The quest begins with Hawke's arrival at Chateau Haine.
After killing the wyvern, Hawke will be attacked by a nobleman named Baron Arlange and his soldiers. Killing Baron Arlange during the battle results in combat ceasing immediately and Duke Prosper appearing on the scene. Thus, killing all of the Baron's guards before killing Arlange results in maximum XP gain.
After the fight, Hawke can choose to kill him, let him go, or let Duke Prosper (who turns up on the scene with his guards) decide. If Hawke chooses to kill Baron Arlange, the Duke will order Cahir to do it and they will later be able to loot Baron Arlange's Shield and Baron Arlange's Sword from the corpse. If they let Baron Arlange go, he will turn up later in the quest. In that encounter, Hawke will have no choice but to kill him. If Duke Prosper decides, he will choose to let Baron Arlange go.
A party is thrown for Hawke in celebration of their achievement in slaying the first wyvern of the season. Before the event, the four characters in your party will have a quick discussion, where Tallis mentions that she found an unguarded entrance into the Chateau. She says she is unable to pick the lock and Hawke therefore has to find the key. The other two companions will leave Hawke and will be unavailable for this part of the quest.
At the start of the party, Hawke is given either the Wyvern Hunter's Belt or the Master Wyvern Hunter's Belt by Duke Prosper. Hawke then has to find a way to obtain the key, which involves a lot of running around the Chateau Courtyard.
- The first person Hawke should talk to is one of the Guards. There are 3 guards standing around the Courtyard. Speaking to any of the guards will result in a cutscene where Tallis apparently seduces a guard behind a closed wooden door. When she emerges, she will report that the Guard had given his key to a servant.
- Speaking to any of the other two guards after speaking to the first one results in a scene where Hawke can try an excuse on them, but both will say they cannot help you and will not speak to you again.
- The Elven Servant is standing near the fountain, offering some "'Ham that tastes of despair". A cutscene will initiate where Tallis speaks to the servant behind a closed door. When she emerges, she will report that the servant had given the key to the Duke's son, Lord Cyril.
- Lord Cyril is also standing near the fountain. When spoken to, he will give Hawke a caprice, used in the quest Wishing Well. This leads to a cutscene where Tallis attempts to seduce Lord Cyril, but emerges reporting that she isn't Lord Cyril's type. Lord Cyril turns out to be attracted to Hawke (regardless of Hawke's gender) and will ask for Hawke. Hawke then has 3 options:
- "But not you?" (romantic option). Hawke then whispers to Lord Cyril, at the same time picking his pocket and obtaining the key.
- "No Comment." Lord Cyril asks Hawke to get him a drink, which can be obtained from the table near the Quartermaster. Tallis will put something in the wine and when Lord Cyril drinks it, he passes out and Hawke takes the key from him.
- "Nap time." (violent option) Hawke knocks out Lord Cyril and takes the key while he is unconscious.
Head to the locked door on the northern side of the Courtyard and enter, which yields 600 XP. It leads to a narrow passageway, at the end of which Hawke and Tallis are surprised by a guard in a cutscene. Tallis kills the guard, after which Hawke has the option to choose whether to try and sneak through the Chateau ('I agree') or fight through it ('I prefer a more direct approach'). Fighting through the Chateau is simpler and gives about 3200 more XP, but sneaking through the Chateau is the only way to unlock the Blackjack Subtle achievement.
After making your choice, Tallis and Hawke enter the Chateau.
There are optional companion quests throughout the rest of this quest, except for Merrill. They will be triggered only if the respective companions are brought along.
These quests are:
- A Map of Sorts for Isabela
- A Romantic's Gift for Aveline
- A Secret Formula for Sebastian
- A Symbolon for Bethany
- A Warrior's Legacy for Fenris
- Arcane Feathers for Anders
- Literary Theft for Varric
- The Odd Ensign for Carver
If the direct approach is chosen, Hawke and Tallis will have to fight through Chateau Haine.
