Log in

No account? Create an account
18 December 2015 @ 02:53 pm
Dorchadas plays Baldur's Gate II, Part XIII: I Finally Advance the Plot  
I go back and hand the documents over to Edwin, who gets in one last insult before telling Chiyo that Mae'Var has a final task for her and she should report to him at once. In the basement, Mae'Var says that Edwin has told him we are:
"Fairly good at the sneaksman's trade, but a little hamfisted when you fight."
which sounds like exactly the opposite of my group composition, what with Yoshimo being the only person who's actually able to sneak around anywhere, but we'll see what task he wants.
Mae'Var: "I've a special task for you. You do this for me and you'll be set within the guild for whatever you need. Don't think it will be easy though. There is a...SHHHHHH!! There is a TRAITOR amongst us! Yes, one who has abused the trust we have given him! He must be dealt with in a permanent fashion. Embarl is his name, and you are to kill him with prejudice. He's at the Sea's Bounty northwest of the guildhouse. Bring me his dagger to show you have done the deed."
Chiyo: "What are his crimes? I do not wish to make a mistake in this matter."
Mae'Var: "His crimes are heinous, vicious, and also none of your business! If I told you what was done you would have to suffer the same fate! Do you understand?!"
Chiyo: "Is there no other way to deal with this man?"
Mae'Var: "There is no other way. Treachery must command the harshest penalty. You will suffer the same fate if you refuse. Anything short of obedience is treachery!"
Chiyo: "Consider the man dead! He will not outlive the day!"
Mae'Var: "Good! That's the spirit I like to see! Show him what it means to be a Shadow Thief, and I'll have your reward here for you when you get back. Off with you!"
This prompts some concern from the other members of the party:

Xan overhears her and strikes up a conversation:
Xan: "I know, Aerie, I feel the same. Hang on for a little while, will you? It won't be long."
Aerie: "I...I am scared of what Chiyo might do. Do you think that she will kill him?"
Xan: "I don't know. But it will be over soon. One way or another...and someone will assuredly be dead by the end of the day. Come, or we'll lag behind the others."
It's little NPC moments like this that make Baldur's Gate II so great. Though I admit, I'm a little sad at Aerie's lack of faith in Chiyo, but I suppose she did slaughter Rayic Gethras without much of a pretext other than Edwin saying he needed to die. Hey, she's Chaotic Good. You can't tell me what to do, man!

Embarl the traitor is in the Sea's Bounty next door--you'd think if he was marked for death, he'd have gone a little further afield--and I walk right up to him and he immediately spills his guts to Chiyo:
Embarl: "You...you're here to kill me, aren't you?! Please! Tell Mae'Var it was all a misunderstanding!"
Chiyo: "What misunderstanding? What are you talking about?"
Embarl: "I didn't mean to...I overheard Mae'Var talking to some of the other guildmembers about killing Renal Bloodscalp! I cried out in shock and Mae'Var heard me! I'm as good as dead, I know it! Please don't kill me, though...I've been faithful to the Shadow Thieves! I never wanted to get mixed up in this!"
Chiyo: "Very well...come with us to Renal and tell him your story. Then you will be able to live."
Embarl: "No, I cannot! If I say anything to Renal, Mae'Var will hunt me down! Worse, Renal may think I am the assassin! I must flee the city! Please, let me go!"
Chiyo: "I've no desire to kill you, Embarl. Give me your dagger, to prove to Mae'Var that the deed is done, and I'll let you flee."
Embarl: "You...you would do this? I don't know who you are, friend, but I thank you truly! Here is my dagger. I shall flee the city immediately! Thank you again!"
Aerie: "I'm glad we didn't have to... to kill that poor man. It's terrible what we're being forced to do, sometimes."
Yoshimo: "Well... you are taking a chance letting Embarl off like that. I doubt he'll stick around to tell anyone of your generosity, though, so I wouldn't worry. We'd best get this dagger back."
Before heading back, I go downstairs and into the secret door I found last time, which leads to a dead-end cave filled with pirates who attack immediately after crying out that they would punish the tavern owner for failing to keep their hideout secret. They won't be punishing anything, though--despite quaffing roughly two-dozen potions among the six of them, I wipe them out pretty easily. Even the wizard when he shows up, since Xan and Aerie still have their anti-caster spell selection. In a pool in their hideout they have 1140 gold and some gems, which I take. More for Imoen's rescue fund.

