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In Progress Lets play the best Storyfag RPG of all time: Betrayal at Krondor!

Nutria

Arcane
Patron
Joined
Mar 12, 2017
Messages
2,197
Location
한양
Strap Yourselves In
Goddamn magicians. His time is so precious he can't be bothered to just leave a post-it note with two sentences of directions on what to do. Worse than a goddamn lawyer.
 

baud

Arcane
Patron
Joined
Dec 11, 2016
Messages
3,849
Location
Septentrion
RPG Wokedex Strap Yourselves In Pathfinder: Kingmaker
Goddamn magicians. His time is so precious he can't be bothered to just leave a post-it note with two sentences of directions on what to do. Worse than a goddamn lawyer.
nah, a lawyer would have still billed you for the post it and the time taken to write it
 

ERYFKRAD

Barbarian
Patron
Joined
Sep 25, 2012
Messages
23,912
Strap Yourselves In Serpent in the Staglands Shadorwun: Hong Kong Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire Pathfinder: Kingmaker
Goddamn magicians. His time is so precious he can't be bothered to just leave a post-it note with two sentences of directions on what to do. Worse than a goddamn lawyer.
nah, a lawyer would have still billed you for the post it and the time taken to write it
For low Int dudes he'd bill them for the time they take to read it too.
 

infidel

StarInfidel
Developer
Joined
May 6, 2019
Messages
427
Strap Yourselves In
I call shenanigans on that 3vs6 mages fight. The only working strat seems to be "reload, buff and hope for RNJesus' favor" as I seem to remember now. What if they all just Grief all three party members? Game over. Two griefs, even, the last remaining party member won't survive under the assault for long. Maybe summoning the dogs would help? But not really since unless your party members block most of the mages, the fight will be over on its first turn.
 

Sergiu64

Arcane
Sad Loser Glory to Ukraine
Joined
Jun 8, 2010
Messages
2,587
Location
Sic semper tyrannis.

I'm Ridin' with Biden I'm Ridin' with Biden
P. sure if you have adequate stealth or those stealthy shoes you can act before them... and win easily.

Except you can't stealth them since the encounter starts by just entering the area - you can't click on them before hand to attempt to sneak up on them. That's actually the second problem with it - you don't even know the fight is coming so you're less likely to apply weapon enhancements, drink potions, etc.

Anyway - next session is here:

We go down to entrance to the sewers to see if Limm has anything new to say. Appears so:

i-VxNw7Dq-M.png


I guess that's one strategy to deal with someone threatening harm - just ask them questions!

i-BVdvprk-M.png


Hmmmm, sounds like that storm landed some punches before Pug dispelled it.

i-GHFsDqx-M.png


What local problem is that?

i-Q6mC6zg-M.png


Owyn's ears are perked up too.

i-KKmvHbJ-M.png


Crawler seemed a lot more then a local problem last time we heard about him.

i-tJvbSgX-M.png


Damn... this storm sounds like more and more of a menace. Wonder if there were going to be any sewers left at all if it had hit in full.

i-qQK5XBT-M.png


Hmmmm? Does this mean Owyn thinks the whole "Not all sheep are in our fold" comment meant that there are magicians here we're supposed to be looking for?

i-WL2jPBx-M.png


Well, that would answer that question I guess. Why crawler magicians would lead us to finding Pug is not really clear.

i-JQqg2fw-M.png


Sounds like we're going to be looking for them anyway.

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Hmmm, sounds like that passage we saw in chapter 1 might be accessible now.

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Gorath clearly thinks so.

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I think the idea is for them to try it.

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Uhuh, about that... we're staying down here unfortunately.

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We head to the area where we saw that passage.

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Yes, seems its open.

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We go in - apparently without much stealth.

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And find some enemies ahead.

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Despite our noisy descent - we manage to surprise them.

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Owyn disables the spellcaster with a Grief. Life is so much easier with a caster that goes first rather than last - and has the Grief spell.

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Gorath one shots a rogue despite only hitting for 41.

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And Owyn gets hit.

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At least he returns the favor successfully.

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Gorath joins in on the fun, these guys must have good armor, Gorath normally hits much harder.

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Gorath finishes the second rogue.

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Owyn then beats the Grieving spellcaster repatedly.

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Until said spellcaster dies.

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This improves his Strength.

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There was a chest there and its trapped. We let it go. Gorath's lockpicking is only 49%.

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Seems like the rogues did have good armor.

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Very nice. Even lockpicks!

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No good armor on this one, but the gold. Guess Crawler's men get paid.

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We go exploring and find a corpse at the end of a side passage. Drowning victim?

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No weapons and armor - but gold... not sure how this body ended up here.

