Soldier's Peak is the central quest in Warden's Keep DLC for Dragon Age: Origins.

Walkthrough[edit | edit source]

Note: Once the quest is complete and the veil is sealed, you will not be able to re-enter the keep. Therefore, if you wish to access the loot available in locked chests, bring a lock-picker in the party.

Courtyard[edit | edit source]

Note: If both Alistair and Morrigan are in your party when you first arrive at Soldier's Peak, there is a brief banter between the two. This will also occur if the initial party includes a pairing of either Shale and Oghren or Zevran and Sten and Alistair is not also in the party.

As the party enters the Courtyard (after the initial cutscene) and approaches the stairs 3 Arland Corpses, an Arland’s Lord, and 2 Arland Skeletons attack.

Take the south-west path where a Warden Acolyte and 4 Warden Skeletons attack. Examine the statue, unlocking the Ancient History quest and Codex entry: The History of Soldier's Peak: Chapter 1.

Return to the Courtyard where a Warden Master Scout (Elite), 2 Arland Skeletons, and 2 Warden Skeletons attack. Kill them and you get:

At low levels, withdrawing down the path may be a prudent move, as the groups of corpses may rise one after another, thus not allowing a break in combat if you remain in the main courtyard. They may even rise together, giving you 8-12 corpses to fight at a single point. Return to the Party Camp if you suffer any injuries before pressing any further inside.

Climb the stairs and enter the Keep.

First Floor[edit | edit source]

You have another vision presenting more details about the fall of the keep when the king and the Wardens squared off, as attested by the Statement of Defiance on the wall.

Open the door to the Break Room, where the party will meet an Arcane Horror and two Lesser Rage Demons. A note on a table unlocks the Codex entry: A Letter From Bann Mathuin Wulff. The Arcane Horror should be disabled and defeated with a four-man assault, and the Rage Demons are easily defeated with Cone of Cold.

There are doors to the west and the east.

Note: There is a blocked doorway to the north where you may see some Arland Corpses and Warden Skeletons walking around in the next room, but they do not see you.

Open the west door to the Barracks, where Commander Athlar awaits with 3 Warden Skeletons. There is a note on the balcony that gives Codex entry: A Plea from Commander Athlar.

Return to the Break Room and take the east door to a hallway. There is an east door to the Mess Hall, which has an unlocked chest, and a west door at the end of the hallway leading to the Archives (beyond the barricade). The Archives are guarded by Corpses (at low level) and an Archivist and two rage demons (the archivist is a lieutenant rage demon and these only appear during higher levels).

The large Archivist's Book on the floor is associated with the conflict that led to the fall of the keep, and will trigger a cut-scene into the past of the keep. A smaller book will unlock the Codex entry: The History of Soldier's Peak: Chapter 2 which is associated with Ancient History quest.

Take the stairs to the Second Floor.

Second Floor[edit | edit source]

The first room on the Second Floor is divided in two by the remnants of a barricade. As the party approaches it, a cut-scene reveals that the Wardens (specifically a Mage named Avernus) summoned demons to help them in the defense of the keep, but were betrayed. As the cut-scene ends, a Rage Abomination will appear and attack the party. In addition to this demon, the party will have to deal with some of his aides during the fight. First, as the fight begins, there will be 4 undead wardens (one in each of the purple glyphs on the floor) who will heal the abomination at regular intervals. Secondly, as the demon's health approaches zero, two Greater Rage Demons will spawn and attack, and the boss Demon will refill his health.

Eliminate the corpses as they respawn to prevent wasting attacks on the abomination. Force Field or kiting with a tank can keep the abomination from attacking, and Curse of Mortality can prevent it from receiving the healing effects.

Tactical move makes it easy: If you lead the rage abomination into the stairwell of the room entrance, the undead wardens healing magic will not reach the abomination and the party can take it out pretty easily. (Does not work in 1.05, exact patch unknown.)

At the end of the battle, the Warden will have a brief dialogue with Levi, who is shocked to discover that Wardens would summon demons for help.

Note: The boss demon loot includes Winter's Breath.

Take the stairs to the Shrine where a Shambling Corpse and a couple of Shambling Skeletons) attack. A bottle of Raspberry Jam on a table will unlock the Codex entry: The History of Soldier's Peak: Chapter 3 and advance the Ancient History quest.

There is a door to the east (leading to The Bridge) but it is sealed by a magic barrier. To the west a door leads to the Commander' Quarters where the party can meet Sophia Dryden.

