jarsen to Redwin. The assassins of Black Lodge.
  • The Spartan Way: Slurce.
  • Spin Offspring: Jorun, son of Redwin. Dröh, son of Oösram. And Fey turned out to be daughter of Aral.
  • Superhuman Transfusion: Dragon blood transfusion is not only survivable, but even useful.
  • Taking You with Me: Abokar's solution to a terminal disease is to Face Death with Dignity by leading an attack on the enemy warlord, which he doesn't expect to survive. And since the first time it worked too well, he reused this plan a little later.
  • Wax On, Wax Off: The lute lessons for Redwin turned out to be very useful.
  • Who You Gonna Call?: A master exorcist is renowned. And greatly respected even by those who don't know of him personally.
  • Whole-Episode Flashback: Aral of the Temple.
  • Wretched Hive: There are a few places like Rama, though even Ordo's city is only nice in some parts and at day.
  • You Can't Fight Fate: Jorun, Ora/Sybil and Ilaw — though he gave up.
  • Zombie Apocalypse: The ghoul war.