On the way to stop the smugglers, I decided to see what Qara could do, so we went to the Flagon to pick her up.

I walked into a cutscene where Qara was having a round of insults with Khelgar and Neeshka. It was absolutely hysterical. She’s pretty good with the quips, is Qara.

Anyway, I dropped the druid and took Qara. Of course, as soon as we left the tavern, we ran into a mage and some of his students. For whatever reason, they wanted her dead. I’m beginning to wonder about some of these NPCs…

Anyway, we took them down, then went on to a cheery place called the Back Alley. Full of all sorts of unpleasant characters.

We made it past the bribed city watch and went in. After a fight or two, we came on a bunch of thugs being protected by more traitor watchmen. In mulling over what to do, Qara had the idea of setting a fire to draw the watchmen off so we could handle the thugs alone.

(I’ll have to keep an eye on her; she’s a born arsonist if anyone ever was).

That sounded like a good idea, and it was: worked like a charm. The watch went off to fight the fire, and we took down the thugs. However, a short time later, the watch returned, so we had to fight them, as well. But not too tough, since we weren’t facing both groups at once.

We went on and found the wagonload of weapons. Fortunately, only a few thugs had to be dispatched, and that quest was finished.

Of course, there was more work waiting when we returned. Now we had to raid a warehouse and look for documents.

This one turned out to be very nasty indeed. The thugs inside had a lot of hitpoints, and they were getting better rolls than we were. I became increasingly frustrated watching my team miss, especially Mokor, who was just going whiff-whiff-whiff much of the time.

I finally couldn’t stand it any longer, and for the first time, turned on god mode. Up to now, the fights, while hard (some of them, anyway) had still been manageable. But all those low rolls…well, no. I’m not sitting there for that.

Oddly enough, for some reason, the whole party was invulnerable. I wasn’t expecting that. However, it was nice to have a pleasant surprise for a change. Even so, it took quite awhile to clean out the place (whiff!).

After we grabbed the documents (which I wasn’t able to read), Neeshka did a little tour of the place on her own and brought me back a greatsword+2. I think she picked up more than that, but I failed the Diplomacy roll (of course), so whatever else she snagged, I couldn’t say.

Y’know, we’re doing an awful lot of work just to get into Blacklake. The way things are going, it wouldn’t surprise me if we don’t achieve entry until the end of the chapter.