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Redemption: Baldur's Gate Core Rules Playthrough (Roleplaying, Limited Reload, Restricted Rest)


I've been playing the Baldur's Gate series for years now, and even after all this time I still find it an extremely entertaining series. Lately I've been wanting to do a much more in-depth playthrough, taking my time to explore as much of the game as possible from a purely in-character viewpoint. I've also developed some "bad" habits in the sense that I reload often when things don't go the way I want, or I rest after every fight just to keep at full strength as much as possible. I intend to reign a lot of those habits in as well.

Minimal Reload:

(1) The only death that allows reloading is the PC. Cost of raise dead must be donated to nearest temple ASAP.
(2) NPC deaths are not reloadable. They must be dealt with in-game.
(3) Only other valid reasons for reloading are clear instances of bugs or other similar game-breaking issues.

Role-Playing Requirements:

(1) PC and all NPCs should stay within the framework of their alignment, class, and background. This includes things like not deliberately breaking up "paired" NPCs, paladins ignoring blatantly unlawful behavior, etc. (see next point for an exception)

(2) The long-term goal of this playthrough is to reform both Sarevok and Viconia. As such, it is expected that they will both have to endure a bit of sickening goodness along the way.

(3) As a general rule, the party should be camping at the end of the day unless fatigued or seriously injured. When invading hostile territory, it should be assumed for role-playing reasons that the enemy is going to eventually notice they are being invaded and search out said invaders, so resting in such areas should be done only when the risks of pressing on greatly outweigh the risk of being found or letting the enemy organize a resistance.

(4) Out-of-game knowledge to gain advantage shall be avoided as much as possible. Unless the party has an in-game reason for knowing about something, they shouldn't know about it. This includes things like treasure in seemingly illogical spots (the ankheg plate being an obvious example). Following up rumors heard in-game, however, is certainly valid.

(5) No pre-buffing based on OOC knowledge. Long-term buffs fine, as are pre-buffs based on sound scouting.

Mods Used:
(1) A few purely cosmetic mods (no helm animation, etc)
(2) Min Stats - 9
(3) NWN style hit points
(4) NPC stats consistent with BG2 version

The Rest:

(1) Core Rule setting.
(2) Stats will be restricted to the first roll in the 85-90 range.
(3) May only have one 18+, one 17, and one 16 stat to begin.
(4) EEKeeper may be used to sync any BG1 NPCs transitioning to BG2.

Now on to the main character and basic party plans!



  • cervanntescervanntes Member Posts: 64
    Introducing Dashery Araelynn, Bard of Candlekeep!


    Dashery is a neutral good half-elven bard. He's part rogue, part warrior, part magician, and all kinds of trouble! Dash, as his friends (okay, just Imoen, but...) like to call him, is extremely charming but not always the wisest man in the room. Agile and reasonably fit, he enjoys sparring with the guards almost as much as he does flirting with every woman that sets foot in Winthrop's establishment. He shares Imoen's sense of humor and tendency to poke around where not necessarily wanted, and while he can't quite match her keen intellect, he's still plenty sharp and shares her curiosity about the arcane. Having grown up in a library surrounded by scholars and raised by a wizard, he is extremely well educated and will undoubtedly soon be dabbling in magic himself.

    Due to his sense of humor and mischief, as well as his tendency towards flirtatiousness, he is often perceived as a bit of a scoundrel and knave, but only by those who don't know him well. He has a strong sense of right and wrong, although he isn't afraid to toe the line or even cross it from time to time if doing so is for the greater good. He prefers to talk his way out of bad situations whenever possible, but sometimes ends up talking himself into trouble instead. Gorion raised him to believe that everyone has the potential to be good, no matter how fouled their blood or upbringing might be, and Dashery has taken these teachings to heart without realizing exactly why Gorion worked so hard to instill this particular lesson.

    The most important thing to realize about Dashery is that he may act the rake or fool, but in reality he is a kind-hearted young man with a strong sense of morality and a desire to make a difference in the world.


    Dash and Imoen grew up as best friends, so there is absolutely no question he will keep her at his side as much as the game allows, and will definitely be driven to rescue her in BG2.

    As the long-term goal of this playthrough is to reform Sarevok and Viconia, both will be in his party as early as possible in BG2. He will probably pick up Viconia in BG1 too because (a) he will feel obligated to rescue, and then (b) obligated to keep an eye on her rather than unleash her back on the unsuspecting public.

