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.
After encountering a spider ambush, entering the Mountain Cave, a complex chest (30 cunning, 150 xp), another spider ambush, 3 master traps (40 cunning, 250 xp), and fighting a varterral, you come across the assassin, who is actually Zevran. You can choose to take him in or let him go. During this conversation you have the option to flirt with him. If you let him go, he runs off. Alternatively, he follows you.
3 Elites, about 8 Normals and Critters, and all of them are Assassin types. The best way to engage them on Nightmare is to command the party to move back and to the left against the cliff wall while taking command of a Two-Handed Warrior yourself, removing the all-party highlight, and attacking with the Two-Hander immediately, hitting as many as possible. As soon as Anders has Haste up, focus fire on the Critters and Normals while commanding an archer to hit Nuncio or his guards (the three Elites, preferably Nuncio) with a Pinning Shot. Use AoEs like Bursting Shot and Fireball, corral them with Pull of the Abyss, stop them with Chain Lightning and Miasmic Flask, use everything you've got. The first twenty seconds of the fight are crucial, and if you're haven't removed all of the non-Elites by then, you'll be hearing that telltale wind-howl about five times, enough to kill everyone in your party. If Nuncio and his guards are all that's left, you should have enough abilities to lock down two of them while moving your party to a safer range and focusing fire on the third. Zevran can provide some tanking, but don't be too dependent on it. Life Ward Potions and Mythal's Favor are very useful here, more so than Revive/Regroup since you won't hover in place for five seconds, as well as accessories that prevent stun, knockback, and critical hits. The accessories will eat into your pocketbook, but Demon's Eye is available for about 6 sovereigns at Shady Merchandise and grants stun immunity, which should be helpful for your Two-Hander in the thick of it. Sebastian may fare better than Varric due to his Guardian Angel talent, especially with a fire-damage bow like the Jackal's Longbow, or you may wish to bring Varric with a Rune of Fire in Bianca for higher DPS.
Helping Zevran will cause him to return the favour by assisting in your battle against Meredith.
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)
- Zevran will assist you in the final battle with Meredith
- Sex with Zevran (see details lower)
Hawke is offered a chance by Zevran to sleep with him, regardless of gender. The following conditions must be met:
- Zevran is not in a romance with The Warden (from the imported origin). (This is currently bugged and does not affect Zevran's dialogue)
- Hawke flirted with Zevran at every opportunity presented.
If Hawke is not with a love interest in the quest, the request can be accepted, or refused. Agreeing to the proposal will yield Sebastian: rivalry (+5) if he is present.
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.
- 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 dialogs still happen between Isabela and you, but in certain situations (like the threesome with Zevran and many others, including some endgame outcomes) the game won't acknowledge the fact that you are in a romance with Isabela (1.03).
- Under specific circumstances, this mission will occur even if you did kill Zevran in Origins. (1.03, Witch Hunt import and Awakening import.)
- Due to unknown reasons, 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 (and codex entry) are 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, as of the current release Zevran's dialogue is bugged to the non-romanced state.
- Depending on parameters, the codex entry will state that the Warden is Zevran's lover, despite the import being otherwise. (pc 1.04)
- 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 the 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.
- Sometimes the dialogue from the cave will repeat itself if you let Zevran go. To fix this, load any save (or autosave) before the fight.
- The word "murder" in the quest name is a pun. One meaning is literal - the act of killing, and another is a group of crows - as it is known as 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.