Baldur’s Gate 3 Necromancy of Thay – location and should you read or destroy it in BG3

Baldur’s Gate 3 Necromancy of Thay – location and should you read or destroy it in BG3
Antony Terence Updated on by

Video Gamer is reader-supported. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. Prices subject to change. Learn more

Looking for the Necromancy of Thay in Baldur’s Gate 3?

Players have been having a great time so far as they explore the crooks and depths of the D&D game to find its secrets. The Necromancy of Thay is one such secret that has some neat rewards in store. Getting it isn’t the end as there’s more to do with it in Act 3.

If you’re just starting your adventure in the Forgotten Realms, check out our detailed Baldur’s Gate 3 character creation guide. And if the pesky Baldur’s Gate 3 Dank Crypt puzzle is wiping out your party, we’ve got that covered too. Here’s what we thought about the game in our extensive Baldur’s Gate 3 review. And with that, let’s check out this mysterious ancient tome in BG3.

Baldur's Gate 3 Necromancy of Thay: An image of Astarion holding the Necromancy of Thay book.
An image of Astarion holding the Necromancy of Thay book. Image captured by VideoGamer.

Where to find the Baldur’s Gate 3 Necromancy of Thay

Players can find the Baldur’s Gate 3 Necromancy of Thay book in the laboratory of Ilyn Toth in the Blighted Village cellar. The “Seach the Cellar” quest can be started by picking up the Apothecary’s Ledger and reading it. As for getting to the Necromancy of Thay, it’s a long path.

It starts with the wooden hatch behind the counter. This involves heading into a cellar via a wooden hatch, finding a hidden lever, and clearing the Ornate mirror.

BG3 Ornate Mirror dialogue choices

Here are the dialogue options you’ll need to select to clear the Ornate Mirror in Baldur’s Gate 3:

  • State your name.
  • “Yes, an ally! An ally of your master’s.”
  • When discussing Szass Tam: “A foul lich. May he die a thousand more deaths.”
  • When asked about balsam: “I read a doctor’s journal. He used balsam to clean a wound.”

You’ll then need a Rusted Key to enter the Dark Magician’s lair, which can be found on a shelf in the room furthest to the west. Using the Mage Hand here is a good shortcut.

To know how to get there, check out our Baldur’s Gate 3 Search the Cellar guide. Be wary of a pressure plate trap right next to the book. A trap disarm kit will help you tackle this fireball trap threat. As for reading the book, you need a Dark Amethyst to open it.

Baldur's Gate 3 Necromancy of Thay: An image of a party of adventurers finding the Dark Amethyst.
An image of a party of adventurers finding the Dark Amethyst in Baldur’s Gate 3. Image captured by VideoGamer.

Where to find the Dark Amethyst in Baldur’s Gate 3

Here’s how to find the Dark Amethyst in Baldur’s Gate 3:

  • Exit the necromancer’s lab and then the cellar.
  • Next, climb down the old well in the town square at the Blighted Village. You can also enter via a cellar door in one of the homes in the Blighted Village.
  • This sends you to the Whispering Depths. It’s a cavern filled with Phase Spiders, as well as skeleton and Ettercap, so expect combat against multiple enemies.
  • Sneak past them or take them out as you head west to the deepest point of the Whispering Depths. You’ll see the Phase Spider Matriarch boss in her nest. Sneak past her or defeat her and her minions. Our Search the Cellar guide has a comprehensive breakdown of this boss fight. Keep some potions handy.
  • To the west of the giant hole that the Phase Sider Matriarch was circling, you’ll find the glowing purple Dark Amethyst among some bones. Use the Dark Amethyst to open the Necromancy of Thay. You can use the Feather Fall spell to access this easily.

Should you read or destroy the Baldur’s Gate 3 Necromancy of Thay

As for whether you should read it or not, here are the outcomes of reading or destroying the BG3 Necromancy of Thay book:

  • Read the book – Reading the book asks you to make increasingly difficult Wisdom checks. Save in advance because these saving throws go up to 20. Shadowheart’s Guidance cantrip is a lifesaver here, especially with a class with proficiency in Wisdom. Beat it and you’ll get a blessing that lets you cast Speak With Dead without using a spell slot, a fun spell that adds context to a lot of Baldur’s Gate 3 quests. You’ll also get the Forbidden Knowledge trait, which provides a permanent +1 to any Wisdom saving throws. Failing one wisdom save will give you 50 turns of “Whispers of Madness.” It’s a debuff that gives you disadvantage on Wisdom ability checks. Failing two throw checks will give you a similar debuff called “Baleful Knowledge,” but it’s permanent. Reading the book will Inspire Gale, letting him reroll a crucial dice roll later if needed.
  • Destroy the book – You can destroy the book with Radiant attacks. Shadowheart has Guiding Bolt that will help. You can also use a scroll with a Radiant damage spell on the Necromancy of Thay. Sacred Flame isn’t an option here as it doesn’t work on non-living, non-animate objects. While this was straightforward in Early Access, the full release of the game shakes things up. Destroying the book now creates three tough Shadow enemies. They’re resistant to physical attacks so expect the Fighter and Barbarian classes to fare poorly against them. This is generally a tough fight so this isn’t a great idea.
  • Keep the book – You could then choose to hold on to the book in your inventory. Since you have the Dark Amethyst, you can open it whenever you want. Once you’ve gained a few levels, you should be able to take on the Shadows that emerge from the Necromancy of Thay.
  • Give the book to Astarion or Gale – You can also give the book to Astarion, fellow vampire spawn and Rogue. He’ll read it and you’ll win his approval. This comes in handy when it comes to Baldur’s Gate 3 romance. This works with the wizard Gale as well, letting him consume it for his “condition.” But we don’t know how this will impact the story in the next Act.

