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Shadowheart is an origin character and a recruitable companion with the Acolyte background. She is a high half-elf and a Trickery Domain Cleric first appearing during the Prologue.

As a loyal servant of the goddess Shar, Shadowheart can be cold and calculating, willing to do whatever is necessary to serve the Dark Lady with utter devotion. She can be first found on the Nautiloid during the prologue where she serves as a temporary companion, and can be properly recruited at the start of Act 1 as well as be romanced by characters of any gender.

We're in this together, but I'll happily go it alone. My faith will keep me company.
— Shadowheart's strong devotion.

Overview[edit | edit source]

For a full overview of Shadowheart's starting features, see the articles Cleric, Trickery Domain and high half-elf.

Background[edit | edit source]

A devout follower of Shar, Shadowheart is the sole survivor of a holy mission undertaken on the Mistress of the Night's behest. She alone must deliver a relic of immense power to her coven in Baldur's Gate, while threatened by a strange new magic that is burgeoning from within. Her faith plays an important part in her story throughout the game, and she can be steered to or away from it.

Starting class[edit | edit source]

Shadowheart starts as a Trickery Domain cleric, giving her access to Spellcasting – with a particular focus on illusion magic – and Blessing of the Trickster Blessing of the Trickster, a class action that grants another creature advantage on Stealth checks. This makes her an ideal support character, albeit with few offensive options.

Special features[edit | edit source]

  • Shadowheart has the passive Fear of Wolves Fear of Wolves: whenever a wolf approaches her, she must make a Wisdom saving throw or become Frightened Frightened
  • Shar, Shadowheart's goddess, plays an integral part in her story, and is far more involved in her life than the standard Cleric class experience
  • Shar's patronage grants Shadowheart resistance to mild exposure to the Shadow Curse in the Shadow-Cursed Lands, though she will still need protection in areas where the curse is strongest.

Personal quest[edit | edit source]

Shadowheart's personal quest is Daughter of Darkness, spanning all acts of the game. Throughout it, Shadowheart will uncover fragments of her nebulous past, re-examine her relationship with her goddess Shar and decide her own future: remaining in the dark embrace of the Lady of Loss or freeing from the past.

Three further subquests are available that tie into her personal quest: The Chosen of Shar, in which Shadowheart's faith will be tested, A Familiar Face, where parts of her past will come to light, and Surrender Shadowheart, in which the party must consider a treacherous proposition.

Recruitment[edit | edit source]

Shadowheart can be recruited as a temporary companion during the Prologue on the Nautiloid by freeing her from the mind flayer pod. She can then become a permanent companion during Act One.

Prologue[edit | edit source]

  • Shadowheart is first encountered on the Nautiloid during the Prologue, trapped inside a mind flayer pod. She can be freed by interacting with the nearby console or using certain class-restricted dialogue options on the pod. If she is freed, she will join the party as a temporary companion. Upon escaping the nautiloid, she leaves the party.

Act One[edit | edit source]

  • Shadowheart can be found a second time at the Ravaged Beach in the Wilderness. If she was freed from the pod during the Prologue, she will be lying unconscious on the ground and will wake up when interacted with. If she was not freed, she will instead be found attempting to gain entry to the nearby Dank Crypt. Either way, she can be invited to join the party after speaking with her.
  • If Shadowheart is not interacted with at the Ravaged Beach, she will move to the Druid Grove on her own in search of a healer. She can be spoken with there and invited to join the party.
  • If the player enters the Goblin Camp without having recruited Shadowheart, she will show up and save the party from the Voice of the Absolute using the Mysterious Artefact. If not recruited, she may be convinced to wait here, or fought to the death.
  • If the player ignores the Goblin Camp and walks towards the Mountain Pass, she will similarly appear to save the party members from the Voice, as the party members attempt to cross the bridge into the main area.
  • If the player ignores the Goblin Camp and the Mountain Pass, and manages to enter the Underdark, she will appear to save the party from the Voice of the Absolute, as the party members enter the elevator to the Shadow-Cursed Lands.

Approval[edit | edit source]

Main article: Shadowheart/approval
Shadowheart Approves
Shadowheart likes finding pragmatic and efficient solutions to problems. She appreciates discretion, privacy, and open-mindedness. Shadowheart generally responds well to acts of heroism. While she is afraid of wolves, Shadowheart loves animals and will always react favourably to positive interactions with them and negatively to cruelty towards them. As a devout Sharran, she also approves of acts against Selûne and Selûnites in general.

