Spoiler warning: The following content contains unhidden spoilers. Read at your own risk.
Objectives[edit | edit source]
- We found out that the Astral Prism is a prison for the githyanki prince Orpheus. The mind flayer that calls itself the Emperor has been using Orpheus' powers to suppress the influence of the Absolute. Whether we decide to trust the Emperor or not, we should find out if there's a way to free Orpheus from his chains.
Walkthrough[edit | edit source]
[edit | edit source]
Mamzell Amira is on the ground floor of Sharess' Caress, right by the front entrance. When the party speaks with her, she can be asked what she has to offer. Amira mentions that a devil is in residence - Raphael. At the bar, Korrilla is also around, informing the party that Raphael wishes to speak with them.
At the top floor is the Devil's Den, and Raphael. If Kith'rak Voss is alive, he is inside trying to deal with Raphael, but Raphael sends him away. He does, however, have a proposition for the party. Raphael is in possession of the Orphic Hammer - a tool that can break the cage that holds Orpheus. In return, he wants the Crown of Karsus, which is being used to control the Elder Brain, once the party defeats it.
Raphael's proposal can either be rejected or accepted. If it's rejected, he states that he will remain at Sharess' Caress for some time in case they change their mind. If the deal is accepted, he will create a Soul-Sworn Contract and the party instantly feels a pang of regret, starting Escape the Deal.
Stealing the Hammer[edit | edit source]
There is a note in the Lower City Sewers within the Guildhall. Across the way from Nine-Fingers Keene at her desk is the Devil's Fee Observer Report, which states that Helsik is a diabolist who aided Enver Gortash and the Chosen Three in obtaining the Crown of Karsus.
If the party completed Break Yurgir's Contract without killing him in Act Two, then he appears at camp to offer advice. He tips the party off to Helsik in the Lower City.
The party can also randomly stumble upon Helsik by exploring the Lower City and entering the Devil's Fee. Helsik will initially sell a number of magical items without revealing her true work. The party can learn about this fact by walking around. Several items in the shop trigger Arcana checks which, if succeeded, reveal they are genuine artifacts from hell. These items are the Monster's Skull (X:-43, Y:3), another Monster's Skull (X:-47, Y:2), and infernal gems (X:-25, Y:5). If Karlach is in the party, she will point out that the artifacts are genuine without the need for a check. After these artifacts are discovered, the party can pass a Persuasion check (DC 18) to ask Helsik if she is a diabolist.
Alternatively, if the party breaks into the upstairs part of the shop, several items in locked chests as well as her diary on the table are items from hell which will enable the party to ask about her diabolism. If the party tries to access the upstairs area, they should carefully note the trap on the landing which will periodically cast Fireball when triggered. This trap can be disarmed by simply placing any water or wine into the imp's head on the right side. Another way to access the upstairs is by entering through one of the building's upstairs balconies.
The Devil's Fee[edit | edit source]
Once the party is aware of Helsik, they can find her at the Devil's Fee. Inquiring about Helsik being a diabolist has her revealing that her true business is not in information or hellish curious. She is Mammon's Picklock, Latchkeeper of the Nine Hells. She breaks people into the Hells, for a cost. The cost is 20,000 gold. With a successful Persuasion check (DC 20), she waives the fee in lieu of the Gauntlets of Hill Giant Strength, starting Acquire the Gauntlets for Helsik. Otherwise, she can be persuaded to cut down the fee to 10,000.
Striking a deal with Helsik, she gives the party all the tools needed to open a portal to Hell. This includes a Grimoire Bound in Imp Skin, Opening a Gate to Hell, and a Ritual Pouch with all the necessary items. Go upstairs in the Devil's Fee to find a circle in blood. Read the Grimoire Bound in Imp Skin to learn the ritual, then place the ritual items in the correct areas. Starting from the point closest to Helsik's diary and going clockwise:
- Skull (X:-35, Y: 6)
- Coin of Mammon (X:-34, Y:8)
- Empty spot
- Diamond (X:-30, Y:7)
- Incense (X:-29, Y:4)
- Empty spot
- Empty spot
Then, drop the Infernal Marble in the center of the circle and a portal to hell opens.
Meeting Hope[edit | edit source]
Once inside the House of Hope, a strange dwarf will appear to greet the party. She believes the party is in great danger, and she herself is dealing with her jailers, but she can be convinced to stick around. Asking her who she is reveals she is Hope, and she is trapped in the prison. Only the Orphic Hammer can release her from her bonds. She explains that the party has to get past the Debtors and sneak to the Archive to get the Hammer. To aid the party, she gives them a Debtor's Disguise so that they can move about the House undetected. Choosing to save Hope leads to the quest Save Hope.
The Archivist[edit | edit source]
Before entering the Archives, Hope appears once again to warn the party about the Archivist. She says the party must exploit his weakness to get by. Before she can fully explain, the party must pass either a Charisma, Intelligence, or Wisdom check to keep speaking to her. After passing the check, if asked how to deal with the Archivist, she says he fears authority figures. With a Persuasion check (DC 20), she says he particularly fears Verillius Receptor, a High Inquisitor of Zariel who has official permission to audit Raphael's collection. Verillius' true form is so ghastly and mind-scarring that she takes on guises when she comes to visit. The party can exploit this by pretending to be that guise. If Hope fails to get out the name, then a successful use of Detect Thoughts (DC 10) can be used on the Archivist to reveal the name as well.
