Should You Save Orpheus in Baldur’s Gate 3?

This significant end-game choice can have compelling consequences – find out if you should save Orpheus in Baldur’s Gate 3!

Should You Save Orpheus in Baldur’s Gate 3 (BG3)

In Baldur’s Gate 3, Orpheus is a Githyanki lore character you slowly learn more about over time until a significant reveal at the end of Act 2 pulls him directly into the main story. This first encounter between Acts 2 and 3 will not yet give you any choice in dealing with the difficult situation. However, later events in Act 3 will allow you to free the Githyanki Prince. Choosing whether or not to side with Orpheus is one of the most significant end-game choices you will make, and it will greatly impact how your final story plays out.

Consequently, this post will contain major spoilers for late Act 3 of Baldur’s Gate 3! It will also include information about how this quest can impact companion relationships and the epilogue.

Finding Orpheus in Baldur’s Gate 3

Finding Orpheus in Baldur's Gate 3

Your discovery of Orpheus will happen automatically during the main story events of Baldur’s Gate 3. This occurs at the end of Act 2, with a camp scene that serves as a bridge into Act 3. As your party gets ready to bed for the night, just a day outside the city, you will be suddenly attacked.

Furthermore, this attack happens before you can fully Long Rest for the night. So, if any of your party is low on health or spell slots, it would be best to use some consumables or ensure spell scrolls are in your inventory before clicking on the bed roll to sleep.

Your main goal is to get your party up to and through the portal. Don’t take too much time trying to beat the aggressors. Once you get inside the Astral Prism and make your way forward, you’ll get a huge reveal concerning who your Spirit Guardian really is. There will be a pause in the battle, giving the Emperor a brief chance to explain himself.

At this point, you will learn of Orpheus and that his abilities are actually keeping you safe from the Elder Brain. The Emperor will insist that you help him defeat Orpheus’ honor guard so he can keep Orpheus trapped and continue usurping his powers.

Significantly, you will have no choice here. You MUST side with the Emperor and fight the honor guard. If you refuse, it will be a game over.

Choosing to Save Orpheus in Baldur’s Gate 3

BG3 House of Hope location map Orphic Hammer Gauntlets of Hill Giant Strength Haarlep

The point at which you can make the final choice to save Orpheus is much later in Baldur’s Gate 3, just before the final fight against the Elder Brain. However, if you want to be capable of saving him when the time comes, you first need to get the Orphic Hammer. Only if you have this hammer with you (meaning a current party member is carrying it in their inventory on your final visit inside the Astral Prism) will you have the option to save Orpheus.

Choosing to save Orpheus means siding against the Emperor. We’ll cover the consequences of the choice in more detail below. For now, know that within the story of Baldur’s Gate 3, there is no way to play the game and no dialogue options to choose, which will cause Orpheus and the Emperor to work together.

Baldur's Gate 3 Orphic Hammer

How to save Orpheus in Baldur’s Gate 3:

  1. Meet with Raphael in the Devil’s Den at Sharess’ Caress on Wyrm’s Crossing during Act 3
    • Agree to his deal, sign the contract, and he will automatically give you the Orphic Hammer
    • If you wish, you can enter the House of Hope and steal your contract so you are no longer bound by it
    • Continue the game until you reach the Morphic Pool and confront the Elder Brain
    • Shatter the Infernal Crystals holding Orpheus in place
  2. Meet with Raphael in the Devil’s Den at Sharess’ Caress on Wyrm’s Crossing during Act 3
    • Refuse his deal
    • Find a way into the House of Hope and steal the Orphic Hammer
    • Continue the game until you reach the Morphic Pool and confront the Elder Brain
    • Shatter the Infernal Crystals holding Orpheus in place

Consequences of Saving Orpheus in BG3

Consequences of Saving Orpheus in BG3

The immediate consequence of saving Orpheus in Baldur’s Gate 3 is that he will join your party as an ally and accompany you the rest of the way through the game and into the final fight. However, the flip side of that consequence is that you will lose the Emperor as an ally. He will completely leave your party. Moreover, he sees your actions as so awful that he has no choice but to return to the control of the Netherbrain.

