Baldur's Gate 3 Necromancy Of Thay: Read Or Destroy It?

The Necromancy of Thay is a very powerful dark book that you can find in Act 1 of Baldur's Gate 3. But when faced with the question to either read or destroy the book, what should you do?

Necromancy of Thay BG3 Title
Should you read or destroy the Necromancy of Thay in Baldur's Gate 3? | © Larian Studios /screenshot gameplay

One item that you can find quite early on in the game is the Necromancy of Thay. Once you find the book, you are faced with the decision to either read the book or destroy it. But what's the better option? Well, we've got all the answers to your questions here!

Now, if you're like me, you might have accidentally passed by the Necromancy of Thay, without even knowing it. So before we get into what to do with the book, I'll show you where you can find it first.

  • If you've enjoyed Baldur's Gate 3 thus far, maybe you'll like an older Larian Studios title: Divinity II?

Where To Find The Necromancy Of Thay

Hidden Cellar

In Act 1, after you leave the Emerald Grove and start your travels to the Goblin Camp, you'll have to go through the Blighted Village, which has been ransacked by Goblins. This is where your search for the Necromancy of Thay begins.

Shortly after you enter the Blighted Village (if you're coming from the Grove) you'll find this building to the west of the village.

Most things in this building will have already been rummaged through by the Goblins, but you'll want to look out for a book called the Apothecary's Ledger, that you can find on the counter. Once you've done that, you will start the quest.

Hidden Cellar Entrance bg3
This is where the "hidden" cellar entrance is. | © Larian Studios / screenshot gameplay

Now you'll want to find the "hidden" entrance to the cellar of this building. Honestly, this is actually the least hidden thing in this entire quest, so bear with me. You'll have to do quite a bit of searching throughout the whole quest.

The cellar entrance is just behind the counter, which I've discreetly marked in the picture up above. Once you've found the entrance, climb down the hatch into the cellar and look for a book called Healer's Log, which you'll want to read to learn more about balsam ointment (you'll need this for later).

Bg3 lever book
I really don't want to admit how long it took me to find this...| © Larian Studios / screenshot gameplay

This is where I struggled, but maybe I'm just really blind. In order to reach the book, you're going to look for a hidden passageway. To access that, you have to pull a lever, which is hidden behind some crates in the corner.

To actually find the lever, you have to break the crates that were standing right in front of it. Switch the lever to reveal the hidden passageway to the right of the lever and enter it.

Ornate Mirror

If you want to avoid battling foes, go around the coffins you can see in the room and head straight for the mirror in the corner of the room. The Ornate Mirror will talk to you and ask you a few questions.

Tell the mirror your name, that you are an ally of the mirror's master, that you do not like Szass Tam and use your knowledge from the Healers Log to tell the mirror that balsam is used to cure wounds. If you answer incorrectly, the mirror will spit out a floating ball that attacks you with fire.

By answering all the mirror's questions correctly, it will grant you access to the Dark Magician's Lair.

Look to the left-hand side of the lair to find a locked gate. Be careful, there's a trap right in front of it that you'll want to disarm. After you've disarmed the trap, you can either try to pick the lock of the gate, or use the rusted key, which you can find on the right-hand side of the lair. Unlock the gate and you've found the Necromancy of Thay!

How To Open The Necromancy of Thay

Well, you've found the Necromancy of Thay, but you can't read it just yet. The book is locked and needs the Dark Amethyst to open it. But don't worry, it's close by.

Leave the Dark Magician's Lair and head up to Blighted Village and look for the old well in the center of the town. Interact with the well to climb down into it and enter the Whispering Depths.

From here, you have two choices to clear the area. Either sneak your way through the caverns or battle against the Phase Spiders living down here. If you're not a fan of spiders either, I'd recommend going on without your party and to look for a camp to the left of the caves. Grab the Spiderstep Boots, put them on, use an invisibility spell, and you're good to go!

Make your way to the west of the caverns to find the Phase Spider Matriarch. Again, you can choose to either fight or attempt to sneak past this eight-legged fiend. Head west of the pit the Matriarch is in to find the glowing Dark Amethyst sitting in a pile of bones.

Head back outside if you want some peace and quiet to continue with this endeavor.

What Now – Read Or Destroy?

As soon as you have the Necromancy of Thay and the Dark Amethyst in your possession, you can try to open the book once again by selecting it in your inventory. But should you actually read it?

Well, the choice is evidently up to you. At the moment, we don't really know which choice is the "right" answer.

As soon as you open the book, you'll be given the option to either read or destroy the Necromancy of Thay. Right now we can only guess, that reading the book might have consequences much later on in the game, as Larian Studios like to do in their games, but we don't have any confirmation for that right now.

Should you choose to destroy the book, you won't face any advantages or disadvantages.

Destroying the book isn't as simple as just stepping on it, I fear. By examining the Necromancy of Thay, you'll see that the book can only be destroyed using Radiant damage, which isn't very popular. You can use Shadowheart's spell Guiding Bolt to destroy the Necromancy and rid the world of this evil.

Don't worry if you don't want to read the book, but still want to be able to speak to the dead in the game, though. You can still do so through other methods.

If you decide to take the risk of facing consequences later on and wish to read the book, you can gain the ability to speak to the dead. You'll have to successfully make quite a few wisdom checks, that get harder and harder as you read more and more of the book.

I'd recommend saving before you start reading the book, because if you fail these rolls, you'll get a temporary or even a permanent debuff if you fail multiple dice checks.

Successfully pass at least two dice checks, and you will gain a blessing from the book that lets you cast the Speak with the Dead spell, without actually having to use a spell slot for it.

Baldurs Gate 3 Astarion
Astarion seems to have quite the interest in this dark arts book. | © Larian Studios

By the way, if you're looking to romance Astarion in your play through, you can also give him the book to let him read it, as he is quite interested in the book once you find it. If you give it to him, he can read the book and will have to succeed the wisdom rolls, just like you would. If you give the book to him, you will not be able to get it back.

How To Finish Reading The Necromancy Of Thay

If you've found the book in Act 1, you won't be able to finish reading it to complete the quest for quite some time. Actually, you'll have to wait until Act 3 to finish your quest.

In order to finish reading the book, enter the Sorcerous Sundries Vault, located in the Sorcerous Sundries area. Once you've entered the vaults, go through the Silverhand door, and after that, go through the Evocation door. In that chamber, you'll want to choose the wish door and interact with the lever. After that, pick the Foresight door and return to the main area.

You'll now be able to enter Elminster's room, where you'll want to find the Tharchiate Codex. After you've removed the curse, read the book to be able to understand the runes in the rest of the Necromancy of Thay.

After reading the Tharchiate Codex, you can finish reading the Necromancy of Thay in order to complete the quest and gain the Danse Macabre spell, which allows you to summon six ghouls once every long rest.

What an adventure! Imagine, all that, just to read a book.

So much reading, are your eyes spinning now? How about just listening to the lovely voice of our EarlyGame colleague, while he gives you tips on what to play after Baldur's Gate 3?

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