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Guide by TiffanyID
From Official Bioware Forums.
As most guides out there either present too much information or not enough, which can be overwhelming or confusing, I decided to just write my own. It'll cover a complete walkthrough of all of the endings, though for more in-depth information in regards to endings I suggest checking out Illydth's walkthrough.

This walkthrough doesn't include finishing the secrets & coins quests or non-essential treasure doors (that require halla statues). I can however get 100 influence every time even if I'm something like an elven mage that starts with a mere 30. So, following this walkthrough should help you if you're having trouble getting the Belle of the Ball achievement.

I've tried to simplify this so that it only has the information you need to play it with other unnecessary information left out. So, this should seem less intimidating for someone that just wants to get the quest done with the ending they want.

Before you begin the mission if you grab the Nobility Knowledge perk you'll be able to ask the Dowager to dance, which you won't actually get to dance with, but it'll open up a war table mission for later if you ask her. You'll also get a special answer while dancing with Grand Duchess Floriane. If you have the Underworld Knowledge perk you'll be able to recruit an agent during the mission. Keep this in mind and acquire these before starting the mission, if desired.

Exterior

As we start the quest you'll be having a conversation with Gaspard. I don't think it really matters what you say but I'll list my dialog choices throughout in case you just want to follow along. I tend to be nice to Gaspard at the entrance regardless if I plan on going with Celene anyhow, as in reality it'd be the wisest move letting him think you're supporting him either way.

Gaspard:

1. That would be impressive.
1. I'm glad to help.
1. It's worth investigating.

After this conversation is over run south towards the gate and look left. You should see a Noblewoman that you can speak with. Go talk to her.

1. That sounds serious.

Run directly east towards the wall with the lion fountain looking thing and ping your search, you'll find the ring. Bring it back to the Noblewoman.

2. I found it.

Court Approval +5

At this point if you started with a mage you might be looking at 35/100 approval but that's okay. You can easily get to 100 and end with 100.

Next go towards the palace and go up the right set of stairs onto the balcony and ping your map to find a halla statue. Don't use it to unlock the Eastern Storage, keep it for later. But, if you go North on the balcony until you hit the wall and follow it along West you'll find some loot.

The following of this portion is optional but if you want a bit more treasure and 2 secrets then keep following along. If not, skip to the next section.

Head down from the balcony you're on and go up to the other balcony. Some nobles are talking, try interacting with them then head to the NW corner into the red circle to eavesdrop their conversation. Once you're done with that head straight ahead following along the wall like you did on the previous balcony. Ping your map towards the end and you'll find a storage key in the flowers.

Head down the stairs below the balcony and open the storage room beneath it for some loot and a secret. You'll need to ping your search to find the document. You'll also find a caprice coin in the pot in this room as well.

Part 1: Vestibule, intro

At this point, it's time to head inside. It doesn't matter what you say to Josephine, it won't affect your approval either way.

This portion is fairly simple. Just run around the room and look for red circles and eavesdrop. If it's nothing useful you can come back to it later and try again, it'll show up in the same spot after you move a little way away from it. You don't really have any other goals for this room at this point in the game, so feel free to talk to your comrades in the room or not, it doesn't really matter. They won't have much to say anyways and it won't affect your approval.

The eavesdrop points are along the Western railing, then near the NW stairs, and the last is up on the stairs to the right. You'll be able to come back and try these later if they don't work out for you the first time, or you could just wait in the same spot for 20 seconds or so and it'll respawn if you just want to get it out of the way and be done with it.

Once you're ready, proceed towards the Grand Ballroom and talk to Grand Duke Gaspard to enter the Grand Ballroom.

Part 2: Grand Ballroom

After you are announced you can wait around and listen to your followers being announced, some of which are mildly amusing; though, none of which are likely to actually make you burst out laughing. There's no time limit so feel free to listen to all of them before proceeding forward. If you don't care about it then just head up towards Gaspard when you're ready to talk to the Queen. A cutscene will trigger once you step onto the colored tiles.

