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This page is about the main quest; for the relic, 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. If you completed the quest A Fallen Templar, you can read Ser Henric's note for clues on where to start the search: Brother Genitivi's residence in Denerim.


Note: The Urn of Sacred Ashes can be obtained before you even enter Redcliffe by going to Genitivi's home and talking to Weylon

Brother Genitivi's House

The Warden should travel to Denerim, and specifically to the Market District to find Genitivi's Home. Within, the Warden will meet Weylon, who nervously reports that Brother Genitivi has gone missing on his research. Through a Coercion check, the Warden can force some more information about Brother Genitivi's (last known) location: Lake Calenhad. The Warden can:

  • Travel to Lake Calenhad:
    • The Innkeeper of The Spoiled Princess seems a bit jumpy, especially if the Warden asks about Brother Genitivi. He can now be intimidated or persuaded to reveal a bit more: "they" have been keeping the inn under observation, looking for anyone who may ask about Brother Genitivi. Leaving the inn, the Warden will be ambushed by a group of Cultists. When you return to Weylon, a confrontation ensues.
  • Investigate the rest of Brother Genitivi's House:
    • As the Warden approaches the backroom, Weylon will try to stop the party. The Warden can back off, or lead into a confrontation (as if accusing Weylon of hiding something);
  • Accusing Weylon of hiding something:
    • This leads to a confrontation, that Weylon is unlikely to survive.

At this point the Warden can explore the rest of Brother Genitivi's House, finding a corpse described as the real Weylon, and a note by Brother Genitivi which indicates he was headed for the Village of Haven in search for the Andraste's Ashes.

Note: If you choose to follow up on Lake Calenhad, the Cultist Leader has a chance to drop Ceremonial Armor

Reach Haven

Main article: The Village of Haven

Once Genitivi's Research is found, the World Map is updated to include Haven. Upon reaching the village, The Warden will be confronted by a guard. He is not eager to let The Warden pass; he will answer some questions but insists the Warden leaves. He'll let you trade at the shop.

Note: If Sten is in the party, he will question the decision to come to Haven. If the dialogue goes badly, he will try to mutiny and duels you; defeating him will settle his dispute, and he can be told either to get back in line or to leave the party. Sten's approval may go down or go up if he attacks, depending on the dialog options, 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

The population of Haven will soon turn hostile towards the Warden. This is triggered by either entering the Villager House (close to the village's entrance, on the left), or exploring the back room of the Store. If the Warden wishes to trade with the village's storekeeper, [s]he should do so first. You may also talk to a Child in the middle of the village at this point, who may show you a finger bone if you can persuade him.

If the Warden enters the villager's house with the hearth and bloody altar inside, there will be a cut scene in which the companions comment on the disturbing discovery. If Zevran is in your active party, he will add a comment about rituals of the Antivan Crows, while Morrigan will confirm that it is human blood.

Note: In a locked chest inside the house, the Warden can also find one of the Love Letters for the Correspondence Interruptus quest.

Alternatively, if the Warden attempts to explore the back room of the village's store, the storekeeper will attack the group to try and prevent them from finding the remains of a knight from Redcliffe.

Note: The store also holds a pair of Antivan Leather Boots, and the Mage's Eye bow in a locked chest (that can be picked), near the front of the shop. This chest will be unlocked if you return later.

Either way, when the Warden walks out of the house or store, the villagers, and some Cultists will attack the party.

Finding Brother Genitivi

After clearing the road uphill, the Warden will reach Haven's Chantry. Entering will trigger a cut scene, during which Eirik, apparent leader of the congregation, makes his loath and hatred of foreigners quite clear, leading to a fight between the party, Eirik, and the Guards in the room. Eirik's body will yield a Cultist Medallion, necessary to enter the Ruined Temple.

Note: The side rooms of the Chantry that is not locked by a brick wall holds an Inscribed Chest, with a Small Silver Bar and a Ring of Faith inside.

Behind the Brick Wall, the Warden will find Brother Genitivi himself. He will tell The Warden that the Urn of Andraste is located in a temple ruin in the mountains nearby, and will answer some questions about the village and her research into the urn. 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 remains at the temple entrance doing research, so 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 abandoned 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

Ruined Temple Map

Main article: Ruined Temple

The temple ruins have a fairly straightforward layout, although keys are required to progress. There are many Cultists in the halls, some of them mages. The first passage to the left (west) leads to a small group of unarmed Cultists. In a Cabinet in this room, the Warden will find a Taper that will be necessary later on.

Note: An Adventurer's corpse in the same passage yields a letter for the Unbound quest, while the bookshelf in the same room yields the Discovering Dragon’s Blood: Potions, Tinctures, and Spicy Sauces tome.