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We find a door at the end of another passage.

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Gorath tries to pick it until he breaks 4 lockpicks. That raises his skill to 54%, but still can't pick it.

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Map update.

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We find another body at the end of a side passage.

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Swordmaster Corby gets around.

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Another map update, seems like this level is as complex as the upper one.

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More Crawler's men.

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And we do not surprise these guys.

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Owyn Griefs one caster and gets blinded by the other one.

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Gorath tries to take that caster down, but misses.

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Does not on the second attempt though.

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And then gets hit by one of the fighters.

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While the other fighter hits Owyn.

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Gorath takes some revenge on the guy that hit him.

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And finishes him afterwards.

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Then starts working on the guy attacking Owyn.

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Owyn tries to help out - but his hit is not enough to finish off the rogue.

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Gorath's second hit is more then enough.

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Owyn rests up - then beats the frozen spellcaster to death.

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But its Gorath that improves - his strength to be specific.

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That 17% emerald sells for more then this 100% moredhel bauble.

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But just plain gold is better.

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Guess this guy already spend his gold on something.

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More cash!

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This is were we're going to leave off. This is a big sewer.

i-xXbbfC6-M.png
 

Arrowgrab

Arbiter
Joined
Jan 20, 2016
Messages
562
Let me give two pieces of advice:

In order to meet a new minor NPC and a small quest early on in this chapter, make sure you
search the upper level of the sewers. There's a spot which you have probably already explored earlier, located near a dead end in one of the corners of the map.

In order to get a non-quest-specific, non-unique, but rather useful item much later in the game (sort of an Easter egg, really), make sure you
have someone with a Lockpicking skill of 100% when you finish the chapter. You'll need to buy one or several Amulets of the Upright Man for Gorath. The last place you can do that, IIRC, is a shop you'll find to the west of the dwarven mines.
 

Sergiu64

Arcane
Sad Loser Glory to Ukraine
Joined
Jun 8, 2010
Messages
2,587
Location
Sic semper tyrannis.

I'm Ridin' with Biden I'm Ridin' with Biden
Thanks Arrowgrab, will try to at least find #1 after I go back up to previous level.

For now though - next session:

A little refresher on our location.

i-B38LcKh-M.png


When we go back we run into some more of Crawler's men.

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We have a LOT of Naptha after chapter 4 - so Gorath starts using it.

i-D9JLVpN-M.png


Sneaking up is always good!

i-bDsFsrk-M.png


Especially because it lets Owyn immediately take out one of the spellcasters out of the fight.

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And the fact that we snuck up probably helped Gorath go before the second one.

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The enemies get a small hit in at least.

i-wC8MZrk-M.png


Ouch, that one was a bit tougher.

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Gorath violently takes revenge.

i-jf3CR7b-M.png


But can't recreate his success when attempting to hit the second Queyan.

i-36W82d5-M.png


And gets hit instead!

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Finally Gorath takes out the last unfrozen enemy.

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He and Owyn rest up and then Owyn beats the frozen guy to death.

i-rrVvgXD-M.png


Yup, guess we're not the only ones using Naptha.

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I don't get the point of these rings. Only 10 charges max and don't stack like the torches do. Take the same amount of space in the backpack.

i-Rv96PvD-M.png


At least we can't make such complaints about gold.

i-RMv6wCQ-M.png


That's a VERY nice ruby!

i-jdhmfgN-M.png


Behind those guys is a door, Gorath couldn't pick it, but apparently its got a generic key.

i-P2tgZ32-M.png


There's a room on the other side - but the only thing it contains is a body.

i-cj8sjRF-M.png


Which does not have much. I wonder why anyone would put a Noble Passkey on a lock in a SEWER of all places.

i-FMpQLpg-M.png


Anyway, we have to backtrack and eventually run into these fellows.

i-n8tPHCC-M.png


No sneaking up this time.

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Fortunately they all miss. In fact their archer misses SO badly that he hits one of his buddies instead. And... why is he green?

i-5BBwWsH-M.png


Either way, Gorath starts bloody work.

i-qgGpvd3-M.png


Poison damage! So I guess green flash signifies someone getting poisoned. I wonder how I have not noticed this before.

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Owyn is forced to charge the archer - don't want to get poisoned ourselves!

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Gorath fails to hit this time.

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Meanwhile Owyn is getting scratched up.

i-P2HxqB9-M.png


There you go - we're down to two. Unfortunately it does not look like they'll let Owyn gets a respite to freeze one.

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The scratching continues.

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Gorath kills the guy who kept getting a blade past Owyn's guard.

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Yeah - the last guy is following Owyn. So Owyn strikes back.