2. The weather may turn foul. (Court approval +5)
1. It's lovely. -or- 2. I couldn't do it justice.

The latter elicits a more positive response but neither yields approval.

At this point you should have 40 approval, even under the worst conditions. You can proceed to speaking to your fellow Inquisition members in this room if you'd like, though no options will yield any approval. If you have a love interest however you can ask them to dance which will allow you to dance with them after your activities of the evening conclude, or at least the option to. Unless you're romancing Cullen or Josephine however they may not necessarily be in this particular room. Also, none of your companions ever have anything to report so you don't need to keep asking them expecting something.

You'll find The Dowager (Council) in this room but even if you have the Nobility Knowledge perk we won't be talking to her just yet as she'll simply say perhaps you can speak later. If you don't have the Nobility Knowledge perk you can completely ignore her for the duration of this quest.

Alas, we're done with this room for now. Head back to the Vestibule.

Part 3: Vestibule, Leliana

Re-entering the Vestibule will trigger a cutscene with Leliana. None of the dialog options here matter, so choose whatever you feel like. As Leliana mentions, the next part of the quest will take part in the Guest Wing which is immediately in front of you where your cutscene with Leliana ended. Or, if you're heading towards the Grand Ballroom it's the door on your right.

Speaking to Leliana will allow you to turn in secrets which you could do now, later, or periodically throughout. Every time you turn some in it will yield equivalent approval. She, however, is no longer in this room so you'll have to do that later.

Part 4: Guest Wing

Heading into the Guest Wing take note of the room to your left, the Trophy Room. You're unable to access this at present but we'll be entering here later in the quest. So, make a mental note of where that was if that makes it easier.

If you continue forward you'll find some whispering elves talking, try to talk to them and get the cold shoulder then eavesdrop on them. Now if you head back up the stairs where you were originally before the eavesdropping and continue West into the next room there are some things to do.

First stop in front of the lion statue and eavesdrop. Next, continue foward a few steps then go into the room on your left and you'll find another eavesdrop point - use it.

If you see the Council of Heralds Vassal walk into the room go ahead and talk to him. Otherwise, find and talk to him wandering around this area.

5. Philippe is a jerk! (Court approval +10)

Next, in that same room with the second eavesdrop point we'll be talking to Duke Germain (Council)

5. Investigate
4. Gaspard is your nephew? (Court approval +15) - currently bugged and only provides +5
2. Good evening.

Still in the same room there's a scroll to read and if you ping you'll find another coin.

At this point head back out into the main room and turn left to find some more whispering elves. If you're an elf they'll talk to you directly, otherwise eavesdrop on them.

Head into the east room near the elves and out the south door onto a balcony. Walk SE on the balcony and use your search ping to find the cylinder the first elves mentioned.

Head back inside and turn left, going straight back into the other room. Turn right again, then take the first door on your left to head out onto another balcony, a small garden. You'll be greeted with another cutscene. Just choose the nicest options.

1. I'm happy to hear from her.
1. How kind of her.

Part 5: Garden

Now that you're in the garden you can head back towards the entrance then walk along the path near the wall to find another eavesdrop point. You should have 8 or 9 secrets at this point if you collected all of them thus far.

You can jump over the little railing and head towards the fountain now which will allow you to toss your two coins into the fountain which will yield 1 approval each. That's all we're going to be messing with that for this walkthrough though.

At this point I recommend making a permanent save followed by a quicksave so you can do the following portion then quickload back and do it again with more streamlined actions so you take less time as the following portion is timed and your approval will decay with the longer you take.

Now that you've saved, head around to the other side of the fountain and you'll see a wooden lattice that you can climb up. Once you're up the timer is ticking, so make the most efficient use of your time as possible.

Head immediately to your left and enter the door straight ahead. It requires a halla statue and for this we'll be using the one we collected outside the palace. Grab the negotiations document, this is mandatory.

Next head back out of this room run straight across the walkway and turn to your right heading along the balcony and pick up the halla statue. This... is critical.

Next, turn back around and head into the large room in the center, the Grand Library. Head immediately to the far NW corner and ping to highlight a book. Use it to reveal a hidden room. Pick up the note on the desk.

