This page is about the main quest; for the item, please see Urn of Andraste.

The Urn of Sacred Ashes is a main quest in Dragon Age: Origins that is required for completing the Arl of Redcliffe quest line and advancing to the final part of the game.


Arl Eamon of Redcliffe is dying, and the only way to save him is to find the Urn of Andraste. You can begin this quest by either finishing Arl of Redcliffe or by heading to Denerim and speaking with Brother Genitivi's apprentice.


Go to Denerim and look for Weylon, in Brother Genitivi's house. Weylon seems nervous when you enter the house. With a high enough Coercion skill, the Warden can trip up Weylon, who attempts to send him erroneously to Lake Calenhad. The Warden has the choice of heading there immediately, or investigating Genitivi's house further.

Note: If the Warden travels to Lake Calenhad before heading to Haven (even after uncovering the fake Weylon), the Warden can talk to the innkeeper at the Spoiled Princess to trigger a small plot event. Mentioning Genitivi will open a dialogue path where the Warden can intimidate or persuade the innkeeper to tell him why he is nervous. The innkeeper will reveal that "they" are watching and "they" are waiting for anyone who comes looking for Genitivi. Upon leaving the inn, the Warden will be ambushed by a small group of cultists. After defeating them, the Warden can reassure the innkeeper that he has resolved the issue, giving the innkeeper a much more"upbeat" personality.

Attempting to search the backroom, or making Weylon aware you think he's hiding something, will force a confrontation. Once he has been killed and you do investigate the house, you will discover a corpse in one of the rooms which turns out to be the real Weylon. You will also find Brother Genetivi's notes and learn that he has actually gone to the Village of Haven in search of the Ashes of Andraste.

When you get the notes Haven village will be available on your world map.

Upon reaching Haven, The Warden will be confronted by a guard. He is not eager to let The Warden pass; he can be either persuaded to allow an exception or killed.

Note: If Sten is in the party, he will question the decision to come to Haven. If the dialogue goes badly, he will attack; defeating him will calm him down, and he can be told either to get back in line or to leave the party. Sten's approval goes down if he attacks, but defeating him will net +7 approval points, effectively making the exchange favorable. If you want to defeat Sten easily, unequip his weapons and armor in advance.

Shopping in Haven

When you enter the house with a bloody altar, you will get a cutscene in which your companions comment that the village is obviously not what it seems (if Zevran is in your active party, he will add a comment about rituals of the Antivan Crows). If this dialogue occurs prior to your visiting the village shop, the entire village will attack you once you leave this house, meaning shopping in Haven is now impossible. Also make sure not to mention what you've seen to the guard who initially questions you as you enter Haven. To ensure you get the option to shop if you need to, go to the village store first and then make your way back to the abandoned house. You can look in the storekeeper's back room to trigger the villager attack. The Antivan Leather Boots and the Mage's Eye are in the village store in an iron chest which you can lockpick, or you can wait until after you have retrieved the ashes, at which point the chest will be unlocked.

Finding Brother Genitivi

After this event, however it has been triggered, the entire village will have turned hostile, and you will need to fight your way up to the Village Chantry. There will be a short cutscene and dialog, after which the people inside the Chantry will attack. Once they are dispatched go to the body of Eirik, the main priest and loot him for a medallion. You can then search the remainder of the chantry to pick up a few items before heading towards the hidden door where you will find Brother Genitivi. He will tell The Warden that the Urn of Andraste is located in a temple ruin in the mountains nearby. Here you can choose to take him along or send him back to Denerim to recover. If you do take him along, he will open the door and then remain at the temple entrance researching, you do not have to protect Brother Genitivi if you allow him to accompany you to the temple. Although you have an option to tell him to wait that you need to make sure it's safe outside, there is no walking with Brother Genitivi, there is simply a loading screen and then you arrive at the temple. Any forgotten village stragglers will not be there to attack the Brother when you leave the Chantry.

Note: If you take Brother Genitivi with you, you can avoid fighting any of the villagers, provided you have not looked in the back of the shop, commented on the abandonded house as above or otherwise enraged the villagers, because you are taken directly to the temple. After completing the quest, the storekeeper will have disappeared, but the rest of the villagers will still be standing around and will not attack you.

Ruined Temple

See also: [[:Ruined Temple for more details.|Ruined Temple for more details.]]

The temple ruins have a fairly straightforward layout, although keys are required to progress. There are many Cultists in the halls.

