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Baldur’s Gate 3: How to Save & Recruit Halsin

One of the best things about Baldur’s Gate 3 is the companions that Larian Studios has designed to accompany you on your journey. However, it isn’t always obvious how to go about recruiting them. In fact, the wrong choices could even lead to some of them dying without you ever realizing that they were supposed to be playable characters. One such example is the druid Halsin, who we’ll be going over how to save and recruit in Baldur’s Gate 3 today.

[Act 1] How to Find & Save Halsin

Halsin, arch druid of the Emerald Grove, and recruitable companion in Baldur's Gate 3.
Image: Larian Studios via HGG / Cody Campbell

Halsin is one of the few characters that’s not playable from the start of the game and must be recruited partway through your adventure. While most of your companions can be recruited simply by talking to them on the beach you arrive at after the prologue, you’ll have to infiltrate a heavily armed goblin camp and complete a lengthy side quest to recruit Halsin.

That being said, having a powerful spellcaster in your party who also just so happens to be able to turn into a cave bear is pretty handy, so it’s definitely worth the extra effort. Just note that you won’t be able to fully recruit Halsin until you reach Act 2 of Baldur’s Gate 3.

Missing Arch-Druid

Most players will first hear about Halsin early on in Act 1 at the Emerald Grove. This druid-created refuge is located directly north of the starting location, right after the Nautiloid crashes. It’s hard to miss with its large wooden walls that are keeping the goblins and other threats out. Not to mention the combat encounter that occurs when you first approach it.

Players will quickly learn that a band of displaced Tieflings have taken sanctuary here to escape from the goblins. However, the druids who are currently in charge of the Emerald Grove are in the process of performing a magic ritual to isolate themselves and their grove from the threats of the material plane, which will abandon the Tiefling refugees to their fate.

More importantly, you’ll also learn that this is happening because Halsin, the druids’ true leader, has gone missing. His assistant, Nettie, and several other NPCs will charge you with finding him.

Nettie, the assistant to Halsin, requests that you find and bring him back.
Image: Larian Studios via HGG / Cody Campbell

You technically don’t need to go to the Emerald Grove at all before you find Halsin, but this will give you the quest marker to search for the powerful druid leader.

Freeing (Bear) Halsin From Prison

Halsin is located in the heart of the large Goblin Camp that is located on the western portion of the map. It’s heavily guarded by dozens of goblins, a few bugbears, and even an ogre—so fighting your way in can be pretty tricky if you aren’t at a high enough level. Most players will probably explore the region and get at least a few levels under their belt before attempting to take on the camp.

The gates leading to the Shattered Sanctum where Halsin is located.
Image: Larian Studios via HGG / Cody Campbell

Alternatively, you can try talking or sneaking your way into the camp by passing a couple of skill checks. It’s fully possible to reach Halsin this way, but you will still have to engage in at least a little bit of violence before he’ll join your party.

To find Halsin, you’ll have to go through the camp and find the large double doors that lead to a region called the Shattered Sanctum. All the way in the back-right corner of the room is another door leading to an area where goblins are tormenting a captive bear, who is actually a shape-shifted Halsin.

Regardless of how you approach the situation, you’ll end up having to kill off the goblins that are tormenting Halsin in order to get him on your side. Make sure you take out the goblins who run for help, otherwise all the NPCs in the camp will automatically turn hostile towards you.

Afterwards, Halsin will revert to his human form and thank you for the rescue, but he can’t leave or join your party just yet. Halsin will task you with taking out the goblin camp’s leaders: three True Souls located in the Shattered Sanctum. These are Gut, Minthara, and Dror Ragzlin.

Killing the Goblin Camp Leaders

Dror Ragzlin - one of the 3 goblin camp leaders you need to kill to recruit Halsin.
Image: Larian Studios via HGG / Cody Campbell
  • Gut is a goblin located right near the entrance of the Shattered Sanctum. You probably spoke with her on your way inside if you didn’t end up fighting and killing her already. You can easily isolate her by speaking with her and asking her to take a look at your brain.
  • Minthara is a Drow who can be found in a small room on the northeast corner of the map in a library-like area. She is also a recruitable character, but you cannot recruit both her and Halsin as you must either destroy the grove to recruit her or kill her to recruit Halsin.
  • Dror Ragzlin is the most challenging of the True Souls. He is a Hobgoblin located in the chamber just west of Minthara, guarding a vault of ill-gotten goods. Dror is surrounded by allies which makes bringing him down in a head-on fight quite a challenge. Killing him will also turn every NPC in the camp hostile (regardless if they witnessed the fight or not).

Once all three enemies have been eliminated, you can inform Halsin that the True Soul leaders are dead, and he will ask to meet you back in Emerald Grove. If for some reason Halsin is no longer at his spot in the holding cell, he may have already returned to the Grove, so check there.

