Your complete guide to the Gauntlet of Shar in Baldur’s Gate 3
Aug 18, 2023
The Gauntlet of Shar in Baldur’s Gate 3 is a dungeon you have to complete in Act 2 in order to face Ketheric Thorm at Moonrise Tower.
Baldur’s Gate 3 is an RPG based on 5th Edition Dungeons & Dragons and has several dungeons that enact the classic D&D experience. One of these is the Gauntlet of Shar, an abandoned temple of the goddess of loss, Shar, that must be navigated in order to advance the story. It’s full of challenges, puzzles, and challenging encounters. Luckily we’ve got the full breakdown of the dungeon and how to beat it so you don’t have to worry about getting stuck.
Where to find Thorm Mausoleum and the Gauntlet of Shar
The Gauntlet of Shar can be found in the area of the Underdark accessed through either the rest of the Underdark or the Mountain Pass after finishing up with the cultists of the Absolute in Act 1. We advise fully exploring the map, especially Moonrise Towers and the town of Last Light before doing this dungeon. It can be found in the western portion of the map, to the north of the House of Healing, inside Thorm Mausoleum. There’s a broken open Mausoleum door, enter through here to access the start of the dungeon.
Thorm Mausoleum puzzle
In this first room, you need to solve a puzzle to open a hidden door to the Gauntlet of Shar. This room has three different wings that branch off from it, each with a picture of a point in Ketheric Thorm’s life. Each of these portraits has a button below it. There’s a note elsewhere that says that Ketheric wanted anyone entering the Gauntlet of Shar to walk the path he had in life.
Press the button below the picture depicting Moonrise Towers, then the picture depicting Ketheric Thorm with his dead wife, and finally the one with Ketheric Thorm as the fearsome general he is in Baldur’s Gate 3. This will open a secret door that leads to an elevator that will take you down into the Gauntlet of Shar proper.
Gauntlet of Shar Statue Puzzle
The first room in the Gauntlet of Shar is a round room with two wings off of a circular room with a statue in the center and a locked door on the other side. There are levers around the room that raise and lower lamps around the room. Because Shar is the goddess of darkness, you need to get rid of all of the lights in this room. For the most part, this is pretty simple. The only trick is that one lever will lower one brazier and raise another, so you’ll need to use this lever twice in order to turn both off.
From there, walk through the holes in the runic circles on the floor and interact with the statue. This will cause a Darkness spell to be cast on the middle of the room and the door on the far side to open. Just click near the open door and you’ll find your way through the darkness just fine.
Balthazar the Necromancer
The main NPC you’re going to have to make a choice about in the Gauntlet of Shar is Balthazar the Necromancer. Balthazar the Necromancer is a servant of General Ketheric Thorm and a cultist of the Absolute. You can encounter him by jumping along a series of Mushrooms after the statue puzzle, or you can push deeper into Shar’s Gauntlet on your own. Both you and Balthazar are here to free the Nightsong, a relic that Ketheric Thorm’s invulnerability is tied to.
You have the option of helping Balthazar and pretending to be on the side of the Absolute or fighting and killing him. The Balthazar fight is a genuinely difficult encounter, mostly thanks to his mutated undead brother Flesh. Your best option, if you want to fight Balthazar, is to get it done early and jump down the mushrooms after the statue puzzle. This will lead you to a side entrance of Balthazar’s room.
Siding with Balthazar has some serious upsides, as he won’t attack you and can even be convinced to give you a bell that summons his brother Flesh. Flesh can be useful, but helping Balthazar means you’re guaranteed to have to fight him and an absolutely massive group of undead when you get to the Nightsong. If you don’t have a cleric, just kill him early. If you do have a cleric, it’s probably still worth just getting him out of the way early.
Collect Four Umbral Gems
At this point, the ultimate goal of this dungeon for you is to collect four Umbral gems. These gems are (mostly) locked behind trials that Shar wants you to complete in order to access the Nightsong at the bottom of the dungeon. These three trials are arranged along the main hallways of this dungeon and can be accessed from Balthazar’s room.
Yurgir the Devil’s hidden Umbral Stone
There are four trials, the Soft Step Trial, the Self-Same Trial, the Faith Leap trial. You need to assemble four more gems, however, and the trials only account for three. The third is in the possession of Yurgir, a devil that is waiting for you somewhere in the dungeon. To the east from the normal entrance to the dungeon is a displacer beast that wanders through a ruined wall and a throne of flesh and bone on the far end of the room. A savvy player will spot, however, that a giant devil and a bunch of Merregons are waiting to ambush them. We recommend fighting Yurgir if you’re strong enough here.
