Dragon Age Inquisition guide and walkthrough: Western Approach sidequest

By Staff, Monday, 17 November 2014 14:35 GMT

A guide to all the quests in the Western Approach and the loot and rewards that comes with them.

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To save yourself a lot of running about like a headless chicken in the baking dunes of the Western Approach, it’s worth picking up both Frederic’s quest line and the Still Ruins side quest, make your way around the desert as efficiently as possible.

Holding the Western Approach

Description: Establish camps to hold the Western Approach and support Inquisition activity in the region.
Reward: +100 Influence and +1 Power Level per camp
Requirements: None
Starting NPC: Scout Harding

Objectives:
Establish four camps

As usual, talk to Scout Harding when you arrive to pick up this quest. There are a total of four camps to set up but you won’t be able to access them all straight away, due to noxious sulphur clouds barring your progress. See to these at the war table to clear the way, then follow the map markers for the camps to finish the quest.

The Venatori

Description: The Venatori seem to be busy in the Western Approach. A report from someone named Servis mentioned activity in a mine somewhere in the canyons.
Reward: +128 XP, +80 Influence
Requirements: Speak to Scout Harding
Starting NPC: Scout Harding

Objectives:
Search for the mine
Read the Venatori Report

When you enter the Western Approach, talk to Scout Harding twice and take a look at the Venatori documents that appear on the table nearby. Leave the camp via the path to the North, then follow it to the west, past a bandit camp (we’ll revisit here later) and a rift, towards the map marker.

Enter the mine, clear out the spiders, grab the loot and read the note in here to finish the quest.

Draconology

Description: A shipment of goods, destined for a University of Orlais researcher named Frederic, appears to have been waylaid by bandits. The shipping label suggests his camp is somewhere in Nazaire’s Pass.
Reward: +128 XP, +80 Influence
Requirements: None
Starting NPC: Package label near a looted caravan.

Objectives:
Find Frederic

Starting from the first camp in the Western Approach, move south until you reach the rift, then follow the path from here the continues southwards until you come across some cages near Sand Rock mine. Inspect the item on the floor by the cage on the right to start the quest, and follow the waypoint that appears on your map to find Frederic.

It’s worth picking up the On the Chantry Trail side quest before you meet up with him, as this quest will have you swing by his location. Talk to Frederic to complete the quest.

On the Chantry Trail

Description: There are Chantry symbols out in the desert. They appear to lead somewhere.
Reward: +128 XP, +80 Influence
Requirements: None
Starting NPC: Stone marker in the canyon west of Sand Rock mine

Objectives:
Follow the trail
Find where the trail leads

You can start this quest off when poking around the Sand Rock mines for the Draconology side quest – just make your way to the west of the mine and you’ll find a big stone marker that you can examine to kick things off.

Follow the map markers, stopping by for a chat with Frederic on your way to wrap up the Draconology quest and start off the Frederic’s Livelihood quest, and claim the landmark at the third stone.

Head back to the war table to be able to bypass the sulfur, then resume the trail, taking a mage with you to lift the barrier on the cave at the end so you can go in and pilfer the contents.

Frederic’s Livelihood

Description: White Claw raiders made off with Frederic’s supplies. Search areas where White Claw raiders are active to recover the supplies.
Reward: +128 XP, +80 Influence
Requirements: None
Starting NPC: Frederic

Objectives:
Return Frederic’s supplies

You may have already picked up Frederic’s supplies in your travels, letting you wrap up this quest almost as soon as it begins, in which case, talk to Frederic and hand them over. If not, follow the waypoints, kill the bandits and loot their corpses and camps to retrieve Frederic’s supplies, then speak to him again to finish the quest.

How to Lure a Dragon

Description: Frederic wants to concoct dragon bait. He has almost everything he needs, save for two rather specific ingredients.
Reward: +512 XP, +200 Influence, +2 Power Level
Requirements: Complete the Draconology side quest
Starting NPC: Frederic

Objectives:
Gather quillback intestines
Gather phoenix tail feathers
Deliver the ingredients to Frederic

Kill phoenixes and quillbacks at the locations marked on your map and loot the remains to gather the ingredients. Talk to Frederic to complete the quest.

