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Dragon Age: Inquisition
Strategy Guide

Author(s): Greg Boccia, Greg Wright, Claire Farnworth
Editor(s): Claire Farnworth, Lynette James, Greg Wright, Greg Boccia
First Published: 18-12-2014 / 00:00 GMT
Last Updated: 17-09-2020 / 12:41 GMT
Version: 1.1 (????) 24-09-2020 / 05:42 GMT

Gaining Court Approval

Time to dabble in messy Orlesian politics and help settle a Civil War between Empress Celene and her cousin Grand Duke Gaspard, who was kind enough to offer you an invitation.

After the scene you’ll notice that you have 50 Court Approval or less. You lose 10 for being an Elf or a Mage, 20 if both, and 25 for being Qunari. Search the southwest corner for Montbelliard’s Ring; return it the Noblewoman nearby for 5 Court Approval. Read the plaque at the fountain for Winter Palace codex then climb the steps to the mid tier and again up the right set to the Upper Level. Search here for a Halla Statuette and head along the back wall to the left for a Chest.

(1 of 6) Pick up the ring from the fountain in the south eastern corner.

Note: Do not use any Halla Statuettes until you have accessed the Royal Wing. This allows you to get the most out of the story options and the best loot.

Cross over to the left Upper Level to the west where you can eavesdrop on some nobles. From here turn north and walk down the back wall to find a Storage Key in a flower bed. Drop down one level and unlock the Storage Room directly beneath this western Upper Level. Inside you’ll find a Scandalous Secret, a hidden Caprice coin, and a Chest. Now go east to the other side and use the Halla Statuette to open the door. Inside you’ll find two loot stashes with Rare Weapons. You can now open the gate and head inside.

(1 of 4) Interact with locations where you can eavesdrop to learn new information.

Note: Be sure to loot every scandalous secret that you come across. These can be used during conversations with notables to control the flow of conversation.

Finding Secrets and Statuettes

Turn right up the stairs and listen to nobles for a Scandalous Secret. There isn’t much else to do at the moment so enter the Ballroom. Proceed to Celene, be polite to gain 10 Court Approval. Head down the right side to find Josephine who is talking to her sister. Feel free to engage in conversation. Further down is A Compendium of Orlesian Theater on the couch. On the other side of the room you can find Vivienne if you brought her along, Leliana, who you give scandalous secrets to, and Cullen. It’s fun to listen to the conversations around Cullen. He seems to have a fan club.

Tip: To ensure that you gain maximum court approval and don’t lose any, always choose the first option of dialogue when speaking with Celene.

Head back to the Vestibule when you’re done talking. You can find Cassandra here if she’s in your party. The eavesdrop spot towards the back that failed should work this time. Head through the door to the west to eavesdrop on some elves in the back. Down the steps you’ll find Blackwall if you brought him and you can also search for a Caprice.

(1 of 2) Search for the Caprice Coin by Blackwall.

Search for the Caprice Coin by Blackwall.Eavesdrop on the conversation between the two elves to learn some valuable information.

Search for the Caprice Coin by Blackwall. (left), Eavesdrop on the conversation between the two elves to learn some valuable information. (right)

Head down the hall and speak with Duke Germann, tell him “Phillipe is a jerk!” to gain 10 Court Approval. You can find A Compendium on Orlesian Theater in a side room, a Caprice Coin right next to it, as well as an eavesdrop location to obtain another Scandalous Secret for Leliana. Speak to the Duke again here and ask about Gaspard to gain 5 Court Approval.

(1 of 2) Respond to Duke Germain with “Phillippe is a jerk” to gain court approval.

Respond to Duke Germain with “Phillippe is a jerk” to gain court approval.Search for the Cyclinder Seal on the balcony from the Upper Levels.

Respond to Duke Germain with “Phillippe is a jerk” to gain court approval. (left), Search for the Cyclinder Seal on the balcony from the Upper Levels. (right)

Warning!: Do not speak with the group of three guards in the room adjacent to the balcony more than once. Doing so will decrease court approval by 10.

In the next room down you can go to the balcony. Search here for a Cylinder Seal then go right through the hall and out into the Guest Garden. Dorian hangs out here if you brought him along to the festivities. You can gain two Scandalous Secrets by eavesdropping on the left and another one on the right locations. Loot the two Sacks on the left end then climb up to the balcony.

Here you’ll lose approval so move fast. Grab the Halla Statuette on the balcony to the right and the Scandalous Secret, then open the door at the left end using it. Loot the Chest in here and pick up Halamshiral Investigation Clues. Enter the Grand Library and search the back left for a secret; pulling the book reveals a hidden room. Inside loot the Chest and read the letter. Light the veilfire then the urns outside in the following order:

  1. Etienne I
  2. Reville
  3. Etienne II
  4. Judicael I
  5. Judicael II
  6. Florian

This will remove the floor and lead to a secret area. Loot the room for Confustion Grenade Recipe, a Rare Belt, Masterwork Magister Staff Blade schematic, and various other random items.

