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There comes a significant turning point in Act 2 of Baldur’s Gate 3, where players have one of the most demanding and longest dungeons in the entire game. The Gauntlet of Shar is unlike anything else you’ve seen in the game to date, and it truly lives up to its name as a gauntlet. It is, personally, one of my least favorite parts of the game, so you may agree and want some help. I’ve got you covered with this BG3 Gauntlet of Shar guide.
The Gauntlet of Shar is a massive dungeon under the General Thorm Mausoleum in Act 2 on your path to defeating the general and freeing everyone in the Moonrise Towers. There are so many puzzles you have to deal with here, each with its frustrations, that would be worthy of a separate guide. But I aim to show you how to complete all of it in this Baldur’s Gate 3 Gauntlet of Shar guide.
Quest Details Up Front
For starters, here are some of the key details you should know about this quest before moving forward into the real deal itself:
- Quest Location: Gauntlet of Shar. Inside the Thorm Mausoleum, which is in the Shadow-Cursed Lands in Act 2.
- Quest Giver: General Thorm. He sends you here after speaking with him.
- Requirements: Act 2 and having spoken with General Thorm at the Moonrise Towers
- Length of Quest: Very long. This quest can be up to four or five hours, depending on how fast you go through the puzzles and the side content you do.
- Quest Difficulty: 9/10 (Mainly because of the puzzles unless you have a guide like this one on your side)
After making it to the Shadow-Cursed Lands in Act 2 of Baldurs Gate 3, the player has the task of finding General Thorm and defeating him at the Moonrise Towers. Meeting him doesn’t go as planned, though, as you need a way to make him invulnerable so you can finish him off.
This leads you to the Gauntlet of Shar in the Thorm Mausoleum, where you will learn the secrets about various characters and complete many puzzles to earn the umbral gems to progress throughout the dungeon and be well on your way to finally defeating General Thorm once and for all.
Gauntlet of Shar Brief Walkthrough
For starters, some players might be in a hurry to get this annoying dungeon completed and over with. I don’t blame you if that is the case. As such, I have come up with a brief walkthrough of all the various steps you must take to complete this dungeon.
But since it is a heavy puzzle-themed dungeon, these brief explanations probably won’t suffice for most players. I highly recommend checking the full walkthrough below if you want the exact tips and tricks for completing all of the trials and earning all of the umbral gems here.
- Reach the Thorm Mausoleum in the Shadow-Cursed Lands, north of Moonrise Towers.
- Complete the three paintings puzzle in the opening area of the Thorm Mausoleum.
- Turn on all of the lanterns to light the safe path to the statue and grab the first umbral gem.
- Complete the stealth-themed Soft Step Trial to earn the second umbral gem without being spotted.
- Complete the Self Same Trial, which involves defeating your copies to earn the third umbral gem.
- Complete the Faith Step Trial by blindly finding your way across the path to the fourth umbral gem.
- Defeat the Orthon and the other surrounding enemies to obtain this dungeon’s fifth and final umbral gem.
- Make the ultimate choice in Act 2 of what to do with the Nightsong and Shadowheart to complete the Gauntlet of Shar in its entirety.
I will admit this is one of those cases where you will need the utmost help to progress through the Gauntlet of Shar in Baldurs Gate 3. This is one of the most challenging, longest, and most annoying dungeons in this game. Fortunately, I have your back with everything you need to do if you want to complete this dungeon and get back to the good stuff in this game. Let’s take a look at the solution for every umbral gem puzzle here.
How to Enter the Gauntlet of Shar: Thorm Mausoleum Puzzle Solution
First off, you’ll want to enter the Thorm Mausoleum. This is north of the Moonrise Towers, where you likely just came from. Enter the Mausoleum, which will let you access the Gauntlet of Shar deeper inside. Head into the northern room of this area, and you’ll have a puzzle to do here first.
There are three paintings around the room, each with a button in front of it. The straightforward puzzle here is to push the three buttons in the correct order. If you push them in the wrong order, a fog will appear over the room, and your entire party will be blinded for a lengthy period.
The order in which you need to push the buttons for the three paintings is as follows:
- Moonrise Towers
- General Thorm
These are the three paintings you need to pick, as they depict the General’s life. You pick the towers for the grand place he calls home, then the tragic loss of his wife in the second painting, and now his third painting, where he is the general on the throne who you now need to defeat. Doing this will open up a secret door in the back of the room, which leads you to the Gauntlet of Shar dungeon proper and the second puzzle.
