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Icewind Dale II Info Compilation (Page 1/2)

The World of Icewind Dale
Introduction
Game Time
Story Outline
Malavon & Returning Characters
Funny Item We Won't See

The World of Icewind Dale

Caged between the jagged peaks of the Spine of the World and the frigid waters of the Sea of Moving Ice, Icewind Dale is a huddled collection of ten small towns, each attempting to carve out a life in the icy wastes.

The Dale has a reputation as a place of hiding and refuge for thieves, brigands, explorers, or pioneers seeking a better way of life far from the comfortable lands to the south, and it has drawn its share of nomads, tundra barbarians, rangers, craftsman, fishermen, and merchants willing to brave its harsh climate.

But the Dale is not a forgiving place... countless dangerous and malign creatures prowl the icy wastes, seeking nothing better than to prey upon any trespassers to their lands.

Introduction

Return to the frigid north of the Forgotten Realms® in the sequel to the critically acclaimed Icewind Dale™. Building upon the successes of the Infinity Engine used to power the Baldur's Gate™ series and Planescape®: TORMENT™, Black Isle Studios™ continues to refine the classic RPG gaming experience.

The worst fear of the civilized realms has come true. The Goblinoids have united into an army of outcasts and misfits and they want to call the Ten Towns their own. Massive swarms of Orcs and Worg-mounted Goblins are attempting to overrun the town of Targos, and that's just the beginning! A call has gone out to all those willing to face insurmountable odds in defense of the Ten Towns. Will you heed the call to arms and face the greatest threat to the Spine of the World?

Game Time

Icewind Dale II has a direct tie-in with the main story from Icewind Dale. The game takes place roughly thirty years after Yxunomei and Belhifet threatened the region around Kuldahar and Easthaven.

Though the connection between Icewind Dale and Icewind Dale II will not be immediately apparent, there is a strong connection that becomes clear as the game progresses. Several memorable characters from the original series make reappearances in the game (Oswald Fiddlebender and Nym, to name two) and a few memorable places (aged and transformed appropriately) are available for exploration.

Story Outline

The story begins with your party of adventurers being dropped off at the docks of Targos, one of the Ten Towns of Icewind Dale. Your group enlisted in a call for mercenaries in Luskan, a town just south of the Spine of the World, near Neverwinter. It becomes obvious upon landing that things are not well; orcs and goblins, led by bugbears, are attempting to crush all travel on the Shaengarne River to a halt. To make matters worse, they are battering down the defenses of both Bremen and Targos in an effort to close all ports but remote Lonelywood on Maer Dualdon.

Intelligence for the Ten Towns doesn't believe that the goblins, orcs, and bugbears managed to organize themselves so well and so cohesively. When scouts report sights of a strange banner bearing a chimera, leaders become suspicious that the goblins are being manipulated by a more powerful entity. In the aftermath of the attacks on the Ten Towns, the mayor of Targos, Ulbrec Dinnsmore, hires your group to explore the situation to prevent further damage from being done.

Malavon & Returning Characters

Strangely enough, some people like to see characters return in sequels. It gives players of the original game a connection to some of the characters they see, and it often allows them to gain a greater sense of their role in the world's history. I believe that as long as the characters actually do evolve over time, there's nothing wrong with bringing them back. Personally, in a sequel, I expect characters to return.

While Malavon is in IWD2, players will find that he is quite different than the Malavon in IWD. The Malavon in IWD was a clone (as though that were difficult to figure out). Basically, Malavon foresaw his demise if he sided with either the church of Lolth or Rilauven's rebellious faction of Vhaeraun-worshippers. Instead, he underwent a process whereby he created a clone then put himself into stasis after the clone was activated. Over time, the clone went insane because it sensed what it was. Unfortunately, it had no idea where to find its original source (Malavon was sealed in temporal stasis until his clone inevitably died). The PCs killed Malavon's simulacrum and "Malavon" (his clone). Malavon's family and associates in Rilauven believed that the real Malavon had been killed. They were in for quite a surprise when the church of Vhaeraun started open warfare with the noble houses. Malavon emerged from stasis, assisted with a coup in Rilauven's magical academy, and helped turn the tide for the priests of Vhaeraun.

Malavon does not appear as the ally of the PCs in IWD2, nor as an enemy. He is simply present at a small drow outpost the PCs travel through. While he attempts to enlist the aid of the PCs, the PCs can have very little to do with him or even blast his whole camp full of dudes. Quite unlike the Malavon in IWD, IWD2's Malavon Despana is calm, collected - even charming at times.

Some people dislike seeing repeat characters, or characters that return from the dead. It's a cliche. However, like most cliches, the problem isn't that it's done often, but that it's often done poorly. Hopefully our presentation of returning characters won't cause groans to erupt from players across the cosmos.

Funny Item We Won't See

And here's an item that got yanked, since summoning barrels is a lot more complicated than it first appears:

DREISBACH'S IRON HOOP

This magical hoop looks like it belongs around a barrel, and chances are, it probably once was. There are numerous tales (most of them false) about the hoop's origins, but the most common tale says that the hoop was born in the Elfsong Tavern in Baldur's Gate, and that it was the result of an angry wager between two men, one, a quiet enchanter by the name of Dreisbach, and the other, a passionate stevedore by the name of Geithman. Geithman claimed that magic was no substitute for raw strength and determination, and when Dreisbach begged to differ, the bet was decided: whoever could load the most barrels into one of the port warehouses from dawn to dusk would be declared the winner.

According to the tale, Dreisbach fashioned the hoop in a single night, and when he arrived at the warehouse the next morning, he drew forth the hoop and spun it on the ground - with every spin, a barrel would suddenly appear in the warehouse. Dreisbach spun the hoop for an hour, until hundred of barrels were stacked up in the warehouse at a height several lengths of a man, so much so that Dreisbach could no longer been seen behind the walls of barrels. Geithman could not compete with the summoned barrels, and he was about to concede the contest in disgust, when Dreisbach suddenly let out a cry, and there was a clang as the iron hoop clattered to the ground. When Geithman and the onlookers navigated the maze of barrels to the space where Dreisbach had been standing, there was no trace of the mage. Only the hoop remained, lying innocently on the floor.

None of those gathered to watch the outcome of the bet dared to touch the hoop. While Dreisbach was declared the winner, every man gathered there that day conceded that Tymora had smiled upon Geithman instead. The warehouse was quickly locked up, and the men quickly retreated to the Elfsong to talk of other things.

Where the barrels the hoop summons come from is unknown, but it is recommended that the user exercise caution in the summoning... or else the barrels will have their vengeance.

STATISTICS:

Special: Summons a keg once per day. The kegs frequently contain something of value.
Weight: 3
Not Usable By:
Barbarian

Each of the kegs could be chopped open and would occasionally contain some miscellaneous item of value. Occasionally, the kegs would be killer mimics, but this was rare.

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