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  1. - Top - End - #61
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    Flumph

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    Default Re: Let's Play Pillars of Eternity II: Deadfire

    Principi ships will avoid you if you're flying Principi colours.

    Vailian and RDC ships, however, will attack you.

  2. - Top - End - #62
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    AssassinGuy

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    Default Re: Let's Play Pillars of Eternity II: Deadfire

    Honestly, I tend to just beat up any principi I find. Theyre the closest thing the game has to an acceptable naval target and theyre worth some decent loot. Plus, annoying the pirates is always fun, and Serafen doesn't even care since theyre the idiots who attacked you first.
    “Evil is evil. Lesser, greater, middling, it's all the same. Proportions are negotiated, boundaries blurred. I'm not a pious hermit, I haven't done only good in my life. But if I'm to choose between one evil and another, then I prefer not to choose at all.”

  3. - Top - End - #63
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    Flumph

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    Default Re: Let's Play Pillars of Eternity II: Deadfire

    Principi and Crookspur are all acceptable targets, yeah. Though some of the naval bounties are for other faction captains.

    You don't appear to get any rep loss for doing them either.

  4. - Top - End - #64
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    RedWizardGuy

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    Default Re: Let's Play Pillars of Eternity II: Deadfire

    Part 17:
    We head north and east to Sayuka, on the trail of Remaro. We make brief stops to fight a Principi ship (which moved immediately to board us, offering us only a single broadside before melee) and to collect a bounty on one Silent Dhwrgas, a monk who apparently betrayed his order.

    Sayuka is a small colony of the RDC, and its character speaks to that. Everything is very clean and aggressively ship-shape, and our first greeting comes from a Huana woman being coached by an irritable undersecretary who puts up with a strange amount of back-sass from her. Apparently, the island is filled with large beasts and large trees, and surrounded by large reefs with large sharks (a vendor elsewhere says that druids have been sending these large beasts at the walls of late).

    We find Remaro planning to set sail, lamenting the decline of the Principi from something he once felt pride in. Conversing with him yields the information that Remaro did, in fact, lead a mutiny, because he discovered that his captain had been dealing in the slave trade. Remaro strangely prefaced this statement with "no words can justify what I've done" right before coming up with a good justification for what he did. Serafen is shocked and deeply hurt, his mind unwittingly projecting to Ryndara memories of his own past as a pit slave. Remaro gives Serafen a hand mortar (now two for twice the fun!) before heading out.

    On our way out of Sayuka, we are stopped by Malnaj, who demands to know what we're doing here, coincidentally at the same place to which they were tracking Remaro. Ryndara lies and says we had killed Remaro, but to no avail; she attacks, and we kill her.

    We head east to Motaro o Kozi in search of the Huana expedition. Barely do we get on the beach than we find a group of Wahaki with painted faces (Aloth gives us a meaningful look, as "Painted Masks" is the name of the local Leaden Key offshoot). They tell us to leave, that this island is barred to foreigners and has a dark and twisted hunger all its own. They express only disgust with Aruihi for having sent this expedition here, as well as for having sent us to find them. Strangely, however, in spite of this lack of unified purpose with the Huana of Neketaka, Ryndara is able to use her history of efforts on their behalf to plead her case with the Wahaki, who allow us to pass peacefully. We head up to ruined temple of ancient Huana construction, half-collapsed in a swamp. Here we find a Vailian woman, the last survivor of a group who had been sent to shadow the Huana expedition. We free her from the thorny vines that hold her and learn that her group had found only corpses when they arrived, but thought they'd prod around further and loot the place. When they took a piece off of a large golden disc, they fell victim to various plants and pwgra. She asks to join the crew, and we accept.

  5. - Top - End - #65
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    Morty's Avatar

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    Default Re: Let's Play Pillars of Eternity II: Deadfire

    On a random note, as I dusted off my own Deadfire saves, I think Pillars of Eternity did a good job with the disposition system. It helps guide a character down a consistent mode of behaviour without falling into the pitfalls of alignment systems.
    My FFRP characters. Avatar by Ashen Lilies. Sigatars by Ashen Lilies, Gulaghar and Purple Eagle.

  6. - Top - End - #66
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    RedWizardGuy

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    Default Re: Let's Play Pillars of Eternity II: Deadfire

    I agree, though I think the game could perhaps do a little better of providing feedback as to one's progress in amassing dispositions.

  7. - Top - End - #67
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    RedWizardGuy

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    Default Re: Let's Play Pillars of Eternity II: Deadfire

    Part 18:
    As we trudge through this horrid swamp, Ryndara reflects on how wonderful it would be to have Maia and Ishiza here. Maia's skills, stealth and survival, combined with ranged combat, would be perfect here. However, we're working pretty steadfastly against Rauataian interests here, so she can't be trusted to directly witness anything we do here. Even having her aboard the ship is probably letting her know too much.

    We tread through the water, circling the periphery of the collapsed temple, until we come across a diseased tree. Tekehu cleanses it of the corrupted water it was holding, and it looks better, but we are suddenly confronted with a delemgan who claims that the grove is this way because "Mother" corrupted it in order to give it the strength necessary to resist outsider invasion. Passive-aggressively hostile, she does not attack, but says she looks forward to Mother killing us. As we leave, though, she implores us to heal the other such trees, in order to heal her sisters, as Mother is apparently sick and will only get worse if not stopped.

    It's too late for one of those trees, but we navigate around to a different corrupted tree, which Tekehu cleanses. This time, the delemgan, whom we see transform from a pwgra, is much nicer. She is apologetic and regretful of what has transpired in the past, and of the corruption which took hold. She says that Mother changed the grove in order to protect it from the great disasters (rains of fire, high waves, the like) which took place when kith angered the gods long ago. She also says that Ukaizo was "a city of degenerates that brought ruin to the Deadfire."

    We move forward, and discover a tiger statue with an inscription, "It is the charge of all living things to safeguard adra. The gods will know us by the fealty of this covenant." Ryndara begins to understand. The residents of Ukaizo must have started mining adra like the Vailians are doing now, thereby breaking the covenant (and also weakening their watershaping).

    In the center of the temple is some sort of old gilded structure with a large golden wheel, ringed with ancient Huana inscriptions. It seems to require a combination of some form. The Vailians spoke of taking pieces of it, not understanding its contents or significance. We read one soul that says a ring from it was put up in a tree by a pale woman, and another that took a different piece and lost it in a cave. The inscription speaks of a chart that will lead people back "home" (a different inscription elsewhere makes clear that the builders considered that to mean Ukaizo). So this is what we're looking for. If anything will lead to Ukaizo, it'll be this.

    We move beyond the ancient wheel, as it's useless to us without the golden ring now in Mother's tree, and approach the heart of the corrupted grove. Ryndara is able to convince the menpwgra here of the extent to which the land is blighted, and she allows Tekehu to attempt to cleanse the tree growing around the adra pillar here (which has grown parasitic over the years, sipping from the soul essence of the pillar rather than living by photosynthesis). The rot in the tree attempts to ensorcel Ryndara but shies away from something about her (possibly Berath's chime). Tekehu is able to cleanse the tree, the menpwgra becomes an adragan with a markedly different personality, and we leave peacefully after claiming the golden ring.

    We activate the old mechanisms here and see an old map of the Deadfire, with every point labeled in relation to Ukaizo. Unfortunately, the map was made before the civilization-ravaging storms and tsunamis and volcanic eruptions that sundered the old Huana civilization, so all of the points of reference are obsolete. We make a rubbing of the chart and leave. For a brief time, the question lingers as to whether we should allow this map to continue existing, but Ryndara resolves to leave it, both from the philosophical point of hating to destroy or hide knowledge that could be saved for posterity and from the practical standpoint of the fact that the chart is obsolete and largely useless.

