Chapter 4

I would like to take this time to reiterate one important point: my party has completed every single quest up to this point. They are therefore quite powerful (for this level of the game). I thought the bandit camp was ludicrously easy, so if you had a really hard time with it, be wary of some of my difficulty ratings below. For the record, I had the following party before entering these areas: Jezebel (L6 fighter), Khalid (L6 fighter), Jaheira (L6 druid/L5 fighter/L20 Nag), Minsc (L6 Ranger), Imoen (L7 Thief) and Dynaheir (L6 Mage). All of my characters have at least one proficiency point in a ranged attack (four of them have at least two) and Imoen is lethal at backstabbing. She opens almost every major battle by going into stealth and stabbing the most powerful critter in the back with a +2 short sword for triple damage.

I am obviously very fighter class heavy, but at this point, this is working well for me because each of my fighters can fire magical arrows of all kinds, which takes care of any creature immune to normal attack but not to magical attack. Also, there is a lot to be said for a 65+ hp character with ankheg plate and a +2 two handed sword bearing down on a powerful, but thinly robed mage as the other characters fire lightning arrows into his carcass. Also, the quickly cast and often effective stink cloud has turned many battles into laughable encounters as the enemy lies sprawling and unconscious before they can fire a single shot.

But I digress let's continue

Cloakwood Forest I
This is the first cloakwood forest that opens up on your map
Quest Coran needs someone to hunt wyverns with him
Quest giver Coran
Quest giver location NW (on bridge)
Quest solution Allow Coran to join and you can go on a Wyvern hunt
Quest notes Once again, I did not want another (considerably weaker) person to join the group. I will eventually test this, but it may be possible to return the Wyvern head to the Beregost mayor without dragging Coran around. At any rate, Coran is not worth losing one of your stronger players (IMHO). Update note: You can return the heads to the Beregost temple for 2000 gps total. Apparently, they just pay you once.
Quest Aldeth needs your help
Quest giver Aldeth
Quest giver location in front of the central building
Quest solution You can either defend or kill Aldeth. I chose to defend him
Quest notes

Rumor: if you defend Aldeth, not only will you gain more experience points but you will also be able to take part in a terrific quest later on down the road.

Update: If you want to see what your options are regarding Aldeth, check out the Chapter 5 Quest Guide - Major Quests - Investigate Aldeth's Partners.

Cloakwood Forest II
The second area NW of the first
Quest Tiber wants his brother back (what is with these people and their lost relatives?)
Quest giver Tiber
Quest giver location NE
Quest solution Go to the cave in the NW section of the area. Kill Centeol
Quest notes This cave can either be very hard or very easy. To go the hard route, try tackling the entire cave at once. Sword spiders, ettercaps and huge spiders make this a difficult chore. The web itself also presents some navigational challenges. To try an easier method, try this: (1) send your spellcaster in and have her devastate the place with a few fireballs. Run out. (2) Send in your strongest characters and have them wipe out the sword spiders and huge spiders, careful not to reveal the fog of war to the north of the cave. Run out. (3) Load up the party with ranged attack weapons and have all of them enter. Send one guy north (to reveal the fog of war) and then back again. The ettercaps should now be toast before they get anywhere near you. Kill fatty. Take the loot, including a nice 2-Handed Sword +2 (Spider Bane). Return the body to Tiber for 800xp. Again, you can try different strategies, but the "run in/run out" strategy, in any form, is quite effective. I simply couldn't kill everything the other way (without losing a character or two). You may have a different experience.
Quest Spiders and ettercap II
Quest giver spiders and ettercap! II!
Quest giver location everywhere
Quest solution These guys (and their traps) are everywhere
Quest notes This shouldn't be too tough, but there is one area (in the NE) surrounded by traps, spiders and ettercap. Be careful.
Cloakwood III
NW of Cloakwood II
Quest Eldoth wants to join
Quest giver Eldoth
Quest giver location SW
Quest solution Um
Quest notes

Unfortunately, all I have in my notes is: "Eldoth wants to join." Kinda slack, I know but for more info, look for him (her?) in the SW. He (she?) could be a sweet potato for all I know (or can remember). I apologize and will update as soon as I can.

