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The Assault on Amaranthine is a main quest in Dragon Age: Origins - Awakening. It is one of the two quest options for the Commander during the Mother's darkspawn attack, the other being The Siege of Vigil's Keep. The prelude is the same for both quests until the decision whether or not to attempt to save the city is made.



The following steps are identical to The Siege of Vigil's Keep.


Make sure the following is completed or acquired before talking to Varel, as this is a "point of no return" quest. Everything listed is optional.

  • All side quests, including fully upgrading Vigil's Keep and armaments of its soldiers.
  • Getting what you want to keep out of your Personal Storage container in the Throne Room of Vigil's Keep.

Vigil's Keep[]

After the quests The Righteous Path, Last of the Legion and Shadows of the Blackmarsh have been completed, speak to Varel to initiate a council with the nobles in Vigil's Keep - Throne Room. A messenger will appear, reporting an attack on the City of Amaranthine by the Mother's forces. The Warden-Commander will have to select up to three companions to march with him/her to the City of Amaranthine.

The companions, if taken to the city, will gain approval:

Ico Appr Heart Justice approves (+2)
Ico Appr Heart Oghren approves (+6)
Ico Appr Heart Nathaniel approves (+3)
Ico Appr Heart Sigrun approves (+3)
Ico Appr Heart Velanna approves (+2)

If left behind at the Vigil:

Ico Appr Heart Anders approves (+2) (Anders is the only companion that has an approval gain for not being taken to the city.)

This section contains spoilers for:
Dragon Age II.

The quest Finding Nathaniel will only be available if Nathaniel is brought along to Amaranthine or if Vigil's Keep is saved.

City of Amaranthine[]

The Warden arrives at the city to find that the city is stormed by darkspawn. After a small fight the city's commander, Constable Aidan greets you and The Messenger, an awakened darkspawn sent by the Architect, arrives. The Warden is informed of an attack on Vigil's Keep, and both the messenger and Aidan urge the Warden to return to defend the keep.

At this point the Warden has two options:

  1. Fight to save the city and the remaining survivors (continues the current quest)
  2. Set Amaranthine on fire thereby destroying the city and the darkspawn inside, and return to the keep (leads to The Siege of Vigil's Keep)

Approval changes should the Warden-Commander choose to save the city:

Ico Appr Heart Justice approves (+2)
Ico DisAppr Heart Nathaniel disapproves (-5), but if persuaded Approves (+2)
Ico DisAppr Heart Oghren disapproves (-5), but if persuaded Approves (+2)
Ico Appr Heart Sigrun approves (+3)
Ico DisAppr Heart Velanna disapproves (-5), but if persuaded Approves (+2)
Ico Appr Heart Anders approves (+2)

Save the City Guard[]

The Assault on Amaranthine Cover

Amaranthine under Attack

If the Warden-Commander decides to save the city from the darkspawn, then the pockets of darkspawn fighting the surviving members of the city guard must be eliminated. The darkspawn messenger can assist. Around the city in a clockwise direction, there are encounters with groups of darkspawn and children that must be defeated.

After saving the city guard, approach the City Guard Commander (marked with a yellow icon above his head). He will tell you that another wave of darkspawn are coming and will arrive in Amaranthine within a day. He also recommends you go to the Chantry to rest and resupply. After this conversation, you will re-appear in the Revered Mother's bedchamber in the Chantry.

The Chantry and the Crown and Lion Inn[]

Darkspawn at Crown and Lion

The Darkspawn take rooms at the Crown and Lion

In the Revered Mother's chamber is a chest for you to loot. Immediately after leaving this room, a cutscene will begin, and a soldier will inform you of yet another darkspawn attack, this one emanating from the Crown and Lion inn. After assuring him that you will take care of the matter, you will be free to loot the rest of the Chantry. Finally, Glassric the Weaponsmith is also in the main room, although his selection of items is quite limited.

Immediately after emerging on the other side of the Chantry doors, you must fight through several groups of darkspawn. There are several more darkspawn waiting for you in the Crown and Lion, including the first of the three Disciple Generals and drops the Enduring Faith. After the fighting inside is finished, and before heading down into Smuggler's Cove, take time to loot the inn. In addition to the darkspawn remains, there's a barrel in the kitchen, a chest in one of the bedrooms, and a sack next to the entrance to the cove.

There are more darkspawn waiting for you in the cove. Among them is a second Disciple General who drops Flemeth's Broomstick, as well as other loot and coin. Lootable objects here include a locked chest which you find as you enter the cove, a pile of books in the elevated office area facing the dock, and a wooden crate on the dock. When you've finished looting, follow the tunnel on the other side of the office area to an exit which takes you to a hovel outside the city walls.


