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"Let the Fates Decide" Game Journal (there will be major spoilers)



  • LemernisLemernis Member, Moderator Posts: 4,280
    edited June 2014
    Story-wise I would absolutely love for Shar-Teel to join. She is Angelo's daughter, don't forget! There's a lot to work with there. I think she's one of the most interesting characters I could hope to add at this point for this party. The wheels are already turning in my head.

    I'm not sure if it will even be necessary for the party to return to Nashkel now. I do want to play out the battle between Edwin versus Dynaheir and Minsc, though, in case someone later gets chunked and/or leaves the party.

    Post edited by Lemernis on
  • kcwisekcwise Member Posts: 2,287
    Among the spoils from this brief battle was a spell scroll to defend against evil creatures (curious), and some gold and a piece of minor jewelry. We also insisted to Minsc that he take and wear one of their helmets, to which he eventually agreed after Imoen first rinsed it well in the river.
    Nice touch. :) I've always wondered about that. No matter how filthy the monster or undead, the characters in games just grab up the nearest armor or nifty item and strap it on their bodies without comment. Yuck! And I don't want to even think about all the trash barrels and dung heaps they search, hoping to find a gem or two. Who does that? Adventurers I guess!

  • LemernisLemernis Member, Moderator Posts: 4,280
    edited June 2014
    Well, it was a much more interesting fight this time, actually.

    I moved Oracos closer to where the fight breaks out, CLUAed Volo, and had Orcaos punch Volo to turn him hostile. (This all being game engine stuff, and not actually happening in the story.) Then I commenced as before.

    Edwin knocked Dynaheir unconscious with Color Spray. Minsc lost control immediately from his berserker rage and attacked Dynaheir, killing her, of course (although not chunking her). In the meantime Edwin pumped Minsc full of Melf's Acid Arrows, injuring him very badly. Edwin tried to Color Spray Minsc, but to no avail. Minsc's berserker rage mindlessness wore off (i.e., he regained control of himself) and he attacked Edwin. Edwin again attempted to Color Spray him, and again Minsc saved against it. Minsc killed Edwin.

    (Note: Edwin had retreated to the other end of the bridge for safety when he saw Minsc enter his rage and the ranger began attacking Dynaheir. Then Noober started pestering Edwin. Edwin killed Noober with his staff.)

    So at this point Edwin was dead, Dyna was dead, and Minsc was severely injured. The only thing to do next was wait and see whether Minsc got killed from the HP loss in the aftermath of the berserker rage...

    ... and Minsc survived with 1 hit point!

    Note that but for one scant hit point all three of these NPCs would have died permanently (with no allies around to res them).

    So I will RP that Minsc took Dynahier to the temple in the hope of having her returned to life. However he did not have enough equipment to sell off to raise the 600 gp fee to resurrect her! Minsc asks the temple not to bury her, because he will seek to assemble the funds to pay for her resurrection. The priest advises that Minsc has a tenday to return with the 600 gold required.

    Minsc must now decide whether he will

    1) stay put in Nashkel and hope that Oracos' party returns and will pay to have Dynaheir resurrected, or

    2) set off in pursuit of Oracos' party, or

    3) tries something else to raise the gold.

  • lolienlolien Member, Moderator, Translator (NDA) Posts: 3,101
    Don't you think, that i's enough for Minsc to see Edwin to go berserk? And i think that there is a real chance for Edwin to ambush the pair.

  • kcwisekcwise Member Posts: 2,287
    Puny Wizards. The tragic downside to Hulk Smash.

  • LemernisLemernis Member, Moderator Posts: 4,280
    edited June 2014
    Note that Faldorn has, by persuading Oracos to have Shar-Teel join, assumed control of the battle strategy for the party. It is not from ego that she does so, but it best serves completion of her mission. (Poor Yeslick. But he really isn't bright enough for that responsibility.)

    Also, by the same token Faldorn is sincere about what she expressed about Shar-Teel's character. There is more to come in the roleplay about Shar-Teel's history that sheds light on her hatred of men (especially strong ones), her apparent death wish, and why in particular the Iron Throne-as-nemesis appeals to her.

    Can anyone share the full canon backstory on her? I know that Shar-Teel is Angelo's daughter. She and Angelo have a conversation when the party is captured by the Flaming Fist upon return from Candlekeep (and it is learned that Scar is dead). I recall that Angelo releases them instead of attacking them because his daughter is among them. But what does Shar-Teel have to say to her father? (The game probably gives a journal entry about that encounter as well.)

    Post edited by Lemernis on
  • Fighting_FerretFighting_Ferret Member Posts: 229
    I like option 2. Minsc would know about the bounty for Prism and know that he could handle it. Bacillus is too much. Even though Minsc isn't that smart or wise, I don't see him teaming up with an evil PC without a strong presence to hold the coalition together, so he'd most likely help Dorn in the ambush encounter, but not join with him. If his main reason for treasure was satisfied, he'd return and bring Dynaheir back.