The following portion is optional. If you don't care about loot just go in the door to your left within the Grand Library and run straight ahead, taking the door on your left to re-enter the Vestibule which is much faster than the route down the lattice into the garden. You'll be hearing bells at this point so head to the Grand Ballroom. Otherwise, proceed with the next portion as quickly as possible.

Still in the grand library's hidden room grab the veil fire and head into the grand library. At this point you'll be hearing the first bell. In other words, be quick. You'll need to light the statues on either side of the room starting with the SE most statue Etinene or some such, and following the other 2 in that line. Next move to the next row on the other side of the room and light the closest one to the door you initially entered from and again follow along the line lighting the next in succession. Once all are lit a secret passage will open in the middle of the room. There's some loot down there.

Even if you move as quickly as possible you'll be hearing the second bell by the time you're done looting. If you head left through the library rather than back down the lattice you'll be in an entirely different room and there are some secrets in here and some things to loot but unless you're real speedy you don't have time for that so just run straight through the room instead and taking the door on your left which will put you at the entrance to the Vestibule and the door will be unlocked now.

Run straight forward to the Grand Ballroom door as fast as you can to avoid being late. If you are too late you're going to take a -15 approval rating hit, so I don't recommend it. Reload to the save I told you to make earlier and streamline your actions to be a bit faster if you must.

Part 6: Misc Stuff

Once inside you'll enter a cutscene, greeted by someone... familiar. Your dialog choices don't affect court approval, so respond however you feel your character must. You'll receive a key to the guest wing either way.

At this point it might be wise to save again, now that you've made it through the first timed portion.

While it isn't necessary, at this point we're going to go back into the Grand Ballroom, turn to our right and then if we have the Nobility Knowledge perk we're going to talk to The Dowager (Council), and say...

4. Care to dance?
2. Goodbye.

You won't actually be dancing with her but it'll open up a war table operation. Assuming you did everything thus far you should have at least 70 approval rating.

Next, go and talk to Leliana and turn in your secrets thus far. You should now have around 86 approval rating, which is more than high enough to finish with 100 at this point for the Belle of the Ball achievement.

Ignore the Behind the Empress thing that pops up, for now. Instead, head back into the Vestibule.

Part 7: Servant's Quarters

Once back in the Vestibule turn immediately left and head back into the Guest Wing. We're still not doing anything with the Trophy Room just yet, so head down the stairs and make a permanent save before heading into the servant's quarters. The following portion is also timed, so you will likely want to streamline your actions here as well to conserve approval.

Once inside, much to your annoyance, you'll notice literally none of your party are wearing any of their gear, aside from accessories. You'll need to open your inventory and re-equip your weapons and armor and do the same for each of your companions.

Spend as little time outside of menus as possible here as approval doesn't degrade while in the inventory but it will outside of it. Once your party is all geared up examine the corpse immediately in front of you and make a quick save... you'll thank me for that in a moment.

Head into the room directly ahead of you and observe the barrels and boxes stacked about. Your goal, as it were, is to hop up onto them and then onto the ceiling beam. Quick save and quick load until you manage to do it quickly and then quick save again once you're up on the beam.

Once on the beam carefully head towards the book and interact with it and then continue forward and grab the halla statue. I'm afraid this nonsense is necessary.

Once you have the statue head back down and into the room you spawned in. Head out the exterior door to the west and run all the way down to the fountain to trigger a cutscene.

You'll have a small scuffle immediately after the cutscene then...

If you want all three factions to work together (Celene+Gaspard+Briala):
Head north until you hit a wall, then head up the stairs on your right and continue up the stairs until you get to a ladder, climb up the ladder and run past the closed door until you get to an open room. There will be a halla statue just to your right. Return to the fountain and then...

If you don't care about all three factions working together:
Proceed to your left (the direction the enemies came from) and head through the archway. Once through, turn right and head forward. You'll find two venatori walking around, kill them. Continue forward and take the door on your right with the dead body outside of it.

Turn right and you should be in a dining hall with two venatori staring into a fireplace, for what purpose we shall never know. Kill them then head left up the stairs in the NE corner of the room.

