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Dragon Dominant Walkthrough Document

Author: 
Gwindor of Nargothrond

Dragon Dominant Walkthrough
A Neverwinter Nights Module
Gwindor of Nargothrond

 

Warning/Disclaimer: This document is "spoiler central"! Maybe it's useful for second timers or people who are stuck, but it destroys all sense of surprise. Part of the pleasure of playing this module is the occasional "brown trousers" moment (the pleasure comes when you survive it, rather to your astonishment). You don't need this walkthrough. All you need to know you can discover while playing the module. With that said, however, here is the document you should never need: the Dragon Dominant walkthrough.

Disclaimer: I have not made this, all credit goes to Gwindor of Nargothrond. I'm just making sure there is an active mirror of it.

Here is a map of the how the exterior areas connect to each other:


Contents:

  1. Introduction: Milieu
  2. Beginning through Damore
  3. Orc Tower, River City
  4. Gem of Ikarion Quests:
  5. Galados and Orchid quests and other side quests
  6. Dragonslayer / Battle of the Gate
  7. Kill Riptooth
  8. Kill Clawgrip / Wing
  9. Fortress of Barados Nemlight - Goblin Cave
  10. Inside the Fortress
  11. Pits to End
  12. Guidelet to Romance
  13. Guidelet to Henchmen
  14. Miscellaneous tips

SECTION 1. Introduction: Milieu

Dragon Dominant came from a pencil-and-paper campaign at a time when I had never even heard of "Faerun" or the "Sword Coast," so I called my continent the "Land Between." It could exist in the Forgotten Realms universe, just pretty far away from the landmarks that feature in most NWN modules.

The story is that, 400 years ago, an army of orcs and lizardfolk, led by blue dragons, invaded from the southern desert area and took over. They enslaved everybody. Their leader is named Barados Nemlight. The PC grew up in slavery in Wing Village, but plans to escape. The PC will join, at least temporarily, a small band of rebel bandits that operates in the area. When the game starts, you will be inside a slave hut, speaking with a father-figure named Samin Wise. You never met your parents.

SECTION 2. Beginning through Damore

 

  • Speak with "Samin Wise" to get the initial journal entry. If you have more than 10,000 gp worth of equipment, or are greater than 3rd level, you will be whisked off to an astral pocket where "Gwindor" will demand that you drop your magic stuff and/or level down to 3rd. Otherwise, click through the initial plot set up. He will give you a Rod of Resurrection for bringing dead henchmen back to life. If you are 1st level he will give you 650 experience points to boost you along a bit.
  • Very near Master Wise there is a crate. Take the stuff you want.
  • Exit to Wing Village. The map will have markers describing some of your childhood memories. There is a hostile badger up by the cemetery, and you can have a tiny conversation with "Farence" on the eastern edge if you want to. The main goal is to go west until you spot Persimmon, the bandit. She is close to the "west field" map pin. She will tell you to be quiet and follow her, and you will be whisked away to -
  • A bit of forest West of Wing. Persimmon tells you to look for a "secret way 5 paces due east of a rock that appears out of place." This means, go roughly straight ahead and you will find a glowing spot on the ground. Clicking on that twice will get you to the next level. But before you go there you will probably have to fight a trio of beetles and one or two wild cats. It's possible to trigger both encounters at once and then your 1st level character will be in deep doo doo. It's also possible to trigger neither encounter. Anyway, this is probably the worst encounter your PC will experience while still 1st level.
  • The "secret way" leads to a lava tube tunnel. Goblins have found it and you will have to kill a couple of them. Persimmon says "What's that smell?" near the beginning and "Oh, Goblins" at the end of the tunnel.
  • The tunnel ends in a ladder to "Camp Twilight." There is nothing immediately dangerous here, so explore at your leisure. The leader of the bandits, Damore, is here. He will gruffly welcome you, but your initial conversation will be interrupted by the arrival of 4 orcs. If you stay fairly close to Damore, his arrows will help greatly in killing them (but no XP for you if he does all the slaying ...). Speak with Damore again after orcs are dead. He'll tell you that you have two henchman options, Persimmon or a cleric named Mossthistle who is standing nearby. Mossthistle does not have a custom voice, sorry. If you are male and want to romance Persimmon, keep her as henchman. There is a chest with some items you might need, particularly a short bow and some arrows.
