Yevhen, a dwarf and member in good standing of the Dwarven Merchants' Guild, blames you for inspiring his three sons Merin, Iwan and Emrys to go off looking for treasure in the Deep Roads. He demands that you go looking for them and hopefully bring them back alive.
This quest is available in Act 2 if you chose the "Hero of Ferelden" pre-built history or imported a save from Dragon Age: Origins - Awakening in which Nathaniel Howe died. Otherwise you get the quest Finding Nathaniel in Act 3 instead.
(The above paragraph is likely not true, as Merin can appear in Finding Nathaniel and specifically states he didn't expect to meet Hawke twice-can't confirm though since my import is bugged and Finding Nathaniel does not trigger despite Nathaniel surviving Awakenings; used bug workaround to play both quests. Also others have found this quest available with all pre-built backgrounds, meaning these quests are unlikely to be mutually exclusive.
Talk to Yevhen in the north-east area of Hightown during Act 2. Isabela: friendship (+5) when refusing. Isabela: rivalry (+5) when accepting. Sebastian: friendship (+5) if he's in your party when accepting the job. Sebastion: rivalry (+5) when refusing.
Go to The Deep Roads location on the Free Marches map. You arrive in a Deep Roads tunnel. Proceed east around the corner and kill several Hurlocks. Go north and then east again. Grab the contents of the Rubble just before a doorway. Go through the door and keep going straight until you see Emrys. He tells you that his brother, Iwan, locked his other brother, Merin, in a room to die with Darkspawn.
You need to decide whom to save because you cannot save both brothers. Whomever you first go after will be alive; the other will be dead.
Investigate the pit just south of where Emrys was and you will be ambushed by a number of spiders. This is not a hard fight but not trivial either as it includes four or more Poisonous, two Corrupted, and some Giant spiders. There are also 4 master traps (40 cunning to detect and disarm - 200 XP/trap) in a horizontal line a short distance beyond the bottom of the staircase entrance to the pit. Duck into the small alcove to the east of the pit to find a lootable Pile of Bones (from which you can loot Sash of the Tirashan).
If you want to save Merin, go into the north-leading doorway to the left (west) of where Emrys was cowering. Continue north and prepare to fight some more Hurlocks led by two Darkspawn Emissaries. Kill the Emissaries first because they use spells that can spike your health down fast. After this fight you will automatically talk to Merin who then leaves. Proceed to east, where you'll find Iwan's corpse. *xbox360 You must loot golem control rod from his corpse at this time to guarantee completing the quest (see bugs below).
If you want to save Iwan, take the way to the right of the Emrys' former spot and then north into a wide tunnel with shining lyrium veins. Loot the Pile of Bones on the right hand side. Turn the corner east to find Iwan fighting with some darkspawn. After dealing with them, you'll have a conversation. He doesn't want to leave unless you "persuade" him. After getting the Golem Control Rod, proceed east.
Continue east up the stairs and notice the Golem to the south which you can interact with. Proceed north through the golem-lined hall. After you kill them all proceed west and fight Hurlocks and another Emissary. An Ogre may join the fight if you go too far west so it's best to stay easterly until all foes have been killed, then go west until the Ogre spawns and kill it. Check in the south-east area of this room for a Pile of Bones. If you accidentally pull the Ogre, it's advisable to flee up the stairs, deal with the darkspawn, and pull the Ogre into the "Golem maze" so it can't charge.
Go north into the room containing the treasure caches, a new side quest object (Lyrium-Laced Bilge Hoop) and a locked (Complex, 30 cunning) chest. Regardless of your choices, the chest that supposedly held the sword has been destroyed by the darkspawn. If you choose to let Merin die, there will be a second chest with the unique mace Sundarin Thunder and unique greatsword Potency, along with other seemingly randomized loot. The Complex Chest can hold Zoey's Battered Horde-Kickers as well. Loot up and then head back south and west to the exit room. Loot the Pile of Bones then leave and return to Yevhen in Hightown.
- If the hostile golems are frozen before they fully activate, they can not be attacked until they thaw.
Two of the brothers are saved.
Three Options are given with Merin's death:
- Top Option - "He's Right." Aveline and Sebastian: rivalry (+5) (Choosing this option after selecting the second option below, Merin gets an honorable memory of how he died and Iwan approaches you afterwards and claims to "owe you one"
- Middle Option - "Is that how you remember it Emerys?" (Emery's words stumble, but confirms Iwan) (You're returned to the original three options without "Is that how you remember it Emerys?"
- Bottom Option - "Iwan's Lying." (As stated above "Iwan threatens Hawke, but there are no later repercussions." No change in Friendship/Rivalry. [Confirmed]
- 1000 XP
- The Treasure Cache:
Although there are no normal means by which a player may receive both this quest and Finding Nathaniel, if the player saves Merin in this quest and then uses the console to activate Finding Nathaniel, Merin appears next to the sapper in the latter quest and can cause a minor bug (See Finding Nathaniel).
- If Varric is with you, and you choose to let him "negotiate" for the control rod, the conversation with Iwan may replay, without Iwan standing there; Hawke will be talking to the air. This conversation will only replay once, choosing the Varric response at the end a second time will not replay the conversation a third.
- xbox360 The golem ally can be extremely unreliable, often it will not attack foes at all and sometimes it will only take a few steps and then return to its original location. Hawke can not get it to move again when this happens.
- After talking to Emrys, if you go into the next room on the way to save Iwan but turn around before triggering Iwan's darkspawn fight and head back to Merin's room, Merin will be lying dead on the floor and you will have no choice but to save Iwan. Merin's quest arrow will stay in place on the map(but not in the actual room) until the darkspawn in his room are defeated, then it will disappear.
- pc xbox360 If you go to loot the chests etc. before clicking on Iwan's body to get the control rod the Treasure Cache quest marker will show up but will not be selectable. This will leave the quest not completed.
- The name of this quest is a slight pun, as "fool's gold" is a common nickname used for the metal pyrite, which looks similar to gold and is sometimes mistaken as such.
The aforementioned quests are really exclusive - if Nathaniel lives, Fool's gold quest doesn't appear.