Update: If you kill Eldoth, you get 1000xp and lose NINE reputation. If you tell him you are "against the Iron Throne", he gives you a potion of Invulnerability. If you let Eldoth join your party, you can later help him rescue his girl, Skie, in Baldur's Gate (see Chapter 5 Quest Guide - NPC's that will join - NPC Skie).

Quest Laskal
Quest giver Laskal
Quest giver location Just across the bridge
Quest solution Tell him you are an enemy of Iron Throne.
Quest notes

Or don't and kill him when he attacks.

If you do not have Jaheira, he suggests you talk to Faldorn who may join you.

Quest Takiyah hates Jaheira
Quest giver Takiyah
Quest giver location just before the circle on the west island
Quest solution Kill!
Quest notes Frankly, if you don't have Jaheira, I am not sure what happens here. If you do have Jaheira, and if you are like me, you really have to fight the urge not to agree whole-heartedly with Takiyah and bash Jaheira's head in. She really is annoying.
Quest Faldorn wants to join
Quest giver Faldorn
Quest giver location in the druid circle (on west island)
Quest solution Let him join if you wanna
Quest notes Does anyone pick up new characters this late in the game? I am curious.
Quest The very large anti-Jaheira tree house druid of hate
Quest giver Amaranda
Quest giver location inside the very large tree on the west island
Quest solution Kill
Quest notes Once again fight the urge to side against Jaheira.
Quest Izefia hates Jaheira too
Quest giver Izefia
Quest giver location NE of the big tree
Quest solution Kill
Quest notes none.
Cloakwood Forest IV
East of Cloakwood III
Note: this is a big area full of nothing for the most part. You will run into a few hamadryads (land based sirines), baby wyverns and guards, but mostly there is nothing here. One exception:
Quest Kill wyverns
Quest giver Coran or just your adventuring spirit
Quest giver location Coran was in Cloakwood I
Quest solution Go to the Wyvern cavern (big rock to the West)
Quest notes If Coran is with you (see above), this is where you need to end up to make him happy. As with the spider priestess in the last chapter, the best strategy may involve running in and out, blasting the place with fireballs and other nastiness. Wyverns are not nearly as hard as I thought they would be, but they were still fairly tough. Don't forget to pick up the treasure.
The Mine Quest
East of Cloakwood IV
This is the big daddy of Chapter 4.

If you want, be sure to visit the north of the mine (still in the woods) and kill Lakadaar for a few experience points. Then cross the bridge and enter the courtyard.

In the courtyard, you will meet Drasus and his crew. This can be a very tough fight, but I used the following strategy (which is basically effective against any large group of relatively nonmagical humans):

1. Equip all your members with a ranged attack.
2. Move so that only Drasus appears in the fog of war. Do not move any closer or the whole crew will appear
3. Have Dynaheir fire stink cloud just at the edge of the fog of war
4. Have Dynaheir fire a few fireballs just at the edge of the fog of war
5. Clean up with arrows and bullets

Basically, the above strategy does two things: (1) the stink cloud grounds the nonmagical attackers and (2) the fireball usually kills off the mages before the fog of war is even lifted. This does not work perfectly, but it thoroughly throws off the crew's attack, which is quite lethal when they are coordinated.

After the battle, go upstairs in the building and free the guard for some information (well, he ran off before I could kill him).

Move to the bailey in the east and enter the mines.

The mines create a few headaches all their own. Baldur's Gate is great at many things, but in my opinion, party movement absolutely stinks and in dungeons, it can become a total nightmare. In this particular mine, the problem is compounded by all the miners fumbling around. For this reason, I often had Imoen go into stealth mode. I then moved her throughout the entire level of the dungeon before dragging my other characters through. Since she gets triple backstab damage, she is perfectly able to take out most guards single-handedly (at least on the upper levels) and she can take care of traps too.

