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Western Approach

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The Western Approach is a large, arid expanse in southwestern Orlais.[1] Farther west lie the Hunterhorn Mountains and uninhabited steppes and forests.

Background Edit

Area - Western Approach

This area was the site of a major battle during the Second Blight. The darkspawn swarmed out of the great chasm to the south named the Abyssal Rift and corrupted the land beyond recovery. Now it is a stark and sad place with unstable purple sands, occasional rocky pillars and ridges jutting out of them and strong howling winds. At night the air grows still and the sky is alight with shimmering auroras, but this is also the time when the darkspawn come out of hiding.

The Orlesians put iron towers at least a hundred feet high to mark the path in the badlands: a traveler who reaches one of them is able to see the next. The towers are now old and rusted. Adamant Fortress, built by the dwarves and used as a Grey Warden outpost, stands on the lip of the chasm.[2]

Involvement Edit

Splr dai
“Whatever we were before, we are now the Inquisition.” — The Inquisitor
This article contains spoilers for Dragon Age: Inquisition. Click here to reveal them.

During the Here Lies the Abyss quest, the Inquisitor is following the tracks of the disappearing Grey Wardens. After meeting Hawke in Skyhold, and being introduced to their Grey Warden Ally in Crestwood, the Inquisitor learns that the Wardens have been gathering in a Tevinter tower in The Western Approach.

Once in the area, the Inquisitor will have to face multiple dangers while hunting for the elusive Wardens. Local wildlife, White Claw Raiders, and Venatori troops present a variety of threats amidst sandy dunes, rocky outcrops, and ancient Tevinter ruins.

When the Inquisitor catches up to the Grey Wardens, they are intent on performing a ritual that Warden Commander Clarel believes will eliminate the Darkspawn once and for all. However, the ritual, lead by Venatori Magister Livius Erimond, is intended to bind the Wardens in Corypheus' service.

Places Edit

Regions Edit

Note: The 25 regions below make up the Regions in the Approach collection. Discovering all of them grants 200 Influence.
  • Abyssal Ledge

    Map of the Western Approach

  • Blight Overlook
  • Death Drink Springs
  • Dust Plains
  • Dustytop Fort
  • Echoback Canyon
  • Echoback Fort
  • Forgotten Mine
  • Gates of Andoral
  • Gates of Toth
  • Giant's Staircase
  • Hightown icon Griffon Wing Keep
  • Iska's Stand
  • Lost Spring Canyon
  • Lost Wash Creek
  • Nazaire's Pass
  • Old Prison Road
  • Prison Ruins
  • Sand Flats
  • Sand Rock Mine
  • Shimmer Stone Mine
  • The Canyons
  • The Still Ruins
  • The Wastes
  • Valemont Pass

Additional places Edit

Inquisition camps Edit

See Holding the Western Approach.
  • Craggy Ridge Camp
  • Echo Back Canyon Camp
  • Lost Spring Canyon Camp
  • Nazaire's Pass Camp

Characters Edit

Quests Edit

Main article: Quests (Inquisition)

Unlock the area by completing the Investigate the Western Approach War table operation.
Quest icon DAI The Abyssal High Dragon
Quest icon DAI Assault on Griffon Wing Keep
Quest icon DAI Draconology
Quest icon DAI Fortress Squatters
Quest icon DAI Frederic's Livelihood
Quest icon DAI The Heart of the Still Ruins
Quest icon DAI Holding the Western Approach
Quest icon DAI How to Lure a Dragon
Quest icon DAI Hunting Patterns
Quest icon DAI A Manuscript of Some Authority
Quest icon DAI On the Chantry Trail
Quest icon DAI Sharper White Claws
Quest icon DAI A Stranger Rift in the Ruins
Quest icon DAI A Tevinter Relic Hunt
Quest icon DAI The Trouble with Darkspawn
Quest icon DAI The Venatori
Quest icon DAI This Water Tastes Funny

