(Spoiler Warning! If you don’t want to be spoiled about Icewind Dale’s story just skip this post. Also, this is brough to you by… Red Hood! Because I feel just as lost as her and can’t remember if she sponsored a post yet)
When we last left our heroes, they were exploring the Valley of Shadows in search of the evil that was plaguing the region. There was certainly a lot of evidence that there was at least some evil thing going on there, perhaps even the culprit behind all of Kuldahar’s troubles. As they explored they fought lots of Lesser Shadow, broke into some other crypts where they slayed a few more undead and in one of them finally found someone that could talk:
Not exactly the kind of encounter the party was expecting.
(Warning! This post contains spoilers about Icewind Dale. If that bothers you there are certainly other interesting things in the web to read about. Also this post is brought to you by… Alladin! He thinks this might give some XP so here it is)
When we last left our heroes they were playing detectives and solved a murder mystery! Ok, they weren’t really playing detectives. They just got lucky to find the evidence they needed. Also it wasn’t really a murder mystery as much as a case of forgery…. *clears throat* In any case, there were still mysteries to be solved. Much bigger ones at that. It was to find the evil that has been plaguing Kuldahar. The only clue they had was given to them by Arundel who said they might find some answers in the Valley of Shadows. So that is where they were heading next.
As soon as they tried to go out of town though, a man came running at them shouting something about being chased by yetis.
(Warning! This post contains spoilers about Icewind Dale. If that bothers you then just skip it. Also it is brought to you by… Goldilocks! Because she stole the key to my house and wouldn’t give it back until I wrote it. Dang thieves!)
When we last left our heroes they were exploring the town of Kuldahar. There was just one more little thing they wanted to check before they rested and headed to the Valley of Shadows though. It also just happened to be in the same place where they could rest their weary bodies. Well, as long as they got lucky enough to not be kidnapped in the middle of the night or worse. Anyway, what they wanted to investigate were the rumors of how a halfling came to own the local inn, the Evening Shade. From the rumors the halfling, called Aldwin, just appeared right after the previous owner disappeared with a claim in hand. Only problem is the previous owner had the palsy which made it hard for him to write. That is if he even knew how to write! Something was fishy about that story so the party headed there to investigate.
As if circunstances weren’t suspicious enough, Aldwin had a very terrible personality for someone whose living is dealing with people:
(If Aldwin’s dialogue seems weird for someone just starting the conversation that is because I messed up, forgot to take a screenshot of it, quit the dialogue, tried again and this screenshot was the result of it. *sigh*)
Seems like the halfling had some attitude problems. That is ok. The party could play it rough too. And they wouldn’t leave until they got some good answers! And a good night of sleep! But answers would have to come first.
(Spoiler warning! This post contains spoilers about Icewind Dale. If that bothers you just skip it. Also, this post is brought to you by… Hansel. Because he preached me into it. Dang paladins!)
Alright. This post won’t have all that much in terms of plot advancement. But there a lot of NPCs that the party met in Kuldahar who although didn’t give some direct side quest they did say a few things that can become a side quest later on or that seems like it will be part of the main plot. So just to avoid the possibility that later on we get into a situation like “Cool! The party found this place that NPC X mentioned. Now let’s see if we can find the Thingmajic he wanted. What? You don’t know who NPC X is? And I didn’t say anything about the Thingamajic? Ops!”.
The reason I am so unsure that these conversations may turn into side quests later on or not is because of the way quests are given in Icewind Dale (and a lot of the CRPGs of the time, actually). Unlike current games the quests aren’t automagically added to a laundry list, neated organized with all the information you need to know and what reward you will get by completing it. The journal in Icewind Dale is more of a “Dear Diary” type of deal, with all the noterworth things the party did or heard in the appropriate style. Here, let me show you:
As you can see that isn’t any big sign saying “THIS IS A QUEST! DOOOO IIIITTT!”. And everything noteworth they do is added in that style. Even that talk with the goblin and the ogre earlier was added in the journal.
Now that is all explained and out of the way, let’s get back our usual Icewind Dale post.
(Spoiler warning! This post contain spoilers about Icewind Dale. If that bothers you then just skip it. Also, it is brought to you by… the rain! Because it is about time it rained here!)
When we last left our heroes, they were having some fun with goblins. By that I mean I had fun while they weren’t having so much of it and were just busy killing any goblin in the way. Also, unlike what I stated in the last post chapter one didn’t start then. It started after that area. Ops!
In any case after writing (and hearing in-game) about Kuldahar so much it was nice to finally get to Kuldahar and get a few more steps in the main plot. The party even get a welcoming commitee in the form of a… boy?
