How to Successfully Navigate the Elder Brithvar Quest in Baldur’s Gate 3

In the vast world of Baldur’s Gate 3, players are faced with numerous quests and challenges. One of the most intriguing quests revolves around Elder Brithvar, a Duergar with a questionable agenda. This guide will walk you through the steps to beat this quest while providing valuable tips and insights along the way.

Understanding the Elder Brithvar Quest

The Elder Brithvar quest is part of Act One in Baldur’s Gate 3 and takes place in the Underdark. It intertwines with two other quests: “Deliver Nere’s Head” and “Free True Soul Nere.” These quests are centered around a drow named Nere, who has caused quite a few problems in the Myconid Colony.

How to Begin the Free True Soul Nere Quest

To initiate the Free True Soul Nere quest, you first need to reach Grymforge. Here, you will hear about a trapped True Soul in a cave. This information will be added to your list of available side quests. Your next step is to head towards the cave-in, where you’ll encounter Elder Brithvar, a Duergar seeking money owed to him by Nere.

It’s crucial to establish a rapport with Elder Brithvar to advance the quest. Assure him that you share his disdain for Nere and align with his cause. Successfully doing so will result in an additional objective: killing Nere and splitting his money. A persuasive conversation with Elder Brithvar can even increase your share of the profits.

Gathering Explosives from Philomeen

Before proceeding to rescue Nere, you’ll need explosives to clear the cave-in. If you have Smokepowder Bombs, you’re in luck, as two of these can do the job. However, be sure to warn the nearby gnomes before detonating the bombs to avoid unnecessary tension with the Duergar.

If you don’t have Smokepowder Bombs or prefer not to use them, there is an alternative. Elder Brithvar mentioned a person named Philomeen who ran by with a barrel of explosives. To find her hiding spot, head back towards the docks and convince the Duergar to leave. Unlock the double doors nearby, and continue along the secret path until you reach Philomeen. Speak with her and calm her down to obtain the Runepowder.

Rescuing Nere from the Cave-In

With the explosives in hand, it’s time to rescue Nere from the cave-in. Make your way back to the rubble and use a spell like Burning Hands to ignite the Runepowder and clear the way. Nere should still be alive, but time is of the essence as he can succumb to the poisonous gas if not saved promptly.

Once Nere is free, he will reveal his true nature by killing a gnome. At this point, you must decide whether to side with Nere or eliminate him.

Siding with Nere or Killing Him

Considering Nere’s cruelty, most players will likely choose to kill him. If you accepted Elder Brithvar’s earlier offer, you can do so with his assistance. This choice completes the Free True Soul Nere quest, allowing you to loot Nere’s body and retrieve his Illithid parasite, as well as fulfilling the Deliver Nere’s Head quest if initiated earlier.

However, if you rejected Elder Brithvar’s offer or didn’t interact with him at all, a fight with Nere and the Duergar becomes inevitable. Choosing to side with Nere means battling Elder Brithvar and his companions. If you fail to convince Nere to spare the gnomes, he may expose you as a traitor, leading to a more challenging fight.

It’s important to note that killing the gnomes will not free them, and the associated quest will remain unfulfilled. Each decision has consequences, so consider the implications carefully.

Rewards and Consequences

After the dust settles, players will receive various rewards, including the Illithid parasite. The method of obtaining this parasite differs based on whether Nere is alive or dead. It is either taken from his body or handed over by him. These rewards can impact your future gameplay, so choose wisely.

Baldur’s Gate 3 is renowned for its intricate choices, and the Elder Brithvar quest is no exception. Each decision can shape your character’s journey, leading to different outcomes and experiences. Be prepared to face the consequences of your choices throughout the game.


Successfully navigating the Elder Brithvar quest in Baldur’s Gate 3 requires careful consideration and strategic decision-making. By understanding the quest’s objectives, establishing rapport with Elder Brithvar, gathering explosives from Philomeen, and ultimately deciding whether to side with or eliminate Nere, players can progress through this engaging storyline.

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