3 Mirtul 1368
As we continue along the road I decide to try and get to know our new companions.
I observe Xzar for a while longer. I notice him looking around nervously, as if he were planning something.
Xzar: I’m NOT sneaking cookies, Mummy! And… and the nightshade is on the night table, just were you told me to leave it.
Aegon: Cookies? Would it help if I bought you some, the instant we find a bakery?
Xzar: Buy me one? Really? I wouldn’t get in trouble with Mummy?
Aegon: Sure, I’ll buy you one or two… more, if you’d like.
Xzar: Reeeeeeeeeeally? Honest joe?
Aegon: Yep! We can have them for dinner, if you like.
Xzar: Not for ‘dinner’, certainly! But for dessert… such childish pleasures are strangely… enjoyable.
Aegon: Yes, well pleasure *is* supposed to be enjoyable, after all.
Xzar: Er… pleasure? We are still talking about the cookie, right?
Okay I get it. He has a few bales missing from his haystack.
The BG1NPC project added a lot of Player-Initiated-Dialogue to the game. I’m going to experiment with talking to the various NPCs we meet. I’m thinking maybe one PID per chapter, but we’ll see how it goes.
We meet another traveller who seems to be in a hurry.
Imoen: Another caravan raided?! Wow, that’s no good! Remember those Flamin’ Fists passin’ by in Candlekeep last week? They said there was at least two missing! I think we should keep our eyes peeled, or we’ll be killed by bandits fer nothin’!
Excitin’ though… Caravans, bandits, road… like an adventure from a book!
Binkos: Just keep your heads down and your weapons handy.
Exciting? Dangerous as well. I wonder about her – she seems to be anticipating violence. Perhaps she doesn’t realise…
…their faces flash in front of me. I can still see them. The men I killed yesterday. Perhaps I’m not dealing with this as well as I though. Imoen looks back at me. I steady myself and tell her I’m fine. We make our way east toward the crossroads.
We travel for four hours in silence. There don’t seem to be many more travellers on this road. Our sense of security is broken when we realise we are surrounded!
They may not be bandits, but they are still dangerous! Montaron, Cat, and I draw our weapons (or claws) and charge. Imoen nocks an arrow into her bow. Xzar readies a Sleep spell.
Xzar manages to knock out one of the gibberlings. He backs away as I engage the gibberlings charging him.
Unfortunately Xzar is unable to get away in time and is killed. Dammit. Perhaps I should have spent more time training with Obe. Imoen backs away as I close in. Meanwhile Cat and Montaron each take down a gibberling.
A wounded Montaron turns to the next gibberling yelling “The mad wizard falls!” Imoen turns her bow to help Montaron, while Cat comes to help me hold off the two remaining gibberlings.
I am hit, so I consume a goodberry. I only get hit again.
I back away to try and cast Sleep. Montaran finishes off the gibberling he’s fighting, but is severely wounded. He reaches for a Potion of Healing.
Imoen takes out another gibberling, so we all charge the last one that is still conscious.
We take it down easily. Imoen delivers the coup de grâce on the sleeping gibberling.
Xzar is down, but his wounds don’t seem too severe. He could still be resurrected. Montaron picks up his body, but he doesn’t seem too happy about carrying him.
The gibberlings have some gold coins and some berries on them. We can’t tell what kind of berries they are.
Wow it’s crazy how underpowered you start off. A few gibberlings giving me a run for my money. I should have moved Xzar out of harm’s way earlier and he wouldn’t have died, but I was depending on his Sleep spell taking more than one gibberling out of the fight.
I finish off the goodberries I have and we carry on along the road. After four hours we arrive at a milestone showing we are on the Coast Way.
A strange old man approaches us. He has a long white beard, and heavily decorated red robes and a hat to match. He smokes a pipe constantly.
Imoen: Heh, I… or do I need ta say “Ti”? I mean if “you” is “though”… or was it “thee”? Uhm… in any case I’m not desperate and not deranged. I’m excited! I’m going to be a famous adventurer, like Elminster!
