Lift the Shadow Curse

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Lift the Shadow Curse is a quest in Act Two of Baldur's Gate 3. It can be started by speaking with Halsin after entering the Shadow-Cursed Lands.

Objectives[edit | edit source]

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

Look for clues as to Thaniel's whereabouts.
  • According to Halsin, if we want to lift the shadow curse, we must find Thaniel - the spirit of the land.
Tell Halsin about Art Cullagh.
  • We found a mysterious man lying unconscious in Last Light Inn. He said the name 'Thaniel' while sleeping. We should tell Halsin about this.
Wake Art Cullagh.
  • Halsin met the mysterious unconscious man, and is certain he knows where Thaniel is. Halsin suggested something from the man's past might help to wake him.
Talk to Halsin about Art Cullagh.
  • We managed to wake the mysterious man - a Flaming Fist called Art Cullagh. He immediately asked to speak to Halsin, saying the druid was the only one who could help.
Meet Halsin by the lakeshore.
  • Halsin has a plan to save Thaniel, and lift the shadow curse. He asked us to meet him by the lakeshore by Last Light.
Defend the portal.
  • Halsin delved into the Shadowfell to rescue Thaniel. We must defend the portal Halsin created, or he will be trapped in the Shadowfell forever.
Meet Halsin at camp.
  • Halsin rescued Thaniel from the Shadowfell, but the spirit of the land is ill. If we want to help, we should speak to Halsin at camp.
Seek Thaniel's Shadow.
  • Halsin has told us to seek a place where flowers still grow in the shadow-cursed lands. Among the blooms we might locate Thaniel's missing half, the key to curing his illness.
Speak to Halsin at camp.
  • It took some convincing, but Oliver agreed to reunite with Thaniel. We should check in with Halsin next time we're at camp, and see if Thaniel is doing any better.
Kill Ketheric Thorm.
  • Reuniting Oliver and Thaniel is not enough. Ketheric Thorm is the anchor of the curse. For the land to heal, he must be defeated.
Quest Complete
  • If the party fails to protect the portal: Halsin is lost to the Shadowfell. Without him, we can't lift the shadow curse.
  • We left for Baldur's Gate without finding a way to lift the shadow curse. Halsin decided to stay behind to try and lift the curse without us.
  • We successfully lifted the shadow curse. In time, these lands will flourish once again.
  • Halsin died. Without him, we cannot lift the shadow curse.

Walkthrough[edit | edit source]

This quest can only be undertaken if Defeat the Goblins was completed and Halsin agreed to accompany the party to Moonrise Towers.

It can be initiated by speaking to Halsin while at the Campsite and asking him how to lift the shadow curse. He explains that the land is not made up merely of soil and roots, but that it has a spirit of its own - a young fey boy named Thaniel. Halsin has not felt the boy's presence since the curse was unleashed, and believes he was banished to the Shadowfell. Halsin asks that the party look out for any clues as they venture through the Shadow-Cursed Lands.

The Spirit of the Land[edit | edit source]

Information regarding Thaniel's whereabouts can be found at the Last Light Inn, in a room on the northern end of the ground floor. Inside, a man named Art Cullagh is lying on one of the beds, unresponsive and singing a song about climbing trees with Thaniel - whose name he could only know had he actually met the boy himself.

Interacting with him starts the quest Wake Art Cullagh. To proceed, the party must obtain the Battered Lute from Malus Thorm within the House of Healing and bring it back to Cullagh in order to wake him up. Once awake, Cullagh asks to see Halsin, as Thaniel had told him to seek the druid out.

Halsin may already be at the inn if he was told about Art's condition beforehand, or the player can go fetch him now, but either way Halsin asks Cullagh what he remembers of Thaniel and where they met. Though Cullagh struggles to explain the shifting landscape of the Shadowfell, he does remember that he always smelled lavender when Thaniel was around. Alternatively, if Art Cullagh has died due to Isobel being kidnapped or killed during Resolve the Abduction, then Speak with Dead can be used to get the same information from his corpse.

Halsin returns from the portal with Thaniel.

Once given this information, Halsin asks the party to follow him down to the lakeside, which is north of the Last Light Inn, just outside of Isobel's barrier. Speak to him and he explains that he has spent years studying and seeking the Oak Father's favour in order to find a way into the Shadowfell - but he will need the player's help to keep the portal open so that he can return, as the moment he enters, those taken by the shadow curse will swarm the portal in an attempt to destroy it.

Sure enough, once Halsin enters the portal, waves of enemies will begin to spawn, who will prioritise targeting the portal to the Shadowfell above all else. The portal must be kept intact for four turns, at which point Halsin will return. The enemies that spawn include Wraiths, Shadows, Shadow Mastiffs, Shadow Creepers, and Shadow-Cursed Harpers, Flaming Fists, Zealots, and Githyanki Warriors. If the portal is destroyed, then Halsin will be lost to the Shadowfell forever, and the quest fails.