    These three are the only must-have NPCs. The rest we'll play by ear, and see how things go. We'll probably see Dash swapping out at least one slot regularly to help people out on personal missions but then bidding them a fond (or not so fond in the case of blatant evil) farewell afterwards.

  • cervanntescervanntes Member Posts: 64
    Dashery's Journal

    1 Mirtul, 1368

    I'm not even sure where to begin. As I prepared to head out to begin my daily duties (vanquishing vile rats, among other things), my foster father Gorion intercepted me, thrust a small purse of coins into my hands, and told me to prepare myself for a journey. It was obvious that he was upset, bordering on shaken, and that made me more than a little nervous myself. I've never seen him that way, and quite frankly, it was unnerving to say the least. When I asked him where we were going and what I should pack, he just replied with a very vague "I'll tell you when we get there," and "Everything you own. Any weapons or armor you can afford with that purse." He muttered something about having a few things to take care of himself, and then told me to meet him on the steps of the library as soon as I was ready. Great.

    I immediately made my way to the Candlekeep Inn. I was hoping to catch Imoen to see if she had any idea what was going on, but Winthrop said she had already slipped out and was undoubtedly up to no good again, which I have no doubt was probably true. I spotted the scholar Firebeard near the fireplace, and decided to see what he knew. Nothing, it turns out, although he did ask me to fetch a scroll from Tethtoril for him. While I had no intention of seeking the man out, I did figure I'd snag the scroll if I stumbled across him, if only in the hopes that it might earn me a few coins of gratitude to add to Gorion's meager purse.

    Since Firebeard knew nothing, I decided to ask a few of the patrons. No one knew what had Gorion on edge, but after buying a couple rounds of drink, loathe as I was to spend the coin, I did manage to hear some interesting rumors about something disrupting production in the Naskel mines and making the current iron crisis even worse. It was a day of bright, cheery news, it seemed.

    Having no luck learning anything in the inn, I decided to keep my rat-slaying appointment. Not my favorite task, but there was sure to be at least a few gold in it. Before leaving the inn, I tried to procure some weapons and armor from Winthrop. Unfortunately, the purse was far lighter than my ambitions, and all I could manage was a dented buckler, a worn suit of studded leather, and a longsword that was clearly made after the iron crisis began. It looked like an accident waiting to happen, but it was the only longsword to be had. It occurred to me at this point that I was heading off on an adventure, and all great adventurers had weapons with grand (and often greatly exaggerated) names like "the Sword of Truth" or "Doomslayer" or "Demon's Bane". Giving my poor, brittle longsword a good once-over, I settled on the name of "the Sword of Dubious Quality", or Dubious for short.

    With my not-so-shining armor and Sword of Dubious Quality in hand (and Winthrop snickering behind my back), I sallied forth to face the day! I hadn't gone far from the inn when I ran into dear, sweet Phlydia. Now if you don't know her, faithful reader, then you have lived a deprived life. She is a true gem, one of those elderly ladies that insists on baking cookies for you just because you happened to smile and say hello one day. She's also incredibly absent-minded, which is equally amusing and frustrating, and today was no exception on that account -- she left a copy of "The History of Halruaa" laying around somewhere, and couldn't remember where. I mean, it's one of the largest libraries in the world, right? How hard could it be to find a missing book that could be literally anywhere in the library or the keep that enclosed it? Of course I agreed to find it! Gorion would just have to wait (or, more likely, come drag me away); I was not going to abandon a damsel in distress, especially when it's Phlydia, the grandmother I never had.

    (to be up: a murderous encounter!)

  • kcwisekcwise Member Posts: 2,287
    Another exciting adventure begins!

  • cervanntescervanntes Member Posts: 64
    Dashery's Journal

    1 Mirtul, 1368 continued

    It's hard to describe what happened next. I passed one of the priest quarters, and decided to check inside to see if Phlydia and her book had been there recently. No sooner had I entered when a scruffy stranger smelling of the stables approached me and asked if I was Dashery. Like an idiot, I answered in the affirmative, never wondering how such a scroungy fellow could have even gotten into Candlekeep given the steep entry cost, let alone why any stranger would be asking for me by name. The next thing I knew, he was coming at me with a dagger! Faithful readers, I must now disgrace my bardic profession by saying that adventure is not always as glorious and noble as the songs and stories say, particularly a first and unexpected adventure. I would like to say that I valiantly drew my sword and cut the knave down with grace and skill. Part of that is true, at least -- I did draw my sword, and I did cut him down. But there was nothing graceful or skillful about it. I barely managed to deflect his knife with my buckler, and only managed to defeat him because I accidentally elbowed him in the face while trying to get my longsword out of the scabbard in my haste and panic, stunning him long enough for me to run him through, another thing that isn't quite so elegant or noble as the stories make it sound. Also, you know what Winthrop always says about his hotel being as clean as an elven arse? Well, my half-elven arse wasn't very clean after that fight. So much for the new (used) armor. I blame it on being caught by surprise. Really.

