5 Mirtul 1368
We follow the path back to Coast Way. Jaheira spots something shiny in a rock near the path.
I can tell it is an angel skin ring.
This is usually a Ring of Protection. There’s an item randomiser mod installed that moves items around the game, so we don’t necessarily know where all the good loot will be ahead of time.
Our wandering around catches up to us however, as we run into more gibberlings.
They go down easy, however.
We make our way back to the path again, but Helga suggests that there may be ogres to hunt in the area. Perhaps Unshey’s thief might be in the area. I worry about getting Vienxay to the temple, but Helga assures us we should have enough time. She’s right, Vienxay can last a bit longer. I agree to have a quick look around.
Of course we find more gibberlings instead.
We’re used to dealing with these by now. We kill all three and keep moving. I’m about to suggest we head back when Verr’Sza spots our target.
Verr’Sza attempts to blind the ogre.
He fails, although Jaheira gets a hit with her sling.
Helga dooms the ogre.
Verr’Sza charges in and gets a good strike.
Then Khalid’s arrow strikes the ogre through the eye and he drops to the ground.
It turns out this is the ogre with the belt fetish. We find what is clearly Unshey’s girdle.
We also find another girdle that seems enchanted.
The ogre was wielding a morning star, but also carries a jade ring.
Jaheira tries on the belt. She seems to start changing. It turns out the girdle is cursed!
Her body has changed into that of a man’s! She can’t even get the girdle off.
Jaheira: Husband, your spare boots. May I borrow them?
Khalid: B-b-but of course, dear.
Jaheira: My footwear always pinches at times like this.
Jaheira doesn’t react as I’d expect her, er, him, er…? Her, I guess. She’s still a woman no matter how she appears. Verr’Sza doesn’t stop being a rakshasa when he’s in human form. I guess we’ll need to get the temple to remove this curse as well now.
Verr’Sza has some thoughts on our fight with the ogre.
Aegon: I think I’ve rarely seen you biting anyone in a fight.
Verr’Sza: Do you really think I’m going to bite dirty kobolds or gibberlings? I watch out for what I’m putting in my mouth.
Verr’Sza: You were forced to do what we do, but many would kill to be in your place, elf. There are many slaves, beggars, dull commoners, who would give all they have to be an adventurer and actually matter.
Aegon: I think they don’t really know what they wish for.
Verr’Sza: Or maybe it’s quite the opposite!
We continue until dusk, when we arrive back at the Friendly Arm Inn. Verr’Sza goes back into human form.
We make our way to the temple. Jaheira asks Gellana about her new girdle.
Jaheira: Well, there’s this girdle I found.
Gellana Mirrorshade: Bless my eyes – if it isn’t that twice buckled belt, still going around like a social disease.
Jaheira: Yes, yes, but can you get it off?
Gellana Mirrorshade: Don’t you worry now, young one: I’m very discreet. (Bless me, I thought I’d seen a lot on the long road, but setting up as the only healer in fifty miles, now *that* opened my eyes…)
Jaheira: Don’t worry on my account.
Gellana Mirrorshade: You’ll be wanting to experiment, no doubt. Nothing like young ones for ‘adventuring’. Tell you what – I’ll sell you a bottle of me special curse-removing soap.
Jaheira: ‘Curse-removing soap’? That seems so useful. Why haven’t I heard about it before?
Gellana Mirroshade: It takes a fair while to concoct, my young friend, and if I mix it strong enough for the big stuff it’ll take your skin off along with the curse. A little tarnish from that girdle is just fine, though.
Now, that’s a thousand gold per bottle, and please, my rosy-cheeked young adventurer, help yourself to a bottle of preventatives and other bits in the corner. There are instruction booklets right next to the case. Remember: safety starts with you.
Jaheira: A thousand gold? For soap!!?!
Gellana Mirrorshade: That bottle o’ soap is enough for ten all over cleansing body scrubs, and it exfoliates and moisturises as well. A thousand gold is very reasonable for what you get, believe me.
Jaheira: Sigh. I’ll take the soap, then.
Gellana Mirroshade: One bottle of curse-removing soap coming right up! That’ll last you ten bath-times. Remember to wash behind your ears!
Erk – I actually didn’t realise I had that much gold…
She gives us the soap and her ‘preventatives’.
Being in a temple makes Helga consider her own religion.
Helga: I was at the cusp of adulthood, wandering out of the halls to see a smile of sunshine.
A small group of starved wolves thought they could get an ambush on may. I nay even wait for their charge, but charged them first.
Aegon: Go on.
Helga: I gave them a good clobbering that sent them scattering, though took a few wounds myself.
It was one of her faithful that tended me and spoke well of the inspiration of my courage, and how I’d do well as one of the faithful.
