This is actually a fairly simple quest, especially because you'll have Merrill tag along as an invincible fifth companion. The undead aren't too tough, and the arcane horror isn't a real threat once you understand its attack pattern. It's fairly easy and is necessary to advance the act a bit.
Long Way Home – A Path to the Graveyard
For this part of the main quest, go up to Sundermount and find the Dalish camp. There should be a small group of spiders blocking the way. Just take them out. When you make it to the camp, you can just tell them that you need to see Keeper Marethari. She’s expecting you.
She’ll give you your briefing and then send you on your way. There’s not much here. You can stop by the merchant to sell your vendor trash and buy some potions. There’s nothing of interest here though.
When you’re ready, approach Merrill on the slope. She’ll accompany you as an invincible fifth companion and do a lot to help out. Walk forward with her and engage the first group of skeletons. With her magic added, it’s fairly easy. Grind through the corpses and skeletons. Merrill will comment on her magic after the fight, but there’s not much to add.
Move up to the next engagement and just rinse and repeat your strategy. You should be able to keep moving at a good pace with Merrill’s help until you make it to the passage. Go into the cave to fight a few more creatures. Just fight the undead and spiders normally. There shouldn’t be any surprises or particularly tough enemies.
The real challenge is when you come out on the mountain graveyard.
Long Way Home – The Mountain Graveyard
Walk toward the altar to trigger the final fight. An arcane horror will spawn along with a lot of skeletons and corpses. Have your tank draw as many of the undead to it as possible, and have your mages get over to the side and start slinging some powerful magic.
Have a fighter rush the arcane horror. The arcane horror has two basic area of effect spells. The worst is its ability to turn everything around into a lasting frost, which slows your fighters and does a ton of damage. If you see it clench its fists and produce a blue aura, have your party get some distance to avoid the damage. If you can do this, you’ll generally be fine, as its other spell isn’t anything to worry about. It will try to teleport around, but this mainly seems to take it away from the fight in a continuous loop. Just keep it engaged as best as you can with hit and run attacks until it dies.
Once you take out enough of the general undead, a shadow warrior will spawn. It actually doesn’t seem to do much, besides have a lot of health. If you have three of your four focusing on it (while one ties up the arcane horror) then it will be fine. Once both of the bosses fall, you can safely approach the altar and leave the amulet for the ceremony.
It seems that Flemeth had a bit of insurance. Talk to her for a bit. It’s basically just a chance to learn more background. Once you’re done talking to her, you will automatically head back and talk to Keeper Marethari. She’ll give you her thanks, officially clear your debt and send you on your way. Merrill will leave with you and you’ll take her to her new home in the Elven Alienage in Kirkwall.
All screenshots and references taken from "Dragon Age 2"
All information is based on a "Hard" difficulty playthrough, unless otherwise noted.
This post is part of the series: Dragon Age 2 Walkthrough – Act 1 – The Main Quest
- Dragon Age II Walkthrough – Long Way Home
- Dragon Age II Walkthrough – Tranquility
- Dragon Age II Walkthrough – Wayward Son
- Dragon Age II Walkthrough – Shepherding Wolves
- Dragon Age II Walkthrough – Enemies Among Us