In the WotC module Murder in Baldur’s Gate
Bhaal returns. To many fans of the BG CRPG series, I think, this is a disappointing development, as it seems to render much of the drama of the game pointless (the PC dies and Bhaal wins no matter what). Adding insult to injury is that Bhaal returns via the death of the hero of the trilogy (either by being killed by Viekang, or by becoming the Slayer after killing Viekang).
Now of course the BG novels are considered canon, despite being, I gather, quite dreadful (I never read them myself and have no plans to do so). But I’m sure that for many people, the PC that they create and play throughout the CRPGs takes the place of Abdel Adrian, and so it is (in their version of the Forgotten Realms) the PC who fights Viekang a century after the events of the games, thereby (inadvertently) bringing about the return of Bhaal. That’s a rather disappointing end for one’s PC, a hero used in (probably) 100+ hours of gaming (assuming that one plays through the entire trilogy).
So if one wants, on the one hand, to retain some element of continuity between the events of the game and the later return of Bhaal, but on the other hand, does not want their PC to suffer the grim fate of Abdel described in “Murder in Baldur’s Gate,” what are some plausible scenarios? (I’m assuming that, like myself, some others enjoy playing the game more thinking, in their mind’s eye, that eventually their PC will not suffer the fate of Abdel, whilst also wanting to maintain a rough continuity with the ‘official’ history of the Forgotten Realms. If that doesn’t matter to you, then obviously this post shouldn’t either!)
Here are three possibilities:1. Imoen takes Abdel’s place.
Assuming that (a) Abdul does not exist at all in the player’s timeline, and (b) Imoen accompanies the PC all the way through the trilogy, then (c) it is Imoen who takes the remaining Bhaal essence into herself (it is released from the PC, who subsequently becomes like Sarevok). Imoen eventually becomes a Duke of Baldur’s Gate (in place of Abdel), is attacked by Viekang, and inadvertently brings about the return of Bhaal.
While this is perhaps unsatisfying for those who like Imoen (such as myself), it at least provides a way to explain how the PC escapes the grim fate described in ‘Murder.’ 2. The PC takes Abdel’s place. But cloning!
Assuming that (a) the PC takes the place of Abdel (i.e., Abdel does not exist in this timeline), and (b) is a mage or sorcerer, then (c) perhaps she/he has the foresight to create a clone sometime during the century prior to ‘Murder.’ Upon the death of the PC (either by being killed by Viekang, or by being transformed into the slayer and then killed), the PC’s soul – with all remaining Bhaal essence now removed! – is transported to the clone. The clone wakes up, and the PC’s life continues, Bhaal-free.3. Abdel is just another Bhaalspawn, in addition to the PC, Imoen, and Viekang.
Viekang was a loose end that never was explained adequately in the original game: a Bhaalspawn, other than the PC and Imoen, who seemed to survive the trilogy (assuming that the PC was kind enough to cast ‘Horror’ on him in Saradush). So why not think of Abdel in the same way? Abdel is a Bhaalspawn, who never lost the essence of Bhaal within him, like Viekang, and who eventually became a Duke of Baldur’s Gate.
This scenario involves the least discontinuity from the events as described in ‘Murder,’ and also does not requite ‘overwriting’ the ending of “Throne of Bhaal,” according to which the PC, if she/he chooses to remain mortal, loses the remaining essence of Bhaal, rather than retaining it (as apparently Abdel does, according to ‘Murder’).
This scenario also involves a grisly death for Abdel – a pleasant bonus!
Anyhow, if in ‘your FR’ the events described in ‘Murder’ do not take place at all, then this thought experiment is irrelevant. But personally I enjoy the trilogy more thinking that the outcome of the game can mesh with the official return of Bhaal.