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The Epic of Dewin Mawr

Will_O_WispWill_O_Wisp Member Posts: 55
edited January 2019 in Challenges and Playthroughs

I. Introduction

This campaign aspires to traverse the entire Baldur's Gate - Enhanced Edition Trilogy, from its humble inception at Candlekeep to its epic conclusion at the Throne of Bhaal.

It is roleplay-centered, with choices made to stay in keeping with the development and attitudes of the protagonist, Dewin Mawr, and his companions.

Dewin, a young half-elven cleric/mage, sets out upon his adventures with a lawful good alignment and a natural tendency toward optimism and naivety. Whether that alignment and those tendencies remain with him, presuming his survival, is yet to be seen.

Post edited by Will_O_Wisp on
lolienZaghoulBlackraven
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  • Will_O_WispWill_O_Wisp Member Posts: 55
    edited January 2019

    II. Setp & Mods

    I used the EE Mod Setup Tool from baldursextendedworld.com to install and modify the trilogy; it’s a great utility and updated frequently with care.

    The general theme of the mods I’ve chosen is to improve the challenge and color of the Enhanced Edition games without altering their content overmuch.

    In this regard, I generally chose mods that would augment content that is already in the games and declined mods that added content.

    For example, I went pretty heavy on mods like aTweaks, BG1NPC, Sword Coast Stratagems, Tweaks Anthology, and Unfinished Business, and the like, but avoided mods that add items, kits, NPCs, quests, and storylines.

    Basically, I wanted an enhanced enhanced edition of the games and not a new enhanced edition of the games.

    I also wanted to avoid too much rule bending and breaking; of the “Rules & Tweaks” section of the EE Mod Setup Tool, I sometimes chose PnP components but generally avoided anything out of conformity with both PnP rules and Baldur’s Gate rules.

    I’ll attach my user.ini file for the EE Mod Setup Tool in case anyone would like to have a look.

    Post edited by Will_O_Wisp on
    lolien
  • Will_O_WispWill_O_Wisp Member Posts: 55
    edited January 2019

    III. Campaign Rules

    A. Death

    I don't view non-permanent death (as opposed to permanent death or "chunking") as actual death but, rather, as incapacitation or coma. I've never liked the idea of being able to take a corpse into a temple and have it resurrected ad infinitum; it really takes the seriousness out of death.

    In my view, when a companion is wounded to the point of turning grey but is not outright obliterated, he or she simply needs serious medical attention, the likes of which can only be found at the hands of a very powerful healer.

    This can be done freely in this campaign as necessary and without restriction.

    On the other hand, permanent death ("chunking") is just that - permanent. As discussed, below, the permanent death of a companion cannot be reversed through any means, including reloading the campaign to a prior save.

    Regarding the non-permanent death of companions, Dewin is obligated to revive fallen companions except in limited circumstances. For example, I once had Khalid die in the Nashkel Mines just before I met Xan. For some reason, I wanted Xan in my party and therefore removed Khalid from the party, making his death permanent.

    B. Reloading & Saves

    Ah – to reload or not to reload?

    Given the installation of Sword Coast Stratagems, my rule against meta-gaming overmuch, and all the tedious time I’ve spent in preparing this campaign, a no-reload rule is simply unfeasible.

    On the other hand, too many reloads have a way of taking the oomph out of a good story, so I’ll be using a compromise I call Gods’ Favor.

    Dewin is entitled to reload the game once in each chapter if, and only if, he dies.

    Reloads may not be used to reverse the death of any companion, nor to cure any result not caused by a either a technical glitch or an absurd in-game course of events.

    An "absurd in-game course of events" are those which would not realistically occur within the game but for game programming.

    For example, in a battle with Silke, Minsc comes under the effects of the Confusion spell and attacks an innocent bystander. The innocent bystander turns red and is immediately killed by Imoen. Minsc's attacking the innocent bystander is not an absurd in-game course of events since so doing is a potential and realistic in-game result of the Confusion spell. However, Imoen - who is neutral good - attacking and killing the innocent bystander is an absurd in-game course of events, brought about merely by the scripting of the game itself; it is doubtful that Imoen would murder an innocent bystander simply because Minsc attacked him while under the effects of a spell. In these types of events, the game can be reset to the last prior save without using the one-reload per chapter.

    Unused reloads do not accumulate between chapters (i.e. an unused reload in a particular chapter cannot be used in subsequent chapters).

    The reason I call this Gods’ Favor is to keep at least some of the above-mentioned “oomph” in the campaign. Instead of thinking of it as reloading the game when my character dies, I can think of one or more gods who favor the protagonist and (like in the original Clash of the Titans) stand him up occasionally when he falls.

    Of course, the favor of the gods is not infinite and they, like me, may lose interest in their earthly hero at some point if he fails too much.

    The only saves permitted are the chapter saves, the auto-save, and one quick save at a time.

    C. Metagaming & Roleplaying

    I try my best to minimize metagaming.

    For example, if there’s no reason for Dewin to predict an upcoming battle, I won’t prepare him for it. Likewise, I won’t send him out of his way to collect an Easter egg he has no reason to know is there.

    As mentioned in the introduction, the game is to be centered around roleplaying, with due care being given to the attitudes of the protagonist and his companions.

    It’s not very hard to have your roleplaying-cake and eat it too in the Baldur’s Gate series. There’s usually a companion available to do something your protagonist wouldn’t; Dewin, who is lawful good, would not steal, but Imoen, a thief, might.

    Post edited by Will_O_Wisp on
    lolienBlackraven
  • Will_O_WispWill_O_Wisp Member Posts: 55
    edited January 2019

    IV. Personal Modifications

    In addition to the mods described above, I’ve added a couple of tweaks myself through Near Infinity. A couple of them are fairly major, but I don’t believe any of them are game breaking by any stretch.

    A. Revised Bhaalspawn Powers

    As has been pointed out by some others, the Bhaalspawn powers given to the protagonist are relatively lame, so I’ve changed mine into something better. This is probably my most substantial mod to the game.

    As Dewin (more on him, below) is a healer by nature, I’ve beefed up each of the six powers he gets each time he dreams into a healing-type spell. Each dream gives him one healing power at progressing levels:

    1. 1st Dream – Remove Fear (1st Level)
    2. 2nd Dream – Slow Poison (2nd Level)
    3. 3rd Dream – Remove Curse (3rd Level)
    4. 4th Dream – Minor Restoration (4th Level)
    5. 5th Dream – Raise Dead (5th Level)
    6. 6th Dream – Heal (6th Level)

    I have no problem with the level of power provided here for two reasons. One, Dewin is the child of a god and I think his divine powers should reflect that. Two, Baldur's Gate - Enhanced Edition Trilogy is plenty difficult the way I have it modded.

    B. Extra Spell Casting

    Dewin is a cleric/mage. I’ve given him the ability to cast one extra spell per level for both his cleric class and his mage class, similar to how a specialist mage can cast an extra spell per level.

    This does not seem too powerful to me, since there already many ways in the games to get extra spells per level.

    It is worth noting that the one-extra spells per level are not affected by items (such as Evermemory) that double the number of spells that can be memorized. For example, Dewin wearing Evermemory at 1st Level can cast three spells between rests – the ring doubles his class-given spells but does not double the extra spell slots that I’ve given him.

    C. Five Scrolls of Raise Dead in Fire Leaf Forest

    I swapped out the scrolls of Cloudkill and Chromatic Orb found in the Fire Leaf Forest with a stack of five scrolls of Raise Dead.

    There are a million ways to have companions randomly suffer non-permanent death along the Sword Coast; I added these scrolls because I like a nice continuous story and that continuity is broken when I have to run back and forth to Nashkel to raise dead companions on my long journey through Fire Leaf Forest, Xvart Village, Dryad Falls, Gnoll Stronghold, Bear River, and the Ancient Ruins.

    I feel like five scrolls is a good amount to get me through long wilderness treks until Dewin can use the spell Raise Dead on his own.

    D. Minor NPC Tweaks

    I’ve made a couple of minor NPC tweaks, like changing around Imoen’s thief skills and Dynaheir’s attributes (I used NPCs Enhanced for Everyone to make her a sorcerer), and dividing Jaheira and Khalid’s starting experience points equally between the two (I don’t know why she starts with so much more experience than him).

    I’ve also updated the dialog.tlk file to reflect any tweaks I’ve made (e.g., Dynaheir will call herself a sorceress and not an invoker).

