Varric has a friend named Hawke, who fought Corypheus once before and now fears Grey Wardens are under the influence of the ancient darkspawn. Hawke has a Warden contact who may be able to say more.
The quest plays out across several locations in Thedas.
Note: Two decision points occur at the end of this quest which have major repercussions.
Varric mentions he has a friend that may be able to aid the Inquisition against Corypheus.
The Inquisitor must meet Varric on top of Skyhold's battlements to be introduced. Varric's friend is Hawke, the former Champion of Kirkwall. Hawke informs the Inquisitor of having an ally among the Grey Wardens that has more information on the nature of Corypheus and his plans. The Warden ally is currently in hiding, in Crestwood, and the Inquisitor should travel to meet him.
The village of Crestwood turns out to be besieged by the undead. The Inquisitor is likely to meet a pair of Grey Wardens protecting an elven girl named Jana from the undead. At the end of the fight they will mention they are hunting a renegade Grey Warden (Hawke's Warden ally), and will leave the scene. The Inquisitor may locate Jana again in a small house farther along the road. Impressed by the Wardens' prowess Jana will be tempted to join the order, but the Inquisitor has a chance to change her mind. The decision will have an impact later in the quest. The Inquisitor may encourage her to join the Wardens or dissuade her (if Solas is in the party, he may help in this process), in which case she will become an agent for the Inquisition.
Outside of the village of Crestwood, near Three Trout Farm Camp, in a smuggler's den once held by The Blind Men, the Inquisitor will meet Hawke's Warden ally. Depending on the player's decisions in Dragon Age: Origins the Warden ally will be either Stroud, Alistair, or Loghain Mac Tir.
The Warden ally informs the Inquisitor that the situation is dire: all Wardens have been summoned to Orlais by Warden-Commander Clarel in one last desperate attempt to end all Blights forever, but he suspects some form of foul play involving Corypheus. This is because all Wardens in Orlais have simultaneously begun to hear what they believe to be the call of the Archdemon, the precursor to The Calling. In an attempt to prevent a new Blight, Warden-Commander Clarel suggested a drastic strategy of using blood magic and demons to make a final stand in the Deep Roads and end all Blights forever. The Warden ally too experienced this call but loudly protested Clarel's plan. The Warden mages immediately claimed he was interfering and decried him as a traitor, forcing him into exile.
The Wardens believed Corypheus dead by Hawke's hand, but the Warden ally looked into the matter more, knowing that, as with an Archdemon, Corypheus may not die easily. Through his own investigation, the ally has come to believe that the call felt by the Wardens is not being produced by an Archdemon, but by Corypheus, in order to command the Wardens.
The Warden ally says that all Wardens have gathered at a Tevinter ritual tower in the Western Approach and asks the Inquisitor's aid in investigating.
The Inquisitor must select the War table mission Investigate the Western Approach (requires 8 Power) to unlock and travel to the Western Approach. Until then the Warden ally will remain on the battlements at Skyhold.
Once in the Western Approach, the Inquisitor may travel to the ancient Ritual Tower, and meet Hawke and the Warden ally there. They will inform the Inquisitor that the Wardens within the tower have already begun their ritual. As the party enters the Watchtower, they will find a group of Wardens lead by Livius Erimond, a Venatori magister. It is revealed that Erimond is working for Corypheus, and has manipulated the Grey Wardens into willingly performing the ritual. The blood magic, in fact, binds each Warden Mage that performs it (by killing a Warden warrior) to a demon. This would transform the order into a demon army capable of entering the Deep Roads, fighting the darkspawn, and eventually kill the Old Gods as they sleep, thus preventing any future Blight. However, the ritual has another side effect: enslaving the demon-bound Wardens to Corypheus. Erimond will also reveal the nature of the Inquisitor's mark (the Anchor), as a means to safely cross the Veil.
Erimond attempts to subdue the Inquisitor, but is thwarted by the Anchor. As Erimond flees the scene, the Inquisitor is left facing the demons and Wardens that had already performed the ritual. After the fight, Hawke and the Warden ally will regroup with the party. A brief dialogue on the reasons behind the use of blood magic by the Wardens gives their perspective on the situation. Trying to justify the Wardens as being misled will cause Solas to disapprove and Blackwall to approve, if present.
