Pour one out for Losiir, the unsung hero of Baldur's Gate 3's intro
Pick Lae'zel and you'll meet this doomed Githyanki
With Baldur's Gate 3 finally out of early access, I'm sure many of you will be busy creating your own custom characters right now as you begin your journey through Larian's RPG epic. But I implore you to take a moment to remember the great Losiir, a Githyanki soldier who most of you will probably never meet. That's because he only shows up if you pick Lae'zel as your origin character, because who else would be there to do her fancy sword lunge from above if not a gender-swapped version of basically herself? But he's a good egg, Losiir, even if his run-time as an official Baldur's Gate companion is, err, somewhat short-lived.
There's no point beating around the bush here. He is, to all intents and purposes, a carbon copy of Lae'zel plucked from the void of necessity so players don't instantly die in the first 15 minutes. If you choose anyone other than her to start with, you'll meet Lae'zel almost as soon as you crawl from the wreckage of the introduction's dragon-flambéd Nautiloid ship where you're currently being held captive. She appears from behind and jumps down in front of you pointing a sword at your throat, convinced you're a Mindflayer in need of skewering. Luckily, your respective Mindflayer tadpoles that were recently inserted into your eyeballs quickly put a stop to any further violence, and the two of you form a hasty alliance to try and escape. She's your first proper companion character of the game, and her main purpose in the introduction is to essentially make sure you don't dilly-dally on your way to the helm, and to also give you a much-needed fighting companion in the opening combat tutorial.
Of course, if you start with Lae'zel, then she can't exactly whoosh down and do the same thing for herself, can she? She starts where every other character starts at the beginning of Baldur's Gate 3 - in the same pod next to, err, her, seen in the opening cinematic. Even Shadowheart starts here if you pick her as your origin character, who you'd ordinarily meet a bit later on in the ship if you're playing as another character (and I'm not gonna lie, I was a teeny bit sad to see Shadowheart's usual pod lying empty when I started as her, as I missed having some berate me from inside her glass tube).
I've been mildly obsessed by how each character begins their journey in Baldur's Gate 3, so I was very pleased indeed to see that Larian had a solution for would-be Lae'zel pickers. It's yet further evidence of their everything-and-the-kitchen-sink approach to making sure everyone's stories make sense, and it also means that Lae'zel choosers don't inadvertently cripple themselves with an accidental hard mode right from the start. Sure, you can grab the creepy brain-on-legs Us as a temporary companion just before that first imp fight, but Lae'zel's skillset isn't best suited to extracting them from their unfortunate skull prison. I failed every skill check to prize that thing out during my playthrough, and I was worried that I've have to taken on its opening three enemies alone. That's not ideal when you've only got 10HP, but luckily, Losiir was here to save the day. What a great chap!
Now, mild spoilers to follow, but given the surprise appearance of this new character, I was secretly hoping he'd be a permanent feature of Lae'zel's ensuing story. He was a capable fighter, if only because he had exactly the same attacks as Lae'zel herself, but also: he's a cool surprise addition I wasn't expecting! Why wouldn't I want to keep this guy around?
Alas, my journey with Losiir wasn't to be. After the Nautiloid crash lands and you get your bearings on an unknown beach, you quickly find him dashed against the sands in front of you, his dreams of finding a creche to purify his newly tadpoled brain savagely cut short.
We'll miss you, Losiir, so here's to you, the great saviour of Lae'zel's first baby steps into the world of Baldur's Gate 3, and unsung hero of the Mindflayer takeover. You died so Lae'zel might live (and not get instantly nuked by demons), and we thank you for your noble sacrifice.
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.