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The main protagonist of the story. Starting with a race and background tailored to the choosing of the player, the Watcher is a newcomer to the area, travelling with a caravan to Gilded Vale on a promise of cheap land and a place to settle. Due to unforeseen circumstances, the caravan is forced to stop for the night, however, its in a dangerous part of the woods, home to hostile natives who don't take kindly to interlopers.The caravan is soon destroyed and the PC, along with other survivors, manage to evade the tribesmen and enter the ruins of Cilanth Lis. Thereafter, they get involved in a supernatural event that will thrust them to the forefront of the main conflict, awakening their powers as a Watcher, a person who can see past lives, perceive souls and manipulate them as they see fit.
- An Adventurer Is You: The implementation in-game is especially interesting - while you can be nearly anyone at character creation, your choice of home culture and place in that culture gives you some identity out of the gate, and then during the intro sequence, you're given the opportunity to define just what has brought you to Dyrwood and flesh out your character's backstory a bit, which is updated in your quest journal, to boot, as it keeps a rolling biography on you. The only options a player doesn't have is to be from Dyrwood or its neighbours like Glanfath, Readceras or the Vailian Republics - the set-up of the story requires your character to be a foreigner new to the region. And the general arc of the story would be particularly difficult for a Glanfathan or Readceran protagonist, anyway.
- It goes even further in that you're allowed to define who you were in your previous life, and why that person joined the Leaden Key.
- Armor-Piercing Question: The very crux of the matter, the question that caused your character to Awaken after seeing the ritual in the ruins of Cilant Lis. Do the gods exist?
- The Anti-Nihilist: It's possible to be one through dialogue choices.
- Badass Beard: A fine assortment of beard styles await the male Watcher. Some are just downright wild.
- Badass Bookworm: By default if you choose the Wizard class, as they get their magic through intense study. Also if from an intellectually inclined background, such as a Scholar, Scientist, or Philosopher.
- Badass Preacher: If a Priest, and/or if you have the Clergyman background.
- Badass Teacher: If you have the Philosopher background and tell Calisca that you were a teacher.
- Barbarian Hero: If you picked that as a class, anyway.
- The Beastmaster: If a Ranger, you have your very own animal companion.
- Beware the Silly Ones: If you consistently click Clever dialogue options.
- Blood Knight: The aggressive dialogue choices paint the picture of a Watcher who enjoys violence.
- Blessed with Suck: Being a Watcher carries the risk of being driven to insanity, as past lives are recalled without the ability to separate one from the other. And in the Dyrwood in particular, Watchers are regarded with suspicion by the populace. However, the Watcher can potentially see it as Cursed with Awesome instead for the other things that go with it.
- Brutal Honesty: You can tell Iovara outright that the reason that you're seeing her again is that you were assigned to spy on her.
- In fact, one can gain an Honest reputation by being brutally honest in various encounters.
- Conflicting Loyalty: Your dilemma in your past life. It's particularly important, given that the people you betrayed were Iovara, as well as Thaos. The exact nature of the betrayal of each person is up to you.
- Cursed with Awesome: Being a Watcher carries all sorts of perks. They can communicate with the dead, peer into people's souls, and learn a host of unique abilities that can come in handy in a fight. The player is free to decide whether the protagonist's status as a Watcher is a curse or a blessing.
- Deadpan Snarker: Picking the Clever dialogue options generally involves giving witty retorts.
- Foreshadowing: No sleep for the watcher. That's you.
- The release itself foreshadowed plenty of sleepless nights amongst the fans of the genre.
- Also, in the start of the game the Watcher sees a vision of Thaos, stating that you have a question which he has to know the answer to...
- Friend to All Children / Child Hater: And anywhere in between, depending on how you respond to kids you encounter and/or hear about. Careful being the latter around Grieving Mother, though.
- Gameplay and Story Integration: As befitting a choose your own adventure CRPG, your characters stats can open the door towards certain outcomes, or lock you out entirely.
- You can perform a dungeon bypass during "Never Far From The Queen" if you have a resolve score of 18.
- One of the biggest examples involves the Expansion Pack. If the Watcher stays behind to strike Ionni Brathr, it's possible for them to survive with a constitution score of 19. Or a piece of equipment from an obscure sidequest.
- Gameplay and Story Segregation:
- How can the Watcher use spells granted by Eothas when this god is as dead as a doornail? (It's never explicitly settled, but the most common theories are "it's powered by faith, not a god" and "Eothas is Not Quite Dead".)
- The game opens with your caravan stopping because you've taken suddenly ill, yet your stats are just fine. You're also told you need water or you'll be dead in a day, yet after witnessing the ritual that turns you into a Watcher your illness is never mentioned again, despite not drinking water. This was rectified in the 3.0 patch, where the Watcher starts off with a status effect that reflects their illness.
- Heel–Face Turn: One of the possible reasons your past self turned on Thaos: they saw exactly what he had become and tried to stop him.
- Heroic Albino: If playing as a Pale Elf, a race of semi-albino arctic elves.
- I Am Who?: You are a Watcher, someone who somehow has the ability to perceive souls and interact with them. Far more important, however, is who you used to be...
- I'm Taking Her Home with Me!: In the "Bloodlines" quest, you have the option of taking baby Vela and keeping her. When confronted, you can even respond with "I'm keeping this baby." The guy confronting you is not amused. If Grieving Mother is in your party, she will also not be amused. The ending even changes a bit if you do this.
- A considerable number of pets are these, actually. Notably, the Black Cat, the White Wurm, etc.
- Jerkass: Cruel dialogue options generally have you doling out unnecessary pain or just being a dick.
- The Lad-ette: Can be played this way if female, if you choose more snarky and/or uncouth dialogue options.
- Lady of War: Potentially if female, if you choose more classy dialogue and/or are from the nobility background.
- Living Emotional Crutch: Can become this for quite a few companions, especially Aloth.
- Nature Hero: If you play a Druid or Ranger.
- Nice Guy: If frequently choosing the Benevolent dialogue options, The Watcher is this.
- Number Two: To Thaos, in the Watcher's past life.
- The Paladin: Another class option.
- Refuge in Audacity: A high resolve score allows the Watcher to pull off feats like "borrowing" a cultist's hood, or making someone drink poison.
- Second Hour Superpower: Fairly early into the game the player character will witness a ritual that will change them forever. Surviving the ritual at the ruins of Cilanth Lis awakens their capabilities as a Watcher, with more powers triggered as the plot advances.
- Sole Survivor: Of an incident on the way to Gilded Vale.
- Spanner in the Works: Being a Watcher allows you to uncover details of other people's best-laid plans that they usually wish you didn't find. Like communing with the souls of people they secretly killed.
- The Spock: A Watcher that chooses the Rational and Intellect dialogue options.
- The Stoic: Picking the Stoic and Rational options consistently during dialogue.
- Voluntary Shapeshifting: If a Druid, during combat you can "spirit-shift" into a giant, bipedal animal.
- Worthy Opponent: If you're Aggressive enough and if you greet him by declaring that you're accepting his challenge, the revived Raedric will respond that he knew you would, since you are no coward.
- You Kill It, You Bought It: After putting down Maerwald, you become the new lord of Caed Nua. The 3.0 patch added a new questline where your claim is contested by a lord with a more legitimate claim. Unfortunately, the authorities uphold the claim. But hilariously, however, add that because you did all of the actual work in reclaiming and rebuilding Caed Nua, the lord has to pay you for it. The Upper-Class Twit leaves the proceedings in a huff vowing revenge, and the bemused chancellor who announced the decision says that since the other guy refused to pay compensation, Caed Nua is still yours. The other lord doesn't give up, and his efforts escalate from assassination, to framing you for overtaxing and attacking innocent villagers, and finally to outright warfare. It only ends after you finally slay him on the battlefield.
- Your Cheating Heart: A few background options can have you say you cheated with a married person, or cheated on your husband/wife.
- Voiced by: Matthew Mercer
An elven wizard first encountered outside the Black Hound Inn in Gilded Vale. Being a foreign noble, and an elf to boot, he's had difficulty acclimating to the locals, who now want to kick his teeth in. The Watcher gets involved and Aloth, grateful for the assistance, invites himself to the party.
- Abusive Parents: Suffered quite a bit of physical abuse from his father as a child. In fact, it was during a beating that he Awakened and Iselmyr manifested, breaking his father's arm in the process.
- Berserk Button: Really doesn't like animancy. While the arguments he gives against the practice have some valid points his animosity may also be due to his past as a member of the Leaden Key.
- Blatant Lies: When you first meet him, he'll claim he got into that tussle with the villagers over some simple "misunderstandings and mistranlations," badly hiding the fact that he has a split personality that did it. That story about being a settler? Also a lie; he was waiting to hear from his contact in the Leaden Key.
- Character Development: If the Watcher doesn't reject him outright at a critical moment, Aloth eventually goes from quiet and indecisive to a much more assertive and independent young man who takes his fate into his own hands rather than being led around by others, and either takes charge of or takes down the Leaden Key.
- The Comically Serious: His decidedly uptight personality is part of what makes Iselmyr's occasional outburst even funnier.
- Commonality Connection: When the sanitarium consultant suggests that Aloth's Awakened personality appears as a result of his liver producing excess black bile, the Watcher can't tell which personality is looking out his eyes when he responds "That's utter horseshit." The two get along a little better after that.
- The Ditherer: During Act 1 Aloth often acts like he wants to tell you something but he always fidgets instead, until one outburst too many from Iselmyr forces him to fess up. That he also has an Awakened personality and would like help looking into it.
- This turns out to be a huge part of his characterization, as Aloth was always an indecisive young man who never knew what he wanted in life, so he just went along with what other people told him to do. As a kid he went with his abusive father's plan that he become an accomplished wizard, when Iselmyr Awoke he went with his mother's plan that he hide her at all costs; it's implied that he "fell in" with the Leaden Key, then he was about to give up when he met you and decided to just follow your lead instead. Part of his Character Development is learning to grow out of this.
- Downer Ending: If you turn him away after he reveals himself to be a member of the Leaden Key, he'll sacrifice himself to one of the Engwithian engines.
- Freudian Excuse: Aloth's cool, uptight, and tight-lipped personality makes a lot of sense when it's revealed that he grew up hiding the abuse he received from his father, and then later his split personality Iselmyr. And that's not even getting into his involvement with the Leaden Key—a cult centered around secrets.
- The Friend Nobody Likes: While other party members don't dislike him, they far prefer Iselmyr's company to his.
- Four-Temperament Ensemble: Melancholic. Even stated in-universe. Iselmyr is Choleric.
- Heel–Face Turn: Turns out to be a former member of the Leaden Key.
- The Lad-ette: Not Aloth himself, obviously. But Iselmyr is loud, incredibly crude, and mostly interested in violence, cursing, and occasional flirtation with pretty women.
- Living Emotional Crutch: The Watcher may just be one for Aloth, even if he doesn't openly admit it, and most players probably won't be cruel enough to find out. Being rejected at a crucial point leads to the worst ending for him, to quote: "After the Watcher sent him away, Aloth found himself cut off from every authority and ally he had ever known – his family, his homeland, the Leaden Key, and, finally, the Watcher." He wanders away and effectively commits suicide a few days later.
- Lost Forever: His sidequest can be missed if not completed before the end of Act 2.
- The Mole: In an interesting take on the trope he reveals that he is in fact a member of the Leaden Key, but was not actually tasked to spy on the player per se. In fact, he was about to abandon the organization altogether until he saw you in Gilded Vale.
- Noble Male, Roguish Male: He seems to have a split-personality that's rough around the edges, which is against his normally prim and proper persona. Interestingly enough, Iselmyr's female.
- Other Me Annoys Me: He doesn't like Iselmyr's Hair-Trigger Temper.
- Our Elves Are Better: Averted - while Aloth plays the haughty "better than you" elf, his father was an abusive drunk.
- Roaring Rampage of Revenge: If you encourage him to be more independent, he'll take it upon himself to take down the Leaden Key.
- Samus Is a Girl: His uncouth, sweary alter-ego? She's a girl.