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Not particularly relevant considering how hard Gorath's follow up was.

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Hmmm... that can't have been the poison archer.

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This guy looks like he belongs in chapter one.

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Ah, here's the guy who poisoned his friend. Owyn gets the Despair Thy Eyes bag.

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Good armor on this one.

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Another passage with a random body.

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Not much on it.

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And another dead end.

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Map Update - this Sewer level feels different from the one above - more dead ends here - a less circular design.

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We find a cliff with a door on the other side.

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Easy for Gorath to pick.

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Hmmm, a chest, a body and some enemies.

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Sounds like we snuck up on them.

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Imaging being stuck with Patrus here. He'd never get a spell off.

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Its kinda nice to have a fighter that one shots most enemies.

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Ouch! Seems like Owyn got poisoned.

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Gorath fails to continue his good work. The split between him and Locky is so obvious. One hits like a truck but misses like 30% of the time. The other almost always hits - but can't quite one shot everyone due to lower Strength.

i-7VjNxRm-M.png


We are getting swarmed, but our armor is so good!

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Poison damage. Yeah... learn new things every day. Think last session I learned that getting hit by a frosted weapon lower's one's defense skill temporarily.

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Gorath got frustrated and beheaded a guy.

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But the rest of ht enemies are still scratching.

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Gorath strikes back... HARD.

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And finishes the other guys. Now Owyn takes and antidote and rests up.

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Unfortunately enemy unfroze before Owyn was fully up.

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No matter, eventually Owyn rests up anyway and then hunts down the last enemy.

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We try to open the chest first.

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It looks hard, but Gorath's skill turned out to be quite adequate.

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Very nice! With these Gorath's Stealth skill is in the 90s. Now we should almost always get to sneak up on enemies.

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The body that was present here before the fight had some more ropes.

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Gold.

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Even more Gold.

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And even more. Plus the Poisoned arrmors.

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I love it when everyone has some cash.

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And that the last of them.

i-jsKT2Zk-M.png


We'll see more next time. Hopefully the point of us being down here will become clear soon.
 

Nutria

Arcane
Patron
Joined
Mar 12, 2017
Messages
2,197
Location
한양
Strap Yourselves In
This chapter is when I go on a naphtha bender and just run around setting everyone on fire.

As for the rings, I don't get it either. Maybe they were supposed to be brighter than the torches or something but it never got implemented?
 

Sergiu64

Arcane
Sad Loser Glory to Ukraine
Joined
Jun 8, 2010
Messages
2,587
Location
Sic semper tyrannis.

I'm Ridin' with Biden I'm Ridin' with Biden
Next Session:

We keep exploring but start struggling finding rooms we have not explored yet. Eventually we find a door.

i-LNqjwBF-M.png


Again... what are Noble's doing down here?

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Not much in the room. Just an unlocked chest.

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Checking the map again... there's really nothing else to explore. What am I supposed to find down here? Damned Pug!

i-3pvnm7z-M.png


We find a door we were unable to open earlier. Our skill isn't quite good enough, but seems close.

i-B5J2jtf-M.png


After working on it for a while, Gorath's skill goes up and the door opens.

i-QrPFMnz-M.png


Maybe we're looking for something in here?

i-sfZ7vSC-M.png


Since both Owyn and Gorath have the elven moccasins - we'll be sneaking up on enemies quite often.

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Owyn freezes guy closest to him.

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And gets shot :(

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Gorath starts his bloody work.

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And Owyn gets shot AGAIN.

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Owyn freezes the first xbowman. And finds out that he's poisoned to boot.

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Gorath switches to the other archer.

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While Owyn breaks out the anti-venom.

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First kill!

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Second one is quick to follow.

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Owyn gets ready to bash some skulls in. Finds out his sneaking improved.

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Then beats first guy to death.

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Does the same to the last guy just as he comes to.

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Owyn got better at beating Grieving people.

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Nice stuff on this one.

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The poison archer.

i-GRKSGmr-M.png
\

Well... the gold is nice.

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This fight was good for our purses.

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We pick the lock on the chest.

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Bah, some reward.

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There's absolutely nothing on this level. Well except for this trapped box near the entrance. Guess we have to try it...

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Whew!!

i-ccPNLCQ-M.png


So... we could have skipped this entire level???

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Definitely seems like what we were looking for. More Info just says that it affects statistics.

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And the sword is quite deadly.

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Quite a bit better compared to Gorath's current weapon.

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Turns out disabling the trap improved Gorath's skill.

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Now... what do we do with the damned idol? We head to top level and start exploring.

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And quickly find some more enemies.

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We're very sneaky now.

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Guy in the back was a spellcaster. Owyn Griefs him.

