Baldur's Gate 3: How to free Shadowheart and have her join your party

Shadowheart in Baldur's Gate 3.
Shadowheart in Baldur's Gate 3. (Image credit: Windows Central)

Make sure you don't miss out on the Elf Cleric.

Baldur's Gate 3 is here, and in classic Larian Studios fashion, it's extremely easy to miss out on some of your party members. Shadowheart, an elven cleric of Shar who brings some healing abilities early on, is certainly easier to find than some of your other party members but that doesn't mean you can't miss out if you aren't careful. 

Fortunately, I've got you covered. Here's how to free Shadowheart and ensure that you're able to recruit her. Just don't expect her to land hit after hit immediately upon grabbing her, because that's really not her focus. At all. 

How to free Shadowheart in Baldur's Gate 3

Follow the thump when in the Nautiloid. (Image credit: Windows Central)

You'll first encounter Shadowheart extremely early on in the game as you make your way through the Illithid Nautaloid. As you enter the room in the image above, follow the thumping noise and you'll discover Shadowheart trying to break free of her pod to no avail. After a brief conversation, it's time to make sure you save your game. Go ahead and get in the habit of saving frequently across different slots, because it's something you're going to be doing a lot in order to avoid disaster through your time in the Forgotten Realms. 

Following this, you need to interact with the console directly to the right of the pod. There are a couple of different ways to free Shadowheart. If you're playing a Sorcerer, you can pass an Arcana check to immediately recognize how the Illithid control setup works, drawing the correct rune to open the pod. 

If you fail that check and don't feel like reloading your save to try again, or if the option isn't available based on your character stats and class, then it's time to go looking for a key. Head through the orifice directly ahead of the console. You'll enter a room with multiple dead bodies to loot. Looting the body at the very back of the room near a brain in a jar with reward you with an Eldritch Rune.

Not like they need it anymore. (Image credit: Windows Central)

Now, head back to the room you came from and save your game again. After that, interact with the console and select "Insert the rune into the socket."

At this point, it'll be unclear to your character exactly what this console does. If you have a high enough Arcana stat, you can pass a Difficulty-10 check to understand what it does. You'll learn that the console, equipped with this rune, will open up the pod instead of harming its occupant. Now, select "Place your hand on the console." 

You need to then choose "Will the pod to open," which will require you to pass a Difficulty-1 Wisdom check. As any Dungeons and Dragons player will tell you, a 1-in-20 chance occurs all too often. If you fail this check, reload your save and try again. On a successful roll, the pod will open, allowing you to interact with Shadowheart and have her join your escape party aboard the Nautiloid. 

After escaping the Nautiloid in a bit, Shadowheart will be directly in front of you on the beach. It's borderline impossible to miss her, but you need to wake her up in order for her to come with you and join your party. Just make sure you don't dismiss her and she'll join you on your journey.

A growing gaggle of the eclectic

As you continue your journey, you'll find even more characters to join your party. While you can only be accompanied by three at a time, the others rest at your camp, so feel free to shake things up and swap them out as much as you'd like. Consider keeping Shadowheart close by early on, as even if you're not pursuing a romance with her, her healing abilities can be the difference between victory and defeat in some early battles.

Baldur's Gate 3 is currently available on Windows PC, PlayStation 5, and Xbox Series X|S digitally, with a physical deluxe edition of the game available for preorder and slated to arrive later in 2024. On Xbox Series X, this physical edition comes with the game's latest patch across three discs, with a variety of goodies such as 32 stickers, a Mind Flayer poster, and a map of the game world. 

In our 10/10 review for Baldur's Gate 3, freelance contributor Jennifer Young wrote that "Character voice acting, motion capture, and a spellbinding soundtrack make the game world feel alive and the storytelling compelling. The only limit to your experience is your imagination and creativity."


Baldur's Gate 3

Baldur's Gate 3 is filled with fun companions that you can hang out with and even romance. After saving Shadowheart, you're just barely starting out in collecting your party of weirdos, but with her help, you can keep them alive a bit longer.

Buy from:
GOG | Steam

Samuel Tolbert
Freelance Writer

Samuel Tolbert is a freelance writer covering gaming news, previews, reviews, interviews and different aspects of the gaming industry, specifically focusing on Xbox and PC gaming on Windows Central. You can find him on Twitter @SamuelTolbert.