    I used NPCs Enhanced for Everyone to make Xan a fighter/mage and (in my only rule-breaking feat of the set-up) changed Viconia into a cleric/thief. I know elves can’t multiclass into cleric/thieves, but she’s just too thiefy to not make her into a multi-class thief.

    Post edited by Will_O_Wisp on
    lolienBlackraven
  • Will_O_WispWill_O_Wisp Member Posts: 55
    edited January 2019

    V. Dewin Mawr

    Dewin (pronounced either DEY-win or DEV-in, depending upon which dialect of Wood Elf is used), is the protagonist of this campaign.

    He is a Lawful Good Half-Elf Cleric/Mage.

    I once rolled for him a 94 and have since, erm, kept it. His attributes are as follows:

    Strength – 12
    Dexterity – 16
    Constitution – 12
    Intelligence – 18
    Wisdom – 18
    Charisma – 18

    His high-average Strength and Constitution scores, as well as his exceptional Dexterity, are owed to his devotion to Lathander, who is a patron god of athletics and vitality, and who demands physical fitness from his devotees. Dewin's elite Intelligence, Wisdom, and Charisma are owed, at least in part, to his divine heritage.

    Dewin’s Weapon Proficiencies are in Quarterstaff and Two-Handed Weapon Style, a result of years of training with the Watchers in Candlekeep and many rough hours with Dewin’s friends, Jondalar and Erik.

    For his starting Wizard Spells, I chose Expeditious Retreat and Identify. As Gorion has been a somewhat reticent tutor in the magical arts, two non-offensive spells seem the most appropriate.

    I’ve used the premade templates for Dewin’s biographies, but chose Elf instead of Half-Elf for that portion relating to Dewin's mother; if Dewin’s father was Bhaal, it makes more sense that his mother was a full-blooded Elf than a Half-Elf.

    The name Dewin means sorcerer or wizard in Welsh, which has always been the language I’ve most associated with elves. “Mawr” means great, but is not a title Dewin has earned (yet) and is therefore not yet a part of his name. The name Dewin was given by Gorion. Dewin’s actual birth name, given by the Elves, was Tywyll (pronounced toe-ETH), which means “dark.”

    See Dewin’s portrait (courtesy of the lovely Artaport) for a pretty clear image of his appearance.

    I think of Dewin as being honest, naïve, and enthusiastic. As stated in the Introduction, above, it remains to be seen whether these attributes will be changed by the travails ahead.


    Post edited by Will_O_Wisp on
    lolienBlackraven
  • Will_O_WispWill_O_Wisp Member Posts: 55
    edited January 2019

    VI. Campaign Reporting Style

    I intend to keep an ongoing journal of just about every named person Dewin meets in the campaign, as well as major battles and other important or interesting things.

    Most of these journal entries will be short sentences, since writing at great length about everything can get tedious in a hurry for both reader and writer.

    I will generally record travels between areas, interactions with named NPCs, the comings and goings of companions from the party, random roleplaying notes and observations, and a brief description of non-random battles.

    I will also record the use of Gods’ Favor and the deaths and comings and goings of companions.

    I may record other things too, though I won’t usually record quest notes or anything else that is already written into the journal by the game.

    It can be a deep rabbit hole down which writers go when they get inside the heads of their characters. Descriptions of thoughts and perceptions can take up a lot of time and space. The easiest rule of thumb (for me) to avoid this is to write as though Dewin were testifying at a trial before some council; he would be permitted to offer a shorthand explanation for his motivations in doing a particular thing, but he would not be permitted to spend long moments discussing the inner workings of his psyche.

    My hope is to provide brief, colorful descriptions of encounters that are fun to read and from which a reader can generally follow the progress of the campaign, without getting bogged down in detail.

    On the other hand, I may get bored with this whole thing and just give up. I’ve put way too much time this winter into loading and unloading mods, tweaking, testing, and dying. There’s no telling when the magic may just run out – I’m sure some of you know what I mean.

    Post edited by Will_O_Wisp on
    lolienBlackraven
  • Will_O_WispWill_O_Wisp Member Posts: 55
    edited January 2019

    VII. Miscellaneous Thoughts

    Here I'll keep random thoughts about this whole thing.

    For now I'll just say I hope you enjoy reading and please feel free to post any thoughts and questions you have.

    1st Miscellaneous Thought - Dewin, being a devotee of Lathander, is a proverbial "morning person," and often wakes early to scribe in his journal. Thus, most journal entries are made when he wakes up from rest.

    2nd Miscellaneous Thought - The little roleplaying bits I insert in here (such as conversations amongst the companions) have their genesis in mods such as the BG1NPC Project, and are not of my own making. I will generally try to avoid injecting my own roleplaying blurbs into the narratives.

    3rd Miscellaneous Thought - I used NPCs Enhanced for Everyone to make Garrick into a jester, mostly to make taking him on as a party member less tactically stupid. I'd like to travel with many NPCs for at least a little bit of time.

    4th Miscellaneous Thought - So the party's about to enter Fire Leaf Forest. That place has always seemed cursed to me. I've had so much bad stuff happen there. Vax and Zal don't help matters.

    5th Miscellaneous Thought - I lost Minsc to permanent death at the hands of an ogre berserker and hobgoblin elites in Bear River. In mechanical terms, what actually killed him was his berserker state, which doesn't allow for controlling him, making him drink healing potions, or withdrawing. It sucks because he's so awesome as a character and a fighter.

    6th Miscellaneous Thought - I used a "Gods' Favor" for the first time in Chapter Three.

    7th Miscellaneous Though - Having croaked for the second time in Chapter Three (thanks to Kivan mouthing off to Tazok and the whole bandit camp mobbing us), I've decided to make "God's Favor" cumulative. The upshot is that Dewin will now earn a reload cumulatively for each chapter he reaches. This is mostly because I've put in too much effort writing his adventures to let him die any more easily. So, Dewin has one more reload available (he's reached Chapter 3 so he gets three reloads, and he's used two of them).

    Post edited by Will_O_Wisp on
    lolienBlackraven
  • Will_O_WispWill_O_Wisp Member Posts: 55
    edited January 2019

    VIII. In Memoriam

    Here I'll keep a mausoleum of all companions who have (permanently) died along the way. Obviously, the fewer entries here, the better.



    Post edited by Will_O_Wisp on
    ZaghoulBlackraven
  • lolienlolien Member, Moderator, Translator (NDA) Posts: 3,083
    You did some heavy preparations here, good work, sounds interesting. I wish you good luck and persevarence for running to the end!

    Will_O_WispStummvonBordwehrZaghoulBlackraven
  • Will_O_WispWill_O_Wisp Member Posts: 55
    edited January 2019

    Day 0, Hour 18 (1 Mirtul, 1368)

    Per my father's instructions this morning, I visited Winthrop - the proprietor of the Candlekeep Inn and an old friend - and purchased some provisions for my journey.

    While at the inn, I met Thurston, a kindly nobleman visiting Candlekeep with his wife.

    I also spoke with Firebead Elvenhair, an old sage who makes frequent trips here from his home in Beregost. (See "Firebead's Scroll").

    As I searched the inn for Imoen to bid her farewell, I met Christian and Quincy, a pair of visiting noblemen, on the upper floor.

    Outside the inn, I encountered Phlydia, an absent-minded bibliophile with a history of losing books. (See "Phlydia's Book").

    As I unwisely entered the Priests' Quarters, I was attacked by the reeking assassin, Shank. In my first-ever actual combat, I cracked his skull with my quarterstaff.

    Outside the quarters, I was approached by my longtime tutor, Parda. I declined to relay to him news of my encounter with poor Shank.

    Now in search of Phlydia's book, I stopped by the hay barn to see Dreppin, Candlekeep's dairy farmer. (See "Dreppin's Cow").

    I found Phlydia's book, "The History of Halruua," in the hay Dreppin keeps for his ailing cow, Nessa, and returned it to Phlydia.

    I then visited the Temple of Oghma and purchased a Potion of Healing.

    Gorion apparently instructed my friends Jondalar and Erik that I "needed to learn some fighting" before my departure, causing the pair to attack me in a mock-ambush outside the Storehouse. Jondalar wielded his staff and Erik his bow. I cast Expeditious Retreat and fled from Erik's blunted arrows before engaging Jondalar in single melee. I will miss those two.

    Reevor - Candlekeep's dwarven quartermaster - once again offered me some gold to clear his Storehouse of rats. (See "Reevor's Storehouse").

    I entered the Storehouse and killed five rats for Reevor, all the while inexplicably yelling battle cries.

