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What the heck is Caelar's deal? (SPOILERS, very probably). Is she really as terrible as she seems?

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  • FardragonFardragon Member Posts: 4,511
    edited May 2016

    @Ammar
    @Fardragon
    You both say she's not a worshipper of Lathander, so maybe I'm missing something... but...

    "I knew that had to change. But how? How might I redeem myself for my sins? For years, I prayed for guidance, and then one day, one glorious day, an answer was bestowed on me by the gods themselves."

    "I was brought up in the Order of the Aster. My aasimar heritage and the Argent name assured me a place of honor as a paladin of the Morninglord. Or so I thought at the time. I had such confidence then. Such certainty of purpose. I knew I would rise to greatness, knew it in my bones."

    "All that barred my ascent were my superiors in the Order. They sought to teach me humility; I see that now. But I could not bring myself to bow to their authority. To any authority but Lathander's, perhaps not even his."

    "Arrogant? I serve the gods—you serve the corrupt, the ignorant, ones consumed with territory, gold, power—is that also your legacy, ? Do you stand with them or for something greater?"

    "What gods? The pantheon shines its light upon me—Lathander, Tyr, Helm, Tempus—all see the righteousness of my cause. Soon, the Hells shall see that light as well."


    To me Caelar is the exact opposite of everything she's made out to be.

    In the end she gets EXACTLY what she wanted and suffers no punishment and sacrifices nothing. And her staying in hell is not a punishment, because it's exactly where she wanted to go. No doubt she'll take sides with the first demon she meets.

    Yes, you are missing a massively huge plot point.

    Caelar and the Crusade have rejected the worship of individual gods in favour of the worship of "all the gods". Hepanan is ostensibly a cleric of "all the gods". This is not possible in FR theology, and CHARNAME can point out that they are heretics in a dialogue quite early on.

    This is why, near the end, Caelar's uncle makes a point of saying "praise LATHANDER". (I assume you only get that line with certain choices).

    Caelar is NOT a paladin. She initially trained as a paladin, but left before completing her training. Her class is quite definately FIGHTER. Since you can have her as a party member it is easy to check.

    Oh, and you don't meet demons in hell. Demons live in the Abyss, which is a different place entirely, and since devils, who live in Hell, hate demons more than anything, they are unlikely to go visiting.

    Post edited by Fardragon on
    Artona
  • jsavingjsaving Member Posts: 949
    Well, look -- it is indisputable that Caelar's actions sometimes cut against the lofty values she claimed to uphold. She also deliberately hid some of her motivations from the broader public and seemed to be wearing rose-colored glasses regarding whether her plan was likely to work.

    However, she's also right that numerous people were dragged to the Nine Hells against their will, right that nobody has lifted a finger to save them, right that there's a big constituency in the general public for launching a rescue mission, and right that successfully liberating them would be a noble endeavor.

    Now, one can certainly argue the rescue mission was so obviously doomed that Caelar must have been stringing everyone along by claiming it could work. But I think this sells her short for a couple of reasons: 1) her advisors were telling her the plan could work, 2) she maintains even at game-end that she really thought she could free the captives, 3) even at her most self-centered she had a primary goal of freeing one particular captive, 4) she had no particular reason to believe anyone in the Nine Hells knew she was coming, and 5) she had no idea how thoroughly her views were being manipulated by someone in her inner circle.

    The final battle actually brings some of this into sharp focus. Depending on the choices you make at that time, CHARNAME can either
    fan her dark side or lead her to redemption
    -- both of which imply she'd been a conflicted person long before her crusade began. And it's exactly that struggle that separates her from the one-dimensionality of Sarevok and Irenicus, in my view at least.

  • batoorbatoor Member Posts: 677
    I appreciated Caelars character most of the time even if I think everything leading up to the portal opening was a bit ''bungled'' in terms of presentation. Altogether though I feel it was more or less a setup for a Bg2 arc with her as a companion, even if her story can be considered finished for now.

  • FardragonFardragon Member Posts: 4,511
    The thing about Caelar is she is written like a real person: her goals are poorly thought out and unclear even to herself, full of self deception and ego trips.

    For people who like purely escapest fantasy, where evil is clear and unambiguous, I can understand why they don't find her satisfactory.

    kamuizinPokotaThacoBell
  • downloaddownload Member Posts: 25
    I'm glad to hear that people being physically dragged into the Hells was what she was talking about, not just dying to a Baatezu. Because that confused me for a long time.

    I guessed Caelar's "motivations" about halfway through the game, and was glad to be proven right- I just wish I could've acted on them and sealed up/blown up the portal room instead of marching in there and letting Hephaernan open it. The Baldur's Gate series has a bad habit of revealing plot details in writings and then acting like your characters are illiterate.

