War of the Paladins (and a Chicken)

The Troupe helped Isra save Prism by defeating the bounty hunter Greywolf. Now they shall enter the Nashkel Mines in an attempt to solve the mining crisis. If they can solve this problem, then perhaps Braegar will finally calm his nerves.

9 Kythorn 1368

Isra: I should thank you for your assistance, my lord. Would that we had been able to save more than just his legacy.

Aegon: I’d say that his legacy was more important to him than his life.

Isra: Aye, and I shall have to see to it that at the very least, the masterpiece makes its way into dependable hands.

Forgive my discourtesy. I am Isra Ghadir, most recently of Crimmor, a paladin of the Lady Firehair and a squire in the Order of the Ruby Rose.

The Church of Sune sponsors any number of artist, and when we received word of Prism’s disappearance, I was asked to look into matters. He was a talented and much loved artist before this… madness took hold of him.

Unfortunately, I was initially unaware of the… legal complications involved, and by the time Prism admitted to his theft, there was little that could be done to discourage the bounty-hunters long enough to set the situation straight.

I’m grateful that you happened by when you did, my lord. Might I ask what draws you to this area?

Aegon: We mean to look into the problem that the mines have been having recently.

Isra: I see. Truly, it gladdens me that somebody finally intends to take action.

I am expected back in Crimmor shortly, but I am also in your debt, and I’m reluctant to ignore the situation regardless. Should you wish it, I would be happy to aid you in your investigation below.

Aegon: Your help would be quite appreciated, thank you.

Isra: Think nothing of it.

Isra tells us that the Nashkel Mines are to the north. We have wandered off the path a bit.

She is a Cavalier, a chivalrous warrior sworn to protect the innocent from evil.

As Cavalier is a kind of paladin, she can lay her hands on others to heal them.

This ability is useful in that it’s almost instant – no need to wait for a spell to be cast.

She can also detect evil that might be nearby.

I’ve never really found a use for this spell. Maybe to help detect if someone can be trusted? Or to detect evil enemies that are in hiding or have become invisible?

Then she can protect people from that evil.

The protection from demons is the real strength of this spell.

She can remove any cowardice in her allies.

This is one of the most useful abilities when fighting wizards. They like to use fear spells, especially in early Baldur’s Gate.

And her healing touch can also cure diseases.

I don’t like diseases, so I love having this spell ready.

She wears plate mail armour and carries a large two-handed sword, though it is still smaller than Dorn’s Rancor.

I feel closer to Corellon after defeating Greywolf.

Aegon now has access to second level priest spells for the first time!

He has rewarded my devotion with access to more blessings and curses. I can now Aid others in combat.

This is a slightly better Bless that only affects a single target.

I can also inflict wounds on my enemies.

With a +4 to hit, this can inflict a decent amount of damage in melee combat.

I can Chant to give aid to all my allies and friends.

This is essentially a combination of Bless and Curse.

I am better at healing others.

What is a cleric if not a healer?

I can draw upon the might of Corellon.

While this is mainly useful in melee, the dexterity bonus can help with ranged combat as well.

Corellon can show me where any traps may lie.

This can be useful if there is no thief in the party, but you still can’t disarm traps. It’s always much better, nay essential, to have a thief that can find/disarm traps instead.

I can create fruit that will heal when eaten.

These actually last until eaten, so you could create a small collection of goodberries for use later.

I can hold an opponent in place.

This is probably the most powerful spell to use against an enemy at this level, providing they have no defenses agains magic.

Corellon can show me the strengths and weaknesses of my enemies.

The “Fuck You In Particular” spell.

He can protect others from acid and corrosion.

This isn’t a general purpose spell, but could be useful if used against the right enemies.

Or allow us to resist all the elements.

Use this to defend against mages or other enemies that use a lot of elemental attacks.

I can create an area of pure silence.

Get that mage to shut up and rely on his quarterstaff instead.

I can slow any poisons in a person’s body.

Doesn’t cure poison completely, but can still be enough to save someone from dying.

And I can summon a Spiritual Hammer to fight in combat.

Given Aegon’s preference for a warhammer, this spell is quite fitting.

In my prayers I will ask the Protector for healing and a hammer.

Garrick decides he needs a rest after all this action. He tells us he will be writing songs about us in the Nashkel Inn, should we ever want to meet again.

Isra doesn’t seem to like our company.

Dorn: You speak of me, paladin? Of course you do. I wonder, is it rage or fear that makes your voice shake so?

Isra: Fear? If I recoil from you, fiend, ’tis out of revulsion, NOT fear. Whatever unholy pact you have made, the wrongness of it clings to you like a second skin. To be near you is to be ill.

I have kept my peace thus far, out of hope that there might be something about you that was not wholely evil, but I can see now that such hope was in vain.

Aegon, if you will not put down this… this rabid dog, then you are as culpable as he.

