Socialising at Winthrop’s

2 Mirtul 1368

Today is an unusual day. My father has uncharacteristically interrupted my chores. He told me I needed to prepare for a journey: we are leaving Candlekeep. I have mixed feelings about this.

On the one hand I have never seen outside these walls. I’ll finally get to see all those places I’ve read about in books! On the other, Father seems agitated. He is trying to hide it, but I can tell.

He has given me what little gold he can spare and sent me to the Candlekeep Inn to stock up. I find Alec testing healing potions outside the Inn.

For some reason Alec keeps consuming healing potions. I figured I’d just write it into the story.

Aegon: Hey, Alec. Yes, I’m leaving Candlekeep.

Alec: I overheard Ulruant and Gorion arguing about it. Ulruant wanted to send you away alone, like he always does whenever your name is mentioned, and Gorion said he would die, first.

Was kind of embarrassing, actually: I broke the pistachio jar I was dusting, and they both stared at me. I guess it’s chamber pot duty for another tenday. As if I haven’t gotten intimately familiar with Ulruant’s pisspot already.

Aegon: Don’t start about Ulruant’s chamber pot again. I really don’t want to know.

Alec: Heh. You think *I* want to know?

Since my uncle at the shrine of Oghma died, all Ulruant does is send me on errands. Cleaning, dusting, emptying his trash… I don’t think he wants me to become a priest. He’d much rather see me as a servant.

Aegon: He’s really got it out for you.

Alec: Yeah, I don’t know. I think it’s because I’d do anything for you, and he knows it.

Sometimes I wish I could escape this place, too. But it’s Candlekeep! The great library! Even kids of the richest nobles don’t get to read half as much as you and I have read in the last year!

Aegon: True. Adventures, legends, ancient lore and magic, history and news from all over the world…

Alec: There are travellers and pilgrims, too. Yesterday I heard Drizzt was somewhere in the area on his way to the Ten Towns, imagine! You might even get to meet him when you’re out of these walls!

Unless you meet a pack of hungry orcs first. But I’m an eternal optimist.

Aegon: Heh. I wish you could come with us.

Alec: Yeah… a part of me would do it in a heartbeat. Pity Gorion can be as stubborn as our Ulruant sometimes.

I’ve no doubt you’ll do well. You’re good with your weapon and you know about the world outside a fair bit.

Oh well, these are dry words. What I mean to say is, you’re going to kick their asses. You know it, I know it, and the orcs know it, but since they’re stupid, they’ll come at you anyway.

And you’ll make an omelet out of them. That’s what heroes do.

Aegon: And every hero needs a sidekick!

Alec: Ah, so I see. So I’m just a sidekick to the great and magnificent Dorthon of Candlekeep? Let’s see if the hero can withstand a huge round of tickles coming!

Aegon: Ha! The hero can withstand anything!

Alec: All right, all right. I relent! The hero is indomitable!

I’m a little envious, to be truthful. I love the hallowed halls of Candlekeep, but I want to see the world, too.

But duty calls, and right now, it’s calling me back to the shrine of Oghma. See you there later?

Aegon: You’ve never talked much about why you wanted to become a priest.

Alec: You’ve never asked… or have you? But I’ll tell you, if you really want to know. Just come.

I’ll be there. Well, it’s not as if I can go anywhere else.

Especially seeing how Tethtoril prowls the grounds today. A kind old man… but misstep in his sight, and Ulruant’s not far behind with sharp words. Like the snake and the grass, these two.

I’ll see you at the shrine of Oghma. Stay out of trouble.

Alec is from the Romantic Encounters mod by Gibberlings Three, a collection of romantic (and non-romantic) encounters written by various authors. This particular encounter was written by Kulyok.

He makes his way toward the shrine. And I make my way inside the Candlekeep Inn. As soon as I enter, I find that Winthrop is having a hard time dealing with an angry dwarf.

Winthrop: Please, calm thyself down! My goodness! How many times must I tell you that I do not know where this stray is?

Braegar: Buzzurk! Gorschabarmarzabuldarvel!

