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The Partridge Family

UnderstandMouseMagicUnderstandMouseMagic Member Posts: 2,142
I was attempting a documented no reload run of Baldurs Gate and somehow it turned into more of a story/journal. It was in the No Reload Thread, all scattered around. I want to carry on with it into SOA, but as it has got so storified, moved it here to keep it all in one place. Then I can carry on with the SOA playthrough.

I've also added quite a bit and tidied it all up a bit, so anybody who read this on the no reload thread will see some changes.


Introduction

Ayla is something of a rebel, that's why she's a Swashbuckler and uses a katana, a rare weapon on the Sword Coast. No boring endless studying of magic scrolls, no prostrating to a diety, far more sneaking around places she shouldn't. Somebody tells her she ought to like something, ought to do something, she will automatically object even if she ends up doing exactly the same thing later on. Her relationship with Gorion is problematic, he's just so good and patient and wholesome. She recognises his virtues, just doesn't want to follow them exactly. Nothing too bad, basically teenage bratishness.

After his untimely demise running away from Candlekeep, she finds herself on the road alone. Imoen turns up, and is sent back to Candlekeep (no, just no, if I wanted cute and cheerful I would have bought myself a puppy).

It was only after being chased in circles by a wolf that she realised that she had made a hell of a mistake.

So like an idiot, having met Xzar and Montaron, agrees to travel with them. They're cool and edgy, what's not to like? They hit the Friendly Arm Inn, Gorion had told Ayla to meet some friends of his there. They bumped into Tarnesh and Ayla finds out there's a bounty on her head. So avoids entering the FAI, could be more assassins, and they head to Beregost, killing an ogre on the way who drops some belts.

In Beregost they needed cash so take up an offer from some bystander, and Xzar bravely sacrifices himself to save Ayla from a spell throwing actress. Monteron and Ayla then enter the nearby inn to recover, and guess what, Montaron too has to make the ultimate sacrifice for Ayla from another bounty hunter.

I knew Xzar and Montaron were cool, not so edgy though, actually quite soft and squishy.

Shocked at this turn of events, Ayla heads to the temple for some spiritual guidence and finds out that one of the belts can change gender.

Now spiritual guidance is all very well, but it's not going to save your arse if there's a price attached to that arse. So Ayla uses her quite high intelligence and decides that the best way to run south, get herself away from all this mindless violence, is to use the gender change belt and become "Alan". Nobody is looking for a young man, (albeit a rather effeminate young man), and keep off the roads.


Chapter One

Say Hello To Alan


So "Alan" after practising a bit out in the wilderness to get "his" head round the new plumbing arrangements (you can target things!) headed back into town to buy some new clothes (oooh shopping).

I tried to keep my head down, (though the courtesans seemed over interested), but had to defuse some drunken father in an inn looking for a fight, deliever a book all the way across a road (good test, the mage didn't see through my disguise), asked to find out what had happened to a husband and told to sort out some half ogres (I must look more capable than I thought). Later that night I blitzkrieged the town opening every chest and door (except for one with strange noises coming from behind it). Then I went for a well deserved sleep and next morning sold my ill gotten gains (this town sure has dumb shopkeepers, do they never do stock inventory).

I didn't have enough money for a better shortbow but I managed to afford some +1 arrows which is a help, I kept the "stupifyer" I'd found as it may come in useful and started my journey south. On the road I took down a couple of what? I dunno what they were but they were dumb and slow, a few ghasts and lots of hobgoblins. I found a letter from the missing husband and a cave with a good stash of potions and arrows and lots of jewelry (what is it with these monsters and their taste for jewelry? Some lovely bits and pieces but you never see them wearing any of it).

I left the road as it was so overcrowded with things that wanted to kill me and found a talking chicken who needed help, was in fact, in dire need as the wolf chasing him was much faster moving. An unfortunate accident with some unidentified piece of equipment, I sympthised and smugly considered my own "experiment" with a properly identified piece of clothing. I killed the wolf using the speed potion I had knicked from Imoen (God I'm such a bitch, sod off Imoen the innanely cheerful but give me everything you have before you go...but I was nice about it so that's OK). Took the chicken to his Master to be unenchanted, had to get a skull for the Master for the spell, then the Master 'accidently' killed the chicken. So, all in all a bit of a waste of time, we could have had a nice roast instead. Headed back to Beregost as too late to carry on south, carefully avoiding the morose but Good Looking Elf on the way (I don't need that sort of complication) and had another well deserved sleep.

Next morning, I decided to travel west for a bit past the temple then south as the road had turned out to be so perilous. I was accosted by a friendly ghoul called Korax, (as you do, surprised, why would I be surprised?) Just as well as the area was even more dangerous than the road and full of basilisks. Which thankfully my new best friend Korax wanted to eat. After killing lots of basilisks which seemed to cheer up Korax no end, we ran into a very rude adventuring group who wanted to kill me. Korax took exception to this attack on his new best friend. I'm afraid I scarpered and left Korax to it. Well Korax was undead anyway... I think.

I was beginning to realise being on your own is not that efficient a way to stay alive so returned for the morose, Good Looking Elf I had seen near Beregost. And he must be better than a hungry ghoul who thinks he's a dog. Kivan is the name, and oh my, is he miserable, (on second thoughts the ghoul was more of a laugh). Hunting bandits because they killed his wife, very sad, but time to move on methinks, happened years ago. Yeah but elves, what can you do? The eye candy is welcome though.

So now with a disguise and a believable covering story because travelling with the revenge monkey, decided to head back to the Friendly Arm Inn and see if there was any information I could glean about why people were trying to kill me. We had a few inconsequential fights on the way, but two bows now, enemies don't get close. This time I checked out the inside of the Friendly Arm Inn and spied on Jaheira and Khalid from a corner. Decided not to approach because that would blow my "Alan" cover and raise too many questions, also they didn't look that friendly. Kind of fed up and impatient.

So back on the road once again heading south. Kivan is a ranger, so we ate well on the way, spit roast partridge bought down with his bow, it made up for the missed chicken. We had a straight run down to the next town (that's a little flattering), Nashkel. Checked in the inn and another bounty hunter attacked. I used the wand (nicked from Imoen, the guilt is killing me) and lots of arrows from Kivan to kill her. How she recognised me is a mystery, (actually a goddam cheat), must have some kind of truesight operational, she did have spells.

Later, as we had a look round the "town" we were waylaid by a very loud nutter demanding that we help rescue a witch. Of course the GLE wanted to rush to the rescue, a woman in peril and all that. I however prevaricated a bit toooo much, surely a witch could look after herself? Next thing, the maniac attacks, "run away, run away" was the cry that went up, so I did. Straight into a mage who took the nutter out with a spell.

Said Mage is looking for the same witch to kill her and asked us politely if we would aid him. Or it might just have been a string of insults, but the accent made it hard to tell. Now of course the GLE wouldn't have any of that, so I suggested we just find her and decide then, she could well be evil. Lets face it, the bodyguard wasn't exactly Mr Goody Two Shoes what with attacking an innocent passer by who just hesitated a bit when they saw him speaking to a rodent.

Introductions were made, Edwin Odesseiron, flashy name, I thought that just "Alan" wouldn't impress so blurted out the first thing that came to mind, "Partridge, Alan Partridge of the Norfolk Partridges". Whatever, he's from Thay, what's he going to know?


Chapter 2

All The Fun Of The Fair

So now our little group headed west across the bridge ostensibly to track the witch. We bumped into an odd fellow called Noober who didn't seem like they were all there, a few sandwiches short of a picnic. Left Kivan with him, while we poked around. I didn't know who to feel more sorry for. Kivan who interrupted every five minutes to wail about missing his lost Deheiriananana (something like that) or this "Noober" who just wailed, well about nothing much.

The upshot was that "Noober" (probably to cheer Kivan up or shut him up, who knows?) told us about some buried treasure.

We found an absolutely beautiful pearl...oh, and some old green armour. Kivan was almost (I say almost) animated about the find, apparently it's ankheg plate, valuable and as strong as iron. He promptly donned it and paraded around.

I said something about it matching his beautiful eyes...awkward.

Edwin, (no way am I going to address him as sir as he suggested, I am a Norfolk Partridge after all) shot me a very strange yet interested look, gonna have to watch that one, there were books in Candlekeep about Thayvian perversions.

As it had got quite late afternoon, we decided to haul back to the inn rather than start a trek cross country. The mayor stopped us and apologised for the earlier attack, he said if they'd realised the big bloke was such a nutter they would have kept him locked up (you would have thought talking to a rodent would have given them a clue). I don't really believe him, there's another nutter just up the road demonstrating kick boxing, bothering passers by and preaching about "the moon being in danger". Then there's Noober. Nashkel obviously attracts them, probably because they are free to wander around. Then the Mayor asked us if we were interested in a spot of detective/adventuring work.

Now my plan was to hightail it south, but the mayor was a crafty one, mentioned gold to the Thayvian and evil needing to be routed to the Elf. I was outvoted and pouting and threatening to sulk really doesn't work in this body. So it looks like we are going to have to find some stolen gems and investigate the local mines (coal? diamond? iron? don't know, don't care) tomorrow. The only bright spot is that we can visit the carnival this evening. So after a quick check in, wash and shave at the inn, (actually the shaving is a bit superfluous for me, seems like the belt isn't quite as powerful as I thought, I was going to go for the bluebeard/blackbeard wife murdering look), we headed out.

What can I say?

The carnival was rather subdued, all to do with the problems at the mine affecting the local economy (it's iron BTW, diamonds would have been nicer). Though the exploding ogre was spectacular...and messy...and made me throw up. Kivan thought that was hilarious (of all the bloody things to make him laugh) and said I looked the colour of his armour. Edwin sneered (not bothered, it might make him forget his earlier interest) and muttered something about barbarians.

There was one interesting attraction, a stone woman, very lifelike. Or as Edwin eulogised, "very likelike almost as if you could lose yourself in the magnificent twin orbs of her bosom which the sculpter has lovingly shaped and carressed" (so Edwin swings both ways huh?). Turns out there was no "loving carressing and shaping", just a nasty petrification spell that was able to be reversed with a scroll I'd picked up in Candlekeep.

And so we met Branwen. I like Branwen. Particularly when she explained that although petrified, she could hear what was said and took exception to men who fetishsised about her "magnificent twin orbs".

Edwin prepared to cast invisibility on himself.

Kivan, ever the gentleman (muttering under his breath about not seeing a woman undressed since the loss of his Deheirianananana), offered her the ankheg plate when she pledged her swordarm to our cause. Branwen is a priestess of Tempus the God of battles, from the north, who fell foul of a bandit leading mage named Tranzig. So she was only too keen to join us when she heard about Kivan's unrelenting hunt for bandits. Great, now I travel with two revenge monkeys. And all I wanted to do was get as far away as possible.

On the way back to the inn, we killed a mad mage, (no not Edwin) and rescued a witch he was trying to kill, (no not that witch, another witch, too many witches). I had drunk quite a bit by then.


Post edited by UnderstandMouseMagic on
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  • UnderstandMouseMagicUnderstandMouseMagic Member Posts: 2,142
    edited June 2017
    Chapter 3

    Kobalds, Kobalds Everywhere


    The four of us, Alan, Kivan, Edwin and Branwen headed for the mines the next day. Nothing I said managed to dissuade them, they had smiting evil, righteous battle and gold on their minds and me having a really bad hangover just didn't work as reason enough to stop them. We were waylaid by a group that contained the big half orc I'd seen as the Friendly Arm Inn. They were having their own internal bust ups, it sounded very bitter, all sorts of betrayal going on. We helped the half orc kill the others as they had attacked us. The half orc asked if I was "Ayla". Told him not to be silly, do I look like a woman, I'm Alan, he must be thinking of my distant cousin Anne of the Lincolnshire Patridges (who always looked a bit ambiguous when it came to gender, the family never liked to talk about it). I think I got away with it especially as later Edwin asked if my cousin was, how shall we put this, "open minded".

    How are these randomers seeing through my disguise?

    We found the sculpter Prism who had stolen the emeralds, chipping away at a vast stone head. The emeralds were for the eyes, (ridiculous, they were totally out of scale). Prism was in love with her yet had never spoken to her? Kivan went off on one about true love being about never speaking to the true love or somesuch, (elves what can you do?) Then the bounty hunter Greywolf turned up for the emeralds. We said, no way we found them first, he attacked, we killed him, Prism died (drugs, just say no).

    Personally I thought the carving was pretty hidious and who the hell is going to see it in this backwards neck of the woods? The emeralds are nice though, shame I don't get to keep them. Edwin was just dissappointed it wasn't full length. Branwen insisted we check to make sure it wasn't another petrified woman. Though as Edwin pointed out, it was just the head and bloody huge and if it was a real woman she might be very pissed off if we resurrected her and she found out she's been decapitated.

    So then we headed into the mines and this is where my sense of humour went missing, I began to make Kivan look cheerful.

    Kobalds, hundreds of kobalds, hundreds of kobalds with bows and flame arrows, hundreds of kobalds waiting round corners to ambush you with bows and flame arrows. So we struggled on, a step at a time, Branwyn at the front with shield up. Didn't do much good, the buggers still caught Edwin with a one shot kill (would have helped admitedly if he had cast armour but "he" forgot). So back to Nashkel and a quick visit to the temple. Dropped off the emeralds, gave Edwin his share of the gold as a bribe to go back to the mines.

    Agonisingly slowly we crept our way down through the mines, we tried to recruit some miners as a human shield but they weren't having any of it, ungrateful curs. I scouted ahead, disarming traps and spying round corners, inbetween running back to the others and telling them this was really a bad idea and can we go home now. We found a "grease" spellscroll, now we're talking. Combined with Edwin's horror spell, things got a lot easier. First you make the hoards of kobalds get stuck and fall over, then you scare the bejesus out of them so they run around in panic. Picking them off with arrows and sling bullets was easy after that.

