From the very beginning of Baldur’s Gate 3, players are constantly at odds with the forces of a new God spreading its influence throughout Faerun: The Absolute. From the Goblin Camp to the docks of Baldur’s Gate and beyond, the Absolute is the main antagonist of Baldur’s Gate 3 but what actually is it?

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There are a few locations that hint at what the Absolute actually is in Act 1, including the Shattered Sanctum where the Goblin Camp leaders reside. But it isn’t until the end of Act 2 that players are able to put the pieces together and understand exactly what is the Absolute – to be able to destroy it.

This guide explains the basics of what the Absolute is, but be warned: understanding the Absolute’s nature may spoil the mid-to-late game experience discovering it for yourself.

Where To Find The Absolute In Baldur’s Gate 3

Baldurs Gate 3 Absolute Explained Moonrise Towers Reach In Hole Voice

The earliest that players can actually interact with The Absolute, and come to an understanding of what it is, is in Act 1. In the Goblin Camp, in the room where players take on Dror Ragzlin, there is a dead Mind Flayer on the floor. Use Speak with Dead on this corpse to get some answers – it is the very same Mind Flayer that put the Tadpole behind the player’s eye, after all.

Here, players learn that the Absolute is “Absolute Unity. Absolute Power,” a cryptic hint at this new God’s true nature. In this sense, The Absolute can be seen as an entity comprised of forces under this new God’s control throughout Faerun and beyond, like the Goblins of Act 1 and the True Souls players meet throughout their adventure.

However, in Act 2, players can discover a strange flesh-like mass coming out of the walls of Moonrise Towers. Interacting with this mass brings players face-to-face (or rather, mind-to-mind) with the source of the Absolute’s power. In this sequence, players learn more about what exactly the Absolute is as a voice – a Netherbrain – beckons players to its location so that it can become itself again.

What Is An Elder Brain? And What Is The Absolute, Really?

Baldurs Gate 3 Absolute Explained Netherbrain Ketheric Gortash Orin Moonrise Towers Act 2 Apostle of Myrkul

An Elder Brain is something akin to a Queen Bee, in that it controls the hive mind of a colony of Mind Flayers to do its bidding. It’s an exceptionally powerful being, capable of wiping civilizations with barely a thought and to control countless Mind Flayers in a singular purpose – powerful enough that one cannot be subjugated without immense otherworldly power.

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In this case, the Elder Brain has been subjected by Netherstones, and turned into an even more powerful and enigmatic Netherbrain. The Netherstones are in possession of General Ketheric Thorm, Orin the Red, and Lord Enver Gortash, the chosen of Myrkul, Bhaal, and Bane respectively in a callback to previous Baldur’s Gate games.

At its heart, the Absolute in Baldur’s Gate 3 is a false God that’s really three people, an enslaved mind-controlling brain, and a plan to dominate Faerun. It’s the face of a dark alliance rather than a singular entity or person. The plan of the trio is a twist on the Grand Design of the Mind Flayers to restore their former empire, as Tadpoles infect more by the day, ready to transform their hosts at the command.

But instead of these fresh hordes of Mind Flayers doing the bidding of an Elder Brain to restore the Illithid empire, these new Mind Flayers will do the bidding of the Absolute’s Netherbrain, being controlled by Thorm, Orin, and Gortash to their own evil ends.

Baldur’s Gate 3 is available for PC and PlayStation 5. A version for Xbox Series X|S is currently in development.

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