Whilst it is possible to avoid the Captured! quest, it contains a chance to see the Warden and their companions in a variety of amusing scenarios. This quest starts if the Warden has either surrendered to, or been beaten by, Ser Cauthrien in the Arl of Denerim's Estate at the end of the Rescue the Queen quest. The Warden (and Alistair, if he was in the party at the time of the capture) are taken to a cell in Fort Drakon.
The Warden has two choices: either to escape on their own or wait to be rescued by their companions. Any two companions (except for Shale) with high enough approval, can be chosen to attempt a rescue.
Option 1: Wait For Rescue
You will take control of the two chosen companions, who will need to make their way into the heart of the fort to rendezvous with The Warden. Different companions can employ different - and more or less successful - strategies for bluffing their way into the fort without bloodshed. The rescuers must pass three "checkpoints": confronting the two door guards, speaking to the Captain to allow entry into the Fort itself and getting past Guard Tanna to the jail cells beyond. If the companions do not want to risk bluffing Guard Tanna, then they can create a diversion by using one of the ballistas that are for some unfathomable reason installed inside the fort (one of the guards can be overheard wondering about this). There is also a way to bluff past her without violence: speak to the two off-duty guards standing closest to her and imply that you know they're there because they like the "view" of Tanna. They both have a crush on her and will start fighting with each other, creating an opportunity to slip past her. If, at any point, the rescuers are rumbled then the only option left is to fight the rest of the way. Once past Guard Tanna, there is no more pretense, and fighting is the only available choice.
- Alistair (only available if he wasn't with the Warden at the time of capture) Will be able to bluff his way past all but Guard Tanna. He will claim he has an unspecified delivery to make, unless partnered with Dog and then he will claim to be delivering a Mabari hound to the kennels.
- Dog is a master of manipulation and if allowed to take the lead will bark or fake an illness that neither the guards nor Captain want to deal with. He can interact with the two guards before Guard Tanna and cause a distraction.
- Leliana, as one would expect from a bard, can bluff her way past all three checkpoints. She will claim to be delivering kitchen scraps and bones for the kennel, unless partnered with Dog (in which case she will claim to be delivering a Mabari hound to the kennels) or Wynne or Morrigan, in which case she will claim to be a Chantry priest. She can either get the guards to fight each other (with no effort, much to her confusion and Morrigan's amusement) or get past Guard Tanna.
- Morrigan, if not partnered with Dog, Wynne or Leliana, will claim that she has a delivery from the Crafter's Guildhall for the Fort and will be able to bluff her way past the first two checkpoints. She also will be able to get past Guard Tanna regardless with whom she's partnered, asking her if that was what she expected from her life. If partnered with Dog, she will instead claim to be delivering a dog to the kennel, which will fool the door guards but not the Captain (unless she allows Dog to take over once the Captain arrives). If partnered by Wynne or Leliana, she will appear dressed as a Chantry priest. As you might imagine, this will only work if you let her companion do the talking. She will, however, be able to get Guard Tanna to move aside.
- Oghren, unless partnered with Dog, Sten or Zevran, will at first attempt to bluff using the same tactics as the other companions (a delivery), but quickly give this up in favor of fighting his way into the fort instead. Choosing Oghren for the release also gains you a +7 approval from him. His dwarven charms are, however, completely lost on Guard Tanna. If partnered with Sten or Zevran, Oghren can make it past the first checkpoint by pretending that they are circus performers. If he is partnered with Dog, and is doing the talking, he will be able to get past the door guards but not the Captain.
- Shale cannot be selected as a rescuer, although strangely enough in the games conversation files there are unique dialogue options for Shale to go with other companions. In all cases, Shale is a gift or recent purchase, to be used in the Fort's defense - no matter who it is paired with, the ploy will always work. Morrigan even notes that passing off Shale as a delivery was "genius, compared to Eamon's other plans."
- Sten will be unable (or unwilling) to bluff his way past the first two checkpoints, regardless of who he is partnered with. If he is partnered with Dog and is doing the talking, he will be able to get past the door guards but not the Captain (unless he allows Dog to take over once the Captain arrives). He will, however, be able to get Guard Tanna to move aside. If partnered with Oghren, he will be disguised as a circus performer. If Sten is teamed up with Dog, Dog will fake an illness in order to trick the guards.
