8 Mirtul 1368
We find ourselves in Gavin’s old home, which has a new occupant. Emily distracts everyone with a story about her necklace while Aura slips into the back room.
Aegon: No, you’ve never mentioned it.
Emily: I always just remember wearing it around my neck. I think it was from my birth mother, but my father would never really say. Honestly, I had no idea it could free someone who was frozen by the will of a mage until I accidentally came across two apprentice boys dueling in the courtyard.
I can’t remember the boy’s name, Richard maybe, he got paralysed. The other boy found it so funny and started poking him. I went in and told him he should release him, then when I put my hand on Richard, my necklace glowed, and he was freed.
The boy was so shocked he just started staring at me like I had something funny on my face. He didn’t see Richard get so furious he punched him right in the jaw.
The house guards had to separate them, and I got chastised for being late to my lesson.
Aegon: You got chastised for that? You did nothing wrong.
Emily: I know! I was even helping. Surely if a lady is being a hero, she can be late. Especially for helping a cute boy. You’re only a young boy once.
Anyway, I know the road awaits us. We can swap some more tales another time.
This conversation was a bit broken – some of the dialogue repeated and was out of order. I usually just copy the dialogue as-is, but in this case I’ve changed it slightly so it still flows.
We leave Gorion’s old home, and Aura follows us out a few moments later. This time she found a long sword, a dagger, and a potion of evasion.
We continue on to the house behind Gavin’s old home, finding a few more coins in a barrel along the way.
Inside the house we find a friend of Gavin’s, who is worried about her husband’s safety.
Mirianne: Gavin, I know it has been a while since you were our neighbour, but you’ll help an old friend, won’t you?
Gavin: Of course, Mirianne. We’ll keep our eyes open and send word if we hear anything.
Mirianne: Thank you! I know Roe can take care of himself, but I would rest so much easier if I just knew that he is safe.
Nashkel is in Amn – we can ask around when we get there. Maybe someone will have heard of him.
Aura does her usual trick as we leave. This time she finds a silver necklace that she feeds to Muffy, and a book about the Chosen of Mystra.
She was the god of magic, but I’m thankful we elves have Corellon Larethian to grant us access to the Weave. He would never have used people for his own personal gain the way that Mystra did.
There is one more home in this block. When we walk in Gavin seems to panic a little.
Aegon: Why do you dislike her?
Gavin: She’s just an irritable, petty woman with an ear for gossip, nothing more. But that does not mean that I wish to run into her.
We follow his request, but Aura can’t help herself from acquiring first. She finds a gold ring for Muffy, some leather armour and another dagger.
We move on to the next block. The corpses of the Thayans that were chasing Neera still lay on the ground here. Sirene stops to talk to one of the locals.
Sirene: I think you’ve misjudged us, we’re as interested in politics as the next person. So what’s this trouble you were just talking about?
Commoner: Well, from what I’ve heard, there’s some tension between the nation of Amn and the city of Baldur’s Gate. I’ve heard that the Grand Dukes of Baldur’s Gate think that Amn’s behind all of the iron troubles along the coast. Some people have even gone as far to say that Amn might be preparing to invade. I think it’s just the usual rumourmongering that goes on from time to time, but then, you never know.
To think there could be a war over these troubles? Maybe we can do something in Nashkel, but I doubt it.
The first building on this block is locked, but Aura takes care of it. Inside we find a couple who are down on their luck.
Gavin: Davis, it’s me, Gavin.
Davis: Oh. Hello, Gavin. Haven’t seen you in years. Leave me alone, though. I’m in no mood for talkin’.
Gavin: All right, Davis. Sorry to hear things have been so hard on you and yours.
Speaking of hard times, Gavin asks me about mine.
Aegon: I was not so much led to it as I was pushed into it. Not long ago, my foster father, Gorion, was murdered. I am searching for his killers.
Gavin: I am sorry to hear that. Please accept my deepest condolences for your loss. Forgive me if I sound like I am prying, but I cannot help but wonder why anyone would wish such a man dead. Not that I have heard much about him at the temple, but what I have heard has been entirely favourable.
Aegon: Thanks for the sympathy, but I am not even sure that Gorion was their target. They might have been after me.
Gavin: That’s horrible! What makes you say that?
Aegon: “Surrender your ward and nobody gets hurt” sounds pretty unambiguous to me.
Gavin: Yes, it is hard to take that any other way. I will help you, of course, but we will have to be exceptionally careful. Anyone powerful enough to take out a mage like Gorion is going to be a tough opponent.
After our conversation, Davis’ wife makes it clear we should leave.
We do as she wishes, but that doesn’t stop Aura from acquiring a light crossbow as we leave.
Next door is the Red Sheaf Inn. Silke’s corpse still lays on the ground outside. We seem to be leaving a lot of corpses on the streets of Beregost. Verr’Sza told me I’d need to get comfortable with killing if I want vengeance. I’m getting comfortable. Vengeance will come.
