I will fight for the others who have no one to champion their cause.

Briala is the elven handmaid and spymaster of Empress Celene of Orlais.

Background[edit | edit source]

This section contains spoilers for:
Dragon Age: The Masked Empire.

Briala grew up the child of elven servants to the Valmont family. Her parents were proud to work for Prince Reynaud, and worked hard to protect their position in the household as well as ensure Briala's own future within it. Her parents were able players of the Game: Briala's father taught her to observe others without being noticed while her mother taught her the rudiments of the Orlesian politics as well as pride in her worth as a city elf.[1] Because of their efforts, Briala never knew the poverty and strife of living in the Alienage.

When Briala was a child, her mother had another elven servant accused of theft to ensure that Briala, rather than the servant's daughter, would be Celene's handmaid. Celene was 10 at the time. Six years later, Briala consoled Celene when her parents were killed and helped her to advance in the Game, effectively becoming her confidante and spymaster. When Lady Mantillon arranged a secret meeting with Celene, she also sent assassins to kill every servant in Celene's house, including Briala's parents. Briala was the only one to survive. When Celene returned from the meeting, she bade Briala flee to the Dalish to save her own life. Celene gave Briala her cloak and mask as a disguise and Lady Mantillon's jeweled hairclip to sell. Before Briala left, Celene kissed her.

Briala fled Val Royeaux and admitted she would have fallen to the human bandits on the road if not for the intervention of the elven mage Felassan, who killed them. Felassan listened to Briala's story and convinced her to go back to Celene and help improve the lives of elves in Orlais surreptitiously. Eventually, Briala assassinated Lady Mantillon in revenge for her parents' deaths.

Involvement[edit | edit source]

Dragon Age: The Masked Empire[edit | edit source]

This section contains spoilers for:
Dragon Age: The Masked Empire.

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The plot follows BioWare's own canon, meaning it may not follow some of the player's choices in the games.

When Celene's champion, Ser Michel de Chevin, vanishes just before the royal hunting trip, Celene dispatches Briala to find him. After enlisting her mentor Felassan, they find Ser Michel in the Val Royeaux alienage, having been held captive by Gaspard's bard, Melcendre. Briala deduces from the chevalier's conspicuous use of the invective "knife ear" that he himself is secretly elf-blooded. Briala tells Michel that she will never tell anyone about his secret but that he now owes her one favour, which she can call in at anytime.

Briala in the kitchens

Later, as the elves in Halamshiral began to riot as a result of the actions of Lord Mainserai murdering an elf with impunity, Briala is dispatched to assassinate him and quell the riots so Celene could avoid a more forceful retaliation. Briala successfully kills Mainserai with the assistance of Felassan and Thren, a local city elf, only to be immediately arrested by Ser Michel. While Briala had been preparing to carry out the assassination, Celene had been facing greater backlash over her overly lenient treatment of the elves back in Val Royeaux, and finally decided to crush the rebellion to dispel the rumors by marching on the city with her Chevaliers. She burned down Halamshiral, killing thousands. Ser Michel was sent to arrest Briala to keep her safe. Once Celene's troops have crushed the elven resistance, Grand Duke Gaspard de Chalons sends his own forces to kill or capture Celene while she is undefended so he may crown himself the new Emperor of Orlais. Celene and Ser Michel escape the ambush but Celene's troops are slaughtered and dispersed while Briala is captured by Gaspard.

Gaspard later visits Briala and attempts to coerce her to join his side; Briala, however, refuses and flees. She regroups with Felassan and the duo encounter Celene and her champion. Though Briala feels betrayed by Celene for murdering the elves at Halamshiral and arresting her, the two groups agree to join forces and reach a decision to get to a nearby Dalish clan and attempt to bring them to their side and find a path back to Val Royeaux. In exchange, Celene would grant greater freedoms to the city elves.

They are rescued from a sylvan attack by Clan Virnehn, led by Keeper Thelhen. Briala had assumed the Dalish would embrace her as a lost sister, but was instead treated like her human companions and bound. While listening to Felassan arguing with Thelhen over her trustworthiness, Briala quickly observed that Thelhen cares nothing for the city elves. Michel later discovers that the Keeper had bound a demon named Imshael in an attempt to unlock the Eluvians, which the ancient elves used for transportation over long distances. Believing it would be the best way to return to Val Royeaux, Michel bargains with the demon and is given a keystone to unlock them, though he unwittingly frees Imshael in his attempt to destroy him, who then murders almost everyone in Clan Virnehn.

Traveling via the network of Eluvians, the group encounters undead corpses in a sealed Elven tomb, which attack them. After being cornered by Gaspard's entourage who were pursuing them, and have been joined by Mihris, the Dalish First and only survivor of her clan, both sides form a truce until they reach the exit. After surviving a Varterral attack, Gaspard and Michel agree to duel for control of the keystone and Orlais. The duel goes poorly for Ser Michel initially, because Lienne de Montsimmard and Mihris, who allowed herself to be possessed by Imshael, are secretly hexing him. Once Briala kills Lienne and reveals Imshael's presence, Michel is able to gain the upper hand in the duel. However, just as he is about to kill Gaspard, Briala calls in her favor and tells him to yield, which he does, effectively losing Celene her Empire. Briala deduced that Celene was the one who caused her parents' death, to prove her worth to Lady Mantillon and decides that Celene cannot be trusted with the fate of the elves. She activates the eluvians without telling anyone else the control phrase ("Fen'Harel enansal" - the Dread Wolf's Blessing) and keeps the keystone for herself. She offers the humans safe passage and sends them on their way, sending Gaspard and Ser Michel to just outside Val Chevin and Celene to the Winter Palace at Halamshiral. She deliberately chose to send them to those locations in order to drag out the civil war while she would use the Eluvians to organize, assist, and strengthen the city elves position throughout Orlais.

