- 1 Acquisition
- 2 Walkthrough
- 2.1 Return to Haven and discuss Fiona's offer with the advisors
- 2.2 Travel to Redcliffe and make contact with the mages
- 2.3 Enter Redcliffe
- 2.4 Go to The Gull and Lantern to meet Fiona
- 2.5 Meet Felix in the Chantry
- 2.6 Help the strange mage close the Fade rift
- 2.7 Approach the mages
- 2.8 Redcliffe Castle
- 2.9 Find out what happened
- 2.10 Find Leliana
- 2.11 Find a way back to Alexius' throne room
- 2.12 Locate red lyrium shards
- 2.13 Confront Alexius in his throne room
- 2.14 Defeat Alexius
- 2.15 Back in Haven
- 3 Rewards
- 4 Results
- 5 Notable Items
- 6 Codex entries
- 7 Note texts
- 8 Notes
- 9 Trivia
- 10 Bugs
- 11 Gallery
- 12 References
The quest starts upon attempting to leave Val Royeaux during the main quest The Threat Remains. Grand Enchanter Fiona stops the Inquisitor and invites them to meet in Redcliffe. Unlike Champions of the Just, the Inquisition must meet the mages in Redcliffe before the operation becomes available on the war table.
Redcliffe Castle and the mages who could close the Breach are under the control of Magister Gereon Alexius, a Venatori cultist with an unhealthy interest in the Inquisitor and the power to reorder time itself. He has "kindly" invited the Inquisitor to the castle - alone - to negotiate. It's an obvious trap, but Leliana and her agents can infiltrate the castle and remove the Venatori threat while Alexius's attention is diverted. A dangerous game, but it's our best chance. Recommended Levels: 4 to 7
Return to Haven and discuss Fiona's offer with the advisors
Cullen: You think the mage rebellion is more united? It could be ten times worse.
Travel to Redcliffe and make contact with the mages
As the party approaches Redcliffe, a fade rift opens just outside the main gate. This rift will be different from other rifts encountered thus far. In addition to spawning demons, there will be temporal distortions at random spots on the ground, represented by green and yellow circles. Green circles will slow members/enemies down, while yellow circles will speed them up. This includes attack speed and the time it takes to disrupt the rift.
A party member and the Inquisitor will comment on these distortions after the rift is closed, and the guard will return and open the gate. After passing through the arch, a scene begins in which an Inquisition scout will inform the Inquisitor that no one was expecting them. A mage named Lysas will then arrive and say that a Magister Alexius is in charge, but they can meet with Fiona in the meantime.
Go to The Gull and Lantern to meet Fiona
Connor: That's me. The boy with Redcliffe's blood on his hands.
- It wasn't your fault. - Blackwall Slightly Approves | Solas Slightly Approves | Cassandra Slightly Disapproves | Sera Slightly Disapproves | Vivienne Disapproves
- I'm surprised you're here. - Sera Slightly Approves | Iron Bull Slightly Approves | Varric Slightly Approves
- They should have killed you. - Vivienne Approves | Cassandra Slightly Approves | Sera Slightly Approves | Blackwall Slightly Disapproves | Solas Slightly Disapproves
Enter the tavern to begin a scene with Fiona (bring Vivienne for some amusing dialogue). She will claim that she hasn't been to Val Royeaux since before The Conclave. She also informs the Inquisitor that the rebel mages have pledged their service to the Tevinter Imperium:
Fiona: As one indentured to a magister, I no longer have the authority to negotiate with you.
Magister Gereon Alexius will show up at this point, and the Inquisitor begins to negotiate with him to acquire the assistance of the mages. They are interrupted when Alexius' son, Felix, stumbles into the arms of the Inquisitor. But this is merely subterfuge to pass a note to the Inquisitor. Concerned for his son, Alexius leaves with Felix and Fiona, telling the Inquisitor that they will have to continue at a later date. After they leave, the Inquisitor reads the note: "Come to the Chantry. You are in danger."
Meet Felix in the Chantry
Before leaving, a few codex entries can be found in the tavern, as well as Clemence the Tranquil, who can be recruited as an Agent for the Inquisition. There is also a bitter mage named Linnea nearby, if the Inquisitor is a human mage there will be some unique dialogue.
