Culture and background

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Culture and background are two essential parts of a characters biography in Pillars of Eternity and Pillars of Eternity II: Deadfire. The player character, all companions, and many characters in the world have their own culture and background, which defines who they are and where they come from. During character creation, there are a number of options available to customize the Watcher's origin and backstory, each of which has a unique effect on the interactions you have with characters encountered throughout the game, serving as a starting point for your story. [1]

In Pillars of Eternity, during your first quest you will be accompanied by Calisca. She will ask you about your past, about what you did before you fell in with the group. Your answers are taken and inscribed into your character's biography for the rest of the game.[2] You can also choose to not to tell more about your background.[3][4][5].

Culture[edit | edit source]

Culture is where the character is from. A character's culture greatly influences their social profile, general behaviour, and their way of living. As a trait, it is introduced by living in (or being born to) a particular region or ethnic group, and adapting to their societal norms and standards.

Culture affects almost every part of a character's being, including the clothing they wear, the food they eat, holidays and traditions they uphold, the language they use, how they speak to others, and much more.

As a game mechanic, a character's culture gives them an attribute bonus. The player character's culture is chosen during character creation, and determines what backgrounds are available to them. During gameplay, a character's culture can result in many unique social interactions and dialogue options. For example, bringing favour from another NPC with the same culture, or knowing of a particular custom or cultural idiosyncrasy.

In Pillars of Eternity, together with your class, the culture directly affects the equipment you receive at the start of the game (however Deadfire has no such effect.)

Only about half of the classes are available during character creation, with the remaining being reserved for NPCs and companions.

Culture Attribute bonus Companions Description
Aedyr-icon.png
Aedyr
+1 Resolve Attribute Resolve.png
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Pillars of Eternity
The Aedyr Empire is currently the largest and most powerful force in this part of the world. It is centered around the Equator and has a tropical climate. Though the empire has colonies in numerous areas of the world, Greater Aedyr is at its heart and houses the majority of its human and elven nations.

Pillars of Eternity II: Deadfire
The Aedyr Empire is one of the most prominent Old Empires of the west. It is centered around the Equator and has a tropical climate. The nation of Aedyr is at its heart and houses the majority of its human and elven populace. Aedyr was once a powerful colonial force, but the loss of Readceras and the Dyrwood reduced its stature. Aedyrans are common in the Eastern Reach, but rare in the Deadfire Archipelago.

DeadfireArchipelago-icon.png
Deadfire Archipelago
+1 Dexterity Attribute Dexterity.png
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Pillars of Eternity
Consisting of the nation of Naasitaq, dozens of aumaua settlements, and hundreds of lawless, pirate-infested islands that stretch along the southern sea, Deadfire is home to boreal dwarves, aumaua, and a mixed variety of other races. Deadfire Archipelago is the "last stop" for anyone headed east - a multitude of monstrous sea creatures infest the ocean beyond, making travel virtually impossible.

Pillars of Eternity II: Deadfire
The Deadfire Archipelago marks the eastern edge of the "Known World." Dominantly populated by island aumaua who make up the tribes of the Huana, the chain of hundreds of islands spans thousands of miles. The Deadfire contains myriad climates and biomes that are home to a bewildering array of creatures. The last century has brought ambitious colonial traders, explorers, and pirates to the Deadfire, but travel east of the archipelago is blocked by the destructive storms of Ondra's Mortar.

Legends among the Huana speak of an ancient cataclysm that devastated their people thousands of years ago. Details of this event have been lost to time, but Huana storytellers claim that it destroyed everything they had built, sinking even the greatest of their cities beneath the waves.

IxamitlPlains-icon.png
Ixamitl Plains
+1 Resolve Attribute Resolve.png
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Pillars of Eternity
Located to the northeast of Eir Glanfath, the Ixamitl Plains are a large expanse of fertile savannas that are extensively farmed by human and orlan residents. The Ixamitl culture is one of the oldest in the world, though one of the least imperialistic, having spread out little over the past several thousand years.

Pillars of Eternity II: Deadfire
Located north of Readceras in the Eastern Reach, the Ixamitl Plains are a large expanse of fertile savannas that are extensively farmed by its savanna folk and orlan residents. The Ixamitl culture is one of the oldest in the world, though one of the least imperialistic, having spread out little over the past several thousand years. Ixamitl society places a strong emphasis on learning and scholarship and honors their philosophers and literati.

OldVailia-icon.png
Old Vailia
+1 Intellect Attribute Intellect.png

-

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Pillars of Eternity
Once the crown jewel of the southern seas, Old Vailia is now the crumbled remnants of an empire of warring merchant nations. Counting many humans and dwarves among their ranks, the Old Vailian countries are still forces to be reckoned with and are proud of their rich cultural heritage.