(1 of 7) Climb the feature beside the fountain to reach the main library.

Exit through the side doors then go down the steps. Search the bookshelf for an update in the Halamshiral Investigation: Clues. In the left room is a Scandalous Secret and a Safe, you’ll find the same as you go down the hall. Cole will be here if you brought him along. Exit back to the Vestibule at this point and into the Ballroom where the bells will ring letting you know it’s time to return. Don’t be slow or you’ll lose 10 Court Approval, however, being ‘fashionably late’ by entering after the second ring of the bells will net +5 Approval. Here you bump into Morrigan and she wants your help.

The Servants Quarters

After talking to Morrigan head back towards the Court Garden. The two eavesdrop locations should provide a Scandalous Secret now. Head down to the Servants’ Quarters from the Hall of Heroes. Be sure to re-equip your fighting gear when you enter. Head into the bedroom to find a Diary of a Nosy Servant then into the kitchen after looting the Chest. You can grab the Winter Palace codex and the Halla Statuette above by jumping. Now move to the courtyard and make a hard left to the corner; search to find a Halla Statuette here.

(1 of 2) You’ll find a Halla Statuette in the corner to your left as you enter the courtyard.

You’ll find a Halla Statuette in the corner to your left as you enter the courtyard.You’ll need to jump a few times while selecting the statuette in the kitchen to reach it.

You’ll find a Halla Statuette in the corner to your left as you enter the courtyard. (left), You’ll need to jump a few times while selecting the statuette in the kitchen to reach it. (right)

Leap down and you’ll have to fight some Venatori Zealots after a scene. Go north to find more Venatori, this time including a Spellbinder. Climb the steps to the north east, ascend the ladder and search the corner of the balcony for a Caprice. Within the room off the balcony is another Halla Statuette and a safe containing loot. Now go to the south side and defeat the Venatori there then enter the Grand Apartments. Read A Compendium of Orlesian Theater on the table and into the next room to find more Venatori and Jeshavis, Mother of Orlais.

Tip: Be sure to thoroughly explore the gardens to collect all herbs and loot piles. The piles of loot contain at least 150 gold each.

In the large room are some Marksman and a codex for The Lion of Orlais. Loot the Snake Chest and search the southern wall to find a Caprice on a table. Head north into the bedrooms where there is a Chest along the way, and search the beds to find a Caprice. Now head upstairs, turning north to find a Mad Emperor Reville codex. Turn the corner and defeat the Venatori here to trigger a scene with Briala.

Note: You do not need to open the locked room here. In fact it’s best to leave it alone unless you want to put Briala in charge. After the scene with her, try not to linger too long in the apartments or gardens, lest your court approval gradually diminish.

Pick up the Halla Statuette now and head to the bedroom to find an update to Winter Palace. Open the door here and loot the room, you’ll find a Rare Weapon, Rare Schematic, an Amulet of Power for Vivienne, and an Elven Locket. You can head out now and hopefully you didn’t lose too much Court Approval in the process.

Continuing the Dance

As you return to the main level look right and search the bench to find a Scandalous Secret. Talk to the men guarding the Trophy Room, if you have the perk you can tell them to talk with Commander Cullen and they’ll leave. This earns 10 Court Approval and grants access to the Trophy Room. Search the corner for a Scandalous Secret and the left side for a Caprice. Enter the next room to find a Halla Statuette.

Did you Know? You can find the head of a Krogan mounted on the wall to your right as you enter the Trophy Room. Apparently it was found and killed in 9:27 Dragon. This isn’t the first time Mass Effect and Dragon Age have had a cross over. Donovan Hock has a statue of an Ogre from Dragon Age: Origins in his vault during Kasumi: Stolen Memories mission.

Now head to the Ballroom to meet Grand Duchess Florianne de Chalons. To earn the maximum Court Approval, choose the following dialogue options:

“May I help you?”
“Let’s dance.”
“Why don’t you educate me?”
“Is that what we both want?”
“Which am I to you?”
“Who do you trust?”
“Isn’t everyone?”

Note: After the dance you can discuss your preference regarding the outcome of the quest. This will not have a direct impact on the end result yet, so you needn’t worry about what you choose.

Check the northwest corner of the Ballroom for a hidden Caprice. Talk to the “Ladies in Waiting” now and if you have the Elven Locket, let them know if you want Briala to be reunited with Celene. You can speak with the Dowager. Should you have the right perk you can ask her for a dance gaining 5 Court Approval and a mission at the War Table. Talk to Ambassador Briala and make note of the Elven Locket; you’ll gain 10 Court Approval for it.

