Head to the Gallows after accepting this quest from the Writing Desk at the Hawke Estate. After the scene you are left with the inevitable choice of taking sides, you must choose either the mages or the templars. There are consequences to the choices you make, some party members will leave during these choices.
Fenris will leave if you side with the Mages and haven’t completed all of his Companion Quests. If Fenris leaves then Aveline will stay, but if he stays then Aveline will leave if her Friendship is below 50%. You must also decide to kill Anders, set him free, or to re-join the party. If you don’t execute him then Sebastian will leave the party, no negotiation. If you side with the mages and set Anders free then you may recruit him back later. Obviously, killing Anders means he is gone from the party.
Siding with the Mages
If you back Orsino and the mages then you are immediately thrust into combat against the Templars. Loot the crates and barrels as you move east, don’t miss the chest - complex . As you near the Foundry you will run into an Abomination and several Templars and Shades. As you continue east there are more Abominations led by a Desire Demon. Outside the exit to the Docks you will fight more Templars but Mages will aid you.
As you enter the Docks loot the barrel , corpse , crate , and chest - complex then defeat the Pride Demon and the Blood Mage. To the east you will find The Enigma of Kirkwall but the west is the direction you must head in order to reach the Gallows.
Note: If you have been following the guide and picked up at least 9 pieces of The Enigma of Kirkwall, you will earn the achievement/trophy 'Archaeologist' at this point.
You have the chance to talk to all the party members before taking off. If Aveline is Captain of the Guard then you won’t face any of the Guardsmen in your quest. Loot the chests in the area as you wrap things up.
Speak with Orsino to continue on after a few scenes. You must fight your way out of the Gallows Prison. Defeat the army of Templars that comes only to have Orsino lose it.
|Staff of Violation||Orsino's Signet Ring|
Enter the Templar Hall and fight off the Shades that attack, and the eventual Rage Demons. Head north to find Sandal and all your storage items. Head south into a new area and check the northern room for a corpse that is booby trapped. Enter the eastern room to find a Desire Demon and all her friends. Loot the two chests and move south to a corpse and more Templars. Loot the dead and move to the main foyer, fighting off more waves of Templars.
Head to the western side of the Keep to find a corpse . Through the door is an Arcane Horror and Abominations waiting for you. The room to the north, Knight-Commander Meredith’s room, has a chest - master containing Templar Ceremonial Cumberbund . Orsino’s room to the south has a chest - standard with a Dreamcatcher and Mark of the Fallen . At the far western end you will face two Pride Demons and the various Shades that spawn to their aid. Loot the pile of bones for Shield of the Resolute then enter the Gallows Courtyard.
There are three total phases to this fight, but Meredith’s attacks and actions remain the same in all the phases. At 75% health she will summon a Gate Guardian. At 50% she will summon another Gate Guardian as well as Stone Statues. Stone Statues will continue to spawn on a regular basis at this point in the battle. At 25% Meredith will summon two Gate Guardians simultaneously. When Meredith reaches 5% she will essentially pause the battle and give a death speech. Give her everything you have since your cooldowns should be up, this should end the fight.
Note: If this is your second time through the game, or if you played through using data imported from Dragon Age: origins, you will earn the achievement/trophy 'Epic'.
Congratulations! You have completed Dragon Age II.