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Game Script by Shotgunnova

Updated: 04/17/16

                                                  T H E  |¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯|
 |¯| |¯| |¯||¯||¯¯¯¯¯¯¯\|¯¯¯¯¯¯¯||¯|   |¯||¯¯¯¯¯¯||¯¯¯¯\  ¯¯|  |¯|  |¯|  |¯¯
 | | | | | || | ¯¯| |¯¯ | |¯¯¯¯¯ | (_  } || |¯¯¯¯ | |¯\ \   |  | |  | |  |
 | ( ( ( | || |   | |   | |      |   ¯'  ||  ¯¯¯| | |_/ /   |  | |  | |  |
 (  \/  \} )| |   | |   ( (      | |¯'.  |( (¯¯¯  |  _ (    |  | |  | |  |
  \   _   / ( |   ( |    \ \____ | |   } | \ \___ | | \ \   |  | |  | |  |
   \_/ \_/   \|    \|     \_____||_|   |_|  '.___||_|  \ \  |  | |  | |  |
              Game Script -by- Shotgunnova (P. Summers) \ \_|  |_|  |_|  |__
                EMAIL: shotgunnova (at) gmail (d0t) com  \__________________|

    I. WALKTHROUGH  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . WLKT

       Kaer Morhen ...................................................... WK01
       Lilac and Gooseberries ........................................... WK02
       The Beast of White Orchard ....................................... WK03
       The Incident at White Orchard .................................... WK04
       Imperial Audience ................................................ WK05
       In Ciri's Footsteps (Velen) ...................................... WK06
        - The Nilfgaardian Connection ................................... WK6A
        - Hunting a Witch ............................................... WK6B
        - Wandering in the Dark ......................................... WK6C
        - Bloody Baron .................................................. WK6D
        - Ciri's Story: The King of the Wolves .......................... WK6E
        - Family Matters ................................................ WK6F
        - Princess in Distress .......................................... WK6G
        - Ciri's Story: The Race ........................................ WK6H
        - Ladies of the Wood ............................................ WK6I
        - The Whispering Hillock ........................................ WK6J
        - Ciri's Story: Fleeing the Bog ................................. WK6K
        - Ciri's Story: Out of the Shadows .............................. WK6L

       In Ciri's Footsteps (Novigrad) ................................... WK07
        - Pyres of Novigrad ............................................. WK7A
        - Novigrad Dreaming ............................................. WK7B
        - Broken Flowers ................................................ WK7C
        - Get Junior .................................................... WK7D
        - Ciri's Story: Visiting Junior ................................. WK7E
        - Count Reuven's Treasure ....................................... WK7F
        - The Play's the Thing .......................................... WK7G
        - A Poet Under Pressure ......................................... WK7H
        - Ciri's Story: Breakneck Speed ................................. WK7I
   
       In Ciri's Footsteps (Skellige) ................................... WK08
        - Destination: Skellige ......................................... WK8A
        - The King is Dead -- Long Live the King ........................ WK8B
        - Echoes of the Past ............................................ WK8C
        - Missing Persons ............................................... WK8D
        - Nameless ...................................................... WK8E
        - The Calm Before the Storm ..................................... WK8F
        - A Mysterious Passenger ........................................ WK8G

       Ugly Baby ........................................................ WK09
        - Disturbance ................................................... WK9A
        - The Final Trial ............................................... WK9B
        - To Bait a Forktail ............................................ WK9C
        - No Place Like Home ............................................ WK9D
        - Va Fail, Elaine ............................................... WK9E

       The Isle of Mists ................................................ WK10
       The Battle of Kaer Morhen ........................................ WK11
       Blood on the Battlefield ......................................... WK12
       Bald Mountain .................................................... WK13
       Final Preparations ............................................... WK14
       Blindingly Obvious ............................................... WK15
       The Great Escape ................................................. WK16
       Payback .......................................................... WK17
       Through Time and Space ........................................... WK18
       A Final Kindness ................................................. WK19
       It Takes Three to Tango .......................................... WK20
       Battle Preparations .............................................. WK21
       Veni Vidi Vigo ................................................... WK22
       The Sunstone ..................................................... WK23
       Child of the Elder Blood ......................................... WK24
       Skjall's Grave ................................................... WK25
       On Thin Ice ...................................................... WK26
       Tedd Diereadh, the Final Age ..................................... WK27
       Something Ends, Something Begins ................................. WK28

       ENDINGS  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . NDNG

       Bad Ending ....................................................... END1
       Good Ending 1 .................................................... END2
       Good (?) Ending 2 ................................................ END3
       Ending Summaries ................................................. END4

       OTHER NOTABLE SUBPLOTS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ONPQ

       Keira Metz: Magic Lamp ........................................... KM01
       Keira Metz: An Invitation From Keira Metz ........................ KM02
       Keira Metz: A Towerful of Mice ................................... KM03
       Keira Metz: A Favor for a Friend ................................. KM04
       Keira Metz: For the Advancement of Learning ...................... KM05
       Bloody Baron: Return to Crookback Bog ............................ BB01
       Triss Merigold: A Matter of Life or Death ........................ TM01
       Triss Merigold: Now or Never ..................................... TM02
       Vernon Roche: An Eye for an Eye .................................. VR01
       Sigismund Dijkstra: A Deadly Plot ................................ SG01
       Yennefer: A Last Wish ............................................ YN01
       Skellige Isles: Possession ....................................... SK01
       Skellige Isles: The Lord of Undvik ............................... SK02
       Skellige Isles: King's Gambit .................................... SK03
       Skellige Isles: Coronation ....................................... SK04
       Sigismund Dijkstra: Reason of State .............................. SG02

       MISCELLANEOUS PLOT-RELATED QUESTS ................................ MSCL

       Ciri's Room ...................................................... CRRM
       Ghosts from the Past ............................................. GHST
       Redania's Most Wanted ............................................ RDNS
       Brothers in Arms: Velen .......................................... BIA1
       Brothers in Arms: Novigrad ....................................... BIA2
       Brothers in Arms: Nilfgaard ...................................... BIA3
       Brothers in Arms: Skellige ....................................... BIA4
       It Takes Three to Tango .......................................... THRT

   II. FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . FAQZ
  III. UPDATES & CONTRIBUTIONS  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . UPDT
   IV. LEGALITY . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . LGLT

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 Script notation:

 ¹ - sic (misspelt intentionally; appears in game in same fashion). I'll also
     use this on words the subtitles omit and places where the subtitles don't
     match the vocals.

 ² - dialogue option only appears in certain circumstances, like doing a
     particular quest beforehand, having enough gold, etc.

 • - possible comment, depending on questlines, race and/or other options. I
     also use it for standalone comments Geralt may have (when investigating
     objects with a red glow, for instance).

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01) KAER MORHEN                                                          [WK01]
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[In the main title video, an old timer preaches to a peasant crowd.]

 Narrator: I see you gather before me...hungry...terrified... Clutching your
           babes to your breast. Emperor Emhyr his marched his legions into
           our lands... Laid siege to every fortress from here to the Blue
           Mountains. Rabid and ravenous, he bites and bites away. Men of the
           North, you stand at the precipice. Your kings have failed you, so
           now you turn to the gods! And yet you do not plead? You do not kneel
           to dust your heads with ash? Instead you wail, "Why have the gods
           forsaken us?" We must look into the trials we failed long ago! In a
           time passed, our world intertwined with another through an upheaval
           scholars call the Conjunction of the Spheres... The gods allowed
           unholy forces to slip into our domain. The offspring of that
           cataclysm was the neferious force called magic... Yet we did not
           banish it, instead studying the vile arcane for our power and
           wealth! And the monsters at our door...the unholy relicts of this
           Conjunction? ...the trolls...the corpse eaters...the werewolves? Did
           we raise our swords against them? Or have we laid this burden on
           others? On so-called witchers? Stray children taught the ways of
           foul sorcery, their bodies mutated through blasphemous ritual. Sent
           to fight monsters though they could not distinguish good from evil.
           The flicker of humanity long extinguished within them. Yes, their
           numbers have dwindled through the years. But a few still roam our
           lands, offering their bloody work for coin. To this day they shame
           us with their very existence! The North bleeds, flogged by war. The
           battles are the gods' whip, chastisement for our sins! And let us
           not forget the terrors, the scourges from beyond our world! The Wild
           Hunt rides the sky with every full moon! The dark raiders abduct our
           children into lands unknown! Some say they herald a second
           Conjunction! Can we chart a course back into the light? Will we find
           the strength to banish the mages from our kingdoms? Unite around the
           warmth of the Eternal Fire? Nigh is the Time of the Sword and the
           Axe! None will fight this war in our stead! Nigh is the Time of
           Madness and Disdain!

[In the game-opening cutscene, two witchers -- Geralt of Rivia and Vesemir --
 are seen scouring an old battlefield for clues to a sorceress' whereabouts.
 Eventually, the two are shown at their hilltop camp, with Geralt dreaming of
 his time at Kaer Morhen, the castle he trained at. His relaxing bath is
 interrupted by one of the sorceress' conjured crustacean-like creatures
 climbing in and nipping him.]

Geralt: You know I don't find that amusing.

[He tosses the crab on the ground near his reclining lover.]

Yennefer: It wasn't meant to amuse, but to prod you to hurry. It's midday
          already.
Geralt: Pfff...
Yennefer: You promised Ciri you'd train with her. Go, before Vesemir bores her
          to death with those etchings.

[He starts getting dressed.]

Geralt: So...later, then?
Yennefer: Mhm. See you later.

[If one talks to Yen again:]

Geralt: See, I thought Ciri could stand to wait a little longer.
Yennefer: It's uninstructive. Not to mention unreasonable.

 Wanna stay with you a bit longer.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: I missed you. A lot.
  Yennefer: And I missed you. But we have plenty of time to make up for that.

 Let's be unreasonable.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: I don't want to be reasonable.
  Yennefer: Aha! So that's the way the wind blows...

 You're right. I should go see Ciri.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Ahh, yeah. Better go see Ciri.

Yennefer: Go and train with her. Then come back. It'll give me a chance to put
          my face on.
Geralt: Of all the women I've known, you're the only one who does that
        before...
Yennefer: You've known many?
Geralt: What's it matter? Only ever thought of you...

[If Geralt inspects things in Yen's room:]

 • Got any clothes that aren't black and white?
   Yennefer: Mhm. Undergarments.

 • Nothing but silver...
   Yennefer: Gold clashes with my complexion. You should know that.

 • You're running out of juice.
   Yennefer: I know. You might bring me some more once you're done training.

 • Lilac and gooseberries, of course.
   Yennefer: Geralt, stop fingering my toiletries.

[Descending a floor, he finds Vesemir sleeping in a chair by himself.]

Geralt: Old witcher's fast asleep... Ciri's disappeared somewhere, of course.

[From the balcony, he spies Ciri training on the castle wall.]

Geralt: Guess she prefers practice to theory...
Vesemir: Hm? What?
Geralt: Time to wake up, master. These lessons so boring they put you to sleep,
        too?
Vesemir: Dammit... Had her taking notes on "Ghouls and Alghouls"... Wanted to
         rest my eyes a bit.
Geralt: Huh. Making her slog through that brick? No wonder she took off.
Vesemir: John of Brugge lacks flair, true, bue he's reliable. Not like the
         hogwash they print nowadays. She's tackling the pendulums, right? How
         many times do I have to tell her? Don't train alone, it only embeds
         your errors. Bring our young damsel to the lower tower courtyard. She
         wants to practice? She'll get to practice.

 Don't get mad at her.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Don't get mad at her.
  Vesemir: Why the hell not? The whippersnapper refuses to do as she's told.
  Geralt: You like that about her.

 We've spoiled her.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Gotta admit we've spoiled her.
  Vesemir: "We've" spoiled her? I've been saying from the start -- Ciri needs a
           firm hand.
  Geralt: Been saying that, true. But you let her walk over you just like the
          rest of us do.

Vesemir: Hm. Fine, I suppose I'm partly to blame. But this has to end. Now.
         Killing monsters is not something to be taken lightly. Ciri must
         understand that if she's to become one of us. I'll see you below.

[Geralt goes down to the pendulum, a set of raised logs to stand on with a
 bigger log swinging between them. It's a device to practice footwork and
 swordsmanship; Ciri's doing it blindfolded.]

Geralt: Wrong.

[Ciri almost loses her balance as Geralt's eagle-eyed assessment proves true.]

Geralt: Now I see why you were so eager to practice. Strike!
Ciri: Ha!

[Ciri's showy moves disarms her on the log, but she catches the sword with her
 foot and flips it behind her back.]

Geralt: You're not in the circus. Pirouette! Wrong. Footwork! Enough. Get down.
Ciri: With a flip?
Geralt: What do you think?

[She backflips off the platform.]

Geralt: All right, take off the blindfold. You've got work to do. Your reflexes
        are still slow.
Ciri: Maybe for a witcher.
Geralt: Think drowners or strigas will go easy on you because you haven't
        undergone the mutations? Though in your shoes I'd fear Vesemir more
        than any striga. Disobeying his instructions... Unwise.
Ciri: Well, yes, but...that book was horribly dull!
Geralt: I know. And you know it's no excuse.
Ciri: Ugh. I'm sorry. It won't happen again.

 Apology's not enough.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Sorry's not good enough. You're gonna read "Ghouls and Alghouls" in
          its entirety. Appendices included.
  Ciri: No, please...I'd rather clean the stables!
  Geralt: End of discussion.

 Better not.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Better not. Vesemir says if it does, he'll make you eat a bowl of
          slugs. Covered in salt.
  Ciri: Hahaha. Eeewwww!
  Geralt: Exactly. So you'd best behave.

Geralt: Come on. We'll practice with the others down below.
Ciri: Shall we run the walls?

 Of course. [BEGIN TUTORIAL]²
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Of course. This a witcher school or an elven bathhouse?

 Not this time. [SKIP TUTORIAL]²
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Not this time. Believe me, you don't want to keep Vesemir waiting.

[If Geralt races Ciri:]

Ciri: Beat you to the bottom!
Geralt: Hah. Maybe if you fall. What did I tell you about breathing? Through
        your mouth, in rhythm with your steps.
Ciri: Huhhh... Huhhh... Huhhh...
Geralt: Ciri. Cut it out.
Ciri: Run into trouble? Should I turn back and help you?!

[If Geralt takes a shortcut in the course:]

Ciri: Hey! You said we weren't allowed to do that!
Geralt: I said you weren't allowed to do it.

[If Geralt wins the race:]

Geralt: I win.
Ciri: Your legs are longer! I'll show you yet -- just need to grow a bit!

[If Ciri wins the race:]

Ciri: First! Hehe. Na-na-na-na-naaa!

[They reach the courtyard. Vesemir and two other witchers, Lambert & Eskel,
 are there as well.]

 • Ciri: Oh no... Vesemir's got that look.
   Geralt: What'd you expect?

Vesemir: Anything to say for yourself, young lady?
Ciri: I'm very sorry, Uncle Vesemir.
Vesemir: Young blood craves action, I understand that. But when you fight a
         beast, knowledge counts as much as your silver sword. At the very
         least, you ought to be able to tell a ghoul from an alghoul...
Ciri: ..."by markings, like unto the panthera tigris that in Zerrikania dwells,
      and the sickly paleness of its visage."
Vesemir: Hmm. So you did read the chapter. Still, you should've asked if...
Ciri: But you were asleep, Uncle Vesemir.

 Won't weasel out of this.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Don't try to weasel your way out of this.
  Ciri: "A witcher must know how to trick his opponent." You said so yourself.
  Geralt: Might've. But don't use my words of wisdom on Vesemir, got it? That's
          playing with fire.

 Could've said you did the exercise while Vesemir was asleep.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: So you did the reading. Why not admit it right off?
  Ciri: "Never pounce on an advantage as soon as it appears. Wait till it
        stands to have maximum effect." Uncle Vesemir's words.
  Vesemir: Well, you're a quick study. Quick, but mischievous.

Vesemir: Fine, we've talked enough. Geralt, you're with me. Lambert, you're
         with Eskel. Ciri with the dummy.
Ciri: Huh... Again?
Vesemir: Stop groaning and grab a sword!

[She walks off.]

Vesemir: What do you think -- should we start by reviewing the fundamentals or
         go right to free training?

 Let's start with the fundamentals. [BEGIN COMBAT TUTORIAL]²
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Should work on the basics. Even skilled masters need to hone the
          fundamentals...and Ciri's barely a novice.
  Vesemir: Draw your sword, Geralt! Quick cuts! One, two, three! Strong strikes
           now! Give it all you got! Never lock your elbow when striking, young
           lady!
  Geralt: Position, Ciri! Footwork! Remember!
  Vesemir: Now -- parrying, Ciri, see how Geralt holds his sword? Its angle?
  Ciri: What am I supposed to parry? I'm fighting a stupid dummy.
  Vesemir: Pretend now, live later! Riposte. Strike, counter-strike! Now,
           young lady, to bring the day to a close, we'll go over a few
           witcher's Signs. Let's start with Quen. Ciri, Quen is sometimes
           called the "witcher's shield." Now watch carefully to see why. Cast
           Igni, Geralt. I wanna see sparks fly! See? If not for Quen Sign,
           I'd be aflame by now. Aard, Geralt. Come on! See that, Ciri? Aard
           will knock anyone or anything off balance, destroy their rhythm.
           Time or Axii. Dammit, I hate this feeling... Ugh... Axii can really
           muddle your mind. Yrden, now. Show her, Geralt. See this, Ciri?
           Couldn't move if I wanted to. Throw a bomb. Don't worry, Ciri,
           Quen'll dampen the blow. Fine, enough. Continue training at will.

 Let's go straight to free training. [SKIP TUTORIAL]²
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Let's skip to free training. No point going over the basics again.

[Ciri knocks the dummy's helmet off; it lands over the castle wall.]

Lambert: Whooaaa, you really showed him, kid!

[Ciri starts climbing the wall.]

Geralt: Ciri, get down here!

[She ignores him and hops over and out of sight.]

Vesemir: Huh, the little she-devil. Soon as she's back, we'll set her to
         polishing all the swords at Kaer Morhen.
Geralt: Find that helmet?! Ciri?! Ugh, I'll make sure to find every last blade
        for you.

[He notices part of the dummy's burlap is torn.]

Geralt: What the...?

[He peels back the cloth to reveal a corpse.]

Geralt: Vesemir!

[A blizzard starts, heralding a huge evil-looking ship pulling up to the wall.
 Geralt's comrades are frozen in place by magic.]

??????: I've long awaited this, and you, White Wolf.

[One of his soldiers swings a sword at a frozen Ciri.]

Geralt: Noooooo!!!

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02) LILAC AND GOOSEBERRIES                                               [WK02]
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[Geralt wakes up from the nightmare back on the Temerian hill with Vesemir.]

Vesemir: You all right?
Geralt: Mhm. Had a nightmare...
Vesemir: About...
Geralt: Take forever to explain.
Vesemir: Dawn's some way off. We've got time.

 I dreamt of Kaer Morhen...
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Started in the guest room at Kaer Morhen. I was relaxing in the tub,
          and next to me...
  Vesemir: Triss?
  Geralt: Yennefer. Funny, isn't it? She's never been there. Seemed so real in
          my dream, though.
  Vesemir: Was she nagging you about something?
  Geralt: Hm. Mhm.
  Vesemir: True to life, indeed. We'll find her.

  Then we trained with Ciri...
  ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
   Geralt: In the dream, I went and found Ciri. Then we trained.
   Vesemir: Those were the days... Hm, little she-devil. I've trained kids who
            were faster, stronger -- but none had her character. Didn't end
            well, did it? Your dream.
   Geralt: No. The Wild Hunt appeared, attacked Ciri... I couldn't move. Stood
           there like a stump.
   Vesemir: It was just a dream.

    Time to go.
    ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
     Geralt: Be dawning soon. Time to go.

    Ciri in my dreams -- might mean she's in danger.
    ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
     Geralt: That's the problem -- it was more. In the past, when Ciri'd
             appear in my dreams, something was wrong. She was in danger.
     Vesemir: We taught her how to defend herself from anything, wraiths
              included.

  We will. Not worried about that.
  ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
   Geralt: I know we will. That's not what worries me. You've seen her tracks.
           She's at full gallop all the time, breakneck speed through wild
           lands, devastated battlefields... She's in a hurry to get
           somewhere, or fleeing something. Either way, it means trouble of
           some sort.
   Vesemir: Be surprised if she wasn't in trouble. She always poked her nose
            in beehives. Courtly intrigues here, mages' conspiracies there.
            What do you expect?
   Geralt: Don't know. Guess I thought, once we were finally reunited, things
           would be calm. At least for a while.
   Vesemir: Calm? With Yennefer? Hmph. Good luck.

 Really rather not talk about it.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Rather not talk about it.
  Vesemir: Gotcha.
  Geralt: So...time to hit the road?

Vesemir: Wait. Show me the letter from Yennefer, might've overlooked some hint
         in there.
Geralt: Didn't overlook anything. We were meant to meet in Willoughby -- that's
        what she wrote. Meanwhile one army or another burned the village to the
        ground. All we can do is follow her trail, so...
Vesemir: Stop talking and give me the letter. Well, how about that! It does
         smell of lilac and gooseberries.
Geralt: You were gonna read it, not sniff it.

[Vesemir looks over the parchment.]

Vesemir: "We must meet. Soon"..."Willoughby, near Vizima"... Hm, nothing else
         to guide us there. What's this postscript? "I still have the unicorn?"

 That's private.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: That's private. Very private.
  Vesemir: A-ha...I understand. At least I think I do. Maybe not entirely,
           but...perhaps that's for the best.

 Stuffed unicorn -- we used it as a bed once.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Stuffed unicorn. Used it once or twice. In certain...situations.
  Vesemir: Hm! The things young folk get up to these days...

Geralt: Back on topic. How's it look -- how far behind Yennefer are we?
Vesemir: Two, three days... Trail's fresh. But it looks like it leads toward
         the main road. Could be muddled there.

[The horse spooks a bit.]

Vesemir: Wait -- hear that?
Geralt: I hear it, I smell it. Ghouls.

[They slay the hellish intruders.]

Vesemir: Of course, when armies pass, necrophages follow. Let's go before any
         more show up.

[They hop on their horses and head down the road.]

Geralt: I ever tell you about this sorcerer I knew? Couldn't stop talking about
        how useful they are as creatures.
Vesemir: Because you can brew potions from their blood?
Geralt: Heh, no. Because by eating rotting corpses, they prevent epidemics.
Vesemir: Hrmph. Did he know they eat the living as well?
Geralt: No. Really upset him, too... His theory collapsed.

[They ride further, coming upon a looted village's makeshift gallows.]

Vesemir: War's not exactly going our way.
Geralt: We have a side?
Vesemir: The Northern Realms.
Geralt: Radovid's Realms, don't you mean? Temeria and Aedirn are no more.
Vesemir: Radovid's pledged to restore the old borders -- soon as he wins the
         war.
Geralt: Believe that?
Vesemir: Hmph. Gotta believe in something. It's what keeps us going.

[They ride on to a nearby forest. A noise can be heard in the distance.]

Vesemir: We going?

[They find a cart in the aftermath of an attack.]

Man: Help me! Help!

[The witchers see a huge creature gnawing a corpse; a man hides under a cart.
 Geralt manages to get a blow in before the monster takes flights with its
 equine snack, though Vesemir has a minor wound from the scuffle.]

Man: Ha-has it gone?
Geralt: Yeah. Come out!
Man: Gods, that was close! I was sure I'd end up like my mare.
Vesemir: Provided you got lucky.
Geralt: Your horse died quickly. But griffins like to toy with their prey. Eat
        it, alive, piece by piece.
Man: Ahh-ha. You'd...you'd like a reward, I suppose?

 You don't owe us a thing.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: You don't owe us anything. You were in need, we helped.
  Man: And they call witchers heartless. Say they won't lift a finger without
       pay.
  Geralt: They also say mice are born of rotting straw.

 We could use a few crowns.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Could always use a few crowns.
  Man: Thing is, I've a meager purse at the moment. Nilfgaardians requisitioned
       my goods, now this... Here.

Geralt: Back to the trail?
Vesemir: Like I said -- leads to the main road and ends there. Muddled.
Man: You seek someone?

 Yeah -- a woman.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Yes, a woman, medium height, long, black hair. Seen anyone like that?
  Man: No. But...

 Why do you care?
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: What's it to you?
  Man: Well, you see...

Man: There's an inn here in White Orchard. Sole one around. Gets its share of
     travelers, perhaps you'll learn something there.

     • Besides, the innkeep's my cousin. Tell her Bram sent you, she'll treat
       you like family.

Geralt: Not a bad idea. Especially since that wound needs cleaning.
Vesemir: Bah, beast barely grazed me. But sure... Could use a good rye. Nice
         and cool, you know, straight from a cellar?
Geralt: Let's go.

[The witchers get back on the trail.]

Geralt: So...a griffin this close to the village? Strange.
Vesemir: My thoughts exactly. In a forest or mountains, sure, but here? And
         near the main road?
Geralt: Maybe it's the war. Corpses everywhere, stench of blood, burnt flesh...
        Drives monsters crazy sometimes.
Vesemir: Men, too. We need to watch ourselves in White Orchard. And we should
         leave as soon as we learn anything.

[The witchers finally reach the tavern. Inside, the innkeep is serving booze.
 One of the soldiers pulls her aside, pointing at the shield above the bar.]

Villager: Take that down before there's trouble.
Villager 2: That is a coat of arms -- the Temerian Lilies! They've a right to
            hang there!
Villager: This ain't Temeria no more, old man. It's Nilfgaard now.
Villager 2: My arse, it is!

[The innkeep starts taking the shield down as Vesemir and Geralt enter.]

Villager: Wha? Witchers...?
Villager 3: I'll not drink with weevil-arsed freaks.
Innkeep: Beg your pardon for those thugs.
Vesemir: No need. We're used to it.
Innkeep: Folk're jumpy 'round here. Armies just passed through, now a griffin's
         prowlin' about...
Geralt: Mhm. Already had the pleasure.

        • Geralt: One mean beast.
          Innkeep: Mean? Light way for a hunter to put it! Clawed Lena so bad,
                   poor thing's one foot in the grave... But, does no good to
                   wallow in misfortune. How can I be of service?
          Vesemir: With a drop of vodka for me.
          Innkeep: And you? Something to wet your tongue?

        • Geralt: Ran into your kinsman, Bram.
          Innkeep: Bram? How is he?
          Vesemir: Alive. Sends his regards.
          Innkeep: Master witchers...food and drink on the house. What can I
                   get you?

Geralt: Looking for a woman. Raven-haired, violet eyes. Dresses in black and
        white. Riding in from Willoughby. And, uh, strange as it sounds --
        lilac and gooseberries, might've smelled that.
Innkeep: I've not seen nor smelt such a lady. Believe I'd remember.
Vesemir: Yeah. Especially hard to forget this one.
Innkeep: Plenty of travelers about, though, folk from all over. Might be worth
         your while to ask after her.
Geralt: Pretty busy place you got.
Innkeep: Nation's on the move. Some search for kin, others just want to get out
         of the way of the armies. They all need food, drink, and a night's
         rest in warmth.
Geralt: So, war's been good for your trade?
Innkeep: Aye, so far. But it'd be best to know peace again. Times like these
         you never know what tomorrow will bring.
Geralt: There a contract on the griffin?
Innkeep: Nay, not at the moment. Used to be, soon as a beast'd built a nest
         nearby the ealdorman'd start a collection, or go to the lord for help.
         Now the ealdorman don't use the privy without askin' the Black Ones'
         permission first. And seems they hanged the lord... So, no contract.
Vesemir: Shame. We might have done something, but not for free.
Geralt: Thanks. For everything.

[If Geralt leaves convo but doesn't ask about the griffin:]

Innkeep: Master witchers, would you be of a mind to kill the griffin? Beast's
         a scourge on our land. Only killed livestock at first, but it's got a
         taste of human flesh of late. We're afeared to set foot outdoors.
Geralt: If someone'll pay us, won't say no.

[The witchers go sit down at a table.]

Geralt: Help you bandage that up?
Vesemir: Please. I'm not decrepit yet.
Geralt: Then I'll ask about Yennefer.
Vesemir: Mhm. Just remember -- we'd rather not draw any attention.

[Geralt goes over to the nearest table.]

Geralt: I'm looking for someone.
Peasant 1: And we seek some peace and quiet.
Peasant 2: Out of my face, freak, 'fore your breath sours my beer.

 Just wanna talk.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Just wanna talk.
  Peasant 2: You deaf, stray? No one here'll talk to ye.
  Peasant 1: If it's company you seek, stick that mangy snout of yours in a
             trough with the pigs.
  Peasant 2: Heheheh! Showed that shiteater, Mikah!

  Patience is running thin.
  ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
   Geralt: Running low on patience. Once it's gone, your heads will roll.
   Peasant 1: Oh, we was jestin', no call for anger...
   Geralt: See a raven-haired woman here? Dressed in black and white?
   Peasant 2: We know nothing, sir. Leave us be.

  [Axii Sign] Answer my question. Now.
  ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
   (same as "Talk. Now.")

 [Axii Sign] Talk. Now.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Raven-haired woman dressed in black and white. Seen her?
          Talk.
  Peasant 1: Folk say the lady rode through the village a few days back.
             Gallopin' so fast she knocked Radobor into a ditch.
  Geralt: Which way did she go?
  Peasant 1: Dunno... Lots of tracks leading off the main road. Coulda gone
             anywhere.
  Peasant 2: Oi, people! The freak's taken Mikah's mind!
  Geralt: Uh-huh. And I'll take your tongue if you don't shut up.

 Waste of words.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Waste of words. Don't have time for your kind.
  Peasant 1: Smart. Nor do we have time for yours.

[Geralt goes to another table where a card game is underway. A man's outburst
 drives his peasant company away.]

Man: What a waste of time! The earth shall revolve around the sun before you
     comprehend these rules!
Geralt: Got a minute?
Aldert: Why not. Aldert Geert, assistant professor in contemporary history at
        Oxenfurt Academy.
Geralt: Geralt of Rivia. Witcher with tenure. I'm looking for a woman -- long
        hair, dressed in black and white. Seen anyone like that?
Aldert: Of course not. Unlike this populace, I know the Horsewoman of War is
        pure poppycock.

 Horsewoman of War? What do you mean?
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Horsewoman of War -- what's that about?
  Aldert: Folk say an omen, a beautiful phantom rides the fields at night.
          Looks as you described her. Armies follow her, and all who cross her
          path meet with misfortune.
  Geralt: I can vouch for the last bit. Know where they saw her?
  Aldert: No. Facts interest me, not fairytales.

 Why are you here?
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Not a place I'd ever expect to find a scholar. Take it you're fleeing
          the war?
  Aldert: Quite the opposite. Chasing it. I'm headed for the front.
  Geralt: Tired of life?
  Aldert: I seek knowledge, which I value more than life itself. I've a thirst
          no dusty old tomes can quench. I wish to see the Nilfgaardian
          invasion with my own eyes, understand it, and record it all in my
          chronicle, my magnum opus.

   Go back to your books, while you still can.
   ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
    Geralt: Take my advice -- go back to your books while you can. War's no
            game. No faculty meetings to attend, no tenure to gain, endnotes to
            compile. First soldier you see'll kill you.
    Aldert: Why would he do that? Me, a neutral civilian, a scholar...
    Geralt: Boots.
    Aldert: Come again?
    Geralt: He'll kill you for your boots.

   Write about the war -- what it's really like.
   ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
    Geralt: Interesting. We need somebody to describe war -- what it's really
            like. Not colorful banners and generals making moving speeches, but
            rape, violence, and thoughtless cruelty.
    Aldert: Ah, I see you lack the polish of the academy. Rape and cruelty are
            acts of no import to the war's course. Trinkets on the garment of
            conflict, one might say.
    Geralt: Hm. Tell that to the people whose houses burned down.

 War make it to Novigrad yet?
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: War reached Novigrad yet?
  Aldert: No, but it's only a matter of time. Nilfgaard on one bank, Redania on
          the other... Drooling over the city like dogs over a juicy bone.
  Geralt: Many a ruler's choked on that bone.
  Aldert: True. We value our liberty in Novigrad and we know how to fight for
          it.
  Geralt: Mhm. Scholars especially.
  Aldert: The sword is not the only weapon. Do not forget, architects from our
          academy designed the city walls -- walls no war machine has ever
          crumbled!

Geralt: Gotta go. So long.
Aldert: A moment, witcher. You strike me as a man of the world. Are you
        familiar with gwent?
Geralt: No. And I don't have time to learn.
Aldert: But the rules are quite simple. Come, let's play.

 All right.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Hmm... Why not.
  Aldert: Splendid! Here's how it's done...

  [Afterwards...]

  Aldert: • Well, well. You have a knack for this game.
          • Hmm, well... It's not a game for everyone. Requires an analytical
            mind.
          If you ever find yourself in Oxenfurt and wish to play a true master,
          ask for Stjepan. A simple innkeep by trade, but a true maestro when
          it comes to gwent.
  Geralt: I'll remember that. Thanks.

 No thanks.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: No thanks. Got some other things on my mind.
  Aldert: Shame. I'd ask the locals, but since they can't count to ten,
          the rules are a complete mystery. Ah well, I'm here if you
          change your mind.

[Geralt visits the last table.]

Geralt: Looking for a woman.
Gaunter O'Dimm: Ahh, like everyone.
Geralt: Not like everyone, and not just any woman. Mine smells of lilac and
        gooseberries, dresses in black and white.
Gaunter: Two schnappses! Hah. It'll lift your spirits.

 Fine. I'll have a drink.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Fine, I'll have a drink.

 Not in the mood.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Don't generally drink with strangers.
  Gaunter: Come. I know this to be a vile place. You might down a little glass
           merely to aid digestion.

 Let's get to the point.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Finding her -- that'll lift my spirits.
  Gaunter: You look haggard. It's just a few drops to improve your mood. A
           little shnappsie's never hurt a soul.

Geralt: Can we cut to the chase? You seen her or not?
Gaunter: Yennefer of Vengerberg?
Geralt: Never mentioned her name.
Gaunter: Yet you described her perfectly. And once I hear something, I never
         forget. Can't help it.

 How do you know Yen?
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: How do you know Yennefer?
  Gaunter: What a question. Master Dandelion's ballads, of course. The only way
           a humble merchant might hope to rub up against greatness. Unless,
           that is, he's as lucky as I am.
  Geralt: And runs into a very patient witcher?
  Gaunter: Into Geralt of Rivia himself. The Butcher of Blaviken.

  Where's Yennefer?
  ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
   Geralt: You seen Yennefer?
   Gaunter: Deepest apologies, but I must ask: Is this about love?

   None of your business.
   ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
    Geralt: None of your business.
    Gaunter: Yes, as a vagrant I deserve no explanation.

   Of course it's about love.
   ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
    Geralt: Guessed it. It's love.
    Gaunter: I knew it at once.

   Geralt: What do you know? Tell me.
   Gaunter: Before you appeared, it never occured to me that might've been
            Yennefer. Who would've have¹ thought...
   Geralt: Get to the point.
   Gaunter: A Nilfgaardian scout from the local garrison saw her.
   Geralt: Where?
   Gaunter: At their camp. She rode in -- dark of night, black and white,
            gooseberries and...yes, I know. Had a terse exchange with the
            garrison commander and raced off.
   Geralt: Where to?
   Gaunter: I'm not omniscient. Ask at the garrison.
   Geralt: Thanks.

  Know who I am?
  ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
   Geralt: Recognize me from Master Dandelion's ballads, too?
   Gaunter: (drinking) To your health.

 Who might you be?
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: What do you do? Who are you?
  Gaunter: A mangy vagrant. Gaunter O'Dimm, at your service.
  Geralt: Vagrant -- that a profession now?
  Gaunter: Ah, once a merchant of mirrors. The madding crowd dubbed me Master
           Mirror, or the Man of Glass.

[Gaunter gets up to leave.]

Gaunter: We men of the road must stick together. Perhaps one day I'll be in
         trouble and you'll be nearby to help.

[Geralt looks behind him and Gaunter's already vanished. With a clue in hand,
 he exits the tavern, only to find the witcher-hating peasant from before are
 waiting.]

Villager 1: Done drinkin'?
Geralt: Mhm.
Villager 1: Then fuck off.
Villager 2: Hrrk-ptoo. 
Villager 3: Don't want your kind here.

 Three against one? My, you're brave.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Better round up someone else to help. Three of you don't stand a
          chance against me.
  Villager 1: What? I could fuck you up by meself.
  Geralt: If I had a bag over my head and my arms tied behind-- Actually, no,
          not even then.
  Villager 3: Chet, Lesh, back off. I'll teach this vagrant a lesson, man on
              freak.

 I won't stay long.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Wouldn't want to stay long, anyway.
  Villager 1: Maybe not. And maybe you'll just stay forever.
  Villager 3: Six feet under.

 [Axii Sign] Back off.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Haven't done anything to you. So just stay calm.
  Villager 1: Course not...nay, uh...ye done nothin'...
  Villager 3: Whoreson's working witchcraft! Get him!

[Geralt finishes the brawl.]

Geralt: Nice meeting you.

[Geralt rides north to the Nilfgaardian garrison, a commandeered castle ruin
 on the banks of the Pontar River. He approaches the main gate.]

Soldier: Military camp. No locals allowed without the express consent of the
         garrison commander.
Geralt: I look like a local to you?
Soldier 2: You look like trouble.
Geralt: Dead wrong -- I make trouble go away. I'm a witcher.
Soldier: A witcher...? Captain Peter Saar Gwynleve is in the tower. Turn right,
         past the gate.

 See, you can be nice.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Huh, you Black Ones aren't so scary after all. Can even be nice when
          you want to.
  Soldier: Don't get accustomed, Nordling.
  Soldier 2: To the tower. Go.

 Got work for me?
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Guessing your captain's got work for me?
  Soldier: This is the army, Nordling. There is no guessing.
  Soldier 2: To the tower. Go.

[Geralt goes to seen Gwynleve, finding him speaking to a peasant.]

Peter: How much grain will your village give?
Peasant: Whatever you say, Your Excellency.
Peter: Look at my hands. Look! See the calluses? These are not the hands of an
       "Excellency," but of a farmer. So we speak peasant to peasant. How much
       can you give?
Peasant: Forty bushels. There'd be more, sir, but our lads, the Temerians, that
         is, took from us earlier and...
Peter: You will give thirty, and that will do. Let us settle on it. And I wish
       to see the transport soon.
Peasant: Ah, thank you, sir! Thank you kindly!

[The peasant leaves.]

Peter: I summoned only the ealdorman and the smith, Willis -- but it is said
       he's a dwarf. You are too tall to be him.

 Can't argue with your logic.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Very perceptive of you.

 Plan to requisition something from him, too?
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Plan to requisition something from him, too?
  Peter: If it is necessary -- yes, of course. We are at war, in case you have
         not noticed. Who are you? Speak.

Geralt: Geralt of Rivia. Witcher.
Peter: A vatt'ghern -- that explains why I did not hear your footsteps. What
       do you seek here?
Geralt: Yennefer of Vengerberg. Where was she headed?
Peter: That is a military secret.
Geralt: Haven't thrown me out yet. Haven't called the guards. So go ahead --
        what's your price?
Peter: There is a griffin in the area. Slay it, and then I shall see what I
       can do.
Geralt: Why do you care about this griffin?
Peter: Because I care about people. The beast has killed ten already. Including
       a few of my men. To hunt it, I would need to mobilize the entire
       garrison, comb the woods, organize a battue. Simply impossible.
Geralt: Too big a hassle?
Peter: No. Too high a risk. I cannot disperse my forces. Temeria's army we have
       crushed, but its common folk remain, ready to answer a call to arms. So
       as to this griffin, I can sit on my hands...or hire a professional.
Geralt: It's a deal. Some questions first before I start. Know where the
        griffin has its lair?
Peter: It kept to the Vulpine Woods at first. I sent a patrol there, five young
       men. A hunter found them two days on. I only recognized them because
       they wore our plate. Since then, the griffin has grown bold. Attacks in
       villages, fields, on the main road. 
Geralt: Meaning it's abandoned its lair. Gonna have to set a trap.
Peter: I judge from your tone this will not be easy. What do you require?

 Gather a specific herb.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: I'll need bait, a specific herb -- buckthorn. Scent should lure the
          griffin from ten miles off.
  Peter: Buck...buckthorn? I do not know this. I am not yet fluent in the
         Common tongue.
  Geralt: Mhm. Probably mastered the basics, though. "Hands up," "kill them"...
  Peter: No. First came idioms. "Don't play with fire," for example. Go to
         Tomira, an herbalist. She lives near the crossroads. She will aid you.

 Could use some more information about the griffin.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Need more information about this griffin. Its sex, why it's abandoned
          its lair.
  Peter: Shall I bring you witnesses?
  Geralt: They won't say anything I don't already know. I need to go where
          your men died, look around. What's the name of the hunter who found
          them?
  Peter: Mislav. He has a hut south of the village, very near the wood. Helpful
         fellow. A little strange, though.

Geralt: Tomira and Mislav... Thanks.
Peter: (in Nilfgaardian) Good luck to you.

[After finishing the griffin contract -- read "The Beast of White Orchard"
 below for continuity reasons, if not done already -- Geralt returns to the
 inn with Yennefer's whereabouts, which starts "The Incident at White Orchard"
 event.]

_______________________________________________________________________________
¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
03) THE BEAST OF WHITE ORCHARD                                           [WK03]
_______________________________________________________________________________
¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
[After meeting with the Nilfgaardian commander, Geralt heads to Tomila, the
 herbalist, who's nearby. She's digging for something.]

Geralt: Bad time?
Tomira: Not at all. Hand me the beggartick. It's the...

[Geralt immediately hands her the right item.]

Tomira: ...red bloom. Well, well, one versed in herbs.
Geralt: Probably saying too much...but I know a bit -- for instance, that
        beggartick's poisonous.
Tomira: In large doses. Small ones soothe pain and bring forth pleasant dreams.
        Which is all I can hope to do for her.

 Looking for buckthorn.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Looking for buckthorn. Know if it grows anywhere around here?
  Tomira: Mhm. Bottom of the river, where the channel's widest. But you do know
          that once out of the water...
  Geralt: ...it'll stink worse than a week-old carcass? Counting on it.

          • I'm hunting the griffin. Need the buckthorn for bait.
          • Tomira: Oh yes, the griffin. Might've guessed. 

  Tomira: I was thinkin'... A few years ago, we had trouble, drowners under the
          bridge. Whole village had to pitch in for a witcher. Who now can
          afford the bounty on a griffin's head?
  Geralt: Captain Peter Saar...something something.
  Tomira: Ah. Good to know the Black Ones are looking out for our welfare.

  Captain Peter actually does.
  ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
   Geralt: Doubt Emperor Emhyr cares about you, but his captain just might.
           Seems like a decent man.
   Tomira: there are no decent men in the army. There're only orders.

  Nilfgaard values order.
  ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
   Geralt: Nilfgaard values one thing -- order. Griffin's
           disturbing that, it's gotta go.

  Tomira: Yes. First they'll tend to the monsters, then to the folk.
  Geralt: Not from here, are you? Lot of bitterness in you. Too much for
          someone who's spent her life in a hut in the middle of nowhere.
  Tomira: True. And you're in a hurry. Elsewise you'd not use bait, just wait
          for the griffin to attack again.
  Geralt: Believe we could have an interesting conversation.
  Tomira: Maybe next time.

 Griffin do that?
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Griffin do that to her?
  Tomira: To Lena? Yes. Attacked her at night. She was walkin' in the woods.
  Geralt: At night...through the woods? In wartime?
  Tomira: Meeting a boy. The young, you know...do foolish things for love.
          Wounds are healing, but she will die. Blood's poolin' in her skull.
          Nothing my brews can do to help.

  I'll kill the griffin. No more victims after that.
  ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
   Geralt: I've agreed to kill the griffin. No more victims after I do.
   Tomira: Ugh, there will be, of course. With the griffin gone, others will
           kill in its stead. Monsters, or men.
   Geralt: So what do you think I should do?
   Tomira: Ply your trade. But don't think you can change anything.

  I could try to help her.
  ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
   Geralt: Could try to help her with one of my potions. Swallow can
           heal internal hemorrhages...
   Tomira: But?
   Geralt: Witchers' potions aren't for humans.
   Tomira: She'll die as it is.
   Geralt: Yes. A peaceful death, soothed by your concoctions. If I give her
           Swallow and something goes wrong, the whole village will hear her
           screams.
   Tomira: I understand. Do as you will.

   Got a potion that could help Lena.²
   ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
    Geralt: Got a potion for Lena. Swallow.
    Tomira: First sign of spring, symbol of rebirth... Fitting, as names go.
    Geralt: We'll see. Like I said, could harm her. Deeply. Works on me
            immediately, but I have a faster metabolism. Effects won't appear
            in her case for a few days.
    Tomira: Why'd you choose this in the end?
    Geralt: Decided it was better than doing nothing.
    Tomira: I like you, witcher. Here -- a small gift. For giving a damn.

