The Dark Urge

From Baldur's Gate 3 Wiki
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This article is about the established character, and contains many spoilers.. For the more spoiler-free origin page, see The Dark Urge (origin).

The Dark Urge is an established character as well as a special origin in Baldur's Gate 3. Suffering from amnesia, the Dark Urge remembers little but glimpses of their own past.

My rancid blood whispers to me: kill, kill, and kill again. My ruined body yearns to reap death in this world, and when this foul Urge calls, it possesses my whole being. Injured beyond repair, I know nothing besides this; I must resist this Dark Urge, lest it consume my mind. I must discover what happened to me, and who I was. Before my twitching knife-hand writes a tragedy in blood.
— The Dark Urge, fearing their dark desires in their Introduction cinematic.

Description[edit | edit source]

Prior to their amnesia, the Dark Urge was a much more cold and calculated individual than their bloodkin, Orin.[act3 a] They believed in killing for killing's sake, preferring practical and simple methods over flair and grace, and took issue with extravagant or needlessly creative killings.[act3 b][act3 c] They were, on occasion, deeply loyal to Bhaal,[act2 a] but would nonetheless often stray from their intended purpose.[act3 d]

History[edit | edit source]

Early life[edit | edit source]

The Dark Urge is a Bhaalspawn, but unlike other Bhaalspawn, they weren't born – they were created from the dead flesh of Bhaal himself.[note 1][act3 f][act3 g]

The Dark Urge grew up outside the Cult of Bhaal, and were at some point taken in by a couple. They had a relatively peaceful childhood for a time, before succumbing to the urge and murdering their loved ones and foster parents.[act3 h][act3 i]

The plan[edit | edit source]

Eventually, the Dark Urge became the leader of the Cult of Bhaal, and pledged to end all life in existence for their father. At some point fellow Bhaalspawn Orin the Red joined and served under them.[1]

After receiving dreams of Bhaal, the Dark Urge – in correspondence with Enver Gortash – hatched a plan to steal the Crown of Karsus in a heist at Mephistopheles' Vault, so that they could fulfil their pledge to their Lord: They would create an army of soulless mind flayers, and with the help of this army they would exterminate all life — Including, as the last being alive, their own. Fully intent on eventually betraying them, the Dark Urge joined forces with Gortash and Ketheric Thorm, Bane and Myrkul's chosen, respectively.[act2 a][1][act3 a][act3 j]

After the heist, Gortash suggested that they use the Crown on the elder brain located in the illithid colony below Moonrise Towers. The Dark Urge agreed to the plan, and joined Enver Gortash and Ketheric Thorm at Moonrise Towers.[1]

Betrayal[edit | edit source]

At Moonrise Towers, the three Chosen initiated a raid on the mind flayer colony, and successfully used the Crown on the colony's elder brain, enslaving it to their will. At some point during this, Dark Urge formed a special relationship with the elder brain, who was on board with the Dark Urge's plan.[1][act3 k]

For a time, the Dark Urge was worshipped as a god at Moonrise Towers,[act2 b] but during a visit to the mind flayer colony beneath the towers, during or after the raid,[note 2] they were betrayed by their sister Orin the Red, who was jealous of Bhaal's favouritism.[act3 l][act3 m]

The Dark Urge had their skull pierced and opened with a dagger, and was infected with a tadpole that began to eat their liquidating brain, resulting in their amnesia, as well as them becoming the first True Soul.[act3 l][act3 m][1][act2 c][act2 d]

The Dark Urge was found by Kressa Bonedaughter who, impressed with their willpower and resistance to the elder brain's influence, began to study them. She would cut them open and put them back together repeatedly over the course of several days in the mind flayer colony, during which the Dark Urge was unable to speak or do anything but attempt to inflict violence on themselves or others.[act2 c][act2 d]

The Elder Brain came to refer to the Dark Urge's condition as a "True Soul", inspiring Gortash with the idea of creating more True Souls, perfecting his plan to create the false religion of "the Absolute", with the purpose of realising his so-called master plan of Unity.[note 3][act3 k][act2 d]

Noticing his wife's obsession and hoping to snap her out of it, Kressa's husband, Maghtew Budj, arranged for the broken and amnesiac Dark Urge to be sent off on the Nautiloid Ship, where they would soon wake up with no memories of themselves or their past.[act2 d]

The Urge[edit | edit source]

The Dark Urge's unique quest, The Urge, has two distinct paths: The character can either resist their urges, or embrace them.

