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3.  Eothas, the god of forgiveness and redemption (and thus most directly opposed to Woedica) gets wind of this and can't figure out a way to counteract Thaos except by creating his own avatar.

4.  Eothas selects Waidwen to be his avatar, possibly because conditions in Raedceras have driven enough people to the worship of Eothas that the god has sufficient power there to accomplish this.

 

I was under the impression that Thaos was directly responsible for Waidwen's behaviour. What if Waidwen was possessed by Thaos? This makes a lot of sense, because Thaos, as he brags in the end, has a habit of throwing entire nations into turmoil.

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I think that... all souls are guided by the Gods. All of them.

 

Nothing really suggests that.  In fact, the game is pretty open about the idea that souls go to the Wheel and back again without the gods, and that is the default state of the world.  The only way the gods get anything out of it is if machines (built and operated by people) trap and feed souls to them, quite contrary to the natural order of the world.

 

The comparison with Od Nua is apt however, because the basic character of the Engwithans seemed to be a fundamental inability to accept reality, and to break it, and sacrifice everyone around them until the world is forced to conform to their selfish desires.  Nothing is forbidden, as long as the universe obeys.

 

 

@atnas-  I think that is part of the problem with the 'system' that was setup.  The 'function' is to give 'lesser' peoples (everyone who was getting along just fine without 'real' gods) a form of social control.  But the nature of the 'gods' created by the system isn't really related to that function.  They represent (and are strictly limited to) their own natures, and nothing more.  For those three gods, people advancing/changing/shaping themselves fits with their nature, so they fundamentally can't do anything but approve of it, even if it somehow causes problems for the gods themselves.

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Thirdly, why would Skaen out of all deities urge you to aid the Exiled Queen? Doesn't he hate authority figures, and those who'd force their will upon others? He seems more like a trickster god of some kind.

 

Skaen was explained on the first page of this very same thread. :)

 

As for Skaen. He is the Quiet Slave, the god of secret hatred, resentment, and violent rebellion. He stands to be second in power should Woedica get her souls as she wants. These gods all act according to their aspects. Where the other gods stand to loose should Woedica succeed he has many followers to gain.

 

I see now. I thought the "sleep" meant that the PC died but I guess it meant that as a watcher you finally got some sleep. But the PC didn't stop being a watcher, as far as I understand, so what in the end changed the "no sleep for the watcher"?

 

This is where subsequent playthroughs come in handy as we start to notice things we didn't pay much attention to in the beginning. As far as I understand it, with his awakening he inherited that crushing doubt from his past life. The first time the Watcher sees Thaos he feels there's a question he must ask of the man. The question eludes his mind for now, yet all the feverish angst is back.

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I didn't get the impression that the souls were stolen for Woedica (while creating the hollowborn); instead it felt like after Waidwen/Eothas got hit by the Dyrwoodean hello it was the leaden key's contingency plan to disrupt any and all animancy so no one could see into what happened with the fallen god. The hollowborn were a means to that end.

 

I chose to go with Wael's suggestion at the end though so I might've missed some stuff.

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So what ultimately happened to the engwithans? Thaos' spirit implies they all sacrificed themselves in order to create the gods, but his memory of a room full of people willingly giving up their own livse and the lives of their children doesn't really jive with Thaos' outlook on humanity - that ruthless individualism would tear civilization apart without the fear of deities.

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Does Thaos ever explain what connection he had with the protagonist? I tried to disregard everything that woman (Iselda?) in the end said so I could had missed something. I didn't buy the whole "the gods are fake" thing so I expect there are more to it than that.

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I mean this more in jest than anything but:

 

Eothas invaded Dyrwood specifically to set off the chain of events that eventually culminated in the protagonist's actions to reveal the gods as false because Eothas is the "god" of benevolence and honesty and his very existence was a deceit. Therefore, the only "honest" thing to do was set a series of events into motion that would eventually lead mortals to the realization that the gods are not who they believe them to be. 

 

>.>

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I'm pretty convinced Eothas invaded to prevent Thaos from triggering the Hollowborn epidemic, mostly because his portfolio is most directly opposed to hers. This also gave the Leaden Key a convincing front for their activities, by blaming the Legacy when their own activities caused the epidemic. It's possible Eothas went to the other gods to tell them what was up, but they either refused to listen, didn't believe him, or were too bound by their precepts to intervene, so he took matters into his own hands. In doing so he overstepped his bounds, causing Magran to help build the Godhammer. Woedica helped too, for obvious reasons. Eothas probably could never have foreseen such an act, and without the bomb it's highly likely he would have taken over the Dyrwood and put an end to the Leaden Key. As such  the Godhammer did more harm than good.

