The Let's Play Archive

Neverwinter Nights 2

by Lt. Danger

Part 79: Act Three Chapter Fifteen - Crossroad Keep Siege I: Take-Your-Father-To-Work Day

Nasher is still recuperating from wounds sustained at the Battle of Highcliff. He needs complete bedrest, which is why Calliope, Kana and Nevalle are crowded inside badgering him for orders.

: He marches on Crossroad Keep, and it will not be long before his forces are at our gates.
: But you, Knight Captain, and your efforts here... you have served Neverwinter beyond the call of duty, risking your life not once, but several times, without hesitation.
: If there is anything that I think will be the light against this shadow that comes against us - it is you and the fortress I have granted you.

Excuse me? I took this fortress fair and square!

This is the nice dialogue for being chummy with Nasher and Nevalle. If you've been too rude to him (enough not to be offered a place in the Neverwinter Nine) then he's considerably less complimentary.

: But onto the matters at hand...

: We cannot depend on reinforcements.
: I agree. We must defend this Keep as if we stand alone.
: You must hold this Keep against these shadows... you have raised this place with your own hands, now you must keep it together and lead your men in battle.

I love how badass we sound in some of these dialogues. This is the upside of playing evil - we're free to say the really awesome lines.

: We should waste no time. Please meet us in the war room, Captain.

* * *

Our totally sweet war room finally gets some use. All the party is assembled.

: The scouts have returned, Captain. The enemy has been sighted on the outskirts of the Keep... and the bridges on the south river have already been captured.
: Well, now, we all know that whoever holds the bridges holds this Keep - or at least the way into it.
: If they try and march up the mountain pass, we can make it hard on them, but with the loss of those bridges, then the advantage is theirs... we need to fix that now, before they get any farther.
: Bishop is right. We need to act.

: If we act quickly, we may be able to recapture the crossing and destroy the bridges. Doing so would limit the enemy's movements, and work in our favour.
: Since when do undead worry about crossing water?
: Certainly not the shadows or spirits, sir. But vampires cannot cross without aid, and the slower creatures, like skeletons or ghouls, would be swept along the current.
: We are fortunate that the King of Shadows needs to keep its fighting force together. One of the few certainties we can count on.
: What else can we count on?
: That the battle will come at night. They are creatures of darkness and many must remain there.

: Still, these greater undead form the commanders of their army - and the lesser undead will most likely not attack without their guidance.
: Enough talk, then. We should set out as soon as possible.
: Unfortunately, Captain, we do not have many forces to spare. In advance of your arrival, I sent Greycloaks to the river.
: Sending another full compliment would be too dangerous for the Keep. I recommend taking a single unit with you.

: Take me along, and those bridges will be burning before you can spit a curse... and we can pick off the enemy soldiers by firelight if they try to cross.
: The bridges are of stone, not wood - your obsession with fire is of little use to us here.
: I can burn other things as well, Sand - maybe you should come along too, I can show you.

: If you give me access to the storerooms, I might be able to create some... without blowing up the Keep, I think.
: What makes you think this will work?
: Actually, I heard blast globes were used by the Greycloaks in the defense of Neverwinter, a 'peasant's fireball' they called it... some could even blow up a cottage if placed in the right spot.
: For once, you are correct - and so is Grobnar. Such globes would be well-suited for our needs, provided I do not carry them nor get near the storeroom while the gnome is at work.
: Let's do it.

Kana gives us a choice of unit to accompany us into battle.

Later on we'll have access to our allied troops - Lizardmen Warriors and Ironfist Fighters. I choose Fighters because piercing damage is always the worst damage, and we'll be getting some Archers in the mission too.

We also get a choice of two companions to bring with us. I choose Casavir:

: I am honored.
: Don't be, I just need a holy warrior to draw the undead attacks.

And Sand:

: Ah... an honor. I shall make sure our retreat is well-covered.

Each of the companions has their own response to being picked - some enthusiastic, others less so. Some have last-minute opportunities for Influence gain. Some companions don't like being paired together


: {Eager, pleased} Not sure what help I can be, but all right - I'm glad for the company.
: And so am I.
: {Smiling} I feel this strange, rosy glow all of a sudden. {Beat, wary} We don't have to hug, do we?

: {Eager} Great, now we'll see some explosions.
: I'm warning you, I want you to keep a rein on those spells.
: {Irritated, snide} Good thing we're not at war.

: Grobnar.
: {If Sand has been chosen: Rolls eyes} And it keeps getting better.

And so on.

And Daeghun will be there as well. Great.

: He has been invaluable in reporting the movements of the enemy since he arrived. Your father is an excellent scout... one of the best I've seen.
: Haven't seen me in action, then.
: Daeghun has been reporting on troop movements for some time. He will likely have useful information to share with you.

We get one last chance to visit the quartermaster and buy potions/sell junk and then it's time to go.