Hunting Patterns

Description: High dragon hunting patterns are largely undocumented. Frederic is interested in the location of any dead gurn showing signs it was killed by a dragon.
Reward: +128 XP, +80 Influence
Requirements: Complete the Draconology side quest
Starting NPC: Frederic

Objectives:
Find four dragon signs
Return to Frederic with hunting locations

Head north of Frederic’s location and use the search ping when your mini map lights up to find what you’re looking for. You only need to find four sets of remains to finish the quest, so if any show up in uncleared sulfur clouds, ignore them and keep searching.

A Manuscript of Some Authority

Description: The ancient Tevinter manuscript has some marvelous diagrams, but Frederic is unable to read the script.
Reward: +242 XP, +80 Influence
Requirements: Complete the side quests Frederic’s Livelihood, and How to Lure a Dragon.
Starting NPC: Frederic

Objectives:
Find Tevinter writing on dragon luring
Deliver the manuscript to Frederic
Arrange for a translation at the war table
Return to Frederic

Complete the required side quests above, then talk to Frederic again to pick up this quest. The Still Ruins be marked on your map now, and the enemies inside are level 15 so it’s advisable to be at least a level 11 before venturing inside (you’ll need a mage with you), or alternatively, to have a party made up of three mages and sword and shield skill warrior.

When you reach the ruins, deal with the enemies outside and have your mage destroy the barrier barring the way. Kill the Spellbinder lying in wait to being the side quest Tevinter Relic Hunt. You’ll need to complete this side quest before you can continue with A Manuscript of Some Authority.

Once you’ve taken care of the Tevinter Relic Hunt side quest, proceed further into the ruins and you’ll reach Viridis Walk. The manuscript for Frederic is in the southwest corner. While you’re here, have your mage energize the torch and follow the marker for The Heart of the Still Ruins side quest to nab more loot.

Return to Frederic, then go back to the war room in Skyhold and assign the Translate the Dragon Text mission to an advisor. Talk to Frederic again to complete the mission.

A Tevinter Relic Hunt

Description: Venatori raided the Still Ruins under the Western Approach. Whatever lies inside was important enough to protect with a barrier.
Reward: +1,934 XP, +400 Influence, +3 Power Level
Requirements: Begin the quest A Manuscript of Some Authority
Starting NPC: Spellbinder enemy

Objectives:
Stop the Venatori

You’ll need to have entered the Still Ruins and dealt with the Spellbinder inside to pick up this quest. Continue to the main hall and clear out the enemies here. Proceed north and you’ll find the Ventori leader, Lucanus.

Take down the minions first, then focus your attention on Lucanus. Loot his corpse to pick up an item that will kick off the side quest The Heart of the Still Ruins.

The Heart of the Still Ruins

Description: Lucanus dropped a strange stone while searching the ruins. Its distinct pattern suggests it could be a keystone of some kind. Perhaps there are more.
Reward: +242 XP, +80 Influence
Requirements: Complete the side quest A Tevinter Relic Hunt
Starting NPC: Still Ruins stone

Objectives:
Collect all five keystones to open the sealed chamber
Enter the sealed chamber

After you defeat Lucanus and loot his body, you’ll find the item that starts this quest off. You’ll find the four other items you need scattered throughout Viridis Walk, and when you have them, go through the door on the north side of the room and into the inner sanctum to finish the quest.

If you have the torch with you from A Manuscript of Some Authority, take a look behind the suspended staff for some extra loot. Picking up the staff will unfreeze time, so be wary of enemies on your way back out.

A Stranger Rift in the Ruins

Description: There’s ancient magic at work in the Still Ruins that appears to be slowing time. A Fade rift appears frozen in place, and whatever’s keeping the magic at work is preventing the rift from closing.
Reward: +967 XP, +200 Influence, +2 Power Level
Requirements: Start the A Tevinter Relic Hunt side quest.
Starting NPC: Still Ruins Fade rift

Objectives:
Disable the time magic
Close the Fade rift
After you enter the Still Ruins and start the A Tevinter Relic Hunt side quest, you’ll come across the frozen rift, so just examine it to begin the quest. Completing both the A Tevinter Relic Hunt and The Heart of the Still Ruins quest will restore the flow of time and you’ll need to fight your way back out through the now unfrozen throngs of enemies.

Close the rift to complete the quest.

