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Chapter 01: Vigil''s Keep
After completing your character customization, approach the township of Vigil's Keep with your partner Mhairi, a group of Darkspawn made up of lowly genlocks strikes. Once these enemies have been dealt with, there will be a short cutscene.
Speaking to the townsman, the real key here is learning about what is going on here. Asking him probing questions about the events that are unfolding makes him reveal what he knows. During the conversation the dialogue choice of 'Nice swordwork. You're not just a guide, are you?' comes up. Pick this option to compliment Mhairi and gain some of her favor. Once you've learned all you need to know, end the conversation and grab the items off of the fallen enemies before moving deeper into the Vigil's Keep township.
As you proceed into the town you'll encounter some shrieks and an ogre.. Kill them.
Explore the area, heading onto the rafters that encircle where you are to find hurlocks waiting to take you out.
As you near a gateway at the top of a small set of stairs it bursts open and a group of hurlocks approaches your position. Do not worry about them for the time being as they don't do enough damage to matter immediately, instead focus on the genlock emissary that is posted up behind them. Quickly run to him and eliminate him before he can do too much damage on Mhairi and yourself.
Fight through some more genlocks and hurlocks as you near the main gate of the Vigil's Keep stronghold. Once you approach them, speak to Mhairi, making sure to use the 'I'm going to need your help, here.' line of dialogue to garner some more favor from her.
As you enter Vigil's Keep you are faced with shrieks and alpha shrieks galore, kill'em all.
Head even deeper into the keep to find the first of two additional companions you pick up during this quest. His name is Anders and he is a mage on the run from the Templars. During your introductory conversation with him be sure to use the 'I could use y
"Explore further into the keep battling the foes you encounter as you do so. When you reach an outdoor area along the fortress wall with a ballista conveniently positioned atop it first walk over to the door you need to enter to move on where you'll activate a trap and reveal a cluster of hurlocks, genlocks, and a genlock emissary. Run back to the ballista and fire it at the new enemies to quickly finish them off.
As you continue your investigation and exploration of Vigil's Keep head towards a central area where you'll find a lever. Pull the lever to open a gate that lets a flood of enemies in. Make your way down into the area the enemies just entered to fight the
Once you reach a kind of rotunda in the keep a group of hurlocks and genlock emissaries make their move. They can be a little much to handle so plotting out your attacks is crucial.
After finishing off the attackers and their emissary guardians keep heading further into Vigil's Keep. You'll walk into a raging battle between some unsavory foes and a dwarf. Help the dwarf out and kill the enemies.
As you make your introductions be sure to use the 'You want to fight Darkspawn? The more the merrier.' line of dialogue as to engender good will from your dwarves ally.
As you explore the keep you'll encounter Rowland, a solider that's fallen in battle. Mhairi is particularly concerned with his wellbeing so showing him kindness through words will earn you some points with her. Choose the 'I'm here Rowland. I'm sorry I didn't come sooner.' and 'Hold yourself together, Rowland' dialogue options to ensure Mhairi's positive favor.
After fighting through some more hurlocks and genlocks as your continue your quest to save Vigil's Keep you meet the mastermind of the attack on the fortress, The Withered.
The Withered stands alongside a few genlock as he battles you and your band. His attacks are powerful but with your full team's efforts, simply attacking him with Anders providing support from a distance will fell this new foe in no time.
After the battle ends, King Allistair appears on the scene. Present yourself to him and use the nicest words possible when introducing your party to ensure they like you later on. As the conversation ends so does Dragon Age: Origins - Awakening's first quest.
Chapter 02: The Joining
After speaking to King Alistair you are whisked away to Vigil's Keep's main hall where you and your party will partake in the joining. Once you've finished the actual Joining ritual, speak to your advisors to find out more about your current situation.
"Once you've spoken with both of your advisors and the Seneschal again, leave the area to complete the chapter.
Chapter 03: The Prisoner
Once you've finished the Joining ritual, head down to the dungeon to investigate what's going on with the prisoner that's being held there. Once inside, grab his effects from the chest near the cell. When referring to him, always suggest the kind option to ensure he likes you. Speak to the prisoner to find out more information about him. Once you've gotten all the information you want from him tell him you've made a decision regarding his fate to continue on to the next scene.
