The Let's Play Archive

Neverwinter Nights 2

by Lt. Danger

Part 80: Act Three Chapter Sixteen - Crossroad Keep Siege II: It's My Castle Now

We're woken from our (solitary) sleep by one of our soldiers.

: I'm very sorry, sir, but Kana has asked you to meet her in the war room.

Oh shit.

* * *

: Garius brings his army at an early hour. Surprise is his ally here, but his cover of darkness will not last. No doubt he plans on a swift victory.
: Regardless, his siege towers have been spotted in the distance, and our men will need your guidance on the wall to repulse them.
: They arrived much sooner than I expected.
: Our delay at the bridge was only a momentary one. Garius must have pushed his army ferociously to have reached us so quickly.

Great. So our actions yesterday were a big waste of time, and we don't even know why.

Now Garius has caught us unprepared - we were going to use the cliff to pick off his army as they climbed, but no chance of that now.

: The walls await. Let's form a group and set out.

Again, two companions will accompany us in the defence of the Keep.

I chose Khelgar:

: Be my pleasure to knock the enemy down - even farther than normal.
: Good, your fighting skills are what we need on the walls.
: I think I can do that... I'll send them packing back to the shadows, I promise you that.

And Qara:

: Siege towers, eh? Not for long.
: Just restrain yourself and save your spells for the towers.
: If I keep my spells in reserve long enough, I may even be able to use them when we flee the Keep, is that your plan?

As for the others:


: Elanee.
: {Nods, a little quieter} The walls it is. {Sigh, to herself} At least I'll be closer to the sky.

: Sand.
: {Sighs} Ah, your attention comes with the most lethal of rewards. How amusing.

: Ammon.
: {If Zhjaeve was chosen earlier. Stern, then slightly reprimanding} Well-chosen. With the gith leading the other troops, you'll need me, I think.
: At least Zhjaeve I trust.
: {Slight smile} If you don't trust me, then you have come farther than I thought. Fine, I will hold the walls with the gith.

: Bishop.
: {Player shacked up with Casavir, Casavir's been chosen. Snide} I think we've all been on the walls with the paladin long enough.

: Grobnar.
: {Excited} Yes! I got picked, yes!
: {Slight irritation} It's not an honor, you little fool.
: You're wrong, Bishop, I need Grobnar up there.
: {Surprised} You do? {Beat} Why, that's very kind of you. I've never seen combat before, you know.
: That is a blatant lie or the most amazing display of ignorance I've ever heard.

We also get to choose which units we take into battle. However, this time we choose two units for our companions to lead. We also have access to our allied units: Ironfist Fighters do blunt damage (good for the innumerable skeletons) and don't have any vulnerabilities; Lizardmen Warriors are weaker but can cast some minor Druid spells.

Khelgar gets the Ironfist Fighters while Qara leads some basic Greycloaks.

: Between our Greycloaks and allies, the keep has as full as fighting force as it can hold.
: Even so, the numbers we are seeing on the walls are not encouraging. As determined as we may be, we cannot stop a force so large for long.
: How long can we hold?
: Perhaps we can hold for a night at most, but the numbers are not on our side.
: There's a new observation.
: We cannot last without reinforcements and our allies from Waterdeep are at least a day away.
: Then we must hold until dawn.

: Sir, before you go, take this.
: Lord Nasher himself instructed that this rod be given to you - its magic will restore the fallen to life.
: Every soldier's life matters, but their leaders must survive. This battle will rest upon the command of you and your companions.

The Rod of Resurrection is a handy tool, but not as important as you might think - companions auto-resurrect themselves at the ends of battles anyway. However there are some long fights coming up and sometimes you don't want to wait for Sand or Zhjaeve to pick themselves up again.

It casts True Resurrection, mind, which fully heals the fallen companion, so it has that going for it as well.

* * *

Oh my word.

: We've done all we can to slow their advance but they're too well-shielded.
: For certain, our walls are ready for the attack - fully rebuilt and reinforced. Those catapults and arrows won't be coming through easily, even if the siege towers do.
: I almost pity the enemy - the arrow loops we added to the walls will tear them to shreds, once the towers dock.
: For the siege towers, Kana said that fire is our best chance and has sent the keep wizards - their lives are our lives.


Crossroad Keep Siege

Unlike the other endgame areas, the Crossroad Keep siege actually looks very nice and polished. Look at that undead army!

It's a great set-piece. Arrows fly through the sky (doing minor damage to you in the process) while our wizards lob fireballs at the encroaching legion.

Siege towers advance through the arrowfire...

...unleashing hordes of undead onto the battlements.

The siege towers must be destroyed to end the assault. We can bash the tower directly or have Qara use fire spells to destroy it (much more effective - inanimate objects have Damage Resistance). If, for whatever reason, you can't destroy the towers yourself, one of the aforementioned keep mages will burn the towers with a couple of fireballs.

