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Loose Ends - Introduction
Loose Ends is the next step for members of Meeran's mercenaries, but you'll need to decide how you actually want to handle the "sensitive" request. The fight is actually quite hard, and your ranged fighters will need to have a good guard on hand to protect them from the archers that love to spawn in and ambush them.
There's only one fight, so if you can do it you'll be fine.
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Loose Ends - The Battle
The quest will take part on the Docks during the day. You can walk over to the marked spot to find a bunch of mercenary guards beating up Meeran's lost man. Approach and engage for a surprisingly difficult fight.
The real problem is that crowd control is very difficult. The guards aren't pushovers and the rest aren't weak either. Worse, a fairly large group of archers will spawn near the top of the steps after the fight has started. This means that mages will be quite exposed. You'll need to keep one fast fighter at the top of the steps to engage the second wave and quickly kill the archers. Otherwise, they'll harass your ranged fighters and take them out.
The guards can be handled alright by a tank grinding it out at the start. Aveline can usually tie them up alright, although I found it quite useful to bring a second fighter and keep them well equipped with potions while Isabela ran around stabbing people. The good news is that there's plenty of room to run if you need to get away from them for a second or two to let the cooldown time run out.
If you can manage to thin out the second wave at the top of the steps, you can probably finish the fight easily. Once the archers are out of the equation, it's a simple grind. Send a damage dealer in to handle the guards while another fighter keeps them tied up. An Isabela and Two-Hand weapon user (like Fenris or potentially you) pair can work wonders to tear up the average guards and leave the leader without support.
Once the fight is over, you can talk to the wounded man and help him back up if you want. The problem arises with the noble. He claims that they wish to kill him because he pushed for aid for Fereldan. If you want to spare him, you can, although Meeran will not be happy (unless you lie, and even then it's not great). The choice is really up to you though. Note that choosing to actually kill the noble will please no one, and disappoint most of your party (Aveline, Varric and Carver). Isabela and Varric like it if you lie. Aveline and Carver like it if you tell him the truth.
Either way, go back to Lowtown at night to report the results and clear up the line.
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All screenshots and references come from "Dragon Age 2."
This information is based on a "hard" difficulty 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.