The Landsmeet is the major quest that begins once all the armies have been recruited.
The Landsmeet is proposed by Arl Eamon of Redcliffe as a way to deal with Loghain's treachery, by putting him up against a vote of his peers. (This is after gathering all armies. Once together, Eamon will allow for the Landsmeet to begin.)
- See Arl Eamon's Estate for the map and details about the area.
Upon arriving in Denerim for the Landsmeet you are informed by Queen Anora's handmaid that the Queen is being held captive by Arl Howe in his estate in Denerim. She requests your assistance in freeing her. You must go to Eamon's room for this scene to start. You need to sneak into Howe's estate to rescue Anora.
Rescue the Queen
- Main article: Rescue the Queen
- See Arl of Denerim's Estate for the map(s) and details about the area(s).
This Estate is far more than just the place where Anora is held captive. It is, in fact, the only place to gain supporters against Loghain (outside of the Alienage) and is, therefore, the only thing that will ensure you win the Landsmeet. Your chances of winning the Landsmeet are begun in positive and negative support from the minute you arrive in Denerim and how you structure your quest to Arl Eamon's request to look around and see if you can garner support. The first place you need to go is Arl Howe's Estate.
You have to sneak into the Arl's estate by procuring guard uniforms (which you will be automatically changed into once you have them). You cannot have Shale in your active party during this quest. If you do, before you move to sneaking into the Estate, Anora's handmaiden will request Shale be replaced.
Inside, you are free to explore as much as you like, and nobody will question you as long as you keep the uniforms on. Once you reach Anora's door, you will find that a mage has put up a forcefield on the door. You need to find the mage, who Anora says will likely be with Arl Howe, to disengage the forcefield. Keep going down the hall. If you have not finished exploring the area, if you enter the first room in the last hallway do not go too far into the room (though it is possible to go far enough into the room to gather codex), you simply need to allow him to get to a point in the conversation with his female companion that she begins talking at which point he will be sufficiently distracted enough to allow you this far, but do not go any closer to him because unlike the other guards, this one will not ignore you completely. He will realize you are not part of the regiment, and will sound an alarm. This will cause all the guards in the estate to turn hostile. It is possible if you do not care for the Codex entry, to simply not open this door and continue onward.
Note: The reaction of the guards and servants to your party is a scripted event. This means that even with max stealth and high dexterity the servants will raise the alarm and turn the castle hostile to you the instant you enter the first room if you are not wearing the guard uniforms. The quest can still be completed without combat, since even though the castle is hostile to you, with a high enough stealth the guards will still not see you. (Moving your party back into the little entrance hallway and telling them to hold position is recommended)
- See Arl of Denerim's Estate - Dungeon for the map and details about the area.
As you make your way through the Arl's dungeon, you will come across many people imprisoned there. The very first one will be Riordan, another Grey Warden who will become key to the plot further on. He is also the person you will need to talk to in order to find Duncan's Shield. You need to ensure you get the 'Grey Warden Papers' from the chest in the room before you enter the cellar. These are the papers on the joining ritual and Riordan may need them later.
Rexel, the missing soldier for the Chanter's Board quest is down here. Two other notables are also here, both relatives to Banns attending the Landsmeet. One is tied to a rack in a separate torture chamber and the other is in one of the cells behind Arl Howe. Once you release and speak to them, their family will be waiting at the Gnawed Noble Tavern. The former Arl of Denerim's son is also locked up but, providing you have released the other two, his help isn't necessary. If you tell him that your rescue will be very costly, he will give you a key to a chest containing 40 sovereigns. With a high enough Coercion, you can take the key and let him rot. Releasing him on top of the others nets you a very high approval in the Landsmeet, but it isn't necessary. Also, relasing him will cost a -5 Zevran approval loss. Additionally, you will find Soris (provided you are not a City Elf who chose not to implicate Soris) in a cell near the former Arl's son; releasing him makes Shianni more receptive to you in a later quest (and nets you +4 Zevran approval).
Howe himself is found in a dungeon room with two mages, one of who can shapeshift. If you have a mage with "Mana Clash," now is a good time to use it; other wise, just use the usual strategies.
