Baldur's Gate has a large central, nonlinear plotline which is broken down into chapters (manageable miniplots to solve), with lots of subquests and small adventures thrown in for variety.
The plot line of the game involves the regions around the cities of Baldur's Gate and
Amn. These cities are involved in a plot to destabilize the entire Sword Coast and precipitate a war. Chaos threatens to overwhelm the Sword Coast. The state of Amn is under siege to the south, the High Moor is being overrun in
the north, and the region around Baldur's Gate is in turmoil. In an area known for its ample resources, a crippling shortage is
slowly developing for the metal that is used throughout the Realms for everything from swords to forks - iron. When iron ore
reaching the region is smelted, the resulting wares are plagued with brittleness such that they crack and break with little more
than normal use. What's worse, trading caravans coming from all directions into Baldur's Gate are under constant attack from
bandits and cutthroats who loot not for gold and gems (althought they often take those too...), but for iron. The armed factions in
Baldur's Gate can scarcely keep themselves armed and the commoners are suffering all the more. Without iron they cannot mend
their tools or purchase plows - and everyone knows that if they cannot farm or craft, they will starve come winter.
Some blame Amn for the chaos, others the trading cartels, and still others suspect even the Dukes of Baldur's Gate. Yet, this
contagion may be an early omen of some greater evil.
It is up to the player to determine the machinations behind this struggle
for power, and to prevent the war which threatens to engulf the region - or, if playing an evil character, to try and assume more power
in the process. Throughout, the player's main character's origins are mysterious; clues are being dropped that the player is more than he or she first
seems to be, and that there are others like the player in his or her abilities. The protagonist's origins, that is the underlying plot line of the game, and revealing more might spoil the ending. Suffice it to say that the
player's search for his or her main character's identity provides some interesting plot twists.
Bhaal (Lord of Murder)
As you learn more about the problems of the Sword Coast, you will hear the name Bhaal whispered. Bhaal was the god of death, particularly of slaying, assassination, and violent death. Bhaal was violent, cruel, and hateful at all times, and lived only to hunt and murder. The presence of living creatures instilled an overpowering need to kill and destroy within the Lord of Murder. His allies and minions wrought devastation and violent death wherever they roamed.
Bhaal’s avatar form, the diety's manifestation on the Prime Material Plane, was known as the Slayer. The Slayer looked like a human male corpse with a feral face, ivory-white skin. Bhaal also manifested as a giant of a man. This form was known as The Ravager and was over 30 feet tall, with long, tough sinews, a flowing beard and mane of hair, eyes that glowed with the flames of Gehenna, a face twisted in a grimace of supernatural hatred, and two 7-foot-long curved horns protruding from his forehead.
In either form, Bhaal could animate or create any type of undead creature indefinitely by touch. Anything he animated obeyed him absolutely. Bhaal could also automatically disrupt any undead creature of less than divine status with his touch at will. The Lord of Murder was immune to all forms of attack by undead creatures of any sort.