  • lolienlolien Member, Moderator, Translator (NDA) Posts: 3,101
    edited June 2014
    I repeat myself, but you tell a wonderful story here. I hope you don't get bored with our praise :)

    From the options i like the 4. It's the most interesting for me. (Ok maybe i'm Prism fan.)

    Edit: Minsc not necessarely knows first, that Dorn is evil, and Dorn is smart enough to use this.

  • kcwisekcwise Member Posts: 2,287
    edited June 2014
    Hmmm.. That's a tough one. My initial thought is to choose the second option as I don't think Dorn would want to travel around with Minsc and Boo. Also, I don't think Minsc would go after Bassilus since he doesn't know where to look and has a limited time to find the funding he needs. Besides, Boo would advise against it I think. :)

    When I consider the Dorn situation a bit more it might actually make sense for him to at least consider Minsc. We know Dorn is looking for someone to help him with his mission, someone who is less likely to frighten the locals when he is looking for more information. While Minsc would seem to be a bad choice in the "don't scare the peasants" category, it's entirely possible Dorn is growing impatient enough to hope a giant warrior with a purple tattoo and a hamster is at least less scary than an angry half-orc blackguard with a cursed blade. Also, once Minsc fills him in on his quest to save Dynaheir I think Dorn is cunning enough to bet a grateful wizard might have spells or abilities useful to him and his vengeance.

    That said, my vote is for option 3. I just can't see Dorn going along with waiting for Prism to finish his masterpiece.

    Post edited by kcwise on
  • kcwisekcwise Member Posts: 2,287
    edited June 2014
    I dug around in the BGEE files with Near Infinity (I'm hardly an expert so I may have missed something) and uncovered these three instances of information about Shar-Teel and Angelo. Aside from that I'm not aware of any other canon sources of information about the pair. I've read that Shar may have been intended to show up in BG 2 in Yaga Shura's lair, but aside from that unrelated tid bit there doesn't seem to be a lot of info out there about her.
    Your daughter is who speaks to you Angelo, or have you somehow forgotten?

    Greetings, Shar-Teel. It seems that you have finally found friends that share tastes similar to your own. I won't answer any questions that you give me; the only reason I do this now is for what we have shared in the past, Shar. You will be blamed for the death of the guards, so I would hurry. Goodbye, Shar, I hope to never see you again.

    Afoul of the Law
    It would seem that Shar-Teel is the daughter of commander Angelo Dosan. He has released us because of this, though I fear that this will be the only time he does us a favor. We will have to be careful not to be caught again.
    So, it seems like you have somewhat of a blank slate to work with, always good for roleplaying!

    Edit: I just realized what a shame it is Eldoth isn't still around so that Shar-Teel could smite him. :)

  • LemernisLemernis Member, Moderator Posts: 4,280
    edited June 2014
    @kcwise Thanks! It's great that I have a blank slate for Shar-Teel.

    There is of course her bio as well:
    When asked about her past, Shar-Teel has very little to say. From the little she speaks of, it can be gleaned that she is an orphan. She also seems to harbor an intense dislike for Flaming Fist mercenaries, as well as an obvious disrespect for men in general. She seems to have something to prove and likely her childhood was not of storybook quality.
    Another open-ended question (I think!) is whether Angelo is a plant by Sarevok (via the Iron Throne) or was seduced into joining the dark side. I guess there could possibly even be some other explanation. But Angelo fights hard alongside Sarevok to the bitter end, so I think it makes the most sense to assume that he chose willingly to side with Sarevok.

  • kcwisekcwise Member Posts: 2,287
    Interestingly, in the novelization of Baldur's Gate Angelo is described as a half-elf.
    As one of the dukes of Baldur's Gate, an experienced mercenary commander, and a half-elf who'd already lived longer than most humans dreamed of, Angelo had met all kinds - but no one like Sarevok.
    And, after skimming through the novel again (it's been a long time since I read it and I tried to block most of it from my mind) it seemed as though Angelo was more of a dupe than anything. He had a feeling Sarevok was lying, but was too afraid to do anything about it.
    "When I am named grand duke," Sarevok said, "there will be no more Amnian cutthroats defiling our city... if we have to kill every man, woman, and child in that cursed realm to ensure it."

    Angelo swallowed in a throat turned dry.
    Ultimately, in the novel, Angelo leads the Flaming Fist mercenaries against Sarevok's cultists in the final confrontation between Abdel Adrian and Sarevok. As far as Wizards of the Coast is concerned that's canon, but in terms of the game it plays all sorts of havok with the story. And, Shar-Teel isn't mentioned at all in the novel that I could find. I wonder if she would count as human if she had a human mother and a half-elf father? Probably best to just stick with the game and your own formidable imagination.

  • The user and all related content has been deleted.

  • LemernisLemernis Member, Moderator Posts: 4,280
    edited July 2014
    Thank you @Sergio!

