On the Road

3 Mirtul 1368

I still have a companion on my journey, but not the one I expected.

Imoen is a thief, used to sneaking in and out of places.

Gameplay Note
I’m going to changing the classes of some characters to mix things up a little. But we have Might and Guile by the SubtleDoctor installed which changes the way thieves work. So I’m going to leave her as a “vanilla” thief so we can see how the mod works.

Gameplay Note
This is the new feat selection screen provided by the mod. There are several feats available to choose from. Since there are a lot, I will only go through the ones I choose for Imoen.

Imoen was always the hardest to find when we played hide and seek in the Keep.

She was also keen to break into places she wasn’t allowed. I read a lot of forbidden lore this way.

And she was a surprisingly good shot with her shortbow.

Imoen managed to smuggle some useful equipment out of the Keep with her.

More Potions of Healing are always useful. She also has some Oil of Speed.

She’ll be firing a barrage of arrows if she drinks this.

How she got her hands on a Wand of Magic Missiles I have no idea, but this will guarantee some damage on any opponent.

Her shortbow is her primary weapon. She’s pretty good at handling this thing. Of course she also has a quiver of arrows to fire from her bow.

She has no weapon to use up close. I happen to still have a dagger from the last assassing that attacked me. She’s not used to using one, but she takes it just in case.

I take a look at my surroundings. We’re on a road less than 1 days travel east from our home. This must still be the Lion’s Way – the road leading out of Candlekeep.

My father and I were ambushed to the north. As much as I want to go back to my father, there may still be people waiting to ambush me again.

Gameplay Note
I would normally go to the stone rings first, but this version has spawned another ambush of ogres and archers to deal with and they keep killing Dorthon. Hopefully I can defeat them with a little help…

Imoen and I decide to continue east along the path for now. There may still be an ambush, but there may also be people willing to help us. As we walk, Imoen checks in on me.

Dorthon: I’m fine, Imoen. Thanks for asking. You have something on your mind?

Imoen: Not really. Was wonderin’ how you were feeling. Seeing if you were okay and all. You don’t talk much lately… all quiet and stuff.

Dorthon: You were always the talkative one. I’m the silent type, remember? Don’t worry, I’m still the same old Dorthon.

Imoen: Good. I’d hate to see this eat away at ya. We’ll get him, you know. That guy, whoever he was, who killed your dad. We’ll find out who he is, and pay him back good!

And don’t even think of ditching me, either. I know what I’m doing, and I’m in this as much as you. I liked Gorion, and you’re my best friend.

I’m your best friend too, whether you know it or not. You can count on me, and don’t you forget it!

Dorthon: What brings this on, Imoen? I don’t think I’ve ever seen you act this way!

Imoen: I’m just mad, that’s all… mad, sad and a little worried, I guess. I’ll get over it. Heh. I was trying to make you feel better, and now I’m all worked up.

Come on, let’s go find an evil dragon’s lair or something to loot. Um, on second thought, a hobgoblin cave is more your speed. Or maybe an xvart village? Hmmm. I’ll have to think about this one…

As we walk and talk we come across another traveller.

Imoen: Heya, I’m Imoen, and that’s my friend Dorthon. We just got out of Candlekeep, and are startin’ out on a grand adventure, avenging that great mage and all… uhm, Dorthon, why are ya standing with your mouth shut as a clam when the tide is out? Ya know more than I ’bout that fightin’ thing, anyway. So go tell ’bout it! That’s what adventurers do! Famous ones, anyway. Or how would they ever get into bards’ songs?

Dorthon: You saw two people in the wood? I was told to meet some friends at the Friendly Arm Inn. Perhaps they and the ones you met are one and the same.

Kolssed: I doubt these are the ones you seek. They do not seem the friendly type, and are far afield of the inn. If you wish to meet them, I left them not a moment ago just up the road. You will have to pass them anyway if you wish to go to the Friendly Arm. There is a crossroads a ways to the east and the Inn is north of that.

Dorthon: Thanks for your time. I shall be on my way.

Kolssed: Fare thee well, as they say.

Unfriendly people. Could they be more assassins sent for me? I tell Imoen to ready her bow just in case. Further along the path we see two men: one halfling in leather armour and the other a human wearing green robes.

They see us approach and turn to talk to us.

Montaron: Aye Xzar, looks to have been roughed up quite well.

Xzar: Indeed. I can offer you healing potions, if you wish, as a token of goodwill.

Imoen: Psst, Dorthon, the mage speaks like he’s layin’ honey on bread, but I dunno… I don’t like his eyes a single bit!