Once inside, the party needs to pass a Deception check (DC 15) to get the Archivist to fully believe in the ruse. Unfortunately, the Archivist cannot give access to the Orphic Hammer, as it is surrounded by an impervious sphere. The sphere requires a magic code that only Raphael has. Instead, he refers the party to wait in the Boudoir until Raphael has returned. The Archivist can also relinquish the pass to the Boudoir by being intimidated (DC 25), or simply by pickpocketing him.
If the Archivist is not successfully deceived or intimidated, information on how to enter the Boudoir can be found in the Outer Portals room (X:-6441, Y:2920). Nubaldin is cleaning up the room. Speaking to him, he explains that he once ran the prisons, but was moved to the Outer Portals room after failing to prevent Gortash from escaping. If the party killed Gortash, they can tell him that they killed him, which will delight Nubaldin. As a reward, Nubaldin explains a secret trick to get into the Boudoir - go next door to the balcony (X:-6446, Y:2936) and jump off the stones to enter the balcony of the Boudoir.
The Boudoir[edit | edit source]
Upon entering the Boudoir, the party is accosted by an incubus named Haarlep, who has been polymorphed into a perfect copy of Raphael. Haarlep asks why the party is there, but is already aware that they seek the Orphic Hammer. Haarlep will help the party out if they agree to "play a game" with him. Agreeing to play the "game" will have the party taking off their clothes and Haarlep seducing them to give over their mind and body. The party can insist the just the body be taken, which Haarlep will agree and tells them that they will always know when an orgasm is experienced in their form. Otherwise, giving over both mind and body results in a game over.
Refusing to play makes Haarlep hostile. Additionally, succeeding in a Constitution check (DC 25) during the "game" also makes him hostile. Defeating Haarlep makes him drop the location of Raphael's safe, as well as Helldusk Gloves. The safe contains the magic phrase needed to steal the hammer.
Raphael's magic phrase can be pilfered without the need to deal with Haarlep. Simply utilize Greater Invisibility, Supreme Sneak, or other skills to move towards the giant painting west of the bed. A successful perception check reveals that the painting is rigged with a trap. Disarm it (DC 20), then press the button below the painting. Lockpick the safe (DC 25) and take its content, then sneak off before Haarlep notices anything.
Escaping Hell[edit | edit source]
No matter what the party does, the Archivist is instantly aware if the Orphic Hammer is stolen. He states that the dinner bell has rung for Raphael and the party is the main course. Hope appears one last time to state that everything will be on fire once they leave the Archives. She pleads with the party one last time to come to the prison and smash her chains.
After leaving the Archive, the residents of the House of Hope turn hostile, including the Debtors and several Hell Spheres. One the way to the prison, the party can stop in the Boudoir and use the rejuvenation faucet (X:-6482, Y:2977) to heal.
Return to the entrance where the portal is located. Unfortunately, Raphael, Yurgir, and Korrilla are there waiting. Raphael, enraged, will state that the deal is over and that none of the party is getting out alive. Yurgir can be convinced to switch sides with a persuasion check (DC 30 if he was killed in Chapter Two), or he automatically switches sides if he helped the party find the House of Hope in the first place.
Freeing Orpheus[edit | edit source]
The party can choose to show Kith'rak Voss the Hammer once it's been obtained, as part of Help Kith'rak Voss. This can be done immediately in Sharess' Caress if Raphael's deal was taken, or Voss moves to the sewers near the Undercity Ruins waypoint if the hammer wasn't acquired. He is immensely grateful to the party and gifts them with a silver sword, then moves on to prepare to take on the Elder Brain.
The party must bide their time until they are ready to undertake Confront the Elder Brain. After obtaining all the Netherstones, the party learns that the Elder Brain dwells within the Morphic Pool underneath the city. The party takes a boat north of the Temple of Bhaal waypoint to get there and faces the Brain head on. The brain has evolved into a Netherbrain and the party faces a number of increasing difficult stat checks to fight against it. Regardless of what the party does, the brain is simply too powerful, and the Emperor steps in to save them by bringing everyone inside the Astral Prism.
The Emperor states that only an illithid can hope to take down the Netherbrain in its current form and that the illithid must consume the power of Prince Orpheus in order to succeed. As an illithid, the Emperor says he can do this, and asks the Netherstones be relinquished to him.
If the party selects:
- I don't believe a word you just said.
- I will never trust you.
Then the Emperor will become enraged and states that he has no other choice but to reassimilate into the Netherbrain. He leaves the party in the Astral Realm. If the party has the Orphic Hammer, they can equip it and attack the crystals binding Orpheus.
There is also the possibility of the party not retrieving the Orphic Hammer and spurning the Emperor. In this case, Raphael appears within the Astral Prism. He has front row seats to the final hour, and now he's come with the sole salvation of Faerun. There are no more deals: only master and vassal. Sign a contract for the Orphic Hammer in exchange for the Crown of Karsus, or the world ends. Failing to uphold the bargain means the party's souls are forfeit. Refusing to sign turns the party into mind flayers who assimilate into the Netherbrain, causing a game over. The party is forced to Fulfill the Deal.
Once Orpheus is freed, he confronts the party on their choices, saying the party should have let his honor guard kill them so they could have avoided this whole situation. He also confronts the party if they stole the Githyanki egg in Steal a Githyanki Egg. However, he agrees to stand down and works with the party.