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How to save Shadowheart in Baldur's Gate 3

It's only the beginning of Baldur's Gate 3 and you're already making life-or-death decisions!

Shadowheart stuck inside a mind flayer pod in Baldur's Gate 3
Image credit: Larian/VG247

Right at the start of Baldur's Gate 3, as you make your way through the mind flayer ship towards the helm, you hear a thumping inside a mind flayer pod. A woman called Shadowheart is trapped inside.

Despite Lae'zel's protestations, it doesn't seem like the right thing to do to leave her, does it? However, the technology of the pod is literally alien to you - how will you save her?

At this early stage of the game it can be confusing as to what to do and where to go, so here's how to save Shadowheart from the mind flayer pod.

How to save Shadowheart from the mind flayer pod

To save Shadowheart, inspect the touch console next to her pod. If you pass a check, you can ascertain that there’s a slot in it, but either way, it won't open.

Note: A Barbarian has the class-specific option to simply wrench the pod open, dependent upon passing a fairly reasonable Strength check (10). This will do the job; however, given the likelihood that you're playing as a different class entirely, you're probably going to have to use brains instead of brawn.

Next, head out the back of the room, through the door next to the pod, not across from it. Rather than forward to the helm, this leads to a side room.

Tav collecting a gold key in Baldur's Gate 3
Image credit: Larian/VG247

You can interact with the pod here if you wish, but it's optional. Right as you enter, take the golden key from the body in front of you for some loot later.

The eldritch rune needed to save Shadowheart from the mind flayer pod in Baldur's Gate 3
Image credit: Larian/VG247

But at the back of the room is another bloody corpse of a thrall. Inspect their body and take the eldritch rune from their pockets.

Tav looting an elaborate reliquary in Baldur's Gate 3
Image credit: Larian/VG247

Return to the central room with the mind flayer pod and Shadowheart. Across from the pod, in the bottom left corner, is an elaborate reliquary. With the key in hand, interact with the reliquary to open it. Inside, you find some loot you can stash before opening the pod.

However, with the right equipment now in your possession, slot the rune and despite the reservations of your character, you can will the pod to open. This saves Shadowheart, the Cleric, and adds her to your party for the fights ahead.

Her immediate friction with the other member of your party teaches you something important about Baldur’s Gate 3: you’ll never please everyone. Continue forward towards the helm for your next adventure!

What happens if you don't save Shadowheart?

Should you fail to free Shadowheart from the pod (or simply elect to walk away and leave her, you monster), the good news is she will still survive the Nautiloid crash. The main difference is that she won't be waiting for you on the beach near to where you wake up, but will instead be further north in the same area, near to the entrance of the Dank Crypt. She'll be a little less well-disposed towards you, especially if you walked away callously after she begged you for help, but she'll still be recruitable with a little polite persuasion.

Looking for more help with BG3? Check-out our guide to whether you should side with Karlach or the Paladins of Tyr, or how to rescue Halsin the head Druid.

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