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The two layers of Pillars of Eternity, story


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I don't think I've seen something like this in a game for a while: The story has two layers:

 

Surface world: Raedric, Defiance bay, the politics of a country and its recent history

2nd layer: The powers behind this country's fate.

 

PoE manages to tell the story of a country in turmoil. The strong point of the story becomes obvious in Defiance Bay:

 

There are three factions there:

1) Animancers

2) Knights

3) The Dozens

 

In my playthrough, I ended (killed) the Knights for their plans to construct soul powered golems. I also killed the Dozens because they were involved in the slaughtering of innocent people after the war with Waidwin (Eothas). I also made animancy take the blame for the Hollowborn situation. Because they came across as dangerous and utterly incompetent on top of that.

 

Why did I choose to oppose these groups? Because they did not have a clue. They were fighting each other. And they did not seem to be able to solve the crisis.

 

Maybe I am wrong, but the story doesn't seem to present any reasons why you should help any of those camps. They seemed absolutely unfit to solve the crisis.

 

As a watcher, I wasn't interested in using souls or their power. I wasn't interested in activating ancient machines, continuing any crusades, or strengthening the army. I was only interested in restoring the usual order of things. Which (during my playthrough) lead to a situation where I felt like leaving the city ASAP, because it seemed to be filled with lunatics.

 

Of course they did not really behave like lunatics. They were just completely ignorant...

 

PoE creates in interesting gap between the real world with its politics and factions, and the layer underneath it. The country is built on the ruins of an ancient civilisation, but the current inhabitants of

that country have a very limited knowledge of the gods and powers that control their fate. They are just the surface layer, unable to touch or even see the powers that are controlling their fate.

 

The real meat of the story, and the real rulers of their world, are underneath: Leaden Key, Adra Stones, and the Gods and devices of an ancient civilization. Hopefully the story will be continued. It was fun to save the world without the world knowing it.

Edited by paz12
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 The comma or  " , " mark isn't supposed to be used like that. Sorry for nitpicking. Actually I'm not its just what I do. Not sure if you are able to edit your title but it might not be a bad idea if you can.

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The real meat of the story, and the real rulers of their world, are underneath: Leaden Key, Adra Stones, and the Gods and devices of an ancient civilization. Hopefully the story will be continued. It was fun to save the world without the world knowing it.

But, are you really saving the world? Or simply "guiding" it in one or the other way? Deciding upon its fate, rather than "saving" it. You don't save it from "destruction", per say, you simply choose to pick a flavor... it doesn't blow up does it, if you fail? And regardless, you can continue the path that Thaos sought from the very beginning, regardless if you feel tricked by it or not... does it destroy the world, or simply point it in a set direction?

 

The world doesn't end. It is merely a shift in the balance of power, who holds the most of it, and who gets to influence most of it.

 

Though, I suppose, depending on who your character is in your roleplay, and what you perceive as "saving" the world really is. Saving the denizens of the Dyrwood... or saving yourself?

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