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I misclick Gorath and he does not attack. Gets scratched instead.

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But fun starts the very next turn.

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And continues...

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But third time is NOT the charm.

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And... misses again :(

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Finally. Gorath hits like a truck, but certainly does not hit as often as Locky.

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While this war happening - Owyn was fending off enemies and got better at it.

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Owyn somehow kills the Griefed caster in one hit for 21 damage. Maybe that guy got almost drowned by the storm?

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Nothing good here.

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What is this? Base level equipment?

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At least Rubies had decent quality.

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These guys must be ones I missed back in Chapter 2. Too easy.

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I keep wondering around and stumble upon someone in the South East quadrant of the Sewers.

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Sounds like she's not a Mocker either. Crawler's mage?

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Same place everyone comes from I would imagine. Well, maybe not the palace.

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Hmmmm? Why would Pug or his students help the Crawler? What is going on here?

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Owyn wishes...

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We enjoy the aroma.

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Well yes... there's the matter of that needle in a haystack.

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We all float down here...

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To be fair - any one that tries to stop us dies.

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What would be the point? If we were in league with the Mockers - we would just kill her.

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Seems like Owyn has been learning social manipulation from James and Locky.

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Ah... so this was the point of all of this. We were supposed to find her first, then go digging on the next level for the statue.

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Think there were hints about the Statue back in chapter 3.

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It's still not clear why she would know anything about Pug or what he's doing.

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Hard to tell how much her word is worth.

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I realize I forgot the damned statue in its original chest. We run to pick it up. Seems like it's lowering every skill by 20%!

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Running back to her - we want to get rid of the damned thing.

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If Owyn had such concerns - why didn't he voice it before going for the statue?

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Oh gosh, REALLY want to get rid of it now.

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Well, turns out this Crawler's Mage is a bit of a saint.

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While this is a curiosity - shouldn't Owyn be focused on figuring out what Book of Macros has with any of this?

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Hmmmm... I suppose that's the first decent lead we've had this entire chapter.

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For a while at least it sounds like.

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Yes, sounds like our next destination is set.

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So we say our goodbyes.

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Sounds like a few elections I remember.

i-9LdBz9S-M.png


We'll go to see Abbot next time.
 

Johannes

Arcane
Joined
Nov 20, 2010
Messages
10,255
Location
casting coach
Hmm, I remember having that statue with me but never finding a use for it. But I guess I didn't miss too much if that's all there is to it, unless it leads to opening a bigger crawler quest line.


But how lucky that the random skank you find in the sewers and bring a deadly artifact to, is actually found to be working against the crawler, after you've brought her what she wants.
 

Arrowgrab

Arbiter
Joined
Jan 20, 2016
Messages
562
FYI, you can use the idol in your inventory during a battle (while you have it), and it will automatically kill an enemy of your choice. Can be repeated as often as you want. Lore-wise, you should die within the month as a result, but that's not programmed into the game.
 

Sergiu64

Arcane
Sad Loser Glory to Ukraine
Joined
Jun 8, 2010
Messages
2,587
Location
Sic semper tyrannis.

I'm Ridin' with Biden I'm Ridin' with Biden
Next session:

Owyn's stats seemed to have recovered from holding the Idol - so perhaps I just needed to restart the game for it to recognize the absence of the idol in the inventory. So we leave Krondor and find a body smack in the middle of the crossroads outside of town.

i-rXCtFph-M.png


It seems to have a special key.

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Oh, Nivek - that's that alcoholic tax collector in town. He helped us find out about Nia's sidequest in chapter 2.

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We go to talk to him back at the Inn.

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Seems like he's back to what he does best - which is NOT taxes.

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Hmmmm, seems like we were supposed to go to him before finding his key. We keep doing things out of expected order in this Chapter.

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That... doesn't help us figure out why his key is on a dead man.

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Owyn seems familiar with how blackout drinking works. There are memories of what happened before the drinking started.

i-zqNvk3W-M.png


Or... perhaps Owyn and I have never gone down as deep as Nivek has.

i-BSWfL6Z-M.png


That's... optimistic.

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Damn, how does this man do his job?

i-Bf6MZNq-M.png


I'd laugh at the suggestion that we would randomly stumble upon his keys - but we actually already have.

i-ZW5gWHw-M.png


That's not true, it looks nothing like any other key on our keychain.

i-4LrTTsQ-M.png


Old friend? When did Owyn have time to befriend Nivek enough to call him old friend???

i-D9Xdssz-M.png


One plus for having Owyn back in the party - the amount of coin we get from playing the lute!

i-jWwpN5c-M.png


Ok, we talk to Nivek again...

i-3wwVZM5-M.png


Hehe, nice one Owyn.

