You need to have a Power Level of at least 20 to unlock this area via the Sand and Ruin mission at the Skyhold war table. Once that’s done you can complete several of these quests all at once to make your time here as efficient as possible.
Sand and Ruin
Description: There is a sizable Venatori presence in the Hissing Wastes. It is an odd place for them to be dispatched at all, let alone in such significant numbers.
Starting NPC: A sand-covered note
Requirements: Unlock Skyhold, Power Level of 20
Reward: +5,076 XP, +600 Influence, +2 Power Level
- Go to the war table to stop the Venatori advancing in the west
- Search the Venatori camp north of the cove
- Search the Venatori camp near the canyon
- Search the Venatori camp known as the Watchtower
- Search the Venatori camp in the mountains
This is a war table mission that becomes available as soon as you unlock Skyhold and allows you to stop the Venatori advancing in the west. Once you have a power level of at least 20, go to the war room and begin this mission. Make sure you begin the Tomb of Fairel quest before you get too far into this mission as both ventures can be completed simultaneously.
When you arrive in the Hissing Wastes, head to the Four Pillars camp near the landmark of the same name (to the far northwest). If you haven’t already erected a camp here, take out the enemies that await, then erect the camp. Search the area around the camp to collect a book, then head to the next camp west of the canyon.
Once again, take out the enemies at the camp, then search around for a note. Continue on to the next camp and repeat the process. When you reach the final camp you find a powerful mage in addition to the normal array of enemies. Move through this camp slowly so you don’t fight every enemy at once. Taking this cautious route will make the battles much easier. Once the mage is down, examine the item nearby to complete the quest.
The Tomb of Fairel
Description: Rumors tell of a grand treasure buried in a tomb in the Hissing Wastes. Explore the wastes, using any available clues and maps to find it.
Starting NPC: Key fragment in a ruin somewhere in the Hissing Wastes
Reward: +10,152 XP, +2,000 Influence, +3 Power Level
- Find five Tomb of Fairel key fragments
- Follow the treasure map to the tomb
- Find the statue tomb’s treasure
- Find the mountain fortress tomb’s treasure
- Find the graveyard tomb’s treasure
- Find the canyon tomb’s treasure
- Enter the tomb of Fairel and retrieve the dwarven relics
This quest should be done right alongside the Sand and Ruin quest. The first key fragment needed to begin this quest is found in the tomb near the first camp location in the Sand and Ruin quest. You need to reach the treasure room of the tomb which requires you to complete a puzzle. There are four pillars, each with an inscription and a torch. Light the torches in a specific order based on the inscriptions on the pillars. If you fail to light them in the correct order enemies will attack. The correct order is as follows:
- This is the tale of Fairel, Paragon among Paragons, father of two sons
- Who, against their father’s wishes, fought from foolish words and foolish pride
- For pride these halls were made—to honor a father’s deed, and grieve his loss
- And for loss these halls were made, to honor a brother mourned
As you progress through the Sand and Ruin quest you will reach the camp near the canyon. There’s a tomb nearby which contains another key fragment. Once again you’ll need to solve a puzzle just like the one from the previous tomb. The order is as follows:
- After many years Fairel, greatest of Paragons, could not bear life’s burden
- And with the burden growing, he called his sons to his bedside
- He bade each son swear he would take care of his brother
- And the brothers swore, and mourned when their father returned to the Stone
When you head to the camp in the northwest portion of the Hissing Wastes, look for the Colossus of Orlais to find the next key fragment. It’s a large stone structure that’s difficult to miss. Inside you’ll find yet another puzzle similar to the last one. Light the torches in the following order:
- Fairel, Paragon, fled from the strife his brilliance created
- The strife that destroyed thaigs, sundered houses, from weapons that clan used against clan
- His own clan and two sons followed Fairel to the pitiless surface
- The surface where they would hide from the war that took their home
Moving down to the southwest side of the Hissing Wastes you’ll find another tomb by the burial grounds. The puzzle order is:
- Fairel’s sons built monuments to their father, locking away his great works
- And worked together, for a time, side by side. Each ruled half the thaig
- But each ruled differently. They argued, and heated words made the brothers duel
- And where one brother fell, the other raised bloodied axe in hand, alone
Finally you’ll reach the tomb under the mountain fortress. There’s a large amount of loot here. Some of it requires a torch, so try to keep one available at all times. When you reach the bottom of the tomb there’s another puzzle that should be solved in the following order:
- The sun burned above oceans of sand
- But in the sand was Stone, strong and true
- Fairel hewed the stone, and built—as great as any thaig in the deep
- And with his sons’ help, he ensured the thaig prospered and grew
Now that you have the final key fragment you can enter the Tomb of Fairel. Fast travel back to the camp you started at when you first entered the Hissing Wastes. Head northeast until you reach the dwarven statues. There’s a High Dragon here as well, but if you’re not ready to take on the beast you can cautiously make your way around it to reach the entrance to the tomb. Once inside, head to the end of the hall and loot everything to complete the quest.
