This is part two of my The Masked Empire summary. Once again do not read this post if you plan and reading teh book yourself. Make sure to have read part one first!
Meanwhile Gaspard made it to the forest as well. They sylvans cause trouble for him and his troops, but Lienne, the apostate who healed Pierre earlier, is an invaluable asset. After some time they encounter a massive sylvan that seems to be controlling the others. They manage to take it down, after which all the other sylvans go back to just being trees. They move on and make their way to the Dalish camp. The campsite is a complete slaughter. Gaspard, Remache and his men find Mihris left alive in the camp and she wants to make them a deal. She agrees to lead them to Celene and Michel, but only if she gets to kill Michel for what he did to her clan by setting Imshael free. Gaspard agrees and together they move on.
Back with Celene they have reached the first eluvian and the ruby they got from Imshael activates the mirror just like he said it would. All four of them go through and they find themselves in some sort of magical realm between the mirrors. The path is lit with magical elven lights and it seems quite pleasant for Felassan and Briala. The path turns out to be very uncomfortable for Celene and Michel though. It seems the old elven magic wards against non-elves. Nevertheless they follow the path and make their way to the next eluvian. When they enter they find themselves in a room with several other mirrors as well as a lot of elven corpses. It seems the only way out of the room is through the eluvian and when they lost their power the servants must have starved to death. The servants must have felt incredible hate and anger as they slowly starved and such powerful emotions can attract demons and tear the veil, which is exactly what happens. The corpses in the room rise and turn to fight Michel, Briala, Celene and Felassan. They manage to hold them off until Gaspard comes through the eluvian and comes to their aid. Gaspard is accompanied by Duke Remache, Lienne, Mihris and several of his soldiers. Once they get rid of the undead, Gaspard asks Celene to surrender. Clearly outmatched and outnumbered, Briala decided to set off the trap mechanism she disabled when they entered the room earlier. The traps instantly turn Gaspard’s soldiers into a pile of ashes on the Floor. Gaspard turns to fight Michel, Remache turns to Celene and Briala tries to focus on Mihris, who started to draw power from the corpses in the room. She uses the energy gained to attempt to crush the life from Michel. It’s Felassan who saves Michel when he casts a spell that nullifies all the magic in the room. With all the magic being cast more demons enter through the veil. This time it’s not mere corpses however, this time they have to deal with two revenants and an arcane horror. After a brutal fight they manage to take them down. After the undead are dealt with Gaspard and Celene agree to a truce until they reach the central chamber, where they will then decide the fate of Orlais in a duel.
Over the next couple of day all of them travel across the path between the eluvians several times. Each time it’s obvious the path doesn’t affect Felassan, Briala and Mihris whereas it greatly exhausts Celene, Michel, Gaspard and Remache. Over those couple of days Celene and Briala grow closer again and Briala forgives Celene for what happened at Halamshiral. Celene promises Briala that when she takes the throne back she will improve the lot of the elves no matter what the other nobles think. Eventually they make it to the central room. They can see a pedestal with an empty socket about the size of the ruby Imshael gave to Celene. The pedestal however is inside a maze, which as it turns out only Elves can navigate. Before they can make out anything else they are attacked by a varterral that appears to have been left as a guardian. At first they can’t seem to find any weaknesses, arrows just bounce off the varterral stone hide, magic doesn’t seem to affect it much either. After some time Briala manages to discover that its stomach doesn’t have the stone hide the rest of its body does. Before they can act though Duke Remache betrays the peace agreement and attacks Celene. He tries to push Celene towards the varterral, but Gaspard steps in between Celene and Remache and sticks his blade through Remache’s visor. Once Remache is dealt with, Gaspard takes off one of his gloves and throws a special ring to Briala. It’s the same ring Celene received from lady Mantillon all those years ago. The ring allows you to see tactical advantages you wouldn’t otherwise and it also improves the cunning and wit of the wielder. With it Briala manages to hurt the varterral and eventually she manages to kill it while Michel and Gaspard keep it busy .
After the battle she asks Gaspard where he got the ring. Gaspard tells her that he got it from lady Mantillon the first time he impressed her by having someone killed in ‘the game’. Celene received the same ring the night Briala’s parents were murdered and it’s at this point that Briala figures it all out. Her parents’ murder was never ordered by lady Mantillon, it was ordered by Celene. Briala however keeps quiet as Celene and Gaspard arrange the terms for the duel. Michel is to fight Gaspard, both are allowed to use whatever they have at their disposal, but no magic. Celene gives Michel both her rings and Briala returns the ring she got during the fight with the varterral back to Gaspard. Michel and Gaspard start their duel and at first they seem to be evenly matched. Michel however slowly, but steadily presses his advantage and starts to gain the upper hand. Then suddenly Gaspard hits him back. Every single move made by Gaspard seems to strike true, while every move Michel makes fails miserably. It doesn’t take long for Briala to figure out Lienne is hexing Michel and aiding Gaspard magically. Briala kills Lienne and turns to Mihris. Briala reveals that Mihris is no longer Mihris, but she is possessed by Imshael. She figured it out some time ago back at the first room with the undead when Mihris cast spells way above her level of magical prowess. Imshael could easily kill them all and leave, but Felassan tries to convince him otherwise. Imshael wants to see the world and he wants to see the world in chaos. Felassan tells him that if Celene reclaims her throne the elves and nobles of Orlais will be fighting and killing each other causing the chaos he desires. After Felassan is done, Imshael leaves Mihris’ body and escapes through one of the eluvians. Meanwhile without any magical interference Michel manages to gain the upper hand again and manages to stab Gaspard in the side. As he turns to finish him off, Briala yells at Michel that she calls upon the favour he owes her. Michel honors his promise and he yields, and tells everyone about his true heritage. Briala tells Celene that she knows about her parents’ murder.
Celene does not accept Gaspard’s surrender and tries to finish him off herself. Gaspard as he phrases it himself is hurt, but not dead. While Celene is busy with Gaspard, Briala started to make her way through the maze to the pedestal in order to activate the eluvians. Celene realizes that Briala took Imshael’s ruby. She activates the eluvians with her own passphrase and claims them for the elves of Orlais. Afterwards she lets Celene, Michel and Gaspard choose where they want to go. Celene asks to be sent to Val Royeaux, but Briala doesn’t want to help her anymore and when Celene steps out of the mirror she finds herself inside her Winter Palace near Halamshiral. Michel and Gaspard find themselves near Val Chevin. Gaspard tells Michel he is the prime example of a chevalier even though the academie wouldn’t agree. Michel plans to track Imshael down and prevent him from doing more harm to the people of Orlais.
Briala, Felassan and Mihris exit the eluvian in the Dales. Mihris asks Briala to give the knowledge of the eluvians to the Dalish, but Briala laughs in her face. She wants to help ALL the elves of Orlais, once the Dalish agree to do the same she will consider helping them. Mihris takes off to find another Dalish clan who will take her in. Before Felassan leaves Briala wants to tell him the passphrase to access the eluvians, but Felassan stops her. He trusts her with the fate of the elves and says goodbye. Before Briala takes off as well she uses the passphrase, Fen’Harel enansal, to close the eluvian.
At the very end of the book Felassan has made camp in the forest and is preparing to enter the fade. Once he does so he meets someone or something inside the fade. He tells it that he was not able to acquire the eluvians, even though that’s a lie. Before Felassan can say anything else whatever or whoever he was meeting kills him. There is no further explanation on who or what exactly killed Felassan, but I’m pretty sure we’ll find out in Dragon Age Inquisition.