    My take is that she's incredibly charismatic, very possibly supernaturally so, but dumb as a sack of hammers and about as easily manipulated. At the same time, she was only 10 when she got her uncle sent to Baator and was promptly ejected and I think left to wander in disgrace, so she's also deeply traumatized. Her order should be to blame just as much as her- who the fuck leaves a 10-year-old to guard super dangerous magical tomes, no matter their heritage? She was too young to be fully responsible for what she did, and they didn't even try to help her cope with that, just kicked her out and forgot about her. At least she wasn't as dangerous as Irenicus was when Ellesime did it...

  • IldunIldun Member Posts: 34
    She just a liar bitch. She don't know how to free damned souls from hell, she just want to use the crusader armies as tool to breach the hell and rescue her uncle. And the end, she can breach through by her small surviving party anyway, because the hell is just 3 damn small maps. This is the worst anticlimactic story ever...

  • kamuizinkamuizin Member Posts: 3,683
    Ildun said:

    She just a liar bitch. She don't know how to free damned souls from hell, she just want to use the crusader armies as tool to breach the hell and rescue her uncle. And the end, she can breach through by her small surviving party anyway, because the hell is just 3 damn small maps. This is the worst anticlimactic story ever...

    You want beamdog to create the entire layer for a simple strong baatezu? You must be kidding!!

    Dude, he's not an Archdevil, just a strong Baatezu. probally a duke in his layer (that i presume to be the first or second). No sense in create an entire layer for him. Probally the true strong devils doesn't even care about this "invasion" (would if they knew that someone opened a permanent door to the prime, but they don't have time to aknowledge that before it's closed).

  • IldunIldun Member Posts: 34
    kamuizin said:

    Ildun said:

    She just a liar bitch. She don't know how to free damned souls from hell, she just want to use the crusader armies as tool to breach the hell and rescue her uncle. And the end, she can breach through by her small surviving party anyway, because the hell is just 3 damn small maps. This is the worst anticlimactic story ever...

    You want beamdog to create the entire layer for a simple strong baatezu? You must be kidding!!

    I heard he is the final boss of Icewind Dale, what a pity...

  • FardragonFardragon Member Posts: 4,511
    Ildun said:

    She just a liar bitch. She don't know how to free damned souls from hell, she just want to use the crusader armies as tool to breach the hell and rescue her uncle. And the end, she can breach through by her small surviving party anyway, because the hell is just 3 damn small maps. This is the worst anticlimactic story ever...

    Technically, she isn't a liar, she is just economical with the truth.

    I'm pretty sure her plan would have succeeded had she been called CHARNAME.

    If you want to visit Hell with more opportunities for sightseeing, may I point you to HotU?

  • The_CheesemanThe_Cheeseman Member Posts: 175
    edited May 2016
    She doesn't really "side with the devils", she makes a Faustian bargain to become Belhifet's blackguard in exchange for her uncle's freedom and the death of Haephernaan. In a sense, she sacrifices everything. Not only her life, but her very freedom and immortal soul.

    Yeah, it's a dumb choice, but a sacrifice nonetheless.

    ***EDIT***

    Also, research the Peasant's Crusade to see a real life equivalent to what happens in this story. Regardless of the intentions of their commander, an army of undisciplined fanatics WILL create plenty of chaos and destruction in their wake. You can't really lay that blame entirely on Caelar's shoulders. Especially since her closest advisor was a literal devil in disguise, almost certainly spreading corruption behind her back.

    Pokota
  • rapsam2003rapsam2003 Member Posts: 1,636
    edited May 2016
    Fardragon said:

    If you want to visit Hell with more opportunities for sightseeing, may I point you to HotU?



    You get a gold star.

    OT:
    It's more like she chooses to "replace" her uncle. She takes his place.

  • mademan2mademan2 Member Posts: 33
    I cant really decide whether she is a good or a poor villain. She is hyprocritical and a liar, on the other hand she is clearly very influential and charismatic leader. I cant really see it but hell many are following her because she makes her goals sound noble and important.
    But yea, the actions of her army are inexcusable and just stupid, her mercenaries are running around causing havoc, the zealots forcibly conscript and kill people and yet she pretends she has a good intentions, we know she is selfish in the end but still how does everyone else buy it, I do not believe that majority of the people following her are doing it because they experienced the horrors of the Dragonspear wars or somesuch. Dunno im conflicted about her, I certainly do not like her but I dont know whether its because she is a unlikeable villain or a poorly written one.
    Overall tho SoD is awesome :)

  • PokotaPokota Member Posts: 728
    The most important thing about Caelar Argent is that she doesn't see any way forward but her own. You can either help her or hinder her (with appropriate changes to the ending of SoD), but ultimately you two are in conflict simply because she is not the leader she thinks she is and it puts you, as Gorion's Ward, in direct danger.

