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How do you escape? - spoiler alert

ilduderinoilduderino Member Posts: 246
Spoilers for the first few chapters below


I have generally assumed that Irenicus let’s you go at the start of BG2 as he is vastly more powerful than you, as are his minions at the elf tree, and the shadow thieves and could crush and recapture you anytime he wants. He wants to study you and ultimately leads you to Spellhold where he intends to enact his plan for you.

I am less convinced by the idea that you are able to genuinely escape, as Yoshimo and Bodhi’s actions make little sense (and many other things).

I recall reading other opinions on here along the lines that you are genuinely able to escape and the acts of the cowled wizards and the shadow thieves lead to the big bad changing his plan.

What do you think? I will have to do a replay in case this is spelled out somewhere - I rarely get to Spellhold before restarting these days!

Post edited by ilduderino on
gorgonzolalolien

Comments

  • jasteyjastey Member Posts: 1,303
    I always thought that he didn't plan on letting you go in that exact instant, but you could only leave ID because he decided to go ahead and continue working in Spellhold until the apparatus is ready for the PC's soul.
    BUT: how did Imoen escape - and where did he imprison her? Serious question, as I don't see a cell on that level where she might have been.

    ilduderinoThacoBellgorgonzola
  • KuronaKurona Member Posts: 881
    The dialogue really does give the impression he expected the Shadow Thieves to go for him eventually but not so soon.
    They act sooner than anticipated. No matter, it will only prove a small delay.
    That's what he says.

    Initially he also fights off the Cowled Wizards and really doesn't seem to want to let Charname go:
    I won't let you leave, not when I'm so close to unlocking your power.

    He only relents when the Cowled Wizards threaten him with sheer numbers. It really sounds like he just can't be bothered to fight so many of them more than any kind of fear lol.

    ilduderinoThacoBellgorgonzolalolien
  • ilduderinoilduderino Member Posts: 246
    edited August 16
    I thought he might be bluffing when he says the shadow thieves have acted sooner than expected etc so you believe he has been caught out and that you are really escaping,

    In my head, his plan works better by letting you out. He has assigned Yoshimo to watch you and he and Bodhi are instructed to get you to Spellhold. Yoshimo tries to get you to side with Bodhi when the shadow thieves’ offer throws a potential spanner in the works. Likewise the gate warden on Spellhold is instructed to let Yoshimo in, with the plan that you are poisoned at that time.

    lolien
  • jsavingjsaving Member Posts: 589
    It might be good to add a spoiler tag to the initial post since it isn't possible to answer it without venturing into spoiler territory.

    What I would say is that Irenicus sees himself as powerful/clever enough to pull off his plan from any location under any circumstances. As such any bumps in the road like the Cowled Wizards and the Shadow Thieves are simply minor annoyances that through skillful manipulation can be used to benefit the plan, such as the Shadow Thief invasion providing cover for placing a spy in CHARNAME's camp and the Cowled Wizard incident providing transportation to the difficult-to-access location of Spellhold.

    A tougher question to answer is whether Irenicus actually orchestrated what the Shadow Thieves and Cowled Wizards did, rather than simply taking advantage of the opportunities they provided. If you take Irenicus at his word, then comments like "I won't let you leave" or "they act sooner than anticipated" suggest he was genuinely surprised by the way the first part of the game unfolded. However it might also be that he was simply saying what he needed to say to "sell" the narrative that he was losing control of events when in fact he was cementing it.

    ilduderinogorgonzolajackjacklolien
  • ilduderinoilduderino Member Posts: 246
    edited August 20
    Many thanks for the comments, this has been very interesting for me and given fresh perspectives on a game I have enjoyed playing for many years

    gorgonzolaBertlelolien
  • JoenSoJoenSo Member Posts: 826
    jastey wrote: »
    I always thought that he didn't plan on letting you go in that exact instant, but you could only leave ID because he decided to go ahead and continue working in Spellhold until the apparatus is ready for the PC's soul.
    BUT: how did Imoen escape - and where did he imprison her? Serious question, as I don't see a cell on that level where she might have been.

    For years I've wondered why they didn't just stick her in one of the other cages in the starting area (yes, multiplayer characters and all that, but still). And maybe show that she escapes because her cage gets wrecked by the magic that kills the shadow thief or something like that.

    jastey
  • _Connacht__Connacht_ Member Posts: 136
    edited September 9
    JoenSo wrote: »
    jastey wrote: »
    BUT: how did Imoen escape - and where did he imprison her? Serious question, as I don't see a cell on that level where she might have been.

    For years I've wondered why they didn't just stick her in one of the other cages in the starting area (yes, multiplayer characters and all that, but still). And maybe show that she escapes because her cage gets wrecked by the magic that kills the shadow thief or something like that.

