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Eilrie roams the land

I decided to not rebuild my mods folder, as the issue I described in my other recent thread appears to only affect party members when they join, and I can fix it with the console. A bit of a pain, but not terribly bad, as I tend to keep party members.

So, I rolled a new elven sorcerer, Eilrie. Despite my instinct, I dropped her int and pushed str, con, and dex. It's weird having a magic user with lower than max int, but it is nice that she can actually carry more than a wand or two without getting tired. She got the ring near the FAI, and I must say, she is holding her own. I love the flexibility of not being tied down to memorized spells, though I do wonder if I made the right call on my choices. I opted for Magic Missile and Grease. I've used both to great affect, but I know grease will quit being useful at a certain point.

Which brings me to the AI changes from SCS. I had my first run-in with those changes in the form of Silke. She may suck as a thespian, but she hit hard as a mage. I ended up getting wiped out (PC killed) three times before I adjusted my strategy. I'm not doing a no-reload (or it would be over now), but I am trying to minimize reloads, so this pinched. I finally reacted by pushing my party apart with Sirene, Jaheira, and Khalid meleeing, Aura and Imoen with arrows out of range of her confusion spells, and my PC toasting her with magic missile from across the street. This limited the damage the confusion spell did, though I was worried one of my party was going to tank our rep by killing a local. That was a much different battle than I was used to out of her, and it bodes well for shaking things up.

Right now I'm trying to decide between Jaheira/Khalid or going and getting Branwen and Isra. They are both nearby, but Jaheira and Khalid are actually pulling their weight. Sirene and Isra are both paladins, so that would be a bit redundant. Branwen is a true cleric, but Jaheira is practically serving as one already. Aura could cover the thief spot, but since she is also a mage, that allows Imoen to specialize (and remain a pure thief)

Decisions, decisions.

I was glad to see that the dog/wolf behavior mods are working. It was nice being able to just walk past them.

StummvonBordwehrBlackravenAerakar

Comments

  • MaurvirMaurvir Member Posts: 333
    First impressions:
    Aura has been really fun so far. She does seem a bit hyper at times, but sweet and friendly. I chose Lava's portrait, and it really does her justice. I did modify her weapon proficiencies (thanks to SCS), but I kept her specialization in the weapons she had when the party met her. Compared to Jan Jansen, she is a treat to have in the party.

    Sirene is almost her perfect opposite. Dour, serious, and unbelievably calm. However, she makes up for it by being an amazing front-line fighter. She doesn't complain when directed, and has been solid in battle. The only issue I had last night was she got hit by a confusion spell in the encounter at Beregost and I was worried she was about to take out a commoner, but that's hardly a slam. The first time (in this run), the entire party got hit.

    Since I'm going to have to restart anyway, this time without the SCS component that allows me to configure their initial weapon specialization, I may revisit this. For now, though, I have been supremely pleased with the new party members.

    I'm also going to skip Jaheira and Khalid on the next run and head straight to Beregost. While having two paladins seems excessive, I really want to try out all three of the new party members on this run, and if Isra is as solid in BG as she was in BG2, I imagine things will go well.

  • monicomonico Member Posts: 190
    Just out of curiosity, what classes/races are Aura and Sirine ?

  • MaurvirMaurvir Member Posts: 333
    edited October 22
    Sirene is a tiefling paladin of Illmater. Yes, that is odd. Yes, it comes up. I still suggest taking her. Her voice acting is great, and boy is it nice to have someone who calmly gets the business done without grumbling or panicking. (Yes, I'm looking squarely at you, Khalid...)

    You do get to choose at installation what flavor of paladin (specs-wise), but she is written as a martyr. Hopefully not in the literal sense. As a more true paladin (unlike the comparably laid-back Isra) she is a LOT more like Keldorn (from BG2). There is at least one situations where she will take control from the PC, but if you are good aligned, you probably won't mind her choice. She is definitely going to keep my PC on her toes.

    Aura is a gnome artificer - though you can specify during installation if you want her to be a pure T, MT or CT. (I went with Illusionist/Artificer). I am sorely tempted to reinstall her as a CT, though, as it would mean I could skip having a dedicated cleric and run with a 5-person party. However, I feel like I will need a second mage while Eilrie gets her sea legs under her. That, and the only other good-aligned mage is paired, while there is a perfectly good good-aligned cleric that just needs a bit of thawing.

    I dunno. Since I'm going to have to restart again anyway, I might still reset Aura to CT. With Evermemory, Eilrie is actually a credible threat even at level 1 - and Imoen has already saved the day with a wand in this short run so far. Not having to split XP 6 ways will definitely speed up leveling.

    This does leave Imoen being a touch redundant as a pure thief, but the party isn't going to dump Eilrie's closest friend just because Aura can pick locks too. Instead, Aura opens up the possibility of just not dualing Immy (since it will happen in SoD anyway) or covering the thief slot while she is regaining levels after dualing.

    Post edited by Maurvir on
    monico
  • MaurvirMaurvir Member Posts: 333
    Ok, now that SCS seems to be sorted, let's try this again, shall we?

    I'm running Unfinished Business, Aura, Sirene, Tenya, The Calling (for ToSC), and SCS - this time, less a few components. I had one reload I thought was related to mod installation, but otherwise I'm aiming for a minimal reload. That is, reloads only on MC death or due to an unrecoverable bug.

    I exported Eilrie from the previous save game to preserve her unusually good roll (91), but I'm otherwise keeping my mitts off of character imports and EEKeeper. The only adjustment I have made was to reset Imoen's picture to the one she usually has, since my previous MC was using her portrait. I will only use EEKeeper to correct legit bugs, not legit mistakes. :)

    This did put Eilrie a bit ahead of the curve, but not by much. She had about 500 XP and a few health potions collected, but nothing special. She still left Candlekeep with less than 100 gold, and at level 1. I'm not aiming for a poverty run, but compared to what I was used to in ToB, it feels like it.

    Blackraven
  • MaurvirMaurvir Member Posts: 333
    edited October 25
    Entry 1: Eilrie wakes up to the realization that Gorion is gone, and with it, her only link to the greater world. She had always been little more than a house guest at Candlekeep, and with her foster father dead, she knew they wouldn't let her return. Fortunately, her best friend, Imoen, had realized that her departure would be be permanent and followed her heart rather than her head. At least Eilrie wouldn't be alone in the world, she thought, though, looking at their meager belongings, she felt Imoen had been daft to follow her. Either way, they were both stuck now.

    The two girls returned to Gorion's now stone-cold body. Although overwhelmed with emotion, they realized that Gorion would have been carrying useful items they now desperately needed. Imoen went through his pockets to spare Eilrie, spreading out her findings on the ground. Which didn't take long, because apparently he traveled VERY lightly. They did find the letter that Imoen "accidentally" read, and that triggered her very rash, very silly, decision to follow them.

    With little else to do, the pair returned to the road and headed east, away from Candlekeep. Along the way, they ran into a curious fellow traveler who mentioned that there were another pair of seemingly lost adventurers just up the road. He hadn't been terribly impressed with them, but he figured they might be worth looking into.

    Knowing that the two of them were staring down some very long odds, as they were both young and inexperienced, they figured they had little to lose and fast-walked down the path until they came across a rather disturbing looking fellow and his equally disturbing counterpart. While they both gave them the creeps, the willies, and the heebie jeebies, they seemed friendly enough. Xzar and Montaron, it seemed, were heading to a town far to the south called Nashkell. However, they were almost as green as Eilrie and Imoen, and had run into trouble with bandits. Apparently realizing they were scaring the two women, Xzar offered them a healing potion as a show of good will, which was enough to get Eilrie to join up with them.

    Remembering Gorion's advice, she suggested they make way for the Friendly Arm Inn. Although displeased about backtracking, Xzar and Montaron agreed. On the way, they ran into an old man who rambled on about something or other. He didn't seem particularly coherent, and when it was clear that they had no idea what he was talking about, he wandered off. The party shrugged and turned north, arriving at the FAI a few hours later without incident.