Pillars of Eternity II: Deadfire
Once the crown jewel of the southern seas, Old Vailia is now the crumbled remnants of an empire of warring merchant nations. Counting many humans and dwarves among their ranks, the Old Vailian countries are still forces to be reckoned with and are proud of their rich cultural heritage. The southernmost of the Old Empires, Old Vailia suffered a similar fate to their northern neighbors, the Aedyrans, in losing their most prosperous colonial territories, the Vailian Republics. Many Old Vailians in the Deadfire Archipelago are associated with the Príncipi sen Patrena, a vast coalition of pirates.

Rauatai-icon.png
Rauatai
+1 Constitution Attribute Constitution.png
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Pillars of Eternity
Dominated by the aumaua nation of Rauatai, the gulf itself is host to a number of nations, most of them aumaua, orlan, and dwarven. Though these countries are relatively young, they are some of the most advanced colonial settlements in the east. The gulf is a land of riches and resources for those who can take them, though the entire coast is often pummeled by violent storms.

Pillars of Eternity II: Deadfire
The powerful naval kingdom of Rauatai is dominated by coastal aumaua and ruled by a ranga nui. Currently the most prosperous of the Old Empires, Rauatai has expanded aggressively into the Deadfire Archipelago to secure natural resources that are scarce in their native, storm-torn land. Though folk, dwarves, and orlans can be found in Rauatai, most are merchants or remnants of the old kingdoms Rauatai conquered when they seized power centuries ago.

Legends say that the Rauataians came to their lands from the Deadfire Archipelago in the wake of a terrible cataclysm, but the details of that event have been lost to time and the imagination of storytellers.

TheLivingLands-icon.png
The Living Lands
+1 Might Attribute Might.png

-

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The Living Lands is the mountainous region of a large northern island renowned for its diversity of plant and animal life. Its weather is unpredictable and its ecosystems vary dramatically from valley to valley. The Living Lands are home to an assortment of races in a variety of colonial and independent settlements.

TheWhitethatWends-icon.png
The White that Wends
+1 Perception Attribute Perception.png
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A large, cracked southern expanse of polar ice, the White that Wends is home to pale elves and small colonies of daring explorers, outcasts, and adventurers. While virtually no plant life grows in the White, it is home to many hardy species of dangerous animals that forage from the sea or prey upon each other to survive.

NPC or companion-only cultures
The Dyrwood +1 Resolve Attribute Resolve.png
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A colonial nation founded by settlers from the Aedyr Empire. Following a series of conflicts with Aedyr, the territory became independent in 2672 AI, and is now ruled by a duc, who is elected by seven erls that oversee its erldoms.

Eir Glanfath +1 Constitution Attribute Constitution.png
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A territory comprised of the forest southeast of the Bael River, populated indigenously by a group of loosely affiliated tribes collectively known as Glanfathans, and governed by a council of its six most powerful tribes. Eir Glanfath is home to a large number of ruined Engwithan sites, which Glanfathans hold sacred. The ruins have been at the center of a number of large-scale conflicts with Dyrwoodan colonists, whose settlements often encroach on Glanfathan territory and who frequently seek to plunder the ruins for their relics.

Naasitaq +1 Perception Attribute Perception.png
Príncipi sen Patrena
(Deadfire only)
+1 Resolve Attribute Resolve.png
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Responding to the collapse of Grand Vailia (2720 - 2760 AI ), noble families packed up their households and sailed abroad seeking opportunities away from the shadow of their homeland. Over time their old world traditions evolved into a new identity as the Príncipi sen Patrena - the Princes without a Homeland, a loosely-connected and regulated organization of pirates.

Alternate
The Príncipi sen Patrena, or simply Príncipi, are a large band of loosely-affiliated pirates operating in the Deadfire Archipelago. Though they have their foundations in the fall of Old Vailia, the Príncipi have developed their own unique cultural mélange over the past few decades as their ranks have grown with outlaws from across the known world.

Readceras +1 Resolve Attribute Resolve.png
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Dyrwood's neighbor to the north. Readceras is a nation firmly rooted in its Eothasian faith - a fervor that took hold during the events of the Saint's War and remains even after the apparent death of Eothas.

The Vailian Republics +1 Intellect Attribute Intellect.png
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A mercantile power and former colony of a larger, more ancient nation, Old Vailia. The Republics lie to the south of Dyrwood and Eir Glanfath, and are ruled by a duc elected by the "consuagli asegia," a council of 14 ducs, including its five most prominent, the "ducs bels."

Yezuha
(Deadfire only)
+1 Constitution Attribute Constitution.png
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Almost nothing is known about Rekke's homeland, Yezuha. It is either too small or too remote for any information about it to have become well-known in the Deadfire Archipelago.

Background[edit | edit source]

A background is what the character did (or is currently doing) as a job or profession. A character's background relates strongly to the skills that would required and associated with the background. Generally someone who has a profession in a particular field would develop a natural skill or "knack" for it, so naturally a merchant would be a better negotiator, or an explorer may be more well versed with surviving the wilderness, to give some examples.

