How to read the Necromancy of Thay in Baldur’s Gate 3 and what it does

Baldur’s Gate 3 is filled to the brim with mysterious and magical objects to find. Some, like scrolls, are obviously beneficial to you, while others are a little more obscure. If you’ve gotten far enough into the game to get the Necromancy of Thay, then you should already understand that Baldur’s Gate 3 isn’t afraid to give you choices that have serious and lasting consequences. At the same time, you went through a lot of trouble just to get this clearly evil-looking tome so you may have attempted to give it a little peak already, only to see that it is locked shut and requires a special item to open. We’ll show you where to find the special item you need to open the Necromancy of Thay, but more importantly, what should happen if you choose to indulge your curiosity and read it?

How to open the Necromancy of Thay

A map of the whispering depths in Baldur's Gate 3.
Larian Studios

The item you’re after to crack this book open is called a Dark Amythyst. This gemstone is located not terribly far from where you pick up the book itself. First, go into the middle of the Blighted Village and investigate the well. Make sure you either use Investigation or toss a coin in to get the option to climb down yourself. This will bring you into the Whispering Depths. Choose to fight or bypass the Phase Spiders here by sneaking or turning invisible if that’s an option for you and make your way to the northwest end. You’ll know you’re in the right spot if you see the Phase Spider Matriarch. Unless you’re a high level, we advise avoiding this boss and finding a pile of bones on the western edge of the area. Next to them, you will see the purple Dark Amythyst.

With the Dark Amythyst in your inventory, you are able to crack open the book and read it if you dare.

What happens if you read the Necromancy of Thay?

Reading the necromancy of thay in Baldur's Gate 3.
Larian Studios

If you attempt to open the Necromancy of Thay at this point, you will first have three choices. First is to read it yourself, second to have Astarion read it, and finally, you can attempt to destroy it. Here’s how each one plays out.

Choosing to read the book as your main character will force you into several skill checks based on your Wisdom stat, each increasingly difficult. The first requires a roll of 10, followed by 15, and the last a 20 to succeed. Managing to pass any check will grant you a new trait called Forbidden Knowledge. This gives you +1 to all future Wisdom saving throws and skill checks. Pass all three checks and you will get the Speak with the Dead spell that lets you talk to corpses. Failing to pass these checks will give you a curse that debuffs all future Wisdom checks until you cure it.

If you have Astarion read the book, which will improve your relationship with him, he will read it and then stash it away with no immediate consequences.

Finally, if you’d rather not risk the implications of learning Speak with the Dead, or simply have too low a Wisdom stat to even want to attempt it, you can destroy the book. This evil book can’t be destroyed in normal ways, though, and only takes damage from Radiant attacks. If you don’t have any, Shadowheart’s Guiding Bolt will do the trick. Drop the book on the ground, take control of Shadowheart, and blast the book to oblivion. Be warned! Destroying the book will spawn three Shadow enemies that can be very tough to deal with.

How to finish reading the Necromancy of Thay

A book with an evil face in Baldur's Gate 3.
Larian Studios

If you took the risk to read the Necromancy of Thay and it paid off, you’re not quite done. There’s one last part of the book you can’t quite read yet, and won’t get a chance to until Act 3. To do this, you’re first going to have to get another book called The Tharciate Codex from the Sorcerous Vault. This is where Lorroakan stores his most valuable magical relics beneath Ramazith’s Tower. Once in the vault, keep going through the first set of doors and beyond a portal until you find the door with Ramazith on it. Past this door, you will be presented with three more doors: Elminster, Silverhand, and Karsus. To get where you need to be you need to first go through the Silverhand door, then the Abjuration door, turn back through the Wish door, then pull the lever to unlock, and go through the Elminster door.

Grab The Tharciate Codex and read this book to gain the knowledge needed to finally read the final part of the Necromancy of Thay, but also a curse that gives you -5 Constitution until you cure it. The final part of the book will require one last Wisdom check of 20, for which you will get the Danse Macabre spell that you can use to summon six ghouls to fight for you once per long rest.

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