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Baldur's Gate 3

How to Defeat Commander Zhalk and Get the Everburn Blade

Nathan Garvin

An adventurer is only as good as their equipment… sounds like an adage somebody probably coined at some point. Regardless of this made-up saying’s legacy and attribution, it holds true - the better your weapons, the more successful you’re likely to be. Fortunately, you can get one of the best weapons in Act 1 before Act 1 even begins. This page will provide details for acquiring the flaming greatsword - the "Everburn Blade" iconEverburn Blade - during the Prologue on the "Nautiloid" iconNautiloid in Hell in Baldur’s Gate 3.

The Everburn Blade is a greatsword that also deals bonus fire damage - a fine weapon for how early you can find it.

Where to Find the Everburn Blade in Baldur’s Gate 3

The Everburn Blade is technically on the Nautiloid in Hell, although it’s at the very end of the prologue, during the final battle (or escape, if you prefer) at the helm. The catch? It’s possessed by one Commander Zhalk, a cambion leading the hellish assault on the Nautiloid, and we have a sneaking suspicion that he doesn’t believe that sharing is caring. To get your hands on the Everburn Blade, you’ll have to pry it out of Commander Zhalk’s warm, scaly hands, and if this weren’t the Prologue, you might have more options at your disposal.

(1 of 3) To get the Everburn Blade, you must liberate it from its current owner - Commander Zhalk.

How to Defeat Commander Zhalk and Claim the Everburn Blade in Baldur’s Gate 3

Commander Zhalk is one mean customer, and frankly put, he’s beyond you right now. Some takeaways by checking out his stats (right click him or his icon on the Initiative Roster at the top of the screen and pick the “examine” option, or just highlight him or his icon and press the “T” button) include:

  • He’s level 8
  • He has 150 Hit Points
  • He has an Armor Class of 18
  • He resists 50% of slashing, piercing, bludgeoning, fire, lightning, cold and poison damage.

Yeah, you’re not winning a slugfest with Commander Zhalk. That said, you don’t entirely have to. Commander Zhalk will be busy fighting a Mind Flayer, and while the Mind Flayer has around half the Hit Points of Commander Zhalk (85 to be precise), the Mind Flayer also has a greater damage output. Things aren’t exactly even - Commander Zhalk, barring any prolonged periods of stun due to the Mind Flayer’s psionics - is usually a bit stronger… but there’s nothing that says you can’t contribute. Well, except for the Mind Flayer fighting Commander Zhalk, but we don’t take orders from him yet.

There are other complications, however, some of which you can mitigate, some which you cannot. First, you’ll need to fight through some trash mobs (two Lesser Imps and a Lesser Hellsboar), all of which are mostly fodder. You’re also on the clock - you have 15 turns to reach the Transponder at the northern end of the bridge before the Nautiloid crashes. You must defeat Commander Zhalk, grab the Everburn Blade, and use the Transponder in this time limit… and survive the process.

(1 of 3) Take potshots as you make your way to the northern end of the helm, then dispatch another group of lesser hellions.

Pick off the lesser hellspawn and advance on Commander Zhalk, firing ranged attacks as you go. If you can get near the front of the ship early, you won’t have to spend as much time running later. Ideally, you’ll want to get close enough that you can reach the Transponder with a single "Dash" iconDash option (Dashing doubles your movement speed, but costs an Action to perform). Just be wary, as there are two more Lesser Imps and a Lesser Hellsboar at the helm, and you’ll certainly want to clear them out before making your run for the Transponder, so switch your focus from Commander Zhalk to the lesser hellspawn near the Transponder as soon as they’re within range.

As for Commander Zhalk himself, he’s pretty hard to hit with most attacks you can throw at him at this point in the game, and there’s only really one realistic solution for this: save scumming. You need to hit him pretty much every action, and even with high ground you’d be lucky to have any characters much above 50% accuracy (you can use the stairs behind Commander Zhalk to achieve this aforementioned height bonus). As mentioned earlier he resists half the damage from most attacks, including pretty much any damage you’ll deal from weapons or elemental spells. He is not, however, resistant to force or radiant damage, so a protagonist Warlock and "Shadowheart" iconShadowheart can both score some respectable damage with "Eldritch Blast" iconEldritch Blast and "Sacred Flame" iconSacred Flame… if they hit.

That said, the Mind Flayer should account for around half your damage, often hitting for 13-20+ damage each round (if it hits - save/load to ensure it does). The Mind Flayer is a double-edged blade, however, as it has no concern for your own health and will gladly use its psionics on Commander Zhalk, not caring a bit if you end up as collateral damage, which is why we suggested you avoid melee whenever possible. The Mind Flayer is also an opportunistic abomination, and will turn on you when Commander Zhalk dies, so you don’t want the Mind Flayer to come out of the fight too unscathed. The Mind Flayer isn’t as resilient as Commander Zhalk, so if it’s weak enough when Commander Zhalk dies and initiative is on your side, you should be able to take it down shortly afterwards. Save-scum to curate these results, you don’t want the Mind Flayer to get a turn immediately after Commander Zhalk dies, and you don’t want it to have much more than 20 Hit Points after the good cambion is no longer with us.

(1 of 2) Kill Commander Zhalk and loot him for the Everburn Blade,

Kill Commander Zhalk and loot him for the Everburn Blade, (left), then flee with any character to the Transponder to make your escape. (right)

If that’s not enough, there’s another fly in the ointment here - a pair of Cambions will approach from the south after several rounds have passed, and while it’ll take them three rounds or so to dash from offscreen to where the Mind Flayer and Commander Zhalk are (were), their arrival is likely going to be a terminal complication. You want Commander Zhalk to be dead and the Everburn in your possession before they start attacking.

Aside from save scumming and using damage sources Commander Zhalk isn’t resistant to, there are a few things you can do to make your life easier. First, don’t be shy about using spells and abilities - everything should be refreshed when you complete the prologue. Shadowheart’s "Guiding Bolt" iconGuiding Bolt can deal significant damage, and even the humble "Magic Missile" iconMagic Missile is a welcome bit of damage. Also, only one character needs to reach the Transponder, and it doesn’t need to be your protagonist, so if you can get one character within dashing distance, you can probably save a turn or two. Just be absolutely sure to loot Commander Zhalk’s corpse after he falls, ideally with your protagonist, and grab the Everburn Blade - it’d be a shame to save/load so much just to end up with nothing.

Should you successfully abscond with the Everburn Blade you’ll be in possession of one of the best weapons you can get in Act 1, serving you well for quite a few hours of game-time. It deals 2d6 slashing damage plus 1d4 fire damage, and has the "Pommel Strike" iconPommel Strike, "Lacerate" iconLacerate, and "Cleave" iconCleave weapons actions. Note, however, that it does not have an enhancement bonus, for whatever reason, so it won’t do anything for your Attack Rolls. Still, most warriors - including ["Lae'zel" iconLae’zel] will benefit from using this for the time being.

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Guide Information
  • Publisher
    Larian Studios
  • Platforms,
    Mac, PC, PS5, XB X|S
  • Genre
    Adventure, RPG
  • Guide Release
    6 April 2023
  • Last Updated
    26 March 2024
    Version History
  • Guide Author

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Baldur’s Gate 3 is an immersive roleplaying game set in the Dungeons & Dragons universe. It features a rich story with multiple outcomes for almost every encounter, and plenty of character customization features including more races, classes, subclasses and party combinations than you are ever likely to explore. The seemingly endless possibilities and numerous choices that you can make throughout your journey make a helping hand always welcome, and that’s where we come in! This guide features the following:

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