    We set sail, chancing the Hungry Shoals as we do so, which injures Beodul, our best helmsman, but affords the rest of us some experience. Shortly thereafter, we are hailed by an RDC captain. Ryndara briefly entertains the thought of answering in broadside, but allows them to pull up. Captain Pai, the commander of this vessel, the Benevolent Aegis, susses out that we have the map to Ukaizo, as this is why he's here. We try to hide it from him, but to no avail, and a combat breaks out as we try to maintain control of the map. The combat is one-sided in our favor (and Maia pitches in, strangely), leaving us with a fully serviceable junk that for some reason we cannot take. (That really bothers me. Here we are on a fully intact ship with thousands of pands worth of guns and munitions aboard in addition to any regular supplies, whose crew we just killed. The ship is larger and more valuable than the Caed Nua. If nothing else, I should be afforded the opportunity to swap out my old ship for this one. Realistically, I should be able to put both ships under a skeleton crew and sail the Benevolent Aegis back as a prize, selling it to Neketaka or the Vailians, or even the Principi, were I so inclined. That's a significant practice in piracy, privateering, and legitimate naval operations, and historically represented much of the income of naval sailors before the age of ironclads.)

    We head back to Neketaka and Ryndara, no longer trying to save up every pand, purchases a menagerie for the Caed Nua and takes up the commission on the iron thunderers that the shipwright in Queen's Berth was working on. It turns out that the commission was 1,000 cp for four of them, not for one, so it actually would have been better to do so much earlier, but the dialogue didn't make that clear.

  8. - Top - End - #68
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    RedWizardGuy

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    Default Re: Let's Play Pillars of Eternity II: Deadfire

    Part 19:
    We trudge up to the palace and give the map to Prince Aruihi. He seems to make more of the map than we do, as he both seems to believe we've undertaken a great step towards finding Ukaizo and chides us for leaving the original for others to find.

    Tekehu then makes a pass at Ryndara. She entertains the concept but ultimately rejects it; Tekehu is about the opposite of discretion.

    We take Maia to report to her superiors, and she sheepishly says that this is something she must do by herself, by which we assume that it's something secret and probably unethical. She goes off.

    Thinking we might need to balance out whatever she's accomplishing for the RDC, Ryndara takes the team to solve the feud between the Valeras and the Bardattos, so as to strengthen the Vailians.

    We talk with Xoti, who is now having nightmarish hallucinations in the day. Ryndara says that she needs to get rid of the souls she's been carrying, and suggests dealing with the animancers in the hopes of creating a new cycle as a backup for the one Eothas seems intent on breaking. (Eothas hasn't specifically said this to Ryndara, but a lot of conversation options act like he has, and that Laetharn guy had visions of the Wheel being broken.) Even if Eothas doesn't end up breaking the Wheel, Berath could use a little competition. We head over to the Spire of the Soul-Seekers and chat with Elaune. She voices half of an objection, but stops herself, allowing Xoti to yield her gathered souls into the adra spire.

    In the Sacred Stair, we ask Onge, one of Bosc's Partisans of the Light, about Bosc's whereabouts, and she says that he and his chosen vanguard have gone to meet Eothas, setting sail to the north. Eder, believing Bearn to be on that ship, pleads us to go, and we set sail as soon as we can. The Caed Nua catches up quickly with the Eothasians' sloop, and we pull alongside. Bosc then tells his followers that our arrival is "a gift from Eothas," and orders them to attack. This goes as well for them as it does for anyone else in these situations, but at least they have the excuse of trying to die. We chase Bosc down into the hold of his ship, where most of his followers have already killed themselves, and we see Bosc and Bearn holding vials of poison. Eder and Ryndara gradually talk Bearn down from taking it, Eder voicing a few criticisms of the gods as he does so. (Ryndara has the opportunity to say something about the gods' true nature, but elects not to, lest that derail the conversation.) Bosc, to his credit, doesn't turn violent or lose his cool, but simply accepts Bearns change of heart and drinks his own vial.

    We take Bearn to Hasongo and then loop around the Deadfire a bit, picking up a few bounties along the way before dipping southward to complete our exploration of the Tikawara triangle for the cartographer in Queen's Berth. We spot a plague-ridden ship adrift in the ocean, and a sense of mercy leads Ryndara to aid them, against the wishes of the crew. The crew does end up catching the sickness that the other ship's crew had, but it ultimately costs us nothing more than a bit of our medicine reserves and earns the crew some experience, so all's ultimately well.

    Soon after this, Maia comes back. (It's amazing how all these mail carriers and returning party members can effortlessly track and intercept my ship, no matter how erratic my journey.) Interested in what she got up to during those days, Ryndara turns to talk to her. Maia says that her mission was an assassination: a Huana chieftain was talking about the need for peace and unity among the tribes. Maia had some degree of reluctance to kill a civilian over something like this, but did so anyway; the ranga's successor, however, turned out to have the same ideals. Maia seems shaken, but still wants to report back to Atsura. Ryndara contemplates killing Atsura when we make that visit.

    We are interrupted as we sail around the southern end of the Black Isles by a Principi ship, the Heaving Harlot, a well-armed junk. This represents the first fight of appropriate weight class for a galleon like the Caed Nua. On one side, the Harlot bears a battery of Imperial long cannon, and on the other side, Vailian hullbreakers and wyrmtongue ships for close-in work. The pirates also look to be difficult to fight while boarding. The ensuing gun battle is long and arduous, but with judicious targeting, the Caed Nua eventually comes out triumphant. First, we pick apart their sails and deckhands to force them to drop actions, and then we pound their hull and below-deck crew with solid shot. Eventually, their intimidating broadside is left undermanned, and the Caed Nua mercilessly pounds the pirate ship into splinters. From the wreckage, we pick up various coins, weaponry, a logbook, and a magic obsidian-studded club. The club has abilities that suit Eder well (giving bonuses based on engaging lots of enemies and affording the ability to engage more enemies), but Eder isn't proficient in clubs, so we'll have to retrain him when we get back to a port.

    We explore the volcanic center island, finding a very strange (and possibly hallucinatory) encounter with travelers on our way spiraling into the center. Once there, however, we find a temple of Wael. Ryndara eagerly leads the group inside, hoping to steal a few things back from that particular god after he made off with all those scrolls of hers. It turns out to be a long, spiralling door puzzle, wherein each set of switches moves two doors or something to that effect. With a few false starts, the temple's security is penetrated and we triumphantly seize the Eye of Wael, a magic scepter. As a final gesture of defiance to the god of mysteries, Ryndara officially marks the island as "Wael's Island" on the charts so as to dispel the secrecy he craves.

    We then come to a different island with a shrine to Woedica. The shrine, curiously, has a group of people in it. Less surprisingly, they attack us, and as they do so, they say something about protecting a mace. We best them, step around the traps, which are beyond Aloth's ability to disarm, and find the mace sitting atop a statue of Woedica. The mace has a malevolent will to it, and it fights Ryndara aggressively as she attempts to pick it up and take it. The two meet an impasse; the mace can't ensorcel Ryndara and company as it did the previous batch of people, but Ryndara can't quite summon the will to take the mace from the temple. Therefore, we leave, name the island "Woedica's Island" to spite her, and head back to Neketaka to report to Sanza the mapmaker.
    Last edited by VoxRationis; 2019-11-06 at 04:43 AM.

  9. - Top - End - #69
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    Morty's Avatar

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    Default Re: Let's Play Pillars of Eternity II: Deadfire

    Rescuing Bearn is one of the few quests in the game that have an actual timer. If you take too long, everyone on the ship will already be dead, Bearn included.
    My FFRP characters. Avatar by Ashen Lilies. Sigatars by Ashen Lilies, Gulaghar and Purple Eagle.

