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Zhjaeve (female lawful neutral githzerai cleric, domains: Magic, Knowledge) is a joinable NPC in Neverwinter Nights 2.

Zhjaeve at Crossroad Keep

Zhjaeve at Crossroad Keep

"This tall woman has extremely slender limbs and long fingers. The skin of her somber face is stretched tight across her cheeks and her nose and ears are small but sharply angled. Zhjaeve's grey-yellow eyes seem to constantly follow you, though her inhuman face makes it hard to read whether she's sizing you up for the kill, admiring you, or if it's just an insatiable curiosity. While she bears a strong resemblance to the githyanki that have been troubling you, her appearance is less gaunt and predatory."


Zhjaeve has surprisingly bad stats: Str 10, Dex 13, Con 12, Int 14, Wis 17, and Cha 13. Assuming Githzerai get the same stat bonus as humans (Which they don't, +6 dex, +2 Wis -2 Int, +2 ECL - none of which are implemented) that would be a point buy 35, but arguably distributed poorly; especially her Strength score. It doesn't feel as bad in actual play, as you should already have a couple of Strength items when you finally get to her, but she's definitely behind with some of her stats.

The earliest you can acquire Zhjaeve is level 7 (a herculean feat of patience and planning) by which time she will have increased her Wisdom to 18 and her Concentration, Heal, Lore and Parry skills to 10. She will have already chosen Combat Casting (at level 1), Extra Turning (at level 3) and Empower Spell (at level 6). Until she is recruited, Zhjaeve will automatically increase her Wisdom and the skills indicated above.

Should you somehow manage to acquire Zhjaeve at level 7 or 8, consider the following feats instead of the ones she will automatically choose on her own - indicated in parenthesis:

  •  9  Craft Magic Arms & Armor (Silent spell)
  • 12  Craft Wondrous Item (Iron will)
  • 15  Extend Spell (Quicken spell)
  • 18  Persistent Spell (Spell penetration)

Zhjaeve has the typical good cleric buffs, but her poor point distribution make the typical usage of clerics as decent fighters, who only need to be buffed first, much less effective. Clerics are the most defensive of all specialized spell-casters, and Zhjaeve's domains don't change much about that.

All in all Elanee is a strong concurrence in pure effectiveness, even if Zhjaeve might be important for story.

Both Zhjaeve and Ammon Jerro can use their copies of the True Name Scroll acquired from Sydney Natale to negate the undead immortality of the Shadow Reavers, allowing them to be destroyed once the recitation of their true names is completed. This recitation takes about 5 rounds to complete and if interrupted for any reason must be re-started. Therefore, it's advisable to have the Shadow Reavers distracted while this relatively lengthy process is completed.


Zhjaeve is like Sand in that both are characters very focused on crafting. Together with him, she can craft everything in the game except the Amulet of Natural Armor (which requires the Barkskin spell), which would then require you give Elanee or Bishop the Craft Wondrous Item feat. However, there are so many good Amulets around, including the Amulet of Health, Medallion of Thought and for priests also Periapt of Wisdom, that many people will prefer to cast Barkskin as a buff instead.

When you craft, you will very likely want Zhjaeve to have both the Craft Magical Arms and Armor and Craft Wondrous Item feats. This makes acquiring her before level 12 (and before level 9, if you can manage it) useful so she does not automatically choose feats as poorly as she does her initial stats distribution. Alternatively, you could give Qara the Craft wondrous item feat, but this is not advisable due to her limited selection of spells and the fact that many important items created with it are based on Mage Armor, a spell Zhjaeve already has.

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This is the list of important items that Sand cannot craft, but Zhjaeve can:

Craft magical arms and armor:

  • Melf's acid arrow from Zhjaeve's Magic domain allow to craft Acid Weapons with 1d6 Acid damage, the best elemental damage type after sonic which is unavailable. Sand can't cast this spell because Transmuters can't cast Conjuration spells. Qara could learn this spell.
  • Mage Armor, again from the Magic domain, allows to craft defending weapons. Again Sand can't do this because its a Conjuration spell. Qara could learn this spell, too, and will do so automatically at level 5 if she is not recruited before then.
  • Inflict critical wounds is required for unholy (2d6 magic damage vs good), axiomatic (2d6 magic damage vs chaotic), and anarchic (2d6 magic damage vs lawful) weapons. Zhjaeve is definitely the only companion with this spell.
  • Silence is required for crafting Silent Armor (either +5, +10 or +15 on Move Silently). Grobnar is the only other companion able to learn this spell.
  • Spell Resistance is required for Armor of Spell Resistance (either SR 14, 18, or 22). Elanee can cast this as well.

