The Let's Play Archive

Neverwinter Nights 2

by Lt. Danger

Part 23: Act One Chapter Twenty - Casavir

Now, if I remember rightly, we just wasted several hours of my precious time storming the Bonegnasher Clan caves. Heading back to the Old Owl Well encampment, we're interrupted by yet another diversion.

This had better be worth it.

Pah. Lousy orcs. This fight isn't even worth the experience points.

Werp. Looks like this is going to be more interesting than I thought - a shame the camera angles are all screwed up.

What in tarnation? We staked our claim to this encounter fair and square - now some low-down varmint is trying to steal our experience points!

Okay, so 16XP isn't a lot, but it all adds up. And we don't get experience for monsters we don't directly kill ourselves (contrary to the pen-and-paper rules).

Enter the Katalmach. This is the mighty warrior that was causing the orcs so much grief the last few weeks.

: So I noticed. I thank you then for allowing us to take part in the battle.

: This is all the men that you have? Not much of a force.

"Many" = about two.

: Their knowledge of Old Owl Well and its hidden paths have proven valuable. Those not out on the hunt are back at our main camp.
: I'm curious. Why have you ventured into the mountains? Surely you understood the risk in coming here.

: My scouts have reported on your progress through the Sword Mountains. You have survived much. Why are you here?
: I'm looking for a missing Waterdeep emissary.
: Missing? The orcs have grown bold then, if they now interfere directly.
: This explains many things. Recent orc movements now make much more sense to me.

: My men and I came across the remains of an orc raid on a heavily-armed column of troops.
: I was struck by the ferocity of the slaughter - and that the orcs would dare strike at a well-armed and disciplined fighting force.

: We caught up with the orc force and charged. Normally, we would have routed them. With this group, however, they reacted to us with military precision.
: While their rearguard delayed us, the rest continued to move quickly in an organized fashion... all clustered around a single point. They may have been guarding your emissary.

This is all very well and good, but we sort of already guessed that the orcs had captured the emissary by force. Tell us something new, Casavir.

: We could not afford more losses. Instead, I led a small group and followed the retreating orcs as best we could.
: At first, I thought we had lost them... but then one of our scouts found the hidden trail to their cave.
: So where's the lair?

: If you intend to enter the stronghold of Logram, it is to the north. I can lead the way.
: What about your troops?

What about just drawing us a map and sending us on our way?

This is actually quite sensible. NWN2 has enough difficulty with the pathfinding for the basic party without adding in another half-dozen followers - as we'll eventually find out later in the game, to my irritation.

: Casavir... sir... we kept you from this once. I think it's best if...
: Please, it is important that you do as I ask. Take the survivors, and fall back to the Greycloaks' camp. Do what you can to help them and keep the pressure on the orcs.
: If we cannot defeat Logram, then he will come after them in full force, and the Greycloaks must be warned.
: So after all this time avoiding the Neverwinter forces, now you want me to stride right into their camp?

* * *

Casavir is played by Paul Schoeffler (Listen here)

I've got to admit, he's the first companion we meet in the game that doesn't always make me want to tear out my hair. Up until now every companion has demanded our constant attention and favour: Khelgar wants to hit something, Grobnar has a story to tell, Elanee thinks we haven't hugged enough bandits today. By contrast, Casavir is this grim and moody introvert who rarely speaks out, if ever.

Partly this is because Obsidian cut almost all of Casavir's special content. He's a cardboard cutout; you touch him and he falls over. Narratively speaking.


Casavir's influence is a bit special. Firstly, like Qara's, it's an opposed influence - half the time, gaining influence with Casavir will lose us influence with another companion we have yet to meet. Same goes vice versa.

Secondly, Casavir is the romance option for female characters, just as Elanee is for males. If we gain enough influence with Casavir, he'll start to fall in love with us. It doesn't really mean much either way - an extra dialogue or two here or there - but I don't know how you all feel about CRPG romances.

So two things to consider when deciding how we feel about Casavir. Ooh, three things! Because Casavir is a Paladin, the Lawful-Goodest of all classes.

(It was felt that Casavir wouldn't make a good match for our Lawful Evil tyrant-in-training - Ed.)

