Burying the Past

Location Paradise Down
Suggested Level 12
Next Quest --
Previous Quest  N/A

Burying the Past is a Quest in Divinity: Original Sin II. We came upon Gareth in an abandoned farmhouse, hovering over the unconscious body of a White Magister. We should find out what's going on.


Important NPCs



Burying the Past Objectives

  1. Deal with the Silent Monks or
  2. Deal with White Magister Jonathan

Burying the Past Walkthrough

This branching quest can be started at either south of the Driftwood - Field waypoint (X380 Y274) inside of a burning house (with some dead silent monks nearby), or later on in front of a farmhouse at Paradise Downs (For the 1st branch option of the quest, you must encounter Gareth at the burning house prior to visiting Paradise Downs; else, you will automatically go down the 2nd branch option).

If you begin the quest inside the burning house, you will find White Magister Jonathan knocked out by Gareth. He will explain how he formerly knew the Magister, and opts whether to finish the deed. At this point, the quest branches on whether you convince Gareth to spare Jonathan, or to kill him right there:

1. Kill Jonathan: If you choose to kill Jonathan at the burning house, Gareth will hesitate, and you can opt finish off Jonathan yourself. If so, you will need to perform a persuasion check (or mention "..the time of timidity is over.." to bypass the check) to convince Gareth to stay in your party for later acts. The quest is 'technically finished' at this point. You will get some EXP for your troubles, alongside some randomized loot on Jonathan's body. At Paradise Downs, a new side-quest will appear that involves removing some Voidwoken animals from the farmhouse, at the behest of Gareth's parents (who are hiding behind a wagon). Doing this side quest will reward you with a unique ring known as Hannag's Ring (or you may simply pickpocket the reward, which is contained inside a supply kit).

2. Jonathan Lives: If you either started the quest at Paradise Downs instead, or spared Jonathan at burning house, you will now find Gareth outside a farmhouse burying the bodies of his parents. He will want you to kill some silent monks for revenge. These monks are inside the farmhouse and you will need to persuade the Paladins guarding the front to let you in. Conversely, if you can't or don't want to, you can go to the right of the farmhouse and Teleport inside through the hole in the roof. In order to get Gareth to stop digging you will have to open the door though. So either lockpick it or break it down.

Once inside, speak with Gareth and he will ask you to help find proof of Jonathan's participation. You can either use Spirit Vision inside the house to speak with Gareth's parents, or you can find Jonathan's Gloves laying near a tree just outside the farmhouse. After a short dialogue, you will be given the decision to persuade Gareth (Intelligence or Memory check, 30 in stat with 0 persuasions will fail) to either forgive/spare Jonathan's life or kill him. Regardless of the outcome, you can still attack and kill Jonathan later on, which may upset Gareth and prompt him to leave, assuming you tell him. Jonathan is located in the Blackpits, and is involved in another quest. Once Gareth leaves the farmhouse for the Lady Vengeance, feel free to dig up the bodies for some extra loot, and a unique dagger known as the Pride of Pryce. There will also be a supply kit hidden near the wagon which contains the aforementioned ring.

Failing the check means Gareth will make up his own mind (mercy) and will then proceed to Paradise Dawns after moving Jonathan. When convincing him of mercy, you can choose the very bottom option ("...did not save him in the swamp for him to...") to bypass the check.

Once your log has updated with "We convinced Gareth that..." (changes depending on what you did), you can safely move on in the quest.


Tips & Tricks

  • If you kill White Magister Jonathan for Gareth when he is standing over his unconscious body and convince him to relax on the ship, his parents won't die and will be at the family farm. Jonathan is then replaced by White Magister Kari in the Blackpits interrogating Gwydian Rince.
    • Be quick! A hidden timer begins ticking once you first leave the Lady Vengeance in Act 2. Although it is somewhat lenient, you will be forced down the Jonathan Lives route if you tarry too long. To this effect, if you wish to save Gareth's parents, it is suggested that you kill Jonathan before visiting Driftwood. Some additional equipment may be necessary in order to pass the following Persuasion check with Gareth.
  • Jonathan will drop loot scaled to his level whether or not you kill him at the burning building, or at the Blackpits. Thus, having him killed at the burning house will net you high level gear quite early on within act 2.
  • Outside the house with Gareth and Jonathan, beside the woodpile under the canopy, you can discover a mound, with high enough lucky charm,  containing a sack of loot.
  • For the "Iniquity Forgiven" achievement you must have 4 Persuasion and tell Gareth to stay his weapon, then look in his eyes. This achievement is awarded to all players and you cannot get this achievement in the same playthrough as the "Furious Rebuke" achievement but you can reload to get them both. If doing this, you can also kill Jonathan later on without any repercussions.   
  • For the "Furious Rebuke" achievement you must encourage Gareth to finish the deed, tell him that the time for timidity has passed and slay Jonathan yourself, then tell him you did what had to be done and fail the persuasion check. This achievement is awarded to only the person speaking to Gareth.
  • For the "Furious Rebuke" achievement, you may need to agree to kill Jonathan and bring back proof before you are awarded the achievement. One option is to agree to the murder and then just go and steal the ring from him. You can teleport the guard watching him far away while Jonathan is executing the seeker and then do a quick pick-pocket.
  • For the Pride of Pryce, note that it will only spawn for the 2nd branch. It does not spawn in the 1st branch at all, for some reason.

