The Let's Play Archive

Neverwinter Nights 2

by Lt. Danger

Part 54: Act Two Chapter Nineteen - Feed The Rich To The Thieves

We haven't been a very good friend lately.

Way back at the beginning of Act 2, this woman accosted us outside the Sunken Flagon.

: Well, with the network of informants you have, Tasha, I wouldn't have thought finding me would be that hard... or maybe it is, when you're as good as I am.
: So. You're back.

Um. Awkward.

: Oh, yes, but that's old news. And he's better than ever.
: He's planning one last job before he retires as the greatest thief in Neverwinter's history.
: One last job? And greatest thief in Neverwinter - how does he figure that?

: Leldon will take the best of the lot, and we'll retire like a king and queen to Calimshan.
: That's why Leldon is the greatest thief ever, and you'll always be hanging by his coattails.

This is a dumb competition. Last time we tangled with Leldon, we broke into his hideout, stole his lucky coin without him noticing, and beat the shit out of him when we rumbled in the city park. So far it's 3-0... we don't need to bother ourselves with his frontin'.

Unfortunately Neeshka doesn't feel the same way

: I know where the Collector lives... it's in Blacklake.
: I say we go after Leldon, and we put him in his place. And make some gold while we're at it.

It doesn't matter what we say, the Collector heist is the final part of Neeshka's sidequest. As obsessive completionists, we have to do it.

At some point.

* * *

Fast forward nineteen updates.

We go see what's up with Axle.

There isn't an option to confront him with regards to his spies. That said, since he apparently thinks we've only just won the trial I don't think we have much to worry about.

: I wouldn't want to be her reporting back to the Arcane Brotherhood. They don't take kindly to such failures... especially ones as elaborate as the Ember massacre.
: Do you have any work for me?
: Hmm. Perhaps.

: According to talk around the city, his goods are of high quality, and it seems he can provide our organization with the tools we need to continue our trade.
: Gannish? Never heard of him.
: My few associates and business contacts in Amn have not dealt with him either, so that is why I am sending you first to test the waters.

Bullshit. The Shadow Thieves are from Amn. Either the Neverwinter branch isn't on good terms with the mothership or someone's setting somebody up for a fall.

: So you want me to go buy some equipment from him?
: Partly. You will act as my representative, despite the personal invitation for me.

Cool. This is actually one of the more interesting quests in the game.

: When you meet him, ask him if he's ever traveled to Amn. That's so he can identify you as the buyer.
: I will mark the location on your map. Go there as soon as you can, and deal with Gannish as you see fit - as long as you return with the equipment I need.

A shame it doesn't make any sense.

* * *

This is Gannish's house, in the Blacklake District.

: Once, perhaps. But it has been long since I set foot on the High Road.
: Not even to Amn?
: Ah, well Amn is a different story entirely. But I would only bore you with stories. Let us instead talk business.

: Second, I will authenticate the sum and legitimacy of your payment.
: Finally, we do the exchange and part ways. Is this arrangement acceptable to you?
: Let's begin.
: Excellent. I shall have my men bring out my stock at once. You may examine it by any means at your disposal.

Okay. There are two sets of stock - boots and thieves' tools. Gannish is asking fifteen thousand for the lot.

We can knock quite a bit off of that, though, with the right skills. Axle's letting us keep the remainder of the 15k, so the more we knock off the asking price the more money we get to take home.

Most of the skills you use to evaluate the merchandise are essential Rogue skills, apart from Spellcraft. Oh, and we didn't put any points into Craft Trap because it's useless.

We successfully use Open Lock, Spot, Lore and a dagger-related feat (Weapon Focus) to identify flaws in the merchandise.

: That is unfortunate, but is to be expected with goods acquired through these particular... suppliers. Tell me what you discovered so that we may agree upon a suitable discount.
: [Explain your findings]

And we use Appraise to find out the correct price to offer.

The best result is 7,000 for the lot, but we'd need to find all the flaws to get that. Offering anything lowering upsets Gannish and sours the negotiation.