    At the bottem of the mine we found Mulahay, the mastermind behind all this disruption, holed up in a small bijou cave (I think he was going for ethnic come arts and crafts, but in a mine? What an idiot) The fight went much better than expected. We spoke to him and bluffed our way past his defences. He invited us to check his accounts, promising everything was in order and that the petty cash was accounted for. Then he went nuts, turned on us and summoned a hoard of yet more kobalds with some skeletons added in for variety. What he didn't know is that we had done some earlier preparations. Outside the cave there was a grease trap set up and quite a few snares. Branwen had a skeleton helper of her own, and between Kivan's arrows, my katana, Branwens mace and Edwin's spells he didn't last long. Amongst the papers we found evidence that this is all connected to the bandits, Tranzig and Tazok were mentioned. So Kivan and Branwyn went off on one demanding all sorts of retribution. Me and Edwin were looking at the cusions, lovely embroidary.

    We found an elf in a side cave, even prettier than the one we've got, even more miserable than the one we've got. A kind of Superelf version of super elfishness. He blushed attractively at the compliments being sent his way from Branwen and Edwin, though looked a little nervous when they argued about who would walk next to him. His name's Xan and he's a mage, Edwin immediately offered help with his "spells", yeah sure Edwin.

    We made our way back through the mine to the entrance, much rejoicing (and surprise that we were still alive) at our appearence from the guards, not that they had lifted a finger to help. Then back to Nashkel for the rewards. The mayor proclaimed us heroes, gave us gold (good), said we would be famous (not so good).

    Back to the inn for well needed rest and booze, and then a bounty hunter appeared and bloody rcognised me again. What the hell, I'm beginning to get stubble (OK a bit of fluff , but if you catch it in a certain light, it could be stubble). "Death come for thee", oh purleese.

    We scattered, we shot arrows, some of us hid, we took him down with a wand of frost. Funny thing was the kick boxing nutter seemed to be able to see when he was invisible, that helped a lot. People round these parts have really good eyesight, nothing gets past them, magical disguises or invisibility.


    Chapter 4

    Misunderstandings

    Alan, Brawyn, Edwin, the GLE (good looking elf) and the PE (pretty elf) repaired to the inn after dealing with (yet another) bounty hunter. Drinks were ordered and congratulations recieved from grateful townsfolk. Branwyn and Edwin flanked the PE, the first offering comfort and solace in her expansive chest, the second more (and more) wine. If looks could kill, we'd be down two party members. That left me with the GLE, who was far more interested in speaking Elvish with the PE, blah blah mellonomin, blah, blah, haven't heard my mother tongue for ages, blah blah, and did I tell you my wife was killed horribly, ect.

    Not that I was jealous, being a man, (a manly man), who doesn't get jealous. So I wandered off to the bar to get another drink and found myself talking to a woman with really badly applied make up. Far too much, looked like a bloody clown and her dress didn't fit properly, far too tight. But she was very friendly and seemed interested to hear me moaning about the others and was happy to keep my wine glass filled up (admittedly it was me who paid for the bottle).

    And the evening wound on.

    And I got drunker.

    And the woman got friendlier.

    And closer.

    And I jumped out of my skin and drew Varscona when she tried to kiss me and made a grab for me.

    That didn't go down well I can tell you. The GLE rescued the woman (huh, I'm the one who was assaulted), Branwyn made jokes about young men not knowing their arses from their elbows, Edwin offered to escort the woman to his bedroom (for her own safety of course), and the PE took his chance to escape.

    Next morning we reconvened, not early, hungover, no sign of the PE much to Branwyn and Kivan's disappointment. I was secretly rather pleased, there can be too much competition whatever my current form. Edwin seemed to have got over the PE remarkably quickly but that could be due to clown make up woman's acceptance of his offer of a safe place to stay.

    So back on the road and off to find a witch. Nobody was talking much, too hungover and a mixture of disappointment, embarrassment and smugness. As we approached a cliff face a small blue thing appeared and attacked. After killing it I asked what it was.

    "It's a Smurf" answered Branwyn, "we have them in the Norheim Isles but they're usually much friendlier, you call them then "farts" round here"

    "We call them what?"

    "Farts, you know, farts, there must be a Fart Village nearby."

    At that moment more of the "farts" started pouring down the pass towards us. With a war cry that echoed off the cliffs, Branwyn leapt into battle calling on Tempus to "strike down the "farts" with his mighty power".

    And we lost it, completely, Kivan's bow was shaking, Edwin couldn't cast and I realised I was still pretty drunk.

    Thankfully the "farts" were small, weak and insane which put them on the same level as our own hysterical state. Until "Papa Fart", as described by Branwyn, called up a bear (a "fart" bear? how?) but we'd got pretty adept at scattering and pelting with missiles. Though Edwin did have to cast silence on Branwyn before we were able to do anything constructive. Then there was a cave, another bear and treasure which nobody could identify but looked expensive.

    The three of us took a vow never to reveal to Branwyn why she had had to do most of the fighting herself.



    Chapter 5

    Rescuing A Witch

    Leaving the "fart" village behind us we trudged on and on and on. We fought together, ate together, slept together...no we didn't sleep together however much Edwin suggested we should huddle together for warmth.

    "It's early summer Edwin, it's not cold"

    "I heard there was a hurrican on the way"

    "We're not in the tropics, I just saw a polar bear".

    We killed things, lots and lots of things. Branwyn got poisoned, quick potion, she got poisoned again, quick potion, not enough time to use her cleric skills. We ran away from ogres when we didn't have enough time/room to web/grease/horror/colour spray them but ended up killing them in the end all the same. We met a woman who asked us to commit genocide on the gibberlings, we happily complied, why not?

    We were a walking, talking, fighting, ecological disaster.

    "Are we nearly there yet"

    "For the tenth time, no"

    "Are we nearly there yet"

    "(One day, one day,) for the eleventh time, no"

    We followed the river, and there on a high cliff we saw the fortress. Undaunted (who am I kidding, I was severely daunted, so daunted I suggested we leave the witch to her fate, she was out of the way, her "evil" was contained, who's going to come all this way to find out if she was alive?) we pressed on.

    Over a rope bridge, stopped by two ogres, killed the two ogres and they dropped some gauntlets. And we stood around looking at the gauntlets wondering what the hell was special about them. They looked special, they felt special, why can none of us recognise anything? Must be some kind of enchantment placed on all these objects to stop them getting nicked (at least that's the excuse Edwin came up with). Kivan just dismissed them as not being "elvish", nice bloke but really has this racial superiority thing going on. Branwyn prayed to Tempus to tell her what they were but the hotline was engaged so she left a message.

    We decided a full frontal attack was suicidal so crept around the edge, killing anything that crossed us (as usual) and found that only a full frontal assault was possible. So up the steps we went, bows, spells and Branwyn and me up front holding them off so Kivan/Edwin could shoot (what ever spell took his fancy in Edwins case). Up and up, it's just as well Gnolls don't know the first thing about defending a well built, heavily defensible fort. Don't mill around aimlessly, guard the narrow staircase so a mage can't sneak up and cast some debilitating spell or the other as you chase them down. So that you are caught and become arrow fodder, Jeez, gnolls are dumb and they smell really bad.

    Found the witch "Dynaheir" in a pit, she didn't seem that "evil" but she didn't like Edwin much which doesn't prove anything either way. Edwin had already clocked her chest as she wore a low cut dress so became somewhat ambivalent and agreed to traveling together. Kivan helped her out of the pit and got an eyeful from above and went into a frenzy of muttering Deheirianananana, Deheirianananana, over and over again. Branwyn was delighted there would be another woman travelling with us which made me jealous. I would have killed the witch right there had I had backup from the others especially when the first thing she did was ask us to look for her journal.

    Rescuing you from certain death not enough witch?

    So headed back to Nashkel, through empty, devestated countryside denuded of wildlife thanks to our earlier efforts. We decided to take a break and bathe and clean clothes at the river. As I said, gnolls are not the most hygenic of species. I inadvertantly tried to follow Branwen and Dynaheir to where they were bathing, and got told off by Dynaheir (didn't I just rescue you from certain death witch), laughed at by Branwen, kindly understood by Kivan along the lines of "I was young once", and propositioned by Edwin.

    Which left me having to bathe with Kivan and Edwin.

    Actually this trip is looking up, it's been a loooong time since Candlekeep...and the readers...and the guards...and the monks...and the bored visitors...

    Late afternoon sunlight glistening off of taut, honed bodies as they frolick in the shallows playfully splashing each other and... oh my, I need to get into deep cold, very cold water fast, (very fast). Men surely have an embarrassing problem should their thoughts wander.




    Post edited by UnderstandMouseMagic on
    JuliusBorisovRavenslightAerakartbone1
  • UnderstandMouseMagicUnderstandMouseMagic Member Posts: 2,142
    edited June 2017
    Chapter 11

    Running Away

    As we headed to the FAI entrance, we were again accosted by the old man who we kept on giving coppers to for tea. Turns out it's Elminster (yet he never refused our money, what a con artist) and he proceeded to give some enigmatic hints about what I should be doing next. Edwin of course wanted to kill him, can't say I was that inclined to stop him but "Elminster"? slightly more than we can chew currently. One day, one day...

    Identified, distributed and sold the loot, a quick wash and brush up and the prospect of a night of heavy drinking, what could be better? But for some reason, I just wasn't feeling it. Did I really want to carry on slogging my guts out opposing this "Iron Throne" and their plots? That was never my plan, it happened by accident more than anything. But the assasins were after me before I went anywhere near the mines. The group who killed Gorion were specifically after me but why?

    What was I missing?

    And did I really care?

    I'd much prefer to just runaway. Start a new life where I was neither Alan or Ayla, just a rather well off, devestatingly attractive (we all have our delusions) young woman with a mundane past. And that prospect was receeding rapidly as I could sense the changes that were happening to me the more battles I was fighting. Meet a nice young man, settle down, have a family, normality. Admittedly the prospect didn't hold that much attraction, it did sound rather boring, but I could adapt, change, I'm sure I could if I tried hard enough. And as a backup, I could always use the belt, escape and try somewhere else.

    Although sad about Gorion, I'd learnt enough about fighting since that night to be more irritated with his complete lack of preparation. Seriously, what was he thinking? Perhaps he'd got a bit senile after spending all those years in Candlekeep? Would it have really have hurt to get a few of the guards together, a wand or two, some decent equipment? Given me a bit of warning that I was being hunted when he certainly knew I was, judging by his conversation with the armoured figure who eventually killed him? So I wasn't so driven by thirst for revenge, survival was far higher on my list.

    Then there were the troubling dreams. Every adopted child wants their background to be exotic, a lost princess, the true heir to a fortune. What do I get? Visions of death and destruction and bone daggers. The healing powers though, I'll take them. But it did raise the question, "what was I?" Did I even want to find out? I was reasonably content as I was. And for every positive discovery there was an equal chance of something not very nice at all.

    I looked around at my companions, and yes I had grown fond of them. But was that enough? And if I cared about them, did I really want to drag them through another bloody mine? Kivan, who was looking happier sitting next to Branwen than I could ever have thought possible when first we met. Edwin, who for all his faults (and there were so many) never shirked a fight when his endless pursuit of sex allowed, and showed a loyalty he would never admit. Branwen, who was living and breathing again and obviously in love with Kivan after almost giving up hope whilst being petrified. And Viconia, a Drow even more hunted than myself who had found a place where at least she had somebody at her back and guarded ours in return.

    Nah, time to go south as I always planned, I wasn't helping anybody here. If anything I just brought more danger as the target of bounty hunters. I had money, good gear, could open any lock, disarm any trap I came across and was pretty capable in a fight. The world was my oyster.

    That night I crept out of the FAI and hit the road on my own.


    Chapter 12

    The Bhaalspawn Returns

    I travelled overnight reaching Beregost as the shops opened, black shadow armour was the objective. It's black, it's leather, there are no downsides to this decision and it being magical, Alan or Ayla both looked pretty damn good wearing it.

    After breakfast and a couple of hours sleep, I carried on south hanging to the east of the Lion's Way. Of course there were things to kill and people to help. At one point I saved a cow, probably not the greatest feat ever recorded, but the cow was just so helpless it gave a warm glow fighting off the "farts" who were attacking her. I killed a billion ogres and assorted monsters who go "arrggh" and always attack even when they can quite clearly see they are going to come off worst. Quite what so many are doing hanging around in groups with no discernible settlements or means of production I never got a chance to ask before being attacked. No women monsters either, perhaps it's the local hangout of the YMCA? One small group demanded I give them my "iron", how about "no, die scum?".

    Ever southwards, I skirted Durlag's Tower, shame I won't get to explore the rest of it, maybe one day in the future. I killed various groups of wolves, nowadays I chunk them up quite easily compared to having to down an oil of speed and running like crazy to keep out of their way while shooting them with arrows. I wandered through the valley of death and feared no evil. Not strictly true, I gave the ominious cave mouths a wide berth, especially after meeting a distraught man who was being hunted by some kind of ghost because he had taken his dagger.

    Further on I met a woman who asked me to take her ill companion to the Friendly Arm Inn, I had just came from there it's miles away. Talk about relying on the kindness of strangers. I refused but gave her some potions to help her companion out, and she gave me a ring in return. And I didn't turn them into the FF Guard hunting for the injured companion, Samuel, I know what it's like to be hunted. I decided to cut across to Nashkel and stock up before heading over the Cloud Peaks and further into Amn.

    After a night in Nashkel, it was down past the mines and the eyeless face in the cliff, now I was really on my way, unknown territory. Marching along, whistling a merry tune (not really but trying hard here to set the scene), minding my own business, when I was accosted by a group of women, (bloody ugly women at that). And although I was Alan at the time, told them, "their clothes were attrocious". Ooops, way to blow my cover.

    They demanded my name and I didn't get the impression that it was so they could get my autograph.