  • Damore is your plot-giver for two quests: (1) Kobold mine raid and (2) Tower of the Dead raid. He promises to let you go to River City (where there are merchants, etc.) after these quests.
  • Kobold Mine: In the Camp Twilight area, hug the west wall and go south. There is a transition that leads to the Kobold Mine Exterior area. Go there. To the right (North) is a column hiding a ring of protection +1. Keep going that way to find 2 "Rune Stones". These can heal your wounds, and figuring out how to use them will get you 200 XP, which will often be enough to get you to 2nd level. If you have animal empathy, you can ask for hints from the cat that is wandering in the area, but the answer is "put one hand on each stone and meditate" and you will be healed. The entrance to the Kobold Mine is guarded by a single Kobold. Slay him and enter the mine itself.
  • Kobold Mine level 1: There are some rooms with Kobolds and some crates with gems inside (you know what to do). There is a rat and a bat you could talk to if you have animal empathy. The disaster happens when you get into the SW room: a trigger will make text float up that says a blue dragon has blocked your exit. The dragon is really there, and I wouldn't try getting past him if I were you. The only alternative is a door marked with a "keep out, stupid" sign. Persimmon will quietly freak out a little bit about the dragon. Bash/pick the door to proceed deeper.
  • Kobold Mine level 2: This area is supposed to be dwarven in make, but is now ruined. "Many" years ago, Earth elementals invaded all dwarf underground areas and killed all the dwarfs. In this area are snakes, slimes, beetles, and rats. You'll find a well with plate mail in it. A chest has "lesser restore" and "antidote" in case you are bitten by rats & diseased. In a large room at the far end of the area is an earth elemental. Its perception range is limited, so you will see it before it sees you.
    The key thing in Kobold Mine Level 2 is to find the secret doors. There are 3, in the SE sector of the area. Two lead to the same secret room, (you only need to find one) and one leads to an escape tunnel out of there. The secret room is important for the plot. In there are the remains of a dwarven mage who has reforged a magical artifact known as the "Ring of Fire." The Ring of Fire is in a chest, along with the dwarf's diary. In a nearby chest are a couple of magical garments and treasure. Once you have the Ring of Fire, you can proceed out the escape tunnel without getting any "turn back and explore some more" messages.
  • Tower of the Dead: (go back to Camp Twilight, then across to the SE wall, and into the area transition.) The exterior area is desert, and Mossthistle/Persimmon will say a little something about the "lesser erg". The only monsters wandering around are a couple of fire beetles, but there are some clickable rocks around. Some will contain low-grade gems, but some will have snakes hiding underneath. You will soon find the picket-fence and gate, inside which is the Tower of the Dead itself. There are two skeletons outside, to either side of the tower.
  • Tower of the Dead Level 1: Monsters: zombies (what? zombies?), skeletons, ghasts, and rats. The goal here is to get deeper. The way down is over a bridge guarded by a skeleton. The bars will have to be bashed or lockpicked.
  • Tower of the Dead Level 2: Zombies, skeletons, rats, and a necromancer. A rat waddling around will tell you that there are 3 secret doors. After the main room on this level are three smaller rooms. Each smaller room has a secret door on the far (north) wall. Behind door #1 is the necromancer, "Nahdo Necrom". I find him (and his zombie-warrior guard) tough to kill, but he is equipped with good magical items. Behind door #2 are just a few zombies. Behind door #3 is a secret level (secret in that it was unknown to the necromancer).
  • Tower of the Dead Secret Level: Vermin live here: rats, beetles, stirges. At the end you will find a giant spider. The story here is that an adventurer came in here looking for treasure some long time ago. The spider killed him. You will find his body, with magical armor, shield, and sword. The shield and sword are useful against dragons (but probably cannot be identified at this point in the game - you'll need a merchant). Next to the dead body of the adventurer is a pile of rocks that you can use as a shortcut out if you like.
  • Travel back to Damore in Camp Twilight and inform him of your success. He will say congratulations and head due north to find River City. There are two caveats. (1) There is an orc-infested guard tower in the way, and (2) you can't take your henchman. So say goodbye to your henchman. (If have given magical items to your henchman for them to carry, recover them before this conversation...)

