Okay, so technically High Hedge isn't on the way to Nashkel, but there's an essential shop here you'd do well to acquaint yourself with before venturing too much further.
That said, don't expect the area to be free from monsters. You'll likely encounter Skeletons (who spawn constantly and love to throw daggers at your party), Wild Dogs, Gnolls, and in one specific area, Giant Spiders.
At (x=3650, y=1470) you will find the Elven Ranger Kivan, who will join you if you say respond with:
- "We're adventurers, ready to smite any evil that darkens our path."
- "Go ahead, we'll follow to wherever you take us."
He was covered in more detail in the Party Building Guide section, above, so check that out for more details.
Note: Kivan's quest is to sack the Bandit Camp, which is quite a ways away. In effect, he's an early game character with a mid game quest requirement, which makes him less attractive as a party member. If you recruit him now, and follow the guide sequentially, there's little chance you'll make it to the Bandit Camp in time to satisfy Kivan.
Perdue's Short Sword
Make your way towards the center of the map and you'll come across a large octagonal building with eight towers. Along the southern end you will run into some Gnolls, one of which will have Perdue's Short Sword. Take it back to him at the Red Sheaf Inn for the reward at your leisure, but said reward will, as usual, be recorded here for the sake of continuity. Wiping the Gnoll's ass with said sword is, of course, implied.
|For returning Perdue's Short Sword||500 XP / 50 gold|
Continue around to the front of the octagonal structure (x=2900, y=2600), which happens to be the abode of the Thalantyr. Before you enter, venture northwest to find a Thief named Permidion Stark (x=2100, y=2330) who will mention some Flesh Golems that defend Thalantyr's shop. Very good to know.
Enter the shop and do not wander about, as hostile Flesh Golems lurk in the exterior hallways. Trespassing will likely lead to you getting pummeled to death by abominations. Fortunately these beasts don't wander about, so long as you avoid snooping you should be fine. Send your party leader to talk to Thalantyr (x=240, y=270) and after he rebuffs you, talk to him again and respond with "Rumors talk of a powerful mage that lives out here. If it is you, I would like to speak with you." followed by "We're interested in selling or even buying magical items. What do you have?", which will get Thalantyr to show you his wares.
Did You Know?: In the original game, Thalantyr's Flesh Golems wandered about. The goal wasn't to necessarily avoid contact with them - they'd eventually wander near the entrance - but rather to talk to Thalantyr as quickly as possible, after which the golems would cease being hostile. In the Enhanced Edition, of course, they don't wander about and are perpetually hostile.
Thalantyr sells some nifty stuff, namely Mage gear, and until you reach Baldur's Gate he'll be your best source of arcane scrolls. Thalantyr also sells Robes of the Good Archmagi and Robes of the Neutral Archmagi, powerful defensive items that improve a Mage's Armor Class as if they were wearing Chain Mail. It's good stuff, but very expensive. You'll find some Robes of the Evil Archmagi later on in the game, but the Good and Neutral versions must be purchased here, so if you have a good or neutral Mage main character, or you dual-class Imoen, you're going to eventually want these. Remember, these robes are alignment conditional, so select your character in the shop dialogue before you buy them to see if they can use it first.
He also sells an item that functions as a ring called The Claw of Kazgaroth, which gives a +1 bonus to Armor Class, +4 bonus to Armor Class versus Missiles, a +3 bonus to Saves versus Wands, Polymorph, Breath, and Spells, however it also imposes a -4 penalty to Saves versus Death and a -2 penalty to Constitution. This ring can be useful if you put it on a character with a neutral Constitution - a Constitution that will not cause the character to lose Hit Point (9 to 14), which will mitigate its effects somewhat, although you still have to be wary of the Save versus Death penalty. Finally, he sells a Potion Case... it's like the Gem Bag, but for potions! Great for inventory management, if you want to carry around an apothecary full of potions at no weight, this item is for you.
Perhaps the best thing about Thalantyr's shop is the fact that he'll purchase almost anything, so he can end up becoming your one-stop shop for whatever you're selling. Keep him in mind, and use him as the resource that he is, it's for this reason we venture here so early.
As for spell scrolls, Thalantyr sells a staggering variety of them, and unless you're keen on what works you could be at a bit of a loss as for what to buy. If you're feeling frugal, keep in mind that you can find most of these scrolls, either as random drops from monsters or in static locations while adventuring, especially the 1st-level spells. That said, Magic Missile, Sleep and Spook are excellent spells to have in your arsenal, as are Horror, Mirror Image and Resist Fear. 3rd-level spells are of more dubious value, especially considering it'll be some time before you can cast any of them.
|1st||Larloch's Minor Drain|
|1st||Protection from Evil|
|1st||Protection from Petrification|
|2nd||Power Word, Sleep|
|2nd||Ray of Enfeeblement|
|3rd||Minor Spell Deflection|
|3rd||Protection from Cold|
|3rd||Protection from Fire|
Note: Keep in mind that Thalantyr also sells some use-only scrolls, which are green colored. While they might share the name of some Mage spell scrolls (Protection from Fire, Protection from Cold, etc.) they are not, in fact, spell scrolls. As such they cannot be scribed - they're explicitly for use as quick items.
Abandoned Cabin (AR3201)
North-west of High Hedge you'll find an abandoned cabin (x=1750, y=1550), around which Huge Spiders tend to congregate. Inside is a locked chest, which will probably force you to have either a Knock spell handy, or a very high open locks score on a Thief. Anyways, with that this area is done. Head to the wilderness area immediately south of Beregost (AR3800).
|x=500, y=180 - Aquamarine Gem|