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19 June 2016 @ 07:08 pm
Dorchadas Plays Baldur's Gate II, Part XXI: The Way to Spellhold  
Aran Linvail leads the party down to the docks and the waiting ship and introduces them to the captain, Saemon Havarian, and his ship the Galante:


Saemon: "Though a silence more symbolic than anything, as you may well find my men a boisterous lot at all hours. I encourage general revelry."
Aran Linvail: "The personal habits of the crew are your business, Captain. Just as long as they perform as they should and deliver my people in good time."
Saemon: "Never a fear nor worry should cross your thoughts this eve, m'Lord. I have traveled this sea a good many times, and I foresee no troubles."
Aran Linvail: "Then let us proceed to introductions. Chiyo, this is Captain Saemon Havarian. He and his ship will... Mr. Havarian, what is your ship called?"
Saemon: "Ahh, the name changes as do the winds, mainly as I never seem to affix the plate with the proper resin. She is the Galante for now, until whim takes me elsewhere. As for the voyage, heed my words, Chiyo, as there are dangers to the sea you may not be aware of."
Chiyo: "I am all ears, captain. Yours is the voice of experience and I will listen."
Saemon: "A sudden squall or hidden reef could prove deadly to the unwary, though we are more likely to encounter pirates of ill repute."
Aran Linvail: "That is why I have included some protection for this voyage."
Saemon: "Protection? I was not aware of any such plans. The captain should be consulted on all such matters."
Aran Linvail: "Certainly. I am providing an extra crew member, one that will attempt to improve the overall safety of the voyage. This is Sime, and she will be staying very close to you, Saemon Havarian. For your safety, of course."
Saemon: "Of course."
Sime: "I shall make certain that, should we be surprised at sea, death will not come from a surprise source. Do I make myself clear?"
Saemon: "As clear as clear could be, m'lady, though I am not sure I approve of your tone. I assure you, nothing untoward will happen during our crossing."
Aran Linvail: "Sime shall also advise you, Chiyo. She is acquainted with a few of the inhabitants of the island."
Saemon: "Then we are fully staffed and ready to sail. Best that we get underway as soon as possible. Disembark, m'lord, and we shall away. Hold fast, the journey begins."
Spellhold awaits.

Chapter Four


Audio here.

The group arrives without incident, and Saemon addresses the party on the docks
Saemon: "We have arrived, and in good time, I might add. Congratulatory remarks for all the crew, and to our visitors for their delightful company."
Yoshimo: "We had to make the best of it. I, myself, managed to win a fair amount of coin from your crew... They seemed to think they were the only ones who knew how to play cards, oddly."
Sime: "And our especial congratulations to you, captain. It was fortunate that you distracted those other ships we saw in the distance. Your signals in the night; were they some type of warning?"
Saemon: "Yes, well, I thought they might be pirates, so I merely displayed a series of lights that mirrored their own. I wished to appear as though I was one of their own."
Sime: "Again, you have discharged your duties with more honor than I had expected. They truly seemed to fear to attack."
Saemon: "It merely proves how short of wit they can be. One must always be a step ahead of their adversaries."
Yoshimo: "And a step behind their friends. I trust no more will happen to hamper our success."
Saemon: "I have done what I can, as Captain, and a compatriot. I can do no more. Regardless, we have arrived. I leave you to your mission, whatever it may be. It has been a pleasure sailing in your company, but now, I take my leave."

Saemon leaves.

Sime: "I do not trust this pirate, Chiyo. His manner is that of a fool, but his behavior during the voyage betrays a cunning mind beneath."
Chiyo: "He seems amiable enough to me. Come, you'll feel better once off the ship."
Sime: "Agreed. Come, this place is dangerous enough even without my suspicions of Saemon."
I know he's evil. You know he's evil. But Chiyo is an optimist and she believes the best of Saemon, so she's willing to vouch for him for the next ten minutes until he betrays us.  photo stab.gif