    I said mind your own business,

    they said no matter we know who you are,

    I said then why ask,

    they said it's not personal we have to kill you,

    I said why,

    they said becase it's how we earn our money,

    I said hadn't they thought about getting some qualifications and breaking that glass ceiling,

    they said look at the corporate world and how the patriarchy was holding them back,

    I said that's just an excuse,

    they said now you're just mansplaining,

    I said but you just identified me as a woman,

    they said you're a hostage to the patriarchy you even dress like one,

    I said they were being insulting by their innability to accept my right to be considered male or female as I choose and that gender is fluid,

    and they said,

    "NOT AS FLUID AS YOU ARE GOING TO BE AFTER WE HAVE FINISHED WITH YOU."

    Meanwhile, I had sorted my potions, so tossed an oil of fiery burning at them and promptly disappeared.

    Then it was just a matter of picking them off one by one, arrows of biting stopping the spell casters giving any problems, arrows of fire to cause elemental damage, another burning oil to keep their attention. The invisible backstabber couldn't do much damage through my armour either. Finally there was just one left, slowly being poisoned by an arrow. I dangled the antidote just out of her reach as she rolled around on the floor in agony.

    "Tell me who sent you after me and how did you recognise me".

    "It was the Iron Throne and they have spies planted throughout the sword coast"

    "Why are the Iron Throne after me?"

    "You destroyed their plans to build an iron monopoly and took down the bandits"

    "I was forced into that, they attacked first"

    "They don't care, one of the heads of the Iron Throne has it in for you personally"

    "Why"

    "I don't know, they have other groups like us hunting you, and he won't stop"

    "Who is "he"?

    "I don't know the name but he's mad, quite mad"

    "What does he look like"

    "Tall, very tall and has golden eyes"

    As she drank the antidote I stabbed her through the heart. I could feel a great blinding rage rising up within me. This was the same man who had killed Gorion, who had sent bounty hunters after me, who was now sending professional groups to hunt me down, I was sure. This wasn't going to stop until I stopped it, running away was not going to work.

    I picked through their stuff taking the best pieces to sell, and turned back towards the north. Athkatla would have to wait.

    JuliusBorisovRavenslightAerakartbone1
  • UnderstandMouseMagicUnderstandMouseMagic Member Posts: 2,142
    edited June 2017
    Chapter 13

    Back On The Hunt

    I started on the long trek back "oop north" picking up the injured man, Samuel, on the way, well why not? One day I may need a stranger to do the same for me. We arrived at the Friendly Arm Inn to find my former companions missing. I was told two had left but the other two were around somewhere but hadn't been seen much. Later that evening a very sleepy Branwyn and Kivan made their way down to the bar...oh...

    "Hi guys, did you miss me?"

    "You've been somewhere"

    "Didn't you get my letter?"

    "We've been very busy..."

    "Sure"

    According to Kivan, Viconia was holed up in a cave, "where she belongs with the crawling beasts and sun hating monsters".

    "You know Kivan, you really need to stop this racial stereotyping and prejudice".

    "But that's what she said"

    "Oh...that's OK then"

    "So where's Edwin?"

    "Gone back to Nashkel"

    "Why?"

    "Cheaper concubines"

    So once again we set off, this time to pick up our errant companions. We found Viconia in her cave and she greeted us with about as much enthusiasm as expected.

    "So the jaluk and the dathir have come to ask for my help"

    "Viconia, what does "jaluk and "dathir" mean?"

    "I have no idea but they sound suitably dismissive, I am Drow if you haven't noticed"

    We found Edwin in the Nashkel jail, he'd been charged with sexual harrassment.

    "Who has he harrassed?"

    "Everybody, including Noober who filed the complaint"

    The FF chief allowed us to take Edwin if we agreed to find his former boss who had murdered his family. A strange case, completely out of character for the man in question. A loving father who had gone beserk and massacred his whole family. So we headed west after picking up his trail. On the way we helped out with an acheological dig, acting as security guards for the diggers. And must say, we did a grand job. Until the diggers were possesed by an evil entity and we had to slaughter them all. We removed an idol, of course we did, we then tried to put it back but that didn't work, of course it didn't. So had to kill the avatar of the long dead God who turned up to complain about being disturbed.

    It was easy to find the murderer, the trail of mutilated bodies led us straight to him. He asked us a question, we answered his question (wrongly as it happens, "the circus", was not the answer, who'd have guessed), explained Viconia was only being sarcastic (she is a drow), gave him the right answer, whereupon he realised his dreadful crimes. We escorted him back to Nashkel and delivered him to the temple as pretty sure he needed an exorcist rather than a hangman. The sword he'd picked up had cursed him. Important lesson there for us, identify everything...if only we could, it's not like we don't try.

    We traveled north up the coast. Met a tramp, (no scratch that, too bitchy). Met a very attractive thief who asked us to help her get treasure from a cave. Well not asked exactly, more implied that she would be ever so grateful in the Biblical sense should any of the men agree to help. She was so obvious for the first time ever even Edwin didn't bite, I think he actually felt insulted. And when she tried with me, well that wasn't to get her anywhere. Branwen stood next to Kivan and waved her hammer around, I think Safana got the message. So we declined, but got the treasure anyway for ourselves. We killed some more Sirens, killed some worgs to save a child, killed a fortune teller (bit of an accident that one, didn't realise she was unstable), and killed hobgoblins by the dozen.

    Heading east towards Beregost to stock up and sell our murderous plunder, we happened across Drizzt D'urdon, the famous all action hero. He asked us to help him kill some gnolls. I have no idea why because he chopped them up quite happily and incredibly quickly on his own. I rather think he just wanted an audience. He saw Viconia, she saw him, one thing led to another. I thought for a while there we'd end up with another companion. So we set up camp for the night and thanked everything that's holy that none of us understood Drow, it was a long night, that's all I'll say. In the morning Drizzt (how stupid is that name?) bade us farewell, Viconia merely nodded dismissively, of course.

    The next day it was back to same old routine, kill everything that moves, kill everything that doesn't move, we don't discriminate. All the way back to the Friendly Arm Inn ready to start our campaign to the Cloakwood Mine.


    Chapter 14

    Cloakwood Mine

    So fully stocked up and raring to go (yeah sure) we headed into the Cloakwood. First business, killing the Talsoi and retrieving the cloak for the grumpy dwarf in Beregost. Then ever onwards.

    We came across an extensive hunting lodge with a group posing in their Tweeds standing around outside. They were having problems with Druids threatening to kill them and asked for our help. When the druids showed up, they accused the city folks of hunting in the forest.

    "That's really bad I said" quickly hiding my rabbit fur lined gloves, "Terrible" said Branwyn tucking her necklace of bear teeth and claws inside her jacket, "Outrageous" said Kivan pulling his wolf fur hood up to cover his exotic bird feathered plaits, "Dreadful" said Viconia holding her shield in front of her sable and mink lined boots, "Barbaric" said Edwin casually beginning to cast as he eyed his ermine trimmed robe.

    "What will you do?"

    "Kill them of course and you too if you interfere"

    "Not today"

    A nasty fight, lots of lightning, summoned bears and insects, but skeletons can't be bitten and are not really "friends of the earth" as more likely buried in it. The hunters were most grateful and we got a reward and the promise of aid when we hit Baldur's Gate from their leader. They offered the use of the hunting lodge for the night and the barbecued summoned bears were delicious. So our first night in the cloakwood was somewhat luxurious.

    Carrying on deeper into the forest the next day, we crossed the river and met an elf lurking on the bridge. He wanted us to join him hunting wyverns, it's on the way and the reward is good. So welcome aboard Coran.

    What can I say about Coran?

    Well, rather glad I was currently "Alan", as it was Viconia who had to deal with the endless chat up lines. Kivan had warned him off Branwyn and he showed no interest in Edwin or myself.

    Does he ever stop? Well after a day or so, obviously not, Edwin started taking notes.

    We had to cross another river, fighting a few giant spiders on the bank. We then met a a young man looking for his brother who had gone missing days previously after heading off into the giant spider infested woods! (I think it's inbreeding caused by being stuck out in the wilds, why exactly would anyone head into web strewn, spider infested woods, boredem?). Viconia kept sending Coran off on his own to fetch her some food, but he confounded her plan by being able to see traps. So if you can put up with the chatter, Coran does have his uses.

    In the middle of the forest, after avoiding traps and fighting off giant spiders and ettercaps, we found the Giant Spider nest where the Giant Spiders came from and the Giant Cursed Woman who lived there (alright fat, but going for lyricism here).

    "Kill it with fire" was unanimously voted for without much debate.

    Returned the drained husk of a body to the brother and got to keep the magic sword, so good result all round. That level of stupidity shouldn't really be allowed to breed.

    Moving on, (actually roaming around in circles bickering about which side the moss grows on trees), we met more Druids who thankfully hadn't been in recent contact with the Hunt Sab. Druids, they were unwelcoming enough as it was. But they pointed us in the right direction.

    Eventually we found the Wyvern nest and killed the wyvern parents, the wyvern grandparents and the wyvern babies (and the Druids were worried about the Tweed clad city folk?) We let Coran go to pick up the reward back in Beregost, arranging to meet him later. It was for his own good, Viconia had suddenly taken a great interest in foraging fungi and offering to cook him a "special" dish.

    And finally we arrived at the mine, it was huge, how it was a secret was anybody's guess. A welcoming commitee was there to greet us. We said "hello" friendly like, then we killed them friendly like. All very civilised. The thing is, they had letters warning we were on our way, and this was the best they could do? Stand around in the open waiting for us to show up? No snipers concealed on the walls, no traps? Amateur. But their equipment wasn't, full plate armour and a pair of magical boots, "Boots of Speed". We wasted the rest of the day whizzing about the forest taking it in turns to try them out. Decided to camp for the night before our assault on the mine and barbecue the deer who had been most surprised to find it couldn't run away fast enough.

    The next day, into the mine, ineffective guards, enslaved miners, dirt, grime, darkness, the usual. We went down floor by floor and met a miner who had some very complicated plan to flood the place if we found a key. Then we met a dwarf who claimed to be one of the original clan of dwarves who built the mine, before it was flooded last time. So really this mine is a bit of a disaster waiting to happen regardless of anything we would do. We released the slaves from their cells and the leader asked for money to bribe the guards so they could escape. What guards? There's nobody left upstairs. But it was only 100 gp and I admire any entrepeneur looking to make a quick buck when they can.

    Lots of hobgoblins waiting around to shoot us, a couple of mages flinging spells, and our favourite, an ogre mage. So we crept around shooting and killing what we could, while Edwin buzzed around in the boots like a demented ladybird flinging spells at anything that threatened. (just a hint for any evil mastermind reading this, if you are going to use idiot henchmen like the lot waiting for us outside, don't allow them to have a really, really, game changing piece of equipment on them so that when your nemisis inevitably turns up and kills said henchmen, they don't get the game changing, likely to mean success item, when they inevitably kill them). I'm talking Boots of Speed here, the best thing we have ever found and we were able to identify them, what's the odds? The ogre mage dropped a +1 katana, nice and so very rare in this area. Again we were able to tell what it was, so are we finally begining to be able to see through these magical anti theft enchantments?

    On the bottom floor we had to face off with the "Master of the Mine"Davaeorn. Now he at least had made some preparations, traps, a couple of battle horrors, contingencies, sequencers. It makes you feel appreciated.

    Didn't do him any good but it showed he cared.

    The corridor leading to his living quarters (again, nicely appointed, there must be an interior design firm specialising in "how to make your miserable appartment at the bottem of a mine eligible for the front cover of Country Life magazine") was full of traps. I disarmed them under cover of invisibility. Davaeron then gave a snidey speech along the lines of "welcome foolish one, now you die" threw some spells at us and set the battle horrors on their way. But..but..but..boots of speed, what did I tell you? The skeletons occupied the battle horrors, it seems fitting, undead against undead. And then Davaeron, instead of staying put and throwing spells safely from distance, followed me and ended up facing all of us at once. It wasn't long before he realised his mistake.

    So with Davaeorn dead, we found the key to flood the mines. We let his apprentice go, probably going to regret that in years to come when he too turns into an evil mastermind. Looted the place thoroughly, jumped on the lift, (as I said the "appartment" had all mod cons) dropped off the key to the miner to flood the place. And hot footed it out the entrance. The now ex slaves were waiting outside to thank us. And after some very gratifying "thank yous" and bowing and scraping, much to Viconia and Edwin's disgust (I'm not sure if they would deliberately kill everybody given the chance, but I'd rather not find out) we headed back to civilisation.

    JuliusBorisovRavenslightAerakartbone1
  • UnderstandMouseMagicUnderstandMouseMagic Member Posts: 2,142
    I will be up dating this soon but in the meantime wanted to post this link.

    https://www.fanfiction.net/s/12506303/1/The-Reluctant-Bhaalspawn

    All the chapters are there and some of them have quite a bit of extra content.

    JuliusBorisovAerakartbone1
  • UnderstandMouseMagicUnderstandMouseMagic Member Posts: 2,142
    Chapter 15

    Baldurs Gate

    Having flooded the Cloakwood mines and by doing so put a stop to the Iron Throne's current plans, we headed back to Beregost. We needed to identify stuff, sell stuff, chill for a while and discuss our next move. We were feeling pretty damn pleased with our exploits, pretty rich as well. Drinks on the house for everybody. Even Vicky relaxed enough not to threaten anybody who looked her way with unimaginable tortures. Though the young bard, Garrick, she found hanging around outside the Burning Wizard was never going to be the same again after she commandeered him for the night. But then his last employer wasn't exactly the type to take home to meet your Mum either. I think Viconia needed some reassurance after the debacle of her attempt with me.

    Kivan was still fretting about Tazok having seen his name mentioned again in the papers we found at the mine. But Branwen was very succesful keeping him occupied, and lets face it, there's a lot of Branwen to keep any man occupied.

    Edwin suggested that I explore all the possibilities offered by my belt in the interest of research. An intriguing proposition, though I put my foot down at a straightfoward swap. After my experience with Viconia, I knew that wasn't going to work. I also had to tell him to stop referring to the notes he'd taken listening to Coran. From Coran, well he's an elf, what can you do? But from Edwin with his accent? Hysterical giggling is not exactly the way to set the mood and after Viconia, I was experiencing some performance anxiety. Oh for the days of lying back and thinking of Faerun.

