By design, this quest should only be available after first encountering Zevran (whether you choose to recruit him or not). However, it is possible to acquire this quest before even seeing the Zevran "cutscene" if the The Warden completes the Master Tilver section of the Crime Wave quest line, as the Messenger Boy that gives the quest is also able to be paid to distract the guards in that quest.
There are several ways to acquire this quest:
- The Warden can speak with the Messenger Boy, who is located just past the chantry and in front of The Mages' Collective bag in the Denerim Market District. It is also possible to begin this quest by stealing the letter from the messenger boy.
- After speaking with Master Ignacio, if you attempt to leave the Denerim Market District area the Messenger Boy will catch up with you and give you a message. After speaking with the boy, a quest will be added pointing you to a back-room in the Gnawed Noble Tavern, where you'll meet Master Ignacio.
- Go and look at the poster located on the wall near the Elven Alienage gate. Then as you leave the area the Messenger Boy, catches you and tells you to go the the Gnawed Noble Tavern.
The First Test Edit
The player is asked to kill a man called Paedan in The Pearl, Denerim's brothel. The player will first, however, have to find a Grey Warden poster, since that is the only way to collect the password needed. A poster can be found near the Alienage entrance, in the Markets. In the Pearl, it is revealed that Paedan is actually trying to kill all Grey Warden loyalists, and attacks the Warden. After killing his band, the Warden can return to Ignacio to claim his reward. Note that it is possible to kill Paedan before actually accepting the quest. If this is the case, you can just speak to Ignacio again to claim your reward. Regardless of whether you killed Paedan before accepting the quest or not, the "reward" is only two new assassination scrolls located in the chest behind Ignacio. These open up two new quests for you to complete for him.
Mercenary Hunt Edit
This part requires you to go to the Kadan-Fe mercenary hideout where you will encounter a band of Qunari mercenaries. Once all these are killed, the Warden may return to Master Ignacio for a reward. If he refused to acknowledge their demise, revisit the Kadan-Fe camp and leave from the second exit.
An Audience with the Ambassador Edit
The Warden is asked to kill Ambassador Gainley, who can be found in the Ambassador's quarters in Orzammar Royal Palace. The Ambassador will attack The Warden on sight. After the battle, and the Ambassador is dead, the Warden may return to Master Ignacio for his reward. Unlike the first two assassinations, which are rather straightforward, accessing Gainley may involve completing a number of tasks, depending on how much of the Orzammar portion of the game is completed.
- If the Warden has siding with Bhelen, the Warden must complete A Prince's Favor: The First Task given by Vartag (in the Assembly) in order to speak with Bhelen (and thus have access to the Royal Palace to kill Ambassador Gainley).
- If the Warden has siding with Lord Harrowmont, then the Warden must complete the quest Entering Jarvia's Hideout, which is A Lord's Trust: The Second Task, before getting access to the Ambassador suite in the Royal Palace.
- If A Paragon of Her Kind has already been completed, and a new King chosen, simply go back to the Royal Palace and kill the Ambassador.
The Ransom Edit
- See Ransom Drop Location for the map and more details.
Ignacio informs the Warden that Arl Howe's minion Captain Chase has kidnapped a boy, and is holding him for ransom. The boy's father's agents (really Crows in disguise), would like to have your backup during the exchange. The exchange will take place in the Ransom Drop location, and will quickly go bad, resulting in all of Howe's men attacking you. It appears, however, that Howe was expecting the betrayal, and his men have not brought the boy. After killing Howe's men, the Warden may return to Ignacio for a reward. Ignacio states that the exchange was phony from the start: the Crows had already rescued the boy, and were only going through the motions of an exchange for an opportunity to assassinate the men involved with the kidnapping.
After completion of all assassination quests, Master Ignacio will reward you with a pair of gloves called Red Jenny Seekers. The Warden can then choose to fight Ignacio (for ~362 XP), but doing so will cause Cesar to leave.
Ignacio should mention that you might be interested in Cesar's special stock items. That allows you to purchase the Quiet Death Recipe when you ask to see his "special goods".
At the Landsmeet, if you completed all the assassination quests, an unidentifed noble will support you in the voting, claiming that the Warden helped him in a 'family matter', implying he is the father of the child rescued from Howe.
After the fight with Howe's men, it is possible to loot one of the dead Crows which can yield Noble Clothing. This clothing as of patch 1.01 has a 'unique' look when worn by women. This object does not always appear on the Crow's and can also sometimes be looted from Ignacio's corpse if you kill him at the end of the quest line.
You can still complete this quest even after you have killed Arl Howe during The Landsmeet.
It's worth noting that even though Master Ignacio says that the Crows will no longer accept any new contracts on you, you should still expect to get a non-random encounter in Denerim where one of Zevran's old buddies (Taliesin) and a group of Crows attack The Warden. This is the end of the contract where Zevran was contracted to kill the Warden, and if Zevran has low enough Approval he may help Taliesin in the attack. (Ignacio warns you after his contracts that you are not safe from Crow attack until after Taliesin and all his men are dead: neither he nor Taliesin has the authority to cancel the contract on your head.) However, in Awakening, the Crows will still involve themselves in the attempt on your life, and the epilogue states that they wind up stealing your sword, Vigilance.
(This could be a random problem or have something to do with what mods may be installed, as the problem is not consistent.)