The Dyrwood, Part 5: The Proliferation of Animancy

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The Dyrwood, Part 5: The Proliferation of Animancy
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The Dyrwood, Part 5: The Proliferation of Animancy is a book in Pillars of Eternity.

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Animancy, outlawed while under Aedyr rule, was technically no longer taboo after Hadret’s Rebellion. Academics began its study again in earnest in 2681 AI. By 2697 AI, there were almost 40 academics actively researching the field both in the Dyrwood and the Vailian Republics, even though no significant results had been discovered. A tragic breakthrough of sorts happened in 2704 AI. An animancer working in Baelreach accidentally shattered the souls of about a dozen volunteers who had been helping him. In retaliation for the deaths, the citizens of the area stormed his house and killed him. The erl of the region, not wanting to waste resources or anger the locals any more than they already were, did nothing to find the head of the vigilante mob, but neither did he outlaw animancy. To ensure their own safety, most animancers moved from the rural areas where they were studying and settled in Defiance Bay, many of them choosing the emerging and wealthy district of Brackenbury as their new home of operations.

While there were still a few breakthroughs and the study of animancy continued for the next 24 years, it quickly slowed as it became cost-prohibitive and complicated the more people learned about it. Most animancers couldn't afford to continue research without the support of donations or gifts from wealthy individuals and organizations. In 2737 AI, some animancers, desperate to continue their studies and seeing no other means of furthering their research, entered the forbidden ruins of Eir Glanfath to further their research. They discovered some such sites had strange artifacts that seemed to bear affinity to soul essence, and began to prod at the devices for further insight. Even with continued research, they are unable to tell quite what they have discovered. Eventually they were found out by the Glanfathans, who captured some of them, demanding they be punished for their crimes. The Dyrwoodan authorities, in order to maintain their treaties and keep the peace, had no choice - they allowed the animancers to be executed according to Glanfathan tradition. This led the duc to make an additional proclamation - the study and practice of animancy on, or even near, the sacred Glanfathan sites, would be punishable by death.

In 2780 AI, in order to solidify relations again with the Glanfathans, the Dyrwoodan government allowed some animancers to begin training and experiments in conjunction with the Glanfathan ‘mind hunters’ - their native ciphers. This was an exchange of information. The animancers documented the secrets of the mind hunters powers. The mind hunters learned new techniques for concentration which assisted them in taking their powers to a level no Glanfathan had seen before. The ciphers, no longer wary of the animancers intentions, trusted them to such a level that they convinced the Glanfathans to give some animancers limited access to some of the training sites where the Glanfathans practiced. The anamfaths of the Glanfathan tribes opened the training grounds to the animancers. They were not allowed inside - as this was still strictly forbidden - but the general allowances by the Glanfathans were seen as a breakthrough in relations between the Dyrwood and Eir Glanfath. Over the next eight years, the animancers’ research would continue unimpeded. With the exception of some minor squabbles, there has been no major strife between the two groups for almost 120 years since.

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