When we last left off in our Dragon Age Inquisition quest, we had found that Corypheus was attempting to control the Gray Wardens by causing them to believe their deaths were imminent. While they were weak from the thought, he planned to recruit them for his own nefarious purposes. So, how do we stop him? Like this, of course:
Hawke’s contact, Stroud, says that the Gray Wardens are heading The Calling; death is imminent. The problem is that death isn’t imminent; Corypheus is putting The Calling in the head of every Warden, somehow. Sadly, Wardens are falling for the ruse; we’ll find answers at the Western Approach, he says.
Off we go to the Approach. when we arrive, my officer informs me that things aren’t looking good. There is a lot of danger out there; we should be aware. I thank her and continue into the desert. I don’t have much choice.
I make my way to a location where some of Corypheus’ men are encamped to perform what seems to be a terrible ritual. A Tevinter magister under Corypheus’ rule, Livius Erimond, is performing some dangerous blood magic on nearby Wardens. The Wardens are confused by The Calling in their minds, and they can’t resist doing something about it, so Erimond binds them with demons to fight in Corypheus’ army. Why? Because once demons are bound and controlled by a leader, they’re more faithful than humans. Those poor Wardens don’t even realize their own fallacies by willingly becoming demons.
We must kill this crazed magister. With the help of my party members, I manage to do so and take out the demons as well. But this is only the beginning. We must stop the rest of the Wardens from following the same path in their delirium. But first, I take a break to embark upon another mission: I must save Celene, Empress de Lion.
Corypheus is planning her assassination, and I must foil it. If she dies, the entire region of Orlais will fall into a state of turmoil, and in the madness, Corypheus will be able to take over. With hold of such a large region, he would be able to take over all of Thedas! This seems to be a more pressing threat to me at the moment than saving the rest of the Gray Wardens , so I head to the masquerade ball at the Empress’ palace. At this ball, she is planning to hold peace talks between warring sides in an Orlesian civil war. Her cousin, Duke Gaspard, is adamant that he is the once that deserves the throne over Celene. Something must be done about this, so an event is planned.
I make my way to the event with all the formalities of an honored dignitary. I meet with Gaspard, and he tries his best to be cordial and polite. He surely seems like a nice man, and I suspect him of nothing. He attempts to place some blame on Embassador Briala, who seems to be involved in sparking and maintaining the fire of the war. I believe him to an extent, but I keep my eye out for danger.
I eventually get to chat with Florianne, Gaspard’s sister and Celene’s ally. She organized the peace talks between Celene and Gaspard, so she seems to be pretty trustworthy. She tells me that I’ll find some of Gaspard’s mercenaries in the palace gardens. I should look there if I want to stop the assassination attempt on the queen.
I head to the garden, and I find exactly what I’m looking for: mercenaries. It looks like Gaspard is truly the one to blame here, as I see his knife in the back of a dead man’s body. Meanwhile, Briala personally takes out one of these shady mercenaries who is sneaking around the off-limits portions of the palace. Anyone fighting Gaspard seems to be a friend of mine, at the moment; maybe she’s honest after all, so I give her a chance. She says that Gaspard is attempting to overthrow Celene and that he’s helping plan the assassination, though I assumed that by the time she told me. Now, she seems trustworthy enough, but is she trying to double cross me?
As I continue in the gardens, I soon see that I’ve walked right into a trap! In fact, Florianne is on Corypheus’ side! Her hint to find mercenaries in the garden was correct, but that also led me right to where she wanted me: to a small area where there are plenty of demons and warriors ready to take me out at her personal command. I manage to kill them all with the help of my party members, and I head back to the ball, knowing fully that Florianne must die for her attack on me; she could be going for Celene at any moment!
When I get back from the garden, I strike up a chat with my Inquisition party members. I find that Briala isn’t to be fully trusted either, despite the fact that she seems to be on the side of the Empress (even being her spymaster and handmaid). She seems to be stirring up both sides in the civil war. Gaspard is definitely in cahoots with an assassination attempt, as evidenced by the mercenaries. But Florianne seems to be leading a charge as well; she admitted as much to me before her men attempted to kill me. What should I do? All of them are bad to an extent, but some are better than others. As Varric points out, however, it seems that everyone is trying to stab everyone else in the back.
There are so many ways this whole event could play out. I could let Celene die and hope that things don’t go the way Corypheus had planned. I could try taking out Briala, or I could go for Gaspard or even Florianne. Whatever I choose, different outcomes are possible, and I cannot be positive which one would lead to the least amount of turmoil. After all, pretty much everyone has followers and detractors; I’ll upset large groups in Orlais no matter what I do.
In the end, I decide to take out Florianne: she seems the most dangerous.
Right before she moves in to assassinate Celene, I make my appearance, shout out a warning, and it all goes downhill from there. Florianne’s well-placed soldiers spring out and kill some of the palace guards while Florianne herself advances toward the Empress. I’m not about to let that happen, and I chase her away to a nearby courtyard where my party dukes it out in combat with hers. After a lengthy battle, I end her life and save the Empress.
But we’re not done yet. What about Gaspard and Briala? As luck would have it, I have enough dirt on both to condemn them, and Celene believes me wholeheartedly. In fact, they’re both apprehended immediately and sentenced to death. She spins the story in a way that makes all look well in Orlais, and everyone at the masquerade ball is overjoyed that the traitors have been found and killed. Even better, the civil war is over at last!
But, as I mention to the guests, the fighting has only begun. Corypheus’ plan to kill Celene and overtake Orlais may have failed today, but his rage will only grow, and a war with him is imminent. It’s time to fight! Luckily, Celene is a huge supporter of the Inquisition, especially after what we did to save her life. With her support, we have yet another ally in the fight against Corypheus.
What happens next in my Dragon Age Inquisition playthrough? Be sure to watch for episode 3, and you’ll find out!