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When you arrive at Vigil's Keep (#1), you'll find the place strangely quiet, but then a soldier will come running out, closely followed by a trio of genlocks. After the battle, you and your escort Mhairi will learn that the darkspawn "came out of nowhere" and took control of the keep. This conversation will trigger the quest "The Assault on Vigil's Keep." The soldier will then rush off to seek more help, and it'll be up to you and Mhairi to drive off the darkspawn and rescue the other survivors.
As you explore the keep, you'll encounter a bunch of darkspawn, including genlocks, hurlocks, shrieks, emissaries, and even an ogre. You'll also meet a pair of possible companions: Anders, an apostate mage (#10), and Oghren, a frequently drunk warrior (#15). Finally, you'll run into a dying soldier named Rowland (#16), who will claim that the darkspawn are talking.
Past Rowland, when you reach the final battlement (#17), you'll witness a cut scene between the darkspawn First and Varel, the keep's seneschal. The First will indeed talk, but before he can order Varel's death, you'll show up and interrupt the proceedings. The First will then disappear, but to save Varel you'll have to battle a "red" creature named the Withered, plus a handful of darkspawn minions. The battle should not be too difficult (the Withered won't hit you very hard), and when the Withered dies, you'll complete the quest "The Assault on Vigil's Keep" (worth 4500 xp) and regain control of the keep.
Right after the Withered dies, King Alistair or Queen Anora will show up with a company of soldiers, and a cut scene will ensue where you'll get to choose some things about your companions. If you let the templars take Anders, then he'll disappear, and you'll never see him again. If you refuse to let Oghren join the Grey Wardens, then he'll disappear, and you'll never see him again, either. Then when you start the Joining, Mhairi will die no matter what (but every other companion who goes through it will survive). So, obviously, you should word your responses carefully, or else you won't have anybody left to help you out.
1 - Starting Point
2 - Main Gate
3 - Survivors
Each time you come up to one of these survivors, you'll find them in battle with a group of darkspawn (including shrieks and an ogre). The soldiers you rescue will retreat to the main gate (#2). The merchant you rescue will disappear. You won't receive a reward for rescuing these survivors, but if the merchant survives, then Yuriah will have more goods for sale when you take over the keep.
4 - Inner Gate
5 - Soldier
When you rescue the soldier here (#5), he'll give you the quest "A Medical Necessity." He'll tell you that he needs bandages for the wounded soldiers on the ramparts behind him, and he'll ask you to look for some. You'll find
in a crate to the east (#5a). When you bring the supplies to the soldier, he'll reward you with 750 xp.
6 - Chest
Inside this chest you'll find a
7 - Locked Chest
If you can get this chest open, then inside you'll find
Lucrosian's Silken Cord
8 - Locked Door
You'll only be able to get this door open by removing the barricade behind it. That is, you'll have to travel along the battlements (via Exits B and C) first.
9 - Portcullis / Lever
To open the portcullis (#9), you'll need to pull the lever on the ledge to the west (#9a). To get to the ledge, you'll have to travel along the battlements (via Exits B and C).
Note: When you pull the lever, a crazy-looking dwarf named Dworkin Glavonak will bomb a bunch of darkspawn for you. You'll meet Dworkin again after the battle, but you won't be able to recruit him as a companion.
10 - Anders
You'll meet the apostate mage Anders here, and he'll offer to join your party. If you refuse his help, then he'll go his own way for a while, but then he'll re-join you just before the final battle (#17).
11 - Survivors
The first time you encounter one of these survivors, you'll trigger the quest "The Survivors of Vigil's Keep." If you manage to rescue all four survivors (which shouldn't be too difficult if you aggressively attack the darkspawn threatening them) then you'll complete the quest and earn 500 xp.
12 - Ballista / Chest
If you click on the "ballista mount," then you'll reposition the ballista so it's pointing at a group of darkspawn (including an emissary). Hitting the darkspawn with the ballista will make the battle much easier.
Next to the ballista you'll find a chest containing the
13 - Chest
Inside this chest you'll find the ring
14 - Pile of Books
Inside this pile of books you'll find a
Lesser Stamina Draught Recipe
Stamina Draught Recipe
, and more.
15 - Oghren
After defeating the darkspawn in the room, Oghren will offer to join your party. "Wow. A dwarf that smells like a brewery. You never see that anywhere
16 - Rowland
You'll come upon a dying soldier named Rowland here. Before he succumbs to the poison in his veins, he'll warn you about "a darkspawn who talks." If you order Mhairi to put Rowland out of his misery, then you'll lose 10 approval from her. If you tell Rowland to hold himself together, then you'll gain 3 approval from Mhairi.
17 - The First / Varel / The Withered
- Main entrance.
- Exit to the battlements.
- Exit to the battlements.
- Exit to the battlements.