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Okay, I only skimmed the thread, sorry if what I'm going to speculate is, well, already here.

 

The way I see it is about this: The engwithans created the gods, possibly through some sort of animancy, or maybe they "ascended" to godhood. Not all of engwithans obviously went that way, missionaries remained, as seen with Thaos.

 

In regards why it would be a big deal whether the gods were created or not? I think that one was obvious, people are going to be pissed at being lied and manipulated. There are other implications to the gods being created too, like, hey, they can be uncreated (killed). Eothas in particular was the precedent for that. Also, they were created, so, really, do they give answers to the questions they claim to be the answer to? The big ones I mean, who are we? Why are we here? Of course the answer is no. There is also the matter of these gods meddling in mortal affairs, what right do they have? Instead of nice semi-benevolent creatures that are a part of the natural order of things they are these tyrannical created constructs screwing people over.

 

The big questions I had were: Just who is Thaos and why was he, well, who he was? Why Woedica was the god Thaos was most closely allied? Do the gods know they are created?

 

Well, Thaos, I think was one of the guys who came up with the plan, did the deed and made sure the great lie kept rolling. It gave him meaning. I agree with the position that he was rather a tortured soul.

 

In regards to Woedica: I think this just comes down to what the gods are, how they were created. Woedicas aspect is justice, she is the god that embodies the idea that led to the engwithan-solution in the first place. Thaos and others created her so she would be willing to break the rules, to make sure the lie will never be discovered. She is immutable, justice through any means necessary, but that justice is cold. She is the embodiment of an argument for moral absolutism and "any means necessary"-attitude.

 

The plan of empowering Woedica: I think this was a new development, triggered by the saint's war. The saint's war showed to Thaos just how flawed the plan was. It just doesn't work. So, instead of admitting that and giving up, he and Woedica decide that their previous solution was too soft. So the plan was: Restore the Queen that Was to the Throne (that she probably never held). Usher in an age of absolute peace and justice. They realised they couldn't change the people the way they wanted just by preaching about the gods, so take a more active position and force them to become what they wanted.

 

Do the gods know they were created? Possibly, the more I thought about it, it doesn't really matter, apart from Woedica. She has to know so that my theory works. She is the one that cares about it. The rest of the gods, I don't think they know, or if they know, actually care. In the end they are quite "stupid", being so locked in their aspects. Take Wael for example; He'd think it as just another mystery to found out about, still, he probably wouldn't meddle too much and allow it to be found out, why would he? His whole thing seems to be just kicking back and let things happen, maybe spark some interest?

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This would probably be easier for some to grasp if there had been Engwithian machines with each God's name stamped on it because that's all they are. They're giant collections of soul energy with prime directives regarding their personalities but they are no more capable of answering any of the big existential questions than Siri.

 

That's the big question posed to the player. If they give meaning to a person's life and order to the world is it okay that they're just big computers in the ether or is a life lived in service to them a lie and meaningless?

 

It's a huge philosophical debate with no 'right' answer.

 

And about the characters manifesting traits of the God's, that's reversed. The gods were manufactured in the image of the Engwithians that created them to be pure incarnations of traits and concepts they valued. So if the player and companions were the spider people then they'd have very little in common with these Gods, it just happens that the Engwithians were basically humans and have that in common with all of their descendants.

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The plan of empowering Woedica: I think this was a new development, triggered by the saint's war. The saint's war showed to Thaos just how flawed the plan was. It just doesn't work. So, instead of admitting that and giving up, he and Woedica decide that their previous solution was too soft. So the plan was: Restore the Queen that Was to the Throne (that she probably never held). Usher in an age of absolute peace and justice. They realised they couldn't change the people the way they wanted just by preaching about the gods, so take a more active position and force them to become what they wanted.

 

IIRC, the plan was already in motion at this point and the first Hollowborn appeared almost immediately after Waidwen's death, if not before the end of the Saint's War.

