If you arrived by following the Coast Way from the south, you'll start a short distance from the gates of the fortress-like Friendly Arms Inn, where Gorion suggested you meet his old friends Khallid and Jaheira.
|A 1990's CG cut scene shows the gates opening to the Friendly Arms Inn|
If you veer off directly east into the woods, you can find a large pine tree containing a hidden cache near the bottom at X:2555, Y:3759. The secret treasure in the tree is a Ring of Wizardry: This is an extremely useful treasure for a pacifist challenge run, because you'll now be able to memorize and cast twice as many 1st-level spells when your mage puts the ring on.
|The Ring of Wizardry is hidden here at the base of this tree along the bottom south edge of the map.|
|Our Enchanter is now able to cast many more useful spells after putting on the Ring of Wizardry.|
You can safely go inside the walls main gateway of the Friendly Arms' outer castle-like walls, as long as you don't go too near the entrance yet, where there is a hostile NPC waiting. There is also a quest you can get here and win on a pacifist run, if you have a mage and a thief (or familiar animal like a ferret that can pick pockets):
|Entering the Friendly Arms Inn's fortress-like main gates|
There is a house just to the upper left of the entrance where you'll find a woman named Joia, who will tell you that some hobgoblin bandits stole her Flamedance Ring.
|The entrance to Joia's house|
|Joia isn't especially polite at first, but you can still get a nice pacifist run quest to return her ring to her for 400xp.|
|Our Enchanter's faery dragon turns the group invisible again, but you can still do this quest without turning invisible.|
|The hobgoblin thieves are lurking around here...|
|A sleep spell succeeds nicely on most of the hogoblins, but the game won't let you pickpocket a sleeping creature unless they also have a Charm spell cast on them...|
|A Charm spell succeeds|
|You can use the pickpocket skill repeatedly until it succeeds, as long as the hobgoblin with the ring is still charmed.|
|After pickpocketing succeeds, we find the Flamedance Ring sitting in our thief's inventory.|
|The party gains 400 xp and increased reputation for returning the Flamedance Ring. Joia is also more polite afterward.|
The Inner Walls of Candlekeep
The only other major things to note inside the walls besides scenery is the Temple of Wisdom run by Gellana Mirroshade east of the Inn's main keep, and the main entrance to the Inn, up the stairs just left of the temple.
The Assassin Tarnesh
If you approach the entrance to the Inn, you'll be confronted by a man in a black mage robe who pretends to be friendly, but is actually an assassin holding a recently raised bounty contract on your player-character's head.
|If you let Tarnesh start talking to you, he'll try to assassinate you no matter what dialogue choices you pick...|
If you let him confront you he'll cast Mirrored Image and several dangerous spells like Horror, which (if effective) can cause your characters to run around in a panic with no control, after which Tarnesh might kill them with Magic Missile spells— even though the Friendly Arms guards will also promptly rush up to attack him for his crimes. After Tarnesh becomes hostile the Friendly Arms guards will deal out frontier justice and smite him, having warned all travelers that crime and violence are not allowed at the Inn.
However, if you want to stop all those events from happening, you can use either stealth or invisibility to get past Tarnesh without him ever seeing you, or give Tarnesh a runaround without ever actually letting him talk to you, so you can lead him away from the entrance and then circle back yourself:
|A halfling thief leads Tarnesh away from the entrance before he has a chance to start the dialogue shown above: Tarnesh will give chase and can be led in a circle around the Temple of Wisdom.|
|Our allies converge at the steps of the Inn, while Tarnesh is still back behind the temple trying unsuccessfully to catch up.|
We then had Imoen (who was hiding along the west wall so Tarnesh wouldn't try to talk to her either) and our fleeing halfling converge at the entrance and run up the front steps into the Inn, with Tarnesh trailing behind.
(The pacifist run trick of not letting a character talk to you first and then become hostile afterward can be very effective on a lot of other enemies in Baldur's Gate later on as well.)
Tarnesh won't come inside the Inn after you, but he'll still be waiting outside at the entrance, so you'll have to do this each time you enter and leave the Inn.
Inside the Friendly Arms Inn: Ground Floor
You'll find a number of people you can talk to inside the tavern room of the Inn to learn some things about the Mirrorshades who run the Inn, the Inn's history, and the region in general:
Bentley Mirrorshade the Innnkeeper is a gnome who runs the Inn and also buys and sells various goods. You can rent a room if you need to replenish or learn new spells.
You'll learn that there is currently an ongoing iron crisis caused by ore from the Nashkel mines being mysteriously contaminated. You'll also learn that bandits have been plaguing the trade roads to steal all the good iron they can get, motivated by the high price of iron wares in the shortage.
Khalid and Jaheira:
You'll meet the two allies Gorion told you to seek out in the western side of the room off to a corner. Khalid will be friendly, while Jaheira is more skeptical, but both are trustworthy allies that you could choose to recruit. (Jaheira is a druid who can cast healing spells, and might be useful for a lot of other reasons, but we opted to stick with a paired mage/enchanted and thief for the most part.)
If you take them with you, they'll occasionally try to urge you to hurry up and head for Nashkel immediately, but you won't be forced to go there until you're ready.
The Friendly Arms Inn: Second Floor
There are some more amusing people to talk to in the Inn, but only one on this floor who will offer you a quest: Unshey, a dwarf who is irate after "an ogre with a Girdle fetish" attacked him on the Coast Way and stole his Girdle of Piercing. He'll offer you a reward if you return it.
The ogre you'd need to get this back from is the same one on the east side of the crossroads map south of the Inn (see previous section), but unfortunately ogres seem to be immune to Charm spells, so we don't know any purely nonviolent way to get it back from him: Unless the later re-released editions altered the engine, it is not possible to pickpocket hostile creatures even if they're knocked completely unconscious by spells like Sleep or Color Spray.
If you got the girdle back with a rougher "indirect" method like charming nearby creatures to dispatch the ogre for you, you'd be able to take several girdles (one being a cursed "Girdle of Gender"), and return the Girdle of Piercing to Unshey for some gold, a copy of his latest historical book, and 800 xp. (We found plenty of nonviolent xp from other quests elsewhere though, so there's no real pressure.)
The Friendly Arms Inn: Third Floor
You can meet a gnome from Beregost named Landrin on this floor. She'll tell you that her house in Beregost has been overrun with giant spiders, and she gives you a quest to go and get some of her things from the house and bring them back to her room here at the Inn.
She'll also ask you to kill the largest spider in the house and bring back its body as proof. If you don't want to kill the spider, you can still go get her "Worn Out Boots" and bottle of wine, both of which you can take from the chests in her house in Beregost, and return them each individually for several hundred xp each, along with some gold. (If you resorted to a rougher indirect method like charming an assassin who tries to kill you in Beregost into killing the biggest spider for you, you can also bring the dead spider back for a few hundred more experience points and a little more gold— but it won't make a big difference in the long run, if you prefer to take the most peaceful approach.)
You'll also meet another humorous nobleman on this floor who will ask you to perform cleaning services on his pair of "Golden Pantaloons." You can either honestly return these for 100 xp immediately (since there's no way to actually do the other things he requests to the pantaloons), or reportedly also steal them and combine them with some similar items in the expansion pack to Baldur's Gate II.
When you've done all you wanted to do at the Inn, you can go anywhere you want, but our recommendation would be to head north of the Inn to the farm and riverside areas near the bridge to Baldur's Gate (featured in our next post), since there are some purely nonviolent quests you can complete there for a total of over 3000 xp...