An Exile is as an Exile Does
The characters that we play in Path of Exile are known as Exiles. Most of the NPCs that we encounter refer to us as either “Exile” or whatever our class is, such as “Ranger” or “Witch”. Our character does not have a name, outside of the name that we assign ourselves when creating that character. We all know what the word means when someone is referred to as an “exile”. But what does this mean for our character? Why were we exiled and who exactly exiled us? And if we are the Exile, what is this “Path” that we are suppose to be on? These are the questions I would like to answer here, without going too far in depth on each individual character or action taken in history.
First, we should look into each class to see what we can discover about their history before we go head first into all exiles in general. We do learn a bit about each class when selecting a new exile to play at the beginning of the game. One thing new players may not know is that there are two different versions of their intros. These changes took place with the 3.0 update, so we shall look at the intros used in version 2.0 and 3.0 to gain what insight we can from each… With that said, I will summarize these. Each exile has their own unique story to tell and something that they are fighting for. Because of that, each exile deserves their own deep dive in their own due time.
Templar – As a Templar, he was once the Chosen of God. He built his life upon faith within the Order of the Templar and would have died for each of his Templar Brothers. But it seems that he killed someone that High Templar Dominus did not want dead yet.
Marauder – Born to honor his Ancestors, die with a weapon in his hand and the Karui Way in his blood. Yet for the past three years, this exile has been enslaved in Oriath. During his time, the Marauder pushed back with brutal definece. He is one of the few that welcomes his exile.
Witch – The witch has a fairly simple, yet interesting story. Many within Oriath seeked her dark insights and for this, her house was burned to the ground. In return, she killed many of Oriaths children.
Shadow – Hired to assassinate someone, which is what he does best. This time though, the only pay for a job well done was awaking on a strange ship to Wraeclast.
Ranger – A hunter and poacher by profession and loaner by lifestyle, she trapped animals on someone’s land where she was not welcome.
Duelist – A true man of honor and his word. He holds others to same regard. And when another questioned his honor, he met them with his sword.
Scion – The lovely Scion has the most interesting story of all! Born into a influential family of Oriath. From birth, she was molding into a princess that all would adore. On the night of her arranged marriage to another, she killed him in their bed.
Our characters all hail from the same island known as Oriath, which is currently ruled over by the High Templar Dominus. It is from here that we have been exiled to Wraeclast. We will discuss Oriath in much more detail later, but for now – just know that this is where we are from. In the not so distant past, there was another empire, to the west of Oriath – The Eternal Empire, who ruled over the lands of Wraeclast and was involved in a slave trade with Oriath. During this time, many citizens of the Eternal Empire made Oriath their home. The same goes for citizens of Oriath, who made Wraeclast their home. But not long after the great disaster, known as The Cataclysm, it was very hard to call anywhere home.
At some point after the events of the Cataclysm take place, Dominus along with his thaumaturgist Piety, begin studying the many documents and relics left behind by the Eternal Empire in Oriath. Soon after, they began traveling to Wraeclast to further their studies left behind by the Eternals. And it was at this point in time that Piety began the process of recreating the many horrific experiments performed by Malachi. To make sure that Piety had enough bodies for her experiments, Dominus begins sentencing criminals to exile on Wraeclast, instead of serving time in prison or even death. Dominus would go so far as exiling someone that he even thought would get in his way, which can clearly be seen by the amount of bodies that are encountered upon entering the Specter of God.
Yes! This is the same Dominus and Piety that we battle in-game. So does this mean that this is our “path”? Is it that simple? No, it is not.
In the beginning of the story it seems that our path, or purpose if you will, is to find our way back home by way of seeking redemption in the unforgivable land of Wraeclast for our acts in Oriath. But our story is more than that. We start by helping the villagers of the first town that we reach, Lioneye’s Watch. Then we learn of Dominus and Piety themselves being in Wraeclast, so we hunt them down. From here, it becomes our mission to right a long standing wrong that goes back generations. It just so happens that undoing this wrong is going to take a lot of work and a lot of killing. Good thing we’re pretty good at that already.