- Sink-or-Swim Mentor: The Watcher can suggest that Iselmyr forcing a fight whenever Aloth is in trouble could be her way of trying to make him more assertive and confront his problems. He doesn't seem too convinced, but promises to think on it.
- Split Personality: Appears to have one Scottish sounding one, with a runny mouth that gets him in trouble.
- Literal Split Personality: His soul was awakened and is currently housing a previous life he'd lived, Iselmyr.
- Taking Up the Mantle: One of his possible endings suggests he takes up Thaos' mantle of High Inquisitor, of all things, if he's convinced that keeping the secret of the gods is worth doing and Thaos just went too far.
- This Is Something He's Got to Do Himself: Both of his endings lead to this. The "authority" ending has him replacing Thaos as leader of the Leaden Key and working to reforming the group, whereas the "independence" ending has him using his knowledge of the Leaden Key in order to ultimately destroy them.
- Unwanted Assistance: It's revealed that his literal split personality tends to come out when he's under pressure or distress. Since her methods tend to get him into even more trouble, he wishes she didn't.
- Violent Glaswegian: Iselmyr.
- Walking Spoiler: Aloth is very tight-lipped about himself, which makes every revelation, including the facts about his split personality and connections with the Leaden Key, a spoiler.
A human priest of Magran, Durance preaches the word of Magran to any who pass by Magran's Fork, complete with a flaming statue. Upon meeting the Watcher, he takes a particular interest in them, and more or less dragoons himself into your party to follow you around and "test" you and your worthiness. Beneath his very embittered, gruff exterior, however, it seems he might have somewhat deeper reasons for following you...
- Abhorrent Admirer: Implied to be one for Aloth's female Literal Split Personality, Iselmyr. Aloth warns him that he cannot be held responsible for what she does if Durance calls her a "whore."
- Activist Fundamentalist Antics: As evidenced by his actions during the purges. He is very quick to judge people, and wish to pass judgement upon them.
- Carry a Big Stick: Joins with a staff which allows him to attack from afar thanks to its improved ranged, and which deals fire damages. Said staff is also full of runes hiding a special meaning...
- Combat Medic: He is perfectly able to hold his ground on the frontlines once correctly equipped. As a Magran priest, his unique talent (if picked) gives him a major boost in accuracy when using swords or arquebuses, making him perfectly suited for both close and ranged combat, and his numerous healing and buffing spells make him an invaluable asset.
- Crisis of Faith: Other characters in your party have an internal struggle with their faith, but Durance's story takes the cake by far. Events prior to your meeting led him to have a rather strained relationship with his goddess (who doesn't speak to him anymore). He is trying to reconnect with her rather fanatically but all the while his viewpoint of her became quite sour, so much that when he is talking about her he systematically calls her a whore. He can eventually discover that he was being used by his goddess, and that she intended him to die along the rest of the Dozen after killing Eothas in order to hide her hand in his death. The only reason he is still alive is because she no longer recognizes his soul, which was damaged following the explosion of the Godhammer. This revelation leads him to drop his faith in Magran, and he has the intent to find and kill her himself at the end of the story.
- Did You Just Punch Out Cthulhu?: He was one of the architects of the Godhammer Bomb, and was instrumental in its development, deployment and use against Waidwen.
- Broke Your Arm Punching Out Cthulhu: It's obvious, even early on, that being involved in the development of Eora's first ever weapon of mass destruction and said weapon's apparent killing of a god has not been especially kind to Durance's psyche. Especially since Magran seemed to stop speaking to him afterwards, despite the Godhammer being her seeming will.
- Dirty Old Man: Makes quite a few lewd comments towards female party members, especially at the Salty Mast.
- Doesn't Trust Those Guys: He thinks most - if not all - Eothas worshippers and people from Aedyr are secretly plotting the downfall of Dyrwood.
- Downer Ending: If you don't convince Durance that he was just a pawn of Magran, he'll still be discontent and decide to burn himself alive.
- Fantastic Racism: Is fairly openly racist against Orlans. Naturally, an Orlan Watcher can call him out on this.
- Foreshadowing: Durance tags along with the Watcher to see if the latter's a "field to be put to flame." It's as much a reference to the Watcher as his own fate in the Downer Ending.
- Four-Temperament Ensemble: Choleric.
- Game-Breaking Bug: His quest was... rather hard to trigger. Patches made it easier to unlock it.
- Gameplay and Story Segregation:
Durance: Eothas burned, yet his worshippers still suck power from his smoldering cock... [...] If I give my goddess offense, then I serve her according to her aspects.
- Somewhat oddly given the usual robustness of the dialogue system, he never comments on it if the PC is a priest of Eothas. Being a Watcher may override that.
- While he is a priest of Magran, his goddess no longer communicates with him, which makes one wonder how he is still able to use his priest powers as it becomes obvious that he no longer has her attention. The Watcher can actually lampshades this during one of his conversation with Durance, who replies the following:
- Holier Than Thou: Very much so, as highlighted by his opinion of the Magran's priest of Defiance Bay.
- It's All About Me: Durances comes off as rather pompous and full of himself quite frequently, acting as a holier-than-thou character who despises everything and everyone who doesn't share his point of view, and he goes to great lengths to rationalize his most abject words.
- Jerkass: Durance is an unpleasant person to just about everyone, and he doesn't care what other people think of him.
- Knight Templar: He's firmly of the belief that all Eothasians must be purged, and has a history of putting many to the stake after the Saints War.
- Kill It with Fire: He is a priest of Magran, the goddess of war and fire, and he can be a little enthusiastic about punishing people by fire (not to mention he burned himself quite a few Eothasians at the stake during the purges). His unique talent also unlocks a fire-based spell.
- Large Ham: He always talks in an dramatic and overwrought tone, as though he's preaching a sermon wrought with hellfire and brimstone.
- Meaningful Name: Durance is not his name. It is a title, it stems from "Endurance." While Durance insists that he's following you to put you to the test, he still endures doubts about his faith, and how his goddess has fallen silent despite doing her will.
- My God, What Have I Done?: Upon realizing that he was played by Magran and Woedica, he considers that Eothas might have actually been doing the right thing.
- Nay-Theist: Due to the aftermath of the Godhammer and Magran seeming to abandon him, he has started referring to Magran as "whore". He still follows her religion though, and is able to draw power from his goddess. If you manage to complete his personal quest, he forgoes Magran completely after the ending. He makes it clear that he is continuing to use his priest powers only because you need them for beating Thaos, and that he intends to suck his whore dry while he still can.
- The Pig Pen: He's worn the same burned robes for fifteen years. Combine that with his general disdain for personal hygiene and most of the party can't bear to be around him.
- Politically Incorrect Hero: He hates every country that isn't the Dyrwood, scorns the worshippers for most of the gods, thinks Eothasians deserve to be put to the flame, is racist against Orlans, has misogynistic attitudes...there are very few people he's not bigoted towards.
- Rage Against the Heavens: If you complete his sidequest, he will go after his former goddess in order to make her face his judgement. Considering that he actually successfully killed a god before, Magran has serious reason to worry.
- Roaring Rampage of Revenge: In one of his endings, seeing that he was just used by Magran in a plot orchestrated by Woedica, he forgoes being a priest of Magran but has began to think on how best to put Woedica to judgment.
- The Scream: Lets out one full of anguish when he finally realizes that his goddess basically betrayed him, and that he was a fool all along.
- Shut Up, Hannibal!: If the Watcher has completed Durance's personal quest and made him understand why Magran no longer speaks to him, then Thaos is left with nothing to shock him with.
- Sole Survivor: Of the 12 that created the Godhammer, only he survived the aftermath.
- Token Evil Teammate: While he's not evil per se, he's the party member who prefers to dispense violence immediately and even let people suffer while they're at it.
- Ungrateful Bastard: Not him. Magran. The only reason he's still alive was because his soul was different than it was before.
- Voiced by: Matthew Mercer
A human fighter and veteran of the Saint's War. Edér's not welcome in his hometown Gilded Vale, for various reasons, chief among them being a worshiper of Eothas. Seeing that his prospects in his hometown are dim, he decides to tag along with the Watcher.
- Adorkable: Edér may be a big, strong guy, but he has quite a few quirks. He has moments of having his head in the clouds, some of the things he says make no damn sense, and he has this unhealthy obsession with petting things. He also like Iselmyr, and is none too subtle about it.
- Badass Beard: As shown in his portrait, he has a pretty nice one.
- Broken Pedestal: He heard rumors that his brother actually fought for the other side during the Saint's War, but refuses to believe it. Doing his quest lets you discover that he did join the opposing force, but not the reasons why his brother did it.
- Chekhov's Gunman: He can be seen and spoken to as soon as you enter Gilded Vale, but he won't join you until a certain event happens in the town.
- Cloud Cuckoo Lander: Some of the things he says is...out there. He also has the bright idea of petting Itumaak, and the even more brilliant idea of petting a staelgaer (Fantasy Sabre-Tooth Tiger). Hiravias actually wonder how Dyrwoodans survive with whims like that.
- Crisis of Faith: One which is central to his character: his god was allegedly nuked when possessing Waidwen, and followers of Eothas were killed on sight during purges. He didn't fight for Eothas during the Saint's war, believing Waidwen to be an impostor and ultimately fought against Raedceras (probably the only reason for which he is still alive). Years later, he still wonders if he fought for the right side, and if he didn't in fact betray his god. Then he discovers that his brother actually fought for Waidwen during the war, that Waidwen may really have been Eothas himself, and that his god is really dead because his god was artificial. Like all of them. Needless to say, he is quite shaken as a result.
- Deadpan Snarker: To whit:Say what you want about Dyrwoodians... but they haven't met a problem yet that they couldn't solve by killing some scapegoats.Just like a militia, the Dozens. Except for the training. And the discipline. And the code of honor.
- Did I Just Say That Out Loud?: If Edér is with you while talking to Osrya in Raedric's keep, after she asks you to kill Nedmar Edér may say the following line:Edér: "Hey, let's take the deal and then double-cross her! Sorry, I said that louder than I meant to. Got excited."
- Four-Temperament Ensemble: Phlegmatic.
- Friend to All Living Things: Hiravias points out that Edér is very kind to animals, a sign of his Hidden Heart of Gold buried under the barbs and largeness. He also loves petting soft animals, to his detriment.
- Gallows Humor: He regularly makes light about his status as a pariah and the fact that a lot of people in Dyrwood would like to see him dead. One of the first things you'll even see him doing is joking that he'll likely be the 19th person to be hanged in Gilded Vale.
- Hair of Gold, Heart of Gold: Without a doubt one of the kindest companion you can recruit, and the only one who still worships Eothas (a god known for his kindness and benevolence), despite his being allegedly dead. He also has a soft spot for animals.
- Hero of Another Story: Edér was a veteran of the Saint's War, which ended the reign of an usurper pretending to be the incarnation of a god. Or so he thought.
- Illegal Religion: He's a victim of this, as the town is against him for being a follower of Eothas.
- Innocently Insensitive: The Dyrwoodan tendency of Fantastic Racism for orlans show in his banter with Hiravias. He immediately apologizes, meekly stating that he didn't know he was saying something bad.
- Never Accepted in His Hometown: Despite fighting for Dyrwood, he's not accepted in his town for his faith.
- Nice Guy: Beneath the dry humor, the intimidating stature (at least according to Hiravias), he's a pretty friendly guy. He never raises his voice to the Watcher except during his personal quest, and that was out of desperation, not hate.
- Sad Clown: Most of his jokes are a reaction to the insanity that surrounds him, and duly barbed.
- Shaggy Dog Story: Edér never does find out why his brother joined Waidwen's army.
- Ship Tease: Offers to buy Iselmyr a drink. Could just be a friendly gesture, but given his open admiration of her and frequent gushing about how funny she is and how awesome she is to be around...
- Smoking Is Cool: The player first meets him as he's casually smoking a pipe while observing a bunch of corpses hanging down a tree.
- The Snark Knight: Has a quip for almost every occasion.
- The Stoner: Conversations with Hiravias and Zahua suggest he's a casual user of the Dyrwood's milder drugs.
