Beat Wicked Eyes and Wicked Hearts in Dragon Age: Inquisition Part 1

Edited by Brindzhound, Eng

Wicked Eyes and Wicked Hearts is a long, grueling mission and a main storyline quest in Dragon Age: Inquisition. The Inquisition is there ostensibly to warn Empress Celene that her life is in danger, but you have to get close to her to do it.

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Complicating matters are the Orlesian Civil War, in which Grand-Duke Gaspard's forces and Empress Celene's forces are fighting for control of the Empire and the fact that nothing in the Orlesian Court can be done without playing the Grand Game, about which I'll say more later.

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While there are parts of this quest I'm not fond of, overall it is fun, and at the end, you get to dance with your love interest in a romantic turn around the balcony.

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Court Approval

Court Approval

The Orlesian Court is very particular about just who it allows to mingle in its midst. You must play the Grand Game to win its approval, which requires you to be as indirect as possible and to realize that nothing is as it seems and everyone you meet has his or her own agenda. Some Inquisitors will start with a lower approval rating than others: namely Elven, Qunari, and Mage Inquisitors. If you're an Elven or Qunari Mage, you take a double hit. It isn't fair, but there's nothing about the Orlesian Game that is.

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The Factions

Briala, Gaspard, and Celene

There are three factions vying for control of Orlais at the time of Empress Celene's Grand Ball:

  • Empress Celene Valmont I: Celene Valmont ascended to the throne in 9.20 Dragon after her uncle; then Emperor Florian was assassinated. Some Orlesian nobles believe that her claim to the throne is illegitimate.
  • Briala: Empress Celene's handmaid and spymaster.
  • Grand-Duke Gaspard de Chalons: Gaspard de Chalons is the highest noble ever to become a Chevalier and is a man well-respected by his men. He despises the Grand Game and believes in the Chevalier code. He is a cousin to Empress Celene, and some believe that his claim to the throne is as legitimate as hers, if not more so.

The Front Gardens

Talking to Gaspard in the Front Gardens Upon Arrival

As soon as you arrive at Halamshiral for Empress Celene's ball, you have a conversation with Grand-Duke Gaspard, at whose invitation the Inquisition is allowed to attend. You'll have some dialog options with Gaspard, but since they don't affect the mission, say whatever you feel is most appropriate for your character.

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Once your conversation with the Duke is completed, you gain control of your character, and you're in the front gardens of the palace.

You need to gain Court Approval, especially if you're an Elf or Qunari, and there are a few things to do here to help you do that.

  1. 1
    Find the noble's ring
    .
    Run east toward the lion fountain against the wall and press your search key to reveal the ring. Turn it in to the young Noblewoman standing nearby for five court approval points.
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  2. 2
    Turn toward the palace and go up the right staircase
    .
    Upstairs, you'll find a balcony. Go there and hit your search key to find a halla statue. You need Halla statues to open halla doors in the palace. There are 10 halla statues in total, and collecting all of them completed the Heard of Hallas quest. It's not necessary to complete Wicked Eyes and Wicked Hearts to collect all 10, but you will need at least eight for some outcomes.
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  3. 3
    Turn around and head for the left staircase and the balcony on that side
    .
    There are a couple of nobles nattering away here. Try to chat with them only to be rebuffed and head toward the planter in the center of the balcony. Your Inquisitor will say "Hmm, " and a red circle will appear. Stand in the circle to eavesdrop on the Nobles to learn some secrets. You'll be able to turn in these in to Leliana for Court approval points. There are 30 secrets in total, and gathering them all completes the Great Blackmail Hunt side quest.
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  4. 4
    Head toward the wall and follow it to the end
    .
    Use your search key near the planter of flowers there to find the storage room key. You'll need it to open the storage room right below the left balcony
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  5. 5
    Use the storage room key on the door below the left balcony
    .
    Inside, you'll want to use your search key to find some documents full of secrets. You'll also find a caprice coin, of which there are 15 in total, and if you collect them all, they complete the Throwing Money Away quest.
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Vestibule and Grand Ballroom

Entering the Palace

Now it's time to head inside the palace where the action begins.

