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Baldur’s Gate 3 is the most surprising success story of 2023 and is already hailed as one of the best games ever. This gargantuan RPG has so much to do in it that it’s hard to even fathom the amount of time it would take to complete every single task.
There are tons of optional areas to explore, side quests to embark upon, and special equipment to find, and if you stick to the beaten path, it’s very likely you might find yourself missing out on some of the coolest hidden things in the game. One of those things happens to be optional characters, and you can easily miss out on some if you aren’t paying attention.
One character who you will likely encounter early on in the game is Halsin, and while you can get him to your camp with little hassle, actually getting him to join your party is a whole other ordeal. Here is how to get Halsin to join your party in Baldur’s Gate 3.
Quest Details Up Front
Recruiting Halsin is a long quest that starts in the opening hours of the game and doesn’t pay off until the end of Act 2. Depending on your playstyle, that can take upwards of 50 hours.
- Quest Location: Emerald Grove, Goblin Camp, Shadow Cursed Lands
- Quest Length: In Total, the quest takes about 3 hours to complete.
- Requirements: Save Halsin, save Thaniel.
- Difficulty: 7/10; some tough fights stand in your way.
- Rewards: Halsin Joins your party
How to Get Halsin to Join Your Party: Brief Walkthrough
- Step One: Recieve the quest that Halsin has gone missing at the Goblin Camp upon your entry.
- Step Two: Rescue Halsin from the Goblin Camp by releasing him from his cell.
- Step Three: Defeat the three Goblin Leaders
- Step Four: Accept Halsin joining your camp.
- Step Five: Complete Act 1
- Step Six: Find Art Cullagh in the bed at Last Light Inn in the Shadow Cursed Lands.
- Step Seven: Speak with Halsin.
- Step Eight: Defeat Malus Thorm in the House of Healing and loot his body for the Battered Lute.
- Step Nine: Play the Battered Lute to wake up Art.
- Step Ten: Defend Halsin at the portal.
- Step Eleven: Return to camp and speak with Halsin. After the conversation, Halsin will join you permanently.
How to Get Halsin to Join Your Party: Extended Walkthrough
Rescuing Halsin from the Goblins
Shortly after you emerge from the crashed Nautilus ship, you will need to find your way to Emerald Grove. Exploring straight ahead past the shipwreck will eventually lead you to the Emerald Grove gates, where a battle will play out. Survive the battle, and Wyll will join your party, and you’ll be able to enter Emerald Grove.
You will be told that the Goblins have taken the first Druid, Halsin, and you’ll need to rescue him. This is an optional task, but it’s a must if you want to have Halsin join you down the road.
Once you’ve decided to help our guy out, it’s time to set out on the road. I recommend picking up as many health potions as you can afford and buying some stronger equipment. You might need to wander the world and fight and loot a bit to get this done, but trust me, the road to the Goblin Camp is long and full of peril along the way.
Once you’ve got your stock of equipment, it’s time to head out. You’ll find the Goblin Camp located on the far west side of the map, just past the Blighted Village. The road there is covered in enemies, but if you play it smart, you can either sneak or speak your way past all of the Goblins in the Blighted Village.
Once you get to the Goblin Camp, it’s go time. Keep in mind that you are not necessarily an enemy to the Goblins just yet, so act accordingly, and you’ll be able to stop the entirety of the camp from coming down on you. If at any point in this area you cause a Goblin to go hostile, you will trigger an enormous battle that you have no shot of winning. Take the quiet approach and avoid the headache.
Enter the Shattered Sanctum and get ready to pass a dialogue check. You should save before this, as the check may be tough at this point in the game, and you likely won’t be ready to face the amount of enemies this area has in store for you.
You’ll see Priestess Gut when you enter, and while you’ll be dealing with her for the main quest, this side quest doesn’t involve her. Head off to the right of her to find a bridge and head across. You will see a few Goblins ahead, and they’ll be standing at a door. Enter the floor, and you’ll see a large amount of pens. This is where we want to be.
Halsin is a Druid who can transform into animals, and here, he’ll be in bear form. Walk down the stairs and talk to the woman nearby. The Goblins are torturing poor Halsin, and you’ll have a few methods to stop this from happening. You can convince them to free the bear, or you can kill the Goblins yourself. We want to save Halsin, but we also can’t handle the fight here just yet, so opt for the Intimidation check and see if you can’t get them to free Halsin.
