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Disambiguation icon This page is about Balduran in Baldur's Gate III. For related content in the previous games, see Balduran.

Balduran was a famous seafaring explorer and founder of the city of Baldur's Gate. In the expansion of Baldur's Gate I, Tales of the Sword Coast, taking place in 1368 DR, the player learns about Balduran's final voyage in an isolated isle off the Sword Coast.

Around 1492 DR, he is revealed to have survived the events on the Isle of Balduran. On his continuing quest for greatness, Balduran unwittingly stumbled across a mind flayer colony beneath the fabled towers of Moonrise, wherein he was infected with a mind flayer tadpole. He was rescued by his long-time compatriot, the bronze dragon Ansur, but they disagreed on the matter of his future; whilst Balduran viewed ceremorphosis as the next step in his journey to greatness, Ansur merely saw him as a threat. Balduran was forced to kill Ansur after he attempted to murder him in his sleep, and then creating a shrine to him beneath the Gate.

Despite his eventual transformation, the illithid Balduran managed to gain independence from the elder brain and maintained free will. He once again returned to Baldur's Gate, finding an ally in Duke Belynne Stelmane and working to propel the Knights of the Shield to new heights of power.

In response to the Dead Three's plot to wield an Elder Brain against Faerûn in the late 15th century, Balduran stole the Astral Prism from the Githyanki - in truth, a prison for the heir to the Githyanki throne - and used its power to fight against the waves of psychic energy washing over the Sword Coast. He aided a group of tadpole-stricken heroes in their quest to dismantle the plot by delaying (and sometimes controlling) their ceremorphosis.


In Baldur's Gate III, Balduran is revealed to be the illithid "The Emperor"; he had somehow escaped or avoided his implied stranding and death on the Isle of Balduran, and eventually was infected by a mind flayer colony. Balduran/The Emperor interacts with the main character as a central plot device, and gives them a very important item: the Astral-Touched Tadpole, which lets them and their party become partial illithid if they wish to embrace their mind flayer infection.