Find Explosives

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Philomeen gives the party a vial of runepowder.

Find Explosives is a quest in Act One of Baldur's Gate 3. It can be started by talking to Elder Brithvar in Grymforge or by speaking to Lunkbug near the cave-in.

Objectives[edit | edit source]

Objectives and journal entries may vary pending story decisions and outcomes.

Find smokepowder.
  • Brithvar mentioned that a deep gnome fled with some smokepowder. Her crew should know more.
Go to the deep gnome's hiding spot.
  • We learned that the deep gnomes have a hiding spot in Grymforge. Philomeen might be there - with explosives.
  • We have some smokepowder. If it's not enough to blow the cave-in, Philomeen might have more. She fled to a hiding spot deep within Grymforge.
Find the smokepowder reserve.
  • Philomeen left behind a reserve of smokepowder. It should clear the cave-in.
Try to clear the cave-in.
  • We met Philomeen and managed to talk her down. She gave us a small vial of runepowder - a gnomish explosive of legend.
Quest Complete
  • The cave-in was cleared.
  • We used all the explosives we found - but we didn't clear the cave-in.
  • We dealt with other matters instead.

Walkthrough[edit | edit source]

Elder Brithvar X: -626 Y: 354 can be found near the room with the cave-in, having a conversation with Stone Guard Kur. They are discussing the fact that the gnomes won't be able to clear out the cave-in without explosives. One of the gnomes had recently run away with a barrel of explosives, which someone needs to track down to get Nere out.

Speak to Brithvar and he is instantly suspicious of the party. He can smell the True Soul 'stink' on them. If the party says they are a True Soul, the pair become hostile. If the party says they aren't a True Soul, there is a chance to work with the duergar mutineers:

  • [DECEPTION] You're imagining things. I would never bow to the Absolute (DC 10)
  • [DECEPTION] I was a True Soul. That cult lied to me - now I want revenge. (DC 10)
  • Cast Detect Thoughts. (DC 11)
  • That's not me you smell. You must still be catching Nere's scent.

Successfully convincing Brithvar that the party are not cultists lets him offer an opportunity for gold: Freeing Nere, then taking him down and stealing his gold. The party would get a cut of the spoils. A successful Intimidation check with "Sounds good. I expect half the spoils." (DC 10) gains an extra payout. The party can ask him for leads on getting Nere out, to which he refers them to the gnomes at the cave-in. He believes they have an idea of where the runaway gnome with the explosives went.

Speak to Lunkbug, who is arguing with Laridda. Choose to listen in on their conversation (Perception DC 10) to learn that Philomeen has run off with some smokepowder.

  • [INTIMIDATION] You mentioned smokepowder. Details - now. (DC 5)
  • [PERSUASION] Listen - I can help you. Act frightened, or you'll draw suspicion. (DC 5)
  • [GNOME][HISTORY] Recite a gnomish call to action. 'Carpa bal' - 'Together, mighty.' (DC 5)

If the gnomes are successfully persuaded that the party can help them, Lunkbug explains that a gnome named Philomeen took off with explosive powder. He begs the party to find her and marks her most likely hiding spot on the map.

The hidden button needed to proceed to Philomeen's hiding spot.

To get to Philomeen's hiding spot, go to the Underdark - Grymforge Waypoint. From there, move east across the bridge. Then, move north until a pair of duergar throwing dead gnomes into the water are encountered X: -608 Y: 407. In this area, there is a locked door. Lockpick it to find the remains of a Nightfall feast. Move close to the northern wall to trigger a Perception check - which reveals a button X: -584 Y: 416. Use the button to open up a hidden passage. Continue along the passage and defeat the three Ochre Jelly that attempt to ambush the party.

Climb to the top of the stairs and continue moving east. There are some rocks that can be jumped across to move forward X: -562 Y: 427. The door to Philomeen's hiding spot can be lockpicked (DC 10), or the party can simply move along the western wall to find a large gap in the structure.

When Philomeen spots the party, she accuses them of working with True Soul Nere as servants of The Absolute:

  • [PERSUASION] Laridda sent me. The gnomes need your help. (DC 10)
  • [INTIMIDATION] If I was a True Soul, you'd be dead. Stand down before you hurt yourself. (DC 15)
  • [PERSUASION] If I was a True Soul, you'd be dead. Stand down before you hurt yourself. (DC 15)
  • [PERSUASION] Smile sincerely and hold out your hand. (DC 15)
  • [PERSUASION] Are you sure about this? Once you're dead, that's it. It's over. (DC 15)
  • Cast Detect Thoughts.
  • You will not serve Ironhand in death. But you might still serve him in life.

If baiting Philomeen by saying "You wouldn't dare - you don't have the courage" and "I don't care. Go on, blow us up" then Philomeen actually ignites the barrel. The explosion kills Philomeen and does significant damage to the party. Similarly, if the party fails to persuade Philomeen in the initial dialogue, she blows up the barrel. It is possible to bypass the checks by sneaking and stealing the barrel before Philomeen can ignite it.

Talking down Philomeen results in her saying she'll make the cult suffer at Moonrise. The party can tell her that they just want to help with the cave-in that has trapped some gnomes, in which case she explains that the whole barrel isn't necessary. It's not a Smokepowder Barrel, but a legendary explosive Runepowder Barrel. She needs to take the barrel back to Baldur's Gate to help her clan, but she's willing to part with a Runepowder Vial that is plenty powerful enough to destroy the cave-in. If the party accepts the deal, she provides the vial and runs off. Otherwise, she turns hostile.

In addition to the Runepowder Vial, Philomeen leaves behind a hidden reserve of Smokepowder. In the room where Philomeen was found, near the campfire, there is a backpack with a hand-drawn map X: -539 Y: 464. Reading it automatically adds a marker to the reserve. To find it - return to the room near the docks with the gnome corpses. Open the metal door and enter the room - a perception check reveals a button X: -585 Y: 388. Within the room are two Smokepowder Satchel and a Heavy Chest.

Alternative sources of explosives[edit | edit source]

Securing the runepowder is not the only way to clear the cave-in.

  • It takes roughly two smokepowder satchels to clear the rubble. One can be found from Rescue the Gnome in Barcus' backpack. Two can be obtained in Philomeen's reserve.
  • Placing a Smokepowder Barrel on the cave-in to destroy it.
  • Foregoing explosives entirely and using spells that cause force damage, as mentioned in Free True Soul Nere.

If clearing the rubble before speaking to Philomeen, she will no longer be present in Grymforge, and it will not be possible to obtain the Runepowder items from her.

Quest reward[edit | edit source]

Consequences[edit | edit source]

If Philomeen is not killed during this quest, she appears again in Act Three in the Ironhand Gnomes hideout during Avenge the Ironhands.

Companion Reactions[edit | edit source]

  • Agree to find Philomeen for Lunkbug and Laridda Karlach approves +1 Wyll approves +1Astarion disapproves -1