[After dealing with the herbalist, Geralt finds Mislav's cottage empty.]

Geralt: Anyone home? Must be out hunting.

[He looks at the boot prints.]

Geralt: Trail's fresh. Mislav just left home.

[A short ways into the forest, Geralt finds a man crouching.]

Geralt: You Mislav?
Mislav: Shh. Hear that?
Geralt: Wolves? No -- wild dogs.
Mislav: Yes...more dangerous than wolves.

 Where'd you find the Nilfgaardians' bodies?
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: I'm hunting bigger game. The Nilfgaardians the griffin killed --
          where'd you find them?
  Mislav: Ah, I see... You a witcher? That monster slayer they's talkin' about
          in the village?
  Geralt: Mhm.
  Mislav: I'll show you, sure. But, er, I gotta kill those mutts 'fore they
          hurt someone. Will you help? That is, if you don't mind bluntin' your
          silver blades on 'em.

  Why not.
  ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
   Geralt: Sure. Griffin's not going anywhere.
   Mislav: No, dogs might, though. So step careful, now. Come on.

  No time.
  ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
   Geralt: Blades don't worry me. Time does. I'm in a hurry.
   Mislav: Can't fault you for it. Come on, then. I'll show you.

 More dangerous than wolves? C'mon.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Dogs more dangerous than wolves? Don't think so.
  Mislav: It's the truth. Know why?
  Geralt: No, but I guess you're about to tell me.
  Mislav: Wolves hunt to fill their bellies. Wild dogs kill for sport.
  Geralt: Just like humans.
  Mislav: Aye, they've learned much from us. Why not cruelty, too?

[If Geralt agrees to help hunt the wild dogs:]

Geralt: These dogs been a problem for awhile now?
Mislav: Since the war started. Soldier on the march, he'll stop to rape a
        woman, strangle 'er, kill her man for a chuckle, even butcher a cow.
        But a dog? A kick in passin', nothing more. So these stray mutts form
        packs. They're gaunt, guts stuck to their spines, covered in scabies...
        but they just won't die. Cause¹ they're clever. More so than foxes. And
        they hate men somethin' fierce.

[They find a corpse en route.]

Mislav: Too late. Attacked another one.

[They slay the feral dogs and go to the corpse.]

Mislav: Dieter...
Geralt: You know him?
Mislav: We served at the lord's manor together, where the black army's encamped
        now. He was a stable hand, I was the lord's hunter. But that was
        before... Well, a long time ago.

 The Nilfgaardians -- where'd you find them?
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Sorry. Hope you weren't close.
  Mislav: No. Not at all.
  Geralt: So...can you show me where you found the Nilfgaardians?

 Before what?
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Before what?
  Mislav: Before they drove me from the village.
  Geralt: What'd you do?
  Mislav: Nothin'. I'm a freak. Sorry, I'd rather not talk about it.

  Won't press you.
  ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
   Geralt: Don't have to, then. So...can you show me where you found the
           Nilfgaardians?

  I'm a freak, too.
  ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
   Geralt: I'm a freak, too.
   Mislav: Aye, but of another kind.
   Geralt: If it's lycanthropy, I can help.
   Mislav: What?
   Geralt: Lycanthropy. Werewolves? Handled a few cases in the past. It's
           usually a simple curse that...
   Mislav: The lord's son, Florian, and I... We loved each other. Dieter walked
           in on us in the stables. They drove me away... Florian hanged
           himself. Lord started drinkin', and the estate fell into ruin.
          That's the long and short of it.

   I'm sorry.
   ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
    Geralt: I'm sorry.
    Mislav: Ah, ancient history now. I was to show you where I found
            the Nilfgaardians. Come.

   Let's go.
   ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
    Geralt: So...can you show me where you found the Nilfgaardians?

[Eventually, Mislav leads Geralt toward the massacre's site.]

Geralt: Griffin -- know anything about it?
Mislav: Oh, not much. It's not my kind of game.
Geralt: You're his kind, though. Survival instincts alone oughta make you care.
Mislav: I walk silent through the woods. No griffin can hear me nor spy me.

[They arrive at the corpses' camp, the ground still blood-stained.]

Mislav: Twas¹ here. One lay there, by the stump, headless. The other hung from
        a branch, guts splayed, stretchin' down to... Watch out for yourself,
        now.

 I'll be fine.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: I'll be fine. Not the first griffin I've dealt with. Not likely to be
          the last, either.
  Mislav: Hope you're right.

 Nothing to mourn. They were Nilfgaardians.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Nothing to mourn. They were Nilfgaardians.
  Mislav: They were lads, like ours. Just clad in black plate.

Mislav: Good huntin', now.

[If Geralt finds the campsite without Mislav's assistance:]

Geralt: Ground still damp with blood. Griffin attacked the Nilfgaardians here.

[Geralt will say things depending on what things are inspected.]

 • A camp?
 • Ground's black, saturated with blood.
 • Nilfgaardians were celebrating. Griffin interrupted them.
 • These prints are older. And deeper. Heavily armored... Nilfgaardians,
   probably.

[Geralt follows the trail into the craggy hills, finding a trashed nest site.]

Geralt: Griffin's nest. What remains of it, at least.

[One can look around again.]

 • Burned. Only a human could do this.
 • Bones. Horse, dog...human. A few months' worth.
 • Corpse is a couple of weeks old. Still alive when the griffin brought him
   here. Took a long time dying.

[Geralt finds a dead griffin laying nearby.]

Geralt: Female. Larvae in her wounds have already hatched. Been dead at least
        a week. Other griffin must be a male.

 [Examine wounds.]
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Deep cuts over the whole body. Not a drop of blood on the
          beak or the claws. Didn't defend herself. Crept up on her
          while she slept.

 [Determine age.]
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Beak tip's worn, gray hairs on the coat -- ten, twelve years old.
          Griffins pair off for life when they're young. Male must be about the
         same age.

 [Determine type.]
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Thick shaft, dense barbs -- a royal griffin.

 [Step away.]
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Explains why the male I ran into was so aggressive. Hunted the
          Nilfgaardians down here in the forest first, then started prowling
          the area.

[If both the herbalist and hunter portions are done:]

Geralt: Done all I could. Should talk to Vesemir.

[Geralt returns to the local inn. Vesemir is talking to a peasant.]

Vesemir: Good man, whose field is that the other side of the river?
Peasant: By the wood? Boyan Klimmek's. Good lad, master witcher, though he...
Vesemir: Yes, yes. This Boyan, will he venture out to inspect his grain any
         time soon?

Peasant: What for? Harvest is a long way off yet.

[The peasant leaves.]

Geralt: Got good news and bad news. Good news first -- captain of the
        Nilfgaardian garrison knows where Yennefer went.
Vesemir: And the bad's that we have to kill the griffin for him. What else
         could he want from two witchers? Go on, tell me what you know.
Geralt: Griffin's abandoned its lair. Gotta make a lure, set a trap.
Vesemir: And how's that going?

 About the griffin...²
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Been busy with the griffin contract.
  Vesemir: And?
  [leads to the normal options]

 Got some information about the griffin.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Learned some things. It's a male, had its nest in the Vulpine Woods.
          The Nilfgaardians burned the woods down, killed its mate, smashed
          their eggs -- thought they'd fixed things.
  Vesemir: Hm. It's always the same. Instead of sending out for a professional,
           they try to do it themselves, only end up making matters worse.

           • But enough about that. Find some buckthorn and finish what they
             started.

 Got some buckthorn already.²
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Got the buckthorn.
  Vesemir: Oughta work like a charm. Powerful scent.
  Geralt: More like stench.
  Vesemir: City boy. Rotting meat, manure, piss -- standard smells of the
           countryside. Remember Tretogor, hunting that zeugl in the trash
           heap? You spent half the next day bathing, scrubbing yourself.
  Geralt: How can I forget? You ever gonna stop bringing that up?

          • Vesemir: Alright, about the griffin -- learn what you can. We gotta
                     make a lure that'll work. Soon as we do, we can start.

[If both bait and info have been gathered:]

Vesemir: Hm-hm. Fine, if everything's ready, say the word and we'll get to
         work.
Geralt: I'm ready. No point in waiting. Let's find a good spot to ambush it.
Vesemir: Picked one out already. Other side of the stream -- there's fields and
         a grove. Plenty of room and far enough so no one'll get in our way.
Geralt: Good. Meet you there.

[They rendezvous north of town, in the desolate field Vesemir chose.]

Geralt: A stream, amber waves of grain...charming place. Perfect for an ambush.
Vesemir: I know how to choose 'em. So, ready?

 We can start.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Let's start. Wind's good, bait's scent will spread quickly.

 Give me a bit.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: I need a minute.
  Vesemir: Ehh, drag a man outta the tavern, and then... Fine, but hurry.

[Vesemir plants the bait.]

Vesemir: Now all we have to do is wait. Come on. We can cower in the shade of
         those birches.

[They wait for the griffin to show.]

Geralt: So, tell me...once we find Yennefer, what'll you do? Got your eye on a
        contract?
Vesemir: No. I'll go to Kaer Morhen.
Geralt: A little early to settle in for the winter.
Vesemir: Snows are a way off, yes...and that's what worries me. Nilfgaard's
         crossed the Pontar in the east. Puts them maybe a week's march from
         Kaer Morhen. If they reach the valley before snows can cover the
         passes...well, we'll need to cover our tracks, hide our paths.
         Speaking of winter, and wintering -- think you'll come this year?

Geralt: Maybe. Might bring a guest.

[Later on, they hear the griffin's squawk.]

Vesemir: Hear that? It's close.
Geralt: Let's go give it a warm welcome.
Vesemir: Wait. Take this.
Geralt: A crossbow?
Vesemir: Won it in a card game while you ran around. Might come in handy.

 Took you for a traditionalist.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: A witcher with a crossbow? We breaking with tradition?

 Gambling? Well, well.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: How about that. Always lectured us on the evils, but you're a
          gambler yourself.

Vesemir: Stop talking. Got a griffin to kill.

[The griffin lands by the buckthorn, disguised as a sheep.]

Vesemir: Watch out! Damn, it's fast! It's about to dive!

[The witchers steadily whittle its health down, but it takes flight.]

Vesemir: Don't let it get away!

[They chase it to the hilltop mill and eventually slay it.]

Vesemir: Not bad, not bad. Though you could stand to improve a some things.

 Live and learn.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Man spends his whole life learning.
  Vesemir: Not a witcher. Unless he doesn't want to live long.

 Like what?
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: For example?
  Vesemir: Upward vertical strike -- it's too obvious.

Vesemir: But more on that later. Take the griffin's head to the Black Ones.
         I'll ready our horses. Meet me at the inn.

[Geralt takes the head as a trophy and rides for the Nilfgaard encampment. As
 he enters, he sees the commander inspecting grain brought by the peasant he
 brokered a deal with earlier.]

Peter: What the hell is this?
Peasant: R-rye.
Peter: You take me for a blind man or a fool? This grain is rotten.
Peasant: I--...I didn't know.
Peter: So, a fool. Dammit, you never learn... Military codex, article two,
       section three: "For the delivery of defective goods -- fifteen lashes
       with a knout." Make it so!
Peasant: No, no, no! By the gods, no!

[Soldiers take the peasant into a nearby building, leaving Geralt with Peter.]

Peter: What?

 Killed the griffin.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Fulfilled my end of the bargain. Your turn. Where'd Yennefer go?
  Peter: To Vizima.
  Geralt: She was a day's ride from here the whole time, right under my nose?
          Might've said so.
  Peter: Yes, I might have. But you would not have killed the griffin. Tit for
         tat.

 No more Captain Nice Guy?
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Guess you've dropped your good uncle act.
  Peter: It was no act. I extended a hand to these people. They spat on it.
  Geralt: Could it be 'cause it held the sword that killed their loved ones?
  Peter: Hah! A moralist! And what would you do in my stead?
  Geralt: Wouldn't ever be in your stead.
  Peter: Tell me why you've come.

[Geralt goes to leave.]

Peter: Halt! We are not done. It's yours, this gold. I would not want you to
       say you were inadequately compensated.

 [Take the coin.]
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  (Geralt takes the pouch.)

 [Turn down the coin.]
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  (Geralt ignores the coin pouch and walks away.)

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¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
04) THE INCIDENT AT WHITE ORCHARD                                        [WK04]
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[After finishing up the griffin contract, Geralt returns to the White Orchard
 inn, sitting at Vesemir's table.]

Geralt: Yennefer's in Vizima. Got a few friends there, so... Something wrong?

[He looks at the nearby table of ruffians and bandits.]

Vesemir: Look around. Trouble brewing.

 Then it's time to go.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Time we were on our way.
  Vesemir: Mhm.

 Who are they?
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Who are they?
  Vesemir: Patriots. Drinking their seventh round for Temeria, fists starting
           to itch.
  Geralt: Don't see any Nilfgaardians.
  Vesemir: They'll find another foe.

Vesemir: I'll buy some provisions for the journey. Then we'll go. Geralt, we
         should stay out of it...just this once.

[Vesemir goes to the innkeep. A woman notices the missing coat of arms shield.]

Woman: What happened to the Lilies?
Elsa: Took 'em down.
Woman: Took 'em down? To hang a golden sun there now?
Elsa: I cannot show Temerian colors. They'll come and burn the tavern down.
Woman: Maybe it's true what they say. You fond of the Imperials? You
       Nilfgaard's whore?
Elsa: I'll let that pass. I know grief eats at your heart.
Woman: You know shit. They hanged my sister -- dragged her out o' the cloister
       like a dog. Said Nilfgaard's no place for superstition. That they don't
       fear the wrath of the gods. And you, do you fear it? If not for Annie
       your child would have choked on its navel-string. You owe your son to
       my sister attending to the birth. And you don't fear the gods' wrath?
Elsa: Let go!
Woman: You don't fear it, you cunt?!

[She slams the innkeep's head on the table several times, until Vesemir has
 no choice but to intervene.]

Woman: Leave me be!

[The woman leaves, but the "patriots" walk over.]

Vesemir: Recognize this medallion. You know what it means. Back off.
Geralt: You all right?
Patriot: They say witchers steal young'uns! 
Patriot 2: That true?
Patriot 3: What'd the emperor promise you freaks? Your own land? Like he did
           the elves once?
Vesemir: Get out, all of you.
Patriot: We ain't goin' nowhere. And neither are you.

[They draw their weapons; the witchers do likewise.]

Vesemir: They won't back down now.
Geralt: I can see that.

[The witchers slaughter the attackers. Geralt cuts off one's head, and it rolls
 to the feet of the female rabble-rouser.]

Geralt: It's all right. It's over.
Woman: Leave me be! Get away!
Man: See his face? Gods save us!
Innkeep: Begone. And don't ever come back.
Vesemir: So much for not getting involved. Come on. Let's go.

[The witchers leave, coming face to face with several Nilfgaardian soldiers.]

Geralt: That brawl? We didn't start it.

[Yennefer approaches from behind them.]

Yennefer: Excuses, excuses... You've not changed a bit.
Geralt: Ye...Yen? How?
Yennefer: I received a report. About a witcher who'd appeared in White Orchard.
          I knew it was you. Looking for me. I might've waited until you'd
          found me, but...you know me. Patience has never been my strong suit.
          It's...good to see you, Geralt. I...I'd even embrace you...were you
          not covered in blood.
Geralt: Sorry... Wasn't expecting to see you. To be honest, this isn't at all
        how I imagined we'd meet.
Yennefer: How did you imagine it?
Vesemir: He didn't imagine you'd have a Nilfgaardian escort. Don't get me
         wrong, Yennefer. I'm glad to see you...but I do think you owe us an
         explanation.
Yennefer: And I shall provide it...in Vizima. Ready your horses.

 Why Vizima?
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: We can talk here. Some charming orchards nearby. In bloom, even, so
          you almost can't smell the corpses.
  Yennefer: A tempting proposition. Sadly, I must say no. You see, someone
            awaits you in Vizima. Someone who doesn't like to be kept waiting.

 What's the rush?
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Spent the last six months in the saddle. Haven't seen you for two
          years. Can't we take a moment to--
  Yennefer: Sadly, we cannot. Someone awaits you, Geralt. Someone who doesn't
            like to be kept waiting.

Yennefer: Emperor Emhyr var Emreis...or, to those on more intimate terms with
          him, the White Flame Dancing on the Graves of His Foes.
Geralt: Doubt I number among that group. Far as I remember, last time we saw
        each other, he wanted to kill me.
Yennefer: Well, now he wishes to make you an offer.
Vesemir: The kind one can't refuse?
Yennefer: I didn't. Though I could have.

 Suppose I can hear him out...
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Fine. Guess I'm willing to hear him out.
  Yennefer: The emperor of Nilfgaard, Lord of Metinna, Ebbing and Gemmara,
            sovereign of Nazair and Vicovaro, will feel honored, I'm sure.

 Wonder what he offered you.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Must've been a damn good offer, then. Not many things you'd give up
          your freedom for. And even fewer people.
  Yennefer: The sooner we set off, the sooner you'll find out.

Geralt: What about you?
Vesemir: I'm going in the opposite direction. I somehow doubt the emperor's
         invitation mentioned me. Besides, I've got things to do at Kaer
         Morhen, remember?
Geralt: Yeah, I remember. Thanks for your help, Vesemir. See you soon.

[They clasp arms and part ways.]

Yennefer: How's your horse? Swift?
Geralt: Can't complain. Why do you ask?
Yennefer: I'd like to be back behind some thick city walls. As soon as
          possible.

[Geralt waves goodbye to Vesemir as he, Yennefer, and the soldier entourage
 start leaving White Orchard.]

Geralt: You know...had a dream about you recently.
Yennefer: Knowing you, it was probably filthy.
Geralt: Just the beginning. But then--
Yennefer: But then?

[Snow starts falling. Geralt looks in the treeline behind them and sees Wild
 Hunt riders and hounds approaching at breakneck speed.]

Yennefer: Ride! Now!

Soldier: (in Nilfgaardian) Watch out!

[Yennefer's small retinue is decimated by the riding swordsmen, leaving most
 knocked out of the saddle, and one poor guy dragged alongside his horse.
 As they cross a bridge, the sorceress zaps the planks, avoiding any further
 pursuers.]

Geralt: Yennefer, how'd they--
Yennefer: We shall talk of this tomorrow, all right? After the audience.

[In the horizon, Vizima can be seen.]

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05) IMPERIAL AUDIENCE                                                    [WK05]
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[Cut to a day later. Geralt is having his bath while maidens help scrub him. A
 man, Emhyr's chamberlain, enters and bids them to leave, much to the witcher's
 chagrin. He inspects the dirt level of Geralt's hair.]

Man: Hmm. It must suffice.
Geralt: Think Emhyr cares if I'm clean?
Man: The gentleman will refer to His Imperial Majesty by his full title or not
     at all. The gentleman will be seated on the bergère.
Geralt: The what now?
Man: In that...chair.

[He looks at his attendant.]

Man: Cledwyn. Please shave the gentleman -- sideburns to half an inch.

 Something wrong with my beard?
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: What's wrong with my beard? Always thought it added to my dignity.
  Man: It does. Yet it also detracts from your elegance. In Nilfgaard we
       consider beards hard on the eyes. Especially beards infested with lice.
  Geralt: Been on the road awhile. Fine, do your thing.

 Fine.
 ¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Fine...then what? Gonna do my nails, too?
  Man: If time permits. Sadly, the day is short, while the list of hygienic
       and cosmetic treatments that the gentleman should undergo is really
       rather long.

Cledwyn: Tilt your head back, please. And sit still.

[A well-dressed man enters. If players didn't choose to simulate a Witcher 2
 save, the conversation becomes about the latest ride.]

???????: How goes it? Preparations for the audience proceeding as planned?
Man: Yes, general. The gentleman will be more or less presentable.
Geralt: Who's this guy? He a barber, too?
Morvran: No. Morvran Voorhis. Commander of the Alba Division. Yennefer's escort
         -- they were my men, all of them. Indeed..."were," for none have
         returned to Vizima, have they? I truly wonder what happened on the
         road yesterday. Perhaps you can enlighten me? You have time...and a
         razor to your throat.

 Your men died in battle. As soldiers do.
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  Geralt: Your men died in battle. As soldiers tend to.
  Morvran: I see their fate does not trouble you...overly.
  Geralt: True. But I'm guessing the fate of those whose country they invaded
          didn't overly trouble them.

 Wild Hunt killed them.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Wild Hunt killed them.
  Morvran: A cavalcade of wraiths dashing across the night sky? These omens of
           war the peasantry babble about? Expect me to believe that?
  Geralt: Frankly, I don't really give a damn.

Morvran: Nordlings -- ugh. We can bathe you, shave you and clothe you, but
         teaching you manners...that will be a challenge.
Geralt: Nice meeting you, too.
Cledwyn: Done. Shall I shave him once more, against the grain?
Morvran: No. He himself is very much against the grain -- that's enough.
         Farewell, witcher. Or, rather, see you soon.
Man: Good. Now the gentleman may dress.

[If players chose to simulate a Witcher 2 save, Morvran's intro and convo goes
 differently.]

???????: And prepare to answer some questions.
Man: General, I am not certain this is the appropriate time.
???????: I can't think of a better time. Men turn honest when they feel a blade
         at their throat.

[He approaches Geralt to introduce himself.]

Morvran: Morvran Voorhis, commander of the Alba Division. Before they take you
         in to see the emperor, witcher, there's some information I need you to
         verify. It's a formality, but one that must be seen to.
Geralt: Sure. Paperwork's gotta be in order.
Morvran: So, Geralt of Rivia. Place of birth -- unknown, parents -- unknown,
         age -- unknown... All insignificant details. Let us proceed to more
         recent events -- the siege of La Valette Castle. The fate of the
         defending commander, one Aryan.

 I killed Aryan during the siege. Just happened that way.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Foltest ordered me to clear the path. The boy stood in my way.
  Morvran: Cutting down the La Valette heir -- this made no impression on you?
           I suppose it wouldn't. What's some baron to an assassin of kings?

 I spared his life. He escaped.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: We fought on opposing sides, true. Then we landed in the same
          dungeon. Aryan escaped, set fire to the castle on his way out.
  Morvran: Ahh, so that is how the blaze started. Our reports suggested the
           dragon was responsible.

Morvran: Moving on. You found shelter in charming Flotsam, and from there made
         your way to Vergen. My question is -- "how?"

 Got out of Flotsam with Vernon Roche.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: I got outta Flotsam with Vernon Roche, commander of the Blue Stripes
          and...
  Morvran: ...A murderer of nonhumans. We know this gentleman well, witcher.

 I joined Iorveth, he helped me out.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: I left Flotsam with Iorveth, commander of a Scoia'tael unit.
  Morvran: A slayer of monsters and a slayer of men...

Morvran: You forge interesting alliances.
Geralt: Something tells me my most interesting is yet to come. Go on, next
        question -- before my beard grows back in.
Morvran: We shall shave you again if it does. Very well. The infamous summit
         at Loc Muinne. You were there. And once again meddled in the affairs
         of the mighty.

 Had to save Triss.
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  Geralt: The mighty had imprisoned Triss Merigold. Oughta know I care about
          her. And I tend to rescue those I care about.
  Morvran: And so you did, handing Radovid control of the Conclave and Council
           of Mages in the process.
          
 Helped Roche rescue Anaïs.²
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  Geralt: Not the way I see it. I helped a friend rescue a child.
  Morvran: Anaïs was not just any child. She was a pawn in a game you did not
           understand. You and Roche did not rescue her at all. At most, you
           moved her from one edge of the board to the other, fanning the
           flames of conflict.

 Helped Iorveth lift the spell that held Saskia.²
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Not at all. I meddled in a personal affair. Helped Iorveth lift a
          spell that held Saskia. 
  Morvran: Yes, and in doing so gave Radovid a reason to begin his witch hunts.
           Congratulations.

Geralt: Nilfgaard recently started a war. Unprovoked. So do us both a favor
        and stop moralizing.
Cledwyn: The gentleman must sit still. I am almost done.
Morvran: I'm afraid I might find that difficult. Because from what I know,
         shortly afterwards you watched a defective megascope blow your friend
         Síle de Tansarville to bits.

 Síle escaped.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: I watched her get in the megascope, but ultimately freed her...from
          the trap your man Letho had set. Write that down. I wanna be sure
          the paperwork's in order now.

 Got what was coming to her.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Huh, an old acquaintance, more like. Not so close that I felt bad
          for her, but close enough that I knew she deserved it.
  Morvran: "He believes he alone knows what is good and what is evil, and that
           this gives him the right to dispense justice." Your comrade, Letho
           of Gulet, described you so. Quite accurate, I'd say.
  Geralt: My comrade -- your agent.
          
Morvran: Well, national interest calls on one to forge difficult alliances at
         times. Alliances with witchers included.

 That alliance is dead. See, I killed Letho.
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  Geralt: Well, that alliance has been dissolved. Irrevocably. I killed Letho
          in Loc Muinne.
  Morvran: So we heard. And it's a good thing you did. Saved our agents some
           messy and difficult work.

 That alliance still alive? What happened to Letho?
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: That an ongoing alliance? What's Letho up to?
  Morvran: I had hoped you would answer that question.
  Geralt: Ah. So Letho's hiding from you. Must have a good reason. Was there a
          shift in national interest that might've caused that? I don't know
          where he is. Wouldn't tell you if I did, anyway. Blade or no blade to
          my throat.
          
Morvran: I believe that is all. Your signature, please, affirming you stated
         the whole truth and nothing but the truth, on pain of imprisonment or
         death, et cetera, et cetera. Here...and here.
Man: With these formalities seen to, I would ask the general to leave the room.
     We shall be choosing the gentleman's attire. An important matter, but one
     that does not require the general's assistance.
Morvran: Shame... I might've given you some advice. So long, Geralt. Good luck
         with your audience.

[Morvran leaves; Geralt's lead next door to an outfit display.]

• Man: Good. Now the gentleman may dress. Sadly, I did not receive exact
       measurements. If the garments chafe, our tailor will adjust them.

• Geralt: Feels more like I'm being readied for a wedding.
  Man: Were that so, I would have prepared the gentleman a frock, a tailcoat,
       or possibly a dinner jacket. In point of fact, the gentleman will choose
       from these garments.

 Any color, as long as it's black?
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  Geralt: Black, black...or black.
  Man: We do not like garish colors in Nilfgaard.

 Where're my clothes?
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Where're my clothes?
  Man: Where they should have gone long ago. With the laundress. They will be
       returned to you after the audience, clean and starched.

Man: The gentleman will tell me once he has chosen an outfit.

[Geralt picks out his fancy clothes.]

Man: • Black suits the gentleman.
     • And they say clothes do not make the man.
     • Hmm. A touch tight in the waste...but it will do.

     Does the outfit satisfy the gentleman?

 Suppose so.
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  Geralt: A studded doublet and a sword on my back -- that's what would satisfy
          me. But tough, when in Nilfgaard...
  Man: Yes...?
  Geralt: It's a saying. So what now? Powder my nose?
  Man: No need. The gentleman's complexion is light enough.

 Lemme try on something else.
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  Geralt: Rather try on something else.
  Man: Go ahead, we've time.

Man: The gentleman is to stand before the Ruler of the North and South. I must
     confirm that he knows how to bow.

 Confirm away.
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  Geralt: Confirm away.
  Man: Please watch. Leg extended, hand flat, head down, chin to chest.
       The gentleman will rehearse.

  [Right leg forward, left hand on chest.]
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   Man: Wrong, wrong, wrong. Once more. {previous demonstration repeats}

  [Left leg forward, right hand on chest.]
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   Man: Hmm, lacking fluidity and grace. But we've learned to expect less
        of Nordlings. Come with me.

  [Left leg back, hands at the side.]
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   Man: Please, this is neither the time nor the place for such antics.
        The gentleman will watch carefully. {previous demonstration is
        repeated here}

  This is absurd.
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   Geralt: Gotta be kidding.
   Man: Not at all. I am mortally serious. Does the gentleman know the
        penalty for breaches of etiquette in the emperor's presence? Two
        hundred lashes. I do not wish that upon him, so I will not let him
        leave until I am confident that he knows how to behave.
     
 I'm not a boor. I know how to bow.
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  Geralt: I'm not some boor. I know how to bow.
  Man: Please, demonstrate.
  [Geralt does a simple head nod.]
  Man: That, sir, is how you might bow to a whore on the street corner, not to
       the emperor of Nilfgaard. Please watch. {he demonstrates how to bow, as
       seen above}

[Geralt follows behind the chamberlain.]

Man: The gentleman will address the emperor only when asked to and using the
     appropriate title.
Geralt: Your Archmagnificency?
Man: I see the gentleman is in the mood for jests. I fear the emperor might not
     share his disposition. "Your Majesty" will suffice. Spoken loudly, clearly
     and with respect.

[They enter Emhyr's room; several nobles are already there. The chamberlain
 acts as a herald.]

Man: (in Nilfgaardian) Bow before his Imperial Majesty, The White Flame Dancing
     on the Graves of His Foes, Emhyr var Emreis! Bow!

 [Bow.]
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  Geralt: Your Imperial Majesty.
  Man: (in Nilfgaardian) As your Majesty wished...
  Emhyr: (in Nilfgaardian) All except the witcher will leave.

 [Don't bow.]
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  Geralt: You're Imperial Majesty.
  Man: (in Nilfgaardian) As your Majesty wished...
  Emhyr: (in Nilfgaardian) All except the witcher will leave.

[They leave Geralt to speak privately with Emhyr.]

Emhyr: • I thought you bowed before no man.
         Geralt: Didn't want to disappoint the chamberlain. We're friends.

       • So many months at Foltest's court...yet you still haven't mastered the
         basics of etiquette.
         Geralt: Know what they say -- can't teach an old wolf new tricks?

Geralt: Take it you didn't summon me to reminisce about the good old days,
        so...
Emhyr: Silence. My daughter Cirilla...she's returned, and she's in danger. The
       Wild Hunt pursues her. You will find her and bring her to me.

 Why me?
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  Geralt: How many men in your army? Twenty thousand? Thirty? So why me?
  Emhyr: You know why. Because she trusts you.
  Geralt: She trusts me, yes. So tell me why you're looking for her. Doubt it's
         about making up for all those lost years.
  Emhyr: For reasons of state. As always. Enough of this banter. You will agree
         regardless. If for no other reason than because I shall pay you. More
         than you customarily receive for a contract. Considerably more.

  Need information, not motivation.
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   Geralt: I need information, not motivation. Ciri...leaves few tracks. She'll
           be hard to find.
   Emhyr: My corps of spies will help you. Count on them, and my army, should
          the need arise.

  Only doing this for Ciri.
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   Geralt: Save your generosity for those whose houses your armies have razed.
           I'll do it for Ciri. Not for your gold.
   Emhyr: Your motives do not interest me. Only results.

 She's back? You're sure?
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Are you sure? Ciri...left. Went far, far away.
  Emhyr: Do you believe I'd drag you here in the middle of a war to discuss a
         rumor?
  Geralt: I think anyone can be wrong, even an emperor.
  Emhyr: I had forgotten how insolent you can be. I haven't the time to
         convince you, nor the desire, in fact. Yennefer will do that -- after
         the audience.

Emhyr: Yennefer will tell you the rest. This audience is finished. Mererid!

[The chamberlain from before enters.]

Emhyr: Take him to the sorceress.

[They leave the audience chamber. His responses change depending whether or
 not Geralt bowed.]

Mererid: • Follow me, if the gentleman pleases. Please keep close. There are
           many honorable guests in the palace, whom the gentleman...
           Geralt: ...disgusts?
           Mererid: ...need not bother.

         • Did the gentleman not understand? Did I not emphasize adequately
           that one must bow to the emperor?
           Geralt: Relax. Nothing happened.
           Mererid: To the gentleman. But I shall be punished.
           Geralt: How?
           Mererid: Please keep close and bother no one. We've had enough
                    breaches of etiquette for one day.

[Geralt can ignore Mererid's advice and speak to Morvran in the foyer. He's
 alread conversing with another man.]

Morvran: (in Nilfgaardian) These days it's unwise for small realms to remain
         fully independent. Take Toussaint...
Geralt: Mind if I interrupt?
Morvran: Why not join in instead?
Man: We're discussing neutrality. How difficult it is to preserve.

 Know a bit about that...
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  Geralt: Know a thing or two about that.
  Morvran: Care to explain?
  Geralt: Never changes. I try to stay out of things, stand aside...then
          comes an urgent summons and an offer I can't refuse.

 Always worth trying.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Still worth trying.
  Morvran: Because?
  Geralt: Because there are few causes worth serving. Even fewer men.

Geralt: Enough about that. Mind if we change the subject?

 Talked to the emperor...
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: So, talked to the emperor.
  Morvran: Hm. Why did he summon you?
  Geralt: So not even you know.
  Morvran: No. But I wager it's an ordinary witchers' contract.
  Geralt: Mhm. Some werebbubbs.

 Farewell.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: See you.
  Morvran: Soon, mind you.

Mererid: The gentleman will have time for a stroll later. Please stay with me.

[Eventually, the chamberlain stops in front of a door near the garden.]

Mererid: Once the gentleman is done, he should see me to retrieve his
         possessions.

[Geralt goes into Yennefer's chamber.]

Yennefer: Geralt! That tunic -- you look positively smashing.
Geralt: Ugh, dying to take it off.
Yennefer: I'd consider that a proposition under different circumstances...one
          I might even take you up on. But we've matters to attend to. Now do
          you understand why I'm at Emhyr's court?
Geralt: Mhm. And seems we're in the same boat, now. Ciri -- she's really back?
        No chance he's mistaken?

[They stare at a parchment of Ciri's alleged likeness.]

Yennefer: Look -- that's more or less what she looks like now, or so our agents
          claim. Our little witcher's grown into a young lady.

 So they're our agents now?
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  Geralt: Hm, so they're "our" agents now? My, my...you've clearly settled in
          quick.
  Yennefer: Geralt, don't twist my words. I know who Emhyr. He started this war
            and its bloodshed. He had my friends killed. But I haven't any
            other choice, so please...let's not belabor the pros and cons and
            instead focus on finding Ciri. All right?

 Yeah...all grown up.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: How about that...she's grown up.
  Yennefer: It's been years since you trained together at Kaer Morhen. A great
            deal has changed.
  Geralt: You haven't. Not a bit.
  Yennefer: I missed those awkward compliments of yours... But let's focus on
            Ciri, alright?

Geralt: Right. Emhyr said the Wild Hunt's after her. I'd find that hard to
        believe -- before what happened yesterday. How did they track us down?
Yennefer: Because of me. You see...I've spent months searching for Ciri. Using
          locating spells, haruspicy, geomancy, anything, really. I knew the
          Wild Hunt might sense it, perhaps even find me, but...I thought I'd
          tricked them.
Geralt: Well, guess you were wrong.
Yennefer: Hm. I've sensed them on my trail, hunting me, for some time. If not
          for you and Emhyr's soldiers, they'd have gotten what they were
          after. I can't risk another encounter like that. It's time to put
          away the magic, turn to more traditional methods...to the best
          tracker I know. You must find her, Geralt. Before the Wild Hunt does.

 So where's Ciri been seen?
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: So where's Ciri been seen, exactly?
  Yennefer: In two places -- Velen and Novigrad. The trail in Velen is most
            promising. You should make that your first stop. Ask for a merchant
            named Hendrik at the Inn of the Crossroads. One of the emperor's
            agents, he should get in touch with you.
  Geralt: That's it? No passwords, secret handshakes?
  Yennefer: None. Sorry to spoil your fun, your boyhood fantasies about the
            crafts of the trade. All we have in Novigrad are unconfirmed
            reports, rumors. But there you will have the help of our mutual
            acquaintance. Triss Merigold. Apparently she's got a cozy flat on
            the main square.
  Geralt: Sure she'll be delighted to see me. What about you? What will you do?
  Yennefer: I shall sail for Skellige. There was a magic explosion there
            recently, blew half a forest down. I believe this had something to
            do with Ciri. I'll be in Kaer Trolde. Join me there once you've
            learned something.

  Time to get going.
  ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
   (see fireplace scene below)

  Before we part...why didn't you contact me earlier?
  ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
   Geralt: One thing before we go... Why didn't you contact me? Didn't
           need me, didn't even want to see me?
   Yennefer: I didn't want to spoil things. I'd heard you and Triss
             made a great couple.
   Geralt: Yen...I'd lost my memory.
   Yennefer: Really -- that's your excuse? Let's drop it, all right?
             "It's not what you think" or "it helped to understand how
             much I loved you" -- I don't wish to hear it, any of it.

 What's the Wild Hunt want from Ciri?
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: The Wild Hunt -- what could it want from Ciri?
  Yennefer: I've no clue, Geralt. Might've written them to ask, but I don't
            have their address. I know as much as you do. It must be about her
            blood, her gift. As for what the Hunt wishes to do with that gift,
            I--I'd prefer not to think about it¹, really.

[The two stand in front of the fireplace.]

Geralt: Guess this means we need to split up again. Not my preference, but I
        understand. Clock's ticking.
Yennefer: It is indeed. So, why don't I teleport you to Velen, get you there
          at once?
Geralt: Not gonna happen. I'll go on horseback. Soon as I can get changed.
Yennefer: Have it your way. Oh, and...you really look quite dashing in black
          velvet.
Geralt: Think so? Maybe I can have some of my armor lined with it. Hm. Good
        luck, Yen.
Yennefer: Same to you. And if you wish to learn what's happened in the world
          while you and Vesemir roamed the wilderness, talk to Ambassador var
          Attre. That's him, over there. And Geralt, I know it's wartime, but
          try not to be a hero, all right? Just check those leads and come back
          to me -- in one piece.

[She gives him a kiss.]

Yennefer: I shall be waiting.

[She leaves via a portal. Geralt can follow up with the ambassador if needed.]

Geralt: Ambassador var Attre? Yennefer suggested I ask you about current
        events. The war, and so on.
var Attre: Of course. The emperor's servants keep no secrets from each other.
           If you will, let us approach the map.

 How's the war going?
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: How's the war going? I mean, apart from the fact that Nilfgaard's
          triumph is imminent?
  var A.: I assume this to be a private conversation. We've no witnesses, so
          let's dispense with propaganda, even that shrouded in irony. Our
          offensive was going splendidly -- until winter came. Aedirn was in
          such disarray that we encountered no resistance. We had reached the
          Pontar before the first snows. Only a weakened Kaedwen remained...and
          Radovid's Redania, which had ignored the rest of the North's pleas
          for help. We thought they'd sue for peace, perhaps even submit to
          vassalization. We waited for spring, certain of victory. 
  Geralt: Radovid? Submit?
  var A.: Yes. A vain hope, I agree. Radovid sent no peace envoys, nor did he
          advance on our position. Instead, he trudged over the snow-bound
          Kestrel Mountains...and attacked Kaedwen, his ally. This attack took
          the Kaedweni by surprise. They were still mourning the loss of their
          king. Rudderless and dejected, they laid down their arms after a few
          lost skirmishes -- and joined Radovid. And so by spring, instead of
          two weak enemies we had only one powerful one.

  That a note of admiration I hear?
  ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
   Geralt: That admiration I hear in your voice?
   var A.: Radovid is our foe...but I cannot deny he is clever. He played us
           both for fools. Particularly dense ones at that.

  What about Kovir?
  ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
   Geralt: What about Kovir?
   var A.: Kovir values its neutrality. Enough not to lend its
           armies or, more importantly, even its coin to either side.

  var A.: Returning to the war... This spring there was a massive battle in the
          marshes of Velen. Massive, yet indecisive. Both sides suffered
          enormous losses. Unprecedented, even. Radovid has retreated across
          the Pontar. He's safe for now...until reinforcements come from the
          south. Then Emperor Emhyr var Emreis will deal with him once and for
          all.
  Geralt: Couldn't you just go home? Save everyone a lot of marching. Not to
          mention a few human lives.
  var A.: I'm afraid the stakes are too high to fold now. We can only go all
          in.

 What's the situation in Velen?
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Hm. How do things look in Velen?
  var A.: As bad as ever...perhaps worse. This land never flowed with milk and
          honey, and now it flows with blood. Armies have swept through it
          several times, trampling fields, looting granaries, burning villages.
          Famine grips the populace.
  Geralt: Mhm. So how's ruling that earthly paradise going for you?
  var A.: Not well, to be honest. Our forces are spread thin as it is, and
          Velen is chiefly swampy forests that are difficult to control. We've
          had several patrols never return to their camps. Thus, we've
          temporarily delegated authority in this region to a certain Nordling,
          a former low-ranking officer in the Temerian army, one Phillip
          Strenger. Better known by his nom de guerre, the Bloody Baron. I
          advise you well -- avoid him.

 What's new in Novigrad?
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Any news from Novigrad? Is the free city still free?
  var A.: Yes, although everyone knows this won't last. Radovid is in Oxenfurt,
          and the emperor is here, in Vizima. At Novigrad's doorstep, both. And
          both require coin and ships. Novigrad can provide these. Which is why
          the mood in the city is rather...well, on edge.
  Geralt: Meaning?
  var A.: How do men deal with fear? They seek reassurance...and scapegoats.
          The Church of the Eternal Fire understands this perfectly. And so it
          promises to improve the lives of its flock by pointing out the
          guilty. Who started the war? Who profits from it? Why, it's obvious
          -- mages, elves, dwarves. In a word, any and all deviants. I've been
          stationed in Novigrad for thirteen years. First as a consul, then as
          an ambassador. I've seen a great deal -- cruelty, cynicism, greed.
          But what is happening there now concerns me greatly. 

 What's the latest from Skellige?
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: What's new in Skellige?
  var A.: Nothing. The islanders pride themselves on that, don't they? Doing
          everything according to tradition? As their forefathers did. And like
          their forefathers, they quarrel with each other, pillage,
          occasionally attack our transports. This is cumbersome...but nothing
          more. Skellige has always been a footnote in history. And so it
          shall remain.
  Geralt: Sound awfully confident. What if King Bran manages to unite the
          Jarls? Lead all the clans against your fleet?
  var A.: King Bran is a feeble old man. From what I know he barely remembers
          the names of his own vassals. Uniting all might prove difficult. 

 Thanks for your help.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Thanks for your help.
  var A.: Think nothing of it. May the Great Sun light your Path.

[Geralt goes to retrieve his possessions from the chamberlain.]

Mererid: How might I serve the gentleman?
Geralt: By returning my things.

[Geralt crinkles his nose at his clothes' new smell.]

Mererid: Citrus and cloves. The fragrance will keep the gentleman's robes fresh
         somewhat longer.
Geralt: Mhm. Thanks bunches.
Mererid: The Emperor is not known for his patience. He wants his daughter back,
         safe and sound. As soon as possible.
Geralt: Yeah, mentioned something of the sort. So long.
                                         ____________________________________
________________________________________/ IN CIRI'S FOOTSTEPS (VELEN) | WK06 |_
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6a) THE NILFGAARDIAN CONNECTION                                          [WK6A]
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[Geralt travels to war-torn Velen, the region south of Novigrad, in pursuit of
 the lead on Ciri. He immediately heads to the Inn at the Crossroads, set up
 near a major fording point in the river.]

Geralt: Looking for a man. Goes by the name Hendrik.
Innkeep: What you want with 'im?
Geralt: Wanna talk to him.
Innkeep: What about?

[Geralt senses he's being lead around because he hasn't ordered anything yet.]

Geralt: Gimme a bottle of something strong.

[Just then, riders can be heard galloping into town.]

Innkeep: You gotta go! I'll open the back way for ye!

 Haven't finished my drink.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Haven't finished my drink yet.

 Expecting visitors?
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Got company. Who is it?

[Men in armor burst into the tavern.]

Man: Innkeep! Vodka!
Man 2: Who's this 'un?
Man 3: Brave warrior, looks like. Got two swords, see?
Man: Oi, gray boy! What's the point of havin' two swords?
Man 3: Wonder if he keeps an extra prick in his trousers, too.
Man: You fuckin' deaf? Gonna say who you are, or do I need to loosen your
     tongue with me knife?

 Back off or die.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Someone who'd prefer not to be bothered while he's having a drink.
  Man: Heh! Hear that? We've a distinguished gentleman in our midst!
  Man 3: Shine you boots, guv'nor?
  Geralt: No. Wouldn't want the grime on your hands to rub off on them.
  Man: Bolo...did you hear what I heard?
  Geralt: Go away. Or I'll kill you.
  Man: Dammit. Enough!

 I'm a witcher.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: I'm a witcher. Heard you wondering about my swords. Well, one's for
          monsters, the other -- for humans. Only got one prick, though. In
          case you're wondering about that, too.
  Man: Don't touch 'im. Don't even look at 'im. Worse than lepers, that lot.
  Man 2: Saw one in action once. Killed a half dozen, blood everywhere -- freak
         didn't even show a drop of sweat.
  Man: Got the stench o' corpses on 'im.

 Care for a drink?
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: How about I buy everybody a round?
  Man 3: Why would you?
  Geralt: Got the coin for it, simple as that.
  Man: I don't drink with strangers.
  Geralt: We share a round, won't be strangers anymore. Then we go our separate
          ways.
  Man: And which way might yours be?

