Having retrieved the ancient Warden Treaties prior to the Battle of Ostagar, the Warden journeys to the Frostback Mountains to enter Orzammar and gain the assistance of the dwarves in the battle against the Fifth Blight. The Paragon Branka must be found in order to determine the next King of Orzammar.
Past this, farther to the north, is the entrance to Orzammar. Upon approaching it, the Warden will see an Orzammar guard refusing entry to Loghain's messenger, Imrek. The Warden will have to either intimidate the emissary away (requires Improved Coercion) or fight him along with his two bodyguards.
Either choice results in entry to Orzammar via the Orzammar Hall of Heroes. (The Hall of Heroes contains Codex entries on the statues, as well as a Council edict that is part of The Key to the City quest.)
Taking the other exit in the Hall of Heroes will lead the Warden into the Orzammar Commons. The Warden will see Prince Bhelen Aeducan and a group of those who support him arguing angrily with Lord Pyral Harrowmont and his group of supporters. This ends in one of the Bhelen's men killing one of Harrowmont's. It is eventually revealed that the groups were representatives of the two candidates being considered as the next dwarven king. The Warden can speak to Orzammar Captain of the Guard and Nerav Helmi for information.
- Main article: Seek out Steward Bandelor
The next step for the Warden should be to seek out Steward Bandelor, who is located in the Chamber of the Assembly, which is upstairs in the Orzammar Diamond Quarter. Before you reach the chamber, you can also notice two criers who are each supporting a candidate for the throne. Emotions are running high in the Assembly, and the Warden will witness the Steward calling for a recess and closing the Assembly Chamber.
Choosing sides: Harrowmont or Bhelen
Bandelor will direct the Warden to Lord Harrowmont and Prince Aeducan for a response on the treaties.
Both candidates will send the Warden on long quests, so one is not better than the other. There are several opportunities to switch sides. Regardless of which quests the Warden takes, the final decision (after completing the Anvil of the Void) determines who is crowned.
How successful you are in gaining support for your chosen candidate will affect what item they gift you as a reward (as well as, if Harrowmont is made king, the number of enemies faced in the final battle of "A Paragon of Her Kind"). Details on how to gain support will be given on the appropriate sub quest pages.
There are plenty of Orzammar denizens who will explain their opinions on the candidates. Walking around and talking to people will give you a general idea of what they are like. However, for the short version:
Bhelen is the radical, progressive candidate. He:
- believes the ends justify the means
- wants to encourage trade
- allows casteless dwarves to fight
Harrowmont is the traditionalist candidate. He:
- believes in honorable conduct
- is a strong proponent of tradition
- leans more toward isolationism
As a side note, a Dwarf Noble Warden can restore their dwarven honor by siding with Bhelen; He will restore the Warden's status as a member of House Aeducan.
Before a King is chosen
Before a king is sitting on the throne, you can perform the Caged in Stone mini-quest (see Codex: Quest-Related and look for the section on "Caged in Stone"). This can be done anytime you have access to the throne room of the Royal Palace and the throne appears as something you can interact with (you cannot complete this mini-quest once you are trapped in the Anvil of the Void (location)).
The First Task
Neither candidate is initially willing to speak to the Warden in person. Instead, the Warden must deal with their lieutenants, each of whom will ask the Warden to complete a task in order to gain an audience with their corresponding candidate. Both lieutenants can be found in the Orzammar Diamond Quarter.
- Vartag Gavorn, Bhelen's lieutenant, is first located in the Chamber of the Assembly.
- Dulin Forender, Harrowmont's lieutenant, may approach the Warden upon leaving the Chamber. Otherwise, he can be found in Harrowmont's Estate.
- Zevran will have some interesting dialogue with Dulin if you bring him along when speaking to him.
Siding with Bhelen: A Prince's Favor
- Main article: A Prince's Favor: The First Task
Vartag will ask the Warden to expose a real-estate scam that Harrowmont is using to get votes.
- Lord Helmi hangs out at Tapster's Pub in the (Orzammar Commons).
- Lady Dace waits outside her estate in the Diamond Quarter. She cannot ask her house to change sides unless her father, Lord Anwer Dace, agrees. You must travel to Aeducan Thaig in the Deep Roads and find him.
