The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt FAQ/Walkthrough

       The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt FAQ/Walkthrough by sokkus

Version 0.50, Last Updated 2015-06-28

Table of Contents

Introduction
Gameplay Basics
Combat Techniques
Magical Signs
Alchemy, Potions, Oils and Bombs
Advanced Combat Tips
Witcher Sense
Exploration
Gathering Experience and Levelling Up
Campaign Walkthrough
Prologue Walkthrough
Kaer Morhen (Tutorial)
Lilac and Gooseberries
The Beast of White Orchard
Side-Questing 1 (Optional)
The Incident at White Orchard
Imperial Audience
Act 1 Walkthrough
In Ciri's Footsteps
The Nilfgaardian Connection
Bloody Baron
Ciri's Story: The King of Wolves
Family Matters – Part 1
A Princess in Distress
Family Matters – Part 2
Ciri's Story: The Race
Family Matters – Part 3
Hunting a Witch
Wandering in the Dark
The Magic Lamp (Optional)
Ladies of the Wood - Part 1
The Whispering Hillock
Ladies of the Wood – Part 2
Ciri's Story: Fleeing the Bog
Family Matters – Part 4
Ciri's Story: Out of the Shadows
The Pyres of Novigrad
Novigrad Dreaming
Broken Flowers
Get Junior – Part 1
Count Reuven's Treasure – Part 1
Get Junior – Part 2
Ciri's Story: Visiting Junior
Get Junior – Part 3
A Favor for Radovid
Count Reuven's Treasure – Part 2
The Play's the Thing
A Poet Under Pressure
Ciri's Story: Breakneck Speed
Destination: Skellige
The King is Dead – Long Live the King
Echoes of the Past
Missing Persons
Nameless
Ciri's Story: The Calm Before the Storm
Side-Questing 2 (Optional)
Act 2 Walkthrough
Ugly Baby
Disturbance
The Final Trial
To Bait a Forktail…
No Place Like Home
Va Fail, Elaine
The Isle of Mists – Part 1
Brothers in Arms: Nilfgaard
Brothers in Arms: Velen
An Invitation from Keira Metz (Optional)
A Towerful of Mice (Optional)
A Favour for a Friend (Optional)
For the Advancement of Learning (Optional)
The Fall of the House of Reardon (Optional)
Ghosts of the Past (Optional)
Brothers in Arms: Novigrad
A Dangerous Game (Optional)
A Matter of Life and Death (Optional)
Now or Never (Optional)
An Eye for an Eye (Optional)
Brothers in Arms: Skellige
The Lord of Undvik (Optional)
Possession (Optional)
King's Gambit (Optional)
Coronation (Optional)
Side-Questing 3 (Optional)
The Isle of Mists – Part 2
The Battle for Kaer Morhen
Blood on the Battlefield
Act 3 Walkthrough
Bald Mountain
Final Preparations
Blindingly Obvious
Payback
The Great Escape
Final Preparations – Part 2
It Takes Three to Tango
Through Time and Space
Battle Preparations
The Sunstone – Part 1
Child of the Elder Blood
Skjall's Grave
The Sunstone – Part 2
Veni Vidi Vigo
Battle Preparations – Part 2
On Thin Ice
Tedd Deireadh, The Final Age
Something Ends, Something Begins
Secondary Quests
White Orchard Secondary Quests
A Frying Pan, Spick and Span
Missing in Action
On Death's Bed
Precious Cargo
Twisted Firestarter
Contract: Devil by the Well
Hidden Treasure: Deserter Gold
Hidden Treasure: Dirty Funds
Hidden Treasure: Temerian Valueables
Scavenger Hunt: Viper School Gear
Velen Secondary Quests
The Magic Lamp
An invitation from Keira Metz
A Towerful of Mice
A Favour for a Friend
For the Advancement of Learning
Return to Crookback Bog
Funeral Pyres
Though Shall Not Pass
Fake Papers
Bitter Harvest
A Greedy God
Ciri's Room
Death By Fire
Defender of the Faith: Velen
Forefather's Eve
The Fall of the House of Reardon
Ghosts of the Past
The Truth is in the Stars
Wild at Heart
Fists of Fury: Velen
Gwent: Velen Players
Races: Crows Perch
Novigrad Secondary Quests
Skellige Isles Secondary Quests
Kaer Morhen Secondary Quests
Witcher Contracts
Gwent Guide
Achievement/Trophy Guide
Miscellaneous
Contact Me
About Me
Special Thanks
Version History
Legal
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Introduction

Note: This is a work in progress. My current aim is to complete each mission, whilst attempting to highlight all available options and outcomes and am currently on my third playthrough trying to pick up differences once again. 

As this is such an enormous game, it will take quite a while to write for! As such, I'll be working on filling out the Witcher Contracts, side-missions, places of interest, enemies guide and a bunch of other good stuff once I have finished the story.

Why hello there! Welcome to my guide to CD Projekt Red's latest title in the Witcher series – The Witcher III: Wild Hunt. Wild Hunt is the first game in the series to date to feature a proper open world and once again focuses on leading man Geralt as he explores the northern realms. Whilst its gameplay is quite reminiscent of the previous games in the Witcher series, Wild Hunt puts some new and interesting spins on the formula to create something unique and entertaining.

This guide will provide you with a walkthrough from beginning to end helping with strategies to get you through all the tricky combat areas, detail each enemy type and how best to confront them, help you to find and complete each of the Witcher Contracts, side-quests and optional objectives, master Gwent, unlock all of those achievements/trophies and collect all of the games Gwent cards to boot.

At this stage, the guide currently contains:

A completed story walkthrough from beginning to end!
side-quest guides for White Orchard and Velen (Velen still in progress).
If you see any errors, have a question, a tip or an alternate strategy for a section of the guide please head to the contact section and flick me an email to let me know!

If you like what you see here, be sure to check out more of my guides, reviews and podcasts at www.consoledomination.com and consider donating to my Paypal if you are feeling a little generous!

Donation Info

Although I make these guides for free in my spare time, I probably don't need to point out that purchasing games is an expensive hobby and writing guides can be a very long, incredibly difficult and thankless task at the best of times, but one that is very challenging and rewarding.

A simple donation is a great, easy way to say thanks if you feel that my guide has saved you some time, money and frustration in some small way. By no means feel obligated to donate just for viewing my guide, but if you are feeling a little generous I certainly won't object!

Paypal ID : sokkus [at] hotmail [dot] com 

Gameplay Basics

Combat Techniques

Melee Combat

Melee attacks are where Geralt will be spending most of his time in combat and is your largest single source of damage. Subsequently players will be focusing more on melee than any other form of combat.

Geralt comes equipped with a pair of swords with which he can dish out DPS – a Silver Sword for fighting monsters and a Steel Sword for fighting humanoid opponents. Players can switch between swords at any point, but Geralt usually pulls out the relevant sword as he enters combat, so in most circumstances won’t need to worry about it.

Geralt starts off with a standard light and heavy attack but can unlock additional, more powerful melee abilities if you spend skill points in the combat tree. The attacks include:

Fast/Heavy Attacks – Geralt can perform a light attack or a heavy attack. Light attacks are slightly faster, but do reduced damage. Heavy attacks on the other hand take longer but will dish out significantly more damage. As Geralt's wind-up animation for the fast/heavy attacks leaves him open to counterattacks in the interim it is recommended to only use heavy attacks on stunned enemies or those unaware of your presence.

These can be further enhanced for bonus critical strike %, bleeding effects and damage by sticking points into the respective Fast Attack and Heavy Attack tabs in the Combat skill Tree.

Additional melee-based abilities are unlocked once you start investing some points in the melee portion of the Combat Skill Tree. These abilities include:

Whirl – This is a spinning attack that will do area of effect damage to any enemy within the immediate vicinity.
Rend – This is a nasty overhead slash that will ignore armour and shields and do an enormous amount of damage.
Ranged Combat

Near the start of the game, Geralt is also gifted with a crossbow which can be used to perform ranged attacks against enemies. Whilst pulling out the crossbow to aim, time will slow a little giving you a slightly larger window in which to aim and fire.

Whilst crossbows remain your source of ranged damage during standard combat, their attack effects can be altered somewhat by the ammo that you choose to use with them. Different bolts can be crafted by armourers and will have different effects and damage bonuses.

Crossbow attacks can be further enhanced to slow time further whist aiming, increase critical hit damage/% and disable enemy special abilities for a brief time by investing points into the Marksmanship portion of the Combat Skill Tree.

Finisher Attacks

Once you have dealt enough damage to an enemy, a button prompt will appear above their heads. Hitting the button signified when in close proximity will trigger a stylish execution attack that will kill the enemy during a canned animation. On the lower difficulties Geralt is invincible during these animations, so if you are low on health it is possible to exploit a finisher to avoid taking damage.

Note: Automatic finishers are enabled by default when you start a new game and as such you will not see the button prompts appear. They can be toggled on or off in the menu. This should be deactivated in the higher difficulty modes to avoid frustration!

 

Avoiding Attacks

Geralt has several ways in which he can avoid incoming enemy attacks or to limit or mitigate damage taken. Each of these techniques has its own benefits and drawbacks and experimenting with each in different situations will help figure out the right tactic for your gameplay style. Additional bonuses and abilities can be unlocked by investing points in the Defence portion of the Combat Skill Tree.

The default abilities include:

Blocking – by blocking, in most circumstances Geralt can pretty much nullify the majority of standard melee attacks coming his way. Unfortunately, although it can reduce damage, it is not quite as effective when attempting to block incoming poison, fire or magical damage.
Staggering – Geralt receives the ability to stagger most melee enemies near the start of the game. By timing your press of the block button to immediately before an enemy attack, Geralt can deflect and quickly counter with a hit that will also stun the recipient temporarily. This will leave them open for an additional follow up attack. Note that deflect/staggering will only work against melee attacks.
Dodging – Geralt has the ability to do perform a quick side/back step to move out of danger quickly, but still maintain a short distance from a foe. This is incredibly useful for dodging incoming, unblockable enemy attacks during melee combat or during boss fights where blocking is not always an option. Pulling off a successful dodge will also give you a perfect opportunity to immediately follow up with a counterattack.
Rolling – Rolling is similar to dodging in that it can get you out of a pinch fairly quickly. Unfortunately, it is somewhat less useful than the dodge as it will put more distance between Geralt and the enemy. This is much less useful against human enemies, but can be a lifesaver against larger boss monsters with unstoppable charging or area of effect knock back attacks.
Additional defensive abilities are unlocked once you start investing some points in the Defensive portion of the Combat Skill Tree. These abilities include:

Deflect Arrows - By timing your press of the block button to immediately before an enemy arrow/bolt hits, Geralt can deflect it to avoid taking damage.
Magical Signs

In addition to utilising ranged and melee combat abilities, Geralt is also privy to using magical signs. These signs have a range of functions with some causing nasty area of effect attacks, others buffing Geralt and others being useful both in and out of combat. These sign attacks will consume Geralt's Stamina Bar which is the circular bar located below the health bar in the top left of the screen.

After a brief introduction, all five of Geralt’s Sign abilities are available from the start of the game, however additional bonus effects and alternate modes can be purchased from the Sign Skill Tree. All abilities within the tree can be upgraded multiple times to increase their effectiveness.

These Signs Abilities include:

AARD – The AARD sign has many uses. Its base form acts as a kind of Jedi-style force push which can knock down enemies or cause them to stagger temporarily. Outside of combat, it can be used to knock down weak walls.
AXII – In its base form, AXII allows Geralt to temporarily stun individual human/monster/beast enemies. This can also be used out of combat during conversations, usually to get your way or to calm animals (you can tame and ride horses doing this).
IGNI – As a starting ability, IGNI is your major damage sign. When used it sends out a wave of fire immediately in front of Geralt. This will damage enemies and has a chance to light them on fire briefly stunning them and causing damage over time. This can be used out of combat to light torches and to complete several quests.
QUEN – This sign is a mostly defensive one. In its base form, the sign creates a protective magical barrier around Geralt that will drastically improving his defence against incoming attacks. Once activated, the ability will slowly drain the Stamina Bar until it is completely depleted.
YRDEN – The YRDEN sign creates a magical trap on the ground. When stepped in by an enemy, certain effects can occur, in its base form, the YRDEN trap will slightly slow enemy movement and pull ghostly creatures into a physical form.
Alchemy, Potions, Oils and Bombs

As a Witcher, Geralt is well versed in how to find reagents and concoct a range of alchemical-themed items which can provide him with a range of buffs and grant him advantage in battle. Recipes can be purchased from vendors, given as the occasional reward during a quest or found in chests or other lootable objects.

These recipes, once acquired can be crafted from the Alchemy tab of the menu. Fortunately, after they have been crafter for the first time, Geralt will remember how to make them (he’s good like that) and as long as you have sufficient alcohol in your possession, will automatically create a fresh batch every time you meditate.

The different types of alchemy formulae include:

Bombs – There are a range of bombs that Geralt can craft with numerous effects. They can be equipped and are utilised like grenades.
Potions – A wide range of different potions can be used to assist Geralt both in and out of combat. Potions offer up a wide ranging assortment of effects that can to mention but a few: allow breathing in poisoned areas, to regenerating health and increasing damage output. sing potions will increase Geralt's Toxicity Bar (filling this too much will result in a loss of health).
Oils – Oils are used to enhance Geralt’s weapons temporarily.  For the most part these are used to increase attack damage or efficiency during combat and are often related to fighting against specific enemy types.
Decoctions – similar to oils, decoctions are special potions that give bonus attributes, perks or qualities when fighting against specific enemy types. Typically decoctions are found in the environment and in my experience you’ll locate them near where you fight new enemy types for the first time.
Alchemy Reagents – For some of the more advanced recipes, players are able to craft some reagents themselves. These include Mutagens (which can be used to enhance Geralt’s abilities) and other more hard to find constructed reagents.
Advanced Combat Tips

Whilst the standard attacks that Geralt uses to dish out damage are all well and good, there are a number of abilities or items that can when used in conjunction can give you a little extra edge in combat.

Environmental Attacks

In addition to the standard arsenal of attacks that Geralt has at his disposal, he can also utilise various elements of the environment in conjunction with his sign magic to help during combat. These include:

High points and AARD – Geralt can use his AARD force push attack to launch enemies to their deaths from cliffs, buildings or from other high locations.
Beehives and AARD – Whilst wandering in the wilderness you will come across beehives on trees. These can be shot with the crossbow for Honeycomb, destroyed with IGNI and can be exploited to damage enemies by utilising AARD. Using AARD will destroy the nest and the bees will then attack anything that comes close.
Swamp Gas and IGNI – Whilst venturing in swamps, or sewers, or ancient ruins or a combination of the aforementioned locales, you’ll occasionally come across swamp gas. Standing in this will damage Geralt, so it’s a good idea to avoid getting too close to it.  However, it also happens to be highly flammable. Using IGNI to ignite the gas will cause an explosion damaging or killing anything within a close proximity.
Barrels and IGNI – When you come across bandit camps, guarded estates or abandoned settlements with hostile enemies, you’ll often see barrels scattered around the area. Most barrels standing by themselves contain material that causes them to explode within a short time of being exposed to IGNI. As with swamp gas, these can be exploited to damage or kill enemies.
Witcher Sense

Witcher Sense is a vision mode that we will be using extensively throughout the game. Similar to the special ‘Detective modes’ in the Batman: Arkham games or the most recent Tomb Raider, Witcher Sense will highlight objects and areas of interest in the environment. In general the following are observable with Witcher Sense active:

Orange - Chests, plants and other lootable containers/objects will be highlighted in orange.
Red - Quest-related lootable objects or points of interest to be investigated are highlighted in red.
Ripples – Enemies can be identified by ripples in the environment, allowing you to monitor their locations.
In addition to the visual advantage, Witcher Sense will also enhance Geralt’s hearing, allowing him to eavesdrop on conversations. This comes in handy occasionally when trying to garner information during a quest or two.

Exploration

The game’s world is broken down into five maps – one for Kaer Morhan, Vizima, Velen, White Orchard and Skellige. On the maps, areas of interest are marked with a ‘?’ until Geralt investigates to determine what it is. These then change to icons that include: Side-missions, fast travel points, dungeon entrances,vendors and side-tasks.

Travelling Efficiently

There are a few cool things you can do with the world maps to increase your efficiency at travelling around in-game:

Waypoints

During quests you’ll receive objective markers that act as waypoints showing you exactly where you need to go to continue your quest. On the world map you can also set your own custom waypoint which will appear on the mini-map when you return to regular gameplay. You can then follow said waypoint to any destination of your choice.

Whilst waypoints are active, a white dotted trail will appear on the world map, giving you the quickest route to your destination. A small footprint icon will also appear by the mini-map with a number indicating your distance from the waypoint and arrows beside it telling you if it above or below your current position.

Fast Travel

As you explore the world you’ll find fast travel signposts. As you ride or walk past them, they will be added to your wold map. By approaching one of these and interacting with it, you are able instantly select and travel to any previously discovered destination on the map where you have unlocked a fast travel point.

Horse Riding

You can summon Geralt’s faithful horse, Roach at any time on the world map. Riding him around is much faster than Geralt’s standard walking pace! If you get bored with him, you can use Geralt’s AXII sign on wild horses to temporarily tame and ride them around!

The horse has three speeds:

Walking – The slowest speed, but the most manoeuvrable.
Canter – Hold down the run button and the horse will canter at a faster pace.
Gallop – tap and then hold down the run button to gallop. This is the fastest setting.
A useful, yet unexplained feature of the horses is autopilot. If you hold the run button down to canter whilst on a road and do not touch the directional sticks, your horse will automatically run along the road you are on as if it were stuck there with glue – it may not always take the route you want at crossroads or forks though!

Whilst riding a horse, a Stamina meter will appear at the bottom of the screen. By tapping and then holding the run button, the horse will break into a gallop which will slowly consume the stamina bar. Once the bar is empty, the horse will revert to a walk until some of the Stamina is recharged.

Note: Finding and equipping different saddles can increase Roach’s total Stamina.

In addition to stamina, the horses also have a spook meter. If you get too close to enemies whilst on horseback and cannot escape the area quickly enough, the horse will get spooked, rear back and Geralt will fall to the ground. So avoid enemies!

Boating

You’ll find numerous sailboats scattered about the waterways of The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt. These can be used to quickly traverse bodies of water in a much quicker fashion than Geralt’s normal swimming pace. To sail a boat, Geralt needs to hop on board and interact with the rear of the vessel.

In general boats have three speeds:

Slow – The slowest speed, but the most manoeuvrable.
Fast – Hold down the run button and the boat will accelerate.
Once in a boat, you’ll be able to make out a silhouette of the boat located on the left side of the screen beneath Geralt’s health bar (and other gauges, meters and bars of course). This starts off as white, indicating that there is no damage. Bumping into rocks or having enemies hit you can damage the boat. Damaged portions of the boat will be shown in red. If the boat takes too much damage it will sink and you’ll be left with no option but to swim to shore.

Gathering Experience and Levelling Up

As per your standard RPG experience players will earn experience points (XP) which can be accumulated to earn levels. Upon levelling, Geralt will be given a small boost to his base attributes and unlock a skill point. Skill points can then be invested in one of dour skill trees to unlock enhanced abilities, alternate attack types and some general stat bonuses.

In the Witcher 3 you’ll gain XP via the following:

Killing enemies,
Progressing through story events
Completing secondary-quests and Witcher Contracts.
Completing side-tasks such as: Abandoned Settlements.
Using AXII during conversations.
Bribe people during conversations.
When you gain a level, you can use the opportunity to level Geralt. Within the character menu, you have the ability to peruse four skill trees and are able to purchase abilities (or ranks of abilities) by investing spell points. As is to be expected, upon reaching a new level, the XP required to reach the subsequent level will increase.

Campaign Walkthrough

This walkthrough will provide you with the easiest, fastest route from beginning to the end of the campaign quest line, mentioning places to visit, times at which you need to complete various side-quests and contracts and will *gulp* attempt to cover all variations in storyline and gameplay caused by decisions made in-game.

Note: Due to the size and complexity of the game and the numerous points at which decisions can be made, it may not be possible for me to capture every alteration that occurs. If you find something missing, please let me know!

To fast travel to a chapter, go to the table of contents over to the right and use the hyperlinks to jump down to where you want to go in a flash. A complete list of each side-mission, Witcher Contract and their locations as well as a complete Gwent and card locations guide and achievement/trophy guide can also be located in the relevant spots below the walkthrough in the guide below.

Please note, this guide will most likely contain some very,very, very minor spoilers if you read too far ahead, but I have done my utmost to keep things as vague as possible.

Enjoy!

Prologue Walkthrough

Kaer Morhen (Tutorial)

Note: You will only play this quest if you select to play the tutorial from the new game menu.

Following the opening cut-scenes, you’ll find yourself in a bed chamber in the Witcher stronghold of Kaer Morhen. Our first order of business is to find the key to open the door so that we can leave.

To do this, the game has us activate Witcher Sense mode. In this vision mode, items of interest are highlighted in red, whilst lootable objects are highlighted orange. Activate Witcher Sense and explore the room. You’ll be able to inspect the following:

Clothes on the bed.
Box of silver jewellery on a bookshelf.
Pitcher of juice on the small table.
Perfume bottle on a bookshelf near the door.
Key to the door on the table by the door.
Unlock the door and head down the stairs into the room below for a pair of conversations. During the second conversation, you’ll be given the option to “Run the Walls” which you can do for a short tutorial on movement.

If you choose to run the walls, you’ll need to climb the ladder ahead, practice climbing up a series of ledges and then traverse the platforms and ledges down to the courtyard below. As you progress, be careful to cross the gap using the wooden platform on the left and try not to jump off the ledges here – you don’t want to die in the tutorial!

When you reach the ground level race up to the objective marker for a scene. After the conversation, you’ll be given the choice of going through the basic tutorial or skipping to free practice. I’d recommend going through the basics on your first playthrough to familiarise yourself with the game’s melee combat and magic systems.

Once you are done with the training, a scene will play to end the tutorial.

Lilac and Gooseberries

This quest will begin with a conversation with Visemir and as soon as your little chat draws to an end, you’ll be set upon by a group of ghouls.

There are five Ghouls that you will need to dispatch in total and fortunately only one or two will attack you at a time. Use this fight to practice your dodge/roll manoeuvres and attack them when you see an opening.

Note: for killing all the ghouls you’ll earn 250XP.

Following the fight, move down the road to the west a short distance and look out for a Crystal Skull quest item in the shrubs, just to the right of the road – use your Witcher Sense to locate it easily.

When you are ready to go, mount your horse which happens to be located nearby and follow Visemir. You should unlock the Crossroads and Ransacked Village fast travel markers as you go. Eventually, a scene will play.

Afterwards, ride into the town ahead. You can approach the tavern here for a scene that will proceed with the quest.

During this dialogue, the game will give you a brief tutorial on dialogue options and will also encourage you to use the shop icon. This too will give you a brief introduction to how to use shops in the game.

When you regain control of Geralt, we’ll now need to play with our conversation skills. There are three objective markers in the tavern here and we’ll need to chat with each of the indicated people to continue.

You can speak to the following people:

The peasants at the nearby table. Note that if you use your AXII sign to glean some information from them, you’ll net yourself 25XP.
The Scholar at the table closest to the bar. As you exit the conversation, he’ll introduce you to the card game Gwent. Play him to activate the tutorial and unlock it for playing elsewhere in the world.
Gaunter O’Dim by the door. He’ll give you the information you require to update your objectives.
Now that we have a new objective, we can leave the tavern. As you do however, a short scene will play and you’ll be attacked by the ruffians we bumped into earlier. Make sure you use your AXII sign during the conversation – this will reduce their numbers by one and give you 25XP as well.

You’ll need to fight the pair of remaining thugs in hand to hand combat. Keep your guard up and use your counters and follow up attacks to knock them down.

Note: for knocking out the thugs you’ll earn 350XP.

At this point, you can head up to the notice board nearby. Grab the notices off the board to pick up the following side-quests:

Contract: Devil by the Well
Missing in Action
Now we’ll have to make our way to the Nilfgaardian outpost to the north. When you arrive at the garrison, speak with the guards before entering the gate. Make your way over to the tower nearby to speak with their leader.

This will funnel you into the next quest ‘The Beast of White Orchard’, which you are required to complete before completing this one.

The Beast of White Orchard

This quest starts with two leads: We’ll need to speak with a herbalist and to a hunter. Both are fairly close together, but if you are riding from the garrison, the herbalist is closer, so let’s visit her first.

Part 1: The Herbalist

Enter the herbalist’s hut and ask her where to find Buckthorn. She’ll tell you where to look and you’ll receive a new objective marker on your map. Whilst you are here, you should also enquire as to the woman on the bed nearby. This will give you a short side-quest ‘On Death’s Bed’ which encourages you to craft a Swallow Potion.

Note: Before moving too far I would definitely recommend using alchemy to craft the Swallow Potion. This is the most effective healing item you will have for quite a while. The ingredients include:

Drowner Brains which you can obtain from Drowners along the river banks or in the swamp near the Nilfgaardian garrison.
Celadine which can be looted from a plant with small yellow flowers (there are a lot of these around the outskirts of the main settlement)
Dwarven Spirits which can be purchased from the innkeeper or merchants.
Once you have all of the required reagents, open the Alchemy menu and craft the potion.  Once you have the potion, return to the Herbalist and let her know that it is ready.

Ride over to the marker and enter the water. Within the search area, dive underwater and use your Witcher Sense to find the lootable plants down here. Looting said plants will have Geralt acquire the Buckthorn required.

Part 2: The Hunter

Make your way to the hunter’s hut and knock on the door – no one’s home! Activate your Witcher Sense and look at the road in front of the house to find a set of footprints. Follow these a short distance until you find the hunter.

After a brief conversation agree to help him with his problem. Continue after him until you find the pack of stray dogs.

There are four dogs in the pack and as they act in similar ways to several other enemy types you’ll encounter later in the game, you should be able to get some practice in on dodging their leaps and lunges. Once all four are dead move over to talk with the hunter.

Note: For killing the dogs you’ll earn 350XP.

Follow the hunter for another brief walk until you reach the site of interest.

Activate Witcher Sense and explore the area. You’ll be able to inspect the following:

Bloodstains on the road.
Campfire on the side of the road.
Bottles by the campfire.
Footprints at the southern edge of the search area.
Follow the prints south until you reach the broken bridge. There are a couple of chests to loot in the gully below it if you are interested, but our real goal is on the far side. Jump to the other side of the broken bridge. Activate the Witcher Sense again and follow the trail to the left, climb the ledge here.

Make your way to the top of the hill nearby by following the foot prints to find the Griffin’s nest.  Here you’ll want to activate Witcher Sense again and explore the area. You’ll be able to inspect the following:

Corpse by the Griffin.
Bones by the corpse.
The Griffin’s nest.
The Griffin’s body – Examine Wounds, Age and Type.
Note: For examining the Griffin’s corpse you’ll earn 500XP.

Loot the nest and the soldier nearby (he’s got a better sword than what you have!).

Return to the tavern where your mate is waiting for you. Let him know that you have accepted the contract for the Griffin and the outcomes of the hunter and herbalist side-quests. Our objectives will then be updated.

At this point the game asks you to create a Thunderbolt Potion. It will also run you through a short tutorial on how to create and equip said potion.

Part 3: The Griffin

Once you have done that, hop on your horse and ride over to meet your friend in the field nearby for a conversation. During the scene you’ll be handed a Crossbow and immediately upon conclusion of the scene, you’ll get to use it!

Boss: Griffin

The Griffin can be tricky at first for a number of reasons. Initially it will attack from the ground and has quite a large area of attack due to its wings being able to perform sweeping moves. Additionally, it can jump in the air and dive bomb your position and use its beak to lunge at you. Whilst not on the ground, the Griffin will take to the air and swoop you at regular intervals.

The easiest way to take it down quickly is to hit it with crossbow bolts whilst it is flying to bring it crashing to the ground – run up and smash it a few times and then use your dodges and rolls to avoid its ground-based attacks whilst dishing out your own attacks when you see an opening.  Repeat this process.

Once its health is at about 40%, the Griffin will fly off. It will land by the windmill to the north. You can use your Witcher Sense to keep an eye on it (look for the pulsating red ripple). When you arrive at the windmill, proceed with the same tactics as advised earlier to finish it off.

After depleting its health, a scene will play. Following the conversation, loot the Griffin and make your way back to the Nilfgaardian Garrison. Turn in the quest to the commander to complete the quest.

Note: For handing in the quest you’ll earn 350XP. By accepting the commander’s offer you’ll also earn 150 Crowns.

Side-Questing 1 (Optional)

Before you continue with handing in the quest ‘The Incident at White Orchard’, it is a good idea to go and complete some side-quests. There are some side-quests that will be automatically failed if you do not complete them before proceeding with the story. These fail-able quests include:

A Frying Pan, Spick and Span
Twisted Firestarter
On Death’s Bed
Missing in Action
Precious Cargo
When you are ready to continue, proceed with the walkthrough!

The Incident at White Orchard

Now that we are all done in White Orchard, return to the tavern in the main settlement to speak with your buddy.  As you do a scene will play.

No matter your decisions during the conversation, as soon as the scene ends, you will be attacked by a group of 4-5 Thugs. Fortunately, they are not too difficult if you have been practicing your blocking and mixing melee attacks up with IGNI, AARD or AXXI signs.

Once the lot of them have fallen, another scene will play to end the quest.

Note: For killing the thugs you’ll earn 350XP.

Note: Completing this quest will also complete the ‘Lilac and Gooseberries’ quest.

Note: At this point you’ll earn the trophy/achievement ‘Lilac and Gooseberries’.

Imperial Audience

Following the scene showing our escape from White Orchard, Geralt will find himself in the city of Vizima. After a short conversation, a man will enter and ask some questions.

This fellow is interviewing you about previous events choices that you could have made during The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings (or allowing you to import your choices without a save file for PS4/Xbox One players). He is in fact is setting your world state for you. The questions include the following:

Did you Kill Aryan or Spare his life during the siege?
Did you team up with Vernon Roche or Iorveth?
Did you save Triss or help Iorveth/Vernon Roche?
Did you warn Sile or let her die?
Did you kill Letho, or let him live?
Following the interview, you’ll need to listen to the chamberlain and follow his instructions. Pick a set of clothes (or all of them) and then enter the menu, scroll to the inventory and equip a set of boots, a shirt and some pants.

Once dressed, speak with the chamberlain and after a brief bit of bowing practice he will walk off. Follow him from the chamber and through the hallway until a scene plays during which you can decide to:

Bow to the Emperor
Not bow to the Emperor
As far as I can tell, neither choice has any effect on the game other than a few pieces of dialogue.

Following the scene, the Chamberlain will lead you to Yennefer who will fill you in on what she knows and update your objectives.

After the scene, we’ll need to leave. In the room adjacent to Yennefer’s, you can speak to Ambassador var Attre who will fill you in on a bit of back story as to what is happening in the grander scheme of things if you are interested in the world, its setting and a bit of sexy backstory. When you are ready, exit the door to retrieve your belongings. 

In the courtyard here there is a Nilfgaardian Nobleman sitting on a bench who you can play at Gwent – he’s pretty tough though, so it will take a lot of practice or a better deck to beat him – keep him in mind and be sure to come back and challenge him when you get the chance!

Follow the objective marker to the exit to use fast travel to leave the city and travel to Hang Man’s Tree in Velen to complete the quest.

Act 1 Walkthrough

In Ciri’s Footsteps

This is the main quest for the next fairly lengthy portion of the game. It covers three main underlying quest chains which will have Geralt explore all corners of the world map.

Upon leaving Vizima, these quest lines will have now become available. They include the starting quests:

The Nilfgaardian Connection
Pyres of Novigrad
Destination: Skellege
As ‘The Nilfgaardian Connection’ is close by and also happens to be the only quest close to our current level, it is also our first stop on Geralt’s Witcher 3 world tour!

The Nilfgaardian Connection

Now that we’re officially in Velen, have a look at the map to see the sheer size of it – it’s absolutely enormous! You’ll also note that there is a new objective marker over to the west at the Crossroads, so make your way over there.

Note: On the bank of the river directly across from the quest marker, you’ll find a man who is tied up and being attacked by Drowners. After killing them, you can release him for 25XP. This will also unlock another short scene later.

Upon arriving at your destination, enter the inn marked with the yellow quest zone. Inside, speak with the innkeeper for a scene, during which you’ll have to make a choice between three different options which will impact on the next mission:

"Back off or Die" – This will start a fight and you’ll need to kill the guards. You will be unable to enter the Crow’s Perch area in the next mission through the main areas, instead having to find an alternate route in.
"I’m a Witcher" - This will cause the guards to settle down and they will allow you into the Crow’s Perch area for a fee in the next mission.
"Care for a Drink?" – This will cause the guards to settle down and allow you into the Crow’s Perch area free of charge in the next mission.
Either way you choose to proceed once you are done the innkeeper will chat with you again and update your objectives.  Exit the inn.

Note: If you attacked the guards inside, there will be another three waiting for you outside whom you will need to dispatch.

Ride over to the new objective marker at Heatherton. As you arrive you’ll find a NPC trying to hold three feral dogs at bay. You will need to help him out by killing the dogs. Once they are dead, this will start a conversation.

Following the conversation, enter the hut nearby. Activate Witcher Sense and explore the area. You’ll be able to inspect the following:

The body on the floor. Boots can be searched for a Key.
The rug on the floor in the right hand room to reveal a secret passage.
Once you have found the passage, climb down to the basement. Again, hit your Witcher Sense to examine:

The torch on the wall to reveal a hidden wall panel.
The book in the chest behind the now open wall panel.
Examining all four entries present in the ledger in the chest will complete the quest.

Note: For reading the ledger you’ll earn 100XP.

At this point, you will unlock two new quests:

Bloody Baron
Hunting a Witch
Both of these lead to quest lines, both of which can be undertaken immediately. I should mention however that I found the ‘Bloody Baron’ quest line to be much easier for this early on in the game than ‘Hunting a Witch’, especially if you haven’t quite settled into the combat as yet as there is a tricky fight or two.

The developers must have also thought similarly as the ‘Bloody Baron’ is set as your next default ques. As such, I’ve written the walkthrough by completing the ‘Bloody Baron’ quests first.

Bloody Baron

This quest requires that we ride over to Crow’s Perch and pay the baron a visit. Unfortunately, depending on choices made in the previous quest, this can be harder than it needs to be.

Once you have arrived at Crow’s Perch, use the bridge to access the settlement. Have a look around if you wish, before heading to the east, through the first gate and working your way up the hill to the main gate to the keep.

Note: If you attacked the bandits in the inn in the previous quest, all of the villagers will run away from you and a pair of guards will stand by the first gate and attack.

After arriving at the closed gate, the guards on the other side will spark up a conversation and depending on what you said to the bandits in the previous mission will come into play. Here are the consequences of your conversation choices:

"Back off or Die" – The guards will not let you in at all and you’ll need to find an alternate route.
"I’m a Witcher" – The guards will allow you into the keep area for 15 Crowns.
"Care for a Drink?" – The guards will allow you into the keep.
Depending on your previous choices, there are two walkthroughs below. Choose the one relevant to your circumstances:

Option 1 - Allowed Entry
Option 2 - Denied Entry
Option 1 - Allowed Entry

If you choose either of the second two options, you’ll be let into the keep and the sergeant will escort you through the open area here, into the keep and straight to the Baron. At this point, speak with him and after the conversation, the mission will be complete.

Now that we are done here, head down to the next quest: 'Ciri's Story: The King of Wolves'.

Option 2 - Denied Entry

If you decided to kill his bandits during the previous mission, we can still get in to meet the baron, we just need to do a little bit more work. 

To begin, we’ll need to backtrack to the main town area of Crow’s Perch. Here you’ll find a sole NPC sitting on a barrel in the middle of the area. Speak with him and for 15 Crowns, he’ll reveal another way into the castle.

Note: for handing over the Crowns you’ll earn 1XP.

Exit Crow’s Perch and turn right, follow the main road leading around the moat here until you find a small shrine on the side of the road (it’s just across the river from the northwest corner of Crow’s Perch).  From here, run down into the moat and examine the cliff opposite the shrine. We can dive under this to find a hidden tunnel.

Move through the tunnel until you bump into a Water Hag. Kill this and then explore the pool of water she emerged from and the small cave. There are some lootable objects in and out of the water here and amongst the goodies you’ll find Formula: Vermillion and Torn-out Page Cockatrice Decoction and Torn-out Page Basilisk Decoction.

Look for the ledge that you can climb opposite the pool and follow the path at the top all the way to the top to find a ladder. Climb this to exit into the keep area. A scene will play. Following the conversation with the Baron, the quest will be completed.

Ciri’s Story: The King of Wolves

When you regain control, you’ll be piloting Ciri. This is your first of many short sub-adventures that you’ll have in her shoes. She controls a little differently to Geralt and has slightly different abilities. As such she is unable to access the inventory or use the magical signs or Witcher Sense like Geralt can. On the other hand she can automatically regenerate health, which is super handy!

Ciri has the same standard quick and heavy attacks as Geralt as well as dodge and roll moves that will get her out of trouble. Later in the game, she’ll develop some other powers as well, but for now we’re just stuck with the standard melee.

To begin her section, move up and kill the three Wolves ahead. Use the fight to familiarise yourself with her dodge and rolls as they have a little more reach than Geralt’s do. Killing them will initiate a cut-scene.

We now need to follow the little girl. She’ll lead us through a fairly linear stretch of swamp and we’ll soon need to stop and fight off a group of six Wolves. Due to the large number, you are going to want to try and monitor the position of all of them and be prepared to attempt hit and run tactics whilst being ready to roll pretty much constantly until you get the numbers down a little and you can focus on individuals.

Shortly after the fight, we’ll encounter another scene during which Ciri will examine a body, have a look at all of the options and then choose the ‘Summing up..’ option to continue.

Follow Gretka once more and keep an eye on your mini-map. You’ll want to loot all of the herbs that you come across as you go. When we reach the next clearing, you’ll need to defend yourself against another five Wolves.

Once the area is clear, look for a dead dog that Ciri can inspect on the far side of the clearing from where we entered. Loot the remaining herbs in the area and a scene will play.

The child will now lead you to a cave in which you will need to fight the King of Wolves.

Boss: The King of Wolves

This fight is fairly straight forward once you get the hang of the sorts of attacks that the monster throws at you. He can perform a leaping attack, as well as several close-medium range melee attacks and a lunge with his mouth. You can roll away from his lunge and dodge his melee abilities whilst quickly following up with attacks of your own before backing off. It is best not to get greedy and stay too close for too long as this boss can do a lot of damage. Keep dodging and chipping away at his health bar until he falls.

Once you have killed the Werewolf a scene will play to end the memory.

Note: When you return to Geralt you’ll earn 100XP for completing the previous quest.

Family Matters – Part 1

As soon as the Ciri memory is finished, you’ll be forced into another discussion with the Baron. Agree to help him and you’ll automatically begin this quest.

Note: At this point, you’ll also unlock a new side-quest ‘Ciri’s Room’.

Part 1: Investigation

Follow the baron out of the room and up the stairs. He’ll unlock a pair of doors for you, the first he opens is Anna’s and the second he opens is Tamara’s. We’ll need to investigate both rooms.

Let’s do Anna’s first. Enter the room and activate your Witcher Sense to explore the area. You’ll be able to inspect the following:

Candlestick on the table by the door.
Flowers on the desk at the back of the room.
Vacant spot on the right hand wall.
Painting on the shelf near the vacant spot in the wall.
Closet behind the hole in the wall.
Once you have examined the closet, some new items of interest will appear, you can now inspect the following:

Scratches on the wooden pillar by the desk with flowers.
The candlestick by the door again.
After examining the candlestick again, a scent trail will appear whilst in Witcher Sense. Follow this out the door and down the first set of stairs. Here you’ll be able to examine a plank on the floor for a Talisman. Now head back up and enter Tamara’s room instead.