After giving a gold piece to a lost child outside Mae'Var's hideout--who immediately walks into Mae'Var's hideout after the conversation is over, nice con she's got running there--I give the dagger to Mae'Var, and he insults us, says we're just tools, and tells us to go talk to Edwin or something for another job:
Mae'Var: "The traitor is dead, I trust? Yes, you have his dagger. Despite your useless appearance you have done well. Now go. I have matters to attend to that are above you."
Chiyo: "He was hardly a danger. He could have been talked to."
Mae'Var: "Yes, yes, yes. Truth be known, I'm not listening to you. Embarl was a thorn to be removed and now I can move on to other things. Now the way is clear to me. You have been a useful tool, and you may be one again. Don't think you are more than that; I will have a thousand thieves, all doing my bidding just as you are. Go now, tool, and leave the thinkers to their thinking. Talk to Edwin, he might have something for you to do."
So I do, and Edwin says he knows why Chiyo is here:
Edwin: "Well, you have surpassed the exceedingly low expectations I had of you. You now have the trust of Mae'Var securely in hand, and have proven your competence to me once more (though just barely). Now that I'm assured of your loyalty to the cause of the moment, it seems an appropriate juncture to dispense with false pretenses. Your pretense of naivete and wilderness manners is clever, but a Red Wizard sees more than mere appearance. You have a secret, Chiyo. I know why you are here, mashing your lips on Mae'Var's boots, and it's nothing to do with stipends or wages or other guild business."
Chiyo: "I admit I have come to spy on Mae'Var. What exactly do you want of me?"
Edwin: "As it happens, I know where we can find damning evidence of Mae'Var's betrayal of Renal Bloodscalp. That is your purpose here, isn't it? (Yes, I thought so.) Mae'Var has been courting the Night Knives in order to bolster his own strategic position and betray Renal. Masterfully planned, but I have seen through it. The Knives are a cutthroat guild of footpads, brigands and highwaymen based in the congested cesspool of Westgate. Obviously they wish to expand. Mae'Var is fully aware of the penalty if the Shadow Thieves learn of his plan. It would be disastrous, both for his ambitions and his continued breathing. You'll find the proof you require in Mae'Var's quarters. I conveniently have a key that opens his strongbox. I plan to be on the winning side in this affair."
Yoshimo: "You walk a dangerous path, wizard. After all your talk, you are nothing better than an opportunistic turncoat. Not that I think we should be complaining or anything."
Edwin: "Would you require my peerless skill and finesse to break into Mae'Var's suite? As you know well, my magical skills are supreme."
Chiyo: "I'll retrieve the documents, but I don't need you."
Edwin: "As you wish, but I'll not wait about for you monkeys to finish your work. You'll find Mae'Var's office on the floor below...and I've managed to procure a key that will let you into his strongbox. If you'll excuse me, I've my own retainer to collect for this particular betrayal. You aren't the only one stepping over Mae'Var's bones for a profit, you know. Should you collect your wits and realize that you would profit from my magical talents... (as would I, which is the only reason I would travel with these simians)... you can find me at the Copper Coronet."
He hands over the key and leaves, and I take the key and proceed to loot everything upstairs and Mae'Var's room on the second floor, where I find proof of his treachery:

Come on. Never put it in writing.

I take the note to Renal Bloodscalp, who reads it and asks me to go kill Mae'Var, which I agree to because by this point, I really don't like him and am happy to kill him off. When I re-enter Mae'Var's guildhall, his spies apparently know what's going on and everyone is hostile, but a true seeing from Jaheira counters the thieves' endless chugging of potions of invisibility and I fight my way through them and to the stairs.

