Finished Pillars of Eternity!

Confronting Thaos...
Confronting Thaos…

Well, until the expansion, anyway.

One side benefit of an internet outage (I was without internet for most of the weekend) is that all those single player games I never get around to finishing are suddenly totally available!

I was pretty close to the ending of Pillars of Eternity last time I played, working on the god appeasement quests before heading to the final confrontation in the Sun in Shadow. During those, you start thinking about how you see the world continuing after the big evil is defeated, and just how that defeat will be accomplished. But then again, as the ending draws nearer, it's clear that pretty much everything you know about the world (and knew back in your past life as well), was wrong.

It took me three tries to complete the final fight. The first time I had no idea what was going on; the second time, I thought I knew, but was wrong (and wiped quickly); the third time, I managed to pull it off. I just had a random crew based on whose stories I was finishing, and whose were finished. My party: me, the rogue; Athol, the wizard; Durance, the priest; the druid; my custom cipher. If I'd thought about it, I'd have had the godform paladin in place of my cipher, and taken the ranger Sagani instead of the druid. The druid is great for the AEs, but the single target and offtanking ranger abilities would have been more valuable.

During the recap at the end, I expected to find out how my endgame decisions affected the world, and wasn't disappointed. However, the recap also went over pretty much every decision I made throughout the game. I really fouled up a few times. There's things I really should have done differently, if only I'd known. I'm clearly not going to spoil things by going over them here, but… no good deed goes unpunished, right? Maybe making another decision would have also turned out poorly.

Great game, loved the plot. I'm sorry things didn't work out well for most of my companions. Athol apparently turned evil, Sagani lost her will to live, the Grieving Mother went insane, the paladin was exiled, Durance became a crazy hermit, the chanter turned out okay. I think the druid turned out fine as well. I never worked on the warrior's story, and he had a non-committal ending.

I should probably play through again and fix my mistakes :P

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.

Suddenly, a dragon…

I kinda figured there'd be a dragon at the bottom of the Endless Paths. I knew there was an achievement for killing all the dragons in Pillars of Eternity, and I hadn't seen any, yet. Some mean old drakes, but no actual dragons. This is the first.

Given what a tough fight Od Nua gave me, I'm not at all certain I want to tangle with a dragon at this level (10).

Luckily, there may be an… alternative…

Is it wise to make a bargain with an ancient dragon in order to save my own life? Is any price too much to pay, if I'm not the one that will have to pay it?

One way or the other, this dragon has to go.

Tanks for all the help…

Darna was a long time, well-respected member of Team Tanglewood. I loved her from the moment I first recruited her back at the Black Hound Inn in the Gilded Vale. I made her a monk, because I needed a tank, and I thought someone whose power operated from wounds would fit the bill.

I found out just now that there was an actual warrior waiting to be hired… but I guess I missed him. Anyway, Darna couldn't tank at all, her DPS was subpar, I (a rogue) ended up tanking far too often; even the ranger's pet made a better tank.

When we were called back to our stronghold to fight off some Leaden Key priests, I decided that was quite enough. We stopped by Dyrwood Village before we returned to the City of Defiance, picked up a Cipher (who replaced the chanter), and hired a dwarven fighter.

We'll see how she does. I've more than half a mind to retrace our steps and see if I can find that named fighter, though. I'll have to meet up with him eventually, anyway, to hear his story.

Dyrwood Village is a little above my level. A nest of feral druids outside town proved troublesome to take out. Finishing up the City of Defiance quests will probably level the party up enough to take them out, then continue on to the ogre that's been menacing the town.

Something tells me that that ogre won't be what I'm expecting… I half expect there to be no ogre at all. But, we'll see.