The Steward of Caed Nua
The caretaker of Caed Nua is an old woman who originally designed the castle. Her final request was for her soul to remain to look after her beloved keep.
- Cool Chair: She is one. Which must make things awkward when the Watcher sits on her while making official decrees.
- Genius Loci: She's bound to the keep and can actually feel it and all that's bound to it.
- Last Request: She was a dying old woman whose final request was that her soul be allowed to stay behind and look after the keep she'd designed to be her final mark upon the world.
- Living Forever Is Awesome: Her soul is forever bound to Caed Nua, but while the keep has fallen into disrepair, she hasn't given up hope that her keep will one day be the glorious place she envisioned it as. The Watcher can help her achieve her dream. Unfortunately no matter what the Watcher does, the keep ends up destroyed by the resurrected Eothas.
- Number Two: She manages the Watcher's keep and obeys their instructions while the Watcher's out adventuring.
- Old Retainer: She intends to serve as this to all of Caed Nua's masters. She handles the upkeep of Caed Nua, hires on protection, and keeps the Watcher updated on important events.
- Psychic Link: She forms one with the Watcher after they become the new master of Caed Nua.
- Really 700 Years Old: She's a few centuries old by the time the Watcher meets her.
- Soul Jar: Her soul is contained in the marble throne of Caed Nua. Even after Caed Nua's destruction at the beginning of II, she survives via the remains of the throne.
- Tragic Dream: Her dream was to ensure that Caed Nua, the beloved castle she designed as her last legacy upon the world, was always preserved and brought to its full glory. Even if the Watcher achieves this and slays the Master Below that endangers it, Eothas ends up reviving himself, destroying the keep and stealing the souls of everyone within.
- Undying Loyalty: To the Watcher. Even when Caed Nua is destroyed, she continues to serve them in their search for Eothas.
Lady Eydis Webb
The so-called Hermit of Hadret House, enigmatic founder and leader of the spies and detectives of Dunryd Row.
- Am I Just a Toy to You?: Fell in love with Thaos in her youth, but was never sure if he returned her affections or was just using her powers to serve the Leaden Key, so she defected partly to find out how he would react, and thus get an answer. Considering he let her live for decades while he's brutally killed countless followers for far less, gave her the honor of delivering the killing blow himself, and the Watcher senses that she did finally get an answer posthumously...
- A Mind Is a Terrible Thing to Read: Due to her exceptionally gifted cipher abilities and her popularity with men when she was young, she quickly grew bored of her many suitors since she could read them all like an open book and found nothing noteworthy. Only Thaos and her late husband could hold her interest.
- Animal Motifs: She's the spider at the center of Hadret House's swirling web of secrets. Welcome to her parlor.
- Battle Couple: With Thaos, until her HeelFace 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, and remains there right up until she and 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.
- Blasphemous Boast: When you first come to Dunryd Row's attention, the messenger sent to request your presence delivers one on her behalf:Messenger:You do wrong in this country, before you go asking the gods for forgiveness, best you ask Lady Webb first.
- The Chessmaster: How she operates as the game's resident Big Good: gathering information, striking in secret, plans within plans. Much like Thaos himself — fitting, since she was once one of his disciples. Sadly, even armed with all she knows, it's still not enough to save her in the end.
- 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.
- Da Chief: Mostly to the Watcher, but Dunryd Row are the more modern police detectives to the Crucible Knights' medieval City Guards. That modernization is another thing Defiance Bay can thank Lady Webb for. She rarely raises her voice, but has quite an acid wit and suffers no fools.
- Deadpan Snarker: Has a certain wry wit even at her most serious. Ask a Stupid Question..., in particular, and you'll get a rather sharp retort.Lady Webb: So the messenger conveyed my summons. A miracle that would make the reincarnation of Eothas look like a child's cantrip, surely.
- 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.
- The Dreaded: People tend to be nervous about attracting her attention, with good reason. It makes even more sense in Aloth's case, since he's a member of the Leaden Key.Aloth: They say she's an ancient spider, spinning her nets through the city. If she wishes to see you, that either bodes very well or very ill.
- Expy: A mild case, but knowing Obsidian, unlikely to be a coincidence: an old woman, a seer of sorts, who remains constantly in the background and serves to educate the main character on the true nature of their circumstances, not unlike Ravel Puzzlewell, Kreia, the Founder, etc. She also recalls another common theme in Black Isle/Obsidian games: that it is far worse to have taught others wrongly than to be wrong yourself.
- Face Death with Dignity: Like everything else, she maintains her poise even in the face of certain death. She faces down Thaos when he comes to kill her with no trace of fear whatsoever, only calm defiance. She even manages to use her powers to pry out a clue to his plans from his thoughts, knowing that she will be able to pass it on to the Watcher posthumously.
- Happily Married: A widow now, but she has fond memories of her late husband.
- I Love You Because I Can't Control You: If the Watcher asks why she's been hunting Thaos and the Leaden Key all these years, she reveals that as an exceptionally powerful cipher from birth, she could read the thoughts and emotions of all the young men that courted her when she was young... except Thaos. That, coupled with his enigmatic demeanor, intrigued her so much that she fell hopelessly in love with him, served the Leaden Key, and then (after defecting the Leaden Key) dedicated her life to learning his secrets.
- Iron Lady: Silk Hiding Steel variant. Her tone is rather pleasant, but there's an edge underneath it, and she founded Hadret House and has presided over it for decades.
- I Was Quite a Looker: Was very beautiful and wealthy in her youth, and thus attracted many suitors. Her boredom from dating countless uninteresting young men is part of what drew her to the mysterious, enigmatic, unreadable Thaos in the first place.
- Knowledge Broker: As a means to an end when it comes to protecting the Dyrwood and rooting out the Leaden Key.Lady Webb: Exhaustive research, spying, bribery. Perhaps some less savory measures. Whatever the knowledge demands, I pay in full. There is nothing of greater value.
- Meaningful Name: She never leaves Hadret House; rather, her prey stumbles onto her, blundering into the intricate web she's woven across the land. 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.
- Mind Reading: One of her abilities as a cipher, and she doesn't ask permission beforehand, either.Lady Webb: Because you have seen his face, and that makes it a simple matter for me to see it...
- 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.
- My Species Doth Protest Too Much: She's trying to tame the Dyrwood, to save them from themselves as much as from outside threats. She goes to her grave believing she's failed, when the Leaden Key kills her and the rest of Dunryd Row during the riots at the end of Act II.Lady Webb: Dyrwood is a rebel country. Conflict is in its blood. If you think a few guards posted in our cities keep chaos at bay, you are very new to town indeed.
- Older Than They Look: Ducks the question when you ask her her age, but is not ashamed to having used unspecified means to extend her life.
- Plot Armor: Downplayed. While it is possible for the player to kill her, doing so automatically gets them a Non-Standard Game Over since they just killed the best/only lead and thus have doomed the Watcher to succumb to the same fate as Maerwald.
- Psychic Powers: A cypher herself, Webb organized the Dyrwood's many cyphers into some of the world's most formidable detectives... and spies.
- 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.
- 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: As the greatest threat to the Leaden Key, this was inevitable. She gets a decent amount of characterization, is heavily involved in the plot events of Act 2, and then gets Killed Off for Real by Thaos to show how high the stakes have become. Not in vain, however — she manages to steal a key piece of knowledge from him, piercing his mental barriers even as she's within moments of death. The Watcher's ability to read the souls of the recently dead allows her to pass this secret on to you before she passes on for good.
- Shrouded in Myth: Courtesy of Dunryd Row's messenger boy again:Messenger: She's supposed to be old. Older than anybody. And she never leaves her room. Some say she's wasted away and she's just a pile of bones kept animated by dark magics.
- The Shut-In: What makes her the Hermit of Hadret House: she hasn't been seen outside her chambers in years.
- Silk Hiding Steel: A genteel older woman with a will of solid iron, who's saved the fledgling Dyrwood from destruction who knows how many times over.
- Spy Fiction: Not especially glamorous or gritty, but surprisingly cozy instead. Call it Hot Cup Of Tea Flavored.
- 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.
- Team Mom: A Mother to Her Men, and takes on this role for the party as well. However briefly.Edér: This is exactly what I would picture Aloth's mother to be like.
An orlan baby originally from the Fisher Crane Tribe who has become the foster child of Simoc, the anamfath of the Three-Tusk Stelgaer. Despite her lack of blood ties to the tribe, who are wood elves, her powerful soul makes her a likely candidate for their next anamfath. She can return in Deadfire, hanging out with the Watcher's crew.
- Ascended Extra: She goes from essentially a living plot item in the first game to a possible crewmate (though not a working one) in Deadfire. The default Watcher in the pregen world states is to have her, even in cases where the Watcher was otherwise scrupulously good or fair. Oddly, though, she has no unique dialogue with the Watcher aboard your ship, only random shipboard banters with your companions.
- Badass and Baby: The ending narration even lampshades how strange it was the Watcher brought a baby with them to Sun and Shadow. Especially egregious since the Watcher doesn't just stumble upon her in the middle of a conflict, they have to make the conscious choice to abduct her.
- Human Sacrifice: Simoc wants the Watcher to kidnap Vela and sacrifice her in Blood Sands so a potion can be made from her spirit to make himself stronger and allow him to produce a worthy heir.
- I'm Taking Her Home with Me!: Instead of sacrificing her or eliminating the man who wants her dead, another option is for the Watcher to essentially kidnap her to raise her personally, although doing so requires killing the man who asked the Watcher save her in the first place. Not only will this choice be reflected in the Watchers ending, but Vela herself returns as a young child in Deadfire.
- Infant Immortality: Averted. Even though she's only a baby, the Watcher can potentially sacrifice her in Blood Sands, either on Simoc's behalf or for their own gain.
- Living MacGuffin: During the "Sacrificial Bloodlines" sidequest in Twin Elms when she first appears, her foster father wants to sacrifice her to make a potion that will "empower his seed" so that he can have a child of his own blood, but with Vela's strong soul. Her foster brother, understandably outraged, asks you to murder his father — and tries to kill you if you snatch the child from her cradle, regardless of any explanation/excuse you might come up with. Baby Vela then shows up as a plot item in your inventory... and the game does nothing to stop you from wandering off and leaving the quest unfinished, meaning she can still be in your pack through the entire endgame. The ending reel even comments on it:Narrator: But at that moment, there was little to be done, and the matter would have to wait. A long journey loomed ahead, made no easier by your decision to bring an infant to Sun in Shadow.
- Tagalong Kid: In Deadfire she's five years old, but because orlans grow and mature slightly quicker than humans, she is still lives on the Watcher's ship. All your companions quickly take a shine to her, particularly Serafen, who can see a little of his younger self in her — the life he wishes he'd had, maybe.
- Unexpected Successor: Simoc's own children are considered unworthy to succeed him as anamfath of the Three-Tusk Stelgaer. However, his orlan foster-daughter from the Fisher Crane has a soul strong enough that everyone expects the riow of the tribe to select her instead.
- What the Hell, Hero?: It's a messy situation, and nobody comes out of this quest looking good.
- Vela is awfully cute, but given the way in which she joins the Watcher's crew is deeply questionable. Whatever your intentions were when you took Vela out of her cradle — you might be trying to get her away from Simoc without, as Lliras suggests, simply murdering the man, but you're still kidnapping her.
- Lliras in a nutshell. He's disgusted by his father's intentions for Vela, but his suggestion for how to deal with him — and the only way of resolving the quest without a fight — is to trick Simoc into drinking poison instead of the potion he's asked you to have made.
- Serafen never directly confronts the Watcher over this, but his dialogue with Vela makes it clear that he's worried her situation is Not So Different from his own past as a child slave. He gently reminds her that no one owns her, including the Watcher.
Iovara ix Ensios
Major unmarked spoilers for Pillars of Eternity follow. Proceed at your own risk.
A mysterious, ghostly figure who knew the Watcher once in a past life, thousands of years in the past, whose memory now haunts them. Iovara was a member of the same ancient faith as the Watcher and Thaos, before becoming the leader and eventual martyr of a heretical splinter movement.
- 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.
- Big Good: Essentially takes over this role after Lady Webb exits the story, revealing that the Watcher is even more closely connected to present events than was already apparent.
- Defector from Decadence: She was one of the Engwithans' early converts, and the one who initiated the Watcher's past self into the faith, before becoming a heretic herself.
- 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).
- 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.
- 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.
- Multiple-Choice Past: Depending on the player's choices during flashbacks. Most pivotal, the player gets to define what kind of relationship she had with the Watcher in their past life (though with the restriction that Iovara was someone they both had a close personal relationship to and trusted greatly); namely, she could have been the past Watcher's mentor, friend, Love Interest (there is even an option to decide whether she reciprocated these feelings or not), or sister.
- 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: Iovara's argument is that the gods are artificial, not that they're nonexistent. A religious Watcher may point out that her imprisonment proves the power of the Engwithan deities and thus that her basic argument is fundamentally wrong; to which she retorts that she does not deny the gods' power, but that power alone does not make the gods worthy of worship, nor does it give them any greater claim on truth or the right to dictate how mortals should live their lives.
- 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 be 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's beliefs and undermining the entire purpose of the Inquisition, Iovara came to believe that people must know the truth about the Engwithan gods, so that they could choose for themselves, believing that people would use the freedom of knowing there were no true gods to make the world better.
- Sealed Good in a Can: Her soul has been trapped in her adra prison for thousands of years. She can't exactly be released from her can and only a Watcher could even speak to her soul, but she hasn't disappeared into the wheel or been condemned to wander the Burial Isle the way her followers have.
- Scars Are Forever: Her face remains burned even in spirit form, following her torture during her 'trial' at the hands of the Inquisition.
- Too Dumb to Live: In the event that the Watcher's past life admits to being there to spy on her, she still takes their advice to go to Ossionus, and never even considers that it might be a trap. It is.
- 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?
Caed Nua and the Endless Paths
An old Watcher who presides over Caed Nua. He appears to have become a recluse in recent years.
- Abandoned War Child: One of Maerwald's past lives, the Soldier, was fathered by a Glanfathan marauder, the Raider, who raped an Aedyr settler woman. The father was killed by militia afterwards, and the Soldier's mother told him his father was a soldier who had died before he was born, not knowing that he was his own father's reincarnation.
- 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.
- Child by Rape: The Soldier's mother was raped by the Raider, who was then killed and reincarnated as the Soldier.
- Cryptic Conversation: An Obsidian classic. Jittery fragmented sentences, poetic descriptions of abstract concepts, halting repetitions, digressions, and in general, unfiltered stream-of-consciousness dialogue.
- 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...
- Gone Mad From The Revelation: An interesting example in that his Watcher abilities didn't start out this way, but over time he became unable to control his sight, to the point where he wasn't just seeing the past, but calling back visions of it everywhere he looked.Maerwald: A window. Window to the ether, where spirits dwell. Peer and reach into it, speak and listen through it... A Watcher sees souls.
- I Hate Past Me/Future Me Scares Me: He's haunted by his past lives and unable to be certain of where he ends and they begin. As a Glanfathan marauder, he brutally attacked and murdered Dyrwoodan settlers and participated in the 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 by Rape of the Glanfathan marauder. 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 raped Dyrwoodan settlers. Note that Maerwald himself 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 and Awakened 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.
- Unhappy Medium: Locking yourself in the dungeons of a castle with old memories of past lives, to the point where the Steward apparently hasn't seen him in years.
- 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.
Lord Arledr Gathbin
An aristocrat and a distant relative of the former master of Caed Nua. He challenges the Watcher's legal claim to the keep and is willing to resort to violence when things don't go his way.
- Arc Villain: He's the main antagonist of several quests associated with keeping legal control of Caed Nua.
- Aristocrats Are Evil: He may be a member of a fallen house, but he's still considered a lord to his old bloodline, and he's willing to stoop to murder and all-out war to get what he wants rather than just pay for it legally.
- Cavalry Betrayal: If you're doing well in the battle against him, and you earlier spared Captain Emery, Gathbin's right-hand woman, or swayed her to your cause, she'll lead her reinforcements against Gathbin and side with the Watcher instead.
- Entitled Bastard: Despite all the hardwork and money the Watcher has spent in restoring Caed Nua, Gathbin believes he's entitled to it by birthright. Even when the Duc votes in his favor on the condition that he reimburses the Watcher, Gathbin refuses and tries to take Caed Nua by force instead.
- Expy: Of the similarly irredeemable Lord Isaea Roenall from the Nalia De'Arnise/Fighter Stronghold quest chains in Baldur's Gate II, of which Caed Nua as a whole is a Spiritual Successor.
- False Flag Operation: He sends soldiers out to rob and kill the Watcher's subjects and frames the Watcher for his deeds to turn their people against them. The Watcher can clear up the misunderstanding for a prestige bonus.
- Jerkass: He's a sneering asshole who treats everyone with contempt from the word go.
- Smug Snake: He believes he's a much more cunning and dangerous individual than he actually is. With the proper preparations and decisions during the battle against him, you can effectively curb stomp his forces.
- Upper-Class Twit: He's arrogant, entitled and openly flaunts completely reasonable laws issued by his lawful superiors because he thinks he's above them.
- The War Sequence: The in-game Battle of Yenwood Field, which pits Gathbin's mercenary army against the Watcher's assembled forces. Depending on your choices, you can weed out most of his toughest enforcers before cutting him down personally.
The mad Engwithan king who constructed the Endless Paths in the region's distant past. Substantial spoilers for the Endless Paths megadungeon follow.
