Baldur’s Gate 3: Remove Arcane Barrier [Defeat Auntie Ethel]

After spending a decade navigating the Underdark, this is my guide on how to remove the Arcane Barrier in BG3.

In Baldur’s Gate 3, players encounter the mysterious Arcane Barrier during the Auntie Ethel quest. This formidable obstacle, guarding the entrance to the next quest segment and two legendary gear rewards, can be dismantled using the best spells or navigating intricate control panels, setting the stage for a pivotal confrontation with Auntie Ethel.

Key Takeaways
  • The Arcane Barrier in Baldur’s Gate 3 is an obstacle encountered during the Aunty Ethel side quest.
  • The Arcane barrier can be cleared by destroying or deactivating the Arcane Cannons surrounding the Arcane Tower.
  • Upon successfully navigating through the Arcane Barrier, players obtain the Markoheshkir, a legendary staff.
  • They also acquire the Robe of the Weave, a potentially powerful item for magic users or spellcasters in BG3.

What Is Arcane Barrier In Baldur’s Gate 3

Arcane Barrier containing 2 valuable loot items [Image Credits: Me]
The Arcane Barrier in Baldur’s Gate 3 is an energy-based hurdle faced by players, notably within the quest involving Auntie Ethel, that stops players from progressing to the next segment of the quest. To clear this barrier around the Arcane Tower, players must either damage the Arcane Cannons with spells like Eldritch Blast or find a way to turn them off via control panels.

Players embark on this quest to confront and ultimately defeat Auntie Ethel. One must obtain the Bitter Divorce Wand to bypass the barrier, though a known bug might prevent progress if certain actions are taken out of sequence.

How To Clear The Arcane Barrier?

To clear the Arcane Barrier in Baldur’s Gate 3, players must follow a series of steps:

  1. Start the Auntie Ethel Quest: This quest is pivotal as the barrier is encountered within its storyline.
  2. Confront Auntie Ethel: As the quest unfolds, players will interact with Auntie Ethel and Mayrina, and the narrative will require the rescue of Mayrina multiple times.
  3. Defeat Auntie Ethel: This is crucial as the barrier is linked to her presence. Some players have found success by causing her to plummet from the middle of the zone, though there are other ways to combat her using environmental elements and strategies.
  4. Obtain the Bitter Divorce Wand: Once Auntie Ethel is defeated, players must find the Bitter Divorce Wand. This item is essential as it allows players to pass through the Arcane Barrier and continue their quest.

How To Defeat Auntie Ethel

BG3: Auntie Ethel
Fight with Auntie Ethel in BG3. [image grab by Me]
Auntie Ethel in Baldur’s Gate 3, also known as the Old Hag, who can prove challenging to unprepared players. Given her capabilities, a multi-faceted strategy is advised. Before confronting Ethel, engage in conversation with Mayrina regarding Ethel’s dark deeds, particularly about her role in killing Mayrina’s brothers.

This dialogue will shed light on the narrative and influence combat dynamics, such as Mayrina’s role and Ethel’s behaviors.

  • One of the best strategies that I’d recommend is changing Wyll’s class to Arch Fey Warlock.
  • This adjustment grants him the Fey Fire ability, which can counteract Ethel’s invisibility—a significant advantage, considering the hag’s propensity to vanish during combat.
  • Also bring a caster companion (Gale or your caster Tav) for some much needed crowd control.

Place a party member inside the fireplace. Since Ethel uses it as a teleportation point, having a character there can provide an opportunity for an immediate attack when she appears, potentially disrupting her actions and giving your party composition the upper hand.

What Do You Get After Crossing The Arcane Barrier?

After successfully pulling off the long challenge required to get past the Arcane Barrier in Baldur’s Gate 3, you will get the two gear rewards waiting for you to collect. You will get the legendary staff called Markoheshkir and a robe called Robe of the Weave.

1. Markoheshkir

Markoheshkir Weapon Stats [Image Credits: Me]
Stat Description
Name Markoheshkir
Type Legendary Quarterstaff
Damage 2 – 9
Damage Type 1d8 (1d6) + 1 Bludgeoning
Arcane Enchantment +1 bonus to Spell Save DC and Spell Attack Rolls

Arcane Battery – The next spell you cast doesn’t cost a spell slot

Weapon Enchantment +2
Kereska’s Favour Imbued with elemental energy
Main Hand Ability Topple

2. Robe of the Weave

Robe of the Weave gear item stats [Image Credits: Me]
Rarity Very Rare
Weight 0.5 lb
Price 300
Armor Type Cloak
Armor Class +2
Arcane Enchantment +1 bonus to Spell Save DC and spell attack rolls
Weave Eater Effect Whenever the wearer succeeds in a Saving Throw against a spell, they regain 1d6 hit points

My Tips

You can potentailly skip the Auntie Ethel side-quest very easily in the Underdark because of how much there is to explore. Therefore, I will recommend that you explore the entire Underdark before you go ahead with this quest.

Save Progress BG3
My Latest BG3 Save (Image Credit: Me)

You can pick up roots near the Sussur Tree as well that will nullify magic around them and allow you to disable the Arcane turrets with more ease. Additionally, you can use some of the other equipment you may get from places like the Myconoid Colony.

In conclusion, the Arcane Barrier, intertwined with the Auntie Ethel quest in Baldur’s Gate 3, underscores the game’s depth and intricate design. As players harness spells and strategy to surpass it, they’re reminded of the crucial role choices play, particularly when a single missed conversation can drastically alter the quest’s trajectory.

Before you leave, I recommend you do miss out on reading BG3 Flowers Quest, BEST Feats For Rogue, BG3 Races, and Baldur’s Gate 3 Sorcerer best build guides


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Ibrahim Akhtar is a guides & features writer at eXputer. He uses his passion for gaming to provide insightful takes in his articles. Ibrahim spends most of his time defending Baldur's Gate from the forces of the Absolute. He has accumulated more than 15 years of gaming experience, having 1000 hours in The Witcher 3 and twice as much on Skyrim V. Ibrahim has previously worked at TopTierList. You can keep up with his Steam account to stay up to date on his latest explorations.

Experience: 1+ Years || Previously Worked for TopTierList || Education: Bachelors in Data Science.

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