 

Thaos's motivations are a bit murky, however. Okay, he wants to preserve the secret of the gods, mostly because he feels that if the people are godless, they resort to atrocities. Yet atrocities still happen, many of them in the name of gods (the Purges post-Saint's War to name only one) and Thaos himself has directly or indirectly caused the deaths of so many people you cannot count them anymore, all in pursuit of his goals. So it feels that his arguments are really empty. I mean cripes, almost all of the bad stuff that happens in the game can be traced back to the Leaden Key (all of the main plot, riots in Defiance Bay), religious fervor (Skaen's temple in Dyrford, Raedric), or the Engwithan leaders being a punch of pricks (Endless Paths). 

 

I mean, I get that we're not supposed to agree with Thaos. But I do find that he's not really as convincing as the game makes him out to be, albeit that may just be because the PC knowns more than the average joe.

 

As for the revelation about the gods, I honestly don't think it changes that much. They are still very much real, and wield power that makes them worthy of their name. They could probably have been more proactive in preventing Woedica from unleashing hell, rather than wait for the Watcher to stumble into Thaos's plots.

 

Albeit I'm still at a loss about why the Engwithan leaders would want to create a god like Skaen.

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Jasta11- I think you've hit the major problem with the plot on the head.  Thaos' motivations are actively nuts and indefensible, as are all the people who followed him (especially the Engwithans in the beginning of it all).  He has caused more pain/suffering/insanity than any speculation about a godless society could contemplate even in theory. 

 

How anyone could find him convincing is a complete mystery and falls flat.  The game resorts to simply just telling us (primarily through lady Webb)  that they do.  Because reasons.   But aside from being presented this as Ultimate Truth because Writers Said So, the story doesn't do anything with it.  His followers are demonstrably idiots, and most of his successes seem to hinge on him personally taking over the minds of weak-willed fools, and never convincing anyone of anything.  Luckily for him,  the people of the Dyrwood are also idiots*, so are easily stampeded by poorly hidden tricks.

 

*and this, sadly, is demonstrated over and over again.

 

As for creating Skaen...I'm willing to consider it an aftereffect or byproduct of all their research.  Their society was hyper focused on stealing, sacrificing and manipulating and even destroying souls, in the name of their great cause, and it seems, just day to day life under their leaders (to make weapons, as in that other ruin).  An undercurrent of spite and hatred would probably be present in every Engwithan soul, just for how their leaders treat them.  And in their leaders themselves, for their attitudes toward lesser races and their omnipresent insanity that results in all this in the first place.

 

 

@abhelhabel-  well, don't know what to tell you, but you ignored the major plot points outright.  'that woman' is the fulcrum of your past self's relationship with Thaos, and that 'thing' isn't really under dispute.

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Jasta11- I think you've hit the major problem with the plot on the head.  Thaos' motivations are actively nuts and indefensible, as are all the people who followed him (especially the Engwithans in the beginning of it all).  He has caused more pain/suffering/insanity than any speculation about a godless society could contemplate even in theory. 

 

How anyone could find him convincing is a complete mystery and falls flat.  The game resorts to simply just telling us (primarily through lady Webb)  that they do.  Because reasons.   But aside from being presented this as Ultimate Truth because Writers Said So, the story doesn't do anything with it.  His followers are demonstrably idiots, and most of his successes seem to hinge on him personally taking over the minds of weak-willed fools, and never convincing anyone of anything.  Luckily for him,  the people of the Dyrwood are also idiots*, so are easily stampeded by poorly hidden tricks.

 

*and this, sadly, is demonstrated over and over again.

 

As for creating Skaen...I'm willing to consider it an aftereffect or byproduct of all their research.  Their society was hyper focused on stealing, sacrificing and manipulating and even destroying souls, in the name of their great cause, and it seems, just day to day life under their leaders (to make weapons, as in that other ruin).  An undercurrent of spite and hatred would probably be present in every Engwithan soul, just for how their leaders treat them.  And in their leaders themselves, for their attitudes toward lesser races and their omnipresent insanity that results in all this in the first place.

 

 

@abhelhabel-  well, don't know what to tell you, but you ignored the major plot points outright.  'that woman' is the fulcrum of your past self's relationship with Thaos, and that 'thing' isn't really under dispute.