    For our next move, after a few nights rest, we thought it was about time to go to Baldurs Gate and investigate this "Iron Throne" further. Decided that it was time to "take arms against a sea of troubles, And by opposing, end them?" as Garrick put it. Viconia's Bard was surprisingly good, I can see a great future for him. Plus I'd never visited such a big city and was anxious to see the sights. So donning our best bib and tucker, me freshly uncursed at the Temple, we set off.

    On the way to the bridge to Baldurs Gate, Wyms Crossing, we were employed to sort out some fishing rights dispute. One side was a priestess of Umberlee, on the other some poor, utterly defenceless fishermen. It wasn't exactly difficult to decide to side with the priestess to keep Umberlee sweet. You never know, we may take a sea voyage at some point. Couldn't help but feel a little sorry for the fishermen. I suppose they'll just have to take up farming which I'm sure will be totally safe and very productive with the all the Ankhegs around keeping the soil aerated.

    As we crossed the great bridge, we were approached by customs. We said we had nothing to declare and yes we had packed our backpacks ourselves but we were still taken to a small room and told to wait. Scar, the head of the Flaming Fist, Baldurs Gate division, came to talk to us. He wanted us to investigate the Seven Suns trading coster, all very cloak and dagger. We told him of our investigation of the iron crisis and our belief that the "Iron Throne" was behind it. So now we have alerted the proper authorities I'm sure they will sort out the Iron Throne and we won't be bothered by them anymore.

    Finally, Baldurs Gate. And what's the first thing we see?

    Bloody Elminster shuffling around glad handing the tourists. Got the usual enigmatic "one with your heritage". What heritage? Tell me you senile old fool, oh no, that would be too helpful, you're far too busy cadging coppers.

    The Elfsong looked a good place to stay so made our way there. A strange gnome who thought he had a starring role in some bad gangster play, gave us a commission to steal a "telescope" from the city museum. And then we called in on the local thieves guild as they could be a good source of information about the city and the trading coster we had been asked to investigate (in spite of disapproval from the more law abiding members of the group). The thing is Kivan and Branwen, we're only just this side of being hung for all sorts ourselves. A good prosecuter would surely be able to get a conviction for disrupting commerce, unlawful killing (have you forgotten Dynaheir so soon?), poaching, drunkeness, enviromental damage, the list goes on and on. And I'm not exactly the person who walks past a locked door and just thinks "oh, private property, must respect that". I reckon I'd be down about 15 hands if I lived where law enforcement was a little more abrupt (itty bitty stumps at my shoulders by now).

    That night I hit the town, better to do the thieving work by myself. Laughable security at the museum, even worse at the house the Thieves Guild had directed me to. Walked in armed to the teeth and I was hired as a cleaner. That must be one hell of a cockroach problem they have. Later as we all went to report back to the guild, we crossed swords with a dodgy looking couple of ne'er do wells. They approached, we attacked, self preservation (baseless paranoia?) is well set in. They were carrying a couple of very valuable items which could have caused us no end of grief. Another pair of Boots of Speed, a fantastic short bow I can use, and five potions of poison. That last bit was very odd.

    The next day got asked to retrieve a dead body from the sewers, to fetch another dead body from a temple, a skull from a pub, (have they never heard of cemetaries) asked to deal with shenanigans at a merchants guild, a cure for a curse for a baby, to kill a basilisk, a peeping tom, a blackmailer, a mage, deliver an amulet, retrieve a ring, a cloak, a helmet, a nymph, a book. This city is a nightmare, full of people needing jobs done and seemingly no organisation at all. There wasn't anywhere we could go without being accosted by people trying to employ us or asking for help. It's not even as if we looked like the types who would help, all carrying weapons and armoured up, one of us a drow and one of us a RWofT threatening to burn everything to the ground. Do I have a sign stuck on my back saying "employment wanted, no job too small"?

    So by unanimous vote, we decided to take a holiday up the coast as there's no way we are going to go down in the sewers in midsummer when it hasn't rained for a while. All these ongoing troubles can go on for a bit longer. We just couldn't get the enthusiasm up, it's August, summer holiday time, we need to work on our tans (we can find a dank cave for Vicky). Come back refreshed and willing.

    We travelled to Ulgoth's Beard as heard it's a nice seasidey place, and lo and behold, another load of people asking us to do stuff. Including a wizard who introduced himself as Shandalar. Hang on a moment, that name rings a bell, couldn't possibly be the same person whose house I had broken into at the request of the Thieves Guild? While I pondered the unexpected coincidence that indeed it was the same homeowner, he and Edwin engaged in a sneering contest (in spite of my desperate hand signals and head shaking behind Shandalar's back). He wanted us to retrieve his cloak from somewhere or the other but the details were far too sketchy for our liking.

    A very energetic and quick talking salesman was offering guided tours of Durlags Tower. Plus of course a couple of people asking us to fetch something from Durlags. The dagger, well if we find it fair enough. But the mother asking us to look for her son, that struck a chord, we'd seen the horrors of the first level and we'd come across so many grieving parents and families on our travels.

    So we paid our money and decided to take the tour.



    JuliusBorisovRavenslightAerakartbone1
  • RavenslightRavenslight Member Posts: 1,610
    I am only through chapter 2 yet, but I’m loving this. :)

    Both cleaver and entertaining.

    JuliusBorisovAerakartbone1
  • UnderstandMouseMagicUnderstandMouseMagic Member Posts: 2,142
    @Ravenslight

    Thank you, glad to hear that.

    Hope the rest keeps you as entertained. :)

    RavenslightAerakarJuliusBorisov
  • RavenslightRavenslight Member Posts: 1,610
    All caught up now and looking forward to the next installment. Thank you for the chuckles. :)

    UnderstandMouseMagicAerakarJuliusBorisov
  • UnderstandMouseMagicUnderstandMouseMagic Member Posts: 2,142
    edited June 2017
    Chapter 16

    This chapter needs a bit of introduction.

    I wanted to dual class at level 10S/B to fighter and found myself at Baldurs Gate level 9 S/B. So had to do Durlags before losing thief skills. It's a really odd time to leave BG but I didn't want to bring along anybody else. So you will just have to allow me some artistic license and pretend it makes perfect sense to go to Durlag's Tower now and then later, forget how to be a thief completely.

    Durlag's Tower

    It was very refreshing riding a wagon for once rather than slogging on foot as we usually do, spirits were high. It did get me to thinking why we have never used horses when we see quite a few of them around, (graphics/coding/animal rights?) But the mood changed as the Tower loomed up before us. Subdued, the tour group made it's way through the entrance and the patter of the salesman couldn't compensate for the feeling of doom that surrounded us.

    Now we had visited previously, cleared the first few levels, so stood around smirking at the others with that insufferable smugness that always occurs when only some are "in the know". I don't know why what followed happened, perhaps it was the number of people milling around that disturbed the evil lurking in the Tower? But then a Demon Knight appeared and issued a challenge. Followed by a fireball that obliterated the previously happy tourists.

    So left on our own, what to do?

    Kivan and Branwyn wanted to smite the evil, predictable. Viconia was happy as long as she was out of the accursed sun, so was all for staying. Edwin recognised power when he saw it and of course wanted more. I wanted to try and rescue the son, sentimental I know. So on we went, back to the Dwarven Guards, clutching our bottle of wine as offering. He accepted it without a thankyou and told us we were going to die (why bother, does it make them feel better about the following attempted slaughter?)

    And then all hell broke loose.

    It was a nightmare of a fight. For spirits, which I always assumed were rather whispy and transparent, these ghosts could hit like a truck. Edwin threw webs and grease to slow the guards down then skull traps to blow them up. One was caught in the webs so we were able to safely shoot it from a distance. We sent the skeletons Branwen and Viconia had summoned after the "Love" guard as it was a mage and skeletons can shrug off magic like horses shrug off flies. They managed to kill it. The last two dwarves were the problem, fireballs and skull traps damaged them but they were far from going down. One made a beeline for Edwin turning invisible at will and before we could react killed him. It then turned on us while the skeletons occupied the other which bought us a little time. With no magic back up, it was simply a matter of surrounding one first and then the other and using our weapons. Eventually we won through but not without taking some heavy damage because of the invisibility. One of the guards dropped a wardstone which opened the way to the next level but first we had to make the long trek back to the Beregost temple for Edwin.

    The next level down was covered in traps, I mean trapped like nobody's business and full of dopplegangers. Dopplegangers taking the form of Durlag and his family, renacting what had happened. Durlag and his wife, Durlag and his sons, their rooms, their bedrooms, their history. There were various books lying around which gave us the story of what had happened. Dopplegangers appeared pretending to be Durlag's family, we had to kill them just as Durlag had had to do hundreds of years before. We found the last resting place of his eldest son, guarded by more ghostly dwarves. Not only was this place haunted by the ghosts, the dopplegangers seemed to take a perverse pleasure in still tormenting the clan. After fighting our way through, we found the wardstone down to the next level.

    We ran through a room of fireballs and found ourselves in a garden, a relief after the haunted rooms above us we thought. But there were ghasts and invisible, annoying, ghost/child, nobody knows what, things there. And traps of course. Our summons took on the invisible backstabbers, we watched from a distance. Then back into the tower and a series of platforms with skeleton archers waiting to fire at any hapless sod who entered the room. However, one fireball on each platform, poof, no more archers, that actually cheered us up. And lots of lovely arrows to pick up which cheered us up even more. Still can't identify some though, which doesn't make any kind of sense after all this practise.

    We killed two wyvens in an enormous hall containing the skeleton of a huge dragon. And ran away from a third as it chased us back to the garden. I suppose we should be thankful the dragon was long dead and only bones. Then there were four rooms representing the elements, each of which had to be cleared. We worked our way through each room ending up in the room of ice inhabited by a polar bear and winter wolves and seemingly a dead end. But as we killed the ice breathing polar bear in the frozen room, we were magically transported to a huge chess board.

    Well I'm not sure what rules they were using to play this game of chess, but one thing we were sure of, they were cheating. If we trod on the wrong square, we were hit by lightning. But the opponents charged straight across without a thought. We met them with oils of firy burning, fireballs and detonation arrows. That removed many of the "pawns" and most of the rest were caught in Edwin's web. The few that got through were met by myself, Branwen and Viconia. Unfortunately one was also met by Kivan firing a detonation arrow at point blank range. It did neither of them much good at all. With Kivan down, it was up to the rest of us to finish the game by killing the king. Which we managed to do with Cloudkill and everybody firing missiles.

    We collected the spoils, we collected Kivan, we promised Branwen he would be alright (with our fingers crossed) and once again treked back to the temple.

    At the temple we sat and licked our wounds and waited for Kivan to "come back". I asked him why he hadn't gone off to find Deheiriananana, he said it was to keep his promise to avenge her (also might have something to do with Branwen as their reunion was very touching...in all sorts of innappropriate places).

    So time for a motivational speech to the troops as everybody was feeling a little bit battle weary and not at all sure they wanted anything further to do with Durlag or his tower.

    "Awww, come on guys, you can't let me down , purleeese, pretty please, think of the gold, you don't want to see me angry, I'll cry, aww go on, you know you want to, just because you hate me, it's not fair, I always do what you want to do, it's my turn to choose, nobody cares about what I feel, none of you understand me, I hate you, I'm going to run away then you'll be sorry, you're all just so mean to me"

    After 2 hours of this they gave in.

    After passing the now deserted chessboard, we came across the ghost of Durlag himself. He set us the task that would enable us to escape. The answer was to learn about what had happened here. Not a difficult task as we'd watched it played out by the dopplegangers. We answered the questions posed by the stones, we understood but did that matter after all this time? Was this tower a memorial to his lost clan or was it a place where the fear and terror Durlag had felt would be endlessly repeated over and over again?

    To answer the questions we had to clear the caves that the tower had been built on. And in one we found the cursed ally of Durlag who had been with him when they had defeated a Tanar'ri of the lower planes. He warned us of the consequences of falling to the demon, of his "death gaze". A fate truly worse than death. Long forgotten he wanted us to fight him and end his curse.

    Finally we returned to Durlag and he told us there was a greater evil who had moved into the Tower, the Demon Knight we had encountered at the entrance. He gave us the choice, leave or defeat it. After all the death, all the sorrow of the Tower, we had to at least try and do some good. So we headed to face the Demon Knight. Outside the room he was holed up in we met a woman from the adventuring group which had included Dalton. He had been captured and she didn't know if he was still alive. That gave us an added incentive. Or rather, me, Kivan and Branwen thought so, Viconia was more inclined to take the view that if he survived on his own it would be a good test and make him strong. Edwin was just content to display his spell slinging and was dismissive about any threat posed.

    So unanimously (well as close as it was ever going to get with this group) we headed through the door to face the Demon Knight. He laughed at us and he taunted us. Which simply gave us the time to get ready to fight him (every time, can they never resist the urge to grandstand?). The potions we had collected were handed out and the plan formed to keep away and attack from distance. We had been warned about him using his mirror, so wearing the BoS and invisible I ran down to smash it when his back was turned. I managed that without a problem but he caught me and smashed my arm to pieces with his sword. The others held him off me with a mixture of missiles, magic and summoned allies and managed to kill him. But my arm was seriously injured and I wasn't going to be able to use it for some time. We found Dalton terrified but alive and well and sent him home to his mother. Hopefully he would have learnt his lesson and not venture forth into any more dungeons.

    We left Durlags Tower, richer and more experienced but I was somewhat chastened to realise that my thieving days were over for some time.


    N.B

    Just before fighting the Demon Knight, I hit level 10 as a Swashbuckler and dualed to Fighter. I wasn't going to waste that amount of XP. So I was level 1 for the fight. My trusty companions took up the slack although they were a little confused as to why any of this was happening. Trying to explain would have taken far too much time with a Demon Knight breathing down our necks. At least that's what I said at the time and hoped nobody would remember to ask again when the champagne was flowing.

