Pillars of Eternity Wiki

In response to patch v1. to Pillars of Eternity (June 6, 2024), the random loot tables shown on the wiki have been updated. These changes may take time to propegate.

As a result, random loot data is no longer accurate to old versions of the game, including all console ports. We'll be working to provide a mechanism to switch between pre-patch and post-patch loot for console players.


Pillars of Eternity Wiki

When the player comes into possession of the Caed Nua stronghold, it is old and dilapidated, and they will want to work with their steward to upgrade it as soon as they can. These upgrades will, in turn, increase security or prestige of the place, open up new activities and events that can happen, which will make the stronghold a dynamic and fun place to own. You can further influence it by employing hirelings to stay at your stronghold.

Rating summary
  • Prestige Prestige – increases the taxes collected and frequency of "good" random events occurring (rare item offers, prestigious visitors, etc).
  • Security Security – reduces the taxes you lose to banditry, frequency of "bad" random events occurring (attacks, chances of guests being attacked on the road or guests being kidnapped, etc.).

It is possible to increase Stronghold Prestige and Security from quests:

Upgrades[ | ]

The stronghold and house can be restored and upgraded to increase its aesthetic and practical value. Upgrades are useful in that they can unlock a number of fringe benefits. Most upgrades in some way impact the Prestige or Security of the place. These traits are all-important in determining the success of unexpected events. Other upgrades offer additional buffs to your characters' traits, which are useful in the field. There are five bonuses you will receive for getting and upgrading your stronghold.

  • Resting bonuses: Several of the upgrades to your stronghold will grant temporary bonuses to your attributes or skills when you rest in Brighthollow.
  • Adventures for idle companions: Companions that are recruited but aren't in the party will remain at your stronghold[1] and gain a fractional amount of experience (typically about 75%).[2] While they are idling away at the stronghold, they can take part in their own adventures, earning additional experience for themselves and extra money, items and reputation bonuses for you. If a player uses the stronghold system to manage characters when they aren't in the party, they can have full XP parity if the player wants them to.[3]
  • Merchants: Some of the upgrades provide merchants.
  • Ingredients: Some of the upgrades will generate ingredients used for crafting and enchantment.
  • Special offers: Sometimes visitors to your stronghold will have rare items for sale, or perhaps they will offer you items in return for something else.
  • Security: Most of the upgrades improve the security of the stronghold, protecting your wealth and residents.
  • Wealth: You own all of the surrounding lands near the stronghold and impose a tax on all of the inhabitants,[4] but the tax isn't an endless source of income.[5] You meet and interact with your subjects who pay your taxes during the quest A Return to Court.

All such upgrades cost both money and in-game time to build but you don't have to wait at the stronghold while they are built. You can continue adventuring, and you will be notified when they are built. Upgrades can also serve as prerequisites for other upgrades. Individual sections of the stronghold get upgraded individually and each section has two states, ruined and restored.[6] Only one upgrade can be constructed at a time and subsequent upgrades cannot be queued to start when the previous construction completes (such as when travelling for days via the overland map).

Upgrade tree[ | ]


List of upgrades[ | ]

