(The Gauntlet)
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*[[Reflection]] (amulet given to the PC by the spirit from their past)
*[[Reflection]] (amulet given to the PC by the spirit from their past)
*[[Reaver]] Specialisation (from Kolgrim only if you agree to defile the ashes)
*[[Reaver]] Specialization (from Kolgrim only if you agree to defile the ashes)
*[[Champion]] Specialisation (you can still get this even if you defile the ashes by taking a pinch of the ashes before pouring the dragon blood and then accept the reward from Arl Eamon)
*[[Champion]] Specialization (you can still get this even if you defile the ashes by taking a pinch of the ashes before pouring the dragon blood and then accept the reward from Arl Eamon)

Revision as of 15:38, January 5, 2010


This page is about the quest 'The Urn of Sacred Ashes. For information about the sacred relic, please see Urn of Andraste.


Arl Eamon of Redcliffe is dying, and the only way to save him is by finding the Urn of Andraste.You can find this quest by either finishing the Arl of Redcliffe quest, or by heading to Denerim and speaking with Brother Genitivi's apprentice.


This section contains spoilers for:

Brother Genitivi's apprentice Weylon seems nervous when you enter the house. If you can persuade and intimidate him, The Warden can trip up Weylon who attempts to send The Warden erroneously to Lake Calenhad. The Warden has the choice to head there immediately, or to investigate Genitivi's house further. Attempting to search the backroom, or making Weylon aware you think he's hiding something, will force a confrontation with him. Once he has been defeated and you do investigate the house, you will discover a corpse in one of the rooms which turns out to be the real Weylon. You will also find Brother Genetivi's notes and learn that he has actually gone to the Village of Haven in search of the Ashes of Andraste.

The Village of Haven

Upon reaching Haven, The Warden will be confronted by a guard. He is not eager to let The Warden pass; he can be either persuaded to allow an exception or killed.

Note: If Sten is in the party, he will question The Warden's decision to come to Haven. If the dialogue goes badly, he will attack; defeating him will calm him down, and he can be told either to get back in line or to leave the party completely. Sten's approval goes down if he attacks, but defeating him will net The Warden +7 approval points, effectively making the exchange favorable for those who wish to gain Sten's trust.

Shopping in Haven - Warning

If the party has both Wynne and Alistair, or Morrigan, Wynne and Leliana, when you enter the room with the bloody altar in it, you will get a cutscene in which both your companions comment that the village is obviously not what it seems. If Zevran is in your active party, he will add a comment about rituals of the Antivan Crows, but it is the other companions dialogue here that drastically impacts your option to shop in Haven. If this dialogue occurs prior to your visiting the village shop, once you leave this home, the entire village will attack you, meaning shopping in Haven is now impossible. Also, make sure not to mention what you've seen to the guard who initially questions you as you enter Haven. To ensure you get the option to shop if you need to, go to the village store first and then make your way back to the abandoned house or try to look in the storekeepers back room to trigger the villagers attacking. The Antivan Leather Boots are in an Iron Chest in the village store.  The chest also contains the Mage's Eye, a nice long bow.  This chest is locked when you first vist the store, but after completing the Urn quest, the chest will be unlocked.

Finding Brother Genitivi

After this event, however it has been triggered, the entire village will have turned hostile, and you will need to fight your way up to the Village Chantry. There will be a short cutscene and dialog, after which the people inside the Chantry will attack. Once they are dispatched of go to the body of Eirik, the main priest and loot him for a medallion. You can then search the remainder of the chantry to pick up a few items before heading towards the hidden door where you will find Brother Genitivi. He will tell The Warden that the Urn of Andraste is located in a temple ruin in the mountains nearby. Here you can choose to take him along or send him back to Denerim to recover. If you do take him along, he will open the door and then remain at the temple entrance researching, you do not have to protect Brother Genitivi if you allow him to accompany you to the temple. Although you have an option to tell him to wait that you need to make sure it's safe outside, there is no walking with Brother Genitivi, there is simply a loading screen and then you arrive at the temple. Any forgotten village stragglers will not be there to attack the Brother when you leave the Chantry.

Note: If you take Brother Genitivi with you, you can avoid fighting any of the villagers because you are taken directly to the temple. After completing the quest, the storekeeper will have disappeared, but the rest of the villagers will still be standing around and will not attack you.

Ruined Temple

See also: [[:Ruined Temple for more details.|Ruined Temple for more details.]]

The temple ruins have a fairly straightforward layout, although keys are required to progress. There are many Cultists in the halls.

