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From the Journal of Aven the Human

FinnTheHumanFinnTheHuman Member Posts: 404
edited November 2015 in Challenges and Playthroughs
Hi All,

I recently posted the below PC perspective of my playthrough. I thought it was fun how the situation unfolded, what with Aerie and Haer'dalis continuing their romance in the middle of a battle I just had to make it end that way. With all the acclaim the post has been getting (12 views and a like from Bengoshi--I love you all!!) I decided it would be unfair to not post further here. So stay tuned for the continuing adventures of Aven the Human. SPOILERS, beware!

Aerie and Haer'dalis: Lost Lovers

It was going so well for Aerie and Haer'dalis. Falling in love. They had just been talking about their future together as we waited for Vicona's skeleton warriors to exhaust the spells of Kangaxx the Lich on the far side of his tomb. As Kangaxx became exhausted we moved in to finish him off. To our surprise, he transformed into a demi lich as we laid the final blows. Then, one after another he banished the remaining skeletons as quick as a succession of arrows.

Viconia thought quickly enough to give me a spare scroll of protection from undead. We read them and Kangaxx could no longer even look at us. It was too late for Aerie and Haer'dalis though, they are banished to some unknown fate. Maybe after I rescue Imoen she will know how to rescue them.

Aerie is such a nice girl, I was grateful to see somebody finally take interest in her. She has to be rescued and finally be given the good life she has been denied. Although, Haer'dalis was talking like he didn't want to have a future with her. Some limerick about a man with no eyes because he didn't want to see the future. He moved in so fast on the girl, he must be well versed in seduction. Maybe I shouldn't bring them back. Maybe this way she will never have to see how his love was only lust's mask. She can spend forever in blissful ignorance.

Although, Haer'dalis did have some nice swords. It would be a shame to see them go to waste. I should have them. Yes, he will be freed to face my judgement. Aerie must see what a viper the Tiefling is. That's better than living in ignorance Aerie. I can't let Haer'dalis make a fool of you for the rest of eternity. I must rescue her and punish him.

Post edited by FinnTheHuman on


  • JuliusBorisovJuliusBorisov Member, Administrator, Moderator, Developer Posts: 22,017
    This all gives a thought: whether a character killing evil because it's evil, is actually "good", or not. Because from the feel of that post, it looks otherwise.

  • FinnTheHumanFinnTheHuman Member Posts: 404
    I'm pretty sure he thinks he's good...

  • FinnTheHumanFinnTheHuman Member Posts: 404
    I had an epiphany today. We were captured by mind flayers as we stumbled upon their hive. Luckily, they decided to make entertainment out of us in some fighting pits instead of just killing us. A second break came when the group of Githanki we were supposed to fight were instead helping us escape.

    We had just dispatched a group of flayers when it hit me. I reached into my bag of holding to pull out Carsomyr. Such a magnificent sword. I drew my hand to the hilt, piercing through the magic that formerly repelled me. It was like I was dipping my hand into The Shadow and out again--just on the surface of her form. I saw through the arbitrary prohibition--seemingly placed by the gods themselves--around who can wear or wield what. A strange trick of the mind which makes a man believe he is only just a farmer, or a warrior, or a thief. I raised her. I felt her balance as I swung. I felt her magic envelop me. It was then that I decided I must master her. I would wield her in battle. I would wear heavy armor and blaze through my enemies with recklessness.

    With every illithid cut down I felt new found comfort not with just Carsomyr, but my other swords as well. I have had to rely on Viconia and Imonen more than I like. But I can't think any better people than to have with me now. Viconia once asked me if I ever thought of settling down. Although I hadn't thought of it before, I can now think of nothing better than just that. Wife, sister, children. Little Bhaalspawn of my own. I'm smiling.

  • FinnTheHumanFinnTheHuman Member Posts: 404
    edited November 2015
    I have found a home. A beautiful cathedral which was once the layer of the silver dragon, Adalon. During high noon, a column of light reaches down through a hole high in the ceiling, like a triumphant blade piercing the heart of underdarkness. I am at peace. I don't know what Irenicus took from me, but it must not have been my true soul, because I feel more connected to this world now than ever. Perhaps it is my new found purpose and thoughts of a life with Viconia which has given me this peace. Whatever it is, I do not wish to leave.

    I have been given my purpose by Adalon. It started when she employed me to save her stolen eggs from the drow residing nearby. Although her attitude was fully off-putting--arrogant and rude--I could not resist a mother's plea for help.

