Obsidian Entertainment took the classic roleplaying game community by storm when they released the original Pillars of Eternity back in March of 2015. The game brought a complex world to life and gave players complete control of their destiny with the choices that they made. Now, Obsidian is set to continue that story in the latest entry in the series, Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire, by continuing the story where they left off. If you want to get the most out of Deadfire, then knowing what happened in the original game is definitely going to help, so here’s everything you need to know about the story so far in Pillars of Eternity.
This article will delve into some pretty heavy spoilers concerning the original Pillars of Eternity game. If you want to experience the story yourself, then we suggest turning away now. The spoilers will continue below this image.
Pillars of Eternity - What You Need to Know
Following the destruction of the god Eothas by the Godhammer, the Vailian Republics, the Penitential Regency of Readceras, and the Free Palatinate of Dyrwood came to peace, harmony spreading throughout the lands.
The Study of Souls
This led to a major focus on scientific advancements. Advancements like firearms and other important weapons were made, however, the biggest source of technological advancement came in the form of animancy—the study of souls. It was through this study that animancers discovered they could transfer souls from one body to another, effectively reincarnating a soul in a new body, allowing people to live on.
With this discovery came more progress, and a group of animancers who came to be known as Watchers discovered they could look into the souls of others to view the memories of the owner’s past life. While regarded with curiosity, ultimately suspicion and fear won out and the while the ability to look behind the curtain of death was regarded as special, many feared the powers that animancy unlocked.
The Birth of a Watcher
This is where Pillars of Eternity picks up. The player, having created their character, arrives in the land of Dyrwood. Shortly after finding themselves lost in a massive storm, the hero stumbles through a cave and into a ritual to remove the souls from bodies. It’s at this point that a new Watcher is born, and the player character begins to experience hallucinations and insomnia.
Having come to Dyrwood with their new power, players quickly learn that the Dyrwood is not a kind place to animancers thanks to the Hollowborn Plague, a disease of some kind that caused children to be born without souls. The locals, believing that the Hollowborn were a curse brought upon them for their study of souls, soon led to the banishment of animancy throughout the land, as well as brutal murders and attacks against organizations known for their study of animancy.
The Hero of Dyrwood
It’s later learned—through investigations and journeying—that the Hollowborn Plague was not brought upon the people of the Dyrwood because of their study of animancy. However, it was brought upon them by an individual known as Thaos Ix Arkannon, a powerful priest who framed animancers to cover up his own nefarious agendas. Through tracking, the Watcher eventually finds Thaos in a city known as Twin Elms. It’s here that the Watcher and their party discover that the gods of old are actually just constructs created by animancers to control the cycle of reincarnation among the general populace. From here you also learn that Thaos is the last of an ancient order of priests who has only been able to survive this long by controlling his own cycle of reincarnation.
The player also learns here that Thaos’ ultimate goal throughout all of this was to preserve the secret of the gods by making them fear animancy. He hoped to achieve this by practicing his powers in the name of the goddess Woedica, who was a known opponent to animancy. Eventually it is revealed that the other gods are the ones who pointed the Watcher towards Thaos’ lair, in the hope that they would fell the dark priest before he could do anymore evil.
The story in the first game comes to an end with the death of Thaos. The ending itself is extremely dependent on the choices that you’ve made throughout the game and players will need to make one final choice. Throughout the story Thaos has captured thousands of souls, and you’ll need to decide what to do with them. You’ll have a few different choices, each one given to you by the six gods who sent you to defeat Thaos.
Does Any of it Matter?
But do any of those choices matter in Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire? Absolutely. Obsidian Entertainment has decided to allow players to pick up their story right where they left off, with their decisions still intact. If you’ve played through the first game, and still have your save file, then you can import it into the game, allowing you to have your choices carry over. If you don’t have your save file, though, you can choose from a few different options at the start, which will decide the history of the world that you play through in Deadfire.
You can learn more by checking out our Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire guide and walkthrough, where you can also check out our other content to get a grasp on the abilities, character creation, and more in Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire.