We may earn a commission when you buy through links in our articles. Learn more.

Baldur’s Gate 3 - how to recruit Halsin

Arch Druid Halsin joins Baldur's Gate 3's story early, but recruiting him as a companion is a long road - here's how to add Halsin to your party.

Baldur's Gate 3 Halsin guide - BG3 screenshot by the author, showing the Druid Halsin in front of another character, in conversation

In Baldur’s Gate 3 Halsin can be added to your party as a companion, but you’ll need to complete a few key tasks first. This Arch Druid once protected his followers, but, as our story opens, he’s been captured. Although you get a chance to rescue him, he won’t actually join your party until much later in the game. Our Baldur’s Gate 3 Halsin guide discusses all the steps you need to take before he’ll finally join your party.

Baldur’s Gate 3 is available now on PC. In our BG3 review, we considered it the best DnD game ever made, thanks in part to wonderfully written characters with compelling motivations. Halsin is just one of them. You can learn about the others in our BG3 companions guide.

How to recruit the Druid Halsin in Baldur’s Gate 3

To recruit Halsin in Baldur’s Gate 3, you must survive multiple enemy waves while he’s in a dimensional portal. This occurs during Act 2, well past the time that you first meet up with him. Here’s a quick rundown:

  • You can rescue Halsin in the Shattered Sanctum.
  • You can either defeat the three Goblin leaders in the Shattered Sanctum, or defend the Tiefling refugees so as to prevent the Goblin army from massacring them.
  • During Act 2, make your way to Last Light Inn and meet Jaheira.
  • You need to wake a sleeping man named Art Cullagh. This is done by finding a lute, which is guarded by a deranged Shar ‘doctor’ of sorts.
  • Halsin will enter a dimensional portal, and numerous enemies will spawn. You have to ensure that the portal doesn’t get destroyed or he’ll die.
  • Halsin can join your party past this point. However, there’s one more task left, and it involves a hide-and-seek minigame.

Where to find Halsin in the Shattered Sanctum

The first step to recruiting Halsin in Baldur’s Gate 3 is knowing of his location. From the Druid Grove, you’ll want to go west to reach the Blighted Village, then down the rocky path to the Goblin Camp. You can avoid fighting the hostiles here by using your Illithid Wisdom or by passing Charisma-based checks.

You can then reach the Shattered Sanctum by entering the double doors guarded by the Ogre. Inside, there are three Goblin leaders that are waiting for you. Before you battle them, though, you should head northeast to the Worg Pens.

The Goblins are fooling around with caged bear. Convince them to release it, which leads to a battle. After defeating the enemies, the bear is revealed to be Halsin, who’s just using his Werebear form.

Baldur's Gate 3 Halsin guide - BG3 screenshot by the author, showing the Druid Halsin in bear form, greeting the player

How to defeat the Goblin leaders

Halsin wants you to eliminate the Goblin leaders: High Priestess Gut, Dror Ragzlin, and Minthara. You’ve got a few options here:

  • If you tell Halsin to accompany you, all the Goblin NPCs in the Shattered Sanctum will turn hostile. Alternatively, you can tell him to wait in the pens, which allows you to find more tactical methods to take out your foes.
  • You can lure High Priestess Gut to a small room off to the side by pretending that you need to get your Illithid tadpole removed. Once the opportunity arises, you can attack her. Try to defeat her in a single turn so as to prevent enemy reinforcements from appearing.
  • Dror Ragzlin, meanwhile, is trying to find a connection with the corpse of a Mind Flayer. You can attempt to penetrate his mind or battle him outright.
  • As for Minthara, she is a potential companion, and even a romance option. However, siding with her leads you down a dark road. It’s one where Halsin not only refuses to join, but also causes companions like Wyll and Karlach to leave.
  • You can either kill Minthara in the Shattered Sanctum, or you can tell her about the location of the Druid Grove. If you pick the latter, tell Zevlor that she’s walked into your trap, and refuse her attempts to goad you. This lets you defeat her invading forces while you have the high ground and a sturdy gate for defense. Just try to eliminate sappers once you see them to avoid mishaps.

With the Druid Grove successfully defended and the Goblin leaders dead, the good guys are ready for a celebration. Halsin tells you that he’ll stay in your camp in the meantime, though you can’t make him join your party yet.

Baldur's Gate 3 Halsin guide - BG3 screenshot by the author, showing the player party defending a refuge by taking the high ground

Where to find Last Light Inn

Later in the campaign, you need to proceed to the Shadow-Cursed Lands. There are two paths leading to it:

  • The overland route takes you to the Mountain Pass, and then the Shadow-Cursed Lands, directly to the Moonrise Towers.
  • The Underdark route takes you to the Grymforge, which has an elevator that leads to the Shadow-Cursed Lands.

Your goal is to find Last Light Inn, a sanctuary for travelers and the base of the Harpers. It’s in the northwestern portion of the zone. However, due to the curse, you need to carry a source of light, such as a torch or a Moonlantern, to keep characters alive.

Eventually, once you reach Last Light Inn, you’ll meet various characters, including a returning fan favorite, Jaheira. She also introduces you to Isobel, a Cleric who’s warding off the curse using her powers. Isobel’s survival is important, as her death would mean the utter destruction of this sanctuary and a great loss of life. That also means potentially failing in your attempt to recruit Halsin in Baldur’s Gate 3.

