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When you enter the Gauntlet, you'll meet the Guardian (#1), the immortal protector of Andraste's ashes. He'll tell you that to reach the ashes, you'll have to "prove yourself worthy" by passing a series of trials. This will trigger the quest "A Test of Faith." The Guardian will then open the door for you and allow you to continue.
The First Trial
For the first trial (#3), you'll have to answer the riddles posed by eight spirits. If you get an answer right, then you'll earn 67 xp. If you get an answer wrong, then the spirit will turn into a "yellow" ash wraith, and you'll get about 60 xp for killing it. That's the only difference, so it doesn't really matter if you get the answers right or not. Once you've visited all eight spirits, the door to the next trial will open.
The answers to the riddles are listed below:
- Archon Hessarian: Mercy
- Brona: Dreams
- Disciple Cathaire: Hunger
- Disciple Havard: The Mountains
- Ealisay: A Tune
- General Maferath: Jealousy
- Lady Vasilia: Vengeance
- Thane Shartan: Home
This trial has two parts. When you enter the room (#4), you'll be greeted by a spirit from your past (such as your father, if you're playing a human noble). Regardless of what you say, the spirit will give you the amulet
Then farther into the room (#5), you'll be attacked by a mirror image of your party. This battle will go easier if you have defensive characters (like Wynne) rather than offensive characters (like Morrigan), but regardless, you should take down the spellcasters first and then mop up the rest. None of the mirror images will drop anything when they die.
For this trial, you'll need to assemble a bridge so you can cross a chasm. To form the bridge, you'll need to step onto the platforms (or "thingies," as Alistair would say) on the sides of the chasm. Each platform will energize one or two segments of the bridge. When a bridge segment has been energized from both sides of the chasm, it will become solid enough to cross.
|The bridge puzzle.
If you refer to the insert to the right, the following series of moves will get you across the chasm:
- Move your companions to platforms C, F, and H. This will make the first two bridge segments solid.
- Move your main character to bridge segment 2.
- Move the companion on platform C to platform J. Move the companion on platform H to platform A. This will make the middle two bridge sections solid.
- Move your main character to bridge segment 3.
- Move the companion on platform F to platform K. Move the companion on platform J to platform B. This will make the final two bridge segments solid.
- Move your main character to the end of the bridge.
When you finish crossing the bridge, the entire thing will become solid, allowing your companions to follow you.
Note: To keep your companions from moving off of their platforms, press the "hold position" button under the character portraits.
For the final trial, you'll find an altar and a line of fire. If you click on the altar, then you'll learn that you're supposed to cross the fire without your equipment on, and the altar will give you a dialogue option to do this automatically. If you follow these instructions, then you'll receive 500 xp when you get to the other side, and the Guardian will give you permission to approach the ashes (#9). Otherwise, if you cross the fire with your equipment on, then the "red" Guardian and two "yellow" ash wraiths will attack you, and you'll only receive about 250 xp (and no loot) for defeating them.
When you reach the ashes (#9), if you agreed to help Kolgrim, then you'll have to make a decision. If you taint the ashes with the dragon's blood, then the Guardian (if he's still alive) will be incensed, and he and two ash wraiths will attack you. But with the ashes corrupted, the trio will be weaker than normal, and they'll start out with half health. If Wynne or Leliana is with you, then they'll be upset about your decision as well, and they might choose to assist the Guardian in attacking you. Alistair will simply disapprove.
Note: If Wynne isn't in your party when you taint the ashes, then she'll leave you (but not attack you) when you eventually return to the party camp.
Regardless of what you decide to do with the ashes, you'll end up with a
Pinch of Sacred Ash
, which you'll need to take to Arl Eamon in
When you leave the Gauntlet, if Kolgrim is still alive, then he'll meet with you on the
. If you did what he asked, then he'll allow you to drink some dragon blood, which will give you the Reaver specialization. If you didn't do what he asked, then he and some cultists will attack you, and Kolgrim will drop
(if you're playing the PC version of the game), and more when he dies. You can also choose to attack Kolgrim after you've received the specialization.
, if Brother Genitivi is there, then he'll ask you what happened. If you didn't taint the ashes, then Genitivi will want to share them with the world, and you'll only be able to stop him by killing him. If you tainted the ashes (and tell him about it), then Genitivi will be angry with you and disappear. If Genitivi survives, then he'll give you a
Master Dweomer Rune
when you meet with him in his home in the
Denerim Market District
Finally, back in
, when you use the
Pinch of Sacred Ash
on Arl Eamon, he'll be cured of his malaise, and he'll reward you with a
Redcliffe Elite Shield
and the Champion specialization. However, he won't want to rush right out and confront Loghain. He'll suggest that you gather more allies first.
1 - Guardian
2 - Book
When you click on the book on the bench here, you'll gain the Books and Songs codex entry for
The Maker's First Children
3 - First Trial
4 - Second Trial: Spirit
5 - Second Trial: Mirror Images
6 - Third Trial
7 - Final Trial
8 - Unfortunate Adventurer
On the corpse of the adventurer you'll find a
Belt of the Magister Lords
Golden Demon Pendant
(a good gift for Morrigan), and more.
9 - Andraste's Ashes
"Congratulations. You found a waste-bin."
- Exit to the
- World exit.