The fight against Mae'Var is extremely easy, partially because I buff up beforehand and partially because I'm lucky. Mae'Var turns out to be a mage/thief with some buffs on, but since Xan and Aerie still have anti-caster spells, I strip him off the buffs easily, and Chiyo, Minsc, and Jaheira alpha-strike him down in two rounds. I have Aerie cast hold person and just randomly pick a target, and the person I pick happens to be a priest of Cyric and the only other spellcaster in the group. Then Chiyo, Minsc, and Jaheira run around killing everyone. I think I took maybe 20 damage total vs. seven enemies. After looting the bodies and freeing a man named Kamuzu, who says he's been imprisoned for ten years for "casting a look of contempt" at Mae'Var, I head back to Renal Bloodscalp, who rewards me with ten thousand gold and a short sword of backstabbing:
Renal Bloodscape: "The tale of your deed has already reached my ear, as such things tend to. Well done, I say! Your reward is well-earned. I think you will find the amount adequate. 10500 gold is no small fortune, though I think you deserve a little more. From my personal armory, a sword. Take well and good care of it. You have served well and I am grateful. Go on your way with my blessing."
Chiyo: "I was wondering... is there anything you can tell me about this wizard, Irenicus? Or about the Cowled Wizards who hold Imoen?"
Renal Bloodscalp: "Heh, you are a tricky one. Didn't Gaelan already tell you that the Shadow Thieves would be perfectly willing to help you out at the correct price? I cannot confirm anything else about the deal, except to confirm that yes...we can look into the locations of both Irenicus and your friend Imoen. Prying such information from the Cowled Wizards will be difficult, hence the cost. That is all I will say. Raise your money for Gaelan. You will not be disappointed."
Well, now I know who Gaelan Boyle is working for. So I go give him the money.

I said I was almost definitely going to side with the vampires, but I forgot how unpleasant they are. I've already failed to get through this game twice. I don't want to fail a third time because I picked a group that I hate working for. And there's also my companions' opinion to worry about. There's no way that Aerie, Xan, or Jaheira would be able to stomach working with the vampires. Even if the game doesn't make them leave the party, it should, and I'll know that. Yoshimo might do it with complaints, and Minsc...well, Minsc has Favored Enemy: Vampire.

So yeah, Shadow Thieves it is. I go to Gaelan Boyle, hand over the money, and he lays out the plan:
Gaelan Boyle: "Coo! Ye be already above 15,000, and need go no further. My masters changed their hearts, and they will accept 15,000 alone. It is a competitive rate, I think."
Chiyo: "Brus mentioned a new deal. Is that the change he spoke of?"
Gaelan Boyle: "Aye, 15000 gold. They wish to speed proceedings along, for your benefit and theirs. They want to keep the relationship with you as friendly as possible. So there is the final tally. Are you happy with the price? We are certainly the least offensive ally you could choose in this matter."
Chiyo: "I'll pay the 15000 right now."
Gaelan Boyle: "Very good. Just so you be knowing, you be goin' to the Shadowmaster Aran Linvail. Step carefully, me lady, the Shadowmaster does not suffer fools gladly. Here, a key to the Shadowmaster. Find the secret door on the first level of the Shadow Thieves' guild in the Docks, an orange brick building west of the area entrance. Remember, it's northwest in the Docks district. As unlikely as it seems, the Shadow Thieves will prove to be the least of all evils you will encounter."
Xan: "Shadowmaster." Sighs. "Ah well. It is better than heading straight to Irenicus, in any case."
Yoshimo: "Ah, yes. Aran Linvail. The real power behind the Shadow Thieves in this city, and therefore one of the most powerful men in Faerun. We should step carefully, Chiyo."
Jaheira: "Shadow Thieves? Perhaps we shall finally get answers as to their interest in us."
And with that, we begin:

Chapter III

After the chapter intro crawl, I get a cutscene of Irenicus escaping Spellhold. Looks like my mission will be more complicated than I expected!

That's a lie. I totally expected this would happen.

Also, let me just say that Irenicus is a counterpoint to my typical position that voice acting ruined RPGs. His voice acting is amazing. I can see why he's so highly regarded as a villain. I can't wait until I actually get to interact with him.

