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Hightown is the wealthy district of Kirkwall. As its name implies, it sits on the higher part of the city.


At the height of the Tevinter Imperium's slave trade, Kirkwall's elite prospered beyond dreams of avarice. Hightown was built for the wealthiest slavers, its glitzy mansions rising atop a great wall of rock that borders, on one side, the Waking Sea. Lowtown cowered on its other side until Kirkwall's slaves rose to plunder and destroy Hightown's riches.

Today, Hightown's prominent buildings are the Keep, home to the ruling viscount, and the chantry, home to the grand cleric and the city's religious center. Both are converted estates that once housed wealthy magisters, rebuilt and converted after the uprising.

—From In Pursuit of Knowledge: The Travels of a Chantry Scholar, by Brother Genitivi
—From Codex entry: Kirkwall - Hightown

Everyone who is anyone in Kirkwall lives in Hightown, and they give little thought to what goes on in Lowtown other than to complain when the wind drags up the stench from its foundries or ancient mines. People in Hightown feel safe, not because the city's walls are impregnable, but because an invader would need to scale the stairs from Lowtown in order to reach them. Many bloody battles have been fought on those narrow stairs, and in several wars Hightown has held out for months after Lowtown was taken. The wealthy often forget, however, that those stairs are also their only escape.

In the lowest alley of the district, several merchants peddle their wares. In a higher alley, the Dwarven Merchants' Guild is headquartered with one street leading to the Blooming Rose and the other to the Viscount's Keep and the Hawke Estate. The street eventually leads to the Kirkwall Chantry. A small staircase from there leads to the several estates of Kirkwall's elite. Although Hightown is a tranquil section of Kirkwall during the day, many gang operations surface during night time: Hightown is a center for many criminal factions.


Map of the area

Hawke Estate Hawke Estate
Bartrand's Estate Bartrand's Estate
De Launcet Mansion De Launcet Mansion
Fenris's Mansion Fenris's Mansion
Harimann Estate Harimann Estate
The Blooming Rose The Blooming Rose


Hubert's Fine Goods
Korval's Blades
Olaf's Armory
Robes by Jean Luc
Bodahn's Goods (Labeled Sandal's Enchantments prior to the Deep Roads Expedition)


Act 1[]

A Friend in the Guard A Friend in the Guard
Enemies Among Us Enemies Among Us
The Deep Roads Expedition The Deep Roads Expedition
Night Lies Night Lies
Loose Ends Loose Ends
Magistrate's Orders Magistrate's Orders
The Unbidden Rescue The Unbidden Rescue
The First Sacrifice The First Sacrifice
Duty Duty
Bait and Switch Bait and Switch
Fenris Recruited Fenris Recruited
Caste Treatise and House Accounting Caste Treatise and House Accounting
Inside Job Inside Job
Get Back to Work Get Back to Work
The Bone Pit The Bone Pit

Act 2[]

Demands of the Qun Demands of the Qun
Bounty Hunter Bounty Hunter
Ladies' Lights Out Ladies' Lights Out
Sketchy on the Details Sketchy on the Details
Fool's Gold Fool's Gold
Elves at Large Elves at Large
The Midnight Meeting The Midnight Meeting
Wentworth's Sixth Finger Wentworth's Sixth Finger
Seal of the Old God Dumat Seal of the Old God Dumat
The Seal of House Talwain The Seal of House Talwain
The One True Pantaloons The One True Pantaloons

Act 3[]

Showdown Showdown
Best Served Cold Best Served Cold
The Lost Swords The Lost Swords
Red Run Streets Red Run Streets
A Noble Agenda A Noble Agenda
A Murder of Crows A Murder of Crows
Finding Nathaniel Finding Nathaniel
Mine Massacre Mine Massacre

Codex entries[]

Codex entry: The Dwarven Merchants Guild Codex entry: The Dwarven Merchants Guild
Codex entry: Kirkwall - Hightown Codex entry: Kirkwall - Hightown


  • In the Hightown Estates the large rectangular courtyard at the west end of the estates (furthest point west in all of Hightown) contains a hidden alley that doesn't appear on the minimap (easily detected visually though). It is the only area in Hightown that extends outside of the borders on the minimap, you can find others along the Wounded Coast. During Act 1 it has random loot during the day and night, no loot during Act 2 and then a Master level locked chest during Act 3 at night (40 cunning to open - 200 XP). This alley is also a spawn point during the initial fight during Best Served Cold.
  • There is a book on a stand containing Codex entry: The Dwarven Merchants Guild, it is found between Bartrand Tethras and Bodahn Feddic during Act 1. It can be very easily missed because it does not show up when inspecting the area for "interactable" objects.