  Not your concern.
  ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
   Geralt: Is it just me, or is that none of your fucking business?
   Man: I must be hearing things.
   Man 2: You ain't. He meant to insult.
   Man: I'll have to kill 'im, then.

  Heading to Novigrad.
  ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
   Geralt: On my way to Novigrad.
   Man: City of whores and whoremongers.

    Who are you?
    ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
     Geralt: Who are you?
     Man: Oh, aye -- an' why do you care?

     Like to know who I'm drinking with.
     ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
      Geralt: Like to know who I'm drinking with -- just like you.
      Man: We're the baron's men. And you're in his land.

      Cheers, then.
      ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
       (same as "Cheers.")

      Who's this baron?
      ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
       Geralt: A baron holds these lands? Must be quite a man -- doesn't care a
               lick about all the Imperials here. More and more are arriving,
               too.
       Man 2: Bloody Baron's not some poncey prick son of a rich lord. So no --
              he's not likely to piss his britches at the sight of a
              black-winged head.
       Geralt: This is interesting stuff.
       Man: Our baron's baron 'cause that's the way we want it. And if that
            strikes anyone as wrong, well, we encourage them to speak their
            mind.

     Wonder what you're doing here.
     ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
      Geralt: Just curious. Wondering what you're doing here.
      Man: I don't like curious types.
      Geralt: Really. How badly?
      Man: So bad that I kill 'em.

    Cheers.
    ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
     Geralt: To your health. And mine.
     Man: Bottoms up.

[If Geralt solves things peaceably:]

Innkeep: If you wanna rest, come with me. I've a bench you can use.

[Geralt goes around the corner with the innkeep.]

Innkeep: Thanks for not startin' a row with those swine.
Geralt: I don't generally poke my nose into other people's business.
Innkeep: Lookin' to stay the night?
Geralt: No.
Innkeep: Ahh...
Geralt: I'm looking for Hendrik.

[If Geralt kicks ass and takes names:]

Innkeep: Have you any idea what the Baron'll do when he learns of this
         butchery?! The village -- he'll tear it apart before anyone can say
         it was some wanderin' mutant done it! An iron fist, he's got--
Geralt: Where's Hendrik?
Innkeep: You deaf?! Y'understand what I'm sayin'? Baron won't let this stand!
Geralt: Calm down. Your baron's no idiot. Seriously doubt he'll think you
        locals cut his men down with farming implements. Now where's Hendrik?

[Either way, the convo ends with:]

Innkeep: Man lives in Heatherton.
Geralt: Don't know where that is.
Innkeep: Other side of the hill. Looked thataway this morn and saw a strange
         glow. Imperials on the raid, perhaps, but who knows...

 What do you know about Hendrik?
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Anything else you can tell me about Hendrik?
  Innkeep: Odd fellow. Arrived from who knows where for no apparent reason.
           Shacked up with a widow whose husband was stabbed for a scrap of
           bread.
  Geralt: Baron's men don't like strangers.
  Innkeep: Aye, an' he stays out o' their way. Always seems to know when
           they're comin', always manages to disappear.
 Bye.
 ¯¯¯¯
  ---

Geralt: Thanks, innkeep.

• Innkeep: Go out the back. More o' the baron's men in the village.
  Geralt: No need to worry about me.
  Innkeep: I'd rather you not make any more trouble -- for yourself, or us
           both.

[Geralt makes for Heatherton, a village at the foot of the western mountains,
 across the river. The place seems completely deserted.]

Geralt: Air is strange... Like dropping into a deep cellar on a hot day... And
        the mist...

[Geralt sees a survivor nearby; he kills the dogs accosting him.]

Man: Begone! Leave me be, whoever you is! Get away!
Geralt: Calm down. It's over.

[He weaves a Axii sign.]

Man: Aye, it's over... All's past, never to be restored. I'll not forget that
     ever.

• Geralt: What happened?
  Man: I dunno... I don't wanna know. They came for Hendrik...and they got 'im.

• Geralt: Looking for a man named Hendrik. Supposed to live in his village.
  Man: Aye, he did. No longer. They nabbed 'im in that hut. If you'd o' heard
       the cries, sir...if you'd o' heard how a man can scream...how he can
       suffer.

 Tell me what happened.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Tell me what happened here. Step by step.
  Man: They took 'em... Took 'em all...

 Farewell.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Farewell. And peace of mind to you.
  Man: Hm. Mm hm hm...

[If Geralt inquires, the man will narrate the flashback in which the Wild Hunt
 riders appear and enter Hendrik's house. They kidnap and kill villagers, plus
 burn most of Heatherton to the ground.]

Man: The sun was waning, see...and the dusk went crimson like blood. Thought to
     meself, "Strange. The toads -- I cannot hear them." I know not what
     happened there, save terror through and through. Hendrik screamed, then
     he begged. By the end he could do naught but moan...
Geralt: Dammit!
Man: Weren't here long, the terrors. Yet the village froze like the heart of
     winter...
Geralt: You in that hut when they rode off?
Man: No. And I'll not set foot there. Never.

[Geralt goes into Hendrik's dwelling and can investigate things.]

Geralt: • Great.
        • Dammit.
        • Just wonderful.

[Hendrik's bloodied corpse is nearby.]

• Geralt: Face scorched, hard to identify.
• Geralt: Tortured him. Maybe they missed something.

 Should search his trousers.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Need to check his pockets. Trouser's stiff, as if hung out to dry mid-winter.

 Might be something in his jerkin.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Maybe hid something in his jerkin. Damn, he's cold as ice. Nothing here.

 He hide something in his boots?
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Should check his boots. Blood, congealed... Key hidden in his boot. Gotta fit
  a keyhole. Somewhere nearby, hopefully.

[Geralt inspects a skin-covered floor in the kitchen.]

Geralt: There's a draft... Gotta be a space under this rubble. Guess I should
        do some cleaning.

[Descending into the hidden basement, the witcher looks around. He pulls a
 false candlestick to reveal a chest behind a shelf.]

Geralt: Hmm...interesting. A ledger...payment for a sack of grain...amount due
        for a charcoal shipment... Hendrik was masquerading as a merchant. Hm,
        what's this? Notes among the ledger entries -- clever. Interesting
        headings...

 "Missing and Wanted"
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  "Missing and Wanted." "Subject appeared in Skellige. Also sighted in
  Novigrad." "Appearance unchanged. Ashen hair. Scar on her face." "Avoids
  contact with others."

 "Drunken Swine"
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  "Drunken Swine." "So-called baron hosted subject at his castle, or should I
  say, illegally-appropriated fort..." "Reason unknown." "Talk to baron at
  Crow's Perch."

 "Clashed with a Witch"
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  "Clashed with a Witch." "Subject landed in swamp, encountered a witch."
  "Conflict ensued. Cause unknown." "Find the witch." "Talk to the peasantry --
  village of Midcopse."

 "Caution Advised"
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  "Caution Advised." "I'm being observed. Don't know by whom or why. Unsettling
  signs..." "Dog ran off." "Water in bucket froze solid." "Strange glow
  observed in the sky. Ill omen, peasants say."

 Think that's all.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Somehow they learned Hendrik was searching for Ciri. Thus the torture... I'm
  too late. My only leads -- the baron, and some witch. Damn.

[His two leads in hand, Geralt goes off in search of them.

                                    _________________________________________
___________________________________/ MAIN QUEST: IN CIRI'S FOOTSTEPS (VELEN) |_
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6b) HUNTING A WITCH                                                      [WK6B]
_______________________________________________________________________________
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[From Hendrik's ledger, there's apparently a witch in Midcopse...perhaps the
 same one Ciri seems to have encountered. Geralt goes there to snoop around,
 and overhears a conversation.]

Woman: So, gonna try to charm him? Did the witch give 
Woman 2: Aye, she did indeed. Didn't ask much for it, either.
Woman: Maybe I should pay her a visit. How d'ye get there?
Woman 2: Path past the pond -- follow it till you reach a lone rock. Round that
         and head right off into the woods. Then keep straight. You'll know you
         went the right way when you pass an abandoned cart.

Geralt: Ought to be able to find the witch now.

[Geralt follows the gossipers' clues.]

Geralt: Supposed to be a large stone near the pond. There's the boulder... Now
        right, and on to the cart. The cart...witch's hut is somewhere nearby.

[At the hut, some peasants have gathered around the witch, none other than
 Keira Metz, a sorceress from the first Witcher game. Geralt takes a seat as
 they entreat her wisdom.]

Man: Miss... Cow's a-wheezin', won't rise from the barn floor. Pus streams from
     her snout. 
Keira: Do I look like a dairy maid to you?
Woman: No, miss, but you know things. 'Tis our last cow, none other left in the
       village...
Man: Rest died of hunger, or soldiers lead 'em off. Oh...we're as good as dead
     without her.
Keira: I shall give you herbs. Mix them with water drawn from the spring at
       midnight, then make the cow drink them. But first you must clean out
       your barn. Thoroughly, is that clear?
Woman: Thank you, miss! A thousand thanks!
Keira: Enough! I've had my fill for the day -- go home!

[The peasants leave and Keira walks inside, ignoring Geralt.]

Peasant 1: She's in a foul mood. We'd best come back on the morrow.
Peasant 2: Watch what you say. She's quick to ire, apt to take revenge.
Peasant 3: Bitch is in a proper fury. Needs a man!

[Geralt goes inside, finding the cabin empty.]

Geralt: Anyone home? Now where's she run off to?

[Numerous things can be investigated.]

 • Ordinary ointment...nothing special.
 • Hm, normal candle.
 • Hm, managed to amass quite a book collection.
 • Don't often see baubles like this in Velen...
 • A pentagram in chalk.

[He finally finds an inscribed skull.]

Geralt: Powerful aura -- must be some artifact, or...

[It creates a portal on the pentagram.]

Geralt: So this is where she disappeared to.

[He enters, finding the portal leads to a tranquil glade.]

Geralt: Well, well. Nice.
Keira: I was wondering how long it would take you, Geralt. I'm upstairs. Don't
       be shy. Greetings, witcher.

[He ascends the stony steps to find her lounging brazenly in an ornate bath.]

Geralt: Missed a spot.
Keira: Where? Hope you didn't come to gawk.
Geralt: No. To talk.
Keira: Turn around and wait.

[She exits and magically clothes herself.]

Geralt: Keira Metz deep in the heart of Velen... Thought you hated the
        countryside.
Keira: I can assure you I do, now more than ever.
Geralt: Heard a witch lived out here. Never would have guessed it was King
        Foltest's former advisor.
Keira: I'm so pleased the world's still able to astound you, Geralt. I actually
       envy you that sense of wonder -- common in children, knights errant¹,
       and morons.
Geralt: Hm, someone's grown irritable. Is that any way to greet an old friend?
Keira: I believe I "greeted you" with a pleasant view. Now tell me what brings
       you here.

 Looking for a certain young woman.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: I'm looking for a certain young woman.
  Keira: Oh really. Who?

  Ciri.
  ¯¯¯¯¯
   Geralt: I'm looking for Ciri. That Ciri. And no one can know. Understand?
   Keira: Cirilla is here? The girl once sought by the Lodge of Sorceresses and
          practically every ruler on the continent has landed here, in Velen,
          and I know nothing of it? What is she doing here?
   Geralt: Indications are she's hiding from someone. I heard she quarreled
           with a witch, but if you don't now anything... Sure you haven't
           seen her?

  Someone who quarreled with a witch.
  ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
   Geralt: Apparently, she quarreled with a local witch.
   Keira: Pff. Someone's been feeding you horseshit. The girls around here are
          too stupid to quarrel with me.
   Geralt: She's not from here.
   Keira: You're up to something, Geralt. If I'm to help you, you must tell me
          what's going on. Who are you looking for?
   Geralt: Ciri.
   Keira: Ciri? Well...now I understand the secrecy, not to mention the
          brooding, the furled brow. And you say she had some sort of problem
          with a witch?
   Geralt: So you haven't seen her.

 What are you doing in Velen?
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: So, betcha saw this question coming: what are you doing here?
  Keira: Let me think... Enjoying the country air? Admiring the unspoilt
         scenery? Or is it furthering the age-old alliance between the city and
         its breadbasket? No. I'm in hiding, Geralt. Blind to the state of the
         world? Don't you see what's happening?
  Geralt: Mean the persecution mages now face?
  Keira: Yes, that's exactly what I mean -- Radovid's new pastime, pursuing
         anyone with a whiff of magic about them. Witch hunters -- sound
         familiar? Murderers scouring the North from end to end. Burning books,
         hanging soothsayers, torturing herbalists...

  Back to the topic at hand.
  ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
   Geralt: Changing the subject...

  Why Velen?
  ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
   Geralt: Picked a strange place to hide.
   Keira: I didn't pick anything. In the North, Radovid's men hunt sorceresses
          like fish in a barrel. Nilfgaard controls the south. Where was I to
          flee?
   Geralt: Emperor does keep mages on a short leash, but he lets them live and
           ply their trade.
   Keira: Radovid and Emhyr are different in every respect except one. They
          share a deep hatred of the Lodge of Sorceresses. And I was a member.

  Like playing the village witch?
  ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
   Geralt: So how's it feel to be the village witch?
   Keira: Huh. Horrid.
   Geralt: No joy in having the boundless respect and trust of the local
           peasantry?
   Keira: They'd respect anyone who could produce hemorrhoid cream.
   Geralt: Been here awhile, haven't you?
   Keira: Long enough for rot to set in. You cannot possibly imagine how much I
          detest this place.

 Any word from the other sorceresses of the Lodge?
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Any news of your sisters from the Lodge?
  Keira: None. We can't know too much about one another these days. It's safer
         that way. 
  Geralt: Even tried to contact one another?
  Keira: I've wanted to many times. But I've no way of knowing who would answer
         -- or who might be listening.
 See you.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: See you, Keira.

[After letting Keira in on Ciri's alleged appearance...]

Keira: I'm certain I haven't. But recently someone asked me about an
       ashen-haired young woman. He claimed she would stand out from the
       peasant crowd.

 Who did the asking?
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Who was it?

 What else did he say?
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: He say anything else about her?

Keira: Not so fast, Geralt. No humble plea? No offering for the witch?

 How's a few dozen eggs sound?
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: What's your rate these days? A couple dozen eggs? Three hens, maybe?
  Keira: My rate rises with every word you speak. I'm not sure you can afford
         the information anymore. 
  Geralt: Hm, you're pricklier than I remember. Isn't living in nature's lap
          supposed to be cleansing, calming...?
  Keira: Nature stinks.

 My gratitude good enough?
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: My undying gratitude. Good enough?
  Keira: It's nothing to sneeze at, but you've a knack for getting into
         trouble. I should probably ask for something more immediately
         deliverable.

Keira: Oh, sod it, don't give me that look. I know it's Ciri we're talking
       about. It was an elf -- this individual asking about Cirilla. No
       flea-bitten Scoia'tael slob, either, but an elven mage.

 What was his name?
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: He say what his name was?
  Keira: He didn't. And he wore a mask. Very secretive all around, but...I
         liked him. He was intelligent and composed.
  Geralt: He say what he wanted with Ciri?
  Keira: Only that they were to meet in Velen. He wished to know if she'd
         arrived before he did.

 What was he doing in Velen?
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: What was an elven mage doing in Velen?
  Keira: Well, I tried to ask him, of course, about everything...
  Geralt: Of course.
  Keira: But you know how elves are -- he asked many more questions than he
         answered.

 He leave any message for her?
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: He leave any message for her?
  Keira: No, but he asked were I to meet her, to lead her to him.
  Geralt: So you know where to find him?
  Keira: Yes, he said he'd found a hideout in some elven ruins near the village
         of Midcopse.

[After learning about the Midcopse hideout, Keira opens a portal.]

Keira: I'll go there with you.
Geralt: Why? Think I'll have trouble finding this place?
Keira: I've unfinished business with this elf. He promised me something, but
       he never delivered it. Besides, I know you think as I do -- that she
       might be there. And I'd like to see Cirilla, too.

 Can we go?
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Let's go, then.
  Keira: Yes, let's.

 Can't go just yet.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Can't go just yet.
  Keira: In that case we'll meet there. I'll await you near the cave entrance.

                                    _________________________________________
___________________________________/ MAIN QUEST: IN CIRI'S FOOTSTEPS (VELEN) |_
¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
6c) WANDERING IN THE DARK                                                [WK6C]
_______________________________________________________________________________
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[Keira can teleport Geralt with her to the ruins instantly, or he can meet her
 at the entrance sometime later. The dialogue changes somewhat depending on
 this.]

• Keira: This is the place.
  Geralt: Been here before?
  Keira: No. I was hoping the elf would return as he'd promised, or else his
         waif would appear. At any rate, I've no idea what to expect from this
         place.
  Geralt: Well, let's find out.

• Keira: There you are...at last.
  Geralt: Can we go? I'd like to finally meet this mysterious elf.
  Keira: I do wonder if the two of you will hit it off.
  Geralt: Not like I wanna bed him. Just want to ask him about Ciri.

Keira: Come on! Gvella, glan!

[Keira's spell brightens the area a bit. A short ways inside, Geralt spies
 familiar soldiers investigating across the room.]

Geralt: The Wild Hunt.
Keira: What?! Phantom riders? That means...I thought they didn't exist!
Geralt: Feast your eyes on the nonexistent, then.

[The Hunt members disappear into a portal.]

Geralt: Hm. Got a navigator with them.
Keira: A what?
Geralt: Can you teleport us to the other side?
Keira: I'd rather teleport us home. Do you really mean to follow them?
Geralt: Teleport. Hurry up!
Keira: Not sure I like any of this. Ready. Follow me! Aaaaargh!

[They get in the portal, but Geralt appears in a cave elsewhere. Alone.]

Geralt: Damn portals. Wonder where Keira is now.

[If Geralt doesn't get in the portal, it disappears.]

Geralt: Keira?

[Down a tunnel, he can hear Keira's incantations, as well as other phrases.]

Keira: • Aargh!
       • Geralt!
       • Lillad geach! ...Uuuugh! Lillad geach--

[He runs into the room, seeing she's found a literal rats' nest.]

Keira: Geralt, do something! They're crawling out of those holes...! Use a
       Sign! Or bombs! Anything!

Geralt: Stay calm. They're only rats.

Keira: I hate...! Uggggh! I hate rats!

[Keira will continue shrieking throughout the fight.]

• Geralt!
• Disgusting!
• Get them off! Aaaah!
• Uggggh! It's disgusting!
• Do you know the diseases they spread?!

[Geralt destroys their nests.]

Keira: Whew, thank you.
Geralt: You that afraid of rats? Could've annihilated them with one spell.

[She gives him the evil eye.]

Geralt: Fine, won't say anything... So, what happened to you?

Keira: There's something here, something that distorts teleportation. I've no
       idea how they managed to get to the other side problem¹ free.

Geralt: Wild Hunt's teleportation magic is different. Got specially trained
        mages for that -- navigators they call them.

Keira: They can have three helmsmen and a parrot for all I care. I'll not risk
       that again.

Geralt: Let's go. Wild Hunt got a good head start on us, but we still stand a
        chance.

Keira: Have you gone completely mad? We must leave here at once!

 Let's hurry.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Let's go. We might still reach the elven mage before they do.
  Keira: But what does the Hunt want from him?
  Geralt: If that elf has information about Ciri... Or if she tried to find
          him, contact him, even, and they sensed her...
  Keira: Very well. Let's move on. Perhaps we'll come across some clue, some
         trace left by this elf. There's no guarantee the Wild Hunt is going
         the right way.

 Scared? Go back. I'm gonna keep going.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: If you're scared, turn back. I'm gonna go on.
  Keira: Stop it! That's emotional blackmail!
  Geralt: You'd really worry about me if I went on alone?
  Keira: You?! I'd be concerned for myself!
  Geralt: Then come with me. Just...quick decision, c'mon.
  Keira: Very well, have it your way. How did I ever let you talk me into
         this ridiculous expedition?!

 Need to find out what the Hunt's doing here.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: I gotta know what the Wild Hunt's doing here.
  Keira: But we came to find the elven mage, not fight the Hunt!
  Geralt: If they reach him first, we won't get a chance to talk to him.
          Besides--
  Keira: Go on, finish. Wait, you've some special interest in the Hunt... Is
         this about Ciri? There's something you've not told me, isn't there?
  Geralt: Come with me and maybe I will.
  Keira: Are you always like this? I'm beginning to feel sorry for Triss and
         Yen. Oh very well. Let's go.

Keira: Gvella, glan!

[While walking, a hologram of the mysterious elf activates.]

Elf: (in elvish) Daughter of the Gull. Greetings. I await you, Daughter of the
     Gull.
Keira: That's him! That's the elf!
Elf: (in elvish) Follow the sign of your sword.

[The hologram deactivates.]

Geralt: What was that? An illusion?
Keira: No... A morphotic projection.

 It was a message for Ciri.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Message was definitely for Ciri. "Daughter of the Gull" -- Lara
          Dorren's heir.
  Keira: Indeed, it is what the elves would title Ciri. But what was the bit
         about the sign of her sword? A riddle?
  Geralt: Yeah, not a hard one, though. Not if you know Ciri named her sword
          Zireael -- Swallow.
  Keira: Come now, who aside from you would know that?
  Geralt: Might've been the point. Your elven mage secured the passage, hid it,
          so that only Ciri could find it.
  Keira: He failed to foresee that someone like you would show up.
  Geralt: Nevertheless, I think he was expecting uninvited guests, made some
          preparations. Let's hope the Wild Hunt ran into some obstacles.
  Keira: Well then, let's go. Do you think following the swallows will suffice?
  Geralt: We'll see.

 A what projection?
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: A what projection?
  Keira: Something akin to a postbox for mages. Much safer than an ordinary
         letter, which anyone can intercept en route to its recipient.

[They enter a large, watery cavern.]

Keira: An old elven...port?
Geralt: Must've been how they got here by sea.
Keira: I wonder how long ago that was...
Geralt: Careful! That oily yellow vapor -- it's toxic.
Keira: I hardly need instruction from you. I recognized the vulpine morel
       immediately.
Geralt: Vesemir told me that soon after he'd learned to cast Igni, he tried it
        out on a patch of these mushrooms.
Keira: Terrible idea. What happened?
Geralt: Well, he survived. And wounds heal awfully quickly on young witchers.
        Come on.

[If Geralt approaches the submerged tunnel:]

Keira: How's the water?
Geralt: Refreshing. Don't know what you're missing.

[Nearby, familiar iconography marks a passage entrance.]

Keira: A swallow. Seems we're headed the right way.

[They enter a large chamber past the swallow-marked passages.]

Keira: Look. It's rather similar to that other pillar with the projection...
Elf: (in elvish) Swallow, the obvious route is not always the best. Find
     Kelpie.
Keira: Kelpie? Does he mean that sea monster?
Geralt: No. That's what Ciri named her mare. Horse could apparently gallop
        like a demon.
Keira: Hm, good name for a horse. So, shall we look for it? Gvella, glan!

[The sorceress looks at a nearby drawing.]

Keira: I wonder what all this means. They look hastily scribbled on with lime.
Geralt: Hunting dog. Can't see any connection to Kelpie.

[The dog picture booby trap blows up in his face.]

Keira: Must you touch everything? Geralt, are you all right?
Geralt: You might say so.

[Geralt finds another picture, this of a sea monster.]

Geralt: A sea monster. Looks a bit like a kayran.
Keira: Geralt, what the hell is that?!

[They see two ghost-like copies of themselves approaching.]

Geralt: Another security measure. Dammit all...
Keira: Do you think it's a mind game or something? You know, can you defeat
       yourself? Are you willing to? Perhaps these apparitions believe they
       are real?
Geralt: Sorry, I just don't share your doubts. Know exactly which one of you's
        real. Now focus on the fight.

[They defeat the clones.]

Keira: Oof... Anything like that ever happen to you before?
Geralt: Weeell, almost. While back a certain doppler took a shot at
        impersonating me.
Keira: Yes? And?
Geralt: He hated being me. Felt uncomfortable. Dopplers're kind-hearted by
        nature.

[Geralt jumps into the room's central well, finding a picture of a horse.]

Geralt: Drawing of a horse. Clue for Ciri, must be.

[Through an underwater passage, he sees a second image scrawled.]

Geralt: Kelpie... Another horse. Almost exactly like the last one. Let's see
        what this does...

[The room shakes.]

Keira: Geralt? I don't know what you did, but it worked! Come back here! Look,
       they're opening!

[In the previous chamber, a hidden entrance reveals itself.]

Keira: Let's go.

[Further in, a massive sparrow design is seen above an inactive portal.]

Keira: Well, now I know what distorted my effort at teleportation. This very
       portal.
Geralt: And I know why I landed in that drowner nest.
Keira: You should be pleased you emerged from the portal in one piece.
Geralt: And everyone still wonders why I hate to be teleported.
Keira: We must try to activate it.
Geralt: Think that's a...swallow.

[He touches a smaller swallow glyph, reactivating the portal.]

Keira: It worked. Come.
Geralt: Sure it's safe?
Keira: Of course. The elven mage prepared this passage for Ciri. Come on, now.

[The two emerge together this time, somewhere unfamiliar.]

Keira: It's grown awfully quiet.
Geralt: Is that bad?
Keira: A bit like the calm before a storm...

[The odd noise they hear is from next door, where a golem sentry waits.]

Keira: I've a bad feeling about this.
Golem: Zireael not recognized. Intruders. Destroy the intruders.

[With a bit of swords and sorcery, the golem is disposed of.]

Keira: And that would be that! I knew we'd manage.
Geralt: That so? Make sure and tell me beforehand next time.
Keira: My intuition's a fine instrument, witcher. Don't underestimate it. I've
       some veeery good feelings about you, for instance. In several domains.

[They venture onward.]

Keira: Once you finally find Ciri, what will you do? Any plans?
Geralt: Depends what she wants.
Keira: Imagined it -- how it will...transpire? What will she say? What will she
       look like?
Geralt: No.
Keira: I'm sorry. For getting ahead of myself. At times I forget...we hardly
       know each other, certainly not enough to discuss personal matters.
Geralt: Not to worry. We'll get there.

[If they enter the room with the gargoyle:]

Keira: Uh-oh.
Geralt? What? Got that feeling again?
Keira: And more...

Keira: Look, they're opening! Let's go.

[Upon encountering the next teleporter room:]

Geralt: Teleport over there.
Keira: We must activate it quickly. I've a feeling another golem's about to
       surprise us.
Geralt: Another swallow...
Keira: Look, it worked. Come on.

[They enter the new teleport, ending up back in the ruins' main room, only on
 the opposite side, this time.]

Keira: Look, we managed to cross the bridge. This is where we saw the Wild
       Hunt.

Geralt: Great. Means they're way ahead of us. Come on.

[By the next stairway, they see more dead golems -- frozen solid.]

Geralt: Wild Hunt -- definitely.
Keira: They destroyed the mage's sentries? They didn't come here for a friendly
       chat with the elf.
Geralt: Meaning you ever thought they might've?

[They find another golem past the others.]

Geralt: Frozen 'em before they could attack.

[A short ways later, the duo finds a large chamber occupied by the Wild Hunt.]

Mage: Shaar'az!
Soldier: (in Elvish) They're here already.
Mage: (in Elvish) Tend to them. We've no time to lose. Go.

[He prepares to cast a large spell.]

Navigator: Shaent tah'vir!

[The room grows deathly cold as ice starts forming all over the cavern walls.]

Keira: What is this?!
Geralt: The White Frost! Mage from the Hunt summoned it! Can you seal those
        cracks it's blowing through?!
Keira: They're too far! We must get closer! I shall shield us with Demetia
       Crest's Surge! Stand at my side! Da'arian annoi!

[She erects a barrier that protects herself and Geralt from the chill.]

Keira: Ready! Stay close! Bhain'ne calar! We must close them...!
Geralt: Want me to go...?!
Keira: I'll do it, just cover me! An Gal Scam'Hanach!

[She closes the first frost-spewing portal.]

Keira: Whew, I'm beginning to think we might make it. Bhain'ne calar! An Gal
       Scam'Hanach!

[Geralt yet again defends her from Hunt wolves as she closes the second.]

Geralt: Just one more.
Keira: Mhm. Bhain'ne calar! An Gal Scam'Hanach!

[She siphons the final magic from the portal, ending the freezing spell. The
 sorceress is noticeably drained and soon collapses in Geralt's arms.]

Keira: It worked... Da'arian annoi!
Geralt: Keira! What's wrong?
Keira: It'll pass... That took...a great deal of Power.

 Just don't faint on me.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Just don't faint on me.
  Keira: Now, in your firm embrace? Not on your life.

 If you can't go on...
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: If you can't go on...
  Keira: You can't leave me here!

Geralt: I'd never do that. Ahem. Love to be able to say we could stay awhile
        and rest...

Keira: I know, I know. We must go on.

[They go over to where the mage was. Ice covers the only exit.]

Geralt: Hm, they blocked the passage. Maybe I can try--
Keira: Leave it to me.

[Her lightning attacks steadily disintegrate the magical ice apart.]

Keira: Gvella, glan! Come. We might still catch them.
Geralt: Thanks for your help. Pretty tough slog.
Keira: Good thing I came with you. You'd never have managed without me, would
       you? Come now, admit it.
Geralt: Yeah. Never.

[They come to another chamber containing a Hunt member.]

Keira: He awaits us...
Elf: You are stubborn, dh'oine.
Keira: Geralt, I shall help you--
Geralt: Step back.
Keira: Stop telling me what to do!

[As they beat on Nithral, he starts opening a portal.]

Nithral: Salah vatt'ghern!
Keira: Geralt, look! He's opening a passage!
Geralt: Stay calm. Focus.

[Nithral tries another rift later.]

Nithral: Salah vatt'ghern!
Keira: Geralt! Another rift!

[They finally slay the axe-swinging bastard.]

Keira: Are you well and whole? I feared--
Geralt: Unnecessarily. Let's look around.
Keira: If I've my knickers on straight, this looks like the elf's laboratory.

[Another morphotic projector's nearby.]

Keira: Look, the elf left another message for Ciri.
Elf: (in Elvish) Daughter of the Gull.
Geralt: All right, let's watch this message.
Elf: Zireael, this place is no longer safe. Do not tarry here long. Trust no
     one, and above all beware the witches of Crookback Bog. Try to reach the
     place where last we were together.

[The projection ends.]

Geralt: "Where last we were together." Not much to go on. Dammit!

Keira: Perhaps it's best he didn't leave a clearer message. The Wild Hunt broke
       in here, surely they saw the projection.

Geralt: They searched everything...and if they had more time, they'd probably
        have torn the place to the ground. But that doesn't change the fact
        that we haven't learned anything -- not about the elf, not about Ciri.

Keira: Well, we know they were well acquainted, and traveling together.

 Elf warned Ciri about some witches.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: The Witches of Crookback Swamp...
  Keira: Crookback Bog.
  Geralt: Keira! If you're hiding something...
  Keira: But -- I didn't say...

  Did you know these witches?
  ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
   Geralt: You know these witches?
   Keira: I've never met them, but I've read of them. In an old manuscript I
          found in one of the huts in the village. It mentions the village
          witches venturing into Crookback Bog at times -- to liaise between
          the villagers in the Crones, the Ladies of the Wood. The Crones
          appear to be intolerant of outsiders, but they help the local folk.
          Apparently, they stopped the spread of the plague in Velen.
   Geralt: Hm. What's your take on all this?
   Keira: I'd love to shrug it off as the nattering of so many old women,
          yet... Throughout my first fortnight in Velen, I had horrible
          nightmares. Something was calling me out into the swamps. One night I
          decided to enter the dream consciously, render it lucid. I confronted
          the...thing directly. It broke contact at once. Peaceful nights ever
          since.

  Didn't mention them earlier. Why?
  ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
   Geralt: Why didn't you say anything earlier? I told you Ciri had a run in¹
           with a witch.
   Keira: I had no idea you meant them... If I'd told you something, you would
          have rushed off to find them... But we needed first to confirm that
          Ciri was here, right? I shall tell you everything now, of course.
   Geralt: Now, after I safely lead you through the cave?
   Keira: I can't believe you'd think so poorly of me. Perhaps you do bear a
          grudge against sorceresses.
   Geralt: Mhm. Can't imagine where that comes from.

 Wonder why they split up.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Wonder why they split up.
  Keira: Perhaps because the Wild Hunt was on the elf's trail, and Ciri would
         be safer if they did.

 How do I find the witches?
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: How do I find them?
  Keira: The swamps are vast, dangerous, but they say the Crones mark the way
         for peasants who wish to visit them. The manuscript mentions a chapel
         in Crookback Bog. And from that chapel one must follow the Trail of
         Treats.
  Geralt: Treats?
  Keira: Of course, they didn't read you bedtime stories at Kaer Morhen. All
         normal folk know that witches live in gingerbread houses poised atop
         chicken legs.
  Geralt: I'll have to see that to believe it.
  Keira: Take the tome and read it. I...I truly do believe you'll find your
         Cirilla. All right, then. As a start, let's look for a way out of
         here.
  Geralt: Good idea.

Keira: Why'd we even come?

[Geralt can inspect things around the lab.]

• Hmm, a mysterious mage-herbalist...
• Must've burned these notes himself. The Hunt wouldn't have bothered.
  Keira: Meaning he knew they were looking for him.
• What's this?
  Keira: The potion I gave him. Seems he saw a use for it, drank it.

[The witcher observes an odd wall.]

Geralt: Strange. My medallion's trembling, but there's nothing here... What's
        with this wall?
Keira: It's an illusion. I sensed it as well. I expected we might run into
       such things, so I brought this.

[She holds out a weird disc.]

Geralt: Meaning what?
Keira: The Eye of Nehaleni. It dispels illusions. It's easy enough to build,
       so you're welcome to this one. It's bound to come in handy. And, each
       time it does, you will think of me.
Geralt: Hm, thanks.

[He dispels the illusory door, revealing a new passage.]

Keira: Simple, isn't it?
Geralt: Mhm. Let's see where the passage leads.
Keira: Do you feel that? A flow of fresh air, from the left. Must be an exit
       that way!
Geralt: Good, let's get outta here.
Keira: Wait. There's still the magic lamp.
Geralt: The magic what now?
Keira: Lamp. The elf promised it to me in exchange for my help. And since his
       return here seems doubtful, I must retrieve it myself. If I can find it,
       that is... Will you help?

 Fine. I'll help.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Yeah, I'll help.
  Keira: Splendid. Come, then.

 I'm going straight to the Bog.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Gotta look for it alone. I should go to Crookback Bog. Think you can
          manage?
  Keira: Of course I can. Best of luck to you.
  Geralt: I'll stop by. You can be sure.
  Keira: In that case, I shall be waiting.
  Geralt: See you, Keira.

[Helping Keira is detailed in her "Magic Lamp" subplot quest. Regardless, this
 quest ends and Geralt can leave.]
                                    _________________________________________
___________________________________/ MAIN QUEST: IN CIRI'S FOOTSTEPS (VELEN) |_
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6d) BLOODY BARON                                                         [WK6D]
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[After being tipped off to Phillip Strenger, the current ruler of the region,
 he decides to visit Crow's Perch, a massive hilltop fort protected by a small
 ridge/moat encircling it. He approaches a shut portcullis further inside.]

Guard: Halt! Who goes there?!
Geralt: Baron home?

[If Geralt solved the Crossroads debacle peaceably:]

Guard 2: Depends who's askin'.
Geralt: A witcher. Wanna talk to him.
Guard 2: Hmph, yeah. And I wanna plough the lovely Queen Cerro.
Guard: Seen this man before. Inn at the Crossroads. You bought us a round.
       As I recall, you were to go your separate way.

 I did. It lead me here.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: It lead me here. Gotta talk to the baron.
  Guard 2: Oh, aye? What's about?
  Geralt: Something important. His ears only.
  Guard: Fine. Lodrin, let 'im in. If he makes any trouble...well, we outnumber
         'im.

 Got lost. Sorry. Bye.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Right. Guess I'll be going.

[If Geralt went right to Heatherton and thus didn't have any interaction with
 the Baron's shoulders at the IOTC:]

Guard 2: Depends who's askin'.
Geralt: A witcher. Wanna talk to him.
Guard 2: Hmph, yeah. And I wanna plough the lovely Queen Cerro.
Geralt: Gonna let me in or not?
Guard: Eh, no passage for the likes of you.

 (15 coins) Sure we can't come to an agreement?
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Seems to me we oughta be able to come to some sort of agreement.
  Guard: Hm, all right, in you go. But cause any trouble and we'll gut you
         faster than you can say "Nilfgaardian vendetta."

 I'll be back.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Fine. Maybe another time.

[If Geralt gets entry because of what happened at the Crossroads inn, he'll be
 guided to the baron by a scarred soldier.]

Guard: Open the gate! Sergeant! Ardal! Witcher to see the baron! Don't want no
       disturbances, that clear?
Geralt: What do you think?
Geralt: Guard called you a sergeant. You a Temerian soldier?
Sergeant: Not your concern, mate.
Geralt: Deserter?
Sergeant: Temerian army don't exist no more.
Geralt: So what're you all doing here?
Sergeant: Had a choice after the Black Ones thrashed us -- let it lie and try
          to lead normal lives...or continue to resist, join the guerillas
          and fight for our beloved Temeria till death do us part. We chose
          the former.
Geralt: And the baron your commander?
Sergeant: Hmm, yeah -- commander...

===============================================================================
[If Geralt killed the guards at the Inn of the Crossroads:]
Guard 2: Not your concern.
Geralt: Need to talk to him. Open the gate.
Guard 2: Not a chance.
Guard: We heard what happened at the Crossroads.
Guard 2: We'll not let a man like that in here.
Geralt: Won't get in that way. Gotta find another. Oughta look among the
        villagers. Might find one brave enough to help me.

[Turned away, Geralt finds an geezer in the lower village.]

Geralt: How about that -- takes a tired old man not to panic and run when I
        appear. Greetings.
Man: Greetin's to you.
Geralt: Other villagers all scurried off soon as they saw me. You didn't.
Man: Oh, I-- I'm too old to scurry! Besides, what could you do to me? Kill me?
     Go ahead -- I've not long to live. Tan me hide? Wouldn't work -- me skin's
     right brittle.

 Know the area well?
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Lived here long?
  Man: Hmm...erm... Since I was born. Reckon that'll be more than seventy
       winters!
  Geralt: Must know the area well...
  Man: Not bad.
  Geralt: Listen, I gotta get inside the fortress. Can I do that without going
          through the front gate?
  Man: Ye can, but few know the way. If you were to make an 'umble offerin',
       call it, to this 'umble man, maybe I could point you in the right
       direction.

  (15 gold) All right, I'll pay.
  ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
   Geralt: Fine. Don't really feel like arguing with the guards.
   Man: Years back, when the old lord still ruled Crow's Perch, the
        blacksmith's boy went missing. Whole village looked for him. No luck.
        Finally found the boy in the river -- he'd drowned.
   Geralt: Tragic. But how's that supposed to help me?
   Man: A few days on, an old woman who served the lord found the boy's cap
        near the castle well.
   Geralt: So, either he lost it in there, or he fell in the well.
   Man: Clever man. Village folk built a shrine where they found the lad's
        body. Northwest of here. Wager you'll find an entrance to the passage
        nearby...
   Geralt: Shrine, where is it exactly?
   Man: Track that weaves through the village -- follow it to the bridge. Turn
        right past that, then go on straight as piss till you get to a
        crossroads. Turn right again, then follow that path up a hill. Shrine
        stands atop it.
   Geralt: Right past the bridge, then right again. I'll find it. Thanks.

  Not about to let you cheat me.
  ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
   Geralt: Won't finagle any coin out of me. If there's another way in, I'll
           find it.
   Man: Maybe you will, maybe you won't.

  Why help me?
  ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
   Geralt: Just looking to make some coin, or is there another reason you're
           helping me?
   Man: What you did at the Crossroads -- that's why they won't let you in,
        right? The innkeep? My sister's husband.

 Farewell.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Take care.
  Man: Aye, you too. And fortune smile upon ye.

[He finds the boy's roadside marker.]

Geralt: There's the shrine. Passage must be somewhere around here.

[Through an underwater cavern, Geralt climbs toward the well's entrance.]

Geralt: Light. I must be close.

===============================================================================

[Regardless of how he gains admittance, Geralt will come upon the baron nd
 his Nilfgaardian guests.]

Baron: In Vizima -- now those were balls! Attended a few, me and my Annie! Oh,
       how we danced! How we twirled! Hahaha!

[He suddenly goes over to the maid and starts dancing.]

Maid: Ooh!
Baron: One, two, three -- one, two, three -- wayhey!
Soldier: Enough! I don't care how you do it, but the deliveries must be weekly.
Baron: Won't you stay for tea?
Soldier: No. Besides, you've another guest.

[Geralt walks over when the Black Ones leave.]

• Baron: Ah-ha, our defender of the downtrodden. Greetings.
  Geralt: News gets around quick.
  Baron: That it does. When I learned you'd slaughtered my men, I thought to
         have you captured and hanged. Or at least flogged. But then I thought
         -- one tough cocker if he bested that lot of cutthroats. Man like him
         could prove useful...

  I'm no thug for hire.
  ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
   Geralt: I'm not a thug for hire.
   Baron: I know who you are. But since you come here having perpetrated that
          bloodbath, I assume you've something important to discuss.
   Geralt: I do.
   Baron: Very well. Then let's discuss it.

  Useful for what?
  ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
   Geralt: Useful? How?
   Baron: That's the spirit! We'll work well together -- I can see that
          already. This way.

  Baron: One thing -- you'd do well to behave this time. Remember, I've still
         to decide what to do with you. Which I shall do after we've spoken.

• Baron: Look at that -- didn't even stay for tea. In spite of all that
         blabberin' about how cultured the nation is...

  It's just that -- blabber.
  ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
   Geralt: Rumors rarely find confirmation in reality -- especially the ones
           about foreigners.
   Baron: Heheh. Right you are.

  Didn't come here to chat.
  ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
   ---

Geralt: I'm...
Baron: I know who you are. Believe I also know why you've come. We'll talk
       inside.

[The baron leads him to his isolated office.]

Baron: Make yourself at home. Now, where'd I put the bloody vodka...? Ah, there
       it is! A snifter?

 Glad to have a drink.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Why not.
  Baron: Hah! A man after me own heart. Hmm...with Foltest dead and Natalis'
         whereabouts unknown...bloody hell, who's a loyal Temerian to drink to
         these days?
  Geralt: Himself and his company?
  Baron: Good enough.

 No thanks.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: No thanks. Didn't come here to drink.
  Baron: Hmph. As you will. But I'll not sit here adry, if you don't mind.
         Before the war, there was a distillery nearby, best in Velen. But the
         whoresons burnt it to the ground.

Baron: To the matter at hand -- I'm Phillip Strenger, though the blobtits
       'round here call me the Bloody Baron.
Geralt: Geralt of Rivia. Blobtits call me the Butcher of Blaviken.
Baron: I said already -- I know who you are. Truth be told, it's the only
       reason we're talking. How do you like it here in Velen?

 It's awful.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: I don't. Swamps, bogs, marshes everywhere...
  Baron: Exactly. 

 Lovely place.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Lovely place. Swamps, bogs, marshes everywhere...
  Baron: Exactly. 

 Get to the point.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Didn't come here to talk about the scenery.
  Baron: You're wrong to avoid the topic. You've just arrived, plain to see.
         And the local swamps and bogs -- they're interesting to say the least.

Baron: Someone loses their way 'round here, he becomes damn hard to find.
Geralt: What're you getting at?
Baron: Many have lost loved ones here. Some their wives, others their
       daughters...

 Can you get to the point.¹
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Get to the point already.
  Baron: Ciri. That's why you've come, isn't it?
  Geralt: So she was here.

 That a threat?
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: What's that supposed to mean? That a threat?
  Baron: Oi, not as clever as I suspected you'd be. No, it's no threat. I'll
         spell it out for you -- I know who you're looking for.

Baron: She showed up some time ago -- exhausted, wounded, and stinkin' like a
       soaked hound after a hard hunt. Later I learned she'd come from the
       swamp... Said some beasts from the woods attacked her before she could
       reach the village...
                                    _________________________________________
___________________________________/ MAIN QUEST: IN CIRI'S FOOTSTEPS (VELEN) |_
¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
6e) CIRI'S STORY: THE KING OF THE WOLVES                                 [WK6E]
_______________________________________________________________________________
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[This chapter takes place during "Bloody Baron," telling part of Ciri's tale.
 It starts with her fleeing some unknown enemies in the swampy Velen wilds,
 then tumbling down a steep embankment into a mud puddle.]

Ciri: Oof. That was close. I must leave this place.

[Following the riverbed, she finds a young girl hiding from wolves.]

Girl: Go away! Stupid wolves! Go!
Ciri: She needs help.

[She slays the pack.]

Ciri: You can come down! Hello there. Are you lost?
Girl: A little, I guess. Are you?

 Yes, I'm lost, too.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Ciri: Yes. Though also just a little.
  Girl: Does that mean...you know which way to go?
  Ciri: Not quite, not yet. But I'm sure we'll find the way if we set off
        together.

