Watershaping

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Watershaping is the oldest known tradition of the Huana and is widely considered the touchstone of their achievements. Using a combination of stances and mindsets, collectively referred to as “forms,” specially trained Huana are able to mold water like clay, easing it into semipermanent shapes with hand and thought. The breadth of possible applications for watershaping in the Deadfire is virtually endless, from the steering of tides to the taming of hurricanes and sinking of enemy fleets.[1]

Background[edit | edit source]

The Huana tell a very old myth about how their distant ancestors came upon the art, but it has been retold, translated, and interpreted to the point of being apocryphal. It tells that Ngati called her three most faithful and devoted worshipers to her watery realm. She dined with them in halls carved of coral and bone, and explained how she intended to express her gratitude for their years of long service.

To Dūmu the Eldest, she gave the protection of the islands. He and his descendants would safeguard the archipelago, its land and its seas, from outsiders whose hearts were cold. To Tapua the Wise, Ngati gave the protection of the tribes, making him vow to uphold and defend the traditions of her chosen people. To the youngest, Tokima the Recaller, she gave the protection of the adra. The health of the Deadfire, she explained, was its adra. For so long as adra remained, the homeland of the Huana would thrive, and their prosperity would grow through the generations.

Sealing this compact, Ngati gifted her three devoted followers with dominion over her realm of water. The ability to shape the very matter of the Deadfire would be theirs to possess and pass on to their families and tribesmen. With this great tool at their disposal, the Huana would reign as the kings and queens of the archipelago, uncontested and bearing the goodwill of the goddess for as long as they upheld their end of the bargain. If ever the Huana gave up their charges, then the gift of watershaping would depart from the isles forever.[2] For millennia the watershapers who had this ability served as storm speakers in the scattered tribes that inhabited the archipelago, maintaining their abilities over the water domain.

From when the crown in Neketaka adopted a more friendly attitude towards foreigners and allowed the RDC and the Vailian Trading Company to settle on several islands in Deadfire the powers of the Watershapers began to decline rapidly. Periki, a watershapers guild master, made a deal with Scyorielaphas: Vowed to protect the adra deposits in the achipelago against foreigners and exploitation, Periki betrayed the dragon and enslaved him, with it, she created a series of magical wards which siphoned off the dragon's essence in order to fuel the watershapers abilities. This allowed them to partially recover their skills, weakened by not having fulfilled the promise to Ngati. [3]

Forms of watershaping[edit | edit source]

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. That is why although the four current forms have allowed watershapers to regain their control of water, the power they have now is very small compared to that of their ancestors, who are said to be able to control the seas at will.[4]

  • 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.[5]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Pillars of Eternity II: Deadfire guidebook
  2. Pillars of Eternity II: Deadfire encyclopedia
  3. Dialogue with Scyorielaphas during the quest The Shadow Under Neketaka
  4. Dialogue with Tekēhu after The Shadow Under Neketaka
  5. D Mentioned in a dialogue with Tekēhu