7 Mirtul 1368
When I wake up, I take a closer look at the letters inside Bartleby’s case. I happen upon a letter that is addressed to someone right here in the Friendly Arm. I guess my legend will be as the Deliverer of Letters after all!
If anyone knows who Nesaria Rille is, it will be Bentley Mirrorshade. I head down to the bar to see if he can help.
Aegon: I’m looking for someone by the name of Nesiara Rille.
Bentley Mirrorshade: Nesiara, eh?
Your reason for asking?
Aegon: I have a missive, sir.
Bentley Mirrorshade: A missive?
Aegon: Indeed so. One might even call it a correspondence.
Bentley Mirrorshade: A correspondence?
Aegon: You divine my meaning. A note, an epistle, of the family of memoranda, a dispatch, a sweet blliet-doux. Dare I describe it as… a letter?
Bentley Mirrorshade: She’s out on the floor, bussing tables.
I’m not sure if this was intended, but this exchange with Bentley really feels inspired by Monty Python.
Well, that took a bit of work…
Of course! Nessie must be short for Nesaria. She’s easy enough to find amongst the tables.
Aegon: I have a letter for a Nesiara Rille who lives around here.
Nessie: That’s me! ‘Nesiara’ for special and ‘Nessie’ for everyday. Oh my, a letter from Petronius already!
Here now. This letter says my sweetie is going to Durlag’s Tower!
Aegon: Does it?
Nessie: Built by Durlag Trollkiller?
Aegon: Who’s Durlag?
Nessie: Durlag who killed dragons, and driven mad by the loss of his family, rebuilt his tower and lovingly crafted it inch by subtle inch into a cunning death-trap baited with shining gewgaws to lure in fools, generation after generation?
Aegon: So it would seem, miss.
Nessie: I see nothing wrong with this plan! Oh, I do hope he brings back some rubies. I love a good ruby.
Thank you kindly for bringing me the letter. Here’s a little money for your trouble, friend. Enjoy the rest of your stay here.
She gives me 20 gold and goes back to bussing tables.
I take a seat at a table and browse the rest of the letters in Bartleby’s bag. The first is a letter to a bard known as “Garrick”.
We’re passing through Beregost anyway. Hopefully this Garrick isn’t too hard to find.
The next letter bears no address, only a name. I’ll just have to ask around to see if anyone knows Alyth wherever I go. Maybe I’ll get lucky. Bartleby must already have known who she is.
The next letter bears a familiar name.
This must be the very same Firebead that would visit the Keep! This is the second letter bound for Beregost. Including the Sister Sapientia’s letter, that’s three letters I have for the same town.
The next is a love letter to a woman in Baldur’s Gate. Unfortunately we are heading in the opposite direction today.
The next letter I find is a complete mystery to me.
Bartleby asked me to deliver them all, but I have no idea where to start with this one.
The last letter in the bag is to Eddard Silvershield’s sister. This will be the last letter he ever sent. I am determined to make sure I deliver this one day.
By the time I’ve finished sorting through the letters, the others have come down and ordered their meals. I tuck the letters neatly back into Bartleby’s bag. We will fill our stomachs, then set out for Beregost once more.
8 Mirtul 1368
We meet no bandits, gibberlings, ogres, or weird old men on the road this time. After a half-day’s travel we make it to Beregost.
Imoen is excited to be in a new town. She’s eager to make plans as soon as we set eyes on the place.
Aegon: Looks great to me. What do you think we should do first?
Imoen: Let’s find a nice place and get some rooms. I haven’t had a hot bath in ages! They say Feldepost’s is a good inn; we should try there.
After that, I’m going shopping. We need some supplies. Let’s see…
We need a new frying pan, since you ruined the one we have.
Aegon: I ruined? As I recall, YOU were the one who left it on the fire all night…
Imoen: Details, details. Was yer idea to have me cook. Um… what else? Some new blankets, soap, lantern oil, spare tent pegs… er… I think I kinda misplaced your hunting knife so we’ll have to get a new one of those. I need some new clothes, too. My pink tunic got ripped in that last fight.
Aegon: Um… Imoen? ALL of your tunics are pink… and cloaks… and boots… and gloves…
Imoen: But that was my favourite! Soooo… I’ll need a new one! There’s lots we need. Hope we have enough money…
Well, c’mon, slowpoke. I wanna have a look around.
Before we get a chance to look around, a town greeter introduces himself to us.
Aegon: If you could direct me to an affordable inn, I would much appreciate it.
Will Scarlet O’Hara: We have many inns for the frugal adventurer. The Red Sheaf has basic rooms, though the clientele is a touch rowdy. There are also the Burning Wizard and the Jovial Juggler, which also have finer suites. The Red Sheaf is near the center of town, as is the Burning Wizard. The Jovial Juggler is a bit further along, and sits on the southern edge of the city.
Aegon: Thanks for your help.
Will Scarlet O’Hara: No problem, friend. Enjoy your stay.
