Good stuff Dyara!
Looks like a nice start Blackraven - I'd be curious if you can keep up this narrative throughout BG 1, SoA and deep into ToB - only time will tell, eh?
Hopefully I can Normally the writing isn't the problem though. My roleplayed run usually don't last long for other reasons I’m not so foolish as to undertake an undoubtedly dangerous mission like investigating the troubled Nashkel Mines while at the same time having to deal with one or several bounty hunters that are waiting for the opportunity to take my scalp. Besides, to be honest I’m still more interested in Bassilus and the 5,000 Guilder prize on his head than in those mines, but that’s something only Imoen knows. The others are more interested in the mines, for reasons they refuse to clarify. I wish they were more forthcoming with information.
Ok Butch's story continues. As a correction to my previous post, which contained the wrong WEIDU-log (of an install I deleted after most SCS v30 AI components failed to install), I'm giving you my actual WEIDU-log. As you can see it contains a number of Tactics components I've never used, something I hadn't mentioned before.
Butch Baylen, 2nd BG1 installment
We traveled to the Nashkel Mines, but I aborted our expedition when we ran into another bounty hunter, a fearsome Dwarf.
Either way, we decided to return to Beregost. We rested at the Nashkel inn, but I had this very strange dream. I only remember flashes of it. I had decided to go back to Candlekeep, but when I arrived, at nighttime, Gorion’s spirit told me at the gates that I couldn’t enter, and that I had to go on. He gestured toward the dark woods, where a smooth path suddenly revealed itself. I soon found myself walking it, and from somewhere unseen a sinister voice spoke: “You will learn!” When I awoke, I somehow knew I had the ability to heal people. I assume it to be a divine gift, as commonly received by priests and paladins. But no deity revealed himself or herself in my dream, except maybe for the voice I mentioned. At any rate the timing of the dream and the gift couldn’t have been better. Just south of Beregost we were attacked by Hobgoblins, some of them archers with poisoned arrows, and they hit Xzar twice. The first poisoning he stopped with an antidote, but the second time it was Jaheira’s healing and mine that kept him alive while we made our way to the nearest inn, the Jovial Juggler.We rested, and Xzar recovered fully.
The next morning we met a wounded Paladin, Bjornin, who had a commission for us. There were four bloodthirsty Half-Ogres terrorizing the lands south, southeast of Beregost. The creatures had injured him, and he wanted us to deal with them. For a change I didn’t negotiate a reward, trusting that his honor as a Paladin would tell him to pay us for our work. We asked around for news about Bassilus, but all we learnt was that the bounty was still unclaimed.
The Half-Ogres we found and slew without difficulty although Montaron suffered a rather heavy blow at some point. Traps and ranged attacks did the job.
The companions then traveled northward, to return to Beregost via the Red Canyons.
“No stay back, lest this madness be catching,” a stranger warned.
“Calm down. What is this madness of which you speak?” Imoen replied.
“There be a fiendish hen to the east that, when I picked her up, she spoke to me in a most human voice!”
All of the companions were intrigued by the man’s words, and they decided to look for the hen. They found it under attack from a hungry wolf. With ranged artillery they slew the wolf, and when they approached the hen it spoke indeed. Apparently the hen was an unintended polymorph form of a human mage apprentice, Melicamp. Melicamp begged the party to take him to his master, the archmage Thalantyr. They agreed, partly out of curiosity of what Thalantyr would do, and partly because they hoped Thalantyr would reward them for their effort with a magical trinket or two.
On their way, a young boy, Footy, told the party he had been observing Bassilus and his ‘funny spooks’. The kid led them toward a ritual site, a large stone circle. From a distance they heard Bassilus speak to his ‘family’, a couple of Skeletons and Zombies. The party retreated, wary not to divulge their presence, in order to discuss a strategy to deal with Bassilus. But they were noticed and attacked by a remarkable alliance of four bandits, five Skeletons and a Ghoul. Some of the companions took a few hits, but with their superior marksmanship there was never any doubt they were going to prevail.
After that battle, Butch carried out a quick search of the corpses for possible treasure but had to stop when a new enemy presented itself: a trio of Hobgoblin bandits. One of them was a hasted, sword-wielding brawler. The others were archers that, as other Hobgoblin archers, liked to coat their arrows in poison, both Xzar and Imoen discovered.
The hasted swordsman hit hard, hard enough to strike down Khalid and Montaron before any of the Hobgoblins had fallen.
By then Jaheira had closed in on one of the archers, and finished the creature off with her club. Butch shot the other archer down.