Sharper White Claws

Description: The White Claws won’t be happy that their traps were destroyed. Senior raiders will likely investigate, an ideal moment to take them out.
Reward: +967 XP, +200 Influence, +2 Power Level
Requirements: Complete the side quest How to Lure a Dragon
Starting NPC: Frederic

Objectives:
Destroy all five traps
Kill the White Claws
Return to Frederic

Talk to Frederic to pick up this quest. The traps are in an area to the south of his location, so head down there and use the search function to find and destroy all five traps.

The White Claws will show up soon after, so deal with them, then head back to Frederic to complete the quest.

Assault on Griffon Wing Keep

Description: Venatori occupied an isolated keep in the Western Approach, a key outpost on the treacherous trip to Adamant. It would be of great benefit to the Inquisition to capture it and drive the Venatori from the area.
Reward: Gain Control of Griffon Wing Keep
Requirements: None
Starting NPC: Frederic

Objectives:
Capture the keep

Talking to Frederic will start off this quest, but you can also find a note in the Still Ruins that will kick it off too. The keep will be defended by a number of warriors and rogues, so you might want ranged fighters in your party to weigh the odds in your favour.

Follow the waypoint to the keep and take care of the enemies outside. Grab the loot, then proceed up the steps to the west for another bout of fisticuffs. Make your way to the top of the keep where you’ll find the top dog, Macrinus, and his subordinates. He happens to be a mage, so any abilities you have that will stop him from using his magic would help you out here.

Take out the weaker enemies first, then finish off Macrinus to claim the keep and complete the quest.

This Water Tastes Funny

Description: Griffon Wing’s well has been tampered with and cannot support the keep. An alternative source of fresh water must be secured. A nearby oasis called Lost Wash Creek would do if it weren’t crawling with varghests.
Reward: +128 XP, +80 Influence
Requirements: Complete the side quest Assault on Griffon Wing Keep.
Starting NPC: Knight-Captain Rylen

Objectives:
Clear out the varghests at Lost Wash Creek

After you’ve claimed the keep, talk to Knight-Captain Rylen to start the quest. There are a number of ways to complete this quest, depending on your war room activities, but if you end up taking care of business yourself, follow the waypoint to the area marked on your map and take down the varghests one at a time, as they can be pretty tough in groups.

Report back to Knight-Captain Rylen to complete the quest.

Fortress Squatters

Description: Bandits have occupied an old Warden fortress in the Western Approach and are raiding caravans that Griffon Wing Keep depends on for supplies.
Reward: +967 XP, +200 Influence, +2 Power Level
Requirements: Complete the main quest Here Lies the Abyss and Assault on Griffon Wing Keep side quest
Starting NPC: Knight-Captain Rylen

Objectives:
Clear out the bandits

After completing the prerequisite quests, talk to Knight-Captain Rylen to start the quest. Make your way to the fortress and clear out the bandits to wrap things up.

The Trouble with Darkspawn

Description: There is increased darkspawn activity in the Western Approach.
Reward: +1,934 XP, +400 Influence, +3 Power Level
Requirements: Complete the side quest Assault on Griffon Wing Keep
Starting NPC: Knight-Captain Rylen

Objectives:
Search for more signs of darkspawn
Find the source of the darkspawn
Access the Tevinter ruin
Investigate the area
Seal the hole. Locate those responsible for the excavation
Track down Servis in the Western Approach

Note that you’ll need a power level of 5 to complete the quest, so when you’re ready, talk to Knight-Captain Rylen to start the ball rolling.

Head north to the sulfur cloud and claim the landmark near the bridge before heading back to the war room at Skyhold. Have an advisor take care of the Find the Source of the Darkspawn mission, then pop a mage in amongst your party and return to the area to find a newly constructed bridge.

Follow the path, clearing out the enemies as you go, until you reach Coracavus prison. Head inside and to the cells on the left where you’ll be able to pick up a fair amount of loot. Pick up the veilfire torch and use it in the cell next to the entrance to find the rune and some loot.

Continue further into the prison, continuing to mop up enemies, and have your mage seal the tunnel. Head further in, killing and looting enemies and you’ll eventually encounter a giant that you should be able to make short work of.

Once he’s dead, go straight on through the southern door and establish a camp. Servis can be found in the fort to the south of here. Take down his minions first then defeat him to complete the quest.

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