    In a rare stroke of luck, Eilrie found a ring that someone had lost on the ground. She could sense the ring had some magical powers, but it didn't seem familiar. Still, a magical ring could be valuable, so she kept it. Unfortunately, it seems that her luck hadn't held when they walked up to the stairs leading to the inn itself. Some strange man rushed to "greet" them, and as soon as she told the man her name, he lunged at her. The party, fearing that they were outmatched, ran back to the guards with the strange attacker right behind them. Together, the party and the guards dispatched the crazed fool.

    Only later, after the battle, did Imoen show Eilrie the letter she had recovered from the man's body. It seemed that her suspicions about the attack had been correct, but the motivation had been different. The man was simply looking for a bounty. A sizeable bounty at that. Someone wanted them dead, and they had no idea why - though it put the encounter in the forest, the one that had taken the life of Eilrie's adoptive father, in perspective.

    Unfortunately, the had no luck finding Jaheira or Khalid. Perhaps they had wandered out and would return? Although Xzar and Montaron weren't happy about it, Eilrie decided to stay the night in hopes that they would show up. In the meantime, they needed gold and supplies, so she and Imoen canvased the inn. Poor Imoen had dramatically underestimated her lockpicking skill, apparently used to the weak locks employed by the academics, so little wealth was uncovered. However, they did run into an old woman, Landrin, who needed a job done in Beregost. It seemed simple enough - kill some spiders, return some items, etc. They agreed to the job and returned to their rooms for the night.

    Post edited by Maurvir on
    ZaghoulStummvonBordwehr
  • MaurvirMaurvir Member Posts: 333
    edited October 25
    Entry 2: Eilrie wakes early and returns to the bar in the Inn, where she finds Jaheira and Khalid. However, the meeting goes poorly, and she knows immediately that she won't get along well with the overbearing, bossy druid. Her suspicions are confirmed when they essentially call her a fool for refusing their aid. Saddened by the loss of their one connection, she returns to the party and discusses the situation.

    Specifically, the very low lack of funds and equipment. After canvassing the grounds of the inn, they take it upon themselves to clear out some hobgoblins that have been threatening travelers in and out of the inn. The guards don't seem interested, but Eilrie thinks perhaps Mr. Mirrorshade would be willing to offer a reward. However, Xzar puts his foot down and reminds them of the agreement to travel to Nashkell. Reluctantly, the party turns south once more. They get to Beregost with little difficulty by staying off the main road.

    While exploring the town, they run into a curious, and adorably cute, gnome and her strange mechanical pet squirrel. Unlike the rest of the town, who barely give them the time of day, Auralia Gimmershine, or Aura as she calls herself, is curious to know about the party. When she discovers Eilrie is from Candlekeep, she is clearly excited and the two hit it off immediately. Imoen is likewise intrigued when they discover that Aura has some thieving skills as well. As a fellow lockpicker, she welcomes getting to share tips with the woman. Xzar and Montaron don't seem to mind, so they take her on as a member of the party.

    However, while they were now five strong, they barely have five health potions between them. Any serious fight could be a problem, so it was time to pool their meager belongings and buy some more. A nice fellow at the entrance to the town told them about the temple to the east. Not yet very tired, they opted to visit the temple first, and then find a room at one of the inns. Eilrie and Imoen were both impressed by the fact that there was more than one! They had grown up in Candlekeep, which featured only one - Mr. Winthrop's place.

    The trip to the temple was a shade longer than expected, but they arrived just before dark to discover a very odd looking character standing just outside the door in the courtyard. It was clear that she was a half-breed of some sort, but it was Eilrie who realized what the little horns on her forehead meant. She was a tiefling - the result of a rather unfortunate pairing between a demon and (usually) an unwilling woman. As it happened, she was also in very rough shape, having been beaten badly at some point.

    The woman introduced herself as Sirene, and readily admitted to her heritage. There was little point in lying, as the horns were far too obvious a clue. However, she had been raised in the temple of Illmater, and had become a paladin in Illmater's name. Everyone in the party thought this was exceptionally odd, but it was clear that she was far from being evil. Still, her appearance made people fearful, and it seemed that the local militia preferred she stay clear of the town. From the bruises on her body, they had made their point repeatedly.

    While the temple had been kind to her, she was ready to get on with her work, and hinted that she might be willing to offer her services. The party agreed, and she became the sixth member - a proper party at last! As they welcomed her to the team, they realized how wise a choice this had been. Sirene may have been young like them, but she was already a powerful warrior with a powerful weapon. Maybe powerful enough that they could use the road, rather than sneaking through gullies and running tree to tree attempting to avoid bandits.

    Eilrie, remembering the job she had accepted, mentioned the house in Beregost with the spiders. It seemed like a no-brainer way to nearly quadruple their gold, so they headed back into town and found the house. It wasn't hard - it was the only one in town with cobwebs over the door. Sirene hacked away the webs, and they walked through the door.

    This was the point where they probably should have backed away slowly. Inside the house were four enormous spiders, each the size of a man. Eilrie cast a grease spell to slow them down, while Sirene started hacking on the nearest one to her. Aura and Imoen pelt two more with arrows, while Xzar feebly attempted to drain them with a spell. Montaron had to shuffle around the rest of the party, but finally started hacking on the fourth spider with his short sword.

    Which was when it all went south. One of the spiders bit Sirene, seriously poisoning her. She didn't complain immediately, and finished killing the last of the spiders before it became clear that she was unwell. Eilrie handed her bottle after bottle of health potions to keep her strength up, but without an antidote, they would have to pray that the poison cleared before they ran out of potions. Thankfully, the gambit worked, and her color returned to normal. Unfortunately, there weren't enough potions left to heal the rest of the party. They would have to stop and rest. The Jovial Juggler was just down the road, so they rented a room there. Falling into their beds, they had no idea how beat up they were.

    Post edited by Maurvir on
    ZaghoulStummvonBordwehr
  • MaurvirMaurvir Member Posts: 333
    edited October 25
    Entry 3: Xzar is beside himself because it has taken so long for the party to recover from the spider incident. Nearly three days after Sirene's unfortunate spider bite, they were finally ready to travel, but Eilrie was concerned about the now extreme lack of supplies. They had all of the things Landrin had asked for, and the fee would be enough to buy more potions, but it would take time. Xzar was clearly agitated, but he and Montaron followed the rest of the party back to the FAI, where Eilrie collected their reward.

    However, she deeply underestimated how agitated Xzar had been about the whole delay when he chewed her out in Beregost. She knew they were ill prepared for a long trip, but he wasn't prepared to wait any longer. The party agreed that, under the circumstances, it would be best for all involved to party ways. They left Xzar and Montaron at the Burning Wizard inn in Beregost, then returned to the Jovial Juggler, which they all agreed they preferred.

    Disappointed at how things turned out, Eilrie was looking glum when Imoen sat beside her. She wasn't used to failing, and not being able to keep her word, even to a couple of questionable characters like Xzar and Montaron, weighed heavily on her. While she suspected they were both evil, they had been reliable party members and followed her leadership. Worse, while Aura could mostly cover Xzar's magical abilities, they were now down to four, and all but Sirene were weak as kittens when it came to fights.

    With no pressing reason to go south at the moment, and two very good reasons to avoid Nashkell for a while, the party decided to try their luck in the famed city of Baldur's Gate. Surely a city that size would offer more opportunity than this outpost, they all thought. Still, there was more to explore in Beregost, so they spent the afternoon exploring the little town. It was a bit depressing, as they found little gold and the only smithy was high as a kite - at least by their standards. In fact, the only nice people they met were almost as depressed, with many fearing the bandits had harmed family on the roads.

    With little else to do, the remaining party members threw a coin down at the Jovial Juggle and settled in for one last night before heading north.