 

Well I understand  that, since Thaos is the villain, him making perfect sense and having the right answer to every problem would kinda defeat the point of having a villain. Maybe it would be interesting in an ''Oh, you chased a good guy all this time!'' way but that doesn't make for a very interesting video game, I feel.

 

But yeah, he has the same problem I had with Ulysses and Cesar back in New Vegas: his ''solution'' directly creates a much bigger problem and he's completely blind to it. Thaos even brags about how other atrocities he made are even worse than the Hollowborn epidemic and I was just thinking, well, way to completely ruin your own point, dumbass. I can get behind Well-Intentioned Extremist character types, but it seems that Obsidian kinda failed at that with Thaos because his extremism is pushed so far that any good intentions he had are completely secondary, his reasoning is just poor and it becomes obvious he's just a destructive, delusional ****. Much like Ulysses and Big C. Or the Catalyst in ME3.

 

And yes, I also find weird that the Leaden Key was able to attract so many people yet remain secret, especially since its ''public'' mission doesn,t seem very attractive. This is also kind of a problem with the Cult of Skaen beneath Dyrford, which outnumbers the actual town 5 to 1 at least. Fantasy video games in general tend to portray secret cults as full fledged underground armies rather than persecuted, secretive religions.

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I don't think Thaos was bragging about the atrocities he'd committed, per se, merely pointing out that the Hollowing of the Dyrwood was pretty small fry in the grander scheme of things. I don't think he was blind to the Pyrrhic victory his solution entailed, either. The vision you have after his defeat was of a huge group of Engwithans sacrificing themselves to their machine in order to create a god (or gods). Seeing as there are no more Engwithans, the implication would seem to be that this wasn't an isolated event. He mentions something about not letting that sacrifice be in vain. As the main character can tell him: he's lied to everyone, himself most of all. He refuses to even consider the idea that the Engwithans may have been wrong, because to do so would mean their sacrifice was meaningless.

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I think that... all souls are guided by the Gods. All of them.

 

Nothing really suggests that.  In fact, the game is pretty open about the idea that souls go to the Wheel and back again without the gods, and that is the default state of the world.  The only way the gods get anything out of it is if machines (built and operated by people) trap and feed souls to them, quite contrary to the natural order of the world.

 

The comparison with Od Nua is apt however, because the basic character of the Engwithans seemed to be a fundamental inability to accept reality, and to break it, and sacrifice everyone around them until the world is forced to conform to their selfish desires.  Nothing is forbidden, as long as the universe obeys.

I view it more or less as if the Wheel is the natural order of things, as you say, but that when "Man" traps the souls in the machines, they gain some control where to guide the souls and can then give X God more power of the Wheel or the universe, i.e. guide the fate of the world. Or, in this case, guide the fate of the souls in Dyrwood (Where these machines are placed). I.E. "The Hollowing of Dyrwood". Not "The Hollowing of Eora" ;)

 

In the natural order of things, the Gods have no control, the souls simply slip through or past them like a flowing river. But through the machines they can get more control and more power. The machines halt the progress of going in and out, a checkpoint of some kind, stopping souls from going about doing what they do in the natural order of things, a sluice gate. You get the option to sluice the souls through a specific god, or whatever it is you can opt for.

 

I was speaking that in theory that Thaos and the MC (the Watcher) both show that they have aspects of all Gods within them. So does Durance, Eder, Aloth, Sagani and so on, albeit in an obscure fashion. Several NPC's shows that they have traits of various Gods and not just one God.

 

If comparing with "Chakra Points" or whatever, the souls passing through the Wheel could be viewed as the souls going through all the points, but with our choice, all souls would only or mostly go through a single point.

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Interesting. Reading through the posts on this thread, there seems to be a lot more confusion about the plot than what I would have guessed. Seemed clear cut to me:

 

1. Engwithians wished to find the gods, to find the true meaning of their existence and the purpose of life. After tonnes of searching they failed, finding nothing. This terrified them on an existential level (Thaos describes accepting that there is nothing as a bit like the worst thing he could imagine).

2. To 'save' themselves and the rest of the Kith from a meaningless existence, they create machines that allow the majority of Engwithians to sacrifice themselves, in order to manufacture from their soul energy a set of 'ideal' gods, representing various ideals of life and death, good and evil. The gods they wished they had found.

3. Thaos and the remaining Engwithians spread out as missionaries to spread worship of these new gods, 'gifting' the rest of Kith with purpose.

