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Lost in Dreams can be fairly confusing and difficult to some players. It also calls on the experience and use of several abilities not available to certain classes. This quest line utilizes mechanics from several Mage abilities, such as Shape Shifting and Spell Casting. It is possible, however, to get by with a minimal use of these abilities, as they are only required for certain small portions of the quest on the whole.
The Warden will encounter this quest after the initial part of the Broken Circle quest line. After fighting their way through the halls of the Circle Tower, the party members are put to sleep by an Abomination possessed by a Sloth Demon. They will wake up in the Fade, the dream-like realm usually accessed only by mages. The Sloth Demon has actually cast the warden and her companions in his own small domain within the Fade. To escape, the Warden will have to travel through different sections of the domain, acquiring a set of special skills to gain access to specific areas. Next, the Warden will have to fight a set of mini-bosses to gain access to the Sloth Demon, and eventually defeat him to leave the Fade.
The Warden will wake up alone in the Sloth Demon domain, and travel alone for the majority of this quest line. The companions that the Warden was travelling with when the Demon attacked and put them to sleep are actually trapped in their own nightmare (or nirvana, depending). When the Sloth Demon is defeated, they will all be returned outside the Fade. However, the Warden may take the time to free each companion from their own dream, in which case they may join him or her in the final confrontation with the Sloth Demon.
- The Warden will wake up in a dream-like place (The Fade), alone.
- The Warden should travel through different area of the Fade to gather different Forms necessary to travel through certain obstacles:
- Find and kill each of the 5 Guardians protecting the Sloth Demon:
- Optionally free your companions from their own dream realm;
- Optionally explore every section and region to find and use the various Essences and Fonts granting bonus points to the Warden's attributes (see the Discussion page for the question of how many of these are available);
- Reach and fight the Sloth Demon.
The Warden wakes up alone in the Fade, within a large chamber. Duncan will greet you, explaining he survived the Battle of Ostagar. Furthermore, the Blight was defeated and the Grey Wardens are now established in Weisshaupt, recording and sharing history instead of preparing for battle. The Warden won't fall for this story, and the conversation will quickly become a fight. Duncan will be aided by two allies, while the Warden can only count on his own abilities, and a Lyrium Vein (Sorry, Dwarves cannot use them}.
Once the Warden has defeated the Duncan impostor (and his aides), a Fade Pedestal will appear; clicking on it will display the Travel Map for this portion of the Fade.
The Raw Fade
The Warden enters this section of the Fade in the South-West-most corner (if cardinal directions apply in the Fade... bottom-left corner of the associated map). There is a Spirit Door to your right, but you won't be able to interact with it until you gain the Spirit Form later on. There is also an inactive Fade Pedestal. Of more immediate interest, you will find Niall, a Mage NPC that has been imprisoned in this realm much like the Warden. Mage Wardens may remember Niall from their Origin. Niall will share his experience in the Fade, and his failed attempts at escaping it. Amidst the gloom and doom, he'll hint about small passages he could not fit. That is, in essence, your hint for the first section of this quest line: you need to travel through the areas you can reach and find ways to gather more shape-shifting forms so that you can gain access to more sections of the Sloth Demon realm.
The first form you need to gain access to is the Mouse Form. To do so, you should use the Fade Portal behind Niall, and reach the central section of the Raw Fade (the largest island in the map). While this looks like a large section on the map, you will have access to a limited portion of it for the time being, just a few feet around the Southern corner of the island. Here you will find: a Lyrium Vein, a Mouse Hole, a Mouse, and a Rage Demon. You should take care of the Demon first. Use the Lyrium if necessary, and talk to the Mouse after winning the fight. The mouse will bestow onto you the first shape-shifting form you need to travel through all the corners of the Fade: the Mouse Form. This will give you access to the Stealth ability, but most importantly, it lets the Warden travel through the Mouse Holes you'll find on your way.
Turn into a mouse and travel through the Mouse Hole. You will find yourself in the northern corner of the same central island of the Raw Fade. Be prepared to fight Rage Demons as you encounter them. A Fade Portal will take you from here to the North-West island. You will pass by a shimmering Spirit Door on your right that you can't use yet, and then, following the path, another Fade Portal that will take you back to the island where you met Niall.
