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Video Game / Baldur's Gate: Siege of Dragonspear

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Baldur's Gate: Siege of Dragonspear is an Expansion Pack to Baldur's Gate (the first game of the Baldur's Gate series). It was developed more than a decade after the original game was released by Beamdog, who worked on the enhanced editions of the prior games and founded by people who worked on the original game at BioWare.

Story-wise, Siege of Dragonspear is an Interquel to the original games. Baldur's Gate II begins with the player character and a selected group of companions (not necessarily the ones players actually had) waking up in a dungeon, with only vague indications of how they got there. This expansion is supposed to bridge the gap.

It was released on March 31, 2016 for Windows, Mac, and Linux via direct download from the Beamdog website and Steam.


The game expansion provides examples of the following tropes:

  • Anti-Frustration Features: Flaming Fist/Coalition Forces troops do not turn hostile when hit by friendly fire during the two major battles, and plot-important characters will stay away from the melee so they won't get killed by accident.
  • Anti-Hero: The Waterdhavian military leader, Cedric de Lancie, who gladly resorts to Cold-Blooded Torture to get information from enemy soldiers, advocates the use of crippling poison on Crusade forces and openly, proudly states that he would do even worse than that to save the life of even one of his soldiers. It's notable that agreeing with Cedric's ideas generally ends up penalizing your attempts to prove yourself in the game's final chapter.
  • Archer Archetype: One of the new companions, Schael Corwin, is an Archer (the Ranger kit). She differs from Kivan from the original game in that she's a patriotism-driven city guard rather than a solitary, nature-ish ranger type.
  • Ascended Extra:
    • Skie Silvershield, a minor NPC in the first game, is given an expanded role and some Character Development that eventually ties into the main story in a big way.
    • Voghiln the Vast, one of the new companions, previously showed up as a gladiator in The Black Pits II, and also popped up in Neera's quest in Throne of Bhaal.
    • Liia Jannath, one of the surviving Grand Dukes of Baldur's Gate, also returns with a bigger role as a mentor to Imoen in her mage training.
  • Ax-Crazy: Bhaal's former high priestess, Madele, and how. Given what she's gone through at the hands of the Cyricists, it's impressive she has any semblance of a rational mind.
  • Back from the Dead: Entar Silvershield, whose death was a plot point in the first game. He was brought back to life by his healers.
  • Badass Army: Your Flaming Fist/Coalition Forces allies are capable of winning the battles without much (if at all any) assistance from your party.
  • The Bard: Voghiln the Vast, a Bard who uses the Skald kit, is a new party member.
  • Base-Breaking Character: In-Universe. Should you successfully argue in Charname's defense at your trial for Skie's murder, you are informed that the city is fiercely divided on whether or not Charname is a gutless murderer no better than Sarevok, or a noble hero who doesn't deserve the way they're being treated. One side calls for them to swing from the gallows for your crime (which you didn't actually commit), the other thinks you should be celebrated for saving the city regardless of whatever else you may have done. For this reason, the Council chooses to have Charname exiled forever instead, feeling it's the only way to honour your deeds while sidestepping further bloodshed.
  • Better Manhandle the Murder Weapon: Irenicus' scheme leaves you standing with a bloody dagger over Skie Silvershield's dead body.
  • Big Bad: Caelar Argent, the Shining Lady. Subverted, as she was an Unwitting Pawn to the real Big Bad, Belhifet.
  • Boisterous Bruiser: Voghiln is a strong, jovial fellow always looking for wine, women and adventure.
  • Bolivian Army Ending: As You Know, Charname and Imoen's party are ambushed by Irenicus.
  • But Thou Must!: In the epilogue, even if you convince the Dukes that you didn't kill Skie (which is possible, but requires certain dialogue choices), they still end up exiling you because they don't want to risk your Bhaalspawn powers resurfacing.
  • Call-Back: Thrix the Profane, servant to Belhifet, has lost faith in his master after the business with Crenshinibon.
  • Call-Forward:
    • Several characters speak of Irenicus and his shadowing of the player, although he's never referred to by name.