- This also grants access to the previously blocked area, where you can pick up another Key to the City Codex entry.
- Informing Lord Dace of Harrowmont's betrayal can get the party a surface merchant discount (however, this appears to apply only to Gorim).
- Showing the papers to the Shaperate gets you extra dialogue and may affect your decision on who to support as it appears the documents may be fake.
Completing this task will get you an audience with Bhelen, who will give you the second task.
Siding with Harrowmont: A Lord's Trust
- Main article: A Lord's Trust: The First Task
Dulin will ask The Warden to fight as Harrowmont's champion in The Proving. You can also offer to find out why two of Harrowmont's warriors have pulled out of the Proving (but this is not required). If Zevran is present during this conversation, he will have some choice words to say about Harrowmont.
The Proving is located in the center of the Commons. There are two sidequests to accomplish while there:
- Baizyl Harrowmont is a warrior being blackmailed into walking away from a fight due to some sensitive love letters. Recover them from the east wing of the area and return them.
- Gwiddon is ambivalent. A little Coercion sets him straight.
Next, the Warden must win a series of combats in the Proving. You can choose to fight with a partner in the initial battle; the final challenge will include the full party or the two dwarves mentioned above. After completing the Proving, head back to Tapster's and speak with Dulin.
Completing this task will get you an audience with Harrowmont, who will give you the second task.
- Main article: Entering Jarvia's Hideout
Upon exiting the Diamond Quarter, in the western side of the Commons, the Warden will see some Carta members led by Roggar accosting a shop merchant named Figor. Upon entering the shop, the Warden can either intimidate the Carta away, fight them or pay them 10 for protection.
The Warden can pay the money, refuse or intimidate Roggar (this requires two points in Coercion). A Warden of Dwarf Commoner Origin requires no points in Coercion, as the intimidation will cause Roggar to recognize them which will be enough to make him and his men flee while warning them that Jarvia is looking for them, in order to exact revenge for Beraht's death.
Failing the intimidation or choosing to refuse to pay will cause the thugs to attack and be killed. This however will cause Figor to permanently flee for fear of retaliation. He will not return, leaving his shop inaccessible for the rest of the game. Alternatively, paying for the extortion or successfully intimidating the thugs will provide access to Figor's shop.
Rogek is a smuggler in Dust Town, who is waiting for a surface traveler, and has "an investment opportunity for someone with a few connections above-ground." If the Warden has not talked to him before obtaining the task to eliminate Jarvia (i.e. did not activate Precious Metals side quest to 'deliver' lyrium), then he may be available to provide information on her and how to get into her base. After persuasion with enough money, you will learn about using a special token to enter the Carta hideout.
Nadezda is a crippled former Carta member in Dust Town who will tell the Warden about the bone key.
If you chose the Dwarven Commoner origin story, Leske will meet you instead of Nadezda, and he'll tell you to go to your old house.
Enter the Slums House.
There will be some Carta members waiting there to initiate a fight. After beating the thugs, the Warden will acquire the key.
- Main article: A Lord's Trust/A Prince's Favor: The Second Task
The entrance to the Carta Hideout is labeled 'Suspicious Door' and located at the eastern end of Dust Town, near Nadezda.
Once inside, you will have to fight your way to Jarvia. There are several groups with Carta assassins, elven mercenary casters, and Qunari mercenaries, as well as traps and other normal Origins combat situations.
- There are some labeled crates inside that are part of a quest. See Jammer's Stash for more details.
Once you get to the end, Jarvia will be waiting for you in a trapped room with lots of friends. If you chose the Dwarven Commoner origin story, Leske will also be there. There is no way to get him to side with you; you have to kill him along with Jarvia.
- See Jarvia (strategy) for tips on how to defeat her.
Once Jarvia and company have been dealt with, return to the appropriate candidate to receive the third task.
Entering the Deep Roads
Anvil of the Void is the next sub-quest. As though clearing out the Carta wasn't enough, the Warden must then complete a third task: to go into the Deep Roads and find the Paragon Branka.
Branka went into the Deep Roads a couple of years ago to look for a lost dwarven relic called the Anvil of the Void, a forge that was used to make golems. She is presumed dead, but because the other candidate is also looking, whoever the Warden is supporting will request she be found.