  10. - Top - End - #70
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    Flumph

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    Default Re: Let's Play Pillars of Eternity II: Deadfire

    Every damn time I've had the plague ship interaction I've ended up with my crew catching the damn thing...

    (It's not serious, really, Xoti can fix it with magic and all that happens is a trivial morale loss that they always get back from booze or prize share)

  11. - Top - End - #71
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    AssassinGuy

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    Default Re: Let's Play Pillars of Eternity II: Deadfire

    Something else to keep in mind, weapon proficiency has very little effect until high levels. It unlocks a combat stance for that weapon, which may or may not be all that useful on a given character (and depending on if youre in RTWP or Turn Based mode) and I believe fighters get a couple of abilities that only trigger on proficient weapons in some of their higher tier skills, but that's about it.
    “Evil is evil. Lesser, greater, middling, it's all the same. Proportions are negotiated, boundaries blurred. I'm not a pious hermit, I haven't done only good in my life. But if I'm to choose between one evil and another, then I prefer not to choose at all.”

  12. - Top - End - #72
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    Flumph

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    Default Re: Let's Play Pillars of Eternity II: Deadfire

    Yeah, you don't need to worry much about weapon proficiency at all. You get lots of proficiency points and, frankly, most of the modals are situational at best.

  13. - Top - End - #73
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    RedWizardGuy

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    Default Re: Let's Play Pillars of Eternity II: Deadfire

    I had Eder take some of those fighter talents. I think by this point it's something like +20% to damage.

  14. - Top - End - #74
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    Morty's Avatar

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    Default Re: Let's Play Pillars of Eternity II: Deadfire

    The club modal is pretty useful when combined with single-target abilities that attack Will. I'm planning to have a Barbarian/Cipher Serafen use it and follow up with Puppet Master. Still, you're pretty much guaranteed to have more proficiencies than you need.
    My FFRP characters. Avatar by Ashen Lilies. Sigatars by Ashen Lilies, Gulaghar and Purple Eagle.

  15. - Top - End - #75
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    RedWizardGuy

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    Default Re: Let's Play Pillars of Eternity II: Deadfire

    The arquebus aimed shot modal also helps compensate for its lack of accuracy, particularly with opening salvos, and can score better damage if you have adequate accuracy to begin with. The miss/graze/hit/crit system in PoE is interesting in that it actually does give you a good incentive for "overkill" in terms of accuracy, which is something I don't see a lot of in RPG systems. Maia seems to be critting more often than not.

    But no, I have no real interest in the club modal ability for Eder; it's just that those fighter talents give him 15% extra damage with proficient weapons. Retraining him to have club proficiency (for that magic club that does crush/slash damage plus raw and has a bonus regarding engagement, and thus is something he should use a lot) instead of something else he never uses is like buying a permanent 15% damage bonus for 1,625 cp, which is a pretty good deal.

    (Incidentally, I hate how retraining has you go through level by level. I feel like part of the point of retraining is to be able to go through the whole process all at once, with each point spent in the perspective of the others which are remaining.)

    Part 20:
    We take a trip to Atsura so Maia can report in. Atsura is very friendly and welcoming to Ryndara, but she is cold to him, having little regard for him or his designs. (On a throwaway save, we killed him, with Maia strangely being willing to help with that. Atsura turned out to be very easy to bring down if you get the jump on him. The hard part was the mass of over-leveled Rauatai Soldiers that stormed his office in response.) Atsura gives Maia a magic arquebus as a reward. It deals damage in a line but does less damage than her current weapon, which seems like a fairly situational tradeoff. Normally, Maia's been fighting from behind the rest of the party, picking off enemy casters as quickly as possible, and this weapon isn't effective for that. That said, it would be good in a target-rich environment, so when she levels up, we give her an extra weapon slot and put it there.

    Then we wander about a bit, turning in bounties for various monsters and cutthroats we've run across in our travels. The bounty agent in the Wild Mare tells us to fight one Nomu the Marauder, who's encamped in the wilderness outside of town. Therefore, we head off to do that. Nomu is not particularly difficult. Afterwards, since we're already out here, Ryndara leads the crew on an exploration of the rest of the island. We come across a small group of xaurips betting on what looks to be a fight between cave grubs. We don't manage to sneak by them, so Ryndara does her best to stay calm and demonstrate that we mean no harm. The xaurips indeed let us pass unharmed, and even present us with an ivory wurm figurine as an offering of sorts.

    We happen upon an old ruin of some kind further down the path. Out of curiosity, we press into it. We find xaurips, and out of a sense of sympathy and a desire not to betray the good faith of those whom we treated with peacefully earlier along the path, we send Maia to scout out with the intent of avoiding conflict unless absolutely necessary. Maia deftly avoids the xaurips and discovers a group of them and an eoten, torturing a Huana as the eoten argues with itself about when to kill and eat him. We can't let them do so, so Maia grabs the rest of the group and we ambush the wilders. The fight goes smoothly, though Ryndara notes with chagrin that most of her spells seemed insufficient to penetrate the enemy's armor. We free the captive, who turns out to be a merchant the xaurips ambushed a while back. He says that at least one of his fellows is still being held by the xaurips in a cage to the southeast. We work our way around to the east on a raised walkway, which allows us to gain a good positional advantage for falling upon the next group of xaurips. It's simple to clear out the level and free the captive.

    After we do this, we go downstairs, wanting to see what's going on with this place and if there is anything deeper behind this group of kith-eating wilders. However, when we get downstairs, we see only a locked door in a small dark room. It looks like something was removed, and we're at present unsure what that could be. Indeed, it might be found somewhere else, only to be discovered after another quest. Reluctantly, we head out of the ruin.

    We leave Neketaka on a cartographic expedition to explore the islands west of the Wakara Reef and the Katangi Isles.

    As we sail, we are suddenly beset by a massive tsunami. We sail the Caed Nua straight across the wave to good effect, leaving us wondering what that was all about. One of the crew suggests an eruption or quake near Tikawara or the Black Isle, so we make a note of that for the future.

  16. - Top - End - #76
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    Morty's Avatar

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    Default Re: Let's Play Pillars of Eternity II: Deadfire

    Weapons are a pretty annoying part of Deadfire, to be honest. The number of unique pieces is wildly imbalanced between types, with there being a pile of sabres and many swords or greatswords but two or even one example of other types. The one and only crossbow without DLC is only available if you help Furrante and the Crookspur slavers. There's only two battle axes without DLC, too, and one of them is a special two-handed one. The other is on a remote island you may or may not even see.
    Last edited by Morty; 2019-11-10 at 06:18 PM.
    My FFRP characters. Avatar by Ashen Lilies. Sigatars by Ashen Lilies, Gulaghar and Purple Eagle.

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    RedWizardGuy

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    Default Re: Let's Play Pillars of Eternity II: Deadfire

    Part 21:
    We explore a largely desert island for a time. One of the locations looks to be a bit much for us, so we skirt around it, but we find some sand-swept ruins that we press into. No monsters in sight, but the entire place is filled with traps. We're able to press past some of them, but the second hallway filled with them is beyond Aloth's mechanical skill, and there are too many of them to simply press past with brute force. We therefore skirt around into a secret hallway that a lever opened up, but all it has are a handful of sigil pillars and the corpse of some adventurer who fell victim to them before. We make a note of the location and resolve to come back with Votti, who's more adept at mechanical work than Aloth.

    Exploring the rest of the island, we find a couple of eoten, bribing them with food to let us pass, and then chance upon another adventuring group. They are friendly, and we share their fire and camp for the night before heading back to the Caed Nua.

