Rifts in the Canyon
This quest is an excellent place to start in this area. Two rifts, both of which are very close by, a good test to make sure you are READY to be in this area.
Start with the south rift first. The first wave is level 11-ish Wraiths and Shades. Pretty standard stuff. A Rage Demon comes out on the second wave, so freeze and shatter him if you can and clean up. Potions are free as we pass the camp to the next rift.
Up north is the second rift, in the middle of the sands. The first wave is only two enemies, believe it or not. A Rage Demon and a Terror. Not a Lesser Terror! Still, they operate the same way. The second wave will really introduce you to them as there is a Rage Demons and THREE Terrors. Try to line them up in an Earthshaking Strike or some other area of effect skill to thin them out a bit, then disrupt the rift. Mop up from there and this quest will be done.
Rifts in Sand and Dust
These rifts are based around the Craggy Ridge Camp site, which is on the western side of the map. One is north of it and one is to the south.
To the south you have a fairly standard rift. Wraiths accompany one Rage Demon and one Terror. Ice and Fire help out here. The second wave pits you against one Rage Demon and three terrors, much like the Canyon rifts. With the camp nearby, heal freely.
The rift to the north is a tad different, but not much. The first wave is the same demons you are used to, but the second wave has two Rage Demons and two Terrors, which balances things out a bit more. They are slow though, so get those area effects down and take them out to complete this quest.
Rifts off the Pass
These rifts are to the southwest portion of the map, and this quest will activate once you get to the area or start taking them out (the game is a bit buggy about that!).
There are two rifts here, one in the north and one in the south.
The northern one is pretty easy. The first wave is a Terror and Rage Demon. We’ve seen this before, The second wave is THREE Terrors and one Rage Demon, which we’ve also seen before. Remember to get those Terrors lined up in fire or area effects and try to stun the second wave.
The southern rift is a bit harder. It is past a wall. The first wave isn’t really tough: a Rage Demon and a Despair demon, with some Wraiths but the second wave is rough. TWO Rage Demons, TWO Despair Demons and a handful of Wraiths. The real challenge here is the Despair Demon. If you have a two handed warrior, get Earthshaking Strike on one and try to keep them in it to take them out fast. Thin out the Wraiths and then disrupt the rift and mop up. With that you’ll be done with this quest.
Rifts in Echoback
Once you get to the Echo Back Canyon camp you will get this quest.
Two rifts nearby we must close. Not a tall order! The one to the east has a Despair Demon and a Greater Terror (they like to scream like the Envy Demon). The second wave has two of each! Yikes. The Despair Demons are the most annoying things, so take them out fast and hard if you can.
The rift to the south has a Rage Demon and some Terrors. Not too hard. The second wave has three Terrors and a single Rage Demon, which we’ve seen a couple of times by now. Take them all out and seal up the rift to finish this quest (which is likely your last rift in the Western Approach… good job!)
Holding the Western Approach
This quest is going to take AWHILE to complete. Mainly because getting to the fourth and final camp is just plain time consuming. Still, three camps to find isn’t too bad! Just don’t prioritize this quest.
The first camp you’ll get to is the Craggy Ridge Camp, which is to the east, past the Silent Ruins. A good base of operations. Quests and/or exploring will eventually lead you south, down to the Nazaire’s Pass Camp. Our third camp of the area.
After talking and working with the researcher down there, you will be able to assault the keep up north. This isn’t a “camp” really, as it doesn’t count towards this quest, but it is a gigantic base of operations that will greatly benefit us. We’ll need to do some operations to cross the poison pits and head further north, which requires some power. You should also make sure you take the fort and get the darkspawn quest before going north. May as well do what you can in order…
While doing the quest “The Trouble with Darkspawn” you will end up heading north and making your way to the fourth and final camp: Echo Back Canyon Camp. Once you establish that camp, this quest will be done.
As you can see, it all ties into other quests, so don’t go out scouting and trying to set up bases ahead of time… at least not in The Western Approach.
This quest starts out with a report in the camp, secured by our scouts. Go read it to learn that there is some sort of mining operation going on nearby. “Summoning?!”… Doesn’t sound good!
To do this quest (which is, by the way, beyond easy), head south. A rift will be in your way, so destroy it. You’ll then come to an area with two mines. The one to the south is the one we want. Head inside and read the book on the table after you kill off the numerous spiders in the area. Looks like our coming was known, and The Venatori have withdrew to Emprise Du Lion. This completes this quest.
This quest can be obtained by killing and then looting White Claw Raiders. They will have messages on their corpses that start this quest. You can often find White Claw operatives to the north of the initial Lost Spring camp, after you have cleared the rift out of course.