Upon accepting this quest, head toward the Orzammar exit to the Deep Roads.
After getting close enough to the Deep Roads entrance, Oghren will accost the Warden, explaining his involvement with Branka and asking to go to the Deep Roads with their party. Choosing to put him in the Warden's party at this point is entirely optional, but adding him will get you some extra cut scenes during this quest.
Completing this quest involves battling through several locations in the Roads, in the following order:
- Aeducan Thaig (optional) - This area can be cleared regardless of who the Warden supports. Getting the first quest from Vartag Gavorn in support of Bhelen just gives access to it earlier.
- Caridin's Cross
- Ortan Thaig
- Dead Trenches
- Anvil of the Void
As the Roads are being explored, be wary after reaching the Dead Trenches location. Two "special" darkspawn are known to inhabit the area: the Ancient Darkspawn and the Genlock Master Forger.
- Ancient darkspawn: have a healthy stock of health poultices and a healer in the group, if possible. The Ancient Darkspawn can flatten an unprepared group really quickly. As with most special creatures, the Ancient Darkspawn will have a unique weapon and/or piece of armour on him. He will also have a portion of the Topsider's Blade, but will only spawn if the quest An Admirable Topsider is active in the Codex.
- Genlock forge master: this Genlock is a serious hazard if the Warden runs into it unprepared. When encountered the Forge Master will be accompanied by a large group of darkspawn and will use a bow until one of the party approaches it. Be cautious as all of the Forge Master’s attacks are heavy hitting. Once defeated the Forge Master's Hammer can be looted from its corpse.
- See Caridin's Cross for a map, creatures and treasures of the area.
On the first entry into Caridin's Cross, if Oghren is in the party, the Warden has a short conversation with him where he can tell you a bit about Caridin, Caridin’s Cross, Ortan Thaig, and the Anvil of the Void.
Close to the entrance, Bhelen or Harrowmont will have hired some mercenaries to stop your progress (they will not appear if you are working with both candidates by betraying one secretly).
It is advisable to clear the area completely, although it is not necessary. Clearing the entire area nets you more experience and helps you find all the parts for Asunder, The Drifter's Cache and An Admirable Topsider.
The southernmost exit leads to Ortan Thaig; it doesn't matter what path is taken to get there.
- The Darkspawn Emissaries here use the spell Curse of Mortality.
- Dog can find Duty here or in any of the Deep Roads areas (except Cadash Thaig).
- A Genlock emissary drops Topsider's Hilt to begin the quest An Admirable Topsider.
- There are two parts to be found here for Asunder (the third is in Aeducan Thaig).
- There are four parts to be found here for The Drifter's Cache.
- There is a Revenant that is part of The Black Vials here.
- See Ortan Thaig for a map, creatures and treasures of the area.
On the first entry into Caridin's Cross, if Oghren is in the party, the Warden has a short conversation with him where he will remark that he can see Branka's traces all over the place. The party also remarks that the Legion of the Dead passed through here, leaving behind numerous darkspawn corpses.
It is advisable to clear the area completely, although not necessary; you can find quest progressions for several sidequests here.
In the middle of the map, the Warden will come across Ruck (part of the A Mother's Hope quest); following him ends in an inevitable spider ambush. After killing the spiders, the Warden can speak to him for information about Branka. After speaking with him, crossing either bridge from his cave will get the Warden to the spider lair area.
Branka's Journal is located in the next area. It is surrounded by spiders, including the Corrupted spider queen, all of which need to be cleared first in order to access the diary safely.
- See Corrupted spider queen#Strategy for tips on how to defeat her.
Exiting through the north after having read Branka's Journal should take you to The Dead Trenches.
- The Warden can let Ruck live and access his shop, or kill him; see the quest A Mother's Hope for more information.
- Orta's papers for Lost to the Memories are in a chest near where Ruck is first sighted.
- The resting place for An Admirable Topsider is in this area.
- The altar for Asunder is in this area.
- An activation point for Places of Power is here, near the altar for Asunder.
The Dead Trenches
- See The Dead Trenches for a map, creatures and treasures of the area.