When Hawke enters the Chateau, follow the path into a small room, where can be found Codex entry: The Wine of Chateau Haine and the first book of Literary Theft (Varric's quest). The first fight with the guards occurs there and the adjacent corridor. Continue along the corridor, and just before you reach the end there will be a kitchen along the north wall. This is where the quest Hard to Stomach can be completed and this is where the second scroll of A Secret Formula (Sebastian's quest) can be found. Opposite the kitchen is a room with a simple lock. This room contains the first medallion of the A Map of Sorts (Isabela's quest) and the first painting of A Symbolon (Bethany's quest) as well as a chest with some junk items. Leaving the kitchen and continuing west down the corridor, Hawke can find the second volume from Literary Theft on a table near to a staircase.
As Hawke goes to the top of the stairs just past the cook's alcove, there is a red and black pennant for The Odd Ensign (Carver's quest). At the end of the staircase is a door that leads to an open-air courtyard, where they will fight the second group of guards, including an Orlesian assassin. After the fight, loot a key from one of the bodies and proceed to the locked door at the other end of the courtyard. Move through the corridor to the room at the end to find the Codex entry: Uncertainty. The Romantic Poem to begin A Romantic's Gift (Aveline's quest) will also be found here. Leave the room through the door at the other end of the room.
The path opens up to a balcony overlooking the dining hall. Head directly south along the balcony and kill the three guards in the corridor surrounding a central room. The central room's door is locked by a complex lock and reveals a chest with some junk items. Proceed further south and traverse a balcony overlooking a room with many guards standing at parade. Go back to the dining hall balcony and proceed west to the next door. Along the way, in an alcove to the side of the balcony, there is a statue with the Codex entry: Bust of the Outlaw Bearded Beast.
Go through the door and walk down another small balcony where a servant is getting scolded for having dropped a pie. Proceed along the corridor until Hawke enters a room with the Codex entry: A Library of Distinction in the bookcases along the western wall. Interacting with the amulet found on the table touching the northernmost wall will begin A Warrior's Legacy (Fenris's quest). The fourth encounter with the guards occurs here. In the next room, three portraits can be examined for the Codex entry: Lady Amandine du Val, the Codex entry: Portrait of the Dowager and the Codex entry: Pride and Rider. Leaving the room through the door on the western wall results in another fight with a group of guards, including a Mage and Guard Captain. Loot the Guard Captain's body for a key and proceed through the locked door to the Vault.
The Sneaky Approach
If the sneaky approach is chosen, Hawke and Tallis will have to creep through Chateau Haine, avoiding the guards all the way. This method is much more challenging, but is needed for the Blackjack Subtle achievement and to obtain the unusual Uncertainty set. The player will only be able to control Hawke during this part of the quest.
Hawke will gain two unique skills, Distract and Incapacitate to distract the guards while moving through Chateau Haine. The guards all have red cones radiating out of the base of their feet, representing the guard's detection zone. Hawke will be captured upon entering this red cone, and will have to repeat that section of the approach. Keeping to the shadows will cloak Hawke, which greatly reduces the chance of detection. Conversely, entering a well-lit area will greatly increase the chance of being detected by any guard looking that way.
When Hawke enters the Chateau, follow the path into a small room, where can be found Codex entry: The Wine of Chateau Haine and the first book of Literary Theft (Varric's quest). Distract appears in the quickbar, which Hawke can use to throw a stone at the base of the opposite wall. This allows them to pick up the codex entry and enter the adjacent corridor without being detected.
In the adjacent corridor, Tallis tells you to stick to the shadows to avoid being detected. Do so and hide in the shadows behind a pillar along the corridor and wait for the guards to walk past. Continue along the corridor, and just before Hawke reaches the end there will be a kitchen along the north wall. This is where the quest Hard to Stomach can be completed and this is where the second scroll of A Secret Formula (Sebastian's quest) can be found. Opposite the kitchen is a room with a simple lock. This room contains the first medallion of the A Map of Sorts (Isabela's quest) and the first painting of A Symbolon (Bethany's quest) as well as a chest with some junk items.
At the end of the corridor, an Orlesian guard captain is standing facing some bookshelves. A new skill, Incapacitate, appears in the quickbar. Move Hawke close behind the captain and incapacitate him, then loot him for the key. The second volume from Literary Theft is on a table in this room. Continue on heading west and up the staircase, at the top of the stairs just past the cook's alcove is a red and black pennant for The Odd Ensign (Carver's quest).