In one of the cabinets in a room down the hallway to the left in the entry way you will find a taper. Collect the taper for use later along with other random loot as necessary. The cultists in this room do not have any weapons so they aren't very difficult to take down. Go up the stairs and enter the door on your left. It is in this area that you will find your first key. Return down the stairs and go into the hallway on your left. This is where you will find the Main Hall Key opening the door to the rest of the ruins. Down one of the dead end hallways you will find the Armor of Diligence on a fallen knight. Once you have entered the main hall, you will see more stairs and at the top you will find a large fire pit. If you have the taper with you, you can light the fire and get a codex entry for doing so. Continue on through the ruins and you will reach a room with only a right and left door which has shelves and several items on them. The Ancient Elven Gloves are in the chest to your right. Whatever path you choose, right or left, the layout is the same on both sides and each lead to the same place, the Wyrmling Lair. For experience and loot, it doesn't take long to traverse both sides of the building but having a rogue with you is a good idea. The cultists use many traps throughout the Temple including a room set up with Ballista pointing towards Leghold Traps. When you are ready to, enter the door at the top of the stairs leading to the next section of the map, the Wyrmling Lair.

Mountainside Caverns

See also: [[:Mountainside Caverns for more details.|Mountainside Caverns for more details.]]

Once you reach the Wyrmling Lair, you have effectively left the temple and are walking through several underground caverns. Expect to encounter drakes and dragonlings here as well as cultists. If you go through all the different chambers before reaching Kolgrim, you can find several unique items on your way. There is the Life Drinker Amulet (a Blood Mage item), the Spellweaver (a sword for use by Arcane Warrriors only), a gift for Alistair and other random loot including Drake Scales from the Drakes you have fought along the way. If these are your first drake scales acquired you will get Codex and a new Quest regarding the Drake Scale Armour which you can visit Wade in Denerim about.

When you are leaving the Ruined Temple you will see three men standing in a large room. This is Kolgrim and he has a proposition for you. Unfortunately he's also quick to anger so choose your words carefully as it doesn't take much for him to attack your party. Avoid mentioning that the real Andraste is dead and that the dragon they worship is a fraud if that is your goal. If you do choose to fight him, he drops Faith's Edge, a nice battle axe. If you choose to side with him, you have the opportunity to learn the Reaver specialisation but what he asks you to do could cost you two team members (see below for more information). You also have the opportunity to kill him and still get Faith's Edge and Kolgrim's Horn if you side with him. This can be done by talking to him after he gives you the Reaver specialization. Agreeing with him and avoiding the battle does not compel you to follow through with his wishes. Shale and Morrigan will disapprove of refusing Kolgrim's offer but this can be avoided by picking a fight quickly and avoiding questions about the nature of his offer. It can also be reduced by persuasion speech checks if the conversation is allowed to progress far enough for Morrigan or Shale to voice their concerns. Zevran will request you at least hear Kolgrim out and saying you will defile the ashes, whether or not you plan to or not, results in +2 approval from him. You can persuade him that killing Kolgrim is a better option and then his approval doesn't change - Zevran's persuade reply to this is calling Kolgrim 'shifty' which will cause the cultists to attack.

Note: Defiling the Ashes is the only way to obtain the Reaver specialization, so avoid killing Kolgrim if you wish to unlock it. If you do plan to side with Kolgrim, ensure that neither Wynne nor Leliana are in your party. Note that you can get the Reaver specialization and then simply reload your game.

If you choose to side with Kolgrim, you receive:

  • Approval from Morrigan (+3), Shale (+2) and Zevran (+2)
  • Disapproval from Sten (-3), Alistair (-5) and Oghren (-5)
  • You can persuade Alistair to avoid disapproval (with a high Coercion skill)
  • Wynne will attack you, and you will have to kill her (not avoidable with Coercion), or if not present in your party, she will leave once you go back to camp. Even if you have not acquired Wynne from the circle tower she will still leave the first time you return to camp after acquiring her if you have defiled the ashes despite not having been in camp or the party during those events (PC).

If you choose to fight with Kolgrim, you receive:

  • Disapproval from Morrigan and Shale (can be avoided as mentioned above) (Updated - Shale disproves -10)
Note: This is incomplete. Please add in ratings for other approval members when they are known.

Whatever decision you have made, going straight will lead you to the Mountaintop and one step closer to reaching the Urn of Andraste.

The Caverns lead to a wide open field with some chests by a ruined arch to the right and a gong in the middle (Console version only). Hitting the gong summons a High Dragon. This is entirely skippable, but it will get you a large amount of high level loot. To summon the High Dragon in the PC version, you must kill Kolgrim and loot the Kolgrim's Horn from him though it is also possible to pull the dragon using the spell Blizzard see the exploits below for more information. Also note that unlike when you were inside the Caverns, now it's possible to switch party members. So if you choose to fight the dragon you have a chance to reconfigure your team. The High Dragon is a tough enemy; if the battle turns out to be too difficult, it is possible to come back and fight it at a later point. Regardless of whether you choose to fight the Dragon or not, you will be required to continue on to the next section of the Temple.

See also: [[:discussion.|discussion.]]

