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Baldur’s Gate 3: Should You Help He Who Was? – Answered (BG3)

The most evil looking NPC to ever exist

As you travel through the Ruined Battlefield, you’ll meet a Drow conducting some pretty suspicious rituals on a corpse. But he can’t get it to work until he has a ledger. And that’s where you come in—but should you help He Who was in Baldur’s Gate 3?

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Should You Help He Who Was in BG3?

The quest is called Punished the Wicked, which can be found east of the Last Light Inn. You’ll find He Who Was attempting to interrogate a corpse. He’ll ask you to help him find the true murderer, which will begin the quest.

The drow He Who Was in the Ruined Battlefields might be one of the most evil-looking NPCs you’ll run into. He’s a Shadar-Kai NPC who serves the Raven Queen from Shadowfell. He Who Was originally was rather emotionless and detached, but the Shadow Curse turned him into a sadistic torturer. The Shadar-Kai are elves who were trapped and corrupted by the Shadowfell, transforming them into monsters.

The necromancy He Who Was is getting up certainly doesn’t make him seem trustworthy. But should you help him?


Spoilers ahead!

If you opt to help He Who Was, you’ll have to fetch the corpse’s ledger in the Waning Moon Inn. Within, you’ll find that while the corpse is guilty, it’s clear that she didn’t intend for the deaths of her friends to happen.

Telling that to He Who Was doesn’t change his stance, though. He really wants to punish her, and giving him the ledger will cause him to summon her into his body. You’ll then have the choice to forgive her, berate her, ask her to kill herself, or just kill He Who Was outright.

What Happens if You Forgive Madeline

Forgive her, and He Who Was will attack you. You’ll then have to kill him, and the loot you can take from his body is very middling. The only thing of interest is the note, which proves that he’s a deserter and a Divine Bone Shard (the alchemic ingredient that can be used to make a Potion of Universal Resistance).

Keep in mind that you’ll need to pass a Charisma Check of 10 to succeed this part. Madeline won’t actually forgive herself fully, but she will at least feel more at ease with the outcome.

What Happens if You Berate Madeline

If you choose to berate her, He Who Was will be pleased and will admit that he got a perverse pleasure out of it. That was the “real” justice he was pursuing. For your trouble, he’ll give you the Raven Gloves, which will let you summon a very weak (1 HP) white raven named Quothe. Shadowheart will also be inspired, and you’ll get a bit of exp.

This too comes with a Charisma Check of 10 that you’ll need to pass. Failing or succeeding results in making He Who Was happy.

What Happens if You Tell Madeline to Stab Herself

Tell Madeline to kill herself, and He Who Was will come to and be very angry that you caused him to stab himself. You’ll then have to fight him, netting the same rewards as forgiveness.

Or you could skip the fetch quest and just kill He Who Was after accepting the quest but before giving him the ledger! Doing so will inspire Shadowheart, netting her the Inspirational Event ‘Let Sleeping Dogs Lie’.

The Charisma Check for this is 14. You can also stop her halfway through stabbing herself, which will immediately trigger a battle with He Who Was.

How To Find The Ruined Battlefields

The Ruined Battlefields is one of the easiest locations to find in the game. It’ll be the first location you ever get to when first entering the Shadow-Cursed Lands in Act Two. You need to go to the Shadow-Cursed lands through either the Grymforge or the Rosymorn Monastery. You can find He Who Was at coordinates X: 128 Y: 110. You’ll also find the corpse of Madeline here as well.

Once you leave the Ruined Battlefield, you’ll find yourself amongst familiar faces. Including Mattis, who’s selling a key. But should you buy it?

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Daphne Fama
A Staff Writer at Prima Games since 2022, Daphne Fama spends an inordinate amount playing games of all stripes but has a soft spot for horror, FPS, and RPGs. When she’s not gaming, she’s an author and member of the Horror Writers Association with a debut novel coming out in 2025. In a previous life, she was an attorney but found she preferred fiction to contracts and forms
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Michael Dawson
Michael Dawson is a skilled writer on pop culture, video games, and film/TV. He has 8+ years of experience writing on various topics and for multiple publications. He loves Elden Ring, Zelda, Mario, Metal Gear solid, competitive games, horror, and indies.