    Post edited by Maurvir on
    ZaghoulStummvonBordwehr
  • MaurvirMaurvir Member Posts: 333
    edited October 25
    Entry 4: The party turns to the north. To rebuild their confidence, Eilrie suggests that they take care of the hobgoblins they had ignored before. Sure enough, the tiny party of four women overpowered the strong, but rather stupid, hobgoblins. Though it was clear that these clowns were trying to act as road-side robbers, they were terrible at it, and Sirene quickly made skewers of them one by one as Eilrie and Aura pelted them with magic missiles. Imoen helped out with her own arrows until she ran out. Though she was tempted to fight them with her fists, Eilrie wasn't having any of that, and had her wait at the edge of the road while they finished the hobgoblins off.

    Fortunately, one group had archers among their number, and Imoen was able to restock. Unfortunately, it was the last group near the inn, so she missed out on most of the fighting. However, along the way, they recovered a ring for one of the denizens of the inn, a lady named Joia. They were pleased that they were able to find the ring, along with a sizeable number of arrows to refresh their supply and a goodly amount of gold and gems.

    The outing boosted their morale as well as their purse, as the gems fetched a reasonable price from Mr. Mirrorshade. Not enough to go nuts at the temple next door, but enough that they no longer felt dirt poor. Eilrie bought another health potion and squirreled it away, before the party rested from the day's battles.

    Post edited by Maurvir on
    ZaghoulStummvonBordwehr
  • MaurvirMaurvir Member Posts: 333
    edited October 25
    Entry 5: The party continues northward to Baldur's Gate. A short distance beyond the FAI, the party runs across three fishermen standing in the midst of a bunch of chickens arguing amongst themselves. All of them had heard the rumblings of something under the dirt, and were more than a little nervous about it, so they figured the farmers must know they were standing somewhere safe.

    When they got within earshot, the fishmen initially threatened them as trespassers, until one of them noticed that the party had the look of adventurers. They quickly changed tack and offered the party a job. It seems that they had angered a priestess of Umberlee, and she was venting her wrath on them by turning the sea against them every time they went fishing. Two of their number had already perished in high seas.

    They offered a fair sum to find, and kill, the priestess. Knowing that Umberlee, the Bitch Queen, was pure evil, the party had no issues morally, but they did wonder if they might be getting in over their heads. Still, they needed the money, and it wasn't fair that these men were being deprived of their livelihood. Of course, there was still the matter of the loud rumbling noises, but now they had several reasons to continue north.

    The party carefully skirted along the water's edge and avoided whatever creatures were beneath the surface. A few hours later, they find themselves staring at the bridge leading into the famed city of Baldur's Gate. Where they ran into nasty surprise #1. The gate was closed due to the bandit problem! The Iron Fist apparently figured it was easier to deal with the bandits by locking them out, meaning the only way in was by sea. An option the technically destitute party couldn't afford, even if they could make it to the next closest seaport.

    Eilrie sighed heavily, then lead the party north of the bridge to see if, perhaps, they could salvage the trip by taking care of the fisherman's issue. They walked up a house just beyond the bank of the river where they ran into surprise #2. They had expected some sort of temple, with priestesses and fancy stuff. What they found was a young girl in front of a rather non-descript cabin staring at them like they had just soiled her rug with animal droppings.

    However, it was the only structure, other than the bridge, in the vicinity, so Eilrie walked up to the girl and asked her about the fisherman's story. The girl wasn't amused and just told the party to leave or face her wrath. Given her age, Eilrie assumed she was bluffing, so she asked her again - at which point the girl revealed that she wasn't bluffing.

    Aura and Sirene both asked if the party was prepared to fight a little girl, and for a moment the four women stared at each other blankly. Until, that is, the girl started casting spells at them. Clearly she hadn't been bluffing, so the party reluctantly took up arms against her. At which point they discovered nasty surprised #3. This girl was awfully tough to look so young. After absorbing three(!) magic missiles, and getting pelted by arrows, she was not only still standing, but still trying to cast!

    Thankfully, after a few minutes of these, she cries uncle and begs mercy from the party. Eilrie, not wanting to harm a child, calls a halt and the girl explains herself. Apparently the fishermen weren't victims, they were the perpetrators, and had left the girl orphaned. Moreover, they had stolen a ceremonial bowl that the girl needed as part of her worship. The party agreed that this was unacceptable, and agreed to help her get the bowl back. While it was strongly suggested that violence be employed, Eilrie made no promises.

    A few hours later, having made it abundantly clear that giving it back wasn't optional, the party returned with the golden bowl in hand. They still recalled the fisherman's words, though - that they had potentially made an enemy of Talos. However, regardless of which evil god was ticked, they couldn't allow such an injustice to go unanswered. Tenya wasn't nearly as overjoyed at getting the bowl back as they had expected, but she was grateful.

    So grateful that she agreed to accompany them as the party cleric. While Eilrie had intended to merely bring her along to keep her safe, seeing as she was living along outside the city walls in a cabin, it turned out that Tenya had been closer to the truth. She may have looked the part of a child, but she was far more powerful than she appeared. Less than ten minutes later, Sirene had discovered what was making the noises under the dirt - when an ankheg popped through the surface and began attacking the party.

    Tenya casually dropped it like the giant bug it was, leaving the rest of the party bewildered. What had they gotten into when they agreed to "foster" this girl?

    Post edited by Maurvir on
    ZaghoulStummvonBordwehr
  • MaurvirMaurvir Member Posts: 333
    edited October 25
    Entry 6: The party arrives back in Beregost, now five strong. Tenya, still clutching her bowl, follows the others sullenly, but willingly. It's clear she hasn't exactly warmed to the group yet, but it's still early.

    At this point, though, the party is still pretty poor. The money from Landrin helped, but it was immediately spent restocking potions. However, Imoen recalled seeing a bard standing in front of the Burning Wizard when the party parted ways with Xzar and Montaron. She figured it might be worth a shot to see why he was so persistently standing in front of the inn, rather than singing or playing within. Eilrie led the party over to him, where he introduced himself as Garrick. He offered 300 gold to help his mistress, Silke, with a problem.

    That much gold would go a long way to restocking the party's meager supplies, so she agreed, and the party, along with Garrick, walked back to where Silke was waiting. Sure enough, a few minutes later a small band of men show up. Except it was pretty clear who was the problem. Sirene, once again, piped up that she smelled a rat, and Silke, realizing that the jig was up, turned on the party.

    Which was where things went horribly wrong. Imoen and Aura backed away so that they could use arrows. Eilrie stepped behind Sirene in preparation for casting a few magic missiles. Tenya, however, very calmly unleashed some hellacious spell on the whole crowd. It seemed to be some sort of poisonous steam, which made everyone gag and cough.

    When it was all over, Garrick, Silke, and the three men we were supposed to "take care of" were laying on the ground dead. Somehow, though only the gods now how, no one had a problem with this. Perhaps they were all villainous in some manner? Either way, the party wasn't about to wait around, so Imoen and Aura gathered everything the could find on the bodies and the party scampered back to the Jovial Juggler.

    It was around that time that they started asking Tenya some hard questions. She was definitely more than she seemed at first glance. Eilrie insisted that what ever spell she had used that she not use in town again. Save it for the wilderness. It was a minor miracle that no bystanders had been hurt in the process. She reluctantly agreed, and the party agreed to move on.

    Since the day was still relatively young, they decided to continue their exploration of the town. Especially in light of the fact that the barkeep at their favorite inn refused to buy anything from them. After a bit of talking to the locals, they decided to see what was what at the Red Sheaf Inn. Which lead to yet another distressing surprise.

    A crazed dwarf ran toward the party as soon as they entered. It seems he was also interested in the bounty on Eilrie. Sirene moved to intercept, but the dwarf was powerful and knocked her down. She was hurt pretty bad, and combined with the narrow entryway, Aura and Imoen were forced to take front-line positions instead of using Sirene as cover. They were no match for the dwarf, however, who ran past them to his prize - Eilrie. She got three shots of magic missile off before the lights went out...

    [::sigh:: This was the first PC death reload of the game.]