After selecting a culture, players may select a background for their character. Backgrounds give an initial skill bonus, and as with culture, they have a similar role-playing impact. Some backgrounds are only available to specific cultures, and some are exclusive to companions.

Background Availability Skill Description
Pillars of Eternity Deadfire
Background apprentice.png
Arcane Apprentice
Fassina only - Pillars of Eternity II: Deadfire
While many wizards learn their magic from private teachers or even universities, it is far superior to earn an apprenticeship with an established wizard or archmage. Relationships between apprentices and their mistresses or masters are commonly tough and occasionally abusive. This is due both to the eccentricities of powerful wizards as well as their desire to discourage timid students from seeking them out.
Background aristocrat.png
Aristocrat
All except The Living Lands Pillars of Eternity
Your family belongs to the upper crust of society, and your upbringing provided you with many advantages over the lower born. You have had access to a first-rate education, and are no stranger to extravagant parties, dances, hunting for sport, and the political concerns of the landed nobility.

Pillars of Eternity II: Deadfire
You've lived your life amongst the nobility. Your days have been marked by lavish meals and extravagant parties, your conversations peppered with talk of pedigree and bloodlines.

Background artist.png
Artist
Old Vailia Pillars of Eternity
You were born with a natural grasp of aesthetics, and you have since cultivated it by endeavoring with your work to capture life in all its facets.

Pillars of Eternity II: Deadfire
You've always felt driven to express yourself creatively. The structure and rigid control of other pursuits has never satisfied in the same way.

Background clergy.png
Clergy or Clergyman
Aedyr (in poe1)
OR
Aedyr or Deadfire Archipelago (in poe2)
Pillars of Eternity
You answered a higher calling, giving up the freedom of secular life for the spiritual rewards of devotion to the divine - a life of vestments and the study of holy texts and the spreading of the truths they hold.

Pillars of Eternity II: Deadfire
Piety and prayer are the cornerstones of your public life, and you encourage the same in others.

Background colonist.png
Colonist
Aedyr
Old Vailia
The Living Lands
Pillars of Eternity
You left your homeland some time ago, surrendering the familiarity of home for the great unknowns of the unconquered frontier.

Pillars of Eternity II: Deadfire
You were part of a group that founded a fledgling colony in a distant land.

Background dissident.png
Dissident
Aedyr
Ixamitl Plains
Old Vailia
Rauatai
Pillars of Eternity
You've never taken well to people telling you what to do. What began as a rebellious streak has developed into full-blown indignation for authority figures and power structures, and you've taken every opportunity along the way to express your dissenting opinions.

Pillars of Eternity II: Deadfire
You've made a name for yourself as a troublemaker. Disrespect for authority and a lack of care regarding the rules are recurring themes in your life.

Background drifter.png
Drifter
Any culture Pillars of Eternity
It's a rare thing for you to stay anywhere for any length of time. You've passed from town to town, moving on when it suits you, the open road the closest thing you've had to a home.

Pillars of Eternity II: Deadfire
You never quite fit in no matter where you go. Each new town is just a place to rest briefly before moving on to the next. You are more comfortable on the road, traveling the world.

Background explorer.png
Explorer
Deadfire Archipelago
The Living Lands
The White that Wends
Pillars of Eternity
Your whole life you've lived for the thrill of discovery and exploration, finding irresistible the siren call of the far reaches and unknown places of the world. Many live their lives perfectly content within the confines of one small town, but to you such a fate would've been a death sentence.

Pillars of Eternity II: Deadfire
You find the siren call of the horizon irresistible. You cannot help but wonder what lies beyond the next hill or wave, and you've built your life around finding out.

Background farmer.png
Farmer
Edér and Xoti only Pillars of Eternity II: Deadfire
Farmers can be found across the Old Empires, Eastern Reach, and even in the Deadfire Archipelago. They are responsible for the bulk of food their societies rely on for day-to-day sustenance.
Background gentry.png
Gentry
Aloth only Pillars of Eternity II: Deadfire
A distinct social class in Aedyr, Old Vailia, and parts of the Dyrwood, gentry are minor nobles, often landowners, who sit below the aristocracy and above wealthy commoners.
Background hunter.png
Hunter
All Pillars of Eternity
You've made your living in the wilds, dedicating your hours to perfecting the cadence of the hunt - the long intervals of stillness and waiting, the frantic exertions of the chase, the sudden punctuation of the kill.

Pillars of Eternity II: Deadfire
You live for the thrill of the chase. Whether for glory or for sustenance, you have made your living taking the lives of wild creatures.

Background laborer.png
Laborer
All Pillars of Eternity
Like many commoners of able body and apt mind before you, you learned a complex skill and then struck out on your own to ply your trade.

Pillars of Eternity II: Deadfire
Your life has been spent in the study of your craft. You trained and prepared, hoping to hone your skills and ply your trade.