I walk a bit north and find Sime watching Saemon. She says he looks nervous and I should find out what he wants, so I cast a couple buffs and go talk to him. When I do, he apologizes for what is about to happen:
Saemon: "I fear I cannot allow you to leave my presence just yet. While I must admit to a certain fondness for you all, I have little choice in what I must do."
Chiyo: "I do not like the tone of your voice. What do you intend?"
Saemon: "My apologies, as I said. This was not my intention at all, but one must do what good business dictates."
Yoshimo: "Good business? What is this? Are we all to be slaughtered together? If my life is forfeit, how soon for yours! Think on this!"
Saemon: "I stress to you, sir, that I have done what I must, just as you will continue to do. You will continue, do you hear? That is all that I know. You will recognize those that face you now. I do hope they make short work of this encounter; I have no tolerance for violence, really."
Minsc: "All good peoples hang their head in shame! We are betrayed! The sailor man brings the vampires back amongst us...there shall be a mighty reckoning for this!!"
Somewhat amazingly, by running Xan and Aerie away to keep the vampires distracted while Jaheira, Yoshimo, and Minsc attack, I manage to win without taking much damage, losing a level, or having Chiyo kill anyone. A random pirate decides a fight between high-level adventurers and vampires is a great place to insert himself and gets splattered for his trouble as well.

What was that between Yoshimo and Saemon, anyway? Do they know each other? It sounds like they had some kind of agreement...

When the enemies are dead, Sime speaks:
Sime: "I knew he would prove treacherous. Our threats were sufficient to keep us safe while afloat, but there must be someone here that he fears even more."
Xan: "Bodhi. Who else?"
Jaheira: "These are the same creatures we fought when we entered the lair of the vampire that was aligned against your own guild. Bodhi must be nearby, indeed."
Sime: "Certainly this was Bodhi's doing. These creatures not have followed Saemon of their own will. His weakness would disgust them."
Chiyo: "We should find him, track him to his lair! He has earned his death from this!"
Sime: "There are more important things to worry about right now, anyway. I must see that you are able to enter the asylum. Go to the tavern. Speak with a man named Sanik. If there is a way in to the asylum, he will know it."
And she ends with:


Then she also teleports away.

The village is a wretched hive of scum and villainy. While wandering around, I run into pirates dueling in the streets, an urchin who does the old whoops-I-bumped-into-you pickpocketing trick and runs in terror when Chiyo notices the theft, pirates who attack Chiyo, and drunken sailors sprawled in the streets. When I enter a building called the Vulgar Monkey looking for Sanik, I find my old friend Celile, who is astonished that we "followed" him there and immediately sets his guards on us.
Celile: "YOU?! How did you follow me here? Dammit! Well, you won't take me alive! Allow me to introduce you to my new entourage. Get them!
It ends as you'd expect, and Xan cuts Celile down with his moonblade after all the guards have fallen.

In the next room is Sanik, who says that he provides most of the supplies to Spellhold:
Sanik: "Greetings, friend. I am Sanik. You must be new to fair Brynnlaw. Whom do I have the pleasure of addressing?"
Chiyo: "I've been told that you might be able to give me some information that I require."
Sanik: "That depends on what it is that you wish to know. I am but a simple merchant and trader."
Chiyo: "I wish to enter the Asylum. I have reason to believe that a friend of mine is held there."
Sanik: "Spellhold? I supply them with their basic needs such as food and spell components. Some sort of magic is being planned for the place. The orders have recently increased manyfold."
Chiyo: "I need to gain entrance to the place. Do you have any idea how I might do so?"
Sanik: "Perhaps so, if the need is true. There is little to worry about for I must vacate the town very soon."
Chiyo: "From what do you flee?"
Sanik: " 'Flee' is not a word I like. It is merely a misunderstanding with a local Guildmistress. My new wife and I shall take an extended trip until things settle. What in the...?? Is someone behind me?"
He wanted to avoid trouble like the assassin that teleports in behind him after he speaks to Chiyo. Fortunately, Chiyo and Minsc's boots of speed let them get in between Sanik and the assassin and save his life, and Sanik offers a deal. His new wife Claire is technically a slave at Lady Galvena's Festhall--for "festhall," read "brothel"--and he can't quite flee until he's able to free her, so if we do that, he'll help us get into Spellhold. I agree, and now I have a quest.

The Pirates Who Don't Do Anything
First, though, I need to explore a bit more.  photo 58-2nsylaw.gif

The customers in the Vulgar Monkey have little to offer except bad jokes ("What do you call a fish with no eyes? Ffssssshhhhh!"), so I head outside. Just northeast of the tavern is a beggar named Ginia, who spins a tale of woe. The village we're in, Brynnlaw, used to be a small fishing village outside Spellhold until the pirates came. They took over the town and made the inhabitants' lives miserable, killing the father of Ginia and Ason--the urchin from early--for daring to try to take back his house after the pirates lawfully stole it. She knows of a smuggler who can get her and her brother off the island, but can't afford the fee. Chiyo, of course, immediately offers to pay, and Ginia tells her to seek out Calahan.

