Wicked Eyes and Wicked Hearts

This mission takes place in the Winter Palace of Empress Orlais. To begin this quest, approach the council table and select the option to unlock the location (which costs 30 Power Points). After a brief conversation, you will travel to the palace with your chosen allies, where you will be greeted by Prince Gaspard.

The Winter Palace is where the Orlais nobility holds their meetings.

The key to succeeding in conversations and increasing your approval level is to respond according to the ethics and culture. Even small conversations can affect the points you receive. Points increase during conversations and quest stages, but decrease when you behave inappropriately (such as jumping onto a table). Points also decrease when you are not being observed within crowds (around 4 negative points per minute) or when you wander off into an inaccessible part of the palace. However, if you quickly return to the crowds, you will receive the last lost point back. If your approval points reach zero, the game ends, so it is important to pay attention to your behavior.

Palace Garden

The entrance to the palace.

During your first conversation with Prince Gaspard, agree with everything he says and respond according to his expectations. Afterwards, move among the people and talk to the more important ones. Collect documents that may cause trouble and listen to gossip. Your starting approval points are 40, but this number may be lower depending on your race. Once you reach 100 approval points, you will receive the Belle of the Ball achievement.

Complete the side quests in the courtyard and continue the storyline by crossing the main gate into the palace (M24,1a).

The Courtyard – Side Quests

Montbelliard’s Ring

The noblewoman is looking for her lost ring.

In the courtyard, you will meet a Noblewoman (M24,4). Talk to her to learn that she lost her ring. During the conversation, select “Good going” to receive 5 approval points.

The ring was found!

You can find the ring on the small fountain (M24,4a). After retrieving it, return to the Noblewoman. You can choose to give the ring back (which grants an additional 5 approval points) or keep it for yourself (which has no effect on your approval).

Rewards for completing the quest:

  • Experience (little)
  • 80 Influence points
  • Silver ring (if you decide to keep it for yourself)

Open West Storage

The entrance to the West storage.

Many doors in the palace cannot be opened in the usual way. To open them, you need Halla Statues, which can be found throughout the palace. Approaching the door to the East will trigger the quest to open the storage (M24,2).

A Halla Statue above the storage.

The Statue required to open the door is located above the storage on the upper floor. It is on the ground, next to the bench (M24,2a). There are a total of 10 Statues in the palace.

Accessing the East Storage

Opposite the second storage (M24,2c), you can access the East storage by using a key found among the flowers (M24,2b) above the storage. The storage contains the Scandalous Secrets document, but can also be opened with a statue.

Rewards for completing the quest include:

  • Little experience
  • 80 Influence points

Even Glided Walls Have Ears

Eavesdropping on Guests

On the upper floor of the courtyard above the East storage, you will find a conversing couple of guests (M24,3). Upon your approach, they may walk away, disgusted by your presence. Stand within the red circle next to the flowers to eavesdrop on their conversation and gain valuable information. Sharing Scandalous Secrets with Leliana will improve your approval.

Rewards for completing the quest include:

  • Little experience
  • 80 Influence points

Grand Ballroom

Entering the Grand Ballroom

The Vestibule is the initial part of the palace leading to other rooms. Some of the rooms will be unlocked as you progress in the game. Enter the Grand Ballroom and approach the Empress during the presentation to engage in conversation. Your responses will affect your approval level:

Choosing the “The weather may go bad” option will add +5 to your approval, while mentioning the planned assassination will result in -15 approval points.

The Vestibule

Return to the Vestibule to talk to Leliana and access most of the castle’s chambers. The remaining chambers will unlock as you progress in the game.

The Grand Library

Head to the Guest Garden (M24,1b) and climb the ladder to reach the Grand Library. Pull a book from one of the shelves on the left (M24,1c) to unlock a secret chamber. Read the secret documents (M24,1d) found on the desk.

The Library’s Beacon

Alternatively, take the beacon inside the library and light up the flames above the statues on the right in a specific order. Then, light up the first flame on the left to open the secret passage to the chamber. The chamber contains chests with several items and a legendary grenade recipe.

The Balcony’s Cylindrical Seal

Find the cylindrical seal (M24,1e) hidden on the floor at the end of the Western corridor after crossing the door into the balcony.

