The Baldur’s Gate heroes return to the city at last, but their time adventuring in Ravenloft and the frozen northern reaches of the Realms have changed them. Each of them must face great trials ahead before they’ll be ready to embrace their destiny. Delina searches for something to cure her wild magic, but the solution she seeks plunges her into danger unlike anything she’s faced before.
Writer Jim Zub continues to explore the universe of Dungeons and Dragons and the Baldur’s Gate Heroes, with a much more personal story as the series once again gives its readers something new and interesting.
With the first two issues having a more action-oriented approach, issue three shifts the focus to a character-orientated story as we follow the sorceress Delina as she searched for a way to bring her wild magics under control.
Having sought help from the Baldur’s Gate wizard-librarian Matrikay, Delina finds herself transported across the multiverse, sending her to a ‘place of absolute order’ so that she can learn to control her chaotic magics. Unfortunately, Delina is sent to the realm of Mechanus, a place made from cogs and gears, inhabited by part biological, part mechanical creatures.
The inhabitants of Mechanus are a wonderfully varied bunch, with some brilliantly unique designs and looks, sometimes with half a dozen different designs in the same panel. Some of the deigns are so strange and unusual that it’s not hard to believe that the artist had a lot of fun designing and drawing them.
True to Matrikay’s words, Mechanus is a land of pure order; however, this means that Delina doesn’t fit into their ordered society and she is forced to go on the run. Whilst the book could have very easily turned into a fugitive story, with Delina on the run getting into fights, it makes the bold decision to turn the story inwards, to make it a journey of self discovery and learning for Delina.
After almost being converted into a mechanical being herself, then put on trial for breaking multiple Mechanus laws, Delina comes to the realisation that whilst she might not like the chaotic nature of her magic abilities, sometimes order isn’t a good thing. Order is rigid, order is strict, order doesn’t allow for nuance or individuality.
The latest issue of Dungeons and Dragons: Evil at Baldur’s Gate is a big departure from the first two issues, but is certainly making the most of focusing on smaller scale stories centred around the members of the hero team. Whilst this may not have been the most exciting issue to date in terms of action, it might be one of the best for its look into character, giving some very real growth and development for Delina, and for its great designs.
Harvey Tolibao excels here more than previous issues, managing to craft a visually stunning world in the form of Mechanus. The landscapes are filled with gears and cogs, with an entire clockwork city filling the background of the very first page. Wherever Delina goes in Mechanus it looks amazing, even with tiny clockwork motifs worked into clothing decoration. This issue would not have been quick to draw, but the end result is a believable and beautiful fantasy world.