Go to the Docks at night to intercept and break up the meeting between ship captains and corrupt Kirkwall officials. Eavesdrop on their conversation before engaging them for an additional reward. (Note that even though the Suspicious Lady tells you that the secret meetings are taking place in Lowtown, you actually need to go to the Docks to actually complete the quest.)
There are two ways to listen in on the conversation:
- The simpler way is to go up the stairs to the left and listen to the conversation from the ledge; however, there may be a group of Redwater Teeth raiders near here, and aggro'ing them in the middle of this fight is a recipe for disaster. Thus, it is advisable to eliminate this group of raiders before talking to the Suspicious Lady, regardless of methods you use.
- A craftier method is to enter the Docks (Night) from the southeastern entrance (exit the docks from there during the day and "travel" to the docks at night (does not work when entering from Darktown, despite this being the connecting route between Darktown and the Docks, a usually-moot point considering how travel between maps works)), which deposits you right under the conspirators. Set your party to Hold Position and carefully inch (pc toggle main character from run to walk) a single character up the stairs, hugging the wall on the left. At the top of the stairs inch carefully towards the captain until the conversation triggers. Retreat to the party only once the quest marker updates and prepare for battle.
The conversation reveals that someone in power in Kirkwall is blackmailing the pirates into specifically targeting Amaranthine ships. After the captains finish their complaining, one of their men will notice you and the fight will begin.
This can be a very difficult fight, for a singular reason; both Ship Captains are Elite-ranked Assassins. Even with the full force of the party attacking one, the other will simply act as any untethered assassin will, and somersault their way into stealth before systematically backstabbing every one of your companions. The longer you wait to complete this quest, the higher their health will scale, affording them extra time to inflict even more backstabs. Sending any fragile ranged characters down to the end of the docks to reduce the chance of the Captains targeting them is advised--this will put them in range of the inevitable second wave when it spawns, but these are mostly Critter ranks and of far less concern than the captains. Retreating west through the Docks is another idea, as this will at least keep the reinforcements away, but it will require dealing with many more groups of Redwater Teeth if not wiping them out entirely prior to approaching the meeting site. Two mages with Horror and/or freezing and paralyzing spells are your best chance at locking them both down simultaneously, allowing you enough time to kill one before turning attention to the other. Odds are the survivor will get at least 2-3 backstabs in, so be ready to chug potions.
Another method, one that doesn't require so many stunning spells, is to have a melee-centric party with one or two mages and hold position at the Darktown entrance; use the "craftier" method above to approach and eavesdrop, then return to the doorway you entered from. It's a tight fit and you won't be able to leave until the enemies are dead, but this prevents the Ship Captains from actually getting behind you, greatly reducing their damage as they break stealth in vain; even as enemy archers have a clear line of sight on you, they can be dealt with easily with ranged attacks, and their damage is nothing compared to synchronized backstabs. The tight space is also of great benefit to a two-handed warrior like Fenris (provided he sticks to basic attacks on Nightmare difficulty), as he can strike virtually every enemy at once from here. From here, the usual stun-and-assault routine for assassins should deplete their health, with carefully-aimed AoEs flushing them out of stealth.
Other than this, most of the enemies have Mercenary and Guardsman Pretender enemy typing, so cold will not be very effective save for the Ship Captains, one of whom has Coterie typing (vulnerable to Spirit, mercenary dress) and the other has Carta typing (vulnerable to cold, Street Thug dress). Fire and nature will be the most useful elements for the leftovers, particularly the Corrupt Official, who has generic Kirkwaller typing (vulnerable to fire, immune to cold).
Return to the Suspicious Lady in the Hanged Man at night. Hawke will either let her know the captains are dead, or mention their plans to attack Amaranthine ships, if overheard. Either way, the lady thanks Hawke and says "[they] have done Amaranthine and Ferelden a great service."
- 1 and 250 XP if you just kill them. Ring of the Archmage received.
- 3 and 400 XP if you overheard them talking before killing them.
- Overland Render
Requires: Weapon and Shield
Damage: 12 physical damage
(23 per second)
+4% critical chance on the corpse of one of the Ship Captains.
- Suspicious Lady may become unclickable, leaving you unable to start the quest.[confirmation needed] When this happens, you can activate the quest via console: runscript zz_lgt_debug -> act 1 -> work with plot -> secret rendezvous -> start of the plot.
- It's possible to reach the end of the stairs by hugging the right wall and prompt the raiders to attack you without starting the conversation. After you killed them all you can listen to the conversation from the ledge. The quest will still update to "overheard the conversation", and when you return to the Suspicious Lady you will be able to tell of the conversation.
- There is a way to finish the quest without fighting the raiders. When listening to their conversation, save your game and the quest will auto complete.
- When you enter the area from the entrance right beneath the group, neither the conversation nor the fight is triggered. The conversation will be triggered when you go to the bottom of the stairs to your left.