  1. 1
    Enter the Palace
    .
    This begins a cutscene with Josephine who will warn you that your every word and action reflects on your reputation. She explains that it's part of the Grand Game of the Orlesian Court. You have some dialog options with her, but none of them affect your court approval, so say what you'd like. I usually bring Sera, because Sera is a lot of fun, and ask Josephine to warn her, especially.
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  2. 2
    Go up the stairs to enter the Vestibule
    .
    There are eavesdropping locations here, denoted by your Inquisitor saying "hmm" and red circles appearing. Enter them to learn secrets for the Great Blackmail Hunt and court approval later on.There isn't much more to do in here at this point, but I like to go bug Cullen, who is standing on the left side near the doors to the Grand Ballroom, looking resplendent in the Inquisition's uniform. He has a cute remark about how his jacket feels too tight and that he "should have had it let out a little."
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  3. 3
    Speak with Gaspard when you're ready to enter the Ballroom
    .
    A cutscene will play of you entering the Ballroom, and you'll gain control of your character inside. Walk toward where the Empress stands on the landing above. Take your time walking forward to listen to your companions get announced. Sera's introduction is pretty funny if you brought her, and you learn Cullen's full name: Cullen Stanton Rutherford.
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  4. 4
    Speak with Empress Celene
    .
    As you walk up the stairs, a cutscene will play of you approaching Celene with Gaspard. He will give a flourishing bow, and the Empress will address you. Use the second dialog option: The weather may turn foul for +5 court approval.
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  5. 5
    Wander around the ballroom
    .
    You don't have to do this if you don't want to since it doesn't affect anything in the quest, but some of your companions are around, including Josephine and Cullen. You can talk to them or just listen in on the conversations they're having for some funny bits and additional information about them. Cullen, in particular, is standing by the wall, surrounded by a flock of Orlesian courtiers. If you walk by him, you'll hear them flirting with him, and if you talk to him, you'll find out that they've been pestering him for a while, and he isn't very happy about it. Of note, you can ask your love interest for a dance later on. If they are not in the ballroom, you can find them elsewhere in the palace.
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  6. 6
    Go back to the Vestibule
    .
    A cutscene will play with Leliana where you can talk to her suspicions. She will ask you to bring any information about scandals or court intrigue that you find as it will be helpful to shore up the Inquisition's reputation with the Orlesian court. After this, you will find Leliana in the ballroom with the rest of the Advisors. After you are done with Leliana, you can wander around the Vestibule, if you want. You can go back and eavesdrop at any of the eavesdrop locations you found before, even the ones that didn't generate any useful information before. They might yield something good this time.
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Guest Wing

Whispering Elves in the Guest Wing

You will be wandering all over the palace, now, so be prepared to do a lot of running around. It's a huge place, and it's easy to get lost, so pay careful attention to where you are and look at your map often.

