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A New Path

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A New Path is an Act 3 companion quest for Merrill in Dragon Age II.

Acquisition Edit

You will receive it when you visit Merrill's Home (or enter and leave your home) after you have completed the On the Loose quest.

Walkthrough Edit

Merrill's Home Edit

Speak with Merrill at her home at the Kirkwall Alienage in Lowtown. Merrill is disappointed that the Eluvian is still inactive.

Regardless of previous options, she plans to consult the demon trapped at Pride's End, and asks for assistance and company.

  • Accepting the quest without question.
    • Friendship small Merrill: friendship (+10).
  • Rejecting her plea does not terminate the quest—she says she will have to find another way, but the quest remains in the journal.
  • "Talk to the Keeper first."
    • Rivalry small Merrill: rivalry (+10)
Note: You can still choose to talk to Marethari even without selecting the third option.

Sundermount Edit

As you head to the peak of Sundermount, Keeper Marethari stands nearby the trail.

You do not have to talk to Marethari, but if you do, she greets Merrill. But Merrill is annoyed, as the clan has not left the mountains for six years. The Keeper justifies that she has tasks to accomplish. She then asks the purpose of Merrill's visit.

Note: Though speaking with her is optional, you miss a chance in gaining more friendship and rivalry points if you don't.
  • "Talk some sense into Merrill."
    • Rivalry small Merrill: rivalry (+10)
    • Friendship small Fenris: friendship (+5)
    • Friendship small Sebastian: friendship (+5)
  • "Help us fix the mirror."
    • Friendship small Merrill: friendship (+10)
    • Rivalry small Fenris: rivalry (+5)
    • Rivalry small Sebastian: rivalry (+5)

Marethari warns Merrill not to seek the demon's help, but Merrill continues no matter what.

Pride demon marethari

Audacity, the pride demon possessing Marethari

Climb Sundermount; you are attacked by Giant Spiders at the second clearing. Go through the Sundermount Passage.

Sundermount Caverns Edit

Go through the Sundermount Caverns and exit to the Mountain Graveyard. If you have not explored this area yet, there is an Orichalcum in the caverns, if you are seeking the Supplier achievement.

Mountain Graveyard Edit

Go past the Sundermount Graveyard to reach Pride's End at the peak.

Note: If A Murder of Crows was not started or finished prior to entering Pride's End; then that particular quest could disappear (along with the exclusive characters) depending on what chat options you chose when you again exit the cave.

If you didn't clear the graveyard earlier, it has a couple of lootable graves; clicking on them will summon corpses and a skeleton archer. One of the graves contains Robes of the Overseer which is part of the Overseer light armor set. Another grave contains Andruil's Braid. Looting all the graves summons two waves of mobs: first a couple of corpses and a Shadow Warrior, followed by skeleton archers and a Shadow Assassin.

After the fight you can interact with the nearby altar, which results in a cutscene with Merrill saying a short prayer for Mythal and commenting "Sorry. I didn't mean to hold us. You just - It's never wise to ignore Mythal."

Continue along the path; if you have the The Awiergan Scrolls quest active then you will encounter three enemies that are part of the Second Aspect (see the quest page for tactics).

If you have not already explored this area there is a fight near the peak with dragonlings and a dragon, who drops The Jade Serpent. Don't forget to loot Glitterdust on the little curve off the path before the entrance to Pride's End.

Right before the entrance itself you have yet another encounter with corpses, a Shadow Assassin and Shades.

Pride's End Edit

As Hawke approaches the Strange Idol, Merrill is disturbed; the artifact does not contain the demon anymore. The party finds out that Keeper Marethari has allowed Audacity to possess her to stop Merrill from repairing the Eluvian. She goes on to claim that the demon would have gone through the Eluvian once it was restored, with Merrill as its destined victim. The party is then forced to kill the Keeper. Dalish elders, Marethari, and the dead hunters from Honoring The Fallen, in spirit form spawn near the altars on the sides, attacking the party and sermoning Merrill for her mistakes.

  • Hunter Radha: "Traitor! May the Dread Wolf hunt you for the rest of your days!"
  • Pol: "I was trying to rebuild my life! Why did you have to come back and destroy it?"
  • Hunter Harsal: "We're cursed. The whole clan. And you brought this upon us."
  • Hunter Chandan: "You couldn't let go of the past, could you? Now look at what you've done!"
  • Tamlen: "Curiosity... is a dangerous thing, Merrill. It will never let you rest. Never."
  • Elven Mother: "What have you done? What have you brought upon our clan, you monster?"
  • Keeper Marethari: "Da'len, turn back. Everything you touch turns to ash."
  • Elven Elder: "You are a wound poisoning this clan!"

After defeating Audacity, Keeper Marethari claims that it's over.

  • "I'm glad that's over."
    • The possessed Keeper will stab Merrill, resulting in a second fight with the pride demon at one-third of its health and an injured Merrill.
  • "You said you had to die."
    • Merrill will stab the Keeper, releasing the demon and ending the battle.

Merrill then grieves for Marethari's death; she didn't wish for this happen.

  • "She was stupid."
    • Friendship small Merrill: friendship (+15)
    • Rivalry small Fenris: rivalry (+5)
    • Rivalry small Anders: rivalry (+5)
    • Rivalry small Aveline: rivalry (+10)
  • "You weren't listening."
    • Rivalry small Merrill: rivalry (+15)
    • Friendship small Fenris: friendship (+5) (None if you choose "She loved you.")
    • Friendship small Anders: friendship (+5) (If you choose "She loved you.")
    • Friendship small Aveline: friendship (+10)

Exited Pride's End Edit

Upon exiting the cave, the party is confronted by the other Dalish who say Marethari came up here and hasn't returned.