Bug icon.png Bug! A bug can occur that will prevent the Shrine door from unlocking if you kill the second set of dead wardens too quickly and they are unable to summon the greater rage demons. It has nothing to do with the leveling of your characters.

Meeting Sophia Dryden[edit | edit source]

Meeting Possessed Sophia

Enter the Commander's Quarters on the Second Floor of the Keep to meet Sophia. The dialogue will present the Warden with the option of attacking her right away or accept her offer. The Codex entry: Sophia Dryden will be updated at the end of the conversation.

Sophia is Levi's great-great-grandmother but has been possessed by a demon (Levi himself will point out that what the group is facing is not his relative anymore). She has been locked up in the keep since the time of the Wardens-Ferelden conflict and wishes only to be let out, free to roam the rest of the world. She will offer the Warden the promise of sealing the rift into the Fade. In exchange for Sophia's freedom, the Warden will have to kill Avernus. Avernus is found in Avernus's Tower, past the Bridge from the Second Floor.

A short overview of the Warden's options:

See § Party reaction below for some companions' reactions to the Warden's choice.
  • Accept Sophia's deal by telling her to tell Levi about Sophia. She says she will answer any questions Levi has after you help her. If you do this you cannot get her to sweeten the deal.
  • Accept Sophia's deal and Persuade her to sweeten the deal. She tells you that there is hidden gold here (the treasure turns out to be 8 Gold); she will tell you where it is after you help her.
Note: If you first ask her to tell you about the Tower then you cannot ask her to sweeten the deal. You can ask her about the Tower after she tells you about the gold.
Note: If you ask her for this gold and then ask her to tell Levi whatever he wants to know about Sophia, she refuses to tell Levi anything.
  • Accept Sophia's deal and Persuade her to seal the Veil first and then you’ll help her (you cannot ask this if you first ask her to tell you more about the tower). This is continued in the Summoning Circles section below.
  • Accept Sophia's deal without asking for a reward or for her to tell Levi anything.
Note: There is an option to Persuade her by lying to her by asking her to seal the Veil first and then you’ll help her. Even with Coercion 1-4 she does not believe you.
  • Reject Sophia's deal. She summons 4 undead wardens and attacks.

Accepting Sophia's request will add the Infernal Dealings quest to the Warden's journal. Note that you can still choose to aid Avernus instead of Sophia.

After talking to Sophia (or if you killed her) examine the book on the table for Codex entry: Sophia Dryden's Journal.

Return to the Shrine; the magic barrier on the east door is now gone. Open it to go to the Bridge.

Maximal XP and Gold Strategy[edit | edit source]

The outcome with the most XP and reward is:

  • Agree to Sophia’s deal. Persuade her to sweeten the deal.
  • Go to the Tower and kill Avernus. Kill him there instead of bringing him back and killing him with Sophia’s help (he summons more enemies to fight you in the Tower).
  • Return to Sophia and have her fix the Veil.
  • Get the location of the Gold from Sophia.
  • Kill Sophia.

The Bridge[edit | edit source]

The bridge is a brief passage between the keep and a tower. A few undead wardens will attack as soon as the party reaches the bridge. They don't represent a big challenge, but be careful of the various traps laid out on this passage. They will require a Lockpicking score {(Cunning - 10) + (Deft Hands rank * 10)} of 40 to disarm, but they can be bypassed by hugging the sides of the bridge, or walking right down the center one character at a time.

Enter the tower.

Avernus's Tower[edit | edit source]

Open the door to the Study where a group of 4 Warden Corpses attack. In this room, a large book of Ability Notes holds some of Avernus's notes on his last experiments (and a short cut-scene). Next, a book on the table unlocks the Codex entry: Avernus's Notes, and an Alchemical Concoction holds the culmination of Avernus's horrific research. If the Warden does not examine the book and notes in the room before inspecting the concoction, there will be no hint as to the concoction's nature.

Note: Drinking the concoction will unlock the Diabolist achievement and the Power of Blood abilities. The concoction will not be available once the Soldier's Peak quest is completed so it should be drunk during this phase of the quest (although a possible workaround exists, see Power of Blood).

Both doors from The Study lead to The Sanctum, where the party can meet Avernus.

Meeting Avernus[edit | edit source]

Meeting Avernus

In The Sanctum the Warden will meet Avernus. During the initial dialogue with Avernus, the Warden can ask a number of questions (and even let Levi ask about his grand-grandmother). What happens here depends on what happened with Sophia:

You told Sophia that you would kill Avernus and you persuaded her to fix the Veil already[edit | edit source]

He has detected that the veil has already been repaired.