Join the page discussion Tired of anon posting? Register!

    • Anonymous

      28 May 2021 08:27  

      I stole Jonathan's ring while he was unconscious at the burning house and convince Gareth to let him live. Afterwards in the farmhouse, once i had kill the monks and got the instruction to find and kill Jonathan, i just gave the ring to Gareth without even leaving the house. The quest ended in that moment.

      I see no indication the game recognizes that Jonathan is still alive. Not sure if this was intended to be an option but i guess it works. The quest shows now as closed.

      • Anonymous

        16 Mar 2021 09:41  

        Location of Jonathan's Gloves: (X:692, Y:277)

        The gloves can be difficult to see. On PC you can hold the "Alt" key to better view items on screen. (I'm assuming there's a way to do this on consoles too.) Change the mini-map so north is facing the top. Head directly to the east of Gareth's family farmhouse. The gloves are located southeast of the tree, where the fence ends. They are in between the fenced and the small rocky bluff. To be clear to the point of over-clarifying, the tree is the nearest tree to the farmhouse that is both south and east of it.

        • Anonymous

          14 Feb 2021 18:08  

          Does going anywhere near the stonegarden waypoint make this quest fall into the "Jonathan Lives" branch? I didn't even reach paradise downs and i couldn't find gareth and jonathan at the burning house lol.

          • Anonymous

            30 Jan 2021 22:45  

            Pro-tip: for an even more twisted scenario...

            1. dig up the bodies of Gareth’s parents
            2. Teleport them in front of the paladin guards & door
            3. Mass corpse explosion ofc. (Add fire traps if needed)
            4. Sit back and enjoy watching Gareth witness his family’s recently murdered bodies used as human explosive, killing the paladins and simultaneously destroying the door.
            6. Profit???

            Both gareth AND his parents get some sense of revenge this way. Win win. Disregard whatever their ghosts say in the house, they don’t know what they really want.

            • Anonymous

              14 Nov 2020 20:41  

              > kill jonathan then persuade gareth to stay = 13.450xp
              > slay voidwoken attack on gareth's parents house = 16.200xp 2.700xp each
              > 2.700xp for 'infestation' quest
              > 13.(and something)xp for quest after house cleared

              > spare jonathan
              > 2 guards in front of parents house = 10.800xp 5.400xp each
              > 2.700xp letting him slay at least one silent monks (killing them yourself only gives 25xp each, i think)
              > 8.075xp persuade him to not seek revenge

              i didn't bother to check any further since killing jonathan gives far more xp, but sparing him gives you the +1 thievery dagger and jonathan's gloves, your pick

              • Anonymous

                10 Nov 2020 17:37  

                Save beforehand and speedrun this quest all the way through, or Gareth may break during your Honour run.

                He may inexplicably be obsessed with finding a nonexistant thief after you clear the paladins/get through the door to the family home.

                Currently no fixes found for this (tried actually pickpocketing, teleporting inside, etc.), will only poobrain or fight to the death.

                • Anonymous

                  17 Oct 2020 21:52  

                  in both my playthoughs, Gareth and the KO magister aren't in the burning house
                  I'm guessing there's some kind of timer, because in both games I explored the western part of the island and the cemetary before heading north of Driftwood

                  • Anonymous

                    30 Sep 2020 23:09  

                    I helped Gareth clear the way into the house due to failing the persuade skill check, killing both Paladins in the procedure.

                    Just to make Gareth forgive and forget about Jonathan with the following persuade. Not sure if that was a worthwhile trade.

                    • Anonymous

                      14 Sep 2020 13:11  

                      I didn't see Gareth until the end of act 2 and wasn't able to talk to him about Johnathan. Found Gareth burying his parents on their farm.