  • "Marethari was possessed."
    • Battle with the Dalish.
    • Friendship small Merrill: friendship (+10)
    • Rivalry small Fenris: rivalry (+10)
  • "Stand down."
    • Battle with the Dalish.
    • Friendship small Merrill: friendship (+10)
    • Friendship small Isabela: friendship (+10)
    • Rivalry small Fenris: rivalry (+5)
  • "I'll take responsibilty."
    • The party will be allowed to leave.
    • Rivalry small Merrill: rivalry (+15) (If you are in a relationship with Merrill, you may be able to cancel out this rivalry. Will not occur if friendship is maxed out.)
    • Friendship small Aveline: friendship (+10)
    • Friendship small Fenris: friendship (+10)
Note: If you have not completed A Murder of Crows (and you wish to) you must take responsibility. Any other chat option will lead to a battle with the Dalish.
Note: Engaging into arms against the Dalish will make them unavailable for the rest of the act. Otherwise, they remain there as if the incident had not taken place.

Result Edit

Merrill, Friend or Foe? appears in the quest log.

Rewards Edit

  • 1200 XP (for talking to Merrill at her home – whether you accept the quest or not)
  • 350–830 XP (for the fight with the demon and spirits) and 1200 XP (quest completion – after cutscene of Keeper dying)
  • (optional) 470 XP (cave entrance) and 680 XP (village) for fighting the elves
  • Staff purple DA2 Torch of Falon'DinTorch of Falon'Din
    Staff
    Red Steel

    Damage: 42 fire damage
    (57 per second)
    Rune slot Rune slot
    +16% fire damage
    +8 fire damage

  • Heavy armor green DA2 Halla Horn BucklesHalla Horn Buckles
    Companion armor upgrade

    Rune slot
    Extra rune slot

  • Ring gold DA2 The Jade SerpentThe Jade Serpent
    Ring

    +33 attack
    +5% nature damage
    +278 nature resistance
    (can be found on a Dragon on the way up to the Demon cave on Sundermount)
  • Random loot from all the fights (no other reward for completing the quest - the quest completes after you leave the cave)

Notes Edit

  • If you are seeking the Supplier achievement, be sure to grab the Felandaris located in Pride's End, to the right of Audacity's statue.
  • Depending on Hawke's personality, the pride demon will have a commentary about it in a cutscene in the middle of the battle; apparently, it will also heal itself slightly.
  • After fighting the first group of Dalish after exiting the cave when choosing the "Marethari was possessed" or "Stand down" dialogue choices, you don't have to kill all the Dalish in the camp. If you run to the eastern exit of the level, not all Dalish will follow you, including named ones. After killing those who do, you can leave the map. In the following dialogue Merrill, Friend or Foe?, Merrill will only lament the death of the Keeper, not the whole clan, just as if you had picked the "I'll take responsibility" dialogue option. When coming back to Sundermount, the Dalish will be gone.

Trivia Edit

  • The three deceased Dalish Hunters who appear during the battle with Audacity are the three dead hunters found in Honoring The Fallen.

Bugs Edit

  • If you had a full friendship with Merrill during the Mirror Image quest and didn't give her the Arulin'Holm, she still acts as if you did and the quest continues that way. If you had full rivalry and gave her the tool, she will act as if it was not.
  • pcIcon pc After defeating the pride demon, Marethari's body may turn into a Corpse with random loot – you cannot get her staff.
  • pcIcon pc If you currently are in a romance with Merrill and she has moved in with you in your Hightown Mansion when you complete this quest, her follow-up Companion quest and cutscene Merrill, Friend or Foe? doesn't trigger. Somewhat ironically, the cutscene that is missing now, is the one that the last "Act 3 Merrill Bug" (described below, fixed with PC patch 1.02) caused to run prior to accepting A New Path. This issue does not occur with PC patch 1.04. The 'Questioning Beliefs' quest can still be completed if you take Merrill in your party for the final battle and join the mages, when Orsino instructs you to prepare for the final battle in the gallows, just converse with Merrill and the cutscene will pop in.
  • pcIcon pcps3Icon ps3xbox360Icon xbox360 The scene that's supposed to play after this quest is erroneously set to trigger when it is Act 3 and Merrill Relationship is Locked (i.e., full friend or full rival). It does not check to see if the quest is actually completed. This causes the dialog to show up at the beginning of the act for those who quickly went to extremes with Merrill or romanced her. This can also cause the scene to fail to show if the relationship remains neutral. If the scene shows early, it may be necessary to talk with Fereldan ruler, return to the estate, or use the console to restart the quest. On the PC, this can be fixed via save game editing. (This seems to have been fixed in PC patch 1.02/console update 1.01.)
  • At the end of this quest you can get stuck with Merrill in your party whether you choose to get attacked by the Dalish or to have them just walk away. To remove her from your party, simply return to your estate, which should remove everyone, and then just add who you wish to continue with.
  • pcIcon pcps3Icon ps3xbox360Icon xbox360 After Marethari's death, if Isabela left the party permanently in the quest To Catch a Thief, Isabela gains +10 friendship if you choose the option "Stand Down" to the Dalish.
  • pcIcon pcps3Icon ps3xbox360Icon xbox360 The cameras might incorrectly focus on characters that aren't delivering dialogue, or blank spaces where characters should be standing: i.e. while at the statue with Fenris in your party, he may not show when he speaks of the history of the Elven/Tevinter war.
  • xbox360Icon xbox360ps3Icon ps3 When you have left the cavern you fought the keeper after the cut scene and you choose the path where you're attacked by the Dalish, you can still leave the mountain without a fight if you tap the A/X button fast you'll go back in the cave, and when you go out again the Dalish hunters will just stand there and you can go peacefully.

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