After exiting the Eluvians, Mihris requests the secret to the Eluvians be given to the Dalish. Briala responds that unless the Dalish agree to help the city elves, she would not share their secret. Mihris agrees to pass along the offer of help to any Dalish clan she encounters and departs. Briala and Felassan also decided to part ways. Though Briala offers to tell him the control phrase, he refuses. He then kissed her on the forehead, branding a spell on her that made her pass out so he could depart unseen. Briala then began to get started on her plans.

She used the eluvian network to great effect. Reports placed her sabotaging the water casks of the imperial army outside of Val Firmin on the same day she was seen delivering food to the Ghislain alienage. Her elven agents have been constantly sabotaging the imperial armies, to their great frustration. Her accomplishments have only led to greater loyalty among the elves of the alienage across the country.[2]

Dragon Age: Inquisition[edit | edit source]

This section contains spoilers for:
Dragon Age: Inquisition.

Briala is met during the quest Wicked Eyes and Wicked Hearts.

Since breaking off from Celene, Briala has raised an underground network of elves to harry both sides of the civil war. When peace talks are called during Celene's ball at the Winter Palace, Briala is invited as an ambassador, with Celene hoping to gain an alliance with the elves. Briala attends in hopes of influencing one side into elevating an elf to the noble status to give her people more say in government. Gaspard was planning a coup during the ball, having been accompanied by his Chevaliers and smuggling Ferelden mercenaries into the party. Celene and Briala knew of this and turned a blind eye with the hope that Gaspard would be lured into making a politically foolish move. To exacerbate the tensions between Celene and Gaspard, Briala had both their ambassadors murdered and sent each of them forged letters to implicate them of duplicity; thus putting her in a more politically advantageous position.

Briala infiltrates the Grand Apartments of the palace to investigate the mysterious murders of her spies, where she runs into the Inquisitor. Noting the corpse of the Council of Heralds' emissary down in the courtyard, she assumes that the Inquisitor didn't murder him. When the Inquisitor mentions that the murder weapon had the Chalons crest on it, Briala believed Gaspard to be behind it and reveals that the Grand Duke had been smuggling in chevaliers, but she cannot fathom him allying with the Venatori. Anticipating that the Inquisitor may later be involved in the peace talks, Briala offers the support of her spy network in exchange for the Inquisitor's favour.

If the Inquisitor had found an elven locket among Celene's possessions and speaks to Briala about it, she identifies it as her's and is surprised that Celene kept it, hinting that she still loves Briala.

Later, when Gaspard's sister, Florianne, is exposed as a Venatori agent, in private, Briala calls out Gaspard, accusing him of being complicit in his sister's plot, to which the Grand Duke insinuates that Briala knew of the plot. The Inquisitor can either support one party for the throne or encourage them to work together. Provided that Celene survives the assassination attempt, she and Briala can even be convinced to reconcile, and in the resolution of the coup, Celene grants Briala the title Marquise of the Dales.

If Celene is allowed to die and the Inquisitor sides with Briala over Gaspard then Briala will blackmail Gaspard into granting new rights to the Elves and will also be granted the title of Marquise of the Dales. Gaspard sends Briala as his agent when the Inquisition marches on the Arbor Wilds. Briala will also continue to wield a great deal of power and influence over the throne in secret, thanks to the leverage the Inquisitor has given her.

This section contains spoilers for:

Solas reveals that he has personally taken control of the eluvian network from Briala. She had, until then, controlled a portion of the larger network, thanks to Felassan's refusal to take the control phrase from her.

Quotes[edit | edit source]

Dragon Age: The Masked Empire[edit | edit source]

  • "Your clan could have helped the elves in the cities, taken in the strays, as your Keeper said. Instead, you rode around in wagons and searched for gifts left by our ancestors. You summoned demons and brought your doom upon yourselves." [3]
  • "We may be mere insects, Grand Duke, but so are wasps. A wise man avoids poking their nest."[4]
  • "Freedom is not given. It is won." [5]

Dragon Age Inquisition[edit | edit source]

  • "If the nobility is going to treat elves as if we are not citizens, we may as well have the trappings of a foreign power."
  • "I'm an elf, Inquisitor. That should tell you everything you need to know about my life. I'm good at what I do. That's all that matters. I will help my people no matter the cost."
  • "Our problem is invisibility. The people in power are used to ignoring us. We're not actors, we're scenery."

Notes[edit | edit source]

  • Briala is described as having curly 'cinnamon-brown' hair and skin that is darker than Celene's with freckles.[6]

Trivia[edit | edit source]

Gallery[edit | edit source]

Codex entries[edit | edit source]

Codex entry: Briala Codex entry: Briala

See also[edit | edit source]

This section contains spoilers for:
Dragon Age: Inquisition.

References[edit | edit source]

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