    If she were, her army would not be displacing refugees left, right, and center.
    If she were, her army would be better disciplined and would not be razing towns and cities as it marched.
    If she were, she would have surrounded herself with wise advisors rather than delegating that to Hephernaan (who for his own reasons surrounded her with yes-men).

    ThacoBell
  • ThacoBellThacoBell Member Posts: 11,727
    Caelar is kind of a mirror to Sarevok, and by extension, charname. She is aasimar, she comes from a family of paladins. Because of this, she sees herself as good. And as someone good, everything she does does must be good. And that's her fatal flaw. She is self serving and callous to all who aren't her, she is arrogant, but because of what she is, she believes that she is in the right.

    It all comes back to the nature vs. nurture theme of Baldur's Gate. Where Sarevok accepted that he was evil because of his origin, Caelar accepted that she was good. And SoD shows us why that mindset is toxic and can cause great harm, no matter the alignment.

    ZaxaresRik_Kirtaniya
  • ZaxaresZaxares Member Posts: 1,136
    Caelar is a bit of a tragic character, but one whose downfall was entirely of her own making. As ThacoBell points out, her biggest flaw growing up was that, because of her heritage, she believed she was destined for greatness and that furthermore, as a being of celestial heritage, she could do no wrong. When she broke into the vault and read the tome of forbidden magic, it probably permanently banned her from ever becoming a paladin (you can't become a holy champion if an Archdevil has a claim on your soul, and certainly not if somebody sacrificed themselves in your place and you did nothing to make amends.)

    A wiser person would have accepted her fate and used her uncle's sacrifice to do the best she could under her new circumstances. She might not have been able to be a paladin anymore, but she could still have become a great champion for Good as a Fighter or general. However, I think that her guilt over her uncle languishing in Hell, along with a resentment for the "destiny" she feels was her birthright being torn from her, meant that she was ripe for corruption by a carefully placed tempter. (Hepharnaan.)

    As the PC can tell her, Caelar had many, MANY opportunities to turn from her path, if only she had thought to question if what she was doing was REALLY the right thing. If it really was possible for the souls taken in the first Dragonspear War to be saved, why hadn't the Heavens done something before now? (In fact, there is actually a special army of celestials, headed by Raziel, the Archon of the Fifth Heaven, whose goal is specifically to rescue souls that have been unlawfully captured and kept in Hell. Perhaps Caelar didn't know this though.) What's more, Caelar never told any of her followers that she was doing all of this specifically to rescue her uncle. She was going to lead untold thousands of mortal soldiers into Hell to their deaths under a false premise, for a goal that she secretly knew might be impossible, for selfish reasons. I think that, in more private moments, she probably admitted to herself that she knew all of this was wrong, but she never questioned Hepharnaan and allowed herself to be swept up in her own facade because she WANTED it to be true.

    So, at the end, while Belhifet and his devils were the true culprits behind and masterminds of everything that happened, Caelar also deserves punishment for her complicity in events. I decided that leaving her in Baator to fight devils until the end of time was no more or less than she deserved. At least now her mission is an honest one.

    PokotaThacoBellWarChiefZekeJuliusBorisov
  • WarChiefZekeWarChiefZeke Member Posts: 2,386
    edited October 4
    In fact, there is actually a special army of celestials, headed by Raziel, the Archon of the Fifth Heaven,

    Yep. Her entire crusade made no sense from the perspective of the way the Planes worked. Celestial beings do not let souls get captured wrongfully and sent to the Hells. There is an entire layer of the Abyss, slowly turning into a layer with a dominant Good alignment, because for hundreds of years celestials have defended cursed souls trapped there wrongfully.

    It doesn't necessarily mean that her motives are unreasonable for someone in her position, but I would think if anyone knew how celestials handled unjustly captured souls it would someone born and raised in the church.

    Post edited by WarChiefZeke on
    ThacoBell
  • ThacoBellThacoBell Member Posts: 11,727
    Caelar is the WORST student.

    WarChiefZekemegamike15
  • MaurvirMaurvir Member Posts: 891
    I'm pretty sure I've mentioned this before, but Caelar is an idiot of the first degree. Sure, she may have divine intelligence, but based on what I saw, she has the same WIS as boo.

  • ThacoBellThacoBell Member Posts: 11,727
    Maurvir wrote: »
    I'm pretty sure I've mentioned this before, but Caelar is an idiot of the first degree. Sure, she may have divine intelligence, but based on what I saw, she has the same WIS as boo.

    Less! Its her arrogance. There is nobody dumber than someone who thinks they are always right.

    megamike15
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