For the keep located in this region, see Griffon Wing Keep.

The Western Approach is a large, arid expanse in southwestern Orlais.[1] Farther west lie the Hunterhorn Mountains and uninhabited steppes and forests.

Background[edit | edit source]

Area - Western Approach.png

The wastes in The Approach were once a land of plenty. The rain came north over the Gamordan Peaks, turning the plains green and verdant for several months of the year. However, eight hundred years ago, that all changed.[2] The Approach became the site of a major battle during the Second Blight. The darkspawn swarmed out of the Abyssal Rift, a great chasm to the south, and corrupted it with their foul blood never allowing for the land beyond to recover... even after the darkspawn were all driven back underground.[3]

The Grey Wardens had Adamant Fortress erected by the dwarves to stand watch over the chasm. The region however became a stark and sad place with unstable purple sands looted with desolate rocky pillars engulfed in steep ridges. At night, the air grows still and the sky is alight with shimmering auroras— the time when darkspawn still come out of hiding.[4]

The Orlesians at one point had iron towers built, over a hundred feet high, to mark a path in the badlands allowing for travelers to see the next when one is reached. The towers, now old, rusted and barely visible no longer pave a clear path to Adamant Fortress which stands on the lip of the chasm towering at the end of the path.[5] Adamant eventually lay vacant by the Wardens due to the ever encroaching sands and intense howling winds.

The desolate badlands known as the Western Approach are as massive as they are barren. Bordered to the west by steps and crawling with monsters, The Approach is a place from which few explorers return and most avoid. The Grey Warden Fortress Adamant sits on the edge of a great chasm on The Approach's southern reaches, one of the few remaining signs that the greatest battles of the second Blight were fought here.

—Excerpt from the quest journal

Involvement[edit | edit source]


This section contains spoilers for:
Dragon Age: Inquisition.


During the main quest Here Lies the Abyss, the Inquisitor sets out to follow the tracks of the disappearing Grey Wardens. After meeting Hawke in Skyhold, and being introduced to their Grey Warden ally in Crestwood, the Inquisitor learns that the Wardens have been gathering in a Tevinter tower in The Western Approach. While tracking down the Wardens, wildlife, White Claw Raiders, and Venatori will present a variety of threats amidst the sandy dunes, rocky outcrops, old Warden outposts and ancient Tevinter ruins.

When the Inquisitor finally catches up to the Grey Wardens, whom are intent on performing a ritual that will supposedly eliminate all Darkspawn, they discover that the Wardens are being led into a Venatori trap unbeknownst to Warden Commander Clarel. The ritual unveils that Venatori Magister Livius Erimond, is intending to bind all the Wardens to Corypheus' service. The Inquisitor can gain access to The Approach by completing the Investigate the Western Approach war table scouting operation in Skyhold.


Places[edit | edit source]

Regions[edit | edit source]

Map of the Western Approach

Note: The 25 regions below make up the Regions in the Approach collection. Discovering all of them grants 200 Influence.
  • Abyssal Ledge
  • Blight Overlook
  • The Canyons
  • Death Drink Springs
  • Dust Plains
  • Dustytop Fort
  • Echoback Canyon
  • Echoback Fort
  • Forgotten Mine
  • Gates of Andoral
  • Gates of Toth
  • Giant's Staircase
  • Griffon Wing Keep Griffon Wing Keep
  • Iska's Stand
  • Lost Spring Canyon
  • Lost Wash Creek
  • Nazaire's Pass
  • Old Prison Road
  • Prison Ruins
  • Sand Flats
  • Sand Rock Mine
  • Shimmer Stone Mine Shimmer Stone Mine
  • The Still Ruins The Still Ruins
  • Valemont Pass
  • The Wastes


Additional places[edit | edit source]


Inquisition camps[edit | edit source]

  • Craggy Ridge Camp
  • Echo Back Canyon Camp
  • Lost Spring Canyon Camp
  • Nazaire's Pass Camp

Characters[edit | edit source]

Quests[edit | edit source]