    Well, there was one vote each for (2), (3), and (4), i.e. no consensus. I therefore rolled a 1d3 where (2) = 1, (3) = 2, and (4) = 3. Result = 1. So option (2) it shall be.

    Prism: Dorn Doesn't Join
    2) Dorn and Minsc do not join forces for any particular combination of roleplaying motivation reasons. Dorn grabs the most valuable (unidentified/enchanted) items from his attackers and departs back to FAI. With the gear left behind on Dorn's slain foes Minsc is able to scrape together enough gold to resurrect Dynaheir. There is then no need to seek the Prism bounty. Result: Minsc and Dynaheir are both alive, although it remains to be determined what they do next.

    I'm reminded here that Minsc and Dynaheir would not hang around. So sadly, it seems their part in this adventure is over.

    So happy trails to Minsc and Dynaheir, and may they enjoy the blessings of their divinities as they complete their dejemma. :-)

    Post edited by Lemernis on
    [Deleted User]
  • LemernisLemernis Member, Moderator Posts: 4,280
    edited July 2014
    kcwise said:

    Interestingly, in the novelization of Baldur's Gate Angelo is described as a half-elf.

    As one of the dukes of Baldur's Gate, an experienced mercenary commander, and a half-elf who'd already lived longer than most humans dreamed of, Angelo had met all kinds - but no one like Sarevok.
    And, after skimming through the novel again (it's been a long time since I read it and I tried to block most of it from my mind) it seemed as though Angelo was more of a dupe than anything. He had a feeling Sarevok was lying, but was too afraid to do anything about it.
    "When I am named grand duke," Sarevok said, "there will be no more Amnian cutthroats defiling our city... if we have to kill every man, woman, and child in that cursed realm to ensure it."

    Angelo swallowed in a throat turned dry.
    Ultimately, in the novel, Angelo leads the Flaming Fist mercenaries against Sarevok's cultists in the final confrontation between Abdel Adrian and Sarevok. As far as Wizards of the Coast is concerned that's canon, but in terms of the game it plays all sorts of havok with the story. And, Shar-Teel isn't mentioned at all in the novel that I could find. I wonder if she would count as human if she had a human mother and a half-elf father? Probably best to just stick with the game and your own formidable imagination.

    Thanks, this is very helpful! I do have the Philip Athans novel also, although I've never read it. I dug it out and see that in addition to what you pointed out, Angelo is a duke of Baldur's Gate and he stays out of the final confrontation between Abdel and Sarevok.

    I'll definitely choose the game over the novel. In the game Angelo seems unambiguously "on board" as a member of Sarevok's team, and indeed a member of the high ranking inner circle. IIRC he is responsible for killing Scar (?) and poisoning Duke Eltan. I forget exactly what Angelo says to the party if Shar-Teel isn't among them, but it is hostile; and of course he attacks. I'm pretty sure Angelo's alignment (in-game) is evil, although I'll have to check to confirm. And as we know, he fights to the death in the final battle. So I'm writing him as a corrupted, evil spy/turncoat/conspirator against the Grand Dukes and Flaming Fist. Given Shar-Teel's issues with men, I will invent that Angelo's relationship with his daughter had a profound shaping influence on her.

    Post edited by Lemernis on
    kcwiseCrevsDaaklolien[Deleted User]
  • LemernisLemernis Member, Moderator Posts: 4,280
    edited July 2014
    Investigation of the Seven Suns and the Iron Throne

    [Before the party departs the Burning Wizard, does the bartender see them and remember to tell them that Firebeard would like to see them? Result: black card = no.]

    On our journey north to the great city, surprisingly near to Wyrm’s crossing, late in the evening we were ambushed by a large band of bandits who leapt from the forest and surrounded us with bows. They were intent upon killing us. They didn’t even bother to try to intimidate us to hand over our coin purse.

    We had learned by now that the strongest response to this type of attack was to engage as many of them in hand-to-hand combat as possible. So each of us picked an archer and charged him with a melee weapon.

    Except me, I should add. For my spells are far more effective than my quarterstaff ever could be. Unfortunately, however, the Spray of Colors that I burst from my palms failed to render a single one of them unconscious. I then used the Slumber spell, which succeeded for three of them.

    Faldorn used her druid powers to command one of our assailants to attack the comrade nearest to him. And then she summoned a wolf.

    Shar-Teel was nothing short of amazing as she practically split one of the brigands in two with a mighty upswing under the bandit’s armpit, severing the entire arm above the shoulder. Rasaad used his spiritual powers to burn a bandit with a blaze of light from his palms so searing that the outlaw died from it. Imoen sustained a fairly serious injury from an arrow, for which she used a healing potion during the battle. Otherwise our injuries were minor and between myself, Faldorn, and Yeslick we got everyone healed. Shar-Teel and Yeslick gathered up the bows and swords from the slain, and we continued on into Baldur’s Gate.

