After being rescued by Flemeth from the Tower of Ishal, the Warden decides to use the treaties from The Grey Wardens' Cache to gather aid against the Blight - one of these treaties is with the Circle of Magi. This quest is added when Morrigan joins the party at Flemeth's Hut.
After Lothering and the Imperial Highway, this quest can be started at any time when it is possible to access the World Map. There are certainly considerations in favor of doing it early in the campaign, especially on a first playthrough, specifically that Wynne can join the party and a range of attribute bonuses can be obtained. However, it can be left until later if desired. Additionally, finishing this quest can later affect the Arl of Redcliffe quest.
To complete the Broken Circle quest, the Warden must first find a way to access the Circle Tower. Before heading to Lake Calenhad Docks, it is possible to hear rumors that all is not well at the Circle, for example from Ser Bryant in Lothering, innkeepers, Bodahn Feddic, or by eavesdropping on gossips.
And indeed, once the Warden arrives at the Apprentice Quarters, they discover a dire situation.
- 1 Walkthrough: Prelude
- 2 Walkthrough: Part One
- 3 Walkthrough: Part Two
- 4 Result
- 5 Side Quests
- 6 Loot
- 7 Trivia
- 8 Notes
- 9 Bugs
- 10 References
Travel to the docks on the World Map, at the northeast end of Lake Calenhad.
- If the quest The Sword of the Beresaad has begun, there will be a Scavenger immediately to the left upon entering the area; he has important information for that quest.
- The Spoiled Princess Inn is also to the left, down a steep incline.
- Kester the ferryman stands near the door to the inn. If the Warden is a mage, Kester will mention their trip across the lake with Duncan. He will also allude to something happening in the Tower; the templars have confiscated his ferry and will not allow access to anyone.
- A representative of the Mages' Collective stands (with customary bag) at a table near Kester.
- There is a landmark boat that can be 'tagged' by Dog for a stat boost in this area.
- If Dereliction of Duty has been accepted from the Blackstone Irregulars, Sammael and two thugs will be standing between the Collective bag and the landmark boat.
- If Notices of Death has been accepted from the Blackstone Irregulars, Larana will be inside The Spoiled Princess Inn.
On the jetty, the Grey Warden must talk to Carroll, a templar who is tasked to deny access to the Tower. He will neither acknowledge the protagonist as a Warden nor allow them to proceed to the Tower. You have various ways to deal with the situation:
- Persuade him that his superiors won't like this.
- Intimidate him that your patience is running thin.
- Even with no coercion skills, if you choose first the persuasion or intimidation option and then choose the other one, Carroll will agree to take you to the tower.
- Bribe him for 40.
- If you have one of the following companions in your party while speaking to him, they will persuade or force the templar to allow you to reach the Circle Tower.
- Shale has no patience with Carroll, and offers to break a few of his bones to change his decision.
- If the Warden says "Can't we work something out?" and Morrigan is in the party, Carroll offers access if she stays behind. Morrigan agrees, but then frightens him so much with her plans that he hurries everyone across quickly. He will offer the same for Leliana, who will convince him to listen to her stories on the way to the tower.
- Sten can, in his impatience with Carroll, bribe him with cookies.
Inside the Circle Tower
Once Carroll is convinced to ferry the Warden to the tower, a dire situation is revealed: Knight-Commander Greagoir is organizing troops and sealing off the first floor of the Tower. He will explain that it has been overrun by abominations and demons. He doesn't know exactly what has happened, but is convinced everyone in the Tower is dead, and has sent word to the Chantry of Denerim requesting reinforcements and the Right of Annulment. Using the Right he intends to kill everything in the Tower. The Warden can either:
- Check for any survivors of the Circle and rescue any surviving mages.
- Purge/kill everything in the tower with the idea that "they cannot be saved", to take no chances of any demon surviving.