Calahan is surprisingly agreeable, and when I hand over the money he says that he'll take them to Ulgoth's Beard once Chiyo speaks to Chremy and secures their release. Chremy refuses to release the pair and takes the suggestion as an insult:
Chremy: "I'm a busy man, friend. Why don't you go and bother someone else?"
Chiyo: "There's no need for that. I've found the man I'm looking for."
Chremy: "Why would you be looking for me? I don't even know you."
Chiyo: "But you do know Ginia and Ason, do you not?"
Chremy: "What is the meaning of this? Those leeches are my property. Stay away from them!"
Chiyo: "I will not allow you to abuse those two any longer."
Chremy: "You're messing with the wrong man, fool!"
And he attacks, so I slaughter him and go talk to Ginia, telling her that everything is arranged and she should probably leave at once. Chremy also had a Lady Galvena's Festhall medallion on his body, which will almost certainly be useful later.

I make a brief stop in the Temple of Umberlee to sell a few things I picked up from murderous pirates, which turns out to be pointless because the priestess refuses to buy anything, though she does sell the Girdle of Bluntness to me. After that, I walk into the house on top of the hill, where a wizard named Perth babbles at me:
Perth: "Is it time once again for the experiments? I await your instruction, warden."
Chiyo: "I wonder if I might have a moment of your time? I seek information."
Perth: "A moment? No, all the moments are together. All together and with another. I have no moments. You are...you are in the company...with Chiyo. The likenesses of who to recognize...have been given to me...in my head. ...Chiyo? Chiyo?"
Xan: "He does not seem in control of himself, Chiyo. Step aside..."
Aerie: "This isn't right. I don't think he's in control of himself. Maybe dominated or...something?"



Yoshimo: "No one will be testing anyone's limits while Yoshimo is involved. Do you hear, fool? Yoshimo!"
Perth: "Yoshimo... inconsequential. Acceptable losses in exchange for the benefits of learning the limits of Chiyo!"
Yoshimo: "Think harder you fool! That can't be right!"
Perth: "You do not matter. You will be dealt with as is convenient!"
Chiyo: "Now settle down. Are you in control of yourself? Perhaps I can help you."
Perth: "Test of limits. Yes, test of limits!"
A ton of contingency spells go off, so I turn and walk out of the house, buff up, and then head back in. It seems to be going okay until Perth casts time stop. Reload.

This happens a couple times until I head outside, rest, retool my spells, and head back in. This time when I head back in, Perth doesn't have half-a-dozen "pre-cast" buffs that suddenly appeared in the middle of the conversation with him, and while he does cast protection from magical weapons, and the first attempt is ruined by a dark planetar, the second attempt goes much better, mostly because I get lucky--while Perth is casting time stop, Minsc hits him and ruins the spell even though Perth is immune to the attack's damage. Xan also casts Melf's Acid Arrow to provide ongoing spell-ruining damage, and after that Perth's days are numbered. On his body is the Book of Infinite Spells and a "Wardstone of the Asylum." That sounds useful.

I think I made a mistake in allowing high-level abilities for Shadows of Amn enemies. That dark planetar ruins more fights than anything else by an order of magnitude. Oh well--I nearly ruined my game adjusting Sword Coast Stratagems settings before and I don't want any more trouble now.  photo 3327b7f6b45a33781e80dce4e4461510-d4ipx9c.gif

I head inside the festhall and talk to the doorguard. Chiyo claims that she's a new employee, and when the guard spots the medallion I took from Chremy's body, he lets the party in immediately. The inside is a bit more spartan than I was expecting:


Festive!

