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Baldur’s Gate 3 is the Russian Doll of video games. There are quests inside of quests inside of quests, and if you’re not looking carefully, you can easily find yourself missing out on some fascinating optional content.
If there is a story thread that feels like it’s incomplete, don’t worry; Larian Studios isn’t about to charge you for DLC to finish it. It’s in Baldur’s Gate 3, and you’ll be able to complete that thread with some additional exploration and character questioning. One such quest is lifting the Shadow Curse, a plague that looms over the land for most of the game. Here’s how to Lift the Shadow Curse once and for all.
Quest Details Up Front
- Quest Location: Shadow Cursed Lands
- Quest Length: 1 Hour
- Requirements: Ketheric is defeated, and Halsin has joined you
- Difficulty: 7/10
- Rewards: The Shadow Curse is removed.
While the grand finale of Act 2 is, without a doubt, the fight with Ketheric Thorm, it certainly doesn’t tie up all the loose ends in the Shadow Cursed Lands. In fact, it doesn’t do anything to solve the curse at all. Doing that requires another quest after you’ve helped Halsin rescue Thaniel. It involves getting the other half of him to leave the lands and become one with Thaniel, which is just as confusing and weird as it sounds.
- Step One: Talk to Halsin in camp
- Step Two: Find Oliver
- Step Three: Play Hide and Seek with Oliver
- Step Four: Ask Oliver to reunite with Thaniel
- Step Five: Fight Oliver and the shadow clones
- Step Six: Return to Thaniel and Halsin
Getting rid of the Shadow Curse is quite an interesting quest. I don’t even fully understand why Oliver is causing the curse, but regardless, he’s the source of it all, and if we’re going to cleanse the land, we’ll need to get Oliver to leave the land once and for all.
You may have run into Oliver in the House of Deep Shadows, but the real purpose of this child is not revealed until you talk with Halsin after rescuing Thaniel. After that quest, Halsin will send you off to look for Oliver.
To find him, you will need to travel east from the Shadowed Battlefield waypoint. You’ll encounter Oliver shortly thereafter, and this creepy child ends up being quite innocent. In fact, he’s a lot like Thaniel, and that’s not a coincidence, as he’s Thaniel’s other half. Now that you know what you’re dealing with, you’ll be asked to play a game of Hide and Seek with him. You will be able to pass a few checks here to avoid the game, but I think you should play along and not risk angering Oliver, as he’s got a lot on his plate.
Once the game commences, it’s as you’d imagine. Oliver is hiding, and you have to find him. You’ll have to do this several times, in fact, so to start, check behind the cart outside the small hut that you’ll find right outside of the House in Deep Shadows. After you’ve seen him there, head back into the house, and you’ll find him again. Oliver is terrible at this game, and luckily, it ends there.
He will talk with you after the game, and it’s here; you need to ask Oliver to join up with Thaniel again, becoming whole and ending the curse. Oliver clearly doesn’t want to leave, as he has family and friends in this shadow world he’s created. This conversation doesn’t go over well, and Oliver freaks out and escapes through a portal.
Battle with Oliver and Friends
Follow him through it and get ready for a bizarre fight. The shadow mom and dad I mentioned earlier, well, they’re here to make sure that Oliver is protected, and that means you’ll have to take them down, effectively ending the illusion that Oliver has been hypnotized by to cleanse the Shadow Cursed Lands.
The trick here is that Oliver is inside a dome the entire fight. This protects him from any damage, but you have a few methods of getting rid of the dome. You can attack it directly and whittle down its HP, or you can focus on Mummy, Daddy, or the Shadow Clones in order to take the dome down.
The second method is definitely preferable as they can deal big damage if you ignore them for too long. For magic users, have them focus on multi-hit spells like Scorching Ray or Magic Missle to keep the shadow clones at bay.
Mummy and Daddy are the two most dangerous enemies in this fight, and you’ll want to keep them from getting too close to you. A good way to take the fight to them is to have Lae’zel jump to them and start hacking away. She should be able to do heavy damage to them while you pick away with your other party members from afar; just be careful about using any AOE attacks while she’s up close and personal with them.
This fight can drag on if you don’t take Oliver down fast, as the more Shadow Clones you take down, the more angry he’ll get and the more he’ll make. The clones don’t have much health, but they can still be a nuisance if they’re left to multiply. The best strategy is to focus everything you’ve got on Mummy and Daddy, then go full force at the Nightdome that surrounds Oliver. You can have a member of your party fight off the clones while you’re doing this, and they should be able to tank whatever the clones throw at them. Eventually, the Nightdome will fall, and you’ll end the battle.
In a touching moment after the fight, Oliver realizes that he doesn’t want to cause anyone pain anymore and actually looks forward to finally having a real friend to spend time with/become absorbed by Thaniel. Head back to camp after Oliver heads there to watch a cool cutscene and finally end the Shadow Curse once and for all.
Question: Can you cleanse the Shadow Cursed Lands before beating Ketheric?
Answer: No, it must happen after Ketheric is dead.
Question: Does Halsin join you before the curse is cleansed?
Answer: Halsin will join you after you’ve saved Thaniel and can be very helpful in the fight against Oliver.
Question: Does cleansing the Shadow Cursed Lands affect the story?
Answer: It does in a small way, but since it’s a side quest, it’s mostly for closure on Act 2.
The Lands Can Breathe Again
This tragic little arc is just one of many that flesh out the incredible world that Baldur’s Gate 3 has to offer. While it doesn’t have a major impact on the story, cleansing the Shadow Cursed Lands is a clear must after seeing how badly it ravages the world throughout Act 2. The solution to it is a bit unorthodox, but it’s also incredibly well done. It might not be the most thrilling quest line in the game, but it’s one worth doing, so hopefully, this guide provided you with the path to do it.