                      • Anonymous

                        28 Aug 2020 21:54  

                        You can also use Constitution to persuade Gareth not to follow up on his plans of revenge. I got this option doing the following: I met him the first time, tried to persuade him not to kill Jonathan but failed the check, then met him again some time later while burying his parents, and won the check due to re-spec

                        • Anonymous

                          22 Aug 2020 23:51  

                          I've got this glitch where I've killed the Silent Monks and the next part of the quest says return to Gareth, but the game won't let me speak with him. He wonders about seemingly randomly around his parents farm and sometimes even further, saying "You can't hide forever. They can't have gone far. Somethings afoot, checking it out. Come out, come out wherever you are."
                          I have no idea what to do about it, I've done pretty much everything left to do at reapers coast, including killing Jonathan in the blackpits, but he's still stuck in this glitch so I can't complete the quest or take him on The Lady Vengeance to Arx.
                          Pretty Annoying.

                          • Anonymous

                            23 Jun 2020 01:01  

                            For the Furious Rebuke achievement, I can confirm that the procedure is to kill Jonathan yourself, then fail one of the two [Strength] persuasion checks. You will NOT gain the achievement if your Persuasion skill is too high, so it is best to let a character with no Persuasion do the deed. I got the achievement the moment I failed this check, and i did not need visit Gareth's family farm.

                            • Anonymous

                              16 Jun 2020 23:54  

                              As of today, I figured it out. Furious Rebuke achievement is earned by getting Gareth to leave Jonathan alone for now and he has to contemplate things over. After this, go to Gareths family farm house and share his anger for vengeance, gain access to the house and Gareth will come in and talk to you, don’t stand in his way and he will kill the silent monks. Give him Jonathan’s gloves and he will feel guilty for letting him leave the burning house. Agree to kill Jonathan for him and get his ring. Take the ring back to Gareth and you will get the achievement.

                              • Anonymous

                                04 Jun 2020 09:17  

                                Weird and buggy quest. Just tried repeatedly to get the "Iniquity Forgiven: Set Gareth on a path of reconciliation" achievement in the shack with Gareth and Jonathan following the exact method above ("stay his weapon", "look in his eyes") but it wouldn't trigger. Eventually gave up and went with the more in-character route for this rather vindictive Red Prince playthrough (killing Jonathan, telling Gareth to cool off on the Lady Vengeance and winning the persuasion check), and then suddenly I get the "Iniquity Forgiven" achievement, despite if anything following a "Furious Rebuke" path. Kind of hard to reconcile or forgive iniquities when the dude's dead, I'd have thought!

                                • Anonymous

                                  28 May 2020 13:50  

                                  This quest is utter nonsense and very buggy. There are so many points on the quest that completely will screw you over and not able to finish the quest

                                  • Anonymous

                                    12 Apr 2020 02:55  

                                    I killed Jonathan but the stupid quest is stuck at "Return to Gareth". I have Jonathan's ring, but talking to Gareth does nothing, he just keeps digging. Yay buggy quests!

                                    • Anonymous

                                      27 Mar 2020 20:36  

                                      These two achievements aren't available on console, it should really be made clear on this page. I spent a good half an hour trying different dialogue options and searching the Internet.

                                      • Anonymous

                                        10 Mar 2020 11:47  

                                        You don't need to pass the persuasion check to convince him to let Jonathan live. During that dialogue you have 4 options towards the end of it, the first 3 being persuasion checks (Memory, Memory and Intelligence) while the last option goes something along the lines of you not wanting gareth to go down that path and you didn't save him to become like that etc. I went with that and he took Jonathan somewhere else; most importantly he doesn't kill him.

                                        • Anonymous

                                          30 Jan 2020 16:36  

                                          You can still find garreth in the burning home if you haven't gone anywhere near Paradise Downs area (not sure how near, probably just revealing the parents' house in map will kill them). I reloaded a save before I went to do ryker's quest and have pretty much cleared driftwood, the area west of it, plus most of stonegarden and cloisterwood and still found garreth in the burning house.

                                          • Anonymous

                                            28 Jan 2020 07:49  

                                            so if you want to save the parents you have to go to 1. the shack. first thing you do after you got out lady vengence. X385 Y274. 2. kill the white magistrate, and persuade gareth to wait in lady vengence 3. go to paradise downs X635 Y260. here you will see his parents cowering. talk to them to activate quest infestation and kill the voidwokens. which of course is very hard since you will probably only be level 9 or 10. at this point you can just go back and do other quest till you're strong enough. and done. you save his parents.

                                            • Anonymous

                                              19 Nov 2019 11:53  

                                              Sadly I was unable to find Gareth at the burning house even though I reloaded to before I ever went to his farm.

                                              • Anonymous

                                                21 Oct 2019 19:11  

                                                This is the kinda bull*****How can you make this quest in time without using a guide? Who would run up that way first thing?

                                              Load more
                                              ⇈ ⇈