    I think it's also for having the player suddenly see a door open... and who is that character coming? Oh, it's Imoen! Just to add a bit of suspance. Besides, maybe portraying a cage getting wrecked was too difficult with the Infinity Engine, even Minsc bending the bars is simply represented by the door opening which is very abstract.
    Imoen's cell was perhaps in the west room, where there are deactivated golems. However, she doesn't make any reference at all when you enter there. But I don't see other rooms that could work.
    Anyway, her path has some minor oversights:
    - Imoen comes from the room with the minor clay golem, yet she acts surprised when you meet him;
    - From there you can only pass through one hallway, the door on the other side is permalocked until you activate the golem (possibly a plothole, unless she was hiding in the room and Irenicus magically sealed everything after she escaped);
    - In the hallway there is one mephit. When you unlock the door, you still meet the otyugh in its lair. Even if she managed to avoid both and survive while coming for the rescue, she makes no mention of the obvious danger.

    gorgonzolaJoenSo
  • lunarlunar Member Posts: 3,390
    edited September 10
    ^ Imoen might have come from a small, secret ventilation duct or something on the wall that connects to her own cell. It is never explained though.

    As for Irenicus, I think he did not want the charname to escape yet, but he was not ready to take his soul either. The soul needed to be cultivated and strengthened, readied to be sucked away for his purpose, through pain and mass killings, ie:Irenicus's tortures and experiments. He does the same to Imoen in Spellhold to ready her for Bodhi. He tortures her and slays lots of shadow thieves to strengthen and coax her soul. He even says in the cutscene 'you are nearly ready for her, Imoen. She will be pleased.' This explains to me that it requires a time, and some painful things, and many deaths to make the soul ready to be harvested.

    Charname goes on an epic quest to save Imoen, and during his adventures he suffers many injuries, does many battles, slays countless foes. All strenghtens his Bhaal essence and soul, making him a better candidate for Irenicus's purposes. The more powerful and focused ones soul, the better for Irenicus. He also procures a base of operations ideal for the real soul sucking thingie, Spellhold, so it is two birds with one stone. It all goes according to his plan at the end. Ofcourse there is a risk that charname can die in his quest before reaching Irenicus, but Irenicus does not believe in no reload play apparently.

    Ofcourse this backfires a bit. Charname indeed becomes powerful, but the taint also grows powerful, a bit too powerful, and charname can turn into Slayer when his/her soul, his/her anchor to humanity is gone. I believe Irenicus did not foresee that, and Bodhi is shocked too when encountered in Asylum maze.

    This also explains why there is no time limit to regain charname's soul after Irenicus takes it. Without a soul a normal person is supposed to get weak, crumble and die. Irenicus had his life extended with secret spells and experiments, Bodhi turned herself into a vampire to avoid that certain death without soul.

    But Bhaal taint was there to fill in for the charname, and thus he/she does not get weaker and perish. If nothing the charname continues to become more and more powerful, his/her connection to Bhaal essence grows even stronger. The taint grows so strong that charname gains subconcious control of a small piece of Bhaal's plane, in the end of SoA Hell Trials, and if weak willed can turn evil completely, the feared corruption the taint can bring taking place finally. (Doing the Hell tests evil way turns charname permanently to evil)

    ThacoBellronaldo
  • _Connacht__Connacht_ Member Posts: 136
    lunar wrote: »
    ^ Imoen might have come from a small, secret ventilation duct or something on the wall that connects to her own cell. It is never explained though.

    So it's basically Alien: Isolation with Imoenda Ripley. :smiley:
    This explains to me that it requires a time, and some painful things, and many deaths to make the soul ready to be harvested.
    Charname goes on an epic quest to save Imoen, and during his adventures he suffers many injuries, does many battles, slays countless foes. All strenghtens his Bhaal essence and soul, making him a better candidate for Irenicus's purposes. The more powerful and focused ones soul, the better for Irenicus.

    You said it, Irenicus tortures Imoen on his own. It's easier, safer, faster and more effective to do that with the captive in hands. Irenicus was doing the same to Charname too before the shadow thieves interrupted his experiments. It has no sense for Irenicus to voluntarily let Charname go free and set up in advance a complicated path in the hope that he will come back to him, ready for the harvest. It was all a detach from his original plans, which he managed to put back together. But nonetheless Irenicus would have simply continued his experiments and stolen Charname's soul in his Chateau, if the shadow thieves didn't discover his secret base.

    ThacoBellgorgonzola
  • lunarlunar Member Posts: 3,390
    edited September 10
    The moment Shadow thieves attacked, the war erupted to Athkathla streets and Cowled Wizards came, I think Irenicus knew his Chateau was no longer of use. He could never continue his operations there now, it was not a secret lair anymore. As powerful as he was, a known secret evil lair under the most famous place in all Athkatla/Amn is not defendable for long.

    So he went for the next best thing, feigning surrender and then taking on the relatively distant and safe from prying eyes Asylum Spellhold, which is also already a powerfully magical place with ample torture and experiment devices for his pleasure. Perfect place to continue his experiments. And by forcing charname try to reach him, the soul strengthening part will also be almost complete-charname will be strong and ripe enough for soul-plucking. After that, just a few ritual deaths (Rapture of the Father) and done. Win/win for Irenicus.

    ThacoBellgorgonzola
  • _Connacht__Connacht_ Member Posts: 136
    edited September 10
    ... yep that's what I said some posts above. :D His base was virtually lost, better move on. The point is simply that he never planned to let Charname escape by purpose, which would have been nonsense and utter detrimental. He was forced by the situation to contrive something. Neither he planned for Charname's growth while abroad, he only needed to get again his hands on him (that Charname's inner potential became stronger was only a fortunate addition, otherwise he already had the means to unlock his/her power). ;)

    Post edited by _Connacht_ on
    ThacoBellgorgonzola
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