 No. I never am.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Ciri: I never lose my way.
  Girl: Mmm. If that's true, what are you doin' so deep in the forest alone?
  Ciri: Looking for lost little girls.

[She notices the scar under Ciri's left eye.]

Girl: What happened to you?
Ciri: This? Hm, it's...nothing.

      How is it you're here?
      ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
       Ciri: How did you wind up here?
       Girl: My father brought me. Told me to follow the trail of treats and
             eat my fill. He said he would wait. So I started down the trail,
             but then I saw a butterfly, and I ran to catch it, and I lost my
             way.

 Where do you live?
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
 Ciri: Why don't you tell me where you live.
 Girl: In Lindenvale. They'd see to your wounds there.

  Good idea. I shall walk you home.
  ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
   Ciri: You and your father -- when did you leave home?
   Girl: This mornin'.
   Ciri: And did the sun warm your face or your back?
   Girl: It warmed my back.
   Ciri: So we must go east.

  How'd you get here?
  ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
   Ciri: How'd you wind up here?
   (girl tells "My father brought..." part)

   Remember how to get home?
   ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
    (same as "Good idea. I shall walk you home.")

   Why follow the trail of treats?
   ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
    Ciri: Your father -- why did he have you follow the trail of treats? Do you
          know?
    Girl: Because...we had naught to break our fast with.
    Ciri: I don't understand.
    Girl: I was naughty...broke a jug...spilled all our milk...
    Ciri: Your parents must've been angry.
    Girl: Mother said I should be spanked, but father said 'twouldn't do no
          good -- too many mouths to feed anyway. Sending me down the trail of
          treats -- that would solve things.

Ciri: Come. I'll walk you home. And explain to your parents that they must not
      lose their children in the woods.
Girl: We can't go home. 'Cause of the Wolf King and his pack...

 Don't be afraid. I'll protect you.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Ciri: See what I've got on my back? Wolves fear it. Kings do too. Come, I'll
        help you up.

 The Wolf King?
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Ciri: No kings among wolves.
  Girl: These have one!
  Ciri: And you've seen him?
  Girl: Yes! I mean, no. From behind a tree. He was huge, with giant eyes and
        great fangs, and he was terribly, disgustably horrific!

[Ciri helps the lost girl, Gretka, climb up a ledge, then follows after.]

Girl: Hrgh.

[They come across another wolf pack.]

Girl: Wolves!
Ciri: Quick! Hide!

[She slays the 8-9 attackers.]

Ciri: You can come out now!
Girl: My, you're brave! My father couldn't even do that!
Ciri: Heh. Mine could do a lot more. Come.

[She stops to investigate what the animal corpse the wolves were gnawing on.]

Ciri: Hmm, massacred...by something with immense claws.

[The girl soon finds a human corpse down the path.]

Girl: Look! There's something there.
Ciri: Wait here. Don't come any closer.
Girl: But...
Ciri: No buts. Stay here. I must see something.

 Eyes.
 ¯¯¯¯¯
  Ciri: Hmm... Bloodshot, but still moist. He died recently.

 Head.
 ¯¯¯¯¯
  Ciri: Lips parted and bloated... Bit clear through his tongue. Immense pain
        before death.

 Chest.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Ciri: Ah, his chest is crushed. Ribs probably pierced his lungs. Something
        picked him up and threw him against the tree.

 Leg.
 ¯¯¯¯
  Ciri: Hmm... Something tore his leg off. No, gnawed it off.
  Girl: Eeew, that's horrible!
  Ciri: Stay there, and look away. Hmm... What's this? Marrow's missing.
        Interesting.

 Belly.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Ciri: Let's see... Oh, his liver's gone.
  Girl: Why're you diggin' through his belly?
  Ciri: Would you mind making certain your laces are tied?

 Summing up...
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  • Ciri: Everything seems to suggest a fiend...
  • Ciri: The Wolf King's no fantasy, it seems. Except, he's a werewolf.

Girl: What happened to him?
Ciri: He...had a fall.
Girl: Mhm, I bet. The Wolf King got him.
Ciri: Hm, when did children get so smart?
Girl: What'll we do when the Wolf King finds us?
Ciri: Good question. I've no silver, but I can make a blade oil.
Girl: Oil? You mean like we make from rapeseed?
Ciri: No, a far more special oil.

      • Of dog tallow, fool's parsley, wolf's liver and mistletoe. The fiend
        will feel terrible, terrible pain...

      • Of dog tallow, wolfsbane, fool's parsley and wolf's liver. The Wolf
        King will feel terrible, terrible pain...

Girl: You're smart! How do you know these things? Did your father teach you?
Ciri: Not my father. My uncle. Uncle Vesemir.

[If the player chooses to create the oil...]

Ciri: All right. I have everything. Now for a spot where I can build a fire,
      brew the oil in peace.

[Later, at the small campfire...]

Girl: What ye doin'?
Ciri: Greasing my blade. There. We'll see just how effective Uncle Vesemir's
      formulae are.

[They find another wolf band.]

Girl: Hear that? Wolves.
Ciri: Hide, quickly!

[Ciri nixes the whole lot.]

Ciri: They're gone! You can come out!
Girl: You cut 'em up bad! The Wolf King will be angry.

[Ciri inspects another animal corpse.]

Ciri: Hm, it's dead. But a pig here? Must be a human settlement nearby.
Ciri: Hm... Belly's all in blood. Clawed open. No wolves did this.

[They continue toward the Wolf King's cave.]

Ciri: Do parents often send their children out to follow the sweets?
Girl: Sometimes they send their children, sometimes they go themselves.
Ciri: Do they return?
Girl: No, why would they? They've plenty to eat where the path ends.

[Finally, they reach the destination.]

Girl: This way. Through the cave.
Ciri: You lead.
Girl: It's a bit dark...
Ciri: Afraid?
Girl: Are you?
Ciri: No.
Girl: Then I'm not either.

[Deep in the cave, they see a werewolf approaching some human prey.]

Wolf King: Grr grr grr...
Man: Hey! W-wha...?
Girl: The Wolf King! Now do you believe me?
Ciri: I do. Hide!

 • Girl: Will it be any good -- the oil you made?
   Ciri: Not unless we want to anger it.

[She jumps down to the werewolf's level.]

Ciri: *whistles*
Man: Aah! Aah!

[Ciri eventually slays the abomination.]

Man: Why...you really gave 'im a drubbin'! Never seen anythin' like it!
Ciri: Girl! You can come out now! Come on!

 We must get to the village.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Ciri: You have bandages at home? Some spirit? He laid a claw or two on me,
        unfortunately.
  Man: I-I've naught, miss...but my lord -- he's a powerful man. He's sure to
       help ye. Might even reward you for cuttin' the werewolf down.
  Ciri: Very well. Lead us to your lord.

 We found a corpse in the woods.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Ciri: You're lucky we came this way. Found someone far less fortunate in the
        forest.
  Man: Oh, Yaren, must be. We was returnin' from Midcopse when the brute
       attacked. I managed to flee, but Yaren, er...
  Ciri: The little one -- no details.

[A few days later, Ciri and Gretka are seen eating at Crow's Perch, while the
 baron glowers at the rescued man.]

Baron: Just who do you think you've brought me, man? That's not me daughter!
Man: And the little one?
Baron: Neither, dammit! I think I'd know my own child.
Man: Well, er...mi-might not be yours, the older one, but you've gotsta admit
     the likeness. It's downright strikin'! So, any chance for the reward?
Baron: You'll not see one fucking copper! Get out before I set my hounds on
       you!

[The man leaves.]

Baron: So, stew any good?
Ciri: Mhm, very, thank you. I'd not eaten in--
Baron: Clear to see. I'm pleased you like it. Had them prepare a bath for you,
       once you've eaten. And you could do with some sleep. Gretka in the nook
       behind the hearth, you in the guest room opposite the kitchen.
Ciri: Thank you, I--
Baron: Shh. Eat now. We'll speak once you've rested.
                                    _________________________________________
___________________________________/ MAIN QUEST: IN CIRI'S FOOTSTEPS (VELEN) |_
¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
6f) FAMILY MATTERS                                                       [WK6F]
_______________________________________________________________________________
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[The flashback ends. Geralt and the baron are still in the office.]

Baron: So I ordered my men to watch her and left her to rest.
Geralt: And?
Baron: Ahhh, that's a topic for another time.

 I get what you're after.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Take it you won't give me this information for free.
  Baron: Heheh, sharp you are. I regret your loss, commiserate.

 Tell me. It's important.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: I want--...I need to find her, understand? I need every last
          bit of information available.
  Baron: I understand.

 Talk.
 ¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: No. A topic for now. Talk.
  Baron: That sharpness -- watch your tone, witcher. We wish to come to an
         agreement, do we not?

 Gretka -- where is she now?
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: The little girl who showed up here with Ciri -- what happened
          to her?
  Baron: Gretka? She's safe and sound. Helps out in the kitchen. Ciri told me
         of the girl's parents, what they'd decided. So I decided not to send
         the lass home. She's fed here. A roof over a warm corner she calls
         her own. She wants for nothing.
  Geralt: What happened to Ciri?
  Baron: I've told you already -- a topic for another time.

Baron: But you see, it so happens my wife and daughter are missing as well. I
       propose an exchange -- find my loved ones, and I shall tell you about
       the girl you seek. All I know.

 What if I refuse?
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Huh, what if I refuse, 'cause I just don't want to?
  Baron: Would you tell me to sod off? Go ahead. But then I'll do the same. And
         what'll that make us? Two helpless, empty-handed sods. Think of it as
         searching for your own daughter. Ought to go quickly, then.
 Deal.
 ¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Fine. I'll help you. I'll find your family, but then you'll give me
          every bit of information you have.
  Baron: You have my word.

 How do I know I can trust you?
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Thing is, can I trust you? What guarantees do I have?
  Baron: Hahah! None whatsoever. Only my word.

[If Geralt entered via the gate, Strenger whistles for his attending guard.]

 • Baron: Guard! This man's under my protection. No one's to bother him -- in
          any way. Don't stare -- I've not grown horns. Treat it as a token of
          my good faith.

Geralt: When'd you see them last?
Baron: They vanished after the new moon, as if whisked away by shadows.
Geralt: What do you mean "vanished"?
Baron: Precisely that. I awoke one morn to find them gone.

 I need more information.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: I'll need to know a lot more than that. Can I see their rooms?
  Baron: What for?
  Geralt: I need clues, anything to latch onto.
  Baron: I'll not let a stranger paw through their belongings.
  Geralt: Want me to find them or not?
  Baron: I do.
  Geralt: Then let me work.
  Baron: Huh, fine. But I shall go with you. The doors are locked.

 Have you searched?
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: You try to search for them?
  Baron: Sent men out right away. But they're not suited to it. It's one thing
         to rip up floorboards in search of a peasant's last sack of grain.
         Finding a living person -- they just don't know how. Besides...
         Velen's naught but swamps and marshy woodland. Plenty of hard to find¹
         nooks. If you're lookin' for to hide somewhere, this is the place.

  Got any enemies?
  ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
   Geralt: Maybe they were kidnapped. Got any enemies?
   Baron: None worth mentioning. Worthless little pricks and angry peasants is
          all. None would dare raise a finger against my family. Any who
          might've, they've been eating dirt long since.

  Notice anything unusual recently?
  ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
   Geralt: Anything unusual happen before they disappeared? They act
           differently, do anything strange?
   Baron: Unusual? No... But not long ago, peasants came to complain that a
          beast had ravaged a woman by the well. Devoured another lass before
          her. Common occurences in Velen. And my women? Anna, quiet as a
          mouse, as ever. And Tamara, occupied with her...things... Nothing
          unusual.

  Your men ever bother them?
  ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
   Geralt: This place -- must be hard to be the only two women here.
   Baron: "This place"? What do you mean? They wanted for nothing here!
          Pheasant for dinner? Not a problem. Blue ribbons from Toussaint? Say
          the word.
   Geralt: Had your men in mind, their company. Sure the wife and daughter
           weren't being harrassed¹?
   Baron: My men are a horde of whoresons, but they know their place. One of
          them so much as looked at Anna or Tamara crosswise, I'd cut him down
          like a dog.

 What do they look like?
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Can't start searching till I know what they look like.
  Baron: Tamara, my daughter, turned nineteen in the spring. Slender lass,
         about yea tall, comes up to my shoulders. Beautiful eyes. Green like
         her mother's. My wife, Anna, has two score winters behind her, though
         she'd never admit it. Dark hair, thick as tar. Keeps it tied up in a
         bun.

[The baron goes with Geralt to unlock his family's rooms.]

Baron: When she was a babe, my daughter loved animals. Saw a deer trophy on the
       wall once. Do you know what she asked?
Geralt: Haven't got a clue.
Baron: "Papa, is that deeh's wump on the other side of the wall?" Pwhahaha...
       You see it there? Whoaho! What a trophy! Hahaha... I pity any bastard
       who's hurt her... I'll flay him alive. Here it is. Oh, dammit! Jammed
       again.

[He gets the door open.]

Baron: Our bedchamber. Tamara's room is there. Try not to make a mess. For
       their return, I want everything to be as they left it.

[Geralt can investigate the smaller bedroom and den first.]

• Hm? Damn ugly for a doll. The kind you'd stick with pins to hurt someone.
• Incense, and an old key. Wonder what it unlocks... Anise, sandalwood and
  something else... Saffron?

[If Geralt follows up on the incense clue, it leads to a weird basement room.]

Geralt: An altar. So, the Eternal Fire's made it to Velen.

[Geralt can investigate things in the massive bedroom.]

• Wooden candlestick. Stem's broken.
• Fresh flowers. He expects them to return any minute. Takes hope.
• Wall's a different color. Something used to hang here. Hm...that painting?
  Right size.

[The witcher inspects the portrait.]

Geralt: The baron and his wife. Hm, look happy enough. What's this? Ah. Gotta
        wonder who wanted to hide the hole...and what's on the other side.

[On the other side of the hole is a wardrobe. There's a piece of wood inside.]

• Hm, it gets interesting. Piece of wood looks like the stem of that
  candlestick. No coincidence there. Hmm...fight might've happened here. Oughta
  look for clues.

• Mangled bit of candlestick. Someone smashed it against the wall and broke
  clear into the wardrobe. Getting interesting. Might be more traces of
  fighting. Gotta look around.

[He resumes the investigation, looking at support beams and the floor.]

• Deep nicks. Hit with a heavy object.
• Huh, rest of the candlestick. And wine stains. Somebody smashed a bottle.
  From Toussaint. Yeah, Erveluce. Scent hasn't died. Wonder where it'll lead
  me.

[The scent leads to the 1F-2F stairwell.]

Geralt: Damn, trail breaks off. Could find something else though.

[He picks up a talisman stuck in the floorboard.]

Geralt: Hmm...spruce wood. Smells of juniper incense. Some sort of folk
        talisman, protective. Question is -- against what? Won't find much else
        here.

[Geralt returns to his client.]

Baron: Done pokin' around?

 Know anything about this amulet?
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Recognize this amulet?
  Baron: Hmm... Yes. Anna began wearing it a time ago.
  Geralt: Any idea where she got it?
  Baron: None.
  Geralt: Any witches or cunning women in the area?
  Baron: A pellar. Old coot lives near Blackbough. And there's a cunning woman
         in Midcopse, but I know little about her -- she's only recently
         arrived. If Anna were to see someone, she'd choose the pellar, not the
         woman. Anna was wary of strangers, newcomers.

  I'm off to see the pellar.
  ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
   Geralt: Oughta have a chat with this pellar.
   Baron: Fair warning -- he's a hard man to talk to. Rumor has it he killed
          his own father with an axe as a lad, then went batty. Now they say he
          sees ghosts and ploughs his goat.
   Geralt: Not really interested in his hobbies. Just want to ask about the
           amulet.

 Found a doll.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Found a doll in Tamara's room. Tell me about it.
  Baron: Heh! What could possibly be so interesting about a doll, witcher?
  Geralt: Looks like it might've been used for some sort of black magic.
          Where'd Tamara get it?
  Baron: Black magic? Are you barmy?! I made it for her! She was four, perhaps
         five winters old. We were in Vizima on market day and she saw the
         sorceress Triss Merigold. Insisted she must have a doll just like her.
         Couldn't afford a thing of that sort, so I made the doll with me own
         hands.

   Resemblance is uncanny.
   ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
    Geralt: So it is supposed to be Triss. Yeah, I see it now. Eerie. Looks
            just like her.
    Baron: Doesn't it? Time's taken a bit of a toll, but overall, it continues
           to impress.
    Geralt: You got something to fall back on if things don't work out with
            Nilfgaard.

   As I remember, Triss looks different.
   ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
    Geralt: This is Triss? No offense, but uh...not great with your hands, are
            you?
    Baron: Why don't you take some wood and rags, see what image of a grown
           woman you can come up with?

 Signs of a fight in the room.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Found signs of a fight in the room. Know anything about that?
  Baron: A fight? What're you talkin' about?
  Geralt: Someone was attacked -- probably your wife or daughter. Whoever it
          was tried to defend themselves with a candlestick. Missed the
          attacker, punctured the wall, instead. They tussled, too.
  Baron: I...I don't know nothin' about this. That night...I was drunk, don't
         remember a thing. They were gone by the time I awoke.
  Geralt: Doubt you were the only ones in the castle. Maybe one of your men
          heard something?
  Baron: Three times I asked those bastards if they'd seen anythin', heard
         anythin'. Nothin', not a one of 'em.

 Somebody spilled wine on the landing.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Whole landing smells of wine. Tell me anything about that?
  Baron: One of the lads, must be. Lushes one and all.
  Geralt: Give your men Erveluce?
  Baron: Oh, dammit, I might've spilled it. I told you I was good and marinated
         that night. Why's it matter? Stench of wine in plenty a corner around
         the castle.

[With the investigation done, it's off to find the pellar. He arrives, finding
 several of the Baron's henchmen knocking on his door. They notice.]

Guard: Hey, look! Some stray's wandered our way.
Guard: Sod off, freak!
Guard: What do you want?
Geralt: Wanna talk to the pellar.
Guard: Too late. We've got dibs on a chat with 'im. A long one.

 I'll pay you to go.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Maybe we can make a deal.
  Guard: We'll not ploughin' bargain with anyone. Vengeance, that's what we
         want!

 [Axii Sign] You need to leave.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Think you need to leave now.
  Guard: Do we?
  Geralt: You do.
  Guard: Well...let's go, then.
  Guard: Aye, we oughta...
  Guard: But where'll we go?
  Guard: Away from here.

 Leave or die.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Get the hell out. Now.
  Guard: Heheheh... And here I thought we'd have a day without corpses.
  Guard: Heard mages pay top coin for the special bits of rare creatures.
         Wonder 'ow much we'll get for his eyes?

 What do you want from the pellar?
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: What do you want from him?
  Guard: To give 'im what he deserves.
  Geralt: And that is?
  Guard: He done conjured augeries. Said something evil had made its nest
         between Edric's bowels. Told Edric to eat rowanberries, lots of 'em!
  Guard: Ever since, Edric's lived in the outhouse, and he's got hardened
         pustules all over him!

  Tell you what -- you leave, and I'll heal Edric.
  ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
   Geralt: Just so happens I need the pellar alive. So if you agree to leave
           him alone, for good, I'm willing to tell you how to help Edric.
   Guard: Hmmm...well, all in all...
   Geralt: Yes or no?
   Guard: Fine. Let's hear it.
   Geralt: A tea of mullein leaves for his belly, and cover his boils with
           mallow. A few days and he'll be as good as new.
   Guard: Noted. But if it don't work, we'll be back. Move out, boys!
   Guard: Any of you fellows know where this mullein shite grows?
   Guard: My old lady'll know. Got a knack for herbs, she does. The other
          shite, mallow, ought to have that, too. Chops it, adds it to our
          milker's feed.
   Guard: Heheheh, Edric's dumb as your milker. Should suit 'im.
   Guard: All right, let's get Edric, pull 'im outta the shitter, stuff 'im
          full of herbs, and see if he gets better.
   Guard: And if he don't?
   Guard: We'll visit the pellar one last time.

[The guards either leave or die by the witcher's hand.]

Geralt: Gotta wonder about a man who could get Edric's friends all worked up.
        Hey! Anybody home? Open up, it's safe now.
Pellar: Devils! Who do they bring?! What seek ye?
Geralt: I need your help.
Pellar: Ooh...a man -- nay -- a wolf, gray, though not old... 'Tis he the
        pellar awaits.

 Need your help.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Recognize this? Made of spruce wood, strong smell of juniper.
          Designed to protect someone.
  Pellar: Freshly cut spruce sprinkled with goat's blood, then tempered with an
          incense of earthsmoke and jupiter. For Anna. To protect her.

  Protect? From what?
  ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
   Geralt: So, designed to protect her. From what?
   Pellar: Oh, the dear -- besieged, she was. Evil all around, wanting to
           possess her. Old magic born of oblivion, from dark sources emerged.
   Geralt: Old magic? Can you be more specific?
   Pellar: Tis¹ naught for mouth-speech, nor for the touch. A small protective
           charm -- not a thing a more a pellar could do.

   I'm looking for Anna. And her daughter.
   ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
    Geralt: Anna and her daughter are missing. Know where they are?
    Pellar: Nay, no, nay. Pellar don't know. But the spirits could know. The
            pellar will augur, the spirits ask.
    Geralt: Spirits, great, fine with me. Long as I know where to look, where
            to find them.
    Pellar: Lost, lost...must be found... Princess! None better than Princess
            for findin' things.
    Geralt: Princess? Which princess?

  You make it?
  ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
   Geralt: You make the amulet?
   Pellar: Aye. Sure, 'twas the pellar. After the way of his forefathers, over
           still waters, in the light of the full moon. Proper as amulets go.
           It protected well. Should never 'ave taken it off.

 Expecting me?
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: You were expecting me?
  Pellar: Aye, as the bones declared I should. "They shall come whose stench is
          rape and death, but the wolf shall disperse them. The White Wolf."
          And thus he comes. Omens never lie.

[The two exit outside, finding a small animal pen open.]

Pellar: Princess! My goat! She's fled!
Geralt: Those men must've scared her off. Can we get back to the auguring?
Pellar: Without the goat? Impossible. No goat? Hmph, won't work!

 If I find your goat, will you help?
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Huh, will you help me if I bring the goat back?
  Pellar: Princess, Princess, where've you got to, girl?

 Refuse to chase down some goat.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Can't seriously think I'm gonna chase down your goat.
  Pellar: A pellar without a goat makes for a mute prophet.

  Fine. I'll find her.
  ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
   ---

  You're getting annoying.
  ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
   Geralt: Getting on my nerves, old man. I'm not going anywhere.
   Pellar: No Princess, no prophecy, no augury.

Geralt: Fine. I'll get your goat.
Pellar: The bell! The little bell's ringing -- she loves it! Ring, ring, and
        she will follow! Uh, for a while. But beware of wild strawberries.
        Raspberries, too.
Geralt: Yeah, treacherous as beasts go. I always keep an eye out for 'em.

[The goat-catching mission is listed in the "A Princess in Distress" section
 below. This main quest picks off after the royalty is returned.]

Pellar: Princess! Flee not from the pellar, for there are wolves about! Goat
        of mine! Dearest, sweetest goat!

 Will you help me now?
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Happy for you, but I'm kinda in a hurry. Anna and Tamara? They might
          be in danger.
  Pellar: The White Wolf helped the pellar, and so the pellar shall help him!

 Let's do this.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Can we talk about Anna and Tamara now? Know where they might be?

Pellar: Blood! We need blood. A living being.
Geralt: Fine. Be right back.

[Later, Geralt returns with a live rat.]

Geralt: Will this do?

[The pellar begins the ritual by sowing a circle of grain and milk around,
 then eviscerates the rat for its veiny goodness. The geezer drops to his
 knees, letting a spirit from beyond speak through him.]

Pellar: They are not here. They have gone. Blood! I see blood!
Geralt: Whose?
Pellar: No Anna...no Tamara...just a child.

[The weird augury ends.]

Pellar: A child that lives not, yet did not die.

 You spoke of a child. Whose?
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Mentioned a child. Whose?
  Pellar: Why, Anna's.
  Geralt: Anna was pregnant?
  Pellar: She was. And she miscarried.
  Geralt: Hm, baron didn't mention it.
  Pellar: Afraid, perhaps, or ashamed, or forgetful... Or perhaps he had no
          wish to remember.

  Baron have anything to do with this?
  ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
   Geralt: The baron have anything to do with his wife's miscarriage?
   Pellar: Foul-tempered he is, and he's a fondness for hooch.
   Geralt: No doubt makes his temper even fouler. Did he abuse his family? Anna
           came to you, you must've noticed something.
   Pellar: The pellar's old, near blind...but Princess came and licked her
           hand.
   Geralt: So what?
   Pellar: She's a wise beast, only comes to those who suffer.

   The child -- what happened to it?
   ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
    Geralt: What happened to the child?
    Pellar: In a grave thrown, without rite or ceremony, it awoke. Now it
            wanders, it seeks vengeance.
    Geralt: A botchling.
    Pellar: White Wolf, wise wolf. Catch the botchling, the botchling will
            help, lead the wolf to the loved ones.
    Geralt: Botchlings suck the blood of pregnant women and eat their fetuses.
            They don't help.
    Pellar: Tis¹ a being cursed, and witchers lift curses. If the White Wolf
            can't lift it, he should bring me its blood. Blood will always
            find kindred blood.

  You know all this how?
  ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
   Geralt: Anna tell you all this? Did she come here after it happened?
   Pellar: Nay, not Anna. 'Twas the omens told me.
   Geralt: Great, so I can be sure it's true.
   Pellar: The omens need not your faith to be true, it is you who needs the
           omens to lead you to truth.

 Not enough, I need to know more.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: It's over? Is that it?
  Pellar: That is it.
  Geralt: Spirits had nothing more to say? Like, where they went, or where they
          are now?
  Pellar: You came for an augury, and augur I did. They're gone. The child
          remains.

[The pellar tells of the botchling.]

I need to know where the botchling is.
¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
 Geralt: Whatever I do, I gotta find the botchling first.
 Pellar: Seek it at midnight, near the grave that lies empty.
 Geralt: If what you say is true, the baron oughta know where that grave is.

Why do you need its blood?
¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
 Geralt: Why do you want its blood?
 Pellar: Blood, blood, blood! It binds men for all ages -- the living and the
         dead.
 Geralt: Sure, but what do you wanna do with it?
 Pellar: Atimes, a century's too short for two brothers to reconcile. One dies
         before the things are set right. The other then brings his blood to
         the pellar.
 Geralt: Mhm. And what does the pellar do?
 Pellar: He awaits Forefathers' Eve. He mixes the blood with milk, herbs and
         hens' feet. He drinks -- to reconcile the dead with the living. There
         shall be no Forefathers' Eve this year...but we'll find a way, all the
         same.

 You mention Forefathers' Eve?
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: I hear you right? You mention Forefathers' Eve? Pretty old custom.
          Thought it had died out.
  Pellar: Death lurks in every bog and puddle 'round here. Folk know they could
          die, their earthly matters unresolved. Then they require help, or
          they'll not know peace. Forefathers' Eve must be performed. Light the
          tallow candles to lead them through the dark, call them by name,
          appease their regrets -- only then may they depart in peace.

How can I lift the curse?
¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
 Geralt: Heard of one witcher who lifted a botchling's curse. Never tried it
         myself, though. I know you need to bury it under the threshold.
 Pellar: And give it a name! Perform the Aymm Rhoin.
 Geralt: The Ritual of Naming? That's an elven custom.
 Pellar: Human, elven, dwarven...ancient. Spirits have no race, they honor not
         its meaning. Win a spirit's favor, and the spirit shall aid you. Ask
         and it will answer. Seek, and it will show you the way.

[Geralt returns to Crow's Perch. As he approaches, he can see one of the main
 buildings is on fire.]

Geralt: Lightning strike?

[With the alarm bell ringing nonstop, Geralt races to see the commotion. The
 stable is an inferno.]

Guard: Oswin? Where's Oswin? Anyone seen him?
Guard 2: Believe I saw him headin' to the stable.
Guard: Whaat?
Geralt: Fire! You blind? Nobody willing to put it out?
Guard 2: Ain't that simple. Most're afraid! Baron flies into a rage, he takes
         no prisoners!
Guard: My brother's in the stable! We've got to save him -- he'll burn alive!
       Him and the horses!

 I'll try.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: See what I can do.
  Guard: Hurry, now! Quick!

 Here to see the baron.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Somebody oughta see the baron before he burns the castle down.

[If Geralt agrees to help, he enters the burning loft and starts freeing the
 horses.]

Geralt: Dammit. Lots of smoke. Gotta hurry.
Stablemaster: Over here! Can't get out! Roof's collapsed!
Stablemaster: Good work!

[If Geralt ignores the fire, he spies the baron in the courtyard, drunk as a
 skunk, torch in hand. He's browbeating one of his henchmen. If left to his
 own devices, he'll stumble around and ramble about many things. Sometimes the
 entire conversation about Tammy won't play.]

Baron: Well? What will you say now?! Next time I ask you to drink, will I see
       that grin again?
Guard: No! No! N-Never!
Baron: I don't believe you!
Guard: Baron, sir! Colonel! Calm yourself before you burn the castle down!
Baron: You dare tell me to calm down?! You?!
Guard: If Miss Tammy saw you like this--
Baron: Don't you mention my daughter! You! You took her, didn't you?! Admit it!

       • Blargh. Just as you deserve, you ploughin' scumbags!
       • What are you starin' at?
       • Get outta here, damn clots!
       • Now listen -- this is how it was! They told us not to shoot. I scaled
         the walls and gazed down on the fields to see two hundred ballistas
         thundering!
       • Not one fuckin' man here who knows how to celebrate!
       • Ardal! Where is Ardal?!
       • I know you're in there! Ugh, brgh! Urgh. Open up, or I'll kill those
         brats of yours!

[Geralt will encounter the baron after rescuing the horses/stablemaster or
 right away, if he ignored the fire.]

Baron: • You, you...where do I know you from, eh? Ah, right! The witcher! Come,
         drink with me! Pale as a ghost, you are!
       • Hahahahahaah! We've a hero in our midst! You've earned yourself a
         barrel of Lyrian!
       • The horses! Why, I'm prepare to forgive you for the drubbin' you gave
         those pricks at the Crossroads!
Geralt: I know your wife miscarried. Was that before or after you beat her to
        a pulp?
Baron: What the fuck're you suggesting?!
Geralt: Don't play me for a fool. You'd been beating them for years. Finally,
        they'd had enough and fled. Sound about right?
Baron: Aaarrrggghhh...

[They start fist-fighting.]

Baron: Fuckin' get out of here!
Geralt: They ran from you, didn't they?
Baron: Lying prick!

[Geralt soundly beats him, then puts his head in a trough to sober him up.]

Geralt: We need to talk.

[They go into Strenger's study.]

Geralt: Sit down. You beat them.
Baron: I never laid a finger on Tamara, not once.
Geralt: And on Anna?
Baron: That's another story. She always knew how to spark my ire.

 You knew they ran away.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: You knew they had run away from the start.
  Baron: Yes, I knew.
  Geralt: Why didn't you tell me? Wasted my time.
  Baron: Say I had? Say I'd said I had troubles, couldn't control my
         wife, my daughter? What kind of flaccid prick would you take me
         for?

  How did they flee? What happened?
  ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
   Geralt: Tell me everything you remember about the day they fled. The truth
           this time.
   Baron: I'd been soakin' myself for three days straight. Anna came to me,
          said they were leaving. I begged them to stay. She refused to hear
          it. I tried to stop her. She wriggled like an eel, we struggled...she
          fell. Last blasted thing I remember. Woke up in the morn, breeches
          heavy with me own piss, a large bump on my head. Sadly, they were
          gone. Know what that's like, witcher? No, how the fuck could you? I
          was left with nothing! Nothing! Only the bottle...

  They didn't run away -- you drove them out.
  ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
   Geralt: Gotta admit I do think you're a prick. Not because you couldn't
           control them, but because you drove them away.
   Baron: What?
   Geralt: Don't play the idiot. You gave them no choice.

  No matter. I know how to find them.
  ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
   Geralt: Doesn't much matter now. I know how to find them.
   Baron: How?
   Geralt: I know about the baby.

 Anna -- how'd she get you so angry?
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Your wife -- how'd she make you so angry? Too much salt in the soup?
          Socks never darned?
  Baron: Twenty years we've known each other. She's seen me drunk and sober,
         she was there to greet me when I returned the victor, she was there to
         patch me up in defeat. Like no other, she knew where to press, where
         to pinch, so it would hurt.
  Geralt: You beat her? For that? For criticizing you?
  Baron: Argh, witcher, you haven't a clue, have you. Well, perhaps I shall
         tell you about it one day. One day, but not today.

 Never hit your daughter? Really?
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Expect me to believe you were a loving father to Tamara? After that
          scene in the courtyard?
  Baron: You're free to believe whatever you wish, but she was always the apple
         of my eye. She had the run of the place, ask anyone. She'd ride the
         horses, hunt with the men, at times join them on their rounds. And
         they'd send for her when I flew into a rage, for only she could calm
         me.
  Geralt: Make it sound like she led a charmed life. If that's the case, why'd
          she run?
  Baron: I'd hardly need you if I knew.

Baron: Anna...and I... It wasn't as it seemed, seems...

 So tell me how it really was.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: All right, I'm all ears. Tell me what happened. The truth this time.
  (Baron tells story from "How did they flee? What happened?" segment)

  What happened next?
  ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
   Geralt: What happened next?
   Baron: Next...it only got worse. I awoke at sunset, not knowin' how many
          days had passed. Thought it was all a ploughin' drunken nightmare.
          An' then I went to the bedchamber, but Anna was not there. Instead...
          there was blood, everywhere. I knew. She'd miscarried. My breath
          short, my throat locked, I neared the bed...and saw it. It lay there.
          A tiny thing, defenseless...on bloodied sheets...dead. And it was my
          doing.

   What did you do with the child?
   ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
    Geralt: What did you do with the child?
    Baron: Wrapped it in a clean sheet and buried it.
    Geralt: Just like that.
    Baron: Damn you! I gave no thought to a funeral. It was a horror, I wanted
           it to end. That child had been my dream. I told Anna, "A little one,
           our little one, to make things right." Yet she died before she could
           be born. Understand, witcher? My child was dead.

    Keep it together, man.
    ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
     Geralt: Get hold of yourself. Men like you, when they break down, look
             downright pathetic.
     Baron: You're a heartless bastard.
     Geralt: Huh, mutations worked, then. But here's the good news -- your dead
             child might help us find the one who's still alive...and your
             wife.

    I feel your pain.
    ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
     Geralt: I sympathize, I do.
     Baron: Thank you. And know that I hope you find your Ciri.
     Geralt: Deal we made means I need to find Anna and Tamara first. Just so
             happens your unborn daughter might help us do that.

   Must've been quite a terrible sight.
   ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
    Geralt: Seen a lot of dead in my time, but that must've been hard.
    Baron: Unspeakably so. My legs gave out. I saw fields of corpses at
           Sodden...saw witches burn in Maribor... But compared to this...all
           that was a rabbit's prick alongside a great oak. And the guilt is
           all mine.
    Geralt: We don't know that yet. The amulet Anna wore -- could be linked
            somehow. Maybe the fact that she lost it.

  What about the signs of fighting in the room?
  ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
   Geralt: Signs of a fight in the room -- hole in the wall, wine on the
           landing. Was that you?
   Baron: Aye. We tussled... She tried to whack me on the noggin with a
          candlestick, but kept missin'. Hit the wall and the pillar instead. I
          staggered backwards onto the table. Spilled the wine, slipped and
          tumbled. Anna used that moment to flee. She rushed down the stairs,
          still clutchin' that damn candlestick. I caught her on the landing.
          We fell, I-- I thought I had her...then she turned around and smacked
          me in the head. I blacked out, don't know what happened next. When I
          came to, I was alone.

  Tamara witness this?
  ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
   Geralt: Tamara present for all this? She see you quarrel?
   Baron: Through the doorway, perhaps. She didn't enter the room. Shame, too
          -- things might've turned out differently. The sight of her always
          calmed me.

 Not interested.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Don't much care what you have to say. I'm supposed to find your
          family, and I will. With your dead baby's help.

Baron: What? How?
Geralt: Sometimes miscarried fetuses, if they don't get a proper burial, turn
        into botchlings.
Baron: Into, fucking, what...?

 Lemme explain.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: A cursed creature that draws strength from killing pregnant women.
          Once it's strong enough, it attacks those who scorned it.
  Baron: But how...how does it know?
  Geralt: Blood ties. They're a strong bond, a bond I want to use to find your
          family.

 You don't need the details.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Details you don't need to know. There's a bond of blood between this
          creature and your wife and daughter. I can use that bond to find
          them.

Baron: How?
Geralt: One of two ways. Legends claim you can bury a botchling under the
        family's threshold, perform a ritual and turn it into a lubberkin.
        That's a sort of, uh...hob, a guardian spirit that could lead me to
        your family.
Baron: And the other way?
Geralt: We kill it and draw some of its blood. Take that to the pellar and he
        does the rest.
Baron: Do not kill my child. It's suffered enough already. Lift the curse, that
       it may finally rest in peace.

 Where'd you bury the fetus? Show me.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Whatever we do, we gotta find the botchling first.
  Baron: I'll show you where I buried her. And I'll dig the grave at my
         threshold.
  Geralt: If it turns out we can't transform the botchling into a lubberkin,
          they can bury us in it. Handy either way.

  Let's do this.
  ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
   Geralt: The sooner we resolve this, the better. Best do it tonight, at
           midnight.
   Baron: Then wait here with me. Near midnight I'll take you to where I
          buried her.
   Geralt: Get word to the common folk. Oughta stay in their homes tonight and
           draw a line of salt outside their doors. And try to sober up.
   Baron: Do I take a shovel? To dig up the grave?
   Geralt: Take it. You'll need it, but not for that.

  Come get you later.
  ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
   Geralt: Need to tend to something first.
   Baron: Be quick. And me? What am I to do in the meantime?
   Geralt: Sober up.

 Haven't decided what I'll do.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Still not sure what to do.
  Baron: Whatever you decide, we must put an end to my child's suffering.

[At the appointed hour, the Baron takes Geralt on the short hike to the grave,
 in a ruined part of the peasant encampment, isolated on the east hillside.]

Baron: A bit further, follow me.
Geralt: You give the child a name?
Baron: No... Why would we?
Geralt: Mistake. Names are powerful seals.
Baron: Here's the spot.
Geralt: Chose a lovely spot.
Baron: Dammit, will you relent? I ploughin' know I've done wrong.
Geralt: Good.

[They observe the burial site.]

Geralt: The grave's dug up. And empty.
Baron: What's that mean?
Geralt: Botchling's on the prowl.

[They see the horrible botchling -- a warped fetus with sharp teeth and a long
 bloody umblical cord -- crawl through the palisade.]

Baron: Look!

 [Attack the monster.]
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Get back!

 [Turn the botchling into a lubberkin.]
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Take it in your arms, quick!
  Baron: And if it goes garrity?! It'll bite us in the arse before we know it!
  Geralt: Keep screaming and it will turn rabid. It's calm, for now.
  Baron: Bloody hell. What happens when it gets ploughin' restless.
  Geralt: It'll bite through your jugular, and you'll bleed to death before I
          can help. Tell me if it starts wriggling -- I'll calm it with magic.
          Pick it up. Take it in your arms.

====================== IF GERALT WANTS TO HELP BOTCHLING ======================

[Only semi-convinced, the baron approaches the calm botchling and picks it up.
 The botchling opens its mouth of razor-sharp teeth as if yawning, but doesn't
 attack.]

Baron: Merciful gods!
Geralt: Back to the fortress.
Baron: What? With this?
Geralt: As I recall, you were the one who wanted to test the old legends,
        change it into a lubberkin.
Baron: Oh fuck...

[As they walk back to the fortress, wraiths appear out of nowhere.]

Geralt: Hungry specters. Botchling's scent attracted them.
Baron: On my mother's grave! Do something!

[Geralt slays the ghostly interlopers.]

Baron: Pest take me, it's writhing somethin' fierce! I can't hold it! Calm it
       somehow!

[Geralt uses Axii.]

Baron: Ooph, ooph... Quiet now. But...but what do you want to do with it?
Geralt: Me? Nothing. This is your job. Told you, gotta bury it under the
        threshold. If the tales are true, by tomorrow it'll be a lubberkin.
        From then on it'll watch over your house, and help you find your
        family.

[Wraiths attack again.]

Geralt: More coming. Need to hurry.
Baron: On with it! I'll not wait till they devour us!

[Geralt lays the specters to rest.]

Baron: Squirmin' again! Like a daft eel! I cannot hold it!

[Axii calms the hideous creature again.]

Baron: It worked. It stopped.
Geralt: Chosen a name?
Baron: No...
Geralt: So think of one. It's important.
Baron: It's...it's a girl. What would Anna have named her?

[They reach the threshold. The baron cradles the infant-like monster.]

Baron: What now?
Geralt: Repeat after me. By the powers of earth and sky.
Baron: By the powers of earth and sky.
Geralt: By the world that was to be your home.
Baron: By the world that was to be your home.
Geralt: Forgive me, you who came but who I did not embrace.
Baron: Forgive me, you who came but who I did not embrace.
Geralt: I name thee -- say her name -- and embrace thee as my daughter.
Baron: I name thee Dea and embrace thee as my daughter.

[The botchling goes limp in his arms.]

Geralt: Good. Now bury the body.

[He watches the baron lay the creature in the grave, then cover it with soil.]

Baron: Agh. What now?
Geralt: In one day's time Dea should turn into a lubberkin. I'll stay here and
        wait. You go home.
Baron: I'll wait with you.
Geralt: Out of the question.
Baron: But...that's my child. And the guilt, the responsibility for all this
       lies with me.
Geralt: Time for parental impulses...it's long past. Besides, nothing else you
        can do here.
Baron: But--
Geralt: No "buts." Just witcher's work left to do here. Gotta wait a day and a
        night for the botchling to turn into a lubberkin. That's it. Go home.
        And try not to drink yourself stupid again.

[Strenger leaves, letting Geralt meditate in front of the grave, until the
 next midnight hour arrives.]

Geralt: By blood's power I summon you, with your name I beseech you. Hear my
        call and arise, Dea! Lead me to those bound to you by blood.

[The botchling's spirit rises from the grave, glowing brightly like a lamp. It
 leads Geralt out of Crow's Perch -- frightening plenty of guards in the
 process! -- and down the eastern road, stopping at a deserted house.]

Geralt: *Sniffs* Ugh. Sure wasn't lavender they kept here. Might be worth
        looking around, though.

• Horseshoe. No way a pitch burner could afford a horse.
• A bracelet. One of them must have dropped it.
• Clothing. They change in here?

Geralt: Both were here. I'm going the right way. Wants to show me something
        more.

[The lubberkin floats eastward, stopping at a roadside massacre site.]

Geralt: Necrophages had a field day. Still worth a look. Should examine that
        horse carcass. What do we have here...?

 Bones.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Bones have been here a while.

 Saddle.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Chewed on the saddle? Necrophages'll eat anything these days.

 Ribs.
 ¯¯¯¯¯
  Giant claws. Wasn't a necrophage made these marks.

 Legs.
 ¯¯¯¯¯
  Horseshoe's missing. Is this the animal that lost one in the smokehouse?

 Head.
 ¯¯¯¯¯
  Head torn clear off. Takes incredible strength.

 Let's summarize.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Must've been attacked by a powerful beast. Surprised 'em. Hope they got away.
  Hmm, trail goes on. Good thing it doesn't end here.

[The lubberkin next leads Geralt to a riverside cottage, east of Crow's Perch.]

Geralt: A fisherman's hut. Seems she wants me to take a closer look.

======================== IF GERALT FIGHTS THE BOTCHLING =======================

[Geralt stands over the helpless-looking botchling and prepares to stab it with
 a downward thrust. However, it surprisingly dodges it, and in retalitation, it
 transforms into a larger, ghoul-like creature.]

[After wounding the botchling, wraiths appear.]

Geralt: Hungry specters. Botchling's scent attracted them.

[After killing the botchling...]

Baron: Bloody hell! You killed my child!
Geralt: You know I had to.
Baron: You were supposed to lift the curse! Save it, damn you! Not kill it!

 Quiet down. Wanna draw a crowd?
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Shut up before you wake someone. Last thing we need is a crowd.
  Baron: Fuck it! I don't ploughin' care, hear me?! You killed my child!
  Geralt: I killed a botchling. Your daughter died a while back. Go home. Get
          yourself together. I'll try to find your other daughter -- the one
          who's still alive.

 Calm down.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Do anything stupid, and I'll kill you, too.
  Baron: Go plough yourself! Kill me if you must. I've nothin' to live for
         anyway.
  Geralt: You've got another daughter...and a wife. And the botchling's blood
          will help me find them.