11,000... not that good. Better than nothing, though.

: We have a deal. Are you ready to proceed with the exchange?
: How do I know I can trust you?

Good question.

Unfortunately we're too dumb to connect the dots.

Eh, let's take our goods back to Axle.

Oh, it's a trap. City Watch sprung an ambush.

We could have figured it out earlier, with a few more points in Intelligence or Spot. With Intelligence, we could have remembered what Axle said about not knowing Gannish and Bluffed him into saying he and Axle were good friends. Or, with Spot, we could have noticed that his ring bears the wrong insignia for House Gannish.

We'd still get attacked by the City Watch, but it wouldn't have been quite so embarassing.

* * *

: Indeed? Set by whom?
: The Watch. They were hoping you would come personally.
: I see. Unfortunate, but perhaps it will teach the Watch not to attempt to entrap me again... unless they are willing to suffer the losses.

This doesn't really make sense. The City Watch's grand plan to capture the Shadow Thief ringleader was to plant a bomb in some merchandise, then blow it up when Axle came to collect. On seeing that Axle was not there, they then decided not to use 'Gannish' as a means of infiltrating the organisation, but instead blew their load on ineffectively trying to kill one of his minions.

And I'm none too sure about Axle's thinking when it comes to the payment. There was no deal, so why not give us the whole fifteen thousand? Or none of it?

But I'm overthinking Noo Yawk cops vs. unconvincing gangsters, so...

Enough backtalk out of us.

: And yet, I have never heard you thank me for it. I shall overlook it this once.
: I have nothing more for you at this time. Take what you have earned, and leave me.

By the way, we get the same quest working for Captain Brelaina in the City Watch, but from the other side - we're the undercover cop busting an illegal weapons shipment.

* * *

This is the Collector's Mansion. Nice waterfront property.

Weirdly enough this feels like one of the more evil acts in the game. Breaking into Leldon's scummy den was one thing, but the Collector hasn't done anything to anyone... he's just rich.

Okay, obviously that's enough justification for Neeshka, but not for us. Fortunately the Collector turns out to be pretty damn goony, so we do have an excuse.

We pick the door (in broad daylight)...

...and establish our reputation as Neverwinter's Greatest Thief by murdering all the guards.

Well... it's not our reputation, it's Neeshka's. We've already established ourselves as Captain of Crossroad Keep (who clearly does not give a fuck about The Law, much like all members of the plutocracy).

We even murder the servants.

This is in revenge for making me be nice to our peasants. Hey, when God closes a door, He opens a window (which we use to break and enter into somebody's home).

Casavir doesn't seem to particularly mind all this. Herp a derp what are paladin vows??

There's not much downstairs and the door up is locked with an unpickable, unbreakable lock.

To advance, we speak to this lady in the lounge.

: I suppose you think my feet should just massage themselves, then.
: No, of course not.

We play along. A little subterfuge never hurt anyone.

: [Success] Oh, my. Such a gentle touch. Yet so firm!
: I find myself so much more agreeable when my feet are properly pacified. Oh, oh! Yes, that's just lovely.
: Then what would you say to letting me into the Collector's vault?

...or we could be direct, that works too.

: I'd have more of a problem with that if he spent less time doting on his collection and more time doting on my feet. Oh, yes, that's a good spot there.
: Here, take this key. It will get you to the top floor. You will need the Collector's key to get into the vault, though. And he will not want to part with it.

First Shandra, now this... I've been relatively quiet about Calliope's lesbian subtext but it seems to be inevitable whenever you have a woman in an active, heroic role.

: Oh, all right, all right. You win. Anyone with skill like that deserves what's in the vault more than he does.
: Here, I'll tell you what.

So we've just seduced the lady of the house into turning against her older, impotent male master, to the point where she'll submit to our imitation "blade" to trick him into parting with his possessions, the measure of his masculinity.


* * *

: I'm sorry, Ninsy, she said she'd kill me if I didn't bring her to you.

