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Steve Holt!

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About Steve Holt!

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  1. Hello. This post ended up being longer than I thought it would, so sorry in advance for my stream of consciousness post. Spoilers and stuff. I just finished the game, and while Act IV gave some nice brain teasers, there's one thing I can't quite figure out. I guess the basic theme of Pillars of "what god do you worship?" which I thought Act IV did a pretty neat job fleshing out by calling into question a basic assumption that the game present in the prologue (the gods are real.) Specifically, the whole issue I have revolves around the 'realness' of the gods, but I can't tell what exactly the gods are. The people you meet seem to simultaneously reject the idea that the gods are real while referencing specific events that they very much seem to be a part of. Magran and Woedica kill Eothas, for example. So, in my mind, there are at least 3 of the pantheon that are in some way 'alive', if they are going to scheme and plot and interact with the world. And especially if they are capable of dying. Likewise, if you side with any of the gods to gain access to the tunnel of doom, they exercise tangible power to grant you safe passage through the pit. But they aren't real, right? They were created by the Engwithans as a form of control and order, right? So what exactly are the gods then? The closest I can find to any specific reference to what they are is that they are "ideas." I think either Thaos or the heretic makes this claim, so I guess you have to choose whether or not they are telling the truth / are correct. This initially led me to believe that there was simply nothing where the pantheon of gods sat, the fantasy world version of "we are a cosmological accident, but with magic." I thought it was a compelling argument and could even see why Thaos went on his crazy rampage through history. He even says something specifically to support this idea that the gods were constructed as a measure of control and were simply basic human ideas and desires when he mentions something about how, prior to the invention of the pantheon, people worshipped thousands of gods, subsequently rattling off a bunch of deplorable acts that people who do to sate their desire for purpose / power / comfort / whatever. This cemented my thought that the gods didn't actually exist, and were made up to keep society trucking along. Then the epilogue happened. I used the bird lady to get me into the pit and didn't do what she wanted, so she sent a bird invasion to kill a bunch of people in response to my slighting of our agreement. I thought about that, and that told me that I made an agreement with something in the temple of the tree sisters, and that something had considerable power. The more I thought about it, the more evidence I found that these god people did indeed exist in some form and could indeed control, or at least influence the world. 1. I made a contract with something. 2. It directly influenced the world by killing a lot of people when I upset it (it has feelings and thoughts) 3. It's extremely powerful if it's capable of supernaturally influencing the world of kith (sounds like a god in a fantasy world to me) 4. They also killed each other (see Eothas) and I take Eothas' pedestal being nothing but screams as evidence of that 5. They can imprison people's souls and prevent them from naturally reincarnating. Not only that, they exercise control over the fate of souls (they allow the souls of the imprisoned to repent and re-enter the wheel. Whether they have control of the wheel or it's outside of their power is another issue) So who are these god people anyway? My take on it is that they're just Engwithan dudes and dudettes. You have an option to channel souls into specific people at the end of the game with their weird devil magic machines - into Dyrwoodans if you choose, or into Woedica if for whatever reason you ignored the first 3 acts and thought that was a good idea. The epilogue if you choose mentions how it empowers the people of Dyrwood, so my best guess is that the gods were Thaos' contemporaries who used these machines to do exactly that, on a much grander scale - imbue themselves with the souls of their peers to gain godlike power. For whatever reason, either by choice or consequence, they no longer exist as physical beings, but in the spiritual realm that you as a Watcher are allowed to glimpse. Consequently they can no longer directly influence the material world. Enter Thaos for some reason, possibly plot convenience, to make sure this whole scheme keeps turning. The wheel and the reincarnation of souls is a natural process that they don't have control over, but conveniently molded into their theology through Berath and all his lore. What are your thoughts? I thought it was an interesting take on traditional fantasy lore. Most high fantasy games I've played have an established pantheon that are definite beings, so it was kinda interesting to try and think this one out.
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