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I posted this on the BG3 subreddit if you prefer to read it there. Reddit post

So, I haven't seen anything or anyone talking about this (perhaps I am just THAT out of the loop), but after playing through some of Patch 4, a thought struck me:

"What if we meet a god in the flesh?"

The reason I bring this up is because I was thinking about the storyline going forward and trying to work it out in my brain how the Dead Three work into it all. As I was running through the ruined temple, I began to piece together another thought:

"What if we meet a god in Act 1?"

As I began to think about it, especially in the temple, I came upon this radical epiphany. We do meet a god. In fact, this god is one of the most important and ancient in Forgotten Realms history! We actually meet and interact with Jergal himself!

Now, I can guess what you are thinking: "Really? A god this early on? That sounds way too over-the-top to happen so early in the story. More to the point, how can you even prove that and why should I care?" Ah, indeed it does, my internet acquaintance. But I think I can prove it and give you a reason to care! (I will be referencing the Forgotten Realms wiki a fair bit, so here is a link to the page I use as reference)

WARNING! Wall of text incoming!

**AHEM!**

So, let us start with the temple our friendly corpse is found in. In the temple where we find that living corpse, it is littered with ruined books and languages long lost. Jergal is essentially the record keeper of all souls that pass on from the material plane. He is, in a manner of speaking, a glorified scribe. His church was a secretive one, made of scribes that based themselves in dank tombs and crypts, recording the various facets of a person's death and move to the afterlife. You can find a book that records the names of the deceased and their associations early on after clearing out the looters. To further this, consider the inner sanctum. Once you enter, to your right is a tomb with a prominent sarcophagus in the center and more along the sides of the room. This seems to line up with where the followers/clergy members of Jergal practice. To your left is a large sanctum where you can find the skeletonized corpses of scribes, as your party members point out. Upon entering this area, there is a room to your immediate left that contains a magical tome called the "Book of Dead Gods". When you manage to open it and pass the relevant checks, you learn that it has been recording the deaths (and births) of gods throughout the ages. This too falls in line with what we know so far about Jergal.

Next, let's talk about this area with the dead scribes. There are three clues worth noting, one of them being the "Book of Dead Gods". Another clue is the statue that dominates the center of the sanctum. Upon a successful Religion check, your party discerns that it is a statue of and dedicated to Jergal. Again, it is something that confirms this is, or was, a place for Jergal worshippers. But, I will assume that much is known about in the wider player base, so nothing new there. But what about the dead scribes and the hidden tomb? The scribes come back to life and attack when you open the hidden tombs and are armed with weapons at that! As your companions (or your character) questions, why would scribes be armed? Given they came back to life and attack, they likely were those who were the most devoted of Jergal's followers and are protecting a place (in this case, resting place) of great importance, religious or otherwise, even in death. The importance of this hidden tomb is rather self-evident because the dead don't just come back to life. There is usually something that will cause them to return, whether a spell, curse, or fanatic devotion.

Okay, so the hidden tomb is important. Isn't that just because of the loot inside?

That amulet is pretty powerful. Well, not quite. The amulet's presence is certainly important, but not for the reason you think. It aligns with what Jergal did as a scribe of the dead. He spoke to the dead and recorded their transition to the afterlife. But that isn't all of it in here. When you enter, there is a plaque in front of the sarcophagus that says (and I may be flubbing this a little), "Here lies the Guardian of Tombs". The name, or title, in this case, is one that belonged to Jergal when he had far more power. But why would this be here of all places? Isn't he a god? Jergal is, though a minor one in the setting of BG3. Eons ago, Jergal was bored of his position and power, willingly giving most of it away to Bane, Myrkul, and Bhaal (the story of this event can be found in the Sword Coast Adventurer's Guide, called "The Legend of Knucklebones, Skull Bowling, and the Empty Throne). It stands to reason that he became a minor god after doing this and simply faded into the background, doing what he normally did. It wouldn't be too hard to reason that this place was meant for him to do his job quietly, or even rest should he ever become bored again. The sarcophagus likely is the resting place for Jergal.

Interesting evidence, chief, but that doesn't prove that the boney undead that crawls out is Jergal.