The passage to the right (east, marked on the map as South Eastern Chamber) leads to a locked room (requires a key, see below), and a square room holding with a scroll for The Scrolls of Banastor quest, and a set of Ancient Encrypted Scrolls for the Forgotten Verses quest.

To find the key that opens the locked door in the South Eastern Chamber, the Warden should head up the first flight of stairs (guarded by Cultists), open the door to the left (West - watch out for Bronto just past this door), and reach the Cultist Chambers. A large number of Cultists awaits the group in this area (watch out for traps as well), so it is recommended to proceed with caution, trying to pull small groups to the companions.

Note: Another scroll for The Scrolls of Banastor quest is found in the first room of the Cultist Chambers.

The last room in these Chambers yields the South-East Chamber Key (which will unlock the matching door), as well as a Black Pearl (which will be required to progress, together with the taper mentioned above), a Chasind Sack Mead.

Note: The Codex Entry: The Sermons of Divine Renata I can also be unlocked in this area.

Once the key is acquired, the group can return downstairs to unlock the South East Chamber (a new group of Cultists will stand in the way). Within that Chamber, a chest holds the Main Hall Key (which will unlock the door at the top of the stairs).

Note: Check the East-ward door (that leads to a wavy corridor) at the top of the stairs to find the chest piece of the Armor of Diligence on the corpse of a fallen knight.

Beyond the Main Hall door lies a large room with more stairs. A Cultist Mage and a couple of Archers are guarding the area. The Mage can be pulled by himself, but once the party approaches the stairs or attacks the Archers, a pair of Ash Wraiths appear on the sides. At the top of the stairs, the party will find a Brazier (the tamper found in the earlier area can be used to unlock Codex Entry: The Holy Brazier), and a door. Beyond the door lies a room with Archers and many traps.

The next door leads to a room with a circular platform in the middle, and a statue (of Andraste?) along the North wall. An Auto-Save will take place upon entering this room, and shortly thereafter a Lieutenant-grade Ash Wraith will appear. The spirit also gets some help from two pair of Cultists awaiting right outside the room (a Reaver and a Mage on one side, a Reaver and an Archer on the other). After the fight, the Warden can open the Iron Chest to find a pair of Ancient Elven Gloves.

The party can continue along the eastern or western wings at this point (they lead to the same location), or clear them both for loot and XP. Both wings include Cultists, traps, and Ash Wraiths that ambush the party. Eventually, the group will reach stairs leading up to the Wyrmling Lair.

Wyrmling Lair/Mountainside Caverns

Map of the Caverns

Main article: Mountainside Caverns

Once you reach the Wyrmling Lair, you have effectively left the temple and are now walking through several underground caverns. In addition to more Cultists and their traps, there are Drakes and Dragonlings (which sometimes spawn behind, or all-around the party) here in this area.

In the first large room, the Warden can collect the Codex Entry: The Frostback Mountains from a book.

From the second room, the party can follow a eastward path that leads to a room with caged pigs and goats, sometimes referred to as The Feeding Chamber. 3 Drakes will spawn and attack once the group is inside the area. They will drop a Drake Scale each, valid for the Drake Scale Armor quest. In the same room, the Warden can find a Stone Warrior Statuette in a Pile of Dragon Filth [sic - you don't want to know].

The other path (headed north) from the second room leads to a farther split. The party can follow a northeast or a northwest direction.

The northeast path leads to a couple of rooms sometimes referred to as the Hatchery, due to the various dragon eggs lying around. First, the party will enter a large room with columns, and a flight of stairs. On top of the stairs, a Cultist Overseer awaits. Before the stairs, Cultist Reavers and Archers stand guard (just to add a bit of spice, there are a couple of traps just at the bottom of the stairs). The party may try and pull the groups at the bottom of the stairs before engaging the Overseer. Once the Overseer enters the fight, 2 Drakes will spawn and join the fray, each accompanied by a couple of Dragonlings. The Drakes will drop Drake Scales, and the Overseer will drop a Spellweaver. One more room lies to the North-East of this encounter, where another Drake awaits, aided by a Cultist Mage, an Archer, and a hidden Assassin. A book on one of the tables in this room yields the Codex Entry: The First Blight, Chapter 3 and a Dragon Egg yields Lifedrinker (and the matching Codex Entry: The Life Drinker).

Kolgrim's Offer

The northwest path leads to a room with a few Cultists (and their traps), and eventually a large cavern where the leader of the cult, Father Kolgrim, awaits. As the Warden approaches, he will initiate a dialogue, revealing more details about the Cult that the party has been fighting since entering Haven. The Disciples of Andraste originally used to guard her ashes - however, they claim the prophet has since risen from the dead and the cult acts as her guard.

