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  1. <div class="Spoiler">Benoni, Drow (Elf) Fighter/Mage/thief, introduction
  2. Hello; don't be alarmed, I'm not here from the Underdark! My name is Benoni, and - Look, my hands are weaponless, and I'm only reaching over to give you a letter from my adopted father, Gorion the sage. Yes, the one that was found slain all that time ago. No, I had no hand in it, except as survivor. Yes, my hair's white and my skin is ebony, and - for crying out loud, I mean you no harm! I only wish to tell you my story, if you will be patient, Scar.
  4. It begun when I had just come of age this year, or so one of the books in Candlekeep claimed: I was unsure then and still unsure whether to go by the standard of the rest of my race underground, or by the standards of the Sun elves. Gorion came down from his quarters in a fluster, asking me to gather up any equipment I might need to travel out beyond Candlekeep. I was surprised, let me tell you, since in all these years I've never left Candlekeep for a moment, and books and stories became my life. I still had some minor skill with swords and bows, since Gorion absolutely refused to let me just sit and read the entire day, and Imoen had long since stopped trying to get me out of my comfortable chair when I had a dusty tome in my hands. Gorion gave me a tidy sum of gold, and sent me on my way to the armory to equip myself.
  6. He told me of a Sirine that was causing havoc on the coast, and he was being sent on a mission to either convince it to leave or end its life before it killed any others. I think he may have known something of the danger to come; I'll never know, rest his soul. We were ambushed, the attackers somehow masking their heat signatures from my eyes. An armored man in black horrors talked with Gorion in low tones. I couldn't make out the words, but from his gestures I think he wanted me. Later, I became sure of it, but Gorion started spell casting, battle spells that I'd never even seen him practice in these twenty years in Candlekeep. He told me to run, and I was afraid. Two archers started chasing after me, but I had some small skill at hiding, even then, and the darkness of my skin was a blessing rather than a curse. I heard screams behind me as a burst of flame consumed the two men, but Gorion yelled at me to get away as far from this place as I could.
  8. That was the last time I saw him alive.
  10. It was several hours later, the dawn had broken, but there was no joy in this sunrise. I was hiding in the cleft of a rock, my right hand gripping tightly onto my sword in case pursuers found me. Another sound met my ears though, the voice of Imoen - you don't know of Imoen? The pink-haired lass that should still be in the company of two Harpers, Khalid and Jaheira? Ah, so you've heard of them, at least. I grew up with her, you see; she was the only other child growing up with me at Candlekeep. She was calling out for either Gorion or I in rather uncertain tones. I forsook my hiding place then, and told her all that had passed. She was eager to help, but I had sparred with her on occasion, and her strength was... lacking. Nevertheless, we backtracked to where Gorion had been fighting, and my worst fears were confirmed: Gorion lay on the ground, his lifeless body torn with multiple cuts. The smell of singed flesh still overpowered the area; we buried Gorion there while Imoen and I decided what to do next. We decided, or maybe only I decided, that she would go and tell those at Candlekeep that Gorion was - excuse me, do you have a handkerchief? Thank you, thank you. That Gorion was dead. 
  12. I took it upon myself to finish Gorion's last task as we knew it, to find this menace on the western coast and deal with it. I told Imoen nothing of this at the time; she thought I was going to the Friendly Arm Inn, or the F.A.I. as I've heard others call it before. Gorion had once said that if there was trouble, I should head there, but... This task ought to be finished.
  14. First, though, two travelers on the road south accosted me, a certain Monty and Xzar. So you've heard of them too, I see! Well, I didn't like the look of either of them, though I think they thought I was from the Underdark on some mission or another. They gave me a couple provisions, and expected me to join them. When I didn't, Xzar said I'd be sorry soon. I didn't think much of it then, but when I learned he was a necromancer later... A couple events made a bit more sense. I spent a day traveling to the southwest, and I was attacked by two undead creatures with paralysis in their claws. A ghast and a ghoul, if you know the, ah, adventurer's terms for them. I'd help the Harpers if you could to apprehend those two, but I get ahead of myself.
