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Baldur's Gate 3 Auntie Ethel: How to save Mayrina

When a visit to Auntie Ethel's teahouse turns into something altogether more sinister, the party resolve to help save Mayrina

Auntie Ethel confessing to knowning Mayrina in Baldur's Gate 3
Image credit: Larian/VG247

Nestled in The Hallow in Baldur's Gate 3, your party meets a kindly healer called Auntie Ethel helping tiefling refugees like Pandirna with potions, salves and other cures for their ailments. In all her long years as a wise woman, surely Auntie Ethel has seen everything?

So, after telling Ethel about the mind flayer tadpole in your head, your party agrees to visit her at her teahouse nearby. It’s a long shot, especially compared to finding the druid Halsin, but maybe she has something in stock that can help?

Visiting Auntie Ethel’s teahouse leads to a longer quest than you might expect, so here are all of the different ways it can shake out.

I’d recommend being at least level 4 or 5 before taking on this quest. There’s a deceptively large amount of difficult combat encounters which you might struggle with if you don’t have access to decent powers or multiple attack actions.

Visiting Auntie Ethel’s Teahouse

To continue Ethel’s quest, head to the forest area southwest of the Druid’s Grove. Make a turn southwards once you reach the Blighted Village, so you’re headed away from the Goblin Camp.

When you catch up with Ethel, you find her locked in an argument with two strange men. This is where you have your first decision to make.

The two men are looking for their sister, who Ethel swears she doesn’t know. A passed Perception check here clues you into the fact that Ethel might be lying, but the choice is still yours as to who’s side you want to step in on.

If you stick up for Ethel, the brothers will attack you. If you press Ethel about the whereabouts of the sister, she’s not pleased.

Whichever you choose, when Auntie Ethel disappears in a puff of putrid, green smoke it becomes obvious that the brothers might have been onto something.

Don’t feel too bad if you killed them though, they won’t last much longer either way.

Tav dispelling the illusion surrounding the Putrid Bog in Baldur's Gate 3
Image credit: Larian/VG247

Exploring the Sunlit Wetlands

Next, continue down the path towards the marsh in front of you. If you can pass a difficult nature or investigation check, the area will be revealed for what it truly is. As will the wandering “sheep”.

If you do this, I’d advise you to deal with the difficult Madcap enemies around here on your own terms before you go into the teahouse. You can get a surprise turn on them this way and it makes everything much easier in a minute.

Meeting Gandrel

Once you reach the teahouse waypoint, there’s a path up on the left where you can take a quick detour to speak to Gandrel, a monster hunter.

This gives you some interesting insight into Astarion’s character quest and an opportunity to score some significant approval points with him, but you’re free to deal with Gandrel however fits your playthrough. Staying your hand and risking Astarion's disapproval can yield some non-essential yet interesting information about the current quest, so it's really up to you!

Entering the teahouse

Next, make a quicksave and enter the teahouse. Here you find Auntie Ethel and her captive, Mayrina - the sister from before.

Regardless of how your interaction with the brothers played out, Ethel will offer to help with the parasite in your head.

But there’s a cost. In exchange for her help she wants one of your eyes.

Should you give Auntie Ethel your Eye?

Auntie Ethel trying to take Tav's eye as payment in Baldur's Gate 3
Image credit: Larian/VG247

While this interaction gives you some interesting lore and information about the nature of the Illithid tadpole, giving your eye to a swamp hag doesn’t turn out well. Who would’ve guessed?

About the only thing giving over your eye nets you is the “hag-eyed” status which gives +1 to intimidation rolls, but -1 to perception rolls.

Also, it’s worth noting that you cannot take this path if you’ve already lost an eye by any other means - such as letting Volo perform surgery on you, or attempting this conversation as Wyll.

If you take exception to the offer and decide to save Mayrina instead, you need to attack Ethel. After one turn, she turns invisible and escapes behind the fireplace and you have to fight the Redcaps from outside if you haven’t already.

It is possible to stop the Hag from escaping by using Shadowheart’s Command spell to make her fall prone over and over, allowing you to kill her there. This makes everything much easier, but isn’t the “intended” way for the quest to play out.

How to rescue Mayrina

Tav dispelling the illusion around Auntie Ethel's fireplace in Baldur's Gate 3
Image credit: Larian/VG247

Once Ethel has disappeared, search the room then interact with the fireplace and you can follow her through to the Overgrown Tunnel below.

Around this first chamber you can see many poor unfortunates that Ethel has tricked over the years. They’re beyond help for now, so to continue you need to go to the gnarled door around the corner.

If you’re tempted by the Whispering Masks on the side, don’t be; that doesn’t end well.

Tav speaking to the Gnarled Door in Auntie Ethel's lair in Baldur's Gate 3
Image credit: Larian/VG247

Talk to the door, and once you pass the persuasion or intimidation check you find that it’s actually an illusion and you can walk right through it as if it wasn’t there. This can be a little tricky, so try moving your camera around so you can see behind the door to get an angle.

