Some players of Baldur's Gate are foolish enough to attempt finishing this game with a solo character. However the more conventional and entertaining approach is to build a party of Non-Player Characters (NPCs). Such companions can offer the advantage of their unique abilities and help your character overcome the varied nature of the challenges and quests in the game.
- Travel to Nashkel town. The game is divided into several chapters and each chapter has various locations your character will need to travel to in order to complete quests and advance through the storyline. The town of Nashkel is located south of Candlekeep which is one of the starting locations of the game. Entering Nashkel for the first time triggers the start of the second chapter of the game. You will meet some other NPCs in this area and they have their own minor quests which you can choose to do. If you want to go about acquiring Branwen first, head directly to the Temple of Helm at the eastern part of town. Enter it and talk to the priest there who sells various magical paraphernalia.
- Purchase a Stone to Flesh scroll. You need to buy a Stone to Flesh scroll from the priest. This may cost up to around 168 gold pieces so be sure you have enough money for this purchase. The spell contained in this magical scroll can free petrified NPCs which is Branwen's current state as you'll discover soon enough. This step isn't necessary if your character happens to be of the spell-casting class such as wizard, cleric or druid and you know the Stone to Flesh spell.
- Free Branwen from enchantment. Leave the town through the southern exit to get to the carnival set up in the outskirts. Look for a large red-striped rectangular tent. Nearby will be a statue - the human cleric Branwen turned to stone. To know more of the backstory, look for a man named Zeke. He will tell you how Branwen was enchanted by the Mage Tranzig. Incidentally you can also buy a Stone to Flesh scroll from Zeke. Go back to the statue and use the scroll. The enchantment will be broken and Branwen out of gratitude will ask to join your party. This will be the only chance for your character to take her in. If you dismiss her, she won't show up again.
- Set a high enough Charisma score. During the character creation stage at the beginning of the game most players, especially those who are partial to fighter-type classes, put too little importance to Charisma. This character ability or feature actually has a direct effect on how NPCs will interact with you. A high Charisma score for example allows you to acquire up to 6 NPC companions - the maximum number of NPCs allowed to join your party. So spend a few points on this feature to get a better chance of maximizing your NPC companions.
The one thing that the cleric class is known for is its proficient ability to cast healing spells. There are going to be numerous combat situations in the game and it would definitely be an advantage if Branwen were there to cure your wounds as you hack and slash through some of the game's challenges.