 

There's a number of us who speculate that the Saint's War was caused because Eothas found out about Thaos' plans to restore Woedica in the first place. Whether or not he knew (or if he knew, cared) that he was a construct is irrelevant; if you consider that Woedica and Eothas have diametrically opposing portfolios and personalities the Saint's War suddenly makes a lot of sense. Why would the all-around nicest of the artificial Eoran pantheon suddenly act so wildly out of character and go berserk? Well, the prospect of the whole world being subjugated under the extreme Lawful Evil tyranny of Woedica might definitely explain it.

 

Sure, it could've just been Waidwen's megalomania, but what are the odds Eothas just happened to appear next door to and intervened in the region housing the Engwithan soul-machines that would soon be siphoning souls away to empower Woedica? Even St. Waidwen's seemingly out-of-character actions, such as persecuting the other faiths, suddenly make sense... if one considers the secret Magran-Woedica alliance.

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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. 

 

Also, Watcher powers are rarely used to solve sidequests. It's a real pain, because hey, you can read and manipulate emotions and absorb the knowledge of the dead. It's such a hilariously broken powerset, and we never get to use it in earnest.

 

In the end all individual life in PoE's world is pointless and an existential torture because it never ends

 

 

So... being reincarnated with no memories of your previous lives instead of having your existence erased utterly is pointless torture.

 

...Okay.


"Lulz is not the highest aspiration of art and mankind, no matter what the Encyclopedia Dramatica says."

 

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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. 

 

Also, Watcher powers are rarely used to solve sidequests. It's a real pain, because hey, you can read and manipulate emotions and absorb the knowledge of the dead. It's such a hilariously broken powerset, and we never get to use it in earnest.

 

In the end all individual life in PoE's world is pointless and an existential torture because it never ends

 

 

So... being reincarnated with no memories of your previous lives instead of having your existence erased utterly is pointless torture.

 

...Okay.

 

it's an existential torture the same way anticipating your death in real life is. It doesn't matter that you don't remember anything, even if it turns out we reincarnate as something else in real life it would still be torture on an existential level. Eternal heaven is also torture in this regard. And *individual* life is pointless, because it's eternal and it is in that infinity that you fail to find meaning, the same way eternal heaven has no meaning. Life itself isn't pointless, but individual life is. Not to mention the never-changing nature of the gods keeps life static and unchanging to the point of everything being stuck in the same bubble and reincarnating infinitely becomes even more pointless.

Edited by Christliar

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Or you could, I dunno, enjoy it. Endless reincarnation seems mighty fine from where I sit, with infinity a great comfort. These people frankly have it easy, with a given fact that a do-over awaits regardless of how badly they screw up*. It only becomes torture when an idiot like thaos happens and chains himself endlessly to the same stupid and unaccomplish-able task lifetime after lifetime.

 

*which is part of the problem with the plot.  A discussion of souls and gods has meaning when they're uncertain if they even exist.  When they're scientific principles, concrete things to be moved around and build things with, they become fairly useless for telling meaningful stories.  You might as well try to tell meaningful stories about bricks or tables.  The horror of the setting (and this is a horror setting) only sets in if you ignore the reincarnation angle.  Mass sacrifice and genocide becomes trivial if everyone gets up afterwards with a fresh new skin.  The druids in the Blood Sands are just tossing a few more chunks of coal into the furnace, not doing anything reprehensible at all.  In fact, given what we know about coal and pollution, they're on the moral high ground.

 

@primsilas- but it obviously doesn't satisfy his personal issues, the nature of kith is exactly the same, and he's out driving more and more atrocities (not the hollow born, which is just a drop in ocean compared to the others he casually references) to keep his absurd system functioning. Or rather, not breaking entirely.

Edited by Voss

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The plan of empowering Woedica: I think this was a new development, triggered by the saint's war. The saint's war showed to Thaos just how flawed the plan was. It just doesn't work. So, instead of admitting that and giving up, he and Woedica decide that their previous solution was too soft. So the plan was: Restore the Queen that Was to the Throne (that she probably never held). Usher in an age of absolute peace and justice. They realised they couldn't change the people the way they wanted just by preaching about the gods, so take a more active position and force them to become what they wanted.