- Alas, Poor Villain: In spite of all his atrocities, Od Nua is a broken man driven insane with grief who only wants to be reunited with his beloved son. Convincing him to let go of his past finally brings him some measure of peace and allows his soul to finally return to the Wheel, instead of continuing in the hellish limbo between life and death he consigned himself to for centuries.
- Arc Villain: Most of the Endless Paths is spent trying to reach the Master Below. Except it turns out not to be Od Nua.
- The Caligula: After his son's death in battle, he killed thousands of his own people in rather horrific animancy experiments in his search for some way to bring Maros back from the dead. Eventually his subjects rebelled in a bid to put a stop to his madness.
- Due to the Dead: The gigantic statue of living adra that exists in the Endless Paths is a monument carved in the likeness of Od Nua's dead son. It was also meant to be the vessel used to house Maros' soul upon his resurrection.
- Even Evil Has Loved Ones: Subverted, dovetailing neatly into Love Makes You Evil, as Od Nua was formerly The Good King. His beloved son Maros died on a battlefield, trying to make his father proud by proving himself a warrior. The effects of the loss on Od Nua were rather ugly, to say the least.
- Golem: It's not a huge leap to assume that that giant adra statue was meant to serve as an enormous animantic vessel. What might come as a surprise is that Od Nua never intended to use it himself, but rather to contain the soul of his son upon his resurrection.
- The Good King: What he was to begin with, being seen by his subjects as a both gentle and wise leader. The loss of his son drove him mad with grief, causing him to turn into The Caligula.
- Love Makes You Evil: He massacred thousands of his subjects in a mad attempt to find a way to recover the soul of Maros.
- Mistaken Identity: You might think that enormous statue is meant to be Od Nua, but it isn't. It's his son, Maros, whose sad story you learn as you delve deeper and deeper into the Endless Paths. The much bigger reveal, however, is that Od Nua is not (and never was) the Master Below.
- Only Known by Their Nickname: The reign of Od Nua is long forgotten beyond the castle that still bears his name, and you won't find mention of his full name until you venture further into the Endless Paths. Od Nua, however, does not claim the title of "the Master Below" for himself. And he never did, and when others use that title, it's not him they're referring to. When you finally reach Od Nua, it turns out "the Master Below" always referred to someone else, but the lore of the Endless Paths is pieced out to the player in such a way that most players would automatically assume that Od Nua and the Master Below were one and the same.
- Necromantic: Following the death of his son, Od Nua went mad with grief and sacrificed countless innocents to try to find a way to bring Maros back from the dead.Od Nua: I would have slaughtered the world, to have him returned to me. They ought to have been honored, to sacrifice their lives for his resurrection.
- Outliving One's Offspring: Od Nua had a son who died in battle. Who is, in fact, the entire reason Od Nua constructed the Endless Paths, to bring him back.
- Red Herring: For most of the Endless Paths, it seems like Od Nua is the infamous Master Below, only for the penultimate level of the dungeon to reveal they're two separate characters.
- The Reveal: When you finally reach him on the next to last level of the Endless Paths, it turns out that he is not the Master Below. The real Master Below turns out to be an adra dragon — a dragon covered in living adra crystals which has been leeching off the souls trapped in the giant statue that spans the entire height of the Endless Paths.
- Talking the Monster to Death: The Watcher can convince Od Nua's restless spirit to accept what happened and return to the Wheel in peace.
- Toppled Statue: The huge adra statue Od Nua spent much of his life constructing is actually pretty much whole in its entirety, but it's also buried in the ground up to the bottoms of its upstretched fingers.
- Walking Spoiler: The history of Caed Nua turns out to be a rather tragic one. Most of the Endless Paths is spent gradually piecing together a vague idea of exactly who the Master Below is, and what this vast complex is doing here. The two turn out to be largely unrelated, except by happenstance. The Master Below finds the Endless Paths' reservoir of soul energy useful, but has no connection to the downfall of Od Nua, having only come upon the dungeon thousands of years later.
The Master Below
The mysterious entity directing the monster attacks from the depths of the Endless Paths of Caed Nua.
- Arc Villain: Most of the Endless Paths is spent trying to reach the Master Below. She turns out to be the driving force behind the monster attacks rising up from the depths of the Bonus Dungeon, but she and the monsters who serve her ultimately turn out to largely unrelated to the dungeon which they've moved into in the long ages since its builders died off.
- 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 even 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.
- 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.
- Giant Space Flea from Nowhere: She's a huge dragon plated in exotic-looking crystalline spikes of adra, who serves to cap off the Endless Paths with an impressive physical confrontation after the dungeon's emotional arc has been dispensed with.
- Grand Theft Me: If you don't kill her, you can help her successfully steal the body of a dragon hunter named Falanroed so she can finally leave the Endless Paths.
- Karma Houdini: Despite her constant attacks on Caed Nua and feeding on a steady diet of souls, you can help her possess a person who's done you no wrong and let her travel the world facing zero repercussions for her actions.
- 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.
- Samus Is a Girl: The Master Below is a female adra dragon.
- "Shaggy Dog" Story: Par for the course in this game. Od Nua never managed to revive his son, meaning his subjects all died for nothing, and he's not actually the Master Below but has instead been lingering on the spot of his tragic fall from grace for thousands of years — and then, for bonus anticlimax points, you can let the Master Below go on her merry way without even fighting her. Mission complete, Bonus Dungeon over.
- She Is the King: She's the Master Below.
- 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 on the very lowest one.
- Talking the Monster to Death: You don't have to fight the Master Below if you're willing to help her commandeer the body of the dragon hunter Falanroed. Falanroed will still put up a fight herself, but not quite on the same level as the adra dragon.
- 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.
Duc Aevar Wolf-Grin
The 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.
- Minor Major Character: He's the ruler of Defiance Bay and he's in charge of the hearings regarding animancy in the region. Despite his importance to the setting and how often he's mentioned, he only gets one scene before being assassinated by Thaos.
- 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, where he spends all of Act II listening to testimony behind closed doors 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.
The Crucible Knights
A 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.
- Holier Than Thou: Of the three factions they have this attitude most, due to their knightly reputation and code of honor.
- 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.
- Noble Bigot with a Badge: Racial prejudice against orlans runs deep enough in the force that they'll kick people out for being one in a past life, although this doesn't apply to an orlan Watcher.
- Rags to Riches: A movement in the faction is pushing for the common-born Knights to be recognized as gentry in the Dyrwood.
A 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.
A 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 prevalence 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 dwarven animancer from the Vailian Republics who came to look for a cure for the Hollowborn, but now numbers among the dead in Gilded Vale.
- Burn the Witch!: Hang the animancer, but what with Raedric rounding up all animancers, ciphers, so-called Watchers, and secret worshippers of Eothas, the overall effect is similar.
- Cool Old Lady: A grandmotherly old woman who retains her roguish good cheer even knowing full well she's dead, injecting a little dark levity into the grim burg of Gilded Vale.
- Expy: Hard not to see a little Ravel in there.
- Fake Faith Healer: Overlapping with Snake Oil Salesman, but subverted on both counts. Raedric eventually hanged her believing she was a fraud, but she was a real animancer who genuinely wanted to help. What Raedric wanted was a miracle cure, however, and eventually Caldara had to start making up false diagnoses for Lady Raedric, claiming she needed more time to work, or they'd probably both have been killed. Which they both eventually were.
- Gallows Humor: Quite literally. Cracks jokes while still hanging from a tree in your vision.
- Interrogating the Dead: The Watcher's entire conversation with her happens entirely through the Watcher's ability to see and occasionally communicate with the souls of the dead.
- The Mentor: The shortest time to Mentor Occupational Hazard possible, given that she's already days dead before the Watcher arrives in Gilded Vale. However briefly, she serves as something of a tutorial character, since nothing that follows would make much sense without a cursory understanding of how souls work in Eora.
- Morton's Fork: The situation she found herself in while employed by Lord Raedric. While a true animancer who genuinely wanted to help, after spending weeks examining his pregnant wife top to bottom she realized what he wanted was a miracle cure and she could not provide one. She could have either told him upfront she didn't know what was wrong and gotten hanged for wasting his time, or invent false diagnoses and claim she needed more time to work to buy her and the wife more time, until he lost patience and hung her anyway. And then killed his wife for giving birth to a hollowborn baby anyway.
- Ms. Exposition: Serves up a big chunk of this, and turns something that could be either dry or grim into a bit of a One-Scene Wonder, explaining the nature of souls in Eora, the Hollowborn Crisis, and the way animancers are viewed in the Dyrwood, i.e. not well. She also explains what a Watcher is, and illustrates quite handily what your powers can be used for, before pointing you at Maerwald, the next point in the critical path, and a Watcher himself. Unfortunately Maerwald isn't in any fit state to help explain what Watchers can do, so it's lucky Caldara happened to be in the neighborhood.
- Our Dwarves Are Different: She's a rather jolly animancer from the Vailian Republics. Her being a dwarf is mostly incidental, since she averts most of the usual stereotypes.
- Posthumous Character: She's dead before the game even begins, hanged by Lord Raedric for failing to "cure" his wife of Waidwen's Legacy.
- Public Execution: One of eighteen bodies hanged from the leafless tree (not a metaphor) in the middle of Gilded Vale.
- Reluctant Mad Scientist: Of a sort: she discovered that there was nothing wrong with Raedric's wife that would cause her to produce a Hollowborn child, but lied to him about it, presumably to buy time for them both. It ultimately doesn't work, since Berranza is hanged and Ygrid and her Hollowborn son both end up being murdered upon your arrival at Raedric Hold.
- We Hardly Knew Ye: Already dead before you finish character creation."Goodbye, my dear. It was lovely visiting."
- Wicked Witch: Has the appearance of one, with her hairy warts and yellow teeth, not too mention the lovingly described bloated purple flesh of her corpse — but it seems as if she genuinely came to the Dyrwood to help find a cure for the Legacy, even if she ultimately failed.
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.
- Arc Villain: He's the major antagonist for the Gilded Vale portion of the game.
- Ambiguous Situation: What exactly caused his resurrection as a Death Guard. Raedric himself believes that it was his devotion to Berath that triggered it. This seems unlikely however, as Berath generally despises the undead, as they subvert the cycle of life and death.
- Authority Equals Asskicking: He's very strong and he's the Thayn of Gilded Vale.
- Black Knight: He takes on this look after resurrecting as a Death Guard, an undead knight, and Berath's champion.
- 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.
- Cain and Abel: Raedric, dedicated to his principles to the point of fanaticism and scapegoating Eothas and his worshipers only for it to turn out that he actually had almost the right idea, but the wrong god; and his cousin Kolsc, a political realist who openly admits to being in it for his own ambitions. Turns out not to matter very much in the end, since even if you kill Raedric and put Kolsc on the throne, Raedric returns from the dead and kills everyone in Raedric's Hold.
- Came Back Wrong: Any humanity he had to begin with was stripped away after his resurrection. If not dealt with, he ends up razing Gilded Vale and massacring everyone within.
- The Champion: For Berath, who goes so far as to supposedly resurrect him despite the god's hatred of the undead.
- Double Standard: Blames and punishes mothers for the "crime" of giving birth to hollowborn children, but not the fathers. Hence why he kills his own bride for giving him a hollowborn son.
- Even Evil Has Loved Ones: Raedric loves his wife. But it's not enough to stop him from killing her once he finds out she worships Eothas after she gave birth to a Hollowborn. When the Watcher encounters him afterwards, Raedric is visibly shaken by what he's done.
- 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.
- For Great Justice: A twisted, Knight Templar take on this. He speaks constantly of justice and duty, and even wields a greatsword sword named Justice. He also believes Waidwen's Legacy is Berath's justice against the followers of Eothas.
- 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".
- HeelFace 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.
- I Did What I Had to Do: His stance on his incredibly harsh measures to end the Hollowborn Legacy and his murder of his own bride. Whether the Watcher agrees with him or not is up for the player to decide.
- Infant Immortality: Averted, since he doesn't see the Hollowborn as truly alive. That goes for his own Hollowborn newborn son when you assault Raedric Hold.
- 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.
- Karma Houdini: Despite his horrible acts, you can leave him in charge of Gilded Vale and even murder his cousin, Kolsc, who happened to be the biggest threat to his rule. Once Waiden's Legacy ends, he's even revered as a hero by his people. Should the Watcher kill him once then not slay him after his resurrection, Raedric will end up slaughtering everyone in Gilded Vale then return to his fortress to keep eternal watch over his barren domain.
- Kill the Ones You Love: Even though he loved his wife, he still killed her for giving birth to Hollowborn child and being a secret worshipper of Eothas.
- 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.
- Maternal Death? Blame the Child!: Inverted. Hollowborn child? Blame the mother!
- No Woman's Land: What Dyrwood essentially becomes under his rule. Since Raedric blames mothers for the birth of hollowborn children, any woman found to have a hollow birth is executed or exiled (which is as good as a death sentence given the number of bandits, monsters, and wichts on the road...). Naturally, this leaves most prospective mothers so racked with stress they turn to desperate measures to avoid this fate, the already dwindling population is on the verge of collapse (hence the call for settlers), and panic-induced crimes are all but common.
- 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 cost.
- Reality Ensues: He's a paranoid tyrant who blames mothers and Eothas worshipers for the Hollowborn epidemic, hires countless ciphers and animancers to try to find a cure, and hangs them just as quickly for not finding a solution fast enough. But at least he genuinely loves his pregnant wife, right? Yeah, he still kills her when she fails him (by giving birth to a hollowborn child), like countless fanatic tyrants and domestic abusers to their wives throughout history.
- "Shaggy Dog" Story: Once again.
- Waidwen's Legacy is the result of a plot by the Leaden Key, relying on the use of the ancient Engwithan machines that dot the Dyrwood. Raedric's efforts to "cure" the Legacy by purging worshippers of Eothas end up being completely pointless. Regardless of your decisions, however, he never realizes this. If you side with him, neither do his (surviving) subjects, who end up believing that he was right all along.
- If, on the other hand, you kill Raedric and allow his cousin Kolsc to take over, Raedric comes Back from the Dead as a deathguard in the service (or so he believes) of Berath, killing everyone in the keep, including Kolsc. If you don't kill him a second time, he becomes a worse scourge on Gilded Vale than he ever was in life; if you kill him, the town becomes a rough-and-tumble haven of lawlessness, in keeping with the game's tendency to shrug aside easy happy endings.
- Starter Villain: He's the first notable antagonist the Watcher can potentially deal with in the game.
- Villain Respect: If you manage to reach him without killing or alerting anyone in his castle, he'll be genuinely impressed.
- 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 more lenient ruler.
The White March
The mayor of Stalwart. Word of the retaking of Caed Nua having reached as far north as the White March, she sends a missive to the keep, asking for the Watcher's aid.
- Cincinnatus: She steps down pretty much as soon as she can after Durgan's Battery is reopened, as trade starts flowing back to the town.
- Dying Town: Her hometown of Stalwart is a shadow of what it once was, and Durgan's Battery is quite literally haunted. Renengild is old enough to remember better days, however, and is seeking to reopen the way to the Battery and its storied riches in order to keep the place alive.Uldric: Mother's convinced that a magic forge will turn this frozen crack into a hub of civilization. She can't accept this place is dying.
- Home Sweet Home: Her career as a builder took her all over Eir Glanfath, but somehow she always returned home to Stalwart.
- My Beloved Smother: Uldric contradicts his mother at very turn, but she can still shut him up with a single look. Not all of his ideas are actually bad, though, even if he does want to pull up stakes and leave Stalwart to its fate.
- Reasonable Authority Figure: The reasonableness came before the authority, the latter of which she never sought in the first place. The reason she took the job was because she saw the town was in trouble, and there was no one better to take the seat. The only reason she's still in charge at the point when the Watcher arrives on the scene is to finish what she started, and see the town saved if she can.
- Reluctant Ruler: She never intended to become the mayor of Stalwart, but pretty much inherited the position because no one else wanted it after the town nearly lynched the old mayor, Cyneheod. Renengild was the one who stepped in to stop them. By the time of Part II, she has retired from the position, having handed the reigns over to Tarfos, the former foreman of the local mine. The town turns out to be completely right about no one else being a sufficient replacement for Renengild, but by that point there isn't anything Tarfos can do to screw things up too badly.
- Shaming the Mob: Doing this was how she took over the old mayor's job. Said old mayor was on the verge of being lynched, after having allowed the animancer Galvino to go through with the experiment that gave life to the construct (and potential party member) the Devil of Caroc. Renengild brought the people back to their senses, and made them think she'd make a pretty good mayor, much to her chagrin.
- Ye Goode Olde Days:Renengild: There was a time when kings and queens sent their firstborn to these mountains. When the White March was the envy of empires.
An eccentric Vailian animancer, and the creator of the Devil of Caroc.
- Expy: Of Victor Frankenstein by way of Geppetto.
- For Science!: Like most animancers, he believes the potential benefits of his research outweigh the often horrific missteps along the way.
- Foreign Cuss Word: He sure calls the citizens of Stalwart "postenagos" a lot.
- Gadgeteer Genius: A brilliant engineer, the Devil of Caroc's elaborate chassis is all his work, not to mention having actually succeed in transfering of a still-living soul into an artificial, animate body, with none of the loss of memory or sanity that usually followed such attempts, a feat which no other modern animancer has managed... including Galvino himself, after decades of his previous research were destroyed by the angry mob that chased him out of Stalwart.
