Kar’niss is one of the most unique enemies in Baldur’s Gate 3 and not just because you’re fighting a half-spider half-man creature. But because he wields the Moon Lantern, which you need to safely traverse the Shadow-Cursed Lands. The battle against him can prove difficult for players because it takes place relatively early on in Act 2, meaning there is a high chance that you and your party are underleveled.
Fear not however, as we’ve got you covered. Not only do we provide tips in ensuring your victory, but we also cover alternate methods on defeating Kar’niss, one of which avoids engaging in combat altogether.
Here is how to defeat Kar’niss and obtain the Moon Lantern in Baldur’s Gate 3.
Before that, below are a few more Baldur’s Gate 3 articles on KeenGamer to satisfy your gaming needs.
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Before we get started, it’s important to mention that this encounter is part of the ‘Seek Protection from the Shadow Curse’ quest. Only after defeating Flaming Fist Marcus in the Last Light Inn will you be able to partake in the Harper ambush. Simply find Harper Branthus in the Last Light Inn and talk to him in order to start the mission. Upon doing so, he marks the ambush location on your map and meets you there. After arriving, a cutscene plays and you see Kar’niss approaching with his group.
If you’re having trouble locating the place, it is near the Shadowed Battlefield fast travel point and should have its own respective waypoint marked on the map.
How to Defeat Kar’niss – Battle Tips
At the beginning of the fight, Kar’niss casts Sanctuary on himself, a protective spell that keeps him safe from harm. Fighting him can prove challenging, especially considering most of your efforts will be in vain due to his protection. Instead, try to focus on the weaker enemies, evening out the battlefield bit by bit.
After doing so, Kar’niss will have no choice but to attack instead of casting protective spells, thus leaving him vulnerable for you to charge. Slash, dice, cast, and throw everything you’ve got at him! Due to this being an ambush, you and your party have a strategic advantage in terms of placement. I’d advise any mages to keep their distance and pick off the smaller enemies. For the beefy Barbarians, fearless Warriors, or tough Monks, you’re going to want to go right up to Kar’niss and unleash it all.
After defeating Kar’niss, simply loot his corpse for the Moon Lantern and you’re good to go. The fight won’t be easy though, so we’ve covered some tips and tricks below that can give you an advantage.
Some spells can inflict damage to Kar’niss even with Sanctuary active. This includes spells and scrolls such as; Clouds of Dagger, Doom, and Fireball which Gale can cast. You can also use illusion-cancelling spells like True Sight or Detect Invisibility or use the conjuration spell Spirit Guardians.
Of course, it goes without saying that you should always be stacked on healing potions. If you’re running low, Shadowheart has a plethora of healing spells for you to use. Speaking of which, it’s essential to ensure you’ve got the right team by your side. Let’s check out the best companions to bring with you in order to help ease the intensity of the battle.
Best Companions To Bring Along
Kar’niss has 184 HP with an Armor Class of 19, making him a force to be reckoned with. Thankfully, you don’t have to battle him alone.Lae’zel is a great option to bring with you as she can heal herself with her Second Wind ability. On top of that, she can also use Action Surge to attack again, leading to some powerful combos.
Gale is a powerful magic caster that will aid you immensely in this battle. Not only can he use Clouds of Dagger to combat Sanctuary, he also possess strong spells that can clear out the weaker enemies. We’d suggest keeping your party balanced, having a mixture of magic and raw physical power in order to cover all bases and situations.
How To Defeat Kar’niss – Avoid the Battle Altogether
Do you keep dying over and over again? Are you sick of reloading saves, trying to make some-any progress at all? Well, we’ve got just the thing for you! What if I told you that you did not even need to battle Kar’niss in order to obtain the Moon Lantern? It’s true! Let’s see how.
Once in place and ready to ambush, Brawler Vez spots you and asks Kar’niss “want me to drag it out?”, and at this point, you’re presented with a choice.
Choose the first dialogue option [1. Clear your throat and make yourself known.] and then your mind will connect with Kar’niss’, prompting him to understand that you are a true soul.
Afterwards, pick the first option yet again [1. The Absolute protected me.] and here comes the fun part!
Kar’niss asks where your lantern is and you’re presented with the choice of deception. Of course, being the cunning individual that you are, you pick that option and succeed in the dice roll. Doing so will result in you tricking Kar’niss by explaining that ‘his queen’ deems him unworthy and that he should give you his Moon Lantern instead. Of course, he isn’t too thrilled and ends up tossing the Moon Lantern to the side.
Tell Kar’niss and his group to simply ‘go’ and they immediately complain, explaining that this mustn’t be the majesty’s will. Pick the first dialogue option yet again which involves another deception dice roll. Succeeding will result in Kar’niss believing that his majesty will protect him and wanders off with his group into the darkness.
You are now able to collect the Moon Lantern from the floor, avoiding a difficult battle encounter altogether. Fun fact, you can find Kar’niss and his group later near the Tollhouse but they’ll only have half of their HP remaining.
Moon Lantern – Should You Release the Pixie?
Upon equipping and using the Moon Lantern, a soft voice will perk up asking for help. If you open your action wheel, you’ll find the option to inspect the lantern, presenting you with a unique cutscene. In which, you realize that a pixie is trapped inside. The pixie pleads and begs for you to free it, which begs the question; should you?
Absolutely, you should! Freeing the pixie grants you and your party members a blessing that allows you to roam around the shadows unscathed. This is essentially giving you the Moon Lantern’s effects, without carrying anything in your hands. Definitely worth it!
This was how to defeat Kar’niss in Baldur’s Gate 3 as well as where to find the Moon Lantern. For more useful guides, make sure to check out our Baldur’s Gate 3 articles page.