    I spoke with Hull, "one of the ever-present watchers here at Candlekeep," at the gate towers. (See "Hull's Sword").

    Nearby, the Gatewarden himself approached me and sternly urged me to partake in another lesson about "the finer arts o' mass combat." Having already had my fill of combat - mass or otherwise - for the morning, I politely but firmly declined.

    Continuing my search for Imoen, I visited Candlekeep's clinic. I did not find her, but the priest therein gave me a second Potion of Healing.

    I checked the Bunkhouse for Imoen as well. I didn't find her there, either, but instead a second would-be assassin named Carbos. I Commanded him to the floor and took Sanctuary with Lathander to buy myself time to think. I then cast Cause Light Wounds and drained the villain of his life.

    Outside the Bunkhouse, another old tutor, Karan, overheard my row with Carbos. My will sapped, I confessed my encounter with Carbos to him. Karan told me that the murderers were sent for me, specifically, but departed without opining as to why.

    I then entered the Barracks to retrieve Hull's sword and spoke with his fellow Watcher, Fuller. (See "An Errand for Fuller").

    I returned to the Candlekeep Inn and purchased Fuller's crossbow bolts.

    After giving Fuller his bolts - and receiving his father's Excellent Dagger as a reward - I retrieved Hull's sword and Nessa's antidote from the chest at the foot of Hull's cot.

    I returned Hull's sword to him at the gates and gave Dreppin the antidote for poor Nessa before heading to the Inner Grounds.

    I there finally found Imoen but, when presented with the opportunity, couldn't bring myself to say goodbye. I instead muttered something stoic when she implied that she wished to accompany me and Gorion.

    I found old Tethtoril, who gave me Firebead's Scroll, and I listened one last time to the Chanters reciting Alaundo's verses outside the Great Library.

    Repairing a final time to the Candlekeep Inn, I gave Firebead his scroll and sat speaking with him for a long while.

    Though it was obly mid-morning, I was physically and emotionally exhausted; I elected to rest at the inn before departing to meet Gorion.

    Falling into a slumber, I did not wake until early this evening.

    Post edited by Will_O_Wisp on
    lolienZaghoulBlackraven
  • Will_O_WispWill_O_Wisp Member Posts: 55
    edited January 2019

    Day 2, Hour 9 (3 Mirtul, 1368)

    I departed the Candlekeep Inn and met my father at dusk.

    We traveled into the night, arriving along the Lion's Way before we were ambushed (See "Chapter One" and "Important Events"). I fled like a coward, the roar of battle and flash of Gorion's magic behind me.

    Imoen, who had followed me and Gorion from Candlekeep, found me this morning along on the road. I gave her Fuller's father's dagger and she gave me a Wand of Magic Missiles likely pilfered from some poor visitor to Candlekeep.

    We walked together to the site of the ambush, and talked of the night's events.

    We found Gorion's body - along with three bodies of those who attacked us - and recovered from it a scroll (See "Gorion's Scroll") as well as Gorion's robe and belt.

    Imoen assured me that - my protestations not withstanding - she would not leave me until Gorion's murder was solved.

    In our confused state, we became lost in the woods and wandered unintentionally west until we reached the coast.

    We followed the coastline south, taking care to avoid a lumbering black bear as she foraged, in an effort to reach the Lion's Way.

    We came upon Chase, a young nobleman preparing to hurl himself over the cliffs. Without much prodding, he reversed his decision and elected to return home.

    We found our way to the road once again. In an effort to return Imoen home, I led her all the way to Candlekeep, arriving there at midday.

    We spoke with the Keeper of the Portal. He refused me entry but gave me 100 gold for the road and bid Imoen she could enter, as her Warden, Winthrop, still resides there. Imoen refused to leave me.

    Winding our way back east along the road, we met Kolssed, a hermit and erstwhile merchant from Nashkel who lost his business to the iron crisis.

    Nearing dusk, we were attacked from the wood by a diseased gibberling. Imoen felled him with two arrows before he could reach us on the road.

    Shortly thereafter, we met and - against Imoen's counsel - joined with the halfling fighter/thief, Montaron, and his consort, Xzar the necromancer. They agreed to accompany us to the Friendly Arm Inn if we would then accompany them to Nashkel. (See "Montaron & Xzar").

    Farther up the Lion's Way, we met Binkos, a messenger enroute to Baldur's Gate. He was carrying news that "another caravan” has been raided near Beregost.

    Imoen inexplicably found a diamond in a tree near the road.

    Anxious to reach the Friendly Arm, we walked well into the dark, making the Coast Way near midnight.

    We there encountered an old man who inquired as to our business. (See "I met a strange man on the road to the Friendly Arm Inn.").

    A second diseased gibberling charged us from the wood. This one, too, was quickly felled from afar by Imoen's quick arrows, accurate even in darkness.

    As a storm rolled in, we elected not to further try our fortune and made camp against an old stone wall.

    Curiously enough, Montaron - someone with whom I would not have associated an interest in the culinary arts - cooked our supper, managing to spark a fire even in the rain.








    Post edited by Will_O_Wisp on
    ZaghoulBlackravenStummvonBordwehrlolien
  • BlackravenBlackraven Member Posts: 3,283
    Favorited. Very nice write-ups. I hpe you'll keep them coming @Will_O_Wisp.
    Your mod set-up is almost exactly like how I tend to mod my game. You have good taste :wink:

    lolien
  • Will_O_WispWill_O_Wisp Member Posts: 55
    @lolien @Blackraven Thanks much! Yeah I've tweaked the setup gobs of times - I feel like it's augmented and enhanced pretty well, but is still Baldur's Gate, which is what I want for this campaign.

    Blackravenlolien
  • ZaghoulZaghoul Member, Moderator Posts: 4,134
    Looking good here. Doing RP write-ups certainly takes some effort. I find they make a run more enjoyable that way and more intense as far as getting attached to a character. I do them myself over in my Asylum. Now if I can just beat my restartitis... :)

    Will_O_Wisplolien
  • Will_O_WispWill_O_Wisp Member Posts: 55
    @Zaghoul Agree 100%. I've grown quite fond of Dewin but one thing is clear - if his luck runs out, there's no way I can bring myself to write these descriptions all over again. It's exciting right now because its the first time I've documented his adventures but I'm sure having to document them again wouldn't be the same.

    ZaghoulBlackravenlolien
  • Will_O_WispWill_O_Wisp Member Posts: 55
    edited January 2019

    Day 3, Hour 5 (4 Mirtul, 1368)

    We resumed the road yesterday morning under a clear sky, bearing left where it breaks to the Friendly Arm in the north and Beregost in the south.

    We shortly encountered the hunter, Aoln, who bid us be wary of gibberlings and wolves in the region.

    We arrived at the Friendly Arm in the late afternoon. Confused as to where to go, we unintentionally entered the residence of a woman named Joia. (See "Joia's Flamedance Ring").

    When we did find the inn itself, we were assailed on its steps by the mage, Tarnesh. (See "Another Assassination Attempt"). I felled him with a Command and Xzar kept him thus with a Sleep spell. Montaron then gutted him quickly.

    From Tarnesh's corpse, I recovered three magical scrolls and a bounty notice calling for my death. (See "Bounty Notice"). Despite my strong dissuasion, Imoen took his spellbook.

    We found the inside of the Friendly Arm Inn teaming with colorful characters.

    We were first approached by Jopi, a nephew of the famous wizard, Ragefast of Waterdeep.

    Imoen had a less-than-pleasant encounter with the half-orc, Dorn. (See "How Rude").

    She also spoke with Whelp, an irritable patron who bemoaned the effect of the iron crisis on his eating utensils.

    I met Surrey, an apprentice of Taerom Fuiruim in Beregost, laid off recently as a result of the region's shortage in iron.

    Nessie, the inn's chief serving maid, explained that "with the roads being what they are right now," not many new visitors have arrived recently at the inn.

    We finally found Jaheira, a half-elven fighter druid, and her husband, Khalid, in the back corner of the inn. Per my father's wishes, they joined my company. (See "Important Events" and "Jaheira & Khalid").

    We then conversed with Bentley Mirrorshade - a retired adventuring gnome and owner of the Friendly Arm Inn - and purchased some provisions from him. (See "Trouble in the Region: Rumors & Happenings").

    Gathering about a table with my new companions, I took the opportunity to successfully scribe two of the scrolls I recovered from Tarnesh - Armor and Magic Missile. I failed to scribe the third - Burning Hands.

