Quest: Shadows of the Blackmarsh

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You'll receive this quest when you talk to Seneschal Varel in the throne room of Vigil's Keep.


Varel will tell you that all of the Orlesian Wardens died during the attack on Vigil's Keep -- except for one named Kristoff, who was investigating why the darkspawn didn't disappear at the end of the Blight. Varel won't know anything about where Kristoff is or what he might have discovered, but he'll suggest that you travel to Amaranthine and ask around there about him.

Inside Amaranthine, when you enter the Crown and Lion inn, you'll learn from the innkeeper and the maid that Kristoff rented a room from them, and that he had mentioned that the darkspawn were acting strange, "like they wanted to be caught." When you enter Kristoff's room (the innkeeper will give you the key), you'll discover a map labeling the Blackmarsh as Kristoff's likely destination. Examining the map will also unlock the Blackmarsh on your world map.

In the northeastern corner of the Blackmarsh, you'll find Kristoff's body (#1), but when you examine it, a talking darkspawn named the First will confront you, and it will give you a "gift" from the "Mother." This gift will send you to the Blackmarsh Undying, the Fade version of the Blackmarsh.

As you explore the Blackmarsh Undying, you'll eventually find your way to the village, where several spirits will talk to you. You'll learn that the spirits are trapped in this "endless nightmare" because of the Baroness, but that a Spirit of Justice recently arrived to save them. When you reach the manor house, you'll see that the villagers are making preparations to assault the Baroness, and you'll have to pick a side:
  • If you side with the Baroness, then you'll have to fight a group of villagers and darkspawn, including the First, but you'll have the doorman and a pair of ash wraiths on your side, and so the fight shouldn't be too bad. Afterwards, the Baroness will use the First's life force to send you back to the mortal world.

    Note: If you're persuasive, then before the battle starts up, you can ask the Baroness for an extra reward. However, as far as we can tell, you won't actually receive this reward.

  • If you side with the Spirit of Justice, then you'll have to fight the doorman, two "yellow" ash wraiths, and a group of darkspawn, including the First, but you'll have the villagers on your side, and so the fight shouldn't be too bad.
Note: Picking a side between the Baroness and the Spirit of Justice will eventually remove you from the Blackmarsh Undying and return you to the regular Blackmarsh, and you won't be able to return. So make sure that you've at least visited all of the essences in the Blackmarsh Undying (you'll find two for each attribute) before continuing.

In the mortal realm, no matter who you sided with, you'll find yourself back in the Blackmarsh at Kristoff's corpse -- only now Kristoff's body will be inhabited by the Spirit of Justice, who will join your party. The Spirit of Justice (or just Justice) will inform you that the Baroness transported herself back to the mortal realm as well, but that since she's a powerful pride demon, she must be destroyed.

Note: When you're transported back to the mortal realm, the First's corpse will be transported with you. If you loot it, then you'll find The Mother's Chosen, Armor of the Sentinel, 8 sovereigns, and some potions.

Before confronting the Baroness, you might want to close the four fade portals in the area (#2). These portals will be guarded by "yellow" revenants, and they'll produce "white" shades at regular intervals. The easiest way to close the portals to is to attack them first and then deal with the revenants afterwards, but if you find the battles to be easy, then you can also leave the portals standing and just kill the shades as they appear (for some extra xp).

When you reach the Baroness (#3), she'll transform herself into a pride demon, and she'll attack you (even if you sided with her before). The Baroness is a tough melee boss, and she'll create new "yellow" fade portals during the course of the battle. She'll also break down the gate leading to the manor courtyard when she reaches half health. Obviously, you should close the fade portals as quickly as possible, or risk being overrun by shades.

Killing the Baroness will complete the quest and earn you 4000 xp. You'll also find Firestompers, the ring Soulbound, the Dock Storage Key (which will allow you to explore the village docks), and more on the corpse of the Baroness. Finally, when you talk to Justice after the battle, you'll be able to invite him to become one of your companions.

1 - Kristoff's Corpse

2 - Fade Portals

3 - Baroness




Vigil's Keep




Knotwood Hills


The Blackmarsh


Wending Wood




Companion Quests


Commander Quests


Blight Orphans Quests


Chanter's Board Quests


Merchants' Guild Quests