- Good Hair, Evil Hair: Superficially looks like the part of a stereotypical Mad Scientist, but in spite of his workshop-rumpled appearance and living alone underground in the remote wilderness of the frozen north, he still finds the time to trim his beard and wax his mustache. He turns out to be quite friendly to the player, but his lab is full of flesh golems run amok, and his creation ends is the party's Token Evil Teammate, so the ambiguity is fitting.
- Gratuitous Foreign Language: Like Pallegina, he peppers his speech with his native Vailian, particularly for expletives.
- The Hermit: Not entirely by choice, but his only company for over ten years has been the Devil of Caroc, who was a convicted murderer even before he turned her into a mechanical abomination. He can't help taking pride in his work, but they're not exactly on friendly terms.
- High-Class Glass: Wears a monocle and is a cultured Vailian scholar.
- Mad Scientist: Although he seems relatively even-tempered for someone who's spent decades trying to transfer the consciousness of living convicts and madmen into artificial bodies.
- No Plans, No Prototype, No Backup: All his original research was destroyed when he was forced to flee a lynch mob in Stalwart.
- They Called Me Mad!: Like most animancers, there's probably a reason why he crossed the sea and sought out a relatively remote area for his work. Subverted somewhat in that he had a cushy, prestigious position lined up if he ever managed to succeed in his life's work, although even then, his fellow animancers didn't really believe he was as close to unlocking the secret of a successful soul transfer as he was, and he sought out a secluded location to work on the cheap. This backfired heavily, when the people of Stalwart took exception to his creation of the Devil of Caroc and ran him out of town, destroying his lab and setting his work back decades.
- Torches and Pitchforks: Run out of Stalwart by a lynch mob after they discovered he was using animancy to transfer a living soul into a mechanical construct.
Centuries ago, Durgan steel was once renowned throughout the world, before a series of setbacks and wars with a neighboring ogre tribe drove the last remaining dwarves out of the region. Their greatest stronghold, Durgan's battery, has remained sealed and empty for over a hundred years.
- Abandoned Mine: They're all long dead, and the mine is a haunted ruin.
- Apocalyptic Log: The ghostly miners (and soldiers and clerks) give a rendition of this, speaking of their final days with the Watcher, or acting out the last moments of their lives without being aware of your presence. They were overrun in a matter of days by the Eyeless, who in turn had come to safeguard the secret of the White Forge by killing every living soul in Durgan's Battery.
- Disk-One Final Boss: For the White March expansion as a whole. Your main goal in Part 1 is to liberate Durgan's Battery from the trapped souls of the Pargrun dwarves who died there. Your part in re-opening Durgan's Battery re-awakens the Eyeless, effectively kick-starting the events of Part 2.
- Dug Too Deep: Their mining operation in the Battery ultimately got them all killed. Rather than releasing a demon from within the mine itself, however, their discovery of the tunnels' greatest treasure, the White Forge, awakened the Eyeless, who attacked the mine from the outside. Which is why the mine is sealed, and all the damage to their defenses actually points inward.
- Our Dwarves Are All the Same: Parodied. While the whole Durgan's Battery interlude is a clear Shout-Out to the Mines of Moria, Eora's Pargrun dwarves are surfacers, known for their wanderlust. It's specifically called out as unusual for them to have settled down in an underground mine.
- The Siege: One which did not go well for the dwarves of the Battery. You can find their bodies still lying where they fell when they made their doomed Last Stand.
- Ultimate Blacksmith: Their steel was the finest the world has ever seen, and even using the exact same techniques, March steel, while still very fine, simply cannot compare. It certainly helps that they had access to Abydon's own tools, in the form of the divinely crafted foundry of the White Forge, its smelting vat flowing with both steel and adra.
The orlan construction overseer of the reopened Durgan's Battery. First appears in The White March, Part II.
- The Cameo: Just a letter, but if you bound the souls in Durgan's Battery to the fortress's cannons, she sends one of them to you in the sequel. Specifically, the one she named after a certain body part belonging to a certain innkeeper — Haeferic's Nose. Not a bad gift at all: it's got power, long range, and a short reload time.
- Explain, Explain... Oh, Crap!: When she learns you have to go to Cayron's Scar to stop the Eyeless, she protests that no one who goes there comes back before dawns upon her why.That lake's notorious! Folk never come back from that - oh.
- Genki Girl: Perky and excitable, especially about the huge, ancient cannons on top of Durgan's Battery.
- I Call It "Vera": She gives all ten of the cannons on top of the West Tower names, although she later forgot three.
- More Dakka: She gives you the quest to restore the Battery's cannons, and commands them once you clear the monsters out of the tower.
- Plucky Comic Relief: In the otherwise fairly grim Part II of the expansion.
- Pyromaniac: She has a thing for fire and explosions.
- Rugged Scar: Like Hiravias, she's missing an ear. Hers was blown off in an explosion.
- Wrench Wench: She's a cheerful builder and engineer.
- You Gotta Have Blue Hair: Has green fur. This isn't actually that uncommon among orlans, as seen with Serafen in the second game.
Grotesque giants said to serve Ondra, stalking the dark places of the world, removing those things and kith the goddess would see "forgotten."
Substantial unmarked spoilers for The White March, Part II ahead.
- Arc Villain: Ultimately revealed to be this for The White March, at the end of Part I.
- Bogeyman: Used as this by Eoran parents with children who won't do their chores, but the Eyeless turn out to be all too real.
- Death of Personality: One of Ondra's favored punishments, which she tends to argue is a blessing in its own right. The Eyeless turn out to have souls and minds of their own, despite her attempts to use wield as a blunt instrument in the wake of their original creator's passing.
- Elite Mooks: Despite being the main threat in The White March, they're mostly unthinking constructs who act as Ondra's strong arm on the rare occasions she needs one. They were originally the servants of Abydon, and Ondra's control over them is uncertain at best.
- Golem: Appear to be a crude version of this, as giant, rough-hewn humanoid figures, with limbs shaped into crude tools or weapons. They're actually extremely powerful, sophisticated constructs created to do the bidding of Abydon before the death of his corporeal form.
- Leave No Witnesses: Their MO is to kill every living soul who remembers the thing Ondra wants forgotten... even should the goddess herself change her mind.
- Multiple Endings: Only to be expected, since The White March gets its own additions to the ending reel. If you leave Part II undone, they spread out across Readceras and the Dyrwood, killing everyone who's ever heard of the White Forge. Which, thanks to your actions in Part I, can end up being most of the population of both countries.
- Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!: No way you could have known at the time, but reopening Durgan's Battery ends up calling the Eyeless down on the whole of the Dyrwood and beyond.
- The Reveal: The existence of the Eyeless themselves is a major one for The White March, Part I. After that, the situation becomes considerably more complicated. It then turns out that they're servants of Abydon, whose earthly avatar was killed, like Eothas and Woedica before him, by another god's plot — in this case, all the gods uniting to destroy ancient Engwith and all the secrets the gods had once shared with them. Ondra herself led the charge, and the myths about her being in love with the moon are a romantic but inaccurate retelling of her feud with Abydon — who was her her lover, and the only god who stood against the others to attempt to protect the Engwithans. He made his last stand above the White Forge, his greatest gift to mortals, where he manifested his a truly colossal avatar and took the bullet for the White Forge when Ondra dropped Eora's long-lost third moon on him, sinking the whole Eastern Reach and killing Abydon's corporeal body. The Eyeless are now a painful reminder of the whole messy affair for Ondra. In the finale, you're faced with a choice: allowing the Eyeless to reforge the original Abydon, with all his memories intact, preventing them altogether, or, having made certain choices beforehand, counseling them to remake a "tempered" version of Abydon, with only a portion of his old memories and personality restored, to keep the same conflict from playing out all over again. This reveal, like most others in the game, is also affected by what you learn from Iovara during the endgame.
- "Sorcerer's Apprentice" Plot: Once set upon a task, they cannot be called off. This is because they were originally the servants of Abydon, not Ondra. Ondra gave them the order to kill anyone who discovered the existence of the White Forge, only to discover that she could not actually override their previous orders to protect the White Forge. This ultimately spirals out of control when the villagers of Stalwart reopen the Forge, and announce the trade of Durgan Steel from its foundry. If the Watcher can't stop them, the Eyeless spread out from the White March, across the Dyrwood and Readceras and possibly beyond, killing everyone they find to ensure the White Forge is forgotten again. The quest to stop them is actually given to you by Ondra herself.
- Sealed Army in a Can: There are actually thousands of them, sleeping underground at Cayron's Scar.
- Sealed Evil in a Can: When not called to serve, they remain dormant underground at the site of the impact crater from the largest piece of Eora's long-lost third moon. Ondra actually gave them their marching orders years ago, without understanding that they would go on following that order forever — they would erase the knowledge she desired, but ironically, the goddess of forgetfulness could not make her own servants forget. Given that they were originally created by Abydon, the god of preservation, this conflict is decidedly fitting. In Part II, it's further revealed that Abydon's pre-golem self is this, at least in the view of the other gods, since he was the only god who stood against the others when they brought about the ruin of ancient Engwith. He did so, however, to preserve the arcane technologies he and the other gods had worked with the Engwithans to create.
- These Are Things Man Was Not Meant to Know: When Ondra sends forth the Eyeless, it's to keep forbidden knowledge out of the hands of kith. It's the awareness of such knowledge, along with the mad cultists, meteor craters, and eerie appearance of the Eyeless themselves that gives The White March, Part II its Lovecraftian edge before it's revealed that the Eyeless are creations of Abydon, and it was the gods who destroyed the Engwithans, to wipe out knowledge that the gods themselves had shared with Engwith, believing that The World Is Not Ready.
- Vagueness Is Coming: The Watcher and Adaryc both receive ominous visions of a coming threat, drawing them both to the White March. This threat turns out to be the Eyeless, the visions seemingly sent by the dormant souls of the Eyeless themselves.
- Walking Spoiler: Their mere presence is a major spoiler, as it dramatically changes the tone of the expansion from a fairly straight Icewind Dale homage to something considerably more eldritch. The Eyeless themselves end up being relatively secondary as well, as it turns out that their continuing existence is a painful reminder to Ondra of the distant past when the gods were forced to kill Abydon when he stood in the way of their destruction of the Engwithans, restoring him in golem form with much of his old self wiped away. It's this ancient conflict between the two gods which ends up forming the heart of Part II, with the Eyeless are mostly just a convenient target for you to punch.
Farmer Become a God, Divine King of Readceras, and instigator of the Saint's War, Waidwen marched on the Dyrwood at the head of a Readceran army, claiming to be the earthly avatar of Eothas, the god of light and forgiveness.
- Abusive Parents: His devoutly religious father used to beat him for the slightest hint of blasphemy.
- Cessation of Existence: His ultimate fate in The Beast of Winter DLC if you do not take his soul with you. Either his soul disolves immediately, or he helps you in your battle with the lich dragon, but as his soul remains in Rhymrgand's realm, this is the only fate that eventually awaits him.
- Decapitated Army: The Readceran army disintegrated when their god and king was blown to pieces.
- Divine Right of Kings: An odd case where the god himself was the king. The former Aedyran colony of Readceras ousted their governor and declared themselves the Divine Kingdom of Readceras under Waidwen, and then the Penitential Regency of Readceras after his death — a regency not for any son or future king, but rather one waiting for Eothas himself to return.
- Dying Dream: His memory of his dying moments is preserved in Rymrgand's realm, seemingly as a kind of Ephiphanic Prison for the Saint, perpetually frozen in the moment when his material body was ripped to shreds. You visit the moment, Frozen in Time (and the moments shortly before and after it) during the main quest of The Beast of Winter.
- Farm Boy: He grew up on a farm that grew vorlas, Readceras' main export, a plant grown for its purple dye, and came into his power during the vorlas blight that sent thousands of Readcerans fleeing the country.
- Fire-Forged Friends: His ultimate relationship with Eothas. He never had much faith in Eothas in his rough childhood, compounded by his father who was overly faithful and abusive towards Waidwen for not sharing his faith. As an adult, he clearly does not feel very kindly towards Eothas, and when Eothas appears to Waidwen, Waidwen can state he still hasn't forgiven Eothas even if he plans to work with him. But by the dawn of Waidwen's final day, he refers to Eothas as an old friend, and Eothas is clearly proud of what Waidwen has come to understand about the gods, and is very sad that Waidwen won't live to see another sunrise.
- Fusion Dance: Divine King Waidwen was said to be a partnership between the farmer's son and the god of light.
- Holy Halo: One of his most distinctive qualities: his head was engulfed in a column of golden light which rose up to the heavens and was visible from miles away.
- Kindhearted Cat Lover: One of the ways to convince Waidwen to join you is to bring a pet along. He'll immediately volunteer to fight alongside you since he doesn't want anything bad to happen to your little friend. Eder approves.
- Light 'em Up: While merged with Eothas, Waidwen could strike down his foes with blazing light.
- Messianic Archetype: A humble farmer whose god came to him one day and told him they were going to change the world together.
- Naytheist: In his youth he questioned Eothas' existence and how much he really helped kith, which led to his pious father abusing him. As an adult, he continued to question Eothas. Considering Eothas' ultimate goal of revealing the gods' true nature to kith, this was likely why Eothas chose Waidwen to be his vessel.
- Playing with Fire: If you convince him to aid you in the battle against the dragon, he'll invoke the flames of the Godhammer itself to blast her.
- Posthumous Character: The Saint's War was fifteen years ago in the first game, and twenty in the second.
- Shrouded in Myth: Was he really chosen by Eothas? Or was that just part of the man's mystique?
- So Proud of You: In the end, Eothas was proud of Waidwen for coming close to understanding what Eothas wanted all kith to know: that they did not need the gods. Eothas would have told Waidwen he was proud of him, but he understood that Waidwen had outgrown the need for a father figure's approval to know right from wrong.
- Take It to the Bridge: Met his fateful end when he and the Readceran army were blown to kingdom come by the Godhammer bomb at Evon Dewr Bridge in the Dyrwood.
The commander of the Readceran army known as the Iron Flail, and a Watcher himself.
- Berserk Button: Insult Eothas or call him mad — it doesn't take much from someone fighting on the side of the hated Dyrwoodans. Or you could start talking about omens and monsters out of legend in front of him and his army of superstitious Readcerans which is what the Ondrite mole in Stalwart's original party of representatives did, in order to deliberately botch the negotiations.
- The Cameo: If he's still alive, he reappears in Neketaka's Temple of Gaun in the second game. He can even have a conversation with Wyrtan from Gilded Vale's Temple of Eothas if you sent him on his way.Adaryc: So it is you. I could not think of a reason why your ghost should haunt the Deadfire, save to haunt me, and that smacks of arrogance.
- Cool Sword: Adaryc wields a Soulbound sword, Steadfast. You can take it from his corpse. Alternatively, if you befriend him he will give you the sword (severing his own soul bond to it) as a token of friendship. If you meet him again in the Temple of Gaun in the sequel, you can apologize for losing Steadfast in the wake of Caed Nua's destruction. Adaryc waves it off as no big deal.
- Disk-One Final Boss: For Part 2 of the White March expansion. His arrival in White March is the first major crisis that you have to deal with when you return to the area. Once you've dealt with him (one way or another), your attention shifts to the expansion's true antagonists, the Eyeless.
- Dreaming of Things to Come: He was drawn to the White March by the same dreams of coming disaster as the Watcher.
- A Father to His Men: He is deeply dedicated to the well-being of his soldiers and they in turn hold him in high regard for it. This also means that should the player manage to rank up too high a body count on their way through his camp, rather than trying a more stealthy approach, he will be less inclined to be susceptible to or even outright reject peaceful negotiation during the confrontation with him.
- The Fundamentalist: As a Readceran, he's a devout, even fanatical worshipper of Eothas.
- Gondor Calls for Aid: Potentially in two instances. Should the Watcher be manage to resolve the "The Iron Flail" quest peacefully, he becomes an ally of the Watcher, offering artillery support during the Watcher's approach to the Lair of the Eyeless, and lending out a detachment of some of his best archers to help out the Watcher's side in the Battle of Yenwood Field.
- I Just Want to Be Normal: He rather dislikes his Watcher powers, considering them more of a curse than a blessing.
- Mad Oracle: He has the same powers as you do, having received the same vision of an invading army, and he's... decidedly intense. Just don't say as much to his face.
- Reasonable Authority Figure: Like the Watcher, he only wishes to stop the army he saw in his vision from wrecking destruction on Readceras. Once he realizes that you and him are working towards a similar goal and are both Watchers, he can be convinced with logical arguments that the Dyrwood cannot possibly be the people behind the army in his vision, making him willing to cease the hostilities with Stalwart and work with you.
- The Stoic: He apparently smiles so rarely that when one of his soldiers see him smile at the Watcher during his cameo in Deadfire they're slightly taken aback by it.
- There Is Another: It turns out that he's also a Watcher.
- Young and in Charge: He is noted for being quite young for an army commander.
The Deadfire Archipelago
Queen Onekaza II
The Queen of the united Huana, ruling from the palace in Serpent's Crown, at the very peak of Neketaka.
- Authority Equals Asskicking: A shrewd diplomat and potentially one of the harder fights in the game. Her pet tigers have a lot to do with it.
- Cool Crown: A shiny feathered headdress.
- Cool Pet: She has two white tigers as pets on her rooftop throne, as a display of authority and fearlessness. Their names are Kohopa and Tangaloa, after the two eels of life and death, the aspects of Berath worshipped by the Huana.
