Baldur's Gate: Tales of the Sword Coast

Chapter One: Candlekeep

Nestled atop the cliffs that rise from the Sword Coast, the citadel of Candlekeep houses the finest and most comprehensive collection of writings on the face of Faerun. It is an imposing fortress, kept in strict isolation from the intrigues that occasionally plague the rest of the Forgotten Realms. It is secluded, highly regimented, and it is home.

Within these hallowed halls of knowledge your story begins. You have spent most of your 20 years of life within this keep’s austere walls, under the tutelage of the sage Gorion. Acting as your father, he has raised you on a thousand tales of heroes and monsters, lovers and infidels, battles and tragedies. However, one story was always left untold: your own. You have been told that you are an orphan, but your past is largely unknown.

Lately, Gorion has been growing distant from you, as if some grave matter weighs heavily on his heart. You have asked about his concerns as gently as possible, but your queries have been in vain. Your sole comfort is the knowledge that he is a wise man, and you know he will tell you when the time is right. Nonetheless, his silence is troubling and you cannot help but feel that something is terribly wrong…

Today, Gorion has appeared more agitated than ever, and now he has uncharacteristically interrupted your chores in the middle of the day. Imparting hurried instructions for you to equip yourself for travel, he has handed you what gold he can spare, but given no clue as to why. Nevertheless, you now stand before the Candlekeep Inn, ready to purchase what you need for an unexplained and unexpected journey.

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Friends at the Friendly Arm

The interior of the inn appears undisturbed by the commotion of your battle on the steps. The bar is quite crowded, and from what little eavesdropping you can manage, most of the patrons are talking of little else but the shortage of iron and the dangerous roads to the south.

Near the bar you are hailed by a half-elven man in heavy armor. He raises his voice to be heard, but a stammer makes him slow to make himself clear even so.

“S-something about you two is f-familiar, child. Your manner reminds me of a sage I know b-by the name of Gorion.”

The woman seated next to him looks you up and down with a measuring eye. “’Tis almost a slight upon the man, but I see it too,” she comments.

“Jaheira! M-mind your tongue! These must be Gorion’s wards – he wrote of you often. I am K-Khalid, and this Jaheira.”

Jaheira rises to her feet, offering her hand. “We are old friends of your foster-father. He is not with you? I must assume the worst.”

They look deeply moved by the news of Gorion’s death. “If he has p-passed, we share in your loss,” Khalid murmurs.

Jaheira puts in, “Gorion often worried for your safety, even at the expense of his own. He had asked that Khalid and I become your guardians in the event of his death, but you are no longer children. Your choice of companions should be your own.”

If accepted, Jaheira continues, “We are on our way to Nashkel – there are rumors of strange things happening at the mine. I trust you’ve heard of the iron shortage? It affects us all, especially we who depend upon our arms. Khalid and I have arranged to meet the mayor, Berrun Ghastkill, and see if we can ferret out the source of the problem.”

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A Not So Restful Rest

Beregost is not the peaceful haven one would wish after a long walk down the Coast Way. The town is lively, busy, and occasionally rambunctious. You spend a few days mingling at The Red Sheaf and The Burning Wizard, browsing the wares at Taerom Fuiruim’s famous Thunderhammer Smithy, and soothing your souls at the Song of the Morning temple that dominates the landscape.

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To the Source

The road to Nashkel is well-traveled and largely safe, and you meet a squadron of Flaming Fist soldiers at the bridge as you enter. They seem irritable but disinclined to delay you from continuing into the town.

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