Frederic is an Orlesian Scholar who is out in this Maker-Forsaken place studying Dragons. Lovely, right? You can find him near the Nazaire’s Pass Camp, which is in the southwest portion of the map. Once you find him, this quest is considered complete.
Talking to Frederic leads to several other quests. See the below THREE quests to keep up with the prolific dragon researcher.
White Claw Raiders have taken Frederic’s supplies, leading to this quest. You can find the Raiders randomly while running across this zone, but be sure to loot them after you kill them to recover Frederic’s supplies.
How to Lure a Dragon
Frederic wishes to make dragon bait! Well, that sounds like a bad idea, but we’ll help him of course! To make his bait will require some monster guts. Specifically, one Quillback Intestine and one Phoenix Tail Feather.
These items of course drop from their namesakes, who can be found out in the sands. It isn’t a guaranteed drop, but they are both very common. So common that you may well have these items before you even meet Frederic (see our note of warning in the “Draconology” quest).
Return to Frederic with the items to complete the quest. One step closer to that dragon…
This quest is given to you after meeting Frederic and doing the “How to Lure a Dragon” quest. In it, we are asked to find signs of the dragon’s hunting pattern. Four of them, to be precise.
Every one of these hunting remains is to the north, and there are more than four to choose from. Which ones you choose doesn’t matter, as long as you get to four of them. What we are looking for is corpses. Quillback Corpses. They are torn up good. Most of them are out in the open, although some of them are hidden near bushes and other minor obstacles. You can use your search button to ping their exact location, which you’ll have to do when you are near
them to get the “examine” prompt to show up.
Head north and examine four of these corpses to satisfy the quest requirements, then head back and report to Frederic. This will unlock the “Sharper White Claws” quest.
A Manuscript of Some Authority
Once you have the manuscript, deliver it to Frederic. He will be overjoyed, but cannot read it. We’ll offer the Inquisition’s help though, which adds a new objective to the War Table titled “Translate the Dragon Text”. It costs 5 power, but is instant. Easily done!
Once you have completed that quest, you can return to Frederic and show him the Manuscript.
Sharper White Claws
So, the dragon will likely visit the Wastes next, huh? Frederic will notify us that the White Claw raiders have been setting traps in the area and would like us to destroy them.
You may have already seen them as you were running around. There are five in total, and while the map area for this search is huge, they are all essentially in the pillar area. This is still a big area though. Note that some are on the outskirts of the pillar area (by the rocks), so do a few laps around the pillar area and slowly circle your was inward to find them all. They look like bear traps with rocks in the, and when you see them you will have the option to destroy them manually.
Once you are done, a group of White Claw Raiders will show up to fight. The first group is just a couple bowmen and an escort, but soon their leader will join as well, a “White Claw Poacher Leader”. Quite the name. He is an elite enemy, so he has more health than the rest of these scrubs and can’t be put to sleep or made afraid. He can be taunted though, so have your tank take him and wear him down. He is a rogue / dual-wield class, so prepare to wait for him to come out of stealth at times. Still, not too hard.
The Abyssal High Dragon
BEFORE you go set the bait for this quest, note that you will be FIGHTING A FRICKIN’ DRAGON at the end… so preparation is VERY important. We recommend reading the boss portion ahead to get ready for this very tough fight.
Frederic is ready to lure the dragon out! To do so, you need to go around the Waste area and put the bait in the traps. This is pretty much you revisiting all of the traps in the previous quest and baiting them. Once they are all baited the fight will commence (after the dragon takes a few laps that is!)
BOSS - Abyssal High Dragon
|Defense||44 (Head: 28)|
|Immunity||All Disabling Effects, Slowed|
|Resistance||Greater Fire Resistance|
As a special note, this should NOT be your first dragon fight. The dragon in the Hinterlands is a lower level and easier, so go face her down if you haven’t yet to get some practice.
The key to this fight, as I mentioned earlier, is PREPARATION! Cold vulnerability is the key here, so it’s an excellent idea to have a mage equipped with an ice-element staff and even some ice skills (although that is less important). Having some spirit magic is great as well; Barrier is absolutely indispensable. Having a reliable tank is also a MUST, as they can capture the attention of the dragon and keep it while ranged characters can lay into it. Vanguard and some shield skills are fantastic. Blackwall is an excellent choice with his advanced defensive options as a Champion (if you have the levels and abilities that is). Also be sure to equip any fire-resistance items you may have as well as stock your potions up!
