Investigate Cazador's Palace
Spoiler warning: The following content contains unhidden spoilers. Read at your own risk.
Objectives[edit | edit source]
Walkthrough[edit | edit source]
Finding the Palace[edit | edit source]
Finding the Spawn[edit | edit source]
Two of Cazador's spawn, Petras and Dalyria, can be found chatting about the Black Mass in Fraygo's Flophouse on the upper floor (X:-21, Y:76). Astarion immediately threatens them for information, but can be persuaded to hold back. Unfortunately, the spawn know little, beyond that preparations for the Black Mass are well underway. It's also clear that the spawn believe they too will become ascended if the ritual is successful.
The Gur Camp[edit | edit source]
There is a Gur camp in Rivington (X:102, Y:-12), lead by Ulma. Ulma tells the party that Astarion has done immense damage to her tribe and even stolen their children. She wishes to have them back, or at least revenge taken if the children are already dead. If Astarion is in the party, he can be told that it's the least he can do to get vengeance for the Gur, which he will agree to. Ulma states that the Gur have tried and failed to infiltrate Szarr Palace but that a spawn could do it.
Potential Abduction[edit | edit source]
Several of Astarion's fellow vampire spawn attempt to kidnap him after the party has entered the Lower City and long rested. Failing to stop them before they drop Astarion to 1hp results in Astarion being kidnapped and sent to Cazador's palace. Once there, he is tortured by Godey, who uses magic in an attempt to force Astarion to obey Cazador. This starts a saving throw, but even if it's failed, the tadpole within Astarion sends out a psionic wave that disrupts the spell. Godey becomes hostile after failing to collar Astarion and needs to be defeated. The party can regroup with Astarion in the kennels.
Cazador's Palace[edit | edit source]
Cazador's Palace can be accessed via the Central Watch Tower (X:-53, Y:-64), near the Lower City Central Wall Waypoint, by climbing up the stairs. There are a number of charmed guards who try to stop the party, but can be persuaded or intimidated into standing down. Follow the way north to get to the door to Cazador's Palace. Once inside, the palace will be surprisingly empty of vampires, but holds a conspicuously large ballroom door that is locked.
The way forward is through the ballroom. Two things are needed to enter and proceed: a Szarr Family Ring and a passphrase in the Kozakuran language.
The Signet Ring[edit | edit source]
Vilhelm can be persuaded or deceived into revealing that Godey has the signet ring that can unlock the door. Godey is in the kennels in the lower floor. Godey is waiting in ambush (X:-1289, Y:982), but a perception check reveals him and he can be called out. If Astarion is in the party, Godey asks what he has brought him:
- [DECEPTION] Cazador hired me to capture Astarion. I'm here to deliver.
- [INTIMIDATION] Lay a hand on me and lose it, bones.
Astarion insists that they need to get into the ballroom. Godey states that he was told not to open the ballroom no matter what.
- [PERSUASION] Your master needs Astarion for the ritual. He'll be furious if you stop us joining him.
- [DECEPTION] Cazador gave me orders too - Astarion needs to be returned no matter what.
- [INTIMIDATION] How about I start breaking bones and keep going until I find that key?
Succeeding the checks makes Godey relinquish the ring. Otherwise, he becomes hostile and the key has to be looted from his body.
The Passphrase[edit | edit source]
A note upstairs on the Chamberlain's desk (X:-1243, Y:976) suggests that one of the spawn has misplaced the dictionary used to decipher the passphrases.
The Kozakuran Dictionary can be found on the lower floor in the guest room, which is brimming with deadly necrotic magic (X:-1299, Y:967). Here, the the cursed corpse of Victoria afflicts Vitality Drain (4d6+4Necrotic per turn) upon anyone entering, Casting Remove Curse on Victoria's body will end her Sapping Curse and make the room safe. Alternate solutions include use of Elixir of Necrotic Resistance or Jump/Flight to cross the hazard. The dictionary is in a mahogany wardrobe to the west of the bed. Reading the book gives the phrase to enter the ballroom.
In the ballroom[edit | edit source]
Once in the ballroom, a number of werewolves notice the party. They state that no one is meant to enter while the ritual is occurring, and become hostile to the party. Move to the door to the southwest after defeating them to find an elevator down to Cazador's dungeon.
Cazador's Dungeon[edit | edit source]
After descending the elevator, there is a hallway to the west that connects to Cazador's chambers. It contains the skull of Cazador's former master, Vellioth, and more information about him and the Black Mass Scroll.
To the north, there are several people in cages, which will call out to the party. If Astarion is in the party, one of the men recognizes him. It turns out that this is Sebastian, the first victim Astarion brought back to Cazador. Sebastian can be persuaded or deceived into revealing how to unlock the cages - Cazador's staff. The cell across the way can also be interacted with - it contains several Gur children who were captured and turned into vampire spawn. If they are told that Ulma sent the party, they also share that the staff is the key to opening the cells.
