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Zerlinda's Woe is a side quest in Dragon Age: Origins.


This section contains spoilers for:
Dragon Age: Origins.

In the streets of Dust Town, the Warden can find a beggar named Zerlinda in need of assistance. If the Warden talks to her, she will ask for money for her son. If money is handed over (5 Silver) or the Warden asks about her situation, she will explain that she fell in love and had a son with a casteless man. Because, in dwarven society, children inherit the caste of their same-sex parent, her child is casteless and her family has thrown her out unless she abandons the child in the Deep Roads. Her child's father abandoned her as he was hoping Zerlinda would bear a daughter so that she would be mining caste like her mother and thus as the child's father be accepted to live in Zerlinda's home. Simultaneously, Zerlinda's father, Ordel, also expelled her from his house as he could not petition the Assembly for status of his casteless grandchild and it would bring a lot of embarassment to the rest of his family if he kept a casteless child inside his home. There are various options available:

  1. The Warden can convince her that she shouldn't leave Orzammar and help reconcile her with her family.
    1. She will ask why you are helping. Agreeing to help her will net Approves (+2) from Wynne if she is in the party.
    2. To persuade her family to help, travel to Tapster's Tavern in the Orzammar Commons, where her father Ordel is usually located at evenings.
    3. Corra, the hostess of Tapster's, can also be asked if Ordel is inside and she will mention that he just returned from the mine so he isn't very chatty.
    4. The Warden can force him to change his mind about her using persuasion (requires Improved Coercion) or intimidation (requires Expert Coercion).
    5. Once he has agreed to welcome her back, return to Zerlinda and tell her the good news.
  2. If the Chant in the Deeps quest for Brother Burkel has been completed and there is now a chantry in Orzammar, you may:
    1. Tell her to go to the Orzammar chantry. She will ask the Warden to speak with the Brother as she doesn't know much about the Chantry.
    2. Go to Brother Burkel. You may ask if he has a job for her, food and shelter for the boy, or you can ask if he will take the boy as a ward of the Chantry. He will happily agree to any of these requests.
    3. Return to Zerlinda with the good news. The next time she can be found praying inside Orzammar's chantry.
  3. The Warden can encourage Zerlinda to go to the surface. This nets Approves (+1) from Wynne if she is in the party.
  4. A final option is to persuade Zerlinda to consign the child to the perils of the Deep Roads and go home (requires Improved Coercion).


Zerlinda's Woe - Dragon Age Keep

The quest choices in Dragon Age Keep

  • Completing the quest by finding a solution to her problem nets 200 experience.
Note: Successfully persuading Zerlinda to consign her son does not net 200 experience unlike all other options.
  • If the Warden chose to reconcile Zerlinda with her family, she promises that when her son becomes of age, he will become a knight in the Warden's service.


  • If the Warden gives 5 Silver to Zerlinda, no money will actually be taken from your inventory. Furthermore, the option to give Zerlinda the money is also available even if the Warden does not have 5 Silver at that moment.
  • If the Warden tells Zerlinda that you could talk to her family, say that you were hoping she'd offer you more of a reason, and tell her to fix her own problems, then the conversation ends. You get this quest (uncompleted) but you cannot finish it - she never told you about her father, and if you talk to her again she only says "I have to find food for my child." The quest remains active in your Journal and says "You refused to help Zerlinda, the young mother. She remains alone and penniless."