In their penultimate weekly dev diary before Tyranny’s scheduled release on November 10, Obsidian Entertainment introduce you to the last of your potential companions: Sirin, Archon of Song.
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Sirin, like most characters in Obsidian’s obsidian-hearted RPG, has a backstory full of joy and sunshine. She “caused the death of more people before she was seven than most soldiers do in their entire careers,” according to narrative designer Robert Land. She is one of the few mages in Terratus, the world of Tyranny, who was born with magic; specifically, “anyone who hears her voice is compelled by the emotion behind it.”
Once this was realised, it wasn’t long before the evil overlord Kyros decided to take her for himself. Kyros kidnapped Sirin and enslaved her by means of a special helmet with an enchanted gem, which would shatter and kill her if she ever dared test the limits Kyros set on her powers.
In-game, Sirin is a buffer/debuffer, who will be familiar to those who played the Chanter class in Pillars of Eternity. She sings passively, applying buffs to allies and debuffs to enemies, building up ‘Breath’ as she does so. She can then use Breath to perform ‘Arias’, which unleash more concentrated magical effects.
Some of Sirin’s songs can be left to passively apply a useful buff, but Obsidian also want each song to exist as a tactical counter to specific problems you’ll occasionally face. Combined with the arias, it seems the potential is there to play Sirin more proactively, if you’d like.
Sirin’s talent trees allow you to build on either her offensive or defensive potential. Her ‘Peace’ tree provides buffing and support abilities, while her ‘War’ tree contains special debilitating arias and enables her to use arias more quickly.
“Sirin is a literal font of power,” says systems designer Nick Carver. “With enough time, Sirin’s songs and arias can bring ruin to armies. While not exceptionally powerful in the early moments of combat, when Sirin builds enough Breath to perfrom an Aria, she can completely lock down small groups of enemies, or grant a surge that sends allies to victory.”
Head on over to Obsidian’s blog to read the diary in full, for more on Sirin’s backstory and mechanics.