    Using her magic, she disguised us as drow so that we could infiltrate their city and steal back the eggs. The drow are a vile lot. I respect their cunning, but their intelligence comes without any wisdom. They would be unstoppable if they could respect anything other than the ability to inflict pain on one another. After I retrieved the eggs I enjoyed slaughtering the entire city; from the high priestess to the serving wench.

    Upon returning to Adalon, she betrayed us. The arrogance of dragons. After rescuing her one chance at family her only measure of gratitude was a sucky crossbow. I remembered her interrupting me before, shouting "Silence" at me. I was very patient with her, but this disrespect was the final piece of evidence against her belonging in my world. Moreover, it was unfair trade for the task I had performed, and I have a lawfull right to demand adequate compensation or, failing that, retribution.

    It should be known that I did not murder Adalon, as much as relieve her of her duty. She was a total failure, and her negligence of duty--no doubt rising from her total disdain for humans--led to the murder of hundreds of innocents by the drow, I'm sure. I am taking residence in her lair and fulfilling her purpose. I shall be the gatekeeper between the forces of good and evil, dark and light. By ending the constant threat of Ust Natha, I have already done more than Adalon has in millennia. Furthermore, I have kept faith in my bargain with her. Her egg remains unharmed, and when it hatches I shall raise the dragon to perhaps become the new guardian of the underdark, preserving our legacy--both hers and mine--for generations. Perhaps the deeds of her offspring may one day even redeem Adalon's disgrace.

    The only thing left to do now is to fill this dragon's lair with a magnificent hoard. Tomorrow, we plan to leave the underdark to retrieve my treasures from my guild house. I suppose I may have to consign some workmen to make this cavern more liveable to Viconia and I. A place where we can nurture the growth of our children. This expense should be of no concern as my treasure already dwarfs the combined treasure of all the dragons I have ever encountered. It practically has since I first left Candlekeep. Why dragons are renowned for their gold is beyond my understanding.

    A trip away should also give time for this enormous carcass to run it's course. Viconia, Imoen, and I have been debating the best way to get rid of it. We tried summoning creatures to eat the meat but summoned creatures never seem to be hungry. I managed to force feed one unhappy Gnoll, but upon its return to wherever it came from the undigested meat dropped from the space formally occupied by stomach to the ground. I didn't get nearly as much food into the Gnoll as I thought I did anyway so that effort was doomed from the start.

    I wonder where summoned creatures come from anyway. Is there a plane of well armored gnolls just sit around playing cards waiting for battle? Are they taken from somewhere in Faerun? Some gnoll is about to eat gnoll food with its gnoll family and then suddenly it find itself in some armor summoned from some shopkeep's shelf in Waterdeep and dire charmed to do my bidding? And then if it dies in battle it's returned to its gnoll family at its gnoll dinner table with its bloody gnoll head hanging to the side? Hah, gnolls. But then its wife and little gnoll daughter are terrified and shocked and the wife has to make it with some other gnoll warrior so that she can provide for her girl but then the new gnoll is terrible to her and she's helpless and alone and cannot do anything to protect her girl from the lust of this new man and why couldn't i just have summoned this monster instead? I can't. I have digressed. I must take a walk.

    Post edited by FinnTheHuman on
  • FinnTheHumanFinnTheHuman Member Posts: 404
    I am thinking today of my routing of Ust Natha. While bringing the drow low we were attacked by a handmaiden of Lolth. Although her hounds were no match for us this time, it worries me that the spider queen could attack us whenever she pleases--perhaps capitalizing on a moment of weakness. I am further awestruck at Viconia at this time. To think, she has been dealing with this knowledge since leaving her people behind. She has been carrying a burden at least as great as mine, but unlike mine she chose her destiny. Seeing how wicked the drow truely are, I now realize how good this woman is. Viconia is truely unique. She shall be my queen and should be raised above all others.

  • FinnTheHumanFinnTheHuman Member Posts: 404
    I thought the drow were bad, but now I think all elves must be horrid terrible creatures. The arrogance of elves. I hate them. They're dummies. Stupid dummies. On leaving the underdark we were stopped by an elvin genereral and his war party and submitted to the most humiliating of interrogations. I wanted to kill them all. At every point I wanted to spit in his face and stomp a hole in his face and claw his face as the Slayer. I could have. I didn't. My hand was stayed by the unseen forces of fate. Why must the gods meddle in my life? I could have killed them all, but it would be instant death instead. I know. I know. The gods want me to kill Irenicus. I don't care at all about him. He can have what he took. I don't need it. I will die old and happy with Viconia. Viconia. They bound her with a geas. My Viconia held at the whims of some racist elves. I will punish them for this. I will punish the gods for this. If i find who has led me to enslave my love to some elves.