There’s the option to help him find a loophole in his demonic contract, but you can turn him to your side later on during the House of Hope arc, so collect that sweet, sweet experience for now. Yurgir’s Umbral Gem is on the throne of bodies at the far end of the room. There’s your first gem collected, now let’s deal with the trials.
Soft Step Trial
All of the trials are going to have a blood-letting statue that a party member will have to activate to proceed through the trial. If you have Shadowheart in your party, you should try to let her use every statue, as it will improve your relationship with her.
This trial is a series of hallways with Grease traps and invisible Shadows. You’re meant to sneak through the hallways, avoiding the shadows and traps. If you’re spotted, you’ll be teleported back to the start of the trial. The easiest way to do this is to make your Rogue or other designated lock-picking character Invisible and letting them walk through the halls. You won’t be seen if you’re invisible, so you can speed on through. On the far end of the trial is an Umbral Gem and a teleporter that will take you back to the start of the trial.
The Self-Same Trial is pretty simple in concept, you’re going to fight near-mirror versions of your party. As you enter the room, party members will roll a Perception check to see if they notice the ambush. It doesn’t matter if they can succeed, just stop ahead of the stairs up to the second level. From here, explore the area with your camera and find which staircase is nearest to the most vulnerable member of your party.
Put the party into Sneak mode, and approach that member, getting as close as you can before combat triggers. From here, just focus your weakest party member’s doppelganger down and then focus fire your way through the others. This one’s just a fight, so play to your advantage. Your party’s doppelgangers may be mostly identical, but not fully the same as they have less HP and a more generic spell list. Use this expertise to your advantage and play this fight safely.
Party members who damage an enemy that isn’t their doppelganger take a -1 to all rolls and skills. This can stack up to three times. It’s meant to disincentivize anybody attacking a target that isn’t their doppelganger, but you can just ignore it for the most part. Just focus on the weak enemies and ruin their day.
Faith Leap Trial
The Faith Leap Trial is most likely to be annoying among the trials, but we’ve got some great ways to make it easier. As you enter the Faith Leap Trial room, click O to send the camera into a vertical view for Tactical Mode. On the floor, there’s a purple rug that shows a rudimentary room layout that mirrors the trial ahead.
NOTE: TO START, DO NOT ACTIVATE THE STATUE AT THE START OF THE HALL. YOU WILL ONLY HAVE THREE TRIES ON THIS TRIAL AFTER ACTIVATING THE STATUE. IT’S BEST SAVE THE GAME, TRY UNTIL YOU MANAGE TO GET TO THE END OF THE TRIAL WITH ONE CHARACTER. AND THEN ACTIVATE THE STATUE, COLLECT THE GEM, THEN TELEPORT TO SAFETY.
The rug lays out the invisible bridges that are hidden in the darkness of the trial. At the entrance to the trial, exploring with your camera can let you see glimpses of the bridges. They will disappear the closer you get, so referencing the rug or watching a video walkthrough is often best. This trial is simple, just get to the far side of the room by walking along the bridges, then activate the statue to take the Umbral Stone and teleport back.
The Silent Library
There’s one unaccounted-for room in the Gauntlet of Shar right now, and that’s the Silent Library. The Silent Library holds an incredibly important story item that can eventually be upgraded into one of the best Legendary items in the game. It’s not absolutely necessary to collect, but we recommend doing it if you have Shadowheart in your party.
Check out our separate guide to the Silent Library, which will tell you everything you need to know about this room.
Whether or not you want to use the Spear of Night on the Nightsong is up to you, but the spear is good to have no matter what.
Find the Nightsong
Your next step is to go to the pedestal that will be indicated on your Quest map. Insert an Umbral Gem to move the elevator down to the door to the end of the Gauntlet. From there, place your last Umbral Stones in the pedestal in front of the door. This will open the door and set you in front of a portal. Taking this portal will bring you to the last phase of the Dungeon.
Here you’ll be confronted with the identity of the Nightsong, and what you do will depend on you as a player. This section is easiest if you have already killed Balthazar the Necromancer, or else you’ll be forced to fight him and a huge swarm of undead.
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