Only available after the Birthright quest is completed. Go to the Chantry Exit of Hightown in Act 1 (not the Chantry itself). Magistrate Vanard will be waiting near the exit to the World map at the base of the Chantry steps. Magistrate Vanard will inform you about an escaped criminal who has taken refuge in an abandoned ruin outside of Kirkwall. A patrol of guards was sent to retrieve him, but they were slaughtered by unspecified "creatures" in the ruin. If you accept the quest, he will offer Hawke a promise of future support for the return of the criminal, as long as he is brought back alive and unharmed.
Upon arriving at the Abandoned Ruins, Hawke will witness an angry elven merchant berating the Kirkwall city guard for failing to deliver justice to the murderer within. When questioning the elf, Elren, he reveals that the criminal has been murdering elven children, and that he has not received appropriate punishment for his deeds. Furthermore, his last victim was Elren's daughter, Lia. One of the guards, Nabil, will warn Hawke that defying the Magistrate's direct orders is "madness". Hawke can either state his/her intention to bring the criminal back to Magistrate Vanard, as originally promised, or to kill him for Elren. (Hawke can, however, change his/her mind later.) NOTE: Having Aveline in the active party, will provide some extra lines of dialogue (she strongly agrees with bring down "hard justice" onto the criminal).
The Ruined Passage contains various spiders, undead and a group of raiders. The spider's silk for the Herbalist's Tasks quest can be obtained here. In addition to that, an arcane horror accompanied by some spiders and undead can be found in one of the rooms.
Along the way, Hawke will find an elven girl sitting at the end of a walkway. She reveals that she is Lia, and that the criminal let her go. While the man was "hurting her" in some unspecified fashion, he abruptly stopped and started crying, stating that demons in his head were making him kill elven children. He then told her to run away, which she did. However, Lia asks Hawke not to hurt him, insisting that he isn't responsible and to find a way to help him. NOTE: Having Merrill in your active party, she will respond to Lia with "Don't be afraid, da'len. Everything's going to be all right now".
After a fight with some undead, Hawke will find the man, Kelder, cowering in a room. Kelder is actually Magistrate Vanard's son, which is why he wanted him back unharmed; however, he does not want to be rescued, begging Hawke to kill him to stop him from killing more elven children "because they are too beautiful".
In the northern room with the chest there is a master trap. You will 40 cunning (or 37 cunning with Simon's Lament boots) to be able to detect and successfully disarm this particular trap.
Hawke can either kill Kelder or attempt to bring him back. If Fenris is present, he will offer to kill Kelder if Hawke will not; unusually, allowing him to do so has no effect on his friendship/rivalry. Every single one of your companions will (for once) agree and advocate killing Kelder; however, if he is not killed, he runs away and must be tracked down in the ruins - which will result in a fight with a revenant and some corpses. This fight results in more experience than if Kelder was killed outright.
- Kelder lives:
- Lia and her father leave Kirkwall.
- Kelder dies:
- Lia will approach Hawke during Act 3 in the alienage, telling him/her that the decision to kill Kelder was the right one. She goes on to mention she was out of her head when she asked he be shown mercy. She has since joined the guard, and if Aveline is present, she will also make a comment about her newest recruit.
Friendship and rivalry Edit
If Fenris is in the party, Fenris will request to kill him (denying or obliging his request grants no Friendship/Rivalry change). When encountering Lia, Fenris warns Hawke that her plea for mercy on Kelder's behalf is probably due to childish naivete, and that she should not be heeded.
For freeing Kelder:
- Aveline: rivalry (+5)
- Bethany: rivalry (+5)
- Carver: rivalry (+5)
- Isabela: rivalry (+10)
- Merrill: rivalry (+10)
For killing Kelder:
- Aveline: friendship (+5) (only if you do not let Fenris kill him)
- Bethany: friendship (+5)
- Carver: friendship (+10) (or (+5) if you let Fenris kill him) (May not occur with Isabela in the party)
- Isabela: friendship (+15) (or (+10) if you let Fenris kill him)
- Merrill: friendship (+10)
- Varric: friendship (+5)
For demanding a reward from Elren upon killing Kelder:
- Mont de Glace Strand
Damage: 59 physical damage
(55 per second)
+5% critical chance (inside a chest - standard in a room directly in front of the Ruined Passage entrance, near some paragon statues)
- Pewter Pendant of Wolves Howling at the Moon
+2% critical chance (inside a chest in the northernmost room of the Ruined Passage)
- If Kelder is killed: 1 from Elren. Also 400 experience is rewarded (possibly if you do not choose the gold option in the dialogue).
- If Kelder lives, the reward received from Magistrate Vanard is dependant on the second dialog choice:
- "The devil made me do it" is a reference to a catchphrase coined by the American comedian, Clerow "Flip" Wilson.
- Sometimes, upon sparing Kelder, his escape fails to trigger, and he just sits there against the column where you find him. In this case, just backtrack to the entrance and go outside, the proper cutscene will still trigger once you leave the ruins (though you'll miss out on the extra XP from the creatures, obviously).
- pc As of v1.03, killing Kelder with Anders, Merrill, and Isabela in your party may not result in Anders: friendship (+5). Approval for Merrill and Isabela changes appropriately.
- After leaving the ruins and viewing the cutscene, if you re-enter the ruins before finishing the quest, Kelder will follow you again and a quest arrow will point toward the other exit. This does not affect the completion of the quest.