Inside Tamara’s room, you can inspect the cabinet along the left wall as you enter for an Rusty Key and some Incense which will also create a scent trail in Witcher Sense mode similar to the one we found leading out of Anna’s room. Whilst we are here we can also flick on your Witcher Sense to explore the area. You’ll be able to inspect the following:

Doll in the adjacent bedroom.
Now that there is nothing left up here, let’s follow the scent trail in Witcher Sense all the way down to the basement. Here it will lead you to a locked door. Use the Rusty Key we found in Tamara's room to open it.

Inside the room here, we can examine the burning brazier and nab the A Prayer document from the table beside it.

Now return to the Baron and speak with him.

Note: For completing the first quest objectives you’ll earn 150XP.

Note: Before you leave the castle, it’s a good idea to complete the ‘Ciri’s Room’ side-quest. It will only take a few minutes and will net you a bit of XP for your trouble.

Part 2: Side-quest Ciri’s Room (Optional)

To complete this quest, we need to investigate the room in which Ciri stayed at the Bloody Baron;s castle. The room in question is on the same floor and just to the east of the main exit to the courtyard outside.

Enter the room and activate your Witcher Sense to explore the area. You’ll be able to inspect the following:

The spinning top to the left of the door.
Clothes on the floor by the bed.
The book The Natural Obscurity of Curses on the table.
After looting the book, open your inventory and read it from the Quest Items tab. This will update your objectives.

Next you will want to exit the room and enter the doorway opposite. Work your way to the back of the kitchen here to find Gretka. Speak with her. In addition to some extra information about Ciri, you can give her the Spinning Top to end the quest.

Note: for handing over the Spinning Top and reading The Natural Obscurity of Curses you’ll earn 100XP.

Now that we are all done in Crow’s Perch for the moment, we’ll want to head over to the Pellar’s hut to the west.

Part 3: The Pellar

When you arrive at the Pellar’s hut you will see that it is under siege by some of the Baron’s henchmen. Approach them for a scene. During the conversation, you are given the following options:

Bribe them to leave – Unfortunately this will do nothing.
Use AXII to calm them down (requires level 2) – They will leave the Pellar alone, no questions asked. This will also net you 30XP.
"Leave or Die" – This will start a fight in which you will have to kill them all.
"What do you want?" – They’ll tell you a brief story after which you can offer to heal their friend. Doing so will have them leave peacefully – this is unless you killed the bandits at the inn in ‘The Nilfgaardian Connection’ quest, in which case they will attack you.
Note: If you killed the bandits at the inn in ‘The Nilfgaardian Connection’ quest, using AXII is the only way to get out of this conversation without a fight.

If you do need to fight them, you will want to try and take out the crossbowmen as quickly as possible so that you can deal with the melee attackers without having to worry about constant ranged damage. Use plenty of dodges and counters and try to isolate the enemies so that you can take them on one at a time.

Once the area is clear, interact with the door to chat with the Pellar. This will kick off a new quest ‘A Princess in Distress’.

A Princess in Distress

After speaking with the Pellar, head around the left side of his house and activate Witcher Sense to explore the area. You’ll be able to inspect the following:

Footprints leading away from the hut.
We’ll need to follow the footprints a short distance until you find the Pellar’s goat. Note that on the way you will most likely be attacked by a pack of four Wolves – fortunately, you should be able to see them coming as ripples with your Witcher Senses enabled.

Once you reach the goat, use the Pellar’s Bell to lure the goat over to you. We now have to, using the bell, lead the goat all the way back to the Pellar’s hut.

Unfortunately, the goat will get adventurous on the way back and at one point will run off and disturb a bear that you will need to dispatch. As such, monitor the goat on the mini-map and if it starts to run off despite your bell ringing, run after it and prepare to fight!

The bears in the game are quite heavily armoured and take quite a few hits before they drop. They favour lunging attacks and swipes which can be dodged by rolling or dodging at the right time. Lighting the bear on fire with IGNI will stun it temporarily and tanking it with QUEN enabled will also allow you to briefly dish up a bunch of damage. Be sure to not get greedy fighting bears as their attacks are highly damaging and because of this it is best to dodge, attack once, dodge, attack again – rinse and repeat until the bear drops.

After the bear has been dealt with, continue leading the goat back to the Pellar for a scene.

Note: When you return to the Pellar you’ll earn 100XP for bringing him his goat.

Family Matters – Part 2

With the information from the Pellar in hand, we can now return to the Baron at Crow’s Perch. As you arrive at the keep however you’ll notice that one of the buildings is on fire. At this point the game will offer you a choice – you can let them burn, or help out.

If you decide to help, you’ll need to climb the ladder up to the open window. Note that at this point a Breath meter will appear at the top of the screen – we need to be quick!

Note: on the ground floor, if you move to the door marked by the objective marker for some reason your air meter will refill. As such, use this to your advantage if you are unable to complete the area quick enough.

Once in the stable, use AARD to clear the debris to the right and make your way through and down to the ground floor. We’ll now need to unlock the gates to all of the horse pens. Once they are all unlocked, make your way to the door marked with the marker and interact with it to open it for a scene.

No matter whether you decided to help out or not, during the next scene the baron will attack you.

During this fight, you’ll be locked into hand-to-hand combat which means no weapons and no signs. The baron himself has some very damaging melee attacks, but he is also slow and telegraphs them quite early, making them simple enough to dodge. Because of this you can get 2-3 punches in on him, then dodge an attack and repeat the process until you have knocked him out.

Once this occurs a scene will play and more conversation action will be flung up in your grill!

When you are back in control of Geralt, follow the Baron to the burial place. As you arrive a scene will play and you’ll need to make a decision. Note that this decision will change the quest that you undertake for the next section of the game depending on your choice, you can follow either of the guides below:

Option 1 - Attack the Monster
Option 2 - Turn it into a Lubberkin
Option 1 - Attack the Monster

Attacking the Botchling will have it transform into a much larger version. As with the other bosses we’ve fought so far it will get its own big health bar at the top of the screen and you’ll need to deplete that to continue.

Boss: Botchling

The Botchling favours pouncing attacks and short range melee/bite attacks that can cause a great deal of damage. Again, as with most enemy types you have encountered thus far, your best bet for victory is to use your dodges and rolls to good effect whilst trying to get a sword attack in when you see an opening. The Botchling can be stunned by the use of AXII, so performing this when it recharges and following it up with a heavy attack or two can whittle away its health nicely.

When the Botchling’s health is reduced to around 40% it will also summon some Wraiths to back it up. Note that if you can draw it up to the slope where you entered the area from before it summons them, they should spawn down by where the scene took place earlier and if you are lucky will not aggro. If they do, try your best to focus on the boss as once he is killed, they will despawn.

Once the Botchling has been killed, a scene will play and Geralt will obtain the Botchling Blood.

With that out of the way, we now need to make our way over to the Pellar once more.

After chatting with the Pellar, we’ll need to escort him to a ritual site. He’ll lead us through a number of main roads and dirt paths and when you are around halfway there we’ll need to stop and fight off a pack of Wolves. You are going to want to try and monitor the position of all of them and be prepared to attempt hit and run tactics whilst being ready to roll pretty much constantly until you get the numbers down a little and you can focus on individuals.

Following the fight and some additional trekking, we’ll encounter another scene during which the Pellar will let you know that we need to light three fires in the area and to prepare ourselves before you do.

When you are ready to go, walk up to each of the objective markers on the mini-map and either interact with the stones or use IGNI to start fires at each location.

As soon as all three fires are lit, a large group of wraiths will spawn around the outside of the area. They will approach the site and put out the fires and will continue to respawn if defeated until the ritual is complete. Your job is to kill the Wraiths and keep the fires lit. The ritual cannot proceed without all of the fires active, so if one goes out, quickly run up to it and use IGNI to rekindle it. This section can be pretty tough, especially with the abundance of Wriaths, but as long as you can avoid their attacks and keep the fires burning long enough, the quest will proceed regardless of the number of enemies you kill.

When the ritual is complete a scene will play.

 Note: Once the ritual is complete you’ll earn 100XP.

Following a lengthy conversation, a new objective marker will appear on the map just north of Crow’s Perch. Ride over to this location and enter the house here for a scene and another conversation. Once this is done, your objectives will be updated.

Note: After speaking with Voytek you’ll earn 300XP.

Now that we are done here, head down to the next section: Ciri's Story: The Race

Option 2 - Turn it into a Lubberkin

If you decided to turn the Botchling into a Lubberkin, you’ll need to escort the Baron back to the castle. Make sure you apply some wraith oil to your weapons if you have the recipe to make things a little easier because during the trek back you will make two stops and during each of these you will be ambushed by a group of wraiths.

The first group consists of 4-5 wraiths and the second has 7-8 wraiths. As these enemies have the annoying ability to teleport, make sure you keep your fingers near the roll and dodge buttons to avoid attacks and get to safety if you see a few of them closing in! As per usual, follow up with counters where you see an opening.

When you reach the castle, a scene will play. Afterwards, interact with the grave.

This will fast forward time by a day and summon the Lubberkin. At this point, you are going to want to follow it back through the castle and the town, over the bridge and through the fields to the left. As you move through here watch out for the occasional Nekker or two who may be lurking about.

Eventually, the spirit will lead you to a house. At this point we’ll need to investigate. The clues we can find include:

Horseshoe tracks directly in front of the Lubberkin.
Bracelet on the barrels next to the fence by the horseshoe tracks.
Clothing a little further from the horseshoe tracks from the Lubberkin.
Return to the Lubberkin and it will take off again back to the main road which it will take further to the west. You’ll likely have to fight some Endrega Workers as you go. When next the Lubberkin stops, you’ll need to destroy a necrophage before entering Witcher view and examining the dead horse on the path here.

Once Geralt has summarised his findings, the spirit will move on once again. Continue after it and kill the Wolves that attack you as you go. When you arrive at the next house, enter the door here for a scene and another conversation. Once this is done, your objectives will be updated.

Note: Once the Lubberkin vanishes you’ll earn 100XP.

Note: After speaking with Voytek you’ll earn 300XP.

Our next task is to find Tamara in Oxenfurt. To do this you’ll need to get yourself a pass to get past the guards on the bridges. We can do this in one of two ways:

Complete the ‘Fake Papers’ side-quest.
Return to the Baron and report your progress – upon doing so he’ll give you a Letter of Safe Conduct.
I’d recommend the latter option, even if you have previously completed the ‘Fake Papers’ side-quest. Not only will you receive 20 Crowns upon returning to the Crow’s Perch castle (if you rescued the stable boy), speaking to the baron will also earn you an additional 50 Crowns, a new quest item Cloth Doll and the next Ciri memory segment.

Ciri’s Story: The Race

After a short introductory cut-scene, we’ll be put in control of Ciri as she races the Baron in a horse race.

Fortunately, the mini-map has a nice, yellow line drawn on it that we can follow to stick to the race track we are supposed to be sticking to. You’ll want to keep galloping as much as possible, but release the sprint button for a few seconds occasionally to let the meter refill a little so that you can maintain your speed.

Once you reach the destination a scene will play to end the memory.

Family Matters – Part 3

As you attempt to leave the keep, the Baron will approach and hand over a new quest item Cloth Doll. At this point, you are going to want to leave crow’s Perch and ride over to Oxenfurt to the east which is marked on the map with the objective marker.

If you follow your GPS, map waypoint, you’ll eventually reach a large bridge leading to the city. Approach the guards at the closed portcullis for a conversation, during which you can hand over the Letter of Safe Conduct to be granted access to the city.

Once inside Oxenfurt, examine the Notice Board if you wish and then proceed to the quest marker. Enter the building here for a scene and a conversation.

Note: After speaking with Tamara you’ll earn 150XP.

At this point, the quest will still not be completed. The final portion of the quest requires that we complete several other story quests before we can bring it to a close. These include:

Hunting a Witch
Wandering in the Dark
Ladies of the Wood
The Whispering Hillock
For now, let’s go to the quest log and make ‘Hunting a Witch’ the active quest.

 

Hunting a Witch

To begin this quest, we need to find out some information about the witch in question. To do this we’ll have to travel to the town of Midcopse which is located to the south of Blackborough and southwest of Crow’s Perch.

As you arrive in town, a yellow search marker will appear. Essentially we need to learn all we can about the witch from within this zone. There are several ways to gain information about the witch. These include:

Eavesdropping on a pair of women in the yard of a house in the southernmost part of the search zone.
Speak to an old man sitting under a tree on the side of the main road leading west out of town. He is on the edge of the search zone.
There is a woman talking to herself about the witch in front of a house in the north part of the town. She’ll direct you to her husband nearby who knows of the witch. You can either pay the man 50 Crowns or use AXII to change his mind (this will also net you 40XP).
Either one of the above options will give you the information that you require. Now we just need to follow the objective markers as they update to find the trail leading all the way to the Witch’s hut. You will encounter a group of 4-5 Nekkers along the way. As with most group fights, you’ll want to dodge and roll until you are able to isolate one enemy from the rest, or to get in a free shot on one of them. Use all the moves at your disposal to wipe them out.

Keep moving until you reach the Witch’s location. As you arrive a scene will play.

Enter the hut and activate Witcher Sense to investigate the room. You’ll be able to inspect the following:

Pots on the table by the door.
A candle on the wall just inside the door.
The pentagram on the floor in the left hand room.
Stack of books on the desk in the room with the pentagram.
Large circular ornament on a desk in the pentagram room.
The skull on the shelf by the pentagram
After inspecting the skull, a portal will open in the pentagram leading to the next area. Before we proceed through however, use your Witcher Sense to find the trapdoor hidden nearby. Enter the basement and loot everything to find Formula: Manuscript Page: Hanged Man’s Venom and Formula: Manuscript Page: Albedo among the lootables.

Return up the ladder and enter the portal. Climb the stairs to the right leading up to the structure and as you reach the top a scene will play to end the quest.

Note: After speaking with Kiera you’ll earn 150XP.

At the end of the conversation, you can choose to teleport to the entrance to the next area immediately. Do so if you have nothing else you want to do at this point.

Wandering in the Dark

We’ll be escorting Keira for the duration of this quest whilst we explore some subterranean ruins, so you best get used to company! She’s pretty handy in a fight as well – able to look after herself whilst dishing out some good damage and stuns for you.

To begin, we’ll need to follow here down into the ruins. As you reach the base of the stairs a scene will play. Afterwards Kiera will create a portal. Step on through.

As soon as you enter the portal, you’ll find yourself in a small isolated cave featuring a pool of water at the far end and a group of three Drowners in it. Draw them out of the water and dispatch them.

Enter the water and dive under the wall here to find a tunnel. As you swim through the tunnel, keep an eye out for a chest on the left which you can open for Diagram: Tracker’s Trousers. Surface at the end of the passage and climb onto dry land.

Here, you’ll notice that the path splits. Both directions lead to the same open room, but the left hand passage is a one-way trip only, whilst the right hand passage features a couple of weak walls we can knock down with AARD and a fight with a Foglet. The right hand passage will allow you to return to where we dropped down earlier following the failed portal attempt (also good for dropping aggro if you get in trouble in the next room!).

In the large room, our ultimate goal is to reach the stairs on the south side from where we enter. In the immediate area as we enter, there are 4-5 Drowners lurking about. Moving towards the area of interest will also spawn a Water Hag.

As this area can be tricky with lots of enemies at the same time, try to take out the Drowners close to where you enter to avoid pulling the Water hag too soon. You can also attempt to lure enemies into the swamp gas here and hit them with a blast of IGNI for some satisfying instant-barbecue effects.

Climb the stairs on the south side of the area. At this point you can head to the right to return to the entrance, or go left or straight to find Keira. Although going straight will get you to your goal immediately, I’d recommend going left and working your way through the passages as there are several chests and lootables along the way, although you will have to deal with a Foglet as you go.

Upon arriving at Keira’s location, you’ll see her being attacked by Rats. We essentially need to use a bomb or IGNI to destroy the two nests in the room.

Note: You will earn 100XP for destroying each of the nests for a total of 200XP.

Following a brief conversation, climb the nearby stairs and move down the hall until a scene plays.

Exit through the door to enter a large open room. Again, this area is home to a lot of swamp gas that you will need to avoid, but can also use to damage the group of four Wraiths lurking about with a good use of IGNI.

To exit, we want to take the first passage out of the water on the right from our entry point, doing so will even let you avoid most of the Wraiths. However there is loot to be had if you are interested!

At the far end of the room opposite the entrance is a long tunnel with a chest and a corpse at the end containing Diagram: Tracker’s Gauntlets and on the left side of the room is a pool we can dive in to find a pair of chests containing Torn-out Page: Fiend Decoction and Torn-out Page: White Raffard’s Decoction we can also surface at the far end to find another chest – looting this will spawn four more Wraiths though, so be careful!

Return to the passage I mentioned earlier and note the SWALLOW image on the wall whilst in Witcher Sense. We need to follow these symbols to make our way through the next section of the ruins. Follow the tunnel and climb the ledges at the end to reach another man-built area.

Note: You will earn 100XP at this point.

Head over to the hologram in the distance for another short scene.

We know need to look for a symbol of a HORSE. Note that there are several of these symbols on the walls here, but the one we are looking for can actually be found in the centre of the room, on a wall just above the pool of water.

Jump down and swim through the tunnel by the HORSE symbol. Climb out at the end and climb the stairs – activate Witcher Sense as you go to locate another HORSE symbol. Inspect this to open a passage in the previous area. Continue through the passage and drop down to re-unite with Keira.

Enter the now open doorway. Activate your Witcher Sense and examine the SWALLOW symbol to the left of the arch drawn into the wall. Enter the portal that activates.

You will want to meditate and restore health at this point as when you move up into the next room, you'll have a boss fight against a Golem.

Boss: Golem

The Golem is big, strong and can perform some extremely damaging close range melee attacks. Additionally, it will punch the ground causing a shockwave if you stay too close and frequently use a charge attack in which it will run at Geralt and dish out a bunch of damage if he hits. The Golem can also brace himself and block pretty much any damage for short periods of time whilst also mirroring some of the damage back to you.

To beat the Golem, we’ll need to wait for an opening in its attacks. The biggest opening you’ll receive is directly after his charge attack, although there is a small window after any attack he does. You should also be able to manoeuvre behind him when he performs his block and go to town on his back. Using AXII will stun him temporarily, as will Keira’s occasional lightning attacks – make sure you take advantage when an opportunity to attack presents itself!

As with any boss, it can kill you very quickly, as such – don’t be greedy! Get your 1-2 attacks in when you see an opening and immediately back off so that you can manoeuvre around his next attempted attack.

As an added bonus Keira can come in handy here if you get low on health as if you leave the golem alone for a while, you can essentially get her to tank it whilst you run in occasionally to dish out a few melee strikes or a sign attack.

Once the Golem is dead be sure to loot it and the pair of chests in the room here and the one on the platform at the back for a swathe of goodies including Formula: Manuscript Page: Relict Oil, Formula: Manuscript Page: Enhanced Dancing Star and Torn-out Page: Arachas Decoction.

Climb the ledge that the Golem was guarding and proceed to the left. This tunnel here features a pair of doorways on the left. The first left has a SWALLOW symbol above it – it’s where we need to go to proceed, but you can head through the second door on the left for a fight with a Gargoyle and a chest.

When you are ready, head through the door marked with the SWALLOW. Here you’ll find an identical portal to the one we used previously activate the SWALLOW symbol on the wall beside it to open it and step through.

Follow the set path here, through all of the frozen Golems and exit into the room at the end for a scene.

During this next sequence, Keira will keep up a bubble shield. This is protecting you from the elements that the bad guy summoned and until the section is over, straying outside of the bubble will result in Geralt taking damage.

Keira will need to move through the room and close down each of the three portals here and you’ll have to move with her. As she arrives at each portal, you’ll need to defend her from a group of five Hounds of the Wild Hunt which will emerge from the portals. These Hounds act similarly to Wolves or Dogs that we’ve faced off against before, so should be easy enough to deal with – just let them come to you and defeat them within or on the very outside of the bubble.

Note: For closing all three portals, you will earn 100XP.

Immediately after closing the final portal a scene will play, during which you have a quick choice to make. Note that this is a very small decision that bears little impact outside of a few lines of dialogue. You can decide to say either:

"Don’t faint on me" (shows interest in romancing Keira)
"If you can’t go on..." (shows no interest in romancing Keira)
When you regain control of Geralt loot the dispatched Hounds and the rest of the containers in the room if you wish to do so. When you are ready, continue with Keira through the door at the top of the stairs.

After descending the first flight of stairs, instead of continuing down the next flight, hit Witcher Sense and you should be able to make out a weak wall ahead. Blow this down with AARD and use IGNI or AARD to clear the gas out of the room beyond. Climb up the ledge at the end and approach the chest in the room here. This will summon a Foglet, so quickly finish it off before looting the chest for numerous crafting items and Torn-out Page: Chort Decoction.

Return to Keira and proceed down the stairs before dropping into the room below for a boss fight.

Boss: Nithral

The Nithral fight can be quite tricky as he is equipped with a two handed axe which can deal significant damage and he is able to swing it around and attack very quickly. He is also able to perform a swift counter attack, so don’t get greedy when laying on the damage.

To deal with Nithral, we’ll need to wait for an opening in its attacks, immediately dodge and follow up with an attack of your own, there is a small window to do this after any attack he does. Using AXII will stun him temporarily and YRGEN will slow down his walking speed, which is handy if you need to back off to heal. Keira’s magic can also stagger him, giving you small opportunities to dish out some damage yourself.

After taking certain amounts of damage, Nithral will kneel and envelop himself in a shield. At this point he becomes invulnerable and attacking the shield will stun Geralt temporarily – so leave it be! Whilst he is shielded, Nithral will open a portal and summon Hounds to come and attack you. We need to dispatch the Hounds as quickly as possible because, the shield will not come down until they have been dealt with and for as long as the shield is in place Nithral will regenerate health.

Once you have dealt with a few portals, you will have done enough to dispatch Nithral.

Note: For defeating Nithral, you will earn 250XP.

After Nithral drops, be sure to loot his corpse for Diagram: Angrenian Cuirass and the Wild Hunt Warrior’s Sword.

Move to the back of the room and climb up the ledge to find a lab. Approach the hologram for another scene during this and the ensuing conversation you’ll receive the Book: The Ladies of the Swamp from Keira.

When you are able, loot the lab here for a bunch of crafting reagents, Formula: Manuscript Page: Draconid Oil and Diagram: Hunter’s Boots.

Now we’ll need to find an exit. Activate your Witcher Sense to explore the area. You’ll be able to inspect the following:

Loose pages on the floor by one of the braziers.
Document on a crate near where you climbed up to the lab.
Potion on the desk overlooking the room below.
Herbs on some barrels by the far right corner.
The outline of a door in the archway at the back of the lab.
Examining the archway will trigger another scene in which you will receive the Eye of Nehaleni a talisman that will enable you to dispel illusions. Use it on the outline of the wall here to open a passage.

Move on through for a conversation. At this point you should offer to help Keira to unlock a short side-quest ‘Magic Lamp’ which will take a few minutes and can be undertaken immediately. This scene will also complete the quest.

Note: For completing the quest you will earn 350XP.

Note: The ‘Magic Lamp’ side-quest is now available.

The Magic Lamp (Optional)

This side-quest becomes available after completing ‘Wandering in the Dark’ and can be undertaken before leaving the elven ruins.

Follow Keira into the nearby chamber and use your Witcher Senses to examine the door. This will trigger a scene in which you’ll be told a riddle. This riddle relates to the four statues that you can see in the room with you and we need to interact with them in a specific order to open the door.

The correct order is:

Interact with the unarmed statue just right of the door.
Interact with the statue holding a lute just left of the door.
Interact with the statue with the dog on the far right.
Interact with the statue with the dog and the lute on the far left.
This will open the door. Move inside and approach the altar in the distance for a scene.

Before leaving the altar room, look for some climbable ledges on the side of the area. These lead up to a Place of Power (Boosts YRDEN) that we may as well draw from seeing as we are here for an Ability Point. Keep moving along the passage here to find a Golem guarding a Guarded Treasure marker.

Once you have killed the Golem, loot the four chests hidden about the room for Design: Demeritium Bomb and Torn-out Page: Werewolf Decoction. From the bottom of the stairs you came in from, look for a weak wall we can blow down with AARD. Inside you’ll find more chests containing some additional goodies (Tracker’s Boots for me!).

Now return to where we exited the mage’s lab in ‘Wandering in the Dark’ and take the opposite passage until you reach a blockage. Interact with it to remove the illusion and you’ll find yourself outside.

A scene will play to end the side-quest.

Note: For completing the quest you will earn 100XP.

Note: The ‘An Invitation from Keira Metz’ side-quest is now available.

Ladies of the Wood - Part 1

Upon completing the ‘Wandering in the Dark’ quest, Keira will have given you a book entitled ‘Ladies of the Wood’. Simply head into your inventory and read the book to update your quest marker and begin the quest.

The quest marker will appear just to the southwest of Lindenvale and southwest of Downwarren. Make your way over to the objective marker and dismount, activate Witcher Sense and inspect the creepy statue of the woman to the left of the path.

Part 1: The Swamp

Following the scene, keep Witcher Sense on and move along the set path in front, keeping an eye out for the hanging treats that you’ll see glowing red. After a short distance, you’ll find yourself in a clearing with three buildings. Approach them for a scene.

After the conversation, follow the objective marker into the house and attempt to speak with the child. It seems that’s not happening, at least not until we can lure the woman away.

We have two different ways to do this; firstly you must go outside and speak with one of the children during the conversation you can choose to either play hide and seek with the children or alternatively you can choose the “Anything else you want?” option and Geralt will give them food from his inventory (if you have any).

If you do play hide and seek, you can find the children in the following locations:

Behind the tall building in some bushes.
Behind the tall building in a haystack.
Inside the western building.
Behind the hut where the boy we want to speak with is located.
Either way you choose, a scene will play and you’ll be able to enter the hut and speak with the boy afterwards. Here you’ll learn the location of our next objective.

Exit the hut and head over to the new objective marker. Kill the Water Hag and Drowners that you find there. Once the coast is clear, activate Witcher Sense and locate a set of footprints that can be found in the northern part of the search area.

We’ll now have to follow these footprints through the swamp for a short distance. Keep your guard up however as you will be ambushed by a group of Drowners or two as you make your way through the area. Once you reach the small burrow that the tracks lead to, interact with it and a cut-scene will play.

Note: For finding Johnny you will earn 150XP.

At this point we need to follow Johnny. He’ll lead us through the swamp and we’ll soon need to stop and fight off a group of 3-4 Drowners. Once they have been dealt with, we’ll travel a little further until another brief scene.

Our objectives will now be updated – we need to reach the marker on the raised area above. You can use the slope and gap in front of the small waterfall here to reach it. When you arrive you’ll need to eliminate some enemies – a Wyvern and three Harpies.

This fight can be a little tricky due to the ability of all four monsters to fly. Ideally you want to attempt to draw individuals away from the others and dispatch them one on one (the crossbow is good for pulling them). If you can’t help facing multiple opponents, note that IGNI, the crossbow and AARD will all knock both Harpies and the Wyvern out of the air, whilst AXII will stun them temporarily.

After clearing out the enemies, loot the Wyvern nest nearby and then return to Johnny down below.

We’ll now need to follow Johnny again. He’ll lead us through the swamp and back to Garn’s house. As you go, you’ll need to stop to fight off a group of enemies including a Water Hag and three Drowners. Once they have been dealt with, we’ll travel a little further until another brief scene plays out for us.

Note: At this point you will earn 150XP.

You should loot this hut before you leave (if you haven’t already) to find Formula: Manuscript Page: White Gull.

Part 2: Downwarren

Exit the hut andmake your way to the town of Downwarren just to the northeast. Here you’ll need to speak to the Ealdorman standing outside the building opposite the town notice board. During the conversation, he’ll let you have your new objectives.

Ride over to the new marker on the map and as you arrive this will turn into a large, yellow search area. There are multiple Wolves scattered about this place, so keep an eye out for them so you don’t get ambushed. Our real objective is located on the western side of the search area, in a lower area below the giant tree here.

When you arrive, you’ll know you are in the right place when you find the Werewolf. We’ll need to kill him – watch out though because he can do a lot of damage, and he also has the ability to regenerate heath (he’ll run off and start glowing red when he does). As such you’ll need to keep pressing the attack to prevent him from regenerating too quickly.

Once the werewolf is dead, find the ledge we can climb up to beneath the tree. Interact with the Place of Power (Boosts IGNI) just to the right before entering the cave beneath the tree to continue.

Enter the water inside and follow it around to the far end. Make sure you dive and loot the chests as you go for Formula: Manuscript Page: Hybrid Oil and some other crafting reagenty goodness. Climb out of the water on the far side and move forward a short distance for a scene.

This will funnel you into the next quest ‘The Whispering Hillock, which you are required to complete before completing this one.

The Whispering Hillock

This quest will start upon finding the spirit in the Heart of the tree during the ‘Ladies of the Wood’ quest. During this conversation, you’ll be given a pair of options:

"I will help you" - This will start a new main quest ‘The Whispering Hillock’.
"I don’t believe you" – This will spark a boss fight.
Note that this decision will change the quest that you undertake for the next section of the game depending on your choice. You can follow either of the guides below:

Option 1 - Help the Spirit
Option 2 - Kill the Spirit
Note: I personally would recommend helping it for now as you can still choose to kill it later, but still get some extra XP out of it in the meantime.

Note: Depending on your choices here, the outcome of main quest ‘The Ladies of the Wood’ will be slightly different and the optional quest ‘Return to Crookback Bog’ will be different depending on your decision.

Option 1 - Help the Spirit

Choosing this option during the conversation will have the game funnel you into the next quest ‘The Whispering Hillock’, which you are required to complete before completing this one.

Helping the spirit requires you to hunt down a few items for it. These are all found in the immediate area and are not too tricky to obtain. These include:

Raven Feather – If you have been following the guide, you will have picked this up from the Wyvern’s nest we had to loot during the ‘Ladies of the Wood’ quest.
Spirit’s Bones – These are located on the bank of a swampy area just to the west of the tree. Kill the Water hag and Drowners before activating Witcher sense to find it.
Wild Horse – these can be found within the search area to the north of the tree. Use an AXII sign on one of the horses to tame it and then ride it back to the tree.
Upon returning to the tree with all three items another conversation/scene will begin. During the scene we will help the spirit, but towards the end the game once again gives us the option of helping the spirit or killing it.

Note: At this point you can kill it without having to engage in a boss fight.

Upon completion of the scene, the quest will be completed.

Now that we are done here, head down to the next section: Ladies of the Wood - Part 2

Option 2 - Kill the Spirit

Choosing this option will have you taking on the spirit of the tree in a short boss fight.

Boss: Heart of the Tree

This fight will take place immediately upon conclusion of the conversation in the previous scene. The spirit will glow a red colour and use some roots/branches to shield itself. Throughout the fight it will summon Endrega Workers to aid it.

To kill the Heart of the Tree, you’ll need to attack the roots that are protecting its core until they fall away. Once they are down you can attack the Heart directly.  Obviously, when the Endrega Workers are about, you should forget about the boss and engage them directly until there is another lull in the fighting so that you can recommence your attack on the core.

Once the spirit is dead, the quest will be completed.

Ladies of the Wood – Part 2

Upon exiting the tree once making your decision, the Ealdorman and some other villagers will be waiting for you outside. Speak with him for a scene.

Note: At this point you will earn 250XP.

By the end of the scene, we’ll be back at the houses in Crookback Bog. During the ensuing conversation we’ll get to play through another memory of Ciri, during which the quest will be completed.

Ciri’s Story: Fleeing the Bog

After a short introductory cut-scene, we’ll be put in control of Ciri in the middle of the swamp, being attacked by Drowners.

This memory is actually extremely short and relatively easy. Don’t bother fighting the Drowners or Hounds of the Wild Hunt as they appear as they will continue to spawn indefinitely. Instead, all that we really need to do is reach the objective marker in the distance.

Once you reach the destination a scene will play to end the memory.

Note: At this point you will earn 200XP.

The ‘Ladies of the Wood’ quest will now also be completed. You will also receive an update to your objectives for the ‘Family Matters’ quest which we will now be able to complete.

Family Matters – Part 4

Now that we have information that the baron is interested in, its time head back to crow’s Perch and have a chat with him again.

Note: At this point you will earn 200XP and unlock the side-quest ‘Return to Crookback Bog’.

This conversation will complete this quest and launch another Ciri memory event.

Ciri’s Story: Out of the Shadows

As soon as you gain control of Ciri, you’ll be put right into the middle of a boss fight.

Boss: Basilisk

This fight is similar to the fight we had with the Griffin in White Orchard although the Basilisk comes with a pair of Wolves as back up and does have a couple of different attacks. The Basilisk will spend most of the time on the ground, but can alternate between here and hovering above.

Whilst in the air the Basilisk will spit projectiles at you and swoop occasionally. When grounded it will perform numerous slashing/sweeping attacks that have a large area of attack due to its large wingspan. It also has a fast and nasty lunge attack in which it will use its jaws to damage you.

To begin the fight, you’ll want to try and take down the Wolves as quickly as possible whilst avoiding the Basilisk. Once they are out of the way, the easiest way to take down the big boy is to run up and slash it a few times and then use your dodges and rolls to avoid its ground-based attacks. Wait for openings and dishing out your own attacks when you see them. Repeat this process until a scene plays to end the fight.

When you regain control, run up to the rock wall in front and climb up for another scene. Watching this scene through to the end will complete the memory.

Note: At this point you will earn 200XP.

Note: At this point you will earn the achievement/trophy ‘Family Counsellor’.

The Pyres of Novigrad

Now that Velen is out of the way for the moment, it’s time to head for Novigrad. Activate ‘The Pyres of Novigrad’ as your tracked quest and work your way all the way to the north and to the city itself. In the city, you’ll want to reach the quest marker in Hierarch’s Square for a scene to begin the quest.

Now that Velen is out of the way for the moment, it’s time to head for Novigrad. Activate ‘The Pyres of Novigrad’ as your tracked quest and work your way all the way to the north and to the city itself. In the city, you’ll want to reach the quest marker in Hierarch’s Square for a scene to begin the quest.

Part 1: The Putrid Grove

Following the scene head through the nearby doorway to reach the quest marker. Here you’ll bump into a pair of Thugs looting the area. During a short conversation you’ll have two choices:

"Get Lost" – This will trigger a fist fight in which you’ll only be able to punch and unable to use weapons/signs. They’ll then give you a brief bit of information.
"Let’s Talk" – They’ll give you a brief bit of information.
After the scene, you’ll be free to look around. Loot the yard here for some crafting reagents, a nice Silver Sword – Disglair and Torn-out Page: Grave Hag Decoction. Enter the house.

Here you’ll want to activate Witcher Sense again and explore the house. You’ll be able to inspect the following:

First floor – Bottles on the floor by the stairs.
First floor – Hairbrush on the small table in the middle of the room.
Second floor – Amulets on the counter in the middle of the room.
Third floor – Clothes on the floor by the bed.
Third floor – Rose of Remembrance on the bedside table.
The Rose of Remembrance on the third floor is a quest item and is all we really need from the area. There’s plenty else to loot though, so while you are at it why not nab whatever you like!

We now have to find the Putrid Grove and there are three ways we can go about doing this. These include:

Option 1 - Follow a Pickpocket
Option 2 - Speak to Beggars
Option 3 - Find a Key and a Hidden Entrance
Option 1 - Follow a Pickpocket

Exit Triss’s joint and return to Hierarch Square. Here you’ll see a number of yellow investigation zones. We need to stand in one of these and wait until we see a pickpocket ply his trade. Once they have done their thing, they will walk off and we’ll need to tail them from a distance.

Follow the pickpocket from a distance and take it slow. You’ll be interrupted by a beggar as you go, give him 20 Crowns for 2XP if you are interested or tell him to go away either way, once the conversation ends, you’ll pick up the pickpocket again.

Around halfway to his destination, he’ll pass another thief and pass his takings over. At this point, we can either follow the thief with the package until he reaches the destination or alternatively you can continue after the first thief who will lead you into an ambush. Defeating the ambushers in a hand-to-hand combat fight will net you the location of and password to enter the Putrid Grove.

Head over to the door indicate by the objective marker and knock. If you have followed the thief to the door, you’ll need to either pay 50 Crowns or use the AXII option to be allowed in. If you defeated the ambushers, during the conversation choose the “Old sow’s farrowed piglets” option. This will allow you to enter.

Note: At this point you will earn 100XP.

Head over to the objective marker inside the building at the back of an area for a scene, conversation and a reunion with an old friend.

Now that we are here, head down to Part 2: Helping Triss to continue.

 

Option 2 - Speak to Beggars

Upon exiting Triss’s house and reaching Hierarchs Square, you’ll see a number of objective markers appear on the map. These represent beggars.

You’ll need to talk to the Beggars until one of them gives up the location that you are after. Note that whilst there is a conversation option mentioning the Putrid Grove, you should not use it or the beggar will not help you. Instead, keep using the other options until the Putrid Grove is mentioned.

In addition to the location, the beggar who gives it to you will also let you know the password to enter.

Head over to the door indicate by the objective marker and knock. During the conversation choose the “Old sow’s farrowed piglets” option. This will allow you to enter.

Note: At this point you will earn 100XP.

Head over to the objective marker inside the building at the back of an area for a scene, conversation and a reunion with an old friend.

Now that we are here, head down to Part 2: Helping Triss to continue.

 

Option 3 - Find a Key and a Hidden Entrance

This option is not even brought up in the quest log unless you overhear people talking about it. Whether you have heard about it or not, you can still do it regardless. To find the sewer entrance, find the bridge by the Glory Gate (it’s the eastern of the two bridges that head south).

From the bridge, face the main city and look down to the right. You should see a series of archways just above the water. Once of these is actually a tunnel leading into the sewers. Swim in here and climb up into the tunnel inside onto solid ground.

Proceed through the tunnel and clear out the group of three Drowners when you come across them. As they are probably quite tricky for you at your current level, you can try to draw them back to the previous room and take them all on one-on-one. Once you have killed all three, inspect the corpes in the room where the Drowners were to find a Key.

Your newly acquired key will open the grating on the north side of the room. Go through here and climb the ladder in the next area for a scene. Defeat the bandits that attack you and exit the room via the door indicated to find yourself in the Putrid Grove.

Head over to the objective marker inside the building at the back of an area for a scene, conversation and a reunion with an old friend.

Part 2: Helping Triss

Once we have been reunited with Triss, we’ll be tasked with helping her run a few errands in the city. Follow her out of the gate and after a scene or two and some walking you’ll soon wind up in a store.

Following the conversation, loot the fellows house down if you wish and then use the trapdoor on the ground floor to descend into the sewers.

When you arrive, move into the next room and kill the Drowner lurking here. Once it has been dealt with, loot the immediate area at the base of the ladder for some good stuff including Diagram: Verden Archer’s Gambeson.

Once Triss asks you to look for something, equip Witcher Sense and inspect the loose brick in the centre of the brick pillar. This will open a nearby hidden door. Here you’ll exit into a canal area, follow Triss along the bank until a scene plays.

After the scene, swim out into the water and dive. Use Witcher Sense to find chests in the water. There is a pair of lootable chests by the supports of the bridge in the distance. Loot these for Diagram: Nilfgaardian Longsword, Torn-out Page: Reliever’s Decoction and Torn-out Page: Wraith Decoction.

Our real target however is the small sack just beyond the hull of the sunken boat by the chests. Use Witcher Sense to locate it, pick it up and then return to Triss. Speak with her to hand it over.

Now that that’s done with, we need to follow Triss again for another short excursion until you reach her next job. During the conversation here, you’ll want to demand pay up front (trust me!). Afterwards enter the granary.

At this point you are going to want to activate your Witcher Sense and look around for small circular openings near the base of walls. Interact with the rat droppings in front of these with Witcher Sense active to place traps. After doing this three times speak with Triss and a scene will play.

You’ll now have to kill the three enemies. Thankfully you have Triss with you and like Keira before her; she has some sexy magic attacks that will help stun bad guys whilst also supplementing your damage. If you have a bit of trouble, try letting her take all of the aggro and dropping the occasional sign or melee attack to help her out.

