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No matter which path you took, you basically end up in the same place. Go into the temple and get ready to face more cultists. There is a cultist overseer here too. Make sure that you throw a little magic his way to keep him stunned and hurt. You shouldn't have any trouble cutting through the warriors though. Rest for a moment and then move into the next section. Two mages are waiting by the doorway, so cross the threshold and charge the one on the right before she unleashes any complex magic. Just pin her in and kill her. Pinning in the one on the left shouldn't be hard either.
Go to the left and approach the only exit. Four reavers should charge forward. If you can, hit them with cone of cold to make this painfully easy. Otherwise just bottleneck them at the door and grind through the guards.
Go into the caverns ahead and keep moving. About halfway through the tunnel you should start detecting a ton of traps and spot some enemy spawns. There are a few dragonlings on each side. If you are doing this in the order that I've written it, then you should have Yusaris from the Watchguard of the Reaching quest. If you have it, give it to Sten. He can basically get a one-hit kill on dragonling with it. You'll be fine with anything else though.
Hold out against each little wave and have your rogue disarm the traps for experience. Once the area is clear, move on up to the next camp area. After this point, I'll note that I entered a nice rage fueled portion of annoyance. The next few fights are repetitive, annoying and cheap. So enjoy.
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The large camp up ahead has a mage and three reavers up front. You should probably try to take out the mage with your own magic and then handle the reavers by the entrance. Just draw them to you. If you have to do it, set the party to hold and keep them from moving too far into the room. There's another mage in back. Try to take him out at a distance with your mage. The reason for the caution is that a whole new group of enemies will spawn once we walk halfway across the room. This is a large group of dragonlings and a few new reavers that will destroy any weakened party. Feel free to drop this one to easy if you fail a few times.
Heal up and move on up to the next level for a repeat of this battle. There are another two mages, some reavers and a few dragonlings waiting for us. Just rip through the mages and try to stay alive while you grind through it. I'll admit I had to get past this one on easy.
Let's curve on over to the right and follow the tunnels to the cage area. There are pigs and goats here that are feeding their pets. Once you enter the area, three drakes will spawn behind you. If you do this right, you can use cone of cold to freeze all three and absolutely crush them. If you can manage to get off to such a good start, wrapping up the battle is easy. Make sure that you get their scales. We can make some nice armor out of these at Wade's Emporium in Denerim.
Follow the other path to get to a little ambush with one mage and a few new friends. These cultist assassins can jump around the battlefield in puffs of smoke. They shouldn't be able to do much more than annoy you in this small fight though. The worse that they'll do is slap a mark of death hex on you. Just kill the mage and nick away at their health until they die.
This fight marks another fork in the road. The path to the right has a few more things for us to kill and loot. You can skip it entirely if you want. The good loot is just for blood mages and arcane warriors, so you might not miss much.
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A Little Extra Loot
Go straight forward and come to the little temple area at the top. Don't just charge forward and attack the mage. Draw the four reavers over and kill them at the entrance. Advance a bit further and rush the mage. Those steps are a decent enough position for us to take in the next fight, since enemies will spawn all around us. We might as well bottleneck them.
The mage should just have spell shields on and a few nasty spells ready to rip your party up. The shield means you will probably have to rely on rushing him and cutting him down. Don't forget about the few reavers on the floor and the dragonlings and drakes that came up to fight. The drakes are probably the biggest threat. Try your best to freeze them and keep your mage behind you. You'll need a bit of luck and some good healing to survive this one.
You can search the Cult Overseer's body to get Spellweaver, a really nice sword for an arcane warrior. Also pick up the drake scales while you're here. Go forward and over to the next room across from the stairs and the dragon eggs. There's another mage up here along with a drake, reaver and an assassin. If you survived the last one, then this shouldn't be a problem. Search the egg on the table to get Lifedrinker, a good blood mage amulet.
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Head on back to the fork and take the path to the left. It will lead you back into the ruins of the temple. Follow the path into the next room. There are two mages, two blade traps, some archers, and a few reavers waiting. Kill the mages and work on the rest. You can also search the chests for some more goods.
Follow the path through the tunnels and stop once you see Kolgrim up ahead. Save here and get ready to make a bit of a decision.
Kolgrim is the cult leader and he's not too thrilled about the fact that you just killed all of his followers. It turns out that they believe that Andraste has been reborn as a dragon and that once they pour some blood in the urn she will be fully transferred. The important thing for you is that this is the way to get the Reaver specialization for your warrior. It's a decent perk, but you'll need to do a bit of work to get it and it has some consequences.
For now, you just have to decide whether you want to keep the option open. If you taunt him at all, he'll try to kill you. If you refuse to do it, he'll attack. If you placate him, you'll keep the option open and only lose some approval with the “good" members of the party. It's a very small hit, so don't worry if you still haven't decided.
On the other hand, if you draw out the argument and refuse, then Morrigan and the more amoral characters will take a hit to their approval.
On the whole, it basically depends on whether you are a warrior and whether you want the reaver class. That's all it's good for. If you defile the ashes and don't have Leliana or Wynne in your party with you, then you'll face them at camp. You can lie to Leliana with a little skill in Coerce. Wynne will walk out no matter what though. Leliana won't object if you hardened her through her companion quest. If you defile the ashes before you meet Wynne, then it won't matter when you meet her. So it's possible to do this without any negative effects.
You can also save, do the gauntlet and defile the ashes, and then get your reaver perk. For the time being, Bioware has specializations tied to your profile. It should still be there for other games. This means you can just reload and do it your way.
If you're sure that you don't want to defile the ashes, then you can just attack before he even makes his case. This prevents any changes. The fight itself isn't too bad if you can stand his attacks. He can do about 60-70 points per hit with the axe, so you might not be able to just shrug it off. I had to drop down to easy, since I didn't have Wynne around for buffs. It's a pretty standard fight once you manage to take out the two mages behind him. He's just got a lot of health.
Search his body and make sure that you get Kolgrim's horn, if you're playing this on the PC. I'll cover this one in a second. For now, just walk through the back door and reach the Mountain Top.
Dragon Age: Origins Walkthrough - Sacred Ashes of Andraste
- Dragon Age: Origins Walkthrough - The Sacred Ashes of Andraste - Brother Genitivi and Haven
- Dragon Age: Origins Walkthrough - The Sacred Ashes of Andraste - The Ruined Temple
- Dragon Age: Origins Walkthrough - The Sacred Ashes of Andraste - The Wyrmling Caverns
- Dragon Age: Origins Walkthrough - The Sacred Ashes of Andraste - The Mountain Top and the Dragon
- Dragon Age: Origins Walkthrough - The Sacred Ashes of Andraste - The Gauntlet