This quest can only be acquired if the pre-built "The Martyr" or "No Compromise" backgrounds were chosen or if a Dragon Age: Origins - Awakening import is used in which Nathaniel survives.
Bug! Apparently there is a problem where this quest doesn't trigger. A possible reason for this is that if you didn't import an Awakening saved game with Nathanial "in your party" at the end, then he is considered dead even if he survived Vigils Keep. There is a way to work around this bug on the PC (see below bugs for details). There is no patch yet for xbox, playstation.
In Act 3, go towards the Chantry in Hightown to find Delilah Howe. She will plead with Hawke to find her brother Nathaniel Howe, who has been retracing the steps of Hawke's expedition into the Deep Roads with the Grey Wardens. If Anders is in the party, he will remember Nathaniel and jokingly say I wonder if he ever found a sense of humor.
Go to The Deep Roads using the map, which is unlocked when acquiring the quest. The third room has a chest containing Vestments of Sacrifice. You will find Nathaniel fighting darkspawn in the clearing just outside. After saving him, Nathaniel will accompany you as you search for his friends. Fight another group of darkspawn below the stairs, and continue to find Temmerin Glovonak. In the next battle, immediately use the nearby lever to kill the Ogre with explosives.
Continue down the stairs to save another Grey Warden (this will be Bethany or Carver, if you recruited her/him into the Wardens at the end of Act 1). During the ensuing battle, waves of darkspawn will attack from the west, east, and north. Three levers control explosives in each of their respective directions. For the best effect, use the explosives only when an ogre is nearby the barrel in that direction. Be careful, for the explosives can also hurt team mates.
After the battle, Nathaniel will give you The Bringer of Silence. A Dwarven Battle Helmet can be looted from an Ogre, and Wardwall and Drakeskin Leg Straps from a chest to the north, and Aurvar's Prize can be found in a chest right before the exit. Exit The Deep Roads to the west.
Nathaniel will assist in the fight against Meredith during the final battle.
- If Carver or Bethany joined the Grey Wardens, he or she will be the Warden you are rescuing during the last battle.
- (+10) from Sebastian after the initial battle and agreeing to find the other wardens.(Sebastian gets all gung-ho and says something like "All right, wading through darkspawn is what I signed on for!")
- If a saved game is imported from play-through in which Awakening was completed, the decision about whether or not the Architect was spared might not be checked properly by the quest. Nathaniel may state that he was spared even if the player had killed him.
- Workaround: You may use the Developer Console provided with Dragon Age II using "runscript zz_dae_debug" (without quotes) to accept the quest (if it didn't appear) until it is solved by a patch. Dialog with Delilah Howe will be skipped. No news available about fixes yet. See Console (Dragon Age II) (Secondary Plot), the steps to take in the work around are: plot jump -> secondary plots -> one-offs -> work with plot -> set plot flag -> quest accepted, then go to the deep roads
- After killing the first darkspawn group, it's possible Nathaniel's dialogue won't trigger in the next room, which leaves the quest unable to be completed. It's possible this is bugged because Carver is 'kidnapped' during Best Served Cold, thus preventing him from appearing in the deep roads. After completing Best Served Cold and then doing the Finding Nathaniel, Carver appeared.
- Carver may call you "Brother", regardless of your gender.
- ps3 When you meet Carver in the Deep Roads, he is wearing his Warden armor. If you reload the game from the auto-save that occurs shortly after meeting him, he will be wearing his Lothering clothes instead.
- If you save Merin in Fool's Gold, he will appear next to the Dwarven sapper during "Finding Nathaniel". His dialogue might cut the conversation short with the sapper, preventing you from using explosives in the coming battle.