    RavenslightAerakarJuliusBorisovtbone1
  • UnderstandMouseMagicUnderstandMouseMagic Member Posts: 2,142
    Chapter 17

    The Iron Throne

    The Iron Throne

    The wagons and horses were long gone when we started the trek back to Baldurs Gate. And to make things just that bit more difficult, the heat wave broke. We slogged on through the rain, first Nashkel, then Beregost, the Friendly Arm Inn, finally arriving at Baldurs Gate once more.

    So many tasks people had asked us to help with and nobody really wanted to do any of them. So I set out on my own, leaving the others to their own devices at the Elfsong. First stop, cashing in a favour at the temple of Umberlee to retrieve the boy's body. But I was too late, the father couldn't resurrect him, that was hard to accept and I blamed myself. We could have done this before Durlags but I didn't realise (suppose I should have but we'd used the temples so much it had become routine).

    Better news saving the nymph, the mage let her go without a fight and I got some hair as a reward (thanks, not weird at all). Got the skull and lifted the curse off of Ghorak (not sure he deserved it having killed his brother and all). Found Euric for his mother and delivered the amulet, got the cat ring for Petrine. Euric wouldn't go home, Petrine had been kicked out of her home, life really sucks sometimes. Delivered some lost gauntlets, killed an ogre in an inn (as you do!, talk about a rough crowd), and dropped off the pin we had found near Beregost to the Silvershield estate.

    Exhausted I made my way back to the Elfsong to find my companions living the highlife and enjoying their leisure time. Kivan and Branwen had once again disappeared from sight for much of the day, I'm sure they were busy praying to Sheverash and Tempus, of course they were. Viconia had ordered the serving girls (on pain of death and I don't think anybody believed she was joking) to supply her with endless hot water and had spent most of the day submerged in an enormous bubble bath. Edwin had spent a large amount of his gold surrounding himself with a selection of concubines, the local economy was rapidly recovering after the bandit crisis under his patronage.

    Once again, not feeling jealous because I am a woman (a womanly woman) I made my way to the bar to drown my sorrows. And met a charming bard called Eldoth. Unfortunately he wasn't charming at all, more like so greasy I felt like joining Viconia in the bath. Especially after him telling me his grand plan to steal away the young daughter of Duke Silvershield and use her to blackmail him. How the silly young woman had fallen for this sleazeball was difficult to believe. She must have been very sheltered. So after agreeing to help, I made a mental note to call back in at the Silvershields ASAP to put paid to his nasty plans.

    The next day much the same as before but I coerced Edwin into coming along, too many magic users around . He grumbled a lot, but cheered up when we stormed the tower of Ramazith and he could fling spells around. Didn't even complain too much when we braved the sewers and took down an ogre mage who had been killing people with the aid of his pet carion crawlers. By the time we'd cleared the remainder of the sewers of spiders, carrion crawlers, ghasts and Schlumpsha the Sewer King he was positively cheerful. Edwin's an odd one, total failure as a decent human being in some ways. But the magic, utterly focused. You can forgive a lot for that power at your disposal.

    We checked out the Seven Suns as requested by the FF chief Scar, dopplegangers. We bumped into the hunting lodge chap and investigated his problems, more dopplegangers. Beginning to get paranoid here, had they followed us from Durlags? Was everybody in Baldurs Gate a doppleganger? Was I a doppleganger? How do you tell? Check the teeth, what? Time to call it a day.

    After our efforts round the city, we now had official leave to check out the Iron Throne building, find out what we can about what they were up to. The fact that we had already told the authorities what they were up to with the tainted iron ore and the bandit raids didn't seem to have been enough (just how much evidence do you need?). Duke Eltan, the leader of the FF, wanted an airtight case to take to court and wouldn't settle for anything less. I returned to the Elfsong to collect the others so we could confront the Iron Throne. But Viconia had terrified the serving girls in the Elfsong so much we were asked to leave. We decided to move to the Helm and Cloak, it was more upmarket, hopefully it would be more used to uppity nobles bullying the staff. Well appearances can surely be deceptive. No sooner had we approached the bar than a group of ruffians entered and issued a challenge, not that we were any less rough, but we'd got there first. With the help of some of the other patrons, we dealt with them. But the Helm and Cloak suffered rather a lot in the process, fireballs do an awful lot of damage. So we were asked to remove ourselves from there as well.

    We tried the Three Old Kegs but it was fully booked. The New Inn had an infestation of Mustard Jellies which had already killed most of the staff before we could stop them. The Blushing Mermaid wouldn't let Edwin in because he had paid their concubines so much they had all retired or gone on holiday. The Splurging Sturgeon seemed like a good bet until Brielbara turned up asking for our help and her friend the barman said we would have to do that first. The Blade and Stars was full of soothsayers and mystics which, after meeting the fortune teller by the coast, seemed like a bad idea because of how quickly they could turn on you. I'd already been warned of the nameles Inn up the road by Euric telling me it was full of bed bugs. The Low Lantern was in fact a brothel and when we tried to book rooms only, got laughed at. We entered another Inn very close the the headquarters of the FF so surely it would be free of trouble. Well not for Viconia and Edwin who were attacked on sight for being "Evil" by a Paladin (they both enjoyed that fight a lot). Which left Jopalins Inn, so "Hello Sailor"(s).

    After a few more jobs around the city with everybody on board, we headed to the imposing IT building to meet the IT Crowd (there's a joke there somewhere, damned if I can find it).

    We tricked our way past the guards by posing as new recruits who hadn't been issued with uniforms yet. And they fell for it (yes, yes Viconia, surfacers really are that stupid sometimes and no it would never be possible to trick the inhabitants of a Drow city by pretending to be Drow). We made our way to the upper floor where we hoped to find Reiltor the leader of the IT. Instead we found his subordinates and they were not very co operative to put it mildly. Had the obligitory, "I'm going to kill you", "no, I'm going to kill you first" speech and then ran back downstairs. Of course they didn't follow us because they thought the extremely easily fooled guards would stop us. Whereupon we just told the extremely easily fooled guards they were just a bit miffed we'd shown up without the proper uniforms rather than anything serious being wrong. So having waylaid any suspicions, we got ourselves much better prepared, and stormed the top floor from both staircases.

    On one side Branwen, Viconia and Edwin, respectively throwing oils of burning and fireballs. Kivan and me on the other with arrows of detonation. That warmed things up nicely. We again retreated downstairs thinking surely this time they would attempt to follow us straight into the welcoming arms of our eager summoned skeletons. But no, only a couple of invisible assasins made the attempt and they were dealt with as they appeared when attacking. So back to running upstairs, first one side then the other, firing explosive arrows (all the time muttering to ourselves, "don't fire them at close range") and liberal charges from the wand of fire. Branwen and Viconia sat this part out, marshaling the skeletons ready for any foolish enough to follow us. Nobody did, the firestorm we created alongside the dispelling arrows we used made sure of it.

    After the fires had burned down enough, we looted the bodies and searched for evidence of the Iron Thrones misdeeds. All the papers we needed were with Rieltar who had departed earlier for Candlekeep for a meeting. We did find some letters though, one from Rietar's son Sarevok, saying he had dealt with us personally. A deliberate lie, why would he do that?

    Reported back to Duke Eltan that all the bigwigs had decamped to Candlekeep for a meeting. Can't help but think that's a strange coincidence, almost as if I was tied up in this all along. Whereupon he gave us a book for the entrance fee and told us to get going (is there no law enforcement at all in these parts other than random adventurers like ourselves? What do people pay their taxes for?)

    So looks like I'm going home.


    RavenslightAerakarJuliusBorisovtbone1
  • RavenslightRavenslight Member Posts: 1,610
    Just where *does* Edwin get all that coin that he so casually distributes among the local courtesans… I do hope Ayla watches her purse and the party treasure hauls carefully. :)

    Another entertaining chapter. :)

    AerakarJuliusBorisov
  • UnderstandMouseMagicUnderstandMouseMagic Member Posts: 2,142
    @Ravenslight

    I think we see in BG2 that Edwin's largess eventually catches up with him. No wonder he offers to join Charname again when they turn up. He says it's all about power, but probably has a lot to do with the sheer amount of gold he knows you always end up with. And Athkatla has so many "opportunities" to spend it.

    Thanks for commenting, it's nice to get some feedback.



    RavenslightAerakarJuliusBorisov
  • UnderstandMouseMagicUnderstandMouseMagic Member Posts: 2,142
    Chapter 18

    The Journey Home

    Armed with the book given to us by Duke Eltan, we set off towards Candlekeep planning to stop at the Friendly Arm Inn for the night. And here I faced my first mutiny. Edwin refused to budge unless he was given time to study it.

    "It's a "History of the Nether Scrolls"

    "But it's indicipherable"

    "Just because something is beyond the scope of your intellect, do not assume that I am that limited (surrounded by idiots)"

    "You can't read it either".

    "With study, it will reveal it's secrets"

    "So what's it about then"

    "It's a history"

    "Well yeah, it says that in the title"

    "It could hold invaluable insights and map the road to immeasurable power"

    "Could?"

    "Be thankful that I don't simply murder you all and steal it"

    "Edwin for all your threats, you have achieved a lot of power travelling with me, all the scrolls, wands, magical bits and pieces (not that you can ever recognise them)"

    "Is it my fault I travel with the uneducated who can make no use of what we find? But nonetheless, you have a point, very well, no murder, but you will give me some time. I am convinced this book will lead to life changing consequences for me"

    Impasse, and truth be told, I was nervous myself about returning to Candlekeep, so much had changed, I had changed. It had been a good place to grow up, much better than the fate reserved for most orphans of unknown parentage. I'd seen enough beggers in Baldurs Gate to be under no illusions about how harsh life could be for those with nobody to care about them. But then that raised the question why Gorion had been allowed to raise me there in the first place. Whatever secrets I didn't know about myself, it was a sure thing they were known by those in control of Candlekeep. Perhaps I would be able to find out? Force Ulraunt or Tethtoril to tell me what they knew?

    So we compromised, Edwin had three days before we left for Candlekeep to uncover the arcane mysteries hidden in the book. And I had three days to mentally perpare myself for my return and the confrontation with Ulraunt and Tethoril. That resolve lasted all of an afternoon. Ye Gods mental preparation is boring. So what else is there to do while I waited? Hmm, was that Ender Sai, the Very Handsome Elf (now all the dirt and blood had been washed off) we had rescued from Tazok's tent in the Bandit Camp? He had already suggested I should allow him to thank me properly for the rescue at the time, and well, he is an elf, what can you do? It turns out the VHE could do rather a lot with the correct incentive and time on our hands. Not exactly the most conventional reward posted for good deeds, but one that could certainly get more women into the adventuring business.

    On the second day Coran turned up on his way to Baldurs Gate.

    "So Coran, guess who I met in BG, a very nice lady with a half elven baby, called Brielbara"

    "A what, who?"

    "The baby was very cute, little pointed ears, mother said something about being abandoned by her lover and then thrown out by her husband. Dreadful state of affairs"

    "Very sad I'm sure, so where are you going? Now I come to think of it, Baldurs Gate is very hot at this time of year. Perhaps it would be better to postpone my visit."

    "Candlekeep"

    "I always wanted to visit that great seat of learning. I've heard there is an extensive restricted section and one can never study enough."

    Viconia was less than pleased.

    "I cannot believe you are allowing that Darthiir to travel with us again"

    "Aw come on Vicky"

    "Don't call me that"

    "Sorry, but you know I can't use my fingers properly at the moment since that injury, can't open doors or disarm traps. We need him"

    "Such weakness, in Drow society you would be cast out to starve"

    "Hmmm...so we have that in common at least. Can't you control him, train him, enslave him? Would have thought it was a piece of cake for you"

    "Perhaps it would be amusing to practise some of the old techniques, a suitable punishment for one so lacking in proper respect. Very well, watch and learn".

    I have to admit feeling the tiniest bit sorry for Coran. On the other hand, he was a complete letch, and unlike Edwin, pretended he wasn't, it was all "I'll love you forever". Hence poor Brielbara. Perhaps after Viconia's tender care he might come to appreciate her more?

    I didn't need so many traveling to Candlekeep with me, so I asked Kivan and Branwyn if they would forego the visit and wait for us. Actually they were delighted. Neither were particularly scholarly so a library didn't hold much appeal. Kivan wanted to show Branwen the tree by High Hedge he thought of as home. Which did make me wonder just how long he'd been standing there before I came along. And Branwen wanted to get in some serious Tempus praising which she felt had been neglected recently. Though judging by the looks they kept sending each other, Tempus was going to have to take a back seat and cover his all seeing God eyes.

    We set out for Candlekeep, separating at the crossroads, Kivan and Branwen carrying on down to Beregost where we had arranged to meet later.

    "So Edwin, diciphered the book"

    "Enough for my purposes"

    "So that's a 'not all of it', I suppose you are just going to have to hope they weren't the important warning bits then"

    "Shut up"

    On the way we were ambushed by a group of Ogre Magi who appeared out of nowhere through a dimension door. I don't know why, perhaps they were passing? After so many attacks and sudden ambushes on our travels, it hardly raised an eyebrow. They didn't seem inclined to offer any explainations prefering instead to start throwing spells everywhere. But, lookie here OM, we can go invisible too. And we can throw cloudkill at you, suckers, you're about four or five months too late.

    Apart from that, easy journey, and we confidently approached the gate warden to be allowed entry.

    AerakarRavenslightJuliusBorisovtbone1
  • UnderstandMouseMagicUnderstandMouseMagic Member Posts: 2,142
    Chapter 19

    Candlekeep

    Candlekeep

    It was strange walking through the grounds once more, nothing looked changed, nothing affected, same people doing the same things, same Chants. I felt both out of place and at home. You expect everything to change when so much has changed for yourself, it's a sobering thought when you realise the world doesn't revolve around you. A few of the monks and workers greeted us and asked me about my travels. They had found Gorion's body at the site of the ambush and had bought it back for a proper burial. That was a relief, though it hardly made me feel very missed as no efforts had been made to find out my fate as far as I could tell.

