The settings of the first two Dragon Age games, Ferelden and Kirkwall, respectively, were pretty drab, depressing places. Dragon Age: Inquisition, however, is set in Orlais, the Dragon Age universe’s fancy, gilded analogue for France. Some new screenshots of the Winter Palace show us just how different Orlais is from those brutish, uncivilized lands.
Built on the ruins of ancient Elven grounds, The Winter Palace serves as a seasonal retreat for the Imperial Court. It has also been used in a more official capacity, holding peace talks between the warring factions of the Orlesian Civil War. With its high, arching ceiling, gorgeous statuary, magnificent chandelier and marble title floor, the Winter Palace is a truly stunning construction, and reflects Orlesians’ emphasis on artistry, beauty, and opulence. If Thedas had a Great Gatsby, he'd probably live here.
With buildings like this dotting the landscape, it’s easy to see why Orlesians have a low opinion of residents of other nations. While Fereldenites(?) slog through the mud and Kirkwallians(???) make do with crowded concrete alleys, Orlesians are living it up, appreciating the finer things in life. It also makes it easy to understand why the rest of the world sees Orlesians as a bunch of stuck-up, snooty fancy-boys.