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How to save Shadowheart in Baldur's Gate 3

Learn how to save Shadowheart on the Nautiloid in Baldur's Gate 3

A screenshot from Larian Studios' Baldur's Gate 3 showing party member Shadowheart
Image credit: Larian Studios

Want to know how to rescue the captive in Baldur's Gate 3? While exploring the Nautiloid ship at the start of Baldur's Gate 3, you'll find a mysterious woman trapped inside a mind flayer pod. This woman had been captured by the Illithid mind flayers, and is actually an important character in Baldur's Gate 3, so we're here to explain how to help them escape.

In this guide, we'll break down how to rescue the captive in Baldur's Gate 3's opening mission, so that you can help Shadowheart escape the mind flayer pod on the Nautiloid.

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How to save Shadowheart in Baldur's Gate 3

To save Shadowheart in Baldur's Gate 3, you must find an Eldritch Rune that's hidden nearby. You can then insert this into the console by her mind flayer pod, which then allows you to use it to save Shadowheart.

While you can also interact with the pod and converse with Shadowheart while trying to find a way to get it open, this doesn't actually yield any significant results. Using the Eldritch Rune is the only way to unlock it.

Baldur's Gate 3 image showing a player looking in the inventory of a corpse, hovering over an Eldritch Rune.
Image credit: Rock Paper Shotgun/Larian Studios

The Eldritch Rune is found at the end of an adjacent passage, into and out of which you'll see an Intellect Devourer running back and forth in a repeated loop. Follow the Intellect Devourer into the room, where you'll find another mind flayer pod in the centre of a large chamber.

Follow the walkway past the mind flayer pod and up the stairs on the other side, where you'll find a "Dead Thrall" corpse. Loot the corpse to find the Eldritch Rune, and then head back to Shadowheart and interact with the console on the right side of her pod.

When you interact with the console, you'll get the following option:

  • "There's a socket in the console, shaped like the rune you found. Insert it."

After inserting it, the console will power up (or come to life, because it's rather fleshy).

You'll then get two more options:

  • "Place your hand on the console."
  • Arcana check: "Take a closer look at the powered-up console".

The Arcana check has a difficulty class of 10, meaning that's the minimum number you need to achieve with your roll + any bonuses that you get from your abilities and proficiencies.

Don't worry if you don't succeed though, because it doesn't unlock any further options. Instead, it just gives some extra context for the device, explaining that it "seems more like a beating heart than a machine", prompting your character to think that it could open the nearby pod.

When you eventually place your hand on the pod, you'll get two more choices:

  • Illithid, Wisdom check: "Will the pod to open".
  • "Ignore the sensation".

If you choose to ignore the sensation, you are prompted to leave the pod, ending your interaction. However, you can simply approach and play through the scenario again.

If you decide to make the Illithid Wisdom check, you must exceed a measly minimum of 2. This is, of course, laughably easy, and succeeding will open the pod and release Shadowheart from captivity.

Regardless of whether you attempt to free Shadowheart or not, you'll meet her again shortly after escaping the Nautiloid and landing on the beaches below. She'll join your party either way, but failing to save her on the Nautiloid will move her approval rating down, which is bad if you want to romance her.

That wraps up everything you need to know to save Shadowheart in Baldur's Gate 3. If you're still figuring out which playstyle you prefer but fully diving into the adventure, make sure to check out our Baldur's Gate 3 classes guide. For some extra loot early on, take a look at our guides on how to open the elaborate chest and how to move the scuffed rock in Baldur's Gate 3.

Disclosure: Former RPS deputy editor Adam Smith (RPS in peace) now works at Larian and is the lead writer for Baldur's Gate 3. Former contributor Emily Gera also works on it.

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About the Author
Hayden Hefford avatar

Hayden Hefford

Guides Writer

Hayden is a guides writer for RPS, having joined the team in September 2021 after a few months of freelancing for TheGamer. They're a big fan of survival games, especially those that focus on the undead. Zombies. Walkers. Shamblers. Whatever you call them, Hayden is definitely a fan.

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