While the four friends are underway to Denerim, Loghain elevates his biggest sycophant, Randon Howe, to leader of the Denerim Guards and as a personal advisor. The obvious weasly nature of Howe makes him an unlikely ally to Loghain, but maybe Loghain thinks that dire times call for strange bedfellows or maybe Howe was best choice out of the pool of people who are still loyal to him and Loghain is making do with what he's got.
Howe believes that he has the answer to Loghain's Grey Warden problem. He introduces him to Zevran, an Antivan Crow Assassin. The elven interloper arrogantly toots his own horn and Loghain is apprenhensive about it all, not really sure if sending a professional murderer after the lice in his pelt is the right thing to do. But Howe is certain that it will work and that soon, Majhika and her fellows will be one worry less for Loghain to content with.
Loghain actualizes the decision to have Majhika assassinated, still unsure if it is the way to go. All that backstabbing and skullduggery in Redcliffe hasn't brought him the desired results as well. And so the Antivan Crow goes upon his business. Never before felt the future this unsure for Loghain...
Zevran intercepts the travelers with an ambush that he believes was sprung perfectly. A female henchman posing as a helpless caravaneer besieges the friends to help her with the broken carts. Of course, the friends agree and so find themselves in a small ravine while around them, Zevran's people emerge who train their weapons on the four. Zevran holds a little speech, selling the hide before the bear is hunted and the battle kicks off.
When the dust settles, the travelers are victorious. Between the bodies of the vanquished they find that their leader, Zevran the Antivan Crow, yet lives. Mahjika wastes no words or time on the elf and serves him his fate. The assassin gets assassinated. Not even Sten could've predicted this much cold-blooded decision-making from a mere human cursed with magic. With Zevran dead and left to the crows for real, the four friends press on to Denerim.
But once in Denerim, making their way to Genitivi's house, Majhika learns that what happens in Ostagar has a nasty habit of not staying in Ostagar. A knight who was at Ostagar also, left the place behind believing that the Grey Wardens failed at their end of the battleplan and challenges Mahjika to single combat as means of satisfaction for the Grey Wardens' failure. Majhika's fast tongue once more bamboozles an assailant and the knight parts with his life and dignity intact.
Finally arriving at Genitivi's house the travelers are greeted by Weylon, Genitivi's research assistant. Weylon seems to be very intent on the four leaving as soon as possible and clumsily sets them on a path that clearly sounds like a red herring to Majhika's ears. She decides to follow through on her questions and Weylon's position becomes more and more untennable. He attacks Mahjika and pays for it with his life. The friends wonder why this happened and decide to search the house. They discover that the Weylon they spoke to was an impostor and that the real weylon was murdered and stuffed into a chest. The false Weylon had arrived just a little before they made it there. Had the knight not hold them up, they probably would've made it to the real Weylon! They also find out that Genitivi has gone to the village of Haven in search of the Ashes of Andastre. And so the friends leave Denerim behind for Haven.
Haven is a different kettle of fish, the travelers learn. The denizens profess to worship the real Andraste in a form that seems to predate the chantry. Some investigation shows the four that the Havenites aren't above sacrificing people to appease the real Andastre. Morrigan appears to be fascinated by it all, likening the practice to a rudimentary form of Bloodmagic. She's quick to denounce the horror of it when her companions look at her funny. Maybe it's better if they seek out the mayor of Haven and get some answers, then?
The leader of the Havenites isn't very much helpful with giving answers. Like a true cult-leader every question is met with wooly religious speak that neither addresses the question or even attempts to answer anything at all. When the topic shifts to the fate of Brother Genitivi, the Cult-leader realises that there's no way out but to order his defenseless villagers to their death. The cultleader dies in the battle that follows, but so does everybody else who calls themselves a denizen of Haven. What's left is an eerie silence which underscores that the last Havenite has departed to Andraste's embrace, until Majhika realises that somewhere in the temple, someone yet lives.
The sole survivor of Haven turns out to be not a Havenite at all, but brother Genitivi at last. The four patch the man up and learn from him that the Ashes of Andraste aren't a myth at all, it is real, it is exists and is nearby. Majhika is satisfied that her quest can be completed now and wants to ditch Genitivi, but it turns out that now that every Havenite has perished that he is the only person alive to open the door to Andraste's temple. Grinding her teeth over the fact that she has to schlep a wounded man around because reasons, Majhika accepts the unavoidable. Together they make for the temple.
However, opening the door to Andastre's temple is merely a step towards obtaining the ashes. The four has to fight their way past even more cultists, demons, dragonlings and even drakes. The party wipes a few times and re-emerge mysteriously each time, but they never question the divine protection that they seem to enjoy. Along the way they learn that cultists are taking care of the brood of a dragon, but they can't figure out why. Once they encounter Kolgrim, it all becomes clear. The Havenites are descendants of the people that hid Andraste's Ashes from the Empirium who have come to believe that a High-Dragon pre-rampage is Andraste Reborn. Kolgrim has a deal for Majhika. If she poisons Andraste's Ashes, he gives her power unimaginable in return. Majhika enjoys that idea very much and is on the verge of going along with Kolgrim.
But it is Majhika's best friend Sten who manages to talk some sense into her. Even though he's not an Andrastian, Sten believes that what Majhika wants to go along with is morally deplorable and that no reward for such a deed justifies doing it. Unwilling to be seen as a deplorable person by her best friend, Majhika declines poisoning Andraste's ashes. It results in a fight that completes the genocide of Haven's denizens, but Majhika does not think of questioning the morals or deplorability of that. A religious relic surely is more precious than a whole community of misguided people. It's best not to dwell on it. Andraste's Ashes await.