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Maybe you should cut down on the drinking buddy?

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Sounds like a crime of passion...

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Huh, suddenly his memory is coming back. Suspicious...

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That... doesn't seem to help his defense at all.

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Owyn is good at this cop thing.

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He took him out of town to offer him more to drink...? Even if this guy admits it now - it doesn't seem like we can take that admission seriously - the guy's memory is suspect.

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That might be the more realistic scenario. But then why would one of them get murdered and the key be left on his body? To frame Nivek?

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That... sounds valuable. Perhaps it should not be trusted to a guy that gets blackout drunk all the time.

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Hmmmm... I wish I had any idea what Owyn's theory is.

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It's funny, we're being treated as detectives investigating the murder for the city. But do we actually have any such power?

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Ah whatever, we'll head to Eggley and see what's in the office I guess.

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We go to the Palace to give a report to Pug's wife - but it seems she did leave for Stardock.

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Ok, so the main quest would take us to Malac's Cross to the East.

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But I want to get this side quest out of the way. So Eggley to the north.

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As we head north we hit some ambushes.

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But as our Stealth is in the 90s for both characters due to the Mocassins - we just end up training more stealth instead of triggering them.

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All these ambushes get our Stealth into the upper 90s.

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Just past Tanneurs I run headfirst into some visible enemies.

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Unfortunately straight running into them means we don't get to sneak up on them.

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One guy shoots but misses - so Owyn charges him and hits for 13.

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Gorath goes to help out Owyn and hits much harder.

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Gorath gets a scratch. Doesn't seem like these guys are a threat.

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Owyn is doing a fair amount of damage with his stick.

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Doh, Gorath misses.

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But Owyn finishes off the guy that Gorath hit earlier.

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And Gorath puts a second guy down.

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Owyn keeps working on his melee skills.

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And we're down to one.

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More good stuff from Owyn.

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And the fight is done. Easy peasy.

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Oooh, looks like it was good that the shot missed.

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Looks like Chapter 2 gear, we didn't go this way in Chapter 2.

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Oh man, whole lot of poison on these guys. Did we even have access to antidotes in chapter 2?

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And EVEN more poison!

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Anyway - we keep going north and then.

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Hmmmm, looks like some sort of contingency for all the people who got confused by the search in the Sewer or did not stumble upon Kat.

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Yes - I think when I last played the game I never found Kat and ended up going to Sarth based on this little cutscene.

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The game is still allowing us to go north - so I'll just continue on to Eggley since we're close and head to Malac's Cross after.
 

Sergiu64

Arcane
Sad Loser Glory to Ukraine
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I'm Ridin' with Biden I'm Ridin' with Biden
Time to see what's in that Tax Office:

We continue north and after bypassing another ambush - reach Eggley.

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Most of the houses seem deserted, but the south-most house has this guy. Wierdo.

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When we talk to Devon he acts like this is still Chapter 1... poor.

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But he does have a new topic.

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Which does seem to acknowledge that some time has passed.

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Oh, I think we just met him.

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Oh come on Owyn, you know why he says that.

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Yeah... sounds about right.

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... Heading South you mean. Just in case I checked houses on the north side of town afterwards - nothing there.

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In our quest to find the tax office we try the shop. That's a unique looking lock.

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Yup, Nivek's key works on it.

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Stellan - wasn't that the "Stranger" that got killed and and set off the abandonment of Eggley? Looks like he was the local tax collector.

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Seems that all we found after carefully searching the room is a note.

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Hmmmm, this might be useful at some point. But... I don't know if that gives us any answers as to the mystery of why Nivek's key was stolen and why the guy who carried it got murdered. And... why the key was left on his body.

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Due to the strange mentions of graves in this town, I decide to try digging some up.

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This guy's coffin contents were thematic if nothing else.

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We also found this strange one.

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Seems like Owyn found something special about it?

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That... seems like an extremely inefficient way to try to dig 6 feet.

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Its not winter - how hungry would these wolves be?

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Yuck. So I guess this was about that guy that moved into town - strangely we're not allowed to actually dig up the grave.

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We also try this grave.

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And seem to upset its resident.

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It moves into range but doesn't seem to attack. Owyn does.

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Gorath helps out. Looks like shades are fairly resistant to damage. Gorath normally hits a lot harder than 31.

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It shoots some sort of bolt at Owyn and hits for 11.

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Owyn fights back, but his strikes are not nearly as effective.

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Boooo! Really need Gorath to be landing those hits.

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This is why. Another 11 damage to Owyn.

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As he keeps poking it back.

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Gorath hits this time.

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And the shade lowers itself back into the ground.

