Location: Tower of Ishal

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When you approach the Tower of Ishal, two allies (either a Circle mage and a guard, or two guards) will come running up to you, and they'll let you know that the tower has been infiltrated by the darkspawn, and that all of the men inside are dead. The two allies will then join you, unless you have a mabari war hound, and then only one of them will come along.

To light the beacon at the top of the tower, you'll have to do a lot of fighting, both inside and outside the tower. The darkspawn, including some emissaries and alphas, will try their best to ambush you and overwhelm you, but with judicious use of health poultices and injury kits -- plus, perhaps, some running away -- you should be able to deal with the battles well enough.

Note: When you come up against a darkspawn boss, be sure to use your stunning attacks (including the Circle mage's paralyze spell).

At the top of the tower you'll run into an ogre (#5). The ogre is a big, hard-hitting melee boss. There are basically two ways to deal with it:
  • You can just go toe-to-toe with it. The ogre will do a lot of damage to your melee characters, but if you've stockpiled a bunch of health poultices, then you should be able to survive the battle.

  • You can kite it. For this strategy you'll need to equip as many of your characters as possible with ranged attacks (and, when possible, with magical ammunition). Then when the ogre picks out a character to attack, have that character run around in circles while the other characters damage the ogre. The ogre might pick out a new target every so often, but as long as you have one character running and the other characters attacking, the ogre will eventually go down -- and with a minimal amount of damage to your party.
When the ogre dies, it will drop Havard's Aegis and a selection of other (random) items. Defeating the ogre will also give you the Creatures codex entry for Ogre, and picking up the aegis will give you the Items codex entry for Havard's Aegis.

With the ogre out of the way, you'll finally be able to light the beacon (#6). However, when you do, Teyrn Loghain will order his men to retreat rather than join in the battle, and Duncan, King Cailan, and the rest of the army in the field will be overwhelmed and crushed. Darkspawn will also storm into the tower, but you and Alistair will be rescued by Morrigan's mother, and you'll wake up in her hut.

Note: Any equipment worn by the Circle mage and the tower guard will disappear during the rescue, so you might want to strip them down first.

1 - Ballistae

You'll find two ballistae here. If you can get the genlocks and hurlocks to cooperate by standing in the right places (which they'll probably do given that you'll be fighting so many of them), then you'll be able to use the ballistae against them. Just click on a ballista to fire it.

2 - Discarded Book

If you click on the book then you'll receive the Books and Songs codex entry for The History of the Chantry: Chapter 1.

3 - Dog Cages

If you release the dogs (by clicking on the cage release lever next to them), then they'll help you defeat any darkspawn in the room.

4 - Tower Rooms

Inside each of these tower rooms you'll find one or more crates containing Lesser Injury Kits. It's a good idea to remove all injuries from your party before heading up to the top floor.

5 - Ogre

6 - Beacon

$ - Treasure Container

T - Trap

  1. Exit to Ostagar.
  2. Stairs between the First Floor and the Second Floor.
  3. Stairs between the Second Floor and the Third Floor.
  4. Stairs between the Third Floor and the Upper Floor. After going up the stairs, you won't be allowed to go back down.


Part 1: Origins


Part 2: Ostagar


Part 3A: Circle Mages


Part 3B: Humans


Part 3C: Dalish Elves


Part 3D: Dwarves


Part 4: Landsmeet


Part 5: Blight


Companion Quests


Blackstone Irreg Quests


Chanter's Board Quests


Interested Parties Quests


Mages' Collective Quests


Other Quests