    After I managed to recover my wits (what little I had left of what little I ever had), I quickly searched the body for any indication of who he might be or why he might want me dead. He had mentioned something about a mission when he came at me, but that makes no sense whatsoever. A mission to kill me? Ridiculous. I mean, I'm pretty sure I've never done anything to warrant an assassination. My singing isn't THAT bad, and I'm reasonably certain all the young lasses I've wooed were unmarried. Most of them, anyway. Unfortunately, he had nothing more than his dagger and ragged clothes, and I wanted no part of either. I did a quick sweep of the room as well, homing to turn up something more, but other than a handful of coins and an old hammer that probably belonged to the priest, I found nothing. I managed to convince myself that the gold had belonged to the assassin (probably not, but it helps me sleep at night), but left the hammer for its rightful owner.

    No sooner did I leave the building than Parda rushed up to me. Despite the brevity of the battle, apparently we had been heard. Something about a shriek, which concerns (and embarasses) me greatly because I'm fairly sure my attacker did no such thing. More like a dying grunt. That leaves only one possibility, and I'm going to steadfastly deny it. My initial instinct was to try to just beg off and be away, but that might raise uncomfortable questions when they do find the body, especially with me clearly intending to leave the keep in a rush. Taking a deep breath, I instead told (mostly) the truth, although I may have embellished slightly, or at least left out some of the (in my humble opinion) unnecessary details. Parda urged me to hurry and get to Gorion, adding that he had a sense something like this would happen. This intrigued me greatly, but unfortunately Parda would say no more on the subject, just shooing me off.

    I took a minute or three to steady my nerves, then ventured on. I had a brief but highly productive encounter with Dreppin a moment later. Dreppin, it seems, knew where Phlydia left her book! Wonderful! Finally something going right today! He also had a sick cow, and asked me to fetch a remedy from one of the guards if I had time. I said I would if I did, and I did, so I did. In the process, I also fetched a sword for said guard, and some crossbow bolts for another guard who overheard that I was in a helpful mood. The upswing? I walked away with a token of appreciation from Phlydia in the form of a small crude gemstone that might fetch me that longbow I had my eyes on (not likely, but I can dream), five shiny gold coins from Reevor for clearing out rats in the storehouse (they were giants, I tell you! Giants! I could have died!), and a surprise in the form of an heirloom dagger from the guard I fetched the bolts for. The dagger was clearly something special, well-forged and undoubtedly enchanted, if only a minor enchantment. I almost told him the truth about the dagger, but then decided that what he wouldn't know wouldn't hurt him (and incidentally, might benefit me). Given what had just happened to me twice, I wanted a reliable backup plan in the event the Sword of Dubious Quality decided to become the Sword of Many Pieces. Besides, it was shiny.

    Now the sharp reader may wonder what I mean by "happened to me twice". I shall explain presently. Apparently the first music critic that wanted me dead wasn't alone. While travelling betwixt tasks, I passed a bunkhouse, and entered hoping to find more guards in need of a runner (I reallllly wanted that longbow!). No sooner did I step over the threshold than another stranger confronted me, wanting to know if I was Dashery since I matched his description. Having learned my lesson the last time, I instead asked why he wanted to know. He gave a long-winded speech about someone wanting me dead because, and I quote, I am trouble. He then added that my head was his ticket out of the gutter. If the first attack left me confused and terrified, this would-be assassin left me totally befuddled, so much so I almost forgot to be afraid. Me? Trouble? How? Who? Why? It made no sense. And my head being a ticket out of the gutter? That implied a price on my head, and that made the least sense of all. Not assassins, necessarily, but bounty hunters. Unbelievable!

    This time I was much faster at drawing my longsword. The first time I was just totally caught by complete and utter surprise. This time I knew what was coming as soon as I saw the stranger, and all my sparring practice with the guards paid off, at least in the sense I didn't do anything horribly embarassing. He came at me, I warded off a few blows then managed to put an end to him with surprisingly little trouble. Apparently I only rate the bottom-of-the-barrel bounty hunters and assassins. Not complaining!

