Gain the Services of Sir Sarles for the Temple is a side-quest for Baldur's Gate II: Shadows of Amn. It can be located in the Temple District of Athkatla. Once the player has started the Cult of the Eyeless quest, they can speak to the sub-priest of the temple that has hired them to receive this quest.
The Temple wishes to commission the services of the famed sculptor, Sir Sarles, to create a statue to glorify their temple, and sends the party to the Jysstev Estate in the Government District to persuade him. Enter the Jysstev Estate. Talk to the butler. Sir Sarles will be in the northernmost rooms after that. The arrogant sculptor refuses unless he is provided the medium of his choice: two hundred pounds of pure Illithium Ore. In pursuit of this, he sends them to Jerlia the Ore Merchant, who runs a stall in Waukeen's Promenade.
Upon approaching her, Jerlia explains that illithium is very rare and she only deals out 50 pounds of the substance each season herself. She offers to craft them Illithium Alloy instead, which she can do in a day. If the party is diplomatic, and sweetens the pot with 1000 gold pieces, she reveals she also buys her illithium from a duergar trader, Unger Hilldark, who operates out of the Copper Coronet.
There are three routes to complete this quest: providing fake illithium, providing real illithium, and keeping the real illithium for yourself while giving the ersatz to Sir Sarles.
Obtaining fake illithiumEdit
Telling Jerlia to create the Illithium Alloy prompts her to tell the party to return in a day. However, when they do, she explains that demand from other temples means she must increase the price she originally set, from the original 200 to a new 500. She must be paid this amount to hand over the Alloy.
Upon returning to Sir Sarles, however, it is unsatisfactory; Keldorn Firecam will admit the Alloy is fake if he is in the party, but even if he is not, Sir Sarles still recognizes the Alloy is fake because it holds smears, something pure illithium cannot do. Outraged, he leaves Athkatla, forcing the party to return to their Temple and report the failure. However, the Temple's superior sees the Illithium Alloy and mistakes it as Sir Sarles' work, accepting it happily. The party is rewarded with 10000 EXP for this route.
Obtaining real illithiumEdit
Speaking to Unger Hilldark has him reveal that he can't give you any illithium, as it was stolen from him by an evil demihuman named Neb. If you have the Unfinished Business (Baldur's Gate II) mod installed, you must first rescue his brother from the Temple Ruins in the Umar Hills to find this information. Still, if you can kill Neb, you can take the ore for yourself.
As Hilldark reveals, Neb is hidden inside a derelict house in the Bridge District. Upon finding him, he reveals himself as the child murderer from Baldur's Gate. An Evil Gorion's Ward can bargain with him to just give them the ore, but Minsc or Jaheira will force a confrontation. Neb's death rewards the party with 3500 XP, a lesser restoration spell cast on each party member and 2500 XP for each Child Spirit that survived the battle (while killing the spirits only rewards 1500 XP per spirit). On his corpse is the Illithium Ore the party seeks, as well as Neb's Nasty Cutter and Neb's Head.
Retrieving the rewardEdit
- Taking Neb's Head to Chief Inspector Brega in the Council of Six Building in the Government District will reward the party 2500 gold pieces and +1 Reputation.
- Giving the real Illithium Ore to Sir Sarles rewards the party with 21750 EXP. Once the sculpture is completed, the Temple rewards the party with another 20000 XP, 1000 GP and the Helm of the Noble.
- Giving the Illithium Alloy to Sir Sarles will fool him only for a moment. He will then realize what it is and, insulted, he will leave Athkatla. Upon reporting the failure to Guardian Telwyn, the High Watcher Oisig will spot the alloy and mistake it for Sir Sarles' sculpture, happily accepting it as a worthy dedication to their god. The party will be rewarded with 10000 XP and the Helm of the Noble.
- By removing the Ore from the party's inventory - simply dropping it on the floor inside the Jysstev Estate and picking it up afterwards suffices - and speaking to Sir Sarles with only the Alloy, the party may give the Alloy to the Temple, and keep the Ore to use to upgrade the Mace of Disruption by taking them both to Cromwell. The only drawback to this route is that it means forfeiting some of the experience points that simply giving the ore to Sir Sarles would provide.