Part 10: - You call this a break?
Update 8 - You call this a break?
We found this letter in Mulahey's chest. Tazok obviously isn't a bright spark leaving such an obvious trail behind, but it confirmed my thoughts as to what was going on down here. To recap: The Kobolds were attacking the miners and then poisoning the ore so that it'd be weak and crumble. Even though we've stopped the ore from being contaminated, there's still lots of it in circulation so it'll still be a while before the region will recover.
Note: First line was "Mulahey - It appears that your little mining operation is not going as...
I also had a long-rear end dream.
Being in the outdoors was much more preferable to being locked underground. Instead of going straight after this Tranzig fellow, we thought we'd take a break and have a bit of an explore. After all: This was my first time outside Candlekeep: I wanted to see some of the stuff I had read about.
In my exploring: I encountered a lot of bandits. I'm not going to give up my hard-earned cash. If they wanted my gold: They had to earn it.
Note: Sorry, it's 1.51 meg thus too big for Waffleimages. That's a link to the GIF
However: We met something we never expected to meet. A Drow Elf. What one was doing on the surface is beyond us, but we were eager to find out.
I remembered the last Flaming Fist Mercenary we encountered. He accused us of being bandits and wanted to kill us. While it wasn't really my business, I was starting to develop a certain distaste for religous zealots.
Jaheira seemed to take offence to his arrogance and bashed his head in with her club. Hell hath no fury like a woman's scorn.
She offered her services. I had to think long and hard about this one. Imoen was annoying, but she was a theif which we needed. Minsc was required because...well...he's Minsc and he's the strongest in Melee combat. Khalid was also good for backing up Minsc when things got a bit hairy. Jaheira was needed as a druid, they can get pretty powerful later on and she was a good healer and decent with that club.
That left Dyanheir. While I appreciated her company, I was a more powerful mage than her. Dyanheir accepted this undeniable logic and agreed to wait for us at the Friendly Arm Inn in case we needed her again. While I was admittedly a little sad to see her go: We need a Cleric. Minsc objected at first but was then convinced that she would be safe at the Inn and did not object.
However: Viconia does have a bit of a...well...evil side to her. We may end up having to ditch her later.
Note for those who have played: Right, You normally cant split up Minsc\Dyanheir without one of them dying. So how did I get them apart? Well Suspicious is going to scream "CONSISTANCY" but it's the one exploit I used in the game. Basically what you do is take the party member you dont want into a house oom that you'll never go to again, remove them from the party and exit the area before they have a chance to talk to you. They're removed from the party, but since the "Okay, I'm going to take my friend <X> with me" dialogue never happens, the other half of the pair stays in. I figured that this would be a good exploit to show because the pairing system in BG1 was a pain in the rear end.
We found a child out in the wilderness. This was very suspicious, but I'll admit: I have a soft spot for dogs. It cant be that hard to find really can it?
It was in the bushes just east of where we were. Viconia at first thought it was a wolf and went to attack it, but then noticed that it was happily following us and not trying to kill us.
The boy was happy to see his dog. We wont get a reward out of this, but oh well. You dont always need cash. Viconia snorted in distaste, but I ignored it.
Albert then turned into an Ogre Mage. I'm writing this down because I'm still not sure I believe it myself.
They both teleported out, supposedly back to hell. I'd like to say I know what's going on: But I have absolutely no idea. At least THIS one didn't attack us which was a nice change.
That said: We cant work for charity ALL the time. Dryads are friends of nature: As a result: I was hoping we could squeeze some jewels out of them, especially if it's a "wonderous" oak. Unfortunately: That wasn't going to happen.
Note for Suspicious: Reputation management.
Note for everybody else: Basically what happens is that if your reputation is too high, then Viconia wont join\will crack the shits and leave your party. As I said: She's evil. This is why I've had to be a bit inconsistant with some things to make sure that my reputation doesn't get too high. Annoying yes, but I figured a little bit of money-grubbing is better than punching a random civillian.
Sure enough, two Mongoloids were trying to cut down a rather impressive tree. We said we'd stop them so we upheld our half of the bargain.
And despite being a bit scummy about it: People thought better of us for stopping the intellectually-challenged. Maybe the people outside Candlekeep dont like retards? I wonder what they'd think of Minsc...
Minsc: Ahhh we are all heroes! You and Boo and I! Hampsters and Rangers everywhere! REJOICE!
