Baldur’s Gate 3: Should You Help He Who Was?

Will you aid this Necromancer in Baldur's Gate 3?

Screenshot by GameSkinny

You might be wondering if you should help He Who Was in Baldur’s Gate 3. This Necromancer can be found in the Shadow-Cursed Lands in Act 2, and it seems he wants a dead woman to continue to suffer for her sins. Our guide discusses if you should bring him Madeline’s Ledger as part of the Baldur’s Gate 3 Punish the Wicked quest.

Should You Help He Who Was in Baldur’s Gate 3

The Baldur’s Gate 3 He Who Was NPC can be found in the northern section of the Shadow-Cursed Lands (X: 124; Y: 106). Before you start exploring the region, however, I advise you to obtain a working Moonlantern. That’s because certain areas are shrouded in a form of magical darkness, which will quickly deplete the HP of your party members.

How to Start Punish the Wicked

Once you have a Moonlantern, head to the aforementioned coordinates and talk to He Who Was. He says that the corpse you see before you is that of a woman who has committed a grievous crime. He wants to bring “justice” in a way. To do that, you must recount the woman’s sins by finding her ledger. If you agree, you’ll start the Baldur’s Gate 3 Punish the Wicked quest.

Screenshot by GameSkinny

Where to Find Madeline’s Ledger

Our next goal is to find Madeline’s Ledger. It’s located in the Waning Moon, a tavern just south of Last Light (X: -212; Y: -72). Once inside, you’ll meet a grotesque brewer named Thisobald Thorm, who challenges you to a drinking game. I suggest keeping a backup save for this. You might also want to enable the Karmic Dice option. That’s because you have to succeed in multiple Persuasion and Constitution checks.

In my case, I chose Shadowheart for this task. I had Karmic Dice enabled, and she was buffed with Guidance. Moreover, I passed a check where she asked her goddess for a blessing. These ensured complete success in all the rolls I encountered, to the point where Thisobald Thorm collapsed dead. I was also able to obtain the “Lack of Moderation is Key” and “I’ve Had Worse” inspiration points for the Haunted One and Outlander, respectively.

Either way, the Baldur’s Gate 3 Madeline’s Ledger item is actually hidden in the floorboards next to the bar counter. Interact with the floorboards, pick up the document, and read it.

Screenshot by GameSkinny

How to Interact with Madeline and He Who Was

Return to He Who Was and tell him about the ledger. He’ll then use his necromantic powers, causing Madeline’s spirit to enter his body. Talk to He Who Was/Madeline, and you’ll learn that she caused the deaths of the tavern’s patrons. It’s up to you to decide what happens next:

  • There are dialogue options where you act with hostility toward He Who Was, which will lead to a battle. Defeating him nets you the Raven’s Gloves, which can summon a raven creature.
  • Alternatively, you can goad Madeline into feeling guiltier about her actions. You can keep telling Madeline to stab herself, which will, evidently, make He Who Was knife his own stomach repeatedly.
  • Lastly, you can pick a more lenient approach, one where Madeline accepts her guilt, which will also cause He Who Was to leave.
Screenshot by GameSkinny

These are the outcomes if you decide to help He Who Was in Baldur’s Gate 3. Since you’re already exploring the Shadow-Cursed Lands in Act 2, you might as well investigate Last Light Inn. For more tips and tactics, visit our BG3 guides hub.

About the author

Jason Rodriguez

Jason Rodriguez is a game review and guide writer from the Philippines. He's basically a rare Pokémon.