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In Progress LP Big World BGT

Archwizard Hank

Learned
Joined
Mar 8, 2017
Messages
94
Over a year ago, I started this thread on what could best be described as a whim. Big World had personally wronged me, and worse than that, it had wronged my friend. He and I went through hell and back decoding the 300 page documentation for the Big World Setup installer, and when that failed us, we had to become amateur Infinity Engine coders and manually fix the damn thing because it literally didn’t work anymore.

Today, I stand before you a changed man. The real-world events alluded to in the esoteric narratives that open these update posts - the Megalopolis of RAM, the orgiastic cults, the Word of Law - I realize now more than ever that these things are distractions. I always knew, of course, but a greater threat to the update schedule has emerged - a far more sinister threat - that of the universe’s omnipresent selective cosmic malevolence.

Never in my life have I encountered so many technical problems in so short and compressed a span of time. Large problems, too. Device-ruining problems. Since I started this thread, my computer has been completely replaced with a nigh-identical model, had its GPU replaced because the old one suddenly started artifacting, and had its copy of Windows completely reinstalled twice, once during the migration to the new machine because I wanted to move out of the 500GB drive I was using for C:\, and again when GNU Grub manifested in place of the MBR for seemingly no reason at all, and forced me to buy a completely identical 1TB HDD and start over because Grub made the drive utterly unusable as anything other than a backup of my system configuration accessible through an exterior drive cradle.

So y’know what? Fuck the universe. Every goddamn time someone starts an LP, this kind of shit seems to come out of the woodworks. So I’m taking a stand. We’re starting a revolution against spacetime itself, right here and now. It’s all becoming clear to me. I’m not going crazy, I’m going sane in a crazy world! Well the insanity-buck stops here, we’re going to raze the fabric of the cosmos like a cheese grater shreds so much delicious cheese, and when we’re done, things are going to be so fragging sane, our eleven-dimensional hypergrandchildren will look back on this insanity and laugh.

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Let’s fucking do this.

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You might recognize Wendell here as the finale of last update.

Dialogue said:
OVANUSQ.png
: Hey wait a minute what did I do?
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: You lowly city fools! Its bad enough your ilk pollutes the grand forests, a good reason to have you killed, but you killed one of our kin, Miranda, who happens to be my consort.
OVANUSQ.png
: She attacked us first for no reason. If anyone should be taking this personally its us!
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: Well my little fool I could use the old cliche that it’s nothing “personal”. On the contrary it’s very personal and you will suffer greatly for this outrage. May the Great Mother bless us for eradicating Her enemies.
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: I dread to imagine the hypothetical person whose only exposure to environmentalism was Big World.

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To put it bluntly, Wendell is a chump.

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Don’t get me wrong, he has a few tricks up his sleeve, but

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There’s not much thought that goes into this. He’s down in less than a minute.
Wendell and his generic pals drop several items, chief among them being

Stormcloud ‘Kraken’s Bane’ said:
Screen_Shot_2021-11-09_at_7.52.26_PM.png
: This leather was fashioned from the charred remnants of a dragon struck down by lightning. Last known to be worn by Shrethu Reogther the warlock. One must hope that he is dead, for if it were removed from him while he was still alive he is sure to come looking for it.

STATISTICS:

Armor Class: 0
Saving Throws: +3 bonus
Special: Resist Electricity
Speed Factor Penalty: +1
Physical Resistance Bonus: +5%
Arcane Casting Time Penalty: +2
Stealth Penalty: -20%
Weight: 4
Only usable by:
Druid

as well as

Staff Of Nature ‘Natures Protector’ said:
Screen_Shot_2021-11-09_at_8.03.27_PM.png
: This staff has been used by a tribe of Druids for many centuries now. Passed down from leader to leader on the tribe of archdruids in the land of Kazgard. It is said that this staff was forged by nature itself and it glows green to show this staff truly is off natures power. This staff is very powerful and the passed owners of this staff were very powerful people indeed.

STATISTICS:
THACO: +3 bonus
Damage: 2D3 +3
+15 max hit points
Lore:+20 bonus
Weight: 2
Speed Factor: 4
Damage type: Bludgeon
Proficiency Type: Blunt Weapons
Type: 1-handed
Usable By:
Druid Only

I think I’ve said as much before, but Big World really spoils druids with its equips, at least in the early game.

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Savor this taste of progress while it lasts, because it won’t last long.

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HOW ABOUT NO

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The Baldur’s Gate Farms are just about the same as they were before.

Dialogue said:
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: I’m sorry but we’ve no fish today. Perhaps in... less troubling times.
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: Wait Jebadoh, maybe they’ve the answer to the problem. They look pretty trustworthy.
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: Oh yeah, the problem. Sorry for my manner but we’re... we’re a poor folk not accustomed to trouble, and it’s hard times now. We can’t but get a boat into the water before she’s swamped by the rains.
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: It’s that bitch of Umberlee! She’s the one!
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: Steady Telman. What he means is; we’re being harassed by a priest of the Bitch Queen Umberlee. We don’t even know why, but whenever we attempt to fish she turns the weather sour. Two of us were washed away just walking to the docks, but we cannot prove to the guard it was her. We be needin’ someone to strong arm her into leaving us alone. We’ve not much money, but I’ll gladly give you a... magical weapon from my grandfather’s adventuring days. It’s a meager amount for your trouble, but it would be a great service to us. Will you help a group of poor fishermen?
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: I’m mainly including this quest because the gulf of time between recording and update writing means there’s a dense haze in my memory whenever the mod content amounts to “the BG1 NPC project inserts a few lines in the middle somewhere,” but I’m also including it because I only recently found out I’ve been approaching it wrong this whole time and did it wrong for this very recording. Additionally, if there’s no NPC dialogue, it gives me an excuse to talk about how you can judge mod text by what the modder chooses *not* to write banter for.
OVANUSQ.png
: Your offer is fair. Consider it done.
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: Ahh, I knew we could depend on you to do what’s right. She hides out near a small shack to the north. Watch yer backs and act quickly; she’s tricky. Good luck brave friends.

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Poor Brun here was driven into his house by Ankhegs. Usually he’s outside.

Dialogue said:
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: Indeed, we can spare a few hours to help thee, good farmer. Is it not so, Archwizard Hank?
OVANUSQ.png
: You need look no further for aid. What can I do?
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: Oh by the Great Mother, thank you! My son Nathan and his friends went looking for our missing cattle, then they just up and disappeared! Been gone for days now and, with all the bandits around, who knows what’s happened. I don’t know where they were heading, but I saw some sort o’tracks to the west. Please find Nathan; I can’t afford to keep the farm without my son.
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: Hmm. My farm is openly infested with giant acid-spitting beetles. Now what could’ve happened to my son?
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: Thou had’st done well in accepting this task, Archwizard Hank.

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Dialogue said:
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: Wait, I can see that you’ve already done this job! Take these 75 Gold Pounds, and thank you for your help!

I should warn you now that the vastly expanded non-linearity of Chapter Six is going to warrant a great deal of aimless wandering about. This is more or less the only chapter where it makes any sort of logical sense to visit places like Durlag’s Tower or the Werewolf Island, so a tremendous bulk of the first game’s content is going to take place here. Many quests will be set in motion and won’t see their payoffs until multiple updates in the future, or so I’ve estimated.

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But we’ll still be, y’know, going to Baldur’s Gate before the heat death of the universe. In fact, we’ll be exploring the vast majority of it before Chapter Six is over. But we have a bridge to cross first.

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Dialogue said:
OVANUSQ.png
: We’re mercenaries.
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: Mercenaries, huh. Well I don’t know what you’re doing about these parts, but you’d better not have had any part in polluting this area. Someone’s really messed up nature’s beauty, and eventually there’s going to be hell to pay!

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I don’t know why it’s so difficult for modders to find fantasy portraits that fit BG2’s preferred size specifications and don’t look like utter trash. Mine is literally just a Lord of the Rings screencap for god’s sake, I found it on DuckDuckGo, it took me five minutes in GIMP to port it to the game.

Dialogue said:
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: Probably not much of a challenge either. I was so hoping to put my fighting skills to the test.
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: Perhaps have your guards dispatch them? Even they could handle this riff raff.
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: I suppose I could do that, but I would have to give them the reward money.
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: As if you need more coin my dear. Being of royalty has its privileges like wealth and allowing others to get their hands dirty instead of you.
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: Yes because we are bad people and we are rich and we have bad people to pay to do the bad things for us. Holy hell, did Neil Breen write this?
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: Quite right about that my love. Men, kill this person of evil and take their head, you will need it as proof for the reward.

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This fight isn’t difficult, but it isn’t easy either. Going to start by marking Jhaeros here in case the modder was clever and actually programmed him to flee.

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Spoilers, he doesn’t, at least not in any meaningful capacity, though only now after starting to write the update do I realize it might have been a good idea to invest in Hold Person spells for occasions like this.

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Honestly, at this point I’m just showing off.

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Dialogue said:
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: Nay, missus Dynaheir. Though I lived in Sembia for a time, aye. Been smithing there, that’s so.
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: Minsc and I, we passed through Sembia, but I saw little of the country, as we were making haste.
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: What? Why the fuck would you be “making haste?” What the hell is she getting at here?
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: What was ye hurry?
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: ’Tis of no import, Yeslick. But I ever seek to learn more. Mayhap thou canst tell me of Sembia?
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: Missus, I told ye, I was smithing. I do not mingle in politics and such other things that interest ye nosy sort.
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: But surely thou noticed the custom of the land?
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: The custom was as such - I did the work, they paid coin.
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: Hast thou ever looked away from thy forge, dwarf?
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: Wait, no, wait a goddamn minute.
Forgotten Realms Wikia said:
A person from Sembia was known as a "Sembite" or a "Semmite".
QlquGX7.png
: No. I refuse!
Some guy on Reddit said:
There is very much a historical association between Dwarves and Jews that Tolkien was well aware of. But this doesn't mean that his writings were antisemitic. In fact, Tolkien simultaneously dismantled the Dwarf as an antisemitic stereotype, creating a new archetype of the Dwarf that was a combination of the old Norse characteristics with the things he appreciated about Jewish culture. [...] Nowadays the historical association between Dwarves and Jews is hardly as relevant and I doubt most people even realize it. We have Tolkien to thank for that. He knew that Dwarves should be treated in fiction like the brave and industrious badasses they have always been and were originally meant to be - not as anti Semitic tropes.
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: Dynaheir, you bitch! You’re going to undo nearly a century of Dwarven badassery in a single exchange just because you’re trying to be “based!” This is absolutely disgusting, how DARE you!
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: Dynaheir, fer me all lands are the same, except mine ancestor’s hold, and ’tis lost under water.

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Anyway, the portrait assassins drop the usual assortment of expensive magical shit. The Elven Chain +3 up there is accompanied by two totally redundant +1 variants which are basically just free money. The real prizes, however, are

Cutlass +2 ‘Scorcher’ said:
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: Wrinkled and red this cutlass is cold to the touch, the runic carvings only say ‘Scorcher’. Its appearance has caused many an adventurer to mistaken it as worn out, old, or useless. Those more inquisitive adventurers who carried it along just to be sure were always pleasantly surprised. You see scorcher does not get hot until swung, but once it is in motion heading for a target its name becomes clearly correct.

STATISTICS:

THACO: +2 bonus
Damage: 1D6 +2
Special: 1D3 Fire Damage
Damage type: piercing
Weight: 3
Speed Factor: 3
Proficiency Type: Short Sword
Type: 1-handed
Not Usable By:
Bard
Cleric
Druid
Mage
Thief

and

Light Crossbow +3 ‘Firetooth’ said:
Screen_Shot_2021-11-09_at_8.06.09_PM.png
:The magical bowstring of Gond makes even the Firetooth Crossbow's enchanted missiles more accurate and more powerful. Firetooth will only fire these enchanted missiles, so there is no need for ammunition.

STATISTICS:

THAC0: +4 bonus
Damage: 1D6 +3
+2 Fire damage
Weight: 5
Speed Factor: 1
Proficiency Type: Crossbow
Type: 2-handed
Not Usable By:
Druid
Cleric
Mage

Post script: When I originally wrote this update in, uh... Whenever the fuck, I made the foolish mistake of transcribing this item's description from the footage instead of going straight into Shadowkeeper to get it. I was thus lead to believe it was a straight up copy and paste of the vanilla Firetooth Crossbow +4, which fires an unlimited supply of +2 bolts. So I chose to skip over transcribing the statistics and leave it at "it’s the fucking firetooth crossbow, I mean really, holy shit"
I chose poorly.


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Dialogue said:
OVANUSQ.png
: The mystical land of frolicking naked nymphs, where your every desire is granted by bald blubbering bugbears. Hee! Hee!
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: I don’t like your sarcasm. If you won’t co-operate, then I’ll just bring you to talk with my commander.
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: First off let me introduce myself. I’m Scar, second in command of the Flaming Fist. Though it is not necessary for you to reveal your names, please answer me this: are you the group that was involved in the fiasco at the Nashkel mines?
OVANUSQ.png
: Yes, that was us.
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: Well I’ll have to say, you’ve made quite the commotion up here in Baldur’s Gate. I can’t really put my finger on a single source, but there have been many strange happenings going on within the city. It’s been getting harder and harder for me to put trust in someone. I need outsiders to do some investigations, people with no connections to anyone within the city; would you be interested in working for me in such a capacity?
OVANUSQ.png
: Yes, please speak.
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: All right then; what I’m about to tell you must be held in the strictest confidence, do you understand? I need you to begin an investigation of the Seven Suns trading coster. The Seven Suns leadership has been acting strangely of late. They’ve been selling off valuable assets and neglecting many of their more profitable trading ventures. Considering the importance that the trading coster holds over the economy of the city, the Grand Dukes are noticeable upset. I’ve gone to talk to the coster’s head, Jhasso. He rudely rebuffed me, telling me to mind my own business. I’ve known Jhasso for many years, and this isn’t his usual behavior. I can’t start up an official investigation, as there is no real reason for doing so, so that’s why I need you.
OVANUSQ.png
: We’re ready to go for it, but there’s something you need to know first: we think that the Iron Throne may be behind recent events along the coast. At the mines in Nashkel and in Cloakwood we’ve learned much about the goals and methods of the Iron Throne, and it doesn’t bode well for the future of this region.
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: Well, that sheds new light on things. There’s nothing I can really do about it now, but I’ll make sure to look into it. I want you to break into the Seven Suns compound and find out what’s wrong. Use stealth in your investigations; I don’t want this operation to cause too much fuss. The most important person to watch for is Jhasso. Once you’ve found out as much as possible, report back to me at the Flaming Fist compound. I’ll pay you 2,000 gold for this favor. The estate is located on the south-west side of town. I wish all of you the best of luck. Remember, once you’re done at the Seven Sun’s estate, it’s imperative that you meet me at the Flaming Fist barracks, which are just west of the Seven Suns..

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It’s taken over a year and fourteen-ish updates, but we’ve finally made it.

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Dialogue said:
OVANUSQ.png
: It is good to see you again. What brings you here?
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: Oh, all citizens of the Sword Coast eventually pass through Baldur’s Gate, and I knew thou wouldst as well. Forgive my continued meddling but I believe it is warranted, especially considering the pressures thou art no doubt confronting. My pestering of thee certainly pales in comparison to the influence thou’ve felt from others, including thine own self. Gorion raised thee as best he could, but ’tis hard indeed to overcome what is bred in the bone. Much more so in this case, I would imagine.
OVANUSQ.png
: What do you know of Gorion?
gJndZZH.png
: He was long my friend and we talked often, though less after he settled down with thee. He was quite the traveler in his day, though he never regretted his new role as foster father. He felt a stable childhood would better prepare thee for... well... the problems that would eventually come. He cared deeply for thee. I hope this was not lost on you.
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: He was a good man, though I would prefer to walk my own path.
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: He was also terminally incapable of machine-gunning lightning bolts, but Mystra bless him, he tried.
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: I was not suggesting that thou should do otherwise. Whatever the motives, independence is always a wise course to follow. My worry is that thy lineage is harder to escape than most. Thou’ve hungry blood within thee as well, and it will not let thee go without a fight. For better or worse, what’s bred in the bone will be dealt with in time. I trust thou’ve the will to face what is within thee?
OVANUSQ.png
: I know little of what is to come, but I will do what is best.
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: Whenever I go back and write these updates, I often wonder why I choose the obviously good options when the evil or sarcastic options seem more fitting. I guess it’s just a reflex. Also while I'm here, I'd like to bring up something only mildly related. Remember how I was bashing Keirarara Silverstring’s bio because the big backstory behind her bard class is that she was part of the goddamn Harpers? According to a harpist I know, a harper is a male harp player. The more you know?
gJndZZH.png
: I am sure the future will be kind to thee. For now I will give thee my best wishes, and a few names that will serve thee well. Scar of the Flaming Fist is a good man, and well worth trusting. His superior, Duke Eltan, is also a good sort. Both are to be believed when they speak. I take my leave, and wish thee well.
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: Wait a moment, good man, Boo is saying something... What is it, Boo? Oh, I see... Aren’t you the fellow that sold Boo to Minsc?
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: Indeed, I dabbled with pet trading from time to time. May I see him?
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: Keep this specific line in the back of your heads.
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: Come, Boo, say hello to the nice old wizard!
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: Let me have a look at the little rascal...
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: *Squeak*
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: My furry friend, what have thou been occupied with?
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: *Squeak*
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: His excessive consumption of mushrooms have addled his brain and yellowed his teeth.
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: Indeed? ’Tis quite intriguing!
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: *Squeak*
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: Of course I shall give thy regards to Mystra.
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: *Squeak*
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: Yes, and that thou art sorry about the incident with the slippers.
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: Wait a moment! So Boo really is a...?
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: I never said that, did I...? Now run along, young one, thine adventure awaits!

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Dialogue said:
OVANUSQ.png
: That’s alright. Tell us what is bothering you so much.
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: I know that you probably have no interest in this, but where else can my wife and I seek help? I was traveling with my wife to Elthurel, when our caravan was attacked by a horde of orcs. We fled in panic with all the others. Unfortunately, our children - Falton and Vanessa, were traveling with us. It’s a shame for us, but in the confusion of the attack we lost track of our children... We came back as soon as possible, but we have found no sign of the caravan or our children! One of the wounded guards, whom we found nearby, told us that as the orcs were carrying off the prisoners they had been talking about Fealn Daloon... That is an ancient name of a land located north of here: Fields of the Dead. We don’t know how to get there, let alone how to defeat the orcs and get our children back.
QlquGX7.png
: Contrary to what you might think, this quest is part of Northern Tales of the Sword Coast. There is a mod titled "Fields of the Dead," but its central location is called "Battle of Bones," and any assumption that the mod named Fields of the Dead would have been anywhere adjacent to this quest is an assumption based in madness. A logical assumption, sure, but a logic of madness.
OVANUSQ.png
: We have never been north of Baldur’s Gate but your story has caught our attention. We’ll take care of it as soon as we can.
zmE3WBs.png
: Thank you... I think that you should go to Ulgoth’s Beard. Maybe there you’ll find someone who knows how to get to the Fields of the Dead. These are very dangerous and rather rarely visited areas. Good luck. I’ll be waiting for you here.

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Baldur’s Gate is notable in that it has a lot of modded merchants. In fact, the density of merchants would be more than enough to put it on equal footing with Athkatla, the goddamn city of merchants, were it not for the fact that Big World’s idea of Athkatla is *fundamentalist* in its interpretation of “the city of coin.” It’s almost literally impossible to walk more than two feet there without bumping into someone willing to sell you something that can flatten the game’s face on the pavement, steal its lunch money and humiliate it in front of its parents and loved ones. But we’ll burn that bridge when we come to it.

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Both of the preorder CD merchants are in this city, contrary to all common reason, though what’s perhaps even more contrary to any sort of logic or sense is that they’re in Athkatla too, and the clones use different .CRE files, so if you don’t get the chance to buy something from them here, you can’t buy it from them later. Keep this in mind.

Joluv’s dialogue is identical, except instead of saying Athkatla is the richest city in all of Faerun, he subs it out for Baldur’s Gate even though this makes less sense.

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As usual, he deals mostly in weaponry. We’ll probably be buying all of it, though it isn’t a high priority since most of his stuff isn’t exactly any better or worse than what we already have. A lot of the items on both CD merchants have new icons, and some are brand new, though most of the new items are reserved for the clones in BG2. Any descriptions for new items will be noted where applicable.

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Halbazzer here has quite a few mod items, though they aren’t exactly spectacular. The highlights are mid-tier quickslot items that look like they’d be useful in a pinch and a Bag of Plenty +1.

I bought the quickslot items since they’re cheap. They include

Red Wizard Spell Book said:
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: Book of Flames
Once in the hands of a Red Wizard archmage this book was stolen by a run away slave and smuggled out of Thay into the safety of the Dalelands. The book is bound in human skin the result of countless slave experiments. As a result it has an aura only evil characters can use.

STATISTICS:

Special: When opened an arc of flame reaches out for the target
Damage: 2D3
Range: 0
Duration: Instantaneous
Casting Time: 1
Area of Effect: The Caster
Saving Throw: None

Only Usable By:
Mage

Blur Deck said:
Screen_Shot_2021-11-09_at_8.13.00_PM.png
: The secret procedure for manufacturing these cards was only recently recovered by the sorceress Haelia. Blur Decks are thin ivory cards that are typically kept in a strong metal case. When the owner of the cards wishes to use them, he or she simply needs to shuffle the cards and throw one up in the air. These cards used to be employed by the warrior minions of Porg the Stout. Porg’s reliance on the cards proved to be his downfall when a group of adventurers, using his cards, killed him in his tower in 833 DR.

STATISTICS:

Cast Blur upon the user (12 cards)

Not Usable By:
Wizard Slayer

and

Harmonica ‘Tarmaniels Warmth’ said:
Screen_Shot_2021-11-09_at_8.13.58_PM.png
: This Mouth Organ was created by Tarmaniel a human bard well known throughout the land of Sembia. Tarmaniel was keen to travel and liked to share information amongst fellow bards. When played the Harmonica gives off a sound like no other which warms the hearts of its listeners. Unfortunately he also had a love for gambling and lost the Harmonica in a card game somewhere in Baldur’s Gate.

STATISTICS:

Special: Charisma +1 bonus
Party gains a +1 bonus to AC
Duration: 3 rounds
Range: 20
Weight: 1
Only Usable by:
Bard

There are a couple other Bard quickslot items but I’m saving them for a rainy day when I really don’t have anything else to cover. Additionally, on top of a selection of generic +1 weaponry, Halbazzer has some minor uniques. Nothing to write home about, but here are the ones I bought since I’m a terminal completionist.

Essembra Hammer +2 said:
Screen_Shot_2021-11-09_at_8.14.42_PM.png
: The Essembra Hammer is named for its place of invention in the Dalelands. This polearm consists of a hammerhead with a spike at its rear, mounted on a long pole reaching practically ten feet in length. A long spear-like top-spike allows the wielder to keep enemies at bay and switch tactics to a deadly thrust attack. It is one of the heavier pole weapons and is rather slow. The entire weapon is made of steel, including the pole, and is decorated with carvings and precious metal gilding. This particular Essembra hammer bears a potent enchantment that can strike an enemy down or cause him to flee in abject horror.

STATISTICS:

Combat abilities:
- 5% chance to knock unconscious
- 10% chance to cause Horror

THAC0: +2
Damage: 1d8+2 (crushing/piercing)
Speed Factor: 5
Proficiency Type: War Hammer
Type: Two-handed
Requires: 9 Strength
Weight: 8

Not Usable By:
Druid
Mage
Thief

The Magister’s Robe said:
Screen_Shot_2021-11-09_at_8.15.33_PM.png
: Worn by one of the Magister’s of Mystra this robe was lost throughout the ages. How it was found is unknown. Many have speculated that Mystra Herself is the one who found it and made possible for another to done it once again.

STATISTICS:

Armor Class: +2 Bonus
Bonus Spells: 2 level 2 spells and 2 level 3 spells
Magic Resistance: 30%
Saving Throw: +3 bonus
Weight: 6
Only usable by:
Mage (single, dual, & multi-class)

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The real prizes are in here.

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You can tell it’s important because the game vomits a prerendered cutscene all over your face. This may or may not be restored/new content, as it’s pretty damn janky compared to the rest of the game’s cutscenes. I’ll post a video when I get the chance.

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God damnit. I don’t want to have to transcribe Brevlik, but I have to, right? Fucking Dynaheir says *one line* at the very end. You’d believe me if I just gave you a screencap of her interjection, wouldn’t you? You all know what motherfucking *Brevlik* says.

...No, no, I’ve gotta do it. I can’t set that precedent for myself.

