Baldur’s Gate 3: Lift The Shadow Curse Quest Guide

People have suffered long enough under Ketheric Thorm's reign. It is now your moral duty to free them from this curse eating away at their lives and happiness.

Lift the Shadow Curse is a major side quest in Baldur’s Gate 3. This quest will set you on a path to clear the Shadow Cursed Lands from the curse and see Halsin’s companion quest through to a good end.

While Lift the Shadow Curse starts during Act 2, once you talk to Halsin at the camp, it has its roots in Act 1. There are a lot of other side quests intertwined with this one; even failing one can seriously bug your journey. To avoid any confusion, we will start from Act 1 and go through everything you need to do until the end of Act 2 in precise order.


Ensure you follow our detailed guides for the companion side quests to complete them successfully and avoid any bugs. This is a two-phase quest; failing either will not allow you to lift the Shadow Curse.

Rescue Halsin and Recruit him in Act 1

It all starts with rescuing the first Druid, Halsin, from the Goblin Camp. As Halsin is pivotal in lifting the Shadow Curse, if you kill him or make him angry, your quest to lift the curse will come to a premature end. You can’t complete this quest without Halsin.

Go to the Shattered Sanctum area of the Goblin Camp and free Halsin, who is in his bear form. Follow Halsin’s lead to solve the conflict between Tieflings and Druids in the Emerald Grove. This will put you in good standing with Halsin, and he will agree to travel with your party.

Reach the Last Light Inn to start Act 2

Once you are done with saving the grove, your next destination is the Shadow Cursed Lands. Ruled over by a tyrant, Ketheric Thorm, this area is a husk of its former self. You can enter this area via the Underdark or the Mountain Pass. We recommend using the Mountain Pass as it is easier, and you will meet someone important, Kar’niss.

He is carrying a Moonlantern that will protect you from the Shadow Curse. Follow Kar’niss until Harpers ambush you. Change sides and kill Kar’niss with the help of the harpers. Loot his body to obtain the Moonlantern. Open the lantern to find a pixie trapped inside it. Free the pixie to earn her blessing, giving you infinite protection against the Shadow Curse.

Follow the harpers until you reach the Last Light Inn, the central hub of Act 2. Talk to Jaheira, the high harper, and stay at the Inn. This place is blessed by Isobel and everyone inside is safe from the Shadow Curse. Talk to Halsin, and this will officially start the Lift the Shadow Curse quest in Baldur’s Gate 3.

Wake up Art Cullagh

A patient in the Last Light Inn is trapped in a perpetual nightmare. His name is Art Cullagh, and you need to wake him up. Talk to Halsin; he will ask you to find the Battered Lute.

The said Lute is in the possession of a mad doctor named Malus Thorm. You can find him inside the House of Healing. Once you confront Malus and his nurses, make them kill each other and loot the Battered Lute from his body. Go back to the Last Light Inn and Wake up Art Cullagh. He will ask you to bring Halsin to him.

Save Isobel from Flaming Fist Marcus

Before you can go and fetch Halsin, talk to Isobel. This will start the invasion of the Last Light Inn. Ketheric’s Thorm lackey, Marcus, will attack the inn with his whole army of ghouls. They want to kill Isobel and take her body away.

Saving Isobel is paramount as it directly impacts Shadowheart’s companion quest and Nightsong. Once you have saved Isobel after an exhilarating fight, talk to Halsin, and he will accompany you to Art.

Protect Halsin’s Portal to save Thaniel

Upon learning about Thaniel from Art, Halsin will ask you to join him on the beach. Halsin will open a portal and go through it to bring Thaniel back.

Your job is to protect the portal from shadow enemies at all costs. If the portal gets destroyed, it will kill both Halsin and Thaniel, making it impossible to lift the shadow curse. Halsin will return with Thaniel in his arms, who will be unconscious. Talk to Art again; he will ask you to find Thaniel’s shadow half, Oliver.

Join Thaniel with his other half, Oliver

You can find Oliver inside the House in the Shadows. He will ask you to play Hide and Seek with him. You can play it or ignore it by saying that you know about Oliver’s true nature. Force him to return to Thaniel, and this will make Oliver angry.

He will pass through a portal to enter the Shadow realm. Oliver will hide inside a dome and make you fight his fake family, including Shadow Mama, Shadow Papa, and Shadow Dog. Defeat all the enemies and destroy the shadow dome to force Oliver out of it.

Convince Oliver to join Thaniel by saying he won’t be alone anymore and he will always have someone to play with. Now, return to the Last Light Inn, and you will find Thaniel recovering. He will join your camp after waking up.

Complete the Trials of Shar to find Nightsong

Thaniel will visit you and give you another objective. Kill Ketheric Thorm. He is responsible for spreading the Shadow Curse in these lands, which can only be stopped with his death. But Ketheric is now immortal, and you need to sever his connection with the source of his immortality first.

The next step involves finding Thorm’s Mausoleum and entering the temple of Shar. Here, you can attempt the Trials of Shar to obtain three Umbral gems by completing three trials.

The fourth gem can be obtained by either killing Yurgir or freeing him from his contract. Use the gems to gain entry into the Shadowfell region. Once inside, you will come across Nightsong. What happens to her is now in your hands. We recommend that you free her to lift the shadow curse and progress Shadowheart’s story positively. She is the reason for Ketheric’s immortality.

Kill Ketheric Thorm to lift the Shadow Curse

This will make Ketheric furious, and he will meet you in combat. As one of the main antagonists in Baldur’s Gate 3, defeating Ketheric is no easy task. Once you deplete his health to single digits, he will use the red membrane to run away into Oubliette, also known as the Mind Flayer colony.

This is a point of no return. So, make a save here and complete the remaining tasks. Recruit Jaheria and enter the Oubliette. Once you reach the other side, you will find Ketheric once more. This time, he will evolve into something far more grotesque. Kill Ketheric once and for all to remove the shadow curse and obtain his Netherstones. If everything is done right, you will see the Shadow Curse lifting from the map of this unfortunate land in Baldur’s Gate 3.

Killing Ketheric Thorm without saving Thaniel will make Halsin stuck in the Shadow Cursed Lands forever. He won’t follow you into Act 3 and leave your party forever. This will also demolish your chances of romancing him.

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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 ...