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Throughout Baldur’s Gate 3, there are so many quests and content for you to find that it is easy to miss out on some of the game.
I’ll be the first to admit I didn’t even know about the Necromancy of Thay side quest until a friend who played the early access version told me about it. I am here to do the same for you with this Baldur’s Gate 3 Necromancy of Thay guide.
Part of the reason for Necromancy of Thay’s hidden nature is its location in the otherwise bland and empty Blighted Village, which you can find in Act 1 of the game.
But an entire quest here has some potential ramifications for the rest of your journey to Baldur’s Gate. Find out about this quest and what you can do with this Baldur’s Gate 3 Necromancy of Thay guide.
Fortunately for you, even if you go into Act 2 and its areas, you can still complete this side quest. I actually did this and returned to the Blighted Village, and I was still able to complete this quest to its fullest.
So, no matter where you are in the game’s story right now, you should still be able to do this valuable side quest.
Quest Details Up Front
- Quest Location: Blighted Village, Wilderness (Act 1)
- Quest Giver: N/A. Finding the cellar, book, journal, or Dark Amethyst automatically activates it.
- Requirements: Act 1, decent Perception, trap avoidance, magical class (if you go down one route)
- Length of Quest: Medium-to-long for a side quest (1 to 2 or 3 hours)
- Difficulty: 4/10 (but it can be 9/10 if you go down a certain route)
Necromancy of Thay Brief Walkthrough
Some of you are eager to obtain this book, and its secrets, and check out all of the other massive content in this game. For those of you in this situation, I have a quick walkthrough for this quest for you.
It lacks some of the depth and what you need to say or do at certain moments, so check further below for an in-depth look at what you’ll want to do in this quest.
- Head to the Blighted Village in Act 1, which is found west of the Emerald Grove.
- Go to the house directly south of the waypoint in the middle of town.
- Head down into the cellar in this house.
- Use the hidden lever on the northern side of the cellar to open a secret passage.
- Speak with the Ornate Mirror and pick the suitable options to open it up.
- Head to the left into a jail cell-like area inside the secret lab.
- Avoid the two fire-breathing traps and grab the Necromancy of Thay book.
- Head to the well in the middle of town. Go inside of it.
- Fight off the spiders and other enemies until you reach the end of this underground area.
- Pick up the Dark Amethyst and journal from the dead body.
- Combine the Dark Amethyst and Necromancy of Thay book.
- Choose what you want to do with the completed magical book.
The Search the Cellar side quest is what leads you to the Necromancy of Thay book. You can, technically, do this quest in a couple of different ways. For most players, they start this quest by heading into the Whispering Depths, which is the spider cave in the middle of the Blighted Village.
However, I went about this quest in a different way and found the Necromancy of Thay book before the Dark Amethyst, but go about it however you want.
But I opted to guide you on this journey through the method I used since I don’t think too many people have gone about it this particular way. Let’s dive in with everything you need to know about this side quest.
Reach the Blighted Village Cellar
First and foremost, to start this quest in the method we are doing, you want to head to the Blighted Village. This is the small town with some goblins west of the Emerald Grove where the Druids and Tiefling refugees are located in Act 1.
Head across the western bridge to reach this town and grab its waypoint if this is your first time here. To find the book for this side quest and begin it through our method, you’ll want to find the house directly to the south of the waypoint in the middle of town.
Head inside this house, and there is a cellar door on the floor near the entrance. Go inside here, and you’ll be inside a deceptively small basement. Head to the northern side of the cellar, and there is a wall here in this corner by a desk and a painting.
There are some crates to the left of the wall with the painting, and you can either pass a perception check here or destroy them to find a secret lever behind the crates. Use it to open up the bookshelf nearby for a secret passage. Head through here for the next part of this quest.
Speak with the Ornate Mirror
Follow this small linear underground cave-like path until you reach a door of sorts. This is the Ornate Mirror, which you can speak with. It is a magical door that talks to the player and will only open up for its master or the person who is supposed to reach the next area.
