Baldur’s Gate 3: How to Survive the Zaith’isk Guide

From the moment you crash-land into the forests outside Baldur’s Gate, Lae’zel pesters you about visiting her people’s crèche. It’s all she’ll talk about, and if you’re trying to romance her (as I am), then the conversation starts to wear thin.

Following her request and the questline Find a Cure – Find the Githyanki Crèche will eventually lead you to the Zaith’isk. For many players, this particular part of the quest can cause a lot of frustration, depending on how good your rolls and choices are. It can also wholly handicap one of your characters if things fail.

Let’s examine the Find the Githyanki Crèche quest to help you make informed choices regarding surviving the Zaith’isk.

Quest Details Up Front – The Quick Menu

  • Quest Location: Rosymorn Monastery – Ghustil Stornugoss’s Infirmary
  • Quest Length: 1 Hour (5-10 minutes for the Zaith’isk section)
  • Quest Difficulty: 7/10
  • Rewards: Chance for Approval with Lae’zel, Awakened Buff

Find a Cure – Find the Githyanki Crèche Synopsis

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The dreaded Zaith’isk. Image Credit: Will Butterworth

You won’t encounter the terrifying Zaith’isk until the end of the Find a Cure – Find the Githyanki Crèche quest line. It takes a while to get there, too. The Find a Cure quest line has several different parts to it, with your character trying to find a means of removing the parasite from their brains through various methods. One of those methods, and the one Lae’zel pushes the most, is to ask for help from the Githyanki.

The quest begins after you rescue Lae’zel from a trap following the crash from the Nautiloid. She’ll tell you that there’s a crèche nearby, and since her people deal with Mindflayers frequently, they’re the best option to help. Facing the Githyanki is tough, so I wouldn’t recommend following this quest until you’re at least level four or five.

When you have some more health and abilities to call upon, it’s time to head to the Mountain Pass. This area is in a new region with some formidable enemies that can take you out if you’re not ready. Your goal is the Rosymorn Monastery on the far side of the Mountain Pass.

Because the quest line takes you through a few areas, you’ll likely encounter some enemies. That pushes the length of the quest to around an hour. However, you can avoid them and shorten the quest to about a half-hour. The Zaith’isk portion takes five to ten minutes, based on how long you make your choices. The sequence, itself, is short.

The real reason this quest is as challenging as it is is the Difficulty Challenge, or DC, of the rolls during the Zaith’isk sequence. You’re facing DC 30 Saving Throws and Skill Checks, which, especially as a low-level character, is difficult to reach. The proper buffs, choice selection, and a helpful Natural 20 roll, can increase your chances of succeeding on each roll.

There are three major Saving Throws that you need to complete to make it through the Zaith’isk unscathed. Fail even one, and your stats will suffer from a permanent debuff. The choice of who enters the Zaith’isk can also determine the type of rolls you will face. Since the Zaith’isk is supposed to remove your parasite, Lae’zel pushes to use it first. You’ll have to decide whether to let her go first or to face the Zaith’isk yourself.

Skip Ahead – A Brief Walkthrough on How to Survive the Zaith’isk

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  • Step 1: Talk to Lae’zel after rescuing her from a trap to start the quest.
  • Step 2: Head to Rosymorn Monastery and enter it to meet with the Githyanki.
  • Step 3: Speak with Ghustil Stornugoss about the parasite and sit in the Zaith’isk.
  • Step 4: Succeed all three Saving Throws/Skill Checks (12 Intelligence, 15 Wisdom, 18 Con or with the stat associated with certain classes).
  • Step 5: Lie or Fight Ghustil Stornugoss and her allies.
  • Step 6: Speak to Kith’rak Therezzyn to report treachery and prepare to either fight her or give her the Artifact.

If you have Lae’zel sit in the Zaith’isk instead, then you’ll need to replace step four above with the following instead:

  • Step 4: Succeed all Checks (30 Persuasion/Deception, 21 Wisdom or 30 Deception, 21 Deception or 30 Wisdom or Constitution or 30 Arcana).

Become Awakened or Hindered? – The Complete Find a Cure – Zaith’isk Walkthrough

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The Rosymorn Monastery. Image Credit: Will Butterworth

Rescue Lae’zel from the Tieflings

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Lae’zel trapped in a cage. Image Credit: Will Butterworth

The quest picks up after you rescue Lae’zel from a cage. She’s held there by two tiefling scouts who aren’t sure what to do with her. You have a few options here that can help convince them to let her go.

You can also choose to kill them, impacting your approval rating with some of the characters in your party. Either way, choose and then shoot the trap down to free Lae’zel. She’ll tell you about a Githyanki Crèche nearby that can help remove the parasite in your brain.

