Pious Augustus is the player character in the first chapter of Eternal Darkness, which largely introduces the player to combat within the game.
He is a roman centurion stationed in Persia the year 26 B.C.
Even though the player controls Pious in the first chapter, he eventually becomes one of the games greatest antagonists after his mind and body becomes corrupted under the control of an ancient god seeking power. Unlike the other characters in Eternal Darkness, Pious Augustus does not have a sanity meter and is mentally unaffected by the horrors he witnesses.
This is largely to not overload the player too early in the game and is rationalized by the characters open mind and various horrors of war that he has already witnessed in his life. Due to Pious never finding the Tome of Eternal Darkness he is unable to cast magic and therefore is devoid of a magick meter.
Relevance in Plot
The Fall of a Centurion
In the year 26 B.C. a roman Centurion by the name of Pious Augustus stationed within Persia was under orders by the Emperor of Rome to locate a strange artifact. Having just won a battle the Centurion is heading back to camp when he hears strange voices calling to him. His curiosity causes him to cross the desert alone, following the voices that continues to beckon him, till he finds five strange pillars marked with strange symbols he finds completely unrecognizable. Upon entering the middle of these pillars he is suddenly teleported to a temple in Cambodia that holds the God of Chaos, Mantorok. After encountering some strange creatures , Pious enters a room that holds the essences of the three gods who lay trapped by Mantorok within the circle of power: Xel'lotath, Chattur'gha and Ulyaoth. Drawn to them Pious reaches out to grab one assured that one is the ancient artifact that his emperor seeks.
However, before his hand even makes contact with one Its essence is absorbed into his body, rotting his flesh and corrupting his mind. Pious becomes a twisted wretch and a servant to one of the bound gods, intent on helping It escape from Its trapped state in limbo, largely by Killing the God of Chaos . The last entry by Pious in the Tome of Eternal Darkness states;
'To think that once I could not see beyond the veil of our reality...to see those who dwell behind. My life now has purpose, for I have learned the frailty of flesh and bone... I was once a fool...'.
The Holy Roman Empire
In France during 814 A.D. the Holy Roman Empire largely led by Charlemagne was spreading, scourging the pagan cults from the world and uniting under one religion. Afraid that if they loose their Pagan cults the gods would fade out of existence, Pious is instructed to kill Charlemagne so that they may infiltrate the church and bend it to their will. Pious bewitches a scroll addressed to Charlemagne with a powerful curse, however the spell is instead read by Charlemagne's Pageboy Anthony. Disappointed that the subtle attack did not work Pious kills Charlemagne in a much more direct manner.
It is within the catacombs of this church that Pious hides one of the essences of the three gods. He puts this one under a great deal of protection as this particular god is the one that could easily dominate his. Pious summons a giant Black Guardian to grow under the church. A monk by the name of Brother Paul Luther would later stumble upon this monster in 1485 A.D. Pious had been claiming that the church held the hand of St. Jude. This was in fact a lie to try and attract nameless pilgrims that he could sacrifice to the Black Guardian. Afraid that Luther was going to unravel this conspiracy he pretends to be the priest in charge of the church and attempts to frame the monk. Luthor overcomes this however and as he stands in fear in front of Pious and the Black Guardian Pious instructs it not to kill Luther. The guardian mocks Pious and then kills Luthor, telling Pious to leave him.
The Killing of a God
Shortly after the hideous transformation of Pious into a demi-god he enters Mantorok's temple under instruction of his master where he faces the god of chaos. Mantorok's entire strength is devoted to keeping the three other gods trapped within the binding spell and is unable to defend its self. Taunting the god, Pious casts a binding spell causing a series of giant pillars suspended from the roof above the god to be brutally driven into the god's fleshy mass. In a great amount of pain the god of chaos screams out, however his heart remains uninjured. Without destroying the god's essence it will take thousands of years for the god to die. Upon learning this Pious enters the temple once more over 1000 years later in the year of 1150 A.D. Whilst searching the temple Pious encounters a dancer by the name of Ellia. Believing her to posses the heart of Mantorok, Pious searches her but is unable to find it, unknown to him that the heart is in fact inside of her. In frustration and contempt he kills her, leaving her to die.
Much later Pious realizes that the heart of Mantorok was in fact inside of Ellia, however due to a spell cast by the god, Pious is unable to find the temple again until 1983. Here he poses as an eccentric collector of artifacts and enlists the help of a man by the name of Edwin Lindsey who is able to use the available technology to locate the temple. Upon arrival Pious reveals his true form to Lindsey and leaves one of his agents to kill the man. Upon entering the chamber of Mantorok Lindsey enters at the same time, apparently surviving the attempt on his life. Pious tells him that he knows too much and attempts to kill him, however Mantorok casts a spell with the last of his strength that both protects Lindsey and gravely injures Pious. Pious is forced to retreat, to recover from his wounds.
The Downfall of Pious
In the turn of the century in the year 2000 the planets are aligned in a way that amplifies magic. Pious uses this to summon the god that he is pledged to, as the god comes through into our world in space he encounters Alex Roivas, a decedent of a family that had been working against him. Alex summons forth another god, and the two gods begin a terrible battle in space. Meanwhile Pious engages in a fight with Alex who holds in her possession the Gladius sword that used to belong to Pious. Each time Alex strikes him Pious is forced to suffer at the hand of the souls he has killed over the years before finally being defeated by having his bone staff driven violently into his chest. Not long after the god that he had been serving is also killed.
Is Pious One of the Chosen Few?
Some contention exists as to whether or not Pious is or was at some point one of Mantorok's chosen ones. After Pious is corrupted he believes that he is in fact working for a god planning to kill Mantorok. As the game ends it is shown that Mantorok had in fact fooled the other three gods into their own demise by predicting what their actions were and using human agents called the Chosen ones. Pious plays a large part of this even if he might be unaware of it and while the player is encouraged to believe that one of the ancients wanting to destroy Mantorok draws Pious to the ancient temple where the games events begin to take motion.
It is possible that it was in fact Mantorok who drew Pious to the temple to become a servant to Mantorok's rival gods, effectively manipulating Pious like Mantorok manipulates the other human characters in Eternal Darkness. The broken statue within the Hall of the Tome of Eternal Darkness brings up more questions. The characters that die within the game serving the will of Mantorok appear in the Hall as stone statues. While there is a space for Pious in this hall his statue is largely destroyed perhaps indicating that his betray has stricken him from this place.
How he Controls
As Pious Augustus is in a level that is largely geared towards teaching the player how to the play the game he is a very strong character. As mentioned previously he does not even have a sanity meter and is mentally immune to the horrors he encounters. His Health bar is probably the largest in the game and has almost an unlimited supply of stamina, allowing him to both run and attack at a fairly fast rate. No magic is discovered in his chapter and so Pious does not have a magic meter. Unlike most other characters Pious only has access to one weapon, his Gladius, which in its self is a fairly strong weapon.