While travelling across the different realms in Baldur's Gate 3, you'll come across various NPCs and bosses with intricate storylines and quests that enrich the fabric of the narrative. Auntie Ethel is one of these characters you'll encounter early in the first act, and she returns when you reach the Lower City in the game. There, Ethel kidnaps a child named Vanra. To rescue her, you have the choice between a lethal and non-lethal method, both of which will be covered in this walkthrough (the latter at the bottom).
How to Rescue Vanra from Auntie Ethel in BG3
Auntie Ethel is a Hag you'll meet at Evergreen Grove during the first act in BG3, in which she will attempt to get rid of the Mind Flayer parasite by taking your eye. I recommend against giving Ethel the eye, as it puts you at a disadvantage while facing the boss.
After reaching the Lower City you'll encounter Ethel again, and this time she has kidnapped a child called Vanra. To rescue Vanra, use the Hag's Bane on Auntie Ethel before killing the boss. A cutscene ensues where Ethel spews up Vanra, after which you are free to eliminate the Hag. After this, simply speak to Vanra's mother and the survivors to complete the quest.
Where to Find Vanra's Mother Lora in BG3
To start the "Save Vanra" quest, interact with Lora at the Basilisk Gate Barracks (X: 156, Y-11), located east of the Basilisk Gate Waypoint. There you'll notice Lora arguing with the Commander of the Flaming Fist inside the barracks. Speak to Lora to learn more about the missing child and their last whereabouts. As it turns out, Vanra was kidnapped from the Blushing Mermaid establishment located far west in the Lower City.
Where is the Blushing Mermaid in BG3?
The Blushing Mermaid establishment is a huge ship-like structure located west of the Lower City Central Wall waypoint. (Check the white circle on the map image above to see the exact location of this area.) Travel to the Blushing Mermaid (X-131, Y-96) and speak to Bosun Gannet about the missing child; he asks you to speak with Captain Grizly located on the floor above.
Grizly appearance may look normal, but her intentions are sinister. She claims Vanra doesn't exist and Lora is lying about having a daughter before offering around 3,000 gold to eliminate Lora. It's best if you disagree at this point by refusing to murder Lora for gold as it forces Grizly to dispel her disguise, revealing her true identity: Auntie Ethel.
Aunty Ethel says she has eaten Vanra and is pregnant with the child. Therefore, harming Ethel would invariably kill Vanra as well. Order her to surrender the child immediately, and a fight ensues where you need to survive against Ethel's minions. Once this fight is done, exit the Blushing Mermaid. You'll need a fool-proof method to eliminate Ethel without harming Vanra. To do this, meet up with Mayrina, who is located just southeast of the establishment.
Where to Find the Hag's Survivors in BG3
The Hag's Survivors are a group of people under the protection of Mayrina (another character you'll save from Auntie Ethel), and are located at Old Garlow’s Place (X:-56,Y:-143). Here you'll encounter Adrielle, a young cleric survivor. After speaking to this NPC, you'll realize Ethel has cast a hex on Mayrina, turning her into a sheep. The (lethal) solution to save Vanra (Hag's Bane) is hidden in this house; I suggest helping Mayrina by finding it.
How to Save Mayrina From Ethel's hex in BG3
Mayrina is located on the top floor of Old Garlow's Place, where you'll find her cursed and turned into a sheep. In this room, you'll also notice a voodoo doll. Destroy it by attacking it constantly, but be careful as it teleports to another location in the room, so it's ideal to position your party members accordingly. With the Doll destroyed, Mayrina comes back to her normal form.
There's an easier way to lift the hex if you have a wizard in your party: simply cast the Remove Curse spell on Mayrina to bring her back. Once cured, Mayrina informs you it was the dragonborn survivor Jalto that hexed her.
Confront Jalto to learn the dragonborn is corrupted. Fight and defeat Jalto quickly, then return to Mayrina and interact with her to learn the recipe to make the Hag's Bane is located inside a wall safe in the room below.
How to Make the Hag's Bane in BG3
Get to the room just below Mayrina's floor to inspect the wall on the southern side of the room. Open the safe in the image above to collect the hunter's books and the Dried Fey Flower; read through the books to learn how to make the Hag's Bane grenade.
Next, open your Alchemical Solution tab and select the Hag's Bane under grenades, the recipe for which requires one Dried Fey Flower and one essence (you can use any of the essences available to make the grenade). With this item in your inventory, visit the Blushing Mermaid once again to infiltrate Auntie Ethel's lair.
How to Defeat Auntie Ethel in BG3
After reaching the Blushing Mermaid, take the stairs to the top floor. Here, you'll find a Cellar Door which leads to Auntie Ethel's lair. Get inside, go into the next room, and unlock another door to reach the lair.
The Hag's lair is filled with traps, and it's best to disable them before moving ahead to the next section. You are likely to encounter enemies at this location, so be prepared for a fight. After defeating all the foes, turn to the broken wall shown in the image above. Disable the tripwire here, and enter through the wooden wall to find Auntie Ethel.
The fight begins as soon as you enter the room. I recommend targeting the Pearlspore Bell mushrooms located at the three corners of the room, as this will stop the enemies from healing. Once that's done, focus on the smaller foes and eliminate them quickly. Doing this allows you to isolate Auntie Ethel.
From here, you can control the fight by using spells to hold the boss or change the terrain to impede movement. Once Ethel is standing still, throw the Hag's Bane grenade at her.
A cutscene ensues, and Ethel vomits Vanra out. This saves the child, giving you the green signal to go ahead and dispatch the Hag boss. Once the boss is defeated, interact with Vanra at Lora's Home.
Lora's Home (X:-60, Y:-94) is located directly north of Old Garlow’s Place. Enter the house and speak to the mother to inform her of the Hag's plans. She thanks you for returning Vanra safely and rewards you with the Duelist's Prerogative Rapier (Legendary) and Amulet of Windrider (Very Rare).
How to Save Vanra from Auntie Ethel in BG3 (No Hag's Bane)
Alternatively, Varna can be saved from Auntie Ethel's clutches without using Hag's Bane. During your encounter with Auntie Ethel, activate the Non-Lethal option under Passives, and deplete the hag's health using the fight's normal mechanics. If successful, Auntie Ethel should be left with one health and be considered in the Unconscious state.
Clicking on Auntie Ethel after combat ends should give you a dialogue prompt to cut open her stomach. Do this, because doing so will kill off Auntie Ethel while saving Varna in the process. Just like before, go and speak with Lora to be justly rewarded for your good deed.
For more helpful guides and bug fixes for Baldur's Gate 3, check out Baldur’s Gate 3 Druid Build Guide – Best Stats and Subclass right here on Pro Game Guides.