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Gamlen is of the Amell family, who are nobility in Kirkwall. The Amells have an estate in Hightown. Gamlen inherited the Amell estate after his elder sister Leandra ran off with a Fereldan apostate named Malcolm Hawke.
Gamlen is a member of the Amell family, relatives of the Hawkes, to whom they turn when they flee Lothering and travel to Kirkwall. However, he has gambled away the family fortune, and lost the estate to slavers. He now lives in Lowtown. When Hawke arrives to Kirkwall, the City Guard is preventing passage to all Fereldan refugees. In order to get his family in, he commits Hawke and his/her sibling to working with either a mercenary or smuggling group for a year.
When Hawke breaks into the Amell family estate and brings back his/her grandfather's will, it is revealed that Leandra and her children were to inherit the estate, while Gamlen was to live on a stipend.
Three years had past and Gamlen was left in his hovel, while Leandra and her eldest child reclaimed the Amell estate. In "All That Remains", Gamlen becomes concerned with Leandra's mysterious absence. Hawke's later investigation reveals that Leandra was kidnapped by a blood mage serial killer taking women who resembled his deceased wife. Gamlen blamed his nephew/niece for not rescuing Leandra in time.
Act 3Another three years past after Gamlen's nephew/niece had become Champion of Kirkwall and Hawke investigate a sudden reference to the Gem of Keroshek, which Gamlen had wasted his life looking for. Turns out that his illegitimate Daughter, Charade, had found and it and was hoping to meet her father. Hawke can either suggest that she meet Gamlen or take the gem from her.
- (In the Blooming Rose)"I won't mention this to your mother if you don't."
- (In the Blooming Rose)"I'm just here for the medicinal benefits."
- (In Gamlen's House)"So, you're moving up in the world. Got some coin to share with your favorite uncle?"
- (In Gamlen's House)"Single-handedly saved the city from the heathens, huh? The viscount should have paid me a finder's fee."