Part 22: Act One, Chapter Nineteen - You Are Ambushed By Orcs; Roll 10d6 To Determine The Number Of Attackers
: Except the Greycloaks... peasant recruits, who are more than a match for you. We have given you weapons, yet you seem to lack the strength to use them.
: We captured your emissary. We have given your dark priests all the dead they have asked for.
: If you fail, Logram, then Garius will need further sacrifices. And the next corpse given to the Shadow Priests will be yours.
: You threaten me?! Here, in orcish lands? I fear not your lord Garius, nor your dark priests!
: And unless you drive the Greycloaks from Old Owl Well, then they will carry out the orders that you cannot.
* * *
We're searching the mountains for Yaisog Bonegnasher. We're hoping he knows where we can find Issani, the Waterdhavian emissary - or, failing that, Logram Eyegouger,
Unfortunately we are hindered in our quest by roving bands of orc raiders. How damnably inconvenient!
Still, orcs aren't all that tough. We can beat th
These particular mountains are also home to trolls. Trolls are a particularly nasty breed of D&D monster - large, strong humanoids that regenerate health even as you attack them.
Worse, simply hitting them isn't enough - only fire or acid damage will actually kill a troll permanently. Grobnar, Qara and Elanee both have access to the appropriate spells, but there are also a number of grenades/grenade-like weapons that deal fire or acid damage.
Even so, trolls are only moderately harder than orcs. Our party is more than strong enou
: This rockslide looks like it happened not too long ago... the rocks are still loose, there's not much dirt packed between them.
: From what I've heard, avalanches in Old Owl Well are not uncommon... especially with orcish warhorns blasting through the canyons.
Elanee contributes something interesting (if not necessarily useful) for once.
Ho hum. We'll just head off another way, see if we can find a way aro
I mean seriously, that's not even waist-high. You could practically trip over those rocks... but no, we have to go around again.
The long way around lets us bump into...
: Maybe Hrulgat find troll? He need help if he find one.
: You talk too much. Trolls might hear you. Be quiet.
It's only occurred to me now, but these trolls have the exact same skin colour as Super Mutants in Fallout 3. Mmmm, mucus green.
Trolls are a bit more exciting to fight than orcs, or even most other monsters. Half the time, even on Hardcore, you can switch your brain off and just let the battles happen. There's no penalty for resting, so you don't have to conserve spells or worry about having enough healing power to make it through the dungeon.
At the end of the canyon we find a cave. Hrm, could it be filled with trolls, do you think?
It is! It is filled with trolls!
Sadly, this is actually more or less the last time we see trolls in NWN2. Luckily we've still yet to meet goblins, bugbears and ogres so that's all right.
You can tell Grobnar is new to adventuring. Y'see Grobnar, crates (like rats and insects) spontaneously generate by themselves out in the wildernesse all the time! Cityfolk gather them up and rehome them in massive crate-stables, or 'warehouses', where they live out long and fulfilled lives.
: Mind if I take a look? Little dangerous glass globes in carefully packed crates are a specialty of mine.
: Ah, yes. I've heard of these. Never seen one us, though - at least not safely. They're quite rare.
: What have you heard?
As it happens, Qara can also give us the lowdown on these globes if we don't have enough Spellcraft or Disable Device to identify them.
: They are only used in emergencies - and extreme ones, at that. The last time they were used was against an orc invasion, but the date escapes me. Probably one of hundreds, really.
: Still, that would explain why there's all these Greycloak bodies lying around... they may have been pursuing the orcs into the mountains and been killed.
: What do they do?
: These, unfortunately, don't appear to be very stable. There's little chips and cracks on many of the globes.
This is a trick on Obsidian's part. We need the blastglobes to break down the rock barrier that blocked our way earlier.
However, we need to take the unstable ones to do that. The safe blastglobes are normal grenade-like items that do lots of fire damage, but it's the crate of shoddy blastglobes that are falling apart that we use to actually blow up the barrier. So we have to take them all.
We also find a seam of ore right at the back of the cave. We're not using it just yet, but locating it now saves us time later and gets us a minor XP reward.
Back to the rockslide. Damn you, rocks!
The orcs in these mountains come in one of two flavours: hard-hitting melee warrior or irritating ranged attacker. This orc archer is running away from Calliope's deadly blades.
Come back, you bastard!
One reload later:
It's actually a nasty little trap, and one of the more engaging encounters. Orc fighters keep us tangled up down on the canyon floor while the archers pick us off from up high, starting with casters like Elanee first.
This is where Grobnar can come in handy. It's not like Khelgar and Calliope can't power through these orcs anyway - it's just that with the terrain layout, they need a little extra boost. Grobnar obliges with his Bard spells: Haste for speed and extra attacks, Heroism for bonuses to saves and attack rolls and such... his Bard songs - inspirations - help too.
We also bump into this guy, lurking in a far-off corner of the map.
: I expected to see nothing but orcs here. You must have keen eyes to have spotted me among this tall grass.
: What are you doing here?
This is our lead-in to Khelgar's main side-quest. It's also going to help us with overcoming his Trials.
: I am a traveler and explorer. I've spent my long life finding marvelous sights to see.
: I let these places touch me, but I do not touch them. I take nothing and leave only my footprints.