The first door leads to a richly-appointed but unoccupied sitting room, but further down the hall are some guards. They accept that the medallion is genuine but mention that they weren't expecting any new employees and that the best way to deal with the circumstances would be to kill Chiyo. This does not turn out well for them, so I loot the corpses and check the other doors. One is the kitchen, whose inhabitants flee when the party enters, and the one next to that is a lavish bedroom with a key to the prison in a cupboard in the corner of the room. That opens the door at the end of the hall, and the party enters the prison, opens a couple doors, and comes on Galvena declaring that Claire is sentenced to death.
Galvena: "...and as such a sentence of death has been imposed on you, Claire."
Claire: "Please! I have served you for years! Why could you not let me go?" *sob*
Glavena: "Silence! The punishment is severe and immediate. An example shall be made of ouyy as was made of your...'husband' Sanik. I should think that-"
Chiyo: "The assassin failed, Galvena. The only thing Sanik exemplifies is that you are weaker than you give yourself credit for."
Galvena: "What in the--? Who are you, woman? Where are my useless guards?"
Chiyo: "Lady Galvena! Your days of enslaving these courtesans are over. The Guild is finished and you must pay for your crimes."
Galvena: "How bold! Vadek, what do you make of this?"
Vadek: "Arrogance is a common trait among the dregs of adventuring."
Galenva: "Well put! I would say that a lesson in humility is in order. Vadek, begin the lesson."
Vadek: "With pleasure!"
As it turns out, arrogance is also a common trait among the lesser class of midboss. Galenva dies like a dog, and the only thing that prevents Vadek from dying the same way is that he runs around the corner and casts invisibility while Minsc and Chiyo are chopping Galenva to ribbons. Once that's dispelled, he dies too. After a brief stop to sell the loot from the festhall, I go back to the Vulgar Monkey, where Sanik and Claire thank Chiyo profusely for uniting them:
Claire: "Oh! Here she comes!"
Sanik: "Chiyo! You have my eternal gratitude for saving Claire. We will be leaving this island soon, and will be happy together, thanks to you. But first, I will naturally fulfill my part of the bargain. I believe my captain, Golin, has some information that may be of use to you."
Golin: "Sanik tells me you seek entry to the asylum. I know a little of the magical prison, so perhaps I can assist you. I know not what use my knowledge may be. However, if you seek admission, then you should know that only two types of people are able to gain entry: Cowled Wizards, or magical 'deviants'."
Chiyo: "Tell me about the Cowled Wizards."
Golin: "There's really only one representative of the Cowled Wizards here, and he's long since given up their rigid discipline. This place doesn't suit it. His name is Perth the Adept, and he is seemingly free to come and go from Spellhold all he wants. Uses a ward stone to pass the gates, I think. You might... ah... 'convince' him to give it up. He might take a bribe, but likely your meeting with him will have to be violent."
Chiyo: "Thank you for your help. That's all I needed to know."
Golin: "All right then. Still don't know why you'd want to get in there. I've heard even more screams than usual from there. In any case, you have all of our thanks for your assistance, and I wish you well. Sanik, Claire, now may be a wise time to depart."
Sanik: "Very well. I hope we have been able to repay some of our debt to you, Chiyo. Farewell."
Claire: "Good travels!"
I don't bother to ask about the other option because that tells me all that I need to know, and after Sanik, Claire, and the captain who is going to take them off the island leave, I walk up to the path to the asylum.

Standing in the way is a man named Greyhand:


Chiyo: "Have we met before?"
Greyhand: "Ah yes, the tone is as described. You are Chiyo, aren't you. Chiyo of Baldur's Gate who's father is Gorion. Yes, now you look with more interest in me. Well it will not last. I have but one reason for being here; you will not survive my deadly intent."
Chiyo: "I am at a disadvantage. You know me, but I do not know you."
Greyhand: "Oh, I am no one to you. You have no reason to know me, no reason to believe what I say, but I don't care. No one sent me, but I am here because of someone and their interest in you. I owe that someone a debt, and I will pay it thorough you."
Chiyo: "So you seek to capture me for someone else? Perhaps I can make a counter-offer."
Greyhand: "Capture? Noooo, that's not what I intend. And neither will this aid someone else. In fact, this will severely hamper his goals. You, Chiyo, are of great interest. By killing you, I will severely hurt the one I hate. It is my revenge for his...for his treatment! He came to my home, where I was healing, where my mind could rest. He disrupted the place, subjected us to his will, and now he waits for his plans to be complete. He is Irenicus, you are his quarry, and I am the avenger that will destroy his plans by destroying you!!"
Chiyo: "Wait wait wait! You are an enemy of Irenicus? I seek him as well!"
Greyhand: "Do not confuse me! You are in league with him! You must be! He tortures in preparation for you! You are his excuse! His plans center on you, and for that you will die! "
Chiyo: "I tell you that I am as much his enemy as you are."
Greyhand: "No, you are twisting what I know... I am not so ill that I cannot understand this! He plans for you, and you are valuable to him. This makes you my enemy! I am... I don't understand... He must pay for what he has done, what he continues to do! You are the means for that payment!"
Chiyo: "You make no sense! I would be your ally! Are you mad?"
Greyhand: "You are not the same evil that he is! But if you are not in league, why does he need... This does not make sense! This does not make SENSE!! No, these must be lies! They must be! I may be mad, but I will not believe lies! You are in league! You are in league! And by your death shall the mad be avenged! I have walked the path from Spellhold dreaming of this moment! The plans of the torturer will fail as you die!"
He waved for a moment.  photo _thisorthat__or__compare__by_brokenboulevard-d4tole3.gif But it is only a moment, and he attacks. And then dies, because it's six against one and he's not a wizard loaded with buffs. Baldur's Gate: Caster Supremacy Edition. I take the boots of hastened departure that he drops, give them to Aerie, and head north toward Spellhold.