- Deadpan Snarker: She's generally very proper, but she gets in a few good lines every now and again. She's snarkier when using her telepathy, as well.Queen Onekaza II: Set sail to the west of Neketaka. I would tell you to keep a weather eye out for a lighthouse, but the god of light did not appreciate the competition.
- The High Queen: Beautiful, regal, poised, intelligent and wise, caring more for her people than her own power. The plight of the Roparu, however, sheds light on the inherent problems in treating one's people as a monolith while preserving the inherent inequalities of any Caste System — to say nothing of adding a single monarch at the top, thus sidestepping the communal, tribal culture that kept the system of caste and prize-share functional.
- Hypocrite: If the Watcher supports the VTC, blows up the RDC's powderhouse, and lies about the Vailians' involvement, she will let you know in no uncertain terms how upset she is about this. If you ally with the Huana instead, she will ask you to blow up the powderhouse and lie about it, except she pins the explosion on the Vailians instead.
- Manipulative Bastard: Not as manipulative or ruthless as Atsura, but more convincing. She's willing to use whatever (and whoever) she deems necessary to ensure the safety and prosperity of her people. The final mission on the Huana questline has you blowing up the Royal Deadfire Company's powderhouse and implicating the Vailian Trading Company, setting both companies at each other's throats.
- Not So Stoic: If you fail her, and especially if you set Scyriorelaphas free without siphoning off a portion of his power for the Watershapers' Guild to draw upon, she makes her displeasure known, in no uncertain terms. She also accidentally lets slip a plea to Ngati that she almost certainly didn't mean for the Watcher to pick up.
- Panthera Awesome: Kohopa and Tangaloa, two white tigers the queen keeps as pets, named after the twin eels of Rikuhu — Berath, god of death, in other words.
- Post-Final Boss: Possibly. The leader of whichever faction you do battle with at Ofecchia Channel will survive for one last desperate attack on the Watcher on your way back from Ondra's Spire.
- Psychic Powers: She's the latest in a line of "Cipher Rangas" to lead the Kahanga Tribe, and by extension, most of the Huana.
- Reasonable Authority Figure: Torn between two rival nations — one of which would love to conquer them through force of arms, the other which is slowly overrunning Huana culture with their own — all while trying to maintain peace and leave a legacy of prosperity and unity for her people. She gives you her ear at court and acts on the Watcher's advice, provided you have the right skills and choose your actions and dialogue wisely.
- Telepathy: She often communicates with the Watcher telepathically while holding court, saying one thing aloud while silently contradicting or altering its meaning.Queen Onekaza II: [psychically] Allow me to apologize as I toss you before the wolves.
- The Woman Wearing the Queenly Mask: She's all about projecting a very particular image of strength and regal majesty to her people and the world at large. She can give you a glimpse behind it using her telepathy, if you gain her favor.
Queen Onekaza's brother and captain of the guard.
- Authority Equals Asskicking: Played with. Aruihi looks like a massive, deadly warrior, but he's actually as skilled a politician as his sister. He just relies on a very different, complementary public image to the one she does. In truth, most of the weapons in his chamber are just for show, impressive but dull.
- The Big Guy: One of his greatest assets is his physical size, which he uses to dominate rooms full of foreign dignitaries. Subverted, however, in that he rarely fights himself, instead using his intimidating appearance and deep voice to cow others — as well as to enhance his sister's authority, since if she can be seen ordering him around, it makes her authority look that much greater.
- The Comically Serious: Deliberately cultivates this personality. He sounds harsh and self-serious by his tone, but makes a great many witty remarks, many of them self-deprecating, and can't help but grin when the court is thrown into chaos by the Watcher's arrival.
- Cool Crown: The same feathered crown as his sister.
- The Creon: He has no interest in power or the crushing responsibility his sister wields. This seems to be common among the Huana — few people seem to relish the power of being chieftain, including the chieftains themselves.
- Deadpan Snarker: One of the advantages of only being the royal brother rather than the king himself is being able to speak his mind much more freely.
- Evil Sounds Deep: Subverted — he has a deep, sibilant voice that makes him sound Obviously Evil, but he's actually The Good Prince.
- The Good Prince: Even though he doesn't sound much like one at first. As you continue to work for him, however, he turns out to be a loyal brother to his sister the queen, as well as a noble who genuinely cares about his people.
- Internal Reformist: While he believes in his family's divine right to rule and mandate to maintain Huana traditions, he's also willing to pursue progressive reforms, believing that the gods will look favourably upon creative and unorthodox solutions to Neketaka's problems.
- Obfuscating Stupidity: He plays the brute at court, but he's actually quite a keen observer. Part of him simply enjoys watching the disruption his oafishness causes, since the others at court are so eager to please his sister.
- Post-Final Boss: If the Watcher kills Queen Onekaza but still fights the Huana for Ukaizo, then Aruihi will confront the Watcher in his sister's place.
- Reasonable Authority Figure: Very much so. He can be persuaded to bend the law to allow the Dawnstars to feed the Roparu of the Gullet as he is aware of the inadequacies of the Huana's traditions when applied on the scale of Neketaka. Then, despite setting you the task of bringing down the city's black market, he can be convinced to turn a blind eye for similar reasons, since it gives the Roparu a freedom they might not otherwise have.
The Vailian Trading Company
Director Ignato Castol
The visionary director of the Vailian Trading Company's operations in the Deadfire.
- Extreme Doormat: Somewhat, at least compared to his competition in Deadfire. He has great ideas and was hired for his business acumen, but he doesn't have the killer instinct of the trained soldiers, lifelong royals, sundry pirates, and corporate ladder-climbers in his direct employ. This means he spends a lot of his time in Neketaka being pushed around and threatened.
- For Science!: He believes unlocking the secrets of adra will extend lives, end disease, power machines and factories, and revolutionize travel. He's provably right about that last one.
- Honest Corporate Executive: For the most part. He believes wholeheartedly in the potential of animancy to benefit the world as a whole, not just Vailia but all nations. It's just a matter of getting the Sengretta mea Compresa (Congress of the Company) to see it his way. Unfortunately, in his desperation to show an immediate profit, he reaches out to Captain Furrante of the Principi... which in turn means a closed-doors agreement with the slavers of Crookspur. All for the greater good, of course, but...
- Notably, if you deal with the Deadfire Company for the Huana without implicating the Vailians, the Sengretta mea Compresa will 'punish' Castol by making him head of a much-reduced animancy division after pulling their other assets out of the Archipelago. Castol will find this a great step-up from his previous position.
- Non-Action Guy: Unlike all the other faction leaders, Castol is no warrior.
- Pet the Dog: If you end the Huana questline with him still alive he'll intercede to prevent Pallegrina from being exiled (provided she's still a brother of the Five Suns) by having her assigned as his bodyguard.
- Rousing Speech: He gives a heartfelt speech about how he believes animancy can change the world when you first meet him. It's enough to make Pallegina cheer out loud.
Governor Lueva Alvari
The governor of the Vailian Trading Company's operations in Neketaka, reporting directly to Director Castol.
- Only in It for the Money: She's in it for her career, but she views the Company's success purely in these terms. As does most of the Sengretta mea Compresa, to be fair, and it does mean that when she says that the Company will leave Deadfire to the Huana once they're gotten what they came for in terms of the region's luminous adra deposits, she's as good as her word.
- The Resenter: To Castol. You can see this, just for a moment, when he asks her to pay the Watcher, as if she's just some functionary. It's a little thing, but she's clearly enjoying her revenge later on.
- Slavery Is a Special Kind of Evil: Calls slavers "monsters" during a meeting. This offends a shareholder, which gives you some idea of the kind of people who make up the Compresa.
- Up Through the Ranks: Rumor has it she started out as a deckhand. She's gunning for Castol's job, and the second-to-last mission for the VTC has her call a hearing regarding his fitness as director. It's up to the Watcher (and Pallegina) to decide who gets the director's chair... and which one of them gets exiled to the Living Lands.
Nirro, Canta Nicese
Count of Nicese, son of the Ducess of Spirento, and the politically appointed head of the Vailian Trading Company for the whole of the Deadfire.
- Ambadassador: His main role in Deadfire seems to be smoothing things over with the Queen, leaving day-to-day operations to... well, Governor Alvari, after Castol passes the buck. And he's none too shabby as a duelist, like most Vailian nobles, appearing as a possible Post-Final Boss if you go up against the VTC.
- Chekhov's Gunman: After his initial appearance in Onekaza's court, after having placed Pallegina at the Watcher's disposal, he mostly disappears from the game until either Castol's hearing or your final confrontation with the VTC in Ukaizo.
- Minor Major Character: Castol and Alvari both report to him, as does Pallegina, if she wasn't banished and disgraced. It's entirely possible you won't meet him more than once in many playthroughs, since he delegates most of the Company's operations to Castol and Alvari.
- Post-Final Boss: Potentially. It's not like it was going to be Castol, after all.
The head animancer of the Vailian Trading Company's research in Neketaka's Spire of Soul-Seers.
- Absent-Minded Professor: She's a little detached, and her work is more important to her than anything else by a considerable margin.
- By "No", I Mean "Yes":The Watcher: Is it dangerous?
Flaune: No, no. Well, yes — what isn't? But not exceptionally dangerous.
- Einstein Hair: Described as sticking up wildly in all directions.
- Gameplay and Story Integration: Short-range teleportation is an ability which rogues can pick up from a very low level. Elette's work is just expanding on the principle.
- The Illegible: Her handwriting is terrible. After the mercenary attack on the Spire in Act III, Castol has her message in hand and still doesn't know if the Watcher is alive or dead until you show up in his office.
- Just Think of the Potential:Flaune: It's entirely up to you, of course. All I can do is beg. Shamelessly. Think of the possibilities! The things we could do together.
- Mad Scientist: The Einstein Hair and Morally Ambiguous Doctorate help. Her research does eventually bear fruit, however, and is crucial to reaching Ukaizo during a VTC victory.
- Morally Ambiguous Doctorate: Just a little, but she does tend to downplay the risk of death while trying to get you to take part in her research. Played for Laughs.
- Noodle Incident: Whatever happened with her previous volunteers before the Watcher.
- Tele-Frag: Most of the time, their previous subjects didn't even so much as bump into anything. Most of the time.
- Teleporter Accident: Two of her demonstrations with the Watcher go wrong before she gets the hang of it.
- Teleporters and Transporters The main goal of her research is to use the adra which runs through Eora as an Extra-Dimensional Shortcut, allowing nearly instantaneous transport across great distances. With the Watcher's help, she succeeds.
- What the Hell Is That Accent?: The Watcher can ask this in-game — it's a Vailian speaking Aedyran, having spent a great deal of time in Aedyr, the Dyrwood, and Deadfire, and picked up hints of each accent.
The Royal Deadfire Company
The commander of the Royal Deadfire Company's operations in the Archipelago.
- Artificial Limbs: She wears a wooden prosthetic hand. She lost the original while trying to dig her crew out of a fire that broke out on a ship she was serving on.
- Four-Star Badass: She's the hazanui (admiral) of the Brass Citadel and Rauatai's entire fleet in the Deadfire.
- Good Smoking, Evil Smoking: She smokes a pipe, Patton-style. She smokes so much, in fact, that she has to be told not to light up in Queen Onekaza's court, and her teeth are heavily stained with tar.
- He Knows Too Much: If you refuse the quest to assassinate Queen Onekaza so that Rauatai can formally announce their takeover of the country, the hazanui will immediately go hostile and sic the entire Deadfire Company on you.
- Iron Lady: She's a tough old bird.
- Lantern Jaw of Justice: Has a big square jaw.
- Long Game: This is why she wins all her games of hazatoha — she spends most of the game building up her superior position, and the final maneuver, when it comes, is more of a formality than anything else. In her way, she's perfectly honest with the Watcher — she tells you exactly the kind of person she is from the start. So her ordering you to assassinate Queen Onekaza should really come as no surprise — and neither should her reaction if you refuse.
- My Country, Right or Wrong: Whatever it takes to secure Rauatai's future.
- Nice Hat: The hazanui hat of office is a cap with a large striped fan on top.
- Post-Final Boss: Like the other faction leaders, this is one possible outcome.
- Red Eyes, Take Warning: Many aumaua have vivid red eyes, but Karū is definitely one to look out for, despite her advancing age.
- Screw the Rules, I Make Them!: She tells you herself that she's always been the kind of person who sees a No Trespassing sign as a challenge.
- Well-Intentioned Extremist: She wants to bring order to Deadfire — but more importantly, she wants to bring stability to Rauatai.
Grand Secretary Atsura
The Brass Citadel's chief of intelligence and Maia's direct superior.
- Affluent Ascetic: Despite his position and impressive title, his office is a backroom in the basement of Imperial Command. He stays in those quarters even if you help the Company takes over Deadfire, when he's effectively in charge of all of Neketaka, and could be living in Kahanga Palace.
- Dirty Business: Most of what he asks you to do, even if you're not aware of it at the time. The messages he has Maia handing out across the Deadfire are coded assassination orders, which you might guess but won't know for certain until the ending lets you know that Governor Clario, Storm Speaker Ikawha, and Ranga Ruana of Tikawara are all dead.
- Manipulative Bastard: He tailors just about everything he says to what he thinks you want to hear, based on your in-game Reputations, though it is generally backed by sound reasoning. Albeit with the occasional glaring omission.
- He's flanked by a pair of ciphers in his office, so it's quite possible Atsura's men mind-read the Watcher and feed their impressions to him to further tailor his performance.
- My Country, Right or Wrong: Whatever it takes to secure Rauatai's future.
- Post-Final Boss: Will fill the role if Karū suffered a case of 'crossed The Watcher' prior to the final quest. Unlike most of the game's other second-in-commands, however, he doesn't vanish to parts unknown when Karū goes hostile, so it's possible to extend your visit to his basement office as well, if that's the kind of Watcher you're playing.
- The Power of Legacy: If you ask him what, if anything, he actually believes in, this is his response. His life is finite, but the things he helps build can potentially last a long, long time. The Watcher can caution him that people do not always get to choose what they're remembered for, which does at least give him pause.Atsura: I do not think in years, aimica. I think in centuries.
- Smug Snake: It comes down to the sheer transparency of his manipulations and the ruthlessness of some of his commands.
- The Spymaster: This for the Royal Deadfire Company. He's Maia's boss, which should be a pretty big hint about what kind of jobs he's sending her on.
- The Unsmile: His smile, laugh, and most of his other expressions are described as coming across as incredibly fake. The only time he seems at all genuine is when he talks about ending the storms over Rauatai.
- Vague Age: He's described as looking younger than he probably is. Either way, he's second in power only to Karū herself.
- Well-Intentioned Extremist: Ending the storms and securing Rauatai's future is surely worth any cost.
The Príncipi sen Patrena
The first seat of the Consualgo mes Casitàs (Council of Captains) and nominal leader of the Príncipi overall. Furrante leads the old guard, seeking to cleave ti the values of Old Valia and return to their former glory.
- Aristocrats Are Evil: A ruthless pirate captain who holds himself to be the heir to a disenfranchised noble estate in Old Vailia.
- Baddie Flattery: Part of his Manipulative Bastard schtick; he's always keen on plying the Watcher with kind words and compliments.
- Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: While he's a sparkling conversationalist as far as the Watcher is concerned, the way he barks orders and threatens anyone under his command gives a pretty clear idea of what Furrante is actually like under his genteel exterior.
- Dressed to Plunder: Immaculately so.
- Faux Affably Evil: Furrante comes off as friendly and likes to joke around, but his tendency to turn cold when slighted makes it clear that this friendliness is just an act.
- It's All About Me: He's the Last Marceso of a group that calls themselves the Princes Without a Homeland. Who else was it going to be about?
- Man of Wealth and Taste: If a snooty Aedyran like Aloth feels the need to comment on a group's fashion sense, you must be doing something right.
- Manipulative Bastard: How he became the leader of the Príncipi — despite his pleasant demeanor toward the Watcher, everyone else you talk to seems terrified of him. Serafen notes, and you can point it out yourself during your first conversation with the captain, that while Furrante acts like he's doing you a favor by giving you Benweth's location, you're the one killing an enemy for him. In fact, he'd be just as happy to see Benweth kill you as the other way around — either way, a threat to him is removed.
- Nice Hat: What kind of pirate captain would he be without one?
- Noble Demon: Furrante refrains from unnecessary brutality and like all Príncipi, loathes slavery. It turns out that Furrante does deal in slaves, but he still does seem to have something of a code of honor. If sided with in the endgame, he continues to be this. Just as he said he intended to, he builds a new nation from Ukaizo, collecting tariffs from merchants, trading, and cultivating the new land instead of robbing merchants.
- Noble Fugitive: The direct descendant of one of the original noble families who formed the Príncipi, the namesake "Princes Without a Homeland": former nobles of what had been the Grand Vailian Empire before it dissolved into the Republics and what is now Old Vailia.
- The Paladin: Asking Furrante about his past with a good Príncipi reputation reveals that he is a Darcozzi Paladin, though his devotion to their ideals is questionable. He is passionate and clever, definitely, and rarely stoic, but he can be quite cruel if crossed, something for which player Darcozzi are penalized.
- Post-Final Boss: Potentially.
- The Red Baron: The Last Marceso.
- Remember When You Blew Up a Sun?: Furrante will find something nice to say about the Watcher in their first meeting, explaining why Benweth should have shown the Watcher proper respect and why Furrante is eager to help the Watcher put Benweth down. It's sheer manipulation, but it can be quite convincing.