The old man smiles from behind his moustache.
Old Man: Thou art a spirited girl, Imoen. Now what of thy companion?
Imoen: Wait, wait! How d’ya know my name?
Old Man: One can acquire such knowledge in more ways than one, child. But let the quiet one speak.
Aegon: A fair bit of desperate, actually. Might you know the way to the Friendly Arm Inn? I was told I might find some friends there.
Old Man: That I would. The inn is but a short distance to the north, and its doors are open to all. I have no doubt that thy friends shall be there, waiting with open arms. My sympathies for any hardships the road may have inflicted upon thee, though I am certain everything shall turn out for the best. My, but I have wasted too much of thy time and said too much already. I shall take my leave and wish thee all the best.
I watch as he walks away into the wilderness. He seemed strange, yet somehow I felt I could trust him. Something about him makes me feel he knows more than he’s letting on. But there is nothing more to do than to keep going. He gave us directions to the Friendly Arm, so we should follow them.
We reach the next milestone to find gibberlings wandering around it. These ones seem to be diseased.
We jump straight into action. I throw a Sleep spell toward them.
Two of them fall asleep. We turn our focus to the last one and Montaron gets the kill.
Seems I didn’t actually take screenshots of the kills here… I’ll try better in the future.
The two that are sleeping are killed easily. They have some more of those mysterious berries on them that we take with us.
We take the path to the north and come across a dwarf standing over the body of an ogre.
Did she kill that thing herself? I approach her carefully.
Aegon: You killed this ogre all on your own?
Helga: Aye, been hunting this bastard for a time…though he did a number on me themself. I nay be able to hunt their chieftan on me own.
Name’s Helga. Priest of Haela Brightaxe.
Aegon: My name is Aegon, a pleasure.
Helga: I be after these ogres’ leader, their king ye know. Holds his domain north of a gnoll stronghold. It will be glorious and bloody, if ye want to take the task on yerself.
Or if ye have me, I’ll aid ye in the battlefield meself!
Aegon: Very well. Join us and we will see this ogre leader ended.
Helga: Let’s get to it, then! I long for battle.
We have a new companion in our troupe!
She is a Priest of Haela Brightaxe.
Haela grants her spells just as Corellon grants mine, however she doesn’t have access to all the spells I have. Haela is more a goddess of battle than Corellon, who prefers to focus on magic.
Haela wears splint mail armour. It slows her down but provides a lot of protection.
Like me, she wields a war hammer and shield, but her shield is bigger.
This is Helga by Skitia, and the first modded NPC to join the party!
We continue north on the path and get approached by another traveller with a warning.
Imoen: Hey, ya grouch… we weren’t shoutin’ at all. We are adventurers and understand such things, ya know. Tell him, Aegon.
Aegon: What should I be wary of in this area?
Aoln: ‘Round here? I wouldn’t worry yourself too much, unless you’re brainless and charge everything you see. Mostly gibberlings, but they aren’t too much of a hassle. A fair bow and good sword arm could handle one, maybe two. More with mage or cleric backup. Wolves have become a bit more predatory lately. I think it’s because more people are hunting for their food, seein’ as how the iron shortage took away their normal livelihoods. A hungry wolf is a nasty thing, and I wouldn’t travel without a group if I were you.
Gibberlings we know all too well about. Hopefully we won’t come across a hungry wolf. Nearby we see a milestone pointing the way to the Friendly Arm. We’re on the right track.
We continue along the path. During the journey I check on Montaron.
I talk about Montaron’s problems and hopes, in a friendly and kind manner, in hopes of making Montaron confide in me.
Montaron: I warrant your attention?! Oh frabgerous day, kaloo kaley!
Guess he’s not the talkative type. We travel for 8 more hours without incident, arriving in the middle of the night.
4 Mirtul 1368
It doesn’t look like an inn. The place is a fortress!
We approach the gates and talk to the guards.
Imoen: Nope! But from the look of ya they must be on the dreadfully borin’ side!