In the next room, you have to deal with the masked figures of regret, vengeance, terror, and servitude. They don’t want to fight you, but you need to make it past them somehow.

You can either sneak past them, which is possible but ill-advised. Without spoiling later encounters, they will just reappear.

Or you can beat them up. Here you can toggle “non-lethal attacks” to just knock them out if you wish to come back and try to save them later.

Tav jumping through a waterfall to get deeper into Auntie Ethel's lair in Baldur's Gate 3
Image credit: Larian/VG247

Whatever your choice, your goal is the waterfall in the top right-hand corner of the cave. You need to jump through this to advance, so again, twizzle your camera if you can’t get an angle.

In the next area with the noxious fumes, you just have to pick as good a path as possible to the bottom, using your jump action to weave in and out of the clouds.

Disarming each of the traps is difficult, but you can at least stop the clouds from exploding on you by triggering them with a fireball action from a distance.

Tav jumping past a cloud of noxious gas in Baldur's Gate 3
Image credit: Larian/VG247

Even if you end up tanking a few hits, it shouldn’t be that deadly - just remember to take a short rest at the bottom.

Defeating Auntie Ethel in Hag form

Now for the big finish. While you’ve got Ethel cornered, the hag still has many tricks up her horrible sleeves.

Tav saving Mayrina from a burning cage in Auntie Ethel's lair in Baldur's Gate 3
Image credit: Larian/VG247

But it’s important not to forget why you’re there in the first place. To save Mayrina, you need to interact with the glowing control orb on the other side of the arena before the cage burns. I’d recommend sending one of your characters on a beeline towards the orb while the other three engage Ethel.

After a couple of turns, Ethel will start to try and flip the tables. She can either make copies of herself, or turn herself into a copy of Mayrina.

In the times I’ve tested the fight, the fake Mayrina has said “get that awful hag away from me” and been further away from your party. However, I’d still recommend making a quicksave in case it’s random.

As for the copies of Ethel, characters with multiple hits that can dispel them quickly work very well here. A warlock’s Eldritch Blast, a wizard’s Magic Missile, or Scorching Rays all do nicely - as does multiple attack actions from a fighter or barbarian.

I’d recommend getting rid of the copies quickly to remove their actions from the queue and avoid your party becoming overwhelmed. They can start doing naughty things like pushing you over the side of the arena for an instant death which is very annoying.

For her final trick, Ethel will summon copies of herself while turning her true self invisible. As this happens, you need to pay attention to where the voice line text above her head plays from - then aim an area-of-effect spell at that spot. Otherwise dispel the copies as normal.

How to help Mayrina and Connor

Once the Hag is defeated, Mayrina isn’t as happy as you might have hoped.

It turns out that Ethel promised to make her a double-edged deal as well: bring her husband back to life in exchange for her unborn baby. You can comfort or scold her as you wish, but it was never going to turn out well for her - given the ways your own dealings with Ethel can go, and the poor unfortunates you witnessed on your way into the cave system, you know there’s no way the Hag would’ve helped without strings attached.

As she leaves, continue into the Hag’s workshop. Here you get loads of different unique items, including the Ever-seeing Eye amulet and Staff of Crones.

Tav collecting the "Bitter Divorce" wand to help Mayrina in Baldur's Gate 3
Image credit: Larian/VG247

Scoot around for some lore about Ethel and other hags around Faerun, but make sure you pick up the wand named “Bitter Divorce” from the table.

Interact with the Mushroom circle and you end up back outside with Mayrina. Speak to her again and she laments her position and the futility of her efforts.

However, you now have another choice to make.

Waving the wand at Connor does in fact bring him back to life, just not as Mayrina envisioned.

You can either give Mayrina the wand, which she then takes off to Baldur’s Gate to see if there’s anything more that can be done for Connor. Or you can keep the wand for yourself. This lets you call on Connor as a summon creature in battle.

Finally, you can choose to kill Connor once and for all. This option also triggers Mayrina to become hostile and you have to defeat them both.

Mayrina leaving for the city in Baldur's Gate 3
Image credit: Larian/VG247

Since the zombie summon creature isn’t that powerful - plus he’s “smelly” - the most popular option will probably be to catch up with Mayrina again in the city of Baldur’s Gate.

With that sorted, you can now work your way back through the hag's lair and free the captives. Of particular interest are the dwarf and the elf in the first chamber, who you can properly set free to rebuild their lives.

You can now also loot the bodies of the knocked out people to remove their masks now too - doing so before would have killed them.

For more help rescuing NPCs who've found themselves in a spot of trouble in Baldur's Gate 3, see our guides on saving Sazza the goblin and how to rescue Volo.

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