  16. I found this menace that Gorion had spoken of; I waited to see what form this danger might take, and I found it as some poor man approached this water spirit, completely infatuated, and she kissed him - and he promptly fell over, dead. I leapt from my hiding place, and started to pelt her with arrows, too wary to get within range of her mouth. And, well, let's just say that I completed Gorion's mission. I felt no small satisfaction, Scar, but the victory was somewhat hollow. Gorion was still dead, and his killer presumably still out on the loose. I'm not motivated by revenge much, but in this... My father...
  18. It was time for me to head to the F.A.I.. I arrived at the large gate two days later, and did much as I'm doing now, showing the letter Gorion had given me. The head of the watch there had known him, it seems, and trusted his words. He assigned two or three of his watch to accompany me so that others might not kill me over my skin color. It was not only my skin color that was in question, though! A man in robes accosted me, asking for me by name. When I affirmed it, he immediately started casting battle spells, mentioning that I would be worth quite a bit of gold. My accompaniment of guards immediately told me to run while they dealt with this troublemaker. You can confirm this, if you like: the F.A.I. is only two hours away by horse from here, is it not? I did not start the fight. I helped end it though, with an arrow through the mage's neck. The guards had taken some small magical damage, but nothing fatal. A body-search showed that someone was offering a couple hundred gold to end my life, for whatever reason. I read books, for crying out loud!
  20. I met with the two that Gorion had spoken of, the aforementioned Khalid and Jaheira. They gave me no small amount of gold, nine grand in total (Gameplay-wise: I took and sold the ring.) They regretted to inform me that they had their own mission, hunting down a pair of Zhentarim saboteurs, Xzar and Montoran. I told them of my encounter with them, and they almost immediately rose from the table and started getting their gear. Imagine my surprise when they called for Imoen! Well, she apparently followed my steps and went to the F.A.I. as well, and she had wanted to do something with her life besides "charming all those snotty nobles" that passed through Candlekeep. Her words, not mine. Anyways, we talked for a bit, and decided that having a young girl in the accompaniment of one of my complexion was probably going to end with me as a pincushion, and so she would help the two of them hunt the Zhents. I was glad of it, really, since the couple looked like capable company.
  22. I took a bit of mercenary work here to sharpen my skills, stalking an ogre to retrieve a belt, and clearing a house in Beregost of spiders - that was an adventure, I tell you! But - oh, of course, you have other work. I'll continue my story when it's convenient; I have much I want to tell you.
  24. ----- (Log 2)
  26. Ah, Scar, you're back I see. Where was I; oh, yes, that's right! Beregost. I had snuck into Landrin's house - that's the gnome at the F.A.I. whose house was infested with giant spiders. Yes, spiders. In the middle of Beregost. I was just as confused as you, to be frank, but she said to check, and behold, there they were! It was a quick brawl, in which I was the victor. I didn't show my face in that town often after this, as I'm sure you'll understand: drow, and all that, in a large city. And my name's not Drizzt, though there's a funny story about that later.
  28. I did, however, go visit the Song of the Morning; have you ever had the chance to see it? The descriptions in the history books are far lesser than the actual sight, as is your wonderful city. Ah, well, my best wishes to Kelddath, may Lathander bless his servant! I announced myself again with Gorion's letter, and Kelddath received me quite cordially. The temple, as I'm sure you know, doubled as the local hub for protection and news, until you sent some of the Fist to help with the bandits. I asked about any possible threats to the city, or if he knew of the man who had killed Gorion; there were three, though of those three none exist now. He gave me reports on a rogue priest to the west, a horde of basilisks to the east apparently blocking travel in that direction, and the iron crisis to the south. Yes, I'm implying that I had a hand in the Nashkel mines, though I dealt with the basilisks first. Kelddath informed me of a certain magical scroll that was being sold at the Nashkel carnival, if I could purchase it, that would make one immune to the gaze of the basilisks for eight times as long as the normal spell. It's here that the great joke happened: do you wish to know how I travelled to the carnival in broad daylight?
  30. Your guess is very near the mark, Scar! No, I didn't pretend to be Drizzt. I pretended to be a performer pretending to be Drizzt! A carnival's a perfect place for such a scheme, don't you think? No harm came of it, at least, and I obtained the scroll as well as a couple magical necklaces. I approached the basilisks by night, and with the scroll, stalked and destroyed the basilisks as well as the megalomaniac gnome. The greatest danger gone, this was when I journeyed to the mines, but not before breaking into a few houses in Beregost. Oh, I'm joking, mostly; you may have heard of the mystery of the return of the Colquetle family amulet? I stole into the house myself and placed the trinket there, found in the hands of some Hobgoblin boasting about how he'd killed a young woman. Gorion's letter also got me access to the wares of High Hedge, in preparation for the investigation of Nashkel.