Dialogue said:
TaCjC7I.png
: Ah yes, well, um... you... you ah... oh how do I approach this? You are... ah... for hire? I mean... ah... I need ah... job done. Get my intent? A... JOB done. Strictly hush hush, I believe you would say.
OVANUSQ.png
: Speak your mind, sir, so I might know your meaning.
TaCjC7I.png
: I should like to procure your talents for a... ah... unique service, though it’s not like you would have to do anything socially untoward. Well... perhaps a bit, though not so much untoward as... ah... illegal.
OVANUSQ.png
: What’s the score, my little friend?
TaCjC7I.png
: That’s the spirit! A little larceny never hurt anyone! Well... it won’t hurt ME anyway. And to be fair, I would prefer if no one else suffered any injury during this exploit. I mean, I want you to steal something, but I want you to do it in as nice a way as possible. It’s roguery on par with Danilo Thann of Waterdeep, and I’ll pay you well. 500 gold for one night’s work. It’s better than you could hope for in a year on the docks!
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: He just says SO MUCH
OVANUSQ.png
: You can stop trying to sell me, I’m interested. Just tell me what the actual job is, and why you are willing to take such a risk.
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: Oh, it’s a marvelous trinket! A wonderously curious little toy from distant Lantan. What did they call it... OH yes... a ‘telescope’, of all things. It’s a misleading name for such an interestingly crafted artifact. ‘Golden Extra-Farseer’ would have suited its craftsmanship so much better. There is not another like it this side of the Trackless Sea! The others I know of are as big as elephants, and you couldn’t steal one without an elephant to haul it. Most gnomes have a fixation of sorts, but I don’t share the love of gems that possesses my kin. I prefer the feel of metal, and the intricacies of the mechanical. Not that I necessarily understand the function, but it’s not right for such an item to be locked away regardless! It was meant to be used and to be held by loving hands, and if those hands just happen to be mine, more the better. The tele-thingy is on display at the Hall of Wonders, and were it in the possession of anyone else it might be purchasable. No doubt you know that the Hall of Wonders is an extension of the High House, the temple to Gond. Being the god of artifice and invention his followers take to revering mechanical devices, and will not part with an original at any price. It’s not as though they make proper use of such things! Keeping them behind locked doors where loving hands cannot explore their subtleties. The Tele-whatzit was made to be USED, not worshipped! It must be in the hands of someone who can truly appreciate it! Not to be immodest, but that someone is me! I suppose I might buy a replica, but would you wish a copy of a diamond? It’s just not the same.
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: This gnome’s hunger for things magical is commendable, but the ways in which he wishes to sate it is not. Archwizard Hank, thou dost not truly command us to this... robbery?
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: O, yes, please!
OVANUSQ.png
: This is certainly a difficult task you’ve set before me, you windy little man, but I will accept the challenge.
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: Wonderful! Oh this is SO bad of me! Ahem... well, I shall leave you to your preparations. It will certainly be a test of your mettle entering the Hall. I imagine an experienced roustabout such as yourself will “case the joint” thoroughly, eh? Get the guards schedule down and all that? Oh, if only I could be a part of it. It’s thrilling, like the songs of legend. I’ll meet you back here once the burglary is announced. Hee hee, it’s too much fun.

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Deidre is here, and is possibly the most important merchant in all of BG1.

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Don’t get me wrong, her inventory is almost identical to her vanilla inventory, but remember, the clones do not share stocks, and this is the only chance you have to buy the Robe of Vecna.

...So, naturally, we buy it. Why not? We had the money. Spellcasting times now mean nothing to us.

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Quincy here deals heavily in overpriced and overpowered jewelry.

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Take note of the two Rings of Wizardry here. Both of them treat their bonuses in the same way as the original BG1 ring, I.E. the spell slots are doubled. So “the first” is just the original ring with a retooled name and icon, but “1st thru 5th” doubles every spell slot from levels 1 through 5, just like it says on the tin. Wear two of them, and your slots quadruple. We’ll find one of these for free in the Ulcaster Ruins.

This shit is why I rolled Sorcerer. By the end of the game, you’ll be able to basically raise your eyebrows and think enemies to death before they even realize you exist.

While we’re here, we also buy an

Amulet of Thief Skill said:
Screen_Shot_2021-11-09_at_8.16.52_PM.png
: A rare amulet that every thief would like to get their hands on. It helps the thief in their dark skills. Guild leaders will pay top coin to get their hands on this.

STATISTICS:

Special:
+1 Dexterity while equipped
Infravision while equipped
Invisibility for 10 turns (limited
charges)
Find/Remove traps: +5% bonus
Pick Pockets: +5% bonus
Pick locks: +5% bonus
Hide in shadows: +5% bonus
Usable by:
Thief (Single, Multi, Dual class)

which for reasons beyond the ken of man was being sold for 1GP.

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No, really.

Anyway, there’s more going on here in the Elfsong, but we won’t be back here for a long time, so enjoy your taste of it while it lasts.

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Bone Hill’s dragon cultists harass us on the way out, even though we quite decisively killed them last time we met.

Dialogue said:
OVANUSQ.png
: You again? Stop wasting my time.
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: Wasting your ...?!! You shall die slowly for that. Kill them all! Return to me with the staff. Do not fail me this time!

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The cultists still spam the same old late-Bone Hill strategy of spamming invisibility potions to try and backstab you. It’s extremely annoying, but beyond this they’re like flies and aren’t difficult to swat. The jabs at our honor are hilariously hypocritical.

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In an unmarked house is this guy, who seems to have stolen the identity of our good friend, The Best Arms Dealer in the Sword Coast. Or maybe it’s the other way around.

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This place seems important.

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Dialogue said:
OVANUSQ.png
: Ya, I know the password.
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: Well if you know the password, then spill it.
OVANUSQ.png
: Fafhrd
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: I always liked that you can just blindly guess the answer, and that the real answer is the one you’re prone to forget because it makes no sense.
5SDnyri.png
: That’s right fella. Ya all can go in now.

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Dialogue said:
OVANUSQ.png
: I’ll pass any test you set, and then some! You’ll not discredit me with your games!
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: We’ll spy yer talent soon enough. Ye but need to keep an eye this first night. I and Rededge will command the taking. The mark be a noble house, aside the Splurging Sturgeon. Gold to split thrice amongst, followed soon by new mark if ye please. Up to the deed?
OVANUSQ.png
: A better way to drop the night I’ll no think in this life, me fellows! Where do we link afore the deed?
QlquGX7.png
: I’ve said this before, but it bears repeating because I kind of love it. Choosing the most diplomatic, completionist path in Big World (and by extension the vanilla game) is a crazy thing, because it paints CHARNAME as a complete and utter sociopath who adopts whole mannerisms and accents to suit his needs and drops them when they’re no longer convenient.
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: There’s the larcenous fire burnin’! We meet at dusk astride the Sturgeon, and bring only yerself in darks. Yer group will naught but get the watch nervous.
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: I have no idea if this is actually timed. If it is, we’re damn sure not completing it.

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Black Lily here has a pretty hefty amount of modded items, though if you needed me to tell you that, you need help repairing your basic pattern recognition skills. Some choice items obtained during this recording session include

Cowl of Acuity said:
Screen_Shot_2021-11-09_at_8.17.43_PM.png
: Once a valued property of the Xanathar Thieves Guild, this seeemingly plain-looking cowl has been treated with magic in order to enhance the acumen and perception of anyone who wears it. The cowl was temporarily lost during a raid on one of the Xanathar slave-trading houses in Skullport, but recently, it re-surfaced in Calimport and made its way to Athkatla on one of the many trading caravans belonging to the Sybarr mercantile company.

STATISTICS:

Equipped Abilities:
+15% to Find Traps
Infravision
Immunity to all forms of blindness

Armor Class Bonus: None
Special: Protects Against Critical Hits
Weight: 0
Usable BY:
Thief
Monk

Serpent Ring said:
Screen_Shot_2021-11-09_at_8.18.23_PM.png
: This appears to be a baby serpent of some sort that has been frozen into the shape of a ring. Its eyes glitter and swirt like jewels and even appear to move occasionally.

STATISTICS:

+5% Magic Resistance
+2 to saves vs. Spell
Immunity to Poison

Only Usable By:
Thieves

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This happened right as I was selling crap from the space hole to afford the items I just described to you. It’s as annoying as you can imagine.

Dialogue said:
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: Envy? Ah, there is much to envy in the pair that is Minsc and Boo! Our mighty swords and claws and teeth are feared by all things evil, as we trample the weeds of villainy to let the beautiful flowers of goodness bloom, and apply a mighty kick in the... errr... Boo says I am ranting again... mmm... was I?
IctZtQO.png
: Aye, aye... but only as ye should! Me, I’m a dwarf o’ th’ gods; righteous fury, always bound by duty, I find meself caught between a rock an’ a hard roof. Seems churlish o’ me ta say it, an’ I’m not doubtin’ Clangeddin’s way is a sure one...
kzbumPF.png
: ...but you want to berserk, like Minsc? Ohoh, that is a great thing, but not so easy!
IctZtQO.png
: Ye make it seem so...
kzbumPF.png
: Aah, but in Rashemen, we learn to berserk young... and it was always said I was a mighty berserker even in my tender age. All it would take would be a simple stone in the boot to get Minsc riled! One of THOSE always makes him mad, gets him in a mood to BUTTKICK EVIL! YAAA - what? Oh! Boo suggests you try that.
IctZtQO.png
: Stones in me boot... aye, they’re always pretty infuriatin’. It can’t hurt ta try just once. *hem* A STONE IN ME BOOT! I HATE ‘EM! GRRR - *hurkk* *hurkk*
kzbumPF.png
: Errr... Boo says you turning red and collapsing to the ground is indeed a sign of mighty furies to come. And he would know.
IctZtQO.png
: Aye... Aye... just... just let me git me breath back... *phew*

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Dialogue said:
OVANUSQ.png
: This is quite the honor, having one such as yourself interested in my travels.
nXq4iCz.png
: Oh please, save your ingratiating remarks for another time. They are far too good to be wasted on me. In truth, you have never heard of me, and I care not a whit where you go from here. While in this city however, you become my concern. In fact, I should like to take advantage of your talents for a small job, something best accomplished by someone unknown in this city.
OVANUSQ.png
: I am quite sure that the membership of a thieves’ guild would include several people capable of whatever you ask. Danger of being recognized seems a minor concern if one is able to not be seen at all. Why do you need me?
nXq4iCz.png
: Shrewd, very shrewd. I do indeed have many fine individuals of exceptional skill, but a large number of them are vacationing at the garrison this season. The guard have been exceptionally vigilant, what with the banditry on the roads, and to their credit they have captured several of my best people. I am sure that in the history of guilds, we are the first to experience a shortage of thieves.
OVANUSQ.png
: What exactly is it you would have me do? And what would be my reward for this service? How well can you afford to pay?
QlquGX7.png
: You probably know where this is going. If you don’t, just know that I’m setting up one of the most deliciously psychopathic things we might ever do.
nXq4iCz.png
: It’s quite the bit of intrigue actually. A local wizard by the name of Shandalar, makes his home in a moored Halruaan skyship. It would appear that he has the knowledge to reproduce these flying marvels, and is currently organizing the sale of the recipe to Grand Duchess Liia Jannath. He has drawn up a set of rituals, and has procured an artifact fragment and an ancient statuette vital to the spell that keeps the ships aloft. These he has divided amongst his daughters until the deal is to proceed. I have been contacted by a representative of the Halruaans, and they have no wish to see scores of flying ships manufactured in every port. You are to infiltrate the place of exchange, steal the ingredients, and return here with them. Simple enough. You would be well paid. Enough gold to give you a backache and, if I am well pleased, mayhaps a magical weapon or two. Perhaps a little more, perhaps a little less. It entirely depends upon your performance.
OVANUSQ.png
: Seems a fairly straightforward bit of burglary, and well within my ability. I accept this challenge, and hope it increases my standing within the guild.
QlquGX7.png
: This quest isn’t straightforward at all. I’m sure there’s a correct way to do it, but hiding in shadows and invisibility were never my forte. I might aim to change that as we proceed through the LP.
nXq4iCz.png
: As it should be! Now that you have agreed, the facilities of the guild are at your disposal. Feel free to make use of them, and make your presence known to the other members. You have my permission, so they will be less likely to kill you on sight. As for your mission, you have a tenday to complete it. Informants have told me that the Duchess intends to take possession of the components that tenth day, and the exchange will be hosted by Oberon at his estate. As I see it, you have several options. Directly ‘persuade’ any of the involved parties to hand over the items, or burgle them out from under their noses. Good luck.

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Dialogue said:
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: Yeah? Well you could stand to be a mite less short, fat, hairy, sweaty, disgusting...
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: This be what I mean.
UlqdIjr.png
: Dumb, drunken, ale-breathed, brown-toothed, dirt-heaping, rock-humping stumpball deserving nothing from the world but contempt and death.
IctZtQO.png
: Finished?
UlqdIjr.png
: Yeah, sorry. I was a little backed up.

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We have a lot of ground to cover, so let’s cover it.

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Dialogue said:
OVANUSQ.png
: Not right now.
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: Actually, we insist, we need to talk to you about your involvement with the Iron Throne.
OVANUSQ.png
: We’re not interested.
drpX6RT.png
: Well, we tried to warn you.

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Well, shit. The only logical course of action after being presented with such an encounter is to go straight to the city center.

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This hoser is clogging the feedback box.

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Dialogue said:
OVANUSQ.png
: Well, I think you’re right.
n1JQEVJ.png
: How very convenient. See, I’ve this little problem which I *could* go to the authorities with... but our High-ups have already got their hands full. How about you?
OVANUSQ.png
: Tell me who you are, first of all.
n1JQEVJ.png
: I’m Geraldo the Magnificent, painter, draftsman, portraitist. I have painted them all. Duke Eltan, Rieltar... even Elminster has been thinking about it, I can tell you. And for sure you now ask yourself what problems could an artist as grand as myself have, don’t you? Well, to cut a long story short: I was in a creative crisis. I needed inspiration! I left Baldur’s Gate a few weeks ago to get inspired by the outdoors and at one point I suddenly stumbled across a few gibberlings. Annoying critters, I can tell you. But this blue color of their skin... I was instantly inspired! So I caught two of the gibberlings and caged them in my house. I was planning to keep them imprisoned and extract the fantastic blue color. I had no idea how quick gibberlings... well, you know.
OVANUSQ.png
: You started breeding gibberlings in Baldur’s Gate? Are you mad?
n1JQEVJ.png
: I did not know this could happen! I was desperate! Within a week my house was *uninhabitable*! I had just enough time to hasten out and magically seal the door before the horde fell upon me. Well, that’s my offer: I’ll give you the key to my house and you take care of the gibberlings. There should be about 20 of them. Bring me the skins and I’ll give you a good reward. Yes?
OVANUSQ.png
: Okay. We have a deal.
n1JQEVJ.png
: Wonderful. Here is the key. My house is the big blue one with the white fence east of here. Impossible to miss!

This nets us

Geraldo’s key said:
Screen_Shot_2021-11-09_at_8.19.27_PM.png
: The key opens the door of Geraldo’s house in the center of Baldur’s Gate.

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Dialogue said:
OVANUSQ.png
: Yes, that would be us.
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: Then, do you not admit to have killed a small group of hunters along the edge of Cloakwood?
OVANUSQ.png
: I admit the deed, but I can explain what happened.
Tu95YXR.png
: Do not presume to lie to me, scum. It was you that killed my brother Aldeth, and it is you that shall pay!
QlquGX7.png
: Holy shit, choices with consequences? It’s almost like this is an RPG or something! ...This is the only reason I’m highlighting this dude, by the way.

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If you think the constant harassment is over the top now, I weep for what will become of your shredded souls by the time we reach Athkatla.

Dialogue said:
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: A foul deed must this Ragefast have committed to cause such a strong reaction in someone of a noble descent. ’Tis my experience that they rarely care of the fate of the others. We would do good to make inquiries.
OVANUSQ.png
: Whoa, calm down. Lecherous whats like who?
Trtpqeo.png
: Ragefast! Oh, he makes me seethe! He’s a mage on a power trip and what does he do? He acquires his own personal nymph and enslaves her in his quarters! Men are callous brutes and, personally, I wish the world were rid of them.
OVANUSQ.png
: If the world were rid of men, how would we survive as a species?
Trtpqeo.png
: Trust me, we’d make do... Oh, I’m in no mood to talk!

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Dialogue said:
OVANUSQ.png
: Poor woman! What happened to you? You do not look like a beggar to me.
N7aaSQM.png
: Ha! Yes, you are right there.
OVANUSQ.png
: Take this gold coin.
N7aaSQM.png
: Thank you so much! Now that makes it three... If I ever get hold of that brat! First all those tricks, and then she develops magical powers all of a sudden and teleports me to Baldur’s Gate! Once I have enough money, I will return to Luskan and get the whole family to court!

fyAgFaA.png


Dialogue said:
OVANUSQ.png
: We’ll give you a chance. Make it quick.
3IuHNhx.png
: My partner, Marek, has poisoned all of you. While you slept, he slipped a slow-acting magical poison into your rations. You have about 10 days to live. Common priest spells won’t help you, only one thing can, and that’s the antidote. I can help you find it, if you help me first.
OVANUSQ.png
: Okay, what do you want us to do?
3IuHNhx.png
: My problem is this: I don’t work for the Iron Throne because I wish to, but rather because I have been forced. I have been enspelled with a geas.
QlquGX7.png
: JIBUN WOAH
3IuHNhx.png
: If I do not obey everything that Marek orders of me the spell will take effect and I shall waste away. I need a way to rid myself of the spell. I know of a Diviner at the market square who may have the answers I seek, but I don’t have the money to pay him. Will you help me?
UlqdIjr.png
: We could do that. Or we could just start snapping his fingers. I’d say he’ll squeal at...two.
OVANUSQ.png
: We’ll help you, take us to this Diviner.
3IuHNhx.png
: Step in here to the Diviner’s tent.

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Dialogue said:
OVANUSQ.png
: Here’s the money seer, but you better be for real.
UIjkihq.png
: I am for real. Now what is it that you wish to know? I must tell you, I only have the strength to answer a single question in a day, so be careful in what you ask.
OVANUSQ.png
: Who has the ability to release Lothander of his geas?
UIjkihq.png
: Only the high priestess Jalantha Mistmyr of Umberlee has the power to remove Lothander’s geas. She can be found at the Water Queen’s house. It is difficult to see whether or not she will help you. I cannot answer any more questions, you must leave now.

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Since we’re in the vicinity, let’s knock over Oberon’s Estate while we’re at it. Ignore the fact that it’s suddenly daytime now.

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Dialogue said:
NfgcwGm.png
: This week’s end will not come soon enough! I tire of standing about, playing watchman. Many a magical study awaits, while I waste time guarding a rock.
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: Helshara! Daddy would not trouble us with this were it not important! Your *rock* is an artifact fragment vital to constructing a skyship, no less so than my statuette and Delorna’s spellbook.
NfgcwGm.png
: Fragment or no, here I sit guarding a pebble while the world goes on without me. I don’t know how you and her stand it.
NRwGDbW.png
: Delorna is content to sit in contemplation, whether entrusted the book or not, and I simply know that our father would not have me here without reason.
NfgcwGm.png
: Ithmeera, you should know by now that father is a few sparks shy of a fireball. Skyship or rowboat, if he made it I wouldn’t trust it to hold air, let alone float on it.
NRwGDbW.png
: I did not offer to captain the final product, just to guard the components.
NfgcwGm.png
: You know sister, I think we have been duped. I do not believe I recognize this supposed servant. Sound a warning! It’s as father predicted, a thief in our midst!
OVANUSQ.png
: I am a servant here, just hired. I mean no harm. My apologies for disturbing you, I shall leave.
QlquGX7.png
: We actually mean a lot of harm, and I probably should have chosen the more threatening option, but whatever. I like to be inconsistent.
NfgcwGm.png
: You are no manservant! You’re either assassins or thieves! It matters not which as you will die nonetheless.

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The Daughters of Shandalar are formidable foes in their own right.

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Pssshahahahahahaha fuck no not really, that was a terrible lie. They’re losers.

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You might be wondering why in the infinite blue hells we’re doing this.

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This is because, all things being equal, we need Shandalar to be pissed off.

Dialogue said:
wBa5IxV.png
: I must apologize for our uncouth intrusion. Archwizard Hank, our purpose here is of no high moral regard. We would’st do better to leave these learned maidens to their studies, and forget of the Alatos’ foul request.
QlquGX7.png
: Dynaheir says this, with no irony, after witnessing two of these “learned maidens” take two and a half volleys of explosive magical discharge to the face. She says this, knowing full well that they are *dead,* and that we have committed far greater offenses to our “moral regard” than petty larceny. I fucking hate Dynaheir so much, where’s Irenicus when you need him?

...I’m happy to report, by the way, that the Big World Diet is still working. I’ve lost another eight pounds, and all I had to do is sit on my ass and eat literal waste. You, too, can lose weight on the Big World Diet! All it costs is YOUR SOUL

OVANUSQ.png
: Stay your wrath! I know of your mission here, and would buy what you are guarding. Name your price.
QlquGX7.png
: I mean, if she’s going to start denying reality, I might as well hop on board the train.
eDyhd7g.png
: You’re offer is more of an insult than your presence in my private room! Leave now, lest you not be able to!
OVANUSQ.png
: Hollow words from a frightened lass! Hand over the skyship component!
eDyhd7g.png
: I am a daughter of Shandalar, and no helpless maiden! If you wish what I guard, you’d best be strong enough to pull it from my grasp! You are foolish to attack the spider in its chosen den! We are here because it’s guarded, so you’ll not fight only I! Help to me! We are infiltrated!

BULIsvW.png


Delorna died so fast, you’d miss it if you blinked.

In a way, the daughters of Shandalar lived and died by the code of those who protect stones:



Lead Singer Stone Protector Guy said:
Lots of flash, lots of suck!

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Pretty sure this isn’t the first time we’ve had an NPC express complete and utter revulsion at something we’ve done in a tone that heavily implies threatening to leave. Just like the last time, Dynaheir won’t actually leave.

Anyway, time to get out of here.

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This isn’t the right way for what we immediately need to be doing, but there’s a method to the madness. Granted, it’s the wrong method, but hey.

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Right out of the gate, we’re met with a traitor to a cause that isn’t specified being killed by a man we’ve never heard of.

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We can try talking to this man, but the mod expected us to take a completely different path through Baldur’s Gate to meet his friend who’d give us the secret password, so for the moment he doesn’t have anything to say to us even though he literally just iced a motherfucker right in front of us. I guess he doesn’t take kindly to the press?

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Dialogue said:
kB06On7.png
: My name is Varci, and I have heard you sometimes help those in need, f-for a fee of course. Please, would you meet with my guardian at his house? My guardian will reveal the nature of the job once we arrive. Please, it’s a matter of death or life.
wBa5IxV.png
: Mine advice is... Archwizard Hank, lend thine ear to this child’s plea. ’Tis impossible to look at him without pity.
OVANUSQ.png
: Lead on, young one; I will follow.
kB06On7.png
: Oh, excellent! I may yet repair the damage I have caused. This way. I’ll show you to the house where my master is staying.

a6vBDTP.png


Dialogue said:
tdz6bBN.png
: Varci! Who have you brought here?! I told you I must be alone with my thoughts!
kB06On7.png
: Your thoughts know as I do, and there be no denying it. We need outside help to fix what’s done, and talk amongst the alleys say this group may be as effective as any we could hope for.
tdz6bBN.png
: You’ll tell me later how you know in what alleys to learn such things. For now however, you are correct. We are in need of assistance and none in the clergy must know. Greetings to you all. I am Lord Priest Tremain Belde’ar, a humble servant of Our Smiling Lady Tymora. My request of you is an odd and very dangerous one. I will not hold you to it if you deem it too extreme. I would have you enter The Water-Queen’s House, and retrieve my son’s body. He and Varci sought to indulge their restless nature by sneaking about the place, and a high price was paid.
QlquGX7.png
: This is the method to the madness. Two quests need you to go to this temple, so kill two birds with one stone. But remember how I realized I was doing the quest with the fishermen wrong the whole time? Yeah you can probably piece it together from here.
kB06On7.png
: We thought it would be exciting, causing a little mischief amidst Umberlee’s underlings, only it wasn’t that much fun when we were caught. We both ran. I got away, Casson didn’t. They... they killed him as we sought to escape.
tdz6bBN.png
: A harsh sentence for a simple prank, but trespassing on holy ground, whatever the faith, is not a small crime. You must bring his body to me, that I might restore his life to him. If you can retrieve him, I will reward you whether I am able to revive him or not. What say you?
OVANUSQ.png
: Luck or no, it would be a shame to lose your life because of the foolishness of youth. I’ll help as best I can.
tdz6bBN.png
: There is hope for my son yet. I cannot tell you where in the Umberlant Temple Casson would be kept, but I would advise you to be careful. They seem a right unfriendly group, but once you get to know them they seem out-and-out heartless. Please hurry!