Took her advice to heart, and became one of her acolytes. Remained one of the faithful ever since.
Aegon: That was an interesting beginning.
Helga: Aye. A simple one, but one I will ever be proud of. Now let’s find some more battles to add to the tale.
I wonder if Vienxay will become an acolyte of Garl Glittergold after this? We pay 100 gold to Gellana to raise her.
Jaheira tries the potion Gellana gave us and the belt comes off. She’s back to her normal self now.
We take the opportunity to sell our spare loot to Ratava. Then we head to the inn to find Unshey. On our way we meet some old companions.
Aegon: Aye, that I do.
Montaron: A wise choice, indeed. Puts off me having to kill you by a few days at least. Move it wizard! I’ll not have us delayed by your flitting about.
Vienxay decides she will stay at the inn to recover for now, and Helga says she will help tend to her wounds.
We find Unshey in her room on the second floor.
She’s probably right. All that fighting makes you sweat a lot.
It’s time for us to head out. But before we do it’s probably a good idea to check our equipment. We head down to see Thorengrim. We buy Xzar some throwing daggers and give him a mage robe.
It’s dark when we get outside again.
Since it’s dark, Montaron wants to check out some of the houses to see if they are empty. We find one occupied by a heavily armed dwarf. Jaheira talks to him.
Jaheira: What’s the matter sir? Can I help you in some way?
Brokk: Mm, yer sum 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.
Well we are going to Nashkel for that very reason. He probably wouldn’t believe us, and I doubt we can actually fix the mines.
We find the next house occupied as well. This time with someone asking for help.
Jaheira: 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 the 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?
Jaheira: 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 when you get it. You’ll know it when you see it. It’s a flamedance ring, and very striking.
I guess we’ve been volunteered. I suppose we have time to kill some hobgoblins. It’ll be a neat revenge for what they did to Vienxay.
Ha. Revenge. I guess I am okay with vengeance.
We figure if they are robbing people they should be close to the path that goes to the north. If we follow it they may ambush us as well. Sure enough we are ambushed after a short while.
Verr’Sza switches back to his natural form as we prepare to attack.
Khalid and Xzar take out one hobgoblin as I put a second one to sleep.
Cat charges in for the coup de grâce.
Jaheira searches their bodies. Except for their weapons and armour, they have some gold but no flamedance ring. These aren’t the hobgoblins we’re looking for. We press on to see if we can find any more. Sure enough, Montaron spots them.
The fight starts off easy with Xzar casting a sleep spell.
The remaining hobgoblins go down easy enough.
Jaheira finds a flamedance ring on one of the bodies. It must be Joia’s ring!
Jaheira suggests we sweep the rest of the walls for any more hobgoblins. It would be good for future travellers to try and scare them away from the inn. She’s right – we find more waiting on the path.
They don’t provide much of a challenge.
We find a greenstone ring on one of these hobgoblins.
They must have a thing for rings. On our way back to the Friendly Arm’s gates Jaheira spots something in one of the trees.
It turns out to be a ring of some kind. We can’t tell what it does, but I try it on. If it’s cursed we have Gellana’s soap anyway. I feel like I can use magic better somehow.
We all know what ring this is – it’s a powerful item for any wizard.
We don’t find any more hobgoblins so we go back to Joia. She’s happy to get her ring back.
We have some gold to spare so I suggest we go shopping before we leave. We find some more merchants behind Gellana’s temple.
Ms. Godfrey sells potions and various bags.
Sintara Al-Mustafa sells a lot of powerful magic. Most of it we cannot afford.
We also find the dwarf, Kurtz Goldenaxe, who sells some powerful armour.
We settle on buying a black-gold bag of holding from Ms. Godfrey.
With that done, we start on the path to Nashkel. We will stop by Beregost on the way. There are a few people I want to meet there.
6 Mirtul 1368
We travel through the night back to the Coast Way. Gibberlings are waiting for us at the milestone again.
One of them scratches Montaron, but otherwise they are taken down quickly. They have more of those mysterious berries on them. Xzar tells us they are gooseberries.
These are actually useful! Verr’Sza and I eat some and feel refreshed.
We follow the path south towards Beregost, where we are ambushed by bandits!
The get a shot on Xzar and he dies!
Wizards and arrows don’t mix…
SCS makes enemies more intelligent. One tactic is to target weaker characters first so they die quicker. I’m learning the hard way how effective this is against mages. I need to keep characters with low hit points and no armour back from combat before we engage in the future.
Khalid takes out one of the bandits with an arrow.
Following up with an arrow striking the second bandit in the head.
Montaron starts peeling the skin off the skull of one of the corpses. Shocked, I ask him what he is doing. He explains that there is a bounty for bandit scalps, and Xzar’s killers should be the ones to pay for Xzar’s resurrection. Jaheira agrees, there is a bounty and we should take it.
