|“||Old and dry, with cobwebs in every crack. It reminds me of Woedica.||”|
Caed Nua is a stronghold in Pillars of Eternity, located in the Eastern Reach north of Defiance Bay. It was constructed directly above the Endless Paths of Od Nua. Relatively early in their adventure, the player is awarded this stronghold and house. Caed Nua then becomes the common rally point for their companions and a domain to manage.
They can use this as a base of operations for storage, rest, organization and investment as they desire. The stronghold also has a unique play mechanic surrounding the allocation of resources. This is geared toward making the stronghold a profitable side-venture for the characters. It provides the player with the ability to make large scale changes, undertake special quests, customize the contents of the stronghold and the surrounding environment, and engage in light strategic gameplay between adventures.
The site of Caed Nua once belonged to the vast estate of Od Nua, the legendary king of the Engwithans two thousand years ago. Beloved by his people, he was driven into madness by grief and machinations of the Children of the Wheel following the death of his son, Maros Nua. The entire keep became a research center focusing on life, death, and preventing souls from passing the Shroud. Necromancy or the science or immortality? Whatever the name they chose to grant to it, the escalating strain on the people Od Nua ruled and ruthless, bloody experimentation eventually culminated in a mob of angered Engwithans storming the castle and putting an end to Od Nua's research. Although only fingers of the great adra titan constructed adjacent to the research center remain on the surface, they are a testament to the scale of this massive project that spurred research into deeper branches of animancy and advanced Engwithan megastructure construction skills.
The Engwithan ruins lay abandoned for centuries, deterring all attempts at exploration or exploitation. It was the only ruin across the Eastern March that Eir Glanfath refused to defend. This made it a lucrative target during the colonization of the Dyrwood under the Aedyr Empire, with the first Erl of Yenwood erecting a keep on site to protect his family's claim to the ruin and excavate it in peace. In recognition of the keep's strategic location, all rulers of Caed Nua were granted the title of Roadwarden. The very first Roadwarden, Cafed Eodhart, forged a badge of office, the Whispers of Yenwood, which are said to be only ever found by those meant to rule the keep.
But all things come at a price. What was first a prospect of great wealth turned to maddening obsession. The erl devoted his life to excavating the ruins below the keep. They had been sealed with rock and soil, deliberately so. He dug his entire life and never found what he sought. His obsession became his son's, and his son's son's. And one day, the young erl broke through. Beneath was an endless maze, incomprehensible in its construction. But he would never come to learn more than that. Vile and dangerous things had taken residence there and they poured up through the keep and slew its residents, the erl among them. After that the keep remained abandoned for over a century.
Around 2823 AI, a young noble by the name of Maerwald attempted to reclaim the keep. Following a promising initial resettlement, his soul sickness cripples the reclamation effort and Caed Nua falls into disuse again. It isn't until 2823 AI that the Watcher reclaimed the keep from its afflicted owner, becoming the new Roadwarden. Their claim was immediately challenged by Lord Arledr Gathbin. Erl Bademar ruled that the keep is legally the property of House Gathbin, but the Watcher must be properly compensated. The Lord immediately rejected the ruling, effectively abdicating his claim and confirming the Watcher as the new Roadwarden. In time, he would attempt to wrest control of the keep by military force.
Points of interest
- Before the renovation
- Caed Nua is more or less a derelict. Except for the Keep and Brighthollow, all of its buildings are in a state of advanced disrepair and the place is infested with a variety of hostile spirits.
- Kana Rua is found standing by the western barbican, examining the masonry. Recruit him for a new character in your party, then enter the courtyard (the exterior has naught but a few plants in place). Wipe out the spirits
Before the keep is restored
After it is restored
- Artificer's Hall
- Botanical Gardens
- Caed Nua Keep
- Craft Hall
- Curio Shop
- Eastern Barbican
- Hedge Maze
- Training Grounds
- Warden's Lodge
- Western Barbican
- Kana Rua, an aumaua scholar and companion.
Some companions have a special comment upon entering through the gates for the first time:
- Aloth: "Looks like this place has been abandoned for years."
- Kana Rua: "Once more through the gates! With more success this time, I hope."
- Durance: "Old and dry, with cobwebs in every crack. It reminds me of Woedica."
Before completing The Old Watcher, Caed Nua is infested with a number of spirits, impeding progress further into the keep.
Behind the scenes
- The stronghold was a reward for the Kickstarter campaign reaching the $3.0 million stretch goal.
- This area contains developer commentary.
|“||Caed Nua, or the player stronghold, was one of the more technically challenging levels in the game. Not only is this level the player's home base for most of the game, but the design had to conform to specific constraints based off the system we use to dynamically alter the map as the player upgrades their stronghold. We had to take special care of how parts of the scene spatially related to one another. Due to the nature of our tiling system, the map was more or less built on a grid, but still needed to feel organic. This was to ensure the level never felt bland in its layout while still being cognizant that if the player upgraded a specific building, or other landmark on the map, it wouldn't overlap with another.||”|
|~ Matthew Perez, Junior Designer
The Eastern Barbican before…