Entering the Ruins
When you make it through the fog, you’ll run into Swiftrunner again. You’ll have to fight him this time though. Just focus on him until he’s wounded a bit. He should retreat with the survivors. There’s another tombstone up ahead, but that’s about it. Keep along the path until you spot another pack of werewolves. They should just retreat into their lair.
Follow them inside to access the upper lair of the ruins.
As you enter, you should notice two covered hallways to the left and right. As you walk past, four skeletons will burst out and attack. If you stand near them for a moment, you might uncover the door and you’ll be able to open it up yourself. Either way, it’s just a few skeletons. Rush the archers and kill the melee fighters. Search the little hiding spots for some more loot and then move down the steps.
There’s another ambush down here with some werwolves. Just ride it out and search the area. Move further ahead and you should be able to see a long staircase leading down to the lair of the werewolves. It’s locked though, so we can only go forward. There are some spiders ahead of us that will drop down. It shouldn’t be too bad for a party that’s made it this far though. Search the rooms and then head down the steps.
When you come to the big room, you should stop at the entrance and wait
. Your rogue should call out a lot of traps if you give them a moment to look. Disarm the traps and then cross the floor. Disarming these traps will really help us save some health, and we’re going to need all the health that we can get. Once we cross the floor, a dragon will come down and land.
There’s not much special about this fight. If you’ve made it this far, you should be just fine. He’s not a high dragon, just a dragon. You just need a good tank to buff the damage while everyone else does some damage. It should actually die pretty quickly.
Make sure you search the area. There’s a giant pile of gold labeled as the dragon’s hoard. It has about twenty sovereigns and a ton of general equipment. Make sure that you grab it. Then go down and enter the lower ruins.
Clearing the Lower Levels
Chase the ghost and you should run into some more skeletons. Once again, this is a pretty standard fight. Just tank the skeletons while everyone cuts through them. Move up further to get to a big chamber with a ghost boy. If you talk to him, he’ll just keep shouting. No matter what happens, a bunch of skeletons will spawn. The amount depends on your level. I saw twelve and they weren’t much of a problem. Just stick close together and keep the healing spells flowing.
They’ll die pretty quickly. Keep following the hallway and look to your left. That room to the left is the final stop for the Mages’ Treasure quest. Before you go into it, go into the little side room next to it. Check the sarcophagus to get the tablet and instructions you need to be able to do the elven ritual. This is also a side quest, but it’s basically just the way to get the juggernaught helm. Once again, that’s covered in the side quest guide for the sake of organization.
When you’re done, take the hallway to the right and follow it forward. There are more skeletons and spiders, but there’s no secret to killing these guys. Just keep slashing. You should swing into the room on the side with the normal phylactery. Examining it should reveal a trapped soul. If you’re nice to it, you can learn the Arcane Warrior specialization. You can also follow through with the deal and put it on the altar when you’re done. This will spawn some skeletons, but that’s basically free experience for a decent party.
The biggest danger is ahead. The next large chamber is full of skeletons, but it also has an almost absurd amount of pressure plates linked to fire traps. These can really tear your party apart if you’re not careful. Hopefully your rouge can spot them. If not, then try to not move around too much and keep a close watch on everyone’s health. You should also be able to run out of the flames fairly quickly, as long as you aren’t just trusting the AI to handle it. The skeletons themselves are easy to kill as long as you can drink health potions and keep your mage alive.
Once you’re done, give your rogue some time to disarm the traps for free experience.
After that, we just have to go through and face the current end boss. There’s a very tough arcane horror that we need to kill. The main problem is that you have to kill it in a very specific way, and it’s hard to keep the fight under control.
The Arcane Horror
Go into the big hall and kill the corpses and skeletons at the top. Rest for a moment if you’re hurt, then go down to the floor. The arcane horror will spawn, but I suggest that you just sprint over to the room on the left side. Get in and kill the six skeletons. This will help you keep control of the fight, since we don’t want these guys to swarm us later.
Go back out and rush the arcane horror. Now, the fight is easy once you figure out the trick. The arcane horror can basically flash between the four corners and establish a new ward. Breaking the ward makes him flip again. This means that you can’t do a melee rush. The trick is that you have to turn off free movement and place characters in at least two of the non-occupied squares. I suggest you leave the tank and a healer in the center so that they aren’t caught up in the fight with the horror. When he flips to the next spot, he’ll hopefully land in a square with an ally and be stuck there. You can then have your tank take the brunt of his attacks while the rogue stabs him. Have another warrior or your mage do crowd control work on the skeletons.
You’ll probably need to kill the three skeletons waiting in the hallway out. Once they’re dead, you can heal up and loot the area. Note that the arcane horror itself doesn’t have much loot, but he bag of rags he drops has a lot of gems.
When you’re ready, walk down the hallway and jump into the pool of water to gain access to the lair of the werewolves.
This post is part of the series: Dragon Age: Origins Walkthrough – Nature of the Beast
- Dragon Age: Origins Walkthrough – Nature of the Beast – Clearing the Brecilian Forest
- Dragon Age: Origins Walkthrough – Nature of the Beast – Clearing the Ruins
- Dragon Age: Origins Walkthrough – Nature of the Beast – The End
- Dragon Age: Origins Walkthrough – Brecilian Forest Side Quests