 

IIRC, the plan was already in motion at this point and the first Hollowborn appeared almost immediately after Waidwen's death, if not before the end of the Saint's War.

 

There's a number of us who speculate that the Saint's War was caused because Eothas found out about Thaos' plans to restore Woedica in the first place. Whether or not he knew (or if he knew, cared) that he was a construct is irrelevant; if you consider that Woedica and Eothas have diametrically opposing portfolios and personalities the Saint's War suddenly makes a lot of sense. Why would the all-around nicest of the artificial Eoran pantheon suddenly act so wildly out of character and go berserk? Well, the prospect of the whole world being subjugated under the extreme Lawful Evil tyranny of Woedica might definitely explain it.

 

Sure, it could've just been Waidwen's megalomania, but what are the odds Eothas just happened to appear next door to and intervened in the region housing the Engwithan soul-machines that would soon be siphoning souls away to empower Woedica? Even St. Waidwen's seemingly out-of-character actions, such as persecuting the other faiths, suddenly make sense... if one considers the secret Magran-Woedica alliance.

 

I thought this was actually directly stated at some point, rather than just being speculation? I might have to go back and review the dialogue.

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Or you could, I dunno, enjoy it. Endless reincarnation seems mighty fine from where I sit, with infinity a great comfort. Mthese people frankly have it easy, with a given fact that a do-over awaits regardless of how badly they screw up. It only becomes torture when an idiot like thaos happens and chains himself endlessly to the same idiotic task lifetime after lifetime.

 

 

@primsilas- but it obviously doesn't satisfy his personal issues, the nature of kith is exactly the same, and he's out driving more and more atrocities (not the hollow born, but a couple others he casually references) to keep his absurd system functioning. Or rather, not breaking entirely.

But how much time can you enjoy it? A million years? 2 million? A trillion? Even more than that? Then what? It *never* ends *ever*. Being able to "Awaken" doesn't help. In the end *everything* would be so boring as to be agony and then the realization kicks in that you can never ever get away from this existence. You'll go insane quite fast after that. In PoE's world (especially how Thaos' stupid, stupid vision wants it to be) it will always be the same and it wouldn't matter if you are a Godlike or Orlan, or named Jim, or Aloth, or Sagani, or whatever since you will be something else in a while. It's quite a concept - sameness because of its variety ;p

Edited by Christliar

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Or you could, I dunno, enjoy it. Endless reincarnation seems mighty fine from where I sit, with infinity a great comfort. Mthese people frankly have it easy, with a given fact that a do-over awaits regardless of how badly they screw up. It only becomes torture when an idiot like thaos happens and chains himself endlessly to the same idiotic task lifetime after lifetime.

 

 

@primsilas- but it obviously doesn't satisfy his personal issues, the nature of kith is exactly the same, and he's out driving more and more atrocities (not the hollow born, but a couple others he casually references) to keep his absurd system functioning. Or rather, not breaking entirely.

But how much time can you enjoy it? A million years? 2 million? A trillion? Even more than that? Then what? It *never* ends *ever*. Being able to "Awaken" doesn't help. In the end *everything* would be so boring as to be agony and then the realization kicks in that you can never ever get away from this existence. You'll go insane quite fast after that.

 

Except you'll never be aware of the fact that you've been doing this for millions of years except in the vaguest sense, so that's... not exactly an issue.


"Lulz is not the highest aspiration of art and mankind, no matter what the Encyclopedia Dramatica says."

 

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Except you'll never be aware of the fact that you've been doing this for millions of years except in the vaguest sense, so that's... not exactly an issue.

 

But it's not about whether you are aware of it or not. It's the realization that you will never get away from this existence that is the problem. In PoE's world everyone knows you reincarnate. Maybe it wouldn't be as horrible if you don't remember anything, but it would still be pointless because in that case all our personalities would fade and they would become irrelevant and so would the question of reincarnation. Even Buddhism and Hinduism don't have eternal reincarnation, because it would be so meaningless as to render life itself meaningless. In those religions the soul eventually becomes part of god and stops reincarnating e.i dies. It would also be a valid choice to kill yourself if you don't like your life now. All those miserable parents of hollowborn children? Kill yourself, maybe there are no hollowborn in the next life. That prostitute which you can pay to get the amulet from could just kill herself. Mearwald could kill himself rather than endure his madness. Aloth having an alcoholic father and seeing no way out - kill himself. Raedric killing his wife for being an Eothas worshiper - pointless. Suicide becomes a valid choice to any seemingly impassible problems rendering even death meaningless.

