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Zhentil Keep

Area Note

When you enter the city, guards will stop you and ask you some questions (journal entry 32). Then, just as you're preparing to leave, you'll overhear one guard say, "Just as the little thief said." Another will respond, "Don't worry. They'll get theirs inside." The "little thief" in question is Olive Ruskettle, whose name you might remember from the Tilverton Sewers. She has spread stories about you all throughout the keep, and you'll hear people comment about you as you wander the streets. You might even catch glimpses of Ruskettle as you make your way to the Temple of Bane, and you'll finally catch up to her at #12.

There are basically two ways you can deal with the keep. You can fight everybody, and you can be diplomatic and fight almost nobody. The first way is longer and more difficult, but it will give you more experience. That being said, we recommend the second way. If you want to fight random battles, you can find as many of them as you want out in the Wilderness.

If you choose to be diplomatic, then when you see priests of Bane, be "nice" to them. When you see Zhentil Keep troops, be "meek." And when you see mages and their bodyguards, be "sly." Those responses will normally keep you out of battle, although sometimes your bonds will take over and force you to fight. Then to get into the Temple of Bane (located in the southwestern part of the keep), meet Ruskettle at #12 and agree to her proposition. She'll slip you inside.

If you decide to fight everybody, then if you're defeated by a patrol, you'll be put on trial, you'll lose money and equipment, and you'll be stuck in the arena, where you'll have to fight your way out. We didn't pursue this avenue very far (for obvious reasons), but if you're curious as to why there's a courthouse (#8) and an arena (#9) in the keep, now you know. The direct way into the Temple of Bane is at #13.

Note: Once you've entered the Temple of Bane, you won't be able to get back out for a while, and you won't be able to re-visit Zhentil Keep. So be prepared.

1 - Private Home

If you "explore" the home, then you'll have to fight a Zhentil patrol. It appears you can repeat this as often as you'd like.

2 - Zhentil Inn

3 - Weapon Shop

4 - Magic Shop

You can buy a variety of wands and potions here, plus magical arrows and darts of the hornet's nest.

5 - Soldier in Cart

You'll find a legless soldier in a cart here (but probably only if you've been to Yulash already). He'll accuse you of killing Fritz, and then he'll attempt to flee. It doesn't seem to matter if you kill him or let him go. Either way the citizens of the keep will start giving you a wider berth.

6 - Magistrate's Office

If you break into the office and then "stay," you'll have to face two waves of 15 Zhentil fighters each.

7 - Equipment Shop

You can buy silver mirrors and flasks of oil here.

8 - Courthouse

9 - Arena

10 - The Gorge and Grog Shop

If you buy a drink, you might hear a tavern tale (like tavern tale 16). You can also bet on arena fights here (the rules are explained in journal entry 23), but given that the only bet is 1 platinum piece, there doesn't seem to be much of a point to it.

11 - Voice

"A dream-like voice in your head says, ‘Great danger lies before you. Be fully prepared!'"

12 - Olive Ruskettle

Olive Rukettle will appear here and make you a proposition (journal entry 50). If you decide to take her up on her offer, then she'll sneak you through a hole in the wall of the temple, and she'll tell you about Dimswart the Sage (journal entry 51). Ruskette won't join your party, but she'll lead you right up to Dimswart's cell (#14) before disappearing.

Note: When Ruskettle mentions a friend who had problems with bonds, she's probably referring to Alias (who you might have met in the Pit of Moander).

13 - Outside Door

When you approach the front doors of the temple, priests will rush out and accost you. If you agree to "go with them," then they'll take you to #14. If you fight them, then you'll have to battle two waves of Zhentil clerics and fighters.

14 - Dimswart's Cell

When you enter the cell, Dimswart will introduce himself and tell you quite a bit about your bonds (journal entry 12). You'll then be given the option to add Dimswart to your party (he won't become a true companion; he'll just follow along invisibly). You must do this if you want to escape the temple, although you can refuse to let him join and then come back for him later.

Note: It is safe to rest here.

15 - Treasure Box

If you "look" here you'll find a small door below the altar. The treasure box it opens is trapped, but you can disable the trap if any character in your party has a memorized a "disable trap" spell. Inside the box you'll find a long sword +2 berserker (which is cursed and which causes the user to attack allies as well as enemies), a wand of paralyzation, 20 arrows +1, and some money and jewels.

16 - Battles

You'll face Zhentil fighters, clerics and mages at these spots. You can find magical items in these battles, including plate mail +2, a flail +1, a broad swords +1, a light crossbows +1, and quarrels +1.

17 - Inside Door

When you arrive at the doors, a cleric will seal them closed, locking you inside the temple. "The heretics are trapped!"

18 - Hooded Woman

If you have Dimswart (#14) in your party, then at various points in the temple, you'll meet a hooded woman who will claim that she can help you escape. Her method is the only way out of the temple, so eventually you'll have to say "yes" and follow her, but she'll keep re-appearing and asking you again, so you can say "no" as often as you'd like and explore the entire temple first. However, each time you say "no," a patrol of clerics and fighters will show up and attack you.

19 - Scrying Room

Through the mirrors in the room, you'll see a variety of creatures, including gryphons, manitcores, and a beholder. You might also see a hooded woman (the woman from #18) and Olive Ruskettle.

  1. Gate to the Wilderness.