- What Might Have Been: In the original Kickstarter pitch, his name was Edair, his appearance was somewhat different and there was no mention of his having multiclassed as a rogue.
A female human cipher. Formerly a midwife at the Birthing Bell, she's devoted her life and cipher powers to ending the Hollowborn curse by any means necessary.
- Brainwashing for the Greater Good: She's a proponent of using her cipher powers for this, arguing it well, accepting it as Dirty Business and, if permitted, can use it to Take a Third Option in a tricky situation. The Watcher can agree with her philosophy or push her away from it. She even asks the Watcher to do it to her; to remove her traumatic memories so she can have peace.
- Creepy Good: She never reveals her name, uses her Psychic Powers questionably, eerily pale, has a Dark and Troubled Past, and never drops the Perception Filter she hides behind. She also takes very strong (if sometimes messy) moral stances, and near the endgame, will outright leave the party in disgust if the Watcher offers an infant as a sacrifice.
- Dark and Troubled Past: It's bad enough being a midwife during the Hollowborn epidemic, where the vast majority of children are born without souls. Using her cipher powers to convince the villagers their children were born healthy, though, is darker still.
- Dark Is Not Evil: Her clothing colors are dark grey and black, she's an Eerie Pale-Skinned Brunette, and her past is full of tragedies and regrets. But she's one of the most reliably good and compassionate party members you'll find.
- Downer Ending: If you do as she asks and wipe her memories at the end of her personal quest, then she returns to the Birthing Bell as it's sole resident, awaiting expectant mothers who would never come.
- Eerie Pale-Skinned Brunette: Almost as pale as the nigh-albino pale elves, and an enigmatic, tragic figure.
- Four-Temperament Ensemble: Melancholic.
- Friend to All Children: She loves children dearly, and if she is in your party when you interact with them or pregnant mothers, she will always advocate the kindest solution (and call you out on the spot if you act aggressive or cruel towards them). She can downright leave your party if you decide to sacrifice a baby during a quest in Twin's Elms.
- My Greatest Failure: She's tortured by the memories of psychically tricking the villagers into thinking their Hollowborn children were healthy, which resulted in the death of a mother who put the welfare of her soulless child over her own health.
- Namedar: Played with; initially, her lack of explicit name and unassuming appearance might make an inattentive player assume she's a generic village NPC until talking to her. (Except that she's clearly marked on the map with text, as only potential party members are.) Later, an option comes up in early conversations with her to ask her why she's known as Grieving Mother. She'll point out she never actually called herself that (or anything), but accepts it as an apt title.
- Names to Run Away from Really Fast: An unconventional and subtle example, but ominous nonetheless.
- No Name Given: As above, she is only ever known as "Grieving Mother".
- Perception Filter: She appears to all who see her, save the Watcher and other powerful individuals, to be nothing more than a forgettable peasant woman. Even Thaos outright ignores her when all your other companions get a Hannibal Lecture from him, and it would be hard to imagine he'd choose not to give her one too if he knew who she was. Iovara is the only one who seems to actually 'see' her. This extends to the rest of your party members as well, none of whom ever realize who she is. Hiravias, for instance, has no idea why "that strange peasant lady" keeps following you. It doesn't carry over to combat, however, and she will draw aggro at about the same rate as other party members of comparable power.
- Pragmatic Hero: She wants to cure the Hollowborn plague, and protect the future of as many children as possible, but she can be a tad extreme in her methods.
- Psychic Powers: Like all ciphers, though she's especially aggressive in their use.
- Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: If you try to sacrifice a baby during a quest, she will be pissed enough to leave.
- The Stoic: Her Perception Filter typically keeps her out of the other party members' banter, and in a World of Snark, she stands out as never making a single joke.
- Tragic Keepsake: The chimes on her arms.
- Unskilled, but Strong: Her cipher abilities are quite powerful even though she never received formal training. Until the Watcher met her, she didn't even know what a cipher was.
- Unwitting Instigator of Doom: Her suggestions to the mother of Hollowborn children resulted in a few Wicht-induced fatalities.
- Well-Intentioned Extremist: Her backstory. Upon experiencing the first Hollowborn in her village, she psychically forced the mother to believe it was a healthy baby and care for it as such. And she did that for all births since. It went well until one day her psychic suggestion was too powerful, and the mother died because she prioritized caring for the child over eating, sleeping, or even drinking.
An Orlan druid following Wael, he joins up with the Watcher in Stormwall Gorge so he has a group to travel with to visit the druids in Twin Elms.
- The Beastmaster: Thanks to his "Charm Beast" spell.
- Blade on a Stick: He comes equipped with a spear and the "Peasant" weapon training.
- Blow You Away: Can conjures powerful winds to either push back enemies or heal his allies (with the "Cleansing Wind" spell doing both).
- Covert Pervert: When asking about his eyepatch, he remarks that he figures perhaps Wael (the All-Seeing and Never-Seen God) will make use of it.So if you catch my gaze wandering to a chest or rump, it's Wael's doing. I swear!
- Crisis of Faith: Part of his sidequest involves his faith towards Galawain and Wael, and especially his waning trust in the former. You can help him reconcile with his view of Galawain, or make him embrace Wael's philosophy. The last arc's revelations hit him quite hard as a result.
- Deadpan Snarker: A much more filthy one than Edér.
- Elemental Powers: As a Druid, it comes with the territory, allowing him to cast Fire, Water, Ice, Wind and Lightning spells, among others nature-related.
- Eyepatch of Power: Wears one on his right eye after being mauled by an autumn stelgaer.
- Eye Scream: On the receiving end of that trope after a fight with an autumn stelgaer.
- Four-Temperament Ensemble: Sanguine.
- Green Thumb: As a Druid, he naturally has access to a lot of spells granting power over plants.
- Handicapped Badass: He's missing an eye and ear, but he's still a capable fighter.
- An Ice Person: Has access to some very hard-hitting Freeze spells, such as "Winter Wind" and "Hail Storm".
- Large Ham: Has a dramatic way of speaking, to put it mildly.
- Lovable Sex Maniac: Easily the dirtiest of the group, even daring to ask if Pallegina has feathers "everywhere" (and receiving a threat of evisceration for his trouble).
- During one conversation with the player character, he also wonders if she has a cloaca.
- Making a Splash: Can use water spells to either knockback his targets or heal his allies.
- Motor Mouth: Has a lot to say and frequently says things in a highly roundabout manner.
- The Napoleon: Checks all the boxes.
- Obfuscating Stupidity: Played with. He's not as dumb as he acts, but the act itself is being played so hard that it's obviously a big joke.
- Insufferable Genius: He loudly voices his good opinion of himself, loves to talk, and having wandered extensively across the length and breadth of Eir Glanfath, provides a lot of commentary and advice about the eastern half of the world map if you bring him along.
- Pest Controller: Has some nasty spells allowing him to use insects against his enemies (such as "Insect Swarm" and "Plague of Insects").
- The Pig Pen: A justified example. He's spent years deliberately making sure that he smells of the surrounding nature as not to scare off potential downwind game.
- Playing with Fire: Can directly channel the power of the sun ("Sunbeam" and "Sunlance") and cast other fire spells.
- Plucky Comic Relief: Virtually nothing, not even facing down the chosen agent of an ancient and powerful god, can stop Hiravias from making quips and jokes. Often very dirty ones.
- Sad Clown: Underneath the nonstop barrage of quips and his his insistent perkiness, he's an outcast from his tribe and harbours some serious nagging doubts about his own worth.
- Shock and Awe: Able to call lightning with "Returning Storm" and "Relentless Storm", or channel it directly with "Dancing Bolts". Those spells have the advantage to only target foes.
- Sophisticated as Hell: Peppers his vulgarisms with three- and five-dollar words— they're used correctly but fit a little strangely into his speech patterns, which is probably intentional. Doesn't quite achieve total Sesquipedalian Loquaciousness but brushes up against it at times.
- The Stoner: Banter with Zahua and Eder mentions that he's a casual user of whiteleaf, with occasional forays into mushrooms.
- Voluntary Shapeshifting: Can transform into a giant autumn stelgaer. However, the very nature of his preferred form of shapeshifting is actually a plot point in his sidequest, since many believe that autumn stelgaers eat and destroy souls, and shun him as a result. The truth behind this belief is a tad more complicated.
- Your Mom: Your mom jokes are a part of his repertoire of snark. He goes so far as to even pull one out against Thaos.Ostracism? Is that the name for the groin rash your mother gave me?
- Walking the Earth: Both of his endings involve him becoming a wanderer once again.
- Voiced by: Patrick Seitz
A chanter hailing from Rautai, Kana Rua can first be encountered among the ruins of Caed Nua. Far away from home, he has embarked on a quest to recover a most sacred book revered among chanters, the Tanvii ora Toha. Seeing as the Watcher is going to explore the ruins as well, he happily tags along.
- Badass Baritone: His voice is pretty deep, though his jovial personality keeps it from sounding too menacing. And as a chanter, he's a fabulous singer.
- Bad Powers, Good People: Being a Chanter, he can debuff opponents and potentially summon all kinds of undead, but he's a really sweet guy.
- Casual Danger Dialogue: Brings up the fact that he's being hunted by Leaden Key assassins without any fear during conversations.
- Combat Medic: He starts out knowing the Field Triage ability (assuming you recruit him at level 4), which allows him to restore a character's health. He also knows Ancient Memory, which provides some small Stamina regeneration to all his allies in battle.
- Constantly Curious: Often annoys the rest of the party with endless questions about themselves and their nations/cultures. He also wants to stop to take notes and/or ask the locals questions roughly every two steps of your journey.
- Dissimile: When entering Stealth/Scouting mode, he states "I shall be as quiet as a calm sea! Which is... not very quiet."
- Four-Temperament Ensemble: Sanguine.
- Genius Bruiser: Comes with the territory of being an Aumaua scholar. This is even reflected in his stats; his Might is 16 and his Intelligence is 17.
- Heroic B.S.O.D.: He's devastated once he finally discovers the shattered remains of the Tanvii ora Toha, and that the esteemed scholar who wrote it was a madman who turned himself into an undead sorcerer.
- Irony: Despite being the tallest, largest, and deepest voiced of the group, he's also the youngest and most optimistic. He also looks scary, being a giant aumaua with tribal face paint and shark teeth, but he's arguably the friendliest and most good-natured of the companions.
- Make Me Wanna Shout: Some of his invocations allow him to shout at his enemies, damaging or inflicting status debuffs on them.
- The Musketeer: He starts off with an Arquebus and an Estoc as his weapons.
- Naïve Newcomer: Out of everyone he's the youngest, and is the most optimistic of your party.
- Alas, Poor Villain: Out of the party, he's the only one who expresses pity over Thaos' death at the endgame, remarking that anyone else would've changed their opinion 500 years into doing this gambit.
- Nice Guy: Despite his large stature, he's very amiable, due in no small part to his friendliness. Only Edér is anywhere near him in niceness.
- Nice Hat: Wears a turban that improves his Intelligence.
- Scary Teeth: Well, he is Aumaua. While Aumaua aren't exactly shark humans, they do have their teeth, and Kana is no exception.
- Shaggy Dog Story: The tablet he's been looking for was destroyed a LONG time ago, and the scholar is an undead and is hardly a role-model that Kana thought him to be.
- Summon Magic: Can summon monsters to aid him during fights thanks to his invocations, such as skeletons, ogres or a drake.
- Tribal Facepaint: No word on what it actually means.
- Wide-Eyed Idealist: Of all the party he is easily the most idealistic, which is why he takes it especially hard when you find out the tablet he hoped would unite his people has been destroyed, and the scholar who wrote it wasn't as philanthropic as he'd thought. A few party members find this annoying (especially Durance), and even the Watcher can frequently mock him for his naivete.
A Vailian paladin, she's first encountered when the Watcher wanders into Ondra's Gift, the docks of Defiance Bay, offering to join after the manager at the Vailian import/export warehouse is tended to first. She joins the Watcher in the hopes of serving the larger interests of the Vailian Republic, rather than the relatively short-sighted goals of the Council of Ducs.
- Afro Asskicker: Sports a magnificent mane.