As far as your main character goes, ranged and mage players will have an easier time than warriors, just due to the proximity required to attack the dragon. For a dragon fight, two warriors and two ranged characters (two mages, or one archer, one mage) work very well.
Warriors are forced to attack the dragon head-on, so they must be extra careful. There are some attacks you have to watch out for which are basically the same for all Dragons. First up, she will use her arms and/or legs to attack in a sweeping motion if her target is near them. These are wide sweeps and can hit multiple characters if they are close enough (one reason ranged characters have it easy). The dragon can also sweep its tail around in an even bigger range. All that being said, if you can position yourself away from where she is aiming (opposite legs / opposite end of the body) you will be safe and can keep on hurting her.
The dragon will move around quite a bit during the fight, destroying pillars and re-positioning herself. When she does this you will likely see her fire based attacks. She will either shoot a fireball at her main target (meaning warrior DO NOT run in at her with your tank!) or she will spit out a stream of fire and move it back and forth. These both hurt of course and will set you on fire as well. Ouch!
Her last moves are a real pain. At times she will stop and flap her wings up, causing a whirlwind that draws the party in and deals damage with each flap. You can actually stand near her and be OK. For Archers and Mages this can be annoying. If you position yourself behind some cover you can remain uneffects. Warriors have it easy here as they can attack uninterrupted. This is a fantastic time to use a skill like Whirlwind. You can use it non-stop and really rack up damage. Another special warrior tip: if you are getting sucked into the wind, you can use Earthshaking Strike to get by the wind without taking any damage, although the move does NOTHING to the fire-resistant dragon.
The very last move is the worst. She will use GUARD, granting herself several thousand
HP worth of armor. She will do this multiple times throughout the fight and make you eat through it.
Keep your barriers up, have your tank on point and use your regen potions when you can get away with it. Always be ready to revive, especially your mages. Keep at this beast and don’t let up and you’ll be victorious.
Loot : Nameless Blade, Amulet of Power (Solas Only), Superb Ring of Armor Penetration, various rare loot and crafting material.
The quest isn’t officially done yet. After all, we need to report back to Frederic! He will be pleased regardless of the dead dragon, and will even offer to join the Inquisition. Say yes to get Agent: Frederic ! A job well done!
A Tevinter Relic Hunt
To the west (norhtwest) of the initial Lost Springs camp is the Still Ruins. A very picturesque place, but polluted with Venatori agents. They have put up a magical barrier blocking access to the ruins.
Kill the agents out front (watch out for ice runes / mines from their spellweavers!) and then take out the magical barrier with your mage. Kill the agents you find beyond the barrier and then loot the nearby Chests in the corners of this place and read the notes. You will have this quest show up in your list at this time. What could they be looking for in the ruins? Only one way to find out!
After entering the ruins you can go down a flight of stairs and find a Chest to the right. Go kill the Venatori and search the left wall of this lower area for another Chest . Now, go check out the rift that is… frozen? This is very peculiar. It starts the “A Strange Rift in the Ruins” quest, in fact. SOMEONE has to disable this time magic…
Up the stairs to the right is another Chest . You can also find a Chest by going up the left path and doubling back to the third story. Now, in the back is an open doorway. There is a locked door to the right that unless you have the correct Inquisition Perk (deft hands) you won’t be able to open.
Head through the doorway and hand a left. Search by the door for a Chest , then continue on to an open chamber. Quite impressive! Now, up above is some more enemies, but one of them is an elite. Not quite a “boss”, but a hardened soldier named Lucanus. Head down and beat them all up. Keep Lucanus ties up with stuns and other debilitating effects to take him out quickly (Mighty Blow is so powerful). Once he is dead, loot him to discover a Keystone (1/5). This completes our quest but also starts a new quest called “The Heart of the Still Ruins”. Let’s move onto it now!
The Heart of the Still Ruins
One keystone down, four to go. Thankfully, all four Keystones are close by, in the four corners of this area. To the upper left and right are Keystone (2/5) and Keystone (3/5). To the lower left and right (up the stairs) are two rooms, each with a keystone for Keystone (4/5) and Keystone (5/5). There are also some notes to read and a Chest . One of the rooms even lets you energize Veilfire, so have a mage do so and take it along with you (or have an ally take it along, which is less work on you).
Once you have all the keystones, approach the central sealed chamber. It will now open up, finishing this quest. Loot the Chests in the room and then move BEYOND the staff. The far wall has a hidden Spirit Rune Schematic that you can see with the veil-fire. Read the note nearby for some insight and then take the staff.
