Seek Protection from the Shadow Curse

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The shadow curse is deadly and fast-acting.

Seek Protection from the Shadow Curse is a sub-quest of Infiltrate Moonrise Towers in Act Two of Baldur's Gate 3. It can be started by approaching the elevator in Grymforge or entering the Shadow-Cursed Lands.

Objectives[edit | edit source]

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

Find a way to protect yourself from the curse.
  • A deadly curse plagues this land. One wrong step could kill us.
  • The shadow curse is even stronger in certain areas. We need to find a way to fend it off.
  • Light protects us from the shadow curse, but its effect is limited. We should find a better form of protection.
  • A deadly shadow curse plagues this land. Nere had a Moonlantern to protect himself from it. We may need to find something similar if we want to survive.
  • We found a Moonlantern, a device that can protect us from the shadow curse. Unfortunately, it is broken beyond repair.
  • We met a drider who carries a Moonlantern that protects him from the shadow curse. If we get one for ourselves, we will be able to travel the deepest parts of the curse unharmed.
  • One of our companions transformed into a cursed shadow-creature.
  • We found a note about cultists travelling through the deepest parts of the curse - unharmed. They must have some way to protect themselves. The owner of the note came from somewhere called Last Light.
Defeat the cultists.
  • While travelling with cultists, they were attacked by the Harpers. We decided to help the Harpers, and fought against the cultists.
  • The drider dropped his Moonlantern during the fight. It's ours now.
Speak to the Harpers.
  • We helped the Harpers defeat the cultists.
Reach Last Light Inn.
  • We helped a group of Harpers who were attacked by shadows. They told us about a place nearby that is protected from the shadow curse.
  • We learned of a safe haven in the shadow-cursed lands - Last Light Inn. We should pay it a visit.
  • The Harpers took the Moonlantern, and asked us to meet them at Last Light. They want to introduce us to their leader.
Talk to Jaheira.
  • We reached Last Light Inn and met Jaheira, the leader of the Harpers. We should see what we can learn about traversing the shadow curse safely.
Get help from the cleric Isobel.
  • Jaheira told us to speak to a cleric called Isobel for help traversing the shadow curse. Isobel protects Last Light from the shadow curse.
Find stronger protection from the shadow curse.
  • Isobel granted us Selûne's divine blessing, which can protect us from all but the strongest areas of the shadow curse.
Speak to the Harpers outside Last Light.
  • Isobel said the cultists can traverse the shadow curse safely - even the deepest parts. Some Harpers are looking into it. We should meet them at the bridge outside Last Light.
Find protection from the shadow curse.
  • With Isobel gone, Last Light Inn is no longer protected from the shadow curse.
Go to the ambush site.
  • The cultists have a lantern that protects them from the shadow curse. The Harpers can help us seize it in an ambush. We should meet them at the ambush site.
Talk to the Harpers at the ambush site.
  • We reached the ambush site. The cultists should be here soon.
Ambush the convoy.
  • We found cultists bearing a powerful lantern. If we want the lantern, we need to handle the cultists first.
  • The Harpers were defeated, but we might still find the cultists and the lantern at the ambush site.
  • We found a note on one of the Harpers. It was orders from Jaheira to take out a group of cultists. We should investigate the ambush site.
Defeat the convoy.
  • We attacked the convoy of Absolute cultists.
Take the drider's Moonlantern.
  • We met a drider who carries a Moonlantern that protects him from the shadow curse. If we get one for ourselves, we will be able to travel the deepest parts of the curse unharmed.
Defend the cultists.
  • We betrayed the Harpers, and allied ourselves with the drider.
Find a Moonlantern.
  • We decided to join the cultists heading to Moonrise Towers. If we wish to travel without them, we will need to find a way to protect ourselves from the curse.
  • We reached Moonrise Towers. However, if we wish to travel the shadow-cursed lands ourselves, we will need to find protection from the curse.
Find Balthazar's Moonlantern.
  • Disciple Z'rell told us that Ketheric's advisor, a man called Balthazar, has a Moonlantern in his chambers. It will protect us from the deepest parts of shadow curse.
Take the Moonlantern.
  • The drider dropped the Moonlantern. Now's our chance to take it.
  • We tricked the drider into giving us the Moonlantern and forced him into the darkness. The lantern is ours - as is its protection from the shadow curse.
Quest Complete
  • The Harpers died. We should retrieve the Moonlantern from them.
  • We defeated the drider. We can take the Moonlantern and use it to traverse the deepest parts of the shadow curse.
  • We claimed the drider's Moonlantern. We should now be protected from the shadow curse.
  • We reached Last Light Inn and met the cleric Isobel. She gave us the Moonlantern from the drider we defeated. We should now be protected from even the deepest parts of shadow curse.
  • We travelled through the shadow-cursed lands without finding our own Moonlantern.
  • We found a Moonlantern. This will protect us from even the deepest parts of the curse.
  • We got a Moonlantern and discovered that it was powered by the magic of a pixie inside. We decided to release her. In return, she gave us a bell that can protect us from the deepest parts of the shadow curse.