Shadowheart dislikes those that disapprove of her worship or people pressing her for answers or details. She does not like needless cruelty or violence and can respond unfavourably to being too open with untrustworthy or unknown individuals. Straying from Shar's mandates results in Shadowheart being punished through the wound in her right hand, a reminder to follow Shar's wishes.

Romance[edit | edit source]

Main article: Shadowheart/romance

Shadowheart can be romanced by characters of any gender, and is one of the few characters willing to have a casual relationship. Throughout it, she will have to deal with the topic of her identity and how the idea of love fits the Sharran concept of self-sacrifice for their goddess.

Description[edit | edit source]

Appearance[edit | edit source]

Shadowheart has straight, coal-black hair kept in a long ponytail segmented by ornate silver rings. Her fringe hair is kept short and straight, revealing her brows beneath and a scar running from her nose to her right cheek. Hair adorns her face on the sides, reaching past her chin, her pointed ears barely peeking through them, and her eyes, light-green with speckles of yellow, are contoured by dark make-up. Though rarely seen, she has a black circular mark on her right hand, a wound given by Shar used to express her disapproval, causing Shadowheart pain whenever she misbehaves. Though appearing youthful due to her elven heritage, she is over 40 years old.[1][text 1]

She complements her Sharran attire with a silver circlet worn above her fringe, simple, yet elegant, displaying her goddess' holy symbol, a black disc, as well as an argent hairpiece at the base of her ponytail, reminiscent of the decorations found in Sharran temples.

After the events of The Chosen of Shar, if Shadowheart turned away from Shar, she will dye her hair silver and part her fringe off-center, showing more of her forehead. If she remained faithful, however, she will maintain her black hair but part her hair nonetheless.

Personality[edit | edit source]

Zealously devoted, independent and headstrong, she prefers pragmatic solutions to issues, decisive action and staying uninvolved in the problems of others. While she initially seems guarded and reserved – hesitant to reveal information about herself – she is in fact amnesiac, with little memory of her own past. Fiercely devoted to Shar, she doesn't tolerate any slights against her goddess, often reacting defensively. Trained in the Sharran ways, she's also not above forceful actions, duplicity or even killing, to achieve her goals.

Still, Shadowheart displays traits that are often at odds with her Sharran training. She has a fondness for flowers and animals, disapproves of indiscriminate violence, prefers relatively peaceful resolutions to conflicts when possible and often sympathizes with the plights of party members. She can be as sarcastic as Astarion, and doesn't shy away from dark humour. She is introspective, and often harbours doubts as can be seen by romancing her, and, when guided away from Shar, she's much more open and honest with her feelings.

History[edit | edit source]

Early life[edit | edit source]

Born to parents Arnell and Emmeline Hallowleaf, Jenevelle, as she was named, was raised in a Selûnite household in the forests outside Baldur's Gate.[note 1] Devout followers of the Moonmaiden, they worshipped her in quiet seclusion away from the city, raising young Jenevelle in the ways of Selûne. In time, she would take part of an ancient Selûnite initiation rite: abandoned in the wilds, she would have to rely on her skills and faith to fend for herself, proving herself as a devout believer once she returned.[2][text 2]

Yet Shar, Selûne's dark sister, had other plans for the child, and commanded Viconia DeVir and a cadre of Sharrans to kidnap the child.[text 3] Arnell had learned of this ploy after capturing a Sharran spy, and taking his wolf form, he raced towards Jenevelle. But young Jenevelle never learned of his father's curse of lycanthropy, and instead of being rescued by her father, all she saw was a great wolf hunting her.[3] The Sharrans caught up to the pair and kidnapped both, taking them to a secret cloister of the Dark Lady in Baldur's Gate.

Life as a Sharran[edit | edit source]

Jenevelle would be brought to the Cloister of Sombre Embrace, a Sharran temple in Baldur's Gate set up and ran by Mother Superior Viconia DeVir after her previous endeavours in Waterdeep had failed.[text 1][text 3] Viconia's mission, given to her directly by Shar, was to mould young Jenevelle into a champion of the Dark Lady, an effort that would ultimately take almost half a century.[1] Jenevelle resisted the indoctrination at first, but the brutal training she would be put through, being lied to that her parents perished defending her from wolves, as well as repeated forced use of the temple's Mirror of Loss, would slowly erase her past and in time forge a new identity: Shadowheart.