: Of course, Captain. We will be ready.

* * *

The river valley. Our farmers' homes have been burned to the ground.

Bastards. Those were ours to raze!

Haha, at least we get to do our best 19th-century aristocratic officer impression.

The poor soldier deserves everything he gets - it sounds like he was voiced by one of the programmers.

Ach, and there's our foster father.

: Glad to see you lending your skills in Neverwinter's service.

Love you too Dad

: I have spent some time observing the battlefield. Though your men fight in the fields, the true test will come at the bridges.
: What have you seen at the first bridge?
: The enemy has the first bridge well-defended. Skeletal archers and shadow priests line the rear, while undead warriors block the bridge itself.
: How does the second bridge look?

Crap. We didn't bring Ammon or Zhjaeve.

: Let's not waste any time, then. It will be night soon.
: Farewell, then. I will return to the Keep - guard yourself well, and move swiftly.

And he leaves us to it. Six people against an army - how hard can it be?


Some of our Archers are embroiled in a skirmish by the entrance to the village.

: We had hoped you would arrive in time, so quickly did we have to leave... our bows should be more effective in your company.
: Who would you have us report to?
: Sand.
: Well, well. I wonder if when this is all over I can send them to beat up Nevalle for amusement.

Some of the other companions have amusing lines here too:


: {Accepting troops to follow him} Ha! You lot ready for some fighting? I hope so, because many of you probably won't live through the next battle - but the survivors can sing your praises, never fear.

: {Reluctantly accepting command of troops} Uh... all right, look - first off, all of you have to be a lot quieter and not so... so... open with your weapons and noise and... oh, forget it.

: {Accepting troops to follow him} Me? This is the best adventure ever - now I have troops! {Beat} Can I keep them after the battle is over, I need assistants in the workshop, you know.

I feel much better with nine of us in the party.

There are some Shadow Priests lurking in the gorge behind the village. I like Shadow Priests; they're the last kind of enemy remaining that I can Sneak Attack.

The first bridge. Daeghun was correct: a unit of skeletons with Shadow Priest support.

We have to seize both bridges before we can demolish them, but Sand makes a valiant effort with a Meteor Swarm.

Around the corner are vampire coffins that were painstakingly brought across the river by the skeletons and ghouls, in preparation for the attack on Crossroad Keep. Eliminating them now is our best course of action.

Vampires are famously and hilariously vulnerable to sunlight. Easy XP.

More enemies on the central island. Nothing too worrisome - we've only had one casualty so far.

That's all about to change, though.

This Shadow Priest also has in-house voiceacting.

But Garius sounds exactly the same.

Literally. The other Shadow Reavers had cool post-processing to give them an eerie growly-echo effect. Garius, though, sounds identical to when he was still alive.

: Not nearly long enough.
: Then you dread this confrontation. I do not.
: You are a fool to have come here.

: If you wish to be humiliated twice, I'll happily oblige.
: Things have changed, Shard-Bearer. My King will soon tear through the confines of his prison.
: His power crosses such boundaries, and may be granted to vessels of his choosing - like me.

It should do. Garius just Enlarged all the undead. They're now the size of giants.

: No, my intention is to kill you. Fear is but sweet excess.
: Enjoy yourselves here while you can. I look forward to our next meeting, should you survive.

And Garius teleports out, instead of making full use of his tactical advantage i.e. being fucking immortal.


The resulting brawl is extremely messy. Ritual powers are almost a requirement for withstanding the sudden rush of undead.

Just keep Sand (or Qara or Zhjaeve, if you chose them) alive. Skeletal Archers man the ridges and ranged spells are the best way of bringing them down.

: Father, what are you doing here?
: I changed my mind. Even I do that at times.
: And I made the right choice. A father's instinct still has some value, it seems.

There's one last dialogue with Daeghun that I haven't shown you. Fairly certain it's still in-game, but we didn't have time to revisit West Harbor.


: {Going into story mode, reflective} When you were a child you were so full of life. I could not have children, as much as my Shayla desired it.
: Your mother, Esmerelle, still felt the call of the road, but she stayed, for you. Yet she knew that death could come for her, as it had for our friends - our allies.
: So she exacted a promise from Shayla, a promise readily given. That if something should befall her, Shayla would care for you as her own.
: As fate would have it, the promise would be fullfilled, but not by my bride. By me.
: Esmerelle never intended me to care for you - such warmth is difficult for me. But you had no one else - so I did as best as I was able.
: {Rueful} I see other fathers and marvel at how they do it. If it was ever in me - it was lost long ago, buried in the graves of fallen friends.
: {Sighs} I know your years with me have not been easy ones - yet I hope you have grown up well in spite of me.

Bless his little heart.

Unsaid: Daeghun's wife, Shayla, was probably a halfling... that's why he had an amulet of Avoreen in his bedside drawer back at the beginning of the game (I think I sold it to the Weeping Willow innkeeper).

