When the Warden talks to her, she asks for money for her son. If money is handed over (5 ) or The Warden asks about her situation, she will explain that she fell in love and had a son with a casteless man. Because, in dwarven society, children inherit the caste of their same-sex parent, her child is casteless and her family has thrown her out unless she abandons the child in the Deep Roads. Her child's father abandoned her as he couldn't take Zerlinda's caste, while also Zerlinda's father, Ordel, expelled her from his house as he could not petition the Assembly for status of his casteless grandchild and it would bring a lot of embarassment to the rest of his family if he kept a casteless child inside his home. There are various options available:
- The Warden can convince her that she shouldn't leave Orzammar and help reconcile her with her family.
- She will ask why you are helping. Agreeing to help her will net (+2) from Wynne if she is in the party.
- To persuade her family to help, travel to Tapster's Tavern in the Orzammar Commons, where her father Ordel is usually located at evenings.
- Corra, the hostess of Tapster's, can also be asked if Ordel is inside and she will mention that he just returned from the mine so he isn't very chatty.
- The Warden can force him to change his mind about her using persuasion (requires Improved Coercion) or intimidation (requires Expert Coercion).
- Once he has agreed to welcome her back, return to Zerlinda and tell her the good news.
- If the Chant in the Deeps quest for Brother Burkel has been completed and there is now a chantry in Orzammar, you may:
- Tell her to go to the Orzammar chantry. She will ask the Warden to speak with the Brother as she doesn't know much about the chantry.
- Go to Brother Burkel. You may ask if he has a job for her, food and shelter for the boy, or you can ask if he will take the boy as a ward of the Chantry. He will happily agree to any of these requests.
- Return to Zerlinda with the good news. The next time she can be found praying inside Orzammar's chantry.
- The Warden can encourage Zerlinda to go to the surface. This nets (+1) from Wynne if she is in the party.
- A final option is to persuade Zerlinda to consign the child to the perils of the Deep Roads and go home (requires Improved Coercion).
After speaking with Zerlinda in Dust Town and either giving her 5 to feed her child or asking about why the child's father doesn't help, she will explain to you that although she is originally of the Miner caste, she is now Casteless and living on the streets after being kicked out of her family for not giving up her Casteless son.
This will prompt several solutions that the Warden can offer through certain dialogue options:
- You can offer to speak with Zerlinda's family to convince them to let them return. (Wynne (+2) )
- You can convince Zerlinda to move to the surface with her son. (Wynne (+1) )
- If the Warden has already helped establish an Orzammar Chantry with Brother Burkel, you may offer to go to him to ask him to take in the child which he will happily agree to. (It is worth considering the Orzammar Chantry's Epilogue if you wish to do this, see: The Chant in The Deeps)
- With high enough persuasion, you can persuade Zerlinda that her son will have a terrible life and to abandon her son in the Deep Roads. NOTE: This will avoid the quest altogether and you will thus give no experience or other reward.
- Completing the quest by finding a solution to her problem nets 200 experience.
- If the Warden chose to reconcile Zerlinda with her family, she promises that when her son becomes of age, he will become a knight in the Warden's service.
- If the Warden gives 5 to Zerlinda, no money will actually be taken from your inventory. Furthermore, the option to give Zerlinda the money is also available even if the Warden does not have 5 at that moment.