 Sorry. Unavoidable.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Forgive me. It couldn't be avoided. I truly am sorry.
  Baron: Yeah, sure! Like hell, you're sorry!
  Geralt: Calm down. Go home. With a bit of luck, I'll be back soon with news
          of your family.

[Geralt kneels over the botchling's corpse.]

Baron: What...what will you do with that blood?
Geralt: Me? Nothing. Just hope the pellar knows what to do with it. Go home.
        I'll come see you once I know something.

[Blood in hand, the witcher returns to Blackbough's pellar.]

Geralt: Got the botchling's blood. Know what to do? How to find Anna and
        Tamara?
Pellar: Blood, blood, blood... The pellar knows, knows the ritual, ritual to
        summon the spirits. The pellar will take the blood.

 Let's do this.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: All right, let's see if these old rituals hold any sway in these
          foul times.
  Pellar: You wish to go right away?

  Mhm, no time to lose.
  ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
   Geralt: Yeah, don't see any sense in waiting.
   Pellar: So shall it be.

  No. Gotta get ready first.
  ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
   Geralt: Gimme a bit. Gotta get ready.
   Pellar: The pellar shall await you here.

 How's this gonna work?
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: So, how will this ritual work?
  Pellar: A decoction the pellar shall brew, and when midnight tolls, off we
          go, to the sacred ground in the woods.
  Geralt: Mhm... We gonna need black candles?
  Pellar: "Step onto the path of blood anight, standing upon bare ground,
          facing the old gods." 'Tis not unlike Forefathers' Eve.
  Geralt: All right. What then?
  Pellar: The pellar shall summon the spiritling, the babe's ghost, and it
          shall be our guide. And then...then you shall see something few these
          days witness.
 Need anything else?
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Can I help? Bring any other ingredients?
  Pellar: Hmm-hmm... Henbane...yes. Jimsonweed...aye. And lungwort. Ah, here's
          the lungwort. Milk, why, Princess shall provide, and a pellar's
          always got hen's feet. But, but... Eau-de-vie, fear that's all gone.
          Ah! There's some hooch left! Do just fine. So, that's everything.

[The two exit the cabin.]

Pellar: The White Wolf must follow the pellar. The pellar will show the way.
Geralt: We got a long way to go?
Pellar: Nay, it's not far. Through the village, then the wood, and there we
        will be.

[They start walking to Blackbough.]

Geralt: All this the baron's land?
Pellar: Tis¹ now. 'Twere not before.
Geralt: So who'd it belong to?
Pellar: To the lord. Vserad they called him. An evil man he were. Vile, cared
        not a lick for the common folk.
Geralt: You all get together and drive him away?
Pellar: When the Black Ones came, the lord to the tower on Fyke Isle fled. The
        invaders set the fields afire, and a great hunger descended on us all.
        While the lord in abundance wallowed, there in the Tower of Mice. But
        the old gods in their ire upon him visited a punishment. A plague of
        rodents swarmed the isle. At first they ate all from the feast tables.
        Then, the lord and all his court they devoured.
Geralt: Local gods just aren't known to be tolerant.

[They finally enter the wood.]

Geralt: Nilfgaardians hit you pretty hard.
Pellar: Folk're poor here. It's rare the mighty concern themselves with the
        poor. But the invaders'll be punished, that's sure. Perchance they've
        already been.
Geralt: How's that?
Pellar: A pestilence grips their camp and will devour them all. As the mice
        devoured the lord's court.

[They soon spot an ancient ring of stones and lanterns, nestled in a clearing.]

Pellar: Nearly there, nearly there...
Geralt: What is this place?
Pellar: Shh...the Wolven Glade.
Geralt: Nice name. White Wolf should feel right at home.
Pellar: The White Wolf -- aye, good balance, for terrible things happened here
        of yore. To this day, none dare mention the name aloud.

[They finally reach the glade and take in the surroundings.]

Pellar: Here. The place.
Geralt: What now?
Pellar: Light the fires.

 Let's start.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: All right, no reason to dawdle.
  Pellar: Prepare, and prepare well. Once the spirits appear, there'll be no
          recourse, no turning back.
  Geralt: Nothing like a little encouragement...
  Pellar: Light the fires. The pellar will treat that as his sign to begin.

 Why do we need the fires?
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: The fires -- why do we need them?
  Pellar: To keep malicious forces at bay. You must watch they do not go out!
          Or else, it shall come!
  Geralt: What'll come?
  Pellar: Evil.

 What will you do?
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: What about you? What'll you do?
  Pellar: The pellar must clear the stone, then draw the signs. Then to the
          gods shall the pellar pray, that no evil may take us.

[Geralt lights the three stone braziers nearby.]

Geralt: Ready.
Pellar: The fires, watch them. Let nothing break the circle.

[At midnight, the pellar stands on the blood-strewn rock to begin the ritual.]

Pellar: By the powers of the earth and sky! By the world that was to be your
        home... I, who have tasted your blood, summon you to guide me! Come,
        Blood Unborn! Come, Blood Spurned! Come, Blood Never Named! Hear me
        upon the paths! Lead me along the trail of those bound to you by blood!

[In the storm, some of the lanterns start fizzling. The pellar, now possessed
 by the spirit, speaks aloud as Geralt fights off the spectral invaders.]

Geralt: Dammit. Supposed to keep the fires lit.
Pellar: I see the blood of her blood! I see them bound! The blood calls. "I'm
        leaving, Phillip, Tamara's coming with me!" I see a face swollen,
        pulsing with blood. Blood! Dark upon a pale visage! A drop trickles
        over bright gold. I am a fist clasped... I am darkened blood beneath a
        white nail... I am a tear of blood. I see the blood of her blood! I see
        them bound! The blood summons me... A thick flow upon skin! Dark blood
        upon light stone! I am the Unnamed! I am blood immersed in blood! I...
        I am dead! Show me the blood that is your blood! Show me the blood that
        is lost! The blood summons me! "Just a bit further, mum, hold on!" The
        blood leaves her face. Thorny boughs snag her, stop her... I am a drop
        on a web. "Will Voytek wait?" Dark blood carries the question
        downriver.

[Suddenly, the possessed pellar turns around to face Geralt. The spirit talks
 through him but in a radically different voice.]

Pellar: Why do you seek the child of Elder Blood? Nigh is the Time of the White
        Frost and White Light, the Time of Madness and Disdain. The world shall
        perish amidst ice and be reborn of Elder Blood, of a planted seed. What
        can you possibly offer?

[The pellar begins coughing, showing the possession's over. He slumps down
 against the ritual rock.]

Geralt: You alright?
Pellar: Akh akh akh... Y-yes akh...
Geralt: Is it over?
Pellar: It's done. The pellar's seen what he was meant to see.

 You spoke a name during the third vision.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Third vision seems most important.
  Pellar: Hm, they were walking through the woods, both weak, but for different
          reasons. Yet both knew where they were agoing.
  Geralt: Not sure I heard you right, but you mention a Voytek?
  Pellar: Hope filled both their hearts at the thought of him.
  Geralt: Hm? And the prophecy at the end? Ithlinne's words, you quoted them,
          then asked me a question.
  Pellar: Forgive the pellar, he knows not what you mean. Spirits, spirits
          speak through the ritual, not he.

  Voytek -- where'll I find him?
  ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
   Geralt: This Voytek from your vision -- know him?
   Pellar: Voytek... Voytek... Two Voyteks have we nearabouts. In Blackbough
           lives one. In his hut, there he stays, has for years. Gophers, with
           gophers he lives, they say. And he can remember a time when in these
           lands dwelled only elves.
   Geralt: And the other? Somehow I doubt they went to a century-old rodent
           lover for help.
   Pellar: A fisherman. A family he has, lives in a secluded hut near the
           river's mouth.

   I should go.
   ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
    Geralt: Time I was on my way. Thanks for your help.
    Pellar: Refuse? Why, the pellar could never have refused. A man
            seeks to do good in life, but evil is unavoidable. The ones
            who encounter evil, they must be helped. Fare thee well, and
            may the gods bless and keep you.

   I'll walk you home.
   ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
    Geralt: You don't look like you can get home on your own. I'll walk you.
    Pellar: Thank you.
    Geralt: No. Thank you for your help. Let's go.

 What was the second vision about?
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Didn't fully understand what the second vision was about.
  Pellar: Anna miscarried, blood everywhere. Suffering, the pellar felt it on
          her. She died her daughter's death.

 The first vision -- explain it.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: What did you see first?
  Pellar: The pellar saw the baron and Missus Anna. They quarreled, he did not
          wish for her to leave. He shook her, but the pellar sensed no anger
          in him... He wounded her, and in the blood the pellar sensed love. A
          love sad and tormented.

============================ PATH SPLIT ENDS HERE =============================

[With the fisherman's location revealed, by pellar or lubberkin, Geralt goes to
 find it. The house is along the river, south of Inn at the Crossroads. The
 family looks at Geralt's entrance with fear. If Geralt used the lubberkin's
 method, he won't learn Voytek's name, note.]

Boy: Who's that?
Woman: Other room. Go on, now.
Man: What ye seek here, sir? Our hut's out of the way, woeful. We 'as nothin',
     we knows nothin'.

• Geralt: They call you Voytek?
  Voytek: I... I... They do, kind sir, but I's not done a thing. Swear it on
          the lives of my young 'uns!

Geralt: Just need information. Looking for two women -- the Bloody Baron's wife
        and daughter.
Voytek: Not a soul abeen here, sir.
Geralt: Sure? Not even passing through? Daughter's medium height, about twenty,
        her mother's thin, about forty. Seen them?
Boy: That's her came at night, right, mummy?
Woman: Quiet, boy!

 Girl who stayed with you -- what happened to her?
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Where'd the girl go? Your son's said enough, no point in playing dumb
          anymore.
  Voytek: Sorry, sir, but ye don't look like one of her father's men.
  Geralt: Because I'm not. I'm looking for Tamara and her mother, I need to
          know if they're alive and safe.
  Voytek: Tamara is, aye. She's to my brother's place in Oxenfurt. But Missus
          Anna -- that's another tale... Though anywhere's better than to
          Crow's Perch...with the baron.
  Geralt: Why?
  Voytek: Cause¹...'cause he beat her, sir. Beat Missus Anna, I means. Everyone
          knew! But not a one lifted a finger for to stop it.

  Where's the baron's wife?
  ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
   Geralt: What happened to Tamara's mother?
   Voytek: Ach. 'Twere like this -- I was awaitin' in the old smokehouse, with
           horses. Cold as hell and so dark, couldn't see past two ells in
           front of ye. Moon 'ad risen high, and still they hadn't come. Began
           to fear some demon 'ad snatched 'em. But finally they came forth,
           and we sets off towards the river. Suddenly, out of nowhere a gale
           arose. Thought it'd tear my head off! And those damned birds! Swarms
           of 'em coursin' o'er the woods, raisin' a racket to make your ears
           bleed! Missus Anna screamed, bent over into herself. Tamara knelt
           down, gripped her arms. 'Twere then I saw it -- fiery marks on her
           hands.

 Who'd you see? Describe her.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: I want to help that woman. She could be in danger.
  Woman: Young 'un's seen no one, m'lord. He's a kiddie, must 'ave dreamt it.
  Geralt: I wanna hear this dream, then. So, kid, who did you see? Who came
          here?
  Boy: Pappy brought 'er at night, the lady does the medicines. She was all
       afeared. Talked about an awful monster, said she had to go back. Don't
       know where to. Mummy and pappy cheered her up, gave 'er clothes. Hers
       were ragged.

[Voytek uses chalk to show the weird triskelion symbol in a triangle.]

Tell me about these marks.
¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
 Geralt: What marks?
 Voytek: They's...well...like burned on with a hot iron...on the palms, inside.
 Geralt: Burned? Like a cattle brand?
 Voytek: Aye, though these wasn't black scars, scabbed over. They's hot and
         glowin' as if they burned with raw fire.

What happened next?
¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
 Geralt: Fine, what happened next?
 Voytek: Grew even darker, seemed someone 'ad put out the stars. Crickets all
         went silent of a sudden, and then, from the woods, a roar. Broke out
         in a cold sweat, and before I could catch my breath a beast jumped out
         o' the woods -- big as a barn, with horns and two burning coals for
         eyes! I thought I was done for! Beast attacked Missus Anna's horse,
         ripped its head off! Carried her off into the woods! Our horses, mine
         and Tamara's, got spooked and tore off willy-nilly. 'Twere the only
         reason we escaped! The miss wanted to go back for her mother, but my
         wife pleaded, said she'd die out there alone. Miss Tamara agreed not
         to go.

Why did you help them?
¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
 Geralt: Why help them at all? You risked a lot.
 Voytek: I'd a debt, owed Miss Tamara. Three moons past a fever gripped my boy.
         We thought he was done for. Tamara learnt it, brought food and salves.
         We're poorer than dirt itself... She saved my boy, no two ways about
         it. Me, myself, I'd a never dared to help. But my missus told me, "A
         time of war and contempt's come, a time of folk gone wrong. We needs
         to repay good with good. Who stands idly by does evil as if."
 Geralt: Married a wise woman.
 Voytek: Cryin' shame we couldn't save Missus Anna in the end.

I know where Anna is.²
¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
 Geralt: While back I met a woman in Crookback Bog. Had fiery marks on her skin
         like the ones you described.
 Voytek: Must be her! Missus Anna! Gods...she to Crookback Bog...
 Geralt: It's where I saw her last.
 Voytek: Gods of all the heavens protect us... 'Tis clear now whose whisper
         'twere in the night.
 Geralt: It is?
 Voytek: The Crones took her! She must've made a deal with 'em, a pact! It's
         why they marked her and took her like she was their own.

Thanks for your help.
¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
 Geralt: Thanks for your help.
 Boy: The lady -- she'll be all right in the end, won't she?
 Geralt: I'll do what I can to see that she is.

[When Geralt leaves, if he used the lubberkin as a guide, there'll be a short
 automatic scene.]

Geralt: So here our paths diverge. Thank you, Dea. Go in peace.

[Geralt can return to the baron before heading after Tamara. If Geralt helped
 during the fire event:]

Man: Remember me?
Geralt: Stable hand. Pulled you out of the fire.
Man: Won't ever forget that. Here, I'm grateful.

[The sergeant is standing near the garden.]

Sergeant: Witcher -- a word, please.

 • Sergeant: Believe we've not had the pleasure. They call me the sergeant.
             Leftover from my army days, you understand. When me and Phillip,
             meanin' the baron, served under a Temerian banner. Wanted to ask
             you about somethin'.

 What is it?
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: What is it?
  Sergeant: That night when the baron ordered everyone to lock their doors,
            stay inside -- what did you and the baron do?
 No time.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: No time.
  Sergeant: This'll only take a minute.

Geralt: Gotta ask the baron about that. Speaking of which, know where he is?
Sergeant: Garden. Spends a lot of time sittin' there of late.
Geralt: Drunk.
Sergeant: No. Don't drink, don't eat...just sits.

[Geralt goes to the baron.]

Geralt: There you are.
Baron: See the hollyhock there? The violet blooms? Brought the plants here from
       Nazair. Anna had read some story. Insisted on having them. Spent hours
       tending to them, trimming, pruning. She was so content at that! And
       them -- the frilly ones? Called "birds of paradise" in Zerrikania. But
       Tamara called them "dragons of paradise." She adored them.

       • Damn shame I'll never never learn which blooms would please Dea most.
         Though it's good to know her spirit's free.

       • I'll never know which blooms would please my second daughter most.
         Damn shame...
         Geralt: She brought death down on others. The sooner you start
                 thinking of it that way, the better off you'll be.
         Baron: Can't deny that. Doesn't make it any easier to live with,
                though.

 Gotta talk about your family.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Got some information about your family.
  Baron: You've learned something? Let's go inside. It's a bit chilly out.

 Death of a family member's always hard.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Your loss -- it must hurt, bad. But there wasn't anything we could
          do.
  Baron: No, not now, not anymore. It was too late, that was clear... Shoulda
         acted earlier, taken them all from this damned Velen. In this hole,
         this reasty mire...nothing could go right here.

[Geralt and the baron go inside.]

Baron: Any news for me?
Geralt: Your daughter's in Oxenfurt.
Baron: What the blazes...?! She all right? In good health? Safe? Why haven't
       you brought her back?!
Geralt: Never offered to do that.
Baron: How do you know she's safe? You see her at least?

[If Geralt visited Tamara already:]

Geralt: I saw her, we talked. She said I could tell you she's safe...
Baron: When will she come home?
Geralt: And that she's not coming back.
Baron: She's not to return? But...I've prepared all for her, her rooms await.
       I sent away for new pantobles from Toussaint. How can she not come back?

 I don't blame her.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: She's not coming back. Period. And I don't blame her. I wouldn't want
          to return to a home like this, either.
  Baron: Ah, horse bugger you blind. I know what you think already, you've no
         need to repeat it. I've not been a good father, I know, but...perhaps
         it's not too late.
  Geralt: Can always try. Wouldn't count on succeeding, though.
  Baron: I've nothing to lose.

 You've gotta come to terms with it.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Sooner you accept this, the better. Face it -- you haven't been the
          best father.
  Baron: I have not, true. But I'd change, I'd be different. If only she'd
         return, if only they'd both come back. Maybe all is not yet lost!
         She's in Oxenfurt, you say? Maybe she hasn't left, maybe she'll hear
         me out.
  Geralt: You can always try. Wouldn't get my hopes up, though.
  Baron: I shall try. I must. Life is pointless without her and Anna.
         I've nothin' to lose.

[If Geralt didn't make contact with Tamara yet:]

Geralt: No, but I talked to the man who helped her escape, and then took her
        in. Tamara is safe and sound. From what I gathered, she has no desire
        to see you again, no intention to return.
Baron: I shan't trust some peasant dolt. I shan't trust whoever it is helped
       her! I need to know for certain she's safe! Go to her. You must be sure,
       see her yourself. I shan't believe anyone else.

 I'll go.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: That much I can do.
  Baron: I'm grateful. Take this -- call it enticement. And this may prove
         useful.

 Not gonna happen.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: I've done my part. You've dozens of men -- there's gotta be someone
          you can send.
  Baron: You refuse to go?
  Geralt: Mhm.
  Baron: Fuck you. Yet, if you're ever in the area, by chance, even...take
         this. And just make sure she's all right.

Geralt: What is it?
Baron: A letter of safe conduct. Ever since the Redanians took hold of the
       Pontar Delta, they've made it damned hard to get to Novigrad without
       one.

[After either conversation:]

• Baron: Incidentally, what of my Annie? Learned anything?
• Baron: Very well, you were to find them both. What of Anna? Learned anything?

• Geralt: We'll talk about her, don't worry. But right now, you'll tell me
          about Ciri. Just like we agreed.
• Geralt: Nothing yet. But I'm on her trail.
  Baron: Well, what're you waitin' for?
  Geralt: For you to tell me about Ciri. Like we agreed.

Baron: Huh, fine. A word once given... When Ciri was on the mend, we took her
       out on a hunt. Thought a bit o' gallopin' would warm her up her limbs
       gone stiff from so much bed rest.

[The flashback is listed in the "Ciri's Story: The Race" section. See there
 for details. The tale ends on a cliffhanger for Geralt.]

Baron: She screamed like a madwoman. In an instant, all had forgotten the
       wager. Every man ran -- to save his own skin, even were he to break his
       neck.
Geralt: And? They make it?
Baron: Some, aye. Others were not so fortunate. But what happened then...I must
       say, witcher -- seen a lot, but nothing like this, never.
Geralt: Uh oh. I know that look.
Baron: You're a fast learner. You'll know the rest once you find my wife.

 • Geralt: Working on it.
   Baron: And making piss poor¹ progress.
  Geralt: They split up -- hadn't considered that possibility before. But don't
          worry, I'll find Anna, too.

[Geralt goes to leave, but the baron gives chase.]

Baron: Wait, witcher! When you find my daughter, will you give her this?
Geralt: A rag doll?
Baron: Uh-huh.

[Geralt sets off for Oxenfurt, a university city on the Pontar's largest isle.
 The massive bridge leading into the city is closed off by Redanian soldiers,
 however.]

Guard: Halt! No passage.
Geralt: Case of the plague surface in the city or something?
Guard: The plague? Err, no. We're to not let folk in the city. It's an order,
       so I don't. Unless someone's got a pass.

 I've got a pass.²
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: This what you mean?
  Guard: Lemme look at that... Hmm... Hmm... Missing a seal, the red one...
  Geralt: Impossible...
  Guard: Department of Civil Defense,¹ forgot again... They're really off their
         heads these days. Happens. So be it. You may come through.

 What kind of pass are we talking about?
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: What kind of pass're we talking about?
  Guard: Well, a normal one, a transit pass.
  Geralt: Who issues them?
  Guard: How should I know? I'm a lowly soldier...

 Who's restricted access to the city?
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Who ordered the city gates closed?
  Guard: Word is, the king himself. Doesn't want paupers and refugees pissing
         all over his beautiful city. Apart from which, when folk can go hither
         and thither, always a chance some spy'll slink through. This way,
         spy's got it harder... So, no pass, no passage.

 Farewell.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Farewell.

[Geralt goes to the house where Tamara's supposed to be. He sees only a man
 smoking a pipe.]

Geralt: I'm looking for Tamara, the Bloody Baron's daughter. Your brother said
        I'd find her here.
Man: Voytek send you, sir?
Geralt: How else would I know she was here?
Man: Wait a moment. I'll fetch her straight away.

[Finally, the sought-after woman appears.]

Tamara: You're looking for me. And who might you be? My father send you?
Geralt: Yeah. To see if you're still alive. And well. I'm Geralt of Rivia.
Tamara: I'm quite alive and extraordinarily well, Geralt of Rivia. Better than
        I've ever been in this rotten life of mine. And now that you've seen
        me, I bid you farewell.
Geralt: Wait...
Tamara: We've nothing more to talk about.

 Father's worried about you.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Got every right to be angry at your father, but he's worried about
          you.
  Tamara: I have a right? Thank you kindly. So good to have the approval of his
          hired thug. And my father worries only about what to get soused on
          next.

  He cares about you both.
  ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
   Geralt: He's no saint, that's clear. But he's got the whole province on its
           feet, looking for you. Finding you and your mother -- seems to me
           there's nothing more important to him now. I know evil men. He's not
           one of them.
   Tamara: Shame he never showed such concern before. Especially for my mother.
   Geralt: He made a mistake and knows that. I'm not defending him, just saying
           that maybe he's come to realize what he's done. And what you mean to
           him.
   Tamara: Oh wonderful, I'll bear that in mind. Did you really come all the
           way here just to tell me that?

  You're right, he's a jackass.
  ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
   Geralt: You're right, your father's a jackass.
   Tamara: Glad we agree. But in that case, why are you helping him?

 I don't blame you.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Your father's a vile man. You're angry and bitter -- can't blame you.
  Tamara: Why do you help him, then? Why did you take this job?
  Geralt: Because he knows something about someone dear to me. Promised to
          tell me if I found you and your mother.
  Tamara: Got it. A bit of blackmail -- just his style. Well, now you've found
          me, you can tell him I'm alive and I'm never coming back.

 Why'd your mother miscarry?
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: I don't mean to pry but...I know your mother had a miscarriage.
  Tamara: His doing! He shoved her, she fell -- that's how it started. We were
          alone, no one to help, blood everywhere... Worst night of my life.
  Geralt: Sorry...must've been hard, for you both.
  Tamara: Mum was in shock, she was raving that it was better this way, that
          she never wanted the child! Must've had a fever -- she was losing
          blood the whole time.
  Geralt: She didn't want the child?
  Tamara: Said she'd sooner cut open her gut than bear another child from his
          seed.

 What happened to your mother?
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Voytek claims your mother had strange marks on her hands...and that a
          monster dragged her into the woods. That true?
  Tamara: We were riding towards the river. Suddenly mum cried out, bent over,
          almost fell off her horse. I rode up to her and saw something strange
          -- her hands were on fire. And then that creature leapt from the
          woods! I don't know what it was but it roared so fierce my nose bled.
          I saw it topple trees -- I've never been so scared in my life!
          That...that thing grabbed my mum and disappeared into the woods! I
          wanted to turn back, go after them, but the horses panicked! Now I
          don't even know if she's alive.

  What will you do now?
  ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
   Geralt: What will you do now?
   Tamara: Find my mum.
   Geralt: You realize that might not be easy.
   Tamara: Don't worry, I'm not daft enough to believe I can do it
           alone. I've got some new friends now. Powerful friends.
           They'll help me.

   Who are these friends?
   ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
    Geralt: Who are these friends? If it's not a secret.
    Tamara: No secret. Heard of the Church of the Eternal Fire? A priest helped
            me contact the Redanian witch hunters. Righteous, brave men.
            They'll help me.
    Geralt: Hence the candlesticks in your room. So, you believe in the Eternal
            Fire.
    Tamara: Once the heat of the Fire has set your heart aflame, it gives you
            strength and leads you down the path of truth for the rest of your
            life. I hope it'll bless me with its warmth one day.
    Geralt: Thanks. Thing is, fire's tricky. It's easy to get burned.

   What about your father?
   ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
    Geralt: What about your father?
    Tamara: Who? Oh, him. I don't care. I won't go back to him. That bit of my
            life -- forgotten it already.

 Tell me your side of the story.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Before I agreed to look for you, your father told me his version of
          events. Tell me yours.
  Tamara: Mine? It's dull as life amidst the swamps. My earliest memories are
          of a drunken father lying under the stairs, caked in mud and
          clutching a bottle. Next dozen years, pretty much the same. Father
          would drink, disappear for days, then come home in a rage and send
          furniture flying. Thank the gods for war. I was glad every time they
          sent him off. And the quarrels... I remember him screaming at mum,
          the thuds as he beat her, then her sobbing. I'd hide under my bed and
          long for silence. That's the long and short of it. Multiply by
          nineteen and there you have my life. Finally we'd had enough, mum and
          me. He crossed the line and we fled.

[A man walks into the house.]

Man: Well, well...a witcher. Never thought the baron would stoop to hiring a
     monster slayer. Though I hear you're good at tracking things down.

 Who are you?
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Glad you know who I am. Haven't introduced yourself, though.
  Graden: Graden, witch hunter in the service of His Royal Majesty Radovid of
          Redania. I'm certain you've heard of us.
  Geralt: Rings a bell.
  Graden: If the Bloody Baron sent you to fetch his daughter, you'd best face
          it -- you will fail in your task.
  Geralt: I appreciate your concern, but I don't need it. As for Tamara, she
          can make her own decisions.
  Graden: Hmm, akh akh... Noble of you. A killer for hire abandoning his bounty
          for the good of another. The hunters and the Church of the Eternal
          Fire thank you.

  • Graden: So the baron hired a witcher to find his daughter. Interesting.

  Where will you take her?
  ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
   Geralt: Where are you gonna take her?
   Graden: Tamara must rest. She's had a harrowing experience. When the warmth
           of the Eternal Fire has restored her strength, we shall see about
           finding her mother.

 The baron's desperate.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Desperate fathers have been known to do a lot to find their
          daughters.
  Graden: Unexpected from a witcher. Akh akh...I thought your mutations
          cleansed you of humanity, stripped you of emotions...
  Geralt: You don't need mutations to strip men of their humanity. I've seen
          plenty of examples.

[If Geralt got the Baron's doll:]

Geralt: Before you go, your father asked me to give you this.
Tamara: Clara? Father told you to give me Clara? Funny how he thought to buy
        me back with a memory. Tell him one gesture could never make up for a
        ruined childhood. So long, witcher. In spite of all I'm...well, I'm
        grateful you gave me a choice, didn't force me to go back to the
        tyrant.
Geralt: Hope you know what you're getting yourself into. So long. And good
        luck.

[If Geralt didn't get the doll before finding Tamara:]

Geralt: Hope you know what you're getting into.
Tamara: I've never been more certain. The Eternal Fire is the best thing that
        could happen to me.
Geralt: In that case...good luck.
Tamara: Thank you for respecting my choice. Farewell.

[Geralt returns to the baron after meeting his daughter.]

Geralt: Gave Tamara your gift.
Baron: How'd she react?
Geralt: Probably not like you'd have wanted. She threw the doll away.
Baron: Threw it away? Oh gods, I'd hoped, despite all... Argh... Ahh... What
       of Anna?
Geralt: Still don't know anything specific, but I'm on her trail
Baron: Well, will you stand there like a knob? Find her!

[Geralt returns to the baron after completing "Ladies of the Wood," in which
 he uncovers Anna's connection to Crookback Bog.]

Geralt: Got news of your wife.
Baron: Ploughin' hell, why'd you not say so forthwith? Where is she?! Why have
       you not returned with her?
Geralt: She's in Crookback Bog. Got food, a place to live, and keeps herself
        busy. Didn't look like she had the slightest desire to leave.
Baron: You were to bring her back, not report on the conditions she lives
       under!
Geralt: I was supposed to find her. And I did. That was our deal, nothing more.
Baron: You still think me rotten to the core, a base bastard, don't you?
       Believe I alone am at fault for what happened here.

 Well, yes.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Actually, that's exactly what I think.
  Baron: The world might seem black and white to you witchers, but for us
         common folk it's shades of gray. As is my family's story.

 My opinion doesn't matter.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Doesn't matter what I believe.
  Baron: Yet looking at you I see contempt. Can't speak for the world you
         witchers inhabit, but in ours, nothing is ever black and white.

  Not interested in your family's story.
  ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
   Geralt: Sorry, but -- your life story? Just not interested. This isn't a
           social call. I'm here on business.
   Baron: Will you at least tell me how Anna ended up in that blasted bog?

   She made a pact with the Crones.
   ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
    Geralt: She made a pact with the Crones and...well, I think she might've
            lost her mind.
    Baron: A pact? What the bloody hell?
    Geralt: She was with child, a child she didn't want to bear. Went to the
            Crones for help. They promised to rid her of the problem in
            exchange for a year of her service. And they kept their word, in
            their own twisted way.
    Baron: What do you mean?
    Geralt: Anna must've thought the child inside her would somehow disappear.
            Instead the Crones sapped her of strength, and ultimately forced
            her body to miscarry. I think that's when she started to lose her
            mind. Then they placed magic tethers on her, tethers that cause
            great pain when tested. A guarantee she'll pay off her debt.
    Baron: A pact with witches... Bloody nightmare, sounds like some jest! We
           must get her out! We can't leave her there!

    Do what you want.
    ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
     Geralt: Do what you will, but leave me out of this. You ask me? Wading
             through the swamp to mess with the Crones -- just plain stupid.
     Baron: What would you have me do?! Sit on my arse and wait for her
            return?! I'll send men, go with them myself, and we will pull her
            out!
     Geralt: I've warned you. What you do -- that's your business.

    I wouldn't recommend venturing into the swamp.
    ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
     Geralt: Venturing into the swamp, even with armed men, is just a bad idea.
             It's a dangerous place, inherently. And I think those Crones are a
             greater threat than anyone realizes.
     Baron: I'll not sit on my arse waiting for them to return her! Would you
            wait, count on their mercy if they had your daughter?
     Geralt: Probably not. But I'm a witcher.
     Baron: And I'm a husband and a father who's fucked up his life and the
            lives of his loved ones. I'll gather my men, go there and retrieve
            Anna!

   Your wife is with the Crones.
   ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
    Geralt: Your wife is with the Crones, as their servant.
    Baron: What the fuck do you mean? What Crones?
    Geralt: Ones who live in Crookback Bog.
    Baron: Oh, I've heard folk speak of them, but thought it naught by tales
           to scare the children with. How on earth did she land there?!

    A fiend captured her.
    ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
     Geralt: They fled by night. They were riding past the forest when a beast
             serving the Crones attacked them and abducted Anna.
     Baron: A beast? Bloody hell... And Tamara -- was she hurt?
     Geralt: No.
     Baron: Ah, thank the gods for that. So, Annie -- what happened to her?
     Geralt: The creature carried her deep into Crookback Bog. Didn't harm her,
             though. In fact, Anna seems content there.
     Baron: Content? What is this tripe, witcher? What in bloody blazes is she
            doing in that swamp?

  So tell me how it was with you -- really.
  ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
   Geralt: Probably gonna say you're not the only one to blame. All right,
           then. I'm willing to hear your side of the story.
   Baron: With Annie...it was love at first sight. A spear tore through my
          shoulder at the Battle of Anchor, she tended to my wound. Once I'd
          recovered, I asked her to marry me. She wept with joy. Soon after,
          Tamara was born, and after that they sent me to Cidaris. A warlord
          had risen against King Ethain, and Foltest sent help. It was one
          battle to the next, one conflict after another... 'Twas a life of
          war, I was seldom home, and I found comfort in drink. Grew so fond
          of hooch I couldn't part with it when I did get home.

   What happened then?
   ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
    Geralt: All right. What then?
    Baron: I went from front to front, battle to battle, collecting soldiers'
           coin, while Anna sat alone with the babe for months. Later I learned
           she'd not been so alone after all. For nearly three years she'd
           found comfort in the arms of one Evan, a childhood friend. A dog's
           bunghole. Understand, dammit? One tussle in the hay I'd 'ave waved
           aside, put it out of my mind, but the woman cuckolded me for years!
           Without a whisker of concern for me, for my love!
    Geralt: How'd you find out?
    Baron: Came home one day and Anna was gone, her things, too. Found a
           letter. She wrote that she didn't love me, that she'd left me for
           some knoblicker and taken Tamara with her. Felt like I'd been rammed
           in the arse by a horse. I went to find the bugger, to get the girls
           back, bring them home. Yet soon as I saw him, something turned
           inside me, something dark. I slaughtered the shit-eating twat and
           fed his carcass to the dogs.

    What did Anna say?
    ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
     Geralt: Imagine Anna wasn't exactly pleased...
     Baron: Hah! Bloody understatement, if I've ever heard one! She flew into a
            fit, hysteria, threw herself at me, kickin' and clawin'. Finally
            grabbed a knife. It would've been the end of me if I'd not leapt
            aside. It was the first time I hit her. I had to calm her. Felt I
            had no other means. Things changed, they would never be the same.
            Anna tried to take her own life -- and mine -- several times. She
            would prod me, goad me, taunt me -- in the hope I would hit her
            again, perhaps? She'd screamed that I'd robbed her of life of love,
            that I'd destroyed the idea for her and so might as well kill her.
            How many times I apologized, how many armfuls of blooms and gifts I
            brought... She cared not a bit. Two years of her anger had turned
            to indifference, broken at times by her bouts of hysteria and my
            bouts of drunkenness. Cannot fathom how we survived those years,
            but we did. Though as you now know, not everything was as it might
            have seemed.

     Seems you deserve each other.
     ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
      Geralt: You're right -- fault on both sides, yours and hers.
      Baron: I'm content that you finally see that. Very well, then -- if you
             won't bring Anna home, you might at least tell me how she landed
             in that blasted swamp.

     You're at fault.
     ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
      Geralt: Got only yourself to blame, I think. Leaving her to fend for
              herself...
      Baron: How was I not to? I was a soldier! I had no choice.
      Geralt: There's always a choice.
      Baron: Argh, sod it all. I see all my prattling's for naught. You won't
             bring Anna home, I know that. Will you betray me as to how she
             landed in that bloody swamp?

     Can't say I care all that much about this.
     ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
      Geralt: Don't know why you're telling me all this. Your relationship with
              your wife? Your concern, not mine.
      Baron: Argh, a witcher. Should've expected as much. Very well, then -- if
             you won't bring Anna home, you might at least tell me how she
             landed in that blasted swamp.

    Seems they call you Bloody for a reason...
    ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
     Geralt: Guess they call you the Bloody Baron for a reason after all...
     Baron: What?
     Geralt: Your nickname. Makes sense now.
     Baron: No, no, that's an entirely different story.

   So, your fault after all.
   ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
    Geralt: Still seems like your fault to me.
    Baron: Will you let me finish?

[After the update, Geralt can remind the baron about his part of the bargain.]

Geralt: We had a deal. I've done my part. Your turn to do yours.
Baron: A word once given... Now what did I last...?
Geralt: Basilisk. It'd just attacked you.
Baron: Ah, right. Gargantuan. One solid brute. It landed right in front of us.
       I thought we'd breathed our last.

[The second hald of his flashback is told in Ciri's "Out of the Shadows" tale,
 in its own section. See there for details. When it ends, the conversation
 starts up again.]

Baron: She mounted and rode off. It grew awfully empty without her...

 Gotta go to Novigrad.²
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: So there's a chance Ciri's still in Novigrad... Thanks for helping
          her.

 Been to Novigrad.²
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: She disappeared from Novigrad, too. Checked that. Thanks for helping
          her.

 How'd Ciri get past the Redanian blockade?
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Redanian army's blocked the Pontar crossing, yet you sent Ciri to
          Novigrad.
  Baron: She was looking for a sorceress, and all of them are in Novigrad.
         Besides, I didn't leave her at the Redanians' mercy. I gave her a
         letter of safe conduct.

  Where'd you get these letters?
  ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
   Geralt: Where'd you get these letters?
   Baron: Haven't always led this pack of jesters. Served in the Temerian army
          once.
   Geralt: Redanians guard the crossing.
   Baron: True, but with a bit of fame and a friend here or there...well,
          banners and heraldry don't mean so much.

Baron: It's nothin'. Now you've learned what you wanted to know, you must be
       in a hurry -- but...if you could...
Geralt: Spit it out.
Baron: I want to get back Anna. Free her, bring her back. I don't believe she's
       there willingly.
Geralt: Must've not heard me. Any journey into the swamp is suicide.
Baron: I heard you -- which is why I could use your aid. I've no more tales of
       Ciri to offer you, but go with me and I'll be generous with what I do
       have. Very generous.

 You've convinced me. I'll go.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Hmm... Extra coin never hurt.
  Baron: Ha! True indeed! I'll round up my men and ride for Downwarren. You
         can join us there.
  Geralt: Fine. Sounds good.

 Sorry. Just don't have the time.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: What'll happen if I don't go with you?
  Baron: To you? Nothin'. Though I'll probably lose a few more men in the
         swamps. I'm determined to make this journey.
  Geralt: I'll think about it.
  Baron: Fuck thinkin'. Just help me. I'll gather my men and ride to
         Downwarren. Once you've mulled it over, join us there.

[As the baron mentions going to Downwarren, a weird humanoid creature, like a
 toddler with several birth defects, bursts into the room, babbling.]

Geralt: What the...?
Sergeant: There you are! Escaped again. Sorry. We was never here.

[He drags the nonsense-speaking person/creature out.]

Baron: So, witcher! How do you like my court jester? Maybe you can tell -- is
       he man or beast? My men call him Uma, claim he's a monster, but seems to
       me he's a man, just hideous as Ardal's shit.

Geralt: What was that?
Baron: You tell me. Man or monster? My men call him Uma and say he's a beast,
       but he seems more man to me, just hideous as Ardal's shit.

 He's connected to Ciri.²
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Definitely man, trapped by a powerful curse. And somehow linked to
          Ciri.
  Baron: What do you mean? How can that thing be tied to your Ciri?
  Geralt: Long story, but I know he's the key to finding her. I need to take
          him to Kaer Morhen. Maybe the other witchers can help me lift the
          curse.
  Baron: Hmm... If it'll help you find your daughter, I'd be a pure bastard
         to refuse. Take him. He has a corner in the stables, I'll tell my men
         not to give you trouble.
  [He whistles for a guard.]
  Baron: The witcher here's gonna take Uma. No one's to get in his way.
  Guard: Aye, sir.

 Doesn't look like a monster.² / Where'd you find him?²
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  • Geralt: Where'd you find him?
  • Geralt: Hmm... Doesn't look like a monster, but my medallion's trembling.
            Strange. Where'd you find him?

  Baron: Funny story, actually. I won him in a game of cards.

  Tell me how it happened.
  ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
   Geralt: Funny story? How so?
   Baron: Went to Novigrad once, to rest, indulge in the city's pleasures.
          Stayed at a tavern, and some folk there were playin', so I joined in.
          Cards were kind that day. Had one devilish hand after another, robbed
          the whoresons blind. One fellow, a merchant, took it especially hard.
          He'd gambled away everything he brought from Skellige. Wanted
          terribly to play another hand, so I agreed. Asked him what he had to
          wager, and he showed me that sideshow. Not much in it for me, but
          fuck it, I thought -- I'll give the man a chance to win something
          back. Luck was not with him, and Uma wound up here at Crow's Perch.
          End of story.

   Now you've got a court jester.
   ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
    Geralt: Proper baron now -- even got a jester.
    Baron: Aye... Though I feel something's not right with him.
    Geralt: How so?
    Baron: Well, he seems more beast than man, but there's wisdom, cunning in
           the bastard's eyes. Or maybe I'm imagining it. Ever run into
           anything like him?
    Geralt: No. But he doesn't look dangerous.
    Baron: Hmm...I guess that's that. Doesn't eat much, so as long as he's no
           trouble, the boys might as well have some diversion.

   Ha... Funny indeed.
   ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
    Geralt: Hilarious. Real side-splitter.
    Baron: Ohh, you wouldn't know a good tale from a runny fart.

  Nothing better to play for?
  ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
   Geralt: Must've been pretty desperate to play for that.
   Baron: Ah, quit your carping, smartarse. Someone wagered him, so we played.
          If anyone was desperate, it was the bugger's former master.

 Where'd he get the name?²
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Uma? Strange name.
  Baron: Aye, strange. But he gave us no other.
  Geralt: You mean he can talk?
  Baron: Hardly... It was like this -- I asked what they call him. He sat
         there, not sayin' a thing, tryin' to stick a toe up his nose. So I
         grabbed his hand, looked him in the eyes and asked, "What's your
         name?" Gave me this damned foolish look and stammered, "Oooh...Uma?"
         And it stuck.

• Geralt: Thanks, Baron. So long.
• Geralt: Time I was on my way. So long.

Baron: Farewell. I hope you find your daughter. And prove a good father to
       her...

[The baron leaves for Downwarren afterward, and the long quest finally comes
 to a close. The baron's subplot ends with "Return to Crookback Bog," found
 in the optional quest section.]
                                    _________________________________________
___________________________________/ MAIN QUEST: IN CIRI'S FOOTSTEPS (VELEN) |_
¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
6g) A PRINCESS IN DISTRESS                                               [WK6G]
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[Armed with the pellar's bell, Geralt ventures off into the wilderness behind
 the pellar's house. Hooven tracks lead on.]

Geralt: • Good
        • Another clue.
        • This way, I think...

[The bleeting eventually leads Geralt this dainty damsel.]

Geralt: There you are... Here, goat! Ahem... Here, Princess! Hoofed and horned
        -- shoulda known it would be stubborn. All right, time to try the bell.
        Come on. Let's go see the pellar.

[It runs off. Geralt will say various things while ringing the bell.]

Geralt: • Should've guessed as much. What's a witcher compared to a patch of
          wild strawberries?
        • Come on, dammit! 
        • Do I really have to keep ringing this bell for you to follow?
        • This way, Your Grace.
        • You're no Roach, but I bet we could become friends in time. You got
          that all-important quality every Roach has to have -- you don't talk
          much.

[The goat runs off again.]

Geralt: Where the hell'd you go?

[It stops in front of a cavern. His responses changes depending on if the cave
 was cleared previously.]

Geralt: • Bear! Bear! Run, you stupid piece of shit!
        • Bear prowled this area. Good thing I ran into him earlier.

[They unlikely duo finally returns to the cabin, concluding the mission and
 letting "Family Matters" pick back up.]
                                    _________________________________________
___________________________________/ MAIN QUEST: IN CIRI'S FOOTSTEPS (VELEN) |_
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6h) CIRI'S STORY: THE RACE                                               [WK6H]
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[During "Family Matters," after Tamara's whereabouts are learned, the baron'll
 recount this tale. It begins with him and hits men sitting around a campfire,
 talking about Ciri's score during the hunt.]

Baron: That lass of yours, pure luck in the flesh. To hunt down a wild boar
       that size -- why, worthy of one of King Foltest's feasts, were he still
       among the living.

[Ciri walks over.]

Baron: Ciri! Come! Whole haunch should be yours, as I see it!
Sergeant: Aye, you done well, lass.
Guard: Not bad, not bad at all, but who goes boar huntin' with a sword?
Ciri: No bow at hand, no spear. My sword was all I had.
Guard: Heheheh. Well, you brandished it beautifully. Where'd they teach you
       that, anyway?

 At Kaer Morhen.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Ciri: At Kaer Morhen.
  Guard: Witchers' school there, aye. But they only took lads, as I recall.

  I'm the exception.
  ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
   Ciri: They made an exception for me.
   Guard: Right. Mean to say you're a she-witcher?
   Ciri: Not entirely. The mutations -- I was never subjected to them. But
         everything else I know, I learned from the witchers there.
   Guard: Know any of them potions?
   Ciri: Not so much. A bit.
   Guard: Cause¹ you see, atimes I get this pinchin' back here...
   Guard: Shut it, Ygrin. Nobody cares about your backside!

  I'm not a witcher.
  ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
   Ciri: I'm not a witcher. Just grew up there.
   Guard: I believe it, seein' you swing that sword. Know any of them potions?
   Ciri: Not so much. A bit.
   Guard: Cause¹ you see, atimes I get this pinchin' back here...
   Guard: Shut it, Ygrin. Nobody cares about your backside!

