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In Act 1 of Dragon Age 2, Merrill will be part of a main plot quest called A Long Way Home. You and your companions must deliver Flemeth’s amulet to the Keeper in Sundermount. Travel to Sundermount and speak to the Keeper. To help you fulfill your quest, you will see Merrill who up the path nearby.
When you first meet Merrill, she comes across as a shy and nervous individual. Merrill is the “First" apprentice for the Dalish clan. When you speak to her you will find out she plans on leaving the clan to search for lost information from ancient Dalish history.
Complete the quest by travelling up to the top of Sundermount. Merrill will perform a ritual which releases Flemeth from the amulet. After conversing with Flemeth, go back to the elven camp and see the Keeper.
The Keeper informs you that Merrill will be accompanying you to Kirkwall. Leave Sundermount and travel back to a location in Kirkwall. Arriving in Kirkwall surprises Merrill and she comments on how many people are located there. This conversation unlocks a small mini companion quest called Welcome Home.
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Getting to Know Merrill
To complete the Welcome Home quest visit Merrill at her new home in the elven alienage located in LowTown. In this conversation, Merrill thanks you for bringing her to Kirkwall. Say “Do you really?" which causes your character to say “You are so sweet Merrill." The conversation will continue and Merrill then asks you why she doesn’t have any friends. Give the diplomatic response- “You are doing fine." At the end of this conversation, you should earn +5 friendship points.
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“Nice Crime you have Around Here" Mini Quest
After visiting Merrill for the first time in Act 1, there is little opportunity to boost up your friendship or start a romance. This is different from other than other characters you can romance in Dragon Age 2. Merrill will be able to have a one on one conversation with you after the completion of Aveline’s companion quest The Way it Should Be. At this point, you need to visit Merrill at her home.
When you are there, Merrill will ramble on about how she thinks muggings are fascinating and how things in the city seem to get lost. During this conversation, no friendship or rivalry points can be earned no matter how you respond to the conversation. However, don’t skip this quest as you may lose other opportunities with Merrill later in the game.
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"Consoling Words" Mini Quest
At the beginning of Act 2, the Consoling Words mini companion quest becomes available to you. At this point in the game (if you are playing a fighter or rogue character) your sister Bethany has been taken to the Circle. Visit Merrill at her home in the alienage.
Merrill asks you about your sister when you arrive at her home. Regardless of your response, no friendship or rivalry points can be earned.
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Building a Friendship with Merrill – “The Mirror Image" Quest
To score a lot of friendship points with Merrill, you will need to complete the Mirror Image companion quest. When this quest opens up in your journal, go visit Merrill at her home. During the conversation, Merrill tells you that she needs a special carving tool called the Arulin’ Holm from the elf Keeper in order to repair the mysterious mirror she has in her home. She remarks how pretty the mirror is. Use this opportunity to flirt and tell her “It’s not as pretty as you." Agree to help her and earn +15 friendship points.
During the Mirror Image quest, you and your companions will have to defeat the Varterral monster that resides in one of the Sundermount caves. Unfortunately, during this quest an elf named Poi gets killed after running away from Merrill. After the successful kill of the Varterral, some dialog will occur. You will need to handle this situation carefully. Note: As you may have noticed, responses in conversations directly affect your relationships and events in Dragon Age 2. Merrill cries over her dead elf clansman. If you have Anders with you, be sure that you don’t say “Why would Poi run away from you?" Instead, simply ask her if she needs a moment and you will earn +5 friendship points.
After this conversation, you and your companions will travel back to the Dalish camp to see the Keeper. Note: If you have Anders in your party, you may want to drop him off in Kirkwall first before speaking to the Keeper.
The Keeper is reluctant to give Merrill the Arulin’ Holm and hands it to you instead. Merrill is pleased as she thought the Keeper would simply keep the tool. After briefly speaking to Merrill about blood magic, give the Arulin’ Holm to her. This will earn you +15 friendship points.
While you are in the Dalish camp, purchase the Halla Statuette from the merchant. This will be a nice gift for Merrill that will earn you additional friendship points.
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Romance is in the Air – “Back from Sundermount" Mini Quest
Continuing with this Dragon Age 2 romance guide, leave Sundermount and travel back to the Hawke estate. You will now notice in your journal that the Back from Sundermount mini quest has opened up. Go and see Merrill at her home. During the conversation, Merrill thanks you for your help in dealing with the Keeper and obtaining the Arulin’ Holm. She asks you if you think the Dalish clan will ever speak to her again. Tell her “They will come around." This will earn you +5 friendship points.
If you purchased the Halla statuette, you can now give it to her. During this conversation, Merrill questions you to the nature of the gift. Tell her there is no occasion, you just wanted her to have it. At this point you will earn an additional +15 friendship points.
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Winning Merrill’s Heart – Act 3
By Act 3 in Dragon Age 2, your friendship with Merrill has potential for romance. To win her over further, you will need to give her another gift. During the “Murder of Crows" quest in Sundermount, you can find the Sylvanwood ring. Obtain it after the defeat of thieves that attack you when you arrive in Sundermount. The ring will be on the corps of the thief leader. Picking up this ring opens up another mini quest for Merrill called Memento of the Dalish.
When you can, travel back to Kirkwall. Go visit Merrill in her home. Give her the ring. During the conversation, she will tell you the story about it. Afterwards, say to Merrill “So the ring has meaning." The result of this conversation will earn you +15 friendship points.
When you travel back to the Hawke estate, the Questioning Beliefs mini quest for Merrill opens up in your journal. Go back to Merrill’s home. Merrill will tell you that she is upset that the mirror is not repaired. She goes on to tell you that she believes everyone thinks she’s a monster. Tell her “You didn’t kill Poi." This will earn you +10 friendship points.
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Sealing the Deal – Encounter at Hawke’s Estate
Your Dragon Age 2 romance with Merrill is now ready to move to the next level. When you travel back to the Hawke estate, Merrill will be there. She appears nervous and rambles on a bit. Tell her you think it’s cute when she rambles. Continuing the conversation, Merrill questions leaving the Dalish and wonders if it was a mistake. Tell her “You don’t mean that." Merrill tells you that if she didn’t leave the Dalish, she would not have met you. She pays you a compliment and tells you that she doesn’t think she deserves you. Tell her “Yes you do." Merrill wonders if it is foolish for her to think you have interest in her. Say “Maybe I already do." After the conversation, your character kisses Merrill and a romantic encounter follows.
Afterwards, Merrill asks you “What happens now?" Tell her “We’re together now." Merrill blurts out that she loves you. At this point if you want the relationship to continue, tell her “I love you too. Live with me." By doing this, you have committed yourself Merrill. She lives in your home for the remainder of Dragon Age 2. Merrill is happy and an additional +15 friendship points is earned as a result of your actions and recent conversation.
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Details for this Dragon Age 2 guide were from Sheila Robinson's game play. Images used in the article were also screenshots created by Sheila Robinson.