    We travel north for a bit and find another island bearing a site called the Ruins of Amira's Roost. This sounds intriguing, and so we press into it, first finding a group of lagufaeth who have been brutally slain with fire and crushing force. We are set upon by their fellows, and, unable to explain to them that we are not the cause of their kin's deaths, are forced to fight them off. We come into the old shrine to Amira and find a woman investigating it by herself, accompanied only by a number of constructs and vessels. Ryndara had assumed that the construction of steelspine skeletons and void seers was something of a trade secret of Concelhaut and his apprentices, but apparently they've gotten more common over the last few years. A sense of professional insecurity fills Ryndara, who has no such minions to her name. This woman looks as though she's been here for a while, even though the whole shrine is just three rooms without a lot to them.

    When the woman notices us, she howls at us that we aren't going to take the Book of Storms from her. Our protests that we weren't looking for the Book of Storms fall on deaf ears, and she begins a fight with us. She dies quickly, but her vessels, thanks to blanket pierce immunity, put up a tough fight. When the dust settles, we find this Book of Storms, seemingly a fairly ordinary grimoire, as well as a rod called Amira's Wing. By this point, the party's packs are filled with all manner of magical implements, far more than we could ever use, so at some point, we should go through and see which are worth keeping around.

    We set sail to the north, in order to speak with the Wahaki. On our way, we come across a Principi galleon. It looks tough, but we set out to intercept it. The ensuing gunnery battle goes poorly for us, however. Several crew are injured, and the Caed Nua takes massive damage from the other ship's guns. Out of desperation, Ryndara orders the crew to charge and board. The melee is difficult. Most of the enemy crew is over-leveled. A Principi fighter deals 104 damage to Ryndara at one point. Maia spends much of the battle on the run from rogues whose shadow step abilities make them frustratingly elusive. Eder is somehow unable to keep people from pushing past him in spite of his high engagement limit. Fortunately, Xoti, though not in the party, acts as an effective healer for enough of the crew to keep us fighting, and we eventually overtake the pirates.

    We limp to port to stock up on medicine and repair supplies before heading north to Ori o Koiki. On the way, we see a derelict Aedyran trade vessel. Investigating it, we see a vaguely key-like symbol painted on its sails, and Ryndara determines from the souls of the butchered crew that the ship was attacked by Wahaki with painted faces who shouted about expelling foreigners from the Deadfire. Aloth and Ryndara share worried looks and words. In particular, Ryndara is concerned because of the potential conflicts this poses. If the Leaden Key are either synonymous with the Wahaki or exert a controlling influence over them, they cannot be allowed to gain greater traction in the Deadfire, but Onekaza needs them (supposedly) in order to strengthen her armies, and that sort of integration with the Kahanga and the broader archipelago would almost certainly afford them that traction. If they weren't a) a whole tribe, complete with civilians, and b) needed for future Huana independence, it would be simple; Ryndara and company would just kill the whole cell, like they did in the Dyrwood. As it stands, if we find more signs of a Leaden Key sect, we'll have to find some less violent way of limiting their future influence.

    We land on Ori o Koiki. Ryndara selects as her shore party Aloth (for his expertise in the Leaden Key in addition to mechanical skill and single-target damage), Tekehu (in the hopes that he will provide the Wahaki with a reason not to kill us all on sight), Eder (for durability), and Xoti (for healing). We then proceed up to the Wahaki village, deep in the jungle.

    No sooner do we get there than we see a totem with the key-like symbol we saw on the sail, confirming the Wahaki's involvement in the slaughter on that ship we passed (which was, incidentally, not only a civilian ship but an Aedyre civilian ship, unrelated to the imperial powers threatening the Deadfire's independence) and reinforcing the sense we are getting that we may find ourselves torn between two strategic objectives. We scout around for a bit. There's only a few deserted huts down here, but a cliff does lead up to some sort of ledge or small mesa. Nearby that cliff face, we see a crumbling dome, apparently of Engwithan make. We find a woman standing guard at the top of the mesa, apparently guarding a lift which ferries people to and from the surface. Tekehu flirts with her a bit (apparently, they have some history, which is surprising, since we had been told the Wahaki tended to keep to themselves even among the Huana) before Ryndara gives the woman the pass phrase Onekaza gave us. We are allowed to the top.

    Xoti mentions that she hasn't been dreaming, and this has improved her mood; she talks about seeing the stars glow in a strange way, and sighs contentedly. After this short interlude, we travel through the Wahaki village to find the ranga, one Ruasare. As we navigate through, we see a large number of Wahaki with animal companions, and Ryndara is unnervingly reminded of Twin Elms, of navigating through the old ruins, forced to observe the contrast between the reverence and awe the Glanfathans paid them and her own memories of the real use to which they were put. When we reach the inner sanctum of the village, an Engwithan ruin, the resemblance becomes even more unsettling. How many similar tribes are there in the world, she wonders, squatting blindly in the ruins of Engwith, bound by cultural mores which exist purely to safeguard the secrets of the gods?

    Just inside the door, in the foyer, is an unmistakable depiction of Thaos in his priestly garb. Ryndara is now sure that the Wahaki are the Painted Masks, agents of the Leaden Key and thus her enemies; fortunately, they do not seem to know of this enmity. Seeking not only accord but also an explanation of how the Wahaki relate to the Leaden Key, we come to Ruasare's throne room. Here, Ryndara's silver tongue acquits her well, and the ranga becomes favorably inclined towards the queen, but Ruasare still asks that we aid them first against their enemies, the slavers who prey upon her people. Fortunately, we've already dealt with them, so we throw Master Kua's head before her as a gift. This delights Ruasare, who pledges herself to aid Onekaza, should military aid become necessary. Seeking information about the second order of business shes has with Ruasare, Ryndara reads the ranga's soul. By good fortune, or perhaps by the agency of some god, the ranga's soul was once in a similar place in the tribe, many years ago, when the Wahaki were larger and stronger, and Ryndara is able to glean memories relevant to Thaos and his dealings with the Wahaki. They were living in these ruins when Thaos came to them, claiming that they were offending the gods by living there. The Wahaki believed that they, not the Engwithans, built the ruins; the Engwithans were supposedly guests that betrayed the hospitality of the Huana and thereby brought divine judgment upon Ukaizo. (This, incidentally, is a story that seems to have been passed down to modern Wahaki; Ruasare said something similar earlier). Thaos is noticeably surprised by this, but tries to correct the ranga, saying that the Engwithans built these buildings, that they are not part of the Huana cultural tradition, and that he has proof, using his headdress, the same one depicted on the mural in the foyer, to demonstrate his link to the Engwithans. The ranga reacts badly to this. She took Thaos and his followers and burned them at the stake, but extended her distrust of the Engwithans and Thaos to all foreigners, which would later become the root of Wahaki isolationism, and ultimately serve Thaos' purpose.

    Ryndara enjoys watching Thaos get taken off-guard not once but twice in rapid succession, even if in the end, his visit to the Wahaki did end up completing his purpose of setting up a guardian tribe. It stands to reason that the past contains at least a few such instances; he has necessarily died many times in the last 2000 years, and his travels and dangerous endeavors probably meant that at least some of those deaths ended up being from foes who temporarily got the better of him. More importantly, this means that the Wahaki are not consciously agents of the Leaden Key (hence why they haven't been in contact with Thaos, a fact Aloth mentioned he had discovered while dismantling other cells abroad). Thus, they can hopefully be reasoned with and brought around to a more moderate stance through simple diplomacy and through closer contact with Onekaza's faction. Ryndara, Eder, and Aloth discuss this stance. Aloth, seeing how the Wahaki have changed over the years as an unintended consequence of Thaos' meddling, wonders if our actions, and his actions in particular, are only making things worse. Ryndara counters that if we did nothing to stop the Leaden Key, we would bear the blame for the wrongs they committed, though she is also quick to point out the immorality of meddling in the fashion of Thaos himself. Aloth, heartened by these commitments to his purpose, moves forward.