Name Prerequisite Bonus Prestige Security Cost Build time
Eastern Barbican None Bars passage to Woodend Plains +1 +2 - Instant
Warden's Lodge Eastern Barbican Survival resting bonus and bounties +2 +2 Copper pands (cp)1,000 2 days
Woodland Trails Athletics and Constitution resting bonus +1 +2 Copper pands (cp)1,500 3 days
Brighthollow Restoration Needed for resting +2 +0 Copper pands (cp)500 2 days
Main Keep Unlocks visitors and adventures +3 +4 Copper pands (cp)1,400 3 days
Brighthollow Courtyard Pool Brighthollow Repair pool +1 +0 Copper pands (cp)600 1 day
Brighthollow Hearth Restore order to the keep +1 +0 Copper pands (cp)600 1 day
Brighthollow Lab Restore lab +1 +0 Copper pands (cp)600 1 day
Barracks Main Keep Enables hirelings +0 +3 Copper pands (cp)2,000 3 days
Library Lore resting bonus +2 +0 Copper pands (cp)900 2 days
Merchant Stalls Adds a permanent merchant to the Great Hall +0 +0 Copper pands (cp)1,400 2 days
Dungeons Enables imprisoning characters +0 +0 Copper pands (cp)1,200 3 days
Towers Perception resting bonus +2 +1 Copper pands (cp)800 3 days
Bailey Unlocks other upgrades +2 +0 Copper pands (cp)800 2 days
Western Barbican Unlocks other upgrades +0 +2 Copper pands (cp)900 3 days
Forum[7] Bailey Intellect resting bonus +4 +0 Copper pands (cp)1,200 2 days
Training Grounds Might resting bonus +0 +2 Copper pands (cp)1,500 2 days
Botanical Garden Produces plants every turn +1 +0 Copper pands (cp)1,800 2 days
Hedge Maze[7] Stealth resting bonus +0 +3 Copper pands (cp)1,400 2 days
West Curtain Wall Western Barbican Protection from the west +0 +4 Copper pands (cp)2,500 4 days
South Curtain Wall Protection from the south +0 +4 Copper pands (cp)2,500 4 days
Craft Hall Dexterity resting bonus, crafting resources +1 +1 Copper pands (cp)1,600 2 days
Curio Shop Produces monster parts every turn +1 +0 Copper pands (cp)1,800 2 days
Artificer's Hall Mechanics resting bonus, crafting bonus +1 +0 Copper pands (cp)1,600 2 days
Chapel Resolve resting bonus +4 +0 Copper pands (cp)2,000 2 days

Taxes[ | ]

You can begin collecting taxes from your populace as soon as you gain the stronghold. The amount of taxes you collect increases with your prestige (because people know of you and like you), but it also increases the amount that you can lose to banditry, which can be counteracted with higher security.

Tax collection occurs every 5 days. When this happens, the game rolls two values: one between 1-50 which your Prestige is added to, and another between 1-35 which your Prestige is added to, minus security. Both rolls are inclusive. Two sets of copper are calculated using these values and the table below.

  1. A value D50 + Prestige determines how much in taxes you collect from the people.
  2. Then, D35 + Prestige - Security determines how much of the above copper is lost to bandits.
  3. If you agreed to pay taxes to Erl Bademar during A Call to Court, 15% of this copper is forwarded to the Erl. If it's all lost to bandits, you don't pay any earnings to the Erl.

If you have debt accrued (as a result of attacks destroying buildings or killing hirelings), this debt is deducted from your earnings for the following tax turn.

There's no way to completely mitigate the taxes lost to bandits (as negative rolls will still result in the lowest tier below), but in order to keep the losses to a minimum, your Security must be at least 25 points more than your Prestige.

Roll Copper
-∞-10 0-150
11-20 150-300
21-30 400-500
31-40 600-700
41-50 700-850
51-60 850-950
61-70 1000-1200
71-80 1200-1500
81-90 1500-1800
91-100 1500-2200
101-110 2200-2600
111-120 2600-3000
121-130 3000-3800
131-140 3800-4600
141-150 4600-5200
151+ 5200-7500

Hirelings[ | ]

Once the player has restored the Barracks in the keep, they can hire up to eight hirelings that can add to the stronghold's Security and Prestige. They can also be used to provide aid to supplicants and to help defend the stronghold during an attack. The player always pre-pays for the services of hirelings for a fixed period of time. Some hirelings will automatically leave after their pay-period is up. If the player cannot pay for the services of a hireling, the most expensive hirelings no longer apply their bonuses to the stronghold. The player has to either find the funds or dismiss the hireling to make use of that slot.

Some hirelings of varying classes are constantly available as a standard, without any requirements. Other hirelings are available as a result of special events, results of quests, and their loyalty may be contingent on the continued good graces with a particular faction. Guest hirelings may arrive as a random events, and are only available as for a day upon arrival (limited to one guest at a time).

Currently-hired hirelings can be found in the Great Hall, and during stronghold attacks they will be found in the grounds defending against the attackers.