- Sophisticated as Hell: Curses quite volubly in his native Vailian.Furrante: [to Serafen] Voc se no vulpinet merla! ["You little fox shit!"]
- Villainous Breakdown: His perfect poise cracks when you reveal his connections with the Republics and Crookspur in front of the other chairs at Balefire Beacon. Turns out the Captain has a pretty nasty temper after all.
- Yellow Eyes of Sneakiness: If you look closely at his portrait, they match the trim of his clothes and the feather in his hat.
The second seat of the Consualgo, Aeldys leads a younger faction of Príncipi who seek absolute freedom on the high seas.
- Anarchy Is Chaos: Most of the old blood and some of the new believe that she believes this, but she's more thoughtful than they give her credit for, albeit every bit as bloodthirsty. She's the only faction leader who opts to turn the storms of Ukaizo back on, since as long as that power is there to fight over, neither the Príncipi nor anyone else will be truly free, at least by her definition.
- Dressed to Plunder: A grubbier version than Furrante, but she's still got a Nice Hat.
- Good Hair, Evil Hair: Has lank, greasy hair.
- The Hedonist: Aeldys (and her faction in general) loves throwing raucous parties almost as much as she loves sailing.
- Hidden Depths: She hates slavers and doesn't actually care about the power or wealth of Ukaizo, just the freedom of the Príncipi. If you side with the Príncipi and with her, her first and last act as the lady of the lost city is to turn the storms of Ukaizo back on, averting the war for power that could easily have occurred otherwise.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Deeply buried gold, like any pirate worth her salt. But despite her vicious reputation, she doesn't rely on flogging or terror to keep her crew loyal, unlike Furrante.
- Mismatched Eyes: Rather than an Eyepatch of Power, she has one icy blue eye and one that's "black as a raven's wing".
- A Mother to Her Men: Serafen is doubtful about the lack of corporal discipline Aeldys employs on her ship, but it turns out Aeldys simply inspires that kind of loyalty in her crews.
- Nice Hat: She is a pirate captain, after all.
- Noble Demon: Aeldys is one of the most brutal pirates in the Príncipi, but she genuinely believes that all kith deserve freedom and is an ardent enemy of slavery.
- Our Elves Are Better: Averted. Aeldys fits the rude, crude pirate stereotype much better than any elven ones. You can only just make out the pointed ears in her in-game portrait.
- Post-Final Boss: One of the possibilities. If Furrante is dead and the Príncipi are the second-most influential faction remaining, then Aeldys fights the Watcher in one last bid to claim Ukaizo's riches for the Príncipi. Like the other faction leaders, she's nowhere near as powerful as the Guardian.
- Pragmatic Villainy: She's still willing to work with the Watcher even after you kill Benweth, who was her friend, lover, and Dragon.
- The Red Baron: The Sea Wolf.
- Sophisticated as Hell: Vulgar and aggressive but more cunning than she pretends and well-read when it comes to the history of the isles.
- Talk Like a Pirate: Invokes the right of parley and everything.
- Terms of Endangerment: She starts calling the Watcher "lovesome" long before it can be said that either one of you trusts the other.
- Trademark Favorite Food: She likes candied nuts. Bringing her some will boost your reputation with the whole damn Príncipi at once.
Captain "Two-Eyed" Pim
The third chair of the Príncipi. Formerly Furrante's first mate before assembling a fleet of his own, Pim explains the structure of the Consuaglo to the Watcher when approached in Balefire Beacon. He's one of the old guard of the Príncipi and despite not being Vailian himself, he still adopts Old Vailian mannerisms.
- Boomerang Bigot: Holds the new bloods of the Príncipi in contempt, despite being Dyrwoodan himself.
- Even Evil Has Standards: Storms out of a Consuaglo session in protest after Furrante has Aeldys marked for death on trumped-up charges. Especially noteworthy given that he's been loyal to Furrante's faction for years and doesn't think much of Aeldys' new bloods.
- Post-Final Boss: One of the possibilities. If both Furrante and Aeldys are dead and the Príncipi are the second-most influential faction remaining, then Pim fights the Watcher both to avenge the fallen captains and to claim Ukaizo's riches.
- Reluctant Ruler: Can become this if both Aeldys and Furrante are killed. Under his leadership, the Príncipi go straight while becoming more powerful and prosperous than ever before.
- Take a Third Option: In the unlikely scenario where Furrante and Aeldys are both killed by the Watcher, the Príncipi don't confront the Watcher at Ukaizo and the Watcher aids the Huana in claiming Ukaizonote , Pim takes over the fleet and reorganizes them as a peaceful shipping company.
Captain "Brutal" Benweth
The fourth chair of the Príncipi and Aeldys' second-in-command, Benweth is introduced attempting to steal the Defiant and kill the Watcher and your crew almost the very moment you wake up.
- Arc Villain: Of "Blow the Man Down". Go to Fort Deadlight, make your way inside, find Benny, and kill him. Or don't.
- The Dragon: To Aeldys. Except if you let him live, Furrante pays/threatens him into turning on her.
- Flunky Boss: If you take the direct approach and confront him in Fort Deadlight command or the court, he'll be this. It's also possible to draw him out and corner him on his own or to defuse the situation peacefully, however. It's entirely possible that the hardest part of this kind of run will be fighting your way to the exit afterward, as well.
- Hidden Depths: He stole a harpsichord because, as it turns out, he's really good at playing one.
- Life of the Party: Earns the affection of the new bloods (if not necessarily their loyalty) with the wild parties he throws.
- Mythology Gag: Well, he didn't shoot you in the head and steal your poker chip, but he didn't look you in the eye, either, so all in all he's probably the worse of the two Bennies.
- Names to Run Away from Really Fast: BRUTAL Benny.
- Somebody Set Up Us the Bomb: What's that? Rig the harpsichord with a bomb? Well, if you say so, game...
- Starter Villain: The first pirate you meet in the game, who sics a bunch of his men on you and tells them to bring him your ship. Like Raedric's Hold, Fort Deadlight is a heavily defended keep full of the villain's loyal minions, which the Watcher has the option of tackling by stealth, deception, or by kicking in the front doors and killing everyone between you and the bad guy.
- Talk Like a Pirate: Aye, that he does. As the first native of the Deadfire you run into, the devs want you to know what you're getting into.
- Talking the Monster to Death: If you take the stealthy or subtle approach, it's possible to talk him down, if for no other reason than you've proved you're better than him by getting that far.
- You Kill It, You Bought It: If you kill him, you can take his suolonet (a Vailian gold coin — the name means "little sun" — used as a symbol of authority among the Príncipi) and with it, his seat on the Consuaglo. Technically there's a vote, but it happens offscreen and Two-Eyed Pim says it's pretty much a Foregone Conclusion.
The Leaden Key
The Leaden Key
A minor cult and conspiracy in the service of Woedica, the Queen That Was.
- Ancient Conspiracy: Dating back to the time of the ancient Engwithans. Their leader, and the only one who truly knows their agenda, is Thaos.
- Cult: Of Woedica. Murder, burglary, brainwashing, and cool black robes.
- From Nobody to Nightmare: They're written off by most of Eora as thugs and dupes, incapable of exercising any real power or influence... but their grandmaster is the first game's Big Bad, Thaos.
- Secret Circle of Secrets: See the introductory quote. Many of their members join for the sense of purpose, even if they themselves don't know what their purpose actually is. Aloth is a case in point, since he's an intelligent, educated man, not just one of the mercenaries in the Key's pay.
Thaos ix Arkannon
- "There is no greater calling than the one we have chosen. Neither words, nor wealth, nor battle will end this suffering. Only the gods. Will you give them that chance?"
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 grandmaster of the Leaden Key, and the high priest of Woedica. 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. In the flashbacks to the Watcher's past during his time as Thaos' Inquisitor, Thaos acts like a grandfatherly mentor towards the Watcher even as he orders him to carry out atrocities. He even let the Watcher live in that past life, despite the Watcher expressing doubts about the gods' existence.
- Alas, Poor Villain: After his death, the Watcher experiences the exact moment of the gods' creation from Thaos' point of view, and how thousands of Thaos' people willingly sacrificed their lives to make it happen, leaving Thaos with the burden of making sure their sacrifice wasn't in vain, and their secret was never uncovered. The Watcher can express sympathy for him, or take advantage of his weakened soul to make him suffer.
- 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 its 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.
- And I Must Scream: The fate he once pronounced on his enemies. The Watcher can permanently banish his soul to Breith Eaman as punishment for his crimes.
- Badass Beard: The Watcher can comment on the glory of his magnificent beard.
- Big Bad: He is the most direct and visible threat to the Watcher and the Final Boss of the game.
- Big Bad Duumvirate: Thaos and Woedica are working together to bring about Waidwen's Legacy, but each for their own ends. Woedica helps him because the souls he's harvesting, he plans on using to empower her so she can resume her position as Queen of the Gods. Thaos is helping her because her dedication to upholding oaths and lack of scruples make her a perfect benefactor for his goal of eternally preserving the secret of the gods' existence.
- Born-Again Immortality: A major part of his overarching scheme. Which already long since succeeded in attaining. 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. It's more of a burden than a blessing.
- Body Surf: His knowledge of animancy allows him to readily jump from body to body, wreaking havoc with the minds of those he possesses and deliberately inciting chaos in his wake — in a manner not dissimilar to how Iselmyr picks a fight on Aloth's behalf in Gilded Vale early in the game.
- Break Them by Talking: Very, very good at this, something he shares in common with Iovara... and possibly you, the Watcher. Notably you cannot talk him out of his chosen course of action during the endgame, but he can and will take your companions apart verbally. Depending on how you've treated them over the course of the game, they may or may not be able to defend or counter his assessment of their characters.
- The Cameo: Appears via flashback in the second game. Not just in the Watcher's memories of the first game, but also in the memories of Ranaga Ruāsare of the violently isolationist Wahaki tribe. Only a few hundred years after the Engwithans enacted their plans, Thaos came to Ori o Koīki with a warning from the gods to keep out of the Engwithan ruins. Unexpectedly, however, the Wahaki had kept oral records and murals of the cataclysm, enough that they knew that their ancestors had built the ruins alongside the Engwithans, and that the Engwithans had brought ruin to them all. Recognizing Thaos' distinctive headdress, she ordered him and his party burnt at the stake, another thing they presumably learned from the Engwithan Inquisition. It all seemed to be going very badly indeed — until Ruāsare's past life decreed that all outsiders would receive similar treatment should they trespass on Wahaki lands, meaning none would be allowed to enter the ruins, which is what Thaos wanted all along. At which point he promptly stopped struggling and merely awaited his death, and the next life to follow.
- The Chessmaster: Much like Lady Webb, Thaos has been playing an exceptionally long game. And he's got a head start on her of more than a thousand years.
- As seen in Deadfire, he is even willing to be burnt at the stake as long as it furthers his goals, as seen with the Watahiki tribe who due to his intrusion start an extremely isolationist policy, which is exactly what he wants as they happen to live in an Engwithan ruin. And due to his form of immortality, he will simply be reincarnated afterward.
- Cold-Blooded Torture: The Engwithan Inquisition put its enemies to the rack and mutilated them until they confessed.
- Deader Than Dead: Lady Webb notes that the greatest problem in dealing with Thaos is his remarkable ability to avoid death's clutches. One way of dealing with him in the endgame involves destroying his soul. The Watcher can either view it as a Mercy Kill that relieves him of the burdens of his past, or just punishment for a lifetime of causing pain.
- Dragon with an Agenda: He's this to Woedica. Or so it seems. Technically, as a goddess, Woedica is more powerful than him and he seeks to empower her with all the souls he's stolen, but he's working for her because she's the best way he has to guard his ancient secret, and as a creation of his people, she owes him at least as much as he does her.
- Enemy Eats Your Lunch: Averted. Thaos does not take the bottle of brandy Lady Webb was planning to share with you. He doesn't break the bottle out of spite, either, or even take so much as a sniff, carefully replacing it when Lady Webb mentions this.
- Even Evil Has Loved Ones: Implied with Lady Webb, with whom he was once in a relationship. Not only did he let her live for decades, despite her constant investigation into the Leaden Key's activities, but when the time came for her to die he came to do the deed himself, seemingly as a sign of respect.
- Evil Luddite: Of a sort. He's working to undermine the study of animancy in the Dyrwood, even though he's an animancer himself. 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, Galawain, Magran, and Abydon in particular, don't seem to mind the study of animancy at all and don't see it as a threat to their faiths. For Thaos to be anti-antimancy is seemingly ironic, since he's not only a master animancer, but a member of the very civilization which pioneered its study in ancient times. However, since most of his schemes rely on animancy, he's determined to prevent kith from gaining the knowledge to expose him. If that means keeping them in a permanent state of Medieval Stasis, so be it.
- Evil Mentor: He used to be one to Lady Webb before her Heel Realization led her to found Dunryd Row in a bid, at least in part, to build an organization capable of challenging the Leaden Key, as well as to the Watcher, who was once his right-hand Inquisitor in a previous life.
- Evil Old Folks: He's the Big Bad, and he's in his later years. And his soul is thousands of years older still.
- The Evils of Free Will: A major part of why he does what he does and why the Engwithans created their gods and spread the faiths of said gods in the first place — to make certain that there was, in fact, a higher power who could hold kith accountable for their actions.
- False Prophet: He's a complex case. He is legitimately the High Priest of one of the settings' gods, Woedica, however, the gods themselves are exposed at the end of the game as artificial constructs, created by ancient soul-smiths as means of ideological and moral control over the peoples of the world. What's more, said soul-smiths were led by one of Thaos' previous incarnations, whose memories and identity he has inherited. However, because the gods' artificiality is all but forgotten in modern times, the only time someone actually refers to Thaos as a false prophet is in a flashback of when his past incarnation's former disciple Iovara call him out on it.
- Flat-Earth Atheist: Thaos has the following retort to one of these. That is to say the Watcher. Also inverted, since Eora is a world whose gods are demonstrably artificial, but Thaos's claim is that this doesn't make them any less gods.Thaos: What IS a god? Hm? A higher power? A rewarder of good deeds and punisher of the wicked? Something men can turn to in their darkest moments, when their days seem only like bridges from one tragedy to the next? Our gods are all these things.
- Grand Theft Me: His knowledge of animancy allows for this. He is able to transfer his soul into others at will, easily dominating those with "weak" souls, such as golems, mentally ill patients, and Hollowborn. It's also stated that upon his death he Awakens with his full memories intact around adolescence in his next body. One has to wonder what that's like for the child who becomes Thaos.
- The Heavy: He's conspiring with Woedica, but he's the one driving the plot along and has the greatest personal connection with the Watcher. Woedica, meanwhile, only shows up once, briefly, at the end of the game, and uses Skaen as her mouthpiece to make the Watcher an offer.
- Hobbes Was Right: As Iovara's opposite in number, Thaos firmly believes in this: that kith must be ruled by a strong central authority in the form of the gods, without their knowledge if necessary, or they will inevitably fall into savagery. 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: The last of his people — all the others were sacrificed to the Engwithan devices you see scattered across the Dyrwood. All the other Engwithans in Sun in Shadow, including children, were used to power an Engwithian engine so that he can reincarnate with his soul and identity intact, ensuring that he keeps the secret.
- Hypocrite: In the name of preventing atrocities, he's willing to commit plenty of his own. He's actively trying to suppress the progress of animancy research and has no qualms exploiting the fear of it to recruit people like Aloth — but he's only opposed to animancy because it could reveal the secret of the gods' true nature. Thaos is himself a master of animancy whose latest scheme relies on animantic Magitek of the ancient Engwithans, and regularly transfers his own soul into others to control them (a particularly ghastly application of extremely high-level animancy which typically leaves those affected permanently insane, if they aren't immediately killed in the wake of Thaos's spirit forcibly overtaking their own).
- The Inquisitor General: Before he was the grandmaster of the Leaden Key, he was this for his people. Specifically, thousands of years ago, he was the High Inquisitor for the Engwithans' invented religion, in charge of spreading the Engwithan manufactured faith, converting or executing heretics along the way.
- Kick the Dog: Conspicuous by its absence. Everything Thaos does plays into his larger scheme, and while there's no one he wouldn't hurt if it served his purposes, he doesn't hurt anyone he doesn't believe he has to. He doesn't even kill Lady Webb until he's certain she and the Watcher are a direct threat to his plans.
- Knight Templar: He will stop at nothing to keep the Leaden Key's secrets, and he is absolutely certain that all his actions, no matter how horrific, all serve a greater good and a higher order.
- Lack of Empathy: Thaos seems to have zero empathy for the people he hurts to accomplish his goals, at one point casually rattling off a list of crimes he committed like he's reciting a grocery list. Played With, however, in that his actions, no matter how much suffering they cause, are intended to stave off greater suffering. He's lost the ability to empathize on an individual level, but in some twisted way, he acts entirely out of compassion, the need to justify his past actions and to make the sacrifices of his people worthwhile.Thaos: Their histories are droplets of water falling into an endless sea. They are significant unto themselves for a moment, and then they are gone.
- Last of His Kind: He's human, which are common in the world of Eora, but he's also the last living person from his country. He is the last Engwithan left, thanks to his souls' reincarnating without degrading and with his memories fully intact.
- Laser-Guided Amnesia: Capable of doing this to the souls of the dead — considerably less precise when affecting the living, however. One possible fate for him has the Watcher completely erasing his memories, finally returning his soul to the Wheel so it can reincarnate as a new individual.