    [Yeslick gained a cleric level to Cleric 3/Fighter 3.]

    Upon arrival in the city, our first order of business was to see if we could find Shar-Teel a better quality blade. Like everyone during the iron shortage, she had had blades break in battle. There were however some swords that were clearly forged of superior metal prior to the Iron Throne’s tainting of the ore. There was a shop in the southwestern section of the city where we hoped to find such a blade.

    Our march to the shop was—at least for me—an unpleasant one after our long journey, battle, and a driving rain. But there we did find two very fine weapons for our new warrior: a long sword and dagger both of superior craftsmanship. We sold the gear we had gathered from the bandits and the gems we had, plus a potion that protected against frost and ice magics (from our encounter with the Thayans, I believe…).

    This left us just shy of 700 gold—not a large sum. I figured that in the morning we would find a temple and buy a few more healing potions with it.

    We then journeyed toward the southeastern section and took lodgings the Blade and Stars, an inn that we had not yet tried. I admit that I suggested it mainly because I felt it would be awkward to meet up with our former comrades again should we stay at the Elfsong, although I did not voice that sentiment.

    The enchanted sign to the inn looked welcoming, with firefly-like stars blinking around a large scale suspended bronze blade (about six feet in length), rocking gently in the breeze from chains at each end.

    The inn itself was clean and quiet, with a cozy common area with a hearth. We saw what appeared to be another band of adventurers there, and I was tempted to say hello. But I sensed that Faldorn was eager for us to get about our business. She had been very patient in delaying her investigations thus far. I was surprised however to find that I too had begun to feel oddly drawn to sleuthing the Iron Throne. Perhaps I was simply beginning to feel not just a bond of shared adventure, but also of common purpose with the druidess?

    In the morn the previous evening’s dreary rain had ceased, and we traveled to the northern section of the city to the temple of Helm. There we purchased six potions of healing and, together with the few other healing potions we already had among us, we distributed them so that each of our three frontline fighters had two; the rest of us would have one.

    This left us precious little gold—a mere thirteen pieces to be exact. We headed back to the south eastern section and stopped at a shop whose owner glibly called himself “Well Adjusted Al” and purchased some more crossbow bolts for Shar-Teel, should she ever need to use that missile weapon.

    Then we walked to Sorcerous Sundries so that I could sell some scrolls to raise more coin. There Drin mentioned that he had heard it rumored that our former companions, Coran, Neera, and Eldoth, had boarded a ship to Waterdeep. This was definitely a relief to me, and I suspect to Imoen as well; although I doubt it mattered to Faldorn if were we to chance upon them again. To our three new companions it of course held no consequence.

    At Sorcerous Sundries I sold protection scrolls against poison and fire, and a scroll to ascertain the character of another. This increased our coin purse to about 750 gold.

    It was agreed that we would next fulfil our agreement with Scar to investigate the Seven Suns trading coster. We deemed this a prudent step, since Scar figured to be a valuable an ally in our investigation of the Iron Throne.

    The Seven Suns was handsomely appointed inside, with marble floors, expensive furniture and artwork, and richly crafted woodwork.

    A merchant who looked to be a member asked us what our business was. I asked if we might get a tour. I think the fellow might have been put off by our rough adventuring look. He rather rudely responded that he was unable to grant us that wish—and he then promptly asked us to leave!

    Faldorn then asserted that we would simply find someone else there to help us. The man then seemed oddly rattled by her forcefulness. He confided to us fearfully that he was scared of what was happening at the coster. He told us that he had quite literally spied the faces of two of his associates change completely into another form when they believed themselves to have been out of view. He stated it was therefore clear that shapeshifters of some sort had infiltrated the coster. He warned us to leave while we could, as he was doing himself. The man then hurried off.

    I had at Candlekeep heard tales of creatures that had the ability to assume the exact physical form of other persons, imitating their mannerisms in some cases nearly flawlessly. Faldorn was very intrigued to hear this. Imoen and Rasaad also found it fascinating as well.

    Yeslick and Shar-Teel seemed unimpressed. But they were more than ready to battle whatever the creatures were, that much was clear. Yeslick seemed driven to prove his fighting ability since he had again witnessed Shar-Teel in action on the road against the bandits yesterday. And likely the dwarf felt that way also because he had been relieved of his former command of our tactical decisions during melee. Unfortunately for Yeslick, it seemed that Shar-Teel was the more formidable between the two of them, martially. Yeslick had magic that could have defeated her in their contest when we found Shar-Teel. He had deliberately withheld it out of pride as they fought. But in any event, it seemed important to Yeslick now to show his ability with hammer and shield.

    We spoke with every merchant we could find on both the ground and second floor of the building, and to a one all of them remained aloof and uninformative. There was a stairway down into a basement that we then followed. And upon entering we found a most evil looking creature guarding a man in a makeshift cell. The creature bared a horrible looking set of long canine fangs and hissed at us, then attacked. I immediately Blinded it, and we were able to then quickly destroy it. Rasaad struck the killing blow.