SECTION 3. Orc Tower, River City

 

  • Orc Tower Region: Straight north out of Twilight you will find Dool and Nikel. They are bandits of Damore. If you speak nicely to them, they will lead you to the orc tower and help you fight the orcs there, but after that they will stay in the area to keep watch and will not go further.
    The orc tower itself has maybe a dozen orcs outside and a similar number inside (depends on your level). There is no treasure outside, but there is a magic longbow, among some other items, in a chest on the inside. I usually wait to go inside until after I have henchmen.
    There are 3 exits from the Orc Tower region. Most obscure is southwest exit that goes to the Kobold Mine exterior. You can go this way some time later and kill the dragon there if you are bored. You can also visit the rune stones for free healing. Straight north is where you ought to be heading: River City. West of the orc tower is an exit to the Crossroads. You can go this way first if you want to, but if you go too far, you will get floaty-text hints that you really ought to go to River City. Let's go there now: straight north to River City.
  • River City Gate: North from the Orc Watchtower is the River City Gate area. You cannot but help run into Lornadoon Underhill, a very helpful young halfling who can answer quite a lot of questions about the area. However, when you are finished talking with her, she disappears. You are chagrined to discover that she has stolen the "Gem of Fire" as well. [In case you are tempted to drop the ring before you speak with her and pick it up after to avoid it being stolen, forget it. You can do that, but the plot will proceed as if she had stolen it, so it will not change anything.] Not far away is the gate itself, locked up and guarded by a fairly tough halfling. Unless you're really rude to him, he will unlock the gate and let you in. Proceed to River City itself.
  • River City: Merchants: There are three (there are more in Gold Castle). The blacksmith and the mercantile are located on either side of the street not far from the gate. And there is a clerical merchant inside the Temple of St. Cuthbert down the right hallway. Their conversation is minimal.
  • River City: People to talk to: (1) The ship captain's wife, left of the gate. She'll tell you more of the situation and you can shift your alignment good by giving her gold for charity. (2) The weavers guild has relocated to the Thieves guild building. They're vaguely by the temple. (3) The mayor's house is just to the left as you come in. He can tell you some background information and also start a quest to find traitor in River City (Robo Mechna). (4) The gatekeeper at the door to Gold Castle. You should speak with him every time you pass. He will have a different one-liner each time; various puns on "angles". (5) Parador is in a house just to the right as you come into the city. He builds seige engines.
  • Henchman 1: Fairdale is in the Wizard Tower (she's a wizard), but she will not come with you at first. You will have to speak with her master, Logar, who will send you to assassinate "Alaskin." Alaskin lives in the EXTREME NW corner of River City. When you get there, he tells you that it's Logar that's a skunk, not him. You can verify that Alaskin's a nice guy by talking with his cat (if you have animal empathy). Then you hike on back to the wizard tower and confront Logar. (Don't just threaten him - you'll have to challenge his authority to get him to step down.) After all of this, Fairdale will be available as a henchman.
  • Henchman 2: Bellicose is in the Temple. He's a cleric. He's easy to hire. If you like to hurl insults and be insulted, he's a good choice. [If you want to die spectacularly, speak to him a second time and goad him into attacking. The "effigies of St. Cuthbert" will come to life and attack you.]
  • Henchmen 3,4,5,6,and 7 are found at the Inn - the Pitted Cherry, just across the River. Lornadoon the rogue will be there. She'll be apologetic and give you the stolen gem back if you speak to her. She can be a henchman, as can Avai (bard) and Cholly (fighter). Galados (elf ranger) has a quest to find Tamalah, his mother. Orchid (druid) has a quest to find the druids of Coldhenge. You are only allowed 2 henchmen at this point in the game, but it pays in experience points to help these two on their quests (and then if you don't want to keep them you don't have to).
  • Also at the Inn are Barrelthorpe the Innkeeper (just there for background info) and a "shady character" who can start the Robo Mechna "traitor" quest as well.
  • Eridae Manor is next to the Inn. Inside, Lady Eridae will ask you to find whatever has been eating her plants, and there is a very standard and unimaginative quest through her house and into the sewers to kill a sea hag and a bunch of troglodytes. Return to Lady Eridae for a 600 gp reward.
  • Robo Mechna's house is nearby as well. Robo is evil. You'll have to pretend to be evil to get anywhere with him, and he will send you on a quest to get a magic ring from Sharra (a Rakshasa inside Gold Castle). You can get this ring from Sharra bloodlessly, but only on the second conversation. If you are a rogue you can pickpocket the ring, but she's willing to let you have it if you tell her the whole story truthfully. The ring is nearly powerless and doesn't feature in the plot or anything. After you have the ring, you can go back to Robo. Keep up the pretense of evil a little bit longer and he will hand you a "royal pass" to see Barados Nemlight, thus proving his traitorous intentions. At this point, there will be a battle. Robo is medium-tough, so it would be good to start this battle with a henchman or two.
  • Gold Castle 1: Straight ahead is Saraband the great Gold Wyrm. She seems to recognize potential in you. If you have recovered the Fire Gem from Lornadoon she will tell you its history and set you to recover the remaining three "Gems of Ikarion." (If you haven't, she'll tell you to go get it.) She will also let you check out the armor chest, clothing chest, and shield chest in the SE corner of the castle. If you find something there that looks good, wear it! The "clothier" will sell you dyes of all types if you would like to alter the color scheme. Once you have an outfit, return to Saraband and she will grant 4 enchantments. If you need advice on what enchantments to add, Saraband can give class-sensitive advice. That's all the PLOT in gold castle for now. Tip: wear the Gem of Fire in a ring slot. Use its "unique power self only" feature to trigger an English-language list of where the gems are located. If you do this in Gold Castle three messages will float above the PC's head, saying, "The Gem of ___ is far away." But later it might say "within a mile" or "very close".
  • Gold Castle 2: Merchants & Enchanters. Sharra the Rakshasa is in the SW, in a tucked-away little room. She sells magical supplies, including every scroll known to the game engine. Her prices are a bit steep. Doli Waters sells potions - she is a dwarf close to the front door. Maela Darkforge is a drider, and will buy and sell weapons. All of her weapons are plus-two, so they are better than what you can get in town. "Zee" is a gnome that will enchant a shield up to plus-three for gold. You probably can't afford Zee yet, but he's there if you need him later. Finally, there is the "transfer-o-lator" that will transfer the magical properties of one garment to another, for gold, should you ever wish to do that. It works perfectly well, but if you don't follow the instructions it will self-destruct.
  • Gold Castle 3: Tips. Saraband keeps her treasure trove across from the transfer-o-lator. Trying to steal it is pretty certain suicide. There is a teleportal to Coldhenge just off the main room, but it's inactive at this point in the game. It becomes active after the Battle of the Gate. There is a world map just off the main room.

SECTION 4. Gem of Ikarion Quests

Once Saraband Goldwyrm has enchanted your armor you are ready to start on the main initial quests. They all start from the crossroads area, which is south of River City, entrance straight W of the Orc Tower. (Clean out the orc tower, if you didn't do so already.) It's sort of nice to find Tamalah and Elf Haven first (W exit from the crossroads), but not crucial.

SUBSECTION 4.a. Gem of Amber

The Gem of Amber is eventually found by going Crossroads --> Valley --> Spider hole level 1 --> Spider hole level 2. The valley and spider hole are full of spiders. There is a queen spider in level 1, and if you kill her you can fulfill a quest given to you by Tamalah. Spider Hole Level 2 is really the lost laboratory of legendary wizard To-Yonaki. There are 3-4 stone golems guarding the place. The main room is laced with traps, but the Gem of Amber can be found in a stone column at the far end. The other columns contain goodies as well. Maybe even more important are 4 sarcophagi in the second-biggest room. Two of them contain the gooey remains of To-Yonaki himself and a famous paladin name Telemachus (named ripped from The Odyssey, sorry Homer!). Telemachus's gear is in the nearby chest. The other two contain rival magic users Gwireth (good) and Sagramor (evil), that emerge from suspended animation when you flip the levers on the sarcophagi. Talk to both of them. Gwireth is important for the plot.