Winthrop: Cursing will not help you, my friend. Either you start searching for him, or you wait here.

Braegar: Hrmpf. Give me another one, barkeeper.

This is Braegar, an NPC mod by Ascalon. He’s an especially angry dwarf that we’ll be able to recruit later.

I wait for the dwarf to get his drink before approaching Winthrop.

Aegon: You always were the big kidder, Winthrop. That gets funnier very nearly every time I hear it. Well, perhaps not quite so often.

Winthrop: Haw! Just having a bit o’ fun with ye, my friend. Them monks may be walking about with poles in their nethers, but you know you are always welcome here in my sight. Gorion did well by you, he did. So, is there anything I can do for ya? Some drinks, a room to sleep, or anything to buy?

Aegon: Sure, what do you have?

I decide to sell my quarterstaff to Winthrop – I have no need for it. I replace it with a war hammer.

I can hit even harder with one of these, and it keeps my other hand free for a small shield.

Shields are changed in this version of the game. Bucklers don’t protect against missile or piercing attacks. Small shields don’t protect against missile attacks. Medium shields give an AC bonus of 2, but apply a -1 penalty to THAC0, and Large Shields have an AC bonus of 3, but a -2 penalty to THAC0. So there’s now a trade-off to using larger shields – do you want to absorb hits, or do you want to hit things?

I decide to forgo any armour – it’s too hard to move in it. However I at least concede at buying a helmet. As long as my hands are free.

Armour is also different now. In addition to improving AC, armour reduces damage by a certain amount, with heavier armours blocking more damage. However, armour now reduces Dexterity and arcane spellcasting speed. Heavier armours will also reduce attack speed and apply a penalty to thief skills. There’s now a basic tradeoff between blocking damage and using things like ranged weapons, magic, and thief abilities.

Another change here is that helmets no longer prevent critical hits, but instead provide a bonus +1 to AC.

I also decide to buy a sling with some bullets. The more I can avoid getting close to any attackers, the better.

I feel like I’m ready for this unexpected journey.

But, this may be the last time I come to this. I should socialise with people one last time. That angry dwarf has moved himself closer to the fireplace with his drink. I wonder if he needs any help.

Aegon: I just wanted to know if I can do something for you, sir.

Braegar: Good, that’s more like it. That foolish dreamer Adam, that pathetic excuse of an errand boy, has my book and is floating around here somewhere!

I’m cooling my heels here and his lordship does not consider it necessary to appear! I should…


Come on, see if you can find him and bring me my book!

Aegon: Okay, but only if you promise to be quiet.

Braegar: That shall be seen in time. Come on, what are you waiting for, boy?

Adam. Another of the errand-boys in the Keep – I wonder what’s keeping him this time? I see someone I recognise is also sat by the fire.

Braegar: How about you finish *one* job first, before saddling another?

Firebead Elvenhair: Ah yes… if you could please root out this book quickly. The good dwarf strained my nerves a little.

The dwarf is definitely spoiling the mood somewhat. Okay, so first find the book, then find the scroll. That’s two errands to complete. Father may have interrupted my chores, but I still seem to be able to find new ones.

There’s one more person here. A noblewoman I don’t recognise. She’s probably a first time visitor. I ask her how she is doing.

Aegon: You look very pale indeed. Aren’t you feeling well?

Linda: I… had a terrible adventure. For me, as well as for the man I love. *sigh*

Aegon: That sounds horrible. Do you want to talk about it?

Linda: You are Gorion’s foster child, aren’t you? Yes, I think I want to talk with you about it.

Have you been to the infirmary? My fiancé is recovering there from the injuries he got in his last fight.

Aegon: No, I haven’t spoken to him yet.

Linda: He has an obvious injury: he lost an arm. But the wounds that are still troubling him are his memories of what happened during this fight, and the conditions under which he lost that arm. I… I am troubled by it too.

You see… I cut off his arm. It… it was the only thing to do.

Aegon: I beg your pardon? That, I don’t understand.