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Have I ever mentioned that I really like the layout of the titular city in this game?

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Dialogue said:
OVANUSQ.png
: Elminster...?
Zk98wRj.png
: Tedious old fellow, isn’t he? I suppose I would be, too, if I lived to see as many centuries as he has... But enough talk of the good, Archwizard Hank. I have come to tell of the dark: You have a very special heritage, child, one that graces you with more enemies than friends, I fear. This city holds many secrets and dangers and, as you have rightly come to suspect, the Iron Throne lies somehow at the core of it all. Your investigations will not go unnoticed nor, like as not, unpunished. I urge you to curry the favor of Scar and Duke Eltan, both of the Flaming Fist, as they are good men at heart and capable of providing you with some guidance and protection in this urban vast... But I tarry here too long. It is best we not be seen together.
wBa5IxV.png
: Thou would do well to take the advice. It not only cometh from a sage, but I also concede that haste is needed for the peaceful resolution of this grave matter.
Zk98wRj.png
: I could not have said better myself, lady.

xoIeZDH.png


Dialogue said:
OVANUSQ.png
: What do you do here?
T92TfnR.png
: Aye, I be the Duke’s own dockhand, if you will... Well, alright, I’m just a dockhand like any other but I’ve been aboard the royal galleys to unload wares from the New World.
OVANUSQ.png
: A ‘New World’? Is there some sort of dimensional portal in the middle of the sea through which you pass to get there?
QlquGX7.png
: This might be one of my favorite conversations with a random NPC in all of BG1, just because of the dialogue options you’re presented with to end it.
NXPUke1.png

The holier-than-thou first option is effectively an in-character ass pull because this line of conversation *started* with CHARNAME learning that the New World exists. Option 2 allows you to paint CHARNAME as a tinfoil-hat wearing Flat Toril-er, and option 3 is the classic “none of the above” option that the Moralintern loves. It’s a beautiful opportunity to paint CHARNAME as some variation of absolute scum to a complete stranger, and I have a sinking feeling we’re going to have to keep it in mind. I chose option 2, by the way, just for fun.

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Over by the western exit is a non-hostile ogre with bugged subtitles.

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Dialogue said:
OVANUSQ.png
: Any tales of the sea you’d like to share?
UYJfBXJ.png
: Oh, the sea harbors more tales than you have days left to live, young one. Why, I could go on all night with stories of Pirates that sail the Nelanther Isles, or strange merchants with goods that defy description. I wager I know what tale you would be keen on hearing though, the tale of old Balduran himself. A great man he was, and he sailed farther than most of us could dream. ’Twas his coin that built the great wall that protects our fair city, and none of us would be here save for his efforts.
OVANUSQ.png
: He sounds like a great man. What happened to him?
UYJfBXJ.png
: As is often the case with great men, no one knows what became of him. He set out one day for the fabled isles of Anchorome and was not seen again. Some occasionally say that they see the rigging of his ship on the horizon, and the more romantic tales speak of him sailing the stars themselves. Many a cynic claims that he simply foundered on some deserted isle, but talk like that around here and you’ll likely be fed your teeth. I’ve talked your ear off, I have. I’ll let you be on your way.

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Dialogue said:
OVANUSQ.png
: We wish to speak with high priestess Jalantha Mistmyr.
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: The High Priestess does not have time to see commoners, why should I allow you to waste her time?
OVANUSQ.png
: Would a donation of 50 gold allow us entry?
Jr5Tq7O.png
: That offer is adequate. Wait here and I will return with the High Priestess.
FXAQMQD.png

OVANUSQ.png
: We want you to remove a geas spell from a companion of ours. We will pay any price.
07BUesJ.png
: My Goddess cannot be bought with gold. If you wish to see your friend healed, you will first have to do a favor for Umberlee. The favor I ask of you is a simple one. The holy day Storm Call approaches. It will be the first time I have overseen this ceremony. To insure that my first ceremony is flawless I need an item of power. It is called the Book of Wisdom, and is possessed by the clergy of Tymora at the Temple of Tymora, called the Lady’s Hall by those who venerate the frivolous goddess. If you can get this book from me, I will do what you ask. What is your decision?
OVANUSQ.png
: It looks as if we have no other choice, we’re in.
07BUesJ.png
: I don’t care how you get the book. Once you have it, come to the temple and meet with me.

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Stay classy, Me from September.

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Dialogue said:
OVANUSQ.png
: We are in desperate need of a book known as the book of wisdom. Please, we will do anything if you’d only give it to us.
YUWcQoS.png
: The Book of Wisdom is a very holy book. Why should I give it to the likes of you?
OVANUSQ.png
: You must trust us. We’ll die if we don’t get this book. Please, you don’t want our deaths on your conscience... do you?
YUWcQoS.png
: Your plea seems genuine. If your very lives depend on this book, then here, you may have it.

sEEtvsd.png


Dialogue said:
OVANUSQ.png
: We don’t trust you. Before we show it to you, we want the cure to our friend’s geas.
07BUesJ.png
: You dare question my honor! Very well, this scroll is scripted with the incantation that will rid your friend of his curse. Now give over the book.
OVANUSQ.png
: Actually we don’t have the book. Aren’t you the fool.
QlquGX7.png
: :dealwithit:
07BUesJ.png
: You will pay for such impudence!

ObhyM7y.png


So, yeah. You can solve this and the other quest (mainly the dead kid quest) nonviolently if you spare the young Priestess of Umberlee’s life in the fishermen quest. Now that I think of it, though, you might miss out on the chance to double cross Jalantha and keep the book, so I dunno, maybe it’s worth doing it this way anyway.

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I'm sparing you guys so much mindless transit, like holy shit dude you don't even know.

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by the way did you know ronald mcdonald used to travel through time with a revolving time door this is totally unrelated to the lp im just asking because this shit is fucked i mean look at this goddamn seriously (BELCH FART) i mean gahdamn (COUGH BELCH) who the shit even thinks of a revolving time door (COUGH, BELCH, SNEEZE) christ on a cross almighty

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Time to put an end to this poison business.

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Take note of the robed dude loitering outside the entrance here.

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In the vanilla game, Lothander was one of only two NPCs in the game who dropped the coveted Boots of Speed. His speed is such that, unimpeded, he’d escape the room (and the game) faster than your own human reaction time. He’d outpace the game’s ability to compute your keyboard’s space bar over half the time, and on the rare times you could pause after getting what you need from him, the most you could do is kill him with cheat keys because he’d already be a few pixels away from the stairwell.

Granted, this isn’t accounting for Hold Person spells which (as previously mentioned) I’ve rarely invested in, and it’s possible that he drops his half of the antidote if you just flat-out kill him here, though I haven’t been eager to test that theory. In any case, the point is a mod somehow placed an ablative barrier of NPCs between him and the exit, increasing the time it takes for him to escape from “instantly” to “almost instantly.”

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Dialogue said:
OVANUSQ.png
: We have your cure, now where is the antidote to the poison?
3IuHNhx.png
: All right then, here’s my half of the antidote. Marek, my partner, possesses the other half of the antidote. You’ll find him at the Blushing Mermaid inn. I can’t help you other than that.

CpTOJog.png


Note the location of the gibs - he’s already a step away from the stairwell.

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Dialogue said:
OVANUSQ.png
: Who is Shaella?
zDSF0IS.png
: It is Shaella. Most High Middling Priestess of the Mistshadow, who is here before you, speaking through the mists of Leira.
QlquGX7.png
: According to the Forgotten Realms Wiki, Leira is one of the deities Cyric killed during the Time of Troubles; her portfolio dealt heavily in lies and deceit. She’s supposed to be dead, but apparently later on in history (I.E. after the switch to 4E or sometime thereabouts) it’s revealed she actually faked her own death or something. Not sure how that's supposed to work considering Cyric stole her portfolio, but whatever.
OVANUSQ.png
: I don’t see any mist.
zDSF0IS.png
: Stare deep into the Mistshadow, and mark your devotion to Leira, Mistress of Mists and Lady of the Unknowing. Stare into it and know that knowledge is unknowable.
OVANUSQ.png
: If knowledge is unknowable, then how can I know that in the first place?
zDSF0IS.png
: More or less precisely my point.
OVANUSQ.png
: But I don’t understand.
zDSF0IS.png
: Ah, then you are truly one of us, you are truly with Shaella in the Mists of Leira. May Shaella grace you with a quest from the Lady?
OVANUSQ.png
: I’m not sure.
zDSF0IS.png
: Ah, indeed. You walk well with Shaella in the mists of Leira. Forgotten deep in the library of Candlekeep, lies the Great Book of the Unknowing. Bound with the chameleon’s hide, it too walks in the mists of Leira, changing always, as does Shaella. Ask no one there of it for all who have touched it are blessed with the ignorance it grants. But you can always find it somewhere in the inner rooms, wreathed in the mists of Leira. Go to it, make your pilgrimage, and you too may be blessed with unknowing.
OVANUSQ.png
: Have you ever seen the Great Book of the Unknowing?
zDSF0IS.png
: Perhaps I have. Perhaps a thousand times.

cT3Su0K.png


Dialogue said:
OVANUSQ.png
: And why should we be interested?
oKZTeJa.png
: Shaella knows what she is talking about - or rather says what she still knows. She has seen this book and you can see its influence on her. My task is to find this book and make it unavailable for people who don’t know any better, who could share the same fate as Shaella.
OVANUSQ.png
: Can we now hear “the offer we couldn’t refuse”?
oKZTeJa.png
: No need to be rude - my whole life I have collected money to get this book. I can give it to you if you accept my offer.
OVANUSQ.png
: What do you want?
oKZTeJa.png
: If only it were that simple. I can’t meet with the one who has some knowledge about this book. We were friends once, but some woman came between us. I’d really prefer not to meet him. And the same goes for him. Lobar. The owner of the Low Lantern. Once, he had seen the book or at least its power.
OVANUSQ.png
: Go on - I’m listening carefully.
oKZTeJa.png
: I offer you my whole treasure for this book - 10,000 gold pieces. You don’t have to read or use it, of course. Just bring it to me.
OVANUSQ.png
: That’s a lot of money. I will go to Lobar and we’ll see if it is really the way you are saying.
oKZTeJa.png
: Wonderful. I’ll be waiting for you here.

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Right. We could go there immediately, but we have another half of an antidote to get.

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Dialogue said:
wBa5IxV.png
: ’Tis not the ogre I find frightening, ’tis the persistence of those who sent him.
OVANUSQ.png
: Wait one moment, you big oaf. Why would you think that I’m Archwizard Hank. Do I look like I could be that kind of hero. Archwizard Hank is a juggernaut of destruction, with flaming eyes, and a roaring voice. My companions and I, we’re just normal folks.
QlquGX7.png
: Considering our stats and the Christopher Lee soundset I devised, this description is almost dead-on.
c3wbyLT.png
: Huh? But you must be Archwizard Hank. Me see picture, and it look like you. It had no fire eyes or big voice. Though pictures don’t have voices. Hmmmmm, I confused.
OVANUSQ.png
: Larze, my poor confused ogre. There is only one thing for you to do. You have to go back and take a closer look at the picture. I’m sure once you’ve had a second look, you’ll now what a big mistake you’ve made. Now run along, we’ll be waiting right here.
c3wbyLT.png
: Yes! Good idea, Larze will find picture and see for sure. You will wait here until Larze gets back.
kzbumPF.png
: Yes, Boo, I’ll ask... Archwizard Hank, do you have some apples? Boo says he’s got this craving for apples, and...
QlquGX7.png
: MINSC, YOU FUCK
c3wbyLT.png
: Archwizard Hank?! It’s you, then! DIE! DIE! DIE!
kzbumPF.png
: Why the long faces? Glorious battle awaits, and then I’ll get Boo his apples. He can wait, you know. GO FOR THE EYES, BOO, GO FOR THE EYES! RRRARGH!!!

This is such a big fuck-you to the player, I can’t even begin to wrap my head around it. We kill Larze, but you knew that.

35zYpOE.png


Marek dies swiftly and decisively.

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We also imbibe this. I never fully understood why it has more uses than the maximum party limit. I guess in case the player is an idiot and accidentally uses it more than once on someone other than CHARNAME?

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Off to the Low Lantern we go.

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Dialogue said:
0O3ttcv.png
: *Squeak*

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OVANUSQ.png
: We come here on business. We are interested in a certain book.
uz4sTE4.png
: Obviously this case couldn’t slip the attention of suspicious people. Not so long ago a Haalruan mage asked about her, just like you today. And my answer is simple. My beloved friend has lost her mind. The possesion of this book was my curse. But some time ago, a madman just like you removed the curse from me and probably he’s cursed by it right now.
OVANUSQ.png
: You’re gonna prolong this forever? Tell us your price.
uz4sTE4.png
: 3000 gold pieces. If I tell you who has it, I’ll need some adequate security for some time.
OVANUSQ.png
: Ok, here is your money.
uz4sTE4.png
: Okay, go to the Blushing Mermaid. You will find Oupaste there. He was the mediator in this transaction so he surely knows who he sold the book to. I have nothing more to say. Have a good day.

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There's more we could do at the Low Lantern and in Baldur's Gate in general, but our destination isn't entirely set in stone, so we might as well head over to The Beard.

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Ulgoth’s Beard, and Tales of the Sword Coast in general, is relatively clean of the taint of mods. There’s definitely scattered filth in each of the relevant places, some more than others, but compared to Baldur’s Gate City it’s practically vanilla.

xbFQsgA.png


Dialogue said:
OVANUSQ.png
: And you would be... who, exactly? I can’t say I’ve had the pleasure.
1kFsgzn.png
: You will not insult me so! That you cannot remember the incident is doubly infuriating! To have snuffed out the lights of my life and not even recall the deed is the height of indignity! Shandalar accuses, and you WILL admit!
OVANUSQ.png
: I know you. I was involved in the killing of your daughters in Baldur’s Gate. Regrettable, but business is business.
1kFsgzn.png
: There, you see? Was that so hard to admit? I’m sure you will agree it is better to maintain a level of honesty in all of one’s dealings. Now that that is out of the way, I have a task that you WILL perform. Oh, you are still to be punished, but you will have the satisfaction of knowing that you purged your conscience ahead of time. Much more rehabilitating. You are to do me a service. I will send you where you must go, and you must return with the item I need. A simple cloak is your target, but do NOT wear it! You have already abused too much of what is mine. Go now!
wBa5IxV.png
: Thou want us to pay a blood debt to thee, Shandalar? Indeed, this is most humble and... revolting. Whilst it relieves mine conscience, I cannot believe that a simple task of retrieving a cloak is a sufficient payment for thy daughters’ deaths. Art thou sending us to a deadly maze, wizard? But no matter. Thou named thy price, and we must pay.
1kFsgzn.png
: Indeed, I will await your return.

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The Ice Maze has been vastly expanded, or so my vague memory of the Weidu.log tells me. The maze itself isn’t the main attraction, however.

HAP05ev.png


In a somewhat bizarre and sadistic twist of fate, Dynaheir was somehow left behind in Ulgoth’s Beard. This is a problem, because the entrance to the maze is an autosave entrance and requires everyone.

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However, in an equally bizarre and somewhat less sadistic twist of fate, she instantly appears next to the party after Halabasher Dhunshar finishes assaulting her with requests for rare books. Okay?

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Dialogue said:
OVANUSQ.png
: I was sent by Shandalar. Seems there is something of his on this island that he wants returned.
nMxP6GQ.png
: Shandalar! Well, there is a name I have not heard in awhile. Aye, he was here. The bastard managed to escape, though I know not how. This isle is much like a prison, and is uncharted on any map I have seen. The stars indicate we are far to the south, but I cannot seem to get more precise than this. This place seems to ensnare magical energy, pulling it from the air. If you are a mage in transport, it pulls you as well. Plucks you from the ether and deposits you here. Leaving the island by magical means seems entirely impossible.
OVANUSQ.png
: What is the purpose of this place? Who constructed it?
nMxP6GQ.png
: I don’t know an answer to either question. It could be a joke of the gods, or a test... or both. It is hard to tell with gods. It could be a natural phenomenon, though these tunnels certainly are not. Trapped mages may have fashioned them for shelter however. There is little else to do here except plot, study, or go mad. I prefer to plot. On that note, if you would be so kind as to strip down and give me what you are carrying I would be ever so grateful.
OVANUSQ.png
: If you want my equipment, you are going to have to take it!
nMxP6GQ.png
: Certainly. First you, then the others here. I need all the power I can get, and I don’t mind taking it by force!
QlquGX7.png
: With all the trash we have stashed in the space hole, it’s not unreasonable to assume that we could feasibly forge a barge of solid garbage and *sail* our way out of here, but I digress.

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These goons are particularly nasty. They start off with Shadow Door, which makes any opening attacks a total waste.

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They also love spamming horror, which is just annoying.

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You’ve probably noticed that by this point in the game I’m relying pretty heavily on CHARNAME. Big World creates this weird sort of bottleneck where once you’ve utterly split a character’s balance down the middle, it takes a while for everyone else in the party to catch up in terms of usefulness. Minsc and Yeslick are good DPS, but they have next to no protection against panic effects and I can’t cast Remove Fear, so even though they output a shitzillion damage points, I can’t actually use them until later in the game when they have constant effect panic immunity. I could always invest in remove fear, but that’s effectively just offensive and debuff spells I’m not casting.

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Figured I’d at least try to get Yeslick in on the fun with the Necklace of Missiles.

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Vynd lands the killing blow for this one.

A few minor treasures are scattered amidst the corpses, including the

Staff of the Ancients said:
Screen_Shot_2021-11-09_at_8.26.48_PM.png
: Staff created by a race called the Ancients, who lived many centuries ago. Few relics from that time period exist today and even the descendants of the Ancients know very little about the artifacts.

STATISTICS:

Damage: 2d4 + 3
THAC0: +3
Special: +1 AC
Weight: 3
Speed Factor: 4
Damage type: crushing
Proficiency Type: Staff
Type: 2-handed

Usable By:
Mage
Cleric

and the

Robe of the Abyss said:
Screen_Shot_2021-11-09_at_8.27.41_PM.png
: A foul artifact indeed. Woven from the fabric of the Abyss itself, these powerful robes offer protection from all forms of physical attack while at the same time increasing one’s magical resistance and saving throws. Due to the nature of its origin, it can only be worn by mages of evil alignment.

STATISTICS:

Armor Class: +5 Bonus
Magic Resistance: +25%
Saving Throw: +5 bonus
Bonus Spells: +3(Lv 1-5)
+1(Lv 6-8)
Constitution: -30%
Special: Never Need Sleep

Weight: 6

Only Usable By:
Mage (single, dual, & multi-class)
Evil-aligned character

The staff seems to be a veiled reference to the default Neverwinter Nights 1 campaign, which is downright confusing if only because I’m not sure why anyone would want to reference that. The robe is pretty chufty, but we’re sadly lacking in evil mages who could make use of it, and will likely have far better robes by the time we will.

IJbO2T2.png


Right then, moving on. The general transit of the maze isn’t terribly difficult.

uAvj8Md.png


Dialogue said:
OVANUSQ.png
: Kill you? Please don’t kill us! Please, please, please, please, please!
larFPDV.png
: What manner of heartless beasts are you? Mocking poor Cuchol even as you bring his doom? Why, if I were back in Surkh, Yspank would protect me!
OVANUSQ.png
: Oh really, Cuchol, beasts? We prefer hired goons.
larFPDV.png
: That troll! Even in this accursed place she sends assassins. If Cuchol must die, then he shall not die alone.

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Cuchol was a far less threatening opponent than the three mooks at the entrance.

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Dialogue said:
OVANUSQ.png
: Who are you exactly, and what are you doing on an ice island in the middle of nowhere?
KwidQJb.png
: I am Garan, and have been trapped on this infernal island ever since I tried to teleport from Maztica to Waterdeep. But it is not you who should be asking the questions. You have not answered my question yet; answer now or suffer the consequences.
OVANUSQ.png
: I am Dinklemus Littlelog, and have come here in search of the holy groundhog.
KwidQJb.png
: Your joke will be the last that you ever make; now you DIE!

kRE6U9N.png


Garan comes flanked with a full battalion of Ankhegs, which is really quite rude.

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Most of the fight is spent taking down the Beetle Squad, as they serve as a very effective offensive barrier between your spells and Garan’s vulnerable, fleshy body.

q0OGDWl.png


Garan also relies heavily on invisibility to evade literally everything. This combined with Ankhegs constantly inflicting physical damage and thus spell failure makes for infinite fun.

Eventually though he’s down for the count. Sadly, nothing interesting lies hidden in the depths of Garan’s corpse.

T8wl0iX.png


Dialogue said:
OVANUSQ.png
: Long enough, though I can’t say I’ve seen you before. By what name shall I call you, friend?
ciLmIaJ.png
: Hrmmm... You may call me Tellan Altru’ar, the shining light of Tethyr, for once I was, once I was. And you I shall call Buttercup because I can and shall, hoo-hooo! You... have a way out of here, don’t you? I smell it on you!
OVANUSQ.png
: I do, but it comes with a price. There is a cloak I need to find and many here who would see me and my master dead before they let it fall from their grubby hands. Follow me and be of some assistance in the battles and mayhaps I’ll let you come with me when I go.
ciLmIaJ.png
: You would? Really? No, you wouldn’t, you wouldn’t... but you could... Hehahee-he-heee. No magic, though, I will save my magic in case you turn on me... But darts, yes, I’ll cast my darts into their very eyes if it shall get me off this frigid rock!

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This path through the dialogue tree somehow leaves Tellan completely non-hostile and defenseless.

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This ice golem around the corner would presumably have run defense for Tellan in the usual mage/fighter/fighter formation we’ve grown used to seeing.

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With Tellan removed, the fight itself is pretty neutered, but the “ice paraelemental” is still pretty beefy.

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Tellan also dies with no resistance. It’s quite pathetic, really.

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And it’s around here that I fell asleep at my desk. I woke up with a vague recollection of shutting off the recording software, and when I took a look at the footage to make sure the video wasn’t corrupted, I was met with a solid five hours of this.

This is what purgatory looks like. And it’s on this grim portent of things to come that I leave you, for now. But as always, here are some words from our “sponsors...”

 
Last edited:

Fedora Master

Arcane
Patron
Edgy
Joined
Jun 28, 2017
Messages
17,161
Ah yes, the Ancients. No one knows who they were or what they did. I count it as another "forged at the dawn of time" item.
 

Archwizard Hank

Learned
Joined
Mar 8, 2017
Messages
94
It’s a beautiful day outside. Birds are singing, flowers are blooming, and we’ve inched just a few steps closer to the inescapable Ragnarok. Soon, the host of the heavens will tear asunder and the clarion call of the End Demons will signal the final battle between gods and men. But we’re not done here, there’s still much more work to do before we sleep, and I’ve woken up covered in my own nose blood - a sign of the highly experimental substances modifying my essence - but also a sign that the Monthly Bloodletting is nigh. Welcome, then, to the Sacrificial Zone. I will be your Cult Leader this evening as you find your way through the Mysteries of the Glib Word.

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Last time, we committed triple homicide for seemingly no reason and got banished by a wizard to a frozen hellscape. There was a reason for the triple homicide, of course. The wizard simply didn’t know.

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As stated before (or hinted at, or never stated,) the Ice Island now has a second level. Or it always had it, and I don’t remember. The details don’t matter - what matters is this is the end of this place.

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The second level is particularly sparse. Its only residents are winter wolves hidden in alcoves. And the final boss, of course.

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The wolves don’t pose much of a challenge, but did you really need me to tell you that, after all this time?

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Crowd control is an art, and I’ve only begun to refine it.

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Dialogue said:
OVANUSQ.png
: Um... because you find it?
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: Ha! The commonsense answer, in a place uncommon where sense does not rule the day. You are looking for something here: something of power and value. I am sure I know just what it is, and for whom you seek it. I do not wish to relinquish it. What do you have to say to that?
OVANUSQ.png
: It is irrelevant. By this admission you have stated what I need to know. I will take what you have whether you permit it or not.
UsJPMMw.png
: Our conversation is to be a short one, then. Launch your spells and wield your weapons, for one of us will cease breathing this day. It matters little. I see things here that others cannot, and I have an understanding of what comes. Take what you need and finish your task, and be released with the power of another in a different place. He will thank you in his fashion, I am sure. Attack as you will, and one of us will go to join the others.

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Dezkiel is flanked by two “Snow Golems.” We’re going to start with a Globe of Invulnerability spell just for fun.

