New Old Friends

4 Mirtul 1368

The elves notice my approach. Up close I realise they are actually half-elves.

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 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 look into local concerns, and there are rumours of strange happenings 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, Dorthon? We made it through the forest full of gibberlings and wolves, and now we are meeting *real* adventurers! Things are lookin’ up!

Hey Auntie Jaheira, I am Imoen! A friend of Dorthon’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.

Dorthon: I’m already going to Nashkel. One of my current acquaintances wishes 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.

Gameplay Note
Montaron is removed from the party forever now. But we have a full party of six characters now! Montaron’s corpse actually appears on the ground when we kick him from the party. Wonder how Bentley will feel about us leaving corpses lying around?

Jaheira is a half-elf Fighter/Druid.

The druid side of her is a Forest Druid.

This is a modded version of the default druid. I like the way each animal the druid can polymorph into has its own unique abilities. This is part of the Faiths and Powers mod by Grammarsalad.

Divine spellcasters in this installation can also choose an alternative casting style. Basically they are like Divine sorcerers – smaller spell selection, but able to cast more spells per day. I decided to try this out with Jaheira since she’s our first druid. She can cast both Bless and Cure Light Wounds, as well as two new spells.

This is a great spell to hold large numbers of enemies in place while you use ranged attacks to pick them off. It’s less useful at higher levels though – Web is much more powerful than this spell.

Unlike Entangle, this one increases duration as Jaheira levels up. It should be a good defense against groups of animals.

Jaheira also has the innate ability to summon a Spirit Bear.

Jaheira carries a quarterstaff and wears leather armour. She also has a Potion of Invisibility.

Khalid is also a half-elf like Jaheira.

He is a trained Militia Officer.

This is an interesting class with a number of strategic skills. I’m going to have to experiment a little with these abilities.

Khalid carries some basic equipment for a fighter: a long sword, medium shield, and splint mail armour with a helmet. He also has a Potion of Healing.

We don’t have any money left so we’ll have to wait a bit before we can upgrade their equipment.

We check out the kitchen and meet one of the chefs.

Dorthon: Sure thing. Show us what you have.

Gameplay Note
He sells some basic potions and food. Interestingly one of the items he sells is from the Colonel himself.

The cook is annoyed by our presence.

We go upstairs to the first floor. I manage to pick a chest in one of the rooms and find a Potion of Healing, some coins and a gold ring.

A nobleman is staying in the next room I check.

Dorthon: Pardon the interruption, but what is your business here at the Inn?

Nobleman: My business is just that: MY business. If this answer is not good enough, I suggest you complain to Bentley at the bar. Tell him that you broke into my room and demanded to know my personal affairs. I’m sure he will express sympathy as he has the guards “escort” you off the property. I trust that you will be leaving now? Good day to you.

Well, that’s me told. I leave quickly. In the next room I meet Unshey, who seems to be missing a belt.

An ogre hunt! Helga will love this. I meet another guest in the peasant lodgings.

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

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

I’ve learned I shouldn’t pry into people’s business. Better just to leave. In one of the rooms I find a tailor has set up shop.

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 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?

Dorthon: Dyes? Outfits?

Rupert: Magical dyes, my lord! My profession is to create and sell enchanted dyes that can turn even the most drab and dreadful rags into the height of fashion! And now for a limited time only, I also have a small selection of complete outfits for sale.

Dorthon: Yes, I would like to buy something.

Rupert: Ah, wonderful, simply wonderful! I have a wide selection of dyes for cloth, leather, hair, even even some paint for iron or steel if it strikes your fancy! What interests you, my Lord?
Dorthon: Could you explain in detail how this works?

Rupert: Ah, but of course.

Dyes for cloth come in two sizes. There are the large bottles, which can alter the colour of any larger areas, and then there are the smaller bottles which can alter the more minor details.

Leather dyes can be applied to boots, belt and armour straps. Many things are made from leather, so it can have a variety of effects.

There are also two types of paint. One is suitable for armour, while the other is used for smaller objects such as belt buckles and some amulets on wizardly robes.

And of course, if you use the hair dyes, they will turn your hair into any hue you care to imagine.

Finally, I have a small number of complete outfits for sale. Whether you wish to cultivate the image of a great sage or a brave warrior, they are affordable, comfortable and guaranteed to stand up to even the most adventurous lifestyle.

Well then, my Lord, perhaps you would care to make a purchase?

Dorthon: On second thought I do not need anything.

Rupert: Ah, such a pity. Well, I shall be here for some time, so feel free to return whenever you like.

Gameplay Note
This is Rupert the Dye Merchant, a mod by vilkacis. We can customise any character using his dyes. We can’t afford it right now, but it may be fun to experiment with later.

I disturb another nobleman in the last room on this floor.

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

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

We go up to the top floor and find a gnome in the common area.

If I’m right we’ll pass through Beregost on the way to Nashkel. We can kill a few spiders while we’re there.

One of the noblemen here mistakes me for a servant.

Dorthon: 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 me a pair of golden pantaloons. They seem very exquisite. I think I’ll hold onto them.

In the peasant lodgings on this floor I find a battle axe.

I also find a club.

Jaheira says she knows how to use this kind of weapon so I give it to her. In one of the rooms I see a man with a lifelike statue.

