Screenshot by GameSkinny

Baldur’s Gate 3: What Is the Strange Ox?

The Strange Ox is just as its name suggests, but there are more secrets to this bovine than meets the eye.

The Strange Ox is an anomalous creature. The bovine is first found in Emerald Grove, and it’s also present in Act 2 and Act 3 as long as you don’t kill it. Not everything is as it seems with this odd animal NPC, and there’s a reward for dealing with it. So what is the Strange Ox in Baldur’s Gate 3?

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What Is the Strange Ox in Baldur’s Gate 3?

Meeting the Strange Ox in Act 1

You may not even notice the Strange Ox your first time in Emerald Grove, as it’s found among the other cattle up near where you meet Wyll. It looks just like the others, but an Insight check will tell you that something isn’t quite right with this one. You’ll need to have a spell or potion for Speak to Animals to interact with it properly.

Screenshot by GameSkinny

Using Speak with Animals, interacting with the Strange Ox the first time is a relatively straightforward affair. It’s definitely not what it appears to be, but you don’t have an opportunity to discern what it is just yet. You just find out it’s not what it seems, and it’s on the way to Baldur’s Gate.

You can kill the Strange Ox now for part of the reward you’ll get for seeing its journey through: the Shapeshifter’s Boon Ring. Unfortunately, doing so means aggroing the entire grove. It may also cause a bug in Karlach’s companion questline, so it’s best to let it live. As for the Shapeshifter’s Boon Ring, it’s actually very good for certain builds. It gives the following boon:

  • Shapeshifter’s Boon: While shapeshifting or disguising yourself, gain a +1d4 bonus to all checks.

Where Is the Strange Ox in Act 2?

You’ll come across the Strange Ox again in Act 2, at the Last Light Inn, just a bit north of the building itself. Make sure to talk to it again using Speak with Animals. This mysterious bovine doesn’t seem like a direct threat, so it’s best to again let it be. You won’t get anything out of seeing this through yet, but you will in due time.

Where Is the Strange Ox in Act 3?

The final happenstance encounter with the Strange Ox happens in Act 3, in the stables of Rivington. It seems he is truly making his journey to Baldur’s Gate, but the visions he shares with you are not entirely pleasant. A Dark Urge character will have some unique dialogue with him this time around.

Whether you’re playing a Dark Urge character or not, you should let him live this time, too. Avoid killing him and instead take it up on its request to be sneaked into the city. Silly as it might be, it’ll turn into an apple for you to take into Baldur’s Gate without suspicion. You don’t necessarily want to be in the company of a shapeshifter at this point in the game, but you’ve seen it through this far, and the effort is worth it.

After taking the Strange Ox-turned-apple into Baldur’s Gate, you’ll receive the Shapeshifter’s Boon Ring that you would have received if you killed him at the start. That’s not all, though: he’ll come to help you in the game’s final fight. Though, some players may prefer to have the ring early on rather than the help at the end.

That answers the question: what is the Strange Ox in Baldur’s Gate 3. He’s a weird little guy, who is most definitely evil, but that is not your problem unless you want it to be. Check out some of our other BG3 guides here on GameSkinny, such as whether you should kill Nightsong or how to complete the Find Your Belongings quest.


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Ashley Shankle
Ashley's been with GameSkinny since the start, and is a certified loot goblin. Has a crippling Darktide problem, 500 hours on only Ogryn (hidden level over 300). Currently playing Darktide, GTFO, RoRR, Palworld, and Immortal Life.