At the end of Act 2 in Baldur’s Gate 3, you are introduced to Lord Enver Gortash and Orin the Red. Along with Ketheric Thorm, they make up the Dead Three, and are your main antagonists for the remainder of the story.
When you start Act 3 in BG3, you are immediately greeted by both Gortash and Orin. They want you to side with them against the other, as each one wants full control of the Elder Brain and the Crown of Karsus. Gortash offers you the chance to rule the city of Baldur’s Gate together using the Elder Brain to enslave the population while Orin wants you to fight to the death with her to see who gets control of the brain.
Choosing between the two is like deciding between what piece of disgusting food to eat, as there isn’t really a good option. Luckily, I’m here to explain both sides and offer an opinion on whose side you choose in BG3.
Warning, there are spoilers for Act 3 of Baldur’s Gate 3 in the guide below.
Siding with Gortash in Baldur’s Gate 3
Let’s go over what would happen if you decided to side with either Gortash or Orin. First up, if you side with Gortash, the entirety of the Steel Watch and Flaming Fist guards will not attack you. However, you will need to kill Orin, which involves going through the Temple of Bhaal and the Murder Tribunal to gain access to her lair in the sewers beneath the city.
If you wait too long to kill Orin, she will kidnap one of your companions, and will only release them if you kill Gortash. Of course, if you get into her lair, you will be able to free your companion yourself after killing her. After Orin is dead, you can meet back up with Gortash and discuss whether or not you truly want to control the Elder Brain with him.
From what I can tell, though, Gortash does not make it out alive in the ending sequence no matter what you do. He seems to be destined to die trying to take control of the Elder Brain, leaving you to decide its fate. Siding with Gortash will also block you from completing certain quests, such as saving Duke Ulder Ravengard, saving the Gondians, and destroying the Steel Watch Foundry.
Siding with Orin in Baldur’s Gate 3
On the flip side, choosing to side with Orin is the pure evil route in BG3. Orin wants to assassinate half of the population in Baldur’s Gate to please her God of Murder, Bhaal. If you side with her, you will need to kill Gortash. This can be done at any time by visiting Gortash at Wyrm’s Rock Fortress. However, before doing that, Orin recommends that you blow up the Steel Watch Foundry and even destroy the Iron Throne prison where Duke Ulder Ravengard and the Gondians are being imprisoned.
Once Gortash is dead, Orin will keep her promise and the two of you will duel it out to see who is worthy enough to take control of the Elder Brain. Your companion that she has kidnapped will also be set free, as promised.
Which side should you choose?
My recommendation for who to choose is to initially work with Gortash. This will make the Steel Watch and Flaming Fist no longer hostile toward you and make getting around the city easier. I suggest keep working with Gortash until Orin has kidnapped one of your companions. Once this happens, you can turn on Gortash by disabling the Steel Watch and destroying the Iron Throne. This appeases Orin, who will let your companion go.
In my playthrough, I ended up killing both Gortash and Orin once I got what I needed from them. This made my ending revolve around the Emperor, Orpheus, and my party rather than including one of the Dead Three. However, if you don’t want to go that route, I suggest siding with Gortash and killing Orin. This will get your companion freed after you kill Orin and by all accounts, Gortash ends up dead in the end regardless.