- Laser-Guided Karma: Gets a heavy dose of this in most endings. You can choose to tear his soul apart, reincarnate it with or without his lifetimes' worth of memories... or cast in down into the same crystal prison that houses Iovara.
- Malevolent Masked Men: His decidedly sinister horned headdress covers his face down to the nose.
- Meaningful Echo: Several of the things Thaos says in the present echo his exact words from the distant past, bringing the Watcher's Repressed Memories from their Awakened self flooding back, and resulting in another bout of unconsciousness for the Watcher.
- Misanthrope Supreme: Thaos has a very low opinion of kith on the whole, thinking them little better than beasts who give into their instincts without a proper hand guiding them. He can't be talked down because he's had millennia of personal experience witnessing people at their worst, and firmly believes what he does is the best option. Played with in the following exchange, however, where Thaos attempts to talk the Watcher's past self down from this point of view — despite having an extremely bleak view of kith, he is determined to save them from themselves.The Watcher: Surely the gods would do better to destroy us all and start anew.
Thaos: Perhaps they would. It may come to that one day. This is why we must not fail.
- Moral Event Horizon: Invoked... by Thaos himself, no less. Openly admits to have crossed it; he even says that causing the Hollowborn epidemic, stealing souls from newborns in the process is one of the lesser atrocities that he's committed over the years.
- Necessarily Evil: He believes that everything he has done—no matter how monstrous—is justified because it beats the alternative of people knowing the truth that there are no gods and the resulting chaos that would cause, since he's been around so long, he remembers what is was like before the Engwithans created their "real" gods.
- No-Nonsense Nemesis: Thaos does not stop to monologue, drop tantalizing hints about his goals, or plot convoluted death traps for the Watcher. He just sends assassins after them or tries to kill them himself if he runs into them personally and has the time.
- Offscreen Villainy: He alludes to having committed many atrocities when admitting he caused the Hollowborn epidemic.Thaos: I plunged the peaceful kingdom of Tolosus into civil war. I slew the monarch of Desontio, whose people never knew hardship under his rule, and replaced him with a cruel despot who brought them to ruin. When plague arrived at the great city of Arborensis, I saw to it that the cure did not. They piled their dead outside the city in heaps that rose above their walls.
- 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, in person, and appears to be somewhat remorseful.
- In the Watcher's past life as his Inquisitor, when they began doubting the gods were real and confronted Thaos for answers in Sun and Shadow, instead of killing them outright to preserve the secret, Thaos told them to go home, get some rest and think on things. The death threat is implied, but it's still notable that, even after committing so many atrocities to keep his secret, he gave the Watcher a chance to come back around to his side.
- Really 700 Years Old: He looks fairly elderly as it is, but while his current body is no older than it appears, upon death, he's reborn with his soul fully Awakened, meaning he's effectively lived dozens of lives in succession.
- Sinister Minister: He's the grandmaster of the decidedly cult-like Leaden Key, and high priest of the fallen faith of Woedica. Back when the Leaden Key was the Inquisition, he was the High Inquisitor and tortured and murdered countless heretics in the name of Woedica.
- Straw Nihilist: It's implied the discovery that there are no gods, or, at least, the gods are long gone, broke him and his fellow Engwithans. This is why he's so convinced that the gods the Engwithans created are real enough, and more than that, they are necessary. Thaos is above all else determined to give purpose and order to a world that would otherwise have none.Thaos: All mysteries forever unanswered. All purposes constructed from meaninglessness. No endings to bring closure. Only a Wheel, turning without mercy, grinding our spirits to dust.
- Time Abyss: After Lady Webb reveals that he's been around for millennia, to the point where he's older than the gods themselves, since he was there at their creation.
- The Unfettered: Thaos will do anything to keep his secrets and see his plans realized. He's been around for so long—millennia even—and done so much evil already that there's no point in him holding back.
- Villain Has a Point: The Watcher is free to explicitly agree with him during your final conversation, which is the only thing in the game that seems to catch him off-guard. It doesn't stave off his last effort to kill you, however. His point being, in brief, that the gods, despite being artificial entities engineered by the Engwithans, are still incredibly powerful supernatural beings able to intercede on the behalf of mortals, and thus god enough to hold up to scrutiny by human standards. Thaos argues that without gods and the concrete consequence they represent, there would be nothing to rein in kith's worst nature. He further argues that the 'truth' Iovara would have you propagate would actually do more harm than good, removing a sense of deeper meaning and purpose from people's lives. Your companions' reactions to this vary, based heavily on the Watcher's interactions with the rest of the party — not just based on whether or not you resolved their personal quest, but 'how'', as well as being shaped by your reputations and dialogue choices throughout the game. Most party members can either shake off Thaos's words... or be utterly broken by them, tying into the ending you get for each character.
- Walking Spoiler: How? By being the main antagonist, of course!
- Well-Intentioned Extremist: Despite all the horrors for which he is directly responsible, Thaos believes with absolute certainty that the secret of the Engwithans is the only thing holding society together, and preserving it justifies all of his actions. Hypocrite though he may be, it cannot be said he has acted out of selfishness, either, spending hundreds of years in unwavering service of the gods.
- Worthy Opponent: Averted for Iovara and the Watcher. Whatever your relative merits, even as he admits that he believes Iovara is genuinely as goodhearted as she appears, in his mind the knowledge you both have could only bring harm, and nothing can make up for that. Played Straight with Lady Webb, however — he could have killed her long ago, and he didn't have to come for her in person.
- Would Hurt a Child: No one is off-limits if they happen to fall victim to his larger machinations. He's behind the Hollowborn epidemic that has left an entire generation of infants born without souls, and he can't bring himself to care — they aren't the first or last people to suffer in the service of his greater goals.
The Circle of Archmagi
The self-proclaimed greatest wizards in all of Eora. Unmarked spoilers may be present in the folders for individual mages.
- The Archmage: All of them. Each of them has invented at least one wizard spell which bears their name.
- Gameplay and Story Integration: And how. It's common in Vancian Magic and fantasy settings inspired by D&D to have various spells named after the wizards who created them, but it's not quite so often that the Player Character gets to meet so many of them.
- The Needs of the Many: Supposedly the reason the Circle was founded, in practice they mostly bicker with one another and follow their own private agendas. Not So Different from the gods, really.
- Person of Mass Destruction: Again, all of them, potentially. Kalakoth has a particularly destructive reputation.
One of the great archmages of Eora, the enigmatic Concelhaut rules over a castle at Crägholdt Bluffs. The necromancer proves to be a self-absorbed petty tyrant who cares for nothing beyond than his own research and reputation, and concerns himself with Circle matters only insofar as they align with his own interests.
- Ambition Is Evil: Pits his apprentices against each other to bring out the worst in them as they compete for his favor with their research, even as he's only using them as stepping stones toward his own immortality himself.
- The Archmage: Well, one amongst quite a handful of obscenely powerful magical scholars who lays claim to the title. Needless to say, he holds all of the others in contempt and view them as rivals, and it is evident that they are not too fond of him either. In a bit of a twist for the genre, Concelhaut is one of the wizards who lends his name to a number of the spells wizards can inscribe into their grimoires, which helps add to the sense that magic is an advancing, modern science in Eora.
- Badass Boast: See the entry quote.
- Bonus Boss: One of the most powerful archmages in Eora and the game's only lich, with sinister designs on the Watcher's soul. Completely optional.
- Back from the Dead: As a lich, he's defied the natural order to remove himself from the cycle. Sure enough, kill him at Crägholdt and he'll still be back at his old tricks in Deadfire.
- Bad Boss: There's a list of apprentices in his study. Most of the names are crossed off... except for the four apprentices you meet at Crägholdt. Who Concelhaut is deliberately baiting into fighting each other, most likely to steal their research.
- Dark Is Evil: He's a lich, and looks suitably skeletal. Among the spells he's invented: Concelhaut's Corrosive Siphon, Concelhaut's Parasitic Staff, Concelhaut's Crushing Doom...
- Evil Cannot Comprehend Good: He believes the other members of the Circle are just as ambitious and obsessed with their own power as he is.
- Flunky Boss: Surrounds himself with minions based on his apprentices' research.
- Flying Face: He uses flaming, floating skulls, called void seers, as sentries. After you defeat him, all that's left is his phylactery, his own floating skull, inlaid with ruins and a peg of adra, which the Watcher can put in their pet slot. Unlike most pets, Concelhaut's Skull actually does something, summoning the spirit of Concelhaut to attack the Watcher's enemies for 20 seconds, at the cost of 40 Raw damage to the Watcher.
- The Friend Nobody Likes: Though he's hardly the friendliest sort to begin with, it doesn't seem as if the other archmages, treacherous as they are, are out to murder each other the way Llengrath attempted with Concelhaut.
- Immortality Seeker: He has a keen interest in the subject of warding off mortality.
- It's Personal: Surprise, surprise, if you killed him in the first game he's not happy about it come the second. Double that if you bring Eder along or otherwise remind him of how you kept his disembodied skull as a pet for years before Caed Nua's destruction.
- Jerkass: In the sequel his floating skull is a lot more chatty and none of what he has to say is very pleasant. He has something unique to say about each of your party members, and none of it is nice.
- Just Think of the Potential:Concelhaut: Spells are fueled by ambient essence in the ether. A miserly trickle of energy that leaks from the Wheel. But imagine what could be done with a more powerful source of essence. A Watcher's soul, for instance.
- Lich: He's among the few people in Eora to have ever cracked the code of becoming one.
- Life Drain: Many of the spells he pioneered do this, much as you'd expect from a lich. He also seeks to drain the Watcher's essence, believing it will give him power over time itself.
- Manipulative Bastard: Based on his notes, it seems he deliberately pits his apprentices against each other, and it's implied by the long list of crossed-out names in his sanctum that he's planning to steal their research and kill them.
- Not Quite Dead: If the Watcher slays him, it is implied that, true to his interest in immortality and undeath, he might have found a way to hold off dying completely. In any circumstance, should his apprentice Uariki still be alive, she will express clear doubt that he is actually most sincerely dead and nervously state out loud that she definitely had nothing to do with his death, and there is the fact that, though mute, his skull is still animated, is able to float by its own power, and can summon his ghost to fight for you... at a cost of 40 hit points gradually drained from the Watcher over its duration. Deadfire removes the ambiguity, as regardless of whether he was slain at Crägholdt or not he shows up to be fought again, the dialogue making clear he remembers last time. This time, his skull is not mute.
- Nothing Personal: After his death at Crägholdt, he hires the Torn Bannermen mercenary company to help him track down Bekarna's research at her observatory in the Deadfire. He does definitely bear a grudge against the Watcher for their part in his destruction, though he seems annoyed with the interruption as much as anything.
- Pet the Dog: He seems somewhat sympathetic toward Bekarna's position with the Circle in The Forgotten Sanctum, perhaps because the rest of the Circle all hate him, too:Concelhaut: Save your breath, my dear. The Circle is nothing but a gathering of old crooks dodging taxes by posturing that they care for some nebulous, unachievable 'greater good.' [makes Air Quotes with his eyebrows]note
- Sweet Tooth: If you have Candied Nuts in your inventory, he will gladly indulge himself despite being reduced to a floating skull. Fortunately this doesn't actually remove said Candied Nuts from your inventory.
- Time Abyss: He was alive and (in)famous in the Steward of Caed Nua's time, hundreds of years ago.
- Time Master: What he aspires to be. He believes killing the Watcher and taking their soul could help him achieve this.
- Villain Decay: Done knowingly in the second game, where the Circle as a whole are treated with far less mystery and awe and instead played up as one of the game's lighter segments.Concelhaut: [after being reduced to a floating skull and placed in the Watcher's inventory... again] This cannot last, you know. When the Wheel has ground you all to dust, only I will remain... Why are you carrying so many eggs? Surely they will spoil.
- Weaksauce Weakness: Since he's a lich, he counts as a Vessel. Which means St. Ydwen's Redeemer can make short work of him.
- We Will Meet Again: He'll have his revenge, you haven't seen the last of him, you're only postponing the inevitable, etc., etc.
- Wicked Cultured: Turns out to be a bit of a beer snob, of all things. He's fond of the signature Midnight Mead from the Kraken's Eye in Port Maje — the no-name brand "Fine Aedyran Mead", not so much.Concelhaut: You call this 'fine Aedyran mead'? I call it unfit for pigs.
Another of the immortal archmages of Eora, Llengrath is a pioneer and innovator in the field of defensive magic.
- Apologetic Attacker: Llengrath regrets having to kill you, but the secrets of lichdom Concelhaut uncovered cannot be allowed to outlive him or rather, cannot be allowed to fall into someone else's hands, since Llengrath of all people surely realizes that Concelhaut is Not Quite Dead. She cheerily wishes you better luck in your next life if you opt to attack her at the earliest opportunity.Llengrath: Better luck on the next turn of the Wheel, my friend! I'm sure you'll be remembered.
- The Archmage: Turns out Concelhaut isn't the only Archmage in the Dyrwood in Pillars of Eternity.
- Barrier Warrior: Many of the spells bearing Llengrath's name are defensive in nature, creating wards, shields, and illusory decoys.
- Bonus Boss: If you seek her out at Mowrghek Îen, be ready for a fight, or at least a decidedly fraught conversation.
- Color Motif: Strongly associated with the color green — green dragons and cultists in green robes in a green bog, a green tint to some of the spells she invented, and both of the bodies the Watcher can meet, a nature godlike and an orlan, respectively, are green. Personality-wise she's serene, stoic, and fond of nature, and, like nature, she can be dangerous in an impersonal, impassive way.
- Cult: The bog cultists in Mowrghek Îen are Llengrath's disciples, as are her two bog dragon allies, Gafonercos and Turisulfus. All of them hope to be chosen to be the next Llengrath, or at least to share in the secrets of Llengrath's immortality.
- Dragon Rider: Has befriended a number of dragons and is introduced riding on the back of one. If you fought and killed her and her dragon companions in the Dyrwood, she's found another by the time you meet the latest Llengrath in the Black Isles. If you didn't kill her in the first game, she responds well to being asked how they're doing.
- Flunky Boss: She fights you with two bog dragons at her side.
- Hobbits: The original Llengrath was an orlan. If you killed Llengrath in the first game, then so is her replacement.Llengrath: [to an orlan Watcher] Now we match.
- Immortality Seeker: Not seeking, found. Immortality of a sort, at least.
- Jerkass Gods: The first Llengrath suspected the cycle of reincarnation was created by the gods as a deliberate means of preventing any one kith from gaining too much power. He's not wrong — a god is simply an amalgamation of countless other souls, so effectively the same thing as the Llengrath legacy, just on a much larger scale.Llengrath: We retain the pale shadows of our souls, but knowledge, memory, self — all of it is cut away. Do the gods fear we might someday rival their strength if they do not?
- Keeper of Forbidden Knowledge: A self-styled, self-appointed case. It makes sense given that the original Llengrath and most of his successors seem to be of Glanfathan heritage, a culture defined by their stewardship over Engwith's ruins.
- Legacy Character: Rather than trying to extend his life by magical means, the original Llengrath believed that the most important part of immortality was ensuring his knowledge was passed down, so that his work could continue. To this end, he transferred his memories, and thus his power, into the mind of his disciple, who then took on the name Llengrath and picked up where he left off.
- Legacy Immortality: Believes this is the best, truest form of immortality any of us can hope for.Llengrath: Llengrath knew something Concelhaut did not. The brevity of life should be embraced, not feared. Each generation brings with it renewed strength, and saves us from stagnation. When his time came, Llengrath was willing to let go — to leave his memories and body behind. He entrusted the gift of his life force, his vibrant spirit, to a worthy successor.
- Master-Apprentice Chain: Each Llengrath chooses their successor, who eventually becomes the next Llengrath in turn.
- Mind Meld: Each successive Llengrath retains their own memories, adding them to the greater legacy that is Llengrath.
- Nature Hero: She prefers the wilderness to the so-called civilized world, and she seems to genuinely care about the greater good the Circle was supposedly formed to serve.
- Not So Different: From the Watcher. While the other archmages pay lip service to their supposed responsibilities while ruthlessly pursuing their own agendas, Llengrath seems to carry out her duties without any ulterior motive, simply because someone must. Whether the Watcher is a loyal servant of the gods or their reluctant pawn, they're likewise compelled to act for the greater good of the world, whether they like it or not.
- Not So Stoic: A few moments of this in Deadfire: her fellow archmage Tayn seems to annoy her, if you return a portion of the original Llengrath's long-lost journals to her she actually hugs the books to her chest, and she's visibly quite upset to learn of Maura's death.
- The Only Believer: Most of the other members of the Circle are too caught up in their own schemes to care about the Circle's supposed purpose, using their powers to protect the world from dangerous knowledge, but Llengrath remains true to the cause. Of course, the fact that her mind and memories will live on even if her body dies give her a drastically different perspective than most kith, not to mention a lot less to lose.
- Plant Person: The Llengrath you meet in the Dyrwood is a nature godlike.
- Samus Is a Girl: Anyone who knows anything about arcane history knows the original Llengrath was a man, but the current bearer of the name is a woman.
- The Stoic: In Deadfire — she's rather affable in the first game, but in The Forgotten Sanctum she's calm and measured and defined by her duty to the world, even should that mean working with the very Watcher who killed her past self.