    • A vampire you can encounter in an early sidequest is a servant of L, the Mysterious Employer of Hexxat, a companion from the Enhanced Edition of Baldur's Gate II.
    • Madele, the former high priestess of the overrun temple of Bhaal, tells a story about a romance between a Harper and a priestess of Bhaal, along with an attack on the temple during some Human Sacrifice of infant Bhaalspawn that should sound familiar to anyone who has played Throne of Bhaal.
    • At the end of Neera's sidequest, Adoy reveals he was brutally murdered by the Order of Eight Staves, which ties into Neera's BGII sidequest.
    • You can find a letter addressed to a (dead) mage hunter from the elves of Suldanessellar, whose author is tracking Irenicus. Apparently, not all of the elves agreed with Ellesime's "mercy", and this group was actively trying to kill him.
    • If you read Korlasz' diary, she mentions being approached by a hooded figure who paid her to ship Sarevok's de-powered sword off to Athkatla; there was no explanation given until now as to how the blade ended up in Irenicus' keeping.
  • The Chessmaster: Irenicus once again proves himself to be a master planner and manipulator, tricking Charname into killing Skie and manipulating the circumstances and events of her murder in such a way that it's all but impossible for Charname to prove their innocence, cutting them off from Baldur's Gate's support and leaving them and their party ripe for him to capture.
  • Combat by Champion: Ashatiel challenges you to this during the Siege of Dragonspear. Depending on your class and how much you're willing to bend the rules she lays out, it's either reasonably straightforward or incredibly difficult.
  • Continue Your Mission, Dammit!: Zigzagged when the player is sent to the tunnels underneath Dragonspear Castle to plant a magical bomb to make the united armies' assault on Dragonspear Castle easier, only to encounter the Hooded Man. He angrily asks why the player is wasting time grubbing around in the dirt instead of leading the army to battle Caelar's forces right now. This fits the letter of the trope, but completely ignores its spirit for two reasons; the first is that going down into the caves is presented as a But Thou Must!, and it's not possible to advance to the actual invasion without going down there at least once. The second is that the Hooded Man doesn't care at all about what the player does, but is instead trying—and failing—to comprehend what the Bhaalspawn is doing, in hopes that will give him vital clues for completing his ultimate goal.
  • Cool Crown: The Crown of Lies, a late-game headgear for mages and sorcerers. It grants extra spell slots at the expense of a steep penalty to the wearer's Lore score. This is annoying, but easily surpassable with the use of high Lore followers, the Identify spell, and merchants, and at least the headgear is not cursed. The same can't be said for the robes found alongside it, which are a Cursed item (and thus can't be removed voluntarily) that can only be used by mages... and which renders them unable to cast spells in exchange for boosting their Strength to 18.
  • Cursed With Awesome: Downplayed. One of the first magical staffs that the player can find is the Uncursed Staff, which still bears some lingering remnants of its former curse. At the cost of a small penalty to THAC0, it gives the bearer 18 Strength, so it's great to give to a physically weak character like Viconia or a mage who won't need to get into melee combat all that much anyway so they can carry heavier loads.
  • Cutting Off the Branches: The branches were already cut between Baldur's Gate and Baldur's Gate II, but this Interquel actually grows a few back. The game begins with the party your character completed Baldur's Gate 1 with, and your companions depart after the first dungeon (mopping up the last vestiges of Sarevok's loyalists) is completed. This frees up party space for the characters available in SoD, who leave the group in a similar way when the adventure is over. The game also provides a story reason as to why Imoen, Khalid, Jaheira, Minsc, and Dynaheir are with you as you leave the city behind for good, amending the original games' presumption that they were the "canon" BG1 party.
  • Defector from Decadence: A minor side quest involves two young dark elves fleeing for the surface.
  • Didn't See That Coming: The appearance of Belhifet, the main antagonist from Icewind Dale, who is the Final Boss and the true Big Bad this time as well.
  • Divine Parentage: It's said that the Shining Lady, leader of the "crusade" now seeming to threaten Baldur's Gate, is the child of a god. Actually downplayed. She's an aasimar, a creature distantly descended from servants of good deities — in her case, a Planetar. Her not having enough divine blood is a major plot point.
