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Engwith and the timeline

gods timeline engwith

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#1
Tagaziel

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Something that I hope Deadfire will help settle (or at least provide enough clues to make sense of the backstory):

Just how does Engwith's backstory flow? It occurred to me while compiling the story of the Endless Paths:

https://pillarsofete...Paths_of_Od_Nua

All sources, including Cabiros and Od Nua, state that the fall of the keep occurred two thousand years before present day. Given the interactions with the spirits and the general reverence Od Nua's Children of the Wheel show, it's safe to assume that Thaos' grand social experiment was not in motion back then, there were no gods. In fact, the loyalist guard spirit mentions praying to whatever god will have you, instead of invoking one of the pantheon, such as Berath or Eothas.

This, along with the absence of other religious facilities, would indicate that they are still in the pre-gods era. On a narrative level, this makes sense, as Od Nua's Paths show the steady grow of Engwithan animancy and explain where they got their start. The soul storage machine prototype on level 8, identical to the one in Heritage Hill, is an obvious tie.

Nagging

However, the point where gods are unleashed and Thaos starts his missionary work is where I kind of lose track of the timeline.

For starters, Glanfathans are said to have occupied Eir Glanfath for some two thousand years. As we know, Eir Glanfath is the site of Sun in Shadow where the gods are made. Glanfathans' rabid defense of Engwithan facilities, especially the barring of foreigners from most of Eir is a clear ploy by Thaos to keep the kith away from Sun in Shadow and finding out the truth about the gods.

Second, Lady Webb states that Leaden Key dates back more than two thousand years. Barring it being Thaos' book club, it would mean that the gods were created before Engwith achieved animantic mastery.

Third, your party members and especially Kana mention that people have been believing in gods for thousands of years. While two is certainly thousands, it's a bit technical.

Making Sense

To make sense of the timeline and given the absolute reliability of Od Nua and the adra dragon's testimonies, pegging the fall of Nua's fortress at circa 800 AI, the gods' creation must have occurred after that date, as did the missionary effort. The apparent discrepancy in dating is the result of Thaos' deliberate interference, aiming at establishing his faith as older than it truly is.


That said... In the setting, 800 AI corresponds to roughly 400 BCE (assuming PoE dates to roughly the 17th century), the height of classical Greece. It's a ****load of time, in other words, and enough for religion to gain traction and spread, we only need to look at Christianity and Islam for examples close to home. Especially when you have an immortal capable of devastating entire civilizations to keep his dirty secret intact.

Questions

Does anyone have any sources I can peruse to figure that out? Or perhaps the devs can weigh in on the subject? It's frustrating to not have enough data to go on (though I have a hunch it was a deliberate choice).
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#2
Aramintai

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From what I've gathered from POE1 is that Od Nua was a king of pre-gods era, so ruins under Caed Nua are some untold thousands of years old. By that time Engwithans mastered animancy and knew all about how to mold souls into whatever they wanted. The gods were made about two thousand years ago with Thaos being at the head of that grand experiment, so his organization probably was even older than that because obviously such a grand undertaking required somebody to manage all the careful planning, building of Sun in Shadow and bringing an untold number of willing converts to sacrifice their souls to the machine. For some centuries after that Thaos and his inquisitor goons converted the rest of the world into their man-made polytheism. And then after that some gods decided that Engwithan civilization needed to die (probably cuz they knew too much about the gods creation and manipulation of souls), so Ondra drowned their cities and tried to pull the smallest moon down to Eora to finish the job. What was left of Engwithan civilization were only ruins that stood abandoned for some centuries and about a thousand years before the game starts nomadic Glanfathans came to settle the territory.