  • FinnTheHumanFinnTheHuman Member Posts: 404
    I've had a lot of time to think lately. I found so many bits of treasures on my journeys, the dwarf cromwell, can combine them into powerful items. He doesn't have an apprentice, so we have to stay around to work his billows. And it's giving us a long break.

    The first thing we did when we returned to Athkatla was free Haer and Aerie from their banishment. They came back changed, however. They won't talk about it. They don't even talk to eachother. I took Haer's blades as payment for rescuing him for a third time and released him from his duty to me. I released Aerie too. As powerful as she has become, I think she needs to find her own way. I think she needs to get away from me.

    I saw Jaheria too. But as soon as she took up with us she left on some Harper duty which eventually led us into a harper trap. I couldn't stand the sight of her and made her leave. As she went, I remembered meeting her and Khalid in that Inn fortress up north. I remembered him being torn apart by a pack of wolves, her in a ditch in Nashkel. I remembered others too, drawn to me, looking to me, failed by me, abandoned by me. I'm think I'm bad for people. I think the gods have been showing this to me all along. Like my father, I am death. The people with the bad fortune of crossing my path die. But everyone dies. The good, the bad, my loved ones, strangers.

    The gods are constantly meddling in my fate and I think I know why. They need me. They need murder. They need death. I remember the book that Firebead gave me after I ran an errand for him. How the three men took over the duties of Jergal, with Bhaal the gate keeper between the kingdoms of the living and the dead. How pointed it was that he gave me that book just for walking across the street for him. How funny that I feel such a resonance with my duties of gatekeeper of the underdark. They call Bhaal evil, but death is not evil its just a spoke in the wheel. I have been chosen as deaths champion. They knew my plans as gatekeeper but they stayed my hand with those elves. Wrong gate, they said. Keep going.

  • FinnTheHumanFinnTheHuman Member Posts: 404
    I am writing this now more terrified than I have ever been in my life. Viconia is in the other room, and in a few minutes I am going to open the door and kill her.

    Bhodi must have had some exotic spell prepared, because when we first came here to the graveyard a few days ago she was waiting to take Viconia from me. She took her and turned her, and after I killed Bhodi I trapped Viconia in the store room. I found books in Bhodi's belongings detailing how vampirism could be reversed. I took them to the priests of Oghma but they had nothing to say. The books talked about Amunaturs temple so I went there, but we found nothing. I was so desperate I even went to the elves for help. Nothing.

    It's been days without sleep. I can't tell if I'm making the right decision but I cannot rest. I intend to kill Viconia and take her body to the priests so they will be forced to talk. I can't leave it like this. How Viconia and I left it. She tried to leave but I wouldn't let her.

  • FinnTheHumanFinnTheHuman Member Posts: 404
    Goodbye Umar. Goodbye temple of Amunator. We're off to the inn to pick up Imoen and kill Irenicus. I must leave a note to remember this high point in my life. After Amunator's light has restored my love, Viconia hasn't left my arms. We've been banging everywhere. In his light (mirrors--very nice, praise Amunator), in front of his giant head so he may see and be pleased (a little weird for me), on the shadow altar (praise Shar), Valgars cabin, even Merella's cabin. She had me cleaning the cabin and ordering me around. I kind of liked it. Its a nice cabin once its cleaned. I think with some tapestries to add some color. Maybe cut back a few trees so its brighter inside. Definitely a new bed; the Merella ook has seeped in too deep. I think get a man to come white wash the walls so it's nice and bright inside. Rugs. Definitely lots of rugs. Nothing too fancy, maybe skins. Oh, winter wolf pelts. We'll have to make a trip to the cloud peaks and get all the wolf pelts we can find. They would make such wonderful bedding. And chairs, I want a big chair. So big you can lie down, made with winter wolf fur. We could snuggle up together and the fur will tickle us behind the ears and cheeks. I think maybe the tanner in Athkatla could have tanned all our pelts. Its a shame that we couldn't be friends. He seemed interesting. I need to make more friends. I wonder if Valgar needs some friends. I bet he needs a woman. I should introduce him to Imoen, they would hit it off i'm sure. Him and Imoen up in his cabin and me and Viconia down in ours and our kids would grow up together, playing in the forests and meadows that Valgar and I keep safe from darkness. Viconia can become a priestess of Shar and Amunator together up in the temple. We'll open the temple and people will come from far and wide and our temple will be prosperous and we'll find Rassaad and get him down here too. And Minsk. I love Minsk. I can't wait. We must get Imoen right away and then we can go to Valgar's house in the city. They are going to fall for eachother, I just know it.

