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Blackpowder Courtesy - Introduction
You’ll officially get this one after the start of the second act, while you’re talking to the Viscount. Agree to meet the Qunari, and then head on down to the compound. You can go right in and talk to the Arishok to learn about the latest antics with their blackpowder. It seems that Javaris was up to something while we were away. I suggest bring your standard combat team for this one. A balanced party should be fine.
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Blackpowder Courtesy - Chasing Javaris
Walk out and down to Darktown and look for the marked caller. She’ll give away Javaris’ hiding place. It’s just an escape route at the back of Darktown. Gather your party and go inside to chase after him.
You’ll run into a few groups of Carta thugs in the first room. There should be about 3 waves, so just keep fighting and you’ll be fine. These guys shouldn’t give you any trouble. The next encounter is also literally the same, so just rinse and repeat your usual tactics.
The third group is a basically one big spread out group of mercenary archers and Carta thugs. Rush the archers while something grinds down the thugs. The only really notable thing is that one of the chests by the exit to the Wilderness has a “Ship in a Bottle" in it. This is a gift for Isabela, so grab it.
You can check the side route and kill some more mercenaries and thugs, but the main path is up the steps to the wilderness.
Go out and engage the mercenaries protecting Javaris. There will be two waves of them, so save your strength. The difficulty ramps up a bit, so be ready. The biggest problem will be the assassin. Keep your health high so that a backstab won’t be too bad, and have a tank try to draw away some of the scrubs while another wipes out the archers. Make sure that your mages are moved up a bit. The second wave spawns right at the entrance and can easily trap any mages that hang back.
If you can keep your mages alive, then it’s fairly manageable. Once the last one dies, talk to Javaris to learn about our little mistake. Seems like we have someone else to go after now.
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Blackpowder Courtesy - Handling the Poison
A new location will appear in Kirkwall. Go to “Side Alley" and be ready for a big fight. I suggest that you bring Aveline as your tank, and buy a few more health potions. Things can get really rough really fast. I also suggest that you stick to tougher warriors, or at least be ready to very carefully watch your weaker people. Bring several injury kits too.
The problem is that the Side Alley is covered in a nasty layer of poison. This means that you’ll have two enemies throughout the fight. Go to the Side Alley and talk to the guard to gain access. Once you’re inside, you need to pick up the steel latch and use it on the marked barrel in front of you. This will trigger the first battle.
The poison didn’t seem to be a huge problem for me, because I kept Isabela well healed and Anders was away from the fighting and only suffered the slow bleed from the poison. If you stick to less polluted areas, or set up a little funnel on the steps, you can negate most of the poison damage. I found it easier to just kill the groups quickly though. That said, Regroup makes this a lot less frustrating, so think about adding it onto Anders at some point.
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Blackpowder Courtesy - Sealing the Barrels
The first fight has a mercenary commander and a number of average guards. Have your tank tie up the commander and a few guards while your mage and fighters dish out a lot of damage to the grunts on the ground. Once the area is a bit more clear, gang up on the commander and bring him down. His only real ability is strengthening the other mercenaries, so he’s helpless once they’re dead.
Pick up the steel latch that one of the dead mercenaries dropped (if you don’t see it, look for the marker on the minimap), and pick another barrel. Try to pick one that will clear up a useful fighting area. Also, take a moment and let your party heal. This counts as a break, so you can use injury kits and let your natural healing take care of things.
Sealing the barrel starts the second fight. I personally found this a whole lot easier, just because there’s no commander. This wave is lead by a mercenary assassin, who is just a minor thorn. The grunts won’t have any buffs, so tear them apart with one fighter while the mage and another fighter gangs up on the assassin to bring them down. Once the assassin is dead, it’s a simple clean up. Grab the latch, heal and then seal another barrel for the third wave.
This is basically just a repeat of the first wave. Take out the grunts over the commander’s buffs, and then gang up on the commander to clear him out. Grab the last latch and seal the remaining barrel in the alley. There should be a woman “guarding" it, but if this is the last one the cutscene should just make her disappear.
The final wave is the main boss, merely called The Fanatic. She’s a two-handed weapon user with a fair bit of health and a few stronger grunts, but the actual numbers seem to be less. You also shouldn’t have the poison to deal with, so it’s much easier. If you can get her to stay on your tank, then your fighters can easily remove her support and take the rest out. She can dish out a ton of damage though, and her men aren’t scrubs. Be careful and keep your rogue and mage moving and safe.
Once she’s dead, you can loot the bodies and leave. Report what happened to the Arisho kand the Viscount to get your reward.
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All references and screenshots from "Dragon Age 2."
All information based on a "hard" difficulty playthrough unless otherwise noted.