Dorn: You would keep such a simpering fool in your party, Aegon? Do not think that I will endure this one’s sanctimonious nonsense any longer.

Aegon: Whoa! Is this really necessary?

Dorn: Do not expect me to make allowances for… delicate companions and their weakling gods. I will kill her, with your aid or without it.

Isra: It may not prove as easy as that, fiend.

Aegon: You brought this upon yourself, Isra.

Isra: Then this wretched creature has as good as dragged you down into the Abyss alongside him. If you do not fall to my sword, you will both surely fall to another’s.

Well, that lasted long…

She swings her sword at Dorn. We move in to defend the man who saved us from bandits on the road.

She manages to heavily wound Dorn. Braegar throws him a Potion of Healing as I rush in to cure him.

Breagar cuts through her armour and kills Isra as Dorn is healed.

I don’t understand. We barely knew her and already she chose to attack a man who saved us. He may have his own reasons for saving us, but he still saved us. Is Dorn really that evil or was it just prejudice? All adventurers are killers eventually, Isra was no different.

Greywolf’s body is still laying on the ground. Dorn searches it and finds he was wearing studded leather armour and carrying a long sword. He was also using a magical long sword that we can’t identify, as well as a magical cloak we also can’t figure out. He had a Potion of Regeneration that Dorn tucks into his belt.

He also had a pouch with 102 gold pieces inside.

We climb the ridge back to admire Prism’s work. It’s a nice sculpture, but it would be a shame to waste those emeralds…

With Isra dead, our party feels small. We need a bit of help before we enter the mines. Perhaps it’s time for a Tiefling to join our troupe…

We travel to the Temple of Lathander to look for Sirene. As we enter the temple we encounter a messenger.

Gavin: I’m here, man. Why the breathless rush?

Temple Messenger: Mornmaster Kelddath Ormlyr bids you return to the Song of the Morning Temple as soon as conveniently possible. He has a task he wishes you to perform.

Gavin: Thank you for delivering the message. I will consult my companions, and will present myself at the temple soon.

Temple Messenger: Then I shall take my leave. Farewell.

Gavin: Aegon, it is unusual to receive a summons to the temple. Would it be possible to call at the temple?

I give the temple a confused look before I answer.

Aegon: Of course, Gavin. We shall go at once.

Gavin: Thank you for being so understanding. Remaining in good standing with my superior is important to me.

We find Sirene outside the temple. She is happy to join us again.

Aegon: So am I. Let’s go.

Sirene: Aye, as you wish.

She has learned a few things since we last met her.

I give her extra proficiency to halberds.

We enter the temple and Gavin talks to Kelddath to find out why he has been summoned.

Kelddath Ormlyr: Gavin, it is good to see that the messenger was able to find you. I had heard that you had taken up with a party of adventurers and hoped you might be able to assist the temple in the matter of Bassilus. If your part requires nothing, then let us speak of it.

Gavin: We don’t require any help at the moment.

Kelddath Ormlyr: Then I will bid you farewell. Before you leave, know that there is a madman by the name of Bassilus who roams the wilderness killing any innocents that happen along his path. If you were to… dispose of him and bring back his holy symbol, there is a large reward offered. It is a grisly task, but sometimes there is little choice…

Little choice indeed. All adventurers become killers eventually.

Sirene wants to talk before we leave the temple.

Dorn: What do you want, fiendling?

Sirene: You know exactly what I want to say. Do not try and hide it. You may be capable of concealing it from our leader, but not from me.

You have the touch of the Lower Planes upon you. I know it too well, blackguard. I refuse to walk with you at my side.

Dorn: You think to unnerve me by unveiling my power? I care not. If you have a problem with my presence, show it with your blade. I will enjoy spitting your cowardly self upon mine.

Aegon: Can’t you both get along?

Sirene: I will neither stand his presence nor allow him to walk away and cause suffering to innocenrs. One such as he deserves no mercy or compassion.

Dorn: The next one to suffer with be you, paladin whelp.

Sirene: Draw your blade, soulless bastard.

Aegon: I’m sorry Sirene, but I still need Dorn. Do as you must.

Sirene: As you wish. Forgive me for what I must do. May Ilmater have mercy on your soul, Aegon.

Jesus, why do modders seem to hate Dorn so much?

Sirene swings her Brimstone at Dorn. She hits him and he sets on fire.

Emily gets a lucky blow on the tiefling and she goes down.

Paladins really don’t like Dorn. Don’t they know that they are killers just like him? She doesn’t look too bad. At the Kelddath can still raise her after we leave. We should have brought Isra’s corpse with us, but I know the half-orc would never have allowed that.

All this fighting has put things on Gavin’s mind. He is thinking about the future, where all this is heading. Something I’ve put little thought into.

Aegon: I haven’t though any further ahead than where we’re going to sleep tonight.