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#3
Dr. Hieronymous Alloy

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https://pillarsofete...ia.com/Timeline might help


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#4
Tagaziel

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From what I've gathered from POE1 is that Od Nua was a king of pre-gods era, so ruins under Caed Nua are some untold thousands of years old. By that time Engwithans mastered animancy and knew all about how to mold souls into whatever they wanted. The gods were made about two thousand years ago with Thaos being at the head of that grand experiment, so his organization probably was even older than that because obviously such a grand undertaking required somebody to manage all the careful planning, building of Sun in Shadow and bringing an untold number of willing converts to sacrifice their souls to the machine. For some centuries after that Thaos and his inquisitor goons converted the rest of the world into their man-made polytheism. And then after that some gods decided that Engwithan civilization needed to die (probably cuz they knew too much about the gods creation and manipulation of souls), so Ondra drowned their cities and tried to pull the smallest moon down to Eora to finish the job. What was left of Engwithan civilization were only ruins that stood abandoned for some centuries and about a thousand years before the game starts nomadic Glanfathans came to settle the territory.


That's what I thought, but what throws the wrench into things is the fact that multiple NPCs, including Kana and Od Nua, pin the events at the Endless Paths as happening two thousand years, or around 800 AI, roughly when the Darcozzi Paladini were founded. Perhaps the mistake I'm making is treating the Engwithans as the run-of-the-mill PROGENITOR CIVILIZATION, instead of just one of many ancient nations that happened to leave a very lasting mark on the world.

https://pillarsofete...ia.com/Timeline might help


It's precisely what I'm working on and why I asked these questions. :)

#5
Messier-31

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Perhaps the mistake I'm making is treating the Engwithans as the run-of-the-mill PROGENITOR CIVILIZATION, instead of just one of many ancient nations that happened to leave a very lasting mark on the world.

 

Interesting thread. I wouldn't count the Engwithans as progenitors. I see them like ancient Egyptians compared to our times. But remember that even in times of Cleopatra VII the pyramids were already 2500 years old.


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#6
Dr. Hieronymous Alloy

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From what I've gathered from POE1 is that Od Nua was a king of pre-gods era, so ruins under Caed Nua are some untold thousands of years old. By that time Engwithans mastered animancy and knew all about how to mold souls into whatever they wanted. The gods were made about two thousand years ago with Thaos being at the head of that grand experiment, so his organization probably was even older than that because obviously such a grand undertaking required somebody to manage all the careful planning, building of Sun in Shadow and bringing an untold number of willing converts to sacrifice their souls to the machine. For some centuries after that Thaos and his inquisitor goons converted the rest of the world into their man-made polytheism. And then after that some gods decided that Engwithan civilization needed to die (probably cuz they knew too much about the gods creation and manipulation of souls), so Ondra drowned their cities and tried to pull the smallest moon down to Eora to finish the job. What was left of Engwithan civilization were only ruins that stood abandoned for some centuries and about a thousand years before the game starts nomadic Glanfathans came to settle the territory.


That's what I thought, but what throws the wrench into things is the fact that multiple NPCs, including Kana and Od Nua, pin the events at the Endless Paths as happening two thousand years, or around 800 AI, roughly when the Darcozzi Paladini were founded. Perhaps the mistake I'm making is treating the Engwithans as the run-of-the-mill PROGENITOR CIVILIZATION, instead of just one of many ancient nations that happened to leave a very lasting mark on the world.

https://pillarsofete...ia.com/Timeline might help


It's precisely what I'm working on and why I asked these questions. :)

 

 

 

Hahah, ok, yeah

 

Yeah, it's possible there was more than one progenitor population, it's also possible that one or more of the reporters could be unreliable narrators, or have only small pieces of the puzzle. From the guidebook there are hints that some of the Gods may be much older than the rest, so there could very well be multiple "progenitor" races and even multiple cycles of god-making.


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#7
FlintlockJazz

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From what I've gathered from POE1 is that Od Nua was a king of pre-gods era, so ruins under Caed Nua are some untold thousands of years old. By that time Engwithans mastered animancy and knew all about how to mold souls into whatever they wanted. The gods were made about two thousand years ago with Thaos being at the head of that grand experiment, so his organization probably was even older than that because obviously such a grand undertaking required somebody to manage all the careful planning, building of Sun in Shadow and bringing an untold number of willing converts to sacrifice their souls to the machine. For some centuries after that Thaos and his inquisitor goons converted the rest of the world into their man-made polytheism. And then after that some gods decided that Engwithan civilization needed to die (probably cuz they knew too much about the gods creation and manipulation of souls), so Ondra drowned their cities and tried to pull the smallest moon down to Eora to finish the job. What was left of Engwithan civilization were only ruins that stood abandoned for some centuries and about a thousand years before the game starts nomadic Glanfathans came to settle the territory.

