Blood, Belts, and Bandits

5 Mirtul 1368

We travel back to the Lion’s Way. It takes us 16 hours.

As we get near to the stone circle we are attacked by a wolf.

The six of us take it down easily.

Imoen and I show the party back to the stone circle. Near my father’s resting placeand another very alive man is waiting.

Verr’Sza: Your friend is dead. Did you really think you could just buy me and make me a part of your collection? You should have picked someone weaker.

Pasha Korvu: You won’t get me, monster! Your kind deserves no better than to remain stone and become a mere museum piece! Your looks are exotic but you are truly nothing more than a violent and crude beast!

Verr’Sza: Ha! Quite an opinion. Share it with your dead friend, scum. Raah!

Pasha Korvu: You – you won’t get me!

Verr’Sza draws his blades and attacks. Helga attempts to knock Pasha down with a Command.

His spells are interrupted as he falls unconscious. Verr’Sza tries to Blind him and fails.

Khalid Covers Verr’Sza as he attacks with his blades.

I finish Blessing the party then close the gap between Pasha and my mace.

Pasha is severely wounded now and tries to escape.

But Helga hurls a stone and takes him out.

Gameplay Note
Honestly, Command is such a great spell to use on mages in the early game. It knocks them out, interrupts their spell, and by the time they’ve gotten back up they’ll have taken a few hits.

Verr’Sza has some thoughts on his buyer’s demise.

Dorthon: Calm down, they’re dead now. No one here considers you a decoration, or… or a slave.

Verr’Sza: True, they’re dead… but they should have suffered more, the weak scum. In the end he was fortunate enough to die quickly.

So, now they are dead. Should we make a table from their bones? Or maybe a chair would be better?

Dorthon: Well, you certainly have a wicked sense of humour, Verr’Sza.

Verr’Sza: Sometimes I do.

I am no toy, and they should have realized that. They can play with weaker scum and make them into slaves, but I’m not one of them. You should keep that in mind. I said that I may help you once this job is finished, but that does not mean I will become your puppet.

Dorthon: I’ll remember that.

Verr’Sza: Fine.

Anyway – this was the place your… ‘Gorion’ was killed, right?

Dorthon: Yes. It’s a morbid place… makes me uncomfortable.

Verr’Sza: Hah… go cry in a bush then, or better yet, pull yourself together.

Did you bury him?

Dorthon: Yes. I buried him right here, where he died.

Verr’Sza: I see. Then we have no reason to stay here. Let’s get moving.

On Pasha’s corpse we find 850 coins. He was wearing chain mail, and wielding a scimitar. They both seem to be enchanted.

After all this excitement, Helga suggest we hunt the belt-obsessed ogre on the way back. It takes us 8 hours to travel back to the Coast Way.

6 Mirtul 1368

As we travel in the night Verr’Sza and I talk.

Dorthon: I don’t know yet. Whatever I feel like doing.

Verr’Sza: I see. I thought you’d give a rather more specific answer.

Your situation is a lot fairer than that of those who hired me before. They never had the guts to kill their enemies. They were always weak, while you – it seems that fate has some plans for you. It demands for you to grow stronger.

Dorthon: I hope I’ll reach power and avenge Gorion. No, I know that *will* happen.

Verr’Sza: Seek it and you may get it. You’d like to be a predator, no?

I was hired by some slavers once, many years back. It was in Athkatla. There was a man named Duskhelm, or something like that. He would sell men, women and children. I remember that once he sold a boy to a wealthy family that wanted a “friend” for their son. When the boy was sold, Duskhelm found a toy left behind by the kid. He felt no shame at what he did. He just took the toy and gave it to his kid.

It was just one of many kids he sold. Some had died in his little prison, and he would just have their bodies burnt or thrown into the gutter.

Dorthon: Why are you telling me all of this?

Verr’Sza: Oh, nothing. I thought you’d like to be amused with an anecdote or two. Something that would suit your urges.

Slavers and child abuse? What kind of urges does this rakshasa think that I have?

When we get to the Coast Way we are attacked by gibberlings again.

We start taking them down easily, but it turns out one managed to flank us!

Jaheira holds it off and Imoen gets the last kill.

We find some more berries on them. They look like gooseberries, but none of us can tell for sure.

We come across the ogre Helga has already slain. We double check its corpse and we don’t find any belts.

There must be another ogre in the area. I try to see if I can find any tracks, but I cannot find anything.

Gameplay Note
I’m not really sure how this Tracking skill works. I think it’s supposed to show you where creatures are on the map but so far it hasn’t done anything yet. I’ll keep trying and see what I can figure out.

We continue into the wilderness as Helga tells me of her love for the open road.

Dorthon: Are you from Beregost?

Helga: Nay. Moved there not long ago, tired of seeing the same mountain home.

Battle nay come to a well defended dwarven hall. So I come to the battle once more.

Dorthon: Once more?

Helga: Was retired for decades after a slew of adventure, except for my duties to Haela Brightaxe, but nay the many battles I did in my glorious youth.

I was a giant killer, and that is why you met me hunting them.