  • Wave 1: Shadow ×3, Wraith ×1, Shadow Mastiff ×2, Shadow-Cursed Harper ×2, Shadow-Cursed Pilgrim ×3
  • Wave 2: Shadow-Cursed Raven ×8, Shadow Creeper ×3, Shadow-Cursed Pilgrim ×3, Shadow-Cursed Harper ×3, Shadow-Cursed Flaming Fist ×3
  • Wave 3: Shadow ×1, Wraith ×1, Shadow-Cursed Zealot ×3, Shadow-Cursed Flaming Fist ×2, Shadow-Cursed Githyanki Warrior ×3

If Halsin succeeds, he exits the portal with Thaniel in his arms, unconscious. He explains that something is wrong and that it seems a part of Thaniel is missing, and asks the party to meet him back at camp to discuss what to do next.

At camp, Halsin reveals that Thaniel's spirit was split in two when the curse took hold - half was taken to the Shadowfell, but half of him was left behind amidst the curse, and while that half may have been strong enough to resist, it has surely succumbed to the curse over the past hundred years. If it can be found, however, it can be reunited with Thaniel, allowing the land to finally heal.

While it may seem like a 'needle in a haystack' situation at first, Halsin says that the curse cannot completely suppress Thaniel's power, and that the player should look for signs of life in the darkness such as wildflowers where everything else has died. He will point the player towards the Ruined Battlefield and a house where he saw several fresh blooms.

At this point, Halsin joins the party as a full companion. It is advisable to make room in the current party for him to come along for the next stage of the quest.

Oliver[edit | edit source]

Oliver is a corrupted part of Thaniel, left to decay in the Shadow-Cursed Lands.

Oliver is the missing half of Thaniel's spirit. He's located in the House in Deep Shadows (which will be marked on the map as House of Flowers), found to the east of Last Light Inn. If the player hasn't already played hide-and-seek with him, he might ask them to do so - but regardless of whether or not his game is played, Oliver will grow angry when reminded of who Thaniel is, and eventually runs away into a shadow portal.

Use the portal to follow Oliver to the middle of Reithwin Town. He shields himself under a Nightdome that reflects any damage it is dealt back to the attacker, and summons several enemies to protect him - two Wraiths called "Mummy" and "Daddy", as well as a shadowy owlbear called "Oliver's Favourite Toy". He will also summon five Shadow Friends at a time. Killing each of Oliver's summoned allies will deal damage to the Nightdome without reflecting the damage back.

Once the dome is destroyed, Oliver complains about being disturbed and says he doesn't want to go back to Thaniel, who he perceives as having abandoned him. The player can choose to be kind when convincing Olivier to rejoin Thaniel and be whole again, or be aggressive; they can also let Halsin handle it.

Oliver will always agree to rejoin with Thaniel, but being aggressive about it will cause Halsin to lose approval, while allowing him to handle it or being kind will give a large boost to his approval.

Healing the Land[edit | edit source]

After Oliver finally returns to Thaniel, the boy finally awakens. He is at camp, near Halsin's tent. He explains that even though he is awake, the land cannot truly heal until Ketheric Thorm - the one responsible for originally cursing it - is dead, once and for all. The quest is not fully completed until Defeat Ketheric Thorm has been completed and the party leaves the Shadow-Cursed Lands to venture forth to Baldur's Gate, at which point a cutscene will play showing the land beginning to heal.

If this quest is not resolved before leaving the Shadow-Cursed Lands, Halsin will leave the party and chooses to remain behind to look after the land and attempt to lift the shadow curse himself.

Quest Rewards[edit | edit source]

Companion approval[edit | edit source]

  • Confront Oliver regarding his identity as Thaniel (I know who you really are, and where you really belong.): Halsin approves +1*Agree to play with Oliver Halsin disapproves -1 Gale approves +1 Wyll approves +1 Shadowheart approves +1 Karlach approves +1
    • After agreeing to play with Oliver, change your mind Shadowheart disapproves -1 Astarion approves +1
  • Agree to play a second round with Oliver Halsin disapproves -1 Gale approves +1 Wyll approves +1 Shadowheart approves +1 Karlach approves +1
    • Find Oliver without alerting the shadows Astarion approves +1 Lae'zel approves +1
    • Alert the shadows before finding Oliver Astarion disapproves -1 Lae'zel disapproves -1 Wyll approves +1
  • Heal Oliver Halsin approves +40 Gale approves +3 Wyll approves +1 Karlach approves +5
    • Be kind to Oliver Halsin approves +5
    • Be cruel to Oliver Halsin disapproves -1