- Talking the Monster to Death: It can be done, since she really has nothing personal against the Watcher. Talking her down requires a Resolve check of 17 or an Honest rank of 2. Alternatively, you can convince her to Mind Meld with you, granting her your knowledge of the long-dead Engwithan language.
- These Are Things Man Was Not Meant to Know: Despite Llengrath's reverence of knowledge, there are certain secrets they'd rather see stamped out. Concelhaut's lichdom being a case in point. She's the one who hired the Torn Bannermen to root him out at Crägholdt specifically to see Concelhaut's research didn't fall into any hands but her own. You threw a wrench into that, and when she draws you to Mowrghek Îen, it's to ensure that knowledge dies with you.
- Time Abyss: One of the oldest archmages. A contemporary of Concelhaut's, implied to be older still.
- Transferable Memory: By magical means. The form of immortality Llengrath chose to pursue hinged on this being possible. He's more than succeeded.
- Voices Are Mental: A pragmatic example in The Forgotten Sanctum, given the amount of dialogue the character has: both Llengraths share the same voice actor, regardless of which version of her you meet. The original male Llengrath and the Luminous Spore colony which has absorbed a portion of his memories do have different actors.
- Well-Intentioned Extremist: All of Llengrath's actions are meant to protect the world from things kith was not meant to know, at least as she sees it. This seems to mean acting against her fellow Circle members as necessary — pitting the Torn Bannermen and the Watcher against Concelhaut and then luring the latter into a trap, advising killing memory-wiped prisoners of the Hand Occult rather than risk the forbidden secrets for which they were captured being released, and killing the body of the sleeping god for good rather than chancing its misuse.
The Circle's master illusionist, a dour meadow folk man currently in residence in Neketaka.
- Actually Pretty Funny: The corner of his lip twitches when you ask him if he has any suspects in the burglary of his mansion.
- The Archmage: A requirement for membership in the Circle.
- Bad Boss: It seems to amuse him.
- His impossibly high standards mean he's never graduated an apprentice. He might not kill them or steal their research the way Concelhaut is implied to, but they've all eventually walked out on him in disgust. If you bring Fassina into the room when you meet him so that she can tender her resignation, his response is to pull out a folder and check off an entry, as if that was his plan all along.
- While he seems to have an odd affection for imps, that doesn't stop him from using them as guinea pigs, ordering them to perform suicidal tasks, saddling them with insulting nicknames, or blowing them to pieces when they fail him.
- Can't Kill You, Still Need You: The Circle wishes to make use of the Watcher's connection with Eothas to understand where he's going and what that might mean, so Arkemyr has been asked to... restrain himself.
- The Comically Serious: Think John Cleese in any authority figure role.
- Cuteness Proximity: Imps. Their antics amuse him. Also he can blow them up with impunity.
- Grumpy Old Man: Crotchety, stuffy, and humorless, at least toward the Watcher. In fairness, the only way to meet him is by burgling his mansion first.
- I Have Many Names: He of Many Colors. Arkemyr has a great many titles, by which he forces his apprentices to address him. Fassina's come up with a few nicknames of her own for him during her apprenticeship: the Bringer of Foul Wind, the Teat of Suckling Imps, and the Herald of Dirty Slippers.
- The Mark: How can you see his giant mansion in Periki's Overlook and not want to rob the place?
- Master of Illusion: This for the Circle. Most of his illusions involve distorting the target's senses, causing a array of in-game afflictions, often at random: pain, fear, dizziness, nausea.
- Obfuscating Insanity: Layers within layers. He puts on a show of having an ostentatious, eccentric house, and all the spells that bear his name are garish displays of flashing lights — but in person he's as dry as dust and the disorienting nature of his illusions mostly just make people ill. Then again, it seems like that is also part of the joke and the test, since he also pulls pranks and keeps a bevy of imps in his employ.Fassina: Arkemyr is... elusive. That flamboyant house of his? It is all a performance, a mask that people will not think to peer beneath. I had a sneaking suspicion that he knows more about magic than the rest of the Circle combined... Or maybe he is just an accomplished liar. I may never know the truth.
- Rainbow Motif: Many of his spells create flashes of multicolored light. Painful flashes of multicolored light.
- Secret Test of Character: Not entirely surprisingly, Fassina's apprenticeship turns out to have been one of these — he wanted to see how much they were willing to put up with, in part, but also what lengths they would go to to ensure they actually learned something, with or without Arkemyr's help or permission. In his final letter to her in Forgotten Sanctum, he congratulates her, tells her to consider herself graduated if she survives, and adds a postscript saying she can use the letter as a reference.
- Troll: He once covered Fassina's grimoire with honey and left it on the roof for the seagulls. Various hints are dropped that he's more of a prankster than his The Comically Serious act would suggest, and that he's using his Grumpy Old Man status to mess with you.
- Wacky Guy: Subverted. Despite the colorful, whimsical spells that bear his name and his apparent affection for the zany, obnoxious imps he employs as servants, in person Arkemyr seems like quite a stiff compared to the other members of the Circle you meet. It's apparently not just you, either, based on the reaction he gets from his colleagues. All that being said, before The Forgotten Sanctum he was the only archmage the Watcher had met in their travels who hadn't tried to kill them, even after you break into his house and rob him blind, so his quest is mostly Played for Laughs.
A Huana archmage specializing in... tentacle magic, Maura kicks off the events of The Forgotten Sanctum when she seeks to awaken a sleeping god to rival Eothas' power and drive the god of light out of her beloved Archipelago.
- Aerith and Bob: The archmage Maura. Subverted in that as a Huana name, the actual pronunciation is closer to ma-oo-RA or mao-RA.
- The Archmage: A member of the Circle in good standing, at least before she went rogue and, apparently, set out to wake the sleeping god under the Hall of the Unseen so that it could fight off the 'foreign god' Eothas.
- Awakening the Sleeping Giant: Quite a literal example: Maura intends to awaken the sleeping godform buried under the Hall of the Unseen and pit him directly against Eothas.Maura: I believe it you who rests within this darkness. The you that once walked the world. Do you survive yet? Why haven't you awoken?
- Blob Monster: She's fond of summoning these as well, treating them as pets, much to the other archmages' disgust.
- Combat Tentacles: She of Writhing Tentacles fame. Summoning tentacles is her particular specialty as a mage. It seems that she may have been gifted this knowledge through her association with the Hand Occult, so how much of the spells that bear her name she was actually responsible for is a subject of some debate in-universe.
- Decoy Antagonist: Depending on the order in which you tackle the various wings of the Halls Obscured, by the time you catch up with Maura, you may find you're just in time to watch Fyonlecg kill her, or else she's already dead and her corpse has been zombified by luminous spores.
- Early-Bird Cameo: Like Tayn, she's one of the archmages you'll see in Arkemyr's vision pool after you finish investigating Bekarna's Observatory for the Circle.
- Minor Major Character: Kicks off the plot of Sanctum and is a prominent archmage with several spells to her name. It's possible for her to die entirely offscreen, and even if she doesn't, Fyonlecg makes short work of her and essentially takes over as the main villain for the DLC.
- My Country, Right or Wrong: As a native Huana, her love for the Archipelago is such that the other archmages don't trust her impartiality. They've decided that one of them needs to watch over the Deadfire at all times and do so in ten-year shifts, despite the fact that Maura is often there already and many of the other Circle archmages would rather spend their time elsewhere. They're not wrong — with Eothas stomping across the Deadfire, Maura's first move is to wake up a sleeping titan in a sanctum of the Hand Occult, neither of which she has seen fit to inform the rest of the Circle about.
- Nightmare Fetishist: Her field of specialty is tentacles and slimes. The other Circle members find these proclivities disgusting.
- The Reveal: When you finally find her in The Forgotten Sanctum, she's either already dead or moments away from being slain by the forgotten archmage Fyonlecg. If you return after meeting by the luminous spore colony which has overrun the Quarantined Section, you'll find she's been reanimated as a walking, fungus-encrusted zombie, but she retains all of her arcane might.
- Space Whale Aesop: Tayn says that Maura always says that "a well-placed tentacle can solve most of life's problems." It's not clear if this is something Maura ever actually said or if it's just Tayn being Tayn and making something up.
- Summon Magic: Specializes in the conjuration of disembodied tentacles and oozes. It's noted that exactly how she even accomplishes the former isn't well understood even by her fellow archmages.
- Well-Intentioned Extremist: The earthquake in The Forgotten Sanctum was caused by her attempt to awaken the sleeping god underneath the Black Isles in order to combat the adra colossus.
The junior member of the Circle, a cheerful, perpetually upbeat human from Aedyr, primarily known for the unpredictable spell that bears his name: Tayn's Chaotic Orb. Relentlessly optimistic, Tayn is big on fun but light on responsibility.
- Affectionate Nickname: Calls Llengrath "Llen".
- Because It Amused Me: His reason for being and his sole reason for doing anything.
- Beware the Silly Ones: His character in a nutshell.Tayn: Even if it knocks over a castle or two, I think the fun will justify the cost.
- Character Tic: He's constantly winking at you, even in his portrait.
- Cruel Mercy: Llengrath says his plan to restore the memories of the prisoners in Collections will end up causing them more pain — everything they once knew is gone, and what memories they'll have will be scrambled beyond recognition, so mercy-killing them would be kinder. The final decision is left up to the player.
- Deadpan Snarker: Mildly so and more cheerful than most.
- Early-Bird Cameo: Gets a blink-and-you'll-miss-it cameo in Arkemyr's vision pool. He's pleased if you remember him when you meet in person in The Forgotten Sanctum.
- For Happiness: Although his idea of happiness and fun isn't necessarily the same as most.
- Genius Ditz: Scatterbrained and lazy but still a member of the Circle of Archmagi.
- Genki Guy: Relentlessly, ridiculously positive even in the face of an Eldritch Abomination.
- Hard Work Hardly Works: He claims to have pretty much fallen ass-backwards into the Circle without really trying, that his Chaotic Orb was just a happy accident and that he never actually passed the usual trials for Circle membership. Tayn being Tayn, any or all of this might be Blatant Lies, contributing to his general air of harmlessness while his actual goals, if any, go unnoticed. Llengrath in particular notes that every one of her bodies has had to pass the trials individually.
- Innocently Insensitive: He keeps "accidentally" making remarks about castles getting kicked over. Either that or he's (most likely) doing it on purpose, to needle the Watcher.
- Lovable Coward: Plays up the appearance of this, and doesn't actually help you plumb the Halls Obscured. How much is cowardice and how much is just pragmatism is up for debate, however — the archmages, for all their power, are still pretty squishy on their own.Tayn: I would join you down there, but I've got this fear of being digested. You understand.
- Manchild: He went to mage college on his father's scelling and, it seems, never really grew up.
- Obfuscating Stupidity: Supposedly the dumbest member of the Circle. He might be exactly as irresponsible and reckless as he acts or it might be an form of elaborate manipulation, but whatever else he is, Tayn is an archmage.
- Troll: Maybe. He might be as innocent and friendly as he seems, but the other Archmages seem to find him positively insufferable. If it's not an act, then he's more of Cloudcuckoolander.
- Unexplained Accent: In-game lore says that Tayn is Aedyran, but his accent is American/Dyrwoodan. But maybe it's fake.
- Upper-Class Twit: His wealthy father put him through mage college, donating lavishly enough that Tayn earned multiple degrees on scholarship, before inventing his Chaotic Orb and sealing his reputation... but not his father's, since he dropped the family name.
- Wacky Guy: A youngish Cloudcuckoolander who enjoys games and pranks and made his name on a uniquely chaotic spell.
- Wild Magic: His signature Tayn's Chaotic Orb spell combines two classic wild magic effects: jumping between multiple targets and randomly causing a variety of powerful afflictions.
Belittled and dismissed by the Circle, Bekarna is nevertheless a mage of considerable power and influence in the Deadfire — or at least she was, until she vanished from her observatory prior to the events of the second game.
- Absent-Minded Professor: Implied to have always been a problem for her and exacerbated by a few misfired spells that caused her to have memory trouble even before she was carted off and mind-wiped by the Hand Occult.
- Ambiguous Disorder: Even after you restore her memories, she has trouble recognizing faces and seems more attached to objects to people. The book you give her to help remember the stars seems to have been written with older children in mind.
- The Archmage: Not according to the Circle, she isn't. If you help her track down the piece of starmetal she needs to finish her spell, she scribes an original spell of her own, Bekarna's Midnight Daydream, and decides she's going to be an archmage whether the Circle acknowledges her or not.
- Cloudcuckoolander: Her grimoire is her "little book friend" and she seems a little spacey even after you restore her memories.
- Disability Immunity: The previous damage to her memory somehow insulated her from the memory-wiping screams in Collections. Some part of her still remembered, even if it didn't exactly remember much.
- The Ghost: She's nowhere to be found in the base game. In The Forgotten Sanctum, it turns out she was kidnapped by one of her own mercenaries, after he was brainwashed by the Hand Occult.
- The Heart: If she's assisted in the Forgotten Sanctum, she may go on to ascend to the Circle and become their kindest and most innovative member, nurturing a generation of apprentice wizards.
- The Hermit: Lived alone in her Observatory, apart from the occasional visit from, apparently, Queen Onekaza herself.
- Identity Amnesia: She suffered from intermittent memory loss, the point where she left notes for herself in her own observatory, reminding her of what she was doing and why. One of the properties of the Halls Obscured is that it leaches the occupants' memories over time, and in most people this leaves them entirely devoid of any sense of self. Bekarna, however, while badly confused, retained some kernel of herself, which the Watcher can then restore by giving her the charmingly named Advanced Wistful Stargazing, a book of star charts.
- They Called Me Mad!: The Circle ignored her research, which predicted the location of Ukaizo at the storm's eye of Ondra's Mortar. She was also one of the few mages who wasn't afraid to investigate the celestial spectres which fall to Eora within meteorites, although the latter seems to be what got her kidnapped by the Hand Occult.
A mysterious mage who claims he was once a member of the Circle, before all trace of his previous existence was wiped out by the Hand Occult. Spoilers for The Forgotten Sanctum follow.
- Amnesiac Dissonance: Formerly the Weyc of the Hand Occult — effectively the grandmaster of the Temple of Revelation — at some point he was imprisoned, his memories wiped, and his very existence stricken from the history of Eora. Even now the lingering effects mean that he generally doesn't seem to know exactly what he's doing or why.
- Arc Villain: The final enemy you face in the Halls Obscured.
- The Archmage: A member of the Circle until the Hand Occult erased him from history.
- Barrier Warrior: His specialty as an archmage. Several of the wizard's Wall spells used to actually be called Fyonlecg's Wall of Fire, and Fyonlecg's Wall of Many Colors, and so on. During his skippable initial boss fight in the Oratory of Wael, he divides the arena with a series of force fields, the generators for which must be destroyed before the archmage himself can be fought.
- Cardboard Prison: The nature of his prison is such that many of the attendants don't even seem to notice or care that he's escaped, and he seems to have the run of the place by the time the Watcher arrives.
- Expy: Hes pretty blatantly one of Jon Irenicus, another arrogant Cold Ham elf mage driven by loss of identity and revenge. His voice actor even seems to be doing a David Warner impression.
- Facial Horror: Once you get a look under the mask, you see that half of his face has been smeared away, the implication being that he's being reshaped into one of the eyeless, nameless Librarians of the Halls of Obscured.
- He Knows Too Much: Although he doesn't know what it was he knew that made the Hand Occult turn against him — if that's even what happened. He stumbled onto the same secret as the Watcher and Iovara: that the gods aren't real. Like Thaos and the Leaden Key, this was the one thing the Hand Occult would not allow anyone to know, not even their own grandmaster.
- Hijacking Cthulhu: During his final boss fight he bodyjacks the Oracle of Wael and plans to control the Avatar of Wael later.
- It Is Pronounced "Tro-PAY": Fee-OWN-ledge.
- Malevolent Masked Men: He wears a featureless golden mask and gold-trimmed hooded robes as the symbols of his office as Weyc. The Watcher can claim both for themselves.
- The Mole: Remained a member of the Circle even as he had secretly become a high-ranking member of the Hand Occult.
- Spanner in the Works: His amnesia means he follows his own agenda, but also that he has no clearly defined plan — he's fighting against you, the Circle, the Hand, and Maura, all at once and without ever really knowing why.
- Unperson: After becoming Weyc of the Hand Occult they erased any record of his existence — presumably with his permission, possibly even under his orders. After losing his memories after years of confinement, he's horrified at the loss of his life, his past, his very name and the entire legacy he spent his life trying to build.
- The Worm That Walks: After you confront him in the Oratory of Wael, his body is revealed to be a mass of writhing worms. It's just a magical projection — the real Fyonlecg is elsewhere. This does not occur if you clear out Collections first, as you face the Memory Hoarder instead, and Maura will already be dead by the time you find her.
A sea dragon, one of the three guardians of Ukaizo, held captive by the Huana's Watershapers' Guild for centuries, sapping his powerful soul to fuel their abilities.
- Androcles' Lion: Set him free and he promises to return the favor some day. He's as good as his word.
- Anti-Villain: He came to the Huana in friendship, and they rewarded him by keeping him trapped under the city for centuries. He got a lot of Watershapers killed when he called out to the Nāga to free him, but if they were ever going to see reason, they'd already had 300 years. Of course, they did have the trading companies to worry about.
- Arc Villain: Of "The Shadow Under Neketaka". Technically.
- Badass Boast: He's a dragon. They can't help it.
- Breath Weapon: A cone of boiling saltwater.
