This quest is acquired by completing the main quest Finding Home. Speaking with Aveline will prompt her to ask you to keep Emeric quiet, as his relentless investigation into the deaths of young women (which was covered in Act 1 as The First Sacrifice) has caused the city guard to embarrass itself. Speaking to Emeric will continue the quest.
If you accept the quest by beginning the conversation with a diplomatic tone and then a humorous tone, but end diplomatic: Sebastian: friendship (+5) (Not as of PC 1.04). After the second choice (humorous response), Sebastian will chime in that "this is a worthy cause." Selecting the diplomatic option at this point accepts the quest and grants Sebastian's approval. This will also net Fenris: friendship (+5). Note that Aveline's responses seem to take precedence, and Sebastian will say nothing if she is in the party.
Gallows Courtyard (Emeric)Go to the Gallows Courtyard and speak with Emeric. He will ask you to go to Gascard DuPuis' estate in Hightown to find evidence of his guilt as the murderer of the young women.
If you agree and go to the house at night, you will find the place full of shades and other enemies. On Nightmare difficulty it may be a better idea to open the southern door and hole up in here, this way the shades can only come from one direction and be easier to manage, while also delaying the rage demon joining the fight. After dealing with them, pick up the note on the table, thanking DuPuis for a "shipment" and stating an artifact is on the way as payment (not seen on screen, but presumably the source of all the creatures infesting the mansion). After the battle, go up the stairs and enter either door. After fighting more shades, a letter from the first enchanter of Starkhaven is on the table. Keep going east through the only doors that will open. Enter the study on this floor to find blood vials, indicating that someone has been experimenting with blood magic, and open the chest for Design: Rune of Striking. Return to the hall and go upstairs to find a letter from Meredith on a table to the right, looking over the stairwell.
In the upper bedroom, you will find Gascard DuPuis with an abused and terrified woman named Alessa. He claims to be the one that has been hunting the murderer, although he admits to resorting to blood magic in order to do it. You can either fight him in addition to demons or let him go.
- Varric: friendship (+5) if you choose the humorous line, "This I have to hear."
- Aveline: rivalry (+5) if you let him go. (PC v1.04 may not occur)
- Isabela: rivalry (+5) if you let him go. (PC v1.04 does not occur also confirmed on Xbox)
If you let him go, there's nothing left to do here but return to the Gallows Courtyard. Should you refuse to take him at his word, he will summon several shades and engage you in battle. After suffering some damage he will disappear in a puff of smoke, leaving you to fight several shades in tight quarters. He'll flee downstairs and through the northern rooms summoning shades, abominations, and a desire demon along the way. He makes his last stand in the parlor as an Elite-ranked Blood Mage. Ignore the abominations and shades and take him down before he can unleash a Hemorrhage. Loot the demons' remains and return to the Gallows Courtyard. It is possible avoid getting attacked by DuPuis, if the door is opened and the party runs back out right away. The summoned shades will follow Hawke, but DuPuis himself will not.
Gallows Courtyard (Moira)
Regardless of your choice, there will be a templar named Moira in Emeric's place when you return to the Gallows. She will inform you that Emeric is ready to meet you tonight according to a note you supposedly gave him.
As you arrive at the blind alley infested with shades and abominations, you discover that Emeric has been killed. The best way to prevent getting overwhelmed is to pull them back towards the entrance stairs, then hold position at the very top while you take them down, keeping everyone out of sight of the reinforcements.
After clearing the area, Moira will arrive. She will realize that Emeric was right about the murders and was killed for getting too close. She'll say that Emeric mentioned Gascard DuPuis and will ask about his involvement:
Gascard DuPuis is dead
If you already killed Gascard then you can tell Moira you already did so. As he couldn't have been responsible for the shade attack on Emeric, the conclusion is that he was not the killer; the only storyline impact is the restriction imposed in the later quest, All That Remains.
Gascard DuPuis is alive
If you let Gascard DuPuis go then Moira will tell you there is a dangerous mage about that the Knight-Commander Meredith will want captured. She asks if DuPuis is the killer.
- If you tell Moira that he fooled you, or that "it's not that simple" and tell her he is in Darktown, then she says she will inform the city guard and that Gascard DuPuis will not escape the city alive. This leads to his execution off-screen by the templars, meaning that in All That Remains you must rely on Gamlen to find the Dark Foundry.
- If you tell Moira that "it's not that simple" and then lie about his location then she says she hopes he is innocent but will still have the City Guard track him down. This option leaves him alive for All That Remains.
- If you tell Moira that you don't think DuPuis is the killer then she says the templars will investigate this. This option leaves him alive for All That Remains.
Either way, the quest is concluded. The serial killer investigation is put on hold until much of the business with the Qunari is concluded in Offered and Lost. If it has already been concluded, All That Remains begins immediately.
- 1 (quest completion - From Moira in the Blind Alley)
- 1000 XP (quest completion) and about 400 XP (fight with demons in the Blind Alley).
- (Optional) roughly 1850 more XP if you kill DuPuis and his summoned demons in the estate. There is also a Complex-ranked chest (30 Cunning to open, 150 XP) in the library, only accessible with this option. DuPuis also drops Gascard DuPuis's Favorite Hat.
- Don't forget to take Design: Rune of Striking from a chest in the house.
- The DuPuis Estate remains open throughout the remainder of Act 2, allowing you to come back and loot its contents at any time. Companions will still react to any unread notes as though Gascard is still under investigation and has yet to be spoken to. Notably, this allows players who wish to organize their rune designs, which are normally listed in the order they are acquired, in a particular way to get the Design: Rune of Spirit from Prime Suspect, for which this quest is a pre-requisite, added to the list before the Design: Rune of Striking.
- In the room where you first meet Gascard, a rogue in your party who performs Backstab or Vendetta on any shade at the edge of the terrace may appear at the courtyard down below. If this happens, move a long distance away and select the rogue, then select a member of the main group again. The bugged rogue will snap teleport back to the group's location. (If the PC is the one who ends up in the courtyard, then the snap teleport fix will not work. If you try to use it, your party will instead teleport to the courtyard with you, and the only fix you will have is to reload a previous save. You can avoid this by not using the teleport fix and simply finishing the fight with Gascard with the remaining three NPCs and then exiting the mansion. The PC will then reappear with the rest of the party.)
- If you let Gascard go, then load a previous save and decide to kill him, Gascard will be impossible to kill in the final showdown with your party.
- While talking to Gascard DuPuis, if Hawke chooses the sarcastic response, "This I have to hear," Varric says he will bet Hawke twenty silver that DuPuis will reply, "It wasn't me, it was the one-armed man!" This is likely a reference to the TV series The Fugitive which aired from 1963 to 1967.