Secrets and Caprice Hunt

Go down the east side of the Ballroom and search the railing for another Caprice then return to the Vestibule. Search the north side of the Vestibule for a Caprice on the ground. Go down the steps to the Lower Level and search the left side for a Scandalous Secret. Head back to the Guest Wing (west from the Vestibule) and search the long hallway for a Scandalous Secret. Go into the side room where the Duke is to find another Scandalous Secret in the corner.

(1 of 2) Be sure to thoroughly explore each room while using the search function to find all Caprice Coins.

Be sure to thoroughly explore each room while using the search function to find all Caprice Coins.Be sure to thoroughly explore each room while using the search function to find all Scandalous Secrets.

Be sure to thoroughly explore each room while using the search function to find all Caprice Coins. (left), Be sure to thoroughly explore each room while using the search function to find all Scandalous Secrets. (right)

Back in the hall is a Scandalous Secret on the table and another one is next to the couch. Enter the room at the end to find a Caprice and Scandalous Secret on and near the couch. Leap out the window here to find another Scandalous Secret and then onto the balcony to eavesdrop for a point. Pick up the Scandalous Secret on the nearby chair then head into the Garden. Check the northwest corner for a Scandalous Secret. Toss some of your Caprice Coins into the fountain if you need some approval; if you are at 100 then hold off until a little later.

Note: If you have been saving some Halla Statuettes then use 3 to enter the Lower Level. Varric is down here but you can also snag the Orlesian Banner from a chest. There is also a Caprice on the bench at the bottom. In addition, talk to the man you were eavesdropping on in the Garden. Pick a side and you can recruit him.

Climb up the wall and turn left to find a Caprice. Head through the doors here and down the hallway. Search as you go to find a Scandalous Secret on the table. Approach the Royal Wing and eavesdrop to gain another Scandalous Secret. Time to go to the Royal Wing.

The Royal Wing

Change your equipment after entering and search the table for a Scandalous Secret. Move across the middle area to the east where you’ll be able to stop an Elven servant from meeting her end. Pick up the Halla Statuette and loot the two Chests before going back west across the middle area, entering the south western door. Grab the Halla Statuette in plain site, then the Chest, and finally search the corner for a Scandalous Secret. Head south and go past the room with the quest marker for now. Down the steps you’ll find another Halla Statuette.

Open the western area via the door and into the northern room. Search the left side for a Halla Statuette and a Caprice. You have at least 5 Halla Statues now so go all the way north and open the door here. Search the left table for a Scandalous Secret. Loot the right Chest and go up the steps; here you’ll find an awkward situation. Let the man go and tell him to hush up or get him information to blackmail Celene but either way you gain 10 Court Approval. Check the table on the right of the bed for a Caprice and loot the Footlocker.

Note: This is the last chance you have to finish the two quests. With the Secret and Caprice you pick up in here you’ll have them all. This is only possible if you opened the Lower Level and this room.

Jardin de Reverie

Head back south to the room on the eastern end, the Jardin de Reverie. It turns out to be an ambush set up by the Duchess. Kill the Venatori then focus on the Despair Demons. Disrupt the Rift to stun the demons and take them out; the Greater Terrors should be frozen to buy you some time. Afterwards, speak with Mercenary Captin. You can do what you will with him, but if you have the right perk you can recruit him into the Inquisition. The eastern balcony has some loot, but you need to go south and slay more Venatori.

Go downstairs to find a Harlequin. Defeat her and go north to a side room with a Chest. Read A Compendium of Orlesian Theater at the north bookshelf then into La Serrure. You can only pick one door because they cost 5 Halla Statues each and you may have spent the ones you had already. They each just have a single Chest behind with random loot so don’t fret over it too much. Head west to the Kitchens for a Supply Cache then into the Dining Room for two Chests. Exit south then check up the stairs for a Chest. Return to the Ballroom and make your decision.

  • Talk to Florianne - With at least 85 Court Approval you can have Florianne arrested.
  • Wait for Florianne to attack - Celene will die and you must fight Florianne.
  • Detain the duchess - Celene will be saved and you must fight Florianne.

Approval Outcomes

Celene rules alone

“Briala is an accomplice.”

Iron Bull - Approves

“No, spare Gaspard’s life.”

Sera - Approves
Blackwall - Slightly Approves
Cole - Greatly Disapproves

Celene and Briala rule together

“Briala helped stop Florianne.”

Solas - Approves

“What about Briala’s reward?”

Cole - Approves
Dorian - Slightly Approves
Sera - Disapproves

If the reconciliation succeeds:

Cassandra - Greatly Approves
Cole - Greatly Approves
Dorian - Greatly Approves

Public truce

“All of you are at fault.”

Solas - Approves

“Work together for Orlais.”