Once the battle is done, check the area behind him to free/not free the prisoners, then return upstairs to Anora's room. Anora's response isn't one you want to hear when you're about to decide who to give the crown to, just remember Arl Eamon's warning. As you make your way to the frontgate, you will be accosted by Ser Cauthrien and a large number of Loghain's guards. You can either surrender or put up a fight. If you surrender or fall in battle you, along with Alistair (if he is with you), will be taken to Fort Drakon where you get to play a quest, Captured! You will be confronted by her again before the Landsmeet where you will have the option to fight if you have high persuasion skill and ask her " Do you believe Loghain is not the same as he use to be?" the choice is yours.
Vaughan is a possible individual for release in the dungeons (unless you are playing as a City Elf and killed him). There is a possible bug that can occur when you approach Vaughan's cell (as an individual other than a City Elf) which will cause Vaughan to be behaving as though he's awake, but if you attempt to speak to him, all you'll get it snoring. You're also incapable of opening Vaughan's cell as usual. Meaning you are unable to garner his family's support in the Landsmeet. This can be remedied by taking the door to the first floor, and then going back into the dungeon. If leaving and coming back fails to make him respond properly it is also possible to stand near Vaughan with the cell door targeted then have a mage cast glyph of paralysis followed by glyph of repulsion on top of him, this will cause an explosion that paralyzes you both and once the spell ends interacting with the cell door starts the dialogue.
At this point he will react as normal. Note also, if you do release Vaughan, you will net -4 or -5 approval points from Zevran, and +2 approval from Morrigan.
If you mention he is the arl's son the elf mentioned, he will offer you the key to his lockbox containing 40 sovereigns, not bad. You can persuade him to hand you the key first, and choose to leave him in the dungeon or kill him for his crimes after.
Although Vaughan can be released in exchange for his support in the Landsmeet, his vote is not necessary to win it.
Battle with Ser Cauthrien and Loghain's Guards
Note : (Some people may struggle with winning this battle. Remember that you can reset the difficulty to casual.)
- See Ser Cauthrien For more advanced tactics how to defeat her.
If you're determined to go through with this fight, pull back as soon as you can into a corridor or room to force the archers to chase you down, gather together and provide an easier target for mass crowd control. If you retreat fast enough and far enough back into the corridor you came from and into the first room on the right (further down the hall and opposite the side from Anora's cell), it is possible to lure Ser Cauthrien by herself into the room, where she can be dealt with ease. Her remaining guards are much easier to handle once she is out of the way, and they can be taken care of at your leisure. Should you manage to beat Ser Cauthrien and the Loghain's Guards, loot the Summer Sword from Ser Cauthrien, a very nice two handed sword.
Note : If you choose to surrender while having Sten in your party, he will give a rating approval of -15 afterwards! If Oghren is in your party, you will lose 5 approval points. However you will gain +4 approval from Leliana or Zevran if they are in your party.
It should also be noted that surrendering or losing the fight with Ser Cauthrien is not the last opportunity to obtain the Summer Sword. Following your escape from Fort Drakon and the quest at the Elven Alienage, Ser Cauthrien will again attempt to stop you just before you enter the Landsmeet Chamber as the Landsmeet is about to begin. Here she is a much easier target, having significantly fewer guards at her disposal.
- Main article: Captured!
If The Warden surrenders to, or is beaten by, Ser Cauthrien, then they will be taken to Fort Drakon and the Captured! quest will start. If Alistair was in the party, then he will be imprisoned along with the Warden. Anora and the rest of the companions will return to Arl Eamon's estate and tell him what happened. Waking up in Fort Drakon, The Warden has the option of either breaking out or waiting for rescue by friendly companions. Once free of the prison, it will be time to speak with Arl Eamon and Anora.
Back at Arl Eamon's Estate
Once the queen has been rescued, and The Warden is at liberty, there is the chance to make good on getting people to side against Loghain. Everyone you need to find who has had a son/brother imprisoned, can be found at the Gnawed Noble Tavern. Give the sister the ring if you want her support. If you do not give her the ring, you will lose her support at the Landsmeet. There are several individuals who will give their say at the Landsmeet, one of them will always vote for Loghain, you need to procure the support of the others. Don't forget to approach the lone man in the booth closest to the door in the Gnawed Noble Tavern and talk to him to ensure you secure his vote.