Exit the granary and speak with Brandon to end the quest.

Note: At this point you will earn 200XP.

Novigrad Dreaming

This quest begins a stone’s throw from the end of the previous quest. Run over to the new objective marker and a conversation will break out with de Jonkheer outside of a house here. Once the conversation is over, you’ll have permission to enter the house.

Once inside the house, make your way to the second floor for a scene.

We’ll now have to search the attic. Look for the door on the wall opposite the foot of the bed and go through. Climb the ladder here to reach the attic.

Use AARD to destroy the bookcase blocking the nearby door and move through into the hidden room. Activate Witcher Sense here and explore the area. You’ll be able to inspect the following:

Drawing on the chair by the entrance.
Rag Doll on the bench opposite the entrance.
Once you have both items, pull up your inventory and examine the Drawing. Return to the bedroom and enter the door to the right of the bed to find a crib inside. Place the Rag Doll in the crib for a scene.

Return back to the first floor and near the base of the stairs you’ll find a trap door. Open this and climb down to the basement. Here you’ll find a weak wall that can be destroyed with AARD and there are a bunch of containers inside fit for looting.

Head back through the hole in the wall and examine the oven for a short conversation. During which you can make a choice:

Option 1 - "Let’s make a deal"
Option 2 - "Guess I’ll have to throw you out"
Note: This choice will impact on how Sarah will act when encountered again later in the story.

Option 1: Make a Deal

During the conversation, if you decide to make a deal with the Godling she’ll be chuffed. After the conversation, you can go upstairs and wake the dreamer right away. As you leave the building, tell de Jonkheer that the house is haunted.

Make your way over to the Golden Sturgeon and speak with Corinne for a scene to end the quest.

Note: At this point you will earn 100XP.

At this point you can use the following hyperlink to skip the alternate walkthrough below and straight ahead to the next quest: ‘Broken Flowers’.

Option 2: Evict the Godling

If you want to evict the Godling instead, you can let her know that. In order to get rid of her, you’ll need to leave the house and visit a herbalist nearby in order to purchase a Bundle of Burdock.

Bring the Bundle of Burdock back to the house, place it in the oven and hit it with a blast of IGNI.  The Godling will be displeased, but will release the Dreamer. As such you can now go upstairs and wake the dreamer.

As you leave the building, tell de Jonkheer what has happened. He’ll decide to sell the house anyway and offer you a cut of the profit.

Make your way over to the Golden Sturgeon, head upstairs and speak with Corinne for a scene to end the quest.

Note: At this point you will earn 100XP.

Broken Flowers

We’ll begin this quest by making our way over to the Rosemary and Thyme inn which is located in the south-eastern part of Novigrad, close to the Gate of the Hierarch Fast Travel point. When you arrive, approach the front door for a scene.

Upon completion of the scene you’ll find yourself in a fistfight with a group of 4-5 Vagrants. Follow the standard hand to hand procedure of isolating an enemy, employing your blocks at the right time to stagger and counter attacking until all of them are down for the count.

Following the next conversation, we’ll be investigating the immediate area using our Witcher Sense. You can inspect the following:

Lute on the matress by the base of the stairs.
Barrel by the matresses at the base of the stairs.
Document mounted on the wall by one of the doors.
Book sitting on top of the bookshelf by the door we came in from.
Once you have examined the book, a conversation will take place and your objectives will be updated. Following the chat, open the inventory and on the key items tab read the Dandelion’s Journal book.

Note: At this point you will earn 500XP.

We’ll now need to track down each of the names in the book and chat with each of them (of course you can chat with Zoltan at the inn first for some additional information). Fortunately, the game and its objective markers will by default direct you to each in order. You should speak to all of them to earn a bit of XP for each conversation.

First up is Vespula. As you approach her location a scene will play and you’ll enter into conversation with a group of Thugs. At this point you have three options:

Bribe them with 200 Crowns – This will move them along without causing too much trouble, Vespula’s shop will stay open.
"Vespula’s got new protection" – during the conversation, select the ‘King of Beggars’ option. As with bribery, this will move them along peacefully and Vespula’s shop will stay open.
"Get outta here" – This will initiate a fight in which you’ll need to kill all four thugs. After the quest, Vespula will leave the area and move to Oxenfurt.
Once you have made your decision, Vespula will chat with you. Once the conversation ends, it’s time to find the next person on the list.

Note: At this point you will earn 150XP. If you moved the Thugs on without violence, you’ll also earn 300XP.

Next up is Elihal who can be found in a shop just to the east of Vespula’s location. Enter the designated building and speak with the NPC inside for a scene/conversation.

Once you are finished with your interesting little chat, exit the building.

Note: At this point you will earn 150XP.

Molly is the next name on our hit list and she can be found in central Novigrad, just north of Hierarch’s Square. Approach the door of the large house marked as an objective for a conversation.

Note: Depending on the choices you made earlier in Vizima to the question “Did you Kill Aryan or Spare his life during the siege?” whilst being interviewed, this conversation will either be openly hostile, or friendly.

Either way the conversation runs, you’ll still be able to continue with the quest and get invited to the races. You are given the option to fast travel there with the General, or to make your own way over to the objective marker.

When you arrive, you’ll chat with the General again and he’ll challenge you to a race. This is optional, but will only take a minute or so and as a bonus - if you win, he’ll give you a Superior Racing Saddle which is significantly better than the standard saddle for Roach.

When you are done racing (or if you decided not to) climb up the bleacher here and speak to Molly. Afterwards, you are again given the option to fast travel back to the city, or to make your own way back.

Note: At this point you will earn 150XP.

Once you are back in Novigrad, it’s time to track down Marabella. She can be found in a small house to the east of the General’s mansion and down the large cobblestone ramp.

When you reach the house, enter the front door for a scene. During which you’ll be given the option of waiting outside, or staying put. Either way, you’ll eventually get to speak to the target.

Note: At this point you will earn 150XP.

Last but not least, we need to speak with Rosa var Attre. To do this we need to find our way into the estate. There are a couple of options for doing this:

Approach the door and the guards will talk to you. During the conversation, if you have chatted to Zoltan about her previously, you can choose the ‘Swordplay Instructor’ option.
You can sneak in. To do this, follow the wall of the estate to the west until you find a clifftop gazebo with a path leading down to some cliffs below the estate. Along the way you’ll find a chest containing Diagram: Temerian Poniard and Formula: Manuscript Page: Superior Dancing Star/Beast Oil. With a jump and a few ledge climbs you’ll end up in the estate. Make your way around to the front of the central building for a scene.
Either way you choose, you’ll end up inside the main building. Follow the guard down to the basement and grab the Wooden Sword from the rack as you go. When you arrive you’ll need to fight Rosa one-on-one. You can win this fight very easily by simply riposting and following up with an attack until she gives up.

A conversation will break out following the fight, during which you’ll pick up a side-quest ‘Fencing Lessons’. 

Note: At this point you will earn 150XP.

Note: The ‘Fencing Lessons’ side-quest is now available.

Now that we have visited everyone on the list, return to Zoltan at the Rosemary and Thyme and chat with him about your findings. He’ll have an epiphany and tell you to meet him at the Kingfisher Inn.

Meditate to sometime after sundown and then head over to the new objective marker. Enter the building and a scene will kick off. Following the scene, the quest will be complete.

Note: For completing the quest you will earn 800XP.

Get Junior – Part 1

After speaking with Pricilla, we’ll now have to go and meet with some important people at the baths nearby. Exit the Kingfisher Inn and you’ll find the objective marker close by. Knock on the door indicated after a brief conversation, you’ll be permitted entry.

Enter the room to the right to shed your clothes and then follow the fellow named Happen through the baths until he stops. Open the door next to him for a cut-scene.

We’ll soon be interrupted by a group of Assassins in the previous room. Head in and help the other crime lords deal with them. There are 8-10 Assassins total and as you have back up, if you start to run low on health, try to let the other characters tank the enemies whilst you sneak in and get them wit hit and run attacks.

Following the fight another conversation will occur.

Note: At this point you will earn 150XP.

Note: The ‘Gangs of Novigrad’ side-quest is now available.

At this point, you will find that you now have two story quests:

Get Junior
Count Reuven’s Treasure
Both of these lead to quest lines, both of which can be undertaken immediately. However I found the ‘Get Junior’ quest to be much easier at this point in the game than ‘Count Reuven’s Treasure’. At this point, you’ll be automatically directed into a new main story quest ‘Count Reuven’s Treasure’ and it’s a good idea to knock out the first part of it now before switching back to ‘Get Junior’ afterwards.

Count Reuven’s Treasure – Part 1

Following the conversation with Sigi, you’ll want to climb down the hidden ladder that has appeared in the middle of the bath house. At the bottom follow the passage until you initiate a scene during which you’ll be handed Formula: Manuscript Page: Pop’s Mould Antidone.

Once the scene is done, you’ll want to activate Witcher Sense again and explore the yellow search area. Note that in this area, there is a poisonous gas that can kill you unless you keep the Pop’s Mould Antidote potion active. Additionally, you will also run into a few groups of Drowners, with most appearing at the far end of the area although on occasion there seems to be a group of 3-4 that will aggro for some reason and swarm you at random at just about any area. As long as you have Witcher Sense active however, you should be able to see them coming.

You’ll be able to inspect the following:

Broken wooden pillar hanging from roof just inside the hole.
Piece of Pipe Grating in the small niche opposite the hole in the wall.
Bits of pipe at the first corner.
The pipes hanging from the wall around head height through the first grating.
There is a series of chests in here containing some good stuff including Diagram: Cidarian Cavalry Armour and Formula: Manuscript Page: Petri’s Philter. At this point, that group of 3-4 Drowners I spoke of earlier will usually attack.

If you keep Witcher Sense active through the next tunnel, you should find a few pieces of jewellery on the ground (2-3 total and these can be picked up to sell later) throughout the next couple of areas –so keep your eye out!

The tunnel itself will lead into an open room. Here you’ll find another Drowner or two and a body you can examine with Witcher Sense. Exit into another large room and clear out the remaining Drowners.

Stick your Witcher Sense back on and in here you’ll be able to inspect the following:

Bottom of a container by the grating opposite where we entered.
Now that we have this piece of evidence, return up the ladder to the bath house and speak to Djikstra in his office.

Note: At this point you will earn 200XP.

After chatting with Djikstra, you’ll find yourself back in the baths. You’ll need to check out the two yellow investigation areas. The closest one will turn up nothing, but the furthest area will have a few clues to check out.

With Witcher Sense active you’ll be able to inspect the following:

Oil slick on the surface of the water.
Silver lid behind the bath.
Once you’ve found the lid another conversation will ensue after which your objectives will be updated and we can finally leave the bath house!

Note: At this point you will earn 50XP.

At this point I’d recommend completing the rest of this quest later and for now switch back to having the ‘Get Junior’ quest as your default to continue with it.

Get Junior – Part 2

Once you have ‘Get Junior’ as your active quest, check out the world map. You’ll see that there are three objective markers to investigate, two in the main central section of Novigrad and a third on the island to the north.

Part 1: Investigating Leads

Let’s make our way over to the northern marker to begin with to inspect Junior’s Hideout.

Enter the marked building (and note the dwarves everywhere – we’ll need to go chat to their boss after this area to pick up an optional side-quest so don’t forget!). Inside the hideout, we’ll need to put our detective skills to good use. As such, activate Witcher Sense.

You’ll be able to inspect the following:

Ground Floor - Documents on the ground near the entrance.
First Floor – Rack of torture utensils on the left hand wall.
First Floor – Clothes on the floor by the stairs.
After inspecting all three items, your objectives will be updated.

We now have a couple of options, we can pick up the ‘Gangs of Novigrad’ secondary quest and murder our way through the next few areas, or we can go it alone and have a different experience altogether.

You’ll find walkthroughs for both options below. These include:

Option 1 - Force (with ‘Gangs of Novigrad’ secondary quest)
Option 2 - Going solo
Note: You must choose option 1 if you want to complete the ‘Gangs of Novigrad’ secondary mission. You will fail it if you complete ‘Get Junior’ without the dwarves help.

Option 1 - Gangs of Novigrad and Force

Now before we get carried away and explore the other two areas of interest, at this point you should quickly activate the secondary quest ‘Gangs of Novigrad’ and speak to Cleaver near Herirarch’s Square in central Novigrad. This secondary quest runs concurrently with the main quest ‘Get Junior’ at this point and makes things a little easier whilst also providing some additional XP. Speaking with Cleaver will give you some backup whilst you explore the next two areas.

Note: Not visiting Cleaver will result in failing the side-quest if we go too far in the ‘Get Junior’ quest without kicking it off.

To start the quest, approach Cleaver’s location in central Novigrad for a scene. During the scene, you are given a choice to either lead Cleaver’s men whilst you search Whoreson’s hideouts or to reject the help. You’ll want to agree to them helping you to proceed with the quest.

Note: If you accept this quest, you’ll only be able to force your way through the following areas using violence.

With the ‘Gangs of Novigrad’ quest as your active task, seek out the yellow investigation circle close to the southern of the two remaining objective markers. Speak to the dwarves here and when you are ready to go, let them know so.

The dwarves will run off and essentially slaughter everyone inside of the target building. Help them out and fight your way to the top floor – there are a grand total of 12 guards to deal with. Once the area is clear, on the top floor you’ll need to find and speak with the captive Halfling named Rico.

Note: You can release Rico to pick up a secondary quest ‘Honour Among Thieves’.

Once you have completed the scene with Rico your objectives will be updated and you’ll be good to move onto the next area.

Note: At this point you will earn 150XP.

As with the previous area we had to search, make sure that the ‘Gangs of Novigrad’ quest is set as your active task and find and speak to the dwarves by the entrance to the final area of interest. When you are ready to go, let them know.

The dwarves will enter the gates and travel down to the arena killing everything that gets in their way and it’s your job to help them out (but it’s a good idea to let them do all the heavy lifting). There are two enemies outside the gate followed by two rooms with four guards each. Finally you’ll arrive at a room with a throne on one side. Here you’ll need to hell the dwarves kill Igor, a dog and 5-6 guards.

Once you have cleared the area, loot Igor’s corpse to find Igor’s Key. Use Igor’s Key on the small chest on the table by the throne to pick up a Message from Igor. Head into your inventory and read this document.

From Igor’s room, return to the previous room closer to the entrance and enter the passage to the left through the open grating. Follow the ramp down and move through the gate at the bottom.

Turn left when you reach the intersection and switch on your Witcher Senses. Here you’ll be able to inspect the following:

Scratch marks on the floor in front of the silhouette of a hidden door.
The torch on the wall to the right of the hidden door.
Once you have interacted with the torch the hidden door will open. Inside the small room here you’ll find numerous containers to loot, but our true goal is the chest opposite the entrance which contains some Crowns and a quest item – Mysterious Letter. Head into your inventory and read this document.

Note: At this point you will earn 150XP.

Now that we have collected all the information available we can return to Djikstra in the bath house for a conversation. This will keep the quest moving along by going and revealing your next objective. Huzzah!

At this point you can use the following hyperlink to skip the alternate walkthrough below and straight ahead to the next part of the quest: Part 2: Following Up.

Option 2 – Going Solo

If you plan on going solo, you can effectively choose your plan of attack each time around due to conversations that will take place prior to entering each search area.

Let’s go and inspect the Casino first. Make your way over to the southern of the two remaining objective markers. Speak with the guards standing outside. During the conversation you’ll have a few options:

"Can we make a deal?" – Nothing will happen and you’ll get kicked out of the conversation. You’ll be able to chat to them again afterwards without this option.
"I'm going in!" – This will start a fight in which you will have to kill them all.
Bribe them with 200 Crowns – They will let you into the casino, no questions asked. This option will also net you 10XP.
Use AXII (Level 3) – They will let you into the casino, no questions asked. This option will also net you 40XP.
If you are able to Bribe/AXII your way inside peacefully, you’ll be able to move up to the first floor and play Gwent with three players around the room. Unfortunately, asking additional information from these players about Whoreson (or being a dick) will unfortunately cause them to call guards on you. Instead, beat all three of them at Gwent. At this point, a scene will play and a fight will break out anyway.

If you were unable to AXII your way in and you have to use force, you’ll have to fight your way to the top floor of the casino. There are a total of twelve guards in here that you will need to dispatch.

After doing your bit and the area is clear, on the top floor you’ll need to find and speak with the captive Halfling named Rico.

Note: You can release Rico to pick up a secondary quest ‘Honour Among Thieves’.

Once you have completed the scene with Rico your objectives will be updated and you’ll be good to move onto the next area. Exit the casino and head north to find the marker indicating the arena.

Speak with the guards standing outside. During the conversation you’ll have a few options:

Bribe them with 100 Crowns – They will let you into the casino, no questions asked. This option will also net you 10XP.
Use AXII (Level 3) – They will let you into the arena, no questions asked. This option will also net you 40XP.
"Let me in or die!" – This will start a fight in which you will have to kill them all.
If you are unable to Bribe/AXII your way inside peacefully, you can find a Certificate on a corpse located just outside the Nowhere Inn, slightly south of the arena entrance. Return to the guards with the Certificate and tell them your name is Zdenek. This will also grant you access without a fight. 

Note: If you were unable to AXII your way in and you feel that you have to use force, you’ll have to fight your way into the arena. There are between 14-16 guards inside that you will need to dispatch.

Once through the gate, you’ll be able to head through the set passage here until you find Igor. Speak with him. Don’t mention Whoreson as you go through the conversation and he’ll set up some arena fights for you.

There are six rounds to fight through in this arena-style combat encounter and the fights play out as such:

Single combat against a bandit. At the end of this fight, you can choose to kill your opponent or to let him live. If he lives, he’ll help you fight through the remaining waves.
The second wave is a group of three dogs.
Round three is a pair of axe wielding enemies.
You’ll have to fight a Wyvern in round four.
The fifth wave consists of a pair of Endrega
Round six has you square off against a named Bear called ‘Boris’ (please let that be a Miffy reference!).
As soon as you have brought down the bear, a scene will play.

Following the scene, one of the nearby gates will open and a group of five guards (including Igor) will come to attack you. Use your usual tactics to deal with them, but just beware of the fellow with the shield and be sure to counter or AXII him to help stun and damage him.

Once you have cleared the area, loot Igor’s corpse to find Igor’s Key. Follow the passage that is now open all the way back up to where we spoke with Igor earlier and help the dwarves eliminate the guards here. Use Igor’s Key on the small chest on the table by the throne to pick up a Message from Igor. Head into your inventory and read this document.

From Igor’s room, head back towards the arena. Follow the ramp down and move through the gate at the bottom. Turn left when you reach the intersection and switch on your Witcher Senses. Here you’ll be able to inspect the following:

Scratch marks on the floor in front of the silhouette of a hidden door.
The torch on the wall to the right of the hidden door.
Once you have interacted with the torch the hidden door will open. Inside the small room here you’ll find numerous containers to loot, but our true goal is the chest opposite the entrance which contains some Crowns and a quest item – Mysterious Letter. Head into your inventory and read this document.

Note: At this point you will earn 150XP.

Now that we have collected all the information available we can return to Djikstra in the bath house for a conversation. This will keep the quest moving along by going and revealing your next objective. Huzzah!

Part 2: Following Up

We'll now need to head over to the Partisan Camp which is located just to the north of Oxenfurt. Before we leave Novigrad however, you should go and turn in the secondary quests ‘Honour Among Thieves’ and ‘Gangs of Novigrad’ (if you did them).

Note: The ‘Gangs of Novigrad’ will be failed during the next part of this main quest if we do not turn it in at this point.

Note: You’ll earn 50XP and 300 Crowns for completing ‘Gangs of Novigrad’.

Note: You’ll earn 100XP, Erlithlad – Silver Sword and Freya’ Warrior’s Armour for completing ‘Honour Among Thieves’.

Once you are ready to go, make your way over to the Partisan Camp. The camp itself is located in a large cave-like ravine and you’ll need to approach from the northwest to find the entrance.

Walk up and into the camp and a scene will play. A conversation will ensue.

Note: Depending on the choices you made earlier in Vizima to the question “Did you team up with Vernon Roche or Iorveth?” whilst being interviewed, this conversation will either end in being permitted to the camp (Veronon Roche) or a fist fight (Iorveth) unless our AXII level is high enough to dissuade the guard.

Either way, once this sequence has finished, head into the camp for a chat with Roche.

Note: At this point you will earn 150XP.

We’ll now need to meet up with Roche at the bridge leading into Oxenfurt, so make your way over there and speak with him again to kick off the next portion of the quest.

Follow him a short distance and during the next scene our objectives will be updated one final time.

Note: At this point you will earn 150XP.

Note: At this point the ‘Eye for an Eye’ secondary quest is now available.

Now that we finally know where our target is, we can head into Oxenfurt and cruise over to his location. Now as you probably would gather, chances are there’s going to be a hostile reception as such, head to the market just north of the quest marker and use the Grindstone and the Armourer’s Table to enhance your gear. Head over to the objective marker when you are ready.

Note: Before we begin, I should mention that I suspect there is a peaceful (or more peaceful) way to enter Junior's compound but have not found it yet. If you know how, please scroll down to the contact information below and hit me up in an email!

As you approach the gate, the guards will talk to you, but there is no conversation option that I found that did not lead to a fight. Kill the pair and then loot their bodies for a Key to the estate. Alternatively, if you follow the wall to the northeast corner of the mansion, with some creative jumping on some barrels and a market stall you can jump over the wall into the estate that way.

Either way, once you are inside, you’ll need to clear the area of enemies. Do your best to focus on sprinting up to and dealing with the ranged enemies first before focusing on the melee attackers. I counted 11 guards in total, but if you stick near the gate to start with, you can deal with four without triggering others. Once they are dealt with, you can then move down to engage the rest to make things a little less hectic!

Once the area is clear, you can enter the building on the eastern side of the complex, but meditate if you need to firs as there are a further three of Whoreson’s bodyguards waiting for you inside.

Climb to the second floor. You can examine the body in front of you with Witcher Sense active if you wish, but our real goal here is to enter the door on the left for a scene. This will also kick off the next Ciri memory sequence.

Ciri’s Story: Visiting Junior

Once you are in control of Ciri, climb the ladder in front of your starting position and pull yourself up onto the roof. Make your way across the rooftop and drop down onto the balcony indicated. Interact with the window here for a scene.

As soon as the scene is done, you’ll be fighting an enemy one on one. He’s pretty tough and although you can counter his attacks, its best to use the new ability that Ciri has just received. By holding down Geralt’s Sign button, you can charge and release an attack that will hit an opponent multiple times. Keep your distance and perform this move a few times to end the fight.

After another short scene, we’ll need to fight our way out of the hideout. Three enemies will attack you as soon as you are back in control and Ciri’s new shadow attack will make short work of them. Down the first set of stairs are another four henchmen, one with a shield. The ground floor’s inhabitants will match what we found on the second floor.

Once the building is clear, head out the ground floor door to end the memory.

Get Junior – Part 3

Following Ciri’s sequence, you will be back in conversation with Junior. At this point you will be given the choice to either kill or spare him. Whilst both will result in the end of the quest, your action will have an impact on another story quest further down the line.

Note: For the best results later in the game (personal preference only), I’d recommend that you let Junior keep his head.

Note: At this point you will earn 500XP.

Exit the estate.

A Favor for Radovid

As soon as you exit the estate, you’ll be met by some of Radovid’s guards.

After a brief scene, you’ll be on a boat, head to the far end to initiate a cut-scene and a conversation. During the conversation you’ll be given a new secondary quest – ‘Redania’s Most Wanted’.

Upon completion of the conversation, the quest will be complete.

Note: At this point you will earn 50XP.

Note: At this point the ‘Redania’s Most Wanted’secondary quest is now available.

Count Reuven’s Treasure – Part 2

With ‘Get Junior’ out of the way, it’s time to focus on the other main quest in Novigrad: ‘Count Reuven’s Treasure’. Set his as your active quest and make your way to the objective marker located in central Novigrad.

Part 1: Investigate the Heist

Once you arrive, use Witcher Sense to notice that the door here is weak and can thus be knocked down with a well-placed AARD sign.

Enter the building and activate your Witcher Sense to explore the area. You’ll be able to inspect the following:

Footprints on the floor leading upstairs and straight to a wall.
Ground floor – Silver Cylinder on a book case to the right.
Second floor – Bottle of wine on the table to the left.
Second floor – Mysterious Note on the table to the left.
Once you have the note and the bottle enter the room opposite the top of the stairs.  Use Witcher Sense to spot a red marker on the wine rack. Approach this and interact to insert the bottle. This will open a hidden door by where we found the wine and the letter.

Enter the secret room and whip out your Witcher Senses once again. Here you can examine:

Wyvern Oil stains by the bookshelf just inside the door.
Sugar and other reagents on a table to the far left of the entry.
Note on the far left bookshelf from the door.
Note on the chest at the foot of the bed.
Once you have examined the letter on the chest, your objectives will update and a short scene occurs.

Note: At this point you will earn 50XP.

Head downstairs for a conversation.

Part 2: Infiltrate the Witch Hunter Compound

Now that our objectives have updated again, make your way over to the Eternal Fire Shrine. We’ll need to meet Triss here at midnight, so meditate until then to kick things off when you are ready.

Following the scene, we’ll be given a couple of options as to how to proceed with the next part of the quest:

Option 1 – Handcuff Triss
Option 2 – Fight your way in
Note: Depending on your choice, numerous effects will play out later in the game. For the best results, I’d recommend the peaceful route and handcuffing Triss.

Option 1 - Handcuff Triss

Once you arrive at Menge’s place you’ll be immediately thrown into a conversation. To avoid confrontation, choose the top option each time you get a chance to say something and avoid statements protecting Triss or insulting/threatening the witch hunters.

Follow the leader into the building and up the stairs for a scene. Here, you’ll want to choose the “Fine, take her” option to keep the bluff going.

When you sit down with Menge in the next scene, you have to be very careful with your responses to avoid confrontation. The best options to choose are:

“Why not.”
“Your hunters are torturing Triss, but haven’t been paid.”
“Triss betrayed me first.”
“Free my friend Dandelion.”
Following the conversation, there will be a lengthy scene during which you’ll receive Menge’s Key and Key to Djikstra’s Treasure for searching his corpse.

Note: At this point you will earn 300XP.

At this point, we’ll need to escape the building. Make your way over to where Triss is standing – DO NOT go back out the door you came in unless you want to fight with 10+ Witch Hunters! Use Menge’s Key to open this door and climb down the stairs outside.

Here we can help Triss set the building on fire by lighting the three sets of bundles stacked up against the wall, this is optional because Triss will actually do it herself if you don’t.

To escape the area, climb up onto the small shack opposite the main building and from the roof, jump down from the wall to the street below to exit the compound. Use AARD on the weak wall to your right as you land.

Move through the new opening for a scene.

Note: At this point you will earn 100XP and 90 Crowns.

Now that we have the information from the ‘Get Junior’ and ‘Count Reuven’s Treasure’ quests, we can finally complete both of them.

Return to Novigrad and speak with Pricilla in the Kingfisher inn for a conversation to complete both  quests and kick off the next one.

Note: At this point the ‘A Matter of Life and Death’ secondary quest is now available.

 

Option 2 – Fight your way in

Once you arrive at Menge’s place you’ll be immediately thrown into a conversation. Refuse to hand over Triss during the conversation to launch a large-scale battle.

There are approximately 14-16 Witch Hunters in the compound to deal with both inside and out. Fortunately you have Triss with you and as before, she comes in handy with her spells that can damage and stun opponents. It should also be noted that there are explosive barrels around the interior that you can use to great effect if you can ignite them with IGNI and lure enemies in close for the detonation.

Once the area is clear, on the top floor you’ll bump into couple more Witch Hunters, the Witch Hunter torturer and then Menge himself.

After killing the big boy, a scene will play.

Note: At this point you will earn 200XP.

When you regain control of Geralt, head over to Menge’s desk and loot the Letter to Caleb Menge and his Holy Tome. Open your inventory and read the letter.

Reading the document will trigger a conversation during which you’ll receive Menge’s Key and Key to Djikstra’s Treasure.

At this point, we’ll need to escape the building. Make your way over to where Triss is standing and use Menge’s Key to open this door. Climb down the stairs outside.

Here we can help Triss set the building on fire by lighting the three sets of bundles stacked up against the wall, this is optional because Triss will actually do it herself if you don’t.

To escape the area, climb up onto the small shack opposite the main building and from the roof, jump down from the wall to the street below to exit the compound. Use AARD on the weak wall to your right as you land.

Move through the new opening for a scene.

Note: At this point you will earn 100XP and 90 Crowns.

Following the scene with Djikstra, our objectives will be updated. Head over to the eternal Fire Shrine and use your Witcher senses to identify a hiding spot. Place Menge’s Tome here.

Now make your way to the settlement on the shore to the south of the main section of Novigrad and enter the house marked as the objective (it’s just southeast of the Glory Gate fast travel marker). We’ll need to meet the spy here at midnight, so hide behind the door and meditate until the appointed hour.

This will trigger a scene and a conversation afterwards in which our information will be updated.

Note: At this point you will earn 50XP.

Now that we have the information from the ‘Get Junior’ and ‘Count Reuven’s Treasure’ quests, we can finally complete both of them.

Return to Novigrad and speak with Pricilla in the Kingfisher inn for a conversation to complete both quests and kick off the next one.

Note: At this point the ‘A Matter of Life and Death’ secondary quest is now available.

The Play’s the Thing

Once you have completed ‘Count Reuven’s Treasure’ and ‘Get Junior’, you’ll start the next story quest by speaking with Pricilla in the Kingfisher Inn.

During the conversation you’ll learn about your next course of action during which there are a few alternate options, but the only really important decision is choosing between:

Comedy
Drama
Note: This choice will affect how the end of this quest plays out. For the record Comedy is the easier route if you want to roll that way as the Drama play will result in a small-scale riot!

Following a brief scene, your objectives will update.

Note: At this point you will earn 300XP.

Now that we have the script, we need to get it to Irina Renarde who is located in the mummer’s area nearby. Exit the inn and make your way to the objective marker. Unfortunately, the door is locked and the Ticket Seller behind the table nearby will not let you in the door. Speak with him and hand over 50 Crowns to get in.

Note: At this point you will earn 5XP.

Once inside, head over to Irina and spark up a conversation. Ask about both tasks she wants you to undertake before leaving the area (or you’ll have to come back again!). Once the conversation finishes we’ll need to set about getting some ushers and publicity happening.

Let’s do the ushers first. Head over to the docks on the western side of the harbour and approach the bare fisted boxing match here and speak with the NPC Sofus the Bull to start a scene. During the conversation you’ll have a few options:

"I’ll pay you" – You’ll need to fork over 70 Crowns, but the fellows will accept the job and you can move on to the next task.
"What if I fight and win?" – You’ll need to fork over 140 Crowns. This will start a fight. If you win the fellows will accept the job and will usher for the play without charge. If you lose, you’ll lose the 140 Crowns, but they’ll still usher for you.
Note: No matter the choice, at this point you will earn 14XP.

Depending on your confidence in the hand-to-hand melee combat in the game, you can save yourself a bit of coin by going the latter option. You’ll need to fight two fellows at once, but it shouldn’t be too difficult by this stage in the game – just block and counter your way to victory!

Either way you chose to go, after recruiting the ushers make your way to the next objective marker which is located just south of Hierarch’s Square. Enter the indicated building here for a short conversation.

Exit the Puffins’ house and turn left. Head down the stairs in front to find some bandits you can chat with. During the conversation you’ll have a few options:

"Go away. Now." – This will start a fight in which you will have to kill them all.
Bribe them with 50 Crowns – This will start a fight in which you will have to kill them all. This option will also net you 5XP.
Use AXII (Level 3) – This will also start a fight in which you will have to kill them all. AXII will however make things easier by reducing their numbers by one. This option will also net you 40XP.
Unfortunately, no matter your choice, the conversation will end in a fight; as such it’s better to either use the first or third options to save you some moolah! Once you have beaten them enough a scene will play and your objectives will be updated.

Note: At this point you will earn 150XP.

Now head back to speak with Irina at the Mummer’s area. We’ll now prepare to put on the play. During the conversation you’ll be given options to cast characters for the play. From experience, your best bet is to have Pricilla as the Princess and Abelard as the Prince (although outside of a few extra crowns and XP there is no real difference).

We’ll now have to perform in the play. Before doing so you can go into your inventory and check the key items tab to find a transcript of the play with your lines in it. You’ll need to choose these during the play as for each correct line you say, you’ll earn 25XP at the end.

The lines you need to say are:

“To slay beasts most foul…”
“Perhaps ‘midst the guests…”
“Seems men’s hearts…”
“But a heart that is base…”
“No monster is he…”
Depending on your decision at the start, you’ll either go straight to another scene (Comedy) or a riot will break out around the stage (Drama). If you chose to put on a Drama help the ushers clear out the 8-10 enemies that attack.

Note: At this point you will earn 500XP.

After the performance, head backstage and speak with Irina for a lengthy conversation to end the quest.

Note: you’ll earn the following XP and monetary rewards for choosing the casting as listed above and completing the performance with every line correct: 25XP, 50XP, 110XP and 150XP (335XP total) and 30 Crowns, 20 Crowns and 30 Crowns (80 Crowns total).

A Poet Under Pressure

This quest will have already begun by completing the play and to keep it on rolling, you’ll need to make your way over to the objective marker located to the west of Novigrad. When you arrive, walk up and speak to Zoltan.

During the conversation, you can play Gwent if you like and make a decision about Pricilla (the decision does not appear to make any difference that I can tell). When the conversation ends, a scene will play and the action begins!

Head down the hill and attack some of the guards to start with. After a short time, one of them will grab our buddy and take off on a horse. When this happens, hop onto Roach and make your way to the search area nearby.

Here, we’ll need to use our Witcher Sense from horseback to find the horse trail. This trail is fairly long, but once you reach its end you’ll be at a small isolated camp. Speak with the NPCs here to find out where our quarry has gone.

Ride over to the new search area to pick up the trail once more. After a short distance it will leave the road and head up into the wilderness to the left. Follow it until you reach a small isolated hut in a clearing.

If you try the door, you’ll find that it is locked. As such, head over and speak with the group of dwarves standing nearby. They’ll inform you about an alternate entrance around the back of the house. Cruise over to the marker and open the trapdoor. Climb down into the cellar.

In the cellar you’ll find a chest and a number of other containers to loot. Inside you’ll find items including: Torn-out Page Ekhidna Decoction. When you are done looting, climb the ladder at the far end of the cellar.

Go through the door at the top and kill the Witch Hunter in the next room.

Walk up and rescue Dandelion for a scene that will end the quest. As a bonus, it will also kick off the next Ciri memory sequence.

Ciri’s Story: Breakneck Speed

As soon as you begin this sequence, you’ll be in combat. There are four guards in the immediate area that you will need to dispatch. Fortunately, Ciri’s shadow step ability that we acquired in the previous memory is still as effective as ever, so be sure to use this to good effect, both in this initial fight and the next few forced encounters.

Exit the alley into the street ahead. Here there are three more enemies. Once they have been dispatched you have a choice, you can turn to the right and approach the closed portcullis ahead. This will open for you and you can ride a horse all the way to your next destination.

Alternatively, when you reach the street, instead of going for the horse, you can go down the stairs to the left, fight your way through a small army of Witch Hunters until you reach the next objective marker.

When you do reach the next objective marker, you’ll need to abandon your horse (if you took that route) and fight off a group of eight Witch Hunters guarding the doorway we want to access.

Once you have eliminated the group, head up and through the indicated doorway to end the memory.

Note: When you return to Geralt you’ll earn 1,000XP for completing the previous quest.

Note: The ‘Cabaret’ side-quest is now available.

Note: At this point you’ll unlock the trophy/achievement ‘A Friend in Need’.

Before leaving the area as Geralt, be sure to speak to the Dwarves outside of the hut where you rescued Dandelion. They'll call you over for a short conversation and gift you a Painting of Hierarch Hammelfart. This can be sold for 80 Crowns.

Destination: Skellige

We will have picked up this quest upon completion of the ‘Lilac and Gooseberries’ quest right near the start of the game, but until now it would have been well above Geralt’s experience level. The good news is, now we are ready to give it a red hot go.

The start of this quest begins in the harbour of Novigrad in which three objective markers will appear and we need to search each to find a ship planning to travel to the Skellige Isles.

At the three markers you’ll find the following:

Northwest Marker – The captain is not here, but the crew of the ship will tell you his name is Wolverstone.
Northeast Marker – Speak with the woman on the dock directly in front of the gangplank leading to the boat. She is the captain and will chat with you.
Southern Marker – Speak with Captain Liglad who can be found on the forecastle of the ship in the middle of the search area.
Once you have spoken to the Captain Liglag at the southern search area, your objective marker will be updated. Once this happens, you’ll need to head to the Golden Sturgeon Tavern near the docks to continue.

Speak with Captain Wolverstone here – he’s the fellow standing by the bar for a conversation, during which you’ll need to pay him 1,000 Crowns to proceed with the quest. At this point, if you don’t have the dosh on hand, there are a few options to earn some bank quickly:

In the southwest corner of Hierarch’s Square there is a banker named Vimme Vivaldi who will loan you up to 100 Crowns.
The aforementioned banker will also convert any other currency you have (Florens and Orens) into Crowns. If you haven’t done this yet and have been looting bandits and chests religiously, you should have between 150-400 Crowns worth at this stage.
Selling all of the items in your ‘Other’ tab in your inventory and any weapons and armour that you do not plan to use.
You can undertake side-tasks such as Abandoned Settlements or Bandit Camps.
Witcher Contracts and side-quests often grant you some Crowns upon completion.
When you have the required coin, return to the Golden Sturgeon and pay Wolverstone 1,000 Crowns.

Note: At this point you will earn 100XP.

Following a brief scene, you’ll be in combat on the deck of a ship. Help fight off the invading pirates (there are a good 8-10 of them) making sure to take care of the crossbowmen first and the shielded enemies last as per usual. Once you have killed a sufficient number, another scene will play.

After a brief conversation, we’ll be told where to head next. Before leaving however, be sure to loot the containers on the beach for a range of loot ( I found a Manuscript Page: Enhanced Grapeshot and Diagram: Tracker’s Boots).  Behind the beached ship directly south of your location at the start you’ll find the body of Wolverstone. Loot him to reclaim your 1,000 Crowns.

There is also a Place of Power you can draw from for a skill point in the water just out from the shore and, if you are interested, a Monster Nest on the deck of the beached ship nearby on the small island to the north (this is guarded by a level 19 Siren though so approach with caution!).

Now hop on your horse and ride all the way up to the objective marker at Kaer Trolde. Approach the marker for a scene and a conversation summing up all your leads so far which will end the quest and start the next one.

Note: At this point you will earn 250XP.

The King is Dead – Long Live the King

Once the initial conversation starting the quest has concluded, we’ll get an optional objective  to get some new clothes (it’s an easy 150XP though, so it’s worth doing!). Fortunately this has already been done for us, so make your way over to the inn where Yennefer is staying and use the key to unlock the door indicated  (if your active objective changes to meeting at the keep, switch it back – you want to do this one first!).

Enter the room and have a look around. Activate Witcher Sense and explore the room. You’ll be able to inspect the following:

Yennefer’s Journal on the small desk against the wall directly opposite the entrance..
A container of Glamour on the table with the mirror.
The stuffed unicorn standing next to the bed.
Clothes on a chest behind the partition to the left as you enter.
Megascope in the right hand room from the entrance.
A book ‘The Poisoned Source’ on a desk next to the Megascope.
The chest in the corner of the right hand room.
The clothes you are after are actually in the chest. This will contain two sets of clothing. You’ll want to put on one of the provided shirts, pairs of pants and the Skellige Ceremional Slippers. You can wear the other set of clothing if you wish, for a different clip of dialogue later on, but nothing serious will come of it.

Note: At this point you will earn 150XP.

Now that Geralt is all pimped out, it’s time to make our way to Kaer Trolde Keep. You’ll need to exit the lower town, climb to the top of the cliffs and take the bridge to reach a sloped path and tunnel leading up to the keep.

