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Update by Brandon Adler, Lead Producer Hey, everybody. We have a small update with a big announcement today. We are also going to do a spotlight on two of our new creatures from The White March - Part II. Be on the lookout for our next update where we will feature our new companion. The White March - Part II Early Next Year We have some great news for all of you fans that have been waiting for the second part of The White March expansion. You can finish your journey through The White March with the second part of the expansion in late January 2016. Once an exact release date is decided on we will announce it in an update for you guys. Vithrack Brutes and Luminaries In the second part of the expansion we are introducing a larger slice of vithrack culture. Players will encounter brutes and luminaries, two distinct classes of vithrack. While brutes build and feed the colony, luminaries are its scholars and historians. Both varieties can be formidable foes for adventurers who encroach upon their territory. Vithrack Brute Vithrack Luminary Pillars of Eternity Official Soundtrack The Pillars of Eternity official soundtrack is now available for purchase at your favorite digital music retailer. It's also available on streaming music services - like Spotify. If you would like to download a track (or the whole album) head over to Amazon or iTunes and grab a copy. Short StoriesIn our last update we showed off our first short story, The Ratcatcher. This time, we have a new batch of short stories to share with you. Blood Register Available Now! While conducting a census of rural Dyrwood, Neolas a public servant and his elven bodyguard Gacgen take their assignment into the wilderness of Eir Glanfath: one seeking his family of birth, the other to cure an epidemic. The Reaping Available now! Edér finds much has changed in Gilded Vale in the time since he left to enlist in the Saint's War. Tensions within the town boil over at a religious harvest festival known as Gaun's Reaping, and Edér is forced to take sides among neighbors and old friends. Until He Started Screaming To be released soon. Novice wizard Aloth Corfiser is shackled to a patron he can't abide and an Awakened soul he can't silence. He finds unexpected allies among a student group of spellwrights, but what he learns about them--and what they ask of him--threatens the entire academy. You can head over to our Short Stories page to download all of them now. That's it for this update. In our next update we will highlight the new companion in The White March - Part II.
Update by Rose Gomez, Associate Producer Hello backers! In today's update, we'd like to show off a few of our creatures that you might have heard us talk about in previous updates. With the end of production getting closer every day, we have some news about our backer updates, and we’re also pleased to announce a date for the upcoming Backer Beta! In our next update, we’ll get into more detail about that. First, let’s get to the creatures. Blight Blights are lost souls or soul fragments that have bonded with elemental substances. They are often victims of natural disasters (floods, rock slides, forest fires, etc.). They are incoherent, confused, and full of rage, an amorphous cloud that swirls endlessly and with great violence. Within the vortex, dozens of humanoid shapes materialize and vanish from moment to moment. Faces scream in silent agony while hands desperately clutch and claw at their surroundings, as though still trying to escape their tragic fates. Bîaŵacs, storms that can rip the soul out of a person’s body, often create blights. If souls are ripped free from their bodies and caught in the center of the storm, they may become stuck together and bonded with any other elemental substances in the maelstrom. They are pure chaos and confusion, and destroying them is considered by many to be a mercy to the souls trapped within them. Blights have been the subject of controversial research carried out by the animancers of Eora. On the one hand, attempts at vivisection have led to promising strides in treating patients who, for one reason or another, contain within their bodies two or more complete souls fused together, which has been identified as the root cause of a variety of mental and physiological disorders. On the other, however, some groups lament that there is a lack of transparency on the methods being employed in these experiments, the general concerns being that these might be somehow inhumane or present some broader risk to the surrounding populace. There are also some who accuse animancers of deliberately trying to create blights for study, but the veracity of these claims is difficult to substantiate. Xaurip This hairless humanoid is about the size of an orlan. It has an elongated snout and snake-like eyes, giving it a very reptilian appearance. Its legs end in three-toed feet, while its elongated arms end in three-fingered claws. Xaurips adorn themselves with the bones of fallen enemies - mostly xaurips from rival tribes. They also have an affinity for large feathers, which they hang and pin to their attire. Skin tones can vary from light green, to a rustic brown. Their elongated snouts (which makes speech impossible) and overly-aggressive behavior have hindered them from communicating with the more civilized races of the world. They live in secluded, tribal territories and are known for ruthlessly attacking any foolish enough to cross their path. Xaurips revere dragons as deities and build their communities around the lairs of these powerful creatures. It is not uncommon for a small tribe to wander until it has found a wurm to worship. Once a tribe dedicates itself to a dragon, they will defend it at all costs. Elaborate rituals, in which the dragon consumes xaurip sacrifices, are normal. As a dragon grows in age and size, these sacrifices become large religious events that cost the lives of hundreds of xaurips. The power and prestige of a xaurip tribe directly correlates with the age of its dragon. The most powerful tribes have existed for hundreds, if not