Holding the Hissing Wastes
Description: Establish camps to hold the Hissing Wastes and support Inquisition activity in the region.
Starting NPC: Scout Harding
Reward: +200 Influence and +1 Power Level per camp
- Establish seven camps
While almost every area in the game has a quest for setting up camp sites, it should be a priority when you enter the Hissing Wastes. This is a large area that will take time to traverse if you don’t have the camps to teleport between. There are seven total camps, including the one established when you first enter the area. Go to the waypoints on your map to erect camps at the other six locations and you’ll be rewarded for every camp except the first one.
Field of Bones
Description: A patrol has gone missing in the bone fields between the Canyon Camp and the Four Pillars.
Starting NPC: Journal near Four Pillars landmark
Reward: +331 XP, +150 Influence
- Locate the missing patrol
One of the seven camps in the Holding the Hissing Wastes quest takes you near the Four Pillars landmark. Search the area around the camp to find a note that begins this quest. Head to the waypoint marked on the map and take down the spiders that attack in the area. Search around the empty cage to find a chest. Open the chest to complete the quest.
Let’s Slay the Beast
Description: Hunting is a popular pastime in the often desolate Hissing Wastes. While varghests in particular are prized, there are rumors of a rarer breed out there, one legendary varghest known for its intimidating stature. Any hunter able to slay it would surely earn respect.
Starting NPC: Hunter
Reward: +5,076 XP, +600 Influence, +2 Power Level
- Find and kill a legendary beast
There’s a hunter that wanders around the region. Speak with her to begin this quest. You’re looking for a bright green varghest that roams the northwest portion of the Hissing Wastes, near the Golden Oasis. You can actually start this quest by killing the beast before speaking with the hunter if you happen across it. Kill the beast to complete the quest.
Notes of the Wastes
Description: A page was recovered from a log book that was apparently kept by someone studying old dwarven ruins. Perhaps there are additional pages to be found deeper in the Hissing Wastes.
Starting NPC: A journal in the Wastes
Reward: +1,269 XP, +150 Influence
- Find eight journal pages
There are eight journal pages scattered through the Hissing Wastes. Finding one of these begins the quest. The journal pages are not marked on your map, but when you get close to one the mini-map will glow indicating that a hidden item is nearby. All eight pages are focused near the center of the Hissing Wastes map. Collect them all to complete the quest.
If your map of the area is fully visible, you’ll notice a piece of land in sticking out to the east near the middle of the map. The location of the pages are as follows:
- Two are found southeast of Sand Crags Camp
- Dilapidated building east of Sand Crags Camp
- Statue southwest of Sand Crags Camp
- Just beyond the cave that leads to the Tomb of Falrel (east of Sand Crags Camp)
- Golden Oasis (far northwest of Canyon Camp)
- Secondary entrance to the tomb northeast of the Mountain Fortress Camp
- The ruins northwest of Venatori Canyon Camp
Return to the Dragon Age: Inquisition Walkthrough.
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