Baldur’s Gate 3 – Balthazar’s Bookcase And Ritual Circle Guide

Baldur’s Gate 3 has many puzzles that you need to solve. One can be found in Balthazar’s room, which leads to a Necromancer’s secret. Our guide discusses how you can solve the Balthazar’s Bookcase puzzle in Baldur’s Gate 3, as well as what you need to do with the Ritual Circle in the hidden room.

How to Solve the Balthazar’s Bookcase Puzzle in Baldur’s Gate 3

That Baldur’s Gate 3 Balthazar’s Bookcase puzzle is found in Moonrise Towers. This is an important destination that you get to visit during the game’s second act. Upon reaching the Shadow-Cursed Lands, you’re tasked with Infiltrating Moonrise towers to proceed further with your objectives.

How to Enter Balthazar’s Room

Once you’ve reached Moonrise Towers, try not to cause a commotion, or every cultist in the area will annihilate your party. Later, you should be able to head up the steps. To your left, you’ll see Commander Z’rell. You have to pass DC14-16 Persuasion checks to convince her of your belief in the Absolute. She’ll then hand over the key to Balthazar’s bedroom.

Make your way to the right side area and unlock the door. Inside is a grotesque scene, where numerous corpses are scattered and blood has been spilled everywhere. The Moonlantern is in the middle of this chamber, and you’re going to need it to protect yourself from the Shadow Curse.

You’ll also notice a bookshelf that has several protruding books that you can interact with. Don’t do anything just yet.


Left: Disciple Z’rell gives you the key to Balthazar’s room; Right: A note warns all acolytes about touching any of the books.

Balthazar’s Bookcase Puzzle Solution

Right beside the doorway, you’ll see a note addressed to acolytes. Read it to learn that Balthazar does not want anyone touching his books. In fact, interacting with the wrong item can cost you (i.e. poison gas will spill out or corpses will get reanimated).

Instead, to solve the Baldur’s Gate 3 Balthazar’s Bookcase puzzle, you need to do the following:

  • Pull only the protruding book on the upper-right side. This will let you interact with a stone plinth beside the shelf.
  • Check the room for hearts that have been discarded. You can hold the Alt key to see important objects.
  • Once you find one, bring it over and insert it inside the stone plinth. The shelf will part, allowing you to enter a hidden room.

This nets you two Inspiration Points: Secrets of the Necromancer and A Little Too Familiar with the Grotesque. You’ll only receive the latter if you didn’t make a mistake when solving the puzzle.

Once you can interact with the plinth, insert a heart to reveal a hidden area.

Balthazar’s Ritual Circle Decisions and Rewards

You can lockpick the chest here, which has an Elixir of Necrotic Resistance (i.e. resistance to necrotic damage), and a Coldbrim Hat (i.e. conditions inflicted on a target also cause the encrusted with frost debuff).

This secret room also happens to have the Baldur’s Gate 3 Ritual Circle. You’ll also see a bunch of Broken Moonlanterns and a dead Pixie. If you approach the arcane contraption, you’ll be presented with several choices, but only two of these matter:

  • “It’s your choice, Gale, do whatever you want to do” – Gale will destroy the Ritual Circle. He’ll gain the Mystra’s Benevolence buff, a permanent advantage to concentration checks.
  • “Mystra’s not here. Go for it, craft the lantern” – A small panel will appear. You need to combine a Broken Lantern and a Pixie corpse. This rewards you with the Shadow Lantern, a torch/weapon that can be used to summon a Shadow Wraith.


Left: The Ritual Circle; Right: Combine a Broken Lantern and a Pixie to craft a Shadow Lantern.

The Shadow Wraith can be summoned once every long rest. It deals necrotic damage with its attacks, and it can also drain a target’s Strength attribute. Unfortunately, it’s not as useful as Mystra’s Benevolence. The buff is great Wizards, especially if you like using spells that require concentration to maintain. Since it’s a permanent buff, you won’t ever have to worry about losing it.

That’s it: that completes the Balthazar’s Bookcase and Ritual Circle puzzles in Baldur’s Gate 3. Past this point, you’ll want to head to the Gauntlet of Shar. That’s the location of your main objective. However, you can still roam around and explore at your leisure. Perhaps you’d like to recruit Halsin the Druid as well?

Baldur’s Gate 3 is filled to the brim with activities and secrets. You’ll no doubt be part of an adventure that can take countless hours to complete. For other tips, you can visit our BG3 guides hub.

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