Coast Way

4 Mirtul 1368

Night falls as we travel, but we don’t stop. We want to get to the Friendly Arm Inn as soon as we can. We make our way towards the Coast Way.

Gameplay Note
I like the new world map in this mod – it combine BG1 and BG2’s maps, as well as adding other areas like Icewind Dale.

After several uneventful hours we reach the end of the Lion’s Way and an old man smoking a pipe approaches us.

Imoen: Heh, I… or do I need ta say “Ti”? I mean if “you” is “thou”… or was it “thee”? Uhm… in any case I’m not desperate and not deranged. I’m excited! I am going to be a famous adventurer. like Elminster!

Old Man: *smiles from behind his moustache* Thou art a spirited girl, Imoen. Now what of thy companion?

Imoen: Wait, wait! How d’ya know my name?

Old Man: One can acquire knowledge in more ways than one, child. But let the quiet one speak.

Dorthon: A fair bit of desperate, actually. Might you know the way to the Friendly Arm Inn? I was told I might find friends there.

Old Man: That I would. The inn is but a short distance to the north, and its doors are open to all. I have no doubt that thy friends shall be there, waiting with open arms. My sympathies for any hardships the road may have inflicted on thee, though I am certain everything will turn out for the best. My, but I have wasted too much of thy time and said too much already. I shall take my leave and wish the all the best.

He seems a strange man. He seemed to know a bit too much about us, yet he didn’t attack us on sight. I doubt he’s a friend of the armoured figure, but stilll…

As we continue on I talk to Imoen.

Dorthon: Hmm? What seems to be wrong Imoen?

Imoen: I’m just so bored!!! I want something interesting to happen!

Gameplay Note
There are a few mods that add player-initiated-dialogue to NPCs in BG1 similar to how it existed in BG2. I’ll be experimenting a bit with PID from time to time as it can lead to some interesting events.

We continue down the path and are challenged by a lone xvart.

We manage to take it down easily. Imoen’s arrow gets the killing blow as usual.

The xvart was using a short sword, and had some more berries on it. We think they might be more gooseberries, but neither Imoen nor I can tell.

It also had a jasper gem in a pouch.

I doubt we’ll use it to make any antidotes, but I’m sure a merchant will buy this at the Friendly Arm Inn.

We come across a milestone with some directions.

Seems the old man wasn’t lying – our destination is to the north. We almost don’t notice the small group of diseased gibberlings approaching us.

Imoen makes short work of them while I hold them at bay. As usual.

They have some more berries on them. I take them with me just in case.

We follow the path around to the north and see a dwarf standing over a dead ogre.

Dorthon: You killed this ogre all on your own?

Helga: Aye, been hunting this bastard for a time… though he did a number on me themself. I nay be able to hunt their chieftan on me own.

My name’s Helga. Priest of Heala Brightaxe.

Dorthon: My name is Dorthon. A pleasure.

Helga: I be after these ogres’ leader, their king ye know. Holds his domain north of a gnoll stronghold. It will be glorious and bloody, if ye want to take the task on yerself.

Or if ye have me, I’ll aid ye in the battlefield meself!

Dorthon: Very well. Join us and we will see this ogre leader ended.

Helga: Let’s get to it, then! I long for battle.

Gameplay Note
We have our first modded companion! This is Helga, created by Skitia.

She’s a Priest of Haela Brightaxe.

The Hurl Stone ability stuns an enemy for a couple of rounds. Might give us the upper hand in combat. Looking forward to trying out the Flamebolt as well.

Helga has access to many of the spells Dorthon does, so we’ll only look at the new ones here.

Another spell that can turn the tide, although this doesn’t get stronger at higher levels.

This is actually a lot more useful at lower levels than it seems. Can interrupt spellcasting or stun a strong fighter long enough to get a decent hit on them.

The anti-Cloudkill. This will become more useful at higher levels.

Helga weilds a war hammer, and wears splint mail armour and a medium shield.

The armour slows her down but will block 15% of all damage!

Heavier shields in this version come with a THAC0 penalty, but provide a higher AC bonus.

The ogre on the ground has a Scroll of Conjure Fire Elemental and a Morning Star.

Gameplay Note
A pretty powerful spell to get this early! Shame we have no mages to cast it right now…

We go off the beaten path for a while and see a wolf. We get lucky this time, as this one runs away from us.

On a nearby rock we spot something glowing in the moonlight. It turns out to be an angel skin ring.

Gameplay Note
This is usually a Ring of Protection. Looks like some modders have decided we shouldn’t be this lucky so early in the game. Then again, other modders have decided it should be perfectly fine for a level 1 party to summon a fire elemental so it’s balancing out, I guess?

We head back to the path, being sure to avoid the wolf. When we get there a hunter approaches us with a warning.

Imoen: Hey, ya grouch… we weren’t shoutin’ at all. We are adventurers and understand such things, ya know. Tell him, Dorthon.

Dorthon: What should I be wary of in this area?