Background marksman.png
Marksman
Maia only - Pillars of Eternity II: Deadfire
Marksmen are soldiers who specialize in attacking from a distance with firearms. Less common than infantry soldiers, marksmen are often specialized elite units found in private armies or in the employ of powerful merchant companies.
Background mercenary.png
Mercenary
All except The White that Wends Pillars of Eternity
Combat ability of any kind is a skill in high demand in a world where much of the wilderness is untamed and many borders are contested. Battle is your trade, and you have thus far been fortunate enough to survive its perils.

Pillars of Eternity II: Deadfire
Blade and battle is your way of life. You solve your problems by pulling out your weapon and applying force.

Background merchant.png
Merchant
All Pillars of Eternity
Whether it was a silver tongue, a head for numbers, an ability to appraise others, or simply happenstance, until recently you made your living as a merchant, parting person from coin in trade for your wares.

Pillars of Eternity II: Deadfire
You've traded goods from all over the world, pairing items with buyers of all kinds.

Background missionary.png
Midwife
Grieving Mother only -
Background missionary.png
Missionary
Rekke only - Pillars of Eternity II: Deadfire
Missionaries are responsible for spreading the message of their faith to new lands and their people. As the people of the Old Empires, Eastern Reach, and Deadfire Archipelago largely worship the same gods, missionaries are seldom encountered.
Background mystic.png
Mystic
The White that Wends Pillars of Eternity
There are those who find inspiration in books and houses of worship, and there are those for whom it is more personal - perhaps not even a choice at all. The spark of divine inspiration revealed a path to you, and since then you've traveled it in search of fulfillment.

Pillars of Eternity II: Deadfire
You've never been able to explain how the universe guides your path. Behind every task you undertake is a feeling of cosmic direction.

Background philosopher.png
Philosopher
Ixamitl Plains Pillars of Eternity
Abstract thinking, the clash of ideals, notions of good and evil, right and wrong, and the pursuit of ultimate truth - these are the things that have always made your blood flow and your mind race, so much so that you've arranged your life such that you can while away your hours contemplating elusive answers and challenging accepted beliefs.

Pillars of Eternity II: Deadfire
You are most at home inside your own head, analyzing the nature of the world and its inhabitants.

Background raider.png
Raider
Deadfire Archipelago Pillars of Eternity
You've always taken what you wanted - didn't matter what it was or who it belonged to. By most laws this is theft, but you've never had much use for any laws besides your own.

Pillars of Eternity II: Deadfire
You've spent your life on the wrong side of the law. What you want, you take, and what was theirs has a tendency to become yours.

Background scholar.png
Scholar
Ixamitl Plains
Rauatai
Pillars of Eternity
You have always been dazzled by letters and numbers, facts and figures, problems and stratagems. In academics you found a way to surround yourself with what interested you, and since then you've largely spent your time trying to better yourself through the acquisition of knowledge.

Pillars of Eternity II: Deadfire
For you, knowledge is a relentless pursuit. You hoard each kernel of information as though it were precious metal, and time you don't spend learning is time wasted.

Background scientist.png
Scientist
The Living Lands Pillars of Eternity
The laws of the natural world are pieces of a puzzle to you, and you dedicated yourself to putting it together - unraveling its mysteries, revealing small truths to bring larger ones into focus.

Pillars of Eternity II: Deadfire
The rules that govern the world are a set of alchemical formulae to you, waiting to be discovered and manipulated.

Background slave.png
Slave
Aedyr
Deadfire Archipelago
Old Vailia
Rauatai
Pillars of Eternity
Few people truly understand what it feels like to be forced into the service of another, stripped of freedom and dignity alike, but until recently, this had been your lot in life - hard labor, chains, and the ceaseless gaze of a master.

Pillars of Eternity II: Deadfire
You have never known freedom. Shackles and chains have bound your existence, and someone has told you what to do your entire life.

Background soldier.png
Soldier
Pallegina only Pillars of Eternity II: Deadfire
Professional soldiers work throughout the Old Empires, Eastern Reach, and even in the Deadfire. The difference between a mercenary and a soldier is the nature of their employment. Soldiers are always full-time professionals associated with standing armies, often as a part of an elite military order.
Background hunter.png
Trapper
Devil of Caroc only Pillars of Eternity II: Deadfire
You were a trapper, making your life through snares and legholds, catching small animals for their meat, pelts, and even bones.

Background specialization[edit | edit source]

In Pillars of Eternity, you can further "specialize" your background in a dialog with Calisca after you have found the springberry. First she will ask you about your specific background and then if you didn't say that it isn't her business, she will ask why you left. Calisca will also ask you why you travel with the caravan and what you want to do. This detailed background specialization, also sometimes called personality or simply specific background, carries over to Pillars of Eternity II: Deadfire, and is occasionally used in dialogue.

