2 Mirtul, 1368

I still have no idea where I am going, or how long I will be away. So I decide to take one final walk around Candlekeep.

Gameplay Note
If you’ve played Baldur’s Gate a lot, you may have noticed I didn’t buy any crossbow bolts before I left the Candlekeep Inn. I’m going to do Candlekeep as if I have never done it before. There are a few surprises here and there thrown in by some mods, so it will still be a little different to a standard Let’s Play and is worth doing “properly”, so to speak.

Close to the Inn I run into Phyldia. It turns out she has misplaced one of her books again.

She’s smart, but she’s also a bit absent-minded. Last time she lost an entire four-volume set in the hay we keep for the cows.

I walk east and as I pass the Priest’s Quarters I decide to check inside for Phlydia’s book. As soon as I am inside I am approached by a man who seems to be staying here.

Dorthon: I am. What can I do for you?

Shank: Oh, our encounter shall be quite simple for you. Plainly put, I have made it my mission to end your life. Success will mean a little respect among my peers. So you see, you can do very little except die!

It’s at this point I notice the knife in his hand. I raise my shield and ready my mace.

He takes a few swings at me but I manage to deflect his attacks. After a short dance I manage to strike his temple with my mace, killing him instantly.

I just… killed a man. It was self defense, but still… What did he say? “Respect among my peers”? Is there a group of people out there that wants me dead? Is this why father is in a hurry to leave?

I check out his corpse. He has naught on him of any value except the dagger he attacked me with.

Nothing special, but Marthammor forbids the use of blades in combat. More stuff to pawn to Winthrop.

I search the building and find a locked chest.

Inside is another dagger and some leather armour.

Not as good as my studded leather, but I wonder why the assassin wasn’t wearing it. Not that it would have helped against a blow to the head.

On the table I find 8 gold and a scroll of Magic Missiles.

More arcane magic. I’ll hold onto this. Perhaps father might have a use for this.

In some crates near the back I find a war hammer.

It’s a nice weapon, but I prefer my trusty mace.

I search the rest of the room, but I can’t find Phlydia’s book. Maybe she left it in the haystack again? I’d be surprised normally, but this is Phlydia.

As soon as I leave the building I am spotted by Parda.

Dorthon: Oh, Parda! There was a man in there, he smelled like the stables, and he- and he tried to kill me, it was horrible…

Parda: Hurry then, child. Equip yourself at the Inn and go join Gorion on the steps of the library… I had a sense something like this might happen.

He “had a sense”? People are keeping things from me. Why are people trying to kill me? Does my father know?

I let it go for now. Phlydia’s book – the hay bales. I find Dreppin tending to the cows nearby as usual.

Of course she would lose it in the same place. I search the bales and find the History of Halruaa among them. Before I return it to her, I decide to take a break and read the book.

History of Halruaa

Halruaa was settled centuries ago by wizards fleeing the Phaerimm in what was to become the Anouroch Desert. The first wizards came in unique flying ships invented by the Netheril, and found a beautiful and rich country settled only by shepherds and large herds of aurochs and wild rothe. It was here that the wizards decided to make a stand, should the Phaerimm follow. The Phaerimm never did, but Halruaa has had to defend itself from attacks by all of its neighbors since then.

Over the centuries Dambrath  has attacked and raided Halruaa’s ports and borders multiple times. Once, led by a magic resistant barbarian, the Dambraii occupied all of the country south of Lake Halruaa. They were defeated in battle by the great archmage Myrcontil, who slew their barbarian leader. Forty-thousand Dambraii attacked, and were stopped by 500 Halruans. More than 200 Halruan wizards, including Myrcontil, died in the battle.

The last attack upon Halruaa was less than 100 years ago, through the Tetath Pass by the power hungry king of Lapaliiya. He had allied with bandits from the wastes, though this time the Halruans were able to field a larger force, including fighting men as well as wizards in their skyships. The attackers were easily routed.

Halruaa also suffered through a civil war about five hundred years ago, when a number of mages beginning in new experiments in magic, ones which even the Netheril didn’t approve of.  The renegades were driven from the region, but went on to found the land of Thay, or so it is said in Halruaa.

Since then, Halruaa has been at peace (they have not declared wars) though it still suffers from Dambraii pirates, bandits of the wastes, savages from the Mhair Jungles, and any other pirate, raider, or hungry wizard who thinks that magic and wealth grow on trees in Halruaa.

This constant raiding has made the Halruans very defensive, warlike and traditional. The people say that since wizards have always led them, wizards always will.

An entire nation of warring wizards? They could definitely use these scrolls I’m carrying around.
I go back to Phlydia to return her book.

