Baldur's Gate Enhanced's new character, mission, and area revealed

When Beamdog announced a new Baldur's Gate back in March, they promised the Enhanced Edition would offer a new character, a new area and a new adventure. Today, Shacknews reveals one of three new characters created exclusively for the Enhanced Edition: Rasaad yn Bashir. In addition, we take a look at the game's new area, the Cloud Peaks, and an all new stand-alone adventure called The Black Pits.

Rasaad's game portrait

The soft-spoken Rasaad is a Calishite from Calimport and covered in tattoos. He can become a member of your party, and his story line is part of the new Cloud Peaks area of the game. Rasaad's official story: "For a young man, Rasaad yn Bashir radiates an uncommonly mature aura of calm and wisdom. After a disastrous mission to a monastery in Athkatla, he now wanders the Sword Coast in search of enlightenment. "Orphaned on the streets of Calimport, Rasaad and his brother, Gamaz, barely survived by begging and theft. Caught in the act by a monk of the Order of the Sun Soul, the boys received not punishment, but their first instruction. Soon, the brothers excelled in the physical, mental, and spiritual training of the monastery devoted to Selûne, goddess of the moon. "In the aftermath of his brother's death, Rasaad has left his order to seek his own solace. If he can also find opportunities to reflect his inner light on those in need, he is eager to do so." The Cloud Peaks will add four additional hours of gameplay that wasn't available in the original Baldur's Gate. Rasaad can be a romantic interest for female characters in the game. Other characters coming include Dorn Il-Khan, a Half-orc Blackguard, and Neera, the Wild Mage. Dorn adds the Blackguard kit to the game, while Neera's new area is a secluded hideaway northeast of Durlag's Tower. Also, a ton of improvements have been added.

An artist's sketch of the new Cloud Peaks area

Beamdog also revealed The Black Pits, where the player is lured to the Underdark by an invitation from the mysterious Baeloth the Entertainer to witness mortal vs. mortal in a battle to the death. Unfortunately, it's the player's party battling to escape the arena-style encounter--15 levels to be exact. Apparently, Baeloth is a mad drow who has enslaved some dark Dwarves to create the "entertainment" maze he designed for visitors eager to witness the life-and-death spectacle. The Underdark adventure should add at least six more hours of gameplay, although Beamdog President Trent Oster told us: "I think the Black Pits will take a lot more than six hours, but that is where we've ballparked it." Art Director Nat Jones created the images of Rasaad and The Black Pits, while the Cloud Peaks concept art was drawn by John Gallagher, the original concept artist for Baldur's Gate.

Welcome to The Black Pits, hosted by Baeloth the Entertainer

Baldur's Gate: Enhanced Edition is expected to come out on September 18. The game will cost $20, however the official site is now accepting pre-orders for a $2 discount at $18.