The quest does not appear until several main quests have been completed. Hawke can become aware of the situation by seeing a poster concerning a reward for the rescue of the Saemus, the Viscount Marlowe Dumar's son who has gone missing. The poster can be found in the Hightown market district. Another possible source is the leader of the mercenary band Winters, who claims to have overheard a heated conversation between Seneschal Bran and Ginnis. Either way, talk to the Seneschal at Viscount's Keep to get all the details concerning the quest.
Upon reaching the Wounded Coast head towards the southern area of the map. When Hawke approaches the quest marker a cutscene play out in which a heated argument takes place concerning the mercenaries' payment and a murdered Qunari named Ashaad. During this scene the mercenary leader Ginnis (previously seen in the Viscount's keep speaking with Bran) has killed all of the Qunari that were with Saemus. When Hawke arrives the encounter will intensify further, the mercenaries will turn hostile and must be dispatched.
Large numbers of mercenaries attack in several waves, each wave will be led by a Mercenary Commander. After the battle, if you tell Saemus you'd like to look around before leaving, you may loot the area. Hawke can obtain Codex entry: The Wounded Coast by examining the stone pillar to the south. In a crate behind Saemus, Hawke can find the item required for the side quest Redblossom Special. There is also a pile of bones with Design: Rune of Fire Warding. Telling Saemus you're ready to go after the fight will cause the party to return to the Viscount's Keep with no chance to loot.
At the Keep, the Viscount and Saemus will start arguing about the treatment of the Qunari. Saemus believes that they ought to be respected, while the Viscount sees them, or rather their influence, as dangerous. Here, Hawke can either excuse him/herself by saying that this is "not my affair", which leads to the reward, the party leaving the Viscount's office and the quest ending. Hawke can also side with the Viscount or Saemus (or call both of them idiots). The following dialogue choices affect friendship/rivalry:
"This is clearly not my affair."
"Yes, your son went too far."
"You're both stubborn fools."
"Saemus is right to question."
Either way, the quest will end, leaving the "happy" family to argue the finer points of Qunari, running away, and mercenary hirelings.
The Viscount's son, Saemus, is rescued.
Later (in Act 2), Saemus makes a reference to Hawke's dialogue choice when conversing with him in the Keep. If Hawke chose the neutral "not my affair" option, Saemus will state Hawke was able to make a difference in the situation even by taking a neutral stance, and that, due to Hawke's actions, some of his anger against the world has decreased. A similar conversation occurs if Hawke supports Saemus against his father, because he does not feel he is alone in his beliefs.
- 400 XP