    Anyway, I searched this man and area as well, but still found nothing to hint at what was going on. I then reported this attack to the monk Karan, who happened to have been passing and heard shouts. I don't remember shouting any more than I remember shrieking (It was so not me!! Really!), but I suppose voices might have been raised. Details tend to slip away during times of crisis, I guess. Especially the embarassing ones. I also noticed that I had taken a shallow cut across my shoulder. I hadn't even noticed when it happened! Nothing serious, but I decided to swing by the clinic before heading back to the inn to see if I could swindle that bow from Winthrop. The monks in the clinic bandaged me up, no questions asked, and even gave me a potion to heal such wounds in the future. Such luck! I thanked them profusely (and apologized for all the bad things I never said about them!) and made my way back to the inn. Fortunately, I did pass Tethtoril on the way back and secured Firebeard's scroll. Success!

    I was starting to worry that Gorion would grow impatient, but I just had to get that bow! Or at least make my best effort. It's not that I really truly needed it, but after two close quarter fights, I felt that a little range between me and them would be very very nice. Besides, while I'm at least capable with the longsword, I'm better with the longbow. If someone really does want me dead, it's only a matter of time before the game steps up a notch, and I want to be at my best. And if I can't come up with enough for the bow, maybe I can at least find something that might improve me chances.

    In the end, I was able to scrounge up enough to get the longbow and four score arrows, with a couple coins (literally) to spare. Playing it tight, but I was desperate. Besides, I'm sure Gorion has enough on him to handle any other necessities along the way. Noticing that Winthrop was preoccupied with other customers, I also slipped to a back room where I had seen him store things, and helped myself to a couple of arcane scrolls he had tucked away. I couldn't quite understand them, but I'm reasonably certain that with a bit more study, I'll work at least one of them out. With bow in hand and scrolls in my pack, I felt infinitely safer, and finally made my way to the library steps. There I ran into Imoen, who apparently knew I was going and clearly wanted to tag along. When I offered to ask Gorion if she could come, however, she begged off. Not that I actually believed she would let me have all the adventure alone, but with Imoen sometimes you just have to realize that if there is a way to do something that's more likely to get her into trouble, that's probably the path she'll choose. She's like that, and I wouldn't have her any other way.

    Bidding farewell to Imoen, I approached Gorion. He was definitely worried and extremely impatient to be off. My sense of unease returned and intensified at his obvious nervousness. I no sooner said I was ready to be off than he had my hand and was dragging me through the keep gates. As we went, he explained to me that if we should ever become separated, I was to seek out friends of his named Khalid and Jaheira at the Friendly Arm Inn. If I had been worried before, now I was nearly panicked. Outside the keep, separated, strangers in an Inn I've never even been to think to the northeast? He told me he would explain later, and bid haste. I didn't argue and demand answers immediately.

    In hindsight, I wish I had.

    (to be continued!)

  • cervanntescervanntes Member Posts: 64
    Dashery's Journal

    2 Mirtul, 1368

    I awakened with the realization that I had not been living some horrible dream. We were ambushed shortly after leaving Candlekeep. I watched helplessly as Gorion was mercilessly cut down by a powerful attack force led by a huge armored man with glowing yellow eyes, not even his powerful magic able to stop the onslaught. He called for me to flee, and to me eternal shame, I did. "Hand over your ward," the armored fiend demanded. They were after me and me alone, but why? I'm just an orphaned half-elf raised in a library and training to be a bard. None of this makes any sense, but one thing is certain. The group that attacked us last night was extremely skilled. No back-alley ruffians, these. Whoever or whatever wants me dead has just escalated things tremendously, and I still have no idea why.

    I'm torn about what to do next. Part of me wants to head back to Candlekeep, although without Gorion, I doubt I'll be able to get past the gates. The rules for entering the keep are extremely draconian, for one thing. But more importantly, yesterday's attacks in the keep make it clear that whoever is after me knows full well that Candlekeep is my home and is capable of sending people in after me. By this point, I'm sure they'll have the keep watched just on the chance I try to get back in. And probably by more competent individuals this time.

