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Blackpowder Promise - Introduction
You can make a useful friend with Javaris if you're willing to help him secure a gunpowder recipe from the Qunari.
The actual mission is fairly easy, except for the final battle which is a complete nightmare unknown to many. You'll need a versatile team, but note that most of the rebels are actually going to be ranged fighters with throwing spears. This means that ranged fighters will be very vulnerable. I would consider bringing a warrior heavy unique to deal with the threat better. It's also a fairly long mission, with about 6 battles, so bring the appropriate amount of potions.
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Blackpowser Promise - Finding the Tal-Voshoth
You can get this after doing a bit of the main quest. Varric’s rumors will update with the whereabouts of Javaris after a little time. You can find him surrounded by giant spiders shortly after the entrance to the Wounded Coast.
Kill the spiders and agree to help him hunt the Tal-Voshoth. If you say you’re doing it to hunt outlaws, you’ll get 5 friendship points with Aveline. Isabela prefers a mercenary attitude, which Aveline naturally despises. Walk over to the Wounded Coast, and follow the low road until it curves up. You’ll know that you’re there, because one Qunari will warn you about the rest of the camp.
Move up and engage the first group of four. It’s not too hard, so just get used to the combat.
The second group will be about twice as large with a few reinforcements. Use your fighters to keep the ranged spear throwers engaged and keep them off of your mages.
The third group starts off with just two, but reinforcements will pour in from the sides until it’s about 8. The area’s tight, so area of effect attacks and spells wear them down very quickly. Once the path is clear, loot the area and then go into the cavern.
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Blackpowder Promise - The Cavern
The doors are just stone slabs. You can break them down to open up the new areas, and reach a second area. You’ll hit a new group of Tal-Voshoth, but they should be fairly weak. The area’s also tight, so it won’t be any harder than the ones outside.
Just keep moving. There’s a silverite sample on the left side of the path before the next encounter. When you find the next group of Qunari, you’ll notice that they have an officier with them. You’ll need to grind down the men quickly, and then focus on the officer. Just use your usual tactics to tank the officer and then knock out the others.
There’s just one more group left. You’ll find a Qunari leader in the next one, along with a ton of Tal-Voshoth. This one is a little hard. The leader isn’t actually that tough. Merill actually managed to solo him for about ⅓ of his health on hard, for a quick example. The problem is what happens as you cut through the grunts on the floor. In the third wave, a qunari mage (Saarebas) will spawn. This mage will teleport all over the room, and use a devastating lightning spell that can easily take out your entire team. If you see the ball of lightning form, you’ll have a few seconds to pause and get everyone clear. Otherwise, be ready for a lot of healing.
The leader won’t go down easy either, and the third waves are fairly rough too. Just hang in there.
I actually had to decrease the difficulty to normal to survive (without pulling my hair out). That actually makes it pretty easy, because the mages spells are weakened and it seems much easier to take him out. If you’re having trouble and don’t have a good damage dealer (I hadn't found Isabela yet), just temporarily decrease the difficulty.
Once the leader is dead, you can loot his body for the formula for combustible grenades. Loot the dead, then use the back door to reach the rear exit and leave the area.
You can now go to the Docks and gain access to the Qunari compound by stating your business with Javaris and the Arishok. Negotiations will not go well, so just talk to them for a bit to get your background information, and then beat a hasty retreat. If you press the issue of "future profits", you'll get an extra coin from Javaris.
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All screenshots and references from "Dragon Age 2."
This information is based off of a "hard" playthrough, unless otherwise noted.
There are several different side quests that one can do in Act 1 of Dragon Age 2. If you'd like more information on how to complete Sharp Little Pinpricks, Herbalist's Tasks, Last of His Line, Blackpowder Promise and The First Sacrifice, just look here and read these quick tips.