Head to Rosymorn Monastery and Find Ghustil Stornugoss

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Ghustil Stornugoss. Image Credit: Will Butterworth

Rosymorn Monastery is in the Mountain Pass region of the map. This area has challenging enemies, so you’ll want to take care of the other quests in the Emerald Grove before heading there. Level four characters will find it a challenge, so if you can reach level five or higher, this particular area will be much easier for you to travel through.

The Rosymorn Monastery is where you’ll find the Githyanki Crèche. You’ll need to travel to the bottom of the monastery to enter it. As soon as you enter, the Githyanki will stop and question you. Ensure you have Lae’zel in your party and let her answer the guard’s questions.

You can proceed into the monastery to seek Ghustil Stornugoss’s aid. You’ll find her by traveling left until you see a portrait of Vlaakith. With the portrait in front of you, head to the left again. You’ll pass some children playing with a box and then reach a door on the far side of the room that takes you to the infirmary.

Ghustil Stornugoss is inside, experimenting with some tadpoles. Tell her you need help. When she learns you have a parasite in your head, she’ll want you to sit down in the Zaith’isk to remove it. And here’s where you’ll have your first choice–do you sit in the Zaith’isk, or does Lae’zel?

Succeeding the Zaith’isk challenge unlocks a powerful buff called Awakened. If you want the buff, sit in the Zaith’isk instead of Lae’zel. If you’re not interested in using the powers of the tadpole, then have Lae’zel sit down instead. She’ll Approve your decision.

Prepare and Pray You Roll Well for the Zaith’isk

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The zaith’isk awaits you. Image Credit: Will Butterworth

Now comes the real challenge. If you sat down in the Zaith’isk, you will have a slightly easier time than if Lae’zel was in the Zaith’isk. While the Zaith’isk won’t kill you if you fail, it can damage you to the point that you receive a permanent stat debuff. Each time you fail a Saving Throw, you receive a -2 to the attribute the Saving Throw is based on.

To increase your chances of succeeding on the Saving Throws, there are a few things you can do to prepare for the Zaith’isk. The first is to have Shadowheart cast Resistance on you. It will give a +1d4 bonus to Saving Throw rolls. She can also cast Warding Bond on you, providing you with a +1 to Saving Throw rolls.

The two can stack since Resistance is a Concentration spell and Warding Bond is not. If you don’t have Resistance, Shadowheart can cast Bless, giving a +1d4 bonus to Saving Throw rolls for three targets.

  • Side Tip: It’s also worth checking your gear to see if any grants additional bonuses to Saving Throws.

With as buffed as you can be, it’s time to interact with the Zaith’isk and sit down on it. The first Saving Throw you’ll need to succeed on is DC 12 Intelligence. The second is DC 15 Wisdom. The final Saving Throw might differ based on your Class.

Some classes, like Wizard, Sorcerer, Barbarian, etc., will face a saving throw that is most important to that Class. For example, a Sorcerer will have its final Saving Throw tied to Charisma. If your Class doesn’t have a unique Saving Throw connected to it, then the default, last, Saving Throw is a DC 18 Constitution roll.

Success on all three Saving Throws will ensure you don’t receive the -2 debuff to your stats. If you failed the Wisdom Saving Throw, as an example, then your total Wisdom score would have -2 attached to it. That penalty could prove detrimental if it’s a stat you rely on for your character.

Now, if you have Lae’zel sit in the Zaith’isk instead, you will have different choices. You should still have Shadowheart offer you buffs, except this time, you’ll need your skills enhanced rather than Saving Throws. Guidance is an excellent spell since it gives you +1d4 to all Ability Checks. Enhance Ability is another spell worth considering since it grants you an Advantage on Ability Check rolls. However, Guidance and Enhance Ability are Concentration spells, so you can only use one.

  • Side Tip: If you have Gale with you, he can also cast Guidance, so you can have one character supplying Enhance Ability and the other supplying Guidance.

Buffed up, you’ll face your first test. You’ll need to Persuade or Deceive Lae’zel about the Zaith’isk and its purpose. Both have a DC 30 rating. The next choice has you either performing a DC 21 Wisdom or DC 30 Deception roll to encourage Lae’zel to stay in the Zaith’isk or get out.

  • Side Tip: If you complete the Wisdom check first and succeed, then you can take the DC 30 Deception/Persuasion roll down to DC 21.

The final roll has several options. You can choose a DC 21 Deception, DC 30 Wisdom, Constitution, or DC 30 Arcana roll to help her survive without taking on any penalties. If you choose the Arcana option, then this can grant Lae’zel the Awakened buff.