The Warden ally believes Erimond fled in the direction of the Adamant Fortress, an abandoned Grey Warden fortress. Hawke and the Warden ally agree to scout ahead and confirm the Warden presence before returning to Skyhold.
Return to the War table in Skyhold, and select the Here Lies the Abyss mission (Orlais, requires 20 Power) to continue. Your advisers will explain the plan: the Inquisition forces will attack and lay siege to the Adamant Fortress attempting to use choke points to their advantage, holding back the demon army while the Inquisitor may reach Clarel.
Upon entering Adamant the Inquisitor is faced with a massive battle. The Inquisition's forces assault the fortress and batter their way inside. The Inquisitor and their companions enter the fray.
To secure the gate that was breached, the Inquisitor must defeat a group of Shades with a Warden Spellbinder. When they are defeated Cullen will join the group, re-iterate the overall goals of the initiative, and point out the next problem. Too much resistance on the battlements is preventing the Inquisition forces from gaining a proper foothold. Following the path, the Inquisitor will find a group of Warden archers (and a Senior Warden). Beyond them, a gate leads west to the Main Bailey, but will be guarded by a pair of Shades that will spawn as the party approaches.
In the Main Bailey, the Inquisitor stumbles upon a fight among Grey Wardens. A few Warden warriors have refused to be sacrificed for the blood magic ritual, and are fighting off a group of spellbound Wardens and Shades. After the battle the remaining Wardens can be told to surrender or fall back to safety. If they fall back they will not initiate further conflicts with enemies. If the Inquisitor remains silent with Blackwall in the party, he will convince them to fight alongside the Inquisition. Head through the door to the south.
Another door to the south leads to stairs heading up to the battlements. A patrol of Shades, with a Warden archer, will be found along the stairs.
Battlements and Siege Points
As the Inquisitor reaches the Battlements, the quest objective will update. Finding Clarel remains the main objective, but an optional goal of clearing 3 siege points is added (clearing the siege points is not mandatory but results in 967 experience, 200 Influence and 2 Power).
The first siege point is guarded by a Rage demon.
The second siege point is guarded by Warden spellbinders, a Despair demon, and a Pride demon. Hawke will assist in this fight and afterward can be directed to fight with the party or stay to secure the battlements.
Heading south leads to the last siege point, where the party will fight a group of Shades and a Pride Demon.
Once the third siege point has been cleared, the Inquisitor should backtrack almost to the second siege point, and head down a flight of stairs.
Next, the party should head west, through a set of three doors, back to the Main Bailey, where they will meet a group of Inquisitor (possibly lead by Hawke) fighting a Rage Demon.
In the main courtyard Erimond is revealed at last, presiding over Clarel's sacrifice to bind a demon to her. If Jana was not recruited as an agent of the Inquisition earlier in Crestwood, she will be the sacrifice; otherwise it will be another Grey Warden. The ritual will be interrupted by the Inquisitor, who will try to explain how the Wardens are being enslaved to Corypheus. If Blackwall is in the party, the Inquisitor may ask him to speak to the Wardens (Blackwall, Iron Bull and Sera approve). An additional dialogue option is available if the History Knowledge perk was acquired. (Solas and Dorian will slightly disapprove and Iron Bull will approve.)
The Inquisition claims and especially the mention of Corypheus seem to move Clarel, who starts doubting Erimond. The Venatori Magister then calls forth Corypheus's dragon to attack the Inquisitor. At this point, Clarel understands Erimond's deception. She will order the Wardens in the yard to help the Inquisitor and pursue the fleeing Erimond.
The enslaved Warden Spellbinders, Shades, and a Pride Demon in the courtyard will attack the party with the aerial support of the Dragon.
After the battle, head west along the battlements. Shade and Demons will be encountered along the way, and the Dragon will continue to attack from above.
Clarel and Erimond are discovered engaged in a duel. Clarel nearly succeeds in slaying Erimond before the dragon attacks, mauling her. Near death, she enacts one last attack to destroy both herself and the dragon. The force of her spell shatters the walkway and all plummet. The Inquisitor and party are saved when the Inquisitor opens a rift and all fall through.