You couldn't make this up.

: You have no right to call me by that name! I am the Collector to you.
: I want you to open the vault for me, Ninsy.
: They're serious. They killed my bodyguards. They'll kill me, too. Do what they say, Ninsy.
: You'll be killed anyway, Vania. It's how people like that work.

How perceptive. The treacherous, sex-crazed lesbian abandons her heter


no I can't do this

: I'm sorry, Vania, I've made up my mind. Do your worst, you coward.
: Ninsy! How could you? You just don't want them to get into your vault. That's it, isn't it?

: But I must be strong, for the good of the Collection.
: You greedy... old... miser! So that's how it's going to be, is it?
: Ah, love.

What a goony motherfucker.

: He has never allowed me into the vault, but I know that there are more locks than just the one his key opens.
: Before he opens the vault, I know he always stops by the fireplace and one of the bookcases in the next room.
: Traitorous wench! After taking you into my home. After all I bought for you.
: I have no more use for you, Vania. Get out.

: Now where were we?
: You'll get nothing from me. And even if you kill me and take my key, you'll never get inside the vault.
: I'll be back for your key, just as soon as I've found a way to break you.

Although we can slaughter our way through hundreds of guards and Watchmen, killing a named NPC would be murder. Names protect NPCs.

Even if the name is Ninsy.

The door to the vault is locked three times over - two keys and a combination lock.

The Collector told us himself he has one of the keys, and Vania gave a hint as to the other two. But let's pretend we're dense.

The Collector's Diary can be found downstairs, in the lounge.


This "diary" reads more like an inventory of priceless artifacts than a confessional volume. There is, however, one revealing entry, dated recently.

"I came upon it not on the floor of the auction house, or in one of the fine galleries of Blacklake, but discarded on the street amidst a pile of refuse. I tried putting it up next to my finest originals, but it simply outshines them. I need a better place to feature it. I'd put it in the vault, but I feel the need to look at it constantly to put my mind at ease. In another time in my life, I could've gone there, lived life at sea. Perhaps one day I'd have earned the right to captain my own ship and set sail for places unknown. But how could I now, with all my things to look after?"

Ah, a tragic tale of a man trapped by his own possessions. Truly, the rich white male is the most oppressed minority.

While we're downstairs, we pop into the kitchen and grab a glass of water.

Old Scab made himself at home in Aldanon's house, why shouldn't we do the same here?

Through careful and thorough examination of the premises we locate the Collector's beloved Ocean Painting.

Actually, I just mashed the Z key.

: No! Leave that painting out of this! It's done nothing to you.
: I'm trying to keep my blade away from it, but I feel it slipping.
: Very well. There is a book, in the other room. On the bookcase in the corner. It has all the instructions you'll need.
: Why don't you just tell them to me?

: [Success] I... well, not exactly... I just... may have mentioned the wrong shelf.
: It's the shelf next to that one. I marked the page in the book.
: This had better work.

If you do what he says, you trigger this nice little booby trap. Since you can't fail the Intimidate check, there's no reason to do so (apart from simple player perversity... oh yeah, that pretty much motivates every act in an RPG ever).

This is the one we want.


This is a rare first edition printing of the immensely popular source of such timeless treasures as "Frickle Fractal Froo" and "Little Hector Vector." Unlike the other books on the shelf, it appears to have seen frequent use, and one page has been noticeably dog-eared. The poem on that page reads: "Nine are we when taken all three/Last one slain, then six remain/None survive our first less five.

That's our code. Three digits that sum up to nine; the first two add up to six; the first one is five (because if you take away five, you get zero/'none'). 5 + 1 ( = 6 ) + 4 = 9

We have two keys - but Vania mentioned the fireplace was important too.


We douse the fire with the water from the kitchen and retrieve a silver key.

We insert the keys and enter the combination lock (getting the code wrong spawns guards and triggers a magical trap).

And Leldon finally shows up. "I never intended to rob the Collector, I was going to let you do it for me then mug you" and so on. How predictable.

