So we’re in the giant port city of Baldur’s Gate, the four of us: Emil the Rogue, Serena the Battlemage/Archer, Darius the Necromancer, and Grommel the Gladiator. We’re on a long-running quest to pursue these cultists who may be up to something world-threatening, but mostly our journey has consisted of infighting and side-questing for the locals.
There were a lot of small, funny moments in this campaign, none of which could fill an entire article on their own. We were randomly ambushed on a forest trail by a nest of giant spiders in the middle of an argument. Emil, my character, was best known for disarming traps with his face, because he was technically a locksmith, not a thief. The party was invited to a soiree, where everyone had a great time but Emil, who was being tied to a bed, then gutted like a fish by a hooker who turned out to be his ex in disguise. Grommel was put on surveillance duty, which he had never done before, so his idea of tailing the girl who came out of the house he was watching was to blatantly follow her until he was nearly arrested as a suspected rapist. After winning a gruesome boss battle, Serena barged into a high-class inn, covered head to toe in blood, and waited in the doorway til she had the patrons’ undivided attention before declaring, “You would not BELIEVE the day I’ve had.” Grommel acquired a magic drum that gave instant migraines to whoever beat it, which led to a variety of idiotic experiments to determine how it worked, mostly at our own painful expense.
Baldur’s Gate was host to the best event of the game, though. Once in Baldur’s Gate we started running errands for the three political factions, but that’s neither here nor there. Our investigations eventually led us to the local fireworks maker, who had info regarding whichever faction we were working against that week.
While we talked with the shopkeeper, Grommel perused the wares, and his half-orc eyes fell upon a magnificent work of art: a bottle rocket the size of a barrel.
“What’s that?” he asked.
Shopkeeper replied, “That’s my masterpiece. I only make one every two years, ‘cos that’s how long it takes to make.”
Grommel pondered a moment, then said, “How much?”
“Three hundred gold.”
We were rolling in loot at this point in our adventure, so he said, “Done deal.”
For the rest of the day, while we ran errands and got into further trouble, Grommel had this flying powder keg tucked under one arm. Eventually we reached a brick wall in our investigations, and we weren’t sure where to go next.
Grommel shrugged and said, “Well, I dunno about you chaps, but I’m gonna light this sucker up.”
It was the middle of the afternoon, but we were bored and frustrated, so we shrugged and went with.
It quickly became apparent that Grommel was drawing a crowd as we made our way down to the pier with this giant bottle rocket: every person we passed dropped what they were doing, stared at our absurd firework, then eventually followed as their curiosity got the better of them. By the time we reached the pier and loaded this rocket into a dinghy, we had a crowd of about a hundred people with us, watching with anticipation. The bottle rocket went out into the bay on its little boat about fifty yards, then Grommel signaled Serena to light it with a flame arrow.
It ignited and soared into the sky, where it burst into a myriad of brilliant blue sparks in the life-sized shape of a dragon, dazzling everyone on the pier below.
The dragon then proceeded to animate and set fire to the pier and all the ships in port. Suddenly the harbor was a panicked mass of screaming pedestrians, sailors, and dock workers. Ships pulling into port desperately veered off-course to avoid getting caught in the fiery chaos. We looked at each other, realized the city guards were only seconds away, and joined the fleeing crowds.
As we fled, we happened to glance to our left. Three blocks up the shore stood the fireworks maker, sick with laughter and slapping his knee.
We avoided the piers of Baldur’s Gate for the rest of the week. So did everyone else, since they were still on fire.