  • Downer Ending: As you probably guessed, the expansion indeed ends with Charname and their party being abducted by Irenicus. What you may not have guessed is the player being cast out of Baldur's Gate after being accused of murdering Skie shortly before they are abducted.
  • The Dragon: Ashatiel to Caelar, Hephernaan to Belhifet. Caelar herself becomes this to Belhifet (who will kill Hephernaan for her as part of the bargain for her loyalty) if you're unable to redeem her in Avernus.
  • Dragon Their Feet: The tutorial dungeon has Charname and co rooting out the last of Sarevok's followers, now led by a female mage called Korlasz.
  • Drill Sergeant Nasty: Vigilant Halasan, a low-ranking Waterdhavian officer who's trying to whip a ragtag group of Daggerford militia members into shape, giving the player the opportunity to help her as part of a sidequest.
    Vigilant Halasan: What a bunch of pathetic babies! I've never seen a worse lot in my entire career!
  • Enemy Mine: The menace of the Crusade unites the often-bickering Baldur's Gate, Waterdeep, and Daggerford. Over the course of the game, you can gain even stranger allies, like ogres and trolls.
  • Even Evil Has Loved Ones: There's a Green Dragon guarding the overtaken temple of Bhaal who serves as an Optional Boss. If you kill her and talk to Ziatar, the Green Half-dragon inside the temple, you learn that the dragon in question was her sister, and Ziatar is shocked to hear that the player's party killed her.
  • Evil Costume Switch: Caelar if she becomes a Blackguard.
  • Evil vs. Evil:
    • One of the dungeons is a former temple of Bhaal, invaded and desecrated by followers of Cyric. Who were, in turn, subverted by a powerful mind flayer.
    • There are also shades of this between Hephernaan and the Hooded Man (Irenicus) concerning whose Evil Plan the Bhaalspawn should be a pawn in. Hephernaan needs their blood to open a portal to the Nine Hells while the Hooded Man needs them for... well, you'll find out soon enough. The Hooded Man even displays something of an Eviler Than Thou attitude towards Hephernaan.
    • In some random encounters you can find various enemies fighting each other, such as a battle between Orcs and Trolls, or Hill Giants and a Green Dragon.
  • Expy: Voghiln the Vast is very similar to Volstagg the Voluminous from the The Mighty Thor comics.
  • Fire and Brimstone Hell: Avernus, the first of the Nine Hells.
  • Foregone Conclusion:
    • Because it's an Interquel, we know that some of the characters showing up in it are going to die no matter what.
    • We know that Charname eventually loses the support of Baldur's Gate due to the city fearing their Bhaalspawn nature, forcing them to leave and give Irenicus the chance to capture them. It turns out its because Irenicus tricked Charname into murdering Skie by turning her into a Ravager and orchestrating the crime scene in such a way that, even in the off-chance Charname is cleared of the charges, the event causes Baldur's Gate's fear and distrust of the Bhaalspawn to force them to leave anyway.
  • Frame-Up: The player is framed for Skie's murder by the Hooded Man.
  • Gameplay and Story Segregation: Have a ring of Free Action? Somehow Hephernaan is still able to paralyze Charname to draw their blood
  • Hero Antagonist: Preliminary reports indicate that the Shining Lady is a heroic, good-aligned character, just one whose goals are going to put her in opposition to the player character.
  • Idiot Ball: You can have your showdown with Hephernaan and uncover his evil agenda before the parley with Caelar and her inner circle, but you aren't given the option to question Caelar about her shady right-hand-man's dealings with an evil demonic "master" or to proffer any of the evidence of it that Charname can pick up on their way out.
  • I Just Want to Be Badass: Skie's motivation this time around, which causes some inevitable problems with her personality and leads to her taking foolish risks.
  • Interquel: Siege of Dragonspear slots in between the two main games of the Baldur's Gate series. In the words of the developers, the "events occurring between Baldur’s Gate and Baldur’s Gate II are at last revealed".