To ensure that Nathaniel joins your party, be sure to tell the Seneschal 'I wish to invoke the Right of Conscription'.
Once Nathaniel survives the Joining ritual and is among the ranks of the Grey Wardens he becomes a selectable character. This will complete the chapter.
Chapter 04: Shadows of the Blackmarsh
Head to The Crown and Lion tavern and inn where you must speak to the innkeeper. Procure the key to Kristoff's room from him so that you can access the missing Grey Warden's lodgings and get a clue as to where to find him. Head upstairs to find Kristoff's room. Search a crate in his room to find his mementos and get the scoop on where he went. Navigate out to the world map and direct your party to the deadly Blackmarsh.
As you enter the Blackmarsh you are almost immediately assaulted by a pack of marsh wolves led by an alpha marsh wolf.
Just after your encounter with the wolves is an opportunity to grab some easy approval points with Nathaniel. Simply approach the edge of the marsh indicated by a floating message labeled 'The Blackmarsh to initiate a conversation with Nathaniel about how he had always hoped to rid the marsh of evil. Use the dialogue choice 'You're doing it now, aren't you?' to ensure that you get the maximum amount of approval points.
Kill a few more marsh wolves before finding a dead body. No sooner do you find the unfortunate soul are you attacked by a pack of blighted werewolves.
"Explore the encampment to look for clues into Kristoff's whereabouts. Kristoff isn't here, instead there's a pack of werewolves waiting for you. Take them out hastily and head toward the estate where you are bound to find something.
As you enter the estate's walled in area, spot a soldier's body lying on the ground. This is Kristoff and he doesn't look to be showing any signs of life. His name is The First and he goes on and on about how he is the reason you are there before transporting you and your party to The Fade.
Speak to The First and find out why you are in The Fade with him. Any dialogue option works here. As soon as the conversation is over, a group of genlocks and Childer Grubs attack.
As soon as the battle is over speak to Oghren and reassure him that everything is going to be ok but tell him you need him to keep his wits about him before proceeding further into The Fade. You'll run into some Shades that can knock you and your companions down but using Oghren's sunder arms attack move is an easy way to handle these enemies.
The first step you need to complete in your efforts toward exiting The Fade is killing the Desire Demons posted up at various locations throughout the area. You can find them standing in a circle around podiums. Take out the first group atop a small hill near where you fought the Shades just a little bit earlier. Once you've killed a group of Desire Demons activate the Veil Tear Apparatus to get you one step closer to returning to the real world.
Take care of some more Desire Demons before you reach a circle of runestones. The key to getting past this puzzle is activating the runestone at the top of the circle as you approach it first followed by the one one directly across from it. Once you activate a straight line across move one stone to the right and activate it, only to go activate the one directly across. Repeat this until every stone is lit to proceed.
As soon as you've lit every runestone a group of greater Rage Demons make their presence known. They have strong fire magic attacks that they use against you but hold fast and they'll be out of the way in no time.
"Keep an eye out for glowing combat training dummies as they yield permanent increases in skills. Activate each dummy with the character you want to give the skill point to.
When you reach the gate to the baroness's estate you find a transparent looking fellow and two companions who are planning to strike against the baroness. To keep Anders happy, make sure to use the '(Persuade) We could defeat her and make her use her magic to help us.' dialogue choice before telling the ghostly knight you will help him. Get ready as once you enter the estate a battle ensues.
Inside the estate's walls the baroness makes her case to you and sics her servant, The First on you. In your short conversation there make sure to utter 'There must be some way we can resolve this peacefully.' to earn some approval points from all those in your party before The First and his minions attack. Focus on The First while letting your companions deal with the rest of minions and you'll finish him off easily. Once he's down you're taken back out to the real world where a new party member is available, Justice.
As you explore the swamp you'll run into enemies such as Revenants that appear near Fade portals. Destroy the Fade portals before killing the enemies as they keep spilling out enemies for as long as they are active.
Have your companions use slowing attacks such as crippling shot to immobilize the baroness as much as possible during this battle. When you see an opening go in and take as many swipes as you can at her before she retaliates as her hits take a great deal of your health away.
Once you've taken the baroness down it's time to have a quick chat with Justice before officially ending the quest.