Walkthrough[edit | edit source]

The shadow curse[edit | edit source]

After entering into the Shadow-Cursed Lands, the party is presented with an abundance of torches, and encouraged to carry them by either a Harper or a goblin depending on how Travel to Moonrise Towers was resolved. The reason why becomes abundantly clear as the party is exposed to the shadows and takes Necrotic damage that doubles with every turn. The party must find a way to traverse the area safely.

It is technically possible to travel through the Shadow-Cursed Lands with only torches. When the party approaches Moonrise Towers, the curse is too powerful and begins causing Necrotic damage, however. If a party member loses all their hitpoints while cursed, they gain the Umbral Influx status and, if they aren't helped, are resurrected as an undead creature and attack the party. The party member can be saved by defeating them and then resurrecting them.

The convoy[edit | edit source]

If the party chooses to use the Mountain Pass route, as part of Travel through the Mountain Pass, then a goblin greets them and asks if they are the True Soul the goblin is expecting. The goblin tells the party to grab a torch, stick to the light as much as possible, and go to the rendezvous point to wait for the guide to Moonrise Towers. This starts Follow the Convoy.

Approach the rendezvous point and an orc named Kansif asks if they have what is needed to summon the guide. To summon the Drider guide, Vez explains that a special lyre is needed - the Spider's Lyre. This lyre can be looted off Minthara's corpse if she was killed during Defeat the Goblins, gifted by Minthara if she was sided with during Raid the Grove, or by rescuing Nere in Free True Soul Nere and siding with him. Once the lyre has been produced, a Performance check (DC 16) is prompted, but the result is the same whether it's passed or failed - the guide just makes a snide comment if it was played poorly. If the party does not have the lyre, then they can summon the guide using illithid powers (Wisdom DC 14). Additionally, Barbarians, Sorcerers, Bards, Clerics, and Paladins all have special dialogue to summon the guide.

The guide in question is a Drider named Kar'niss. He owns a functioning Moonlantern and has been tasked with shuttling cultist initiates to Moonrise Towers. When the party is ready, he'll ferry them to Moonrise. Once the party agrees, Kar'niss takes off and the party must remain in the glow of his Moonlantern to stave off the shadow curse.

During the trek, a group of Harpers ambush the convoy. The party has a chance to betray the convoy and help the Harpers, or fight alongside the convoy in the hopes of being more convincing at Moonrise. If the party allies with the Harpers, they take the drider's Moonlantern and refer the party to Last Light Inn. If the party avoids making Jaheira hostile at the Inn, then they latter can gain the Moonlantern by speaking with Isobel. If the party sticks with the convoy, then Kar'niss safely guides them to the front entrance to Moonrise Towers.

If the party has already been to Last Light Inn and avoided making Jaheira hostile at the Inn and sided with the Harpers, the harpers will question the party after defeating the convoy and demand "Jaheira's godsend" explain their presence: the party can either blame the ambush for ruining their infiltration (persuasion DC16) or lie that they were captured by the convoy (deception dc16). Failing either will turn the ambushing Harpers hostile(only them). Succeeding either will lead to the Harpers handing over the Moonlantern

Finishing the drider's convoy[edit | edit source]

Kar'niss brings the party to Moonrise Towers safely, as promised, but he doesn't relinquish his Moonlantern. In order to acquire the Moonlantern, the party must earn it by appeasing a specific disciple, Disciple Z'rell. After a cutscene with Z'rell and Ketheric Thorm, the party is tasked to dispatch some goblins and then meet with Z'rell upstairs. Speak to her, and she telepathically connects with the party to see how the goblins died. Next, she tries to figure out if the party is loyal to the Absolute. The player character can attempt to distract her with romantic thoughts of their love interest (Persuasion DC 14), fill their mind with fake love for the Absolute (Deception DC 14), distract her with their hunger for power, or use a special dialogue for Monks, Rogues, or Fighters.

