After rescuing the queen from Howe, Anora informs the Warden that something is wrong in The Alienage. She believes that her father is behind it and she expects the Warden to find proof in order to erode Loghain's support in the Landsmeet.
There are several basic steps to complete the quest. Take advantage of the easy side-quests along the way.
- Enter the Alienage; look for clues.
- Investigate the Hospice
- Search the Apartments
- Run down the source in the Warehouse
Plague in the Alienage
With the gates unbarred, you can now reach the Denerim alienage from the Market District. In the slums, the elves are suffering from an apparently blight-related sickness. Those identified as ill are quarantined at a Hospice by members of the Tevinter Imperium. However, it turns out that none of the sick have been seen and many elves, led by Shianni, are questioning the Tevinter healers: Veras and Saritor.
- Optional: Talk to the Starved Veteran.
- Speak with Shianni to get the basic background: Elder Valendrian and Cyrion Tabris are missing, as well as a number of other residents. Shianni will eventually tell you about a possible back entrance.
- Optional: you can learn a bit more from a nearby vendor, Alarith.
- You have four choices for getting to the bottom of things:
- Aggravate the healers and guards outside the main entrance until they attack, then enter through the front. (This can risk the lives of bystander elves.)
- Enter the hospice through the back by bribing (6) the guard or killing him.
- Pick the lock of the Run-Down Apartments, skipping the hospice.
- Pretend to be sick, if The Warden is an elf. (This requires leaving the companions outside and a solo fight inside.)
Regardless of methods, you will end up killing approximately the same number of foes; feel free to use the technique most suited to your character. However, note that you can do both the hospice and the apartments, which will get you more experience.
After killing the guards in the hospice (who have good swords and shields to loot), you can free a group of elves from the back room, where they are being held in cages. On the desk is a key wrapped inside a note. (You can loot a crate, chest, and a pile of coins, too.) Exit the building and battle with Veras and Saritor (if you have not already dealt with them); their corpses will have two sets of mage armor, Enchanter level and lesser robes. After the battle, Shianni will suggest that the Tevinters might be using another one of the buildings, so head for the alleys behind the hospice.
Enter the Run-Down Apartments (in the far north-west of the district) using the key found in the hospice. Investigate the evidence that elves were hustled away quickly. You can question one of the remaining elves about what has happened (intimidate, persuade for 2, or simply wear him down to get the info). Note that this elf will not appear until you take care of the hospice first. When ready, exit through the south-west door to the central area of the slums. The Alley Guard will sound the alarm, bringing five more Tevinter Soldiers; half will close for melee and the others will use ranged attacks. Kill them and proceed to the warehouse.
Other items of interest:
- A chest (north-center room) has the Free Sailor Sextant for Fazzil's Request from the Chanters.
- Pick the east-side locked room, kill the Elf and 3 Tevinters to find Codex entry: The City Elves.
- In the alley between the apartments and the warehouse you can change your party members.
After entering the Tevinter Warehouse, you will be met by Devera, a Tevinter elf involved in the slave trade. Regardless of how you deal with her, you will end up meeting with the boss slaver, Caladrius in the northern room who will recognize the Warden's identity as well as Alistair's, if he is in the party. If patient, you can learn something about how the slavers have been operating; in particular, Caladrius will confirm Loghain's tacit involvement in their schemes. There are a number of ways of handling the next series of events:
- Persuade her into taking you to Caladrius, avoiding some of the interim fights.
- Confront her, forcing a fight in which she is backed up by 8 soldiers.
- Intimidate her into leaving with her guards, leaving you to mop up a group about half the size (there are also a number of traps in the room).
- Refuse to parley and attack.
- Allow him to make an offer wherein the Warden will pay him 100, allow him to leave with his slaves, and get the evidence confirming Loghain's involvement.
- Accept the offer, ending discussion.
- Refuse the offer, leading to battle.
- Counter-offer: [Persuade] "I'll accept your deal, but you give me the letter for free."
- Counter-offer: [Intimidate] "Leave the profits and the letter. Take your slaves and go."
- Counter-offer: [Intimidate] "Leave the elves and the letter. Take your money and go."
- Counter-offer: [Intimidate] "You leave everything. Get out with your hides."
- Battling Caladrius
- Main article: Caladrius#Strategy
Unless you got rid of her earlier, Devera will join in this fight; she will be the only foe in melee range of the party. Caladrius' troops are in the other half of the room, down a half-flight of stairs. The boss himself usually starts the battle casting Blizzard or Inferno, so it helps to get some distance. Few of his troops will follow you, although they have some deadly ranged attacks. An easy technique is to run into the corridor behind you and defend from there. If engaged in close quarter, he likes to use Cone of Cold; if his health is taken down enough, he may even unleash the potentially devastating Blood Wound.
