Orpheus

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"Quickly now - even here, we do not have infinite time.

— Orpheus after being freed from his prison.

Orpheus, is a Githyanki that appears in Baldur's Gate 3. He acts as the supposed true ruler of the Githyanki. However, he has been captured and is imprisoned in the Astral Plane. Being a Githyanki, he seeks to destroy the Mind Flayers and remove Vlaakith from power.

Overview[edit | edit source]

Background[edit | edit source]

According to the inscribed discs, banned by followers of Vlaakith and labelled as heretical, Orpheus is the first, and only, son of Mother Gith, the leader of the rebellion that freed the race that would then bear her name, from the Mind Flayer Empire. Sometime after the beginning of their freedom, the collective Gith race split into two cultures; the Githyanki and the Githzerai, the former, Orpheus was a part of.

Upon discovering that Vlaakith I (Not to be confused with Vlaakith CLVII) had betrayed his mother, sacrificing her to create a pact with Tiamat, Orpheus led Gith's Honour Guard in a revolt and named himself the rightful king of the Githyanki, triggering the War of the Comet. At the head of the Honour Guard mounted on red dragons, Orpheus bravely fought Vlaakith's knights in a battle in the Astral Plane, where he praised Mother Gith and accused Vlaakith. Yet he was overcome and defeated, lost in the fiery dragon breath of the red ridden by Kith'rak Voss, and was thought dead.

Unknown to all but Vlaakith and Voss; however, Orpheus was instead imprisoned within the Astral Prism, so that Vlaakith may exploit the powers he inherited from his mother.

At some time before the events of Baldur's Gate 3, The Emperor had discovered the Astral Prism, who proceeded to use it to rebel against the Elder Brain.

Quests[edit | edit source]

Involvement[edit | edit source]

Act Three[edit | edit source]

Orpheus is only ever mentioned in previous acts, either as the true ruler of the Githyanki people, or as a corruptive force. He is finally found, imprisoned within the Astral Prism when the party enters it to help The Emperor. The Party can either help The Emperor keep him imprisoned, or fight to free him, but only the former yields positive results, as the party, without The Emperor's assistance, falls to the Absolute, and are likely killed by Orpheus and his Honour Guard.

Orpheus' fate is entirely dependant on the player, and their choices. Several events can occur based on the following criteria;

  1. If the party collects the Orphic Hammer through any means, and uses it to free him at the end of the game, he will accompany the players through the final hurdle, and help them destroy The Netherbrain.
    • If the player refuses to have anyone in their current party turn into a Mind Flayer in order to control the Netherstones, he will turn into a Mind Flayer himself. In this instance, he will desire to die, rather than to live as an abomination, but can be convinced to spare himself, only if Lae'zel takes his place as the Githyanki people's saviour if she is in the party.
    • If the player or a party member becomes a Mind Flayer, he will thank them for their sacrifice, promising they will be remembered as a hero. Once The Netherbrain is defeated, he will move to freeing his people from Vlaakith's rule, notably inviting Lae'zel to join him.
  2. If the party does not collect the Orphic Hammer, or refuses to use it, The Emperor will consume Orpheus' brain, assimilating his abilities.

Combat[edit | edit source]

Attacks and abilities[edit | edit source]

Githyanki[edit | edit source]

In his githyanki form, Orpheus is a Way of the Four Elements Monk and has the following abilities:

Illithid[edit | edit source]

See also: Full-illithid

If he undergoes ceremorphosis, Orpheus will have all the statistics (save his INT, WIS and CHA scores, which remain the same) and powers of a full-illithid. As well as gaining illithid passives, he will retain his original monk passives (but not abilities). The full-illithid ability Permanent Mind Sanctuary, allows Orpheus to use actions and bonus actions interchangeably.

Orpheus the following illithid powers:

Gallery[edit | edit source]

Related literature[edit | edit source]

Notes[edit | edit source]

  • His tattoos have writing in tir'su - the gith writing system, see Gallery above.
    • Mostly nonsense and a mirrored word for Vlaakith - misspelled as "Alaakith". It was probably written as a defiance to her ways.
    • Githyanki and Githzerai use the same writing system but githyanki write clockwise while githzerai - counter-clockwise, though unlike Orpheus, the githzerai do not mirror the symbols.
  • Orpheus is also the name of a demigod in Greek mythology who traveled with Jason and the Argonauts in pursuit of the Golden Fleece, but was primarily famous for his journey to the Underworld.

External links[edit | edit source]