My understanding is that Engwithan civilisation had already pretty much ended when Ondra drowned the cities, that most of the population had been used to create the gods and the leftovers were the ones who then spread the religion to other faiths.  The Glanfathans claimed that the Engwithans gave them the land to live on in return for making sure no one entered the ruins, that it was requested by the gods.  Of course, this is all oral tradition and one that we know is based on lies as it is, so the truth of any of this is potentially up in the air. 


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#8
blotter

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My understanding is that Engwithan civilisation had already pretty much ended when Ondra drowned the cities, that most of the population had been used to create the gods and the leftovers were the ones who then spread the religion to other faiths. 

Her original plan was to drop a meteor on them, which Abydon fractured and then blocked with his body when its fragments were still heading towards the Engwithans. If the goal was to put an end to their civilization, then the actions of both gods seem excessive if the Engwithans were already virtually extinct by that time.

 

On the other hand, it could be that Ondra was more concerned with wiping out all traces of the Engwithans' culture and Abydon was more concerned with protecting these traces rather than the surviving Engwithans per se. This would make sense given the dialogue's emphasis on Abydon's lost aspect as the god of preservation, but it's still a little odd on Ondra's end for a couple reasons: 1) she considers her work to have been a "success" despite the fact that there seem to be plenty Engwithan ruin still present throughout the Dyrwood, the Deadfire Archipeligo, and who knows where else in the world (to say nothing of Sun in Shadow itself and what it can still reveal about the gods), 2) the Engwithans themselves seem to have been extremely willing to cooperate in the process of burying their secrets even without going to the trouble of lobbing meteors at them; aside from Thaos' example, which is admittedly limited, the other missionaries were willing to sacrifice any possibility of their own bloodlines surviving into the future for the sake of eliminating all first-hand knowledge of the gods' origins and the thousands of Engwithan souls used to produce the gods suggests considerable dedication on the part of the populace at large (whether as a result of their personal convictions or the ability of their leaders to effectively manipulate/control them).


Edited by blotter, 08 January 2018 - 01:05 PM.

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#9
Tagaziel

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Sorry for the intermittent posting, but I'm also updating the wiki as I play (basically, game in one window, wiki in the other, and ON WE MARCH), so I'm piecing the pieces together after refreshing my memory (and finally experiencing White March after it ripened on my hard drive).

I think it's fair to assume that the furthest point in Engwithan history would be Od Nua, two thousand years before the present day (stated outright by Kana, Od Nua, and Cabiros, so that's definitely the intended timeline). Further research convinced me that this isn't all that strange: The Iroccian calendar is only 150 years old and it inherited the year from the Aedyre calendar. However, something that I missed in reading the companion book is that reliable historical sources haven't really existed before the formation of the Aedyr Empire in the west (I assume the collapse of Vailia led to a massive loss of knowledge there), so we have about 600 years of reliable tracking of events and before that fourteen centuries of dark ages.

At this point, I believe this is as follows:

1. 2000 years ago Od Nua goes weird after Maros dies. His weirdness leads to tremendous advances in animancy, paving the way for godmaking (there's zero references to gods of any kind anywhere in the Endless Paths, just the wheel).

2. ? years ago the gods are made at Twin Elms, including Berath.

