Dragon Age: Origins Walkthrough - The Landsmeet - Arl Howe's Castle
We're raiding Arl Howe's Castle and rescuing Queen Anora. This means some sneaking around dressed as guards, a full raid of the dungeon, and a chance to kill Arl Howe himself. The escape won't go as planned though thanks to Ser Cauthrien and you might end up in Fort Drakon if you can't beat her.
Once you've gathered up all of your allies and revived Arl Eamon, you can tell him to rally the allies and call for a Landsmeet to gain the loyalty of Fereldan. Note that this shouldn't cause any quests to end. You won't be locked into a crash course for the finale until you actually call for a vote.
Speaking of the vote, at the moment you've should only have one guaranteed vote. There is also one guaranteed vote against you. You don't necessarily have to worry to much about the vote though. Winning only means that you'll avoid a bit of a tough and pointless fight. It's not hard to gather votes though, so you might as well win.
To start with the Landsmeet, you should go ahead and travel over to the Gnawed Noble Tavern and talk to who you can. Make sure that you talk to Arl Wulffe in the corner. He's the one that's sulking and sitting by himself. He should mention that his territory was just overwhelmed by the darkspawn. Listening to the others gossip should reveal that he also lost his sons. Talking to him should confirm his vote for the Wardens and specifically ensure that the vote goes properly.
You can speak to the rest of nobles to at least make your introduction. Then head on back to Arl Howe. He should have a new mission for you to rescue Queen Anora. It seems that Howe has her trapped in his estate, so we're going to get her.
A Quiet Entrance
When you're ready to go, just pop out to the city map and go to his estate. You should meet your contact there. I believe you need to go to the right. The path on the left is the long way around and I ended up in a fight with a few guards. Regardless, you can kill a few guards out here and it doesn't seem to affect anything.
Once you make it to the marked service entrance, just talk to Erlina again to put on the uniforms. Note that you can fight if you really want to do it. I'll assume that we'll use discretion though. Walk through the palace and follow the fairly simple path right up to Anora's door. No one should really bother you or do much to stop you. There's a forcefield on the door though, so our rescue just got really complicated. Continue to follow the path down the hall to make it to the master bedroom and the entrance to the dungeon. Do not open the doors on the way there though. In the hallway with all of the rooms, there is a guard spending a little bit of time with one of the servants. He'll see through your disguise and raise the alarm. It won't cause you much trouble at this point, but it's completely pointless.
If you can, have your rogue pick the lock on the locked door on the way there. This should open up Howe's Treasure vault, which we obviously want to loot if we can. It's a tough lock to pick though, so don't worry if you can't do it. Keep an eye out for the Grey Warden Papers, which should be around here. Those papers will net us a special shield for Alistair from the Grey Warden Cache.
Advance and go into the dungeon. You should see Riordian, another Grey Warden, pull a bit of Captain Price on the guard. Go ahead and talk to our new friend and then head into the dungeon. You should change back into your regular armor automatically once you strike the first blow. You can do it manually if you want though.
Clearing the Dungeon
The guards will attack no matter what you say, so just start the fight. This first batch isn't too bad for a good combat group. There's not too much special here. Just use good crowd control and pick them apart. There are a few more groups of guards throughout the dungeon, but I really hesistate to write the same instructions six or seven times. You should know what to do by now. Have your tank buff the damage as best as he can while your mage disables the crowd. If you run into a mage in the dungeon, then disable them quickly and have someone rush them.
There are a few big landmarks here. The first is the large torture room on the left. There are a few unique enemies in here. The leader uses a large hammer while the rest of the torturers seem to have standard rogue abilities. Once you've cut through them, you can speak to the noble on the rack. Go ahead and free him to learn that he's an arl's missing son. Send him on his way to report back to his father. This will also start the “Tortured Noble" side quest, which we'll finish at the end.
Advance a bit further and you should reach a jail. Just kill the jailor and steal his key. There's a man called Rexel here who has lost his mind. You can choose to kill him if you just want to play a dark character. I suggest you free him. He's the missing person in the Missing in Action quest for the chantry.
An elf called Soris might also be here. He was connected to the City Elf Origin story. Go ahead and free him to get a little more popularity in the Alienage. He wasn't there in my playthrough though, so don't worry too much about it.
You should finally come around to the final room with Howe and his personal guard. The mages you need to kill are here too. Howe and his two guards are tough fighters, but the mages themselves don't seem to have too much bite to them. They are also grouped together well, so make sure you get a Cone of Cold in early.
Howe should be easy to distract while your warriors pick apart his guards. Your mage can probably handle the mages, but you can send the warrior to help out if you want. How should go down fairly easy as long as you can keep your party healed. Finish him off and loot his body.