  • cervanntescervanntes Member Posts: 64
    Dashery's Journal

    2 Mirtul, 1368

    Imoen found me. Not that I'm surprised, really. I fully expected her to try to sneak out after us -- the sun will rise in the east, the stars will always come out at night, and Imoen will always find some way to get into as much trouble as possible, and following me fits that bill perfectly. I'm not sure whether to be angry at her, worried for her, or extremely grateful, so I'll just settle on all three.

    It turns out that Imoen had "accidently" read a note on Gorion's desk. She couldn't remember the details, but did understand that Gorion was planning to leave and take me along with him, and wasn't about to let me have all the "fun" alone. She also told me that she had found the site of the ambush. As much as it pained me, we resolved to creep back and scout out the area for any clue on why we were attacked. Fortunately, most of the enemy were dead, felled by Gorion during the battle. Of those who survived there was no sign. We found Gorion, lying amidst the carnage. After a brief struggle to steel my resolve, we carefully and respectfully searched him and the remains of his attackers, gathering what gear and weapons we could use or carry. We'd need them, either for use or to sell for coin. We also found the note Imoen had read. I read it myself, barely able to restrain the tears. Someone had sent him a letter urging him to leave Candlekeep at once and keep moving, warning that forces were being arrayed against us. What forces, exactly, it didn't say, although it did mention Khalid and Jaheira at the Friendly Arm as potential allies. It was signed by a simple "E". I noticed something else as well, but held it back from Imoen. "We have done what we can for those in your care..." one passage began. Two things struck me immediately; first, that there was clearly some conspiracy involved in my adoption, and second, that I wasn't alone as the writer used the plural regarding those in Gorion's charge. I know immediately that Imoen is also involved in this somehow -- we are of similar age, she and I, and both orphans raised in Candlekeep, something far from ordinary. I now wonder if our similarities are more than just coincidence. While Winthrop raised Imoen, she did spend a lot of time under Gorion's care as well. What in the world is going on here?

    We slipped away from the battle site and discussed our options. We decided to at least give re-entering Candlekeep a try. Worst case, we could at least let them know Gorion's fate so they can bring him home. If getting in fails, we'll make for the Friendly Arm, shadowing the road but not travelling precisely on it in case it is being watched for our passing.

    (to be continued!)

  • cervanntescervanntes Member Posts: 64
    Dashery's Journal

    2 Mirtul, 1368

    Returning to Candlekeep turned out to be as impossible as we feared. I used every ounce of charm at my disposal, but the guard wouldn't let us in without the required entrance fee. At least we managed to leave word about Gorion.

    With the keep closed to us, we saw no other real option but to try to reach the Friendly Arm Inn and find Jaheira and Khalid if they were still there. We shadowed the road for a while, staying close enough to see it but hopefully not so close that we couldn't hide if last night's ambushers turn up. Imoen pointed out that if they were planning another ambush, they'd probably be lurking just off the road. Wonderful. Still, that gives us a 50/50 chance (they could be on the other side!), and I'd still prefer not to be in the open.

    After a while, we spotted a portly man walking down the road. After a brief discussion, we decided that I would approach him while Imoen covered me from hiding. He turned out to be a reasonably amiable chap, but he did warn us that there were a lot of bandits in the region lately. More good news. Although he could provide us no additional assistance, he did tell us that he had encountered two men of questionable character a short distance along the road to the east. While it is unlikely that they were bandits if they were travelling the road openly and not harassing anyone, it's all too possible they might be more bounty hunters, or lookouts for the ambushers. We thanked him profusely and resumed our journey, a bit more cautiously with the strangers ahead.

    The strangers turned out to be just as shady as the wanderer suggested. One, a human, was clearly insane. The other, a halfling, seemed to be a bit more in control of himself, but he very much seemed the type that would rather stick a dagger in you than talk to you. Like before, I spoke to them while Imoen kept out of sight. They seemed to know something of my plight, and offered me a healing potion as a gesture of concern, or at least so they said. I got the distinct feeling they felt more scorn than concern, but at least they weren't trying to kill me...yet. I'll have to test the potion carefully before actually using it. They then told me that they were heading to Nashkel to investigate the problems in the mines for some unspecified concerned party, and asked if I'd like to come with them. I declined as politely as possible, and that set the human off on a verbal rampage. His diminutive companion had to drag him off. Goodbye and good riddance. Those two were definitely trouble. I only question who they represented, and why they were interested. I have a feeling I wouldn't like the answers.

