Anders speaks of Ser Alrik's misuse of the Rite of Tranquility, and asks Hawke to accompany him to a secret entrance to the Gallows Dungeon in Darktown. He suspects Ser Alrik of plotting something called "The Tranquil Solution" – turning all mages in Thedas into Tranquil. Anders' goal in infiltrating the Gallows is to obtain evidence of this plot and expose it to the Grand Cleric so she can no longer claim neutrality in the matter.
As usual, the amount of friendship / rivalry points received depends on the dialogue choices, made while talking to Anders in his clinic regarding the quest. Since friendship or rivalry points effectively cancel each other out, the total amount at the end is tallied and you are only shown the end result of your choices. They can be broken down into each specific gain below:
- (Note: There appears to be a cap of no more than 15 points of friendship or rivalry gain for Sebastian for this conversation. i.e. If the total goes above 15 in either direction, only 15 is counted.)
- "They wouldn't do that." Sebastian: friendship (+5)
- "You're crazy."
- "We must stop them." Sebastian: rivalry (+10)
- "Not all templars are that bad." Sebastian: friendship (+5)
- "What are they, bored?" Sebastian: friendship (+5)
- "Do you have a plan?" Sebastian: rivalry (+5)
- "Of course, I'll help." Anders: friendship (+5) Sebastian: rivalry (+5)
- "Isn't this dangerous?" (If Hawke asks about the "Tranquil Solution" first, this will be unavailable. This can be chosen before deciding to accept or refuse the quest and has no change on Sebastian's or Anders' approval.)(Possible: This option does not negate the Sebastian: rivalry (+5) if "Of course, I'll help." is chosen after. Total net of entire dialogue is Sebastian: friendship (+5) with that option.)
- "You're on your own." Sebastian: friendship (+10) Anders: rivalry (+15)
Investigating details of the "run-in" opens up the Codex entry: The Mage Underground.
Note that refusing to do the quest means that Hawke will miss an opportunity to obtain an armor upgrade for Anders, a Spindleweed, a Deep Mushroom, a codex entry, plus another Deep Mushroom in Act 3. It may not be wise to refuse, even if trying to rival Anders.
Hawke needs to go to the Gallows Dungeon at the southernmost part of Darktown. Upon entering the tunnel, Hawke is attacked by lyrium smugglers. Anders comments that the tunnel was built by the smugglers so that they could service the lyrium addictions of the Templars.
There are two(2) complex chests(30 cunning to open - 150 XP/chest) to open and two(2) complex traps(30 cunning to detect and disarm - 150 XP/trap) in the tunnel. Hawke may return to the area later if needed; the location will remain accessible until the papers are looted from Sir Alrik's body. (See bugs for a possible issue on the PC, and Xbox360 version of the game).
At the end of the tunnel, Hawke encounters a female mage named Ella in the act of sneaking out of the Circle. She's just been caught by Ser Alrik himself, along with some templars. She says she's just going to visit her mother, but Ser Alrik reveals that he has a very dubious personal motive for making mages Tranquil. As Anders watches the injustice take place, Justice takes control of his body and launches an assault on the templars. A fight ensues. Varric will have a comment here if your Hawke says the Humorous dialogue choice.
Ser Alrik is a commander-type enemy and will cast a health-regenerating effect on the other templars. He will also be supported by two Templar Hunters, one at a time, and several Normal-ranked melee and archer units. Falling back to a more defensible position is certainly an option here, especially if Anders or another mage can unleash a quick Cone of Cold when the battle starts. Moving as a team back to the wooden bridge will single-file the enemies with the Templar Hunter most likely leading the pack, allowing a ranged party to unload on and kill him before he can do a single backstab. Retreating further from this point may even cause Ser Alrik to break off his pursuit and return to where Ella is, depriving his support and reinforcements of the regenerating aura.
After they're all dead, Justice is still raving on how every last templar will die. Ella calls Justice a demon, which infuriates Justice even further and makes him threaten her. Calm him down with the special "star" dialogue option that appears (this will only be available after achieving 50% friendship or rivalry). Any other dialogue choice leads to Ella's death.