After the battle, speak with Justice and if you want him to join your party let him know. Once you've finished speaking to him and he's joined your party you are free to exit the Blackmarsh and continue on your journeys.
Chapter 05: The Righteous Path
Grab the initial request to deal with the trade route from Mervis in the city of Amaranthine. When you choose to take this quest head there to begin. As you enter you'll find a wagon that's been ransacked. Head a bit further into the woods and you'll meet
Keep heading toward the abandoned Dalish encampment in the center of the map and deal with the Alpha Hurlocks along the way.
Once you've reached the abandoned Dalish encampment investigate the strange items that are lying around. Once you've checked everything out it's time to head to down to the area on the map labeled 'Militia Survivor' where you'll find your next clue into why everyone is dead and why everything surrounding this occurrence is suspicious.
There's no shortage of charred Sylvans as you make your way over to the militia survivor but simply defeat them as you did the ones you met earlier. Once you meet the survivor, make sure to use the kind dialogue tree options and use the 'Maker have mercy on you.' dialogue option to ensure you don't lose any of your party members' approvals. As soon as the conversation with the survivor is finished a group of hurlocks attacks. Focus on the emissaries before dealing with anyone else as their ceaseless casting of spells will do you in.
Once those fiends have been taken care of head back to the abandoned Dalish encampment where you find the elf that taunted you just before.
You must take Velana in your party as you venture to the silverite mine nearby. Head to the silverite mine as indicated on the map. As you make your way through the prison to escape you can choose to collect your gear or not. If you forget to collect, it will be lost for the remainder of your playthrough so we advise collecting it.
You wake up locked in a cell deep in the mine, but luckily a mysterious woman frees you. Simply take them out and quickly equip yourself with their gear. They don't have enough to go around evenly so spread it out among your party members.
As you head further into the mine go to the room with the experimental switch and pull them to turn off the poison gas in the lower level. Head down to where the gas once was to collect the items there and move on. Be sure to check every chest as the armor and weapons you find are all you'll have until you find your own items later on.
Keep fighting your way through the mine; most of the enemies are simple hurlocks and hurlock emissaries but they are not very powerful in this area. Look for an archway with a stone wall instead of a door under it. Getting close to it reveals it to be a door leading to a secret room where a plethora of items awaits in a chest inside.
As you delve deeper into the caves you'll encounter groups of dragonlings. They can prove to be trouble if you don't keep your party reasonably spread out. Be sure not to miss any of them as killing them and grabbing the items on them is the only way to get them back. You'll also have to do some inventory management throughout this quest as your inventory will quickly fill with items you already had and items you've picked up in the mines.
"After you've collected yours and your party's items and reach a large stone door you will see a chest to left of it. In that chest are the remaining items taken from you when you were taken prisoner. Once you enter the next area it's time to face The Architect and his minions.
"After a bit of exposition with The Architect he releases two of his Dragon Thralls. These guys are no pushovers with their damaging flame breath and powerful physical attacks, keeping your distance is vital for surviving this encounter. Continue wearing away at their health until they're down for the count.
With the Dragon Thralls out of the way the quest ends with a scene between a dwarf and The Architect as you are placed back in the Wending Wood. The mission is now complete.
Chapter 06: The Last of The Legion
Speak to Colbert at the entrance to Amaranthine. He is standing with an elven companion. He informs you that you must head to the Knotwood Hills area to continue on your way. From Amaranthine, or wherever you've decided to go once you've acquired the quest, navigate to the Knotwood Hills zone on the world map.
As soon as you enter the Knotwood Hills a ferocious Bereskarn appears to make your life just a little more difficult. Once you've finished him off it's time to find the Dwarven fortress.
Getting to the fortress is decidedly simple, just follow the designated paths, walkways, and bridges to reach the canyon floor below where you entered the Knotwood Hills area.
Once you reach the canyon floor you'll find some deep stalkers lurking about. Once you've dealt with them keep moving to find your next objective.
As you dig deeper into the canyon and it starts looking more built up around you, you and your companions encounter a pack of hurlocks making off with a female dwarven soldier. Focus your attention on the hurlock alphas first as they do the most damage, going after the less dangerous regular hurlocks afterwards.
