Khalid and Jaheira and

4 Mirtul 1368

As we return to the bar, I decide to talk with my childhood friend for a bit.

Aegon: Hmm? What seems to be wrong, Imoen?

Imoen: Well… Not like I’m complaining or anything, but don’tcha think we’re getting a kinda bad reputation?

I’d never really thought about it. I guess she doesn’t like the company we keep. A necromancer, assassin, and a shadowmage don’t give the best first impression.

When we get back to the bar, Nessie points us toward two half-elves sitting in the corner.

Vienxay: Were you wanting to meet these mutts? They’ve been here longer than I.

Khalid: G-good to know you.

Jaheira: We are old friends of your adopted father. He is not with you? I must assume the worst. He would not permit his only child to wander without his accompaniment.

Khalid: If… if he has passed, we share your loss.

Jaheira: Gorion often said that he is worried for your safety, even at the expense of his own. He also wished that Khalid and I would become your guardians, if he should ever meet an untimely end. However, you are much older now, and the choice of your companions should be your own.

Khalid: We could t-travel with you until you get settled, help you find your l-lot in life.

Jaheira: It would be a fitting last service to Gorion, though we should first go to Nashkel. Khalid and I will look into local concerns, and there are a number of strange things happening at the mines. No doubt you have heard of the iron shortage? You would do well to help us. It affects everyone, including you. We are to meet the mayor of the town, Berrun Ghastkill.

Imoen: Isn’t it great Aegon? We made it through the forest full of gibberlings and wolves, and now we’re meeting *real* adventurers! Things are lookin’ up!

Hey, Auntie Jaheira, I am Imoen! A friend of Aegon’s… Actually, more like a guardian than a friend, ya know? Lookin’ after him, and all that.

Jaheira: Adventurers generally do not call each other ‘auntie’, Imoen. But enough distractions. Gorion had mentioned you in his correspondence, praising your fast friendship with his ward. You are welcome to come along.

Aegon: I’m already going to Nashkel. My current companions wish to visit there as well.

Jaheira: Indeed? Interesting. In that case I think we should definitely travel as one. You can never be too careful about the dangers of the open road. Wherever they may spring from.

Imoen: Yeah! Uncle Khalid and Auntie Jaheira are coming with us! This is going to be a great adventure, after all!

Jaheira sighs. Vienxay complains again.

Aegon: And what would you even propose?

Vienxay: A simple wall to keep them out, man are foreigners, you know. Like myself, except with lowly, simple minds.

I doubt the mages around are capable of the magic of Evermeet, keeping all but elves away from our homeland.

Aegon: So they just closed themselves off from the rest of the world?

Vienxay: People build houses, and close themselves off for security. Please. It’s hardly a foreign concept, and it’s quite sensible.

Aegon: What was Evermeet like?

Vienxay: What was Evermeet not like? Do be specific, what do you want to know exactly?

Aegon: What was the land like?

Vienxay: It’s an island full of strong pines in the north with rugged hills and mountains, and lush oak forests to the east. Civilization and nature in harmony, as it should.

In the plains, you would see an assortment of beautiful horses living on the land, nothing like the lowly quality you have locally. Giant eagles watched from the trees.

No orc or beast would taint our land like this land has.

Aegon: What were the cities like?

Vienxay: Gorgeous, of course. There was no starving peasants, our people were proud and worked hard, not like the lowly local folk here.

The towers would rise into the sky, and the walk ways would wrap around trees and nests, leaving them undisturbed.

The architecture is second to none. Nothing was made without mind for beauty.

Aegon: Were there any exceptions to the elves only policy?

Vienxay: They could try, they would fail. Raiders tried. Drow, Pirates, Red Wizards. They all failed. There is no fleet in this world as fierce or as strong as Evermeet’s, no one could launch a successful invasion against us.

Aegon: What sort of government was there?

Vienxay: Queen Moonflower is our monarch. Of course, my family was on their way to having some influence on her council… bar certain setbacks happening, we could have some influence in Evermeet’s governing.

The Queen is a force to be respected, and far more reasonable that the typical leadership you’ve locally, with your fat mayors and foolish lords.

Aegon: Thank you, that was enlightening.

Vienxay: Yes, of course. And thank you. I feel better now, even if this land is still awful.

Evermeet sounds strange. Candlekeep is secluded and has high requirements for entry, but people of all races were allowed. I swear I saw a half-orc with his nose in a book once. I couldn’t imagine an entire city of only one race of people.