  32. ---- (Log 3)
  34. Ah, thank you for the wine. A toast, then, to the Flaming Fist. I do not recall meeting any of you in Nashkel itself. If I recall, the town has its own small militia, under the control of their mayor, Berrun Ghastkill. A curious name, that. I wonder what ghast met its end to his sword? No matter, no matter. I stray from my tale.
  36. I had remembered that the town boasted one of the Temples of Helm. It made my decision to talk to Berrun a little easier: with all the truth-telling divinations they employ, the priesthood of Helm only further corroborated my story. You could call one here, if you doubt my words. Anyways, Berrun still doubted me for a bit, but conceded that I may as well know the troubles the mine was having. The miners were complaining of creaking laughter coming from, as they said, the very earth itself. And as captain of the guard, I’m sure you’ve known that the iron from that mine, until quite recently, could not be trusted in a fierce struggle. A sword of my own broke fighting against a basilisk’s thick hide, though that’s neither here nor there.
  38. And so, Scar, what could I do but investigate? I had not as of yet connected this to my own troubles, save for the broken sword, but what fortune was given to me! I was waylaid slightly in the matter of Prism and Greywolf - the bounty-hunter decided to switch to me as his target, and was killed for his troubles - but I went to investigate the mines anyways. I’m sure you’ve heard what was found, Scar: hundreds upon hundreds of kobolds! My skill in avoiding people came in help here, as I silently wove through the reptilian hordes. They were putting some oil into the carts of iron, and immediately I was curious. What would it benefit them to weaken the iron? There had to be someone else. So deeper it was into the mines, through darkness and dankness.
  40. I’ll spare you the rest of the details of exploring that wretched mine until I came across the living quarters of one Mulahey. There was an elven spell caster in there as well, more depressing than Eeyore! Oh, you’ve never heard of him? He’s a, ah, fictional character in one of the tomes that I’ve happened across in the library. Tales of an anthropomorphic bear named Winnie. So maybe Imoen’s description of me as a bookworm was more correct than I like to admit. Anyways, Xan, the mage, had been captured by Mulahey, and told me about his operations. He controlled the kobolds, and the iron would be contaminated as long as he was allowed to stay down in the mines.
  42. I considered asking the mayor for help in taking this ringleader down, but I felt as though there was no time. I had slain a few kobolds that had spotted me, despite my wariness, and they would be found and the defenses tightened. On top of that, while Berrun might tolerate me, he was a learned man, and the militia might not have followed one of my coloring willingly. I tell you this, Scar, to attempt to absolve myself of this. What was I to do? I decided to fight Mulahey myself, in the end. He was, it turns out, a priest of Cyric and no mean fighter himself. I bested him though, and he at first pleaded with me to spare him.
  44. I was inclined to do so, and was going to bring him to proper justice, but as soon as he got within ear range of more kobolds, he started making this row. My goodness, Scar, the ruckus he made! We were swarmed by kobolds in a minute, though my skill prevailed over their numbers. I then became judge, jury, and executioner to Mulahey. Again, what else could I do? Attempt to carry him past the hordes of kobolds? Even gagged, I think he could make enough noise to get me killed. I pray you think no worse of me than before, Scar. I still cannot see what else I could have done.
  46. I returned to Berrun with notes that I had found around Mulahey’s quarters. He received me with a heroes welcome and a reward, and in a short time, there were festivities in town about the soon-to-be-over crisis. The mayor made an announcement about my part in figuring out the problem and cutting off the snake at the head. We were making plans about flushing the rest of the kobolds from the mines in a fiery assault.
  48. But things became sour fast. I was, at my request, to sleep in an actual bed for the first time since I had left Candlekeep. I didn’t even try to ask at any inn, you see, and I’m not enough of a scoundrel to break into someone’s house just for a night’s sleep. It hadn’t even been a day, Scar, just a few hours in the public, and already two assassins had been sent to kill me! It wasn’t even prejudice as Berrun had feared, but both were carrying letters promising a not insignificant amount of gold for my head. And not just any of my kind, the bounty was for me alone. Now Greywolf’s actions make a bit more sense, don’t you think, in switching from Prism to me?
