While exploring the wilds of Baldur’s Gate 3’s Act I and recruiting companions like Karlach, you might come across a remote location called Riverside Teahouse, just to the Southwest of Blighted Village. Here, you’ll find Auntie Ethel, a deceptively sweet old woman who holds a shocking secret. As you follow the “Get Help From Auntie Ethel” quest, you’ll eventually find yourself in the Overgrown Tunnel, and face-to-face with a sentient Gnarled Door. There’s a bit of a trick to getting past the Gnarled Door in Baldur’s Gate 3 and dealing with what lies within.
How to Get Past the Gnarled Door in Baldur’s Gate 3
You have two options for getting past the Gnarled Door. The first is to strike up a conversation and you’ll learn that the door is an illusion. There’s a path behind the door, and you can actually walk right through.
This is by far the simplest and easiest way to open the door, which will then also allow you to get the jump on the group of enemies inside, or bypass them entirely if you sneak.
If you can’t pass the check, however, you’ll need to pick up one of the Whispering Masks to the right of the door. Only have one member of your party wear the mask to get through, as they’ll need to pass Wisdom Saving Throw every turn after you’re through.
In the next room, Auntie Ethel will use Ephemeral Whispers, and if those rolls succeed and your character doesn’t pass the saving throw, your party member will come under the control of the witch. This means you’ll likely want to put the mask on a character that has a high wisdom score, preferably Gale or a Druid character. At the same time, you can use the Cleric’s Protection Against Evil and Good skill to give that character an advantage on their saving throws. Shadowheart can unlock this skill after just one level, so she’ll be your best bet.
Of course, it’s also a good idea to make a save right before you enter the room, so you can just reload if your character fails a throw. It’s possible to get to Auntie Ethel by passing these saving throws, but you can also initiate a combat encounter if you’d rather go that route.
Taking off the mask when you’re in the room with spawn four different level 4 thralls called the Masks of Regret, Servitude, Terror, and Vengence. It’s not a terribly tough fight, but if you haven’t been leveling much up until this point, you might have a tough time.
Whichever option you choose, the rest of Auntie Ethel’s quest is straightforward until the end.