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Baldur's Gate 3: Samples of the Shar

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If you want to progress from Act 2 to Act 3 in Baldur's Gate 3, you must first successfully make your way through the Shadowlands. An essential component that is not optional is the Shar samples. We have the answers to all your questions about the Shar exams.

Shar Samples are one of the most important things you do in Act 2. They are not optional and are an important part of Shadowheart's personal quest. You also have to pass it in order to find the Night Song and advance to the finale of Act 2.

You will find them in a hidden Shar temple, which also turns out to be a real labyrinth. So that you don't wander through the world disoriented and end up getting lost, we have put together everything you need here: namely where to find the exams, how to achieve them and how to master them.

Depending on which step you need support with, you can jump there using the table of contents.

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Samples of the Shar – this is how you find them

This is how you reach the Shar samples in the upper world

You can find the Shar samples in the north of Reithwin in Act 2. The entrance is in the Thorm family mausoleum. When Devil Raphael stands in your way, you know he's near. Depending on the run, you may also meet the young Tiefling Arabella on the way there.

The easiest way for you is over the bridge to Reithwin and then north. Leave the mausoleum on the right and continue north to the left of it until you reach the mausoleum entrance.

This is how you unlock the entrance to the Shar Temple

A few challenges await you in the mausoleum itself. As soon as all enemies and traps have been cleared out of the way, make your way to the northernmost chamber. Don't forget to loot everything you can – here you'll find a lot about the background story of Baldur's Gate 3 and the Shadow Curse in particular. Not to mention the actual loot.

In the northernmost room you will find a picture puzzle: three large pictures hang on the walls. Each of them shows a phase in the life of Ketheric Thorm. You will find a button under each picture. You have to activate them in chronological order. To find out the correct order, you can read several books, notes and stone tablets in the main chamber.

This is the correct order:

  1. The painting Towers of the Moonrise
  2. The painting of grief
  3. The general's painting

Once you have solved the picture puzzle, the northern wall opens. Now you can enter the Temple of Shar.

Enter the Temple of Shar and unlock the main part

Before you can go deeper into the sanctuary, you have to solve another puzzle. If you run straight away from your spawn point, you will reach a chamber with a statue.

To fully open the temple, you have to get to the statue. Unfortunately, you can't do this because your characters keep getting thrown backwards. To get around this barrier, you have to lower the lamps under the ceiling and turn off all lights – you are also no longer allowed to carry any light sources on you.

You can lower the lamps with levers. This is found on the sides of the corridors that lead directly from the main chamber. Disarm the traps in front and pull the levers. Each lever drops a lantern to the ground, whose light you can then turn off.

If it is dark and you have done everything correctly, you should see a runic circle around the statue. You cannot cross the runes themselves. But they have holes through which you can get to the statue like a mini maze.

Once you have reached the statue, interact with it and the gate to the temple should open.

This is what the room should look like when you have solved the puzzle.

Mastering the Shar's rehearsals – here's how

The Temple of Shar and the Trials are on multiple levels. Navigation is therefore not particularly easy. Here we describe the path through the temple, as the layout of the sanctuary suggests.

Important: You do not have to solve the trials with Shadowheart or another individual character. You can have your whole party help out, which at least they do Gentle step and Same-Makes testing easier.

We walked around the temple for you to show you exactly where you can find things:

Baldur's Gate 3 Temple of Shar Walkthrough

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Shar Samples: Find all Shadow Gems

In order to complete the temple, you have to collect a shadow gem at the end. These balls open the way to the final room and towards the night song.

You will find the first three balls at the end of the tests described here. The fourth ball, however, is hoarded by the Orthon Yurgir. If you met Devil Raphael at the beginning, the name might ring a bell. The encounter with the Orthon can take place in very different ways. In the end, you just have to make sure to search his belongings for the final Shadow Gem.

