There are 9 hidden secret messages scattered throughout the Kirkwall in Dragon Age 2, if you recover all of these, you earn the Archaeologist achievement or trophy. This guide will help you track them all down and add to your collection.
Dragon Age 2 Secret Messages
There are a total of 4 secret messages from the Band of Three during each Act in Kirkwall so you can afford to miss only one per Act since you need 9 in total for the Archaeologist achievement.
This is located in Elven Alienage, at the northeastern point of the map. You will find it in a black corner, behind the big tree which is located behind the sewer gate.
This will open up in Act I, you will find it in the North, amid some bricks positioned in front of a closed gate.
The Bone Pit
You will have to complete the Birthright companion quest in order to gain access to the Bone Pit. Speak to your mother inside Gamlen’s Home after you’re done with the main story quest A New Home, after which you will have to speak to your sister to receive this quest. Complete the quest and you will find the Bone Pit as a letter on your desk.
Once you’re in the Bone Pit, travel south-eastwards until you’re at the dead end. You will find the Bone Pit before the train tracks.
Although it won’t physically appear, but it exists. After heading to Viscount’s Keep, go up the stairs on the left, and into the room that comes right after. Here, you will encounter two guards in front of a door.
On their left, you will see Seneschal Bran standing. Enter the opened door on his left, and on the right wall, you will see two pictures that have a red vase placed in between them.
The enigma will be placed in the bottom corner of the picture on the right, head towards the area and pick it up by hitting the key a couple of times.
Once you’re at the Chantry, head towards the balcony and upwards the larger set of stairs that you will find to your right. Head rightwards and you will see the enigma on a table beside the fireplace.
Go up the first set of stairs that you see, followed by the set of stairs onto your right. Move towards the Leave Area icon on your mini-map, eventually, you will see the enigma straight ahead, with the Leave Area icon on your right.
Once you enter the docks, go up the stairs that you see to your left by the change party station to enter the Qunari Compound. Go through the gates and up the left side of the flight of stairs to find the enigma.
You will only be able to access this dungeon during Anders’ Dissent companion quest. You will have to complete Blackpowder Courtesy before you can do any of the Act II companion quests.
In order to start Dissent, do to Anders’ clinic while he’s in your party. Keep going forward inside the dungeon till you trigger a cutscene in which you see a group of Templars harassing a mage. Once that’s over, head up the stairs and you will see the Exit door right in front.
Instead of leaving the area, head rightwards and towards the northern end, which will look like a rabbit’s head on your mini-map. Here, you will find the enigma.
All the secret messages of Act 3 are found within quests.
For this, you will have to complete Anders’ Act I and Act II companion quest.
Once you start the quest, go through Darktown towards the Sewers. Once you’re inside, head to the room at the extreme southern part of the area, where one of the waypoint markers is located.
Before you head upstairs to get one of the Sela Petrae Deposits, look into the small recess onto your left to get this.
On The Loose
Once you’re at the Templar Hall, head to the hallway where the waypoint marker is located. This will also be the only door that you can go through via the main area. Go down the hallway and into the second door on your right, after the waypoint marker. If you face towards the door which you came through, you will find the enigma inside the torch placed at the right of the door.
Gamlen’s Greatest Treasure
Go to Lowtown and then to Gamlen’s house. Pick the crumpled note up, it will be placed on the table right in front of him. Speak to Gamlen to receive the quest. You will be asked to go Smetty’s Fish Guttery at the Docks (Night).
Once you’re here, head leftwards and down the ramp to get this enigma that’s placed in some rubble between the two boats.
The Last Straw
Before you start with this quest, consider doing whatever you want to in Act III as there will be no coming back once you’re in this. After you’ve decided if you want to side with the mages or the templars in Lowtown, you will get to the docks.
Head down the stairs, which is where you will see corpses lying around, and a big statue with a torch in its hand.
After you’re done fighting a few shades and a Pride demon, look for the enigma beside the red boxes towards the right of the statue.