A Wandering Merchant
In the northwestern corner of the Lower City, north of the Baldur’s Gate waypoint, is a confused merchant named Arves (X:-252, Y:-2). The man appears dazed, and is fixated on a squirrel in a tree.
Probing further causes the party to learn that the man’s memories have been tampered with. The party can choose to study the man’s appearance (Investigation DC 10) to note that he appears to be a man of means, possibly a junior council member.
Arves will ask the party if they know where he lives, to which the party can say that they don’t or that they doubt he’s even from around here. If asked what he does remember, he states that he only knows he was very sad but that he isn’t anymore.
Mirie believes the House of Grief can help the party.
Up the stairs from Arves is the House of Grief. Mirie is at the front desk, where she welcomes the party. She asks if the party is here to be Unburdened and that she senses a deep sadness within them. The party can agree, to which she will charge a 1000 gold fee. Shadowheart’s presence in the party will waive the fee entirely. Mirie will unlock the door to the backroom and tell the party to sit on the bench.
Mapping of the Heart
The Mapping of the Heart begins once the bench is sat on. An Inquirer of Grief will appear and begin asking questions. With a successful Perception check, the party can realize the Inquirer is using Detect Thoughts to probe through their thoughts. Selecting “Drop the act. You’re not here to help – you’re trying to dig around in my thoughts.” will end the Mapping prematurely.
If the party continues to answer the questions, they will be diagnosed with either a Violent Heart, Craven Heart, Jealous Heart, Yearning Heart, Prying Heart, or False Heart. If Shadowheart is in the party and sits on the bench, the Inquirer will forego the Mapping and simply reveal herself, telling Shadowheart she has much to discuss.
After the Mapping, the Inquirer lowers her hood and reveals herself to be Viconia DeVir. She wants to speak to the party further, so she invites them to enter a hidden door in the room to talk further in the building.
Speaking to Viconia
Viconia in the heart of the House of Grief.
Entering the hidden door will transport the party to the Cloister of Sombre Embrace. Deep in the heart of the Cloister is Viconia, with a group of Sharran cultists. She explains that she knows the party has the artifact in their possession and that she needs it to destroy the Absolute. Viconia initially attempts to negotiate in a way which keeps blades sheathed:
- All right, you wish to negotiate? Make me an offer then.
- As far as the artefact is concerned, there’s nothing to discuss.
- Turn to leave.
Selecting the first option has Viconia demanding the artifact in exchange for the party’s lives. The party can counter:
- Shar will allow you to make such an offer?
- [Intimidation] Not happening Even if I wanted to give it to you, I can’t. The artefact is bound to me. It will kill you.
- [Persuasion] The artefact alone can’t save you. Best if we unite against a common enemy – the Absolute.
If the Intimidation or Persuasion checks are passed, then Viconia will relent. However, she demands that Shadowheart be handed over.
The party can either agree, starting Surrender Shadowheart to Viconia, or refuse, which starts a fight. Defeating Viconia or giving Shadowheart over to her resolves the quest.
If Shadowheart left the party permanently (and is considered dead), Viconia will complain that it should be her who killed Shadowheart, attacking the party, unless you succeed on DC 30 Persuasion check.
- If Shadowheart is given over to Viconia, then Viconia and the Sharrans are enlisted as allies in Gather Your Allies
Notes: This quest heavily intersects with Shadowheart’s personal quest, Daughter of Darkness, it is highly encouraged to bring Shadowheart along for unique dialogue and interactions.
Surrender Shadowheart to Viconia
This quest begins during Investigate the House of Grief if Shadowheart was not taken along. If the party successfully persuaded or intimidated Viconia into not taking back the Artefact, she instead demands Shadowheart to be given to her for ‘reeducation.’
Shadowheart is taken by the Sharrans.
At this point, the party can return to camp and speak to Shadowheart:
- I met your Mother Superior – she expects me to hand you over to her.
- I met your Mother Superior. She’s willing to negotiate for your parents, if you come with me.
Regardless of the choice, Shadowheart says she must confront Viconia. Return to the House of Grief with Shadowheart in the party. Viconia tells the party to make good on their deal:
- She’s all yours.
If the first choice is selected, the Sharrans takes Shadowheart away and she will permanently leave the party. Viconia thanks the party and commits to helping in the final battle against the Absolute.
- If Shadowheart is given over to the cultists, Viconia and her Sharran subjects become allies in the fight against the Absolute and be added to the list of allies in Gather Your Allies.
Notes: Attempting to enter the Threshold of Loss door instantly causes the Sharran guard standing near the door (Fidelian Lamona) to become permanently hostile, which also makes Viconia and the rest of the cultists temporarily hostile. It’s possible to enter and use the Chamber of Loss, dispatch the hostile guard, evade the rest of the Sharrans, and come back for dialogues.