Though the Mother Superior was especially cruel with Shadowheart, forcing her to use the Mirror of Loss more than with any other acolyte. Under Viconia's watchful eye, Shadowheart, no longer recognizing her parents, was forced to torture them and practice her newfound skills on them.[4] Still, Shadowheart was able to retain a few memories from her past thanks to Rennald, a young tiefling acolyte undergoing similar training. Any time she would be subjected to mirror training, Rennald would do his best to remind Shadowheart who she was afterwards.[text 4] Thanks to him, and whatever scattered notes she was able to jot down between mirror trainings,[text 5] Shadowheart was able to retain some parts of her identity, such as her fondness for flowers and animals. The two became good friends, and one of the few blessings during her time in the cloister.

Hunting after the mysterious artefact[edit | edit source]

At some point during Shadowheart's last stages of training, whispers of the rise of a mysterious cult would reach the Mother Superior's ears. This Cult of the Absolute as it was being called, was quickly gaining traction among the populace and threatened the Sharran influence over the city.[5] As luck would have it, the Sharrans would capture a githyanki scout who,[text 6] after being subjected to merciless torture, revealed the existence of a githyanki artefact of immense power that the cult were desperate to find lest it be used against them.[text 7] Such an artefact could prove an asset for the Sharrans in thwarting the absolutist presence in the city, and so the Mother Superior quickly formed a party of elite devouts, tasking them with its retrieval.[text 8] Though deemed a suicide mission, Shadowheart and four other companions set out to fulfil what they believed were Shar's commands.

The group was able to locate the Mysterious Artefact though at great cost: Shadowheart was the only survivor.[url 1] Disaster wouldn't stop there, however, as she soon found herself captive at the hands of mind flayers. How and where she was captured is never explored, however, at some point during her capture she became tadpoled and was kept imprisoned in a pod awaiting ceremorphosis.

Involvement[edit | edit source]

Prologue[edit | edit source]

Shadowheart can be encountered during the battle aboard the Nautiloid. Trapped in a mind flayer pod, the party can decide whether to free her or not. If released, she will join the party as a temporary companion until they escape the ship.

Daughter of Darkness[edit | edit source]

Shadowheart Icon.png
See main article: Daughter of Darkness

Daughter of Darkness is Shadowheart's personal quest. It is added to the journal upon recruiting her and spans all three acts of the game.

Act One[edit | edit source]

During the first act of the game, players will slowly uncover the mystery of the artefact Shadowheart carries, as well as the mission that led her to find it. Shadowheart will reveal that she's a devout of Shar and that her mission is to deliver the artefact to her cloister in Baldur's Gate. As part of the operation, she had her memories suppressed so she wouldn't betray Shar, who exerts her influence over her through the wound in Shadowheart's hand.

The party may encounter Kith'rak Voss near the Mountain Pass who informs them that the githyanki are searching for an object very similar to Shadowheart's artefact. Whatever the outcome of the encounter, Lae'zel will confront Shadowheart about it later in camp. If left unresolved, Shadowheart will attempt to kill Lae'zel in her sleep next rest, though she can be convinced to desist and put grudges aside.

Shadowheart may also slowly reveal parts of her past. Upon an encounter with wolves, she can be asked about her apparent fear of them, to which depending on player approval, she may show a memory of a young Shadowheart being saved by a wolf attack by Sharrans. Similarly, if given the Noblestalk from the Underdark, Shadowheart will remember a young tiefling named Rennald who she was friends with during her initiate years. This will add the quest A Familiar Face to the journal.

Should the party learn about Dark Justiciars, they may ask Shadowheart more about them. She will state that they are elite warriors of Shar and that she dreams of becoming one some day. This will add the quest The Chosen of Shar to the journal.

Act Two[edit | edit source]

Having high approval with Shadowheart will at some point reveal that one of her favourite flowers is the Night Orchid. One such flower can be found in the Ruined Battlefield in the Shadow-Cursed Lands and given to her. Shadowheart will express her gratitude and lament not having anything to give in return.

Within the Grand Mausoleum the party will find the Gauntlet of Shar, ancient proving grounds for Dark Justiciar aspirants. Shadowheart will be excited about the possibility of proving herself to her goddess, and urge the party to complete the trials and allow her to become a Dark Justiciar. Completing the trials will lead the party to the Shadowfell and the confrontation with the Nightsong. Shadowheart's fate will diverge greatly depending on the choices made here.