If successful, Z'rell gives the party a new task - track down Balthazar, a servant of Thorm's who the cult has lost contact with. He was last seen at the Thorm Mausoleum. Z'rell gives the party a key to his room and instructs them to take a Moonlantern and touch nothing else. Thorm's room is on the same floor, past the library. The Moonlantern is in a box near a wooden desk in the centre of the room (just south of the telescope).[note 1]

Performing an ambush[edit | edit source]

If the party chooses to use the elevator in Grymforge as part of Travel through the Underdark, they encounter some Harper Scouts, led by Harper Lassandra. The Harpers are suspicious and order the party forward, when a harper named Yonas is grabbed by a Shadow and transformed by the shadow curse. A fight breaks out between the newly transformed Yonas, seven Shadows, and the Harpers.

After the battle, Lassandra thanks the party and urges them to carry a torch, as it's enough for the edges of the Shadow-Cursed Land. She tells them there is one place safe from the curse, the Last Light Inn, and marks it on the map. If the party avoids hostility with Jaheira, she introduces them to Isobel who grants a Blessing of Selune to stave off the lesser affects of the curse. By this conversation – when the party speaks with Jaheira inside the inn – the cultist will no longer be present near the exit of the mountain pass to start the subquest Follow the Convoy. If the party protects Isobel in Resolve the Abduction, a group of Harpers led by Harper Branthos state they are preparing to ambush a cultist convoy. The party can either go with the group immediately or catch up with them later, as the ambush site is marked on their map. Talk to Branthos at the ambush site to begin.

The convoy approaches the ambush spot.

Fighting the way through[edit | edit source]

Once the convoy arrives, the party has a choice to attack immediately or hang back. If the party chooses to stay hidden and keep watching, the drider kills Brawler Vez, one of the goblins in the convoy. From there, the party can either signal the Harpers or the Harpers start the encounter themselves. After the fight, loot the drider's corpse to get his Moonlantern.

Talking With Kar'niss[edit | edit source]

Alternatively, the party can choose to clear their throat and make themselves known. This choice can be made after initially choosing to stay hidden and waiting for Kar'niss to kill one of the goblins. The drider recognizes them as a True Soul and asks how they survived the shadows. Through dialogue options, the party can choose to turn on the Harpers and fight alongside Kar'niss, signal the Harpers to attack, or attempt trick Kar'niss into handing over the Moonlantern without combat.

Passing a DC 14 Deception check will cause Kar'niss to hand over the Moonlantern. This check can be made with advantage if the character meets certain criteria, including being a drow or disguised as one or being a Bard. Once the lantern has been handed over, a DC 14 Deception check or DC 14 Intimidation check check can be passed to convince Kar'niss to walk away without the lantern. Both of these checks have criteria that will allow them to be rolled with advantage. Any caster class such as Bard or Wizard can roll Deception with advantage, with the dialogue changing to indicate that the character performs a fake spell (the text changes depending on the class). A Drow or character disguised as one can roll the Intimidation check with advantage.

If both checks are passed, Kar'niss and the convoy reluctantly walk into the shadows and succumb to the shadow curse, avoiding a combat encounter and earning the praise of the Harpers. If the convoy is defeated in this way, they can later be found in Shadow-Cursed Undead form in Reithwin Town south of the statue of Ketheric Thorm that houses the Sharran Sanctuary.

The lantern's power[edit | edit source]

Dolly Thrice provides a solution to the shadow curse.

If the party gains Kar'niss' lantern, a pixie speaks out to them and begs for her freedom. If the party frees her (by equipping the lantern then using the action Inspect Moonlantern), she introduces herself as Dolly Dolly Dolly. In return for freeing her, the party can ask for her help with the shadow curse. She grants them a Filigreed Feywild Bell, which grants a Pixie Blessing that staves off the curse.[note 2] In comparison to the Moonlantern, which has a limited range and takes up a weapon slot, the blessing affects all party members and requires nothing to be equipped.

Quest rewards[edit | edit source]

Footnotes[edit | edit source]

  1. While in Balthazar's room, Gale can make a special Moonlantern as part of Balthazar's Experiment. However, this lantern does not provide the protective function of a Moonlantern.
  2. The Pixie Blessing can only be obtained by freeing Dolly Thrice from Kar'niss' Moonlantern. Trapped pixies cannot be freed from any other moonlanterns.