Leliana's Past is Leliana's companion quest in Dragon Age: Origins. It is based on the incidents that happen during the Leliana's Song DLC.


  • Talk to Leliana after Lothering. You should be able to ask why she joined the Chantry. If you choose the correct options you should get a Codex update. This can only be done if her approval rating is above 25. Once her approval is around 30+, make sure to ask her about "minstrels and spies in Orlais". She will tell you about bards.
Note: Her dialogue options regarding "minstrels and spies in Orlais" may not appear if you're in a romance with Leliana and her approval has been raised rapidly to a 71 or higher ("Adore") via gifts. This can still happen even in the player is not in a romance with her. Applying the version 1.02 (or newer) bug patch to the game may fix this problem, however it has been reported by many users that the bug still exists in current patch versions. You can also simply lower her approval rating to a 70 or below ("Warm" or "Care") and she will tell you about the spies. Her approval can be lowered via dialogue, actions, or through use of the developer console, but one of the easiest ways to lower her approval is by use of the Feastday Gifts and Pranks DLC (specifically, the ugly boots, but the rotten onion or charcoal work as well). Also you may choose to "end" the relationship with her to lower her approval and still harden her.
The encounter with the assassins

The encounter with the assassins

  • This conversation should prompt a random encounter that starts her quest after you leave camp and travel on the World Map with her in your party. You will be confronted by assassins hired by Marjolaine. Only the leader must be killed to end the combat.
  • Go to Denerim and enter the residence pointed to by the assassin's contact (second door on the right, as you enter the Denerim Market District from the North-West corner; the door is marked as Assassin's Contact for Leliana when selected). Kill two Qunari guards before entering the foyer.
  • Confront Marjolaine.
    • If you back up Leliana's demand that Marjolaine stays out of her life, she will walk away, but vows that it's not over between them.
    • However, if you suggest to Leliana that she cannot allow Marjolaine's actions to go unpunished, you will enter fight with Marjolaine. Two guards and two travelling mages will join in the fight. They have the following profiles:

Guards: Same guards as the two you fought when entering the house. Wear massive armor and fight with Mauls: Use the following:

Talent-WarCry icon War Cry (with Superiority)
Talent-Rally icon Rally (possibly with Motivate.)

Travelers: Saarebas, their staves seem to do fire damage. Can cast the following:

Spell-SpellMight icon Spell Might
Spell-Stonefist icon Stonefist
Spell-Heal icon Heal
Spell-HeroicDefense icon Heroic Defense
Spell-HeroicAura icon Heroic Aura
Spell-DispelMagic icon Dispel Magic
Spell-RockArmor icon Rock Armor
Spell-Earthquake icon Earthquake

Marjolaine: Unarmed and unarmored, yet does 30+ damage per hit. Uses the following:

Talent-Evasion icon Evasion
Talent-SongOfCourage icon Song of Courage
Talent-DirtyFighting icon Dirty Fighting
Talent-CaptivatingSong icon Captivating Song
  • After dealing with Marjolaine, there's a chest in the bedroom that contains a longbow named Marjolaine's Recurve which is restricted Leliana, as well as an assorted selection of other valuable Orlesian gear, such as pieces from the Chevalier armor set and grandmaster versions of various runes. Make sure to take all the loot out of the chest, as the building will become inaccessible once you have left.
Note: If you wish to find a particular item in the chest, you should reload before first entering Denerim, as this is the time that these items will spawn and determine what you will find afterwards.
  • No matter how the meeting ends, there is no approval change from Leliana and party members (Alistair, Dog, Morrigan, Shale, Sten, Wynne and Zevran confirmed).

Hardening Leliana

Leliana starts out the game as a repentant bad girl. Nevertheless, she greatly enjoyed the intrigue of her previous life as a bard, more so than her new life as a chantry lay-sister. This leaves her feeling internally conflicted. At the end of this quest, the words of her former mentor Marjolaine spark an internal crisis. The player can help Leliana sort through her feelings once back in camp.


Depending on the conversational options chosen, one of two results will occur:

  • Leliana's faith in the Maker and her new, more virtuous path will be reaffirmed and strengthened. The result is that she remains unhardened.
  • Leliana will decide that her new self was just an attempt to run away from her previous life after her mentor's betrayal, and that the real Leliana is a worldly bard who loves all of the danger, intrigue, and at times even the killing that goes along with that lifestyle. This results in her being hardened.

Whether Leliana's personality is hardened can affect the game in a number of ways.

Hardening dialogue walkthrough

The hardening dialogue begins when talking to her in camp after the quest is completed. She will respond with: "Oh, hello... is there something you wanted to talk about?"

There are many ways to get to the list of conversational choices that can result in her hardening. The key is the point in the conversation when she eventually confesses: "What we're doing... what we've done--hunted men down, killed them--part of me loves it. It invigorates me and this scares me. I... I feel myself slipping."

A choice of four responses follows, two of which will harden her. The ones that will harden her are:

  • "You're not slipping. This is who you are."
  • "Don't punish yourself for doing something you enjoy."

As long as either of these two lines are selected, Leliana will be hardened. Selecting either of the other two choices will result in her remaining unhardened. The rest of the conversation has no effect on her hardening.

Note that hardening must be done before any proposal to Queen Anora, otherwise it may be impossible to harden Leliana afterwards, even if her approval is at 100.


If Marjolaine dies

Marjolaine mistakenly believed that Leliana's reason for emerging from the cloister was to exact revenge on her. She made the first move, sending men to kill Leliana. Marjolaine could not be allowed to hound Leliana, so you killed her.

If you let Marjolaine go

Marjolaine mistakenly believed that Leliana's reason for emerging from the cloister was to exact revenge on her and made the first move, sending men to kill Leliana. Leliana told Marjolaine to leave and to never come back, but Marjolaine does not seem to be finished.


  • If you kill Marjolaine you can join Leliana during the epilogue, telling her that you want to go with her, adventuring together or travel to Orlais.
  • If you let Marjolaine live, Leliana will go to Orlais herself to deal with her. Leliana will not let you come along.

Notable items

Forest Stream

Ico greatsword Qunari Sword - obtained from the Assassin Leader
Ico longbow Antivan Longbow - obtained from the Assassin Leader

Marjolaine's Home

Ico longbow Marjolaine's Recurve in a chest

Randomly found:

Ico warhammer Heavy Maul
Ico armor massive Chevalier's Armor
Ico gloves massive Chevalier's Gloves
Ico boots massive Chevalier's Boots
Ico helm massive Standard Bearer's Helm
Ico helm massive Heavy Infantry Helmet
Ico helm heavy Executioner's Helm
Ico helm heavy Soldier's Helm


  • 250 XP for resolving the quest
  • additional XP for killing the guards, travelers, and Marjolaine


  • The rooms with travelers have Pressure Plates in the doorways, and triggering them will activate a Fireball-like explosion.
  • An easy way to win this fight is to have all your party members run back to the first room of the house as soon as the fight starts and close the door. Only one or two guards will be drawn out, unsupported. Dispatch him or them (taking care to stay within the room). If you can, use Mana Clash (with the door shut) to dispatch the two mages. Then enter the room and fight Marjolaine (cone of cold and the shield stun talents work great) - or you set all your party members to ranged mode and shoot at Marjolaine from the doorway. When her health hits 75%, she will run to you and activate Captivating Song, alone. Having at least one 2-hander with Indomitable will help tremendously with this battle. If not, simply move as many party members as possible out of the song's AoE and shoot at her until she dies, as she will never deactivate the song. After that, you might even be able to save your game before going back and finishing off the rest of the enemies.
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