Anyway, so it turns out Daeghun isn't a complete arse after all. He just has trouble relating to others - and, of course, we're also a daily reminder of the death of his wife and all his adventuring companions over the years.

Moving on:

: Well, I won't stop you from patting yourself on the back. Let's destroy these bridges.

* * *

Father-daughter bonding can be best achieved via blowing something up.

* * *

: The King of Shadows' army will need to learn to swim now.
: Despite our victory, we bring unwelcome news... Black Garius was present and possesses powers that can turn the battle in their favour.
: Some foul magic is at play, some enchantment of the King of Shadows.
: Garius can empower the dead, making them stronger - with that power, even their weakest footsoldiers become a threat to us.

: I hope you're right.
: But this talk can wait for later. Come, you must all be hungry.
: Rest tonight, and we'll discuss today's events on the morrow.

We'll have no such luck, I'm afraid.

* * *

But first, the romances.

Our last night at Crossroad Keep is also the culmination of the romances we've been pursuing throughout the game. Now, Calliope's not been on the official romance track (oh, Bishop-san) but there are dialogues for appropriately-gendered characters with sufficient Influence with Casavir or Elanee, as applicable.

Elanee first:


: {Looking up into the sky, trying to teach the player something} Do you see the sky - the way the shadows twine themselves with the clouds, with the wind?
: That will not last... it will grow stronger in time. The shadow will seep into the winds and into far lands, not just in the Mere, not just in Neverwinter.
: Your battle is not simply for this Keep, but for Faerûn itself, for its heart.
: Sounds like that was your job before you abandoned it.
: {Stung} Perhaps.
: I thought that protecting the Mere, protecting the land was my duty, mine alone... but after what happened with the Circle, and seeing how the shadows seeped into them...
: It reminded me how my strong connection to you kept me from the same fate.
: You see, I think that in the years that I watched you in West Harbor, maybe I wasn't neglecting the Mere at all... but seeing what could save it, if only the Circle would realize it.
: That perhaps villagers dwelling with the land... that if one of them fought for it - if all of them fought as you did... then something greater could be achieved.
: {Beat, tender} And I wanted to thank you. Now, before the battle comes for us again.
: Thanks can wait until we win this battle.
: No... no, it cannot. You see... I... I fear I have not always been honest with you in all matters.
: {Stiff upper lip} I... care for you. Not friendship, but deeper. It runs powerfully within me... and I have tried to fight it for some time, but such things cannot be held silent for long.
: If this is a joke, this is in poor taste, and it wastes my time.
: {Angry} It is no joke. This is not trivial flirtation.
: How do I know you won't abandon me, as you did the Mere?
: {Pained expression} Have you no decency? How dare you say such a thing?
: Because it amuses me?
: {Angry} I see the shadow that fills these skies has cast itself in your heart as well. I have lost the Mere... and it seems I lost you, as well.
: {Walks off, hurt} I shall trouble you no more. Take comfort in the darkness, for that's all that's left to you.

n-nooo, Elanee... she finally plucks up the courage to come out and we mock her for it

We could have let her down gently, of course. Or we could have reciprocated and slept with her. We'd get 3 Influence with her for that.


Then there's Casavir.


: {Looking out into the darkness} There is death in the air this night.
: You sound calm, despite it.
: I am here with you, there is little that could touch me in your presence.
: {Beat, resolved, about to make a pledge} There is something I must tell you before this battle is joined. I wish to thank you, for all that you have done for me.
: You have made me stronger, restored my faith by making me see the good in feeling something for another.
: And although it is dark, you shine brightly to me. There is nothing that can stand against us when we are together - in this life or the next.
: I shall follow you. My sword, and my heart, are yours.
: Then stab yourself for me. Shed blood to see if I care.
: {Slight confusion, just been asked to cut himself} Do you jest with me?
: Just do it - I command it, if you care for me.
: Very well. {Winces, cuts himself} There - it is done.
: Would you kill yourself for me?
: {Still slightly confused} If that is what it would take to give you strength and proof of my loyalty, then yes.
: Then you are a fool, Casavir, and I have no use for fools.
: Why do you mock me - now, of all times, after all we have shared?
: Because you deserve it - mockery and scorn.
: {Confused, like just stabbed in the heart} Then my feeling for you... was in vain. It always was.
: Of course. Think upon that on the morrow, and I doubt we shall speak again.

Oh god, poor Casavir. Damn you, Avellone!

To be honest, letting him down gently is even worse:


: You honor me, Casavir. But I do not love you.
: {Smiles slightly, didn't want to hear the painful words, but bears them anyway} It does not matter. I feel for you, and the feeling runs pure. For me, it is enough to fight for.
: And that, I think, is enough to meet what comes.

Such a waste of a man. But we'll see that soon enough.