    Our mission to Ori o Koiki complete, we set sail, making a short stop to the west to follow the treasure map of those pirates we hunted, and head south to Neketaka. Queen Onekaza is pleased and tells us she will summon us later.

  18. - Top - End - #78
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    RedWizardGuy

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    Default Re: Let's Play Pillars of Eternity II: Deadfire

    Part 22:
    About the only task remaining that I'm interested in doing before I have to go hunt Eothas again is investigating Bekarna's observatory, which Arkemyr sent us to do. It's supposedly a bit tough for us, but we elect to go there anyway.

    We get inside the observatory to discover the Torn Bannermen there once more, ransacking the place in search for a book; the fact that the observatory has a library has impeded their search for a particular book. We ambush the group in the front hallway; they're tough, but outnumbered, at least for long enough that by the time their allies arrive to check out what all the noise is, we've taken down the first group. Our party continues to struggle with armor penetration. Fortunately, Tekehu has that chanter spell that does foe-only shock damage in an area, which helps provide reliable damage to plate-armored enemies.

    We reach the top of the orrery, having collected various books from the library that mention fragments of a tale of a figure called the Huntress. We examine the orrery, which has a panel explaining to Bekarna (hedging against mishaps with mind-affecting magic) that her research can be found inside if she sets it to the coordinates of the figures from the Huntress legends. Unfortunately, in order to do so, we have to first ascertain those coordinates with a telescope, and that requires venturing to another part of the rooftop. When we get there, we see none other than Concelhaut! The archmage is as shocked and irritated to see us as we are to see him. He talks about how he had planned on killing Ryndara and destroying Caed Nua on account of how she kept him around as a pet floating skull (which seems unfair; he got to witness us learning ancient secrets about the universe and watch Ryndara permanently kill Thaos ix Arkannon, a boon we did not grant to Llengrath), but Eothas beat him to the punch. Following that, he dragged himself to a dock and made his way to the Deadfire (he does not explain, however, how he acquired a new, or newish, body).

    A fight ensues; it's difficult and it required reloading once (on account of how he never seems to run out of spells and is immune to most afflictions and also, somehow, to raw damage), but we manage to kill off his minions and then assemble a firing squad to put him down. Once again, the humble Grease spell is the most effective tool in our arsenal against such a mighty foe. We take Concelhaut's grimoire and skull again, making a mental note to have it destroyed at some point in the future. (Perhaps we could write "destroy if found" on the back, where he can't see it.) Then we return to Arkemyr, Concelhaut in tow. The lich is more vocal now than he was the first time we decapitated him, ranting on about how he'll endure "when the Wheel has ground [us] all to dust," but Ryndara is amused by it. Arkemyr, strangely, does not comment on the fact that we brought him along with us. When we give him Bekarna's research notes, he takes us to his scrying pool, where we commune with the rest of the Circle of Archmagi. The new Llengrath gives us flak for having killed the old one, but everyone else seems reasonably amicable.

    Arkemyr presents the findings: Bekarna happened by her own research into one of the Circle's old theories, that a stream of soul essence runs through the Deadfire, but she managed to do one better and chart its precise destination. It heads off east, and its course, by and large, is parallel to that of Eothas. This fits with the hints the party has found that Eothas intends on finding the Wheel itself and destroying it. However, we aren't given an opportunity to tell the Circle that before they shoo us out. Arkemyr snidely says that we aren't entitled to everything he owns, which is rather unfair, given that Ryndara only took the Harapo Epic, out of respect. Now, however, we have little incentive not to drop by his vault on our way out the door and steal everything inside, which we do.

  19. - Top - End - #79
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    Morty's Avatar

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    Default Re: Let's Play Pillars of Eternity II: Deadfire

    Armor penetration is a pretty dominant factor in Deadfire, especially on higher levels and difficulties. Eating food and drinking potions are helpful with that.
    My FFRP characters. Avatar by Ashen Lilies. Sigatars by Ashen Lilies, Gulaghar and Purple Eagle.

  20. - Top - End - #80
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    RedWizardGuy

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    Default Re: Let's Play Pillars of Eternity II: Deadfire

    See, I thought about making those potions/poisons of penetration, but I didn't have any talons on hand. I collect massive quantities of fangs, claws, and other similar-looking ingredients, and then when I actually go to make things, it turns out I don't have the right curved brown claw-like items on hand.

    That said, I have to say that I really did love this quest. The meeting with Concelhaut--his shock and outrage and the mutual "Wait, you?" response we had--was very funny and also very reminiscent of Baldur's Gate 2, which was my very first RPG all the way back in middle school, and thus brought back a great deal of nostalgia. His impotent rants against us as we cart him around with us (and indeed, his complaint about being stuffed in a pack and jostled around with spears and potions and whatnot) are also a tremendous source of amusement.

  21. - Top - End - #81
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    Default Re: Let's Play Pillars of Eternity II: Deadfire

    Quote Originally Posted by VoxRationis View Post
    See, I thought about making those potions/poisons of penetration, but I didn't have any talons on hand. I collect massive quantities of fangs, claws, and other similar-looking ingredients, and then when I actually go to make things, it turns out I don't have the right curved brown claw-like items on hand.
    It wouldn't be video game crafting if you weren't always missing the one ingredient you need amidst tons of garbage. I can't remember if the potions or ingredients can be bought somewhere. I know there's a merchant in Periki's Overlook selling hot razor skewers (I think) that increase penetration when eaten on rest.
    My FFRP characters. Avatar by Ashen Lilies. Sigatars by Ashen Lilies, Gulaghar and Purple Eagle.

  22. - Top - End - #82
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    Flumph

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    Default Re: Let's Play Pillars of Eternity II: Deadfire

    There's also an ingredients merchant in Periki's Overlook who may have what you need.

  23. - Top - End - #83
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    RedWizardGuy

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    Default Re: Let's Play Pillars of Eternity II: Deadfire

    Right, I forgot about those skewers. I'll have to see about picking some up before I head to Magran's Teeth.

    Part 22:
    After briefly and fruitlessly checking with the VTC to see if there's anything new for us to do, we head up to Periki's Overlook to purchase razor skewers in the hope that this food will somehow provide us with the ability to penetrate plate armor. While there, we stop by the blacksmith. Someone, likely Eder, was kind enough to collect the shards of Whispers of Yenwood and the Blade of the Endless Paths from the wreckage of Caed Nua, and it would be nice to reforge them. The smith, Marihi, offers to forge them into one blade instead, turning the sword and estoc into one greatsword. This is something of a dilemma. Firstly, we aren't told what the final effects would be. Secondly, do we value a magical greatsword more, or a magical estoc? Eder already has that war club, which fills his one-handed slot fairly nicely for most purposes, so the Whispers of Yenwood aren't terribly important to our calculations (We could give them to Maia as a backup weapon, but generally speaking, it's best to do whatever is necessary to keep her out of melee). We were just complaining about the lack of penetration, and an estoc is in theory very good for that, but in practice, almost everything has higher pierce resistance than it does slash resistance, and a large number of things have flat-out immunity to pierce weapons. For a while, we were hurting for a magic greatsword for Pallegina, but we just picked up the Effort sword recently.

    Thinking to make her own mark on the armorial history of Caed Nua, Ryndara opts to forge the two swords into a greatsword. The resulting weapon, Whispers of the Endless Paths, is indeed a fine blade. In fact, given its increased reach and ability to attack multiple foes at once, it might be a good holdout weapon for her. Alternatively, we could give it to Pallegina. We'll have to think on which course would be more effective.