Running out of the room is possible, but whichever door you did not open (and trigger the cutscene) cannot open (even though the mouse cursor will show it as unlocked) and party members will be stuck standing in front of it. Micromanagement may be required to systematically move characters out properly. If you select an entire party, the game engine will try to avoid bottlenecking at a doorway by splitting the party so that some go for the other door -- in this case, even though it cannot open the other door. That said, there is enough room to cast Storm of the Century and still leave the corners out of the area of effect.
Caladrius has a rather high mana pool. If you are a mage, and you have most of your points in magic, a single Mana Clash will end the battle. At a high difficulty level this is harder than it sounds due to his ability to resist, and even if he fails to resist it will not kill him outright on Nightmare difficulty. A templar's Holy Smite could yield better results with the automatic stun. Possibly even more reliable for higher difficulty is Paralysis Explosion if you have two mages to cast the required spells immediately. Neither will kill Caladrius, but can buy the party time to move to a more tactically advantageous position. If in low health, Caladrius will cast Blood Sacrifice, sacrificing his allies to gain some health (he may also sacrifice Devera).
When Caladrius is down to a few points of health, he will offer to surrender. He will make another offer:
- Kill him.
- Allow him to turn over the documents.
- Allow him to surrender and accept his offer of a constitution +1 boost; this kills all remaining elven slaves.
Once the situation is resolved, the quest updates to indicate the documents are in the Warden's possession; it remains incomplete until the Landsmeet. Arl Eamon will be ready to discuss the next step and Alistair will be forced into the party, in order to confront Loghain at the Landsmeet.
- If the Warden refused Caladrius' Blood Ritual
- City Elf Wardens can return to their home, where Cyrion will give them a dagger (Fang) that belonged to their mother (the Warden must not accept the 40 bribe from Vaughan at the start of the game).
- Other Wardens can speak with Valendrian at his home, who gives them the Gift of the Grey dagger that was wielded by Duncan as well as 250 XP.
- The party can trade with Alarith. City elf Wardens must not have accepted the 40 bribe from Vaughan at the start of the game in order for this to happen.
- If the Warden accepts the Blood Ritual
- Most companions disapprove.
- Alarith will not trade unless the Warden is an elf. City elf Wardens must not have accepted the 40 bribe from Vaughan at the start of the game in order for this to happen.
The companions generally disapprove of slave trading. The following table lists how each responds to allowing Caladrius to escape with the elves in captivity:
|Companion||Caladrius escapes with slaves||Ritual accepted||Ritual not accepted|
|Morrigan||(+3 if intimidated)||+4||-5 (0 if spared Caladrius)|
|Wynne||-5||-40 (-3 for even considering it)||+6
|Zevran||(-5 if persuaded)||-20 (-8 if persuaded)||+4|
- dropped by Caladrius
- Looting the corpse of Caladrius and finding the Slaver Documents before speaking to Valendrian will update the quest to say that you still need to collect evidence. Talking to Arl Eamon will allow you to complete the quest regardless though, even if he has no quest marker.
- After saving Valendrian and having talked to him there is the chance of getting his dialogue when he is home and receiving the Gift of the Grey from him at the warehouse. This seems to occur when Valendrian is interacted with before the cutscene where he is freed has occurred. Interacting with Valendrian will automatically begin the cutscene, and will cause the dialogue you get when he is home to occur immediately after. To prevent this, simply wait for the cutscene to occur on its own.
- This bug and its solution also applies to a City elf Warden with Cyrion Tabris.
- Much of the dialogue from the characters in the Elven Alienage was written by Ferret Baudoin.
- Underscoring the racism that pervades Thedas, if the guards in front of the Hospice are questioned about the possibility of Tevinter "foreigners" bringing the darkspawn plague to the alienage, they will reply sarcastically, "Of course! The mage-lords of the Imperium tremble in vague fear of you, and sent us into this filthy little hole in order to kill impoverished slant-eared Fereldan dog-lovers."
- Upon first entering the alienage during this quest, a group of elves can be seen harassing a human passing through the alienage. These are the same three elves who are seen drunk by the alienage gate during the City Elf Origin
- "Writers of Dragon Age." . BioWare Social Network.
- According to conversation with Tevinter guards during Unrest in the Alienage.