Gaelan has nothing else to say to me, so I head back to the Shadow Thieves guildhall, go into the secret down, and down the stairs. After chatting with a couple of the thieves there and hearing that Aran is in his chambers, I wander around, through the dungeon and the torture chamber, into a section of the sewers and across a rickety bridge, until I find it. When I walk in, Aran greets me:
Aran Linvail: "Welcome to this place. I've looked forward to seeing you. I am, as you know, Aran Linvail."
Chiyo: "I have paid out a huge amount of gold; tell me how I can find Imoen."
Aran Linvail: "Right to the point, eh? That's fine with me. You are a very capable person, and I wish to propose a trade of services."
Chiyo: "It sounds good, though I must see to Imoen. What do you propose as a deal?"
Aran Linvail: "First and foremost, you will be compensated for the gold you have paid. I will give you several magical items; they are yours to keep regardless of what comes."
Xan: "Oh, I can tell you what comes. A hopeless task or two, then a mission where half of the party will perish, and finally, an elaborate trap. Hmm, are these items cursed, I wonder?"
Jaheira: "Oh, how generous. Do you expect that to compensate while you delay our more important concerns? We have friends in need of rescue and vengeance both!"
Aran Linvail: "Now, I know you are eager to set off after Imoen, and I assure you that the time will come soon. It takes time to allocate the funds however."
Chiyo: "This delay troubles me. Is there some problem that I am not aware of?"
Aran Linvail: "No, no, no, everything is as it should be. There are merely some added difficulties that we have encountered. I regret that I must ask a few tasks of you. I know, I know, you are tired and have worked hard already. I apologize, but this guild war...it prevents us going further. Strange things are afoot on the Docks. Shipments are disappearing, as are my employees with them. We are significantly weakened by this. I think it unlikely you would be captured or wooed to the enemy. If you go to the docks and bolster the guard on the shipments it will strengthen our position. Go at night, and you will find my present guard captain there already; a woman by the name of Mook. Take note of anything odd that happens and report to me."
Chiyo: "I will do this, but afterwards you had better deliver what you have promised."
Aran Linvail: "Good hunting. Report to me if anything happens. Oh, and the bonus we talked of... Take these items. You will find them useful, I am sure."
Aran hands over an amulet of power and a ring of protection +2 and bids them go. I admit I don't have high hopes for this, though--no woman named "Mook" is going to have a good life outcome.

As I leave, Yoshimo has reservations for joining the Shadow Thieves:
Yoshimo: "I do not hold out much hope that this will help us. Joining the Shadow Thieves is... is a mistake. It will lead to trouble."
Chiyo: "Perhaps, but I will chance that if it helps retrieve Imoen. Do you suspect something?"
Yoshimo: "I meant nothing. We are perhaps...getting involved where we shouldn't be. That is...well... Pay me no mind. I am muddled in my thoughts. We will proceed as you wish to."
Well, he did have a price on his head put there by the Shadow Thieves, but I can't imagine he'd be happier with the vampires.

As I leave the headquarters, Xan expresses regret that he never got to enchant the ring for Chiyo that he was planning, and now Aran's ring is better than anything he could make:
Xan: "I wanted to enchant a ring for you, but this one overshadows everything that I will ever be able to give you. How ironic that it comes from the Shadowmaster of Athkatla."
Chiyo: "I would wear your ring even if there was no enchantment."
Xan: "A mere bauble will not protect your life, and I have no time to enchant a ring properly. Perhaps in the future. Strangely enough, it reminds me of the ring your half-brother presented to you at Candlekeep. Both of these are designed to protect, but the men who offered them to you sent you to your death. Sarevok - to fight with Iron Throne leaders. Aran Linvail - to spar with the other guild. Is it an example of studied irony, true benevolence, or twisted intent?"
Chiyo: "Aran needs a capable band of mercenaries, hence the ring and the amulet."
Xan: "I have doubts about his intentions. Shadow Thieves are not known for their benevolence. What if he discards you? What if he refuses to secure passage? What if he betrays you? You are a Bhaalspawn; it is natural that you evoke mistrust."
Chiyo: "Do you have any other suggestions?"
Xan: "No, but I urge you to be careful. But it does us no good to linger here. The docks, he said?"
Before I accept the Shadow Thieves' tasks, though, I have a few loose ends to tie up first.

Snakes on a Plane
Immediately after I decide to not head to the docks, I meet a man named Sansuki who begs for my help. When I ask him what is wrong, he screams that they've found him and I see the distinctive sprite of a vampire running in, so everyone draws steel and lays into her. I kill her without much trouble, she turns to mist and flees...and when I talk to Sansuki, the game hasn't accounted for this and I just get "Sansuki has nothing to say to you." Oops. When I reload and try again, the vampire runs up, says she's sorry I didn't join their side, and then attacks, spawning two other vampires. This fight is slightly harder but not much, and when I win I don't get anything other than thanks and the satisfaction of defeating a creature of the night, even if I didn't destroy them permanently.