If she's allowed to slay the Nightsong, Shar will be greatly pleased with Shadowheart, and will finally name her Dark Justiciar, granting her powerful rewards. Shadowheart herself will be happy she finally achieved her dream, and will vow to serve Shar faithfully until death. Alternatively, Shadowheart can be convinced to spare the Nightsong, turning on Shar to forge her own future. In doing so, the Nightsong will be freed and Shadowheart will be abandoned by her goddess for good. Finally, choosing to refuse Shadowheart the entry to Shadowfell or surrendering Nightsong to Balthazar will greatly anger her and could lead to a confrontation. Any of these outcomes complete The Chosen of Shar.

Act Three[edit | edit source]

Whether commanded by Shar as a Dark Justiciar, or guided by Aylin, Shadowheart's next destination is the Cloister of Sombre Embrace in the Lower City of Baldur's Gate. A Dark Justiciar Shadowheart will be commanded by Shar to cleanse the cloister from corruption, while a Shadowheart who freed Aylin and turned against Shar will be spurred by the hope that she may find her parents alive there.

There, Shadowheart will encounter Viconia DeVir, the cloister's Mother Superior and the person who saw to her training as an initiate. She will demand the mysterious artefact and the surrender of Shadowheart. Once more, Shadowheart's fate can go different ways depending on choices made. The party may agree to surrender Shadowheart to Viconia, losing her as a companion but gaining the Sharrans as allies for the final battle. Hearing Viconia's offer out begins the subquest Surrender Shadowheart to Viconia. Alternatively, the party can confront Viconia and the Sharrans, resulting in their demise. If surrendered to Viconia, the main quest and the corresponding subquest will be completed.

Exploring the cloister, the party may run into Nocturne, a tiefling who recognises Shadowheart. If Shadowheart recovered some of her memories by eating noblestalk, she will realise that Nocturne is the young tiefling friend from her past, even though she has changed since then. Shadowheart and Nocturne can then reminisce about growing up in the cloister. This encounter completes A Familiar Face.

If Viconia is refused and defeated, the party may enter the Threshold of Loss, Shar's hidden sanctum. There, Shadowheart will come face to face with her parents, long thought dead. Shar's ultimate test for a Dark Justiciar requires her to slay them. In doing so, Shar will bless Shadowheart by wiping her memory and tasking her with rebuilding the cloister. Shar's faithful will be available as an ally for the final battle. If Shadowheart turned from Shar, she will have a difficult choice to make: save her parents but be forever bound to Shar's curse, or sacrifice her parents and sever the curse at last. Whichever the choice made completes Daughter of Darkness.

Endings[edit | edit source]

Adventures throughout the Sword Coast[edit | edit source]

If Shadowheart turned from Shar, and lost her parents in the process, she will embark on adventures throughout the Sword Coast, visiting the House of the Moon in Waterdeep, battling Sharran assassins and even befriending an Imp named Bing Bong.[note 2][url 2] If romanced, the player character can join her in these adventures.

Life at a country farmstead[edit | edit source]

Shadowheart moves to a country farmstead to live surrounded by flowers, pets[note 3] and family, if she turned from Shar and rescued her parents. There, she is finally able to live the life she wanted surrounded by love. If romanced, the player will be living with her and her family, a quiet life after adventures. From time to time Shar will inflict pain on Shadowheart through the wound on her hand, but she no longer minds and notices those events becoming more infrequent lately.

Mother Superior of the Sharran cloister[edit | edit source]

Should Shadowheart have chosen to remain in Shar's embrace, she will have become the new Mother Superior of the Sharran cloister in Baldur's Gate, operating from the House of Grief. In the months since, word of Lady of Loss has spread far and wide, thanks to the efforts of Shadowheart. If romanced, Shadowheart will end the relationship prior to this, explaining that she needs to be fully devoted to her goddess. She will agree to be kissed for old times' sake, but remains faithful to Shar. Shadowheart also expresses sympathy for Viconia's fate, now able to understand what she went through as Mother Superior.

Quest rewards[edit | edit source]

Interactions[edit | edit source]

Companion interactions[edit | edit source]

Shadowheart has unique dialogue interactions as a companion available after certain events. Whenever one is available, she will have a floating [ ! ] icon above her.