- Anti-Nihilist: Out of all companions, she probably takes The Reveal that the gods aren't real the best, claiming that finding a cause that has meaning and defending the people you love are reason enough to live for. It helps that she already has some beef with Hylea.
- Better the Devil You Know: While she's not necessarily fond of House Doeminal, she favors them over The Dozens since she considers the former smart enough to at least keep order in Defiance Bay.
- Calling the Old Man Out: It's not her biological parents, she's already come to terms with them. No... her beef is with Hylea herself and she can give Hylea a piece of her mind if/when the Watcher meets her.
- Expy: Of Kaelyn the Dove, a former fanatic who starts to have doubts over the rightness of the cause she's devoted to. Right down to her possible ending, wherein she's exiled. However, if you play your cards right, her exile can be temporary.
- Four-Temperament Ensemble: Choleric.
- Knight in Sour Armor: She'll do what the ducs ask, she'll complain but she'll do it. It takes convincing from the Watcher to make it otherwise.
- Lady of War: She starts equipped with a greatsword and knowing the Soldier weapon mastery.
- Long Game: She's frustrated that her ducs are only focused on short-term gains to secure footholds of power, rather than long term stability which would ensure Vallia's future.
- Loophole Abuse: How she gained access to the Brotherhood - only women that can bear children are considered "women" in Vailia, so her being infertile (due to her godlike status) was enough for the recruiter to happily agree to take her.
- The Musketeer: She starts off with a Great Sword and a Pistol as her weapons.
- My Country, Right or Wrong: The crux of her conflict. She feels that the missions she's currently doing for the ducs isn't what's best for the Republic overall.
- Off Model: Her character portrait appears to be a bit off, due to the position of her left eye. About a week after the game came out, someone released a mod that raised it up some. That said, since she's an avian Godlike, it's possible that her eyes are wide-set like a bird's, more specifically birds of prey.
- Realpolitik: All the actions that Pallegina is favorable to are those that she feels will benefit her nation the most. To this end, she sees maintaining the stability of the Dyrwood as vital to the Vailian Republics, as it serves as both a buffer between them and Aedyr, and is a reliable trading partner for Animancy research.
- Ship Tease: With Maneha, who openly crushes on her.
- Supernatural Gold Eyes: Yellow eyes are yet another birdlike feature given to her by her Avian godlike status.
- The Paladin: She's a Paladin of the Brotherhood of the Five Suns, an order loyal to the Vailian legislature.
- Touched by Vorlons: As a godlike, she's the result of prenatal tampering by one of the gods.
- The Unfavorite: She's quite open about the fact that her father sold her to the Brotherhood due to his despising her for effectively ending the bloodline through her being an Avian godlike.
A boreal dwarf ranger, the Watcher encounters her, along with her companion Itumaak, on the crossroads into Defiance Bay. She is searching for the reincarnation of her Village Elder, Persoq, to tell his soul how the tribe is coming along. The journey has took her five years, and she has grown despondent over time. When she the Watcher's abilities though, she finds herself tagging along so that she can finally finish her quest.
- Absence Makes the Heart Go Yonder: Defied and played for laughs. Sagani is very much in love with her husband, and flatly rejects the idea that he might cheat on her with the remark that, aside from the strength of their relationship, she's the best shot in the village.
- Amazonian Beauty: Height notwithstanding, she is powerfully muscled and the concept art highlights it, and she does definitely have a certain charm.
- Archer Archetype: She fits this well, seeing as Rangers are better at ranged attacks and work in tandem with their animal companions.
- Bare Your Midriff: Her default garb. One would think this would leave her Exposed to the Elements in her native land but it's possible she just altered her outfit for the warmer climes of the Eastern Reach.
- The Beastmaster: As a ranger, she is accompanied by an animal which helps in her fights. Hers is a snow fox, Itumaak.
- Dual Wielding: Her secondary weapon set is a dagger and a hatchet.
- Four-Temperament Ensemble: Phlegmatic.
- Missing Mom: She's one to her children, as her quest has taken her away from home for 5 years. She pointedly dislikes this and misses her husband and three surviving childrennote intensely (commenting that her youngest probably won't even know her when she gets back). She and the other non-childless women of the tribe had to draw straws to decide who would be sent on the quest, and she drew the short straw.
- Non-Human Sidekick: Itumaak, her snow fox.
- Our Dwarves Are All the Same: Obsidian seems to be working overtime to avert dwarf stereotypes. Boreal dwarves ("Enutanik" in their own language) are an ethnic subtype that are equivalent to the Inuit, living on the tundra and snowy forests of the southern island of Naasitaq. She is also a ranger, a class not normally associated with dwarves, and carries a bow, possibly the least stereotypically dwarven weapon imaginable in a fantasy setting.
- Perfectly Arranged Marriage: She states that her mate was chosen for her by their parents when she was young, but she and Kallu eventually grew to see each other as friends and later as lovers.
- Ridiculously Cute Critter: Itumaak is so white and fluffy Edér can't help but wanna pet it.
- Beware The Cute Ones: Sagani then warns Edér that if he tries, he's going to lose a hand.
- Edér tries anyway. It goes about as well as you'd expect...
- Shaggy Dog Story: Sensing a pattern? The elder is a stag, and she gets there just in time for him to die.
- Tribal Facepaint: Seen in all concept artworks of her released to date, along with paint or tattoos on her midriff in the one image where it is visible.
"The White March" Party Members
Devil of Caroc
A construct Rogue, the Devil of Caroc was once a villager in Cold Morn who sought revenge for her fellow villagers who were murdered during the Eothasian Purges. She was eventually caught and executed, but her soul was powerful enough not to pass on and now resides in a bronze golem.
- Anti-Hero: The Devil is ruthless, relentless, and a convicted murderer but she is willing to fight at the Watcher's side.
- Blade on a Stick: She starts with a spear, rather than any sort of firearm like she was shown using in preview footage.
- Deadpan Snarker: During her Establishing Character Moment, every other line out of her mouth is simply laden with sarcasm.
- Evil Laugh: In combat, often after killing an enemy.
- I Just Want to Be Normal: After killing the man who burned down her home, she no longer has anything else to distract her from thinking about how much it sucks to be an unfeeling golem. One of the reasons she is still traveling with you is because she hopes that the White Forge in Durgan's Battery has something that would allow her to be human again. You can point out that even if there was, her original body has likely rotted away long ago and the best case scenario would be her turning into a fampyr (and being an undead is worse than becoming a golem).
- Kick the Son of a Bitch: Her murders boil down to this: Her hometown was burned down for not trying to stop an army at least an order of magnitude bigger than the town. Everyone she went after was directly involved in the murder... although prompting can make her admit that while everyone she went after was directly involved in the murder, she didn't really have a problem with causing collateral damage while doing so.
- Golem: Her soul now inhabits a construct made from bronze.
- The Gunslinger: All footage of her in combat shows her wielding either a pistol or an arquebus. In the game proper, she starts out with a spear.
- Sense Loss Sadness: Once her vengeance is complete, she no longer has anything to distract her from her new body's inability to feel anything. If you point out that a golem body has its advantages, she retorts that she'd give them all up just to be able to feel the cold snow again.
- Token Evil Teammate: Her general lack of remorse, especially regarding the collateral damage she's caused, makes her this.
- Vengeance Feels Empty: Feels no satisfaction after tracking down the person who burned down her home. She thinks it's because of her golem body and its lack of feeling. Without the desire for revenge motivating her, she is no longer distracted from the full horror of her condition.
A human Monk, Zahua is the greatest of the Nalpazca, the warrior-monks that serve as the army of the Tacan people. The Nalpazca seek to distinguish between the physical and imaginary world. Zahua seeks to pursue to ideals of the Nalpazca in the hopes that it will make him become an unstoppable combatant.
- Badass Grandpa: He may be an old man, but he's a powerful monk and the greatest of the Nalpazca.
- Bare-Fisted Monk: Monks are most powerful when they fight with their fists. And he is never depicted with any weapon in official artwork. In game, he uses a hatchet and sabre as secondary weapons.
- Combat Sadomasochist: He reveres pain to the point of masochism.
- Covered with Scars: Zahua believes that suffering is the path to enlightenment and so he has wounded himself many times, leaving his body covered in nasty scars.
- Erudite Stoner: He's a thoughtful man with a deep understanding of life and suffering. It's just that part of that understanding was attained on a variety of powerful hallucinogenics.
- Gameplay and Story Segregation: Zahua's personal sidequest ends with him realizing that the secret of the anitlei is lost forever. Despite this, Zahua gains the passive skill anitlei after completing this quest.
- Higher Understanding Through Drugs: The Nalpazca believes that drug induced hallucinations convey wisdom, and Zahua is no exception. His sidequest has the entire party get high so they can share in his vision quest.
- It Was with You All Along: Ultimately, all he needed to do to become stronger was to accept the past and move on from it. The secrets of the anitlei may be lost, but lifting the psychological burden made him stronger anyway.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Zahua's belief that all suffering is good makes him come off as callous, but he is a compassionate man.
- Old Master: Zahua is an old man, but is also a powerful monk.
- Shaggy Dog Story: Yep, another one. His vision quest reveals nothing except what he already knew all along: that the Tacan people and its culture are gone and there's nothing he can do about it. The vision is simply telling him that he needs to let go of the past.
- The Stoner: He abuses hallucinogenics as part of his training.
- To Be a Master: Zahua believes pursuing the ideals of the Nalpazca will make him an unstoppable monk. While this initially seems to be the goal in itself, with The White March Part II installed it turns out Zahua mostly just wants to free the Tacan people from their subjugation to a rival tribe, and redeem himself for failing to lead them to victory as their chieftain — he just believes the only way that is possible is to become the archetypical unstoppable Nalpazca master.
- Walking Shirtless Scene: His artwork and default clothing/armor has him just going around in pants and Shoalin-style leg wraps. Even during the time he was Forton. All the better to show off his scars.
- Warrior Monk: A given.
A female aumaua barbarian who, like Kana, originally hails from Rautai. Unlike Kana, however, Maneha is quite the experienced traveler who has seen much of the world and been through a lot. A member of the Giftbearer order, she is currently searching for the mysterious Abbey of the Fallen Moon; a hunt that causes her to cross paths with the Watcher in Stalwart Village.
- Amazonian Beauty: Pretty much a given as an aumaua, a race who tends towards being tall and muscular.
- An Axe to Grind: One of her starting weapons.
- Badass Gay: She's a skilled barbarian warrior who happens to prefer women.
- Carry a Big Stick: Her secondary weapon is a morning star.
- Dual Wielding: She starts with a battle axe and a sword.
- I Hate Past Me: The reason she is searching for the Abbey. She Awakened past memories of one of her previous incarnations, one who committed terrible crimes. She has heard that the Abbey has a method of erasing memories and wants to use it. Whether or not she actually goes through with it is up to you.
- Luminous Blush: She "turns a deeper shade of blue" if the Watcher asks point-blank what's her thing with Pallegina.
- Ship Tease: Party banter and a direct question from the Watcher implies she has a crush on Pallegina. Pallegina implies that she might be receptive.
- Warrior Monk: She is a Giftbearer, and a barbarian.
Lord Raedric VII
The Thayn of Gilded Vale. The Watcher came to the Dyrwood after Raedric made an offer of free land to anyone willing to settle in the village. Unfortunately, Raedric turns out to be a tyrant who hangs anyone he deems a threat to Gilded Vale.
- Authority Equals Asskicking: He's very strong.
- Bonus Boss: Dealing with him isn't actually necessary to complete the game. Good thing too, since both times you can fight him he's quite difficult.
- Fake Ultimate Hero: If you kill Kolsc for him, Gilded Vale's ending reveals that his harsh measures are credited for ending of the Legacy.
- Flunky Boss: Raedric's backup in both fights is what makes him extremely challenging. The second fight is particularly bad since he's supported by a group of fampyrs who spam Charm. Though he's not exactly a pushover by himself either.
- The Fundamentalist: He's a devout worshiper of Berath. He's so devout that Berath allegedly resurrects Raedric, despite Berath's hatred for the undead. However, Raedric was also known to be patron to animancers, who can create undead, sometimes without the target knowing it until they wake up after their "death".