 

Whether or not Thaos allied himself with Woedica at this early point is unknown - there is some suggestion he did because when his people was sacrificed he dreaded the 'long' path ahead. He might have just been considering the time spent as a missionary, but in any event he eventually allies with Woedica so that she can bring him back whenever he dies with all his memories. Other than that, its very much that Thaos is using Woedica in exchange for helping her with her own goals: the Engwithians created all the gods, and its possible Woedica was designed to be sympathetic to Thaos' objectives.

 

4. Iovara discovers that the gods are manufactured and starts a rival faith denouncing them. While Thaos and the Engwithians thought life without purpose horrifying, Iovara thinks devotion to the gods is life led in service to a lie, possibly obscuring the actual truth of existence that the Engwithians refuse to face.

5. Your past life, having been a convert to Thaos faith, causes you to betray Iovara while also learning the truth. Your betrayal (at least for my character) and psychological dependency on Thaos are what cause the 'trouble' in your soul, eventually leading the events of the game.

 

Thaos lives through the millennia, using forces like the Leaden Key (which he created) and acting as a free agent, leveraging an alliance with Woedica to give him power and immortatlity, in order to keep the origin of the gods secret and to ensure that they are still worshiped. Even though his atrocities are terrible, he believes (and to a degree, has no choice but to believe having gone so far down this path) that whatever the cost, the alternative bleakness of a pointless existence would be worse. The gods are the 'gift' he and his people sacrificed to provide the world, and he wants to protect it.

 

Eothas invading, Magran striking back and so forth is because they are following their own ideals (Eothas preventing the hollowborn epidemic, Magran striking down an avatar) etc, but also serves as a bit of a justification of Iovara's position. THe gods are just blind personifications of whatever short sighted philosophies the Engwithians thought humanity should worship, and in pursuit of their purposes they can hurt and destroy so much: vis Eothas/Waidwens clumsy and destructive invasion of Dyrwood, or Magrans blunt interception that allowed the Hollowborn epidemic to start.

 

Why the hollowborn scheme of the Leaden Key? Partly to further discredit animancy, which as others have said would eventually allow the unravelling the God's true nature. Also possibly to shore up Woedica's power, to make her a better and more loyal ally to Thaos. Possibly to shore up people's faith in the gods after one has been slain: if gods can be killed, they're possibly not really gods. However if a god dies and a nation suffers a terrible curse as a result then that is a strong argument for divinity, and human sin.

 

I don't think there is many holes in the above. Thaos' motivations were well thought out - and the central question is whether you believe his actions and that of his people were truly worth the cost - whether kith should be exposed to the emptiness of their own existence, and be allowed the agency to take their own actions accordingly.

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@Aquinas: Agreed. I'm not confused much about the plot in the game, I'm simply spinning deeper and further, "What are the Gods?" philosophically, in some form of psuedo-physicality. The Engwithans sacrificed their souls to create the Gods... and I'm thinking scientifically about.... energy. To give is to take, and to take is to give. Put a log on a fire, and it radiates heat, but the log is burnt up in time, and when it has been burnt up, there is no more heat.

What are the Gods? Are they the souls of Engwithans, trapped in Adra, programmed to fulfill some form of ideals? Because they can communicate, where does this "force" or "energy" come from?

The Adra Dragon at the bottom of the Endless Path's says that He/She feeds on souls in the Titan... is that not what the Gods do as well, and, when you "guide" the souls through a God, don't you pretty much "feed" those souls to that God, in some way? If we look at that as some sort of analogy... consider the Titan being "The World" and the Adra Dragon being a God (for those souls). You see my point? Does the Adra Dragon have the option to return the souls to the Titan, and then recycle them, or can He/She only feed on the souls without returning them?

In the same way, Thaos is not only doing Woedica's bidding by obscuring animancy and the truth about the Gods, he is also attempting to feed "her" a large amount of souls, just like *gasp* we are doing when we pick a choice! ;) which makes me wonder... are we not simply just doing the Gods bidding too when we decide who or what to "follow"?

It makes me wonder if Eora is simply a "Titan", and the Gods are actually looking in, from outside through the macro-cosmos, and everything that goes on inside of Eora is the micro-cosmos. *gasp* Is the Player one of the Gods, looking in? :p my thoughts take me back to one of Jaheira's comments when you click her to move: "Yes, oh, omnipresent authority figure?" :p

Yes, I'm spinning deep.

Edited by Osvir
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Seems a bit complex. In terms of souls reincarnating, having multiple lives and so on, along with the storyline of Hiravias where you explore the concept of how souls must necessarily multiply in order to keep up with expanding populations, it seems as if they are seperate immortal entities. Possibly all fragments of a greater divinity, to borrow something from our real world religious philosophies, in that even if you are one half of a soul split in two you nevertheless share with your 'twin' a long, immortal legacy.