The Asylum
Opening movie here.

I head up the path toward the asylum, fighting vampiric mists, lizard men, and an air elemental. On top of the path is a single door, and the wardstone grants us entry to the front hall. Inside, the party is met by a single, cloaked man:


Coordinator: "I trust you have good reason to be entering this place. It's Chiyo, isn't it?"
Chiyo: "You know my name? How?"
Coordinator: "You made inquiries in the town. I have agents, and eyes. Security is quite important when dealing with an institution such as this. I know why you have come. You have been observed since you arrived on the isle. No doubt you are brimming with concern for your 'Imoen.' She is in good health, and if you will permit me, I will direct you to her. This is not a prison, but an institution of healing and learning."
Chiyo: "Then why the overzealous security measures?"
Coordinator: "We deal with dangerous subjects. Imoen was brought here for her own safety, and it would not do for her to be endangered while here, would it? It is not as simple as that, though it never is, is it? I'm sure you will understand more once I have explained."
Xan: "I am sure that she already understands more than you would wish her to."
Jaheira: "I understand plenty already! This place reeks of corruption and deceit!"
Coordinator: "Please, you have worked so hard to come here. Allow me to show you what I mean. I shall let you examine the facilities, and Imoen, for yourself."
Chiyo: "Lead on then, I shall be wary of any treachery."
Coordinator: "This way, Chiyo. I will explain as we go."
The coordinator leads the party on a tour, introducing them to some of the inmates, including Dili, a child who can shapechange at will:
Coordinator: "The Residence for the Magically Deviant houses many people, all of whom can benefit from a structured environment. They can also be studied, such that what they are capable of is understood better. Take young Dili here. She was cast from her family for her talents. At a remarkably young age she learned how to shape magical energy, allowing her to change her form as she wishes."
Dili: "Have you a new face today? I think you do. I can see the real one. Tomorrow I will be you, ok?"
Coordinator: "Here she is safe, and others have learned something of what she does. It is invaluable information."

Chiyo speaks to Dili.

Dili: "Hello. You are new. Those your faces? Funny. Maybe change them."
Chiyo: "What do you mean by 'change them'? What's wrong with my face?"
Dili: "Nothing. Don't you change your face? That's ok, I'll take it and change it for you. Don't worry, you can keep it too. Who are you today?"
Chiyo: "Chiyo is my name."
Dili: "Chiyo? Ok, I'll be Chiyo tomorrow. I've seen you, so now I can take your face. Don't worry, you can keep it too."
Minsc: "I do not think Boo is too thrilled about you borrowing his face. He only has the one. You don't hurt those you mirror, do you?"
Dili: "I like taking puppy's face, but it scares him. He's not here though."
The former head of the asylum who tragically fell victim to an overexposure of magical energy, a bard who gazed beyond the stars and went mad at what he saw:
Coordinator: "This is Naljier Skal. Once a great bard of some repute, though now he is little more than a child. His last research project was into the nature of the universe, and what lies beyond the gods. Something apparently didn't like him looking."
Naljier Skal: "I used to have pretties piled high to the sky... don't remember where they are though... pretties...."
Coordinator: "Somehow he retains his spellcasting abilities, however, and is incredibly dangerous if unsupervised."

Chiyo speaks to Naljier Skal.

