Act III: The Anger of the Gods

When I got to Act III in Pillars of Eternity, I stopped. One of the first quests I got asked me to strengthen the future bloodline of a long-established family by culling its weak souls so stronger ones could take their place. The weak soul the quest giver had in mind was currently in a child.

Now, in the Pillars world, past lives are a real thing, and death is not the end. Dealing with past lives drives the plot of the game. Aloth shares his mind with a barbaric woman from the past; the ranger companion is tracking down a reincarnated hero of her tribe; the protagonist and the villain of the game… well, no spoilers here.

So, in the GAME world, killing a child to let its soul find a new body isn't as terrible as it would be in the real world, and the quest giver gave his reasons why this should be done — the bloodline needs to remain strong in order to continue defending the realm, as they have done for centuries.

But in the REAL world, of course, such a crime would be unthinkable. and so I set Act III aside, and explored the Paths of the Endless, did a lot of bounties, worked on companion quests… I eventually decided that I could not, and should not, look at these quest decisions from game terms. Killing a child versus killing the person who asked me to kill a child… where's the hesitation coming from?

I still hoped I could just find a middle ground where nobody died. I explained to the quest giver the plot against him, and that I was to give him poison. But, he flew into a rage and attacked me.

That brought everything into focus. If you're going to attack me… well…

Thing is, if I'd had some stronger stats, there were other conversation options I might have tried instead.

With Act III now opened to me, I've been doing the various god quests, which have, so far, ended poorly for the god's current supplicants. I only need one god's favor, but there's an achievement for getting the favor of all the remaining gods, so… with Belrath's favor gained, I'm working on Gawain's, next.

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