Given the extreme personalities of some guest hirelings, their bonuses tend to be higher than that of the standard. In some cases, however, their positive bonus in one attribute can come with an added penalty to another. Select hirelings with budget and a healthy balance of Prestige and Security in mind.

Hireling Source Class Cost per day Prestige Security Notes
Berathite Cleric Common Priest Copper pands (cp)10 +1 +1
Blooded Thug Copper pands (cp)10 +1 +1
Goldpact Knight[8][9] Paladin Copper pands (cp)10 +0 +2
Mercenary Mindstriker Copper pands (cp)10 +2 +0
Orderless Disciple Monk Copper pands (cp)10 +0 +2
Rauatai Linebreaker[8] Copper pands (cp)10 +0 +2
Skirmish Archer Copper pands (cp)10 +1 +1
Vagabond Skald Chanter Copper pands (cp)10 +2 +0
Vailian Shock Mage Wizard Copper pands (cp)10 +0 +2
Vanguard Soldier Copper pands (cp)10 +1 +1
Warden of the Wilds Copper pands (cp)10 +0 +2
Aedyran Noblewoman Guest (random event) Copper pands (cp)200 +6 +0 ≥ 35 Prestige
Brutish Warrior Barbarian Copper pands (cp)50 +3 +2
Dunryd Psion Cipher Copper pands (cp)100 -2 +2
Fellow of St. Waidwen Paladin Copper pands (cp)90 +1 +3 ≥ 12 Prestige
Glanfathan Soul Hunter Cipher Copper pands (cp)100 +2 +3
Vicious War Criminal[8] Fighter Copper pands (cp)350 -4 +3 ≥ 25 Prestige
Aldwyn The Salty Mast Copper pands (cp)10 +2 +0
Big Durmsey Copper pands (cp)10 +2 +0
Gjefa Copper pands (cp)10 +2 +0
Iqali Copper pands (cp)10 +2 +0
Lyrinia Copper pands (cp)10 +2 +0
Orico Copper pands (cp)10 +2 +0
Fampyr The Champion of Berath Copper pands (cp)20 -3 +5
Crucible Chevalier Winds of Steel Paladin Copper pands (cp)20 +4 +2
Doemenel Thief The Changing of the Guard Rogue Copper pands (cp)20 +2 +4
Dozens Mercenary Captain The Bronze Beneath the Lake Fighter Copper pands (cp)20 +3 +3
Avenger of Skaen Blood Legacy Priest Copper pands (cp)65 -2 +3
Korgrak A Farmer's Plight Ogre Copper pands (cp)50 -6 +6
Bleak Walker Paladin Bleak Oath Paladin Copper pands (cp)65 -2 +6

Prisoners[ | ]

Once you have restored the dungeons, you get the option to take certain characters prisoner during your travels. Usually, the way it works is that you have to fight them, and then, when their health is almost at zero, they initiate dialog asking for mercy, and you have the option to either finish them off or take them prisoner.

Note that if you take someone prisoner, they're immediately teleported to the Caed Nua dungeons, leaving behind the loot they'd have dropped if killed. If the loot doesn't appear after choosing to imprison them, leaving and re-entering the area will spawn it where they fell.

Two types of random events that can take place at the stronghold each turn, affect prisoners:

  • Escape attempts: – A prisoner may try to escape. Your stronghold security rating determines how likely the escape attempt is to succeed. A prisoner who successfully escapes is gone forever.
  • Visitor requests: – A visitor may appear who asks you to release one or all of your prisoners to them, usually in return for money:
    • A distant relative offers Copper pands (cp)700 (one random prisoner).
    • Geyda wants to conduct some experiments and will pay Copper pands (cp)200 for a subject (one random prisoner).
    • At her first visit, Geyda will offer Copper pands (cp)500 (Copper pands (cp)100 with Resolve 16) for all currently held prisoners together.
    • Solmar the Shackler will pay Copper pands (cp)1,200 (one random prisoner).
  • Patch 3.03 introduced more options with prisoners, such as selling them to various people who happen along. The average price is typically in the realm of Copper pands (cp)1,200.

