Prerequisites for this quest include the completion of either Here Lies the Abyss or Wicked Eyes and Wicked Hearts. An Inquisition scout will greet the Inquisitor upon entering Cullen's room in Skyhold. The scout explains that Cullen has gone to discuss something with Cassandra.
Enter the smith near Cassandra and a cut scene will begin. Cullen and Cassandra are in the middle of an argument. When Cullen notices you, he leaves. Cassandra says that he wants her to find another commander for the Inquisition. Cassandra urges the Inquisitor to talk Cullen into staying his course.
Go to Cullen's office to follow up with him and continue the quest.
Upon entering the room, Cullen will throw his lyrium kit off the desk in a fit of rage. He tells you about his past, about being tortured by demons at the Circle in Ferelden, and how it's changed him. He further explains how his experiences in Kirkwall and Meredith's madness have affected him. He says that he should give as much to the Inquisition as he did to the Chantry, and concludes that he should take lyrium. This prompts a dialogue choice:
- "That would be best." – Cullen will start taking lyrium again
- "No lyrium. That's an order." - Cullen will not take lyrium
- "You don't need lyrium." - Cullen will not take lyrium
- "Good. Just do your job." - Cullen will start taking lyrium again
- (Love) "I care about what you want."
- "Don't risk it. Take lyrium." - Cullen will start taking lyrium again
- "Don't give up." - Cullen will not take lyrium
- 1025 XP
- 400 Influence
- 3 Power
- If you romance him, urge him to take lyrium again and re-affirm that choice later, Cullen will break up with the Inquisitor.
- If you try to talk to Cullen immediately after completing the quest, he will say that he needs some time and you will need to talk later.
- If you urged Cullen to stay his course and give up lyrium permanently, once he is ready to talk again, a cutscene will play where you discuss how he's coping. The cutscene is completely different if you urged Cullen to start taking the lyrium again and you are given another opportunity to change the advice you give him.
- Your advice as to whether Cullen takes the lyrium or not also affects the epilogues of the base game and Trespasser.
- If you talk to Cassandra while this quest is active and get the cutscene about her writing about Adamant, the end of the cutscene dumps you off in the forge where the argument between Cassandra and Cullen occurs. The cutscene for the argument will not trigger until you try to leave the forge.
- If you do not enter Cullen's office until after completing both Wicked Eyes and Wicked Hearts and Here Lies the Abyss, this quest may not trigger. Should this occur, the Trespasser epilogue proceeds as though Cullen stopped taking Lyrium.