The first option (if successful) will obtain the aid of the mages against the Blight; the second will obtain the aid of the templars. If pressed, Greagoir says he will believe that the Tower is safe only if First Enchanter Irving stands in front of him and says so. Greagoir will allow the Warden entry into the Tower, but will bar the doors immediately afterward — there is no turning back until the quest is complete. When you are ready, pass through the doors further into the Tower.
If you choose to enter the tower, it is strongly recommended that you bring a mage with the ability Mana Clash. You will face a large number of enemies that use mana. Mana Clash will often one-shot mana-using enemies, or if not, come close to doing so, including some of the more difficult enemies. In addition, it has a very large area of effect. This spell can be used to kill or nearly kill entire groups of enemies at once at various points in the quest. It will make completion much easier.
- The Quartermaster behind Greagoir is the last opportunity to buy and sell items.
- There will be an opportunity to rearrange the party before ascending to the upper levels, in the room where Wynne is encountered.
- You can also change party members in the room where the Sloth Demon is encountered on the 4th floor after returning from the Fade.
Walkthrough: Part One
After the doors have closed behind The Warden, enter the north room for a cutscene. Wynne is fighting a Rage demon with the help of some apprentices in order to defend some children and has set up a barrier to prevent any more from entering. After quickly vanquishing her fiery foe, Wynne will talk to the Warden. She will want to know what's happening outside and how it is you got there. The Warden will inform her that Greagoir has sent for the Right of Annulment and that you have come to try and save those you can and stop this nightmare before it is too late. The two of you will discuss things a bit. The Warden can decide to work with Wynne, in which case she will forcibly join the party. If you tell Wynne that you think the Circle must be destroyed, she will attack you.
- See also: Apprentice Quarters
Regardless of what the Warden chooses, the protective shield over the doorway is removed. If you search around the first room where you either fought or acquired Wynne, you will find a locked door going down to the basement. The Warden will need to return to this door to complete the Watchguard of the Reaching side quest.
The first floor is the former Apprentices Quarters. There are a few tough enemies here, though the enemies will become more challenging as the Party goes up the tower. The worst enemy on the first floor is a Greater Rage Demon before the stairs up to the second floor. Pay close attention to all the loot options on the first floor. There are many chests and such that can be looted, but there are also many Codex entries to be found here as well. The beginning of the quests Watchguard of the Reaching and Summoning Sciences can be found on the first floor.
Upon entering the second floor, The Warden will encounter Owain; loot Charred Corpse for Water-Stained Portrait. If The Warden is a Mage, they will recognize Owain as the Tranquil keeper to the Circle stockroom. Owain will speak briefly with the party about some of the things happening within the Tower and tell you about a mage named Niall. Niall had come to Owain and received the Litany of Adralla from him. The Litany is a chant that will keep a Blood Mage from dominating a person's mind.
After leaving Owain, The Warden will encounter a group of blood mages blocking the way into the rest of the building. They will attack on sight. When the battle is finished, one of the Mages will beg for mercy. She tells The Warden a little about Uldred and why she and her brethren succumbed to the temptation to become blood mages. The Warden may decide to let her escape, to kill her, to recruit her into the mage army or to invite her to the party camp.
Once the encounter is finished, the way to the rest of the floor is clear; loot Pile of Books for The Rose of Orlais. On the opposite side of the room, there is another pile of books marked as "Ancient Text." Loot this for The Scrolls of Banastor. Much of the combat is similar, except now Shambling skeletons and blood mages will be added to the list of encounters. Groups of Mages can be capable of doing high amounts of damage. It is best to handle them with whatever forms of Area Effect damage you can, and any and all forms of interrupts like Paralysis, Crushing Prison, Stuns, Shield Bashing, etc. If a mage under your control has Mana Clash, it will one-shot kill most groups of mages and other spell casters that are found in the tower, effectively rendering these encounters trivial.
