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Thursday, November 5, 2020

Review: Baldur's Gate: Siege of Dragonspear Tie-In Fiction

Baldur’s Gate: Siege of Dragonspear tie-in stories: Amulet Fellow & the Regal Rose; Den of Chaos; and Dangerous World. The first is from Dragon+ issue 5 of December 2015. The last two are from The Familiar issues 1 and 2 respectively, of February and April 2016. Siege of Dragonspear is an expansion for the video game Baldur’s Gate: Enhanced Edition that takes place between the first and second game of the series, which was released in March 2016. It takes place in Realms year 1368 DR, Year of the Banner, and follows the crusade of the aasimar Caelar Argent against the denizens of the Nine Hells.

Cover featuring mosaic of Daeros Dragonspear and copper dragon Halatathlaer

The first story, Amulet Fellow & the Regal Rose (presently called Glint’s Story on my Dragon+ app), is by Andrew Foley.

Glint Gardnersonson
Glint Gardnersonson, narcissistic blue haired gnome is in the Elfsong Tavern with buddies Jargo and Penhale when we meet him. Amulet Fellow—surely not his real name—has lost an amulet that Glint had stolen. Glint agrees to retrieve the amulet so Amulet Fellow can trade it for his parents love letters from a Zhentarim agent.

A nice cameo of half-elven Lady Alyth as the proprietor of the famous Elfsong Tavern, it is the briefest of appearances but still appreciated. Glint discovers that the Regal Rose, a famous thief of the Sword Coast, has the amulet; she having used a trick to steal it right under his nose.

While the story is a great game of pickpocketry and chicanery, there isn't much to say beyond read it for yourself. It does manage to bring some surprises for such a short tale. I think you will enjoy it; it is Good.

Den of Chaos, also called Corwin’s Story, is by Amber Scott and can be found here. It is about chondathan, Schael Corwin, a member of the Flaming Fist, Baldur’s Gate mercenary policing force. It occurs entirely in the forest outside of Baldur’s Gate. Corwin and her partner, Zeri, are tracking bandits to recover some stolen mushrooms and other alchemical items for a Baldur's Gate noble.

Scott does a fantastic job descriptions and I was immersed very quickly, which made the story all the more enjoyable. It had character depth I find very little in short tales. I really enjoyed Corwin, and I'd like to see more of her. In the game she is a Captain, though in the story she has barely started her time with the Flaming Fist.

There are some intense moments at the end; what happened to Derrion was extreme and a little disturbing, but pulled good emotions from me. The story gives an array of feelings that I wasn’t ready for. It is Exceptional for a short story.

Dangerous World by Andrew Foley starts with a short section from the point of view of the hobgoblin Grathm. We are swiftly introduced to who he is hunting, our main character, the goblin M’khiin Grubdoubler.  She is sort of shaman, and rather clever compared to her compatriots that are trying to kill her for unknown reasons.

In a storm she hides in a cave and has an interesting, and sort of funny, conversation with an injured drow. She heals him a little and decides to help him out. In the end she doesn't seem to get much out of this, besides more knowledge of the wider world she lives in.

M’khiin outsmarts the goblins of her village tracking her to get two birds with one stone, causing a run-in with the adventuring party after the drow in very cunning fashion. It is very interesting to observe a battle from the outside, especially with a drow commentating. The fight is extremely well written.

A fast read, and an entertaining one. Those more familiar with the game certainly would get more out of it. Those familiar will also probably recognize the drow sorcerer as someone whose name starts with B- and ends with -aeloth. Overall, Dangerous World is Good. It can be found here.

Since the stories are not the same as a series I am not giving them an overall score grouped together. Seeing as I haven't played Siege of Dragonspear, I surely have missed some things. What happens to our characters? Let me know. I do plan on doing similar group reviews for like product tie-ins.

You can track my current progress here.

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