Dragon Age: Origins walkthrough

Tackling the main quests

At this point in Dragon Age: Origins, you’ll be free to travel around the world map. You will have the option of tackling the four main quests associated with The Blight in any order, along with any sidequests that strike your fancy. The enemies, items, and allies you encounter have scaled levels. This means that if you meet an ally late in the game, he or she will have already leveled up and learned new abilities at around the same level as your character. This also means that the difficulty of each quest will scale as well.

Even though level scaling means that each quest is equally difficult, we recommend tackling the Circle of Magi quest first. Once you’ve finished it, you can enlist the Magi’s help in exorcising the demon from Connor, who waits in Redcliffe.

The Circle of Magi

NEW AREA: Lake Calenhad Docks
To the left is the Spoiled Princess bar. The innkeeper has an Apprentice’s Amulet to sell, but other than that, there’s nothing vital to do. Carrol is waiting at the docks. If you have Morrigan in your party, try cutting a deal with him for a laugh. At the tower, Gregoir will greet you. Don’t worry about losing approval here; you’re fine either way.

NEW AREA: Magi Tower

After a few corridors, you’ll meet up with Wynne. Agree to help her, and she’ll join you. Morrigan will disapprove, though. Battle your way through some demons. Wynne will help you out a great deal with her healing spells. Owain is on the top floor. He’ll mention Niall, which will update your quest.

A Blood Mage will attack shortly after, and you’ll need to choose whether or not to kill her. In other words, you will have to decide between siding with Leliana (by sparing her) or Alistair (by killing her). The fallen Blood Mage will give you the Rose of Orlais. Give it to Wynne if you like. A Water-stained Portrait lies in the Charred Corpse in the stockroom. Sten will love it. At the top of the map is a Silver Chain, which Morrigan will appreciate. On this floor to the west, there’s a Chantry Amulet, which Leliana will want, too.

KEY ITEM: Black Grimoire
Found the Black Grimoire in Irving’s Chest at the bottom of the map in the Senior Mage Quarters. If you’re playing a male character, giving it to Morrigan is a one-way ticket to romance. She’ll read it back at camp, and as soon as she finishes it, she’ll task you to kill Flemeth.

Above: You’ll find the Black Grimoire in the Senior Mage Quarters

Above: After you give Morrigan the Black Grimoire, she’ll ask you to kill Flemeth

On the third floor, you’ll see a series of statues. If you accepted the Watchguard quest, triggering them in the following order will complete the quest: left, right, center. In the center room are a lot of baddies. One Abomination holds a White Runestone, for Alistair. Cursed Templars are in the two o’ clock room, one of which holds a gold bar, for Zevran.

BOSS: Bewitched Templar / Desire Demon
The Desire Demon has some area spells, but your Winter’s Grasp can freeze her in her tracks. Once she’s down, pick up the Sun Blonde Vint-1. When you meet Oghren, he’ll want it.

NEW AREA: Lost in Dreams
BOSS: Duncan

You’re going to have to fight your way back to consciousness. Attacking the fake Duncan one-on-one is tricky, so keep your distance if you’re a mage. Take him out first if you can. The other Wardens won’t pose too much of a threat afterwards. Grab the Lyrium to continue.

Talk to Niall, and then touch the portal. After killing the Rage Demon, talk to the mouse, and he will teach you how to shapeshift.  You’ll open up a slew of new areas here by touching the Fade Pedestal. Go to “The Darkspawn Invasion” on the map and take the mouse hole there. If you go straight, you’ll pick up The Essence of Cunning, which adds a permanent +1 to your cunning stat. Keep fighting demons and traveling through mouse holes until you get a new shapeshifting ability, Spirit. Use Spirit on the Essence of Willpower statues for a boost, and go back to Weisshaupt with it on for another boost. In the Burning Tower, there’s a mouse hole and an Essence of Cunning to grab, along with some burning dogs to take down. Knock out the Burning Templar to get his power, letting you walk through flames and rendering you invulnerable to fire damage. There’s a Spirit Door you can walk through in the previous room for some good loot. Next stop is Mages Asunder.

One room in particular is filled with Crazy Mages, and is pretty tough. Using the Burning Man is the best strategy. You’ll be immune to the Mages’ fire attacks, and you’ll be able to use the Fireball spell at range. Don’t forget that while shapeshifting, you won’t be able to use Quick Heals. You’ll get the Golem form last. At this point, feel free to explore the Fade some more and gather upgrades, or head to the Templar’s Nightmare to progress.

Use all your forms here wisely, switching as necessary. Near the end, you’ll spot a demon that turns into a mouse. Follow her and take her down to open up new paths. Now start venturing into each area and taking out the demon boss at the end using your powers. Sprits are strong against Golems, Golems are strong against humans, and Burning Man can be helpful for both, provided you keep your distance.