As you emerge from the hovel, the last Disciple General (who will drop Lamppost in Winter) is standing menacingly at the end of the lane. When you begin attacking him, he quickly runs off, leaving an armored ogre alpha to cover his retreat. Once these last two enemies are killed, the city is saved.

Amaranthine Armored Ogre

The Armored Ogre at the Gate

At this point the Constable asks the Commander about what to do with the darkspawn messenger. The messenger can be killed, imprisoned or released. If you release him, it will result in Ico DisAppr Heart Nathaniel disapproves (-3), Ico DisAppr Heart Justice disapproves (-3), and Ico DisAppr Heart Sigrun disapproves (-3).

It is possible to purchase more supplies from Glassric the Weaponsmith before leaving. There will also be an enchanter standing next to him who will offer you his services.

Bug icon Bug! pcpcIf Velanna was killed in Wending Wood, her updated codex entry will incorrectly state that she died in the defense of Vigil's Keep.
Bug icon Bug! pcpcps3ps3If the Vigil's Keep was fully upgraded the codex entries of the companions left behind at Vigil's Keep will incorrectly state that they died, however this appears to be minor as the game correctly acknowledges that the Keep endured as evidenced by the epilogue slideshow.


The Warden-Commander will receive news that the Mother's lair has been found in the Dragonbone Wastes. With the city secured, the Warden-Commander decides to head there to confront the Mother and end the war starting the quest Depths of Depravity.

  • The Warden-Commander can also choose the fate of the darkspawn messenger which can have a slight effect on the epilogue.


  • 1000 XP for arriving at the City of Amaranthine in the beginning
  • 250 or 500 XP for each group of city guards rescued (7 total)
  • 1250 XP for clearing out the Crown and Lion Inn
  • 1250 XP for clearing out the Smuggler's Cove
  • 3500 XP for defeating the final disciple general and armored ogre
Note: This is a total of 10500 XP possible as compared to 8000 XP for The Siege of Vigil's Keep; however, due to variation in XP of guards saved here and continual spawning of enemies at Vigil's Keep, the final XP is comparable and a toss-up.

The three Disciple Generals each carry one unique item (in addition to other loot):

1st Disciple General
Enduring Faith Enduring Faith
2nd Disciple General
Flemeth's Broomstick Flemeth's Broomstick
Elementalist's Grasp Elementalist's Grasp (optional)
3rd Disciple General
Lamppost in Winter Lamppost in Winter
Sage's Fuzzy Head-Sweater Sage's Fuzzy Head-Sweater (optional)


  • A note for players planning to import their save to Dragon Age II: Every companion that stays at the keep will be flagged as dead, regardless if the keep is fully upgraded or what the epilogue says about a specific character's survival, but Nathaniel's death is the only one that impacts the game. Anders and Justice will survive regardless of your decision (or what the epilogue says), while Oghren, Sigrun, and Velanna do not appear in Dragon Age II at all. If Nathaniel lives (that is, if he was one of the companions selected to save Amaranthine), then the quest Finding Nathaniel will be available in Act 3, but if he does not survive, then the quest Fool's Gold will be available instead, in Act 2.
    • Downloading getsetplotflag from here and running the following console commands will both correct the erroneous codex entries for Nathaniel, Anders and Oghren (the only characters who can survive when left behind at the keep) and ensure that they are flagged as alive when imported into future games (confirmed with Nathaniel and Anders in Dragon Age II; Oghren cannot be confirmed as he does not appear in any other games).
      • runscript zz_getsetplotflag set cod_cha_nathaniel 12 0
      • runscript zz_getsetplotflag set cod_cha_anders 13 0
      • runscript zz_getsetplotflag set cod_cha_ep1oghren 7 0
    • For completeness' sake here are the other three companions plot flags. Also, if the command does not work, adding one space at the end should solve the issue.
      • runscript zz_getsetplotflag set cod_cha_justice 8 0
      • runscript zz_getsetplotflag set cod_cha_sigrun 10 0
      • runscript zz_getsetplotflag set cod_cha_velanna 8 0
  • During the Save the City Guards side quest, you may encounter a Decoy darkspawn at the northwest corner of the City of Amaranthine. This occurs when a Genlock Shadow uses Decoy and is killed before the created decoy disappears. It does not move or fight back, but it cannot be killed either. It is possible for this unkillable Decoy figure to lock everyone into combat mode regardless of position or lack of legitimate enemies. If this occurs, you can attempt to force your party to move past it, but if this does not work you cannot complete the battle portion of the quest and will be forced to restore and try again.