A Village Under Siege is one of the main plotline (sub)quests in Dragon Age: Origins. It is activated upon arriving at Redcliffe Village (presumably when pursuing the Arl of Redcliffe quest) and speaking with the residents.
Every night, undead corpses descend from Castle Redcliffe to attack the village. No one in the village knows where the creatures come from, and no one has been able to reach the castle. The attacks grow worse each night and Bann Teagan Guerrin predicts tonight will be the worst. He pleads for the Warden's assistance. The Warden may choose to help Redcliffe Village defend itself. The more help the village has, the easier it will be to defend. Alternatively, the Warden may abandon the village and let it fend for itself. When the Warden returns, Redcliffe Village will be a ghost town, all inhabitants presumed dead.
Bann Teagan Guerrin asks the Warden for assistance in fending off the undead. Agreeing to help fight off the undead without reservations will result in approval from Alistair (+2 Approval), Leliana (+2 Approval), and Wynne (+2 Approval) as well as disapproval from Morrigan (-5 Approval) and Sten (-10 Approval) (though Sten can be persuaded that helping the village is a good idea). Bann Teagan sends the Warden to talk with the mayor, Murdock, and Ser Perth about the militia and the knights, respectively.
Help the militia
Murdock is found right outside the chantry. He makes two requests.
- Convince Owen to make repairs for the militia. You must agree to help find his daughter, which results in disapproval from Morrigan (-5 Approval) and Sten (-5 Approval) but approval from Leliana (+1 Approval) and Wynne (+4 Approval). See Lost in the Castle for further details.
- Convince Dwyn to fight alongside the militia. You must persuade, intimidate or pay him. Intimidating him to helping will give Oghren +2 Approval (Could intimidate with Improved Coercion and 23 strength, could persuade with Expert Coercion and 14 cunning)
If Sten is in your party and you continue to question Murdock, he will respond that he is stationed outside the Chantry in order to protect the women, children and elderly. Sten will object to this, saying that no qunari would act in this manner, that all would fight. If Leliana is also in the group, she will interject that the comment is unworthy of him. Murdock will point out that the villagers are not qunari and the end result is a loss of approval (-3) from Sten. Avoiding the question also avoids Sten's approval loss.
Help the knights
Ser Perth is found by the windmill, across the bridge. He will ask the Warden if Mother Hannah in the chantry can bless his knights for the attack. The Revered Mother will refuse to bless his knights, believing that Ser Perth wants physical protection that the Maker cannot provide. The Warden can either:
- Persuade or intimidate Mother Hannah. She will provide ordinary amulets for the knights, letting them believe in their "holy" protection to raise their morale. Informing Ser Perth that they may pick up the amulets will result in disapproval from Leliana (-5 Approval) and approval from Morrigan (+2 Approval, but only if Leliana is in the party). Note that Improved Coercion is required for the persuade and intimidate dialogue options in the Xbox 360 and PS3 versions.
- Convince Ser Perth he will have to do without the blessing. Ser Perth will understand.
There are certain other things you can do to improve your odds against the night attack.
- Visit the General Store (adjacent to Dwyn's house) to observe the oil barrels and talk to Ser Perth about using them against the undead. Note that this may actually make things more difficult for you during the battle, as the knights like to walk into the fire they will build with the oil.
- Boost the militia's morale by talking with them in the tavern and persuading Lloyd (or Bella) to give them free beer.
- Persuade or intimidate Berwick at the tarvern to fight (Sten +2 Approval).
- Intimidate Lloyd at the tavern to fight (Sten +4 Approval). Bella is left in charge and will give you Lloyd's stock for free. Be sure to clean out inventory before recruiting Lloyd, since in addition to giving away Lloyd's wares Bella will give nothing for the items you sell.
When you are done with the village, you can end the quest and start The Attack at Nightfall by talking to either Ser Perth or Murdock and saying "I am ready."
By completing the assistance quests, you will begin The Attack at Nightfall with better-equipped/stronger allies.
Refusing to help
The Warden can refuse to help the villagers defend Redcliffe Village or abandon Redcliffe before the battle starts. If player decides to do so Redcliffe is a ghost town the next time he returns to it. Most buildings are empty and there is only one scavenger outside. The scavenger directs the Warden to the chantry, where he finds the only survivor, a wounded Bann Teagan. The Warden heals Bann Teagan's wounds and he hastily runs away. Things will then proceed as if the Warden had saved Redcliffe, except for minor dialogue changes.
Later, when infiltrating Castle Redcliffe, the Warden will find most of the named villagers from Redcliffe turned undead. They present no more of a threat than the normal corpses found there and none contain any special loot.