  50. I left the next morning, all thoughts of me spearheading the assault at the mines gone. The assassins made me decide to be like smoke in the wind, there one moment, and gone the next. Staying anywhere public was an impossibility. I fear that already assassins may have been sent out against me here, though I trust that your Fist is uncorrupt enough. All leads I had, though, pointed to a certain Tranzig that was staying at Beregost. He was a mage, and a courier between the bandit camp to the east of here and the mines. I won’t bore you with the battle. A Fist presence had just arrived in Beregost, and I turned the messenger over to them. I hope he’s still in your care? Anyways, the coward had told me the area of the camp, but this time I was too wise to assault there immediately. I travelled for a week up and down the Sword Coast, just staying low and practicing my swordplay while my enemies waited for my next move, and I for theirs.
  52. But you don't need or want to hear my tales of the beauty and the danger of the sirines, or the horror of the golems and the ferocity giant underground insects. The bandit camp. I believe I've heard that the force you stationed at Beregost lead an assault to finish out the bandits? Quite right, quite right, and a scrap, I would think. But that's not the whole story. At the risk of sounding egotistical, I had no small part to play in this tale.
  54. I am but one man, Scar, and my race doesn't often attract allies, or at least allies that aren't completely sadistic. Drizzt is lucky there, I think, with his companions. But I could not remain idle. They were sending assassins after me already, after all, so why couldn't I have a part in their downfall? I played the assassin right back at them, stalking through the camp unheard and unseen. Have you ever had to wait in a hostile area? The nerve-wracking silence, the knowledge that every sound might be your discovery and death, and just the sound of your heartbeat keeping time. It was several hours until my targets came to me, every moment an eternity. They were not prepared for my counter-assassination, and four of the five leaders of the camp were slain within moments. The fifth I took out before fleeing back into the night. They had letters regarding a mine deep within the Cloakwood, and if you wish, I still have these letters. The Fist sortie came, by my reckoning, two days after their leaders were slain.
  56. It took a few days, and there were multiple spider corpses in my path that I'm sure will not be missed, but I eventually found this mine. So, you've not even heard of this one! Well, I shall attempt to enlighten you. It was manned by a company named the Iron Throne, and kept slaves to mine the iron ore. I hear that they operate out of your fine city? Very good, very good. To cut a long story short, I found the mage in control of the mine, and battled him for a certain key to a dam. The slaves escaped in my wake, and we flooded the mine in the end. So that is my story, Scar, from Candlekeep to here. I would accuse the Iron Throne for the troubles in this region!
  58. You have a job for me, though? The Seven Suns. Well, for now, I will do so. Farewell, Scar, and thank you for listening to my tale, and not having me executed for my skin color. Or for trying; you'd have to be able to catch me first!
  60. //
  62. Greetings again! Ha, the expression on your face is priceless. I couldn't very well announce myself at the door; it wouldn't do you any good to have it known that a Drow was working for the Fist! Patience, patience. Jhasso's alive, though shaken. The business had been infiltrated by curious creatures known as Doppelgängers, or Silverflesh, or the Mirrorkin, depending on who you read. Some of the facts are unclear, but they can take the form and appearance of any humanoid, though the transformation is imperfect in all but the greatest of their kind.
  64. Keep the reward, please, I have nowhere to spend it. Oh, the major magic dealer is closely affiliated with the Fist? A note! Thank you, Scar. I fear my potion supply was starting to look somewhat sparse. People are disappearing near the store though, with insect-like tracks? I'll do a bit of investigation. Until next time. You might want to look into your security, it seems!
  65. //
  67. Greetings onc- oof! Ha, Scar, I suppose it was your turn to get a surprise at me. There was an ogre wizard in your sewers. I'm as befuddled as you likely are on how such a creature managed to get into there, but he had an army of carrion crawlers that would sneak aboveground and find some poor civilian to eat. Ah, a ruby ring? I have found one; would this be it? Splendid, splendid. Have you conveyed my suspicions, or certainties, to the Duke yet? Oh, I even have an audience with him? Even better! Lead the way!