Guardian's Questions

See also: [[:Guardian for more details.|Guardian for more details.]]

The Guardian will ask a question to The Warden and his companions depending on their origin and the Companions that were brought with him. The Guardian is able to see all the choices and life of the characters.

The Gauntlet

See also: [[:The Gauntlet for more details and A Test of Faith for walkthrough.|The Gauntlet for more details and A Test of Faith for walkthrough.]]

At this point, a spiritual guardian of the Urn will decide to test The Warden's worthiness. The Gauntlet has 4 tests for the group that must be completed before you can gain access to the Urn. Once the Gauntlet has been completed, the Urn of Andraste will be in sight. There are two choices:

  • Taking only a pinch of the Ashes
  • Defiling the Ashes (only if you did not kill Kolgrim) -- doing so unlocks the Reaver specialization

Even if you plan on defiling the ashes, you must take a pinch of the ashes as well. This pinch of ashes is necessary to complete the Arl of Redcliffe quest.

Note: If you decide to defile the Ashes, Leliana and Wynne will attack you if they are in the party. If Leliana is not in the party, she will ask about the Urn in camp. You can either Persuade (Lie) to her and tell her that the Ashes are safe, or tell her the truth. Telling her the truth will cause her to leave the party. It should also be noted that if Wynne is the one to confront you in camp then Leliana won't leave (the topic will never even come up again with Leliana) and Wynne will instead.

There is no way to keep Wynne if you have defiled the ashes except through the exploit listed below, she will still approach you in camp even if Broken Circle was not completed prior to The Urn of Sacred Ashes. Level 3 coercion should convince Leliana the ashes are safe, provided she is not in your active party. You can lie to her back at the camp when she questions you.

If Leliana is in your party when you defile the ashes you can use intimidate and she will remain in your party but with a -10 approval hit.

You can unlock the Reaver specialization without losing any party members. Take a pinch of the ashes, loot chests and bodies and then leave the temple. Before you get to Kolgrim, save the game. Change your party members to anyone else other then Leliana, Wynne or Alistair. Go outside to the mountaintop and you can change your party. After you change your party members, head back into the temple, pour the blood on the ashes, defeat the Guardian and other mobs. Go outside, talk to Kolgrim and drink the blood to unlock the Reaver specialization. Then reload the game from when you first exited the temple, and kill Kolgrim this time. You will still have the Reaver Specialization available, without having defiled the Ashes in the active storyline.

Note: This is an exploit/bug in the game and it is possible that it will be fixed with a patch. As the game is currently played (console and computer) learning a specialization in one playthrough unlocks it for every future playthrough making it unnecessary to acquire the specialisation more than once, which according to forums on the official Bioware site, is an exploit. As the XP exploit existing with the darkspawn blood vials was recently fixed, it is possible this will be removed as well, forcing you make a permanent choice about whether or not you want to destroy the ashes or preserve them.
Note: (PS3) Whether or not you save before approaching Kolgrim and reload your game to kill him, Wynne will leave your party as soon as you return to camp.

Once you have done what you came to do, you can take a shortcut from the open field where the Dragon may be encountered back to the Ruined Temple. Simply take the path leading down on the right and exit through the door. Using this door will clear up a shortcut back to the mountaintop from the Temple in a passage which was previously blocked. If you have taken Brother Genitivi along, he will be extremely excited about your findings, and declare that he will share the news with the entire world. Alistair will express concern that there would not be enough ashes to go around if lots of pilgrims were to arrive, but there is no way to dissuade Genitivi from spreading the word except to kill him. There is no actual battle, just a cut-scene of your character killing Genitivi. Genitivi is a good NPC, a well traveled and learned scholar who has written many of your Codex entries, and killing him lowers Alistair and Wynne's approval by 3 points, Leliana by 5 points. Zevran, Morrigan, Shale, Sten, and Oghren's approval does not change.

If you let Genitivi live, he will return to his home in Denerim, asking you to visit him later. If you go to his home after he returns, he will give you a Master Dweomer Rune. If you instead kill Genitivi in the Temple, you will not get the Rune and one section of the epilogue will change.

Experience Points Exploit

There is a bug (confirmed on PC, not available/patched on Xbox, patched for PS3) when the player exits to the Mountain Top from the area of The Gauntlet where the Urn is located. The player can repeatedly transition from the Gauntlet to the Mountain Top to gain 750 experience each time back out to the Mountain Top; however, this does not work if the player chose to defile the ashes.

Another such bug (confirmed on PC) is to enter and exit repeatedly from the Mountain Top and the Caverns, which gives 750 experience points. This works if you have defiled the ashes. The mages and reavers remaining in the cavern will not attack the party even if The Warden has chosen to double-cross Kolgrim and kill him.

Note: If you have Memory Band on, you will get 757 experience points each time.

This bug is fixed by the 1.02 patch.