- Heel–Face Turn: If you kill Kolsc, then when Waidwen's Legacy ends, Raedric ends his harsh treatment of Gilded Vale and the village finally starts to prosper under his rule.
- Ironic Name: His greatsword named "Justice" was wielded by a mad paladin who used it to murder countless people in a fit of paranoia and zealotry. It only lived up to its name after the paladin's own men impaled him with it to end the killing. Its new owner is also committing his own slaughter of innocents.
- Jumping Off the Slippery Slope: If neither Raedric nor Kolsc are killed, Raedric winds up hanging the entirety of Gilded Vale in a fit of paranoia. If Raedric is killed, he returns as an undead and wipes out the village that he claimed to be protecting unless the Watcher puts him down again.
- Knight Templar: Raedric has devoted himself to ending Waidwen's Legacy. He tries to do this by exiling any woman who gives birth to a Hollowborn child, hanging all Eothas worshippers, hanging anyone working with Kolsc, hanging anyone who might be working with Kolsc, and so on.
- Shaggy Dog Story: Waidwen's Legacy is caused by Thaos, and has nothing to do with ANY of that!
- The Paladin: In gameplay terms, his class is a Paladin, which explains his combat prowess—but also his stubbornness in following the path he has once set upon, no matter the costs.
- Black Knight: After resurrecting as a deathguard, an undead knight.
- Starter Villain: He's the first notable antagonist the Watcher can potentially deal with in the game.
- Well-Intentioned Extremist: He's honestly trying to end Waidwen's Legacy, but his methods are downright tyrannical and are only making things worse for Gilded Vale. If the player sides with him against Kolsc, then when Waidwen's Legacy ends, he calms down and becomes a capable, benevolent ruler.
An old Watcher who presides over Caed Nua. He appears to have become a recluse in recent years.
- And I Must Scream: You can deny Maerwald's soul the possibility to pass on after his death by binding him to Caed Nua as a ward against enemies.
- Dramatic Irony: One of his past lives grew up believing that his father was murdered by Glanfathan raiders, due to some deliberate Ambiguous Syntax from his mother. It's also strongly implied that his Glanfathan rapist father's soul passed directly into his body right after conceiving him and dying. The son then dedicated his life to avenging his father on the Glanfathan tribe, not knowing they were the tribe of both his biological father and his soul's previous life.
- Enemy Within: The Raider and Soldier, who drive him mad with guilt and shame over the atrocities they committed in their lives, and the malice they still carry now.
- Foil: For the player character, as you're both Watchers whose souls have Awakened. His creeping insanity and incipient despair are implied to await you as well if you can't find a cure for your condition. No sleep for the Watcher indeed...
- I Hate Past Me/Future Me Scares Me: He's haunted by his past lives and unable to be certain of where they begin and he ends. As a Glanfathan marauder, he brutally attacked and murdered Dyrwoodan settlers and participated in a Gang Rape of settler women. He was then reborn as a boy who would grow up to become a soldier of the Dyrwood, going on to burn the villages of his past self's tribe, and is implied to be the child of his mother's rape by the same Glanfathan raiders who killed his mother's husband/the man he believes to be his father, possibly even the same rape that his past self was part of. It's no wonder the two hate each other so much, and that the guilt has utterly destroyed Maerwald's sense of self.Edér: That'll stain your soul right down to the bone.
- Made of Evil: The Watcher can accuse Maerwald's soul of being this, considering the Dyrwoodan Soldier committed atrocities on a Glanfathan tribe after his biological father and soul's previous life, the Glanfathan Raider, committed atrocities and Gang Rape on Dyrwoodan settlers. Note that Maerwald seems very kindly and torn with anguish over the evil memories, so it's likely not the case.
- Mercy Kill: The Watcher can say they view killing Maerwald as this, especially if they set his soul free.
- Split Personality: Maerwald has lost the ability to sort the memories of his previous lives and his own. He constantly shifts between taking on the personas of either the Raider, the Soldier or himself as you speak to him.
- Talkative Loon: What being a Watcher has reduced him to, and what the Watcher will become if they don't figure out a way to get rid of or learn to control their abilities.
- With Great Power Comes Great Insanity: Along with his Watcher powers, Maerwald's soul was also Awakened. Though he could control it at first, he started slipping over the years as he gradually lost the ability to separate his current life from his past ones.
Lady Eydis WebbThe so-called Hermit of Hadret House, enigmatic founder and leader of the spies and detectives of Dunryd Row.
- A Pupil of Mine Until He Turned to Evil: In her youth, Webb was a member of the Leaden Key and a contemporary (later protege) to Thaos until a Heel Realization caused her to turn her back on both the man and the organization he controlled.
- Battle Couple: With Thaos, until her Heel–Face Turn. Her younger self enjoyed the thrill and intrigue of it all until she realized the greater scope of Thaos' plans.
- Big Good: Assumes this role from the moment her first dialogue box opens.
- Cool Old Lady: Basically founded Psychic Scotland Yard. Think Dame Judi Dench in her role as M with a little bit of Sherlock Holmes thrown in, based in a fantasy version of post-Revolutionary America.
- Defector from Decadence: Was formerly a member of the Leaden Key. A lifetime spent looking over her shoulder waiting for the inevitable reprisal led her to found the organization that later became Dunryd Row.
- Happily Married: A widow now, but she has fond memories of her late husband.
- Meaningful Name: She never leaves Hadret House, but through her network of spies she seems to know everything that goes on in the Dyrwood...except as regards the activities of the Leaden Key.
- Mrs Exposition: After she summons you, great big blocks of the main plot start dropping into place. Given the highly secretive nature of the enemy in this game, this kind of character is pretty much a necessity.
- Older Than She Looks: Ducks the question when you ask her her age, but is not ashamed to having used unspecified means to extend her life.
- Psychic Powers: A cypher herself, Webb organized the Dyrwood's many cyphers into some of the world's most formidable detectives...and spies.
- Reasonable Authority Figure: She's the only person who can help you and presumably aware of it, but rather than force the issue, she makes a very polite standing offer (whatever you learn about the Leaden Key for what Dunryd Row already knows) and waits for you to come around. It helps that she exudes competence and provides you with nothing but solid leads and exposition which has been in short supply up to the point when you meet her.
- Sacrificial Lion: Not just Webb herself, but all of Dunryd Row bar Inspector Kurren are killed by the Leaden Key under the cover of the riots following Duc Aevar's assassination. Thaos also kills Lady Webb personally, seemingly affirming that he did feel something for her.
- The Spymaster: The spymaster of the setting. At the start of the game, Dunryd Row are really the only people doing anything about the Leaden Key, and that's largely down to Lady Webb's influence.
Duc Aevar Wolf-Grin
Duc Aevar Wolf-GrinThe ruler of Defiance Bay. Formerly a trapper, he's a well-liked man of the people.
- Just the First Citizen: Inverted. Despite the noble title, Defiance Bay's ducs are elected to the position.
- Obfuscating Stupidity: Downplayed. Said by Lady Webb to portray himself as something of a bumpkin, but she also recognizes him as a skilled politician who's proven exceptionally adept at making friends and choosing his allies.
- Reasonable Authority Figure: Needs to be, as he's sitting square in the middle of the Dozens, the Crucible Knights, and House Doemenel. Nowhere is this more apparent than during the animancy hearings.
- We Hardly Knew Ye: Spends all of Act II hearing testimony at the animancy hearings at the Ducal Palace, only to be instantly assassinated by an Thaos-possessed animancer just after you deliver your own findings regarding the Leaden Key.
Iovara ix Ensios
Iovara was a member of the Leaden Key who eventually came to odds with Thaos and plays a more hidden, yet pivotal role in the plot of the game.
- The Anti-Nihilist: She believes kith will be better off knowing the truth — there is no greater meaning to the universe, and the gods are mere constructs — than they will being manipulated into a convenient lie. Thaos, Aloth and even the Watcher themselves are all free to point out possible holes in that assumption, though.
- Bi the Way: Regardless of the Watcher's own gender (which is shared with the past life), one possible reason for the past life turning against the Inquisition and joining Iovara is love.
- Defiant to the End: She was brought before the Grand Inquisitor (Thaos) and brutally tortured for questioning the existence of the gods, and even then she was not willing to confess. Quite the contrary, she was perfectly willing to hear a confession from Thaos, the man whose calling was covering up the fact.
- And despite your prodding, she refuses to leave the soul prison, spending about a hundred years (or more) in confinement just to prove her point to these so-called gods.
- Deader Than Dead: One option will have you suggest that you could disintegrate her soul, causing Cessation of Existence. If she asks why she would allow such a thing, you could convince her that she stays because she seeks affirmation (Perception), that staying is her valuing the life the gods gave her (Rational), or that the ultimate victory against the gods is removal from the prison of their construction (Intellect).
- Fate Worse Than Death: A self-inflicted one. The Watcher can point out that she can choose to reincarnate again if she states a belief in any god, but she will have none of it. She'd rather stand alone for all eternity.
- Played straight if you choose to reincarnate her to the Wheel with none of her memories regarding the nature of the gods. It phases her so deeply that she literally begs the Watcher not to do it.
- Jeanne d'Archétype: Zig-Zagged. On the one hand, she was a charismatic leader who rose from humble origins to lead La Résistance against the encroaching Engwithian missionaries and, later, against the Inquisition, but was betrayed by one of her trusted allies, had defied a Kangaroo Court, and was executed for heresy and apostasy in a particularly gruesome manner. On the other hand, where Saint Joan claimed to have been guided by God and was Vindicated by History, Iovara defied the gods (in a setting where their existence is undisputed) and was posthumously erased from all history books by her enemies.
- Kangaroo Court: With Thaos presiding over her Inquisition trial, it couldn't have had a different outcome.
- Expy: Of Deionarra, a ghost standing in deathly halls for all eternity for a punishment that they do not deserve. Bonus points if she was the Watcher's former lover.
- Multiple-Choice Past: Depending on the player's choices during flashbacks.
- More Hero Than Thou: If the player expresses guilt or remorse for their role in her fate she will flatly refuse the assertion, insisting that she made her own choices and the PC is not to blame.
- Ms. Exposition: She fills in the blanks that Lady Webb failed to filled in before she was Stuffed into the Fridge; namely who Thaos truly is, and why he acts. It can affect your views of the gods quite a bit.
- Naytheist: Pretty much. Her argument is that the gods are unworthy of worship due to being artificial, not that they're non-existent. The Watcher can point out that her imprisonment proves the power of the Engwithan deities and thus that her basic argument is fundamentally wrong, though.
- To which she retorts that she does not deny the gods' power, but that power alone does not make the gods worthy of worship.
- Power of Trust/Power of Love: Despite you having betrayed her and caused her death at the Inquisition's hand, she has faith in you, even as her soul lingers in Sun in Shadow. Finally, you have the chance to prove her right.
- The Reveal: Gets the biggest one in the game, naturally. Knowing the truth alters the context for many decisions you've made throughout the game— particularly since you arrive at this point having spoken with and perhaps made promises to one or more gods. Even better, this can call into question much of what you've been told in The White March. Specifically, if the Engwithans made the gods rather than the other way around, then wiping out the Eastern Reach isn't just the gods being petty and superior, but rather it's mortals who brought down the gods' 'wrath' upon themselves to wipe out any trace of their own power and knowledge— to engineer a form of protracted Medieval Stasis so that even those with the knowledge to question the gods would we powerless to bring about change, and those in a position to change things could be manipulated through their faith.
- Rousseau Was Right: Contrary to Thaos, this is what she believed, thus she wanted to spread the word that gods aren't real, and came to odds with the Inquisition.
- Scars Are Forever: Her face remains burned even in spirit form, after her Inquisition trial.
- Walking Spoiler: Her existence and the revelations she shares with you will turn around many things you may have believed in.
- Wrong Genre Savvy: If the player flat-out tells her they came to her encampment at Thaos's direct command in order to spy on her, she still accepts them into her confidence, believing she could win them over if given a fair chance to convince them of the merits of her argument. She pays dearly for it...or does she?