SUBSECTION 4.b. Gem of Fog

The Gem of Fog is eventually found in Crossroads --> Valley --> Mountainside --> Dwarf Delvings. But first, when you get to the Mountainside area, you may find and speak with Narranok, who lives inside a tree shack in the SW section of the area. He should be talked to, even though he turns into a demon later. Go up the alley to the NW and go in the Dwarf Delvings. There are hostile earth elementals scattered throughout. The ones near the door to the next level (middle of W edge) are very tough - be careful with that battle. Go straight ahead when you come in and (once you kill an elemental or two) you can discover a secret door to the north. This room contains a jar with a magic ring in it. It's a ring of elemental resistance - keep it! Back outside this secret room and to the W there is another secret door. This one is a shortcut through a wall. Handy, but nonessential. Once you win your way to Level 2 there are yet more elementals to subdue, but eventually you will find three very large ones that wish to speak to you. They are called "Earthspeaker". Speak to them to discover that they desire the "Binder of Time" to save their race from barbarism. This artifact is on Narranok, who is really a demon. You'll have to kill Narranok, recover the Binder of Time, and then talk to Earthspeaker again. He'll be happy to let you have the treasure. It gains you experience points if you mention that it was a Demon, not a Dwarf, who stole the Binder of Time. [A few users find that the Binder of Time does not exist on the dead body of the Narranok-Fiend. I have no idea why, as it is just sitting there in his inventory. If this happens to you, never fear, you can still gain access to the treasure in your conversation with Earthspeaker as long as the fiend is dead.]

SUBSECTION 4.c. Gem of Rain

The Gem of Rain is found (for the first time) in Crossroads --> Elf Haven --> Alpine Wilderness --> Ice cave. (See remarks below about finding the lost elves in the Alpine wilderness.) Once you are in the Alp. Wild., proceed SW to the entrance to a cave. There are zombies in the cave. If you open the sarcophagi, things like ghouls and mummies will spawn. There is a flaming statue in the main central room. It has a LOT of hit points, but if you bash it to smithereens, it will stop the mummies and gouls from spawning. This may be a bad thing, as you'll get more hit points by killing the monsters... When you go to the SW corner, you will find a lich. Nastily, instead of fighting you, he paralyzes you in cutscene mode, and teleports the Gem of Rain to some other secret location. Then he disappears.

People who can give you a clue as to where he has gone are (1) the blind woman, (2) Tamalah, and (3) a sentinel in the SW of Elf Haven. If you ask the sentinel what she is guarding (and don't be rude) she will make an invisible door appear. The lich lies beyond it, in a crypt. There are 4 rooms in the crypt. The first is empty. The second is full of undead, but you'll have to pass a door that is both locked and trapped. There is a secret door on the south wall of room 2 that will lead to room 3. Room 3 has no enemies, but has 3 nasty traps plus a trapped door to the 4th room. In the 4th room is the lich, a chest with the Gem of Rain, and the lich's phylactery, which you should bash or otherwise destroy.

SECTION 5. Galados and Orchid quests and other side quests

 

  • Side quest: Avenge Aura's husband. Aura stands in the SE corner of Crossroads. Orcs infest the regions past the exit where she is standing, and she would like their leader killed. Hey, go for it! The outdoor area is called "Countryside" and then there is a cave with two entrances on the West edge. Orcs everywhere. Inside the cave there are orcs, a fairly tough ogre, some lizardmen, some wargs. It's a bloodbath. To get to the chief you will have to put "red tinder" and "blue tinder" into the brazier. This will open the door to the Chief's room. That's a pretty tough battle, there: use all your best tricks for that one. There is also a "birthing room" where, besides killing the guards, the thing to do is bash the cauldron where the evil orc swill is cooked.
  • Side quest: Find the lost elves: Tamalah, in Elf Haven (W exit from Crossroads) urgently requires your help in finding a party of elves lost in the snowy reaches of the Spine. The entrance is to the NW. The Alpine Wilderness has polar bears and wolves that breathe frost. I find these guys tough. The lost party of elves is north of the middle of the area, over a hill so you can't see them until you climb the hill. (Further toward the SW is the entrance to the Ice Cave where the Gem of Rain is to be found.)
  • Side quest: There is a lost elf in the "Valley" area, whom you can direct to Elf Haven if you have been there yourself.
  • Side quest: The blind woman (NW crook in Crossroads area) really wants to be talked to several times. Each time, she will ask you a different riddle. If you answer correctly, you get XP. If you ask for a gem instead of gold, she will give a ring that will, when activated, teleport you to the crossroads area.
  • Galados (Henchman at Pitted Cherry) can find his mother, Tamalah, in the Elf Haven (W from Crossroads).
  • Orchid (Henchman at Pitted Cherry) needs to find Coldhenge. This can be gotten to two ways. Crossroads --> Countryside south to --> Coldhenge, or Crossroads --> Valley, about in the middle, south to --> Mountainside, E to --> Coldhenge. Coldhenge is a lonely place on the surface. Find the Bear cave in the South part of the area. The Great Bear will talk with you. If Orchid is with you, he will allow all you further into his cave to descend in the "Coldhenge Cellar" area where a concentration of druids can be found. Talking with "Father Bendruin" will cause Orchid to leave to undergo ritual cleansing. This would be a good time to leave if you don't want Orchid as henchman, but if you do want her you can get her back (and she comes back with better armor).
  • Side quest: "vermin tidy". If you go west from River City Gates area you will find an open countryside. There has recently been trouble and you will find the body of a hired hand. If you have Lornadoon with you, she will recognise him as someone that worked for her parents, who live nearby. There are orcs and ogres wandering in the area. Lornadoon's parents are in the north-central part of the area. You can help them fight some threatening orcs, and then talk with them. They will thank you and then ask you to kill some beetles that are in a nearby cellar. The entrance is just to the east, clearly labeled. Inside, you will find some fairly ferocious beetles and spiders but also undead. There is some really good treasure here, but it is always trapped, and some of the traps are quite deadly. At the end, there is a secret door that will save you some walking if you step through it. Talk to Lornadoon's parents one more time to get full credit for the quest.