Traveling to the Dead Trenches the first time will trigger a cutscene, in which the Warden sees the Archdemon for the first time (the first time in 'person'; you may have already dreamed about the Archdemon in camp).
Following the only path at the entrance of the Dead Trenches will lead to a bridge, where some dwarven warriors are fighting off darkspawn. Assist them, and once the battle is over, speak to Kardol.
Kardol will explain to the Warden who he is, and what the Legion of the Dead is doing down there. Afterwards, go ahead and clear the bridge. There is a large group of archers supporting an Ogre at the end of the bridge.
After clearing the group at the other end of the bridge, the Legion will move to the other side. The Warden can speak to Kardol again for a short dialogue.
- Scattered throughout the area are pieces of Legion of the Dead armor, unlocking codex entry: The Dead Caste. Finding the complete set triggers the quest The Dead Caste.
There is another long bridge roughly in the middle of the map; be on guard here. There is an ambush on your party from both sides once you reach the middle of the bridge.
Past the ambush bridge, there is a set of caverns where the Warden can hear a voice reciting some sort of poem. After passing the caverns and entering some more normal architecture, the Warden encounters Hespith. Speaking to Hespith can reveal some insight on what the darkspawn do with their prisoners, and on Branka.
After conversing with Hespith, continue on to the next large open area, where two ogres await. A large Ominous Door (requiring a special key to unlock) is behind one ogre. After taking care of the ogres, enter the room furthest to the south, which is inhabited by Legion spirits. They will not attack until you have retrieved the Legionnaire Key, which is on an altar with the final piece of the Legion of the Dead armor at the opposite end of the room.
- Interacting with the Legion of the Dead relic while a character is equipped with all the pieces of the Legion of the Dead armor set (including the helm) starts The Gangue Shade quest.
In some rubble on the broken bridge is the fairly amusing codex entry of Load Limit Reached. Head back out and use the key on the large door in the center of the area.
- Saving here is advisable because the next encounter is the Broodmother. Although immobile, she is fairly strong, has a variety of attack options (multi-targets, ranged, and tentacles), and is made more difficult by the darkspawn she summons during the battle.
After felling the Broodmother, Hespith will make another appearance. Listen to what she has to say, then continue to the exit. The Anvil of the Void area is now unlocked and accessible through the Deep Roads map.
Anvil of the Void
You enter a cave and are locked in. If Oghren is not in the party the party selection appears with Oghren already selected and locked (he cannot be removed). If Oghren is in the party then the party selection screen does not appear.
The Warden will finally find Branka. She cannot be reasoned with, and has trapped the party inside the area, forcing completion of A Paragon of Her Kind. She will require the Warden to disarm the traps in the area for her. Upon trapping the Warden, a large group of darkspawn will arrive and attack the party.
- Branka, naturally, will remain safely behind the barriers until all the traps have been disarmed.
- When Branka says 'traps' she is being descriptive and not literal. There are only 2 blade traps ahead so you do not require a Rogue to disarm a large series of traps.
- The first trap is a tunnel full of darkspawn. This is a very narrow tunnel, with a mix of darkspawn throughout.
- The second trap is a gas filled room. This room appears empty at first, but entering it will bring golems to life one by one. There are four gas valves, two by each closed doors on the left and the right. The exit door can be unlocked but requires high Cunning. It automatically unlocks after the golems are killed. These golems can be knocked down by casting Stonefist on them.
- The third trap is a hallway with golems on either side. There are 2 blade traps in the hallway and 2 sets of golems will attack as you pass them (the first set will attack if you set off the first blade trap). The exit door here cannot be unlocked until the golems are defeated. These golems seem harder than the others fought previously. Just as with the previous golems, Stonefist knocks them down.
- The fourth trap, and by far the hardest, is the Spirit Apparatus. See the strategy for more information.
Choosing sides: Caridin or Branka
Upon disarming the traps, the Warden will gain access to Caridin's forge, where they will meet Caridin.
Caridin will tell his story to the Warden, explaining how the Anvil of the Void works. To 'power' his golems, he used the lives of dwarves (if Wynne is in your party, she will comment that this is equivalent to blood magic).
At first, Caridin only accepted volunteers. However, the king at the time began forcing others to become golems. Golems became a common sight, often being traded to the magocracy of the Tevinter Imperium and controlled using control rods.