    The Caed Nua sets out north to Ashen Maw. On the way, we are attacked by a Rathun longship. They, outgunned, attempt to close with us. However, the Caed Nua gets around to fire a mighty broadside at them as they approach. Their deck crew is mangled immediately, and they lose precious time in which we manage to open up more distance. Once this is the case, the battle tips decidedly to our favor. We have eight guns to the other ship's one, more durable sails and hull, and a larger and more experienced crew. A few more broadsides and the longship is reduced to splinters in the water.

    Spoiler: The Ashen Maw
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    We (Ryndara, Xoti, Eder, Pallegina, and Aloth) make landfall at Ashen Maw. Eothas is already here, having given the Rathun the same treatment as Hasongo and Caed Nua. We see him at an adra pillar in the heart of the volcano. The remaining Rathun are preparing to make another attack against him. We talk past two and sneak by most of the rest, though we got caught out and had to kill two in a narrow hallway. They were somewhat less durable than one would have expected for giants birthed of the goddess of smithing. Eventually, we come to a shrine room, where their leader explains that the way down to the Maw itself is only to be opened by their priestess, who is currently attempting to convince "the Ancient," a dragon, to fight against Eothas. Said priestess has not returned, and only with the sacred torc she bears can the elevator to the lower level be activated. He sends us to the Ancient's lair in order to call the priestess back; Magran is awakening the volcano in an attempt to destroy Eothas, which will destroy everyone, including the Rathun*, so we're on a bit of a time crunch.

    We run back to the Lair of the Ancient and find the soul of a fallen Rathun warrior who had accompanied the priestess to the cave. The memories the soul has are of worry, heat so fierce that it felt dangerous and uncomfortable, and of harsh laughter preceding deadly cuts, which tells us the dragon is probably not going to be especially cooperative. Pressing forward, we see a Rathun warrior overlooking the seared corpse of the priestess, and a magma dragon strides out. It reveals that it, though appreciative of the tribute paid to it for centuries by the Rathun, does not believe in taking commands or doing its duty. This is what can happen when one's gods are just animancer's constructs and one's "Ancient Guardians" are just long-lived creatures who've made a handshake deal with those gods' followers. Ryndara manages to convince it that Magran is about to destroy the volcano and everyone here, at which point it flies away. (This earns me, the player, the Dragonbane achievement, which is odd when one considers the fact that I've fought precisely zero dragons in Deadfire.) We run over to the corpse of the priestess, whose soul is still reeling with confusion and betrayal and outrage. Apparently, she had stopped receiving visions and thoughts from Magran shortly before heading to the Ancient, but went on anyway out of devotion and the desire to protect Magran's "mind." (Is the adra pillar connected to Magran as a piece of infrastructure? It doesn't seem likely, considering that Magran is about to destroy it.) Fitting for a devotee of Magran, she died alone and abandoned as her goddess prepares to destroy her entire community for strategic purposes. Ryndara seizes the torc and some loot from the dragon's lair and then heads back to the shrine. When we tell the Rathun warlord what happened, he says that they will need to prepare and gather their strength a little more if they are going to attack Eothas without their priestess or the Ancient.

    We prepare to head down and talk to Eothas; Magran tells us quickly to get lost, because she's about to cause the volcano to erupt. Part of Ryndara believes her about this and is inclined to take the goddess' advice, but continues anyway. Xoti freaks out as she sees her god in person, offering all manner of prayers and supplication and ranting about his glory and so forth, but Eothas gently dismisses her as one would an excitable child. Ryndara's approach is more brusque. We're pressed for time and need answers now, so the first thing she says is a to-the-point demand for them, and when Eothas starts with vague descriptions of intent, she calls him on it. Eothas then explains that in order to "restore" the gods to the relationship they should have with mortals, he needs to expose their true nature. (This sort of ignores the fact that the Engwithans set out from the very beginning to disguise the gods' nature, as our flashbacks to Thaos and his Inquisition and Abadon's memories of Ondra's moon-calling revealed, and so letting kith know the truth isn't really "restoring" anything about the relationship, but we ignore this discrepancy to let him continue his explanation.) His crusade as St. Waidwen was done in order to expose the Engwithan machinery in the Dyrwood. Now, however, convinced that he could never succeed in that way, he believes that the only way is to break the Wheel and thereby force kith and gods into openness and cooperation in order to fix a common crisis. To that end, he is setting off from here to Ukaizo, where the Wheel's physical infrastructure is located. This confirms a lot of the suspicions we've been having thus far, and strongly supports the interpretation of Huana history that Ryndara had been nursing this whole time. Xoti is taken aback at some of the things Eothas says, but has no time to process it. He tells her that she doesn't have to give the souls she gathers to him, which is rather convenient, given that we've already started an alternate process for her. The volcano is about to erupt. Eothas offers to aid us in reaching safety. Ryndara mouths off to him at this time, but he ignores it and saves us anyway, which Ryndara appreciates in spite of herself. After all, he didn't really have to save us.

    The volcano erupts, with Eothas bearing us out just in time; he also protects us and our ship from the tsunami that Ondra sends against him immediately afterwards. Both attacks fail miserably; after setting us down safely and flicking the Caed Nua southward, Eothas strides off unimpeded by all that Magran and Ondra could raise against him. This would be a tremendous show of divine force if Eothas' body weren't an entirely mortal-made statue that seems to have predated the apotheosis project. As it is, it's still amusing that our two least-favorite second and third least-favorite goddesses tried so hard and failed so miserably at stopping Eothas.

    Spoiler: The Council of Neketaka
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    After a prolonged period of trying to convince her own soul to reunite with her, Ryndara wakes up in the audience chamber of the Kahanga Palace. Apparently, she was muttering the key elements of what we learned at the Ashen Maw, so there's no ability to strategically withhold information. Queen Onekaza, the hazanui, and Director Castol are all arguing about what is to be done. They each have particular goals for Ukaizo in addition to the ethnic or national aggrandizement one would expect; Onekaza wishes to keep to the old Huana compact with the gods by defending Ukaizo from outside interference, the Rauataians want to learn the means by which the storm surround Ukaizo in order to be able to control or dissipate the storms around Rauatai, and Castol wants to use the ancient machinery and magic to further kith through animancy. At this time, Captain Aeldys bursts in on behalf of the Principi, demanding a seat at the table for this land grab. She only desires wealth; her goal is to claim the riches of Ukaizo and sell them to the highest bidder. The one thing they can all agree on, after a fashion, is that they want to stop Eothas from destroying the Wheel, which Ryndara isn't actually so sure about at this point. Getting everyone out from under the thumb of the gods sounds like a pretty nice plan to her, especially since we've already made strides in establishing an alternate cycle (and indeed, people got by without the Wheel before). More personally, after having given Berath no end of grief in their previous interactions, Ryndara isn't entirely sure that the Pallid Knight isn't going to claim her and then reincarnate her into something unpleasant immediately after she faces Eothas, so breaking Berath's hold on the cycle of life and death sounds like a good thing for her.

