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The Siege of Vigil's Keep is a main quest in Dragon Age: Origins - Awakening. It is one of the two quest options for the Warden-Commander during the Mother's darkspawn attack, the other being The Assault on Amaranthine. 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 Assault on Amaranthine.


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.
  • Buying or selling items (including in the city of Amaranthine).
  • Getting any needed items out of the 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 confrontation with the nobles in throne room. There will be a messenger reporting an attack on the City of Amaranthine. The Warden-Commander will have to select up to three companions to march with them to Amaranthine.

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

If left behind at the Vigil:

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

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 a talking darkspawn messenger, The Messenger, 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:

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

Ico DisAppr Heart.png Anders disapproves (-5), but if persuaded, no change
Ico DisAppr Heart.png Justice disapproves (-5), but if persuaded Approves (+2)
Ico Appr Heart.png Oghren approves (+3)
Ico DisAppr Heart.png Sigrun disapproves (-5), but if persuaded Approves (+2)
Ico Appr Heart.png Velanna approves (+3)

There is no approval change for Nathaniel.

Once you return to Vigil's Keep, if the following were not in your party when you arrived at Amaranthine:

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

The Siege of Vigil's Keep[]

Vigil's Keep - Throne Room[]

After a brief cutscene, the Warden will be in the Throne Room. Varel tell them that the darkspawn have been here for a few days but have not breached the walls. They will have several chat options here, but they all lead to the same result. Once the dialogue is finished, the Warden will have a chance to change party members for the upcoming battle. When the battle starts, there will be a radial menu that will call in reinforcements.

  • If the Warden did the quest Smuggler's Run and freed Jacen, he will tell them that if they need a master archer just call him in and he will snipe targets. Sergeant Maverlies will offer the same function if Varel is not there.
  • If the Warden fully upgraded all of Vigil's Keep defenses, Voldrik will tell them that no ogre will come busting down the walls.
  • If the Warden did the quest Bomb's Away, Dworkin will tell them that the catapults have a nice surprise for the darkspawn.

Vigil's Keep Gates[]

At this point the battle is pretty straightforward: defend the gates from darkspawn. After the fight a cutscene will play telling you the children are attacking the east wall. Go defend the east wall. After the children are dead, head out to the courtyard and dispose of the darkspawn there, then head to the front gates to defend there. As you come in sight of the front gates, a cutscene will play showing Seneschal Varel defending only to be killed by an ogre.

After the cutscene where the Herald is highly upset, you can speak to a medic who will sell healing supplies. After you make your purchases, you must defend the gates again. After a quick battle ensues, make your way back to the courtyard and defend it. After your victory in the courtyard a massive armored ogre alpha will appear. This is a boss battle, so fight accordingly. There will also be hurlocks, genlocks, and a heretic disciple or two.

Bug icon.png Bug! When defending the gates, the quest possibly won't renew after killing droves of darkspawn, causing you to fight a never ending horde.

Now head back to the gates and defeat the Herald. Upon defeating him, you see another cut scene telling you that you have succeeded: as the darkspawn retreated, they left a trail that even the greenest of recruits could follow. They will also explain that you took heavy losses and you are on your own for the final battle. You will now get the quest Depths of Depravity. Don't forget to collect your loot from the ogre and the Herald.

Bug icon.png Bug! After the fight, none of the characters outside can be interacted with, including Wade. Ambassador Cera and Yuriah can still be traded with.
Bug icon.png Bug! If you enter the throne room after the fight you will see two Captain Garevels.


Vigil's Keep is saved at the cost of Amaranthine. The epilogue is affected as well.


  • 1000 XP for arriving at the City of Amaranthine in the beginning
  • 1000 XP for defending the gates at the start of the siege (this phase ends when 3 heretic disciples are dispatched.)
  • 1000 XP for protecting the eastern wall against the Children (this phase ends when 3 childer hatchling alphas are killed.)
  • 1250 XP for securing the front gates against 3 ogres
  • 1250 XP for clearing the courtyard of 3 heretic disciples
  • 2500 XP for defeating the armored ogre and the Herald
Note: This is a total of 8000 XP as compared to possible 10500 XP for The Assault on Amaranthine; however, due to continual spawning of enemies at the gate here and variation in XP of guards saved at Amaranthine, the final XP is comparable.

Notable items[]

From the armored ogre:

Barbed Fists Barbed Fists

Helm of Dragon's Peak Helm of Dragon's Peak

From the Herald:

Blessing of the Divine Blessing of the Divine