If you say "That isn't your business", Calisca will say "Suit yourself. Can't very well force you to have a personality, can I?"

Companion only backgrounds do not have specializations.

Background Calisca dialogue Specific background
(n_Specific_Background)
Reason for leaving
(n_Reason_For_Leaving)
Background aristocrat.png
Aristocrat
"You're the one who's supposed to be from some bigshot noble family, that true?"
(1) "That's right. Royal blood runs through my veins."
  • (1) "Someone tried to poison me."
  • (2) "Certain jealous family members whispered into my father's ear, and I was disinherited."
  • (3) "My family was ousted from power. Some are still held captive."
  • (4) "I don't want to rule."
(2) "Only to some. Our titles were purchased, not inherited."
  • (5) "We hid the truth of our lineage, but it was eventually uncovered."
  • (6) "No matter how much status my family gains, it will never be accepted among the nobility."
  • (7) "My family was disgraced by the lies of a rival. Our reputation is ruined."
(3) "My family has some clout among the elite, it's true."
  • (8) "Our family fortune is secretly squandered. I must rebuild it where I would not be recognized."
  • (9) "My family considers me an embarrassment and wants nothing to do with me."
  • (10) "I am ashamed of my family and would rather be anywhere else."
Background artist.png
Artist
"Word is, you're some kind of artist. That so?"
(4) "More of a performer, really."
  • (11) "My troupe disbanded. It got ugly. Things were said that can never be taken back."
  • (12) "I was terrible. I'll never be able to perform for my home crowd again."
  • (13) "There was an accident. A tragedy. I'm no longer welcome."
(5) "I made my living as an artisan."
  • (14) "The lord there lined his own pockets with outrageous taxes. I could no longer make a living."
  • (15) "My master was petty. I lost my apprenticeship, and I was blackballed from pursuing the trade elsewhere."
  • (16) "I was sabotaged by a rival and my business was ruined."
(6) "Yes, in the traditional sense. I try to capture life as I see it, create something new."
  • (17) "No one understood my work."
  • (18) "I lived in a slum and my work was stolen by thieves. I used the last of my money to escape that place."
  • (19) "I no longer feel inspired. I don't know why, but somehow I've lost it."'
Background colonist.png
Colonist
"Odema said you were some kind of colonist before coming here. If that's the case, you'll fit right in - whole country's a bunch of colonists. You like frontier life, or what?"
(7) "There was a fortune to be made where I was."'
  • (20) "There was no fortune to be found there. Just a lot of work for nothing."
  • (21) "The well of riches had dried up. I knew only hardship there."'
  • (22) "I thought it was what I wanted. Turns out, I was wrong."
(8) "It wasn't by choice. I was fleeing persecution."'
  • (23) "The people I was running from finally caught up. I got out, but not everyone was so lucky."
  • (24) "The place I ended up was just as bad as the place I left. Another dead end."'
  • (25) "I was always looking over my shoulder there. I needed someplace new, farther away."
(9) "I was there to pacify the land. And the people who were native to it."
  • (26) "Some of the natives didn't take so kindly to our efforts. They burnt down our settlement."
  • (27) "I did some things there, things I'm having trouble living with."
  • (28) "Turned out, the land pacified us. Some awful disease. Wiped out most of us. I was lucky to get out."
Background dissident.png
Dissident
"I got it on good authority you're some kind of troublemaker. Or at least you were in your old life."
(10) "For some I was. I fought for a rebellion."
  • (29) "We lost. I am exiled from my own homeland."
  • (30) "We won the war, but the new government, the one we bled for, ended up being much worse."
  • (31) "I've had my fill of war and bloodshed."
(11) "You might say that. I was a spy for a time."
  • (32) "I was caught, but I managed to escape and some old friends got me passage out."
  • (33) "I double-crossed my employer, and my employer is as powerful as they come."
  • (34) "They gave me a job I couldn't bring myself to carry out. That's not something they were agreeable to."
(12) "That's why they put me in jail."
  • (35) "I served my time. I didn't want to be reminded of that place another minute."
  • (36) "I got loose. Far as I know they're still looking for me."
  • (37) "I was released. Was supposed to report back every few days or they'd haul me in again. That's just another kind of jail."
Background drifter.png
Drifter
"I got it on good authority you're some kind of troublemaker. Or at least you were in your old life."
(13) "That sort of thing tends to happen with orphans."
  • (38) "I burned down the orphanage and got out of there while I could."
  • (39) "I've never had a place to call home. Still looking."
  • (40) "I'm a self-made orphan. My parents got what they deserved, and now I'm leaving all that behind."
(14) "Sure. I wander into the lives of fools, talk them out of their money, and wander back out."
  • (41) "Eventually they caught wise and chased me out of town."
  • (42) "I think I just got tired of cheating people."
  • (43) "One of the fools turned out to be very dangerous and influential."
(15) "You have to be when people are looking for you."
  • (44) "They think I have something that belongs to them. Something they're pretty intent on getting back."
  • (45) "I crossed dangerous people. I couldn't stick around."
  • (46) "I don't know why they're looking for me, and I don't care to find out."
Background explorer.png
Explorer
"Odema says you've had some interesting travels."
(16) "In the watery parts of the world. I was a mariner."
  • (47) "We were attacked by pirates at sea. Our ship was destroyed."
  • (48) "I didn't find what I was looking for."
  • (49) "The sea is a lonely place to live your life."
(17) "I lived out on a frontier for a time."
  • (50) "It was a harsh place to live. I was surrounded by death out there."
  • (51) "It was too quiet a life. I was looking for something more."
  • (52) "Raiders destroyed my home, took everything from me."
(18) "Interesting might not be the word. I sailed with cold-blooded conquerors."
  • (53) "All we did was pillage and destroy. It accomplished nothing."