We'll be meeting Guyven a couple more times later in the game. We'll also be visiting the Ironfist Stronghold soon as well (before we go back to Neverwinter).
Finally, the Bonegnasher caves.
: [Failure] Bah. Yaisog sends weak orcs to guard mountain. Strong orcs like me guard clan home.
: We'll see about that. It was worthless trying to talk to them anyway.
Actually, it wasn't, but we needed 15 ranks or so in Intimidate to succeed and Strength is Calliope's dump stat.
This line sets the tone for the rest of this update.
A vein of ore!
Orc- you get the idea.
There's a miner, Pentin, and his crew locked in a jail cell.
: Who are you?
: I'm a miner and this is my crew. And don't tell me - I already know - this isn't the safest place to be mining.
: How do I open the door?
: Find a key or something! Bash the lock, fiddle with it with a thieves' kit... just get us out of here.
Pentin is kind of a dick and doesn't really deserve to be rescued, but this sort of thing is What Heroes Do, apparently.
Pentin will also be rejoining us later in the game. He's the reason we're looking for all those ore nodes, actually.
Now, let's see... rescued miner, killed orcs... all we've left to do is find Yaisog.
: Before I kill you, tell me - why have you invaded my clanhold?
: I have come for the human you captured. Where is he?
: So the human is of more value than I was told. I must inform Logram of this.
And he runs off, leaving us to deal with his guards. Or is that leaving his guards to deal with us?
It doesn't matter. Despite a poorly-aimed Cloud of Bewilderment from Grobnar, we take out his guards with ease.
I don't know how much of the minimap you can see - or comprehend - but we're following Yaisog up along a corridor that leads to a second entrance to the clanhold. I wish we'd known about this earlier - then I might not have had to mess around with trolls and blastglobes and a thousand fucking orcs.
: I am Yaisog! I cannot die!
Check the scrolling update bar at the bottom of the screen. Yaisog's got a magic Greataxe that hits like a truck and does extra fire damage.
Wait a minute... that's our cheesy overpowered tactic!
: Years ago, in my youth, I would have embraced death. There is no higher glory than to die in battle.
: But times have grown more desperate for my people. The humans grow strong, and send their men to slaughter our warriors.
Truly, a catastrophe worthy of the deforestation of the Amazon or the plight of the polar bear! If only you could give just £6 a month...
: It has fallen to we elders to train our warriors, teach them of our ways. And should I fall, that knowledge will be lost forever.
: Where is the Waterdeep emissary?
Well that was easy. Mission accomplished!
: Chief Logram has given my clan the privilege of guarding the human until his forces arrive to bring him back to his stronghold.
: I know only that this human was to be turned over to other humans from the north - the ones from the pirate city... Luskan.
: Who planned the attack?
: Where can I find Logram?
: His lair is kept hidden, even from his warlords. I only know that his men always travel deep into the mountains, to the southeast, when they return from their raids.
: You may go now. Do not return.
The prisoner is a little further down the corridor.
: I don't know you. Who sent you? Are you here to kill me?
: Maybe. You'll know once you tell us who you are.
: Issani. My name is Issani.
: The emissary?
: I believe the warlord of this lair wished to keep me close so he could watch me... and this was the only room available.
It's not a room, it's the end of the passageway! And, for reference, the secret exit from the Bonegnasher caves is right there on the left.
: But do not let the surroundings fool you. The orcs clearly intended to harm me. I am fortunate you arrived when you did.
: I cannot place you in further danger. You have already risked much to rescue me.
: With the way clear, I am confident that I can make my way safely to your city. And, to be honest, I travel much faster alone.
I appreciate not being saddled with an escort mission (or... *shudder* another companion) but I did not fight my way through hundreds of orcs just to let this ponce waltz off and get himself captured again after so much effort on my part.
: Brave and dutiful. A rare combination. I assure you, however, that I am not entirely helpless.
Have you ever met someone who is infuriatingly stubborn? So single-mindedly set on a specific outcome, so utterly bone-headed, that they completely fail to take any hints, accept any suggestions from someone else?
Because that's us. That's who we are.
: If you insist, then I am happy for the companionship... if you can keep up with me. I shall be moving quickly.
You see, "Issani" is a spy, working for the Luskans. He's been set here so that any idiot adventurers who gatecrash Yaisog's clanhold will think they're rescued the emissary, then return home - only to be ambushed by Olov and a thousand orcs. It's a nice little encounter which I won't be showing for space reasons.
Also, it confuses the narrative. First time through, I spent a good while wandering around Old Owl Well like a lost soul, baffled that nobody seemed to realise that I'd rescued the emissary and finished the quest. It was only when I went on to fight Logram Eyegouger that I discovered the real emissary.
: Of course. Unfortunately, the orcs took them from me.
: [Bluff] Well then, how about the name of your contact? I'm sure you were told whom you were to meet.
Shouldn't that read [Failure]?
Olov's got a few tricks up his sleeves (he likes to throw Lightning Bolt around a lot) but he's only really threatening when backed up by a dozen or so orcs in an ambush. Outnumbered four-to-one, though, he doesn't stand a chance.
Crap. And the day seemed like it was so full of promise, too. At least we know where Logram Eyegouger's stronghold is, right?
It's... somewhere to the... southeast?