De'Arnise Hold is an area in Amn in Baldur's Gate II: Shadows of Amn. It is the ancestral estate of the de'Arnise family, and is centre of interest of Nalia de'Arnise's companion quest. As it has recently been besieged by trolls and yuan-ti Nalia requests that Gorion's ward assist her in slaying the monsters and driving them away from her home in exchange for her assistance as a party member.
Once the keep has been cleared, Nalia will explain how she despises her betrothed, Isaea Roenall, and how the Roenalls will undoubtedly attempt to claim the keep and its lands. For most classes, this serves as an explanation as why she will continue to adventure with them if they desire. For Fighters, Blackguard Paladins, Barbarians and Monks, she offers them to become a steward for the keep, allowing her to keep the Roenalls out. This unlocks the keep as a stronghold.
This is the outer areas of the Keep, and is where the party appears whenever they travel to the de'Arnise Keep on the map.
The party starts in the south-east corner of the map, outside of the walls.
Whilst the Keep is besieged, there is a chance of encountering Goblins and Trolls as random encounters whilst exploring the map.
In the southwestern corner of the area a small wooden fort is protecting two de'Arnise guards and their captain Arat. It is a temporary defensive palisade that has been established by the defenders of the de'Arnise Keep now that they have been driven from the Keep proper.
Whilst the keep is besieged, there is a chance of encountering goblins and trolls as random encounters whilst exploring the map. Nalia will wait for the player inside the fort if she is not presently a member of the party.
Captain Arat will greet the player upon arrival and explain the situation in greater detail. Most importantly, he tells them how to access the Keep interior by means of the secret passage way, warns them of the ability that trolls have to resurrect themselves unless dealt a fatal blow by fire or acid, and gives them 20 Arrows of Fire to help them in their work. In addition, he asks the player to lower the drawbridge so that he and his men can assist in retaking the keep.
The de'Arnise castle occupies most of the map from its center to the northwestern corner.
The Courtyard is the central area of the Keep enclosed by the protective walls. The party cannot access the Courtyard until they use the Secret Entrance to get inside of the Keep's Ground Floor, and then work their way out.
An Otyugh roams the eastern area of the courtyard and must be killed to allow Captain Arat and his men access.
In the western area of the courtyard can be found the surviving dogs of the Keep. As Daleson mentioned, you can kill these dogs and take their meat to the Kitchen to make Dog Stew, allowing for the completion of an unmarked side quest.
Once the Otyugh is killed, the stairs behind it lead to the Keep's battlements, where a clockwise route takes the party to the drawbridge wheel. Lowering the drawbridge rewards the party with 29750 EXP and triggers a battle between Greater Yuan-ti, Giant Trolls and Captain Arrat's men that the player may choose to interfere in, but which Captain Arat and company will win regardless.
The only way into the Keep whilst the drawbridge is up, this secret door is initially hidden and must be detected. It lies in the rock face to the north of the Fort.
- Dog Meat x4 – dropped by the inner courtyard dogs.