Dorthon: Do you have any stories to share?

Helga: Aye, I have one. Listen well and good now.

Back in the keep with the other gals, we had a whole pack of them try and storm the place in revenge after we had a clash against a couple of the blokes, with our people coming out on top.

Several of them were throwing boulders the size of themselves towards the keep. We needed a good defense and we needed it fast.

I and a couple of others went to the highest point of the keep, loaded the ballista, and set the ballista up.

Dorthon: Go on.

Helga: Fired a good round at one of the hurlers. Smashed the rock it was holding and had it crumble apart on it. Fired another one right through its head.

We couldn’t slow them down though. So we descended, rallied together at the front, and charged them.

One by one by one, the giants fell or scampered. There was nothing like dodging their stones and blocking their large weapons with ten to one numbers. A grand memory.

Dorthon: Did they ever bother you again?

Helga: Nay. My sisters hunted them to the last… then things got a mite dull for a while.

But with ye, things are exciting once again… and I can’t wait for a battle to match it.

She’s eager to fight. It seems many in our troupe are thirsty for blood today.

A little way into the trees we find a Xvart.

A couple of arrows take it down easily.

Not quite the glorious battle Helga wanted, but it isn’t long before we find the ogre.

Verr’Sza activates his Reflected Image before he and I charge the ogre. It turns out there are two ogres!

Jaheira summons her Spirit Bear, and Helga her Flamebolt. Imoen and Khalid support us with their bows.

One of the ogres manages to hit me, but Helga’s Flamebolt takes care of them both.

Gameplay Note
I remember this being a hard battle at this stage, but both ogres went down pretty easy. Helga’s Flamebolt definitely helped to take them down quickly.

The ogres have two magical belts on them.

After the battle, Verr’Sza makes a request.

Dorthon: Here you go.

Verr’Sza: Hmm, it should do.

If I were as prepared as you are right now, I wouldn’t have even survived my first mission.

Dorthon: Can you tell me about your first job?

Verr’Sza: Fine. But you owe me a drink afterwards.

I was sent to collect a Ruby of the Nightraid Talon, a precious gem held by a pair of ogres. They killed the previous owner, who was to deliver a jewel to a merchant that hired me. It took me a scant few moments to find the imbeciles.

While they argued, I checked an old chest they used to store goods from caravans and merchants, but before I left, one of them realised they were not alone and we had to fight. After a short battle, I cut one ogre’s throat. When the other got confused by his companion’s death, I ran away.

I returned the stone the very same night.

Dorthon: Ogres never were particularly clever. They were lucky to spot you at all. Or rather unlucky, as maybe both of them would be alive.

Verr’Sza: That’s quite possible.

How did you feel when you had your first kill, eh?

Dorthon: I did all I could do to avoid it, but then… it just happened.

Verr’Szar grins.

Verr’Sza: It always happens.

If you want to survive, you have to get used to this kind of experience. There is no other way.

It feels like he’s trying to groom me into becoming a killer. But what is it about me that makes him think I should be a killer?

We make our way back to the Friendly Arm Inn to return these belts. A few hours into our journey we are attacked by a pack of dogs.

We spread out to take the dogs on as they charge us. One dog manages to charge and bite Khalid. He pulls out his sword.

The dogs fall easily after this.

We press on before more dogs can attack. After a few more hours we make it back to the Friendly Arm.

First things first, we find Unshey so we can return her belts.

She only takes one of the belts from us. I guess the other one belongs to us now. We head back down to talk to Thorengrim. Perhaps he can help us identify some of our weapons.

He isn’t able to tell much about Imoen’s Artifact, but he gives her some pointers on how to read it.

It turns out the Golden Pantaloons have a long history to them.

The ring we picked up is known as a Reaching Ring. It was apparently commissioned by a spellcaster who shares a name with me.

Gameplay Note
This is very powerful, but it won’t be useful at all until much later in the game.

The quarterstaff has some minor enchantments on it.

As does the scimitar.

The armour turns out to be the Chain Mail of Transgression

Verr’Sza dons the armour and takes up the scimitar. They were his prizes after all.

Imoen asks for Verr’Sza’s Ninja-To and he agrees. She says this is sharper than her short sword.

After using Thorengrim’s services we have 426 gold left. We head outside to find it is raining. The vendors seem to still have their shops open, however.

We find Ms. Godfrey and purchase a black potion case.

Gameplay Note
This is from Unique Containers by Miloch. It adds duplicates of each container type of various colours so that you can use multiple containers to store even more items. In the vanilla game if you have multiple containers of the same type it can cause some weird behaviour, so this is a nice mod to have. I think we still have to avoid owner variants of the same colour, so I’ll avoid buying any more black potion cases now.

On our way out of the Inn, Verr’Sza wants to talk about the fight with the ogres.

Dorthon: I think I’ve rarely seen you biting anyone in a fight.

Verr’Sza: Do you really think I’m going to bite dirty kobolds or gibberlings? I watch for what I’m putting in my mouth.

He grins. At least I think that’s what his catlike face is doing.