At the end of the staircase is a door that leads to an open-air courtyard. The following is one solution to getting past the guards, other patterns exist. Note that if Hawke unlocks the door to the down staircase and then goes back up, for example, to get Skepticism and is discovered, he will be "returned" forward to the downstairs hallway.
- Step 1: Carefully climb the staircase and distract the first guard ('Guard 1') by throwing a stone past him.
- Step 2: (optional) Creep over to the north of the courtyard to the chest there to obtain the amulet Skepticism, part of the Uncertainty set.
- Step 3: Continue creeping along the northern wall towards the east. There are two more guards standing there, 'Guard 2' with his back to the northern wall and 'Guard 3' looking east over the balcony.
- Step 4: Distract Guard 2 by throwing a stone near the base of the statue, then move behind Guard 3 and incapacitate him.
- Guard 1 may move around the courtyard; if he does, wait for him to return to his original post before distracting Guard 2.
- Step 5: Climb down the staircase at the eastern end and go through the door there.
The door opens into a balcony overlooking a corridor in the keep with a large fireplace. Move through the corridor to the room at the end, where Hawke will find the Codex entry: Uncertainty. The Romantic Poem for A Romantic's Gift (Aveline's quest) will also be found here. Leave the room through the door at the other end of the room.
The path opens up to a balcony overlooking the dining hall. Heading directly south along the balcony Hawke will find a pair of guards patrolling a corridor. The guards move in a clockwise fashion and are usually at opposite sides of the corridor from each other, so simply follow behind one of the guards until Hawke is able to enter the central room. The central room contains two chests, one containing a balcony key and the other the ring Anxiety, part of the Uncertainty set, along with some junk items. Proceed further south and traverse a balcony overlooking a room with many guards standing at parade. A chest at the southern end of this balcony contains some random loot and coin. Use the door at the northern arm of the balcony to return to the dining hall balcony and proceed west to the next door. Along the way, in an alcove to the side of the balcony, Hawke can examine a statue for Codex entry: Bust of the Outlaw Bearded Beast.
Go through the door and walk down another small balcony where a servant is getting scolded for having dropped a pie. Proceed along the corridor and enter a room with the Codex entry: A Library of Distinction in the bookcases along the western wall, with a stamina draught on the table next to it. Interacting with the amulet found on the table touching the northernmost wall will begin A Warrior's Legacy (Fenris's quest). In the next room, three portraits can be examined for the Codex entry: Lady Amandine du Val, the Codex entry: Portrait of the Dowager and the Codex entry: Pride and Rider. Leaving the room through the door on the western wall brings Hawke to a second courtyard.
The guards are much more difficult to evade in this courtyard and require some measure of luck and patience. Again, this is one solution of many.
- Step 1: The first guard ('Guard 1') is standing just at the top of the steps, facing west. Distract him by throwing a rock in the corner behind his feet.
- Step 2: The next two guards are patrolling back and forth past each other. To get past them, hug the northern edge of the courtyard and quickly run past them as they cross. Stick to the shadows so you remain cloaked.
- Hawke can use Distract to occupy one of the guards if needed, but they will have to wait for the skill to cooldown before continuing on with Step 3.
- Step 3: Move to the locked door on the southern side of the courtyard and distract the fourth guard by throwing a stone behind him.
- Step 4: Move past him to the western arm of the balcony, where an Orlesian guard captain is standing facing the wall. Incapacitate him and loot him for the key.
- Step 5: (optional) Distract the fourth guard again by throwing a stone into the lit area next to him, and move to the northwestern corner of the balcony for a chest with the ring Uncertainty, the final piece of the Uncertainty set.
- Step 6: Open the locked door and enter the corridor behind it.
The corridor leads to the Vault Door.
The Vault Door
Regardless of which method you chose to move through Chateau Haine, the same strategy is used for this section.
When Hawke and Tallis enter the vault and as they approach the door at the end, bars drop from the ceiling and seal them in a prison of sorts. Tallis and Hawke have to stand on switches on the ground to raise specific gates so they can reach the final door.
- Step on the first obvious two switches to raise the gates leading up the side staircases.
- Have Tallis climb a staircase and step on the switch at the top and then have Hawke climb the other staircase and stand on the switch there and the next gates will open. Have Hawke and Tallis move forward and stand on their respective switches again to open the gate to the end of the balcony corridors.
