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After completing the quest
, you'll receive a message from "a friend" at Gamlen's house in
. Accepting the letter will trigger the quest and earn you 50 silvers.
The letter will inform you that because of your "good character and unusual ability," you're being given the opportunity to save "the lives of many innocents." All you'll need to do is meet the letter-writer at the Wounded Coast Approach, which will appear on the Free Marches part of your world map.
At the Wounded Coast Approach, you'll be attacked by some dragonlings, but eventually you'll come to Ser Thrask (#1) standing in front of a cavern (Exit A), and you'll learn that it was Thrask who sent you the letter. Thrask will tell you that some mages from Starkhaven are hiding inside the cavern, and he'll ask you to go inside and reason with them. He'll also add that the mages are being hunted by a templar named Ser Karras, and that if Karras finds them before they surrender, then he'll probably kill them.
Note: If you tell Thrask "I will help you," then you'll gain friendship points with Anders and Aveline. If you tell Thrask "Do it yourself," then you'll gain rivalry points with Anders, Aveline and Merrill. You can also gain rivalry points with Varric by immediately asking Thrask for a payment, which will only be an option if you chose to blackmail Thrask during the quest An Errant Letter.
Inside the Runaways' Cavern, you'll get attacked by an apostate mage and groups of undead creatures. Then about halfway through, you'll run into Alain (#2), who will surrender himself to you. When you ask Alain about the mages, he'll tell you that they're being led by a blood mage named Decimus, and that Decimus is the one who has been raising the dead. Alain will then flee from the cavern and turn himself in. After completing the quest, you'll be able to visit Alain in the Gallows Courtyard.
Note: If you tell Alain "Turn yourself in," then you'll gain rivalry points with Anders.
At the southern end of the cavern, you'll meet up with Decimus and several other apostate mages (#4). A few of the mages will run off, but then Decimus will raise up several corpses and skeleton archers, and he and the remaining mages will attack you. Decimus is rather nasty, so you should gang up on him and kill him quickly, and then mop up the rest. When Decimus dies, he'll drop 2 sovereigns and
The Hypnotist's Staff
After the battle, the remaining mages, led by Grace, will come out and talk to you. Grace will tell you that the mages just want their freedom, and she'll ask you to kill Thrask so they can get away. You'll have three ways to respond:
- You can refuse to help the mages, which will cause them to surrender to you. For choosing this option, you'll gain friendship points with Aveline, Carver and Fenris, and rivalry points with Anders, Bethany and Merrill.
- You can tell the mages that you'd like to help them, but that you won't murder Thrask. You or Grace will then come up with the idea of lying to the templars and telling them that the apostates are dead. For choosing this option, you'll gain friendship points with Anders, Aveline, Bethany, Isabela, Merrill and Varric, and rivalry points with Fenris.
- You can agree to kill Thrask. For choosing this option, you'll gain friendship points with Anders and Isabella, and rivalry points with Aveline, Carver, Fenris and Varric.
Note: If you apologize to Grace for killing Decimus, then you'll gain friendship points with Merrill.
Regardless of what you say to the mages, you'll next need to return to Thrask (#1). However, even with Decimus dead, you'll get attacked twice by corpses and skeletons on your way out of the cavern.
When you exit the cavern, you'll find Thrask in heated conversation with Karras, and when Karras spots you, he'll demand to know what happened with the mages. You'll get a few ways to respond:
- If you convinced the mages to return to the Circle, then you'll have two options available:
- You can let Karras have the mages. Karras and the mages will then leave without a fight. For choosing this option, you'll receive friendship points with Aveline, Carver and Fenris, and rivalry points with Anders, Bethany and Merrill.
- You can fight Karras and his men with the help of Thrask. For choosing this option, you'll receive friendship points with Anders, Bethany and Merrill, and rivalry points with Aveline, Carver and Fenris.
- If you agreed to work with the mages (either by lying to the templars or murdering Thrask), then you'll have three ways to respond:
- If you have Varric with you, then you can let him spin a yarn, and he'll convince Karras and his men to leave. This will earn you friendship points with Anders, Isabela and Varric, and rivalry points with Fenris.
- If your character has focused on wry responses during the campaign, then you'll be able to tell Karras "I'm your best friend," which will cause him and his men to leave. This will earn you friendship points with Anders and Isabela, and rivalry points with Fenris.
- Otherwise, no matter what you say, you'll have to fight Karras and his men with the help of Thrask.
Regardless, you'll receive 400 xp at the end of the quest. If you killed Karras, then you'll find the
Edge of Song and Glory
Dragon Hunter's Hauberk
on his corpse. If Grace escaped, then she'll give you her
before leaving. Your decision in this quest will also determine which follow-up quest(s) you'll receive in Act II:
(if you sent the mages to the Circle),
The Midnight Meeting
(if you killed Karras), or
(if Grace escaped).
Note: If you hand Grace over to Karras, then you'll find her in the
. If Grace escapes, then she'll eventually get re-captured, and you'll see her in the
in Act II.
Another Note: Your resolution to this quest will determine some of the side quests you'll receive in Act II. If you support the templars here, then you'll receive extra quests from the Chanter's Board in
. If you support the mages, then you'll receive quests from Mistress Selby at the
1 - Ser Thrask
2 - Alain
3 - Raw Lyrium
4 - Decimus
$ - Locked Chest
- Entrance to the Runaways' Cavern.
- World exit.