Still Ruins overview

The Abyssal High Dragon The Abyssal High Dragon
Assault on Griffon Wing Keep Assault on Griffon Wing Keep
Draconology Draconology
Fortress Squatters Fortress Squatters
Frederic's Livelihood Frederic's Livelihood
The Heart of the Still Ruins The Heart of the Still Ruins
Holding the Western Approach Holding the Western Approach
How to Lure a Dragon How to Lure a Dragon
Hunting Patterns Hunting Patterns
Into the Approach Into the Approach
A Manuscript of Some Authority A Manuscript of Some Authority
On the Chantry Trail On the Chantry Trail
Sharper White Claws Sharper White Claws
A Stranger Rift in the Ruins A Stranger Rift in the Ruins
A Tevinter Relic Hunt A Tevinter Relic Hunt
The Trouble with Darkspawn The Trouble with Darkspawn
The Venatori The Venatori
This Water Tastes Funny This Water Tastes Funny

Rifts[edit | edit source]

Rifts in the Canyons Rifts in the Canyons
Rifts in Echoback Rifts in Echoback
Rifts in Sand and Dust Rifts in Sand and Dust
Rifts off the Pass Rifts off the Pass

Requisitions[edit | edit source]

Code Requisition in the Approach Code Requisition in the Approach
Fauna Requisition in the Approach Fauna Requisition in the Approach
Lazurite Survey in the Approach Lazurite Survey in the Approach
Luster Survey in the Approach Luster Survey in the Approach

War table operations[edit | edit source]

All That Glitters All That Glitters
Crossing the Sulphur Pits Crossing the Sulphur Pits
Deal with the Angry Varghests Deal with the Angry Varghests
Find the Source of Darkspawn Find the Source of Darkspawn
Gather Metals Gather Metals
Improving Morale Improving Morale
Investigate Ancient Laboratory Investigate Ancient Laboratory
Investigate the Western Approach Investigate the Western Approach
Judgment: Recover Sold Artifacts Judgment: Recover Sold Artifacts
Secure a Source of Water for Outpost Secure a Source of Water for Outpost
Translate the Dragon Text Translate the Dragon Text
Western Approach Resources Western Approach Resources

Creatures[edit | edit source]

Enemies[edit | edit source]

Collections[edit | edit source]

Astrariums[edit | edit source]

Astrariums in the Approach Astrariums in the Approach

Bottles on the Wall[edit | edit source]

Bottles On The Wall icon.png Vintage: Warden Jairn - search inside Dustytop Fort.
Bottles On The Wall icon.png Vintage: Warden Eval'lal - search inside the Ritual Tower.
Bottles On The Wall icon.png West Hill Brandy - search the top of the tower directly above the Astrarium cave. Climb the southern half of the east rubble slope and then traverse up the ladder.

Griffon statues

Dragon Hunter[edit | edit source]

Abyssal High Dragon Abyssal High Dragon

Landmarks[edit | edit source]

Landmarks in the Approach Landmarks in the Approach

Mosaics[edit | edit source]

The Archdemon The Archdemon 12/12 pieces:

  • See the Archdemon mosaic for detailed locations.

Freed Are Slaves Freed Are Slaves 2/12 pieces:

  • In Coracavus, behind a locked door in the Records Room.
  • In the Still Ruins, behind a locked door, to the right of the first hall.


Shards[edit | edit source]

Shards in the Approach Shards in the Approach

Skyhold Customizations[edit | edit source]

Tevinter Banner Tevinter Banner - found in a chest located in a room off of the left side of the Main Chamber of the Still Ruins.

Note: Requires Deft Hands, Fine Tools Inquisition perk.

Inquisition Banner Inquisition Banner - capture Griffon Wing Keep (conditional: awarded after the Inquisitor captures their first keep)
Inquisition Banner Crown Inquisition Banner Crown - capture all three keeps: Caer Bronach, Griffon Wing Keep, and Suledin Keep.

Resources[edit | edit source]

Echoback Fort

Herbs[edit | edit source]

Amrita Vein Amrita Vein
Blood Lotus Blood Lotus
Deathroot Deathroot
Deep Mushroom Deep Mushroom
Dragonthorn Dragonthorn
Elfroot Elfroot
Ghoul's Beard Ghoul's Beard
Spindleweed Spindleweed
Witherstalk Witherstalk

Leather[edit | edit source]

Canine Leather Canine Leather
Fennec Fur Fennec Fur
Phoenix Scales Phoenix Scales
Quillback Leather Quillback Leather
Rough Hide Rough Hide

Metals[edit | edit source]

Lazurite Lazurite
Paragon's Luster Paragon's Luster
Serpentstone Serpentstone

Notable items[edit | edit source]

Elven artifacts[edit | edit source]

  • In the Main Chamber of the Still Ruins.
  • In the far western corner of the hidden Astrarium room.
  • In Griffon Wing Keep; up the stairs to the right of main gate.