In one of the cabinets in a room down the hallway to the left in the entry way you will find a taper. Collect the taper for use later along with other random loot as necessary. The cultists in this room do not have any weapons so they aren't very difficult to take down. Go up the stairs and enter the door on your left. It is in this area that you will find your first key. Return down the stairs and go into the hallway on your left. This is where you will find the Main Hall Key opening the door to the rest of the ruins. Down one of the dead end hallways you will find the Armour of Diligence on a fallen knight. Once you have entered the main hall, you will see more stairs and at the top you will find a large fire pit. If you have the taper with you, you can light the fire and get a codex entry for doing so. Continue on through the ruins and you will reach a room with only a right and left door which has shelves and several items on them. The Ancient Elven Gloves are in the chest to your right. Whatever path you choose, right or left, the layout is the same on both sides and each lead to the same place, the Wyrmling Lair. For experience and loot, it doesn't take long to traverse both sides of the building but having a rogue with you is a good idea. The cultists use many traps throughout the Temple including a room set up with Ballista pointing towards Leghold Traps. When you are ready to, enter the door at the top of the stairs leading to the next section of the map, the Wyrmling Lair.

Mountainside Caverns

See also: [[:Mountainside Caverns for more details.|Mountainside Caverns for more details.]]

Once you reach the Wyrmling Lair, you have effectively left the temple and are walking through several underground caverns. Expect to encounter drakes and dragonlings here as well as cultists. If you go through all the different chambers before reaching Kolgrim, you can find several unique items on your way. There is the Life Drinker Amulet (a Blood Mage item), the Spellweaver (a sword for use by Arcane Warrriors only), a gift for Alistair and other random loot including Drake Scales from the Drakes you have fought along the way. If these are your first drake scales acquired you will get Codex and a new Quest regarding the Drake Scale Armour which you can visit Wade in Denerim about.

When you are leaving the Ruined Temple you will see three men standing in a large room. This is Kolgrim and he has a proposition for you. Unfortunately he's also quick to anger so choose your words carefully as it doesn't take much for him to attack your party. If you do choose to fight him, he drops Faith's Edge, a nice battle axe. If you choose to side with him, you have the opportunity to learn the Reaver specialisation but what he asks you to do could cost you two team members (see below for more information). Agreeing with him and avoiding the battle does not compel you to follow through with his wishes. Shale and Morrigan will disapprove of refusing Kolgrim's offer but this can be avoided by picking a fight quickly and avoiding questions about the nature of his offer. It can also be reduced by persuasion speech checks if the conversation is allowed to progress far enough for Morrigan or Shale to voice their concerns. Zevran will request you at least hear Kolgrim out and saying you will defile the ashes (whether or not you plan to or not) results in +2 approval from him (you can persuade him that killing Kolgrim is a better option and then his approval doesn't change - Zevran's persuade reply to this is calling Kolgrim 'shifty' which will cause the cultists to attack). Sten is against siding with Kolgrim and again, if you choose to at least verbally agree, will result in -3 approval from him.

Note: Defiling the Ashes is the only way to obtain the Reaver specialization, so avoid killing Kolgrim if you wish to unlock it. If you do plan to side with Kolgrim, ensure that neither Wynne nor Leliana are in your party.

Whatever decision you have made, going straight will lead you to the Mountaintop and one step closer to reaching the Urn of Andraste.

The Caverns lead to a wide open field with some chests by a ruined arch to the right and a gong in the middle (Console version only). Hitting the gong summons a High Dragon, although this is entirely skippable. To summon the High Dragon in the PC version, you must kill Kolgrim and loot a Horn from him.  In the PC version, it does not appear to be possible to engage the dragon by using long-range spells such as blizzard.  This may be different on other platforms (See discussion page). The High Dragon is a tough enemy; if the battle turns out to be too difficult, it is possible to come back and fight it at a later point. (See discussion page) Regardless of whether you choose to fight the Dragon or not, you will be required to continue on to the next section of the Temple.

Guardian's Questions

See also: [[:Guardian for more details.|Guardian for more details.]]

The Guardian will ask a question to The Warden and his companions depending on their origin and the Companions that were brought with him. The Guardian is able to see all the choices and life of the characters.

The Gauntlet

See also: [[:The Gauntlet for more details and A Test of Faith for walkthrough.|The Gauntlet for more details and A Test of Faith for walkthrough.]]

At this point, a spiritual guardian of the Urn will decide to test The Warden's worthiness. The Gauntlet has 4 tests for the group that must be completed before you can gain access to the Urn. Once the Gauntlet has been completed, the Urn of Andraste will be in sight. There are two choices:

  • Taking only a pinch of the Ashes
  • Defiling the Ashes (only if you did not kill Kolgrim) -- doing so unlocks the Reaver specialization

Even if you plan on defiling the ashes, you must take a pinch of the ashes as well. This pinch of ashes is necessary to complete the Arl of Redcliffe quest.

Note: If you decide to defile the Ashes, Leliana and Wynne will attack you if they are in the party. If Leliana is not in the party, she will ask about the Urn in camp. You can either Persuade (Lie) to her and tell her that the Ashes are safe, or tell her the truth. Telling her the truth will cause her to leave the party. It should also be noted that if Wynne is the one to confront you in camp then Leliana won't leave and Wynne will instead.

By doing the Urn of Sacred Ashes quest before Broken Circle, you will not have to worry about Wynne leaving. Also, level 3 coercion should convince Leliana the ashes are safe, provided she is not in your active party.  You can lie to her back at the camp when she questions you.  By doing all of this, you can taint the ashes and keep all party members with you, and all npcs in redcliffe alive.

