Baldurs Gate Should you side with the One Who Was or with Madeline? - When you finally reach the Cursed Shadowlands in Baldur's Gate 3, events become darker and more unusual. In the midst of fighting the Shadows and avoiding dire traps, you may come across a peculiar man in need of revenge: He Who Was.
The One Who Was intends to punish a deceased, Madeline, for her misdeeds at a nearby tavern, and seeks her help to justify her revenge plan. With this, you will be sent on a side quest called "Punish the Wicked" and you must determine whether to side with the One Who Was and punish Madeline, or side with her corpse by sparing her. Without further ado, here's whether you should side with He Who Was or Madeline in Baldur's Gate 3.
Should you side with He Who Was or Madeline in Baldur's Gate 3?
You will start the “Punish the Wicked” side quest in Baldur’s Gate 3 when you first speak to He Who Was in the Cursed Shadowlands. You will find this particular NPC at coordinates X123, Y104, hanging out with a white crow and Madeline's corpse.
After speaking with The Who Was, you will discover that Madeline's actions have led to some deaths, and The Who Was wishes to punish her further. As if death wasn't enough. That being said, he needs more evidence first, and he wants you to get it.
The One Who Was will send you to find Madeline's Ledger, which can be found in a tavern in Moonrise Towers: Old Moon. You must first visit the Inn of Last Light in the
west and talk to Isobel to acquire a boon that will help you through the Cursed Shadowlands.
Having done this, he leaves the protected city, where you will be sent to shoot down a convoy; this will provide you with the Lunar Lantern you need to keep you safe from shadows and other traps.
You can then continue to follow the convoy that gave you the Lunar Lantern, if you didn't kill them, through the Toll. Continue in a straight line from the Toll and you will finally arrive at La Luna Manguante at coordinates X-208, Y-69, but the vibes around here are not very jovial or friendly.
We recommend that you save his game here.
In the tavern, you will meet Thisobold Thorm; It's a huge still at the back of the room that you can't miss. Sit at the bar and have a chat with him where you have a choice: you can try to out drink the bulbous beast or you can fight with him.
To drink with Thisobold Thorm, you will need to pass a save or sleight check during the dialogue. Other options, such as refusing to drink or attacking, will lead to an unnecessary fight.
You will have options to learn more about Thisobold, but ultimately, he wants you to keep drinking with him. So unless he prefers to fight, keep doing just that. Finally, after a gruesome sight, Thisobold will have had enough to drink, leaving you free to explore the tavern.
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Behind the bar where you and Thisobold may have been drinking are some loose boards. You will first need to pass a Perception test to see them. If you're having trouble finding them, press "Alt" on your keyboard to get the board tagged
Interact with the loose planks to discover Madeline's Ledger below them. With the ledger in hand, you can now return to the One Who Was and hand it over.
In the end, Madeline will tell her version of her story through The One Who Was (as long as she doesn't attack him first). When this occurs, she will be presented with the all-important decision of who to put up with:
- [Persuasion] Anything? Then hurt yourself like Ben and Marc did: stab yourself. – The One Who Was will stab himself before starting the fight. If you want to attack, this is the best option, since a small part of his health will already be gone.
- [Persuasion] His is a classic tale of cowardice. If you were a character in a story of mine, I would kill you... immediately. – Madeline will be punished, and the One Who Was will reward you.
- [Persuasion] When I tell this tale, you won't be the villain – I promise. The Dark Justice is the culprit. “Madeline is forgiven, but the One Who Was will attack you. You can get the reward from him by looting his body after killing him.
The last two lines of dialogue above vary slightly from what you can see, since in my playthrough I'm playing a Bard, but for the most part they'll say the same thing. As always, failing any of the checks will also result in combat.
To help you judge which option to go for, the reward The One Who Was will give you for letting him punish Madeline (the second option above) is the Raven Gloves item. This item will allow the wearer to use a level 3 conjuration spell and summon Quothe the Raven.
If, on the other hand, you kill the One Who Was using the first or third option above, you won't achieve much. You can loot his body to get a Roaring Thunder Arrow and, in my experience, a completely random Scroll. I ended up with a Firebolt Scroll the first time I killed He Who Was, and a Ghost Slayer Scroll the second time.
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All in all, siding with He Who Was is probably the best option, unless you'd rather give Madeline the forgiveness she clearly deserves.