If, during the conversation, the Warden mentions that the real Andraste is dead and/or that the one the Cult is following now is a fraud, Kolgrim and his aides will attack the party. Otherwise, the dialogue may lead to Kolgrim offering a task for the Warden to make up for all the damage inflicted so far to the Cult (and to become a brother to the Cult): take a vial of Andraste's blood, find a way around the Guardian protecting the ashes, and pour the blood into the ashes.

Note: Accepting Kolgrim's task and defiling the ashes is the only way to unlock the Reaver specialization and obtaining the Sacrilegious achievement.

Whether the Warden refuses to listen to Kolgrim's proposition, or accepts the task, or even if the Warden accepts the task verbally but does not follow through with it, the companions in the party (and some even if they are not in the active party) will react accordingly:

  • If the Warden sides with Kolgrim:
    • Ico Appr Heart.png Morrigan approves (+2) or Ico Appr Heart.png Morrigan approves (+3)
    • Ico Appr Heart.png Shale approves (+2) or Ico Appr Heart.png Shale approves (+4)
    • Ico Appr Heart.png Zevran approves (+2)
    • Ico DisAppr Heart.png Sten disapproves (-3)
    • Ico DisAppr Heart.png Alistair disapproves (-5)
      • May be avoided through Persuasion
    • Ico DisAppr Heart.png Oghren disapproves (-5)
    • Leliana is, of course, opposed to the defiling. Her reaction depends on various parameters. Even a hardened Leliana will still object to the defiling of the Urn, but if the following conditions are met, she may be present at the defiling and, instead of reaching her crisis, simply Ico DisAppr Heart.png Leliana disapproves (-10):
      1. Leliana must be hardened;
      2. The Warden must have a high intimidate skill (Coercion + Strength bonus = 75 or higher, where each point in Coercion is equal to 25 intimidation points. Thus 3 points in coercion should do the trick regardless of what your character's strength score is);
      3. The player must select the "Before you do anything stupid, remember who I am." dialogue option when she calls the Warden a "fiend".
    • Wynne will turn hostile if the ashes are defiled and she is present in the party;
      • If she is not present, she will initiate a conversation the next time the Warden enters the Party Camp and leave. Note: It is suggested that Wynne's crisis point can be avoided if she is not acquired until later on, after defiling the ashes - However, others have reported she will leave the party the first time the Warden returns to Camp even if she joined the team after the ashes were defiled.
    • Ico Appr Heart.png Zevran approves (+2) if the Warden listens to Kolgrim's offer and accepts it (even if the Warden won't follow through with the defiling);
      • Zevran can be persuaded that killing Kolgrim is a better option and his approval rating won't change (Note the dialogue option to persuade Zevran calls Kolgrim 'shifty' and will trigger the cultists to attack)
  • If the Warden fights Kolgrim:
  • The fight can be tricky at first, but try to kill the Cultist mages and have someone keep the melee attackers on them (someone with a lot of health)
  • Oghren approves (+2) if "shut up, Oghren" and then "I'll take my chances with the arrows" is selected after Kolgrim warns of a "rain of arrows" awaiting the Warden if they so dared attack "Andraste"
    • Ico DisAppr Heart.png Shale disapproves (-10);
    • Morrigan disapproves;
      • Morrigan's and Shale's negative reaction can be avoided by picking a fight with Kolgrim early on in the dialogue, without asking about his offer; alternatively, if the dialogue leads them to express their opinion, a successfull Persuasion check may reduce their loss of approval (Ico DisAppr Heart.png Shale disapproves (-5), Morrigan 0 if started within the first two dialogues);
    • Wynne, Leliana and Alistair voice their opposition to defliling the urn, but fighting Kolgrim does not result in a change of approval rating.
Note: This list is incomplete - the reaction of other companions to either option has not been reported yet. Please add the approval changes you experience.

If/when you fight Kolgrim, he will drop his axe, Faith's Edge, and (depending on the time when the fight took place) Kolgrim's Horn.

The Mountain Top

Main article: Mountain Top
Note: While in this area, the Warden can re-configure the party composition.

After the encounter with Kolgrim, the party will reach the Mountaintop. A cutscene occurs as the cult's "Andraste," whivh is actually a High Dragon, flies over and lands to rest on a cliff. At this point, the party may engage the false Andraste by using Kolgrim's Horn (Console-only: or the Dragon can also be summoned by using the gong in this area).

Bug icon.png Bug! (PC-only) the dragon can also be pulled by using the Blizzard spell, as explained in this section of the Dragon's page.
See also: [[:Experience Points Exploit|Experience Points Exploit]]
See also: [[:discussion.|discussion.]]

If the dragon is slain, she will drop a considerable number of items among which a Dragon Scale which will unlock the Dragon Scale Armor quest. There are also a few chests in the circular ruins to the east.