Consequently, the departure of the Emperor means that you now have another serious problem and a new choice to make. Previously, the Emperor stated that only an Illithid can bring down the evolved Netherbrain. Without the Emperor, there are three options for who can become an Illithid and ultimately defeat the Netherbrain:

  1. The player character can choose to make the sacrifice. This change is irreversible, and you cannot change back. Will you retain anything of your soul and memories long term? The game leaves this question open-ended, though you will get some strong suggestions in the epilogue.
  2. Karlach can choose to make the sacrifice. This option is available only if she is in your active party during the dialogue scene.
  3. If no one volunteers, then Orpheus will make the sacrifice. However, he will not wish to live beyond the defeat of the Netherbrain. He can be convinced to live, but only if Lae’zel is present and willing to take his place as the leader/savior of the Githyanki people. However, failing that, he will demand that the party kill him.

Final Fight with the Elder Brain

Baldur's Gate 3 Final Fight with the Netherbrain Orpheus Globe of Invulnerability

Regardless of who becomes an Illithid in your game, there are additional changes to the final fight against the Netherbrain. As previously stated, if you choose to save Orpheus in Baldur’s Gate 3, he will accompany you throughout the final series of battles. He will be an official ally and attach himself to the party like a summoned Elemental, Myrmidon, or Cambion.

You will have full control over his movements in battle, and his skill set will provide you with access to some beneficial abilities. Globe of Invulnerability is probably the most useful spell, particularly in the final fight to reach the Netherbrain. The goal here is to reach the Crown of Karsus. The Illithid character must cast a unique spell, which takes some time to charge. If you send Orpheus with them, he can use the Globe of Invulnerability to protect them from interrupts.

Use Invisibility spells/scrolls/potions to get these two characters across the enemy-filled space first. Have the Illithid cast Karsus’ Compulsion and then Orpheus Globe of Invulnerability. Then try to get the rest of your party over and under the protection of the Globe with the Dash action and/or the Misty Step spell.

Finally, within the same final battle, you will encounter the Emperor before you reach the Netherbrain. They will comment against you, but they are now merely a puppet of the Netherbrain. Mechanically, it will fight much the same way as any other Illithid.

Romance with Lae’zel

Baldur's Gate 3 Lae'zel after the final battle, leaving with Orpheus

For Lae’zel, the discovery of Prince Orpheus will strongly impact her character and her struggles with Vlaakith’s betrayal. While she will stay with the party without too much trouble the first time he is discovered in the Astral Prism, saving Orpheus will likely become her ultimate goal in Baldur’s Gate 3. The only exception to this is if she has remained loyal to Vlaakith. Then, Vlaakith will command Lae’zel to kill Orpheus.

  1. If you side with the Emperor and let him kill Orpheus, Lae’zel will be very upset. Romantically, she will break things off. Moreover, she may even leave your party. There will be a high Persuasion check you can attempt to pass to convince her to stay. Or, you can bypass the check entirely by not having her in your party when you leave for the Morphic Pool.
  2. If you free Orpheus but Lae’zel is loyal to Vlaakith, she will want to kill him. She can be convinced to wait until after the defeat of the Netherbrain. But after that, she will either kill him or you must fight her. If Orpheus has become an Illithid, killing him may be easier. However, Lae’zel will leave afterward, returning to her Queen rather than staying with you.
  3. If you free Orpheus and become an Illithid yourself, Lae’zel can be convinced to stay with you. This was a change patched into the game with Patch 6. Previously, the fact that you were an Illithid caused Lae’zel to break off the relationship and leave.
  4. If you free Orpheus, no matter your physical appearance, you can join Lae’zel and Orpheus in their fight for the Githyanki people.

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