The Destruction of Lothering is the first main quest that Hawke receives in Dragon Age II. It chronicles the Hawke family's escape from the village of Lothering and their journey to Kirkwall during the Fifth Blight.

Acquisition Edit

All players start the game with this quest.

Walkthrough Edit

Cassandra Pentaghast interrogates Varric Tethras in hopes of finding Hawke for unknown reasons. Varric begins to tell the tale of how Hawke became The Champion of Kirkwall, and why Hawke is relevant to the current state of affairs there.

Varric exaggerates the details of Hawke's escape from Lothering. At this point the player takes control of Hawke. For now the player can only use a default Hawke, and is unable to customize the character. During this phase of gameplay, Hawke is wearing full Champion armor and is granted extreme regeneration as well as invulnerability. Also, as Hawke successfully performs basic combat maneuvers, additional abilities are granted. All of this is due to Varric's exaggerations in this part of the story, which also serves as a tutorial, teaching the player the basics of combat.

After some fighting a brief cinematic will play, depicting Hawke and a sibling decimating hurlocks. Depending on Hawke's chosen character class, either Bethany or Carver will spot enemy scouts. A battle begins with groups of hurlocks and possibly some hurlock bolters. After this, the game cuts to another short cinematic where either Bethany or Carver will say that they can't keep fighting forever. Hawke will have a choice of three dialogue options; none of them will affect relationships with party members. Hawke will also have the choice to let a sibling deal with more incoming hurlocks, or to slay the hurlocks themselves. Either way, there will be a short cinematic depicting the chosen option (both successful). Afterwards combat will resume with more hurlocks.

Hawke will have to fight an ogre, but it is impossible to lose due to Hawke's exaggerated invulnerability. Once the fight is over, another cinematic will occur. Afterwards, the player is taken to the customization screen, which allows Hawke's appearance and portrait to be altered, as well as selecting one of three preset Dragon Age: Origins backgrounds or importing a saved game (see Imported saves and pre-built histories). The normal phase of gameplay begins, and Hawke is no longer endowed with superior regeneration, invulnerability and Champion Armor.

DA2 Aveline and Ser Wesley Vallen cutscene

Aveline and Ser Wesley

After fighting through a few groups of darkspawn made up of hurlocks and hurlock grunts and conversing with the family, a pair of survivors also fighting to escape cross Hawke's path. Aveline Vallen and her injured husband Ser Wesley join Hawke's party, Aveline as a companion and Ser Wesley as a follower NPC like Leandra.

Shortly thereafter the group encounters more darkspawn, among them hurlock bolters and an emissary apprentice. In the gully to the left is a locked chest and the Codex entry: The Korcari Wilds. If Hawke is a rogue, the chest may be unlocked to reveal some loot and provide a small experience boost. As Hawke continues up the ridge, an Ogre appears which serves as the boss for the prologue. NOTE: You should probably strip Carver or Bethany (depending on what class you chose) of their equipped weapon (to sell at a future date). Hawke's class will determine which of the two siblings is lost to the Ogre. If Hawke is either a rogue or a warrior the Ogre kills Carver, while a mage Hawke loses their sister Bethany.

Following the battle with the Ogre and waves of darkspawn, the group becomes surrounded. The dragon appears and kills the remaining darkspawn. It lands in front of the group, and shapeshifts into a human, revealed to be Flemeth from Dragon Age: Origins. Hawke will receive the Long Way Home quest during this conversation, no matter what is said.


Arriving in Kirkwall

After the conversation, the group is taken to port, and journeys to Kirkwall by sea. Upon arrival, they find out that the city is filled with Fereldan refugees and that the city guard is not allowing any of them to leave the Gallows Courtyard. They speak with Guardsman Wright, who passes them on to his superior, Captain Ewald. The captain will be in the middle of a conversation with some agitated Ferelden deserters. No matter what is said, the deserters will initiate combat.

Afterwards, Hawke mentions that they have an uncle, Gamlen, who lives in the city. The captain says that he will find Gamlen for them. After three days pass, Gamlen shows up with a plan to get the family into Kirkwall. He has sold Hawke and the surviving sibling into indentured servitude. Hawke can choose between becoming a mercenary or a smuggler. Gamlen will instruct Hawke to talk to either Meeran of the Red Iron Mercenaries or Athenril the smuggler. They will give Hawke a quest to complete as a test, after which Hawke will receive aid to enter the city:

If Hawke chose the Mercenaries, Meeran will ask for a noble named Friedrich be killed (633 exp for the battle, 400 exp for quest completion, 5 DAO goldpiece trans loot OR you let him bribe you with 2 DAO goldpiece trans, leading to a battle with a part of his guards for 288 exp).

If Hawke chose the Smugglers, Athenril will ask Hawke to extort gold from a merchant named Cavril (600 exp for the battle, 400 exp for quest completion OR you let him bribe you with 2DAO goldpiece trans).

Reward Strategies Edit

These two quests are mutually exclusive, but not completely. It is not possible to kill Friedrich (thus completing the quest for Meeran) and extort Cavril (to get 5DAO goldpiece trans and complete the quest for Athenril), because as soon as Hawke completes what an employer demands his/her path is chosen and the other choice disappears.

To maximize the reward either in gold or in experience points you can combine one of the quests with parts of the other.

