Prologue

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The first major quest of Baldur's Gate 3, Escape the Nautiloid, takes place immediately after the opening cinematic. The main character, now infected with a Mind Flayer tadpole, is aboard the Nautiloid ship when it is attacked by Githyanki warriors. While trying to escape, the mind flayer controlling the ship warps the Nautiloid through different planes of existence, ending up in Avernus, the first of the Nine Hells. The objective of the Prologue is to find a way out of the Nautiloid, ideally not by dropping down into Hell.

Objectives[edit | edit source]

Find a way off the nautiloid.
  • We've been abducted by mind flayers and infected with some kind of parasite. We need to find a way off this ship.
Reach the Helm.
  • We met one of the mind flayer's minions - an intellect devourer. It wants us to go to the helm of the ship.
  • We met a githyanki named Lae'zel. She told us we can escape if we reach the ship's helm.
Connect the nerves of the transponder.
  • The mind flayer told us we need to connect the nerves of the transponder to escape the Hells.
Quest Completed!
  • We escaped the Hells on the nautiloid.


Walkthrough[edit | edit source]

Hint: This walkthrough makes extensive use of compass directions (north, south, east, west). Disabling the option Rotating minimap under the User Interface settings may make it easier to follow these directions.

Nursery room[edit | edit source]

Nursery room

This is the room in which the game begins. The main character breaks free from a Mind Flayer Pod and is standing alone in the room. There are various empty mind flayer pods around the room indicating that there might be other survivors.

1. In the middle of the room is a mind flayer "nursery" i.e. a pool filled with larvae. Upon interaction, you can Investigate to determine that it is about to break apart. If you try to touch the "nursery", it explodes and causes a small amount of damage to your character. To the south of the "nursery" is a dead mind flayer that can be looted for a random gem.

2. Farther south, you can climb to a small elevation in the room, where a Cartilaginous Chest can be looted for some random loot including gold.

3. To the east of the room, slightly southward, you can go up to a larger elevated area, circling around all the way to the northwest of the room. Along this elevated area you can find:

  • An Onyx and a Rune Slate lying on a table. Interacting with the slate confers visions of the Nautiloid ship.
  • A Cartilaginous Chest containing some gold.

On the west side of the room, you will find an illithid restoration device that fully heals you upon interaction, and a door to the next room.

Brain room[edit | edit source]

Brain room

1. In the northeast there is a table with an Illithid Record and a Goblin corpse with a little gold. The record can be interacted with to reveal that it contains knowledge about Goblin culture.

2. West of the goblin is a table with three additional rune slates, which give further insight about the Nautiloid and a comment about an anomaly, likely referring to the player character.

2. Westwards and to the north of the room is a table with an Eldritch Tablet. The tablet can be interacted with to reveal that it contains knowledge about humanoid history (elves, dwarves, humans, etc.).

3. In the middle of the room, a small elevator can bring you to an upper section of the room. A dying person sits on a chair with their scalp removed, their exposed brain telepathically asking you for help.

The Intellect Devourer[edit | edit source]

When you interact with the person in the chair, your character may notice by succeeding an Arcana Check that the exposed brain is not in fact the person's own brain, but rather an Intellect Devourer named Us. You have various options to try to free the creature from the skull, although you can also leave it in place or destroy it outright. Should you choose to free it and succeed, it can give you a bit of information about your situation and will become a temporary Companion who assists you in battle.

While freeing the intellect devourer from the skull, you also have the option of trying to mutilate it to make it more obedient to you, although this seems unnecessary as it's obedient to you either way (Note: Us will become hostile if you attack any non-hostile creatures while on the Nautiloid unless you Lobotomised it.), and failing the Dexterity Check while trying to mutilate it will cause the creature to go hostile.

Ico knownSpells lvl 02.png Act 2 Spoilers! This section reveals details about the story of Baldur's Gate 3.

If you free Us and ensure it survives the Prologue, it will reappear in Act 2.