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Not that it’s worth a damn. These snow golems are motherfuckers.

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In fact, they’re the biggest timesink of this fight. Dezkiel isn’t much of a threat, but these bastards are tanks and take forever to finally kill. They also hit like a mack truck.

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It’s also particularly difficult to convince them to focus solely on the DPS crew. They aren’t stupid, and at least one of them is always going to be aggro’d to CHARNAME.

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Dezkiel’s big party trick is the same as all the heavy hitting Big World mages we’ve run into so far - spam invisibility.

We know better now.

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Remember when Gorion’s magic missile machinegunning was supposed to be impressive?

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Yeah, me neither.

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With Dezkiel down, we’ve got our ticket out of here. You might be familiar with Shandalar’s Cloak - it’s just a mundane quest token in the vanilla game. But it’s so much more than that, now. It’s the method to the madness, the reason why we killed the Daughters of Shandalar. Killing Dezkiel nets us

Shandalar’s Cloak said:
Screen_Shot_2021-11-09_at_8.34.26_PM.png
: This cloak was originally stolen from Shandalar by the powerful mage Semia, presumably for the powerful magics woven into the fabric. Although, how it has come to be in your possession and the fate of Semia are complete mysteries, and ones not likely to be solved. Much like the exact workings of the cloak which would remain a mystery even to a powerful mage.

STATISTICS:

Armor Class: +1 Bonus
Special:
+2 to Intelligence
+15 to Lore
One extra 4th level spell
Usable by:
Mage (Single, Multi, Dual Class)

We have to give this to Shandalar to knock the quest off of the journal, but why would we do that? This is the best cloak we’ll get until Baldur’s Gate 2, and even then, the competition will be... Stiff.

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Now then, let’s blow this popsicle stand.

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We’re placed right next to Shandalar, but the game is courteous enough to give us the element of surprise.

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We don’t really have to kill him. We could leave him alive until the cloak is no longer a useful asset. But where would be the fun in that? Why leave loose strings?

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Speed is the name of the game here. Shandalar will put up a fight, but only briefly. After a set period of time, he’ll dimension door out, and he’ll be gone forever.

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The goal is to deal as much damage as possible before he casts Globe of Invulnerability, as he’s close to untouchable by that point.

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It’s a heavy rep hit, but it was fucking worth it.

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Dialogue said:
OVANUSQ.png
: Who is Bert?
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: My sea bass.

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Keep Regis here in the back of your mind. Hopefully the back of your mind isn’t overflowing, I know I’ve asked you to keep a lot of trash back there.

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Talking to Regis nets us yet another journal update with its entry and quest title reversed.

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Dialogue said:
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: Ahh, good people of noble blood who would throw down the gauntlet in the face of chance! Come see the lengths a man must go to protect what’s his. A special package deal of 60 gold for your entire group, not that you would need a discount.
OVANUSQ.png
: You have a deal sir! When are we to leave?
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: That will fill my quota for this trip. We leave forthwith! Remember to kiss your loved ones good-by, for you may never... see them... AGAIN! Meet me at the base of the tower! You would surely be KILLED without me, but fear not! Only I can enter where others FEAR to TREAD!
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: We won’t be getting to Durlag’s for quite some time, but it’s worth setting this wheel in motion while we’re here.

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Dialogue said:
OVANUSQ.png
: Certainly, m’lady. Speak your mind.
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: I beg your pardon for disturbing your path, but I’m desperate. My husband was kidnapped by orcs from up north and my pleadings helped not at all... They came to our farm just north of Wyrm’s Crossing and spirited him away! I don’t know why they took him to their settlement in the Fields of the Dead... I beg you for help, please! I came here a week ago seeking help and no one wants to listen to my misery...
OVANUSQ.png
: I will do as you ask.
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: The gods bless you! Thank you! The journey through the wastelands to the Fields of the Dead is very difficult, but with Pandris - my husband - we came from the north right across that wilderness, and settled just north of Baldur’s Gate. The place I saw on that journey where they may have him now is a day from here or maybe a little longer if you start from the farms to the southeast. I’ll be here, awaiting any news. Please, rescue him...
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: This is yet another quest from Northern Tales of the Sword Coast. I may have undersold it last time, but we’ll get to that later.

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Dialogue said:
OVANUSQ.png
: Well met! What adventure do you speak of?
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: A glorious adventure indeed. Ye have heard of Durlag’s Tower, mayhaps?
OVANUSQ.png
: I’ve heard of it, yes. It’s a haunted tower to the south of here, is it not?
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: It was haunted by me granda’s friend for a time. He went mad ye see. Durlag Trollkiller was a Dwarven hero of great renown. Single-handedly slew many a dragon, he did. Me granda’ was a good friend of Durlag’s. They adventured together until me granda’s untimely death several centuries ago.
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: Go on.
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: Me granda’ was slain by an evil demon but Durlag survived. Durlag kept ‘Soultaker’ that had been me granda’s. He was going to send it to me mother but he was betrayed. A sad tale, that. After Durlag built the tower his family was replaced by doppelgangers. Durlag killed them all but was driven mad by the act. He entrapped his tower heavily and forgot about me granda’s dagger. When I heard the story as a youth, I went to retrieve the dagger meself but was driven back by Durlag’s devious traps. If ye be interested, I wish to hire ye to retrieve me granda’s dagger, ‘Soultaker’, me birthright. The tower has been penetrated somewhat by previous adventurers. I would think that the edge has been taken off of the danger. What say you?
OVANUSQ.png
: I will find your dagger if I am able.
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: This conversation might seem vanilla, but the quest itself is modded.
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: Good fortune to ye then. I shall await your return here.

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Dialogue said:
OVANUSQ.png
: Tell me more, good sir.
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: Ah, you’ve an adventurer’s spirit in ye. No doubt you’ve heard of the labyrinth at Durlag’s Tower, eh? And how she’s been pillaged so often that fat nobles go there for picnics? Well the TOWER has, but BELOW are dungeons untouched! I’ve a token, a ward token to be sure, that gives entry to them. ’Tis yours if you’ll but settle my tab so I can leave this fine place... with all my limbs intact.
OVANUSQ.png
: How much of a tab is the stake?
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: Oh, ’tis but a meager sum. I’m embarrassed I cannot cover it myself. 900 gold and I’m off the hook. What say, chum?
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: You have a deal sir!
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: Fuck it. Money means nothing.
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: Ahh bless your kindness! I’m off to pay my bill before I suffer any more interest, of either sort, from the Inn-keep. Oh, by the by, while I am quite certain he could not find me here, the former owner of that little trinket may well be keeping an eye over Durlag way, to see if he can spot someone using it. Just thought I’d pass along the warning since ye did me this favor. I’m sure he’ll listen to reason, though.

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The Bartender has a decent array of modded crap for sale. While we’re here, we buy

Darkveil said:
Screen_Shot_2021-11-09_at_8.37.16_PM.png
: At first glance this item looks like a plain, black hood which obscures the wearer’s facial features, making him nondescript. However, when its wearer faces a creature that can employ gaze attacks (such as a Basilisk, a Vampire or an Umber Hulk) the hood will magically pull itself over his eyes whenever he is about to meet the creature’s gaze, thus shielding him from the harmful effects. Unfortunately, the wearer can not direct this action consciously, and therefore has a harder time fighting against such creatures despite being protected from their gazes.

STATISTICS:

Equipped Abilities:
+5% to Hide in Shadows
Wearer is immune to gaze attacks
Wearer suffers a 2 point THAC0
penalty against creatures that employ gaze attacks

Armor Class Bonus: None
Special: Protects Against Critical Hits
Weight: 0
Usable By:
Thief
Ranger
Monk

An item that actually tries to decently balance itself? Holy shit, I must have entered wacky town!

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Speaking of wacky, these two are joinable mod NPCs. We won’t be picking them up, but I’ll note their soundsets and bios for completion’s sake while I’m at it.

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Dialogue said:
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: Quiet, fool! I’m speaking to him, not you! Just drink your bloody mead and let me be the mouthpiece!
OVANUSQ.png
: And just who exactly are you, lady?
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: Please, allow me to introduce myself. I am Xavia of Athkatla, and over there is my bodyguard and faithful companion, Mulgore of Luruar. Put that mug down and say hello, Mulgy.
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: BURP!
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: According to the Forgotten Realms Wikia, Luruar is a confederation of nations in northern Faerun that was founded specifically to *protect the north from Orcs.* Mulgore specifically being from Luruar seems like an oversight, but I don't claim to be an expert, maybe Luruar is just really bad at its job.
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: Damn you Mulgore! I... I apologize for my companion’s... rude behavior. As you can see, he’s not a very sociable individual. That’s why I do all the talking.
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: Well met then, Xavia. I am Archwizard Hank of Candlekeep, and these are my traveling companions: Vynd, Dynaheir, Minsc, Will Scarlet O’Hara and last but not least Yeslick. So now that we have the formal introductions out of the way, tell me what is it you want from us?
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: This line is actually mildly impressive because it makes use of variables for NPC names and party positions. I doubt they were declared specifically for this mod, but the variables are used infrequently enough that it’s amusing for its novelty.
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: Straight to business... I like that. I’ll get straight to the... ‘point’. Mulgore and I are on the run from a group of rogues I once proudly hailed membership to, a group called the Shadow Thieves. Have ye ever heard of ‘em, Archwizard Hank?
OVANUSQ.png
: Aye, I have.
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: Good. Then you can understand why we’re on the move!
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: BURP! Hey! You there, barwench! Fetch thee another mead!
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: I worked for the guild as one of their assassins. They would use me when they wanted a quick, clean kill that left no evidence of foul play. I’m highly trained in the arts of stealth and silence, as well as a gifted poison maker. As enjoyable as my job was, I thought my talents were being under utilized. One night, I arranged a secret meeting at the Copper Coronet between myself, my friend Kane who was a respected assassin and a worthless lout named Monte, who was my apprentice at the time.
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: If I ever see that stupid Monte again, I swear I’ll twist off his head and shove it up his bloody arse! BURP!
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: You and I both, Mulgore dear. That stormy night at the Coronet, we devised a plan. We would kill the chief assassin, Kane would step up to assume his position, he would give higher profile ‘assignments’, and with time I would eventually be chosen as Kane’s lieutenant! But it didn’t turn out that way. That little bastard Monte snitched on us! They killed Kane... gutted him like a fish they did, and then hung him by his own entrails in the guild’s assassin training complex, so he can be the example for anyone who would attempt THAT stunt again. Then... they came at me.
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: Har har! Ye almost wet yer britches, Xavia! The look on ye face when they came for us I’ll not forget any time soon!
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: Aye, we were lucky, Mulgore! By Tymora’s will, we were able to escape Athkatla alive! So we hastily gathered what gear we could, and quickly started traveling north. We were resting for a few days from our travels at the Friendly Arm Inn, when they found us. Mulgore was able to dispatch them... but it was in a loud and bloody fashion. We had to quickly escape before getting arrested. We sought the big city of Baldur’s Gate for sanctuary. It would take the Shadow Thieves days, if not weeks to pinpoint our whereabouts there. We tried hiring ourselves on as ‘adventurers’, offering our services of brute force and stealth tactics to the highest bidder, but it would seem the prejudices towards orc kind are still strong this far north, so nobody would hire us on.
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: Sorry, pieces of gibbering dung!
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: Mulgore might receive a better reception if the Coast weren’t so irrevocably overrun with Orc hordes.
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: After a few days of searching the Gate for traveling companions with no luck, we thought our next best shot for survival would be to head even further north, either Daggerford... or even to Waterdeep, where we know the Shadow Thieves won’t follow us to. Along the way we stopped to rest here in Ulgoth’s Beard, and were just about to hit the road again, until we met... you, that is. So Archwizard Hank, would an adventuring party such as yours have a need for ones such as us?
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: We have important tasks ahead of us. My party is full, and we’re not interested right now.
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: I see. Well perhaps some other time, then?
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: Now get out of my face!

As promised, here are their soundsets and biographies to gawk at, even though we aren’t taking these goons on.

Biography of Xavia said:
When asked of her past, XAVIA proudly reveals that she is a professionally trained, highly skilled assassin from the Amnish capital of Athkathla, and that she is quite good at what she does. She explains that she was once a member of the famed Shadow Thieves, but no longer belongs to that organization due to "personal differences". She will not elaborate any further on that subject. She claims to of slit the throats over 140 people in her illusterious career, ranging from thieves in rival guilds, to high profile merchants and political figures. Besides her professional accomplishments, Xavia reveals little about her personal life. Along with her half-orc companion, Mulgore, Xavia has traveled north in search of her own personal fame and fortune. She someday wishes to become known as the most notorious and feared killer-for-hire in all the Realms... a fame that she cannot attain while working for the secretive society known as the Shadow Theives.

This is more-or-less a retread of everything we've just been told.



Xavia's soundset might legitimately be the single best originally recorded soundset so far. The audio still has that distinct muffle and occasional peaking indicative of someone recording in their house with an off-the-shelf mic, but she's putting feeling into the lines and owning the role. She's at least taken a drama class at some point, and she sounds appropriately sultry for the character as it's written. I'd have given this an A+ if she weren't paired with, well... Listen for yourself.



Mulgore's soundset is just a collection of sound clips of the Orc Grunt unit from Warcraft II. This would be lazy by any standards, but the real icing on this shit cake is that it's very specifically an Orc Grunt soundset that's been available on Sorcerer's Place for almost 20 years. I have this soundset, you've probably at least seen the download link for it, everyone knows about it.

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It's trash. The problem is Warcraft II's voice clips are compressed to hell, so there's an omnipresent hiss. Warcraft III's clips are much cleaner and deliver the same basic character vibe without the audio crust, but putting together a soundset based on Warcraft III's Orc Grunt would have taken too much effort. Oh, and here's the

Biography of Mulgore said:
When asked about his past, MULGORE openly threatens you with bodily harm. He seems quite dangerous, and more than willing to engage in gratuitous violence. It would appear that he cares little for life, including his own. He's loud, obnoxious, smells bad, and often drinks to excess. The only company he seems to enjoy is that of the assassin Xavia, whom you suspect has her own reasons for staying on the good side of such a huge, menacing, brutish half-orc.


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Dialogue said:
OVANUSQ.png
: Knowledge is a worthy pursuit my friend. I will help if I can.
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: Tragic things are happening in this unfair, uh, how you say... world. The men with power, they hurt the men with none. They destroy things that teach us better life. I tell you true, it would be better if these men are not born!

This Merchant League, these bad men, they find the island to the west. The island has a broken ship, an, uh, shipwreck. Very old shipwreck, they say.
OVANUSQ.png
: How did the Merchant League discover the island?
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: They sail to New World and big storm blow them north. The sailors can’t control boat and it almost crash on island rocks. It is very stormy but they can see the old wrecked ship. They come back to Baldur’s Gate and sell sea charts to Merchants’ League. A pox upon them!
OVANUSQ.png
: Where is this leading, sir?
vZYVVPc.png
: The Merchant League sailors see markings on the ship. The shipwreck, hero, is Balduran’s. These men they think that Balduran had much treasure on his final voyage. Maybe this true, but ship also has many artifacts. These things hold knowledge of Balduran’s fate. I wish to recover the ship’s logbook. I will solve mystery of Balduran’s final voyage. Merchant League will destroy my artifacts to get to treasure. This must not happen! If you help me: I get things precious to me, you get treasure, merchant men get nothing.

You will help me, yes?
OVANUSQ.png
: Though foiling the plans of innocent merchants grates on my conscience, I will help you.
vZYVVPc.png
: I charter boat forthwith. There is small problem, though. These men that find island, they keep the sea charts locked up. In Baldur’s Gate, there is building in Northeast of city called Counting House; to find it just go northeast from Elfsong tavern. The sea charts, they are in there. Most likely, captain of ship will have them.

I don’t know such things as chart retrieval but you are hero and it is no problem for heroes. There might be small danger so I give you some gold for the charts. I will wait for you here.
OVANUSQ.png
: Consider it done. I will back as soon as I am able.
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: Please hurry friends, I need charts soon. Merchants prepare ships as we speak.

vDlZCTD.png


Dialogue said:
OVANUSQ.png
: Good Merchant, what is your worry? You seem troubled.
BUbkmup.png
: Yeah, you all nice nice now but no gold right? ’Tis same all day every day night too sometimes! Nice nice people come look and look and say nice nice and leave! I lose patience for the nice to look at pretty to hold but don’t buy a suffering thing! You here to buy or you just say nice and leave?
OVANUSQ.png
: I might be interested. Tell me, what exactly do you deal in?
BUbkmup.png
: I sell the small and shinies for the tourists in the Durlag’s Tower but there are none now there! Bandits on the roads keep the people off and away so I’m stuck with all this stock I am. Ward tokens I have of all shapes and size. Some I found by elven ruins and some I made myself I made. Maybe some good or maybe all bad but don’t they all look pretty? I tell you what I will. I’ll sell you everything I have you buy for low low price of 500 gold is all. Then I go home where they appreciate a bauble shine. Buy or no and walk the walk?
OVANUSQ.png
: You have a deal and done! Oh hell, now I’m doing it.
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: This doesn’t really net us anything spectacular, I’m just doing it because gold is the only thing we can’t take with us to BG2.
BUbkmup.png
: Good and done! Now take it all and get out so I can pack and go. ’Tis enough of my time in this place gone and lost from me.

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A hop, skip and a jump later, and we’re in Ulcaster.

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Right out of the gate, we’re met with orcs.

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Big World never ceases to disappoint with its garbage enemy formations, but you’ve gotta give it this, at least it’s consistent. It’s predictable, to a point.

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Dialogue said:
OVANUSQ.png
: You’ll taste this flesh over my dead body! Wait a minute...
FGCQmj4.png
: ... yes, I shall... taste... your flesh and... cover these old... bones...

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Our clash with Icharyd is rudely interrupted by this fellow and his truly horrid soundset. We won’t be picking him up either, but what kind of LPer would I be if I didn’t show you the full extent of this madness?

Dialogue said:
OVANUSQ.png
: I must admit that I’m equally surprised. I expected some undead, a spider or two, maybe a wolf, but certainly not a living man.
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: I’m SO SORRY to disappoint you, then. Go down there, I’m sure you’ll find someone to fight - it seems you’re looking for one. That’s a most unusual day - I thought I was going on a solitary expedition, without having to contend with any other adventurers and here you are: a man out of the blue.
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: Oh, don’t worry! Minsc and Boo won’t argue with you! Don’t look for troubles and you won’t find any!
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: Am I going insane, or does the flow of this conversation make no logical sense?
Dex46Vg.png
: So? Are you deaf? Tell me your name and maybe I’ll tell you mine.
OVANUSQ.png
: Maybe?
Dex46Vg.png
: Fine. I’ll tell you my name if you tell me yours.
OVANUSQ.png
: I’m Archwizard Hank.
Dex46Vg.png
: I’m White. I have some work to do here, but if you promise not to get in my way, I won’t start a fight.
OVANUSQ.png
: Fine. I’m not looking for one. I’m quite interested in your work. What are you looking for in here?
Dex46Vg.png
: You want to hear about my work? Interesting. I’m hunting for one of the most dangerous beasts here. The most crafty of all, I would say. I’m hunting for a man. A human.
OVANUSQ.png
: Sounds intriguing. Consider me interested.
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: White will disappear from the game if we turn him down here and now, so we’ve gotta do the ol’ switcharoo if we want to either steal his stuff or save him for later.
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: Doesn’t it? He took something that belongs to me and no one messes with White. Especially when I’m in the mood for hunting. So the guy is mine. Don’t you dare catch him before I do! If you find him at all.
OVANUSQ.png
: A proposal: join me. We can find him together. After I help you, you can help me in avenging my foster father’s murder.
Dex46Vg.png
: An act of vengeance? A fair trade. Let’s go then. He should be down there.

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tuBhNyX.png

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Pictured: the ol’ switcharoo

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Icharyd is still coming in swinging, but we’re ready.

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One well-placed bolt of doom from above and he’s down for the count.

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Orcs fucking suck, dude.

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Dialogue said:
IctZtQO.png
: Heard it.
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: What do you mean “heard it”? There’s dozens of these.
IctZtQO.png
: Heard ‘em all.

D052od6.png


Dialogue said:
OVANUSQ.png
: You will have to wait here. I have no room for you at the moment.

Now that these formalities are out of the way, let’s take a look at those juicy audiovisual details.

Biography of White said:
When asked about his past, WHITE seems to avoid the topic, telling you that there are many other things you should focus on. But finally he tells you that he spent more than half of his life in the temple of Grumbar, the god of earth and rocks. It seems that it wasn't his parents who took care of him, but someone else -- but suddenly he states that he needs to prepare his gear for the battles, rather than discuss with "his nosy leader".

While trying to find this in NearInfinity, I found something else that defies explanation.

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Chat said:
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: This sounds like the most disgusting alcohol beverage recipe ever
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: there's more than this
There's like a whole fucking recipe book of alcoholic mixes just sitting in Big World's data

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: For some reason I was about to spew out a sentence and mention Siege, I have no idea why
It was "This is irrefutable proof that they were completely shitfaced in the decision making of some design choices in Siege"

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: I mean, they were
But yeah that's a different thing
You could be forgiven for thinking the two are the same game

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: If you threw that annoying bitch in Big World, she'd have a perfect place in it.
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: In the sense that she never stops bugging you, yeah. She at least has the decency to be professionally recorded, but then again so does all of Siege so that's not really a fair comparison
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: Well it's a studio, not some crazed near balding bad taste dungeon dweller with his 10 maybe 20 dollar chinese microphone spitting out lines of dialogue.
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: Big World also arguably has more logical encounter design
...For the most part
In BG2 it approaches Siege territory but for a lot of BG1 the enemy patterns are predictable and make sense
They're still packed with overpowered and bullshit enemies but they're oversaturated to the point that they start fitting in
Whereas Siege just vomits the entire monster manual all over you because the metaphorical DM has ADHD and spilled his spaghetti all over his notes

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: I SPILL MY DRINK
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: this update's kind of uneventful so I think I'll just jam this where my kommentary of the booze screencap would usually go as a way of foreshadowing the co-op
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: PFFFF



The voice actor for White is a seemingly middle eastern guy with a tenuous grasp on the English language. He flip flops between putting genuine feeling into lines and sounding terminally uninterested, very frequently puts inflection on the wrong parts of a sentence, and has terrible enunciation. This heinous combination leads to such stunning lines as "Am wary, and my weaponsgot stickywif blahd, we need dierez" or "sooner I'minchahjj? HEH, gewd, prepare yourself for some nice bottles."

One might assume that this is an intentional decision and the mod author wanted to evoke the earlier days of Arnold Schwarzenegger's career - roles like Conan the Barbarian, in particular, in which Arnie didn't really know much English and just repeated the lines he was told he had to say, so the delivery was sometimes stilted and odd. The thing though is that Arnold's performances, as awkward as they could get, were never wooden. Even in roles like "The Terminator" in which he's wooden by design, he still exudes some level of malice because he can act. Do you really need me to keep telling you this? Fucking christ, just listen to this shit. You can hear the ice of his drink.

Anyway Icharyd drops the

Rod of Refuge said:
Screen_Shot_2021-11-09_at_8.41.39_PM.png
: This sort of rod is one of the most prized rods in existence. Upon activation, the user and anyone he designates is transported to an extradimentional house. These houses, can be one room huts or grand mansions, depending on the rod. Only those designated by the user may enter so it is a safe place to rest and store any items.

Special: Transports the user to a pocket dimension on use

Usable by:
All

I’ve never tested this. I have no idea what the specifics of its effects are or if it even works as described. I guess we’ll find out together.

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Might as well get this quest before we head below.

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The Ulcaster Ruins are a real motherfucker. A real greasy bastard of a hole of a place. We’re going to need all the help we can get, so we’re bringing Ass Wolf back from the sidelines, for all the good it’ll do.

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For one thing, the ruins have been given a whole second floor. I might have mentioned this before, I might not have. Who keeps track anymore? The first floor is the vanilla dungeon and is mainly populated with high-tier undead.

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Dialogue said:
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: Help to me... body inside... just a shade I... inside body... I live again! Revenge the destroyers!
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: Is there no rest for you spirit? What holds you to this place?
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: School destroyed by treachery... Ulcaster gone... protect they said... must revenge!
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: Poor creature, who were you in life?
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: Mal-Kalen I... student I... revenge destroyers... release the body!
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: Back you undead horror! Back, lest you wish to die again!
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: Now the body inside... no escape for body... release body so I live! Revenge the destroyers!
OVANUSQ.png
: I beseech you, cease your attack! I am not your enemy!
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: You not enemy... you the body... release body so I live! Revenge the destroyers!
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: The battle has been forgotten by all! Stop your pointless quest!
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: Not forgotten by I... but a tenday... release the body!
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: It has been 300 years! Time has already taken your quarry!
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: 300 years... it cannot be... 300... dead all must be... All dead... I remain... will exact penance from descendants... revenge the destroyers! Release the body!