Fair enough, but there is more to this skeleton than meets the eye. Now, referring to the wiki (and some of SCAG) let's look a bit deeper. The wiki points out some interesting things about Jergal, mainly his personality and his voice. His personality is described as "unfeeling and [is] excessively formal, he never angers and always speaks in a disembodied, chilling voice. He cares little for anything besides an orderly accounting of the fate of the world as it slowly sinks into death, and he now serves Kelemvor as he previously served Cyric and Myrkul before him." It also states "[h]e is not evil or malicious, but impassively records the death of all things." Now think about our undead friend and the way he spoke. His tone was neutral and one might go so far as to say bored. His voice fits this description of disembodied as it echoed, almost seeming to resonate in your mind. He is a bit of a boring philosopher when you speak to him and his speech is quite formal/proper, which is amplified by the use of words associated with Old English (thou, dost, etc.). He doesn't even show the slightest hint of anger, irritation, or any emotion outside of his stated "curiosity". He hardly cares about what we think we meet him again in camp. This all falls in line with how Jergal is described.

"But couldn't he be just some lich or necromancer?"

I would argue that our new friend is neither since the former implies the latter and he has no motivation whatsoever. A Lich is generally a malevolent entity and generally has some goal they wish to achieve. They usually have the goal of becoming a god or attaining some goal that alluded them in life (Acererak is an example of this). Our friend, however, doesn't seem to have much drive at all. He is kind of a blank. On top of that, a Lich generally would protect their lair far more than what the party experiences. There are the fire trap and about four undead, but that is it. He doesn't even wish to fight us and doesn't even show the slightest hint of being upset that we disturbed his resting place. Now, could he be just a necromancer? Maybe, but given the prior evidence, that wouldn't make much sense. Why would a necromancer just be biding their time in an ancient temple? I find it more compelling that this place is an ancient temple from the age of the Netherese since that was around the time that Jergal was a greater deity and there is a Netherese Sigil just outside the temple where you meet Shadowheart. Additionally, our undead friend can resurrect party members in your camp. Since we can almost safely believe that this character is not a lich or random necromancer, how can he bring back the living? Usually, one needs to be highly adept in the arcane arts or have a strong connection to some divine power in order to do these things. Given the circumstances of how we meet him, he likely fits into the latter. Even minor gods can bring back the dead, so it stands to reason that this character could be Jergal since he will bring back an ally for gold (but for what reason he needs gold is beyond me).

Alright, you make some good points and this sounds like a huge development, but why should I care?

Again, fair point. As I said earlier, Jergal handed down much of his power to the Dead Three (Bane, Myrkul, and Bhaal) when he became bored of his position as a greater deity during the age of the Netheril. If what I theorize is true, then we have a direct link to the Dead Three hanging out at our camp! He is a literal deity and could be a major plot device going forward. He could tell us more about the Dead Three and even give us insight into their plans, given that we do know that they are going to have their hands digging around somewhere in the BG3 storyline; he might even be able to tell us what is going on with our tadpoles (though I am just spitballing with that one)! With all the references to the Netherese magic, Jergal's history, and the circumstances under which the party meets this figure is far too much to be a coincidence. I believe that we meet/interact with one of the most important and ancient deities in all of Forgotten Realms history at the very beginning of the game!

I gotta say, this was very sneaky of Larian to do. Hiding such an important character in plain sight. Hats off to them for this!

What do you all think? I want to hear what you think about my theory and what ideas you have!

Last edited by DiscountCanadian; 13/03/21 02:08 AM.
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Oh, the talkative skeleton is 100% Jergal. This isn't even that crackpot, either. If a cleric of Kelemvor or Myrkul talks to him, they have special dialogue in which they deduce he is powerfully divine, either an avatar of a god or one of their chosen, and also related to death, as he claims "We have an understanding." to both of those types.


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Damn, I must have missed that. But hey, more to prove that we meet a god! I was being hyperbolic by calling this a "Crackpot theory", but you make a good point.

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I don't believe that the scribe is Jergal directly, mainly because his dialogue indicates that he is in the service of his master, and has been given a task and purpose, but he is certainly an avatar or chosen of Jergal, or a direct envoy.

But then again... Larian... so, it might well be.

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Everybody has known that is Jergal for a long time now.

Edit: everybody except Niara.