The Paladin is the most iconic of all the D&D player classes. Fighters can be soldiers or bodyguards; Rogues, petty thieves; Wizards, academic scholars. But Paladins are for one thing and one thing only - smiting evil! Killing orcs, bandits, dark elves, undead, demons and dragons (especially demons and dragons) is what Paladins are designed to do.

Paladins are, broadly speaking, melee warriors, but with lots of special perks and abilities. They possess a number of spells and spell-likes that are good at rooting out and destroying evil creatures. High-level Paladins have similar powers to low-level Clerics: they can heal a little, buff themselves with spells, even Turn Undead. Paladins also have very high Reflex, Fortitude and Will saves, meaning they're quite good at resisting spells and special attacks. They're not quite as good at fighting as straight Fighters are, but they're better than most.

The downside is that Paladins need high scores in Strength, Constitution, Wisdom and Charisma, which is a drag. Also, Paladins must follow a very strict code of conduct. In NWN2 this is relatively simple: just stay Lawful Good, which (as discussed earlier) is very easy. On the tabletop this can be more complicated - DMs may choose to enforce a specific chivalric code, with duties to perform and tithes to pay to the Paladin's church and liege lord.

It's a high-stress class, which tends to lead to a lot of bad player performances. Paladins are infamous for ruining games through overzealous moralising ("You did something mildly Chaotic? That's it, I'm not adventuring with you any more!") or full-blown psychosis ("The harmless apple merchant is Evil! Attack!") and many gamers are a little wary of the class.

Thankfully Casavir is nothing like that. If Calliope does something mean or selfish in his presence (which she will, repeatedly) then he'll be disappointed, but that's all. I think we can deal with his pointed scowling for now.

* * *

Okay, so we're all set to find Logram Eyegouger and put an end to this orc menace once and for all. But first, I have some metaphorical backtracking to do.

Remember when I was talking about the module structure of NWN2, and I mentioned a module called 1600_Githyanki_Caves? Technically that was sort of a spoiler; we don't actually know who's pursuing us or why, but it turns out it's the githyanki, an extraplanar race of brutal raiders famous for bearing long, long grudges.

Area 1301 in the Old Owl Well module is a githyanki ambush in the Sword Mountains. On entering, this conversation would play:


: {Githyanki watching the player from concealment. Speaks to a peer} I must report to Zeeaire. The Kalach-Cha is in the Sword Mountains.
: You will personally lead this attack. Our quarry shall not escape again.
: Attack. Destroy the Kalach-Cha.

And we'd be attacked by a mixture of duergar and bladeling slaves, and their githyanki masters.

I think this was supposed to happen on the way to Old Owl Well for the first time, but ended up being displaced (and then cut) by the Grobnar encounter. The reason I kept this back until now is because there's a dialogue with one of the various possible companions after the fight, and Casavir is one of the companions you can talk to.


: {Just been attacked by a mysterious adversary} Are there any others? It might be best to scout the area in case there are more.
: {Slight confusion, still studying the dead bodies} The bladelings and the dwarves I know of from books and journals... but that humanoid leading them... his features are unknown to me.
: Creatures like him attacked my village. I still don't know why.
: I am sorry for your loss. Apparently, they are not content to let you be.
: {Quiet, prompting} Whatever their reasons for attacking us, we might be well-advised to seek cover in case more come looking for the ones we've slain.

Okay, so I lied again. We don't actually find out that they're githyanki just yet (presumably Calliope can't read the 'Githyanki Warrior' that appears in the status box in the lower-left corner of the screen).

Or do we?

This dialogue option with Neeshka's been around since, well... almost since she first joined the party. Bear in mind that we still officially don't know anything about the githyanki and won't find out for another five updates at least. So... demon's intuition or a level in Psion?

: Githyanki are smart, even for religious half-wits. So I hope they haven't targeted you for some holy crusade, because then you'd be deep in the Styx, let me tell you.
: The thing is, they usually aren't this persistent - they have a set goal, they hit it, and then they're out of there.
: Plus, they don't usually stay on one plane for too long - the Astral Plane is their home.

Fortunately why they're pursuing us is still a mystery.

Actually, that's another lie - anyone who read the previews for NWN2 knows exactly what's going on. But for the purposes of this LP, we're going to pretend we don't know. Just as we did for the intro, which I haven't shown yet for various reasons.

That's all in the far future, anyway. In the meantime, Casavir and I have an appointment with the Warchief of the Horde.