Edited by Christliar

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Except you'll never be aware of the fact that you've been doing this for millions of years except in the vaguest sense, so that's... not exactly an issue.

 

But it's not about whether you are aware of it or not. It's the realization that you will never get away from this existence that is the problem. In PoE's world everyone knows you reincarnate. Maybe it wouldn't be as horrible if you don't remember anything, but it would still be pointless because in that case all our personalities would fade and they would become irrelevant and so would the question of reincarnation. Even Buddhism and Hinduism don't have eternal reincarnation, because it would be so meaningless as to render life itself meaningless. In those religions the soul eventually becomes part of god and stops reincarnating e.i dies. It would also be a valid choice to kill yourself if you don't like your life now. All those miserable parents of hollowborn children? Kill yourself, maybe there are no hollowborn in the next life. That prostitute which you can pay to get the amulet from could just kill herself. Mearwald could kill himself rather than endure his madness. Aloth having an alcoholic father and seeing no way out - kill himself. Raedric killing his wife for being an Eothas worshiper - pointless. Suicide becomes a valid choice to any seemingly impassible problems rendering even death meaningless.

 

 

Except there's the issue of possible soul fragmentation upon death, so it's not exactly a choice without perils. Not to mention that souls tend to Awaken if they have unfinished business from previous lives, which also has the potential to be... inconvenient.

Edited by aluminiumtrioxid

"Lulz is not the highest aspiration of art and mankind, no matter what the Encyclopedia Dramatica says."

 

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Except you'll never be aware of the fact that you've been doing this for millions of years except in the vaguest sense, so that's... not exactly an issue.

 

But it's not about whether you are aware of it or not. It's the realization that you will never get away from this existence that is the problem. In PoE's world everyone knows you reincarnate. Maybe it wouldn't be as horrible if you don't remember anything, but it would still be pointless because in that case all our personalities would fade and they would become irrelevant and so would the question of reincarnation. Even Buddhism and Hinduism don't have eternal reincarnation, because it would be so meaningless as to render life itself meaningless. In those religions the soul eventually becomes part of god and stops reincarnating e.i dies. It would also be a valid choice to kill yourself if you don't like your life now. All those miserable parents of hollowborn children? Kill yourself, maybe there are no hollowborn in the next life. That prostitute which you can pay to get the amulet from could just kill herself. Mearwald could kill himself rather than endure his madness. Aloth having an alcoholic father and seeing no way out - kill himself. Raedric killing his wife for being an Eothas worshiper - pointless. Suicide becomes a valid choice to any seemingly impassible problems rendering even death meaningless.

 

Reincarnation doesn't last forever, though. Entropy wears away all souls eventually, and what you're saying is presumably exactly why Rymrgand followers look forward to that.

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Except you'll never be aware of the fact that you've been doing this for millions of years except in the vaguest sense, so that's... not exactly an issue.

 

But it's not about whether you are aware of it or not. It's the realization that you will never get away from this existence that is the problem. In PoE's world everyone knows you reincarnate. Maybe it wouldn't be as horrible if you don't remember anything, but it would still be pointless because in that case all our personalities would fade and they would become irrelevant and so would the question of reincarnation. Even Buddhism and Hinduism don't have eternal reincarnation, because it would be so meaningless as to render life itself meaningless. In those religions the soul eventually becomes part of god and stops reincarnating e.i dies. It would also be a valid choice to kill yourself if you don't like your life now. All those miserable parents of hollowborn children? Kill yourself, maybe there are no hollowborn in the next life. That prostitute which you can pay to get the amulet from could just kill herself. Mearwald could kill himself rather than endure his madness. Aloth having an alcoholic father and seeing no way out - kill himself. Raedric killing his wife for being an Eothas worshiper - pointless. Suicide becomes a valid choice to any seemingly impassible problems rendering even death meaningless.

