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What the blazes happened down there? You were given permission to ask questions!
~ Head Warden Ethelmoer

The Man Who Waits is a main quest in Pillars of Eternity.


The Leaden Key acolyte showed the Watcher a vision of an agent in a "place of misery and madness." They need to find this agent and discover his or her plan to see if it holds any clues to find the man they are searching for.

Quick walkthrough[]

  1. Head to the Sanitarium in Brackenbury, speak to Ethelmoer (the giant statue in the middle of the first floor).
  2. Go downstairs and read the Note from Azo on the bookshelf in Caedman Azo's office (at the end on the right) OR speak to Riply in the same room.
  3. Return to Ethelmoer regarding Azo's experiments.
  4. Return downstairs and head through to the patient ward, the guard will open the door as you approach it.
  5. Speak to Freyol in the central area, ask if any of the patients have been acting unusually.
  6. Speak to Caedman Azo in his workshop to the south, request access to the north ward and then confront him about his experiments. He will give you the North Ward Key.
  7. Unlock the North Ward. Speak to Uscgrim at the end of the hall and expend the dialogue to complete the quest.


You automatically get this quest when completing Never Far from the Queen.

Ask the Justiciars around town for a place where the mentally ill would be treated, and learn about the Sanitarium in the Brackenbury district of Defiance Bay. Visit that place.

Inside, speak with Head Warden Ethelmoer, the large stone statue in the center of the hall. Tell him you believe somebody in the sanitarium is working for the Leaden Key, and that you would like to find this person. He points you to the animancers working here, as they should best know about any unusual behaviour exhibited by patients or other employees. The only thing he expects in return is to get informed about the things you discover.

Neither Nans, Audmer, Bellasege or Moedred have useful information for you, though the latter mentions that the patients fall under the responsibility of Caedman Azo. Looking inside Azo's office, which is located in the basement hallway, in the - formerly locked - last room on the right, you find his assistant Riply. Speaking with her give hints about Azo experimenting on some of the patients. Additionally some related records can be found in a locked drawer of his desk. Your next step is to talk to Azo, and for that you need to gain access to the Patient Ward, which lies beyond the guarded door at the end of the hallway.

Currently no one but Azo himself has access to the Patient Ward, as he alone holds the position of patient caretaker. Since only the Head Warden can grant you this access, you need to go back upstairs and speak to Ethelmoer about your discoveries. Ethelmoer will be very interested, and not very amused by the informations and evidence you've found, so he informs the guards to unlock the door for you and your party. It is also possible to obtain a key to the Patient Ward from the guards guarding its entrance, albeit only by killing them – which will make most people in the Sanitarium, both first and second floor, turn hostile.

Go downstairs again and enter the Patient Ward. Inside you find yourself in a common room with patients freely roaming about. Accompanying them are a few guards, assisted by Flesh Constructs, who keep watch over the area. Among the common room patients is Freyol, who if spoken to, not only tells you her story, but also has some useful information about Azo and his activities. She points you to his laboratory in the eastern area of the Ward. This is a good time to scout the area: To the north you find a locked door, guarded by a Flesh Construct, no access; To the west lies a small study, and just above it there's another locked door with a guard standing watch outside, warning you of the dangers beyond, again with no access.

Following the corridor from the common room to the east, you come about a door to your right. Enter, and inside you find a laboratory filled with various machines and contraptions, at the back of which you meet Caedman Azo, busy working on his experiments. Go up and speak with him. Agitated by the interruption, he won't be very cooperative when you ask for the key to the North Ward, where the more dangerous patients are kept. If you spoke to Freyol before, you can persuade him into handing over the key (Perception 13 is optional), or you could simply kill him for it. If you're interested, the conversation with Azo can also reveal some additional story details that allows you to better understand the things that will happen later; you can use what you learned from Freyol to get him to talk about his doings here, his history, and his insights about animancy. Searching his laboratory, you may also find the two unique items Ravenwing and Blaidh Golan.