 On the road.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Ciri: Mh. A little here, a little there...
  Guard: Not surprising given you wander the world alone.
  Guard: Not alone no more! She's in the company now!
  Guard: That's right! You're a member of the company! We're drinkin' together,
         killed a wild boar as a pack, you might say, but we've no notion as to
         how you arrived here. A woman in a man's garb, razor on her back...
         Who exactly are you? You a mercenary?

  Something of the sort.
  ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
   Ciri: Let's say I go about my business, and when there's coin to be earned,
         I don't readily turn it down.
   Guard: I've always 'eld -- with the world 'ow it is today, lasses ought to
          know 'ow to fend for themselves.
   Guard: All right, all right.

  I'm a witcher.
  ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
   Ciri: Mm, a witcher -- though, not entirely. I never went through the
         mutations.
   Guard: A witcher? So, apart from the sword play, what, you know potions and
          all that?
   Ciri: Not so much. A bit.
   Guard: Cause¹ you see, atimes I get this pinchin' back here...
   Guard: Shut it, Ygrin. Nobody cares about your backside!

  Just a traveler.
  ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
   Ciri: I just travel a lot. And I don't always happen upon such good and
         civil company.
   Guard: Aah, gift of the gab, she's got. Here's to good company!
   Sergeant: This I like! Drinks like a lad, knows her sword work, kills a boar
             as if it were a piglet! A she-wolf, if ever I seen one!
   Guard: All right, all right.

Guard: A woman could swing a sword -- I've knowed one. But never seen a lady
       mount anythin' but a cock proper. All tipsy on 'orseback. Nothin'
       strange on account they bloody mount them sideways.
Ciri: Perhaps you'd care to wager?
Guard: Think you can outrun me on an 'orse? Hahahah, naturally! What's the
       stake?
Ciri: Black mare. The one in the stable.
Guard: Oh, that won't do at all...

 Coward?
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Ciri: What happened? You get the jitters?
  Guard: No.
  Ciri: Hahaha. So why not?

 What's the problem?
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Ciri: Well that's an awfully gloomy face. Too much of a coward to race a
        woman?!

Baron: The horse is mine.
Ciri: To race the baron himself -- I'd consider it an honor.
Sergeant: Oh-oh! That'd be a sight to behold!
Guard: Would it ever!
Baron: Done. But if I win, I take your sword.
Ciri: Agreed.
Baron: I'd not drink anymore this night. You'll want your head about you. We
       start at daybreak.

[The next morning, Ciri, Strenger and his goons all gather at the hilly track
 selected for the race.]

Baron: The day dawns.
Ciri: Ready?
Baron: As ever. First one to the tower.
Guard: Mount up!
Sergeant: Come on, Ciri! Don't you embarass us!

[They get on their horses.]

Baron: Your sword is mine!
Ciri: That'll be the day!
Baron: Wan't that horse, don'tcha?
Ciri: Had one just like it!

[If Ciri wins:]

Ciri: Aaaaa!
Baron: You're wind, not woman! Worthy of the best horse! The mare is yours!
Ciri: Thank you!

[If the Baron wins:]

Baron: Haha-hahahaah!
Ciri: Dammit! By a hair!
Baron: See that? Not nearly as haggard as you think me!
Ciri: Congratulations.
Baron: Unnecessary. Better bid your sword farewell. I await my reward!

[Either way, she bids him to be quiet. A squawking's heard in the distance.]

Baron: What?
Ciri: Another chance to win.

[As the basilisk nesting atop the tower dives toward the baron and Ciri, the
 flashback ends.]
                                    _________________________________________
___________________________________/ MAIN QUEST: IN CIRI'S FOOTSTEPS (VELEN) |_
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6i) LADIES OF THE WOOD                                                   [WK6I]
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[Geralt's witch search has little to go on, other than Crookback Bog -- a mire
 in southeastern Velen -- being the destination. Reading the book Keira left
 gives info about the Trail of Treats' starting point, though. Geralt finds a
 shrine soon enough. He picks up one of the sweet-looking confections and
 crumbles it, revealing maggots inside.]

Geralt: I'm on the right path.

[He follows the cookie-laced footpath through the bog's puddles, eventually
 coming upon a chapel and a couple outbuildings. Some kids walk into view,
 singing a morbid nursery rhyme.]

Kid: Dog went in the kitchen, stole a hunk of meat.
Kid: Cook gave him a lickin', strung him by his feet.
Kid: Cook then bled him empty, stripped his skin off clean.
Kid: Laughed and said, "How tasty, best sausage I have seen!"
Kid: Cook's a stupid killer, shouldn't 'ave ate the pup.
Kid: Now we'll light a fire, gonna roast him up!
Kid: One, two, three, the one to fetch the kindling's...thee!
Geralt: Interesting rhyme.
Kid: Don't know you. Go away.

 Ever seen an ashen-haired woman around here?
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: A young woman got lost in the swamp. She has ashen hair and a scar on
          her face. You kids see anyone like that?
  Kid: Ain't no lassies here.
  Kid: What am I?
  Kid: You're no lassie. Lassies got tits.
  Kid: They do. Heard an ol' man say once, when the army was here, he says,
       "Hide them lasses in the woods! They's dazzlin' the soldiers with their
       tits, and it's torturin' the poor lads!" That's what he said.

  This girl is in trouble.
  ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
   Geralt: Listen, the girl I'm looking for, she's in trouble. I understand you
           might not want to help me, but you could try to help her.
   Kid: How do you know she was here?
   Geralt: I heard she visited the witches in the swamp.
   Kid: But there's no witches here.
   Kid: There's only frogs.
   Kid: And snakes.
   Kid: And Johnny.

  You live here alone?
  ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
   Geralt: Anyone else here? Besides you?
   Kid: Meaning who?
   Geralt: Someone who might've seen the woman.
   Kid: Like the six-eyed tree?
   Kid: Tree's slept all year. But there is Johnny.

 I'm looking for a witch.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: I'm looking for the witches of Crookback Bog.
  Kid: You looks like a witch you'self.
  Kid: The wi...witches? Of the bog?
  Kid: We can't go in the bog. Gran don't let us.
  Kid: When my brother Zemek went missin', Gran said it was 'cause he went in
       the woods and got lost. Gran cried an awful lot after that.
  Kid: He could still come back.

 What are you doing in the swamp?
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: What are you doing out here alone?
  Kid: We's not alone, we's with Gran.
  Geralt: But where did you all come from?
  Kid: We's orphans.
  Geralt: All of you?
  Kid: There's a war, so there's orphans. Didn't know that?

[An older woman comes over to the gathering.]

Gran: What's this talk? What kind o' jabberin' is this? Eh? No one allowed
      here! Just kids. My kids, they're allowed. But who are you? Wearin'
      swords, like a bandit?

 I'm looking for someone.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Just talking to the kids. Asked them if they'd seen a young woman.
  Gran: I was a lovely young woman. Wore a long, beautiful braid my mummy did
        up for me. Had dresses with flowers on 'em.
  Geralt: Maybe you've seen her. Young... Ashen hair.
  Gran: Your betrothed?
  Geralt: Daughter, actually.
  Gran: Daughter... My dear, sweet little daughter and her sister. Where are
        they now? Maybe they've come to some harm...?

  Please help me.
  ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
   Geralt: A bit of help, please? A young, ashen-haired woman. Just need to
           know if you've seen her.
   Gran: What are you looking at, children? Wash your hands, we'll go catch
         crickets.
   Geralt: Won't learn anything from you.
   Gran: Aye. 'Cause I don't know nothin'.
   Kid: Bet Johnny knows. He knows a lot. When I ask 'im omethin', he says:
        "Wait, I'll scratch my arse and tell you."
   Gran: Ugly word! What're you sayin'? To the hut. You'll stand in a corner,
         I'll make sure you do. You -- begone. Begone.

  Talk.
  ¯¯¯¯¯
   Geralt: Had about enough of this. Asked a simple question. You seen the
           woman or haven't you?
   Gran: Fear not, children...
   Kid: There's naught to fear, Gran. He's only angry 'cause he cares.
   Kid: Maybe Johnny knows something. I'll take 'im to Johnny, afore he goes
        barmy on us...
   Gran: Johnny's your invention -- and you shouldn't be using those ugly
         words. To the hut! Go on, now! You'll stand in a corner, I'll make
         sure you do. And you stop scarin' the little ones. Now go! Begone!

 Who's Johnny?
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Who's Johnny?
  Kid: Johnny, Johnny, ate the cat, come the morn some fur he shat!
  Gran: Watch your language! They tells tales and tales. Naught but tales.

 Are you a witch?
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: You one of the witches of the swamp? I hear Crookback Bog...
  Gran: Witch? Me? Nay...I've no broom, nor owl, and not one wart on me nose.
        Got a pretty nose. See?
  Kid: Gran's got a lovely beak.
  Gran: Oh, you darling girl. Kids are so sweet.

 You take care of the kids?
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: You look after these kids?
  Gran: They're my grandchildren.
  Kid: Gran's good to us. Gonna be soup with scratchings for supper!
  Gran: Kids get lost in the woods... I miss 'em... Seen 'em in the woods? No
        one has.

[Geralt follows Gran and the boy into the cabin.]

Gran: Can't come in here. Not allowed in here.
Geralt: I just wanna talk to the boy.
Gran: Not allowed. It's not allowed.
Kid: I won't talk to you anyway. Gran don't like you. An--and Johnny's made
     up. An--and strangers steal kids.

 You don't want to talk to me?
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Just got one question for you.
  Gran: Don't be askin' no questions. You're a stranger. Not allowed to talk to
        strangers.
  Kid: Can we eat now? Soup with scratchings...
  Gran: You hear? Says he's afeared of you. Stop scarin' my kids.

 Where can I find this Johnny?
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Just tell me where I can find Johnny.
  Kid: Johnny's made up.
  Gran: Begone, begone.

[Geralt exits, finding the other kids to talk to.]

Geralt: Why don't you wanna talk about Johnny? One of you knows about him --
        the others must too.
Kid: It's just him who's pals with Johnny. They pick mushrooms. And hunt
     snails. But Gran says Johnny's made up.

 Help me out?
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: The girl I mentioned is in danger. You gotta help me get your gran
          away from the hut so I can talk to Johnny's friend.
  Kid: All right, but you got to do somethin' for us, too. Play hide-n-seek.
       Gran never does, says her feet hurt.

  Fine.
  ¯¯¯¯¯
   Geralt: Let's play. You hide, but if I find you, you have to help me talk to
           the boy who knows Johnny.
   Kid: He thinks he'll find us easy.
   Kid: Means he's never hid from the Black Ones.
   Kid: No lookin', and you have to count out loud -- all your fingers. Toes,
        too.
   Geralt: One, two, three...

  Isn't there something else you want?
  ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
   Geralt: Is there something else you need or want?
   Kid: Hmm...I want...something sweet!
   Kid: Me too!
   Kid: Or fruits...
   Kid: Give us a treat and we'll help you.

   • Geralt: Here's some treats.
     Kid: Yum!
     Kid: Never eatin'¹ nothin' like this before in me life!

   • Geralt: Don't have any treats.
     Kid: Well here's what you can do: go get some, play hide-n-seek with
          us, or get lost.

   Fine, let's play.
   ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
    (same as "Fine.")

   I'll be back.
   ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
    Geralt: Let me see if I can find some treats.

 Have you ever seen Johnny?
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Have any of you ever seen Johnny?
  Kid: Course. Looks just like him.
  Geralt: Then why do you say he's made up?
  Kid: Gran says so, and Gran knows lots.

 Gran ever hurt you?
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Does your gran treat you right? She ever hurt you?
  Kid: Never.
  Kid: When we're bad, she cries.
  Kid: She's scared, says strangers might take us...and we'll disappear.

 Your friend's not afraid to go into the woods. Why?
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: The boy who plays with Johnny -- he must be brave.
  Kid: Not brave, just stupid.
  Kid: Sat his bare bum on an anthill once. But, yeah, he plays with Johnny.
       He don't listen to Gran and goes in the woods, and then he's gotta have
       a time-out.
  Kid: And he eats snails. Yuck.

[If Geralt agrees to play hide and seek:]

Geralt: Eighteen, nineteen, twenty. Ready or not, here I come.

[Geralt has to search for the youngins.]

• Geralt: There you are.
  Geralt: I can see you!
  Geralt: See you. Come out!
  Geralt: Found you. You can stop hiding.

• Kid: Aww...
  Kid: Found me.
  Kid: How'd you find me?!
  Kid: No fair. I'm 'sposed to win.

[When Geralt finds the last kid:]

• Geralt: Found you. You're the last one.
  Kid: Bet you cheated. Come to the cottage, I gotta tell the others I won.

• Geralt: No one left hiding.
  Kid: You're a wizard, right? Gonna show us some tricks when we get to the
       cottage?
  Geralt: No, we'll talk about your promise.

• Geralt: Guess that's everyone. Found you all.
  Kid: You don't play right. But we'll help. Come on, let's talk to the others,
       by the cottage.

• Geralt: Found you. Every last one.
  Kid: But you found me last! Let's go back to the cottage. Can we tell 'em I
       let you find me?

[After the hide/seek session:]

Geralt: Found you all. Now you gotta keep your word and help me talk to
        Johnny's friend.
Kid: Why wouldn't we? Promised, didn't we?

[After appeasing the kids, Geralt waits for the distraction.]

Kid: Gran! Gran! Bumblebee bit Yagna in the arse! Gran, come!

[Geralt goes inside to talk to the boy.]

Geralt: Don't be afraid...
Kid: Don't know nuthin'.
Geralt: I won't hurt you.
Kid: Where's Gran?
Geralt: She's busy.

 Where's Johnny?
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: I just want to talk to Johnny. He could know more than you.
  Kid: ...Not gonna hurt 'im, right? 'Cause...he's real, he's not made up.
  Geralt: I'm not gonna hurt him.
  Kid: Johnny used to be by, 'cause Gran liked listenin' to his songs. When we
       was pickin' mushrooms, Johnny said he saw a girl with ashen hair in the
       swamp.
  Geralt: Where can I find Johnny?
  Kid: There's a little meadow on the edge of the swamp. This strange tree
       grows there. Look around, you'll see 'im.
  Geralt: Thank you.

 Why are you afraid?
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Why're you scared to talk?
  Kid: I'm not scared of nuthin'!
  Geralt: You're all scared of something. Woulda told me about Johnny
          otherwise.
  Kid: I'm worried about Johnny. He don't come 'round no more. Once when we was
       mushroom pickin', I saw his burrow. But Gran yelled at me. Said not to
       talk to strangers, 'cause then kids go missin'. She worries 'bout Johnny
       too, though she says he's made up.

 Where are your parents?
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Where are you and your friends' parents?
  Kid: Dead. Some starved...others were killed. Like mine... One day, I went
       out at dawn, to look for berries in the woods... Still some around back
       then. When I was comin' home, I hear the yells... Then laughing... Went
       up and hid in the bushes near the woods. My mum yelled. And the soldiers
       laughed. Laid my pa down by the barn door... His head clean off... And
       then my mum...
  Geralt: It's all right, that's enough...

[With new info in hand, Geralt sets off to find the marshy tree.]

Geralt: If Johnny's real, he must leave prints. Small footprint... Johnny's
        been through here. Tracks lead to a burrow. Wonder what's inside.

[He kneels by the small burrow.]

Geralt: Johnny? Don't be afraid.

[A childlike, humanoid creature crawls out.]

Geralt: You're a bucca...?
Johnny: (shakes head)
Geralt: A lutin...?
Johnny: (shakes head)
Geralt: Ah, a godling. Not many of you left.
Johnny: (nods)
Geralt: I'm looking for a woman with ashen hair. Seen her?

[He indicates he has.]

Geralt: Tell me everything, from the start. Where did you see her, what was she
        doing? It's important to me.

[Johnny shakes his head.]

Geralt: Why not?
Johnny: (covers mouth and points to it)

 You can't talk.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: What's wrong, can't talk?
  Johnny: (nods)
  Geralt: Why? Lost your voice?
  Johnny: (nods)
  Geralt: Can I help you somehow?
  Johnny: (beckons to follow)

  Want me to follow?
  ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
   Geralt: Want me to follow you?
   Johnny: (nods)
   Geralt: No choice, I guess.
   Johnny: (shakes head)

  I don't understand, try to explain.
  ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
   Geralt: Can't understand you. Try to explain it somehow...?
   Johnny: (facepalms)

 You know the kids from the clearing well?
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: You know the kids from the clearing well?
  Johnny: (doesn't make any gesture)
  Geralt: Don't be afraid. Not gonna hurt anyone.

 You gotta know what goes on around here.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: This where you live?
  Johnny: (nods head)
  Geralt: Cozy burrow, good location. Must know everything that happens in the
          bog. Doesn't bother you, having monsters for neighbors?

[Johnny leads Geralt onward, right into a drowner patch.]

Geralt: Watch out!

[After slaying the abominations.]

Geralt: Stay close to me.

[They stop at the foot of a cliff.]

Geralt: This the place? Let me look around.
Johnny: (pointing upward)
Geralt: Something's on the ledge? Something that'll get you your voice back?
Johnny: (nods)

 • Geralt: Guess I gotta make this climb.
   Johnny: (nods)

 • Geralt: Ah, the bottle from the nest. Already got it.
   Johnny: (outstretches hands)

[He climbs up to the clifftop nest and slays some harpies. Inside the nest is
 a few pieces of loot.]

Geralt: Maybe he meant this bottle...

[Geralt slide down the embankment to the godling. He offers the bottle.]

Geralt: Here.

[A white mist comes out of it.]

Johnny: Whiskey! Slither! Ringworm! Rubbish! Bumblebee! Flabbergasted! Ha! The
        sound of it! Peter Piper picked Prince Proximo a peck of pickled
        peppers by the Pontar. Hahaha.
Geralt: Done celebrating?
Johnny: My favorite words... Life without savoring the "surreptitious
        shananacking" is like licking snails through a cloth. Thank you for
        this, noble whoever-you-are. Long be your life.
Geralt: Hang on a minute... I helped you -- now you help me.
Johnny: Would you turn this beautiful act of altruism into a banal bartering of
        favors?

 Looking for a young, ashen-haired woman.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: I'm looking for a young, ashen-haired woman. See anyone like that?
  Johnny: Did I ever. Remember it as if it were yesterday. Soon as I awoke, I
          went to empty me bowels -- my favorite part of the day. Defecatin' to
          the sunrise -- downright glorious... Suddenly, heard a bang -- so
          loud it couldn't have been me. And that lass appeared! Out of
          nowhere. Young, ashen-haired -- just like you said. Wounded, and
          panting to boot! She raced off toward the children's huts. Quick --
          as if the Crones were after her. I yelled some unpleasantries --
          she'd disturbed my morn. Sadly, I'd lost my voice, so I don't think
          she heard me.

  So she went off toward the village...
  ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
   Geralt: She ran off toward the orphanage. Kids could know something, or the
           old woman who takes care of them...
   Johnny: That old hag don't speak to strangers. And you're a stranger.
   Geralt: Will she talk to you?
   Johnny: I have spoken to her, got my ways... So be it. You helped me, and
           I'm no boor. Come with me.

  Know anything about the Crones?
  ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
   Geralt: What do you know about the Crones?
   Johnny: They're as old as this forest... Cruel, vindictive... Not to
           be crossed.
   Geralt: What if someone does cross them?
   Johnny: Might take his voice, might take his life -- depends on their whim.
           They're nasty, although...they care for this land and its folk in
           their own way. Supposedly they always keep their word, but you must
           be careful what you ask for. Won't find them until they want to be
           found, see them until they want to be seen. But remember, they see
           and hear all that happens in the mire.

  The woman from the village in the swamp... Who is she?
  ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
   Geralt: I've been to the village in the swamp, met a woman who might've been
           a Crone.
   Johnny: Did she seem...confused to you?
   Geralt: Nuts, completely.
   Johnny: Oof, so I'm not crazy. That's no Crone, that's the granny who takes
           care of the orphans. Claims the kids made me up. Me.
   Geralt: An orphanage in the swamp?
   Johnny: What d'you have against swamps? Lived here my whole life and I
           heartily recommend it.

 Why did you lose your voice?
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: How'd you lose your voice?
  Johnny: One morning I awoke and opened my mouth for my usual bout of singing
          with the thrushes. Lo and behold, no sound escaped. I tried and
          tried, almost burst a blood vessel. Then I went to the village,
          'cause word has it the new cunning woman works miracles. But people
          began crying out "A smudger! A smudger!" and sicced their dogs on me.
          Do I look like a smudger to you?
  Geralt: Not a bit.
  Johnny: I thought not. So it must be the Crones' doing. Who else would curse
          me? Blackbird friend of mine located my voice, but I was helpless to
          retrieve it.
  Geralt: Couldn't ask a raven friend to just give you the bottle?
  Johnny: Ravens serve the Crones. They don't help no one.

 How do you bottle someone's voice?
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: How do you lock someone's voice in a bottle? Just wondering...
  Johnny: As am I -- especially as mine's a voice to crown all voices.
          Sometimes it's like a forest brook, at others like a roll of thunder.
          And let's be honest -- I talk enough to fill three barrels and more.
  Geralt: Somebody used some powerful magic on you -- as a prank or just
          to be mean.

[Johnny finds a water hag en route.]

Johnny: Careful! Watch out!

[They return to the orphans' village.]

Johnny: Good. It's clear. Not a Crone in sight. I need to sing to Gran, that
        oughta calm her.

[Geralt finds a good place to hide and watch.]

Johnny: Little Johnny softy gazing, fire waning, pale
        Pop! A spark jumped out and whispered...
        Listen, I've a tale...
Gran: You...got your voice back?
Johnny: I did! Though I seem to have lost an octave somewhere in the process.
        I shall look for it when I get home.
Gran: You're not allowed here, Johnny. You shouldn't 'ave come.
Johnny: Calm down, Gran. Don't get angry -- it's not good for you.

[Geralt walks over.]

 The ashen-haired woman...
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: The woman I asked about earlier...

 Lead me to the Crones?
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Can you take me to the Crones?

Johnny: Forgive me, Gran, but this fellow absolutely must talk to the Ladies.
Gran: No, 'tis not allowed.
Geralt: Please. It's important.
Johnny: The fellow will be quiet. Gran, please hear me out. I found little
        Yagna when she got lost, did I not? Did I break Genny's fever, too? I
        did. I ask anything in return? No. Didn't even fuss about my stolen
        voice. Well, now I want something. Gran, help this fellow. Because
        otherwise he'll pester me day and night, even durin' potty time. His
        lass is missing, mayhaps the Ladies can help find her, eh?
Gran: Well, since you put it that way, Johnny...I'll help him. Come with me.

[She leads Geralt into the locked chapel.]

Gran: Johnny's a good, good lad. Though the Ladies don't like him, no... "Foul
      creature," they say. Don't like him.

[They stop in front of a tapestry depicting three women.]

Geralt: Who are the women in the tapestry?
Gran: Those're the Ladies.

[She goes up to the picture.]

Gran: Ladies lovely, with power o'er all
      Beseech I thee, answer my call
      Before you a worm crawls, wretched and small

[Her eyes roll back in her head as something/someone speaks through her. It
 soon becomes apparent there's a couple people speaking through her]

Voice: How dare you disturb our rest, woman?

 I wanted to talk to you.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  ---
 Not how I imagined you looking.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: So you're the three Crones?
  Voice: Crones? Where d'you get such an ugly word, young man?
  Voice: Village bitches have been gossiping again. There's no limit to how
         jealous and petty humans can be. Do we look like crones to you? Go
         ahead, check. Touch me, White-Haired One. Where it pleases you most.

  Are you cursed?      
  ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
   Geralt: Is this a curse? You trapped in the tapestry?
   Voice: Oh, he's curious.
   Voice: We don't fall victim to curses -- we cast them.

  What is this tapestry made of?
  ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
   Geralt: Is it my imagination, or is this tapestry made of hair?
   Voice: Ooh, he's got a sensitive touch. Touch me more, boy, touch me more.
   Geralt: Where do you get human hair?
   Voice: Never heard of the Cutting? 'Round here a young boy turns into a man
          when they cut his hair for the first time. Our sister weaves
          tapestries of this cut hair. If the weft is straight, happy's the
          fate.
   Geralt: What if the weft's crooked?
   Voice: Then it must be unraveled.

 They speak through you?
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Someone's speaking through you?
  Voice: Good looking¹ and clever, too. Where've you been hiding, boy?

Geralt: I'm looking for the woman with ashen hair. I know you met her. Where is
        she?
Voice: Ooooh, he's impatient! Perhaps he only likes ashen-haired girls?

 What happened to her?
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: It's clear you met her. Tell me everything.
  Voice: That was blunt. Well, perhaps it's for the best. Tell me, have you got
         the bollocks? Do you fear woodland beasts?
  Voice: Oh, hard times are upon us, White-Haired One. Brother has turned
         against brother, the land is soaked in blood. Evil reigns stronger
         than ever before.
  Voice: A dark power has surfaced near Downwarren. It feeds on hatred and
         disdain. Destroy the beast, and we'll be grateful, tell you all we
         know about this ashen-haired maid.
  Geralt: Dark power? You need a knight-errant, or a witch hunter, not a
          witcher.
  Voice: The ealdorman of Downwarren will tell you all. Remember to collect
         your payment from him after you complete your task. And now our
         servant will bring you the dagger.

  It's a deal.
  ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
   Geralt: I'll talk to the ealdorman, but I can't promise anything.
   Voice: Move, woman! Get the young man the dagger!
   Voice: And you, White One -- return only once you've completed the task.

  Why do I need a dagger?
  ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
   Geralt: A dagger? What for?
   Voice: When the ealdorman sees this dagger, he'll know we sent you. He'll
          aid with all.

 She is like a daughter to me.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: The young woman... She's my daughter by choice, I raised her.
  Voice: Huhuha. If she's shapely, what does it matter?
  Geralt: Matters to me.
  Voice: I believe we've hit a nerve! He's bubbling like well-fed yeast.
  Voice: Ooh, that's just how I likes 'em!

[Gran finally takes her hand off the painting, ending the Crones' chat.]

Gran: Aye, mistress. Right. On my way. Dagger. Gotta bring the dagger...

[She comes back shortly after.]

Gran: The dagger. For you. Ladies told me to give it to you -- here it is. The
      dagger. Place the ealdorman's payment on the stone. Stone bare, stone
      sheer, stone knows, stone hears...

[The witcher ventures to Downwarren, a hillside town north of the swamp. He
 soon finds the ealdorman.]

Geralt: Nice village.
Ealdorman: Aye.
Geralt: A real pearl of the swamps.
Ealdorman: If ye say so.
Geralt: You get by all right?
Ealdorman: Aye, winter to winter, somehow we survive.
Geralt: Recognize this dagger?
Ealdorman: Aye, master. Didn't know you belong to them.

 Glad we understand each other.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: So, you know who sent me. Good, easier that way.
  Ealdorman: Forgive me... Didn't know ye came from the Ladies of the Wood.
  Geralt: They help you often?
  Ealdorman: From the time of his Cutting, every man is theirs... They be harsh
             mistresses, but they're fair, just. Demanding they can be, but
             then nothin' in life comes easy. Who drove off the plaguey airs?
             Who gave us seeds to plant? Round the other villages they be
             eatin' the soles of their boots. Whereas we? Well, we get along
             well enough.

  Let's get to the problem.
  ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
   ---

  A certain young woman visited the...Ladies of the Wood.
  ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
   Geralt: Hear about an ashen-haired woman meeting the Ladies of the Wood?
   Ealdorman: I ain't heard nothin' about that. Beg your question to the
              Ladies, and they may answer. They knows all that happens in
              Velen.
   Geralt: They got informers?
   Ealdorman: The woods listen for them. A lone word at an ill hour can arouse
              their wrath. But they hear pleas and prayers as well. Once a
              swineherd lost a sow, sat and cried at the crossroads. The sow
              ran out o' the trees, as if chased by a devil. Straight to the
              swineherd.

  Ever seen them?
  ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
   Geralt: Ever meet the Ladies of the Wood?
   Ealdorman: Never. They only show themselves to the chosen. Perchance one
              day I too will be summoned.

 I don't belong to anyone.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Don't belong to anyone. Down to business, I want to get this done
          quickly.
  Ealdorman: Ah. So that's how it's to be.

Geralt: I'm supposed to help solve your problem. Tell me what it is -- just the
        essentials.
Ealdorman: The war awoke an ancient power. An evil one that feeds on bloodshed.
           Nightmares haunt our nights and days. Folk sleepwalk from their
           homes, never to return. Under the tree on the Whispering Hillock
           they lie, unburied all: fathers, sons, daughters and mothers.
           Folk're afeared to move them. You must go there. The dark powers
           must be cast off.

 I solved the problem.²
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Solved your problem. Just in case, though, avoid the Whispering
          Hillock for a while.
  Ealdorman: Cannot be... Were somethin' lurkin' there?
  (same as dialogue series at end of quest)

 I'll look around.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Ladies of the Wood don't know what this power is?
  Ealdorman: They know all. Old Thecla claimed they be punishin' us. Folk
             stopped respectin' 'em. Some even call 'em witches. But most not
             be they, for they sent you.
  Geralt: I'll look around the Whispering Hillock.
  Ealdorman: You be careful, master witcher. Don't ye treat this evil light.

 More details.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Need more details.
  Ealdorman: Ye must see for yourself. Me gran's mum whacked me crosswise for
             strayin' near the Whispering Hillock. But what happens there
             now's a wonder! A few times folk from 'round here gathered to
             chop down the trees and burn the cursed soil back to use. None
             returned. The ground 'neath the weeds is white with human bones.

 How long's it been like this?
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: When did all this start?
  Ealdorman: Three year back. I remember -- 'twas a warm day -- went to check
             the snares for game. Pulled a hare from me trap. It grew dark of
             a sudden, though it was nigh on noontime. Thought it was a storm
             at first. A squeal pierced the air, near burst me ears. The hare
             rotted in my hands, and the leaves shriveled and yellowed, though
             it were yet the start of summer. Times've been ill ever since.
             Folk's teeth turn black as charcoal. Womenfolk fight like
             polecats, bawlin' and brawlin' over nothin'. The young'uns...
             Born crippled... Lame... Fear and cursing... Long have we plead
             for the Ladies' help.

[Geralt seeks out the Whispering Hillock, a creepy location northeast of the
 swamp orphanage. What transpires there is recorded in "The Whispering Hillock"
 quest section. This quest concludes after dealing with the hillock and seeing
 Ciri's "Fleeing the Bog" flashback.]
                                    _________________________________________
___________________________________/ MAIN QUEST: IN CIRI'S FOOTSTEPS (VELEN) |_
¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
6j) THE WHISPERING HILLOCK                                               [WK6J]
_______________________________________________________________________________
¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
[Geralt arrives at the base of the hillock, near a corpse.]

Geralt: Fang bites.

[He ascends, then...]

Voice: Begone, come no closer... I know whence you come... The powers that
       protect me... They sense whence you come... Begone... Begone...
       Begone... The powers will not relent...

[After slaying the wolves, Geralt enters the cave at the ancient oak's base.
 In its depths, he finds what appears to be a large, spike-encrusted heart in
 the grip of the tree roots. Its fleshy writhing and creaky vine echo through
 the chamber.]

Voice: Why have you come...? Why spill this blood...? Are you here to grant me
       death...? Or is my freedom what you wish...?

 You claim I can free you.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: You claim to be imprisoned. How so?
  Voice: I am bound here... In fetters of magic... I wander endlessly... A
         labyrinth of leaves... The children... I know all... I know what
         awaits them... Free me, please... I must help...
  Geralt: If something threatens the orphans, I'll help them myself.
  Voice: The children have been taken... Free me, please... I can be a gale...
         A gallop unchained... I shall save them... Only I can...

  I'll help you.
  ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
   Geralt: Deal. I'll help you.
   Voice: Imprisoned for years...I shall be free again... Break my fetters...
          Blood is my escape... A rite you must perform... With the black of
          raven feathers...the white of my bones... And a swift steed... A
          mare, wild and free...in meadow's pasture caught...dark as a
          bottomless well...black as the depths of night... Such a beast, no
          other. Gather these and bring them here...

   Raven feathers.
   ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
    Geralt: Got some raven feathers.
    Voice: Find my remains... And bring me a mount... A wind-born steed... A
           black squall turned horse...

   A horse.
   ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
    Geralt: Why do we need a black horse?
    Voice: The beast and I shall be as one... As when I lived... We shall be a
           gale... Nothing to stop us. A wild steed... From meadows moist...

   Your remains.
   ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
    Geralt: Where'll I find your remains?
    Voice: My bones... They lie in a solitary mound... Nearby...due west...

   Be back once I have everything.
   ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
    Geralt: I'll gather what I need to free you. Then return.
    Voice: Gather and return... To the hillock's depths... To the tree's rotten
           heart... Pierce my heart... Let blood flow... To be born again... I
           must first be consumed... Go now... And return through the passage I
           have opened.

  I don't believe you.
  ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
   Geralt: I don't believe you, spirit. Too many claim you're evil. Your words
           alone -- not enough.
   Voice: Dare harm me...and against you will rise...all the powers of
          nature...

  Gotta think this over.
  ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
   Geralt: I can't decide just yet.
   Voice: You must come back... Free me... I beg you... Beware my sentries...
          They stand guard still...

  The kids in the clearing are in danger?
  ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
   Geralt: Why do you think the kids from the meadow are in danger?
   Voice: The sisters took them. They shall not return.
   Geralt: Where'd they take them? I can help.
   Voice: It is done already... It cannot be undone... There are no roads...
          To Aard Cerbin... They shall all die... Let them be saved...

  The Crones -- whaddaya know about them?
  ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
   Geralt: The Crones? Whaddaya know about them?
   Voice: The sisters are older than the oldest trees... Velen is their
          realm... All life here serves them... The sisters live concealed.
          You will not find them. They hear all...you cannot hide.

 Why was I attacked?
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: I was attacked.
  Voice: This is my prison... A fortress besieged... Murderers I await... And
         my forest protects me...
  Geralt: Murderers?
  Voice: Murderous sisters... Killed my body... Now my soul they hunt... For I
         defy them.

 Who are you?
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Who are you?
  Voice: I abandoned my Circle... Where I'd kept the balance... The Crones
         killed me... And cursed my ghost...
  Geralt: Never heard of a druids' circle in Velen.
  Voice: I wander eternally through a maze of boughs... Helplessly sliding
         o'er rustling leaves...

  Why did they kill you?
  ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
   Geralt: Why did they kill you?
   Voice: The Crones want this land. They'd rule the wood alone. I stood in
          their way... I had to die...

  What do you know about the Crones?
  ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
   Geralt: Must know the Crones pretty well.
   Voice: They are Velen's curse... They hear all through severed ears... They
          weave hair and twist lives... They take their strength from a broth
          of human flesh...

[If Geralt is doing the quest before the witches' ask him to, instead of the
 above options, Geralt begins with:]

Geralt: Didn't set out to hurt anyone. I was attacked -- had to defend myself.
Voice: I sense no wrath...
Geralt: Didn't come here in anger.
Voice: Beguiled by darkness. But your heart... It is not black...
Geralt: I can hear a voice. Can't see who it belongs to, though.
Voice: I am but a spirit... I am but a whisper...
Geralt: Whisper to the wolves. Tell them to stay away. Who are you?
Voice: Once I protected them... Now they protect me... I protected this spot...
       from the Crones. The Crones killed me... My spirit they captured...
       Imprisoned me in the tree... Help... Aid me... Free me... I wish to be
       free again...

============================= IF GHOST IS HELPED ==============================

[Geralt goes to find the unmarked grave, and does.]

Geralt: Strange bones... Don't seem human to me.

[Geralt then brings the mare to the cave.]

Geralt: Ready. We can start.
Voice: Let me fly on raven wings... Lay bones amidst the feathers... Place all
       beneath my heart... My heart you must pierce... And bring the steed.

 [Start the ritual.]
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: I offer raven feathers.
  Voice: Once I was free... I shall be free once more...
  Geralt: I offer your remains.
  Voice: Once I was flesh... I shall be flesh once more...

 [Trick the being in the tree and destroy it.]
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: I offer raven feathers.
  Voice: Once I was free... I shall be free once more...
  Geralt: I offer your remains.
  Voice: Once I was flesh... I shall be flesh once more...
  Geralt: No, I should draw your blood now, let the horse drink it... But I
          won't. I don't trust you. I have to stop you, destroy you.
  Voice: Betrayed...! Betrayed...! Betrayed...!
  [The heart shrivels and dies without a physical battle.]

 Actually, I'm gonna kill you.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: I don't trust you, I don't believe you. I know I have to stop you,
          destroy your heart.
  Ghost: I will live...! You shall perish...
  [Geralt fights the ghost as normal.]

[If Geralt goes through with the ceremony for real, he slices open the heart
 to have it bleed on the bones and feathers. When the horse drinks, the ghost
 possesses it to become "Black Beauty."]

Horse: I live...

 • Geralt: Free the children.
   Horse: I shall... A word once given must be honored...

============================= IF GHOST IS FOUGHT ==============================

Voice: I shall live... Live... Live... Live... I must live... I must...
       Nooo...! Nooooo...!

[Geralt slays the tree ghost.]

============================ PATHS CONVERGE HERE ==============================

[Outside the cave is the ealdorman and a dead werewolf.]

Geralt: Solved your problem. Just in case, though, avoid the Whispering Hillock
        for a while.
Ealdorman: Cannot be... Were somethin' lurkin' there?

 A spirit had possessed the tree.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: An evil spirit had possessed a tree on the hill. It was responsible
          for the killings.
  Ealdorman: How'd ye dispel this evil?

 Destroyed something, not sure what.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Not sure what was lurking there. But it lurks no more.
  Ealdorman: What did you do, witcher?

 You don't wanna know.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Believe me, you don't wanna know.
  Ealdorman: What have ye done?

  I freed the evil spirit.²
  ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
   Geralt: Didn't have to fight anything or anyone. I simply freed the spirit.
   Ealdorman: Ye did what?! Freed the evil, so it can prowl the world as it
              will?
   Geralt: Did what had to be done.
   Ealdorman: An' if it returns?
   Geralt: Ask the Ladies of the Wood to help.

  I destroyed the evil spirit.²
  ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
   Geralt: Some being had come to possess the tree's heart. I destroyed the
           heart and its inhabitant.
   Ealdorman: So it were a ghost... Will it be back?
   Geralt: No.

  Doesn't matter.
  ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
   Geralt: Went up the hill, took care of the problem. The details are my
           concern.
   Ealdorman: Aye, truly as you said. I knows naught of such things anyway.

Geralt: The Crones, or Ladies of the Wood, as you call them, said to remind
        you about payment. Take it you know what they want.
Ealdorman: Aye, I do. Gimme the dagger... Be back soon.

[The leader returns later, and hands his own severed ear to Geralt.]

Ealdorman: There's payment. Take it to the Ladies, will ye?
Geralt: What the hell was that?
Ealdorman: Tis¹ our pact. Ye're a stranger, ye don't know life here. It's
           honest pay for their protection.
Geralt: So all those ears in the woods...
Ealdorman: Put it out yer mind, master. Ye soon be leavin', and we must tarry
           on. Our young'uns, and their young'uns after them. No gods nor
           masters watch over Velen. The land is no man's. He who wants to
           survive must seek his own protectors.

[Geralt returns to the orphanage clearing and puts the ear on an altar/rock.
 Soon, three grotesque women, all of different statures and outfits, approach
 him. It's clear these are the actual Crones he's been seeking.]

Weavess: Sheathe your weapon, young man...
Brewess: He's even lovelier in real life...
Geralt: Hmm, in real life you're...different...than you were in the tapestry.

[Gran appears from behind them.]

Whispess: Well? Bring it here!

[The third Crone cuts her own hand with her fingernail, causing burning red
 marks to appear on Gran's hand as she tries picking up the ear.]

Whispess: You were to bring it, not ogle it.

[The Crone adds the ear to the many hanging on her necklace. They speak to
 Gran annoyedly. If the Whispering Hillock's ghost was set free:]

Whispess: You disobeyed us once more.
Brewess: We are forgiving creatures, but you -- you allowed the children to
         escape.
Anna: They never wanted to flee. They liked it here. They played.
Weavess: Your punishment must be harsh. Now silence. We must speak to the
         White-Haired One.

[If the Whispering Hillock's ghost was slain as asked:]

Whispess: Never seek to cross us again.
Brewess: We shall forgive you this transgression, for you've done well. Your
         children are as plump as piglets, sweet as caramel.
Weavess: But now, we must talk to our white-haired friend.

[Either way:]

Geralt: I know that mark. This is Anna, the wife of the baron of Crow's Perch.
Weavess: She belongs to no man.
Brewess: A fruit ripened in her womb. A fruit spouted from seed sown by a man
         she detested.
Whispess: We helped her. She agreed to serve.
Weavess: She bears the mark. She is ours. Come, it is another woman who
         interests you. Speak, White-Haired One.

 Tell me about the woman I seek.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Our deal -- I did my part. Now you do yours.
  Whispess: A word once given we never break.
  Weavess: The girl... Mousy blonde -- that's what they call it.
  Brewess: Thin as a rail -- terrified, exhausted. She could barely stand, the
           poor thing.
  Whispess: We cared for her the best we could.
  Weavess: Like she was our own daughter.
  Whispess: Wasted affection. She proved a very naughty girl.
  Weavess: Mischievous, stubborn, and selfish.

  Where is she now?
  ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
   Geralt: Don't believe you. They say you always keep your word. So tell me
           everything, exactly as it happened.
   Brewess: We shall tell you, brave boy.

  I don't believe you.
  ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
   Geralt: The young woman I seek never hurt anyone without cause.
   Brewess: You've not seen her long. She's changed for the worse.
   Geralt: Why'd she attack you?
   Whispess: She's no longer the girl you once knew. Wrath consumes her.

 You used me.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: You used me to tame the Whispering Hillock -- a lot of work.
  Brewess: Naught's free, brave soul.
  Weavess: Did you destroy the evil powers? Have you brought peace to our
           domain?

  • Geralt: Yes.
    Brewess: So fortunate to have found so brave a knight, so able!

  • Geralt: I freed the spirit trapped in the tree.
    Whispess: Hear that, sisters?
    Weavess: Traitor!
    Brewess: She took the children! 'Twas her!
    Geralt: We made a deal. I was supposed to help the villagers. I held up my
            end of the bargain. They're safe now.
    Whispess: So, a mockery, you chose to outwit.

  What do you want the kids for?
  ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
   Geralt: What did you need the children for?
   Brewess: Need? We? They needed us. Our care.

   • Geralt: Where are they?
     Whispess: They are far away.
     Brewess: Their troubles are over.

   • Weavess: You exposed them to great danger.
     Brewess: We cannot help them! Because of you!
     Whispess: Leave it, sisters. Everything in its time...

  Who was the spirit bound to the tree?
  ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
   Geralt: Whose spirit was trapped in the tree?
   Whispess: That of one who once cheated death.
   
   • Brewess: But she couldn't deceive you, brave knight.
     Weavess: You've rid the world of a great evil.

   • Whispess: You've freed an ancient power.
     Weavess: It will rise again. Elsewhere, beyond our reach. Blood will flow
              once more.
     Brewess: What foolish things men sometimes do.

 Why do you look different now?
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: You looked different in the tapestry.
  Whispess: We're all dressed up just for you.
  Brewess: If you only knew how much time we spent in front of the glass!
  Weavess: Do you desire us?

  Is that polymorphism?
  ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
   Geralt: I'm impressed. Polymorphism -- a rare talent.
   Brewess: Oh, I'd suck every last drop out of you!
   Weavess: Ah, to be woven together with you!
   Whispess: I'd be your best -- and last.
   Geralt: Hm, not what I came for.

  You know why I'm here.
  ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
   Geralt: You know why I'm here. You know what I want.
   Weavess: You shall dream of us, and return for what you reject. They always
            come back.

[At this point, the story begins another Ciri flashback. This one's in the
 next section, "Ciri's Story: Fleeing the Bog".]

Geralt: You tried to kill her. Tried to butcher her like an animal and eat her.
Brewess: Her blood, the taste brought back memories of our youth.
Weavess: Elder Blood. Extraordinary girl. But you know that.
Whispess: Such a shame she fled.

 I won't let you get away with it.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: You tried to kill her. Can't forgive you for that.
  Whispess: Waste of words.
  Weavess: Our fates are bound, true. But now is not the time for that to bear
           fruit...

 I'll find her. And come back for you.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: She escaped you, but I'll find her. We'll come back here together and
          kill you.
  Weavess: You'll return, you shall. Our fates are bound.
  Whispess: And one of will die. But it shan't be one of us.

[Fog starts to seep into the clearing.]

Brewess: Now you shall chase shadows and wander midst fog.
Weavess: Each time you see her, she will be a mirage.
Whispess: And if you find her -- if -- the girl will die...hmheh.
Weavess: Heeheeheeheehee!
Brewess: Be seeing you... Handsome knight.
Weavess: Heeheeheeheehee!
Brewess: See you very soon.

