The Golden Bird is the first quest of Act III. It isn't assigned by any NPC. Instead, it is initiated after the player kills the first random Unique Monsters in the Spider Forest just outside the Kurast Docks. The Unique monster will drop a unique item, a Jade Figurine, that the player needs to take back to the Kurast Docks. The quest is completed upon talking to Alkor, where the player will receive a Potion of Life.
In the past, there was a sage named Ku Y'leh who studied the mysteries of life beyond death. Some rumors say he actually found some life-extending recipes. His ashes were said to have been stored within a statuette of a Golden Bird.
Further information and tips
After you pick up the Jade Figurine, you should head back to town and talk with Deckard Cain. He will tell you to talk to Meshif who collects figurines. When you talk to Meshif, he will give you a Golden Bird in exchange for the Jade Figurine. Your quest journal will now instruct you to talk to Cain again. Cain will tell you to take the Golden Bird to Alkor the chemist. After giving the Golden Bird to Alkor, he creates a special elixir for you called the Potion of Life. Right-click the Potion to drink it, which will permanently increase your life by 20 points.
NPC Quest Dialog
Asheara: "Only Deckard Cain can make sense of this."
Deckard Cain: "Back in Lut Gholein Meshif told me he had a fondness for jade figurines. On his trading voyages he collected an odd assortment of such small statues. I would show him your figurine."
Meshif: "Praise you! That jade figurine will complete the set I was collecting. Here! I've had this statuette of a golden bird for years, but I consider it a fair exchange."
Return with Golden Bird
Alkor: "Ah, the Golden Bird of Ku Y'leh. Thank you, my friend. Busy yourself while I experiment with the ashes within it. Then, return and see what I have made for you."
Asheara: "Such a beautiful statuette. But, you'd think it would've been better cared for. There's a compartment here that's full o' dust."
Deckard Cain: "I've read legends about a sage named Ku Y'leh, who studied the mysteries of life beyond death. If I remember correctly, his ashes were ensconced within a golden statuette. It was a very strange tale."
Hratli: "You will have to take Ku Y'leh's ashes to Alkor."
Natalya: "I'm having fun just watching you run from place to place searching for a Golden Bird. Some hero you are."
Alkor: "From the ashes of Ku Y'leh I have mixed for you a potion."
Deckard Cain: "So, Meshif had the Golden Bird all along. I wonder if he knows what he gave up for that jade figurine."
Meshif: "Immortality is definitely not for me. Can you imagine having to wake up every night just to piss for the next thousand years?"
Natalya: "I must admit, your foolish quest made little sense to me. But now I see the value of your actions. I believe you do possess great wisdom."
Ormus: "Ormus remembers the tale of Ku Y'leh. That venerable sage forgot that there is no life beyond death. There is only life. Once prolonged unnaturally, it can become a living hell."