There are eight towers in total, attacking in a staggered pattern. You barely have time to destroy one tower before another docks and begins spewing skeletons out onto the walls.

The overall difficulty depends on how well you did at the Crossroad Keep minigame. Upgraded all the walls and trained all your soldiers? The undead you face will be very weak. Neglected your castle? Hope your build is well-optimised.

It's likely you'll run out of minions to boss around - you might be Level 19, but they're all still Level 6 and Dread Wraiths are serious business for them.

Kana will send some random troops out to reinforce you. Here we see some of Batha's lizardmen warriors aiding our Ironfist dwarves.

No I don't know either

Anyway, we win this battle once the walls have been secured.

The siege isn't over, though.

: Fall back to the inner courtyard, I'll join you shortly... either at the Keep or in the hells.

* * *

Aha! Now we've won.

: And burn they should. My followers will help our men on the walls attack any that foolishly remain.
: Even with its remaining undead, the King of Shadows will be hard-pressed to breach the inner walls. Without their towers, they'll be defenseless against our attacks from above.

Wh- Bishop?

: Let me show you.
: This gate of yours isn't coming down - which means this precious Keep of yours won't be standing long.

Bishop! Nooooo

: We can and will hold this Keep. Any soldier that runs, kill them.

Kana then asks us for two companions to help with the final line of defence.

I pick Casavir and Sand again. Certain characters are not especially effective during this section: Neeshka's bow is awful against the undead, and Grobnar's inspirations are only half as good when there's only two other people in the party. And Bishop, well...

We also pick two units to help as well.

It doesn't really matter at this point. Soon the sun will rise and Garius' army will have to flee.

: What?


: The vampires, the shadows, all of them - they're still coming. They're here!
: If any of you break the line, I'll cut you down before the King of Shadows has a chance. Be ready.
: Here they come!

This is just a matter of endurance. Undead stream through the sabotaged gates and we must defeat them all. Vampires, zombies, all... and also some unique encounters like a Behemoth Skeleton (very big) and an Ancient Dread Wraith (also big).

We're aided in the matter by buggy pathing trapping most of the undead at the back of the archway.

Uh oh.

Black Garius has finally joined the fray.

First the bridges, now this. Garius is just cheating at this point.

: You should have stayed outside the keep, where it was safe.

: My Lord still waits at the threshold of this tiny world... but his avatar is more than enough to end you and your army.


It's a nightwalker - a very powerful kind of undead. In pen-and-paper D&D, nightwalkers can take your magical items and crush them into dust.

: This time, the Sword won't shatter.

NWN2 isn't so cruel, thankfully.

Zhjaeve and Ammon join for the nightwalker fight. Garius is present as well - he's supposed to be behind the flame wall, supporting the nightwalker with his spells, but you can actually see him in the lower right corner.

This is the final fight, so bust out your Ritual powers and finish the nightwalker quickly.

Excellent, arch-villain spluttering - the one true sign of victory.

: Now is the time! We must begin the recitation.
: I am ready.

Garius is about to get up-close and personal. We don't have much time.

: Ammon Jerro, do it now.

Garius will storm up to whoever you don't choose to read the True Names and blast them.

Sorry, Zhjaeve.

We're stunned and unable to help, but it's all right - cutscene bars prevent Garius from noticing that Ammon is undoing his precious immortality.

That... must hurt.

And all the undead burst into flames. Garius' protections have been undone!

Unfortunately Garius escapes in the chaos.

* * *

Here's a thought: where was Nevalle during all this?

: Then that shall have to be enough. Let your soldiers revel in their victory, they fought hard and well - and now, have hope.
: Know that you have fought well this day - but as long as the King of Shadows remains within his fortress, there is no victory.

: I think perhaps it is time to see what Aldanon has found.

* * *

The party (or what's left of it) is gathered together, perhaps for the last time.

: Unfetter? And where is "there" and "here," exactly?
: Yes, you see, the Tome has a certain duality to it, like two pages facing each other in a closed book... if you open them they are apart, but closed they are right next to each other. You see?
: That is the most genius thing I have ever heard.

It's also one of the ideas physicists like to float for Faster-Than-Light travel. In fact, isn't it how warp travel works in Star Trek??

: Yes... the Tome can make a doorway, and it can also pinpoint a location within the Vale.

: Yes, that's it. Should all work well in theory, really.
: What do you mean, "in theory?"
: Don't worry... it should take us right where we want to go. The Tome, once unlocked, is said to be very dependable.
: Then we need to go at once, before the King of Shadows regroups. He and Garius will not wait long before they attack us again.

: The portal could accidentally take us into a different Vale. Say, one filled with lava. Hard to get out of that, let me tell you.
: Enough talk, let's go.
: Very well. Whenever you young people are ready, I can send you off.
: I am ready.

: Good fortune to you, Captain.
: And the same for me, Captain. May the Gods watch over you.