    The creature was humanoid. The monster’s skin was a pallid gray and its eyes had emitted a faintly yellow sheen. Its head was hairless and elongated, with long and pointy ears. Its arms were much longer than a human’s, and by the look of them extremely powerful. On its long feet and fingers were formidable claws. This looked like a very dangerous enemy had it not been rendered sightless.

    One of the basement storerooms was being used to house the human prisoner. There we found the owner of the Seven Suns, Jhasso.

    Jhasso explained to us that his coster had been gradually overtaken by creatures known as “doppelgangers,” a shapeshifing monster race that is able to assume the form of any person that they see. The shapeshifters had started with minor members of the organization, presumably killing them after assuming their identities. Eventually they made their bid to take over the coster. One of them replaced Jhasso, but they kept him alive in the basement cell in order to extract further information from him through torture. Jhasso related that it was only because he was able to dole out information in drips and drabs by resisting their torture that he had survived until we arrived to rescue him.

    Jhasso was indeed a friend of Scar, he said. He then took his leave in order to go and provide Scar with information about what had happened. The man thanked us one last time, and warned that we may encounter a fight on the way out if the doppelgangers above had by now figured out that we had rescued him.

    [Does Jhasso offer to have the party use whatever gear they find in the Seven Suns? Red card = yes.]

    Just before leaving us, Jhasso advised that any gear or treasure to be found in the Seven Suns was ours to keep as a reward for rescuing him, in addition to any reward that Scar would provide. We searched around and found a spear of superior craftsmanship that I identified, which seemed potentially useful for Faldorn should she gain some practice with it. But otherwise the two locked chests in an adjacent room were beyond Imoen’s ability to pick without the use of a potion. Imoen inspected the chest first for traps and found none. Shar-Teel was unable to force the chest open.

    Imoen then stole silently up the stairs to peek at the ground floor and witnessed the two merchants that we had just spoken with transform into snarling doppelgangers. So we would indeed have to fight our way out. Yeslick gathered us together and chanted softly to Clangeddin, imploring the deity to favor us in battle. We did in fact feel a kind of tingly surge of divine energy that warmed our blood for the fight to come.

    Shar-Teel and Yeslick took point as we burst from the stairs onto the main floor. I cast the Horrification spell which sent both into a panic, making each an easy kill.

    We continued up to the second floor and killed two more of the creatures there without the aid of any spells. Yeslick took an injury when one of creatures raked him with its claws. But this injury he healed after the battle.

    [Faldorn gains a level to Druid 5.]

    Upon our exit from the Seven Suns, we were approached by an officer of the Flaming Fist, a woman who identified herself as Laola Axehand. She informed us that Scar wished to see us immediately, for which we thanked her. And then she was off.

    At this Shar-Teel scoffed, stating that we still had two chests to open or her deal with us was off. We therefore sent Imoen around the corner to purchase a potion with which to improve her lock picking skills. Imoen returned in short order with the potion. She noted that she has spent the majority of our gold on the item—so hopefully the contents of the chest were worth the gamble.

    And fortunately it seemed that the contents of the two chests almost certainly were of greater value than the potion used to open them. The chest contained two unidentified protection scrolls, a wand of unknown enchantments, a potion that confers the strength of a frost giant, and three gems, and several hundred gold. I identified all but one scroll. The wand fired individual darts of magical energy, but had thirty chargee. (We had earlier found such wands useful to disrupt enemies from casting their spells.) The scroll I identified protected against lighting energy. The gems and jewels were semi-precious but still fairly valuable.

    Shar-Teel made it clear at that point that we would always take anything of value left behind after a battle, with no exceptions—at least if she was to remain with us. I certainly did not feel like arguing the point. I simply and calmly pointed out that we will assess each situation case-by-case. Faldorn added to Shar-Teel that we would make every effort to gather as much treasure as we could, but the decision belonged to me, Oracos. Shar-Teel sneered a bit. She stated that if any loot that might be collected as we had just done was left behind too often she would not be adventuring with us.

    “Fine with us. But yer word is worthless then,” Yeslick said pointedly.

    Faldorn then interjected quickly to douse the fire that would certainly have ignited then. “Her sword is anything but worthless to us, Yeslick,” she said calmly. “That is all we need concern ourselves with for now.”

    “Or ever,” Shar-Teel said. Then she quite purposefully spit dangerously close to the dwarf’s boot.

    Yeslick then glared at Shar-Teel sternly as if asking her to try him. “Let’s go,” I said tugging at Yeslick’s arm. “We have an audience with Scar. Let us go and collect our reward.” And then risking an overfamiliar wink at Shar-Teel I quipped “I think you will be pleased with it, Shar-Teel.” She grimaced at me hard and almost spoke, but for the fact that she then noticed Yeslick still looking at her hard.