Wait… no, wait… can I ask you something?
Aegon: Absolutely, what is bugging you?
Will Scarlet O’Hara: It looks like you haven’t been in Beregost for a long time… Maybe you need a skillful wanderer… I can handle this wonder nicely.
Aegon: Are you talking about this flail?
Will Scarlet O’Hara: Certainly, about it and myself…
Aegon: I hope that you’re really good with it, come on.
Will Scarlet O’Hara: I’m very glad to join you. Beregost is a nice town, but I’m being drawn to adventures…
Aegon: Is there anything else?
Will Scarlet O’Hara: Uhm… how should I tell you… At Feldepost’s I pledged my favourite flail, you know, I needed money for a living… If we get some gold, I could take it back…
Aegon: How much then?
Will Scarlet O’Hara: At least 1000 gp… Eekhm… I also commissioned armour at Taerom’s smithy… For 5000 gp… I don’t even know how I would be able to pay for it… However he told me the job would take much time to finish due to my orders…
Aegon: There will be plenty of time to think about it. Let’s move.
When we finish our conversation, Will is approached by a friend of his.
Will Scarlet O’Hara: Don’t say a word… you found my ring didn’t you, brother?
Golin Vend: Ah, yes, here is your los…
Will Scarlet O’Hara: Thanks, good friend. (In fact, I’m sure you personally took it out of my hands). I need it.
Golin Vend: You’re welcome, good bye.
We now have a tour guide in Beregost – Will Scarlet O’Hara.
He’s a bard who likes to use a flail when he isn’t performing his songs.
I had decided early on that if a character is a base class, I would change them to another class. In this case, however, bards work differently. They are multiclass mage/thief with spontaneous casting abilities (like a sorcerer), so I figured it’s different enough to play around with.
There also seemed to be a bug here were Will got no spells, so I used EE Keeper to give him all the spells from this description.
Will can use commands like I can, and he can also vocalize.
Basically the anti-silence spell.
He can set snares as all rogues can, but he can also inspire us with song.
Will Scarlet O’Hara is from the Northern Tales of the Sword Coast by Spellhold Studios. I think he’s a fairly one-dimensional character (similar to how NPCs were in the original Baldur’s Gate), but that’s because he’s part of a much larger mod, and also because NTOSC was one of the earliest mods made for Baldur’s Gate. It predates BGII so the idea that NPCs could be more fleshed out hadn’t yet been planted into modder’s minds.
I know Imoen wants to go shopping, but I want to get these letters delivered first. The letter to Garrick is as good a place to start as any. I ask Will to take us to the Burning Wizard.
On our way we walk past a few adventurers having a “heated discussion”. I decide to try and help them resolve their issues.
Agnus: Oh crap, now I got tangled up again!
Udolf: Do not pretend you can count! If you would want to count to 20 you have to take off your boots for it and may the gods help us *then*!
Agnus: One more word and your teeth will be part of my new abacus! How would you like that?
Udolf: Do not think that I’d fear you, you conceited pile of metal!
Teliel: Friends, don’t you believe that…
Agnus: But maybe you should be afraid!
Udolf: Well, that’s enough! You will be expelled from our group! You’re no longer a member of Raukner’s Ruffian Rednecks!
Agnus: For the last time! That’s not our name! And you cannot throw me out simply because you are not our leader! And because I quit!
Teliel: Friends! We got company!
Aegon: Hey, maybe I can help.
Teliel: Oh, it’s a sad, yet embarrassing story I must admit. But I am afraid we will not come to an agreement without mediation. So if you would be so kind…
Aegon: Let’s hear it.
Teliel: Alright. Udolf, Agnus, and my humble self are adventurers like you, it seems. Our last mission was to deliver a package to Beregost.
Agnus: And we did.
Udolf: As only Raukner’s Ruffian Rednecks could have done!
Agnus: By Clangeddin’s axe! That is NOT our name!
Teliel: Anyway, we got our reward and chose a proper inn to recover.
Udolf: And then this dwarf here suddenly became thirsty.
Teliel: Agnus therefore took his share of the money.
Agnus: My share *exactly*!
Teliel: Of course, exactly. And went off to drink until he drops.
Agnus: And there wouldn’t have been a problem with that if not for the halfling suddenly getting hungry.
Udolf: Oh, suck my hairy toes.
Teliel: Udolf took a third of what was left in the purse and went to dinner. And when I heard that scrolls are sold in the temple… Well, I took a third of what was left and visited the temple.
Udolf: And now we only have 80 coins left and do not know how we should split the gold so that everyone can get his share of the payment.
Imoen: Uh, exciting. Math. Well then, Aegon, have fun. I’ll just go… hm… over there for a while.
Agnus: I almost had it calculated when you barged in.
Aegon: I can do that.
Teliel: Great! So, once again. Agnus took a third of the gold. Of the remaining Udolf has taken a third while I took a third of the rest. Now we only have 80 pieces of gold left in the purse. How much money did we have in the beginning?