Linnea: We don't need your kind here. Your Inquisition's just templars by another name.
Upon exiting the tavern, veer to the right and fall down onto the grass. The mage who greeted the party when they first entered Redcliffe, Lysas, will be standing near a column and the Inquisitor can choose to speak to him:
Lysas: Were you really looking to ally with us?
Help the strange mage close the Fade rift
Upon entering the Chantry, the party will find a mage fighting off demons, and he asks for assistance closing the rift. The temporal distortions will be present, so the party should use them to their advantage.
Upon closing the rift a scene begins, and the mage introduces himself as Dorian Pavus. Dorian will explain his relationship with Alexius as well as how Alexius managed to arrive before the Inquisition.
Dorian: The magic Alexius is using is wildly unstable, and it's unraveling the world.
Felix will arrive and explain that his father is involved with a group of Tevinter supremacists, the Venatori.
Felix: And I can tell you one thing: whatever he's done for them, he's done it to get to you.
Approach the mages
Back in the war room, choose the operation and a scene will play. Alexius has invited the Inquisitor to Redcliffe Castle to continue their negotiations, and it's obvious to everyone that the invitation is a trap. Leliana recalls the secret passage that leads from the windmill (which is now partially ruined) in Redcliffe Village to the castle (this was used by the Hero of Ferelden during The Arl of Redcliffe). So the Inquisition decides to set a trap of its own, requiring the Inquisitor to distract Alexius, while Leliana's agents infiltrate the castle via the secret passage.
The operation will now be available at the war table. Spend 15 Power to begin. Dorian will be a locked party member, so only two other party members can be chosen.
A lengthy scene begins with the Inquisitor's party arriving at the castle. If you did not add any companion to the active party except Dorian then Varric and Cassandra will be automatically added. Alexius reveals that his motive in all this is to cure his son, as the Elder One promised it could be done. Only Solas, Iron Bull and Sera have approval changes for the conversation.
Alexius: Fiona, you would not have turned your followers over to my care if you did not trust me with their lives.
Alexius: The Inquisition needs mages to close the Breach, and I have them. So, what shall you offer in exchange?
Alexius: Felix, what have you done?
Alexius: You're nothing but a mistake.
Alexius: The Elder One has power you would not believe. He will raise the Imperium from its own ashes.
In the end, Alexius uses an amulet to create what appears to be a rift. Dorian attempts to counter the magic, chaos ensues and the scene blacks out.
The Inquisitor and Dorian wind up in a jail cell, which surprises a couple of guards, who will then attack.
A scene begins immediately upon the guards' defeat. Dorian surmises that the rift not only moved them to a different location within the castle, but a different time. Investigate through dialogue to learn more.
Find out what happened
Upon regaining control, loot the Prison Key that one of the guards will have dropped. Move ahead and up some stairs to a dead end. The stairs to the left lead to a dead end with some loot. Also, Dorian will make a comment on the state of the castle. Return to the intersection and take the other set of stairs. Eventually a larger room will be reached and Lysas will be in the first cell on the right. Approach him for a brief interaction.
Moving on, the Inquisitor and Dorian will end up in a large cavern of sorts. A couple of zealots are blocking the way north and south, and there is a drawbridge to the west that is raised, for the moment. The remaining members of the party can be found in prison cells to the north. Which cell they will be in, depends on the party member.
Head north, down the stairs...
- The first set of cells is through the door on the right.
- Varric will be in the first cell on the right, humming to himself.
- Iron Bull will be in the second cell on the left, singing the "Bottles of beer on the wall" song.
- The second set of cells is down the next flight of stairs and through the door on the right.
- Cassandra will be in the first cell on the right, reciting the Chant of Light.
- Vivienne will be in the first cell on the left.
- Solas will be in the second cell on the right.
- The final set of cells is down yet another flight of stairs.
- Blackwall will be in the first cell.
- Sera will be in the second cell, trying to remember how a song goes.
The first party member rescued will inform the Inquisitor that the Elder One is the real threat, not Alexius. They will also explain that the Empress of Orlais was assassinated and the Elder One has a demon army at his disposal.
The second party member rescued will say that they overheard the guards saying that Alexius never leaves the throne room.