Exploring all the rooms will bring, for the most part, encounters with Mages, Demons and Shambling Skeletons. It will also net you more pages for the Watchguard of the Reaching quest. In the large room to the north-east; loot Vanity for Silver Chain, The Warden will encounter the Mage Godwin, who has locked himself inside of a cabinet. He is involved in the quest Precious Metals, and if you answer his question about Orzammar and persuade (or intimidate) him to tell you what he needs that lyrium for, he will tell you that the templars use it. You can then persuade him again to give a little "wealth" or people will find out, granting you additional 8. He will give you a little more information on Uldred, and you can either kill him or let him go. If you let him go, regardless of the amount of carnage you left in your wake, he will quietly climb back into his little shelter and leave you to your business of saving everyone.
Just after meeting with Godwin you will come upon a room with two blood mages having a conversation. If you wait outside of combat range for a few seconds, an elite level abomination will spawn. If you continue to wait, the blood mages will attack the abomination. One will use cone of cold, stunning the creature. This makes this (already easy) battle, even easier.
Continuing around the Tower, you will come across the former chapel. You can loot a Soldier Corpse which carries Chantry Amulet. There will be a Toppled Statue to inspect along the back wall. Behind the statue will be a phylactery; trying to pick it up will cause it to fall apart in you hands and spawn an orange Revenant (saving recommended). This Revenant is one of many The Warden must kill in order to complete The Black Vials Quest.
In the southernmost room, just after the chapel on this floor, you will discover First Enchanter Irving's quarters. Here you will find several Codex entries, but more importantly, looted from Irving's Chest, Black Grimoire (to give to Morrigan to start Flemeth's Real Grimoire), and First Enchanter's Desk: Small Painted Box used in the quest Friends of Red Jenny. Then continue following the Tower hall and take the stairs to the third floor.
When the Warden and companions reach the third floor, they will find a chest behind the statue. The next room the party enters will have three large pillars in the middle and three statues along the back wall. After the party has gone halfway through the room, the Warden and the rest of the party are attacked by the undead. The statues here can be activated for the Watchguard of the Reaching side-quest.
Possessed Templars and Charmed Templars are found in every room and behind every door on this floor. The templars are particularly effective at taking out mages. At higher levels, if a caster is within line of sight of any door opened to a room containing a group of templars, they will find themselves the recipient of a devastating rain of Holy Smite that can be fatal. In one of the rooms the party will encounter a Desire Demon and her group of Charmed Templars. As in any fight with some form of spell caster in the enemy ranks, take her out first from range and with as much stunning, paralyzing, knocking down, and other interrupts as possible. Mana Clash will not usually one-shot this demon, if it hits at all, but will take about half of her life and prevent her from using spells for a while. Don't ignore the character who is keeping the templars occupied though—-the templars can be formidable in their own right. Loot Small Gold Bar from one of the dead Charmed Templars.
In many of the rooms there are codex entries and some Torn Pages. These pages will start the quest Five Pages, Four Mages, so be sure to get them all. The last room on the third floor holds the strongest set of enemies. Demons, Abominations, a giant statue of a warrior holding a shield, and three Tranquils standing in their midst. Once you enter the room, everything except the statue and the Tranquils attack. Each Tranquil eventually turns into an enemy and will join the attack. Their transformation stops when the Abomination dies. Loot White Runestone from the dead Abomination.
The fourth floor is relatively sparse in enemies compared to the previous floors and only a portion of it is accessible at this time. It is advisable to stay away from the central room for the time being.
There are two fights that can be difficult on this floor. The first of which is encountered in a room off the left of the main hallway. As soon as you enter a short cutscene of a Desire Demon bewitching yet another Templar will play. The Warden is given the option of killing The Demon right away or conversing with it. The Demon informs the Warden that she saw the desire for family life and happiness in the Templar. This is the illusion she gives him. The Warden can try and snap the Templar out of it but will not succeed. If The Warden converses with The Demon some more you will learn that you cannot kill The Demon without killing The Templar as well. Which in the end only leaves two options: kill them both, or let the Demon go. If the Demon is allowed to flee she will disappear and take the templar with her. If The Warden decides to fight them the Templar will defend her. The Demon will summon several corpses to help. The Templar will use his abilities while the Desire Demon is a potent spell caster. After the fight loot the vanity for Sun Blonde Vint-1 and Sailor's Charm. Loot Templar Armor from the corpse of Drass.