How to Complete the Statue and Lever Puzzle
Once you arrive in the Gauntlet of Shar, if you thought the puzzles were done, you’d be wrong. Despite most of the game so far being pretty light on puzzles, minus a couple of smaller areas, this entire dungeon is filled with them. Immediately after the last puzzle, you now have another one to do.
This time around, your puzzle has to do with a statue in the middle of the large room with a gem in it. You need this gem not only for the overarching puzzle of this area but also to access the following location in the dungeon. Unfortunately, if you try to approach the statue, chances are, you’ll be blasted backward.
The reason for this is that there’s an invisible path that leads to the statue and the gem. You have to find out this path, or else you won’t be able to access the statue. To do this, you need to light all the lanterns in this room, but even that isn’t as simple as it may seem.
First, you need to locate the four levers in the four corners of this room. Fortunately, they show up on the minimap and are copycats of one another, so they are generally pretty easy to locate. Go to each one and activate it. This makes the room darker and can also cause status effects on your party, but don’t worry too much about that right now.
How to Solve the Lanterns Puzzle and Get the First Umbral Gem
After pressing each lever, a couple of lanterns will appear near the circular center of the room. You then need to darken every lantern after pulling all four levers. Once all lanterns are off, the room will remain dark except for a certain light that will suddenly appear. This particular light will also light up the path to the statue.
You’ll see runes on the ground, which guide you to the statue. I suggest splitting up from the rest of the party and going into hide mode (sneak). This way, you move very carefully and can more easily control your character. You then want to follow the openings in the path to circle the statue and interact with it to get the first umbral gem and unlock the passage out of this room.
After you defeat some enemies in the following area, you’ll be able to reach the waypoint for the Gauntlet of Shar, which is highly useful. From now on, you can teleport out of the room and do anything else you might want to, which is excellent if you happen to get frustrated with this place.
The Four Trials Explained
The crux of this dungeon is the four main trials you need to do for more umbral gems.
You can, technically, do them in any order, but I suggest this order for the best results because this is how you come across the different trials in the first place. From the waypoint, there are some stairs north of you that go down a little bit past the strangely aggressive rat you can speak with. You can skip to the next part, but it’s pointless without the gems, so don’t worry about it.
How to Complete the Soft-Step Trial
Once you go down these steps, a room will be on your left. Go into this room and interact with the statue. Either you or Shadowheart can do the ritual there to activate the first of the four trials you need to do. This first one is the Soft Step Trial, a fancy name for the stealth one.
Before activating the statue, I recommend going to the door to the right and unlocking it with a lockpick. Then keep going up and find the path to the statue at the end and open it up. It pays to unlock everything and open them up for you before tackling the trial.
This is because once the statue activates, some weird shadow creatures start roaming the halls of this trial. Your goal is to split someone up from the rest of the party, sneak your way past them to the statue without being caught, and get the gem. If you are caught, you’ll have to start all over from the beginning.
If you open up everything and figure out the path beforehand, this can be done in mere seconds and way more accessible than any of the other trials we will get to later. I highly suggest using a sneaky character for this one. I prefer someone like Astarion or your character if they have a high Dexterity stat. Once you get the umbral gem, there is a teleport to bring you back to the beginning.
How to Complete the Self Same Trial
From the first trial door, keep going past it in the main hallway, and you’ll reach another door on your left. This is the second trial. This is another relatively easy one if you are prepared. The Self Same Trial requires another sacrifice ritual at the nearby statue to begin. Once you do, your party will have to face copies of yourselves.
And let me tell you that the AI for these guys is wild. They will know your best spells and skills and use them. For instance, AI Shadowheart stays in the shadows the entire time and can be pretty annoying. The benefit is they have relatively low health, so it is easy to use spells like Eldritch Blast, Cloud of Daggers, Magic Missile, and the like to make short work of them.
The key is to focus on one enemy at a time. For Shadowheart, you may have to move everyone into a corner if you can’t see invisible enemies. This way, she has nowhere to run when she goes invisible, and you can attack her blindly.
Once you defeat all four, you’ll obtain the next umbral gem. Like before, there is a teleporter you can use to bring yourself back to the start of this trial. We are now halfway done with the puzzles and trials in this dungeon.