Baldur's Gate 3 Halsin guide - BG3 screenshot by the author, showing a cleric character indoors, bathed in moonlight

How to wake up Art Cullagh

In a room on the ground floor, you’ll find a sleeping man named Art Cullagh. He keeps mentioning a name, Thaniel, whom Halsin has talked about before. Talk to Halsin and he’ll watch over Art Cullagh. At the same time, he asks you to find a way to wake him up.

Baldur's Gate 3 Halsin guide - BG3 screenshot by the author, showing the player character and companions standing over a sleeping man, Art Cullagh

How to defeat Malus Thorm

Your next goal if you want to recruit Halsin in Baldur’s Gate 3 is to obtain Art’s instrument, a Battered Lute. The only problem is that it’s held by a creepy doctor named Malus Thorm. He and his decaying nurse assistants are in the House of Healing, a ruined location just southwest of Last Light Inn.

We suggest traversing the rooftops until you find an entrance to the top floor of the library. This allows you to start the battle while standing on a tree trunk. This prevents Malus and his cohorts from reaching you. All you need to do is snipe him with ranged weapons or cast spells to damage him. Once he’s beaten, pick up the Battered Lute and play a tune for Art Cullagh to wake him up.

Baldur's Gate 3 Halsin guide - BG3 screenshot by the author, showing the party standing on a tree trunk to avoid a boss' attacks

How to complete the portal wave encounter

Halsin realizes that Thaniel is trapped in another realm. He sets out to rescue him, but you won’t be able to follow. Instead, he asks you to defend the portal by the lake on the outskirts of Last Light Inn.

The objective is to defend the portal against multiple enemy waves. The portal has roughly 150 HP and, if it’s destroyed, Halsin will also die. This is a tough encounter, so we advise you to have backup saves. Here’s what you need to know about your opponents:

  • Shadows and Wraiths will attack your characters, so try to focus on them with your melee DPS units.
  • Cursed Pilgrims will shoot the portal, though they tend to be clustered together. Ideally, you’ll want to cast AoE spells like Fireball to take out several in one turn.
  • Others, like Marauders and Hounds, will beeline straight for the portal to strike it in melee. We recommend camping the entrance with a Cleric like Shadowheart. If you cast Spirit Guardians (Radiant), you can wait until enemies die as they mindlessly get damaged by the holy aura.

If the portal remains intact after five turns, congratulations! That means you’ve succeeded, and you’ll be able to recruit Halsin in Baldur’s Gate 3. Talk to him after this objective, and you’ll see the option for him to join your party.

Baldur's Gate 3 Halsin guide - BG3 screenshot by the author, showing the party guarding a magical portal against waves of enemies

Oliver’s hide-and-seek game and dilemma

What comes next after you’re done with the Baldur’s Gate 3 Halsin recruitment tasks? Well, he still knows that Thaniel’s identity is not “complete”. That’s because a fragment of his soul still resides in the Shadow-Cursed Lands. To find it, go north of the Shadowed Battlefield waypoint.

There, you’ll spot a ruined house, where a Tiefling kid named Oliver seems to want to play hide-and-seek. Here are the next steps:

  • The first time Oliver attempts to hide, ungroup your squad and have three characters stay in the upper-right corner of the house.
  • One character, preferably someone with high mobility or sneak skill, should go to the front yard. You’ll see Oliver behind the wheelbarrow.
  • He’ll attempt to hide inside the house, but he’ll also cause several enemy shades to appear. Your character can either sneak to reach the interior of the house, or the rest of your party can wait until he’s back inside. Either way, talking to him completes this objective.

Baldur's Gate 3 Halsin guide - BG3 screenshot by the author, showing the child Oliver ,who wants to play hide and seek with the party

From there, Oliver transports your party to a plaza with a fountain. He’ll summon multiple enemies to attack you. Likewise, he’ll create a barrier that also takes damage when enemies are hit.

You can focus fire on the mobs, or use AoE lingering spells like Spirit Guardians and Cloud of Blades. Once the shield is broken, convince Oliver to make Thaniel whole again. This finishes Halsin’s main task for you in the Shadow-Cursed Lands.

Baldur's Gate 3 Halsin guide - BG3 screenshot by the author, showing the party attacking a barrier, while shadowy enemies appear

Halsin class and perks

Halsin’s class is Circle of the Moon Druid. While you get to fight alongside him in the Shattered Sanctum, he mostly relies on his Werebear transformation. His stats won’t matter in the long run since, once he joins your party, he’s reset back to level 1.

Moreover, the game has a fairly flexible respec system, which allows you to change a character’s class, including those of companions. As such, since you’d end up with two Druids (Halsin and Jaheira) you might want to have one switch to another class.

Baldur's Gate 3 Halsin guide - BG3 screenshot by the author, showing Halsin's companion abilities via an in game menu screen

In any case, that’s all you need to know about how to recruit Halsin in Baldur’s Gate 3. It’s a long and winding road but, finally, the Arch Druid is part of your merry group.

For other tips and strategies, you can visit our guides to the playable BG3 classes, all the BG3 races, and how to access each of the BG3 romances, among many more guides on the way for this massive Forgotten Realms DnD videogame.