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Baldur's Gate 3 - How To Free Orpheus

Find a way to free the Githyanki prince.

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The Baldur's Gate 3 Free Orpheus quest is one you'll find near the end of the lengthy campaign. It can be confusing since you receive the objective early in Act 3, and yet there are almost no indicators about what you need to do next. In this guide, we discuss how you can complete the Free Orpheus quest, as well as the various outcomes that you can expect to find. Likewise, please be aware that this article contains spoilers.

How to Free Orpheus in Baldur's Gate 3

The Baldur's Gate 3 Free Orpheus quest requires an important item: the Orphic Hammer. This whole arc stems from your encounter with the Emperor Mind Flayer in the Astral Plane. There, you'll see Orpheus, the Githyanki prince, shackled, and there's no way to free him... yet.

The idea is to proceed further into the campaign by collecting the remaining two Netherstones from Orin the Red and Lord Gortash. Only then will you be able to do head to the Morphic Pool in the northern portion of the Undercity Ruins. Be forewarned that this is a point of no return, and you'll be railroaded straight to the finale. You also won't be able to change your party for quite some time.

At the very end, one character will be a full-fledged Mind Flayer. Naturally, that person will have every high-tier Illithid Power, as well as control of the Triforce Triune Netherstone.

How to Get the Orphic Hammer

There are two ways to obtain the Baldur's Gate 3 Orphic Hammer legendary:

  • Deal With the Devil - Raphael will happily hand over the Orphic Hammer, as long as you promise to give him the Crown of Karsus. This will bind you to a pact.
  • House of Hope - If you decline Raphael's offer, want to reclaim your contract, or just do a bit of exploration, you can find the Orphic Hammer in the House of Hope, a hellish domain in Avernus. You will need to defeat Raphael in his own realm.
The Orphic Hammer can be found in the House of Hope, assuming you didn't obtain it from Raphael.
The Orphic Hammer can be found in the House of Hope, assuming you didn't obtain it from Raphael.

What Happens if You Don't Have the Orphic Hammer?

Assuming you didn't get the Orphic Hammer, you can still complete the Baldur's Gate 3 Free Orpheus quest. There are several outcomes.

Give the Netherstones to the Emperor

  • Select: "Release the Netherstones to the Emperor."
  • The Emperor, already a Mind Flayer, will control the Netherstones for the upcoming battle.
  • He will eat Orpheus' brain to gain more power.
  • He will act as a follower in your squad.

Let Karlach Become a Mind Flayer

  • Make sure Karlach is in your active party when you go to the Morphic Pool.
  • Later, once you talk to the Emperor, select: "Would I be able to wield..." or "I don't care about Orpheus..."
  • Karlach will suggest that she could become a Mind Flayer instead. She's dying anyway due to her Infernal Engine giving out.
  • Talk to Karlach again and pick: "Are you sure this is what you want?"
  • Follow up by saying: "All right. If this is what you really want, all I can say is thank you."
  • Talk to the Emperor and say: "Karlach will become the Mind Flayer."
  • She gobbles up Orpheus' brain.
Talk to the Emperor to make an important decision: who gets to have floppy tentacles?
Talk to the Emperor to make an important decision: who gets to have floppy tentacles?

Keep the Netherstones and Become a Mind Flayer

  • Select: "Would I be able to wield..." or "I don't care about Orpheus..."
  • You're given a chance to think it through. Talk to the Emperor and say: "Make me a Mind Flayer" and "Do it, Emperor."
  • Your character will control the Netherstones, but you'll turn into a Mind Flayer.
  • You know what happens to Orpheus' brain.

Lae'zel's Reaction if She's With You

  • Have Lae'zel in your active party when you go to the Morphic Pool.
  • Lae'zel will not be happy to see everyone craving the Githyanki prince's brain. She'll go against your plan.
  • You need to pass a DC30 Persuasion check. Otherwise, you have to fight and kill her. Even a non-lethal final blow counts as a kill.
Left: Lae'zel won't be too happy with everyone craving her prince's brain; Right: Karlach wants to become a Mind Flayer given her critical condition.

What Happens if You Have the Orphic Hammer?

A couple of alternative options become available for the Baldur's Gate 3 Free Orpheus quest. Just make sure you acquire and bring the Orphic Hammer with you when you go to the Morphic Pool/Astral Plane.

The Emperor's Reaction

  • The Emperor thinks that it's imperative that someone plays the role of Hannibal Lecter since Orpheus is already playing Paul.
  • If you're adamant that you'll free Orpheus, the Emperor will leave to join the forces of the Netherbrain.

Lae'zel's Reaction

  • Since you have the Orphic Hammer, Lae'zel will keep insisting that you use it to save Orpheus.
  • You can do just that by equipping the Orphic Hammer and striking the two crystals to destroy them.

Should Orpheus Turn Into a Mind Flayer or Remain a Githyanki

  • If either your character or Karlach already turned into a Mind Flayer, Orpheus will remain a Githyanki once you free him. He's got several Monk abilities, and he'll act as a follower for the battles ahead.
  • You can also have Orpheus turn into a Mind Flayer:
    • "There is another way--we will free Orpheus."
    • "Enough! I have the hammer--I will free Orpheus." - This will cause the Emperor to leave so he can be assimilated by the Netherbrain.
    • Once Orpheus is freed, talk to him: "I had no choice. Without your powers, I would have died."
    • "Let's forget about the past. I was misled. What now?"
    • "Someone will need to turn into a Mind Flayer. Are you willing to do that?"
    • "You are a true hero."
Orpheus woke up just for this. The poor guy.
Orpheus woke up just for this. The poor guy.

And with that, you'll free Orpheus in Baldur's Gate 3, but he'll also become a Mind Flayer anyway. Similar to the Emperor, he'll also act as a follower in your squad. Likewise, note that you might encounter some bugs here, such as telling Orpheus that Lae'zel died, even though she's right behind you.

From this point, you'll continue onward to the finale. You do get to reunite with some familiar faces that you've met throughout your journey. We discuss these peeps in our Gather Your Allies guide.

Baldur's Gate 3 is filled to the brim with activities and secrets. You'll no doubt be part of an adventure that can take countless hours to complete. For other tips, you can visit our BG3 guides hub.

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