The Deep Roads Expedition is an Act 1 main quest in Dragon Age II. After being allowed to enter Kirkwall and working for a year, Hawke needs to join an expedition to the Deep Roads to gain money and status within the city. The expedition is run by the brothers Bartrand and Varric.
This quest begins after Hawke's year of servitude ends. Hawke and their surviving sibling try to unsuccessfully persuade Bartrand to let them join the expedition. After speaking to the dwarf, a pickpocket attempts to steal Hawke's money, but is caught by Varric. The latter then offers Hawke the opportunity to become business partners with himself and Bartrand.
The quest requires 50 to start, and you must complete the following quests:
- Wayward Son
- Enemies Among Us
- A Friend in the Guard
- Long Way Home
- Act of Mercy
- Blackpowder Promise
- Shepherding Wolves
Upon giving Bartrand the 50 sovereigns and completing all other main quests in Act 1 (or letting Dougal Gavorn pay your fee if you made a deal with him in Friends in Low Places), Leandra will appear and attempt to persuade Hawke not to bring their sibling to the Deep Roads in fear something will happen to them both. Hawke will then be prompted to choose party members, with Varric locked in.
- Carver: friendship (+10) or Bethany: friendship (+10) if taken.
- Carver: rivalry (+15) or Bethany: rivalry (+10) if not.
Finding another route Edit
As the party arrives in the Deep Roads, Hawke discovers that the passage is blocked by a collapse, forcing them to find a side passage regardless of the danger. Bodahn cries for help, asking Hawke to search for the lost Sandal as well.
If Hawke agrees to search for Sandal:
If Hawke refuses:
Choosing this option will make Hawke save Bodahn, who attempted to find his son himself, and later Sandal, but without a quest entry.
Proceed down the passage and battle the various darkspawn. Beside the first set of stairs is a Deep Mushroom. Around the corner is a chest with Oath-Breaker. Continue along and you will come to a room where you must fight a darkspawn emissary. The pit on the right sits two chests, a locked chest (Standard) and a Silverite, and ascending the stairs in the pit activates a trap, spawning a monstrous spider.
The left path is blocked so proceed straight ahead. In the next room, you will find another Deep Mushroom. Exiting this room causes a cut scene with Sandal.
After finding Sandal surrounded by darkspawn corpses (receive 400 XP - quest progression), pick up the nearby Raw Lyrium and then continue your search while fighting many different darkspawn.
After a fight with two waves of darkspawn including a Darkspawn Emissary, the path curves back around to the west. After a fight at the bottom of a staircase you can pick up some Raw Lyrium against a column on the south wall.
After the room with the ogre and traps there will be a large open room with a dragon and several dragonlings, so prepare your party for a tough fight. If you are having trouble with the dragon and have Anders in your party, it's possible that if you keep him alive you can run the dragon and dragonlings in a circle by going up the stairs and across to the other stairs will give you a few seconds reprieve in which to attack or charge your mana enough to cast regroup as needed until you can defeat them. Also works well for ranged attacks with Varric or other ranged fighters if need be. Another strategy is to fight the dragon in the hallway without entering the large room. The dragon will probably attack before you enter. Slow it down and stop it with any crowd control you have while your party holds position in the hallway. Have your ranged attackers burn down its health as much as possible before it reaches you. When you cannot slow or stop the dragon any more, have a warrior Taunt the dragon and allow melee to engage. Continue dragging it farther back into the hallway until your crowd control cooldowns are up, and repeat. By this time, you should be far enough back that only one or two of the second wave dragonlings will enter combat, if any. Be sure to keep ranged attackers and healers out of the way of flame breath. Once the large dragon is dead, you can return to the large room and handle the rest of the dragonlings separately, which shouldn't be troublesome. After slaying the dragon, you discover a side passage. The dragon drops a variety of items:
Depending on Hawke's class:Last Descent Armor
Requires: 21 dexterity
+5% critical chance
+13% critical damage Warplate of the Fallen
Requires: 21 strength
+67 attack Robes of the Spiral Eye
Requires: 21 magic
No matter Hawke's class:Winter-Weight
Requires: Weapon and Shield
+8 fortitude Nevarran Lancer
Damage: 70 physical damage
(66 per second)
+5% critical chance
+13% critical damage
Hawke returns to Bartrand, who is "pleased" that the expedition is moving again.