    A god somewhere rewound time back to the point where the party walked into the Red Sheaf Inn. Now aware of what was behind the door, but not able to do much to prepare, the party walked in again. This time, however, they didn't wait for Karlat to get all the way to them. Aura and Imoen began pelting the dwarf with arrows, while Eilrie went through her entire store using magic missiles. This time, the party came out on top, and the dwarf lay dead on the floor. Thankful for that divine intervention, they collected the now familiar bounty notice from the dead body and ordered drinks from the bar.

    Eilrie, now unnerved, stayed at the bar while Imoen went upstairs to explore. She ran into an interesting character who knew a great deal about Beregost, but little else. She scored a small amount of loot, and honed her thieving skills a bit, but overall it was a bust. The dwarf's gear, however, would fetch a fair amount, so it wasn't all loss. The bigger issue was Eilrie's shaken confidence. Dying has a way of focusing one's mind on their own mortality, or so she had been told.

    Not really interested in spending the night there, the party dropped by the smithy to sell the extra gems and gear, reload on arrows, and see what they might be close to affording. After window shopping for a while, they returned to the Jovial Juggler to rest - now much more aware of the high stakes involved.

    Post edited by Maurvir on
    ZaghoulStummvonBordwehr
  • MaurvirMaurvir Member Posts: 333
    edited October 25
    Entry 7: With the memory of the previous day firmly in mind, the party decided to head south. With Baldur's Gate no longer an option, and Beregost turning out to be a bit of a bust work-wise, Nashkell was suddenly back on the itinerary. They had heard rumors of problems in the town, and that the mayor was actively looking for adventurers to help with something. Sitting around this town wasn't going to keep them employed, so...

    The first trip south was fairly uneventful. There were the usual vermin; kobolds, wild dogs, etc., a few hobgoblins. They stayed off the main road as much as possible, scouting the area carefully - so as to avoid a repeat of the day before. Eventually, their circuitous path led them fairly south before their luck ran out. Okay, technically it was when their arrows ran out. The party realized that they would have to head back to Beregost to rearm, as they had no idea how much further south it would be to Nashkell.

    On the way back, the party ran into a bunch of hobgoblins who had created a much more formal "bandit camp" along the road. Without arrows, the party was tempted to simply run, but Tenya intervened, spraying the whole encampment with that same spell she used on Silke. It had an immediate effect, and while they weren't dead in a single spray like before, they were clearly in rougher shape.

    Sensing that this might be doable, Eilrie unleashed some hot grease on the ruffians, which slowed them down long enough to let Tenya unleash a second round of her deadly water spell. This time, several of the bandits dropped dead. Sirene pushed into the clearing alongside Imoen, using swords to finish off the stragglers. Eilree used magic missile to take out the archers in the back, as well as refreshing the hot grease. Improbably, the party came out on top, having wiped out the entire camp.

    As they were going through the bandit's things, they found a letter to a woman they had met in Beregost. Eilrie tucked it into her pack, and the party, now hopped up on adrenaline, wandered further west. Aura had seen something just beyond the clearing and had wanted to explore it, when a pack of gibberlings approached. While they would ordinarily be little more than a nuisance, the party was tired, out of ammo and spells, and rapidly becoming weary.

    Unfortunately for the party, the gibberlings were fast enough to keep up. Unfortunately for the gibberlings, Sirene proved a worthy adversary with her sword. However, the party knew they had to pack it in. When another group of hobgoblins showed up, they ran north to town. Running aside, they celebrated the win against the bandit camp over drinks, then settled into their beds. Before extinguishing her candle, Eilrie noticed Aura working on something - apparently not too tired to tinker with her trinkets. Aura was glad for Eilrie's interest, and the two talked for a while before finally packing it in themselves.

    Post edited by Maurvir on
    ZaghoulStummvonBordwehr
  • MaurvirMaurvir Member Posts: 333
    edited October 25
    Entry 8: Eilrie laid in bed beside her best friend, Imoen, who, as usual, was already snoring softly. She let herself think back to her time in Candlekeep, and how Gorion had tried to teach her leadership skills. At the time, she found it all very annoying, as she much preferred reading books of elven history or entertaining the visiting scholars with magic tricks at Winthop's inn. As a budding sorcerer, studying really wasn't her thing like it was for the ordinary mages. Realizing this early on, her foster father had always focused on teaching her to control her abilities, and once she seemed to have that under her belt, he started on the whole leadership thing.

    Truth be told, she never imagined it would be useful, as she assumed her life would be consumed by books. She liked history, she liked writing, she liked writing about history. It seemed so obvious! Yet, her she was, leading a band of five adventurers. Or was she? All they had really done is cast about for odd jobs here and there - to the point of fetching silly, pointless things for pay. Eventually they would have to either split up or find a real purpose to this whole thing.

    Meeting Aura had changed her perspective on the situation more than she had thought possible. Her new friend was an inventor, and academic, and yet here she was, exploring the world. Living proof that you could be a scholar and an adventurer. Of course, to actually be an adventurer requires developing the skills to go on adventures, and that is where her party sorely lacked. Except for Tenya, who seemed to be a walking force of nature, the rest of her friends weren't entirely dissimilar from herself. Young, inexperienced, and broke.

    Worse, as the leader, she likely had the LEAST experience. Imoen at least developed her thieving skills by swiping whatever wasn't literally bolted down at Candlekeep, and Sirene could handle her sword with reasonable skill. Aura was a master at mechanical things, and could lay traps based on curious gnomish designs. Tenya? Well, she could explain that, but she was definitely a boon for the party. Which made her wonder what she brought to the table. Sure, that curious ring they had found at the FAI doubled the magic she could cast, at least up to a point, but she had no idea how to use a weapon once her magic was used up. All she could do is hide while the rest of the party cleaned up.

    As she laid under the covers, the morning sun already peeking under the door of their room, she decided it was time to get better at this whole adventuring thing. To be a real leader. She wouldn't wait for someone to ask, she would have her party go solve real problems in the real world. Get outside of the inn they had been camping in and get busy!

    When the rest of the party awoke a short while later, she laid out plans to explore the forests around Beregost in order to get better at fighting. Even Tenya, though not in so many words, thought this was a good idea. So, they geared up and headed east toward the temple.

    A short while later, they arrived in a seemingly ordinary looking forest when Aura stopped the party with a warning. She could sense basilisks in the area! Eilrie immediately started to turn around and head away, but Aura stopped her. It seemed that she had special goggles that deflected their gaze attacks, a special tool for people who study such creatures. Why SHE had such an item wasn't explained, but Aura was insistent on trying her luck with them.

    Knowing that the rest of the party did NOT enjoy such protection, the rest of the party stayed near the edge of the forest while Aura carefully crept through the trees. Sure enough, basilisks were grouped around a strange gnome, who seemed to be leading them as though they were soldiers in a creepy army. By sheer luck, she also ran across an equally creepy "friendly" ghoul named Korax. Poor Korax apparently missed his days as a normal mortal with mortal friends and offered to help the party. Aura, sensing an opportunity, pointed at the gnome and his pets. A short while later, the gnome and his basilisks lay dead in the middle of a statuary - a statuary of adventurers who had run across the little jerk and lost.

    Aura, feeling confident with her win, lead Korax around until the two of them had dealt with almost all of the basilisks. Sadly, poor Korax' hunger got the best of him, and Aura had to flee, but by then, they had cleared most of the glade. Only a few along the southern edge of the forest were left, which Aura, with the help of a skeleton warrior provided by Tenya, cleared out.

    The party, most of whom had been sitting on the grass in a clearing near the basilisk forest, were excited to see Aura come back victorious. Heady with pride, the decided to press their luck on the other side of Beregost - and finally visit High Hedge. Aura had heard that a mage lived in the area who sold scrolls, which she desperately needed to fill out her meager spell book.

    Having just conquered the basilisks, the party headed through town, restocking on arrows along the way - as Aura had completely used up the party's supply. Freshly armed, the party then headed towards the tower. The mid-day stroll started reasonably enough under a bright blue sky. The forest itself, however, felt wrong some how. Sirene seemed tense as they walked south through the trees. Her sense of danger was spot on, as the party encountered a half-dozen skeleton warriors - each clearly summoned by a powerful wizard or cleric.