 

On the other hand you (and others) can rip up souls or grind them down into their essence, which seems to serve as a form of spiritual energy. That (frustratingly near unkillable) creature at the bottom of Od Nua feeds on energy from the titan, and I figured that the machines of the Egwithans are powered by the ripped up souls of Leaden Key members that Thaos sacrifices.

 

It could be that the essence of souls is some form of utilisable energy, but when you congregate enough of it it adopts a semi-sentience, at least when 'shaped' through the lens of a mortal form. In this fashion the souls of kith accumulate experience over lifetimes. And what the Engwithans did was tear apart many souls and merged the results into 'gigantic souls': the gods. Perhaps since the gods rarely take mortal form, they are more or less unchanging beyond the shape they were originally given; linear machines impersonating one ideal or another. Perhaps the pact they often speak of in how they cannot take direct hand over mortal affairs is in fact 'engineered in' by the Engwithans in order to preserve their gods as they were created?

 

Definitely a nicely designed mythology by those champs at Obsidian :) Has a lot of potential to explore.

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Just finished the game...

What confused me the most is everything around those "fake" gods.

Why would it matter to people if they were created by some ancient civilization (how were they created is another question I have actually) or if they were here in the first place?

I mean, at the end of the day, it's same right? Same powers and ****.

The last act is all about it, how that's a big deal if people would know but I seriously don't get why...

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Just finished the game...

What confused me the most is everything around those "fake" gods.

Why would it matter to people if they were created by some ancient civilization (how were they created is another question I have actually) or if they were here in the first place?

I mean, at the end of the day, it's same right? Same powers and ****.

The last act is all about it, how that's a big deal if people would know but I seriously don't get why...

 

When they were originally created, the truth of their creation could be devastating to a myriad of cultures who had been fighting for centuries over their practices and the validity of their individual, fake gods. To learn that these had been created and their spread orchestrated by a group of humans who had the power to create gods would be devastating.

 

In more modern times, think about how Eothas/Waidwen was handled -- everyone was in awe of him, whether they were on his side or not. It took the Godhammer to finally stop his campaign, but it proved that gods could, indeed, be destroyed. That they were mortal. Destroyable. That there was a power int he world that was and IS greater than the gods -- a power so vast that it could create divine beings. 

 

As the Leaden Key, worshipers of a goddess of cruel, unchanging justice that does not want to see her version of 'order' corrupted, the idea of animancy -- which is presumably a practice that is not dissimilar to what the Engwithans were working with when they created the gods -- and mortals understand the breadth of their potential power could be devastating the gods' reign over mankind.

 

 

Skimming through this thread, it feels like a lot of people are confused or have... nonsensically specific questions about what ares and what ifs. Everything isn't meant to be revealed. This is not a game with a neatly tied up or even marginally happy resolution to its story, and that's done purposefully. Sometimes -- much like with Eder or Aloth's personal quests -- there simply isn't an answer to be had. Mystery reigns supreme. You aren't meant to know everything. And how could you? Why should the main character have every last detail of the world revealed to her like there's some all knowing CRUCIBLE in the form a child to share all the gritty lore?

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What kinda confuses me at times are the powers of the Watcher. We can see certain souls, yes. But apparently we can also at times interact with them, like what we do with Maerwen for example (and with Thaos at the end) I think the more *exact* nature of the Watcher is the weakest link in the story. It's been brought up before on the forums but I think it's true that the real pain behind is never quite... brought alive so to speak. Yes, you see a few visions and so forth but I never got the feeling that my character suffered. Some of the companion reactions after resting kinda tries but... I dunno, I don't think they quite manage to bring across that part of it.

If we are to compare, Mask of the Betrayer also had us "catch" an affliction and I think it did a superior job in really hitting home that being a Spirit-eater was a terrible curse (though you could turn it into a terrible power also). The background of it was also *solid*. I found PoE kinda lacking in this regard. The whole concept of the Watcher is kinda floaty at times.

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Skimming through this thread, it feels like a lot of people are confused or have... nonsensically specific questions about what ares and what ifs. Everything isn't meant to be revealed. This is not a game with a neatly tied up or even marginally happy resolution to its story, and that's done purposefully. Sometimes -- much like with Eder or Aloth's personal quests -- there simply isn't an answer to be had. Mystery reigns supreme. You aren't meant to know everything. And how could you?

