Baldur's Gate 3: Should You Help Gekh Coal? (2024)


  • Don't help Gekh Coal in Baldur's Gate 3 - he's downright evil, and killing him offers better rewards and outcomes for the party.
  • Killing Gekh Coal can lead to a tough battle, but the rewards from defeating him, including powerful gear, are well worth it.
  • Helping Gekh Coal is an option, but morally and practically, it's better to let him die in Baldur's Gate 3 for the greater good.

It's rare for a Baldur's Gate 3 character, even the hostile Gekh Coal, to be just what they seem. Nearly every choice matters in Baldur's Gate 3, and the party will often be presented with the opportunity either to help a character in distress or leave them for dead. Sometimes, they even have the choice to kill a character outright if it best serves their needs. Ultimately, the right choice is whatever makes the most sense from the characters' standpoint, but sometimes, knowing the options and their consequences can influence the decision.

Gekh Coal is a gruff, mistrusting duergar who lurks in the Underdark of Baldur's Gate 3. There are two possible routes the party can take to reach the Shadow-Cursed Lands, where the Moonrise Towers await: BG3's often-missed Mountain Pass or the Underdark. The Underdark is a far more complicated route, and Gekh Coal is just one of the obstacles that stand in the way. Crucially, though, he has access to a boat that can take the party to the Grymforge, which can be used regardless of how the party ultimately decides to deal with him. But deal with him they must before they can climb aboard.


Baldur’s Gate 3: Act 1 Checklist (Everything You Don’t Want To Miss)

Act 1 of Baldur’s Gate 3 has much to see, like recruitable characters, hidden bosses, and other secrets that might require a checklist.

Players Shouldn't Help Gekh Coal In Baldur's Gate 3

Gekh Coal Is Evil & The Results Are Negative

Baldur's Gate 3: Should You Help Gekh Coal? (2)

As a slave trader, Gekh Coal is downright evil, and doesn't deserve the help of a party looking to do good in the Underdark. If they refuse, they'll have to kill him, but there are almost no negative consequences for doing so. Killing him doesn't lock the party out of the "Save the Grymforge Gnomes" side quest line that begins with helping him. The quest can still be taken, especially if the party visits the nearby Myconid Colony and saves the dying gnome Thulla before starting Gekh Coal's interaction. If not, they can still pick it up later by other means. The overall rewards for siding against Gekh Coal are better, including both the loot granted by completing this quest and the follow-up quests that are available after.

The biggest advantage of killing Gekh Coal in Baldur's Gate 3 may come from fulfilling the "Defeat the Duergar Intruders" quest, which can be picked up from the Myconid Colony's Sovereign Spaw. Gekh Coal recently attacked some of Spaw's people, and it wants revenge. If Gekh Coal and his allies are eliminated, Sovereign Spaw will show thanks to the party by granting them access to a closed-off area with some impressive loot inside.

There's a lot of utility to be found here, including Icy Metal, one of three pieces of BG3's Mourning Frost staff; the Shadow of Menzoberranzan, a helmet that allows the wearer to turn invisible once per short rest; and a seemingly useless book called Flumph Mating Rituals. In reality, this is a disguised copy of The Great Furnace of Grymforge, which explains how to use the Adamantine Forge in Baldur's Gate 3.

Spaw will also grant the party the Bliss Spores status effect, which grants the party a 1d6 bonus to basically any action they undertake, including Attack Rolls, Ability Checks, and Saving Throws. It's best not to report back to Sovereign Spaw until after a Long Rest, though, to ensure that the Bliss Spores don't quickly go to waste.

Killing Gekh Coal can result in a big fight involving his hostile allies, but it isn't one that should stump a prepared party. It's best not to antagonize him until after taking a long rest, however, in the event that things should turn dicey. His multiple archers can be bothersome, while others can enlarge themselves to increase their strength. One useful strategy involves taking advantage of the verticality provided by the arena, using the Shove action liberally to deal falling damage and clear some space.

Gekh Coal himself wields the powerful Exterminator's Axe, which does up to 12 damage in a single hit, with additional fire damage to plants, insects, and small creatures. Acquiring this by killing him is a great option for a paladin, barbarian, or fighter, or indeed any character with proficiency in two-handed martial weapons.

By contrast, the immediate rewards for helping Gekh Coal and completing "Find the Missing Boots" are limited in their usefulness. The party can choose either a Bracing Band, a ring that adds one point to the wearer's Armor Class after they shove an enemy, or the Armor of the Uninhibited Kushigo, monk gear that allows the wearer to attack as a reaction when they use the ability Patient Defense. From a purely practical point of view, the party just stands to benefit more by killing Gekh Coal in Baldur's Gate 3.

What Happens If Players Kill Gekh Coal In Baldur's Gate 3?

Impacts On The Myconid Colony & Grymforge Quests

If they decide to kill Gekh Coal in Baldur's Gate 3, the party should be prepared for a difficult battle. Gekh Coal is strong, and the powerful Exterminator's Axe isn't to be underestimated. His minions will enlarge themselves and turn themselves invisible, but that's not a problem if a party member has access to one of four workarounds for invisibility in Baldur's Gate 3: Volo's Ersatz Eye, the see invisibility spell, or a Elixir or Scroll of See Invisibility. Still, they should focus on Gekh Coal himself first, since if he's left alive long enough, he'll summon undead allies that make the battle more difficult.

