Nuncio requests Hawke's assistance in capturing a dangerous assassin. When asked why he has come to you for help, he explains that this has become an issue for him, as most of his men have been killed under the hand of the hunted. He notes that the assassin is an elf and is seeking refuge with the nearby Dalish tribe, seeing that only Hawke has the connections with them.
Bring a rogue to deal with the chests and traps (40 Cunning) you will encounter.
Go to Sundermount and speak to Variel, she will direct you to a cave where the assassin is hiding. If you haven't defeated them yet, you'll have to fight some Thieves who made off with a Memento of the Dalish.
Four Elite-ranked Wasp Spiders sit outside the cave. A Rune of Nature Warding in your tank's armor will cut their otherwise devastating combined volley down to nothing. Defeat them, then enter the Mountain Cave.
Inside you'll have one more spider encounter, 3 master traps, and the resident varterral to get through. If you fought it during Mirror Image, Merrill explains that it will always come back to fulfill its purpose of guarding Dalish sites. The same strategy that worked there will work here, especially since the varterral summons no reinforcements. You come across the assassin, who is actually Zevran. You can choose to take him into custody or let him go. During this conversation you also have the option to flirt with him. If you let him go, he runs off. Alternatively, he follows you.
Exit the Mountain Cave
- If you let Zevran go then you access the world map; select the Antivan Camp.
- If you took Zevran prisoner then you automatically appear at the Antivan Camp.
When you arrive Nuncio attacks you and Zevran helps you fight him regardless of whether you captured or released him.
3 Elites, about 8 Normals and Critters, and all of them are Assassin types. The only ones of any particular worry are Nuncio, who is an Assassin and Commander in one package, and his two guards. They start quite a distance away whereas Nuncio kicks things off with a rallying aura, so as long as you've got plenty of knockback immunity the synchronized backflips of the Normal ranks won't be a problem, and you'll be free to attack Nuncio. They all have the Coterie enemy typing, so any element will work, but spirit will deal double damage. There are no reinforcements, so anything that delivers AoE panache will work to kill the Critters and Normals: Cone of Cold + Shattering Arrow, Walking Bomb + Assassinate (preferably with a bow), or even a Fell Grenade. With no reinforcements coming, you're free to deal with the Elites as you see fit. Ultimately you want at least one Elite's attention to fall on Zevran, as he's invincible, so consider investing late-game talent points in threat redirection, if they haven't been used earlier in the game. Once two are dead, along with the weaker ones, the lone Assassin will not use his backstabs anymore, so the battle should end much smoother than it began.
Aveline can be very useful if she's learned both Indomitable and Resilience, which should make her immune to interruptions of any kind (alternatively, equip the Cornerstone, but that requires completing Favor and Fault, and Defender is a decent place to invest when you've built out her core abilities). The Carta's Left-Hand is useful in either hand of a dual-wielder, which should cover Isabela or rogue Hawke. The Demon's Eye ring from Shady Merchandise gives you greater liberty to use stun abilities like Miasmic Flask and Tactical Withdrawal, which should be quite useful. With her and Zevran tanking, Hawke and another character can focus on shedding enemy attention before
Start by trying to kill Nuncio; he'll start with the healing aura, so if you can't kill him with your best abilities, reload, settle for stunning, and kill one of his guards instead. Use AoE stuns for the Normal ranks, and keep everyone on the move to keep the backstabs to a minimum.
Finally, overstock your potions, and use one every time someone gets kicked. If you let Zevran go you don't have to travel to the Antivan Crow camp directly from Zevran's cave, you can return home and prepare more properly, or at least heal injuries from traveling the cave. And finally, Life Ward Potions and Mythal's Favor are great last ditch efforts to get through the fight. Martin, if he was helped in Finders Keepers back in Act 1, should have one for sale far below the crafting price.
After defeating Nuncio, you can loot the camp for Proving Battle Tunic. If you previously chose to let Zevran leave instead of bringing him to Nuncio:
- 1200 XP (quest completion)
Requires: Dual Weapon
Damage: 42 physical damage
(78 per second)
+4% critical chance
+10% critical damage
+8 nature damage
Hawke is offered a chance by Zevran to sleep with him, regardless of Hawke's gender. The following conditions must be met:
- Zevran is not in a romance with the Warden (from the imported origin). (bugged, see below)
- Hawke flirted with Zevran at every opportunity presented.
If Hawke is not with a love interest in the quest, Zevran's offer can be accepted or refused. Agreeing to the proposal will yield
However, if Hawke brought the romance partner, the companion will interrupt, preventing it. These are their reactions:
- Anders: "Is there more to know about you? Seems like it's all right there on the surface."
- Fenris: "That depends. How much do you wish to test that luck of yours?"
- Merrill: "I think we've heard enough from you."
Isabela is a special case. She desires to be with him. If she is present, is not romanced (either full or partial), and Hawke's romance partner is present, the two will have their private time, as the others become disgusted. This yields Aveline: rivalry (+5).
If Isabela is Hawke's "other half", Hawke has three options:
- Join in the fun.
- Stop her.
- Leave them be.
- When initially meeting Zevran, Anders will mention him accompanying the Warden; also, Isabela will have a fair bit to say here.
- This mission will not occur if you import a saved game from Dragon Age: Origins where you killed Zevran (bugged, see below).
- The following bug can prevent the threesome between Hawke (either male or female), Isabela and Zevran, even if you've met all the prerequisites for this. If you've slept with Merrill and chose the break heart option immediately after this, it will put Isabela (if you already slept with her) in a state of a "ghost" romance. i.e. the dialogues still happen between Isabela and Hawke, but the game won't acknowledge the fact that Hawke is in a romance with Isabela.
- This mission may become available even if you killed Zevran in Origins.
- Introduction dialogues might trigger twice, before letting Zevran go and after dealing with the Crows.
- The quest might stay active in the journal even though it is finished. Loading a save file from before the Varterral fight will possibly fix this.
- Zevran's dialogue is written to differ for a romanced Warden and for a romanced Warden who did the Ultimate Sacrifice (he will turn down Hawke and/or Isabela's propositions). However, Zevran's dialogue is bugged to the non-romanced state. This can be fixed with the mod Romance Dialogue Fix at Nexusmods combined with Wench's DA2 Import Fixes.
- Sometimes, the cave will glitch at the foot of the steps leading to the large area where the Varterral waits. Leaving the cave or Sundermount completely, does not fix the problem.
- If you finish A New Path before talking to Variel you might not be able to complete this quest. The Dalish elves may attack you on sight, forcing you to kill all of them (including Variel) and preventing you from finding out where the assassin may be hiding.
- Choosing any response other than "I'm here for the Antivan" with Variel will end the conversation, but she can still be conversed with again. This can be exploited to stack an unlimited amount of aggressive or diplomatic responses, and can be used to change Hawke's personality.
- The word "murder" in the quest name is a pun. One meaning is literal - the act of killing; the other refers to the fact that a group of crows is called a "murder". A group of Antivan Crows, who commit murder, are involved in the quest.
- ↑ "Bioware, pretty PLEASE fix the DAO Love Interest Cameos!" . The BioWare Forum.