Dragon Age: Awakening Walkthrough - The Wending Woods - The Righteous Path
If you want to secure the Pilgrim's Path for some lucrative trade in the region, then you really need to kill all of the evil stuff in the Wending Woods. There are scavengers, darkspawn and a lot of evil sylvans who want to stop us. If you need any help finding your way, then look here.
The Ruined Caravan
We need to clear out a path first so that we can enter the actual Wending Woods off of Pilgram's Path. There's a burning caravan in the road. This also has all of the fine silks that you are supposed to be looking for in the "The Merchant's Goods" quest. The bandits and scavengers also have some on them. There are also some engraved statues that have the inscriptions that you need for the Maferath's Monuments quest. Inspect the caravan and then attack the group of bandits and scavengers. They're just average warriors. Kill the leader and grind through the rest. Move on up to their camp and take out a few more. There should be a few bandits fighting a charred sylvan. These are the same living trees we fought back in the Dalish campaign. They actually go down pretty quick if you have some decent weapons. A rogue can also backtstab them. The good news is that they are also hostile to the bandits, so you can choose to let the two sides fight for a minute and just kill the survivor.
Advance up to the next group with more sylvans and a few more bandits. Just keep up the fight. You can just keep moving across a fairly wide stretch of land. I hate to be lazy, but this basically just repeats. For those doing side quests as they go, there are four statues on this side of the little river and all nine of the fine silks. Several are in the crates to the right of the bridge. There are some more sylvans here and some smaller groups of bandits. There isn't really anything around here that will crush you. The only big surprise is that the camp on the far right side has tripwires and traps set up, although the actual bandits at the camp aren't that strong.
When you're ready, cross the bridge.
Some Darkspawn Campers
Crossing the bridge will trigger a meeting with the female elf that's been attacking the caravans. You can say anything and she should let you past. Continue up the path and make it up to the top. There are little bandit groups along the way, so just stop and kill them. Once you make it to the top, you just have to kill a few sylvans and bandits. When you're done, go ahead down to the right and curve down to the darkspawn camp.
This is actually a tough fight. The emissary is near the front though, so you can rush and kill him quickly. If you can keep Anders around to protect your warriors, then you'll be fine with a simple grind style. Clear the camp and loot the area. Continue moving forward. You'll find some more sylvans along the route and also find two stone statues. That's another side quest though (Brothers in Stone). Keep going and you can make it to a large runestone puzzle. That's another side quest (Wending Woods Runestones). You can just keep going until you get to the dead end. Ines the Botantist is here if you are doing Wynne's side quest. Before you reach her, you'll find The Old One. This large sylvan is all by himself, so you can just kill him with a standard surround and pound strategy. He's actually not much more trouble than a normal one. Check his body for the Heartwood. This is a neat little thing you can hand off to Wade for some armor or a shield.
Once you've cleared out the side quests and looked at the engraved statues, backtrack out to the little split where you originally turned right. You can now shoot down the middle path to kill some more sylvans and advance the quest.
The Search for the Militia
The other section of the forest is the important one. If you were paying attention to the letters from the scavengers, then you'll know that there is already a group of soldiers who came out to deliver a warning to the elf. The last survivor is out here near the back. We just need to clear a path to him. The last two statues are here too, so look for them.
Keep moving deeper into this branch. There isn't much unique about the area. You'll run into a few blight wolves and sylvans, but that's about it. Your goal is to get to the wounded militia survivor at the lean-to camp. Talk to him and he'll explain everything. The elven mage is doing this because the darkspawn tricked her into waging war. No matter what happens, you'll end up letting the survivor succumb to the infection or do a mercy kill. A group of darkspawn will arrive as this happens though. There is one emissary that you need to charge immediately. The others are just standard hurlocks and one alpha. Once the emissary is down they should pose no threat. Make sure you grab the elven trinket off of his body.
Move back out to the main road. The elf will stop you again and summon up two lieutenant class sylvans. She will also call up a wolf pack to attack you. The sylvans aren't too tough, but you really need to kill them before the wolves make it to you. Use some magic to freeze them up and take them out quick. You can just wipe out the wolves by holding your ground.
Move up the road and into the abandoned Dalish camp. The elf will stop you again. It seems that the elf, Velanna, should be fairly easy to convince, especially if you have the trinket. You can tell her that the darkspawn have Seranni and that they probably have pretty dark plans for her. You can offer to help her, but note that Justice believes that she should be punished for her crimes. Therefore being nice costs you three approval points from him. Anders likes the idea of adding her though, so you'll gain three with him. Don't worry about Justice. You can get at least three points back by looking at the dead elf in camp and talking to him about the human-dalish relationship problems. There is also a gift for him, Elven Prayers for the Dead, in the crate. Search the camp and then head down the path to the Silverite Mine. This was locked the whole time before. If you're working with her then you'll need to send someone back to camp. It's your call, but I sent back Anders since I didn't need two mages. That was actually a bit of a mistake, since having two mages wouldn't have been terrible, especially since Velanna's build seems fairly useless. Warriors were equally valuable though.
As you approach it, an ogre and an emissary will attack along with a genlock. Surround the ogre and try to bring him down quickly. Then just rush the mage and kill the genlock. Walk into the mine.