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Edwin Odesseiron is a prominent fictional character in the classic Baldur's Gate series, a Dungeons & Dragons computer role-playing game created by Bioware that takes place in the Forgotten Realms. Edwin is an evil mage (a Red Wizard of Thay), bent on his own agendas, rather than those of the player character, and in certain situations his personal goals and connections play into the storyline.

He is one of several non-player characters (NPCs) available to accompany the main character through the storyline of the Baldur's Gate series. He is voiced throughout the series by Jim Meskimen.

BackgroundEdit

Edwin appears in both Baldur's Gate and its sequel Baldur's Gate II: Shadows of Amn as a Conjurer of Thay, and can be recruited as part of the main character's entourage in both instances. Little is actually known about Edwin's past, save the obvious regard towards his origin, and a few other minor details gleaned via acts of circumstance and commentary. Originally, it is believed he was a wizard born within a noble house of Thay, although which house is never stated, nor is anything about his previous life before meeting the player. Although Edwin never actually states at any point that he is a Red Wizard of Thay, the truth is fairly obvious, both evidenced by the bright red robes that he appears with and via dialog spoken by him and from other characters.


In the first game, Edwin is first met by the player standing atop a bridge in the town of Nashkell, awaiting a passerby (ie, the player) to accept a quest on his behalf. Should the player accept, they will be asked to find and murder a witch by the name of Dynaheir. This quest is in direct contrast to the one received from Minsc, who actually wishes to save the witch from a band of capturing gnolls. Obviously, tensions will arise should the player take both of these characters to see the witch, with the end result being any number of occurrences, either the player assisting a side toward battling the other, staying out of the way entirely as the three characters proceed to assault each other, or even causing Edwin to run away (only to return sometime later and attempt to ambush the party). Exactly why Edwin wants Dynaheir dead is never made clear, but it is known to have come from orders by a higher station than he. Oddly enough, if the player chooses to save Dynaheir first and then speak to Edwin, having never met him before, he will offer to join the party without complaint, on the basis that Dynaheir is treacherous and must be watched. All three characters can then be used to proceed through the game simultaneously, with only the occasional argument.

In the sequel, Edwin is found working as a mercenary wizard for the thieves' guild of the game's primary city. Why he chooses to work with them is again not made entirely clear, but it is believed from commentary by Edwin himself that he somehow managed to become a rogue wizard, and is no longer held in esteem by Thay. He will join the party much more easily upon discovery than in the first game, provided the player is willing to make their way to him. He and Minsc can again be kept in the same party, with the noticeable absence of Dynaheir, who has since been killed in the time between the first game and its sequel. Tensions may arise however, and it is possible (though exceptionally rare) that the two may come to fatal blows.

Providing that the player has yet to complete the side-quest associated with the NPC Korgan Bloodaxe, Edwin has his own side-quest which requires entering the same tomb as Korgan wishes. There, the party will challenge an apparently deranged Lich, of considerably less power than the other Liches fought around Athkatla. After the Lich is destroyed, Edwin will recover a powerful and ancient artifact called the Nether Scroll, which he will then spend some time deciphering.

Unfortunately for him, casting the spell inscribed upon the scroll changes him into a woman, which results in teasing from the other party members (such as being mistaken as 'Edwin's long lost twin sister' by Minsc, begging to be cured by Aerie but being rejected, or Haer'Dalis composing a poem about his current state) and Edwin acquiring the nickname "Edwina" from Yoshimo or Anomen -if the party includes one of them at the time. This then leads to an encounter with fellow Thayan wizards who will first reveal that Edwin is now an exile, and then will result in Edwin being returned to normal and the party being attacked by a Thayan.

Ironically, Edwin's credit from the ending of Throne of Bhaal tells us that, after the protagonist's decision, Edwin continued in his arrogant ways until he eventually fought a magical duel with Elminster himself, who permanently changed Edwin into Edwina as a result. The final sentence of her ending is that "she is a bitter, bitter woman".

PersonalityEdit

Edwin is extremely haughty, antisocial, and somewhat violent. Very few other characters get along with him, as caused by his tendency to put himself above other people, his flagrant disregard for other's feelings, and love of concocting methods to magically harm those who annoy him. His pursuits almost invariably have to do with acquiring power, and he seems interested in very little else. In addition, Edwin has the somewhat odd tendency to almost constantly mumble derogatory remarks about other characters to himself when speaking (noted by his dialogue suddenly shifting into parenthesis, such as this). These mumblings are always clearly audible to everyone around him, though Edwin himself seems oblivious, and is actually alarmed when other characters (such as Aerie) point out his tendency to do so. Some believe this to be a sign of mental illness, or perhaps of secretly harboring an imaginary friend, although Edwin flusteringly denies this.

Despite his aggravative behavior, Edwin is considered (and obviously meant to be) more of a comic-relief than actual antagonist, although of a more subtle approach than Minsc (regardless of the fact that Edwin is anything but subtle in himself).

In gameEdit

Despite the inherent difficulties in keeping him as a member of the party (his Evil alignment means possible discrepancies with other party members, and an almost-certain direct incompatibility if a player is determined to role-play a Good-aligned party), Edwin is often considered by most people to be the most powerful wizard available to the player in either game. This is in large part due to his high intelligence, which allows him to learn every spell the player comes across, coupled with his ability to cast additional spells per day thanks to his training as a Red Wizard (in game terms, this is caused by a special, non-removable amulet that Edwin wears at all times, due to the game engine's inability to apply this property directly to Edwin himself. This comes with the side effect of Edwin being incapable of wearing any other amulet in its place, but many players consider this to be more than acceptable, given the circumstances). This means that Edwin is essentially able to cast more powerful spells many more times per day than any other wizard in the game, including any character the player themselves might create as a protagonist. This, combined with the sequel's heavy emphasis on magical combat, makes Edwin arguably one of the most powerful characters available in the game.

External linksEdit

See alsoEdit

Baldur's Gate NPCs

SourcesEdit

  • (2000) Baldur's Gate II: Shadows of Amn game manual.

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