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How to wake Art Cullagh and lift the Shadow Curse in Baldur’s Gate 3

Track down Thaniel and earn Halsin’s loyalty in act 2

Halsin talks to the player character in Baldur’s Gate 3 Image: Larian Studios via Polygon
Ryan Gilliam (he/him) has worked at Polygon for nearly seven years. He primarily spends his time writing guides for massively popular games like Diablo 4 & Destiny 2.

Art Cullagh is a sleepy man in the Last Light Inn of Baldur’s Gate 3’s second act, and he’s the key to breaking the Shadow Curse that plagues the Shadow-touched lands.

Once you make it into act 2 and reach the central hub of the Last Light Inn, you’ll be able to wake up Art, locate Thaniel, defeat Oliver, and finally recruit Halsin as a real companion for your party. All of that takes place during a lengthy quest that will take you all across these new lands and to the edge of Moonrise Towers.

In this Baldur’s Gate 3 guide, we’ll walk you through how to wake up Art Cullagh and how to break the Shadow Curse in act 2.

Wake up Art Cullagh

The player character stands over a sleeping Art Cullagh in Baldur’s Gate 3 Image: Larian Studios via Polygon

Once you reach the Last Light Inn in the Shadow-cursed Lands, head back to your camp and talk to Halsin. He’ll tell you the tale of a young man named Thaniel, a Tiefling who is the root of the curse that’s taking over the Shadow-cursed Land.

Now head back to the Last Light Inn and visit the bunks on the first floor, just to the right of the entrance. There’ll be a man named Art Cullagh lying in bed with a swirly animation above him. Talk to him and he’ll mutter something about Thaniel. Walk through the dialogue and you’ll learn that he needs some kind of personal item to wake him.

Return to Halsin in camp, and the Druid will decide he needs to see the sleeping man himself. Jump back to the Last Light Inn and talk to Art again, this time with Halsin’s help. Read Art’s last orders letter and a quest marker near Moonrise Towers will appear. Make your way there.

The player character loots a Battered Lute from an evil surgeon in Baldur’s Gate 3 Image: Larian Studios via Polygon

In the town, near the Road to Baldur’s Gate Waypoint, you’ll find the House of Healing and the cemetery it’s connected to — not exactly a good pairing if you want people to have faith in your hospital. Inside you’ll be directed to the operating theater and the “doctor” on staff.

Make your way into the large room at the back of the hospital and you’ll meet Malus Thorm and his crew of assistants. Thorm is an undead boss who is also a “surgeon” torturing a patient. Talk to him enough and you’ll end up in some combat. Kill Thorm and his cronies and then loot his body once combat is over. He’ll have a Battered Lute on his person. Take it and return to Art back in Last Light.

Locate and rescue Thaniel

The player battles a large group of undead enemies while defending a portal in Baldur’s Gate 3 Image: Larian Studios via Polygon

With the Battered Lute in hand, walk up to Art and accept the prompt to play him a song. Don’t worry if you’re not proficient in an instrument, your character will just dopily pluck away at the strings until Art wakes up.

After Halsin talks to Art, he’ll decide that he needs to peer into another dimension to rescue Thaniel. Follow him to the shore and get ready for a fight. Let Halsin go into the portal on his own and prepare to defend it. A massive army of undead creatures will appear on the shore and start trying to reach the portal.

You’ll need to hold them off for multiple rounds of combat in order to progress the quest. We recommend Shadowheart here, as she’s able to use Turn Undead against all of the creatures. Gale is also an excellent choice, as his large AoE abilities like Fireball can take out many of the low health critters at once.

Once you’ve successfully defended the portal for the required time, all of the undead will burn up and Halsin will return from the portal carrying Thaniel’s body. The Druid will ask you to come back to camp and talk. Meet him there and he’ll finally offer to join your crew to finish rescuing Thaniel.

Finish Thaniel’s quest to lift the curse

A map showing where to find Oliver in Baldur’s Gate 3 Image: Larian Studios via Polygon

Just because you have Halsin in your crew doesn’t mean you can relax, or that the Druid doesn’t have more work for you to do.

In order to remove the curse, you’ll need to find Thaniel’s other half: Oliver, an obnoxious boy who likes playing hide and seek in the middle of the cursed lands. You can find his little house to the east of Last Light in an area called “House in Deep Shadows” on the map.

When you find him, Oliver will ask to play hide-and-seek. Oblige him and look around until you perceive his location. He’ll get mad and try another game where he hides again and summons some wraiths to chase you.

Now you can either sneak around and carefully try to catch him again, or you can get caught and just kill the shades. Either way, talk to Oliver again and he won’t want to play with you, because he’s a jerk. Assuming you’ve already rescued Thaniel, you can tell Oliver that he needs to rejoin his other half. This will eventually lead to another minor combat encounter.

The party battles an evil little boy named Oliver in Baldur’s Gate 3 Image: Larian Studios via Polygon

Oliver will teleport you to the Moonrise Towers town square, alongside resurrected versions of his Mommy and Daddy Shades. Oliver will encase himself in a shield and sic his undead minions on you. Each time you kill one of his enemies, Oliver’s shield will also take damage. You can also directly target the shield with attacks. Break the shield one way or the other to talk to Oliver again. Persuade or threaten him and he’ll decide to rejoin with Thaniel.

Head back to camp again and talk to the now-complete boy. Unfortunately, Thaniel alone won’t be able to end the curse on the lands. Instead you’ll need to finish the mainline quest in Moonrise Towers. But at least Thaniel is whole again — and, more importantly, you have a brand new Druid friend to keep you company on your adventures.

The next level of puzzles.

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