After returning to Arl Eamon's Estate, Anora will explain that their has been unrest in The Denerim Alienage and that she suspects her father and Arl Howe are behind it. She suggests investigating the Alienage for incriminating evidence to use against Loghain at the Landsmeet.
At this point, it is also possible to lay some groundwork for who will take the throne by speaking with Anora and Alistair or you can tell Anora to marry Alistair then persuade Alistair to do the same.
Riordan will also be in Arl Eamon's estate. If the Warden Documents were found in the Arl of Denerim's estate, then speaking with him now gives the option to ask more about the Grey Warden Vault he mentioned, and he will explain its location.
Unrest in the Alienage
- Main article: Unrest in the Alienage
Once this quest has been obtained from Anora, the previously closed gate to the Alienage from the Denerim Market District is now open and can be used to access the Alienage via the Denerim City Map (the guard by the gate will confirm that the Alienage is now open again).
Inside the Alienage, there seems to be some sort of plague, and some Tevinter mages allege that they are helping to cure it. Shianni, however, is suspicious of their motives. Investigate the Tevinters and reveal Loghain and Howe's implication in elven slavery (see main article for walkthrough).
After completing the quest, head back to Arl Eamon's estate and show him the Slave Papers. You have to do this if you plan to use Loghain allowing/supporting slavery as evidence in the Landsmeet. If you do not show the papers to Eamon, this will be considered a false unsupported claim and will work against you.
The Landsmeet Decision
If you didn't wipe out Ser Cauthrien's troops at the Arl of Denerim's estate (just killing her there but dying to the guards is not sufficient, even if you loot her corpse), she will attempt to block your entrance to the Landsmeet. You have several conversation options here with Ser Cauthrien which makes a second fight completely avoidable. If your persuasion skill is high enough she will even admit to knowing that Loghain must be stopped and she will allow you by without incident. Killing her is difficult but nets you The Summer Sword.
If you complete all the quests you can for the nobles, you will win the Landsmeet, but you cannot use evidence or expect support if you have not followed through. Meaning you have to have gone to all the nobles in the tavern and showed Arl Eamon the Slave Papers.
At no point during your negotiations should you ever say anything about "Having left King Cailian to die". This will gain you negative approval points in the Landsmeet and will always lead to your defeat as there is no direct evidence that Loghain betrayed & abandoned the king. If you have followed through, gained support, and set out your points according to those accusations you can support, you will win. However, if you make a decision before the Landsmeet that you will not support Anora, she will betray you in the Landsmeet. As David Gaider has been quoted to say, it is important to remember that Anora is her father's daughter. She will only speak out against Loghain if you have explicitly promised to help her get the throne in dialogue at Arl Eamon's estate. (Note that it is possible to support Alistair for the throne even after promising to support Anora).
A couple of potentially useful accusations that you can level against Loghain are:
- The enslavement of the alienage elves (if you got the slaver documents as proof), which will outrage the nobles.
- Loghain's collaboration with Arl Howe, who tortured people in his dungeons. (see below)
- Loghain's hiring of a blood mage to assassinate Arl Eamon. (see below)
- Say that "The blight is the problem, not Orlais" will grant you support from the landsmeet, but it is important that you speak to Arl Wulff at the tavern before the landsmeet, or else the landsmeet will still reach a tie and you will not get the support from the last noble.
It does not matter what you say when Loghain accuses you of kidnapping Anora; she will base her support for you or Loghain based on previous dialogue choices.
If you have not completed enough actions to gain the support of the majority of the nobles, you could lose or the Landsmeet may not reach a decision -- the votes being tied. If this happens, Loghain will order you arrested. A fight will break out after Arl Eamon orders his men to back you up; Anora's royal guards will also help you against Loghain, but only if you have supported her for succession to the throne. After you deplete Loghain's health, the nobles will break up the fight, and suggest that the matter be settled with a one-on-one duel.
