Black Garius is an NPC in the official campaign and serves as a chief antagonist to player through most of the game, despite him having very little face to face contact with the PC.
- This old wizard has a deep, intimidating stare and the smile of someone who is rarely denied the things he wants. He is dressed in the regal, almost pompous black robes of a Hosttower mage.
As a Hosttower Mage
"Black" Garius, also known as "Master of the Fifth Tower," is the driving force for the start of many of the games events. He's been working with the Shadow Priests who want to raise up the King of Shadows and wishes to use their power to increase his own. He works out of a temporary stronghold in the abandoned Crossroad Keep within Neverwinter's borders.
The rough events he works on before the PC kills him follow roughly as so:
- He works his way up the Hosttower and into a position of some power. As Sand indicates, it is likely he had help from the King of Shadows, given the rate he rose up the ranks.
- He steals the Tome of Iltkazar from Ruathym, which the Arcane Brotherhood had given up as part of a treaty. Ruathym retaliated, knowing it was members of Luskan, and the two were back at war. With most of the Arcane Brotherhood occupied with the war, Garius was easily able to:
- Have control over Torio Claven, the Luskan ambassador to Neverwinter.
- Take forces of Luskan's army and the Arcane Brotherhood for his own ends.
- Work behind the backs of the Arcane Brotherhood. While some of them may have caught on to some of his activities, the war effort and his deals with the King of Shadows greatly slowed them down.
- He provides the resources for the Shadow Priests operating in various locations such as near Fort Locke, Highcliff, and Old Owl Well, allowing them to raise up undead cohorts to try and kill the nearby Neverwinter forces. The Orcs in Old Owl Well were meant to provide a distraction to the Greycloak army.
- Presumably, he researches the rituals of the Shadow Weave, the Shadow Reavers, and the Tome of Iltkazar, intending to sway control of the King of Shadows power.
The PC then comes into the game following the githyanki raid on West Harbor and upsets plans at Fort Locke, killing the Shadow Priest and his minions at the nearby graveyard, as well as the priest at Highcliff castle. Eventually, the PC arrives at Old Owl Well in search of the missing Waterdeep emissary and slays Logram Eyegouger and the Shadow Priests' outpost there, upsetting the Orc population so a civil war breaks out and disrupting Garius' intended ritual. Shortly after, a Luskan ship docks at Neverwinter, carrying one of his apprentices and several thugs to assist Lorne, but they are detained and destroyed by the player after returning.
After this, Torio, Lorne, and Garius presumably plan to kill the residents of Ember themselves to set up the "Harborman" interfering with the plans. Lorne is sent, disguised with a potion obtained from a vengeful Dryad in Duskwood Forest to look like the PC, with several assassins from Luskan, and kill everyone in the village. He has Torio report the slaughter to Lord Nasher, hoping to force the PC to be extradited to Luskan to have low justice. Through assistance of Nasher and Nevalle, the player becomes a squire in order to bypass the extradition treaty and has the trial placed in Neverwinter. Though the outcome may vary, a Trial by Combat is called to challenge the verdict, and Torio calls forth Lorne as her champion to represent Luskan. Lorne is slain in the arena by the PC (or his/her champion) and Torio is expelled from her position as ambassador.
After this, Garius has the sage Aldanon kidnapped due to some difficulties deciphering the Tome of Iltkazar, needed to perform the ritual. Soon, Sydney Natale reveals to Lord Nasher and the PC where Garius is hiding: at Crossroad Keep. The PC arrives along with a Greycloak force sent by Nasher, just in time as Garius begins the ritual. Heading in through an escape tunnel and meeting up with Aldanon again, the player and Greycloaks fights through a small Luskan force comprised of elite warriors and Arcane Brotherhood members. The chaos results in the mages losing concentration on the ritual, causing them and Garius to be killed by a dark wave as the ritual seems to end in catastrophic failure.