Must have had one hell of a wait, though. We've fought in a trial, founded a castle and defeated a major villain between now and when Leldon issued his challenge.

: Leldon. Something told me you'd be here... although I didn't think you'd get this far.
: My coin... where is it?
: Like I'd tell you. And it's not "your" coin anymore - after all, you can't seem to hold on to it, or anything else.
: I'll tear the knowledge from you, if I have to - I'll get it back. And what you came to steal, little girl? That's mine, too.
: I'm not scared of you, Leldon. You can't order me around... and you sure as the Nine Hells can't stop me.

Leldon wouldn't be a match for us when we were Level 11, never mind Level 14.

: Going... going to be waiting for you... waiting for you to die...

And Leldon flumps to the floor.

I'm sorry, you can't really tell in this shot. It doesn't help that everyone was crowded around Leldon five seconds ago, wailing on him with hammers and swords and daggers.

: Oh well, let's take what we need and get out of here - time's wasting.

The Collector's hoard. I was expecting some Transformers miniatures.

Anyway, we clean the place out, then head on home. It's not that great a vault, really - some nice gemstones but nothing astounding.

That's it for illegal shenanigans! From now on we'll stick to less-ethical-but-still-totally-legal means of acquiring wealth, i.e. non-human genocide and systematic exploitation of the peasant underclass.

And at least now we can finish upgrading our Keep!

* * *

All right, check this: we don't hear much from Axle and Moire in Act Two.

I mean, yeah, we had this quest, and Axle introduced us to Sir Edmund, and the thing with Uncus is still simmering over, but Moire's vanished from our radar completely. Which is odd, because Axle and Moire are gonna make a big splash in some Shadow-Thief exclusive content for Act 3.

It's different for the City Watch: Brelaina and Cormick had some screen time with Old Scab/Zhjaeve, but they were only ever stand-ins for Nevalle and Lord Nasher.

So you may be interested in a little cut cutscene of Axle and Moire, set to play at some point in Act 2 - just to keep them in the picture, really.


: {Recognition, no friendliness} Ah, Moire. Good of you to come.
: {Irritated, impatient} You summoned me, now I'm here. What did you want, Axle? The longer I waste time speaking to you, the more gold I'm losing down at the Docks... your gold.
: Of course. We must always keep our priorities straight. Sit down... a drink, perhaps?
: {Defiant, firm, not a question} I'll stand. What do you want, Axle?
: Very well. The Docks... and Neverwinter... is what I wished to discuss with you.
: I am concerned that we are suffering from a difference in perspective. {Beat} Neverwinter is our home, not our castle.
: {Defiant, dismissive} It doesn't matter what Neverwinter is. What matters is that we can make it whatever we want.
: {Shaking head} No, Moire, we cannot. We are not fighting a war within this city, we are making a living from it, and always leaving enough so that it has room to grow.
: That is why your actions concern me - the beatings at the Docks, the merchants killed to send the message to others...
: If a few of my men felt the need to act, so be it. You can't prove it was me anyway.
: That is irrelevant. Your actions - do not send the right message, and that is what matters.
: {Low hiss, anger coming out} Are you a politician now, Axle? Give it up. The Council and Nasher will never accept you - and you shouldn't get them to try.
: Why are you so afraid to strike against them? We could rule this city tomorrow with the network we have. We could dictate trade terms, control the merchant caravans, even fleece Nasher himself, and strangle every last coin out of these people - if you weren't such a coward.
: There is a line between wisdom and cowardice, Moire. These are delicate times, and your displays will bring more harm than you know - to us, and to yourself.
: Was that a threat?
: {A little sadly} No, Moire, it was not. It is simply truth.
: Then here's some truth for you, Axle - when the time's right, I'm going to act. And if you can't stop me, then I'm going to be sitting where you are.
: So why don't you think on that truth for a while as I get back to business, all right? I can show myself out.
{Focus on Axle looking stonefaced, then fade to black.}