...I dont think Minsc really cares.
Apparantly the tree was damaged in the fight, the Dryad shook her head sadly and then dissapeared to mend whatever damage we had done. C'est la vie.
Near the tree was a waterfall. We spotted the corpse of a cat. I shudder to think what Xzar would've done if he found this. I looked up, wondering how it came here and noticed a girl sniffling on top of the falls.
Note: I know this is a bit of a wussy quest: I'm including it to show you that the graphics STILL stand today. Admit it: That's some pretty scenery.
We gave her the corpse of her cat and she gave us a scroll. A fair trade. I wonder what else I could get for a dead cat?
We continued North and encountered none other than Drizzt. He is the only socially-accpted Drow in the realm and is well known for his fighting prowess. We'd be a fool not to join him in this fight.
Drizzt ran through about 12 Gnolls before we even had a chance to move. Legends of his fighting skill do not even come close to descibing how good of a swordsman he is.
Drizzt suprises us by knowing more about the Iron Crisis than we do. We thank him for the information and we both part ways.
We dealt with the Half-Ogres that a Paladin told us about. There were only 4 and they were an easy kill. Also: It's not like it's hard to spot a Half-Ogre trundling around a lake.
We head North and were told about somebody called "Bassilus" and his "Spooks". This required investigating.
Bassilus surrounds himself with zombies and skeletons. After this conversation, it is safe to assume they
This is not going to be pleasant.
Fortunately, he mistook me for his father and he confirmed my suspicions. This man is clearly deranged and I cant let these corpses be desecrated any longer. I hope his...insanity makes it easy for him to be outwitted.
The fool is confused and loses his concentration...
The dead fall back to their (hopefully) eternal rest. Minsc is unleashed and charges in with a roar, disrupting his spell.
He eventually fell to our onslaught. He was a very tough foe to fight and I'm glad we didn't have to deal with his..."family" as well.
A lone wolf stupidly attacked us and was quickly slain. A nearby chicken started talking to us.
It has become evident that I have spent far too long away from civilisation. After this? I'ma going back to Beregost.
Obviously some...fowl magics are at work. We agree to take the bird to High Hedge.
But first: We desperately need rest in a place that makes sense. A place where children dont turn into Ogres, where chickens dont talk and where Clerics dont talk to corpses who are their "family". We need to go to a place where everybody knows our name.
Alright: Maybe not everybody, but some people.
In Beregost, we meet the old man who we encountered just after I left Candlekeep. This time he revealed his identity. Elminster is possibly the wisest of all Wizards in the land. He tells me it's a smart idea not to stick my "pipe" into other people's business.
The chicken clucked thoughtfully from my backpack. It appears the legends about Elminster are true as well.
This time he gave us some practical information. A pleasent change from the platitude-quoting miscreants we met earlier on in this adventure.
A rumour in the pub told us that Keldath had been wanting Bassilus' holy symbol and would pay out the nose for it. We checked it out later that morning and sure enough: He paid us 5000 gold peices for it.
I'm thinking of hiring Garrick or somebody just to carry all of our gold. I am jingling when I walk.
We took the chicken to High Hedge.
And as it turns out: We were lied to. Melicamp isn't Thalantyr's apprentice: He is a bumbling fool instead.
A bumbling fool who was about to get some sorely required poetic justice. Melicamp may permenantly be a chicken!
Thalantyr however does not share my sense of humour. I humbled myself purely because I wanted to see how this drama unfolded.
He then proposed a very interesting solution. He would kill Melicamp and then reincarnate him back into a human form. I was curious now and wanted to see if this would work: I hadn't heard of this being attempted before.
Fortunately: We didn't have to go into a dungeon to get a skull. There were some skeletons right outside High Hedge. Convenient.
This is it. Will Thalantyr's gambit pay off?
Thalantyr's Antichickenator worked perfectly! I copied his method down in case I'll ever need it for myself.
No: I haven't figured out how I'll cast spells if I do get turned into a chicken, but I'm working on it.
Thalantyr lectures us about the proper use of magic. Spare me. I've had enough of this.
Note: That was a bit of a long one wasn't it? Sorry, but I these quests are amongst my favourite in the game and they're all pretty creative. Better than fetch quests at least. It wouldn't have been so long if Melicamp\Thalantyr didn't talk so much: But I reckon most of that dialogue was worth it: If only for the sake of comprehension.