A caravan strongbox in Baldur’s Gate 3 contains a crucial item tied to the quest ‘Find the missing Shipment’ in Act 1. But as we have observed in the first week since its release, rewards in the game most of the time also carry with them certain consequences. So, you’ll need to proceed with caution and weigh the options before deciding to loot the strongbox.
After the ravenous Gnolls have been dealt with, the surviving members of the caravan—Rugan and Olly—approach to thank you. Rugan thanks you for saving him and his precious cargo and explains a few useful details about his risky expedition. He reveals that he is headed to Baldur’s Gate to deliver something unique to a wizard stationed there.
Based on your dialogue with Rugan, you’ll also learn of his Zentharim friends and about their hideout. Continuing the conversation will reveal some useful information that you can use to decide what to do with the strongbox.
Option 1: Offer to sell the Strongbox and share profits
If you have succeeded in passing a few checks with Rugan, he will begin to trust you enough to strike a deal to share the profits from the strongbox. Rugan and Olly offer you the strongbox for a share of the profit once you’ve sold it to the highest bidder. Since it is a niche item with very few takers, finding a better deal is a difficult task.
So, the best course of action would be to take the strongbox to the Zentharim and hand it over to them in exchange for their favor. This way you’ll be rewarded with a unique crossbow named ‘Harold’ and gain access to the various merchants at their hideout. This option will also involve revealing the pact through which you came into possession of the strongbox.
Needless to say, Rugan and Olly will get a taste of how the Zentharim deal with traitors.
Option 2: Kill Rugan and Olly
If you don’t want to deal with greedy Rugan, you can simply kill him and his friend and take the strongbox. With this method, you again have the option of handing over the unopened strongbox to Zarys, the leader of the Zentharim. She will thank you for handing over the box and laud your honesty and reward you with the crossbow.
Option 3: Open the Strongbox and Unleash what’s inside
Now this is a choice that most of you will be tempted to make, if at least for the curiosity of learning what it contains. The strongbox is quite straightforward to open. You can pick its medium-level lock or simply smash itopen.
In the box, you’ll find some gold, a crystal, and a curious-looking iron flask. As that old saying goes, “Curiosity probably killed the Baldurians.” The flask is the most interesting item in the box and you have to pass a level 20 check to unlock it. As difficult as the check is, you are not going to be happy when it finally opens and its contents are revealed.
The precious cargo that Rugan and co. were so cautiously hauling was a level 5 Spectator who will attack anyone and anything in sight upon becoming free. This is not a fight you want to take on at any level. For starters, there is no loot of value to be had for killing the vicious monster.
Baldur’s Gate 3 Caravan Strongbox: The best course of action
Now that you know the various ways of dealing with the strongbox and their vivid outcomes here are a few suggestions. There is no real benefit in dealing with Rugan and Olly, so choosing to sell the box to the highest bidder is unnecessary trouble. Besides the Zentharim are of great value in the game as there are many quests associated with them. They also have some great gear and items for sale.
So, the only positive and profitable outcome from the quest is to hand over the caravan strongbox to Zarys. Even just unlocking it and leaving the content intact will still make the entire Zentharim hideout hostile toward you.
There is, however, one good use for the iron flask that is probably worth alienating the Zentharim. The Spectator is a mean monster and tough to deal with for any Baldurian. Since its only purpose is to devour anything that isn’t the Spectator, unleashing it during almost impossible fights could prove most opportune if you can figure out how to stay away from its path of destruction.