If you can Persuade him that he is no better than the Demons you may able to convince him to let you decide his judgement when you have what you need of him and you can ask him to continue his research (otherwise he asks if he can continue it).

  • If you ask him to continue his research (either by humane means only or with no restrictions) or tell him to do what he wants, he stays at the Keep.
  • Or you can attack him. If you say "death is the only veridict" and Morrigan is in the party there may be approval changes (see below).
  • Or you can cast him out of the Keep. He accepts your decision and leaves the Keep forever.

You told Sophia that you would kill Avernus but the Veil has not been fixed yet[edit | edit source]

He tells you that to save the Keep the Demons must be cut off forever. He makes a request for you to stay your hand until the Demons are dealt with.

If you can Persuade him that he is to blame for all this then you may able to convince him to accept your judgement after he has helped you.

  • Attack him.
  • Otherwise he says that you must return to the Great Hall to repair the rip in the Veil that the Demons have been using to terrorize Soldier’s Peak. He says he will need protection while he repairs the damage.

If you already killed Sophia[edit | edit source]

If you Persuade him that he is to blame for all this and that he is no better than the Demons then he agrees to help put things right and accepts whatever judgement you see fit (If you do not Persuade him of this and you help Avernus kill Sophia then you can fight him in combat after he fixes the Veil, otherwise you kill him in a cut-scene).

He asks you to help defeat the Demons. He says you must return to the Great Hall to repair the rip in the Veil that the Demons have been using to terrorize Soldier’s Peak. He says he will need protection while he repairs the damage.

Fighting Avernus in the Tower[edit | edit source]

If you fight Avernus he retreats to the balcony and summons 4 Warden Corpses and 2 Warden Skeletons. There are Glyphs of Paralysis at the bottom of each set of stairs.

Explore the Tower[edit | edit source]

Before leaving The Sanctum, the Warden may inspect a Corpse hanging from the Northern wall to unlock Codex entry: The History of Soldier's Peak: Chapter 4 and advancing the Ancient History quest

Note: If Avernus leaves with the Warden he starts moving towards the exit of the Tower but may not reach it. However, if and when this occurs, once the party exits onto the Bridge, Avernus will appear in front of them. And, possibly, stall once again. No matter, when the party enters the keep on the other side of the Bridge, Avernus will be with them.

Return to the Shrine[edit | edit source]

You appear at a different location depending on what happened in the tower:

  • If you made a deal with Sophia (without repairing the Veil first) you appear in the Shrine.
    • If you killed Avernus, Sophia is pleased. She takes you to the 4 Summoning Circles.
    • If you did not kill Avernus and he is with you then they prepare to fight. You can choose to side with either one. Whoever you fight summons 2 Shambling Skeletons. After the battle the winner automatically takes you to the 4 Summoning Circles.
    • If you did not kill Avernus and he is not with you because you exiled him then you automatically appear at the 4 Summoning Circles.
  • Otherwise you automatically appear at the 4 Summoning Circles.
Note: If Sophia and Avernus fight here, then whomever the Warden supports will be invincible during the ensuing fight.
Note: If Sophia and Avernus fight here and you side with Sophia, this will unlock Terror on the Coast if imported to Dragon Age II. Siding with Avernus and allowing him to continue his research (whether ethically or not) will unlock Dark Epiphany. Be careful if you choose to side with Avernus here; he will use Fireball against Sophia regardless of who is standing near. This can possibly do a large amount of friendly fire to your party.

Summoning Circles[edit | edit source]

What happens here depends on who you helped or killed.

  • If you Persuade Sophia to repair the Veil (before going to see Avernus) and you are here to repair the Veil then Sophia is the one repairing the Veil.
  • If you refused Sophia’s deal and killed her and brought Avernus back to repair the Veil then Avernus is the one helping repairing the Veil.
  • If you made a deal with Sophia (repairing the Veil first):
    • If you killed Avernus then she says she will leave the Keep now. If you can Intimidate you may get her to answer Levi’s questions; she initially refuses, but if you Intimidate again you may be able to convince her to talk to Levi and tell him about Sophia.
      • If you let her leave, she says you’ll never see her again.
      • Or you can attack Sophia.
      • Whichever you choose, this is continued in the Veil Repaired section below.
    • If you met with Avernus but did not kill him (either letting him stay or exiling him) she is outraged. No matter what you say she attacks. This is continued in the Veil Repaired section below.
  • If you made a deal with Sophia (without repairing the Veil first):
    • If you killed Avernus (in the Tower or in the Shrine) then Sophia is the one repairing the Veil.
    • If you met with Avernus but did not kill him, brought him back and killed Sophia then Avernus is the one repairing the Veil.