The Master Below
The mysterious entity directing the monster attacks from the depths of the Endless Paths of Caed Nua. While not as spoilerific as the character above, continue reading at your own risk!
- Blessed with Suck: The Master Below gained functional immortality and power but at a high cost. Feeding on the adra titan's stored souls has extended her life, but it's also causing adra crystals to grow on her since dragons take on traits from their environment. The adra weighs her down so much that she can't fly anymore. She's trapped at the bottom of Caed Nua nibbling on a statue's toes to keep herself alive. And the statue's reservoir of souls is almost empty.
- Bonus Boss: Easily the toughest enemy in the game, found at the bottom of the optional bonus dungeon.
- Deal with the Devil: Instead of fighting the Master Below, you can facilitate her Body Surfing out of the dungeon in return for a promise to stop the attacks on Caed Nua. That said, if you let her possess Falanroed, she does keep her promise to stop the attacks and tells you where Thaos is. This particular ending even goes as far to show that she peacefully leaves the country.
- Flunky Boss: If you fight the Master Below, you'll simultaneously have to fend off several of the dungeon's favorite Demonic Spiders.
- Samus Is a Girl: The Master Below is a female adra dragon.
- Genius Bruiser: Has developed two distinct means of degeneration-free immortality, and has long-range mind control and mental intrusion based scrying abilities. This makes her the most knowledgeable animancer this side of Thaos. She just also happens to be an exceedingly powerful dragon.
- Lesser of Two Evils: You essentially have two options for dealing with her: take the amulet she gives you and find a strong person for her to possess, or kill her, either as a mercy or if you earn her ire by revealing her plan to Falanroed.
- Stranger Behind the Mask: If you follow the hints scattered across the Endless Paths, you may be forgiven for thinking that the Master Below is Od Nua himself—an ancient Engwithan animancer king who originally built the Endless Paths as part of a grand experiment to cheat death. However, you actually meet Od Nua's spirit at the second to last level, and the Master Below—a giant Adra Dragon only tangentially connected to the dungeon's origin—resides at the lowest one.
- Weaksauce Weakness: Her massive size means any reasonably high-level wizard can utterly cripple her by bisecting her with the otherwise unremarkable Wall of Force spell.
Thaos ix Arkannon
A mysterious man seen performing a ritual in Cilant Lîs, causing the Watcher to Awaken. Little is known of him, except that he and the Watcher are connected somehow. He turns out to be the leader of the Leaden Key. Holds a great secret, carried to the present day by a lesser secret of Thaos himself.
- Affably Evil: Hardly ever raises his voice and is nothing but polite, in a condescending cult leader kind of way.
- Ancient Conspiracy: Leads the Leaden Key, a secret cult that is largely regarded as a small group of thugs. In actuality, it is a secret society dedicated to worshipping Woedica and collecting and jealously guarding secrets. Only Thaos knows that it's real purpose is to guard the secret that the gods are artificial.
- He has also been using his Grand Theft Me powers to discredit and vilify animancy in order to keep that secret.
- Badass: Perhaps the single most powerful thing in the game save for the Adra dragon.
- Badass Beard: The Watcher can comment on his beard's glory.
- Big Bad: Zig-Zagged. He is the most direct threat to the Watcher. However, he mostly acts as...
- Born-Again Immortality: He's always reborn as a human, always has the same appearance across incarnations and he receives a complete memory of his past lives every time he reaches adolescence.
- Evil Luddite: Of a sort. His plan to frame the animancers for the Duc's assassination is meant to discredit the whole animancy movement that is driving Eora's technological progress in order to maintain the Engwithans secret. Incidentally, some of the gods like Galawain, Magran and Abydon don't seem to mind the study of animancy at all and don't see it as a threat to their faiths. Ironic since he's a master animancer himself, and most of his schemes rely on animancy.
- Grand Theft Me: He is able to transfer his soul, at will, into and dominate those with "weak" souls, such as golems, mentally ill patients, and Hollowborn.
- Humans Are the Real Monsters: Firmly believes this. And given that he's lived for thousands of years, he's seen, and committed, plenty of evidence to support it. It's for this reason that he believes the secret of the gods' artificiality must be protected. If people found out that the gods were fake, they would descend into bloodshed and chaos.
- Human Sacrifice: His family and community were used to power an Engwithian engine so that he can reincarnate with his soul and identity intact, ensuring that he keep the secret.
- Hypocrite: Actively trying to suppress the progress of animancy research and has no qualms exploiting the fear of it to recruit people like Aloth. However, he's only opposed to animancy because it could reveal the secret of the gods' true nature. Thaos is himself a consummate master animancer whose latest scheme relies on ancient Engwithan animancer Magitek and regularly transfers his own soul into others to control them (a particularly ghastly application of extremely high-level animancy).
- The Inquisitor General: Used to be a High Inquistor, in charge of spreading the Engwithan manufactured faith, converting or executing heretics along the way.
- Knight Templar: He will protect the secret of the gods at all costs.
- Last of His Kind: Not physically, but he is the last Engwithan left, thanks to his souls' reincarnating without degrading and with his memories fully intact.
- Laser-Guided Karma: You can choose to end his soul, reincarnate it without memories...or cast in down in the same prison that houses Iovara.
- Moral Event Horizon: Openly admits to have crossed it, he even says that causing the Hollowborn epidemic, and stealing souls from newborns is one of the lesser atrocities that he's done over the ages.
- Pet the Dog: He allowed Lady Webb to abandon the Leaden Key with her life and ignored her attempts to investigate him until she started to threaten his plans. When he finally does kill her, he does it himself and appears to be somewhat remorseful.
- Sinister Minister: Back when the Leaden Key was the Inquisition, he was the High Inquisitor and tortured and murdered countless heretics in the name of Woedica.
- Villain Has a Point: Possibly. The Engwithan gods basically are gods by the human perception of the term - incredibly powerful supernatural beings able to intercede on the behalf of mortals. Thaos also points out that without gods and the accompanying concept of consequence, there is essentially nothing to rein in mortalkind's worst nature. Finally, he also argues (more or less correctly given the reactions of the party members to Iovara's news) that the truth Iovara would propagate would actually do more harm for people's happiness and well-being than good. The Watcher is free to explicitly agree with him on the final count, which is the only thing in the game that seems to catch him off-guard.
- Walking Spoiler: How? By being the main antagonist of course!
- Well-Intentioned Extremist: Firmly believes that the secret of the Engwithans is the only thing holding society together, and preserving it justifies all of his actions.
Abydon is the god of crafting and the forge, and the patron of the Knights of the Crucible. He appears as a large golem.
- And Man Grew Proud: Subverted. The destruction that rained down on the Eastern Reach was meant to prevent anyone from rediscovering the Magitek that Abydon himself helped the ancient Engwithans build and invent; Abydon created giant animantic golems, the Eyeless, to help construct much of the ancient world. In fact, in The White March we learn that the Abydon's death was brought about when his earthly avatar took the bullet for the White Forge, his greatest gift to mortals, which the other gods considered to elevate mortals above their station.
- The Blacksmith: Part of the reason he and Magran are seen as allies. It's also why he's the patron god of the Crucible Knights, who were blacksmiths before the Dyrwood's revolution.
- Brought Down to Normal: In a sense. It's generally acknowledged that he's not as forceful or independent in his current form as he was before his death. And how. He was so dedicated to his previous role that he manifested a colossal avatar on Eora to defend the White Forge, and it took being struck by fragments of the Eora's long-lost third moon to finally bring him down.
- For Science!: As the god of industry. Even more so before his original death, when he was willing to stand against all the other gods to protect all that he and the kith had built and learned. In The White March Part 2, Ondra acknowledges that he was also originally the god of preservation but when he was brought back to life, they left this part out owing to all the aforementioned problems it caused.
- Golem: After being killed once, he rebuilt himself in this form. Fitting as the god of craftsmen. Also his ancient, forgotten creations the Eyeless.
- Physical God: Not now, but he took physical form on Eora once, and just like with Eothas it led to his death (and while Abydon did come back, he was diminished in more than just being a golem now). And while it's just implication and theory in Eothas' case, Abydon definitely did it to stop the kith-unfriendly plans of another god.
- Starcrossed Lovers: Before his death. With Ondra, oddly enough.
- The Fettered: Interestingly, both before and after his death. Slightly more literal after his reinvention as the Golem, as he is said to largely act as a subordinate to the other gods, Magran in particular, since as the goddess of fire and creation she helped rebuild him. However, before his death, he was willing to fight the will of all the other gods to carry out his mandate of preserving knowledge, even if, as Ondra believed, he actually agreed with them about the necessity of what they were doing, even if he couldn't bring himself to go along with it.
Berath is the god of cycles, doors and death. He takes many forms, but the most common are The Usher and the Pallid Knight.
- But Thou Must!: To gain his favour, both High Ovate Erona and Archdruid Rehstin of the Ethik Nol must die. Erona can be persuaded to simply will her extremely long life to end if you can pass the attribute checks— even though she actually seems rather nice. Rehstin practices ritual sacrifice, but on the other hand when we first meet him the game makes a point of showing that the man being killed is a willing volunteer. There's also no way of persuading Rehstin to go quietly. To finish the quest, you have to attack him in front of a crowd of his followers, and doing so will turn all but one NPC in Blood Sands hostile toward you for good.
- Don't Fear the Reaper: Despite being a god of death, Berath is seen as a benign force, simply concerned with keeping the cycle of reincarnation going.
- Duality Motif: Is also the god of this.
- Eerie Pale-Skinned Brunette: The Pallid Knight is described as appearing this way, to inhuman levels.
- Gender Bender: While the Usher is assumed to be male despite appearing as a skeletal figure, the Pallid Knight is female. Both are considered to be aspects of Berath.
Eothas is the god of light, renewal and redemption. Often depicted as a young man in a silver crown holding a candle. Fifteen years ago, a farmer named Waidwen claimed to have been chosen as a avatar for Eothas; Waidwen is the eponymous Saint of the Saint's War, in which he rallied an army in Readceras and marched on the Dyrwood, where he was taken for a conqueror. Because Eothas has been silent ever since Waidwen died, most take it as a sign that Waidwen was in fact telling the truth about being the god, and that he died along with Waidwen.
- All-Loving Hero: If anyone'd forgive you for blowing him up, it'd be Eothas.
- And when Waidwen first came to prominence in Readceras, it was by feeding the starving poor, rousing them against the corrupt incumbent government.
- Defector from Decadence: By choosing Waidwen as his avatar, he put himself directly in harm's way in an attempt to foil Woedica's plans, while the other gods chose not to intervene.
- It Is Pronounced Tro-PAY: EY-o-thas, not ee-O-thas.
- God in Human Form: What Waidwen claimed to be.
- God Is Dead: Or more accurately, this particular god is, physically, dead. Waidwen's, and by extension Eothas', death by the Godhammer is what ended the Saint's War. To say that the death of a god has shaken people is putting it lightly.
- Light Is Good: Waiden's head was notably bathed in light. Eothas's portfolio boils down to light, life, and forgiveness. On the other hand...
- Light Is Not Good: After the Saint's War, Dyrwoodans certainly hold this view of him. Though it's left rather ambiguous if Waidwen's invasion of Dyrwood was actually Eothas' will or not. Some lore (and Durance grudgingly) suggests that Eothas actually rebelled to stop Woedica's ploy directly.
- Messianic Archetype: Being the earthly embodiment of a god particularly known for his forgiveness who walked among the poor and fed the starving? Yeah, probably not a coincidence.
- Physical God: After possessing Waidwen. However, as seen above, that backfired on him.
- Posthumous Character: See the example under God Is Dead.
- Token Good Teammate: As the god of light, renewal, and redemption, he is by far the most forgiving of the gods, if those seeking forgiveness are truly sincere. And he's the only god who tried to intervene directly when Woedica threatened to tip the balance, assuming that the in-game speculation is true. He is also the only selectable patron deity whose tenets celebrates priests acting honestly and benevolently (by choosing dialogue options marked with the Honest and Benevolent reputations).