The Primeval Thaig Edit
After the cut-scene with Bartrand, Hawke and company are transported to an undiscovered thaig, the Primeval Ruins, which Hawke must explore. Beyond Bartrand's camp (where Hawke can talk to Bodahn to get his thanks for saving Sandal) is a passage to the northwest where the party battles a number of shades and a stone golem. (There is also a deposit of Orichalcum nearby).
Beyond that point, the party enters the Primeval Thaig, where they discover a pure lyrium idol. Bartrand, unwilling to share the profits of the expedition, takes the idol and locks them in the thaig.
To find the way out, Hawke must enter the Ancient Crypt. The small room to the east just after entering the crypt contains 4 chests of random loot, but be prepared for a fight upon entering. The party will face a stone golem and 8 shades initially, with several more shades spawning after killing the first wave. The room is optional, so it may be unnecessary trouble on higher difficulty levels.
Throughout the rest of the crypt the party will battle a large number of shades and profanes, until the battle is stopped by a hunger demon in the form of a profane. He offers a deal: stop killing the profanes (he feeds off their hunger), kill a rock wraith up ahead, and he will tell Hawke the location of a key to a locked door that leads to higher tunnels.
Hawke accepts the deal:
Hawke refuses the deal:
Alternatively, Hawke can kill the demon (or ask Merrill to do it if in the party), after which the party has to battle more shades, profanes, and an abomination (arises from the former rock demon). Warriors have a special choice in which Hawke refuses the deal in a unique way. This results in no approval change, the same as if Merrill killed it.
In either case, Hawke forges ahead to where Hawke and company battle the Ancient Rock Wraith. Periodically the rock wraith will disappear and respawn in the center of the four pillars and emit radiant red energy which damages all party members, regardless of range. This damage is rather severe, but can be negated by having the party hide behind the pillars, away from the rock wraith. After this attack, the creature will collapse and raise profanes to help him. On normal difficulty, the radiant energy phase of this boss fight will restore the party's mana and stamina bars.
After the rock wraith is defeated, there is a cut scene where the party walks forward to a stash of treasure chests, one of which contains the key to let them out of the crypt.
If Hawke made a deal with the demon, it will appear before they lay claim to the treasure, telling them to take only the key and leave the rest. Hawke has several options at this point:
- Varric: friendship (+10) if Hawke lets Varric kill the demon ("Call on companion"), leading to a fight with only its followers.
- Attack the demon, leading to combat with it and its minions.
- Hawke tells the demon that they only want the key, in which case it summons minions and attacks you anyway.
- Tell the demon to back off as a special choice if Hawke's personality is aggressive. If not, it attacks anyway.
When the party exits the Ancient Crypt, you will get a cut-scene featuring discussion with Varric showing that you are back at the original campsite. They then head for Kirkwall.
Should Hawke have Bethany or Carver in the party, there is an extended cut scene in which their sibling collapses due to symptoms of the taint. Regardless of any dialogue option selected, the sibling will die. However, if Anders is in the party, he will propose that Hawke search for a Grey Warden, Stroud. After some negotiation (and a fight with darkspawns - make sure to loot the bodies as the conversation with the Grey Wardens automatically starts with the last enemy dying) with the Grey Warden Stroud, he will allow Bethany or Carver to attempt the Joining. Doing so will allow the sibling to survive.
If Hawke takes Carver to the Grey Wardens:
If Hawke takes Bethany to the Grey Wardens:
- over 20 (from the treasure)
- over 10 500 XP (from the Ancient Rock Wraith)
Hawke and their companions arrive safely in Kirkwall, and Act 2 begins.
If Hawke did not accept Dougal Gavorn's proposal, Varric pays him/her back the 50 sovereigns, serving as profit from the expedition. Otherwise, he will visit the Hawke Estate to extort money from Hawke, which can be refused.
Crafting resources Edit
- 2 Deep Mushroom
- The first is located to the west side of the stairs in the very first room you encounter dark spawn.
- The second is located in the blue room where you fight the emissary
- 1 Silverite located in the SE valley where the monstrous spider attacks you.
- 2 Raw Lyrium
- The first is located next to the frozen ogre that Sandal mysteriously froze.
- The second is located in the room with the pillars immediately before you fight an Ogre yourself.
- 1 Orichalcum located in the Primeval Ruins in the room where you first encounter shades and a golem.