    We pressed on some more, only to be attacked by a diseased gibberling. Well, I think it was a gibberling, anyway. Not like I ever got to see many in the library, but I did see some sketches in a book once. I suppose we should count ourselves very lucky -- from what I remember from that book, gibberlings typically attack as a ravaging horde. We just encountered one, perhaps cast out because he was diseased? In any case, we managed to shoot him down before he could get to us.

    At last we reached the Friendly Arm, and friendly it was indeed, at least for the most part. We made it a point to stop and talk to everyone we met on the way in, both to gather information and to keep ourselves public and therefore (presumably) safer. We met one woman who complained about some nearby hobgoblins who stole her ring. We promised her we'd try to get it back if we ran into the hobgoblins. Damsel in distress -- what can I say? Not sure we can take on hobgoblins, but perhaps if we find Khalid and Jaheira they could help us. Worst case, we at least give the lady something to hope for.

    We talked to several other individuals in the courtyard. Perhaps I should explain a bit -- the Friendly Arm in may be an inn, but it's built much more like a fortress. Tall walls, portcullis, guards everywhere...the perfect atmosphere for a restful night in the inn! We hear more rumors of bandits in the region, of course, as well as complaints about the iron crisis. Nothing about our ambushers, and I'm sure a hulking man with glowing yellow eyes dressed in full armor would excite at least some comment.

    As we prepared to enter the inn proper, my worst fears (well, not my worst fears, but we won't go into what those are) were realized. A robed man approached down the entry stairs and inquired as to our business at the Friendly Arm. I decided to play it safe and claim we were just there to meet friends, which was pretty much true anyway. He promptly called my bluff (even though it wasn't, really), claiming to recognize me from descriptions, and proceeded to attack. With magic! Just when I thought things couldn't get any worse, not only does another bounty hunter show up, but he's a skilled mage! I did what any self-respecting bard would do in such a situation -- I screamed for the guards and ran for my life! Not necessarily in that order. The details are a little hazy!

    Fortunately, Imoen and I had continued keeping a decent distance between us so that she could cover me while I questioned people. As the mage turned his attention to me and began casting, Imoen put an arrow in his back, disrupting his spell and wounding him. A few guards moved to intercept the mage as well, having witnessed the unprovoked attack. I took advantage of the distractions to unsling my own longbow and launch an arrow. By the grace of Tymora, I managed to miss the two guards that were now almost in melee range with the mage, but I managed to actually strike a mortal blow to my assailant! I couldn't believe our luck!

    I quickly explained the situation to the guards while Imoen quietly "recovered our arrows", which is Imoen-speak for "completely stripped the body of anything of value." Since the guards had seen the entire altercation, we were allowed to enter the inn while they cleaned up the mess. Once inside, Imoen showed me a note she found on the mage. I couldn't believe what we were reading! Apparently not only did someone want me dead, but they wanted me dead badly enough to offer 200 gold for my quick death. I'm not sure I like the sudden gleam in Imoen's eye when she reads the bounty! She must have seen it in my face, because she immediately stuck her tongue out at me and elbowed me in the ribs.

    With the immediate business taken care of, we turned our attention to the inn and its patrons. The common room was filled, and any one of them could be another assassin. I never considered myself the paranoid type, but after the last two days, I can't help but see assassins everywhere. I sure hope we find a way out of this mess soon. My poor nerves aren't going to last much longer.

    (to be continued)

  • cervanntescervanntes Member Posts: 64
    Dashery's Journal

    2 Mirtul, 1368

    Upon entereing the common room of the inn, we did notice a man and woman near the bar that seemed to be watching us, and by us I mean me. My gut told me they were Khalid and Jaheira and that they have been waiting for Gorion and I to arrive, but after everything that's happened I wasn't about to trust that assumption. Taking a deep breath, I put on my best charming smile, threw back my shoulders, and did what bards do best -- put on a show! A little sleight of hand here, a little flirting there, some amusing stories and epic poems everywhere. It was very clear that those looking for me had my name and description, and trying to stay hidden wasn't working too well, so perhaps the opposite approach might work better; by making myself too public and visible. Of course, it wouldn't work forever, but I didn't plan to be around forever, just long enough to get some information, find out if Gorion's friends would help me, and maybe steal a kiss or three. Not necessarily in that order.