Dorthon: I’d be grateful for any assistance.

Xzar: Nothing to fear from these simple potions, and I’ll not even hold you in debt, though your conscience knows otherwise.

Montaron: Just like all good people.

Xzar: Perhaps as payment you would go with us to Nashkel. It is a troubled area and we mean to investigate some disturbing rumours surrounding the local mines. Some acquaintances are very concerned about the iron shortage. Specifically, where to lay blame in the matter. You would be useful, though I’ll not hold you to it. We are to meet the mayor of the town, a man named Berrun Ghastkill, I believe.

Montaron: Your conscience be your guide.

Dorthon: I would join with you, but I must meet someone first. Perhaps you will go with me?

Xzar: We’ve precious little time, but it’s best to travel accompanied.

Imoen: I don’t like the looks of these two jokers, Dorthon. Nope. I don’t. Not at all.

Let’s go to the Friendly Arm Inn soon, huh? I’d like to have some people I can trust travelling with us.

Montaron: Aye, we’ll go wit’ ye. Ye owe us fer our time though.

Despite Imoen’s protests I think it’s better to travel in numbers for now. I don’t exactly trust them either, but it’s refreshing to meet strangers that don’t try and kill you on sight.

The halfling is small and roguish, but seems a keen fighter. He tells me his name is Montaron.

Gameplay Note
I think Montaron is a Fighter/Thief in the original game. I was planning on changing him to a Thug – a kit made especially for Fighter/Thieves, but since he’s already been modded to be an Assassin, we’ll see how he plays.

He wears studded leather armour like I do, and wields a short sword. He also carries with him a Potion of Healing and some Oil of Speed.

He tells me he likes to poison his blade before engaging an opponent.

He also likes to set traps for unsuspecting victims.

Gameplay Note
I’ve never really used traps in Baldur’s Gate before, but it seems we can do a fair amount of damage if these are used well. There are also a lot of interesting modded traps so I’m going to have to play around with them.

He tells me the best way to fight, is to fight dirty. Throwing dirt or sand in someone’s eyes can turn the tide of a fight.

His partner tells me his name is Xzar.

He says he’s a wizard of sorts, but doesn’t want to say much more.

He doesn’t carry much, just a dagger and scrolls of Chill Touch and Larloch’s Minor Drain.

Chill Touch allows him to almost freeze anyone he touches.

He’s trying to learn Chill Touch, but he fails.

Larloch’s Minor Drain allows him to drain the life force from other living creatures. He also knows how to memorise this spell.

Gameplay Note
The Hit Point boost is nice, but the important feature of this spell is the 4 points of damage with no saving throw. It can easily finish people off at low levels.

He can conjure up magical missiles.

Gameplay Note
This eventually becomes the basic attack of any mage that can cast it since it does more damage at higher levels, with no save.

He can lull people to sleep.

Gameplay Note
This spell is stupid powerful against low level enemies.

And he can strike an enemy with fear.

Gameplay Note
This spell can be used to get rid of a single enemy for a short time.

Xzar tells me how he sometimes likes to cast spells spontaneously.

Gameplay Note
He has an ability called Spontaneous Casting that can be turned on and off at will. I can’t figure out what it’s supposed to do since there is no description, but it seems when it’s enabled he casts Magic Missiles as if he’s a 9th level mage. I’m guessing it’s the same for other spells.

He also likes to take control of the dead.

Gameplay Note
He also has the Rebuke Undead ability that can be turned on and off at will. Again, there is no actual description for this spell.

He can slow the bones of any creature.

Gameplay Note
Yay! An actual description this time. Seems he can cast this one at will as well.

And he can turn his hands ice cold.

Gameplay Note
He can cast Chill Touch at will. Again, no description for the ability, but the scroll description can be found above.

Imoen carries on being her talkative self.

Dorthon: It has been interesting, to say the least. Not quite what I had in mind either, but it’s not like I have a choice.

Imoen: That’s ‘we’ remember? And yeah, ‘spose we don’t have much choice at that. Still, we can do a lot of good, I think.

Wonder if they’ll make a tale of our adventures? Just think, one day folks will be in the common room of some inn, maybe even the Candlekeep Inn, and ask a bard to tell ’em a tale of ‘Imoen the Quick and her trusty side-kick, Dorthon!’

Dorthon: ‘Side-kick’…!?

Imoen: Oh, okay. We’ll be partners, I ‘spose. What ya think? ‘Imoen the Quick’ sounds good to you? Quick with the blade and wit! All the best heroes and heroines have handles. Hmmm, maybe ‘Imoen the Terrible’? Nah, too dark. ‘Imoen the Bold’? ‘Imoen the Sly’? ‘Imoen the Magnificent’? Hey that sounds pretty good!

