The Secrets of the Dwarves

Location The Arx
Suggested Level 19
Next Quest --
Previous Quest  

The Secrets of the Dwarves / Deathfog Rising is a Quest in Divinity: Original Sin II. It appears that the Voidwoken attacked a dwarven wedding for some reason. Could this be connected to the cache of deathfog known to be in Arx? What's truly happening?



Important NPCs



The Secrets of the Dwarves Objectives

  1. Investigate the wedding scene.
  2. Enter the sewers and search for Queen Justinia.
  3. Kill Isbeil.
  4. Speak to Queen Justinia and decide her fate.



The Secrets of the Dwarves Walkthrough

There are multiple ways to acquire this quest, most predominantly if you did the quest with Lohar back in Act II, finding out that there is a cache of Deathfog barrels headed to Arx. Ultimately though, you'll want to get into the wedding site in Arx, so head over there. Note that this quest is closely related to the "Blood Dowry" quest and is recommended to be done in conjunction with it, but they are not the same, though both take place in the same area.

Unfortunately, you won't be allowed into the wedding area. There are also multiple ways to get into the wedding site without triggering combat, with the easiest way simply passing a speech check with the guard at the door to let you in. You can also pass a speech check with a drunken dwarven woman outside the building (at around co-ordinates X:322, Y:299) to get her invitation so the guard will let you in, or you pick the door next to the wolf carriage, or you can sneak through the backyard of the loremaster house, and into the wedding area as shown in the picture below:

Alternatively, if you can't jump over the walls, you can also get in there through the sewers, as shown in the picture below, but be very careful of the fog-swollen spiders, since when they are killed their corpse will exude a small deathfog, killing all living beings in it. You will end up in Micheil Ros cellar. This is arguably the most tedious option.

Ultimately, simply enter the wedding site, and you'll find many dead bodies. You can interact with the statue at this point and pass a wits speech check to find out that there is death fog underground. You can cast Spirit Vision here and see the spirits of the guests, but they will yield no real information and are just source food. You can speak to the dwarves here for more information, but this is optional.

Interact with the huge wedding cake in the center, and it will cause an explosion, and some wind-up toys will appear and attack. After you killed them, a guard will hurry in due to the commotion and you can take this opportunity to ask him where the cake came from. He will tell you that a man known as the Doctor sent in the cake. This Doctor is the very same one afflicting Lohse in her personal quest.

Now you'll have to enter the sewer, then head to Queen Justinia's court. One location of a sewer entrance is shown in the picture below. If you've solved "Blod Dowry" in Micheil Ros' favor and promise to talk to Queen Justinia he will allow you to enter the lower level of the sewers directly through is cellar. He will also hand you a key.

As you traverse the sewers, be very careful of the various traps lurking about. In the picture below, you can either lockpick the suspicious hole in the wall, or use the sewer key from Micheil Ros or the one found near the web area in the sewers. An Iron door blocks the way to the west to the lab. One of the preasure plates at the other end of the room opens the door. You can also teleport or fly a member around and hit the lever. Head inside and down the stairs into the lab. 

You will come to Queen Justinia's court. Here, although initially her advisor Isbeil will praise your past accomplishments, she will eventually reveal herself to be an enemy, and you'll realize that the Queen has been manipulated by her advisor all along. Regardless of the options you pick or whether you pass the various speech check options, the outcome will be the same: Isbeil will cast a powerful spell, stunning everyone, and you'll wake up some time later in her laboratory.

In her lab, she will rouse you from your coma and reveal her true undead self, before subjecting you to a series of tortures (though interestingly, if you are undead, the tortures heal you and wouldn't kill you anyway and thus don't make much sense). After a while though, before the final deathfog experiment can happen, you will finally be able to break free of Isbeil's spell, and combat will ensue. Destroy her and her Black Ring followers. A well placed thunderstorm here will melt all your enemies and stun them constantly, giving you a huge advantage. In any case, each Black Ring follower is worth 107,800XP each (there are 4), while Isbeil herself is worth 149,850XP. Killing her will immediately update the quest, giving you yet another 134,750XP. The resulting grand total for killing them all is thus a whopping 715,800XP.