Repairing the Veil[edit | edit source]

You arrive at the room where the Rage Demon and the 4 Dead Wardens attacked. Whoever is repairing the Veil asks you to protect them from Spirits and Demons as they unravel the summoning circles to repair the Veil.

One at a time, the Veil-repairer will go to the 4 summoning circles and Demons will appear:

  • First circle: 3 Lesser Rage Demons around the gate to the fade in the South-West corner.
  • Second circle: 4 Greater Shades around the South and West walls.
  • Third circle: 2 Ash Wraiths and 2 Lesser Rage Demons along the two walls.
  • Fourth circle: a Desire Demon (Boss) (drops 3Gold 50Silver 0Bronze).
Note: There is a small pause between each wave, during which the Warden may heal and save. If you play on Nightmare, the pause is deleted.
Bug icon.png Bug! During the battle (it is encountered when an Ash Wraith spawned if the Warden agreed to kill Avernus and follows through with it) it is possible to get stuck in an endless loop in which Sophia continually tells the Warden that she "remembers the deal" and will close the Void. There are two ways to deal with this bug. First one is to quit the game and to load a save and the second one is to choose a different option, to betray Sophia. This way after you defeated Avernus, Sophia will become hostile and will start to attack you, when you kill her the game will continue normally as if nothing happened. The same thing applies if the game is stuck in the loop if you choose to side with Avernus, only this time you must betray Avernus.
Bug icon.png Bug! At the start of the battle Avernus may fail to enter a summoning circle, especially at high screen resolutions. The script will pause indefinitely if this happens. To work around this, you may try the following bug fixes: 1. as soon as you tell Avernus you're ready, prepare to quickly run back towards the door, this simple action gives Avernus pathing space to walk to the nearest summoning circle. 2. Different combinations of screen resolution, or switching to windowed mode, then restarting the script by passing out to the bridge and back 3. Knocking Avernus into a circle by using Shale's "Hurl Rock" ability (this takes a while) or a few fireballs 4.If you do not have Shale or a mage character that can use fireball in your company you can try to move your characters in Avernus way, before he gets there. This will make him move around your character and into the circle. As well, spamming the "Escape (Esc) Key" as you do, to skip through the dialogue. Continue spamming through the end of the dialogue to bring up the menu. This should fix the script pause 5. Another possible fix is to speak to one of your party members directly after skipping through the dialogue 6. If all else fails, you can also use a quest debug console command type "runscript zz_gwb_debug" without the quotes, then choose "make jump to" > "warden keep (repaired)" and that will fix/teleport you to the end of the DLC.

*Video of the simple run to door Fix for "Summoning Circle Failing to Start BUG" (confirmed by many to work)[1]

What happens once the Veil is repaired depends on who you sided with:

  • If you sided with Sophia and Persuade her to repair the Veil (before going to Avernus) then you must now go to the tower. The Infernal Dealings quest is added to the Warden's journal. First return to Sophia's quarters to search it, then go to the tower. This is continued in The Bridge section above.
  • If you sided with Sophia and have already killed Avernus:
    • If you Persuade her to sweeten the deal, then she tells you about a cache in the Commander’s Quarters (don’t ask her about Avernus first or you won’t have the opportunity to ask for your payment). If you can Intimidate you may be able to also threaten her into answering Levi’s questions (even though that wasn’t part of the deal). She initially refuses, but if you Intimidate again you may be able to convince her to talk to Levi and tell him about Sophia.
    • If your deal included Sophia answering Levi’s questions then she talks to Levi and tells him about Sophia.
    • Whatever you deal was, she says your business is at an end.
      • If you let her leave, she says you’ll never see her again.
      • Or you can attack Sophia.
  • If you sided with Avernus:
    • If you convinced him to submit to your judgement and you choose to kill him he lets you kill him (there is no fight).
    • If you didn’t convince him to submit to your judgement and you attack him then he fights back.
    • If you ask him to atone by researching ways to help the Wardens, tell him he must live with what he has done, or that you refuse to judge him, he says he will stay at the Keep to try to atone for his deeds.
    • If you cast him out of the Wardens he leaves the Keep.

Veil Repaired[edit | edit source]

Once Sophia is dead/let go and Avernus is taken care of, Levi thanks you. He comments on what you chose to do about Sophia and Avernus; if you let either of them live he says he’s not sure that was the right decision (but it has no bearing on him or the quest).