Last edited by Warlocke; 13/03/21 02:02 AM.
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Oh hush, I'm biased mainly because I have more respect for Jergal than for Myrkul, and I do feel that it's a bit of a shark jump to toss him in directly just there in front of us without an intermediary first... I hold out a small flicker of hope that Larian aren't being that ridiculous ^.^

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Originally Posted by Warlocke
Everybody has known that is Jergal for a long time now.

Edit: everybody except Niara.

Well, just goes to show that I really am THAT out of the loop lol

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I would argue that the "master" he refers to is Kelemvor, since Jergal has served several gods in recent history and Kelemvor is who he currently serves. His writing of those who pass on to the afterlife (both for mortals and gods, wherever they end up) might have been a task given to him by the gods he has served. This task might also be something just be a purpose that was given to him by another god or one his former-self gave to this lesser self after divulging his power.

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I can't find it now, but I remember reading a discussion among some of the dataminers about their findings on the talkative skeleton and their conclusion was:

He was originally supposed to be Jergal, but Larian apparently changed their minds and downgraded him into a Chosen/avatar.

We'll see what the full game brings!

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Originally Posted by Tarlonniel
I can't find it now, but I remember reading a discussion among some of the dataminers about their findings on the talkative skeleton and their conclusion was:

He was originally supposed to be Jergal, but Larian apparently changed their minds and downgraded him into a Chosen/avatar.

We'll see what the full game brings!

Damn! I know this is stuffed datamined now (during EA) but that puts a damper on my theory. But, you are right. I guess we will have to see how things shake out in the full game.

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Originally Posted by DiscountCanadian
I guess we will have to see how things shake out in the full game.

You never know, the devs might change their minds again. I've certainly seen some datamined stuff that I hope won't make it into the final release.

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Now, in the interest of debate and just for the fun of theorizing, I was recently given this theory from my Reddit post:
Quote
I think it’s Velsharoon.

Checklist of reasons:

2. Carries a staff.
3. He’s a Lich.
4. Neutral Evil, so he can be a good ally of his interests align.
5. Possesses divine energy.
6. He uses the blood of adventurers for power.
7. Believes that knowledge holds vast power, and is known to be secretive. (Why he might refuse to continue certain subjects maybe?)
8. Has power over life and death.
9. Is the only divine associated with death that wears a crown / ornamental mask like the hooded skeleton does.

....and finally the number 1 reason why I believe he is Velsharoon. His robes are clearly purple, and He is apart of the Cult of the Dragon, also known as the Wearers of Purple.

To me, I find myself scratching my head when reading this. I can't help but ask why would this demi-god lich be doing in a temple to Jergal? Why interact with party?

Just for the hell of it, why might this person rationalize this character to be Velsharoon? Might be a decent mental exercise to discern this reasoning and why it might this theory be relevant to the story.

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Originally Posted by Niara
Oh hush, I'm biased mainly because I have more respect for Jergal than for Myrkul, and I do feel that it's a bit of a shark jump to toss him in directly just there in front of us without an intermediary first... I hold out a small flicker of hope that Larian aren't being that ridiculous ^.^

You know what they say about hope?

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Mr Boney is just the game's "get out of gaol free card". Other DnD games have had the same idea of getting you back on your feet when you have cocked up; usually for money. Our saviour is clearly related to Jergal, since he spouts forth about erasing the dead character from the book of the dead when resurrecting.

It's cute that they use Jergal to link back to the BG1/2 story, but inconclusive as to whether this is the big J himself, or an important acolyte. I didn't really look closely at the Jergal statue in the crypt, but I did not get a sense that it exactly resembled Mr Boney, so they can probably make a decision on that later in development.

I would have to wonder ( at this point, anyway ) what Jergal would be doing loafing around in a minor crypt in the back of beyond, and why he would want to then loaf around in our camp. There would have to be a good rationale for such behaviour, so I would lean towards an acolyte ( who would naturally copy Jergal's characteristics ) being more reasonble, but who knows.

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Originally Posted by etonbears
Mr Boney is just the game's "get out of gaol free card". Other DnD games have had the same idea of getting you back on your feet when you have cocked up; usually for money. Our saviour is clearly related to Jergal, since he spouts forth about erasing the dead character from the book of the dead when resurrecting.

It's cute that they use Jergal to link back to the BG1/2 story, but inconclusive as to whether this is the big J himself, or an important acolyte. I didn't really look closely at the Jergal statue in the crypt, but I did not get a sense that it exactly resembled Mr Boney, so they can probably make a decision on that later in development.

