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There are two purposes to the Gem Mines. The first is a history lesson. As you talk to Balaur (#2) and the other spirits in the mines (#3, #4), you'll learn the background of the King of Shadows. The King of Shadows started as a Guardian for the Illefarn Empire, to protect its borders from Netheril and other enemies. It was powered by the Weave, but when the Weave failed, it chose to use the Shadow Weave rather than to die. The Shadow Weave corrupted the Guardian and turned it into the King of Shadows, but it still strives, in its own way, to protect the Illefarn Empire.
The other purpose to the Gem Mines is as a puzzle to unlock a Statue of Purification (#5). For this you'll need to talk to six spirits (#3, #4). The spirits won't appear right away; first you'll need to defeat a host of undead creatures -- including ghasts, mummies, wraiths, and baelnorns -- and then they'll show up.
After you've spoken to a spirit, it will agree to follow you. The idea is to guide the spirit to the Communion Tree (#5) by turning on or off the Ghost Lights along its path. At each step along the way, you'll need to talk to the spirit, and then it will choose some path that it has available. By turning on or off the Ghost Lights, you can limit where the spirit can go, and force it towards the Communion Tree.
Note: The possible spirit paths are shown on the map above. Spirits won't return to the rooms where they start, and they won't leave the Communion Tree once they get there.
Once you've guided all six spirits to the Communion Tree, and once you've moved to the tree yourself, a cutscene will start up, and the Communion Tree will transform into a Statue of Purification. Then the statue will bestow upon you the Soothing Light blessing, which will grant regeneration on your party and remove negative levels. If you want to hotkey this blessing, you can find it listed with your history feats.
1 - Starting Point
2 - Balaur
Balaur is the lorekeeper of the mines. Like the other spirits here (#3, #4), he'll tell you some of the history of the King of Shadows. He'll also tell you how the Ghost Lights work, and how to open the Communion Tree (#5).
If you loot the shelves next to Balaur, you'll find over a dozen spell scrolls. Balaur can also give you a three volume set of books on the history of Illefarn.
3 - Elven Spirits
You'll find the elven spirits on the northern side of the mines. Talking to them once will cause them to tell you some background information about the King of Shadows. Talking to them a second time will cause them to move.
4 - Dwarven Spirits
You'll find the dwarven spirits on the southern side of the mines. Talking to them once will cause them to tell you some background information about the King of Shadows. Talking to them a second time will cause them to move.
5 - Communion Tree / Statue of Purification
6 - Smithy
You'll find a pair of workbenches here, plus three containers. If you loot all of the containers, then you'll pick up a
Hammer of the Lost Empire
Gem of Seeing
, and a Rune-inscribed Iron Piece
. The iron piece can be used to reactivate the Construct. See
Grobnar's character page
for more information.
7 - Barracks
If you loot the footlockers in the barracks, you'll find a
plus about 5000 gp.
8 - Truly Horrid Umber Hulk
9 - Corpse
On the corpse you'll find the
Broewende Family Armor
. In the skull pile next to the corpse you can pick up about 500 gp.
10 - Iron Golem
The iron golem has some pretty hefty resistances. It appears to be immune to spells and regular damage, and so your best bet is to use weapons that include an elemental damage bonus, such as the nearby
Hammer of Blasting
(#14). We've also seen earthquake work against the golem, but that might be a bug.
11 - Barracks
Inside one of the chests in this room, you can pick up a
Ring of Improved Evasion
12 - Dread Wraith
From the chest behind the wraith, you can pick up a
Mystran Belt of Priestly Might
13 - Training Room
You can find a
in the locked and trapped chest in this room.
14 - Chest
The chest will give up some random loot, but one of the skeletons next to it should drop a
Hammer of Blasting
when it dies.
- Mine entrance.