If you want to maximize the gold reward: It is possible to receive the bribe from Cavril and then kill Friedrich for a total of 7DAO goldpiece trans. To do this

  • Accept the smugglers quest from Athenril.
  • Let Cavril bribe you with 2DAO goldpiece trans, either directly with appropriate dialogue options (select "I could be persuaded to go" and "Yes") or attempting to lockpick the Chest behind Cavril's table (key required, so it won't open) and then the same dialogue choices. His guards will not fight you.
  • Go over to Meeran and accept his quest.
  • Kill Friedrich to get 5DAO goldpiece trans and an item (possibly a class-specific weapon) from his dead body, plus drops from his dead guards, if any (money, potions, junk, etc). Go back to Meeran to finish the quest.
Note: This will cause Athenril to ambush you in Hightown (night).

This combination nets you 7 DAO goldpiece trans and 1033 exp (633 battle, 400 quest finish). Athenril will ambush you later, providing another option for exp and loot.

If you want to maximize the experience points rewards: It is possible to receive the exp from the battles with the guards from both Cavril and Friedrich. To do this

  • Accept the mercenaries quest from Meeran.
  • Speak with Friedrich and let him bribe you (receiving 2 DAO goldpiece trans), his guards will attack you as Friedrich walks off to safety (288 exp). Loot his guards dead bodies, if any drops occur (money, potions, junk, etc).
  • Accept the smugglers quest from Athenril.
  • Go to Cavril and trigger the attack of his guard, either using the appropriate dialogues (tell him he needs to pay what he owes) or attempting to lockpick his chest and doing the same. After the fight (600 exp) open the chest.
  • Go back to Athenril to finish the quest (400 exp).
Note: This will cause Meeran to ambush you in Lowtown (night).

This combination nets you 2DAO goldpiece trans and 1288 exp (888 battle, 400 quest finish). Meeran will ambush you later, providing another option for exp and loot.

So it is a trade off: on the one side 5DAO goldpiece trans more, on the other side 255 exp more.

Friendship/Rivalry Edit

Meeting Ser Wesley:

  • Friendship small Bethany: friendship (+15), Rivalry small Carver: rivalry (+5); if Hawke is a warrior or rogue and chooses the Aggressive response to Wesley threatening Bethany upon meeting Aveline for the first time.
    • All other responses yield: Friendship small Bethany: friendship (+10), Rivalry small Carver: rivalry (+5)

Ser Wesley's Fate:

  • Friendship small Aveline: friendship (+10) if Wesley's fate is deferred to her
  • Rivalry small Aveline: rivalry (+10) if Wesley is killed by Hawke, or pressures Aveline to act fast

Mercenary / Smuggler Tasks:

  • Friendship small Aveline: friendship (+10) if Hawke asks for Aveline's help to deal with Cavril
  • Rivalry small Aveline: rivalry (+5) if Hawke asks Cavril for a bribe. However, if Hawke has already failed Meeran's task this option will result in Cavril's guards attacking you and no rivalry gain. (Checked on 1.04: Meeran's task was failed, but Aveline still disapproved trying to get the bribe.)
  • Rivalry small Aveline: rivalry (+5) if Hawke responds aggressively to Friedrich or chooses the "I'm just here to kill you" option

Max possible approval changes:

  • Between Rivalry small Aveline: rivalry (+15) and Friendship small Aveline: friendship (+20)
  • Up to Rivalry small Carver: rivalry (+5)
  • Up to Friendship small Bethany: friendship (+15)

Rewards Edit

  • 4100 XP (combat) + 1900 XP (quest): 6000 XP
    • Defeating the groups of darkspawn (note that no XP is received for the Ogre fight):
      1. 450 XP
      2. 150 XP
      3. 300 XP – helping Aveline
      4. 450 XP
      5. 550 XP – bolters appear for the first time
      6. 600 XP – with emissary
    • 1500 XP – reaching Kirkwall
    • 1000 XP – Fereldan deserters arguing with Captain Ewald
    • 600 XP – fighting Cavril or Friedrich's guards (must kill Friedrich for full exp)
    • 400 XP – gaining entrance to the city
  • 2DAO goldpiece trans if Hawke accepts a bribe from Cavril or Friedrich
  • 5DAO goldpiece trans from Friedrich's corpse, if Hawke killed Friedrich
  • Random coins, junk, potions, equipment
  • Codex entries:

Consequences Edit

Hawke moves into Kirkwall. The player will be presented with Loose Ends during Act 1. If Hawke betrayed Athenril or Meeran, they will seek revenge on Hawke later in the story. This conflict will grant experience.

Trivia Edit

  • The move Hawke uses to defeat the ogre as a rogue or warrior during Varric's exaggerated story is a messy kill animation used when defeating ogres in Dragon Age: Origins.
  • During Varric's initial tale involving the fight with the ogre, Bethany is more "well endowed".
  • If the player does another playthrough, the family dog will appear with the Hawke family after the exaggerated segment and the dog's sustained mode is shown as activated. However, the name the player gave the Dog in the last game will not carry over and the dog will simply be called Dog.
  • Aveline is shown decapitating a hurlock, but when the view changes, the hurlock's head is still attached to its body.
  • Occasionally while fighting Darkspawn, Carver will shout "That's how we did it in Ferelden!" even though the group has yet to flee it.
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