The Halla Statue and Important Documents

On the upper level of the Guest Garden, in front of the library entrance on the left, there is a locked door (M24,1g) that requires a Halla Statue. The closest one is on the opposite balustrade (M24,1f). Inside the door, you will find essential documents. Once you have collected them, return to the Grand Ballroom. (If you are late, you will lose the court’s approval points.)

Meeting Morrigan and Important People of the Court

When you reach the entrance, speak to Morrigan. It does not matter which dialogue options you choose regarding approval points. Then, talk to the critical court figures: the ladies, who represent the empress, located in the corner of the room, and Ambassador Briala, who is on the balcony.

The Servant’s Quarters and the Fountain

You can now enter the Servant’s Quarters (M24,1h). From this point on, you can equip the armor and sword to your advantage. Remember, the court’s approval rating will decrease during your absence, but at a sluggish pace (around -1 point per minute). Head towards the fountain, where you will encounter the armed Venatori fighters. After reaching the Servant’s Quarters, climb to the upper floor (M24,1i).

The Treasure Entrance and Elven Medallion

Inside the bedroom, you will find a locked treasure (3 Halla Statues) and an elven medallion (M24,1p), which you will require later as a piece of evidence during the talks. After defeating the guards, head to the end of the corridor on the upper floor (M24,1j), and another cutscene will begin. Your decisions in this cutscene are irrelevant. After the conversation, head back to the castle and return to the Grand Ballroom across the exit gate (M24,1k).

Florienne and Dance

Begin a conversation with Florienne and agree to dance, gaining +10 approval points. Then, use the following responses in the correct order to receive positive approval points: “War in Orlais is in Thedas,” “Do both of us want this?,” “And for you?,” “I trust nobody/Who do you trust?/I trust the Inquisition,” and “Tell me what you know.”

The Widow and a Dance

In the Grand Ballroom, speak with the Widow (a member of the Orlais council) (M24,1o) and offer a dance to gain access to a new operation that becomes available after the quest.

The Guards in Front of the Trophy Room

Now, you can go to the Royal Quarters (M24,1l) and confront Florienne. Note – from this point on, at the palace, there will also be a new portion of the Scandalous Secrets and several Caprice Coins. Before that, go to the Trophy Room. To gain access, stand behind the statue at the entrance of the Trophy room and eavesdrop on the guards’ conversation. You can attract them away by sending Cullen to them or ask the maids at the other end of the corridor to handle them (this is not always an option).

Assassination Attempt at Royal Quarters

Head towards the Royal Quarters (M24,1l) and witness the assassination of one of the empress’ subjects in the bedroom. After a conversation, follow the narrow corridor (M24,1m) to reach the small yard.

Rift in the Yard

In the yard (M24,1n), Florianne commands Venatori soldiers and the monsters of the rift to attack you. After defeating them, you can talk to one of the mercenaries and add them as an agent. You will also receive an operation: “Help from Nevada”. Finally, go through the last door to reach the Grand Ballroom and make a decision about the situation in the court…

Final Decision Dial

You can order Florianne to be captured, which will expose her crimes (supported by the party) and take her away later (no support) or hand her over to the guards. During the conversation with the empress, you can decide in favor of Briala or Gaspard. The decision is based on the secrets you found out while exploring the palace. You can pass a judgment on Florianne at Skyhold.

If you decide to capture Florianne on your own, you will fail. The empress will survive, but you will have to fight her outdoors. To win, defeat the Venatori soldiers first and attack Florianne from a distance. She is a professional rogue, capable of fast movements, dodges, and can put your melee-fighting party members to sleep. After the battle, you can take her legendary bow. You can also decide on Gaspard’s life after returning to the palace.

If you let the empress be killed (no support from the party), either Briala or Gaspard may rise to power, and you decide which one. Choosing Briala has a bad reception from party members. You will also have to confront Florianne in the courtyard.

Rewards for completing the quest:

  • Experience (lots)
  • 3200 Influence points
  • 4 Power points

Red Jenny’s Stashes

Red Jenny Stash at Level -1

There are three Red Jenny Stashes to be found at the Winter Palace. Talk to Sera at the Grand Ballroom to start this quest (she needs to be your ally).