    • Huana: Ryndara wants to fight for the rights of the Huana as indigenous inhabitants, but they're not making that easy, between the oppressive caste system and the mindlessly violent isolationism of the Wahaki (which includes killing foreigners who sail past them, not just to them), and Onekaza's continued adherence to Ondra is going to be an issue. During Onekaza's speeches, Ryndara just wanted to interrupt her and explain the crucial, extremely relevant context for what Eothas is doing and why the gods established that pact with the Huana. Onekaza is negotiating and making decisions from a position of profound ignorance, and it's coloring our ability to work with her.
    • Vailians: Director Castol wants to better the common lot of kith through understanding of animancy, which is a goal Ryndara can get behind, but he is also willing to deal with slave traders, and that episode with the tribesman trying to negotiate for his tribe's land shows that VTC practice is often exploitative.
    • Rauatai: It's hard to want to cooperate with people whose approach to diplomacy involves frequently mentioning the strength of their navy and giving no other incentive to work with them.
    • Principi: Murderous pirates who just roam about taking other people's things. All they want of Ukaizo is the money, so there's no real reason to give them a seat at the table. The moment Aeldys leaves and isn't holding people at gunpoint in the negotiation room, we should ignore her.


    This produces something of a stalemate; none of the four factions here has the power to actually influence the outcome of this in a unilateral fashion, and all of the factions vehemently object to the others being allowed to claim Ukaizo. As it stands, it seems that only Ryndara, by virtue of her still-extant connection with Eothas, can actually navigate to Ukaizo, so the choice is largely up to her; however, no one asks what her opinion on the best course of action is. The fairest solution, to her mind, would be to send a composite fleet, consisting of, say, two ships per faction (possibly adjusted for tonnage), to Ukaizo together; this course of action is not presented as an option. Since it is not, and Ryndara's interests here stand against what the other factions want, it seems that charting a course solo might be best, but we'd need a very well-upgraded and seaworthy ship to get through Ondra's Mortar alone. If possible, we should first see if we can explain things to Onekaza or somehow ameliorate the VTC's stance toward the Huana. We should also check in with the animancers and see what sort of progress they're making.



    *I kind of like how the Rathun aren't just immune to fire (at least for the purposes of story; I didn't check in combat), because blanket immunity to heat doesn't make sense for solid objects.

  24. - Top - End - #84
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    AssassinGuy

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    Default Re: Let's Play Pillars of Eternity II: Deadfire

    This probably goes without saying, but picking a side results in a point of no return. The other factions will, for various reasons, be unwilling to deal with you further, and with the exception of Serafen, who rather amusingly calls this out in dialogue, the various factional companions will leave you once you pick a side. It is, I think, possible to persuade at least Maia to stay with you if you don't side with the RDC and have good reputation with her otherwise, but I don't know if its the same of Tekehu or Pallegina for their factions.
    “Evil is evil. Lesser, greater, middling, it's all the same. Proportions are negotiated, boundaries blurred. I'm not a pious hermit, I haven't done only good in my life. But if I'm to choose between one evil and another, then I prefer not to choose at all.”

  25. - Top - End - #85
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    RedWizardGuy

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    Default Re: Let's Play Pillars of Eternity II: Deadfire

    Part 23:
    We head to the Spire of the Soul-Seers to see what sort of progress they've been making (as their degree of advancement will probably inform our decision on whether or not to allow Eothas to break the Wheel). When we get their, Flaune explains that their second test with teleportation is ready, and asks if we're willing to try again. Somewhat hesitantly, Ryndara accepts, and we are pulled away through the adra pillar.

    This time, it works! We have successfully traveled through space to another point on Eora. Unfortunately, it appears to be inside an Engwithan ruin, not an affiliate laboratory of the Spire. Still, it's an important proof of concept and a genuine advancement, so we can't fault Flaune too much. We creep outside of the room we initially find ourselves in and see the other side of the door we ran into in that old shrine to Ngati and couldn't get open. Hopefully, the way to open that door can be found here, or we'll be in for a rather unpleasant end.

    The shrine is inhabited by a handful of xaurips, nothing we can't handle. It seems most of the actual resistance was upstairs. We find a lever that opens the door, and return to Neketaka. On the way, we receive word that the Steward is interested in speaking with us on the ship. It's been a while since she's spoken up; we'll be glad to speak with her again.

    In the Spire of the Soul-Seers, we see a group of mercenaries that has attacked the animancers there. We fight them off and pick up a magical saber made with animancy. It has only a pommel as far as material goes, but brings forth a blade of light. It seems like an elegant weapon, suitable for a more civilized future age (and does exclusively raw damage), so we give it to Eder. We head upstairs and fight off the remainder of the mercenaries. Flaune surmises that they are in the employ of the Royal Deadfire Company. We report this to Director Castol, who basically tells us "Good job" and sends us to speak with Governor Alvari.

    (The first time I did this, it plunged me into a power struggle between Castol and Alvari, complete with a hearing with the board of directors, which led to the ousting of Castol and Alvari recruiting us for a plan to teleport into the RDC powderhouse and blow it up. While striking a blow to the RDC isn't exactly against our current political stance, this seemed like a can of worms I didn't want to get into at the moment, so I loaded and thereafter avoided Alvari.)

    We board the Caed Nua and start talking to party and crew members. Pallegina is sitting happily at this moment; she's as overjoyed as Ryndara is to have something really threatening the gods (and even uses the phrase "corrupt and self-serving," which I believe was our description of them earlier). She also believes that we can cope with the loss of the Wheel with animancy. Ryndara finds her confidence to be comforting, but reflects that paladins are so driven by zeal that they are perhaps ill-suited to objectively assess things. Eder is also angry at the gods, thinking that Eothas is no better than Woedica in trying to make decisions for kith without consulting them and at the cost of many of them. Strangely, Xoti has no opinion on any of this. She doesn't mention the fact that we just had a conversation with her god, that he alluded to the fact that the gods have been deceiving everyone, or any other part of the very noteworthy experience we just had. Aloth also has nothing to say. Nonplussed by this apathy demonstrated towards these world-shaking events, Ryndara moves to talk to the Steward, who explains that among our stores, the crew has discovered a strange box. We take a look at this box, an affair of teak, carved with motifs suitable to local interpretations of Galawain, and after carefully examining it, open it. Inside is a head. At first, we assume it is a strange sort of threat, but a soul clings to it. (Does the soul preferentially associate with the head?) The soul turns out to be that of a very friendly, talkative, and well-spoken aumaua who appears to have intentionally arranged his death so as to mail his soul to the Watcher and thereby be able to communicate without his movements being noted. This seems perhaps a significant leap beyond just sending Ryndara a letter, which everyone else has managed to do without difficulty or interception, but we hear him out, since he's gone to so much trouble. On the isle of [something or other, west of Hasongo], which is inhabited by a number of Galawain-worshipers, the land has grown sick, and is spawning blights and corrupted plants and animals. Some prominent personage named Haraihe or something to that effect, apparently one of the more accommodating and reasonable sorts on the island (which, we are warned, will be largely hostile to us), believes that only a Watcher can set things right.

    We've got something of an errand to take care of, as well as a goal in the northern and western archipelago: find enough blackwood trees to improve our hull as preparation for crossing Ondra's Mortar. It doesn't seem like there's any further upgrades we can put on our sails, since we sprang for the mageweave sails after we purchased the Caed Nua. Upgrading the hull will hopefully make the ship strong enough to brave Ondra's Mortar independently of the different factions. A land with corrupted plants seems like a good place to look for blackwood logs, so we'll see about this Galawain-isle. In addition, we might as well complete that task involving the pirate in Dunnage who swallowed a gem, since I'm sick of having rotten hagfish in my inventory list. Time to make for the west.