If they resist the Urge and reject their legacy, Bhaal will drain them of his unholy blood resulting in their death, only for Withers to intervene directly and bring them back to life.

If they embrace the Urge and accept their legacy, they will become Bhaal's Chosen yet again.

Past relationships[edit | edit source]

Sceleritas Fel[edit | edit source]

The goblin-like creature Sceleritas Fel served the Dark Urge and joined them during a series of grisly murders in Baldur's Gate. Sceleritas was deeply devoted to the Dark Urge and found great pride in serving them, even sharing in The Dark Urge's more intimate moments and thus able to reveal to the player that the Dark Urge was a necrophiliac before Orin's treachery. In fact the simple question of serving another Bhaalspawn like Orin made Sceleritas so queasy that he asked for the "bucket of Bhaal" to vomit in.

Orin[edit | edit source]

The Dark Urge had a turbulent relationship with their blood-kin sister Orin. Orin however was far more obsessed with the 'beauty' of the kill, believing that the 'thousands' of murders that Dark Urge committed actually were an affront to Bhaal, as revealed in her diary and manifesto declaring she would wipe out this stain and dishonor from Bhaal's Temple. Her entire belief in Bhaal is that the way you kill and build up to the moment of death is just as important as the death itself. This is later used against her by Sarevok, her own grandfather, who states that Orin has never understood what Bhaal actually wants: "Our lord does not care for beauty. Bhaal cares only for death. Death in numbers. Death in droves. It is a lesson Orin will only learn in death." By contrast the Dark Urge always did and was Bhaal's favored child because of it.

This continued favoritism shown towards the Dark Urge would eat away at Orin, who became more and more bitter that even the worshipful masses of Bhaal's temple, the Bhaal cultists, would begin worshiping the Dark Urge, in turn seeing it as worship of a false idol. It was all too much and eventually Orin, in a mad fit of rage, stabbed the Dark Urge in the back of the head, splitting open their skull and then forcing a mindflayer tadpole inside the open wound. This unintentionally created the first True Soul. Afterwards Orin would go on to usurp control of the Bhaal temple while dumping their body into the section of the Moonrise Towers Illithid colony controlled by the cultists of Myrkul where they were discovered by Kressa Bonedaughter, a Myrkulite necromancer that repaired the Dark Urge's injuries and began experimenting on them unaware of who they were.

Bhaal and his Temple[edit | edit source]

The Dark Urge commanded great respect, admiration, and devotion from the devotees at the Temple of Bhaal in Baldur's Gate. Inspiring them with sheer ruthlessness, staggering amount of victims, and the intelligence of their schemes and planning. Bhaal himself loved the Dark Urge the most of all his children as he had personally handcrafted the Dark Urge's body from his own flesh, as confirmed by dialogue with Naaber and Sceleritas Fel, and filled them with blood directly from his body, thus making him the perfect child in the Lord of Murder's eyes. This also stands in contrast to the other Bhaalspawn who were born from myriad dalliances with mortal women of various races during the Time of Troubles, as such the Dark Urge was considered the true or pure Bhaalspawn. Bhaal's uncharacteristic level of love and concern for the Dark Urge is shown in the amount of attention that the Dark Urge receives from Bhaal, even after losing their memories. While most chaotic evil gods (including Bhaal) would discard a Chosen if they were no longer useful, such as Myrkul did with Ketheric after his defeat. Bhaal went to great lengths to restore the Dark Urge to their former place and made sure to guide and reward them until they returned to the Temple.

This seems to indicate that Bhaal felt an amount of paternal pride and love for his child. At least as much as the malevolent deity was capable of displaying.