    While four of my companions talked, Imoen - ever the extrovert - set about "exploring" the Friendly Arm Inn. While I don't know (nor want to know) the particulars of her adventures, I understand that she met Unshey (See "A Rogue Ogre") and Landrin (See "Landrin's Possessions") on the upper floors during her jaunt.

    We elected to pursue Joia's flamedance ring north of the inn, and set out in the early-evening rain.

    We engaged a pair of hobgoblins along the western road. Between Khalid, Montaron, & Jaheira, our company was equipped with at least some tactical intelligence. We formed a wedge formation, with Khalid - in plate mail armor - to the fore and me - in my robes – to the center-rear. Bolts from Montaron's crossbow, bullets from Jaheira's sling, and arrows from Imoen's bow cut the brutes down before they could close the distance to us.

    This tactic worked again on a second group of three hobgoblins. From their leader's corpse, we recovered Joia's ring. Finally, a last pair fell before our company's diverse rain of missiles.

    As we returned to the inn, Imoen found a hidden cache - an enchanted ring which I have since identified as "Evermemory" - under a stone.

    We then returned Joia's flamedance ring to her at her house.

    In anticipation of our forthcoming attempt to rid Landrin's house of its spider infestation, we visited Gellana Mirrorshade, Bentley's wife, at the Temple of Wisdom to purchase an antidote in case one of us is bitten.

    It was after dark when we reentered the Friendly Arm Inn to rest for the night.



    Post edited by Will_O_Wisp on
    BlackravenStummvonBordwehrZaghoul
  • Will_O_WispWill_O_Wisp Member Posts: 55
    edited January 2019

    Day 4, Hour 6 (5 Mirtul, 1368)

    Well-rested, we set out yestermorn for Beregost before sunrise.

    We reached the Coast Way in the early afternoon, and Xzar swore he saw the trees moving (I assume the breeze may have been the cause).

    While passing through the area, we endeavored to find the ogre who had robbed poor Unshey of her belt.

    In so searching, sharp-eyed Imoen spotted yet another hidden cache in a rock. There we found one of the famous Rings of Princes.

    Rather than continuing to blunder about through the hills, we sent stealthy Montaron to scout the area. He was quickly chased back to us by a triad of xvarts, though they were little match for our superior numbers.

    To be sure, Montaron is a dangerous little fellow. Imbibing a Potion of Speed, he slipped like a hunting fox among the shadows of the pines until he found the rogue ogre, and jammed his short sword into its back. He then led the hulk on a grim chase, again slipping into shadow and again waylaying the beast. When the bleeding monster could chase no more, Montaron killed it with his crossbow.

    We found it in possession of two enchanted girdles. Presumably one of them belongs to Unshey.

    Making our way back to the road, we found more xvarts and gibberlings roaming the hills. Here again, their numbers were insufficient to pose a serious threat to our party of six.

    Binkos must have reached Baldur's Gate with his message, for Andout - a courier whom we met along the southern highway - bore news for Kelddath Ormlyr that Beregost "is to be garrisoned in case of Amnian attack."

    Jaheira spoke with Jase - a lone child playing near a copse of Aspen trees - who told her that some bandits had "attacked old man Brill."

    We arrived in Beregost as the sun set, and were met by Golin Vend - a sort of self-appointed town greeter - who directed us to Feldepost's Inn.

    Jaheira apparently does not care for "cities" and made her displeasure at the existence of Beregost known immediately. Xzar, too, seemed ill-at-ease, and expressed his concern that there may be "cutthroats in every alley."

    Before resting, we resolved to deal with Landrin's spider infestation and, using the directions she gave us, found her house next door to the Jovial Juggler.

    We thought it wise to have Khalid, heavily-armored and bearing a tower shield, enter the house alone. Jaheira blessed all of us before he (quite nervously) did so. When he reemerged, four huge spiders pursued him. His heavy armor served him well, and my companions rained their arrows, bolts, and bullets upon the enormous creatures, killing them all.

    I entered Landrin's house and recovered all of her possessions.

    Enroute to Feldepost's Inn, we encountered the young jester, Garrick, who retained us to protect his mistress, Silke Rosena, from "Feldepost's thugs."

    Upon meeting Silke, it was quickly apparent that she actually wished us to kill three innocent men so that she could steal some gems from them. We refused and Silke - an adept magic-user - attacked us. I attempted to Command Silke, but she easily withstood the force of my will. However, a well-timed Magic Missile from Xzar interrupted the use of her own magics and one of Montaron's crossbow bolts ended her before she could harm us.

    We took from her body an enchanted quarterstaff, two Potions of Healing, another potion I've yet to identify, and 400 gold pieces.

    The men she attempted to have us assassinate - Faltis, Glayde, and Tessilan - gave us a Potion of Defense for our efforts on their behalf.

    At Imoen's insistence and against my better judgment, I agreed to take Garrick on with our company.

    Montaron and Xzar departed and have agreed to frequent the Jovial Juggler should we elect to reconvene.

    Rain once again lashed the Sword Coast and, having had more than enough adventure for one day, we made haste to Feldepost's Inn.

    It’s a ribald place. Upon entry, I was offered a drink by a tipsy young noblewoman named Gyllian.

    After a quite touch-and-go encounter with Marl and Dunkin (See "Marl's Loss"), Jaheira, Khalid, and I had had enough and immediately sought out the innkeeper for our respective accommodations.

    Imoen and Garrick stayed up much later with other patrons of the establishment, but I know not of their endeavors.




    Post edited by Will_O_Wisp on
    StummvonBordwehr
  • Will_O_WispWill_O_Wisp Member Posts: 55
    edited January 2019

    Day 5, Hour 6 (6 Mirtul, 1368)

    As we left Feldepost's Inn yesterday morning, I saw old Firebead Elvenhair's house across the street and decided to visit him. (See "A Book for Firebead").

    Having spotted a copy of his requested tome at Feldepost's, I ran back to the inn and fetched it. Firebead rewarded me with "The History of the Dead Three" and a scroll case.

    We next visited the shop of Kagain, a dwarven defender, and agreed to help him locate his missing caravan. (See "Kagain's Quest").

    Enroute to the Thunderhammer Smithy to supplement our weapons and armor, we heard the town crier shout his news about a bounty upon the head of Bassilius. (See "Bassilius the Murderer").

    We visited the Thunderhammer Smithy and provisioned ourselves via Taerom Fuiruim before turning north in (yet another) rain to find Kagain's missing caravan.

    Not far off the Coast Way, we found a raided caravan. There was no sign of Eddard Silvershield, so we continued our investigation by moving westward into the hills, slaying a pair of diseased gibberlings along the route.

    We located Eddard Silvershield's caravan, attended by four bandits, all equipped with bows. Jaheira blessed our company before we engaged them.

    It was a dangerous battle, but our well-armored warriors, Khalid and Kagain, deflected most volleys with their tower shields. Garrick drew no weapon, but his comedic singing distracted the bandits with sufficient effect that we won the day without serious injury.

    From the caravan wreckage, we recovered Entar Silvershield's Fibula, a few bandit scalps, and other minor items. I marked the location of Eddard's body on my map.

    Our party meandered a path through the hills and back to the road, driving off a small band of xvarts on the way.

    We made north along the highway through the pouring rain, arriving soaked at the Friendly Arm Inn just before sundown.

    We visited Gellana at the Temple of Wisdom to replace those Potions of Healing we had used during the skirmish with the bandits, and then entered the inn.

    I returned Unshey's belt and Landrin's possessions before consulting with Bentley about accommodations.



    Post edited by Will_O_Wisp on
    StummvonBordwehr
  • Will_O_WispWill_O_Wisp Member Posts: 55
    edited January 2019

    Day 6, Hour 5 (7 Mirtul, 1368)

    Leaving before sunrise, we traveled once again down the Coast Way.

    Our trip was essentially without incident but for a trio of gibberlings about four hours north of Beregost, and we reached the town just before dusk.

    After meeting Neera - whose participation in our party I declined - and defeating Ekandor's company (See "Wild Thing"), we entered the Red Sheaf for food and drink.

    There we were assailed by the doughty dwarf, Karlat. I Commanded him down while Kagain and Khalid blocked his path through the door. Hails of bullets and arrows from Jaheira and Imoen, along with well-placed strikes by our warriors, spelled the end of him.

    I recovered a second bounty notice from his body. (See "Bounty Notice").

    We agreed to attempt finding Perdue's stolen short sword (See "Perdue's Short Sword") and listened to a drunkard name Lachluger sing about being a lumberjack.