- Wynne, unless partnered with Dog, Leliana or Morrigan, will claim to be delivering scarves knitted by the Women's Auxiliary of Denerim for the soldiers of the fort. She will be able to bluff her way past all three checkpoints unless her companion is Dog, in which case she will be able to fool the door guards but not the Captain (unless she allows Dog to take over once the Captain arrives). If accompanied by Leliana or Morrigan, she will be disguised as a Chantry priest.
- Zevran Will be able to bluff his way past all three checkpoints. If not partnered by Dog or Oghren, he will claim to be delivering items of an 'intimate' nature (a statement made even more humorous if he is accompanied by any of the three female companions, as it seems to be implied that they are what is being delivered). Together, he and Oghren will attempt to enter as The Famous Broma Brothers from Antiva.
Remember, if neither of the two rescuers are able to lure Guard Tanna away from her post (for example, Alistair and Oghren), either one of the ballistae in the room or the fight between the two guards can be used to create a diversion as an alternative.
It should also be noted that the only combination of rescuers that cannot make their way past all three checkpoints without giving up and resorting to fighting their way inside is the combination of Sten and Oghren, whose circus act (while very funny to the player) will fool the door guards (first checkpoint) but not the Captain (second checkpoint) no matter who you let do the talking.
Any other combination of rescuers either has at least one party member for each checkpoint, or can at least take advantage of either the ballista or the guards' crush on Guard Tanna to get past the third checkpoint.
Once past Guard Tanna, it will be necessary to fight the rest of the way to The Warden. If your rescuers donned disguises for their break-in attempt, remember to re-equip their usual armor. Once the rescuers find The Warden, all that remains is for the reunited party to make their way out of the fort and back to Arl Eamon's Estate (luckily, any remaining living guards seem to be taking a tea break so this can be done without opposition). There is a glitch which can prevent the cutscene which requires you to reopen the cell.
Option 2: Try to escape on your own
Escape from your cell: There are several ways this can be done, starting by interacting with the locked cell door. For example:
- You can persuade the jailor to "keep you company" (easier if you're female than male), then:
- You can tell him he has to let you out and then persuade him that you can sense darkspawn nearby.
- If you have the skill, you can pick the lock on the cell door.
- You can pretend to be ill, and when he comes inside to examine you, jump him. Then, loot his key to unlock the cell door.
Retrieve your items from the chest to your left as you exit your cell. If you don't, your equipment will be returned to you when you exit the fort, but not the rest of your inventory.
Pass the Colonel's inspection:
- Disguise yourself as a guard by interacting with the armor stand in the Regulars' Armory (the long thin room at the bottom left of the map). (Putting on the guard uniform will "turn off" all red hostile dots on the mini-map.)
- Proceed to the Colonel's Office (the small L-shaped room towards the bottom right). The Colonel will assume you are a new recruit and tell you to find the rest of your patrol and ready yourself for inspection.
- Go into the storage room at the bottom right of the map, where two guards are discussing the difficulty of remembering the password (the List of Passwords can be pickpocketed from one of them if you wish to take an alternative route out). Persuade them you are their new comrade-in-arms, and they will explain that you need Regulation Swords to pass inspection, but that the assistant quartermaster won't give them theirs because of an upset involving potatoes. Tell them you'll handle it, and they will follow you from this point on.
- Proceed to the Officers' Armory (bottom right room).
- You can bribe the assistant quartermaster for the swords.
- Or, tell him you need to get your comrades ready for inspection, then persuade him that it's better revenge to let them pass as they could be hurt or killed out on the streets. Or, intimidate him with the Colonel's orders.
- If you have poison-making skill, you can also offer 'something' to rid off the rust easier from the equipment. Trade an Acid Flask or Acidic Coating for the blades.
(If you visit the Officers' Armory after you're disguised but before you pick up your comrades, you can persuade him you're there to relieve him, so when you return with the rest of your patrol you can pick up the Regulation Swords unopposed).
