Grieving Mother

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Grieving Mother
Biography and appearance
Game Pillars of Eternity
Race Meadow human
Gender Female
Culture Free Palatinate of Dyrwood
Background Midwife
Class Cipher
Attributes Mig: 11 Con: 12 Dex: 16 Per: 12 Int: 17 Res: 10
Location Dyrford Village
Quests Dream and Memory
Companion Permanent

Grieving Mother is a female Cipher. She is one of the possible companions in Pillars of Eternity. She can be found and recruited in the southeast corner of Dyrford Village.

Background[edit | edit source]

This middle-aged peasant woman is dressed in a brown leather cloth draped down to her knees. Her hands are working at separating stringy, colorless vegetables in a pile before her, stripping the heads off the long fibrous stems with a paring knife. She discards the stems one by one, placing the heads of the vegetables into a small cradle-like basket in front of her. She doesn't greet you as you approach. You're not sure she even knows you're there. Upon closer inspection, the woman still sits before you, but she is nothing like what you first saw. She is wearing black, shredded garments that drape over her form like streamers. Her hair is streaks of black and run through with silver. Her age is almost impossible to tell... she simply feels old, like a crumbled watchtower... As she lifts her head to face you, you see that her hair is draped across the front of her face like a veil. What you first saw of her was a mental glamour of some sort, unconscious, and you realize what you see is not what the world sees, and you are perhaps the first to see her true self

The “Grieving Mother” is a cipher who acted as a midwife in a local community, ushering children into the world at an abandoned Engwithan outpost on a plateau of pure, white adra. Combining her powerful abilities as a cipher with her knowledge of healing and alchemy, she helped mothers cope with pregnancy and the strain of childbirth, and their children to enter the world. The chimes she wears were an integral part of the ritual, acting as a soothing influence on the newborn minds. In time, she came to be seen as a Watcher in the local community. Though she resented the title, she kept up the appearances, as they helped entrench the people's trust in her and made her work easier. When the path to the lake beyond the adra plateau disappeared, overgrown with weeds and trees, she considered it a tremendous personal success, as it was used in the paths to drown unwanted children.

All changed when the Waidwen's Legacy began to manifest in the Dyrwood. Her village was no exception. Rather than see the path uncovered and the lake fill with tiny skeletons (perhaps with her drowned among them as a witch), she used her talents to convince mothers that their infants were healthy and active - that they had a soul, in other words. She maintained the appearances for more than fifteen years, with the entire village gradually falling under her influence. The strain was immense and eventually the spell broke, just as one of the mothers she controlled died, forgetting to care for herself. The entire village suddenly woke up from the dream. Grieving Mother realized she had to get out of the village before it was too late.

This did not stop others from blaming her for the births of other Hollowborn children in her community. She was tracked down and punished viciously and unjustly by Durance who saw her as part of the Hollowborn crisis. However, she does not blame Durance for the violations that were done to her soul and her body. She does not recognize him when he is in the party, as his soul is different from when they first met. The damage she did to him, arguably in self-defense, was considerable and far outweighed what was done to her.[1]

Appearance and personality[edit | edit source]

The Grieving Mother’s powerful cipher abilities cause awareness and perceptions to slide off of her, and she is difficult to recognize. Many simply see her as an unremarkable peasant woman who travels with the party and is not worth addressing. She sees others through their souls, not their physical appearance. She does not communicate with people in the environment; although she may counsel the player on a course of action she feels strongly about and will warn the player of danger whenever possible. She is strongly motivated to end the Hollowborn crisis (even if it causes other problems), and she believes the Watcher is necessary for this to happen.[1] She is not an anguished figure. In many respects, she is quite serene and calm, even when inflicting harm on another (and she would kill without hesitation to protect her primary goals: ending the crisis and protecting the Watcher). She often prefers to speak through visions rather than words.

One item of equipment distinguishes her: Chimes. The chimes are finely crafted, of white adra. They are wrapped around the Grieving Mother's wrists with tiny woven braids of hair of different colors, from white to black, brown to blonde. You feel as if you're noticing them for the first time.

Interactions[edit | edit source]

Icon head.png
This character is a party member.
Icon parchment.png
This character starts quests.

Dream and Memory

Companion quest[edit | edit source]

  • Dream and Memory: Mother is in a state of deep mourning. Her substantial desire to see her children resurrected may lead her down a dark path. Grieving Mother's associated companion quest, Dream and Memory, starts when you meet her. It is entirely resolved through dialogue, although it may require you to have reached a certain point in the story to finish.

Companion[edit | edit source]

  • Grieving Mother uses her cipher powers to appear unremarkable to others, making the Watcher one of the few people that can remember who she is. As a result, she has virtually no banter conversations with other companions.
    • However, if Grieving Mother is in the party during the final stage of Edér's companion quest, there will be an option to have her examine the artifact. Allowing her to do so will prompt Edér to comment that he does not see how having a nearby stranger looking at it will be of any help. This indicates that other party members are indeed aware of Grieving Mother's presence, but do not identify her as a party member or even as being the same woman following them from place to place.
    • Also, if you have Grieving Mother in your party and if you choose to sacrifice Saeda to Aldhelm during Undying Heritage, she will leave your party and give you a curse.
    • This will also happen if you choose to sacrifice Vela during Sacrificial Bloodlines.

Behind the scenes[edit | edit source]

  • Grieving Mother was written by Chris Avellone.[2]
  • Before PoE 1.03, Grieving Mother had the following Attributes: Mig: 11 Con: 12 Dex: 16 Per: 17 Int: 12 Res: 10.

References[edit source]