The Baldur's Gate 3 party will then face some difficult questions from a boat full of duergar halfway through their journey to the Grymforge. They're wondering what these outsiders are doing in Gekh Coal's boat. Successful Deception or Intimidation checks let the party move on peacefully - and as long as the party listened to Gekh Coal's initial request to find his boots, it makes for a solid excuse - but there is a risk of combat should the checks end up as failures. Still, these duergar are tightly grouped, and so they make for a much easier fight.

The party will then dock at the Grymforge, the location of the highly useful Adamantine Forge in Baldur's Gate 3. If they've already taken the side quest "Save the Grymforge Gnomes" from Thulla at the Myconid Colony, then they can skip this next step. Otherwise, Thulla is unavailable by this point, so they should seek out Barcus Wroot if they saved him from his Blighted Village bullies. If they didn't, the gnomes Lunkbug and Laridda will grant the quest instead.

Barkus, Lunkbug, and Laridda can all be found beyond the landing point at the Grymforge docks, chipping away at the cave-in that's left True Soul nere trapped.

"Save the Grymforge Gnomes" involves blowing a hole in the side of the cave where some miners and True Soul Nere are trapped, then fighting off their duergar guards. This can be done either with two Smokepowder Bombs or with the Runepowder Vial, an invention of Philomeen's. The only difficulty lies in finding Philomeen's location in Baldur's Gate 3. She's hiding behind a locked set of double doors near the Grymforge docks, where Gekh Coal's boat first arrived in Baldur's Gate 3.

The party will first have to sweet talk or fight off a group of suspicious duergar, then pick the lock on the doors. Inside, they'll need to pass a Perception check to find a hidden button. Pressing it will open the way to Philomeen, but several Ochre Jellies will block the path. With a successful Persuasion check, Philomeen will hand over the vial. Successfully freeing the gnomes then speaking to Beldron will unlock the further Baldur's Gate 3 side quest "Rescue the Gnomes in Moonrise Towers," which can be undertaken in Act Two after the party passes through the Shadow-Cursed Lands.

What Happens If Players Help Gekh Coal In Baldur's Gate 3?

Impacts On The Grymforge Gnomes

If they agree to help Gekh Coal, the party must go after a deep gnome named Thulla. This begins the Baldur's Gate 3 side quest "Find the Missing Boots." Thulla recently swiped the Boots of Speed from one of Gekh Coal's officers, Sergeant Thrinn. Afterward, she scampered off to the Myconid Colony, which is to the north of Gekh Coal's base of operations. As per usual, peace is the best option when arriving at the Myconid Colony, as it's full of sentient, poisonous mushrooms who don't take kindly to interlopers.


Should You Side With Glut Or Spaw In Baldur's Gate 3?

Sovereign Glut and Sovereign Spaw are both compelling Myconid characters in Baldur's Gate 3, and choosing which to support can be difficult.

Either way, the party will eventually come across Thulla, lying poisoned on the ground. She's in no state to fight back, so the party can simply remove her boots and bring them back to Gekh Coal, but a better option is to heal her. This can be done with the help of an Antitoxin, Duergar Antidote, or the lesser restoration spell, which Shadowheart should know by now. She'll give them the boots as thanks and explain that many of her kin are still under Gekh Coal's captivity at the Grymforge. This opens up the Baldur's Gate 3 side quest, "Save the Grymforge Gnomes."

Thulla can still be healed - and her boots kept for the player's own use - even without helping Gekh Coal.

The party should then return to Gekh Coal, who'll allow them to use his boat in order to reach the Grymforge and return the boots to Sergeant Thrinn. If they so choose, they can still complete "Save the Grymforge Gnomes" and unlock "Rescue the Gnomes in Moonrise Towers" as normal. This choice will come with the sacrifice of the Exterminator's Axe and the rewards from Sovereign Spaw, so it isn't without any consequences. However, Sovereign Spaw won't be angry at the party for failing to kill Gekh Coal. He will simply register the quest as incomplete.

In the end, whether Gekh Coal lives or dies is less important than how things proceed with Thulla and the other gnomes. The only thing it really impacts is Sovereign Spaw's favor, but even then, many players will choose to side with Glut instead. No matter how Gekh Coal's quest ends, the party won't be locked out of the gnome-related side quests in the area, and can proceed through the Underdark to the Shadow-Cursed Lands. From a moral and practical standpoint, almost everyone is better off with Gekh Coal dead. However, the right choice is whatever seems truest to the player character in Baldur's Gate 3.

Baldur's Gate 3: Should You Help Gekh Coal? (4)
Baldur's Gate 3

Developed and published by Larian Studios, Baldur's Gate 3 is an upcoming role-playing game set to release in August of 2023. Players will create a character to embark on a large-scale journey and can do so solo or cooperatively with a friend. Combat is a turn-based style this time around.

Baldur's Gate
PC , Stadia , macOS , PS5 , Xbox Series X

August 3, 2023

Larian Studios

Larian Studios

M for Mature: Blood and Gore, Partial Nudity, Sexual Content, Strong Language, Violence
Baldur's Gate 3: Should You Help Gekh Coal? (2024)
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