For each area you complete, you’ll gain access to your party members’ nightmares. Each member of your party is being tricked by demons. You can Persuade them to come to their senses if you’re coercive enough, but once the spell is broken, you’ll have to fight the demons off.

NEW AREA: Inner Sanctum
BOSS: Sloth Demon

He’s faster than his name would suggest. However, you can freeze him in place for a moment with an ice spell. The Spirit’s prison won’t hold him, so try and stun him with the Golem. For his second form, ready all your ice spells. The third form is burnable, but at this point you should just be attacking him with anything you’ve got. When the Sloth Demon turns into a Spirit and summons a Blizzard, crush him with the Golem.

Talking to Niall doesn’t affect your party’s approval, so say what you want to him. Loot his fallen body for the Litany of Adralla. Now that you’re conscious again, search the nearby rooms and fight a Drake. A beef Bone lies in a nearby chest, for your Dog. Watch out for an ambush in the second to last room!

Cullen is in the last room – Wynne will fight you if you say you plan to hurt any innocents, so you’d be wise to anger Cullen instead. He’s in no position to fight.

BOSS: Uldred
You may be confused about how to use the Litany of Adralla in battle. You’ll need to open the advanced section of the radial menu to use it on the mages with the white circles coming from them. This will free them from the Blood Mage’s control, allowing them to help in your fight. You can use it on Uldred when he casts spells too.

Once Uldred is defeated, create a new save. You’ll soon have to decide whether to side with the Blood Mages or the Templars. If you reload and do both, you’ll get both Achievements. Wynne will officially join your party either way.

Congrats! You’ve saved Ferelden from the wrath of the Blood Mages.


  • Chaoscoolperson - June 1, 2011 12:03 a.m.

    Two things about Orzammar. 1 you have to choose a side for the entire quest. it is impossible to choose both people as king and trying to convince both sides that you are working for them will just make you do more work. 2nd DO NOT BRING BOTH OGRHEN AND SHALE TO FIND BRANKA. Shal will fight you if you side with Branka and while Ogrhen won't fight you if you side with Caridin it's still not nice to kill his wife, the paragon. Preferably bring niether and side with Caridin because Frankly Branka is crazy
  • Chaoscoolperson - May 31, 2011 11:46 p.m.

    I recomend fighting the High dragon while looking for Andraste's ashes. It is good practice for when you have to fight the Archdemon who is also a dragon, and the dragon scales can create a dragon scale armor that is the most powerful no-DLC armor in the game. Make sure to give wade two sets of drake scales first though. The first armor set he'll think is crap the second will be perfect and the dragon scales you won't have to wait on. I also recommend turning it into Dragon Bone Plate armor, as once again, Wade's Superior Dragon Bone Plate Armor is the strongest non-DLC armor in game. (I never compared it to king Cailin's armor or the Warden Commander Armor.)
  • Chaoscoolperson - May 31, 2011 11:36 p.m.

    one problem wit this guide is that you don't have to kill connor. I haven't in any of my playthroughs. I get in character act like I don't know what I'm supposed to do Alistair suggests Redcliife, I go to Redcliffe first. when I get there I leave Jowan in the cell then I go and meet connor. They say that they have to perform a blood magic ritual on him I say that I can go get the mages help. I get the mages help and send Jowan in to fight. Connor doesn't die and I have to go get Andraste's ashes. the end
  • alcapone2099 - March 18, 2011 10 p.m.

    Great walk through but this part is partly wrong "No matter what, Mother Hanna’s not going to give holy protection to Perth and his soldiers, so this task isn’t really worth your time. Might as well wait for sundown." no she wont give magical protection but she does give symbolic protection if you have enough persuasion then u can end another quest fully done
  • spanky9006 - December 21, 2010 10:36 p.m.

    Gamejunkie9214 Dont use Sten if you have shayle the golem use him cuz of his enourmous quake power wich hits all mobs alistair sword and shield is good and morighan with arcane + healing + weaken skills and bloodaxe same party for you these are most combined group for the payable options for free go to
  • Gamejunkie9214 - April 11, 2010 3:26 p.m.

    Im still having trouble with the archdemon. im a lvl 20 warrior(Duel-Wield), and have Alistar(Sword and Duncan's Shield), Sten(Two-Handed Maul), and Morrigan any suggestions on any tactics?
  • bloodaxe - January 13, 2010 1:46 a.m.

    ok wats the best party to beat Branka/Caridin? im stuck on that
  • robantor - January 10, 2010 11:34 p.m.

    haha, i see this the day after i beat it.
  • Samael - January 10, 2010 12:17 a.m.

    HOLY CRAP GSTAR COOGI EVISU TRUE JEANS FOR ONLY $35-39? Yeah, reported.... Good guide, but it's a bit late isn't it? Why are you guys suddenly doing DAO stuff?
  • xecutioner - January 9, 2010 4:10 p.m.

    Man, the last month and a half were consumed playing this game non stop.

Showing 1-11 of 11 comments

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