    Imoen spoke with Raleo Windspear, who told her of the Ulcaster School and the troubles of Lady Mirianne on the eastern edge of town.

    Having lost our appetite for fare at the Red Sheaf, we instead visited the Burning Wizard, where we met Zhurlong (See "Zhurlong's Missing Boots") and the grouchy old man, Spen Gil'meh.

    Imoen once again went "exploring" and came back with an enchanted mace I've identified as the Stupefier.

    After a meal, Jaheira and I decided to visit the Lady Mirianne. (See "Mirianne's Husband") before reconvening with the balance of the party at the Jovial Juggler.

    There, we met the paladin, Bjornin (See "Half-Ogres Near Beregost") and the dwarf, Gurke (See "Gurke's Cloak").

    Imoen spoke with a rather paranoid fellow named Oogie Wisham upstairs where he was hiding - for an unclear reason - from Bjornin.

    A well-appointed inn, the Jovial Juggler offered fine rest and repair for the night before we set out for Nashkel this morning.



    Post edited by Will_O_Wisp on
  • Will_O_WispWill_O_Wisp Member Posts: 55
    edited January 2019

    Day 7, Hour 3 (9 Mirtul, 1368)

    Traveling down the Trade Way North, we spoke to another lone child - Shelligh - who was picking fruit beside the road.

    Soon thereafter, we found news of Mirianne's husband, Roe, in a letter carried by a murdered halfling messenger. (See "My Dearest Mirianne").

    The culprits were a pair of ogrillons lurking about his body. Here again, our armored warriors formed a stationary guard while Jaheira and Imoen rained missiles on the brutes from a safe distance.

    I marked the location of the messenger's body on my map.

    Since we were in the region, we elected to search for Zhurlong's missing boots.

    The sky darkened and another storm rolled in, leaving us to slosh about in the rain.

    We found the forest teaming with gibberlings and hobgoblins, and engaged in several light skirmishes.

    While we waited as Kagain and Khalid pursued a pair of hobgoblins through the woods, Imoen attempted to cast a spell from Tarnesh's spellbook. The result was the creation of a large artifact, the nature of which we don't yet understand. (See "Imoen's Artifact").

    We stopped for lunch near an old, submerged house. While the others ate, I successfully scribed Color Spray from a scroll we'd retrieved from the body of a hobgoblin.

    On the road nearby, a cadre of Flaming Fist Mercenaries confronted our party, accusing us of banditry. Jaheira and I were, fortunately, able to convince them otherwise.

    We found Zhurlong's boots in the possession of four hobgoblins. We defeated them with relative ease and also recovered from them a scroll of Charm Person.

    In a nearby cave, we found five Potions of Healing and some gold.

    Close to the cave, we were approached by Bub Snikt, a hunter of ogres. He seemed pretty good at what he does.

    Winding our way down the Trade Way South, we stumbled upon an encampment of hobgoblins in the late afternoon sun. Among them were four melee fighters and two archers. We fell back out of range of the archers and slew the melee fighters before engaging the archers in hand-to-hand combat.

    In a copse of trees nearby, Jaheira found the bodies of a man, a woman, and a child, presumably murdered by the hobgoblins from the nearby encampment. We recovered from them a small pendant inscribed with the name Colquetle. I marked the location on my map.

    I had heard that the hermit Portalbendarwinden resides in in the rocky hills of this windswept region, and convinced my companions to help me seek him out to tell my fortune. They agreed, though Jaheira chided me that we must continue to Nashkel soon.

    In the stony ravines, we clashed with small bands of kobolds and hobgoblins before finding the old hermit east of the Trade Way.

    After some, erm, convincing, Portalbendarwinden read my aura. His perception was dark, and set me ill at ease. I’ll not record it here.

    Working our way back to the road, we sparred with gibberlings and passed over a small, rocky stream.

    Upon the road, we met Lord Foreshadow, a traveler from Waterdeep who makes frequent visits to the faraway city of Neverwinter. Imoen asked if we could go there one day and I told her that we'll have to see what fortune dictates.

    As the sun was falling in the western sky, we elected to make camp between the road and the stream. I scribed a scroll of Charm Person - taken from the corpse of a hobgoblin - into my spellbook.

    I fell asleep to the sound of Garrick singing one of his softer ballads.

    Post edited by Will_O_Wisp on
  • Will_O_WispWill_O_Wisp Member Posts: 55
    edited January 2019

    Day 8, Hour 10 (9 Mirtul, 1368)

    I awoke yestermorn restless from the words of the hermit and, unable to sleep again, I roused my companions.

    After I cast some minor healing magics on the battle wounds sustained by Kagain during our jaunts around the Trade Ways, we resumed our travel to Nashkel.

    With our very early start, we arrived in the sleepy town of Nashkel before noon.

    We were confronted at the bridge by Bardolan, an Amnian lieutenant garrisoned here. (See "Troubles in the Region: Rumors & Happenings").

    On the other side of the bridge, the Sun Soul Monk, Rasaad, demonstrated his martial prowess to a group of onlookers. We conversed with him and he explained a bit about his monastic order.

    In front of the Nashkel Inn, a woman named Taris bemoaned the absence of "a lout...about this wide and this tall."

    Upon entering the inn, we were assailed by the sixth bounty hunter who has tried to collect my head in the past week. She was a cleric named Neira. Her spells were slow and, every time she attempted to cast, I interrupted her with the Wand of Magic Missiles that Imoen gave me back along the Lion's Way. She dealt Khalid a stout blow with her mace, but we ended her before she could inflict more harm.

    Per the Bounty Notice collected from her corpse, my life is now worth 680 gold (See “Bounty Notice”). I also found the Eyes of Truth and a Potion of Extra Healing in her belongings.

    We entered the Nashkel Store to provision ourselves from the Merchant of Nashkel. (See "Winter Wolf Pelts").

    Here we parted ways with young Garrick, who elected to travel to the Friendly Arm Inn to work on his next ballad.

    We met with Berrun Ghastkill - the mayor of Nashkel - in front of the Temple of Helm. (See "Important Events - Visit the Nashkel Mines").

    As thunderclouds seemed to follow us even to this arid region, we hurried into the temple to stay dry and meet Nalin, the attendant Watcher there. (See "The Tale of Captain Brage").

    Thereafter, we met the confused bounty officer, Oublek. (See "Prism the Sculptor").

    It was then that we met Minsc - a giant ranger-berserker from far Rashemen - and Boo, his companion "miniature giant space hamster." (See "Rescuing Dynaheir").

    As Minsc proclaimed proficiency in longswords and maces, I thought it fitting to gift him the Stupefier. We then returned to the Nashkel Store to outfit the ill-equipped warrior.

    Thirsty from the road, our company - now consisting of me, Khalid, Minsc, Kagain, Jaheira, and Imoen - entered the Belching Dragon Tavern.

    Therein, we met the famous bard Volo who, for the price of an ale, regaled us with news about the Nashkel Mines and Captain Brage. (See "Trouble in the Region: Rumors & Happenings" and "The Tale of Captain Brage").

    As we ate and drank, I overheard Jaheira asking Imoen if - having grown up with me - the girl has noticed any of my behaviors that seemed "out of balance or haunted."

    Troubled, I walked outside to wander Nashkel alone for a time.

    Crossing the hamlet’s southern bridge, I met the Red Wizard, Edwin (See "Edwin & Dynaheir"). Having just promised Minsc that I would try to help him rescue Dynaheir - and because Edwin refused to tell me why he wanted her dead - I felt compelled to decline his request.

    Across the bridge, I met Noober. Noober is, well...Noober.

    Wandering through a plowed field, I met Karp, who complained of the hardships of farming in these southern climes near the mountains.

    I then found a hidden cache of Ankheg Plate Armor, crafted by none other than Taerom Fuiruim of Beregost, and a white pearl.

    I visited the Amnian garrison to see what information I could gather about the mines and Captain Brage, but found the soldiers therein to be of little help.

    Resolved to set out to find Dynaheir as soon as possible, I gathered my party and we returned to the Nashkel Inn for preparations.

    Reviewing our maps, we have decided to travel southwest through the Fire Leaf Forest, a dangerous place by all accounts. We will then make for Dryad Falls before turning northwest and passing through the Xvart Village, aiming then to cross the Bear River to the Gnoll Stronghold.

    Dynaheir, we believe, is being held there.

    By our best calculations, we anticipate a journey of about a fortnight, barring catastrophe.

    I have given Minsc the Ankheg Plate Mail, as I thought it befitting a ranger, and changed the color of my robes to better reflect the umber hues of these southern forests.