As you arrive a scene will play.

Following the scene, walk with Yennefer into the keep and eventually you’ll come to a feasting room. After another brief scene we’ll end up at a table in conversation during which you are invited to participate in a footrace (although this is entirely optional).

If you choose to race, you’ll need to beat Cerys to the top of the mountain and interact with the axe in the stump there. As long as you keep the sprint button held down, stick to the paths to avoid the heavy snow and time your jumps to climb up walls appropriately, it should be easy!

After the race you’ll return to the wake for another short conversation.

Note: At this point you will earn 150XP.

At this point we’ll stand up and leave the table and whilst we are here, it is possible to chat with a few people around the room for a little more backstory into the area (this is optional). The people you can chat with include:

Holgar Black Hand – located just to the right of the entrance.
A pair of Widows – By the central table on the side closest to the entrance door.
Udalryk – near one of the windows on the left hand side of the room (from the entrance).
Note: speaking with these people is entirely optional, will earn you nothing and has no bearing on the quest at hand but it does give some more insight into the Skellige culture which is interesting!

When you are ready,  make your way to the door in the far right corner of the room from where we entered. As you approach the door you’ll be engaged in conversation once again. During the chat, one of the fellows will insult your partner and if you choose to come to her defence, it will start a fist fight.

Either way, once the discussion ends, they’ll walk off, giving you access to the door.

Note: At this point you will earn 150XP.

Follow Yennefer through the door for a conversation about our next course of action..

Walk with Yennefer through the hallways here until we reach a doorway guarded with raven (oh and feel free to loot everything as you go, there’s plenty of alcohol and reagents en route).

Once you reach the Raven door, return back to the previous hallway and open the window at the end. Exit onto the battlements and then enter the next window to the left. When you are back inside, again follow Yennefer and she’ll lead you to where you need to go.

When you arrive at the gas filled room, you’ll need to investigate using your Witcher Sense. Here you can inspect:

One of the stuffed Bears.
One of the stuffed Wolves.
One of the stuffed Deer.
A large water basin on the small table opposite the entrance.
The locked door on the left side of the room.
Inspecting the locked door will trigger a brief scene, after which you’ll need to fight off all of the stuffed animals in the room which have suddenly sprung to life. Fear not however as Geralt seems to be invincible during this encounter. Just kill them all for a scene.

Now that that is all over with, Yennefer will lead you through the now open door. Follow her through until you reach the laboratory. Activate Witcher Sense and explore the room. You’ll be able to inspect the following:

Document – ‘Ermion’s Correspondence’ on the cabinet to the left of the entrance door.
Tobacco pipe on the small table by the fireplace.
Book – ‘Tales of the Wild Hunt’ – on a desk next to a bookshelf across from the entrance.
Distilling flasks on a shelf opposite the bed.
Carved goat figurine on some barrels on the opposite side of the divider from the bed.
The Wand propped up against a bookshelf.
A sword in stone at the opposite end of the room from the entry.
Map on the wall at the far end of the room from the entrance.
Chalice containing mead on the bedside table.
A child’s skull on a small round table in the far right corner from the entryway.
Pinecone on the table to the right of the entrance door.
statue of a thinking man at the far end of the room from the entrance.
Whilst there is a lot to look at in the room here, the most important items are the Statue of the thinking man, the Pinecone, the Skull and the Mead. Whilst in Witcher Sense mode, you will have no doubt noticed the outline of a hidden door in the wall to the left of the statue.

Examining the statue, Geralt notes that it requires something in its hand. Here you are given the choice of either the Pinecone, the Skull or the Mead. For the record, for me the correct item to place into the statues hand was the Mead.

Once you have solved the puzzle, the hidden door will open. Mosey on through and enter the room at the end of the hallway for a scene. This of course leads to a boss fight!

Boss: Earth Elemental

Similar to the Golem we fought earlier, the Earth Elemental is big and slow with the capacity to perform some extremely damaging close range melee attacks and will regularly punch the ground causing a shockwave if you stay too close. The Elemental can also brace himself and block pretty much any damage for short periods of time whilst also mirroring some of the damage back to you.

To beat him, we’ll need to wait for an opening in its attacks. Fortunately most of its attacks are quite obviously telegraphed and there is a small window after any attack he does. You should also be able to manoeuvre behind him when he performs his block and attack his unguarded back. Using QUEN to tank the boss is an option although, you should still try to avoid his hits as he does do a LOT of damage. You can dish out a little damage with IGNI, whilst using AXII will stun him temporarily, as will Yennefer’s occasional lightning attacks – make sure you take advantage when an opportunity to attack presents itself!

As with any boss, it can kill you very quickly, as such – don’t be greedy! Get your 1-2 attacks in when you see an opening and immediately back off so that you can manoeuvre around his next attempted attack.

As an added bonus Yennefer can come in handy here if you get low on health as if you leave the golem alone for a while, you can essentially get her to tank it whilst you run in occasionally to dish out a few melee strikes or a sign attack.

Once the Golem is dead be sure to loot it quickly as the room will start to fill with gas. You can;t actually escape at this point, rather you'll just need to sit still for a moment and wait for a decision.

Note: Romance inbound! If you wish to get it on with the lovely Yennefer, you will need to respond appropriately during the following conversation!

After a few moments a conversation will spark up between Yennefer and Geralt during which a timed decision will play out. Here you have one of two options:

"We’re going to choke and die" – You’ll teleport back to the feast.
"Damn, I want to Kiss you, Yen" – this will teleport you back to Yennefer’s room and a scene will play out involving a brief bit of sexy-time!
Either way, after a short time, you’ll end up back in the banquet hall with a lengthy scene playing out. Following said scene and subsequent conversation, the quest will be completed.

Note: At this point you will earn 600XP.

Note: The ‘Possession’ side-quest is now available.

Note: The ‘The Lord of Undvik’ side-quest is now available.

Echoes of the Past

This quest begins at the Druid Camp located on the far eastern side of the Ard Skellig island and to the southeast of Kaer Trolde where we completed the previous quest ‘The King is Dead – Long Live the King’.

As you arrive at the camp, before moving to the objective marker head just to the north to find a Place of Power we can draw from for a skill point.

Return to the camp and approach the objective marker. Speak with Yennefer for a scene/conversation to kick off the quest.

Once the conversation ends, run down the slope nearby and make your way over to the newly positioned objective marker. As you reach it you’ll see your friend fighting off a pair of Foglets. Run in and help her take them down. A scene ensues.

You’ll now have the Mask of Uroboros quest item. Be sure to equip it as we’ll be using it quite a bit during the current quest!

Follow Yennefer a short distance and when prompted, put on the mask. Watch the ghostly figures do their thing to have your objectives update.

Again, you’ll need to follow until you reach the next clearing. Kill the Foglet that is hanging out here, before approaching the magic lights in the centre of the area and donning the Mask of Uroboros again. After watching the echo play out, we can move on.

Another section in which to follow Yennefer, fight off yet another Foglet that gets in your way and yep, you guessed it another area where we can use the Mask of Uroboros to watch a scene from the past.

Once you have seen what you need to at the third disturbance, Yennefer will walk off again, so follow her. Approach one final echo and observe it using the Mask of Uroboros for another scene.

At this point, we’ll need to move a short distance to a yellow search area located on the mini-map nearby. When you arrive, wait a moment for Yennefer to raise the tree from the ditch and whilst it is in the air, switch on Geralt's Witcher Sense and approach the corpse you find beneath it.

During the scene that plays out to end the quest, you have the opportunity to be ported to the next location automatically, or to find your own way over there when you feel like it. Either way, once the scene ends the quest will be completed.

Note: At this point you will earn 500XP.

Missing Persons

Note: If you decided to portal over with Yennefer at the conclusion of the previous quest ‘Echoes of the Past’, this quest will begin immediately.

This quest is located on Hindarsfjal, the easternmost of the Skellige Isles. If you have not ventured there before, you can reach this island by using a sailing boat. You’ll need to make your way to the quest marker located just outside the town of Lofoten on the western side of the island.

When you arrive, a short conversation will start the quest.

Once the chat has concluded, follow Yennefer into the town until another scene occurs.

Note: At this point the ‘In Wolf’s Clothing’ side-quest is now available.

Now that we have a little more information, we need to head to the north to the garden. As Yennefer is coming with, you can essentially follow here all the way to the next area of interest. Approach the large gate leading to the garden to end the quest.

Note: This quest leads directly into the next quest ‘Nameless’, which will begin immediately.

Nameless

Note: At the conclusion of the previous quest ‘Missing Persons’, this quest will begin immediately.

Climb the stairs to the right of the locked gate and follow Yennefer along the walkway until you reach a large tree in a raised clearing in the centre of the garden. As you arrive a scene will play to tell you what you need to do next.

After the scene, activate your Witcher Sense mode and investigate the blood stain on the ground by the altar in front of the tree. From here, you will see a trail of bloodstains leading away. For the majority of the remainder of this quest you’ll be following the stains around the garden.

Follow the blood to the edge of the ledge and drop into the garden below. Hang a right and work your way through the area. As you do watch out for Wolves – they can be tricky to spot because of the abundance of foliage, but if you keep your Witcher Sense up, you should see them coming.

After a short distance, you’ll find a body to examine and a gate with the Werewolf’s footprints we can inspect. Keep moving past these and the stone steps opposite. As soon as you move past, you’ll bump into a pack of three Wolves.

Once you have killed the Wolves, pop out Witcher Sense again and here you’ll find another patch of Craven’s blood. This time, it has left a trail for us to follow – very handy! Unfortunately they will only go for a short distance before ending at a locked door.

Turn right from the door and hop up the ledge at the top of the stairs. We’ll be back at the tree where we started! Head directly across the area and drop back down to where we dropped down the first time around. This time, make your way to the left.

As you start in this direction, a Wolf will come to attack. After killing it, make your way to the ledge and drop down to the platform below. Cross the small wooden bridge and look for a hard to spot ladder carved into the wall on the left.

Climb the ladder and walk forward a short distance until a scene plays.

At this point, you’ll have a couple of levers to play around with. To open up the next area simply do the following:

Pull the right hand lever first.
Pull the left hand lever second.
Your objectives will update if you have successfully opened the next area.

Return down the ladder and hop into the water here. Enter the canal beneath the now raised sluice gate. Climb out and used the ladder at the end of the short passage.

In the distance to the right, you’ll see a building with an open door. You can head over here and enter for an optional boss fight. Examine the arm chained to the ground with Witcher Sense active to begin!

Boss: Morkvag

This fight is fairly straight forward as Morkvag acts just like any other Werewolf you have encountered before – he just hits a lot harder! He can perform a leaping attack, as well as several close-medium range melee attacks and a lunge with his mouth. You can roll away from his lunge and dodge his melee abilities whilst quickly following up with attacks of your own before backing off.

 It is best not to get greedy and stay too close for too long as this boss can do a lot of damage. Keep dodging and chipping away at his health bar until he falls.

Once you have dealt him enough damage, he’ll collapse and you’ll be able to chat with him. He won’t give you any useful information about the fellow we are looking for, but you can loot his body when he vanishes for some Werewolf Meat (this is important for the side-quest ‘In Wolf’s Clothing’) and some other Werewolf related goodies.

Exit the hut and hug the right hand wall until you find the other side of the locked door we ran into earlier. On the ground here you’ll see Craven’s footsteps – and they lead into the well. As this is the case, you best hop in after him!

Climb out onto the ledge here and follow the blood trails until you find a body. Before examining it, look to the right to find a corpse that we can loot for a Key to Freya’s Garden.

Return to Craven’s body and examine it with Witcher Sense for a scene that will end the quest and initiate another of the Ciri memory sequences.

Note: At this point you will earn 200XP and a Spikeroog Longsword.

Ciri’s Story: The Calm Before the Storm

After a brief conversation to kick off the memory, Ciri will be up and about. Follow the woman out of the house and she’ll lead you over to a building on the eastern side of the village.

Once inside, enter the left hand door and interact with the small box on the dressing table. Follow Astrid into the next room for another brief conversation.

When you are able to move again, you have a couple of optional objectives you can quickly accomplish. Head out the door opposite the entrance and jump into the water you find outside to complete the first. Afterwards, walk to the end of the wooden walkway and interact with the cups and pitcher on the table to drink some Freya’s Firewater to complete the second.

When you are ready to leave, return to the dressing room and once again interact with the small box on the dressing table.

Exit the sauna and make your way over to the stable in the southwest corner of the village. Approach Skjall here for a scene.

As soon as the scene ends you’ll find yourself in combat. During this fight Hounds of the Wild Hunt and Wild Hunt Warriors will spawn constantly. You’ll need to fight off a few of them for a short amount of time until your objective update and encourage you to grab a horse and run.

When this does happen, approach the stable and a short scene and decision will play out (although the decision seems to make no difference to the outcome). Afterwards Ciri will hop on a horse.

Following the scene you’ll be on horseback racing along an icy path. Keep your speed up and try to avoid the Hounds that spawn along the path. If you get the chance, you should occasionally take your finger off the horse accelerator button when there are no enemies about to re-charge its stamina.

When you have ridden far enough a scene will play to end the memory.

Note: When you return to Geralt you’ll earn 200XP for completing the previous quest.

Note: The ‘The Last Wish’ side-quest is now available.

Note: The ‘A Mysterious Passenger’ side-quest is now available.

Note: At this point you’ll unlock the trophy/achievement ‘Necromancer’.

Side-Questing 2 (Optional)

Before you continue with the next quest ‘Ugly Baby’, it is a good idea to go and complete some side-quests. Whilst plenty of side-quests will remain, there are some side-quests that will be automatically failed if you do not complete them before proceeding with the story. These fail-able quests include:

Following the Thread
The Last Wish
When you are ready to continue, proceed with the walkthrough!

Act 2 Walkthrough

Ugly Baby

This quest will begin immediately upon completion of the previous one and as soon as your little chat draws to an end, you’ll be good to go on your merry way.

Note: As mentioned in the section above, it is best to complete the following two side-quests as they will be failed if you continue too far into ‘Ugly Baby’:

Following the Thread
The Last Wish
When you are ready to continue, head over to Crow’s Perch and speak with the Baron’s Sergeant of the Guard. Tell him what you are here to do and after a brief conversation, he’ll give permission.

Exit the keep and head over to the stables. Speak with the man outside and tell him what you are planning to do to kick off a scene to progress the story.

Note: At this point you will earn 125XP.

After a brief stop in Vizima to chat with the Emperor again, you’ll be gifted 2,000 Crowns and sent on your way. You’ll eventually find yourself at Kaer Morhen.

Upon arriving in the Witcher stronghold, you’ll be given three updated objectives, each relating to completion of a story quest. They include the following quests:

Disturbance
The Final Trial
To Bait a Forktail...
As ‘Disturbance’ is close by and also happens to be the default objective selected by the game, let’s focus on doing that first.

Disturbance

To begin this quest, head over to the main castle portion of Kaer Morhen and work your way through the interior and up the stairs until your reach Yennefer’s location. Approach her position to get the quest ball rolling.

Following the conversation, you’ll now be in possession of one Potestaquisitor. Make sure you head into the inventory menu and equip it in one of your quest item slots.

Return back down the spiral staircase and follow your objective trail back to one of the large rooms we passed through earlier. Here you’ll find a large yellow search area.

Whip out your Potestaquisitor and follow its noise indicator over to a sealed crate just left of the cage to the left of Vesmir and Uma. Examine the crate for a scene.

Return to Yennefer and let her know that all is clear for another conversation and additional story details which will end the quest.

Note: At this point you will earn 600XP.

The Final Trial

After completing the ‘Disturbance’ quest, you’ll be able to find Lambert in the large open room where we previously used the Potestaquisitor to find the magical disturbance. Speak with him to initiate the next quest.

When you are ready to go follow Lambert out of the keep, through a hole in the fortresses’ walls and down a dirt path until you reach a meadow in which you are attacked by Harpies. There are six of them – remember that IGNI, the crossbow and AARD will all knock Harpies out of the air, whilst AXII will stun them temporarily.

Continue to follow Lambert down the cliffs and pathway until you reach a Lakeside Hut.

After a brief scene, you’ll need to make your way to a search area to the northwest of the Lakeside Hut. As you arrive, you’ll be attacked by Drowners. There are five in total. Once they have been dealt with, a Water hag will also show up – kill her to proceed.

We now have access to the boat! Once you are good to go, hop into the boat and interact with the front of the boat to sit down. Lambert will now pilot the boat out into the lake.

Upon reaching the far side, you’ll hear some screams and be immediately given a choice:

"We should investigate"
"Let’s go to the cave"
Note: In both choices you’ll be required to enter the cave. If you want to investigate the screams, head a short distance along the coast to the west and speak to the boy you find here. Kill the group of 5-6 Foglets that ambush you before returning to the cave.

Enter the cave, you’ll find some lootables in the first area including a chest on the left side of the area hidden beneath an overturned boat. Approach the ledge at the back of the first area to climb up.

Climb the next ledge and proceed along the path. Keep an eye out for a climbable ledge on the right wall for a small area with a Chest. Drop back down and use AARD to remove the rocks here. Proceed into the next water-filled area and climb the ledge on the right side and follow the path all the way around and drop down to the area below when you reach the end (or alternatively use AARD in the watery area to clear the rubble on the left).

Proceed through the cave a little further until you reach a large cavern.

Just ahead you should be able to spot a giant sleeping. This is the very same Old Speartip we’ve been hearing about constantly since entering the cave. At this point you can either climb the ledges to the right to leave the cave or take him on as an optional boss fight (there is some loot in it for you if you do!).

Boss: Old Speartip

Depending on how comfortable you feel with fighting some of the other large bosses you’ve encountered earlier this fight can be quite easy (or a little difficult).

Old Speartip is a Cyclops and is essentially a more powerful version of the Golem we fought with Keira earlier – it is extremely strong and can perform some extremely damaging close range melee attacks which it can occasionally link together. Additionally, it will leap in the air and punch the ground causing a shockwave which will damage you and knock Geralt back if you stay too close. He’ll also frequently use a charge attack in which it will run at Geralt with his arms swinging which can dish out a significant amount of damage if he hits.

As with the other larger enemies you’ve encountered – being ready to roll during an unblockable attack is a necessity. Tanking him with QUEN can work in small doses (best if you use the Thunderbolt potion) and using IGNI will provide you with a bit of ranged damage. The Cyclops can kill you very quickly, as such – don’t be greedy! Get your 1-2 attacks in when you see an opening and immediately back off so that you can manoeuvre around his next attempted attack.

The large pillar in the centre of the room is a great piece of cover – run and hide behind this when you are required to heal/wait for Stamina to recharge. The presence of Lambert is also a good thing as when things start going south, you can always fall back on letting him tank the boss whilst you move in occasionally to drop some DPS on him.

Once you have killed the monster a short scene will play. We can then loot the Cyclops for some reagents and the rest of the room – there is a pair of chests to loot with some goodies in the central area and another in a small tunnel beyond a ledge we can climb to the left of where we entered (Diagram: Kaedweni Gambeson, Diagram: Assassin;s Trousers and Diagram: Cavalry Gauntlets for me).

Return to where we dropped into the area and this time climb the ledges to the right to find an exit to the cave.

Follow the path up the hill until a scene plays. During the conversation you can choose one of two options:

"Just want to get to the circle"
"Let us pass or regret it"
Either choice will result in the trolls attacking at this point, I’d choose the friendly option however as you’ll bump into them again later. After the conversation, they’ll be slinging rocks at you. Simply run up to the cave ahead and inside to escape their rock throws.

Use AARD on the rocks blocking the passage through the cave and climb the ledge at the back to exit again. Proceed forwards for another scene. During this conversation you can choose to attack the Trolls or to approach them peacefully and the options are fairly obvious.

Once the trolls have been dealt with, continue along the path a bit longer until you reach the objective marker.

At this point you need to interact with the altar and then use IGNI to light the four braziers in the immediate area. This will trigger a scene that will end the quest.

Note: At this point you will earn 500XP.

To Bait a Forktail…

This quest begins from just outside the south gate of Kaer Morhen and if you have just returned with Lambert upon completion of ‘The Final Trial’ you should be right where you need to be to start the quest.

Use your Witcher Sense in the search area to locate some footprints. This trail is fairly long, and for the most part will stick to a path. When you reach the river you can pick up the trail on the bank directly opposite and continue. A short distance after the river, the tracks will veer of the path to the left. Follow them up the hill to find a man-made structure with some lootables.

Keep on the tracks a little further up the hill behind the structure to find a horse. Our objectives will update.

Activate Witcher Sense and explore the area. You’ll be able to inspect the following:

Campsite by the horse (we can loot this for Enhanced Draconid Oil).
Footprints directly in front of the horse.
Follow the prints a short distance until you reach the rocky ground and they disappear. At this point, use Witcher Sense to examine the nearby tree with footprints around its base. After examining the tree, a scent trail will appear whilst in Witcher Sense. Follow this up the hill until you find the next set of footprints.

When you reach the end of the tracks, you’ll find a goat and a scene will play. Following a brief conversation a Forktail will interrupt.

The Forktail looks a lot more intimidating than it actually is. It fights in a similar manner to the Wyverns we fought earlier – it can attack from the ground or air, dishing out damage with a range of melee, spinning tail and mouth full of teeth attacks. It is also able to shoot poisonous projectiles at you from a distance. To win, get in close to hit it once or twice before backing off to avoid its inevitable counter attacks.

Once its health has been depleted to around 40% it will fly off.

Move up to the next search area that appears and examine the bloodstains on the ground. Follow these a short distance and they’ll make way to tracks that lead into a cave. Head inside after them to fight the Forktail once again.

Repeat the same tactics as earlier until the beast falls. This will result in a conversation.

Now that we are all done here, return to the cave entrance.

As you exit you’ll be challenged to a race back to Kaer Morhen. We’re going to have to go back there anyway, so we may as well race – note that winning will net you some bonus XP and an Alchemy recipe.

If you decide to race, the good news is that as per usual, the mini-map has a nice green line drawn on it that we can follow to stick to the race track we are supposed to be sticking to. You’ll want to keep galloping as much as possible, but release the sprint button for a few seconds occasionally to let the meter refill a little so that you can maintain your speed.

Once you reach the destination a scene will play to end the memory.

Note: At this point you will earn 600XP.

No Place Like Home

Once you have completed the three sub-quests ‘Disturbance’, ‘The Final Trial’ and ‘To Bait a Forktail…’ we’ll get a new objective to hang out with the other Witchers for a bit.

Make your way into Kaer Morhen and enter the main keep. In the large hall approach the objective marker here for a scene.

During the ensuing conversation you’ll have a decision to make (the answer will determine whether or not you engage in a romance sequence with Yennefer and the subsequent quest somewhat). Your decisions include:

"Sound’s great"  – this will result in a romance scene with Yennefer.
"Don’t get mad, but…" – there will be no romance, but an entertaining scene or two.
No matter you choice, you’ll end up with the other Witchers and discuss... stuff. At this point you’ll have four conversation options:

“Whats this about a salmina“ – A conversation about Yennefer and Geralt will emerge.
“Let’s have fun“ – You’ll play a drinking game.
“Play Gwent“ – You can play a round of Gwent.
“Time to go to sleep” – This will end the conversation and the quest.
Note: if you select the first two conversation options, eventually you can get up and walk around for an amusing scene (this will also net you some XP). If you select the ‘Time to go to sleep’ option you’ll immediately skip ahead to the next quest.

If you undertook both conversation options, Eskel will disappear. Hop up and walk over to the search area nearby. Use your Witcher Sense in the search area to locate some footprints. Follow them all the way around the great hall and exit the large door into the courtyard. Pick up the trail again here and follow it until you find Eskel.

Note: At this point you will earn 500XP.

During the conversation you have at this point, if you did not romance Yennefer earlier in this quest, you can decide to either try and find some female companionship or go to sleep.

If you choose to continue with your evening, you must decide to wear Yennefer’s clothes. After the scene, loot the indicated chest nearby and equip them from the Key Items menu. This will trigger a scene to end the quest.

Va Fail, Elaine

This quest kicks off immediately following completion of the ‘No Place Like Home’ quest. During the conversation that occurs you’ll be given an Alchemy formula – Formula: The Decoctions of the Grasses. We’ll need to brew this to continue.

Once the conversation ends, head to the yellow search area nearby and loot the chest on the table for the ingredients.

Enter the Alchemy menu and create The Decoction of the Grasses. Return to Yennefer and hand over the potion.

During the scene that follows, you’ll need to activate the three potions. The order does not matter but the scene will not progress until you’ve chosen all three potions.

One last conversation will ensue in which you’ll need to Yennefer a story. Either option will suffice as the outcome will remain the same.

During the final scene you’ll be given a Magic Firefly and you’ll also be given an idea as to where we need to go next. This scene will also end the quest.

Note: At this point you will earn 1,500XP for completion of ‘Ugly Baby’, ‘Va Fail, Elaine’ and ‘No Place Like Home’.

The Isle of Mists – Part 1

At this point, the ‘The Isle of Mists’ becomes our main story quest. At this point we’ll know where we need to go next, but we’ll also need to recruit some allies to help us execute our plan.  There are four additional main quests (each of which is in itself an umbrella quest for several side-quests) that act as optional objectives to the ‘The Isle of Mists’ quest.

It is highly recommended that you complete them before travelling to the Isle of Mists as they will earn you allies at Kaer Morhen which will greatly enhance the ease at which you’ll find some of the upcoming story sequences, they will also earn you buckets of XP, several achievements/trophies and introduce you to a range of interesting sub-plots you may not have otherwise have engaged in.

They include the following quests:

Brothers in Arms: Nilfgaard
Brothers in Arms: Velen
Brothers in Arms: Novigrad
Brothers in Arms: Skellige
If you have been good at taking on side-quests whilst you were progressing through some of the story, you will have saved a lot of time. If you rushed to this point, there is a LOT of side-quest material that needs to be covered if you want to recruit the strongest allies for the next chapter.

The following walkthrough will complete each of the sub-quests before heading to the Isle of Mists. If you wish to speed along and progress to the Isle of Mists it should be noted that you will miss several achievements/trophies and will fail a large number of side-quests upon embarking.

If you still wish to proceed right away, you can jump down to the next section of the walkthrough below:

The Isle of Mists – Part 2
Brothers in Arms: Nilfgaard

This is the first of four optional ‘Brothers in Arms’ quests that we can complete before undertaking the main portion of the ‘The Isle of Mists’ quest.

To start this quest, you’ll want to fast travel to the Royal Palace in Vizima and make your way to the objective marker to speak with the Emperor (who is available for drop ins for the first time in the game!).

Speak with him and after a short conversation, the quest will be completed. As far as I can tell, the Emperor will not help you no matter what you do (if I’m wrong, please cruise down to the contact section and swing me an email to let me know!).

Brothers in Arms: Velen

This is the second of four optional ‘Brothers in Arms’ quests that we can complete before undertaking the main portion of the ‘The Isle of Mists’ quest.

This quest has us recruiting Keira Metz as an ally and requires that we undertake her narrative-driven side-content. This is comprised of four side-quests which can be undertaken after completing ‘Hunting a Witch’ and ‘Wandering in the Dark’ main quests and ‘The Magic Lamp’ side-quest.

They include:

An Invitation from Keira Metz
A Towerful of Mice
A Favour for a Friend
For the Advancement of Learning
Note:  You must recruit Keira to go to Kaer Morhen during the 'For the Advancement of Learning' side-quest. If you do not, you'll fail the ‘Brothers in Arms: Velen’ quest.

Depending on your choices during the interview in Vizima near the start of the game, it may also be possible to recruit Letho (if you told the interviewer he is still alive).

To recruit him, you’ll need to complete the following:

The Fall of the House of Reardon
Ghosts of the Past (this quest will only appear if you told the interviewer Letho is still alive in Vizima)
Note: If you have already completed these quests, you can hop ahead to the next section: 'Brothers in Arms: Novigrad'.

If you wish to forgo the recruitment process (and in the process lose out on allies and achievements/trophies) and proceed right away, you can jump down to the next section of the walkthrough below:

The Isle of Mists – Part 2
An Invitation from Keira Metz (Optional)

Start Location: This quest is acquired automatically upon completing the main quests ‘Hunting a Witch’ and ‘Wandering in the Dark’ and the side-quest ‘The Magic Lamp’.

You can begin this quest by heading over to Keira’s hut northeast of the town of Midcopse in Velen. Inside the house, you can speak with her. Agree to help her out and she’ll hand over a Magic Lamp and a Xenovox.

Completing the conversation will also complete the quest and initiate another ‘A Towerful of Mice’.

Note: The ‘A Towerful of Mice’ side-quest is now available.

A Towerful of Mice (Optional)

Start Location: This quest is acquired automatically upon completing the side-quest ‘An Invitation from Keira Metz’.

After leaving Keira’s you’ll need to make it to the quest marker. This is located on Fyke Isle, the island located smack bang in the middle of the largest lake in southern Velen. If you have not ventured there before, you can reach this island by using a sailing boat.

Once you arrive on the island, you should be forewarned that there are a lot of monsters here – specifically Rotfiends, Drowners and Ghouls. Our ultimate goal is to reach the large circular settlement area that can be spotted on the easternmost side of the island, its main gate is located on the south side of the perimeter wall. Make your way through the trees and swampy area until you arrive at the keep’s gates.

Near the gates you are liable to be attacked by a group of 4-6 Ghouls, there is a Water hag in the watery area just inside the keep’s walls. Kill them all off and then make sure you have your Magic Lamp equipped. In this area we have an optional objective of using this key item to find ghosts in and around the tower.

There are a couple of Ghosts we can find outside of the tower itself. They can be found in the following locations:

Amongst the trees just to the east of the gate leading to the keep.
Behind the main keep building, directly opposite the gate.
Now we’ll need to head inside the tower itself and discover what has happened. Enter the tower via the door at the top of the stairs opposite the gate. Once inside, activate Witcher Sense and explore. You’ll be able to inspect the following:

Axes and Knives on the floor.
Dead rats on the floor.
Blood stain beside the fireplace.
In this room, you’ll also be able to shine your Magic Lamp on a ghost. There is also a door leading down to the basement which contains a pair of chests we can loot and another Ghost that can be observed here.

Return to the first floor and climb to the second. As soon as you reach the second floor, you’ll be able to spot another Ghost in front of the fireplace as you enter.

Climb to the third floor and exit the door ahead to reach a viewing platform – there is a chest here with a bunch of goodies for you! Inside, check out the pair of bedrooms here. The right hand room has a ghost we can observe with the Magic Lamp whilst the left has a chest (that held a Diagram: Bremervoord Blade in my game).

Take the stairs to the next level, loot the chest in the corner and then proceed up the next flight of steps to the fifth floor. When you arrive, your objectives will be updated. Activate Witcher Sense and you’ll be able to inspect the following:

Scrapes on the floor by the wall on the left at the top of the stairs.
Handprint on the wall by a lever to the left of the bed.
Handprint on the wall by a lever to the right of the bed.
Pull the left hand lever in order to open a secret door. Enter and follow the passage into the hidden laboratory.

There is a Ghost in here, but loot the laboratory before you check it out – there is a chest near the door we came in and another up the stairs at the back on a viewing platform loot these for some good stuff (Manuscript Page: Enhanced Moon Dust and Manuscript Page: Elementa Oil).

Whilst we are here, you can also use our Witcher Senses to explore the laboratory if you wish. You can inspect the following:

The Bodies in vats around the room.
Potion vial on the floor near where the ghost was located.
Document – Mage Alexander’s Log 1 on the table to the left of where the Ghost was.
Document – Mage Alexander’s Log 2 on the bookshelf just inside the entrance door.
When ready, activate the Magic Lamp and approach and speak with the Ghost here.  During the conversation you’ll be able to do one of two things:

Option 1 - Help Annabelle
Option 2 - Don’t help Annabelle
Option 1 - Help Annabelle

After a short scene, your objectives will be updated and you’ll receive the quest item Annibel’s Remains.

We’ll need to take these to an NPC named Graham.Graham lives in Oreton which is located on the shore of the lake to the north of Fyke isle. Make your way to his house and speak with the man banging on his door. Once he has departed, interact with the door for a conversation.

Hand over the bones during your conversation and then leave once the conversation has completed. Following the conversation, return to Keira’s hut and tell her the good news. The quest will be completed.

Now that we are done here, head down to the next quest: 'A Favour for a Friend'.

Option 2 - Don’t help Annabelle

This option can be undertaken by either choosing the “I don’t trust you” conversation option or by telling here you need to look around and then attempting to exit the keep without talking to her again.

Attempting to leave the keep from the first floor will have her appear and attack you. She’ll also cause the rats in the area to become hostile. Kill them and take a swipe at her as well and after a short fight she’ll run away through the door.

Here, in the water surrounding the keep you’ll have to fight a boss: a Pesta.

Boss: Pesta

The Pesta is quite similar to a Wraith, but with a lot more health. She can perform some very swift swipe attacks and some regular style melee attacks, both of which will also poison Geralt when they hit. She will summon a swarm of insects that will follow Geralt around and cause damage over time.

The most effective way to defeat the Pesta is to plant a YRDEN sign trap and lure her through it – this will reveal a physical form that takes a lot more damage than the ghostly version. It is best to use your swords on the physical form, get a hit or two in and then back off to avoid her attacks. Additionally, you can use IGNI for a little ranged damage.

Once the Pesta has taken enough damage it will disappear and following a brief communiqué with Keira, your objectives will be updated – we need to find an NPC named graham and bring him to the island.

Graham lives in Oreton which is located on the shore of the lake to the north of Fyke isle. Make oyur way to his house and speak with the man banging on his door. Once he has departed, interact with the door for a conversation. Convince Graham to go to Fyke Isle.

Once you are back on the Island, escort graham to the keep and head inside. You’ll need to kill a pair of wraiths on the first floor, but it should be smooth sailing from there in until you reach the laboratory where Annabelle is located.

Following the scene, return to Keira’s hut and tell her the good news. The quest will be completed.

Note: The ‘A Favour for a Friend’ side-quest is now available.

A Favour for a Friend (Optional)

Start Location: This quest is acquired automatically upon completing the side-quest ‘A Towerful of Mice’.

This quest will begin immediately following your chat with Keira upon handing in the previous quest ‘A Towerful of Mice’. Exit the hut and ride to the north until you reach the large, yellow search area.

Activate Witcher Sense and head to the southern part of the search area. Look along the major road leading south and locate the set of tyre tracks veering off the road. Follow the cart tracks through the wilderness here until you find the cart itself lying on its side. At this point we can activate Witcher Sense and explore the area. You’ll be able to inspect the following:

Leftovers on the ground next to the cart.
Bottles on the ground behind the cart.
Blood Stains on the ground in front of the cart.
The lockbox on the ground beneath the cart.
Note: You can follow the bloodstains with Witcher Sense to find out what happened to the driver (just watch out for the Rotfiend nearby!).

Picking up the Package for Keira by looting the lockbox will update your objectives and ask us to return to Keira.

Following the scene, you’ll be in a race. The mini-map has a yellow line drawn on it that we can follow to stick to the race track we are supposed to be sticking to. You’ll want to keep galloping as much as possible, but release the sprint button for a few seconds occasionally to let the meter refill a little so that you can maintain your speed.

Once you reach the destination a scene will play.

Note: During this conversation, you’ll have the opportunity to romance Keira.

After a short conversation, you’ll be back in control of Geralt again. Activate Witcher sense and move down the road slightly to the south. Follow the trail of clothing until a scene plays to end the quest.

Note: The ‘For Advancement of Learning’ side-quest is now available.

For the Advancement of Learning (Optional)

Start Location: This quest is acquired automatically upon completing the side-quest ‘A Favour for a Friend’.

Following the previous quest, you are going to want to head over to the Tower on Fyke Isle again. You can either swim across, grab a boat or use the fast travel signpost we would have unlocked earlier to reach the tower quickly.

Approach the tower for a scene. Here you’ll have a few dialogue options:

“Can’t let you“ – This will initiate a boss fight.
“Hundreds could die…“ – This will start up a new conversation where you can convince her to go to Kaer Morhen.
“It’s suicide” – This will start up a new conversation where you can convince her to go to Kaer Morhen.
“Do what you want“ – She’ll leave.
Note:  Recruiting her to go to Kaer Morhen is important as it is required to complete the ‘Brothers in Arms: Velen’ optional main quest and is also needed for the 'Full Crew' achievement/trophy and for help later in the game.

Note: Allowing Keira to leave or triggering the boss fight will have you fail the ‘Brothers in Arms: Velen’ quest.

Despite all the reasons that you shouldn’t, If you do choose the “Can’t let you” option, you’ll initiate a boss fight.

Boss: Witch

This boss favours ranged attacks and uses magical lightning strikes and fires rock projectiles at you that you’ll need to roll/dodge to avoid taking damage. It is also able to teleport quite a long distance which it will do to constantly keep you at range where it can utilise its projectile attacks.

The trick to beating this one down as quickly as you can is to roll/dodge the attacks it throws at you to get in close and mash away with your sword until it teleports away. Repeat the process until a scene plays to end the quest.

Either way you choose to play out the end of this quest chain, after a brief scene the quest will draw to a close.

Note: No matter the choice you make, At this point you will earn 200XP.

Note: At this point you will earn the achievement/trophy ‘Friends With Benefits’.

The Fall of the House of Reardon (Optional)

Start Location: This quest can be acquired via a notice posted on the Lindenvale Notice board.

After acquiring the notice on the Lindenvale board, you should head over and speak to the crying NPC nearby by the name of Dolores. Ask her about the monsters in her home.

Following the chat, make your way over to the manor to the east. 

Note: Depending on the choices you made earlier in Vizima to the question “Did you kill Letho, or let him live?” whilst being interviewed, this side-quest will play out in entirely different ways. It is a fairly low level quest by this point so unless Letho is alive, its probably not worth doing.

Note: The walkthrough at this stage will only cover the events of this quest that relate to Letho being alive and its relevance for the Brothers in Arms: Velen side-quest. For a full guide, including both permutations - see the walkthrough in the side-quest section below: 'The Fall of the House of Reardon'.

If Letho is alive, when you arrive at the manor during, a large yellow search area will appear on the mini-map and you’ll want to switch on your Witcher Senses as you explore it. This is because there will be traps everywhere (trip wires and bear traps especially) and you’ll want to avoid or disarm them.

After disarming a few traps, the game will initiate the 'Ghosts of the Past' side-quest which runs concurrently to this one and enables you to recruit Letho as an ally for Kaer Morhen if you approach it the right way.

Ghosts of the Past (Optional)

Start Location: This quest can be acquired during the ‘The Fall of the House of Reardon’ side-quest, but only occurs if you selected the option that Letho was alive earlier in Vizima in response to the question “Did you kill Letho, or let him live?” whilst being interviewed.

If Letho is alive, when you arrive at the manor during the ‘The Fall of the House of Reardon’ side-quest, a large yellow search area will appear on the mini-map and you’ll want to switch on your Witcher Senses as you explore it. This is because there will be traps everywhere (trip wires and bear traps especially) and you’ll want to avoid or disarm them.

Enter the barn on the south side of the estate. Inside, you will want to be careful as there is once again traps scattered everywhere. Your goal is the ladder we can inspect on the floor by the back wall opposite the entrance.

Climbing this will trigger a scene and also kick off another side-quest ‘Ghosts of the Past’ which will run concurrently to this one. During the conversation here, agree to help Letho.

Following the scene, you’ll be out in the courtyard below. There are a good 8-10 bounty hunters here looking to kill our buddy. Fortunately he is pretty sturdy, so let him take aggro if you need to restore health for a moment. With Letho at your side, you should have no trouble dispatching them.

Note: You can return to Lindenvale and hand in ‘The Fall of the House of Reardon’ at any time after the first fight with Letho.

After the fight, hop on a nearby horse and ride after Letho. He’ll lead you cross country a fair way and eventually you’ll reach a camp where he’ll dismount and go in for a chat.

No matter what you say a fight will break out here. There are 5-6 mercenaries who should not put up too much of a challenge as they are all melee-based and with Letho helping out they all drop pretty quickly.

