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Some minor thoughts about Gorion's letter by E.

_Connacht__Connacht_ Member Posts: 158
The letter by Elminster retrieved on Gorion's corpse states that "I urge thee to leave Candlekeep this very night, if possible".

Was it carried by a messenger, with the order of delivering it as soon as possible? Then I think that a more appropriate choice of words would have been "right after you read this letter", rather than "this very night", which is a bit too much deterministic and in real-time, considering travel time of envoys. It's not unreasonable to write "this very night" while being aware that the reader might receive the letter after a couple of days. But from Elminster I would expect something with a better sense of timing, since he's also worried about Gorion's fate as "the other side will move very soon".

Besides, there is no guarantee anyway that a messenger would have reached Candlekeep sound and safe, considering the hostile activity in the Sword Coast. It would have been much better if Elminster directly visited Gorion for an update about the current situation. He's a wizard, he can teleport anywhere and he's known to appear whenever and wherever he wants. In fact, he just appeared in front of Charname at the start of chapter 1 after he sensed that Gorion died but his ward was alive...

Then, was the letter delivered by Elminster in person, considering that we meet him nearby Candlekeep? e.g., he left the citadel by handshaking Gorion, telling him that he understands the situation but wishes to stay neutral, still giving him the advice to take care of himself, and giving a him a message with the hint of reading it in private. Or maybe I think that Elminster approached the gatekeeper, asking him to deliver a letter.

I think that this last one is the most likely scenario. It's not unheard that important people make an official visit and then depart leaving behind a message with further info or instructions for certain, selected friends. And it's not inconceivable too that someone in disguise carries something with the task of giving it to someone else.

I wonder if for someone like Elminster, and for a friend like Gorion, it would have been more reasonable to give the advice by mouth, rather than with a letter that could be read or stolen by others (Imoen in fact reads it). Maybe Elminster didn't feel the necessity to teleport directly inside Candlekeep, violating the restrictions and the magical seals.

Third option: he teleported the letter to Gorion. Magic AT&T.
ArviaJuliusBorisovKatzerchenFenrirWolfgangerThunderburp

Comments

  • ArviaArvia Member, Moderator Posts: 1,956
    It's also possible that we meet him close to Candlekeep because he was on his way there, but sent the letter ahead by pidgeon.

    Teleportation inside Candlekeep probably isn't even possible, and the fact that his close link to Mystra doesn't allow him to intervene directly in matters of other gods seems plausible. So perhaps he was on his way and couldn't teleport to keep his involvement hidden, or as such an old being he knew better than to keep events from unfolding. Guidance is one thing, direct intervention without knowing how it would influence the outcome is another matter. Or, as said before, he isn't allowed to do more.

    In-game explanations aside, of course the real reason is that the game wouldn't make much sense if Elminster killed Sarevok and we went back to Candlekeep with Gorion. :wink:
    JuliusBorisovKatzerchen
  • KatzerchenKatzerchen Member Posts: 36
    It's just one of the many details that could keep one wondering...

    Why could Sarevok kill Gorion so easily and CHARNAME, only months later, can prove the stronger?
    Are NPCs just waiting for PCs to show up and don't gain XP themselves?

    Or Khalid and Jaheira.
    They have been close friends to Gorion for YEARS, yet they are still level 1 and only have rather crappy equipment. While it would make sense that they have been waiting at the Friendly Arm for Gorion for awhile (days or weeks), they won't have been sitting there for years, they would have been adventurers and gained experience. Just that CHARNAME meets them so early in the game that anything higher than level 1 would break game balance.

    That's game logic. A game can't always be entirely logical, story-wise, not in each single detail, lest it becomes unplayable or totally unbalanced.
    The_Baffled_KingFenrirWolfganger
  • The_Baffled_KingThe_Baffled_King Member Posts: 44
    edited June 2021
    _Connacht_ wrote: »
    Or maybe I think that Elminster approached the gatekeeper, asking him to deliver a letter.
    This worked for me. Magic AT&T might work also, although Arvia's point about that seems valid.
    Katzerchen wrote: »
    That's game logic. A game can't always be entirely logical, story-wise, not in each single detail, lest it becomes unplayable or totally unbalanced.
    This is absolutely true, but once you come across something that doesn't entirely make sense, there is another step one can take before saying "Oh well, that's game logic for you".

    That step is to ask the question: was it necessary to put the player in the position where they have to handwave stuff as game logic? Because sometimes, it really wasn't. In many games this doesn't matter all that much, but for roleplaying games it isn't good to continually ask the player to suspend their disbelief.

    Consider your example regarding Khalid and Jaheira (which is something that stood out to me as well before I read your post). Did they have to be portrayed as good friends of Gorion for many years? If so, did they have to be waiting in the Friendly Arm? If so, did the early game have to be made so easy that with Khalid and Jaheira at level 2, the balance of the game would be affected?

