Chapter 2

This chapter will test the meager skills of your party to its fullest. I have found this chapter to be the most difficult, primarily because my guys were still fairly weak. By the end, however, I had developed strategies enabling my weak party to take out stronger opponents. You should be in good shape after completing all these quests.
Quest Kill/Save/Redeem/Find Brage
Quest giver Guard at entrance to Nashkel
Quest giver location As you enter Nashkel
Quest solution Find out more about Brage by visiting Nalin in the temple.
Quest notes Find out about Brage, but I do not recommend going after him just yet. The wilds on the way to Brage are filled with frost wolves, bears, armies of Xvarts, and other critters, and although these creatures are not too difficult, they are a long long way from any friendly inns or temples. You could bring along a boatload of healing potions, but if your party is still relatively poor and weak, you don't exactly have a ton of money to spend on healing potions to heal characters that are near death whenever someone breathes on them the wrong way. It's up to you, though. There may also be a time limit on both the Mines quest and the Minsc quest (listed below). But see the Brage-Dynaheir loop section below if you are bold.
Quest Nashkel assassin: Neira
Quest giver Neira
Quest giver location First tavern upon entering Nashkel
Quest solution Um kill (for 650 xp).
Quest notes Yet another bounty hunter, without the benefit of autosave, tries to take your life. Neira is a little more difficult than the others, since he is something of a spellcaster, but he is not too bad.
Quest Find out what is happening in the mines
Quest giver Mayor Berrun Ghastkill
Quest giver location near the southern end of Nashkel cemetary
Quest solution Talk with him.
Quest notes This is the major quest for this chapter. I have included a more detailed explanation below, but you should try to check out some of these other subquests before travelling to the mines. Just talk to the mayor for now.
Quest Oublek wants to give you some money
Quest giver Oublek
Quest giver location a little ways east from Berrun
Quest solution Do you say you are Greywolf?
Quest notes For pure roleplayers, the answer to this question is easy: if you are good, be honest. If you are evil, lie your butt off. For pure opportunists (like me), it is best to be honest at this point, because if you lie, Oublek may not give you bounties in the future. And, if you are honest, you get 1 reputation point.
Quest Collect the Prism bounty
Quest giver Oublek
Quest giver location a little ways east from Berrun
Quest solution Go the Nashkel mines area (SW area) and collect the emeralds from Prism
Quest notes

I had to kill Prism to get the bounty, but I did not take a reputation hit. A thief for the sake of art is still a thief, I suppose. Note: If you agree to defend Prism, you must defeat Greywolf. At the time, I was unable to defeat this formidable foe, but if you do, you can take the gems from Prism and either sell them for a big profit or return them to Oublek for a smaller profit. Thanks Steve!

Killing Greywolf yields 1400xp and a good weapon, a Long Sword+2 (+1 cold damage). And if you talk to Prism after killing Greywolf, you get 1000xp and 1 reputation point. There are several Emerald options: a) If you return the Emeralds to Oublek, he gives you $300 and 200xp; b) you can return one Emerald to Oublek (hide the other from him) for $300 and 200xp, and sell the second for $750; c) or you can sell both Emeralds for $750 each.

Quest Rescue Dynaheir?
Quest giver Minsc
Quest giver location near Oublek
Quest solution agree to rescue Dynaheir (if you want to rescue Dynaheir)
Quest notes

Fortunately for the complexity of the game, but unfortunately for quest writers such as myself, here is a somewhat important fork in the road. If you agree to rescue Dynaheir, then you cannot agree to kill her later (see Edwin quest below). However, if you don't want to rescue Dynaheir, you lose a fairly interesting character in Minsc. Personally, I chose Minsc (and later Dynaheir) for three reasons: 1) he is a Ranger, a nice complement for my melee heavy party; 2) Dynaheir, a formidible young magician, will join later if Minsc is around; and 3) he has some serious brain damage. Even if you don't want him, save your game, let him join, and check out the can always reload later. Note: See below for a more extensive explanation of the Dynaheir quest. Like the Brage quest above, I recommend taking care of more local concerns before tackling this quest.

If you decided to kill Dynaheir, you will not suffer any reputation point hits at all, even though it is an obviously evil thing to do.