    The two warriors continued to glower at one another for a moment. But then Faldorn put her hand on Shar-Teel’s arm and pulled her toward her as I had done with Yeslick’s sleeve. And then we were off to the Flaming Fist castle.

    The Flaming Fist fortress was a massive and imposing facility. Upon entering it I was humbled by its scale.

    Scar seemed pleased to see us. He asked for our report. I related our findings about the Seven Suns, and reported that we had rescued Jhasso, although he was somewhat the worse for wear from the torture he had endured. Scar was impressed and rewarded us thrice the amount he had promised us: for a total of six thousand gold!

    This elicited a smirk of concession to me from Shar-Teel, despite what seemed a mild effort not to react with pleasure. But as Faldorn had observed, given that the warrioress was so cavalier with her life to begin with it was a fair guess that the treasure probably didn’t really matter to her, ultimately. She simply yearned to enjoin foes in a battle, wherever she might find it.

    “We’re rich!” Imoen laughed.

    Scar then offered us another job, which might also have paid handsomely. But Faldorn quickly inserted herself into the conversation. “No, we are investigating the Iron Throne. What can you tell us about them?”

    Scar then told us that the best person to speak with about that organization was no less than Duke Eltan, one of Baldur’s Gate’s grand dukes. To our amazement, Scar offered to have us meet him.

    To our mild shock... for who would ever have imagined that we should have an audience with the leading Grand Duke of Baldur's Gate!... Scar walked us up to the second floor and introduced us to Duke Eltan. Eltan was not a large man, but nevertheless he had a commanding presence. The duke's face was round and almost boyish for a man of his years. He had not yet a hint of gray to his short dark brown hair, though he appeared to be about the age when it could soon come.

    Eltan’s assessment of the Iron Throne was not far from the one we had made. For example, Eltan never believed that the Zhentarim were responsible for the iron shortage in the region and caravan raids along the Coast Way. Rather, he suspected the Iron Throne.

    Faldorn was conversing with Eltan now; and she never gave the slightest hint that we possessed documents that unequivocally revealed Iron Throne as the perpetrator of those schemes. I realized that I might easily have shared that information when in fact there was actually no compelling need to. So I was actually grateful that she was doing the talking.

    Eltan then asked if we would be willing to spy on the Iron Throne, and gather evidence of them engineering the iron shortage and caravan raids for two thousand gold. Eltan shared that the Flaming Fist currently had its hands full trying to prepare for a possible Amnian invasion, so he needed some outside help. We might have to break in the Iron Throne building, he added. Faldorn accepted the assignment on our behalf, stating it would be our honor to do so.

    With that we took our leave of the grand duke.

    “Do you think the communication scrolls that we possess between various agents of the Iron Throne are enough evidence for Scar already?” I asked Faldorn. Faldorn answered that it was possible. But she smiled that she wanted to know more about them anyway, since that was her order’s mission.

    We walked through yet another driving rain back to the eastern part of the city, where we made a quick stop at Sorcerous Sundries. We sold the gems we had just collected at the Seven Suns. I looked at some scrolls and considered buying some for the next level of spell mastery I would eventually attain. A scroll to increase our speed of movement looked particularly powerful, and I was tempted to buy it. But I figured there was plenty of time for that. I wouldn’t be able to use the spell for some time anyway. We were satisfied that we had enough equipment for now.

    After we rested at the Blade and Stars the rain stopped. I identified the remaining mystery scroll we got from the Seven Suns, and found it to provide protection from undead creatures. A powerful scroll indeed!

    It was now just an hour or so after sunset. Scar had mentioned that he believed we would need to break in to the Iron Throne. We had no idea how. We decided to walk now to the building and see what was possible by way of making entry.

    Once at the massive stone building we realized there was little hope of breaking in undetected. We would just have to walk in and try bluffing that we had a purpose there.

    We considered various plans of pretending to have a purpose inside the building. The two best were as follows: We could seek to hire on with the organization, as I recalled our former comrades Kivan, Jaheira, and Khalid had done with the bandits in the Wood of Sharp Teeth. Or we could pose as a company from Sembia, a land that commonly does business in Baldur’s Gate. Of the two Faldorn favored the latter, as did I. The others had no strong opinion, and were satisfied with that choice. So if anyone asked us what we were doing there, that we were from Sembia would be our answer. It was agreed that Faldorn would do the talking.

    Upon entering the building, we found one of the most opulent looking interiors we had yet seen in the fair city. Marble floors, rich woods, fancy woven rugs, exquisite tapestries, gilded furniture, and walls adorned with statues of mighty looking figures surrounded us.

    Almost immediately a merchant approached us quite distraught, commenting in a bit of a babble that there was some sort of “cacophony of magic” somewhere on the floors above performed by “acolytes of Sarevok,” a name we recognized from the iron Throne’s message scrolls to be the leader of the organization. He mentioned that it made it impossible for him to concentrate, but he also seemed almost panicked by it.