    There are obviously good reasons for Khalid and Jaheira to play the role that they do, but the example serves to illustrate the point.
    KatzerchenFenrirWolfgangerThunderburpArvia
  • ThunderburpThunderburp Member Posts: 51
    edited June 2021
    Teleportation inside Candlekeep probably isn't even possible
    Elminster is known to teleport into Khelben Arunsun's heavily warded tower that no one else can force-enter. Last I heard, Khelben couldn't figure out how Elminster manages that. He must be a little cranky about it. :*
    That's game logic. A game can't always be entirely logical, story-wise, not in each single detail, lest it becomes unplayable or totally unbalanced.
    Any story can be rock solid if it wants, the writer just needs to do their job right. I'll agree to say that few do, perhaps in part pressured by productivity requirements, so we aren't used to it.

    The problem is that we're so not used to it that many of us don't even think of having expectations of consistency and realism within the world's own rules. We end up dismissing things that sound odd to us as "game logic" or whatever, questioning the writer, breaking the fourth wall and sweeping things under the rug. Would we be used to high consistency in audiovisual media, we'd stay immersed and would eventually heat up brain cells trying to figure out why something seems odd and what that could mean within the story. (i.e. questioning one's own comprehension rather than brushing it off as a plot hole or writing failure)

    But our intellect isn't valued so high that audiovisual industries would invest too much in writing. I guess that makes your stance empirically justified, problematic as it is.

    As for BG1 specifically, the whole deal about both Gorion dying and leaving the protagonist in total darkness about what's going on does feel forced. In other stories that start similarly, like The Belgariad, everything is consistent, we can trust the writer that what sounds odd is not a plot hole but something we need to think about and that will find an answer in time.

    OP tries to find answers for BG1 that don't amount to making excuses for the writer's alleged failings, I think it's worthwhile and interesting. :)
    FenrirWolfgangerThe_Baffled_King
  • LoremasterLoremaster Member Posts: 205
    Interesting discussion! I will ask one related question about the letter and its author. Is Elminster necessary? He sends a letter to Gorion urging him to leave Candlekeep with his ward, the protagonist, then approaches the protagonists a few times delivering some comments. Although he doesn’t seem to have any significant role to play. I don’t know any details about Elminster’s appearances in the story, but is he necessary, what role does he play? To me, it seems the developers shoe horned him in just for the fun (and commercial value?) of having him appear. Could not Gorion himself could figure out danger approaches and decide to leave with the protagonist?

    Have I missed something? What is Elminster’s role in the story?
    Balrog99The_Baffled_King
  • Balrog99Balrog99 Member Posts: 7,269
    Cadderly, Volo, Artemis Entreri and Drizzt also make cameo appearances. It may seem cheesy now, but back when the games were first published I was also involved in reading the Forgotten Realms books so I thought it was kinda neat at the time...
    Arvia
  • LoremasterLoremaster Member Posts: 205
    I don’t mind chatting with Elminster, Drizzt or anyone else. The presence of these famous ones adds a feeling of importance to the story. It’s just that Elminster’s letter appears to be added just to get Elminster connected to the protagonist in some way.

    I guess, the developers in the 1990-tees wrote a story and developed a game around it. Then, they filled the game world with all that they could come up with; famous FR persons, their own PnP characters, failed jokes and who knows whatever more. Wish they had spent more time on developing intriguing side quests than filling the game with silly pop culture references. (Glad they focused more on side quests for BG2.)
  • OcelotOcelot Member Posts: 13
    Balrog99 wrote: »
    Cadderly, Volo, Artemis Entreri and Drizzt also make cameo appearances. It may seem cheesy now, but back when the games were first published I was also involved in reading the Forgotten Realms books so I thought it was kinda neat at the time...

    Where does Artemis Entreri appear?
  • jmerryjmerry Member Posts: 2,435
    There's some stuff that was never implemented. Artemis Entreri has a creature file and a script in BG2 (which basically says to attack Drizzt) but doesn't actually appear. The Unfinished Business mod includes someone's concept of what this would have been, making him show up in Bodhi's lair.

    Incidentally, this unused version of Artemis Entreri has a unique weapon equipped - the "Life-Stealer" dagger, which is +4 with a chance to drain levels.
    Balrog99ArviaFenrirWolfganger
  • Balrog99Balrog99 Member Posts: 7,269
    Ocelot wrote: »
    Balrog99 wrote: »
    Cadderly, Volo, Artemis Entreri and Drizzt also make cameo appearances. It may seem cheesy now, but back when the games were first published I was also involved in reading the Forgotten Realms books so I thought it was kinda neat at the time...

    Where does Artemis Entreri appear?

    @jmerry is correct about Artemis being mod content. I goofed up. I meant to say Jarlaxle, but got confused by having played highly modded games in the past. Call it a senior moment... ?
    Arvia
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