Pillars of Eternity is a RPG series set in an original setting created by Obsidian Entertainment. It is interesting to note that Pillars of Eternity II: Deadfire didn’t sell as well as Obsidian Entertainment had hoped. Furthermore, while interested individuals have been discussing the issue for some time, the exact reason or reasons for why this was the case remain unclear. As a result, while Obsidian Entertainment isn’t against the idea of making a Pillars of Eternity III, it would have to reexamine the very format of the series before proceeding further. Here are 10 things that you may or may not have known about Pillars of Eternity:
1. Has Reincarnation
There is no confusion about the status of the soul in the setting of Pillars of Eternity. This is because the existence of the soul is a proven fact in the setting, which has caused an entire field of science to come into existence. Furthermore, it is important to note that Pillars of Eternity has a natural cycle of reincarnation, meaning that the soul of someone who has died will return in the body of someone new.
2. Some People Can Remember Past Lives
Under normal circumstances, people in the setting of Pillars of Eternity remember nothing about their past lives. However, there are various ways that they can mess around with the cycle of reincarnation. One example would be binding the soul in the body, thus preventing it from moving on. Another example would be how some people can remember their past lives, which is something that can happen for not one but rather a number of potential reasons.
3. Some People Can Get Messed Up By Remembering Past Lives
Remembering past lives can sound like a wonderful thing to some people. However, Pillars of Eternity makes it clear that it can make for some very messed-up situations. For instance, there is a character named Maerwald, who was driven mad by the fact that he was the reincarnation of a raider who had raped a female settler as well as the reincarnation of that female settler’s son who grew up to become a soldier dedicated to destroying the raider’s tribe under the mistaken impression that his father had been one of those killed by the raiders rather than one of the raiders thanks to ambiguous wording.
4. There Is a Distinction Between Animal Souls and Human Souls
In the real world, reincarnation is often paired with a belief that humans souls are the same as animal souls. Essentially, the idea is that when someone lives in a virtuous manner, they are reincarnated in higher and higher forms that bring them closer and closer to liberation from the chain of samsara. In the setting of Pillars of Eternity, there is a very clear distinction between the souls of animals and the souls of humans as well as other sapient species.
5. Putting Animal Souls in Humans Doesn’t Have Good Results
The people in Pillars of Eternity knows this because they have seen the results of putting animal souls in humans and other sapient species. In short, the product of this process is something called a wicht, which can seem fine for a time but will become raving monsters because they are essentially a kind of undead.
6. There Is Something Called the Hollowborn Plague
In the first Pillars of Eternity, there are a lot of depressed people thanks to a phenomenon called the Hollowborn Plague. This is because said phenomenon is causing most of the children in a particular region to be born without a soul, which is horrific because it means that they can’t do anything besides stare ahead in a blank manner even though they are physically fine. Unsurprisingly, this has drawn in a lot of people specializing in the study of the soul who are determined to find out what is going on with the region. People in the setting know about the existence of wichts because some of the researchers have been driven to more and more desperate experiments while searching for a cure to the Hollowborn Plague.
7. There Is a Religious Element to the Hollowborn Plague
Perhaps unsurprisingly, there is a religious element to the Hollowborn Plague. First, some people call it Waidwen’s Legacy because they believe it to be a punishment for the killing of Waidwen, a man who claimed to have been the vessel of Eothas, the God of Light, Renewal, and Redemption. Second, there are other people who believe it to be a punishment because they see the study of the soul as being blasphemous in nature.
8. The Gods Were Created
The gods are very real in the setting of Pillars of Eternity. However, whether people consider the gods to be gods depends on their personal definition of what makes a god a god. This is because the gods of the setting were created by mortals for the purpose of providing a foundation of belief. Something that would instill order in the chaos that preceded it.
9. The Gods Take Their Roles Very Seriously
Speaking of which, the gods take their respective roles very seriously. They don’t necessarily act in a way that is anything even close to being beneficial for mortal interests, but they do carry out what they see as their responsibilities in a way that they believe to be best. This can sound rather strange considering what Eothas has done in both the first and the second games in the series, but it is important to remember that there are a lot of proverbs about how good people are more than capable of doing bad things in the service of what they believe to be good.
10. The Setting Has Guns
By this point, it should be clear that while the setting of Pillars of Eternity was very much influenced by Dungeons & Dragons, it is nonetheless unusual enough to make it stand out. In particular, it is worth mentioning that the setting has guns that see very widespread use. This makes sense because the setting is actually closer to what we would consider to be early modern Europe than to the late medieval period, meaning that the guns fit right into its intended look as well as its intended style.