Screenshot by GameSkinny

Baldur’s Gate 3: Should You Let Astarion Ascend

Should you let Astarion complete Cazador's ritual in Baldur's Gate 3?

After Raphael explains the purpose of the scars on Astarion’s back, Cazador’s ritual becomes a hot topic when talking to our favorite Vampire Spawn. He considers the possibility that he could take Cazador’s place and become an Ascendant Vampire in his place. Which raises the question: should you let Astarion ascend in Baldur’s Gate 3?

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Should You Let Astarion Ascend in Baldur’s Gate 3

Letting Astarion ascend makes him stronger and gives him new abilities, but the biggest differences between completing the ritual and stopping it are related to his story and personality.

In Act 3, you’ll have to face Cazador to complete Astarion’s personal quest, “The Pale Elf.” This comes with the biggest decision you’ll make with Astarion when you choose to let him ascend or not, a topic that you can speak with him about beforehand to learn about his plan. As with most BG3 choices, the answer will depend on your playthrough and what you’re looking for during your run.

Screenshot by GameSkinny

If Astarion Ascends

If Astarion ascends, his Bite ability is upgraded and he deals Necrotic Damage when he attacks. It also makes the fight against Cazador more difficult because you have a turn limit for defeating him before he completes the ritual, and interrupting it to stop the limit isn’t an option if you want Astarion to ascend. In terms of personality, Astarion becomes more power-hungry and obsessive, which is easier to see if you’re romancing him. Especially if you try to break up with him at the end of the game as he refuses and says that you belong to him.

If Astarion Doesn’t Ascend

If Astarion doesn’t ascend, you can disrupt the ritual by killing one of the Vampire Spawns which takes care of the turn limit. His abilities remain unchanged, and once the tadpoles are taken care of, he has to live in the shadows again. However, Astarion makes important realizations if he doesn’t ascend, and he’ll come around to feeling that being free from Cazador is enough for him.

So, should you let Astarion ascend in Baldur’s Gate 3? It depends. Ascending is considered his bad ending, but that can be fun for an evil playthrough. On the other hand, not ascending is fulfilling in terms of Astarion’s story and the growth he’s shown along the journey, even if he has to avoid the sun again. But this isn’t the only choice you’ll face, so head to our BG3 guide hub for topics like should you let Yenna stay at your camp and should you spare Viconia.


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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.