The Wheel

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Cresting the top of a fallen tower, you finally get a clear view of Eothas. He stands, legs astride, next to a great stone monument ringed with eleven cavernous alcoves. All but three hold a gargantuan skeleton, bones scrubbed clean by the city's storms.

An immense Engwithan machine floats above the monument, suspended by invisible energy emanating from a well of light beneath it. Great brass rings spin around a core of metal and adra at the machine's center. Periodically, Eothas' massive arms swing back. The movement alone is enough to draw great gusts of wind toward him. When they come down on the machine, the impacts are accompanied by eruptions of electricity, fire, and smoke. The hundreds of luminous adra pillars across Ukaizo sympathetically dim in a rippling wave that spreads out from the machine.

~ Viewing the Engwithan machine at Ukaizo on Pillars of Eternity II: Deadfire

The Wheel is a natural phenomenon on Eora that is responsible for the cycle of rebirth, allowing souls to pass from one life to another. The metaphysical phenomenon continued for thousands of years, until the Engwithans and the Huana created a giant metaphysical machine in the heart of Ukaizo to seize control of the process and imbue the newly-minted gods with actual divine power and the ability to leech souls to augment their power. Their tampering was so extensive, however, that over the centuries of its existence the natural process became reliant on the machine at Ukaizo. When Eothas destroyed the machine in 2828 AI, the process has deteriorated to the point that it cannot return to its original state. At that point, the machines were integral to the Wheel and their destruction prevented the natural cycle from continuing, grinding the process to a halt.[1]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. J.E. Sawyer : "PoE1: The wheel is a natural/metaphysical phenomenon that pre-dates the Engwithans. PoE2: The wheel is a physical machine that was created by the Engwithans. Please tell me this discrepancy will at least be addressed in a DLC or sequel!
    That is not what is said in Deadfire, though ambiguity (and the potential to miss a few key lines from Berath) caused some players to infer that. Content in the DLCs has clarified this more.
    Deadfire spoilers follow.
    The Wheel is a natural phenomenon that was regulated so heavily by the Engwithans that the destruction of the regulating machines does not return it to its natural state, but leaves it effectively broken. Berath uses the analogy of a river that has been so extensively dammed for so long that removing the dams cannot possibly restore the river’s original, natural flow. I.e., the machines at Ukaizo are now (at the time of Deadfire) integral to the Wheel’s process of taking souls into the Beyond. When they are broken, the natural process cannot resume on its own because it has been subverted for over two thousand years."