    Then a guard approached us and demanded to know our business. Faldorn stated matter-of-factly that we were from Sembia with business on the floors above. The guard curtly apologized and stated that he wasn’t informed that we were on the list of guests. We were free to advance.

    We proceeded to the second floor. There a guard stopped us and demanded to know where we were going. Faldorn bluffed with a stern response that she was someone of consequence. But the guard wasn’t persuaded. He called for reinforcements to kill us. We therefore engaged in a brief battle in which I immediately put two of them into a Slumber. We quickly killed their detail of four—and fortunately with no witnesses. We looted the bodies for coin and dragged them to the far end of the room, piling them behind a large couch after rearranging the furniture a bit.

    On the next floor we met yet another guard, who again asked our business. As planned, we responded that we hailed from Sembia and had business on the floors above. The guard didn’t believe us and attacked. We killed him; but not before an Iron Throne mage attacked us from a banquet area. The wizard instantly split into multiple projected images of himself and began incantations against us. I tried to Blind him but the wizard resisted my spell.

    In the meantime Yeslick, Rasaad, and Shar-Teel rushed the sorcerer. The mage succeeded in casting the Terror spell before I could use our newly acquired energy missile wand to try to prevent him from casting. Shar-Teel and Rasaad both succumbed to it and were rendered senseless with fear.

    Yeslick however remained unaffected. He cast a spell to paralyze the wizard—which, thank goodness, did succeeed! In the same moment as Yeslick had cast his spell, so did Faldorn cast a spell that called forth a ferocious swarm of biting insects that enveloped the man, who was by then unable to move a muscle due Yeslick’s spell. I also tried to Blind the mage yet again, although the result was impossible to tell at that point. We then struck him down.

    Perhaps this mage belongs to the “cacophony of acolytes” that the merchant on the first floor had spoken of? The mage had on his body a scroll of the spell to paralyze targets as if touched by a ghoul.

    [From a story vantage it makes no sense that banquet servers and Emissary Tar witness your battle and have no reaction to it. So this is re-written accordingly.]

    We were able to hide the bodies of the guard and the mage under the banquet tables just before others entered the space. From the kitchen to the rear banquet staff, and a very portly women ventured up the stairway, huffing and puffing from the climb.

    The woman identified herself as Emissary Tar, the chief negotiator for the Grand Dukes of Baldur’s Gate. We spoke with her for a bit. She explained that she had been directed to negotiate with an Iron Throne agent named Thaldorn a price for iron with the Iron Throne. The negotiations were to take place on the fifth floor. She said that the Sevens Suns and the Merchant League had temporarily granted the Iron Throne authority to manage their iron mines, which forced all trade for iron now to be conducted with the Iron Throne—and iron was desperately needed as the city state prepared for the impending invasion by Amn. Tar commented that, based on past business dealings, she was confident however that the Iron Throne would offer the Grand Dukes a very reasonable deal. And with that she continued lumbering her way up the stairs.

    By this time we grasped that we should probably have Imoen scout the floor above. Imoen did so and after peering about from the stairwell commented that the way ahead appeared to be free of guards, best she could tell. Imoen added that the fourth floor featured a bar that served alcoholic beverages, and she could see a number of merchants milling about.

    We walked upstairs and were immediately met by an xvart who identified himself as Destus Gurn, the "chief assistant accountant" to the Iron Throne’s mining operations. He assumed Faldorn to be emissary Tar, and of course she played along. The xvart ran through the meeting’s agenda, and listed the names of other parties that would be present above. To our surprise, Gurn then granted us access to the meeting above!

    For Faldorn to pretend to be Emmisary Tar wise would of course be unwise to pursue. Tar had already stated she was headed to the negotiations, and presumably was already seated at the table there. We might be able to have Imoen peek in on the floor above, however.

    What this development did was grant us the opportunity to quickly investigate the floor we were on. So we first spoke with the bartender, who apparently hadn’t overheard our hushed conversation with Gurn—for he asked who we were. We stuck to the story that we were from Sembia. The barkeep responded that if we were looking for “Rieltar and Brunos” that they had journeyed to Candlekeep. Rieltar was a name that we had surmised from the communication scrolls we had obtained to be Iron Throne’s second-in-command under Sarevok.

    Candlekeep? What on earth would take them there, I wondered aloud. We would have to speculate about it later however.

    There were a few other merchants on the floor who also mentioned that Rieltar had journeyed to Candlkekeep.

    We were unable to find any information that helped us on the fourth floor. But we did find some scrolls that might prove be helpful, including one to create the Noxious Cloud and a scroll that made the target Hold Still. There was also a protection scroll that I identified to keep one from becoming turned to stone. There was also a scroll to cast an arrow of flame—but it belonged to the Conjuration school, from which I could not cast.

    Our problem now was how to investigate the fifth floor given that investigations were presumably underway there. There was probably no bluffing our way through that.