I head back to the Five Flagons Inn and hand over the gem, after which Haer'Dalis tells me all about Sigil, the City of Doors, how they're actually a troupe of adventurers who wander the multiverse:
Raelis Shai: "Ah, the fabled rescuers of Haer'Dalis... Do you carry with you the gem he told you of?"
Chiyo: "Aye, here it is, safely delivered."
Raelis Shai: "Ah, Mekrath's prize! It shall be our salvation yet. Here be 1,200 gold. Haer'Dalis, tell them what we are about while I prepare the summoning of the conduit."
Haer'Dalis: "Yes, Miss Raelis. Ah...my ravens, there be a tale between us that is long overdue: Forgive me if I led you to believe that yon gem was just a worthless bauble for the stage. In truth it be far more interesting a planar jewel, a nexus between the Astral and the Prime Material. Few of you Primes would sense its presence, but Mekrath did and so it was that I fell into his keeping. Luckily, he had not rid himself of it before your timely rescue."
Chiyo: "What is Raelis summoning?"
Haer'Dalis: "A young conduit."
Chiyo: "A what?"
Haer'Dalis: "To travel between planes, we birds of flight can pass through what are called young conduits, whipping snake-like tubes that writhe within the Astral Plane, their heads and tails clinging to different pieces of the multiverse. The planar stone acts like a charmer's pipe upon these conduits, bringing them to us that we might enter and pass through. Miss Raelis is playing the stone as we speak that our company might slip through our hunter's grasp and find another stage. The play must go on, you know."
Raelis Shai: "Haer'Dalis, everyone, gather round. The stone is ready to begin the summoning... As the conduits open they will bring something with them. We will do what we can to hold off whatever beasts come, the better to determine which route be safest. Chiyo, your presence here would be appreciated. Will you stay with us?"
I offer to defend them while they make sure it leads to the right destination, so I fight a few quasits, a fire elemental and a shadow fiend, and then a bounty hunter comes through the portal and takes all the actors back with them:
Raelis Shai: "Who are you and what business do you have with us?"
Bounty Hunter: "Oh, just an employee of an old acquaintance of yours in Sigil. Duke... what was his name? Darkwood? Yes, Duke Darkwood, that was it, wasn't it... You really oughtn't have done that play, you know..."
Raelis Shai: "We were set up. We performed it under the assumption that it was fiction. The playwright never told us otherwise."
Bounty Hunter: "Ah yes, the infamous anonymous playwright. Now who was he, anyway, we never did learn."
Raelis Shai: "Neither did we...he wore a mask and met with us in the alleyways. It doesn't matter... Come, my bards. It appears 'tis time to make our reckoning. Haer'Dalis?"
Bounty Hunter: "What of these others? Who are you, elf? Surely Raelis did not hire you in the hope that you would save her? "
Chiyo: "If you want these people you will have to get through me."
Bounty Hunter: "Fool! I don't need to involve you. Already I have the souls of these ones attuned. Let it begin!"
And then all of them are gone, so I buff up, follow them through the portal, and then I'm not in Amn, or Faerun, anymore:

The yuan-ti (and why is is always yuan-ti?) taunt me for walking through a random portal without knowing where it leads, which is admittedly a pretty stupid thing to do:
T'rael: "Listen, you little maggot! I want to know how you got your collar off, right now...or you'll find there are far worse things than being a slave!"
Tagget: "N-no! No! I don't care what you say! I w-won't be a slave any more!"
T'rael: "Well, if that's the way you --"
Von'ith: "T'rael! Hold! Others have come through the portal!"
T'rael: "What? Others? Ah...the primes. How foolish of you to have followed your actor friends here. Von'ith, close the portal, please."

The portal shuts.

T'rael: "Heh. Do you have any idea at all where you are, primes?"
Chiyo: "I assume I'm on another plane, naturally."
T'rael: "Oh, you are a sharp one, prime. I'm afraid its much, much worse than that. This place is one of the finest prisons in the planes. There is no way out of here...except at the whim of the cambion. What fools you must be to come here of your own volition. No matter. I expect you'll bring a grand price from the cambion as new thralls. Hunters...take her!"
They then attack, as do the neutrals in that screenshot, who yell that the slave collars mean they cannot disobey their masters. Sadly, there's no way to non-lethally subdue opponents in Baldur's Gate II, so I kill everyone, including the thief that tries to murder Xan with a backstab but is foiled by his stoneskin spell, and loot the corpses--which provides a pair of boots of speed. In Baldur's Gate these just increased movement speed, but it looks like in Baldur's Gate II they provide a permanent haste effect, so I throw them on Chiyo since she's the dual-wielder. Cuisinart time.