SECTION 6. Dragonslayer / Battle of the Gate

After you have the Gems of Ikarion, you should visit Saraband in Gold Castle in River City. She will congratulate you and, with the help of Maela Darkforge the drider weaponsmith, forge a magical weapon for you called the Avenger of Ikarion. You will get several choices for the type of weapon. (Tip: if you're a wizard/sorcerer, choose the staff - it has bonus spell slots.) Saraband will suggest that your next job is to slay a dragon that has choked off boat traffic to River City.

Go to River City Gate and turn left and go to the LizardFolk Garrison area. There are lizardfolk there, and you will find the dragon patrolling in the far half of the area. The dragon's treasure is guarded by a golem. It comes in three chests, all trapped. There is also a ship captain in a cage. If you bash the cage for him and talk with him you will get experience points and if you are free with your gold you get an alignment shift toward good.

Killing the dragon sets quite a few game variables. Townfolk will treat you with greater respect. New conversation options will appear in henchmen dialogs. However, word of this setback quickly reaches the ears of Barados Nemlight and his minions, and he is not slow in taking action.

After killing your first dragon, work your way back to Saraband in Gold Castle. (Rest before talking with her!) There, you will converse with her and get two more enchantments on your armor (these are your last). You will then discuss the city defenses with Gwireth and Parador the seige engineer. The conversation ends with you and Gwireth teleporting out to the gate.

You arrive at the gate just as dragons and lizardfolk are attacking in force. (Brown trousers moment: there are three dragons!) But don't panic. The enchanted ballistas help tremendously in defeating the dragons, and I doubt you will die. After the battle, speak with Gwireth.

During your Gwireth conversation, Saraband will arrive, and then a blue dragon fugitive named Dibold will enter the conversation. There are several paths through the conversation but most endings are the same: Dibold leaves and Saraband seems to get cold feet about leading an invasion force south. As the conversation winds down, Gwireth offers to give you teleportation amulets, then disappears.

Heal your wounds, visit the merchants, and then go talk with Gwireth in Gold Castle. He will give you these amulets, and Saraband will give you the cold shoulder. Keep the "master" amulet, and give the others (via conversation) to Gwireth, Tamalah, and the Great Bear [Neither Father Bendruin nor Saraband will accept one]. When you are in Barados's throne room, activate the master amulet and these three will appear to fight beside you.

At this time the teleport between Coldhenge and Gold Castle will be activated.

SECTION 7. Kill Riptooth

There is a small preference to go after Riptooth before Clawgrip: you'll find Persimmon locked up in his dungeon, and she can join as a henchman.
For both, however, you'll need to get to the village of Gripnak, which is a SE exit from the Coldhenge area.