After the battle is done, cast Spirit Vision and you can talk to Isbeil's spirit and learn the truth behind her fury and motivations for unleashing deathfog upon the magisters and paladins. There is a doomsday device near her, which you can use to unleash deathfog upon Arx. The results are that, obviously, everyone will die. Arx will become a complete ghost town if you do this, and render many quests uncompletable, if you have not already done them. You can still walk through some areas though, as the roads are not filled with deathfog. This walkthrough will continue on, assuming you did not choose to unleash the deathfog upon Arx.

Note: as of patch v3.0.158.595, Destroying Arx by releasing Deathfog will now make the player fail the Path of Blood

Assuming you didn't release the deathfog, head through the illusionary door in the picture below to find Queen Justinia. There is also another illusionary door at the other side (there are 2 in total), but be careful! This other illusionary door contains a sinister trap. Once you head in through this door, you'll see a lot of skeletons, hinting that something sinister is here. You will see a wooden door up ahead, but it is actually a trap that will release deathfog and wipe out your entire party! For obvious reasons, do not attempt to open the wooden door, and stick to this illusionary door in the picture below.

Once you enter through the door, you'll hear a loud crash, and Queen Justinia will come crashing in, demanding to know where Isbeil is. Simply tell her Isbeil is dead, and you can decide her fate. If you decide to kill her, she will attack you. She is worth 149,850XP, and the quest is complete when she dies. If you choose not to kill her, she will leave and you will earn a choice of Legendary-quality loot as a reward. You will not earn any XP though, but the quest is complete all the same.

Don't forget to explore the area, loot Isbeil's research notes, and read it for "The Missing Prisoners" quest.




Tips & Tricks

  • You can use the "Tornado" skill to clear death fogs.
  • If you want to spare Queen justinia, make sure to remove any deathfog before walking through the illusionary door and "spawning" her. The queen may walk into the fog and die. This rarely happens, though.
  • Justinia could be upstairs in the Kemm mansion after the fight with Isbeil.
  • Talk to Micheil Ros for an additional reward after you spare her.
  • During the fight with Isbeil you can walk with one of your characters to room where Justinia is held and she will join the fight.





  • A total of 715,800XP for killing the 4 Black Ring members and Isbeil.
  • 149,850XP for killing Queen Justinia OR a choice of Legendary-quality loot for letting her live.