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There are far more menacing threats in this place than Mal-Kalen.

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The chief annoyance of the first floor is all these damn vampiric wolves and their fear howls.

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This treasure hoard is important. Within lies

Karlini’s Spellbook said:
Screen_Shot_2021-11-09_at_8.43.39_PM.png
: In this book the great Karlini, one of the most colorful figures of gnomish wisdom, wrote down his experiences and spells. The handwriting is confusing and scrawly, probably only someone who is as mad as Karlini could decipher this scribble.

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Mummies are here too.

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Not for long, though. They’re pussies.

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These wolfweres are nasty, but they aren’t anywhere near as bad as their greater cousins further down the hall.

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And this would be... Further down the hall. The Skeleton Warriors are menacing if only for their overwhelming numbers, but they at least have the decency to die quickly. The mummies and assorted wolfbeings only make the fight longer than it has to be.

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It’s a slugfest, and the tightness of the corridor doesn’t help.

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This lasts somewhere around ten minutes.

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Just around the corner is this chufty bastard. The Greater Wolfwere takes absolutely forever to kill, in no small part because it’s a direct copy of the final boss of Werewolf Island, who is effectively invincible in the base game unless you have the Sword of Balduran.

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I’ll spare you about five solid minutes of wailing against this dude.

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The Greater Wolfwere is such a thorough copypasta, it even drops Pelladan, the baby you need to find. This isn’t a mod copy of Pelladan, this is the real Pelladan and he will complete the quest before it begins.

...So, I mean, we take him. Why wouldn’t we?

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The exit to the second floor is over here. If you can’t see it, I don’t blame you. There was never supposed to be a staircase here when the vanilla map was designed, and you’d only ever know there *is* one now because I told you. Finding it requires Bone Hill-level pixel hunting.

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The stairway is here, and more or less exactly here. There’s very little margin for error, and it’s extremely easy to inch the mouse a micron to the left or right and lose the stairway. Words fail to capture how mind-bottlingly, universe-shatteringly annoying this is. What I’m describing to you here? Everything you’re reading? Picture it, picture the insanity, the heinous, alien design logic and magnify what you imagine it would be like a hundredfold, because it is exponentially worse to try to do this in reality.

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Dialogue said:
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: Leave? We just got here. Looks like there’s a lot of treasure to plunder.
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: Thieves! You will not live to see daylight again! Kill them, kill them all!

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The Archmage here starts a deliciously obnoxious trend in Big World mage fights, one that we’ve only seen hints of so far, and that’s mages starting the fight by casting Globe of Invulnerability. There aren’t really a lot of reliable ways to dispel or pierce it, and we sure as hell don’t have any of them at this level. So we literally just have to wait for the spell to wear off while we take damage right in the face.

It sucks. I should note by the way that at the beginning of this update, the Snow Golems had no issue piercing my globe of invulnerability. This is because, in spite of all the stupidly powerful magical weaponry, our dudes don't really hit like a mack truck. We can boost our THAC0 and DEX and STR and other factors through the roof, but the enemy always seems to have superior magical resistance. Attacking with weapons is usually the best possible strategy, though, along with a few others I'll note as they crop up.

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Might as well dispatch the satellite undead while we wait.

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Some mod or another was kind enough to add a timer to the feedback box that tells you when certain buffs are about to expire. You might have noticed it in previous updates, but I’m pointing it out now because it’s a cruel reminder that we’re basically helpless.

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Our physical guys can occasionally get hits in, but the damage is piss.

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The solution? Flame strikes. Always flame strikes. Remember those crazy-ass wands with 200 charges being sold at the Friendly Arm? We’re investing in two or three of those because fuck this gay shit.

Arch Mage Arias drops the

Dagger of Disease said:
Screen_Shot_2021-11-09_at_8.46.21_PM.png
: The “Dagger of Disease” is a potent blade favored by assassins all across the Realms. This peculiar weapon is diseased and gives the victim additional damage. Every time it hits an opponent it secretes a virus into the blood stream of the creature. The virus attacks the immune system quite rapidly. Its origin is unknown.

STATISTICS:

Damage: 1D4 +2
# of Attacks: 2
THACO: +2 bonus
Poison Damage: 6 points per round
Up to a total of 15 damage
Weight: 2
Speed Factor: 1
Proficiency Type: Small Sword
Type: 1-handed
Not Usable By:
Cleric

So it’s an AIDS dagger. Fitting.

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This whole area is a clone of the Candlekeep catacombs, and -

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Oh. Isn’t that nice.

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About 15 minutes of autopilot backtracking later, and we’re back.

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From this point onward, close to every inch of the floor is loaded with magical shit. This chest contains

Battle Axe +3 Frostreaver said:
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: Frostreaver, Battle Axe +3 This was the axe of Illgarth, a Frost Giant that terrorized northern communities long ago. It is not known where he acquired the weapon, but he took a perverse pleasure in unleashing it upon small folk, particularly halflings. Ice and acid maimed those not killed, and the giant would laugh coldly if he recognized his handiwork from a previous visit. Ultimately a group did manage to kill him, and at the request of his victims Frostreaver was buried with him.

STATISTICS:

Combat Ability:
+1 point cold damage to target
+1 point acid damage to target
THAC0: +3 bonus
Damage: 1D8 +3
Damage type: slashing
Weight: 7
Speed Factor: 6
Proficiency Type: Axe
Type: 1-handed
Requires: 10 Strength
Not Usable By:
Druid
Cleric
Mage
Thief

And

Throwing Axe +3 said:
Screen_Shot_2021-11-09_at_8.48.06_PM.png
: This throwing axe has not only been finely balanced for use as a missile weapon but has also been the subject of significant magical enhancement. As a result, it is both more damaging and more accurate than any non-magical weapon of a similar style.

STATISTICS:

Damage: 1D6 +3
THACO: +3
Damage type(melee): Slashing
Damage type(thrown): missile (piercing)
Special: Returns to users hand once thrown
Weight: 3
Speed Factor: 4
Proficiency Type: Axe
Type: 1-handed
Not Usable By:
Druid
Cleric
Mage
Thief

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The difficulty of the lower floors is far less consistent. Up above, it’s a fairly non-stop meat grinder. Down below, it’s waves of lower-tier skeletons and ghouls punctuated by the occasional Skeleton Warrior, Burning Dead and crazy, whack-ass wizard fights.

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The Burning Dead in particular are worth keeping an eye out for. They’re relatively harmless on their own, but in larger numbers they can be devastating as they’re armed with Arrows of Detonation.

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Anton Valor over here guards the way to the final floor with a skeleton warrior and a god damn Death Knight.

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He also buffs himself in an identical way to the Arch Mage, because of course he does. Fuck the player.

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Unlike the Arch Mage, however, Anton has a far broader array of lethal spells.

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The Death Knight is a damage sponge and even though he doesn’t have any buffs to protect him like Anton does, he dies last.

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This whole fight is a hellish mosh pit of swords, gas and lightning.

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I mean, really, why would anyone think it’s a good idea to toss a Death Knight at you this early in the game? It’s just rude.

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Eventually he finally bites it.

The Death Knight drops

Bastard Sword +2 ‘The Viper’ said:
Screen_Shot_2021-11-09_at_8.48.56_PM.png
: Bastard Sword +2 The Viper, the poison in this sword is extremely lethal, extracted from the tail of a wyvern it does extreme damage in short periods of time.

STATISTICS:

Damage: 1D8 +2
THACO: +3 bonus
Special: Inflicts targets with poison unless the save vs. death
Damage type: slashing
Weight: 8
Speed Factor: 7
Proficiency Type: Large Sword
Type: 1-handed
Not Usable By:
Druid
Cleric
Mage
Thief

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Oh, and if your balls weren’t busted enough after that, there are some helmed horrors on the way down to the final floor.

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The final floor is a delightful hellscape.

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Right out of the gate, we’re assailed by Garrett and his entourage of ghost knights.

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Garrett employs the same strategy we’ve seen twice already, because we all died ten years ago, and this is actually Hell.

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Thankfully, we know better now. As an additional consolation, his Ghost Knight pals are chumps in comparison to what we just dealt with on the way here.

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Have I mentioned the XP yields in this place are ridiculous?

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Like all enemies who spam AoE spells, Garrett has a tendency to frag his own dudes.

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And down he goes. Flamestrike is your friend.

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In defiance of all logic and reason, Garrett drops another Elemental Staff of Fire “forged at the dawn of time.” He was probably supposed to drop one of the other three elemental staves which *do* exist in the game files, but he doesn’t.

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If you’re familiar with the Candlekeep Crypts, you’re familiar with this place. It’s a series of branching paths littered with traps, and nearly every grave is loaded with cool shit.

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This grave contains a +1 WIS tome and a ring of fire resistance. *Reasonably* sure it’s just a copy/paste job from the vanilla map.

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Going to continue the trend of documenting spells I take on level ups. Taking this opportunity to expand my damage and debuff capacity.

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This grave contains some particularly handy jewelry, namely

Amulet of Priesthood said:
Screen_Shot_2021-11-09_at_8.50.11_PM.png
: Amulet of Priesthood: ‘The Sacred’ Known for its ability to enhance spellcasting, the Amulet of Priesthood is highly sought after by clerics and druids.

STATISTICS:

Special: Memorize one extra second level spell

Usable by:
Druids
Clerics

Amulet of Wyvren Summoning said:
Screen_Shot_2021-11-09_at_8.51.00_PM.png
: Allows the user to summon a Wyvren at will to do its bidding.

Ring of Wizardry 1st thru 5th said:
Screen_Shot_2021-11-09_at_8.51.40_PM.png
: Ring of wizardry: ‘Evermemory’
Long ago, a grand wizard from Amn was rumored to have defied Mystra’s limitations on the magical arts. Legends spoke of this wizard being able to cast spells without the limitations of memorization. In the end it was found that his powers stemmed from the several magical rings that he had made for himself. His proclaimed “everlasting memory” was a hoax, though his rings continue to be one of the most sought after items in the Realms.’

STATISTICS:

Spells: Doubles the amount of 1st thru 5th level spells a mage can memorize
Only usable by:
Mage

I discussed this thing last update, but again, holy fuck. With this, we basically wield the power cosmic.

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This way is a dead end, and nothing interesting lies within.

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This way, however, is the way to the Main Crypt and is guarded with all manner of nasty undead, Skeleton Warriors in particular.



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Arch Mage Natas awaits in the main crypt alongside another god damn death knight, because life doesn’t hurt enough already, so why not make it hurt more?

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I’ve rarely had much success using Greater Malison in Big World, but the internet tells me it’s an invaluable spell and a mainstay in any Arcane Arsenal, so who the fuck am I to argue with the manifest metaphysical metacognition of mankind’s collective knowledge?

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You might wonder why I haven’t really been giving you super detailed play-by-plays, at least in comparison to the last few updates. The sameyness of the fights is partially to blame, though more than anything, we’ve been saving the *big finale* for the goons waiting for us at the exit.

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Much like Anton, Natas will die before her Death Knight crony.

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Case in point. We’ve faced two of these bastards so far and haven’t stepped within a mile of Durlag’s Tower. The Sword Coast needs some fucking priests.

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With everyone down, we’re free to loot the place. The Death Knight drops

Long Sword +2 ‘Fire Biter’ said:
Screen_Shot_2021-11-09_at_8.53.08_PM.png
: How "Fire Biter" came to this plane is unknown.

It is rumored that the last owner believed himself so powerful that he went to defeat the Queen of Fire Elementals. Obviously he failed.

STATISTICS:

Damage: 1D8 +1
THACO: +1 bonus
1D3 fire damage
# of Attacks: 2
Special:
+2 vs. Regenerating Creatures
+3 vs. Cold-Using Creatures
+4 vs. Undead
Damage type: slashing
Weight: 4
Speed Factor: 5
Proficiency Type: Large Sword
Type: 1-handed
Not Usable By:
Druid
Cleric
Mage

This sword is pretty legit. It’s far from balanced, but it’s easily *less broken* than a decent chunk of the crap we have floating around the nether space in our pockets.

Arch Mage Natas drops another Dagger of Disease. The Main Crypt contains a +1 STR Tome, a Cloak of Protection +2 and

Ulcaster’s Amulet said:
Screen_Shot_2021-11-09_at_8.55.11_PM.png
: This is the amulet worn by the great mage named Ulcaster. He had many artifacts at his school but very few have ever been found.

STATISTICS:

Bonus 2 level 4 and level 5 spells
20% Magic Resistance
Weight: 9
Usable By:
Mages

Big World has a load of overpowered amulets, and this one doesn’t stand out much among them. It’s better than what we’ve been using so far, though, so it’ll do.

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Right then. About those goons waiting for us at the exit.

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Remember a long time ago, when I told you the shitty portrait assassins would eventually start casting Time Stop?

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Yeah. They’re *those* goons. The Ulcaster Ruins pull out all the stops on the fecal organ, and this is the cherry on the fudge sundae. But we’re not going to stand for this shit. In fact, we’re not even going to let their train leave the station. Our metaphors have never been staler - they’re growing molds that can build micronations - and we’re ready.

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Ready to rock their worlds.

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But first, we sleep, our dreams filled with premonitions of the coming bloodletting.

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Our quarry is just off to the left. We’re going to cast Simulacrum now because, like all Portrait Assassins, they initiate dialogue immediately when you get in range in order to catch you off guard.

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Dialogue said:
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: We would be able to put them to better use than you simians ever could.
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: I like that necklace, it gives off a distinctive glow, I think it would look good with my outfit.
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: It would look better on your bare skin while you are on my bed Erica.
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: Ha! As if she would have anything to do with you.
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: Well you weren’t there a couple of nights ago were you? That’s what happens when you drink too much ale my friend, you miss out on the finer things in life.
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: What? Nonsense! She wouldn’t have anything to do with a primate like you.
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: I got your primate right here pal!
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: Enough you two already! Lets get these fine magical items and leave.
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: I don’t think they want to give us their loot.
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: We didn’t ask, we’re telling you. Now hand over those items and you monkeys may survive this encounter.
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: We’re now given options. Only one choice is truly valid.
OVANUSQ.png
: We’re not giving you clowns anything. Why don’t you beat it before we decide to take your magical items.
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: Did you hear what these apes said?
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: Clowns? We’ll show you how funny we are. Attack!

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We immediately put our Simulacrum to task with Time Stop. Any later, and they’d have instantiated globes of invulnerability and the following volley would be useless.

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The problem with spells like Simulacrum and Project Image is that your copies spawn at around half your level, thereabouts. This isn’t an issue at higher casting levels when you’d actually have access to these spells, but early in the game (like now,) casting the spell from scrolls, it’s kind of a dump. But we’ll take what we can get.

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The nifty part about the new effect timer is it also tells you how long Time Stop lasts.

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All of our Simulacrum’s spells have just unloaded in a distributed fashion across all three targets. All that remains is to wait for Time Stop to expire.

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Taneth dies before he can realize what’s happening. The shock is so incredible, his dying moments are spent lamenting an imaginary life spent as a Drow. Jeneik and Erica’s buffs absorbed the brunt of their respective volleys, but killing them wasn’t the goal; the goal was to interrupt their spellcasting. This had... Mixed success. It doesn't really matter either way as Taneth is the only one out of the three with Time Stop memorized.

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The Simulacrum has effectively outlived its usefulness. I could Project Image and fire off another time stop, but they’re putting up globes of invulnerability so there wouldn’t be much point to it. Instead I ready some Cloudkills.

The Simulacrum is bugged, by the way, and will rot on this map for the rest of time.

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Unfortunately, this is hurting me more than it hurts them.

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Eventually, I just start firing off lightning bolts. It takes forever, but the damage connects and they start dying.

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Joining her comrades in electric death, Erica concedes that death is the most reasonable option at the moment.

All three of these chucklefucks drop one

Red Wizard Robe said:
Screen_Shot_2021-11-09_at_9.07.39_PM.png
: This powerful Red Wizard Robe offers protection from all forms of physical attack while at the same time increasing one’s magical resistance and saving throws. Due to the nature of its enchantment, it can only be worn by mages of evil alignment.

STATISTICS:

Armor Class: 5
Magic Resistance: 5%
Saving Throw: +1 bonus
Weight: 6
Only usable by:
Mage (single, dual, & multi-class)
Evil-aligned characters

They’re also armed with +2 slings and Bullets of Detonation.

UIpp57i.png


And with that, we’re fucking done here. At least for now. I’ve been saying “forever” quite a bit, but the more I play this game, the less sure I am of that statement every time I want to make it.

We’re off to the Friendly Arm. My arm could use a friend, too. It’s high time I return to my sarcophagus in the hallowed octagonal tower I hold absolute dominion over. I’ll see you again soon, Seekers of the Glib Word. I know “soon” is a relative concept, for we’ll all see each other “soon” in our eternal quest to shovel dirt into our mouths, but I’ll see you sooner than that.

Until then, as always, I leave you with more words from our “sponsors...”



And remember, May the 4th be with you, always.
 
Last edited:

Firesworn

Novice
Joined
Sep 6, 2019
Messages
15
One of the few things in BG that worked was the whole iron shortage plot. The ore will remain tainted until you discover the source, and this affects weaponry: any weapon made of metal can break. I remember party NPCs suddenly using their hands in combat and then finding several pieces of broken weapons in my inventory. Unlike BG2's bullshit Bhaalspawn story where you're constantly told you need to save your soul and there's no time to lose, it never affected anything; you could spend 5 years of in-game time just gawking around and your soul seemed just fine. Yet here, in some dank mine, the concerns of the world above were the same as mine down below, with the urgency of that plot becoming palpable. Finding magical weapons was actually cause for celebration back then.

Unless they were mentally challenged, infatuated with the pornographic item progression of BG2 and ToB, or just incapable of understanding the effect of the plot in the first game, why on earth would anyone think placing +3 weapons in the Nashkel mines was a good idea?

And fucking Duergar out of all things.
 

Archwizard Hank

Learned
Joined
Mar 8, 2017
Messages
94
I know I seem to do this often, but I went on a sabbatical this past weekend. I went to the southern coasts of California, on a pilgrimage to the gutted corpse of “Beach Side,” once a Mecca for hungry tourists, local students and the reclusive elites that call this little pocket of the world home. For decades, I’d come here once a year and partake of their icy goblets filled with the essence of Olympus. And now it remains another victim of a sweeping rise in global entropy, a hellish footnote in a long and bloody joke about the day the bombs fell and everyone clamoring for Apocalypse forgot the little detail about the local Wal-Mart failing along with the rest of the infrastructure.

And as I stood there on the beach, mourning the passing of yet another physical place in this increasingly small physical plane, I came to realize - or perhaps reaffirm - that everyone needs something or someone to whip. Something to flay, gut, garrote and eviscerate, physically or metaphorically. It’s a realization nobody really wants to acknowledge because we like to think we’re better than this base instinct, but even the most flamboyant of the positivity queens will give in to this on some level. Maybe they’ll tell you not to say something, or do something, out of some sense of inclusiveness or sensitivity. It’s about having a sense of control in your life, be it over your chaotic surroundings or your chaotic mind. In my case, it’s the latter. Every goddamn day I’m teetering on the edge of piloting a combine harvester through a Hardee's. If I don’t publicly annihilate video games at length, my brain might hemorrhage.

One of the few things in BG that worked was the whole iron shortage plot. The ore will remain tainted until you discover the source, and this affects weaponry: any weapon made of metal can break. I remember party NPCs suddenly using their hands in combat and then finding several pieces of broken weapons in my inventory. Unlike BG2's bullshit Bhaalspawn story where you're constantly told you need to save your soul and there's no time to lose, it never affected anything; you could spend 5 years of in-game time just gawking around and your soul seemed just fine. Yet here, in some dank mine, the concerns of the world above were the same as mine down below, with the urgency of that plot becoming palpable. Finding magical weapons was actually cause for celebration back then.

Unless they were mentally challenged, infatuated with the pornographic item progression of BG2 and ToB, or just incapable of understanding the effect of the plot in the first game, why on earth would anyone think placing +3 weapons in the Nashkel mines was a good idea?

And fucking Duergar out of all things.

You, sir, are the master - nay, the grandmaster of brevity and (by association) wit. You've encapsulated in a mere paragraph and some change what I've failed to enunciate in over 500 text pages, four thread pages and a solid year of LP. Mere brofists, "agree"s and "yes!" ratings cannot begin to encompass the respect I have for what you have written. You have more than earned the Bro Handshake.

brohandshake02.png


The universe quakes in its wake, galaxies collide, stars go supernova and planets erupt in a flare of violent gravitational disruption as the sheer magnitude of bro-dom on display echoes in relativistic waves across the tapestry of the Firmament for all time. I am not being sarcastic. You rule.

HYzEU8u.png


Now that those formalities are out of the way, we can return to our regularly scheduled flogging.

IJ3aamp.png


There’s one last merchant at the Friendly Arm I’ve neglected to showcase so far. Meet Kurtz Goldenaxe, peddler of some of the most laughably broken armor you can buy in the first game. I know I say that a lot, but his collection is reasonably huge.

Dialogue said:
OVANUSQ.png
: Yes, what can you show me today?
zVG6zWP.png
: Here’s what I ‘ave. Best bloody armor you’ll find around these parts.

HW1V9eM.png


This is just a small taste of what he has in stock. We have a lot of gold and treasure burning a hole in our already sizable extradimensional pocket hole, so after a lot of selling shit off that I’ll spare you for the sake of your sanity, we buy

Elemental Plate Mail Armor said:
Screen_Shot_2021-11-09_at_9.10.00_PM.png
: This armor was forged by the Stonecrusher clan dwarves. It protects the wearer from the elements.

STATISTICS:

Armor Class: 1
Special: 5% Fire Resistance
5% Cold Resistance
5% Electrical Resistance
Weight: 45
Requires: 12 Strength

Durlag’s Full Plate +2 said:
Screen_Shot_2021-11-09_at_9.11.44_PM.png
: This is the plate armor that belonged to Durlag the famous dwarf who built a tower full of treasure and traps. Some how some body survived those traps since this armor no longer rests in Durlag’s Tower.

STATISTICS:

+1 to constitution
Protection from Confusion/Rigid Thinking/Fear
Armor Class: -1
Weight: 50
Requires: 15 Strength

Boots of Quickness said:
Screen_Shot_2021-11-09_at_9.12.22_PM.png
: Boots are normally hand-made by cobblers. Common boots are made by using a form, but good boots are designed for the foot of an individual.

STATISTICS:

Special: Increased Speed
+5 Versus Missile Weapons

and

Boots of Evasion said:
Screen_Shot_2021-11-09_at_9.12.58_PM.png
: These boots were made for an assassin named Anagar the Quick. He was well known for leaving the scene of assassinations quickly and undetected. He met his end when he slipped upon a grease trap on his last assassination attempt and slid into a wall of spikes.

STATISTICS:

Armor Class Bonus: +1
Special: Increased Speed

Whzxupu.png


While we’re here, we might as well turn some quests in. Like this one.

xA76KOE.png


And this one again. What?

WRrBlZX.png


Have I just been doing this quest wrong the whole time? I don’t remember having to accost this NPC over and over again before the quest properly completed.

L9SOStm.png


Remember Ygnatz? I don’t blame you if you don’t, he was a last-minute addition to update, uh... 3? Yeah, that sounds right.

Dialogue said:
OVANUSQ.png
: There is, indeed. We have found the book!
Screen_Shot_2020-03-09_at_3.59.34_PM.png
: You have it? You have it! Oh, it’s a glorious day for gnomekind! Let me see! Hmm.... (browsing the sheets) Hm..... ah! (browsing the sheets) A-HA! I knew it! The great formula! He has tried out the great formula!
QlquGX7.png
: I like to imagine he literally says “browsing the sheets.”
OVANUSQ.png
: The great formula? What is that?
Screen_Shot_2020-03-09_at_3.59.34_PM.png
: Oh, nobody knows exactly. We only know that the great formula... well... is great. And now I can recite it! I can recite it!
OVANUSQ.png
: Uh... Karlini disappeared when he spoke the great formula, right?
Screen_Shot_2020-03-09_at_3.59.34_PM.png
: Yes, exactly. And just think how exciting it will be to find out what happened to him!
OVANUSQ.png
: Do you want to speak the great formula without knowing what happened?
QlquGX7.png
: I should clarify that all of the options we’ve been taking are option 1. Option 2 is always “Whatever. If you would handover my go...” and Option 3 is always “Time to go. Payment?” The second option almost certainly gets you nothing and the third probably gets you *effectively* nothing. This route nets a superior reward, not that I had to tell you that.
Screen_Shot_2020-03-09_at_3.59.34_PM.png
: Well, sacrifices must be made for the sake of science!
OVANUSQ.png
: But if you also disappear science has nothing of it.
Screen_Shot_2020-03-09_at_3.59.34_PM.png
: Oh... yes, of course, you have a point. Hmm...
OVANUSQ.png
: Maybe I can help. I am a good observer.
Screen_Shot_2020-03-09_at_3.59.34_PM.png
: Would you do that? Oh, that would be mar-ve-lous. Listen. West of here in the woods are a couple of magic circles. We meet there. Take your time to prepare yourselves, I’m waiting for you...

sQuweGA.png

Ygnatz wants to meet us at Gorion’s grave, or “Lion’s Way.” We can’t just jump there from any other adjacent location, so we have to take the Coast Way, which under normal circumstances is an area you’d probably never use again after passing through it, at least until Chapter 7 when you return to Candlekeep.

e04RaOO.png

But pretty much every area in the game has more modded mooks the further you go into the game, so any ingrained notion you already have about areas you can safely skip can be safely tossed. By the endgame it starts feeling less like additional content and more like an easter egg hunt from hell.

