I have posted this on the Baldur's Gate Reddit, and I'm posting it on here as well.
Throughout the Bhaalspawn saga, we encounter many foes that push us to the limit and make us question our purpose in life. However every hero needs an archnemesis, and in our story there are several who stand out among the rest, so who is the Joker to our Batman, the Moriarty to our Sherlock?
Beware! Major Spoilers below!Sarevok Anchev:
The original big bad of Baldur's Gate, our psychotic Bhaalspawn Deathbringer half-brother clad in dark, demonic armor, who murdered the man who raised us in cold blood, orchestrated a plot to run the Sword Coast red with blood and made attempts on our life, directly and indirectly, on multiple occasions. Even in death he remains a thorn in our side, his darkness echoing through our dreams and memories, and himself even returning one more time in Hell to challenge us. Our journey crosses our paths with him one last time in our Pocket Plane, where given a second chance in life, Sarevok can prove himself to be as deadly an ally as he was an adversary. With the right amount of encouragement, perhaps it is even possible for Sarevok to reevaluate his life and turn over a new leaf, yet even in redemption he remains a bloodthirsty maniac.Jon Irenicus:
The Exile, the Shattered One, the Hooded Man; Of all the adversaries encountered in the Baldur's Gate series, Irenicus has perhaps stolen more from us than any other. This fiend first reared his ugly head during the Siege of Dragonspear, with his cryptic riddles for prophecies under the moniker of "The Hooded Man." In our moment of victory against one of our deadliest foes yet, he showed up yet again, and murdered and implicated us of the murder of Skie Silvershield, tarnishing our good name and forcing us to be exiled from the city we've saved, not once but twice. He had his goons capture us, kept us captive for gods know how long, subjecting us, as well as Imoen, to brutal torture. He murdered Khalid and Dynaheir in cold blood. In a moment of opportunity provided us by the attack of the Shadow Thieves on his base, when we were so close to tasting freedom once again, he manipulated the Cowled Wizards into arresting Imoen, along with himself, ending up in Spellhold where he eventually took over, and once again subjected poor Imoen to unspeakable torment before stealing her soul for his sister Bodhi. When we next encountered him after having faced countless treachery at every turn, we were faced with yet another, as it turned out our companion Yoshimo had been under a geas all along and was forced to betray us, in turn forcing us to take his life. He subjected us to further torment, stole our soul and left us for dead. We pursued him across land and sea, fighting tooth and dagger against his machinations, and literally went through hell before we could finally be done with him.Amelyssan the Blackhearted:
The woman known as Amelyssan was once the most trusted priestess of Bhaal. On the final leg of our journey, Amelyssan masqueraded as the benevolent Melissan, posing as the savior of Bhaalspawn during the Bhaalspawn crisis, while pulling the strings from behind the scenes. She manipulated us into slaying our five siblings behind the bloodshed throughout Faerun, while at the same time manipulating the Five to slaughter the other Bhaalspawn as well as any who would get in the way, bathing the land in blood in the process. Once we slayed every Bhaalspawn that stood in our way, and we remained the last, we were then faced with her true ambition of stealing the essence of Bhaal for herself, and becoming the new Goddess of Murder, pitting us against her in a final confrontation at Bhaal's abyssal throne.Bhaal:
Of course, none of this would have happened if not for the architect behind it all. The Lord of Murder, having foreseen his demise at the Time of Troubles, spawned a score of mortal offspring with females of every race imaginable, perhaps dating as far back as a thousand years prior, given that one of his offspring happens to be a dragon and another a drow female of notable standing. Having been slain by the upstart Cyric, who went on to claim his divine portfolio for his own, Bhaal had orchestrated for his essence to remain on Toril through his offspring, destined to be slain for his essence to be gathered in the Abyss where he could be reborn. We are one of those children, destined for the dark legacy of our father...Honorable Mentions:
The Five: While mere pawns for Amelyssan to be used to further her own agenda, each member of the Five is still a powerful Bhaalspawn and a force to be reckoned with in their own right. As a group, they brutalized the entire region, slaughtering countless Bhaalspawn as well as innocents with little regard. They are the driving force behind the last act of the saga.
Cyric: The Mad God who slayed our father Bhaal during the Time of Troubles and claimed his portfolio as his own. The Prince of Lies is a force of evil on Toril, with many of our lesser adversaries openly worshipping him, and is likely to be a major adversary of our own, should we pursue godhood in the future.
Demogorgon: One of the most powerful demon lords of the Abyss, Demogorgon serves as the big bad of the Watcher's Keep dungeon. Not much else to say about him.
Jierdan Firkraag: While merely a side-quest adversary, in any other given story this malevolent, fire breathing, red dragon would be nothing short of the main villain. Moreover, he is a former adversary of Gorion's, hellbent on exacting revenge upon the late Harper through ruining us.
Twisted Rune: There is a massive conspiracy theory regarding this malevolent secret society and their possible connection to half of the problems we encounter in Baldur's Gate 2, that is too much to get into in this post.
Mind Flayers: Likewise there is a huge conspiracy theory regarding Mind Flayers being behind everything wrong with Athkatla and elsewhere. We even encounter some mind flayers having taken over the old Cyric-converted temple of Bhaal in the Siege of Dragonspear. With the upcoming Baldur's Gate 3 focusing heavily upon them, perhaps they are a case of a "villain of another story."
Belhifet: The archdevil who forced the Aasimar paladin Aun Argent to sacrifice his soul in exchange of that of his niece Caelar, he and his servant Hephernaan are essentially the masterminds behind the events of the Siege of Dragonspear. In any case, he is definitely the archnemesis of Caelar Argent, if nothing else.
Anyone else I might have missed? The Baldur's Gate series is host to a multitude of colorful and fascinating bad guys, so if there's anyone else you think more deserving of being our archenemy, please comment down below. Don't forget to let me know what you think by voting in the poll.