See you say that, but there doesn't seem to be much mystery to me.   Everything important is answered, and the answers (to the big questions) are by and large stupid, painfully obvious or horribly nonsensical.  Or simply recycled from other titles by the same people, and dealt with in an inferior fashion.

 

 

@Merany- telling people that their religion and entire social order is a lie designed to manipulate them because they are stupid and dangerous sheep is unlikely to go over well.  Add in admitting to the atrocities required to both start and maintain it, and you'll have widespread thaos chaos (it's clever, what?).  The other side is of course that while some people (thaos and his followers) view slavery as the natural state of humanity, most thinking people would rather decide for themselves rather than submit to blind obedience over what people might do. 

 

Though overall, the people of the Dyrwood are certainly profound evidence that the former (stupid and blindly aggressive sheep that need to be controlled) is more true than the latter.  But the rest of the world comes off (in what snippets we see) as far more sane and reasonable than Dyrwood.

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Interesting. Reading through the posts on this thread, there seems to be a lot more confusion about the plot than what I would have guessed. Seemed clear cut to me:

 

1. Engwithians wished to find the gods, to find the true meaning of their existence and the purpose of life. After tonnes of searching they failed, finding nothing. This terrified them on an existential level (Thaos describes accepting that there is nothing as a bit like the worst thing he could imagine).

2. To 'save' themselves and the rest of the Kith from a meaningless existence, they create machines that allow the majority of Engwithians to sacrifice themselves, in order to manufacture from their soul energy a set of 'ideal' gods, representing various ideals of life and death, good and evil. The gods they wished they had found.

3. Thaos and the remaining Engwithians spread out as missionaries to spread worship of these new gods, 'gifting' the rest of Kith with purpose.

 

Whether or not Thaos allied himself with Woedica at this early point is unknown - there is some suggestion he did because when his people was sacrificed he dreaded the 'long' path ahead. He might have just been considering the time spent as a missionary, but in any event he eventually allies with Woedica so that she can bring him back whenever he dies with all his memories. Other than that, its very much that Thaos is using Woedica in exchange for helping her with her own goals: the Engwithians created all the gods, and its possible Woedica was designed to be sympathetic to Thaos' objectives.

 

4. Iovara discovers that the gods are manufactured and starts a rival faith denouncing them. While Thaos and the Engwithians thought life without purpose horrifying, Iovara thinks devotion to the gods is life led in service to a lie, possibly obscuring the actual truth of existence that the Engwithians refuse to face.

5. Your past life, having been a convert to Thaos faith, causes you to betray Iovara while also learning the truth. Your betrayal (at least for my character) and psychological dependency on Thaos are what cause the 'trouble' in your soul, eventually leading the events of the game.

 

Thaos lives through the millennia, using forces like the Leaden Key (which he created) and acting as a free agent, leveraging an alliance with Woedica to give him power and immortatlity, in order to keep the origin of the gods secret and to ensure that they are still worshiped. Even though his atrocities are terrible, he believes (and to a degree, has no choice but to believe having gone so far down this path) that whatever the cost, the alternative bleakness of a pointless existence would be worse. The gods are the 'gift' he and his people sacrificed to provide the world, and he wants to protect it.

 

Eothas invading, Magran striking back and so forth is because they are following their own ideals (Eothas preventing the hollowborn epidemic, Magran striking down an avatar) etc, but also serves as a bit of a justification of Iovara's position. THe gods are just blind personifications of whatever short sighted philosophies the Engwithians thought humanity should worship, and in pursuit of their purposes they can hurt and destroy so much: vis Eothas/Waidwens clumsy and destructive invasion of Dyrwood, or Magrans blunt interception that allowed the Hollowborn epidemic to start.

 

Why the hollowborn scheme of the Leaden Key? Partly to further discredit animancy, which as others have said would eventually allow the unravelling the God's true nature. Also possibly to shore up Woedica's power, to make her a better and more loyal ally to Thaos. Possibly to shore up people's faith in the gods after one has been slain: if gods can be killed, they're possibly not really gods. However if a god dies and a nation suffers a terrible curse as a result then that is a strong argument for divinity, and human sin.

 

I don't think there is many holes in the above. Thaos' motivations were well thought out - and the central question is whether you believe his actions and that of his people were truly worth the cost - whether kith should be exposed to the emptiness of their own existence, and be allowed the agency to take their own actions accordingly.

I pretty much read the whole thing this way too.