Xzar decides to rest at the Inn for a while after being injured by the gibberling. Montaron decides to stick with him. It’s strange. I feel like Montaron doesn’t like Xzar, yet he’s stuck by his side the entire time he’s been with us.

We sit a while and get to know our new companions. There is Jaheira.

She tells us she is a Circle Enforcer, able to summon Nature’s wrath.

As a druid she is able to tap into nature and use certain magics. She can summon animals.

She can detect when creatures are benevolent.

She can summon a mass of vines to slow enemies in their tracks.

She can make enemies glow so they’re easier to spot.

A must have when fighting stealthy/invisible enemies at low levels.

She can create magical healing berries. I’ve already eaten some of these on the way here.

Like Vienxay, she can summon an Obscuring Mist.

She can give regeneration abilities to a creature.

Could be a useful boost to a tank character.

She can summon a magical club.

She has the ability to Summon Weasels that can distract enemies.

Awesome! We get to use the spell after all!

She can literally ask the Sun to smite her opponents.

She can summon the power of a weasel.

She is wearing leather armour, and wields a quarterstaff. She also has a Potion of Invisibility in her belt.

Khalid seems constantly nervous thanks to his stammer.

Despite this outward appearance, he is a trained militia officer.

This is an interesting class with a lot of unique abilities that seem geared towards more tactical fights. I’ll need to experiment and see what I can get out of this class.

He wears some splint mail with a helmet, and wields a long sword and medium shield. He carries a Potion of Healing in his belt.

While getting to know each other, Helga opens up a little.

Aegon: 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.

Aegon: 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.

Aegon: 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 to 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.

Aegon: You wouldn’t fight them close up?

Helga: Nay yet. Keep listening.

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.

Aegon: 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, thing are exciting once again… and I can’t wait for a battle to match it.

We decide to see who else is staying at the inn. Some guests aren’t open to visitors.

Aegon: My sincere apologies, sire. It was a simple mistake in room numbers.

Marlon: Be sure it is not repeated. Leave me.

Whereas other guests seem to be hoping for visitors.

Rupert: But as my lord knows, there is always room for improvement. I have for sale a number of dyes that will turn your garments into something fitting for a prince – nay, a king! Or if it strikes your fancy, I also have a small selection of complete outfits to choose from. What say you, my lord? Would you care to have a closer look?

This is Rupert the Dye Merchant by vilkacis. He sells various dyes that allow you to customise characters in ways beyond what’s available through the default UI. The dyes are pretty expensive at this stage of the game, however.

The next room is empty, but there is a locked chest at the foot of one bed. Imoen decides to show off her skills. Unfortunately they aren’t as impressive as she thought.

Vienxay tells her to step aside so she can show her how its done. She doesn’t show her how it’s done.

We wander into the commoners room. One of the guests isn’t too happy to see us in there.

Aegon: My apologies. I shall leave you in peace.

Sherman: As well you should. I works hard to pay for this room.

I guess that’s what you get when you wander into strangers’ rooms at an inn. Although sometimes you might find a gnome with a belt problem.

Helga’s going to love this. A chance to slay an ogre. The glorious Battle of the Belt awaits!

I disturb another nobleman in his room. I’m getting pretty good at coming up with excuses for invading people’s privacy now.

Aegon: I’m sorry for the intrusion. I shall not bother you again.

Nobleman: As well you shouldn’t. Begone.

The last room is empty with a locked chest and a locked cabinet. Imoen manages to break into the chest. Inside is a Potion of Healing, a gold ring, and some coins.

Neither her nor Vienxay can open the cabinet.

I remember these being much easier to open. I think there must be a mod that’s increased the difficulty.

We climb the stairs and meet another gnome in the common area here.

Well, we have to pass through Beregost on our way to Nashkel anyway. We can handle some spiders.

I start visiting rooms to talk to people and look for… opportunities… for Imoen.

Vienxay: Excuse me?! Who do you think we are? Ugh! Humans are so aggravating.

Nobleman: I’m not paying you to grovel. Off with you.

Aegon: Sir, yes, sir! Pantaloons pressed and ready by tonight or breakfast is free, sir!

Nobleman: Service with a smile and a snap in your step. That’s what we like to see. Now get going damn you! Not a coin for a tip if there’s even ONE tear!

He gives us these exquisite looking golden trousers. They seem like they’re special somehow, but we can’t tell how.

