Dissent is an Act 2 companion quest for Anders in Dragon Age II.

Acquisition Edit

This quest can be acquired after visiting Anders and after telling the Arishok about what you found out during the quest Blackpowder Courtesy. It is started by speaking with Anders in his clinic.

Walkthrough Edit

Anders's Clinic Edit

Anders speaks of Ser Alrik's misuse of the Rite of Tranquility, and asks Hawke to accompany him to a secret entrance to the Gallows Dungeon in Darktown. He suspects Ser Alrik of plotting something called "The Tranquil Solution" – turning all mages in Thedas into Tranquil. Anders's goal in infiltrating the Gallows is to obtain evidence of this plot and expose it to the Grand Cleric so she can no longer claim neutrality in the matter.

As usual, the amount of friendship/rivalry points received depends on the dialogue choices made while talking to Anders in his clinic regarding the quest. Since friendship or rivalry points effectively cancel each other out, the total amount at the end is tallied and you are only shown the end result of your choices. They can be broken down into each specific gain below:

  • (Note: There appears to be a cap of no more than 15 points of friendship or rivalry gain for Sebastian for this conversation, i.e. if the total goes above 15 in either direction, only 15 is counted.)

2nd choice:

  • "They wouldn't do that." Friendship small Sebastian: friendship (+5)
  • "You're crazy."
  • "We must stop them." Rivalry small Sebastian: rivalry (+10)

3rd choice:

  • "Not all templars are that bad." Friendship small Sebastian: friendship (+5)
  • "What are they, bored?" Friendship small Sebastian: friendship (+5)
  • "Do you have a plan?" Rivalry small Sebastian: rivalry (+5)

4th choice:

  • "Of course, I'll help." Friendship small Anders: friendship (+5) Rivalry small Sebastian: rivalry (+5)
  • "Isn't this dangerous?" (This option and asking about the "Tranquil Solution" are mutually exclusive. Only one can be chosen before deciding to accept or refuse the quest.)
  • "You're on your own." Friendship small Sebastian: friendship (+10) Rivalry small Anders: rivalry (+15)

Investigating details of the "run-in" opens up the Codex entry: The Mage Underground.

Note that refusing to do the quest means that Hawke will miss an opportunity to obtain an armor upgrade for Anders, a Spindleweed, a Deep Mushroom, a codex entry, plus another Deep Mushroom in Act 3. It may not be wise to refuse, even if trying to rival Anders.

Darktown Edit

Hawke needs to go to the Gallows Dungeon at the southernmost part of Darktown. Examining the entrance causes Anders to ask you (even if he wasn't in the party) if you are ready to enter. Saying "yes" gives you the Party Selection screen with Anders as a mandatory companion.

Gallows Dungeon Edit

Upon entering the tunnel, Hawke is attacked by lyrium smugglers. Anders comments that the tunnel was built by the smugglers so that they could service the lyrium addictions of the Templars.

There are two complex chests (30 Cunning required, 150 XP/chest) to open and two complex traps (30 Cunning required, 150 XP/trap) to detect and disarm in the tunnel. Hawke may return to the area later if needed; the location will remain accessible until the papers are looted from Ser Alrik's body. (See bugs for a possible issue on the PC and Xbox360 version of the game).


Ser Alrik and Ella

At the end of the tunnel, Hawke encounters a female mage named Ella in the act of sneaking out of the Circle. She's just been caught by Ser Alrik himself, along with some templars. She says she's just going to visit her mother, but Ser Alrik reveals that he has a very dubious personal motive for making mages Tranquil. As Anders watches the injustice take place, Justice takes control of his body and launches an assault on the templars. A fight ensues. Varric will have a comment here if Hawke takes the humorous dialogue choice.


Anders under Justice's control

Strategy Edit

Ser Alrik is a commander-type enemy and will cast a health-regenerating effect on the other templars. He will also be supported by two Templar Hunters, one at a time, and several Normal-ranked melee and archer units. Falling back to a more defensible position is certainly an option here, especially if Anders or another mage can unleash a quick Cone of Cold when the battle starts. Moving as a team back to the wooden bridge will single-file the enemies with the Templar Hunter most likely leading the pack, allowing a ranged party to unload on and kill him before he can do a single backstab. Retreating further from this point may even cause Ser Alrik to break off his pursuit and return to where Ella is, depriving his support and reinforcements of the regenerating aura.

After they're all dead, Justice is still raving on how every last templar will die. No comment from Hawke stops him from confronting Ella; Ella calls Justice a demon, which infuriates Justice even further and makes him threaten her. Calm him down with the special Star dialogue option ("Don't hurt her!") that appears (this will only be available after achieving 50% friendship or rivalry). Any other dialogue choice leads to Ella's death. Anders will temporarily leave the party.