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Well, this seemed pointless. No more digging up graves for us.

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On the way back South - we manage to trigger one of the ambushes after all.

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2 on five isn't great odds, so Gorath quickly makes them better with a single thrust.

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While a moredhel warrior slips a weak strike past Owyn's guard.

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Gorath continues good work.

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But takes a scratch himself.

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And another, these guys seem to have terrible equipment.

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For the first time - Gorath's thrust is not enough to kill a warrior.

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These guys don't hit hard - but they're accurate!

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I don't know why I didn't finish the hurt guy and instead hit the healthy one.

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Oh well, down to 2.

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The scratching continues.

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Meanwhile Owyn has his first miss in a long time.

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Gorath finds another warrior that can still fight with a hole in his body.

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Meanwhile Owyn is trying to wear down his opponent.

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As Gorath leaves us with a single enemy.

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And then - with 0.

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All this hitting improved Owyn's strength a little bit.

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Did we miss these guys in chapter one? I can't remember if we ever went down south from Eggley.

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This guy is making it look more like chapter 2.

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More trash.

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And more...

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Oh, one had poisoned arrows. Did we even have antidotes back in chapter 2? Could have been dangerous back then.

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We'll head towards Malac's Cross next time.
 

Hekateras

Educated
Joined
Jan 2, 2010
Messages
69
Location
Germany
Nice to see a new BaK LP on here :D

This seems like a good place to drop the silly comics I drew for BaK recently-ish. Is this one relevant yet? XD
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I forget at what point in the story Owyn's aggro starts to really show, but I'm pretty sure it's Chapter IV-onwards.

Bonus:

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Anyone else experience this as they get older? XD I swear I relate so much more to James and Locklear this time around.

On a more serious note, the older I get, the more I appreciate the themes of the story (underneath all the extensive whodunnit) and of Gorath's character in particular. This guy really grew up in a xenophobic culture that glorifies violence and war, saw them gearing up for ANOTHER war a scant decade after the last one (which is like, a week, in elf years), and went "screw it I'm gonna put a stop to this" even though it meant reaching out to the (equally xenophobic and genocidal against his kind) humans, not to mention incurring varying amounts of hostility from his remaining blood relatives (those not lost to the aforementioned war) and his wife. Like, damn.

(This is also why his growing friendship with Owyn is so important. Owyn may be a clueless inexperienced son of a minor aristocrat wiith all the cultural biases humans have, but he's also innocent and too young to have been involved in The Great Uprising as Jimmy and Locky was - and shout-out to Jimmy in particular who at the age of 14/15 exploded a castle onto the moredhel army. We get to see what Gorath is like with someone who's like... just some kid, and the actually touchingly open-minded way they treat each other. It's a strong message about the eventual possibility for peace, despite the fact that this story is situated between already-written books in a way that precludes any political developments that weren't in the books.)

Neal treated the dark elves and their entire shtick with more nuance and exploration of possibilities than Feist (who was almost entirely uninterested in developing them beyond the 'dark elf' caricature counterpart to his equally caricature-like "good" elves) ever did, and that's why BaK shines. Like, on his site Feist references that the moredhel have parallels to Native Americans and the odd book tidbit emphasises their backstory as essentially victims of aggressive human expansion/colonialism if you will. (The BaK novelisation in particular, while generally subpar, has a nice little scene in it where Locky is suspicious of Gorath being familiar with the terrain in a certain part of the Kingdom, only for Gorath to tersely reveal that he lived here as a child.) It begs the question of how the oh-so-goody-two-shoes eledhel would get on with humans if they didn't have a magically intruder-repellent forest to stay safe in, and if they weren't inexplicably content with having their territory reduced to just this one forest. But despite this, the "fundamentally evil" and "fundamentally good" nature of the moredhel and eledhel is never examined further in the books (at least as far as I could bear to read, his more recent writing lost me). In hindsight, that was a disappointment. I got into the books as a kid after BaK hooked me, but I just never found the same type of writing there again (save perhaps for Honored Enemy, which is another collab work of Feist's).
 
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infidel

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Strap Yourselves In
We get to see what Gorath is like with someone who's like... just some kid, and the actually touchingly open-minded way they treat each other. It's a strong message about the eventual possibility for peace, despite the fact that this story is situated between already-written books in a way that precludes any political developments that weren't in the books.
To be fair, noone in the game is all that xenophobic either except maybe Arutha, when literally asked to trust the enemy. It's not even in the dialogue with a couple of exceptions. Nobody starts the scene with "get this fucking elf out of my house", there's no mention of it in any standard text. I think this is more of a consequence of writing escapist fantasy and convenience rather than a conscious choice not to get into the heavier stuff on part of the author. Let's also not forget that quite possibly young Owyn personally slits the throat of every enemy that they encounter in the hundreds of encounters during the course of the game right before looting their corpses for supplies.
 