  • It's All About Me: Edwin, of course.
    Edwin: [After going to Avernus and back, beating the Big Bad in the process] Thus ends another chapter in the great tale of Edwin Odesseiron.
  • Jeanne d'Archétype: The Shining Lady, a warrior who came from nowhere to lead a crusade.
  • Kangaroo Court: Zizagged in the epilogue. You can convince the majority of the Dukes that you didn't murder Skie, but the protests of Duke Entar (who was Skie's father) and Corwin (who claims to have seen you do it), plus the general public's distrust of Bhaalspawn in the aftermath of Sarevok, essentially force them to keep you locked up. However, if you play your cards right, Duke Belt can convince the other Dukes sans Entar to arrange to have you "smuggled" out of Baldur's Gate.
  • Killed Off for Real: This time, Belhifet is taken down in the Nine Hells, his home plane. For a devil, that is a permanent end.
  • Knight Templar: The Shining Lady takes her devotion a little too far.
  • Landmark of Lore: One of the locations you can visit is Boareskyr Bridge, where the gods Cyric and Bhaal fought a battle. The latter's defeat is of significant importance to the setting in general but also to the Baldur's Gate series in particular. The player can witness the death of Bhaal in a vision, and what transpires there (the engraving of Bhaal's symbol onto the bridge beneath you) fully outs you as a Bhaalspawn, causing people to become suspicious of you.
  • Light Is Not Good: She's called The Shining Lady and looks angelic, but her actions have brought misery and death to thousands of people.
  • Must Make Amends: A speech the Shining Lady makes to her followers indicates that she sees her crusade as a way to atone for past actions, but you won't know the full scope of those actions until you reach the final dungeon.
  • Mysterious Past: Nothing is ever said of the Hooded Man's goals or origins, and without playing the sequel you'd have no clue that he's the "Exile" discussed throughout the game.
  • Nice Hat: The Wizzard Hat, a mage- and sorcerer-exclusive item that slightly decreases casting time and improves movement speed.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!: During Zaviak's Vision Quest you get the chance to free an ancient Lich named Zhadroth. As you then soon find out, he is off to kill thousands of people. And unless you kill him, he'll go off to do exactly that.
  • No Name Given: The identity of the mysterious Hooded Man is never revealed in the game itself, and the fact his face is constantly obscured doesn't help in this regard. To anyone who's played BG II, however, it's patently obvious that he is Jon Irenicus.
  • Obvious Beta: Like most Beamdog games at launch, the expansion's initial launch version had a plethora of bugs and glitches. Reported bugs included simple graphics glitches, broken dialogue trees, a multitude of crashes and freezes and corrupted save files.
  • Obviously Evil: Hephernaan, painfully so. Really makes you wonder what Caelar saw in him in the first place.
  • Old Save Bonus: In both directions.
    • Importing a save from Baldur's Gate: Enhanced Edition allows you to benefit from the use of the manuals and tomes used to raise your character stats, enter at the previous game's level cap and/or bring with you a player party outside the default selection. Some magical items (such as the Gauntlets of Dexterity) cannot be obtained during a Siege of Dragonspear playthrough, so players who hunt those items down benefit from that as well.
    • Conversely, Siege of Dragonspear saves allow the player to export Siege of Dragonspear saves to Baldur's Gate II: Enhanced Edition, which allows them to export characters with up to 500,000 XP and bring up to ten specific magic itemsnote  which can be obtained during the Dragonspear campaign with them. The items in question can be found dropped by some enemies, found as loot in certain dungeons or bought from specific merchants.
  • Plot-Triggering Death: Skie, whose death leads to Charname's disgrace, escape from prison, and capture by Irenicus.
  • Master of Illusion: Glint, one of the new companions, is a priest of Baravar Cloakshadow, the gnomish god of illusion. He's a heroic example of the trope, because Baravar is a strictly good-aligned god of protective illusion and concealment, not villainous deception.
  • Red Baron: The leader of the army approaching from the north is just called the Shining Lady. Much more than that isn't known. Her real name is Caelar Argent.
