This Book in Baldur’s Gate 3 Sheds Light on The Emperor’s Different Role & Puts Him in Better Position

The Emperor in BG3 is actually a whole lot more powerful than he lets on.

By GamesRecon

A great number of hours into Baldur’s Gate 3 and still feel like you’re peeling layers off an endless onion? The Emperor is an almost meta-game enigma players are never entirely sure about. A few fans believe his story is less deep than other stories you will find on your way. But quite often — the things that aren’t found in dialogue trees can be hidden in the pages of lore-heavy books.

This image comes from the 16th installment of Gortash’s memoir notes, as discovered and shared by Ark-the-Lark on Reddit. In the memoir, the Emperor is key in a secret operation to recover the Astral Prism, a powerful artifact known to challenge any Illithid psionics. And, with the regrown nautiloid in the hands of a nautiloid familiar to none other than the Emperor itself, the mission was to penetrate the Vlaakith stronghold.

For People that don’t read the books
byu/Ark-the-Lark inBaldursGate3

This is a huge reveal because it winds up confirming the theory that the Emperor was on the same ship where Tav, Astarion and the other companions have their memories raised with the Illithid parasite. The secrets surrounding the Emperor and his alliances, as well as his true intentions, have always been shrouded in mystery and have caused endless debate among the many characters. Culpability is a question so often debated — or property of the Emperor, but causality is irrelevant.

Something that’s very interesting is that the game casts the Emperor as an unfocused narrator. He poses as the Dream Guardian for the first two acts and only reveals his true intention later. His assertion that he was compelled by the Elder Brain to be in a détente with Gortash temporarily just makes him more complex. What we find out by the end of Act 3 is that the Netherbrain in BG3 actually freed the Emperor to create the team that would ultimately oppose it, — most assuringly. This background not only enriches the context of what the Emperor does but also reflects on how twisted relations are in the setting.

Reddit user Davethelion added—while considering the flexible nature of the Emperor’s character—”My friend said he thinks the Emperor becomes whatever your playthrough needs it to be. So, if you aren’t into lying and are likely to want to set Orpheus free, it becomes a manipulative villain. But if you always view it as an ally who needed to lie to be able to work with you, it becomes just that.”

Baldur’s Gate 3 also showcases mind flayers disconnected from Elioth, an Elder Brain which marks a rare instance of having this all to themselves and a rather strange deviation from the lore. Escaping into the background, they provide a lens through which players can judge the majesty of the Emperor’s actions, showing off the game depth and the depth to which this character can be modeled.

For some players, the smallest moves in the plot are vital for how invested they feel in the game world. The tale of The Emperor serves as a perfect example of the potential for overlooked lore that completely changes how you view the characters that comprise this game. The next time you walk past a bookshelf in Baldur’s Gate 3, make sure to have a look — it’s where the game-changing secrets reside.