The following characters can be taken prisoner:

Name Description In-game description Location Quest Loot
Aefre A street thug harassing prostitutes and clients of a brothel Aefre is a member of the Dozens who organized a harassment campaign against patrons of the Salty Mast. Ondra's Gift, Ramshackle House Supply and Demand Copper pands (cp), Fine Sword, Plate Armor
Ailef [WM1] A run-away indentured servant wanted for homicide In Stalwart, I encountered an indentured servant who had resorted to lethal measures in order to escape his servitude. I chose to imprison him at Caed Nua rather than leave him to the slave-catchers. StalwartThe Gréf's Rest Overstaying His Welcome
Eorn A wanted fugitive hiding from the Crucible Knights Eorn was a fugitive wanted for the murder of one of the Knights of the Crucible. I found him hiding in the catacombs beneath Defiance Bay and chose to administer my own justice for his crimes. Copperlane, Catacombs Unwanted Copper pands (cp), Fine Hide Armor, Rabbit Fur Gloves
Gramrfel the Wayfarer A bandit who tries to kill and rob you (after returning from Defiance Bay) Gramrfel and a group of death-fixated brigands attacked me as I traveled through Magran's Fork. He proved unprepared to meet his own death, and begged for imprisonment instead. Magran's Fork Copper pands (cp), Pistol, Fine Brigandine, Dead Man Stands
Kestorik A Vithrack scout who tries to deny you passage Kestorik was a scout for a population of vithrack inhabiting the Endless Paths of Od Nua. It asked for death, but I thought it better to lock it away in the dungeon. Endless Paths of Od Nua Level 12 Emerald ×3, Vithrack Brain
Mercenary Captain Esmar The leader of an illegal expedition into Glanfathan ruins Captain Esmer found himself surrounded by Glanfathans while trespassing on their territory. The Glanfathans agreed to let him go if I took him prisoner.' Northweald At the Mercy of the Tribes
Naelde A Leaden Key assassin who tries to kill you (at the start of chapter 3) Naedle[sic] is an agent of the Leaden Key who sought to ambush me in Stormwall Gorge. After seeing that her cohorts were afraid to face me, she had second thoughts and surrendered. Stormwall Gorge
Nyrid A mage who has seized a drug dealer's business I found Nyrid in Copperlane, a hired thug impersonating a svef dealer who owed a debt to his supplier. He was using the identity to sell svef and thereby recoup the supplier's losses. Copperlane, Purnisc's House His Old Self Copper pands (cp), Nyrid's Grimoire, Wand, Fine Robe, Cape

Stronghold interface[ | ]

The stronghold interface is where all of the operations of the stronghold are managed from. It can be accessed by clicking the castle icon at the bottom of the screen or by pressing the associated hotkey (H on PC). This window gives the player access to four key stronghold features, split into panes, which can be accessed by clicking the buttons on the left. You can also manage your party from this window when in your stronghold, although this just brings up the regular party management window.

Menu Description Image
SqrMenu status
A log of all events in the stronghold and the date they occurred on, sorted by newest to oldest. Includes recurring events such as payment of hirelings' wages, collection of taxes, and one-time events such as the construction of upgrades, and the arrival of visitors, and start and ends of stronghold quests. PE1 Stronghold Status
SqrMenu events
This menu is used to respond to, resolve, and interact with events in the stronghold. This includes interactions with visitors, prison breaks, stronghold attacks, and stronghold adventures. PE1 Stronghold Actions
SqrMenu upgrade
All available stronghold upgrades appear here. You can use this menu to purchase upgrades and repair upgrades when they get damaged by stronghold attacks. PE1 Stronghold Upgrades
SqrMenu hirelings
Available hirelings can be hired and dismissed from this menu. Current hires are represented with a Hireling contract icon symbol. PE1 Stronghold Hirelings

Behind the scenes[ | ]

  • The stronghold system was designed by Tim Cain and Josh Sawyer, and programmed by Tim Cain. It was originally far less abstract than what shipped, with companion quests being procedurally generated as opposed to predefined. Due to budgetary and time restraints, this idea was scaled back.
  • A significant portion of the content for the stronghold random events, and the stronghold upgrade system was implemented by Matthew Perez and Ryan Torres.[10]

References[ | ]