Aegon: Certainly. Common sense rules the day within the Friendly Arm.
Guard: Good then. Enjoy your stay.
We pass through the gates. Even in the middle of the night there are people milling about. They don’t seem too friendly, however.
I just wanted to know if there was a temple nearby…
We pass by some men wearing strange looking robes and hats. They seem to want to talk to us.
Aegon: 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?
Aegon: 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 presumed 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?
Aegon: Yes, any help you can give would be welcomed.
He gives us a strange ice crystal, which we apparently need to get the bag of red.
He also gives us six Potions of Clarity. These potions protect the mind from many different charms.
From Seini’s story, it seems that whatever creatures charmed their crew may charm us as well. We should make use of these potions when we approach the shipwreck.
To the north we find a heavily guarded merchant.
Aegon: 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 sells a lot of powerful weapons, none of which we can afford. I thank Maltz and we move on. We meet a local farmer.
Around the corner I see another elf! This is the first of my kin I have met since I left the Keep! She calls out to us.
Vienxay: You look more competent than the rest of the commoners around here. I need help to track someone!
Aegon: My lady, speak of who eludes you, and I will gladly aid.
Vienxay: I am chasing a mage that completely ruined my family. I’ve been exiled from Evermeet on a lie and stuck travelling in these icky common human lands because of that witch.
My trail leads me to a former lover and fellow apprentice of mine, Lacius, who is in Nashkel. She may be there as well, if he still serves her.
Aegon: I’ve never been to Evermeet, but heard stories. I can understand your shame.
Vienxay: I’m glad you understand. Will you help me?
Aegon: Say no more. You have my assistance.
Vienxay: You will not regret this commoner. I’m even all packed. I tire of this dull place and it’s lack of entertainment. Now please, let’s be off.
She’s a little commanding, but she’s of my kin. And we’re heading to Nashkel after we find father’s friends anyway. I’m going to enjoy travelling with a fellow elf.
She tells us she is a Shadowmage. I’ve heard of the shadow weave, I wonder if she can connect to that?
She knows some magic I have yet to learn. She can throw a Chromatic Orb.
This is different to Magic Missile as it does less damage, but the special effects can be deadly if it strikes the right opponent.
She can use a Colour Spray to slow enemies down.
I’ve always found this one tricky to use – you need to be in a good position to use it properly.
She can also conjure an Obscuring Mist.
Stealth is this wizard’s game. This could be a useful spell to cover a retreat.
She is armed with both a short bow and a short sword. Imoen likes her choice of weapons. She wears Traveller’s Robes that provide a small amount of protection.
She also wears some special silk gloves that she say’s helps her improve her “talents”.
She also wears some gold jewellery that seems valuable, but I doubt she will let us sell it.
There are more merchants here offering basic weapons and armour.
Imoen buys herself a short sword and some extra arrows for herself and Vienxay. Another shopper has an interesting tale to tell.
Aegon: You were a bandit, were you?
Commoner: That I was, and I ain’t afraid to say it neither. But those bandits out there now, they’re different, I tell ya. They’ve got a mean streak in ’em and their minds set on taking over the whole area… Most of my old pals have gone missin’, and I don’t like it one bit. That’s why I’m holed up in here. I’ve been good to Bentley and Gellana in the past, so now it’s their turn to look after me.
We cross the road to the stairs leading to the actual Inn, but Montaron’s eyes fall on the temple right next to it. Of course, we could attempt to raise Xzar now!
As soon as we go inside, a gnome priestess offers her services.
Aegon: What sort of cures do you have available?
It costs us 100 gold to raise Xzar. He is still wounded after the spell is finished, so I cast a healing spell on him.
There is also a human priestess here.
She sells a lot of magical weapons, potions, and spells. We decide not to purchase anything yet – our coinpurses are still light. We thank the priestesses and leave the temple.
With Xzar back with us we decide it is time to find father’s friends and rest for the night. Tomorrow we will start our journey to Nashkel.