Waidwen's Legacy

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Warning: This article contains some end-game spoilers for Pillars of Eternity.

Waidwen's Legacy is a popular name given to a wave of hollowborn births that arose in the Free Palatinate of Dyrwood after the Saint's War. Named after St. Waidwen, the affliction affects newborns, denying them a soul. The cause of the crisis is unknown at the beginning of Pillars of Eternity.

Description[edit | edit source]

Hollowborn are completely passive and have no sense of their own awareness. They are unable to take care of themselves. They are immediately apparent at birth due to their silence.[1]

The children born during the Legacy received various names. In Ondra's Gift, they were called "buoys", as they were commonly drowned in the waters of the port, their bodies floating on the water until the tide took them.

History[edit | edit source]

The hollowborn phenomenon had been an issue long before Waidwen's Legacy. Although very rare in modern times, they were more common before the gods took control of The Wheel over 2000 years ago.[2]

Often thought to be a parting gift from Eothas as revenge for its avatar's destruction at Halgot Citadel[1], the first hollowborn was birthed less than a year after the end of the Saint's War.[3] The first children affected were Orlan.[4][5] The crisis lasted 15 years.

The legacy spread through most of the Dyrwood, from the western capital city of Defiance Bay and as far east as Stalwart.

Treatments[edit | edit source]

The Salvation[edit | edit source]

Animancers tried a variety of measures, but the one treatment that had the quickest success was transplanting the souls of animals into children. The cure originated at the Brackenbury Sanitarium in Defiance Bay, but replica machines were transported around the Dyrwood. Thousands of children received this treatment which was dubbed "The Salvation".[1] Although the children were often socially maladjusted, they became responsive and could take care of themselves. Some families used farm animals or household pets for the soul transplant.[6]

Unfortunately, when the children began to reach puberty (roughly between nine and eleven years old) they turned into feral monsters, called wichts. They grew fangs and their appearance took on a gaunt pale, purple tone. Many families were forced to put the children out of their misery, while others hid them or released them into the wilderness.[1]

Resolution[edit | edit source]

The only true treatment came with The Watcher, who uncovered that the Legacy was an artificial creation by Thaos. Thaos had utilized ancient Engwithan machinery around the Dyrwood to divert the souls. The Watcher confronted him beneath Eir Glanfath after stopping the machines. Thaos had hoped to achieve two goals with the Legacy; discrediting animancy and empowering Woedica, granting her dominion over the gods and Eora once again.

References[edit source]

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 Pillars of Eternity Guidebook, pg. 78-79, 108
  2. Per Woedica from Burned Book of Law.
  3. The Dyrwood, Part 6: The Saint's War and Waidwen's Legacy
  4. POE1 Durance Dialog: "I heard of the first tales, the orlan, suffering first..." He chuckles."
  5. The History of Eora, Volume III: The First Hollowborn
  6. Edér's first hand account: "The family whose farm I worked on, they had a little Hollowborn girl." and "Anyway, these farmers put their family dog's soul in their little girl. For a while the girl, she's making eye contact, she's feeding herself, albeit in a kind of messy way. Then one day she snaps. They found her gnawing on her brother's bones. Had to chain her up, put her in a cow pen."