Shepherding Wolves is an Act 1 main quest in Dragon Age II.

In this quest Sister Petrice asks Hawke to lead a chained and collared Qunari out of Kirkwall to freedom. The Qunari, whom Petrice has dubbed Ketojan, can only make gurgling sounds. Ketojan is actually a Saarebas, a Qunari mage.

Acquisition[edit | edit source]

Blackpowder Promise must be completed for this rumor to become an active quest. The rumor has it that someone from the Chantry is offering good money for a mission. Go to Lowtown at night to find out more. Just south of The Hanged Man Hawke will see Sister Petrice setting herself up for a first-class mugging. Rescue her and she offers Hawke the quest, inviting the party to meet her at her safehouse to learn more.

Walkthrough[edit | edit source]

Lowtown[edit | edit source]

Sister Petrice's safehouse can be found in the Old City Slums region of Lowtown (Night), almost directly across the alley from Gamlen's House. Go inside and speak to her. She asks Hawke to lead Ketojan to freedom.

If Hawke accepts the mission:

  • Friendship Anders: friendship (+10)
  • Friendship Bethany: friendship (+5)
  • Friendship Merrill: friendship (+10)
  • Rivalry Varric: rivalry (+5)
Note: pcpc xbox360xbox360 Hawke may not get Friendship Bethany: friendship (+5)

If Hawke refuses:

  • Rivalry Anders: rivalry (+15)
  • Rivalry Bethany: rivalry (+5)
  • Friendship Varric: friendship (+10)

As this is a main quest, even if Hawke initially refuses, it must be completed.

In order to escape the city unseen, Sister Petrice instructs Hawke to lead Ketojan out of the city via an underground passage.

Undercity Warrens[edit | edit source]

Within the warrens the party will face a series of spiders, and ultimately a band of thugs. While there are no locked chests in the warrens, there is a single simple ranked trap (any rogue can detect and disarm) followed by five standard ranked traps (requiring a rogue with 20 cunning to detect and disarm). The simple trap is located in the middle of the first room where spiders are first encountered, taking the form of a line of three pressure plates. The five standard traps consist of a single pressure plate trap at the top of the first flight of stairs, a line of pressure plates midway through the tunnel past the first flight of stairs, a single pressure plate trap at the end of the aforementioned tunnel, another single pressure plate trap at the bottom of the second flight of stairs, and one final single pressure plate trap in the choke point entryway to the U-shaped section of the map just past the second flight of stairs.

Just before battling the band of thugs, there is a cutscene where the thug leader confronts Hawke, hurling insults at him and Ketojan. The insults angers Ketojan, and when the thug leader tries to stab Hawke, Ketojan is provoked into action and unleashes his magic upon the thug leader. This causes the rest of the thug band to attack the party. After the battle, there are a couple of chests with assorted loot available before leaving the area. Depending on Hawke's class a chest will contain:

Boots of the Spiral Eye Boots of the Spiral Eye (mage)

Boots of the Fallen Boots of the Fallen (warrior)

Last Descent Boots Last Descent Boots (rogue)

Vimmark Mountain Pass[edit | edit source]

Upon exiting the underground tunnels to the Wounded Coast, Hawke encounters an encampment of other Qunari, who call Ketojan "Saarebas," meaning "dangerous thing". Apparently, the members of Ketojan's karataam were killed, and their bodies were left in a trail leading to exactly where Hawke's group would emerge. The Arvaarad proclaims that since Ketojan has spent some time without his handler, he may have been corrupted by demons and thus cannot be allowed to live.

  • If Hawke is a Mage and you Investigate to ask why the Qunari collar their Mages, and you tell them that you’re a Mage, then Arvaarad uses a binding spell on Ketojan. The Qunari attack.
  • If Hawke is not a Mage but you have a Mage in your party, and you Investigate to ask why the Qunari collar their Mages, and you talk to that Mage, then Arvaarad uses a binding spell on Ketojan. The Qunari attack .
    • Friendship Merrill: friendship (+5)
  • If you let the Qunari take Ketojan then the Qunari will unbind Ketojan, and with his final words he acknowledges Hawke as worthy of following, before submitting to a ceremonial death. Arvaarad will then reveal that since Hawke is worth following, they are also worthy of the ceremonial death now required by the Qun because Hawke spent time with an unsupervised mage. The Qunari attack.
    • Rivalry Anders: rivalry (+10)
  • If you say that Ketojan must be set free:
    • If you told Ketojan not to attack (the aggressive response) in the Undercity Warrens after the Undercity Thugs attacked then Saarebas will be unbound after the battle and is then able to speak and choose his own path. In accordance with the teachings of the Qun, he chooses death for himself and gives Hawke the Talisman of Saarebas before immolating himself with fire magic.
    • Otherwise Arvaarad uses a binding spell on Ketojan. The Qunari attack.
      • Friendship Anders: friendship (+10)
      • Friendship Aveline: friendship (+5)
      • Friendship Bethany: friendship (+10)
      • Friendship Carver: friendship (+5)
      • Friendship Merrill: friendship (+5)

If Ketojan is alive after the battle you free him using the staff that Arvaarad held. He tells you that he must return to the Qun. No matter what you say, he sets himself on fire, killing himself.

