In Baldur's Gate 3, you'll come across various bosses, some of which can be defeated by passing certain skill checks during conversations. Malus Thorm is one such boss, and is found in Act 2 at the House of Healing in the Shadow-Cursed Lands.
You can approach the fight in a few ways, the easiest of which involves deceiving Malus Thorm into killing himself. Naturally, you need to know how to get these outcomes and prevail over this boss, so here's how to defeat Malus Thorm in Baldur's Gate 3.
Where to Find Malus Thorm in Baldur's Gate 3
You will find Malus Thorm at the House of Healing located west of Reithwin Town in the Shadow-Cursed Lands (X: -199, Y: 49), as seen in the map image above. Malus Thorm is a boss heavily tied to the Wake Up Art Cullagh quest; you must defeat it to get a certain musical item.
Related: BG3 – How to Cure the Shadow Curse
Should you Start the Wake Up Art Cullagh Quest Before Meeting Malus Thorm in BG3?
In the grand scheme of things, it won't matter if you haven't started the Wake Up Art Cullagh quest before encountering Malus Thorm. In fact, for experiment's sake, I tried this out with a couple of extra saves and found you can play the Battered Lute directly to Art Cullagh to wake him up.
However, I recommend selecting the quest first from the Last Light Inn, as this will give you the opportunity to add Halsin as a party member. Art Cullagh will also reveal the location of Thaniel, which would help you complete the "Lift the Shadow-Curse" quest in Baldur's Gate 3.
Can you Defeat Malus Thorm Without Fighting in BG3?
The quickest and easiest method to defeat Malus Thorm without any fighting involves deceiving the boss by succeeding a series of Religion, Persuasion, and Deception skill checks. If you have a high Charisma character in your party, use them to converse with Malus Thorm (ideally, Astarion, Gale, and Shadowheart, if using a companion).
Similarly, you can speak with Malus yourself and convince him to eliminate all the sisters first, and afterward, himself.
How to Quickly Defeat Malus Thorm in BG3
When Malus speaks of Shar's teachings, you'll get the option to select the Religion skill check. The dialogue option to select here is, "Recall what you know of Shar’s teachings." Following this, tell Malus Shar's comfort must only be granted to the willing to divert his attention from the patient he is torturing at the center of the room.
After this, Malus will insist he perform surgery on your character to cure you. At this point, you want to select the "The sisters aren't ready; They'll make me sick instead of curing me" dialogue option and pass the Persuasion skill check.
Once that's done, Malus will inquire how to steady the sister's hand to better perform the surgery. Select the "Why not have them hone their skills on each other?" dialogue choice and pass the Persuasion skill check to force the sisters to turn on each other, causing Malus to lose most of his minions.
The final dialogue option is the trickiest, as Malus says he will acquaint your character with the Lady's dark-fingered embrace; this is where you can pass a Deception and Persuasion check. Select the dialogue option that pleads with Malus to show Shar's true path (for my Wizard character, this was "My magic has blinded me - I see now that Shar is the only path; Show me how - I beg of you.") This forces Malus to eliminate himself as a final act of devotion towards Shar.
You may get a different choice based on your class where your character says, "I read your treatise, initiate the final lesson, or die by my hand." Choosing this dialogue option forces Malus to remove the victim from the table, and sleep there himself for the sisters to tear apart. Either way, Malus dies without inciting a fight. Having a charismatic advantage in these skill check rolls will help you to persuade Malus Thorm easily, so make sure to structure your party members accordingly.
Best Method to Beat Malus Thorm in BG3
I've tested three methods to eliminate Malus Thorm, and it's without surprise the conversation trick is by far the most satisfying way to eliminate this boss. You can also try the conversation method up until the point where all the sisters are dead and then fight Malus with your party. In this case, the boss will try to resurrect his minions, but your party will outnumber him easily.
Malus Thorm is resistant to fire damage and can stand tall against piercing, slashing, and bludgeoning strikes. This boss can also fight adeptly against magic, so your best bet is to remove all the sisters first. As a Wizard, I used ice spells and fire arrows to create a watery surface at the center of the arena before electrocuting it with lightning.
If you don't want to try either of the above methods and simply want to brawl with the boss, then head up the stairs to the floor above Malus. This will give your party a clear height advantage, allowing you to shoot him down with arrows and spells safely and efficiently. Keep in mind there will be a couple of sisters on this floor, so make sure to eliminate them quickly before targeting the boss. Once the boss is dead, loot his body to find the Battered Lute musical item, and bring it back to the Last Light Inn to wake up Art Cullagh.
For more on Baldur's Gate 3, check out BG3 Tactician Difficulty Guide here on Pro Game Guides.