The second encounter will be a much more powerful blood mage than has been encountered before who has taken control of a large group of Charmed and Possessed Templars. Keep the party's spell casters away from the door again and kill the mage as soon as possible. With the mage out of the way, the templars are just like those on the third floor: they're tough but manageable. Loot Archon Robes from the dead blood mage, then continue. The chest in the back has a lock difficulty of Very Hard.
Now is a good time to rest up, and go back and do the Watchguard of the Reaching side quest if the Warden hasn't already. Once you enter the central chamber on the fourth floor, things are going to change. Walk in the room, and enter an immediate cutscene.
Sloth is an Abomination and so much more. He hovers over the body of an as of yet unnamed mage who may look familiar if you did the Mage origin. No matter the dialogue options you choose, Sloth will put the Warden and party into a sleep. Once the cutscene ends, the Warden will enter a form of hazy reality only ever knowingly visited by Magi. If the Warden is a Mage or saved Connor during the Arl of Redcliffe quest, then he or she will recognize this place as the Fade.
The Fade: Lost in Dreams
In the Fade the Warden must break the defenses of the demon Sloth and kill him. Here we will discover that the nameless mage that Sloth was standing over is Niall. Because the quest to escape from the Fade and kill Sloth is so long, it will be covered in a separate article. Please see The Fade: Lost in Dreams for details.
Walkthrough: Part Two
Welcome back: Fourth Floor
The Change Party icon is enabled in this room only so you can swap out party members (including Wynne, who up until this point has been a mandatory member if you agreed to save the Mages). This can be helpful to distribute equipment and gifts to free up inventory slots from all of the items you've picked up in the Tower.
In the next room kill the Drake (consoles), loot Charred Corpse for The Libertarian's Cowl, then pick up the book Codex entry: The Legend of Calenhad: Chapter 2. As the party continues towards to top of the Tower to confront Uldred, they will be assaulted by Dragonlings and may encounter a drake. This fight is rather simple as long as you have some form of paralysis and avoid the flame breath. There will be some demons and a room that appears empty of all but a chest until the Warden attempts to retrieve its contents. The resulting fight can be rather difficult as you may be low on supplies after the Fade. Luckily there is a multitude of potions around for you to loot. Going for the chest will trigger a trap and spawn several more demons to attack the party. One of the locked chests contains Beastman's Dagger.
By the stairs leading up to the Harrowing Chamber, the Warden will find Cullen, trapped in a magical prison. If the Warden is a Mage, Cullen may react accordingly -- he will even reveal that he harbored feelings for a female mage Warden. Cullen initially believes the party members are illusions the demons sent to torment him.
Once Cullen has been calmed down by the Warden, he will postulate a moral dilemma for the player. Cullen describes his torment as ghastly and explains to you that Uldred is upstairs in the Harrowing Chamber forcing the rest of the living mages to become Abominations. He is convinced that not a single mage can be allowed to make it out of that chamber alive, and everyone must be killed.
- The Warden may agree with him, go upstairs, and slaughter everything in sight. Doing so will end all hope of getting the Circle of Magi to help with the Blight but will allow the templars to be recruited to the final army. Note that agreeing with this course of action causes Wynne to attack the party immediately, forcing the Warden to kill her before being able to proceed. Once you have agreed, you cannot change your mind!
- The Warden can disagree with Cullen outright and try to save the mages. You can still side with the templars afterward when talking to Greagoir. This option is useful for keeping Wynne in your party and recruiting the templars into your army.