Rewards for completing the quest:

  • Experience (little)
  • 200 Influence points

Throwing Away Money

One of the Caprices

At the palace, look out for Caprice coins along with Scandalous Secrets. The radar glows orange when you are very close to the hidden items.

Caprice Coin Fountain

Collect the Caprices and toss them into the water reservoir at the Guest Garden. For every Caprice coin you find and toss in, you receive an extra approval point.

Rewards for completing the quest:

  • Experience (little)
  • 400 Influence points
  • 1 approval point for finding Caprice coins and tossing them into the fountain

Herd of Stone Halla

Stone Hallas in the Palace: Quest Guide

The Stone Hallas are small statuettes scattered throughout the palace in Dragon Age: Inquisition. Besides having collector’s value, they serve a purpose – you need them to open some of the locked doors and access hidden rooms. To complete the quest, you need to collect ten statuettes.

Example of a door that requires a Halla Statuette

Note that there are only eleven Stone Hallas in the palace, which is not enough to open all of the doors. This is why you need to consider your decisions carefully. For opening the first two doors from the below list, you receive a small amount of experience and 80 Influence points. Below, you can find the list of rooms and their contents:

  • Palace Garden, requires: 1 Halla Statue, contains 2 chests;
  • Lower Garden, requires: 3 Halla Statues, contains 3 chests (one with a standard), a Red Jenny Stash, and a Caprice Coin;
  • Upper Garden, requires: 1 Halla Statue, contains a chest and a Scandalous Secret;
  • Grand Apartments, requires: 3 Halla Statues, contains 2 chests and an elven medallion;
  • Royal Quarters, requires: 5 Halla Statues, contains a Scandalous Secret, 2 chests, and an imprisoned soldier – an additional argument in the final negotiations;
  • Lower Royal Wing, 2x door- requires: 5 Halla Statues each, they contain chests with rare items (not legendary).

Rewards for completing the quest include a little experience and 200 Influence points.

The Great Blackmail Hunt

Example of a book with a Scandalous Secret

In this side quest from Leliana, you need to collect 30 Scandalous Secrets all around the palace. You can find them by searching for documents and letters in both locked and unlocked areas of the palace. For the remaining ones, you can eavesdrop on conversations. Stand within the red circle near the talking guests and interact. Not every attempt will be successful, so keep trying until you succeed – there is a secret for each red circle.

Rewards for completing the quest include a little experience and 200 Influence points.

Other Actions That Add Approval Points

Prince Germain, a council member, will ask about Gaspard. If you answer, you receive +5 approval points and a Scandalous Secret.

When speaking with the Herald Council Vassal, you are presented with two dialogue options:

  • “How did you get into Gaspard’s bad books?” -15 approval points
  • “Philippe is a jerk!” – +15 approval points and a Scandalous Secret


What is Wicked Eyes and Wicked Hearts?

Wicked Eyes and Wicked Hearts is a main quest in the video game Dragon Age: Inquisition. It takes place in the grand palace of Orlais where the player’s character attends a ball and tries to gain political power by making alliances and uncovering a conspiracy. The quest is known for its complex decision-making and dialogue options, as well as its stunning graphics and intricate world-building. It is considered one of the most memorable quests in the game and is a fan favorite.

How do I prepare for Wicked Eyes and Wicked Hearts?

There are a few things you can do to prepare for Wicked Eyes and Wicked Hearts. First, make sure you have a high enough approval rating with your companions, as this will affect their behavior and dialogue during the quest. Second, bring a variety of equipment and weapons to handle different combat scenarios. Third, take the time to explore the palace and speak with NPCs to gather information and clues. Finally, make sure to save your game before starting the quest, as the decisions you make will have long-lasting consequences.

What are some tips for completing Wicked Eyes and Wicked Hearts?

Here are a few tips for completing Wicked Eyes and Wicked Hearts: First, focus on building alliances with the right people and learning their secrets. This will help you gain political power and uncover the conspiracy. Second, pay attention to the clues and information you gather, as they will be important later in the quest. Third, be careful with your dialogue choices, as they can have unexpected consequences. Finally, don’t be afraid to take your time and explore the palace thoroughly, as there are many hidden treasures and Easter eggs to discover.

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