Talking to Niall once again should activate the Fade Pedestal next to him. At this point the Warden can use the pedestal to reach the various sections of the Fade in any order. The following is only one possible sequence, with minimal backtracking (I don't believe there is any sequence that eliminates backtracking). Whether you follow this sequence or make your own path, the objectives are, as mentioned above: to gather all four Forms, kill the 5 Guardians protecting the Sloth Demon, optionally free your companions from their own dream, optionally grab all possible Essences and Fonts, and eventually find and face the Sloth Demon. Until you obtain all of the forms, your path will be blocked by one of these obstacles:
- Mouse Holes require the Mouse Form
- Spirit Doors require the Spirit Form
- Fire Barriers require the Burning Man Form (really: don't try and walk through these, even with enhanced agility)
- Massive Doors require the Golem Form
The Darkspawn Invasion
The Darkspawn Invasion section of the Fade is populated with various Darkspawn enemies (Genlocks, Hurlocks, Hurlock Emissaries, etc). The first time the Warden enters this area, she will be in the South-most room marked as Entrance. Depending on the Forms you already obtained, you'll be able to explore only certain portions of the area. If you are following the steps in the order of this walkthrough, you'll enter this area with nothing but the Mouse Form at your disposal. Fire Barriers will block your path pretty soon, but the Mouse Hole in the Entrance room provides an alternate route, leading to a room with pillars, a Spirit of a Templar and a group of Darkspawn attacking him. Help the Spirit of the Templar and be rewarded with the Spirit Form. Among other great abilities, this form gives you access to the Spirit Doors and certain Essences and Fonts - all of which can be clicked on only while in Spirit Form.
In addition to the new Form, the Templar leaves behind a new Fade Pedestal. You can use it now, or explore a bit more to kill all enemies and grab all Essences available. Eventually, a Massive Door will block your path and you'll have to come back to this pedestal to move on. Since you now have the Spirit Form, we'll do a bit of backtracking to finish up the areas we already visited.
Once you have the Spirit Form, you should make a quick trip back to the starting place, since there is an Essence of Willpower you could not interact with until now.
The Raw Fade (2)
Once you obtain the Spirit Form, you must return to the Raw Fade in order to find and vanquish one of the Guardians blocking your path to the Sloth Demon. First, however, you can grab an extra Essence by traveling to the Raw Fade, following the path you walked the first time around (quick reminder: Fade Portal to the area where you learnt the Mouse Form, Mouse Hole to the Northern corner of the largest island, Fade Portal to the North-West island with a simple path). This time, when you are in the North-West island you can activate the Spirit Form and interact with a Spirit Door. This will lead you to the North-East island in the Raw Fade, where you can grab a free attribute point. Next, continue along the path until you return to the starting point, where Niall is. Activate the Spirit Form and you will see a Spirit Door to your right. This door will lead you to the central region of the biggest island in the area, where you will face Yevena and a couple of Shades.
Since Yevena fights with a couple of aides, one possible strategy is that of casting Crushing Prison on her to give you time to handle the Shades. When the fight is won, turn to Spirit Form and check around: you should find an Essence of Willpower and a Codex Entry: The Black City (if the Warden is a Mage, it is possible she has already acquired this Codex Entry during the Origin Quest).
The Burning Tower
This section of the Fade is filled with Fire and Fire-based creatures. Keep in mind that this type of enemies may sport Resistance to fire-based attacks. Even worse, in some cases, casting fire-based spells may heal your enemy. The Winter's Grasp spell provided by the Spirit Form is a much better alternative. Eventually the Warden will find a room with a Dreaming Templar and a Lesser Rage Demon, both of which will attack you. After the fight, the Templar will reward you with the Burning Man Form. You now have access to a couple of fire-based spells, but, most importantly, a form that is immune to fire-based damage -allowing you to cross the previously impassable Fire Barriers.
As usual, you should explore as many of the rooms of the area as you can, looking for Essences and Fonts. However, if you don't have the Golem Form yet, you won't be able to open the Massive Doors found between you and the Rhagos, the Guardian of the Burning Tower (see below The Burning Tower (2) section).
This section of the Fade is populated with various groups of Mages, Chantry Priests and Golems. Careful use of the Spirit Form and Burning Man Form abilities should see you through the various encounters. You may want to keep your burning Man Form handy, since some of the closed doors have Fire Barriers waiting on the other side, and the Fireball knock-out side-effect can be quite handy. However, the Mages you encounter throughout the level can switch to an ice/frost-based mode, which is quite painful for the Warden in Burning Man Form. In addition, you will face Golems, who are strong melee fighters, with knock-down effects both at close range and from afar.
As you step out of the first room and find yourself in a circular hall, pay attention to the last room in the hall, with an open door. As you approach this room, a scripted scene (not a cutscene) with four mages fighting each other will start. If you approach the room in stealth mode, you can actually wait till two or even three of the mages kill each other, making this encounter quite easier for you. Move through the rest of the area and eventually you'll reach a room with a group of Chantry Priests and Golems attacking a Cursed Dreamer. Help the Dreamer out and you'll be rewarded with the Golem Form, with the all-important Hurl ability that will let you smash through those previously impassable Massive Doors. You can now backtrack to other areas of the Fade and finish exploring each remote corner. However, while you're here in Mage Asunder, you might as well finish this area first. Explore beyond any enemy and (finally) any obstacle (assuming you've collected all of the Forms you will need), and eventually you will find the Guardian of this area: Slavren.