- Damned by Faint Praise: To Tekēhu:Scyorielaphas: You are perceptive, for a fish.
- The Fettered: His duty to the Archipelago, even if the Huana have forgotten theirs, is to protect the adra pillars. Nothing else matters.
- Flunky Boss: Summons watery tentacles, a specialty of Ondra's creatures, midway through the fight. Their main purpose is to shatter the wards binding him so that he can escape his prison.
- Green and Mean: He's a pale, murky green, and not in a great mood when you run into him.
- Gunship Rescue: If you freed him, he shows up during the voyage to Ukaizo to protect your fleet from the Guardian.
- Overly Long Name: Scyorielaphas.Edér: Y'ever maybe thought about a nickname...?
- Our Dragons Are Different: Taking on traits of his environment like all other dragons, Scyorielaphas is a sea-elemental dragon.
- Powered by a Forsaken Child: Powered by the shackled soul of an ancient sea dragon. What makes it even worse is that he originally came willingly. The Watershapers' original guildmaster, Periki, bound him by his soul underneath Neketaka 300 years ago, and when he wanted to leave, she and each of her successors refused. The worst of it is that there was a solution that only required a little more animantic know-how than they already had — the Metaphysics skill in-game — and they could have shaved off a fraction of the dragon's extremely powerful soul without harming him. Not entirely dissimilar to the way their adherence to tradition prevents them from finding the simple solution to alleviating some of the suffering in the Gullet.
- Sealed Good in a Can: He only wants to protect the Archipelago. Technically, so do the Huana, but they have a different idea of what that means. He doesn't even seek vengeance on the Huana if you set him free, though in fairness, his escape attempts killed most of the Watershapers' Guild as it is, and he does take a good chunk out of the harbor on his way out to sea.
- Tailor-Made Prison: It's not a bunch of flimsy stone walls of that are stopping him from leaving (as he shows if you set him free), but rather the bindings Periki placed on his soul, sort of like a metaphysical Shock Collar.
- Take a Third Option: Beat him into submission and keep him chained, set him free knowing full well that doing so will severely undermine the Huana's biggest trump card... or siphon off an insignificant portion of the dragon's soul and then set him free, giving Scyorielaphas his freedom and the Watershapers enough power to last them for decades.
- Or the Watcher can murder him and use bits of his corpse to score some free gear upgrades.
- Talking the Monster to Death: Either set him free or Take a Third Option. The latter requires a fairly high Metaphysics check.
- Time Abyss: Yet still not quite old enough to personally remember the fall of the ancient Huana. The Engwithans were thorough.
- Walking Spoiler: One of the Watcher's possible reactions upon discovering what lies on the inside of the Guild's sanctum:The Watcher: ...Dragon!
Jadaferlas the Ancient
A magma dragon who has been allied with the rathun for aeons, and perhaps the greatest threat to be found in Ashen Maw other than Eothas himself.
- Badass Boast: Even as dragons go, she has an extremely high opinion of herself.
- Breath Weapon: Breathes fire as you might expect, also has a gut full of living magma oozes.
- Flunky Boss: She continuously vomits up magma oozes throughout the fight with her.
- I Have Many Names: The HEART of the fire, and THE MAGMA THAT FIRES THE MOUNTAIN!
- I Lied: She never had any intention of serving the Rathun, but was quite content to dine on their offerings for hundreds of years.Jaderlas: We struck a deal... eons ago. I did with a wily brenthis. It's true these... Rathun... fed me exquisitely for so long. But today they sought my wings like a firestorm to battle — my fangs like hot spears to pierce a god. I am the HEART of the fire! I cannot be controlled. I not by a giant's weak will, and not by a sputtering trinket.
- Incoming Ham: The quote at the top of the entry, her first lines in the game.
- Just Eat Him: She ate the Rathun's high priestess for having the gall to ask if she could ride her into battle.
- The Magnificent: The Ancient.
- Mook Maker: She can spew up magma oozes at will.
- Our Dragons Are Different: She's made of living lava. Edér mentions he's glad the party has never had to fight a sewer dragon.
- Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: All you have to do to skip the battle with her is explain that Magran is about to blow Ashen Maw sky-high.Jadaferlas: I fly!
- Talking the Monster to Death: She's confident of her victory, but she has no problem fleeing if she actually thinks her own life is at stake.
Yseyr the Berathian
A legendary priest of Berath interred in the Hanging Sepulchers beneath the Neketaka's Sacred Stair. Mortally wounded in battle with the Death Guard Lucia Rivan, he nevertheless managed to escape with the Engoliero do Espirs, legendary sword of the last house of Darcozzi, sworn to Rivan's protection and the source of much of her power on the seas.
The Watcher discovers that Yseyr lives on as a Death Guard in his tomb, standing a long, lonely vigil over the Engoliero de Espirs.
- All Lower Case Letters: His Eulogy, apparently a dictation of his last words, is written this way, with the occasional ALL CAPS scrawling for emphasis.hiv to see Rivan suffer. hiv to ward Berath's sacrid weapon.
- And Then John Was a Zombie: He prayed for Berath to extend his life to keep the Engoliero do Espirs out of the wrong hands. This gives more credence to the idea that Raedric was raised by Berath for similar reasons, but Yseyr didn't go on a killing spree and Raedric doesn't play any part in ending the Hollowborn Crisis, whereas the Watcher may have spoken with Berath directly.
- Apocalyptic Log: Yseyr's Eulogy, the last portion of which he wrote himself after being "mort wounded" in battle with Lucia Rivan. Apparently his prayers to Berath were answered, since his rambling, half-hysterical last words were carved into a stone tablet.
- Arch-Enemy: The Death Guard Lucia Rivan, once the protector of the legacy of the royal family of Old Vailia, now a wicked Death Guard and captain of a Ghost Ship, the Floating Hangman, at large on the seas of the Deadfire Archipelago.
- Black Knight: A subversion. He seems like a pretty standup guy for a giant armored skeleton, and he takes his duty seriously — standing watch over the sword of his Arch-Enemy, the wicked ghost pirate captain Lucia Rivan, for the past 500 years.
- Commonality Connection: With Iselmyr, Aloth's Awakened past life and resident Split Personality. Not only is Yseyr a fellow Hylspeaker, but...Iselmyr: Fye, I conne a thing or twelve bit dallying topside to shelter a stiff, unfeeling sliver o' a being.
- Dark Is Not Evil: He's quite easy to reason with, and it's easy to see how the Engoliero do Espirs could be misused in the wrong hands.
- Epic Flail: His weapon of choice. He wears the Engoliero do Espirs across his back, but never wields it.
- Flunky Boss: Like most bosses in the game, and the Hanging Sepulchers give him plenty of fodder to call in reinforcements. He's flanked by the skeletal remains of his former comrades in arms, the Lady of Vigils and the Lord of Heldengate.
- Funetik Aksent: As noted on the main page, his Hylspeak accent, like Iselmyr's, is written this way, which was also the case for Old and Middle English. In Yseyr's case, his eulogy, apparently inscribed by his colleagues as he lay dying, is written entirely phonetically.
- Hunter of Monsters: He hunted the undead on Berath's behalf, only to pray for his own return as a Death Guard to continue serving his goddess.
- Madness Mantra: From his (handwritten or dictated?) eulogy:willna die WILLNA DIE willna die
- Purpose-Driven Immortality: Through his centuries-long vigil, he is sworn to see that Lucia Rivan never recovers the Engoliero do Espirs. Even if Rivan is dead, his oath to watch over the sword remains.Yseyr: Been more 'an a middling lifewirth's since my flail's got bathed in bloody gore.
- Talking the Monster to Death: He's only too happy to pass along his Eulogy to Neketaka's Temple of Berath. He's much less willing to part with the sword in his keeping, but he can be convinced if the cause is worthy (and with a sufficiently high skill check).
A paladin of the Darcozzi Paladini in life, as the House of Darcozzi fell, nearly a thousand years ago, she was entrusted with the Darcozzi blade of office, the Engoliero do Espirs. Upon her death, so strong was her devotion to her oath that she lived on as a Death Guard. Her fanatical dedication to retaking Vailia for her patrons led her to become a monster, assembling an army of the undead and raising terror throughout the Deadfire for centuries.
- Flunky Boss: She attacks you with a whole Boarding Party full of the living dead. Even with your crew and companions fighting alongside you, she doesn't go down easily.
- Ghost Ship: The Floating Hangman, a crumbling galleon once known as the Fonferrus, or "Iron Strength" in Vailian.
- Minor Major Character: Despite all the buildup, you only meet Lucia Rivan perhaps twice — once, when she passes you by as the Herald of Berath, and then for the last time when you summon her during the Principi path, which quickly turns into a fight. Both her Arch-Enemy Yseyr the Berathian and her second-in-command Menzzago, lord of Splintered Reef, have far more involved dialogue trees when you encounter them.
- Purpose-Driven Immortality: The sole reason for her continued existence is to restore the house of Darcozzi and the empire of Vailia, both of which are probably doomed to failure. The closest she gets is Furrante, Darcozzi Paladini himself, establishing a Principi homeland in Ukaizo... in which case the Watcher will have killed Rivan and taken the Fonferrus from her.Yseyr: But Rivan wadn't keep dead. From sheer will and faith she ris a monster, able to breed an army of undead.
- Weather Manipulation: The Floating Hangman generates its own weather, an eerie stillness and constant fog which stops other ships dead in their tracks while the Hangman continues to sail under its own ghostly power, despite its ragged sails. The ship's ability is powerful enough to quell even the neverending storms of Ondra's Mortar.
The Guardian of Ukaizo
The final guardian of Ukaizo, tasked with keeping all from reaching the lost city's shores, even should they somehow find a way to bypass the neverending storms of Ondra's Mortar.
- Brain Uploading: Turns out the ancient Engwithans actually did crack the secret of doing this. With three dragons, as one might have guessed based on the Guardian's chosen body type.
- Final Boss: The true final boss of Deadfire, although the also-ran faction leader will also take one last shot at you (easily won), and you'll still have one last confrontation with Eothas.
- Flunky Boss: Like every other boss in the game. The action economy and Status Effect-based combat doesn't really work, otherwise. The Guardian does do more of its own fighting than any other boss, however.
- Mind Hive: Not I, us. Three ancient dragons, servants of Ngati, sacrificed themselves to create the Guardian. Some semblance of their combined minds lives on in the construct.
- Mr. Exposition: For what became of Ukaizo after the Engwithans stole it from the ancient Huana.
- Multiple Head Case: They can have up to three at a time, and if you destroy their heads, they can make more.
- One-Winged Angel: You might have thought those two conspicuous nodes on its back were for wings. No — more heads. Three of them, by the end of the fight, and not the same three you fought earlier.
- Only Known by Their Nickname: Not even their own name — the gods call them the Guardian, but the Guardian seems to view themselves as part of Ukaizo itself, the Gates of Ukaizo as much as the actual walls and doors. They have no other name at this point.
- Purpose-Driven Immortality: To protect Ukaizo against all mortals, for all time.
- Sea Monster: Is extremely agile in the water, and comparatively slow and bulky on dry land.
- Transforming Mecha: Assembles additional heads for itself out of the various animat pieces strewn throughout the harbor over the course of a multi-phase fight in which it summons other animats, turtles up and heals, and replaces its original head with two more before finishing with three. It's also Decepticon purple.
- Turned Against Their Masters: Turned against the Huana, yes, but in doing so, remained loyal to the Engwithans. The're very much bound to their original programming. This is also why the allow Eothas through without a fight, since he too is a creation of the Engwithans.
- Walking Spoiler: The Final Boss of the second game, and one last Mr. Exposition for the road.
Apparently the emissary of Rymrgand himself, the undead dragon whom the Harbingers of Dusk know only as the Messenger ventures forth from the Vytmadh to cull the living cultists of Harbinger's Watch, and each time it does, the surrounding frost expands that much further.
- Arch-Enemy: Rymrgand himself.
- Dracolich: An undead dragon, not so much rotting as ripped apart and partially mummified. Unlike many examples of the trope, she's not only an undead dragon, but she's also a Lich proper — she's a wizard, mostly in order to make use of the soul manipulation powers of the ancient Engwithans.
- Dynamic Entry: She's fond of dropping very heavily, and suddenly, on top of enemies.
- Fighting a Shadow: The undead form she summons to attack the Harbingers is dispatched relatively easily. The fight with the real Neriscyrlas is much more challenging.
- Mistaken Identity: Essentially a case of Mistaken for Special Guest — Neriscyrlas is not the Messenger. More to the point, there is no Messenger. Rymrgand is entirely indifferent to the Harbingers, as he is all his worshippers, and far from being his servant, the dragon is basically an unwanted prisoner in his realm, who cannot be killed but nevertheless keeps escaping.
- Mythology Gag: One of the paths to talking her to death involves convincing her that even if she managed to return to the world outside the White Void, it would only be for an eternity of torment, endlessly dying and being reborn on the Great Wheel. The destruction of the soul that Rymrgand offers is essentially the True Death sought by the Dustmen of D&D's Planescape setting; Nericyrlas herself isn't far removed from being a draconic version of the Nameless One.
- No-Nonsense Nemesis: The Watcher can note that most dragons are fond of the sound of their own voices, but the Messenger doesn't speak at all during its initial attack on Harbinger's Watch.
- Samus Is a Girl: The Harbingers, who have been dealing with the Messenger's attacks for years, assume the dragon is a him. She's not, but she's never bothered to communicate with them enough to disabuse them of the assumption.
- Rage Against the Heavens: She hates all the gods. Her imprisonment came about as the result of an attack against them.
- Soul Jar: Her phylactery is brimming with stolen souls. It prevents Rymrgand from destroying her, but lacks sufficient power for her to break free of her prison.
- Summon Magic: Her physical body in the real world is long dead, and the undead body she manifests outside of the Vytmadh is actually created from ambient soul energy, made solid by her own will. This is very much the way in which chanters summon seemingly solid creatures; essentially, Nericyrlas is summoning herself.
- Talking the Monster to Death: It's possible to convince her to let the party pass without a fight, either by promising to take the relic back to the world of the living so that she might eventually reform in the Here or by convincing her that she's already dead, and that she need only surrender to oblivion. The latter requires that the Watcher convince all three lingering spirits to also accept their final death. You can, in fact, describe it in exactly these words upon your return to Harbinger's Watch.
- Time Abyss: She's been around for nearly two thousand years. Her mother survived the Engwithan purge long enough to teach her that the Engwithan gods were false, a creation of the Engwithans' mastery over animancy.
- Your Soul Is Mine: As hinted by the telltale purple glow of her Breath Weapon, she drains the souls of her victims. The Harbingers see this as a good thing, and proof that she is the servant of Rymrgand.
The Faces of Toamowhai
The Seeking Face, Slaying Face, and Surving Face, the three faces of the hunt — the tripartite god Toamowhai is an ancient spirit revered by the Huana, believed by outsiders to represent an aspect of Galawain. Beware of spoilers for Seeker, Slayer, Survivor.
- Ambiguous Situation:Tekehu: So it is a god, but not a god, twisted by gods into godhood? Captain, I have many questions.
- Animal Motif: The many-eyed, watchful spider, so great a seeker that its prey comes to it; the mighty stelgaer, sharp of claw and fang, faster and fiercer than all who would challenge it; and the stout boar, able to endure and outlast would-be hunters and overcome nature itself.
- Arc Villain: Further complicated by the nature of the Faces as many spirits joined as one.
- Blood Knight: Each one thrives on a different sort of conflict and every death in the arena empowers them further.
- The Determinator:The Surviving Face: Endure, and you will be victorious. Good hunting.
- Gambit Pileup: Despite the outward single-mindedness of the Faces, a conflict is brewing within their manifold spirit. The spirit of Whehami has corrupted the flow of souls through the Crucible, in a deliberate bid to draw someone like the Watcher to Kazuwari, specifically so that he could hijack their body and finally free himself from his long confinement as the Slaying Face... Whehami only did so, however, after being manipulated by Aexica, the Seeking Face, who was determined to free herself (despite her claims to the contrary), but needed Whehami's strength to do it. All three Faces, meanwhile, exist as part of Galawain's contingency plan, concentrating the souls of those who die in the Crucible in a single repository cut off from the Great Wheel, so that should anything ever happen to the Wheel, Galawain would survive.
- I Have Many Names: (The Faces of) Toamowhai, the Faces of the Hunt, the Seeking/Slaying/Surviving Face. Seen as an aspect of Galawain by outsiders, though the truth is more complicated. And to give them their proper names: Eruke, Aexica, and Whehami.
- Large Ham Announcer: For the Crucible of Kazuwari. The Slaying Face is especially over the top, while the Seeking Face is more of a Cold Ham.The Slaying Face: Luck is for the weak! May the most savage win!
- Many Spirits Inside of One:Humaire: Toamowhai is one. Toamowhai are three. Toamowhai are scores.
- The Reveal: Several, at least one for each Face. Just for starters, the Faces are more than just an aspect or avatar of Galawain. They are, in fact, three mortal souls who were bound to Kazuwari; the strife their High Priest Humaire has sensed on Kazuwari is a result of the Slaying Face's attempt to escape; the Seeking Face manipulated him into doing so, as part of her own secret desire for new experiences; and unbeknownst to all three Faces, they are in fact the past lives of a single soul, manifested separately by an Awakened Watcher and chanter.
- Summon Magic: The battles of the Crucible work on the same principles as chanting, with the Faces manifesting the lingering spirits of the past and recreating the battles in which they died.