Dragon Age Keep: the definitive guide to every choice

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Paragon of Her Kind

The outcome

Sent into the Deep Roads in search of a Paragon who can resolve the succession crisis in the dwarven capital of Orzammar, you discover an artifact called the Anvil of the Void that can be used to trap a living soul inside a stone golem. Its creator, the lost Paragon Caridin, implores you to help him destroy it. Alternatively, the Paragon smith Branka asks you to help her claim it. If you pick the latter, the Warden kills Caridin - and Shale, if she's in the party. Otherwise, Branka is killed. Branka's also Oghren's wife, so killing her and maintaining his approval could be tricky.

This is another choice between pragmatism in the face of the Blight - claiming the Anvil - and doing what is right. Set your moral compass accordingly.

Who rules in Orzammar?

You've got two choices. Bhelen is young and progressive but probably killed his dad and definitely tried to kill and disgrace you if your Warden is dwarven noble. The alternative is Harrowmont, an aging conservative who you may prefer because he's not, on balance, an asshole.

Dagna

This dwarf wants to leave to study magic at the Circle, even though dwarves can't be mages. You can opt to encourage her and support her against her disapproving father, or talk her out of it. If the Circle is destroyed, Dagna's decision is made for her.

Mardy and her son

Mardy is only encountered by dwarven noble Wardens during their origin story. If a male Warden chooses to sleep with her, she'll appear later in Orzammar with a son. You can either acknowledge the child as your own or refuse, depending once again on whether or not you are a dingdong.

Ruck's fate

Ruck is a young dwarf who goes missing in the Deep Roads. When you discover him he's been corrupted by eating darkspawn flesh. The Warden can leave him to it or kill him, and if the latter then you're given a range of options for determining exactly what his mother is told. This is an opportunity to be compassionate - or brutally honest.

The Legion of the Dead

On your travels in the Deep Roads it's possible to prove that the Legion of the Dead have a noble past. No big choice to be made, here: it's a question of doing it or not.

The Shaperate's tome

The Dwarven Shaperate are responsible for recording dwarven history. Discovering a lost tome in the Deep Roads, you can either hand it over to them or sell it for coin depending on how merecenary you're feeling.

Burkel and the Chantry

A rare Andrastian dwarf, Burkel, is trying to set up a Chantry in Orzammar. You can agree to help him and offer funding if you're feeling religious (or just feel like triggering some theological unrest), or you can refuse. Your Warden's background should influence which way you're inclined to go on this one.

Zerlinda and her baby

The father of Zerlinda's baby has abandoned her, having attempted to use her to move up in Dwarven society. Her father wants her to condemn the child to the Deep Roads. You can persuade her to do the former (you dick!), reconcile her with her father, or, if Burkel creates his Chantry, find a home for them there.

Rogek's lyrium deal

Criminal-minded (or mage-minded) Wardens may help a dwarf ship illicit supplies of lyrium to the Circle tower. There are bunch of factors complicating this, including the fate of the Circle itself, but it comes down to how much you want your Warden to take up the smuggling trade. One for the rogues.

Orta's noble connections

By discovering the right records in the Deep Roads you can help this dwarf attain status in Orzammar society. Another 'do it or not' deal.

Broken Circle

The outcome

Ultimately, you'll be asked to choose between the mages and Templars at the corrupt Fereldan circle tower. Do you trust imprisoned-for-their-own-good wizards to go it alone, or do you put your faith instead in their jackbooted jailors? This is one of Dragon Age's most multifaceted problems, which is why you'll be asked this question over and over again for the next two games.

In short: like magic, freedom, romance, danger, skirts? Go for the mages. Like cool helmets, security, authority, substance abuse and - for some reason - also skirts? Templars.

Cullen's request

People remember Cullen for his lovely hair and nice face, but few remember that the first real thing he asked you to do was to help him invoke the Rite of Annulment and purge every mage in the tower. If you side with the Templars, this is a choice you may have made. If you side with the mages, you obviously didn't, because 'Rite of Annulment' is a fancy way of saying 'stab every wizard'.

First Enchanter Irving

The First Enchanter can be killed if the Rite of Annulment is performed or if the Warden fails to use the Litany of Adralla to prevent him from turning into an abomination. If he survives he can help with Connor's situation in Redcliffe and shows up for the final battle.

Denerim

Outcome of Ser Landry's duel

In Denerim's marketplace the Warden is challenged to a duel by a misguided Ferelden noble. A diplomatic Warden might talk him out of it - the alternative is accepting the duel and killing him.

Bann Sighard and Oswyn

Oswyn is found in Howe's dungeons during the Landsmeet questline. Telling Sighard about him earns the Bann's support during the Landsmeet itself, but is otherwise a rather neutral decision.

Sister Justine's scroll

Another fetch quest. If you found this scroll in the Frostback Mountains and collected the reward, then tick this box.

Slim Couldry's crime wave

You're offered this quest if you can steal or use stealth, so non-rogues probably didn't do it. If you are a rogue, however, then criminal Wardens might consider pulling off a series of crimes around Denerim.

Unruly customers in The Pearl

You're asked to clear out a group of mercenaries from Denerim's brothel, The Pearl. The Warden can ignore the request or clear them out - with or without violence.

The Crimson Oars

If you remove the previous group of mercenaries non-violently then you'll encounter this lot. No choice to make, here, really: did you kill some dudes, or did you not kill some dudes?

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Alfstanna and Irminric

Alfstanna is another noble whose support you can win by reporting Arl Howe's crimes. In this case, a dying Templar gives you a ring to return to his sister. You don't have to, though, if you don't care.

The beggar and her amulet

In a later quest you help clear out a run-down house haunted by shades. Inside you acquire an amulet, which you may return to its owner - or not - at your discretion.

Master Ignacio

While a stalwart Warden might refuse to work for the Antivan Crows entirely - perhaps even killing Master Ignacio when he invites them to do so - this quest line isn't quite as chaotic evil as it first appears. The majority of the assassination targets are people who, one way or another, strengthen Loghain's cause. For this reason it's an option for pragmatic Wardens as well as those given to murder for murder's sake.

Alistair and his sister

Alistair will ask you to find his sister in Denerim. You can refuse, and if you help then you'll find that she's not exactly happy to see him. While your response doesn't affect this particular decision - you still helped him find her - it does have a bearing on the type of person Alistair becomes. If your Landsmeet decisions require him to be 'hardened', then this is where it happened.

Leliana and Marjolaine

Leliana asks you to track down her traitorous mentor. On discovering her, Leliana will be inclined to have her killed - but you do have the option to talk her out of it, if you're going for a whiter-than-white playthrough. Alternatively, you can refuse to help at all.

Next page: The Landsmeet, the Battle of Denerim, Awakening and the DLC

Chris is the editor of PC Gamer Pro. After many years spent turning beautiful trees into magazines, he now oversees our online coverage of competitive gaming and esports.