Faith Step Trial Explained
The third trial you can do in the Gauntlet of Shar has to do with the Faith Step Trial. When you enter this room, you’ll have to sacrifice some blood to activate it. You can see that there is a platforming section of the game ahead where you have to carefully walk your way across some tight sections to reach the umbral gem at the end.
However, the catch isn’t that the path is so narrow that you could easily fall and fail the trial. The catch is that you’ll need some faith to get there because the path will disappear at a certain point after traveling a certain distance.
Everything will go dark about the halfway point of the trial, and it will be impossible to see almost anything around you except for your character. You’ll need to know the correct path to reach the statue at the end and claim your prize. Worse still, there are some parts where you need to jump onto platforms to make it, so this is where the challenge comes into play.
Now, there are a few ways to deal with this challenge, and it can be pretty easy or hard, depending on your preference. The first is to try and memorize the path before it disappears and then use your memory to make it the rest of the way. You’ll probably mess up, though, and need quite a bit of trial and error to reach the end, which I don’t recommend.
The other option is to take a screenshot of your path while you are near the beginning or use the one I have above for you, which is a screenshot of the map the game gives you near the start of the trial. You can then pull up this screenshot and see where you need to go next. This is one of the more straightforward methods, but it is easy to make mistakes this way and have to start over from the beginning occasionally.
Best Way to Complete the Faith Step Trial
The final option is by far the easiest, but you could almost consider it cheating in a way. There is the Fly action, which some characters can learn in Baldur’s Gate 3. This action allows the user to hover and fly over the ground to reach areas that other characters would not usually be able to in a short time.
With the Fly action, the path doesn’t matter as you will fly above it. The best part is the statue is right in front of you as one of the only parts of this room that is lit up, so you always know where it is. So, as you might have already guessed, you can fly to the statue across the entire trial and its puzzles and just grab the gem there.
As mentioned, this is a relatively cheating way of doing it, but this is the easiest way to get around this trial without too much trouble. Considering how many trials are in this darn dungeon, you’ll probably want the help when you get the chance.
Regardless of your path, be sure to pick one designated person to get the umbral gem and split them up from everyone else in the party. Once you get the gem with that character through your method of choice, there will be a way to teleport back to your party near the entrance instantly. Now, there is only one more umbral gem to obtain.
How to Deal With the Silent Library
There is a room next to the last trial, which is, technically, optional but you should complete for a special reward for Shadowheart. Before you enter the final room, you want to save the game because there are going to be a lot of fights ahead for you, but I will be sure to help you with completing them.
Inch your way slowly into this room without triggering a fight. If you do this right, you’ll see a portal in the middle of the room. If you get too close to it, it will silence the magical spells of everyone in your party until you destroy it in the fight, which is going to be a massive problem for the battle ahead.
But I found that if you creep into this room slowly, it won’t activate the fight, but you can get close enough to target the portal. You can then use magic or a ranged weapon like a light crossbow to attack the portal over and over. You want to stay out of turn-based mode for this and do it as quickly as possible, or else you may start the fight.
Your goal should be to take out the portal before starting the fight. If you can successfully do this, you can initiate the fight against the enemies without worrying about your party members not being able to use their spells. This also makes this fight a lot easier since there are so many of them, but they are relatively weak against spells.
You’ll have a group of guardian enemies that you’ll need to defeat. Focus on one at a time with your group; you should beat them in no time with that trap now destroyed.
How to Get the Spear of Night
This isn’t the actual trial for the final umbral gem; this was pretty much the opening fight to reach a specific item, which you certainly need for what’s to come soon.
At the back of the room, there will be a pedestal with the Spear of Night, which you can optionally get. To unlock it, find the nearby book in the Silent Library that talks about defeating the Nightsong (more on this in a bit). Place it on the pedestal to receive the Spear of Night, which is one of the best possible weapons in the game for Shadowheart.
How to Deal With Orthon and Receive the Final Umbral Gem
With this done, it’s now time to head back up to the top floor of the Gauntlet of Shar area near the waypoint; you can fast-travel there if you want to save time. Head along the main path here to the far eastern side of the dungeon, and you’ll meet with Yurgir the Orthon, who happens to be the demon enemy that Raphael (whom you probably already met) wants you to deal with.