    The party barely had time to register the danger before the first fusillade of arrows arrived. Sirene, Imoen, and Aura were all wounded as Eilrie started trying to cast magic missile. Tenya also attempted to blast the skeletons with her water magic, but it seemed to have little effect. The second fusillade arrived moments later, and ended the party's foray into High Hedge. Aura, already wounded from the first round, was killed when several arrows found their mark.

    Eilrie panicked and grabbed her friend's body, and along with Imoen and Tenya, ran as hard as she could. Sirene, always the calm thinker, thought to collect Aura's belongings, then caught up with the others as the third round of arrows fell. She took one more to the back, but managed to escape with her life.

    Distraught, the party raced back to the temple. The cleric, recognizing Sirene, gave the party a discount on raising Aura from the dead. Eilrie hugged her new friend as Tenya completed the process by healing her wounds. By the time the party was once more whole, night had fallen, and several still had wounds from the skeleton attack. Relieved that they were all more or less alright, they slowly walked back to Beregost and rented their regular room at the Jovial Juggler for another night.

    Eilrie couldn't sleep, however. As the leader of their party, she felt responsible for how close they had come to losing Aura forever. Her new friend wasn't as strong or stout as the others, but her defeat of the basilisks had made her forget that. Aura's technological trinkets gave her an edge that masked her underlying lack of strength. She resolved to be more cautious in the future, then rolled over and attempted to get some rest before the sun rose again.

    The next day, fearing that inaction might cause the party to lose confidence, she decided that another outing would be a good idea. The party set off for the forest south of High Hedge, thinking that it might offer some opportunities for hunting. At the very least, it didn't seem very dangerous.

    A few hours later, they arrive in an unnamed wood and start exploring. However, they don't get far before they encounter a lone wolf chasing a chicken! Absurd though it may have seemed, Eilrie decides to save the chicken, and pelts the wolf with magic missiles. The chicken is inordinately relieved, and tells the party as much.

    Which was... surprising. A talking chicken? What in the blazes? The chicken introduces himself as Melicamp, and explains that he was an apprentice of the mage who lived just to the north - in High Hedge. The place where Aura had been killed the first time by skeleton warriors...

    Coming from the south would mean dealing with them again, but after the first encounter at the Firewine bridge, the party had a plan. Tenya cast a protection spell that kept the arrows from hitting her, then chanted to turn any undead, which the skeletons most certainly qualified as. Sure enough, it caused the monstrosities to back up, though not very far. It was enough to loosen the group, though, allowing the rest of the party to hack them up one by one.

    From there, the party entered the mage's workshop tower and talked to Thalantyr - the owner of the grove. He wasn't amused by Melicamp's situation, particularly seeing as how it was caused by the apprentices own stupidity. However, he was willing to give the young man a second chance if the party would help him by fetching a piece of an undead creature - like the skeletons outside.

    Sirene quickly returned with a skull from the battle before, and handed it to Thalantyr. He changed a spell with the skull, and Melicamp returned to his human form - only to drop dead on the ground. Thalantyr sighed, and told the party that there was nothing they could have done. The magic was too much for the young cluck to handle. He advised that he would clean up the body, but that he would like them to leave unless they had other business. The sound of coin jingling in Eilrie's hand convinced him to be nice and sell them a few things. Soon, Aura had learned several new spells.

    [I know this quest has a 50:50 shot of failing, and it seems poor Melicamp didn't fare well in this run, but it wasn't worth a reload to get the better outcome]

    After they were done shopping, they bid Thalantyr goodbye and returned to Beregost. For giggles, they opted to stay at Feldpost's instead.

    Post edited by Maurvir on
    ZaghoulStummvonBordwehr
  • MaurvirMaurvir Member Posts: 333
    edited October 25
    Entry 9: Imoen had been practicing her skills. She had improved so much, in fact, that Eilrie wondered what she had been up to at night. Needless to say, the party's coffers had been filling as Imoen "found" more and more gold and gems. However, this morning she had something on her mind - a return to the Friendly Arm Inn.

    Eilrie looked at her friend suspiciously when she mentioned a desire to return to the FAI, as they had seemingly concluded their business there. Then she remembered Imoen's frustration with the locks in that place and it all fell into order. Imoen wanted a second shot at robbing the place blind. Eilrie didn't really care one way or the other, as she knew Imoen was smart enough to make sure she wasn't seen, but still, starting an adventuring party based on theft seemed sketchy. It took Aura to remind her that Imoen had valuable skills that should be developed, especially if they found themselves facing locked doors or chests in the future.

    So, Eilrie sighed and led the party out of the Jovial Juggler and onward north. They arrived later that day, and Imoen practically bounded up the stairs, with Aura not far behind her. The rest of the party sat at tables nursing drinks while the two thieves got busy upstairs. It didn't take long for them to return, and with a lot of gold and gems. Any hesitation on Eilrie's part was dashed when she counted the gold they 'earned' from selling the ill-gotten goods. For the first time, they had well over 2000 gold!

    To celebrate, the girls decided to do a little light adventuring into the woods east of the inn. They had found an old map a while back, and saw a forest labeled Peldvale on it. It seemed like an excellent place for a picnic, and possibly a little adventuring, and with a newly heavy purse, they headed off towards it.

    The forest was, indeed, beautiful when they arrived. The air was fresh, the warm sun overhead made the air pleasant, and the smell of fresh grass was intoxicating. It seemed like a perfect day to stroll through the woods and enjoy the wilderness. Or it would have, had a hail of arrows not rained on their parade.

    The women barely had a chance to see the archers in the wood before the first wave arrived. Terrified of the unknown threat, they turned and ran, but not quickly enough. As if by perverse luck, Aura took an arrow to the back, killing her instantly. As if suffering from dejavu, Eilrie grabbed her body, while Sirene risked further injury to retrieve the things she had dropped. A second wave of arrows very nearly killed her as well, but she managed to escape heavily wounded and bleeding.

    Eilrie was beside herself, having gotten her friend killed a second time in less than a day. What kind of worthless leader was she if she couldn't keep her party safe? Still, worries about her abilities would have to wait. The women ran back to the temple in the FAI courtyard, where Mrs. Glimmershine was able to raise Aura once again. This time it cost a lot more, and not only were their coffers reduced, but by far more than they had "earned". Imoen was despondent, but glad Aura was okay. Sirene was quiet, as always, but Eilrie felt her judgement nonetheless. Tenya couldn't be bothered either way, and simply stood in the corner looking bored.

    The party dragged itself back to the inn and paid for a room to recover in. Tenya healed their wounds as much as she could before her powers ran dry, and with that, the women fell into their beds. Their confidence in themselves as an adventuring party had been shattered. The worst part was that it had all happened so fast, they didn't even realize they were in danger until Aura had been shot. How could they expect to do any good in the world if they were such easy prey?

    Aura, for her part, was good natured about the whole thing, despite not having fully recovered yet. She didn't blame Eilrie for her misfortune, and instead was grateful that she had been given a third chance. Eilrie, however, wasn't so forgiving of herself. How had she let Aura get killed TWICE in scarcely 24 hours? How was this going to work if every encounter could end one of their lives before they had time to even grasp that they were in danger?

    Suddenly, she felt very foolish for not listening to Gorion and following Jaheira and Khalid. They would have been valuable allies right now...

    Post edited by Maurvir on
    ZaghoulStummvonBordwehr
  • MaurvirMaurvir Member Posts: 333
    edited October 25
    Entry 10: Eilrie was furious by the time she and the rest of the party were eating breakfast at the FAI. As much as she had been relieved that Aura had lived to see another day, now she was angry that a bunch of scumbags had attacked them. She was even more furious that Tenya had been hit, though her wounds had been far less serious.

    Aura was far more sanguine, and mostly thankful that the party had been willing to party with over a quarter of the gold to save her a second time. Amazingly, despite all that had happened, she was still an enthusiastic member of the team. Not only that, but she pointed out their victory against the basilisks, and more importantly, how they had defeated them. They had used a scout to prepare.