If Leliana is in your party when you defile the ashes you can use intimidate and she will remain in your party but with a -10 approval hit.

You can learn Reaver specialization and not lose any party members. Take a pinch of the ashes get chests and search body then leave the temple. Before you get to Kolgrim save the game. Change your party members to anyone else other then Leliana, Wynne or Alistair. Go to the mountaintop and you can change your party. After you change your party members and head back, remember to again stay on the outside as you run back inside. Go back in the temple pour the blood on the ashes, defeat the Guardian and other mobs, go out side talk to Kolgrim drink the blood. Then reload the game from when you first exited the temple and kill Kolgrim this time. You will have the Reaver Specialization and no one will leave your party.

Note: This is an exploit/bug in the game and it is possible that it will be fixed with a patch. As the game is currently played (on console from my experience) learning a specialization in one playthrough unlocks it for every future playthrough making it unnecessary to acquire the specialisation more than once, which according to forums on the official Bioware site, is an exploit. As the XP exploit existing with the darkspawn blood vials was recently fixed, it is possible this will be removed as well, forcing you make a permanent choice about whether or not you want to destroy the ashes or preserve them.

Once you have done what you came to do, you can take a shortcut from the open field where the Dragon may be encountered back to the Ruined Temple. Simply take the path leading down on the right and exit through the door (note however that you cannot return to the mountaintop from this door). If you have taken Brother Genitivi along, he will be extremely excited about your findings, and declare that he will share the news with the entire world. There is no way to dissuade him from this except to kill him. There is no actual battle, just a cut-scene of your character killing Genitivi. Killing Genitivi lowers Alistair and Wynne's approval by 3 points, Leliana by 5 points. Zevran, Morrigan, and Oghren's approval does not change.

(Please add other approval ratings if you know them.)

If you let Genitivi live, he will return to his home in Denerim, asking you to visit him later. If you go to his home after he returns, he will give you a Master Dweomer Rune.

Experience Points Exploit

There is a bug (confirmed on PC, not available/patched on Xbox, patched for PS3) when the player exits to the Mountain Top from the area of The Gauntlet where the Urn is located. The player can repeatedly transition from the Gauntlet to the Mountain Top to gain 750 experience each time back out to the Mountain Top; however, this does not work if the player chose to defile the ashes.


This section contains spoilers for:

Aside from the pinch of ashes you receive and the EXP, the following unusual items can be found within the ruined temple and the Urn Temple itself:

  • Spellweaver
  • Chests (3 outside in the broken temple and 2 inside the temple, one on either side of the staircase)
  • An Unfortunate Adventurer in the temple carries an accessory.
  • Drake Scales (which are used to make Drake Scale Armor)
  • Faith's Edge
  • Lifedrinker
  • Reflection (amulet given to the PC by the spirit from their past)
  • Reaver Specialization (from Kolgrim only if you agree to defile the ashes)
  • Champion Specialization (you can still get this even if you defile the ashes by taking a pinch of the ashes before pouring the dragon blood and then accept the reward from Arl Eamon)

Once you have taken a pinch of the ashes, you can take these back to Arl Eamon to cure him of his poisoning.

If you do not want to kill Brother Genitivi, you can warn him that if anything bad comes of him opening the temple to others, it is his responsibility. This does not garner approval or disapproval points from any companions and leaves Brother Genitivi alive. But if you kill him, then Wynne, Leliana and Alistar will disapprove if they are in your party.

Should the High Dragon be defeated on this or a subsequent occasion, the player may collect the unique Dragon Scales, which can be used to create certain types of armor (see below).

Note : If you defile the ashes, you gain approximately 1.5k more xp than if you had simply taken the ashes and fought Kolgrim, and that is before double crossing Kolgrim.

Wade Drake/Dragon Armor(s)


If you allowed Brother Gentivi to reveal the location of the Urn to the world and slay the dragon, the temple becomes a mecca for the faithful. If you didn't kill the dragon, the Urn disappears without a trace by the time the Chantry gains access to the temple.


  • The so-called Guardian, who has been guarding the urn for "a very long time", and the fact that you "cannot remove the urn from its resting place" in addition to the gauntlet, and especially the "Bridge Riddle", are possible references to "Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade". Here, the Grail Knight has been guarding the grail for "a very long time," and "the Grail cannot pass beyond the Great Seal, for that is the boundry". The invisible bridge, which The Warden and his group have to make solid in order to pass over the abyss, is very possibly a reference to the "leap of faith" which Indiana Jones has to make. (This is the third Trial of the Crusade.)
  • The spirit Ealisay's question and one response are references to Monty Python and the Holy Grail. In the movie, it is argued that a swallow, a type of bird, is capable of carrying a coconut, which the cast use openly to simulate the sounds of a horse's hooves. Ealisay asks, "The smallest lark could carry it, while a strong man might not," which couples with an incorrect response, "a coconut."

See Also

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