- Have Hawke and Tallis knock down the statutes there to activate the next switch and send them back to the ground floor. Note that the original gate (opened by the ground floor switches) will now be closed, but are openable through the second set of switches. Have the two stand on their respective top of stair switch to open their respective gates and then move them back to the starting area with the two switches.
- Have Hawke and Tallis step on the original switches once again. This opens up the gates blocking the two switches, one to the north of each of the left and right stairs. Have one of the characters stand on one of the newly revealed switches and the other character ascend the neighbouring staircase to stand on the switch next to the other character. This opens a gate next to the ground floor character and reveals a new switch. Move both characters forward to allow the one on the ground floor to access the final chest. Repeat for the other side.
- One or more quest items for the various companion quests will appear on the top of the eastern chest, however they appear to be unobtainable. To access them, have Hawke and Tallis standing on both switches in front of the chests. This also opens the final gate and completes the quest for 600 XP.
Upon entering the Vault Door, a cutscene triggers where Hawke and Tallis enter an empty room and are ambushed by Duke Prosper, Cahir and a lot of guards. Duke Prosper reveals that Tallis is an assassin and, surprisingly, Qunari. No matter what Hawke says, Duke Prosper throws them into a dungeon.
The scene then changes to a further conversation between Cassandra and Varric, before moving on to the Dungeon.
The Dungeon begins with a conversation between Hawke and Tallis, where Hawke is given the opportunity to question Tallis and discover the truth of Tallis' mission at Chateau Haine. Tallis reveals that she was one of the Ben-Hassrath, meaning literally 'Heart of the Many', an order who serves as defenders of Qunari faith and unity. She is there to prevent a Tal-Vashoth named Salit, who recruited her into the Ben-Hassrath, from selling Qunari secrets to Orlais. Though the Ariqun did not feel it worth intervening, Tallis decided to stop Salit of her own volition, knowing that Salit's betrayal will harm many people, not just Qunari. Hawke tells Tallis to wait for the other two companions to rescue them, but a cutscene shows that the companions had gotten lost, and eventually Tallis simply picks the lock and releases them from the prison herself. They meet up with the rest of the party and agree to leave the Chateau, with Hawke suggesting they leave through the palace and Tallis offering another way out through underground tunnels.
Hawke has three options:
- Directly ascend through the northern staircase to the vaults;
- Move through the dungeon first before ascending to the vaults through the southern staircase;
- Move through the dungeon and go straight to the tunnels.
Regardless of the choice made, Hawke will not be able to leave through the palace and will have to take the tunnel exit out. The most profitable option is the second, as it has the maximum XP and reward gain, as well as the chance to unlock The Take achievement, while the third option is the least profitable.
Hawke and the companions begin in the northern arm of the dungeon. A staircase towards the east leads to the northern part of the Vault, inside a treasure room. Hawke has the option to release many other prisoners held in the Dungeons by picking (or having Tallis pick) the locks on their cells. The locks are all simple locks.
- Halfway through the dungeon, along one of the western walls, Hawke and the party see three statues, two men and a woman. If Isabela is in the party, you can speak to them to start the quest Pirates and their Curses. It is recommended to use the second option above to do this quest as the items needed are all found in the Vaults.
- If Aveline is in your party and The Du Lac Sign quest has been started in the Vault, a loose brick will appear in one of the prison cells in the Northern arm with a quest marker. Clicking on it results in Aveline unearthing a small vial filled with black smoke, containing a paper and a ring with a crest. Aveline then smashes the bottle on the ground, resulting in a fight against a Revenant and several undead. After the fight, Tallis reveals that the vial was a Phylactery. The note contains a cryptic message, and after the conversation, Aveline receives the Signet of the Red.
The room at the western end of the corridor holds a bunch of guards. They raise an alarm before they are killed, which results in another large fight in the southern arm of the dungeon, including a Harlequin. The eastern end of the southern arm has a staircase leading up to the southern part of the Vault. In the room opposite the staircase room there's a crack in the wall, which opens up into the Retreat, an underground tunnel complex. Once you go through the crack in the wall, you will not be able to return to the Dungeon or the Vault.