Shar 1 Samples: Soft Step Test – Find & Solve

The first test takes place down the western stairs. Activate the waypoint and go down more stairs to the right. The door to the “Gentle Step Exam” is labeled “Your Most Coveted Treasure.”

As soon as you walk through the door, you are in the exam area. Before you can get started, however, you must make a blood sacrifice. That starts the challenge.

Samples of Shar: The entrance to the first test.

How do you solve the exam? The basic goal for you is to get a crystal ball at the other end of a labyrinth. However, the path through the labyrinth is not clear: you can adjust and change the layout using levers and buttons. Watch out for traps and enemy shadows.

There are several possible solutions. The easiest one is to send a party member through the maze and to the other end before you start the trial. This way you can take your time to explore and find a safe route before the enemies spawn in and make things more difficult for you.

If you don't cheat If you want, grab your character with the highest stealth value. This is your route:

  • Starts the test.
  • Let the chosen character die Hide Use action.
  • Send this character through the gate to the left of the Shar statue where you started the trial.
  • Take the first turning left. Keep running west until you come to the greasy floor.
  • Use the jump action to jump through the window.
  • Then continue west until the end of the test.

Here are a few more tips:

  • Try to disarm the traps as you go through.
  • The skeleton to the left of the entrance to the test has an invisibility potion that makes the test a lot easier.

Don't forget to collect the Shadow Gem at the end.

Shar 2 Samples: Same test – find & solve

The so-called Same test You can reach it if you turn left after the gentle step test. It's the next door on the same wall as the first test. Also start this trial by making a blood sacrifice at the statue of Shar.

Samples of Shar: The entrance to the second test.

How do you solve the exam? This test is comparatively easy: As soon as you have started the test and entered the area, doppelgangers of your current party will appear. These attack you and what follows is a completely normal fight – only this time against yourself.

The twist: your evil selves can turn invisible and the debuff Cheater's Folly distribute. Cheater's Folly reduces one attribute by 1. The debuff is triggered when your character attacks a doppelganger that is not your own. The effect can be applied to you up to four times – so you can temporarily lose up to 4 attribute points.

To avoid the debuff, always have your characters fight their own doppelganger first. Once a doppelganger is defeated, his or her original is free to attack whomever he or she wishes.

Here are a few tips to make it easier for you:

  • Once the trial has started, sneak into the combat area and ambush your opponents.
  • Have Shadowheart with you with magic/weapons/attacks that deal dazzling damage. This makes the invisible opponents visible. Just make sure she defeats her own doppelganger first so that the debuff doesn't carry over.

Here too: Don't forget to take the shadow gem with you.

Shar 3 Samples: Leap of Faith – Find & Solve

The third and final test can be found one floor below. To do this, run out of the second test and down the stairs on the left. To your right there are a few more steps down – there you will find the exam.

Samples of Shar: The entrance to the second test.

How do you solve the exam? There is now another statue in front of you and behind it a deep abyss. The object of your desire, another Shadow Gem, is placed on a platform above nothingness. So now it's a matter of overcoming the abyss to collect the ball.

So how do you overcome the abyss?

On the floor in front of the statue with which you start the test, you will see a floor plate with strange patterns. They show you where there are invisible but accessible paths above the abyss. You can also make these paths visible using a lever next to the entrance door.

Alternatively, you can of course fly over the abyss. Or jump from visible platform to platform with a character with a long jump distance.

But if your character falls into the abyss, he or she is immediately dead. The corpse reappears at the starting point and can be used with the spell Revive or a scroll can be retrieved.

Once you have collected the gemstone, the Shar trials are over. You can now run back towards the entrance and continue the quest towards the Nightsong. But if you want, you can go one room further, into the quiet library – there you can get the night spear, among other things.

A little warning at the end: When you make your way to Nightsong, you will be asked if you are sure if you want to continue. This decision can exclude you from a lot of content. Everything about it can be found here: A decision in Baldur's Gate 3 costs you a lot of quests – here's how to prevent that

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