  • The Remnant: The necromancer Korlasz leads the remnants of Sarevok's followers after Sarevok's defeat. Taking her out is the first mission of the campaign, before the new threat emerges.
  • Reasonable Authority Figure: Baldur's Gate's Council of Four gets an expanded role, and each of them are very much this.
  • Rewarded as a Traitor Deserves: With a You Have Outlived Your Usefulness twist. If Caelar becomes a Blackguard, she will beseech Belhifet to kill Hephernaan, who deceived and betrayed her. He happily grants her request, causing Hephernaan to have a Villainous Breakdown.
  • Shout-Out: The Wizzard hat, which boosts a mage's spellcasting and movement speed, is an obvious homage to Rincewind of the Discworld novels.
  • Soul Power: The expansion adds the Shaman class (which existed in Forgotten Realms lore, but was not previously available in the games). The class is based on being able to see and manipulate spirits. M’Khiin, a new party member, is a shaman.
  • Take Your Time: Par for the course.
  • Tempting Fate: Before setting out to take the fight to the crusade, Duke Entar asks the player character to protect his daughter and bring her home safe. In the end, they end up being framed for her murder.
  • Token Heroic Orc: In a first for the series, there's a goblin party member, M’Khiin Grubdoubler the shaman. Further fitting this trope, she's a Neutral aligned character who is explicitly adventuring because she found goblin culture too limiting and foolishly self-destructive to put up with.
    • Zigzagged with returning series follower Viconia de'Vir, a female drow cleric; whilst officially Evil aligned, she's Evil in that she's completely ruthless about protecting her own skin and totally unrepentant about whatever she has done in the name of survival — outside of that, she has no particularly malign inclinations or schemes.
    • Subverted with Baeloth, a male drow sorcerer, and Dorn, a half-orc blackguard. Both are unrepentantly evil and seeking to ride your coattails in order to complete their own malevolent schemes.
    • There's also an example of this who is still technically hostile to the player character. An orc named Ravoc in the exterior of Dragonspear Castle can be spoken to to learn why he has joined Caelar's crusade. His motivations? He lost tribe members during the last Dragonspear War, and his tribe's shamans have confirmed that the souls of those unfortunates now languish in the Nine Hells, being tormented by devils — which your player character can even remark is "a fate even an orc doesn't deserve". He wants to free them from their suffering.
  • Treacherous Advisor: Hephernaan.
  • True Companions: Although she remains behind during this adventure, the game further emphasizes Imoen as your unfalteringly loyal life partner. Come hell, high water or first degree murder charges, she's always got your back, and will always see the best in you.
    • Can be played straight after you are smuggled out of Baldur's Gate, where you are met by the other members of the canonical Baldur's Gate 2 party and they speak of their pride in having been with you from the very beginning... but only if your status as the Hero of Baldur's Gate has not been called too much into question. Otherwise, if you weren't able to give a good account of yourself during your hearing with Belt in the city square, this trope may be soberingly downplayed, with all of the canonical five other than Imoen being less than enthusiastic to varying degrees at your escape and their predicament because of it. Especially Dynaheir.
  • Underground Level: Various caves and dungeons, as per usual for the series. Highlights include a mine which also borders on a lich's sanctum, a former Temple of Bhaal, the underground ruins of Kanaglym (an abandoned Dwarven town) and the tunnels under Dragonspear Castle itself.
  • Unexplained Accent: Duke Entar speaks with a rather hammy-sounding French accent. Nobody, not even his fellow Dukes or his own daughter, shares this accent.
  • The Unfettered: Caelar, who is zealous and utterly obsessed with freeing the souls lost that were lost at Dragonspear. While she admits to having regrets in the end, she also states that she would do it all again.
  • Ungrateful Bastards: There are people in the city shaping up to be this as rumours of you being a Bhaalspawn spread near the start of the game, but almost the entire city becomes this to infuriating levels after you get framed for Skie's murder, with some really uncharitable people going so far as to compare you to Sarevok!
  • The Very Definitely Final Dungeon: Subverted. You get a whole chapter after you get to Avernus, even though it's mostly a railroad.


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