- If Shale is in the party, the golem will advocate killing all the mages. You can persuade Shale that this is a bad idea, resulting in Shale approves (+2), or reject the suggestion for Shale disapproves (-5). If you agree to change your mind you get the Approval changes listed above, unless you tell Shale that you're not a monster, in which case Shale disapproves (-15)
- If Sten is in the group, he says the Mages are out of control. If you can persuade him Sten disapproves (-5); if you tell Sten you won't do it Sten disapproves (-15). If you pick the dialogue choice "I have made my decision" when it is first presented, Sten neither interferes nor loses approval -- it seems he simply doesn't like you to change your mind or even debate the point after your initial pick. You may also avoid approval loss by choosing "We can't just kill them all." followed by "What do you propose we do?", "I do not fear maleficarum--they should fear me." and finally "Stay safe. It will be over soon." This way you avoid sounding like you are weighing the options and Sten will not chime in.
- The Warden may choose to refrain from making a decision until he or she has gone upstairs and witnessed the situation firsthand. This will put off the decision until Cullen and Irving make their cases to Greagoir (with no Approval changes in your party).
With the decision made, the Warden may go upstairs.
The Harrowing Chamber
In the Harrowing Chamber, the Warden will finally meet Uldred. Uldred was the mage who offered the services of the Circle of Magi to light the beacon during the Battle of Ostagar, before being overruled by the Revered Mother. Since then, he has been busy staging a coup in the Circle Tower, later becoming possessed by a Pride Demon.
A cutscene plays upon entering the Harrowing Chamber wherein Uldred forces a mage to become an Abomination. There is an extended dialogue the Warden may engage in in order to learn more of Uldred's goals and motivations. The Warden is free to choose any number of dialogue options, but ultimately Uldred must be killed.
Once the cutscene ends, Uldred shows his true form as a Pride Demon. He has a lot of health and some very strong abilities. His three lackey Abominations aren't the same as the previous ones the party fought earlier as they are a fair bit stronger.
Uldred himself is quite powerful. Wynne, Morrigan, and Alistair are the ideal companions, although Sten or Shale may substitute for Alistair in this mix. Wynne will be invaluable, as she heals the party frequently. Morrigan is likewise valuable, as her many offensive spells seem to have the desired effect when it comes to mass damage. As a spell caster, Mana Clash will do a large amount of damage to Uldred and prevent him from using his powerful spells, but it hits him less often than weaker enemies. Sten/Alistair could either be used to distract Uldred or, ideally, to slay the abominations first. Now, if the Warden usually flanks an opponent, he or she should do so more from the side in this battle as Uldred has a nasty habit of kicking those behind him without turning.
Every so often during the fight, Uldred will attempt to corrupt one of the other Mages who are bound up around the room. Using the Litany of Adralla every time a mage is surrounded by three rings of pulsing light will prevent Uldred from adding another Abomination to the battlefield. If Wynne is in the party, she will tell the Warden to "...use the Litany." In the PC version, the Litany will usually appear on the Warden's action bar when it is looted from Niall's dead body; if not, take the time to find it and place it on the action bar (if the Warden is a Mage Shapeshifter then you should place it on a companion's action bar since it will disappear from your action bar when you are shapeshifted). For console players, the Litany is accessed through the radial menu on the advanced tab. As long as Irving lives through the fight, the Warden can side with the Magi in the moral decision presented by Cullen.
Once Uldred finally goes down, loot Cinderfel Gauntlets from him, then speak with First Enchanter Irving (or Cullen, should you have killed all the mages). The Warden's dialogue with Irving/Cullen may have lasting effects on the game.
When Uldred is killed, First Enchanter Irving or Cullen will take the Warden downstairs to Knight-Commander Greagoir where the matter of the treaty will be discussed. Should you have sided with the mages during the previous discussion with Cullen, he will try to convince Greagoir that all the mages need to be killed; the Warden may fan the flames or vouch for the mages through dialogue options.