    We settled in at the Inn and put up with Winthrop's feeble attempts at humour. I was surprised and felt more than a little guilty when he told me Imoen hadn't returned. But he said he'd recieved letters from her and she was doing fine traveling with some old friends of Gorion and having all sorts of adventures. That was a relief, though why she hadn't returned that night was unexpected, we were so close to Candlekeep and she could have stolen back in the way she had left. Perhaps we had more in common than I thought and she too had been feeling the same restlessness as me?

    We discussed our next move over lunch. We'd been warned the IT Crowd were already here for their meeting. So it was too late to confront Ulraunt and Tethoril and ask why they had allowed the IT leaders into Candlekeep. We'd also been told that there was a visitor who looked shifty and a monk acting strangely. To be fair, during my years living here, neither was remotely unusual. Candlekeep was well renowned and as with all famous landmarks, it attracted it's fair share of odd balls and cranks. And that was just amongst the staff.

    "So here's the plan, I'll go have a chat with all my old friends, see what I can find out about what's going on here. Edwin, you go to the library, see if you can spot the shifty visitor. Viconia, you go and try and get some information from those here for the meeting. Coran, see what you can nick, any incriminating evidence or papers would be useful. We'll meet back here this evening."

    So off I went, fetched Hull his sword, got some crossbow bolts for Fuller, killed some rats for Reevor, fetched a book for Phlydia, got an antidote for Dreppin's cow and practised fighting with Jondalar (that last was a bit unfortunate, but I'm sure the priests will be able to reattach his head, they're very good). A bit of a waste of time but I got nearly a whole 20 gold pieces for my troubles.

    Sometimes I feel like I'm caught in some never ending time loop where events keep repeating...

    We met back at the Inn to share the information we had collected.

    "Did you see the shifty visitor?"

    "Yes, said his name was Koveras and was very interested in what I was studying in the library. They have a surprisingly extensive restricted section". Edwin blushed, "he gave me a ring, and asked me out, he's dreamy, tall and well muscled. We're meeting later tonight to discuss Thayvian perversions. They have a whole room dedicated to them."

    "Koveras, that's an odd name, almost as though it was made up", (I couldn't shake the feeling I was missing something important.)

    "I spoke to the iblith as you instructed, though I fail to see what information I could have obtained without the proper incentives".

    "You have your looks, your pretty face and never underestimate the importance of body language"

    "When I can use whips, are you insane?"

    Coran had been very quiet up to this point, nervously fiddling with a letter he had stolen.

    "I found this in a chest, addressed to you".

    I read the letter, then read it again. Well Gorion certainly kept that little nugget of tremendously important information to himself. Why didn't he tell me, it would have explained so much of what had been troubling me, the dreams, the powers, the urge to kill (which at that moment was focused heavily on Gorion had he not already been dead). I mean of all the inefficient ways to impart life changing info, leaving a letter lying around on the off chance I might find it has to be up there. Now he tells me to use the library to look up prophecies when I don't live here anymore, couldn't have suggested it when it was literally on my doorstep? Don't tell me, he didn't want to make me suspicious.

    And this Sarevok? So wants to kill me but has been to Candlekeep and you didn't perhaps challenge him at the time? Tell his Dad, get him grounded, give a warning his son is a psychopath?

    I passed the letter to my companions, fearful of their reactions.

    "Let me get this straight, your dead father was a God, you are half divine?"

    "Seems that way, and there are others according to Alaundo"

    "So I banged the offspring of a God...twice...female and male...result," (careful Edwin, there are those who will be jealous of your prowess)

    "It would have been better had the divinity come from your mother, males are inferior"

    "He was the God of Murder, it's not exactly something anybody would want to be associated with"

    "I was a high pristess of Lolth and now worship Shar, do you really expect me to hold that against you?"

    "I never got a chance to bang you. You were male when we met"

    Revelations out of the way and still reeling from the shock, I decided to retire for the night to marshall my thoughts. Viconia took Coran aside to continue his education about the proper way to treat women who were his superior by every measure. And Edwin left to meet his hot date Koveras muttering something about "looking forward to applying the knowledge found in the books of the restricted section".

    AerakarRavenslightJuliusBorisovtbone1
  • UnderstandMouseMagicUnderstandMouseMagic Member Posts: 2,142
    Chapter 20

    Escape From Candlekeep

    Escape From Candlekeep

    After a night spent staring at the ceiling and then falling into a sleep troubled by dreams, I was awoken by the sound of Candlekeep waking up. For a short time, listening to the Chanters, I could almost imagine that nothing had changed, I was still living here, Gorion was still alive. But of course everything had changed.

    What did it actually mean being the mortal progeny of a God who had forseen his own death? What was the plan, the aim? Was it nothing more than instinct, nature? The same instinct that spurred all living things to breed because they are aware of their own mortality? Could Bhaal have been beset by the same? Or was there something more? And what did that mean for me? Was there something I should be doing? I don't know, like starting a cult and getting worshippers. Wearing robes and sacrificing things, stuff like that. And why so many of us, "a score of mortal progeny"? Was Bhaal just hedging his bets? They say a king needs an "heir and a spare" did Bhaal just take that a step further?

    I didn't feel any different. I mean there was a slight ego boost, but then as "Daddy" was the God of Murder, that was tempered by embarrassment, sins of the father and all that. Overall, I would have preferred the "Lost Princess" narrative, even taking into consideration possible future power. The idea of being a cult leader left me cold to be honest, far too much like hard work always being an example to any followers. Unless I went the hippy route, and just let anything go with the odd foray into recreational drugs. But living in the woods and not washing was already being done by the Druids, how would any followers know the difference?

    And then there was the question about why this Sarevok wanted me dead. It had to be linked, was he jealous? But then who had told him or how had he found out? And what would he gain by killing a Bhaal offspring? Was he a follower of Cyric and looking to gain his favour? That would make sense but the spiky armour and the huge sword didn't strike me as being very priestly.

    Enough of this, it wasn't going to get me anywhere and right now we needed to confront the IT Crowd.

    After breakfast and donning our armour and equipment we made our way to the main entrance of the library. We were largely ignored by the studious monks. They were used to visitors, although perhaps not quite so armed to the teeth. We bumped into Shistal, the monk we had been told was acting suspiciously and he didn't recognise me. That hurt, pretty sure at one point he'd been very attentive (though it might have been a different monk, they do all dress alike). So asked a few personal questions (for both our benefits), next thing, turns out he's a doppleganger (I really hope that's a recent development, ewww).

    Here we go again.

    We couldn't get any answers from the IT Crowd at all. So left with a choice to get nasty or think about a different approach, we withdrew to consider our options. I thought the best plan was to talk to Ulraunt and Tethtoril, explain the situation, ask them to use their influence, tell them about what the Iron Throne had been doing. Also ask them about my own background. And tell them there was a bloody doppleganger wandering around and where there's one, there's bound to be more.

    We headed up to the top floor to speak to them. But as we approached their chambers, the Candlekeep guards turned up and accused us of the murder of Reiltar, the leader of the Iron Throne, and his associates. Rather than fight our way free, as it was actually impossible that we could have murdered that size group so quickly and cleanly, we surrendered. And thought some very basic forensics would soon sort this out. But no, somebody had got to the investigating officer and we were thrown in a cell.

    Ulraunt turned up, and tells us we will be hanged back at Baldurs Gate for murder. This day keeps on getting better and better.

    Tethtoril turned up and let us go, but not out of the back door, oh no, nothing so straightfrorward, through the catacombs that Candlekeep was built upon. As we left, Edwin asked him to pass a note to his hot date Koveras.

    "I don't know of any Koveras, but the name is Sarevok backwards"

    "What name"

    "Koveras"

    "So you think they might be related? brothers? "

    "No, no, the same person"

    "But they have different names"

    "No it's the same name backwards"

    "That would be vok re sav"

    "Somebody else explain, with pictures. I don't remember her being this stupid, has she had a knock on the head recently?"

    "She's been under a lot of stress"

    We were teleported from the jail cell to a small room at the entrance to the Catacombs.

    "Do not worry, the undead will succomb to Shar's power"

    "And my fire"

    "Then if it's alright with you I'll stay at the back"

    "Nope, you have to find the traps".

    We sent Coran ahead to deal with any traps (after a potion or two, he's not that good at it) and he promptly returned being chased by, you guessed it, dopplegangers. And not just any dopplegangers, dopplegangers with the faces of all those I had known at Candlekeep. We found the pile of bodies the faces had once belonged to. Which meant that all those we had spoken to recently were dopplegangers. Who had done this? How had they done this? How had they got the expensive books to get into Candlekeep?

    There were tombs, trapped tombs containing mouldy bodies and trapped tombs containing treasure as well as the old corpses. We made Coran open them all, he's much better at opening locks than finding traps. It's become something of a habit to desecrate graves, a very lucrative habit. There were dopplegangers and ghasts and spiders galore who all attacked us. As well as a small army of skeletons waiting to shoot arrows at us. Finally we were confronted by doppleganger Gorion telling me it was all a dream and telling me to surrender. It might have worked had we not been, by then, covered in gore. I've never had a dream that smells that bad. And had I not been seriously annoyed with him by that point anyway and rather uninclined to listen to anything he might say.

    The catacombs led to a cave, where Coran, scouting ahead, found a welcoming party of Sarevoks henchmen were waiting for us. Something of an overkill in the circumstances considering the battle it had been to get this far and after having framed us for murder. Sarevok was obviously not taking any chances and was pretty determined I wouldn't get away.

    "Do your stuff Edwin"

    "With pleasure" he said as he mopped doppleganger and ghast bits from his hands.

    Invisibility, haste, web, grease, cloudkill, fireballs, no more henchmen.

    After dealing with the ambush we found lots more spiders, (of course, why wouldn't there be? Not like they have anything better to do than hang around waiting on the off chance). Coran again scouted ahead for us around a corner, and walked in on two basilisks. Not too bad, our experience with Branwen ensured we always carried stone to flesh scrolls and a couple of protection scrolls. So now we were covered wih doppleganger, ghast, spider and basilisk goo. I needed a bath and needed to get away from this place, this really wasn't the homecoming I had imagined. Then we saw the light at the end of the tunnel and spoke to a prat (or was that "Pratt" capital letter?), and emerged on the cliffs below Candlekeep.

    "So this was where you grew up?"

    "Yes"

    "And I thought the Underdark was dangerous"

    AerakarRavenslightJuliusBorisovtbone1
  • UnderstandMouseMagicUnderstandMouseMagic Member Posts: 2,142
    Chapter 21

    Dungeoneering

    Dungeoneering

    After emerging from Candlekeep catacombs, laden down with unreadable books that looked precious (really Edwin, 18 intelligence and you can't bloody read books? oh yeah, must be those anti theft enchantments again... that the Bard hanging around in Beregost can break without even trying), first stop was obviously the chicken killing mage. Then Beregost to pick up Branwen and Kivan.

    Coran was very quiet and subdued on the journey, with an odd haunted look about him.

    "Viconia, I think you've broken him, what did I say about being careful with your toys?"

    "Is it my fault the Darthiir has no stamina"

    "That's a little unfair considering the amount of traps he stumbled into and then being turned to stone, that's got to take it out of a person"

    "He should be grateful we wasted a scroll on him, at least he would be of some use as a garden ornament"

    So looks like we will be losing Coran the moment Viconia has her back turned. Perhaps I should suggest that he visit Brielbara and see his daughter? Settle down and not risk meeting somebody like Viconia ever again as it would be bound to end in tears. With that in mind I gave him a generous share of the gold we had, an invisibility potion and pointed him towards Baldurs Gate.

    Kivan and Branwen were pleased to see us, then I had to tell them the news about my parentage. They took it well, Branwen pointed out that she did actually worship a God who was up to his neck in slaughter and Kivan said he followed a God who would really like to be when it came to Drow (glaring at Viconia). The words "houses", "glass", "stones" and "throwing" pretty much summed it up.

    So where to next, what's the plan? Return to Baldurs Gate, beard the lion in his den? Run like crazy in the opposite direction? Get drunk?

    It was really no contest.

    We were kicked out of the Fieldpost on the third day, the Wizard wouldn't let us in, the Juggler called the guards as we approached, so that left the Red Sheaf and nobody wanted to go there.

    "Let's go and check out some ruins, we're good at that"

    "Why?"

    "Treasure and stuff and nobody will think to look for us there"

    "They probably have more sense, let the dungeons with their assorted horrors do the work for them"

    "Nah, we're experts, we should advertise "Dungeon Masters R' Us"

    So it was with high hopes and aching heads we approached the Ulcaster School Ruins. Or we would have had we not bumped into a spectacularly bad tempered ghost on the way. He wanted our blood, we just wanted him to talk a bit quieter. He had a few tricks up his sleeve (which was clever as he was a skeleton and had no sleeves, not really anything to fill them either). He called lightning but Branwen was wearing the boots of Talos and we have a ton of absoption potions and Protection from Undead scrolls and it took him too long to figure that out. And when he finally did, well Edwin has a 100 charge monster summoning wand. Expensive but worth every penny.

    The next ghost we met was Ulcaster himself who was far more reasonable. Kept his voice down, practically whispered his request for us to fetch him a book from the ruins below us. So down we went into the ruins. We dealt with some wolves and giant spiders near the entrance without too much trouble. Then sent a protected Viconia ahead to trigger the traps as she was responsible for scaring away Coran, though she grumbled about it a lot. It was all going nicely until we disturbed a Super Wolf and then the Super Wolf called his undead friends. But we were prepared, and had already called up our own bony undead friends. They kept each other engaged while we dealt with the vampiric SuperWolf. It was a hard fight and we didn't emerge unscathed. But it did cure the hangovers. We picked up an obviously important dead body and the book requested by the softly spoken Ulcater ghost at the entrance. Then we found another ghost wandering around the ruins who wanted to repell the invaders. We didn't have the heart to tell him he was a bit late and gave him the dead body as a sort of consolation. That was very convenient. We handed over the book to the ghost of Ulcaster up top when we emerged and he mumbled his gratitude and went off to start another school...with one book...as a ghost...

