How to solve Ancient Altar Puzzle in Baldur’s Gate 3

Emily Stander
Balthazar in Baldur's Gate 3

Baldur’s Gate 3 has many secret rooms and items to find that are usually dependent on the order you complete quests. Balthazar’s room in Moonrise Towers is one of them, and it’s also where you can find the Ancient Altar Puzzle. Here is how to solve it. 

The Ancient Altar in Act 2 of Baldur’s Gate 3 is only an initial puzzle to solve, as it’s what you need to open the door to a secret room where you can find all kinds of interesting (and creepy) things. 

You’re going to need to do some quests in a specific order, find an item you need, and make some strange choices once you are inside. No worries, though, as here are all the answers you need to solve the Ancient Altar Puzzle and find everything Balthazar has to hide. 

How to find the Ancient Altar in Baldur’s Gate 3

You can find the Ancient Altar in Act 2 of Baldur’s Gate 3 when you enter Moonrise Towers for the first time

Moonrise Towers in Baldur's Gate 3
You can find Balthazar’s room in Moonrise Towers.

To make things a little easier for yourself, we suggest heading to Moonrise Towers before you seek out The Nightsong. Here is what you need to do: 

  1. After you have spoken to Jaheira at Last Light Inn for the first time, head to Moonrise Towers.
  2. Enter the Tower and speak to Ketheric Thorm.
  3. Head upstairs to the third floor of the tower. 
  4. Pass a check to convince Z’rell that you are a True Soul and she will give you a key to Balthazar’s room. 
  5. Find the door to Balthazar’s room on the far right of the library room. 

Balthazar’s room has a lot of interesting notes and items you can grab, but what you are really looking for is a large bookshelf on the left side as you enter. There are four protruding books that each do something bad, and only one will get you where you need to go. 

Make sure you only activate the last book at the bottom left of the shelf, and you will find yourself facing the Ancient Altar. 

How to solve the Ancient Altar Puzzle in Baldur’s Gate 3

Baldur’s Gate 3 players can activate the Ancient Altar by placing a heart on it

A bookcase in Baldur's Gate 3
You should choose the books that are highlighted here to reveal the Altar.

You can grab a heart from one of the corpses lying on the ground or the one on the bloody table. Place the heart on the Altar, and a passage to a secret room will open. 

You can find a chest in this room that holds the Coldbrim Hat and an Elixir of Necrotic Resistance. You can also find a book that explains a little more about the Nightsong here. 

On the right side of the room, you will find a bunch of broken Moonlanterns and a dead pixie around a Ritual Circle. If you approach it, the game will present you with a couple of choices. We suggest bringing Gale with you here, as you can get some cool buffs and items depending on what choice you make. 

  • If you decide to destroy the circle, you will receive Mystra’s Benevolence buff, which gives you a permanent advantage to concentration checks. 
  • If you decide to craft the lantern, you will receive the Shadow Lantern, which gives you the ability to summon a Shadow Wraith once every long rest. 

Once you are done, you should be ready to head to the Gauntlet of Shar and face Balthazar head-on, or help him – it’s all up to you, of course. 

If you want to know more about the interesting things you can find in Baldur’s Gate 3, you should check out our list of guides below.

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