The Let's Play Archive

Neverwinter Nights 2: Mask of the Betrayer

by Lt. Danger

Part 7: Kaelyn the Dove

Act One Chapter Five - Kaelyn the Dove

Gann's joined our team but there's another companion to collect before we face Okku and his army of spirits.

Efrem and Susah promised us their help if we found their missing sister, Kaelyn. They think she's gone to the Plane of Shadows and maybe the Wychlaran know something about it.

: Where did you hear of that? Have you been listening to the rumors of foreigners?
: Efrem and Susah think that their sister went there.
: Hmmm, indeed. I suppose there is little point in keeping this secret from you, as we have kept it from most of Mulsantir...

: I ask that you do not speak of this to others. Residents of Mulsantir live with enough fear, lately. I do not want to give solidity to what is, for now, just a rumor.

There are a few other things we can bug Sheva about as well:

: What do you know about the bear god, Okku?

: [Success] I have told you what I know of the bear god, foreigner. Spirits whisper rumors amongst themselves, and I have heard those whispers on the breeze...
: Some of them say that the bear god struck a bargain with an eater of souls... that he swore an oath... and this oath cost him - and his people - dearly.
: But the whispers of spirits are never to be simply believed. They are echoes of truths, reflections of things seen through mist and dream.

The other question we have is about gods. For example, Sheva just mentioned someone called "Bhalla," but that's not a name I recognise from Deities & Demigods!

: What is this place? Some sort of temple?

: the sight of spirits and mortals alike.
: And the statues? What goddesses are those?
: They wear many names, but you know them as Chauntea, Mielikki, and Mystra. Amongst my people, they have different names, and different masks.

: A person... or a god... becomes the mask she wears. But she cannot truly escape what lies beneath.
: In the end, there must be a reckoning between them. One must overcome the other.

We'll develop this some more in Act 2.

Sheva's map marking points us to the other side of Mulsantir. Along the way, we pass by this temple to Kelemvor, constructed in a different style to the rest of Mulsantir.

This here's the spot. Why's nothing happening?

Oh, right, gotta wait until nightfall.

This is the other half of the resting mechanic. It comes in useful about one other time in the game.

Night falls, and the portal opens.

The Shadow version of the Veil was pretty spooky. Will Shadow Mulsantir be any kinder?


Shadow Mulsantir

Shadow Mulsantir is completely deserted, except for the occasional wandering undead. These shadows and wraiths respawn once a day or so, which becomes fairly important in a few updates.

And here, where Kelemvor's temple stands on the Prime Material, is the Death God's Vault.

Pretty metal, huh?

It's guarded by two nightwalkers - heavy going for our +3 dagger Rogue, but our two spellcasters sort them out pretty quick.

It doesn't look any nicer up close.

Do we have to go in?

Ah, look at that. It's the Merdelain tileset from the end of NWN2. I was wondering if we'd ever see it again.

Oh... is that blood? Eurgh.

How terribly gauche.

Our objective is at the end of the hallway.

: What is your reason for coming here? Has something called you to this place?

: I have been cut off from the Menagerie for some time - and it seems they have not given up the hunt. But it would be unlike them to surrender such a hunt, especially for their sister.

: House of the Triad? And who is Ilmater?
: No doubt one of the many gods of your civilized world - perhaps the patron of flowers, girls with wings, or doe-eyed bringers of damnation.
: Ilmater is the god of martyrs and suffering. He brings solace to those in pain - or to those who feel... incomplete.
: You know his name and his acts, then. He calls us all, and comforts the wounded.

Hoo, boy. This exchange right here pretty much defines the three core companions of Mask of the Betrayer.

: What brings a priest of Ilmater to the Shadow Plane?
: I seek entrance to the depths of this Vault. The next stage of my pilgrimage lies there, and this gate before me is but another obstacle placed in my path.
: Do you know how to open the gate?

: If you relax your eyes to the shadow, you see the true depths of the artistry of these mosaics, some written in ash, others in shale, slate, and dyed tileblack.
: Within these shades is a key. And once unlocked, the path will continue on.

So that's a no, then.

This is actually quite funny in hindsight.

: It is. Unlike the other structures, it is not a shadow of Mulsantir. It was purposely built on the Shadow Plane by priests of Myrkul.
: Myrkul? But the structure in Mulsantir is a temple of Kelemvor.
: Even the roles of gods and their priests can change in time. Myrkul was once god of the dead, and then Kelemvor took up that tole. But Myrkul's creations still remain.
: Why did the priests of Myrkul build it here?
: This place was chosen for its secrecy. Few can travel here as they would on the Realms, and even once here, fewer can survive its inhabitants.
: Its purpose was a library and a prison. The priests of Myrkul used it to store valuable artifacts and relics.
: They also imprisoned enemies of the faith here, ones they needed to keep in shadow and silence.

Gah. And I thought the rivers of blood were unpleasant.

: Myrkul had many enemies, both within his temples and without. Many died in Myrkul's name with no one to hear their last words, with no one to help ease their suffering.
: How much of this structure have you explored?
: Beyond the Great Hall? Not far.
: Many of Myrkul's priests remain in the antechambers. I did not wish to reveal myself to them until I had finished my studies of the gate to the level below.
: Still, I suspect I will only find what I seek in the side chambers, where the priests still carry out Myrkul's rituals.

We will return to explore the rest of the Death God's Vault later. Ghostly Myrkulites can wait.

: With enough concentration, I was able to bridge them, although judging from your strength, it was more difficult for me than for you.
: How did you fight your way past all those creatures?
: It was actually easier to go forward than retreat, so do not think me brace. Many were the shadows that I fought on my way here, and as I explored this place, they rose anew from the darkness.
: Have you noticed anything else while you've been here?