The vault contains 5 separate areas, which for the purposes of this guide are named:
- The Audience Room (in the south)
- The Puzzle Rooms, which consist of:
If Hawke ascends by the Northern staircase, they appear in the Northern Room.
If Hawke ascends by the Southern staircase, they appear in the Audience Room.
As Hawke enters, they confront Duke Prosper, Cahir and a large company of guards in a cutscene. Duke Prosper then leaves, causing a metal gate to fall behind him and effectively barring Hawke's exit through the palace, and leaves Cahir behind to deal with Hawke. Cahir orders the guards to attack and runs off to release 'the pets'. The guards, including another Harlequin, then attack Hawke and party.
After defeating the party, move north through a door into a small corridor with a staircase leading down. Just beyond the door, if Aveline is present, lies a Time-Worn Book that begins the quest The Du Lac Sign.
The Puzzle Rooms
The three puzzle rooms all contribute towards unlocking the final rewards in the Central Room. The Northern Room and the Western Room contain similar seal puzzles, while the Eastern room contains a logic-type puzzle.
The Northern and Western rooms contain door-opening puzzles. There are three elements in these puzzles: Apparatuses, Doors and Mixers.
- Apparatuses are devices which, when clicked on, results in a coloured 'seal' above the character's head. Each companion may only bear one seal at a time.
- Doors can only be opened when bearing the colour of the seal identical to that of the Door.
- Mixers are devices that allow combination of two seal colours to form a new colour.
Some of the seals have standard meanings/effect:
- Blue seal: Rune Golem in this room
- Orange seal: Resets all other seals
- Non-primary coloured seal (non-Red, Blue or Yellow): Treasure Chamber
The Eastern room contains a 5x5 tileset on the floor and a lever. Flipping a tile will result in that tile, plus all 4 tiles directly adjacent to the sides of the selected tile to be flipped. The aim of the puzzle is to flip every tile so that the entire picture is revealed at the end. The lever acts as a reset.
Step-by-step guides to all three rooms are given below.
Completing each room's puzzles results in a painting being revealed, which shows the solution to the puzzle in the Central Room.
The Western Room
- Collect Black Seal
- Open both Black Doors
- Collect White Seal
- Open White Door
- Collect Blue Seal
- Place Blue Seal in Mixer
- Open Blue Door
- Kill Rune Golem (Makes painting appear)
- Collect Red Seal
- Place Red Seal in Mixer (to make Purple Seal)
- Collect Purple Seal
- Open Purple Door (gives about 1.5 and random loot from chests)
The Northern Room
- Collect Yellow Seal
- Enter the Yellow Door
- Place Yellow Seal in Mixer
- Collect White Seal
- Open both White Doors
- Collect Black Seal
- Open Black Door
- Collect Blue Seal
- Place Blue Seal in Mixer (to make Green Seal)
- Open Blue Door
- Kill Rune Golem (Makes painting appear)
- Collect Green Seal (from Mixer)
- Open Green Door (gives about 9.5 and random loot from chests)
The Eastern Room
This puzzle's solution is relatively simple. First, flip the leftmost 2 tiles in the top row (from any perspective). Next, start from the second row and flip any tile which has a blank tile directly above it. Continue down, row by row and moving always from left to right, and the puzzle will be solved in no time.
If confused by the above explanation, a graphical representation is below. Imagine each of the tiles bears a letter, as in the table below:
The order the tiles have to be flipped in is:
A, B, F, G, I, J, M, N, O, Q, R, S, V, W, Y.
The screenshot on the right of the table also shows the order to activate the tiles in.
Once the picture is fully revealed, the painting will appear.
The Central Room
The Central Room initially contains a large ring of fire. The puzzles in the Northern, Western and Eastern rooms must first be solved in order to get past the fire. Three 3x5 tiles lie around the Northern, Western and Eastern sides of the room. The tiles have to be flipped in a certain fashion in order to solve the puzzle. Solving each puzzle results in the central fire shrinking by 1 increment, and solving all 3 results in the fire disappearing entirely.
