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A Murder of Crows

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A Murder of Crows is an Act 3 secondary quest in Dragon Age II.

This quest is available if any of the pre-built backgrounds were chosen, or if a Dragon Age: Origins imported save is used in which Zevran Arainai survived.

Acquisition Edit

Talk to Nuncio, who is located in the Red Lantern District of Hightown, outside The Blooming Rose.

If the Dalish clan is destroyed during A New Path this quest will become unavailable.

Walkthrough Edit

Nuncio requests Hawke's assistance in capturing a dangerous assassin. When asked why he has come to you for help, he explains that this has become an issue for him, as most of his men have been killed under the hand of the hunted. He notes that the assassin is an elf and is seeking refuge with the nearby Dalish tribe, seeing that only Hawke has the connections with them.

Variel

Variel

Bring a rogue to deal with the chests and traps(40 cunning) you will encounter.

Go to Sundermount and speak to Variel, she will direct you to a cave where the assassin is hiding.

Note: On your way to the cave, off to some ruins on the left side, there are bones from which you can loot the design for Rune of Valiance, one of the best runes in the game.

After encountering a spider ambush, entering the Mountain Cave, a second spider ambush, 3 master traps, and fighting a varterral (no xp), you come across the assassin, who is actually Zevran. You can choose to take him into custody or let him go. During this conversation you have the option to flirt with him. If you let him go, he runs off. Alternatively, he follows you.

After this conversation the Antivan Camp will appear on the world map. After you arrive Nuncio attacks you and Zevran helps you fight him regardless of whether you captured or released him.

Strategy Edit

3 Elites, about 8 Normals and Critters, and all of them are Assassin types. The best way to engage them on Nightmare is to command the party to move back and to the left against the cliff wall while taking command of a Two-Handed Warrior yourself, removing the all-party highlight, and attacking with the Two-Hander immediately, hitting as many as possible. As soon as Anders has Haste up, focus fire on the Critters and Normals while commanding an archer to hit Nuncio or his guards (the three Elites, preferably Nuncio) with a Pinning Shot. Use AoEs like Bursting Shot and Fireball, corral them with Pull of the Abyss, stop them with Chain Lightning and Miasmic Flask, use everything you've got. The first twenty seconds of the fight are crucial, and if you're haven't removed all of the non-Elites by then, you'll be hearing that telltale wind-howl about five times, enough to kill everyone in your party. If Nuncio and his guards are all that's left, you should have enough abilities to lock down two of them while moving your party to a safer range and focusing fire on the third. Zevran can provide some tanking, but don't be too dependent on it. Life Ward Potions and Mythal's Favor are very useful here, more so than Revive/Regroup since you won't hover in place for five seconds, as well as accessories that prevent stun, knockback, and critical hits. Demon's Eye is available at Shady Merchandise and grants stun immunity, which should be helpful for your Two-Hander. Sebastian may fare better than Varric due to his Guardian Angel talent, especially with a fire-damage bow like the Jackal's Longbow, or you may wish to bring Varric with a Rune of Fire in Bianca for higher DPS.

Rewards Edit

ZevranDAII

Zevran

Splr da2
Click here to reveal spoilers
for Dragon Age II.
Helping Zevran will cause him to return the favour by assisting in your battle against Meredith.
Note: There are specific conditions for his appearance; see The Last Straw walkthrough for details.

The Sylvanwood Ring (a gift for Merrill) can be looted from the Thief Leader as you approach the camp. Another can be found in a corpse at the Mountain Cave where the assassin is hiding.

If you loot the cave, you can get Boiled Leather Plates (Companion Armor Upgrade for Isabela), Righteous Rain, and Ring of the Shadow Hunter.

After defeating Nuncio, you can loot the camp for Proving Battle Tunic. If you previously chose to let Zevran leave instead of bringing him to Nuncio:

  • 1200 XP (quest completion)
  • 1 DAO goldpiece trans
  • Dagger purple DA2 FinesseFinesse
    Dagger
    Red Steel
    Requires: Dual Weapon
    41 dexterity

    Damage: 42 physical damage
    (78 per second)
    Rune slot
    +4% critical chance
    +10% critical damage
    +8 nature damage

Hawke is offered a chance by Zevran to sleep with him, regardless of Hawke's gender. The following conditions must be met:

  • Zevran is not in a romance with the Warden (from the imported origin). (bugged, see below)
  • Hawke flirted with Zevran at every opportunity presented.

If Hawke is not with a love interest in the quest, Zevran's offer can be accepted or refused. Agreeing to the proposal will yield Rivalry small Sebastian: rivalry (+5) if he is present.

However, if Hawke brought the romance partner, the companion will interrupt, preventing it. These are their reactions:

  • Anders: "Is there more to know about you? Seems like it's all right there on the surface."
  • Fenris: "That depends. How much do you wish to test that luck of yours?"
  • Merrill: "I think we've heard enough from you."
Note: Isabela must not be in the party for this to happen.

Isabela is a special case. She desires to be with him. If she is present, is not romanced (either full or partial), and Hawke's romance partner is present, the two will have their private time, as the others become disgusted. This yields Rivalry small Aveline: rivalry (+5).

If Isabela is Hawke's "other half", Hawke has three options:

  • Join in the fun.
  • Stop her.
  • Leave them be.

Notes Edit

  • When initially meeting Zevran, Anders will mention him accompanying the Warden; also, Isabela will have a fair bit to say here.
  • This mission will not occur if you import a saved game from Dragon Age: Origins where you killed Zevran (bugged, see below).

Bugs Edit

  • The following bug can prevent the threesome between Hawke (either male or female), Isabela and Zevran, even if you've met all the prerequisites for this. If you've slept with Merrill and chose the break heart option immediately after this, it will put Isabela (if you already slept with her) in a state of a "ghost" romance. i.e. the dialogues still happen between Isabela and Hawke, but the game won't acknowledge the fact that Hawke is in a romance with Isabela.
  • This mission may become available even if you killed Zevran in Origins.
  • Introduction dialogues might trigger twice, before letting Zevran go and after dealing with the Crows.
  • The quest might stay active in the journal even though it is finished. Loading a save file from before the Varterral fight will possibly fix this.
  • Zevran's dialogue is written to differ for a romanced Warden and for a romanced Warden who did the Ultimate Sacrifice (he will turn down Hawke and/or Isabela's propositions). However, Zevran's dialogue is bugged to the non-romanced state.[1] This can be fixed with the mod Romance Dialogue Fix at Nexusmods combined with Wench's DA2 Import Fixes.
  • Sometimes, the cave will glitch at the foot of the steps leading to the large area where the Varterral waits. Leaving the cave or Sundermount completely, does not fix the problem.
  • If you finish A New Path before talking to Variel you might not be able to complete this quest. The Dalish elves may attack you on sight, forcing you to kill all of them (including Variel) and preventing you from finding out where the assassin may be hiding.
  • Choosing any response other than "I'm here for the Antivan" with Variel will end the conversation, but she can still be conversed with again. This can be exploited to stack an unlimited amount of aggressive or diplomatic responses, and can be used to change Hawke's personality.

Trivia Edit

  • The word "murder" in the quest name is a pun. One meaning is literal - the act of killing; the other refers to the fact that a group of crows is called a "murder". A group of Antivan Crows, who commit murder, are involved in the quest.

References Edit

  1. BSN "Bioware, pretty PLEASE fix the DAO Love Interest Cameos!" . The BioWare Forum.

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