Dorthon: Um, how about ‘Imoen the…’?

Imoen: Shush you! I’m thinking! Where was I? I still kinda like ‘Imoen the Quick’. Wonder if it’s taken already…?

Now that we have a larger party, I think we can risk finding my father’s… well. You know. I ask my new companions if they will join me. Xzar seems a little too eager to see a… corpse… and Montaron begrudgingly follows us.

I check for any signs of an ambush before we set off.

Gameplay Note
Not sure how useful this tracking ability will be. I’ll keep using it to see if it actually helps anywhere.

No sooner have we started making our way towards my father’s resting place we are attacked by a diseased gibberling.

Xzar prepares his Chill Touch, as Montaron and I close in. Imoen manages to strike it with an arrow and Montaron closes in for the kill.

We find some berries on the corpse, but I have no idea if they are edible.

Xzar takes a look at them and he’s able to tell me they are gooseberries.

I let him hold on to them for now. I warn the others that there may be an ambush waiting for us, so Xzar prepares his Spontaneous Casting.

On the way to the site we encounter a badly burned ogre. It must have been caught in one of my father’s fireballs.

‘Let them come to you’ was something I was always taught. Imoen takes aim as the rest of us get in formation.

She hits and the ogre starts to flee. Another arrow in the back takes it down.

I remember that I still have some spell scrolls from Candlekeep. I give them to Xzar, and he is able to learn how to use the Friends spell from the scrolls.

As expected, there is an ambush waiting for us at the site.

Xzar starts casting a Sleep spell as Imoen and Montaron drink their Oil of Speed. I close in on the thugs.

Xzar’s spell knocks out the ogre and one of the thugs.

Xzar’s Magic Missiles take care of the thug that remained awake.

The next thug is woken by a sword, then killed with more Magic Missiles.

We move on to the ogre, who wakes and manages to kill Montaron.

Xzar manages to severely injure the ogre with his Missiles.

Imoen finishes the ogre off.

I’ve been at this less than a day and already two companions are down. Xzar doesn’t seem too bothered by Montaron’s death, more curious about the corpse that now lays before us. He tells us there is a temple in the Friendly Arm Inn where we can resurrect him.

The thugs have only some gold and a shortbow on them. The rest of their equipment is too damaged to salvage.

Among the remains of the night before I find a morning star on one of the ogre’s charred remains.

Gorion’s body. It’s barely recognisable. I tell the others that we will take him to the temple as well, but Xzar tells me his soul has already moved on. I don’t know why, but I feel like he knows. It’s over. Time to say goodbye.

Before I bury him I search his remains. I find the note that Imoen mentioned.

My friend Gorion,

Please forgive the abruptness with which I now write, but time is short and there is much to be done. What we have long feared may soon come to pass, though not in the manner foretold, and certainly not in the proper time frame. As we both know, forecasting these events has proved increasingly difficult, leaving little option other than a leap of faith. We have done what we can for those in thy care, but the time nears when we must step back and let matters take what course they will. We have, perhaps, been a touch too sheltering to this point.

Despite my desire to remain neutral in this matter, I could not, in good conscience, let events proceed without some measure of warning. The other side will move very soon, and I urge thee to leave Candlekeep this very night, if possible. The darkness may seem equally threatening, but a moving target is much harder to hit, regardless of how sparse the cover. A fighting chance is all that can be asked for at this point.

Should anything go awry, do not hesitate to seek aid from travelers along the way. I do not need to remind thee that it is a dangerous land, even without our current concerns, and a party is stronger than an individual in all respects. Should additional assistance be required, I understand that Jaheira and Khalid are currently at the Friendly Arm Inn. They know little of what has passed, but they are ever thy friends and will no doubt help however they can.

Luck be with us all.

I’m getting too old for this.


“The other side”? Who are these people and why are they after me? Perhaps I will find the answers when I meet Khalid and Jaheira.

He also had a belt on him that I remembered was magical. I don’t know how it works, though. I ask Xzar if he knows, and he doesn’t recognise it either.

Then I remember I had a potion to help with this. I hand it to Xzar and he is able to recall that this is a Belt of Antipode.

I will wear it in my father’s honour, but I may remove it if I ever need to fight a red dragon.

Imoen and Xzar allow me the time to perform a proper burial. Imoen doesn’t talk. Xzar seems more curious than anything else.

Goodbye, father.

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