We're not done yet though. Go to the back room of this dungeon to find a Templar who has lost his mind. You can speak to him and he'll hand you a ring and ask you to take it to his sister. This starts the “Lost Templar" quest and we'll finish that one up in a minute too.
A man called Vaughn should also be back here. He plays a pretty big part in the City Elf Origin story, and if you are a City Elf then he's probably dead already and just won't spawn. Otherwise, you can talk to him. He'll offer 40 sovereigns as a reward. If you want, you can use persuasion to get the key to the box and just leave him there. Setting him free earns you a vote though, even if he is scum. He'll vote for you even if you take the reward.
Once you've killed Howe, you can loot him for the key and get ready to leave. You can take the exit closest to him, but note that this puts you out in a hallway with ten guards. It's a fairly fun fight and you get the chance to use blizzard in a hallway. If you want, then you can just backtrack out. If you helped Vaughn, remember to go back to the master bedroom area and use the key on the marked box to get your money.
Go to Anora's door to rescue her and put her in a guard's uniform. Things can never be that easy though. Captain Sumner will be waiting by the door. She has a whole bunch of archers and she is a very good fighter. You probably won't win this one. It's possible, but unlikely. Plus the reward is questionable at best. All you get to do is skip a fairly fun and creative level and get access to her Summer Sword a little sooner than normal.
Losing the fight just means that you're captured. If Alistair is with you, then he'll be captured too. Note that Sten really won't like it if you surrender. There are actually no benefits I can see to surrendering, so you might as well give it a shot.
Your warden and possibly Alistair are locked away in Fort Drakon. You need to get out somehow. Note that I am not going to go over every possible escape. I could probably write for a month and not cover them all. It's a fun level and half the entertainment is playing around with your characters and seeing how they do.
You have the option to either escape yourself or wait for rescue. Choosing to escape for yourself means that you have to draw the guard over one way or another to get the key and unlock the door. You could also pick the lock. It's possible to just fight your way out, but that isn't very creative. You can pretend to be a new recruit and just follow the little deployment series to walk right out the front door.
Waiting for rescue means that you can pick two party members to try and break you out. Apparently they might not show if you don't have a good approval rating, but you should have a good relationship with your usual bunch.
There are a ton of combinations for this one, since just about everyone except Shale can give it a shot. They'll have varying levels of success according to their personality. I know one sure fire way to talk past the three sets of guards is to bring Morrigan and Leliana. They'll come in dressed as priests from the Chantry. Just let Leliana talk the whole time and laugh as Morrigan painfully tries to pray.
Regardless of who you pick, in the third room you can use one of the ballistae to shoot a bolt into a statue. The door guard will rush over to investigate and you can slip past.
After the third room, you will get confirmation from your party that the diplomacy part of the mission is done. Just make a beeline forward and then to the right. There should only be a few groups of guards. Just freeze them and let Leliana do some backstabs. Warriors shouldn't really have a problem here either, although an all rogue party may have it rough.
Once you get to the jail, just kill the jailor and the extra guard. Then set yourself free and reequip. You still have to leave and there might be a few guards near the entrance. Just backtrack and kill the entrance guards to walk right out.
We're not technically done yet. Let's guarantee the votes. Go over to the Tavern and talk to Bann Alfstanna. She's in the back corner of the main room. Just show her the ring and tell her that she needs to get her brother some help. This will secure our vote and get us a few coins.
Also go ahead and talk Bann Sighard. He'll thank you for saving his son. You can ask for a reward if you want more sovereigns. He should still give you the vote. You can just ask for his support to be a little altruistic though.
Go ahead and head back to talk to Arl Eamon. He'll catch you up on the latest developments. Queen Anora is willing to support the Wardens if you agree to let her stay on the throne. Even if you just want Alistair to rule, I suggest that you lie to her. A backstab has less consequences than losing her support at the Landsmeet. This is also the time when you need to bring up the idea of Alistair and Anora getting married. If you want to keep this open as an option, then you have to convince them to do it now.
You should also learn that the Elven Alienage is now open. This means that we can finally finish a few of our quests and gain another vote in the Landsmeet.
Dragon Age: Origins Walkthrough - The Landsmeet
The Landsmeet is our grand event. We need to help Arl Eamon gain the support of the nobles and unite the crown behind the Grey Wardens. We'll get to kill Arl Howe, free the Elven Alienage, and the finally fight against Loghain after the vote at the Landsmeet itself.
- Dragon Age: Origins Walkthrough - The Landsmeet - Arl Howe's Castle
- Dragon Age: Origins Walkthrough - The Landsmeet - Unrest in the Alienage
- Dragon Age: Origins Walkthrough - The Landsmeet - The Vote