    We made a final trip to the Nashkel Store for supplies, ensuring each warrior has two extra melee weapons in the event the iron crisis strikes us during our long journey through the wilderness.

    When we’d satisfied ourselves that we were sufficiently outfitted with food, potions, and other provisions, we turned in early, resolute in the quest that lay ahead.

    I was awoken from a strange dream this morning by Imoen. (See "Dream: Chapter Two"). Apparently I was difficult to rouse, and it is now well past sunrise.

    I shared the substance of the dream with Imoen, and she bid me rest while she gets our things packed; I write this entry as she does so.

    Through the dream, I appear to have gained the ability to Remove Fear. It comes not from Lathander, but from inside me.

    I will have much to think about on the walk ahead.



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  • Will_O_WispWill_O_Wisp Member Posts: 55
    edited January 2019

    Day 9, Hour 9 (10 Mirtul, 1368)

    With the late start caused by my dream, we didn't reach the Fire Leaf Forest until well after dark.

    After a few minor scrapes with kobolds and xvarts, we came upon an old, ruined xvart village in the southeastern part of the region.

    There, we met Larry, Darryl, and Darryl, who gave us a collective autograph.

    We were then attacked by two warbands which included kobold commandos - nasty little demons who shoot flaming arrows. With three well-armored warriors, we were able to drive them off, but we'll need to be more careful should we encounter any more of them.

    When we crossed a small stream, we encountered a walking skeleton. I had never seen such a thing. Our warriors pounded the horrific entity into bone meal.

    It was then that we met Vax and Zal, who endeavored to rob us. Zal was, as it were, was the "the fastest dart thrower on the Sword Coast." That may sound absurd, but this was the single most dangerous battle of my life.

    With Vax wielding a halberd, and Zal throwing his darts at an unearthly rate, they wreaked havoc on us. Armored as our warriors are, we still went through a half dozen healing potions - and all the magic Jaheira and I could muster - just to stay alive. By the grace of the gods, we were able to kill them both before they killed one of us.

    Battered and bloody, we retreated to the ruined village near the river, Minsc, Khalid, and Kagain still pulling Zal's darts from joints in their armor.

    To make matters worse, Minsc thought he had misplaced Boo, sending the giant into a near-panic. Fortunately, we found the hamster inside Jaheira's medicinal bag.

    As we repaired, we discovered that Zal's expertise in "dart-throwing" came, at least in part, from a pair of Bracers of Archery that we yanked from his corpse. We have given them to Imoen.

    I also managed to scribe a scroll of Grease recovered from one of the kobold warbands we defeated.

    It is now dawn on the ninth day since I left Candlekeep, and I write this entry by a wild stream as my companions are just beginning to rouse.

    We'll have to survey our gear and redistribute our Potions of Healing – we have twelve left – before we continue through this beautiful but savage part of the Cloudpeak Mountains.


    Post edited by Will_O_Wisp on
  • Will_O_WispWill_O_Wisp Member Posts: 55
    edited January 2019

    Day 10, Hour 20 (11 Mirtul, 1368)

    We continued our trek through the Fire Leaf Forest, meeting "Albert" shortly after getting underway. (See "Albert and His Dog").

    While searching for Albert's "dog," we found a hidden cache containing five scrolls of Raise Dead - a boon to be sure, but perhaps also an ill omen.

    We then met the Amnian noblewoman Sendai and her companions, Delgod and Alexander, as they hunted for game. After assuring us that Amn poses no threat to Baldur's Gate, they "said in jest" that our party would make good sport for them to hunt. Nothing came of their implied threat and we parted ways without incident.

    We found "Rufie" in a copse of trees near the river, and led him back to "Albert."

    On the way, we encountered three more walking skeletons. They inflicted minor wounds upon Minsc and Kagain before we were able to slay them.

    After our business with Albert and Rufie was...concluded, we were more than ready to take our leave of that cursed forest and quickly headed west.

    As dusk fell, we were ambushed by a war party of gnolls. We made short work of them, and actually interpreted their presence as a sign that we're headed in the right direction to find Dynaheir.

    Concerned about the presence of more gnollish warbands, we marched all night until we reached the Dryad Falls region, where we drove off a pack of wolves, including a dire wolf.

    By this time, we were exhausted, and Khalid had sustained not-insubstantial injury. Minsc, too, was bleeding.

    We back-tracked the dread wolf to its lair - a cave - where Kagain killed its two pack mates. Believing the lair afforded us the best protection, we set up camp inside.

    We've rested safely for a full sixteen hours. It is now evening, and we've decided to explore a bit of the region before it gets too dark.


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  • Will_O_WispWill_O_Wisp Member Posts: 55
    edited January 2019

    Day 11, Hour 6 (12 Mirtul, 1368)

    Passing by a beautiful cataract, we spotted a dead freshly-dead cat behind the falling water. Responding to an unknown compulsion, I decided to collect it.

    We then came upon Ingot, a gnoll who had recently fled the stronghold to which Dynaheir was reportedly taken captive. (See "Ingot & Minsc").

    While we were all encouraged to hear news that she may yet live, when Ingot mentioned eating her, Minsc flew into a berserker rage and cut him to pieces. So red was Minsc's mighty wrath that the rest of us dared not near him until it passed.

    From Ingot's body, we claimed several valuable gems and an enormous enchanted halberd I have identified as the Chesley Crusher.

    We skirmished with small groups of xvarts and another gnollish war party. Minsc erupts into a murderous rage whenever he sees them and, wielding mace and sword at once, turns them into furry puffs of pink mist.

    Next, we met the gnoll tribe of Ludrug, who challenged Khalid to single combat. Though perhaps not entirely with honor - he quaffed a Potion of Invulnerability before the duel - Khalid defeated Ludrug and we were allowed to pass without further incident.

    As night fell, we met the Dryad of the Cloudpeaks under a bright moon. (See "Dryad of the Cloud Peaks").

    Her nemeses, Caldo and Krumm, were dangerous men if perhaps not brilliant men. I cast Grease to slow them down while our party retreated, and Imoen and Jaheira pelted them with missiles as they slipped in the viscous substance. By the time they had crossed the affected area, we were able to kill them without too much difficulty.

    The dryad rewarded us with an Antidote, and from Caldo and Krumm we recovered gold and an enchanted club, girdle, and katana. I've since determined that the club bears a minor enchantment and that the girdle is the Destroyer of the Hills, but I've yet to identify the katana. We've given the girdle to Khalid.

    We made camp at the edge of the breathtaking lake which feeds the falls and, having set our watches, fell into sleep under the radiant moon.

    I awoke this morning spiritually refreshed by our encounter with the dryad, and look forward with new vigor to rescuing the Wychlaran of Rashemen.




    Post edited by Will_O_Wisp on
  • Will_O_WispWill_O_Wisp Member Posts: 55
    edited January 2019

    Day 12, Hour 17 (13 Mirtul, 1368)

    Descending the waterfalls, we met young Drienne. (See "Drienne's Cat"). She rewarded us with a protection scroll for returning “Pixie” to her.

    The journey to the Xvart Village took another twenty-four hours. Wandering too close to the village itself, we incited the anger of the tribal chieftain, Nexlit, and his totem cave bear, Ursa.

    Wave after wave of xvart warriors - they seemed to number by the score - charged in a mass, writhing horde. Retreating back down the ravine, we used the cliff walls to create a chokepoint and hem the effect of their incredible numbers with Khalid, Minsc, and Kagain serving as a front line.

    Battered and wounded after the battle, we sought safety in Ursa's cave, driving out her mate in so doing.

    Inside, we found an Excellent Flail, a Potion of Fire Resistance, a Mithril Ring, and a pair of Bracers of Defense.

    While my company rested, I scribed scrolls of Friends and Protection from Evil into my spellbook.

    Now at least in part rested and hale, we venture out of the cave in early evening to continue our quest.


    Post edited by Will_O_Wisp on
  • Will_O_WispWill_O_Wisp Member Posts: 55
    edited January 2019

    Day 13, Hour 23 (14 Mirtul, 1368)

    West of Nexlit's village, we killed two more dire wolves.

    South thereof, a curiously-located merchant named Borda offered to sell us potions and scrolls for "a cheap price." Imoen talked me out of making any purchases.

    After another full day of travel, we came to an old rope bridge spanning a mighty river canyon. The gnoll stronghold - an obviously reoccupied ancient ruins - stands crumbling atop towering cliff-works beyond.