Something doesn’t feel right so I try and talk to him.

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.

Dorthon: I’m sorry. Goodbye.

Cronius: Good.

In a cupboard in the last room I find some leather armour and a quarterstaff. I take the armour but leave the staff behind.

In the chest of drawers nearby I find a book containing a poem about desire.

The book feels unusual as I read it. I inspect it more closely and find a letter hidden in the spine.

This must be one of Camryn’s love letters! I wasn’t expecting to find one in the wild.

There’s something about that statue that’s still bothering me. It was too lifelike. I’ve heard of scrolls that can cure petrification – maybe the temple will have one?

On our way to the temple, I talk with Jaheira.

Dorthon: 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.

Gameplay Note
I’ve had grubs in real life. Her description is fairly accurate, but they still taste awful to me. If I ever end up in the wild and out of provisions I’d probably just starve.

At the temple we talk to Gellana. She does have Stone to Flesh scrolls for sale, but they cost a lot more gold than we have right now. Perhaps if we ask around we can find a way to make some coin.

I find some traders around the back of the temple.

I ask to browse their wares.

Dorthon: Sure, let me see what you have to offer.

She sells several bags and cases. We can’t afford to buy anything, but she does let us sell some of our spare equipment.

Dorthon: Let’s see what you have then.

Al-Mustafa sells a lot of magic items and spells.

Dorthon: Yes, what can you show me today?

Kurtz is an armourer. His selection includes some magically enhanced equipment.

We meet some more merchants around the front of the Inn.

Dorthon: I’ve got the gold, but have you anything I need?

They sell some basic weapons and armour. We find another merchant near the farm around the back of the Inn.

Dorthon: Let me see what you have in stock.

Maltz: The best weapons that your eyes have laid upon. They don’t come cheap I’ll tell ya. Have a look!

He wasn’t kidding. These weapons really aren’t cheap!

Nearby I meet some monks who seem to be from a foreign land.

Dorthon: Yes, what is the favour you would ask of me?
Seini Korasu: Travelled far have we three … many moons seen we have, across sees travelled far and long have we. Many a treasure collected, to sell our only wish … to the port Baldur’s Gate we seek. Two moons ago trouble did come, sailing close to shore … warned many times I did, much too close to shore said I … songs of love and lingering … in the souls of sailors strong, did happen a lust unnatural it was. Wake I did to trouble and dismay … the ship is no wagon of land you see, and to shore the ship sailed, damaged greatly I fear .. chilled and bitter the water it was. Beauty and charm was upon all of our crew, friends now enemies all but we three. Forces greater than we could oppose, to this place flee we did, to rest … and help we now seek. Help the three from Kara-Tur may thee?
Dorthon: Yes, we will help as best we can. What can we do?
Seini Korasu: Bag of red left I did … haste you see needed we three … magic and sealed this Bag of Red to be, useful not but only to me. Frustrated the enemies will be, as no treasure exist but this Bag of Red. By fight or by stealth, perhaps parlay … whatever may be, bring this Bag of Red to me, treasures of places far and wide, sell to you fair you’ll see.
Ran we did fast and far, long it was not ago … two moons for me … where it is still remember I do. Travel to the south … then west you’ll go, to the shore and sandy coast. Ship you will see, abandoned with haste, guarded presummed by the crew of we three, as still the songs linger doest believes me. Bag of Red you will find, if look hard and long you will try. Return to me as quick you can, Bag of Red you bring to me.
Bag of Red indeed has weight, lift cannot a giant with strength, need my crystal for the bag to carry … give to you with trust I in you have. Little we have left, we meager three, defend your ears and heart will these, take them all free from me. Clarity of mind will need thee, as songs are magical and will compel … than all but yee strongest enemies will be. Potions I have, guard against songs they yet might … if potions you want?
Dorthon: Yes, any help you can give would be welcomed.

He gives us a strange looking crystal. Apparently we need this to carry the “bag of red”.

He also gives us some Potions of Clarity. If there are sirens as his story seems to indicate then these potions should help us.

We enter a nearby home to find a dwarf inside.

Dorthon: What’s the matter, sir? Can I help you in some way?

Brokk: Mm, yer some kind o’ paladin or sumthin’? Whatever. Unless you can get that blasted mine down south started up again and deal with all the bandits, ya cannae help me. Now be off with ye.

It seems the Coast is heavily reliant on this mine. I don’t think we can do anything to help though, can we? Three of my companions seem to think otherwise.

We go to the other home here and meet a woman seeking some help.

Dorthon: Certainly, m’lady. Speak your mind.

Joia: Such manners! Well, I need a gruff hand for this task, so keep your “please and thank you” garbage for the nobles. I was robbed blind by some hobgoblins within sight of this very inn’s walls and I need you to return the favour. They took my ring, and that’s all I want back. Will you do it?

Imoen pushes me in the ribs.

Imoen: Our finesse is unappreciated here, my good Lord.

Dorthon: I will help you.

Joia: I thank you. The creatures were just north of the inn. I swear I could almost see them from the upper rooms. Bring my ring back here when you get it. You’ll know it when you see it. It’s a flamedance ring, and very striking.

Hobgoblins! We didn’t do too well last time we fought hobgoblins, but there are more of us now, with more experience and better equipment. We head outside of the walls to seek them out.

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