Galawain is the god of hunt and strength through struggle. A changeling, he appears as a wild beast, or a fearsome hunter.
- An Axe to Grind: Wields a hatchet, along with a spear and hunting knife.
- Asskicking Equals Authority/Authority Equals Asskicking: Has a fairly nuanced view of this.
- Badass Beard/Beard of Barbarism
- Barbarian Hero: Closest thing the Engwithan pantheon has to one.
- Blood Knight: There is nothing more thrilling to him than the thrill of pursuit, and the confrontation that follows.
- But Thou Must!: Averted. Galawain asks you to go to his temple in Twin Elms and force a decision between his two would-be champions, reigning champ Sul and the upstart Oernos. Thing is? Sul is a stealthy but aging lioness and Oernos is a huge bear, and each of them is being backed by a segment of the Fangs, a whole faction of beastmasters. In the end, you can choose either of the two and Galawain will accept your reasoning— being very much a 'journey is its own reward' type of guy, and figuring that the winner is there because they deserve to be.
- Genius Bruiser: He views the hunt for knowledge as just as worthy as a more conventional hunt. He simply demands that one put in the same effort. To him, victory is deserved regardless of whether it's achieved through raw strength, or through wits and cunning, as long as you invest yourself into the hunt and carve your own paths instead of passively waiting for opportunity to knock.
- Incidentally, as a result of this he's not at all against the study of animancy and the possible threat of people realizing the gods are artificial.
- Might Makes Right: The predator should rule the prey, but the predator also has to watch out that they don't become the prey in turn.
- War God: Fits the conventional archetype more closely than Magran does, as he's primarily concerned with straight up battle through his domain over hunting.
Hylea is the goddess of birds, the sky, artistic pursuits, and motherhood.
- Beware the Nice Ones: Renege on your agreement with her to restore the lost souls of the Hollowborn children and Hylea will send flocks of angry birds to wreak her vengeance on the Dyrwood, descending en masse on those unfortunate enough to be out in the open and ripping them to shreds, wiping out whole villages in the process.
- But Thou Must!: Averted. During the quest to gain her favour, Hylea is pleased whether you kill the dragon which has invaded her temple or leave it alone, as said dragon is both a creature of the air and an expectant mother.
- Calling the Old Man Out: She'll wait until you've finished your business with the goddess, but Pallegina will deliver an epic verbal takedown of the goddess in whose image she was formed, as Hylea's blessing has, among other things, alienated her from her biological family, causes her to be looked upon with suspicion wherever she goes, and prevents her from ever having children or a family of her own, something you'd think would be utterly against Hylea's portfolio.
- Feather Motif: As one would expect, this shows up in her symbols and the Godlikes connected to her (such as Pallegina).
- Infant Immortality: Of a sort: Hylea would have you restore the souls Thaos has stolen for Woedica to the Hollowborn, thus making them into whole, ordinary children. Averted (sort of) even if you don't take her up on her bargain or lie go back on your word— if you renege on your bargain, then the children don't die, but they're not really alive, either— but even if you do restore the Hollowborn's souls, many children were killed or abandoned by their parents who had lost all hope. And there's no such thing as resurrection magic in this setting.
- Woman Scorned: Seriously, beware the nice ones.
Magran is the goddess of fire, trials, and war. She appears as a woman in dark yet flaming plate armor.
- Action Girl: The resident and only deity of war, she is this implicitly and has a fair number in her service.
- Be Careful What You Wish For: Said word for word if the Watcher considers that Woedica deserves her victory if she's willing and able to seize it.
- Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: Generally seen as one of the few relatively good gods in the setting, embodying concepts of progress and self-improvement. However her involvement in the creation of the Godhammer and subsequent treatment of Durance and the Dozen shows she can be incredibly manipulative and ruthless when she wants to be; fully willing to kill a fellow god to maintain the status-quo and discard her own followers when they become inconvenient.
- Blood Knight: Though one shouldn't go around causing fights or confrontations, her followers are encouraged to seek them out, as the struggle will make them stronger.
- Kill It with Fire: She is the god of all flames, and adores fire-based weapons: bombs, firearms, anything enchanted with fire— including spells. Part of why she likes guns is that they let any ordinary peasant hurl fire around the battlefield the way mages have always done.
- More Dakka: As mentioned, she likes guns. Her cathedral at Ashfall is built on top of/into a massive munitions factory, and her priests' unique talent gives them an accuracy bonus with swords and arquebuses.
- Her priesthood also developed the Godhammer bomb used to kill St. Waidwen. Then she killed all but one of the twelve priests involved, both to cover her involvement as well as to prevent such a weapon from being used again. Incidentally, the priest who was spared? Durance. And it wasn't for lack of trying, but because the bomb somehow damaged his living soul, rendering him invisible to the goddess whose attention he so desperately craves.
- War God: A relatively measured one, though, who also has aspects relating to creativity, art, creation, and transformation.
Ondra is the goddess of the oceans, the moon, the forgotten and loss.
- And Man Grew Proud: In part 2 of the The White March, it is revealed that Ondra commanded the Eyeless to keep the secret of the White Forge and Abydon's death by destroying anyone who knew about it. This resulted in the massacre of the dwarves in Durgan's Battery, and after you reopen the Forge to the villagers of Stalwart, indirectly leads to the Eyeless coming after the villagers, the invading Readcerans, then you, your party, and if you don't stop your visions from coming to pass, eventually everyone in the Dyrwood, possibly beyond. And because of the nature of their creation by another god, not even Ondra herself can call them off.
- Demoted to Extra: Other from having Defiance Bay's harbor district, Ondra's Gift, named after her, Ondra is one of the lesser-seen gods in the main game. Apart from the example mentioned under Token Good Teammate, there is a minor sidequest involving her temple when you first arrive in Stalwart Village. This changes drastically in The White March Part 2, bordering on Ascended Extra, Early-Bird Cameo, and Chekhov's Gunman.
- Starcrossed Lovers: She is said to be in love with the moon; the tides are the result of Ondra attempting to reach it. She's also the goddess of this.
- A sufficiently high-attribute Watcher in The White March can piece together that she used to have something going on with Abydon before he died (the first time). Abydon forgot about it as a result of dying, Ondra doesn't approach Abydon again because she fears doing so would make Abydon's memories come back... including the part where Abydon's death was a result of him trying to protect Eora's civilizations from Ondra's (approved by other gods) plan to smash a small moon into the planet to wipe out every trace of the Engwithans— specifically the titular White March, the Eastern Reach where most of the game place, and the nearby Deadfire Archipelago.
- Token Good Teammate: Very relatively speaking. She allies with Skaen and Rymrgand to propose that the Watcher cast the souls taken by Woedica into entropy. But whereas the first two simply see it as the best way to spite Woedica and a mere hastening of the inevitable, respectively, Ondra regards oblivion as an act of kindness.
Rymrgand is the god of cold, death and entropy. He appears as The Beast of Winter.
- But Thou Must!: To gain his favour, you must not use the crystal he gives you to allow his pale elf followers in Noonfrost to pass on to the oblivion they desire. According to a Watcher the elves have consulted, their souls have been reborn whole for hundreds of years, which seems to fly in the face of Rymrgand's portfolio. Rymrgand never provides them or you with any explanation for this, whether or not you succeed or fail the quest.
- Cruel Mercy/Cruel to Be Kind: Hard to say if he's either, both, or neither, but his treatment of the pale elves, who have worshiped him for thousands of years, would seem like this if it isn't just simple indifference on his part.
- Don't Fear the Reaper: Played with. Unlike Berath, who acts as a caretaker of souls to be returned to the cycle of reincarnation, with Rymrgand, your soul's only fate is to be eroded and ground down until it ceases to exist. However, some of his worshipers see this fate as an escape from the endless cycle of death and rebirth, into a better state of eternal peace, and as such seek it out.
- Evil Is Deathly Cold: Though not truly evil, he is every bit as uncaring as the cold entropy he embodies.
- In Mysterious Ways: Rymrgand seldom communicates with his worshippers although he does act as the spokesgod for himself, Skaen, and Ondra to you when you commune with the gods in Teir Evron.
- The Nothing After Death: His followers hope for this, and this is the fate that Rymrgand, Skaen, and Ondra propose you grant to the souls which Thaos has trapped.
Skaen is the god of silent hate, resentment and rebellion. He usually appears as a small, shackled, emaciated man, his skin covered in scars from lashes.
- Blood Magic: Dark magic, blood in vast quantities. As in a whole swimming pool of the stuff.
- Chronic Backstabbing Disorder: Something of a tenet of his religion, as he is the god of servants rising up against their masters in secret.
- Dark Is Evil: Darkness, blood, bondage, pain, hate... Rattles off a lot of the buzzwords.
- Evil Old Folks: Appears as a mutilated and shackled old man. And, while it can be argued that his evil can be of the necessary type, he is still one of the darker and bloodier gods.
- God of Evil: Blatant about it.
- Human Sacrifice: His rites often involve this.
- The Mole: Skaen first appears to be working with Rymrgand and Ondra against Woedica, but in the ending, he can reveal himself to actually be Woedica's Dragon. Of course, given his nature as the god of rebellion, one has to wonder what his stake in all this is, and what he gets out of working with her.
- Monster Clown: Has elements of this, in that he is something of a court jester to the gods. During his appearances, he capers about, freely speaks his mind and provides running commentary on the other gods.
- Mouth of Sauron: Speaks with the Watcher on Woedica's behalf.
- Nightmare Face: Described as an old man with his nose and lips cut off, with jet black stones where his eyes should be.
- Obviously Evil: Revels in it.
- The Power of Hate: He is basically the god of this, teaching his followers to draw power from their hatred, and inspiring them to keep it close to them, seething in it until the time is right to strike.
- The Revolution Will Not Be Civilized: His followers in Dyrford do not merely want justice against Lord Harond, they want him and his whole line to suffer. Specifically, they want his
niecedaughter Aelys, whom Harond has impregnated to fulfill his requirement of an heir, and whom the Skaenites have brainwashed and corrupted with dark magic, to return home and murder her entire family, staining the whole lineage forever, permanently destroying a noble house and serving as a warning to others. Skaenite doctrine calls for this kind of bloody rebellion to go on in secret, to maximize terror and suffering.
- Satanic Archetype: Not so much the look, but as a dark god and rebel set among the heavens, a tempter and betrayer par excellence? Very much so.
- Soft-Spoken Sadist: Skaen rewards deception and cruelty, but actively punishes those who are too brash or aggressive in his service. As a result, his followers, and Skaen himself, tend to be this.
- The Dreaded: Seems more keen for his followers to be this than himself, but more as an anonymous hidden force rather than as individuals, in keeping with the idea of appearing harmless and striking from the shadows.
- The Starscream: Is the god of them. Fittingly, he seems perpetually ready and willing to betray everyone he works with, and encourages you to do the same by taking Thaos's place and committing all the souls the Leaden Key have collected to re-empowering Woedica. May verge upon I Fight for the Strongest Side.
- Token Evil Teammate: For the gods as a whole: the other gods have their dark sides, and Skaen is a champion for the oppressed and enslaved, but he cultivates his dark and fearful reputation, acting as sort of an in-universe Hate Sink for humanity's worst impulses.
- As for his alliance with Rymrgand and Ondra at Teir Evron, Skaen is the only one who seems to genuine relish the thought of destroying the souls Thaos has stolen. Ondra believes it will avoid further pain; Rymrgand is simply indifferent, and destroying souls is his job.
Wael is the god of dreams, secrets and the unknown. Even Wael's form is unknowable. They might not even show up unless you complete a certain sidequest in a specific way.
- Blue and Orange Morality: This applies to every god, but Wael takes the cake. The other gods have basically understandable goals, just taken to extremes. Wael, though... in the endgame, they ask you to scatter the souls Woedica has stolen recently... explicitly because doing so would be pointless. In fact, they don't really care what you do with the souls at all, seeing as the prospect of him not knowing what the Watcher will do up until the last moment excites them.
- But Thou Must!: Gleefully averted. The only way to complete Wael's quests and win their favor is by deliberately failing a quest set by someone else.
