Before the Dawn is a companion quest for Cullen in Dragon Age: Inquisition.

Much like the Inquisition, Corypheus has invested great time and effort building a trusted inner circle. Samson is a former templar, a lyrium addict, and now the leader of the red templars. Cullen knows Samson well, and believes intercepting caravans smuggling red lyrium in the Emerald Graves could get the Inquisition closer to taking him down.


Available after talking to Cullen in Skyhold. This quest should be completed before taking on What Pride Had Wrought, since it is, plot-wise, a prerequisite for dealing with Samson and it is not available afterwards.


  • The first part of the quest requires the Inquisitor to find three red lyrium smuggler letters located in the Emerald Graves. The letter locations are marked on the map, but they are hidden, thus revealed by using Search function.
  • Take the letters to Cullen. He then informs Inquisitor that he has found red templars' primary source of red lyrium in a quarry near Sahrnia in Emprise Du Lion.
Before the Dawn - Cullen and Maddox
  • When heading to raid Sahrnia quarry, it can be practical to also complete the main objective Take Back the Lion for Emprise Du Lion, as following the plot will gradually lead the player to the quarry either way. It also opens up a couple of new quests, which can be completed in the quarry, namely Rocky Rescue and Red Captors. Inside the quarry, quests Words Not Hollow, Caged Confession and Quarry Quandary can be obtained, as well.
  • Return to Cullen with the information found at the quarry. He concludes that the key to weakening Samson is to destroy his armor and proposes that the Inquisitor speak with Dagna about this.
  • Speak to Dagna about possible weaknesses in Samson's armor. This opens up operation Finding Samson's Weakness at the War Table.
  • After completing that, speak to Cullen about what Dagna discovered. This leads to another operation Track Down Samson. Afterwards, speak to Cullen about raiding Samson's camp. The temporary zone Shrine of Dumat is now available for the next part of the quest.
  • Travel to Samson's camp at Shrine of Dumat with Cullen accompanying the party. After fighting a pack of red templar horrors, guards and a behemoth, it becomes evident that Samson knew the Inquisitor was coming - the camp is already destroyed. The Inquisitor then encounters Maddox, Samson's tranquil assistant, who has poisoned himself and can not be saved.
Before the Dawn - Dagna comes up with a solution
  • Search the rooms to find clues about Samson's armor. There are three clues - a hidden note, bottles of red lyrium and lyrium-forging tools. The party concludes that if these tools were used by Maddox to make Samson's armor, perhaps Dagna could find a way to unmake it.
  • Return to Skyhold to meet Cullen and Dagna to discuss the tools. In the following cutscene it appears Dagna has indeed found a solution.


  • 680 Influence
  • 2 Power
  • Schematic for Superb Corrupting Rune, found at the camp


  • Before initiating the quest, an Inquisition agent in Cullen's office in Skyhold will tell the Inquisitor that Cullen has gone to speak with Cassandra. If the Inquisitor completes Sera's "prank" unmarked quest before speaking to this agent, she will become un-interactable, and thus Cullen will never appear at his desk, making any further interaction or his quests uncompletable.
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