Should you save or raid the Emerald Grove in Baldur's Gate 3?

four explorers stand in a green grove
(Image credit: Larian Studios)

One of the first major decision's you'll have to make in Baldur's Gate 3 is whether or not you want to save the Tieflings in the Emerald Grove or side with Minthara and the goblins and destroy it. While destroying the Grove leads you to be able to romance Minthara—a dangerous Drow, at that—saving the Grove means you can recruit Halsin and save a bunch of potential allies in the future.

Defeating Minthara and her minions is no easy task, however, and the rewards are slightly worrying at worst and net you some decent gold at best. The rewards you get for destroying the Grove also leave a lot to be desired. With that in mind, here's how to defeat Minthara and her goblin buddies to save the Emerald Grove, or how to go about raiding it.

Where to find the Emerald Grove

(Image credit: Larian Studios)

The Emerald Grove can be found to the north of the Roadside Cliffs. There's a fight against some goblins you'll need to do first before you gain entry, then you'll need to speak with Zevlor, Kagha and Nettie to get all the information you need—namely, whether you want to help the Tieflings or not. Wyll wants you to help them and Nettie will want you to find the First Druid Halsin, so it's up to you to decide what's next. Either way, it's off to the Goblin camp. 

Where to find the Goblin Camp

(Image credit: Larian Studies)

Whether you agree to help the Tieflings and go and find Halsin or want to keep in mind that Minthara will come to you with a new option, you'll need to find the Goblin Camp. The camp can be found by following the path across the bridge southwest of the Blighted Village and then north from there.

If you are a Drow or half-Drow, you can saunter through the camp with little difficulty, bar a few checks here and there that are easy enough to pass, particularly if you have high Wisdom or Charisma like my Drow Bard does. Once inside the Goblin Camp, head to the Shattered Sanctum—there's a large ogre guarding two heavy doors, so head inside.


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Where to find Minthara and the goblin bosses

(Image credit: Larian Studios)

Once inside the Sanctum, head into the main chamber where you'll find Priestess Gut one of the goblin bosses. Stick to the right and head upstairs then follow the path along and you'll come across the Drow, Minthara. Here, she'll offer you the chance to join her in battle—with much more persuasion if you're of Drow heritage—and sack the Grove. Alternatively, you can try and deceive her, but either way, you're going to be fighting with her or against her.

The final goblin boss, Dror Rigzlan, can be found by heading up the stairs to the left of Priestess Gut. He is performing a ritual on a dead Mindflayer and if you have uncovered the artifact from Shadowheart, you'll see it's connected. If you killed the Mindflayer on the crashed ship, you'll have to use your Illithid Parasite to control Rigzlan and make him ask non-incriminating questions to the Mindflayer, otherwise, you'll be compromised.

Siding with Halsin and saving the Emerald Grove

Halsin can be found in the Worg Pens in bear form, and once freed, you can join you in your fight against the goblin bosses or he can remain hidden here. If you choose to fight the goblin bosses, you can enter into dialogue first and open battle that way, or just straight-up attack them. I would recommend recruiting Karlach first and consider using Halslin here, as it's a pretty long fight against three bosses and their ads. I'd say wait until you are level 4 to make this an easier battle as Ragzlin especially has a big health bar compared to enemies you'll have faced so far.

Interestingly, as a Drow, it was only the goblins within the Shattered Sanctum that were interested in fighting me, and you can fast-travel away in between fights or set up camp to restore HP and spells. Either way, make sure you have a good balance of melee and ranged attacks, healing items/ a healer in your party and someone with high HP like Karlach. It would also be useful to have spells like Hold Person and AoE spells like Acid. Scrolls of Revivify or the ability to revive are also a must if you're tackling this at a lower level.

You'll need to roam the Sanctum, picking off bosses and their minions one by one, then return to speak to Halsin. Interestingly, you can absorb some Mindflayer tadpoles as your reward, making your Illithid powers more powerful.

Once back at the Grove, Zevlor will give you a reward and ask to join your camp. Kagha will also be demoted to a novice Druid and I've no doubt that will come back to bite us in the butt later in the game. You can then set up camp and have a party—and romance someone, it seems for most of us—and Halsin will stay at your camp, though at present I cannot add him to my party.

He will tell you to head to the Moonrise Towers via the dangerous Mountain Pass or the Underdark to learn more about the altered parasite in your brain.

Siding with Minthara and raiding the Emerald Grove

The first step in siding with Minthara and the goblins is gaining access to their camp without hostility. If you're a Drow, this should be easy, but otherwise, you can convince any goblin you come across that you mean no harm. The main goblin to persuade is Sentinel Olak at the main gate, but you can use a whole range of checks to get by him. Once inside, go and find Minthara at the north end of the Shattered Sanctum and tell her where the grove is. If you want to go full-on Absolute, you can even get a Mark of the Absolute by talking to Priestess Gut at the centre of the area on the way.

Minthara will ask you to get inside the grove, open the gates, then send her the signal. After a Long Rest, you need to head to the platform above the gate in Silvanus' Grove, open it using the winch and blow the big horn. Minthara will show up and you can decide whether to betray the grove or to suddenly side with the Tieflings and kill Minthara instead. 

The main consequence of betraying the grove is that Wyll leaves your party, and actively tries to kill you if he's there. You also won't be able to recruit Halsin, since it's impossible to do this without aggro-ing the Shattered Sanctum. Still, it's actually a lot easier to kill everyone in the grove than it is to take out three goblin bosses because you have the goblins and Minthara helping you. You'll also get to loot everything in the grove and the surrounding settlement since everyone is now dead. After the battle is done, you can choose to romance Minthara, and in the morning she'll send you on your way to Moonrise Towers where she'll agree to meet you and continue the quest to praise the Absolute. 

Which should you choose?

Saving the Grove is canonically the "good" option, so if you want a bunch of Druids and Tiefling on your side, this is the one for you. Alternatively, if you want a hot evil GF with a goblin army, and to worship the Absolute, side with Minthara. Either way, you'll gain a new parasite and the quest will move forward towards the Moonrise Towers. 

Guides Editor

The first three games Lauren played on PC were Star Wars: X-Wing, Zoo Tycoon and Barbie Fashion Designer, which explains her love of all things space, strategy and aesthetically pleasing. Lauren recently took over as PC Gamer's Guides Editor after three years of writing many dozens of Destiny 2 guides at VG247, as well as casually trying to shoehorn in The Witcher 3 articles wherever possible. When she's not trying to force everyone to play as a Warlock in Destiny 2, Lauren is either mastering her SEO abilities to help smash the competition, or patting one of her red sons.

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