Dialogue said:
OVANUSQ.png
: You have? Who are you?
ohpicVy.png
: My name is Davenport and I am employed by a group that has been contracted by an individual who wishes you dead. Nothing personal, just hold still and it won’t hurt.

qqlB4y3.png


Davenport is backed up by two “Section Elites.”

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Davenport dies like a chump, and suddenly Malious rolls in to the feedback box, crushing any hope that this fight would be simple.

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Have I mentioned that this fight is kind of bullshit?

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This is the dialogue you get if you bring ass wolf back from the dead sidelines in the middle of a fight.

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Unfortunately he doesn’t really do much at this stage of the game, but he’s still entertaining to bring out for a few cheap pot shots.

mzDaTWP.png


Eventually, these bastards go down.

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Dialogue said:
IctZtQO.png
: No.
UlqdIjr.png
: Thirty. Thirty gold. Come on, nobody else will know.
IctZtQO.png
: I’m nay that kind of dwarf.
QlquGX7.png
: I’d be horrified if this weren’t legitimately funny for once.
UlqdIjr.png
: Yes, and that’s why it’ll be amazing. That’s the whole point. You could donate it somewhere.
IctZtQO.png
: ...
UlqdIjr.png
: Does Clangeddin have any temples? Shrines? They can have it. All you need to do-
IctZtQO.png
: I NEED A SWIG O’ SOME STRONG,
DWARRRRRRVEN ALE.
UlqdIjr.png
: Beautiful. Do “By Moradin’s hammer!”
IctZtQO.png
: Ye can’t afford it.

The latest batch of portrait assassins drop the usual minor (by Big World standards) trinkets, among them

Ring of Conduction said:
Screen_Shot_2021-11-09_at_9.14.14_PM.png
: Over 1000 years have passed since the warlocks of Yevaud moved to seize control of the Tree of Wisdom. The tales of the ensuing battle are still told at every meeting of the druids across the realms. Elgenon knew he would never withstand the power of the warlocks without some assistance and prayed to the Tree of Wisdom seeking guidance. His prayers were answered when he saw this ring in a vision. The warlocks most powerful magic, the control of lightning, failed to harm the wildly druid. By days end the battle was over, the remaining warlocks gathered what they could from the fallen and retreated. Elgenons bravery helped win the day, but it was his wisdom that was the deciding factor and earned him the name ‘Elgenon the Wise’

STATISTICS:

Spells: Gain Protection from Electricity
Only usable by:
Neutral Alignment

Davenport was armed to the teeth in magical shit, not that it helped him much. He drops

Dragon Armor said:
Screen_Shot_2021-11-09_at_9.14.55_PM.png
: Dragon Armor, the trademark armor of the Elite Chimera Rangers. This armor is enchanted with powerful magic known only to the Chimera Shamans. It provides the wearer with added protection against many forms of attack, and aids in their ability to stalk their targets.

STATISTICS:

Armor Class: 4
Speed Factor Penalty: +1
Physical Resistance Bonus: +5%
Arcane Casting Time Penalty: +2
Stealth Penalty: -20%
Weight: 8
Not Usable By:
Mage

Warrior Gloves said:
Screen_Shot_2021-11-09_at_9.15.31_PM.png
: Gauntlets are armored gloves. They can be made of leather, metal plates, or chain mail. Every suit of armor is assumed to include gauntlets of an appropriate type. Magical gauntlets tend to be finer, lighter, and more easily worn than normal varieties.

STATISTICS

THAC0 +3
Damage +3

Usable by:
Fighters
Rangers
Paladins
Clerics

Cutlass +3 ‘Sparks’ said:
Screen_Shot_2021-11-09_at_9.16.13_PM.png
: Humming with electrical energy, it is easy to see how this cutlass got its name. The origins of it are not known, but stories of a strange land always accompany any recount of this blade. The first known owner was a pirate just returned to port. He was robbed and killed while in a drunken stupor and even his name remains as much a mystery as this sword.

STATISTICS:

THACO: +3 bonus
Damage: 1D8 +3
Special: 1D3 Electrical Damage
Damage type: piercing
Weight: 3
Speed Factor: 3
Proficiency Type: Short Sword
Type: 1-handed
Not Usable By:
Bard
Cleric
Druid
Mage
Paladin

As well as an

Odd Looking Key said:
Screen_Shot_2021-11-09_at_9.16.52_PM.png
: Key:
A bejeweled key of odd-design.

and a

Scroll said:
Screen_Shot_2021-11-09_at_9.20.30_PM.png
: note to self:
Remember that the entrance to
Section is in Beregost next to the Thunderhammer Smithy. Also, remember to keep that key on you at all times. We would look stupid getting locked out of Section.

The details of these updates and my prerecorded footage have become such a blur, I legitimately thought we already killed a bunch of Section Elites and invaded their HQ several updates ago. Maybe we fought Section Elites but didn’t get the key and note? I originally wrote this right after introducing the elites.

Archwizard Hank said:
You might remember Section from several shitty portrait assassins ago, I believe we recovered a key and a poorly written note indicating that Section was headquartered in Beregost.

I believe these are the symptoms of what they call “beef brain.”

JjVc436.png


This punk was hiding just far enough out of the screen to miss most of the action. He dies in seconds and drops

Cutlass +3 ‘Thud’ said:
Screen_Shot_2021-11-09_at_9.21.41_PM.png
: Larger the the average cutlass, when looked upon Thud seems more a broad sword the a cutlass. Commissioned by a robber baron named Orrimy who wanted to ‘smash as well as slash’ as he put it. The extra large size got him the results he was seeking, to bad his first chance to try it was against an ogre who smashed him before he could free it from its scabbard.

STATISTICS:

THACO: +3 bonus
Damage: 1D6 +3
Special: 1D3 Crushing Damage
Damage type: piercing
Weight: 3
Speed Factor: 3
Proficiency Type: Short Sword
Type: 1-handed
Not Usable By:
Bard
Cleric
Druid
Mage
Paladin

Gauntlets of Skilled Thievery said:
Screen_Shot_2021-11-09_at_9.15.31_PM.png
: Spooky’s Hand’s

Once possessed by Daerum ‘Spooky’ Estra -master thief and head of the Cormyr thieves guild at one time, these gloves were the bane of many a merchant. While wearing these gloves of fine leather, one’s skill at picking pockets and disarming traps are increases, as well as one’s dexterity. However, the most powerful ability of this item is the power it grants its user to open locked objects with a knock spell.

STATISTICS:

Dexterity: Increased 2 points
Pick Pockets: +20%
Find/Remove Traps: +20%
Cast Knock
Weight: 2
Usable by:
Thief

In other words, a spiffed up and wearable version of the Hand of Glory/Glorious Hand we had to relinquish at the end of Bone Hill. Also, I feel like I’ve been posting this shit here long enough that you guys trust my skills as a transcriber, but for some reason I just feel like the English in this description is atrocious enough to warrant graphic evidence.

dFSnz47.png


Shakespeare wept. Also, while I’m far from an expert on medieval weaponry, I’m reasonably sure swords don’t work like Cutlass +3 ‘Thud’ claims they do, let alone short swords. In fact, there’s only one sword I can think of that even qualifies as heavy enough to function as a blunt weapon, and it’s damn sure not a short sword.



I dunno, maybe you guys can find better examples.

BsJqjra.png


While we’re here, we clear out the corners of the map we ignored the first time around, including these bandits who waylaid poor Eddard Silvershield.

rY3CvgH.png


I’m really not sure if we’ll see this quest through to its inevitable conclusion.

fSgmalE.png


On to business, then.

1gKw0NX.png


Dialogue said:
OVANUSQ.png
: I’m ready.
Screen_Shot_2020-03-09_at_3.59.34_PM.png
: Yes, that’s what I wanted to hear. Attention, take your place. Here we go!

Bz2PfRN.png


You know, I’ve been reading up on feathered theropods lately.

5irB98Y.png


I dunno, the gnome scientist just got me thinking about it I guess.

udEB4RW.png


And it’s just kind of gotten me wondering...

X1LfExc.png


Why the hell aren’t there more fantasy RPGs with dinosaurs? Dinosaurs rule.

Dialogue said:
OVANUSQ.png
: I...
vT3b21W.png
: Gnomes! Always just gnomes! I will tear you apart for that! Can one not expect to get a human offering from one’s followers? Or a dwarf?
OVANUSQ.png
: Who are you?
vT3b21W.png
: Me? Do you ask me, foolish mortals, who *I* am? I’m Hrr’Nunga, the blood-red horror of the night! Mortals kneel before me and bring me sacrifices to appease my wrath! And you dare to send me a gnome, of all beings?
OVANUSQ.png
: We have sent no gnome. He has tried the “great formula”.
vT3b21W.png
: Formula? What kind of formula? What are you talking about?
OVANUSQ.png
: (Tell him the story of Karlini)
vT3b21W.png
: Karlini, yes? This name is all too familiar to me and hated... I think I understand now. This foolish Karlini found the magic formula which was otherwise used to offer a sacrifice to me! Hahahahahaha! And instead of understanding what happened he made himself my slave! Hahahaha!
OVANUSQ.png
: If all this was just a stupid mistake why do you not just send the gnomes back?
vT3b21W.png
: SILENCE, MORTALS! My anger is not appeased. For almost a hundred years now I had to endure that damn Karlini with his scientific delusion. He constantly had to ask questions and investigate things. I’m sick of him. I need a slave worthy of me! However there is the agreement for only one slave per invocation. One soul is already under my domination, this other silly gnome. Listen, human. I offer you to release the two gnomes. In return for your soul.
OVANUSQ.png
: Oh yes, please! What a, uh, triumph for, uh, science!
vT3b21W.png
: What are you saying? Oh no! Do not tell me that you’re *scientists*, too!
OVANUSQ.png
: Hey, I grew up in Candlekeep. What other than a scientist could I be?
vT3b21W.png
: Listen... we do not want to rush anything, right? What’s wrong with your companions, could not one of them...?
OVANUSQ.png
: Scientists, all scientists! When do we begin, I have a thousand questions for you!
vT3b21W.png
: Oh, damn. How typical. ...Well, human. Here’s the deal. You prove to me that you’re really a scientist and answer three questions. Answer them correctly and I let you and the gnomes go. Just one wrong answer and you come with me.
OVANUSQ.png
: As long as you don’t ask about the air-speed velocity of an unladen swallow...
QlquGX7.png
: Fuck you
vT3b21W.png
: All right. Question one is about the “lore of gods”. Which living god is today hailed as the reincarnation of the deceased Amaunator?
OVANUSQ.png
: Lathander.
vT3b21W.png
: Damn! You may know your gods, but how are you with races? What do you call the offspring of a copulation between orc and ogre?
OVANUSQ.png
: Ogrillion.
vT3b21W.png
: Hrmpf. A lucky strike, nothing more. The last question is from the field of politics. You wake up, one day, in a strange city without knowing where you are. Two people next to you talk about the Council of Six. In what city are you?
OVANUSQ.png
: Athkatla.
vT3b21W.png
: Damn! Alright, then take your damn gnomes with you and leave me alone!

iWdEWMX.png


All things considered, this wasn’t a very difficult test of wits.

XhikJpv.png


Dialogue said:
Screen_Shot_2020-03-09_at_3.59.34_PM.png
: Oh, my dear, how I envy you for this experience!
QlquGX7.png
: What the fuck is with this specific choice of term of endearment? Did they become gay lovers while in hell?
U43Wurb.png
: Well, I must admit, this constant torture was quite annoying and I’ve also played with the idea of becoming unconscious. But then I thought to myself: Karlini, old lad, remember: it’s for the knowledge of the ensuing ages! Well then, we were just at the racks and I... oh. Are we already back? Now this leaves me rather uncomfortable, dear colleague. You see me embarrassed because I do not have the opportunity to convince you of the truth of my claims. No, this is *really* aggravating.
OVANUSQ.png
: Oh, I beg your pardon *many-times* to have interrupted you, masters. Perhaps you wish for a way back, yes? Surely, the Balor would be happy to take you.
U43Wurb.png
: Oh, that would be very helpful, young human. It is best if you could teleport us to the same sport where we were, just about three to four feet further north, so that we will be out of reach of the tentacles...
Screen_Shot_2020-03-09_at_3.59.34_PM.png
: Karlini, my friend. Do you not think we should recover a bit before our next trip to hell?
U43Wurb.png
: Ygnatius, my dear. Science cannot be postponed!
Screen_Shot_2020-03-09_at_3.59.34_PM.png
: But look, the Friendly Arm Inn is very close and you should seek treatment for that nasty wound there.
U43Wurb.png
: Well, maybe it would be not so bad to have a cleric check on this old body. This bite is burning, I must say. But then we will immediately go back!
Screen_Shot_2020-03-09_at_3.59.34_PM.png
: I am right behind you, master!
U43Wurb.png
: Well, then. Oh yes, shall we show our gratitude to our young friend here? After all, he was so adorably concerned about both our well-being.
Screen_Shot_2020-03-09_at_3.59.34_PM.png
: You are right, great Karlini. Well then, Archwizard Hank, we are very grateful to you. Even if you’ve slowed down science, we can probably assume that you have not done it intentionally. Here are the 300 pieces of gold we owe you - and a small trinket from hell. I think you’ll know how to use it.

HGFXlVK.png


They then proceed out in the exact opposite direction of the Friendly Arm. Good going. Doing all of this nets us the

Mirror Shield +1 said:
Screen_Shot_2021-11-09_at_9.23.54_PM.png
: This shield is polished to a high gloss and obviously magical. Scratches disappear and blood and dirt simply run off of its reflective surface. It can be presumed that it can even withstand the look of a basilisk.

STATISTICS:

The wearer is protected against all types of petrification and forms of gaze attacks.

Armor Class Bonus: 3
THAC0: -1 Penalty
Weight: 7
Requires: 12 Strength
Not Usable By:
- Bard
- Thief
- Druid
- Mage
- Monk

This would be useful if I trusted Big World to handle petrification protection with any kind of reliability. Maybe I’ll risk it someday.

XIUnqXY.png


With that over with, let’s head into the Western Sword Coast Interior a ways and see what other side quests we can knock out of the park.

eRkdcC8.png


Right out of the gate, we’re assaulted by wraiths.

etj8BRe.png


You might not remember, but a mod NPC wanted us to find Melicamp.

Dialogue said:
OVANUSQ.png
: Forsooth! Methinks you are no ordinary talking chicken!
5qHamrx.png
: I certainly hope you are *cluck* jesting with me. Indeed I am “no ordinary talking chicken,” and I am in need of your *cluck* help.
OVANUSQ.png
: My apologies good... um... chicken. What has caused your current accursed state?
5qHamrx.png
: Thank the *cluck* Mother of all Magic, mayhaps now I might end this *cluck* nightmare. I am Melicamp of Beregost, a *cluck* mage adept in the mystical arts. A... misread... incantation seems to be *cluck* the source of my troubling form. ’Tis been over an month since I *cluck* uttered a polymorph spell, and I simply cannot return to my normal *cluck* form!
OVANUSQ.png
: I have a passing knowledge of magery. Can you not dispel this *ahem* foul condition?
5qHamrx.png
: I would but dispel is beyond my... er... rather, I exhausted my *cluck* memorized spells earlier, and now I cannot... access my spellbook. Have you or a member of your party the *cluck* ability to cast such a spell?
OVANUSQ.png
: It’s a spell neither I, nor my comrades can cast at this time. Is there another way I might assist you?
QlquGX7.png
: We can technically try to dispel him right here, but there’s a 50/50 shot it’ll kill him.
5qHamrx.png
: Blast it all! Well, there is nothing else I *cluck* can do except my most hated option. There is a tower directly to the west of *cluck* Beregost, about which can be found the mage Thalantyr. I am his... apprentice, and I am... certain he will *cluck* aid me.
OVANUSQ.png
: Then to his abode we shall go. I will escort you.
5qHamrx.png
: Thank you! It’s located just to the west of Beregost. Thalantyr lives in a large manor there. I’ll just nestle in your pack until we get there.

ntm15Wn.png


Dialogue said:
OVANUSQ.png
: I’ve never heard of a funny spook before... Why are they so funny?
TUlBAev.png
: Bassilus keeps on tellin’ these stories about how happy he was as a kid but all of the spooks just kinda moan and mumble and stuff, like they’re not really listening. That’s what my brother Johnny used to do before he disappeared, mumble like that when he weren’t really listening... You stay here. I’m gonna go tell my friend Netty ‘bout this place. She’ll think it’s really funny, what with her Daddy gone and all.

Have I ever mentioned the original game can be really fucking bleak?

98vAqHo.png


Anyway no time to dwell on that, time to kill KNOBGOBLINS

luimn9q.png


Kissiq here is a little late with his warning.

l03ujqf.png


It’s right around here that I finally take anti-lag advice that was posted in the thread nigh-on an eternity ago. Thanks agris! Pretty sure you were the one who recommended this?

NQUkthk.png


Dialogue said:
wz3t5Ma.png
: Uuuuuuuuuhhhh.................
LtH6sEW.png
: Oh, don’t hesitate on my account! Some of the others may not have heard them.
wz3t5Ma.png
: Hhhhhhhhhhhh.......................
LtH6sEW.png
: Hold your peace then, though I remember a time back at Zhentil Keep when you would sooner die than be quiet. You... would sooner... um... I’ll wait ’til you feel like telling them yourself, I don’t remember the old days so well.
OVANUSQ.png
: You there, what is the meaning of this...
LtH6sEW.png
: Who dares interrupt while I speak with my family. I’ll have your heads if you’re here to harm the... no! It can’t be! Is that you, Father? It cannot be otherwise, you haven’t changed a bit in all these years!
OVANUSQ.png
: Uhh... yes, son, it certainly has been a long time. How are you doing... my boy?
QlquGX7.png
: This peace is what all true warriors strive for!
LtH6sEW.png
: About as well as can be expected I guess. It has been difficult but I’ve got most of the family back together. Some did not seem to recognize me at first, but I helped them to recall.
OVANUSQ.png
: But these are not our kin! What madness has your eyes? Zombies all!
QlquGX7.png
: There are more optimal ways through this conversation, I’m not sure why I didn’t take them.
LtH6sEW.png
: Zombies? You don’t see them as they truly are? You must be vexed by some sort of enchantment or another. Don’t worry though, this has happened with some of the others and I know how to cure it. This will only hurt a moment.

ZfRrZU3.png


Bassilus is a pretty simple fight. He has the advantage of numbers but his dudes don’t hit for much. He doesn’t drop anything modded either, so I really don’t know why I’m including him here. I guess I just like him. I can like things, it’s not a crime.

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Lots of undead out tonight.

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Roger here really shouldn’t be wasting time talking to us with that army of darkness on his tail.

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With our time thoroughly wasted and an area thoroughly proven to be devoid of anything heavily modded and interesting, we’re off to the Beregost Temple to cash in Bassilus’s Holy Symbol.

Except not really, because I accidentally clicked Trade Way South.

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This mistake was ultimately quite fortuitous. While initially I opted to mow down the parts of the map I hadn’t explored simply for completion’s sake, what I didn’t expect was that this would launch me forward into a truly inspiring experience.

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What appears at first glance to be a bog standard terrible formation of Big World Hobgoblin Shamans is actually exactly that, with the addition of some more dudes because fuck the player.

H59BeuT.png


This “Teldorn Messenger” is accompanied by a full platoon of Teldorn fighters, priests, and what-have-you.

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The fight takes a while. The messenger drops

Letter said:
Screen_Shot_2021-11-09_at_9.20.30_PM.png
: Aranor

We have finally discovered the location of the lost elven stone. We managed to dig through to an old entrance leading to a underground chamber. Unfortunately my scouts reported hobgoblins in the area so I had to seal the entrance and ward it against intrusion. The stone is definitely in the chamber. Its eerie blue glow was unmistakable. For now the entrance remains undetectable but I am uncertain how long the wards will last. With this letter I have sent you the five talismans that Khelben gave to us.

I would advise not to travel to the Wood of Sharp Teeth at the moment, for some reason the place is crawling with bandits and hobgoblins.

Over the next week I shall be travelling to Nashkel. A fair is taking place so if you need me you can find me there.

Your friend....

Cearwin

This is the beginning of an incredible journey, but it’ll have to wait just a little bit.

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We still have some loose ends to tie up.

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First up for this area is this sunken house. Examining the container nets us

A Key said:
Screen_Shot_2021-11-09_at_9.27.34_PM.png
: Key to desk
This key is sized to fit a small lock, such as a cabinet or desk.

xNHd0f5.png


And finally there’s Ugh. You remember Ugh, don’t you?

Dialogue said:
OVANUSQ.png
: Look what we’ve brought you.
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: Oh! A new best friend for Ugh! I call you... call you... Little-Little-Ugh! human has done much good for Ugh, Ugh will never forget! But now Little-Little-Ugh and Ugh must go to find herbs. Little-Little-Ugh must become large and strong!

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Our work here is done. Ugh saunters off, never to be seen again.

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Alright, now we’re going to turn in Bassilus’s holy symbol.

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You might have noticed one of these sirines or nymphs or whatever flanking the temple last time we were here. Or not.

Dialogue said:
7DBZ30R.png
: What kind of aid can I give you?
OVANUSQ.png
: Do you sell magical healing, or scrolls?
QlquGX7.png
: There really aren’t many productive ways through this conversation. This NPC and her clones exist almost solely as an expanded network of what I like to call “perv nodes” - opportunities in the game to be an unforgivingly lecherous bastard, usually to the chagrin of a mod NPC. Since mod NPCs are supposed to be our friends, this is more annoying than it is productive. But props to the dialogue writer for the smoothness of CHARNAME in the dedicated Perv Node line. Here’s the initial dialogue tree for posterity:
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7DBZ30R.png
: The Most Radiant of Lathander Kelddath Ormlyr should be able to help you with this, my good man. He can be found in the Song of the Morning Temple. Is there anything else you wish to know?
OVANUSQ.png
: Please, tell me about this temple.
7DBZ30R.png
: *Rashel’s face lights up with pride.* The Song of the Morning is the name of our Temple, consecrated in the name of the Morning Lord, Lathander. We protect the good people of Beregost. The servants of the Morning Lord also tend temple fields of potatoes and herb flowers east of the road, and keep sheep on the slopes of the hill topped by the ruined school of Ulcaster. The sheep are more easily watched there, preventing theft and raiding beasts from ravaging them. It allows us some control over expeditions into the ruins and to prevent expansion of Beregost. Over the years, various Amnian merchants have shown a distressing tendency to lay claim to all land within easy reach of the Coast Way that’s not strongly defended. Is there anything else you wish to know?
OVANUSQ.png
: No, thank you, Rashel. Have a good night.
7DBZ30R.png
: Walk in the blessed light of the Sun, my good man.

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I know the screencap says this is all he has to say, but we’re not quite done with him.

Dialogue said:
xzgZvZL.png
: Welcome! The traveling adventurer is never (you know the rest)
OVANUSQ.png
: Can you tell me again what is needed to make Will’s flail more powerful?
xzgZvZL.png
: Very well, then. If you can find a rogue stone, it would be possible to add that component to the flail and with the right spells, Will’s flail would be much more powerful.
OVANUSQ.png
: You mean a stone like this one?
xzgZvZL.png
: Yes, that is what I need. Do you want me to enhance it now?
OVANUSQ.png
: Yes, please do.
xzgZvZL.png
: Okay, then let me have the flail and the stone. Thank you. This should just take a minute. There we are. Perfect.