  • Gripnak Village Proper: there are lots of orcs and lizards running around. There is one dragon near the middle of the area, and there is large golem in the SW corner. You'll be OK unless you overextend and get yourself surrounded, but it's a big battle.
  • Gripnak 2: on the W side of the area (2/3 of the way to the north edge) is a boulder that attracts your attention. There is a secret door into the wall. When you go in, there is an old dwarf that you can talk to. If you are nice to him he will give you a magic hammer good against golems (and some experience points).
  • Gripnak 3: a little north of center is the stronghold of "Thassus, Chief of War." He's a lizard. If you go in there, you'll find an area fairly thick with battles. There are lizard warriors, shamans, and "master shamans," along with gnome-like "servants of Riptooth." So spells fly frequently, and you might be hit by several fireballs at once. There is a battle in the first room you enter. There is a battle in the hallway. Turn left. In the far room is a bunch of slaves. If you go in, your journal will start a quest to free groups of slaves. In the nearer room there is a battle (you can skip it). Going down the hallway, there is another room with a battle waiting (you can skip it). Actually, I'll quit saying "you can skip it" because you can skip all of this. It'll just cost you missed experience points and treasure. The doors at the end of the hall are trapped. They lead to a second hall. The first door is some lizard archers. The second, large door is where Thassus himself lurks. There is a trap a few steps inside that room. Thassus is pretty tough, and there are master shamans and servants in there as well. Back to the hallway, there are two more doors. One is visible, one is secret. They both hide a few wizards with golem or magical beast helpers.
  • Gripnak 4: There is a broken stone sign at the crossroads SE of area center that contains the old name of this village: Kanberg. You'll get a few experience points by putting it together. You can't go see Barados Nemlight (to the south) yet.
  • Gripnak 5: On the E side of the area is a pile of disturbed earth. It leads to a "spy cave" where goblins are spying on the orcs, dragons, and lizards. It's helpful to be nice to the goblins.
  • Gripnak 6: By the mass grave E of area center there is a tomb you can enter. Inside, there are noxious vapors that do damage to your lungs, but you can last long enough to talk with a spirit in there who will direct you to a sarcophagus on the E side of the room that has a "dragon shield" in it.
  • Gripnak 7: Gwireth the Grand Wizard's familar, Emerald the pixie, is waiting for you in the NE corner of the area. She will tell you (via cutscene) that a shape-changer had impersonated Dibold the dragon, and the shape-changer had charmed Saraband so that she wouldn't attack or invade blue dragon territory. After she shares this information, she will make a portal back to Gold Castle and disappear. You can use this portal to go back and forth between Gold Castle and Gripnak NE.
  • Riptooth's Demesne Level 1. The entrance is located in the SW corner of the Gripnak area, guarded by a golem. Inside are more golems and some "servants of Riptooth". The door to the next level is easy to find straight across from the entrance. There is a secret hallway along the north side of the area. There are two secret entrances, one along the north edge, and one north of the deeper-level exit. Their locations are marked by red floor arrows. At the E end of the hallway are chests with treasure. They are trapped. There is another secret door, also marked by red floor arrows, in the SW part of the area. That door leads to a square room with a chest and another secret door. If you open the chest, the room will flood, and you will start taking damage. Do not panic. Loot the chest anyway before you leave [it contains ranger armor and Persimmon's sword (and you are about to find Persimmon)]. The auxilliary secret door leads to some snakes and another chest with treasure.
  • Riptooth's Demesne Level 2. There are a lot of golems around the edges of the area, but Riptooth and two other dragons occupy the center room. The center room can be approached by two trapped large doors. Riptooth's treasure is in the NW corner of his room. It is heavily trapped.
  • Riptooth's Demesne Level 3. "Servants of Riptooth" and a golem guard this small torture-chamber area. Most of the treasure here is scrolls useful for magic-users and those with the "use magic device" skill. There are two doors off the main room. The first holds Persimmon, who will join you as henchman unless you have turned evil. Going in this room also counts as one point towards the "free the slaves" journal entry. The second door holds some plot-movers. There is a cage that holds "Sagramor Darkmaster" (but he's really a shape-changer). The real Sagramor, whom you rescued along with Gwireth, has been killed and his body lies in the next room. A lever that you practically trip on when you come in will free the fake Sagramor and you can converse with him. Alternatively, you can leave him in the cage and explore the back room, finding Sagramor's body. Then you can release the fake Sagramor and demand an accounting. You get more XP via the latter path, but you do not get the pleasure of killing the fake Sagramor. He will teleport away. Also in the room is another cage holding a goblin. There is a lever behind a rock to dissolve the cage wall. The goblin is nice and will confirm that the fake Sagramor is indeed fake. If you are nice to him, he will show up later to help guide you toward Barados Nemlight.
  • Riptooth's Demesne outbound: There's a dragon sneak attack when you exit from Riptooth's demesne to Gripnak, so don't go outside without resting first.

SECTION 8. Kill Clawgrip / Wing

See remarks in the previous section about the village of Gripnak. Clawgrip's fortress is the NE exit from Gripnak.

  • Clawgrip's fortress: You get to storm a castle here! There are a couple of dragons, a golem, and a whole bevy of orc and lizard cannon-fodder to hew your way through. It's why you became a high-level character, right? Have a ball. The door to "Clawgrip's Sanctum" where you can find Clawgrip is located near area center.
  • Clawgrip's fortress 2: One building, a bit West of area-center, has an active door. You can go in to find two rooms. One has more enemies, but the other holds slaves that you can free.
  • Clawgrip's sanctum: The first room holds a battery of lizards and golems. The second room, at first, looks like a bare tunnel with a chest sitting alone at the end. It feels like a trap, and it is. When you touch the chest, the barriers disappear and you are set upon by Clawgrip himself and two other dragons. After defeating the monsters, there is a treasure room with some good stuff, mostly weapons. The door to it is locked and trapped.
  • Wing village: to the north of the Clawgrip Fortress area, there is an exit to Wing Village, your home town. There's an orc ambush when you enter, but you're more than capable of dealing with that rabble! Continue north to the village itself and you will discover that Damore and his bandits have mostly recaptured the village already. Get the following quest from Damore: go inside the building everybody's standing near and kill the orcs inside. One of them is Gargnash the Slavemaster, who figures in several stories that you tell to your henchmen. Outside, talk with Damore to complete this questlet.

SECTION 9. Fortress of Barados Nemlight - Goblin Cave

After killing both Clawgrip and Riptooth you are ready to go after Barados Nemlight. Proceed to the south end of the Gripnak Village area and go south.

