"Don't make a fuss, Selûnite. We may be at odds, but I have more important concerns than you right now." Shadowheart dismissed my drow cleric instinctively in my latest Baldur's Gate 3 playthrough, but it's only strengthening my resolve to win her heart in the end.
With my total Steam hours now well past the 300 mark, I'm not ashamed to say that I've romanced almost every BG3 companion. Usually I task myself with creating the perfect partner for each of them – I paired Gale with a pouty druid to keep him on the straight and narrow, and created a morally-grey storm sorcerer for Lae'zel and Minthara to fight over – but I'm trying something different this time around. Shadowheart's love for the Lady of Loss makes her the perfect yin to my Selûne cleric's yang.
Bitter theological arguments lay the perfect foundations for an enemies-to-lovers epic, and now in the middle of Act 2, I truly believe there is no better way to woo Shadowheart than with a nemesis that's made to ruin her.
Ancient grudge, new mutiny
The most challenging trophy in Baldur's Gate 3 will give you all the do-gooder warm fuzzies in kind.
Making two clerics with antithetical beliefs fall in love with each other is not easy. The women were off to a good enough start when I freed Shadowheart from her pod on the nautiloid, sided with her over Lae'zel, and didn't pry into her business after glimpsing the artifact. But by the time BG3's resident goth girlfriend reveals her Shar worshipping to Lightsoul – yes, I'm really committing to this opposites attract bit – it's safe to say things go downhill.
We've just entered the BG3 goblin camp to deal with its three leaders, but instead of seeking out Priestess Gut, Dror Ragzlin, and fellow drow Minthara, I'm engaged in verbal warfare with a filthy Sharran. "Shar is an abomination," Lightsoul tells Shadowheart plainly, earning her a vicious retort that I kind of definitely deserve at this point.
It's almost too perfect, the way Shadowheart detests Lightsoul's goddess to such an extreme, even after being reminded that their deities are sisters. D&D lore states they're two halves of one whole, with Shar representing darkness and Selûne the light that can't exist without it. I let the topic drop for the time being, but with the seed now planted, I sit back to watch it bloom in Shadowheart's mind.
I'm using a single mod for this Baldur's Gate 3 run, one that tells me which dialogue options will earn me the approval or disdain of certain party members, and I make sure to choose wisely to keep Shadowheart happy. Being a light-domain cleric in opposition to Shadowheart's trickery domain, though, I would be remiss not to choose every cleric-specific response I come across.
I see this no more clearly than when I stumble upon the Selûne treasure chest in the owlbear den. In past playthroughs I needed to succeed a perception check to find and recite a prayer, but playing as a servant of the Moonmaiden, the chest opens immediately this time. Shadowheart takes immediate umbrage with that fact and tries to convince me to destroy the treasure, triggering yet another Shar versus Selûne smackdown from which I eventually emerge victorious.
Deific disagreements aside, I somehow manage to keep my approval up high enough with Shadowheart for us to share a kiss at the tiefling party near the midway point of Act 1. It's a bold step forward in this slow-burn romance, and despite having experienced Shadowheart's journey four times over, the extra angst of playing a Selûnite opposite her is making for a truly unique journey.
As sure as night will fall
One of the best things about dating Shadowheart as a Selûne cleric is how aspects of her story come to light in surprising ways.
Ordinarily we'd learn more about her parental lineage more than halfway through Act 2, but when Shadowheart recounts how she met her Mother Superior in the woods as a young girl, my cleric was able to make an intriguing deduction.
Lightsoul's internal monologue puts two and two together without need for a religion check, realizing that this childhood memory sounds more like a Selûnite rite of passage. She explains how children raised in the faith are sent out into the woods to find their way home, guided solely by the moonlight, and that Shadowheart's situation sounds like one of those rites gone wrong. This turns out to be true; as we learn in Act 3, Shadowheart was kidnapped by a jealous Shar to punish her devout Selûnite parents. Naturally, though, the cleric of Shar is none too pleased to have the suggestion put to her in Act 1.
It makes it all the more intriguing when, upon admitting their feelings for one another, I have Lightsoul ask Shadowheart what her goddess might think of their relationship. Surely she wouldn't approve of her fraternizing with the enemy? "Oh, I don't know," Shadowheart says with a wicked grin. "I imagine she'd be keen to see me corrupt you."
As a cleric of Selûne, unpicking the religious symbolism of the shadow-cursed lands has been at the forefront of my mind. Light and shadow need one another in order to exist at all, but watching Shadowheart's story unfold through the eyes of a would-be enemy adds a whole new dimension to it. It's an example of how much detail developer Larian Studios has put into class-specific dialogue options in Baldur's Gate 3. Lightsoul started off no better than Shadowheart in many ways, each of them being a touch overzealous in their blind faith, but I'd like to see their devotion to each other outweigh their love for either goddess – if Shadowheart will let a coddled Selûnite get a word in edgeways, of course.
Here's how I totally missed Lae'zel during my first BG3 playthrough and turned myself into the villain of my own story.