- If Ella escapes unharmed:
Afterward, Hawke finds Alrik's Papers on his corpse showing that he was indeed plotting "The Tranquil Solution" but that both Knight-Commander Meredith and the Divine refused his idea. (See bugs for a possible issue on the PC, and Xbox360 version of the game.)
Before leaving the area, be sure to pick up an armor upgrade for Anders in one of the crates west of the exit. Also, there is an Enigma of Kirkwall note for the Band of Three quest nearby.
When returning to Darktown, Hawke is immediately approached by Ella if she is still alive.
- If you choose either non-aggressive answer and tell Ella to go somewhere safe;
- If you choose either non-aggressive answer and tell Ella go back to the Circle;
- If you choose the aggressive answer and tell Ella to go back to the Circle;
Choosing the aggressive answer and telling Ella to go somewhere safe will result in no change for Fenris or Sebastian.
If Hawke did not bring Bethany to the Deep Roads and she went to the Circle at the end of Act 1, telling Ella to return to the Circle will prompt her to say that maybe Bethany was right and the Circle isn't so bad.
Talk to Anders again at his clinic in Darktown to complete the quest. Dialog choices allow Hawke to:
- Calm Anders and show him the papers found on Ser Otto Alrik's body. Anders is relieved since this means the plan has not been put into action. He wonders if the Grand Cleric might be more reasonable than he thought and plans to try speaking to her (up to Anders: friendship (+30) depending on dialogue choices).
- Confront him and tell him to leave; he will no longer be available as a companion. From this decision Sebastian gains Sebastian: friendship (+10) but Merrill or Fenris will not be affected. (Note that after the battle with Ser Alrik ends, you will not have access to Anders' inventory, thus any gear he has equipped leaves with him if you choose this dialogue option, unless you quickly click on his approval change upon leave to bring his panel and subsequently press "I" to open his inventory.)
- Confront him and tell him to stay. Anders will ask if evidence was found about Ser Otto Alrik's plan, Hawke will show him the letter which results in him wondering about speaking to the Grand Cleric Elthina. Anders: rivalry (+20). That makes it is possible to gain Anders: rivalry (+35) by choosing all aggressive options throughout the entire course of the quest.
- Confront him and question him whether he's giving up. This opens further conversation options with Anders in which he questions how his different abilities (Healing vs. Vengeance) can coexist at all, and what kind of example he sets for other mages for being an abomination himself. Hawke ultimately convinces Anders to stay without forcing the option on him (unless 'You're on your own' is chosen). Anders will ask if evidence was found about Ser Otto Alrik's plan, Hawke will show him the letter which results in him wondering about speaking to the Grand Cleric Elthina. (Tested with full rivalry and active romance).
- If confronted with Fenris in the party, he will tell Anders that he should realize that he cannot control Justice.
Both options may affect other companions' friendship/rivalry status as well.
- 1000 XP (after talking with Anders - quest completion).
- Hawke will receive Letter: From Ella in Act 3 if she survived.
- Anders will have the Vengeance ability after completion of the quest.
- Templar armor can be looted from any dead templar under the Ser's command.
- If seeking the Supplier achievement, be sure to grab the Deep Mushroom and Spindleweed in the Gallows Dungeon. Also, do not send Anders away, as doing so will lock his Justice quest in Act 3, which in turn locks out from an area where you would obtain a Deep Mushroom.
- If seeking the Archaeologist achievement, be sure to grab Codex entry: The Enigma of Kirkwall after the battle with Alrik.
- Loot the Fine Dwarven Trousers from a dwarf mercenary nearby after the first wave of enemies for The One True Pantaloons.
- Two traps guard the main entrance of the Deep Mushroom chamber
PC and Xbox360 v1.04: Sometimes Sir Alrik's body is not available to loot after the battle. If this occurs, reload a saved game and loot Sir Alrik's body immediately after he dies (during the battle).
- "The Tranquil Solution" is likely a reference to Hitler's "Final Solution". This was the most deadly phase of the Holocaust in World War II.
- If Carver became a templar, he mentions "a permanent solution," which some Templars support, in his letter to Hawke.
- If Bethany was sent to the Circle, she mentions templars who hold "extreme views," including "one creep named Ser Alrik who likes harassing mages" in her letter. Bethany also mentions Ella, writing that she is training the apprentices, and that Ella in particular has "taken a shine" to her.