A Craftsman of Dreams and Nightmares  ♦  A Danger to Herself and Others  ♦  A Familiar Face  ♦  A Fate Worse Than Death  ♦  A Generous Offer  ♦  A Hunger From Beyond  ♦  A Hunter of Wicked Things  ♦  A King Reborn  ♦  A Man and His Dog  ♦  A Most Urgent Matter  ♦  A Prize Kill  ♦  A Rare Prey  ♦  A Taste of Freedom  ♦  A Trial for All Seasons  ♦  A Web of Desire  ♦  A Wolf Alone  ♦  Aggressive Takeover  ♦  All In The Family  ♦  Almira's Request  ♦  An Existential Crisis  ♦  An Eye for an Eye  ♦  An Unlikely Patron  ♦  Artefacts of the Tyrant  ♦  Battle at the Gates  ♦  Bitter Tonic  ♦  Blessing from Afar  ♦  Blood Dowry  ♦  Bound by Pain  ♦  Burial Rites  ♦  Burying the Past  ♦  Business Rivals  ♦  Call to Arms  ♦  Champion of the Gods  ♦  Counting your Chickens  ♦  Crippling a Demon  ♦  Dark Dealings in the Blackpits  ♦  Delusions of Grandeur  ♦  Doctor's Orders  ♦  Drowning her Sorrows  ♦  Eithne the Trader  ♦  End Times  ♦  Escape from Fort Joy  ♦  Every Mother's Nightmare  ♦  Fane  ♦  Fane (Quest)  ♦  Finder's Fee  ♦  Finding Emmie  ♦  Finding Lord Arhu  ♦  Grebb the Scholar  ♦  Hammerfall  ♦  Healing Touch  ♦  Heroes' Rest  ♦  Hide & Seek  ♦  Hot Under the Collar  ♦  Infestation  ♦  Invaders  ♦  Keep Calm and Carrion  ♦  Lady o' War  ♦  Lost and Found  ♦  Love has a Price  ♦  Mercy is Power  ♦  Most Dangerous When Cornered  ♦  No Laughing Matter  ♦  No Way Out  ♦  Nothing But Child's Play  ♦  Old Flames  ♦  Old means Gold  ♦  On the Ropes  ♦  Opposites Attract  ♦  Past Mistakes  ♦  Popularity Contest  ♦  Powerful Awakening  ♦  Press-ganged  ♦  Proving Ground  ♦  Red Ink in the Ledger  ♦  Redemption  ♦  Running like Clockwork  ♦  Saheila's People  ♦  Saheila's Signet  ♦  School's Out  ♦  Seed of Power  ♦  Seeking Revenge  ♦  Shadow over Driftwood  ♦  Signs of Resistance  ♦  Silence Broken  ♦  Speaking in Forked Tongues  ♦  Strange Cargo  ♦  Stranger in a Strange Land  ♦  The Academy  ♦  The Advocate  ♦  The Arena of Fort Joy  ♦  The Arena of the One  ♦  The Armoury  ♦  The Bark's Bite  ♦  The Burning Pigs  ♦  The Burning Prophet  ♦  The Collar  ♦  The Consulate  ♦  The Covenant  ♦  The Cursed Ring  ♦  The Driftwood Arena  ♦  The Drowned Temple  ♦  The Druid  ♦  The Elven Seer  ♦  The Escape  ♦  The Eternal Worshipper  ♦  The Execution  ♦  The Forgotten and the Damned  ♦  The Gargoyle's Maze  ♦  The Imprisoned Elf  ♦  The Injured Magister  ♦  The Key to Freedom  ♦  The Last Stand of the Magisters  ♦  The Law of the Order  ♦  The Loremaster  ♦  The Merchant  ♦  The Midnight Oil  ♦  The Missing Magisters  ♦  The Missing Prisoners  ♦  The Mother Tree  ♦  The Murderous Gheist  ♦  The Nameless Isle  ♦  The Purged Dragon  ♦  The Reluctant Servants  ♦  The Sallow Man  ♦  The Secrets of Bloodmoon Island  ♦  The Shakedown  ♦  The Shriekers  ♦  The Silent One  ♦  The Snoozing Adventurer  ♦  The Stoic Spirit  ♦  The Teleporter  ♦  The Three Altars  ♦  The Tribe of Saheila  ♦  The Ugly Little Bird  ♦  The Vault of Linder Kemm  ♦  The Watcher's Mercy  ♦  The Weaver  ♦  The Wrecked Caravan  ♦  They Shall Not Pass  ♦  Thinning the Herd  ♦  Threads of a Curse  ♦  To the Hall of Echoes  ♦  Treated Like Cattle  ♦  Troubled Waters  ♦  Unlikely Lovers  ♦  Unscholarly Pursuits  ♦  Up in the Clouds  ♦  Vengeance for the Fallen  ♦  What a Fuss to have Wrought  ♦  Window of Opportunity  ♦  Wishful Thinking  ♦  Withermoore's Soul Jar

Join the page discussion Tired of anon posting? Register!

    • Anonymous

      04 Sep 2021 10:55  

      DE on PC. Kill Queen Justina grants only 74,945 XP. Spare her rewards you a few lv19 Legendary quality garbage. Ros will reward you even more Legendary garbage if you spare her. Ros will not turn hostile if you tell him Queen is dead.

      • Anonymous

        11 Jul 2021 10:44  

        For anyone wondering (as I was), the decision to send the deathfog to the sea vs. destroying the machine *does* appear to have an impact on certain endings.

        **SPOILER ALERT**

        If you become the Divine and Arx is otherwise intact (save for voidwoken attacks), and the deathfog is sent to the sea, you’ll be told that Arx was surrounded by deathfog and slowly withered away. The other ending is simply “Arx battled on.”

        • Anonymous

          01 Jul 2021 11:40  

          Don't go with all the party members in the chamber where you first meet Isbel and Justinia. Keep a thief character behind to loot the place after everyone is gone (and during the dialogue of your character that was previously set unconscious by Isbel). Inside a chest (I played Definitive Ed) there is a good One handed Mace named "Glaoch Girt", that has amongst others, stats for warfare and strength, and a socket. A character with high thievery can pick the lock of the chest that has the mace. You can then go and meet up with the rest of your party and Isbel.