Linda: We were on our way to Candlekeep, when suddenly a portal started opening near us. Monsters came out and started attacking. It was horrible. Sir Trun defended us, and it looked as if he would win easily. Then one of the creatures bit into his arm, dragging him toward the portal. He lost his sword…

There was only one possible way to save him and I used it. Otherwise, he would be dead by now.

Aegon: It is a great pity he lost his arm, but you saved him nonetheless. Doesn’t he feel thankful for that?

Linda: No, it is not that easy. Sir Trun proposed to me, what seems a long, long time ago, and we went on this educational journey to Candlekeep. You have to understand, I am the daughter of a noble family, and never touched any kind of weapon. His… his gaze upon me when he realized what had happened…

Forgive me, but I do not want to talk more about it. I need to be patient, and hope that he will overcome his feelings. Poor Sir Trun… he is so brave. He grimly tries not to attribute any importance to the matter, but doesn’t succeed in overcoming his feelings of horror. He is bound to his proposal to a woman he now fears, and is trying to convince himself it is nothing to worry about. I still see that look in his eyes…

I decided not to go to the infirmary until someone brings the news of his recovery, or until he approaches me himself.

This is a new quest from the Mini Quests & Encounters mod by Gibberlings Three.

Such a tragic tale. In the books they write about the heroes of the Realms, they tend to leave out these kinds of details.

I go to the Inn’s other room to see if anyone is there. I find a couple enjoying the other fireplace. The noblewoman doesn’t seem to have time for me.

The husband is quicker to talk.

Noblewoman: Oh yes, darling, they are MOST standoffish.

Aegon: Perhaps they have not been as welcoming as they could have, but you ARE strangers in their home.

Thurston: Perhaps. But if they wish no one to enter it is a simple matter of not letting anyone enter at all. ‘Twould certainly be a shame if they did though. Such a storehouse of knowledge has limited use if no one can use the stored knowledge. Ah, well. ‘Tis cozy enough here by the fire to wash away any troubles I otherwise have with the place.

He must have been waiting to vent about the monks for a while. He’s right about being able to use the knowledge. Then again, perhaps some knowledge is best left unused…

I head upstairs to see if anyone else is around. Of if anyone has left anything lying around. I find some gold and a Scroll of Monster Summoning I in a chest of drawers. The person sleeping in the room doesn’t notice my intrusion.

I try to copy the scroll into my spellbook but fail. I need to get better at this. The next room is empty, and the drawers are locked. I manage to force it open though. I find some trinkets inside.

The necklace is just a plain silver necklace.

There’s also a pearl here. This will probably be worth something to Winthrop.

The potion is a Potion of Persuasiveness. This should help me get a good discount from a store.

I manage to force the lock in the next room as well. I keep an eye on the sleeping occupant as I take the gold and the potion I find inside.

It’s a Potion of Clarity. This should help if I meet any mages that try to use magic to control my mind.

The next room is occupied. And he’s awake this time.

Aegon: My apologies. I have been knee-deep in the tomes of the keep all day, and I am in quite the fog as a result.

Christian: Oh, indeed! Such a wondrous depository it is. I have returned on many an occasion, much to my banker’s dismay, and have not even scratched the surface of the collection here. Would that it were so for all of my noble brethren. I fear many come to the keep merely to proclaim that they did. I suppose it makes them appear more intelligent, though simple quizzing places the majority of them securely about the chimp “level”. I am sorry, I tend to ramble. Good eve to you.

I leave before he can ramble any further.

The next room has another locked chest. I try, but I can’t open this one. I don’t want to make too much noise and raise suspicion, so I give up.

There’s one last room, and I end up disturbing the occupant.

Aegon: My apologies. I must have got the room numbers mixed about. Dreadfully sorry.

Quincy: Ahem. Yes, well just don’t let it happen again.

I head back downstairs to show Winthrop my ill-gotten gains.

He gives me 100 gold for the pearl and 5 more for the necklace, before stashing them somewhere they won’t be noticed.

I leave the Inn. I know I should find my father so we can leave, but I now have some chores to do first. An experienced errand-boy like myself can’t leave his chores unfinished!

First things first, I have to find Adam so I can get the book back to the dwarf. Hopefully that will calm him down.

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