The great stone hand was something of a mystery. One assumes it is a piece broken off from a larger whole. If so, judging by the size of that one hand, I imagine the entire sculpture to be... well, large enough to require the use of obscenities to describe it. Thus I have only one question: where is the rest of the statue? It is difficult to imagine how something so large could go missing.—From A Journey through the Dales by Lord Horace Medford, "Adventurer"
The Dead Hand is one of the Landmarks on the Plains with an elven shrine underneath it. It is located east of the Ghilan'nain's Grove camp and found by travelling southeast of the camp past the fade rift.
Archer and Pillar Puzzle Edit
As the party enters the room with the archer, there is a switch to the southeast, which will open a gate on the east side of the room. Move one of the party into that space and have them hold position. Each time a member of the party moves, reissue the hold command. Doing so will keep them in their places while the puzzle is completed. Then, return the switch to its original position, giving the trapped character access to one of the torches and a switch.
1. The southwest pillar is already down, so use the switch twice on the small statue to the north to rotate the archer.
2. The northeast side pillar can be lowered by lighting all three of the blue flame torches, see diagram. One torch is closest to the entrance on the western side, another is behind the gate on the east side (near the southeast switch that opens that gate, note that activating this switch lights the torches on either side of the gate) and the last torch is on the north end of the eastern side. This action is timed (albeit generously), so you may want your teammates to hold position close to each torch before lighting (keep someone close to the switch as well). After all the torches are lit, pull the switch to rotate the archer.
3. The northwest pillar can be lit up by having one character stand on the pressure plate that glows in the northernmost corner of the room, while another character pulls the lever to spin the archer.
4. The southeast is the most complicated. Leave a teammate at the torch behind the gate on the east side. Have a teammate pull the southeast switch, trapping the first teammate. Have your trapped teammate use the switch they have access to, allowing another teammate to go through a gate on the north-western side, where there is a crank. One teammate will need to stay next to the archer rotating switch, as the pillar will go back up quite quickly after the crank is fully turned. Release the trapped teammate by pulling the southwest switch.
Once all the artifacts have been lit, balls of light emerge (which must be followed for them to move) and light the remaining two artifacts, opening the gate. Enter and loot the crypt, then go into the next room. There will be a Revenant or an Arcane horror and several Undead there. Kill them then loot the room. This battle is repeatable on subsequent visits to the crypt, which is helpful for farming rare crafting materials and creature research items from the undead.
Solving the archer puzzle inside yields:
- 967 XP
- 200 Influence
- 2 Power
- A Superb Amulet of Cunning
+10 Cunning is looted from atop a grave in the room north-east of the archer once the puzzle is complete.
- The corpses and arcane horror respawn on revisiting the hallway past the puzzle room.
- The hand may belong to the large statue of Andraste found in the Fade during Here Lies the Abyss. The shrine built by Ameridan to both Ghilan'nain and Andraste inside Razikale's reach features the same statue holding two small halla statues, that are in turn identical to halla statues found in the Crow Fens not far from the Dead Hand. Another broken piece of Andraste's statue - the head - is found in the Fade during the Final Piece.
- Another, more likely possibility is that the hand is one of those that the elves of Arlathan used to hold eluvians as well as the spherically shaped, metallic trees that seemed to have housed raw magic as witnessed in the Courtyard of the Shattered Library the first time the Inquisitor enters the area. Several of the exact same model of detached stone hands can be seen doing both of these things when observing the Library. (See Gallery) This would also add up with its proximity to the Archer and Pillar puzzle outlined above.