Quest Talk with Volo
Quest giver Volo
Quest giver location Tavern near the center of the map
Quest solution Just talk with him.
Quest notes Volo is a major figure in the whole Sword Coast saga. This quest is fairly worthless (at this point, anyway), but you might as well talk with him. He talks about Brage and the mine problem.
Quest Kill Dynaheir?
Quest giver Edwin
Quest giver location Central bridge in Nashkel
Quest solution Ask Edwin to join if you want to kill Deynheir instead of save her (see above). If you reject Edwin, he will attack you the next time you talk to him.
Quest notes

I did not take this route, so I am not sure what happens here at this point. I assume you follow the Save Deynheir quest (as described below in more detail) except you kill her, instead of save her. Update note: If Edwin joins the party, you must kill Dynaheir.

An emailer writes: Even if you take Edwin along, you DO NOT necessarily have to kill Dynaheir. I took him along and when I found Dynaheir, I had a choice of doing 3 things: a) kill her; b) kill Edwin; c) or just stay out of the whole mess by saying " is not my concern because I don't trust either of you". If you choose the third option both will not respond if you talk to them again. However, if you kill Edwin by attacking him, Dynaheir will respond again and she, as well as Minsc, will join you (you have to go back to Nashkel to pick up Minsc).

Quest Noober
Quest giver Noober
Quest giver location the central bridge
Quest solution Ignore Noober (for a long time) and eventually he will leave you alone and you will gain 400 exp for doing nothing (do you know how many Xvarts you have to kill to get 400 exp?).
Quest notes Noober is extremely extremely annoying. You will know what I am talking about when it happens. But if you wait through it, he will leave and you will gain some easy (?) exp. points.
Quest Zordral holds Bentha hostage
Quest giver Zordral
Quest giver location Nashkel carnival in one of the tents
Quest solution Kill Zordral hopefully without Bentha dying
Quest notes Again, I am not sure how much of this game is randomly determined, but if you want Bentha to survive, try what I did. I tried to calmly talk Zordral out of killing her until I was left with only two speech options: 1) an insult and 2) a direct threat. When left with only these two (and NOT a "let's just talk about this" option), I chose the insult. In my case, he was so enraged that he attacked me without killing Bentha first. Note: Killing Zordral is actually very easy if you hit the pause button immediately after the conversation. Then, have all your people crowd him (even your archers and magic users), and before he can cast his mirror image, he will be surrounded and become dogmeat for your swords. Killing Zordral nets you 900xp and a Knaves Robe.
Quest Great Gazib explodes an ogre
Quest giver the Great Gazib!
Quest giver location a little to the left of the main tent circle
Quest solution watch ogres explode
Quest notes If you ask to see the ogre explode three times, then the Amazing Oopah will get mad and attack you. he has a Rainbow Obsidian Necklace on him.
Quest Release Branwen from her spell
Quest giver Zeke
Quest giver location the right hand portion of the tent area: Zeke is a short guy in green
Quest solution Pay Zeke 500 bucks for the spell and release Branwen (or save some money and purchase a Stone to Flesh spell for much less from a Temple).
Quest notes Branwen is a fairly good level 2 cleric, if you need one. But she is mighty expensive at this point. If you really need a cleric, you may want to wait a little while until you can afford her.
Nashkel Mines Quest
This is the first major quest of Baldur's Gate. The mayor of Nashkel has sent you to the mines to find out why the iron is rotten. I have listed some general notes below:

1. The mines are filled with kobolds, especially kobold archers. Prepare yourself. Also, it may not do you much good at this point, but having a detect traps character is helpful.

2. If you are like me, you may be having problems actually entering the mines. The mine entrance is to the SW, immediately after entering the area. Talk to the foreman to gain access.

3. On the southern end of level one is a fellow named Dink. Take the dagger from him and give it to Kylee (in Western circular room on level 2).

4. Level 3 and 4 can be really hairy. Prepare yourself for kobold commandos, spiders, ghouls and powerful traps. Not all the traps can be avoided, but some of them can be. The final 3 part trap, just before you go to the final level door, can be circumvented by walking around it in a counterclockwise direction. However, I could not get passed it coming from the other direction (on the way out). Your thief may be able to disarm this trap.