Once up the stairs if you look to your left you'll see dead bodies. On your left there is a room we'll need to go into in a moment but not just yet. Instead, head straight into the next room. Turn left and run forward. Once you reach a wall turn left again and run forward, killing the venatori in the room. Pick up the halla statue before the fighting ends to save a little time.

You'll now be in a cutscene with Ambassador Briala. Say whatever you want but some options will yield companion approval or disapproval. The following are the safest options that don't really upset or please anyone.

1. Hello
3. I found him dead.
2. Gaspard didn't seem desperate.
3. And the cost? (choosing option 1 might yield some companion disapproval or approval)

Now quickly head back to that room I told you we'd need to go into as we now have enough halla statues to open it. In other words, turn left, run forward, turn right, run forward, turn right, run forward, turn right and enter the room. Kill the venatori in the room then open the door inside with the statues.

Once in the room pick up the elven locket, this... is crucial. Loot stuff as you see fit then head back to where you had the cutscene with Brialia and jump down off the balcony where she did. Once down turn right and run forward, turn right and run forward again then turn left - you'll now be in front of the archway again, but run straight ahead into the wider area then turn left and run forward, going up the stairs and using the gate.

Part 8: Trophy Room

You are now back in the Guest Wing and should be hearing bells. So, you'll need to do this next part fast. This is the part I've told you about a few times now - the Trophy Room.

Head up the stairs towards the trophy room and you'll see there are 3 guards outside of it. Speak to the guard named Ambassador Anton.

2. The stories I could tell!
4. You should talk to Cullen (Court approval +10)

You should at this point be at around 95 approval if you were fast with the previous portion and started with something like a mage. Ping to find a coin, but you won't need it. Run through the door and find a document on the desk, which is needed, and you can grab the halla statue if you want all 3 factions to work together, though we won't be using it otherwise. Your approval should now be 100, with the second bell sounding.

But at this point you need to quickly get to the ball room, else you'll be late.

Part 9: Setting up our endings

Upon entering the ballroom you'll be greeted by Grand Duchess Florianne de Chalons which will present you an opportunity to get 100 approval even if you were at something horrible like 70 at this point. Just follow these choices:

1. May I help you?
4. Let's dance. (+court approval)
4. Orlais' war is Thedas's war. (+court approval) (requires Nobility Knowledge perk)
2. Is that what we both want? (+court approval)
2. Which am I to you? (+court approval)
6. Who do you trust? (+court approval)
2. Isn't everyone? (+court approval)

Next, you'll be talking to your fellow Inquisition members. Say what fits your character, these don't affect your court approval.

Next, turn right and head up that side of the room and take the balcony door to your right to speak to Briala. Use the following options:

1. Is this your locket?
1. Maybe it's sentimental.
2. We'll talk later.

Next head back into the main room and to your right are the Empress's ladies-in-waiting. Talk to Lady Fleur, use this option:

4. I found Celene's elven locket.

The Empress will finally stop snubbing you and has to talk to you. Use these options:

1. You valued that locket.
1. You still love her.

At this point we're now set up for a variety of endings of your choosing. We just set up the possibility to have an ending where Celene and Briala get back together; however, you aren't locked into this and our actions have only made it a possibility.

Head back into the Vestibule now and we'll begin the last portion of play before you make your final choices that will determine who rules Orlais.

Part 10: Royal Wing

Head straight through the vestibule as far as you can and turn right and head up the stairs. There's another eavesdrop point here but you won't have an opportunity to turn it in. So unless your approval rating is hurting don't bother turning them in again.

Make another permanent save now before heading into the royal wing as the following portion is once again timed. This portion however is a bit more forgiving with the time limit but your approval will decay so act as swiftly as possible outside of conversations.

Upon entering you'll have to re-equip your gear but thankfully your companions are geared up already this time around.

Go up the stairs.

If you want all three factions to work together (Celene+Gaspard+Briala):
Once up the stairs turn right and enter the room, pick up the halla statue. Now backtrack to the stairs.