    The problem, of course, is that Imoen still wasn't the best at hiding, and Eilrie's bunny was more likely to end up dinner than successful, especially with wild dogs around. The obvious solution was to go back at night, when darkness would help her hide.

    Amazingly, Eilrie thought, no one had a problem with this plan. Sirene saw it as a chance to save future travelers from being murdered for their gold. Aura wanted to regain her confidence. Imoen wanted a new bow, and thus, wanted to replace the massive amount of gold they had lost. Tenya just wanted to get revenge on the arses. Finally, Eilrie wanted all of those things - as well as vindication that she wasn't a terrible leader.

    Remembering that it had taken a while to get there, the party headed out of the FAI in time to arrive in the dead of night. As expected, Imoen was able disappear into the shadows such that the party barely knew she was there. They waited on pins and needles until she returned a few minutes later, having discovered the first group of bandits.

    Rather than follow Imoen's more direct route, the rest of the party, still visible, opted to take a longer, more out of the way path. Along the way, they noticed a drow elf running from something, though the couldn't yet tell what. They tried to ask the woman what was wrong, but she cut them off before they had a chance. She claimed she was fleeing persecution, but as a drow, the party wasn't sure.

    Shortly after she stopped to talk to the party, a Flaming Fist enforcer arrived on the scene with sword in hand. He demanded the party step aside so he could kill the evil drow. Evil or no, Sirene wasn't happy about the woman being executed without a trial, but unlike in the past, she left the final decision to Eilrie. She needn't have worried, as Eilrie agreed. Drow or no, she wasn't okay with her being summarily executed merely for her race. The flaming fist enforcer found her terms acceptable, and turned on the entire party as well.

    Perhaps he was more accustomed to working in the city, because he didn't last long. Sirene skewered the fanatical enforcer with Aura and Imoen peppering him with arrows. He went down quickly, and while everyone understood that it was in self-defense, they wondered if this would have repercussions in the future. After all, the Flaming Fist enforced the law in Beregost. Regardless, it was too late to argue now. The party stripped the man of his armor and gold, then buried him in a shallow grave near the tree line.

    That left Viconia wondering what would happen next. She begged the party to take her along, though in typical drow fashion, it came across a lot differently. However, it was clear that her life really was in danger. Against her better judgement, Eilrie agreed to take her on. Much like Tenya, she worried whether she was making the right call, but she couldn't simply leave her out here to be killed. Between the bandits and the Flaming Fist, she was entirely surrounded by people who wanted her dead for no other reason than being a drow.

    Needless to say, Aura was not amused, but she didn't adamantly oppose the decision. She opted for sarcasm instead. They were all, including Viconia, certain that the townspeople would likewise be unenthusiastic later, but they had come on a mission, and if anything, her presence could be a benefit.

    Armed with the element of surprise, and now an extra cleric, the party sneaked the rest of the way to where Imoen had spotted the two bandits. As quickly as they could, the party greased, then enchanted, the fool out of the two men, before pelting them with arrows of their own. Unlike the previous encounter, the two bandits had barely gotten off a single shot. Imoen and Aura collected their arrows and gold, before Imoen headed south to explore more of the forest.

    The second encounter did not go nearly so smoothly, however. By pure poor luck, a group of wild dogs attacked at the same time, distracting the party. Rather than risk it, Eilrie opted to run and rest away from the forest. They headed south of Peldvale and rested for the night before returning again.

    Still, these bandits proved much more difficult, and they were only able to pick off a few more before fleeing back to the FAI. Thankfully no one was killed, but it was obvious that continuing to fight would be a poor idea.

    Undeterred, Eilrie and party returned a third time, this time with a with a better plan. Tenya summoned a single skeleton warrior to act as bait, and sent it in to attack the bandit archers with Imoen hidden in the trees to observe. Once they engaged it, Eilrie and Aura cast spells to slow them down - grease and sleep. The bandits mostly resisted the sleep, but couldn't overcome the grease, giving the party time to pelt them with everything they had. This time, the battle went their way, and soon the bandit's bodies littered the ground.

    Imoen was slightly disappointed that the gold recovered from the bandits didn't entirely refill their coffers, but it was enough to raise her hopes of getting a better bow. She was slightly envious of Aura's bow and Sirene's sword - both enchanted. Her bow had been recovered from a bandit, and while it was serviceable, it was nothing special.

    The arrows, on other hand, were a nice surprise. They now understood why they had been so outclassed the first time. The bandits had enchanted arrows! Aura and Imoen, the party's archers, split them up between them, each agreeing to save them until needed. They recovered only a few dozen enchanted arrows in total, so it wouldn't do to waste them.

    Satisfied that they had accomplished what they set out to do, the party headed south to Beregost to regroup and sell their gems.

    StummvonBordwehr
  • MaurvirMaurvir Member Posts: 333
    edited October 25
    Entry 11: On the way back to Beregost, Tenya piped up and mentioned something to Eilrie. Not sure what to think Eilrie listened as Tenya told her that the golden bowl she carried wasn't merely a memento, and that it could be made into a powerful artifact. She didn't know how herself, as her mother hadn't been obliging in the way of knowledge, but she suspected a former priestess of Umberlee now living near the Firewine bridge might be able to help.

    After resting in town, Eilrie decided it was a worth while lead, and after the incidents in Peldvale, she felt confident that they could handle this. The party was more than happy to quit pushing their luck with the bandits, and readily agreed as well. The next morning, they left for the bridge ruins. It took a fair deal of walking, and they were nearly all exhausted by the time the spires of the bridge came into sight. Rather than push their luck, they opted to camp just south of the ruin.

    Amazingly, nothing attacked in the night, and they awoke refreshed and ready to go. Unsure of where to go, they decided to check the bridge itself first. After an annoying battle with skeleton warriors, they found little else beyond a strange poet waxing on about a group of warriors who had been betrayed by an ally and left to rot in an underkeep near the bridge. The man wandered off after that, so the party attempted to explore the ruins. After all, where else would someone like the woman Tenya described hang out?

    Along the way, Imoen realized that the cliff had collapsed in one area and allowed for entry into the mostly dry riverbed below. Distracted, the party opted to investigate below the bridge, figuring below the bridge might be a legitimate spot for a former priestess of Umberlee to set up shop. It was wet, right?

    What they didn't count on was hordes of skeleton warriors, all of them armed with bows, shooting at them. Once more, the party raced away, this time further south. They wound up in a halfling village called Gullykin. The leader, a pleasant fellow named Gandolar, seemed like a nice sort, and assumed that they were adventurers either looking for the Firewine (correct) or Durlag's Tower (wait, what?). In the meantime, he said the town would be perfectly hospitable to strangers, and encouraged them to stay.

    Which they decided to do, as they were weary from the Firewine adventure. They found a house in the southwestern corner of the fenced in town and knocked. Hearing no answer, they glanced at each other, and entered anyway. Perhaps a bit rude, but the leader assured them that they would be welcome. The owner of the house, Jenkal, was decidedly unpleasant.

    During an attempt at casual conversation, Eilrie noted the distinct smell of kobalds in the air. Unaware of the recent turmoil in the village, she was taken aback when Jenkal admitted to being the halfling responsible, and that he was being paid to let the kobalds attack the village. The party scarcely had time to look at each other before the halfling attacked. He drank a potion and disappeared, managing to backstab Imoen. However, his luck ran out with Tenya, and as soon as he was visible, the party pelted him furiously. Ironically, they still had no idea what he had been talking about - and with his corpse now bleeding on his rug, he wasn't in a position to answer questions on the topic.

    On a hunch, Imoen searched the room, and sure enough, she discovered a secret passageway. The party explored the passage, which led them to an ogre mage. Equally surprised, as they had literally come in the back way, he monologued anyway. Apparently the kobold attacks were intended to draw in low-level adventurers who, thinking they were facing nothing more serious than a bunch of talking rats, would be easy prey for the ogre mage and his friends. Naturally, as soon as he was done, he took the party for said knaves and attempted to kill and rob them.