Act One[edit | edit source]

Act Two[edit | edit source]

  • If Shadowheart abandons Shar and spares the Nightsong, upon taking the portal out from the Shadowfell Shar will keep her hostage for a time before releasing her. The party can ask her what kept her and she'll explain that Shar wanted to punish her and make sure she knew she was forsaken henceforth.

Act Three[edit | edit source]

Unique interactions[edit | edit source]

Either as an origin, or in the party as a companion, Shadowheart has unique interactions and special dialogue with the following characters, listed by the act they are first encountered in.

Act One[edit | edit source]

Act Two[edit | edit source]

Act Three[edit | edit source]

Loot[edit | edit source]

Shadowheart can be killed and looted, and drops the same loot as her starting equipment.

Starting equipment[edit | edit source]

Achievements[edit | edit source]

A-To Bloom in Darkest Night.jpg

To Bloom in Darkest Night
Gift Shadowheart a night orchid - her favourite flower. Always knew she was a softie.

Gallery[edit | edit source]

Related literature[edit | edit source]

Notes[edit | edit source]

  1. Multiple things point to Shadowheart having grown in Moonhaven, the former name for the now ruined Blighted Village, such as her reaction when picking up the Old Schoolbook or her scene at the Selûnite statue behind the mill. However, it's difficult to confirm as different sources in-game indicate that the village was destroyed over a hundred years ago by Ketheric Thorm's dark justiciar army, and Shadowheart is estimated to be roughly fifty years old. Conflicting timelines regarding the village and its destruction don't line up, thus, it's possible that the intent during development was that she and her family had indeed lived in Moonhaven, but that the inconsistencies were never properly fixed for release.
  2. Bing Bong is the name of an imp appearing during one of the Larian Studios' sponsored Dungeons and Dragons sessions with the main cast of voice actors for the game. Run and hosted by the High Rollers DnD channel, during this adventure, Shadowheart and Lae'zel encounter an imp named Bing Bong working at a store, and Shadowheart briefly adopts him before Lae'zel kills him.
  3. Four dogs, eight cats, nine chickens, six pigeons, four sheep, one cow named Daphne, a squirrel and Buttons, a wolf cub. She can also adopt the Owlbear Cub.
  • As of Patch 5 of release, Shadowheart remains the most popular romantic interest among the playerbase.[url 3]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. 1.0 1.1 Cloister of Sombre Embrace, ambient line spoken by Shadowheart upon reading No Price Too High in the dormitory.
    "These are all about me... forty years of my life, documented like I was some sort of specimen."
  2. Campsite, line spoken by Arnell Hallowleaf if saved from Shar and asked about what happened the night of the abduction.
    "You were to come of age that night - left alone in the woods, and only using Selûne's guidance to find your way back to us."
  3. Campsite, lines spoken by Arnell Hallowleaf if saved from Shar and asked about what happened the night of the abduction.
    "We caught a Sharran spy near our village, and learned that his accomplices sought to abduct you. (...) I took on my wolf-form to cover the ground more quickly. (...) But when I found you, you did not see your father rushing to save you - you only saw a wolf, hunting you in the darkness."
  4. Campsite, line spoken by Arnell Hallowleaf if saved from Shar and asked about what happened the night of the abduction.
    "They had you use us for... practice. All the techniques that the Sharrans hold pride in. Trickery, interrogation... torture. They even had you, our own daughter, try to convert us."
  5. Cloister of Sombre Embrace, lines spoken by Viconia DeVir when parlaying with her.
    "Whispers reached my ears from all corners - potential rivals of Lady Shar, all vying for the same prize. A new god, amassing the disaffected, the outcasts - those who should turn to us. (...) I had to act. I had to strangle that foul conspiracy while it was still in the cradle."
  1. Official Website: Larian Studios. Game Characters: Shadowheart. Larian Studios. Retrieved 01-02-2024.
  2. Official Livestream & VOD: High Rollers DnD (22-09-2023). Baldur's Gate 3 Cast play D&D #1 / High Rollers Presents: Shadows of Athkatla. High Rollers DnD YouTube Channel. Retrieved 17-01-2024.
  3. Official Twitter Account: Larian Studios (05-12-2023). Baldur's Gate 3 in Numbers. Larian Studios. Retrieved 06-02-2024. Archived from the original on 06-02-2024.

External links[edit | edit source]