However you go about doing it, Halsin will be freed, and you can speak to him. It’s here you’ll get the request to defeat the three leaders of the Goblins.
Defeating the Three Leaders
Halsin isn’t going to make it easy on us here, and we need to defeat all three Goblin Leaders in order to get him to join us. The leaders are Priestess Gut, who we saw on her throne earlier, Minthara, and Dror Ragzlin. Be prepared for some very tough fights ahead.
Killing Priestess Gut
The priestess appears to be the centerpiece of the Goblin Camp, and believe it or not, she’ll be quite sympathetic to your parasite infliction. Allow her to take a look at you in private. Once you’re in the room with her, close the door behind you and attack her. You should be able to kill her before she signals for help.
Don’t feel bad about this, as the alternative would involve her trying to trick you and then murder you. You’re just beating her to the punch. If you let her go on with her trick, you’ll have a massive fight on your hands, and it’s just not worth it at this point.
Killing Dror Ragzlin
Dror is the leader of the Goblin camp, and you’ll find him in the back of the camp behind Priestess Gut’s throne. There is no easy way to get through this fight, as it’ll be a fight regardless of what you decide to do when you encounter him. Before the fight:
- Take your party members, specifically the ones with long-range abilities, and have them climb the rafters.
- Perch them in an area that gives them a good vantage point on Dror.
- Once you’ve set them up, switch to your main character and approach the congregation.
Once you get through the cutscene, it will be time to fight.
Dror is a powerful boss, but delivering damage from above while he is unaware is a huge benefit in this fight. The battle will be between your party and Dror and the Goblins, but you can make things very easy, very quickly. Dror starts the fight by his throne, and right behind it happens to be a cliff. Are you thinking what I’m thinking? Good. Push Dror off the cliff and you’ll make this fight far easier.
Yes, you’ll miss out on his equipment, but dealing with him the old-fashioned way takes a long time at low levels and can be extremely difficult. Once he’s gone, take care of the Goblins and you’ll be done with this section. If you freed Halsin already, you can lead him to this fight, and he will almost single-handedly destroy the enemy, but you’ll be tasked with fighting every Goblin in the Shattered Sanctum, so it’s still unadvised.
Minthara is another optional party member, but since we’re saving the Emerald Grove and not destroying it, she won’t be available to us this playthrough, in fact, she’s our final target. Minthara is incredibly powerful, but you can end the fight in the blink of an eye by utilizing a similar strategy to the one we employed with Dror. Tell her the location of the Emerald Grove, and she’ll leave across a bridge near her desk.
If you have Thunderwave as a spell, launch it, and the bridge will burst apart, sending Minthara and her henchman to their dooms. You can also achieve this by setting the bridge on fire or just by firing an arrow at it. Choosing to fight Minthara on normal terms is a very bad idea, as her basic attacks can kill you in one hit at this point. Take the dishonorable route here, and thank me later.
Halsin Joins the Camp
Head back to the Emerald Grove and join in the celebration as you’ve saved it from a certain fate. Halsin will be free of his first Druid duties and choose to join you at camp. This is an incredible tease, as we still have a ways to go before Halsin will actually join us, but it’s a good start.
Act 2: The Shadow Cursed Lands
Once you’ve gotten to The Shadow Cursed Lands via either the mountain pass or the Underdark, it’s time to get Halsin to contribute to our party instead of just eating all of our food. Make your way east from the mountain, pass through the Cursed Lands, and you’ll find a small encampment of Goblins. Talking to them and passing a few checks will offer you a free and safe passage through the Shadow Cursed Lands. However, in order to get this passage, you need to summon Kar’niss.
You can only summon it with an object called the Spider’s Lyre, which you should have received from Minthara either from helping her find the grove or from her corpse. You’ll have to find your way without a guide if you don’t have it. Assuming you have Kar’niss by your side, you’ll eventually be attacked by a group known as the Harpers.
You can choose whether to fight them or join them at this point. For our purposes, we will join them. Fighting Kar’niss is a pain but should be manageable with your overwhelming odds. Stay away from his melee attacks and wail away with spells and long-range attacks, and he’ll fall soon enough. Once he’s dead, you’ll be led to Last Light Inn.