    What he hadn't counted on, however, was that the part was still fairly fresh, having not wandered through the maze full of traps and kobolds that normally led to this part of the hideout. Aura put him and several of his ogrillon accomplices to sleep while the party dispatched him quickly. The jig was up, however, and the party retreated through the tunnel back to the burrow where they were followed by several more of the ogre's friends.

    Slowly, the party dispatched all but the other mage and a few kobolds by strategically luring them back into the halfling house. Dealing with only three or four at a time was entirely manageable. Once they were certain they were down to the last mage, they rested near the village, then returned to finish the job.

    Tenya distracted the mage with a skeleton warrior, whose magic resistance made him immune to most of the mages spells. Conversely, the mage was NOT immune to the skeleton's massive sword, and between the skeleton, and the party's arrows, the second mage fell. Sirene cleaned up the remaining few kobolds before collecting the two mages belongings and any enchanted arrows.

    [:: sigh:: The first attempt at killing the second mage did not end well. Aura and Eilrie both died after being spooked. This represented a necessary reload. However, aside from failing the save, the fights were pretty close to the same as none of the party have any protection from fear spells]

    Gandolar was extremely pleased when the party reported on the matter, as he had entirely forgotten to even mention it. He thanked the party with a goodly pile of gold, which Eilrie added to the party's now growing coffers. However, rather than continue exploring the village, they decided to come back another time. They still needed to find Tenya's connection.

    Post edited by Maurvir on
    StummvonBordwehrTrauerweide
  • MaurvirMaurvir Member Posts: 333
    edited October 27
    Entry 12: Eilrie finally settled into her bed at the Nashkel inn after a whirlwind two weeks of traveling, ready to catch up on her journal.

    The party had been on a whirlwind success, having found, and dispatched, the beasts Bjornin has been asking for help with. Though they had known about the problem for a few days, other chores got in the way. When they finally departed to take on the task, however, it took less than 24 hours. Everyone was stoked by the success, and word of their deeds had already spread far.

    Thinking that they were finally ready, Eilrie pulled Tenya aside one day and mentioned that the next stop was to find her contact. She had finally learned a new trick that should make it much easier. Tenya was excited as she ever was, which was to say, not much. Eilrie could sense that she was happy that the party would help her, though.

    That help would come at a high price, however, when the witch she was trying to find turned out to be none other than the former acolyte who had made Tenya's life a hell. Unsurprisingly, she turned on the girl, and the party, as soon as she was done gloating over the bowl. Fortunately, the party got the bowl back, and Tenya, watching the witch, learned how to use it. Unfortunate, Aura required YET ANOTHER trip to the temple. These trips were getting old, and expensive, but in fairness, she had done very well overall.

    Afterwards, Tenya lectured Eilrie for being so stupid as to actually do what she asked. Eilrie, for her part, couldn't disagree and took the dressing down from a teen girl with grace. The significantly lighter purse didn't help matters either, but she did take Tenya's advice and purchase a scroll for "the next time".

    After the disaster at the bridge, the party all agreed that perhaps it was time to look for work elsewhere. Work had been drying up for a while, and with the last of the known ogres taken care of, it was going to be tight. The lack of caravans, thanks to the bandits, had left Beregost poorer for the lack of trade.

    Viconia had also mentioned perhaps leaving the northern lands for Amn, thinking perhaps a more metropolitan area might be less of an issue for her. While Nashkel barely qualified, it might serve as a gateway to Athkatla. For now, she would travel with the party, though.

    A few days later, the party finally set foot in Nashkel, or at least close to it. Somehow during the march, where they had purposefully avoided the bandit-ridden main road, they had deviated to the east and found a gigantic carnival instead.

    Sadly, it didn't feel like much of a carnival, and worse, they place seemed almost overrun by kobolds. They cleaned out the ones that they could find, but it was clear the area was infested. Remarkably, no one seemed to care. Perhaps the townsfolk had grown used to them? In fact, the townsfolk seemed pretty melancholy in general, as the situation with the mines had gotten out of hand.

    Rather than stay and play, the party headed west towards the main town, but not after resting in the woods just north of the carnival. While the gold wasn't quite as tight as it had been, Eilrie didn't want to spend a single coin more than necessary. The rest of the party laughed a bit behind her back, but spread out their gear for the night anyway.

  • MaurvirMaurvir Member Posts: 333
    edited October 28
    The next morning, the women packed their gear and headed into town. The place didn't seem like a whole lot - a podunk outpost on the edge of nowhere. However, it did, at least, have a proper temple of Helm, a trading post, and an inn. The trading post was at the top of the list, and the party sold a fair amount of junk that they had collected. The trader also mentioned paying a hefty commission for a winter wolf pelt. Enough to make it interesting, so Eilrie made a mental note to keep an eye out.

    They then went next door, where, almost unsurprisingly by now, yet another assassin came out of the woodwork. They barely got her name before Sirene had begun working her over. Eilrie and Aura sighed and started casting magic missile, while Tenya and Viconia attempted to stun her. Remarkably, Tenya's spell worked, and it took only a few minutes before the party had removed the refuse from the inn. They apologized profusely to the owner and offered to rinse the blood from the floor. He waved them away and told them it wasn't a big deal.

    Since it wasn't quite night yet, the women decided to explore the outpost. As expected, it wasn't much. A few houses sprinkled about, only a few on the main "road". They talked to everyone they could, but only one woman had a favor to ask - she was looking for news of her husband in the mine. Sirene couldn't resist and immediately told her they would help. Eilrie just smiled, though she didn't mind at all.

    Amazingly, they also found some ankheg armor half-buried in the dirt just outside the town. Sirene was the grateful new owner. Along the way, Viconia got a new halberd, though she wasn't terribly good at using it. Not a bad haul for just ambling through the village.

    However, Viconia had bad news when they party made it back to the inn. She pulled Eilrie aside and mentioned that, now that they were technically in Amn, she was considering going further south on her own. Eilrie thanked her for coming as far as she had, and was honestly surprised when Viconia thanked her back. It was most un-drow-like, based on what she knew of the race. Apparently saving her from the flaming fist and escorting her south had made an impression.

    Post edited by Maurvir on
    Trauerweide
  • MaurvirMaurvir Member Posts: 333
    edited October 28
    Entry 13: The party, now less one of their clerics, decided to finally head over to the mines. It would be difficult without Viconia, but they were still adventurers, and there was still a job to be done. The women ambled down the dusty dirt road to the Nashkel mines.

    "I hate mines" Eilrie exclaimed, as they stood before the gaping maw that was the entrance, "Why don't we take one last good walk around before plunging into the depths." Neither Imoen nor Aura were fans either, Sirene clearly didn't care one way or the other, and they were reasonably sure Tenya was looking forward to - she just couldn't get pasts her teen angst enough to admit it. Since she was silent on the matter, they ladies decided to walk around the mine and check out the sights - such as they were.

    While poking around, they stumbled across an almost finished sculpture of an elven woman's face. It was quite remarkable, and the artist, still carving away, was frantic. Standing beside him was a woman who clearly was a paladin of some god or other. There was simply no other way to describe her, armed to the teeth in shining armor. Eilrie did a double-take at both of them.

    Prism, the sculptor, apparently was a bit of thief as well as an artist. He admitted as much when he mistook them for the bounty hunter searching for him. Isra, the paladin assigned to watch over him, requested their aid should said bounty hunter find them. The party was a bit ambivalent, but in the end opted to add their weight to his side.

    Sure enough, no sooner did their agreement depart the air than said bounty hunter arrive. Like most such men, he blustered on about having never missed a bounty. In fairness, Eilrie did attempt to give him a chance, but he set in to attack her. Whether he was ticked at her boldness, or just didn't like the cut of her jib, he charged straight for her. The rest of the party cut him to ribbons before he was able to do much more than nick her skin, though. Tenya healed Eilrie's wounds while Isra disposed of the body.