Note: Even though the map shows an isometric view of the dungeons, I treat north as the top of the map, regardless of how the area is rotated.

Level 1

1. Be sure to talk to the miner in the north (next to the large plug). He tells you he can flood the mine if you have a key.
2. Talk to Tippian (near the left fork) and tell him to flee (and to stop scratching his behind, for crying out loud).
3. Phaersis, in the central fork, tells you Davaeorn has the key to flood the mine

Level 2

1. If you move off to the southeast, you will find a secret door that enables you to go to the next level with minimal fuss. Be sure you talk to Rill and the dwarf (in the southern cell block) before you leave the level or when you flood the mines, you will kill all the miners and take a massive rep hit.
2. If you want fuss (I did), go through the main banquet hall. Stinkcloud once again saves the day here.

Level 3

1. This level is a big pain in the ass. Like the Ulcaster ruins and Gullykin, respawn here is almost overwhelming. Sure, hobgoblin elite are not the strongest critters in the world, but their sheer numbers (and poison arrows) can make life a living hell. This is especially true because navigating your party is problematic at best.
2. Be sure to go through all the rooms to pick up some goodies. Watch out for one of the rooms to the North. It contains a monster summoning, poison slinging mage. Respawn in this room is impressive indeed.
3. In the temple (somewhat SW), tell the guard you want to worship Cyric. Or, just kill him.
4. The exit is to the south

Level 4

If any of you are familiar with console RPG games, this battle against Davaeorn is very similar to a final boss battle. You are faced with one bad guy, you have a limited amount of space to work with, and winner takes all.

Before I continue, be sure to disarm the four traps lining the hallway to Davaeorn. Then stop. Don't reveal him just yet.

I had a really hard time with this fight, but I finally stumbled upon a fairly (fairly) easy way to defeat Davaeorn. At the beginning of the battle, he spends about 3 or 4 rounds teleporting from room to room, slinging a few strong spells at the party before disappearing again. Before I figured out how to beat him, I sent the whole party at him trying to attack and he easily killed one or two of my characters (I always reload when one or more party members die) and then vanished into another room. This is NOT the way to defeat him.

The key is to disperse the party and to NOT attack him. Keep your weaker party members towards the back, and have your stronger characters walk around constantly, occasionally ducking briefly into one of the side rooms. This way, if Davaeorn fires off a party killer spell (lightning, fireball, etc), it won't hit everyone. Also, the milling around seems to dissuade him from using the dimension door after a couple teleports.

As your party mills around, try to lure Davaeorn into the central room. Once he is there to stay (usually signified by his casting a Dire Charm spell), completely surround him with all your characters except for your mage. Have your mage cast Dispel Magic (which will both eliminate his shield and hopefully knock our the dire charm as well). At the same time, have all your party members hit him with quick (preferably edged) melee weapons. (I am still a little unsure about this as I write this, but Davaeorn seems particularly immune to blunt and ranged attacks, even without his magic shield.) Once melee is engaged, Davaeorn resorts to using his (cough) little wooden staff and he is dogmeat.

I have heard people use potions and the like to take on Davaeorn, but Davaeorn's strength lies not in his combat spells, but in his combat spells AND the dimension door. No potion will help you with the dimension door (none of the ones I had, anyway) and his combat spells are not anymore lethal than the other ones you have encountered in the game.

An emailer writes: another way to defeat Davaeorn is to clear the traps in the hallway, initiate the conversation with Davaeorn, let him cast Mirror Image and shield spells, leave the area (go to the first room on the level), rest for a full 8 hours, and when you return he will have no spells left and can easily be defeated.

After the battle, loot everything. Watch out for the mustard jelly in the south. The mustard jelly was harder for me to defeat than Davaeorn, but that could have been because I was feeling cocky and careless.

Take the elevator up to the first level and go back to the miner next to the plug. Talk to him and flood the mines.

Hoo wah!

Go to Chapter 5

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