We will continue this area and it’s remaining quest in the section down below (“A Strange Rift in the Ruins”), as you can imagine what happens once you take the staff…
This staff is also a named unique piece, called Tempest . Enjoy it. Now, onto that rift…
A Strange Rift in the Ruins
Well, time has resumed. Wonderful. Time to fight our way back to the entrance. You will encounter Shades, Lesser Terrors and Wraiths on your journey back. Be sure to clear the rooms out as well on your way to the rift…
Back at the entrance you’ll be pitted against the rift right away. This first wave has a Greater Terror (a stronger version of what you are used to) and a Despair demon. Use the stairs nearby as a choke point for the Greater Terror and take him out, then focus on the Wraiths and Despair Demon. You can hang back and disrupt them easily while your allies move in.
The second wave is less stressful with merely a handful of Wraiths and a single Despair Demon. Take them out and seal the rift for a whopping +400 Influence. Very nice! Don’t forget to activate the Elven Artifact on your way out, located just past the rift towards the exit. With that done, our business in the ruins is complete.
On the Chantry Trail
You can start (find) this quest to the west of the Silent Ruins. Head out that way and examine the rock nearby, where the “New Quest” marker is. This nets you the Old Chantry Trail Signs codex unlock and starts the quest.
We will need to follow the markers. Head north to the first one. You will see a dragon on your way, but he flies off. Still, good to know Harding isn’t crazy. Near the marker up north is “Death Drink Springs”. Plant a marker here to unlock an operation for the War Room (the air is poisonous, and we can’t continue). Thankfully, the marker for this quest is just shy of the poison air, so examine it and you’ll see the next marker is off to the south.
Make your way south to the objective (there’s a lot of open area here) and once you reach the third marker it will point you south again. This fourth marker is near Nazire’s Pass Camp. Head there, get the marker, and head south a short way to a fifth marker (very short). This leads to the sixth marker… shoot, this trail is a long one.
The sixth marker is south / slightly southwest. Head over to it to have it point you to the FINAL marker in the south. Head there to find a small camp and a cave. Nab the Chest nearby, read the disturbing note, and then use one of your mage characters to break down the barrier.
Technically this is the end of the quest. So you know, down in the cave you can find Chests as well as some reading material, including a codex that is titled The Creation of a Phlactery . There is also a The Archdemon Mosaic piece nearby. Gather everything up and tackle another quest.
Assault on Griffon Wing Keep
You can get this quest after you find the Nazaire’s Pass Camp. Just south of there is a researcher. Talk to him and ask him about this area and himself. Explore all of the “?” dialog, and he will mention the Venatori have taken a keep nearby. That will spawn this quest.
The keep in question is far to the north. Capturing it isn’t too hard, truth be told. It’s crazy to think you can take a keep with a party of four, but we’re the Inquisition. Unstoppable.
Approach from the northeast side of the keep and kill the Venatori guard. These are regular gladiators, marksmen and other foes you’ve been fighting out in the sands. There is a door nearby that you can break down to get into the keep proper. You can search around if you wish, although there is plenty of time to do that once the keep is yours (for the record, there is an Elven Relic nearby up the right stairs, a Chest nearby as well, and up the ladder leading to the battlements Chests on either end of the walkway).
Continue up the central steps (there is a Chest to the left) and kill the foes here. Watch out for archers up high and any mages that might be around. Press on to the left (your AI companions will likely automatically go, so you should be aware) and clear out the enemies here. Once all the enemies out in this second area are dead, the gate nearby will raise up, allowing you access to the roof (WHY would they let these guys go further!?).
Up on the roof are two soldiers, two marksman and an ELITE mob named Macrinus. While he is just shy of a proper boss, Macrinus is deadly. He is an elite fire mage, and will zip around when cornered, lay down multiple mines at a time and is quite powerful. Take out his assistants first and then close in on him. Knock him down and combo him if you can, and be especially careful of his mines. Note that once he is dead you can loot him for the unique Cowl of the Overseer and an Amulet of Power (Dorian only).
Use the flagpole nearby to claim the keep for the Inquisition, and turn this place into a stronghold. Once you do claim the place, you can treat it as a base of operations for the area. Seriously, you can craft armor, weapons, upgrade potions… the place will treat you well.
In addition, be sure to check out the nearby Astrarium and talk to the Knight Commander for the “This Water Tastes Funny” and “The Trouble with Darkspawn” quests.
This Water Tastes Funny
You can get this quest from the Knight-Commander after taking the Griffon Wing Keep. May as well help out!