Finally enter the North Ward, where you find yourself in a hallway of locked cells - four on each side and one at the far end. Each cell doors has a small barred window, through which you can see and attempt to talk to its inmate. Patients Idelman and Battixa don't provide any useful information, but Gram in the third cell on the left allows you to touch his soul. This reveals insights into the experiments Azo was conducting, and points you to the cell at the end of the corridor, transferring some vision about a "boy" and a Flesh Construct and a collapse. Some of your companions may argue about the desolate situation here, about animancy, research, and humanity.

At this point you can choose to go back to the laboratory and confront Azo about what he's done to Gram - assuming you didn't kill him for the key - or you can save this confrontation for later and first go investigate the last cell door. When you confront him, whether you do it now or later, Azo will try to convince you that his cause is just, and pleads with you to clear him of all suspicion when speaking to the Head Warden again. The decision about this is yours, and you might even attack him for his deeds, if you consider his life forfeit.

Approaching the cell at the end of the hallway and peering through its small window, you gain an impression of an adolescent boy called Uscgrim, whose soul you can reach out for too. Doing so you acquire the backstory of Azo's failed experiments and learn about what this "boy" - who you recognise as somebody you know from somewhere - has done during his hospitalisation here. Faced with this unexpected revelation, The Watcher speaks out to him; you can choose to demand answers or a solution to your soul conundrum from him, but in response he observes your soul in turn, and decides it's time to leave. The boys body falls limp as the man's soul lunges out, and suddenly you and your party find yourselves getting surrounded by the now crazed patients, freed from their cells, and several possessed Flesh Constructs. A fight begins, the quest ends, the man you're looking for escaped in possession and guise of another vessel.

Making your way back through the hallways and corridors of the Patient Ward, the corpses of patients and guards littering the ground, you encountering more possessed Constructs and possibly some Wichts that have escaped from the West Ward. The only other person left in the Ward – in case you haven't kill him already – is Caedman Azo in his lab. If you didn't confront him about his experiments earlier, this would be the time to do so, or you can skip it - the confrontation with Azo is optional. Either way you will not have any option of enlightening him about the "boy", his sabotage being the true cause of failure for Azo's grand public demonstration - a failure which resulted in public ire and loss of face, further hastening animancy's fall from grace.

Once you've made your way back to the main hall of the first floor, you'll be addressed by the Head Warden, who's greatly concerned by the ongoings you've caused in the basement. Your excuse can either be to blame it on Azo for being influenced by a "patient", without knowing it; or you can say that it's complicated but centred around patient Uscgrim, who was unknowingly working for the Leaden Key; or you can state that you killed the Leaden Key agent, but that in turn led to his soul possessing a Construct and so on… Hesitantly, Ethelmoer reveals that he has read a few "accounts" of people in history who could do what you've just described, some of these accounts even going so far as to suggest that they are all the same person. But more than anything he's simply relieved that you've eradicated the threat to the institute. Being further questioned about Azo's involvement, you can now choose between a neutral, a defending or an accusing path. Depending on your choice, Ethelmoer eventually decides Azo's fate.

If you haven't already been summoned to Hadret House for your work in the city, you'll be approached now. As you leave the sanitarium, a messenger will inform you that Lady Webb of Dunryd Row wishes to meet with you as soon as possible at Hadret House, which adds the quest The Hermit of Hadret House to your journal.


  • Choosing the response [Leave] "I don't have time for this." when speaking to Azo (after the fight in the North Ward) causes you to lose the ability to further converse with him, and thus of confronting him about his experiments if you haven't already done so. Subsequent attempts to speak to Azo only results in the speech-bubble "It'll be some time before things calm down here.".
  • It's possible to save the confrontation with Azo until after you and Ethelmoer have decided upon his fate, by not speaking with him after visiting the North Ward. However this is not recommended since in the confrontation dialog Azo asks you to promise not to report him to Ethelmoer, but you already have, and there is no option of telling Azo that the outcome has already been decided, nor what the decided outcome was. All your available dialog options involve making a future promise about a past event, which is immersion breaking.


