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Comic Book / Legends of Baldur's Gate

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Top: Minsc (with Boo, of course) and Delina. Bottom: Shandie and Krydle.

Legends of Baldur's Gate is a Comic Book spin-off of the Baldur's Gate video games, themselves part of the Forgotten Realms setting.

The comics feature writing by Jim Zub and art by Max Dunbar. There are five issues in the series, and the story ties into the wider Tyranny of Dragons storyline (which spread across multiple media). The comics were published from October 2014 to March 2015.

The story follows the moon elf Delina, who comes to the city of Baldur's Gate looking for her twin brother, Deniaj, after feeling a terrible darkness through the mystical bond they share. Upon arrival, however, she is attacked by a couple of gargoyles, and in her attempts to defend herself brings back the Beloved Ranger, Minsc. After a couple of rogues, Shandie and Krydle, help them evade the city guard, the group will have to navigate a city under attack by the secretive Cult of the Dragon.

The characters introduced in Legends of Baldur's Gate reappeared in other mini-series, first Dungeons & Dragons: Shadow of the Vampire, which sent the group, along with Nerys (a cleric of Kelemvor) to Barovia, domain of the vampire lord Strahd von Zarovich, then Dungeons & Dragons: Frost Giant's Fury (same writer, different artist), Evil at Baldur's Gate, Dungeons & Dragons: Infernal Tides, based on the Baldur's Gate: Descent into Avernus adventure, and Dungeons & Dragons: Mindbreaker, which is set after Infernal Tides and serves as a prequel to Baldur's Gate III.

The party consists of:

  • Minsc and Boo: The Baldur's Gate ranger and his miniature giant space hamster, Boo, as they are awakened from a 100 year petrification.
  • Delina: An Expy of Neera from the Baldur's Gate: Enhanced Edition which Minsc comments on. Delina is a Wild Mage who cannot control her powers but uses them to try to find her brother first, then fight for her Found Family.
  • Krydle: A Blue Blood half-elf and Legacy Character for Coran from the original Baldur's Gate. He is the Black Sheep of the family and thief.
  • Shandie: A halfling rogue that Kryndle befriended and is now the Heterosexual Life-Partner of.
  • Nerys: A Priest of Kelemvor and the party's Sixth Ranger who joins the group after their original adventure.

The comics provide examples of the following tropes:

  • Adaptation Distillation: The various arcs are based on the official adventures for 5th Edition, but are greatly shortened down or adapted In Name Only.
    • Legends of Baldur's Gate is based on Tyranny of Dragons, the first adventure storyline for 5th Edition. Whereas Hoard of the Dragon Queen and Rise of Tiamat revolve around a large scale conflict against the Cult of the Dragon and the forces of Tiamat, Delina & Co. only fought a local chapter of the cult.
    • Shadow of the Vampire is based more directly on Curse of Strahd, but only features the city of Vallaki, werewolves, and a single battle against Strahd.
    • Frost Giant's Fury is based on Storm King's Thunder. While Delina & Co. did participate in the larger conflict, specifically defeating a tribe of frost giants who planned to conquer the Realms, they had nothing to do with King Hekaton, Slarkrethel or the blue dragon that caused the entire conflict to begin with.
    • Infernal Tides follows Baldur's Gate: Descent into Avernus the closest, but still condenses a lot of it, namely introducing new characters and having a different starting point.
  • Adaptational Early Appearance: Haruman, Zariel's hellish knight, is fought by Minsc first in Baldur's Gate and then in Elturel. In the adventure that arc was based on, he didn't appear until the players reached Haruman's Hill in Avernus.
  • Androcles' Lion: Krydle tries to invoke this after he frees a white dragon that the frost giants were keeping captive. The dragon is not interested at first and suggests that she eat him last.
  • Antihero: Krydle is a thief and rebel that is willing to use infernal magic to save Baldur's Gate. He's also perhaps the most heroic and self-sacrificing due to his youthful rebellion getting his mother killed.
  • Archer Archetype: Shandie, who uses a shortbow (and hits a dragon in the eye with it).
  • Ballroom Blitz: The party makes a deal with an underworld figure to deliver a letter to a member of parliament (who happens to be Krydle's father and Minsc's acquaintance from the games, Coran). This involves going to a fancy party, but Delina recognises someone there as a Dragon Cultist who attacked her earlier. A fight breaks out.
  • Brainwashed and Crazy: Becomes a huge problem when faced with Illithids in Mindbreaker. They create a Path of Inspiration in the city dedicated to their worship.
  • Brought Down to Normal: In the first story arc, Delina seems to lose her power after her brother performs a ritual to turn himself into a dragon. It turns out to be a fake out and she has enough power to kill him.
  • Bunny-Ears Lawyer: Minsc is a hotblooded ranger who fights for justice but also is convinced his hamster animal companion is sentient as well as a miniature giant space hamster.
  • Call-Back: In the games, Minsc is always telling his hamster Boo to "go for the eyes". After being thrown at a dragon, Boo does just that.
  • Clear My Name: Delina and Minsc are accused by the city guards of being responsible for deaths which were actually caused by the gargoyles pursuing Delina.
  • Deal with the Devil: As in Forgotten Realms canon, Thavius Kreeg made a deal with Zariel to sacrifice every soul of Elturel. Krydle makes one with Bel, Zariel's rival, trading his soul for all of Elturel's. The devil he made a deal with saves his life in Mindbreaker after he is almost turned into a Mind Flayer.
  • Death of Personality: Being dunked in the Styx tends to result in this. Nerys is saved by her faith in Kelemvor, while Minsc is not as lucky.
  • Defector from Decadence: Krydle the thief is the son of Coran, a member of the Parliament of Peers, but hated politics and inequality too much to live that life. Ironically, Coran was originally a thief himself. They remain estranged.
  • Eerie Pale-Skinned Brunette: Nerys has long dark hair, pale skin contrasting to the other characters, and morbid interests as a priestess of the god of death.
  • Eye Scream: Deniak, as a dragon and trapped on the ground, gets one eye attacked by Boo the hamster (as is fitting) and the other shot with an arrow by Shandie.
  • Enemy Mine:
    • The heroes make a deal with the white dragon that Krydle saves. Save her eggs, and she will leave the village alone. The dragon is agreeable and even starts to offer weapons to fight the frost giants before they get interupted.
    • Neryes and Minsc are saved from the Styx by a group of raiders. They then team up with them to combat Zariel's forces.
  • Face Death with Dignity: Kelemvor priests are expected to do this. Nerys does not tell her associates of her lycanthropy infection due to the belief she's dying. It is actually turning her into a werewolf, though.
  • Fallen Hero: Haruman, both based on his appearance and his counterpart in the Descent into Avernus adventure, is a Narzugon, a former paladin who sold their soul.
  • Freudian Excuse: Deniak is jealous of his sister, since he had to work for his powers, while she got them naturally with no effort whatsoever.
  • Goth: Nerys is a Eerie Pale-Skinned Brunette who worships a god of death. Thus, she's both morbid as well as Troubled, but Cute. So she's as close as you're going to get to this in the Realms.
  • Goth Girls Know Magic: Nerys is capable of using magic as a cleric of Kelemvor, the God of Death.
  • Sliding Scale of Gameplay and Story Integration: The comics incorporate the ongoing storylines in the games. Legends features the same Dragon Cult that's the focus of Tyranny of Dragons, Shadows of the Vampire takes the trip to Barovia, same as Curse of Strahd, Frost Giant's Fury incorporates the same conflict as Storm King's Thunder and Infernal Tides has the same plot as Descent into Avernus.
  • Heroic Self-Deprecation:
    • Even though she has just defeated a dragon, Delina considers her mission a failure because she didn't save Deniak and the Cult isn't gone, and plans to leave the city. Her new allies convince her to stay.
    • After the second miniseries, Minsc suffers from this after facing the might of Strahd and barely escaping alive.
  • Heroic Willpower: Minsc, despite being the same Dumb Muscle as always, manages to overcome the seduction of a Succubus.
  • Nice Girl: Delina is the most traditionally heroic and cheerful of the party.
  • Religion of Evil: Delina's missing brother turns out to be leader of a splinter group of the Cult of the Dragon.
  • Renegade Splinter Faction: The main enemy is a splinter of the Cult of the Dragon. The real Cult believes in helping dragons rise to power, but the splinter group wants to acquire dragons' powers and rule themselves.
  • Scaled Up: As befits someone associated with the Cult of the Dragon, Deniak turns into one.
  • Sibling Rivalry: As children, Delina's brother Deniak criticised her for not putting much effort into her magical studies, but when this angered her enough to manifest her wild magic, he changed his tune and became jealous of her instead. When he's found, he has gone completely over the edge and wants to steal Delina's power with a ritual.
  • Sizeshifter: Boo gets a drink of a potion of giant size at one point, turning him (in the words of Minsc) into a "giant-sized-miniature-giant sized hamster".
  • Taken for Granite: This happened to Minsc at some point after the games, with people thinking he was a statue. He's revived by a spell that Delina (a Wild Mage) was aiming at some gargoyles.
  • Time Skip: The comics are set "generations" after the events of the first game. Minsc spent the intervening time up as a statue which Delina accidentally brings back to life. The only person he can find who recognises him is Coran (who is now, of all things, a member of parliament).
  • Took a Level in Badass: Boo, who didn't do much of anything in the games, manages to take out a team of assassins in a later issue who is close to finding and ambushing the party while they sleep in their safehouse.
  • Turn Out Like His Father: Even though Coran the thief has ended up a member of parliament, his son Krydle is a thief.
  • Unequal Rites: The central cause of Delina and Deniak's Sibling Rivalry. Both studied magic as children, with Deniak being better than his sister, but Delina manifested Wild Magic sorcery. While she can use it without training (though it may spin out of control), he still had to work and practice.
  • Wild Magic: Delina, whose mission starts the comics off, is a wild mage, so her magic can have unintended effects. The fact that a spell she was aiming at a gargoyle ended up reviving the statue-ised Minsc instead is presumably an example. Later, so is the fact that Deniak gets turned into a dragon when he was probably just expecting dragon-ish power.
  • You Killed My Mother: Krydle's mother was assassinated by Burgust for his leaving the gang.
  • You Remind Me of X: When Minsc is revived, he initially helps Delina fight the gargoyles attacking her because he thinks she's his friend Neera. Delina goes with it.

Alternative Title(s): Baldurs Gate