Disciple Z’rell is a loyal follower of the Absolute in Baldur’s Gate 3, and can stand in your party’s way as a mini-boss that’s difficult to beat. Refusing to bring Ketheric Thorm the Nightsong in Act 2 could result in everyone within Moonrise Towers attacking you at Z’rell’s command. This half-orc Warlock has many tricks up her sleeve that make them harder to take down than you might expect.
The boss fight with Disciple Z’rell comes from the “Infiltrate Moonrise Towers” quest where you are trying to defeat the Cult of the Absolute. However, you could initiate a battle with Z’rell earlier when you deal with the group of goblins led by Fezzerk when you first arrive in the Towers. During the report to the Warlock where she probes your mind for its loyalty, you have the option to attack right away.
Choosing to focus your mind on thoughts of attacking Disciple Z’rell can overwhelm the mini-boss if you roll a high enough Wisdom check. Use spells like Guidance or spend Inspiration in Baldur’s Gate 3 to boost your chances of success.
Every Feature and Ability of Disciple Z’rell
Disciple Z’rell is a Level 9 Warlock with several passive features that make her far more dangerous than she appears. For those who also have a Warlock character in Baldur’s Gate 3, you may recognize the Eldritch Invocation Agonizing Blast that Z’rell has. This adds a +3 damage modifier to the disciple’s Eldritch Blast, which is already one of the strongest cantrips in the game.
Another familiar Warlock trait is Dark One’s Blessing, a skill that allows Z’rell to gain temporary Hit Points if they reduce any hostile creature’s health to 0. Remember to take a long rest before you invade Moonrise Towers so that no companion in your party has low enough HP for Z’rell to take out. Thankfully, Disciple Z’rell can only have temporary Hit Points in Baldur’s Gate 3 from one source at a time.
Dark One’s Blessing can also be dangerous due to the large horde of enemies you may have to face at the same time as Disciple Z’rell. Try to target the boss first before your companions have lower health from fighting everyone else.
An ability exclusive to Z’rell is Psionic Backlash, which specifically targets spellcasters in Baldur’s Gate 3. When an enemy within 9m of Z’rell uses a spell, the disciple can use their reaction to inflict an amount of 1d4 Psychic damage on the caster based on the spell’s level. This makes it hard for characters with close-range spells such as Inflict Wounds or Shocking Grasp to land hits without retaliation against the boss.
There are some amazing low level spells that those new to Baldur’s Gate 3 should keep an eye out for when picking their classes and spells.
Another defensive trait of Disciple Z’rell is the ability to Shield Bash anyone who hits her with a melee attack. Similar to Psionic Backlash, this maneuver uses Z’rell’s reaction to perform, but this time on characters that rely on physical strikes up close. Shield Bash forces whoever hits Z’rell to make a Dexterity Saving Throw, or be knocked Prone in Baldur’s Gate 3.
How to Recruit Allies Against Disciple Z’rell
Several allies exist around Act 2 in Baldur’s Gate 3 that can aid you during the fight against Disciple Z’rell and all the enemies in Moonrise Towers. There are three instances where you can find friends for the boss fight scattered in various locations. The possible recruits who will attack Z’rell with your party are:
Where to Find
How to Recruit
Last Light Inn
When you fight the Cult of the Absolute toward the beginning of Act 2 in the Last Light Inn, Jaheira will join your party as a companion, regardless of the battle’s outcome.
Last Light Inn
This group of bards is protecting Isobel, a cleric at the Last Light Inn during the same Act 2 fight where you meet Jaheira. As the Absolute attacks, they will try and lower Isobel’s health down to 0 and kidnap her to prevent the cleric from casting a protective barrier protecting the Inn from the Shadow Curse. Failing to prevent this kidnapping turns all the Harpers into undead, but saving Isobel lets some of them survive and join your team.
Moonrise Towers (1st Floor)
To the left of the Throne Room, you will find an Absolute cultist trying to use tadpoles to command a pack of three Gnolls. You have a chance to take control of these Gnolls yourself using your mental strength and lead the pack against Disciple Z’rell in Baldur’s Gate 3.
Try not to attack Disciple Z’rell right away if you are looking to recruit the Gnolls since they become hostile creatures with the rest of Moonrise Towers when you attack the boss early. Jaheira is a powerful Druid in Baldur’s Gate 3 that can cast spells and Wild Shape as a full member of your party. The Harpers and Gnolls are temporary allies, but you could use all the help you can get.
Baldur’s Gate 3 has a plethora of Wild Shape forms for druids to transform into. But some are definitely better than others in more ways than one.
How to Defeat Disciple Z’rell
The two best strategies for defeating Disciple Z’rell are to either corner her with all your allies or assassinate her before the fight begins. The only good part of all of Moonrise Towers being against you is that the location is huge in Baldur’s Gate 3. This means that Z’rells reinforcements may show up far later in combat, giving you plenty of time to focus all your attacks and damage on the disciple.
Try to Hide with as many characters as you can until you reach Z’rell first, but make sure to scout out where the half-orc likes to be in the Towers ahead of time. This could change a full assault through the front door into a quick assassination mission before all hell breaks loose. You’ll have to avoid being spotted by the various Scrying Eye orbs that patrol the Towers or destroy them before they can raise the alarm.
As seen in a video by YouTube creator MistaWigglez, isolating Z’rell in the library of Moonrise Towers leaves the Warlock all alone. With some Eyes destroyed, you could easily strike down the half-orc before any other enemy realizes you’re inside. You may want to try doing this without your recruited allies, then leaving silently to group up with them for an assault on Kethric Thorm and the remaining foes.
The only reward you will really get from Z’rell after her defeat is a Mind Flayer Parasite Specimen, an item important to the story. Those who beat Disciple Z’rell in Baldur’s Gate 3 can earn a ton of experience for the party members, and may even level up ahead of the inevitable boss fight with Ketheric Thorm at the end of the invasion of Moonrise Towers.
- August 31, 2023
- Larian Studios
- Larian Studios