Naljier Skal: "Hello... have you come to play? I like to imagine stories of far away. Farther than you can see... or should."
Chiyo: "How do you come to be here?"
Naljier Skal: "How do we come to be anywhere? I asked that once. Looked all the way beyond the stars... pretty stars. Shouldn't look so far... it looks back... but now I don't care. I collect my pretties. Shiny things... pretty..."
And Tiax from Baldur's Gate. And Moiya's husband Lorick, though he doesn't recognize Chiyo or what she says.

Can you see where this is going? I can see where this is going, especially since the coordinator has Irenicus's voice actor.  photo emot-gonk.gif

The last room contains Imoen, but she's a shadow of her former self. She merely says "So empty..." and doesn't recognize her former companions. Chiyo demands that she be allowed to take her away, and the coordinator finally dispenses with the games:
Coordinator: "Oh, you misunderstand. It is fortunate for me that you arrived when you did. I am quite through with her for the moment. It is you who am I after. I knew you would seek her, and so the path was difficult, but not impossible. All designed to test your potential."
Chiyo: "What are you talking about? Is this another Cowled Wizard trick?"
Coordinator: "The Cowled Wizards no longer run the asylum. With Bodhi's aid I was able to take control quite quickly. She is a fine sibling, if a touch predatory. I trust you remember my name now?"
Chiyo: "That I do. You are Irenicus, and owe you a great debt of pain."
Irenicus: "You are intent on revenge or justice, or whatever. I care not. You can do nothing I do not wish. Yoshimo, I trust everything is as I instructed?"
Chiyo: "What is he talking about, Yoshimo?"
Yoshimo: "T...things are not as they seem, Chiyo, and for that, I apologize. I can offer no explanation that you would find sufficient."
Irenicus: "You have done as you must, Yoshimo. I have seen to it. Now, is everything as I asked."
Yoshimo: "Y-yes, Master Irenicus, just as you wanted it."
Chiyo: "So you betray me to the monster? I had thought I earned your trust?"
Irenicus: "What you earned is of no consequence. I took his trust in the beginning. That is all there is to be said."
Yoshimo: "I apologize, Chiyo. There are circumstances that you are not aware of."
Xan: "Beg your god's forgiveness, Yoshimo. From me, you will get none."
Jaheira: "You will hear the name 'traitor' many times today, Yoshimo, but let me be the first among the group to spit it at you!"
Aerie: "Yo...Yoshimo? How could you...? How could you!?"
Minsc: "A slap in the face of our trust! A sword in the heart of our confidence! A boot to the prunes of our friendship! Perhaps I go too far, but Boo is absolutely incensed!"
Yoshimo: "I cannot give a reason that will satisfy. Your wrath will come, regardless."
Chiyo: "I will survive this, despite what you think you had to do."
Irenicus: "You may be disappointed, but I am well pleased. My servants have proven to be artists with herbs, as well with deception. Your meals aboard ship were prepared exactly to my specifications."
Chiyo: "What are you talking about? What's going on here?"
Irenicus: "You will find you are powerless. I have taken precautions that you will not be damaged. Rage would be wasted."
Xan: "Run! Run, foolish girl! Now!"
Irenicus: "Ha! The Shadow Thieves would not go quietly, either. There is no battle, no heroics. Only sleep."
And with that, the party crashes to the floor unconscious:


Game time elapsed: 94 days, 7 hours.


Cliffhanger! I was thinking of keeping going, but this is a natural stopping point. I'll do the rest of Spellhold in the next post.

I must confess that Yoshimo's betrayal is one of the spoilers I've not managed to avoid in the decade-and-a-half since Baldur's Gate II came out, though there's plenty of hints here and there as well. Like how you find him in Irenicus's dungeon, or some of the comments he makes. I don't know much of what happens after Chapter 4, or how the game ends, but I knew Yoshimo betrayed the party here. As such, I've taken some precautions for later. You'll see what those are.

There was a lot of dialogue I typed up here and not that much fighting. And what fighting there was was almost entirely a foregone conclusion, other than the battle against Perth the Adept. As before, almost any battle is easy unless it's a battle against wizards, in which case it becomes a powerful battle of tactics. Even the potion-chugging by fighters and thieves can't really do that much to tip the scales. I suspect if I hadn't installed SCS I'd be slaughtering my way through every battle in the game and have already gotten bored with everything. As annoyed as I get sometimes with reloads during tough wizard battles, it keeps me engaged.

I hope all the inmates I met show up later in the asylum! It'd be a shame to introduce them just to discard them right afterward. I guess I'll see.

Next: Part XXII: Like Rats in a Maze.
 
 
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