10 Mirtul, 1369After realizing just what would be required of us to end the Iron Crisis (demons in the mines!), I have some second thoughts and sit down to discuss things with my companions. After much deliberation, we all agree that we need to gather together as many resources as possible - perhaps to buy more spells for myself, or better armor or weapons for others. We decide to head back to Beregost and take care of the odd jobs around that way, then come back to Nashkel and solve the demon problem later. Will Scarlet mentions a wizard living just west of Beregost, at High Hedge, who might be able to give us some equipment, so we decide to stop by there first.
However, 10 hours into the trip, we are waylaid by a pair of wolves.
They don't imemdiately seem to be hostile, but the Half Ogre that appears behind us does.
By the time we kill him, the two wolves have run off, never to be seen again.
Hmm. Weird. Jaheira sure likes the place, though. We continue on our journey.
When we arrive, it is dark, and we begin walking towards the large building in the area. We almost totally miss an elf standing in the trees. Turns out his name is Kivan.
We're adventurers, on the lookout for evil to smite.
A strange coincidence; I have a quest similar to your own. I have been hunting the bandits in the region for the past few months. Perhaps if we worked together we would fare better. What say you to that?
Grasshopper, we do not need a man in the party. Moreover an elf who looks like he has not eaten a decent meal in days, but presumes that nobleness shines out of his ass!
I hunt better alone, but in this fight I would welcome an ally. However, if you are not interested in joining the forces, I would not insist on traveling with you.
We'll help you against the bandits, but only if you tell us why you've spent months hunting them.
Their leader, an ogre named Tazok, took the life of someone very dear to me.
Thanks for being honest. You can join our party.
I hope that we will work well together.
We haven't even fought ten battles together, but Shar-Teel's attitude is really getting on my nerves. Has she forgotten that I am both a man and an elf? And what's this grasshopper bullshit? I have half a mind to turn her into slush, but one look at Imoen stops me. Instead I take her aside for a 'little talk.'
Damn it, you lose one well-fought duel to an oafish lout of a man and you get attached. I almost hate to say it but you've earned my respect.
Our paths must run apart for a while. If I should need your help again, though, we should rendezvous at the Jovial Juggler in Beregost.
I will do so, but I hope to rejoin you soon. I do not yet hold my debt repayed [sic].
Gameplay note: Shar-Teel fans do not despair. Before I leave Beregost again I will visit the Jovial Juggler and we can customize our party to our heart's content before we head out. We will probably run into several more NPCs before Beregost is finished, and so the Jovial Juggler might be pretty crowded by that time. We'll have a lot of choice.
Now lets look at Kivan. He is an early-levels favorite for me simply because of the huge importance that ranged combat plays in the early game. The elf is a freakin' machine gun. Lets take a look at his record.
He's got extraordinary strength (18/17), which means he'd be great with a composite longbow. Good DEX too, and acceptable CON. Just enough WIS to be a ranger, and that's what he is, the Archer ranger kit. Also note that he is already level 2. This is a side-effect of the Level 1 NPCs mod that takes away xp from him until he has approximately the same amount that Syvishtar has, while letting him keep his level. This is the first time it gave us a level 2 guy, but it may do this again in the future. This guy is pretty amazing.
I once started (and abandoned) an elf-only run of an earlier version of the Big World Project. Kivan was the greatest asset of that group. He comes with studded leather, a longbow, 20 arrows, some (totally useless) bracers, and a spear.
He has proficiencies to match, except he also has 2 points in two-weapon style as rangers always do. Too bad you can't dual-wield spears in this game. Or any game. Where's the spear-love, gaming industry?
Kivan also comes with two ranger abilities.
Charm animal does what it says, and I think Animal Empathy does the same thing almost. We can test it out in the field.After picking up our new friend and exchanging a few pleasantries, we continue on to High Hedge. We are interrupted once again, however, by the loudest thief ever.
Huh, this guy throws a hissy fit 'cause a few words broke the silence of the woods? I wanna see him in Puffguts' kitchens on the night of the Midsummer feast! He'd probably lose his mind and start screaming or somethin'. Heh, he'd fit right in!
Of course you can't hear a word you're thinking. You have to say it out loud, first.
Okay, okay, here's the plan: There's a big-time mage living just over that rise. Magic items scattered all over the place, I'm betting... Trouble is, he's got these two hideous flesh monsters guarding him and no shadows where I can lurk! Brute force is useless against the monsters, everything is useless. There must be a way to outwit the witless but damned if I know how... Ah hell, I guess I'd be better off just finding a halfling village somewhere to pick on. This dive is all yours.
I have met the mage, Thalantyr, before. He is a good man, and I will not stand for an assault on him. It is worthwhile to visit him, however, and perhaps trade with him, Syvhishtar. He will be interested in magical items, if we ever have them in surplus.
He's got plenty of scratch, I'll give him that.
We go into the High Hedge and immediately speak to the mage there.
I hoped for a warmer welcome for my company, Thalantyr. You once offered me your roof, or have you forgotten?
Elf! The name is Kivan, if I am not mistaken. Bah! That's a proper treatment for you, if you stand in the corner with your cowl covering your face. But I never thanked you properly... Come, come, I'll show you what I have done with the spear you broke on these bothersome bandits who tried to force their way in. I am quite happy with the way the enchantment has turned out. I don ot craft weapons, mind you. Bah! It's a gift. Take it, take it, elf.
Gameplay note: And with that, our party gets its first MAGICAL WEAPON!
Great for rooting some pesky bugger who is coming after your Archer before moving back further and plinking his ass to death. Plink! Plink! Plink! That's the sound that Kivan makes when he's owning. Did I mention that I really liked the guy?
As a powerful mage, Thalantyr's opinion of me is very important to me. Maybe some day he can become a member of my party and Scribe out all the spells he knows to me. So I check it with my ability.
Unfriendly Neutral. That's just about even, at 50. With enough treasure we can bring it up to Close and then he's mine! I load myself up with necklaces and try to woo him in a totally non-gay way.
Ouch. He must be too high-level for our sweet-as silver necklace collection. Oh well, we can try to find higher-level necklaces that will catch his discerning eye. I wonder how his flesh golem feels about the gems Imoen has collected? I load myself up with them and then try to Show Friendship to the golem.What?! All this hoarding and there's nothing it wants from me? I'm offended, quite frankly offended. In revenge, I sell all the gems for cash! When I'm done, I have enough money (150 gp) to buy half of a level 1 spell. Sighing, I leave for Beregost. On the way out, however, we are attacked by a Huge Spider.
It is a tough little bugger but doesn't hurt us any. We continue on to Beregost. A quick 8 hours later we are back in the City of Several Streets.
I ask Will how we could best find this Tulbor fellow that turned the other dude into a slime, and he suggests going to look in all the Inns. That sounds like a great idea, so we start with the Inn in the northern building cluster. On the way over, we talk to a few of the locals.
OH. This isn't an Inn. Looks like a pretty nice house, though.
I motion for Imoen to go talk nice to the people here.
My apologies! I must have the wrong address. I will leave immediately.
And well you should! If my husband were to catch you here, it would surely be the end of you!
Imoen gives me a look like I'm completely psycho and that we should leave immediately. So we do.