Ring Hunters

4 Mirtul 1368

We figure that the hobgoblins are probably attacking people on the path. We go outside the walls and follow it north. Sure enough we come across some hobgoblins.

Imoen opens with her bow as we wait for them to approach.

Helga and Xzar use their throwing weapons and the rest of us close the gap.

Xzar gets the kill on the first hobgoblin.

And he also takes down the second.

Gameplay Note
I guess Xzar is the new killing machine now.

We go to search the bodies and more hobgoblins attack us.

We take them down as easily as the first two.

Gameplay Note
Nice critical for 14 damage from Helga there!

We search the bodies but don’t find a ring. Apart from a few coins, they wear leather armour with helmets, and carry bastard swords.

Jaheira takes one of the helmets for some extra protection.

Gameplay Note
Seems there’s a bug here where Bastard Swords are assigned the wrong proficiency type. I tried to fix it with NearInfinity, but not sure if it worked.

We continue to explore the path north of the Inn and find some more hobgoblins.

We charge in, while Xzar casts Sleep.

Jaheira takes down one hobgoblin and the rest fall unconscious thanks to Xzar’s spell.

We start to pick them off one-by-one.

We work our way through a few of them when I take a hit. Two hobgoblins remain, but one is severely injured and fleeing.

I fall back as Jaheira takes down the hobgoblin.

Jaheira heals me as everyone else chases down the last hobgoblin.

Eventually Imoen takes it down with a well placed arrow.

The hobgoblins have the same leather armour and swords on them. One of these hobgoblins has a flamedance ring on them. They must be the ones that robbed Joia!

We decide to check the rest of the path for more hobgoblins. Unfortunately we find what we are looking for. There are four of them this time.

One gets injured and starts to flee. Jaheira casts Bless on us for this fight.

The hobgoblins hit me a few times, but Jaheira makes sure I stay alive.

We take out the remaining hobgoblins and chase down the one that is fleeing.

Imoen gets it eventually.

They don’t have any interesting loot, except for one carrying a zircon gem.

According to Jaheira’s map if we keep following the path we will end up in Chionthar or Peldvale. We decide we’ve gone far enough for now and make our way back to the gate. It begins to rain.

On our way back I spot something under a tree.

This ornate ring feels somehow magical, but even Xzar can’t seem to figure out what it does.

We decide not to risk trying it on until we know what it is.

Gameplay Note
I know it’s the Ring of Wizardry unless some mod has changed it. I just need an in-world reason to not give this to Xzar as he’s the next character we will boot from the party.

Once back inside the Inn’s walls we pay a visit to Joia.

She leaves to spread word of our deeds.

Gameplay Note
We get 400 experience and an extra point of Reputation! It’s a nice boost since experience from killing monsters has been reduced in this installation.

The house now empty, I pick the locks on one of the drawers and find an andar gem inside.

We stop by the merchants and sell the remaining loot from the hobgoblins. We have 290 gold coins now, we should be able to buy that scroll.

We go to the temple and purchase a Stone to Flesh Scroll.

We take it back to the room where we saw the strange statue. Helga uses the scroll on the statue. Cronius isn’t happy about this.

He immediately attacks us.

Cronius casts Sleep. Khalid, Imoen and I fall asleep. Xzar decides to launch another volley of Magic Missiles.

Unfortunately Cronius has a Shield active and they have no effect. Fortunately Khalid manages to knock Cronius out.

Gameplay Note
I noticed him setup a Shield when the combat started, but forgot that it blocks Magic Missiles.

Jaheira starts to summon a spirit bear. Another Sleep spell knocks Xzar out.

Helga summons her Flamebolt.

Cronius casts a Vampiric Touch on Jaheira, draining her life force from her.

Helga manages to get a hit on Cronius while Jaheira heals herself.

Helga hurls a stone at Cronius, knocking him down and interrupting his next spell.

The wizard falls to Helga’s blade. The former statue, who just stood watching us fight the whole time, decides to talk to us. He has the features of a large black cat, but stands like a human would.

Dorthon: I’m Dorthon.

Verr’Sza: Hmm. Dorthon…

He sniffs at me.

Verr’Sza: You have a peculiar smell… bitter and metallic. I can smell the urge and death from you. Why?

Can he really smell death?

Dorthon: I witnessed the death of my father recently – it happened so fast. It was so strange. There was this man in peculiar armour… he slaughtered him.

Verr’Sza: That may be it, or not. It may also be something else.

This man you killed. He thought I would make a fine bit of merchandise; he thought I would sell for a good price to some collector. Fool. I should have ripped out his throat, but you took that chance from me. Nevermind. I’ll have my prey regardless.

I slowly put my hand on my weapon’s hit.

Dorthon: I see.

He glances at me.

Verr’Sza: No need to be afraid, kash’hraa. I have a different target. I want to kill a certain man – Pasha Kohvu. He was to meet with this fool close to – what did they call it? – “the stone circle”

Could he mean….?

Dorthon: It sounds like the place where Gorion was murdered. I can show you the way, if you join me.

His eyes watch me with suspicion.

Verr’Sza: You want me to join you?