    [Due to a bug in Unfinished Business, Prism didn't auto-die as required. Eilrie had to "assist him" in "passing on" - however, a reload was involved in figuring this out]

    Afterwards, Isra agreed to join the party as the new sixth member. As a paladin, she would made a great addition to what was shaping up to be an epic party. There was some concern about Sirene being upset, but if she was, she never showed it. The two immediately made a great team.

    The next several weeks were spent building team cohesion. Much as they had in Beregost, the party went about helping those in need in the outlying forests. They returned a dead cat to the daughter of a necromancer, a "little puppy" to a child that they were reasonably certain was a demon, as well as clearing out several strongholds of vicious critters. The winter wolf pelts also proved a lucrative game, clearing the party several thousand gold in total - enough to upgrade some gear.

    Even better, Tenya's ability to summon a water elemental proved fantastic in battle. While the lesser summons wasn't strong enough to take on enemies by itself, it was certainly a tank. Sirene and Isra quickly learned to fight alongside the watery creatures, cutting a swath through the forest all the way to the sword coast.

    The issue of scouting had also been resolved, with the use of a small, fuzzy bunny. Eilrie's familiar, made invisible with magic, could explore whole groves of forests, allowing the party to note where groups of bandits or wild animals were, far faster and with less hassle. Gnoll and hobgoblin armies fell under their prowess.

    However, a seemingly "normal" task proved problematic, particularly for Sirene and Isra. During one of their hunts, they discovered an archeology team digging for lost artifacts. The leader requested the party's help in guarding the team during the final phase of the exploration. Unsurprisingly, the archeologist uncovered some dark, foul demonic presence that should have been left buried. The team sighed as the diggers started coming at them with their shovels.

    The party had mostly gotten the diggers under control with non-lethal means, using a combination of web and sleep. Sadly, Tenya decided that would be a great time to spray them all with a nearly lethal salt-water spray... killing the poor archeologist. There was little to do but clean up the remaining diggers and leave the bodies in the excavation. It would be doubtful that anyone would find them, as there were few who could be arsed to look for a random hole in the ground.

    With no one else asking for it, Aura took the stone idol. Somehow, she was still shocked when an unearthly, and most likely undead, guardian came for it. She sighed with relief when the party dispatched it, sending it back to whatever dead god had left it. Aura looked at the small stone idol, certain it must hold some power to have been guarded as such, and put it in her pack;

    While she was fawning over the archeologist lost trinket, the rest of the party headed over to the temple to make amends for his death. While they weren't happy about it, they were able to get most of their reputation back, and still had a few coins left to rent a room that night. None of them were happy with Tenya, who didn't seem to see what she had done wrong.

    TrauerweideAerakar
  • MaurvirMaurvir Member Posts: 333
    edited October 30
    Entry 14: Time went by quickly for the party of adventuring women, and soon they would celebrate three months on the road. Remarkably, the mayor was STILL waiting on them to clear out the mines. Instead, they had cleared out a significant portion of the sword coast.

    They had battled sirenes, ghasts, zombies, wolves of every flavor, kobolds of every flavor, and even gigantic bugs. The only issue, for Eilrie at least, is that she was no longer the party's leader. Since they had found a tome on human understanding, Isra had taken the lead. She was stronger, better with a weapon, and now better at sweet talking merchants into better deals. The party had voted for her to take point, as she was, by far, the best warrior of them all.

    Eilrie couldn't help but feel a bit disappointed, however. She and Imoen had started the party! However, after the incident with Mr. Nib, and Tenya, she knew that the rest of the party had lost faith in her. Even Aura, who seemed to genuinely like her, had mentioned that the situation with Tenya had bothered them all. She reminded Eilrie of the incident in Beregost, where five people lay dead after one of Tenya's outbursts. It was inevitable that she would slip up and do something similar without proper supervision. Supervision a trained Paladin would be able to provide.

    On the upside, her command of magic kept her second in command, as she had the ability to summon a tremendous number of spells. Her invisibility spell in particular had proved invaluable for scouting out areas. Their most recent battle against Bassilus was proof of that. Isra watched from the treeline as one of Tenya's water elementals tore the mad cleric to shreds. It managed to clear out a fair amount of undead as well before returning to the sea. What little was left proved no problem for the paladins, and they had 5000 gold in hand before the day was over.

    Aerakar
  • MaurvirMaurvir Member Posts: 333
    Entry 15: It was finally time, Isra thought, for the party to get around to doing what they had said they would do weeks earlier - tackle the mines. Eilrie had pushed back as long as she could, and the party had wandered the land for weeks. However, work had dried up, and this was a solid job.

    The upside, she thought, was that all of that freelance work had buffed the team nicely. Each woman had learned her place in battle, and each served a valuable role. Isra could go toe to toe with enemies in combat, and her natural resistance to poison had carried them through several tough fights with spiders and others. Sirene also hit hard, but she could drop back and use a crossbow if the situation called for it. Imoen, on her way to becoming a master thief, had practically mastered the art of the backstab. Tenya, and her bowl of elemental summoning, was just insane, even if her work dried out quickly. Many a battle had been turned to their favor with her summons - never mind the healing. Eilrie, with her ring, could pelt their enemies with spells, slowing them, making them sleepy, or just skewering them with magic. Then Aura, the weakest member, brought up the rear with her archery skills. Though they had spent thousands in gold at the temple along the way, the lessons had held, and now they had enjoyed tremendous success all up and down the sword coast.

    Having heard tales of yipping demons, which they all realized were actually kobolds, the party decided to practice on the ruins beneath the Firewine bridge. It had several exits allowing them to rest, and escape, if overwhelmed. Isra wanted to see how they would fair in tight confines with the hellish little beasts. So, the party hiked back to the Gullykin village where they found the traitor's house still empty. Using it as a temporary base, the party descended into the now deceased ogre-mage's lair and began their assault.

    To her surprise, and dismay, the kobolds proved to be fierce opposition in the tight, cramped quarters. With their arrows of fire, they were doing far more damage than any in the party could have imagined. While they did go down quickly, they invariably called hordes more to their side before dying. At various points, Isra and Sirene were both wading into small crowds of angry, hostile beasts. Eilrie and Aura did their best to put them to sleep, but a sufficient number of the damn things put a dent in their progress.

    It wasn't long before the party was exhausted having barely cleared a small section of the dungeon. Eilrie sent Imoen ahead under the cover of invisibility to scout ahead, and her report wasn't encouraging. The little bastards had overrun the place, alright, and it would be a long slog even to the next exit. The party fell back and napped just outside the village, as there were no inns.

    The second day went about as well as the first, though the party did manage to find the second exit - this time leading to the cellar of a temple that looked suspiciously similar to a winery. Which worked out well, as the party was definitely in need of some healing. These kobolds were kicking the party's butt, and hard. Individually they weren't a challenge. A few hits was usually good enough. Hordes of tiny archers were making a much more serious dent than Isra had anticipated.

    Eventually, the party cleared the dungeon, as Imoen reached the last exit and saw sunlight ahead. She breathed a sigh of relief, having spent the whole third day clearing traps, and springing more than a few of them while running from flaming arrows. She was exhausted by the time the party caught up and they headed back to Beregost. Aura was relieved as well, having pulled more than a few well-placed arrows out of herself.

    "That... could have gone better." Tenya sighed under her breath as the party reached the Jovial Juggler.
    The rest of the party just sighed, too tired to argue, and headed to their beds. Isra flipped the bartender some coins for the night, then joined her friends to rest. The sheer difficulty that they had encountered, facing nothing more than kobolds, didn't bode well. The mines would be dark and windy, perhaps even worse than the dungeon, and filled with sneaky little rodents that seemed to have unnaturally good aim.

    On the upside, Tenya had taken to her leadership better than she had imagined. They hadn't had another repeat of the Charleston Nib fiasco since she had become the party leader. Unfortunately, she also hadn't participated in the Firewine mission as much as she had hoped. The tight quarters kept Eilrie and Aura from properly managing the crowds, making Tenya's spells less effective. Only her elemental summoning had proven to be a boon.

    Trauerweide
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