  • (54) "You conquer enough places, it isn't long before it's your homeland they go after."
  • (55) "No amount of plundering has been able to quench my bloodlust. I wonder if anything will."
Background hunter.png
Hunter
"I hear you're a pretty good hunter. Don't tell Sparfel, or he'll run his mouth clear to Gilded Vale, trying to convince you how much better he is."
(19) "I spent a lot of time living on my own in the wilderness."
  • (56) "Civilization came and spoiled the land."
  • (57) "A great fire destroyed everything."
  • (58) "I wore out my welcome, and they ran me off my land."
(20) "I used to hunt monsters for a living."
  • (59) "We attempted a dangerous hunt. I was too ambitious, and we weren't ready. Most of the others are dead now."
  • (60) "I risked my life and kept a lot of people safe in their beds, and no one ever so much as thanked me."
  • (61) "We tracked a monster for ages. Killing it would have made us famous. We found it long-dead of natural causes. After that there was no reason to stay."
(21) "I was responsible for hunting and gathering for my village."
  • (62) "We had a bad season, many of us starved. I don't want to face that again."
  • (63) "We had an accident, and I was blamed for another hunter's death."
  • (64) "I hoped to accomplish more with my life. My village was ashamed of my choice to abandon them."
(22) "I was a fisherman, actually."
  • (65) "Larger vessels took all the fish there were to catch. It was leave or starve."
  • (66) "My ship went down in a great storm. It was all I had. I have to start all over."
  • (67) "I had a family at home. All depending on me, and all I wanted was to be free of them. So one day I just left."
Background laborer.png
Laborer
"Odema says you're a working man/woman."
(23) "Hard work, at that. I was a blacksmith."
  • (68) "My master was a jealous person. He saw to it that as soon as I finished my apprenticeship I would never be able to compete against him."
  • (69) "My master died in the middle of my training. There was nothing left for me there."
  • (70) "My skills were wasted on that place."
(24) "That's right. Made my living as a builder."
  • (71) "I made an error in my planning. One of my buildings collapsed. That was the end of my short career."
  • (72) "I learned my trade when times were good. Now that they're hard, no one has need of me."
  • (73) "My business partner ran off with my money and went into business for himself. All the people I thought were loyal had different ideas."
(25) "Of a sort. I was a cook."
  • (74) "I worked for an insufferable shit."
  • (75) "I spat in a noble's food and he responded by ruining my life."
  • (76) "I had an affair with a rich man's wife and he put a bounty on my head."
  • (77) "I had an affair with a rich woman's husband and she put a bounty on my head."
  • (78) "My skills languished in that kitchen for far too long."
Background mercenary.png
Mercenary
"You look like you've seen your share of action. What'd you do before you came out here?"
(26) "I'm a war veteran."
  • (79) "I fought for the wrong side. Didn't need the reminder."
  • (80) "I fought beside people far better than me, but somehow I'm the one who made it out. I can't reconcile that."
  • (81) "All I know is war. Maybe this is my way out, maybe this is just the way to the next one."
(27) "I was a blade for hire."
  • (82) "I've never been much good at anything else, but I need to go where there's work that pays."
  • (83) "I've got a lot of debt to someone you don't want to be in debt to. I have to pay it off somehow."
  • (84) "Let's just say I don't have the most sparkling of reputations at home. Here I'm anonymous."
(28) "I used to go on adventures and expeditions, whatever paid."
  • (85) "Got into a barfight with someone with the spare time and resources to punish me for the rest of my life."
  • (86) "Had a job go bad on me. Some deaths that didn't need to happen."
  • (87) "I took a job from the wrong person. Only after I finished it did I realize it would cause everyone to hate me."
  • (88) "I've just had my fill of it. Time to lead a quieter life."'
(29) "I was a constable."
  • (89) "A group of brigands overwhelmed us and took the town. It's under their 'law' now."
  • (90) "There wasn't much copper in it."
  • (91) "No matter what I did, people still got hurt."'
Background merchant.png
Merchant
"Odema said something about you being in business for yourself."
(30) "I used to transport things people wanted kept secret. Goods, people."
  • (92) "A competitor sold me out to the authorities, but I managed to escape capture."
  • (93) "I was tricked into transporting something I never would've agreed to. I'm never going to be in that position again."
  • (94) "I got double-crossed while doing a deal. They made off with everything."
(31) "I piloted cargo ships."
  • (95) "We were attacked by privateers. Our ship was taken, we were left to die at sea. I made it out, but I've lost my taste for that life."
  • (96) "I was cast out in a mutiny."'
  • (97) "Had a big fight with my superiors about the way the ship was being run. They got rid of me."
(32) "I ran a shop."
  • (98) "My shop was attacked by bandits, and they took everything I've worked for. Wasn't much point in staying."
  • (99) "I was bad at business. I ran it into the ground, and the men who funded it have seen to it that I won't get another chance."
  • (100) "The competition hired men to destroy my shop."
Background mystic.png
Mystic
"I heard you're kind of a spiritual sort."
(33) "I spend my days studying theology."
  • (101) "I've come to believe that theology must be lived rather than studied."'
  • (102) "I've become disillusioned with all the things we still don't know about the gods and the way the world works."
  • (103) "I found some provocative things, and they set my peers on edge. They discredited me."
(34) "I get visions from time to time that guide my way."
  • (104) "I had a vision that sent me here."
  • (105) "People tried to use me to their own ends. I need anonymity."
  • (106) "I was accused of heresy."
(35) "Spirituality was my life. I was an ascetic."
  • (107) "I chose the wrong life. Gave up everything for the wrong pursuit."
  • (108) "I fell in love. It made me rethink everything. And then it didn't work out."
  • (109) "I learned everything I could there. It was time to experience the world."
Background philosopher.png