Phlydia: Hmmm! There’s a bit of paper stuck in the spine of this book. I just noticed it when I pulled out some straw… Is this yours, Dorthon? Oh, I see. It’s addressed to Tamah Venustas. Let me just pull it gently out and… Ooooops!! It tore. Oh my. This looks like the handwriting of Camryn the Scribe. Oh dear. It’s a love-letter. Let me just fold it back together… Ummm, Dorthon, I just saw Camryn by the Library stairs. Would you mind…

Dorthon: (sigh) You want me to take it to him?

Phlydia: I would want it back if I’d written it. Make sure you take it to him. You know, all of Camryn’s friends thought he was too much of a loner to ever fall in love. When he met Tamah and then chose to bond with her, we were very surprised. They were very different personalities. And yet… yet… they were so much in love. You should ask Camryn about it… It’s such a sad story.

Gameplay Note
Another Romantic Encounter for us. We haven’t technically started the main story yet and we’re already getting a bunch of extra content!

I take a look at the note.

It is a love letter. A love letter to someone who isn’t here anymore. Phlydia said I should ask Camryn about it, but I feel like I will be bringing up sad memories if I do.

The gem Phlydia gave me is a Lynx Eye Gem. It’s blue-green colour should fetch a few coins at Winthrop’s.

I’ll return the letter, but first I have to meet Alec. He said he would be at the Shrine of Oghma so I start making my way over. Behind the hay bales I spot Adam. These hay bales are hiding all kinds of things today…

Dorthon: Hey Adam. I’ve been looking for you. You know, at Winthrop’s there’s a pretty angry dwarf who…

Adam: A dwarf? And what does that have to… oh.

Damn it, Dorthon! Now I remember why I have this great tome with me.

He’s going to tear my head off, huh?

Dorthon: Don’t worry, I’ll take care of it. Just give me the book and I’ll make sure that he gets it.

Adam: You would do that? Man, that takes a load off my mind. You’re a real friend.

The book he gives me is The Book of Smithing.

It’s written in dwarvish. At least, I think it is. There are a lot of technical words and codes that I cannot make heads or tails of it.

I reach the Shrine of Oghma and find Alec.

Alec: Wait, you look distraught. What’s wrong?

Dorthon: You won’t believe me, but I’ve just been attacked by an assassin! Here, at Candlekeep!

Alec: That’s… nearly impossible. Assassins in Candlekeep? And somebody wants you dead?

You’ve got to get out of here, Dorthon. They must know where your room is, and when you’re in your bed, asleep… it’s too dangerous.

You know the guards won’t protect you, and I’m not allowed near your room after that embarrassing incident with a barrel of codfish.

Dorthon: I know. Gorion and I are leaving as soon as possible.

Alec: Good to hear. And bad to hear, too. Because I’ll really miss your company. You know that, right?

Anyway… it’s your last day here, and I know we haven’t talked much recently.

Dorthon: It’s understandable. You’ve been distraught by your uncle’s death.

Alec: You know how I was when I learnt my uncle Will was shot near Beregost. I couldn’t eat, couldn’t sleep, couldn’t talk to anyone… just sat and stared into space.

It’s been some time, but the pain’s still going strong. Uncle Will’s been my entire family since my parents died.

And he was… so good at what he did. Dedicated, calm, honourable. Though priests aren’t supposed to be defined by honour, that’s the prerogative of knights.

I just feel alone without him. It’s hard. Thank you for being there for me. All these years… you and me are almost like family, too, now.

Dorthon: Your uncle would be proud of you. You’re honourable and kind, too. And dedicated.

Alec: That’s a very nice thing to say. Something a real friend would say to brighten the mood.

We are friends aren’t we? Good friends. Ever since you arrived with Gorion, and I was just a little boy, dusting Oghma’s shrine and running after my uncle whenever he was called to the Keep.

Dorthon: We are, Alec.

Alec: You know, I’ve always been so excited about discovering an old legend, or an ancient tome, but I never realised these tomes and scrolls are written about people. And now I’m standing next to you, and I realise you’re starting your own book.

It’s amazing isn’t it? Beginning a legend?

Dorthon: Hey, I’m not a legend yet!

Alec: You’re an adventurer now. And every adventurer is a legend in their own right. Even if they only saved one family and helped one person. Found an old ring and returned it to the owner, killed a pack of wild gibberlings, disarmed an evil assassin…

And I have a feeling you’ll do that and more.

I miss the old times a little. When we were eleven or twelve, and the stars seemed impossibly far away, we’d sneak out to the hay stables with jugs of cold milk.

We’d just lie there, watch the keep in the moonlight and exchange tales. Or spend hours in silence and never get bored. Do you remember?

