The Ironhands have returned to Baldur’s Gate in Baldur’s Gate 3. They’re led by Wulbren who has access to a powerful combination of talent and skill, along with a specific recipe that could make things extremely difficult to the cult of the Absolutes, and the Steel Watch, in the Avenge the Ironhands quest.
For those who want to take out the Steel Watch, the Avenge the Ironhands quest goes hand-in-hand, as you’ll receive the best method to eliminate the Steel Watch and bring Baldur’s Gate further safety before the army of the Absolutes arrives. Here’s what you need to know about how to complete Avenge the Ironhands in Baldur’s Gate 3.
How to Follow the Gnomes in Baldur’s Gate 3
For my playthrough, I could work on this quest because I had made sure to go out of my way to rescue Wulbren and the Tieflings from Moonrise Tower. This occurred during Act 2, where they had been captured in the Shadow Curse, attempting to move towards Baldur’s Gate. After doing this, the Ironhand Gnomes attacked a Steel Watch guard at the South Span Checkpoint during my Baldur’s Gate 3 playthrough and ran off. I then received the quest to seek them out.
Their secret entrance wasn’t too far. I was able to find it inside a small cave to the east of the South Span Checkpoint. It’s off to the side, in the hills. When you arrive, you’ll be able to enter the cave, and the Gnomes will work alongside you, but they’ll ask that you speak with Wulbren, who was eager to get back at the Steel Watch and fight against the tyranny provided by Gortash in Baldur’s Gate 3.
However, if you speak with Barcus, he offers an alternative that can be solved with peace rather than the violence that Wulbren wants to erupt using the Runepowder Bomb. However, this can only happen if you convince Bracus to join your camp when you were back in Gyrmforge.
Where to Plant The Runepowder Bomb in Baldur’s Gate 3
For those who go with Wulbren’s plan, he gives you the Runepowder bomb and urges you to find the Steel Watch Foundry in the Lower Cities of Baldur’s Gate. You’ll be able to find it to the southwest of the Basilisk Gate, across from the Harbor. You’ll likely discover Volo, who several Absolute Cultists have captured on the way there in your Baldur’s Gate 3 playthrough.
When you arrive, the best way to sneak into the facility is through the locked steel doors on the south side. There will be two Steel Watch guards patrolling this area, but you can sneak past them and fight them one at a time if you encounter them.
Shortly after entering the Steel Watch Foundry, a cutscene shows how Gortash controls the Gondians and motivates them to make the Steel Watch machines. From here, head to the west side of the facility, and you’ll find a room with Gondian Zanner Toobin inside, and you can speak to him about what’s going on. He reveals that because of the devices around their necks, the Gondians are forced to continue making the Steel Watch for Gortash in Baldur’s Gate 3. However, if their families were free, they would rise and fight back.
If you choose to plant the Runepowder Bomb for your Baldur’s Gate 3 playthrough, you’ll need to make your way deeper into the facility to place it in the perfect place. You can also find information on how to save the Gondian families in this area. Regardless of your choice, I recommend going into this area with only one character and using an invisibility potion or making sure that character cannot be seen. My Monk is the Shadow subclass, so they have access to a chance to become invisible for a short period.
Sneaking the area beneath the Steel Watch Foundry took a lot of trial and error. I gave up trying to move my entire party down with me and only used my Monk and Rogue main character to sneak down there. The best route I’ve found when attempting to sneak through this Baldur’s Gate 3 area is by hugging the facility’s right wall, sneaking your way up through the crates, and then onto the upper pipes. This is a good route for saving the Gondian’s Families and planting the Runepowder Bomb.
Getting this to line up perfectly took a good amount of effort. I had to wait until the Steel Guards were far enough away to move, and my Monk also had the Cantrip, Minor Illusion, which made it easier to lure guards and others away from my path to avoid detection. I also made sure my Baldur’s Gate 3 character had at least two Invisibility potions.
You’ll need to reach the other side of the room, with a locked door. You’ll want to remain out of sight to make sure you don’t raise the ire of the guards or start a fight. You’ll need to roll at least a Sleight of Hand of 30 to open the door and enter the final area. There is a machine where you can place the Runepowder bomb on the other side, past a trio of Steel Guards, and complete the mission.
Placing the bomb will blow up the Steel Watch Factory, preventing Gortash from using them in Baldur’s Gate. However, when you end the mission, Gondian Zanner will appear, along with Wulbren. Wulbren will demand that you kill the Gondian, but you can refuse this request in Baldur’s Gate 3. Unfortunately, this will anger Wulbren, who wishes to end all of them.
Should you refuse Wulbren, Zanner will live, but Wulbren will promise his revenge. Regardless of your choice, the Steel Watch factory will be in shambles. Gortash’s deal will permanently will be off the table. However, you’ll have stopped the Steel Watch army from being used.
Should You Plant The Runepowder Bomb in the Steel Watch Factory in BG3
Planting the Runepowder Bomb in Baldur’s Gate 3 appears to be the most direct and rash decision. It might offer a more favorable outcome for your party if you went out of your way to learn about the Prison holding the Gondian Prisoners and freeing them, especially because Wyll’s father is also being held at this location. It is possible to still complete the Avenge the Ironhands mission by releasing the Gondians, but you might not want to explore this route depending on your preferred Baldur’s Gate 3 playthrough.