  • Fortress of Barados Nemlight (exterior): You will encounter a pretty young lady and her horse. Either by talking to her or by speaking to the horse you MAY become suspicious that all is not as it appears. In any case, it is an ambush. The pretty lady is a shape-shifter, who next shifts into a rather tough half-orc. At the same time, hidden lizardmen appear to shower you with arrows. When you kill the half-orc, the shape-shifter shifts into its natural demonic form and you have to kill him all over again. After the battle, you investigate the gates to the rocky Fortress itself. When you approach them, rocks fall on you, causing damage. If you stay too long, they will kill you. The Fortress door is unbreakable. (You can't get into the building called Grinskull. It's just a torture chamber anyway, and you've seen enough of those already.) The only thing to do is to go West out of the area to:
  • Goblin Valley: Shortly after entering there is one more group of orcs and lizards to subdue. A journal left on the ground, plus some "official orders" indicate that the orcs have been posted here to watch for goblins, but that "there is nothing in the cave behind the waterfall." You can find the waterfall, with its cave, at the far end of the valley. If you were nice to him back in Riptooth Demesne Level 3, the goblin prisoner will be there to tell you about the secret doors within the cave, and that the goblin chief is in a bad mood for some reason.
  • Goblin cave: The cave you see upon entering is bare, but there is a secret door to the NW. This leads to a hallway. The hallway is also bare, but right around the middle of it there is another secret door with a bit higher DC. This one leads to where the goblins are. Chief Gubnak will tell you that he has been having problems with Xorn that have taken over a deeper level, but if you help him with the Xorn, he will help you get into the basement of Barados Nemlight's fortress. You had better do it: it's the only way in. The entrance is a well to the west and a little south.
  • Xorn infested cave: There are also slimes down there. If you turn right, after the xorn are defeated there are some goblin remains with a bit of magic equipment to loot. Going the other way, you'll find more xorn, with an Elder Xorn at the end. Killing the Elder Xorn advances the plot. There is a pile of stones to talk to there that will eliminate back-tracking to the goblin cave.
  • Goblin cave again: Now Gubnak will (1) let you buy potions and sell stuff, or (2) go to the basement of Barados Nemlight's fortress. This is the last time you will have access to merchants, so lighten your load! Gubnak is a bit of a tightwad compared to River City merchants, but he's convenient. [One user had trouble here: After talking with Gubnak and requesting to go to the basement, Gubnak walks away and disappears. You should get teleported to the basement, along with Gubnak, but if you didn't, walk to the end of the SE tunnel and click on the "area of disturbed ground." That should get you into the basement.]

SECTION 10. Inside the Fortress

 

  • Cellar Level: The storeroom into which you are put is a safe but uninteresting room. In the next room you will find a group of Lizardfolk. From that room, left is a corridor with a secret door into a secret room containing some good dragon-specific magic items. And to the right is a central room containing "Servants of Barados Nemlight" - wizard gnomes just like the Servants of Riptooth but tougher. Beware: they are nasty. The first thing they do is turn invisible, then they buff up, then they start hurling fireballs and Evard's Black Tentacles and such. If you are having trouble with them, remember that running away works pretty well in NWN: they can only turn invisible once. From this central room where the Servants were, there are 6 exits. Exit #1, to the NW, just wraps around to another try at the secret room. No monsters. Exit #2, to the NE (north wall) is a hallway leading to some lizardfolk and to some slaves that you can free. It also leads to a room with a book that you can read that gives a hint of the fact that a demon is controlling the operation and a chest with a couple of really good wizard staves. Exit #3, to the NE (E wall) leads to a pretty thick concentration of lizards & magic users. Exit #4, straight E, leads up to the throne level. Exit #5, SE, (east wall), leads to another group of the Servants of Barados Nemlight. Exit #6, SE (S wall), is a bare room.
  • Throne level: You arrive at the east central edge of the area. To the south is a door, behind which is a group of Servants. Skip this if you are sick of them. Further south is a dragon who speaks to you, before going insane or something and attacking. (It's a plot thing: this dragon is almost breaking free of the demon's influence but then succumbs and attacks you.) Treasure: gems. Back to where you came in and then: To the north is a door, behind which is a group of Servants. Again, this one is skippable. Going north up the hallway leads to a door to a big chamber, inside of which is a dragon or two. Treasure: gems. Then the hall goes West. There are a couple of traps. There is a side door with a group of slaves that can be freed. This should complete your free-the-slaves quest if you found all the groups. Finally, there is a door at the end of the hallway. Opening this door triggers a cutscene in which the PC talks with Barados Nemlight but then is dumped via trap-door into "The Pits."

SECTION 11. Pits to End

 

  • Pits: You arrive at the pits injured, so rest up. You will probably converse with a random henchman about how foolish you were to get caught like this. The rest of the pits is a succession of unusual beasties. The Gorgons can turn you or your henchmen to stone, but there is a stone-to-flesh potion on the Vrock at the end of the maze. The blink dog and one of the sphinxes will talk to you about the pits, but the rest of the menagerie of wierdos will try to kill you the moment they see you. Don't kill the blink dog. You'll fight your way through the maze until you come to a locked door. The key is on the Vrock. The Vrock is located in the extreme SW corner, not too far from the door. With key in hand, you can open the locked door, which leads to some unbreakable bars, beyond which Barados Nemlight sits waiting for more conversation. If you attack him he will disappear, so you might as well talk to him. When he's finished gloating over you he will leave. At this point, Emerald the pixie and Earth Speaker will have tunneled in to help you out. Go out past the once-locked door, and bear NW from there to find them. After a short conversation, Earth Speaker will use his/her/its incredible strength to beat the bars to dust. [A few users didn't get Earth Speaker at this point. In that case, go back to the blink dog. The blink dog can give you a bag of grease. Take it, and stand next to the unbreakable bars and activate it. It will slip you through.] Once you are past the bars, you are ready for the last lap.
  • Throne Level: There are couple of hostile, but easy golems when you ascend to the throne level again. You will quickly locate a 4-way intersection. W is the way out (but it's locked right now). N is the way you are coming from. S is toward the library (you may want to speak with the "librarian" there, but it's not crucial.) And E lets you into the Throne Room itself, with Barados Nemlight waiting there to eat you. He's got 4 dragons to help him, and 6 Servants. You've got your henchmen, the Avenger of Ikarion with its magic power, and a "master teleportation amulet" that you can finally use when you are in the throne room. Keep in mind that the Avenger will disappear when all 4 of its charges are used. Before you enter the room, at least one of your henchmen will speak to you and tell how wonderful you are, etc. Then you go in and have a big battle. After that, you should loot Barados and go in his treasure room. The treasure room is bare except for a big Demon. You have a cutscene conversation with the demon who has been controlling everything. He can't control you due to your no-slavery mindset, so he bugs off back to whatever hell he came from. At this point, Saraband has shown up, now free of mind control. Speak with her, and speak to whichever of Gwireth, Tamalah, or Great Bear have survived (if you haven't already). Then the only thing left is to talk with your romance interest if you have one and leave by the front door. As you walk away from the fortress, you enter a cutscene where two elves beg you for assistance in defeating some black dragons. You accept and the game ends. Your character has been saved automatically.
  • Evil endings: At several points in the game it is possible to defect over to the blue dragon side. If you do this, you will end up in a cutscene interview with Barados Nemlight in which your case is briefly discussed, but then he decides to eat you. So he kills you and the game ends.