There are two main routes to get the Ornate Mirror to open up. There is the easier one and the other one, which gives you some pleasant experience if you happen to pass a skill check or two.
I went for the tougher route, which required me to use some specific dialogue related to my Dragonborn race and even lie in a couple of spots.
It culminated in a Wizard conversation option skill check, which I had to pass to convince the Ornate Mirror I am the powerful Wizard I say I am. This got me through with no problem at all.
However, there is an easier route you can use if you pick the right conversation options. This doesn’t require you to do any skill check or dice roll, so it is the preferred method for many players. Here are the exact statements you should say to get through the Ornate Mirror through this route:
- Tell it your name
- “Yes, I am an ally.”
- “A foul lich.”
- “To clean a wound?”
- Pick any option you want for this part except for the line “I’d see the ones I love,” which won’t work here.
There are even some new dialogue options with the Ornate Mirror if you find the Dark Amethyst first, but for the purpose of this quest, we are doing it with the least amount of in-game help possible in this route.
How to Locate the Necromancy of Thay Book
Now, inside the secret lab under the town, there is a jail cell-like place with bars around it to the left of where you enter from speaking with the talking Ornate Mirror. This small cell-like spot has a book on a stand, clearly there waiting for you to pick it up.
However, the deceptively simple task of picking up the book isn’t so simple, like pretty much everything else in this game. There are two traps on either side of where you enter into this cell cave area, which will go off if you don’t pass a perception check or disable them first.
If you don’t have some trap disarm tools on hand, you’ll want the character in your party with the highest perception to catch the traps early and not activate them. Interact with the book once you pass inside safely (save if you need to so you can pass the check).
At this point, you can examine the book, have a little conversation, and learn more about the Necromancy of Thay tome. However, it is incomplete for now as it needs the Dark Amethyst, which goes into the gaping hole on the book’s cover. Now, it is time to find that piece of the puzzle.
Enter the Spider Lair
For the next part of this quest, which you could theoretically do first, is to head out of the cellar’s secret lab, which has a convenient lever exit in the middle of the room. This brings you back to the start of the cellar. Head upstairs and into the town.
This time, we are looking for the well in the middle of town near the waypoint. You can interact with this well and head down into it or, alternatively, head into the Blacksmith’s Forge building and go through the hole in the middle of the floor.
Regardless of how you enter, you’ll end up in a small, linear spider cave with some enemies here. They are poisonous and a bit annoying, but they shouldn’t be a problem for you, even if you are still pretty early in Act 1.
Take your time, defeating the spiders and traversing through this cave known as the Whispering Depths until you reach its end.
After defeating all of the spiders here, you’ll find a dead body at the end of the cave’s path. This dead body has a journal on it, which, if you read it in the game, is another way to start the Search the Cellar side quest for this book in the first place.
But we already started the quest, so your goal here is the other item on the dead body: the Dark Amethyst. This item is what we need to finally open up the Necromancy of Thay book and complete this side quest.
Put the Dark Amethyst in the Necromancy of Thay Book
The final step is simple: put the Dark Amethyst into the Necromancy of Thay book and unlock its true secrets. However, this is where things get a little hairy, as this quest has several ending options. First and foremost, you have the option anytime, even before getting the jewel, to destroy the book outright.
If you go this horrifying route, you’ll have three dark shadows to take on. They are extremely powerful and quite the challenge for even a player in Act 2 like myself, so I find it hard for anyone in Act 1 to win this fight without a bit of save scumming and preparation beforehand.
For one, you only want non-physical, magical characters like Wyll, Gale, and some of Shadowheart’s abilities for this surprisingly tough fight.
The other route you can take is giving the book to one of the other characters in your party, such as Astarion, Shadowheart, or Gale. The third and final option is to keep the book for yourself and read it. You can even keep it this way for a special additional feature later on in Act 3.
The only catch with the two non-destructive routes is you’ll have to pass some skill checks either way.
