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“Ask a question and you'll get a question, but give an answer and you'll receive the same! Oh, I do so love to trade!”

The Mad Hermit is encountered by the Warden in the northeast section of the East Brecilian Forest.


The hermit is a deranged apostate who lives in the Brecilian forest. He is constantly paranoid of a mysterious group he calls "them" and berates the Warden that "THEY sent you, didn't they?" It is implied that "they" are the Templars who work for the Circle of Magi, as there are many Templar corpses to be found within the forest and Zathrian states that the hermit is hiding from the Circle. Zathrian reveals to you that the hermit is infamous among the Dalish; he is a Shemlen blood mage hiding from the Chantry. He apparently constructed a tower in the Brecilian Forest which has since mysteriously disappeared.


Upon entry to the Mad Hermit's campsite, he will teleport next to the Warden and begin a tirade while swinging his fists. Initiating dialogue reveals that the Hermit speaks in questions, and insists that everyone around him do the same.

Through dialogue, the Warden can receive information and items, most notably the Grand Oak's Acorn. The Warden can trade for it (siding with the Grand Oak) or ask him about a way to the center of the forest (siding with him). He then asks you to kill the Grand Oak that he claims keeps harassing him about an acorn.

Note: If you attack the hermit during dialogue with him, he cannot be killed as he instantly 'teleports' away from your knife attack. Morrigan or Wynne will mention his use of illusions. However, looting his Tree Stump will prompt him to attack you.

Killing the Grand Oak[]

If the Warden chooses to side with the Mad Hermit and kill the Grand Oak, the hermit will aid the Warden in progressing to the center of the forest for the questline Nature of the Beast.

However, the Hermit requires 1 Werewolf Pelt for the whole party. He will enchant it into a Magical Werewolf Pelt, which can be used multiple times to enter the Ruins.

Bug icon Bug! If you have more than 1 Werewolf Pelt in your inventory, ALL of them will be used! So go sell them to Varathorn first before talking to Hermit.

Valid trades[]

Note: Once you passed through the Magical Barrier to reach the center of the forest (and the ruins), you can no longer trade with the Hermit, nor can you agitate him into attacking by rummaging through the stump (the Golden Ring can still be pilfered).
Note: It is possible to not be able to obtain all items if too many questions are asked, the final question being "Have you... ever been in love?"

The Hermit accepts the following items:

Athras's Pendant Athras's Pendant, received after bringing him news of Danyla.
Deygan's Boots Deygan's Boots, the boots from injured Dalish hunter Deygan (in the West Brecilian Forest).
Dusk Ring Dusk Ring in the chest by the tree in the abandoned campsite (-1 strength and +3 cunning). The option "A silver ring" actually means this ring; the hermit won't take just any general silver ring.
Note: The ring will not be in the list of objects you can trade if it is equipped.
Halla Horn Halla Horn The halla horn necklace crafted by Varathorn if the Warden lied to Elora about the halla.
Scarf Scarf, received from Danyla.
The Tale of Iloren The Tale of Iloren, from Cammen.
Song Book Song Book, in the chest behind Lanaya (Zathrian's first).
Bug icon Bug! xbox360Xbox360Deygan's Boots may not be in the list of trade items when speaking to the hermit, despite them being in the players inventory and not equipped to anyone.
Note: This may not be a bug. Deygan's Boots is only offered as a choice after you offer the hermit gold and he refuses. The boots are listed as "How about these leather boots?" As of Jan 1, 2015 in the Ultimate Edition on Steam, you can offer the leather boots prior to offering gold.

Three of the above items are required to obtain the three items from the Hermit:

Grand Oak Acorn Grand Oak Acorn
Ancient Elven Helm Ancient Elven Helm
Book Book, which unlocks the following codex entry:
Codex entry: Archons of the Imperium Codex entry: Archons of the Imperium
Bug icon Bug! pcPCIt is possible to trade for the Grand Oak Acorn a second time, if you return to the hermit after obtaining the Oak Branch from the Grand Oak, and he hasn't close his 'store', i.e. either the helmet or book is available to trade.


