The Sharps Highwaymen are trying to take over Lowtown at night. Killing the majority of them will reveal the location of their hideout and leader.
Enter the "Hovel", which is in the eastern area of Lowtown at night, then defeat the gang and its leader Ignacio Strand. The majority of the enemies will be archers with only a few dual-wielders. Ignacio himself will fight with a bow until attacked, and then will immediately switch to fighting like a dual-wielding Assassin.
When fighting the enemies in the streets of Lowtown, remember to make use of the narrow corners and alleys as chokepoints. As for the Sharps Highwaymen themselves, they appear to be a mix of the Raider and Mercenary enemy types, distinguished from each other by each unit's armor and with it their elemental resistances. It can be difficult to tell them apart in the middle of battle, at night, but fire and nature damage will be quite useful, whereas cold is resisted by those in mercenary garb. If you are using an Elemental mage, save their cold spells for the enemies not wearing cloth helmets and masks for best results.
In the final battle, the use of the small "hovel-style" layout (like Gamlen's House) can work to your advantage, if your party has a tank like Aveline and is proficient in making use of area-of-effect spells and talents. Tempest is an excellent spell to unleash here, since it covers virtually the entire map and will deal no friendly fire damage on Nightmare. Alternatively, a properly-aimed Firestorm can keep the initial four archers occupied while the party focuses fire on Ignacio, who fights like an ordinary Elite-ranked assassin. More enemies spawn in the side rooms after enough of the initial wave is eliminated, so it is a good idea to make sure Ignacio is slain before they open the doors and join the battle.
Hawke can now walk around Lowtown at night without being ambushed by thugs.
- The Runt's Spiker (dropped by Ignacio Strand)
- Bloody Butcher's Gloves (dropped by Ignacio Strand)
- Lowtown Stompers (dropped by Ignacio Strand)
- Random loot
- 500 XP
- A Friend only appears at night, in the back room of The Hanged Man. She will continue to give out rewards each time the player clears out a band of thugs in the subsequent side quests.
- Like all night time gang quests, several waves of enemies will not appear unless Hawke leaves the area and then returns. Also like all other such quests, the hideout location will be revealed even if 1-2 groups of gang members have not been cleared (so as not to be rendered impossible to complete if another quest NPC is currently blocking a group from spawning in a specific location).