Dorthon: Yes. That’s the deal. I’ll show you the way, and you aid me in my revenge afterwards.

Verr’Sza: Hmm. You do intrigue me… and I rather enjoy your bitter aura. I would like to see how many people it will affect.

Gameplay Note
Another new NPC! This is Verr’Sza, created by LavaDelVortel. He is a Rakshasha from a distant land.

He is a Naztharune Ranger.

As a Naztharune Ranger he can cast Larloch’s Minor Drain, Reflected Image, and Blindness each once per day.

This can help save Verr’Sza from an receiving an attack while he gets in close.

This is useful for disabling either a strong melee fighter or an archer.

Verr’Sza wears studded leather armour. He has some throwing daggers on him, as well as a ninja-to and short sword.

We’re worn out and wounded after all this fighting. The sleep spell has also made us drowsy. We decide to rest before we head back to the Lion’s Way.

Before we get a room I notice Imoen studying.

Dorthon: 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, Dorthon, this’ll be fun…

Dorthon: Why do I have a bad feeling about this?

Imoen: Watch this!

Hex-o! Prest-o! Um… shabadoo? Oooops!

She seems to have conjured up some sort of book.

Imoen says she can’t read it, or understand what it really does. No one in our party can figure it out.

We talk to Bentley and ask for a luxury room.

Before we rest, Helga cooks some venison for us all.

Dorthon: I appreciate you tending to our food, Helga.

Helga: Ye don’t gonna have the strength to kill enemies if ye don’t eat right. Mind lending a hand?

Dorthon: Sure, just tell me what you need done.

Helga: Can’t just survive off of poor rations. See this? Pour it on real good. Going to mix it in my pot to form a nice stew.

I don’t have much of this on me, but I figure I’d make my first cooked meal for ye pleasant.

All done. Give it a taste.

Dorthon: Mmm. This is good.

Helga: Nay meant to be super tasty, but it is meant to help ye be strong. Granda taught me.

Da was always bland in his flavouring… but all that meat he gave me when I was a wee lass is still with me now in my strength. Proud of that.

Dorthon: I can definitely see that. You seem almost more warrior than princess.

Helga: Many of my fellows do train well in weapons, and some even are warriors. But I focus less on that and more on raw strength. Ye never know when ye don’t get to have a weapon close to ye.

I’ll cook again for ye in the future. Ye’ll probably like it as well.

Dorthon: I look forward to it.

Helga: Heh. Get some rest then. More battles to come, eh?

We lay down for the night and rest until the next day…

5 Mirtul 1368

Verr’Sza and Jaheira are still wounded, so Jaheira and I use our divine abilities to cure the wounds.

Before we set out we talk to Thorngrim about getting better equipment.

Verr’Sza purchase a helmet. Khalid buys a longbow with some arrows.

It’s not as fast to fire as Imoen’s shortbow, but arrows will hit with more force. Jaheira gets a magical sling.

These fire bullets, which a small smoothed stones.

She also upgrades to studded leather armour and buys a small shield.

Verr’Sza wants to make small talk as we make our way outside.

Dorthon: Why should I be afraid?

Verr’Sza: Because of my big teeth? Or my vicious looks? Or perhaps because I’m a fiend who’s always ready for a fight. Always.

Dorthon: Well, no. Not really.

Verr’Sza: Hah! Maybe you should be, fragile thing.

I heard some of your conversations and I checked your journal. You grew up in some old library with monks and this Gorion of yours. That’s the man who was killed near the stone circle, yes?

Dorthon: Wait – you read my journal? You have no right to do that.

Verr’Sza: You should have been more cautious. So?

Dorthon: Yes. Gorion was killed near the stone circle. Happy?

Verr’Sza: You described the attacker as “a man with glowing eyes, a deep voice, wearing steel plate armour and helmet with horns and ornaments that look like sharp teeth”. That’s the man who’s after you and who you may want to kill. But you don’t look like someone who would stand a chance against a skilled warrior. He killed Gorion and your journal mentions him as an experienced wizard. So what’s your real plan?

Dorthon: I’m not really sure yet. I’m quite new to all of this.

Verr’Sza: You really are like a lost lamb. Well, I suppose your lesson on how to become a successful adventurer and mercenary is going to be a tough one. But maybe you’ll survive this.

Staunchly he continues.

Verr’Sza: You will have to kill. You’ll have blood on your hands. I’m wondering how you will manage to stand it.

Dorthon: I will stand it. There were assassins sent after me. They almost got me at Candlekeep. I have no other option but to survive.

Verr’Sza: I would like to see that.

I never though a rakshasa of all things would take an interest in me. I will have to kill. The way he said it seems to bother me more than I should. I’ve killed already. In self defense. Will it feel the same when I go after my father’s killer? Is that even my goal? To kill him?

I know he wants to kill me. I need to know why. Simply killing him won’t get me those answers. Buzzurk! I’m overthinking this. I need to keep my focus on the now.

We are all fully equipped and ready for the journey south.

It will take us around 16 hours to get back to the Lion’s Way. Back to the place my father… died. Was killed. Murdered. Verr’Sza intends to get blood on his hands. Will that blood spill onto my hands as well?

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