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Prime Suspect - Introduction
This quest will be one of the earliest quests that you can pick up, since Aveline will give it to you as soon as you go to your home for the first time. You need to figure out what’s going on with the murders of the young women and help Ser Emeric conclude his investigation. For starters, I suggest taking Aveline along with you for the quest. She’s got a lot of commentary, and it’s nice to get the full picture. You'll need a tank for the big fight too.
Note that there are several separate battles, so you’ll have a chance to respec if you wish.
Start by going to the Gallows and talking to Emeric. He’ll explain the issue, and send you back to the mansion for a bit of a night raid.
Walk over to Hightown and go to the marked mansion to slip in and receive your big welcome.
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Prime Suspect - Gascard DePuis' Mansion
There are a lot of shades with varying health, and a rage demon. You need to get control of the battlefield quickly. Use a large AOE attack to clear out some of the shades and make it easier to take on the rage demon. It’s a basic grind once you can get a little breathing room. The rage demon is strong, but it doesn’t have much in the way of special attacks. If you’ve got a few potions or a good healing spell, then you’ll be fine.
Once the area is clear, move up and start exploring the rooms a bit. You should just run into a group of four shades as the only other enemy. If you made it through the first group, you shouldn’t have any trouble with them though.
The main bedroom has a chest with woman’s clothes. You can inspect it quickly if you want. The main path is off to the side though, where you’ll find Gascard dePuis and his hostage. Things are a little complicated though. If you talk to him, he’ll explain that he’s just setting up a trap for the real killer.
If you talk to him for a bit, the woman will run off and escape on her own. The real choice is whether you’ll let him go or not. I’ll just cut through this quickly and say that he’s telling the truth, in a way, at least. Even Aveline partially believes him, so this isn’t too surprising.
The friendship/rivalry aspect seems to just come up as preventing a negative. You’ll suffer a bit for letting him live, but it’s not a huge deal. Aveline, Isabela, Fenris and Merrill will not be happy with you if you let him go, although it seems to vary a bit depending on whether they like you already and to what degree you question him. The hits aren't big though. Just 5 or 10.
On the practical side, killing him now cuts off some options in the follow-up quest. It doesn’t necessarily make it more difficult, but it makes it more narrow. Note that if you change your mind, you can frame him as the killer anyway in another moment.
If you want to kill him, then you can do so. You can also let him go. It’s your choice.
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Prime Suspect - Ser Emeric
After you make your decision, go back to update Ser Emeric, only to find that he’s already left...in response to a letter from you. That’s not good. Go to the new “blind alley" in Kirkwall at night, and you’ll find that Emeric is already dead. There will be a lot of tough shades (I counted 3 waves), along with a desire demon that should show up in the second wave. This isn’t an easy fight, but you should be able to get your mages out of harms way quickly. Then, it’s just a matter of engaging the shades with a tank and having a fighter clear the field a bit. The desire demon isn’t a terrible enemy, but you will still need to take her down quickly with a rogue or fighter. It’s not easy, but there’s no real trick to it.
Once the battle is over, Moira will show up. If you killed Gascard, then she'll point out that he’s obviously not the real murderer. If you didn’t kill Gascard, then you have the option to say that you think Gascard is the real killer. He should be captured and executed later. If you say that he’s not the real fish, then they’ll continue Emeric’s investigation, agreeing that it’s much bigger than they thought.
We’re not done with this yet though. This quest will hit home soon.
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All screenshots and references from "Dragon Age 2."
All information based on a "hard" difficulty playthrough, unless otherwise noted.