Exit the cells and head down the southern path. At the end, the party will find Fiona in a cell and a scene begins. She reveals that they are now in Harvestmere 9:42 Dragon, a full year into the future. She also mentions that Leliana is somewhere in the castle.
Head back upstairs, and the sound of the drawbridge lowering will be heard. A group of Venatori will be guarding the newly opened path. There is a supply cache just past them, so don't be afraid to use potions if necessary. In fact, there are several supply caches throughout the castle, so don't feel the need to hoard supplies. Head up the stairs to reach the Guard Barracks where you can find the aforementioned supply cache and A Prayer to the New God in addition to various items of loot. There is a locked door to the right. Of particular interest is A Guard's Journal in the left room, which gives some indication of Alexius' paranoia and what life is currently like in Ferelden.
When ready, proceed up the next set of stairs to the Torture Chambers. At the top of the next set of stairs, the party will hear a torturer plying his trade on a victim. The victim's death is scripted cannot be saved. The torturer, Hanley D'Urvain, is an Elite Spellbinder, so expect a tougher battle. He always drops a and the unique dagger , a fantastic upgrade for any dual-wielder, after being defeated.
Continue down the corridor and as you approach the door on the left another torturer will be heard working on Leliana. Open the door to begin a scene.
Find a way back to Alexius' throne room
Pick up the Prison Key by the dead torturer. Proceed and you'll emerge in the drawbridge room, except much higher up. Enter the next door and the mark will begin to glow, indicating a fade rift is up ahead. After closing the rift, turn the gear to raise the gate and proceed up the stairs to the Docks.
Move ahead quickly to witness Linnea, now an Elder One loyalist, sacrifice both Talwyn and herself by summoning two lesser shades. There is another supply cache nearby. Move up more stairs to emerge in the Courtyard.
After taking in the scenery, proceed up one of the sets of stairs and another fade rift appears. Remember that a mage can use Dispel to prevent any demon from spawning, which certainly helps on higher difficulties. If you have a rogue in your party and don't want to fight at all, you can use stealth, command your followers to disengage and just run through the courtyard. The enemies won't follow you into the castle.
Another rift will be encountered just past the first.
The party will finally enter another part of the castle, the Upper Royal Wing. Upon entering a corridor, enter the first door on the right. Connor may be encountered here in front of the fireplace, but will commit suicide to avoid becoming an abomination. A Spellbinder's Journal can be found on a desk here. The journal gives further insight into Alexius' paranoia and behavior. Alexius' Journal can be found on a desk directly across the corridor, and it hints at what exactly is wrong with Felix. The party will come to a larger room which contains another supply cache. The pyramid shaped loot box contains the Circle of Magi banner. Proceed down the stairs to the Lower Royal Wing.
The radar will indicate many enemies in the next room, but it's not as bad as it seems. There is a spellbinder and two marksmen inside, as well as a few demons. The demons will attack the marksmen, but won't attack the spellbinder. The marksmen will likely take out 1-2 demons, but will ultimately succumb to them. On the radar, the demons will take up positions in the room once the marksmen are dead. This is the party's cue to move in. A second wave of demons spawns from the fade rift.
Once all the fighting is done, locate the loot that the spellbinder dropped, as it will contain a red lyrium shard. Approach the shard door to the throne room and the party is denied access, for the time being. Dorian comments and now four more of these will need to be found.
Locate red lyrium shards
The shards are all being held by spellbinders (one of which has already been wiped out), and the quest markers indicate where they are on the map. There is no proper path to take here, but the following is efficient enough.
The second spellbinder is on the current level, in a room off the NW corner. As the party approaches the room, one of them will remark that the Venatori are too busy praying to be guarding the room. Indeed, all the enemies are facing away from the entrance, allowing the party to get the jump on them. The spellbinder is up a small landing, almost in the middle of the room. He is flanked by two marksmen, and two gladiators guard the entrance. Immediately upon entering the room, there is a ladder that leads to some scaffolding on the right. A stealthed rogue archer can get off a sneak attack on the spellbinder from here.