Well it’s his loss now! Though maybe we will still get them cleaned…

The other rooms have some locked chests that Imoen can’t break into. The commoner’s rooms are empty, but I find a few arrows and a battle axe lying around.

No one in our party uses this kind of weapon. We will probably just sell it downstairs.

I enter a room with a very lifelike statue of a large cat man. Extremely lifelike. It almost seems like it’s about to move. The other occupant isn’t too happy with my presence.

Imoen: But open rooms are so–Well, I suppose I should keep that for myself.

Jaheira: It’s his room, child, so I believe we should leave him be.

Aegon: I’m sorry. Goodbye.

Cronius: Good.

I leave and check out the last room. I find some leather armour, and a book. I decide to give it a read.

Pamphilia to Amphilanthus

When I beeheld the Image of my deere
With greedy looks mine eyes would that way bend,
Feare to bee mark’d, desire to drawe still neere,
And in my soule a speritt wowld apeer,
Which boldnes waranted, and did pretend
To bee my genius, yett I durst nott lend
My eyes in trust wher others seemed soe cleere,
Then did I search from whence this danger ‘rose,
If such unworthynes in mee did rest
As my sterv’d eyes must nott with sight bee blest;
When jealousie her poyson did disclose;
Yett in my hart unseense of jealous eye
The truer Image shall triumph lye.

The spine of this book seems thicker than usual. I wonder…

It’s just as I thought! Another letter to Tamah from Camryn! He would hate me reading it, but I can’t help myself.

It would be a nice letter if it were meant for me. It’s a shame it never made it to Tamah. Perhaps we will find her in our travels.

As we descend back to the bar, I can’t get it out of my head that the statue was too lifelike. You could see each individual hair. No sculptor could put that much detail in. I tell the others we need to go to the temple. I want to try something.

Jaheira has some questions for me as we leave the Inn.

Aegon: Forest lore, hmmm… How did you and Khalid first meet?

Jaheira: How is *that* related to forest lore?

Aegon: Well, you are a lady of the forest, and Khalid is a man of the woods… Erm… it is a bit of a stretch, but I couldn’t think of a more opportune time to ask, without seeming to pry.

Jaheira: I’ll indulge your curiosity, Aegon. The first time I saw Khalid was at a ball. We both were… we both had to attend on business, but neither of us knew the other. I had done what I had to and was about to leave, when I saw him standing all by himself. He looked so awkward and shy that I felt sorry for him and came over to talk. I found him surprisingly charming, and we got to know each other better…

Aegon: How romantic! I bet you had a lot of fun when you found out you both were engaged by the same organisation. But enough of this idle conversation. Let’s talk about forest lore. What is the most reliable and nutritious forest fare to be had, if I run out of provisions.

Jaheira: Grubs, no question. And roasted, they’re tasty: think of nuts with a creamy center.

Jaheira isn’t the only one with questions.

Aegon: What is it?

Vienxay: It is more of an observation, of sorts.

You’re trained to fight in battle, when you could have gone so many other ways. Why choose this path?

Aegon: It was a path that Gorion believed best for me.

Vienxay: Our caretakers are such great influence of our life path.

I myself was always destined to be a mage. Smarter than my peers, I took to magic naturally, and as the eldest, I had to show my siblings what they could become.

Aegon: You’ve not told me much of your siblings.

Vienxay: They are only so interesting, though I do love them. My youngest sister is naive and doesn’t understand the world much, sweet and goodly.

My other, also younger sister is more rebellious, getting into the wrong crowds. She never made the mistakes I did, though, and she knows how to behave when she needs to.

Naturally, my example was one they were not able to follow completely, with my greatness and achievements in Evermeet.

Aegon: That doesn’t seem to have worked out for you.

Vienxay: For now. Don’t expect things to remain as they are.

Yes. My mentor taught me the power of shadow, and it was also my undoing. Dangerously similar to the shadow weave, yet still uniquely apart. Still, the power entertained me, allowed me to do even more with my already great talents.

Aegon: Have you thought of sharing the lessons of your talents?

Vienxay: I suppose I could share my talent, though I’d hardly want to teach a lesson. I’ll… ruminate on it for your benefit, however.

Now, off to the next road, or, whatever, isn’t it?

Helga also has a mind for conversation.

Aegon: Wee ones?

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

Aegon: 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.

Once at the temple I purchase a Stone to Flesh scroll from Gellana.

Time to see how real this statue is…

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