    We could try having Imoen sneak a quick look from the stairwell, undetected, I suggested. Or we could return in a day or so after the negotiations were presumably completed. But then we were at high risk to be recognized as the ones who had most likely had killed the guards here today.

    Another approach was to try to use stealth entirely. Imoen came up with this plan:

    According to this strategy we would leave now and obtain several invisibility potions at a magic or potion shop. Imoen would use them upon our return in the way that Coran had for Razimuth’s tower. That is, Imoen would take as many invisibility potions as she needed in order to sneak past people and search the top floor, and then descend again undetected.

    Imoen added that she had noticed a stairway to a basement area on the first floor. Perhaps the rest of us could hide down there just after we all entered the building. She would then conduct her search invisibly and come and get us when the search was completed.

    I suggested also that we could give Imoen also potions to protect against magic for extra protection. Perhaps she could also take with her the valuable scroll we had for that purpose, as added insurance. She could use an oil of speed as well. And any potions need to better pick difficult locks.

    This seemed a sensible plan to all. Yeslick as usual favored a more direct approach: let us simply fight whoever we might encounter upstairs, if anyone. Shar-Teel favored the suggestion floated by Imoen (another female), not surprisingly.

    Faldorn liked Imoen’s plan. The only question now was whether Imoen would risk a sneak peak upstairs. Shar-Teel pointed out that there was actually no need to risk our detection as such. For Imoen would be able to look around feely on the top floor while invisible when she returned.

    And sure enough this was true. I felt a bit small for having not thought of that. And no doubt to whatever extent my facial expression might have betrayed that, it surely gratified Shar-Teel.

    So we elected to leave now and enact this plan. We would gather the supplies needed tonight, rest, and carry out the plan tomorrow.

    Post edited by Lemernis on
    lolienkcwise[Deleted User]JuliusBorisov
  • LemernisLemernis Member, Moderator Posts: 4,280
    edited July 2014
    In light of the current discussion about what constitutes metagaming for the BG series, I found this an interesting chapter in my own journal to develop from the roleplay.

    For this project/experiment I've become much more engrossed with the story development than artfully defeating opponents. And in that sense I admit that I experience NPC deaths as disruptive to the narrative flow. This thought was certainly in the background as I approached the fifth floor of the Iron Throne.

    Oracos is at the point of his own character development where he will not flee to save his own skin if it looks like they will all perish in a battle. If he dies, I will reload. But every so often with a difficult battle it can turn out (and has on a couple occasions thus far in this adventure) that the party prevails with a fatality or two. Here at least in the city resurrection of a fallen comrade requires less of an ordeal than making a travois and dragging the slain comrade through the wilderness. But it nevertheless crimps the flow of the story itself.

    So I felt a bit of trepidation about the final battle for chapter 5. It's a battle that I usually end up reloading at least a couple times, even without SCS installed. It's a tough fight. This party is decently powerful, and thankfully has some respectable meleers. But they lack the levels and best gear that a powergaming party would have. The party's spellcasting ability is moderate, with only Faldorn having attained any level 3 spells (and just one level 3 slot, at that).

    So did that influence my roleplaying decision to use a stealth approach? I think it definitely did. Yet by the same token, if one takes the time to earnestly roleplay the investigation of the Iron Throne, I also feel that the plan that Imoen proposed really does make the best sense.

    This party is there to spy. They know that Emmisary Tar is upstairs on the fifth floor (although they don't yet know that she was actually a doppelganger). The negotiations are underway there. The party would obviously be detected by high ranking members of the Iron Throne if they just waltz in on the meeting. So actually, imho, from a roleplaying perspective... at least for a party of this type... to clumsily stumble into the negotiations isn't strong roleplaying.

    Post edited by Lemernis on
    kcwise[Deleted User]lolienJuliusBorisov
  • LemernisLemernis Member, Moderator Posts: 4,280
    edited July 2014
    I'm glad I got the party to the beginning of chapter 6! The adventure will resume in ten weeks. I'm very appreciative to all who have taken the time to look in on the adventure.

    I would imagine that Rasaad's quest can't trigger until the party returns to Baldur's Gate in chapter 7. So that timing should work pretty well, actually.

    kcwiselolien[Deleted User]JuliusBorisov
  • kcwisekcwise Member Posts: 2,287
    I really enjoyed the planning session in the story and I look forward to the next installment!

    lolien[Deleted User]JuliusBorisovCrevsDaak
  • LemernisLemernis Member, Moderator Posts: 4,280
    edited July 2014
    Thank you for the encouragement, Rufus! :-) and KC :-)

  • LemernisLemernis Member, Moderator Posts: 4,280
    Wow, it's been five years lol. But I'm seriously thinking about returning to this game to finish it.

  • Very_BigSwordVery_BigSword Member Posts: 195
    I hope you have an unpatched copy of the game so your save will work!

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