Meeting Lae'zel[edit | edit source]

Imp battle room

To the west of the brain room there's an opening in the Nautiloid's shell. An outer path leads northwest, where you have your first encounter with the Githyanki soldier Lae'zel, who was previously seen being infected with a tadpole in the opening cinematic. If you are playing the Lae'zel origin, you will encounter Losiir instead.

As Lae'zel jumps down from a ledge to attack you, the telepathic connection between you caused by the mind flayer larva makes her realize that you're not under mind control, and that the two of you could cooperate. She insists that you go to the helm of the Nautiloid, where you can take control of it, but first you need to clear the way by battling imps.


In the battle, there are three imps you need to defeat. This is easily done by going on the offense. They drop Scimitar, Handaxe and Light Crossbow.

After the battle, you can loot a dead incinerated Mind Flayer, two imp corpses and four dead thralls for minor loot, including another Handaxe and Light Crossbow as well as Shortsword, Simple Robe and Potion of Healing. You can exit this room to the northeast, climbing some cliffs. There's a healing pod on the ascent.

Shadowheart room[edit | edit source]

Shadowheart room

In this room you will be greeted by a pair of knocked out cultists on chairs, and some sort of control panel with three pairs of sigils and buttons. Lae'zel will warn you not to touch anything.

1. You also hear a woman trapped in a mind flayer pod thudding against its glass encasing. It's Shadowheart, who will suggest you try to use the contraption next to the pod to get it opened. Interacting with the contraption will reveal that there is an empty socket of some sort. You need an object to fit in there (see the next section). On the other side of Shadowheart's pod, there is a backpack with gold and a random gem. If you are playing the Shadowheart origin, this pod will be empty and there will be no way to open it.

2. To the south, there's a table with various objects on it: a Burnished Necklace, Dark Mind (a brain in a jar), the Illithid Manuscript, which seems to tell a story about "a brain, a githyanki warrior, and centuries of darkness", and a locked Elaborate Reliquary. You might be able to pick the lock of the reliquary; otherwise, you can look for the key (see below). It contains gold and an Onyx.

3. Going back towards the entrance, you can look at the sigils on the control panel. Each will trigger an Arcana Check to allow you to read it. The left one says "Unleash," the middle one "Aggression," and the right one "Annihilate". The Unleash button apparently makes psionic energy radiate from the two knocked out cultists, but it's unclear what use this has (It does not allow you to talk to them. This might be just unimplemented yet). The Aggression button will make them become hostile against you. Annihilate will kill them. Making them attack you and then defeating them gives you 10 XP each if you're into that. Looting them can also be done by just pressing Annihilate.

You might notice that an intellect devourer occasionally walks through this room. The intellect devourer won't drop any loot if it is killed. If you choose to attack this intellect devourer for the extra XP, note that Us will attack you at will, unless you successfully mutilated it and gave it the Lobotomised condition.

If you weren't able to lockpick the reliquary containing the Eldritch Rune for Shadowheart's pod, you'll want to look into the room to the east to find the key. To the south, in turn, you can finally enter the helm.

Ceremorphosis room[edit | edit source]

Ceremorphosis room

At the entrance of the room lies a dead thrall on which you can find the key to the reliquary in the previous room. There is yet another mind flayer pod at the center. This one contains a dazed woman who seems unresponsive. Behind her is a console with a sigil and a button. The sigil triggers an arcana check, and succeeding it reveals that it says "Perfect". Pushing it transforms the woman in the pod into a mind flayer.

On a raised platform at the back of the room there is a cartilaginous chest with 2 Potions of Healing and another dead thrall with an Eldritch Rune, which can be inserted into the control panel of Shadowheart's pod back in the other room to free her. There's nowhere to go from this room but back to the previous, so at this point you can go back and south, to free Shadowheart and/or go to the helm to the south.

  • If you are a Warlock, Wizard or Sorcerer, you can free her without using the rune by passing an Arcana Check on the machine.
  • If you are a Barbarian, you can free her without using the rune by passing a Strength Check on the pod.

With Lae'zel as a companion, Shadowheart will be a little snarky, but either way she asks to join you as a companion.