The Inquisitor, their party, the Warden ally, and Hawke are trapped physically in the Fade (specifically in the Raw Fade), and must now escape by locating a rift that corresponds to the rift that had been opened in the main courtyard of the Adamant Fortress during Erimond's ritual.
Before climbing the stairs ahead, the Inquisitor's party may explore the area surrounding them. In front of them, they will find a Supply Chest. To the north, the Codex entry: A Letter by a Burning Candle, the Codex entry: Walking the Fade: Frozen Moments, a group of Shades and Wraiths, and an Eluvian that will confer +1 Magic to the Inquisitor. To the south, a group of Shades and a table that, if examined, will bestow the Fears of the Dreamers quest. One of the quests objective lies nearby: a Candle that may be placed on the same table. The chair by the table can now be interacted with to gain a Magic point. Finally, the Codex entry: A Plea from the Warrior to the Spirits is also available near the table.
Climbing the stairs, the party encounters what appears to be the spirit of Divine Justinia V. It is unclear if the vision is the Divine or a spirit, but the entity knows the truth of the events at the Temple of Sacred Ashes. It is revealed that the Inquisitor's memories of the event were stolen by the Nightmare, the general of Corypheus's demon army, a creature that feeds on terrors. The Nightmare was in fact the origin of the false Calling the Grey Wardens experienced. Slaying demons will help to restore the Inquisitor's memories. If Cassandra is in the party, additional dialog will be available when encountering the spirit of Divine Justinia V.
Four Wraiths will appear and attack, each one releasing a memory that must be collected. When all four memories are collected, the truth at the Temple is revealed: the Inquisitor interrupted Corypheus' ritual in an effort to save the Divine and touched the mysterious orb in the process. The Anchor was the result of this contact. It is also revealed that Grey Wardens were collaborating with Corypheus in the ritual as Warden mages were magically restraining the Divine for the sacrifice. Justinia says the Inquisitor must make haste, as Nightmare will be now aware of their presence in the Fade. She disappears, to "prepare the road ahead" as the group will follow.
Shortly thereafter, the group will reach a clearing where Nightmare detects them. It will talk to the party with Corypheus' voice, taunting them. A group of Shades and Wraiths appears at the bottom of the stairs.
Next the party will face attack by giant spiders called Fearlings. They have names such as "Mages," "Templars," "The Blight" etc. which are related to codex entries found in the area describing the fears of various people around Thedas.
The main path continues eastward, while a secondary path leads north to a circular dead-end. Along the way, the Inquisitor can inspect the effigy of a burning man (a Rage demon will spawn and attack), and hear more of Nightmare's taunts directed to the member of the party. The dead-end presents an Eluvian mirror that will grant +1 Cunning but spawn two Rage demons and a group of Wraths when inspected. Another group of Wraths with a Rage demon will ambush the group on their way back to the main path.
Back on the main path eastward, after dealing with more spiders (and Nightmare's taunts), the party will encounter the Divine again. She can be questioned further, and instructs the Inquisitor to battle more demons to recover more memories. There is a supply chest nearby to restock potions. Wraiths can be battled for further memories, which reveal greater information.
It was in fact the Divine and not Andraste who appeared in The Breach. She died as the Inquisitor escaped, slain by demons to make certain the Inquisitor could flee. Therefore, this entity can be seen as the spirit of The Divine, or a spirit that has merely taken on her form. Hawke and the Warden ally get into a heated argument about the Wardens' culpability in the Divine's death, to which the Inquisitor can agree with either or urge them to put the argument aside for now, as more fearlings attack the group.
Defeating the fearlings opens the barrier ahead, beyond which lies a group of shades and a Terror demon await.
Beyond these enemies, the group will reach the Divine's spirit once again, as she is being attacked by a group of fearlings. The spirit will once again disappear after this fight, and the group will face a split in the path. Both sides (higher path on the north, and lower one on the south) will lead to the new location of the Divine.
The lower, southern path is guarded by two Terror Demons and Wraiths. It holds one of the objectives for the Fears of the Dreamers quest (grants +1 Cunning), and an Eluvian mirror granting +1 Strength (if the objective for the Fears of the Dreamer quest is completed first, the Eluvian will be guarded by an additional group of Darkspawn).
As the group approaches the Divine spirit where the two paths reunite, they will be attacked by waves of Wraiths and Fearlings lead by Pride and Despair Demons.
