Fool's Gold is an Act 2 secondary quest in Dragon Age II.

Yevhen, a dwarf and member in good standing of the Dwarven Merchants' Guild, blames Hawke for inspiring his three sons Merin, Iwan and Emrys to go off looking for treasure in the Deep Roads by following the route Bartrand's expedition took in The Deep Roads Expedition. He demands that Hawke look for them and hopefully bring them back alive. Speaking to both Yevhen and Dera will provide greater insight into why the sons chose to pursue this quest, as well as Dera's feelings about the men.


This quest is available in Act 2 if the player chose the "Hero of Ferelden" pre-built history or imported a save from Dragon Age: Origins - Awakening in which Nathaniel Howe died. Otherwise the player will get the quest Finding Nathaniel in Act 3 instead.

Talk to Yevhen in the north-east area of Hightown during Act 2. Friendship Isabela: friendship (+5) when refusing. Rivalry Isabela: rivalry (+5) when accepting. Friendship Sebastian: friendship (+5) if he's in your party when accepting the job. Rivalry Sebastian: rivalry (+5) when refusing.


Go to the Deep Roads location on the Free Marches map. You arrive in a tunnel. Proceed east around the corner and kill a group of Hurlock Bolters and 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 abandoned himself and locked their brother Merin in a room with darkspawn to be killed while Iwan ran off to locate treasure. Iwan seeks a sword called "the Heartdrinker," a masterwork forged by an ancient smith of the thaig. He says Iwan bought a book from an Orzammar caravan with the location of the sword, or at least to the golems who guard it. Emrys begs Hawke to rescue Merin before he is overwhelmed. If denied, Emrys will curse Hawke and flee to find assistance for Merin.

During the conversation, selecting the "I'll save Merin" option results in Friendship Sebastian: friendship (+10). Selecting "I want the weapon" gives Rivalry Aveline: rivalry (+5) Rivalry Sebastian: rivalry (+10)

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 a group of Hurlocks led by two Darkspawn Emissaries. Kill the Emissaries first because they cast spells that can spike your health down quickly. After this fight you will automatically talk to Merin, who expresses gratitude and a greater awareness of what the dwarves of Orzammar face every day before leaving. Proceed to east, where you'll find Iwan's corpse. *xbox360xbox360 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 path to the right of Emrys' location 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 Hurlocks and Hurlock Bolters. After dealing with them you'll have a conversation with Iwan. He explains that he left Emrys behind as it was safer for them both and abandoned Merin as he felt the man was doomed. He continued in pursuit of the sword so that Merin's death would not be wasted, he claims. He will not leave the area unless persuaded. Iwan possesses a golem control rod necessary to bypass the golems that guard the treasure, sold to him by the man who told him about the location of the sword. He will attempt to barter for it for the price he paid plus 10% in "pain and suffering."

During the conversation, selecting the "I'll pay you in silver" option will deduct 50 Silver while the "I could kill you for it" option will intimidate Iwan into giving it to Hawke for free. If Varric is in the party he can be called upon to intimidate Iwan as well.

After getting the golem control rod, proceed east. Continue east up the stairs and notice the Golem to the south which you can activate to fight by your side. Proceed north through the golem-lined hall. There are five golems which your party and the golem must battle. After defeating them 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 draw the Ogre, it's advisable to flee up the stairs, deal with the darkspawn, and pull the Ogre into the narrow area where the golems were 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.

Combat Notes

  • If the hostile golems are frozen before they fully activate, they can not be attacked until they thaw.


Two of the brothers are saved.

Friendship Sebastian: friendship (+5) If you save Iwan and the truth comes out about Merin's death.

Three options are given with Merin's death:

  • Top Option - "He's right."(lie) Rivalry Aveline and Sebastian: rivalry (+5) (In choosing this option after selecting the second option below, Merin's death is viewed as an honorable sacrifice to save his brothers and Iwan approaches you afterwards and claims to "owe you one")
  • Middle Option - "Is that how you remember it, Emrys?" (Emrys falters but confirms Iwan's version of the events. You're returned to the original three options without "Is that how you remember it, Emrys?")
  • Bottom Option - "Iwan's lying." (Iwan threatens Hawke but there are no later repercussions. Friendship Sebastian: friendship (+5))

If the truth is revealed, Iwan is cast out of his family.


Note: Saving Iwan is more profitable since you get 2Gold + the weapons which you can sell. PC 1.04

Party responses

(When Emrys explains what Iwan has done)

  • Hawke (sarcastic option): "Another greedy dwarf. You think he took lessons from Bartrand?"
  • Varric (in response to Hawke): "Maybe, but greed is hardly exclusive to dwarves."
  • Sebastian: "He cannot possibly justify trading his brother's life for a mere length of steel!"
  • Aveline: "We should try to save Merin. Poor lad deserves better than dying down here."
  • Anders: "Well, Hawke? Which will it be--Merin or the sword?"
  • Varric: "This is getting just a little too familiar, isn't it?"
  • Isabela: "Maybe we should look for this sword. Sounds like you missed the best thing in here."
  • Merrill: "We'll save your brother. Right? We're going to save him?"
  • Fenris: "We should take that sword. This Iwan does not deserve it."

("I'll save Merin.")

  • Sebastian: "Just point the way and we'll take care of it."

Note: None of the other party members will comment if Hawke chooses this option.

("I want the weapon.")

  • Aveline: "We should go after both if we can."
  • Varric: "I don't like the idea of this boy dying alone down here."
  • Sebastian: "I thought we protect people."
  • Anders: "No one deserves to die down here."
  • Isabela: "How is his brother getting killed our fault?"
  • Merrill: "Oh...poor Merin."
  • Fenris: "Whatever we're doing, we should do it fast. The darkspawn will return soon."

(On meeting Iwan and hearing his explanation)

  • Varric: "How incredibly noble of you. The ancestors would be proud."
  • Fenris: "You sacrificed your family for wealth. Pathetic."
  • Aveline: "But it was worth your brother's life?"


  • This quest is mutually exclusive with Finding Nathaniel. You cannot get both quests within a single playthrough.
  • 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.
  • xbox360xbox360 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.
  • pcpc xbox360xbox360 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 incomplete.
    • If it happens, then you can circle your mouse around and over the body, moving the mouse away and to the body again. Sometimes that will trigger the loot icon and you can right click to loot the body anyway. But it might be tricky, because you have to be fast before it disappears again.


  • 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.
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