Neverwinter Nights Part 3: Share the Wealth or Else

Previously on Neverwinter Nights…

Plague ravages the city, exotic creatures need to be found to make a cure, the zoo needs to have a dose of animal activism applied to it, there’s some sort of conspiracy going on, and oh yes… I intend to ignore all that for the far more important task: A local wizard has a huge supply of grain, everyone lives in fear of him, and an attractive half-elven woman has asked me to waste him for a reward.

Priorities, people! I’m an adventurer! If I don’t do this I’ll get kicked out of the guild.

Onward to Adventure!

Off we went. Some would call it exterminating the competition, some would say I was out to prove my school of magic is superior, but the reality is much more mundane… and worrying.

But wait, if we’re liberating ill-gotten riches from unworthy nobles, then I think redistributing some of the wealth of the other lazy rich folks is in order. Redistribution to me! Thankfully there’s some worthy contributors here, and also there’s some loot that the local madame wants for some nefarious scheme or other. Thankfully the guards on the front door of the houses I’m after are lazy gits who have been roped in from their usual job working in the stables, or butlering, or some other job that really, really doesn’t include tangling with armed gnomes in the job description. So they let me walk right in.

Most houses aren't even locked.

The jokes on him: He doesn’t know I’m an illusionist.

Inside we find some glowing red sections of floor which seem scary but my fairy companion does some magic and makes them disappear. Red floor problems are nothing, and neither are the hordes of guards, who are vanquished by the simple and expedient method of killing them really dead. We make good time through the mansion and then steal the worthless junk that’s been shoved in a drawer. I don’t know, if I wanted to make some kind of daring power play as a part of a personal vendetta I’d probably burn their house down or something equally vindictive. Having someone steal a metal pitcher and a bad painting seems a bit pointless.

After that little “adventure” it’s off to the zoo, to liberate the animals from the cruel imprisonment they were languishing under. Also to get some cool souvenirs. Unfortunately the zookeepers have other ideas. I tell them to talk to my secretary, the bald dwarf with a tendency to kick people in the head. How he does it, I have no idea, since most human heads are out of kicking range for a dwarf.

It's a Monty Python reference.

Fuck off! We’re the animal liberation front of Neverwinter!

After killing everyone who works in the zoo for the crime of working in the zoo, all I have to do is shove the animals into a magical portal that happened to be a tree a few seconds ago. That’s a pretty handy power, and might almost be worth becoming a druid for except that also means giving up things like civilization, baths, and proper grooming. I also don’t fancy eating acorns for the rest of my life.

After that bit of murderous animal activism, I talk to the local cleaning lady and she tells me that when she was younger she used to have access to Meldanen’s house though a secret portal – and not for speedy commuting to a cleaning job. So, off to Meldanen’s house we go, via magic portal. Not a moment too soon, since I think she was about to start reminiscing about her younger days of shacking up with all the wizards in the city.

Uh-oh, where does this go?

At least it’s not a blue oval, right?

Meldanen’s house is not so bad. It’s just your average vast and cavernous mansion. Full of imps and… acid-spewing giant beetles?!

Acid-spewing beetles. Just the thing to liven up a dungeon.

I am NOT running away to hide behind that pillar! It’s a tactical manoeuvre, OKAY?

This is ridiculous! How does anyone live in this mess? Why not just get some trolls in here? They’re disgusting and nasty and dangerous too, and would make a perfect fit. I suppose there’s some kind of law about importing trolls into the city. I continue through the mansion, killing oversized bugs and wondering how I can trick Meldanen into paying me for the pest control work before I assassinate him. Then we meet the butler.

Sadly very few characters have amusing descriptions in the query thing.

Any hanky in an emergency.

He’s a nice enough chap who seems to be a bit out of his depth working in a mansion for a morally-questionable wizard. I give him some of the patented gnome double talk and saunter on by. The whole place is one big mess of stupid wizard clichés. Apprentices ready to die for their master, alchemists working on potions, imps, hell hounds, enormous books… you know the drill.

Someone took the AD&D rulebooks a little too literally.

Oh, come on.

It’s embarrassing! This is exactly the kind of stereotypical behaviour that leads the rest of society to claim we’re all obsessive shut-ins with no life, our only interest amassing more and more books with funny words and odd pictures in them. This is what leads people to claim my stylish hat is just some wizard thing instead of the deeply meaningful personal choice that truly reflects my individuality and also I thought it looked cool on all the other wizards, okay?

Still grumbling, I head for the stairs down, horde of minions in tow, and freeing some guard who got caught on my way past the jail. Then after winding through some cellars I find some kind of mysterious chamber with a circle of runes on the floor. Gosh, I wonder if that’s important?

The important thing is, it's not just plain tiles.

Ho hum. Another circle of sorcerous scribblings on the floor.

It turns out that Meldanen appears there when I go and talk to the dryad locked in a cell. He immediately goes berserk and starts throwing around spells. I respond with some cunningly crafted illusions of um, stuff. The battle is on!

If this was Titan someone would have run through here years ago to stab him and take that cupboard against the wall.

Engage operation: kill the wizard!

He tries to surrender but I’m not taking that crap. Abducting hot tree women and locking them up in a cell seems kind of like he’s a bad person. Plus he’s wise to the fact that Formosa sent me in here to kill him and remove some of his more valuable teeth, so I can’t possibly let him go now. But the fight turns ugly as he opts for some kind of partial invisibility jazz that I should probably know about, being a mistress of the arts of magical deception. Whatever. I just fire crossbow bolts where he was standing instead, and he dies. I quickly loot his body, turning up a really cool looking but utterly useless staff and then go and free the dryad, who seems to be kind of grateful. I refrain from tearing her heart out, since that might get me in trouble, and instead let her give me a lock of her hair. Gosh, how fancy.

Hang on, she's got a knife. She could have escaped.

The dryad model, being clothing-challenged, is unbelievably creepy.

Oh and in case you’re wondering: it was probably a good thing I killed Meldanen, since his fireplace is full of not logs, not coals, but skulls. See? I was right to break into his home and kill him.

They're not very convincing skulls.

Unless they’re some kind of artificial skulls. But how sad would that be? People would find out and it’s minus a hundred badass points right away.

So after that little romp, we returned to Occupy Blacklake and gave her the key and silver tooth she asked for. For my troubles I was given a periapt of wisdom, which is a magic thing on a chain that makes me more wise. I put it on and briefly consider that maybe it would make more sense to recruit some more people to help me on this mission, like a healer and a few more bodyguards. I take it off again and look at it closely. That was a very strange experience, to think ahead like that and plan for eventualities other than my glorious victory. Hmmm. I should put it back on and benefit from the added insight it provides… But hey, it’s shiny, I bet I can get some gold for it!

Then it’s back to the temple of Tyr to hand in the dryad’s hair and also give this note about some evil cult to Fenthick, who is apparently rooting out the people who attacked the academy. Or rather, standing around while I do all the bloody work. But at least I’m getting paid. His friend Desther is a bit of a dick about it though.

They could move into the main temple, but noooo.

Why Desther, what a generically evil-sounding voice you have.

Then I give the hair to Aribeth, who asks me some very unfair questions about how I got it, and then I set off to check out the last of the four districts in Neverwinter: The docks. Apparently there’s some rioting or something, and general lawlessness is the order of the day. I, being a watch conscript, presumably will have to lay down the law. By making glowing lights appear, and producing pigeons from my sleeves. Yes, that will definitely work.

To be continued…

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One Response to Neverwinter Nights Part 3: Share the Wealth or Else

  1. Pingback: Neverwinter Nights Part 4: I am the Law | Seven Fourteen Seven

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