If you’ve been following the guide, then you already know the background. We’ve left Amaranthine behind us and have come to make our last stand at Vigil’s Keep with the rest of our party. You will get a chance to pick new party members if you want. The ones you left behind will all gain approval, since you came back for them.
The battle is fairly simple. There are a lot of enemies and you need to make them all die. Your choices will also come into play for this one. For the record, I had all the elements, lyrium sand and the best walls.
If you completed the “It Comes From Beneath” quest, then Maverlies will offer to be a sniper in the keep’s tower. Apparently doing Smuggler’s Run can also give you another sniper, but I’m not sure who wouldn’t do “It Comes From Beneath.”
If you’ve giving Dworkin all four deposits of lyrium sand, then he’ll have very powerful explosive rounds for the catapult.
The walls being sturdy should mean less enemies. Not sure why you wouldn’t have good walls.
Getting all of the ores mean that your personal infantry are all very powerful. I only lost one.
If you defended the farmlands in “Defending the Land” then you’ll have 24 militia archers. If you protected Amaranthine, then you should have 24 knights. You’ll have twelve of the opposite. I never used either since the infantry were so effective.
Captain Garevel will be out on the field to help too, and he’s really powerful.
That’s about it. Get ready to decapitate some darkspawn.
Holding the Gates
The first assualt is pretty easy to turn back if you have a good squad. Just rush forward to the front gate. There should be a heretic disciple leading the charge. Dig in and start slashing. Try to kill the disciple first. Have another warrior stick close and keep the grunts off of your back. Keep your mage far behind you and watch out for stragglers rushing past the battle. The other allies should defend him, but it’s not certain. He also might not respawn for a bit if he dies, since you’ll technically be in combat for a significant portion of this battle.
There should be three disciples in total along with a steady stream of hurlock grunts and genlock grunts. You should be able to cut through most of them without any problem. Once the tide subsides, you’re ready for the next step. We need to fall back and hold the courtyard.
Childers in the Courtyard
Run back and turn right to get into the eastern courtyard. There are childers pouring over the wall. Make sure you stop to knock the childers off the knights that they have pounced. This should give you a few invincible soldiers to help hold the courtyard. Focus on killing the alphas. They’re like the disciples. Once they’re down you can just keep grinding right through them all. Massacre and general area magic will do a ton of damage to the general swarm. The good news is that a well equipped keep should have more than enough soldiers to just hold their ground and take them out one by one.
After the third alpha dies, the wave should die down.
We’ve got to hold the gate again though, and this time they’re sending in the good soldiers.
They’re sending in the ogres to overwhelm us. There is also still a steady flow of darkspawn grunts. You probably need to let the infantry handle the grunts while you focus on the ogres. For this part, remember your special abilities. Your sniper should be able to dish out about 350 points of damage and the catapult barrage can pound the gate and really hurt the reinforcements coming up.
The ogres themselves are just lieutenant class, so you shouldn’t have too much trouble. Just surround them and focus on taking them out one at a time while your mage helps the general allies. This is actually a pretty short fight. Once the last ogre dies the reinforcements should start to slow down and stop.
You actually get a break in the battle and you can talk to Varel. He can’t be saved no matter what you do. The healer should show up though. She offers her healing services for your party. Use them. She is selling an obscene amount of health poultices at dirt cheap prices. You can get potent and superb poultices for a few silvers and 33 lesser poultices for a sovereign. Buy them all.
After you talk to the healer and do any level ups, you should get called back to hold the courtyard. They’re breaking through from the east wall and we need to stop it.
Holding the Courtyard
You’ll arrive to a battle in progress. Get in quick and start evaluating the disciples. They all need to die, but there might be a mage or two amonst them. If so, rush them and take them out first. Remember that you have the sniper and the catapult. These can be really nice for crowd control. Run around and clear the courtyard quickly. We’re not done though.
The Herald is sending in the last of his forces in one last ditch charge. This includes an armored ogre alpha that’s boss class. This guy is tough. He’ll also have some support from nearby darkspawn, although the compact nature of the courtyard should guarantee that your allies can handle them effectively. Have your buffer charge the ogre and take the brunt of the damage. This one seemed to mainly use stomp, which is annoying but not deadly. Just order your men to keep up the fight after they shake off the stun. Your buffer needs to be his main target though, since he can grab someone and beat them to death. If the ogre grabs a buffer, then he’ll futily bash their armor for no damage.
Once his darkspawn support die, it’s easy. You’ll surround him and bring him down. A few sniper shots will do wonders.
After all this you should get a note about the “darkspawn general taking the field.” This means that The Herald has joined the fight. He’s far too late though. Go ahead and rush the front gate and you should run right into him. Just surround him with your little army and bring him down in a few hits.
This should end the battle. All that’s left is to pick your party and then go out to take the fight to the Broodmother herself at Dragonbone Wastes.
This post is part of the series: Dragon Age: Awakening Guide - Main Quest - Part 2
We’re almost done with our efforts in Amaranthine for Dragon Age: Awakening. We still need to seal off a path to the Deep Roads and clear out Kal’Hirol. We also need to rise up and fight the Darkspawn when they rise up and attack. If you need help finishing the war, look here.