Caridin states that when he opposed the king's decisions, he was punished by being forced to become a golem himself. He then asks the Warden to destroy the Anvil, because he is unable to touch the Anvil as a golem.
Branka will arrive and argue that with the technology of the golems, the dwarves would be able to reclaim the Deep Roads and their homeland. Caridin responds by stating the sacrifice is too great and stands by his decision to have the Anvil destroyed.
At this point, the Warden must choose who to support and decide the fate of the Anvil:
- Support Caridin and destroy the Anvil
- Support Branka and keep the Anvil
- Support Branka and convince her to destroy the Anvil
Regardless of which Paragon is supported, the enemies will be:
- two Elite Golems
- two Normal Golems
- the Paragon not supported
- If Shale is in the party and you support Branka then she will attack you, regardless of her approval rating.
The allies assisting the Warden will be two Normal Golems. The Paragon you support will be immobilized.
The following items will drop from each Paragon:
- Branka: Vanguard, Dwarven Massive Armor and Branka's Shield
- Caridin: Caridin's Cage and Caridin's Shield
Depending on who was supported during the conflict involving the Anvil (Caridin or Branka), the Warden Treaty will be fulfilled in varying ways.
Side with Caridin:
- You kill Branka.
- Caridin makes a crown for you and then you destroy the Anvil.
- Caridin commits suicide.
- Dwarves assist you during the Blight.
- You unlock the Liberator achievement.
Side with Branka and preserve the Anvil:
- You kill Caridin.
- Branka makes a crown for you and stays there to continue working on the Anvil.
- Dwarves and Golems assist you during the Blight.
- You unlock the Pragmatist achievement.
Side with Branka and destroy the Anvil:
- You kill Caridin.
- Branka makes a crown for you.
- You persuade or intimidate Branka to destroy the Anvil (must have high Coercion).
- Branka destroys the Anvil and commits suicide.
- Dwarves assist you during the Blight.
Before leaving the area, approach the tablet. After interacting with the tablet, Oghren or Shale will inform you that it is a registry of some kind. This is, in fact, the Golem Registry, a record of all the people who voluntarily and not-so-voluntarily sacrificed themselves to become golems. Take a tracing of the tablet; this can be returned to the Shaper Czibor for a reward. Showing the list to Shale will also trigger the quest A Golem's Memories provided you agree to look into it.
- Oghren approves (+4) - or (+11) if you give in when he tries to convince you
- Zevran approves (+4)
- Morrigan approves (+7)
- Alistair disapproves (-10)
- Leliana disapproves (-10)
- Wynne disapproves (-15)
- Sten will mock you, but his approval won't change.
- Shale will leave the party and turn hostile, forcing you to kill her.
- If you ask Branka to make Oghren into a golem, you will get a severe disapproval hit with him (-20).
Supporting Branka and keeping Shale:
- You may do this quest before recruiting Shale. With level 4 Coercion and the correct conversation options, you can actually gain (+4) approval, or lose up to (-33) in the opposite case. See A Golem's Memories for conversation advice.
- OR you can leave Shale at camp while supporting Branka and save the Anvil of the Void. At camp, Shale will then question you about what happened to Caridin. By picking the right options in response to Shale's questions, you keep her and acquire A Golem's Memories without showing her the Golem Registry.
- Alistair approves (+4)
- Leliana approves (+4)
- Wynne approves (+7)
- Oghren disapproves (-10) - this can be offset to (-3) if you allow Oghren to ask Caridin for a boon ( (+7) triggers after Caridin commits suicide.)
- Morrigan disapproves (-5) - this can be offset to (-1) if you successfully persuade her.
- Shale disapproves (-10) if after Branka is dead you ask Caridin to make another golem (this happens even if Shale is not in the party).
- Zevran disapproves (-3) - this can be offset to (-1) if you successfully persuade him.
The election is based on a point system depending on the player's choices. Click here to see how it works. This can be noticed after asking Assembly Steward Bandelor about how the election is going. Generally this system has only minor relevance to the plot.
After resolving the issue at the Anvil of the Void, the Warden can speak to Oghren to proceed directly to the resolution of this quest. Alternatively, upon returning to Orzammar, the Warden can speak to Bandelor to proceed.