Aegon: You had exactly 270 pieces of gold.
Teliel: Hmm… Udolf would then get another 30 coins and I get 50. Hey, that’s right!
We owe you big time. Now we can continue our journey.
Jaheira: It’s good to see that you have apparently learned something from Gorion.
Agnus: I told you so. This elf is a smart one.
Udolf: Raukner’s Ruffian Roughnecks are back on track! Hurrah!
They’re argument over, they leave and carry on with their day. Somehow I don’t feel this will be their last argument, however.
This encounter is from the Mini Quests & Encounters mod by Gibberlings 3.
Will gestures in the direction of the Burning Wizard. Before we get there, however, we are approached by a woman who seems to be in a state of panic.
Aegon: Of course, what do you need?
Neera: There’s bandits! Vicious, magic bandits! And they must have gone to advanced bandit school or something. They’re trying to capture me!
Aegon: Very well, I shall defend you from these bandits.
Neera: My hero! Now, where are the rest of your men hiding? I’ll be honest, I was betting on you having a legion of soldiers because you’ll need it and – OH GOODNESS, THEY’RE HERE.
It’s at this point we see the “magic bandits” following her. Their leader engages Neera.
Neera: You’re the one trying to capture me! And I still don’t know what you want, so I’d rather not let it happen. Get out of here before me and my new friends decide to inject a fist into your mouth!
Ekandor: You there! Stand aside and give me the girl. Surely you won’t risk your life for a stranger?
Aegon: I won’t let you harm her. By what right do you hunt this woman?
Ekandor: By my right as a wizard of Thay, we must study her anomalous powers… whether or not she comes willingly.
Aegon: Back off before I see whether you’re as red on the inside as the outside.
Ekandor: If you wish to die for this wild mageling, so be it!
The woman and the wizard of Thay both prepare to cast spells. I don’t recognise the woman’s spell. It seems chaotic, but not in the same was as Vienxay’s Shadow Magic. It seems to fly off in multiple directions, before focusing back on the red wizard.
He disappears without a trace! Did he just die, or teleport? The other bandits have the same questions.
The remaining bandits attack us, and we ready ourselves for the fight.
Vienxay throws a chromatic orb at the Thayan wizard and interrupts his spellcasting.
We focus our attacks on the wizard. Will commands him to sleep, and he obliges.
Will starts to inspire our battle with his bard song. It must have an effect. Khalid manages to take down one of the wizards bodyguards, despite his heart not being in it.
The second bodyguard engages Khalid as the wizard attempts to flee.
Unfortunately for the fleeing wizard, Vienxay takes him down with her bow.
Neera launches some magic missiles at the remaining bodyguard. He’s bleeding now, fighting defensively against all of us.
Vienxay strikes true with her bow again, and the fight is over.
Neera is a tiny little bit apologetic after the fight.
Aegon: What will you do now? Surely Ekandor will return at some point.
Neera: Since you were kind enough to save me from those wizardly thugs, I was wondering if I could stay with you for a while. For your protection as well as mine. I swear, I’m quite a skilled spellcaster. I can hurl a fireball like you wouldn’t believe!
Aegon: Very well, your company would be appreciated.
Neera: Fantastic! Let me just get my… well, nothing. I’m ready to go now!
She tells us her name is Neera.
She explains that she is a wild mage, which is why her magic seems so chaotic: she is prone to wild surges.
Neera’s spellbook contains some magic I haven’t seen before. She can shoot flames from her fingertips.
Not quite a fireball, but it’s something, I guess.
I’ve never managed to make good use of this spell. It can hit multiple enemies so could make a hole in a large group of low-level enemies, but it’s usually better to just hang back and launch magic missiles.
She says she can also access magic beyond her talents, although there’s an almost certain chance of a wild surge.
This is the spell that makes playing a wild mage fun! Either you get a powerful spell effect, or crazy stuff happens. Many a battle has gone off the rails when cows have randomly fallen on people’s heads, or a bunch of birds have appeared.
She says she has a way to mitigate this a little though.
Using Nahal’s Reckless Dweomer she says she can access more powerful magic, such as taking away someone’s luck.
She can also activate a shield that can help protect from wild surges.
She can create Mirror Images of herself.
She can also induce wild surges through other spellcaster’s magic.
She seems like she can be pretty powerful, but I worry about the risk of surges.
She wears a traveler’s robe and is armed with a sling. Her quarterstaff is magical, although it seems as chaotic as her magic.
She also carries a black-green gem bag. We take advantage and pool our gems inside.
Khalid and Jaheira say they are tired after all this fighting. They tell us they will be in the Jovial Juggler when we are done delivering letters.
Will returns to guiding us toward the Burning Wizard. We walk past another inn known as the Red Sheaf. There is someone waiting outside.
Will tells us that the Burning Wizard is just around the corner. With any luck, Garrick will be there and we can finally deliver this letter.