    We made our way around the room, me working the crowd, talking to everyone, asking questions and likewise answering where I could, providing entertainment and news (real and if necessary fabricated) in return. Imoen had my back, and I felt surprisingly safe knowing she was there. The only people in the common room we avoided were the two watching us, the two I thought were likely Khalid and Jaheira. Them I intended to save for last, lest I be wrong or they want to put an end to my "show". We did learn some interesting things during our sweep. Most of it was variations on what we had already been hearing about the iron crisis, vastly increased bandit activity, and the problems at the Nashkel mines, but now we were hearing that tensions were running high with Amn due to the troubles, and some thought Amn might even be behind some of it. Others suspected the Zhentarhim. A lot of gossip, and none of it good. One man, a huge half-orc, snapped at me for disturbing him, and another just wanted to be left alone to drown his sorrows, but the rest were friendly enough.

    Once we had exhausted the common room (other than the innkeeper and the two individuals I was carefully avoiding), we headed upstairs to speak with everyone not behind locked door. It proved an even more interesting venture. One woman on the second floor, a writer by trade, complained about an ogre with a belt fetish to the south, and offered us a reward if we would recover a belt it stole from her. Who ever heard of an ogre with fashion sense? We politely agreed to keep her in mind if we slew any belted ogres. On the third floor we met another woman from Beregost whose home had been invaded by spiders of prodigious size. She also offered a reward for removing the infestation, and we promised that we'd look into it the next time we were in Beregost. She apparently took this for a promise (heh) and offered us a small collection of antidotes for venom. Could prove useful whether we go or not! Another man, clearly a spoiled noble, thrust a pair of golden pantaloons in my hands and demanded they be cleaned and pressed immediately. He even tossed me a few gold for quick service. Ironically, while this was the one epic quest we might actually be capable of accomplishing, it was also the one I had no intention of actually doing. Not sure what I'm going to do with a pair of golden pantaloons, but I'm a bard. I'm sure something will turn up!

    Once we finished with everyone on the third floor, we went back downstairs and finally spoke to the two who had been watching us. By this time they were very aware we had been avoiding them, and that was just fine by me. They were indeed Jaheira and Khalid, and had been waiting for Gorion and I, as I expected. They seemed friendly and sympathetic enough, although Jaheira was clearly annoyed that we had avoided them so long. I apologized and explained the situation, and made it clear that although I was sorry for making them wait, I wouldn't change anything. That actually seemed to earn her respect. A little.

    After sitting down at their table and quietly discussing everything, we agreed on a few things. Jaheira and Khalid were on their way to Nashkel to investigate the troubles there, and had only stopped at the Friendly Arm because they received word Gorion and I would be joining them. Imoen and I agreed to go with them, and follow through with that investigation as best we could. I tried to rationalize it to myself as safety in numbers, but truth be told, I'd have done it anyway just because someone needed to do it. We also agreed to first see if we could track down those hobgoblins near the inn that were robbing people so I could (hopefully) return that woman's ring. We'd then head south, track down the belt-loving ogre before heading to Beregost and clearing up that little spider problem. In Beregost we'd stop to gather more news about the troubles around Nashkel, then proceed the rest of the way south to said town. While Jaheira said they were expected in a couple of days, I figured we'd have enough time for all of it, or at least most of it. And of course, we'd also be trying to find out who was putting a price on my head and try to put an end to that as well. I got the distinct impression Khalid and Jaheira knew something about this that they weren't sharing, but no amount of begging and pleading would loosen their lips. I'll work on them. They'll break eventually -- no one can resist ye olde Dash charm for too long.

    (to be continued)

  • cervanntescervanntes Member Posts: 64
    OOC Notes:

    This has been an unusual run so far in some respects. Dash managed to one-shot both would-be assassins in Candlekeep with his first attack, something I don't think has ever happened before in all my years playing BG. I find it ironic since I had always intended to play Dash as a reluctant and unskilled fighter at best, at least until much higher level, but so far he's vastly exceeding expectations. Go fig.

    He and Imoen also did surprisingly well against Tarnesh. Because of my self-imposed rules, I didn't set up an ambush or anything like that. I just had Dash walk up to talk to him while Imoen hung back as described in the journal entries. When Tarnish made it clear he meant trouble, I decided the logical thing for Dash to do was run for his life, so I moved him away and had Imoen fire one shot. She hit, disrupting the spell. Two guards engaged. Dash turned, fired a shot of his own, crit hit, and down went Tarnesh. I think that's about the easiest Tarnesh battle I've ever fought too without using OOC knowledge (backstabbing him, for example, while he was still non-hostile) or easier game settings. I had honestly expected one or both two die in the battle, so I was more than pleasantly surprised.