Philosopher
"People on the caravan say you've been getting into all kinds of deep conversations with them. What's your angle?"
(36) "I used to spend a lot of time reasoning about good and evil, right and wrong."
  • (110) "I came to put my theories into practice."
  • (111) "I realized it was all just a tremendous waste of time."
  • (112) "I was frustrated that there seemed to be no way to be able to prove any of it."
(37) "It's part of my nature. I was a teacher before I came here."
  • (113) "I had an affair with a student. Then was jilted by both the student and my husband."
  • (114) "I had an affair with a student. Then was jilted by both the student and my wife."
  • (115) "I lived in a town of imbeciles that didn't care for the material I taught."
  • (116) "I always thought I could be more."
(39) "I don't believe in anything, and I've spent a lot of time challenging other people's beliefs."
  • (117) "I was persecuted by the religious."
  • (118) "Not believing in anything turned out to be excessively boring."
  • (119) "Why do anything?"
Background clergy.png
Clergy or Clergyman
"So you're a holy man/woman."
(39) "I was. I left all that behind."
  • (120) "My god wasn't there for me when I was in need."'
  • (121) "I committed a terrible blasphemy for which there can be no forgiveness."'
  • (122) "There were certain oaths I couldn't live with."
(40) "I led a congregation at one time."
  • (123) "No one at home seemed to listen to what I preached."
  • (124) "There were... trysts with adoring members of my flock. Then they started talking to each other."
  • (125) "The town I practiced my faith in was sacked."
(41) "I was a missionary."
  • (126) "I came to realize that faith wasn't the answer to the prayers of the people I was supposed to be helping."
  • (127) "I was let down by those who supposedly share my beliefs."
  • (128) "I'm hoping to spread my faith abroad."
(42) "Not really. That's just a lie I tell people so I can manipulate them."
  • (129) "They found out I had made everything up. I had no choice."
  • (130) "Too many people know my act. I need to be somewhere where no one knows me."
  • (131) "I'm not proud of what I've done. This is a fresh start."
Background raider.png
Raider
"No offense, but I've known my share of dangerous people, and you remind me of them."
(43) "I've been known to liberate certain underappreciated valuables from their owners' homes."
  • (132) "I'm a wanted man/woman. If I'd been caught stealing again, they'd have hanged me."
  • (133) "My partner double-crossed me on a job. She got the money, I got the blame."
  • (134) "I stole from the kind of people who don't forgive or forget."
  • (135) "I fell in love with someone who could never be mine."
(44) "You wouldn't have wanted to run into me at sea. We boarded and plundered ships."
  • (136) "I crossed some of my shipmates. They forced me off the boat. I barely survived."
  • (137) "Eventually governments started sending their ships after us, and we went down."
  • (138) "Let's just say I'm no longer in my captain's good graces."
(45) "I was a highwayman in my old life."
  • (139) "That kind of work, there's a lot of killing, and most times, they don't deserve it."
  • (140) "The people I banded with were small thinkers. I have larger goals in mind, need better people."
  • (141) "We drew the attention of the army, and they came down on us hard. We disbanded."
Background slave.png
Slave
"So what's a slave doing in the Free Palatinate of Dyrwood? Guessing those marks on your back didn't come from loving caresses."
(46) "I was on a galley at sea."
  • (142) "Our ship was wrecked. Most of us were pulled to the bottom by our chains. I was lucky."
  • (143) "We conspired against our masters. When we found an opening, we took over the ship and sent them overboard."
  • (144) "Someone bought me out of slavery. It's something I can never pay back."
(47) "I used to work on a large farming estate."
  • (145) "I ran away."
  • (146) "Change in local law. We were freed."
  • (147) "I killed my master."
(48) "I was an indentured servant."
  • (148) "It took a long time, but my debt is paid."
  • (149) "We were liberated by an invading army."
  • (150) "I fled. Had to leave my family behind."
Background scholar.png
Scholar
"Word around camp is you've got a lot of knowledge tucked away. What kinds of things did you study before you came here?"
(49) "I was a historian."
  • (151) "I wanted to see with my own eyes what I'd only seen described in text."
  • (152) "I decided it was better to be a part of history than to read about it."
  • (153) "I came to realize that all history is written with an angle. It's impossible to know what really happened."
  • (154) "I made a poor choice and I was expelled for it."
(50) "I took an interest in all matters arcane."
  • (155) "They wouldn't give me the freedom to study what I wanted."
  • (156) "It was a waste of time. My teachers were hedge witches, their lessons were parlor tricks."
  • (157) "I broke a few rules, and they expelled me for it."
(51) "I studied war and combat."
  • (158) "I studied it enough to learn I didn't want anything to do with it."
  • (159) "I killed another student."
  • (160) "I eclipsed my teachers. There was nothing more I could learn in a school."
Background scientist.png
Scientist
"You're some kind of scientist, the way I hear it."
(52) "I learned to harness it to solve crimes."
  • (161) "I made mistakes. Some of the people who got in trouble weren't the right people."
  • (162) "I came across something I couldn't solve, and that troubled me more than I thought it would."
  • (163) "I found out more than I wanted to about someone I cared for."
(53) "There's a lot of demand for substances that alter the mind. A little science goes a long way in meeting that demand."
  • (164) "Over time I came to see the horrible things they did to people's lives."
  • (165) "I was less than subtle with my transactions, and the authorities caught on."
  • (166) "I was forced out of the business by my competition."
(54) "I spent a long time pursuing the knowledge promised by alchemy."
  • (167) "Alchemy is dangerous. I was nearly killed in an accident."
  • (168) "My teacher was a fraud who cheated people out of their hard-earned money."
  • (169) "I found it to be limited. Its secrets weren't the secrets I wanted answers to."

