Bard Stronghold Walkthrough - Baldur's Gate 2

Bard Stronghold Quest Start

The Bard Stronghold is found in the basement of the Five Flagons Inn which is found in the Bridge District of Athkatla. You'll be given the deed to this building when you complete the Rescue Raelis and Haer'Dalis from the Planar Prison side quest assuming that your main character is a Bard. Once you show this deed to Samuel Thunderburp you'll start the Bard Stronghold quest which is titled, Running the Five Flagons Playhouse.

How this quest works is you'll have to solve multiple Events/Tasks which will require your attention. Typically each event triggers days apart from one another, each time a new event triggers you'll typically be approached by Meck in Athkatla who will request that you return to the Five Flagons Inn.

Depending on how you solve the events mentioned below your Play Quality (PQ) will vary. Also, if you wait too long after being approached by Meck in the streets to return to the Five Flagons Inn your PQ will suffer as a result. Play Quality will effect how much Experience and Gold you get at the end of this quest. It also effects how much gold you'll get on a weekly basis once you've completed this quest.

 

Task #1 Choose A Star

Note: To begin this task you'll want to return to the Five Flagons Inn 3 - 5 days after starting this quest.

For this task you'll have to choose a star for your play, our choices are between Jenna or Iltheia. The best choice for this task is Iltheia as you'll get all around more PQ by choosing her. Once you've made your choice you'll be asked to invest some coin. The more money you invest the better PQ you'll get so I would recommend investing the 10k.

Once you've finished picking the star for the lead role and donated to the production of the play you'll have to wait a few days for the next task. From here on out you'll be approached by Meck in Athkatla when the Five Flagons Inn is ready for you.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Task #2 Jealousy Troubles

About 4 to 6 days after solving the previous task you'll be approached by Meck in the streets of Athkatla. If you've waited longer than 6 days and Meck still hasn't approached you then you can return to the Five Flagons Inn and speak with Higgold in the basement. This will force-start the event.

In order to solve this task you'll have to placate Iltheia and ignore the drama she is causing. Below are the different possibilities available to you depending on if she is the lead role or a smaller role.

Iltheia in lead:

The best thing to do if Itheia is in the lead is to compliment her and promise her more money. You'll earn 11k EXP for doing this and the PQ will increase.

Iltheia in small role:

You have 2 ways of solving this, you can force her to accept the fact that she is in a small role to earn 15k EXP and increase the PQ. Or you can put her into a larger role for 6.7k EXP and increased PQ. Your only other option will be to expand her role but this will cause PQ to suffer.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Task #3 Problems with Zaren

The best way for you to solve this is to let Zaren rewrite the play. You'll earn 15k EXP and it will improve the PQ a lot.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Task #4 Character Rewrites

You will have a couple of different options to resolve this task. The 2 best options are listed below:

1. 17 CHA or higher - Take control and do the rewrites yourself. You'll earn 11k EXP and PQ will improve
2. Stop all changes and pay everyone 500G as a bonus. You'll earn 11k EXP and PQ will improve

Any other options will result in no EXP.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Task #5 Cursed!

This time everyone in the play house will be worried about the curse that haunts this play. A priest will be brought in who asks for 1000G to dispel the curse from this place and you'll be given the option of what to do. For the best outcome (most EXP and most PQ increase) you'll want to pay the priest the 1k Gold.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Task #6 Musical Problems

For this problem the musician has quit and you're tasked with resolving the problem. The best thing to do for this part is to hire Balmitance who is a famous musician in Athkatla. It'll only cost you 500g to do this and you'll earn 15k EXP along with a great boost to your overall PQ score.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Task #7 Turmish Fanatics

Note: If you are chain resting at the Five Flagons Inn to pass time you'll have to exit and enter again to trigger this event.

You will find Higgold on the 1st floor of the Five Flagons Inn nearby the stairs leading down. He will tell you that a group of Turmish fanatics have taken control of the play house. You have 3 days to resolve this problem from the time you speak with Higgold. Failing to resolve it means you'll get no EXP and your PQ will drop.

Each of the Turmish fanatics will drop various magical items that you can sell when you're done here. Once they're all dead speak with Higgold to complete this task and earn 15k EXP.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Task #8 Dress Rehearsal

One day after solving the Turmish fanatic problem you'll be invited to attend the dress rehearsal. There is nothing for you to do during this rehearsal except pay attention because during the next task you're going to have to fill in for Zeran and play as Veldan.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Task #9 Play time!

This is the final task of the Running the Five Flagons Playhouse side quest. Essentially your goal for this quest is to play the part of Velden and pick all of the correct lines when presented. Below I have laid out all of the correct dialogue options for you to choose.

Correct Lines: 2, 1, 1, 1, 2, 1, 2, 1, 2, 1

2. You shall not die here this day, woman of the lands below. I shall call my servant to tend to you, quickly. But then you must, I fear.

1. Ask no more questions, woman, but come inside from the cold. The keep is warm enough for now, and the boy will come as he was told.

1. I... am the wizard Velden. Does this frighten you?

1. You do not understand... I have watched centuries... unfold. You are but a passing flame. I cannot embrace you as you wish, Karenina; this cannot be.

2. To accept... would be a pain for me I cannot speak. Do not do this, Karenina; I beg of you, fly away...

1. The kindest and cruelest act that I could summon, good pupil. The lass is gone. Now go.

2. Karenina wished to join me in my never-ending life, good Whitten. But even I could not wish upon another such a fate. But, truer still, I could not bear to part with her... my wife.

1. Aye, married now and forevermore. Karenina will stand forever for me to look upon... and she will not suffer the long years or the pain that would make her weep. For Karenina is now eternal stone... and in that blessed stone, forever shall she sleep...

2. Now go, my pupil... leave me with my bride. I shall touch her cold and unrelenting cheek once more... for tonight a part of me has died inside.

1. Death by pieces, small and many though they are... What crueler a fate... could await an eternal star?

If your performance was without any mistakes you'll be rewarded 49k EXP along with Azlaer's Harp. Depending on your overall PQ you'll also get an additional amount of EXP. If you followed this guide you'll earn another 50k EXP for having very high PQ.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Sell the Playhouse to Higgold

Once the play is finished you'll be given the choice of selling the entire Playhouse to Higgold for 10k Gold. It's up to you if you want to go this route, one thing to keep in mind is that if you sell the Playhouse you will not be able to collect the weekly money from it like you normally do from strongholds.