 

I think Woedica and Thaos would have aligned rather quickly as they both represent the order and control that would be needed to perpetuate the fabrication of the the engwithan gods. Not surprisingly that very order and control stifled not only the kith but the gods aswell. Animancy was forgotten but also innovation and divergent thought would have been stamped out. Quite the atithesis of gods like Galawain, Magran, Hylea and Abydon. I can imagine they got rid of Woedica pretty sharpish so as to guide the kith their way. Much to Woedica's and Thaos chargrin. Which would lead us to the Saints War and Waidwens Legacy.

 

Under the auspice of a more progressive pantheon, the kith have begun to rediscover animancy, a huge threat to Thaos duty as keeper of the secret behind the engwithan "gods" and a threat to Woedica's sense of innate exclusive godhood.

 

Cue the plot to re-instate Woedica, under whom Thaos duty would be more readily executed. Now beaing in mind I doubt Thaos or Woedica are much concerned with the other gods knowing what they are doing as they are "playing by the rules" so to speak. The other gods must sit back and try to play puppet master to avert Woedicas return to dominace but suddenly, Eothas, kindly benevolent god that he is, foresees the suffereing Thaos plan will result in and takes unexpected action, abanding the game of zero direct influence, takes a mortal avatar and moves to prevent Thaos plans (ofcourse I'm only guessing here, could be he was just nuts or Waidwen was not a god at all but I think it just feels right for Waidwen to actually be Eothas) Suddenly, by the rules that govern the gods Magran and the other gods MUST intervene against Eothas, regardless of his intent and what they themselves might loose in the process. Enter stage left - the Godhammer. All the while, under the cloak of turmoil Thaos continues with his plan, starts up the Engwithan soul hoovers and prepares to restore Woedica and at the same time, pin the legacy on animancy. Plan perfectly executed, until the player turns up at Cilant Lis.

Edited by Lazarusblack
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Thaos is wrong on a fundamental level that is plainly obvious and that is what makes him a bad villain. Kreia in KOTOR 2 wasn't wrong and neither was Myrkul in MotB for devising the Wall of the Faithless even if it was for selfish reasons. Thaos' logic jumps through several hoops to come to the conclusions he had. It's based on countless speculations and assumptions he had no way of knowing are right. We have real life as evidence of this and saying PoE's world is different in that regard is nonsensical.

In the end all individual life in PoE's world is pointless and an existential torture because it never ends, even if Rymrgand says differently. I think he's lying, like all gods are lying because they have no real power. Their existence isn't strength, it's a never-ending loop they were programmed with and is as much torture as all souls go through. The "Watcher", who also doesn't have any real power, just kind of stumbles in the way of Thaos and is just a very talented individual to be able to stop him. The only power comes from the Engwithan machines which are heavily hinted at to be the work of animancy.

All in all the whole plot is kind of a case of "the blind leading the blind" with nobody being competent enough to actually do something of value or lasting impact. The only ones with the power were the Engwithans even if their conclusion was moon logic, it still propelled the world forward. They were right about existence being torture, but not of the WHY of it.

Maybe i am wrong and am missing some vital part of information that ties it all together, I don't know.

Of course, what everyone else said, Thaos' motivations are murky at best and his allegiance with Woedica doesn't make any sense. I don't think she gives him any power, because as I said before the gods have no real power and they are programmed to not be able to influence the world in any physical way.

Edited by Christliar
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Thaos has been alive for centuries. Generations. Lifetimes. He began as man that saw a resolution to the world's chaos, embroiled in a conflict of false gods that did not exist. And he took it. What's not believable about the fact that over such a long time, these aspirations corrupted him? That he could only see a world that needed to be controlled, ordered, lest they fall into the depravity and lawlessness that Thaos saw so many years ago?

 

I don't know. From what I've read, all the issues that people have with the plot are reasons that I love it.

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Thaos is wrong on a fundamental level that is plainly obvious and that is what makes him a bad villain. Kreia in KOTOR 2 wasn't wrong and neither was Myrkul in MotB for devising the Wall of the Faithless even if it was for selfish reasons. Thaos' logic jumps through several hoops to come to the conclusions he had. It's based on countless speculations and assumptions he had no way of knowing are right. We have real life as evidence of this and saying PoE's world is different in that regard is nonsensical.

 

In the end all individual life in PoE's world is pointless and an existential torture because it never ends, even if Rymrgand says differently. I think he's lying, like all gods are lying because they have no real power. Their existence isn't strength, it's a never-ending loop they were programmed with and is as much torture as all souls go through. The "Watcher", who also doesn't have any real power, just kind of stumbles in the way of Thaos and is just a very talented individual to be able to stop him. The only power comes from the Engwithan machines which are heavily hinted at to be the work of animancy.