After that, I talk to Tagget the gnome, who I saw refusing to put his collar on when I enter:
Tagget: "I...I thank you, my lady, for your timely rescue. I am afraid I did not give much thought as to what I would do after I removed my collar. It was foolish of me, I suppose, but I would rather be dead than remain enslaved to the cambion forever. There has to be a way out of here somewhere!"
Chiyo: "What is this cambion you speak of?"
Tagget: "The cambion? The cambion, here, is the warden of this prison. I know not his true name, but he is a cruel and evil master who delights in the suffering of his thralls. He is a powerful demon, as well. You may have defeated his bounty hunters, but if I were you, I would find a way out of here and avoid him entirely."
Chiyo: "Do you know where I might find Haer'Dalis and his troupe?"
Tagget: "You are friends of the actors? Ahhh...then you may as well begin mourning them, my lady. They are in the warden's cells, awaiting transport to Duke Rowan's tower, I am told. The warden is directly north of here, through the hallway...but I would advise against going down that path. You will see on the floor markings that the tanar'ri have left with their magic... portals that transport you to the other rooms of this prison. The ones in the hallway to the north you cannot avoid, and they bring you to the barracks where the warden keeps his personal soldiers and thralls. 'Tis a most dangerous path to take. There is another way to reach the warden...a safer way, perhaps, that may serve your purpose and perhaps mine, as well. Might I tell you of it?"
Chiyo: "Very well, I'm listening."
Tagget: "The warden is powerful by himself, true, but he is also protected by the many thralls under his control through the collars they wear. The passage to the east leads to the chambers of the Master of Thralls...a lesser tanar'ri who holds a device that I know allows him to control the collars. Destroy that device and the thralls are freed. The warden is vulnerable...and I will be able to contact my newly freed friends. Some of them are mages who will teleport us away. As well, the portals on the floors to the east may be avoided...they lead only to other cells, I understand, and are full of naught but violent and dangerous creatures."
Xan: "Violent and dangerous." Sighs "As well as can be expected."
Tagget: "I...I would not offer this chance, my lady, if I did not think you might have a chance against the warden, himself. I can think of no other way for either of us to escape this place, truly."
Chiyo: "Why do I not simply free your thralls and have them teleport us away? Why must I fight the warden?"
Tagget: "There are many old and powerful magics in this prison, my lady. We might get away briefly, but the prison's magic would track us...and the warden would send powerful hunters very quickly. But the prison's magic dies with the warden. It is the only way."
Chiyo: "Very well. I will find this Master of Thralls and do as you suggest."
Tagget: Most excellent, my lady. Luck is smiling on me, truly, that the mere chance for true escape arrived with you through that conduit. I wish you every success."
There's no door behind me, so I agree to the plan. Hopefully I don't get double-crossed.

I head east in the direction of the Master of Thralls, carefully avoiding the weird sucking holes on the ground:

Past the hole are a few thralls with some umber hulks as backup, and past those to the north is the Master of Thralls and his two air elemental bodyguards. That's a difficult fight, and I try it a few times until I finally give up, rest, and then rebuff with my new spells. Aerie casting chant, Xan casting haste, and Chiyo loading up on a ton of buff spells does the job and I slaughter the Master of Thralls as he teleports over before his air elementals even get there. A nearby dwarven slave says that I need to take the orb and throw it into a brazier back the way we came, and that he would do it except that the collar he's wearing prevents him from doing so. So I take the orb to the brazier and cast it in, and I get a lot of combat log updates of slaves hurling themselves to their doom in a battle against the warden.

