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The Lost Patrol - Introduction
I assume that most people will pick this quest up when they run into it as they first approach the Qunari compound in Act 2. If you talk to the guard outside, he'll ask if you took out one of their patrols on the Wounded Coast.
You can agree to help them find their lost men, which is a good idea. It's a lot of money and a good sword from one simple battle against a couple of generic enemies.
For this fight, I suggest that you take a mixed combat party. A tank and a mage are probably good enough to carry the party. You just need some crowd control to take out a few basic enemies. Your trip to the spot, and the raiders lining the path, may be bigger dangers than the actual encounter.
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The Lost Patrol - Finding the Qunari
You can find the Lost Patrol without a whole lot of work. The patrol died somewhere along the lower road of the Wounded Coast. If you just follow the main road deeper into the territory, you should find the spot quickly.
As I mentioned above, there are groups of random enemies, mostly raiders, along the main road. Keep an eye out and be ready to take them down if you encounter them. A balanced party shouldn't have much trouble, unless they catch you off guard or after a fight.
The actual quest is simple though. Once you find the patrol, you'll note that they were probably killed by the abomination and shades still hovering over their bodies. Probably the easiest detective work we'll do in the entire game. Engage the abomination and the shades accompanying it. Note that there are not very many grunts, just several stronger shades.
Have a tank get into the center and draw their fire so that your mage can unleash some good crowd control spells, like Cone of Cold and Firestorm, to start weakening them. A fighter and a rogue can also jump in and start picking them off around the edges. Once you take out a few shades, you can help your tank kill the abomination and end the battle quite quickly.
Loot the bodies and then backtrack to the Kirkwall Docks. You can report the death of the patrol to the guard on duty to officially complete it. If you do this fairly early, then the sword, Binky's Comfort, will probably be a good addition. Otherwise, you've got a little more vendor trash to unload.
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All references and screenshots from "Dragon Age 2."
All information is based on a "hard" difficulty playthrough unless otherwise noted.