Baldur’s Gate 3 – Should You Side With Nere Or Take His Head?


During your time in the Underdark in Baldur’s Gate 3, you will likely hear about a True Soul named Nere from a few different sources. Nere is not the nicest guy around, to say the least, and he’s wanted by the Myconid Colony for crimes against their people as well as some of the Duergar for outstanding debts. Regardless of how you heard about Nere, your map will point you in the direction of the Grymforge in the Underdark, where Nere has been trapped via a cave-in.

The gnome slaves are working to get the True Soul out quickly, as there is poison gas in the room he’s trapped in, and doesn’t have much time left. If you manage to clear the cave-in without harming any of the gnomes, Nere will emerge and tempt you with an offer to join forces with him. However, you also might have an obligation to the Myconid Colony or others at the Grymforge to take his head. This guide will show both sides of the decision as well as how to free Nere in the first place.

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Freeing Nere from the cave-in at the Grymforge

There are a few ways to go about clearing the rocks that are trapping Nere in the poison gas chamber. The primary way is to use a Runepowder or Smokepowder Satchel and blow up the rocks. You can receive Runepowder from Philomeen, who is located at the far north end of the Grymforge. You have to go around to the docks near the Grymforge waypoint, open the door near where two Duergar are dumping bodies into the water, and then make your way past Ooze enemies and up a steep path to reach Philomeen.

Philomeen’s location in the Grymforge

Once you’re in the room with her, you have to pass a couple of checks to ensure her that you are not a real True Soul. If you do, then Philomeen will state how much she dislikes True Souls, and allows you to take a vial of Runepowder. With it, you can head back to the cave-in. However, we recommend speaking with Elder Brtithvar first, who is located just outside the cave-in area near some steps. Speaking with the elder will reveal that they need Nere to pay his debts, and they’re willing to go against their clan to get what’s theirs. Doing this will allow you to use the elder’s rebellion forces if you choose to side against Nere.

How to blow up the cave-in and free Nere
How to blow up the cave-in and free Nere

To blow up the cave-in, throw the vial of Runepowder at the rocks, but make sure the gnomes are nowhere near. You can place a bomb on the ground near the rocks to get them to back up to a safe distance. If you want to reach the point where you make a decision, you have to ensure nobody is harmed when you blow up the cave-in. Harming a gnome or Duergar will cause everyone to turn hostile once Nere is freed. If you follow those steps, Nere will be free, and now it’s decision time.

Siding with Nere or taking his head

Once Nere is free, he will viciously attack a gnome slave and then speak to you. After some dialogue, you have to decide whether you want to attack Nere or choose to side with him.

The choice to side with Nere or not comes down to your character's moral compass.
The choice to side with Nere or not comes down to your character’s moral compass.

Siding with him means you also side with the loyal Duergar, and you will immediately fight Elder Brithvar’s forces. This also means you will be going against the Myconid Colony, as you won’t be returning to them with Nere’s head as they asked. In our opinion, this isn’t the morally right thing to do, as Nere and the Duergar keep gnome slaves and are loyal to the Absolute.

As such, if you decide to go against Nere, Elder Brithvar will step in and declare his rebellion against him and the rest of the Duergar. A fight will break out, but this time you are fighting Nere and the non-rebellion Duergar soldiers. Upon your victory and Nere’s death, you can convince Elder Brithvar to set the slaves free and you will earn a sizeable amount of gold. This will clear out the Grymforge for good, which is something that most players will want to see.

Of course, if you’re playing as an evil or chaotic bad character, then siding with Nere makes the most sense. The choice is ultimately up to you, but taking Nere’s head will allow you to complete the Myconid Colony and Grymforge questlines. There is also more gold and reward in it for you if you kill Nere. Elder Brithvar gives you gold for helping his rebellion and the Myconid will grant you several rewards upon delivering Nere’s head.

We have many more guides to help you through Baldur’s Gate 3, including romance options, quest guidance, build suggestions, and more. Find everything in ourBaldur’s Gate 3 hub.

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