The Let's Play Archive

Neverwinter Nights 2: Mask of the Betrayer

by Lt. Danger

Part 6: Gannayev-of-Dreams

Act One Chapter Four - Gannayev-of-Dreams

Shortly after the Witches depart, these two come running up to us.

: Our siblings - there are five, including Kaelyn - are known as "the Menagerie." We adopt the titles of noble creatures out of respect for nature.
: The Menagerie has long travelled together, lef by our eldest sister. But since Kaelyn was exiled from our grandfather's court in Celestia, we have been distraught.
: Will you help us find Kaelyn, that we may persuade her back into the fold?
: Where can I find your sister?

: Yes, it is said that Mulsantir has thin boundaries between the Prime and the Plane of Shadow, especially at night, or in dark places.
: Yes, if the rumors are true there are many "weak spots" where one can cross to the Plane of Shadow at night. Perhaps a thorough search of the city would reveal some of these to you.
: We asked the witches when we first arrived and they claimed that Shadow Mulsantir was just a myth, but I know they are hiding something. Maybe if you spoke to them instead...
: Why don't you go find her yourselves?

Oh. Clerics.

Myrkul was the old god of the dead. Kelemvor is the new god of the dead. Relations between the two are understandably a bit frosty (or they would be if Myrkul wasn't dead himself. It's the Forgotten Realms, just roll with it).

: Kaelyn has... abandoned her faith in Kelemvor. For this she was exiled from our grandfather's court. She now follows Ilmater, the god of martyrs.
: We hope to find our sister and convince her not to become a martyr herself...
: Very well, I'll seek out Kaelyn for you.

We'll work on this quest next update. For now, we have a date with our second companion.

Mulsantir prison. There are stocks and a graveyard just out of sight - these Rashemi don't mess around, do they?

Sheva said we could find allies here. Hey, can't be any worse than the last bunch...

: Help? From this lot? Trust in their "help" and you'll find yourself aloe when trouble comes.
: But if you wish to persist in this foolishness, you may speak with the prisoners. Be warned: two you need not fear, but as for the third... guard your thoughts.

Our first interviewee is Mighty Groznek, a purple mutant native to Rashemen!

: No hand will I raise against spirits. Their reach and their memories are long.
: I haven't seen anyone like you before. What are you?

Rashemen has hags like the Sword Coast has orcs. Which is a bit harsh on the Rashemi because the hags are all immensely powerful spellcasters and orcs are... orcs.

: He does speak true. Because of my heritage, I am an outcast.
: Is that why you're in here?
: No. There were three who taunted me into a rage. My blade was the first to leave its sheath, and so here I wait.
: Wait for what?

: Enough, small one! Do not speak my words for me!
: I am trapped in this existence as an outcast through no fault of my own. I gladly accept my fate since it will bring me the peace which has eluded me.

Hmm... bloodthirstiness is a desirable attribute in our company, but we're looking for someone with a bit more 'team spirit.'

We'll call you back.

Our second interviewee is equally as unhelpful.

: There was a misunderstanding about the ownership of some coins I found while visiting the local bazaar. Naturally, the Witches took the word of the locals over my own.
: I don't suppose these coins were in someone else's pouch when you "found" them, were they?
: Hey, I'm just a traveler from Luiren. I didn't even get a chance to learn what the local customs were before the misunderstanding occurred.

Whatever. I didn't even want you in our club anyway!

Our only hope lies behind Door Number 3...


This is Gann - or rather, Gannayev-of-Dreams, to give him his proper name.

: [Success] Ah, honeyed words from the other side of the cage. And what tune must I sing in return, I wonder?
: Whatever wards and locks bind this prison, I think clever words are the key to unlocking them. Go on, I am listening to your offer... my "benefactor."
: What crime have you been jailed for?

Our third prisoner is a bit full of himself, don't you think?

: It would not be the first time I have had to place myself behind bars to keep admirers at bay. If that's why you're here, you'll have to wait in line like the rest, I'm afraid.
: I'll restrain myself - somehow.
: Good. I would not want you to embarrass yourself. I may be a "criminal," but I demand that visitors observe a certain decorum in my presence - otherwise chaos ensues.

Fortunately after NWN2 we know how to handle over-inflated egoes.

There's another conversation option we could have taken if we'd had some ranks in Spellcraft (which we don't):


: [Spellcraft] What are these wards around your prison?
: {Mock contempt} Oh, those? I hadn't noticed. Did some child come by with a handful of chalk and scrawl them there?
: [Spellcraft] Well, possibly, considering the skill - but someone altered them once they were scribed... from the inside.
: {Slight surprise} I had not noticed that - curious. I had thought they were intended as reversals of binding wards... but you are correct.
: Hmm. A mystery, indeed. Who do you suspect of altering them? Not me, I hope. I have an alibi.
: [Spellcraft] If you did this, you are extremely skilled with runes and wards.
: {Smiles} Ah, the sweet arrows of flattery have found their target.
: {Slightly interested now, player has made him curious} You may actually be worth speaking to for a time. {Frowning} But I have forgotten what precisely it is that you want. {Slightly chilling} I am not a reader-of-minds, you know, so out with it.

: Seeking soldiers, are you? You have come to the wrong cell - I am neither foolhardy nor desperate enough to fight barbarians or Thayans.
: Go find a poorhouse and scatter a few coppers - that might yield better results.
: Don't you want out of prison? Your freedom?
: Does it seem like I dislike my surroundings? I assure you, I am quite comfortable here - and I suspect, safer than this town will be when the army of spirits arrives.

How much does this guy know, exactly?

