How To Confront The Elder Brain In Baldur’s Gate 3

Confront the Elder Brain is a culmination of many short quests leading to the grand finale of Baldur's Gate 3. Are you ready to face the big baddie?

Confront the Elder Brain is the final main quest of Baldur’s Gate 3, where all your actions and their consequences culminate. During this quest, you will finally confront and fight the Elder Brain through sub-quests. Defeating the Elder Brain is necessary to bring down the Illithid Empire and cure the parasite from your brain and your allies. 

There is also an option where you can confront the Elder Brain without the Netherstones. However, you won’t like the outcome in this case as it will lead to the worst ending of the game.

Confront the Elder Brain Quest Walkthrough

Confront the Elder Brain quest begins once you defeat Ketheric Thorm and obtain his Netherstone near the end of Act 2. As soon as you reach Act 3 of Baldur’s Gate 3, this quest is added to your journal. However, before you go and fight Elder Brain, there are a series of other quests that you need to finish. Even your first encounter with the Elder Brain is a part of this.

Get Gortash’s Netherstone

The first objective of Confront the Elder Brain is to find Gortash’s Netherstone. The only way to get your hand on this Netherstone is to defeat Gortash himself. There are two ways you can achieve this goal. 

  • Visit Gortash’s Coronation at the Wyrm’s Rock fortress. When he offers you an alliance to take down Orin, refuse him. This will lead to a hellish fight that we don’t recommend. Steel Watch is aiding Gortash, and they will decimate you in an instant. However, if you believe you can do it, kill Gortash right there to obtain his Netherstone.
  • The alternate path involves taking Gortash’s deal. Play through Act 3 until you obtain the Disable Steel Watch side quest. Travel to Iron Throne Prison and free all the prisoners there, including Omeluum and Wyll’s father, Grand Duke Ravengard. Now, with the help of Gondians, destroy the Steel Watch. Enter Wyrm’s Rock fortress through the jail cells and kill Gortash.

Get Orin’s Netherstone

After getting your hands on Gortash’s Netherstone, you must find Orin’s Netherstone in Baldur’s Gate 3. This is a lot more complex and difficult side quest. Orin is inside the Temple of Bhaal, reaching which is a nightmare.

First, you need to start the Open Hand Temple Murder quest, which leads to Investigate the Murders‘ side quest. This quest will take you to the Murder Tribunal, where you must obtain the Amulet of Bhaal. You can obtain it in two ways.

Take the amulet to the Undercity sewers and present it on the doors leading to the Temple of Bhaal. Once you reach there, you will find Orin in her abode at the center of the Temple. Orin has an unstoppable 7, which makes her a difficult foe. Kill Orin and loot her body to obtain her Netherstone.

Elder Brain’s location in Baldur’s Gate 3

Once you have all three Netherstones, travel to Morphic Pool. This pool is located North of the Temple of Bhaal Waypoint. To reach there, you need to board a boat near Morphic Pool dock. This dock is marked with a lot of rats.

Upon arriving at Morphic Pool, keep going until you reach Elder Brain. At this point, you will get multiple dialogue checks to subdue the Elder Brain. However, the Elder Brain will resist all your attempts with increasingly difficult checks to pass. The game is rigged, and to save you from annihilation, the Emperor will teleport you to the Astral Plane.

Free Prince Orpheus’s quest

The Emperor will explain that the Elder Brain has evolved into the Netherbrain. It is impossible to control it with Netherstones. Here, the Emperor will reveal his final plan and ask you to hand over the Netherstones. He wants to use their power to assimilate Prince Orpheus, who is being kept prisoner here, and defeat Elder Brain.

There are two possible outcomes in this scenario with branching possibilities. Things will become even more complex if Lae’zel is present at the party.

  • If you side with the Emperor, he will consume Orpheus and use his powers to fight alongside you against the Elder Brain. This will lead to a good ending in the game. However, Lae’zel will be furious, and you must convince her by passing a 30DC check. Otherwise, she will leave your party, break up the relationship, and attack you. 
  • If you decide to free Orpheus, for which you need the Orphic Hammer from Raphael, the Emperor will leave. He will join the Netherbrain and fight alongside him. At this point, you will get the option to evolve one person into a Mind Flayer. You can go with Karlach, Prince Orpheus, or even yourself. Each action has a different ending, but we recommend going with Karlach to give her closure. Githyanki people will join you. 

Gather your Allies

After escaping the Astral Plane and the Netherbrain, your next task will be to reach the High Hall. The Elder Brain resides at its top, and the path to him is full of difficult encounters. You will get an option to summon your allies via the Call Forth the Allies option.

All the people you have saved, made friends with, or given specific favors will answer your call (unlike Gondor). These allies provide you with both active and passive support. Some will fight on the frontlines like the Gnomes and led by Barcus Wroot and Wulbren, while some will provide passive support like Volo.


Keeping your allies alive is of paramount importance. You can attempt this quest as many times as you want, but if an ally dies during an attempt, they won’t be available again.

While going through the High Hall, talk to Koll, the Red merchant, to obtain useful scrolls and potions. You will meet a party of soldiers fleeing the scene. They will be terrified of the Elder Brain and need some convincing (DC20) to stay and help. This group plays an important role as they fight on the frontlines and protect you against the onslaught.

On your way to the top, you will be ambushed by a Nautiloid ship and the worshippers of the absolute. These include Goblins and Bhaal cultists. Avoid the red circles on the floor, as it is where Nautiloid drops massive bombs. Avoid the Mind Flayer ship and try to reach the double door. This will trigger a cutscene, and Githyanki Warriors on Dragon will take down the ship.

Reach the Crown of Karsus

Once you reach the top, Gale will discuss the Crown of Karsus. This will also begin the fight with Elder Brain officially. This is where things become difficult. You must send someone near the Crown to cast a control spell.

Going through the middle is not an option. Tentacles will ambush you and become blind. Go around the corners while avoiding Intellect devourers and the Nautiloid ship. The control spell needs concentration and you must protect the caster at all costs. Once the Crown of Karsus is under your control, it will open a portal where you can finally fight the Elder Brain, now called Netherbrain, for the final time.

Confront the Elder Brain

You will only get 4 turns before the Netherbrain breaks your control. Start hitting it with your strongest spells and ranged attacks. Make sure to avoid the glowing orbs in the arena. You also need to be on the move constantly as the area beneath your feet is prone to falling, killing you in an instant.

The Elder Brain uses shockwaves that deal Psychic damage. A Githyanki in your team can survive these attacks and hurt the brain as a reaction. Once the Elder Brain is down to its last breaths, it will initiate a dialogue sequence and beg for its life. Here, you will get multiple options.

  • Destroy the Elder Brain and kill all the mind-controlling parasites. This is the best scenario as it matches your initial goal. It will also lead to a happy ending.
  • You can side with the Emperor (if you keep him alive) and rule the Netherbrain.
  • Control the Elder Brain and deceive everyone to become the Absolute yourself. This is one of the bad endings.

With this, Confront the Elder Brain’s main quest will conclude as it marks the end of your journey in Baldur’s Gate 3.

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Usman is an Associate Editor at Segmentnext who is obsessed with retro gaming. His love for video games begins all the way back in 91 with Final Fight on arcades and is still going strong ...