He’s sad there was no proof to clear his great-great-grandmother, but decides to focus on the future. He decides to stay on at the Peak as a merchant, offering you a sizable discount.

Once the dialogue with Levi is over, walk to the opposite side of the room and interact with Asturian's Portrait above the fireplace. Choose "Recite the Grey Warden Oath" to reveal Asturian's Stash.

Note: You need to have unlocked all four codex entries about the history of Soldier's Peak in order to do this.

Rewards[edit | edit source]

If you killed Sophia you get:

Note: There's a small chance she'll drop Warden Tower Shield if she is fought and defeated.

If you killed Avernus you get:

From Asturian's Stash:

Leaving The Keep[edit | edit source]

If you brought Avernus back from the Tower and he confronted Sophia in the Shrine and you helped one of them kill the other, you were transported automatically to the 4 Summoning Circles before you could loot their equipment. Return to the Shrine to get it.

If Sophia told you about the gold in the Commander’s Quarters, go and get it. The Hidden Stash contains 8Gold

Note: Remember that when you leave the fortress and journey on the World Map you cannot re-enter (except with console commands). Complete the Ancient History quest and obtain the Alchemical Concoction before you leave.

Returning to the Keep[edit | edit source]

Once the party leaves the keep (even if it's just to Camp and back), Levi and his brother Mikhael Dryden will open a shop at the keep. Return to the area for access to their merchandise. In addition, a Party Storage Chest will be available.

Note: Mikhael is notable because the Warden can sell some pieces of armor to him and he will upgrade them to a higher level, based on the Warden's current level. The upgraded armor is then available for buy-back. This works with the chest as well (xbox360Xbox360ps3PS3 confirmed). Store the items that you need to upgrade, leave, and come back. The items should be upgraded. Mikhael is also notable as the only smith able to craft Starfang.

Party reaction[edit | edit source]

Talking with Sophia[edit | edit source]

If Zevran is in your group and you ask Sophia Dryden about her deal, you will gain Approves (+4) approval from him. You don't need to agree to the deal she describes to get the approval - Zevran is impressed that you're ruthless enough to even consider bargaining with demons.

Note: However there is no Approval change with Zevran if Sten or Shale is also in the party, as they will speak up first (removing Zevran from ever entering the dialogue) and, thus, removing the opportunity to get a bonus approval from him.

Though Leliana interrupts and would appear to object to your making a deal with Sophia, there seems to be no actual change in approval if you continue making the deal.

If your War Hound is in the party when meeting Sophia, he will growl and bark as a reaction to the demon within her. This will give you a new option to simply attack her on sight given your dogs natural instincts.

Talking with Avernus[edit | edit source]

If you have Morrigan in your party and persuade Avernus to submit to the Warden's judgement, then decide that death is the only solution, Ico DisAppr Heart.png Morrigan disapproves (-5).

If you have Morrigan in your party and persuade Avernus to submit to the Warden's judgement, then decide to listen to Morrigan and let Avernus live, Ico Appr Heart.png Morrigan approves (+4).

If you have Wynne in your party and you ask Avernus to continue with his research with no limits then she says there must be consequences for Avernus’ actions. If you say his sentence is death and attack then Ico Appr Heart.png Wynne approves (+4), or if you tell her you have your reasons for sparing him or that his research could help the Wardens then Ico DisAppr Heart.png Wynne disapproves (-3) (if you cast him out of the Keep Wynne has no Approval change).

Note: however, if the scene draws no comment from either Morrigan or Zevran, there will be no change in approval. This can happen if another party member such as Alistair or Sten reacts first.

Trivia[edit | edit source]

  • The names on the "Statement of Defiance" on the first floor: Captain Melo, The Black Ferret, Chair-Thrower Lopez, Ser Derek of Orlais, Jason the Longbow, Allan the Quibbler, Cartography Martyr, David the Silent, Dustin the Colour-Blind, Ebenger of the Bovine Brethren, Farrell the Feral, Sir Graham the Untiring, Jason sans les Argonauts, Langley the Nefarious, Lucky Lacuna, Mad Dog Smeadows, Matthias the Bloody, McGuirk the Vile Priest, Melissa the Magical Malefactor, Om the Stretched, Packrat Derksen, Sergeant "Red" Morrison, Santos the Silent Scimitar, Vitriolic Eric, Weak Eye Santos, and Welburn the Exhaustive Fire - bear a striking resemblance to those of the Warden's Peak creators.[1]

References[edit | edit source]

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