The puzzles in the Northern, Western and Eastern Rooms, once solved, unveil paintings of 3 rows of 5 men. Looking closely at each painting reveals that some of the men are masked while others aren't. The painting corresponds to the tilesets on the ground directly in front of the corresponding rooms, and the masked men represent the tiles that should be flipped face-up to solve the puzzle.
The solutions to each puzzle are shown below (1 means face-up, 0 means face-down), from a perspective of Hawke looking over the tiles from the room to the central fire (face toward the fire):
Clearing the third and final ring of flames gives you 6 50 and either the Orlesian Lancer Armor and Orlesian Lancer Helm (Warrior), Coat of the Messenger and Helm of the Messenger (Rogue), or Robes of Enchanter Illana and Headdress of Enchanter Illana (Mage). You will also receive the The Take achievement.
Exiting the Vaults
Once Hawke is done with the puzzles, they can exit either by the door in the northern room, which leads to the the northern staircase in the dungeons or go back up to the room where the fight was and exit from that door to the southern door in the dungeon by the crack in the wall.
A feather for Arcane Feathers is found immediately upon Hawke's entry to the Retreat.
Move down the tunnel and eventually the party will see a pair of ghasts running past them at a fork. Heading either north or south will lead Hawke to the same place as the paths form a circle, and Hawke will be attacked by a party of ghasts either way. The northern route holds a health potion while the southern route holds a stamina draught. Hawke can choose to engage either or both.
Continue along the tunnel until the party reaches a metal gate and open it. The chamber holds a bridge, which has a viewpoint where Hawke realises that there's a lake under the mountain. Once Hawke crosses the bridge and reaches the opposite gate, a cutscene occurs where the gate falls and separates Tallis from the rest of the party and Cahir appears with some lackeys and challenges Hawke with a squad of mages. Halfway through the battle, once Cahir's HP falls below 50%, Tallis reappears and joins in the fight, along with more mages and guards joining Cahir. One of the mages drops Sting and Cahir can be looted for Dragon's Breath and the Portcullis Key. Note that once Tallis is separated all sustaining effects, both hers and those cast on her by other party members are removed.
Open the portcullis and continue moving. The tunnel forks again in another loop, with a small alcove off the western path containing a love poem for A Romantic's Gift and an Injury Kit. After the paths merge again, Hawke and party will have to fight another group of ghasts. The velghastrial leader can be looted for a Gnawed Shiny Ring. Subsequently, Tallis asks Hawke to help her stop Salit again, and Hawke has the opportunity to find out more about Tallis. No matter what Hawke chooses, Tallis leaves the party and two tunnels open up, representing two choices - to continue with Tallis, or without her. If Hawke takes the western tunnel, Tallis rejoins the party, but if Hawke takes the Eastern tunnel, Tallis leaves the party until the final boss fight against Duke Prosper. Leaving with Tallis gives the most experience, especially if Hawke spared Baron Arlange's life earlier as they will get another fight with him and his guards.
The results of choosing to go with Tallis or leaving her behind results in markedly dissimilar encounters, which will be covered here in two separate sections. Regardless of the choice, however, the party will receive 600 XP once leaving the Retreat. If the party follows Tallis, then as above, sustained effects will have been removed and will need to be reapplied. If the party goes on without Tallis, they will complete the section below with a three person party.
After Hawke leaves the Retreat and moves a short distance, their party is ambushed by Baron Arlange if he was not killed in the previous encounter. Baron Arlange claims he knew Hawke was a traitor from the very beginning and attacks the party. Hawke has no choice but to kill him this time, and can loot his corpse for Baron Arlange's Shield and Baron Arlange's Sword.
The party travels in a general northerly direction. As Hawke moves north, the party spots a wyvern jumping across the path and into the bushes at the side of the road. If Hawke follows the wyvern further north, they will have to fight it in a clearing. After the wyvern is killed, ghasts appear from nests around the clearing and attack. You can also find here the cache for A Map of Sorts.
The path then turns east, and a short while later a group of Tal-Vashoth led by an officer attack in a clearing at the base of a series of steps leading up the mountain. As you ascend the steps, the path bends to the south before looping back towards the north. At the bend towards the north, another group of Tal-Vashoth led by the Tal-Vashoth Leader attacks. When damaged enough, the Leader will run off up the hill to the next group of Tal-Vashoth.
