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Cilant Lîs is an Engwithan ruin and the second area of Pillars of Eternity to be entered. It has an interior and an exterior.

Background[]

The ruins of Cilant Lîs appear to have once been a place of worship or gathering. Judging by the soul machine placed at the other side of the ruin, it was where some of their more important rituals took place.

Spoiler warning: Significant plot details follow.
What's known for certain is that it is the site where one of the Engwithan soul relays was constructed, used to divert them towards the heart of their civilization beneath modern-day Eir Glanfath. Abandoned for centuries, it came into use fifteen years ago as Thaos triggered the Hollowborn Crisis. The machine's workings denied souls to newborn children, diverting them once more to Sun in Shadow.
Significant plot details end here.

Points of interest[]

Interior[]

  • After the windstorm comes, the exit is sealed and the only way out is through the ruins. As you pass through the arch, Calisca and Heodan (if alive) will comment on the escape and offer some knowledge on the matter.
  • The corridor to the northwest leads to a dead-end with an abandoned camp and some minor loot in the unlocked chests. The opposite direction leads deeper into the ruins. The intersection leads to the northeast and southeast.
  • If you enter the southeastern room, you will encounter a sickly xaurip. You can back away and go around through the northeastern passage or go through him (it guards an old pile of clay containers with some minor loot). The passageway connects to the corridor running through Cilant Lis in a northwestern/southeastern direction.
  • Down the passageway lies a body with more minor loot, an Engwithan Relief Gem and a Tattered Journal. Further down the adra-studded corridor is a single skuldr whelp and a weakened wall you can bring down with Might 16, hammer and chisel, or Calisca. Beyond the chisel lays a round room with an adra crystal protruding through the center (which connects to the main area just beyond the puzzle, allowing you to bypass it).
  • The central area consists of a bridge covered in Engwithan symbols. To cross the bridge consult the room behind the closed door nearby. It contains a mural showing how the Engwithans passed the bridge. To deactivate the traps, simply light the braziers on top of each column (Fire Godlikes can just use their head) and pass without touching the glowing plates.
  • Further beyond the mural room is a dead end with a ooze-covered relief. You can interact with it and use the full waterskin plus the relief gem to unlock a small room with a black ooze in it. Dispatching it reveals a small treasure trove with a Minor Cloak of Protection and assorted loot.
  • The other side contains another small chamber with some spiders. You can loot the webs and the adjacent room, otherwise head right out the door to the outside.

Exterior[]

Spoiler warning: Significant plot details follow.
Outside lies the Engwithan soul machine and Thaos (old robed man), leading a group of three cultists. After a speech ensuring their service and devotion to Woedica, the Queen that Was, he activates the machine. It siphons the souls of the three men as Thaos leaves. A magic explosion coming from the machine shortly thereafter knocks you out and sends into a vision deep in the past, foreshadowing the path you have to walk as the Watcher.

Oh, and that wave also kills Calisca and Heodan, while you start seeing things. Perfect. Head past the machine, perhaps stripping the charred corpses of some Vessel Flesh, then leave out the exit towards Valewood.

Significant plot details end here.

Related quests[]

Main quests[]

Side quests[]

Tasks[]

Enemies[]

Kith (During Bounty: Naroc the Prophet):

Loot[]

Note: All the loot is found inside the Cilant Lîs ruin.
Note: For a complete list of fixed and random loot found in Cilant Lîs, see here.

Plants[]

Note: All plants are located in the exterior area.

Behind the scenes[]

  • This area contains developer commentary. The commentary in the interior section talks about the role that this area plays in teaching players some of the core features of the game. The commentary in the exterior section describes the necessity of splitting it off from the interior area, and the design ramifications of doing so.
The ruin of Cilant Lîs was a daunting dungeon to design, but also very gratifying as this was our chance to set the bar for our dungeons throughout the game. This was also one of the later dungeons designed during development. Oftentimes the beginning of the game is the last content you end up producing. This is to ensure all the systems needed to make the experience fully fleshed out are implemented and functional so they can be taught to the player properly during these first moments of gameplay. Thus, by the time this dungeon was designed, we had learned many valuable lessons about the ways we could push the layout and flow of a dungeon, as well as utilize all systems in the game that at this point had been fully fleshed out.

We also felt in many RPGs the starter dungeon often felt like a bland guided experience intended on cramming tutorials down the players throat. We certainly didn't want Cilant Lîs to repeat such a formula, and we didn't want the player to be completely unfamiliar with the games core mechanics either. That being said, we opted to have a very open-ended experience for the player. Each route the player takes in the dungeon will introduce them to yet another mechanic or feature in this game, whether it be detecting traps, scouting, or the use of scripted interactions, but neither is dependent on the other - the player has a choice here to choose their playstyle and be rewarded for it. The reward will then reinforce the value of this mechanic, while simultaneously teaching the player the role it plays in Pillars of Eternity.

~ Matthew Perez, Junior Designer (interior)

The idea of this scene came out of necessity, initially this was all supposed to happen somewhere inside the ruin, however, it clashed with our non-linear philosophies. In order to have the information communicated to the player about Thaos and the soul machine, it needed to be staged just right and go off without a hitch. But placing it in the ruin itself admits some of the non-linearity would need to be sacrificed in order to create a hard gate for the player, so we as designers could make sure we knew the exact moment this event would be triggered.

At Obsidian we often have quests and scenarios that branch in a myriad of ways, each of these branches are conditioned by what we call "gates". These gates keep the game responding to the player by closing off paths and opening new ones based off actions they perform. A piece of dialogue for instance might be gated by a certain amount of disposition. This helps reinforce the suspension of disbelief for the player, because to them the world is responding according to their actions in a real way.

A hard gate however implies a more rigid gate, one that is meant to funnel the player to a singular point by making sure the gate is only opened by a singular action. In this instance a hard gate was needed so we could know the exact position of the player as well as make sure they were not in combat or doing some other action simultaneously. This is often achieved by level transitions, since we know the player cannot travel while in combat we don't need to worry about that. In one scene [this] results in the visuals of the whole level being curtailed for this one pivotal moment.

~ Matthew Perez, Junior Designer (exterior)

Map[]

Gallery[]

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