    On our way out of Neketaka, Ryndara is beset by another vision. The gods (this time Ondra, Woedica, Wael, Berath, Magran, and Hylea; Ryndara wonders what the others are doing) are arguing amongst each other again. They are deeply troubled by Eothas' intentions of destroying the Wheel and of their current inability to stop him from doing so. Magran suggests absorbing "[their] scattered children," which she's mentioned before. We ask for clarification and are told that if the gods' divine forms are destroyed, they can possess one of their godlike to continue, and more relevantly, they can consume their godlike en masse to provide power. This floors Ryndara utterly. Heart filled with anger and betrayal, she accuses the gods of defending their own good rather than that of kith. Berath defends the option but claims that the time to use it is past. Instead, they wish to send us to Ukaizo to entreat Eothas to stop. They warn Ryndara that to get to Ukaizo, we will have to face the Guardian of Ukaizo, an ancient creature created by the Engwithans to safeguard the Wheel. The Guardian, apparently, is clever enough to know not to bother fighting a futile battle against Eothas, but will not allow Ryndara to pass peacefully. Ryndara asks the gods if there's anything else they can tell her about it, and Magran smiles and asks what the challenge would be in that. This seems like a questionable time to undertake self-imposed challenges, but apparently that's all the answers we're getting. Berath explains that without the Wheel, souls would cease to cycle to the Beyond and gradually become trapped in the In-Between, such that the Beyond would gradually empty and the world would become lifeless. The gods, too, would starve, for they draw power from souls as they pass through the cycle. Ryndara suspects that Berath's explanation is neither objective nor wholly honest. The Wheel postdates Eora and the creatures on it. All life is not in fact dependent on it; even if the reincarnation process was perhaps less efficient in the pre-deific era, as Woedica claimed earlier, things got by enough for the Engwithans to build an advanced civilization. The only entities that strictly depend on the Wheel, then, are the gods, who, not coincidentally, are the ones raising the largest fuss about the supposed existential threat that a broken Wheel poses.

    A question is posed to Ryndara: where does she stand on Eothas' plan and the destruction of the Wheel? At this point, in truth, she is consumed with fury. Not only do the gods treat kith in general like cattle, but Ryndara specifically is a resource for Ondra to use. Everything about the gods is shallow, petty, and utterly contemptible The response she wants to give is "It's a long time coming. Kith will finally know what a bunch of frauds you all are," but that seems like an unwise reaction. Ryndara at this point wants Eothas to go through with his plan and then build a new Wheel that the gods can't siphon power from, but if we make that clear, the wisest move for them would be to kill her and then try to find a new catspaw as quickly as possible. Ryndara may currently be the only kith to have a way of locating Ukaizo, but it's presumably within Ondra's power to reveal its coordinates to Tekehu or one of her priests if the gods despair of the Watcher's commitment to their aims. Therefore, we play nice, or at least like we're grudgingly amenable to working with them. Therefore, she instead says that Eothas' actions seem uncaring. Berath's response is surprising: Berath believes that Eothas' faith in kith adaptability is a sign of his caring nature. Berath seems more ambivalent to the destruction of the Wheel than one would expect.

    After a short squabble about how lacking bodies prevents them from stopping Eothas, Ondra asks Ryndara what her opinion would be on the idea of a rebuilt Wheel. Again, Ryndara disguises her true opinion with an optimistic "We'll learn and grow" rather than the "we'll cut you parasites out of the cycle" that she desires to say. This makes Wael happy (they were previously rather upset by all the revelations that were being thrown about). Berath then iterates that it falls to us to convince Eothas to stay his hand, and releases us from the vision.

    Horrified by what she has learned, Ryndara wishes to speak to Pallegina and Tekehu and tell them, warn them, but finds she cannot. (I feel like if nothing else, there should be more opportunities to discuss what the gods tell you with your party members. You're spending a lot of time doing nothing in particular while en route to various islands.) Instead, we start going about our errands, running about the Deadfire a bit.

    When we come to the island we were invited to, we encounter an enormous lizard swimming through the water. Through it, Galawain speaks to Ryndara, warning her to leave, lest she be destroyed here. It doesn't seem entirely like him to forbid a challenge-seeker from coming to a place like this, but he says he would hate to explain to Berath the demise of their herald. We push through anyway and start probing inland. Soon afterwards, we encounter a group of kith in some sort of sacrificial site. We are unable to sneak past them and are confronted. They say that we are not welcome, in spite of our attempts at establishing bona fides, and the conversation ultimately breaks down into a fight. It's a difficult fight, as they outnumber us greatly and Eder is not currently with the party to lock down crowds, but judicious use of charm and paralysis effects helps us blunt their initial charge. Then Tekehu uses Returning Storm (or the other one; whichever one affects all enemies nearby) and this turns the melee to our favor in a way that is never certain but nonetheless decisive. The group of kith and boar is so melee-focused that nearly the entire battle becomes focused in a small area affected by all the friend-only or foe-only AoEs that Pallegina and Tekehu can layer, and Maia is able to stay outside of it all, popping out high-damage arquebus shots with regularity. Therefore, despite most of the party ending up fairly scraped up, no one is seriously wounded, and we come out victorious. However, Ryndara takes it as a sign that despite our general strength (she's back up to casting Kalakoth's Raking Grasp again), this might be a realm that could in fact prove lethal to us, so we'll come back to it later.

  26. - Top - End - #86
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    AssassinGuy

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    Default Re: Let's Play Pillars of Eternity II: Deadfire

    Actually, the Wheel existed before Berath and the gods did. However, it was wild and unregulated, with things like hollowborn being common. The Engwithans did not invent it, only regulate it. I believe the exact analogy the devs used was redirecting a river. You might blow up the dam that keeps it doing what you want it to do, but its not going to just go back down its original course if you do that after all this time.
    “Evil is evil. Lesser, greater, middling, it's all the same. Proportions are negotiated, boundaries blurred. I'm not a pious hermit, I haven't done only good in my life. But if I'm to choose between one evil and another, then I prefer not to choose at all.”

  27. - Top - End - #87
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    RedWizardGuy

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    Default Re: Let's Play Pillars of Eternity II: Deadfire

    The Wheel in the sense of the general cycle of reincarnation, or the Wheel in the sense of specific infrastructure based in Ukaizo? Eothas is only threatening the latter, as far as we can tell.

  28. - Top - End - #88
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    AssassinGuy

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    Default Re: Let's Play Pillars of Eternity II: Deadfire

    Quote Originally Posted by VoxRationis View Post
    The Wheel in the sense of the general cycle of reincarnation, or the Wheel in the sense of specific infrastructure based in Ukaizo? Eothas is only threatening the latter, as far as we can tell.
    The general cycle of reincarnation. However, over time, the former became utterly dependent on the latter to function.
    “Evil is evil. Lesser, greater, middling, it's all the same. Proportions are negotiated, boundaries blurred. I'm not a pious hermit, I haven't done only good in my life. But if I'm to choose between one evil and another, then I prefer not to choose at all.”

  29. - Top - End - #89
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    Morty's Avatar

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    Default Re: Let's Play Pillars of Eternity II: Deadfire

    The lack of opportunity to bring up the various fundamental and existential revelations with our companions really is pretty weird. I feel like Deadfire is reluctant to really commit to being about the gods and the underpinnings of Eora. The gods just argue a lot and send the Watcher places.

    Also, Seeker, Slayer Survivor is a major difficulty spike. The initial fight and the first one on the actual arena are brutal. It levels out a little afterwards, though.
    My FFRP characters. Avatar by Ashen Lilies. Sigatars by Ashen Lilies, Gulaghar and Purple Eagle.

  30. - Top - End - #90
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    RedWizardGuy

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    Default Re: Let's Play Pillars of Eternity II: Deadfire

    This particular instance is notable as a piece of information that's very intimately relevant to, at the least, two party members. I also have a godlike crew member and my character is a moon godlike, so we have enough people for a bridge club on board that may well want to know what's up. The revelation that godlike are little more than backup copies/fodder for their respective gods wouldn't change Pallegina's opinion of things much, but Tekehu sees Ondra as a caring mother. He deserves to know the truth about his relationship with the gods, lest he be taken by surprise when the other shoe drops.

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