One of my biggest pain points with Baldur’s Gate 3 is its vague journal. In my first playthrough, I spent more time than I’m willing to admit chasing false leads because quest descriptions made it seem like solutions were hidden in the nooks and crannies of places I’d already been, only to find out they were on a completely different side of the map in a seemingly unrelated quest line. But the more I explore the game, the more I realize solutions to its biggest obstacles are often right in front of you, and that includes the Shadow-Cursed Lands that you’ll have to cross to reach Moonrise Towers.
As soon as you enter the Shadow-Cursed Lands, you’ll realize that almost all your characters take passive damage just being there. That’s the nature of the dark curse that has overtaken this area, and why Halsin wants to lift the hex while you’re there. Shadowheart, by the grace of her goddess Shar, is mostly immune to this damage, so she’s a good person to have in this area. But what about everybody else? Well, your goal is to make it deep enough into the Shadow-Cursed Lands to meet Isobel, who can cast a spell of protection on you so you can navigate these lands without having to worry about the curse at all. But there’s a lot of distance to cross and fights to deal with before you get there, and Baldur’s Gate 3 does send you on a bit of wild goose chase looking for a solution.
In a previous quest in the Grymforge where you free True Soul Nere from a cave-in, if you kill him (which you probably should), you’ll gather he used a pixie-powered lantern to cross the Shadow-Cursed Lands without taking constant damage. Because the journal entry for crossing the Shadow-Cursed Lands is vague, you might think you need something magical to peacefully walk through the area. Because of this, I spent a lot of time looking for pixies, or even a lantern, only to come up with nothing. Eventually, I stocked up on healing potions and powered through the area until I reached a safe haven where Isobel cast a spell to protect me and my party. But it turns out, you don’t need to do that. The tool you need to cross the Shadow-Cursed Lands is right at the entrance when you enter through the Grymforge.
As soon as you enter, you’ll see a brazier with a few unlit torches inside. Just pick up one of these bad boys and it will become your character’s “light source” that you can pull out of your inventory and carry with you. It turns out, you don’t need magical light to avoid the Shadow-Cursed Lands onslaught of passive damage, you just need any light source. A simple torch will do, as long as your team stays close to the torch’s flame. Keep this in mind as you deal with some of the combat encounters between here and Isobel, but it will make crossing the Shadow-Cursed Lands much easier, and you won’t waste a lot of time trying to find a pixie to light your way.
For more on Baldur’s Gate 3, check out Kotaku’s review.