While reading the book grants you some neat perks, this isn’t the end. Reading the Tharchiate Codex in the Sorcerous Sundries library of Baldur’s Gate lets you finish the book.

Baldur's Gate 3 Necromancy of Thay: A player enters the Sorcerous Vault in the game.
A player enters the Sorcerous Vault in the game. Image captured by VideoGamer.

How to finish reading the Necromancy of Thay in Act 3

You can finish the Necromancy of Thay in BG3 by reading the Tharciate Codex. Here’s how to do it:

  • Go to the Sorcerous Vault where the wizard Lorroakan stores magic relics under Ramazith’s Tower. You’ll also encounter this in the BG3 Nightsong quest.
  • Once you’re in, use the floating furniture to head to the lower levels. In the outer rim of this tower, hit the “Vault” button.
  • Go through the first door and then go beyond a portal until the door with Ramazith engraved.
  • Clear this door and you’ll find three doors with Elminster, Silverhand, and Karsus on them.
  • First, go through the Silverhand door and then the Evocation door. Then turn back through the Wish door to pull a lever that unlocks the Elminster door.
  • This is where you can read the Tharciate Codex to finish Baldur’s Gate 3 Necromancy of Thay. Note that this gives you a Tharciate Withering curse that gives you -5 Constitution.
  • Finishing the book requires a Wisdom check of 20, after which you get the Danse Macabre spell. You can use it to summon six ghouls to fight for you once per Long Rest.
Baldur's Gate 3 Necromancy of Thay: An image of Shadowheart's spells with Remove Curse highlighted.
An image of Shadowheart’s spells with Remove Curse highlighted. Image captured by VideoGamer.

How to get rid of the BG3 Tharciate Withering curse

Using Remove Curse as a Cleric, Paladin, Warlock, or Wizard will let you remove the Tharciate Withering curse. This spell is a level three Abjuration one so it’ll burn a level 3 spell slot that can be restored with a long rest. A long rest also helps you contact the Baldur’s Gate 3 Guardian. They’re among the many Baldur’s Gate 3 romance options. But you might want to hold off on the long rest as clearing this curse grants you a new condition.

Tharciate Vigor increases your character’s health by 20 temporary hitpoints until the next long rest. It’s a powerful buff that compensates for the sudden (but temporary) drop in Constitution from the curse. This lets you finally complete the Necromancy of Thay in Baldur’s Gate 3.

Is it worth pursuing the Necromancy of Thay questline in BG3

Absolutely. While the final bonuses in Act 3 are the real highlight, getting to interact and even fight some memorable characters makes it worth the journey. It’s impressive to see choices made in Act 1 play out in the final Act of BG3. You can even plan to get the Tharciate Vigor buff before a boss fight to improve your odds. Beating the Spider boss for the Dark Amethyst is an interesting fight as well, provided you evade or beat the little spiders before that. Overall, it’s among the better quests in a game stacked with solid ones.

✓ Antony’s annotation

Keep Tharciate Vigor for longer by taking Short Rests

While you’ll eventually run out on health and spell slots, Short Rests can help you prolong the use of this buff for tough encounters.

That covers all the essentials when it comes to the Necromancy of Thay in Baldur’s Gate 3. The Act 3 portion will take a while to reach. This means that you don’t have to decide on what to do with the book till then if you’re undecided. Check out our Baldur’s Gate 3 multiclass guide to diversify your character’s capabilities in the Dungeons and Dragons world from Larian Studios. This ties in well into spellcasters so check out our best Baldur’s Gate 3 Warlock build to harness their potential.

Our Baldur’s Gate 3 cheats and console commands list might also come in handy if you’re looking to spice up your playthrough. And if you want something safer, here are the best Baldur’s Gate 3 mods. The game is out on PC, PlayStation 5, and finally Xbox Series X|S.

Baldur’s Gate 3 Necromancy of Thay FAQ

How do you unlock ancient tome in BG3?

The Ancient Tome, known as the Necromancy of Thay in BG3, can be unlocked with the Dark Amethyst.

What happens if you give Astarion the Necromancy of Thay?

While you get unique dialogue, you can’t get the book from him and this ends the quest.