Once you’ve finished chatting to the leader, Letho will lead you back to Lindenvale. Here you’ll bump into another group of mercenaries that Letho wishes to speak with.

Note: It is possible, with the right approach during this conversation to recruit Letho as an ally for Kaer Morhen at the end of Act 2. To do so, choose all of the peaceful options during the conversation with the bounty hunters.

A scene and conversation will break out during which you can talk. Here are the consequences of your conversation choices:

“You’re as good as dead” – This will provoke the guards and they will attack you.
“Don’t want trouble” – The conversation will continue. The subsequent options are:
“Changed my mind – you gotta die” – This will provoke the guards and they will attack you.
“His medallion’s all you need” – This will end the mission peacefully.
Either way you choose to complete the mission – either forcefully or peacefully, you’ll get one last scene with Letho. If you chose the peaceful options, you can recommend that he goes to Kaer Morhen, thus recruiting him.

This will complete the side-quest.

Note: At this point, if you haven't already, you can also hand in ‘The Fall of the House of Reardon’ nearby!

Brothers in Arms: Novigrad

This is the third of four optional ‘Brothers in Arms’ quests that we can complete before undertaking the main portion of the ‘The Isle of Mists’ quest.

This quest has us recruiting several characters from Novigrad: Zoltan, Roche, Dijkstra and Triss as allies and requires that we undertake several side-quests to make this happen. For each of the four persons of interest, the conditions for recruitment are slightly different.

Recruiting Zoltan

To recruit Zoltan, we simply need to visit him at the Rosemary and Thyme and ask him to go to Kaer Morhen and he will go without any fuss at all.

Note: If you ask him to go to Kaer Morhen before completing the ‘A Dangerous Game’ side-quest you will fail it. This quest has Gwent Cards as a reward that are not obtainable elsewhere – so itt is worthwhile to complete it first!

Recruiting Djikstra

To get some assistance from Dijkstra, we simply need to visit him in his office at the Bathhouse in Novigrad and ask him to help out at Kaer Morhen. There is a very specific criteria to getting him to join your coalition and if you are successful, he’ll provide some gold to help out.

Note: The only way that he will help you is if you completed the ‘Count Reuven’s Treasure’ quest by infiltrating the Witch Hunter compound stealthily AND asked Menge about Dijkstra’s treasure.  

Recruiting Triss

Recruiting Triss requires that we undertake her side-plot. This is comprised of two side-quests which can be undertaken after completing ‘Count Reuven’s Treasure’ main quest. These quests include:

A Matter of Life and Death
Now or Never
Note: You must choose to help the two stray mages escape at the start of the ‘Now or Never’ quest to recruit Triss.

Recruiting Vernon Roche

This requires that we complete a side-quest for Roche. You can pick up the side-quest by returning to Roche’s camp at the Temerian Partisan Hideout after completing the ‘Get Junior’ main quest. The quest that is required to be completed is:

An Eye for an Eye
Note: If you have already completed these quests, you should speak to everyone to earn your 50XP. You can hop ahead to the next recruitment section: 'Brothers in Arms: Skellige'.

If you wish to forgo the recruitment process (and in the process lose out on allies and achievements/trophies) and proceed right away, you can jump down to the next section of the walkthrough below:

The Isle of Mists – Part 2
A Dangerous Game (Optional)

Start Location: From Zoltan at the Rosemary and Thyme after completing ‘A Poet Under Pressure’.

Note: It is possible to fail this quest by asking Zoltan to join you in Kaer Morhen before completing it. As such, be sure to complete the quest before you tell him to head over to Witcher-land!

After speaking with Zoltan to begin the side-quest he has you hunting down three rare Gwent Cards.

After the conversation is finished, head over to the objective marker nearby and attempt to open the door. It’s locked. Fortunately, there is a ladder and scaffolding at the adjacent building that we can use. Climb to the very top level and then jump across the short gap to the target house. Enter the door here.

Climb down the ladder inside. Make your way down to the ground floor and fight the two bandits in here. Once they are dead, you can loot them for the first Gwent Card for Zoltan. They also have the Key to the locked door.

Whilst we are in here, Geralt will let us know that it might be worth looking for Zed’s Ledger. You’ll want to activate Witcher Sense. We’ll now need to explore the area and you can inspect the following:

The Body on the second floor.
Small chests scattered about on the ground floor.
Scratches on the floor beneath the stairs.
Use your AARD sign to blast the boards hiding the storage area beneath the stairs. Behind it you’ll find a chest we can loot for the Ledger.

Return to Zoltan with the Card and the Ledger.

Following the chat, You’ll be given a pair of quest markers to chase up. There’s one at Hierarch’s Square and another in the Golden Sturgeon Inn at the docks.

The closer of the two is Heirarch’s Square so mosey on over there. At the objective marker you’ll find Zoltan standing outside of a townhouse. Speak with him to continue. When you are able to walk around again, climb the stairs. Activate Witcher Sense and scan the room. You’ll be able to inspect the following:

Triangular hole in the wall behind a bookshelf.
Knife on the table beneath the mirror near the top of the stairs.
You’ll want to interact with the knife on the tabletop. Doing this will have one of the drawers beneath it open. We can loot this for a Triangular Key. Use this Key on the hole behind the nearby bookcase to open a hidden room.

Enter the secret door and climb to the third floor. Activate Witcher Sense again and scan the room. You’ll be able to inspect the following:

Dining set on one of the pedestals.
Ornate Sword (can be looted) on one of the pedestals.
Gold Sapphire Necklace (can be looted) on one of the pedestals.
Painting of the Emperor at the back of the room.
Suit of armour in the corner on the far side of the room.
Skull on one of the pedestals.
Rope on one of the pedestals.
Gwent Playing Card on one of the pedestals.
Once you have the second Gwent Card for Zoltan, your objectives will be updated.

Note: In the secret area you can also loot the chest of drawers directly in front of you at the top of the stairs for a Jade Figurine. This will trigger a new side-quest ‘The Soldier Statuette’.

Note: The ‘The Soldier Statuette’ side-quest is now available.

Return downstairs and chat with Zoltan. As you go to leave two thugs will show up, either leave or beat them up to continue. After another brief chat, we’ll head off to grab the final card.

The final card is located in the Golden sturgeon Inn on the docks. Head inside and make your way to the lower lever. Approach the man indicated by the objective marker.

Here you are given a couple of choices during a conversation: You can play a high stakes Gwent game or alternatively say you are uninterested. Either way you’ll be attacked. Kill the pair of thugs and loot their bodies to recover the third Gwent Card for Zoltan.

Return to Zoltan and hand over the third Gwent Card to him for a chat.

A short time later we’ll find ourselves elsewhere and will need to follow Zoltan. After a brief scene we’ll need to run after a target.

Enter the building ahead and climb the ladders until you reach the top. Go through the door to the right of the injured soldier and chase the target along the top of the wall. When you reach a locked door, go down the nearby ladders until you reach the sewers. You’ll see the target behind a locked grating as you enter. As such, head to the right and follow the tunnel through until you reach a dead end. Destroy the weak section of wall here with AARD and kill the 5-6 Drowners that will emerge from the water on both sides of the wall to attack.

When it’s clear, head through the new passageway and when you reach the large room, take the first left to find the target. Approach him for a scene during which you can make a decision (it does not seem to affect anything one way or the other).

Note: For completing the quest you’ll get an opportunity to choose between gold or the Gwent Cards you just collected. Go for the cards, they are one of a kind cards that are required to complete the ‘Card Collector’ achievement/trophy and cannot be obtained anywhere else!

Now that you have completed the task that Zoltan has given you, feel free to go and invite him to Kaer Morhen. He'll be more than happy to help and be on his merry way and you'll be three sexy Gwent Cards better off!

With Zoltan sorted, its time to complete Triss's tasks so that we can recruit her too.

A Matter of Life and Death (Optional)

Start Location: From Triss in The Bits in Novigrad after completing the ‘Count Reuven’s Treasure’ quest.

This quest will begin by speaking to Triss at her hideout in The Bits in Novigrad. This can be tricky to find as she is holding out in some friendly family’s home for protection. As such, activate the quest from the quest menu so that your objective marker can lead you there easy!

When you arrive at the objective marker, interact with the door. Enter the building and climb to the third floor to meet Triss. Offer to help her with her problem.

Once you are ready to continue, leave Triss’s joint and head for the Fish Market.  Here we need to find a fellow in a blue tunic with keys hanging from his belt. Activate Witcher Sense for his keys to appear in red to make things easier! Speak to him.

After a brief bit of banter, we’ll need to follow him.

Head across the bridge and enter the stone archway to the left. As you reach the stone archway you’ll be ambushed by a group of three witch Hunters. Help the contact take them all out for another conversation.

Now that we have a new goal, we’ll get an optional objective to get some new clothes (it’s easy XP though, so it’s worth doing!). Make your way over to Elihal’s shop in south-eastern Novigrad. Here you’ll want to purchase Triss’s Fox Mask, an Elegant Courtier’s Doublet, some new Nilfgaardian Trousers and Elegant Nilfgaardian Shoes and a Mask of your choice.

Note: During the next section of the quest, we’ll be going to a bit of a masquerade shindig, during which you can partake in a Gwent Tournament that ONLY occurs during this quest. For beating all of the participants you will earn three rare Gwent Cards you cannot get elsewhere that are required to complete the ‘Card Collector’ achievement/trophy. As such, if you are interested brush up on your Gwent before continuing!

When you are ready to go, equip your new clothing and then return to Triss. Speak with her to initiate the next portion of the quest.

Once you arrive at the estate, make your way to the fountain in the distance. As you approach you’ll be engaged in conversation once again. During the chat the fellow will insult your partner and if you choose to come to her defence, it will start a fist fight.

Either way, once the discussion/fist fight ends, they’ll walk off and allow us to continue.

Keep moving forwards and when you reach the gate at the top of the stairs a scene will play. Afterwards continue through the gate.

Note: As soon as you enter you’ll find a Gwent Tournament off to the right. Head over and talk to the NPC named Croupier to take part. Winning each round will net you some rare cards that are found nowhere else in the game, so if you are trying to collect them all you need to take part!

When you are ready to progress with the quest, head to the northern end of the courtyard and approach the woman indicated by the objective marker.

We’ll now have to search three search areas for a man with a panther mask.  You’ll find him at the southernmost of the three investigation areas. Speak with him for a conversation.

Make your way to the next objective marker and interact with the chair for a brief bit of chit-chat. Once that is done, follow Triss as she works her way through to the centre of the hedge maze.

During the scene that follows you’ll have an opportunity for another timed decision. You can either:

Kiss Triss
Don’t kiss Triss.
Note: If you wish to romance Triss, you will need to kiss her at this point.

Once the next scene is over, we’ll need to follow the objective marker to leave the maze. Soon after leaving the fountain you’ll be attacked by a group of thugs. Unfortunately you don’t have your weapons, but you can fist fight and use your signs to make things quicker.

After the fight, leave the maze.

Note: This is your last opportunity to take part in the Gwent Tournament. As soon as you finish this quest, you’ll not be able to attempt it again.

When you are good to go, follow the objective marker to reach the stables for a scene to end the quest.

Note: At this point, you’ll earn 50XP.

Note: The ‘Now or Never’ side-quest is now available.

Now or Never (Optional)

Start Location: From Triss in The Bits in Novigrad after completing ‘A Matter of Life and Death’.

To initiate this side-quest, you’ll once again need to make your way to Triss’s hiding place in Novigrad. Inside, you’ll need to approach her to commence.

She’s in the midst of a heated argument during which you’ll have an opportunity for another timed decision. You can either:

 “Leave it alone”
Don’t react
The former action will upset the couple, but outside of them being a bit crankier, as far as I can tell there was no other major consequences.

Continue the conversation and be sure to hear her out until the end. DO NOT choose any conversation options that indicate you might not help or this will end the conversation. Instead tell her you’ll help out. At the back end of the conversation you’ll have two choices:

Part 1 - Help Anisse and Berthold (Optional).
Part 2 – Help the other mages.
The first option leads to an optional objective that we’ll undertake right away, whilst the second will take you straight to the main part of the quest. If you choose the first option, you’ll have to do the second option afterwards, so it’s worth checking out for the story and XP!

Note: If you want to romance Triss, you must help the Annise and Berthold!

Note: If you want Triss to appear at Kaer Morhen as part of the ‘Brothers in Arms: Novigrad’ quest, you must help the Annise and Berthold.

If you choose to go ahead with the second option, you can jump down to the walkthrough using this link: Part 2 – Help the other mages.

Part 1 - Help Anisse and Berthold (Optional)

Once you have made the decision, the conversation will end and Triss will lead you outside where you will be immediately ambushed by a group of three Witch Hunters.  Make sure you take out the ranged attacker first and help Triss finish them off.

Continue after Triss and she’ll head down another set of stairs. At the bottom she’ll hide behind the corner for a few moments. Wait for the patrol in the distance to wander off (note that if you get spotted you will need to take them out).

Once it is safe to continue, Triss will lead you a short distance to a house that she will enter. Climb to the top floor.

When you arrive up top, you’ll see a pair of Witch Hunters and a pair of mages. As you enter the room, the Witch Hunters become hostile. Ensure that you kill both of them before they can kill the mages. After they are dead a conversation will break out.

Note: If both mages survive, you’ll need to use AXII (you’ll get 40XP for it as well) to force them to leave, if one of them dies, the survivor will be upset but will come with you regardless.

Now we can follow Triss all the way to the Kingfisher Inn.  

Part 2 – Help the other mages

Follow Triss all the way to the Kingfisher Inn.  When you arrive, one of two things can happen, which will be determined by whether or not you helped the two other mages or not:

If you chose to help the pair of mages before coming, then as you enter, you will see a group of three Witch Hunters inside. We’ll need to kill them all and afterwards a scene will play.
If you come straight to the Kingfisher Inn, a mage will greet you and you’ll not have to fight any Witch Hunters.
No matter what happens, once you are in the Inn a conversation will take place. Afterwards, follow Triss until you reach the cellar and another scene plays out.

Now that the speeches are over with, make your way into the sewers via the entrance on the north side of the room.

Move through the linear path and kill the first group of Drowners that appear. At the base of the next set of stairs, another pair of Drowners will enter from the open grate to the left, dispatch them as well. If you check out the right hand wall opposite the open grate with Witcher Sense you’ll notice that it is a weak one, use your AARD to knock it down, you’ll find a chest inside.

Return through the hole in the wall and enter the open grating. Head through the right hand door and again use Witcher Sense to locate the weak wall. Use your AARD to open it up. You’ll find a library inside and in the far left corner from the entrance you’ll find another weak wall we can use AARD to remove from our path.

As soon as you move through this exit, turn left to find a chest (it contained some sexy new gloves and Manuscript Page: Superior Insectoid Oil for me). Follow the hallway to find some more Drowners at the end.

Continue through the door here and keep moving until you reach a raised walkway around a large room.

Triss will take the lead from here on in, so follow her down the stairs and fight off the swarm of rats that attack when you reach the floor. Triss will lead you down a tunnel and through another door after which she’ll follow you again.

Up the stairs ahead is a group of three Drowners and a room with a few lootables, but nothing of any real interest. Where we really want to be going is down the stairs nearby.

At the bottom of the stairs, loot the crates immediately to your left for some goodies (Manuscript Page: Superior Swallow and Torn-out Page: Doppler Decoction).  Head down the next set of stairs and follow the fairly linear hallway, through a pair of gates.

Eventually you’ll bump into a Katakans. This is a type of vampire that can phase out into an invisible state and have attacks that are quite similar to what you will have seen from Werewoves previously. They are susceptible to IGNI and can also be drawn out of their invisibility by planting YRDEN traps. Their attacks are extremely fast, so keep your dodge/roll at the ready!

Once the Katakans has been defeated, exit via a second gate. Follow the objective markers that appear on your mini-map all the way until you reach the docks.

As you arrive a scene will play after which you’ll need to undertake one last fight against some Witch Hunters. There are three initially but another three will join the fray soon after. Fortunately with Dijkstra and Triss at your side, they should not pose too much of a challenge.

This fight makes way for one last scene in which you have a timed decision to make, you can say one of the following:

“I love you” – She’ll leave, but come back.
“Let’s try again” – She’ll leave.
“Go, I’ll miss you” – She’ll leave.
If Triss returns you’ll get a bonus sexy time scene. However, no matter how the ending of the quest unfolds, Dijkstra will approach you with a new quest ‘A Deadly Plot’.

Note: The ‘A Deadly Plot’ side-mission is now available.

Now that Triss and Zoltan are now safely at Kaer Morhen, it’s time to finish up the ‘Brothers in Arms: Novigrad’ quest by going and speaking with Vernon Roche at the Temerian Partisan Hideout to the east of Novigrad.

An Eye for an Eye (Optional)

Start Location: From Roche at the Temerian Partisan Hideout after completing the ‘Get Junior’ quest.

Note: If you have the ‘A Deadly Plot’ quest in your log but have not yet started it and have ‘Brothers in Arms: Novigrad’ as your active quest, Roche will be found in the Passiflora brothel in Novigrad. Following the scene at the brothel, he’ll be at the camp again.

You’ll find that Roche has returned to his camp after helping you during the ‘Get Junior’ quest. Head over here and have a chat with him – during the conversation you can ask him about his issue to start the side-quest.

Exit the camp and fast travel to Hanged Man’s Tree. Talk to Roche who is standing nearby.

After a brief conversation, fighting will break out at the nearby village. You’ll need to hightail it over here as Ves will be attacked. She’ll receive a health bar on the left side of the screen and if it depletes entirely, she will die and you’ll fail the quest.

Note: If Ves dies, you will fail this quest and will also be unable to recruit Roche and Ves (obviously) for Kaer Morhen and will be subsequently unable to complete ‘Brothers in Arms: Novigrad’ AND miss out on the 'Full Crew' Achievement/trophy.

As failing this quest can have implications down the line, it is important that you keep Ves alive. As this is the case, enter the town and ignore the first group of four that approaches (or dispatch them quickly) and find the second group of bad guys further in the town focused on Ves. Prioritise engaging and killing those in close proximity to Ves.

Once you have killed all of them, a scene will play during which you can make a quick decision. As far as I can tell, there is no real consequences either way. This will end the quest.

Note: At this point, you’ll earn 50XP.

Now that we have completed Roche’s task, we can now return to him at his camp and ask him to head to Kaer Morhen to complete ‘Brothers in Arms: Novigrad’.

Brothers in Arms: Skellige

This is the final of the four optional ‘Brothers in Arms’ quests that we can complete before undertaking the main portion of the ‘The Isle of Mists’ quest.

This quest has us recruiting several characters from the Skellige Isles: Crach an Craite, Cerys/Hjalmar and Ermion as allies and requires that we undertake several side-quests to make this happen. For each of the four persons of interest, the conditions for recruitment are slightly different.

Recruiting Ermion

To recruit Ermion to our cause, we simply need to visit him at either Kaer Trolde or at the Geydneith coronation site following the ‘Coronation’ side-quest and ask him to go to Kaer Morhen. He will go without any fuss at all.

Recruiting Crach an Craite

To get some assistance from Crach, we simply need to visit him at either the keep in Kaer Trolde or at the Geydneith coronation site following the ‘Coronation’ side-quest and ask him to help out at Kaer Morhen. He won’t be able to join you there, but he will hand over a sexy sword to assist you.

Recruiting Cerys/Hjalmar

In order to recruit either of these characters, we first need to complete some of the major Skellige Isles side-quests. This is comprised of four side-quests which can be undertaken after completing the ‘The King is Dead – Long Live the King’ main quest.

They include:

The Lord of Undvik
Possession
King’s Gambit
Coronation
You’ll need to speak to both of them either at Gwyndeith during the ‘Coronation’ quest or in Kaer Trolde afterwards.

Note: No matter the outcome of the quest line, as long as you complete it, Hjalmar will come to Kaer Mordhen. If you kept Hjalmar’s two mates alive during ‘The Lord of Undvik’ quest, they will accompany him.

Note: If you have already completed these quests, you can hop ahead to the next section: The Isle of Mists – Part 2.

If you wish to forgo the recruitment process (and in the process lose out on allies and achievements/trophies) and proceed right away, you can jump down to the next section of the walkthrough below:

The Isle of Mists – Part 2
The Lord of Undvik (Optional)

Start Location: This quest is acquired automatically upon completing the main quest ‘The King is Dead – Long Live the King’.

After receiving this quest, you can go down into the inn in Kaer Trolde and talk with its inhabitants about getting to Undvik. There are a bunch of people in here, but its Javor and Tante who will give you the information to update your objectives.

Unfortunately, unlike the other Skellige Islands there are no fast travel points available automatically on Undvik. This means we need to sail over there. Undvik is the south-western most of the Skellige Isles.

To make it here, you’ll need to grab a boat either from Kaer Torlde Harbour (or from somewhere closer if you have a fast travel point close to a boat). On your way, you are sure to see groups of Echidnas flying about ready to attack you – you should try to circumvent them if you can by giving them a wide berth. If they do attack, exit the boat and jump into the water. Dive underneath and use your crossbow to take them out.

Approaching Undvik form the north or east is a little tricky as there are plenty of small islands and rocks just below the surface in the areas surrounding the island, making it more challenging to navigate than most areas.

When you do make landfall, it’s a good idea to head for Marlin Coast – the town in the northeast corner of the island - to activate a fast travel signpost (we don’t want to have to sail that route again!). When you are good to go, make your way towards the objective marker.

Although there a few roads leading off the beach, there is one main one that most of these will merge into that will lead you to where you need to go. Follow this and as you do you’ll see a scene involving Giant and some Sirens.

At this point, you’ll notice a large ship in a construction yard of sorts. Approaching this will give us an optional objective of investigating the hull. On the south and east side of the ship, you’ll find a hole in the hull which we can climb up to. Venturing into proximity of the large boat will see Geralt attacked by Sirens. Kill them all.

When the coast is clear, climb up into the hull of the ship. There is an NPC in here we can chat with. He’ll plop a new optional objective marker on your map.

Once you are finished with the boat man, exit the hull. Make your way a short distance to the west to find an encampment that has been attacked. We’ll be doing the latter.

As you arrive a yellow search area will appear. At this point we’ll use Witcher Sense to explore. You can inspect the following:

A pair of bodies along the road beneath the guard tower.
Footprints along the road beneath the guard tower leading west.
Dragmarks in the dirt leading south.
Note that at this point, you have two choices:

Option 1 – Follow the footprints (optional)
Option 2 – follow the drag marks
Note: Option 2 is much quicker and easier, but you’ll miss out on a nice Key item, a short side-plot, a friendly ally and some other goodies if you do.

Option 1 – Follow the footprints (optional)

Let’s follow the prints leading west and up the hill. These prints are quite long and as you go you can inspect multiple Nekker corpses and a wooden plank that was used as cover as you go. When you reach the abandoned Village, you’ll be able to follow a trail of footprints and blood stains a little further until you find a corpse.

On the ground beside the body is an item we can loot – Hornwall Horn. We can equip this in one of our item slots and use it to knock flying enemies out of the air. Examining the area near the corpse will reveal another set of footprints leading to a nearby cave.

Enter the cave and use Witcher Sense to spot a trail of blood. Follow it to the left at the first fork and fight off the Ice Troll in the next room.  Continue to follow the blood trail through the cave until you reach a ledge you need to climb up.

Cruise down the tunnel a short distance and a scene will kick in with some Ice Trolls. During this scene, you’ll note that there is a fellow in the pot that the Trolls are hanging out with. If we take too long, he’ll die – which is bad. There are two options: answering some riddles or fighting the trolls.

The riddle is the quick way to go (the answer is Troll). This will free the man and give you an ally for the next little while as well.

Return to the encampment where we followed the footprints from. This time, let’s follow the drag marks in the dirt to the south.

Option 2 – Follow the drag marks

From the attacked encampment, you’ll want to find the drag marks leading south. At the end of the trail you’ll find a boat. Kill the Wraith that is guarding it. Look around nearby to find a body which we can inspect to update our objectives.

Follow the small path beyond the body to reach the village of Urskar.

As you arrive a yellow search area will appear. At this point we’ll use Witcher Sense to explore. You can inspect the following:

The impaled body on the ground.
Giant’s footprints just beyond the impaled body.
Human footprints near the Giant’s footprints.
Loot the village clean if you like – there is a chest in the building directly right of the Giant’s tracks. When you are good to go, follow the human footprints up into the nearby hills where they enter a cave. Examine the items outside and the scratches in the rocks here for a few choice words.

Enter the cave and when you reach the cliff, jump into the water below. Quickly swim to solid ground nearby and kill the pair of swooping Eryinas that will attack you (Use AARD to knock them from the sky easily!).

Explore the western side of the room and dive under water here to find a body and a chest to loot. Our real goal however lies in a small passage on the northern end of the cave. If you have Witcher Sense active as you explore you’ll find a dead Eryina and a corpse here.

Climb the ledges behind them and follow the passage at the top. You can use Witcher Sense as you go to keep an eye out for blood trails and bodies to be sure you are going the right way.

When you climb up the second set of ledges, there is a fork – head to the end of the right hand tunnel to find a chest (it had Diagram: Cavalry Boots and Formula: Quebrith for me). Return to the fork and follow the path to the left to continue.

In the middle of the cavern you end up in, you’ll see a tree on a rocky platform surrounded by water. In this room, we want to find a ladder a short distance to the left of the entrance which will take us on to the next area.  Before you do though, kill the Harpies in the area and explore the water below to find a few chests:

There is a chest lodged in some stalactites on the eastern side of the cavern. You may need to use AARD to remove the rock formation so that you can open it.
There is a second chest behind a rock pillar in the far southwest part of the cavern.
Another chest is behind a stalagmite roughly west of the tree
Beneath the wooden ramp leading out of the water.
For my looting effors I received Diagram: Shiadhal’s Armour, Diagram: Salmian Brigadine, Manuscript Page: Superior Hanged Man’s Venom and a nice new silver sword.

Head back to the entrance and find the ladder I mentioned earlier. Behind this you’ll find a chest. Now Climb all the way up to a new path at the top of the cavern. As soon as you reach the top of the second ladder, look in the dead end to the right for another chest (Manuscript Page: Enhanced Black Blood).

Follow the tunnel until you bump into a pair of Devourers – think more advanced Rotfiends (remember to avoid them when they explode!).  There is another fork here – the left leads to a chest (Formula: Northern Wind and Manuscript Page: Enhanced Maribor Forest) and the right leads to another pair of Devourers and the exit of the cave system – which is where we want to go.

As soon as you exit, there will be a building in front of you. Enter this for a scene.

Once the scene ends, loot the room – there are three chests here.  As you reach the hallway, watch out for the three Devourers hiding in the open room to the left.  Once they are dead, continue down the hall and exit via the hole in the wall on the left side.

Inspect the footprints outside with Witcher Sense.  Follow these until you see them split into two directions. Here you can follow either set of tracks (they’ll both end up in the same place). Continue along the path, following the footprints until you reach a town.

When you arrive you’ll find Hjalmar fighting off some Sirens. Help him finish them all off and you’ll be treated to a conversation afterwards.

Once that is over with, we’ll need to follow Hjalmar a short distance until he leads you to a cave. Enter and follow the passage until you reach a scene.

Here you’ll get to make another decision, you can:

Free the prisoner
Leave the prisoner alone
Note: If you decide to free him, he’ll join Hjalmar at Kaer Morhen later if you complete the ‘Brothers in Arms: Skellige’ quest. If you don’t free him, he will not survive.

If you choose to free the prisoner, we’ll need to loot the chest just to the left of the sleeping Giant. Whilst making your way to the chest, DO NOT step in any of the snow or the crunching sound will wake him up! Stick to the rock path, loot the chest for the Key and then return to the cage to free the prisoner.

This will trigger a boss fight.

Boss: Ice Giant

This battle takes part in two stages. The first stage has the Giant acting like the majority of the larger bosses you’ve fought so far – a nasty melee swinging charge attack, some damaging melee swings and a jump and ground slamming area of effect attack. As per the norm against enemies of this type, use your rolls to avoid the large attacks and take a swing or two when you see an opening. You can use YRDEN to slow his movement even further, attack with QUEN active to tank him briefly before retreating and IGNI will also do a small amount of ranged damage. The sword is where most of your damage will be coming from however so YRDEN/QUEN are the most useful signs to keep in mind here.

If you managed to save both Forlan and Vigi during this quest, both they and Hjalmar will also be with you here and help you out during combat. Whilst Hjalmar is next to invincible, Vigi is not, so try and draw aggro form the boss if he starts to take damage.

Once the Ice Giant hits around 50% health a short scene will play and he’ll equip himself with a chain weapon – that means long range melee attacks! Fortunately, the weapon he has will slow him down significantly – as such if you can draw him into an attack and then side-step it you can easily run in, attack him 2-3 times and run away again before he takes his next swing.  Repeat this until he drops.

Note: For defeating the Ice Giant, you’ll receive a Mastercrafted Silver Sword.

At this point you’ll be given the option of leaving immediately or looking around some more. I’d recommend the latter so that you can loot the Giant for some crafting-related goodies and the rest of the room.

When you are done, fast travel to Marlin Coast for a final chat with Hjalmar.

At this point, if you have completed ‘Possession’ side-quest previously, the ‘King’s Gambit’ quest will unlock. If not, we’ll need to head over and complete ‘Possession’.

Possession (Optional)

Start Location: This quest is acquired automatically upon completing the main quest ‘The King is Dead – Long Live the King’.

To begin this quest, you’ll need to find your way to the town of Svorlag in the centre of the island of Spikeroog (it’s the major north-western island in the Skellige Isles). Head into the large building in the southernmost part of the small town and as you enter the main room a scene will play in which you’ll meet Uldaryk.

Following our conversation, look at the map and make your way to the new objective marker – an abandoned house just to the northwest of the town.

As you approach, you’ll see a yellow investigation zone. Enter the front door of the house and you’ll be able to make out a trap door in the right hand corner (it’s locked but we’ll be back) activate your Witcher Senses. There are footprints on the floor inside.

Follow them down the hall and enter the first door on the right to find a Key on a cabinet. Return to the trapdoor I mentioned earlier and use the Key to open it. Proceed down the ladder and loot the table in here for a new sword – Brokvar.

Note: Whilst you are in the basement, make sure that you light all of the torches, candles and other sources of light – trust me, this will save a bit of effort later on!

Head back up the ladder and follow the footprints round the corner to find Cerys. A conversation will play out where you’ll learn what is going on.

Note: If you didn’t grab the sword earlier, you’ll need to head back into the house and loot the cellar for the sword.

Once you have the sword and Cerys is happy, she’ll lead you back into town to speak with Uldaryk.

You’ll find a small island in the bay just southeast of the town of Svorlag. This is Guarded by 6-7 level 15 Drowners. Wipe them all out and then loot the fellow’s body here for a Note and a Key with Ring Attached – this will activate the side-quest ‘Not Only Eagles Dare’ (which essentially wants us to go to the same place as the ‘Possession’ quest so do them together).

Enter the water and dive under. Note that there are several Sirens swimming around the area who are likely to attack – a crossbow bolt with kill them instantly, so make sure you keep it equipped.

Whilst underwater, activate your Witcher Sense and locate the body just to the east of the small island. Interact with this to update your objectives – we’ll now have to return to Udalryk.

Note: Before returning, activate your Witcher Senses and look for a chest beneath the water a little further to the west of the remains unlock it using the Key with Ring Attached. This will complete ‘Not Only Eagles Dare’ and reward you with some goodies (I received a new chest and legs).

Head back to Udalryk to resume the quest.

Following the conversation, you’ll learn what kind of creature you are dealing with here and during a chat with Cerys, you’ll be able to defeat in one of two ways. Depending on your choice, the remainder of the quest will be quite different.

The two choices include:

Option 1 – Tricking it
Option 2 – Killing it (The Witcher’s way)
Option 1 – Tricking it

Make your way back to the abandoned home with Cerys. Once inside, you’ll need to activate your Witcher Senses and find some things to trick the creature. You can inspect the following:

The oven against the left wall as you enter the main door.
The plank propped up against a wall in the first bedroom.
Painting on the floor in the first bedroom.
The baby’s Cradle in the second bedroom.
Once you have inspected enough, Cerys will let you know she has an idea. Exit the house and speak with her.

In the scene that follows you’ll be given a pair of options in a timed decision:

Put the object in the oven (Ends the quest)
Give the object to Udalryk
Note: Putting it in the oven will end the quest. On the other hand, giving it to Udalryk will force you to use Option 2 – The Witcher’s way to get rid of the creature.

If you placed the object in the oven, you’ll need to fight off three guards after which a scene will play to end the quest.

Note: For tricking the Hym, you’ll receive a Crystallised Essence.

You can continue with the walkthrough following this link: ‘King’s Gambit’

If you gave the object to Udalryk, you’ll need to switch tactics and undertake the Witcher’s way and kill it - if this was your choice, you can continue directly below!.

Option 2 – Killing it (The Witcher’s Way)

To undertake the end of the quest in the Witcher’s way (also known as killing the monster to the max), you’ll need to speak with Udalryk and tell him what you plan to do.

Once you are good to go, head back to the abandoned/haunted mansion once again and look for a small shack to the east of it. Use AARD to blow down the door of the shack and loot the Torches from the floor in the corner.

With the torches in your inventory, enter the target house and use your Witcher Senses in the main area to identify four pillars where we can place Torches (these are also indicated on the mini-map). Interact with all four spots.

Once all of the Torches have been placed, return to Udalryk and speak with him once again.

When you are ready to begin, light all four torches in the room using the IGNI sign. This will start a boss fight.

Boss: Hym

The Hym will appear behind Udalryk within a few moments of the torches being lit. It is quite large and has a decent range on its melee attacks which it will use quite a bit and which are extremely damaging. It can also occasionally disappear and reappear elsewhere (although it does not do it very often). Due to the size of the room in which you fight it there is not a great deal of room to manouver around and as such, you’ll need to use your dodges quite a bit.

The Hym itself is weak against IGNI and due to its limited move set of melee attacks, can be effectively damaged by using your dodge and immediate counter attack. The key is to avoid its attacks and either counter immediately or blast him with IGNI during an opening.

During the point, Udalryk will hide in a corner. If he leaves the area, the Hym will de-spawn. If you do see Udalryk running away, run over to him and use AXII to calm him and have him return to the room.

Once the Hym has taken enough damage, it will retreat to the basement.

In the basement, unless you have lit the torches earlier, the Hym will be pretty difficult to spot. Make a quick lap of the room to quickly activate the torches/candles and other sources of light so you can see the bad guy.

Once it is visible, re-apply the same techniques as above to finish him off. Note that he will use his teleportation move a lot more frequently in the basement, but as long as you are prepared to dodge when you see him disappear, it should prove no real issue.

Note: For defeating the Hym, you’ll receive a Crystallised Essence.

After the fight, a scene will then play to end the quest. At this point, if you have completed ‘The Lord of Undvik’ side-quest previously, the ‘King’s Gambit’ quest will unlock. If not, we’ll need to head over and complete ‘The Lord of Undvik’.

King’s Gambit (Optional)

Start Location: This quest will begin upon successful completing both ‘The Lord of Unvik’ and ‘Possession’ side-quests.

Once you have this quest in your quest log, it will begin immediately as soon as you step foot in the Castle at Kaer Trolde. You’ll be met by Arnvald who will escort you into the feasting hall.

Following a short scene, we’re tasked with heading to Crach’s chambers.

Before you leave, there is a boxing match in the corner you can partake in if you feel up for it. Do your usual dodge-counter attacking and you should have the opponent down in no time.

Note: for winning Hjalmar will give you a new weapon - Hjalmar’s Steel Sword.

Note: for winning the fight you’ll earn 100XP.

Exit the room via the door at the beck right hand corner for a conversation with Birma. After which, you’ll find yourself automatically in Crach’s quarters where you’ll earn a reward.

Note: At this point you’ll earn 500XP.

Note: Crach will give you a new weapon - Fate.

As soon as the scene ends, you’ll find yourself back in the feasting hall which has transformed a little since your previous visit – all the tables are gone and there are three big nasty bears in here. Note that they have silver health bars – this means they are cursed/monsters so be sure to equip your silver sword when you attack.

Despite being cursed, they are still regular bears so you can use the usual tactics that you use to deal with bears to deal with them as well, you also have plenty of help in the room which is good because the other NPCs will distract the enemies for you, allowing you to get in free shots.

Once the bears are all dead a scene will play.

Note: At this point you’ll earn 300XP.

Following the conversation, you’ll be able to choose two options and depending on your choice, you’ll be performing entirely different tasks. You’ll also determine which of the two siblings will ultimately take the throne. Here re your options:

Option 1 – Help Cerys
Option 2 – Help Hjalmar
Note: no matter the outcome of this quest line, as long as you complete it, Hjalmar will come to Kaer Mordhen if you ask him to during ‘Brothers in Arms: Skellige’. If you kept Hjalmar’s two mates alive during ‘The Lord of Undvik’ quest, they will accompany him.

Option 1 – Help Cerys

After the scene, you’ll be in the feast room in Kaer Trolde, it’s time to do some ‘vestigating. Activate Witcher Sense and explore the area. You’ll be able to inspect the following:

Human corpses scattered about the room.
One of the Bear corpses in the area.
Once you have inspected the various parts of one of the bears, some new items of interest will appear, you can now inspect the following:

One of the many horns of mead on the floor.
One of the bowls of mead scattered around the area.
The Bowl of mead in the centre of the room (it will remain red when the others change to orange upon inspection of the first bowl.
After examining the bowl of mead of interest, a scent trail will appear whilst in Witcher Sense. Follow this across the hall and to a horn of mead hidden behind the entry door.  Inspecting this in Witcher Sense will trigger a scene.

After your chat, follow Cerys outside and speak with Hjort. Next, she’ll lead you down to the cellars. Here there are three open mead barrels to inspect. The one at the bottom of the stairs should do! As soon as you have inspected it a short scene will play.

We’ll now have to escape the room and we only have a limited time in which to do it. On the far side of this area of the cellar from the stairs we came down, you’ll find a stack of barrels blocking a doorway. Use AARD to remove these from the path and enter the tunnel behind it.

Move through the tunnel after Cerys, you should find a Place of Power to draw from after too long. Continue until you exit back into the keep and a scene plays.

When you reach the next objective marker, switch on your Witcher Sense and examine the spilled fluid in front of the door. You’ll see footprints leading away. Follow this trail a short distance until the trail stops – at this point examine the piece of clothing hanging from the wall nearby.

Note: At this point you’ll earn 300XP.

Head to the next objective marker and after a brief moment you’ll find yourself on a horse chasing your target. Your goal is to ride up beside him and cut him down with your sword after which you can interrogate him.

If you let him get away for too long, he’ll ride down to a nearby cove and he’ll have a group of thugs try to kill you and you’ll have to defeat them before you can talk with the target.

Once you have the evidence you require. We’ll kick off a scene back atop Kaer Trolde keep afterwards and the quest will be completed.

Note: At this point you’ll earn 400XP.

During your conversation with Crach at the end of the quest, he’ll give you a new quest ‘Coronation’ and will also invite you to come along. You can fast travel with him immediately to begin the next quest or make your way over to Gedyneith.

You can continue with the walkthrough following this link:'Coronation'

Option 2 – Help Hjalmar

After the scene, you’ll end up on the outskirts of the village of Fornhala with Hjalmar. Follow him into town. He’ll immediately point out what looks to be a dead body – which we’ll need to investigate. Before that though, we can check out some other stuff in town. Activate Witcher Sense and explore the area. You’ll be able to inspect the following:

Spiked gloves on a bed in the house to the left from the initial position.
Human Scalps hanging from the roof in the building to the right of the start. Note there is a chest below this (Diagram: Axeman’s Trousers and Manuscript Page: Enhanced Elementa Oil)
Dead body at the top of the right hand set of stairs (from the initial position) – there is a chest a short distance further along this path.
Now that we’ve had a look around, make your way to the platform that Hjalmar pointed out to you. Here you’ll once again need to use your Witcher senses to inspect the area. Items of interest include:

Discarded clothing by the wall opposite the altar.
Dead body on the ledge by the altar.
The old shrine’s altar.
After examining the altar, a scent trail will appear whilst in Witcher Sense. Follow this up the nearby hill. Here you’ll be able to examine a blood stain and a corpse. Beside these you’ll find a set of bloody footprints.

