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You'll automatically receive this quest at the start of Act II.
Nothing much will happen in this quest until the end of Act II, when upon entering your estate in
, you'll witness Aveline and Isabela having an argument. Aveline will tell you that two fugitives are being protected by the Arishok because they're pretending to convert to the qun, and that she needs your help to prevent the situation from getting out of hand. Meanwhile, Isabela will tell you that she's finally tracked down her missing relic, and that if you don't help her get it, then Castillon will kill her.
You'll have to pick between Aveline and Isabela, but no matter which you choose, you'll still be able to complete this quest, and so you should help Isabela first (see the quest entry for
To Catch a Thief
for how to do this). After helping Isabela, you'll need to take Aveline to the qunari compound at the
. This task will lead you to the end Act II, and it can involve a tough fight for your main character, so before continuing you should complete all the optional quests that you're interested in, you should do some shopping (if possible) to make your main character more powerful, and you should buy or craft a bunch of healing potions.
When you arrive at the qunari compound, you'll start up a conversation with the Arishok. No matter what you say now, or how well you've gotten along with the Arishok in the past, he'll decide to attack the city. However, if you're honest and forthright with the Arishok (for example, by admitting that Isabela has the relic) then you'll earn some respect from him, which you might still need for the A Worthy Rival achievement. Also, when asked about the actions of the fugitives, if you say "Yes it does," then you'll gain rivalry points with Aveline. If you say "Aveline is right," then you'll gain friendship points with Aveline.
At the end of the conversation, the Arishok will order the qunari in the compound to attack you, and you'll automatically flee to
, where you'll be allowed to re-arrange your party (#1). Aveline will start out selected, but she's no longer required, and so you're free to replace her with somebody else.
With the city under attack, you'll decide to head for
. Along the way you'll get attacked by looters (#3) and groups of qunari, but you'll also have some more pleasant encounters:
- Grey Wardens (#2). The Grey Wardens will be led by Alistair (if he survived Origins and stayed a Grey Warden) or Stroud (otherwise). If you sent Bethany or Carver to the Grey Wardens during the quest
The Deep Roads Expedition, then they'll be here as well. After defeating a qunari attack, you'll receive
The Sacred Heart (if Alistair is leading the group) or the
Warden's Promise (otherwise), and then the Wardens will depart to take care of some pressing business elsewhere.
- Knight-Commander Meredith (#4). She'll save you from a saarebas and then order you to head for the
Viscount's Keep, where the qunari are rounding up civilians.
- First Enchanter Orsino (#6). You'll rescue him from a group of qunari. Soon after, Meredith will show up with some templars. If you didn't take Bethany / Carver with you on
The Deep Roads Expedition, then you'll see them here (Bethany with Orsino and Carver with Meredith).
During your conversation with Orsino and Meredith, you'll have to decide how you're going to approach the keep. If you follow Orsino's plan, then he'll distract the qunari at the entrance, and you'll automatically walk right in. If you follow Meredith's plan, then you'll have to fight the qunari at the entrance before entering, which will gain you some extra xp. Neither plan will change what happens inside the keep.
Note: In the area where you rescue Orsino (#6), you'll find a corpse containing
Another Note: If you follow Meredith's plan then you'll receive
Knight-Templar Regalia via a letter at the start of Act III. If you follow Orsino's plan then you'll receive another set of
Aequitarian Robes instead.
Inside the keep, you'll meet up with the Arishok (#8), and one of two things will happen:
- If you have enough friendship or rivalry points with Isabela, then she'll return with the relic, which will diffuse the situation -- except that the Arishok will want to take Isabela with him to "submit to the qun." If you refuse to let this happen, then you'll have to fight the Arishok in a duel, either one-on-one or with your party against him and his qunari bodyguards (including a pair of saarebas). If you give up Isabela, then the qunari will leave peaceably, and the quest will come to an end (see below).
Note: If you refuse to give up Isabela, then you'll gain friendship points with Aveline, Isabela, Merrill and Varric. If you let the Arishok take Isabela, then you'll gain rivalry points with Aveline.
- If you don't have enough friendship or rivalry points with Isabela, then you won't have any choice about what to do; you'll have to fight the Arishok, either alone or with your party.
Note: If you're offered a duel against the Arishok and accept it, then you'll gain friendship points with Fenris. If you refuse, then you'll gain rivalry points with Fenris.
The battle against the Arishok can be tough. He has a ton of hit points, and he'll use healing potions, so it'll take a while to wear him down. Meanwhile, he'll hit you pretty hard, so you might have trouble going toe-to-toe with him. If you brought enough healing potions with you, then it might not matter; as long as you can survive long enough to use the potions as you need them (running around in circles if necessary to buy some time), then you can just outlast him. Otherwise, if you really struggle with the battle, then you can run around in circles while he chases you, and then every time he charges at you (which will cause him to pause for a few seconds), you can damage him a bit, and then repeat. Slowly but surely this method will defeat him. If you're impatient, you can also just refuse the solo duel and fight the party duel, which is quicker and easier.
Note: If you have the mabari war hound, then you can summon it for the fight, but it won't do a lot of damage.
Another Note: If you defeat the Arishok in a duel, then you'll receive the longsword
When you defeat the Arishok, or when the qunari leave the city, the quest (and the act) will come to an end, and you'll earn 13,200 xp (plus about 600 xp if you defeated the Arishok using a party duel). You'll also be named the Champion of Kirkwall, and you'll receive
Gauntlets of the Champion
(if your main character is a warrior),
Gloves of the Champion
(if your main character is a mage), or
Gloves of the Champion
(if your main character is a rogue).
"One day, we shall return."
1 - Starting Point
2 - Grey Wardens
3 - Looters
4 - Knight-Commander Meredith
5 - Corpse
On this corpse you'll find the recipe for
Elixirs of Heroism
6 - First Enchanter Orsino
7 - Corpse
On this corpse you'll find
The Seal of Kirkwall
8 - Arishok
- One-way entrance to
- One-way entrance to the