Year of the RPG: Greetings from Baldur’s Gate, part II

“You seem the type of person who likes to be in the know,” the strange man said when Athena opened the doors of her castle a few mornings later. “Is it mere curiosity that drives you? Have you a moment to listen to an old man’s ramblings, that may not have anything to do with what you are trying to accomplish, yet will be important in your overall morality check?”

“Um… okay…?”

Athena listened to the old man babble on for a while, before he finally excused himself, mumbling his concern at her “straddling the fence.” With a shrug, Athena turned her attention to the letter he had handed her at the beginning of their meeting.

Hiya Athena,

It’s me, Imoen again. You said you wanted to hear more about what we’d actually been doing as we wander around the countryside pretending to be mercenaries?

Or maybe we are mercenaries now. If it walks like a duck and all that. Not that any of us walk like ducks, but you know what I mean.

Anyway, you wanted details. After picking up Jaheira and Khalid, we went to Nashkel and made a beeline for their mines, which were having a problem with spoiled iron or something. Who knew iron could spoil, right? At any rate, we came across this sorcerer, Mulhaney, and he just about wiped us all out.

I swear, I felt like I died right there. But it must have been some sort of strange deja vu or dream or something, because the next thing I know we’re talking to an elf named Xan (again? for the first time? I don’t know), and Daesala decided to immediately leave the mines and trek over to the Gnoll Stronghold.

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Minsc was pretty pleased, as his friend had been taken captive, and we found her with only a little trouble. It gets so dark sometimes, and it’s like you have to stand in just the right spot to see ahead of you. Remember I said it was by accident last time? Well, I fell in a hole and then bam there she was, the invoker Dynaheir.

Like I said, Rasaad went back to Nashkel, which was probably for the better. He’s a nice guy, and liked to chat with Daesala about philosophy, but the guy got hurt like it was his job. Daesala would always ask him to stand near me to “protect” me, but I’m not a fool. I’m one of the most accurate folks she has with her when it comes to a fight, and I know she was putting him next to me so I could protect him. At any rate, Dynaheir and Minsc seem to be a matched set, and Minsc more than pulls his weight.

Although Dynaheir apparently has another fantastic spell that ensnares us all in pricker bushes. What is with these guys?

At any rate, we all seemed to have our wits more about us after clearing the fortress, and returned to the Nashkel mines, got rid of Mulhaney, and went to spread the good news in Nashkel itself.

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Hardly good enough, though! Turns out there are bandits about, and they seemed to be somehow in league with Mulhaney. They were sort of pushovers, but we have more evidence now that there’s something else going on here… When a band of bandits terrorizes the land and they have a connection to a crazy guy who is poisoning iron so everyone eventually dies, well, then you have to find where those strings lead, don’t you?

Plus, the bandits captured a guy named Ender Sai, and he seemed to think that there was someone else pulling the strings. Daesala wasn’t too sure about him, but although he seemed like a sneaky guy, he seemed like the kind of guy who knew what was up. At least knew enough to point us in a direction, and that direction happened to be toward the Cloakwood Mines. And an organization called the Iron Throne. And so we were off again.

Don’t tell Daesala, but I’m glad that our path seems to be taking us in the exact opposite direction of the dragon she keeps talking about. I think she’s trying to see how many would follow her to a fight like that. Obviously we all would, but… well I’m not feeling up to a dragon right now.

As we trekked we… came across the spot that Gorion perished. It… was pretty hard for Daesala. She insisted on exploring the entire area, as if some part of him might still be there. Or maybe she was looking for his attackers. Or maybe she just wanted to be close to the last place she saw her father. It was… I felt for her. I really did.

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And who is “E”?? None of us had any idea, even Khalid and Jaheira…

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At any rate, after a pretty uneventful trek (for us) through some nice scenery…

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…we reached the mines and Daesala tried to talk her way out of a fight with these four terrifying-looking guys, but to no avail. It was a desperate fight, but we picked off the magic user and poor Minsc almost took one for the team as he tried to keep the warriors occupied. We somehow made it through, and even though the battle was tough, we all felt a lot stronger afterwards. I guess fights like that really hone your skills, right?

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We finally got in the mines and fought our way through them. We got really, really lost, but managed to find and free some slaves in the process, which was really nice. Good on you if you save the day, you know? I was pretty proud of Daesala, but I can’t say I was particularly surprised. The woman is a stickler for law and order.

Now we’re trying to figure out how to flood the mines, which sounds… well it sounds terrifying. But the Iron Throne seems to be in charge, and… well I was talking to Daesala, and she doesn’t particularly like the idea of flooding their mine, as we’d be doing something pretty treacherous, but I reminded her that the Iron Throne has poisoned other mines and was responsible for the bandits who have been killing innocent people, and she seemed somewhat placated. They seem to be able to skirt the law, so… well that’s all it took. She’s set on flooding the mines, now.

At any rate, we only have a little light left, and I want to make sure this is sent to you before any flooding occurs and the paper is spoiled. If we don’t all drown, I’ll tell you how it all went! Hopefully everything works out and we’ll be home again before you know it!

Write soon,
Imoen

Seems like our heroes are having a good time of it and have been keeping busy! Too bad Daesala has such a bad sense of direction…… Anyway, is there anything they should keep their eyes peeled for? Should they go searching for that elusive dragon? Let me know in the comments!

“Dear Imoen…”

Thanks for stopping by, and I’ll see you soon!
~ Athena

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