As a Shadow Reaver
After his "death," the player is granted command of Crossroad Keep. The burned bodies of Garius and the mages however are reanimated as Reavers during the night. The ritual, as it turned out, had worked after all. But not quite the way Garius hoped, as they were now thralls of the King of Shadows under his power. They seem to wander off, presumably to the Vale of Merdelain in the Mere of Dead Men.
Now as a Shadow Reaver, he and the other Reavers prepare their war effort while they wait for the King of Shadows to fully return to Faerun. Setting sights on reclaiming Crossroad Keep, he eventually leads a siege on the keep itself. Using his wizardry, he protects his undead forces from sunlight during the dawn hours, and faces off with the PC in the courtyard. He summons a Nightwalker to battle the player, but is horrified when it is defeated and Ammon Jerro recites his true name, forcing him to flee.
The final encounter is with him in the Ritual Sanctum at Merdelain where the King of Shadows is about to return from the Plane of Shadows. He tries to persuade people to betray the PC (at least one always will - either Sand or Qara, whoever has lower influence), even putting a geas on Neeshka. If the PC has a high enough influence with Bishop, they can convince him to turn on Garius as Bishop hates following orders. If the PC succedes in winning over Neeshka, and getting Bishop to flee, he will comment "Well, it was worth a try", as he now only has one ally, Qara or Sand. The player then finishes him off and the turncoat or turncoats, and faces off against the King of Shadows himself.
It appears he was going after some of the raw power that the Shadow Priests could provide, using shadow magic and, more importantly the Shadow Weave of Shar that the King of Shadows had tapped into long ago. His intention was to use a ritual to absorb most of the King of Shadows power, possibly taking his place. But when the ritual turned him into a Shadow Reaver however, he maintained a (seemingly) fanatical devotion to the King of Shadows, and the power that position had brought.
He also has very little background, and unlike Lorne has no relation to anything the PC knows about at any part during the initial parts of the game. It is unknown how he works with the Shadow Priests, though it seems he may have been a liaison for the King of Shadows. How he has a hold on Torio and why Lorne follows him, where he came from before joining the Arcane Brotherhood, and how he learned of the King of Shadows is mostly unknown.
Since there seemed to be no official leader of the Shadow Priests (aside from the King of Shadows), its likely Garius used Luskan's resources to grant them power and influence.
As an antagonist
Special note must be given that, even though he is perhaps the most prominent antagonist NPC in the entire campaign, the PC meets him face to face a total of 3 times with no real extended dialogue for the first two. Most interactions occur with Garius' minions. The player does not actually battle him during the first encounter in Crossroad Keep's basement; he is killed when the ritual is disrupted by the battle with Luskanites. He flees from the second encounter when his true name is read aloud. He is ultimately slain by the player and his or her allies in Merdelain.
He also lacks any real deed which affects the PC personally until Act II, when he attempts to frame him/her for the massacre of Ember. The player for the most part only goes against him out of either a sense of moral responsibility, loyalty to Neverwinter, revenge, or simply a desire to avoid being killed.
Unlike the King of Shadows, Garius likely did not care about recreating a shadow Illefarn empire, or fulfilling the ancient directives of Illefarn's Guardian. He, like the other Shadow Reavers, seemed mostly fixated on the power of the Shadow Weave. He possessed some degree of megalomania, seeking to go beyond the political struggles between Luskan and Neverwinter, and used both cities from behind the scenes to further his plans. He also had a huge ego, stylizing himself as the "Master of the Fifth Tower" (there's only four towers of the Hosttower of the Arcane), and taking a personal interest in retaking Crossroad Keep. However, he was, while still human, relatively calm and courteous, even when things out of his control went awry, only showing agitation when his minions failed their assignments and directly endangered the ritual.
- Black Garius was voiced by Chris Murney.
- Despite the reverberating voice of other Shadow Reavers (possibly due to their voice needing magical aid, since Reavers seem to lack vocal cords), Garius' voice remains exactly the same as it was when he was alive.