Trying to save the Grymforge Gnomes is a uniquely difficult challenge in Baldur’s Gate 3. If you’re too slow? This quest will automatically fail. If you progress in the wrong way? It will automatically fail. While no quest must be completed to progress the story, sometimes we want to help people out — and the Grymforge Gnomes promise big rewards in Act 3 when you can reunite with them in the city of Baldur’s Gate. Actually saving these Gnomes is a giant pain, so we’re going to explain what you need to do.
Essentially, you need to wipe out the Druergar in the Grymforge. That isn’t enough to save them. After that, you need to free True Soul Nere. After that, you’ll be able to defeat Nere and rescue the gnomes. If you rest twice or travel twice, too much time will pass and all of the gnomes will be executed. Just freeing Nere before the time limit expires is challenging enough. Here’s what you need to do.
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How To Save The Grymforge Gnomes
If you encounter Thulla the Deep Gnome in the Myconid Colony, she’ll ask you to save her friends in the Grymforge — a vast ancient facility that can also lead you on step closer to the Moonrise Towers. This begins the quest ‘Save the Grymforge Gnomes‘ and is strangely difficult to accomplish. To save the gnomes in the Grymforge, you have to complete the story in a very specific way — you must kill the Druergar and save Nene before too much time has passed.
- How To Safely Access The Grymforge: You can safely reach the Grymforge by talking to the leader of the beach Druergar and beginning the ‘Find the Missing Boots‘ — travel north to the Myconid Colony to find the runaway Deep Gnome near the Myconid Sovereign. Pass a [Medicine] check to cure her and she’ll reward you with the Boots of Speed. Show the boots to the Druergar at the Beach and they’ll tell you to travel to the Grymforge.
- On the way to the Grymfore, Druergar will question you. Tell them you were sent to deliver the boots. You’ll eventually be able to access Seargeant Thrinn.
- Alternatively, you can kill the Beach Duergar and pass one of several checks to access the Grymforge.
Talk to Thrinn to begin the quest ‘Free True Soul Nere‘ — he’s trapped behind a wall of rubble. If you want to save the gnomes, you MUST save Nere. When you approach the area where Nere is trapped, a time limit will begin. If you travel away from the Grymforge twice or long rest, he will die. If he dies, all of the gnomes will be executed.
To break open the barrier where Nere is trapped, use Smokepowder Satchels and place them near the rocks. You’ll need to place two to break through the rubble. After placing a satchel, the nearby workers will move so you can safely detonate them with a fire arrow or fire spell.
- You can find Smokepowder in the Grymforge. Talk to Elder Brithvar standing on the ledge to learn more. You can also use Smokepower Bombs to blow up the barrier.
How To Get More Explosive
On the lower level of the Grymforge, near the port, there’s a pile of dead bodies being moved. The door here leads to the Kitchen ruin. Enter and use the button in the back-left corner to find a secret passage.
- Follow the secret passage. On the path, you’ll encounter x3 Ochre Jelly enemies. Defeat them and progress up the stairs, jumping the chasm to reach an Ornate Door.
- Circle around the left of the door to enter the temple. Inside you’ll find an escaped Deep Gnome named Philomeen.
- Talk to her. If you pass an Intimidation, Persuasion, or Detect Thoughts check, you can either get her to stand down and leave or help you with a vial. Once she gives up, you’ll need to request the container of explosives. She’ll give you a single vial. That should be enough to blast open the barrier.
What You Must Do To Save The Gnomes
After blasting open the barrier, True Soul Nere will appear and kill one of the slaves. If you pass a Skill Check and use Illithid power, you can change his mind and force him to release the slaves. This will complete the ‘Save the Grymforge Gnomes‘ quest and talking to the freed Deep Gnomes will begin the ‘Rescue Wulbren‘ quest. The gnomes will thank you and leave for Baldur’s Gate.
- IMPORTANT: To save the gnomes, you MUST kill the Druergar and you MUST save Nere before the time limit is over.
- To save the gnomes, you MUST kill the Druergar. If you don’t, Nere will kill all the Gnomes and ambush you. This battle is much too difficult without extra help. You can either wipe out the Druergar then free Nere — and mind control him to release the Gnomes — or kill Nere after freeing him. If you wait past the time limit, Nere will die but so will all the Deep Gnomes.
To make this task easier, talk to Elder Brithvar and pass the skill check to express your concerns with the cult. The dwarves will help you fight the others. You can also ambush the dwarves before freeing Nere, making Nere a very easy target when he’s out. By himself, he isn’t nearly as dangerous.
- If you do choose to save Nere, he will reward you with a Lyre. Use the elevator in Grymfroge — from the docks, go left (past the spiders and cages) to the door blocked by two slavers harassing a Deep Gnome. Use the elevator to progress into the next area closer to Moonrise Towers. The area is blocked by the Shadow-Curse. To get through it, use the Lyre Nere rewarded you with.
- Nere also drops a Tadpole and a key item called the Broken Moonlantern.
-If you wait with a Long Rest or leave the area twice, Nere will die automatically, and the Deep Gnomes will be executed. Make sure to explore the area fully BEFORE approaching the wall of rock. Approaching the barrier will begin the timer — if you leave twice, you’ll automatically fail the mission.