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A Day In Court is a side quest taking place in the throne room of Vigil's Keep in Dragon Age: Origins - Awakening. Once the Warden-Commander finishes one main quest, this side quest can be initiated by speaking to Varel.


Enter the throne room and speak to Seneschal Varel. He will tell the Warden-Commander that they have the right of high justice in Amaranthine and you should make a decision on certain subjects. If you have Varel "take over from here" the quest ends and no further cases are seen.

Alec the Sheepherder[]

Alec the Sheepherder

Alec the Sheepherder

Alec is a shepherd who stole two bushels of grain from the crown. When he was arrested by the soldiers, he admitted his crime. In the court Alec claims that he had no choice since his family was starving. According to the law, theft from the crown is punishable by hanging, while theft from anyone else besides the crown is punishable by flogging. Your choices are:

  • Have him hanged.
  • Have him flogged.
  • Have him join the army.
  • Let Varel decide (he will have Alec hanged).

If Alec is hanged, this decision may later have an effect on The Peasant Revolution (see the article for more information); if Alec is flogged there are no future consequences. Furthermore, if Alec is conscripted into the army, according to the epilogue, he becomes a great hero with the name Ser Alec the Valiant, and establishes an order of knights.




Danella is a soldier of Vigil's Keep and an accomplished scout, who has deserted and been caught three miles from her post. She claims having repeatedly requested release from her duties because her family is under darkspawn threat. Even if it was not in a time of war, desertion is punishable by execution. Your choices are:

  • Have her executed.
  • Have her imprisoned for one year.
  • Have her bring the family to Vigil's Keep and start over (this option results in her being released and she "promises" to return).
  • Let Varel decide (he will have Danella executed).

If Danella is executed, this decision may have an effect on the available choices during The Peasant Revolution and there will be some disgruntled soldiers of Vigil's Keep among the rioters. If Danella is imprisoned, it will be viewed as a just decision among the people. If Danella is released (allowed to leave and bring her family to Vigil's Keep) despite her desertion, it will encourage further desertions; this option will also have repercussions with the men during The Siege of Vigil's Keep.

Note: If Ser Tamra initiated the quest A Brewing Conspiracy and the quest is completed (but not completed by choosing "to not do anything") by the time this court session takes place or if Anders initiated the aforementioned quest, then the case of Danella will be presented instead of Ser Temmerly's.

Lady Liza Packton & Ser Derren[]

Lady Liza Packton and Ser Derren

Lady Liza Packton and Ser Derren

Lady Liza Packton is claiming land that was promised to her by Arl Rendon Howe, apparently for her support during the recent civil war. However, the land belongs to Ser Derren, who opposed Loghain Mac Tir. Ser Derren also implies that Lady Liza is involved in several of Rendon's conspiracies. Your choices are:

  • Grant the land to Lady Liza.
  • Let Ser Derren keep his land.
  • (Persuade) Give the land to Liza, but promise to compensate Derren.
  • Claim the land for yourself.
  • Let Varel decide (he will give the land to Liza).

If you pick the first option, Ser Derren joins the conspiracy against the Warden-Commander. If you let Ser Derren keep the land, Lady Liza remains in the conspiracy to assassinate you and Ser Derren will help defend Vigil's Keep during The Siege of Vigil's Keep. If you persuade Ser Derren that you will repay him in some way, nothing happens (the persuasion requires Expert Coercion, however Ser Derren doesn't join the conspiracy even if you fail in the persuasion check). If you keep the land for yourself, you receive 100Gold and both Lady Liza and Ser Derren will join the conspiracy along with a possible impact on The Peasant Revolution.

Note: Lady Liza will still be present at Old Stark's Farm if you decide to give the land to her, however she won't participate afterwards in And You, Esmerelle? if the conspiracy manages to advance to that state.

Ser Temmerly the Ox[]

Ser Temmerly the Ox

Ser Temmerly the Ox

Ser Temmerly the Ox is a minor and unpopular noble who was caught running on the streets with his men—with blood on their clothes, and right after Ser Tamra (who warned the Warden-Commander about the conspiracy) was found murdered. Everyone thinks he's guilty and he doesn't do much to convince them otherwise, but there's no proof. Your choices are:

  • Have him executed.
  • Have him released because there is no evidence.
  • Have him imprisoned until your "extremely long" investigation is over.
  • Let Varel decide (he will let Ser Temmerly go).

If you have Ser Temmerly executed, he will not be a part of your assassination attempt, and there are no additional repercussions. If you release Ser Temmerly, he will continue to be involved in the conspiracy. If you have Ser Temmerly imprisoned, nothing will happen.

Note: If Ser Tamra initiated the quest A Brewing Conspiracy and the quest is not completed (or completed by choosing "to not do anything") by the time this court session takes place, then the case of Ser Temmerly the Ox will be presented instead of Danella's.


  • 1000 XP


  • Lady Liza Packton will appear at the hearing, even if she has been slain at Old Stark's Farm.
  • When deciding the fate of Ser Temmerly, if you decide to let him go or defer to Seneschal Varel, your journal will state that you had him imprisoned however it will be properly cataloged in the game files.


The style and theme of this side quest bears a striking resemblance to the side quest Ruling the de'Arnise Keep and Lands in BioWare's Baldur's Gate II: Shadows of Amn published ten years prior.