The Hawke's Key is a plot item and weapon equipped by Hawke in the quest Legacy in the Legacy DLC for Dragon Age II. Uniquely, the identity of the weapon will automatically vary depending on Hawke's class. The damage/dps of the weapon will vary by the level at which Hawke acquires it, but will not increase upon level-up. The bonuses from breaking the seals appear to be affected by level in the same way.
The key's origins are lost to time. All we know is that it is an ancient, powerful weapon. The Wardens of old uncovered a few of its secrets—just enough to draw upon its magic to create the seals that hold Corypheus.
Accounts indicate that the key attunes itself to whichever man or woman wields it in the rituals that reinforce Corypheus's chains. It is the nature of the magic, something in the blood. The key is currently attuned to one Malcolm Hawke, the last mage to hold it.
The key is an essential part of strengthening the seals, and also the only thing that can break Corypheus free.—From Janeka's research notes
—From Codex entry: The Key
I will find the heir to the blood and the Great One will reward me. Yes. Let it be soon.—From the journal of Rhatigan, leader of the Carta in Kirkwall
—From Codex entry: The Great One's Key
- For mage Hawke, the key is a magical staff. The staff inflicts electric damage.
- For rogue Hawke, the key is a dagger or an archer's bow, depending on talent choices.
- For warrior Hawke, the key is a 2-handed or 1-handed sword, depending on talent choices.
During the course of traveling through seals and fighting various Guardians (first one just teleports - the second teleports and spawns replicas of himself, the third and final Guardian spawns a large ring of replicas of himself) you will be prompted to make a choice of weapon enchantments for the above mentioned weapon. These stats may vary by weapon type and Hawke's level when the key is obtained.
The first seal - located in Corypheus's Prison - Sashamiri's Floor - gives:
- Electricity Damage: +X electricity damage
- Nature Damage: +X nature damage
- Fire Damage: +X fire damage
- Cold Damage: +X cold damage
The second seal gives:
- Armour Penetration: Attacks ignore enemy armor
- Mana/Stamina Drain: X% chance to regenerate Y% Mana/Stamina
- Health Drain: X% chance to regenerate Y% health
- Attack Speed: +X% attack speed
The third seal gives:
- Stun Chance: X% chance to stun
- Speed Reduction: X% chance to reduce enemy movement and attack speed
- Critical Chance: X% critical chance
- Critical Damage: X% critical damage
Note: It is possible to acquire all the enhancements to the weapon using an exploit. (See exploit, below).
- Longsword: drk_im_wep_war_one_artifact
- Two-Handed sword: drk_im_wep_war_two_artifact
- Staff: drk_im_wep_mag_artifact
- Dagger: drk_im_wep_rog_dua_artifact
- Bow: drk_im_wep_rog_arc_artifact
Dragon Age II - Legacy DLC is needed in order to replicate weapons with these textures.
- pcps3xbox360 Hawke's Key cannot be placed into the personal stash at the Hawke Estate or destroyed. However, it can be sold to merchants for a small sum of money.
pcps3xbox360 It is possible to get all of the bonuses to the weapon: if done correctly you can arrange all party members around the pillars, pause the game, and then activate the pillar (by individually commanding each party member to press on the pillar before un-pausing). This allows you to obtain all of the bonuses, much like the Asunder exploit in Dragon Age: Origins. (Confirmed on pcps3xbox360)
(ps3Going around the party multiple times seems to work best, although getting all four bonuses isn't guaranteed)
Notes: Save the game frequently. It does not always work right: sometimes not all the effects are added, and sometimes it doesn't work at all. You'll know if it is working partially or completely by how many times the follow-up cut-scene plays. If it works right for all effects you will see the cut-scene for unlocking the seal four separate times. If there is dialogue repetition do not change what is said & repeat the same responses all four times. Otherwise it may stop the process. It may be advisable to save the game again after all four effects at each seal have been successfully added.