Torment : Tides of Numenera spoilers below the tag.
My progress in the game was blocked by a death cult trying to get back into the good graces of its leader, the only being able to open the endless gate, a dimension of nameless Chthulu-type horrors. They slaughtered many of the people in the village, and I followed them to the endless gate. I freed some of the horrors' victims (strengthening the horrors), killed some cultists, and made my way to the leader, where he told me his life story. He was made by a god, basically as a way to test the portal making skill, as the god wanted to escape its pursuer. But it deemed the medicine worse than the cure, and abandoned him. He was in constant pain from the horrors, and a cult worshipping the horrors used him to access them, and killed in their name. He fell in love with one of the cultists, but she died when the pursuer, hot on the god's tail, tracked him down instead. He retreated to the endless gate, but she died. He fell into a greater despair, and let the remaining disciples go wild. This goes on for years. I dive into his memories, replay the day his beloved dies, convince her that the whole cult is a monstrosity, and she murders him. I'm brought back to my own time, and now there's no one blocking the way, and none of the villagers died, because the cult's leader died years ago.
And this is one minor subquest, which had at least a half dozen other resolutions.
I really like this game.