Apr 11, 2011

Let's Play Baldur's Gate - Part 16: "Divine Tragedy"

The evil acolytes of the Iron Throne lie defeated, and we plunder the treasures of the now-defenseless tower.

Unfortunately, aside from the magical trinkets the tag team had, there isn't much to plunder. The Big Chest appears to be missing, and thorough examination of the 4 preceding floors yields a few cheap scrolls, the corpse of the ambassador from the Grand Dukes (we fought a doppelganger that looked just like him) and more hurtful accusations of bad smell.

No wonder the guards wouldn't let us into the Dukes Castle!

Outside, instead of the medieval-fantasy equivalent of a SWAT team, we are greeted by a lone knight sent by our friendly neighborhood guard captain Degtyarev Scar, who wishes to talk to us, presumably to ask what we were thinking breaking into a merchant guild and killing all the guards.

We quickly make our way to the Flaming Fist HQ (right after taking a nap in the nearest seedy tavern, naturally), to explain the situation, but, strangely, are unable to tell Scar anything new or use the area transition marker to get into Duke Eltan's office. Still, the jail cells do look rather filthy and unwelcoming, and while, as adventurers, we all possess the ability to sleep anywhere and in most hostile conditions, we would rather not exercise it without need, and thus hastily leave. After a quick stop for potions at the magic shop, I decide where to go next.

It would probably be best for everyone if we left the city for a few days, but from there we could either go straight to Candlekeep or check out the north-southern woods, or whichever ones the NPC mentioned, and kill another half-ogre gang, this time consisting of magi.

On the one hand I have a bad history with hunting Ogres by NPC directions. On the other hand, the expenses of our little investigation/armed assault have left a sizable void in the party's collective wallet, and the guy promised to reimburse us for our trouble, not to mention that going to Candlekeep is probably gonna trigger traumatic memories of my character's difficult childhood full of pointless fetchquests for very nominal reward, so I decide to go with the cash flow and do some Ogre huntin'.

I'm sure this will prove to be a wise decision, and not a mindless cash-grab that will only lead to additional expenses and pain in the ass.

After a short random encounter (I like how the game can give you an encounter with 6 teleporting spiders and two Wyverns  or pit you against a half-dozen hobgoblins and a few kobolds, which ceased to be a threat about 4 levels ago), we get back to the farmstead  south of Baldur's Gate, which should be the first stop on the road to the Wood Of Sharp Teeth, which is what they call the forests surrounding Baldur's Gate. Because, of course, the elf that helpfully informed us to look in the south-western part of said wood, didn't have the common courtesy to mark the damn thing on the map, so I'm reduced to guessing which direction I should take, and from where.

After a short stroll through the giant bug-infested countryside (fun fact - you can just ignore the bugs and they won't be able to do anything since they can't move once they spring from underneath the ground) we see three folks standing in front of a house, discussing some sort of a conundrum. My sidequest sense is tingling, so I get all up in their business.

They are a bunch of fishermen, who can't do their business because a priestess of the sea god, also teasingly referred to as Umberlee, the Bitch Queen (the same god adepts of which sold us a corpse back in 'Gate), is messing with the weather every time they get in their boats. They ask me to "strongarm" her into leaving them alone, and I accept, since adepts of Umberlee are evil so I can kill them and not get alignment-induced guilt later on, not to mention that the fishermen promise me a family heirloom magical weapon as a reward, and I'm all about magical weapons (even though I'm almost completely sure they will give me a +1 club or something else nobody in the party uses). They direct us to look for her near a small shack to the north, but first we barge into their house to see if there is anything worth taking.

Whoa, he's got TWO chests!
The proprietor of the house has a rather strange reaction to 6 unwashed, smelly, heavily armed thugs barging into his house. He mentions how we are good people for helping out Brun, that old farmer whose son we brought from the bug den, and rewards us with... a family heirloom magic item. Does everyone and their dog has one of these lying around? Well, everyone except the people who actually need them, but I guess all the great heroes grow up without parents, so it makes sense. Touched by this sudden act of kindness, we wipe our feet at the door before proceeding to sift through his stuff.

Back outside, we wander around trying to find the correct area transition and reach the shack of the sea priestess. We finally find it, and interrogate the priestess, which sounds about 7 years old, which is a good sign that I'm not supposed to kill her. I try to investigate further, but she refuses to offer details and insists that we leave. I try to talk to her again, but she gets angry and attacks. Well, that was easy.

Alas, things do get complicated, as after a volley of projectiles directed at her by my mages and snipers, she launches into a long-winded speech about how the fisherment are the bad guys because they killed her mother and stole her sea god macguffin to help them get more fish, all the while being punctured by arrows and throwing knives.

We make our way back to ask the fishy group some questions. Their leader tries to convince me that she was lying to turn me against them, but makes the mistake of offering additional 100 gold, which is a pretty good sign of evilness (good people never propose more money, you have to ask them first). I call them out on murder, but Sonner, the leader of the fishermen, tries to threaten me with backing of the temple of Talos, which had something to do with it. It seems this simple little sidequests might have some far-reaching implications! No matter, I won't be browbeat by a bunch of clerics. I keep pushing Sonner and he finally caves and hands over the macguffin. We return to the priestess, who gives us a smattering of xp but no magic items (damn it!), and teleports away, mentioning that we "will be rewarded... in time".

Wishing a more immediate compensation, we break into her house and pilfer through her stuff, finding some pawnshop-worthy baubles, but not much beyond that.

It seems I have been sidetracked from being sidetracked. We've still got Ogre-magi to kill. Onwards, to logistical confusion!

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