    Buoyed with our success, Firewine Ruins next. We traveled to Gullykin, come on, who wouldn't want to visit a cutesy Halfling Village full of Happy Halflings? Viconia and Edwin for starters. We met a super cheerful Halfling called Alora who offered her services as a thief. But told her we didn't need a thief as Viconia was doing a grand job triggering traps all on her own, (Kivan stop sniggering in the background). It turned out there was a Halfling traitor working for an Ogre Mage, who was using his house as a back entrance to murder the Halflings. How incredibly evil can you be? That's pantomime villain level evil. The entrance to the lair of the "so evil I can't believe it" Ogre Mage was blocked so we had to go through the entrance in the Temple's wine cellar. Of course the obvious question that nobody liked to raise (as Halflings are so cute) was "why the f*ck are there so many entrances in your cutesy Halfling Village to sinister, dangerous ruins?".

    It was rather refreshing to meet kobalds again, felt a bit like coming home. And with Edwin and a charged wand of fire, we really did "keep the home fires burning" (and the kobalds, ogrillons, mage and ogre). Some more ghosts who wanted an old suit of armour from another skeleton, armour envy? I jest, it was tragic, a bard told us why when we emerged on the ruined Firewine Bridge. There was betrayal, murder ect. and he had made a poem out of it which he insisted on reciting to us. Though again with these artist types, why are you creating your art where nobody comes to see/hear it in the middle of nowhere? Try the town, even the worst busker can figure that out.

    We came across a deranged woman with a jar fetish, it didn't end well. She died then Khaark another Ogre Mage turned up, so we ran. We prepared, we came back. He was good, I'll give him that, but not that good and there are five of us. Though Branwen took a little nap until we could get her back to the temple when I shot her while confused. Sorry Branwen, but you were pretty confused yourself at that point. Least said, soonest mended. Again arrows of dispelling and plenty of summons to soak up the pressure. And there was a lot of pressure, so much that some of us not dead basically hid and let Edwin and Kivan deal with it.

    So wearily we returned to the cute Halfling Village, resurrected Branwen, warned Alora about Edwin (or was that Edwin about Alora). Made a fuss of Viconia because her trap triggering skills are getting very good. She wasn't mollified in the slightest and I hate to imagine what the stream of Drow she was directing at me was about. But then, how bad can it be being cursed, even in Drow which is by far the best cursing language? Considering "Daddy" being who he was, that's pretty much already taken care of.

    Later that evening, as the wine was beginning to flow, we discussed our next move.

    "We have to go back to Baldurs Gate to confront Sarevok and clear our names"

    "Don't look at me, as a RWofT, my name is far above anything this barbaric country could affect"

    "As a Drow, I doubt anybody will believe anything other than the worst"

    "Well technically, we weren't there"

    "Great, so I'm on my own then... arseholes"

    "We didn't say that, of course Kivan and I will stand by you"

    "They put me in a jail, such indignity I will not stand, your name is of little consequence but it suits me to show them the error of their ways"

    "I will enjoy showing them what a Drow can do when riled"

    "Awww, you guys, I'm tearing up here, come on, gather around, group hug, group hug,"

    "Can I withdraw my earlier offer?"

    AerakarRavenslightJuliusBorisovtbone1
  • UnderstandMouseMagicUnderstandMouseMagic Member Posts: 2,142
    Chapter 22

    The Plot Thickens

    The Plot Thickens

    "So here's the problem as I see it. We need to get into Baldurs Gate to go after Sarevok but the Flaming Fist are after us for murder, any suggestions?"

    "I can cast invisibility (of course I can, it's as if they haven't noticed my power) but there are some drawbacks"

    "Drawbacks?"

    "Well you cannot do anything while invisible otherwise you break it"

    "Anything, like what?"

    "Talk to anybody, open doors, pick something up, eat, drink, climb stairs.."

    "Climb stairs? Why would I not be able to climb stairs, it's not that different from walking around, just upwards. What about walking up or down a slope?"

    "Well of course you can walk up a slope, that's still walking"

    "How about running"

    "That's just fast walking"

    "And climbing stairs is just vertical walking"

    "Do you want me to help or don't you?"

    We headed through the city, desperately dodging people, avoiding steps and random staircases, carefully not climbing any rogue ladders set up to trick us (how bizarre is this rule?) until we were away from the main street. Took a breather in a back alley and broke invisibility. Where next? We needed to get across the city without being seen so decided to use the sewers.

    As we slunk around the back of the Sorcerers Sundries, we were approached by a woman. And not just any woman, Sarevok's girlfriend Tamoko, Sarevok's girlfriend who was helping him the night Gorion was killed. I slammed her against the wall and would have throttled her there and then if the others hadn't warned me not to draw any attention. She actually had the gall to try and bargain with me for Sarevok's life, something about taking him away so he'd just forget all about his ambitions. Delusional and that accent, what was she going for, "I would talk to you". No, next time I see you, you will die.

    So after scaring off Tamoko, another ever so helpful "let me fill you in with all that's been happening" passerby stopped to pass the time of day. In a nutshell, Sarevok has taken over the Iron Throne on the death of his father which of course he arranged and blamed on us, is angling to be elected a Duke (after killing a couple of the incumbents), and pushing for war with Amn. Scar our contact with the FF has been murdered and replaced with Sarevok's puppet Angelo. And Duke Eltan, who sent us to Candlekeep, is on his deathbed being attended by a dodgy doctor.

    We should have joined the squatters in Durlags Tower, there was plenty of room.

    The first task has to be to rescue the Duke, we need an ally and he can tell the other Dukes we were working under his instructions going to Candlekeep. We decided that Kivan would be the best to send, he can creep around noiselessly and is strong enough to carry the Duke to safety. So once it was dark, he made his way into the FF compound using some of the invisibility potions we had (they work much better than the spell, you can even go upstairs). He had to kill the dodgy doctor to rescue the Duke as it turned out it was another doppleganger who was slowly poisoning his patient. Then he picked up the Duke and carried him to safety at the Habourmasters where we were waiting for him.

    Next, we needed some evidence against Sarevok that showed his plans and we decided the Iron Throne building was the best bet. The building was was in disarray and almost deserted. Because of our efforts, the money from the iron monopoly had been lost and Sarevok had made some terrible business decisions. The shareholders were far too busy throwing themselves out of the windows to take any notice of us. We made our way to the offices on the top floor where we were confronted by another girlfriend. This one was a mage and she put up quite a fight before trying to surrender. And there we found some very incriminating letters to a couple of assasins holed up in the UnderCellars giving instructions to kill the remaining Dukes. And Sarevok's diary.

    It wasn't the best written book I've read, not by a long shot. Too much angst and destiny. But very enlightning. So Sarevok is another "Child of Bhaal" which makes him a sort of brother I suppose. Though not "the" Bhaalspawn mentioned in the prophecies, that's gotta burn. And the grand plan is to start a war, shed lots of blood, kill me and "Daddy" will be reborn and embrace Sarevok as his true heir instead. Far be it from me to point out the obvious flaw that Bhaal isn't really what one would think of as "Father of the Year". Plus hello, "prophecy", the plan is Bhaal's resurrection as a God so why would he need Sarevok or anybody afterwards?

    The next step was to try and ensure the safety of the remaining Dukes so we needed to deal with the assasins. The Under Cellars were famous in Baldurs Gate as a den of inequity, mentioned in hushed tones and never in polite company. There was an entrance from the Blushing Mermaid but we had found there were other entrances on our former sewer adventures so decided to use one of those so we could avoid running into any Flaming Fist.

    Now it's usually nice to see a happily married couple who enjoy each others hobbies...usually. Slyth and his wife Kristen, the assasins mentioned in the letters, took disturbing and deranged to a whole different level. Instead of the usual taunts we had come to expect from our antagonists we were treated to an extended display of verbal foreplay between the married couple. It would have been enough on it's own to make us all feel rather sick even if we hadn't just sloshed through the sewers. It also had the effect of fooling us that these two would be very easy to deal with. How wrong we were. The fight didn't go at all as planned to put it mildly. Kivan was killed almost immediately from a backstab from an invisible and hasted Slyth. Though that did enable the rest of us to spot him and we were then able to surround him and kill him. Meanwhile the widow had cast various protections on herself and before we could break them down, cast sleep at the rest of us before darting into a side room. And that saved us, as the skeletons we had summoned blocked her in the room while we were all forced to take a nap. Luck was on our side, she couldn't get out of the side room and roamed back and forth not being able to do anything much rather than curse rather loudly and promise all sorts of painful retribution for killing her beloved Slyth. Finally we woke up, but by that time she had wasted her spells on the skellies trying to get out of the room and her protections had worn off. After sending her to be reunited with her creepy husband in some hell or the other, we found the invitations to the palace for Sarevok's election on the corpses.

    So we are off to the palace, but of course we needed to do something about the sewer gunk all over us and ressurecting Kivan. Branwen, Viconia and myself borrowed some dresses from the local "workers". Not exactly the usual outfits seen in high society. But they did serve the purpose of distracting any male with a pulse from noticing the weapons. Edwin enchanted a couple of male patrons for their clothes, though he complained that he looked just as good as us in gauzy silk so why did he have to? After calling into the Temple of Helm for Kivan (and the outfits certainly made the priests very eager to assist us) we made it to the palace just in time to get through the doors before the election. Potions and spells were used as substitutes for protection as we had had to abandon our armour.

    We approached the Dukes proclaiming we were present and knew of a lawful impediment to stop the election of Sarevok. And presented them with the evidence of Sarevok's plan to murder, betray and cheat his way to power. Very dramatic. On hearing this and realising his game was up, Sarevok made his move and signaled for an attack. Most of the assembled guests were actually dopplegangers and they imediately attacked the Dukes. (Almost as if they knew that killing them would have very serious consequences). Edwin webbed the whole room to hold the dopplegangers in place as much as possible and to keep them away from the remaining Dukes. Kivan armed with sword we had received in the Cloakwood and some skeletons summoned by Branwen and Viconia went to the Duke's aid. While the rest of us pelted the exposed dopplegangers with missiles and spells. With the help of the remaining palace guards we soon dispatched them all.

    The Dukes were appalled, dismayed, incredulous when they read the letters and diary of Sarevok. (Obviously didn't see that coming, not suspicious at all). Also rather distracted by our outfits which had taken some damage during the fighting. Sarevok, his big plan in ruins, teleported away. And of course the Dukes looked to us to go after him and stop him once and for all. The request merely made us roll our eyes as it had been well established by then that Baldurs Gate had very little in the way of effective law enforcement. So they teleported us after him and we ended up in the Thieves Guild.

    The thieves were rather surprised by our sudden appearence even after Sarevok had appeared beforehand just as abruptly. But that may have had a lot to do with three of us being virtually naked. It certainly helped to dispell any hostilities. We were offered helpful advice and information about the secret passage leading to the ancient city lying underneath Baldurs Gate (as well a few offers of money, future dates and marriage proposals). It did make me wonder if the women in the numerous pictures in the Candlekeep books of "Female Warriors in Very Skimpy Armour" were onto something.


    NB

    The fight in the Under Cellars did actually go exactly as described. Instead of my "no reload" run ending as Kristen killed us all as we lay asleep, I simply sat and watched it all play out on screen. The summoned skeletons couldn't get in the room and she couldn't get out, stalemate until the sleep spell wore off.

    RavenslightAerakarJuliusBorisovtbone1
  • UnderstandMouseMagicUnderstandMouseMagic Member Posts: 2,142
    Chapter 23

    The New Lord of Murder

    The New Lord of Murder

    Rather than heading straight down the "secret" passage and confronting Sarevok in our underwear, we thought it would be a much better plan to fetch our gear and head to the Elfsong for a spot of dinner. Sarevok wasn't going anywhere. He was waiting for his "destiny" in the form of killing me to please his Daddy. It was an entertaining thought to imagine Sarevok all set up for the big showdown impatiently tapping his foot whilst we tucked into a good steak dinner and a couple of bottles of Red.

    "I'm not sure I should drag you all into this. It's become something of a family affair"

    "I will see it through to the end, Tazok will answer to me for Deheirianana"

    "I would still be encased in stone had you not freed me"

    "I would be dead at the hands of the Flaming Fist"

    "Sarevok said I was special to him and then tried to kill me"

    "So it's decided then, we go and fight and finish this".

    "Yes, but after dessert and coffee"

    After a suitable length of time to let our dinner go down, we headed back to the maze. We found a woman who had been injured by Sarevok during his headlong dash to destiny. She warned us of the traps ahead and the jelly monsters(?) who kept the place clean. The maze was long, boring, dangerous and indeed amazingly clean thanks to the jelly monsters, who'd have thought it? Two battle horrors were the first real obstacles but by now we were easily able to cope with their flaming swords. Then two extremely tough skeletons who shot ice arrows at us as we approached before we were within melee range. Viconia "volunteered" for trap duty once again after being fortified by a few of the many potions we had collected on our travels (let's all give a cheer for Drow magic resistance as well) and scouted ahead for us. At the end of the maze we found an injured Winksi Perorate, former tutor/guide to Sarevok, current 'dying slowly in agony' nobody. Seems like it was all his fault for starting Sarevok on this "I shall be the new God of Murder" malarky. For the promise of being his right hand man? getting his name in the history books? Of all the miserable goals to have as one's life ambition. He told us that we would find Sarevok waiting in an old Bhaal temple in the ruined subterranean city.

    There was a group of mercenaries hanging around in the ruins of the old city sent by other branches of the Iron Throne. Sarevok's antics had caused profits to drop and they were not at all pleased about that. So why they attacked us rather than follow Sarevok into the Temple was a mystery. We're on the same side you morons. When pointing this out didn't deter them, we quickly drunk invisibility potions and ran for it. Then sent Edwin back on his own to sort them out. While the rest of us dealt with the hoards of assorted undead who wandered out of the ruined buildings to see what all the noise was about.

