Necromancy of Thay

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For using the tome, see the quests: Unlock the Ancient Tome and Destroy the Ancient Tome
Necromancy of Thay image

Necromancy of Thay is a Story-related Book related to the Search the Cellar Quest.

Description Icon.png
It. Is. Not. Too. Late.


  • Books
  • Rarity: Story Item
  • Weight: 0.5 kg / 1.1 lb
  • Price: 14 gp

Where to find

  • To access the hidden portion of the cellar containing the book, you must move a wardrobe by pulling a lever hidden behind a box, then speak with the magic mirror and either intimidate it or correctly answer its questions:
  • What think you of the Zulkir known as Szass Tam? 'Szass Tam is a foul, wretched creature.'
  • Why might one use balsam ointment? 'To clean a wound.'
  • If you could see anything in me, what would it be? 'I'd look for whatever spell will rid me of this worm in my head.'
  • Warlocks and Bards have a special response to the third question that will also be regarded as correct.
  • The locked gate in front of the book can be lockpicked. The Rusted Key found on a shelf in the next room (near the lever that opens a shortcut back to the cellar entrance) can also be used to open the door. Alternatively, spells like Misty Step Icon.png Misty Step can be used to bypass the gate.
  • Note that taking the book will trigger a trap. To avoid this, you can enter turn-based mode and place an item of similar weight (like another book) on the pedestal, or simply disarm the plate itself by stepping close enough to the book to make the perception check, or by disarming the two nearby statues.

Notes[edit | edit source]

Act One[edit | edit source]

  • The Necromancy of Thay has three main paths that can be chosen, each with different outcomes.
    • Give to Gale for his condition or to Astarion. Giving it to one of these Companions will net you approval from the one you've given it to, and disapproval from the other. Once a companion has obtained the book, you cannot transfer it to another.
    • Destroy the book. The book can be destroyed only by Damage Types Radiant damage. Destroying it will net you disapproval from both Astarion and Gale. However it will net you approval from Karlach, Lae'zel, and Wyll if you bring them in your party.
    • Read the book for its dark secrets. Interact with the book and use the option to insert the Dark Amethyst to unlock it. In total, three pages of the book can be turned. Each page you turn prompts a progressively harder Wisdom Saving Throw (DC 10, 15, and 20). The following possible events can occur:
      • Failing one Saving Throw curses you with Whispers of Madness (Disadvantage Icon.png Disadvantage on Wisdom Checks for 50 turns).
      • Failing two or more Saving Throws curses you with Baleful Knowledge (Disadvantage Icon.png Disadvantage on Wisdom Checks until cleansed by Remove Curse).
        • Some classes receive special options to modify or lower these DCs; all such special options result in the same overall outcomes.
          • Bards may make Performance checks with the same DCs.
          • Sorcerers may make Charisma saves with DCs of 5, 10, and 15.
          • Warlocks may make the first save using Charisma with a DC of 5. The other pages will use the default Wisdom saves.
          • Wizards may make the first save using Intelligence with a DC of 5. The other pages will use the default Wisdom saves.
        • Shadowheart is given a special option (as a Cleric of Shar) for turning the third page, offering a Wisdom ability check with a DC of 10 (in contrast to the 20 DC Wisdom saving throw).
        • A cleric of Talos also gets a 10 DC wisdom ability check instead of a saving throw, like Shadowheart. Clerics of other dark/evil aligned gods, possibly also get special check here (needs confirmation).
        • Astarion is given a special option: "Drink in the darkness, embracing it, and turn the page" for turning the third page, offering a Wisdom ability check with a DC of 15 (in contrast to the 20 DC Wisdom saving throw).
      • Turning at least one page permanently grants the reader Speak with Dead Speak with Dead. This can be cast as a Ritual Ritual and does not consume a Spell Slot.
      • Turning three pages, regardless of success, grants the Forbidden Knowledge tag and Forbidden Knowledge Forbidden Knowledge passive feature.
      • Closing the book before turning three pages leaves the Search the Cellar quest incomplete and allows the character to reopen the book again later.
  • Once the book has been opened by one character, it will not open for any other character. Once all three pages have been turned, the book will refuse to open again for anyone until more knowledge is gained later in the game.
  • After reading, the item quote will change from 'It. Is. Not. Too. Late.' to 'Look. Away.'

Ico knownSpells lvl 03.png Act 3 Spoilers! This section reveals details about the story of Baldur's Gate 3.

Act Three

  • With the help of Mystic Carrion in Philgrave's Mansion in the Lower City, you can learn - for a 1500 gp fee - that in order to unlock the full potential of the book, you need to seek the The Tharchiate Codex somewhere within Sorcerous Sundries. This step is not necessary, but does help point you in the right direction.
  • The Tharchiate Codex is stored in the basement vault of Sorcerous Sundries. You can reach the vault in two different ways:
    • By interacting with the Clasped Book in the bookshelf of Tolna Tome-Monger's office upstairs and going through the portal, or
    • By using the Weave Button labelled 'Vault' on the middle level of Ramazith's Tower.
  • Within the vault, the Codex is located in the Elminster section. To unlock the Elminster door, you must first find the lever at the end of the Silverhand section by opening doors in this order: Silverhand, Evocation, Wish.
  • After reading The Tharchiate Codex, you can re-read Necromancy of Thay and pass a DC 20 Wisdom saving throw to gain the permanent ability to summon 4 ghouls via the Danse Macabre Danse Macabre spell once per Short Rest. Failing this saving throw has the same effect as before: you're cursed with Baleful Knowledge, but still gain the spell.
  • Having the Forbidden Knowledge Forbidden Knowledge feature allows you to safely obtain another permanent bonus from the Mirror of Loss in the House of Grief; see Permanent Bonuses for more details.