Slavren ia a Lieutenant-grade Abomination that should be easy to handle using the various abilities provided by the Forms necessary to reach him. In particular, consider using the Spirit Form's Crushing Prison, and the Burning Man Form's Fireball. After the fight, use the Fade pedestal to backtrack to the Darkspawn Invasion.
The Darkspawn Invasion (2)
After acquiring all of the available Forms, the Warden should return to the Darkspawn Invasion area and explore each room to find all available Essences and Fonts. In addition, the Warden can now find and fight Uthkiel, the Guardian of this area.
Guardian: Uthkiel The Crusher
Uthkiel The Crusher is a big
loaf Ogre. He is more powerful than most Ogres, and can hit very hard, with the chance of knocking you down a number of times. However, the various abilities you collected before reaching him should make it relatively easy for you to put The Crusher in his place.
The Burning Tower (2)
Once again, with all of the Fade Forms at your disposal, you can easily get to the last few rooms of this area. Use the burning Man Form to pass through the Fire Barriers and protect yourself from fire-based attacks. Burning Templars and Shambling Corpses will stand between you and the Guardian of the Burning Tower: Rhagos.
Rhagos is a Lieutenant-grade Rage Demon. He may have more health than his Critter-grade siblings, and may hurt a bit more, but the Warden has obtained the Burning Man Form by now. This means he can sport a strong resistance to fire-based damage (and that's all Rhagos brings to the table). On the other hand, Rhagos has a similar level of protection, so you may consider hopping into other forms to deliver some damage (you could, of course, stick to the Burning Man Form and slowly punch Rhagos to death with your standard melee attack).
The enemies in this area are stronger than those encountered in the other parts of the Fade, and the transportation devices (Mouse Holes, Spirit Doors and Fade Portals) are not all bi-directional, so proceed with caution. Check the Navigational Map to see the one-way trips. As far as your enemies, the first encounter in Templar's Nightmare is with an Arcane Horror, and the second is with an Ogre. These may be difficult foes to face, but by now you should have all the required Forms by now and quite an array of abilities at your disposal. Watch out for a few traps on the ground, and behind some of the doors, and pace yourself if you rely on spells with a long cool-down. More enemies of comparable or lower level will follow. Eventually you will reach the Guardian of this area: Vereveel.
Vereveel is a Desire Demon and can use spells of various kind. Regardless of what fighting style you prefer, your best bet will be to burn her down as fast as you can, since she doesn't have too much health.
Once the Warden has acquired all of the Fade Forms, and vanquished the 5 Guardians, she can travel to the Inner Sanctum of the Fade and face the Sloth Demon. However, there are 3 more areas of the fade that can be explored. Each of these will hold one of the Warden's companions (the ones that were with the Warden when the Demon put the party to sleep) trapped into their own dream. Each of these areas are marked as A Nightmare on the Fade's Travel Map (accessible through the Fade Portals), and are made up of a very small space, a few feet across, where a closed-quarter fight will take place. See below for details on each nightmare (depending on the Companion you find). For each Companion's Nightmare the Warden visits and defeats, there is a chance of the corresponding Companion appearing at the start of the confrontation with the Sloth Demon in the Inner Sanctum. Unless the Companion's approval rating is too low, they will join the Warden in the fight against the demon, providing valuable support since that fight can be quite challenging to a solo character. Details on each Companion's Nightmare:
- Alistair believes he is spending time with his sister and her children. The Warden may be able to persuade him that it is all a trick through proper dialogue options, or simply attack Alistair's sister and her children (which turn out to be a Demon and some aiding corpses). If Alistair is persuaded, he will help the Warden in this fight, but a few extra children will spawn and even out their odds.
- Dog is simply enjoying a nap; no fight required to wake him from his dream.
- Leliana will be praying with a revered mother, finding "peace," she won't remember the Warden. The Warden need only remind her of her Dream, and because of the Demons' response she will realize something isn't right.
- Wynne will believe that there are dead mages around which is her fault and will try to bury them, the Warden must convince her that she is in the Fade.
- Shale will be frozen as a statue again; no battle necessary to wake Shale up.
- Sten will be with the soldiers he came to Ferelden with. He is actually aware of being locked in a dream, but seems content with the nature of the dream. The Warden can remind Sten he has given his word to follow him, and Sten will decide to abandon the dream realm (of course, the Warden and Sten will have to fight the Quinari soldiers, but Sten's approval may be bumped up if the correct dialogue choices are selected).
