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Your character is the second child of Teyrn Bryce Cousland of Highever. As the campaign opens up, your father is preparing to send his troops south to aid King Cailan in Ostagar against the darkspawn. Arl Rendon Howe is also in the castle, but his troops have been delayed, and they aren't expected to arrive until the next day.
Note: "Teyrn" and "arl" are (fictional) titles of nobility, roughly the equivalent of "duke" and "baron." "Teyrn" is also a Welsh word meaning "sovereign."
You'll start out in the main hall (#1). Your father Bryce will introduce you to Arl Rendon Howe and a Gray Warden named Duncan. Regardless of what you say, Bryce will decide that your brother Fergus should leave immediately with the Cousland troops, while Bryce and Howe leave the next day with Howe's troops. Bryce will then ask to you track down your brother and tell him to get ready.
On your way to your brother, you'll run into Ser Gilmore (#5). He'll tell you that your mabari war hound has invaded the larder (#7), and that you should collect him. When you reach the larder, you'll discover that your hound didn't sneak inside to steal some snacks, but to deal with an infestation of giant rats. The rats will then attack you, but with your hound and Ser Gilmore helping out, the battle shouldn't be difficult. At the start of the battle, you'll get to name your hound. At the end of the battle, Ser Gilmore will stop following you.
Note: If you ask your hound if it sees anything interesting, then it will bring you a random object.
Next up you'll meet your mother Eleanor in the atrium (#8). She'll introduce you to her friend Lady Landra, plus Landra's son Dairren and her lady-in-waiting Iona. After the conversation, Dairren and Iona will move over to the study attached to the library (#3), where you'll be able to flirt with them and invite one of them back to your room for the evening.
Finally, you'll find Fergus plus his wife and his son in his room (#10). Fergus will understand the situation and prepare to leave. Shortly afterwards, your parents will show up and suggest that you go to bed. When you leave the room, the "daytime" part of the origins sequence will end, and the "nighttime" part will begin.
In the middle of the night, you'll be awoken by your war hound (#13), and you'll quickly realize that the castle has come under attack by Rendon Howe's men. If you invited a companion to your bedroom for the evening, then that companion will open the door and get killed. Otherwise a servant will fill the role. Before jumping into battle, be sure to open the inventory panel and put on your equipment. Then deal with the soldiers outside your door.
When you approach your parents' room (#14), you'll find two soldiers attempting to break into it. After dispatching them, your mother Eleanor will come out, and she'll join you. Eleanor won't start out with a weapon, but you'll find a
on one of the bodies of the soldiers. You'll also find some weapons and a
in the trunk in your parents' room.
To escape the castle, you'll need to make your way to the larder (#22). You'll be attacked every so often by Howe's men, but you'll be given enough time between battles to give your characters a chance to heal.
To reach the larder, you'll have to pass through the main hall (#21), where you'll encounter a large group of Howe's men. You'll meet some allies inside, including Ser Gilmore, but it's a good idea to bring in some extra help (#17, #20) and to loot the treasury (#19) first. After the battle, Ser Gilmore will stay behind to help reinforce the front gate.
When you reach the larder (#22), you'll discover that your father has been mortally wounded. After talking to him briefly, Duncan will show up, and you'll end up joining the Grey Wardens whether you want to or not. You and Duncan will then escape, and your mother will stay behind to die with your father.
1 - Main Hall
2 - Chapel
You can learn four Magic and Religion codex entries in the chapel:
The Commandments of the Maker
by talking to Mother Mallol, and
Andraste: Bride of the Maker
The Chant of Light: The Blight
by reading books.
3 - Guardroom
When you enter the room, you'll interrupt some guards playing cards while on duty. Nothing will come of the discovery. You won't be able to enter the treasury (to the south) until later.
4 - Library
You can learn five Culture and History codex entries while in the library and its attached study:
Geography of Ferelden
The Noble Families of Ferelden
by talking to Aldous (even if you don't listen to his lesson), and
History of Ferelden: Chapter 1
History of Ferelden: Chapter 2
Culture of Ferelden
5 - Ser Gilmore
Somewhere around here you'll run into Ser Gilmore.
6 - Kitchen
You'll meet Nan here.
7 - Larder
You'll have to defeat several giant rats here.
8 - Atrium
You'll meet your mother here, plus Lady Landra, Dairren, and Iona. After the initial conversation, Lady Landra will retire to one of the guest rooms (#9), and Dairren and Iona will move over to the study attached to the library (#3).
9 - Guest Rooms
You won't be able to enter the guest rooms until later.
10 - Fergus' Room
You'll meet Fergus, his wife Orianna, and his son Oren here. You'll also find a book in one of the shelves. If you read it, then you'll receive the Culture and History codex entry for
Politics of Ferelden
11 - Your Room
12 - Your Parents' Room
You won't be able to enter this room until later.
13 - Your Room
14 - Your Parents' Room
15 - Fergus' Room
You'll find Orianna and Oren dead here.
16 - Guest Room
You'll find Lady Landra dead here.
17 - Servant
If you're persuasive, then you'll be able to convince the servant to join you. Otherwise, he'll run for his life.
18 - Library
You'll find Aldous dead here.
19 - Treasury
When you approach the treasury, your mother will stop you and insist that you rescue the Cousland family blade so that it doesn't fall into Rendon Howe's hands. "It should sever his treacherous head!" She'll then give you the key to the treasury. Inside the treasury, you'll find some nice equipment, including the
Shield of Highever
, and more.
20 - Chapel
Inside the chapel you'll encounter a pair of guards under attack. If they survive the battle, then they'll start following you.
21 - Main Hall
22 - Larder
$ - Treasure Container
X - Blocked Passage