Surayah NPCSurayah el Farrahd has always been one of the most interesting NPCs in Baldur's Gate II: Shadows of Amn to me, despite her two meagre lines of "F-father, I thought I heard a noise?" and "Aiiiiieeee!!!!" Perhaps it is because, like the character of Moira Delryn, she serves little purpose outside her death, and how that death affects Anomen. To me, that leaves a lot left unexplored.

My initial plan to develop Surayah as a joinable NPC had some very broad goals:

  • Adding a quest if Anomen kills Surayah and goes Chaotic Neutral so that he can redeem himself in the eyes of Helm
  • Allowing the possibility of an Anomen/Surayah romance, because the Romeo&Juliet dramatics are setup perfectly
  • Adding more Calimshite fla-vah to the game. (Though every text I have uses 'Calishite,' I'm maintaining the game's added 'M.')
  • The return of Yusef el Farrahd
BIO STATS FEATURES SCREENCAPS PROGRESS UPDATES FWP FORUM While I've since seen it assumed that Surayah was a child (Could it have been her annoying sound bite?), my natural inclination had always been that she was of the same age as Moira, who Anomen laments is at least old enough to be married and away from nursing their father, making Surayah's murder a true 'eye for an eye' arrangement.
BIOSurayah will gradually reveal details of her past and family over banters with the PC and NPCs. She will steadfastly avoid mentioning her family name, that Saerk el Farrahd is her father, and she will only refer to Yusef as 'my oldest brother' until the Delryn/Farrahd fued reaches a crisis point. Facts she will acknowledge openly include:

She was born and raised in Calimport, but Athkatla has become her home base over the past five years. While she expresses some dismay over certain traditions of her homeland, such as slavery, a teensy amount of Calimshite cultural elitism will shine through. After all, she is the only legitimate daughter of a pasha, and her ancestors are traceable back to the Shoon (though only on her mother's side). Everyone knows they brought civilization to Amn! She also finds the Cowled Wizards' stranglehold on magic in Athkatla absurd. As far as she is concerned, wizadry is a labor-saving device, and anyone clever enough to learn enchantments should be free to wield them at large, so she will support any scheme to tweak or sidestep the Cowled Wizards' authority.

Surayah will be found in Athkatla in the Garden of Lady Firehair, a temple of Sune that will be added in the southwest corner of the Temple District. The beginning of her devotion to the goddess of beauty and love will be tied to her relocation to Athkatla at age fifteen. As Surayah will admit when insulted about her faith, "If the point of my religion was just to have sex all the time like you paladin-types seem to think, I would have stayed in Calimport and dedicated myself to Sharess!" Surayah will champion true love, encouraging any lovers she sees as earnest to follow their hearts. She will also do her best to treat everyone she meets in a loving, friendly manner, no matter how disgusting, dull or boorish she finds them in principle. She accomplishes this with varied degrees of success. Naturally a very passionate person, she has worked very hard to portray a patient, tolerant, forgiving demeanor even when her instincts cry foul. To her benefit, the Calimshite tradition of maintaining face, a societal tradition of saying one thing, then thinking or doing another, has given her plenty of practice complimenting people she otherwise holds in disgust. To her discredit, being raised a spoiled daughter of a wealthy Calimshite household, she has trained notions of acceptable cruelties, lies and machinations that tempt her constantly to perhaps bend her behavior in a less-than-perfect-Sunite way. Sometimes her true reactions slip imperiously to the surface, her tongue becoming more sharp than sweet.

Surayah will present herself as a bard aspiring to become a Heartwarder for the Temple of Sune in Athkatla. Her skills as a bard (while not a usual class for a Calimshite) focus on music and dance, deriving from having had access to harem training from the time she could walk. She will offer up a few songs, some for banter purposes, some for new spells. While naturally intelligent, Surayah is not exceptionally dedicated to using that intelligence in the most challenging of ways. Given the choice between washing her hair and scribing a new spell, she would probably choose to wash her hair. Still, Surayah did have a thorough stable of tutors growing up, including some of the most talented wizards of Calimport's Scribe Sabban, so she is well-educated despite her distractions. Her weapons of choice are the scimitar, the whip (treated as a flail but with slashing damage), and daggers (specifically the jambiya and her zills, which can be thrown for slashing damage when not being used as finger cymbals in a dance).

Between following Sune and her harem-influenced childhood, Surayah takes grooming very seriously. She carries a velvet pouch with her wherever she goes containing various items, some of which hold no purpose other than helping Surayah present her most alluring self. As a consequence, she often appears vain and shallow, though she is capable of deeper thoughts.