Verr’Sza: You were forced to do what we do, but many would kill to be in your place, dwarf. There are many slaves, beggars, dull commoners, who would give all they have to be an adventurer and actually matter.

Dorthon: They can change their lives, but doing so takes bravery that they lack. They are just unsuitable for a life like this. They want it to be their fantasy.

Verr’Sza: Perhaps you are right. But if that’s true, they know how to build a really nice fantasy. An arousing one.

Does violence… arouse… him? Rakshasas are stranger than I thought…

Helga also has time for some conversation.

Dorthon: Wee ones?

Helga: Aye, Helen and Berk. My children. Out fighting themselves now. Makes a mother bloody proud.

Dorthon: Where are they now?

Helga: Off forging their own paths. They’re serving the hall I hail from as proud sentinels for the hall’s army.

Still, I ain’t have any regrets about parenting. Ye may understand someday yerself, when the time comes.

We walk for most of the day, until we reach the crossroads at Coast Way again.

Beregost is to the south, and beyond that, Nashkel. We set off to a new destination. After passing a milestone pointing the way to Beregost we encounter a young messenger.

Amn might be invading? Isn’t Nashkel a part of Amn? Are we heading into a war?

As we travel south I notice some tracks leading off the road. There is a stench that gets stronger as we follow them and we hear the buzzing of flies. We find an upturned wagon with a few corpses nearby.

They must have been victims of bandits. Aside from a few coins, the bandits have taken everything of value. We find that one of the merchants, a halfling, is still alive.

The halfling coughs and wheezes as he talks.

Halfling Messenger: Ye wouldn’t have a pipe and baccy about?

Dorthon: Maybe I could do something about the gaping wounds first?

Halfling Messenger: I was working up to that. Didn’t want to seem too (wheeze) forward. Heh.

Took a hit when the bandits attacked the wagons. Last I saw young Eddy was (wheeze) fending ’em off while I… crawled off to die, I guess. Good kid. Nobleman’s brat. Badge is a shield argent. Gave me a letter.

(cough) Crappy way for a Longwalker to go. (cough) Not like this. Not with me satchel full…

Dorthon: Have a sip of water, mate.

Halfing Messenger: Got anything stronger?

He starts coughing and spluttering harder.

Halfling Messenger: Yeah, that’s the stuff…

End of the road for me ain’t it?

He wheezes again.

Khalid: It… happens sometimes, th-that we’re just too l-late, Dorthon, and we have to let them fall. It… happens.

Halfling Messenger: And none of that lip about hauling my carcass to a temple and wasting money better spent on widows and orphans. One life for *me*: always been my rule.

But you gotta *do* something for me, kid.

M’names Bartleby. Bartleby Quickfoot, member in good standing of the Longwalker Messenger Guild.

‘Not rain or snow or gloom of night shall stay us in our duty.’ Bandits now, screw ’em.

Take my satchel. Deliver the letters. Sacred trust, innit? If I never finished my last job it’d just kill m…

He’s dead. We do as he asks. He has 10 coins, a short sword, a ruby ring, and a letter case on him.

The case contains several letters.

Something he said got me thinking. He mentioned “wagons”. Plural. And these bodies are still warm. Warm enough that one was still alive. There must be more nearby. We decide to search around a bit more. While we do so we run into a xvart.

It doesn’t prove to be any problem for us. Nor does the next one that tries its luck after we climb a rocky path in the cliffs.

It turns out I was right. We find another wagon, and the bandits are still here. Verr’Sza prepares his Reflected Image for the inevitable fight.

Their leader doesn’t like seeing us approach.

Jaheira: There is no surrender for carrion like these.

Caravan Bandit Leader: Have ta kill ya now. Nothin’ personal, ya understand?

Everyone draws steel.

Verr’Sza rushes the bandits while covered by arrows and throwing hammers. As I follow him, he gets injured, so I try to cure his wounds.

Verr’Sza is slicing through bandits. They fall quickly. It’s just their leader left now.

Verr’Sza Blinds her with his Naztharune abilities.

After this she is easily killed by an arrow from Imoen’s bow.

We strip the bodies of their equipment. Leather armour, longbows and arrows, and long swords. The leader wore splint mail and had an interesting piece of jewellery on her.

Gameplay Note
These guys were actually pretty tough! They killed Dorthon twice, and would take down party members quickly. Turns out the trick was to pick off the weaker bandits first, then focus on the leader. Once she was Blinded it was all over for her.

Eddy… was Eddard Silvershield. Unfortunately there isn’t much we can do for him now. I put it in my pocket and am shocked when I see Verr’Sza taking his blade to the scalps of one of the bandits! Jaheira tells me he is right to do this – many shopkeepers are offering rewards for bandit scalps to try and discourage raids like this one.

Apparently they should be worth some decent coin once we get to Beregost.

Last Gameplay Note
Well, the worst has happened. There’s a 100% crash on loading into Beregost. I’ve been messing around with it for over a day and I cannot get past it. I have no idea what mod is causing this, but unfortunately that means that this Let’s Play is dead 🙁

Well, I guess I’ll try reinstalling from scratch and starting over again…

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