Best Served Cold is a main plot quest in Act 3 of Dragon Age II.


Best Served Cold is received via a letter from First Enchanter Orsino after finding the three mages for Knight-Commander Meredith. If you sided with the Templars at the beginning of Act 3, this quest will alternatively be received from Knight-Commander Meredith.

Note: When accepting the quest from Orsino, if you choose the Diplomatic options, it results in: Friendship small Aveline: friendship (+5), Friendship small Anders: friendship (+10). Rivalry small Anders: rivalry (+10) if you use aggressive options when accepting this quest.


Hightown meeting

The midnight Hightown Meeting

After you get the quest, head to Hightown at night and head to the Hightown estates neighborhood.

There, a battle will automatically begin when you enter the area near to where you need to be. You'll need to defeat a group of Templars and 5-6 Mages to beat them all. Afterwards loot the bodies to find a note that will instruct you to head to the Docks (and an armor upgrade for Sebastian).

Docks meeting

The meeting at the Docks

Go to the Docks and follow the arrow to your destination. You may encounter one or several groups of Slave Hunters, otherwise head into the Warehouse. Once there open the door and you'll encounter another cut-scene before you have to battle another group of Templars and Mages.

There is an armor upgrade for Anders in the Warehouse and a gift for Fenris.

Keran may be here if he lived and is with the Templars; he will tell you that someone close to you has been kidnapped by the rebels and that they have been taken to a hideout on the Wounded Coast. At this point you have the choice of

  • Letting Keran go Rivalry small Aveline: rivalry (+10)
  • Turning him in to the Knight-Commander Rivalry small Merrill: rivalry (+10), Rivalry small Varric: rivalry (+5), Friendship small Aveline: friendship (+5).
  • Killing him, If you have Merill in your party and you choose to kill him, she'll say not to, that he is not responsible. If you decide to kill him still it will result in Rivalry small Merrill: rivalry (+5).

Note: If it's your love interest that is supposed to be taken, Keran will describe them- however you will still be able to select them and go to the Wounded Coast.

Loot the area and exit to Lowtown and head to the Wounded Coast. Take the low path and head south towards the Ruins. Fight a small group of Templars and Mages on the way. A cut-scene will then occur where Samson will approach you; after the scene continue down the path until you reach the main group of Templars/Mages. They are being led by the templar Thrask, who will implore you to side with them against Meredith. Behind him, whoever was taken hostage will be lying on the ground, unconscious. Rivalry small Fenris: rivalry (+10), Rivalry small Sebastian: rivalry (+5), Friendship small Anders: friendship (+10) if you speak in support of the mages. Whether you sent her to the Circle, or let her go during the quest Act of Mercy, one of Thrask's companions will be the apostate mage Grace; she will call for the hostage to be killed and then turn on Hawke, killing Thrask in the process. During this battle, Grace herself is easily taken down, but becomes a Pride Abomination upon death. After the battle, Samson will return with Cullen. As with Keran earlier in this quest, you will have the opportunity to decide the fate of the apostate Alain.


After the fight talk to Cullen to decide the fate of the surrendering mages and rogue templars. Knight-Captain Cullen will permit Samson to become a Templar again if Hawke requests that he give him another chance. Hawke can also ask Cullen to be merciful to Alain and the other mages who are arrested.

Note: Arcane Defender/Mage Hunter Achievement: This is your final chance to side with either the Templars or Mages. During your conversation with Cullen: (Templar) Opt to 'Give Samson another chance'; (Mage) Say Alain was working with Grace and select 'Kill them all'. The achievement will not pop up until you report back to either Meredith/Orsino to end the Quest (providing you have sided with the same faction 4 times previously).

When you talk to Samson and defend the mages, you get Friendship small Varric: friendship (+10), Friendship small Merrill: friendship (+10), Rivalry small Sebastian: rivalry (+5). If you go against the mages, you get Friendship small Fenris: friendship (+10).

Friendship small Aveline: friendship (+10), Friendship small Sebastian: friendship (+5) when you speak in defense of the mages with Cullen.

If you tell Cullen Alain was working with Grace and to kill Alain: Rivalry small Aveline: rivalry (+10)

Return to Orsino/Meredith to complete the quest.

Note: If you got this quest from Meredith, you can investigate at this point to learn some rather interesting things about her.

Afterwards, if you return to Hawke's Estate, you will find a letter from either Meredith or Orsino that pertains to the quest The Last Straw.

Note: Once you read this letter from Meredith/Orsino, you can no longer return to the Gallows without triggering the endgame. Do not read the letter until you are certain that you no longer need anything else from the Gallows.


The hostage that is taken depends on several factors:

Bethany/Carver are the most likely to be taken, if they are alive. It does not matter if they are with the Mages/Templars or the Grey Wardens.

If Bethany/Carver is dead, then the next most likely is your love interest. However, they will only be kidnapped if they are not in your party when you travel to the Wounded Coast.

Failing that, the companion with the highest friendship score who is not in your party at the time will be kidnapped.

Sebastian cannot be taken as a hostage.



  • When encountering the mages in hightown(night) the corpse you are supposed to loot might disappear, load early save is the only way to further progress the quest.
  • if anders is kidnapped, you may still be able to use him in your party
  • If Bethany joined the Grey Wardens and is kidnapped, she may appear wearing her Circle outfit instead of her Warden Uniform. Graphic based only, does not affect/change game decisions (PS3).
  • If Keran was forced out of the Templars at the end of Enemies Within, he will still be one of the Templar Conspirators despite not being a Templar, although this can be justified from the fact that Cullen sends one templar to look after Keran if this happens "just in case" (PS3).
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