[They disappear into the fog, laughing.]
                                    _________________________________________
___________________________________/ MAIN QUEST: IN CIRI'S FOOTSTEPS (VELEN) |_
¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
6k) CIRI'S STORY: FLEEING THE BOG                                        [WK6K]
_______________________________________________________________________________
¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
[The Crones narrate the flashback. It shows Ciri suddenly appearing out of a
 portal, dropping into the swamp. She wanders to the nearby orphanage clearing
 and collapses.]

Brewess: We knew someone special was to arrive. We read beast entrails, saw
         the omens.
Weavess: We would glimpse her likeness, a mirage in the puddle. She came from
         the lower swamp.
Whispess: We knew not at first it was her the omens had spoken of.
Weavess: A child of the Elder Blood. The Sown Seed that will burst into
         flame...

[Brewess picks up the unconscious Ciri and takes her to a building.]

Weavess: She fell into our hands. Elder Blood!
Whispess: Mmm, the blood of the Traitoress!

[As she sleeps in a hut, the Crones are discussing her outside.]

Brewess: Does she sleep?
Weavess: Like a lamb.
Brewess: Come, sisters, no point in dawdling. The table's set, the cauldron
          bubbles.
Whispess: We cannot! You know she is meant for Him!
Brewess: Imlerith will get her, he will. But not whole.
Weavess: Well said. We'll just have a sample.
Brewess: I'll take her feet. Lovely, hmhm, plump. Perfect for a broth.
Weavess: Ooh, I can taste it already... Very well. Get on with it!

[As they discuss, Ciri can be seen awake and in full eavesdrop mode. She gets
 out of the chapel while the getting's good. Her escape does not go unnoticed.]

Weavess: Oh, you'll regret that, girl, regret it dearly.

[As she flees, a shot of Imlerith, a high-ranking Wild Hunt rider, watches her
 from horseback. Various monsters start climbing out of portals and the bog as
 Ciri desperately flees the bog.]

Weavess: Come back... Come back... Come back... He has come...for you...

[Imlerith gives chase, but loses sight of Ciri. He rides back to the bog; Ciri
 jumps from a tree, safe and sound. The flashback ends at the start of Ciri's
 werewolf encounter in "The King of the Wolves".]
                                    _________________________________________
___________________________________/ MAIN QUEST: IN CIRI'S FOOTSTEPS (VELEN) |_
¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
6l) CIRI'S STORY: OUT OF THE SHADOWS                                     [WK6L]
_______________________________________________________________________________
¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
[This is the second part of the baron's encounter with Ciri, told after he's
 updated about both his wife and daughter's current whereabouts. The basilisk
 lands in front of the two; the rest of the soldiers have fled.]

Ciri: Watch out!
Baron: If I don't survive this, you're to take whatever you want from the
       fortress!
Ciri: You'll survive!
Baron: Pffgrr! Let's show this bastard what we're worth!

[They gravely wound the beast. It manages to disarm the Baron, then hop atop
 him.]

Baron: Aaagh!

[Ciri slices at its six, saving the baron but getting knocked down herself.]

Ciri: Uuugh!

[The basilisk picks the baron up and flies to its nest.]

Baron: Aah...! Arrgh fuuuuuck! Aaa! Aaaa...
Ciri: Agh! Agh! Dammit! I can't leave him like that!

[Ciri looks for a way up in vain. Meanwhile, atop the tower, the baron goads
 the basilisk, armed only with a dagger. He throws a brick at it.]

Baron: Well? C'mon! Bring it on, whoreson! Come here!

[As it's about to leap at the baron, Ciri teleports to the top of the tower,
 slicing it in its fleshy underbelly. She leaps atop it and kills it with one
 last swing, although that doesn't stop her from a few more safety slices. The
 baron looks at her slack-jawed. Later, the baron meets Ciri at the Perch's
 stables.]

Baron: You have everythin'?
Ciri: Yes, thank you.
Baron: What you did for me...I---I shall never forget it.

 We're even.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Ciri: You helped me as well -- when your man brought me here. You fed me,
        cared for me, had my wounds looked after. We're even now.
  Baron: You needn't leave. You're in good company here. We'll always have a
         warm corner for you.
  Ciri: I must leave.

 It's why I must go.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Ciri: I certainly hope not. It's brought me no small trouble.
  Baron: Meanin'?
  Ciri: I must flee.

Ciri: Wraiths pursue me. The Wild Hunt. I was foolish to use the Power. They're
      sure to have caught my scent.
Baron: The Wild Hunt? Pursuing you?
Ciri: I'll endanger all of you by remaining here. You must tell the people to
      bar their doors and windows. And no one is to wander the night.
Baron: And you... Where do you think you're going?
Ciri: Now, I ride for Novigrad. And then who knows where.

                                 ____________________________________________
________________________________/ MAIN QUEST: IN CIRI'S FOOTSTEPS (NOVIGRAD) |_
¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
7a) PYRES OF NOVIGRAD                                                    [WK7A]
_______________________________________________________________________________
¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
[Geralt's trip to Velen learns that Ciri was going to Novigrad after her stay
 at the Bloody Baron's. Yennefer had mentioned Triss lived there, making her
 the first lead to track down. As he nears Heirarch Square, he sees a crowd
 gathering for mage burnings. Caleb Menge, commander of the Eternal Fire's
 temple guard, is preparing to burn a woman and a man, both characters seen
 in previous Witcher games. He torches the woman first.]

Menge: Our Novigrad -- shining and brilliant! Pearl amongst cities! Cradle of
       the Eternal Fire! Yet it is here that darkness raises its hideous head!
       A deceitful doppler doubling as commander of the Guard! A band of
       charlatans, diviners and witches poised to pinch your purity and
       prosperity! The time has come for this to end! For us to cast off evil!
       Do you renounce evil?!
Crowd: We renounce evil!
Menge: Do you renounce evil?!
Crowd: We renounce it!
Menge: May the Holy Flame of the Eternal Fire complete this cleansing, this
       purging of pestilence into purity! How are we to fight pestilence that
       changes form?! None can be certain of his father, brother or bride! Look
       upon your neighbor, for he too could be a doppler! Will we submit to
       uncertainty?! Will we allow monsters and charlatans to overrun our
       city?!
Crowd: No!
Menge: May the Holy Flame of the Eternal Fire complete this act of cleansing!

[He lights the woman's pyre.]

Felicia Cori: Aaaaa! Aaaaaaaa!
Menge: No evil can survive the Holy Fire! The Holy Fire enlightens, burns and
       cleanses!
Crowd: Holy Fire! Enlighten, burn and cleanse!
Menge: Behold the flame of grace and mercy!

[He walks over to a bound man.]

Menge: Special pyre for you, freak -- nice, slow burning! You'll beg for mercy
       in all the voices known to you, like the others of your species.
Chappelle: I've done no wrong! None! I only wanted to live like you! Help me,
           kind folk! Please! Akh akh akh akh... Akh akh akh! Akh! Akh aaaaaa
           akh!
Crowd Man: Gods! Look! A doppler!

[Geralt pushes his way through the crowd, helpless to stop the executions.]

Geralt: Sure hope Dudu hasn't met the same fate.

[As he approaches Triss' house, he sees two men at her front door.]

Looter: She couldn't 'ave taken it all with her? Could she?
Looter: Sorceress -- it's like a witch with muscle. Casts a spell and all's
        gone in a flash.
Looter: Well, she was in a rush. Musta left somethin'.
Looter: And what of it? This place has been picked through.

[Geralt approaches.]

Looter: Hey! Sod off! We're lootin' here.

 Get lost.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Want you gone by the time I count to three. One...
  Looter: Hear that?
  Geralt: Two...
  Looter: Ooh, lookie. Thinks he can scare us off.
  Geralt: Three...
  [Geralt beats 'em up.]
  Looter: Ah! Nah...don't! No more, please!
  Geralt: Where's the sorceress who lived here?

 Let's talk.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Not here for the loot. Interested in the sorceress who lived here.
  Looter: We're supposed to believe that?
  Geralt: Yeah.

Looter: Most likely hiding in some rattrap with the rest of 'em.

 Who might know?
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Someone's gotta know more.
  Looter: I'd look for 'er in the Putrid Grove.

  Where's the Putrid Grove?
  ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
   Geralt: Putrid Grove -- where is it?
   Looter: I wouldn't know. Rumor has it it's a place for freaks and oddities.
   Looter: You'd fit in well there.
   Geralt: Maybe. Thing is, gotta know how to get there.
   Looter: They say you gotta get there through the sewers, but you gotta
           enter them outside of town. Few know where exactly, though.
   Looter: Ask a beggar. Or spot yourself a thief, follow him... Beggars and
           thieves gotta pay tribute to the King of Beggars. Word is they do
           it in the Grove.
   Geralt: Mean to say the local beggars have a king? Crown, scepter and all
           that?
   Looter: Wouldn't scoff, mate. King of Beggars, it's a moniker, yeah, for a
           man who everyone in Novigrad respects deeply.
   Looter: And watch yourself. Menge himself don't even go to the Grove.

  Lovely name.
  ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
   Geralt: Putrid Grove... Interesting as names go.
   Looter: A hive of scum and freakery, if there ever was one. No decent folk
           show their hides there.
   Geralt: That why you think I should look for my friend there?
   Looter: I meant no offense.

 Why's she in hiding?
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Who's she hiding from?
  Looter: Temple Guard's crackin' down. All mages're fair game.
  Looter: They round 'em up like rats.

[Caleb Menge and a few thugs approach from behind.]

Menge: Someone call for me? Wonder why.
Looter: It's Menge...
Looter: Temple Guard...
Menge: Thieving vermin to the confession chamber.
Looter: But, sir... What's the offense? This is some sorceress bitch's shop!
Menge: Think that gives you the right to steal her property?
Looter: Well... Sorcerers, mages of all types are outlaws...
Menge: But by law, the Temple Guard takes possession of their belongings. And
       the rule of law still holds in Novigrad.

[The guard takes the thieves away.]

Menge: You know a bat can sniff out a moth a mile away?

 Don't know much about small animals.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Small animals -- can't say I'm really interested.
  Menge: I know your trade. Spotted those yellow eyes amidst the rabble in the
         square right away. Did you notice how much common folk love flames?
         The Eternal Fire will consume them all one day, one way or another.

 It's about their hearing, not sense of smell.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Got nothing to do with their sense of smell. It's about their
          hearing.
  Menge: Well, well... Man knows his bats. Here I thought you only cared about
         monsters.

 What do you want?
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: What's your point?
  Menge: I ask the questions...witcher.

Menge: And as bats sense moths, so I sense freaks. And start by warning them --
       Novigrad's no place for your kind.

 Got nothing on me.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: I haven't done anything wrong.
  Menge: But you will. Sooner or later your kind always causes trouble. And
         this city's mine to protect. Mine, and the Eternal Fire's.

 Who's it for, then?
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Heard Novigrad was no place for mages. Now you're telling me it's
          no place for witchers. So who's it a place for?
  Menge: Righteous folk professing the one true faith in the Eternal Fire.

Menge: Nothing I can do to you now, but just know that I know you're here. One
       misstep, one error... You'll make a mistake, it's inevitable... I'll be
       the first to learn it. And when I do, it'll be standard procedure. Like
       for every other magic oddity who dares taint this city's air. Be seeing
       you.

[He leaves with his guard detail. Optionall, Geralt can go inside for clues.]

• Herbs... Roots...? Triss turn to healing?
• Hairbrush -- only ever known Triss to use one like this.
• Amulets're emanating magic... Gotta be Triss'. She was allergic to potions.
• Triss'. Never known her to drop 'em on the floor...
• The rose of remembrance... All dried up.

[Geralt returns to the street. A theft occurs right nearby, using the old "bump
 into the stranger to pickpocket" routine.]

Thief: Oh! Deepest apologies, guv'nor.
Noble: Fetch some mettle, you wretch. I've been robbed! Thief!

-==================== IF GERALT WANTS TO ASK A BEGGAR =========================

[BEGGAR #1:]

Beggar: Take pity on me misery, good folk, and aid a man crippled by
        misfortune.
Geralt: Word is nothing's free in Novigrad.
Beggar: Hnn, another come burstin' with questions. Now where'd you folk gain
        the idea we beggars know everythin'? "I need to see this 'un, I need
        to find that one." "Who robbed me brother?" ...Fuck if I know...
Geralt: There's this place in Novigrad they call the Putrid Grove.
Beggar: Aye, s'bout right. Well, Novigrad's full of nooks and crannies with odd
        names. Lookin' to sightsee, buy a bloody map.
Geralt: Heard men like you frequent this alley.
Beggar: And I've heard they fed you horse shit and you smiled and ate it. Now
        -- don't mean offense. Go in peace.

[BEGGAR #2]

Beggar: Aid a veteran of the struggle against the Black Ones?
Geralt: Where'd you fight?
Beggar: Angren early on. In Cidaris last, along the banks of the Pontar. So,
        help me out?

 (30 gold) Sure, then you help me.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Here. Now you help me. Gotta find the back alley locals call the
          Putrid Grove. It's important.

 No. I need information.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: I'm looking for the Putrid Grove. Need you to help me find it.
  Beggar: Don't know naught about no grove, putrid or other. Don't generally
          care much for orchardry.
  Geralt: This is urgent.
  Beggar: Leave me be. I don't know.

 So long.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Farewell.

[BEGGAR #3:]

Beggar: Alms for the poor?
Geralt: You lame?
Beggar: No chance! Both legs in perfect order. And me arms -- look, like a
        windmill's wings. There -- see me wavin' 'em? Lookie here. Just look!
        And my mind -- thorough addled.

 Been addled long -- your mind?
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Been like this long -- addled?
  Beggar: Since me mother birthed me. Here's where it's addled. There. Showin'
          you with me finger. See that? Me indicatin'!

  You're the picture of health.
  ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
   Geralt: Healthy as a horse as far as I can tell.
   Beggar: Priests have looked, medics, herbalists. All claim I'm bewildered.
   Geralt: Well they're wrong.
   Beggar: Matters little either way. Folk are generous to me. They enjoy
           watchin' me point, like this: there, there.

   Guess you're happy. That's what counts.
   ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
    Geralt: You're happy. That's what counts.
    Beggar: I am. When folk ask me the way, I like that most. 'Cause I can
            point -- like this, there, ah! 'Cause I know my way around the
            city. Oh, do I ever.
    Geralt: So you gotta know where the Putrid Grove is, right?
    Beggar: Most certainly do! It's where I live! Over the, uh, there, there,
            thataway.
    Geralt: Thataway, meaning where?
    Beggar: In Lacehalls. There's this alley, past a gate. Not at all putrid
            and not a grove. Fools call it that, but I know better.
    Geralt: And anyone can go there?
    Beggar: O' course. Unless he forgets to say "The old sow's farrowed
            piglets." Might not let you in, then. But that's easy enough to
            say. Listen: The old sow's farrowed piglets. See?
    Geralt: Thanks for your help.

 Looking for the Putrid Grove.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: I gotta find the place they call the Putrid Grove.
  Beggar: I know it but won't say. I know it but won't say.
  Geralt: Why not?
  Beggar: Not allowed to say. I would tell you, though. If you didn't push,
          weren't so insistent. If you like, come again. Might tell you then.
  Geralt: Guess your mind is truly addled.
  Beggar: Didn't I say so?!

[BEGGAR #4:]

Beggar: Look kindly a wretched soul, aid one who last saw nourishment three
        days past?
Geralt: All right. Give you a crown.
Beggar: Crown's enough, m'lord, when your gut's so empty it's stuck flat to
        your spine.
Geralt: Could give you more, on one condition -- you tell me where you drop
        your takings for the day.
Beggar: I drop 'em with m'lady. Serious trouble if I didn't.

 She live in the Putrid Grove?
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: I think you take them to the Putrid Grove.

 You're lying.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Go on lying like that and you won't get a thing.
  Beggar: I swear it! Honest as a child, I am, m'lord.
  Geralt: I know you pay tribute to the King of Beggars. Don't have a choice.

 Beggar: Far as I'm concerned, the King of Beggars can stick his crown up his
         arse then shove it even deeper with his scepter. Bugger won't get a
         broken copper from me!
 Geralt: You're either pretty damn brave... Or just plain stupid.
 Beggar: What's he gonna do? Break me legs? Let him! Me takings double as a
         cripple.
 Geralt: From what I hear, they'd break your legs just to start...
 Beggar: Some coin for me future widow, then?

  (50 coins) Fine, I'll pay.
  ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
   Geralt: There. Now tell me where the Putrid Grove is. It's the least you
           could do.
   Beggar: I don't know and believe you me -- I don't wanna know. Gods protect. 

  Sorry, no deal.
  ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
   Geralt: You didn't tell me anything.
   Beggar: I don't know nothin'. On your way -- I've no use for you.

 Farewell.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: So long.

======================== IF GERALT FOLLOWS A THIEF ============================

[The witcher waits for a pickpocketer to strike and walk off.]

• He's sensed something. Gotta stay further back.
• More cautious than I thought. Can't get too close.

[Geralt follows him to a theater stage. A beggar accosts him.]

Beggar: Sir, sir! Be merciful. Give us a crown, eh? Me mum's sick and if I
        don't feed her, well, she's like to die o' hunger!

 (20 coins) Here.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Here.
  Beggar: Thank you, you gold-hearted man! Care to hear me tale o' woe?
  Geralt: Some other time. I'm in a hurry.

 Where will I find the King of Beggars?
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: All right, I'll give you some coin, but you gotta tell me where the
          Putrid Grove is.
  Beggar: I don't know that. Keep your coin, I don't know a thing. Move on.
          Begone.

 Piss off.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Get out of my way.
  Beggar: What a crown to a gentleman like you? Easy as spitting!
  Geralt: Piss off while I'm still willing to let you go.

[Geralt continues following the thief, then the next one after a hand-off
 takes place.]

============================ PATHS CONVERGE HERE ==============================

[Geralt reaches the Putrid Hall's locked gate and knocks on the door.]

Geralt: Open up!
Man: Who are you and what d'you want?

 Can't tell? A freak.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Take a look. Whaddaya see?
  Man: Yellow eyes... Pair o' swords... Mutated killer, methinks...
  Geralt: Heard this place was a meeting spot for oddities.
  Man: Heard right. Know the password -- get in free. Don't know it -- gotta
       contribute to the Grove's upkeep.

  Old sow's farrowed piglets.
  ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
   Geralt: Old sow's farrowed piglets.
   Man: Oh... Welcome to the grove, brother.

  Damned if you do, damned if you don't.
  ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
   Geralt: Damned if you do, damned if you don't.
   Man: Nope. Not the password.
   Geralt: Don't know the password.
   Man: Pay up, then.

  I like to tiptoe through the tulips.
  ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
   Geralt: I like to tiptoe through the tulips.
   Man: Nope. Not the password.
   Geralt: Don't know the password.
   Man: Pay up, then.

 What've you got back there?
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Doing some sightseeing. Kinda curious about what's beyond this gate.
  Man: My brother-in-law was curious. Worms been eatin' him for five years now.

 Farewell.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Farewell...
  Man: I fare just fine without your wishes. Don't come again!

[If Geralt doesn't know the password:]

(50 gold) Fine. I'll pay.
¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
 Geralt: Catch.
 Man: You may enter. Oop. Right after you leave me your weapons. They'll be
      safe in me locker, here.

 Fine.
 ¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Fine. Make sure you don't lose them.
  Man: No worries. Be waitin' for you once you're done with the king.

 No chance.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Not in the habit of parting with my swords.
  Man: In that case, we must part. Sod off, now.

[Axii Sign] Let me in.
¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
 Geralt: I won't pay. Let me in.
 Man: Yes, sir.

Fresh out of coin.
¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
 Geralt: Might be a problem there.
 Man: Then come back once you've solved it.

[Eventually, Geralt gains entry to the King of Beggars' domain. He enters one
 of the buildings, finding Triss speaking to Francis Bedlam, the King himself.]

Bedlam: So, how are things?
Triss: Good. More and more people come to our secret clinics looking for help.
Bedlam: Menge's hounds not scarin' 'em off any more?
Triss: I guess incurable disease is more terrifying than torture.
Bedlam: In that case, I'll count on more tribute comin' in.
Triss: You already take eighty percent of what we receive.
Bedlam: Aye, but don't forget it's me who secures the nooks and crannies where
        you and yours can hide.

[Geralt walks over.]

Bedlam: Bout¹ time we made something clear, sorceress.
Triss: Yes. High time.
Bedlam: Me and my men will manage just fine without the help of you or any
        other mages, but -- well, without your help you're sitting ducks for
        the Temple Guard. Who do I spy...?
Triss: Geralt...?
Geralt: Hey, Triss.
Bedlam: See you two know each other. See you two know each other well. I was
        curious whether you'd manage to find me, witcher.

 Knew I was looking for you?
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Your spies tell you I was looking for the Putrid Grove?
  Bedram: My skull'd be a home for bottom-feedin' river fish if I didn't keep
          an ear to the ground. And please, "Putrid Grove"? Ugly name for our
          cozy little hideout, wouldn't you say?

  Temple Guard ever bother you?
  ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
   Geralt: Temple Guard tolerate your little operation?
   Bedlam: Let's say they appreciate the value of a Novigrad crown.
   Geralt: Hm, Menge doesn't seem like the type that can be bought.
   Bedlam: Anyone can be bought...but like as true -- Menge'd cost me a
           fortune. Luckily, he's got officers, and they're mere mortals.
           Illnesses catch 'em at times -- other times they wanna catch a bit
           o' diversion.

  So what would you call this place?
  ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
   Geralt: So what would you call this dive?
   Bedlam: Dunno... The Garden of Liberty, maybe?
   Geralt: For a man who shakes down beggars and thieves for tribute, you're
           quite the romantic.
   Bedlam: You say "tribute," I say "taxes." You say "thieves," I say
           "hard-workin' street clerks."

 Got something to take up with me?
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Am I mistaken, or you got something to take up with me?
  Bedlam: Who knows... Man with two swords and the skill to use 'em could be
          very useful these days.
  Geralt: Could've sent some underling to fetch me.
  Bedlam: Could've. But I admit I wanted to see how you'd manage. See if you're
          as crafty as you are...well-crafted.

Bedlam: See, witcher -- I've got big plans. Big plans. Far-reaching plans to
        reshape this city head to toe.
Geralt: Ever thought of seeking a seat on the City Council?
Bedlam: City Council is a puppet troupe with the heirarchy of the Church of the
        Eternal Fire as its puppeteer. Until recently, that is, when Radovid
        and his witch hunters took the reins. The semblance of power don't
        interest me.

 Whaddaya want?
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: A man with a vision.
  Bedlam: One day the so-called free city of Novigrad will be truly free. But
          before that can happen, we gotta rid it of superstition. Farting
          around about the hallowed essence of the Eternal Fire -- nonsense
          for kiddies.
  Geralt: Apparently not. Cheering crowd at the execution -- mostly adults.
  Bedlam: Any crowd of rabble'll cheer to the stench of burning flesh. But one
          day folks'll understand the Eternal Fire's naught but a leash around
          their necks. They call this place the Putrid Grove. But it's the
          rest of Novigrad that's putrefied. This here's the last bastion of
          normality, sanity, reason.

 You don't stand a chance.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: You face the Temple Guard and the witch hunters, armed to the teeth.
          All you've got is a gang of tramps and a handful of mages. I wouldn't
          bet a single crown on you.
  Bedlam: Nor would I. Not at the moment. But war shuffles the deck. In
          wartime, folk start to understand things. Start to wonder why magic's
          outlawed even though it's so damn useful. Folk come to me, knowin'
          full well it's forbidden. You know why? 'Cause they fear death by
          disease more than torture.

Bedlam: I'm actually glad someone like you's found his way to our city. 'Cause
        it will be our city one day, Geralt. Mark my words.
Geralt: Yours plural?
Bedlam: Yeah, mine...and me friends'. But that's a tale for another time. For
        now, I'll leave you two alone, 'cause I can see...well, you clearly
        need it.
Triss: Geralt, I have a lot of things to take care of in town.
Geralt: I'll be glad to tag along.

[They leave the King's establishment.]

Geralt: What's your arrangement? He using you?
Triss: Helping me to survive, actually.
Geralt: Six months ago, if someone had said Triss Merigold would be working for
        a Novigrad criminal, I'd never have believed it.
Triss: Six months ago Triss Merigold parted ways with someone very dear to her
       and had to start anew. Hasn't turned out like I imagined. Come on, let
       me give you a taste of my life.

[As they leave, the guy who annoyed Geralt at the gate walks over.]

Man: Madame sorceress, beautiful as ever. Damn shame to part.
Triss: Don't fret, bound to be back soon.

[They exit onto the street.]

Triss: I take it you're in Novigrad on important business?
Geralt: Important doesn't do it justice. I'm looking for someone.
Triss: More precisely?
Geralt: Young woman who's like a daughter to me.
Triss: Her?! Here?! No. Impossible.
Geralt: She was here -- there're witnesses, evidence. Was hoping you'd heard
        something. You've been here a while -- I need you to help me find
        something, anything, a trace.
Triss: I'll do everything I can, of course. Who might know more?

[Geralt follows Triss to a seedy apartment where a man's waiting.]

Triss: Hello, Kluhg. Manage to get those magic incense ingredients?
Kluhg: Yes...somewhat with, uh, difficulties, you might say. I was walking
       along the canal with a sack full of goodies for you. Looked up and
       spied a trio of Temple Guards coming the other way.
Triss: Get to the point, Kluhg. No time today for one of your long stories.
Kluhg: Wait! A sack full of magicalities and they were coming straight towards
       me! I don't easily frighten, but, uh, I felt a cold sweat on my arse, I
       did. I'm afraid I had no choice. I dropped the sack in the water -- I
       had to! When asked why, I claimed it contained a dead cat. You shan't
       believe this, but they believed me!
Triss: I need that package, Kluhg. I've got a contract.
Kluhg: It must be on the canal bed. Luckily it was heavy enough to sink. I'm
       sure it will turn up if you search.
Triss: You expect me to pay you, then dive for my goods into that ice-cold
       filth?

 I'll get it.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: I can do that. Where'd you toss the package?
  Kruhg: Near the crane. Second bridge in from the harbor.
  Triss: I didn't expect such devotion.
  Geralt: Wanted to freshen up anyway. Let's go.

 Gotta be prepared to make sacrifices.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Well...some causes require a sacrifice.
  Triss: Causes...what about people?
  Geralt: For people...same holds true.
  Triss: So maybe you'd care to dive in after that sack for me?
  Geralt: You win.

Kluhg: Stop... Hear that...? They've come for us.

[Outside the window, two patrolling guards stop for a conversation.]

Guard: The fool didn't break until I began to prick his heels.
Guard: Every man's got his sensitive spots. Interrogated a mage once, pain
       couldn't touch him. Tore off his fingernails, crushed his bollocks...
       Nothing. Turned how he was devilishly ticklish. I placed a beetle on
       his belly and set a mug atop it. Damn near went mad.

[Kluhg slinks away from the window.]

Kluhg: We were lucky this time, but...you'd best leave via the sewers. The
       trap door's in the floor.
Triss: Take care of yourself, Kluhg.

[They enter the sewers and take out a drowner]

Triss: There's a draft. Should be an exit here. Kluhg wouldn't 'ave sent us
       here if there wasn't. Must be a lever on this wall that'll open the
       secret passage.

[Geralt hits the switch, opening a secret tunnel to the canal.]

Geralt: The free city of Novigrad -- name actually used to mean something.
Triss: The very reason so many mages came here after the massacre at Loc
       Muinne. Thought they'd be safe from Radovid's reapers. Instead they
       jumped out of the frying pan into the fire. But Novigrad stands atop a
       mountain of coin, and winning a war takes three things: Coin, coin, and
       even more coin. That's why they're exterminating mages, confiscating
       their property and possessions. And they'll go after nonhumans next.
       The elves occupy slums, but the dwarves practically control financial
       life in the city.
Geralt: Official word is that Novigrad'll remain neutral. Somehow doubt anyone
        believes that anymore.
Triss: Judging by what Kluhg said, the parcel should be around here, on the
       bottom. Unless the poor man was mistaken. He's been forgetful ever
       since Menge interrogated him. Seems to be suffering from a persecution
       complex, too.
Geralt: Current must've carried the sack seaward. I'll swim towards the port.
        Coming with?
Triss: Maybe some other time.
Geralt: Don't know what you're missing. Water's thick with pungent oils.
        Guessing it'll do wonders for my complexion.

[Geralt recovers the package from the canal bed.]

Triss: Find the parcel, or did you get wet for no reason?
Geralt: Nothing like a refreshing swim in a filthy canal. Found a few fish, a
        rusty anchor, the carcass of a boat... Oh, and this.
Triss: My package. Hope the contents aren't soaked through. You're a doll.

[They start walking again.]

Geralt: Seem to be in your element.
Triss: Still remember my elements, how I use them?
Geralt: Come on, six months isn't that long. And it's not like I'm senile.
Triss: But you do have a history of amnesia.
Geralt: I've recovered my memory, completely.
Triss: Good. That should stop people from taking advantage of you.
Geralt: Someone's been taking advantage of me?
Triss: I have, for one.
Geralt: I've never even intimated--
Triss: We need to hurry.

[They stop in front of a warehouse, where a man's waiting for them.]

Brandon: Greetings, sorceress.
Triss: Greetings, Brandon.
Brandon: I didn't expect you to bring company.

 Problem?
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Is that a problem?
  Brandon: By the Eternal Fire, no! I'm surprised, that's all. Together I
           expect you'll resolve things twice as fast. You've the look of
           true experts.

 You told him you're a sorceress?
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Triss, you told this man you're a sorceress?
  Brandon: Of course. She was looking for work -- that's her chief asset.
  Geralt: Are you Triss?
  Triss: I know it was reckless, but competition's stiff here. No one would
         hire me if I claimed to be a common rat catcher.
  Brandon: More importantly no one would believe such a beauty could be an
           exterminator of rodents.

Brandon: But I prefer you not to tarry and begin.
Geralt: Triss, you and Brandon here -- you've agreed on a price?
Triss: We've settled on a full coin purse.
Brandon: Brandon and Co. is a serious outfit. We've the largest granary in all
         Novigrad.

 Let's get to work.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: All right, then...let's get to work.

 You'll pay -- in advance.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Don't much like merchants who flatter with cheap praise before the
          job's done.
  Brandon: That was not cheap praise! I was merely stating a fact.
  Geralt: So am I. I want you to pay in full in advance.
  Brandon: I'm afraid that's impossible.
  Geralt: Then trap your own rats.
  Brandon: Well, now I know why she brought you along. Fine. A full purse of
           Novigrad crowns. As proof of my good will.

 Half in advance.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: You're a merchant, familiar with how commerce works.
  Brandon: Of course. Honest pay for honest work.
  Geralt: Half up front, half once the job's done.
  Brandon: You're asking a great deal.
  Geralt: I'm a witcher. Gotta admit I've met my share of people who say one
          thing beforehand, another after the fact.
  Brandon: Hm, very well. Your first installment.

Triss: We need to place these crystals around the granary. Near anything that
       looks rat-related.

[They enter the deserted granary.]

Triss: I'll cover half the space, you take the other half. Look for evidence
       of rat activity.
Geralt: Mhm... Thing is, I know what evidence of manticore activity looks like,
        but rodents...?
Triss: Geralt, we'd both rather be somewhere else. I'd rather be in a royal
       council meeting, but they killed my king. Look for crevices... And
       droppings...
Geralt: Once we place this incense, what then?
Triss: I'll cast a spell and the rats will leave.
Geralt: Can't do that without sprinkling incense? Don't really feel up to
        looking for rat shit.
Triss: Stop whining!

[Geralt places a crystal.]

• Looks like a good spot.

Geralt: I don't like that guy.
Triss: Brandon? I don't either. He's much too fat.
Geralt: Can't help but agree. But no -- notice how he didn't try to haggle?
Triss: Must really want the rats out.
Geralt: Triss...he's a merchant. He makes his living by haggling.
Triss: If I'd worried about that sort of thing, I'd starve to death in this
       city.

[Geralt places a second crystal.]

• A master monster slayer in the world's largest city...looking for rat shit...
  Sheesh.

[When the last crystal's place, the two reconvene.]

Geralt: Think I plugged every hole in there.
Triss: All right. Get ready for some magic fireworks. Once I activate the
       incense, we'll have a moment to talk.

[The sit and wait while the incense does its trick.]

Triss: Now we wait for them to scurry away.
Geralt: Interesting method. Never had much luck with rats. Once, I hit one with
        a fork in complete darkness. Trying to show off my witcher senses...
        Masterful throw, really. Problem was no one else saw it -- how could
        they in the dark?
Triss: Hahah. So, what do you think? Rat catcher? It's a long way to fall from
       being advisor to Temeria's king.
Geralt: I'm just glad to see you safe and sound, and...
Triss: Reconciled...?

 Are you truly, or just pretending?
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Knew a man once who reacted to everything, especially adversity, by
          mocking it.
  Triss: Healthy attitude. Must've lived long.
  Geralt: Came a day he lost both his legs in battle. He shrugged, said it was
          better that way -- he'd never feel pain in them again.
  Triss: I understand him perfectly.
  Geralt: I know. Thing is, he was lying to himself.
  Triss: I think he just didn't have much of a choice...

  He could've faced the truth.
  ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
   Geralt: We all lie sometimes. But lying to yourself is running away, whereas
           there's really nowhere to run.
   Triss: Sometimes you have to escape to forget. Your friend might've dwelled
          on his lost legs. But it's not like by grieving he could've grown
          another pair.

  Maybe you're right.
  ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
   Geralt: You could be right. But only he knows the truth...
   Triss: We're only ever the ones to know the truth about ourselves.
   Geralt: Which we share at times with those we hold dear.
   Triss: Even if it's hard to swallow?
   Geralt: Even then.
   Triss: Who knows...maybe one day...

 It's good there aren't any bad feelings between us.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: I was worried about seeing you again. Doubted it could be pleasant...
  Triss: We said everything there was to say six months ago. I don't want to go
         back to that.
  Geralt: I'm not going back to it. It's just... It's one thing to say
          something, it's another to actually do it.
  Triss: We promised to remain friends. I hope nothing'll change that.

Triss: So, tell me how Yen's doing?
Geralt: How do you know I found her?
Triss: You didn't answer my question. How's Yen?

 She's fine.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: She's fine.
  Triss: That's good.

 Not bad.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Not bad...

 I don't know.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Don't know yet.

Geralt: Asking about anything specific?
Triss: Never mind. I got my answer.

[They watch the rats voluntarily flee the granary in droves.]

Brandon: Well, well... Our lovebirds having themselves a chat instead of
         working?
Triss: The job's done. Geralt, those are--

[Some Eternal Fire witch hunters enter.]

Geralt: I know who they are, Triss.
Brandon: My friends...begged me to notify them if I encountered a mage,
         sorceress, what have you. Didn't have the heart to refuse...
Triss: It's a trap, Geralt.
Geralt: This stank from the start.

 • Brandon: Such a sharp sense of smell, you should've legged it while you had
            the chance.
   Geralt: I don't generally leg it. Here's what I think you should do: pay up
           and march your boys outta here. While there's still time.
   Brandon: Don't be ridiculous. I didn't hire a sorceress in order to pay her.
   Hunter: Take my advice, mutant. If it's not your business, stay out of it.
   Geralt: Thank for the advice, but...I can't take it.

 • If these boys are here to help us kill rats, they're late. You paid up front
   and got what you paid for. Not half a rodent left in the granary.
   Brandon: I paid in advance because I knew I'd recover my coin.
   Triss: Such is life for sorceresses in Novigrad these days.
   Geralt: I can see that and I don't like it. So here's what I think: the
           hunters have come, and now they can go.
   Hunter: They'll do no such thing.

 • Let's agree your friends were never here. Now pay the rest and let's part
   in peace.
   Brandon: You don't set the terms, mutant.
   Hunter: Stay out of it. We're here for the witch.
   Geralt: We're inseparable, see? Afraid you'll have to take us both.
   Triss: Geralt!
   Hunter: If you say so...

Geralt: All right. We've talked. Do what you gotta. Just remember...I can't
        help but get in your way.
Hunter: Heard enough from this whoreson.
Brandon: As have I. Neither is to leave here alive.

[Brandon leaves his men to fight. Triss and Geralt easily slay them.]

Triss: That bastard hired me on the assumption he wouldn't have to pay me!
       Duped and trapped like a child... If not for you... We need to find
       Brandon.

[They find Brandon outside.]

Brandon: Don't kill me! Good sir, no... They forced me... Had I not told them,
         they'd have set fire to my home, my warehouse... The mage hunters
         know no mercy... Spare me, good man... Be not like those murderers.
Geralt: Shut up. I should kill you. Thing is, you're no good to anyone but the
        gulls as a corpse. So you'll live and you'll pay us double. Now.
Brandon: Ff... Fine... Your coin...
Geralt: Now get!
Triss: Thanks, Geralt.

 Should watch out for yourself.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: You should try to keep better company.
  Triss: He was still better than some mages.

 No need.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: No need. Glad I could help.

Triss: You know, I've been thinking...who might know something about Ciri. And
       I just got an idea. There's an oneiromancer in town -- Corinne Tilly.
       Very capable, supposedly.
Geralt: Never trusted in dreamers' abilities myself.
Triss: Corinne's been very effective -- you should at least try. She's taken
       a job close by. Follow the canal, away from the fish market. The house
       is near the first bridge. Its owner, de Jonkheer, is a rich banker.
Geralt: Not coming with me?
Triss: I've got some things to take care of.
Geralt: Another rat-infested warehouse?
Triss: Not exactly. Nothing even remotely satisfying. Such are the times.

 Nice seeing you again.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: It was nice to see you again.
  Triss: You too, Geralt. You should go now, before Corinne Tilly goes back
         into hiding somewhere.
  Geralt: What if I want to find you?
  Triss: I live in the Bits, near the fish market. Stop by. It'd be nice.
  Geralt: All right -- see you later.

 See you later.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Thanks for everything. See you, Triss.
  Triss: Mhm. See you.
  Geralt: How do I find you if I need you...?
  Triss: I live in the Bits. Head up the hill past the fish market. Stop by.
  Geralt: Be seeing you.

                                 ____________________________________________
________________________________/ MAIN QUEST: IN CIRI'S FOOTSTEPS (NOVIGRAD) |_
¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
7b) NOVIGRAD DREAMING                                                    [WK7B]
_______________________________________________________________________________
¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
[Geralt goes to the house Tilly's supposedly at -- a boarded-up dump of a
 multistory brownstone. The house's owner, Rudolf de Jonkheer, is waiting by
 its entrance.]

Rudolf: Just passing by, wanderer, or do you seek something specific?
Geralt: Who's asking?
Rudolf: Rudolf de Jonkheer. Of those de Jonkheers, yes. My ancestors laid the
        foundations for this city, I now own its largest bank.
Geralt: Didn't need a recommendation. Name would've been enough.
Rudolf: Father always said: "All ought to know your merits. Don't hide them
        under a bushel."

 I'm looking for Corinne.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: I'm looking for Corinne Tilly.
  Rudolf: You've come to the right place, then. Corinne is inside... Been there
          for a few days, dreaming the home's history.

  Let me in?
  ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
   Geralt: I'd like to go inside, look around.
   Rudolf: I don't usually let strangers rummage around my home. Twin swords,
           though...you're a witcher. You may enter -- call that my whim.

  The house's history -- why do you care about it?
  ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
   Geralt: Why do you need to know the house's history? You a historian, or on
           a whim?
   Rudolf: I bought this property a short while ago -- paid a pretty penny, I
           might add. Soon after, I witnessed...disturbances. Led me to fear
           the home might be haunted.
   Geralt: What're the symptoms?
   Rudolf: Oh, they vary. Giggling...in the night. And furniture moving about
           in the attic, and last week...well, you shan't believe it -- I found
           human feces in the parlor.

  Why're you standing here?
  ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
   Geralt: Not interested in what's going on inside? Seeing it for yourself?
   Rudolf: I'm a banker. Cursed homes scare me -- do you know how a haunting
           can affect property value? Point of fact, Corinne requested she not
           be disturbed.

 Farewell.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: So long.

[Geralt enters the cobweb-filled home.]

Tilly: Put it down, please... That's blood... Don't spill it... Please...

[He rushes upstairs to Corinne's voice. She's dreaming in agony on a bed while
 a small, childlike creature stands over her. It runs off when it sees Geralt
 reach for his sword. He shakes the woman.]

Geralt: Wake up. It's just a dream. Wake up!
Tilly: The doll... The attic...
Geralt: All right. Time to check the attic.

[He leaves the sleeptalking oneiromancer and goes to the third floor.]

Geralt: Way to the next room is blocked.

[Smashing his way in, he locates a picture of a crib and a rag doll.]

• Strange stuff... A doll... Drawing shows it lying in a cradle. Maybe I should
  find one.
• There was a cradle on the second floor. Wonder what'd happen if I laid a
  doll on it.

[As he finds the cradle, the door shuts, revealing a picture on its back.]

Geralt: Another masterpiece. An oven and a blackened grate. Oh joy, a riddle...

 • Guess I should find an oven.
 • Saw an oven in the cellar... Maybe I'll find another clue there.

[In the basement, he finds an oven. The childlike creature emerges from it.]

Sarah: Boo! Did I scare you? Scared you, didn't I? Can tell you was scared.
       A big brave men scared of wee little Sarah. Ain't that funny!
Geralt: I wouldn't do that anymore if I were you, Sarah. You might scare
        someone so bad they'll hurt you.
Sarah: Why would someone hurt me? Havin' a spot o' fun's not allowed anymore?
Geralt: What're you playing?
Sarah: That lady fell asleep, and I've sent her some horrible dreams. I'll not
       her wake, neither. I can do that, you know. Funny, isn't it?
Geralt: Very funny. Thing is, I gotta talk to the dreamer, so I'd like you to
        let her wake up.
Sarah: Little Sarah doesn't want her to wake. Little Sarah wants to play.

 I know what you are.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: You're lucky. I know you're a harmless godling. But others might not
          know, and then...
  Sarah: And how d'you know I'm a godling, eh? How's that, eh? Eh?
  Geralt: If it looks like one and acts like one... Trust me, you're a godling.

 This is no game.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: The way you play, well, it's only ever fun for you.
  Sarah: That's 'cause you're a dullard. All you humans are dullards!

Geralt: You give the dreamer nightmares, and won't let her wake up. Why are you
        tormenting her?
Sarah: I'm not tormenting anyone. Scary dreams are great. What I love is when
       this big 'en chases me. Hen's got these red...
Geralt: Why do you live in a haunted house?
Sarah: Tell you a secret. The house ain't haunted, not one bit! I just pretend
       it is, make everyone think that. It was sittin' here all empty, so I
       moved in. Bigwig from the bank then came and bought it. I don't like
       bankers, 'specially not to live with, so I decided to give 'im a scare.
Geralt: Gave the banker a really big scare. See, he paid a lot for this house
        and won't give it up easily. Which is why you need to find another
        home.
Sarah: I don't want to! I don't! I won't!

 Let's make a deal.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Sarah, Novigrad's no place for a godling, but if you want to live
          here, that's your business. So let's make a deal.
  Sarah: A deal? What kind?
  Geralt: Leave the dreamer alone. In exchange, I'll tell the banker the house
          is haunted -- for good, no way to lift the curse.
  Sarah: You'd tell him that? What if he doesn't believe you?
  Geralt: I'm a witcher. He'll believe me.
  Sarah: Yes, yes, yes! Do that and I promise not to bother your friend. Not
         even a little. You're awfully nice, you know?
  Geralt: I don't hear that often. Thanks.
  Sarah: Now go wake that sleepyhead. I won't stop her, she'll get up.

 Guess I'll have to throw you out, then.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: See now, wanna do this the nice way, but you just won't let me...
  Sarah: What'll you do to me, eh? Eh? Eh?
  Geralt: Burdock -- godlings hate the scent. How would you like a whiff?
  Sarah: You're stupid and a pig!

[If Geralt chooses to evict Sarah, he buys a bundle of burdock at the local
 herbalist, then returns to the oven.]

Sarah: Akh akh akh... You pig! Tryin' to suffocate me, you oaf, you dolt!
       Someone'll do the same to you someday! Bleugh akh... Take this stupid
       'ouse, you burdockin' bully!

[Either way, the woman upstairs awakens.]

Tilly: Who are you?
Geralt: Triss Merigold sent me to see you...
Tilly: Gods... Horrible nightmares. I was supposed to dream the history of this
       house... Instead, I saw furniture, hungry furniture that wished to
       devour me... I know it must sound foolish, but in the dream -- well, it
       was all too real...and not at all amusing.
Geralt: The work of a godling. She made people believe the house was haunted.
        Also injected your dreams with her little jokes.
Tilly: And you managed to wake me? I feel fortunate.
Geralt: We witchers have our ways.
Tilly: I thank you. Very much. The dreams, they were awful. Any way I can pay
       you back?
Geralt: There is, actually. I'm looking for a young woman who was seen in
        Novigrad.
Tilly: I can certainly try to help. But I'll need to clear my head first. After
       those deranged dreams, I feel it's full of cobwebs. Find me at the
       Golden Sturgeon. I rent a room there.
Geralt: All right. See you there.