Rifts Edit

Main article: Fade rift

Quest icon DAI Rifts in the Canyons
Quest icon DAI Rifts in Echoback
Quest icon DAI Rifts in Sand and Dust
Quest icon DAI Rifts off the Pass

Requisitions Edit

Main article: Requisitions

Quest icon DAI Code Requisition in the Approach
Quest icon DAI Fauna Requisition in the Approach
Quest icon DAI Lazurite Survey in the Approach
Quest icon DAI Luster Survey in the Approach

War Table Operations Edit

Main article: War Table

Quest icon DAI Crossing the Sulphur Pits
Quest icon DAI Find the Source of Darkspawn

Collections Edit

Astrariums Edit

Astarium icon Astrariums in the Approach

Bottles Edit

Bottles On The Wall icon Vintage: Warden Jairn - In "Dustytop Fort".
Bottles On The Wall icon Vintage: Warden Eval'lal - In "Ritual Tower".
Bottles On The Wall icon West Hill Brandy - Tower above Astrarium cave, climb from the north side.

High Dragons Edit

High Dragon icon Abyssal High Dragon

Landmarks Edit

Quest icon DAI Landmarks in the Approach

Mosaics Edit

Mosaic Pieces icon The Archdemon
Mosaic Pieces icon Freed Are Slaves:

  • In Coracavus, behind a locked door in the "Records Room".
  • In the Still Ruins, behind a locked door, to the right of the first hall.

Shards Edit

Quest icon DAI Shards in the Approach

Skyhold Customizations Edit

Creatures Edit

Enemies Edit

Crafting materials Edit

Herbs Edit

Amrita Vein icon Amrita VeinAmrita Vein
Tier 3 Rare Herb

Blood Lotus DAI Blood LotusBlood Lotus
Tier 1 Common Herb

Deathroot icon DeathrootDeathroot
Tier 2 Common Herb

Deep Mushroom icon Deep MushroomDeep Mushroom
Tier 2 Common Herb

Dragonthorn icon DragonthornDragonthorn
Tier 1 Rare Herb

Elfroot icon ElfrootElfroot
Tier 1 Common Herb

Ghouls Beard icon Ghoul's BeardGhoul's Beard
Tier 2 Rare Herb

Spindleweed DAI icon SpindleweedSpindleweed
Tier 1 Common Herb

Witherstalk icon WitherstalkWitherstalk
Tier 1 Rare Herb

Leather Edit

Canine Leather icon Canine LeatherCanine Leather

Fennec Fur icon Fennec FurFennec Fur

Phoenix Scales icon Phoenix ScalesPhoenix Scales

Quillback Leather icon Quillback LeatherQuillback Leather

Rough Hide icon Rough HideRough Hide

Metals Edit

Lazurite icon LazuriteLazurite

Paragons Luster icon Paragon's LusterParagon's Luster

Serpentstone icon SerpentstoneSerpentstone

Notable items Edit

Elven artifacts Edit

  • In the "Main Chamber" of the Still Ruins.
  • In the far western corner of the hidden Astrarium room.
  • In Griffon Wing Keep, near the main gate.

Logging stands Edit

  • North-east of "Lost Spring Canyon Camp"
  • East of "Craggy Ridge Camp", near "Valemont Pass" and "Lost Wash Creek". Walk up a little slope from the river.

Quarries Edit

  • "Shimmerstone Mine"
  • South-west of "Echoback Fort"
  • South-west of "Sand Rock Mine"

Veilfire glyphs Edit

Fire Rune Schematic Icon Fire Rune SchematicFire Rune Schematic
Rune Schematic
Adds fire damage to each weapon strike strike
- In the Astrarium cave.
Frost Rune Schematic Icon Frost Rune SchematicFrost Rune Schematic
Rune Schematic
Adds cold damage to each weapon strike
- In a small cave accessible from the center of "Echoback Fort".
Spirit rune schematic icon Spirit Rune SchematicSpirit Rune Schematic
Rune Schematic
Adds spirit damage to each weapon strike
- One in Coracavus and one in the Still Ruins.