- Return to the Colonel's office and speak to him. When he asks if you're ready, persuade him of your enthusiasm (Ser, yes ser!)
- He will ask Alistair what a soldier can't do without, and Alistair will appeal to you for help. The Colonel is a bit of a martinet, so the answer he wants is "Discipline". "Honor" will also work.
- If you have now passed inspection, you can now walk out of the fort unopposed (one of your comrades will know the password when challenged), and with the good wishes of the guards ringing in your ears, exit the fort and return to Arl Eamon's Estate. History will not record what happened to the remainder of your patrol.
Alternatively you can simply kill the two guards in the storage room. One of them has a note with the passwords needed in his pocket. Once you have this you can walk out of the fort, meeting up with the rescue party at the main door.
Alternatively, you can pick the guard's pocket if you are disguised as a guard, which will give you the password.
Alternatively, if you have low coercion skill and cannot persuade the assistant quartermaster to give you the Regulation Swords, kill him but with the other doors closed, else you alarm the guards. Take the two guards with you, and they will notice that he is dead. Just take the swords from the Weapon Stand and go to the Colonel.
Riordan will now also be in Arl Eamon's room - if you found the Grey Warden Documents during the Rescue the Queen quest, you can now ask him about the location of the Grey Warden cache and open up a secret area in the Warehouse in Denerim Market District.
You will earn about 1000 XP if you wish to fight your way out and about 300 XP for bluffing.
- Similar to the Awakening Silverite Mine bug, you may be unable to retrieve your previously equipped gear if you are wearing pieces from the DLC. Before being captured, unequip all your gear, for the entire party. As long as it is in your inventory and not equipped, it should be in the chest outside of your cell. Note:pc You may lose all of your Warden's equipped gear, not just DLC pieces.
- xbox360ps3pc Due to the frozen position glitch, it is possible that if both the player and Alistair are arrested and sent to Fort Drakon, that the player will become frozen in place if the choice is made for a rescue. This will make it very difficult or impossible to continue the quest from that point. As a workaround, close the door from INSIDE the cell and open it again. It should trigger the cutscene.
- This bug may be caused by picking the lock on the Warden's cell door rather than using the key dropped by the prison guard. If you picked the lock, try repeating the scenario, but pick up the guard's key first and switch to a character who is not a thief. This time, opening the door should trigger the cutscene.
- pc When choosing to partner Sten and Wynne, while they are in the waiting room the cutscene will behave as if Sten is speaking to Oghren (and Wynne will not be visible for the exchange).
- Selecting Morrigan as the first party member and Oghren as the second and having control of Oghren when triggering the ballista room cutscene will result in Oghren not being visible during the conversation.
- xbox360 A glitch has been observed where obtaining items during the quest while your current gear is apprehended; resulting in you having more than your backpack could hold; losing all of your old inventory upon exiting Fort Drakon. This excludes your previously equipped weapons, armor, and accessories.
- ps3 When choosing to partner Leliana and Wynne, strength requirements of the equipment become magic, and Wynne can be equipped with heavy and massive armor.
- xbox360pc Even if Alistair is not captured with the player, the Warden will be frozen in place if Zevran picks the lock to his cell.
- xbox360 Retrieving your gear from the chest while shapshifted will cause you to be stuck as whatever you were. This is fixed when you put on guard uniforms in the armory.
- pc Sometimes when you have Wynne, Sten or Alistair and Zevran or Morrigan partnered, and they are waiting in the waiting room with the first set of guards, the first three will seem to be talking to themselves when directing their dialogue at invisible Zevran or Morrigan.
- Sometimes when you pick Oghren and Sten, Sten's noble clothing just appears as a white blob; when you equip other equipment on him however it appears normal.
- xbox360 If you are doing it with Leliana or Zevran then you pick the cell door, the cutscene may not happen.
- ps3xbox360 If swapping your weapon set before looting the chest with your equipment it may happen that you only retain one of your weapons. It may be possible to avoid this by swapping back before looting the chest.
- pc If you recover your equipment in the chest AFTER disguising yourself as a guard, you won't get back the equipment you were wearing before being captured. (This applies to Alistair too.)