The swamp turned out not too bad a place. A few pesky critters and some lizard men. Several more inside the ruins, of course. But we retrieved the shard with a minimum of bloodshed.

I was expecting who knows what on the return (another attack, for instance), but everything was calm. Foster daddy told me some background on the shard, and – haha – said I better take it and vamoose to Neverwinter, and find his half-brother Duncan, who had another piece.

Bevin was staying behind, so after talking to everyone (Bevin’s mom gave me a quest to find her other son, missing since the Luskan war) and getting what I could from them, I headed out solo into the great unknown.

First stop was a wayside inn. Outside, I found a Dwarf named Khelgar being annoyed by several thugs. Naturally a fight started and the two us cleaned them up in hardly anytime.

He’s a fighter who wants to become a monk. I wonder if he realizes what that would mean. Anyway, we went inside to tell some tales and lift a few brews. In the middle of that, the same annoying people who attacked the village came busting in. Guess they found me sooner than expected.

We cleared them out then ran upstairs for the others. In one room, we came across Galen, a merchant I’d met back in West Harbor, having it out with more of the enemy. Took care of them, too, then cleaned up the rest of the place.

Talked to the owner, who was a merchant and had some nifty things for sale, none of which I could afford. I was drooling over that greatsword+1 with a touch of fire damage, and some studded leather+1 (lighter, less armor penalties, and same AC as the scale mail).

So I cheated.

Used the console to give me just enough gold to by the stuff. Hey, this is serious work and I gotta stay alive! Then Khelgar and I want on the road. Saw a “swamp cave” on the world map and thought, “Why not?”. So we went.

Ran into Galen again, being annoyed again, and helped him out again (what was he doing off-road anyway? Didn’t have the chance to ask).

Then we made our way to the cave, fighting a somewhat tougher brand of lizard critter. Nothing we couldn’t handle, though. And once inside, I was glad to be part rogue, as there were traps here and there.

We were waltzing along, doing nicely, and came to a door. What could be inside? Three lizardmen, one of whom was a shaman. Naturally, I made a beeline for him, while Khelgar took on the two others.

Noticed my pal was not doing well and put the cursor on one of his opponents. Hmm, not just a lizardman, the lizardman chieftan. Oops, sorry about that, Khelgar. After he died, I saw this was hopeless and restored.

On the second try, I played peek-a-boo with them (Khelgar standing his ground down the corridor). Drew out the guard and took him down myself. Then I got the shaman as far as the doorway, but he wouldn’t budge; just wanted to stand there and throw spells at me.

Finally switched to a bow and tried my arrows vs. his spells. The arrows won ;) And then the chieftan woke up and started our way, so I got Khelgar moving again and we took him down.

Hard fight, and I was pretty beat up when it ended, but still standing, which is what mattered. We looted the place (lizard chief had a nifty morningstar, still unidentified, but I may want this for myself as an alternate weapon), and I decided we should move on to Fort Locke, the next stop.

Just outside the fort, we came across a tiefling (human with a little touch of demon blood) being threatened by some soldiers from the fort. We couldn’t talk them out of it, so we had a fight and rescued her, killing the soldiers, of course. I hope they don’t find out about this at the fort.

I also hope there won’t be too many more “pickups” like this; gets a bit tiresome after awhile. “Oh look, someone is being annoyed; let’s help and get another NPC into the party”.

So anyway, her name is Neeshka and she’s a rogue. We don’t really need a rogue, but I just couldn’t let her go off alone in such a dangerous place. Good-hearted, that’s me ;). (might drop her off if/when we get to Neverwinter)

And speaking of the fort, that’s coming up next. Let’s hope they don’t attack Neeshka on sight.