Loot Edit

Aegis of the Order icon Aegis of the OrderAegis of the Order
Unique Shield
"The Templar Order protects the innocents who wield magic and who suffer at its hands. No one can truly command magic, so how can we blame those who cannot control it? We must watch without judging, harness their power when it benefits us, and contain it when it does not. Our calling is to be the shield between the unnatural and the folly of man."
—Knight-Commander Ilyas Berasa of Rivain, 8:61 Blessed

Requires: Level 6

Armor: 14
+2 Constitution
+30% Front Defense
+4% Magic Defense
+2% Ranged Defense
Heal 15% of damage taken over 10 seconds
- Looted from within the same cave as The Thing in the Dark landmark.
Cowl of the Overseer icon Cowl of the OverseerCowl of the Overseer
Unique Helmet
An "overseer" was a position common within the ancient Tevinter Imperium, given solely to mages of altus rank. They were sent to distant outposts, usually important mines and strategically important forts, and given authority to act on the Magisterium's behalf with impunity.
Requires: Level 8

Armor: 21
+7% Cold Resistance
+7% Fire Resistance
+4% Magic Defense
- Looted from Macrinus during Assault on Griffon Wing Keep quest.
Masterwork Vanguar Mail icon Griffon PlateGriffon Plate
Unique Heavy Armor
Requires: Level 5

Armor: 123-131
+3% Melee Defense
+2 Strength
+2 Willpower
- Acquired in the cave revealed from Astrariums in the Approach quest.
Unique amulet icon Kitty's CollarKitty's Collar
Unique Amulet
A narrow leather band embossed with a design popular in Honnleath some years ago. A tuft of orange fur is caught in the buckle. Spirits whisper across the Veil, but their voices are unclear. Briefly, they conjure the memory of a little girl.

-100% Damage Resistance (All)
Guardian Spirit: Block one melee attack every 30 Seconds
On Dying: 75% chance to heal for half health
Resist a lethal strike once every 60 seconds
- Looted from Macrinus during Assault on Griffon Wing Keep quest.
Cleansing rune schematic icon Master Cleansing Rune SchematicMaster Cleansing Rune Schematic
Rune Schematic
Inflicts bonus damage against red templars and darkspawn on each weapon strike.
- Looted from Lucanus.
DAI-unique-lightarmor-icon1 Masterwork Enchanter MailMasterwork Enchanter Mail
Unique Light Armor
Requires: Level 9

Armor: 126-133
+9% Fire Resistance
+3 Magic
+8% Magic Defense
+6 Willpower
+5% Extra Focus for each Enemy within 8 Meters
- Acquired in the cave revealed from unlocking Astrariums in the Approach.
Audacity icon Nameless BladeNameless Blade
Unique Dual-Blade Dagger
This knife was wielded by a Grey Warden who lived through the Third Blight. Once it was etched with the Warden's name, but time and use have rendered the inscription unreadable.
Requires: Level 12

Damage: 70–72 AoE
+12% Armor Penetration
+3 Strength
+5% extra damage for each enemy within 8 meters
- Looted from the Abyssal High Dragon.
Staff of the Void icon Pyre of the ForgottenPyre of the Forgotten
Unique Staff
The Forgotten Ones belong to the ancient Elven pantheon, but their names were lost after the Great Betrayal. Their worship continued in the shadows, despite efforts to stamp it out in the old Dalish kingdom. This staff belonged to a priest of those gods, specifically Daern'thal.
Requires: Level 18

Damage: 68–70 Fire
+14% Armor Penetration
+16% Attack
+14% Guard Damage Bonus
- Randomly sold by the Griffon Wing Keep Merchant for
21433 Currency (Inquisition).
Note: Requires The Short List Inquisition perk
DAI sack Sad SplintersSad Splinters