After the fight, the Divine spirit will head north, explaining the Inquisitor should exit the Fade and close the rift behind.
The rift ahead leads back to the real world but it is blocked by the massive spider-like form of Nightmare. The Divine spirit sacrifices herself to subdue the demon, asking the Inquisitor to give a farewell message to Leliana before doing so. With the demon temporarily indisposed the Inquisitor must face the Aspect of the Nightmare left behind, a Fear demon, and its Fearlings.
The Aspect will use barriers to protect itself. It is vulnerable to electricity and spirit, but immune to other effects (fear, asleep, frozen, physical effects).
When the demon is defeated the spider demon reappears, blocking the party's escape. A pivotal decision will have to be made. One of the Inquisitor's allies, either the Warden ally or Hawke, must remain behind in the Fade to fight the Nightmare, buying time for escape.
If Hawke is chosen: Hawke will demand to remain behind to fight the creature as Hawke feels Corypheus is their responsibility and the Warden ally must remain to restore the Grey Warden order. When charging the creature, Hawke will say farewell to Varric and their love interest. If Hawke does not have a love interest, the Champion's final words instead correspond to their personality.
If the Warden ally is chosen: The Warden ally, after the revelations about the Warden involvement in the Divine's death, will demand to remain behind to fight the creature. Choosing the Warden ally as the sacrifice may have impact upon the next pivotal decision made.
Upon returning to the fortress from the Fade, the Inquisitor closes the Fade rift that was opened and destroys the remaining demons—as well as Erimond's hope at creating a demon army. Erimond has been taken alive for judgment. Then the Inquisitor will reveal that one of the companions sacrificed themselves to save the rest.
The knowledge of the vulnerability of Grey Wardens to the power of Corypheus, and their culpability in the death of the Divine, makes their presence in Orlais contentious. The Inquisitor must make a decision on the fate of the Wardens in Orlais: whether to exile them from Orlais due to their potential for corruption, or to allow them to remain and fight for the Inquisition. At this time the Warden ally, if alive, is the last surviving senior Warden in Orlais. If Hawke is alive, a nearby Warden will comment that the Orlais Wardens are now leaderless and have no one of significant rank to guide them.
If the Wardens are exiled: The Grey Wardens will leave Orlais, thus leaving the Empire without any Warden presence. The sequence of war table operations beginning with Investigate Val Gamord becomes available.
If the Wardens join the Inquisition: The Grey Wardens will remain and rebuild their order, joining the forces at Skyhold. The series of war table operations beginning with Protect Val Gamord from Darkspawn becomes available.
The quest completes following a conversation with Leliana at Skyhold after the above decision.
- 256 XP
- 160 Influence
- 242 XP
- 80 Influence
- 150 Influence
- 2 Power
- Shield of the Anointed
Granted Anointed status by Divine Rosamund in 5:65 Exalted, Clothilde of Crechy was a warrior renowned for defending the innocent. Popularly depicted with a shaven head, Clothilde was often mistaken for a man and is most famous for not fighting but protesting the tyrannical Baron of Rosfort's taxes on the poor. She was arrested, but the Divine ordered her released before she could be executed.
Requires: Level 9
+30% Front Defense
+17 Maximum Health
+9% Melee Defense
Optional: Clear the Siege Points
- 967 XP
- 200 Influence
- 2 Power
- Amulet of Power
This amulet grants an ability point to whoever equips it. After it's used, the amulet shatters.
Gain an ability point when equipped
Single Use for Blackwall or Cole
- 200 Influence when you arrive
- 2 Power when you arrive
- Attribute points from the Eluvians (1 Magic, 1 Dexterity, 1 Strength, 1 Willpower, 1 Cunning)
- Attribute points from Fears of the Dreamers (1 Magic, 1 Constitution, 1 Strength, 1 Willpower, 1 Cunning)
- Essence of Perfection
This masterwork material gives a 100% chance for critical crafting.
- Superb Ring of Sundering
+10% Sunder on Hit
- 9,875 XP
- 3,200 Influence
- 4 Power
"We have made for centuries. We will make for as many more. They could kill every mage, and we would still make. But they cannot. Because of what we make."