  • FinnTheHumanFinnTheHuman Member Posts: 404

    Aven goes on to crush Irenicus and then empty Watchers Keep. He grew weary of the endless fighting of monsters and constant manipulations by nearly every person he contacted. He tried to broker peace with the five remaining Bhaalspawn, but was fated to be the last remaining. He took his place on the throne of Bhaal, with Viconia at his side. Together they conspired to kill the Spider Queen and ensure Viconia's safety.

  • FinnTheHumanFinnTheHuman Member Posts: 404

    Aven was a Chaotic Neutral Shadowdancer. I think I played him pretty true to alignment, which I think is the hardest part of these games. If you were nice to him he would do your quest without reward. However if he felt slighted by you he would find a reason to kill you. He had a special knack for post hoc justification of his actions, but was mostly driven by passions of the moment. He had a soft spot in his heart for women and children and was generally selflessly good to them. He felt himself a protector of children in the wake of the trauma of his foster father's murder and having to fend for himself. He wasn't always a protector of women, however. After the frustration of being spurned by every prostitute in Baldur's Gate he finally murdered one women over the Cloak of Balduraan. His shame over this act led him to look at himself as a protector of women. I think I made it clear that Aven's vice was greed. It ultimately this led him to turn chaotic evil for the want of blackrazor.

    I dualed Aven to a fighter at level 24, I think (I forget the exact level. Whatever the level is after getting two high level abilities. It's the last level achievable to still be able to regain the thief abilities by the 8M xp level cap). Waiting until getting use any item (UAI) was a good choice, I think, as the ability is retained even after dualing; you don't have to wait until thief abilities are regained to get UAI back. So, with all the kit Aven collected over the course of the game, he was an adequate tank pretty quickly. With a three man team, I think he was level 8 by the time they left the Mind flayer's lair. I for one didn't find the late dualing painful.

    A Shadow dancer is powerful; until everybody that's tough can see him anyway. However, the drow and vampires are easy still. The shadow dancer can also be used to kill some of the rapidly regenerating characters. The technique is Hide in Shadow, activate detect traps until hide in shadow is clickable again (the thief should still be hidden since most of your ability points were spent on move silently which makes leaving shadows take longer), backstab, immediately hide, immediately backstab, shadow step, hide, backstab, repeat from shadow step until dead. Sometimes it is beneficial to wait until the first hit is a critical, if it's not then just wait until a normal hide in plain sight (shadows) is clickable and try again. Aven killed Bhodi this way.

    I think lots of people like the shadowdancer. They get their own kit special abilities. Can many (any) other kits say that? They would be great if they could gain a true invisibility skill which would make them invisible to dragons, demons and the like. Perhaps if the total stealth score was over 500 or something ridiculous like that...

    I'm starting a new playthrough now of a fighter/mage/thief, Zod. After ToB, I'm really enjoying setting ambushes for a group of gibberlings and other low level creatures. Zod's true neutral and pretty Milquetoast, so probably no posts about him.

    I might return here to punch up some of the entries again sometime. Until then, thanks for reading. I really enjoyed writing these posts. I hope you enjoyed them too.

  • GoturalGotural Member Posts: 1,229
    Probably my favorite reading of the week, thank you for sharing your journal with us it was amazing !

  • BlackravenBlackraven Member Posts: 3,472
    I only found this today when searching for threads and posts about Shadowdancers (since I'm running my first Shadowdancer). It was a pleasure reading Aven's journal. I actually wanted more...

  • FinnTheHumanFinnTheHuman Member Posts: 404
    @blackraven, you made me :smiley: so happy.

    This was my first challenges and playthrough writeup, so it has a special place in my heart.

    I'm actually a little ashamed to call it a playthrough, since it lacks that careful detail others put into their playthroughs. I call it a CHARNAME fanfic. But hopefully it has a little insight into Shadowdancer's as well as being fun to read.

    Oh yeah, and thanks for the bump. Now maybe others will give it a look as well.

  • BlackravenBlackraven Member Posts: 3,472
    Hah, so we made each other happy. :) My Shadowdancer is also Chaotic Neutral, so your writing was surely inspirational (even if my character isn't as borderline evil or violent as yours, yet). I hope that if you have more great characters you'll let us enjoy them here on the forums.

    Btw one possible explanation not too many others have given this thread a look, is that it's posted in Challenged and Playthroughs, which sees fewer readers than General Discussions.

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