The warden is actually pretty easy, because I pour an enormous amount of sorcery into him as soon as he appears on the edge of the screen. Fireballs, ice storm, insect plague...all combine to kill him before he does much. It's the half-dozen umber hulks he has with him that cause me to reload a few times until I can get a chaotic commands onto Chiyo to absorb the umber hulks' confusion gaze and summoning some gnolls to absorb their attacks. When I make it past them to the warden's body, I find Adjatha the Drinker, which Chiyo immediately grabs, and the haft of a halberd called "The Wave," which it looks like I have to assemble. I also find the key to the prison, and then Tagget runs in:
Tagget: "You...you have defeated the Warden and freed us all. I wish I had some better way to thank you, my lady, but I have little doubt you will find a way home on your own. Please...accept my most heart-felt thanks. The thralls who were once imprisoned here shall always remember you."
And then his friends showed up and teleport him out. That asshole. It's a good thing we have the key.

Past the warden's area are the actors.
Raelis Shai: You have known us for so short a time yet you have bought our freedom with blood. My child, my friend, it is a debt I can never repay... But we must go before the Duke marshals his forces. I will use what powers I have remaining to open another conduit. Are you ready, Haer'Dalis?"
Haer'Dalis: "Miss Raelis... I -- I cannot come with you. Not this time."
Raelis Shai: "No? No more plays, Haer'Dalis? No more theatre?"
Haer'Dalis: "I wish I could, Raelis, but I am just another moth come too close to your flame. To love you is to smother that flame in my own death. I shall not do it."
Raelis Shai: "Don't be a fool, Haer'Dalis. There was no mystery writer of our play! I wrote "A Comedy of Terrors," it was mine! I brought all of this upon us!
Haer'Dalis: "I know, Miss Raelis. You'll have my heart forever, but I must do as I must. Perhaps Chiyo will let me travel with her for a time, but the Prime beckons this sparrow, regardless."
Raelis Shai: "Then go, my lovely Haer'Dalis...remember us fondly in your musings. And you, Chiyo, go with my thanks and take yon lovely moth with you."
Of course, my party is set, so once he gets here I tell him maybe another time and he heads up to the ground floor of the Five Flagons Inn where I expect he'll spend the rest of the game.

After selling the trash loot, I head over to Cromwell and reforge my Spear of the Unicorn into a Returning Spear of the Unicorn only to realize that it requires two hands and Jaheira is the only party member who would use it, but she's also the only party member who actually uses shields. Well, that's 10,000 gold down the drain. On the other hand, the returning spear is +3, which will help if I run into anything that's immune to +2 or lower weapons.

That done, I head out of the city gates. I have some more things to do in the wild lands before I actually listen to the Shadow Thieves.

Game time elapsed: 36 days, 14 hours.
Shadow Thief Tasks Completed: 0/3
Party levels:
  • Chiyo, female elf Fighter 10/Mage 11
  • Jaheira, female half-elf Fighter 10/Druid 12
  • Minsc, male human Ranger 11
  • Yoshimo, male human Thief (bounty hunter) 14
  • Xan, male elf Mage (enchanter) 13
  • Aerie, female elf Cleric 10/Mage 11

You might ask how I know how many missions the Shadow Thieves want me to do for them, I would answer that I went and looked it up so that I wouldn't just have question marks there for a long while like I did with the Imoen Rescue Fund.

This is about when I got stuck on my previous attempts and quit. I got as far as paying off Bodhi, but I never did any of her quests. I just got lost in sidequests until I quite. The second time was somewhere in the middle of the Planar Sphere (which will probably be, if not the next post in this series, the one after that), and I'm not sure how long I lasted the first time, but it wasn't even that long. I've mentioned a few times during this run that I've run into quests I've never seen before--the Planar Prison in this blog post being one of them--so it's entirely possible that I've already gotten further in Baldur's Gate II now than I ever have. After forty-two hours, I should hope so.

One thing I need to do before long, and one of the reasons I want to do the Planar Sphere soon, is find a place to store all my extra items. I know that at some point I get access to a bag of holding, but I haven't found it yet. I'd say probably at least 40% of my inventory is stuff I'm saving for later because I have nowhere else to put it and don't know where is safe to store it. I did dump some things on the floor in the Umar Hills Inn, so that's one place I'm headed to see if it's still there. But otherwise, clearing out the Planar Sphere is definitely on the top of my list.

Next: Part XIV: The Planar Sphere.
Current Mood: accomplishedaccomplished
Current Music: Castlevania II: Simon's Quest - Bloody Hell (Ailsean, Tim Sheehy OC ReMix)