SECTION 12. Guidelet to Romance

Male characters can woo Persimmon. In either Kobold Mine Level 2 or the two deeper levels of the Tower of the Dead, speak to Persimmon and choose "I just want to talk." Then pick "What do you make of this place?" or "Have you dealt with undead or necromancers before?" These lead to a little nonverbal moment where you get all flushed. Choose it, and the romance is underway (don't choose it and it zaps the whole affair). Then a lot of plot happens. Persimmon stays with Damore and you go off a-questing. Eventually, you find Persimmon again (Riptooth Demesne Level 3), and she has been captured and tortured. If you are rude to her at this point, the romance is off. You have probably killed Riptooth by the time you find her. If you have also killed Clawgrip, you can say "I just want to talk" and then "Persimmon, do you have any feelings for me?" She will stay noncommital, and say that you should finish your quest first. After that, if you choose "I just want to talk" you will be able to "stare rapturously" at Persimmon, who pretends not to notice. Finally, after you kill Barados Nemlight, the "I just want to talk" option will allow you to openly confess your love, which Persimmon returns.

Female characters can make some progress with Galados, but be warned, his heart was captured long ago by the Elf maiden Aiviriel, and while there is doubt about her fate your relationship with Galados will be ambiguous. Romance cannot begin until Galados has been hired as henchman and taken to Elf Haven to meet Tamalah and then going on to rescue the stranded elves and then returning to Tamalah to complete the quest. After all of that, choosing the "I just want to talk" option and then "Why did you come with me instead of staying at Elf Haven with Tamalah?" will lead to an opportunity to start a romance blooming. Later conversations should reveal more about Aiviriel and Galados's past, and your PC will have to grapple with the fact that Galados may be falling in love with the PC, but has already fallen in love with the lost Aiviriel, who isn't around to have a say in the matter.

SECTION 13. Guidelet to Henchmen

Initial Henchmen:

  • Persimmon. Human ranger. Meets you west of Wing Village. A bit haunted and reserved. During the Gem of Ikarion quests, Persimmon is captured and tortured. You eventually find her in Riptooth's basement.
  • Mossthistle. Half-orc cleric. Is found in camp Twilight with Damore. Does not have a custom voice set.

River City Henchmen:

  • Avai de Strobel. Half-elf Bard. Found in the Pitted Cherry Inn. Torn between realism and romanticism.
  • Bellicose. Dwarf Cleric. Found in the Temple of St. Cuthbert. Irritable, insulting, low self-esteem.
  • Cholly Grindstone. Dwarf fighter. Found in the Pitted Cherry Inn. Overoptimistic, talkative.
  • Fairdale. Human wizard. Found in the Wizard Tower. Analytical, introspective. You must go on a little quest within the city before she will come with you.
  • Galados. Elf fighter. Found in the Pitted Cherry Inn. Noble, suffers much angst. He has a quest to find "Elf Haven" and his long-lost mother, Tamalah.
  • Lornadoon Underhill. Halfling rogue. Accosts you when you first arrive at River City, but then goes to the Pitted Cherry. Clever and brash.
  • Orchid. Human druid. Found in the Pitted Cherry Inn. True as they come, but doesn't fit into society very well. She has a quest to reach "Coldhenge" to advance her druid training.

Rescued henchman:

  • Persimmon again, Riptooth's Demesne Level 3.

SECTION 14. Miscellaneous Tips

 

  • Sharra, in Gold Castle, can sell you an additional "rod of resurrection."
  • Unless they are attacking you, be as nice as possible to goblins and earth elementals.
  • If the Gorgons in the Pits bug you, there is a path around them, to the left.
  • When you get to River City for the first time, you can probably raise 10,000 gold pieces one way or another. You can then visit Saraband, and the clothing chests. Then you can use the Transfer-o-lator to transfer the magical attributes from whatever you are wearing to the good-looking outfit from the clothing chests. There is no cash-flow problem in this game, so you should be safe. Then Saraband will add magic to an already-magical garment. Et Voila! A semi-cheat!
  • Rogues can pickpocket most folks in River City.
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