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When you arrive at Zhentil Keep, the guards at the front gate will try to charge you 50 platinum as an entrance fee. If you don't want to pay, then you can bluff (which will sometimes work) or you can grovel (which will always work). You can also fight the guards, which will cause eight Drow Priests to attack you, but this will raise the alarm, and you'll have to fend off random drow attacks while you're in the keep.
Note: The keep will reset each time you enter it. The alarm will turn off, any defeated drow will reappear, and the drow won't remember what if anything you did previously. That means you can use the keep to grind up xp if you want, which might be a good idea early in the game if you have a dual-classed character.
Zhentil Keep is the closest thing you'll find to a town early in the game. It will give you places to shop (#2, #5, #8), rest (#9), and train (#4), although you'll have to pay 10 gems each time you want to enter the training hall. Eventually you'll want to visit
(via Exits B or C), but before that you should talk to Mabril (#10).
1 - Barracks
When you enter the barracks, the drow soldiers inside will yell for you to get out. If you don't comply, then you'll have to fight six Drow Priests and two Drow Sorcerers.
2 - Fine Weapons
You can buy +1 weapons and armor in this shop, including Helms +1 (which are usable by everyone except for magic-users).
3 - Training Clerk
The training clerk won't allow you into the training hall (#4) unless you pay him 10 gems. You'll need to make this payment each time you want to enter the hall.
4 - Training Hall
5 - Trading Post
This shop will sell you a basic selection of non-magical gear.
6 - Deal
At this spot a man will offer to sell you a Mace +4 for 10 gems. It's not a trick. Eventually, you'll acquire more gems than you could possibly spend in the game, so if the mace is useful for you, then you should go ahead and buy it.
7 - Wounded Man
Inside this building, you'll meet a wounded man. He'll warn you that the Lamp of Vigilance is in danger of being destroyed in the
Temple of Tyr
, but then he'll die and a group of Drow Priests and Drow Sorcerers will burst into the room and attack you. You'll only have this encounter if you haven't yet been to the
Temple of Tyr
. Killing the drow here won't raise the alarm in the keep.
8 - Mystic Talismans
In this shop you'll find scrolls and potions -- plus useful Rings of Protection from Evil.
9 - Purple Plume Tavern
This is the only place in the keep where you can rest.
10 - Building
When you enter this building, a man will step out of the shadows and ask you if you oppose Bane. If you answer in the affirmative, then he'll introduce himself as Mabril, and he'll tell you his story, which you'll record as Journal Entries 23 and 36. He'll also tell you about a halfling woman named Traned who is in the
beneath the keep, and he'll point out a secret entrance into
(Exit C), which you can use instead of the main entrance (Exit B).
- Exit to the
- Main entrance to
- Secret entrance to