One possible approach to the Mad hermit is to try to maximize the number of items obtained from him. This can be done by following this sequence:

  1. Trade with the hermit
    • Trade for the Oak Acorn first, so that it won't be retrieved from the Tree Stump (see below);
    • Trade with him again based on what items the Warden has collected and the items the Hermit offers in exchange;
  2. Inspect the Tree Stump
    • The Hermit will take exception (eventually leading to a fight -but running away works once object is attained- see below), but first the Warden will have a chance to pick one item out of the stump; the item may be
      1. Grand Oak Acorn Grand Oak Acorn (unless the Warden has already obtained it via trading);
      2. Golden Ring Golden Ring;
    • If Zevran is in the party: when you approach the Tree Stump, he will offer to show off his quick hands. He will successfully steal the item from the stump, but the Hermit will still attack.
  3. The Mad Hermit will summon a couple of Greater Rage Demons and attack the party after they rummage the tree Stump;
    • If Dog is in the party: the Hermit's tent acts as a Landmark;
    • The Hermit may be imprisoned/frozen, but being a Boss, can't be shattered. However, he is affected by stun, knockdown, paralyzation and other disabling attacks.
    • Mana Clash is, as usual, a great spell to use against him. Glyph of Neutralization is also great, preventing him from casting any of his spells and forcing him to rely on his modest staff damage also some times he may use his Blood Wound spell against you.


Misdirection Hex Misdirection Hex
Winter's Grasp Winter's Grasp
Cone of Cold Cone of Cold
Blizzard Blizzard
Vulnerability Hex Vulnerability Hex
Blood Magic Blood Magic
Blood Wound Blood Wound


The Hermit may drop:

Commoner Clothing Commoner Clothing
Chainmail Chainmail
Emerald Ring Emerald Ring
Diamond Diamond
Emerald Emerald
Ruby Ruby
Garnet Garnet
Greater Health Poultice Greater Health Poultice
Greater Lyrium Potion Greater Lyrium Potion
Potent Lyrium Potion Potent Lyrium Potion
Swift Salve Swift Salve
Expert Frost Rune Expert Frost Rune
Expert Flame Rune Expert Flame Rune
Expert Lightning Rune Expert Lightning Rune
Expert Dweomer Rune Expert Dweomer Rune
Dreamsever Dreamsever (Constant drop)
Magic Staff Magic Staff (Constant drop)
Money Money, from 55 Bronze to 6 Gold (Constant drop)

He can also drop a Master Flame Rune, Master Frost Rune, or a Master Dweomer Rune, so it can be assumed that he can drop master versions of the other runes as well.

Note: It appears that if you reset too many times, instead of receiving a random amount from 55c to 6g, the game will fix the coin reward at the minimum 55c

Codex entries[]

Codex entry: Archons of the Imperium Codex entry: Archons of the Imperium


  • If the Warden killed the Grand Oak first (in the West Brecilian Forest) before talking to the Mad Hermit, be sure to save a Werewolf Pelt. Otherwise, there is no way to make a Magical Werewolf Pelt, which grants passage through the Magical Barrier. He also cannot be killed as you cannot agitate him by searching the Tree Stump ("There is nothing in the trunk that appears worthy of your time.").
  • If the Hermit is killed, a group of Bandits will take over his campsite.
  • Once the party passes through the Magical Barrier, the Hermit (if not killed) turns docile (not able to converse or trade with), and no bandits appear.


  • pcPCps3PS3xbox360Xbox360A glitch allows you to assist the Mad Hermit ("turn Oak into firewood") even if you have sided with the Grand Oak by returning his Grand Oak Acorn and obtaining the Oak Branch. However, the Grand Oak is docile at this point (cannot engage in dialogue to attack). This results in an active quest marker on the Grand Oak and active entry in your main quest journal. To avoid this glitch, don't ask the Hermit about the center of the forest.