Skip to main content

Baldur's Gate 3 Caravan Strongbox: What is the Iron Flask?

Learn more about the Caravan Strongbox and the Iron Flask held within in Baldur's Gate 3

Baldur's Gate 3 image showing a grinning red face on an Iron Flask.
Image credit: Rock Paper Shotgun/Larian Studios

Want to know what's inside the Caravan Strongbox in Baldur's Gate 3? Upon arriving at the Risen Road in Baldur's Gate 3, you'll find a note about a Missing Shipment. This shipment turns out to be a locked Caravan Strongbox, which is hidden in a nearby cave and under the protection of some nearby guards. The note has one instrution: Do Not Open. That's incredibly tempting, so it's no surprise if you're desperate to know what's inside.

In this guide, we'll break down what's inside the Caravan Strongbox, and explain what you should do with the Iron Flask contained within.

Now that Baldur's Gate 3 has left early access, vid bud Liam reckons it was worth the wait.Watch on YouTube

Where is the Caravan Strongbox in Baldur's Gate 3?

The Caravan Strongbox is located on the Risen Road, in a cave that's currently under siege by a pack of Gnolls. You'll find it directly North of the Blighted Village.

After defeating the Gnolls, approach the two guards who are protecting the Caravan Strongbox. They'll thank you, and this is where the quest can spiral in a bunch of different directions.

If you threaten them with an Intimidation check, they'll either hand over the Caravan Strongbox or fight you to protect it.

If you instead pass a passive History check during the conversation, you'll learn that the two men are Zhentarim, mercenaries for hire. You can then use this information to attempt a Persuasion check. If you pass, the guards will agree to ditch their employers and accept your help in selling the cargo, agreeing to split the profits once it's gone.

If you simply leave the conversation after accepting their thanks, then the Zhentarim will invite you back to their hideout. There, you'll be rewarded for successfully saving the guards and not opening the Strongbox.

Baldur's Gate 3 image showing Rugan, a human guard.
Image credit: Rock Paper Shotgun/Larian Studios

What's inside the Caravan Strongbox in Baldur's Gate 3?

If you decide to open the Caravan Strongbox, you'll need to pass a DC20 Sleight of Hand check to pick the lock. Once you're in, you'll find two items:

  • A varying amount of Gold
  • An Iron Flask

Upon inspecting the Iron Flask, you can attempt a DC10 Arcana check to learn more about the flask. Passing this check reveals that it is a strong magical item that contains some kind of mysterious creature.

If that piques your curiosity, you can interact with the Iron Flask again to pop the cork and unleash the monster trapped within: a Spectator! The Spectator is immediately hostile, plunging you into battle.

The Spectator is level 5 and has 136 hit points, which might sound tough if you're a low level. However, we found that the lack of other enemies in the fight gives you a significant advantage, and it's easy to overwhelm the monster in just a turn or two.

However, the fight ultimately isn't worth it. Upon killing the Spectator, we discovered that it didn't drop any loot, making the battle itself is your only reward for opening the Caravan Strongbox. At least you'll get some extra XP for killing it!

Baldur's Gate 3 image showing a Spectator, which looks like a large eyeball with tentacles.
Image credit: Rock Paper Shotgun/Larian Studios

Should you open the Caravan Strongbox?

If you're interested in loot, we'd recommend not opening the Caravan Strongbox. Instead, agree to meet the guards back at the Zhentarim Hideout in Waukeen's Rest and speak with their leader, Zarys, for a reward.

Zarys will give you Harold, a rare Heavy Crossbow with the unique Haroldish Doom ability: When you deal damage to a target with a ranged weapon, it must succeed a Charisma Saving Throw or be Baned for 2 turns. This is a powerful weapon for any Fighter or Ranger in your party, and it's much better than getting no reward from the Spectator fight.

This also keeps the Zhentarim friendly, allowing you to purchase more items from their traders.

The other options available to you - fighting the Spectator or agreeing to sell it yourself and cut the profits - aren't as rewarding. As we mentioned above, the Spectator fight drops no loot, and it might leave your party looking rough if you take too much damage. If you agree to sell the box and cut the profits, the Zhentarim leader will actually discover that the guards agreed to this. She'll kill Olly and imprison Rugan, leaving you once again without any loot.

That wraps up our guide on whether to open the Caravan Strongbox in Baldur's Gate 3. If you're struggling to get into the Caravan Strongbox and are considering multiclassing or respeccing your character, check out our list of Baldur's Gate 3 classes to find something more sneaky. If you're more focused on getting some of those infamous sex scenes (the bear, of course), then check out our Baldur's Gate 3 romance guide.

Disclosure: Former RPS deputy editor Adam Smith (RPS in peace) now works at Larian and is the lead writer for Baldur's Gate 3. Former contributor Emily Gera also works on it.

Read this next