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  1. Previously: Cut content: Durance and Grieving Mother For anyone who is generally as fascinated with cut content in video games as I am, or as interested specifically in "what could've been" for PoE, I've managed to get copies of the NPC's Cadegund and Forton (two companions who were present in early promotional material) that were left in the game files, into the game. It wasn't actually that difficult in the end, I'm just not very technically-minded so it took me a while the procedure was to load up the game with IEmod installed, and use the command "BSC companion_barbarian 0" (for example), then "FindCharacter Barbarian" to find the character's name, and then when that returned "Companion_Barbarian(Clone)", use "AddToParty Companion_Barbarian(Clone)" (for example). The companions spawn without portraits (although Cadegund had a temporary portrait, which was just cropped from the first link above, in glimpses of the game you see in the documentary on steam). This leads me to believe that no art in the style of the other companions was ever produced for these characters, in the end (here's hoping Jason Seow or someone decides to produce some, although it's unlikely as fantasy human portraits aren't exactly hard to come by). The characters don't particularly resemble their concept art, probably because indices for skin/hair/face kept changing throughout development as more were added/removed and the numbers that determine the NPC's appearance no longer point to the hair styles and skin tones that they originally did. Both characters, as well as the Test Barbarian character, are incredibly pale-skinned, so I think this is the most likely explanation. Here are some details from their character sheets: There are no filenames that mention Cadegund in the game files (that I could find), but there's still a couple of excerpts of conversations with or involving Forton: <?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8"?> <StringTableFile xmlns:xsi="http://www.w3.org/2001/XMLSchema-instance" xmlns:xsd="http://www.w3.org/2001/XMLSchema"> <Name>conversations\07_gilded_vale\07_bs_forton_bystanders</Name> <NextEntryID>1</NextEntryID> <EntryCount>2</EntryCount> <Entries> <Entry> <ID>1</ID> <DefaultText>"There goes another one..." </DefaultText> <FemaleText /> </Entry> <Entry> <ID>2</ID> <DefaultText>"Right, pay up. The other foreigner won." </DefaultText> <FemaleText /> </Entry> </Entries> </StringTableFile> <?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8"?> <StringTableFile xmlns:xsi="http://www.w3.org/2001/XMLSchema-instance" xmlns:xsd="http://www.w3.org/2001/XMLSchema"> <Name>conversations\07_gilded_vale\07_cv_forton</Name> <NextEntryID>1</NextEntryID> <EntryCount>4</EntryCount> <Entries> <Entry> <ID>1</ID> <DefaultText>"These young dogs can't hold their blacsonn." </DefaultText> <FemaleText /> </Entry> <Entry> <ID>2</ID> <DefaultText>"A smoke ought to clear up that sickly look about you." </DefaultText> <FemaleText /> </Entry> <Entry> <ID>3</ID> <DefaultText>"One philosophical question and nobody wants to drink with you." </DefaultText> <FemaleText /> </Entry> <Entry> <ID>4</ID> <DefaultText>"Move along, lad. I have no wisdom to bestow before I've had a pipe or two." </DefaultText> <FemaleText>"Move along, lass. I have no wisdom to bestow before I've had a pipe or two." </FemaleText> </Entry> </Entries> </StringTableFile> There may be other files that mention Cadegund and Forton, but I only searched through filenames rather than file contents, and I can only open the XML files. Someone more skilled than me will have to open the unity3d files, if they can! What else do we know about these characters? We know that the GGP (God-Gnawed Priest) companion was at one point supposed to be more Falstaff-like, but I still see that as more likely to be an early incarnation of Durance than Cadegund. Other than that, I don't know anything else about these characters? Why were these characters dropped? Cadegund was probably cut because it was decided that it wasn't worth the hassle after the boobplate controversy, and my guess is that Forton was cut after negative feedback on the forums (which is a shame imo, because we now have no monk companion, nor do we have an "ambassador" from the nearby Ixamitl Plains among the companions - nor do we have one from Readceras, incidentally). So it seems that Cadegund was replaced with Durance, another priest of Magran (maybe Cadegund also had a connection to the Godhammer - one of the Dozen maybe?), and I think it's probable that Forton was replaced with Hiravias, who took his position as the Wael-aligned companion. We also know of two other companions: a hearth orlan cipher detective, seen in a couple of the early builds of the game in the documentary (no name unfortunately, just "Player2" and the like). This character used a crop of this concept art as a portrait, and was scrapped in favour of developing the faction Dunryd Row. We also know of "The Devil of Caroc", shown on a list of companions in the documentary as well as a early UI mock-up. In the documentary, the list is Eder (not the final spelling Edér, or the original spelling Edair) God-Gnawed Priest (so before Durance's name was finalised, unless Cadegund had a similar story) Devil of Caroc Aloth Kana Rua (surname dropped in final version) Sagani Pallegina mes Rei (surname missing accent, and also dropped in final version) Grieving Mother This suggests that the Devil of Caroc was actually dropped quite late in development, lasting longer than Cadegund or Forton, despite the lack of publicity (spoiler companion maybe? But then why were they in the party the longest in the mock-up?). It seems that Hiravias is the only final companion missing from the list, so it is possible that Hiravias actually replaces the Devil of Caroc. It was speculated in this thread that the Devil of Caroc was a Death Godlike fighter companion (if you remember, Edér kept changing between fighter and rogue during development, as he was more of a guerilla-warfare-type soldier during the Saint's War), but I think it's possible that the Devil of Caroc was at some point the name for the hearth orlan cipher detective character. Without Hiravias, there would be no orlan companion, nor would there be a Glanfathan character. When the concept was dropped, their story became that of the Dunryd Demon. Points counting against this theory include the fact that the Dunryd Demon is actually a female orlan named Casŵen, and the fact that this would mean that from the list above, there were two cipher companions, the Devil of Caroc and the Grieving Mother, while there was not even a druid, monk, or rogue/fighter companion. At some point, I might try and write backstories for these characters in the CNPC concepts thread, although it might turn out that their stories/themes have too much overlap with existing companions (being as they have been literally replaced with them). Otherwise, does anyone know anything else about these characters that I haven't covered here?
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