  68. //
  70. Diary of Benoni, 2 of Kythorn, 1368
  72. I write these notes as I am traveling back to my hometown. Ah, Candlekeep! I fear it, almost, as a memory of Gorion and Imoen. At least she's not dead herself, at least I hope. Jaheira and Khalid should keep that rapscallion company. If anyone finds this, let it be known that I am set to Candlekeep to find the leader of the Iron Throne in the Sword Coast. Rieltar is his name, and he has much to pay for for the troubles in these coasts. If I am to fail, give notice to Scar, of the Flaming Fist in Baldur's Gate.
  74. Enough with that, though. I am becoming tired, and I am becoming less sure of my path. I am no longer the scholar or bookworm that left the library a month ago. There's blood on my hands, so much blood. The dreams I've been having keep reinforcing that thought, that though I try to do good, there are still so many lives lost. Is killing an evil creature good? How can it be? The Blood War has been raging on for ages, so I've read, but that would make every Balor or Pit Fiend a saint! That cannot be right. It makes no sense.
  76. Am I good? I do not know how to tell. And who can judge me? The gods? They are flawed too, if the Time of Troubles is any indication. And does any amount of good that I do overcome the evil that I also do? Who can save me from myself? Enough of this, though. This must be for another time. Candlekeep awaits.
  77. //
  79. 3rd of Kythorn
  81. I am bewildered and frightened. My past... Oh, Gorion! My father, or rather, my adopted father! But father in truth, if not in blood. That honor... Or dishonor? I cannot yet tell, goes to Bhaal himself, the deceased god of murder. I am not sure what this will mean, but I've read the prophecies, even though I did not yet know they would apply to me!
  83. Let me see if I can gather my thoughts on paper. Paper and ink have long been my friends in collecting my thoughts, and mayhap will continue to be in this confusing time. I entered Candlekeep today, early in the morning. It was nostalgic, though... Tainted, somehow. Gorion's loss was deeply felt. Many of his peers gave their condolences to me for him, though there were some mirrorkin among them which attacked me almost upon sight. Blood on my library, blood on my books, blood on my hands. I visited Gorion's old quarters, and was told by Piato to search his rooms. There was a note, detailing my lineage. I have already mentioned it above, I do not wish to do so again. Piato advised me to talk to Tethoril about this, but before I could, I was stopped and arrested by the Gatewarden for the murders of the leaders of the Iron Throne. I had not even looked upon their faces, and was innocent!
  85. Tethoril though found me out in my cell, and explained further of who I was and who was against me. A scholar, Koveras, or Sarevok, apparently, was also a child of Bhaal. Is one, I suppose. He has seen me as his primary rival, and seeks to throw the area into deaths and chaos in an attempt to rise to Bhaal's lost status. It was him, then, that killed Rieltar and the others, I suppose. But Tethoril teleported me to the dungeons underneath the tower, so that I could make my escape. It wasn't hard, and I have a couple magical books along in my bags. I saw Gorion's face again. Not him, almost certainly; do the mirrorkin really expect me to fall for their tricks every single time? But that was enough to break my nerve. But I ramble. I must stop Sarevok; Baldur's Gate is almost certainly the goal, and even with these boots, catching him is not going to be easy.
  87. Benoni.
  89. ---(Log4, beginning of BG2)
  90. 7 of Kythorn
  91. He is dead. It is over. Sarevok will no more threaten to ascend to our father's place in the realms. I think I ought to feel satisfied, but I only feel tired. Gorion is avenged, and I have overcome possibly the most dire conspiracy in this country. But I cannot feel satisfied. He said something to me, about how not too different we were. My blade, the blade from dead ol' Greywolf, is covered in so much blood, even if it is not innocent blood. He reminded me... Oh, that this decision did not have to be made! But I fear it does.
  93. Alaundo's prophecies must still come true. I have read too many books to the contrary to believe that prophecies can be so easily subverted. And if I stay in this country, in my beloved Candlekeep, it will come to ruin and ash, whether I intend it to or not. I will not be the Bhaalspawn that will bring destruction to this coast. Maybe it's only for selfish reasons, but I will travel south, to Amn. Perhaps there, I can find some purpose, some use for myself and my skills. Who do I have to say farewell to? Tethoril, of course, and Imoen, certainly. Scar is dead, too; perhaps I was too friendly with him. Maybe death will come just at my presence, whether I mean it to or not.