- Zevran will be on a rack being 'trained' by the Antivan Crows. If you can convince him he is already a Crow, you can fight the two false Crows but Zevran doesn't help as he's terrified.
- Oghren will believe he is in a tavern where he is being constantly mocked by other dwarves
- Morrigan will be talking to her mother, Flemeth, and will not believe it is her and will tell the Warden to kill the spirit. (She will comment that the demon is even more annoying than her mother and that it cannot even create a good impression of Flemeth.)
When the Companions are convinced that they are leaving in a dream (and, with few exceptions, the ensuing fight is won), they will disappear, only to re-appear at the most opportune moment (see Inner Sanctum.
After defeating the 5 Guardians across the Fade, the Warden can access the central portion, marked on the Travel Map as Inner Sanctum. Here they will face the Sloth Demon that put the party to sleep and is keeping them in the dream realm. If the Warden has freed up any of his companions before reaching this destination, they will appear during the introductory cut-scene and dialogue. Unless their approval rating is too low, each of the freed companions will join the Warden in the fight (see also the Discussion page on this topic).
The Sloth Demon fight is a multi-stage fight. Every time his health is reduced to zero, he will transform in his next form (with replenished health). The Forms he goes through seem to be:
Use the standard strategies that you will use when fighting monsters of each of these types, but remember that the fight is that long. It is worth paying particular attention to the Demon's final form (the Sloth Demon form proper), since he will try and cast a Blizzard which can freeze and dish considerable damage to the party (whose resources might be running thin at this stage). The usual means of interrupting the enemy spell casting should be used, as well as the various abilities that the Warden has access to through the Forms acquired in the Fade.
After defeating the demon, a final conversation with Niall will ensue, where the Litany of Adralla is mentioned (it will be a critical element in the next section of the Broken Circle quest line), and the Warden leaves the Fade.
Sloth Demon (Solo Strategy)
Trying to solo Sloth demon is surprisingly easy, if you exploit shapeshift healing.
Ogre form is able to deal some heavy physical damage, and all of his special attacks cannot be evaded by high defense. This makes golem form the obvious choice, for its increased health and armor. Simply smash at the Ogre untill your health drops to half, and then use slam ability to knock him back. Shift to normal and back to golem to reset your health to full. Slam gives you just enough time to do so while Ogre is running back to you. Repeat untill the ogre dies.
Abomination form is basically your standard abomination with lots of health. It suffers from fairly bad attack score, so any dexterity based characters are able to hack at him and take no damage themselves (high defense is a great choice for completing the game with your main character only).
Rage Demon form is easily countered with burning man form, which gives you immunity to all of his special abilities, thus protecting you from almost 80% of damage the Rage Demon can cause.
Sloth's Shade form is perhaps the most complete melee fighter, with its high defense and attack, slam, leap and drain life abilities. Repeating the Ogre tactics always works, though your standard form might be able to do just fine, depending on your defense.
Sloth's final form, Arcane Horror, is definetly the most dangerous. The worst of his spells is of course Crushing Prison, which will, if it catches you unprepared, result in certain death. Winter's Grasp and Cone of Cold will be repeated as soon as the cooldown period expires, making Ice Salves and Spirit Balms a must for this fight. Unless the Warden can achieve very high spell resistance (80%+, preferably 100%) , perhaps the best approach is to use the salves and shift to golem form for increased health. This should be enough to survive crushing prison and everything he throws at you while immobilized. When his initial barrage of spells has passed, shift back to normal form and keep attacking untill he dies, drinking health poultices as neccessary.
- Once in combat and if you're in a shapeshifted form, you cannot use potions even if selected from the radial menu.
- Rangers cannot summon animals while in the fade.
- Mages cannot use the spell animate dead while in the fade.
- There is no loot on anything defeated in the fade.
- Even when the Warden is a dwarf, he can enter the realm of spirits (the called Fade). This seems to contradict the game's Codex which states that this race has no connection to the Fade. However, it is likely the Sloth Demon can force dwarves to enter the Fade even if they cannot usually do so.
- If you finish an island and use the fade portal but it doesn't give you the "Quest updated" notification, Leave the current island, return, then leave again. This should then give you the notification if you want the satisfaction of seeing it. (This may only happen on the 360 and PC)
- It is possible to obtain free healing simply by shifting from human form to another and back to human form. It works best with the golem form.
After Sloth has fallen, Niall will speak with the Warden and their Party. He will tell them about Uldred, and the Litany of Andralla, making them promise to collect it from his body upon their return. He, unfortunately, can no longer return to his body. He has been in the Fade too long, and even were he to return to his body, he would die shortly after. This is his final sacrifice.
Once the dialogue with Niall is over, The Warden will return to the real world, in the Tower of the Circle, to finish the job of ending the catastrophe that has befallen the Magi.