Blackpowder Courtesy is an Act 2 main quest in Dragon Age II.

Hawke is asked by the Viscount (Marlowe Dumar) to meet with the Arishok of the Qunari, who has asked for him/her by name. Upon meeting the Arishok, Hawke learns that the Arishok believes that Javaris, who was persistent in acquiring the gaatlok (an explosive powder), has instead stolen the formula for saar-qamek, a poisonous gas which kills humans upon inhalation - which was a decoy. The Arishok asks Hawke to track down Javaris.

Acquisition Edit

At the beginning of Act 2, after speaking to the Viscount.

Walkthrough Edit

Javaris begging

Javaris begging mercy from Hawke

Qunari CompoundEdit

After speaking to the Viscount, head down to the Qunari Compound at the Docks. If Isabela is in your party when you are about to enter the compound she will ask to leave. You will be given the option to either postpone your visit or to continue. If you chose to continue Isabela will automatically leave the party. The Arishok will inform you he has a belief that Javaris (who hired Hawke during a random traveling encounter to acquire the Qunari's explosive powder) has instead stolen the formula for a poison gas (saar-qamek) that was used as a decoy, one which would kill any human upon inhalation. Ask Varric for his advice (if you brought him along), and he tells you to ask The Coterie. If Varric is not in the party and Aveline, Anders or Fenris is, then after your conversation with the Arishok ends, he or she will make a comment about asking the The Coterie being a good bet when hunting thieves. Either way, the quest marker moves to Darktown.


Travel to Darktown to find a "Coterie Barker" selling Javaris Tintop's assets. She reveals that he has left town in a hurry, and since he still owes the Coterie money, she also reveals that he has used tunnels to get to Smuggler's Cut.

Smuggler's CutEdit

Follow the quest marker through Smuggler's Cut to the end of the cave. Be sure to pick up Ship in a Bottle, (one of the gifts for Isabela), a Deep Mushroom and Silverite for Crafting and the Supplier achievement. All are towards the end of the cave. The Design: Rune of Nature Warding is also in a chest located southwest of the exit up a flight of stairs.

NOTE : There is a standard locked chest (20 Cunning to open - 100XP) and a complex one (30 Cunning to open - 150 XP) in the cave, but no traps.

Almost immediately after entering the area, you will enter combat mode, and you should notice six Carta Thugs in the pit below your location. You can either rush into battle, or avoid them and continue to the south to activate a sustained fire trap that can kill them all with fire damage. The trap is guarded by two poisonous spiders and a corrupt spider, and the first wave of Carta reinforcements will know where you are and run to your location to attack you, but this can make the first battle in this area much easier for anyone having difficulty with it.

Outside Smuggler's CutEdit

Exit the cave to find yourself outside in the wilderness. Be prepared to face a handful (or two) of Mercenaries, who turn out to be Javaris's bodyguards. Talk to him to find out that an elf framed him for stealing the "gaatlok" and caused him to flee. You are given the choice of letting him leave or killing him. Killing him will net Rivalry small Varric: rivalry (+5), Rivalry small Sebastian: rivalry (+15), Rivalry small Aveline: rivalry (+10).

Note: Merrill, Fenris, Isabela and Anders will show disapproval of the action but it would appear that has no impact on Approval.

Don't forget to loot the pile of rubble on the eastern side of the map before leaving Javaris (or Javaris' corpse) and moving on to the Side Alley near Lowtown.

Poison side alley

The Poisoned Side Alley

Side Alley in LowtownEdit

Head to the Side Alley in Lowtown (this is accessible by map only) to find out that this area has been cordoned off as a poisonous green mist is covering it.

A cutscene with a guardsman named Maecon reveals that canisters of the mist have caused everyone in the area to go mad or vomit until they died. If Aveline is not in the party, Hawke will just tell the guardsman to step aside and the party will handle the situation. If Aveline is in the party she'll address the situation and tell the guardsman that you'll be taking over. Aveline will state that the guardsman is a good man who would not exaggerate the situation. If Hawke replies with "And we have to play hero" it will net Rivalry small Aveline: rivalry (+5).

Tactics: To close each of the open saar-qamek Gas Barrels you need a single Steel Latch. The first one is on the ground directly in front of you near the barrel, hard to see in the mist (Tip: Pause the game and press your corresponding key/button to highlight usable stuff). Closing each barrel leads to an attack wave of mercenaries. The last (or second to last) enemy killed in each wave drops the next Steel Latch (which is often also hard to see or select - waiting for the body to disappear may be helpful).

Staying on the higher steps seems to reduce damage from the gas, compared to standing on lower ground, as does closing each barrel. This also prevents you from being flanked. After each wave, at least if no enemies have line of sight to you, the team holsters weapons which allows you to save. From the starting steps moving left leads to an L-shaped stair, which is easier to defend and breaks line of sight, if you keep your team on the right spots (command halt for the team).

When you've closed the fourth barrel, you and an Elven Fanatic exchange words, which reveal that some humans are trying to tip the peace that the Qunari and the citizens of Kirkwall have now, and that the Qunari are taking in elves as part of their culture. Enraged that you have stopped her and that she has stolen the wrong powder, she attacks you with a couple waves of mercenaries. When she dies, she drops the Formula: Arcane Poison and a two-handed blade, the Brother's End.

  • If you choose an aggressive answer as second in the dialog with the elven fanatic you will get Rivalry small Varric: rivalry (+5).

Qunari CompoundEdit

Return to the Qunari Compound at the Docks and have a chat with the Arishok, who discloses that he is indeed stuck in Kirkwall, with no way of returning to Par Vollen until he has retrieved a lost item that was placed under his care.

  • If Merrill is in the party when you speak to the Arishok, she will make a quirky remark. She will make another one if you select the "She almost beat you." option in the same conversation.
  • If Isabela is in the party when you ask to enter the compound she will ask to leave and will leave the party temporarily.

Go to The Viscount's Keep at Hightown and speak with the Viscount and learn that a Qunari delegate and entourage who have come to visit have disappeared. Finish the conversation to complete the quest. This leads to Offered and Lost.

Loot Edit

Plot item DA2 Ship in a BottleShip in a Bottle
-- gift for Isabela found in Smuggler's Cut.
Deep Mushroom DA2 Deep MushroomDeep Mushroom
Crafting resource
-- Needed for the Supplier achievement. Found in Smuggler's Cut.
Silverite SilveriteSilverite
Crafting resource
-- Needed for the Supplier achievement. Found in Smuggler's Cut.
Formula Design: Rune of Nature Warding -- Found in Smuggler's Cut.
Formula Formula: Arcane Poison -- From Elven Fanatic.
Greatsword silver DA2 The Brothers' EndThe Brothers' End
Red Steel
Requires: Two-Handed
31 strength

Damage: 28 physical damage
(46 per second)
+88 attack
+10% physical damage
-- From Elven Fanatic.

Rewards Edit

  • From the Viscount - 3DAO goldpiece trans and 1000 XP (quest completion).

Notes Edit

  • Several companion quests are unlocked after speaking with the Arishok about the Elven fanatic.
  • Javaris will have a series of remarks about the men he hired, should you let him live and prompt him. Some of his comments flirt with breaking the fourth wall.

Bugs Edit

  • xbox360Icon xbox360(1.02) pcIcon pc(v1.04) If the first barrel closed is the one immediately to the left of Hawke (directly following the cutscene), sometimes the remaining gas will not harm the party at all.
  • pcIcon pc(v1.04) If a party member goes down, after the fight they will revive but immediately go down again due to the damaging effects of the gas, causing multiple injuries to stack.