Head back to the main hall and proceed directly across to the other side but don't enter the door. Instead turn right and enter the next door on the left. Another supply cache is here. Head upstairs to the Upper Royal Wing and enter the open archway into a corridor. The spellbinder is in the first room on the right, which is a dilapidated library. Upon entering the room turn right and then left and he will be at the end of the walkway. Half a dozen zealots litter the lower area, and there are no marksmen. They're positioned quite a bit away, so the spellbinder could be sneak attacked into oblivion before his help arrives. If not, try to position party members at the top of one set of stairs and use them as a choke point.
Proceed down the long corridor to the next room. Upon entering, there will be some stone blocking the Venatori from immediately noticing the party, and a party member will mention this. Immediately to the right is a ladder leading to more scaffolding. The spellbinder is behind a desk adjacent to the eastern wall. He is accompanied by two marksmen and three zealots.
Both of the other doors in the room will lead to the final spellbinder. The SW door leads to a room with a supply cache, and to a locked door which leads into another corridor. In this corridor you'll face three more doors, and the one on the right is locked. There's no trickery here, as the spellbinder is by himself in the middle room. However, bashing one of the walls to get to him will alert him immediately. So, if a rogue sneak attack is in order, then it is best to just enter through the door directly to his room. A note, Studies on the Blight, can be found on the desk in the spellbinder's room. It describes what Leliana has been subjected to over the past year.
Confront Alexius in his throne room
Proceed down the corridor and there will be a door on either side. A Masterwork Wave Blade schematic can be found on a table in the room on the left. Proceed down the stairs to find yet another supply cache. Enter the main hall and interact with the large door to begin a scene. Regardless of dialogue choices, the party will be forced into battle with Alexius.
Alexius is a mage, level 6-8 with 16000 HP minimum (Nightmare, level 7: 25134 HP). He is immune to all disabling effects (asleep, frozen, paralyzed and stunned) and is Perceptive. However, he is NOT immune to physical effects so he can be panicked, chilled, shocked and knocked down. Keeping him knocked down seems to be the easiest way to victory, so skills like Explosive Shot, Payback Strike, Mighty Blow, and Twin Fangs to his back will be very useful. His glyphs inflict a large amount of spirit damage and slowdown status. His Mind Blast inflicts spirit damage and has a knockdown effect. He will also occasionally cast Barrier on himself.
After he loses about 1/3 of his health, he'll create a fade rift, and move behind an impenetrable shield by the throne. He will do this again when he loses about 2/3 of his health. The temporal distortions will be present at random spots for both rifts, and the rifts only spawn one wave of demons, unleashing Wraiths, Terror demons and Shades. The shield he hides behind will dissipate immediately after a rift is closed. Be sure to grab any rift droppings for loot before the final segment or they will be lost when the cutscene occurs.
The Inquisitor will need to decide how to receive the rebel mages' aid.
Fiona: It seems we have little choice but to accept whatever you offer.
- You're our allies. (Offer the rebel mages a full alliance.)
- Solas Greatly Approves
- Blackwall Approves
- Varric Approves/Disapproves (only if he's in the active party. Approves if Hawke sided with mages in Dragon Age II, Disapproves if Hawke sided with templars)
- Iron Bull Disapproves
- Cassandra Greatly Disapproves
- Sera Greatly Disapproves
- Cole Greatly Approves (occurs regardless if recruited or not; will not be stated in-game)
- Dorian Greatly Approves (occurs regardless if recruited or not; will not be stated in-game)
- • Points awarded to candidates for the next Divine: Leliana +10, Cassandra -5, Vivienne -10
- You're our prisoners. (Conscript the rebel mages into the service of the Inquisition.)
- Sera Greatly Approves
- Iron Bull Greatly Approves
- Cassandra Approves
- Varric Approves/Disapproves (only if he's in the active party. Disapproves if Hawke sided with mages in Dragon Age II, Approves if Hawke sided with templars)
- Blackwall Disapproves
- Solas Greatly Disapproves
- Cole Greatly Disapproves (occurs regardless if recruited or not; will not be stated in-game)
- Dorian Greatly Disapproves (occurs regardless if recruited or not; will not be stated in-game)
- • Points awarded to candidates for the next Divine: Leliana -10, Cassandra +1, Vivienne +10
Back in Haven
If the Underworld Knowledge Perk is active, an additional dialog option will be available in the conversation regarding acquiring 'additional' lyrium. The Inquisitor can then choose to recruit Dorian permanently. Praising that Blackwall was heroic after bringing him to Redcliffe Castle yields Blackwall Approves.
