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Baldur’s Gate 3: How to Save Shadowheart (Illithid’s Captive)

Here's how to save Shadowheart in Baldur's Gate 3, as well as how to recruit her later on.

You’ll want to know how to save Shadowheart in Baldur’s Gate 3, adding the powerful Cleric to your team. You can interact with her early on in the game while on the Nautiloid during the prologue, which leads to the “Rescue the Illithid Captive” side quest, and there are several opportunities to recruit her, as well. She’s initially trapped in a pod, but she won’t stay that way for long.

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How to Save Shadowheart (Illithid’s Captive) in Baldur’s Gate 3

Here’s how to save Shadowheart in Baldur’s Gate 3:

  • Go to the Nautiloid’s upper chamber.
  • Go to the pod in the upper-left corner.
  • Speak to Shadowheart.
  • Find the Elaborate Key.
  • Acquire the Eldritch Rune.
  • Use the Eldritch Rune in the pod chamber.
  • Choose the Illithid Wisdom option.

Once aboard the Nautiloid, make your way to the upper chamber, where you’ll see multiple pods in the center. These will release mind-controlled thralls that you have to fight, so be prepared. Shadowheart’s pod, however, is in the upper-left corner of the room. Talk to her, then follow these steps to rescue her.

How to Free Shadowheart From the Pod

  • Go to the room in the northern section of the chamber. There’s a hapless victim that would turn into a trapped Mindflayer. However, you’ll see a corpse on the raised steps with the Elaborate Key.
  • Return to the pod chamber, and use the Elaborate Key to open the chest. Grab the Eldritch Rune that’s inside.
  • Next, interact with the terminal next to her pod. Place the Eldritch Rune, then choose the Illithid Wisdom option.

If you do the above steps correctly, you’ll save Shadowheart in Baldur’s Gate 3 and complete the “Rescue the Illithid Captive” side quest. As a Trickster Domain Cleric, she’ll provide some much-needed buffs to your team, making her integral if you want to defeat Commander Zhalk and the Mindflayer.

How to Recruit Shadowheart After the Prologue

You can recruit Shadowheart in the following locations after the prologue:

  • On the beach.
  • Near the Abandoned Ruins.
  • At Druid Grove.

After the Nautiloid crashes, you’ll find yourself on the beach. Depending on your actions, there are certain locations where you’ll be able to recruit her. Since I always rescue her in my playthroughs, I find her just a few steps away from where my character wakes up on the beach.

You’ll also gain approval points because you lent a helping hand on the Nautiloid. The times I haven’t saved her, she’s just a short distance to the north, in front of a large doorway that leads to the Abandoned Ruins. You’ll see the Cleric trying to open the door (as shown in my image below).

Screenshot by GameSkinny

If you didn’t meet her in the above locations, head to Druid Grove. You should find her waiting for you among the refugees and Druids.

That’s how to save Shadowheart (Illithid’s Captive) in Baldur’s Gate 3. The Cleric class is one of the best options in the game, making her a mainstay in your party. For more tips and tactics, you can visit our BG3 guides hub.

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Jason Rodriguez
Jason Rodriguez is a game reviewer and guides writer from the Philippines. With around 5,000 published articles, he's freelanced for numerous outlets, including GameSkinny, GameSpot, Polygon, IGN, PCGamesN, PC Invasion, and more.
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Melissa Sarnowski
Melissa Sarnowski has been working as a gaming writer professionally for two years, having been at GameSkinny for over a year now as a horror beat writer. She has an English degree from University of Wisconsin - Madison. While she focuses on all things horror, she also enjoys cozy games, MMOs like FFXIV and WoW, and any and everything in between.