: If I may say, you are rather brave to marshal an army to meet them. That's no "ordinary" band of spirits out there - that's a hornet's nest of beasts. They're screaming for blood so loudly I can hear them in my dreams...
: ...and I am suddenly struck with the suspicion that the blood they seek is yours. Grave robber, are you? Tsk, tsk. One should leave barrows of the ancient bear god alone lest he come for you in his garishly-colored furry rage.

Not quite enough, it seems.

There's lots of different options here, some better than others.

The full list:


: [Intelligence] You may think yourself safe, but you still must be bored in there.
: [Diplomacy] Seems to me that besting the bear god of old might earn you enough clout in the spirit world for centuries to come.
: [Bluff] If you're too frightened by the idea, I can get the old witch warden to help me instead.
: [Taunt] Are you such a coward that you would hide here while the army runs rampant through the streets?
: [Intimidate] Because unless you prefer execution over imprisonment, I suggest you reconsider.
: {Lawful} In exchange for your freedom, you help me. A fair trade.
: {Chaotic} Why not come with me? It'll be more exciting than prison.
: I need every able-bodied soldier I can get. And if I can't get that, I'll settle for you.

You can't actually fail - once you've asked Gann to help you, he's yours. However, you'll lose Influence for being boring or brusque. A successful skill check that isn't Intimidate will avoid this possibility...

...and certain options will even boost his Influence.

: I admit - both your presence and your request intrigue me. Slightly. But that's a slight more than most.

* * *

Gannayev-of-Dreams is voiced by Crispin Freeman (Listen here).

As you may have noticed, he's kind of a dick. He loves himself, very much so, and takes every opportunity to remind you of how smart, handsome and experienced he is. And no, I'm not referring to his character levels.

In fairness he's not (entirely) serious. Although he holds himself in high esteem he's more than happy to be knocked down a peg or two, provided it's done in a sufficiently amusing manner. Obviously that's a load off our mind, after all the tiptoeing we did in the previous campaign, but the real question is: is this the mark of a man who can have a laugh at himself every now and again, or of a broken child incapable of interacting with anyone in an honest and direct manner?

That's what Gann is all about, really: questions.


Gann's the classic free spirit, a wandering libertine beholden to no one but himself and his desires. He's harmless, for the most part, but he can be vicious, even cruel, in a childish way. As we're about to see, in fact.

So far pretty much everyone wants to be nice to all the companions we meet in Mask. That's fine, makes my life a bit easier, but what I'd like to know is if we want to romance Gann. Gannayev's the female romance option (as Safiya is for males) and you've seen a hint of that already in the recruitment conversation. Pursuing a romance won't dominate our relationship with Gann, oddly enough: it's a fairly low-key thing. Most of the emphasis is placed on his personal development rather than the two of us as a unit.

Anyway, I will need to know whether we really like Gann or if we just want to be good friends. Or not friends at all, if anyone feels strongly about it.

Ooh, okay, check out Gann's character sheet. Hagspawn, is it? And Spirit Shaman too?

Hagspawn is a special race (for Gann only) that gets extra Strength and Constitution and inherent bonuses to Armor Class and Spell Resistance in exchange for penalties to Charisma and an adjusted character level of +2. Y'see, hags are all female (duh) and cannot reproduce amongst their own kind, so they take mates from the human population. Female children grow up to become powerful hags... male children become non-magical hagspawn.

Like I said, hags are kind of the orcs of Rashemen, so that makes hagspawn half-orcs. They suffer from a lot of the same problems: big, dumb, short-tempered, disliked by both parental races, and incredibly ugly.

Which makes ol' handsome Gann a bit of a mystery. Weird, huh?

The other thing to note is his class, Spirit Shaman. The Shaman is one of the two new base classes introduced in Mask, the other being Favored Soul. Both are essentially divine Sorcerers, casting from a small pool of known spells a large number of times. Other than that, they are much the same as their older counterparts: the Cleric for the Favored Soul, and the Druid for the Spirit Shaman.

The exception is that the Spirit Shaman has a different fluff to the Druid (Native American animism rather than European nature-worship) so the special feats and abilities differ. Gone are the animal companions and wildshaping, replaced with Chastise Spirits (damage all spirits within 30'), Follow the Guide (reroll any failed save vs. mind-affecting spells) and Spirit Journey (Ethereal Jaunt once a day), amongst others. The Shaman abilities aren't as flashy as the Druid's but they are perhaps more varied.

Also, Spirit Shamans gain spells based on Wisdom, but their spells become stronger with Charisma. For all his beauty, Gann's got some catching up to do in that area.

* * *

Gann has a few choice words for his former jailer on his way out.

: This one is cursed for taking you, spawn of hags, and I shall be glad to be rid of you. Nothing but trouble for me, for this city, you are.
: Shall you be glad to be rid of me, beautiful matron? Do not think I did not see the longing eyes you cast at me as you drew your runed circles on the floor of my cell.
: What lies are these? Eyes of shame are the only eyes I have for you! Shame!
: Now, now - there is no need to mask the feelings I stir in you, and your age but makes you seem wrinkled like a prunefruit. I see what dances in your thoughts as you dream the slow hours of the day here away in this prison.

This is Gann's other ability, unique to him: the power to visit the dreams and memories of others. It's a power we'll be seeing more of later in the game.

: And such passion in that song. Why, it gives you strength even now.
: You are a dangerous creature, dreamwalker. The tales of you all speak such, and many are those you wound with your arrowflight of words and humor.
: Do not think us deaf to those who suffer because of your careless footsteps in their thoughts and dreams. Get hence from my thoughts, I warn you!
: Is what she says true?

: ...and old mother, do not think your mind has not laid down paths for me to stroll. Such thoughts in a woman your age - it would put even a farmer's fiery-loined daughter to shame.
: You are a thief, a twister of words!