    I'm really hoping the luck continues! Somehow it just fits the character and concept of this run for dumb luck to play such a huge role.

  • BlackravenBlackraven Member Posts: 3,289
    Just found this! Blackraven has got a lot of catching up to do...
    For now just wishing you the best of luck, and thanks for sharing your adventure!

  • cervanntescervanntes Member Posts: 64
    Dashery's Journal

    3 Mirtul, 1368

    We found the ring! And nobody was hurt, unless of course you count the hobgoblins. In some respects, we were lucky. There were several hobgoblins lurking in the area around the Friendly Arm, but mostly in pairs or trios, giving us the numerical advantage in our skirmishes. Khalid, it turns out, is an excellent bowman, and Jaheira is one mean girl with her sling. While far from the best, Imoen and I are also fair shots with our bows, so the hobgoblins, with no missiles of their own, really didn't stand too much chance. Only one managed to survive long enough to get in melee range, and Khalid promptly ran it through with his sword. I almost felt guilty! One did have the flamedance ring we were looking for, and the woman it was stolen from was extremely grateful for its return!

    We then ventured south back along the road we have come in on, sauntering vaguely towards Beregost, keeping out eyes and ears out for any signs of bandits or belt-loving ogres. The latter we found not too far from the road Imoen and I had wandered down the day before, which gave me a few chills, especially after beholding the beast. I've never seen anything like it! The ogre towarded above us, his massive morning star almost as long as I was tall! If Khalid and Jaheira had not been there, I'm pretty sure we would have run away screaming at first sight. I'm actually surprised we didn't anyway!

    Khalid immediately began launching arrows, breaking Imoen and I out of our shock and urging us to follow his example. Jaheira, on the other hand, began chanting something under her breath. I was a little preoccupied with the gargantuan bard-shammer barreling towards us too pay too much attention at first, but moments later an amazing thing happened -- grass and roots between us and the ogre began to stir, entangling the beast's legs, first slowing and then completely stopping it! I vaguely remembered Jaheira mentioning she was a druid, but it hadn't sunk in what that really meant until that moment. As the ogre bellowed and struggled to free itself from the grasping vegetation, we continued launch our missiles at the hapless creature. It finally managed to pull free of its entanglement, but by then it was too late. It managed a few feeble steps forward, then crashed to the ground with an earth-shaking thud.

    Even now I still can't believe we defeated an ogre, and once again without anyone getting hurt! We quickly searched the body and found two belts, one worn around each arm as a sort of armband. Not being sure which one belonged to the woman we spoke to at the Friendly Arm, we took both and headed back to said inn, since we weren't yet too far away. No sooner had we grabbed the belts and turned back towards the Inn when Khalid was attacked by a rather large wolf. We had been too preoccupied with the ogre to notice it, so it was on Khalid before we could react. We managed to kill the wolf, but not before it had done some serious damage to our new companion. Fortunately, Jaheira was able to heal the wounds, despite their severity. We pressed on hard for the keep and returned the belt, and were rewarded with an autographed copy of her book! Pity it's not worth enough to get us back into Candlekeep! We spent the night at the Friendly Arm both to avoid travelling bandits, ogre, and gibberling infested roads at night and to give Jaheira a chance to recover from her spellcasting.

    (to be continued)

  • cervanntescervanntes Member Posts: 64
    Dashery's Journal

    4 Mirtul, 1368

    The next day we rose with the dawn and pressed hard for Beregost. We arrived after a few brief encounters with gibberlings that went notably better for us than them. During the walk, we had discussed what to do, and had decided to hit the main inns and taverns in town for information, clear out that spider infested house, and then push on for Nashkel. There's an old saying about making plans that basically goes something like this, "The best laid plans of mice and men are often very squeaky!" Close enough, anyway.

    I admit to having been in a bit of awe of Beregost at first sight, but remember, dear reader, that I had never traveled beyond sight of Candlekeep in my life. So many buildings and people! The bard in me wanted to sing out in joy! Sure, there might be assassins waiting for me here too, but what could they do among so many people? Plenty, it turns out, if you offer them enough gold. This is where all our plans turned squeaky, you see. We had barely entered town and gotten directions to the local inns when we heard a woman shouting for help! We rushed to her aid, only to find ourselves dealing with a young half-elven maiden being assaulted by nothing less than a Red Wizard of Thay and his henchman! And here I thought an ogre with bad fashion sense was going to be the most dangerous thing I'd ever have to face!

    (to be continued!)

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