Enver Gortash[edit | edit source]

Originally a relationship built on mutual respect for one another, the Dark Urge and Enver Gortash would come to ally with one another to carry out a plot created by the Dark Urge. It appears that they were instructed by their patron gods to reach out to each other to establish their alliance and devise a way to return the Dead Three to prominence in the Sword Coast. This lead to them sharing coded correspondence with each other as they discussed the failures of previous Banites and Bhaalists and how they might avoid them.

Overtime, this relationship seemed to develop from an alliance of necessity to one of mutual benefit and even respect. This was because the Dark Urge and Gortash found themselves admiring each other's intelligence, ambition, ruthlessness and practicality, traits that both of them highly valued. They also found common respect in each other's abilities. The Dark Urge admired Gortash for his planning and foresight. Meanwhile, Gortash respected the Dark Urge for their efficiency and ability to handle matters personally.

This would see the two teaming up with one another to lead a raid on Mephistopheles' Vault to steal the Crown of Karsus. Later the pair would travel back into the Nine Hells through the devil shop in Baldur's Gate known as the Devil's Fee, confirmed by the proprietor Helsik, a diabolist serving Mammon that runs the counter and interacts with customers seeking the aid or interests from the Nine Hells. This second trip took the pair to Raphael's home within the hells, known as The House of Hope, not to be confused with the Temple to Tymora that shares its name likely intentionally.

When Orin betrayed the Dark Urge, Gortash was unaware of just what happened, only knowing what Orin told him of the situation and that she had made a fool of the Dark Urge. However when coming face to face with Gortash for the first time since the betrayal he appears genuinely happy to see the Dark Urge interrupting the ceremony for his elevation to Grand Duke so that "I can greet a most honoured guest. Crawling back from their bloody disgrace - it's my favourite assassin! Gods, you're a sight for sore eyes." He will also confide in the Dark Urge the entire plan the two of them hatched for creating the cult of the Absolute and how much he has come to despise Orin, who he sees as a childish poser compared to the brilliance of the Dark Urge: "It was all going so well - until you vanished. Orin informed us that henceforth she would speak for the temple of Bhaal, and act on their behalf. But she made a mess of things. Unlike you, she cannot control herself."

Later after Orin's death at the hands of the returned Dark Urge Gortash showed genuine relief and sincere congratulations upon their return. He also was eager to maintain their alliance. Once the Dark Urge proved their independence and intellect one more time, Gortash readily agreed to divide the stones to ensure their alliance remained strong.

It is possible that the Dark Urge and Enver Gortash found in each other the closest thing either of them ever had to a friend.

The Absolute[edit | edit source]

The Absolute, an Illithid Elder Brain evolved into a Netherbrain from the power of the Crown of Karsus, actually had a fairly positive relationship with The Dark Urge who it views as the Kingmaker that crowned it. This also extended to admiration for The Dark Urge's desires and methodology, even admitting that had they still been in charge of the conspiracy of The Dead Three it would have gone along with their plans more readily stating: "Your plan was devious, your cruelty unparalleled. I would have followed it, were your mind not destroyed by your sister. But with you gone, the three pitiful Chosen fought like children in your wake. I gave them power to harm one another with, while I crafted my design." While this could be the Netherbrain simply humoring The Dark Urge who was trying to bind it and thus lull them into a false unease, it is made clear the Absolute feels no threat from The Dark Urge in this moment and has no reason to lie as it believes it is right at the cusp of ultimate victory and the culmination of The Grand Design.