Grab the Silverite deposit before leaving, then return to Lowtown to confront Sister Petrice, who has clearly sent Hawke into a trap.

Strategy[edit | edit source]

For Primal and fire-centric Elemental mages, this fight can be a challenge, as Qunari resist both fire and electricity damage, having outright immunity on Nightmare difficulty. This also means that Combustion Grenades are out of the question as well. A ranged party can maintain a buffer, whereas a melee one, even with tanks, will get overwhelmed. Lacking in cold spells, Spirit is the next best option, which has the added benefit of penetrating 50% of all damage and magic resistances. Since the Qunari are Normal-ranked and have similar maximum health, and begin in a tight-knit cluster, Walking Bomb can take off half of the group's health, regardless of which one goes boom. After your opening move, focus on the Ashaads, the Qunari faction's equivalent of archers (who act as spear-throwers) while keeping the Arvaarad's healing aura suppressed with stun effects, like Horror and Petrify, then work on the Karashok, the melee units. The Qunari hit hard enough with their basic attacks to knock most non-warriors around, so be wary of this.

Retreating to the lowland depression near the easternmost cliff, around the bend from the starting path, is also an option, as it will help funnel the enemies into an ant trail of sorts as they pursue, making for easier elimination, and also provide temporary cover from the inevitable second wave. If the Arvaarad does not pursue as aggressively as the Karashok, this can also pull them away from his healing aura. Lastly, as two of the Ashaad reinforcements spawn directly behind your starting position, retreating before they spawn will prevent you from getting flanked. In short, retreating to a more defensible position is always a good idea. However, retreating while the initial group of Ashaad are alive is ill-advised, as they will be able to auto-hit from range, and the Arvaarad should still be stunned lest he join the pursuers and heal them all the way to your new position.

When enough of the initial group is eliminated, three more Ashaad and three more Karashok will appear. Let them come to you and hit them with the full force of your party one at a time. If worst comes to worst, as long as the Arvaarad, Ashaad and Karasaad are defeated, a ranged character can kite the Karashok around the coastal trails without them getting healed mid-chase.

On the other hand, anyone with sufficient investment in the cold side of Elemental will find this battle incredibly easy. They can run up and blast the entirety of the tightly-clustered Qunari with Cone of Cold, and having Winter's Blast, Deep Freeze, and Elemental Mastery, along with a sufficiently powerful staff to power the spells will also help. The freezing and Brittle effects will also be welcome. The Acolyte's Staff from Lowtown is a good option, but if you've got 28 Magic or more, nothing beats the Staff of the Primal Order in this fight. Having some of these upgrades is preferable, having all of them can empower the mage to eliminate them all in one use of each spell. The new wave will spawn in, and your party will still be at maximum strength, able to take down the two Ashaad who spawn behind you. When Winter's Grasp/Blast recharges, it can take care of any enemy that's getting too annoying. Finally, what one Elemental mage can do, two will do better, and using Walking Bomb in conjunction with a barrage of cold spells can, in some cases, put out enough damage to kill the Arvaarad in the initial wave. Ultimately, this fight can either be one of the easiest or hardest in the Act depending on how you've built your mages.

Return to Lowtown[edit | edit source]

Return to Sister Petrice's safehouse in Lowtown at night. Hawke finds Petrice and her Templar assistant packing up, intending to leave without a trace. When confronted she reveals that had Hawke been killed, she would have used the events to turn the Chantry against the Qunari.

  • "I don't care, just pay me":
    • Rivalry Aveline: rivalry (+5)
    • Friendship Carver: friendship (+5)
    • Friendship Varric: friendship (+5)
  • "I should kill you":
    • Rivalry Varric: rivalry (+5)
Note: Fenris will not gain friendship or rivalry throughout this quest regardless of responses.

Rewards[edit | edit source]

400 XP

Money Money - 7 Gold

Talisman of Saarebas Talisman of Saarebas - If freed from the Qunari party, Saarebas will give this to Hawke before he kills himself.

Notes[edit | edit source]

Trivia[edit | edit source]

  • When returning to Petrice, Varnell will bark "Mind your tongue, [noun]" at whichever companion accosts her. If that companion is Bethany, Carver, Aveline, or Anders, he will call them "Fereldan." Isabela is called "woman," Merrill and Fenris are simply referred to as "elf" and Varric as "dwarf." All of these descriptors use a tone that is intended to be disrespectful.
  • After completing the quest Hawke can talk to Elthina, who says the following: "Several of our brothers and sisters take the Qunari threat too personally. The Maker would not have sent them if not to teach us something." This line triggers only once in Act 1 and only after this quest.
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