Logging stands[edit | edit source]

  • Northeast of Lost Spring Canyon Camp.
  • East by southeast of Craggy Ridge Camp, or directly northwest from The Lost Idol landmark and head up the tiny slope from the riverbank.


Memories of the Grey[edit | edit source]


Quarries[edit | edit source]


Red lyrium veins[edit | edit source]


Veilfire glyphs[edit | edit source]


Loot[edit | edit source]

Codex entries[edit | edit source]

Codex entry: Adamant Fortress Codex entry: Adamant Fortress
Codex entry: A Missing Slave Codex entry: A Missing Slave
Codex entry: Constellation: Fenrir Codex entry: Constellation: Fenrir
Codex entry: Constellation: Satinalis Codex entry: Constellation: Satinalis
Codex entry: Constellation: Toth Codex entry: Constellation: Toth
Codex entry: Coracavus Codex entry: Coracavus
Codex entry: Magister Erimond Codex entry: Magister Erimond
Codex entry: Old Chantry Trail Signs Codex entry: Old Chantry Trail Signs
Codex entry: Our Lady of the Anderfels Codex entry: Our Lady of the Anderfels
Codex entry: Professor Frederic of Serault Codex entry: Professor Frederic of Serault
Codex entry: Responsible Blood Magic Codex entry: Responsible Blood Magic
Codex entry: Ritual Tower Codex entry: Ritual Tower
Codex entry: Surviving the Western Approach Codex entry: Surviving the Western Approach
Codex entry: The Creation of a Phylactery Codex entry: The Creation of a Phylactery
Codex entry: The Gate Guardians Codex entry: The Gate Guardians
Codex entry: The Secret Tongue of Slaves Codex entry: The Secret Tongue of Slaves
Codex entry: The Still Ruins Codex entry: The Still Ruins
Codex entry: The Western Approach Codex entry: The Western Approach

Note texts[edit | edit source]

A Blood-Spattered Note A Blood-Spattered Note
A Crumpled Note A Crumpled Note
A Letter Found on a Grey Warden Mage A Letter Found on a Grey Warden Mage
Ancient List of Prisoners Ancient List of Prisoners
Ancient Tevinter Ancient Tevinter
Ancient Warden Logbook Ancient Warden Logbook
A Preserved Note A Preserved Note
A Scrawled Note A Scrawled Note
Barely Readable Unsent Letter Barely Readable Unsent Letter
Chantry Logbook Chantry Logbook
Elegantly Penned Note Elegantly Penned Note
Elegantly Written Letter Elegantly Written Letter
Elegantly Written Note (about research team) Elegantly Written Note (about research team)
Elegantly Written Note (about Wardens) Elegantly Written Note (about Wardens)
Faded Interrogation Notes Faded Interrogation Notes
Faded Journal Faded Journal
Griffon Wing Keep (from Servis) Griffon Wing Keep (from Servis)
Griffon Wing Keep (to Servis) Griffon Wing Keep (to Servis)
Intercepted Venatori Message Intercepted Venatori Message
Journal on Certain Experiments Journal on Certain Experiments
Manifest Manifest
Memorial Memorial
Note from a Templar Note from a Templar
Note of Slight Jealousy Note of Slight Jealousy
Rebel Mage's Note Rebel Mage's Note
Research Notes Research Notes
Scrawled Raider Note Scrawled Raider Note
Stern Note of Warning Stern Note of Warning
Venatori Orders (to Cassius) Venatori Orders (to Cassius)
Venatori Orders (to Lucanus) Venatori Orders (to Lucanus)
Venatori Plans Venatori Plans
Written Note Written Note

Notes[edit | edit source]

  • There are two gates in the Approach: "The Gate of Toth" and "The Gate of Andoral" each one can be opened only from the northern side which requires completion of the Find the Source of Darkspawn War Table operation.
  • There is a sizeable stash of money next to a skeleton right above the Echo Back Canyon Camp. In order to reach it you need to jump on the broken floor (as it can be seen on the left side of the picture) with a mount.

Gallery[edit | edit source]

Trivia[edit | edit source]

  • In several published maps of Thedas, The Abyssal Rift is erroneously labeled as "The Abyssal Reach"; however; the former label is correct.[6]

References[edit | edit source]

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