Jaheira’s attempt to fight the swordsman in close combat nearly cost her her life (1 HP).
She retreated, and on her last legs, had to run for her life with the Hobgoblin pursuing her. Thankfully Imoen and Butch didn’t take long in taking their foe down with bolts and arrows.
This was the bloodiest battle the party had been in, and it gave Butch a lot to think about.
I’m no healer, but both Khalid and Montaron looked pretty dead to me. They were certainly beyond Jaheira’s healing skills, let alone my own. Much to my chagrin we had to call off our confrontation with Bassilus, and visit the Temple of Lathander, not to receive 5,000 Guilders but to beg Keldath Ormlyr to help us with Khalid and Montaron. Fortunately the priest was able to get both the Half-Elf and the Halfling back on their feet, and he didn’t charge much for it.
Still, the experience with the Hobgoblin fighter worries me. Surely there are deadlier warriors out there, and yet this one squashed my warriors like mere bugs. Even Jaheira, arguably my strongest frontliner had to flee and barely escaped. Our party needs either a more resilient frontliner or better equipment. Both seem hard to come by though.
Khalid and Montaron required several days rest to fully recover, but I didn’t have time for that. I had to take that bounty on Bassilus’ head. Xzar stayed with Khalid and Montaron; Jaheira, Imoen and I continued. We reported our success against the Half-Ogres to Bjornin. He did not disappoint in expressing his gratitude, rewarding us with an enchanted shield. We also returned Melicamp to Thalantyr and were impressed with the latter’s successful restoration of his apprentice (much less so with his non-existent appreciativeness for our help).
Near the High Hedge Kivan, an Elven Feralan Ranger and hunter of bandits, offered to join us. We accepted the offer. Armorless, he didn’t look like the frontliner I was hoping to recruit into the party, but he did show us his skill with his longbow when we had to fight three Gnolls.
In Beregost while shopping for ammo, we met a Dwarven warrior by the name of Kagain, a Wizard Slayer, in one of the stores. He ran a mercenary business that provided protection for trade caravans along the Coast Way. One of the caravans he was supposed to protect had gone missing however, and he needed to find it. We agreed on a temporary alliance. We would help him track down the caravan and in return he would join us on our quest in the Red Canyons.
We didn’t take long in locating the caravan, but still too long. The carts had been seized by bandits, the travelers killed.
Four of the bandits were still lingering at the crime scene. The party confronted them, but they learnt that these were no ordinary bandits. At least their leader wasn’t. She was a feisty blonde who seriously injured Jaheira with a well-placed arrow or two. Jaheira disengaged and called upon Kagain to fight the woman. Curiously the bandit kept launching arrows at Jaheira, ignoring Kagain and the others. The woman’s poor tactics allowed the company to finish her off in a collective effort.
The other bandits weren’t as big a threat; they fell fast without doing much harm if any.
Kagain found a fibula of Eddard Silvershield, the only son of the wealthiest and most influential family in Baldur’s Gate, and realized that with the death of the boy the fate of his enterprise had been sealed. He offered to stay on for an indefinite time. Butch, not sure yet what to think of the Dwarf, was in no rush to accept the offer but he didn’t want to dismiss it either. He thanked Kagain for it, and bade him to accompany him to the Red Canyons to fulfill his side of the bargain. The rogue knew that Kagain might be the tough frontliner he had been hoping to meet, but he didn’t want to make the Dwarf feel too important (that might only lead to quarrels about the prize on Bassilus).
The party of five traveled to the Red Canyons. It was dark when they arrived, which allowed Butch to approach Bassilus’ circle unseen. He was pleased to find the priest but less so about the fact that the undead family had grown a lot bigger. The rogue placed his traps outside the stone circle, hoping to lure the priest into them later, should a friendly settlement prove unfeasible. They then confronted the Cleric and tried to convince him to come to Beregost with them. Bassilus didn’t like that idea at all. He started an incantation. But Kivan’s and Imoen’s arrows, Kagain’s throwing axes, Butch’s bolts and traps and Jaheira’s bullets thwarted all his attempts at spell casting (except for a single Sanctuary). He did dish out some damage in close combat, with Kivan and Jaheira being the dupes, but he fell soon enough. It was Kagain who struck the priest down.
The companions presented Bassilus’ Holy Symbol to Keldath Ormlyr and received the 5,000 Guilder prize in return. It prompted Kagain to repeat his offer to stay with the band. Their wealth now surpassed 15,000 Guilders but (thanks to the Hard Times mod) that didn’t mean they were actually able to afford the finest goods they had found for sale at Beregost’s Smithy and at Thalantyr’s.