Icewind Dale, Belhifet


Welcome to Part XVII of my Icewind Dale walkthrough; this part covering Cryshal Tirith and Belhifet.


Having explored the length, breadth and depth of the Dale, and vanquished tons of evil along the way (no fewer than 1,600 foes), we finally come full-circle to arrive back in the town of Easthaven, where our adventures began.

Poquelin wasn't bluffing back in Ascension Cave: In our absence, and without Hrothgar or any defence force, Easthaven has been decimated by Belhifet's army. For comparison purposes I have placed pics of both versions of Easthaven, side-by-side:


As can be seen above, most of the buildings have been destroyed or frozen over. In fact, the entire town is ice-encased and enveloped by shadow. Even the Temple of Tempus has been enveloped by the crystalline tower known as Cryshal-Tirith. This is all due to the sentient artifact known as Crenshinibon. Poquelin/Belhifet really just serve the will of Crenshinibon, which artifact is the true source of the evil plaguing the Dale.

Amounting to naught but mooks at this point in the campaign, there are eight hostile cyclopses lumbering about town. Once these meatheads have been dealt with, we can find and free the people of Easthaven who are locked up in make-shift slave pens in the center of town.


Everard


One of the prisoners is Everard, priest of Tempus [recap]. He informs us that Poquelin is within the tower, attempting to open Jerrod's Stone, a portal to Baator aka Hell. He also reveals how to get into the tower.


(280,000 XP.)

Jhonen


Opening the tower (breaking its glyphs) is simply a matter of learning the ritual required to get into it. Then, a transitional cursor indicates that we may enter. So yeah, the tower is now accessible but there is one important thing to do before heading inside: we should speak to Jhonin in order to take advantage of the far-reaching reactivity which I have already covered in Part II. He is standing by the shore of the icy lake, where Elisia stood.


Restored Blade of Aihonen


This results in receiving the Restored Blade of Aihonen along with a second lot of 280,000 XP.


Enchantment-wise, RBoA is the best weapon in the game after Pale Justice. However, providing their enchantments are of +3 and above, ApR weapons are almost always superior to both, and weapons sporting on-hit Stun are superior, too [pic & pic].

Remember, when it comes to offense ApR + on-hit Stun = King in IWD, not enchantment. Defense-wise, AC is also King [recap] as are Web + Free Action status [recap].

Cryshal Tirith, Crystalline Tower



There are five small levels to Cryshal-Tirith, and getting to Belhifet doesn't take long:


Comparison shot of the Temple of Tempus and Cryshal-Tirith entry chambers:


It is in this entry chamber that Everard catches up with us.


It is now a matter of simply ascending the tower while Everard searches for Jerrod's Stone. 

Pomab Ak'azmhir


The only thing standing in our way is the pompous Pomab Ak'azmhir, formerly the proprietor of the emporium in Easthaven. Back in the prologue this self-important shopkeeper, whose lack of conscience and competence reminds me of Akar Kessel in Salvatore's The Crystal Shard (1988), claimed to be: 

"The Third Cousin of the Pasha of Calimshan, Royal Diplomatic Envoy of Calimshan and Appointed Overseer of the Northern Caravan Routes".

Now, he considers himself Master of Cryshal-Tirith and Appointed Ruler of Easthaven itself:


"Pasha" is probably also a nod to the character of Pasha Pook in Salvatore's The Halfling's Gem (1990).

False Pomab


Once battle gets underway, Pomab employs powerful illusions known as projected images in order to elude us. This can be a chaotic and, indeed, quite an amusing or annoying combat encounter. Technically, we need to find the True Pomab among the clones and hit him repeatedly in order to dispel the illusions or False Pomabs. The True Pomab can be differentiated by watching the feedback window for "Pomab" and "False Pomab". But really, we can just Haste our physical-based damage dealers, attack whatever we see, and watch as the collective ApR eventually hits the real Pomab. 

The cryshal sentries are not immortal: as per trolls, they can be knocked down but not vanquished utterly unless they were immobilized (or phased) at the point of their being knocked down. Again, on-hit hammering, ftw.

Cf. Tarnished Sentries of Durdel Anatha.

Crenshinibon Location


The final chamber before Belhifet contains the unattainable Crenshinibon and a magical mirror. These objects are drawn from Salvatore's The Crystal Shard (1988).


The magical mirror is actually a door that teleports us to the final battle, staged beneath the tower.

Jerrod's Stone



Jerrod's Stone seals the portal to Baator. It was created when the legendary barbarian shaman, Jerrod, sacrificed himself in order to save the Dale against Arakon's devil-horde [cf. Everard lore-dump].

Not known for originality, Poquelin wants to reopen the portal and call forth a horde of devils once more. His ultimate goal? Conquering the Dale and adding the souls of the dead to his army.