Dorthon: And then you’d be so immersed in looking at the stars you’d spill half the milk on your shirt.

Alec: Ah, you do remember, I see. Why do people always, always, always remember the embarrassing things? It’s not fair!

It’s going to be dark soon, but even if not – why don’t we meet at the western stables near the guard barracks? I know it’s time for you to go, but we could just spend one last evening together…

Dorthon: Deal. I’ll bring my sweet self, you bring the milk.

Alec: You got it.

I’ll see you at the stables after dark. Or even before dark, really. Just come, before the adventure takes you away.

Alec, Adam, Imoen. So many good memories with them all. It’s starting to hit me that I’m leaving soon. I should take the time to say my goodbyes.

There is a gnomish lady visiting the shrine. I go over to talk to her.

Gameplay Note
This is a new NPC called Recorder, created by Skitia.

I guess she recognised me as an errand boy. It seems my last day will be full of things to do, even if I am supposed to be preparing to leave. Am I just trying to postpone the inevitable?

I talk to the priest here.

It turns out I don’t need to sell my spare equipment to Winthrop – the temple happily purchases the daggers, warhammer, and leather armour I found for a few gold pieces. He also gives me 7 gold for the lynx eye gem. It’s not much, but extra coin should help me begin my legend.

Sister Sapientia is also here as usual, and she has a favour to ask of me.

Dorthon: So I believe, though I know not where.

Sister Sapientia: I have old ears but I hear much. With all the troubles, the regular mail service has been terribly disrupted. I know that you and Gorion will be travelling far. Could I ask you to take a letter for me? If your steps take you past the Song of the Morning Temple east of Beregost, I would have you deliver it to Dawn Priest Blaise who resides there, in the Vestibule.

Dorthon: I will do my best!

Sister Sapientia: I can give only my thanks. My order discourages the accumulation of wealth (we spend it all on books, instead). But my thanks are sincere.

Dorthon: Very well. Give me the letter.

Sister Sapientia: Thank you, Dorthon! Here it is, all wrapped up in oilskin against the weather. Remember to look after your feet as you walk, it is hard to get new ones. And have you seen young Imoen? We are due for another lesson in (sigh) penmanship…

Gameplay Note
Yet another Romantic Encounter. It’s interesting to get a quest that starts in the prologue, but won’t be resolved until later.

Imoen. I’ll have to make sure I say goodbye to her before I leave. Perhaps I’ll write her letters as I travel, show off my penmanship. Speaking of which, I should return Camryn’s letter now.

I start making my way to the Central Keep, but I am accosted by Reevor on the way. He reminds me of the important chores I’m supposed to be doing.

I guess he never got the message from Gorion. Oh well, I can kill a few rats. I enter the storehouse and get to work.

As I chase the rats a stranger seems to appear out of nowhere.

Dorthon: I hope you’ve the will to back up those words.

Mendas: Aye, that I do. The will AND the way. Shall we get to business then?

He slashes at me but I manage to avoid his attacks and call upon Marthammor to Bless me.

With his blessing I manage to strike him.

The assassin is on the defensive, but is unable to defend against the killing blow.

After he dies I turn my focus to the rats.

They aren’t too hard to kill.

Gameplay Note
This assassin is added by the Dark Horizons mod by Solaufein.

Another assassin? In Candlekeep? Someone really wants me dead today. I check the body of the assassin. He had 80 gold on him, was wearing studded leather armour, and was wielding a short sword.

You could also call this a long dagger. The assassin also had a note on him.

Two hundred gold? Who is willing to may that much to have *me* killed?

All this equipment is heavy. I decide to leave my quarterstaff behind – I don’t need it now that I have a real weapon.

Gameplay Note
I just noticed that The book of Smithing weighs 30lbs! I need to get rid of it as soon as I can.

I search the storehouse and find a silver ring in a barrel.

Probably not worth much, but I’ll hold onto it anyway.

I go back outside to get my reward from Reevor.

5gp?! I guess he didn’t realize there was an assassin tearing up his warehouse. He’s in for a shock when he goes to clean it up. I pay a quick visit to the Shrine of Oghma again, and sell the assassin’s equipment and the ring for a total of 17 gold. My pouch now has 340 gold in it. A small fortune to begin my legend with.

I find the entrance to the Inner Grounds, where I see Hull on guard duty.

Gameplay Note
I just realised I forgot to talk to Dreppin about his cow. Rookie mistake :/

I swear this place is going to fall apart without me. Hungover guards forgetting swords! No wonder there are so many assassins in this place. I figure that I should fetch Hull’s sword now. Perhaps it’ll make things a little safer in the Keep.

Hull also reminded me that Dreppin asked for some help. Is it this antidote he needs?

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