There are 10 swords spread throughout Kirkwall and the surrounding areas:
- Hightown (Day) – Korval's Blades. Costs 3 75, found under "Other" items.
- Lowtown (Day) – Weaponsmithy. Costs 3, found under "Other" items.
- Lowtown (Night) – Found in rubble (exact location) in the Foundry District.
- Gallows Courtyard – Weapon Shop. Costs 3 75, found under "Other" items.
- Anders's Clinic – Found in a crate (exact location)
- Docks (Night) – Found in a pile of bones (exact location) in the Harbormaster's Office, behind a column on the right side as player enters.
- Docks (Night) – Found in a Master Locked Chest in the Western Warehouse District (exact location).
- De Launcet Mansion in Hightown (Night) (exact location), which is accessible once On The Loose is started – In the room shown on the map in the northeastern corner of the Hightown Estates. There are traps on the floor immediately in front of the chest, so bring a skilled rogue (Master difficulty, requires rogue with 40 Cunning) along to disarm. If the trap is triggered, a disarming lever is made available, just outside the room (it doesn't give XP though).
- Wounded Coast – Follow the right fork until you come to the camp at the top of the hill (exact location), there will be Tal-Vashoth to fight including a saarebas. After defeating them in a little cove in the corner where the Tal-Vashoth were in a pile of bones is the sword.
- Wounded Coast – Found in a pile of bones where you fought the Tal-Vashoth in Act 1 (exact location), or near Magus Tavarin Hall in the later acts. Near the path where the mercenary Maraas warned you away is the other in this map location.
When the first sword is turned in, Taarbas inquires whether payment is desired. If yes, each sword turned in will net 30 and 100 XP, but the Bassrath-Kata will not be received.
If performed for free, each sword nets 1200 XP, and after delivering all the swords, a class-specific weapon named Bassrath-Kata is rewarded:
(Longsword) – Weapon and Shield warrior (if and only if Hawke has either Shield Bash or Shield Defense)
(Greatsword) – Two-Handed warrior
(Staff) – Mage
(Longbow) – Archery rogue (if and only if Hawke has either Bursting Arrow or Pinning Shot)
(Dagger) – Dual Weapon rogue
If all 10 swords are turned in at the same time, the choice of the desired reward (whether cash or not) is not given.
- The dialogue with Taarbas does not change if you go ahead and acquire a sword, or even all 10, before initially speaking to him. The quest progresses without incident save for the Gallows sword (see the following note)
- If you acquire The Last Straw before purchasing the sword in the Gallows weapon shop, you will be unable to complete this quest, because entering the Gallows will automatically trigger the final events of the game.
- The De Launcet Mansion remains available for re-entry after it is initially unlocked. You can come back and obtain the sword later if you do not have the Cunning to disarm the trap.
- You may give the swords all at once or one at a time; either way, you can net a total of 13600 XP. Each sword, if not exchanged for payment, gives 1200 XP, and the completion of the quest rewards 1600 XP.
- If you had the Arishok's respect when given the weapon then Taarbas will say, "Guard it or lose all honor." This means that getting the weapon has the same significance as the tradition of giving a weapon to a Qunari.
- This quest helps to elaborate the significance of a blade to a Qunari (particularly the warriors), a concept touched upon in The Sword of the Beresaad and Blackpowder Promise. As the blade is a Qunari warrior's "soul," selling it as a mercenary is equivalent to that warrior literally "selling their soul."