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  1. 1
    Eavesdrop on some elf-servants plotting
    .
    The Guest Wing was locked off before, but now it is open for you, so head there. Find some whispering elves and try to talk to them. They will tell you to go away, but you'll find an eavesdrop location nearby where you can hear what they're plotting.
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  2. 2
    Head back up the stairs and enter the long room to the West of you
    .
    There you'll want to eavesdrop in front of the lion statue
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  3. 3
    Enter the first side room on your left
    .
    Here you'll find an eavesdrop point and the Duke Germain. He's a member of the Council, and Duke Gaspard's uncle Talk to him and use the following responses to gain 15 or 5 court approval
    • 5 Investigate
    • 4 Gaspard is your nephew?
    • 2 Good evening
    • There is also a Caprice coin in this room that you can find using your search key.
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  4. 4
    Go back into the long room and find more whispering elves on the left
    .
    If you're an elf, they will speak with you, otherwise, eavesdrop on them. They mention a cylinder and strange goings-on the servants quarters. Also, some of your companions may be in here, if you brought them, namely the Iron Bull and Solas. You can talk to them for some fun conversations. It's interesting to note that even the dour Solas is enlivened by the intrigue of the Winter Palace. Iron Bull loves the food.
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  5. 5
    Talk to the Council of Heralds
    .
    He's somewhere in the Guest Wing, and he's pretty easy to find. He's muttering about some servants making life difficult for him, so talk to him and use dialog option 5 Phillipe is a jerk! It will yield +10 court approval. Other responses will make you lose approval.
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  6. 6
    Go into the room near the elves and go out onto the balcony to your right
    .
    There, you need to use your search key on the southeast corner where you'll uncover the cylinder the elves talked about.
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  7. 7
    Go back to the first room and head out of the doors on your left into the garden
    .
    A cutscene will play as Celene's ladies in waiting approach you. Use the following options in your conversation with them:
    • I'm happy to hear from her
    • How kind of her
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  8. 8
    Explore the garden
    .
    Here you'll find a couple of eavesdrop points, Dorian, if you brought him, some loot, and the fountain where you can drop those Caprice coins for +1 court approval each.
    • The two eavesdrop points are along the walls on either side of the garden where you hear two pairs of Nobles chatting. After you eavesdrop, if you chat with the two who are talking about the Mages and Templars, you can gain another agent for the Inquisition, but it isn't necessary for this quest.
    • If you brought Sera, she'll tell you about a storeroom here where you can find some Red Jenny loot.
    • Dorian is always funny, so chat with him.
    • There's a halla door here, but don't go into it. You'll need your halla statues later.
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The Grand Library

Climbing the Trellis

Before starting this part of the quest, save your game. You'll be venturing into areas where you aren't supposed to be, and you will lose one point of court approval every few seconds. If you take too long during this part, you can always reload your game and try it again.

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  1. 1
    Climb the trellis
    .
    It's on the left side of the fountain. Use it to climb to the next level; once you are up there, you're on the clock, so be quick. I hope that you remembered to save your game.
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  2. 2
    Once up top, turn left and use the halla statue to enter the door there
    .
    Inside you'll find the negotiations documents. You need these.
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  3. 3
    Run back toward the other side of the balcony once you're done, and use your search function to find another halla statue
    .
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  4. 4
    Enter the large central room which is directly across from where you climbed
    .
    Go directly to the northwest corner of the room and use your search key to uncover a hidden room. There's a note on the desk in here that you'll need.
    • If you want extra loot, then there's a little puzzle you can solve in the main room here. To do that, get the veilfire from the secret room and light up the urns in this order: Etienne I, Reville, Etienne II, Judicael I, Judicael II, and Floriane. Stairs will open, and you can find some loot below.
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  5. 5
    Head through the library
    .
    Using the search key among the tables here will yield more secrets if you have time, but by now you will be hearing bells and its time to go back to the ballroom.
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  6. 6
    Use the door on your left to get back to the vestibule and go straight to the door to the ballroom
    .
    A cutscene will trigger, and you will be talking to someone special. If you played the other games in this series, you'll recognize her. Your dialog options don't matter for court approval, so say whatever fits your character best. This person will give you a key to the servants' entrance.
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  7. 7
    Talk to Leliana
    .
    Back in the ballroom now, turn in your secrets to her now for court approval points.
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  8. 8
    Talk to the Dowager, a member of the council if you have the Nobility Knowledge Inquisition perk
    .
    Use the following options, which will grant you court approval and open up a War Table mission for later.
    • 4 Care to dance?
    • 2 Goodbye
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That's all for now. The next part: Beat Wicked Eyes and Wicked Hearts in Dragon Age: Inquisition Part 2

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Categories : Dragon Age Inquisition

Recent edits by: Brindzhound

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