    The two ogrillons, Gnarl and Hairtooth, blocked our passage and demanded a toll of 200 gold for each of us. Once again, a well-placed Grease spell kept our enemies at bay. Jaheira cursed the ogrillons and blessed our warriors, tipping the scales of victory safely in our favor.

    The toll we instead exacted from them - excluding their lives - was a Potion of Hill Giant Strength, a Potion of Cold Resistance, and the Brawling Hands.

    We gave the Brawling Hands to Minsc and the Potion of Hill Giant Strength to Khalid. The Potion of Cold Resistance was given to Jaheira - our unofficial herbwoman - to keep with the other potions she's collected along the way.

    Travelworn and battleworn, we though it wisest to walk back across the bridge to rest and proceed toward the stronghold under cover of darkness.


    Post edited by Will_O_Wisp on
  • Will_O_WispWill_O_Wisp Member Posts: 55
    edited January 2019

    Day 14, Hour 9 (15 Mirtul, 1368)

    Traversing the rope bridge once again, we found two rocky paths and chose to take the lower one in hopes of finding a secret passage to the ruins above. This, it seemed, was wiser than assaulting the stronghold head-on.

    This lower region, near the river basin, was crawling with xvarts who have apparently formed symbiotic colonies with the gnolls in the ruins, above. Fortunately, the xvarts proved little threat to our well-armored warriors, whose fighting prowess has increased with every battle.

    We also found a series of small caves in which the xvarts reside. We spotted no secret passage, but did uncover some treasure, including gems, magical scrolls, and a Tome of Leadership and Influence. This, I have just poured over while my companions sleep. I have also scribed scrolls of Larloch's Minor Drain and Shocking Grasp into my spellbook.

    In one such cave described above, we disturbed a foul carrion crawler. The hideous thing, naturally equipped with a paralytic biotoxin, poisoned poor Khalid. We were, however, able to slay it before it devoured him.

    At that point, we thought it prudent to rest before progressing further, and we have made camp in the dank cavern.


    Post edited by Will_O_Wisp on
  • Will_O_WispWill_O_Wisp Member Posts: 55
    edited January 2019

    Day 15, Hour 10 (16 Mirtul, 1368)

    We cautiously made our way up the ancient stone steps to the ruins, proceeding slowly in a tight, defensive formation.

    Then, utter chaos erupted.

    Upon seeing the first band of gnolls, Minsc - looking like an angry green giant in his Ankheg Plate Mail - began slowly succumbing to a mighty rage. I suppose the smell of gnolls - whom he detests - and the knowledge that Dynaheir was nearby, was simply too much for him.

    He tore ahead of the rest of us - giving Jaheira and me barely enough time to bless him - and ferociously attacked every gnoll in sight.

    I caught up with him atop a second flight of ancient steps as he hurled himself like a green tidal wave against a dozen snarling gnolls, gnoll slashers, and gnoll veterans.

    He mowed them down like dogs in the street - mace and longsword whirring too fast see and sending red and pink mist spraying into the breeze - but was himself bleeding from wounds sustained in the effort.

    Foolishly, I approached the massive, crazed warrior to make hale his wounds, and he turned on me in his blind fury!

    I fled from him, of course, and will not make that mistake in the future.

    Again, Minsc charged forward with such zeal we lost track of him, slashing gnolls with his sword and crushing them with the Stupefier. Though we could not see him, we could hear his hellish war cries above the din of ringing steel and the gnollish howls of pain and terror.

    Sometime later, the sounds faded beneath the roaring winds of the chasm atop which the ruins stand.

    Following a trail of dead and dismembered gnolls, we found Minsc on a yet third level of the ruins. He lay unconscious and bleeding among a pile of dead gnolls. One of his longswords lay broken beside him. Over him stood a gnoll slasher, wounded and panting. Kagain and Khalid quickly dispatched the beast.

    I suppose the powerful force which drives Minsc's warp-rage had blown out, exhausting him and, eventually, he had succumbed to his wounds. His armor was battered and a dozen gashes left cruel tears in his flesh.

    Thanks be to Lathander, I was able to use the powerful scrolls we'd found in the Fire Leaf Forest and revive him. It took all the skills and magic Jaheira and I possessed to revive him.

    Surveying the carnage, we calculated that, before he fell, the mighty berserker single-handedly killed nineteen gnoll warriors, including their chieftain.

    It was then that Jaheira descended into a pit and found Dynaheir of Rashemen (See "Rescuing Dynaheir" and "Dynaheir's Missing Journal").

    The mere sight of the Wychlaran was enough to bring Minsc to full vigor. She explained how the pair - trio, if one counts Boo - became separated in an ambush and why their "dajemmas" have brought them to the Sword Coast in the first place.

    We made our way down from the gnoll stronghold and along the Bear River, walking until near dusk before stopping for rest.

    Kagain departed us for Beregost. He is a stout warrior and his company will be missed.

    Resting here at the base on an old hemlock tree, the mighty Bear River roaring nearby, I now reflect upon the quality of my company.

    For his part, Khalid – nervous and stuttering as he may be – has proven a doughty fighter in his own, quiet way.

    Minsc, on the other hand, is quite different. His prowess as a fighter is almost superhuman, but there is a natural, blind chaos to him that may prove a liability. I’ll not soon forget that, at the stronghold, he could not distinguish between me, a friend, and the gnolls, his foes.

    Jaheira has repeatedly impressed me with her skills as both a warrioress and a healer. She has an edge, to be sure, but with it a confidence that, in turn, gives me confidence.

    Imoen is, well, Imoen, a known quantity to me and someone who I know will always follow me.

    Finally, the sorceress, Dynaheir, has not been with us for sufficient time for me to draw any educated conclusion. Thus far, she seems wise beyond her years and offers a stable counterpoint to her bodyguard, Minsc.

    I have added the spells Shield and Sleep to my spellbook. The sun is now climbing the eastern sky and my companions are beginning to stir from their long but well-deserved rest.





    Post edited by Will_O_Wisp on
    Blackraven
  • Will_O_WispWill_O_Wisp Member Posts: 55
    edited January 2019

    Day 16, Hour 5 (17 Mirtul, 1368)

    Traveling through the Bear River canyon, we were attacked by an ogre berserker.

    Yes, there is such a thing. It's similar to a Minsc berserker, but twice the size and strength.

    I had – to that point – never been so terrified as I was when the brute charged us from a forested cliff. I quickly dropped Grease upon the woodland floor as we hastily retreated. Jaheira and Imoen pelted the monster with bullet and arrow, but the missiles seemed simply to bounce off its hide.

    My Command did nothing to it. Dynaheir's slender fingers flashed with light as she sent two Magic Missiles into it. Minsc and Khalid valiantly held their ground against mighty swings of its two-handed sword, easily as long as Imoen is tall.

    Finally, Jaheira called from the sky a powerful Sunscorch, which blinded it, enabling us to finally slay it.

    Farther along the river, we met the paladin, Laurel (See "The Gibberling Hordes"). In the forthcoming battle, I was impressed by Dynaheir, who used sleep magic to render unconscious twelve gibberlings at once. How I wish Gorion would have taught me that spell back at Candlekeep.

    Though it was yet early in the day, a storm rolled into the river valley, sending us to seek shelter.

    We came upon the camp of an ogre, who was eating a gods-only-know-what by a roaring campfire. Curiously, he was not interested in interrupting his meal to fight us and we joined him at his fire in respite from the rain.

    Bear River is a savage and wild place. We were immediately set upon by a second ogre berserker. Our host - an ogre but not a berserker - was content to chew his mutton and watch the battle.

    The surprising thing about ogre berserkers is the speed with which they move. No lumbering hulk, this one chased us hither and yon, easily closing the distance to us in mere steps and swinging its giant sword down to split us in twain.

    Minsc stood his ground and was felled with a single blow for his valor.

    Then – thank the gods – the thing’s berserker rage ended and, much like Minsc at the gnoll stronghold, it collapsed, unconscious. Seizing upon the opportunity, Khalid drove his bastard sword through its heart.

    Jaheira and I then tended to Minsc - using the second of the five scrolls of the Fire Leaf Forest and all of our powers of healing.

    After the rain passed, we found a bridge across the raging river. It was, however, guarded.

    In my short experience, the only thing more terrifying than an ogre berserker is two ogre berserkers. That is exactly what waited for us upon the bridge.

    Using every spell, we lured the first one across to our shore. All of our magic flashed, and arrows and bullets whipped through the damp air of the roaring river valley.