This guy has the final umbral gem you need for the Gauntlet of Shar dungeon, and there are a couple of ways to deal with him. First, you can kill him and all his pals in battle if you want. This is the simplest method, but he is a powerful boss and one of the strongest enemies you’ve faced up until now.
On the other hand, if you have the persuasion and skill checks on your side, it is possible to convince him to give you the umbral gem by finding a loophole in the contract he has. Regardless of how you go about it, you finally have enough umbral gems to place on the pedestal and make your way to the end of this dungeon.
What to Do With the Nightsong in Baldur’s Gate 3
At the end of the dungeon, after riding the transporter to the bottom of the area, you’ll find the Nightsong, which is General Thorm’s greatest secret and the source of his immortality, which you’ll need to deal with to be able to defeat him finally.
You have two main options here, especially now that you have the Spear of Night. Shadowheart will want to kill the Nightsong for her master, Shar, but there is an alternative option. You can convince them to turn from her ways and not kill the Nightsong; it is up to you. Both complete the quest and change her storyline significantly.
You’ll also still upgrade the spear for Shadowheart and be able to take out Ketheric Thorm no matter what you do. If you are having a hard time deciding, though, I highly suggest having Shadowheart spare the Nightsong. It is difficult to convince her, especially if you want to romance her, but it is worth it for her character development and being a hero.
With the conclusion of whatever you decide to do with the Nightsong, you have now officially completed the Gauntlet of Shar. Now, you can return to the surface and deal with General Thorm to complete this lengthy and dark Act 2.
Gauntlet of Shar Rewards
You can find many rewards throughout the massive puzzle dungeon of the Gauntlet of Shar. You can get the usual rewards from defeating the various enemies, such as weapons, gear, armor, items, and gold. But you can also get special weapons like the Spear of Night for Shadowheart.
If you choose to kill the Nightsong, it will be blessed and turn into the Spear of Shar. But if you choose to spare the Nightsong, Shadowheart’s spear will instead be blessed by Selune. Either way, it is a valuable and powerful weapon with which you’ll be able to take on some powerful enemies.
As a reward for completing this dungeon, you’ll get a fair bit of experience and one final major reward in the Moonlight Glaive. This is a relatively powerful rare weapon that works well for your magical characters in the party.
It deals solid Radiant and slashing damage, plus it gives the wielder the advantage in most attacking situations. Overall, I would say the rewards come close to making up for how long it takes to complete the Gauntlet of Shar in Baldur’s Gate 3.
Question: How do I get to the Gauntlet of Shar BG3?
Answer: You can get to the Gauntlet of Shar in BG3 by first visiting the Moonrise Towers. From there, head all the way north until you reach the Thorm Mausoleum. Inside here, you’ll have to go to the northern room and push the button in front of the three paintings in the correct order to be able to access the Gauntlet of Shar.
Question: Should you let Astarion bite you in Baldurs Gate 3?
Answer: For the most part, yes, you should let Astarion bite you in Baldurs Gate 3. This not only powers him up considerably, but he approves of it greatly as well. The only downside to this for you is being Bloodless for a day. But another long rest with some full supplies will take care of this for you, and you’ll never have to deal with it again.
Question: Should you let Volo take out your eye in Baldurs Gate 3?
Answer: Honestly, yes, you should let Volo take out your eye in Baldurs Gate 3. Some party members will greatly disapprove of this act, and you won’t look the same in the eye, but if you can get past both of these drawbacks, it is worth it. Your new eye will allow you to see invisible enemies, which is super overpowered and helpful for the Gauntlet of Shar.
Find the Best Weapons in Baldur’s Gate 3 Next
You’ve done it! If you reached the end of this guide, you made it through the Gauntlet of Shar, one of my least favorite parts about Baldurs Gate 3. Its puzzles aren’t too tricky but there are way too many of them to stuff in a single dungeon; they should have been spread more thoroughly throughout the game.
The Gauntlet of Shar now means you are well on your way to the city of Baldur’s Gate, which is the goal for many players like myself when first starting the game. But you still have more to take care of before you get there, such as taking out General Thorm once and for all.
To do that, though, and to ensure you are prepared for Act 3 and the rest of this game, I highly suggest taking a look at the best armor in all of Baldur’s Gate 3. The best armor set and defensive items will make sure you can deal with the immense challenge of some of the bosses and other enemies you’ll face near the end of this game. Plus, you can find out where to find each of them.