Her Hands of the Staveworks
Requires: Level 12
Damage: 49-50 Fire
+10 Spirit Damage
+16% Heal Bonus
The decision whether to recruit or exile the Grey Wardens will have significant impact with the companions.
|Blackwall||Greatly Approves||Greatly Disapproves|
|Cole||Greatly Disapproves||Greatly Approves|
|Iron Bull||Greatly Approves||Disapproves|
|Solas||Greatly Disapproves||Greatly Approves|
|Varric (if Warden left behind)||Greatly Approves||Greatly Disapproves|
|Varric (if Hawke left behind)||Greatly Disapproves||Greatly Approves|
|Vivienne||Slightly Disapproves||Slightly Approves|
Speaking to Hawke's Grey Warden ally for the first time in Crestwood:
- Warden: My name is ______, and I am at your service, Inquisitor.
- Warden: It was a Grey Warden matter. I was bound by an oath of secrecy.
- Hawke: And then they do something desperate... which is, of course, what Corypheus wants.
The conversation with Livius Erimond in the Western Approch Ritual Tower.
- Erimond: And you found the Inquisitor and came to stop me. Shall we see how that goes?
- Erimond: Raise a demon army, march into the deep roads, and kill the Old Gods before they wake.
- Erimond: This was a test. Once the rest of the Wardens complete the ritual, the army will conquer Thedas.
- Let the Wardens go. - Cassandra Slightly Approves, Cole Slightly Approves, Sera Slightly Approves, Varric Slightly Approves
- I've seen worse. - Dorian Slightly Approves, Vivienne Slightly Approves, Sera Slightly Disapproves
- You're dead. - Sera Slightly Approves, Vivienne Slightly Approves
- A battle will start immediately after this conversation. When the demons and Wardens are killed, this next conversation will begin:
- Hawke: Of course. Sacrificed in the ritual. What a waste./Oh, of course. It's not real blood magic until someone gets sacrificed.
- They were misled. - Blackwall Slightly Approves, Dorian Slightly Approves, Solas Slightly Disapproves
During the conversation with Cullen:
During the ritual:
- Blackwall? - Blackwall Approves, Sera Approves, Iron Bull Approves
- History Knowledge perk - Sera Slightly Approves, Iron Bull Approves, Dorian Slightly Disapproves, Solas Slightly Disapproves (regardless if he is in the party or not)
- (Special) I've spared some of you! (only if the Fall back to safety option was chosen with the group of Wardens in the Main Bailey) - Cole Greatly Approves
In the Fade
Speaking to Justinia about the Nightmare during the first conversation:
- Justinia: I greet you, Warden. And you, Champion. (Cassandra. - only if in party)
- Cassandra, is it her? - No approval change.
- Justinia: You do not remember what happened at the Temple of Sacred Ashes, Inquisitor.
When Hawke and the Warden are arguing:
If the Grey Wardens are allowed to join the Inquisition:
("Help the Inquisition.")
Leliana +5, Cassandra -5, Vivienne -1
If the Grey Wardens are banished from Orlais:
("Get out of Orlais.")
Leliana -5, Cassandra +5, Vivienne +1
Bug: Leliana is frequently granted +5 instead of the intended -5 for banishing the Wardens from Orlais.
Codex entriesFound in The Raw Fade Codex entry: Fears of the Dreamers Codex entry: The Keepers of Fear Codex entry: The Laws of Nature in the Fade Codex entry: A Letter by a Burning Candle Codex entry: Nightmare (Inquisition) Codex entry: A Plea from the Warrior to the Spirits Codex entry: Walking the Fade: Frozen Moments Codex entry: Walking the Fade: A Harrowing
Other textsA Letter Found on a Grey Warden Mage
Found in The Raw Fade
- ps3 Upon reaching the Tevinter ritual tower, conversations may freeze and only unlock after a certain time has passed, or the player has somehow triggered the conversation to continue. Portions of conversation may be lost when this occurs.
- ps3 The Warden ally may vanish in Adamant Fortress after the Warden warriors are encountered in the main bailey, but will reappear before Clarel is encountered.
- pc The second choke point may not spawn enemies even though it will be marked on the map by a quest marker.