thousands of years. Warriors and shamans of these large tribes typically paint their bodies to resemble their draconic overlord. Vithrack Extremely rare, very dangerous creatures with natural cipher powers. They are mostly humanoid in shape, slightly taller and thinner than humans, but with horrific, fanged spider-like heads. Like spiders, they are capable of spinning silk, though they use it to make their own very intricate and fine robes. Males and females are indistinguishable from each other. They are primarily spellcasters and mental manipulators, like ciphers, though they will also attack with their fangs when forced into melee combat. Despite their extreme intelligence and power, vithrack are not a major force in the world due to their extremely low birth rates. Given their arachnid appearance, it's no surprise that vithrack have traditionally used spiders as companions and minions. Though highly intelligent and socially organized, little is known about their culture as they are both hostile to outsiders and rare. Their psionic powers allow them to communicate mentally with one another. Like many social insectoids, their society includes a variety of specific roles, including scouts and defenders. While their low birth rates are likely responsible for their hostility toward other races, they have also made the vithrack highly altruistic when it comes to their own kind. They will defend their nests to the death. Update Schedule Hey, everyone. Brandon here. With production moving into the finalization phase for Eternity, the team and I are hunkering down to finish up the game over the next few months. Going forward, we will be spacing out our backer updates a bit more from now until the project ships. They’ll come a bit less predictably, but you can still expect updates as we have big announcements or special news for you. This will really help us focus as much of our efforts into putting out the best game we possibly can for everyone. In our next big update, we will discuss the upcoming Backer Beta in more detail as well as what it will entail and how to redeem your copy. Speaking of the Backer Beta... Backer Beta We will be releasing our Backer Beta on August 18th. As we mentioned above, we will get into all of the specifics about the Backer Beta in our next update. Be on the lookout for it over the next month. Documentary Reward We also wanted to let all of our backers know about a decision we'd recently come to about our Documentary DVD/Bluray item. We were faced with a bit of a dilemma when it came to the full documentary footage. In order to provide a physical copy of the documentary when the game shipped, we would be unable to show the final leg of production in order to have time to print all of the discs and packaging. We want our backers to be able to share the entire experience of making this game with us - from the earliest beginnings to the very end. To do this, we've decided to forgo making a physical copy of the documentary, and will instead release a digital downloadable extended version. We recognize that some of you may be upset by this decision, but we hope that you'll understand our reasoning. We will be replacing the DVD/Blu-ray with another reward though. Stay tuned for a future update to find out all of the particulars. That's it for this update, head over to our forums and let us know what you think.
Update by Josh Sawyer, Project Director An agent of Dunryd Row attempts to perceive a "housed" soul within a piece of evidence. Hello and welcome to today's class update! We'll be discussing some newcomers to the Dyrwood's "magic" scene, the enigmatic and deadly soul-manipulators known as ciphers. Read on to learn how ciphers went from being an animancer's theoretical possibility, to the feared foes of Dyrwoodan settlers, to an integral part of Defiance Bay's secret police, Dunryd Row. Cipher Mechanics Contemporary ciphers are fighting casters, like the Glanfathan "mind hunters" who invented the discipline. When engaged in physical combat, they use an Ability called Soul Whip to contact and drain the psyches of their targets. Recognizable by the purple flames that engulf a cipher's weapons, Soul Whip generates a Focus resource that ciphers can use to power their abilities. Though ciphers begin combat with a modest amount of Focus, their more advanced techniques demand large expenditures of Focus. Additionally, repeated uses of even minor powers will quickly drain a cipher's Focus, requiring them to dive into physical combat to generate more. Cipher powers are not limited to mental manipulation. They have abilities that allow them to use a target's soul energy to "leak" and burst into flame, to generate a physical shockwave of that knocks down everyone behind the target, or even to bend back toward the cipher, creating a field of protective energy around him or her. With the exception of Soul Whip, all cipher powers require Focus and a nearby target other than themselves, one with a "housed" soul. In practical terms, this means that ciphers must always target a nearby ally or an enemy with their powers. It is impossible for them to target themselves, a distant target, or open ground. Here is a sampling of some of the cipher's abilities: Soul Whip (Modal) - At close range, the cipher's weapons generate fields of parasitic energy that lash out at a target's soul. The Soul Whip mode reduces the amount of damage caused, but each successful hit briefly lowers the target's Psyche defense and generates Focus for the cipher (attacks Psyche). Mind Wave - The cipher violently intrudes into an enemy's mind, Stunning the target (attacks Psyche) and generating a cone of concussive force behind him or her that can knock down anyone in its path (attacks Fortitude). Soul Shock - The cipher causes an ally's soul to "crack" and violently release energy into the physical world. The resulting explosion of electrical (Shock) energy damages everyone nearby except the target (attacks Reflexes). Psychovampiric Shield - The cipher drains Intellect from enemies and uses it to temporarily increase his or her Deflection. The increase in the cipher's