Craft wondrous item:

  • Mage Armor also allows to craft Bracers of Armor (+1 to +8) and the powerful Robe of the Archmagi.
  • Silence is also required for Boots of Elvenkind.
  • Spell Resistance is also required for Greater Mantle of Spell Resistance (SR 20).

Official Campaign[]

Although you can gain or lose influence with Zhjaeve, it has no bearing on actual gameplay. She will never turn on the party once you face the King of Shadows, regardless of how low your influence with her may be. Conversely, while higher influence may bring about new conversation options with her as the story progresses, there are no tangible benefits as a result of it.

Zhjaeve is a mysterious githzerai that was held captive along with Aldanon by Black Garius at Crossroad Keep. After Garius' ritual is interrupted and kills him, Zhjaeve joins the party, informing the PC about the Ritual of Purification and it's role in stopping the King of Shadows. She takes a great interest in the PC, referring to him/her as the kalach-cha like the githyanki, believing the importance of his/her destiny as the "shard bearer."

At the Ruins of Arvahn, the player undergoes the Ritual of Purification. The final statue is beyond a Song Portal on a hill, which leads back to West Harbor, having been destroyed by the shadow tide as the King of Shadows gets closer to returning. Zhjaeve concludes something powerful threw the portal off from the correct destination, and they travel through the swamp to the Illefarn ruins where the last statue is located. Unfortunately, a Shadow Reaver just destroyed it, but he admitted someone else already had used this statue for the ritual. The party later learns it was Ammon Jerro who performed that last step, and was necessary to help the PC complete the ritual and destroy the King of Shadows.

Eventually, Sydney Natale approached, wanting to meet the PC concerning the truenames of the Shadow Reavers, and required that he/she bring only Qara and Zhjaeve. At the rendezvous point, Sydney asked Zhjaeve if the truenames she obtained from Arcane Brotherhood records might be capable of shutting off the Reavers immortality. When Zhjaeve answered in the affirmative of the possibility, Sydney showed her true colors, summoning the Animus Elemental and declaring she no longer had any use for them. Intending to fulfill her agreement with Johcris, she attacked the party along with Jalboun of the Two Blades. The player, Qara, and Zhjaeve destroyed Sydney and the animus elemental.

After foiling Natale's ambush, the group returned to Crossroad Keep. Ammon confirmed that the Truename scrolls could very well work on the Reavers, and proved to be successful during a skirmish with one of them. After acquiring another silver shard from the fallen Reaver, Zhjaeve believed there was enough shards to reforge the Sword of Gith. Returning to West Harbor through the song portal, the group returned to the mysterious black spot, where Ammon had clashed with the King of Shadows. Under Zhjaeve's guidance, the PC repaired the silver sword, reformed and fueled by a thirst to destroy the shadows. At that point, another Shadow Reaver tried to assault them, and was struck down like the other.

With the Silver Sword of Gith restored, the party could strike back at the King of Shadows. Zhjaeve, like the PC, went missing when Merdelain collapsed following the destruction of the King of Shadows.


  • Zhjaeve was voiced by Lisa Emery.
  • Though she is a cleric, she has no actual deity. This may due to the fact the deity system was added very late in the development cycle, though many githzerai clerics do not choose a deity, as it reminds them of the slavery they faced by the Illithids.
  • She has a habit of beginning her sentences with "Know that....". This emphasis of "knowing" oneself is a common and important theme in Githzerai culture.
  • Rarely do you have a chance to gain influence, but as with Ammon, it does nothing to the story. Still, high influence provides extra information about their past during personal conversations.


Jake Zahns Guide to NWN2 Crafting Recipes