          • Anonymous

            07 Jun 2021 15:03  

            If you have squishy characters whom are easily 1 hit KOed in the fight, you can detach them prior to entering the court and sneak them in after the main party gets stunned, giving you a sizable advantage to the fight.

            • Anonymous

              08 May 2021 14:38  

              I used bless twice on the cursed surface to keep my team safely in the pit. Then we took turns teleporting down the undead enemies who took damage from the healing blessed water/steam provides. Skin graft and source amulet were helpful for this

              • Anonymous

                09 Feb 2021 10:54  

                what do I do if I let Justinian live and then on the way out she just dies on deathfog? I thought she would just game glitch her way through but she just ran into it and died!

                • Anonymous

                  06 Feb 2021 17:46  

                  does it make a huge difference story-wise whether I kill the queen or not? Ifan and sebille tell me to kill her but lohse says to let her go.

                  • Anonymous

                    02 Jan 2021 15:09  

                    One of toughest fights for me yet, but first thing I did in my 6th try was swaping position of my lizard with eastmost enemy and I used this ray of fire spell on the rest. But still ended it with only one survivor

                    • Anonymous

                      29 Nov 2020 10:00  

                      If you are talking about the iron door with the acid and arrows and pressure plates, you have to stand on the pressure plate on the other side of the room. I think it's the middle one closest to the far wall (far wall being the furthest from the door you are trying to get in). So the first row of 3 from that far wall, the middle pressure plate. It's a toggle button so you don't have to stay there or place a crate or anything. I just had one person run across the room to click it and then teleport him back to the others.
                      I'm typing this from memory so adjust for error.
                      Hope this helps.

                      • Anonymous

                        16 Oct 2020 11:30  

                        I cannot open the iron door. that leads to the room. I have both sewer keys from the dead guard and the body next to sewer entrance. i have tried teleporting around it. canty for the life of me figure it out, all guides are either non DE version or show different part

                        • Anonymous

                          05 Oct 2020 15:05  

                          My strategy for the battle against Isbeil was to use the pit that was meant for you, against them. Arm yourself/team with plenty of teleportation scrolls and dump her mobs in there. They will occasionally attempt to perform phoenix dive to get out but if you have sufficient enough scrolls you'll be able to teleport them back down again easily. The mobs are much weaker down in the pits and will only throw limited grenades or rebounding shields. Meanwhile concentrate on finishing off Isbeil then refocus on her mobs with your uphill advantage. Good idea to use poison/fire resistance potions as well. This battle is much easier if you prep and utilize scrolls/potions for sure.

                          • Anonymous

                            21 Sep 2020 14:32  

                            Just a trick for the Isbeil's fight: Take one companion to room with Queen & isbeil. After Isbeil stuns you and brings you into another room, while on the dialog screen teleport other companions using pyramid. By this way, you will bypass the posion traps inside the room, Isbeil will teleport down. You probably will take her down in the first round.

                            • Anonymous

                              28 Jul 2020 23:19  

                              for those like myself who are crashing when clicking the wedding cake, here is the bug report forum post that is tracking it. Sadly, eta on a fix is not exact and looks like it will be least a couple weeks.

                              • Anonymous

                                23 Jul 2020 22:25  

                                Just as a PSA: If you kill Justinia and the quest does not close, interact with the Doomsday Device. You can opt to fog the city or redirect to the sea. I chose the sea option and it closed the quest for 135k~ xp

                                • Anonymous

                                  20 Jul 2020 21:38  

                                  after an hour of trying to figure out what the hell was wrong i see that there's deathfog blocking that hidden door
                                  this game is fast becoming a 0/10 for me for a million different reasons

                                  • Anonymous

                                    12 Jul 2020 19:27  

                                    The queen is missing.I killed her advisor and didn’t know about the secret doors so I left.I immediately came back but the location marking on her map was missing and so was she :(

                                    Should I restart the whole battle or just move forwards

                                    • Anonymous

                                      25 Jun 2020 03:08  

                                      Oh wow, so I'm not the only one that the exploding-cake-crash happens to. Good to know, but still really frustrating.

                                      • Anonymous

                                        21 Jun 2020 12:40  

                                        stuck in the pressure plate room, my party members cant stand on the plates for more than 15 seconds without dying so clearly im missing something. God this room sucks

                                      Load more
                                      ⇈ ⇈