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Reining It In is an Act 3 Gangs side quest in Dragon Age II.


The Reining Men are trying to take over the Docks (Night). Killing the majority of them will reveal the location of their hideout and leader.


Enter the Run Down Alley and defeat the gang and its leader Jess Varvel. Afterward, return to The Hanged Man and speak to A Friend for your reward.


The Slave Hunters roaming the Docks, regardless of armor, have Slaver-type melee units and Raider-type archers. Weapons like Sataareth and Voracity will dispatch them without any difficulty, along with electrical attacks to deal with the archers.

The final fight is in the same location as The Lowdown and uses the same entry point, so head for the lower right corner if you need a place to get out of sight. Jess "Leashmaster" Varvell is an Elite-ranked Slaver Mage, so use fire to your heart's content. With so many enemies around to cover her she may use her AoE attacks rather than just spam her Barrier, so make sure to aggress her just enough to do that while getting rid of the archers. The other enemies are the same mix of Slavers and Raiders. Anders and Merrill, as well as Varric, Aveline, or Fenris have you covered, so get rid of Varvel and treat the fight like any of the ones outside.


You can now walk around the Docks at night without being ambushed by thugs.


From "A Friend"

  • 500 XP
  • 2 Gold

If this is the last of the night-time quests that you turn in then A Friend gives you the following and then leaves:

Note: There seems to be a bug that grants an additional 7Gold (2+5), 1300 XP (800+500), and the Woodsman's Ire axe. A Friend walks away after it's granted, and you receive the intended 5Gold, 800 XP, and the Woodsman's Ire axe (again).


  • A Friend only appears at night, in the back room of The Hanged Man. She will continue to give out rewards each time the player clears out a band of thugs in the subsequent side quests.
  • Like all nighttime gang quests, several waves of enemies will not appear unless you change area and come back. Also like all other such quests, the hideout location will be revealed even if 1-2 groups of gang members have not been cleared (so as not to be rendered impossible to complete if another quest npc is curretly blocking a group from spawning in a specific location).
  • The thugs are generically named Slave Hunter.


  • pcpcps3ps3xbox360xbox360 The player may have to move around the hideout and all its small side areas repeatedly to get all of the enemies to appear.
  • pcpcps3ps3xbox360xbox360 When leaving the Run Down Alley the player will appear in the western Warehouse District (map marker), despite entering in the eastern Warehouse District.
  • pcpc *ps3ps3 Looting Jess Varvel before killing all enemies (possible due to bug listed above) *may* prevent the quest from being completed and instead pointing you to a point outside the map. If this happens and you leave the area (at western Warehouse District due to bug listed above) you will be pointed back in again, without possibility to finish the quest. Even if you have looted Jess Varvel, you can still complete the quest by killing remaining enemies as discussed above.
  • xbox360xbox360 The Codex entry for completing the quest references the wrong area as it says, "According to all sources, most of the slavers have abandoned Lowtown."
  • pcpcps3ps3xbox360xbox360Some enemies from a group may not spawn unless the player moves over a certain spot on the ground. Being thorough in exploring the immediate area of a fight may be required to get all enemies to spawn properly.
    • Most notable among these are the group of Slave Hunters who spawn in the Warehouse District (eastern map marker). One of the enemies will not spawn until the player approaches the southern end of the pier (down the stairs to the water) the map marker rests upon.

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