Part 54: Continued
Returnin' with good news, woo.
And Mateo was cleared and everything was right with Saradush. Except Gromnir. And the big army of fire giants and stuff. So it was actually pretty damn shit and I don't know why I said that. So anyway, there were two ways into the castle - the first being through the locked sewers. But how do you get a key? How else but stealing it from the holder in a murderous fashion?
You have about five seconds to slink out of here before I turn my men loose on you!
I go where I want, when I want!
So that's how you want it? Fine by me! Slaughtering civilians is always fun!
However, we actually went in through the jail because vampires are infinitely fun to murder.
Turned out there were some restless spirits around, too.
Found his skull in the container behind him.
And over here, too.
There was some sort of amulet in the next cell over.
Fixed his grave and put some holy water on it.
Oh for fuck's sake even the GHOSTS can teleport and I can't.
Killed a vampire in there and snagged a bronze ioun stone
This is used in creating the Circlet of Netheril and this quest MUST be done to unlock the door.
Turns out these weren't really vampires, just vampiric goths. It's different. Vampiric goths are whiney and spout poetry about how things suck.
Die, vampire scum!
You... you are a powerful one of your kind. I can smell the murder in your heart. You shall never let us live, I would think. Come, then, my children... we die this night, once and forever, throwing ourselves on the merciless blade that is this godling!
You are a Child of Bhaal?
Of course. And, like you, I'm trying to find the secret entrance out of the palace.
I'm not trying to find a way out, I'm trying to get in to see Gromnir.
You might want to rethink that. Gromnir is mad. He's randomly executing anyone he thinks might be a traitor. Most of the Bhaalspawn just go along with his wild accusations, trying to avoid drawing attention to themselves. But I can't stand it anymore.
Gromnir has to keep you Bhaalspawn in line. Sounds like you just lack the stomach for leadership.
Executing innocent people just isn't right. And how long until Gromnir points his finger at me? I just want to get as far from that madman as possible.
Can you give me any advice on how to get inside to see Gromnir?
There's a host of patrols just down this corridor. They're guarding some prisoners Gromnir plans to execute. If you're careful you could sneak past them and into the castle. But watch out... there's traps and alarms all over the place. Most of them are so sensitive they go off if you even get close to them - keep a wide berth if you know what's good for you. Of course, I think you're mad if you want to get in to see Gromnir. I'd recommend you turn back and get out of here... like me.
You can set these prisoners free for a reputation point which is I guess just there if you for some reason started straight in Throne of Bhaal.
This is where the sewers connected to Gromnir's palace. We went in there to kill things, basically.
And this is how pretty much all of Throne of Bhaal works out, at least in vanilla - your party plows through disturbingly large hordes of critters that are incapable of really being any challenge at all. The biggest difference between vanilla and this modded version is that the bosses WILL kick my ass instead of being pushovers to exactly the same extent. You shall see how soon enough.
There were some sappers from Yaga-Shura's army down in the sewers, so it was a pretty good thing we went there, I guess.
The two planetars standing there throughout this whole exchange just makes me laugh.
Also, a hilariously one-sided random monster spawn. Yes, those are gibberlings.
We found Fflar's Scabbard in a chest in the basement, but that was pretty much it. Headed on upstairs, plowed through some guards...
And finally reached Gromnir.
Gromnir knows a stranger came to Saradush, pretty Melissan. Another Bhaalspawn. You must think Gromnir too stupid not to remember there is no way in or out of the city, mmm? Heh heh...
You fool, Gromnir! That 'stranger' may be our only hope of escaping this siege alive!
Bah! Gromnir knows the truth! We is no idiot! Melissan has brought this outsider in to kill Gromnir! Bhaalspawn mean nothing! Yaga-Shura is Bhaalspawn - he wants Gromnir's head, too! HAH ha ha! Foolish Melissan is plotting against Gromnir. Melissan is plotting the ruin of all the Children of Bhaal!
You are mad, Gromnir! Have I not always aided you and all the other Bhaalspawn? I.. I brought you here to protect you - it was your paranoia that brought Yaga-Shura upon us!
Mad? Paranoid? HA HA HA! No! Gromnir finally understands how Melissan lied! Melissan lured Gromnir into a deathtrap! Tell Gromnir where the Bhaalspawn assassin is hiding!
Hiding? The stranger is not hiding, Gromnir! If you were not holed up in this castle, you two could have had a meeting when the stranger first arrived!
Gromnir will never meet with this Bhaalspawn of yours! HAH!! Gromnir is wise to Melissan's schemes. Melissan wants to turn Bhaalspawn against Bhaalspawn until all are dead!