NOTE: If you wish to obtain the Everburn Blade without killing Commander Zhalk, then be sure to prepare Command on Shadowheart. Although there is only a 55% chance of him failing the save, he will drop his weapon for 1 turn and you can steal it from him while it is on the ground. This can also greatly increase your chances of defeating Commander Zhalk.

Another strategy to make the upcoming fight easier would be to stack the three Cartilaginous Chests found around the ship in front of the area where it is narrows just before the door to the Helm. This will block the two Cambions from joining the fight as they will be forced to attack the chests to clear a path, and since they have a high damage resistance it will take some time for them to do so.

Helm of the Nautiloid[edit | edit source]

The helm

As you enter the helm, you will see a mind flayer fighting Commander Zhalk, a powerful Cambion wielding the flaming greatsword, the Everburn Blade. A cutscene will play in which the mind flayer orders you to connect the nerves of the transponder, referring to the control apparatus of the ship that allows it to travel between dimensions. The mind flayer thinks that you're a thrall, thus considers you an ally.

A pair of lesser imps and a Lesser Hellsboar will block your path, but they should be easy to defeat if you have both Lae'zel and Shadowheart as companions. One of the imps carries a Light Crossbow, the other a Scimitar.

There are also lots of dead bodies on the floor, though none contain any notable loot. A dead thrall can be looted for a Leather Armour and Shortsword, imps for a Light Crossbow, Handaxe, Dagger and two more thralls for Shortswords. Two mindflayer corpses yield random gems.

Dotted around the room are 3 caustic and 4 void bulbs, lying on tables (some in an upper area of the room), but it's probably not worth chasing after them. There are some Mucoid Shells and a Sodalite Shell as well.

While all the cutscenes and dialogue in this scene of the game tell you to ignore Commander Zhalk and reach the console, it's actually possible to help the mind flayer kill him. This gives you a large XP boost, and he will drop the Everburn Blade.

Don't take too long though, as a pair of Cambion soldiers will enter the room to join the fight at some point. They are almost as powerful as Commander Zhalk himself, so if they defeat the mind flayer and start attacking you, the battle will become nigh impossible. Although killing them might give you another big XP boost, this is almost certainly not worth the effort.

There is one plausible strategy for milking out even more XP from this room though, and that's killing Zhalk (along with all the minor minions in the room) just before the other two cambions appear. This makes the mind flayer go hostile against you, saying "you are no longer needed," and you have to be careful not to be immediately killed by it. If you get the timing just right, the two cambions should arrive right after that, after which the flayer will focus on them instead. The cambions will easily kill it, providing your party XP as the killed flayer was a hostile. (If the cambions arrive before Zhalk dies, the flayer doesn't turn hostile, thus its death doesn't provide you with XP.)

Note that nearing the console also makes another two lesser imps and another lesser hellsboar appear, though these should be easy to kill or even just run past. (If you've already milked Zhalk and the flayer for XP, you really don't need these minor guys on top of all that.) Once you've reached the console, interact with it to start a cutscene and end the prologue.

The Crash[edit | edit source]

In the cutscene that follows, the character that interacted with the neural console connects two arms to make the ship warp out of Avernus and back into the Prime Material Plane, but moments before the warp a red dragon latches on to the ship and breathes fire onto the console.

As the ship appears in the sky of the Material Plane, a Tiefling behind a telescope (Nadira) is seen looking at it with worry, and in another place, a Hobgoblin (Dror Ragzlin) and a rather smug-looking Drow (Minthara) observe the ship's descent. They order a group of goblins to march out of some sort of fort they seem to be occupying.

Back in the crashing Nautiloid, our main character is trying to hold on, but is hit in the face by a piece of debris and sent flying out of the Nautiloid. As the character falls to the ground, moments before impact they are held mid-air by magical force and end up having a soft landing. There is nobody nearby, indicating that this might be the doing of the mind flayer larva lodged behind the character's eye.

Achievements[edit | edit source]

A-Descent From Avernus.jpg

Descent From Avernus
Take control of the nautiloid and escape the Hells.


A-Devil's in the Details.jpg

Devil's in the Details
Defeat Commander Zhalk on the nautiloid.