- “I will fight for the others who have no one to champion their cause.”
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 spy master. 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 for her life to the Dalish. Celene gave Briala her own cloak and mask as a disguise and Lady Mantillon's jeweled hairclip to sell. Before Briala left, Celene kissed her.
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.
Later, as the elves in Halamshiral began to riot as result of the actions of Lord Mainserai, Briala is dispatched to assassinate him and quell the riots so Celene could avoid a more forceful retaliation. Briala kills Mainserai along with Felassan and acity elf, Thren, however, she is immediately arrested by Ser Michel. As Briala carried out the assassination, Celene arrived with her Chevaliers in Halamshiral to put down the revolt with force to dispel the rumours that she was too lenient with the elves. 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 killed the Elves at Halamshiral, 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.
After surviving a sylvan attack, they encounter Clan Virnehn, led by Keeper Thelhen. The Dalish want nothing to do with them, believing Celene's promises to be hollow as where the Chantry's when they sacked the Dales. Michel later discovers that the Keeper had bound a demon named Imshael in an attempt to unlock the Eluvians, which the ancient elves used to 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.
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 intially, 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.After exiting the Eluvians, Mihris requests the secret to the Eluvians, stating that they belong 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.