Aoln: ‘Round here? I wouldn’t worry yourself too much, unless you’re brainless and charge everything you see. Mostly gibberlings, but they aren’t much of a hassle. A fair bow and good sword arm could handle one, maybe two. More with mage or cleric backup. Wolves have become a bit more predatory lately. I think it’s because more people are hunting for their food, seein’ as how the iron shortage took away their normal livelihoods. A hungry wolf is a nasty thing, and I wouldn’t travel without a group if I were you.

Well this bow and mace arm managed to take on three of those gibberlings just now! He’s right about the wolves – we’ve had more than one violent encounter with them over the last day.

A milestone points us towards the Friendly Arm Inn.

We continue along the road towards our destination.

We travel as the sun rises and after several hours we arrive at the gate.

We talk to the guards on the way inside.

Imoen: Nope! But from the look of ya they must be on the dreadfully borin’ side!

Dorthon: Certainly. Common sense rules the day within the Friendly Arm.

Guard: Good then. Enjoy your stay.

Okay, our first task should be to find the temple. We enter the grounds and ask around. The people here talk of troubles in the mines and war with Amn.

There are a lot of merchants filling the streets here.

No time for shopping right now. We keep moving and find the Temple of Wisdom.

Inside we are approached by a gnome priestess.

Dorthon: What sort of cures do you have available?

It costs us 100 gold to raise Xzar, however she tells us that Montaron is too far gone.

Gameplay Note
Raising Montaron wouldn’t work no matter what I do. I remember when he died he took 28 damage which theoretically should have chunked him, so I’m guessing there’s a bug where he didn’t get automatically removed from the party.

I give him back his dagger, and Helga heals him. I check to see how he’s doing.

Dorthon: Uh, Xzar? Hello? Are you there Xzar?

Xzar: Of course. I wish you were, too. Or not, as you prefer.

There is another priestess here selling magical equipment.

Dorthon: Nice to meet you. Show us what you have.

She sells magical ammo, potions, spells, and magic weapons, among other things. We sell her the equipment we looted from the thugs and goblinoids in the Lion’s Way. But there will be time for more shopping later. It’s time to find Khalid and Jaheira.

We go outside and climb the steps to the Inn proper. A hooded man asks us who we are.

Dorthon: I am here to meet some friends.

Tarnesh: Oh, you must be whom I am to meet then. I will take you to your friends, but first I should be sure you are the correct person. Is your name Dorthon?

Dorthon: Sorry, but no. I don’t think you’re the person I’m supposed to meet.

Tarnesh: Really? I would beg to differ. You fit the description, so I think it would be safe to assume you are the one I seek. Don’t move. I have something for you.

He readies his staff for combat. Another assassin? Here? I was right to be suspicious.

I move in with my mace. Imoen covers me with her arrows. Helga casts Command on the assassin. Xzar prepares a volley of Magic Missiles.

The assassin attempts to cast a spell but Helga’s Command knocks him out. Xzar’s Magic Missiles strike him as he’s down and take him out.

Gameplay Note
If I remember right Tarnesh usually starts out with a Horror spell. Helga’s Command was able to interrupt his casting and knock him down! Even without Xzar’s overpowered Magic Missiles this fight would have been over quickly.

We search the body. A note we find in his belt confirms he is another assassin, and that I am the target.

He has a spellbook from which we learn his name is Tarnesh. It has several scrolls inside. One is a Scroll of Magic Missiles. He also has a Scroll of Lance of Disruption.

Gameplay Note
This could do major damage to a large group of enemies.

A Scroll of Summon Weasels.

Gameplay Note
This is added by the Weasels! mod by Lava Del’Vortel, a modder with a small obsession with weasels. There are some other weasel themed items and spells scattered around so we’ll have to keep an eye out.
This particular spell is useful for occupying weaker enemies while the party regroups. It’s basically just a distraction spell.

A Scroll of Burning Hands.

Gameplay Note
This spell does a decent amount of damage to multiple enemies if you can get close enough.

And a Scroll of Armour.

Gameplay Note
This is pretty decent temporary armour for a wizard. It effectively lasts around a day so can be good to cast at the beginning of dungeons or just after a rest.

Imoen takes an interest in the assassin’s spellbook.

Imoen: Look! Here’s somethin’… Hey? Think I can turn ya into a frog?

Hold on, lemme try…

Manos! Potentis! PAH…!

Dorthon: Whoa! Hold on, Imoen! You’re no wizard. You shouldn’t be fooling around with that. I don’t want you to hurt yourself.

Imoen: Aw, don’t worry about me. I was only kiddin’.

Those ‘spells’ or whatever, the things in the back? They look kinda important. I won’t mess with those.

But these lil’ old things in the front… Betcha even I could learn some of them. I’m gonna try, anyway.

Dorthon: Well, I suppose it will be all right. Just be careful, okay?

Imoen: Hey! I told ya! Dontcha worry ’bout me. I’m no dummy. I know what I’m doin’.

I’ll be ‘slingin’ spells’ in no time. Haha!

So this is it. The Friendly Arm Inn. At last it’s time to find the friends that Gorion mentioned.

Gameplay Note
I’ll end this one here. Next time we’ll pick up Khalid and Jaheira, then explore the Friendly Arm Inn properly.

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