Hekateras

Educated
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Messages
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To be fair, noone in the game is all that xenophobic either except maybe Arutha, when literally asked to trust the enemy. It's not even in the dialogue with a couple of exceptions. Nobody starts the scene with "get this fucking elf out of my house", there's no mention of it in any standard text. I think this is more of a consequence of writing escapist fantasy and convenience rather than a conscious choice not to get into the heavier stuff on part of the author. Let's also not forget that quite possibly young Owyn personally slits the throat of every enemy that they encounter in the hundreds of encounters during the course of the game right before looting their corpses for supplies.
1) Oh man, the me from ten years ago would have been in much better shape to discuss the fine details over this but IIRC a big part was that Gorath is assumed to be an elf, not a dark elf, by the average NPC you meet (since in this setting "light" and "dark" elves don't look obviously different). That said, of course my reading of this is very strongly informed by the books, I won't argue with that, and I no longer remember how strong the overlap in those details between book and game is. You're also very right about the escapism part and not getting into heavier stuff - in particular Feist, I think, is reluctant to write his characters with such negative biases despite having worldbuilding where those biases would 100% exist. So there's a kind of odd dissonance - for instance, the books have a scene where Martin (Arutha's half-brother) gleefully leads a Tsurani patrol pursuing them into some migrating moredhel (including civilians/women and children) as a distraction and the narrative doesn't present this as anything for him to have second thoughts about. Tl;dr, "xenophobia is a Bad People trait and my characters are good people so they can't do bad things" is where I believe Feist's moral complexity for his characters begins and ends.

2) I wasn't trying to say that Owyn is a pacifist (indeed, every enemy he's bludgeoned to death with his staff by the end begs to differ), just that he's not a Great Uprising war vet the way Jimmy, Locky, Arutha etc. are. It's easier to forge friendships and alliances with someone who may be on the opposing side, but is at least not personally responsible for slaughtering many of your countrymen (or at least, not until you dragged him into that whole mess).
 
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Sergiu64

Arcane
Sad Loser Glory to Ukraine
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I'm Ridin' with Biden I'm Ridin' with Biden
Well... this is quite the awesome lore dump and theme analysis. Thank you Hekateras!

It's funny that this debate of are they xenophobic or not arose now - as my next session does have another example of xenophobia:

But before we get to that - we run into another ambush on the way back south.

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It's a lot of them. Owyn is forced to charge an archer that fortunately missed us.

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Gorath starts the bloody work.

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Hmmmm, this guy seems to have very good armor.

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But that just means it takes Gorath two hits to put him down.

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Gorath takes a scratch.

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And takes immediate revenge.

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Gorath is a damned machine at this point. Hits like a truck - and is getting accurate enough to hit most of the time.

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Owyn has been defending the entire time, so Gorath's help is a relief.

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So much so that Owyn even starts poking the last guy.

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Before Gorath does the inevitable.

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Gorath even got better at defense after all this.

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Restoratives are always nice.

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Chapter 2 encounter again?

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Wow, that guy DID have good armor. Might not have been a chapter 2 encounter - this armor would have been OP back then. We didn't see it on enemies until end boss of Chapter 3.

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Strange that everyone else is armed with crap.

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Hmmm, two poisoned crossbowmen. This could have been trouble.

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After that encounter we're free to continue south and go east from that crossroads near Krondor.

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Just as we pass the village of Darkmoor we seem to encounter someone.

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Hmmm, this lady used to hang out at that tavern in Malac's Cross didn't she?

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Seems like Owyn is not nearly as secretive as he was in Chapter 1. Just plain admitting where we're going now.

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Well, there you have it - there is discrimination against the elves. And... its funny - we just got sent to see the Abbott and suddenly he's involved with some sort of monsters - in a very public manner.

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Attacking a whole town seems like a big task. How many of these monsters are there???

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Snakemen? That's a first. And - the lady is a bit quick to surrender the Abbot to these monsters.

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Right... Owyn is apparently a follower of I don't negotiate with terrorists doctrine.

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Hah, how romantic - this game is from a time when games were honest about what Fetch Quests were.

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Some quite a bit more important...

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Houses don't exactly have their owner's names in front of them, so I guess we'll have to search every house if and when we get this cask.

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Owyn is such a nice kid...

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Sounds like Petrumh knows she's played on his heart's strings well enough.

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I do wonder how she managed to get out of Malac's Cross.

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We get closer to town and do indeed see some sort of new enemy.

