In my first playthrough of Baldur’s Gate 3, I completely missed this quest. And I only happened to stumble across it on my second playthrough by chance. Don’t make my mistake. Here’s how to find and complete the Artist’s Quest in Baldur’s Gate 3.
Baldur’s Gate 3: Free the Artist Quest Guide
Is it your dream to free an ungrateful artist, lose hundreds of gold, just so you can trigger a ludicrous side dozens of hours from now? Then Free the Artist is the side quest for you! Let’s jump right in.
How to Start the Free the Artist Quest in Baldur’s Gate 3
Starting this side quest is actually the hardest part.
You can start Free the Artist as soon as you get to Waukeen’s Rest in Act 1. Bypass the burning building and go towards the barn. There will be a door blocked by boxes near the dead ox. This door will lead us to the secret hideout.
Destroy or move the boxes, then enter the building. You’ll notice that there are a lot of Firewine barrels in this shed. Like a lot. If this isn’t foreshadowing, I don’t know what is. If you’re the type who doesn’t like to load when you get a bad roll, I recommend saving now.
If you have high dexterity, approach the wall to your character’s left when entering. Through the shelves you can see a man. If you try to speak to him, you’ll have to pass a 10-roll Dexterity Check.
Fail, and he’ll set the entire place on fire. This immediately killed me, giving me a game over. You know, because of all the Firewine barrels.
If you prefer a persuasion check, don’t look at the man through the shelves. Instead, continue obliviously through the shed until he confronts you. You’ll then have to persuade him not to cast fireball in this very small room.
Pass, and he’ll give you a key to the cellar. Fail, and he’ll set the room on fire.
Enter the Cellar and Find the Secret Entrance
Once you’ve gotten the key, head deeper inside the shed to find the hatch.
This will lead you into a cellar that’s full of food. Interact with the wooden box near the desk and you’ll find an Engraved Key.
We can use this key on the locked wardrobe nearby, in the northwest corner of the cellar.
This will give you access to the Hidden Stairs.
How to Complete Free the Artist in Baldur’s Gate 3
Once you’re down the stairs, you’ll find yourself in the Zhentarim Basement. Which has its own Waypoint! Nice.
Go a little ways in, and you’ll find Zarys. She’ll call out to you and demand to know who you are. You’ll have to pass a Strength, Intimidation, or Persuasion saving throw. Fortunately, you only need to roll a 10 or better.
Pass it, and she’ll tell you that she has a job for you. She’ll also disarm the traps that are blocking your way in. Head through the Iron Gate door, which will now be open.
Our artist, Oskar, will be at the center of the cavern below, surrounded by artworks. He’s being forced to paint by his captors. Unfortunately, you can’t get a portrait done of yourself.
Speak to the artist, and he’ll beg you to buy him from Brem. And he promises that his patron, a woman you’ll meet in the Lower City in Act 3, will pay handsomely for his return.
Brem is the red-headed chap standing right beside Oskar. Speak to him and ask to buy Oskar. You’ll have three options.
- Pay 1,000 Gold for Oskar.
- Pass a Persuasion check, rolling 20 or higher. Then, pay 600.
- Pass an Intimidation check, rolling 20 or higher. Then, pay 600.
Alternatively, kill everyone in the cave. But I don’t recommend this, as there’s still one more quest to get here. Maybe after completing that quest?
If you’d prefer the non-violent route but don’t have the Gold, Brem is actually a trade. He has just enough gold to help you make the difference if you pass the persuasion or intimidation check.
Purchase Oskar for whatever price. Lae’zel will disapprove, Astarion will disapprove, and Gale will approve.
Tell Oskar the good news, and he’ll tell you that he’s actually had a falling out with his patron. You know, the one who’s meant to pay you? And then he asks for 200 gold, so he can buy wine as he walks back to Baldur’s Gate 3.
Which, wow. Really?
And that ends our quest. At least until Act 3, where we’ll find Oskar again in his patron’s house in Lower City.