Follow the footprints (and watch out for a chest on the right as you go).  Enter the house where the footprints lead. Activate Witcher Sense and explore the area. You’ll be able to inspect the following:

Spiked gloves on the cabinet to the left of the entry
Human Scalps hanging from the roof opposite the door.
Tattoo Dyes on the table in the room to the left.
Dried Mushrooms hanging from the roof in the left hand room.
The Carpet that the footprints lead to.
Upon inspecting the carpet, a scene will play and a trap door will be revealed and opened. Following the scene, climb down into the cave below and continue after Hjalmar until you drop down the first ledge.

Note: At this point you’ll earn 200XP.

When you regain control of Geralt, you’ll be fighting against an enemy humanoid. Deal with him in the usual manner until he transforms into a bear. At that point, switch to your silver sword and switch to bear killing tactics to deal with him.

Continue to follow Hjalmar through the cave and you’ll enjoy a beary bear-filled scene. Keep moving and eventually you’ll reach a giant bear statue with a Druid beside it.  After a brief scene he’ll attack.

The Druid can use magic and will use a combination of melee attacks and AARD force pushes to damage you. He’ll also summon a bear during the fight to help him out, but your focus should remain on the spell caster because if you kill the bear, the Druid will just summon another.

Once the Druid is down, kill the bear (if there’s one left). A scene will play in which we receive a letter from the dead Druid’s corpse. We’ll end back in Kaer Trolde afterwards and the quest will be completed.

Note: At this point you’ll earn 400XP.

During your conversation with Crach at the end of the quest, he’ll give you a new quest ‘Coronation’ and will also invite you to come along. You can fast travel with him immediately to begin the next quest or make your way over to Gedyneith.

Note: The ‘Coronaiton’ side-quest is now available.

Coronation (Optional)

Start Location: This quest will begin upon successful completing the ‘King’s Gambit’ side-quest.

During your conversation with Crach at the end of the previous quest ‘King’s Gambit’, he’ll give you a new quest ‘Coronation’ and will also invite you to come along. You can fast travel with him immediately to begin the next quest or make your way over to Gedyneith.

The side-quest itself is simply a scene introducing the new King of the skellige Isles, who happens to be whoever you sided with during ‘King’s Gambit’. Once the scene ends you’ll complete the quest.

Note: At this point you’ll earn 200XP.

Note: At this point you’ll earn the achievement/trophy ‘Kingmaker’.

Whilst you are here, all of the main Skellige characters are in one place. As such, this is a good time to speak with all of the people of interest required for you to complete the ‘Brothers in Arms: Skellige’ side-quest and ask them to come help out at Kaer Mordhen. Those people include:

Cerys
Crach
Ermion
Hjalmar
Just make sure you speak to Crach last as he’ll port you back to Kaer Trolde when he’s done!

Once you have an answer from all four, the ‘Brothers in Arms: Skellige’ quest will be complete!

Side-Questing 3 (Optional)

Before you continue with the next quest ‘The Isle of Mists’, it is a good idea to go and complete some side-quests. Whilst plenty of side-quests will remain, there are some side-quests that will be automatically failed if you do not complete them before proceeding with the story. These fail-able quests include:

An Invitation from Keira Metz
A Towerful of Mice
A Favour for a Friend
For the Advancement of Learning
A Dangerous Game
A Matter of Life and Death
Now or Never
An Eye for an Eye
The Lord of Undvik
Possession
King’s Gambit
Coronation
Return to Crookback Bog
Redania’s Most Wanted
A Deadly Plot
Cabaret
Carnal Sins
Kaer Morhen – Bastion
Kaer Morhen – Berenger’s Blade
Kaer Morhen – Greenhouse Effect
Kaer Morhen – Trial of Echoes
Kaer Morhen – The Witcher’s Forge
When you are ready to continue, proceed with the walkthrough!

The Isle of Mists – Part 2

Once you have rounded up all your allies for Kaer Modhen (or decided to forgo that lengthy task) it’s time to continue with the ‘The Isle of Mists’ quest. To do this, we need to head over to the Skellige Isles.

Note: As mentioned in the section above, it is best to complete the following quests as they will be failed if you continue too far into ‘The Isle of Mists’:

Return to Crookback Bog
Redania’s Most Wanted
A Deadly Plot
Cabaret
Carnal Sins
Kaer Morhen – Bastion
Kaer Morhen – Berenger’s Blade
Kaer Morhen – Greenhouse Effect
Kaer Morhen – Trial of Echoes
Kaer Morhen – The Witcher’s Forge
Brothers in Arms: Nilfgaard
Brothers in Arms: Velen
Brothers in Arms: Novigrad
Brothers in Arms: Skellige
At this point, we’ll need to hop into a boat (you’ll see the markers on the map) – there are some quick access ones at Kaer Trolde Harbour and Rannvaig. If you have travelled to the southwest island of Undvik previously in ‘The Lord of Undvik’ side-quest, this is where we’ll be heading! You can fast travel and grab a boat from the village at Marlin Coast to cut down on travel time.

Our goal is a misty area on the ocean at the base of the large, stone tower on the north-western peninsula of Undvik. If you have not been here previously, there are a few things you’ll need to keep an eye out for – firstly you are sure to see groups of Echidnas flying about ready to attack you on your way over – you should try to circumvent them if you can by giving them a wide berth. If they do attack, exit the boat and jump into the water. Dive underneath and use your crossbow to take them out to avoid damaging the boat.

Approaching Undvik form the north or east is a little tricky as there are plenty of small islands and rocks just below the surface in the areas surrounding the island, making it more challenging to navigate than most areas.

When you arrive at the misty area, sail on in. This is a point of no return and at this point you’ll get a warning about being unable to complete certain side-quests after entering the next area.

Note: If you continue with the quest, at this point you will fail any of the aforementioned side-quests that have not yet been completed. I’d recommend creating a manual save, just to play it safe – in case you want to go back and revisit the game later on.

Note: If you have recruited all the allies for Kaer Morhen: Ermion, Keira, Hjalmar, Roche, Triss and Zoltan (Letho doesn’t count). You’ll earn the ‘Full Crew’ achievement/trophy at this point.

During the scene that plays out, Geralt will release a firefly. Once you are back in control of the sail boat, you’ll need to follow it closely, being sure to speed up and slow down as you manoeuvre your way through the copious obstacles scattered throughout the fog.

There are a few Erynias along the way, but as long as you maintain a fast speed whilst they are around, you should be able to get away from them without sustaining too much damage to the boat.

Eventually, the firefly will lead you to a beach where you can hop out. We’ll then need to follow it ashore where it will lead us inland and to a hut nearby. As you follow it along the road, keep an eye out for chests and other lootables along the sides of the road and note that you will be attacked by Foglets at least once before arriving at your destination.

Interact with the door when you arrive at the building. During the conversation agree to help the inhabitants look for their lost mates.

From the front door, head down the slope to the left. When you get attacked (and you will), stop and take out the swarm of Harpies overhead. Continue along the narrow path down the cliff face and across the rock bridge. Keep along the path until you reach the coast.

Double back from the base of the path and head for the yellow search area and the grunting noises just to the west. Unfortunately these noises are coming from a pair of Bile Hags that we will need to kill (think tougher versions of Water Hags).  On the plus side, when you are done with them, you’ll be right next to a stone pillar we can approach for a scene.

After the scene, we’ll be heading back along the coast to the east with our goal being the lighthouse that we can see in the distance.

When you arrive, enter the lighthouse and loot the chests inside. Climb the ladders all the way to the top of the lighthouse to find Gaspard. Speak with him.

Once the conversation is done, you’ll find yourself back at ground level. We now need to escort Gaspard back to the hut. The problem? He’s likely to fall asleep along the way. As such, keep an eye on him as you go and be sure to run over and speak with him if he looks like he’s going to take a nap. During your trip back to the hut, you’ll be attacked by Foglets so be prepared for that when it happens!

Upon arrival at the hut, he’ll head inside, leaving you to look for the final dwarf.  Make your way over to the next objective marker to the west. As you travel across the island beware that you are more than likely going to be attacked by Foglets, just keep an eye on the mini-map as you go and try not to let them attack you by surprise.

As you reach the next search area, you’ll find yourself face to face with a Fiend. If you haven’t fought one before, it has some nasty melee and leaping attacks in addition to a nasty head-butt/gore manoeuvre. All of its attacks cover quite a large range and as such we’ll need to dodge/roll away from them as much as possible. Other than that the fight boils down to standard operating procedure for the larger beasties we’ve fought to date – get a hit or two in, dodge, repeat.

After killing the Fiend use your Witcher Sense to locate the body of the dwarf nearby. Examine this and then make your way back to the hut. As you approach a scene will play.

After a lengthy conversation, the quest will end.

Note: For completing the quest you’ll earn 1,000XP.

The Battle for Kaer Morhen

Now that we are back in Kaer Morhen, you’ll need to follow Yennefer and Triss through the castle grounds. As you go, you’ll be able to see and listen to a bit of input from each of the characters that you have recruited along the way. There are some interesting discussions going on that you can listen to and involve yourself with, so be sure to check in on everyone as you go.

Note: If Zoltan is there, you can get him to repair your gear (you’ll want to do this now!) and do some basic crafting, whilst Keira will help you out with her alchemy shop if she is present.

Our ultimate goal is to reach the main keep and the objective marker within. Here we’ll trigger a scene/conversation where everyone will gather and Geralt will do his best to pep talk them into submission.

During his little speech you’ll need to make two serious choices regarding the use of the lab and the workshop. We can only choose one option from each of the two areas of the keep we can use, so make sure you get something you are comfortable with. Depending on your choices here, the rest of the mission will play out slightly differently. The options for the lab include:

Potions – Choosing potions will net you the Superior Swallow Potion and a Lesser Perun Runestone.
Traps – The traps choice will mean that some of the enemies you face during the coming quest will be killed without anyone having to do anything as the traps will sort them out automatically.
The options for the workshop include:

Patch up the Wall – Repairing the wall will cause fewer enemies to spawn during the quest.
Clear the Armoury – The armoury option will give each of the Witchers a new weapon, causing additional damage. It will also net you a fancy Silver Sword.
Note: for making the choices you’ll get 50XP each, when they are finished. Completing the speech will earn you 500XP.

Once Geralt’s talk ends, we’ll have a short amount of time to get about and prepare. Be sure to equip your new items/potions if you received some and use the nearby Grindstone and Workbench to add some buffs to our armour and swords. Whilst we are here you can also speak to Ciri one last time.

When you are ready to take on the Wild Hunt, head out the door to begin the battle.

Part 1: Geralt - Shutting down portals

We’ll begin the battle outside of Kaer Morhen invisible. After watching a few fireworks it’s time to get to work. Our goal here is to disrupt the three portals on the other side of the river, each is marked with an objective marker on the map.

We can close these portals in one of two ways – using Dimeritium Bombs on them or by using the YRDEN sign. The latter is much more efficient as your signs will regenerate quickly allowing you to constantly use them, whereas the bombs require you to stop and meditate before they can be made again and unfortunately there isn’t much opportunity for doing that.

Each portal is protected by Wild Hunt Warriors and Hounds of the Wild Hunt. As you approach each, ignore the enemies and run or sneak straight for the portal and drop a YRDEN on it to close it – this will prevent further reinforcements.

Once the portal is closed, you can then focus on clearing out the enemies surrounding it. Note that if you recruited Roche, there will be spike traps around the portal areas which can’t harm you but will damage the enemies if they make contact.

After all three portals are closed your objectives will update.

Note: for closing the three portals you’ll earn 200XP.

Part 2: Ciri – Holding the walls

We’ll now be in control of Ciri. The first thing that will happen is a limited time decision that needs to be made:

“I must confront them”
“I want to fight, too”
Either choice will result in Ciri getting a run with defence as well. In addition to her previous abilities – the blink/roll and the shadow strike, she now also earns a new ability – charge strike which replaces her heavy attack if held down for a moment.

Kill the pair of hounds on the wall ahead and at the far end, help Triss fight off some Hounds and Wild Hunt Warriors. A pair of portals will appear here and you’ll need to kill all the enemies that they spew out to progress.

Part 3: Geralt – Return to Kaer Morhen

This section begins with us on horseback. Follow the set GPS path on the map and keep a sprint up as you go. As you re retreating, do your best to avoid the fireballs at all costs – they can kill you pretty damn quick, even if it is friendly fire! When you reach the gate, head inside and Geralt will dismount.

In the first courtyard here, we are required to reach the lever to close the gate. A portal will appear and spit out a Warrior and some Hounds here, so deal with them first before making your way up to Visemir’s location. Help him fight off the enemies on the wall.

Move to the end of the wall to find Ermion (if you recruited him). Help him fight off some enemies as well, before hanging a right and pulling the lever on the wall to close the gate below.

A scene will play here which will change depending on whom you have recruited and previous actions taken in regards to Lambert.

We’ll now need to make our way to the inner courtyard.

Note: At this point you’ll earn 500XP.

At this point, you’ll want to eliminate the Warriors and Hounds in the immediate area before running to the next objective marker and dropping YRDEN or Dimeritium Bombs to close the portal. Approach the marked gate for a short scene.

Afterwards, head back down the stairs and head to the right. You’ll see a fight going off in the distance. Make your way over here, eliminating enemies and closing the portal that appears on the way.

Help your allies fight off the enemies here to switch back to Ciri.

Part 4: Ciri – Open the gate

As soon as you regain control of Ciri, you’ll need to fight off a group of Wild Hunt Warriors. After dispatching them, work your way down to the courtyard below, killing the Hounds that get in your way as you go.

Upon arrival a portal will appear and summon some more Warriors and Hounds. Exterminate the lot of them before proceeding to the large wheel to the right of the doorway and interact with it to open the gate.

Part 5: Geralt – Plugging the gaps

This next phase will see a lot of action. Essentially, there are Wild Hunt Warriors and Hounds pouring in through portals all over the place and as such, it is hard to move anywhere without being drawn into a fight. Our goal is to clear out the objective areas each side of the main keep’s doorway.

Each of the two sides has numerous portals opening and closing. Pick either side to start with and fight your way over there. At the site of action, you’ll need to use your YRDEN or Dimeritium Bombs to close a portal or two and fight off the reinforcements in the area until the area is clear, then make your way over to the second point of interest and repeat the process.

Note: If you chose to repair the walls, you’ll have one less portal encounter here to worry about.

After disrupting the Wild Hunt’s attacks, you’ll hear Triss call out for help at the gate. Fight your way back to her location for a scene to end the quest.

Blood on the Battlefield

This quest kicks off immediately following completion of the ‘The Battle for Kaer Morhen’ quest and the first part is a lengthy scene that may or may not hit you squarely in the feels.

Following the scene, we’ll need to go and speak to the elven sage nearby, but before you do, it is possible to speak with each of the allies that you recruited who are present here (although Triss, Wennefer and Ciri will have left already) for some additional dialogue.

Once you have finished seeing how everyone is feeling and what they are thinking, it’s time to leave the area.

Note: At this point, I’d recommend creating a manual save, just to play it safe – the conversation with Avallac’h that ends this quest will also present you with several choices that can and will influence the ending that you receive.

When you are good to go, follow the trail away from the pyre to meet with Avallac’h and the sorceresses about what to do next.

Note: At this point you’ll earn 1,000XP.

A second scene will then occur between Geralt and Ciri – this is the point at which the endings can be altered. You’ll get a series of timed decisions and with each it is possible to aim for either a good ending or a bad ending.

The first timed decision:

“Relax. You don’t have to be good at everything.” – this leads to a scene with Ciri and will push towards a bad ending.
“Think I know what might lift your spirits.” – this leads to a snowball fight and a friendly boss fight with Ciri in the courtyard and will push towards a good ending.
The second timed decision:

“Alright, Velen it is.” – This will kick you off onto the next quest ‘Bald Mountain’ immediately.
“Gotta visit the emperor first.” – This option will lead to a third decision that will allow you to earn a reward, potentially unlock a side-quest ‘Reason of State’ (providing you have completed ‘A Dangerous Plot’) in the next act and push more towards your choice of good/bad endings:
“Thanks, definitely need it more than you.” – You’ll receive 2,000 Crowns and will push towards a bad ending.
“Didn’t do it for the coin.” - You’ll receive a sexy new Horse and will push towards a good ending.
No matter how the decisions play out, once they are done, you’ll find yourself at the start of the ‘Bald Mountain’ quest.

Act 3 Walkthrough

Bald Mountain

Once you regain control of Geralt, we’ll need to follow Ciri as she leads you up a narrow path and into a village on Bald Mountain. As you approach the village a scene will play. Accept the invitation to sit by the fire if you wish to ask a few questions and delve a little deeper into the back story.

Following the conversation, or if you declined to sit around the fire, you are free to move around the village, be sure to visit the blacksmith to repair your gear, there is a merchant here too that can help with inventory space solutions! The building opposite the blacksmith has a weak door that can be busted down with AARD for a chest inside.

When you are ready to continue, follow the path out of the town to the north.

A scene will play involving Godlings who’ll give you a bit more information about the current task at hand.

Note: This scene will differ slightly depending on your choices made during the ‘Novigrad Dreaming’ quest.

Continue along the path until you reach another populated area with a large bonfire and tents. There is another trader here you can speak with for alchemy supplies if required.

To continue with the quest, you’ll need to enter the large tent with the objective marker and speak with the NPC named Thecla. Argue that Geralt is worthy of meeting the ladies and she’ll set you out on a task to prove it.

After the scene, make sure you have a crossbow equipped and then dive into the water below. Immediately pull out your crossbow, dive underwater and kill the Drowners swimming about in the water here. Surface to get your breath back.

Take a deep breath and dive down into the underwater tunnel. Activate your Witcher Senses as you go and you’ll find the Defiler’s Oren at the end of the tunnel. There is also a chest to the left (contained Diagram: Axeman’s Boots and Manuscript Page: Superior Thunderbolt for me). Swim back through the tunnel and surface once again.

Climb out of the water and follow the GPS route up the cliffs and when you reach the tents, with the Defiler’s Oren in hand go back to speak with Thecla once again.

Note: At this point you’ll earn 300XP.

Exit the tent and follow Marica, she’ll lead you to the path up the mountain and unlock the gate for you. Inside you’ll have to square off against Fugas.

This fellow is relatively easy and with Ciri by your side shouldn’t give you too much grief as long as you can avoid his attacks. He has some regular melee attacks, an AOE slam attack and is also capable of throwing balls of fire at you – these will leave burning patches on the ground that can cause fire damage over time, so watch where you step. Use your AXII/AARD to stun and wait for an opening to attack, then roll/dodge his attacks and repeat until he falls.

After a short conversation, you’ll be in control of Ciri.

Follow the short path here until you find a hole in the ground with a pool of water below. Dive in. Swim through the tunnel leading out of the pool and climb out onto the ledge at the end. Proceed a short distance down the tunnel for a scene.

Boss: The Crones

This fight is quite difficult as there are three quite powerful opponents and as Ciri, we don’t have access to any signs or potions to make our lives easier. Each of the Crones has a melee and a special attack and they will constantly try to corner Ciri. 

The slow moving Brewess summons some red death fluid which will travel beneath the water in the room and home in on Ciri – so make sure you keep moving when you see it.  The Whispess is faster moving and similar to a Water Hag or Drowner can sink into the ground and appear elsewhere and also throws projectiles at you. The Weavess has a charge ability which she’ll use to race across the ground and melee attack. Both the Weavess and the Whispess have the ability to break apart into a flock of ravens which will fly outward in a circle damaging Ciri in the process whilst also teleporting around the room.

The key to victory in this fight is to isolate and defeat the crones one at a time. This is not an easy thing to accomplish however as they are all quite mobile and their array of ranged attacks and teleportation abilities makes it tricky to stay out of trouble. The encounter does however become notably easier once you have taken one of the Crones out of the picture.

To begin with you are going to want to choose one of the three Crones to take out first (the Brewess is a good choice as she is slower and doesn’t have the teleportation abilities that the others do). You are going to want to be constantly rolling or dodging until you get an opening in which you should unleash a few flurries of your sword or a charge attack. Roll away and repeat until the first Crone is down.

If things get tricky, remember that Ciri does have health regeneration, just keep dodging until you restore some health before continuing. Once the first Crone has been eliminated, you can repeat the same process with the remaining two, you’ll just have less attacks to dodge!

After defeating all three Crones a scene will play to end the fight.

We’ll now be back in control of Geralt. Take the dirt path leading to the right and follow it across the bridge. When you reach the far side, look to the right to find a Place of Power (Boosts QUEN) that you should draw from.

There is a very challenging boss battle just ahead and as such, you should prepare. At this point it’s a good idea to meditate if you need to restock your potions/bombs and enhance your weapon with Draconid Oil.

When you feel you are ready, continue along the dirt path, climb the ledges and head for the campfire. A conversation will break out and at the end of it, you’ll need to defend yourself in the trickiest boss encounter so far.

Boss: Imlerith

Imlerith is a boss that feels like it has been lifted from a Dark Souls game – giant mace and shield, heavy armour and the ability to tear through your entire health bar in just a few hits. Oh and he can use a short-range teleport to boot – fun!

Imlerith can be slowed down via the use of YRDEN and can also be stunned temporarily by Sanum Bombs. As he is pretty much able to block all of your sign attacks (unless stunned) it’s a good idea to keep QUEN up in an attempt to reduce the damage taken.

During the first phase of the fight, Imlerith is slow and will use his mace to perform melee and shield bash combos of varying lengths. He will also teleport frequently and will often do so to get behind you so be sure to stay on your toes and prepare to dodge.

The first phase attacks are slow and deliberate and in being such, there is a pretty healthy window of attack after he has performed one of his melee combos. As such lure him into committing to one of these combos and either wait until he stops, or dodge to the side (don’t dodge straight back or he’ll shield bash if you attempt to attack) and then tap him once or twice in the back/sides whilst he attacks the space in front of him.

When he reaches around 30% health, he’ll ditch his shield and will move and attack slightly faster. During the second phase he will perform combo attacks with teleports included so you’ll definitely need to keep your finger on the dodge button. The good news is once he has finished a combo, he’ll sit still for a second or two giving you a huge opening to drop some pain on him.

As this is the case, the strategy of dodging and exploiting his openings remains essentially the same, however if you have a bit of trouble, remember that you have  Sanum Bombs to stun him for some free attacks and YRDEN to slow him down if things start to get a little hairy.

This fight is tough and really requires that you are up to par with your dodging skills, especially in the second phase when he links multiple attacks together – get hit once there and you’re going to be copping another 1-2 blows and on the tougher difficulties that = game over.

Once you’ve dealt him enough damage a cut-scene will play out to end the encounter.

During the conversation that follows, be sure to say you want to stick around for a bit longer – this will enable us to go and loot Imlerith’s remains. He has in his possession a Magic Acorn.

Speak with Ciri to leave the area. You’ll be approached by villagers as you head down the hill. If you looted the Magic Acorn, you can either hand it over to them if you like, or save it for later and eat it for 2 Skill Points.

After one final scene, you’ll end up in Novigrad with some friends. The quest will complete at this point.

Final Preparations

Similar to ‘In Ciri’s Footsteps’ and ‘Ugly Baby’, this is the main quest for the bulk of Act 3 and is made up of several smaller quests. The quest itself presents a series of objectives to talk with different people: Triss, Yennefer, Ciri and Avallac’h with each of these objectives giving us a main quest to take care of.

These include:

Blindingly Obvious
Payback
The Great Escape
Through Time and Space
Note: Although you can do these in any order, I would recommend saving Avallac’h’s quest ‘Through Time and Space’ for last. This is because if you complete the others first, you will earn an additional scene at the Rosemary and Thyme which will help to alter the ending.

As Triss is the nearest marker, we may as well go and speak with her upstairs. This will kick off the ‘Blindingly Obvious’ quest.

Blindingly Obvious

Head upstairs inside the Rosemary and Thyme to find Triss in one of the rooms. Enter and you’ll immediately be thrown into a timed decision, the options include:

“Calm down, it went well”
“Sorry, shouldn’t have”
“We had to do it”
As far as I can tell the responses do nothing other than slightly alter in-game dialogue. After a bit of a powwow you’ll learn what they have been up to in your absence and what we’re going to have to do shortly.

Note: During the conversation you’ll learn what has happened to Keira. If she is alive and did not join you in Kaer Mohen, you’ll receive the quest ‘A Final Kindness’.

At the end of the conversation, you’re given the opportunity to jump into the quest right away or to meet Triss by the fountain at the Passiflora Brothel.

After a brief scene at the fountain, follow Triss and she’ll lead you to Dijkstra’s Bath house. When you arrive you’ll see things have gotten a little out of hand. Triss will stay here, so it’s up to us to head in and sort things out.

Enter the main section of the bath house and fight off the three mind-controlled bodyguards that come to attack you. Once they are done, proceed into the room at the back of the bath house and just like in the ‘Count Reuven’s Treasure’ quest earlier, climb down the ladder to the cellars.

Work your way through the area and fight off another pair of possessed bodyguards. One has a shield, so be sure to deal with him last if they both come at you at once. Continue through the cellars until you run into Dijkstra’s pet Troll.

Speak to the Troll and during this conversation, you’ll have a pair of options, which will slightly alter how the quest will play out. They include:

“I need her.” – this will trigger a fight and you’ll need to fight the Troll.
“I want to help her.” – The Troll will let you past.
Either way you choose to play through the encounter, afterwards you’ll need to continue through the sewer area until you reach the gate indicated by the objective marker. Proceed into the next room for a scene… And a fight.

Boss: Fire Elemental

The Fire Elemental can activate a fiery aura that will cause fire damage to Geralt if he stays too close for too long. In addition, the Elemental can dish out some nasty close range melee attacks and will regularly punch the ground causing an area of effect shockwave if you stay too close. He also has ranged capabilities with and will also shoot out a wave of fire in a line directly in front of him as well as tossing fireballs that can explode on impact causing a little splash damage if you are too close to them.

Whilst he sounds tough, he is actually not all that tricky to take down. Using AARD will temporarily remove his fiery aura; disabling his fire-based AOE smash and allowing you to pretty much treat him as a regular large enemy. YRDEN is also helpful in that it will slow him down to make him more manageable. Once he is in the weakened state, we’ll need to wait for an opening in its attacks. Fortunately most of its attacks are quite obviously telegraphed and there is a small window after any attack he does.

Note that during this fight, you’ll also need to keep an eye out for the purple energy balls that are tossed at you from the balcony above, they will do a good bit of damage when they hit, so stay clear!

Once you have dealt with the Fire Elemental, you’ll also need to deal with the angry mage. Climb up the stairs nearby and slowly, SLOWLY walk around the edge of the room and sneak up on here. Try not to touch the chains hanging from the room on either side or run/jump as you’ll draw her attention.

When you reach the platform with the mage a scene will play and you’ll return to the bath house where you’ll have a word with Dijkstra. If you completed the ‘A Deadly Plot’ side-quest earlier and want to pick up the subsequent side-quest ‘Reason of State’ you’ll want to select the top, more peaceful options each time.

No matter your choice of words, following the conversation the quest will be completed.

Note: For completing the quest you’ll earn 500XP.

Note: If you completed the ‘A Deadly Plot’ side-quest earlier, visited the emperor with Ciri during ‘Blood on the Battlefield’ and treated Djikstra nicely during this quest, you can unlock the ‘Reason of State’ side-quest.

At this point you can move on to ‘Payback’ or ‘The Great Escape’ and if you have finished both, move forward with ‘Through Time and Space’.

If you are following the guide, Ciri is closest to where we ended the previous quest, so head over and speak with her to commence the story quest 'Payback'.

Payback

Ciri can be found in the courtyard outside of the Passiflora Brothel, just east of the St Gregory’s Bridge fast travel signpost. After speaking with Ciri, you’ll have the opportunity to start the quest right away or to meet her elsewhere.

Part 1: Finding Junior

Note: Depending on the choice you made during the ‘Get Junior’ quest, the first part of this quest will differ. Here are the consequences of your actions:

Option 1 – Junior is Dead
Option 2 – Junior is Dead
Option 1 – Junior is  Dead

If Junior is dead, you’ll meet Ciri near Temple Isle, where after a brief conversation, you can follow her. You’ll end up in a conversation with a pair of Whoreson’s thugs outside his hideout. During this conversation you will be given a pair of options:

Use AXII (Level 3) – They will let you inside without trouble. This option will also net you 40XP.
“Get outta my way or regret it” – This will start a fight in which you will have to beat them both up, after which they’ll let you inside.
Once inside, head upstairs and speak with Whoreson in his office. After a brief conversation, we can leave and our objectives will be updated.

Note: At this point you’ll earn 200XP.

To continue, jump down to the section below – Part 2: Fun in Novigrad.

Option 2 – Junior is Alive

If Whoreson Junior is still alive, you’ll meet Ciri in The Bits, where after a brief conversation, you can follow her. After a short walk and a brief conversation the quest objectives will be updated.

Note: At this point you’ll earn 200XP.

Part 2: Fun in Novigrad

Once you have completed the first part of the quest revolving around Whoreson Junior, you will need to follow Ciri as she walks all the way to the Golden Sturgeon Tavern on the Novigrad Docks.

Upon entering the Golden Sturgeon you’ll immediately be thrown into a conversation with some thugs, the options include:

“Leave on your own…” – This will cause the thugs to leave without incident.
“Or I’ll throw you out.” – this will trigger a fight in which you’ll need to beat up the thugs.
No matter the choice you make, the NPC we came to see will have a chat with Ciri and after a brief catch up, we’ll be free to leave once again.

Note: At this point you’ll earn 200XP.

Exit the Golden Sturgeon and once again follow Ciri, she’ll lead you all the way south, across the Portside gate bridge and to the southernmost part of Novigrad.  When you arrive at your destination another conversation will break out.

During this conversation you are given the opportunity to take part in a horse race with Ciri and Valdo. If you choose to race, the standard horse racing tactics apply you’ll need to follow the black racing line on the mini-map whilst going through the lit up checkpoints on route. Be sure to get out to a good start and slow down to recharge your horse’s batteries on narrow pieces of track so that the competition can’t get by.

Following the race and an evening of revelry, one of the fellows we met earlier will come up and ask us to join him on a mission to steal some horses. There are multiple options in this conversation, but only two that will lead anywhere:

“I won’t steal” – this will result in a fist fight and the quest will end shortly thereafter.
“Let’s steal some horses” – this option will result in an extended stay in the quest, follow the walkthrough below.
If you decided to help steal some horses, you’ll find yourself back in control of Geralt outside of some stables. Climb up the wooden scaffold to the left of the doorway to reach the roof and then cross the planks to reach a doorway. Head inside.

Inside the stable, you’ll see several horses below and a sleeping guard over to the left. We need to be quiet in here – which means walking very slowly otherwise we’ll bother the horses who will in turn wake the guard. If you see the horses getting antsy, hit them with an AXII sign to calm them down.

Climb down the ladder and slowly make your way over to the sleeping guard. On a table to his left you’ll find the Stable Key.  Use the Key to open the door next to the table.

After a few scenes, the quest will draw to a close.

Note: For completing the quest you’ll earn 300XP.

At this point you can move on to ‘Blindingly Obvious’ or ‘The Great Escape’ and if you have finished both, move forward with ‘Through Time and Space’.

If you are following the guide, its time to head over to Crippled Kate's to speak with Yennefer to kick off the next quest - 'The Great Escape'.

The Great Escape

Yennefer is found on the ground floor of Crippled Kate’s Tavern in the corner to the left of the entry point. After speaking with Yennefer, you’ll find out the whereabouts of a peson of interest and need to interview a fellow who knows how to reach her.

Unfortunately he’ll bolt as soon as we try talking with him. As such, run after him. If you are quick enough you can knock him down with a punch or a blast of AARD. If you are too slow, you’ll need to follow him up onto some rooftops where you’ll eventually corner him.

Squeeze as much information out of him as you can during your little chat and let him go when you’ve got nothing else to say.

Note: At this point you’ll earn 200XP.

If you spoke about the guards with Yennefer, you’ll get an optional objective to speak with Zoltan. Head over to the Rosemary and Thyme.

Note: If you completed the ‘A Matter of Life and Death’ and ‘Now or Never’ side-quests Zoltan will not help you.

Now we need to make our way to Oxenfurt and find Yennefer. After a brief chat, follow her through the streets and when you reach the well. Dive into the well to land in the pool of water below.

As soon as you arrive, activate your Witcher Sense. You’ll be able to spot three chests in the water in the immediate area and another further along in the underwater tunnel we’ll need to use – loot these for some things and stuff (one contained Manuscript Page: Ogrid Oil for me). Swim through the tunnel here and at the far side, climb out into some elven ruins.

The game encourages us to go through the door on the right. In the next room you’ll bump into a Grave Hag. These creatures are a stronger variant of the Water Hags but act in a similar way, just on solid ground. Once it is dead, activate your Witcher Vision and look along the right hand wall (from our initial entry point) to find a lever. It turns out the handle is missing.

Return to where we climbed out of the water and take the left. Follow the passage into a larger chamber. There is a chest just to the left of the door, another on the raised platform on the left of the entry and a third opposite the entrance to the watery hallway on the far side of the area (these contained Diagram: Skellige Gambeson and Manuscript Page: Enhanced Spectre Oil in my game).

Activate Witcher Sense and examine the lever on the wall beside the entrance to the water-filled hallway to loot a lever handle.  Backtrack to the broken lever and interact with it to insert the new handle and open a door nearby.

Once inside the door, you can swim down the watery passage to the left and dive to find a chest (containing Diagram: Hunter’s Trousers) and a lootable corpse.

Return to the secret door, activate Witcher Sense and look for a weak wall nearby. Hit that with AARD to bring it down.

As soon as you go through the new hole in the wall, you’ll be set upon by a group of Ghouls and Necrophages from the tunnel on the left. Fight them all off and continue through the tunnel they were guarding.

When you reach the dead end, you’ll find a locked gate on the left – we won’t be getting through there! As such, climb into the tunnel opposite and look for a ledge we can climb up to. There is a pair of Witch Hunters in this room so kill them both. On the table in the far right corner you’ll find a Sewer Key (this unlocks the locked grate we saw just before).

Note: these guards will be absent if Zoltan was able to help out.

Continue through the door here and climb the stairs to find the prison at the top. Enter the door and kill the three Witch Hunters that are lurking about the area. Once all three are down for the count a scene will play and our objectives will update.

Head through the marked door and climb the stairs up to the next level. Enter the door immediately to the left and kill the pair of Witch Hunters and loot the pair of chests in the room.

Return down the stairs and take the door leading outside. As you do an alarm will sound and all of the guards in the nearby area will be alerted to your presence and move in to attack. There are four Witch Hunters in total (six if you failed to kill the two in the previous room). Be sure to prioritise taking out the crossbowman before focusing on the spearman and the shield dude and don’t be afraid to drawn them back into the area we came from so you can focus on one at a time.

Note: these guards will be drunk if Zoltan was able to help out and as such, Geralt should be able to sneak past them.

Climb the stairs behind the alarm and when you reach the top, instead of moving left as the game suggests, follow the passage all the way to the right to find a chest full of goodies ( I was able to find Manuscript Page: Superior Vampire Oil, Diagram: Assault Gauntlets and Manuscript Page: Blizzard).

Follow the GPS route to the next objective marker to find the Warden’s quarters. Kill him and loot his body for the Cell Key.

Return to Margarita, killing the reinforcements that have arrived or sneaking back depending on whether Zoltan helped you or not. When you arrive in the cell area, the Cell key should open all the cells, there are three other prisoners in here we can free if you wish.

When you are ready to continue, unlock Margarita’s cell for a scene.

Note: If you answered that Sile was warned in the interview in Vizima to the question “Did you warn Sile or let her die?” an additional scene will occur here.

Note: At this point you’ll earn 300XP.

We will now need to escape from the prison. Either retrace your steps into the sewers and use the Sewer Key we found to unlock the grating and make your way out through one of the homes or return to the courtyard with all the Witch Hunters, climb up to the wall and drop down at the location indicated.

Either option will do – as soon as you exit the prison you’ll complete the quest.

Note: For completing the quest you’ll earn 300XP.

Final Preparations – Part 2

After completing ‘Blindingly Obvious’, ‘Payback’ and ‘The Great Escape’. The next time you return to the Rosemary and Thyme, head up to the top floor to encounter Ciri who will get to speak with the newly recovered sorceresses.

During the conversation, it is possible to choose options that will slightly influence the game’s ending.

Do not go to the meeting – this will help move towards a good ending.
Go to the meeting – this will help move towards a bad ending.
Once the conversation is over and a quick chat, Ciri will walk off. At this stage, if you have romanced both Yennefer and Triss to this point they will show up and speak with us. This will start a short main quest ‘It Takes three to Tango’.

Note: At this point you’ll earn 1,000XP.

If this quest does not apply to you, cruise down to the next section of the walkthrough: 'Through Time and Space'.

It Takes Three to Tango

Note: This is classified a as main quest in the quest log but will only appear if you have romanced both Yennefer and Triss at some point in the game and spoken to Ciri at the Rosemary and Thyme after completing the ‘Blindingly Obvious’, ‘Payback’ and ‘The Great Escape’ quests.

After receiving the quest, you’ll need to acquire some wine, which you’ll either have in your inventory anyway from looting everything, or visit a merchant and purchase some.

Once you have the wine, make your way to the Kingfisher Inn. You’ll find Triss and Yennefer on the second floor. Knock on the marked door for a scene.

After another brief conversation, the quest will be completed.

Note: For completing the quest you’ll earn 300XP.

Through Time and Space

Head upstairs inside the Rosemary and Thyme to find Avallac’h in one of the top floor rooms. Speak with him to learn of his plan of attack. After a brief chat, you’ll have the opportunity to start the quest right away or to meet Avallac’h at an objective marker nearby.

Either way, once you are ready to go you’ll end up at the house we entered during the ‘Novigrad Dreaming’ quest.

Note: Depending on how you handled this quest, it will either be inhabited by a new family, or Sarah the Godling will still be here and you can talk with her.

Make your way down to the oven in the basement where we met the Godling earlier and look for a weak wall. Blow this down with AARD to find an active portal. Approach it for a scene.

We’ll arrive in a desert world, a nice change of scenery from the whole medievally vibe that the game has thrown at us to date. To progress through the area simply follow Avallac’h and eventually you’ll arrive at another portal.

At this point we have to wait for a few moments until it becomes active and unfortunately all of your adventuring has alerted Sandcrabs. We’ll need to kill them as they appear – note that they will spawn indefinitely, so just hold them off until the portal appears at which point immediately jump through it.

Another world! Drop down the ledge in front and follow the grassy path to the right. At the end of the ledge, you’ll see a patch of red grassy plants below covered in a gas cloud. This is bad – stay in it for too long and Geralt will suffocate.

Unfortunately, we’ll need to make our way to the portal in the distance and running through the red plants is the only way to do it. To get through safely, you can jump down into the gas, run a short distance and climb up to a high section of land to regain your breath.

In this area, you can explore the red cliffs to find lootable Crystallised Essences and Runestones (use Witcher Sense to spot them easier). When you reach the first large pillar on the right, you’ll also find a Place of Power (Boosts AARD) at its base. Beside this you’ll also find a path leading downwards.

Follow the path down to the valley floor but stop at the edge of the ledge above the red plants. Drop down and climb up the platform directly opposite the path for a safe spot. From here, have a look to the left and make your way to the next safe zone due west.

Look for the stone pillars in the red grass further to the west and behind them in the distance you’ll see another safe zone. Sprint over here and climb up. Make your way to the very top of this safe area and look for the giant ribcage in the red grass. At the far end of this is the next safe place so sprint over.

This final safe zone lines up almost directly with the portal, so take one last run through the gas and hit the portal to zoom off to another new planet.

We’ll now be underwater, quickly swim to the portal on the far side of the room and enter it to reach yet another new planet.