This quest is actually really easy. It literally consists of going to the oasis and killing a single monster. A Varghest, to be exact. The oasis is down to the south / southeast, so head down there and take this petty monster out to finish this quest.
The Trouble with Darkspawn
You can get this quest from the Knight-Commander after taking the Griffon Wing Keep. We need to stop the Darkspawn from showing up.
The quest objective for this is to the north, however another poisonous gas area blocks our passage! This means it is time for another War Room Operation! Go inspect the problem to have the “Find the Source of Darkspawn” operation added to the War Room. It will cost 5 Power to accomplish, but takes up NO time. Like the other poisonous area, this will build a bridge to the north for us.
Once you can cross, do so. Hit up the shard viewer if you wish and continue north. You will fight your way through plenty of Ghouls and Hyenas to the old Prison Ruins. Plenty of darkspawn up here. Climb up to the top, kill whoever awaits you, and note the Astrarium. We will now have to enter a dungeon up here to find where the Darkspawn are coming from, so inspect the nearby hole in the structure and enter Coracavus. For the record, this gives you the Coracavus codex entry.
“North Prisoner Entrance”
Lovely. Makes you wonder if there is an access to the Deep Roads down here. Loot the Chest and push inward, killing the enemies around the corner. Head back and go down to the cell area. Down here is a dead-end, but there are enemies to kill and loot to be had! Particularly, three Chests and even some Corpses x3 . Just search around. Note the corpse in the room across from the stairs though. Of important note down here is the The Secret Tongue of Slaves codex entry from a scroll in one of the cells. There is also some veil fire down here. Light it up and go into the cell room across from the initial stairs to find the Master Spirit Rune .
Head back up to the hallway now and continue. There is a ghoul in the hallway, but past him you’ll find a real group of darkspawn and a giant hole in the wall! Well then!
Use one of your mages to energize the hole and seal it. That should cut off the darkspawn for awhile, but the quest isn’t over yet as we are tasked to find the people who were responsible in the first place.
Nab the Chest that was behind the gate and continue to the left. In the next big room check the area to the left for some notes and Chests. One of the notes unlocks the A Missing Slave codex. Head over the bridge and take on the Hurlock Alpha and his band (the archers by the railing are grouped close together). Once they are dead, loot the Chests here. The door here requires the “Deft Hands” Inquisition Perk to open. Open it if you can and continue down the slope by the bridge.
Kill the enemies you encounter and examine the corpse at the end of the path. We will get a key from him, along with a note. This Servis character that has been doing everything behind the scenes is now our target. Heh. About damn time.
Open the nearby door and… well, that’s what was causing the shaking! A level 14 Elite Giant will be facing us now. If you faced the giant at the Storm Coast, you know what to expect here: lots of wide swings and jumping around. Ranged characters will have an easy time of it, but warriors should be careful of the sweeping attacks. Gang up on the thing and it will fall soon.
This area has Chests in it around the walls, so take a quick lap and round them up. There is also a note in the middle of the area by a corpse that gives some more Servis info. Follow the marker now to get back to the Western Approach proper.
We are still on Servis’ tail, so we’ll keep this quest up. Found the “Echo Back Canyon Camp” (which likely completes your “Holding the Western Approach” questline) and heal up. Right outside is another giant. Have fun with him and go heavy on potions if needed: the camp is right behind us. He fights just like the last giant, but also has a tendency to throw boulders at you.
Servis is in a fort to the southeast, but to get there we must circle around it and enter from the northeast! Here you will face a Brute down below and Servis himself is up above with some archers. Ignore the Brute and head up to Servis. With some speed you can knock him down right away and start wailing on him. Never even give him a chance to fight if you can help it. You can have your tank block off the stairs and let everyone else wail on him for an easy victory. Servis is only an elite monster surprisingly, much like Macrinus. Even more surprising is the fact that we DO NOT kill Servis right away. Instead, we have the chance to talk to him and judge him at Skyhold (which we recommend doing).
With that the quest is complete.
There are three Chests on the ramparts and down below as well as an Archdemon Mosaic piece nearby. Be sure to grab them all! You can also find a cave nearby that leads up to an astrarium. Before you go up it, light the nearby veil fire to see the Master Frost Rune Schematic inside the cave!
This quest appears after you have complete the “Here Lies the Abyss” main quest. After you do that, head to the Griffon Wing Fortress and talk to the commander about problems in the area to officially get this quest.
Bandits have taken over the Ritual Tower, causing problems in the area. We have to stop them. Head back to the tower and slay the three Raiders you find there. After that the quest is considered complete. Short but sweet, it seems.