- In the aforementioned sidequest, Wael tells you to bury the sacred text that their own high priestess asked you to recover from thieves— implying at the same time that Wael sent the thieves as well, for their own inexplicable reasons. To complete the quest, you must then go back to the temple and tell Wael's the priestess that you buried Wael's sacred text in a field and you can't tell her where is because Wael told you not to. This is because while Wael treasures knowledge, they value the seeking of said knowledge even more.
- If you have the Honest reputation, the priestess will actually believe you.
- In the aforementioned sidequest, Wael tells you to bury the sacred text that their own high priestess asked you to recover from thieves— implying at the same time that Wael sent the thieves as well, for their own inexplicable reasons. To complete the quest, you must then go back to the temple and tell Wael's the priestess that you buried Wael's sacred text in a field and you can't tell her where is because Wael told you not to. This is because while Wael treasures knowledge, they value the seeking of said knowledge even more.
- Chekhov's Gunman: Wael is (likely) the first god who can speak to you if you complete a sidequest for the priestess of his temple. Doing so is the only way to unlock Wael's appearance in Sun In Shadow, as the second-to-last god to offer you yet another alternative for what to do with the souls the Leaden Key has amassed.
- Cloud Cuckoolander: Does it on purpose, to be as cryptic and unpredictable as possible.
- Dark Horse Victory: They/she/it(?) appears in the tail-end of the journey, trying to convince the Watcher to forego any previous oaths made to the other gods and simply cast the souls to parts unknown.
- Eccentric Mentor: Although whether they want to teach their followers anything other than how to be eccentric is debatable.
- Doubles down on this with Trickster Mentor.
- It Amused Me: Seemingly their reason for being, with a particular emphasis on doing the unexpected.
- Me's a Crowd: Appears as a blurry cloud of shifting humanoid figures, taking on an ever-shifting array of different features, changing sex and species from moment to moment.
- One-Scene Wonder: All the gods, to some extent, and technically there's one other very brief scene, but Wael in particular has to convince you to do something very bizarre for no reward and for no actual reason. And to their credit, it's tempting.
- Shapeshifter Identity Crisis: Without the crisis. Whether it's voluntary or simply a part of Wael's incomprehensible nature is, of course, unknown.
- Trickster God: Was that unclear?
- These Are Things Man Was Not Meant to Know: Seen as a caretaker of dangerous information and secrets. However, Wael also believes those secrets should be released so that they can be found and hidden again.
- Voice of the Legion: Goes hand in hand with Me's a Crowd.
Known under the obscure epithet of the Queen That Was (...And Still Is, as her followers readily add), Woedica is the goddess of law, order, vengeance and rightful rule. She appears as a haggard old woman with a shattered crown.
- All Crimes Are Equal: All people who wrong her in any way will be punished, no matter how small the slight.
- Asskicking Equals Authority: Before the other gods rebelled against her and brought her back down to normal. It's implied she did not go quietly, and when she appears in visions at the very end of the game in Sun In Shadow, her godly image still bears noticeable scars.
- Best Served Cold: The queen of this. She's known for holding grudges for a very long time indeed. In particular, the other gods betrayed her when she was removed from her throne some time in the last hundred years or so, and it's said that she's unlikely to let this slide.
- Bigger Bad: Though like all the gods her influence is largely indirect, Thaos communes with and seemingly takes his orders from her. Given what we learn in the late game, their partnership may be more equal than that, insofar as Thaos's people are the ones who created all the gods in the first place, presumably including Woedica herself.
- Brought Down to Normal: Was formerly the most powerful of the gods, but her tyrannical rule caused them to turn against her, severely curtailing her power, authority, and access to worshipers on Eora.
- Disproportionate Retribution: The queen of this, too. Revenge Tropes in general, natch.
- Evil Old Folks: She is usually depicted as an old woman.
- Foil: To Eothas. She's old, he's young, she's female, he's male. Both wear crowns. Their portfolios aren't diametrically opposed, but he's the god of forgiveness, while Woedica never forgives any slight. Both were opposed by their fellow gods, but while everyone united to topple Woedica, only Magran moved against Eothas, and even that was done in secret. Of course, while Woedica managed to survive everything the rest of the pantheon could do to her, Eothas died, and it's still unclear whether or not he'll return. Most of all, Eothas is heavily intimated to have taken the form of Waidwen and led the Readcerans' invasion of the Dyrwood specifically to intervene in Woedica's plot, via the Leaden Key, to absorb the Hollowborn souls and reclaim her throne as queen of the gods.
- God Save Us from the Queen!: There's a reason the other gods dethroned her when she became too powerful before.
- Hypocrite: Is called out multiple times for not actually caring about obeying the law herself as much as making sure everyone does as she tells them. Very much of the 'Do as I say, not as I do' school of leadership.
- It Is Pronounced TRO Pay: WOOD-i-ca.
- Knight Templar: Notoriously harsh and autocratic in enforcing the laws which bind all kith, as well as the more esoteric laws applying to her fellow gods.
- Loophole Abuse: The gods are forbidden from directly interfering with the kith. Nothing says they can't use a mortal agent, though. Enter Thaos.
- Powered by a Forsaken Child: If her game-spanning overarching plan is allowed to come to fruition.
- Revenge: The goddess thereof.
- Screw the Rules, I Make Them!: Has a particularly nasty reputation for caring more about enforcing the law than obeying it herself.
- Naturally also falls under Screw the Rules, I Have Supernatural Powers!, as one of the gods. Her long-term plan involves the Leaden Key, led by Thaos, siphoning souls from the Hollowborn children of the Dyrwood and using them to re-empower Woedica, allowing her to assume her old role as queen of the gods once again. This kind of imbalance between gods is notably exactly the kind of things all the gods have come together in the past to stop.
- The Voiceless: Never utters a word in the game, although she presumably has spoken in the past to the other gods and her followers like Thaos.
- We Can Rule Together: Extends this offer to you, the player character, after you kill Thaos. Or rather, her proxy Skaen makes the offer in a divine vision, while Woedica glowers at you in the background.
The Crucible Knights
The Crucible KnightsA combination of standing army and town watch, the Knights of the Crucible were founded by blacksmiths who fought for the Dyrwood during the Liberation, the colony's war for independence from the Aedyran Empire over a century ago.
- The Blacksmith: Started out as blacksmiths who joined the revolution against Aedyr, allowing the rebels to make their own weapons. Though in the present day, their shrine to the god Abydon, god of blacksmiths, is gathering dust in First Fires' Crucible Keep and they only have one actual blacksmith in the castle's ranks.
- City Guards: Their Justiciar arm keeps the peace in Defiance Bay.
- Fantastic Racism: Against Orlans, to the point that they'll refuse entry to anyone who was an orlan in a past life. They let an Orlan Watcher join, however.
- Golem: The forge knight automatons which Commander Clyver and his superiors want built. After transferring the souls of condemned criminals into the forge knights to bring them to life, the constructs unsurprisingly go crazy and turn violent. This does, however, foreshadow the animancer Galvino and his masterpiece the Devil of Caroc in the DLC.
- Knight Templar: The High Justice, leader of the order nationwide, and by extension the faction as a whole, at least in one of their endings. If you convince Clyver to continue the faction's research into forge knights despite their disastrous initial test run, they're eventually perfected to the degree that the High Justice uses them to clamp down on animancy, eventually placing Defiance Bay under martial law.
- Holier Than Thou: Of the three factions they have this attitude most, due to their knightly reputation and code of honor.
- Rags to Riches: A movement in the faction is pushing for the common-born Knights to be recognized as gentry in the Dyrwood.
The DozensA relatively new faction of working-class rowdies, demagogues, mercenaries and adventurers formed in the wake of the Saint's War. They're named in honor of the seven men and five women who stood on the bridge and held back St. Waidwen's advance while the Godhammer was brought to bear.
- Adventure Guild: Their headquarters in Copperlane, the Expedition Hall, hires out adventurers, mostly to plunder the Engwithan ruins in the surrounding countryside.
- Brains: Evil; Brawn: Good: The closest thing they have to a philosophy, as they see the educated aristocracy and animancers as the cause of the hollowborn crisis, while tough and uneducated common folk are all good.
- Fantastic Racism: Against animancers, ciphers, and others who influence souls. While some of their concerns are not completely ill-founded, how they go about expressing it certainly is.
- Full-Circle Revolution: Represent the lingering mistrust of authority baked into the Dyrwood from its founding as a rebel colony of Aedyr. They reserve a special dislike for the Crucible Knights, viewing them as class traitors.
- Martyr Without a Cause: They're mostly motivated by a knee-jerk reaction against any form of authority or perceived tyranny (including the intellectual elitism of, for example, animancers), but most of them seem to have no specific plans to replace it with anything or any thought of changing the system from within.
- Rabble Rousers: Riling up angry mobs is their stock in trade. Comes to a head when Duc Aevar is assassinated and the Dozens throw a city-wide riot, burning down Brackenbury Sanitarium and blocking off player access to the city for days.
- Science Is Bad: Or rather, Animancy Is Bad. (Since animancy is a legitimate scientific field in this world.) They feel that any study or influence of souls is automatically unethical and against nature. While they have a point about how some animancers operate, as usual, the truth is more complicated than that.
- We ARE Struggling Together: They're generally angry and want change, but their actions often hurt the very people they want to protect, such as their attacks on the patrons of the Salty Mast being a bizarre attempt to get the inn's madam to lower her prices, purportedly to better serve the working class people who live in the surrounding docks.
- Well-Intentioned Extremist: As Eadric Morley's impassioned arguments at the animancy hearings show, their intentions are good, and while they may favor violent, destructive acts of protest, it's because they feel that broad, sweeping action is the only way they can make their voices heard as commoners.
House DoemenelA wealthy noble house who fought on the wrong side during the war with Aedyr. In the time since the war, the Doemenels have had to reinvent themselves, becoming a sophisticated but utterly ruthless crime syndicate.
- Affably Evil: Do what they want and stay in their good graces, and the Doemenels will be a very reliable ally for you.
- The Don: Gedmar Doemenel, the current patriarch of the family.
- Even Evil Has Loved Ones: Killing Danna, one of the few Doemenels who can be encountered outside of their manor in Brackenbury, is also one of a handful of actions in the entire game which will earn you an Extraordinary Negative reputation hit with any faction.
- Her fiance Cendric will later challenge you to a duel in her memory, although if you didn't interact much with the Doemenels, you may well have forgotten her.
- Fantastic Drug: Deal in this, naturally. Most notably, in a dark but realistic example of the trope, they've cornered the market on bitter squash seeds, a contraband item which can be used to terminate unwanted pregnancies. Bitter seeds are a popular item in Defiance Bay owing to the prevalance of Hollowborn children.
- The Mafia: How they operate, and in essence what they are well on their way to becoming for Eora, including their once-noble roots. In particular, their methods for dealing with people who have failed or crossed them are similar. In truth they have more in common with this trope than a more fantastical Thieves' Guild.
- Neighborhood Friendly Gangsters: Despite their many crimes, it's noted by more than one person that the Doemenels do as much to keep the peace in Defiance Bay as the Crucible Knights.
- Pragmatic Villainy: They're a ruthless criminal organization you do not want to cross, but if they want to continue making a profit, they need order in Defiance Bay.
- Shame If Something Happened: Their favorite way to make threats.
- Thieves' Guild: Serve as a more legitimate, perhaps more realistic version of this for a fantasy setting.
A priestess of Magran, goddess of war. Wields an arquebus and hammer, and wears Magran's emblem, a bomb, on her breastplate.
- Chainmail Bikini: Averted. She wears full plate armor that is pretty but functional. An early design emphasized her buxom significantly, however.
- Church Militant: She carries an arquebus and a warhammer and her deity's holy symbol is a bomb...if she doesn't live up to this trope, it will probably still be worth mentioning as an aversion. Remains to be seen...
- Drop the Hammer: Switches to a warhammer when forced into melee.
- Dummied Out: In the original Kickstarter pitch, she was planned as a recruitable companion. She seems to have been replaced with Durance in the release version.
- The Musketeer: Arquebus and warhammer.