In Baldur’s Gate 3, if you’ve made your way to the Zhentarim Basement or maybe run into multiple groups of Gnolls, you may have gotten your hands on the Caravan Strongbox, an item from the “Find the Missing Shipment” quest. Lockpicking the box open is tempting, but if you do so, you’ll be locked out of some specific rewards, so it might not be worth it.
The box is behind a group of Gnolls and after defeating them (whether it’s through brute force or from persuading them to eat their allies), Rugan will give you the box to sell off in Baldur’s Gate or you can take it from him.
To open the box, you’ll need to pass a Sleight of Hand check of 20, but below we explain what happens when you open the Caravan Strongbox or if you leave it shut.
If you open the Caravan Strongbox...
You will see three items inside: a Potion of Invisibility, 11 gold, and an Iron Flask. The former two objects are a dime a dozen, but the latter is special. If you interact with the Iron Flask, you’ll be prompted with an Arcana Intelligence check of 10. If you pass, you’ll realize that the flask contains a monster inside.
If you choose to pop open the flask or throw the flask, you will free the level 5 Spectator inside, which will initiate a battle. After killing it, we were given no immediate reward (the monster didn’t even have any loot!), though we’re unsure if this does anything specific down the line.
Returning the open strongbox to the Zhentarim will make them hostile towards you, so you’ll need to prepare for battle, if you head back to their base with the open box.
If you keep the Caravan Strongbox closed...
You can either choose to return it to Zarys in the Zhentarim Basement below Waukeen’s Rest or you can pawn it at Baldur’s Gate.
If you do turn it in to Zarys, she’ll reward you with a rare heavy crossbow, Harold, and Brem, the merchant in the Zhentarim Basement, will sell a much more expanded inventory to you.
[Ed. note: If you’re trying to turn the Caravan Strongbox in to Zarys and she’s not accepting it, rest for a night at camp first to give Rugan a chance to return to the basement. She won’t acknowledge you with the box if Rugan isn’t dead or back at base.]
As of this writing, we have not taken the box to Baldur’s Gate, but we plan on doing this in one of our main playthroughs. We’ll update this post with results if we manage to do it.
If you want to open the Caravan Strongbox, but also want the rewards...
You totally can give Zarys the lockbox, and then pickpocket it off of her, if you pass the Sleight of Hand check for it. If you get caught sneaking off after grabbing the box from her, you’ll need to make another roll of Deception, Persuasion, or Intimidation to get her to leave you alone. We had to roll a DC 15 for Charisma when we selected Deception.