|This article is about the organization in Pillars of Eternity II: Deadfire. For the location, see Watershapers Guild.|
Watershapers Guild is a faction in Pillars of Eternity II: Deadfire.
Watershaping itself is the oldest known tradition of the Huana and is widely considered the touchstone of their achievements. It is believed to have been taught to the Huana by Ondra herself, as a gift for their devotion. The guild has existed for generations, serving as a school to train the art of watershaping to those who are capable and willing to learn it.
Little is known about the origins of the guild in its historical form, but the modern-day successes of the guild are attributed to Guildmaster Periki, who in 2801 AI restored the guild to its former glory after years of waning insignificance, constructing the grand guildhall in Neketaka as it stands today.
The early masters of the guild were mostly Storm Speakers, responsible for keeping the weather around villages in an orderly state. When the Huana turned to their aid to hold back the tides of Vailians and Rauatians flooding into their land, it only took a shift in perspective for them to adapt the same skills toward the defense of the isles.
When relations with colonial powers grew strained or violent, the watershapers were called upon as royal retainers. They commanded the seas to rise and devour foreign ships, flood colonies, or interrupt the tides at a moment’s notice. The loss of cargo, resources, and capable sailors threatened to destabilize all settlement efforts, giving both Vailian and Rauataian trading companies cause to take stock of their one-sided relations with the Huana. As violence between kith escalated, the mere sight of an approaching Huana vessel was enough to send hardened veterans scrambling in their haste to retreat.
Despite this, the reality was that watershapers were few and far between. Though watershaping was considered the greatest achievement of their ancestors, few modern Huana grasped the complexity of the ritualistic forms and mindsets needed to exercise this talent to its greatest known capacity. The oldest guild histories tell of the ancient Huana’s mastery over the art, but such lessons were lost or suffered gradual decline after millennia of forgetfulness.
At this time, the guild was still no more than a small collection of powerful Storm Speakers spread thinly across Huana territories. The grand guild hall in as what would become modern-day Periki's Overlook had not yet been founded, and the loss of old techniques meant that there were far fewer new watershapers being trained than in the past.
Revitaliztion of the Watershapers'
In 2801 AI, the watershaping art made a sudden, fortuitous turnaround and experienced a resurgence of efficacy under the tutelage of Guildmaster Periki. Shortly after she assumed a leadership position in the guild, students found themselves able to achieve complicated forms with minimal strain. More acolytes graduated to become Storm Speakers than ever in recorded history. Many took this miraculous reversal of fortunes as a sign of Ngati’s favor toward the chosen people of the Deadfire.
How Periki accomplished the deed is not known, though students would whisper that subsequent guildmasters inherited the secret of Periki’s strength. Foreign authorities would never again underestimate the power of the Huana, though they were watchful for any weakness or fracturing in the native ranks. The Watershapers Guild grew in power and esteem, rising to become one of the most important fixtures in Neketaka, if not the whole of the archipelago.
Periki had a well-kept secret which greatly assisted her revitalization of the guild to its former glory. She was a whaler before taking up Ngati's art, and presumably during her time at sea came into possession of a powerful artifact, the Rod of the Deep Hunter. The rod was once used by a tribe of naga to pay ritualistic obeisance to a great beast, Scyorielaphas the Deep Hunter. In exchange, the dragon bestowed favour and plenty upon the tribe.
With the power of Huana waning, and the threat of outsiders rising, Periki sought out the Deep Hunter in order to strike a deal. The dragon's soul would be used as a crutch for the watershapers, and in exchange Periki vowed to protect the adra deposits in the achipelago against foreigners and exploitation. When Scyorielaphas was satisfied his work was done, Periki betrayed the dragon and used the power of the rod to enslave him. With it, she created a series of magical wards which siphoned off the dragon's essence in order to fuel the watershapers abilities. Periki and her followers built the guildhall around the prison (in what is present-day Periki's Overlook), sealing the dragon off for all eternity.
The secret of Periki's strength was kept for generations to come, only passed down between guildmasters. Modern day students of watershaping are completely unbeknownst to this hidden source of power, which in the past had come purely from devotion to Ngati and her techniques. Keeping the sacred art of watershaping alive came at a cost of the beast's freedom, and the legitimacy of its teachings, but this was not to last.
Periki organized the lore of Ngati's talent into a series of postures and meditations called the "Four Forms of Watershaping". While veiled as a deep channeling of Ngati's worship, the four forms were merely fabrications made to tap into the dragon's prison and his power. In "Three Forms and a Sorrow", Periki goes into greater detail, alluding to this fact.
|“||Do not mistake the forms for the wisdom of our ancestors. The forms are mere shadows cast by something larger and greater than we may ever know. At best, they are a dim interpretation of what watershaping was meant to be. Not even memories of shadows, but stories we tell of the memories of shadows.||”|
|~ Excerpt of "Three Forms and a Sorrow", by Guildmaster Periki
- The Form of Grief: The easiest form, focusing on the realization that try as they might to embody Ngati's element, Huana bodies are not water.
- The Form of Hope: Dictates that the body's internal water is a force that conquers all. Even the mountain will bow to the stream.
- The Form of Metamorphosis: Water commands its vessel, and the vessel can be shaped as surely as the mountain.
- The Form of Transcendence: An ancient, legendary form that Periki could not - or did not - commit to her scrolls, covering the true power of Huana's ancestors: Reshaping the very Deadfire.
The guild has a fairly simply structure, comprised of guild masters and students. Those who graduate from the guild assume the title of "Storm Speaker", and are loaned out to islands or Huana ships as needed. Their assignments most commonly involve shielding settlements from flooding or unexpected storms, but in times of conflict are used by the Kahanga royal family as an expression of might and displeasure.
- 2801 AI: The Watershapers' Revitalization - Guidebook, page 29
- Dialogue with Queen Onekaza II, during The Shadow Under Neketaka
- Rod of the Deep Hunter item description
- Dialogue with Scyorielaphas during the quest The Shadow Under Neketaka
- Three Forms and a Sorrow, by Guildmaster Periki - Guidebook, page 45