Your madness will be your death, Gromnir, nothing else... the death of you and all those who foolishly follow you.
Take Melissan away, but watch closely. Ha ha ha! Gromnir knows that Melissan is tricky; Melissan lies; Melissan... deceives... heh heh.
Pretty bland fight, all in all - no one was really a match for us, though I'm unsure what was with the minotaur that decided to show up at some point in the middle of the fight. From the various bodies, mostly Gromnir's, we took Ice Star, a lavender ioun stone, Roranach's Horn, and the Grandmaster's Armor.
I thought Gromnir's guards took you away.
I am not without my own resources, Asim. Gromnir's men left me in my cell when the battle started. I escaped as soon as I could, but I was too late. I... suppose this was inevitable. I knew the chance of Gromnir joining you was slim, Asim, but I thought he might listen to reason. I was desperate to end this siege, and I... I was wrong. I'm sorry. Now I fear we are all doomed. There is no way out of Saradush. Between the army and the strange imprisoning magics, even our wizards are trapped here.
You all may be trapped here, but I'm not. I can leave Saradush anytime I want to.
You... can leave Saradush? Yes, of course... you found your way into the city, it is only logical to expect you can find your way out. Why didn't I think of that earlier? If you can leave... then the city can still be saved! They have endured so much, we must help them! Asim, if you can leave, then only you have the means to do that!
Why do that? I could always try to bring you and the Bhaalspawn elsewhere. You could flee.
Understand, Asim, that this siege is but the beginning. Until this threat is ended, it doesn't matter where we go... we are in danger of being exterminated by Yaga-Shura and his allies. Eventually, even you would be overwhelmed by their power. I... I know more about them, Asim. More than I'm saying. But... I won't tell you everything unless you try to save Saradush.
You tread a thin line. I dislike being manipulated... by anyone.
I'll manipulate you if I like, and I will have you kill the man who ruined my fun!
WHO THE HELL ARE YOU.
BE AFRAID OF ME DAMN YOU!
It is not my first choice to do this, Asim. However, in my dealings with the Children of Bhaal I have learned that... sometimes... the ends must justify the means.
It looks like I am again left with little choice in my course. What do I do?
The army itself is immaterial. If you fought your way to Yaga-Shura, himself, and defeated him, the force would collapse. But that's... not a simple matter. He is a powerful fire giant, to begin with...
A giant? Well, the bigger they are, the harder they fall, right?
It is not that simple, Asim. Like you, Yaga-Shura is one of the most powerful Bhaalspawn to walk the Realms. I know not what 'gifts' your blood has passed on to you, but I can tell you something of his.
Ahhh, my friends... notice the dramatic pause in the good lady's conversation before she delivers this chilling news. What stylish flair! She has graced the stage in her past, I'll warrant.
Oh, Asim... why do I get the feeling I'm not going to like what she says next?
The giant seems to be invulnerable to harm. Arrows, blades - even the most powerful of our spells and enchanted weapons leave no permanent mark. He heals faster than we can wound him.
How am I supposed to kill someone who is immune to harm?
Yaga-Shura was not born with this immunity. He developed it... learned it... somehow during his childhood spent in a secret glade in the Forest of Mir. I can show you where that glade is... but it is only speculation. The key to the giant's invulnerability might lay there, but it might not. There may be nothing there at all.
And if that's the case?
Then there is only one other place to look, though it is far more dangerous. Yaga-Shura has attracted a large number of fanatical devotees of his kind. They worship him as a god, as you can well imagine. They built a temple to him in the Marching Mountains. Many of them are in his army, now... that may mean the temple is vulnerable to your attack. Perhaps Yaga-Shura's secret lies there, I don't know.
Fine. I will accept your mission and find a way to destroy the "invincible" Yaga-Shura.
I... know it is much to ask of you. Whether it means anything to you or not: thank you. Now... I must attend to the wall's defenses. However you leave, I suggest you do so as soon as possible. Godspeed, Asim. I pray you succeed in your mission, for all our sakes.
This isn't exactly how you thought it would happen, right?
I once thought that I was the one spoken of by Alaundo's prophecy, that is true. You may be the one, as well, although that has yet to be proven beyond a reasonable doubt. Still, once this is all over, my use to you will be at an end. I have no oath to continue service, so my question is thus: what will you do with me, then?
You'll be free to go, as you wish.
You would allow me to leave? We would just part ways, and I would be free to carry out whatever plans I wish, no matter what they might be?
And I would wish you the best.
And do you believe I have another choice?
Another choice than being evil? Always.
I see. I will think on your words, then, brother.
Archival Commentary - wow, found quite a few things I screwed up here and didn't notice orginally. They're fixed.