(Warning! This post contain spoilers about Icewind Dale. If that bothers you then just skip this post. Also this post is brought to you by… ratongas! Because according to Drusi everyday is hug a ratonga day.)
After a much deserved rest from a day of adventuring and solving problems for the locals, the party was ready to be go to Kuldahar with the rest of Hrothgar’s expedition. This also happens to mark the start of the game’s first chapter (everything before that was the prologue). One of the neat things about Icewind Dale is that it starts with these sort of cutscenes with some artwork and a narrator explaining what was going on. 🙂
The prologue had something different, which was a background image of Easthaven while some text scrolled by with a narrator reading that text. At the time I didn’t think my screenshots of it were all that interesting so I didn’t post it back in the series first post.
Anyway, like all stories like this, there was bound something terrible to happen during this trip. As the expedition was passing through a valley some Frost Giants started to throw boulders at them. This in turn created an avalanche which ended up killing everyone except the party. Apparently they were the only ones smart enoug to run forward when the avalanche started.
(Warning! This post contains spoilers about Icewind Dale. If that bothers you just ignore it. Also this post is brought to you by the word spoon. SPOOOOOONNNNNN!)
It looked like Easthaven was finally safe. Or at least it didn’t have any problems inside it or near its entrance that required the help of a band or roaming adventurers. That was the only thing the party wanted to make sure of before they went to meet Hrothgar about his invitation for an expedition. There was only one small problem. They decided to let Red Hood lead.
Like any talented ranger she got them lost. How lost? Well, they found themselves somewhere outside Easthaven fighting hungry wolves. In the dark.
(Warning! This post contains spoilers about Icewind Dale. If that bothers you then skip this post.)
When we last left our heroes things were pretty good. They saved a merchant’s shop from a hungry wolf and got a pearl for doing nothing but delivering an ancient sword. Still, they had a hunch their work in Easthaven was not done yet. There was all those rumors of orcs and goblins near town after all as well as the missing caravans. With that in mind they continue exploring the town in search of adventure, riches and XP! (That last one being something only Alladin cared. The others still have no idea what he is talking about)
Their next stop was the local temple to Tempus, the patron god of battles and warriors. This may seem a strange place to look for adventure but considering the kind of things that happen in a fantasy world it is a good place as any!
The temple is very impressive, containing several relics probably collected of battles of past ages and two impressive giant horse statues guarding a glyphed door. The person responsible for taking care of the temple is a man called Everard.
(Spoiler alert! The following post contains spoilers for Icewind Dale’s story and some quests. If that bothers you this may be a good point to stop.)
On an unrelated note, I am going to try breaking things up with a tease break. That means, if you are reading this on the site, just click on the “Read More” link down there. It is just so people don’t have to scroll down too much to look at previous posts if Icewind Dale and/or Let’s Plays are not their thing. If someone doesn’t like it let me know in the comments please. For those reading it on a RSS reader or via e-mail nothing should change. Now back to our usual wall of text…)
With the bugs dead and the booze secured (remember: priorities!) it was time for the party to do their next logical step: interrogate every stranger in the tavern in search for another quest or at least some useful information. Their search for another quest with the tavern patrons didn’t bear any fruit. However they did get some interesting information about the going-ons of the town:
Hrothgar is putting forth an expedition. Several folks of Easthaven, including the town merchant, are joining it.
There was a messenger from Kuldahar that dropped dead in front of the Temple of Tempus. Since then Hrogthgar has been rather rattled and decided to organize said expedition.
Apparently only Everard, the temple’s priest, and Hrothgar know what the man’s final words were.
The weather has been worse then usual with things being colder than normal for this time of the year and the south pass probably getting snowed in earlier.
There have been several sights of goblins in the Pass. Some drunkard even claims to have seem orcs outside town.
One of the boys was playing out and says that he saw a footprint in the snow as big as a man. Nobody believes that possible since a giant haven’t been seem in the Pass for a very long time.
Some caravans from the south have been missing. At first people thought it was the unusual snow burying them but now folks think that it might be related to the sightings of goblins and orcs.
There were a few more things said but this I think are the most interesting bits. Probably the biggest foreshadowings too.
With that kind of business taken care of, it was time to go to town.
(Spoiler alert! The following post contains spoilers for Icewind Dale’s story and some quests. If that bothers you then this is a good point to stop reading it.)
Like most adventures in fantasy-land, this one begins in a tavern, more specifically it is the Winter’s Cradle Tavern in the small town of Easthaven. The group are just relaxing when someone approaches them: