Dragon Age: Origins Walkthrough - Orzammar - Anvil of the Void
We have finally found Branka. She's at the Anvil of the Void and there are still a few traps we need to take care of before we can enter. We'll also have to decide whether to support Branka or Caridin for the final fight. If you need help with the end of the quest, then look here.
As you head into the Anvil of the Void, the game will stop you and make you pick a new party. Oghren has to go with you no matter what. So I suggest that you swap him out for a warrior and hang on to your mage and rogue. We've got a little bit of fighting to do. Make sure that you're ready though. We'll be locked inside the Anvil of the Void until we finish everything up.
Advance a bit further until you start hitting the piles of corpses. This little battlefield is our first test. There are a ton of darkspawn ahead and we will need to clear our path. The first wave isn't too bad. You just have to hang back with your squad and let them come to you. There isn't much in the first wave, so just hang on. The second wave is a fair bit tougher with an emissary. It is pretty easy if you fire up blizzard on the tunnel. Otherwise, you can just use standard crowd control and grind through them again. Push forward and into the tunnel. There's more darkspawn in here, so we'll just have to keep rolling. Take breaks in between groups and don't be afraid to use a little baiting to break up the groups.
Once we've cut a bloody swathe through the tunnel, we'll find our way into the next room. This place is filled up with a poison gas and has four golems in the center. They will spawn one at a time as you kill them. I suggest you have your group target the golems and then have one person flip the four levers in the room. You can use TAB to find them. This will shut off the gas and stop the health drain. This makes the fight a lot easier. Taking on one golem at a time isn't too hard, except they'll probably each do quake as they wake up. This gets a little annoying. Backstabs and magic work fine though.
The next room just has two standard traps on the floor. There are also two pairs of golems that will spawn as you cross the middle of the room. If you stop to fight the first pair, then you won't needlessly trigger the second.
The Column Puzzle
The fourth and final test is the first real puzzle. There is an odd column that is emitting four spirits onto several spirit anvils. This is really more of a puzzle than a battle, if you do it right. The spirits should only attack you if you attack them. So for now, you can just work your way around the circle killing the spirits. When you kill one, it will power up the spirit anvil. You might only be able to kill one in each turn of the column. It's not a big deal. Just keep going.
The one important thing to note is that AI is a little odd here. The party seems to want to attack the column itself, but they can't. So they just stand at the center. You'll need to keep ordering them around throughout the fight. Once all four are lit up, we get to do something cool. Pause the game, and then order each of your party to touch one of the four anvils. This will simultaneously hit all four sides of the device. The benefit to do it this way is that we won't risk getting off beat. It's just simpler this way. Note that the forgotten spirits will probably attack all together. Stick together and wait a moment until they get sucked back into the device.
We now have to deal with enraged spirits. These guys are a little more dangerous and we're going to go ahead and mix up our style. Hitting it now will completely knock out the side, which means no more spraying attack. Just pick a side and gang up on the spirit to reactivate the anvil. Fire it quickly and just wait. Unless you killed this one quickly, you probably wouldn't be able to take the next out in time. Catch it on the next rotation. Keep this going until you hit the fourth side and shut it all down.
This should finish it up. The door on the other side of the cavern should open. Save and then head out. We get to make our really big decision.
You'll find the paragon Caridin here and you can learn the truth behind the golems and the anvil. Branka will rush in and we'll get to make our decision. None of this should shock you. Amoral characters will be mad if you cheaply destroy such a source of power. The good characters won't be too happy with the whole enslavement side of it. Neither one is too bad. I only lost ten points with Leliana, which was just two quick gifts I still had lying around. If you're going good and have Morrigan with you, then you have the chance to use persuasion on her when she challenges your choice. By asking/threatening to turn her into a golem, you can humanize the logic a bit and get her to back down. You'll then only lose one point. Oghren will understand, but he still won't be happy if you attack his wife. You'll lose ten points, but you can get seven back at the end quite easily. The most important one is if you brought Shale along for this one (I haven't gotten her yet according to the guide, but I'm sure some of you have her.) She will quite naturally want the anvil destroyed. If you bring her with and side with Branka, she will rebel and fight alongside Caridin. You should be able to side step the issue if you leave her at camp or haven't gotten her yet.
The decision itself is actually pretty simple though on a material level. It's a little easier to kill Branka than Caridin, but it's basically the same fight. The only difference on the reward side is that if you keep the anvil intact you can have golems in your army. If you destroy it, you'll only have dwarves.
Note that there are many lyrium veins around that will heal you if touch them.
If you side with Caridin, then Branka will pull out a control rod and take over a few golems as the fight starts. Caridin has to apparently crouch and concentrate to maintain control of his. Caridin's golems are yellow ranked and should be able to defeat Branka. You should try to help them quickly kill her golems. Just have a warrior lend a hand or have your rogue do some backstabs.
If you still have some golems on your side, then killing Branka is easy. You can just help them surround her and get in some damage. She should fall pretty quickly.
Siding with Branka is a bit tougher. I found the battle much easier if I was able to keep Branka's weaker golems alive. This meant taking out Caridin's golems quickly at the start while Morrigan stopped Caridin and his two close guards with cone of cold. That's your best weapon against this larger group of golems. They freeze easily and it gives your mage a moment to breathe.
If you have a few golems around to serve as a distraction, then you're in decent shape. Caridin is tough and he can do a special electrical area of effect spell. You should be able to outlast it with some good old fashioned potion chugging and healing. It's much easier if your rogue stays alive, but we can manage without. I pulled it off with just a tank and a mage. Once Caridin dies, you're free.
Loot the body of the loser for a unique necklace and shield. Then talk to whoever you sided with. It is actually possible to convince Branka to destroy the anvil and sacrifice herself. I really have no idea why you would pick this path though, especially since there are no benefits.
If you side with Branka, just go ahead and look at the anvil and loot the chest. There is a silver bar you can give to Zevran in here, along with some Golem records if you have Shale with you. Just get your crown and then get ready to leave.
Caridin will shut down quickly and you'll automatically destroy the anvil. Tell him that it should be Oghren's place to ask for a reward. He'll ask if Branka could be made into a golem. Caridin will say no, but Oghren will understand. You'll get seven approval points for this and end up in the same spot as you would anyway.
With the paragon crown in hand, just talk to Oghren. He can take you through a shortcut to go out of the deep roads. Unless you just really want to walk back to the start, you should take him up on this offer. Go to Orzammar and you'll go to the Assembly Council.
Once you get there, you can make your choice. It all comes down to your vote.
If you pick Bhelen, then this is it. Enjoy the cutscenes and talk to him in the throne room to confirm his commitment to the fight.
If you pick Harrowmont, then Bhelen will refuse to step down. His followers will attack and try to kill Harrowmont. This isn't a hard fight and it is actually pretty awesome, since there are at least a dozen from each side. Jump into the fray and use something like mind blast to help your allies kill the guards. Focus on Bhelen and he'll fall fairly fast. Talk to Harrowmont to confirm his commitment.
Kardol will be waiting outside the palace no matter what. With enough persuasion, you can convince him to send support along with the dwarves. It's nice to have these guys around for the final fight.