    Just as we slew the thing, its compatriot, attended by three elite hobgoblins armed with poisoned-tipped arrows, charged.

    Mighty Minsc once again launched into a berserker rage, and met the force head-to-head on the bridge, blocking their path to the balance of the party so we could flee.

    He cleaved one of the hobgoblins, and then another. But his body was now infected with poison and he was slowly dying.

    With one monstrous swing of its great claymore, the ogre berserker beheaded Minsc, and his tall body plunged into the river, gone from us forever.

    We five remaining companions, shocked with heartbreak and infected with fear, fled into the darkness as Dynaheir screamed a wailing lament for her fallen comrade.

    We didn’t stop running until we could run no more, and collapsed behind the perceived shelter of a great boulder in the western woods of the river gorge.

    We huddled here in the darkness together, Imoen and Dynaheir crying, and myself, Jaheira, and Khalid stricken dumb with mourning.

    Dawn now nears, and I simply cannot determine how – or if – we’ll make it out of this ferocious river valley without the aid of Minsc.

    One thing is for certain. I will never forget the image of his mighty berserker form silhouetted on the bridge against the darkening sky as he stood fighting, one man against impossible odds, and gave his life so that his companions could flee to safety.

    Now that I’ve written that, there is another certainty…

    He will be avenged.



    Post edited by Will_O_Wisp on
    Blackraven
  • Will_O_WispWill_O_Wisp Member Posts: 55
    edited January 2019

    Day 17, Hour 7 (18 Mirtul, 1368)

    Our circumstances were indeed grim in that wild, unforgiving place. Minsc was gone and we were running low on arrows, bullets, and potions.

    We found, however, a new resolve within ourselves, and set out to find Minsc's murderers.

    We located the ogre berserker and the one remaining elite hobgoblin. We split the pair in twain and lured the ogre away from the river.

    With better coordination, we combined arcane and holy magic with hit-and-run tactics. The beast would chase one of us while the balance of us unleashed attacks upon him from a distance. Slowly but surely, we inflicted many minor wounds upon from afar. Eventually - and fittingly - it was Dynaheir who killed him with a Magic Missile.

    Searching for the hobgoblin elite, we came back to the bridge. There, we recovered Minsc's possessions. Khalid now bears his armor and bracers. I have reclaimed the Stupefier.

    We crossed the bridge and drove off a pack of gibberlings.

    Then we met Neville, the "fairest of all fair bandits." He had positioned a cadre of hidden archers in the forest, ready to rain a volley of death upon passersby.

    In no mood to placate robbers, I threatened to murder him, instead. He was apparently amused by what he perceived to be a jest and called off his snipers, disappearing into the forest.

    We then found the last hobgoblin elite and made quick work of him.

    As we skirmished with another hobgoblin and a pair of gibberlings, I was impressed by Jaheira, who now wielded her spear in melee combat with deadly precision.

    At a second bridge - one which we hoped would lead us across the river and out of the Bear River valley - we met Jared. (See "Jared & the Bear").

    The source of Jared's terror was a polar bear which, for some reason unknown to me, had found its way this far south. Sadly, we were forced to slay the magnificent creature.

    As yet another storm swept into the rugged dale, we trudged our way out, and made it to that region in the north famous for its ancient ruins.

    Arriving there before midday, we elected to stop and rest a while. I took the opportunity to scribe a scroll of Blur into my spellbook.

    Ba'ruk - yet another hobgoblin - accused us of trespassing on his land. Our promises to tread lightly notwithstanding, he ordered his company of kobold commandos to open fire on us with their flaming arrows. Dynaheir's well-placed Sleep spell sent the lot into unconsciousness and Khalid killed Ba'ruk in melee combat.

    We were also ambushed by two packs of wild Tasloi – short, lanky, spear-wielding creatures who make the most inhuman sounds I've ever heard. Here again, Dynaheir's sleep magic rendered the combat relatively safe for us.

    Seeking shelter from the driving rain, we arrived at the digging site of the ancient ruins, where Charleston Nib and his men were on the verge of breaking into the inner chamber of some long-forgotten tomb.

    He asked that we protect his men while they dig, and we agreed.

    His “partner” in the endeavor, Gallor, wished to double-cross Nib, murder his men, and steal whatever artifact would be recovered. He asked us to help and - needless to say - we declined.

    We entered the tomb with Nib, as agreed. However, when he opened the ancient sarcophagus that lay within, a foul miasma overtook his men, turning them into mindless killers who attacked us. We slew them and withdrew from the tomb, which Nib sealed behind us.

    Though it was dark and stormy in the forest, we elected to flee as quickly as possible from that cursed digging site.

    Stumbling through the darkness, we met Laryssa, the cousin of Captain Brage. She led us to him upon the condition that we would not kill him; we agreed.

    We met the clearly-crazed Captain Brage, who posed a rather simple riddle to us. I answered it easily. Thereafter, whatever spell bound him was broken, and he allowed us to take him to Nalin at the Temple of Helm in Nashkel. (See "The Tale of Captain Brage").

    Utterly exhausted, we were as surprised as we were relieved to have survived our quest to rescue Dynaheir, a quest we set out upon nine days ago.

    We visited the Nashkel Store to sell the treasure we had collected along our journey before repairing to the Nashkel Inn for sorely-needed rest.




    Post edited by Will_O_Wisp on
  • Will_O_WispWill_O_Wisp Member Posts: 55
    edited January 2019

    Day 18, Hour 3 (19 Mirtul, 1368)

    With souls worn thin from the travails of our journey and the loss of Minsc, our company was in dire need of diversion. We decided, therefore, to visit the Nashkel Carnival.

    It was a ribald event to be sure, if perhaps muted by the specter of the iron crisis.

    Once there, we stopped to watch a troupe of minstrels perform "Nosferatu" and saw the "Great Gazib and his exploding ogre, the Amazing Oopah."

    We visited the gaming tents, only to have a hundred gold stolen from us by a thief named Vitiare. He made off before we could catch him and Imoen blames herself for allowing me to carry our money. Something tells me things would have gone differently had our berserker-ranger been with us.

    Next, we were mocked by the glowing nobleman, Lord Binky the Buffoon.

    We entered the tent of a wizard named Zordral and slew him before he could murder a woman named Bentha. She gave us an Antidote for our efforts. From Zordral's body, we recovered a Knave's Robe - we gave this to Dynaheir - along with a couple of magical scrolls and a copy of the "History of Shadowdale VIII."

    In the short time I've known Dynaheir, I've grown fond of her. We have talked at length both of the history of her homeland and the troubles currently facing the Sword Coast. As we toured the carnival together, I - on a whim - bought her a Shield Amulet and a collection of Masterwork Darts as gifts. I'm not sure why I did that and, for the sake of evading posterity, I will not explore the matter here.

    Speaking with the citizens of Nashkel, a man named Lestor told us that, indeed, recent events in the region have harmed the turnout at the carnival this year.

    It was then that we came upon Zeke, a halfling hustler who purported to offer a magical scroll that would turn the nearby statue of a shield maiden into a living, breathing person. Offended that the little fellow would profit from the fate of someone who had been turned into stone, Jaheira struck him on his head with the butt of her spear and simply took the scroll from him.

    Then, unleashing the power of the scroll upon the statue, she freed Branwen, who joined our company. (See "Branwen Rescued").

    In perusing the festival for equipment to outfit Branwen, we wandered into something called a "Black Lotus Tent," but – pursuant to Jaheira's vehement objection - did not partake in any Black Lotus.

    We spent the balance of the day relaxing, bartering, and securing provisions for our exploration of the mines.

    On one of her sojourns, Imoen reportedly met the wife of a man named Joseph, who works in the mines. (See “Joseph’s Greenstone Ring”).

    Back at the Nashkel Inn, I spent the rest of the afternoon buried in my spellbook, and believe I have successfully determined the cause of Captain Brage’s psychosis. It appears that the greatsword he wielded is cursed and, while heavily enchanted to deal incredible damage in combat, corrupts the mind of any man who wields it.

    The mood in the Nashkel Inn common room last night was festive, and I managed to convince Dynaheir to dance with me. This morning, however, the sorceress seems somehow distant. Imoen tried to explain the matter to me but, frankly, my mind is on the duties ahead.

    It is well before sunrise as I make this entry and my party – which is now comprised of Khalid, Branwen, Jaheira, Imoen, and Dynaheir – are all stirring in hopes of getting an early start on our endeavor to the mines.



    Post edited by Will_O_Wisp on
    Blackraven
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