5. Again, I don't like giving combat tips (ok, maybe I do), but I found a good way to beat Mulahey. When fighting Mulahey, you are confronted with three basic problems: 1) Mulahey summons his minions; 2) Mulahey casts Hold and Tangleweed spells; and 3) Mulahey can pack quite a wallop. You can effectively remove these three threats by doing the following. When you enter the final level, walk straight over to the easternmost cavern, where you will find Xan (the northernmost cavern contains the minions and the southeastern room contains Mulahey don't go to these caverns yet!). If you can, ask Xan to join the party, because he has pretty outstanding saves against magic. If your party is full, choose a character with a good balance of hit points and magic resistance. This character will be the bait. Then, set up your other characters (hopefully you have some archers) so that they are facing west (still in the eastern cavern). Take your bait character and have him confront Mulahey in the adjacent room. Get Mulahey to follow Bait to the bottleneck into the eastern cavern. Tell Bait to stop. The Mulahey dialog box will pop up, and you are ready to go. You may need to reload a couple of times, but basically, Mulahey spends the first several rounds trying to cast Hold on Bait. If Bait is resistant enough, he will resist the spells long enough for your archers to make mincemeat of Mulahey. For some reason the minions do not enter into the fray. You will probably have to kill them before looting Mulahey's room, but they are very easy (skeletons and kobolds).

6. Be sure to loot everything (including the letters and Mulahey's Holy Symbol). You need the letters in the chest to start chapter 3. And even though the letters start chapter 3, I suggest you do the Brage-Dynaheir loop quest below before moving onto other things.

7. Be sure to watch out for any traps on the way out. Talk to the mayor, who will take one letter and Mulahey's Holy Symbol and reward you with $900, 1 reputation point, and 1000xp. A new assassin (Nimbul) will now attack you in town.

The Brage-Dynaheir loop
No, there is no official "Brage-Dynaheir loop" quest per se, but the following is a good way to wipe out several quests with minimal waste of travel time. Since these quests are way out in the wilderness, load up on lots and lots of everything.

First off, go to Nashkel mines and exit on the west side. Travel to the first world map area to the west. I will call this Albert's woods.

  • Albert's woods
    1. a. Larry, Darryl and his other brother Darryl - you will find three critters (only one talks) who will give you their autograph. This is not a joke. They are in the southeastern region of the map.
      b. Vax and Zal - in the southwestern region of the map are two very strong bandits who want to take your money. They easily wiped my party out. Fight them if you want, but they are easy to avoid.
      c. Albert and his dog - Albert, in the northwestern region, has lost his dog. Help him find it (in the north central region) and he will travel to another dimension (and give you 1000 exps.)
      d. Return any hides you obtain from killing White Wolves to the store keeper in Nashkel for $500 each.

      From Albert's woods, go to the next area, which is slightly to the NW of Albert's woods. I will call this area Dryad's woods

  • Dryad's woods
    1. a. Dryad - just to the west of your entrance is a Dryad. If you are good, agree to help her by going a ways south and killing a few brutes. You will gain 500 exp and a rep point for this good deed. If you are evil, do the opposite, and kill Dryad, but you will get 975 exp and loose SEVEN reputation points!
      b. Cave - in the southern is a cave with some substantial riches.
      c. Drienne's kitty - a waterfall dominates this area. About halfway up the fall is a pathway that runs underneath the fall. Follow it to meet up with Drienne. Her (dead) kitty is at the bottom of the fall (click on the fall itself). She does not enter another dimension, unfortunately. She just kinda whines a bit and gives you some money.
  • Gnoll Stronghold - the Dynaheir quest
    1. Part of me wants you to read this section and another part doesn't. The Gnoll Stronghold is a complete nightmare, but it is also tons of fun if you are patient (a lesson I need to learn). Before continuing on, consider this:

      a. the area is huge
      b. Dynaheir is extremely hard to find.
      c. Xvart and Gnoll armies are all over the place, regenerating at an alarming rate

      In other words, forget clearing the area and searching after all the critters are dead. When you clear small area A and move into small area B, small area A regenerates new gnolls and xvart in very short order. On top of this, you practically have to be standing right on top of Dynaheir in order to see her. So imagine an elaborate game of hide and seek in a very large area where every false turn rewards you with more critters breathing down your neck.

      There are advantages with these disadvantages, though. Killing gnolls garners some decent experience and loot, so if you choose to ignore my solution below and just wander around, you will be richly rewarded. If you go straight to Dynaheir, you will be missing out on this. And gnolls are not that hard to kill. There's just a whole bunch of them.

      a. Give Gnarl and Hairtooth 100 gps to cross the bridge. They demand 200, but I was able to talk them down. Or, just kill them. Or continue to argue over the toll, they will attack, kill them and get Gauntlets of Dexterity (18) and some other goodies.

      b. Dynaheir is on the upper part of the stronghold, in the final circular pit on the right. Again, you must be in the pit and right next to her before the "fog of war" reveals her.

      c. In the SW region is a series of caves with some good loot, xvarts and a carrion worm (great experience builder!).