The following is the reason that the player gives for travelling to Gilded Vale:

Reason
(n_Reason_to_GV)
Calisca response
(1) "I'm going to settle here and start a new life." "Well, who knows. Raedric pays well enough, maybe we end up neighbors."'
(2) "I'm going to lay low here for a while. Try not to draw too much attention to myself." "You picked the right place, then. Gilded Vale's days away from any real civilization."
(3) "Getting filthy rich." "Ah, a man/woman after my own heart. May your luck be better than mine."
(4) "Nowhere special. Just putting as much time and distance between me and my old life as I possibly can." "Seeing as how we're halfway between nowhere and nothing, I'd say you picked the right spot."
(5) "I'm going to continue on to the city, see where that takes me." "Closest one is Defiance Bay, the capital. Few days out. Got its nice places and its not-so-nice places, same as any city. But the duc is a good man, as I hear it."
(6) "I'll probably wander for a while." "I couldn't judge you for that. Been half my life. Just watch yourself, you get too far off the beaten path. These lands are wild, in more ways than one."'
(7) "Somewhere I can make some money." "Ah, a man/woman after my own heart. May your luck be better than mine."
(8) "I hope to meet someone and fall in love." "I don't want to scare you, but the way some of these rural types look, you might want to reconsider that. Lots of sideways teeth, and hair sprouting from unexpected places."
(9) "Probably the same things I did before." "Just the scenery'll be new, then. Sometimes that's all that's needed."
(10) "Just looking for some adventure, really." "You should hook up with an expedition. Some of the bigger towns send regular groups out to unexplored places. Long as you don't mind a little danger."
(11) "Getting into trouble, I expect." "Ha! You've come to the right country. This whole place is crawling with troublemakers. It's a point of pride for them."
(12) "I'm going to find some new friends." "That may not be a bad idea. Surviving out here, sometimes it's less about what you know and more about who."
(13) "I have no idea what I'm going to do next." "Completely spontaneous, huh? Interesting. Well, there's probably no hurry to make up your mind. They've got an inn in Gilded Vale that'll put you up as long as you need. Or so my sister tells me."

References[edit source]