If you don't care about all three factions working together:
Run straight forward. The door at the end of the hall will feature screaming. You'll trigger a cutscene upon entering. If you can prevent yourself from saying "This is Sparta!" then you're a better person than I.

You can go through these choices however you want, the outcome will be the same - they'll be willing to testify against Briala as long as you protect her. You should probably ask questions so you can make the most informed decision later on, as things may not necessarily be a straight forward as they initially seem.

Once this cutscene is over grab the halla statue to your left (you'll need it if you want all 3 factions to work together, otherwise not needed), then head to the southern exit of the room towards the purple area on your compass.

Go through the darkened area. On your left there's a door that you'll hear some screaming coming from.

If you want all three factions to work together (Celene+Gaspard+Briala):
Ignore the door on your left for now and instead go in the door on your right and follow along the balcony on your right and jump in the open window. Pick up the halla statue here then backtrack to the darkened area. Go down the stairs near the door on the left and then use search to find another halla statue.

Head back up to the darkened area and backtrack to outside of the room where you found the elf about to be assassinated. The door will require 5 halla statues to open, open it.

At the end just choose: 1. I need you to testify.

This fortunately also yields court approval.

Go back through the darkened area now like before and...

If you don't care about all three factions working together:
Go in the door on the left and you'll trigger another cutscene and discover the true culprit behind everything.

Your interactions here don't matter as far as approval goes so say whatever fits your character.

After the fight you'll have yet another cutscene. If you are a bit sarcastic and ask questions it'll be pretty obvious that the whole thing wasn't actually Gaspard's doing but the true culprit you just saw. Either way, the mercenary will be willing to testify against Gaspard.

If you have the Underworld Knowledge perk before leaving the conversation you'll have the option "4. Come work for me." which will grant you an agent.

As soon as the cutscene is over you'll want to gain your bearings as quickly as possible and head to the door to the south. There are 3 venatori, kill them and head west, or simply ignore them and head west. Go down the stairs and once you exit don't engage the enemies in the room to the right. Instead, head directly out the door and take the door to the SW (on your left) and then take a right and you'll be at the door to re-enter the Grand Ballroom.

You may at this point opt to make a permanent save before entering so if you want to try out other choices it'll be easy to do so. If you were quick you should still have 100 court approval. The following sections will be different depending on which outcome you'd like.

Ending: Celene and Briala Reunited

When talking to Cullen choose: 1. I'll talk with Florianne.

At the end of the conversation with Florianne you can choose to either execute her yourself or for the guards to take her away. If you want her to die, execute her. Otherwise, you'll be judging her later at Skyhold but none of the judgment options in Skyhold feel very satisfying as punishment her crime. Whatever the case, the choice is yours.

To reunite Celene and Briala use the following options:

5. Briala helped stop Florianne.
(these below can be in any order)
-We have Gaspard's orders.
-He hired mercenaries.
-He murdered an emissary.
(and now this one is needed)
2. What about Briala's reward?

Your remaining dialog choices don't matter, so choose whatever.

Ending: Gaspard Rules

Rather than confronting Floriane wait for her to attack, then fight her, then use evidence against Briala in the end.

Ending: Briala Rules

Rather than confronting Floriane wait for her to attack, then fight her, then use the choices to make Gaspard Briala's puppet.

Ending: All three factions work together

You'll need at least 85 approval and have the guard willing to testify. When talking to Cullen this time you'll want to talk with Florianne again. Whether you kill her or not is unimportant. Once speaking to the three factions you will tell them "All of you are at fault." and then later you should choose any of the following:

-Work Together for Orlais.
-You've all been outplayed.
-You work for me now.

Ending: Celene

If you want Celene to rule alone, which is the default ending assuming you messed up at some earlier step and missed something, then you'll need to talk to Floriane at Cullen. Once you speak to the three nobles you would use...

Briala and Gaspard both executed:
-Gaspard was planning a coup.
-Briala is an accomplice.

Gaspard executed, Briala not mentioned:
-As you wish.

Gaspard exiled, Briala unmentioned:
-No, spare Gaspard's life.


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