: I have seen fires in the distance here in the Shadow Plane, but I do not know who else is here. I spotted them down by the ferry.
: I suspect they may be visitors, like us. The native creatures I have encountered have little use for flame.
: Why would anyone come here from the Realms?
: I think the two of us may not be the ones best suited to ask such a question, as we both came here with purposes of our own. As for others, seclusion is one reason.

This is a lead-in into a small side-quest we'll be doing later.

Anyway, that's all the questions we have. Time to get what we came for.

This is the Evil dialogue option to recruit Kaelyn. The Good option (not available to Evil characters) is less abusive.

Mask does a lot of this. Good characters will see kind and saintly options; Evil characters get cruel or psychotic ones. Neutral characters get a neutral option and slightly good and evil options.

If you want to change alignment, you have to work at it: first taking Neutral options to shift closer to Neutrality, then taking the new Good/Evil options to continue the alignment change. It makes for a more consistent story path, even if it is more limiting.

: Still, my purpose is here. I must find a way to the Lower Vault.
: No matter what I try, this gate blocks my efforts. I can find no key, no means of opening it. I do not know what more to do.

This sounds purposefully dumb (try looking in some of those side chambers you missed, you silly woman) but we won't be able to open this gate until Act 2 anyway, so...

: Perhaps you were called here, just as I was. If so, perhaps the planes have need of us.
: I pledge myself to your service. Let us see what good we can achieve by our alliance, and may Ilmater bless our endeavor.

* * *

Kaelyn the Dove is voiced by Cat O'Connor (Listen here).

She's so pretty isn't she

Kaelyn's the nice companion in Mask. There's another companion with about as much moral backbone, but Kaelyn's the one for goody-two-shoes characters. The best thing about it is she manages to be Neutral Good without being (too) bossy or strident. As seen, she's humble and self-effacing... too soft-spoken to be righteous.


: {Uncertain} You... you are... a... {breaks down, slight exasperation} oh, I don't know any profanity. How embarrassing.

She disapproves of Evil acts but doesn't spend time whining about it afterwards.

However, get on the wrong side of her personal hobby horse and she'll cry and stamp her feet like a child. Her "pilgrimage" is very important to her and she does not like it one bit if you denigrate or disagree with it in any way.

This is our in with Kaelyn, mind. Most of Kaelyn's Influence involves being Good, but there's also some to be had from agreeing with her ideology. What that ideology is is something for another update, but it has a lot to do with Myrkul and Kelemvor.


It's funny to hear that Kaelyn was almost cut from the game due to time constraints. Apparently at the last moment Mister Chris Avellone stepped in and wrote the dialogue for Kaelyn (in addition to Gannayev-of-Dreams). Obsidian then also picked up the excellent Cat O'Connor for the VA role and that cemented Kaelyn's place in the line-up.

It's bizarre because of all the companions, Kaelyn is closest to the game's core themes. She doesn't seem important at first, because she's the outsider - Gann's a native and a spirit expert, Safiya's from close-by - but by the end of the game she'll have earned her spot in our crew.

Kaelyn's a Half-Celestial, another pesky NPC-only race. Half-Celestials are, uh, half-celestial - the offspring of angels and mortals. Aasimar, a playable human subrace, are the offspring of half-celestials and mortals, with thinner blood and reduced powers.

Half-Celestials get bonuses to all their stats (+4 Strength, +2 Dexterity, +4 Constitution, +2 Intelligence, +4 Wisdom, +4 Charisma), abilities like Darkvision and Smite Evil, Damage Reduction, acid/cold/electrical resistance, disease immunity, spell-like abilities like Summon Planetar, Resurrection, Word of Faith and Mass Charm Monster once a day and motherfucking wings.

She can't fly, though. Not that that really matters in comparison. And she's a Cleric, too, one of the most powerful classes in the game.

She's a very strong companion. Safiya and Gann suffer a bit because their stats are under par: Safiya's Intelligence and Gann's Charisma are high, but not as high as they should be, reducing the bonus to their spell DCs, making it easier for monsters to save against their spells. Kaelyn's exceptionally high Wisdom (and Charisma) had no problems in that regard - and she's also serviceable as a front-line fighter, especially with her Strength domain buffs.

The only drawback is an ECL of +4 - she has the spells of a Level 17 Cleric but requires the experience of a Level 21 Cleric to level up. That just means she's consuming XP at the same rate as Calliope, though, so no biggie.

* * *

We'll just take a look around the Great Hall first before disappearing back to Mulsantir.

: [The keyhole - if indeed it is a keyhole - is a thin, vertical opening. It seems more suited to a smooth metal blade than an ordinary key.]
: [Lore] Safiya, those runes are unfamiliar to me. Have you seen them before?
: These runes are familiar. I've seen them before... though I can't recall their exact meaning.
: Hmmm... I'm half-certain that they've been altered - etched a second time to distort their meaning.

Sounds scary. Let's fuck around with it!

: [Failure] [The lock is unlike anything you have seen. You can't feel any pins within - the "lock" seems to be as featureless on the inside as it is on the outside.]
: [You suspect that the mechanism is operated entirely by magic - that the lock is opened by the specific enchantment on whatever item serves as a "key."]


One other thing to inspect:

: [Each of the tiny figures has been created with great care, representing human and demihuman warriors, fearsome devils, winged celestials and a single-horned dragon.]
: [Oddly, you have difficulty determining who is fighting whom. Some humans seem to be allied with the devils, while others oppose them.]

But... how?