Arbitrarily, there are three separate dialogue threads that don't feed into one another. This is the best thread because it references Crenshinibon:


Regardless of the thread chosen, however, Poquelin throws open the portal in preparation for the baatezu invasion:


However, Everard appears on the staircase and bravely confronts Poquelin:


Awestruck by the sight of Jerrod's Stone, the old warpriest approaches the portal to the Hells and sacrifices himself in order to reseal it:


Poquelin tries to stop him, but cannot.

Belhifet



Annoyed by the delay caused by the sealed portal, and no longer masquerading as an Ilmaterian priest, Poquelin's true identity becomes apparent --


-- a huge, horned baatezu that dual-wields great falchions - Belhifet

cf. Marilith Tanar'ri, Yxunomei [pic].

Upon transformation, this final boss unleashes an area-wide dispel magic even as two iron golems close in from the sides to eject their poison-plumes. Thus, it is useless to buff the party before entering the chamber. Moreover, the area is laced with non-disarmable dispel magic traps which makes post-dialogue buffs more difficult to maintain. 

Belhifet can only be hit by +3 weapons and greater, sports 25% resistance vs. physical-based damage (and 50% vs. missile), and also sports 50% cold resistance, 50% MR and fire immunity. Moreover, he is the only enemy immune to the on-hit Stun of the hammering property.

How to Kill Belhifet


Belhifet is a highly mobile juggernaut capable of teleporting about the chamber - at-will - all the while unleashing FireballFire Storm and infernal conveyance (Flame Strike). He also summons 1-5 shadows every now and again. Melee-wise, Belhifet is also destructive: confident in his 350 HPs and AC -12, he frequently squares up to dual-wield his 1d10 +5 greatswords - with Strength 25 - at 3 ApR. Finally, as a THAC0 Lord Belhifet is able to hit Armor Class -19 with a 70% chance.

All that being said, the battle is not difficult for melee-heavy parties as outlined in Part I. Everyone is going to have at least one, but more likely two or three, physical-based damage dealers. If not, they would have struggled to get to this point and will struggle all the more now. Haste is not required: the collective ApR of three such combat units wielding weapons equal to or greater than +3 enchantment is what's most important. If AC is optimized, it is doubtful that a healbot is even needed on standby. While fire resistance is not necessary for veterans, it's not something to scoff at due to Belhifet's infernal repertoire.

Note the traps.

Once vanquished, a final Stiers-narrated FMV plays; the story revealed to have been told by Belhifet.

Defeated at last, the stricken demon fell with a roar that shook the walls of the underground chamber.


But the heroes' moment of victory was short-lived, for as the form of their vanquished enemy lay broken upon the floor, so too was the power of the shard broken.


The companions soon found themselves scrambling to escape as the fortress began to collapse around them.


No sooner had they emerged from the secret threshold, than the entire tower came crashing down, shattering into a million pieces.


Triumphant, the party of adventurers stood among the ruins, basking in the glory - a final victory.

And as the first rays of dawn glittered off the fragments of the crystalline tower, a light snow began to fall over the once again peaceful town of Easthaven.


And so ends the final chapter of my tale, with the forces of good triumphant over the forces of evil. It wasn't long before the destroyed town of Easthaven was rebuilt, and a new temple dedicated to Tempus was erected on the site of the buried portal. As for the demon - Belhifet - defeated on the prime, HE WAS BANISHED, BACK TO THE DEPTHS OF HELL, WHERE HE LANGUISHED FOR A PERIOD OF A HUNDRED YEARS, TORMENTED BY THE MEMORY OF HIS MISTAKES, AND WAITING FOR THE DAY HE WOULD RETURN TO FAERUN AND EXACT HIS REVENGE. MUHAHAHAHA!!! YES! YEEEESSSS!!!


So ends IWD. Party reached 13th level. I cap off my 17-part retrospective with this image, perhaps the most famous of IWD's art assets...

Great Oak of Kuldahar by Kevin Llewellyn

... and this AR: perhaps the most iconic Infinity Engine AR after Candlekeep and Durlag's Tower:

Kuldahar

When it comes to 2d backdrops, only Troika's Temple of Elemental Evil competes with Icewind Dale. [see here]. But when it comes to spritework, both Diablo II and ToEE beat everything handsdown:


Of course, nothing beats IWD's portraits:


So concludes this walkthrough.

  • Experience points:   94,000 kXP +  560,000 qXP = 654,000 total XP (6,409,296)
  • Killcount16 (1634)

Icewind Dale Dragon's Eye Icewind Dale Lower Dorn's Deep Icewind Dale
Icewind Dale Walkthrough Yxunomei Icewind Dale Marketh Icewind Dale
Easthaven Icewind Dale Severed Hand Icewind Dale Ilmadia Icewind Dale
Kuldahar Icewind Dale Larrel Icewind Dale Malavon Icewind Dale
Vale of Shadows Icewind Dale Upper Dorn's Deep Icewind Dale Perdiem Icewind Dale
Temple of the Forgotten God Icewind Dale Wyrm's Tooth Icewind Dale Belhifet Icewind Dale

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