A New Path is a companion quest for Merrill in Act 3 of Dragon Age II. You will receive it sometimes before or after accepting Best Served Cold quest (available regardless of whether or not you gave her the Dalish tool arulin'holm in the quest Mirror Image). Sometimes acquired after completing Best Served Cold.
- If you gave Merrill the arulin'holm during the Mirror Image quest in Act 2, she starts this quest by saying the tool wasn't enough to fix the Eluvian, then asks that you help her go to a demon for more information and its help.
- If you refused to give Merrill the Dalish tool, she will start this quest by saying she needs to speak with a demon for another way to fix the mirror. She asks you to go along in case things go wrong and, even if she is a rival, will say she trusts you.
- Accepting the quest without question nets Merrill: friendship (+10).
If you accept the quest you can also say that she should talk to Marethari first ( Merrill: rivalry (+10)) or you can force Merrill to without asking by just talking to Marethari before hand. If you pick this route, and ask Marethari to "talk some sense into Merrill" you'll earn Merrill: rivalry (+10), Fenris: friendship (+5) and Sebastian: friendship (+5), or Merrill: friendship (+10), Fenris: rivalry (+5) and Sebastian: rivalry (+5) for asking Marethari to help fix the eluvian. Marethari warns Merrill not to seek the demon's help but no matter what she won't listen.
Climb Sundermount, going through the Sundermount Passage and past the Sundermount Graveyard until you reach Pride's End in the northeast. Activating the Strange Idol will lead to a cutscene. The party finds out that Marethari has allowed the demon to possess her to stop Merrill from completing the cursed mirror (This happens whether you talk to Marethari or not). She goes on to say the demon would have gone through the Eluvian once it was repaired, with Merrill as its destined victim. You are then forced to kill the Pride Demon. Dalish elders, Keeper Marethari, and the hunters killed from Mirror Image in spirit form spawn near the altars on the sides, attacking the party and sermoning Merrill in relation to straying from the path of becoming the new Keeper of the clan and embracing blood magic.
After defeating the Pride Demon, Keeper Marethari claims that it's over. Two options will appear:
- "I'm glad that's over." - The possessed Keeper will stab Merrill, resulting in a second fight with the Pride Demon at one-third of its health and an injured Merrill.
- "You said you had to die." - Merrill will stab the Keeper, releasing the demon and ending the battle.
Upon exiting the cave you are confronted by the other Dalish who say Marethari came up here and hasn't returned.
- Saying Marethari was possessed or ordering the Dalish hunters to stand down will result in a battle with Fenarel, Ineria, and the other Dalish hunters. When the party returns to the Dalish campsite, they will also be attacked by every Dalish in the area. You will get Merrill: friendship (+10) Fenris: rivalry (+10).
- If Hawke takes responsibility for Merrill, the party will be allowed to leave. At the campsite, all of the Dalish behave as if the quest had not taken place. You get Merrill: rivalry (+15) and Aveline: friendship (+10) Fenris: friendship (+10) if you take this option.
Note: There is no change to Merrill's friendship or rivalry if it is at either extreme end of the relationship.
Unlocks Merrill's Questioning Beliefs quest, entitled "Merrill, Friend or Foe?".
- pc May not trigger for romanced Merrill (as of PC patch 1.03), see "Bugs" section at the bottom of this page.
- 1200XP for accepting the quest.
- 2350XP upon defeating the demon.
- Loot Torch of Falon'Din and Merrill's Armor Upgrade Halla Horn Buckles from Keeper Marethari.
- If you are seeking the Supplier achievement, be sure to grab the Felandaris located in Pride's End, to the right of Audacity's statue.
- You will also face apparitions of the hunters killed by the Varterral in Mirror Image, Pol, Tamlen, and Keeper Marethari when you're fighting the Pride Demon. This is the only time Tamlen appears in DA2.
- Hunter Radha: "Traitor! May the Dread Wolf hunt you for the rest of your days!"
- Pol: "I was trying to rebuild my life! Why did you have to come back and destroy it?"
- Hunter Harsal: "We're cursed. The whole clan. And you brought this upon us."
- Hunter Chandan: "You couldn't let go of the past, could you? Now look at what you've done!"
- Tamlen: "Curiosity... is a dangerous thing, Merrill. It will never let you rest. Never."
- Elven Mother: "What have you done? What have you brought upon our clan, you monster?"
- Keeper Marethari: "Da'len, turn back. Everything you touch turns to ash."
- Elven Elder: "You are a wound poisoning this clan!"
- pc If you currently are in a Romance with Merrill and she has moved in with you in your Hightown Mansion when you complete this quest, her follow-up Companion quest and cutscene Questioning Beliefs doesn't trigger. Somewhat ironically, the cutscene that is missing now, is the one that the last "Act 3 Merrill Bug" (described below, fixed with PC patch 1.02) caused to run prior to accepting A New Path .
- ps3ps3pc The scene that's supposed to play after this quest is erroneously set to trigger when it is Act 3 and Merrill Relationship is Locked (ie, full friend or full rival). It does not check to see if the quest is actually completed. This causes the dialog to show up at the beginning of the act for those who quickly went to extremes with Merrill or romanced her. This can also cause the scene to fail to show if the relationship remains neutral. If the scene shows early, it may be necessary to talk with Fereldan's ruler, return to the estate, or use the console to restart the quest. On the PC, this can be fixed via save game editing. (This seems to have been fixed in PC patch 1.02/console update 1.01.)
- At the end of this quest you can get stuck with Merrill in your party whether you choose to get attacked by the Dalish or to have them just walk away. To remove her from your party, simply return to your estate, which should remove everyone, and then just add who you wish to continue with.
- ps3pc After Marethari's death, if Isabela left the party permanently in the quest To Catch a Thief, Isabela gains +10 friendship if you choose the option "Stand Down" to the Dalish.