The sad remains of a once proud Keep door.
- Looted after destroying the keep gate during Assault on Griffon Wing Keep quest.
Unique amulet icon Superb Amulet of MagicSuperb Amulet of Magic
Unique Amulet

+10 Magic
- Randomly sold by the Griffon Wing Keep Merchant in the Western Approach for
14495 Currency (Inquisition).
Note: Requires The Short List Inquisition perk
Unique belt icon Superb Belt of Magic DefenseSuperb Belt of Magic Defense
Unique Belt

+10% Magic Defense
- Randomly sold by the Griffon Wing Keep Merchant in the Western Approach for
14495 Currency (Inquisition).
Note: Requires The Short List Inquisition perk
Unique ring icon Superb Ring of Armor PenetrationSuperb Ring of Armor Penetration
Unique Ring

+20% Armor Penetration
- Looted from the Abyssal High Dragon.
Unique ring icon Superb Ring of Critical DamageSuperb Ring of Critical Damage
Unique Ring

+20% Critical Damage Bonus
- Looted within a chest in the Coracavus Records Room behind a locked door.
Tempest staff icon TempestTempest
Unique Staff
The Lady of the Skies reigns over the sky and the dead, and the Avvar lay out bodies to her, to be buried in the air itself. The ice and snow are her gifts, defending her people from invaders, and her protective rage is merciless.
Requires: Level 12

Damage: 49–50 Cold
+10 Spirit Damage
+5% Critical Chance
+6% Heal on Kill
+9 Willpower
- Looted in the final room of the Still Ruins.

Codex entries Edit

Codex icon DAI Codex entry: Adamant Fortress
Codex icon DAI Codex entry: Constellation: Fenrir
Codex icon DAI Codex entry: Constellation: Satinalis
Codex icon DAI Codex entry: Constellation: Toth
Codex icon DAI Codex entry: Coracavus
Codex icon DAI Codex entry: The Creation of a Phylactery
Codex icon DAI Codex entry: The Gate Guardians
Codex icon DAI Codex entry: Magister Erimond
Codex icon DAI Codex entry: A Missing Slave
Codex icon DAI Codex entry: Old Chantry Trail Signs
Codex icon DAI Codex entry: Our Lady of the Anderfels
Codex icon DAI Codex entry: Professor Frederic of Serault
Codex icon DAI Codex entry: Responsible Blood Magic
Codex icon DAI Codex entry: Ritual Tower
Codex icon DAI Codex entry: The Secret Tongue of Slaves
Codex icon DAI Codex entry: The Still Ruins
Codex icon DAI Codex entry: Surviving the Western Approach
Codex icon DAI Codex entry: The Western Approach

Other texts Edit

Text ico Ancient List of Prisoners
Text ico A Blood-Spattered Note
Text ico Chantry Logbook
Text ico A Crumpled Note
Text ico Elegantly Written Letter
Text ico Faded Interrogation Notes
Text ico Griffon Wing Keep
Text ico Intercepted Venatori Message
Text ico Journal on Certain Experiments
Text ico A Letter Found on a Grey Warden Mage
Text ico Manifest
Text ico Note from a Templar
Text ico Note of Slight Jealousy
Text ico The Old Imperium
Text ico A Preserved Note
Text ico Research Notes
Text ico Venatori Orders
Text ico Venatori Plans
Text ico Written Note

Notes Edit

Gallery Edit

Trivia Edit

  • In several published maps of Thedas, The Abyssal Rift is erroneously labeled as "The Abyssal Reach". The former label is the correct one.[3]

References Edit

  1. Dragon Age logo - new Dragon Age: The World of Thedas, vol. 1, p. 182
  2. The Fortress of Adamant. Dragon Age.
  3. David Gaider (October 14, 2014). The Bittersweetest thing. Tumblr.

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