We need to resurrect Xzar. We could press on to Beregost – they have a temple there. But it seems the road to the Friendly Arm is safer, and we are a man down. We decide to head back to see Gellana.
We have just enough money to raise Xzar.
Xzar and Montaron will rest here for a while, so we decide to find Imoen and Helga. We find Imoen studying her new spellbook.
Aegon: Making any progress with that, Imoen?
Imoen: Hmm? Oh! A little. I think.
Though, this stuff IS kinda complicated…
Hey! I think I’ve got this one down pat. Yep. Easy as pie. Hold on, Aegon, this’ll be fun…
Aegon: Why do I have a bad feeling about this?
Imoen: Watch this!
A book appears out of nowhere. Both Imoen and I take a look at it, but it reads like gibberish to us both.
Imoen decides to just hold onto it for now. We can figure it out later. For now we need to get to Beregost.
7 Mirtul 1368
We get back to the Coast Way close to midnight. I warn the Helga and Imoen that there may be bandits about. We decide to wander off the beaten track in the hopes of avoiding an ambush. We end up running into a Xvart.
Khalid takes it down easily with his bow. We keep moving south and run into some bandits looting a caravan.
Jaheira: There is no surrender for carrion like these.
Caravan Bandit Leader: Have ta kill ya now. Nothin’ personal, ya understand?
Helga summons her flameblade again. Verr’Sza takes an arrow in his arm, but I throw him some healing potions.
Unfortunately it isn’t enough to save the rakshasa.
Helga also goes down.
I use my scroll of magic missiles.
It takes down the bandit leader. We set upon the remaining bandits. One of them hits Jaheira, but Imoen throws a potion to her.
They aren’t going down fast enough, so Imoen uses her wand and takes out one of the bandits.
The last two bandits are overwhelmed after this.
Among the bandits’ possessions, we find a fibula with a familiar sigil upon it.
We move away from the site and are attacked by some gibberlings.
I don’t know why they bother attacking us.
Two people down. We will never make it to Beregost at this pace. More gibberlings decide not to live as we figure out what to do next.
We find another caravan that has been raided. There is a halfling that is barely alive here.
Halfling Messenger: Ye wouldn’t have a pipe and baccy about?
He wheezes as he talk.
Aegon: Sorry, mate, I don’t smoke. That stuff’ll kill ya.
Halfling Messenger: I hear it stunts yer growth.
Took a hit when bandits attacked the wagons. Last I saw young Eddy was fending ’em off while I.. crawled off to die, I guess. Good kid. Nobleman’s brat. Badge is a shield argent. Gave me a letter.
He starts to cough.
Halfling Messenger: Crappy way for a Longwalker to go. Not like this. Not with me satchel full…
Aegon: We can take a look at your wounds, before we talk of dying.
Halfling Messenger: … So will I ever play the steam-powered dragon-lute again, sawbones?
Aegon: It… doesn’t look good.
Halfling Messenger: My innards are out-ards?
Aegon: To put it mildy.
Halfling Messenger: End of the road for me, ain’t it?
Khalid: It… happens sometimes, th-that were just too l-late, Aegon, and we have to let them fall. It… happens.
Halfling Messenger: And none of that lip about hauling my carcass to a Temple and wasting money better spent on widows and orphans. One life for *me*: always been my rule.
But you gotta *do* something for me, kid.
M’names Bartleby. Bartleby Quickfoot, member in good standing of the Longwalker Messenger Guild.
‘Not rain or snow or gloom of night shall stay us in our duty.’ Bandits now, screw ’em.
Take my satchel. Deliver the letters. Sacred trust, innit? If I never finished my last job it’d just kill m…
He’s no more for this world. I take his satchel as was his last request.
Inside I find a bunch of letters.
It seems he had a lot to deliver. I wondered if I would become a mailman back in the Keep. Seems that will be my Legend after all.
This is The Messenger 2: Rain or Snow or Gloom of Night, by Thimblerig and tibicina, part of the Romantic Encounters mod.
We search the caravan, but the bandits didn’t leave much behind.
We spot a xvart, but it already has two arrows in its chest before it can move.
We get back to the path and meet a messenger bound for Beregost.
We head back to the Friendly Arm Inn once again, and sell the equipment we looted from the bandits, as well as claim the bounties for their scalps.
Gellana charges us a little more to resurrect a rakshasa, but agrees not to say anything about him. He shifts back to human form as soon as he wakes.
Helga and Verr’Sza decide to stay in the Friendly Arm Inn until their wounds fully heal. Vienxay is feeling better now, however, and agrees to join us again.
We decide to rest before we head out again. We pay Bentley for a room, and sleep…