Gavin: Heh. The future is a bit uncertain, sometimes.

They say that you can never go home again.

Aegon: The inclination to travel is too hard to suppress, I suppose.

Gavin: That’s what I’m afraid of.

I’ve been thinking about what I’m going to do, when this is over. I keep thinking that I want nothing more than to go back to Lanie, see if I can find a way to raise her myself, away from that lying mother of hers, and see her grow up to be wise and happy.

But then, where will I find a home for us? Beregost is a nice enough town, but there are a lot of unpleasant memories there. Ulgoth’s Beard is nice, or was, when I was a boy, but I’m not sure Lanie would be happy there, or I, anymore. And then I think about all the things I’ve seen and done, and how I’d like to see more of the world. I could never bring a child into that kind of life, though.

Aegon: There are people that travel with their children, Gavin.

Gavin: I’d never bring her into the danger we face every day.

I guess what you are saying is to take each day as it comes. I can live with that.

We still need another member for our troupe. We should avoid paladins – they have itchy broadswords. Perhaps a gnomish bookworm would be a better fit for us.

10 Kythorn 1368

After a half day’s travel we arrive at the Friendly Arm Inn. Braegar is looking forward to downing a pint.

We find Finch inside the tavern, with her nose in a book of course.

Aegon: Certainly! It was just not the same with the constant scratching of a quill in the air!

Finch: Oh! It is so nice to have one’s strengths appreciated!

She blushes as she steps down from her stool. I let her take a look in our Bag of Holding, and she takes the enchanted chain mail and a small shield.

She also pokes around my book bag and spots a book that interests her.

Finch: No matter. This is just the kind of thing the people of Nashkel would find interesting, and relevant to their economy. We should keep it safe for their library!

Before we rest, we visit Thorengrim Hammerfist to empty our Bag of Holding of mundane equipment. He also helps us to identify Greybeard’s cloak and sword, charging us 200 gold for the privilege.

The blade is a longsword known as Mirthal, useful for fighting the yipping kobolds. Emily replaces her enchanted longsword with the weapon.

The Cloak of the Musk, as it is known, has a scent that can attract weasels. Emily seems to like this cloak, and throws it around her shoulders.

She was the only one who actually benefits from the Dexterity bonus so I decided to equip it on her.

Bentley sets us up with a nice room for the day, and we discuss where to go next. With Gavin being tasked to hunt down Bassilus, we need to set our priorities.

Braegar agrees that the mines aren’t going anywhere yet, but Bassilus could be on the move. We shall search the wilderness around Beregost in the hopes of finding this murderer.

The real-life reason is because Gavin is next to leave our party, so I want to make sure he’s here when we do this quest.

12 Kythorn 1368

We travel for over a day to the Red Canyons, an area Bassilus may have fled toward. We are attacked by a wolf in the canyon.

It bites Dorthon, but Braegar cuts it down with his Ghoul Slayer.

I decide now is the time to conjure my Mage Armor, while Finch heals Dorn.

While we are doing this, a chicken walks up and spooks Braegar when it starts to talk.

Braegar: Buzzurk! Looks like we can’t grill this chicken after all. Dammit!

Melicamp: A – gawk! – good idea!

Emily: I’m not the only one hearing it talk, right? I’m pretty sure I didn’t overindulge in wine last night.

Braegar: Forsooth! Methinks you are no ordinary talking chicken!

Melicamp: I certainly hope you are *cluck* jesting with me. Indeed I am “no ordinary talking chicken,” and I am need of your *cluck* help.

Braegar: My apologies, good… um… chicken. What has caused your current accursed state?

Melicamp: Thank the *cluck* Mother of All Magic, mayhaps now I might end this *cluck* nightmare. I am Melicamp of Beregost, a *cluck* mage adept in the mystical arts. A… misread… incantation seems to be *cluck* the source of my troubling form. ‘Tis been over a month since I *cluck* uttered a polymorph spell, and I simply cannot return to my normal *cluck* form!

Braegar: Is there anyone that might be able to assist you? I fear I have little in the way of magical power myself.

Melicamp: Blast it all! Well, there is nothing else I *cluck* can do except my most hated option. There is a tower directly to the west of *cluck* Beregost, about which can be found the mage Thalantyr. I am his apprentice, and I am certain he will *cluck* aid me.

Braegar: For being his apprentice you seem unsure of his willingness to help you.

Melicamp: Oh ’tis nothing *cluck*… REALLY! Um, often the relationship between *cluck* apprentice and master is… strained. He will help. I am certain.

Braegar: Then to his abode we shall go. I will escort you.

Melicamp: Thank you! It’s located just to the west of Beregost. Thalantyr lives in a large manor there. I’ll just nestle in your pack until we get there.

He climbs into Braegar’s pack.

This is not what we were expecting to find out here at all…

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