Surayah's stats are as follows:
  • Age: 19
  • Alignment: Chaotic Good
  • Strength: 12
  • Dexterity: 17
  • Constitution: 12
  • Intelligence: 16
  • Wisdom: 8
  • Charisma: 17
  • Natural fire resistance: 5%

Surayah has reason to believe that she has inherited the 'Bloodline of Fire' through her mother, how Calimshites refer to those who have decended from the efreet who ruled over the desert thousands of years past. Highly diluted over a hundred generations, the effects of efreeti blood in a Calimshite varies in manifestation depending on the person. This trait can show itself in a physical manner, such as eyes that glow red or gold, or in an innate magical gift such as skill casting cantrips of fire or air or a natural ability to levitate. In Surayah's case, the most glaring evidence of the fire in her blood was that she was born with abnormal feet, her toes naturally curling upward. Her father, or course, paid a wizard to correct them with thaumacosmetic surgery at a young age, as rich fathers in Calimport tend to do whenever their offspring sport an unsightly extra eye, mist instead of an appendage, or simply don't particularly look like their fathers (the most frequent reason).

FEATURES Some features I'd like to include in this mod:
  • Surayah will have a romance with Anomen if he is in the party and not romancing the PC. Surayah will try to avoid any jealous competitions, seeing it as her place to champion love, not create conflict with would-be lovers. If a female PC hasn't turned Anomen away in favor of Kelsey, peace + quiet, etc., Surayah will swallow her disappointment and wish them happiness.
  • My initial plan is to only include friendship with the PC, with the possibility of adding in a chance for romance later in the game. As with the PC-Anomen relationship, Surayah will choose to encourage the PC's romance with one of the other NPCs, that is to say Jaheira or Aerie, thus championing the power of true love. Viconia is an exception. As a followers of enemy goddesses, Surayah and Viconia will have nothing nice to say about one another unless they both survive long enough for Viccy's alignment change. Surayah will always choose to romance Anomen if possible, but if I add in lovetalks for a PC, there will be certain circumstances where romancing Anomen will break off and the PC can take advantage.
  • I'll be adding a temple of Sune to Athkatla, as there should be. Surayah will be found here before Anomen's decision to kill Saerk, but there will also be at least one non-NPC dependent quest tied to the new area.
  • I hope to expand the existing Marching Mountains and the Forest of Mir areas in ToB to include more Calimshan goodness.
  • I would love to add more areas of Calimshan including the Calim Desert, the Spider Swamp and gradually fleshing out sabbans of Calimport with a few Surayah-realted quests, and several non-NPC related activities. The time it's taken to develop Sune's temple area has given me an idea of the hours and effort this will take, as well as the limits of my artistic skils, so this is not at the top of the list of things to include in the initial version of this mod. I will initially set the resolution of Surayah's storylines in the existing areas, then transplant them as I get the chance to develop additional locales in Calimshan.
  • At least 3 banters involving each Bioware NPCs, in most cases, more.
  • Plenty of interjections, including the standard Tree of Life and the Abyss spots. So far I've done 112 Surayah-related interjections over 26 NPC's dialog files (meaning Surayah sometimes has more than one interjection per character. For example, there are 5 different interjections to Aran Linvall's dialogs.)
  • New Sunite and Calimshite items, including: Firehair Bow +2 (short bow with unlimited fire arrows), Silken Lash +3 (Sune's whip toned down for heroes), Scimitar of the Sirocco (a +3 scimitar with added electrical damage), Harnesses of Defense +1 through +3 (the Calimshite alternative to Bracers of Defense worn in the belt slot, only rather than setting AC at a particular level the benefit is cumulative), Calimshite mail +1 and +2 (like chainmail, only lighter and added defense benefits), armor lubricant (temporarily increases dexterity), various jambiyas (hooked daggers), and heartstone gems (shiny pretty!)
  • Surayah-specific items: Velvet pouch (personal container that holds up to 15 items), Comb and brush (grooming is important!), Sirocco No. 5 (smells nice, and with Korgan around, a necessity), Surayah's zills (throwing dagger that does double damage - because finger cymbals come in pairs) and Silky wispy bits (Surayah has a pile of them, just in case someone has a lingerie emergency - woogawooga!)
  • Surayah will have a variety of song files, some sampled, some completely original, some original performances of adapted material. Her lovetalk music is currently a sample of a Faure piece for oboe and harp. Since any voicing will be done by yours truly, and even the sample songs I'm bravely including below make me cringe, her soundtrack will probably have a 'less is more' approach.