The best result that you can hope to attain is an impressive 5-to-1 vote to support the Grey Wardens. (Regardless of how well you prepare, procure evidence, and how convincing an argument you give during the Landsmeet, one of the nobles will always side with Loghain, and another will always side with the Wardens, leaving four more nobles to decide the result of the Landsmeet).
- To be certain of winning the landsmeet you will have to obtain 5-to-1 victory among the nobles, as draws are possible if the vote is 4-2.
- The Arl of the Southern Reaches will always side with the Wardens.
- Arl Wulffe of the Western Hills will side with the Wardens if the Warden passes a Persuade check during the Landsmeet and tells Loghain that "The Blight is the threat here, not Orlais". A convincing argument for Wulffe, who has already lost his arling to the Blight and the Darkspawn. It is highly recommended that you speak to him at tavern before the landsmeet, even though he will support you, the last noble will not do it if you have not spoken to Wulffe.
- Bann Alfstanna of the Waking Seas will side with the Wardens if she is given her brother's ring after his release from the Arl of Denerim's dungeon. This also completes the associated quest, Lost Templar. She will be found in the Gnawed Noble Tavern prior to the Landsmeet. She will validate the accusation of Loghain's assassination attempt of Arl Eamon through the hiring of a blood mage (Jowan). Her brother was the Templar who had Jowan in custody of which Loghain imprisoned the Templar to release Jowan. The Chantry representative will also place the chantry on your side, which will count towards winning the Landsmeet.
- Sighard of Dragons Peak will side with the Wardens if his son is released from the Arl of Denerim's dungeon and the associated quest, Tortured Noble is completed. He will be found in the Gnawed Noble Tavern prior to the Landsmeet. If you denounce Loghain's collaboration with Arl Howe, Sighard will speak up in your favor during the debate by publicly revealing the imprisonment and torture of his son.
- Vaughan, the son of the Arl of Denerim, will also pledge allegiance to the Wardens if The Warden released him from his own estate's dungeon in exchange for support during the Landsmeet. Note that Vaughan will still support you at the Landsmeet if you took his offer of 40 sovereigns in exchange for releasing him.
- Completing the "Trials of the Crows" questline will earn you a vote. The noble will say "The warden help me personally...in a family matter" referring to the ransom drop mission.
- Bann Ceorlic will always side with Loghain.
If you win the Landsmeet, Loghain will refuse to give up power, and you can challenge him directly to a duel without fighting the larger battle; this is the primary gameplay benefit of winning the vote. You can choose to fight him yourself, or have one of your companions fight him (except Dog; choosing the mabari as your champion nets some amusing dialogue, however).
One of the easiest ways to defeat Loghain is to have a mage face him using cones of cold to keep him from being able to attack. While he is unable to move do as much damage as you can. When cone of cold wears out recast it. If you don't have that option, run around for a while so he doesn't do any damage. He will switch to a crossbow, which he does not do much damage with.
When you win the duel, Loghain will surrender, Riordan will appear and you will be given the chance to show Loghain mercy and induct him into the Gray Wardens. The induction can occur only if Anora is supported as queen and someone other than Alistair duels Loghain. Alternatively, you can choose to kill Loghain, or let Alistair kill him. This decision has consequences that can greatly alter the story.
There are a vast number of possibilities and outcomes for the main characters after Loghain has been defeated in the duel. Some of these choices and options will only be available to characters with a high Coercion rank, or by laying groundwork for them in prior events. Depending on the choices made during the dialogue, deciding the fates of these characters can be a tangled affair, with one decision having significant consequences on the fate of the others. Full details can be found in Possible Landsmeet Outcomes.
- Additionally if you suceed at the Landsmeet you will be awarded with +1 spell/talent and +1 attribute point . This will show as a level up, but will not increase your level.
Loghain might be:
- Executed (by Alistair or The Warden)
- Inducted into the Grey Wardens (causing Alistair to leave the party for good).
- Rule on her own
- Rule jointly with Alistair
- Take a Human Male Noble Warden as her husband and prince-consort.
- Be imprisoned by Alistair, if he becomes king.
- Rule on his own
- Rule jointly with Anora
- Take a Human Female Noble Warden as his queen.
- Be executed.
- Leave the party and become a wandering drunk.
- Remain as a Grey Warden and let Anora rule.