 

All in all the whole plot is kind of a case of "the blind leading the blind" with nobody being competent enough to actually do something of value or lasting impact. The only ones with the power were the Engwithans even if their conclusion was moon logic, it still propelled the world forward. They were right about existence being torture, but not of the WHY of it.

 

Maybe i am wrong and am missing some vital part of information that ties it all together, I don't know.

 

Of course, what everyone else said, Thaos' motivations are murky at best and his allegiance with Woedica doesn't make any sense. I don't think she gives him any power, because as I said before the gods have no real power and they are programmed to not be able to influence the world in any physical way.

No, I think that hits quite closely to my interpretation too. The game does a good job of portraying a fantasy world that has stumbled upon relativism and asks the question of, if you had the power I.E. animacy to create gods to give an illusion of meaning, would it be worthwhile. What would be the justifications of it. Thaos tortured soul is worn down by the burden of it. He is a perfect broken villain, that must perpetuate his broken logic by any means necassary to justify his broken logic descisions.

 

I loved Kreia and Myrkul both for their bequiling power, even in defeat, they were in many ways right and it was hard to disregard their reasoning. Great characters.

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Thaos has been alive for centuries. Generations. Lifetimes. He began as man that saw a resolution to the world's chaos, embroiled in a conflict of false gods that did not exist. And he took it. What's not believable about the fact that over such a long time, these aspirations corrupted him? That he could only see a world that needed to be controlled, ordered, lest they fall into the depravity and lawlessness that Thaos saw so many years ago?

Because he started that way, it didn't happen over time, he was ready and prepared to commit genocidal scale atrocities on Day 0, including setting the souls of thousands of his own people on fire in the blind hope of successfully creating gods that might solve his personal issues with the nature of the world.  And they don't.  He has to spend those centuries committing yet more atrocities so that people don't notice the flaws in his plan, and the nature of kith never actually changes.  His created gods don't change society, and the conflict of his 'real' gods aren't any different than the conflicts of 'false' gods. 

 

So, yeah, he's crazy stupid nuts on day 0, fails on day 1, and keeps going with a failed plan for centuries.  That is just... dumb.  He apparently gets plot armor reincarnation railroad powers from being bloody stupid. 

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Thaos has been alive for centuries. Generations. Lifetimes. He began as man that saw a resolution to the world's chaos, embroiled in a conflict of false gods that did not exist. And he took it. What's not believable about the fact that over such a long time, these aspirations corrupted him? That he could only see a world that needed to be controlled, ordered, lest they fall into the depravity and lawlessness that Thaos saw so many years ago?

Because he started that way, it didn't happen over time, he was ready and prepared to commit genocidal scale atrocities on Day 0, including setting the souls of thousands of his own people on fire in the blind hope of successfully creating gods that might solve his personal issues with the nature of the world.  And they don't.  He has to spend those centuries committing yet more atrocities so that people don't notice the flaws in his plan, and the nature of kith never actually changes.  His created gods don't change society, and the conflict of his 'real' gods aren't any different than the conflicts of 'false' gods. 

 

So, yeah, he's crazy stupid nuts on day 0, fails on day 1, and keeps going with a failed plan for centuries.  That is just... dumb.  He apparently gets plot armor reincarnation railroad powers from being bloody stupid. 

 

I thought he gave you an exposition of the world before Engwithian gods. Weren't "genocidal atrocities on Day 0" a willing self-sacrifice and a communal ascension to godhood? The gods he created certainly solved his personal issues with the world. He believes that his pantheon changed the nature of kith sufficiently by destroying religious practices he considered barbaric and replacing those idols with something he approved of. The fact that his gods could foster conflicts was a bitter irony, but from his point of view those were deviations because Woedica - order, justice, inevitable retribution - was supposed to stay in charge, and once he can restore her granting her enough power to stay on the throne this time, all can finally be well and good. Multiply it by a skewed perspective of a millenia-old person. To him a generation of hollowbirths in one province of Dyrwood is indeed just a hiccup in the grand scheme of things. "The world merely skipped a heartbeat". ©

 

Fanatical zeal and willingness to commit atrocities "for the greater good" is not unheard of. They can boggle the minds of us uninvolved spectators, yet I think it's fair to say that humans (kith) have plenty capacity for it. And as Lasci pointed out, humans are just as resistant to admitting their own mistaken conclusions when they are involved (let alone for hundreds of lifetimes) even when results stare them in the face, particularly if they can perpetuate their delusions. Yet another quite ordinary human trait.

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