During Hawke's expedition into the Deep Roads in Act 1, the party comes across the lyrium idol on an altar inside a room within the Primeval Thaig. Composed of an unknown type of lyrium glowing red, the dwarves of the thaig seemed to worship it. After inspecting the idol, Hawke throws it to Bartrand who then locks them in the chamber with no apparent way out.
In Act 2, during Varric's companion quest Family Matter, it is revealed that the idol drove Bartrand insane. He began hearing voices and made his servants eat lyrium so that they could hear them too. Bartrand tells Hawke that he sold the idol but doesn't reveal to whom, only saying, "She glittered like the sun, but her heart was cold as ice."
In Act 3, another of Varric's quests, Haunted, reveals that Bartrand kept a shard of the idol at his estate, which eventually attracted evil spirits to it. After vanquishing the haunts, Hawke recovers the shard and can give it either to Varric (at his insistence) or to Sandal. If given to Varric, he uses it to upgrade Bianca and promises to be careful with it; Sandal, instead, shapes the Primeval Lyrium Rune from it.
During the endgame quest The Last Straw, Knight-Commander Meredith is revealed to have been the one to have bought the idol. She reshaped it to be her sword, Certainty and, as happened to Bartrand, it drove her insane as well. Meredith began to become increasingly paranoid, accusing all the mages in the Circle of using blood magic and going as far as to lock all mages in their quarters, execute all apostates and make Tranquil any mage who put a toe out of line. It also gave her unnatural powers such as the ability to animate the statues in the Gallows, and even limited flight capabilities.During the final battle at the Gallows, Meredith overuses the lyrium sword, causing it to burst into dust and petrify her into a statue.
- The item code for the lyrium sword is: gen_im_npc_wep_two_mera.uti
The item was never intended to be looted; as such spawning it will only produce a nameless Red Steel Greatsword with no damage or stats.