High Dragon Exploits

See High Dragon.


Aside from the pinch of ashes you receive and the EXP, the following unusual items can be found within the ruined temple and the Urn Temple itself:

Ico longsword Spellweaver
Tre ico necklace 5 Golden Demon Pendant
Plt ico drake scales Drake Scale (which are used to make Drake Scale Armor)
Ico greataxe Faith's Edge
Ico amulet Lifedrinker
Ico gloves med Ancient Elven Gloves
Ico amulet Reflection (amulet given to the PC by the spirit from their past).
For the specialization in Dragon Age: Origins, see Reaver (Origins).
For the specialization in Dragon Age II, see Reaver (Dragon Age II).
For the specialization in Dragon Age: Inquisition, see Reaver (Inquisition).
Behold... the blood of the dragon, drawn from the beating heart of a wyvern. Drink in the strength of a thousand generations.
Calenhad drinking dragon's blood

Calenhad Theirin drinking dragon's blood.

Reavers are warriors who use blood magic to give themselves power. It is believed that like blood magic, humanity learned how to harness this ability through Demons. To become a Reaver one must traditionally drink the blood of a dragon in a ritual, similar to the Joining. Alternatively, wyvern blood may be used instead of a dragon's to achieve the same effect in the Reaver ritual.


Reavers are warriors who have unlocked a new level of control over their bodies. They command this untapped energy from deep within blood and bone. The Reaver path however is a double edge sword. The Reaver specialization trades pain for strength, by channeling their own life force into raw power and stealing the life from their foes. Reavers terrorize their enemies, feast upon the souls of their opponents and become more powerful as they begin to die. It is not so easy, however, to learn this gift, as it comes from the ritually prepared blood of a dragon.[1]

Known reavers

The Reaver

The Reaver tarot card


  • When Kolgrim hands the Warden the potion that unlocks the specialization, he states that the potion was made of wyvern blood, not dragon - although he may have simply used the word as a synonym. However, given that the wyverns are lesser cousins to dragons, it is possible that all species within the Dragon family are capable of unlocking reaver skills.
  • If the Inquisitor becomes a Reaver then Cassandra informs them the Pentaghast family used to be known for their Reavers. According to legend, the Reavers developed dragon-like attributes and terrible tempers, often killing their entire families. The tales may be exaggerated, but she considers it likely the stories are based on truth. Nyree, a reaver, is able to adopt a frightening appearance with dragon like qualities, suggesting there is some truth to the stories.
  • The term "reaver" is an archaic term for one who despoils, plunders, bereaves, or takes with violence. This may be a reference to both the taking of another life or flesh or the sacrifice of one's own, as described in game.

See also

Ico codex entry Codex entry: Dragon Cults
Plt ico berserker man Manual: Reaver


  1. "Warrior Class". Retrieved 02-09-2011.
  2. Mentioned by Sten as the Arishok in Dragon Age: Until We Sleep Vol 1.
  3. Codex entry: Bloom
Specialization (from Kolgrim only if you agree to defile the ashes).

Champion may refer to:

Disambig gray This disambiguation page lists articles associated with the same title.
If an internal link led you here, you may wish to change the link to point directly to the intended article.
Specialization (you can still get this even if you defile the ashes by taking a pinch of the ashes before pouring the dragon blood and then accept the reward from Arl Eamon).

Once you have taken a pinch of the ashes, you can take these back to Arl Eamon to cure him of his poisoning.

Additionally once Arl Eamon is cured you will receive +1 spell/talent and +1 attribute point if his offer of a reward is accepted. This will show as a level up, but will not increase your level.

If you do not want to kill Brother Genitivi, you can warn him that if anything bad comes of him opening the temple to others, it is his responsibility. This does not garner approval or disapproval points from any companions and leaves Brother Genitivi alive. But if you kill him, then Wynne, Leliana and Alistar will disapprove if they are in your party.

Should the High Dragon be defeated on this or a subsequent occasion, the player may collect the unique Dragon Scales, which can be used to create certain types of armor (see below).

Note : If you defile the ashes, you gain approximately 1.5k more xp than if you had simply taken the ashes and fought Kolgrim, and that is before double crossing Kolgrim.

Wade Drake/Dragon Armor(s)


If you allowed Brother Gentivi to reveal the location of the Urn to the world and slay the dragon, the temple becomes a mecca for the faithful. If you didn't kill the dragon, the Urn disappears without a trace by the time the Chantry gains access to the temple.


  • The spirit Ealisay's question and one response are references to Monty Python and the Holy Grail. In the movie, it is argued that a swallow, a type of bird, is capable of carrying a coconut, which the cast use openly to simulate the sounds of a horse's hooves. Ealisay asks, "The smallest lark could carry it, while a strong man might not," which couples with an incorrect response, "a coconut."

See Also

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