Make your way through the tunnel here and use AARD to blow open the ice wall blocking your exit. Before you leave the relative safety of the cave, note that once outside the cold will drain Geralt’s health extremely quickly. To prevent this from happening, we’ll need to run from shelter to shelter – you’ll be able to see ruins, hills and other areas where there is black sections of ground all of which can be used.

From the exit to the caves you can drop down and run to the black cliff directly in front of you. Move to the right and peek around the corner to see another snow free zone behind a hill. Sprint for this. Follow this all the way to the right and run for the ruin with the stairs in the distance directly east.

At the top of the stairs look for a wall just a little further to the east that would block your passage if you continued. Run up to this and follow it to the left to find a slope that Geralt will slide down. A short scene will play.

When you regain control, enter the building behind Geralt. Climb to the second floor and light the fire here to restore health to full. Loot the area before proceeding back downstairs.

Exit the building and hop down the ledge in front to the slope below. Follow this all the way to the bottom of the hill and enter the large building on the left. Drop to the lower level in here and you’ll be attacked by a pair of Hounds of the Wild Hunt.

Once you have killed the enemies, look around for a campfire. Ignite this to restore your health again before continuing.

Exit the barn and proceed down the slope a little further and look for an opening in a triangular shaped roof on your left. Head in here and climb down to the ground level – ignite the stove to recover health again.

Keep moving down the slope, using the various pieces of cover you come across until you reach what looks to be the tower at a corner of an external wall of a castle. Look for a set of stairs leading up into this. Head through and look for a gap in the wall to the left - you’ll see the lighthouse we want to reach in the distance. You’ll also want to note the building below and to our left and the large braziers in front of it.

Drop down and run for the braziers. If they are not lit, hit them with a shot of IGNI to light them up and stick close to them to restore health. Soon after you reach the braziers you’ll be attacked by a group of Hounds of the Wild Hunt. Fight them all off.

Restore your health to full again using the braziers and make one last dash to the lighthouse. Enter the doorway and climb down the stairs for a conversation.

Note: At this point you’ll earn 500XP.

After your chat, Avallac’h will open a new portal. Cruise on through. Follow your buddy through this new area until you reach the objective marker and a scene will play.

After a conversation and a scene or two, you’ll end up back in Novigrad and the quest will be completed.

Note: For completing the quest you’ll earn 1,000XP.

Note: You'll also earn 1,000XP for completing 'Final Preparations'.

Battle Preparations

To begin this quest, we’ll need to head over to the indicated ship at the Novigrad Docks. Approach it for a scene and conversation involving Yennefer. Afterwards board the ship and speak with Avellac’h to continue.

Following a scene and some general chatting we’ll end up with a pair of new quests:

The Sunstone
Veni Vidi Vigo
An additional pair of quests will open up as you progress, including:

Child of the Elder Blood
Skjall’s Grave
As Crach is the nearest marker, we may as well go and speak with him nearby. This will kick off the ‘The Sunstone’ quest.

The Sunstone – Part 1

You’ll find Crach in the Kaer Trolde harbour and if you just arrived in Skellige via the ‘Battle Preparations’ quest he’ll be on the observation platform right next to where the ship has docked. Speaking with him will reveal the location of Ermion.

Part 1: Finding Ermion

Ermion’s location will differ depending on who has been decided as the ruler of Skellige. If you completed the ‘Possession’, ‘The Lord of Undvik’ and ‘Coronation’ side-quests it is likely that Cerys or Hjalmar will be the ruler. If you declined to do them, the ruler may be Svanrige Bran instead.

Choose the option below that best suits you and follow the guide:

Option 1 – Svanrige Bran is King of Skellige
Option 2 – Cerys/Hajalmar en Craite is Queen/King of Skellige
Option 1 – Svanrige Bran is King of Skellige

If Bran is the ruler of the Skellige Isles, Ermion will be fortunately present nearby in the keep at Kaer Trolde. Make your way up to the keep once again and as you arrive you’ll be treated to a short conversation/scene. When you regain control, head into the feasting hall once again and approach the objective marker at the far end to spot Ermion and several other people of interest.

Once the scene finishes, you’ll be in the midst of a small battle. There are around 10-12 enemy soldiers in the hall with you whom you will need to kill. The good news is that you have plenty of allies during this fight and you can for the most part let them do all the heavy lifting and tank-related duties.

After clearing all the baddies another cut-scene will play after which you’ll be able to speak to Ermion.

Option 2 – Cerys/Hajalmar en Craite is Queen/King of Skellige

If either of the an Craite children is now king/queen of Skellige, Ermion will be located in the keep at Kaer Muire located in the south-western peninsula of the main island of Ard Skellige. If you don’t have a fast travel point yet, it’s going to be quite a LONG journey, but at least you’ll unlock some new fast travel markers along the way!

Once you arrive in Kaer Muire, make your way into the keep and follow the path to the objective marker. Approach the objective marker at the far end of the keep to spot Ermion and several other people of interest engaged in vigorous debate. You’ll be thrust into an unwinnable conversation.

No matter what you say, you’ll be attacked. There are around 5-6 enemy soldiers in the in the immediate area whom you will need to kill. The good news is Ermion will be here and be able to utilise his druid magic to assist you during this fight (be sure to clear out the crossbowmen above too or the quest won’t progress). Once you have eliminated the initial hostiles, Ermion will run off.

We’ll now have to follow him through the keep and down to the village below, killing the hostile warriors that appear along the way. After exiting the village and proceeding down the road a short distance, you’ll finally be able to speak with him.

Part 2: Finding the Sunstone

Despite the different positions in which Ermion can be located, the information that ehe gives to you is essentially the same, he’ll give you the names of two individuals that you’ll need to chase up and speak with. Both can give you the information you require and you’ll only need to visit one of them to proceed.

The first, Eyvind, can be found on a viewing platform overlooking the sea just west of the town of Arinbjorn. Arinbjorn is located along the coast to the northwest of Kaer Muire and southwest of Kaer Trolde. Speak with him and you’ll be given a pair of timed choices.

The first includes the following options and no consequences appear to happen for either choice:

[Say Nothing]
“Eyvind”
Whilst the first choice doesn’t do squat other than a minor dialogue change, the second timed choice however will determine whether or not Eyvind will give you the information that you are after or not. The choices are:

“For a treatise on the Aen Sedhe…” – He won’t give you the information and you’ll have to meet the pearl divers for information.
“Gathering material for an adventure novel” – he’ll give you the information and you can move on.
If you failed in getting the information from Evynd, or you decide to go for the pearl divers straight off the bat, they can be found on the island peninsula directly west of Kaer Trolde and north of Arinbjorn. Speaking with them will garner the information, but you’ll be interrupted by Drowners mid-chat so be prepared for a fight.

Now that we have the information, we’ll need to head back to Kaer Trolde Harbour and speak with Yennefer to progress.

This will trigger a new quest ‘Child of the Elder Blood’ and at this stage the game will switch this to our active quest, so let’s get to it now.

If you wish to continue with the current quest, head down to the next section: ‘The Sunstone – Part 2’.

Child of the Elder Blood

This quest will initiate automatically when you speak to Yennefer in Kaer Trolde Harbour once you have discovered the location of the Sunstone. During this conversation, you’ll be told about a magical laboratory that the sorceresses want you to check out.

At the end of the conversation, you’ll start the quest ‘Child of the Elder Blood’. You’ll also be gifted a new fast travel signpost on your map – The Pali Gap Coast located on a small island around halfway between the major Skellige islands of Undvik and Spikeroog. This is where you’ll find the laboratory. Fast travel there to get started.

Enter the doorway to the elven ruins by the fast travel point and speak to Yennefer and Ciri inside. Following the scene you’ll have to fight off a Golem – this thing is essentially a higher levelled version of the boss we fought with Keira during the ‘Wandering in the Dark’ quest earlier. This time you have a pair of allies and you can use the same general tactics to deal with it easily.

Once the Golem falls a doorway will open.  Follow the others inside.

Here we can inspect the desk by Yennefer for an amusing scene before exploring the rest of the area. If you activate your Witcher Sense whilst looking around the initial area you can inspect the following:

Sweets on the table along the far left wall from the entrance.
A hair brush on the table along the same wall to the right of the sweets.
Follow the narrow hallway until you reach another large room for a conversation – it’s a good idea to look at his notes.

After the scene, your objectives will update. Head over to where Yennefer is waiting by a door in the new search area and bang on your Witcher Sense. For interest sake (its optional) you can investigate the area. You can inspect:

A perfume bottle on the stand opposite the door.
The mirror on the stand opposite the door.
When you are ready to continue, head through the door for a cut-scene. During the conversation, you’ll get a timed decision during which it is possible to choose options that will slightly influence your chances at a either a good ending or a bad ending.

Your options include:

“Calm down.” – This choice will move you towards a bad ending.
“Go for it.” – This choice will move you towards a good ending.
Following the scene, we’ll be done here. Backtrack through the cave to return outside where you’ll have one more timed decision to make with Ciri and again, depending on the choice can influence the ending and open another story quest (which would otherwise be missable).

Your options include:

“Yeah, I’ll go with you.” – This choice will open a new quest ‘Skjall’s Grave’ and move you towards a good ending.
“No time.” – This choice will move you towards a bad ending.
As soon as the conversation ends, the quest will be completed. At the end of the conversation, you’re given the opportunity to jump into the ‘Skjall’s Grave’ quest right away or to meet Ciri later on Hindarsfjal.

Note: For completing the quest you’ll earn 300XP.

Skjall’s Grave

Note: This is classified a as main quest in the quest log but will only appear if you have agreed to go with Ciri to Hindarsfjal at the end of the ‘Child of the Elder Blood’ quest.

At the end of the ‘Child of the Elder Blood’ quest, you’re given the opportunity to jump into the ‘Skjall’s Grave’ quest right away or to meet Ciri on Hindarsfjal (You’ll find her near Lofoten).

Either way, once you arrive and have met up with Ciri a scene will play. This scene and consequent conversations will encompass the entire quest – in fact there is no actual gameplay at all.  There is however a timed decision that can be made although it does not appear to have any consequences. The options during the decision include:

“Quiet Down”
“Your laws don’t bind us”
At the end of the quest, you’re given the opportunity to stay here or to be ported back to Kaer Trolde Harbour. The choice is yours! Either way you choose this short quest will be completed.

Note: For completing the quest you’ll earn 100XP.

The Sunstone – Part 2

After previously finding the location of the sunstone and spoken with Yennefer and the other sorceresses at Kaer Trolde Harbour, an objective marker for the location of the elven ruins holding the Sunstone has been added to your map.

You’ll find it just north of Kaer Trolde, along the northern coast of the Ard Skellige Island. To get there, we’re going to have to borrow a boat from the harbour and sail our way up to the location.

The fastest way to get there is to sail to the north, beneath the bridge leading to Kaer Trolde keep and through the gorge here. Hug the right hand coastline when you reach the open water until you arrive at the objective marker.

Note: There are some Sirens flying about on the way, but as long as you stay really close to the coast, they shouldn’t bother you. If they do, hop into the water to avoid damage to the ship and crossbow them to death.

When you arrive at the Elven ruins, exit the boat and speak with Philippa nearby. She’ll remove an illusion nearby and open a passage into the ruins. Be sure to loot the chest where she was standing for some goodies (they included Diagram: Elven Steel Sword and Manuscript Page: Enhanced Samum for me).

Head into the ruins and follow Philippa through the ruins until you reach a large room with a Siren flying about. Move inside and you’ll be attacked by a group of Drowners in addition to the Siren. The Siren is the main target and waves of 3-4 Drowners will continue to spawn until you kill her as such use your AARD or your crossbowto knock the Siren from the sky for a few moments and finish it off as quickly as possible.

After the fight, explore the right side of the room from the entry to find a Place of Power (boosts IGNI) to draw from. Return to Philippa and follow her once more.

Once she has reconstructed the stairs, follow her up them. She’ll head to the right here but you are free to explore the left hand passage to reach a large room with a Venomous Arachasae in it (think giant spider). Kill this and loot the three chests here – two near the spider and one hidden just beneath the lip of the platform opposite the entrance door for some god quality loots (mine featured Manuscript Page: Superior White Raffard’s Decoction, Diagram: An’ferthe and Manuscript Page: Enhanced Beast Oil).

This area also has a small sub-chamber from the eastern end of the paved section. Here you’ll find a Hidden Treasure marker. Activate Witcher Sense and examine the body here to find an Elven-made Key.

On the far side of the room you’ll see a chest but if you look at the floor you’ll notice that it is covered with tiles filled with spike traps – step on one of these and you are a goner! There is a safe passage across the floor and to locate it you can either use IGNI or AARD to trigger the traps to see where no spike s appear or use Witcher sense and look carefully at the holes in the tiles – if there is red, that means it’s a trap!

When you reach the far end, loot the chest and then pull the lever on the wall – this will disable the spike traps, making getting back much easier. Exit to the previous room and backtrack to Philippa.

Follow her into the next large cavern and look immediately to the right to see another Golem come to life – this thing is essentially a higher levelled version of the boss we fought with Keira during the ‘Wandering in the Dark’ quest earlier. This time you Philippa along for the ride who is able to use her magic to stun and damage it and you can use the same general tactics to deal with it easily.

Enter the doorway where the Golem was guarding to find a chest. Keep after Philippa until she reaches a door which will trigger a scene.  Following this and another short trek, you’ll end up in a room filled with mirrors.

As you enter, head into the water just to the left of the bridge in front to find a pair of chests (these contained Diagram: Ard Skellig Aketon, Manuscript Page: Devil’s Puffball and Manuscript Page: Enhanced Northern Wind in my game). Return to the entrance and whilst looking towards the centre of the room, take the path to the left.

Climb up the ledge to reach the platform with the first mirror. Loot the chest here for some goodies (for me they included a Diagram: Gnomish Gwyhyr) and then activate the lever on the back of the mirror.

Return to the entrance and this time turn to your right and look for a set of stairs leading up into another passage. As you go through the passage, keep an eye out for an alcove on the right on the mini-map – destroy the Stalactites and Stalagmites here to access a chest (I found Torn-out Page: Forktail Decoction).

Continue through the passage and battle the Ghost who appears when you reach the next set of stairs. At the top you’ll be on the platform with the second mirror. Loot the chest here for some goodies (in my  game I found Manuscript Page: Elementa Oil) and then activate the lever on the back of the mirror.

Head back to where we entered the room and finally, proceed across the bridge to the central platform. Take the right hand route off the platform and turn left to find a ramp leading up to the final mirror. Hop up here and you will need to defeat another Ghost on this ledge before activating this mirror as well.

A scene should play and your objectives will update. Make your way over to the platform with Philippa nearby for a conversation. This will end the quest.

Note: For completing the quest you’ll earn 500XP.

To exit the area, you can either backtrack the way we came until you are back outside, or head through the door on the platform where we received the Sunstone. If you choose the latter, you can follow a linear passage through the area, killing the occasional Ghost. When you reach the collapsed bridge area, look in the water below the bridge segments for a pair of chests (my game threw up Diagram: Longclaw).

At the top of the first collapsed bridge, turn the corner and you’ll see another gap in the road. Drop down and look around to the left for another chest. Continue along the route and kill the Ghost on the stairs as you reach them.

At the top of the stairs, you can enter the door to the left. Kill the pair of Ghosts in here to be rewarded with a pair of chests (for me, I earned Diagram: Meltithe and Manuscript Page: Enhanced Cat). Head back to the top of the stairs and proceed through the door opposite.

Follow the passage here, climbing up numerous ledges until you reach an open-ish area where we’ll need to drop down. Here you’ll be set up on by another Ghost. Defend yourself and when it’s clear have a look on the right hand side of the room from where we dropped down to find a small platform with four chests (these contained Manuscript Page: Superior White Honey, Manuscript Page: Superior Moon Dust, Diagram: Beann’shie and Diagram: Spikeroog Aketon in my game).

Now we can take the nearby stairs up to the surface and exit the ruins. Make your way down to the nearby town of Rogne to the southwest to unlock a fast travel marker to get where you want to go next quicker!

The final quest we need to finish off to complete the 'Battle Preparations' umbrella quest is 'Veni Vidi Vigo' so lets get it on!

Veni Vidi Vigo

This is a fairly short quest and has us attempting to sneak onto the Emperor’s ship without being spotted. The Emperor has gone and parked his fleet off the coast of Undvik (the south-western of the major Skellige Isles islands). If you have been here before, you can fast travel to either Gull Point, or Marlin Coast to get in close, fast.

Once we are close enough, we will need to swim out to the fleet and reach the ship marked by the yellow search area. Once thing you’ll need to do is avoid the searchlights at all costs – swimming through these will have archers pepper you with arrows – not a fun way to go! Additionally, it is probably best to stay on the surface so that you can see where the searchlights are hitting the water and thus avoiding frustration.

You will need to swim your way between ships here, avoiding the searchlights as you go and finding your way to the objective marker – I ended up approaching it from the seaward side.

When you approach the correct vessel, you’ll hear the guards spot you and stand down. Swim to the front of the ship and interact with the anchor here to trigger a scene to end the quest.

Battle Preparations – Part 2

Once we have completed the three core underlying quests ‘The Sunstone’, ‘Child of the Elder Blood’ and ‘Veni Vidi Vigo’ you will be able to travel to Kaer Trolde harbour and speak with Avellac’h to hand in the quest.

At the end of the conversation, you’re given the opportunity to jump into the next quest ‘On Thin Ice’ right away or opt to meet Avallac’h and the rest of your posse on Undvik when you are ready to commence.

On Thin Ice

When you are ready to complete the final few quests in the main storyline, you will need to head to Undvik and meet up with your allies at the objective marker.

After a conversation outlining the general plan of attack for the next quest, and a further Ciri-related conversation, you’ll be told that time is short and you’ve got one last opportunity to make your preparations. Avallac’h will again give you the option of commencing immediately, or having you join him shortly. I’d suggest preparing first because we’ll have a couple of tricky fights to contend with in the near future!

Use the blacksmith here to repair your gear, and be sure to oil up your blades with Elementa Oil and Hanged Man’s Venom to make things slightly easier.

Note: Speaking to Avallac’h to launch the next phase of this quest is the game’s final point of no return. As such, be sure to clear out all of the side-quests that are somewhat story related before you start it!

The following side-quests will fail if you have not completed them at this point:

Reason of State
A Final Kindness
When you are ready to go, head over and speak with Avallac’h to start the final act.

Following a number of scenes, you’ll finally get to see some action –as Ciri. We’ll essentially be placed in a giant iceberg with a fixed path through it. At this point it appears that Ciri has manged to power herself up quite a bit as her attacks can cause a lot more damage than previously.

As you travel along the path you will run into bunches and bunches of Hounds of the wild Hunt and Wild Hunt Warriors. These will continue to spawn into the area, so although you can fight them, its eventually going to become a losing battle. Instead, only kill the enemies that get in your way and be sure to roll/blink as much as you can to reach the next objective markers.

When you reach the end of the path, you’ll drop down to a large circular platform below to take on a boss.

Boss: Caranthir

Phase 1 - Ciri

We’ll begin this fight in control of Ciri and this stage of the fight plays out in quite similar fashion to the Imlerith boss we fought earlier during the ‘Bald Mountain’ quest.

During the first phase of the fight Caranthir will use his staff to perform melee combos of varying lengths. He will also teleport frequently and will often do so to get behind you so be sure to stay on your toes and prepare to dodge. As with Imlerith, lure Caranthir into committing to one of these combos and either wait until he stops, or dodge/roll to the side and then attack him once or twice in the back/sides whilst he attacks the space in front of him.

After a few whacks from a super-powered Ciri a scene will play to progress the fight to the next phase.

Phase 2 – Geralt

We’ll fight the second portion of this boss battle as Geralt and for some reason Caranthir will completely change up his tactics. He’ll ditch the melee attacks Ciri faced and instead place emphasis on his ranged attacks – a rapid fire single projectile attack or a wave of ice shards that will cause damage to anything in front of him at the time. The attacks will also have a freezing effect which will slow down Geralt’s movement, opening him up to more attacks.

To attack Caranthir, you’ll need to dodge and roll his ranged attacks as you approach and get as many sword hits and IGNI blasts in on him as you can before he teleports away and proceeds to attack from range again at which point we’ll need to repeat the process.

Once Caranthir reaches around 50% health, he’ll also periodically summon an Ice Elemental to assist him. When you see these appear, you’ll need to immediately focus on taking it down. If you don’t eliminate them immediately and instead ignore it, Caranthir will continue to summon them and on the harder difficulties, this added challenge is almost impossible.

Outside of prioritising Ice Elemental destruction, the tactic for approaching and damaging Caranthir remains the same.

Once the boss has taken enough damage, a scene will play.

As soon as you regain control, you’ll be underwater.  Hold down the button to immediately swim to the surface. As you reach your destination, another scene will play.

At this point we’ll be back on dry land again. Follow the path around to the right and drop down. Immediately run up and use YRDEN to close the portal here. Climb the ramp to the right to board a ship.

From here on in there are plenty of Hounds and Wild Hunt Warriors in the way (and they’ll keep coming no matter what), so it looks quite intimidating – especially with your limited potions. Fortunately, you can essentially roll or sprint past the enemies here from objective marker to objective marker until you reach another scene.

This will introduce another boss fight.

Boss: Eredin

This is the final boss fight of the game and as such is suitably challenging. As with the previous fight, the battle will take place over two phases, with the first phase consisting primarily of melee combat, whilst the second has a much more range and AOE attack focus.

Phase 1 – Melee

This part of the fight takes part on the small confines of a ship’s deck and as such does not give us a huge amount of wiggle room when it comes to manoeuvring about. During this phase Eredin will unleash several different melee combos that can strip you of your health very quickly, he’ll also teleport in an attempt to get behind you and your defences.

Unfortunately, Eredin can block or counter most attacks you perform on him front on and will usually link his counter attack into a punishing combo. As this is the case, you’ll need to trick him into starting a combo, side-step and smack him around a few times with your sword (or IGNI) from the side or rear.

Once you have chipped off around 25% of his health, a short scene will play and with the change of surroundings, we’ll move into the second phase of the fight.

Phase 2 – Ranged/AOE

During this phase, not only will Eredin be able to perform his teleporting melee combo attacks as seen on the boat during phase 1, his move set will expand to include several damaging ranged and AOE attacks.

This includes a move in which he hits the ground, sending out three waves of energy in front of him, featuring one, three and five projectiles accordingly. He’ll also summon a series of giant balls of ice from the sky and the area they land will be indicated by a blue maker shortly before it hits – stay clear! The boss will smash the ground with his weapon and cause a number of blue energy balls to emerge from the ground beneath Geralt. You’ll need to keep moving to avoid them.

As the fight progressive, you’ll notice that Eredin will become bluer and bluer, this is no coincidence – he’s slowly building up an ice shield that will reduce the damage he takes from Geralt’s attacks. To counteract this, you can strip it completely with a single shot of IGNI.

This fight is going to take a while – it is risky to attack him whilst his AOE/ranged attacks are going off as they cause far too much damage, although if you can get in close you can often end the ranged attacks with a hit. As such, if you can manage to get a solid hit in – excellent, but we’ll want to focus on attacking during his melee phases. We’ll need to dodge and roll away from all of his ranged shenanigans  to illicit an attempted melee combo during which you can side-step and hit him a few times to chip away at this health bar or IGNI his armour off.

Continue to get attacks in where you can and eventually, once he’s lost the majority of his health, he’ll flee through a portal. Follow after him.

Land one more blow for a scene to end the fight.

At this point, we’ll be automatically shunted into the next quest ‘Tedd Deireadh, The Final Age’.

Note: For completing the quest you’ll earn 500XP.

Tedd Deireadh, The Final Age

This quest kicks off immediately following completion of the ‘On Thin Ice’ quest and the first part is a follow the leader type deal with you as Geralt having to follow Yennefer as she leads you to your destination.

From the starting area, you’ll head through a gate and up a hill towards a boat under construction (you may have examined this earlier if you did the ‘The Lord of Undvik’ side-quest). As you near the boat, fireballs will start raining from the sky. You’ll want to do your best to avoid these by keeping an eye out for and staying clear of the orange glow that appears on the ground just prior to impact as we follow Yennefer as they can cause some serious damage.

Soon after passing the boat, you’ll come across a pair of horses. Hop aboard and continue to follow Yennefer. During this section you’ll want to stick close to her and ignore everything else that is going on around you because in addition to the fireballs, there will now be portals appearing with Cyclopses streaming through and both hazards can kill you right quickly.

After a brief ride, Yennefer will dismount and you’ll be required to do the same. Again, follow her up the nearby ledge and hang out for a few moments. During this next sequence, Yennefer will keep up a bubble shield. This is protecting you from the icy elements that are going bananas outside of the bubble and until the section is over, straying outside of the bubble will result in Geralt taking damage.

Yennefer will need to move along a set path here and you’ll have to move with her. As you move along, you’ll encounter several portals which will spawn Hounds of the Wild Hunt and we’ll need to eliminate them to continue – just let them come to you and defeat them within or on the very outside of the bubble to prevent unnecessary damage to Geralt.

Eventually another scene will play and you’ll find yourself inside the magic a barrier. Climb the path here and enter the tower at the top. Here you’ll get another timed decision (although it makes no real difference). Your options include:

“Not falling for that.”
“Think I’ll spare you?”
After another brief conversation, you’ll have one last timed decision to make (again, outside of a dialogue snippet or two it makes no difference what you decide). After a few additional scenes, you’ll get to enjoy the fruits of your labours – the ending which occurs during a brief Epilogue quest ‘Something Ends, Something Begins’!

Something Ends, Something Begins

This quest kicks off immediately following completion of the ‘Tedd Deireadh, The Final Age’ quest and depending on your choices you have made to this point; you’ll receive one of three main endings.

The three endings and their outcomes play out in a short, enjoyable care-free quest. I won’t spoil anything for you, but I’ll list below the requirements for receiving each of the endings. They include the following:

Ending 1 – Good

Chose positive options during conversations with Ciri in ‘Final Preparations’,‘Blood on the Battlefield’, ‘Child of the Elder Blood’ and ‘Battle Preparations’.
Completed the side-quests ‘A Matter of Life and Death’, ‘Now or Never’ and ‘A Deadly Plot’ before the end of Act 2.
Completed ‘Reason of State’ in Act 3.
Ending 2 – Good

Chose positive options during conversations with Ciri in ‘Final Preparations’,‘Blood on the Battlefield’, ‘Child of the Elder Blood’ and ‘Battle Preparations’.
Completed/ or did not complete the side-quests ‘A Matter of Life and Death’, ‘Now or Never’ and ‘A Deadly Plot’ before the end of Act 2.
Did not complete ‘Reason of State’ in Act 3.
Ending 3 – Bad

Chose negative options during conversations with Ciri in ‘Final Preparations’,‘Blood on the Battlefield’, ‘Child of the Elder Blood’ and ‘Battle Preparations’.
Each of these takes place as the part of this epilogue and once you have completed this quest you’ll get to observe various character endings based upon your decisions in game.

At this point the credits will roll and you’ll have finished the Witcher III: Wild Hunt – Congratulations!

Note: Following the credits, you’ll end up back at Kaer Morhen in post-game free roam mode. Here we can complete all of the less significant side-quests, finish off Witcher Contracts and explore the world to your heart’s content.

 

Secondary Quests

The Witcher III: Wild Hunt is a massive behemoth of a game. Not only does the core campaign take a significant time investment to complete, there is also a ridiculous amount of side-quests and other side-content to keep you well occupied for hours and hours. There are more than 150 total side-quests in the game and they range from short, 2-3 minute conversations to good hour long romps through the countryside.

Below you’ll find links to a guide to each zone on the map listing all of the side-quests I have found in each area along with guides on how to go about completing them all. Enjoy!

White Orchard Secondary Quests
Velen Secondary Quests
Novigrad Secondary Quests
Skellige Isles Secondary Quests
Kaer Morhen Secondary Quests
White Orchard Secondary Quests

There are 10 side-quests available in White Orchard and these include five short story side-quests, a single Witcher Contract, three Hidden Treasure challenges and a Scavenger Hunt.

Note: Other than the Contract and the Treasure Hunts, all of the other quests should be done before leaving White Orchard.

The quests include:

A Frying Pan, Spick and Span
Missing in Action
On Death’s Bed
Precious Cargo
Twisted Firestarter
Contract: Devil by the Well
Hidden Treasure: Deserter Gold
Hidden Treasure: Dirty Funds
Hidden Treasure: Temerian Valuables
Scavenger Hunt: Viper School Gear
A Frying Pan, Spick and Span

Start Location: The Old Woman banging on the door of the westernmost house of the main settlement area (its right on the riverbank).

After speaking with the Old woman to start the quest, check out the front door of her house with Witcher Sense. The game will pop-up a tutorial prompt explaining that you can use the AARD sign to break down weak walls and doors. As such, use it to blast down the door.

Once inside, loot everything in the area – be sure to grab the contents of the chest just left of the door as there is a nice sum of Crowns in there.  In the next room, you can also loot a chest containing a Diagram: Blunt Crossbow Bolt.

At this point we can activate Witcher Sense and explore the room. You’ll be able to inspect the following:

The body propped up against the wall.
Silver Monacle on the floor.
Burned papers in the oven.
The Frying Pan on the bench by the oven.
The object that we require is the Frying Pan located on the bench next to the oven. Pick this up and return to the Old Woman.

After a short conversation, the quest will be complete.

Note: for completing the quest you’ll earn 10XP, 5 x Baked Apple and 5 x Apple Juice.

Missing in Action

Start Location: This quest can be obtained from the Notice Board in White Orchard.

Once you have read the notice, meet Dune and his dog by a burned out building just southwest of the Ransacked Village Fast Travel point.

After speaking with Dune, you’ll receive a new objective marker on your map. Make your way over to the target location and speak with him again.

We’ll now need to find and track down Bastien’s shield. If you look at the map, you will see that there is a yellow circle indicating the area in which it is located. Navigate all the way over to the search zone and clear out the ghouls from the immediate area (there should be at least three level 2 ghouls here).

Once the coast is clear, use your Witcher Senses to locate the investigable red objects – there should be two or three of them (the target for me was located in the southwest corner of the zone).

When you have identified the right shield the dog will take off and the search zone will be updated. Look at the map and you’ll notice a building within the search zone. Head over to this and approach the door for a scene.

During the conversation you will have one of two options for completing the side-quest. They include:

Leave the soldier
Help the soldier
Note: Either choice will reward you with 25XP.

On Death’s Bed

Start Location: speak to the herbalist to the west of White Orchard. During the conversation ask about the woman on the bed.

Speaking to the Herablist about the woman will give you a short side-quest ‘On Death’s Bed’ which encourages you to craft a Swallow Potion.

This is a super handy potion to learn, and the most effective healing item you will have for quite a while. The ingredients include:

Drowner Brains which you can obtain from Drowners along the river banks or in the swamp near the Nilfgaardian garrison.
Celadine which can be looted from a plant with small yellow flowers (there are a lot of these around the outskirts of the main settlement)
Dwarven Spirits which can be purchased from the innkeeper or merchants.
Once you have all of the required reagents, open the Alchemy menu and craft the potion.  Once you have the potion, return to the Herbalist and let her know that it is ready.

Note: for handing over the potion you’ll earn: 350XP,  50 Crowns, 2 x Venom Extract, Manuscript Page: Cursed Oil anda Book - Of Sweat and Blood (this can be read for Torn-out Page Nightwraith Decoction).

Precious Cargo

Start Location: Merchant by a campfire, just off the western road leading south from the Nilfgaardian Garrison.

After speaking with the merchant, you are going to want to return to the main road and follow it north for a short distance. Activate Witcher Sense and locate the set of tyre tracks veering off into the swamp.

From the cart tracks, run in a straight line for a short distance until you find the cart itself lying on its side. At this point we can activate Witcher Sense and explore the area. You’ll be able to inspect the following:

Arrows in the cart.
The dead horse.
Corpse on a tree nearby.
Lockbox by the trees in front of the dead horse.
Once you have the Lockbox, return to the merchant. If you have investigated the scene of the crash thoroughly, you’ll be able to choose between taking his money, or revealing his lies. Doing the former will earn you a bit of dosh, but the latter option will also net you some XP.

If you tell him you know the truth, he’ll hop on a horse and ride off. Jump on your own horse and chase him down – use your saddle swing to attack him for a scene.

During this conversation you will have one of three options for completing the side-quest. They include:

Take him to the Niflgaardians – No reward.
Let him go - You'll receive 30 Crowns.
Let him go but keep the medicine – You'll be given some Celandine.
Note: No matter your choice of outcome for the quest, you’ll earn 10XP for your troubles.

Twisted Firestarter

Start Location: The Dwarven Blacksmith just southwest of the tavern in the main settlement.

After speaking with the Smith, head around the left side of the burned hut and activate Witcher Sense and explore the area. You’ll be able to inspect the following:

Tinderbox on the ground by the back of the hut.
Footprints leading away from the hut.
Follow the footprints a short distance until you find some bottles of alcohol which you can inspect. Keep after the footprints until you reach the river. At this point they will disappear. Follow the bank of the river to the left and just on the far side of the bridge you’ll find some more points of interest.

You’ll be able to inspect the following:

Boots on the ground.
Footprints leading away from the river.
Note that as soon as you inspect these items you will be attacked by a group of three level 4 Drowners who will emerge from the river behind you. Do your best to use your dodge and block to avoid damage whilst using AARD and IGNI to inflict damage and temporarily stun some of your foes whilst you focus on a target.  Once all three are dead, you’ll be able to continue.

Enter Witcher Sense again and follow the footprints into town. They’ll lead to a doorway. Inside you’ll find the arsonist.

Confront the arsonist. During the conversation, you’ll be given the option of receiving some money form the bad guy, or taking him to the Smith. Choosing the latter option will require you to either beat him up or use AXII on him to lead him to the quest-giver.

Note: You’ll earn 25XP at this point for tracking down the arsonist. You’ll earn another 25XP for using the AXII sign on the arsonist.

When you reach the Dwarf, a scene will play.

Note: for completing the quest you’ll earn 50XP, 20 Crowns and a Blacksmith Location.

Contract: Devil by the Well

Start Location: This quest can be obtained from the Notice Board in White Orchard. Once you have read the contract, meet Odolan in one of the houses nearby.

After speaking with Odolan, you’ll receive a new objective marker on your map. Follow the main road south out of town to reach an abandoned village. As you arrive, you’ll unlock the Abandoned Village Fast Travel marker.  

Once you arrive, activate Witcher Sense and explore the area. You’ll be able to inspect the following:

The burned grass by the well
The dead dog near the well.
At this point, the game will prompt you to read the Beastiry entry for the Noonwraith in the menu. Navigate here and read the entry. This will handily give you some general information about the target as well as reveal that it is susceptible to Moon Dust Bombs, Specter Oil and the YRDEN sign. Return to the real world.

You’ll see that the search areas have changed from one, to three. We’ll now need to investigate these three buildings around the well. The first two contain lootable items, but our real goal is located in the building to the east.

Here you’ll be able to use Witcher Sense to inspect the following:

Yellowed Diary on the bed.
Skeletal remains on the floor by the bed.
Once you have inspected the skeleton, a blood trail will appear. Follow this using Witcher Sense and then inspect the following:

Check the bloody prints by the doorway.
The rope hanging from one of the well’s supports.
After the scene, jump into the well and dive underwater. Use Geralt’s Witcher sense again to locate the object of interest.  Swim down to nab the Ornate Bracelet.

Surface and swim over to the ledge that allows you to climb out.  Follow the short ledge here until you reach a pool of water. Hop in here, dive and then follow the underwater tunnel until you exit into the river outside – just make sure that you surface when you start running out of air!

Once outside, return to the village. Approach the corpse by the well. As soon as we interact with this, we’ll need to fight a Noonwraith. It’s a good idea to prepare for the fight if you need to do so – equip your best armour and weapons, and go to the Alchemy menu and brew up some Specter Oil if you have the reagents (although you probably don’t need it!).

When you are ready to fight, interact with the body.

Boss: Noonwraith

The Noonwraith can be quite tricky for this early in the game, especially if you haven’t adjusted yourself to the combat yet. She can perform some very swift swipe attacks and some regular style melee attacks, both of which will damage quite a bit when they hit. She’ll also be able to blind Geralt temporarily and create copies of herself which will restore her health as long as they are out. As such, when she splits into several clones kill them as quickly as possible to reduce the amount of health regain she is able to achieve.

The most effective way to defeat the Noonwraith is to plant a YRDEN sign trap and lure her through it – this will reveal a physical form that takes a lot more damage than the ghostly version. It is best to use your swords on the physical form, get a hit or two in and then back off to avoid her attacks. Additionally, you can use IGNI for a little ranged damage.

Loot the body for the Noonwraith Trophy.

Note: for killing the Noonwraith you’ll earn 50XP.

Now that the contract is complete, return to White Orchard and speak with Odolan once again. During this conversation you will have one of two options for completing the side-quest. They include:

Accept the money (50XP)
Refuse the money (Amethyst, 50XP)
Note: You can now also visit the herbalist and ask her about Clear. She’ll give you another reward: 10XP, 10 Crowns, 4 x Saltpeter, 8 x Berbecane Fruit, 8 x Hellebore Petals and 6 x Cortinarius.

Hidden Treasure: Deserter Gold

Start Location: From a hidden treasure location to the north east of the Mill fast travel point.

Enter the building in the search area here opposite the windmill. Inside you’ll find a passage leading down. Use AARD to blow open the door at the bottom. Inside you’ll find several chests with useful items including: Diagram: Disglair, Formula: Manuscript Page: Insectoid Oil.

Looting these chests will complete the side-quest. Note that one chest is locked, this can be unlocked by bringing the key that is found during the side-quest ‘Temerian Valueables’.

Hidden Treasure: Dirty Funds

Start Location: At a hidden treasure icon on the map just to the east of the Mill Fast Travel point in a camp guarded by level 4-5 Wolves and Wargs.

When you reach the location and have cleared it out, use Witcher Sense to find the red chest inside one of the tents. Loot this for Diagram: Kovari Cutlass and Formula: Hydragenum.

This unlocks the Treasure Hunt Quest ‘Dirty Funds’.

Read the Scrawled Notes to update your objectives. The new objective marker will take you to the largest Bandit Camp on the map. Here you’ll need to kill 5-6 level 1-2 Deserters and find the large tent at the back of the camp. When you reach the tent fight the Deserter Leader who is equipped with a shield – use your AXII to stun him temporarily or use counter attacks to stun him.

Once the Deserter Leader is dead enter the tent. Loot the pair of chests in front of the bed the third to the right of the entry to complete the quest. Between them you should find Hunting Boots and Hunting Gauntlets.

There are plenty of other reagents about in the containers throughout the camp, so be sure to loot what you need before continuing.

Hidden Treasure: Temerian Valueables

This quest starts Under the water by the bridge around halfway between the main settlement and the Nilfgaardian Garrison. You’ll need to loot the corpse on the western bank of the river, next to the bridge and use the key he carries to unlock the chest underwater beneath the bridge.

This unlocks the Treasure Hunt Quest ‘Temerian Valuables’.

Read the Blood-stained Military Orders to update your objectives. Head to the new objective marker and clear out the immediate area of the Deserters (they are level 7 so if they are too much for you at the moment, come back later).

Enter the building here opposite the windmill. Inside you’ll find a passage leading down. Use AARD to blow open the door at the bottom. Inside you’ll find several chests with useful items including: Diagram: Disglair, Formula: Manuscript Page: Insectoid Oil.

Looting the red chest will complete the side-quest.

Note: Completing the ‘Temerian Valuables’ side-quest will render you unable to initiate the ‘Deserter Gold’ side-quest.

Scavenger Hunt: Viper School Gear

This side-quest requires Geralt to find two Diagrams to create some fancy new equipment. These are not pointed out to you in any particular way, rather you need to explore and find one of the Diagram to unlock the quest (and the ability to track the quest to highlight objectives).