  • If Ella escapes unharmed:
    • Friendship small Fenris: friendship (+5)
    • Friendship small Sebastian: friendship (+15)
    • Friendship small Anders: friendship (+15) Rivalry small Anders: rivalry (+15) (Dependent on friendship or rivalry)
  • If Ella dies:
    • Rivalry small Fenris: rivalry (+10)
    • Rivalry small Sebastian: rivalry (+10)

Afterwards, Hawke finds Alrik's Papers on his corpse showing that he was indeed plotting "The Tranquil Solution" but that both, Knight-Commander Meredith and the Divine, refused his idea. (See bugs for a possible issue on the PC and Xbox360 version of the game.)

Before leaving the area, be sure to pick up an armor upgrade for Anders in one of the crates west of the exit. Also, there is an Enigma of Kirkwall note for the Band of Three quest nearby.

Darktown Edit

When returning to Darktown, Hawke is immediately approached by Ella if she is still alive. She asks "What was that thing?"

  • Choosing the aggressive option in the first wheel:
    • Friendship small Fenris: friendship (+10)
    • Friendship small Sebastian: friendship (+5)
  • Telling Ella to go back to the Circle:
    • Friendship small Fenris: friendship (+10),
    • Friendship small Sebastian: friendship (+5).
  • Telling Ella to go somewhere safe:
    • Rivalry small Fenris: rivalry (+10),
    • Rivalry small Sebastian: rivalry (+5).

Chantry/The Gallows Edit

Optionally, at the end of the quest Hawke can confront Grand Cleric Elthina in the Chantry (Friendship small Anders: friendship (+5)) and Cullen in The Gallows by presenting the note to them.

If Hawke did not bring Bethany to the Deep Roads and she went to the Circle at the end of Act 1, telling Ella to return to the Circle will prompt her to say that maybe Bethany was right and the Circle isn't so bad.

Results Edit

Talk to Anders again at his clinic in Darktown to complete the quest. Dialog choices allow Hawke to:

  • Calm Anders and show him the papers found on Ser Otto Alrik's body. Anders is relieved since this means the plan has not been put into action. He wonders if the Grand Cleric might be more reasonable than he thought and plans to try speaking to her (up to Friendship small Anders: friendship (+30) depending on dialogue choices).
  • Confront him and tell him to leave; he will no longer be available as a companion. From this decision Sebastian gains Friendship small Sebastian: friendship (+10), but Merrill or Fenris will not be affected. (Note that after the battle with Ser Alrik, you will not have access to Anders's inventory, thus any gear he has equipped leaves with him if you choose this dialogue option, unless you quickly click on his approval change upon leave to bring his panel and subsequently press "I" to open his inventory.)
  • Confront him and tell him to stay. Anders will ask if evidence was found about Ser Otto Alrik's plan, Hawke will show him the letter which results in him wondering about speaking to the Grand Cleric Elthina. Rivalry small Anders: rivalry (+20). This makes it possible to gain up to Rivalry small Anders: rivalry (+35) in total.
  • Confront him and question him whether he's giving up. This opens further conversation options with Anders in which he questions how his different abilities (Healing vs. Vengeance) can coexist at all, and what kind of example he sets for other mages for being an abomination himself. Hawke ultimately convinces Anders to stay without forcing the option on him (unless "You're on your own" is chosen). Anders will ask if evidence was found about Ser Otto Alrik's plan, Hawke will show him the letter which results in him wondering about speaking to the Grand Cleric Elthina. (Tested with full rivalry and active romance).
  • If confronted with Fenris in the party, the latter will tell Anders that he should realize that he cannot control Justice.

Both options may affect other companions' friendship/rivalry status as well.


  • 1000 XP (after talking with Anders – quest completion).
  • Hawke will receive Letter: From Ella in Act 3 if she survived.
  • Anders will have the Vengeance ability after completion of the quest.
  • Templar armor can be looted from any dead templar under the Ser's command.


  • If seeking the Supplier achievement, be sure to grab the Deep Mushroom and Spindleweed in the Gallows Dungeon. Also, do not send Anders away, as doing so will lock his Justice quest in Act 3, which in turn locks out from an area where you would obtain one more Deep Mushroom.
  • If seeking the Archaeologist achievement, be sure to grab Codex entry: The Enigma of Kirkwall after the battle with Alrik.
  • Loot the Fine Dwarven Trousers from a dwarf mercenary nearby after the first wave of enemies for The One True Pantaloons.
  • Two traps guard the main entrance of the chamber where the Deep Mushroom can be found.


  • pcIcon pcxbox360Icon xbox360 v1.04: Sometimes Ser Alrik's body is not available for looting after the battle. If this occurs, reload a saved game and loot his body during the battle immediately after he died.
  • xbox360Icon xbox360 Sometimes Anders disappears after the fight with Ser Alrik, making the quest impossible to complete.


  • "The Tranquil Solution" is likely a reference to Hitler's "Final Solution". This was the most deadly phase of the Holocaust in World War II.
  • If Carver became a templar, he mentions "a permanent solution," which some Templars support, in his letter to Hawke.
  • If Bethany was sent to the Circle, she mentions templars who hold "extreme views," including "one creep named Ser Alrik who likes harassing mages" in her letter. Bethany also mentions Ella, writing that she is training the apprentices, and that Ella in particular has "taken a shine" to her.