Visit Bartrand's mansion in Hightown (night) with Varric in the party. You start off playing alone as Varric, taking on Bartrand's guards all by himself. During this part, Varric's health meter will constantly regenerate and his skills will have very short cooldowns; the guards will also be rather easy to kill. After defeating all enemies, there will be a cutscene revealing that the Scarface-style combat was the storyteller's typical exaggeration (irritating Cassandra to no end). When the actual scenario starts, the entire party including Hawke will join Varric inside the mansion.
After the intermission, the Crazed Guards offer rather more challenge than before, especially when Hawke faces them in more threatening numbers as the party progresses through the mansion. The first encounter with a Crazed Commander has a standard and simple trap. A back room features a chest with a complex lock. The large central room pits Hawke against two Crazed Commanders and an army of their subordinates.
- TACTIC: If you bottleneck your party in the room in the southwest corner, by standing in the doorway to the hallway, the enemies will come to you since they are all melee. Once you are surrounded by all enemies, pull Hawke out of the doorway into the southwestern room, drawing the enemies with you. At this point you can switch to Varric; if he has cunning at 30+, he can enter the room, detect the trap, and then disarm. There are two sets of traps: one that is in a line (as stated above), and another by itself next to overturned table. Both can be disarmed at 30+ Cunning.
The small room just south of the waypoint marker has a chest that contains the Silverite-Reinforced Buckles – an armor upgrade for Varric.
Before entering Bartrand's study, the party encounters Hugin, the last surviving servant of the household. He tells a tragic story. After Bartrand left Varric and Hawke to die in the abandoned thaig, he started hearing voices, claiming the lyrium relic taken from the temple was talking and singing to him. At the same time he was scared by it and on one of his 'better days' he sold it. Unfortunately, he could still hear the relic and was eventually driven mad by it. The servant tells Varric and Hawke that Bartrand started feeding the servants and guards raw lyrium to make them hear the 'song' and became increasingly mad as no results materialized, to the point when he started torturing the servants and 'cutting bits off them while still alive.' The servant begs Varric and Hawke to give anything alive in Bartrand's study a quick and merciful death.
As Hawke enters the final room, Bartrand fights alongside a final wave of Crazed Guards. You must defeat him and more guards to reach a dialogue where you can either tell Varric to kill Bartrand or let him go.
NOTE: As soon as you defeat Bartrand the battle ends, regardless of how many guards are remaining. Once Bartrand is defeated, Varric tries to talk to him but it becomes clear that Bartrand is crazy - he recognizes his brother and requests he help him find the idol again before talking to someone or something in his head, explicitly saying 'Stop it, I know I shouldn't have sold the idol. It was a mistake! A mistake!' If Anders is present, Hawke can ask his opinion, but Anders' knowledge of demonic possession leaves him confused. Anders states that if Bartrand wasn't a dwarf he would suspect a demon at work but that can't be the case. Instead, Anders tells Hawke that 'something powerful has poisoned his (Bartrand's) mind.' He uses his healing skills to bring Bartrand back to his senses but warns that this is only a temporary solution.
Either Bartrand is killed or spared. If he is not healed, Varric advocates for killing him. If Anders heals Bartrand, Varric wants him to live. Reactions of other companions do not depend on whether he is healed or not.
- Varric: friendship (+15) without healing, Varric: rivalry (+15) with healing
- Aveline: friendship (+5)
- Sebastian: rivalry (+10)
Allowing Bartrand to live:
- Varric: rivalry (+15) without healing, Varric: friendship (+15) with healing
- Aveline: rivalry (+5)
- Sebastian: friendship (+10)
After the final battle and returning to Hightown a cut scene begins with Varric thanking Hawke for the assistance with his brother.
- Silverite-Reinforced Buckles
Companion armor upgrade
Extra rune slot armor upgrade for Varric located in a chest adjacent to the final room.
- depending on Hawke's class in a chest in the last room where Bartrand is:Boots of Enasalin
Requires: 25 dexterity
+2% critical chance
+5% critical damage
Bonus to disarm traps orStonehammer Boots
Requires: 25 strength
+37 attack orBoots of the Overseer
Requires: 23 magic
+2 mana/stamina regeneration rate
- Red Earth Long One
Requires: Weapon and Shield
Damage: 25 physical damage
(47 per second)
+5 fire damage is awarded for defeating Bartrand (appears in the players inventory), regardless of how he is dealt with.
- The opening scene and its dialogue, in which Varric exaggerates his entrance by depicting himself as killing numerous guards single-handedly, firing Bianca off rapidly, is very similar to the ending scene of the 1983 movie Scarface.
- xbox360 It is possible to have Sebastian join Varric during the "solo" opening sequence. The circumstances surrounding the glitch are unclear, but the trigger appears to be running directly from the Harimann Estate after completing Repentance.
- xbox360 Potential bug: Family Matter will show up in quest log but you will unable to initiate the dialogue for the quest from Varric if his approval is already too high. Potential causes for this is having his Approval rating too high in early Act 2 which activates Varric's Act 2 Questioning Beliefs. If you do Questioning Beliefs BEFORE acquiring Family Update in your journal then it's possible this quest to become broken. This was tested on 3 playthroughs.