When you get far enough into the Temple of Shar in Baldur’s Gate 3, you will eventually reach a necromancer named Balthazar who needs help looking for a relic beyond the Gauntlet. Of course, this necromancer is incredibly dangerous and full of evil, so should you help him or attack him on sight in BG3?
Where Can You Find Balthazar?
Balthazar can be found in the main entrance of the Thorm Mausoleum within the Gauntlet of Shar, more specifically, X: -840 Y:-786. The “Find Ketheric Thorm’s relic” quest should be assigned once you talk with him. You’ll have an option to help him or attack him. And while attacking him seems like the better option, you might find it more beneficial to help Balthazar.
Should You Help or Attack Balthazar in BG3?
The short answer is yes, you should help Balthazar when he initially tasks you with searching for the relic hidden within the Temple of Shar. As soon as you talk to Balthazar, he will believe you are a True Soul and trusts that you can help his cause. You can either keep talking to him or attack him on sight, but we would refrain from attacking—it’ll pay off later.
Balthazar reveals himself as a major player for Ketheric Thorm, who is at the heart of the evil in Moonrise Tower. If you’re someone that wants to help Thorm and his cause, then you would want to help Balthazar regardless, but we still recommend it for those against the Absolute. Through dialogue, Balthazar can provide some useful information as well as provide helpful materials if you pass persuasion checks.
After agreeing to help him and retrieving the relic that keeps Ketheric Thorm immune to Shadow Curse, you will be rewarded. Balthazar can provide you with a Moon Lantern, which is invaluable in getting to Moonrise Tower or searching the Shadow Cursed Lands in general. A Moon Lantern makes you immune to all levels of shadow, and the lantern even harbors a Pixie.
Which means it’s time to decide if you should release the Pixie in Baldur’s Gate 3.
How to Kill Balthazar
Once you collect your reward, you can still attack Balthazar and take down another source of evil in the Absolute. It’s the best of both worlds and the main reason why we recommend initially helping the necromancer. Patience can provide even more rewards for your party.
Fighting Balthazar Before or After Shadowfell
Balthazar is no foe to be taken lightly. He is formidable and with his army of dead minions, the fight against him is difficult. We suggest saving before attacking Balthazar. He can be fought before, after, or within Shadowfell. Here is how those fights go:
This is possibly the worst place to fight him in the storyline. If you choose to fight before entering Shadowfell, you will be up against Balthazar, a hoard of minions and his brother, Flesh.
- Talk to the Duelist
- Complete the battle before the doors
- After the battle, go into the unlocked doors
- Set up your party and initiate the fight with Balthazar
This fight requires no conversation and is the hardest fight against Balthazar. It is not worth fighting him before Shadowfell as you will be outnumbered.
After or Within Shadowfell
Fighting Balthazar after Shadowfell will give you interesting dialogue choices. You’ll get more information on the story of Balthazar and the Nightsong, as well as the Find Ketheric Thorm’s Relic quest.
Balthazar reveals that he is not the Monk Balthazar you think you’re talking to, but instead an imposter who has killed the monk and stolen his name. To help secure the relic, Balthazar will gift you a summoning bell that summons his brother, Flesh.
After killing the enemies guarding the relic, you will take Balthazar to Shadowfell and learn that the Nightsong is actually a person. She is trapped on a platform, and Ketheric Thorm is keeping her there to sustain his invulnerability. At this point you can either side with Balthazar, or choose to help Nightsong and fight Balthazar.
Fighting Balthazar here is more favorable than fighting him before Shadowfell. Do not end your dialogue with Balthazar before setting up the fight. There are many platforms to use to your advantage here. Detach available party members from the dialogue and set them up around the terrain. We recommend these companions for the fight:
- Lae’zel: As a fighter, Lae’zel can complete Strength checks and push enemies off the edge
- Gale: As a wizard, Gale fight from a distance, or spam Thunderwave in the middle of the battle
- Shadowheart: As a cleric, Shadowheart can spam Turn Undead to make enemies around her run in fear for three turns
Good skills and tools for this fight are Eldritch Blast, Arrow of Roaring Thunder and anything that knocks away enemies.
To instantly end the fight, you can shove Balthazar off the platform and into the void during your party’s dialogue. Doing so is a great way to avoid a potentially messy fight. Any ability with knockback or an Arrow of Roaring Thunder can do the trick.
If you decide to knock Balthazar off the ledge, you will end the fight, but miss out on the loot he drops. Here is a list of the loot he drops upon killing him the normal way:
- Three Speak with Dead scrolls
- A dagger
- Circle of Bones: rare headgear
- A book about Soul Cage Research
The loot is low tier except for the Circle of Bones headgear. Ultimately, knocking Balthazar into the void is the funniest way to go, and that’s worth more than the loot he drops!