Gallery[edit | edit source]

See also[edit | edit source]

Notes[edit | edit source]

  • The Dark Urge is a cannibal.[act1 a]
  • According to Sceleritas Fel, the Dark Urge is a necrophiliac.[act1 b]
  • The Dark Urge has much in common with the protagonists of many other party-based RPGs, such as being an amnesiac and having a hidden connection to the villains of the game that is revealed over time.
    • Notably, the protagonist of the previous Baldur's Gate games was also a Bhaalspawn.
  • Even after being freed of the Urge, the Dark Urge still has access to unique, violent dialogue – with the Urge references removed – suggesting that at least part of the Dark Urge's available actions could be the result of their own character, rather than simply Bhaal's influence.[act3 n]
    • Immediately after the Dark Urge is brought back by Withers, the character can revel in their freedom to be evil without the Urge, and take joy in having fooled everyone that they are innocent.
    • The character can also embrace their goodness, which illustrates the virtue of a good-aligned Dark Urge, as they (and the player) truly choose to be good.
  • Even if the Dark Urge gets rid of their father's blood, the Netherbrain still refers to the Dark Urge as "murder incarnate". This may be in reference to Ed Greenwood's - the creator of the setting - revelation, prior to the game's release, that a Bhaalspawn can never fully remove Bhaal's essence. ([act3 o]
  • In a campaign where the Dark Urge isn't chosen as an Origin Character, the player can find the corpse of an NPC with the default appearance of the Dark Urge Origin, simply called "Fallen Bhaalspawn", tortured and murdered by Orin.[note 4][note 5]
  • Assuming he is recruited, Minsc considers himself to be the Dark Urge's uncle.[act3 p]

Footnotes[edit | edit source]

  1. The Dark Urge can tell Naaber that they have no birthdate due to the nature of their creation.[act3 e]
  2. Conflicting information in Orin's notes and Gortash' memoirs.
  3. There is conflicting information about this, as the Awakened Mind possibly contradicts this version of events.
  4. Assuming this is the Dark Urge, it is likely that this version of the character was abandoned by Bhaal, as their death would not make much sense otherwise. It is also possible that Orin betrayed and killed the Dark Urge with the latter's involvement with the Absolute intact, but simply chose not to send them to the Nautiloid Ship, instead keeping the Dark Urge's corpse for herself. It is not directly confirmed if this version of the Dark Urge was still the original True Soul or not.
  5. The Journal of Magthew Budj still references Kressa's obsession with the "pet" she used for her experiments, and the plot to have it sent to the Nautiloid Ship. Likewise, notes penned by the Dark Urge themselves that refer to their collaboration with Gortash and a letter that berates Orin for her incompetence can be found regardless of whether the Dark Urge Origin has been chosen.

References[edit | edit source]

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 Gortash's memoirs.
  1. Eating a Noblestalk Mushroom prior to meeting Sceleritas Fel. Can eat food such as cooked dwarves.
  2. Possible dialogue in first encounter with Fel.
  1. 1.0 1.1 Letter by the Dark Urge, addressed to Bhaal, found in the mind flayer colony.
  2. The narrator's statements when the Dark Urge arrives at Moonrise Towers.
  3. 3.0 3.1 Dialogue with Kressa Bonedaughter.
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 According to journals found in the Mind Flayer Colony and dialogue.
  1. 1.0 1.1 Dialogue with Gortash during his coronation
  2. Possible dialogue with Orin, when she reveals she has kidnapped Halsin.
  3. Letter addressed to Orin, found in her quarters.
  4. Dialogue with the Oathbreaker in Act Three.
  5. Encounter with Naaber.
  6. Dialogue with Sceleritas Fel, after becoming Bhaal's Chosen.
  7. Dialogue with Gauntlet Devella Fountainhead, after saving her and completing the Murder Tribunal
  8. Memories regained after casting Heal on the Dark Urge after rejecting Bhaal.
  9. Memories regained from casting Heal on the Dark Urge without rejecting Bhaal.
  10. Notes found at Gortash's parents' shop.
  11. 11.0 11.1 Dialogue with the Elder Brain, throughout the game.
  12. 12.0 12.1 Notes written by Orin, found in her quarters.
  13. 13.0 13.1 Dialogue with Orin, when she is confronted by the Dark Urge in the Temple of Bhaal.
  14. As discovered in numerous possible dialogues in Act Three.
  15. Potential dialogue near the end of the game.
  16. Dialogue with Minsc at camp.