The diagrams can be found in the following locations:

Inside the church at the White Orchard Cemetery. To get inside, you’ll need to use your AARD sign to knock down the door. Kill the level 7 Wraith inside and then use your Witcher Sense to locate and loot the bodies within. One will have the Diagram: Serpentine Silver Sword.
In the ruins atop the hill just to the west of the Ransacked Village Fast Travel Point. To get up there, approach from the southwest and find the leaning brickwork wall acting as a ramp. you’ll need to kill three level 1-2 Deserters. There is also a level 5 Deserter Leader armed with a two-handed axe. Inside the ruined tower you’ll find a chest containing Diagram: Serpentine Steel Sword and several other lootables.
Once you have collected both diagrams, the quest will be completed.

Velen Secondary Quests

There are numerous side-quests available in the expansive lands of Velen (No Man’s Land). These include multiple short story side-quests, a handful of Witcher Contracts, Hidden Treasure challenges and a Scavenger Hunt.

Of particular note are several story-based side-quests involving major and minor characters that can impact on aspects of the story and the endings that can be failed if you progress too far through the main game.  As such, if you want to get all you can from the game, keep these in mind as you progress!

The major quests involving main characters that can be failed include:

The Magic Lamp – Fails during ‘Isle of Mists’
An Invitation from Keira Metz – Fails during ‘Isle of Mists’
A Towerful of Mice – Fails during ‘Isle of Mists’
A Favour for a Friend – Fails during ‘Isle of Mists’
For the Advancement of Learning – Fails during ‘Isle of Mists’
Return to Crookback Bog – Fails during ‘Isle of Mists’
The other, more minor quests here include:

Funeral Pyres
Though Shall Not Pass
Fake Papers
Bitter Harvest
A Greedy God
Ciri’s Room
Death by Fire
Defender of the Faith: Velen
Forefather’s Eve
The Fall of the House of Reardon
Ghosts of the Past
The Truth is in the Stars
Wild at Heart
Fists of Fury: Velen
Gwent: Velen Players
Races: Crow’s Perch
The Magic Lamp

Start Location: This side-quest becomes available after completing ‘Wandering in the Dark’ and can be undertaken before leaving the elven ruins.

Follow Keira into the nearby chamber and use your Witcher Senses to examine the door. This will trigger a scene in which you’ll be told a riddle. This riddle relates to the four statues that you can see in the room with you and we need to interact with them in a specific order to open the door.

The correct order is:

Interact with the unarmed statue just right of the door.
Interact with the statue holding a lute just left of the door.
Interact with the statue with the dog on the far right.
Interact with the statue with the dog and the lute on the far left.
This will open the door. Move inside and approach the altar in the distance for a scene.

Before leaving the altar room, look for some climbable ledges on the side of the area. These lead up to a Place of Power (Boosts YRDEN) that we may as well draw from seeing as we are here for an Ability Point. Keep moving along the passage here to find a Golem guarding a Guarded Treasure marker.

Once you have killed the Golem, loot the four chests hidden about the room for Design: Demeritium Bomb and Torn-out Page: Werewolf Decoction. From the bottom of the stairs you came in from, look for a weak wall we can blow down with AARD. Inside you’ll find more chests containing some additional goodies (Tracker’s Boots for me!).

Now return to where we exited the mage’s lab in ‘Wandering in the Dark’ and take the opposite passage until you reach a blockage. Interact with it to remove the illusion and you’ll find yourself outside.

A scene will play to end the side-quest.

Note: For completing the quest you will earn 100XP.

An invitation from Keira Metz

Start Location: This quest is acquired automatically upon completing the main quests ‘Hunting a Witch’ and ‘Wandering in the Dark’ and the side-quest ‘The Magic Lamp’.

You can begin this quest by heading over to Keira’s hut northeast of the town of Midcopse in Velen. Inside the house, you can speak with her. Agree to help her out and she’ll hand over a Magic Lamp and a Xenovox.

Completing the conversation will also complete the quest and initiate another ‘A Towerful of Mice’.

A Towerful of Mice

Start Location: This quest is acquired automatically upon completing the side-quest ‘An Invitation from Keira Metz’.

After leaving Keira’s you’ll need to make it to the quest marker. This is located on Fyke Isle, the island located smack bang in the middle of the largest lake in southern Velen. If you have not ventured there before, you can reach this island by using a sailing boat.

Once you arrive on the island, you should be forewarned that there are a lot of monsters here – specifically Rotfiends, Drowners and Ghouls. Our ultimate goal is to reach the large circular settlement area that can be spotted on the easternmost side of the island, its main gate is located on the south side of the perimeter wall. Make your way through the trees and swampy area until you arrive at the keep’s gates.

Near the gates you are liable to be attacked by a group of 4-6 Ghouls, there is a Water hag in the watery area just inside the keep’s walls. Kill them all off and then make sure you have your Magic Lamp equipped. In this area we have an optional objective of using this key item to find ghosts in and around the tower.

Ghosts appear almost like fireflies in the world so that you can spot their presence, they will only be properly revealed however once you shine the Magic Lamp on them. There are a couple of Ghosts we can find outside of the tower itself. They can be found in the following locations:

Amongst the trees just to the east of the gate leading to the keep.
Behind the main keep building, directly opposite the gate.
Now we’ll need to head inside the tower itself and discover what has happened. Enter the tower via the door at the top of the stairs opposite the gate. Once inside, activate Witcher Sense and explore. You’ll be able to inspect the following:

Axes and Knives on the floor.
Dead rats on the floor.
Blood stain beside the fireplace.
In this room, you’ll also be able to shine your Magic Lamp on a ghost. There is also a door leading down to the basement which contains a pair of chests we can loot and another Ghost that can be observed here.

Return to the first floor and climb to the second. As soon as you reach the second floor, you’ll be able to spot another Ghost in front of the fireplace as you enter.

Climb to the third floor and exit the door ahead to reach a viewing platform – there is a chest here with a bunch of goodies for you! Inside, check out the pair of bedrooms here. The right hand room has a ghost we can observe with the Magic Lamp whilst the left has a chest (that held a Diagram: Bremervoord Blade in my game).

Take the stairs to the next level, loot the chest in the corner and then proceed up the next flight of steps to the fifth floor. When you arrive, your objectives will be updated. Activate Witcher Sense and you’ll be able to inspect the following:

Scrapes on the floor by the wall on the left at the top of the stairs.
Handprint on the wall by a lever to the left of the bed.
Handprint on the wall by a lever to the right of the bed.
Pull the left hand lever in order to open a secret door. Enter and follow the passage into the hidden laboratory.

There is a Ghost in here, but loot the laboratory before you check it out – there is a chest near the door we came in and another up the stairs at the back on a viewing platform loot these for some good stuff (Manuscript Page: Enhanced Moon Dust and Manuscript Page: Elementa Oil).

Whilst we are here, you can also use our Witcher Senses to explore the laboratory if you wish. You can inspect the following:

The Bodies in vats around the room.
Potion vial on the floor near where the ghost was located.
Document – Mage Alexander’s Log 1 on the table to the left of where the Ghost was.
Document – Mage Alexander’s Log 2 on the bookshelf just inside the entrance door.
When ready, activate the Magic Lamp and approach and speak with the Ghost here.  During the conversation you’ll be able to do one of two things:

Option 1 - Help Annabelle
Option 2 - Don’t help Annabelle
Option 1 - Help

After a short scene, your objectives will be updated and you’ll receive the quest item Annibel’s Remains.

We’ll need to take these to an NPC named Graham.Graham lives in Oreton which is located on the shore of the lake to the north of Fyke isle. Make your way to his house and speak with the man banging on his door. Once he has departed, interact with the door for a conversation.

Hand over the bones during your conversation and then leave once the conversation has completed. Following the conversation, return to Keira’s hut and tell her the good news. The quest will be completed.

Now that we are done here, head down to the next quest: 'A Favour for a Friend'.

Option 2 - Don’t Help

This option can be undertaken by either choosing the “I don’t trust you” conversation option or by telling here you need to look around and then attempting to exit the keep without talking to her again.

Attempting to leave the keep from the first floor will have her appear and attack you. She’ll also cause the rats in the area to become hostile. Kill them and take a swipe at her as well and after a short fight she’ll run away through the door.

Here, in the water surrounding the keep you’ll have to fight a boss: a Pesta.

Boss: Pesta

The Pesta is quite similar to a Wraith, but with a lot more health. She can perform some very swift swipe attacks and some regular style melee attacks, both of which will also poison Geralt when they hit. She will summon a swarm of insects that will follow Geralt around and cause damage over time.

The most effective way to defeat the Pesta is to plant a YRDEN sign trap and lure her through it – this will reveal a physical form that takes a lot more damage than the ghostly version. It is best to use your swords on the physical form, get a hit or two in and then back off to avoid her attacks. Additionally, you can use IGNI for a little ranged damage.

Once the Pesta has taken enough damage it will disappear and following a brief communiqué with Keira, your objectives will be updated – we need to find an NPC named graham and bring him to the island.

Graham lives in Oreton which is located on the shore of the lake to the north of Fyke isle. Make oyur way to his house and speak with the man banging on his door. Once he has departed, interact with the door for a conversation. Convince Graham to go to Fyke Isle.

Once you are back on the Island, escort graham to the keep and head inside. You’ll need to kill a pair of wraiths on the first floor, but it should be smooth sailing from there in until you reach the laboratory where Annabelle is located.

Following the scene, return to Keira’s hut and tell her the good news. The quest will be completed.

A Favour for a Friend

Start Location: This quest is acquired automatically upon completing the side-quest ‘A Towerful of Mice’.

This quest will begin immediately following your chat with Keira upon handing in the previous quest ‘A Towerful of Mice’. Exit the hut and ride to the north until you reach the large, yellow search area.

Activate Witcher Sense and head to the southern part of the search area. Look along the major road leading south and locate the set of tyre tracks veering off the road. Follow the cart tracks through the wilderness here until you find the cart itself lying on its side. At this point we can activate Witcher Sense and explore the area. You’ll be able to inspect the following:

The leftovers on the ground next to the cart.
Some bottles on the ground behind the cart.
Blood Stains on the ground in front of the cart.
The lockbox on the ground beneath the cart.
Note: You can follow the bloodstains with Witcher Sense to find out what happened to the driver (just watch out for the Rotfiend nearby!).

Picking up the Package for Keira by looting the lockbox will update your objectives and ask us to return to Keira.

Following the scene, you’ll be in a race. The mini-map has a yellow line drawn on it that we can follow to stick to the race track we are supposed to be sticking to. You’ll want to keep galloping as much as possible, but release the sprint button for a few seconds occasionally to let the meter refill a little so that you can maintain your speed.

Once you reach the destination a scene will play.

Note: During this conversation, you’ll have the opportunity to romance Keira.

After a short conversation, you’ll be back in control of Geralt again. Activate Witcher sense and move down the road slightly to the south. Follow the trail of clothing until a scene plays.

For the Advancement of Learning

Start Location: This quest is acquired automatically upon completing the side-quest ‘A Favour for a Friend’.

Following the previous quest, you are going to want to head over to the Tower on Fyke Isle again. You can either swim across, grab a boat or use the fast travel signpost we would have unlocked earlier to reach the tower quickly.

Approach the tower for a scene. Here you’ll have a few dialogue options:

“Can’t let you“ – This will initiate a boss fight.
“Hundreds could die…“ – This will start up a new conversation where you can convince her to go to Kaer Morhen.
“It’s suicide” – This will start up a new conversation where you can convince her to go to Kaer Morhen.
“Do what you want“ – She’ll leave.
Note:  Recruiting her to go to Kaer Morhen is important as it is required to complete the ‘Brothers in Arms: Velen’ optional main quest and is also needed for an achievement/trophy and for help later in the game.

Note: Triggering the boss fight will have you fail the ‘Brothers in Arms: Velen’ quest.

Despite all the reasons that you shouldn’t, If you do choose the “Can’t let you” option, you’ll initiate a boss fight.

Boss: Witch

This boss favours ranged attacks and uses magical lightning strikes and fires rock projectiles at you that you’ll need to roll/dodge to avoid taking damage. It is also able to teleport quite a long distance which it will do to constantly keep you at range where it can utilise its projectile attacks.

The trick to beating this one down as quickly as you can is to roll/dodge the attacks it throws at you to get in close and mash away with your sword until it teleports away. Repeat the process until a scene plays to end the quest.

Note: No matter the choice you make, At this point you will earn 200XP.

Note: At this point you will earn the achievement/trophy ‘Friends With Benefits’.

Return to Crookback Bog

Start Location: This quest is acquired automatically upon completing the main quest ‘Family Matters’.

This quest can be started by speaking with the Bloody baron in Downwarren following the conclusion of the ‘Family matters’ quest.

Note: There are two versions of this quest which one you get hinges on what you did with the evil spirit during the ‘The Whispering Hillock’ quest. For the most part however, other than conversations and scenes, the quests are the same.

Following a short conversation with the Baron in Downwarren, he and his men will take off for the swamp, specifically – where we met the orphans and Crones earlier. You’ll need to travel with them through the swamp and help fight off the monsters that attack.

As you go there will be two monster attacks – the first will consist of 5-6 Drowners and the second will involve a combination of Rotfiends, Drowners and a Water Hag. Fortunately you have some back up, but you should try to keep as many of these fellows alive as possible for later on.

When you arrive at the huts in the swamp, you’ll see another group of soldiers fighting off some Drowners. Help them finish them all off and you’ll be treated to a conversation afterwards.

Now that that’s over with, we’ll need to prepare for a fight – the game even tells you to do so! If you have some Relict Oil handy, it’s a good idea to apply it now.

After a few moments a group of Drowners and a pair of Water Hags will attack the group. Once you have dealt with them, a Fiend will show up.

Fiends are quite large, lumbering enemies and act in a similar way to the Basilisk and Griffin we fought earlier when we brought them to ground. It has some nasty melee and leaping attacks with quite a large range we’ll need to dodge away from. Other than that the fight boils down to standard operating procedure – get a hit or two in, dodge, repeat.

Once the Fiend drops a scene will play.

Note: From here on in, there are two permutations of this quest depending on the choice you made whilst dealing with the evil spirit during the ‘The Whispering Hillock’ quest.

Option 1 - Helped the Spirit
Option 2 - Killed the Spirit
Option 1 - Helped the Spirit

Following the scene, you’ll need to go and track down Johnny again. Make your way over to his where we found him previously. Clear out the Drowners and the Water Hag in the immediate area surrounding his home.

Once the area is clear and it’s obvious that Johnny isn’t home, we’ll need to activate our Witcher Senses to find and follow a set of footprints that will lead us to where Johnny is hiding nearby.  Speak with him to find out what is going on.

Now that we have an idea what about what we need to do, head back to where we fought the Fiend and enter the marked hut. Climb down the ladder inside and you’ll find an altar of sorts here. Approach this and you’ll need to choose between one of three Voodoo Dolls.

The correct one is the flower – ‘Violet Hollylock Bloom’. Once selected, a scene will play and the quest will be completed.

No matter what you do or the outcome, things will end in the same way and the Baron will no longer be in charge of Crow’s Perch. From now on you’ll need to deal with his Sergeant.

Note: For completing this quest, you’ll earn 100 Crowns.

Option 2 - Killed the Spirit

If you killed the evil spirit in the tree, a scene will ensue in which the fate of Anna is decided. You do have a bit of input into the conversation, but no matter what you do, things will end in the same way and the Baron will not return to Crow’s Perch.

As the Baron is no longer in charge of Crow’s Perch, from now on you’ll need to deal with his Sergeant.

Note: For completing this quest, you’ll earn 100 Crowns.

Funeral Pyres

Start Location: Approach the guarded Priest of Eternal Fire on the side of the road just west of Mulbrydale.

After speaking with the priest, if you track the quest you’ll receive three new objective markers on your map.

We need to approach each of these areas, clear them of any enemies before approaching the bodies in the pits, interacting with them and then using your IGNI sign to light them on fire to progress. Note that whichever marker you visit last, there will also be a living soldier here who will help you dispatch them – try to keep him alive as you fight.

West - The pit to the west of the start location is guarded by a Level 6 Rotfiend. You’ll find that stunning it with IGNII or AARD and rolling away from its combos will do you a lot of good here. Watch out when its health gets low as it will explode, so roll away when you see it inflate!
North - The pit to the north of the start location is guarded by a Level 4 Ghoul and three Level 2 Ghouls. As with the Rotfiend, stunning with IGNII or AARD and rolling away when you see attacks coming are the keys to victory.
Southeast – Similar to the northern pit, the area of interest to the southeast is guarded by a Level 4 Ghoul and three Level 2 Ghouls. 
Note: You’ll earn 9XP for lighting each of the three pits and a further 22XP for rescuing the soldier.

Once all three pits have been lit up, your quest marker will update. Head over to the new marker to the north by the bridge to hand in.

During the conversation you will have one of two options for completing the side-quest. They include:

Accept a bribe (200 Crowns, 45XP)
Fight the NPCs (200 Crowns from looting the Priest, 45XP)
Though Shall Not Pass

Start Location: Speak to the Guard at the northern end of the bridge just north of the Hangman’s tree fast travel point.

As you approach the guard post a scene will play and a conversation ensues. During the conversation, you are told that there is no way through without a pass. You can use the AAXI sign, or pay the guard 10 Crowns to learn how to get a pass.

Note: You’ll earn 25XP by using AAXI on the guard.

Return to the refugee camp at the far end of the bridge. There are two ways to complete this mission. You can either:

Find the Shady Merchant in the camp here and complete the ‘Fake Papers’ and ‘Bitter Harvest’ side-quests.
You will also earn a pass for during one of the core story quests ‘Family Matters’.
It is possible to also earn a pass during the side-quest 'A Deadly Plot'.
Either way, once you have a pass, return to the soldier and present it during the conversation to complete the quest.

Note: for completing the side-quest you’ll earn 75XP.

Fake Papers

Start Location: Speak to the Shady merchant at the refugee camp close to the bridge just north of the Hangman’s tree fast travel point.

Upon speaking with the Shady Merchant, he’ll tell you that the only way across the river is to get yourself a pass. Unfortunately they are in short supply and he’s willing to swing one your way for a price. You can either pay 100 Crowns for the pass, or refuse.

If you refuse he’ll offer an alternative, and the game will also give you the opportunity to use AXII on him if your rank is high enough to lower the price to 50 Gold (this will also net you 30XP). If you don’t have the money, or the AXII level, you can also undertake a short quest for him.

This actually leads you to another Velen side-quest ‘Bitter Harvest’.

Note: If you choose to attempt ‘Bloody Harvest’ and Albin Hart dies, the Shady Merchant will not sell you the Fake Pass at all.

Once you have completed ‘Bitter Harvest’ you can return to the Shady Merchant and choose the option explaining that you helped out. This option will reduce the price to 25 Crowns.

Note: for obtaining the Fake Pass you’ll earn 2XP.

Bitter Harvest

Start Location: In the battlefield south of the bridge just north of the Hangman’s tree fast travel point.

To begin this quest find the NPC named Albin Hart in the battlefield here. If he won’t talk to you right away, he may be in combat so clear the immediate area (in my game there were a pair of Level 9 Ghouls hanging around).

After a brief conversation, a yellow quest area marker will appear on the map. We will need to stay within the zone and protect the workers here from Ghouls that will come to attack.

They approach in waves:

Three Level 7 Ghouls
Three Level 7 Ghouls
Three Level 7 Ghouls and a Level 8 Rotfiend
Three Level 7 Ghouls
Once all four waves have been dispatched, return to the quest giver for your reward/s.

Note: for completing the quest you’ll earn 50XP and 50 Crowns.

Note: in completing this quest you can speak with the Shady merchant at the refugee camp by the bridge nearby for a discount on a Fake Pass to cross the bridge. Also note that if Albin Hart dies, the Shady Merchant will not sell you the Fake Pass at all.

A Greedy God

Start Location: From NPCs named Dagmar and Preben In the ruins south of the Wastrel Manor fast travel point, also west of Oreton.

Once you have spoken to the pair of peasants in the ruins here, you’ll be able to walk up to the small wooden statue here and interact with it to have a conversation with the Allgod.

Following your conversation, look behind the crumbling brick wall opposite the altar to find a pile of rubble. Use the Eye of Nehaleni to remove the illusion and proceed down the stairs that appear to find out who the Allgod really is.

During the ensuing conversation, you’ll have only two real choices here which include:

“I’m going to kill you…” – this will trigger a fight in which you have to kill the monster. It’s an easy fight and one that should not cause you any issues.
“Settle for humble offerings…” – The monster will agree and let you go without a fight.
Before exiting the monster’s lair, be sure to loot the joint. There are chests here that contain some decent reagents and a crafting Design or two (I found Diagram: Mountain Folk Boots). When you are done, head back outside.

Return to the peasants and tell them what you have done to end the quest.

Note: For convincing the monster to take lesser offerings, you’ll earn 100 Crowns.

Ciri’s Room

Start Location: This quest will begin automatically after your fist conversation with the baron in Crow’s Perch.

To complete this quest, we need to investigate the room in which Ciri stayed at the Bloody Baron’s castle. The room in question is on the same floor and just to the east of the main exit to the courtyard outside.

Enter the room and activate your Witcher Sense to explore the area. You’ll be able to inspect the following:

The spinning top to the left of the door.
Clothes on the floor by the bed.
The Book - The Natural Obscurity of Curses on the table.
After looting the book, open your inventory and read it from the Quest Items tab. This will update your objectives.

Next you will want to exit the room and enter the doorway opposite. Work your way to the back of the kitchen here to find Gretka. Speak with her. In addition to some extra information about Ciri, you can give her the Spinning Top to end the quest.

Note: for handing over the Spinning Top and reading The Natural Obscurity of Curses you’ll earn 100XP.

Death By Fire

Start Location: Along the road leading west from Codger’s Quarry, directly north east of the Hanged Man’s Tree Fast Travel Point.

This quest will occur as you approach a burning house along the road. As you near it a scene will play. After a short chat, you’ll need to kill the group of bandits standing in front of the building – make sure you prioritise taking out those crossbowmen first though to avoid frustration!

Once you have dispatched the hostiles, use the AARD sign to break down the front door of the burning house, head inside and speak with the woman you find here to help her escape.

Unfortunately, all of this commotion has bothered a bear who happened to be in the area. It will obviously become angry and attack (let’s face it - it’s a game, it was always going to happen). You’ll need to kill the bear to progress and thankfully the woman you rescued from the house will help you out with her bow.

Once the big bad bear is dead, speak to the victim. She’ll tell you about a small stash of money behind her house that you can have. Use Witcher Sense between the two buildings to locate a hollowed out stump which we can loot for 20 Orens.

Note: For completing this quest, you’ll earn 25XP.

Defender of the Faith: Velen

Start Location: From a Peasant located on the main road just to the east of Blackbough.

After approaching and speaking to the peasant, Geralt will fix a fallen statue on the road. You’ll now be tasked by the woman to find and repair another two of these statues in Velen. Both of these are located further to the south where there are usually higher levelled enemies wandering around.

The closest marker to the start location is found along the road to the south of Midcopse and is guarded by a Level 11 Endrega Worker. Once the enemy is dead, interact with the statue to right it.

The second is much further south, but ride for the objective marker and you’ll be greeted with a conversation with the fellows who have been vandalising the statues. At this point you can let them do their thing, which will result in failing the quest, or stopping them which will result in a fist fight. Whichever way you choose, the quest will be resolved.

Forefather’s Eve

Start Location: This quest is acquired automatically upon completing the side-quest ‘A Towerful of Mice’.

Upon leaving Keira Metz’s house at the end of ‘A Towerful of Mice’ the Pellar we met earlier will be waiting for us outside. He’ll approach and ask you to help him out with a ritual on Fyke Isle. As a sexy Witcher, who are we to turn him down?

To kick the quest off, we’ll need to head to the Pellar’s location at a circular stone amphitheatre-type area on the western side of Fyke Isle. We’ll need to meet the Pellar here at midnight, so meditate until the appointed hour.

When you are in the right place at the right time, speak with the Pellar. He’ll ask if you are good to go. When you are ready, have him begin the ritual.

After a brief conversation, a yellow quest area marker will appear on the map. We will need to stay within the zone and protect the Pellar and the worshippers from the Drowners that will emerge from the ocean and come to attack.

In total, there is around 5-6 Drowners and a Water Hagthat you will need to kill. Fortunately, the Drowners will come three at a time, with additional drowners spawning as they fall so you won’t be too overwhelmed.

Once all the monsters have been dispatched, a scene will play and you’ll be forced to make a decision:

Option 1 - “Not my fight.”
Option 2 - “Leave them alone.”
Option 1 - “Not my fight”

Selecting this option will immediately end the quest, the Pellar won’t be too thrilled but no one else will die and you’ll get a reward.

Note: For completing the quest, you’ll earn 200XP.

Option 2 - “Leave them alone”

Selecting this option will cause a fight with three Witch Hunters, fortunately the Pellar will help you out.  Following this fight, another scene will take place before another brief fight takes place against three Wraiths. Killing them will trigger a scene which will update our objectives.

Now we’ll need to make our way over to Crookback Bog to the east. There is a huge search area drawn up here, but the body that you are looking for can be found using Witcher Sense and happens to be directly below the objective marker in the centre of the search area. Just note that you’ll need to fight off three Rotfiends before you can approach it safely!

When it’s safe to do so, approach the corpse and inspect it with Witcher Sense. After a few words of wisdom, use IGNI on the corpse to incinerate it.

With that out of the way, make your way over to the Pellar’s house, northwest of Blackbough for a short conversation to end the quest.

Note: For completing the quest, you’ll earn 200XP and 50 Crowns.

The Fall of the House of Reardon

Start Location: This quest can be acquired via a notice posted on the Lindenvale Notice board.

After acquiring the notice on the Lindenvale board, you should head over and speak to the crying NPC nearby by the name of Dolores. Ask her about the monsters in her home.

Following the chat, make your way over to the manor to the east.

Note: Depending on the choices you made earlier in Vizima to the question “Did you kill Letho, or let him live?” whilst being interviewed, this side-quest will play out in entirely different ways.

Here are the two scenarios that can unfold:

Option 1 – Letho is Dead
Option 2 – Letho is Alive
Option 1 – Letho is Dead

If Letho is dead, when you arrive at the manor, you’ll find it overrun by Wraiths. Kill any in the open and head into each of the buildings to find and clear them all out.

Once they are all dead, you are able to mosey on over to Dolores in Lindenvale to complete the side-quest.

Option 2 – Letho is Alive

If Letho is alive, when you arrive at the manor, a large yellow search area will appear on the mini-map and you’ll want to switch on your Witcher Senses as you explore it. This is because there will be traps everywhere (trip wires and bear traps especially) and you’ll want to avoid or disarm them.

Enter the barn on the south side of the estate. Inside, you will want to be careful as there is once again traps scattered everywhere. Your goal is the ladder we can inspect on the floor by the back wall opposite the entrance.

Climbing this will trigger a scene and also kick off another side-quest ‘Ghosts of the Past’ which will run concurrently to this one. During the conversation here, agree to help Letho.

Following the scene, you’ll be out in the courtyard below. There are a good 8-10 bounty hunters here looking to kill our buddy. Fortunately he is pretty sturdy, so let him take aggro if you need to restore health for a moment. With Letho at your side, you should have no trouble dispatching them.

Note: You can return to Lindenvale and hand in ‘The Fall of the House of Reardon’ at any time after the first fight with Letho. I would suggest however that you complete the ‘Ghosts of the Past’ quest first.

When you are ready to end the quest, we can mosey on over to Dolores in Lindenvale to complete the side-quest.

Ghosts of the Past

Start Location: This quest can be acquired during the ‘The Fall of the House of Reardon’ side-quest, but only occurs if you selected the option that Letho was alive earlier in Vizima in response to the question “Did you kill Letho, or let him live?” whilst being interviewed.

If Letho is alive, when you arrive at the manor during the ‘The Fall of the House of Reardon’ side-quest, a large yellow search area will appear on the mini-map and you’ll want to switch on your Witcher Senses as you explore it. This is because there will be traps everywhere (trip wires and bear traps especially) and you’ll want to avoid or disarm them.

Enter the barn on the south side of the estate. Inside, you will want to be careful as there is once again traps scattered everywhere. Your goal is the ladder we can inspect on the floor by the back wall opposite the entrance.

Climbing this will trigger a scene and also kick off another side-quest ‘Ghosts of the Past’ which will run concurrently to this one. During the conversation here, agree to help Letho.

Following the scene, you’ll be out in the courtyard below. There are a good 8-10 bounty hunters here looking to kill our buddy. Fortunately he is pretty sturdy, so let him take aggro if you need to restore health for a moment. With Letho at your side, you should have no trouble dispatching them.

Note: You can return to Lindenvale and hand in ‘The Fall of the House of Reardon’ at any time after the first fight with Letho.

After the fight, hop on a nearby horse and ride after Letho. He’ll lead you cross country a fair way and eventually you’ll reach a camp where he’ll dismount and go in for a chat.

No matter what you say a fight will break out here. There are 5-6 mercenaries who should not put up too much of a challenge as they are all melee-based and with Letho helping out they all drop pretty quickly.

Once you’ve finished chatting to the leader, Letho will lead you back to Lindenvale. Here you’ll bump into another group of mercenaries that Letho wishes to speak with.

Note: It is possible, with the right approach during this conversation to recruit Letho as an ally for Kaer Morhen at the end of Act 2. To do so, choose all of the peaceful options during the conversation with the bounty hunters.

A scene and conversation will break out during which you can talk. Here are the consequences of your conversation choices:

“You’re as good as dead” – This will provoke the guards and they will attack you.
“Don’t want trouble” – The conversation will continue. The subsequent options are:
“Changed my mind – you gotta die” – This will provoke the guards and they will attack you.
“His medallion’s all you need” – This will end the mission peacefully.
Either way you choose to complete the mission – either forcefully or peacefully, you’ll get one last scene with Letho. If you chose the peaceful options, you can recommend that he goes to Kaer Morhen, thus recruiting him.

This will complete the side-quest.

Note: At this point, you can also hand in ‘The Fall of the House of Reardon’ nearby!

The Truth is in the Stars

Start Location: This quest can be acquired via a notice posted on the Oxenfurt Notice board.

Once you have acquired the notice, you’ll be able to start the quest by heading over to the small town of Benek on the eastern side of the Velen map. Here you’ll need to find and speak to the Old Sage sitting by one of the buildings.

During the conversation, offer him some food. He’ll then ask you to go and find him some Dragonsroot. This can be found in a cave nearby, so you may as well!

Follow the road out of town to the south and enter the marked cave. Make your way to the innermost part of the cave and clear out the Ghouls inhabiting the area. Bang on your Witcher Sense to find and acquire the Dragonsroot.

Return to the Old Sage and hand over the Dragonsroot for a scene to end the side-quest.

Wild at Heart

Start Location: This quest can be acquired via a notice posted on the Crow’s Perch Notice board.

Once you have picked up the quest from the notice board, you can start it by travelling to the town of Blackbough and speaking with an NPC named Niellen. You’ll learn that his wife is missing and it’s up to us to find out what happened.

Following the conversation, you can move around the town and speak with Glenna and the children by the blacksmith for additional information about our missing person. This will update our objectives.

Now we’ll have a new objective marker on the map. Hop on your horse and ride to the area of interest in the forest to the north.

When you arrive, use Witcher Sense to find a pack of Wolves using their white ripples – they are standing by where we want to go. Head over and kill them all – this will trigger a scene with a familiar face from town.

At this point, we’ll be given the option of either receiving a bribe and returning to town with flase news, or continuing on our crusade to find the missing person.

Note: If you decide to take the bribe, you’ll be given 55 Crowns and earn 75XP. At this point you can head back to Blackbough and tell Niellen that his wife is dead. This will end the side-quest and net you an additional 10 Crowns and 25XP.

If you decide to continue searching for the woman, activate your Witcher Sense and explore the immediate area. You can inspect the following:

The dead dog beneath the tree.
The claw marks on the ground.
A dead body behind the tree.
Upon inspecting all three points of interest, you’ll spot a trail of clawed footprints nearby leading to a rock. Inspect:

The scratched rock
A tuft of hair on the ground behind the scratched rock.
After examining the tuft of hair, a scent trail will appear whilst in Witcher Sense. Follow this through the forest until you come across a piece of clothing on the ground. Follow this trail of clothing in Witcher Sense mode until you find an isolated shack.

Enter the shack and loot a pair of chests in here (there’s another locked one we can’t get at just yet). On the floor in the bedroom, pick up and read the Mysterious Notes.

Exit the building and run around to its rear to find a blood trail leading down to a door below the house. You can use AARD to knock this down before proceeding into the cave. At the back of the cave look around for some plants that we can harvest and a chest containing an Enhanced Saddle.

Here we’ll need to wait until nightfall, so use your meditation to fast forward time until the required hour. This will trigger a boss fight.

Boss: Werewolf

If you have not yet fought a Werewolf, it can be an intimidating sight but can actually be fairly straight forward once you get the hang of the sorts of attacks that the monster throws at you. Werewolves will perform a leaping claw slash attack, as well as several close-medium range melee attacks and a lunge with his mouth.

Perhaps the trickiest aspect of this fight is that once he takes a bit of damage, he’ll run off and start glowing red – this will regenerate his health. You will need to keep up an attack on him whilst he is glowing red to counteract the regeneration rate – setting him on fire with IGNI will also help in this regard.

You can roll away from his lunge and dodge his melee abilities whilst quickly following up with attacks of your own before backing off. Unfortunately, the fight is made a little more difficult due to the Wolves that will enter the cave and also attack you alongside the big fellow. Try to remove them as quickly as possible to avoid frustration.

It is best not to get greedy and stay too close for too long as this boss can do a lot of damage. Keep dodging and chipping away at his health bar until he falls.

Once his health bar is depleted a scene will play. During the scene, you’ll have a timed decision to make which will slightly affect what happens next:

“Can’t let you do that” – You’ll have to fight the Werewolf once more, but with only a small amount of health left.
“She deserves it…” – A scene will play.
Either way you decide to proceed, once the scene ends, you’ll finish the side-quest.

Note: For completing this quest, you’ll earn 100XP.

Before leaving the area, be sure to loot the Werewolf’s body for a Key. Enter the isolated shack again and use said Key to unlock the locked chest inside for some new armour and Diagram: Shaidhal’s Armour.

Fists of Fury: Velen

Start Location: This quest can be acquired via a notice posted on the Crow’s Perch Notice board.

This is the first of several ‘Fist of Fury’ side-quests and fortunately each of these side-missions are short, relatively easy and probably won’t cause you too much grief (as long as you are at the recommended level). The missions require that you track down a series of challengers and best them in hand-to-hand combat.

As you approach each of the challengers, you need to speak with the Bookie nearby to set up a fight, during which you can bet gold – if you win, you’ll double your deposit and if you lose you’ll lose it all. You can find the fighters in the following locations:

Jonas – Jonas is found in Blackbough, directly west of Crow’s Perch. This fellow blocks a lot, you’ll need to chain together a few attacks to wear out his stamina and then damage him. Be sure to block when he fights back.
Smithy – Smithy is found at the Inn at the Crossroads, north of Crow’s Perch. Smithy is the easiest of the three fights. Simply dodge when he attacks and immediately counter, he should go down in no time.
Fishgulper – this fellow is found at Lindenvale, east of Crow’s Perch. As with Smithy, he is vulnerable to counter attacks but he does get his guard up quickly. Continue to dodge and counter until he drops.
Note: Fishgulper will ask you to lose to him in the fight. If you do this, the quest will end at this point, however if you go on to beat him, there will be one last challenger to face.

Sergeant – The Sergeant is the final challenge and can be found in the courtyard of the keep at Crow’s Perch
Note: You’ll earn 25XP per win for defeating each of the first three combatants and 75XP for defeating the Sergeant.

Gwent: Velen Players

Start Location: This quest can be acquired via a notice posted on the Crow’s Perch Notice board.

The Gwent quests in the Witcher III: Wild Hunt are very similar to those seen in the ‘Fists of Fury’ quests – but instead of boxing, they require that we track down and play Gwent against a series of increasingly difficult opponents.

As you approach each of the challengers, you need to speak with them to start a match, during this conversation you can bet gold – if you win, you’ll double your deposit and if you lose you’ll lose it all. You can find the Gwent players in the following locations:

The Baron – Found in his office at Crow’s Perch.
Note: If you fail to play and beat the Baron at Gwent before completing the ‘Return to Crookback Bog’ side-quest you can find the unique Gwent Card Sigismund Djikstra on a desk in his office along with the next player you are required to beat to continue the quest.

The Soothsayer – This fellow is found in town of Benek on the eastern side of the Velen map.
Man in Oreton - The Oreton man is located in Oreton, directly north of Fyke Isle.
More info coming soon!

Races: Crows Perch

Start Location: This quest can be acquired via a notice posted on the Crow’s Perch Notice board.

This is the first of several ‘Race: X’ side-quests and fortunately each of these side-missions are short, relatively easy and probably won’t cause you too much grief as long as you are alright in the saddle. The quests require that you track down a series of challengers and best them in horse races over a number of different courses.

For horse racing, there are a few general tips that you should always look to exploit:

Getting in front early is your best bet. Be sure alternate between canter and running to recharge your horse’s stamina though!
When you are in front, you can drop back from a gallop to a canter and effectively move back and forward to block other horses coming from behind. This is especially effective in narrow segments of track.
Be sure to stay on the racing line! Some races will fail you if you stray too far and Roach is likely to come to a screeching halt if you hit any slight obstacle along the way.
For each of the races in the ‘Races: Crow’s Perch’ side-quest, you need to speak with Radko nearby start the race, during which you can bet gold – if you win, you’ll double your deposit and if you lose you’ll lose it all. Radko can be found on a road to the west of Crow’s Perch and will initially set you up for three races.

Once you have spoken with Radko to initiate the race, you’ll be able to choose one of three challengers - there seems to be no real difference between the challengers as far as I can tell however you will need to beat all three around the same track in a one-on-one race to complete this portion of the side-quest.

All three races are essentially the same; you’ll need to follow the black racing line on the mini-map whilst going through the lit up checkpoints on route. There are a few obstacles (barrels, logs across the track etc.) that seem to change each race, but as long as you use the tips above and avoid said obstacles you should have no real issues with bringing home the bacon in each.

Note: For winning the first race you’ll earn 20 Crowns, Horse Blinders and 25XP.

Note: For winning the first race you’ll earn 30 Crowns, Racing Saddle and 25XP.

Note: For winning the first race you’ll earn 40 Crowns, Saddlebags and 25XP.

Successfully winning all three races will end the side-quest.

 

Novigrad Secondary Quests

Coming soon!

Skellige Isles Secondary Quests

Coming soon!

Kaer Morhen Secondary Quests

Coming soon!

Witcher Contracts

Coming soon!

Gwent Guide

Coming soon!

Achievement/Trophy Guide

Coming soon!

Miscellaneous

Contact Me

Did you enjoy or dislike the guide? Is there something missing? Do you have an alternate strategy? If so and you feel the need to contact me, there are a couple of ways you can go about doing this. You can reach me at:

Email	
sokkus [at] hotmail [dot] com

Please use the subject 'Witcher 3'.

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try to get back to you as soon as I can:

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About Me

Im 30, Australian and live with my lovely wife. I have been thrice named as the world sexiest hugging machine. I work full time and study at University full time as well. I write game guides as a hobby in what little spare time I have and have thouroughly enjoyed writing each and every one. Please head over to the website I write for - www.consoledomination.com to  check out some of my guides, previews and reviews.

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Special Thanks

I would like to thank the following people/entities:

GameFAQs for always being there when I needed help and for accepting my FAQ.
CD Projekt Red for one hell of a fun game.
My lovely wife Kumiko, who is always incredibly patient and understanding.
And everybody who has taken the time to read my FAQs so far.
Version History

Version 0.5

Date Submitted: 28/06/2015

The guide currently contains:

Full walkthrough to the game's main questline from start to finish.
Side-quest walkthroughs for White Orchard and Velen (Velen still in progress).
Version 0.3

 

Date Submitted: 12/06/2015

The guide currently contains:

Full walkthrough to the game up to the beginning of the 'The Isle of Mists' quest.
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