I would have to wonder ( at this point, anyway ) what Jergal would be doing loafing around in a minor crypt in the back of beyond, and why he would want to then loaf around in our camp. There would have to be a good rationale for such behaviour, so I would lean towards an acolyte ( who would naturally copy Jergal's characteristics ) being more reasonable, but who knows.

There are a couple of more reasons why I do believe it is Jergal (or at least his avatar), but that would go into datamined info and that is a whole can of worms that can very easily change. If you want to go looking at that, I would recommend it if only for the entertainment value.

I'll toss in a quick rebuttal to your statue idea. You can't take a statue as being entirely representative of who the subject of it was. Gods can take many forms, but it is the iconography that heavily implies that it is a statue dedicated to Jergal rather than a strict representation of him. This is further implied to be so as there are tapestries hanging on either side of the statue, depicting a skull with a scroll in its mouth, which is the symbol of Jergal. Artistic license and all that.

More to what I wish to say, you bring up a good point by asking why he is in that crypt. It is an important question but one I think I can give a possible answer to.

Our "talkative" friend, once we open his sarcophagus, says "So he has spoken, and so thou standest before me. Right as always." This seems to imply that he was directed to be there and await our arrival. We do not know how long he has been there, but he was likely waiting for some reason. On top of that, if you talk to him in camp, he says he responds with something along the line of "We meet again as predicted," and when you question why he is in your camp, he says "Be assured it is not by choice". From this, we can infer that this "friend" of ours was instructed to wait for us and offer services to us by his master. This master also seems to have the ability to predict the future. Drawing parallels to Jergal, Jergal doesn't care about the happenings of mortals and only wishes to carry on with his duties. However, Jergal does have a master, Kelemvor. Knowing Kelemvor, he has long opposed the Dead Three and can be reasoned that he tasked his servant to aid in ruining the schemes of Ban, Myrkul, and Bhaal. This could explain the general apathy he has for us and his motivation (or lack thereof). Now, it is hard to say whether or not Kelemvor or other gods truly have some form of precognition, but given how powerful they can be, it isn't hard to imagine.

Now, there are other theories that I have been contemplating and trying to reason out, so here is some additional thinking. For the sake of argument, let us presume that Mr. Boney is indeed Jergal. What if the entity or person that directed him to await us is not Kelemvor and who might it be? There is a theory going around that it might be Helm. Now, why would this be the case? Helm is one of the gods who has/does oppose the Dead Three, as they seek to disturb the peace and balance in Faerûn. One might speculate that Helm ordered Jergal to serve the party as penance for divulging much of his divine power to those three twisted adventurers long ago and causing the great unrest seen in the realms in recent history. Another theory stipulates that it might be Ao who ordered Jergal into this penance, given that it was Bane and Myrkul who stole the Tablets of Fate not long before the events of BG1. I am not sure if these would make sense but they do exist (if you look hard enough, *wink wink*).

Last edited by DiscountCanadian; 14/03/21 12:55 AM.
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You want crackpot, I've been doing a bit of lore digging as I've not been into Forgotten Realms stuff since BG2, am wondering if the "ancient evil" that has re-awoken is going to be Moander. Taken from the Fandom page:

The Truth about his "Death"

What was always considered perplexing about Finder's success at "killing" Moander was, that he had success at all because gods could only be killed by other gods in the true sense. The supposed explanation was, that Finder had Tymora's support at doing the deed and succeeded only because of it. The truth about it was, that Finder didn't succeed at truly killing Moander. The old god's consciousness remained in Darkwatch, where it drained power and gained strength from people visiting the place and one creature of sufficient strength, like an avatar or a Chosen, would be enough for him to regain his demigod status. The method by which he lured people to Darkwatch was by infecting those with special spores. These spores could straightforwardly eat people or influence them like through suggestion to make the infected send more to be infected. Another method by which he lured people to Darkwatch was by making the appear like one of religious significance. This was met with different degrees of success. Clerics of Cyric ventured there to relish the dark energy there while Vhaeraun following drow wanted to have nothing to do with the place.

Kinda sounds like what's going on in the game now right? And with the Jergal link you discussed, and the Book Of Dead Gods we find with "three names scrawled out", I'm wondering if the whole Pantheon of Death is having a reunion...


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