If you don’t mind save-scumming, I suggest saving beforehand as this will be your only chance to read the book or have one of your companions use it, so you probably don’t want to mess that up. In the end, it is up to you what you want to do with the book at this point.
To help you figure out what you want to do with the Necromancy of Thay book, here are some of the rewards you get from this quest. The quest itself gives you some experience for completing it and the book. That is standard across all of the routes of this side quest, but everything else is dependent.
If you choose to destroy the book, you’ll get some bonkers XP for even an Act 2 player like myself because the fight is that tough. But that is all you get for that route. If you read the book yourself, you’ll gain the Speak With Dead spell no matter what class you’re currently playing.
And if you give the book to one of your party members, it varies for each of them. Some of them will gain the Speak With Dead spell, while others, like Gale, will use it for other purposes but get powered up a fair bit.
What Should You Do with the Book?
As mentioned before, it is ultimately up to you what route you want to take with how to deal with the Necromancy of Thay book.
For me, personally, I find there are only two viable routes with the book: destroy it or have your player character read it themselves. If you give it to a companion, I find that the results are pretty lackluster.
As such, it comes down to whether or not you want to destroy it or read it. Personally, the best option is always to read it. The skill checks are rough, and there are several of them you’ll have to pass one after another, but the end result is quite lovely with the Speak With Dead spell you’ll gain.
But that isn’t all. There is one final secret the Necromancy of Thay book holds, making the reading-it-yourself route even better. Hold onto the book after reading it and keeping it with you or at your camp all the way through the rest of the game, as its secrets aren’t over.
In Act 3, you’ll be able to get another item in the Tharciate Codex. This item allows you to read the final page of the Necromancy of Thay book, which you aren’t able to do prior to this point. If you do this, you unlock the true power of this item, which grants any class you are playing the power to summon six ghouls at once.
This is an incredibly powerful skill that suddenly adds six members to your otherwise tiny party without mods. You can even use this spell once per short rest, so doing a short rest will replenish your undead army.
This works for every class but gets even better for classes like Oathbreaker Paladin and Necromancy Wizard, which are already proficient in working with the undead.
Question: How Do You Open the Book of Necromancy in BG3?
Answer: There is only one way to open up the book of Necromancy in BG3. To do this, you need to obtain the Dark Amethyst crystal, which is found nearby from the book in the Blighted Village.
Head to the Whispering Depths cave under the town’s well, and you’ll be able to find the crystal at the end of the path there.
Question: Where is the Necromancy Book in BG3?
Answer: You can find the Necromancy of Thay book in BG3 in the Blighted Village. There is a town to the south of the waypoint for the area with a cellar.
You’ll find a secret laboratory that houses this special magical book within it. Just note that you’ll have to go through a room with two powerful traps to obtain this incredible tome.
Question: What are the Necromancy of Thay Consequences in Baldurs Gate 3?
Answer: There aren’t too many consequences with the Necromancy of Thay book in Baldurs Gate 3. You mainly learn a spell or empower one of your teammates, which is not too bad.
However, if you destroy the book, this gives you the most significant consequence of having to take down three shadow mini-bosses who are like the guardians of the book and are each unbelievably powerful.
Find the Best Build for Your Necromancy of Thay Character
Necromancy of Thay is one of the hidden but better side quests every player should check out. It isn’t too terribly long, depending on how you go about it, and if you use a guide like this one, you don’t generally have to deal with too harsh of enemies unless you go a specific route at the end.
This makes the Necromancy of Thay quest one of the ones I recommend to players as early as possible. Speak With the Dead is an excellent spell and one I use quite often on characters who are a bit more critical to the storyline. Plus, the spell you get in Act 3 is worth all of the effort in the end.
But to make the most out of the Necromancy spells you learn from this book and side quest, your best bet is to pick a build that suits this role the most.
If you want to know more about the best builds in Baldur’s Gate 3, you are in the right place. I already broke down my favorite build in the game, which is perfect for this book.
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