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He seems to have a lot of time to shout - I can't imagine a scenario where I'd be charging some sort of abominations while yelling that I don't feel I'm going to enjoy the experience I'm about to have.

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But sneaking up on them helps Owyn immediately Grief one.

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While Gorath approached the second - but that second then took off halfway across the map. Gorath would not be able to keep up - so Owyn had to freeze the second one as well.

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Gorath hits the snake man for 117 damage but it's left standing!

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Second hit does 123 - in blue. Not sure what that's about but the snake man dies.

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Gorath then studies the second one while Owyn is resting up. They have a lot of Hp and Casting Accuracy. And... a Pantathian? That's quite the tongue twister.

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After Owyn rests up - he beats the said Pantathian to death.

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This improves his ability to hit Grieving targets.

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While Gorath's muscles are starting to strain against his armor.

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Nice! Antidotes are always good.

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Seems like these Pantathians are well paid.

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A few steps later we see more of them ahead.

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We manage to sneak up on them again.

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Same deal as before with Owyn's action.

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While Gorath manages to one shot the middle Pantathian.

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The third one casts that fireflies spell.

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Yes... It does 99! damage to Gorath.

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Owyn immediately freezes the bastard. Looks like Gorath was down to 13!

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After they both rest up a little bit - Gorath kills the guy that did so much damage to him.

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And while Gorath is resting more - Owyn tries to finish off the last Pantathian - but the snake man manages to limp away at the last second.

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Seems like there are even more up ahead, sigh...

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Gorath has been trying to go through his stockpile, but now we get more.

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Of this kind too.

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We'll face the 3rd set of Snake Men in the next session. Unfortunately (well - fortunately for me) I've got a Greek vacation coming up. Won't be back in town until the 8th so expect an even longer pause before the next session.
 

infidel

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Developer
Joined
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Messages
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Strap Yourselves In
1) Oh man, the me from ten years ago would have been in much better shape to discuss the fine details over this but IIRC a big part was that Gorath is assumed to be an elf, not a dark elf, by the average NPC you meet (since in this setting "light" and "dark" elves don't look obviously different).
That's true, that is the initial plan from the first cutscene: "We'll stick to Gorath is an elf". I guess it solves a lot of problems narratively.

2) I wasn't trying to say that Owyn is a pacifist (indeed, every enemy he's bludgeoned to death with his staff by the end begs to differ), just that he's not a Great Uprising war vet the way Jimmy, Locky, Arutha etc. are. It's easier to forge friendships and alliances with someone who may be on the opposing side, but is at least not personally responsible for slaughtering many of your countrymen (or at least, not until you dragged him into that whole mess).
I vaguely recall that in the novelization Feist just dramatically slashes the amount of combat focusing on the plot as is the norm for books. Actually I don't even remember if book Owyn kills anyone with the staff since he is a magician and all. So it's just your usual case of ludonarrative dissonance that only a small minority of people cares about.
 

Hekateras

Educated
Joined
Jan 2, 2010
Messages
69
Location
Germany
"Ludonarrative dissonance" is such a fun word.

Also, nice update.

Regarding Gorath's bulging muscles - if I recall, there was a spot slightly later in the game where it's possible to accidentally get his strength so high that you hit stack overflow and get it down to nothing again. I forget the specifics, though. Just be careful around stat-boosting objects XD

The Pantathians/snake people are something that probably won't mean much to people who haven't read the books, but for context, (book spoilers) they are a race of Valheru-worshipping cultists trying to bring back one of the ancient Big Bads of this world - specifically, the Valheru who created them. A Darkness At Sethanon eventually reveals that they were ultimately behind The Great Uprising, i.e. manipulating the moredhel north of the wall into mounting a bloody, ultimately fruitless attack against the Kingdom and generally playing them for schmucks.

(This next one is a game spoiler)

We find out that the plot of Betrayal eventually involves another such gambit and attempt at Valheru revival. I forget if the snakemen are ever revealed to play a more specific role in the game - probably? But their presence here is a metatextual clue to the book-savvy fan that something is amiss, and brings to mind that the moredhel are once again being manipulated by some scheming third party
 
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Nutria

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Mar 12, 2017
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Strap Yourselves In
Thanks. I got the the impression it was something like that. I never read the books but I figured something like that was happening. Because it doesn't make a lot of sense if you didn't read the books.

The Pantathians are like, they just straight up tell you in the game, "we're not explaining who they are".
 

abnaxus

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Weren't the "good" elves descendants from the Valheru's sex slaves (they even had a "Power word: go into heat!"), while the "bad" elves were the descendants of the worker slaves.

That's what I seem to recall from those Asshen-Sukar flashbacks in first two novels.
 
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