"After defeating Sigrun's hurlock captors speak to her, using encouraging and positive dialogue, so that she will join your party. She's a ranger so she's got some unlocking skills as well as being a formidable warrior. The fortress contains some chests that even her skill can't unlock so if you want to open everything you're going to need to bring someone more skilled at unlocking.
Proceed further into the next area where you'll meet one of Sigrun's Legion of the Dead comrades lying on the ground. Speak to him and use the 'There must be something we can do.' dialogue option to ensure that Sigrun continues liking you.
This area is absolutely littered with deep stalkers, deep stalker leaders, shrieks, hurlocks, and hurlock alphas so be on the lookout for danger around every corner. All of these enemies deal a good deal of damage per hit so having a healer in your party is essential to keep your entire party in good health.
As you approach the gates to the fortress speak to Sigrun to find out about an alternate entrance since the forces of evil are likely to be waiting in full-force behind the main gate. Reiterate your intent to find the alternate route by using the "Is there another way in?' line.
As you look for the secondary entrance in the courtyard, a pack of childer grubs attacks. Once they've been eliminated you can resume your search for the hidden entrance.
"The secret entrance is located to the left of the main gateway, behind a stone slab to the right of a face carved into the stone wall. Simply investigate the stone slab to uncover the hidden passageway and access the Kal'Hirol main hall.
As soon as you set foot in the confines of Kal'Hirol you are bombarded with an onslaught of attacks from hurlocks, hurlock archers, hurlock alphas, and most importantly a golem master. This enemy's loot yields a golem control rod which comes in handy when you encounter an actual golem in just a little.
As you continue further into the Kal'Hirol fortress you'll find a series of pressure plates which spring traps when walked over. Have Sigrun deactivate them as to eliminate the danger. Keep venturing deeper into the fortress to locate a golem that's ripe for the picking (and controlling).
Once you've found the golem you can take control of activate it and lead it to the area where the spirits of the fallen Legion of the Dead are gathered. They are speaking but there's no incentive to listening to what they have to say except for story purposes. As you progress through the labyrinth that is Kal'Hirol you'll encounter hurlocks, corrupted spiders, and other nasties.
"As you enter the trade quarter you see another one of those talking hurlocks leading the charge on the Kal'Hirol fortress. There are two factions of hurlocks battling but both want to kill you. You can pass by them unscathed but it's worth the experience points and time to take them out.
As you reach the end of the curving hallway you'll enter a room full of golems. These golems don't lend themselves to being taken over by control rods so you must battle them. Luckily they attack two at a time so if you disperse your team to take them out at the same time they shouldn't be too much of a problem.
"Head further into the Kal'Hirol fortress and you'll find a man locked away in a cage. He gives you an item if you let him go, so it's to your advantage to free him without penalty.
Just past the prisoner in the caves are a new form of enemy, the childer hatchling. These wretched creatures have powerful physical attacks and area of effect attacks that deal a great deal of damage on you and your party. Keeping your distance is essential in keeping your companions (and yourself) alive in these battles. Use ranged attacks from your mages and Nathaniel to take them out.
As you reach a large chamber you'll meet the Inferno Golem, a behemoth with powerful physical attacks that is aided by the talking hurlock, The Lost. The Lost acts as a buffer for the Inferno Golem as well as dealing out damaging spells on your party. Make taking him out your priority as the Inferno Golem's attacks are much easier to handle than an ongoing magic attack. Once The Lost has been finished off lay into the Golem to destroy him once and for all.
"Once you finish the golem off head into the next area and destroy two of the chains suspended from the ceiling to kill the creature below.
After destroying the creature speak to Sigrun and reassure her about the Joining to end the quest.
Chapter 07: The Darkspawn Attack
Speak to the craftsmen in town and deliver the supplies you've collected throughout your adventures. These supplies are essential to maintaining the health of your troops and the structural integrity of the keep itself thus making the battle through Vigil's Keep easier or more difficult depending on how you've stocked up.
Once you've finished everything you have set out to do, it's time to speak to your advisors in the main hall. Approach the Senechal to initiate a conversation that changes the outcome of the oncoming battle.
Your first order of business is reassuring your constituents that you will achieve victory, whatever the cost. No sooner do you do that will you be faced with an important choice, to defend the city of Amaranthine from attack or remain in the Vigil to protect those inside.