The Gauntlet

Main article: The Gauntlet

Whether the party elects to fight the High Dragon on the Mountain Top or not, their next stop is a separate temple, known as The Gauntlet. In the first room, the Warden will find 30x Andraste's Arrows, a book unlocking the Codex Entry: The Maker's First Children, and the next step in the quest line, in the form of a Guardian knight. Approaching him will trigger a conversation revealing more background history about the Disciples of Andraste and the Urn of Scred Ashes. The Guardian will ask one question to each party member, related to their own past, and unlock the A Test of Faith quest. To reach the Urn, the party has to pass the trials of the Gauntlet. See A Test of Faith page for details about the tests.

The Ashes

Once the Gauntlet has been completed, the Urn of Andraste will be in sight. Among your choices:

  • Take a pinch of the Ashes
  • Defile the Ashes - Only available 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. Taking only a pinch of the ashes will also unlock the Ceremonialist achievement.

Note: Defiling the ashes garners approximately 1.5k more xp than grabbing a pinch and fighting Kolgrim - Kolgrim can also be double-crossed and fought for further XP.
Note: See Leliana and Wynne for details on their reactions in case you chose to defile the ashes - as well as the Kolgrim's Offer section above.

Before leaving the room, unlock the chests and loot the Adventurer's corpse for a Belt of the Magister Lords and a Golden Demon Pendant.

Note: From the Mountain Top the party can also follow a shortcut on the way back, in the form of a door to the lower right (while facing the Caverns direction). This will lead directly to the entrance of the Ruined Temple, where Brother Genitivi awaits.


As the party returns to the entrance of the Ruined Temple, Brother Genitivi will be extremely excited about the news, and ready to share them with the entire world. Alistair, if present, 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 the Warden killing Genitivi. Genitivi is a good NPC, a well traveled and learned scholar who has written many of the Codex entries, so the homicide will trigger some reactions among the companions:

  • Ico DisAppr Heart.png Alistair disapproves (-3)
  • Ico DisAppr Heart.png Leliana disapproves (-3)
  • Ico DisAppr Heart.png Wynne disapproves (-3)
  • Unaffected: Zevran, Morrigan, Shale, Sten, Oghren.

If Genitivi is not killed, he will return to his home in Denerim, asking the Warden to visit him later. if the Warden does visit him, he will present him/her with a Master Dweomer Rune as a reward.

With the Pinch of Sacred Ash, you may now head to Redcliffe Castle and heal Arl Eamon. If you have not yet been to Redcliffe, you will need to resolve the troubles there before you can reach Eamon. See Arl of Redcliffe for details


Bug icon.png Bug! This exploit is confirmed on PC, patched on PS3, not available/patched on Xbox

As the Warden exits to the Mountain Top from The Gauntlet, 750 XP are awarded. The party can repeat the transition from The Gauntlet to the Mountain Top to gain 750 XP each time. This does not work if the Warden chose to defile the ashes.

Bug icon.png Bug! Confirmed on PC

Repeat the transition between 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.

    • Supposedly fixed in v.1.02, but some report this bug/exploit as still available in v.1.03
See also: [[:High Dragon Exploits|High Dragon Exploits]]


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

Spellweaver Spellweaver

Golden Demon Pendant Golden Demon Pendant

Drake Scale Drake Scale (which are used to make Drake Scale Armor)

Faith's Edge Faith's Edge (if you slay Kolgrim)

Lifedrinker Lifedrinker

Ancient Elven Gloves Ancient Elven Gloves

Armor of Diligence Armor of Diligence

Reflection Reflection (amulet given to the PC by the spirit from their past).

For the specialization, see Reaver (Origins), Reaver (Dragon Age II), and 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 Theirin drinking dragon's blood (alleged; based on the Qunari account of his life)

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 tarot card

Codex entries

Codex entry: Bloom Codex entry: Bloom
Codex entry: Dragon Cults Codex entry: Dragon Cults


  • 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

Manual: Reaver Manual: Reaver


Specialization (from Kolgrim only if you agree to defile the ashes).

Champion may refer to:

Disambig gray.png 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 (if you accept the reward from Arl Eamon).

Additionally once Arl Eamon is cured the Warden will receive +1 spell/talent and +1 attribute point if his offer for a reward is accepted.

Drake/Dragon Scales and Armors

The Drake Scales and Dragon Scale collected throughout the Ruined Temple can be used to make the Drake and Dragon armor(s). For details about this process, see Wade and his discussion page.


If the Warden allows Brother Gentivi to reveal the location of the Urn to the world and slays the dragon, the temple becomes a mecca for the faithful. If the High Dragon wasn't killed, 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