      After you are done with the Gnoll quest, head back to the Dryad woods. Then, exit the woods to the north. On the world map, select the woods roughly NW of Dryad woods. This is Xvart forest.

  • Xvart forest
    1. Walk up the mountain pass into a tiny village and you will see why this is called Xvart forest. These woods aren't particularly difficult, but make sure you kill all the first wave of Xvarts to trigger the summoning of Ursa the Bear. Kill Ursa for some decent experience.

      Exit the area to the west. On the world map, select the western woods (across the river) just NW of Gnoll stronghold. This is Ogre forest.

  • Ogre forest
    1. There are no huge quests here, but you can get some major experience:

      a. Neville - in the NE, just east of the northern bridge, you will run into Neville the bandit. He and his hob guards are easy to kill and carry some decent loot.
      b. Ogre Beserker bridge - the northern bridge is guarded by hobgoblin elite (with poison arrows) and ogre beserkers. If you don't know by now, poison in BG works differently than in most RPGs. You will lose points fairly regularly once poisoned, but the poison eventually wears off.

        Aside: The Ogre Beserkers are really tough, and if you don't have a fighting strategy yet, here is a good place to form one. The one I sometimes use is cowardly, but effective. It is by no means the only strategy (or even the best), but I like it. All of my guys can use a bow, so I take them and set them off in a clump in a clearing. Then I send my thief into stealth mode and have her sneak up on the ogre beserker. She then stabs him in the back and runs like hell (how noble). When she reaches her party, she basically runs in a circle, taunting the ogre (if the ogre gets closer to the party than to her, he will attack the party). The party then unloads a ton of arrows and bullets into his sorry hide. Again, this is not very noble, but frankly, if you have a party that can stand toe to toe with several ogre beserkers, you either hacked the game or are some kind of god. I have not and I am not, so I do what I can. You could wait and do this forest later, but ogre beserkers yield big time experience points.
      c. Jared - On the east side of the south bridge is a sniveling little man named Jared. He wants you to kill a polar bear (!) on the other side of the bridge. The polar bear is powerful but slow. He was dead before he could cross the bridge. Killing the bear nets you 900xp, talk again to Jared and he gives you some boots with 50% cold resistance.
      d. Laurel - just to the west of the northern bridge is Laurel. She wants you to help her fight gibberlings. The reward is meagre, but what the hell (I told you I was an opportunist).

      Go back to the Xvart forest and exit to the north. Go to the area to the NW. This is Brage's forest.

  • Brage's forest
    1. Before saving Brage (he is roughly north of the eastern entrance point), try solving these others first. You can return to them later if you want.
    Quest Help (or kill) Charleston as he looks for relics
    Quest giver Charleston
    Quest giver location the Brage forest mines (near center of map)
    Quest solution If you agree to help Charleston, you will end up having to kill his diggers, but you will be rewarded. If you choose to seal the idol in the tomb, you receive 1000xp and 1 reputation point. If you give the idol to the man inside the tomb before going outside, a Doomsayer will approach, then disappear once you see him. If you take the idol outside the tomb, a Doomsayer will attack you. If you defeat the Doomsayer (4000xp), which may be a real challenge, return the idol to the man in the tomb for 1000xp.
    Quest notes Golton tries to bribe you into killing the whole crew (including Charleston), but I imagine you will take a rep hit for this.
    Quest Kill Baruk and his band of kobold commandoes
    Quest giver Baruk!
    Quest giver location Kinda west of the mines in Brage forest (the mines are in a central mountain area)
    Quest solution Kill Baruk!
    Quest notes

    This should not be a particularly deadly encounter, but if you are cocky (like I was) you may have a few problems. Remember the lone kobold commandos in Nashkel mines? Well, there is a whole pack of them here, all shooting firey arrows at you. They are fairly easy to kill, except they are way up north and Baruk attacks (with poison arrows) from the south. So it can be a little tricky from a logistics standpoint. Again, it is not too tough, but be careful.

    Brage is roughly to the north of where you entered the area (if you entered from the east). Depending on your party, you can either kill him or save him. If you save him, you will be transported back to Nashkel. If you kill him, I don't know what happens since I didn't choose that route.

    Update: In either case, you end up with Brage's two-handed sword (1D10+3, cursed berserking).

    The answer to the riddle is: Death
    The best selling single of all time is: Candle in the Wind '97

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