The Cypher is a quest available in Dragon's Dogma.


"Investigate a slate bearing a forgotten script. It may reveal aught of the dragon."

This quest is one of four that can be obtained from Ser Maximilian once the Arisen has received the Wyrm Hunt License from Ser Duncan after the completion of the quest the Lure of the Abyss

The Cypher requires the Arisen to investigate the meaning of strange writings on an Ancient Slate, and takes them to Hillfigure Knoll, and a meeting with The Dragonforged.


The quest is obtained by speaking with Ser Maximilian in the Noble Quarter and selecting "Decipher a text" from his available quests. This quest requires the Arisen to decipher an ancient text, believed to somehow involve the Arisen and their fate.

The Cypher (quest walkthrough) using Tempest Harness

The Cypher (quest walkthrough) using Tempest Harness

As soon as the quest is received, the party may travel directly to Hillfigure Knoll to speak to The Dragonforged. Starting from the northern exit, head north across the bridge. Run past Conquest Road, Northface Forest and Windbluff Tower to the east. Run uphill to Hillfigure Knoll, enter the cave, speak with The Dragonforged and Ferrystone back to Ser Maximillian to complete the quest.

The initial parts of the quest are optional and it is possible to go directly to Hillfigure Knoll to complete the quest. (See § Seek Further Leads).

Inquire Around Town (optional)

Start by heading towards the Fields of Gran Soren in the Craftsman's Quarter. Speak with a farmer named Josias and he will state that he doesn't know anything about the writings, but thinks that a scrivener might be able to tell more.

Visit the Forger (optional)

Head towards The Black Cat, which can be found in the Venery and speak with the scrivener Mountebank. Unfortunately he will only be able to help a little, deciphering only a few words.

Seek Further Leads

Afterward, find the courier Maurin who's running around the town. He sometimes makes stops at Caxton's Armory in Fountain Square. He'll state that the words seem to have something to do with Hillfigure Knoll.

Regardless on how this point is reached, Hillfigure Knoll is the final destination. To reach it be prepared to do some traveling. Hillfigure Knoll is located to the north of Gran Soren, near the Northface Forest. To get there it is best to exit Gran Soren through the northern entrance and travel to Deos Hills. Take the path leading north and over the bridge. Directly after the bridge the path splits, but take the right path called Conquest Road which goes north. Along the way will be Bandits, Goblins, Direwolves, sometimes a Cyclops and Snow Harpies.

After some traveling, the Windbluff Tower will be seen - take the road past Windbluff Tower to the Northface Forest. Beware of Snow Harpies and Direwolves. A bit north of Windbluff Tower will be a road winding up the hill west of the path. From here can see a large figure drawn on the hill. This is Hillfigure Knoll.

Travel up the hill and head towards the dolmen to left of the hill. As the rocks are approached the Fool and the Dragonforged will meet with the Arisen, and the quest will continue from inside Hillfigure Knoll. Speak with The Dragonforged and he will explain the Ancient Slate's meaning.

Report Your Findings

After speaking with the Dragonforged, the Arisen is free to explore the caverns. There is a Bronze Idol next to his throne and a Recluse's Robe in the Armor/Weapons pile close to the entrance.  Head back to Gran Soren and report the findings to Ser Maximilian.

Quest Successful

After speaking with Ser Maximilian the quest is completed.


  • If the Arisen has not yet procured Griffin Strategy Vol. 3 (for Pawn Bestiary Knowledge), make sure to acquire it in the Dragonforged's cave before completing this quest as the chances of finding it later in the game are very slim.
  • The cutscene on first travelling to the Knoll and meeting the Fool will trigger regardless of whether this quest is active.
  • As of Dark Arisen, players can find a Portcrystal in the alcove attached to The Dragonforged's chamber.
  • The Arisen is likely to be ambushed by the bandits Kent and or Lowane en route to the hill during this quest.


The End at the Beginning  · Harbinger of Destruction  · Newly Arisen  · Upon a Pawn
Call of the Arisen · A Rude Awakening · Off With Its Head ·A Matter of Myrmidons
Lure of the Abyss · The Cypher · A Fortress Besieged · Seeking Salvation · The Watergod's Altar
Come to Court · Griffin's Bane · Trial and Tribulations · Pride Before a Fall · The Wyrmking's Ring
Honor and Treachery · Reward and Responsibility · Deny Salvation · The Final Battle
A Warm Welcome · Fathom Deep · Final Judgement · The Great Hereafter
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