This nets us

Will’s Battle Flail said:
Screen_Shot_2021-11-09_at_9.28.31_PM.png
: The flail is a sturdy wooden handle attached to an iron rod, a wooden rod with spikes, or a spiked iron ball. Between the handle and its implement is either a hinge or chain link. The weapon has been enhanced magically, effectively forming a bond between the weapon and its wielder.

STATISTICS:

Damage: 1D8 +2
THAC0: +3
Special:
When Will wields his flail, he is able to
create 5 poisoned bullets
50% chance to slow target upon
successful attack
Strength +2
Maximum HP +10
Damage type: crushing and piercing
Weight: 10
Speed Factor: 8
Proficiency Type: Flail
Type: 1-handed
Requires: 13 Strength
Usable Only By:
Will

Pretty much anything that innately boosts stats is broken by default. Since we’re here and have money to burn, we also buy the following from Keldath:

Signet Ring of the Sukien said:
Screen_Shot_2021-11-09_at_9.29.26_PM.png
: Enchanted with magic by the High Priests of the Sukien Temple, this ring is worn by all those who protect the temple from evil.

STATISTICS:

Armor Class: +1 bonus
Saving Throws: +2 bonus
Special: Protection from Petrification

Usable Only by:
Paladin

Helm of the Holy Guard said:
Screen_Shot_2021-11-09_at_9.29.37_PM.png
: Bold and ornamental this helm looks to be more of a show piece then a source of protection; looks however can be very deceiving. Enchanted by the high priests of the Sukien, it provides the wearer with the strength of mind to resist all forms of temptation.

STATISTICS:

Armor Class Bonus: None
Special:
Protects Against Critical Hits
Protects Against Mental Attacks

Weight: 2

Usable Only By:
Paladin

We don’t exactly have anyone who can use these, so they’re going to collect dust until probably BG2 when we have an excess of paladins.

gdvIiWg.png


This moron is just outside the complex, a little northwest-a-ways.

Dialogue said:
OVANUSQ.png
: Ahhh, look fella, we’re not going to give you all of our money.
UWO7lZC.png
: Wrongs answer boys. -Hic- You shoulda givens me the moneys when I ashked ya. Ya know what I am! I’ll lets ya into a little shecret... I’m a LICH. Yessh I am, powerful magicsh I wields, and now you’ve made me mad. You’ve gots one last chancesh, give me alls your money -hic-!
OVANUSQ.png
: Look guy, we’re not gonna give you any money, now bug off.
UWO7lZC.png
: Whoa, ya guysh jusht don’t get it, do ya. I’m gonna killsh you with my allsh-mighty magical powersh. So nows whatsh itsh gonna be, death or... or... or shumthin’.
OVANUSQ.png
: Go to hell, you old bum.
UWO7lZC.png
: Hey! Whatsh are you, uhhhh... *snores*
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: Although Minsc does not approve of the man’s smell, he and Boo are certain it would be better he were not out here on his own.
UWO7lZC.png
: Hmpf...Huh?

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Dialogue said:
OVANUSQ.png
: There is a drunk outside, North-West of the temple. I’d rather see him someplace safe.
QlquGX7.png
: “Go to hell,” we said.
xzgZvZL.png
: Ah, Polus, I guess... Yes, I fear he probably made a fool out of himself again. I know he can be quite determined to avoid help of any kind. We’ll have a look on him. Don’t worry, we’ll handle that. Thank you for the call. We’ll probably just leave him there, but we will make sure he will be safe.

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These guys are out and about. They don’t pose much of a challenge.

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This rude dude is here too. I don’t usually make a habit of exploring the area surrounding the temple, so for a while I thought he was a mod NPC.

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This dude hints at the big modded addition to this area.

i5omh6p.png


This dude is such an obvious reference to Galileo that I also figured he’d be a mod NPC, but nope, he was always here.

Dialogue said:
OVANUSQ.png
: And what have your observations revealed to you?
R9s5zgJ.png
: Oh, I couldn’t possibly tell you all that I see. There is so much raw data that must be interpreted and examined thrice over. It is a wonder that even I can assimilate all that information with no ill effects. Still, the long and the short of it reveals interesting times ahead. If I did not know better, I would say that the heavens themselves look on with interest. Conflicts of great significance are on the horizon.
wBa5IxV.png
: Thou art seeing it all in the stars, my good man?
R9s5zgJ.png
: Yes, my lady.
wBa5IxV.png
: Then thy sight is sharp indeed.
R9s5zgJ.png
: Quite so, m’lady. Well, it has been a pleasure to chat with someone who appreciates my art.

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This cave is new. Or at least its contents are new.

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It’s a mostly uneventful hallway that branches off every now and then to crypts that contain minor gems and gold. The primary threats are spiders and undead.

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Torqion awaits us at the end of the hall and constantly buffs himself, making it difficult to follow the feedback box.

kuRtjiZ.png


Case in point. Several of the tombs in this place are flat-out empty, by the way.

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Teddy the Doomsayer sounds menacing, but he isn’t any more powerful than a normal polar bear.

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Dialogue said:
OVANUSQ.png
: I am Archwizard Hank and your - as you call it - ‘place’ is the talk of the whole town of Beregost. Why are you haunting here?
vEyD72P.png
: I am one. But I am... Yeees, three... Touch, hearing and smell. There are three of us. That is my punishment. Punishment for the death... punishment... But I wanted nothing more than to destroy the evil. But the evil is stronger... And now I am one of the evil... one of them...
QlquGX7.png
: Torqion here is part of “The Vault Mod,” a mod that doesn’t really have a coherent narrative and relies heavily on guesswork. Moreso than usual.
OVANUSQ.png
: Can you be more specific?
vEyD72P.png
: I am undead... a phantom... powerful but unfortunatelly unwilling to cause damage on the surface... I don’t know whether it’s my wisdom that saved my mind or just another part of my punishment... revenge.
OVANUSQ.png
: Is there a way to ease your suffering?
vEyD72P.png
: A way... Help... Is always. You were not terrified to enter this cave... you didn’t run away in madness... My torturers did not foresee this... There is a sword... A sword to the collection of vampire ideas for a revenge... Vampiric sword... If you could possess it and bring it here as well as some holy water... I will walk away... Walk away... At last...
OVANUSQ.png
: Just like that? Where can I find this sword? And do you have anything in exchange for me?
vEyD72P.png
: I don’t know... I don’t even try to guess... But it exists... I’ve even wielded it... When was that...? And you’ll find some useful items in my chamber...
OVANUSQ.png
: We’ll see what we can do.
vEyD72P.png
: Whatever you want... Help me or kill me...

DuMnaFs.png


Torqion’s “chamber” has two containers. The fire pit (getting trampled by Minsc in this image) contains a skull, a suit of Ankheg armor and some additional minor useless crap. This altar/corpse contains some bolts and a tome of permanent +1 CHA.

0vG5zRx.png


With that over with, time to follow up on that letter from Cearwin.

V8H0JVH.png


Dialogue said:
OVANUSQ.png
: You seem to want to have a hamster pretty much.
1RMCqSB.png
: Yes, very much. I don’t have the money, though. Oh, but... You have one there, and it’s so cute and tiny!
OVANUSQ.png
: You can have all tiny ones you find, young man. Are you interested?
1RMCqSB.png
: Do you mean this? Oh, yes, very much!
OVANUSQ.png
: Well, then take it.
QlquGX7.png
: This doesn’t actually remove all the hamsters that have spawned into our inventory. Either that or the game crashed somewhere down the line, and the current save for my prerecorded footage forgot to do this.
1RMCqSB.png
: Oh, this is so great! I have to show mom!

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Dialogue said:
OVANUSQ.png
: Sure, go ahead and play!
QlquGX7.png
: This ends the dialogue. Additionally, it breaks the mod in half, because he refuses to talk to us.

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He still won’t talk to us after resetting the area, so we get to work spawning a clone using the code given to us with the mighty CTRL + M.

Dialogue said:
OVANUSQ.png
: At the moment I’m looking for the bard Cearwin would you be him by any chance?
qgwfjsq.png
: I am known by that name why do you ask?
OVANUSQ.png
: Whilst travelling here I was besieged by a group of brigands who had just killed a halfling. After narrowly escaping with my life I retrieved a letter from one of them and a symbol I know to be that carried by worshippers of the Black Lord. Your signature is on the letter.
QlquGX7.png
: I didn’t find any such symbol, but whatever, we’ll roll with it.
qgwfjsq.png
: This is bad news. I am glad you survived the attack, but the letter you found was meant to have reached Beregost over a week ago. Tell me did you find any talismans on the bodies?
OVANUSQ.png
: There were no talismans just a few gems, nothing of real value.
qgwfjsq.png
: Most unfortunate. It seems Beshaba has graced me today. I’ll have to seek another messenger to deliver the letter. You seem to be of the adventuring type would you be interested in such a journey?
OVANUSQ.png
: I might but I’ll need to know more about the stone you mentioned in the letter.
qgwfjsq.png
: I am forbidden to talk about the stone. Zentarim spies are everywhere and the fair is not the place for such a conversation. There is a man in Beregost called Aranor he will tell you more about the stone. Accept and I will give you 250gp for your trouble.
QlquGX7.png
: I’m not sure what happens if you have Xzar and Montaron when you take this quest.
OVANUSQ.png
: I accept your offer where in Beregost can I find the man you call Aranor?
qgwfjsq.png
: Excellent! Look for Aranor in the taverns, the Burning Wizard is his favourite so start searching there. Whilst you are gone I will try to discover what happened to the talismans. Be safe on your journey and may Tymora’s luck go with you.

This sets us off on the beginning of an incredible journey into a world of magic, mystery, and poor English. This is the start of

Trz0FGn.jpg


I want to like this mod. Hell, I want to love this mod. In an ideal world, The Stone of Askavar would be in the running for Best BG1 mod I’ve ever played, and it’d have some stiff competition for best Baldur’s Gate Series mod I’ve ever played if there weren’t a few other outliers that wowed me harder. There’s just one problem:
Its punctuation is fucking atrocious. Seriously. You’ve already seen several examples of it, but somehow it gets worse as you get further into the mod. And this really sucks, because everything *else* in the mod is really decent! The items you get are pretty evenly balanced for the point in the game you get them - most of them aren’t that much stronger than what you’d get in the base game, and the few that are wouldn’t cleave the game in half. The encounter design looks like it’d be legitimately challenging if this were one of the only mods in your installation order, and the quests are actually logically designed. They give you clear-cut instructions, and with one major exception, you can complete this mod based entirely on what it tells you in NPC dialogues, notes and journal updates. It even has a decent hook! “There’s a mysterious, powerful stone. Some bad guys want it, and there’s a guy at this location you’ve already visited who can tell you more.” Holy shit, it’s almost like the designer played a real video game and took some notes! If this mod just had a good proofreading job performed, I’d easily recommend it as a must-install, but... Well, you’ll see.

Oh yes, you’ll see. Next time. For now, though, I leave you with some more words from our “sponsors.”

 
Last edited:

CappenVarra

phase-based phantasmist
Patron
Joined
Mar 14, 2011
Messages
2,911
Location
Ardamai
thoughtcrime: liking things detected

gauntlets +3 THAC0 +3 damage seem barely appropriate for a level 30+ adventure, but yes of course some modder geniuses think they're fine in a level 7ish one, why not?

time to add the BG2 engine to anti-virus signatures methinks *cluck*
 

Archwizard Hank

Learned
Joined
Mar 8, 2017
Messages
94
Friends! Chumericans! Countrymen! Lend me your ears, your noses, your tongues, your HEATHEN EYES! 5,000 years ago, our founding fathers crossed leagues and miles of this world’s great ocean of Septic Backwash with a dream. A dream that all young, overweight, drunk hobos that line the huddled masses of Chumerica could one day write their own computer virus. And that virus is here, now - in the lungs of your children, the sludgy morass of your grandmother’s respiratory system, and the hard drives of your academic institutions. The human body is a computer, my friends - the Malware is here, and its name is Big World!

As a quick side note, I'd like to formally apologize for the famine of item icons during the last few updates, including (unfortunately) this one. I've been writing these updates on an OS that can't run Shadowkeeper, and as such the process of getting high quality icons has been increasingly relegated to an "I'll fix it in post" type of deal. We've missed out on a lot, so hopefully by the end of the week I'll have the icons screencapped and edited in.
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Since I kind of skimmed past it for the sake of pacing last time, let’s turn back the clock a little bit and check out what we missed around the Nashkel Mines.

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I’d say something akin to “what fresh hell is this?” but it’s become practically routine now.

Dialogue said:
75HNA9Y.png
: So there is! ’Twas that relentless Greywolf who sent you, wasn’t it?
OVANUSQ.png
: I have nothing to do with anyone named Greywolf, nor would I want to.
75HNA9Y.png
: Thank Deneir! I have no wish for my foolishness to result in bloodshed, though surely Greywolf will come seeking the bounty on the gems soon enough.
sp6cBvp.png
: Aye, and when he does come... my Lord, I would know whether you mean to stand with or against us.
75HNA9Y.png
: Please, help guard this place! I would rather the burden of my folly not fall upon the Lady Isra alone. I will pay with my last possessions if you would do this one service for me.
OVANUSQ.png
: If it is so important, then I shall guard you as best I can. Yes.
75HNA9Y.png
: I thank you, for I cannot run from this place until my task is done. I have been using potions of speed to aid my work, and have not slept for days. She is beautiful, is she not? ’Tis a monument to my foolishness. I saw her but once, on the outskirts of Evereska, and said nothing. I let thee pass from mine eyes, and mine heart hath cursed me for it!
L8bNaCo.png

75HNA9Y.png
: No! Not yet! My work is nearly done! Please, I implore you!
QjLuI2D.png
: Your sentiment is wasted on me, fool. You are but gold in my purse. Do you make your situation worse by hiring more help? I had heard of the Ruby Rose girl, but who are these other fools?
OVANUSQ.png
: Who we are is unimportant. What is important, is that we are armed to the teeth and we mean to stop you from hurting him!
QjLuI2D.png
: Wait! I recognize you! It was you who stole a bounty rightfully mine! Prism will live a moment longer while I kill the lot of you!

TdPC264.png


The fight with Greywolf is so unspectacular that it’s hardly worth mentioning.

hTu2ACO.png


Dialogue said:
sp6cBvp.png
: I should thank you for your assistance, my Lord. Would that we had been able to save more than just his legacy.
OVANUSQ.png
: Might I ask who you are?
sp6cBvp.png
: Forgive me my discourtesy. I am Isra Ghadir, most recently of Crimmor, a paladin of the Lady Firehair and a squire in the Order of the Ruby Rose. The Church of Sune sponsors any number of artists, and when we received word of Prism’s disappearance, I was asked to look into matters. He was a talented and much loved artist before this... madness took hold of him. Unfortunately, I was initially unaware of the... legal complications involved, and by the time Prism admitted to his theft, there was little that could be done to discourage the bounty-hunters long enough to set the situation straight. I’m grateful that you happened by when you did, my Lord. Might I ask what draws you to the area?
OVANUSQ.png
: We just finished clearing out the mines nearby.
sp6cBvp.png
: I see. I had not realized that the situation had finally been resolved, though I’m glad to hear otherwise. But I shan’t keep you any longer, my Lord. Good night.

Isra is a joinable NPC in BG2. I really don’t know what the point of her appearance in BG1 is, since she doesn’t seem to want anything to do with us. In light of that, I’ll save any commentary on her soundset, portrait, biography, stats and/or items for when we see her again in BG2.

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We steal the emeralds while we’re here, because fuck it, we’ll need the money. Gold is a liquid asset and every solid asset we can take with us is worth its weight in... Latinum?

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This dude frazzles us on the way out.

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Insert comment about Big World’s shitty encounter design here.

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Right then, back to the present. We had just found a letter about a stone and some talismans, and a dude at the carnival pointed us towards his informant in Beregost.

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Dialogue said:
OVANUSQ.png
: OK I’ll have a drink with you hand me the bottle.
z2ehSJi.png
: There you go stranger take a good swig.
KU8v7TI.png

QlquGX7.png
: The mod updates our journal here, and while it seems kind of pointless, I honestly can’t fault it for keeping us up to date. Pointless updates are better than no updates. *COUGHS IN BONE HILL*
z2ehSJi.png
: Now take it easy its strong stuff. To much and you’ll be asleep all week.
OVANUSQ.png
: Strong stuff! I needed it, thanks for sharing with me. You wouldn’t be Aranor by any chance would you?
z2ehSJi.png
: I am the man you seek, what is it you require that is of such importance?
OVANUSQ.png
: I have journeyed from Nashkel to deliver this letter to you. It’s from a bard named Cearwin. Do you know him?
z2ehSJi.png
: I have known Cearwin for many years. I have waited several weeks for a message from him. No doubt the message you hold is of great importance *you* had best hand it over to me.
OVANUSQ.png
: As you wish here it is.
z2ehSJi.png
: So the stone remains in place. This is not the news I was expecting. The elves are very adept at keeping their secrets hidden.
OVANUSQ.png
: What is this stone you speak of? Why is it so important?
QlquGX7.png
:
z2ehSJi.png
: The story of the stone is this. A long time ago before the retreat of elves the Wood of Sharp Teeth was known as Askavar a now ancient elven community. Over time Askavar fell into ruin overgrown by the forest and overrun by direwolves and other strange beasts. Last Erastide a scroll discovered in the area gave details of a stone buried deep beneath the ancient settlements. Believed to hold awesome powers in the wrong hands it could sway the balance of power in the region. We have tried to recover the stone but until now our attempts have failed. The loss of the talismans can only mean that the enemy are aware of its existence.
QlquGX7.png
: I did some fact-checking, and yes, Askavar is mostly lore-accurate. Can you believe it? I’m as shocked as you are. I really meant it when I said I wanted to love this mod.
OVANUSQ.png
: Is there another way to retrieve the stone?
z2ehSJi.png
: Without the talismans there is no way that you can enter the underground chamber. Having all five talismans will release the wards and make the entrance visible. To my knowledge there is no other entrance. No doubt Teldorn’s men stole the talismans. I have heard rumours that some of his Black Gauntlet are in the area. The enemy may not be aware that the talismans are the key. If you wish to help go back to Cearwin and see if he’s had any luck locating them. Once you have the talismans try to gain access to the underground chamber and retrieve the stone.
OVANUSQ.png
: I had planned such a long journey anyway so I will check with Cearwin when I return.
QlquGX7.png
:
Uen0lhZ.png

This nets us yet another journal update, which is essentially a recap of what Aranor just told us.
z2ehSJi.png
: You a saviour indeed. Make sure you are well equipped for the task. Bane’s followers will be tracking you so keep your eyes peeled.
QlquGX7.png
:
JM7FNhk.png

Holy shit, it’s almost like this mod understands how game design works!


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Since we’re in the area, remember that Beregost townie that turned himself into a slime? ...No? Yeah, neither do I.

Dialogue said:
OVANUSQ.png
: You are Tulbor, right? Look, here: your name is mentioned in here. What do you have to say to this?
1HoSUVk.png
: Oh, how sweet. He mentioned me in his *diary*.
OVANUSQ.png
: For you this is no honor at all. It proves you are the vendor of the elixer that turned Eltolth into a slime!
1HoSUVk.png
: Eltolth transformed himself into a... ha ha ha! That just *had* to happen! He was so keen on it! I did warn him, you know.
OVANUSQ.png
: Stop this nonsense! There’s a man in his house, transformed into a slime and a desperate woman at his side! Now tell me how Eltolth can be transformed back into his normal shape!
1HoSUVk.png
: Oh dear, how pathetic. Now you listen: maybe I sold this elixir to Eltolth, but there was nothing wrong with that! I’m no criminal... the potion was absolutely fine! “Ah, now this potion *does* work... Let’s take another sip... Ah, and another one... and another... But ooh, what happens now?” I *told* him to be careful, not to overdose. Now he has to live with the consequences. That’s my selling principle: no warranty! He knew that, so if he is in need of an antidote he has to pay for it like every decent customer!
OVANUSQ.png
: Do you have such an antidote? What would it cost?
1HoSUVk.png
: Incidentally, I have such an elixir that would be needed in this case. And just to prevent any *misunderstandings,* it’s the standard elixir having the reverse effect. There are customers for both, you know! Taken in small sips, it will weaken, but taken in overdose, it also gives a nice strengthening effect. I don’t tell that to people normally. If they knew about this effect, I wouldn’t earn any money on the real strengthening potions anymore. Ah, you are a lucky one: I can offer you the last sample. It’ll be yours for the amount of 100 gold pieces.
OVANUSQ.png
: Okay, I’ll take it.
1HoSUVk.png
: It was a pleasure doing business with you. Oh and make sure to take *all* of it! Goodbye.

weL5LDz.png


Since we know where the headquarters for “Section” is located, let’s bust in on them while we’re at it.

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Dialogue said:
OVANUSQ.png
: I hope you’ve the will to back up those words.
wclG6vo.png
: That I do! Have at ye!

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For an encounter in the shitty portrait assassins mod, the Section Operative is kind of a chump. He doesn’t drop anything interesting, either. It’s all kind of uncharacteristic.

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Dialogue said:
OVANUSQ.png
: *Give the antidote* Here you go! This should retransform your neighbor into his former shape.
jbSs0F8.png
: Oh, really? How... how wonderful! I will give it to him right away.
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: The tone of her reaction here is kind of inconsistent with how she was at the start of this quest. Like, does she want him to stay a slime now? Did she not expect us to come through with an antidote? What the fuck?

LLDt0KU.png


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Dialogue said:
c029Jez.png
: Alanna? Why... Oh my, what *was* this?!
jbSs0F8.png
: You were transformed into a *slime*! Poor man! Are you all right?
c029Jez.png
: I... think so. Seeing you now, I am, at least *ahem*... well, I am sorry I couldn’t keep our appointment. We wanted to meet and have a talk about Faerün’s flora... Seems I was a bit busy with the fauna instead. *embarrassed smile*
QlquGX7.png
: I like to think he says “embarrassed smile.”
jbSs0F8.png
: How could this happen, Eltolth?
c029Jez.png
: Well, I... You know, there was this elixir vendor and he said...
jbSs0F8.png
: Yes, go on?
c029Jez.png
: Oh my lady, it’s exactly this look in your eyes that made me drink this potion! I wanted to impress you, Alanna, my lady.
jbSs0F8.png
: To impress? Me? What...
c029Jez.png
: Lady Alanna, I have to tell you now, after you saw me like this. I bought a potion that is reputed to... to make a man more, well, masculine. You know, more muscles, broader shoulders, flatter belly...
QlquGX7.png
: Dare I say, more *fertile?* Jesus christ, was he a cum slime?
Yi7CrQO.png
: HE IS KUM INCARNATE
c029Jez.png
: Alanna, today I wanted to impress you so much. I wanted you to be stunned by my appearance, not only intellectually but also by my *ahem* looks. Well, after drinking from the elixir, everything was going well, but somehow I wanted more and more, finally I drank too much. The process of body-reshaping got out of control and... well, you saw the result. What an awkward situation! I only wanted to change my looks into something more...
jbSs0F8.png
: There’s no need for that, Eltolth.
c029Jez.png
: ...you know, more masculine...
jbSs0F8.png
: I like you the way you are, Eltolth.
c029Jez.png
: ...to make my appearance a bit more... What was it you said?
jbSs0F8.png
: I said, I like you the way you are! *tender smile* You beautiful, naive fool! Did you think I would listen to a lecture about plants if I’m not interested in the man talking?
c029Jez.png
: Alanna... Is... is that true?
jbSs0F8.png
: As true as the sun rises every morning.
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: What about under heavy volcanic conditions, polar hemispheric axial tilt causing eternal day/night for months on end or certain types of eclipse? Nothing is absolute.
c029Jez.png
: Oh, sweet Alanna! You have made me so happy! Come into my arms! Er... Who are the people standing beside us, by the way...?
jbSs0F8.png
: Oh, this is Archwizard Hank, the one who rescued you, Eltolth!
OVANUSQ.png
: Greetings, Eltolth! I’m happy you are well again. Let me give you back your notes. I used them to discover what happened here. I won’t disturb you two any longer. Farewell!
c029Jez.png
: Wait, noble helper! I’m very thankful indeed. You did more than it might seem for us. Please, let me give you these 200 gold pieces to cover your expenses! I would very much appreciate it if this incident would remain our “little” secret. Now please excuse us, Alanna and I have a lot to talk about. Farewell!
QlquGX7.png
: This hashes out to a total profit of only 100GP. Weeee. Also we get 500 XP for this.
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: There is a price to everything. Magic is not to be trifled with.
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: Minsc is happy for the two people! They look so happy, although Minsc didn’t really get why. Maybe, because the slime is gone now? What say you, Boo?
IctZtQO.png
: Ah, it is a real joy to witness this. I wish them both well. Hopefully, they will never again see a need to use magic to increase the mutual affection.

