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Raiders on the Cliffs - Introduction
This is a fairly quick side quest that you can do at any time while you’re on the Wounded Coast. While you’re there, approach the lower side of the coast to get a quest trigger for “Raiders on the Cliff." To start the quest, run down and talk to Lieutenant Harley. Aveline naturally has a lot to say during the quest, and you can get easy friendship by helping her guards, or easy rivalry by refusing to let them help. If you plan to let them help, then you should be fine with whatever balanced party you have. If you're not feeling comfortable with it, just don't approach them until you're ready.
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Raiders on the Cliffs - Attacking the Raiders
You’ll get the big update and learn that the guardsmen are in a rough spot. They’re pinned down by a powerful blood mage and a lot of raiders. It’s time to break the stalemate, one way or another. You have a few choices here. You can choose to join the guards and attack, you can walk away if you don’t want to do it right now (although Aveline and the guards won’t be happy) or you can just lead the attack on your own and tell them to stay back.
It’s obviously much easier to do the fight with the guardsmen at your back. They’re fairly useful and they’re great for drawing attention away from you.
The battle itself is quite simple. There’s a large field ahead of you, with a number of traps along the sides. Try to stick to the center if you want to be safe. Fell Orden is the main threat in the first wave. Have at least half of your party focused on him, preferably your fighters, while someone else draws the general thugs away from the party. Orden can do a lot of damage, but he is still just a fragile blood mage. Just freeze him, stun him or hit him with hard attacks to bring him down.
The only other notable enemy is a tough thug that shows up. He has a lot of health, but that’s about it. If the city guards are still around, then it shouldn’t be hard to gang up on him and take him out quickly.
Loot the bodies and nearby chests once the fight is over. There should be an armor upgrade for Aveline lying around. Once that’s done, just swing back to the Viscount’s Keep and get your reward from the marked guardsman.
Although, as he notes, you’ll have a battle on your hands in the next act when the boss comes back for his revenge. You can deal with that later though.
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All screenshots from "Dragon Age 2"
All information from a "Hard" difficulty playthrough of "Dragon Age 2" unless otherwise noted.