The fight from now on is more or less continuous as Hawke chases the leader up the mountain, fighting off more Tal-Vashoth and a Tal-Vashoth Saarebas. The Leader will not be killable until Hawke reaches the summit of the mountain, with the Leader turning invulnerable and running off after a certain amount of damage has been done.
After the Leader and all the remaining Tal-Vashoth are killed, a cutscene triggers where Tallis asks the leader about Salit's location. After the leader tells her, she kills him and informs Hawke that Salit is meeting Duke Prosper at the base of the mountain. Proceed back down the mountain towards where Hawke originally came from. From here, Hawke and the party are transported to the Ruins for the final boss battle against Duke Prosper.
As the party moves towards the exit, Tallis will plead once more for Hawke to change their mind. On exiting, there may be party banter critical of the choice depending on which party members are left.
After Hawke leaves the Retreat and moves a short distance, their party is attacked from behind by a group of guards and a hunter. The hunter can use the Assassinate skill. A short distance further down the path, another group of guards and a hunter appears on your tail but gets ambushed by a party of ghasts. It is possible to attack both groups of enemies to get maximum XP, but the minor ghasts will all run and hide after the velghastrial is killed.
Moving west along the path, Hawke and companions witness a fight between a heavily injured alpha wyvern and a wyvern, which the alpha wyvern will win if there is no intervention. The party may however choose to kill both creatures for more XP. A little further west, the party is attacked again by a group of ghasts and a velghastrial, with the ghasts once again disappearing once the velghastrial is killed.
Near the western end of the path, a party of guards and a Guard Commander await Hawke's arrival and attack Hawke. They are guarding the entrance to the Ruins, where the final battle against Duke Prosper will take place.
The Ruins - The boss fight
The scene opens with Duke Prosper meeting Salit. Salit hands over a scroll to Duke Prosper, which is revealed to contain a list of names. Duke Prosper, expecting a military secret, is enraged and views the scroll as worthless. Just then, Hawke arrives on the scene. After a short conversation, Tallis appears, takes the scroll in disguise as a guard, kills some of the guards, and escapes to the top of a nearby ruin. Salit tells her not to interfere and appears to threaten her, but Duke Prosper shoots him with a green substance from a gun. The green substance attracts Leopold, his pet wyvern, who kills Salit. Duke Prosper then shouts "Kill them all!" and the boss fight begins.
The boss fight consists of three phases. Regardless of whether Hawke had chosen to accompany or abandon Tallis in the Retreat, Tallis will rejoin the party for this battle.
The fight opens with Duke Prosper and some guards attacking the Party as the remaining Tal-Vashoth who had accompanied Salit fight some of his guards. The guards fighting Tal-Vashoth will join the fight once the Tal-Vashoth are killed.
Duke Prosper initially uses ranged attacks, such as:
- Archer's Lance, which is the same as the rogue skill, damages and knocks over all enemies in its path.
- Mabari Summon, Duke Prosper summons 3 Mabari; he will summon another 3 once the first 3 are killed, so a good tactic is to kill only 2 and leave the last alive to prevent further summons
Leopold perches on a ruin and spits acidic vomit at the fighters, which remains on the ground. During this phase, Leopold cannot be damaged.
After being reduced to roughly 25% HP, Prosper then stuns everyone (including those with stun immunity) on the field and leaps up to a ruin as Leopold enters the fray.
Several guards and Leopold attack the party together as Prosper rains projectiles from above. If Hawke completed the Hard to Stomach quest in Chateau Haine, Leopold will turn green and be stunned at the beginning of the fight for about 10 seconds.
Leopold has several attacks, including:
- Charge attack, where Leopold charges at an enemy and knocks him over. Note that this attack in this and Phase 3 is not slowed by Force Mage effects like Gravitic Ring or Creation Mage effects like glyphs.
- Roar attack which stuns nearby attackers.
- Targeted attack, where Duke Prosper marks a target with the green substance. Leopold then exclusively targets that party member and chases him around the battlefield. Stealth or creating a decoy does not break the lock.
During this phase, Duke Prosper cannot be damaged.
After being damaged to about 40% HP, Duke Prosper jumps on Leopold's back and the two enter the battle as a single entity with full health.
