Upon reaching Chapter 5 in Baldur’s Gate II: Shadows of Amn, you descend into the Underdark with your party. Encountering the silver dragon Adalon, your features are transformed to resemble drow in order to infiltrate the city of Ust Natha and recover her eggs. While this quest represents one of the high points of the game, it suffers due to the lack of change in the character portraits, which show no indication of the transformation. Over the years several portrait packs have been released to address this, but I felt none had the consistency or quality to be used as a group.
In making these portraits, I followed a few principles:
- Any jewelry and items that represented surface gods were removed or altered.
- Canonical references to the drow were adhered to in the removal of facial hair, selection of eye color and other physical characteristics. However, because some drow do not necessarily fit the common perception of small, lithe elves (Dantrag Baenre being one example), no other alterations to facial features were made.
- Backgrounds were changed to reflect possible Underdark locations.
- Dwarves, gnomes and halfings were altered to fit the canonical descriptions of duergar.