Once you’ve talked to Jaheira and convinced her you’re there to help, make your way into the Inn and find a room in the back right. You’ll find a man named Art who appears to be sleeping. Go talk to him and complete the checks to find out what’s wrong. After you’ve done that, go back to camp and tell Halsin about him. You’ll find out that Art knows about a boy named Thaniel that Halsin has been searching for, and he may hold the solution to curing the Shadow Cursed Lands.
Head back to Last Light Inn and go to Art to find Halsin there talking to him. He will task you with locating the Battered Lute. Now, when I did this quest, I waited until I completed the Moonrise Towers segment. If you do this, Art will die. Luckily, if you have the ability to speak to the dead, you can still talk to him to find out about Thaniel’s whereabouts and continue the quest normally.
The Battered Lute and Malus Thorm
In order to bring Thaniel back from the Shadowfell, where he resides, we need an item called the Battered Lute. Getting it involves going to the House of Healing, which, if you think sounds a bit too pristine for this world, you’d be very right. You will find this creepy area to the south of Last Light, and quickly, you’ll realize things are amiss.
Specifically, there are nurses without faces wandering around who are among the most disturbing things you’ll encounter in this game. They are nice enough however, and they will direct you to where the good doctor is located.
Malus Thorm is related to the big bad Ketheric Thorm, and we’ll need to take him out to get the Battered Lute. Striking up a dialogue with him will reveal what twisted experiments he’s been performing on people in his clinic. His undead nurses surround him suggest a tough fight will take place.
There is no need for that, as you can convince Malus through some checks to have his nurses kill him. He’s beyond sane at this point, and it seems like a great idea to him. Let them do their thing, then grab the loot and get out of there.
The Portal Fight
Head back to Halsin with the Battered Lute. We’re close to getting the bear-morphing Druid in our party; there’s just one thing left to do: get Thaniel back. Halsin declares he will get Thaniel back but needs backup. It’s time to show up one last time for our Druid friend before he’ll join us.
This fight is long and tough. You need to survive multiple waves of enemies while keeping the portal alive. I fought this battle after completing Moonrise Tower and still had a bit of trouble with it. Therefore, I suggest exploring the Shadow Cursed Lands a bit first and gaining some levels before embarking on this quest. The fight itself involves the Shadow Cursed monsters coming out of the woodwork to stop Halsin. This includes Shadow Wraits as well as people possessed by the curse.
If you’ve got mages in your party, this is their time to shine, as spells like Fireball can decimate large groups of enemies here in the blink of an eye. Keep your melee-focused characters by the portal and have them fend off any enemies that sneak their way past your other party members. The portal has 150 health, so it can withstand some punishment, but don’t push your luck as enemies get tougher and tougher as the fight wears on.
Eventually, you’ll succeed, and Halsin will pop out of the portal with Thaniel. He will head back to camp, so follow him there and talk to him to finally have Halsin join your party for good.
Halsin. That’s the reward. And what a reward it is. Halsin is among the strongest characters in the game, and while you might be set on your party at this point in the game, don’t sleep on our resident bear person. While in his bear form, Halsin can deal out massive amounts of damage, and his Druid magic is quite strong as well. He also cuts an imposing figure on the battlefield and is all around one very cool character.
Question: Can Halsin die?
Answer: Halsin will die in the game if you choose to not save him at the Goblin camp. He can also die during the fight in the Goblin camp, though that’s not likely as he’s very overpowered compared to the enemies there.
Question: Is Halsin required to get to Act 3?
Answer: He is a fully optional character in Baldur’s Gate 3. However, he plays in heavily to events involving the curing of the Shadow Cursed Lands if you choose to pursue that route.
Question: Are there other optional characters in Baldur’s Gate 3?
Answer: Yes! There are a few other optional characters to fight alongside during your playthrough, but it is impossible to get them all on your side through one playthrough, so start up a new game to see what you’ve missed out on.
Halsin’s quest had roughly a 50-hour payoff for me. Your mileage may vary, but either way, he’s an interesting and powerful character to add to your party, and his quest is among the best in the game. Hopefully, this guide helped you get your resident bear into the fold.