Its the year 9:31 Dragon, one year after the end of the 5th Blight. In Orzammar, there are rumors of a hound stalking the Deep Roads, fighting and killing Darkspawn alongside the Legion of the Dead.
One particular Legionnaire, named Volen, stumbles across the site of a large fight in the Deep Roads. He finds dead Darkspawn, and dead royal soldiers. In the shadows, he sees a large, canine shape, with a smaller form in its mouth, which turns to flee. Volen chases the beast out of the Deep Roads and into Orzammar.
Volen pursues the beast through Orzammar, but the beast is faster. It seems to be heading for the surface. Volen breaks off the hunt to report to the king and explain what he had found. On the way to the royal palace, he passes members of a new cult, calling themselves the Crimson Dawn, preaching about the coming of a savior, a Red Daughter, who they claim has already been born.
Volen arrives at Orzammar’s royal palace and reports to King Bhelen of what he saw in the deep roads. Bhelen explains to Volen that the dog, called the Grey Hound of Orzammar, has made off with an abomination his soldiers had been taking into the Deep Roads to dispose of. He makes the decision to send Volen and Gorim, another of his soldiers, to pursue the beast, and destroy the monster it is protecting.
The two of them head to the surface and follow the trail, taking the main road north.