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We’re almost ready to get this show back on the road, but for now we’re going to take a detour to Nashkel to poke around in the corners a bit.

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Up near the Manor House is this kid getting attacked by...

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A baby wyvern. Been there, done that, got the postcards to prove it.

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We’ve fought farts more fearsome than this.

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Might as well cash in the bounty on Prism while we’re here. I’ll spare you the vanilla dialogue and skip to the other reason we’re talking to this lardass.

Dialogue said:
OVANUSQ.png
: About Brage...
92eQY3C.png
: Yes, what of him?
OVANUSQ.png
: We found this letter with the bandits in the mines. It states clearly that is was planned to weaken the Nashkel Garrison by some foul trickery with Brage’s sword.
92eQY3C.png
: Well, weakened the garrison was, indeed. And yes, Brage’s new sword had an impact on that, as well, didn’t it - the way he used it. This doesn’t prove Brage isn’t the murderer he appears to be, though, if that was your intention.
QlquGX7.png
: Circle back to “Yes, what of him?”
OVANUSQ.png
: Priest Nalin of the Temple of Helm confirmed the suspicion about the sword being cursed.
92eQY3C.png
: Hm, so the sword Brage committed his crimes with *was* cursed, as it seems. Still, this doesn’t prove the ‘Commander’ didn’t take this sword on purpose - to do the evil he was planning to do!

ufLxwlT.png


Alright, now we can get this show on the road.

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Dialogue said:
OVANUSQ.png
: Yes, I have spoken to Aranor. Having learnt the secret of the stone I have decided to join your cause. Aranor believes Taldorn and his Banite followers were responsible for the loss of the talismans, did you find any information on them?
qgwfjsq.png
: It’s good to have you with us, we need all the help we can get in our fight against Teldorn and his Banites. I’ve only been able to trace four of the talismans. Luckily Teldorn’s agents were unaware of their importance and sold them to a merchant in Beregost. However the merchant has sold them on so you will have to try and recover each one in turn. The fifth I was unable to locate and can only suspect that it’s still in the hands of the enemy. I have made a note from the sales ledger it will tell you what you need to know. My spies have also heard rumours of a small group of mercenaries somewhere to the east near Dystra’s old watch tower. Kalindra, one of our agents has already been tasked to investigate the area. She may need your help so I suggest you travel there and have a look around.
OVANUSQ.png
: Looks as if I’ve got my work cut out. Tell me more about Dystra’s old watch tower.
qgwfjsq.png
: There’s not much to tell. Dystra was an old wizard who believed the Zhents were planning an invasion of the western heartlands. He built a watch tower so he could detect any invaders coming from the Darkhold fortress. Most thought he was mad, but considering the recent events maybe he wasn’t that mad after all.
OVANUSQ.png
: If these mercenaries are Teldorn’s men we must act quickly to neutralize the threat. No doubt they’ll be after the stone as are we. There is much to do, so I will bid you farewell.
qgwfjsq.png
: Before you go, take this mirror with you, it will aid your defence when you need it. Let me know when you recover the talismans.

We’re given several new locations on our map, a journal update, and the

Mirror of Illusion said:
Screen_Shot_2021-11-13_at_10.18.44_AM.png
: A favourite tool amongst Thieves and Spy Masters the mirror has long been in the Rogues arsenal of thieving gear. This mirror has been enchanted with the ability to blur its owner for 4 rounds. Like a lot of magical items the Mirror can only be used for a limited number of times.

Additionally, we’re given a

Note said:
Screen_Shot_2021-11-09_at_9.20.30_PM.png
: Young Girl - Town house in Beregost near Feldepost’s Inn.

Beggar - Streets of Beregost

Old Wizard - Bluebell Wood

Necromancer - Cave on an island north of Nashkel

Which cleanly and concisely lines out where we have to go.

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First up on the list, the Necromancer in the Cave.

oUTvxHp.png

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Dialogue said:
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: Why, it is a great consolation that I will not die alone, but in the company of these oafs. I guess I will be served as a side-dish, now. What a relief! It’s not that Jansens never ended up in the stomachs of various monsters, but they were all main courses... Aunt Marta will be tremendously proud of me, once she learns of this. You will carry a message to her, won’t you? Oh! How silly of me! If you will be the *main* course, you won’t be able to deliver a message. Oh, I know! Let me go, dear ogre-ladies, and I shall tell Aunt Marta all about how I nearly made it as a side-dish. Bet she’d still be proud. Aunt Marta is the sort of woman who’d be proud of anything. It reminds me of when Cousin Jan had just started smuggling monkeys and- *pauses to take in a breath*
fyhkTNU.png
: SHUT UP!
MBXUZqM.png
: SHUT UP!
OVANUSQ.png
: Hang on, Master Gnome! We are coming to your rescue!
PxmxPBa.png
: Noble adventurers! I shall tell everyone about your bravery in saving a small gnome such as I. In fact, I am going to start doing so immediately - or my name isn’t David Jansen, famous illusionist and minstrel! Farewell ladies, I take no offence, for your actions toward me were fueled by the combination of your exceptionally low intellect and my irresistible persona. Too bad that you misinterpreted your attraction as culinary in nature. Wheeee!
fyhkTNU.png
: Fast food is no good for ye anyway, Cru. These ones are bigger and less fatty. Chop-chop-chop!

P25zOUh.png


I was kind of on autopilot here, so I really couldn’t tell you how difficult this fight is supposed to be.

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I mean, could you blame me though? Look at the fucking encounter design in this area. This isn’t design, this is farce.

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Fuck

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shit

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whatever. This is the cave on the island mentioned in the note.

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The interior is mainly infested with spiders.

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Peleria here is the target.

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It’s a standard mage fight, as annoying as any other in Big World BG1.

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Peleria is backed up by some sword spiders. Or some sword spiders populating the cave just happen to be nearby? Fuck if I know. Who’s keeping track anymore?

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Much damage is exchanged. Peleria finally dies, I guess. I dunno. This would be much more exciting if it was in a less top-heavy mod load order. Peleria drops several things, both “meh” and incredible. Among them are

White Robe of the Spider said:
Screen_Shot_2021-11-13_at_10.20.10_AM.png
: This white robe is embroidered with the shapes of numerous spiders across its surface. The wearer is immune to any effects that cause encumbrance such as web and slow. It negates the effects of paralysis and hold spells. The robe also allows the Mage to cast a hold spell on a target but its duration is limited to one round only.

STATISTICS:

Armor Class: 6
Weight: 6
Special: Free Action (while equipped) -
protects the Mage from any magics that effect movement such as hold and web.
Allows the Mage to cast a hold spell
Only usable by:
Mage (single, dual, & multi-class)

Talisman of Protection +1 said:
Screen_Shot_2021-11-13_at_10.20.53_AM.png
: ‘The Star of Riona’
The history of this Talisman is unknown but several have been found engraved with the name of an elven female. This talisman has been engraved with the name Riona. Most likely the gift of an elven daughter.

STATISTICS:

Armor Class Bonus: 1
Saving Throw Bonus: 1

Not usable by:

As well as a Quarterstaff and Ring of Protection +1, but the real highlight here is

gVfCcP0.png


Fuck yes.


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Orbs rule.

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The rest of the cave is a scattered smattering of barrels and other such containers containing minor trinkets.

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Up next: the two talismans in Beregost.

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Or rather, the one talisman. The beggar on the streets is fairly obvious, but the other one, the “Young Girl - Town house in Beregost near Feldepost’s Inn” doesn’t actually seem to exist. This is unfortunately another thing preventing me from recommending this mod, though considering you can figure out the talisman she’d be carrying through process of elimination, it’s not precisely game breaking, it just means a trip to Shadowkeeper to find the item code.

Anyway, Past Me doesn’t actually know this, so a decent chunk of this footage is faffing around looking through random houses and taverns in Beregost.

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I can’t remember if I’ve mentioned this before, but I’ve confirmed that this guy does offer somewhat higher-than-average prices for shit you sell to him, though the difference isn't spectacular.

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This happens while barging in to a house near Feldepost’s. It’s one of the only noteworthy things to happen in this vicinity.

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Apparently Dynaheir’s opinion is powerful enough to sway the opinions of the public.

NbfMiNg.png


Might as well tie up this loose end while we’re here.

Dialogue said:
OVANUSQ.png
: Ummmm, What kind of shop is this anyhow?
guHLkWU.png
: I run an escort business. I hire mercenaries to escort caravans en route from Amn to Baldur’s Gate. Right now I’m lookin’ for some strong sword arms, and I’m willing to pay high. It seems that one of the caravans under my protection never arrived at Baldur’s Gate, and I need ta know what happened. You look like a strong group of warriors; interested in a job?
OVANUSQ.png
: Sure, we always need more money, tell us more.
guHLkWU.png
: That’s good. I’ve been having a lot of problems with bandit activity lately, but they’ve always only taken the cargo and let the caravan go afterward. I’ve been catching flak from the family of some of the passengers of this caravan, after all it was the job of my mercenaries to make sure everyone got safely to Baldur’s Gate. Normally I wouldn’t give one damn about some stupid whiner, but one of the passengers was the son of Entar Silvershield, and in this part of the world, his word is law. So, do you want the job or not?
OVANUSQ.png
: Well, there sure is trouble on the roads. I have seen some myself.
guHLkWU.png
: Never is enough hirelings around t’ do the job proper. D’ya have any experience?
OVANUSQ.png
: We battled a bandit group that had just killed everyone in a caravan up North. Any chance this pin was from one of yours?
guHLkWU.png
: Well, this is Silvershield’s son’s marker. Dead, y’say? That was one of my caravans. Guess I’m in a lot of trouble now. With him dead, I’ll be a wanted dwarf. Well, since my reputation is now mud, how ‘bout I help you gain revenge on those scum bags? P’rhaps you can put in a word for me with the Silvershields. Whadda ya say?
OVANUSQ.png
: Sure, we could use your skills.
guHLkWU.png
: Now ‘bout that hiring thing I promised. Here, have some gold, but I expect my share of the booty from ya. I am poor now.

Vy4ZAq5.png


Yeah, uh

XCdYaSq.png


Thanks but no.

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This is the last house near Feldepost’s that isn’t either empty, Kagain’s storefront or filled with generic NPCs.

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Dialogue said:
OVANUSQ.png
: I beg your pardon, my lady?
jK5Jxdq.png
: You heard me perfectly. At least have the decency to wipe your shoes before going upstairs.

4fgnk4X.png


Dialogue said:
OVANUSQ.png
: Now, what is this all about? You *are* a strange couple!
ZfIJZwf.png
: Oh, don’t try that one on me. We know all perfectly well that *she* is hiding it! Tell her it’s getting her nowhere. We have to sell it!
OVANUSQ.png
: You are missing something?
ZfIJZwf.png
: Ha! Guess the whole street knows it already. Is it shameful to sell possessions because you don’t have enough money? It’s not my fault the horse stepped on my foot. Now, please! I want to rest a bit. Goodbye.
OVANUSQ.png
: Could we help you in any way?
ZfIJZwf.png
: Yes. Go down to her and tell her to stop hiding it! Goodbye.

c4wRWZk.png


Dialogue said:
OVANUSQ.png
: You seem to be missing something. Can we help you in any way?
jK5Jxdq.png
: I won’t say anything further. Go back to him and leave me in peace.
QlquGX7.png
: It’s around this point where I kind of lose track of how to progress this. I rummage through all the containers in the house and don’t find anything noteworthy. I even try pickpocketing the Dudleys, but...
KXLpXhI.png

Yeah, it’s a bit of a no-go.

BrIiQJ5.png


Thinking the quest is bugged, I leave, only to find a little girl by a townhouse near Feldepost’s. Thinking this is the girl with the talisman, I figure I’m obligated to complete the quest at this point.

...She isn’t the little girl mentioned in the note. You already know this, of course.

Dialogue said:
OVANUSQ.png
: I indeed did “talk” to your parents... Seems they are missing something?
FeCQeWH.png
: Ye-es... Did they tell you that? What did they say?
OVANUSQ.png
: They didn’t tell me, to be honest. I figured it out from what they said. Do you know anything about it?
FeCQeWH.png
: Mom said we need some money to pay for the house... But we lost the necklace that could be sold.
OVANUSQ.png
: Ah, so it’s a *necklace*! Well, I have the impression that both your mom and dad think the other one is hiding it... Do you have any idea where it could be?
FeCQeWH.png
: Me? No... no, why should I?
QlquGX7.png
: ...She has the necklace. Also, here’s what you get if you pick option 2 at the first dialogue tree.
X3g2xfE.png

cHd6dpe.png


This quest is akin to the world’s lamest game of grabass.

Dialogue said:
OVANUSQ.png
: Your daughter mentioned you are missing a necklace.
jK5Jxdq.png
: Did she tell you that? *sigh* Poor girl. Her father doesn’t think of what he is doing to her. He doesn’t think of what he is doing to *us*, by hiding that pearl necklace?
OVANUSQ.png
: Can I help you in any way?
jK5Jxdq.png
: No, I don’t think so. I am sorry, I don’t mean to offend you, but even our friends couldn’t talk any sense into him... I do apologize for my unfriendly behavior. I imagined that you were his friends when you came in the first time. I thank you for your offer to help, but please leave us alone now.
OVANUSQ.png
: If it’s only money that you miss, maybe I could give you some?
jK5Jxdq.png
: Ah... no, no, thank you. We have enough money. At least we *would* have... Never mind. It is not your problem.

rFrAkso.png


Dialogue said:
OVANUSQ.png
: From talking to your wife I got the impression that she thinks that *you* are hiding the necklace!
ZfIJZwf.png
: That’s ridiculous! Why should I do that? It is actually hers, to be precise, old family jewelry... *sigh* It’s not easy for a man to admit that he is not capable of providing for his family any longer. She agreed to sell the pearls. Really brave woman she is, my Margareth! But *sigh* she somehow changed her mind, and now it’s gone. Haven’t talked to her for over a week now! This situation is unbearable. Please, leave an old man with his sorrow. Good day to you.
OVANUSQ.png
: If it’s only money you are missing, maybe I could give you some?
ZfIJZwf.png
: Ah? Oh, thank you for that... er, kind offer. But she would never accept that, my Margareth... No, she wouldn’t.

higDQcZ.png


Dialogue said:
OVANUSQ.png
: Your husband told us the missing necklace belongs to you.
jK5Jxdq.png
: Did he? Well, at least he seems to remember... Although that doesn’t help, if he doesn’t *give* it to me!
OVANUSQ.png
: But he said that he has no reason to hide it... And that you agreed on selling it too, but then you changed your mind.
jK5Jxdq.png
: *I* changed my mind? *I changed* my mind? One evening we discussed the necessity of selling my... *sob* my grandmother’s necklace, and the next morning he hid it! We will lose the house because we can’t pay our last debt on it. I really don’t blame him that he’s no longer capable of earning as much as he did. I haven’t talked to that stubborn husband of mine for several days now. I... I can’t take this any longer... *sob* Please, leave me in peace...
OVANUSQ.png
: I have the impression we are running in circles here. There must be a different solution to this.
QlquGX7.png
: Gee, really? No shit, Sherlock!
jK5Jxdq.png
: Poor Annie... What will become of her... *sob*

cvLZKqZ.png


Dialogue said:
OVANUSQ.png
: Your wife is crying downstairs... Are you sure you don’t want to just accept some money and let it be over?
ZfIJZwf.png
: *sigh* It’s not that easy, see? It isn’t right that we take money from strangers because we can’t reach an agreement. It sounds very tempting, but it’s not that easy. *sigh*
QlquGX7.png
: In the immortal words of Rich Evans, "there’s nothing wrong with taking money."

iVb9Bcd.png


Dialogue said:
OVANUSQ.png
: Annie, from what your mom said, I have the strong impression that *someone* took the necklace from its place that particular night... Don’t you think it’s time to give it back to your mom?
FeCQeWH.png
: But I... I... *sob* I don’t *want* the necklace to be sold! It’s the last piece we have from Grandma and I... I... I thought they would find another way and I... *sob* I took it when they where sleeping and now they are so angry and everything is so bad... *sob*
OVANUSQ.png
: Oh, poor child. Hush, everything will be all right. Hiding the necklace doesn’t help, Annie. Go inside and give it back. Some things have to be done, even if it hurts.
QlquGX7.png
: Yeah, like updating the thread. HEY-O
FeCQeWH.png
: May... *sob* Maybe you are right. Oh, I hope mom won’t be too angry!

GWyl6P0.png


Dialogue said:
IctZtQO.png
: ’Tis funny what effects too little communication can have. Well, I guess I should keep my mouth shut, considering t’ consequences of “too much” talking in my case *sigh*.
QlquGX7.png
: Lot of sighing in this quest.
kzbumPF.png
: Ah, Minsc’s heart glows to see those people happy again.
wBa5IxV.png
: This is a fine ending.
jK5Jxdq.png
: We are very grateful for your help.
OVANUSQ.png
: I really want to see you people happy. Do you have an honest buyer for your necklace?
ZfIJZwf.png
: Well, we will go to someone we know in private... It’s always a risk to do money business with people you know, but it’s...
jK5Jxdq.png
: Good gracious, do you want to tell every detail of our money misery? We are very grateful for what you did for us, but we need some time to discuss the proceedings further... I do apologize, but it was a very anxious time we had.
OVANUSQ.png
: I am sorry to interfere so much with your private problems, but I actually am looking for a nice pearl necklace for a, er... friend. Would you sell the necklace to me for... let’s say 600 gp?
QlquGX7.png
: No pearl necklace in Torilspace is worth this much cash but sure whatever we’ll play ball.
ZfIJZwf.png
: 600 gp?! That is... that is much more than we would get from the other buyer.
jK5Jxdq.png
: Thank you very much, this is a very honorable offer. Yet we do not want to trouble you that much. We...
ZfIJZwf.png
: Margareth, what are you saying? Didn’t you hear what was said? Why shouldn’t we sell it now? We couldn’t buy it back from Edgar anyhow.
jK5Jxdq.png
: Honey, please. I am not so stupid as to think...
ZfIJZwf.png
: Margareth, come aside for a short moment. *whisperwhisper* ...money directly and... *mumblemumble* ...you never know whether Edgar... *whisperwhisper*...
jK5Jxdq.png
: Yes, but *whisperwhisper*...
QlquGX7.png
: THRILLING ADVENTURE IN THE WORLD OF BALDUR’S GATE! UNLOCK THE MYSTERY OF THE DEAD GOD BHAAL, CRACK THE CASE OF THE CONSPIRACY OF THE IRON THRONE! NAVIGATE YOUR WAY THROUGH A TANGLED WEB OF... pedestrian peasant quibbles
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: Margareth, please *whisperwhisper*... Annie, hm?
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: Well *whisperwhisper* *sob* You are so right, my dear. But only *whisperwhisper*...
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: You are the wisest of all, my lovely wife. That is exactly how we will do it. All right, amicable helper. We finally decided to accept your offer, but not for the 600 you offered. Five hundred, it will be. This is still a very generous trade for us, and we are very well aware of the fact that you know that... *ahem*.
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: What a comfort. And I thought I might have to go on searching forever for a pearl necklace!
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: One of the random loot items in the house is a silver necklace. Just FYI
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: Thank you very very much. We... are very shy people, and maybe a bit too proud. *shy smile* You are a very generous and friendly person. We are indeed in your debt.
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: Buying that necklace will help those people, although I am not sure what thou art planning to do with it.
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: Here it is...
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: *You put 550 gp directly into Mr. Dudley’s money bag, trying to be sure that he doesn’t notice the extra gold.* I thank *you*, good people.
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: We murdered three innocent wizards in cold blood and then killed their father for sport. Just... Just thought you ought to remember that.

This exchange nets us

Dudley Family’s Necklace said:
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: This pearl necklace is the much sought-after heirloom of the Dudleys.

Very much not a talisman of power.

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Dialogue said:
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: Can we give him another 100 gold, just for his honesty?
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: There were 50 gp too much in my bag after you left... is that a grin on your face there? You are very friendly and generous indeed, but we can’t accept a donation of so much money.
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: It’s no donation. I offered you 600 gp, because that is exactly the sum I think this necklace is worth. Well, your counter-offer was 500 gp, so we met in the middle. I would not argue with you in front of your wife, but there is no way I will take back these 50 gp, as they belong to you, good man.
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: Ah, nah, you don’t... I mean... Do you really...? You see, that’s not tears in my old eyes. I guess I got some sand in them, running so fast to catch up with you.
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: In the immortal words of the titular Big Lebowski, “strong men also cry.”
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: You are something special, young one, I tell you. But what you said made actual sense... I hope I can remember that until I return home, so I can tell Margareth... Or maybe I won’t tell her, keeping it a nice surprise... We are in your debt, friendly stranger. I will keep the money then... May the gods be with you!

And with that, this quest is over. Hypothetically, you should be able to return the necklace to the daughter and resolve all the loose ends. I don't remember if I do this, however.

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Here's another highlight in the futile quest for the talisman that doesn’t exist.

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We take care of this quest while we’re here.

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It’s around here that I gave up looking for the talisman carried by the “little girl in the townhouse.” I didn’t skip time forward or rest, I actually spent a full goddamn in-game day looking around random houses.

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Carneth here is the beggar mentioned in the note.

Dialogue said:
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: Here’s a coin get yourself a decent bed for the night.
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: Why that’s mighty kind of you stranger. Is there anything I can help you with.
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: I seek a talisman recently acquired in a local store. I believe you may know of its whereabouts.
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: So you want answers, seems like everyone wants answers these days. Sally here likes making puzzles. Solve one of her puzzles and I’ll answer your question.
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: Fine. What’s the puzzle?
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: The real part of every nontrivial zero of the Riemann zeta function is 1/2?
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: I am four times as old as my daughter. In twenty years time I shall be twice as old as her. How old are we now.
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: Damnit, nobody ever shoots for the millennium prize.
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: I am 40 and my daughter is 10.
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: Well done. The talisman you seek is called the Star of Merris an ancient Elven artefact. Few were made and just by chance I happen to have the talisman close by. I will trade with you but the price will be high.
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: We receive a journal update which seems to indicate you can ask your NPCs about the riddle if you fail.
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This was fairly easy, so I haven’t yet been able to test this failure state.
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: So what is the price of this trade?
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: There is a special kind of ruby for sale here in one of the local inns. It is known as the Dragon’s Heart ruby. Bring the ruby to me and I will trade the talisman for it.
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: A Dragon’s Heart ruby for sale in one of the inns here in Beregost. Very well, I shall obtain the item for you.

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In order to save on shipping the full party back and forth, we send Minsc in alone to perform the transaction.

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Unlike the main quest for The Stone of Askavar which activates somewhere around Chapter 6, the Dragon Heart Ruby is always available at this store and is likely something you’ll have run into at least once or twice, even without realizing it’s a part of this mod. As such, I’m slightly willing to forgive the vague direction of “an inn in Beregost.”

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So... A palantir for dragons?

Since we’re here, we also buy some quickslot items this particular innkeep sells, specifically

Ogre Drum said:
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: Drums of this kind are known as Congos and are a favorite instrument for the larger creatures of the realm like Ogres and Giants for its deep sound. When played together the drum gives the impression of an army marching into battle that can scare most creatures within earshot.

STATISTICS:

Special: When played the target must make a saving throw at -2 or the sound of the drum causes panic
Range: 60
Duration: 2 rounds
Weight: 8
Not Usable By:

and

Kobold Drum said:
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: The Tabor Drum or Snare Drum is a favorite of Kobolds and Dwarfs. Held under the arm or in front of the body the drum can give a steady rythmic beat. Played together its sound can be mistaken for the advance of a small army and can scare most creatures within earshot.

STATISTICS:

Special: When played the target must make a saving throw at -2 or the sound of the drum causes panic
Range: 40
Duration: 2 rounds
Weight: 5
Not Usable By:

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Dialogue said:
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: Yes here it is. Now let us finish this trade beggar. Give me the talisman and I’ll be on my way.
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: Oh today is such a great day. I cannot thank you enough. I finally have the Dragon’s Heart ruby after all these years. Here take the talisman and good luck on your quest.

This nets us

Talisman of Protection from Poison said:
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: ‘The Star of Merris’
The history of this Talisman is unknown but several have been found engraved with the name of an elven female. This talisman has been engraved with the name Merris. Most likely the gift of an elven daughter.

STATISTICS:

Special: The wearer is immune to all forms of poison and disease.

Not usable by:

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With that out of the way, we’re going to turn the clocks back once again to cover some side business we took care of before hunting down the talisman in Beregost.

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...Next time. Unfortunately this is where I leave you for now, as I’m afraid I’m starting to feel those end of update agonies. So until next time, as always, here are some more words from our “Sponsors...”

 
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