3. ? years ago Cliaban Rilag is established, harnessing technologies pioneered by Od Nua for manufacturing animats at a large scale (perhaps to support their religious campaigns of expansion? defend them? there's plenty of references to heathens being fought in the inscriptions; the facility definitely post-dates Od Nua and Godmaking, as it features an elemental forge derived from those at Od Nua's Party Palace and plenty of Berathian iconography - impossible without gods)

4. Ondra drowns the Engwithan cities erasing most traces of their civilization (explaining the damage you encounter, even at Cliaban Rilag), preserving their secret; I'm not done with White March, so this is speculative.

5. Glanfathans move in to secure the ruins, guided by the remnants of Engwith.

Notably, the proselytizing by Engwithans would be done after the first generation of missionaries dies out, as Iovara mentions overhearing they made a vow to die and take the secret with them to their graves.

Sorry for not answering everyone specifically, but I feel this was a better way of doing this discussion justice. :)
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#10
blotter

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3. ? years ago Cliaban Rilag is established, harnessing technologies pioneered by Od Nua for manufacturing animats at a large scale (perhaps to support their religious campaigns of expansion? defend them? there's plenty of references to heathens being fought in the inscriptions; the facility definitely post-dates Od Nua and Godmaking, as it features an elemental forge derived from those at Od Nua's Party Palace and plenty of Berathian iconography - impossible without gods)

While I believe your deductions are promising overall, I think it's worth pointing out that iconography pertaining to the gods that the Engwithans created could predate their manifestation as living beings for a number of reasons:

  • The gods could be based on a primitive Engwithan pantheon that was conceived of ages before they had the means or inclination to search the Beyond for proof of the gods' existence.
  • The gods' symbols/representations/creeds could have been instrumental in their subsequent creation: Well-established beliefs and legends about divine figures among the populace might have been an essential part of what enabled the thousands of Engwithan souls to "stick" together long enough to become the various gods, for example.  If so, who knows how many generations in advance myths and beliefs about these gods were cultivated before Engwithan souls were ripe for apotheosis. 
  • The most iconic forms of the gods may have been derived from Engwithan rulers/heroes/villains that were traditionally revered (or reviled/appeased as may have been the case for figures like proto-Rymrgand or proto-Skaen) prior to being adapted as avatars/representations of the divine.

My memory of the inscriptions is really hazy at this point, though, so maybe they contradict these or other possibilities more than I realize.


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#11
Tagaziel

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While I believe your deductions are promising overall, I think it's worth pointing out that iconography pertaining to the gods that the Engwithans created could predate their manifestation as living beings for a number of reasons:


That's a very, very good point. I'll have to dig up the descriptions again (and put them on the wiki :p), but the idea that the beliefs of the Engwithans fueled the creation of the gods makes a good deal of sense. We already have a precedent for that in the form of Death Guards (whose singular drive and belief allows/makes them to come back to... Unlife, I guess?), so... Hm. The cyclopedia for PoE2 connects Engwithans and reincarnation through the Wheel, so Berath could have been a core tenet even before its creation...

That said, Od Nua definitely predates gods:
 

Od Nua was a powerful Engwithan tyrant. He went mad after the death of his son, Maros, because he knew there were no gods to ensure he would be properly reincarnated. He dedicated his life to carving a massive statue of his son out of living adra with the intention of drawing Maros' soul out of the Beyond by force.

Od Nua was defeated through the efforts of other Engwithan tyrants, who buried him with his work. In later centuries, colonists built a castle over the ruins and named it Caed Nua. Like the ruins themselves, Caed Nua was considered cursed.


<3 Beta <3
 

My memory of the inscriptions is really hazy at this point, though, so maybe they contradict these or other possibilities more than I realize.


I'll dig them up in a bit. :)

EDIT: https://pillarsofete...ons_and_reliefs

Edited by Tagaziel, 14 January 2018 - 05:35 AM.

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#12
tellergrim

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 Note that the period of Engwith is referred to as "...over 2000 years ago." 2600 is over 2000, and if  2800 AI is roughly equivalent to the 1500's CE, then that would put the collapse of Engwith around 200 AI, which would be the equivalent of 1100 CE, i.e the period of the Late Bronze Age Collapse (https://en.wikipedia...ze_Age_collapse) in real history.







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