Bandelor will call the Assembly to crown the new king. The decision will fall to the Warden, who may choose either candidate regardless of who s/he helped earlier.
- If Bhelen is chosen, he will insist Harrowmont be executed (you cannot change his mind).
- If Harrowmont is chosen, Bhelen will attack and be killed.
- If Harrowmont's Support reached +6, there should be just a small group of Bhelen supporters.
- If Harrowmont's Support reached +3, there is a sizable group.
- If Harrowmont's Support only reached 0, almost everyone in the room is hostile.
- The new king is crowned; if Bhelen is king you appear in the Royal Palace with him, if Harrowmont is king you stay in the Chamber of the Assembly.
- The new king will honor the Grey Warden treaties and pledge Orzammar's forces to the Blight. In addition, he gives the Warden a gift; the item received depends on which earlier quests were completed and how much approval was earned for the candidate you choose:
- If Harrowmont is king and Harrowmont's support reached 5 or above, he will gift you Harrowmont's Staff. Harrowmont is also meant to offer Endrin's Mace however this is bugged.
- If Bhelen is king:
- After this, Oghren will remain as a permanent companion.
Legion of the Dead After leaving the Chamber of the Assembly (or the Royal Palace if Bhelen is King), Kardol will be outside. The Warden can recruit him and the Legion of the Dead to assist in fighting the Blight. Dwarven Wardens need only ask; non-dwarves must pass a high persuasion check. If the Legion is recruited, they will integrate into the regular dwarven units, causing their members to appear alongside normal dwarven troops during the Final Battle when the dwarves are called upon, and Kardol will assist in the battle against the Archdemon.
- If you miss talking to him outside the Assembly/Palace, you can go back to the Dead Trenches and talk to him there.
He says he feels as if he's about to fall off the world with all the sky (he says this even if you have already left Orzammar with him in the party before A Paragon of Her Kind was completed).
- If you tell him to get over it then Oghren disapproves (-3).
- If the Warden is a Dwarf and you tell him the feeling passes then Oghren approves (+1).
- If you tell him to take his time then Oghren approves (+2).
- 2500 XP for crowning a new king of Orzammar
One of the following items is awarded depending on the new king:
- , one possible item from Bhelen only on xbox360
- , rewarded by Bhelen Aeducan
- , rewarded by Pyral Harrowmont
Following items are looted incidentally while progressing through this quest:
- , source: Jarvia
- , source: Jarvia
- , source: Corrupted spider queen
- , source: Corrupted spider queen
- , source: Broodmother
- , source: Broodmother
Following items are looted/received based on the Warden's choice:
- See full list in main area article.
- If sided with Harrowmont, the deshyrs loyal to Bhelen will attack the Warden. They will use mages' staves and cast basic magical attack with them, some will move as though casting a spell, but no bolt comes out of the staves.
- If the Warden chooses not to go to directly to Orzammar, talking with Oghren in camp may trigger the conversation. Saying you want to go to Orzammar will immediately take you to the cut-scene, but Oghren will be invisible when he speaks to the Assembly and no one will be in your party except for the Warden.
- If you leave the Anvil via the regular exit and proceed to Orzammar, sometimes the party will end up in front of the Steward but will not get a cutscene. If this happens, just speak to the Steward to proceed normally. However, if you try to leave the area for the Diamond Quarter before returning to speak to the Steward, the cut-scene will be bugged. Neither Harrowmont nor Bhelen will be visible. The game can still continue if Bhelen is chosen, but if Harrowmont is chosen, Bhelen will not appear during the fight, bugging the entire quest.
- It is possible to kill Bhelen in the Royal Palace using Area of Effect and Cone spells. If he dies there, he will still be present in the coronation scene, but if you then crown Bhelen he will be absent from the end throne room scene, so you will be unable to complete the Orzammar Treaty main quest. If you crown Harrowmont instead (and kill Bhelen a second time), the Orzammar Treaty main quest can be completed.
- If you work for Bhelen and then crown Harrowmont then the quest will not move to the completed quests list.
- Under unknown circumstances, Oghren may not show up in the entrance of the Deep Roads and enter the Warden's party during the last part of the quest line.