 

 

Except there's the issue of possible soul fragmentation upon death, so it's not exactly a choice without perils. Not to mention that souls tend to Awaken if they have unfinished business from previous lives, which also has the potential to be... inconvenient.

 

That's not inherent to suicide. Soul fragmentation makes the whole thing even worse, because you will reincarnate no matter the fragmentation and from then on you will always be a sanitarium patient and all your existences will be torture. I suppose the only thing that makes this somewhat viable is if what Rymrgand said is true - that at one point the soul just gets absorbed in his "winter" and ceases to exist. We don't have any evidence of this and he might as well be lying so as to give his "portfolio" credence, but since the gods have no real power that point is moot.

Edited by Christliar

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They believe in reincarnation but they also value self and personal identity which is stripped from you as soon as you die which is what makes death so frightening. The souls can be fractured and merged with other souls during the cycle so there is no 'you' to speak of once you die since your soul isn't one immutable entity in their belief system.

 

There religion also has souls that do not reenter the cycle, essentially ceasing to exist. Rymrgand represents the inevitability of endings even for souls.

 

Rymrgand is still just a giant soul AI though doing his thing.

The bigger question that loomed was who built the wheel and why and what are souls? That's what terrified the Engwithans, they couldn't come up with a reason for it all. So they created gods to give purpose and promote the values that they believed in. They didn't think the average person could handle going through life knowing that there was no greater purpose and that there was no greater meaning for all of the suffering.

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Seen lots of talk about how Thaos' / The Leaden Key's intentions regarding bad-mouthing animancy in the Dyrwood is supposed to be primarily an act of harming potential finders of secrets they are not supposed to find. However, why is it that this is only happening in Dyrwood during the time we witness the Key / Thaos in action? It's been made clear in the meating at the Duc that the only region suffering from Hollowborns is the Dyrwood, which is naturally where the machines are located currently used by the Key -- and more importantly some of the lore books and some conversations appear to hint at that animancy is pretty much accepted and practiced in some other parts of Eora (most notably the Vailian Republic, as it wasn't a former colony of the Aedyr Empire who's opposed to it). "If this was a punishment by the gods, why are we the only ones to suffer from it?"

 

When I first met Thaos in "person" or rather soul, at the Sanitarium, which was actually the first Leaden Key quest I did, I thought the key was about ensuring the powers and knowledge they obviously had (Thaos anyway, as aptly demonstrated in the flashbacks as well as the fight that follows), would remain their very own. Naturally it turned out to be something bigger than that. By the end I saw this in two ways:

1) The Key's attempts of lessening the impact of anymancy in the Dyrwood were at least in parts a local (?) attempt of a cover-up (the Engwith sites containing the soul machines are told to be regularly studied by animancers in particular, who might one day find out or at least sense what is going on in the region). Belittling animancy is also an easy target and distraction from what's actually going on.

 

There is more to it to me though, and it was argued against on page one. Science vs. religion is a theme running throughout the entirety of the game anyhow. Folks arguing Waidwen's Legacy to be a punishment of the Gods, them arguing that man wasn't supposed to play Gods themselves.

 

2) Animancy, going as far as man mastering and harnessing his very nature, the power of his soul itself, is probably the most advanced science in all of Eora. It is, in parts, man becoming God. As the Delemgans in Twin Elms tell you, Thaos and Woedica are of an old order they'd cling onto. In the old days when questions were many and answers not delivered by science, man would seek the answer for everything in the Gods. That increasingly is becoming a thing of the past, this is pretty much a direct quote: "Now man turns to animancy instead."