To gain support of the Templars:
- Irving must have died during the fight with Uldred, in which case Greagoir will side with the Warden against the Blight;
- If Irving survived, the Warden must mention to Greagoir that some blood mages may have survived. In that case, Irving will agree with this fact and willingly go into containment and put the mages' lives in the templars' hands. Wynne accepts this decision and stays with the party. Both versions of this ending result in +12 approval from Morrigan.
To gain support of the Mages:
- Irving must have survived the fight with Uldred. Then, the Warden just needs to ask Greagoir what he thinks or simply mention that order has been restored to the Circle. This ending results with +7 approval from Wynne.
It is not possible to gain support of both Templars and Mages. If the Warden asks Greagoir what he thinks and Greagoir had said before that he would accept no less than First Enchanter Irving saying it is safe, he will stick to his word and call off the Annulment. Irving will then confirm that the mages will aid you against the Blight. Later back at camp, the mages' envoy will state that the templars have sided with you as well but this appears to be merely dialogue, as only the mages appear as selectable allies during the Final Battle (though in the cutscene after the final fight, templars can be seen on battlefield).
In both scenarios, if Wynne survives the events, she pledges her support on the Warden and offers herself as a companion (if you got the Mages' support she asks Irving's permission to stay with you; if you got the Templars' support Greagoir asks her to be the new First Enchanter). If the Warden rejects her support, she will be standing in the entrance room, left of the quartermaster and, by initiating a conversation with her, she can be recruited at any time.
All of the following quests may be accessed once Broken Circle has been started.
- , source: dropped by a blood mage
- , source: locked chest
- , source: a pile of fifth
- , source: dropped by a fade rifter (side quest)
- , source: dropped by Uldred
- , source: a chest
- , source: Niall's corpse
- , source: locked chest
- , source: chest
- , source: vanity
- x2, source: piles of books
- , source: dropped by a desire demon
- , source: First Enchanter's personal desk (quest item)
- , source: a charred corpse
- , source: dropped by Shah Wyrd (side quest)
- , for Shale, source: from Quartermaster at Apprentice Quarters (first floor)
- , for Morrigan, source: in Irving's Quarters at Senior Mage Quarters (second floor)
- , for Leliana, source: a templar corpse at Senior Mage Quarters (second floor)
- , for Morrigan, source: a vanity at Senior Mage Quarters (second floor)
- , for Wynne, source: a pile of books at Senior Mage Quarters (second floor).
- , for Sten, source: a charred corpse at Senior Mage Quarters (second floor)
- , for Alistair, source: dropped by an abomination at Great Hall (third floor)
- , for Zevran, source: dropped by a charmed templar in the Great Hall (third floor) or Templar Quarters (fourth floor)
- , for Dog, source: a chest at Templar Quarters (fourth floor)
- , for Oghren, source: a vanity at Templar Quarters (fourth floor)
- See Quartermaster for merchant items.
- To open all locked chests in the Circle Tower, a lockpicking score of 60 or more is needed.
- After the quest is completed, when you return to Lake Calenhad Docks you will see that Carroll is replaced by Kester as the oarsman responsible to carry people to the tower.
- A number of Tranquil can be witnessed being possessed by Demons, disproving the commonly-held belief that Tranquil are immune to demonic possession.
- If Uldred is not looted, leaving the Harrowing Chamber and then returning sometimes resets the fight with Uldred, meaning that the player can defeat him multiple times and gain experience each time. Remember that you must never loot him in order to come back and find him. If you ever loot him, he will not spawn anymore no matter what. This can be done if you don't take everything. The same happens for Patch 1.05 version but only a couple of times.
- If you haven't collected "The Litany of Adralla" before the battle against Uldred, once you defeat him you will be returned downstairs to report to Knight-Commander Greagoir but you'll be unable to enter the tower again making it impossible for you to complete the quest and the game.
- If you decide to destroy the circle and tell Leliana that you don't recall asking for her opinion, Alistair's voice could be heard saying that you're getting it regardless even when he's not in your party at the time.
- If Irving survives and is taken by the templars, his codex entry will falsely state that he died during the events of the Broken Circle.