A New Path is a companion quest for Merrill in Dragon Age II.


You will receive it when accepting the main quest, Best Served Cold.


Speak with Merrill at her home at the Kirkwall Alienage in Lowtown.

Merrill is disappointed that the Eluvian is still inactive.

If Hawke gave the Arulin'Holm to Merrill in Mirror Image, she explains that it was not enough to fix it.

If Hawke refused Merrill the Arulin'Holm in Mirror Image, she comments that she can't believe she is asking for Hawke's help again.

Regardless of previous options, she plans to consult the demon trapped at Pride's End, and asks for assistance and company.

  • Accepting the quest without question.
    • Friendship small Merrill: friendship (+10).
  • Rejecting her plea does not terminate the quest -- she says she will have to find another way, but the quest remains in the journal, as it is an essential plot quest.
  • "Talk to the Keeper first."
    • Rivalry small Merrill: rivalry (+10)
Note: You can still choose to talk to Marethari even without selecting the third option.

As you head to the peak of Sundermount, Keeper Marethari stands nearby the trail. If Hawke chats with her, Marethari greets Merrill. But Merrill is annoyed, as the clan has not left the mountains for six years. The Keeper justifies that she has tasks to accomplish. She then asks the purpose of Merrill's visit.

Note: Though speaking with her is optional, you miss a chance in gaining more friendship and rivalry points if you don't.
  • "Talk some sense into Merrill."
    • Rivalry small Merrill: rivalry (+10)
    • Friendship small Fenris: friendship (+5)
    • Friendship small Sebastian: friendship (+5)
  • "Help us fix the mirror."
    • Friendship small Merrill: friendship (+10)
    • Rivalry small Fenris: rivalry (+5)
    • Rivalry small Sebastian: rivalry (+5)

Marethari warns Merrill not to seek the demon's help, but Merrill continues no matter what.

Pride demon marethari

The Pride Demon possessing Marethari

Climb Sundermount, going through the Sundermount Passage and past the Sundermount Graveyard until reaching Pride's End.

As Hawke approaches the Strange Idol, Merrill is disturbed; the artifact does not contain the demon anymore. The party finds out that Marethari has allowed the demon to possess her to stop Merrill from repairing the Eluvian. She goes on to claim that the demon would have gone through the Eluvian once it was restored, with Merrill as its destined victim. The party is then forced to kill the Keeper. Dalish elders, Marethari, and the dead hunters from Mirror Image in spirit form spawn near the altars on the sides, attacking the party and sermoning Merrill for her mistakes.

  • 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!"

After defeating the Pride Demon, Keeper Marethari claims that it's over.

  • "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.

Merrill then grieves for Marethari's death; she didn't wish for this happen.

  • "She was stupid."
    • Friendship small Merrill: friendship (+15)
    • Rivalry small Fenris: rivalry (+5)
    • Rivalry small Anders: rivalry (+5)
    • Rivalry small Aveline: rivalry (+10)
  • "You weren't listening."
    • Rivalry small Merrill: rivalry (+15)
    • Friendship small Fenris: friendship (+5)
    • Friendship small Aveline: friendship (+5) If you choose "She loved you."
    • Friendship small Aveline: friendship (+10) (Confirmed on Xbox by gamer xNECR0S1Sx that it doesn't happen at all. Never got an approval for Aveline.)

Upon exiting the cave, the party is confronted by the other Dalish who say Marethari came up here and hasn't returned.

  • "Marethari was possessed."
    • Battle with the Dalish.
  • "Stand down."
    • Battle with the Dalish.
    • Friendship small Merrill: friendship (+10)
    • Friendship small Isabela: friendship (+10)
    • Rivalry small Fenris: rivalry (+10)
Note: If A Murder of Crows was not started or finished prior to this, then that particular quest will disappear (along with the exclusive characters).
  • "I'll take responsibilty."
    • The party will be allowed to leave.
    • Rivalry small Merrill: rivalry (+15) (If you are in a relationship with Merrill, you may be able to cancel out this rivally.
    • Friendship small Aveline: friendship (+10)
    • Friendship small Fenris: friendship (+10)

Engaging into arms against the Dalish afterwards will make them unavailable for the rest of the act. Otherwise, they remain there as if the incident had not taken place.


"Merrill, Friend or Foe?" appears in the quest log.


  • 1200 XP (for talking to Merrill at her home - whether you accept the quest or not)
  • 1550-1950 XP (for the fight with the demon and spirits)
  • (optional) 470 XP (cave entrance) and 680 XP (village) for fighting the elves
  • Staff purple DA2 Torch of Falon'Din
  • Heavy armor green DA2 Halla Horn Buckles
  • Random loot from all the fights (no other reward for completing the quest)


  • 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.
  • If you had a friendship of 100% with Merrill during the Mirror Image quest and didn't give her the Arulin'Holm. she still acts as if you did and the quest continues that way. Only tested on ps3Icon ps3 version. [Confirmed for xbox360Icon xbox360 - 01.02.12]


  • pcIcon 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 cut scene Merrill, Friend or Foe? doesn't trigger. Somewhat ironically, the cut scene 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

The 'Questioning Belief' quest can still be completed if you take Merrill in your party for the final battle and join the Mages, when Orsino instructs you to prepare for the final battle in the gallows, just converse with Merrill and the cut-scene will pop in.

  • pcIcon pcps3Icon ps3xbox360Icon xbox360 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.
  • pcIcon pcps3Icon ps3xbox360Icon xbox360 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.
  • xbox360Icon xbox360 On multiple occasions, the cameras will incorrectly focus on characters that aren't delivering dialogue. (This is only proven with a party of Fenris, Anders, and Merrill)
  • xbox360Icon xbox360 When you have left the cavern you fought the keeper after the cut scene and you choose the path where you're attacked by the Dalish, you can still leave the mountain without a fight if you tap the A button fast you'll go back in the cave, and when you go out again the Dalish hunters will just stand there and you can go peacefully.
  • ps3Icon ps3while at the statue with fenris in your party, he may not show when he speaks of the history of the elvish/tevinter war. - Also confirmed - 4.3.12
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