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Bait and Switch - Introduction
This mission comes from a simple letter from your last employer (it doesn't matter who you picked, you get it with both). We need to meet up with a contact and take up what should be a simple mission. In reality, there's going to be a lot of fighting and some abominations in our path.
I suggest sticking to fighters and damage dealers at the start, since it seems like sheer killing ability is more useful. Don't bring Aveline to meet Anso either, as she will inherently hate the mission. You'll have a chance to trade out your party a few times, so just adjust as you if you find that things aren't working well for you.
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Bait and Switch - The Bait
If the area is clear, talk to Anso to learn about his problem. He needs you to retrieve some lyrium from a few smugglers. This sounds pretty simple. Walk over to their headquarters in the elven alienage and go inside. The smugglers are just some basic thugs, so grind it out and then check the chest to see that it’s actually empty.
When you head outside, you’ll run into a bit of a surprise. It seems that this setup went much further than expected. There’s a lot of Tevinter hunters outside, along with a mage. Nothing too fancy about this, although all the hunters are fairly tough. Just let one tank/fighter settle in and have another try to pin down the mage. There’s a lot of them, but if you have Isabela or another rogue/damage dealer, it’s fairly easy to take out individual guards with a few stabs.
At the end, Fenris will come out and explain what happened. It seems like we have a new party member. We’re not done yet though. We need to take out the magister who ordered the attack. This means going up to Hightown and raiding the mansion.
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Bait and Switch - The Switch
You’ll have to add Fenris to your party, so adjust accordingly. A rogue or a strong mage should be good, along with a healer. You'll be fighting abominations, so there's no magic bullet. Go inside, to trigger a flame trap and a bunch of shades. Most of the shades don’t have much health, so just try to tear through them.
As a general rule the shades don’t have much strength, beyond a basic attack. If you can keep them on Fenris or any other tank or fighter, you’ll be fine.
When you make it to the main room, you’ll want to disable the trap and then attack the shades around the room. A rage demon should pop up too, so have someone draw its attention while another grinds down the shades. It may not be easy, but it’s fairly simple in concept.
The door to the main bedroom is locked. You can loot the side rooms if you want, but for now you’ll have to go off into the other wing and fight a few more groups of shades. The goal is the brewery/win cellar in back. You should be able to loot the key off of one of the dead abominations. It's basically just more of the same. If you've been fine so far, you'll be fine for this.
Run back to the main bedroom and use the key to gain access, unfortunately the room is empty. Finish off one last set of abominations and an arcane horror that spawns behind you, using roughly the same tactics as before (tie up the mage with someone and have a fast fighter rip through the rest, and then talk to Fenris. If you brought mages, he'll probably complain. Defending the mages will net you five rivalry points, which is probably fine unless you just really like moody and angsty companions. You can loot the chests for some decent items to sell and add Fenris to your party. You can also talk to him here just a bit later for a few points toward friendship.
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All screenshots and references from "Dragon Age 2."
Unless otherwise noted, all information comes from a "hard" difficulty playthrough.