In the third act of Baldur’s Gate 3, you’ll meet the vampiric Cazador Szarr – a formidable foe with hordes of bats and monsters at his command. While his quest line is optional, there’s great reward in completing it – not only for your relationship with companion Astarion, but also for your combat potential. If you’ve yet to seek him out, he’s well worth tracking down.
That said, there are a few things you should know about Cazador Szarr before you track him down and attempt his boss battle.
Baldur’s Gate 3: How to find Cazador Szarr
The first step in your quest to finding Cazdor Szarr, aka the bane of Astarion’s existence, is tracking down the entrance of Cazador’s Palace, a unique locale in the Lower City of Baldur’s Gate (accessible only in the game’s third act).
To find the entrance to Cazador Palace, you should first discover (or head to) the Lower City Central Wall waypoint. From there, head on up to the nearby rampart, and you’ll find a small door labelled Szarr Palace South Tower (X-68, Y-53). Head through the door, and you’ll be pushed along several corridors filled with wandering Vampire Spawn.
It’s best to head in with Astarion, as he’s more likely to pass Persuasion and Deception checks, and these will help you avoid early battles. Note: At this point, it’s best to heal yourself if you haven’t already.
Inside the palace, you’ll eventually encounter a Sinister Door – for which you’ll need the Kozakuran Dictionary and Szarr Family Ring. Head to the lower area of the palace for both items. The Dictionary is in a dresser in one room on the left (you’ll need to jump over Necrotic Mist to find it), and the Ring is in another room, down the corridor on the right (protected by a weak-ish skeleton named Godey).
Grab both items, and head back to the Sinister Door to unlock it. When the door opens, you’ll need to fight a horde of werewolves and bats – but this isn’t the real fight of the quest, so save your higher-powered spells for later. If you prioritise spells with big blast radiuses or multi-attacks, you should make it out of this encounter easily enough.
Once you’re done, unlock the door on the right side of the palace ballroom, and then head downstairs via the elevator platform. Heal yourself with a short rest, if needed – once you travel down this corridor, you’ll be going face-to-face-with Cazador Szarr and his minions.
Dealing with Cazador Szarr
After a brief cutscene with a nearby Vampire Spawn, you’ll travel through another door. For your best chances to win the upcoming encounter, stop on the stairs. If you’re travelling with Astarion, unlink him and leave him there. Then relink the rest of your party, and head to where Cazador lurks.
As long as Astarion is outside the conversation bubble, Cazador won’t be able to start a ritual that grants him extra healing every turn – thus making him vulnerable to attack. You’ll know you’ve done it right if he begins the dialogue by commenting that Astarion is not present, and if the fight begins with Cazador on zero extra hit points.
To gain more of an advantage in this battle, you can also approach the circle without Astarion, and convince Cazador (by passing a Deception check) that you’ll bring him your companion. This gives you a window to attack with advantage, which can provide you with the help you need to conquer Cazador.
You’ll want to kick off the battle with a high-powered spell, and then spend the rest of your time firing off magic with big blast radiuses that can catch Cazador’s Mist Form. To complete the encounter, every last enemy must be killed – so make sure you’re spreading your attacks across multiple enemies.
The best spells to use, if you’ve got access to them, are Fireball, Cloud of Daggers, Wall of Fire, Chain Lightning, and Shatter – although each approach will differ. Some players may also have access to the handy Daylight spell, which will weaken Cazazdor significantly.
Keep up the spell barrage, and eventually, Cazador will go down – with minimal opportunity for healing.
Should Astarion become the Vampire Ascendant?
Following this battle, you should save, and then approach the nearby coffin. Here, you’ll get the opportunity to allow or disallow Astarion from claiming command as the Vampire Ascendant.
If you allow Astarion to become the Vampire Ascendant, he’ll grow significantly more powerful, with stronger attacks, and he’ll also gain a new ability to drain enemies for health – which is incredibly useful on the battlefield. He will get a bit nasty and power-hungry, but it’s a small price to pay.
If you interrupt him, he’ll attack you and you’ll have to kill him, so avoid doing that.
If you convince him not to go through with the ritual, there are minimal consequences. Astarion will accept your decision (after a Persuasion check), and then he’ll help you free the other Vampire Spawn – and that’s it. The quest is over.
How your own version of events plays out is entirely up to you – but with these tips, you should have a much easier time tackling Cazador Szarr and his horde of minions.
Baldur’s Gate 3 is now available for PC. It launches for PlayStation 5 on 6 September 2023, and for Xbox Series X/S later in 2023.