We go inside and are immediately accosted by a dwarf.
Gavin: We’ll just see about that!
Aegon: I hope you’ve the will to back up those words.
Karlat: Aye, that I do. The will AND the way. Shall we get to business then?
Time to make another corpse.
Ironically, Karlat killed Aegon the first time we came into the Inn and I had to reload…
A familiar gnome sees the fight and jumps in to aid us. Is that Finch?
Sirene severely wounds the dwarf with her Brimstone.
The dwarf takes another blow from Braegar’s axe, so he quaffs a potion of healing.
I launch a Magic Missile at him. We need to kill him before he can heal again.
The dwarf starts to panic and tries to escape from us.
Then Braegar guts him.
Beregost is going to be littered with corpses by the time we leave this place. Well, his good equipment is now our good equipment (sorry Emily). He still has one potion of healing left on him. He also has a note stashed in his belt.
Another bounty notice? Another assassin? They’ve found me in Candlekeep, the Friendly Arm Inn, and now here in Beregost. Will they be in Nashkel as well? Who is it that wants me dead so badly?
One thing’s for sure, I know now why father said we would have to keep moving. I shouldn’t linger in any one place for too long.
I turn to Finch.
Aegon: I wish I could say it was my first assassin, but such events grow common for me as of late.
Finch: How terrible for you! I cannot imagine why an assassin would plague one such as you! You seem a fair enough sort!
If you recall, my duties for the temple of Deneir charge me to establish a new library in Nashkel. With all the focus on the mines there, the people are woefully illiterate, and it is my duty to provide them with the tools to gain knowledge.
I have a list of future works to collect and my latest book in hand. I am free as a bird to continue my journey searching for the others.
You… you have recently come from the road. Perhaps you could use my skills if more assassins give you trouble? It is a dangerous time to travel the Sword Coast alone, and I confess I have not enjoyed my solitude this trip as much as in the past.
Aegon: I could use some more help with healing on the road. Say, Finch, would you like to join me in my travels? I am sure we will run across an exotic tome or two.
Finch: That sounds like a most propitious proposal! Let us be off!
Gavin has been staring at the dwarf’s corpse for a while. He starts to talk again.
Gavin: Did we weather it all right?
Aegon: Sirene could use some healing.
Gavin: Certainly. Let me just see if I have the spell ready…
He doesn’t. I need to memorise my spells as well. We should think about resting soon.
An old friend from Candlekeep has joined us!
She is a priest of Deneir.
She was actually just a plain cleric, but I changed her to use a more appropriate kit.
Deneir grants Finch access to the same spells that I have access to: Armor of Faith, Bless, Cause Light Wounds, Command, Cure Light Wounds, Curse, Know Alignment, Doom, Goodberry, Magic Stone, Protection from Good, Protection from Evil, Resist Fear, and Sanctuary.
Finch wears leather armour and is armed with a sling and a flail. She also wears special glasses that help her identify artefacts.
She carries with her a bookbag, as well as the works she has transcribed so far.
Aura is worried she may have a little heat on her after acquiring so many things. She tells me she will stay in the Red Sheaf until things blow over.
Well, we’d better clear things with the owner. Sirene makes the approach.
Bartender: Gavin, is that you? I haven’t seen your face in ages. I thought you’d died!
Gavin: Not yet, Otto, but it has been a while. How’s the family?
Bartender: Ah, but they’re mostly grown, now. The youngest will be wed next month, and then it’s me an’ the missus, all alone again, just like old times! But listen to me, talkin’ when I should be pourin’ ale. Can I get you anything, ma’am?
Sirene: Could you show me what you have to offer?
He offers us some cheap rooms, and a small selection of cheap ales and blood wine. We turn him down. We settle in to make conversation with the regulars. We are approached by a halfling.
Aegon: A dog’s head?
Perdue: You ‘eard me. A dog’s ‘ead. And breath that could peel paint, too.
Aegon: Oh, a gnoll!
Perdue: Yeah, a gnoll. There’s one ‘oled up in the hills west of ‘ere, close to the High Hedge. Damn thievin’ ball-o-fur stole my short sword two days back.
Aegon: Never liked them myself. How much would that blade be worth to a runty guy like you?
Perdue: Yeah, yeah. Lay off the short-guy jokes, they’re older than your grandmother’s uncle. The damn blade ain’t worth nothing. It’s a pride thing. I’ll give ya 50 gold pieces if ya wipe ‘is arse with it.
Aegon: You’ve got yourself a deal.
Perdue: Yeah, yeah.
Gnolls. Large, hairy, dog-like creatures. Helga would probably enjoy hunting this one down.
We discover the tavern’s local “bard”.
There is a suspicious man in one corner of the bar. Sirene decides to investigate.
Sirene: Nothing. Goodbye!
We go upstairs to see the quality of the rooms. We find a storyteller here.