Prosper has several attacks in this mode:
- Charge attack, where Leopold charges at an enemy and knocks him over.
- Targeted attack, where Duke Prosper marks a target with the green substance. Leopold then uses jump attacks at the target from the center of the battlefield.
- Evading the targeted attack is simple. Have the targeted character constantly run along the perimeter of the battlefield, and Leopold's jumps will miss.
- Prosper may paint Dog as a target if he is activated. Dog will not run toward the edge of the cliff, of course, and Leopold seems to glitch and attack anyone when Dog is targeted. It is recommended to turn this mode off while fighting him.
- Scattershot attack, where Duke Prosper fires flaming arrows in a conical area. The flaming arrows stay in the ground.
- Explosion attack, where Duke Prosper jumps onto the nearby ruins and causes the flaming arrows from the Scattershot to explode, causing massive damage and knocking enemies to the ground.
- The explosions have a small Area of Effect, but are avoidable by careful positioning of the party as he prepares to explode the arrows.
To make the final stage of the "boss fight" a lot easier, place the targeted character close to the rim of the cliff. Duke Prosper then lets Leopold charge at them. Evading Leopold will be easy because he always follows a straight line. Leopold always has to cross almost the entire area before he gets to you, so you should have time enough to react. If the characters charged at are close enough to the rim Leopold will not have enough time to correct his run and will slip over the edge, but will manage to cling on to the rim of the cliff. Both Leopold and Duke Prosper will be unable to fight in that position, while you and your party will have a free line of fire. Most of the time you will defeat Duke Prosper in two to three "runs".
After Duke Prosper's health reaches 0, a cutscene triggers where the Duke targets Hawke with the green substance, but Leopold ends up jumping past Hawke and off the cliff. Duke Prosper manages to cling to the rim of the cliff, but eventually falls off and dies. Tallis then gives Hawke the Heart of the Many and leaves Hawke's party.
A cutscene of Cassandra speaking to Varric again triggers, and Hawke reappears at the Hawke Estate or in Gamlen's House. All accessories and weapons (if any) that Hawke equipped on Tallis will reappear in Hawke's inventory and the statue becomes dormant.
At the end of the wyvern hunt:
- Master Wyvern Hunter's Belt
+(0.3 * ATK(LVL)) attack
+(0.15 * DEF(LVL)) defense
+(4.8 + 0.12 * LVL)% critical chance
+(4.8 + 0.06 * LVL)% attack speed for killing an alpha wyvern
- Wyvern Hunter's Belt
+(0.15 * ATK(LVL)) attack
+(0.075 * DEF(LVL)) defense
+(2.4 + 0.06 * LVL)% critical chance
+(2.4 + 0.03 * LVL)% attack speed for killing a normal wyvern
At the end of the last fight with Prosper :
- 5000 XP
- Heart of the Many
+(1.2 + 0.12 * LVL) strength
+(1.2 + 0.12 * LVL) dexterity
+(1.2 + 0.12 * LVL) magic
- Leliana is standing among the guests in the Courtyard during the party. She is probably the Chantry Agent mentioned by Cassandra as she speaks to Varric Tethras in the cutscene at the start of the DLC. She also appears to be well-acquainted with Tallis.
- After the last cut-scene you have no time to remove the equipped items from your companions. This should be taken in consideration if you have Bethany or Carver in your party and you are in Act 2 or 3 of the main game.
- Sometimes 5000 XP is given to the player after autosave at the Hawke Estate or in Gamlen's House. If you load your last autosave you may not have that 5000 XP.
- Sometimes the end game cut-scene happen with Hawke's weapon appearing on their back instead of being held on their hands when Hawke is hitting Leopold's leg.
- The second phase of the boss fight might not be triggered and you can be left unable to complete the quest and thus, the DLC.
- Characters' lips may not animate in non-dialogue conversation, such as party banters.
- If you leave Tallis at the Retreat near the end of Mountainside Path, enemy reinforcements may attack their previous wave which consists of their own allies.
- It is possible that during the sneaky approach to get to the vault, while attempting to knock out a guard from behind the guard may turn and notice Hawke at the moment of the strike which results in Hawke being unable to take any actions or move but not trigger as being spotted causing the player to be effectively frozen. Starting from the last save is the only fix.