When you reach the end of your campaign in Baldur’s Gate 3, there are several critical choices you’ll have to make with your party. One of these choices is how to deal with Orpheus, the Githyanki Prince stuck inside the Astral Prism.
Without his power, you won’t be able to fight back against the Elder Brain. There are two decisions you make, and they occur right before your final battle against the Elder Brain, and they also involve the Emperor. Should you free Orpheus in Baldur’s Gate 3, or let him die?
What Happens When You Free Orpheus in Baldur’s Gate 3?
By choosing to free Orpheus in Baldur’s Gate 3, you’ll directly be going against the Emperor. You will need to share that, after confronting the Elder Brain and failing to dominate it, you plan to release Orpheus from his prison with your Baldur’s Gate 3 group. Unfortunately, the Emperor will not agree with this decision and decides to join the Elder Brain, believing this to be the only way to survive with the choices you’ve made.
After the Emperor teleports away, you can grab the Orphic Hammer you acquired from the House of Hope and use it to smash the crystals inside Orpheus’ prison. Although the Githyanki Prince will not be thankful for releasing him, he will be willing to work with you and your Baldur’s Gate 3 group to help fight against the Elder Brain. Unfortunately, the next decision he has to share with you is that your character, himself, or Karlach must become Illithid to use the Netherstones and stop the Elder Brain.
What Happens if You Don’t Free Orpheus in Baldur’s Gate 3?
If you don’t want to free Orpheus, the alternative is to side with the Emperor. You will make this decision while talking with the Emperor about what to do with the Netherstones, and how your Baldur’s Gate 3 party should proceed to fight the Elder Brain. By choosing not to free Orpheus, your party will need to make the decision of letting the Emperor consume Orpheus’ power, your main character becoming Illithid to consume Orpheus’ power, or Karlach can become Illithid to consume Orpheus’ power.
The bottom line is that by choosing not to free Orpheus, he will be killed, with his power being used by your character, the Emperor, or Karlach. When they use this power, they will become Illithid, and they will have the strength to use the Netherstones against the Elder Brain to destroy it, or take control of it and become the Absolute.
Should You Let Orpheus Live or Kill Him in Baldur’s Gate 3?
When it comes down to it, freeing Orpheus feels like the more logical decision, but this decision will vary based on your Baldur’s Gate 3 playthrough. For my playthrough, I had not been going down the path of trusting the Emperor, refusing the Illithid and Mind Flayer Tadpoles as often as possible. Because of this, rejecting the Emperor and freeing Orpheus felt like the best course of action, especially because the alternative is directly against the Githyanki people.
By choosing to leave Orpheus in his prison, your Baldur’s Gate 3 team will be siding with the Emperor. From there, you’ll need to make the decision as to if you were working with Orpheus to hold the Netherstones, where you’ll want your character to become Illithid, or if you’re okay with Karlach becoming Illithid. The choice is similar to what Orpheus wants, but you’ll be working with the Emperor instead, rather than siding with Orpheus. By freeing Orpheus, he can return to his people and set them free, concluding that storyline for your playthrough.