Next, you must select the three companions that you'll be taking with you to defend the city and, if you choose to do so, the keep, but that choice is made later on.
As soon as you finish selecting which of your companions to bring you are jettisoned to Amaranthine where the darkspawn are already laying waste to everyone and everything in sight.
"In Amaranthine, fight with all of your might against the vicious childer hatchlings and hurlocks brutalizing the city. The small band of villains is really no match for the strength of your party so an all-out attack is your best bet to finish them off.
Once you defeat the relatively easy group of enemies at the entrance to Amaranthine you are informed that there is a massive group of darkspawn headed to Vigil's Keep. Back at the keep, inspire your troops by reassuring them about the choice you made back at Amaranthine before selecting which party members you want to take with you.
Your objective during this section of the siege on Vigil's Keep is to defend it from attack; better put, you are killing every enemy in sight. As you make your way through the vigil you can always find your way by locating Captain Garevel; he always leads you to the next area and is actually required to be interacted with to initiate the next area's enemies. The enemies you encounter in the first few stages of the battle are simply more childer grubs, genlocks, and hurlocks. Keep following Garevel through the keep.
As you reach the gates to Vigil's Keep a group of ogres emerges. Playing a game of distance is the way to defeat them, managing health and attacks. Make sure to keep your health topped off as the ogres have a grab attack that can nearly decimate your health bar. The number of ogres that appear here depends on how strong the keep's walls have been made due to your donations of supplies.
With the ogres defeated you find the Seneschal injured and dying. Choose whatever words you feel most appropriate for the situation; I chose to reassure him that everything would be alright by saying 'Hold on Varel. Healer! Healer!' and then told him that he would be remembered.
After saying goodbye to the faithful Seneschal it's time to do some more hurlock killing, but not without a brief respite from the violence. Use this opportunity to buy and sell items and restock on health poultices as this is pretty much the last time you can do it in the game. Look out for shrieks, shriek alphas, and various hurlocks as you proceed forward.
Head further into the fray until you meet an Armored Ogre Alpha. This guy is a toughie and takes a lot of hits before he goes down. Use your ranged party members as much as possible and wear away at him on the inside to finish him off and initiate a conversation where you find the location of the Mother. Finish the conversation to end the quest.
Chapter 08: Depths of Depravity
"After the devastating battle at Vigil's Keep it's time to regroup and figure out what to do next. Speak to your remaining advisors in the main hall and select who you want in your party. When you're ready, set out for the 'Lair of the Mother' location on the world map. This entire area is a path to reach the Mother so in terms of orientation, there should be no problem. Enemies to look out for are Childer grubs and hatchlings and Armored Ogre Alphas. These Armored Ogres aren't as powerful as the one you faced at the end of the last quest in Vigil's Keep but still use the same tactics of grabbing and pummeling, so keeping your health topped off is essential.
As you head further into the lair, you'll encounter a high dragon. These beasts are some of the nastiest fellows in all the land so gear up and use your most powerful magic attacks against it. Look out for it's fiery area of effect attacks as they knock your entire party down and leave you open to being eviscerated very quickly. Finish the dragon off and head into the tower ahead.
Inside the tower Velana encounters her sister who has joined forces with The Architect. Being kind to Velana is your best bet here as it is possible that she will turn on you if she dislikes you.
After speaking with Velana's sister head down the stairs in the tower until you reach the ground level where the Architect makes an appearance. This is a key point for making a choice as allowing him to live causes Justice to turn on you while killing him could potentially have Velana betray you. Killing The Architect also removes the ability to call on The Architect to assist you during the game's final battle.
After you've moved on from your conversation with The Architect keep heading down the walkways and down the stairs of the two remaining towers, killing the enemy childer grubs, hatchlings, and hurlocks along the way. At the bottom of each tower are four spots to place crystals in. These crystals can be found in the clumps of flesh scattered throughout this entire area. Place the crystals you find into the slots to unlock more attacks from The Architect during the final battle against the Mother.
When you reach a long walkway where you can see the Mother off in the distance switch both of your mages' battle tactics to healer. This is crucial to defeating Mother as her attacks are relentless and simply too much for your party to manage. Simply use physical attacks supplemented by your mage's magic attacks between all their healing to finish the demonic woman off. Congratulations, you've just completed Dragon Age: Origins - Awakening.