If you fail any of the rolls, then Lae’zel will suffer a -2 penalty to that particular roll. Constitution will be the worst stat for her to receive a penalty on.

Determine Ghustil Stornugoss’s Fate

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The Ghustil is not pleased. Image Credit: Will Butterworth

Following the destruction of the Zaith’isk, which occurs no matter how your rolls went, you’ll face a displeased Ghustil Stornugoss. She’s keen on investigating your parasites, and she doesn’t mind if she has to kill you to remove them from your brain.

You have two options here that will determine her fate. If you don’t want to fight her, you must succeed on a DC 15 Deception/Performance check. You can fool her into thinking the Zaith’isk worked, or your parasite is already damaged.

If you don’t convince her, she’ll look for another means of extracting the parasite. She’ll leave the room, leaving you alone in it. This is the perfect opportunity to snoop and take three tadpoles in the room. If you’re eating the tadpoles to grow stronger, you don’t want to miss them.

When you eventually leave the infirmary, you’ll find Ghustil Stornugoss waiting outside with guards. You’ll have to defeat them to move forward.

Report to Kith’rak Therezzyn

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Reporting to the Kith’rak. Image Credit: Will Butterworth

No matter how the Zaith’isk goes, Lae’zel believes someone tampered with it. She’ll press you to report the treachery to Kith’rak Therezzyn. After dealing with Ghustil Stornugoss, you can proceed back within the monastery without the other Githyanki becoming aggressive.

You’ll need to head back to where you first entered the crèche. You will head right instead of turning left like you did to get to the infirmary. You’ll come to a fork in the road with the left side leading down a hall and the right side blocked by a door.

Head down the left hallway until you get to a door. You’ll receive a cutscene involving Kith’rak Therezzyn. Once the cutscene finishes, enter the office and speak to Therezzyn. You can tell her about Lae’zel’s suspicions about a traitor, but the conversation will eventually turn to the Artifact.

At this point, you can either hand over the Artifact or lie about it. If you choose to lie or refuse to give her the Artifact, you’ll fight her and the guards in the room with her. If you hand over the Artifact, then the item will return to you after she tries to inspect it. She won’t attack you but will request that you speak to Ch’r’ai W’wargaz.

Following the conclusion of this conversation, you’ve reached the end of the Find a Cure – Find the Githyanki Crèche quest line. It will also update The Githyanki Warrior companion quest for Lae’zel.

Agonizing Rewards – Are They Worth It?

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The real reward is destroying the Zaith’isk. Image Credit: Will Butterworth
  • Completion grants the Awakened Buff if done successfully.
  • Chance for Approval gains with Lae’zel.
  • Updates The Githyanki Warrior Companion quest.

The Awakened buff allows you to use your Illithid Powers as a Bonus Action rather than a full Action. You’re able to become more powerful by using them as a result. While the quest doesn’t give you them directly, you can obtain three tadpole specimens in the infirmary. Eating these specimens can allow you to unlock new Illithid Powers. It also reduces the -2 penalties you may have acquired by failing the Saving Throws with the Zaith’isk.

Juice Up Your Tadpole or Royally Screw Yourself with the Zaith’isk

The Find a Cure quest line is one of the longest in Act I of Baldur’s Gate 3. Visiting the Githyanki crèche also introduces new quest lines. These quests reveal information about your Dream Guardian and introduce Githyanki lore. When it comes to the Zaith’isk, this is easily the most challenging part of the quest.

It’s had me pulling my hair out with its high DCs (although rolling back-to-back Natural 1s certainly did not help me). The risk of damaging your character with its -2 penalties to your stats is high, but the reward it offers–the Awakened Buff–can be compelling for those who use Illithid Powers.

Take a seat in the Zaith’isk and pray your dice are kinder to you than they were to me.


Question: Does the Zaith’isk kill you if you fail the saving throws in Baldur’s Gate 3?

Answer: No, the Zaith’isk does not kill you if you fail the saving throws. However, it can permanently damage your Intelligence, Wisdom, or Constitution stats if you fail them.

Question: Should you or Lae’zel go in the Zaith’isk in Baldur’s Gate 3?

Answer: If you use Illithid Powers, then you should go in the Zaith’isk instead of Lae’zel. She doesn’t want to use Illithid Powers, so the Awakened buff would be a waste on her.

Question: Is the Zaith’isk debuff permanent?

Answer: No, the Zaith’isk debuffs are not permanent if you consume tadpoles. Otherwise, they are permanent.

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