The quest ends as preparations to seal the Breach are now underway.
Closing the Fade rift outside Redcliffe Village yields:
- 177 XP
- Influence 80
- Power 1
Closing the Fade rift in the Redcliffe Chantry yields:
- 177 XP
- Influence 80
- Power 1
Completing the quest yields:
- 2,658 XP
- Influence 1,600
- Power 3
- The Mages are recruited to help seal the Breach, and are saved from their fate.
- The Templars are left to their fate.
- (Optional) Dorian joins the Inquisition.
- Unlocks Sit in Judgment of Magister Alexius where he can be recruited as an agent (Secrets)
- The war table operation Answer a Request from Hasmal becomes available.
- The war table operation Investigate Therinfal Redoubt can become available after speaking to Krem. Notable Reward: (Iron Bull)
- (Conditional) The war table operation Information from the Grand Enchanter becomes available after In Your Heart Shall Burn (if the mages were conscripted) Notable Reward: (Solas)
- (Conditional) The war table operation Reclaiming the Mage Rebellion becomes available after In Your Heart Shall Burn (if the mages are allies)
- (Conditional) The war table operation Reparations for Redcliffe becomes available after Here Lies the Abyss or Wicked Eyes and Wicked Hearts (if the mages are allies)
- (Conditional) The war table operation The Archives of Montfort becomes available (with the Chantry Garden major upgrade) Notable Reward:
- The war table operation Bring Samson to Skyhold for Judgment becomes available after What Pride Had Wrought
- - looted from Hanley.
- - looted from Hanley.
- - looted from a room in the Upper Royal Wing (east side).
- - looted after defeating Alexius.
- - looted from a pyramid shaped chest in the Upper Royal Wing.
- A Guard's Journal
- Alexius's Journal
- A Prayer to the New God
- Spellbinder's Journal
- Studies on the Blight
- Any of the codex entries from Therinfal Redoubt (only accessible by siding with the templars in Champions of the Just) will be available for purchase from Willvan in Val Royeaux after completion of the quest.
- The Trial of the Magician achievement is missable if Champions of the Just is completed instead of In Hushed Whispers.
- Most of the quest names in the main plot refer to specific verses from the Chant of Light. "In hushed whispers" is from the Canticle of Threnodies 5:11.
- There are several Grey Warden corpses strewn about the castle.
- This quest was written by Mary Kirby.
- The mission was shown in the beta display of the game. One of the differences between the beta version and the released game was Leliana looked the same in appearance in the beta version, while Leliana had a more skeletal appearance from a year of abuse, experiments with tainted blood and skin, and malnourishment in the released version.
- Due to a likely oversight on BioWare's part, the door to the throne room bears the logo of the Inquisition.
- The scene prior to deciding the mages' fate with Fiona may either involve a confrontation with King Alistair, Queen Anora, or the both of them if they rule together.
- David Gaider has indicated that blood magic could have been influencing Fiona and the Rebel Mages to side with the Venatori, although there is directly no evidence in game to support that.
- pc The rift in Redcliffe Chantry does not drop a loot sack at all.
- xbox360pc If you fall off the edge in the area with the drawbridges you will be revived, but it is possible that when you revive you will be on the very edge and fall off again. This will continue infinitely, and the only solution is to reload a previous save. If the player is in control of a character that falls, the game will go into an endless, unbreakable loop of falling, dying, reviving and falling again. The only solution is to shut down or terminate the game, opening the game again and reloading a save game.
- xbox360It's possible that after saving Leliana, the door to the next level cannot be interacted with, so no further progress in the quest can be made. The only solution is to reload the game to a point before the quest started.
- xboxone It is possible that if you ride your horse through the gate after defeating the Rift outside of them, that you will be unable to advance the quest. You will be stuck in an infinite loop of saving/loading, and be unable to continue.
- pc The rift in the Lower Royal Wing in front of the lyrium door drops a typical rift loot sack, but it is beneath the terrain and cannot be interacted with using the mouse. Use your Interact key to open and loot it.
- pcxboxone Connor might not be encountered sitting in front of the fireplace even though the decision to have him not be possessed by the Desire demon was made in the Dragon Age Keep.