Sirene: Have you been to the south? I hear tell of trouble in Nashkel?
Raleo Windspear: I have not been down that way for some time now, so I don’t have much to say. Likely you will have heard much from others about town anyway.
Sirene: What can you say of Beregost, then?
Raleo Windspear: What would you like to know? I have met many of the locals and I know a bit of history as well.
Sirene: What are the concerns of the day? How have the troubles lately affected people?
Raleo Windspear: Hmm? Oh, I suspect you mean the iron shortage? I imagine it has affected the local smithy quite a bit. Taerom is a wonderful blacksmith, but he’s got a lot of time on his hands these days. His shop is still reasonably stocked, but I think he’s looking for other materials to work on these days. Not sure what that might be, but he’s quite adept at exotic materials. Anything else I can help you with?
Sirene: Any outstanding quests that need resolution? I fancy myself a bit of an adventurer.
Raleo Windspear: An adventurer, eh? Well, if you are up to the task, I hear there are strange things in the Ulcaster School ruins southeast of town. I would nae go down there unless you are quite sure of your abilities though. Many a well-meaning fellow has gone and not come back. Only for those adept in battle. Other than that, I know that the lady Mirianne has been awaiting news of her husband for some time. He was to come up from Amn but is overdue. I know she would be grateful for any news. She lives on the east edge of town if you find anything. Anything else you would like to know of?
Sirene: No, thanks. You have been a great help.
Raleo Windspear: Not a problem. Always a pleasure making new friends.
With no thieves left in our party, Braegar checks the rooms for any valuables. He can’t pick locks, but he’s able to force open most of the chests with his axe. He finds some weapons, a few coins, and some gems, including a bloodstone.
While Braegar does his thing I talk with Gavin downstairs.
Aegon: My chief occupation was seeing how much trouble I could cause. I’ve always been a joker.
Gavin: You must be vexed that our present quest is so serious. But you do show the signs of a good sense of humor.
Gavin: Anything else?
Aegon: I like to read.
Gavin: It’s very rewarding, reading. But anything that expands the mind is worthwhile. What subjects did you study?
Aegon: I’ve always been fascinated by faith, so I prefer religious studies.
Gavin: I know that great men and women have written volumes on religion, but it always surprises me somehow. How can it be possible to write about faith? To me it seems like you either believe or you don’t.
Aegon: That about covers it.
Gavin: Thank you for telling me more about yourself!
Braegar joins us after a short while. We don’t have Muffy with us anymore, so I store the gems in my gem bag. We leave the inn, stepping over the bodies of the assassin and Silke as we do.
We remember that the Burning Wizard is around the corner. We decide to see what it’s like. As soon as we enter, we find a woman being accosted by a stranger.
Commoner: Don’t try that! Gimme back my money, now!
Rose: Please, I don’t know what yer talkin about! O-ow, it hurts! My wrist!
She looks at me.
Rose: Help me!
Aegon: Hey, what’s going on here? Let the girl go!
Rose: Oh, thank you!
She massages her wrist.
Commoner: What do ya want now?
Aegon: Just know what’s going on. Why were you holding the girl?
Rose: I was just passing by when–
Commoner: I was ‘ere drinkin’ when she stole me money bag! Just wanna take it back!
Rose: That’s not true! I-I swear, I didn’t take anything! At all!
Commoner: I’m not a moron enough to let you go away with me belongings!
Rose: Can’t you just be mistaken? You drank so much!
Aegon: You do smell like beer a lot. How much did you drink?
Rose: I-I fear enough to be high…
Commoner: I’m not drunk!
And if the bitch doesn’t give my things back now…
Rose: That’s rude!
Aegon: Stop that, and go somewhere else if you want to bother and insult girls when you’re drunk. Begone!
Rose: Thank you, sir! You’re most kind!
To hell ya and all the adventurers like ya! If only you weren’t armed… Screw ya all!
When the man has gone, we talk again.
Aegon: My pleasure. May I ask your name?
Rose: I’m Rose, pleased to meet ya! Here, this is your share.
Rose: Consider it like a thank you for what you did!
Aegon: Heh, thanks! We did a great team. Poor one he is, anyway.
Rose: Oh, don’t feel bad for that one. He’s such an idiot. He spends all his money at drinking anyway, and gets violent when he’s drunk.
I’ve seen him here sometimes, ya know.
Aegon: I see… So you live here, or what?
Rose: Nope, I’m travelling. I arrived here in Beregost not long ago but found that the other inns were a bit too guarded, or full of psychos. Why, I was thinking of leaving one of these days… What if we join up for a bit?
Aegon: That’s a wonderful idea! One never has enough friends. I have to warn you, my travels may be a bit dangerous, but… Welcome in, Rose!
Rose: Don’t worry, I know how to defend myself.
This is Rose NPC by kthxbye. We will take a proper look at her in the next chapter.
With that we are ready to meet the patrons of the Burning Wizard.