Unlock the Ancient Tome

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Ancient tome redirects here. For the quest to destroy the tome, see Destroy the Ancient Tome.
The Necromancy of Thay is opened...

Unlock the Ancient Tome is a sub-quest of Search the Cellar in Act One of Baldur's Gate 3. It is initiated upon finding the book Necromancy of Thay in the Blighted Village.

Objectives[edit | edit source]

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

Unlock the book.
  • This book is locked tight, and the mechanism isn't shaped for a key. Maybe some kind of stone would work?
  • The owner of the tome mentioned a keygem. Could this be the secret to unlocking 'The Necromancy of Thay'?
  • The necromancer's apprentice mentioned a keygem lost in the tunnels. We need to find it.
  • We found the gem to unlock the book.
Read the book.
  • We've unlocked the book of necromancy. Should we read it?
  • The tome is clearly powerful, but we'll need to read further to uncover all of its secrets.
Find a way to finish The Necromancy of Thay.
  • We managed to read most of the book, absorbing some of it's necromatic power, but it snapped shut before we could finish. There must be a way to read the end.
  • We made it to the final page of the tome, but it's indecipherable. We need to find a way to read it.
  • Mystic Carrion and his spirits told us that we need the 'Tharchiate Codex' to unlock the true power of 'The Necromancy of Thay'.
Find the Tharchiate Codex in Sorcerous Sundries.
  • Mystic Carrion and his spirits told us that we need the 'Tharchiate Codex' to unlock the true power of 'The Necromancy of Thay'. We can find it in the Sorcerous Sundries.
  • We spoke to Tolna, the bookseller in Sorcerous Sundries. She said that rare books, such as the 'Tharchiate Codex', are not for sale. Instead, they are kept in a secure vault.
Enter the vault.
  • The entrance to the vault, where we can find the 'Tharchaite Codex', is in Tolna's office.
Find the Tharchiate Codex.
  • We've accessed the vault, and the lower level of Sorcerous Sundries. Now to find the 'Tharchiate Codex'.
Read the Tharchiate Codex.
  • We have the 'Tharchiate Codex'. To decipher "The Necromancy of Thay', we need to first read the codex.
Master The Necromancy of Thay.
  • We read the 'Tharchiate Codex', and now have the knowledge to finish 'The Necromancy of Thay'
Quest Completed!
  • We deciphered the final page of 'The Necromancy of Thay'. The power to summon powerful Thayan undead is ours.

Walkthrough[edit | edit source]

Unlocking the book[edit | edit source]

The apprentice's pack holds the key to the Amethyst's location.

The Necromancy of Thay is obtained during Search the Cellar within the apothecary's secret laboratory past the ornate mirror. Removing the book from its trapped room starts a quest to either unlock the Necromancy of Thay's secrets or destroy it forever. Retrieving the tome from the apothecary's cellar is only one part of unlocking it - it also requires a key to open.

The Amethyst is under the spider's lair.

There are two ways to find the Dark Amethyst needed to unlock the book. One way is to enter the blacksmith's basement north of the Blighted Village waypoint (this is also the same basement where Finish the Masterwork Weapon is completed). One of the northern walls is cracked and can be destroyed with force damage, which leads to the Whispering Depths. The other way is to investigate the well X: 23 Y: 400 north of the waypoint. Choose "[INVESTIGATION] Peer into the well" and then climb the bucket rope ladder down into the well to arrive at the cave. Inside the cave is an Apprentice's Pack X: -494 Y: -364 which has more information on the stone's whereabouts. It's deeper within the cave. The Dark Amethyst is in the western area of the cave X: -563 Y: -353 below a Spider Matriarch's webs. Either sneak past the horde of spiders, or defeat them all. Defeating the matriarch grants the Poisoner's Robe.

Reading the book[edit | edit source]

With both the Dark Amethyst and the Necromancy of Thay in the party's inventory, click on the Necromancy of Thay. This starts a dialogue with the party inspecting the tome. Select 'Place the amethyst in the slot on the book's cover' to unlock it.

From here, there are several options:

Once the book is opened and read, the player must pass three Wisdom saving throws to avoid being cursed. See the Necromancy of Thay page for full details on this interaction. Turning at least one page of the book grants the Speak with Dead spell and the Forbidden Knowledge buff. Once all three saving throws are passed, the book snaps shut. It has one more secret to reveal, but the Lower City must first be reached in Act Three to unlock its full potential.

Choosing to give the book to Astarion grants approval points from him and a special cutscene at camp.

Fully unlocking the book's secrets[edit | edit source]

More hints - not mandatory to unlock the book - about the Necromancy of Thay can be found throughout Act Two and Act Three:

From the Lower City, proceed to the Sorcerous Vault. The Tharchiate Codex is in the Elminster section of the Vault, which can be unlocked by opening doors in this order: Silverhand -> Evocation -> Wish.

Note: If the Necromancy of Thay was given to Astarion or Gale, they must be the controlled character and also hold The Tharchiate Codex in order to fully comprehend the text and unlock its secrets.

Reading The Tharchiate Codex curses the player with Tharchiate Withering (see the Codex's page for full details). Finally, read the Necromancy of Thay once more to receive Danse Macabre and complete the quest. Passing the last DC 20  Wisdom saving throw is not required, however not doing so will curse the player with Baleful Knowledge.

Rewards[edit | edit source]

Companion approval[edit | edit source]

  • Open the Necromancy of Thay book for the first time. Gale disapproves -5 Astarion disapproves -1 Karlach disapproves -1
  • Drop the tome, ready to destroy it Astarion disapproves -5 Gale disapproves -5 Lae'zel approves +1 Karlach approves +1 Karlach approves +1 Wyll approves +1
  • Give the book to Astarion Gale disapproves -5 Astarion approves +5

Notes[edit | edit source]

  • Gale can technically consume the Necromancy of Thay book, which destroys it without granting any of the abilities or knowledge. He can also read it like normal, if the item is sent to his inventory and he reads it while being the controlled character.