ID Objectives
0 The Man Who Waits
10000 The Leaden Key Acolyte showed me a vision of an agent in a "place of misery and madness." I need to find this agent and discover his or her plan to see if it holds any clues to finding the man I'm searching for.
1 Speak to the Head Warden of Brackenbury Sanitarium.
10001 I should confer with the head warden of the sanitarium, Ethelmoer, about how to proceed with my search for the Leaden Key there.
2 Question the animancers about suspicious activity.
10002 Head Warden Ethelmoer invited me to speak to the animancers in the sanitarium and see if they've noticed anything unusual that might point me to any Leaden Key involvement here.
20003 Audmer told me that if anything strange was happening at the sanitarium, it would be taking place in the lower level.
20001 Moedred mentioned that the sanitarium patients are more agitated than normal, and that Caedman Azo is responsible for their care.
20002 Cafden thinks Caedman Azo has been running experiments even though Azo has been forbidden from doing so.
20005 Nans said she's been too involved in her own research to pay much attention to what else is going on at the sanitarium.
20013 Bellasege claims she wouldn't be the right person to ask about anyone's behavior.
20016 I have found patient records suggesting that Caedman Azo has been experimenting on a patient named Gram against his will.
3 Talk to Ethelmoer about Azo.
10003 Caedman Azo was absent from his office, and he's evidently been running some secret experiments. I should take this up with the head warden. Whether this is connected to the Leaden Key's operations remains to be seen.
4 Investigate the patient ward.
10004 I have been given access by the head warden to enter the patient ward. The animancer in charge of the patients, Caedman Azo, has been running unauthorized experiments. His suspicious behavior is my best lead toward finding the Leaden Key agent.
20008 I killed Azo, but I might be able to find something useful in his research notes.
5 Interview patients.
10005 Azo claims he's had little time to observe patients of late. He suggested that the "more functional" patients in the front of the ward might be more likely to have seen unusual behavior.
6 Interview Gram in the North Ward.
10006 Freyol mentioned a man named Gram in the North Ward who has also been a frequent subject of Caedman Azo's experiments, and that Gram doesn't seem to be volunteering for the experiments. Gram may be able to shed light on whether Azo has been working with the Leaden Key.
20011 Freyol mentioned that Caedman Azo is the only one with access to the North Ward.
20015 I received the key to the North Ward from Azo. He was not pleased to give it.
7 Speak to the patient at the end of the hall.
10007 A look into the soul of a half-crazed patient named Gram revealed strange behavior by a boy at the far end of the North Ward.
8 Subdue Uscgrim.
10008 I have discovered that the patient Uscgrim has been possessed by the man I've been searching for. He must be subdued so I can learn from him how I might be able to undo my Awakening.
13 Interview Gram in the North Ward.
10013 Azo's own records showed that he sometimes forced patients to undergo experiments even when they were unwilling. One patient from the North Ward, Gram, was a frequent test subject. Gram may be able to shed light on whether Azo has been working with the Leaden Key.
20009 When confronted, Azo admitted that treating Gram in that way was unethical, but insisted that I speak to Gram and see his improvement for myself.
20012 Freyol mentioned that Caedman Azo is the only one with access to the North Ward.
20014 I received the key to the North Ward from Azo. He was not pleased to give it.
14 Search for the Leaden Key agent.
10014 Since I've turned the sanitarium against me, I'll have to find the Leaden Key agent on my own. He or she should still be somewhere inside the sanitarium.
15 Find the "place of misery and madness."
10015 The Leaden Key Acolyte showed me a wealthy neighborhood that also housed misery and madness. There was someone waiting there, a "prisoner by choice."

If I am to find this person I will need to find this neighborhood. Perhaps the guards will know of it.

End states
Yes Found LKA
30000 I uncovered a Leaden Key operative in the sanitarium. He has the ability to possess those with weak souls, and was using one of the patients to influence Caedman Azo's animancy research.