A Special Weapon[edit | edit source]
Within Cazador's dungeon, a lower level can be reached using Feather Fall, Misty Step, or Fly to jump down the hallway to the northwest of the elevator. Here, the can be found by in a room to the east, in a buried and trapped rosewood casket X: -1926 Y: 853. This weapon deals radiant damage, which is highly effective against Cazador. Additionally, there is a locked (DC 30) door here connecting to the Lower City Sewers - Gloomy Ascent.
Confronting Cazador[edit | edit source]
Cazador is in the ritual chamber north of the prisoners' cells.
If Astarion is in the active party, he will conclude the dialogue by attacking Cazador in a rage, only to be trapped in a ritual circle ( Sacrificial Lamb). Cazador will then attack, along with several bats, werewolves, and fallen Gur hunters. Astarion can be rescued from imprisonment via the Help action, allowing him to rejoin the fight. If Astarion is not released in three turns, the ritual succeeds, and Cazador becomes a Vampire Ascendant. If Astarion is not in the party, then Cazador can be persuaded to allow the party leave so they can bring Astarion back, or they can simply start the fight with him without Astarion. If Astarion was never recruited, or if he was killed (such as staking him in camp), then he will be at the ritual as a zombie.
This fight can be very challenging. Cazador is a high-level spellcaster and gains power from the ritual victims, inflicting high necrotic damage to nearby party members. However, his profound weakness is Sunlight Hypersensitivity, which can easily be caused by Daylight cast prior to the battle. He can also be pushed off the platform to his death; unlike most enemies, he will then return to his coffin, where he can be looted.
Outcomes[edit | edit source]
Once Cazador is defeated, he returns to his coffin in an attempt to enter a healing sleep. Interacting with the coffin has Astarion prying Cazador out of the coffin. Astarion will attempt to use the ritual for himself, and requests the player for assistance. The player can agree, attempt to persuade Astarion against using the ritual, or simply refuse to help. If Astarion was not recruited or died, then the only option is whether to kill or release the prisoners.
Ending 1: Astarion completes the Rite of Profane Ascension[edit | edit source]
If the player agrees to assist Astarion, he completes the Rite of Profane Ascension by carving the runes into Cazador's back and sacrificing the six spawn and seven thousand souls. He becomes a Vampire Ascendant, warping his personality. When Ulma and the Gur arrive, they find him responsible for the deaths of their children and only one can come out alive - Astarion or the Gur.
Ending 2: Astarion is persuaded not to complete the Rite of Profane Ascension[edit | edit source]
If Astarion is successfully persuaded not to use the ritual, he simply kills Cazador without performing the Rite of Profane Ascension, then he remains a vampire spawn for the rest of his days.
Astarion has the choice to kill the seven thousand victims or release them, or simply leave them. If the prisoners are freed, the other spawn lead them to live in the Underdark. Astarion sees killing the victims as mercy, as they never learned how to control their hunger. If he decides to leave them, Astarion breaks Cazador's staff and says that he is done with this place and done with all of them. Breaking the staff will result in it not being available as a quest reward. Regardless of the choice, the Gur do not attack Astarion and see him as having redeemed himself.
If any of the other vampire spawn were killed during the Cazador fight, the ritual is unable to be completed and Astarion kills Cazador without attempting to perform the ritual, and moves onto the choice regarding the other spawn in prison. The dialogue with the Gur and the other companions will proceed as if Astarion had chosen to give up on the ritual himself.
Ending 3: Astarion is refused or cannot be persuaded to stop the rite[edit | edit source]
It is possible for Astarion to leave the party permanently during this quest. If the player fails to persuade Astarion or refuses to help him with the ritual, he will leave the party after deciding to keep the spawn locked up, stating that he was done with Cazador, done with this place, and done with the party. If Astarion was allowed to start the ritual, the player has the option to interrupt him by killing Cazador while the ritual is in progress, doing so will stop Astarion's ascension and cause him to become hostile, attacking the party.
Quest Rewards[edit | edit source]
If Cazador is defeated:
If Cazador is defeated and Astarion does not complete the Rite of Profane Ascension:
- Aid of Ulma and the Gur for Gather Your Allies
If Cazador is defeated and Astarion completes the Rite of Profane Ascension:
- Aid of Astarion's servants of the night for Gather Your Allies
- Astarion gains the passive feature Vampire Ascendant which grants the actions Ascendant Bite and Misty Escape, and an additional 1d10Necrotic damage to weapon and unarmed attacks
- as additional loot from Cazador
Notes[edit | edit source]
- As of Patch 1, there is a glitch where the vampire spawn will not take Astarion if he isn't in the party. The spawn will keep attacking him even though he's downed, making the only way to end the fight defeating the vampires.