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The Prancing Seahorse is a "gentleman's club" reputedly frequented Aleroth's scholars, historians, and mages to share and improve their knowledge. Not all its members are intellectuals, however, as toffs with sufficient wealth are included amongst its ranks as well. Women are rarely seen at the Prancing Seahorse, apart from the maid, Noa. The club is located on the northern outskirts of Lanilor Lane, across the road from Luxurius' Mansion, and is accessible during the events of Divinity II: Flames of Vengeance.
The Prancing Seahorse is home to the Forbidden Archive, a library that contains historical records, rare magic spells, and other important documents. It is protected by a magical barrier that you'll need to dispel in order to obtain the Anti Demon's Grip Spell to progress Clue I of the main quest To Find a Wizard. It also contains the Elven Alphabet book you'll need to access the Crow's Nest district of the city during the quest Bark up the Right Tree. Details on removing the magical barrier are found in the Accessing the Forbidden Archive section below, as well as on the Seahorse Salad quest page.
Members of the Prancing Seahorse include:
Near the Prancing Seahorse is one of the five buttons that can be pressed for the quest Rune Handles. It is on a wall facing the entrance to the club, located a short distance southwest of the door. Along the club's eastern wall is a recess that contains the statue you'll need to speak towards the end of the Rune Handles quest. When complete, the entrance to the Maxos Shrine appears there as well.
Upon entering the building for the first time you'll encounter the maid, Noa. She says that there has been foul magic and three people have been turned into vegetables, then flees the premises without providing any further information. As you explore you'll find the Main Room Chest near the northeast corner of the room. It is locked, and requires a key that can be obtained from Gardner if he is returned to his human form.
South of the main room are the stairs leading up to the second floor. You'll come across a talking painting here, who explains more about what transpired: it seems Ursula, a witch of sorts, has turned three men into vegetables so that she can gain access to the Forbidden Archive. The painting, Mr. Canvas as it suggests it be called, doesn't know exactly why she is here, but remembers hearing her mention a spell. If you haven't already accepted the quest, you'll be assigned Seahorse Salad.
At the top of the stairs, to the north you'll find a doorway to the Forbidden Archive (initially blocked by a magical barrier) and a pedestal that can be used to dispel it. To the west is Gardner's room, and to the east is Thomas' room.
Gardner's room contains a locked chest that requires level 5 lockpicking skill, as well as one of the levers. Thomas' room contains an unlocked chest, and the third lever. There is doorway along the northern wall of Thomas' room that leads to a hallway. To the west is a second entrance to the Forbidden Archive (also protected by the magical barrier), and to the east are the stairs leading up to the top floor of the building.
Forbidden Archive Edit
The Forbidden Archive is where the records of the city are kept in the strictest security, behind the magical barrier that protects its entrance. For information on dispelling the barrier, see the Accessing the Forbidden Archive section below.
When you first enter the room you'll encounter Ursula, a woman gifted in the art of magic who resents being called a witch. Mindread her for 22500 exp to obtain Dragon Wizard Earrings. If questioned, she reveals that she's been looking for a rare and powerful spell that can bestow her with the power to rule a distant land. Since she plans to return from whence she came, and will not be a threat to Rivellon, you can choose to allow her to leave in peace, or stop her (by force).
Letting her go:
- She reverses the spell, restoring the three men who were turned into vegetables to their former selves (if they are still alive and uneaten). This concludes the quest Seahorse Salad, with lesser quest rewards than if you fight Ursula and restore the men yourself.
- She gives you a unique bow, Ursula's Bow.
Choosing to fight:
- She opens a portal to a Hellish Dimension (a very small realm).
- You fight her (level 36), along with a handful of fire skeletons.
- She drops random loot when killed, and you can open a chest containing more random loot, along with a Letter to Ursula and the Vegetable Spell needed to return the men to their human form (if they were not eaten).
- You do not acquire Ursula's Bow.
- The spell can be used anywhere at any time, and restores all the men at once, concluding the quest Seahorse Salad with better quest rewards than if you let Ursula go.
- You return to the Forbidden Archives though a portal than opens near the entry point.