Interestingly, as also pointed out, in the conversations you can have with the Gods, some of them are actually fine with animancy. If you trigger the Galawain shrine, you'll get into a conversation with him, Magran and Abydon, who at least appear to not be against it, arguing that "kith is supposed to better hisself". Woedica, however, isn't like the other Gods. She'd kill everyone that would oppose her and lessen her power, as implied by various dialogues (Iovara) and I think some lore books. There's a reason why she's being refered to as the Queen That Was even by her followers, though, and why the other Gods are in support of you stopping Thaos and thus from granting her the power she used to have. It's likely not one connected to her open nature. Engwithian knowledge may have created her, but advanced science is bad for her, an act of heresy, as it would weaken her powers even if she would again rule supreme. :)

Edited by Sven_

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@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. 

 

Not necessarily. Scientology is a "religion" made up by a sci-fi writer. But its proponents refuse to accept that a sci-fi writer could have made up a religion. Because they BELIEVE. They don't care it's a religion conceived by someone who wrote fantastic stuff for living.

445416805_664ab11b89_o.png

 

If anything, it doesn't go well for people criticizing Scientology. They are harassed.

 

However, there are more dangerous implications of proving gods are created than someone has his religious feelings offended.

1. People can get the idea to kill more gods. This is already no big mystery that it can be done, although Eder speculates that Eothas might have survived.

2. People can get the idea to create their own gods. Gods of Eora are limited in what they can do. Gods say it's a pact between them, but it could be Engwithan programming. Either way, new gods created by animancy may not have this limitation. Things could get out of control.

 

The gods in PoE don't strike me as very... smart. I mean, you can kill the Sky Dragon after learning it has its young there. Then you can come to Hylea, whose one aspect is motherhood, and convince her to leave the dragon at the temple. It's as if Hylea doesn't have an idea what her job is. She doesn't have a strong opinion on this !

 

If other PoE gods are as clueless as this, and I don't see a convincing reason they aren't, why would they be worth worshiping ? It doesn't matter if they're created or not.

Edited by b0rsuk

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I appreciate this thread because I found the plot/stroyline confusing and the 'reveal' over the course of the game murky and poorly done.

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From what I gather, it is supposed to be so - to "simulate" what the Protagonist goes through, and "feels"...

 

In the end, the only "canon" for the next Expansion (whatever) will be whatever is decided...because everything is so vague, it could be anything.

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I think the plot is a glorious ode to atheism and a kick in the nuts to religion.

 

And yet..

 

My first party was led by an Ixamitl Druid Philosopher, who enjoyed arguing with people and challenging their beliefs. But I still had to earn favor of a god to finish the game!

 

A small consolation prize was the conversation with Iovara.

- Gods aren't real.

(Background: Nihilist) - I KNEW IT!

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Pardon me for asking...but what are the Pillars in the game's title referring to? Pillars of truth?

 

Pillars of adra - that green semiorganic material you encounter all around that has a particular property of being able to serve as a conduit and an accumulator of soul essence. So I figure the gods are actually adra pillars (as seen during dreams and conversations with deities) infused with souls by Engwithians.

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@sven Aedyr banned it and Valians severely limit research. Dyrwood is the only advanced economy pursuing animancy, hence why Thaos is only acting there.


"Art and song are creations but so are weapons and lies"

"Our worst enemies are inventions of the mind. Pleasure. Fear. When we see them for what they are, we become unstoppable."

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Hey, thanks for not using spoiler tags. I really appreciate it.

he said, from the Spolier forums.

 

OP you got the jist of it, the reason Thoas is helping Woedica is cause he's her minion on earth, to get done what she cannot.

Also because she is the goddess of (unchanging or whatever) she likes the status quo and wants things to be just as they are/were.

 

Woedica tried this once before and got dealt with by the other gods, therefore she uses Thaos as her avatar for dealings and keeping the status quo, so to speak.

People worhsipping these creations as true Gods - animancy threatens this existense if it continues to develop and grow

Edited by Exyll

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I appreciate this thread because I found the plot/stroyline confusing and the 'reveal' over the course of the game murky and poorly done.

same, the flashbacks you keep getting didnt make a lick of sense to me until I met Ioratha or whatever. I could see into souls so I just thought whatever I just glimpsed had something to do with a death / battle that occured right where I saw it happen.

It was even more disappointing when it turned out to be all the same guy - and a serious jerk at that

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