Halsin’s return to the Grove should resolve the conflict between the druids and the Tieflings. To celebrate the peaceful resolution (and destruction of the goblin forces), a party will be held at your camp. You’ll be able to speak with Halsin, who will agree to join your camp and accompany your party to the Moonrise Towers.

Halsin offering to temporarily join your party/camp in Baldur's Gate 3
Image: Larian Studios via HGG / Cody Campbell

However, your work isn’t done just yet. Although Halsin has joined your camp temporarily, you will have to continue to Act 2 in order to fully recruit him and make him a permanent party member in Baldur’s Gate 3.

[Act 2] Cleanse the Shadow-Cursed Lands & Recruit Halsin

When setting out for Act 2, you will either have to traverse the Underdark or the Mountain Pass before reaching an area called the Shadow-Cursed Lands. This region is cursed with a magical fog that damages anyone not protected by a shroud of light or a magical blessing.

You will eventually reach a fortified settlement called the Last Light Inn. If you speak to Halsin after reaching this area, he will tell you that the curse on the land can be removed if you find a fey spirit that has taken the form of a child named Thaniel. You’ll need to find him in order to recruit Halsin, but you’re going to have to jump through a lot of hoops to track Thaniel down.

IMPORTANT: To complete Halsin’s personal quest, you must successfully defend Isobel. If you fail, Last Light Inn will be consumed by the curse, permanently locking you out of recruiting Halsin.

Waking Up Art Cullagh

Art Cullagh has information on where to find Thaniel for Halsin's personal quest.
Image: Larian Studios via HGG / Cody Campbell

You will first need to find a man in the Last Light Inn named Art Cullagh, who is trapped in a magical sleep. In order to wake him up and learn the location of Thaniel, you’ll first need to go to an area called the House of Healing which is located out in the far western part of the Shadow-Cursed Lands. However, you can only get there once you’ve progressed the main story far enough that you’ve received certain protections that allow you to delve into the deeper parts of the area.

Malus Thorm must die for you to recruit Halsin in Baldur's Gate 3.
Image: Larian Studios via HGG / Cody Campbell

Once you arrive at the House of Healing, you’ll need to find and kill a fanatical Drow surgeon named Malus Thorm and take his lute. There are a couple approaches to do this, including convincing the mad doctor to kill himself or just straight up combat. Afterwards, return to the inn and use the lute to wake Cullagh.

Speak to Cullagh and tell him you will bring Halsin to meet him. Then return to your camp, grab Halsin, and come back. Cullagh will give a vague hint about where Thaniel might be, but Halsin will recognize the area and tell you to meet him by the lakeshore.

Using the lute to wake up Art Callagh.
Image: Larian Studios via HGG / Cody Campbell

Note: If Cullagh has died prior to your waking him with the lute because you progressed the main story too far, you can still get the necessary information by casting the Speak with Dead spell. However, this does not work if the shadow curse consumes Last Light Inn.

Defending the Portal & Recovering Thaniel

IMPORTANT: Make sure to save before this, as the following encounter can be rather difficult.

Once you have the location, Halsin will meet you by the lakeshore just north of the Last Light Inn where he will begin a ritual and summon a portal to rescue Thaniel. At this point, he will ask you to defend the portal from the enemies that will be attracted by it.

Defend the portal so Halsin can recover Thaniel.
Image: Larian Studios via HGG / Cody Campbell

For several rounds of combat, you will have to fend off swarms of undead from destroying the portal. None of the creatures are particularly strong, but there are enough of them that their action economy can be overwhelming, making this quite a challenging fight. We strongly recommend bringing Shadowheart for this fight, as her cleric abilities are fantastic for repelling the undead.

Luckily, the portal itself has a fair bit of health, so you have some leeway in defending it. However, if it takes too much damage, it’ll collapse and result in Halsin being killed off. Unsurprisingly, that’s bad for recruiting him, so we hope you had that save file prepared.

Shadowheart is a fantastic choice for driving off the undead.
Image: Larian Studios via HGG / Cody Campbell

Once it’s finally over, Halsin will come back through the portal with Thaniel. The boy will be gravely injured, but alive. Halsin will ask to take him back to your camp.

Go and meet with Halsin there, and he will tell you that Thaniel’s essence has been split in half, and that the other half is linked to some sign of life in the darkness. He will ask you to help him find it, but, luckily, you don’t need to do that in order to recruit him.

At this point, Halsin will say that he’s asked enough favors from you without joining in the fight and he will finally volunteer to join you as a full-fledged member of your party. Congrats!

Congrats, you've finally managed to recruit Halsin in Baldur's Gate 3.
Image: Larian Studios via HGG / Cody Campbell

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Thank you for reading our Baldur’s Gate 3 guide on how to save and recruit Halsin! If there’s anything else you want clarification on or think we missed, let us know in the comments below. And don’t forget to subscribe to the High Ground for more tips, tricks, and helpful information!

Happy gaming!

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