    Tamoko was waiting outside the temple for us and again pleaded with us to try not to kill him. "Everything I did, I did it for love," was her excuse. It's not a good enough excuse quite frankly, there's got to be better boyfriends available, he wasn't even faithful, ask Edwin. I rather think she was expecting some forgiveness for her role in Sarevok's plans. But she had been there that night Gorion and myself had left Candlekeep and aided Sarevok when he attacked us and murdered Gorion. And when you add up all the deaths that followed from that, she deserved nothing less than the fate I was willing to hand out. Perhaps if she had put her foot down earlier, all this trouble could have been avoided.

    Finally we entered the temple, dark, haunted, atmosperic or damp, miserable, neglected, take your pick. A large skull surrounded by blobs, the sign of Bhaal, was the central motif of the expansive mosaic floor. That certainly helped to create the ambiance. Perhaps I should have felt some stirrings of Bhaal's power in that temple, been imbued with some sense of awe and feelings of my heritage awakening. But there's just so much to do when you are preparing to fight for your life, arrows to sort out, armour to adjust, potions to drink the list is endless. Worry about the metaphysical after the physical has been dealt with is my motto.

    We drank so many potions it's a wonder we didn't poison ourselves. Then protections on top, we were buzzing. I headed further into the temple and Sarevok issued his challenge,

    "Face Me, Face the new Lord of Murder."

    "You aren't yet"

    Edwin then dropped his usual arsenal on Sarevok and his followers, web and cloudkill and fireballs as we retreated away from the altar. Sarevok followed but was held up by our summoned skeletons. Branwen and Viconia were waiting at the back and Edwin joined them after his initial onslaught , throwing spells and using the summoning wand as the need arose. Kivan and I advanced on the followers, Angelo, Tazok and another mage who had turned up (I didn't stop to ask why or for his name), shooting dispelling, detonation and biting arrows. Kivan went after Tazok but he was already injured from the cloudkill so he didn't take long to go down. He dedicated the kill to the memory of Deheiranana.

    That left me to deal with Angelo and the mage. But I was completed protected from fire and magic by a combination of potions and spells so had no trouble shooting from very close range. First dispelling arrows to destroy their defences then detonation and biting arrows. As we killed Sarevok's acolytes, they were reanimated as skeletons which was both unexpected and disturbing. Some power Sarevok had obtained from Bhaal I presumed or it could have been the temple itself. Viconia and Branwyn ran forward and attacked them with their hammer and mace, smashing at the brittle bones. But the skeletons were strong and fast. Edwin used the summoning wand to keep Sarevok occupied and away from everybody so we could deal with this new menace. Branwen and Viconia fought bravely against the dead..ish and transformed followers but took some heavy damage. We were down to fighting the last two skeletons and then we would be able to concentrate on Sarevok himself. Kivan and I switched to our swords to help Viconia and Branwen and between us we finally laid them to rest, this time permanantly.

    So then there was just Sarevok, hardly injured and weilding that massive sword wearing his over elaborate, spiked armour. He taunted us, called us cowards, told us to come and face him, swore that he would kill us and that he would become the next "God of Murder" (tm). I looked at the others, they looked at me, and the unspoken decision was made to keep as far away as possible. Did he really think us that stupid? Throw away the advantage we had of five on one to provide him with some glorious battle that he would probably win. Absolutely not. So we switched to our bows and slings and Edwin cast his spells and we led Sarevok on a merry dance and kept out of his reach. All that practise in the wilds on bears and ogres was about to pay off. Slowly but surely we wore him down as he became more and more frustrated with our tactics.

    Finally Sarevok succombed to our arrows, bullets and spells, falling with a mighty roar of utter disbelief.

    JuliusBorisov
  • RavenslightRavenslight Member Posts: 1,610
    “The shareholders were far too busy throwing themselves out of the windows to take any notice of us.”

    (Spends the next five minutes cleaning spewed coffee from her keyboard.)

    Many chuckles for me in this one. Thank you :)

    UnderstandMouseMagicAerakarJuliusBorisovtbone1
  • UnderstandMouseMagicUnderstandMouseMagic Member Posts: 2,142
    Chapter 24

    Tying Up Loose Ends

    Tying Up Loose Ends

    Watching Sarevok dissolve into dust was a somewhat sobering experience. It was a kind of instant cremation without the bother of building a fire. Nothing left for anybody to mourn. Is that my fate? And did I think of him as a brother? Should I feel some sense of loss? Have I moved up a place in the inheiritance stakes? How many other semi demi God siblings were there? Should we have a big meet up? Discuss our differences and come to a civilised arrangement over power sharing?

    Ach, no time for that, time to party. No more assassins, no more running away. War with Amn had been averted. I was rich, famous, a hero and a local celebrity, as were my companions. Lots of celebratory dinners and award ceremonies, lots of wine, lots of admirers. We could get used to it and intended to take full advantage.

    Of course it didn't last, I was approached for one last job, hunting down the last of Sarevok's followers in another old Bhaal temple. Not that I was aware he had followers, he kept that a bit quiet, and they hadn't ever shown up previously to give him a hand. So I gathered the party together, can't venture forth on my own, to see if they'd be willing to come with me.

    They agreed (reluctantly) and we headed for the ruins of an old Temple where Sarevok's followers were holed up and surrounded. And guess who showed up with the official forces, Imoen. Hadn't seen her since I left Candlekeep. She was studying magic which was a surprise. And still as cheerful as ever which wasn't. Of course she wasn't there to help, oh no, just in an advisory capacity. We chatted like old friends (well she did and I kind of squirmed and looked at my feet when she reminded me of how I'd nicked her stuff and left her on the road). She had hooked up with Jaheira and Khalid at the Friendly Arm Inn and had travelled with them for a while.

    So more temple ruins, more dust, damp, mould, the usual. Crazy skeletons and wraiths, kick boxing zombies (?), wights/wrights/wrongs(?). The former followers of Sarevok gave up surprisingly easily, probably fed up hanging around in such dismal surroundings and embarassed nobody previously had known of their existance. They had been tasked with retrieving Sarevok's sword, and told not to clean it of blood, for some buyer in Athkatla. Sounds ominous though not sure whose blood they will find on it. We never went near his sword in the fight, you have to be joking, did you see the size of it? And he didn't stab himself and he turned to dust anyway. So wolves, hobgoblins, Winski Perorate, the shadow thief? I think the buyer is going to be disappointed if he was hoping for some God's blood for some ritual.

    There were traps (Hi Vicky, could you just walk over there a bit, yep that's good, now the other side, there you go, didn't hurt that much and you're really good at setting them off) and chests. Chests we couldn't open. Chests that Kivan having drunk a potion of cloud giant strength still couldn't break open. If ever there is an apocalypse, I want a shelter made by the same people who made those chests. We killed their leader Korlasz, I think she tried to surrender, she should have spoken up a bit louder as there was a lot going on at the time.

    Back to Baldurs Gate and the moment I had been dreading. My trustworthy companions were going their seperate ways, the "family" was breaking up. So much had changed for all of us since those first meetings. I was now officially a demi God and a hero. Kivan had found love again and remembered how to live. Branwen had also found love and a place where she could fulfil her ambition to be a Priestess of Tempus. Viconia had found at least some of the hated surfacers that didn't kill her on sight which gave her hope for the future. Edwin had found scrolls, wands, more power and a lot of sex.

    "I'm taking Branwen to Shilmista, we're going to get married"

    "Congratulations, can I be a bridesmaid?"

    "Viconia, if you come to Shilmista they will kill you on sight though we appreciate the offer"

    "I will be the Best Man (of course)"

    "I don't think there will be time enough for you to travel back from Thay. We have to marry as soon as possible"

    So Kivan and Branwen are expecting a baby, now that was something to celebrate. I would have offered to be a Godmother but under the circumstances thought that might not go down too well. Kivan was already anxious enough as it was as they hadn't known each other for a couple of centuries.

    "It's time I made my own way, I have learnt much of the surfacer ways from travelling with you"

    "So we're not all bad?"

    "Trust is for the foolish and the dead but occasionally you can be tolerated"

    "Vicky, you're all heart"

    "Don't call me that...abbil "

    Viconia had decided she would try and settle somewhere near Baldurs Gate and use her association with the group to overcome the prejudice she encountered. She had enough money to buy some land and was going to try and make a life for herself on the surface.

    "It's time to return to Thay and demonstrate my superiority"

    "I'm sure they are looking forward to it"

    "And what of you?"

    "I'm going to kick back, relax and thoroughly enjoy myself"

    "I can help you with that, perhaps one for the road?"

    Edwin was going to meet up with the Red Wizards we had met near Beregost and then make the long journey home. His ability to annoy everybody he met meant that it was probably better he went back to Thay where apparently it was normal behaviour for RW and wouldn't get him killed.

    My plan was to return to Candlekeep and spend some time there finding out what I could about Bhaal and the prophecies. Although I tried to keep the knowledge of my heritage at arm's length, it would be pretty stupid not to find out what I could to be more prepared for the future.

    And so we separated at Baldurs Gate. It had been a long journey but finally it was over.


    This chapter is set at the start of Siege Of Dragonspear. My plan was to carry on the playthrough and keep writing it up. But unfortunately I hate the game, can't bear to play it again let alone write about it. And for Ayla, it would make about as much sense to take part in the campaign against Caelar Argent as it would for her to join the Faerun equivalent of the Foreign Legion.

    This wasn't a strictly no reload run as I reloaded twice. Both times because one of the NPC got chunked and by that point was too into the RP/story to just replace them. Charname however survived all through, but I have to admit I played very defensively which I'm not sure is as enjoyable as rushing in like a maniac to see what happens.

    I hope anybody reading has had some enjoyment and please feel free to post your thoughts/reviews.

    tbone1RavenslightJuliusBorisov
  • tbone1tbone1 Member Posts: 1,995
    edited July 2017
    I just finished this and thoroughly enjoyed it.

    That might be the best use of the Belt of Masc/Fem I've heard. I once got so fed up with Viconia's talk about male inferiority that I put it on her and booted her from the party.

    Post edited by tbone1 on
    RavenslightJuliusBorisov
  • UnderstandMouseMagicUnderstandMouseMagic Member Posts: 2,142
    tbone1 said:

    I just find shed this and thoroughly enjoyed it.

    That might be the best use of the Belt of Masc/Fem I've heard. I once got so fed up with Viconia's talk about male inferiority that I put it on her and booted her from the party.

    Thankyou, glad you enjoyed it.

    The belt has always seemed to me to be an obvious tactic in real life but the game "cheats". I do wonder if there was at anytime an idea to do more with it as it's found so early but coding(?)/resources ect. didn't allow it to happen.
    It would have been good to have at least one incident where wearing it made a difference.

    In NPC project they have expanded the reactions and some are spot on and funny.

    tbone1JuliusBorisov
  • RavenslightRavenslight Member Posts: 1,610
    I have really enjoyed reading about Alya’s journey. There is no reason that you have to take the story into SoD if you are not inspired to do so. But I do hope you continue her story into BGII. Can’t wait to hear what she thinks about Irenicus… :)

    tbone1JuliusBorisov
  • UnderstandMouseMagicUnderstandMouseMagic Member Posts: 2,142

    I have really enjoyed reading about Alya’s journey. There is no reason that you have to take the story into SoD if you are not inspired to do so. But I do hope you continue her story into BGII. Can’t wait to hear what she thinks about Irenicus… :)

    I was planning to, installed the Kivan mod and started.
    But just can't get past the misery of the start of BG2 and not enough of a writer to make it plausible for Ayla other than going very dark.

    There's no way she's be interested in rescuing Imoen, she'd run away if possible...again. Sorry and all that but I just got my butt kicked, Jaheira and Minsc are more than capable on their own I'm sure. They were your traveling companions after all. And look, now they have that new, ever so ameanable companion who happened to be in Irenicus's dugeon to help.

    I thought I'd killed the ranger and his witch anyway....awkward. So how did you get out of that gibbet then Minsc? And last time I saw that rodent it was nailed to your head.
    Talk about "I see dead people",

    Though one could have some fun with the "finding Khalid's body" scenario.

    "So this mangled corpse was your husband? Are you sure because the nose and all sorts of other important bits are missing. Perhaps if we look in some of the jars we might find the rest and then you could at least be certain. Wouldn't want you going off and romancing the first (ever so much younger than you) bloke you see and then find out Irenicus has a sick sense of humour and your Khalid is still waiting for you up near Baldurs Gate".

    Perhaps one day.......

    tbone1RavenslightJuliusBorisov
  • tbone1tbone1 Member Posts: 1,995
    edited August 2017
    You're a cruel woman, @UnderstandMouseMagic . And Garl help me, I am so turned on right now.

    [EDIT: for the record, Jan's line to Viconia is by far my favorite in the game and, in my opinion, can stand beside the best from Wodehouse, no small praise.)

    Post edited by tbone1 on
    Ravenslight
  • UnderstandMouseMagicUnderstandMouseMagic Member Posts: 2,142
    tbone1 said:

    You're a cruel woman, @UnderstandMouseMagic . And Garl help me, I am so turned on right now.

    [EDIT: for the record, Jan's line to Viconia is by far my favorite in the game and, in my opinion, can stand beside the best from Wodehouse, no small praise.)

    Cruel? Moi?
    I was trying to be helpful.

    You see this is the problem with carrying on the playthrough.

    There's not so much wriggle room in BG2 to be reactive rather than proactive. BG was great for "sh*t happens" which suits the character IMO. I find RP far more difficult in BG2, a lot of it makes no sense.



    tbone1Ravenslight
  • UnderstandMouseMagicUnderstandMouseMagic Member Posts: 2,142
    edited September 2017
    I've decided to carry on with Ayla in SOA. It's a lot more story rather than playthrough so have posted it in the "FanCreations" forum. But I will be playing the game through with the NPC so will try and keep the fights realistic and reflect the game.

    The link is here if you are interested.

    https://forums.beamdog.com/discussion/66338/the-forgetful-bhaalspawn-coninuation-of-the-partridge-family#latest

    Thank you in advance for any feedback.

    (and apologies in advance that I can't keep the above^^^^ conversation with Jaheira in the story. I don't mind my charname being a bitch, but not a complete bitch, that just gets tiresome)

    tbone1JuliusBorisov
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