Cole - Greatly Approves
Sera - Slightly Approves
Blackwall - Slightly Approves
Cassandra - Slightly Disapproves

“You’ve been outplayed.”

Sera - Approves
Blackwall - Slightly Approves
Cassandra - Slightly Disapproves

“You work for me now.”

Cole - Greatly Approves
Sera - Approves
Cassandra - Slightly Disapproves

Gaspard rules alone

“Gaspard will be emperor.”

Cassandra - Greatly Approves
Iron Bull - Greatly Approves
Sera - Slightly Approves
Dorian - Disapproves
Blackwall - Greatly Disapproves
Cole - Greatly Disapproves

Gaspard and Briala rule

“Briala can take over.”

Solas - Approves
Dorian - Slightly Approves
Sera - Slightly Disapproves
Cassandra - Greatly Disapproves

BOSS - Grand Duchess

Value Stats
Health 40570
Defence 24
Immunity All Disabling Effects, Poisoned, Slowed, Knocked Down

Ranged fighters will have an advantage in this battle because the Grand Duchess fights from above and around the Courtyard and moves quickly. Any Archer abilities can dish out some good damage on her. You will have to contend with Venatori Zealots throughout the battle. Try to use a Focus ability to take them out when they are near Florianne so everyone takes damage. Using Grappling Chain for this battle is one of the best things you can do since you can pull Florianne down into the fray and across runes, if you have them set up, for massive damage.

As you lower her health, Florianne will head to the left and right sides of the courtyard and more Venatori will emerge. Defeat the lesser foes first and bring Florianne back to the middle ground so you can pummel her. During this phase you’ll have to contend with being put to sleep and the Grand Duchess raising a Guard. Abilities that deal more damage to Guard are useful at this point and Haste seems to be one of the more useful Focus abilities for this fight.

After the battle you get to make your decision on who will rule, providing Celene isn’t alive, and of course this doesn’t come without consequences. If Empress Celene is alive then you can implicate either Briala or Gaspard as the traitor whom can be sentenced to death. Likewise, you can make everyone work together or just Celene and Briala if you initiated this using the Elven Locket.

Trophy icon
Wicked Eyes and Wicked Hearts

Make an impression on the Orlesian court.

Bronze
15
Codex Entries Other Texts Enemies
Briala The Art of the Winter Palace (Bronto) Venatori Zealot
A Compendium of Orlesian Theater The Art of the Winter Palace (Deepstalker) Venatori Mage
Council of Heralds The Art of the Winter Palace (Guest Garden) Venatori Spellbinder
Empress Celene Valmont Diary of a Nosy Servant Venatori Marksman
A Ghoulish Delight Halamshiral Investigation - Clues (Briala) Greater Terror
Grand Duchess Florianne de Chalons Halamshiral Investigation - Clues (Celene) Despair Demon
Grand Duke Gaspard de Chalons Halamshiral Investigation - Clues (Gaspard) Harlequin
Halamshiral Halamshiral Investigation - Clues (Grand Library)
Jeshavis, Mother of Orlais Halamshiral Investigation - Clues (Trophy Room)
The Lion of Orlais (Inquisition)
Mad Emperor Reville
Morrigan (Inquisition)
Orlesian Caprice Coins
Superstitions of the Royal Family
Wicked Eyes and Wicked Hearts
Winter Palace

Guide Information

  • Publisher
    Electronic Arts
  • Platforms
    PC, PS3, PS4, Steam, 360, XB1
  • Genre
    Role-playing
  • Guide Release
    18 December 2014
  • Last Updated
    17 September 2020
    Version History
  • Guide Author
    Greg Boccia, Greg Wright, Claire Farnworth

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This guide for Dragon Age: Inquisition offers a detailed walkthrough of the main story and all side quests associated with each region, detailing easily missed features and hidden lore secrets along the way. The guide also covers all three main DLC: Jaws of Hakkon, The Descent, and Trespasser, and all dialogue choices throughout the game.

Inside this guide you will find:

  • Coming Soon! A detailed Character Builds section with coverage of all classes, skill trees, recommended armor, weapons, consumables, and much more!

  • A Walkthrough for all main story quests, detailing the consequences of your choices along the way.

  • Walkthrough for all DLC content, covering Jaws of Hakkon, The Descent, and Trespasser.

  • Exploration sections for each region, including side quests, requisitions, collections and companion quests.

  • Comprehensive section on Dialogue Choices, covering both approval and romance options for companions.

  • Breakdown of Specialization Trainers, including where to find them and how to complete their missions.

  • Crafting section covering key locations for potions, tonics, grenades, and other materials.

  • An Equipment section, detailing where to find some of the best weapons and armor.

  • A Mounts section with descriptions of how to acquire them and when they become available.

  • Overview of Multiplayer including basic starting tips, coverage of characters, challenges, and loot.

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