Regardless of how you deal with Ursula, Thaddeus will enter the Forbidden Archive immediately afterwards. He provides a lot of information concerning the main quest, To Find a Wizard. If you've already done what was needed to complete any of the quest's clue sub-quests (e.g. acquired Zombie Jake's ring from the Eerie Undercroft under Madame Eve's), you'll receive the rewards for the appropriate sub-quest following the conversation.
With all that business taken care of, you are now free to loot the archives. You'll find an unlocked chest between two bookshelves, a small unlocked chest on a table, the Anti Demon's Grip Spell on a desk (needed to open Halliwell's door at the Circle of Trust Inn for Clue I of To Find a Wizard), and a book titled Elven Alphabet by the desk (needed for the quest Bark up the Right Tree to gain access to the Crow's Nest district of the city).
To get to the stairs leading up to the top floor, you need to pass through the Forbidden Archive or Thomas' room on the second floor.
The top floor contains only one room, which is Thaddeus' room. You'll find him here after your first encounter with him in the Forbidden Archive, in case you'd like to speak with him again. There is little of interest here aside from the Medicine Chest, which is locked and contains random loot. It can be opened with the Medicine Chest Key, which is acquired by speaking to Ashraf on the ground floor after returning him to his human form.
Accessing the Forbidden ArchiveEdit
There are two methods that can be used to dispel the magical barrier protecting the Forbidden Archive:
Doors & LeversEdit
The doors to the three men's rooms are magically sealed and require a password to open. You'll need to find Ashraf the pumpkin, Gardner the carrot, and Thomas the tomato, speak to each one, and agree to help them to obtain their passwords. Enter each room and pull the lever within to remove the magical barrier from the Forbidden Archive.
|Spoiler: Door mindreading hints|
Ashraf's Door: "Ashraf really has to choose: he dotes over Ursula all of the time, then spends hours pestering Alzbeta."
|Spoiler: Vegetable locations|
Ashraf: On a table directly in front of the entrance at Alzbeta's shop (Alzbeta's Emporium) on Lanilor Lane.
Using the pedestal to remove the magical barrier that protects the Forbidden Archive requires a three-digit code. This option must be used if you've eaten one or more of the vegetables to gain two stat points each (waiving some or all Seahorse Salad quest rewards in exchange, depending on how many you eat).
The pedestal code can be determined by finding and deciphering the three hidden notes. Once you've eaten a vegetable, Valeri can provide some information on the subject. (You'll need to pull a rune handle to get him to appear outside, north of the Prancing Seahorse.)
|Spoiler: Hidden note locations|
The three hidden notes can be found:
|Spoiler: Forbidden Archive pedestal code|
The hidden notes contain the messages: 1-1, 2-6, 3-8
Alternatively you can cheat your way in, by entering the correct code at the pedestal without actually finding the hidden notes first.
- Ashraf – returns to the ground floor after his stint as a pumpkin
- Gardner – if restored from his carrot form he'll return to the club's ground floor
- Noa – the maid, flees the building shortly after you enter
- Talking Painting – in the corridor on the ground floor, tells you that people have been turned into vegetables
- Thaddeus – returns after you've dealt with Ursula
- Thomas – returns to the ground floor if restored to his human form after being a tomato
- Ursula – a witch found searching the Forbidden Archive
- Anti Demon's Grip Spell – quest item, located in the Forbidden Archive
- Elven Alphabet – quest item, located in the Forbidden Archive
- Chest – locked, random loot, located in Gardner's room
- Chest – unlocked ×2, random loot, located in Thomas' room and the Forbidden Archive
- Dragon Wizard Earrings – mindread Ursula, part of the Dragon Wizard armor set
- Letter to Ursula – located in a chest in the Hellish Dimension if you fight Ursula
- Main Room Chest – key required, random loot, located in the ground floor lobby
- Medicine Chest – key required, random loot, located on the top floor
- Small Chest – unlocked, random loot, located in the Forbidden Archive
- Ursula's Bow – obtained if Ursula is allowed to leave without a fight
- Vegetable Spell – located in a chest in the Hellish Dimension if you fight Ursula