Deflection is dependent on how much Intellect he or she successfully drains from victims (attacks Psyche). Mind Blades - The cipher uses the souls of nearby enemies to generate attacks against the subjects themselves. Each target is attacked once by a slashing "mind blade" which then moves on to the next nearest enemy up to a maximum of five targets (attacks Deflection). Recall Agony - The cipher causes the target to re-experience the pain of a wound moments after the target originally suffered it. The damage is a percentage of the original value, but it ignores the armor of the target (attacks Psyche). Ectopsychic Echo - The cipher and an ally generate a bolt of psychic energy that periodically rebounds between them, causing Crush damage to anyone caught in the area (attacks Reflexes). Cipher Lore Many classes have abilities that allow the user to channel the power of their own soul or ambient soul fragments to produce incredible effects. Paladins ignite their souls to produce auras, wizards draw soul fragments into grimoires to shape and cast spells, and monks use personal suffering to focus energy through their bodies. While these classes often develop abilities that allow them to affect the minds and souls of others, the power is always generated by the user. Feared for their mental powers and extreme hostility, the vithrack were once eagerly pursued by animancers for research purposes. In the field of animancy, which focuses on the study of souls, researchers wondered for centuries if they could develop a discipline or technology that would allow people to connect with the soul of another living thing -- not just reach or strike out toward it. Wizards and priests had developed abilities to overwhelm or inspire the mind, but not to connect with it. Animancers theorized that it could be possible for one soul to reach out and connect to another, but they had no proof. Animancers studied folk legends about figures called Watchers who reportedly were able to see lost souls and perceive an individual's ancestral lives, but claimants to that title were typically charlatans at best or mentally unstable and violent at worst. A few intrepid animancers attempted to communicate with the reclusive spider-like race known as the vithrack. The creatures, obviously of advanced intelligence and extraordinary capabilities, seemed to possess the ability to connect to an individual's soul -- albeit with horrifying consequences. The dangerous nature and rarity of the vithrack combined with their inhuman physiology have still proven to be insurmountable obstacles in understanding how their powers work. Still, the animancers had a few other leads to follow. Over a century ago, during the Broken Stone War, soldiers in the Dyrwood reported wild tales of having their minds invaded, of seeing comrades lose control of themselves, of orlan and elven Glanfathan warriors wielding knives engulfed in purple flames that "cut away" the souls of their victims. The war was a new experience for everyone involved, so many Dyrwoodans dismissed many of the more outlandish tales over time. But over the decades that followed, more settlers reported similar violent encounters with Glanfathan guerilla fighters. In the War of Black Trees, Dyrwoodan animancers confirmed many of these experiences across a wide number of soldiers and settlers. However, with Dyrwoodan settlers in a state of war with the population of Eir Glanfath, the researchers couldn't find many Glanfathans who were willing to talk about it. After the Dyrwoodan revolution for independence, the Dyrwood officially stopped the Aedyr Empire's practice of exploring and plundering Eir Glanfath's sacred ruins -- the practice that had ignited the earlier wars between Dyrwoodan settlers and Glanfathans. In the years that followed, the tribal princes of Eir Glanfath allowed Dyrwoodan animancers to speak with some of their brîshalgwin ("mind hunters"), the elite warriors that had terrorized Aedyrans and Dyrwoodans in past wars. From the brîshalgwin, the animancers learned that Glanfathans had developed mental abilities that allowed them to perceive and contact what animancers categorized as "housed" souls, i.e., souls held within a physical vessel. They initially developed these talents in an attempt to communicate with souls held in the Engwithan ruins they were sworn to protect. When the tribal princes outlawed this practice as disrespectful and dangerous, their councilors advised the princes to turn the efforts of the brîshalgwin towards protecting the ruins and developing new methods of warfare. Standing stones of adra like these were carelessly knocked down by early Dyrwoodan colonists, starting a conflict with the local Glanfathans that erupted into what became known as the Broken Stone War. Excited by these revelations, animancers in Defiance Bay began working with the brîshalgwin, whom the animancers had previously described as "ciphers" due to their mysterious nature. Given Dyrwoodans' general discomfort with the Glanfathan language, the cipher name stuck and continues to be used in everyday conversation. For decades now, the ciphers and animancers have worked together, each generating new ideas and expanding their collective understanding of soul manipulation. Today, Dyrwoodans and foreign visitors from Aedyr, the Vailian Republics -- even distant Rauatai -- have learned and expanded the ciphers' growing field of techniques. Recently, encouraged by the potential the ciphers have shown and dismissive of the superstitious concerns of locals, Lady Webb, a prominent noble and advisor to the duc, petitioned the Dyrwood's erls to create a spy service in Defiance Bay consisting primarily of ciphers. The erls approved, creating what would become known as Dunryd Row, a respected, if somewhat feared and mistrusted, organization that operates out of an old, vine-covered house in the city's Brackenbury District. Though ciphers' powers are still being explored, unlocked, and debated across the civilized world, most people recognize that their abilities hold great potential -- for good or ill -- in the cultures that develop them.