- xbox360pc When Clarel slits the sacrifice's throat, if you quickly press the Skip button you will see the Inquisitor with their throat slit and pouring blood.
- In the Fade, after reading the mage's journal and defeating the rage demon it summons, the interact point and journal remain interactive and can be re-read, though without summoning a demon.
- After completing the Broken Window puzzle, the text says to recover the magister's amulet, but the actual loot is a Superb Ring of Sundering as well as a random item and gold amount.
- ps3xbox360 During the fight with the Aspect of the Nightmare the Warden ally and Hawke may, after the first assault from the Nightmare, remain stunned and only able to fight once briefly in the middle of the battle before lapsing back into a stunned state.
- During the final cutscene after defeating the Nightmare and escaping the Fade, Blackwall can be seen in the background with the assembled Wardens and Inquisition soldiers, even if he was not taken on the mission.
- xboxoneDuring the initial cut-scene in the Western Approach, the player may not be able to select options from the dialogue wheel. This can be remedied by toggling the radial menu using LB, which will 'activate' the dialogue wheel cursor.
- xbox360ps3Sometimes a custom Hawke will still say the default line about spiders even if they romanced someone in DAII.
- PC When a female Inquisitor tells Alistair after escaping the fade that "They can tell whatever stories they like.." Alistair's answer refers to the Inquisitor as a male.
- PC If you target the dragon during the scene just before you see Clarel's and Erimond duel, and cast Mark of Rift just as he does a pass by, the dragon will appear to be sucked into the fade, although the sound of the wings can still be heard. The attacks from the dragon will stop.
- If Alistair was romanced in Dragon Age: Origins he will speak happily of his life with The Hero of Ferelden. He will also mention that she would have been present during the quest had she not been pursuing her own quest, that of saving herself and Alistair—and possibly all Wardens—from the Calling.
- Speaking with either Alistair, Leliana or Morrigan, depending on who was romanced in Dragon Age: Origins and whether Alistair is present or not, after the quest will unlock war table operation Contact Hero of Ferelden and provide additional information about the The Warden.
- It is useful to, soon after this quest completes, to create a new character of any type and re-watch the introductory videos as they give a somewhat different version of the events in the Fade. In the Here Lies The Abyss version, the Inquisitor is chased up the stairs by the spiders, looks back to the physical version of Justinia, reaches out to her, Justinia falls back and the Inquisitor goes forward into the veil tear. In the opening sequence, when the Inquisitor runs up the stairs, the white ghost version of Justinia is ahead and above the Inquisitor, Justinia reaches out to the Inquisitor, the anchor flashes and the screen does a white-out. The positions of the two characters are reversed between the two depictions of what is supposedly the same event and each has a different ending.
- Although you can target the Red Lyrium dragon, it will always have 1 hp remaining.
- Gregory Dedrick can be conscripted to join Grey Warden ranks if you haven't judged him.
- Most of the quest names in the main plot refer to specific verses of the Chant of Light. "Here lies the abyss" can be seen in the Canticle of Andraste 14:11.
- If Blackwall is taken to meet the Warden Ally in Crestwood, Blackwall will claim to have known Duncan, the Ferelden Warden-Commander in Dragon Age: Origins.
- Patrick Weekes was the main writer for this quest.
- If the Inquisitor uses tactical view, the "Fearlings" that are encountered each have different names, such as "War", "Poverty", "Pestilence", Etc. Amusingly, encountered in the "Find a way to keep monsters away" area of the "Fears of the Dreamers " side quest, one of the Fearlings bears the name "Ironically, Spiders".
- In Dragon Age 2 Flemeth says to Hawke: "The world fears the inevitable plummet into the abyss. Watch for that moment... and when it comes, do not hesitate to leap. It is only when you fall that you learn whether you can fly." During the quest the Inquisitor and Hawke are falling into the Abyssal Rift when the Inquisitor opens a Fade rift for them to leap into only to find themselves in the realm of Nightmare inhabited by fearlings.
- In the Fade, gravestones can be found engraved with each of your companions' names and fears. They read as follows: Iron Bull: Madness; Vivienne: Irrelevance; Varric: Becoming His Parents; Cassandra: Helplessness; Blackwall: Himself; Dorian: Temptation; Sera: The Nothing; Cole: Despair; Solas: Dying Alone.