  95. Ah. My greatest victory, and I'm still so tired. I do not even know what I want, not something I can put into words, but something inside of me yearns... I wonder if I will ever learn what it is?
  97. //
  99. 2nd of Mirtul, 1369
  101. I do not know what to write, but I feel like I must. The first time I have had the luxury of a splashing ink over parchment instead of fearing this psychopathic wizard's experiments in months, and I don't know what to write.
  103. A drop of ink dripped from the quill pen as it hovered over the next line. Benoni sighed, surveying his surroundings with a wince before scribbling down more words.
  105. It is too loud, far too loud. I haven't been thrown out yet for the color of my skin, but even the riffraff in this Copper Coronet are uneasy with my presence. Quayle was right, though, that this place would at least offer sanctuary for a short while. I have this short while to figure out my next plan. Should I chase down Jon Irenicus, and avenge my suffering? Part of me flares up in anger, and part of me dies in pointlessness. It was almost a year to the day that I swore vengeance on Sarevok, and the fulfillment of that was empty and futile. Should I-
  107. "You see that man in the corner?" a sudden voice commented in his ear. Ink splashed across his coarse parchment as he started. Benoni swung his head around, but saw nobody. His hand flew to his sword.
  108. "No sudden movements!" the voice continued. "Talk to that man, the balding human in the corner, and ask for the entertainment at the pits."
  109. "Why should I trust someone I know nothing about or see?" Benoni replied quietly, hoping he could be heard without being overheard.
  110. "Why should an Avariel trust a Drow?" the voice countered. Her nerve seemed to break then, her voice quivering out her next sentences. "Please. Do what I ask, for now. Prove Quayle right. Prove you're better than my fears."
  112. A few long seconds passed. Then Benoni nodded, and silently gathered his papers and rose from his seat, and headed to the corner of the Coronet. What was in the back, he wondered, that the timid elf who was so scared of his appearance in the enchanted tent he had fled into earlier would seek him out? It was better than having nothing to do but worry, at least.
  114. //
  116. "What now?" Benoni finally broke the silence, if there could ever be silence in the Copper Coronet. "The backrooms are cleared out, and the slavers are decimated, for now. Will you return to the circus now to Quayle, Aerie?"
  117. A long pause, another bawdy joke beginning in the background, before Aerie sighed. "I'm not sure."
  118. Benoni raised an eyebrow. "Really? I thought that that was a given."
  119. She shook her head just the smallest amount.
  120. "Is there another slaver hold in the area that you know of?" Benoni pressed.
  121. Again, Aerie shook her head.
  122. His brow furrowed. "What, then?"
  123. Aerie looked down at the table, picking at the plate that still lay in front of her. The question hung in the air, unanswered, for a few more seconds before she looked back up at Benoni, a new resolve in her eyes. "What do you intend to do after today?"
  124. It was the question that he had asked in his diary a day ago, and he still had no solid idea. "That's not an answer to my question," he stalled.
  125. "Nor was that one to mine," she countered again. "My answer depends on yours. Quayle claimed you were the unsung hero that saved an entire countryside from bloodshed and war, that you freed a hundred slaves from a flooding mine, and I trusted him. I've always trusted him." Her voice wavered as it did the day previous, becoming unsteady once more. "I've always wanted to do great things, being kind and just, and merciful above all, like my uncle Quayle. But this city..." Her voice died completely, the sentence incomplete.
  126. "Then I don't know," Benoni carefully interjected. He was trying to follow Aerie's logic, the argument that these premises made sense for. He saw a possibility; he took it. The answer wasn't a lie, after all. "I have no plan, not for the long term. I'm a stranger in Athkatla and Amn, and I don't know what tyranny and injustices and oppression exist here, besides what I've read in Candlekeep. I don't know what I'll do tomorrow, or in a week, or in a month, but I intend to do whatever's right and true.”
  127. A smile creeped up his face as Benoni finished. "Is that answer enough?"
  128. "Enough," Aerie agreed. “Then I will do what I can to help you, if you wouldn’t mind, of course,” she finished, as though a question.
  129. Benoni thought about it for but a moment before nodding. He had been without a friend of any type since he left the Sword Coast, and truth be told, he was lonely. There were other arguments to be made, swirling in his head, either yea or nay, but he pushed them aside for the time. “Of course not.”
  130. The days ahead would be… interesting.</div>
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