  • Surayah will have a friendtalk setup with the PC, Aerie and Keldorn if in the party.
    • As Aerie is easily disillusioned, their friendship will tarnish a bit as she grows to know more about Surayah. Aerie is full of questions and doesn't always like the answers that Surayah gives. What's more, Aerie finds it nearly unbearable that Surayah has ever owned slaves, even though the Calimshite freed the few in her power when she came to Athkatla.
    • Sir Keldorn is rather appalled by Surayah from the start, especially after she confides her father traveled frequently away from the family home while she was growing up. He's old enough to be her father, and he approaches her as such. Every time Surayah spouts something irreverent regarding law and order, frankly disregards her virtue or gives the party an eyeful in her wet silky, wispy things after a morning bathing ritual, he thinks of his own distant daughters and experiences pure panic. Keldorn will encourage Surayah to display some modesty and try to instruct her in the virtue of virtue. His advice often confuses Surayah, but she recognizes he is taking a paternal role and rather welcomes it, as Sir Keldorn is a far different father-figure than Saerk el Farrahd. What's more, he's a member of the Order of the Most Radiant Heart, so Surayah pumps him for information thinking his perspective will help her figure out how Anomen's mind works (Of course she just becomes more confused). When confronted with Maria Firecam's infidelity, Surayah will argue stridently for Keldorn to forgive his wife.
  • Surayah will have 'interesting' relationships with Haer'Dalis and Edwin.
    • Surayah and Haer'Dalis were lovers briefly, something they both declare is in the past. There will be no romance resurrection, but sometimes the old intimacy plays havoc between them. Considering the chaotic nature of the two, one minute they'll be playing friends and confidants, the next they'll mock and sabotage each other, especially when it comes to Anomen and Aerie. I guess the running theme with Haer'Dalis and Surayah is 'violent affection.'
    • Edwin and Surayah strangely have a lot in common, since Thayvian and Calimshite society respectively considers the other to be slightly more cultured than all the other barbarians tromping about Faerun. It is precisely because Edwin reminds her so much of a Calimshite that she's not inclined to romance him. It is precisely because Surayah wastes any claim she had of being an intelligent, refined creature by being nice to peasants that Edwin is not inclined to make her his concubine. Still, Edwin is intrigued by Surayah's 'Bloodline of Fire.' When he's not trying to convince her to donate her blood (preferably all of it) for the sake of his magical experimentation, he struggles to trick Surayah into revealing the secrets of a particular Calimshite spell he covets (while desperately avoiding the humiliating discovery that she knows something he does not)
  • Surayah loses most of her respect for Cernd when she learns he left his wife in favor of the forest. In her mind, commitments to people, especially where love was once involved, should not be abandoned for communion with shrubbery and squirrels. Surayah finds Cernd's choices unnatural, and she says so. If Cernd leaves his rescued son at the Druid Grove to rejoin the party, she'll have almost as much emnity for him as she does for Viconia (or Haer'Dalis, when he's being a real ass). Cernd, by this point, will be sick of hearing Surayah's opinion.
  • A Cleric of Sune Heartwarder Kit will be included, as well as the means for a PC with this kit to acquire the Temple of Sune as their Stronghold. I've shifted the Heartwarder Cream to be the Cleric of Sune's holy symbol, which will provide the usual holy symbol bonuses, plus a regeneration spall at level 26.
  • Thanks to the One-Day NPC Concept, this project will also include a second joinable NPC option - Hessa, a neutral evil thief. Hessa grew up on the streets of Calimport, and she has some familiarity with the Farrahd family's ways. Overall, Hessa is bitter, avaricious, sometimes abrasive, and she very much enjoys it when misfortune strikes the innocent.

SAMPLES Sune Temple Music #1 (@730K) - I took 'The Lady's House' from the Baldur's Gate Soundtrack, rearranged it, and added in some harp playing on my Alesis.

Surayah Sample Song Banter(@300K) - This little ditty is the subject of a banter with Anomen and Aerie. (Lyrics adapted from 'When Diana Lighteth Late Her Crystal Lamp' of the Manuscript of Benedictbeuern, ca. roughly 13th century. Music, vocals and suspiciously Southern vowels by B. Rutledge)
Click on the above links for the full-size screencaps. Some are for the new Sune Temple area; others are of Surayah's equipment and some sample banters.