[Geralt leaves after Tilly.]

Rudolf: I saw Miss Corinne leave, but she refused to speak to me. Is the matter
        resolved? Or quite the opposite?

 • Geralt: Burned some burdock in the stove. Godling couldn't stand the smell
           and fled. And Corinne simply...awoke. Anyway, house is clean.
   Rudolf: Excellent! I must admit the experience has put me off the building
           -- I shan't keep it. I'm mindful of the reward I owe you and you'll
           receive a sizeable commission. As soon as I'm...I'm able to sell
           the house. Come by from time to time and ask. The de Jonkheers never
           break their word once given.
   Geralt: Thanks.

 House is still haunted. Can't seem to lift the curse.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: A bit of both. A demon had captured Corinne. I managed to free her,
          but the house is still haunted.
  Rudolf: Did Corinne dream of the building's past?
  Geralt: Yeah. Pretty horrid, apparently, though she refused to talk about it.
          Nobody should inhabit the place.
  Rudolf: So many crowns, I paid... Ah, well... It shan't put me in the
          poorhouse.

 I know why the house is haunted.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Got a godling in your house. Name's Sarah and she's an ornery little
          thing. Left her alone but thought I should tell you about her.
  Rudolf: I thank you for being candid. Could you rid me of the beast?
  Geralt: You can do it yourself. Just burn some burdock in the oven. She's
          sure to run, godlings detest the smoke.
  Rudolf: I will not wage war on a beast, large or small. Piss on the godling,
          piss on the house. I must merely find a fool willing to buy it.

[Geralt meets Tilly at her above-tavern room.]

Tilly: I dream in here.
Geralt: Never witnessed a séance like this before. Let alone participated.
Tilly: I will guide you. We must first achieve a kind of mental accord: I must
       ask some questions, you must answer them. It's important you're
       truthful, answer from the heart.

 Let's do this.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Let's begin.

 Dreaming -- what's it about?
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Your gift -- tell me how it works?
  Tilly: It's hard to describe... To start with, I must gain an understanding
         of the bond between the person and the object I'm to dream about. I
         ask questions, try to flesh out feelings, emotions... Truth is
         essential in this, and though most who come to me acknowledge that,
         many refuse to speak openly of certain matters. Apart from which they
         remain unaware of others, further obscuring things.
  Geralt: What do you see in your dreams?
  Tilly: I don't. It's my client who sees. My gift lies in summoning the right
         dreams. At times, nightmares or strong desires impose themselves on
         true events. It takes skill to separate seed from chaff.

[Geralt agrees to begin.]

Tilly: To start with, tell me a memory you have with this woman.
Geralt: What for?
Tilly: Do as I ask, please. I need the strongest, most complete memory you
       have of...
Geralt: Ciri. The woman's name is Ciri.

 I remember when we first met.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: I accepted a job once, did it. Asked to choose my reward, I invoked
          the Law of Surprise. Never thought I'd actually meet the child
          promised to me at that time. Years later I was in the Broklion
          Forest. Happened on a girl there. Didn't know who she was. The dryads
          wanted to keep her, turn her into one of their own. But the Waters of
          Oblivion -- they failed in her case. Ciri came out of Broklion with
          me. I sent her back to her grandmother then... But already I felt
          bound to her...
  Tilly: By destiny?
  Geralt: By something more.
  Tilly: Thank you. Would you be willing to share another memory?

  No.
  ¯¯¯
   Geralt: No. Let's continue.

  Yes.
  ¯¯¯¯
   Geralt: Yes.
   Tilly: No need to rush. We have time.

 I trained her at Kaer Morhen...
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Ciri was orphaned. During the second war with Nilfgaard. Had no idea
          what to do with a young girl, so I did what I would've done with a
          boy and took her to Kaer Morhen. Figured some physical training,
          sword work, development of her stamina -- couldn't hurt. I remember
          her standing on a crumbling wall. A stone came loose, she lost her
          footing... Caught her at the last possible instant. Strongest memory,
          though, is of her coming out of her room one day, wearing a dress and
          claiming she was indisposed. Knew then that Ciri was maturing, it was
          unavoidable. I was lost in the face of that.
 Tilly: I see... Do you wish to tell me anything more?

  No.
  ¯¯¯
   Geralt: No. Let's continue.

  Yes.
  ¯¯¯¯
   Geralt: Yes... I think so.
   Tilly: In that case, I'm listening.

 Saved her life once.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: It was after her time training at Kaer Morhen. After the moment when
          Yennefer first called Ciri her daughter. We'd been separated. I knew
          she was in danger -- I'd dreamt of her, multiple times. I found her
          at Stygga Castle. She'd gone there to free Yen and gotten herself
          captured in the process. They wanted to hurt her. I remember fighting
          side by side with Ciri on stairs slippery with blood. It was the
          first time she'd ever deflected a crossbow bolt with her sword. Told
          her never to try it again.
 Tilly: These memories, they're intense. Do you wish to continue?

  Let's move on.
  ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
   Geralt: No. Let's continue.

  I have more to say.
  ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
   Geralt: I have more to say.
   Tilly: Then please do.

 She was there when I died.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: It was in Rivia. The second war with Nilfgaard had just ended. There
          was still tension in the air. For gods know what reason, race riots
          erupted in the town. I tried to do something, but... Couldn't stop a
          riled crowd. A boy with a pitchfork. He ran it right through my gut.
          Yennefer lay dying as well... Ciri had us carried onto a boat... We
          sailed to a place where apple trees bloom eternal. She left us there.
          It was the last time I saw her.
  Tilly: Is there anything you'd like to add? Another memory, perhaps?

  No.
  ¯¯¯
   Geralt: No. Let's continue.

  Yes.
  ¯¯¯¯
   Geralt: Yes... There's something else...
   Tilly: All right. Tell me no more than you wish to.

 That's everything.²
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Let's continue, please?
  (skip to "You claim the woman has...")

Tilly: You claim the woman has...abilities. Tell me about them.

 Ciri is a child of the Elder Blood.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: She's a child of the Elder Blood.
  Tilly: A descendant of Bloody Falka? The rebel burned at the stake? The
         prophecies claim the world's destroyer will be born of the firebrand's
         cursed blood.
  Geralt: Pure legend.
  Tilly: Know when a legend transforms into prophecy? When it gains believers.
         I think you're right to be reticent in talking about the woman.

 They call her the Lady of Space and Time.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: They call Ciri the Lady of Space and Time. Once I asked Yennefer why.
          She...travels between worlds... Hm, turns out I don't know how to
          talk about it. Didn't really understand much of what Yen told me. I
          just know there's more than traveling to different places. And that
          Ciri carries immense power in her blood.

 She has trouble controlling them.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: I remember Ciri having trouble controlling her abilities. Yennefer
          tried to teach her to cast simple spells, and Ciri destroyed a shed
          near the temple where they were. Really upset her, but it was just
          an old shed. I know it took her a while to gain control. And frankly,
          I doubt she controls her abilities fully to this day.

 Let's move on.²
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Let's continue, please?
  (skip to "Make yourself comfortable...")

Tilly: I see. Do you wish to say more?

 Yes.
 ¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Yeah, there's something else.
  Tilly: 

 No.
 ¯¯¯
  ---
 
Geralt: No. Can we start?
Tilly: Naturally. I know you cared about her. But your tone, the emotions you
       so carefully conceal...
Geralt: Let's continue, please?
Tilly: Make yourself comfortable and try to relax. You must take my hand and
       talk of Ciri. Tell me where you think she might be, who could be at her
       side.
Geralt: Mhm... If Ciri couldn't find me, I'm sure she would've looked for
        another friend.
Tilly: Who do you mean?

 Dandelion.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Maybe Dandelion? They liked each other a lot...

 Yennefer and Triss.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Yennefer wasn't in Novigrad... Triss was, but Ciri never found her...
          Maybe Dandelion? They liked each other a lot...

[Geralt reclines on the bed and dreams of his bard friend Dandelion in a room
 with a bird. Next, Dandelion is in a sewer and plugs his ears from a bomb
 blast.]

Geralt: Ugh. Dreamt of a swallow at first... After that, just nightmares.
Tilly: At times the dreams can multiply. Show the past as well as the future.
Geralt: The swallow -- it symbolizes Ciri. She contacted Dandelion. I didn't
        know he was in town...
Tilly: The poet? Heard about him. Someone left him the Rosemary and Thyme in
       their will.

 Thanks for your help.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Thanks for your help.
  Tilly: Good luck, witcher. I hope you find your Ciri.

 The Rosemary and Thyme? That an inn?
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: The Rosemary and Thyme? Where's that?
  Tilly: As you enter the city through the red light district, you come upon a
         bridge. The Rosemary is just past it.
  Geralt: Dandelion inherited a brothel?
  Tilly: So I've heard.

                                 ____________________________________________
________________________________/ MAIN QUEST: IN CIRI'S FOOTSTEPS (NOVIGRAD) |_
¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
7c) BROKEN FLOWERS                                                       [WK7C]
_______________________________________________________________________________
¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
[Geralt approaches the Rosemary and Thyme, an establishment in the southeast
 of Novigrad. As he approaches, he can hear an old friend berating vagrants
 who had taken up shelter there.]

Zoltan: And never come back, ye stinkin' scadges!
Vagrant: All's we wanted was...
Zoltan: Don't give a flyin' fuck what you wanted! Get!

[The witcher tries going in, but quickly moves aside, as Zoltan kicks three
 vagrants out onto the street.]

Zoltan: Next time I'll rip your fuckin' legs off and shove 'em up your arse
        till you've toes for teeth! Geeeralt! In the nick of time, as always!
Geralt: Zoltan, with your boot in someone's ass, as always. Who were those men?
Zoltan: Local color. I wasn't gone more'n a moment. Long enough for them to
        turn our home into theirs!

[Some of the vagrants reenter, preparing to fight.]

Zoltan: All right, time for some spring cleanin', I've got to boot 'em all out.
        Care to join me?
Geralt: With pleasure.

[Zoltan and Geralt start beating the crap out of 'em.]

Zoltan: Ah, reminds me of our days of yore, eh?
Geralt: Yeah, almost like we never left Vergen.

[Eventually, the vagrants leave to lick their wounds somewhere else.]

Zoltan: I'm pleased. That went well. Now we can great each other like the gods
        ordained! Ages, pal!
Geralt: Hey, Zoltan. You look good.
Zoltan: Trainin' plenty lately. What with the war on, no Mahakaman mead to be
        found, but Redanian lager's standin' in just fine. You, though --
        you've withered a bit. Somethin' worrying you?

 I'm looking for Ciri.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: It's about Ciri. I know she came to Novigrad. Might still be here.
  Zoltan: You mean, she's come back? I'll be damned. I wonder if I'd recognize
          her... How many years is it now? Six? Seven? But what'd she be doin'
          here?
  Geralt: Hiding, probably. She might be in danger.
  Zoltan: See her in your dreams?
  Geralt: Couple times. Her, and the Wild Hunt.
  Zoltan: Ooh...not good.
  Geralt: Not at all. But I know she came here and contacted Dandelion.
  Zoltan: We've a wee problem, then...

  Where's Dandelion?
  ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
   Geralt: Where's Dandelion?
   Zoltan: Hah! Like to know that meself! Maybe he could explain what the
           hell's goin' on! I just barely returned, as you saw. Expectin' to
           come home to a hot leg o' boar and some cold ale. What do I find
           instead? A shitestorm. Dandelion gone, the tavern chock full of
           bums. Haven't a clue what happened.
   Geralt: Hmm... Let's look around. Might find something that'll put us on his
           trail.
   Zoltan: Prime idea. I say we start on the ground floor. It's where he sat
           and wrote.

  A couple things...
  ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
   Geralt: There's a few things...
   Zoltan: Let me guess: Triss? Yennefer, perchance?
   Geralt: Triss and I...talked. Cleared some things up. As for Yennefer,
           well...
   Zoltan: So you found her! Hah! Need to tell me all about it!
   Geralt: I will, some other time. Got something a tinge more important to
           take care of now.
   Zoltan: Meaning?

 Rather not worry you.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Ugh. Got some problems. Rather not burden you.
  Zoltan: Fuck off, Geralt. Need to spill your guts to me, now.

[The two agree to look around.]

Zoltan: Ahah! A note from a grateful muse!
Geralt: Reading someone else's letters? Tsk, tsk.
Zoltan: ...my visage red and hot...I plunged into purest ecstasy, imbibing its
        nectar...your dextrous digits on my soul's yearning chords.

[Geralt can find several things to inspect.]
        
• From the finest vineyards, every last one.
  Zoltan: No one knows the fruit of the fruit of the vine like Dandelion.

• Hmm...this the lute he got from the elves at Dol Blathanna?
  Zoltan: Aye. Must've been in a great rush to leave it behind.

• The Faculty of Oxenfurt University is honored to grant Julian Alfred
  Pankratz, viscount de Lettenhove, the title of Master of the Seven Liberal
  Arts.
  Zoltan: Keep forgettin' he's got that damn fool name.

• Annual Balladry Contest, Silver Laurel, awarded to Master Dandelion.
  Zoltan: Prince Hereward himself did the honors. And the feast afterwards, to
          celebrate the laureates. Dandelion taught a swine to yodel, and I...
          ah, another time.

[Geralt picks up a ledger sitting around.]

Geralt: Hmm... Ten barrels of Toussaint dry, five cases of Sodden triple
        mead... Hmm -- nothing here.
Zoltan: No, no, no! That's exactly what we're lookin' for! It's his planner.

 That's rich -- Dandelion and planning?
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Hah, Dandelion and planning? Good one. Besides, anything he wrote
          here -- probably had a special system, chaos only he could ever
          decipher. Actually, in the past, sometimes not even that.
  Zoltan: Give 'im a chance, might not be that bad.

 Starting to look like a man serious about his business.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Seems Dandelion's taking the tavern business seriously.
  Zoltan: If ye only knew. Gives it everythin'. Not seen him this obsessed
          ever.

[Zoltan takes the book.]

Zoltan: Seems when he inherited this fine establishment, it came with some fine
        responsibilities. Bookkeepping among 'em. He's also made a habit of
        notin' down the times of his meetings -- official and private. So,
        who'd he been seein' of late...? Ah! Here it is! Hm, seems he's only
        been meetin' women of late, the dog.

 Not interested in his romantic outings.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Zoltan, please. You really wanna track down the women Dandelion's
          been wooing? Most likely all angry women by now.
  Zoltan: Got any better ideas? 'Sides, Dandelion's a blabber. They're sure to
          know somethin' of his doin's.

 That could help.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Hmm... Not a bad idea. Dandelion's pretty loose-lipped, might've
          blabbed something to a lady friend that'll put us on his trail...
  Zoltan: That's what I'm countin' on.

Zoltan: Hm... We should divide these somehow... Perhaps... Ah, fuck it.

[He rips pages out.]

Zoltan: I'll ask the lasses on my half, you interrogate the ones on yours. Suit
        you?
Geralt: Zoltan, wait. This is in verse.
Zoltan: And you figure that's unnatural because...?
Geralt: Wonderful. Meet me back here when you're done. Share our findings...
Zoltan: Right y'are. Need to do a wee bit o' tidyin' 'fore I go, can't stomach
        the idea of comin' back to this mess. And you'd be wise to read your
        bit 'fore you scurry off. If ye need anythin', I'll be next door.

[Geralt reads through the planner, learning of six women: Louisa la Valette,
 Elihal, Vespula, Molly, Marabella and Rosa var Attre.]

Geralt: Still here? Looking for something?
Zoltan: Ah, just checking to see that everythin's in place. Buggers mighta
        hauled somethin' off for pawnin'...
Geralt: Actually, glad you're still here. Wanted to ask you about someone.

 Molly.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Though well she knows the touch of silk and lace, she shuns not straw
          when gripped in lust's embrace.
  Zoltan: Molly. Keeps things tidy for the Baroness la Valette.
  Geralt: A baroness within reach, and he settled for a chambermaid?
  Zoltan: Dandelion's not one to judge folk by their station -- you know that.
          Like he says, "In the alcove, we're all equals."
  Geralt: Yeah, guess the true poet observes life in all its aspects, examines
          it from all perspectives...

 Marabella.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: If I didn't now any better, I'd say he was jealous about this
          Marabella.
  Zoltan: Argh, doubt it. Former pupil, and, well, the tales he told me 'bout
          her...
  Geralt: Doubt I want to hear them...
  Zoltan: Probably better off not. Things 'tween them took a turn for the
          strange at some point...
  Geralt: Meaning?
  Zoltan: She had him wearin' mummer's costumes, took to callin' him Christian,
          referrin' to herself as Anastasia...
  Geralt: Hm, truly perverse.
  Zoltan: Ye dinnae ken the half of it! Called 'im her stallion, once --
          'course the fool took it as a compliment...till she pulled a bit and
          reins outta her cupboard. Ho ho! Poor bastard fled out the window.
 Vespula.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Vespula...Name rings a bell... She threw his knickers out the window?
  Zoltan: That's her.
  Geralt: Hollered something about him being a scoundrel with a voice like a
          consumptive pheasant?
  Zoltan: That's her.
  Geralt: Threw flower pots at him?
  Zoltan: Guess old flames never die.

 Rosa var Attre.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Like a rose abashed of its crimson hue, fair Rosa would sink into
          humors blue. She shunned her lessons in civility to swing her Dwarf
          with agility. Dwarf? Never expected he'd be so humble.
  Zoltan: Heheh, Dwarf's what Rosa var Attre named her gwyhyr. Well chosen, eh?
  Geralt: All right. But var Attre? Her dad happen to be the Nilfgaardian
          ambassador?
  Zoltan: He is. You know 'im?
  Geralt: Wouldn't say that. Had a brief conversation with him at the palace in
          Vizima.
  Zoltan: Well, then you've a good notion to the kind of bloke he is.
          Commissioned Dandelion to tutor Rosa and her sister in the art of
          rhetoric, but wee Rosa preferred swordplay.
  Geralt: How dare she reject the great bard in favor of a common swordmaster?
  Zoltan: More than one, it seems. Week on week we get fresh gossip 'bout her
          thrashin' another instructor. So bad he resigns. Word has it her da's
          now looking to hire her next victim, I mean, instructor.
 Elihal.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: A figure most rare, her nature dual. Look deep in her eyes, or be
          made a fool. Well, well... Seems fascinated with this one...
  Zoltan: Err, not without reason... Never been much for elven women meself,
          but this one's exceptional. Dare say Francesca Findabair'd be
          jealous.
  Geralt: You wanna take this one, then?
  Zoltan: Nah, you can have her.
  Geralt: Why?
  Zoltan: You see...elven beauty's like a young Beauclair wine. Whereas I
          prefer vodka straight up.

 Know all I wanted to know.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Well, know about all I wanted to know. Thanks for your help.

[Geralt visits Vespula, the closest target to Dandelion's bar. He finds her
 being accosted by some of Whoreson Junior's cronies in the outer Novigrad
 slums.]

Thug: Junior claims you agreed to pay him more.
Vespula: But what we didn't and couldn't agree is that there'd be a war, now,
         could we?! My custom's been cut in four!
Thug: Quite a coincidence that's what I aim to do to you.
Vespula: I will give you every last copper -- with interest. Gimme a week,
         please!
Thug: Whoreson's no banker. He's an honest man -- you pay on time, you get
      protection. You don't pay...

[He smacks her.]

Vespula: Help!
Thug: What you hollerin' for, stupid wench! What you hopin' for, a knight in
      shinin' armor?
Geralt: Close enough.
Thug: Keep outta this, grayhead. Not your concern.

 (200 coins) I'll pay what she owes.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Take this coin and leave.
  Thug: That ain't how it works. Vespula's to pay...or be taught a lesson.
  Geralt: Already given her a verbal repremand. Now go, before I teach you a
          lesson.
  Thug: Come on... Gold's gold.

 Vespula's got new protection.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Vespula's got someone else's protection now.
  Thug: Really? Whose'd that be?

  The King of Beggars'.
  ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
   Geralt: The King of Beggars'. Made a deal with Junior. This is his turf now.
   Thug: Didn't hear nothin' about that.
   Geralt: But you have heard what Bedlam does to people who cross him? Or you
           need a demonstration?
   Thug: C'mon, Fritz... Boss wants it that way, it's how it's gotta be.

  Mine.
  ¯¯¯¯¯
   Geralt: Mine. Offered her a better rate.
   Thug: All right. Let's see if you're a good bargain, or just cheap shit.

 Get outta here.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Go. Now.
  Thug: Now listen... You might have two swords, but there's four of us...
  Geralt: Yeah... Four men. Collecting tribute from one washerwoman. Don't
          think I have much to fear.
  Thug: Best think again.

[The thugs leave or are killed. If Vespula was saved without violence:]

Vespula: Thank you, oh thank you! To think there're men who'll help a stranger
         outta the kindness of their hearts...
Geralt: Not entirely outta kindness, and you're not entirely a stranger.
Vespula: What're you...? Oh, I know you! You're that witcher took Dandelion out
         whorin'...Jerald, right?

[If Geralt slew the bastards:]

Vespula: Covered in blood -- all of it! So much work, for naught.
Geralt: No need to thank me. It was nothing.
Vespula: Sorry... Don't get me wrong, I'm grateful, but... Everything I had...
         I just lost.

 Actully, Dandelion's why I'm here.²
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Not Jerald...Geralt.
  Vespula: Oh... Dreadful sorry.
  Geralt: Whaddaya think... Where could Dandelion be?

 Need to ask you about Dandelion.²
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Don't know if you remember -- we've met.
  Vespula: I don't-- Wait, wait! I know you! You're that witcher I near
           clobbered with a vase when... Well...
  Geralt: When you kicked Dandelion out...through the balcony. Actually, he's
          the reason I'm here. Know where he is?

 I took Dandelion out whoring?²
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Not Jerald...Geralt.
  Vespula: Oh... Dreadful sorry.
  Geralt: Explain something, if you don't mind... You say I took Dandelion out
          whoring?
  Vespula: So he said. Claimed I was his one and only, but he fell in with the
           wrong folk -- you and that dwarf who always looks like a cow licked
           him. Said you two were a bad example -- wine, women...
  Geralt: ...song. He pick that habit up from us, too? Gotta have a word with
          him...

 Relax. It'll come off.²
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Relax... It'll come out in the wash.
  Vespula: Course it will. Just gotta soak it in white vinegar -- but that's
           not my point. Junior shan't forgive me. Either I close up shop
           meself, or he'll burn me down.
  Geralt: Sorry... Didn't think about that.
  Vespula: A woman's lot... Men have their fun, and we're stuck with the mess.
           Oh well... I suppose I must move to Oxenfurt. Professors need clean
           undergarments, too.

Vespula: Probably out whorin', that hoarse pheasant, that lyin' scoundrel!
Geralt: Ouch... What'd he do to get your goat?
Vespula: Same thing as ever. Prize bullshitter came back, sayin' it was till
         death do we part this time. And? No more'n a week passed before I
         spotted him in Harborside, strollin' with some trollop on his arm!
         Twas¹ the last straw. All those question 'bout the washerwomen at
         the bathhouse, then this. I beat 'im black and blue and threw 'im
         out on his ear!

 Who was he with in Harborside?
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: This woman he was with in the harbor... Who was she?
  Vespula: Claimed she was his niece from Kovir -- hah! Whore-vir, more
           likely! Corset so tight her eyes were poppin' out her head. His
           too, come to think of it. An artist or a whore -- doesn't much
           matter as they're one and the same...

  • Geralt: An artist?
    Vespula: Or a whore.
    Geralt: Apparently Geralt was seeing a trobairitz, a blonde, most likely.
    Vespula: That's the one! Wait, what was her¹ name... Callonetta! Sounds
             like an artist, a foreigner and a whore -- three in one.

 Dandelion asked you about other washerwomen?
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Dandelion asked you about other washerwomen? Not terribly subtle,
          even for him.
  Vespula: Maybe he likes 'em sudsy?
  Geralt: Uh, maybe... But what'd he ask about -- exactly?
  Vespula: Oh, this and that, really... What's it like at the bathhouse, have
           I got any friends there, what're their workin' hours... I dunno,
           maybe he's lookin' to hire one for his tavern. Maybe I got all in
           a huff for no reason.

 Thanks, good luck.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Thanks for your help. Listen -- when I find Dandelion...anything I
          should tell him?
  Vespula: No! I mean... Tell him he's a two-faced snake, but...it would be
           nice if he dropped by.

[Next Geralt visits Elihal, who lives near Vespula in the outer district. He
 enters and only finds an elven man.]

Geralt: I'm a friend of Dandelion's. Looking for Elihal.
Elihal: You've come to the right spot. How might I be of service? Need
        something shortened? Patch your trousers, darn your socks?
Geralt: You Elihal?
Elihal: Yes. Now pick your jaw up off the floor.
Geralt: Sorry, I thought...thought Elihal was one of Dandelion's girlfriends.
Elihal: Ahhh, so it's that. Wait here.

[He goes behind a screen, emerging once he's gussied up in woman's garb.]

Elihal: Any better?
Geralt: So you're...
Elihal: Elihal.
Geralt: Did you and Dandelion...I mean -- how'd you two meet?
Elihal: I met him one night in a tavern. He was blind drunk...

 And then?
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: What happened?
  Elihal: What do you think? We spoke.
  Geralt: That's it?
  Elihal: I'm not sure what you're getting at, but I should make one thing
          clear -- men don't interest me. Told him that as well.

 Don't want to know the rest.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Don't think I wanna know what happened next...
  Elihal: Oh, stop. He wasn't so drunk as not to figure it out. Besides, men
          don't interest me. I told him that from the start.

Elihal: Luckily, Dandelion's an open-minded fellow. We had a lovely evening.
        He became a loyal customer afterwards.

 When'd you last see Dandelion?
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Dandelion visit your shop often?
  Elihal: I tried many times to talk him into a decent doublet. Sadly he'd only
          come in to get a button re-affixed or a hole patched...
  Geralt: When'd you last see him?
  Elihal: Some time ago... He brought in one of Zoltan's jerkins, insisted I
          sew on an extra pocket. Odd as requests go. I had the distinct
          feeling he'd actually come to talk.

 What did you and Dandelion talk about?
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: What did you and Dandelion talk about? He ask about anything in
          particular?
  Elihal: Hmm... Let me think... Had an ordinary chat, really. Although...
          indeed, he did keep asking me about Kalkstein. If Dandelion and I
          hadn't laid our cards on the table at the start, I might have
          suspected he had a history with the alchemist. He spoke like a
          lovesick beau. In fact, he desperately wished to meet with him.
  Geralt: Kalkstein's in Novigrad? Wouldn't mind seeing him myself.
  Elihal: You're too late, I fear. The witch hunters nabbed him recently,
          burned him at the stake in Heirarch Square... But as he perished --
          ooo, the goings on¹! Impressive. Fiery beasts circled his pyre, then
          rose into the sky and exploded to form letters.
  Geralt: Really. What'd they spell?
  Elihal: "Radovid sucks flaccid cock."

 Why do you dress that way?
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: I know this is none of my business, but why do you...
  Elihal: Why do I dress up? As a child, I dreamt of becoming a doppler when I
          grew up. I became a tailor instead... Discovered clothing, costumes
          can express all the complexities of one's personality. I'm a Redanian
          countess one day, a dockside thug the next. That is true freedom!
  Geralt: Mhm...
  Elihal: Have you never thought to become someone else -- even for a moment?
          Must be horribly boring being a witcher all the time.
  Geralt: I manage to stay interested.

 Thanks for your help.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Thanks for your help. And...nice to meet you.
  Elihal: I can help with much more. If you need new trousers or a vest, you
          know where to find me.

[Next, Geralt goes to see Molly at the baroness' villa.]

Geralt: This Baroness la Valette's villa?
Sentry: Shouldn't interest you. The baroness don't mingle with just anyone.
Geralt: Don't worry. I'm here to see her chambermaid, Molly.
Sentry: Out of the way. Baroness is ridin' out. Begone.

[She exits the palace with Morvran Voorhis, who he met in Vizima. If Geralt
 killed her son in Witcher 2, her disposition is rather sour:]

Morvran: Greetings, witcher. I must admit it's curious to see you here. I don't
         quite believe in coincidences.
Louisa: Geralt of Rivia. Slayer of monsters...and my son.
Geralt: You're right, general. My visit's no accident. I'm looking for someone.
Louisa: There's no one here who wishes to see you. Captain, this man is not to
        enter. Forgive me, Morvran, but I've lost my appetite for the races.
Morvran: Kill a woman's son, then appear on her doorstep? My, my, I thought
         witchers had better survival skills than that.
Geralt: Looking for a girl named Molly, heard she works here.
Morvran: I fear your information's out of date. Molly no longer works here.

 She get fired?
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Baroness fire her?
  Morvran: Quite the contrary. Molly decided she no longer wished to serve.

 Where can I find her?
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Seem to know who Molly is. You also know she doesn't work here
          anymore... Know where I can find her, maybe?
  Morvran: This time of day? Probably sipping punch and considering which horse
           to bet on.
  Geralt: Not in the mood for jokes.
  Morvran: I jest you not.

Morvran: After Aryan's demise, Louisa's nephew came to pay his respects. Got
         one glance at Molly, and -- well, they wed soon after. They now await
         his inheritance. With the baroness' son dead, the estate will go to
         the nephew...and Lady l'Attard, known until recently simply as Molly.

 Where can I find Molly?
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: All right, so where'll I find the newly-minted Lady l'Attard?
  Morvran: Our dear little Molly has a new passion -- horse racing. To my
           knowledge she should be at Countess Vegelbud's villa right now.
           That's exactly where I'm going. Since you stripped me of Louisa's
           company, perhaps you'd agree to come along?

 She marry for the gold?
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Gotta wonder if Molly fell for the nephew or his inheritance.
  Morvran: We cannot know that just yet. But I'd wager she has strong feelings
           for both.

[If Geralt didn't kill her son, the reception is sunnier:]

Louisa: Geralt of Rivia at my doorstep? Surely, this is no chance encounter?
Geralt: Greetings, Baroness. Greetings, General. You're right. I'm here for a
        reason.
Louisa: There's no mistaking you. But for etiquette's sake, Mary Louisa la
        Valette. An imperial general and a witcher meet...and know each other.
        Surprising.

 We've met before.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: We've met before...
  Morvran: And how! Imagine this, Louisa -- the emperor desired a chat with the
           witcher. I, too, was fortunate enough to meet him then.
  Louisa: Hm... So Geralt of Rivia now works for Emperor Emhyr...
          Interesting... Has var Emreis sent you to rid Novigrad of monsters?

 Met Voorhis in Vizima.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Yeah, we had an opportunity to, uh...talk when the emperor summoned
          me to Vizima.
  Louisa: Had you run afoul of var Emreis? No, you'd be long dead if that were
          so. It seems then that you share some interests... But I shan't
          question you out of doors. Will you accept my invitation, tell me
          what brings you here?

Geralt: Looking for a girl named Molly, heard she works here.
Louisa: My maid-servant. I'm afraid she's currently at the home of my dear
        friend Patricia Vegelbud.
Morvran: Perhaps Geralt could accompany us. He could speak with Molly at the
         races.
Louisa: Is that something you'd consider, witcher? Care to partake of some
        sophisticated diversion?

[Either way:]

 Find my own way to the Vegelbuds'.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Think I can find my own way to the Vegelbud home.
  Morvran: Very well... Perhaps I can convince you to join me later at the
           races. I shall keep an eye out for you.

 Happy to go with you.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Well, if Molly'll be there...
  Morvran: On our way, then.

[If Geralt goes with the Morvran and/or Louisa on horseback:]

Morvran: We've arrived.

[If Geralt chooses to walk there, and he's on good terms with Louisa, he can
 overhear the two talking:]

Louisa: Soothing, the scent of the freshly cut lawn.
Morvran: Not all appreciate it. The races are a privilege of the wealthy.
Louisa: Some of the wealthy are too occupied minding their wealth to appreciate
        any form of diversion.
Morvran: Fortunately, you do not number among them, m'Lady.
Louisa: Perhaps because the imperial army seized most of my wealth?
Morvran: We meet again, witcher.
Geralt: Yeah, managed to get here. Truth be told, hard to miss an estate this
        grand.

[The real conversation changes depending on whether Louisa's present or not.]

  • Geralt: Nice place.
  • Morvran: I see you managed to find the place.
    Geralt: Not that hard. It's not exactly a small, concealed hovel.

• Morvran: I must say of all the creatures in this region, I find steeds most
           intriguing. Horses interest you at all, witcher?
  Geralt: All the same to me. Call each one I ride Roach.
  Morvran: Strange... The gray is Cantarella. Sired by Cahir, the champion from
           Vole.
  Geralt: Yeah... Gray's a good color. Even looks good on horses.
  Morvran: My coin's on the black stallion -- Nemrod. Purest Nilfgaardian
           stock.

• Louisa: My father owned a similar estate in Brugge. As a young girl, I'd
          travel there often to ride.
  Morvran: Shall we look at the horses? Do you like horses, Geralt?
  Geralt: I guess so. Called every horse I've had Roach.
  Morvran: The gray mare is Cantarella. Sired by Cahir, the champion from Vole.
  Geralt: Gray's a nice color. For horses, too.

Morvran: My coin's on the black stallion -- Nemrod. Purest Nilfgaardian stock.
Geralt: Surprised he didn't salute you, general.

 Know a lot about horses?
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Seem to know your horses.
  • Louisa: "Know" is not the word. Morvran's a true expert.
  Morvran: I find them to be far more honest than men.

 Know much about the others?
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Know anything about the chestnut or the bay?
  Morvran: The chestnut is Thunderbolt, a pureblood Redanian. Gallant steed,
           but too headstrong for my taste, difficult to control. And the bay
           hails from Zerrikania. Lord de Volte acquired him recently. I know
           little about him, though Zerrikanians are reputed to have incredible
           stamina.

 I'd like to talk about Molly.²
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Is Molly a horse?
  Morvran: Pardon?
  Geralt: I did come here to see Molly, after all.
  Louisa: Patience, witcher. She ought to arrive soon. I asked Molly to join
          us as soon as she was done with her chores. She shouldn't be long
          now.
  Geralt: All depends what you asked her to do, m'lady. But I don't really have
          a choice -- I'll wait.

Morvran: Must say, I'm curious how you manage in the saddle, witcher.
Geralt: Mostly just try to stay in it.
Morvran: What would you say to a little race?
Geralt: Not what I came here for.
Morvran: Don't make me beg, witcher. Tell you what -- win, and I shall give you
         my finest saddle. Made in Nilfgaard proper of beautifully tanned
         leather.

 Let's race.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Why not. Wouldn't mind seeing if your knowledge of horses translates
          into riding skills.
  • Morvran: Hah! Splendid. In that case, you must choose a mount.
  • Louisa: Well said. So, which steed do you choose, witcher?

  I'll take Cantarella.
  ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
   • Geralt: Think I'll take the gray mare.
   • Geralt: The gray mare looks nimble. Besides, knew a man named Cahir once.
             I'll go with her.

  Like to give Nemrod a try.
  ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
   • Geralt: I'll ride Nemrod. Pit a Nilfgaardian stallion against a
             Nilfgaardian general.
   • Geralt: The black's your favorite? Let's see what a Nilfgaardian
             stallion's made of.

  Redanian chestnut's my choice. Thunderbolt, yeah.
  ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
   • Geralt: Hmm... Redanian chestnut looks promising.
   • Geralt: Radovid's encamped nearby. Redanian chestnut might want to impress
             its king.

  I'll ride the Zerrikanian bay.
  ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
   • Geralt: Think I'll give you a run on the Zerrikanian bay.
   • Geralt: Heard tales of Zerrikanian horses. I'll ride the bay.

 I'd like to talk to Molly.² / Came here to talk to Molly.²
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: I'd rather resolve what I have to with Molly.
  • Morvran: Well, there she is. See the slim young woman? Resolve what you
             must. I shall play the horses for a time. If you wish, we can
             ride back to the city together.
  • Morvran: Very well, I shan't insist. The attractive one -- that's Molly.
             Speak to her. The baroness and I will place our wagers. You can
             then ride back to Novigrad with us if you wish.

[If Geralt decides to race, after choosing:]

• Louisa: I'll not ride with you, but I shall bet on a steed. Nemrod will win,
          no matter the rider.
• Louisa: I'll not race, however I will wager on a winner. The gray mare's my
          choice.

• Morvran: Cantarella for me, then. 
• Morvran: In that case, I shall try my luck on the Zerrikanian bay.

• Morvran: I see no point in delaying this. Let's begin.
• Morvran: The horses are saddled. Let's begin.

Ride Master: Riders, ready?!

[If Geralt wins the horse race:]

• Louisa: What a thrill! A beautiful victory!
  Geralt: Thanks.
  Morvran: For one whom every horse is a Roach, you carry yourself exquisitely
           in the saddle. My congratulations. That...is yours.

• Geralt: The Roach I chose put in a nice run.
  Morvran: Exceptional. I've not lost a race in a while. I congratulate you.
           That...is yours.

[If Geralt loses the race:]

• Louisa: Oof, so close!
  Geralt: The General's not only knowledgeable, but skilled. Congratulations.
  Morvran: Thank you. It was a good race against a worthy opponent.

• Morvran: Acknowledge it, witcher. I'm the superior rider.
  Geralt: I'll acknowledge your Roach proved faster. Congratulations.

[Either way:]

• Morvran: Ah, look! Lady l'Attard has just arrived.
  Geralt: Who?
  Morvran: The woman formerly known as Molly. There she stands.
  Geralt: Right... Thanks.
  Morvran: I shall be here for a time. Find me if you'd like to ride back to
           the city together.

• Geralt: Now, could I talk to your chambermaid, m'lady?
  Louisa: Ah! Yes, Molly. That is why you came for, after all. The portly young
          woman. That's her.
  Morvran: Speak to her. And you must find us when you're ready to return to
           Novigrad. We'd be delighted to join you for the journey.

[Geralt finds Molly in the bleachers.]

• Geralt: Who do you favor, m'lady?
  Molly: Can't decide between the black stallion and the gray mare. Keep goin'
         back and forth, back and forth. Sorry. Don't believe we've been
         introduced.
  Geralt: I'm Geralt.
  Molly: Geralt? That Geralt? 

• Molly: I'm Molly, m'lord. Wished to see me?
  Geralt: Call me Geralt.
  Molly: Geralt? That Geralt? The one Dandelion's rescued time and time again?

 Yeah... If not for him...
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Mhm. Wouldn't be here if not for Dandelion.
  Molly: Told me all about your adventures. How he'd ready you for battle with
         his songs, how he tamed the kayran by playin' his lute...
  Geralt: I meant that literally. Dandelion's why I'm here -- came to ask you
          about him. Know where he might be?

 Actually, I'm always rescuing him.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: That's right...except it's the other way around. I'm always saving
          him.
  Molly: Mean to say it weren't Dandelion saved you in Flotsam by severin' your
         noose with an arrow from a hundred paces?
  Geralt: What? Dandelion couldn't... Er, never mind. Any idea where our master
          archer might be at the moment?

Molly: No...sadly, I haven't got a clue. We've not seen each other in ages.

       • The baroness don't approve of our acquaintance. Says Dandelion's a
         good-for-nothin' layabout -- can you imagine?!

       • Ever since I became Lady la Attard, it's been nothin' but balls,
         banquets and other such...what's it...congregations. Awful tiring,
         all this...

       But...maybe his sister could help you? Such a nice girl...

 You aware Dandelion doesn't have a sister?²
 Dandelion doesn't have a sister. You aware of that?²
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: You do realize Dandelion doesn't have a sister.¹
  Molly: Sure he does! Saw her meself! Funny, she don't look like him at all...
         blonde, for starters. Maybe they've different fathers?
  Geralt: Mhm. Different mothers, too.
  Molly: Maybe... But you could see he cared for her, looks after her, the way
         he carried her packages and...

  • Geralt: Know where I can find her -- Dandelion's sister?
    Molly: Oh no. Whenever I asked Dandelion when we'd visit her, he'd grow all
           quiet, then change the subject.

  • Geralt: These packages... Any chance they were trunks, travel cases? And
            this girl -- possibly a trobairitz?
    Molly: Yes, yes! Now I remember: she's a traveling performer, sailed in
           from Kovir... Talented family, innit?
    Geralt: Exceptionally. And very loving as well, I'm sure.
    Molly: If you only knew! Dandelion even wrote a poem to her..."To My
           Dearest Callonetta," or somesuch. Oh, to have a brother like that!

 Remember your last conversation with Dandelion?
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Any chance you remember your last conversation with Dandelion?
  Molly: Course! He came to borrow some coin for a barge...
  Geralt: What? Why'd he need a barge?
  Molly: To take me on a romantic cruise, of the canals, by the light of the
         moon! Said there'd be strawberries and that wine with the bubbles,
         and he'd sing me arias... But...I've not seen him since.

 Dandelion thinks you're a maid-servant.²
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: I'm under the impression Dandelion still thinks you serve the la
          Valettes...
  Molly: Oh, that's 'cause I never told him I stopped. Didn't want him to treat
         me any different...
  Geralt: And your husband has nothing against it...your old friendship?
  Molly: Course not! Sweetiekins couldn't be happier that Dandelion's raisin'
         me sophistication.

 Thanks, farewell.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Thanks, Molly.
  Molly: Wait...before you go...I've got a request. Dandelion told me once he'd
         show me his etchings, but he never did. And I'd so like to see 'em...
  Geralt: Won't be too hard to convince him. He loves showing off those
          etchings -- to anyone he can.
  Molly: Oh, that's wonderful! Thanks, and good luck to you on your search!

[After speaking to Molly:]

Morvran: Ah, Geralt, there you are. Shall we return together?

 Yeah, I'd like to go back.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Gladly. It's a long way to Novigrad. Road oughta seem shorter with
          some company.
  Morvran: I'd say the same. Well then, let's go.

 Thanks, I'll head back on my own.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: No. Actually came to say goodbye. I'll get back on my own somehow.
  Morvran: As you will. In any case, I thank you for a pleasant afternoon.
  Geralt: No, thank you. Till next time.

[If Geralt goes back with his acquaintances:]

Morvran: And here we are. Thank you for your company.
Geralt: Likewise. See you.

[Geralt seeks out Marabella in a slum schoolhouse.]

Geralt: Excuse me. I'm looking for Marabella.
Marabella: I am she. Wait outside, class is in session.

 Can't wait.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Sorry, can't wait. Here about Dandelion. I'm Geralt, and I'm--
  Marabella: Geralt? I know you. Fine, if you're eager to join the lesson,
             you're welcome to.

 Fine, I'll wait.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: I'll wait.
  Marabella: It won't take long.

Kid: Yeah!
Kid: When's he gonna be here?
Marabella: It turns out he'll not come after all.
Kid: Why not?
Marabella: A rat bit him, and he's caught a fever.
Kid: Where'd he get bit?
Kid: It hurt 'im much?
Kid: Will he die?
Kid: You don't die from rats, stupid.
Kid: Yes you do. The other day I heard a witch hunter tell a man, "You rat!"
     And then he killed 'im!
Kid: Liar!
Marabella: That's enough! We're done for the day. Gather your things and go
           home.

Geralt: Now can we talk?
Marabella: Yes. What do you want?

[If Geralt insisted on interrupting:]

Marabella: Children, sadly the ratcatcher has a fever today, but in his stead
           we're honored to welcome a witcher, who will now tell us about his
           trade.
Geralt: Uhh... But...
Kid: Yeah!
Kid: This is grand!
Marabella: You shan't disappoint them, will you? So, who would like to ask the
           first question?
Kid: Me! What's it mean that witchers are lech'rous?

 Just a rumor.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: You shouldn't listen to everything people say about--
  Kid: Means they go to sleep early.
  Kid: Oh, so that's why mum went to tuck that witcher in!

 We've got a huge libido.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: It means that due to our mutations, we have an over developed libido.
  Kid: Libby dough?
  Kid: When a girl likes a witcher, the witcher says "What'll you give me for
       killin' a monster?" And she says: "Anythin' you want," so the witcher
       says "Heheh -- then you'll gimme somethin' you weren't expectin' at
       all."
  Kid: And that's where little witchers come from.

 Tell you in a few years.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Hmm...how old are you again?
  Kid: Nine!
  Geralt: Uuhh...
  Kid: Eight!
  Geralt: In that case, wait a few years and I'll tell you.

Marabella: Children! What's the meaning of this?! Next question.
Kid: Is it true witchers kill kings?

 When they deserve it...
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: A man cursed, who's turned into a monster, a witcher might have to
          kill. Even if he's a king.
  Kid: So King Foltest was a monster?
  Kid: What's it like to cut off someone's head?
  Kid: Can you show us how to cut off a head?!
  Kid: Can we try your potions?

 Don't believe the rumors.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Don't believe everything they say about witchers...
  Kid: What 'bout animals? They don't like you. My mum says animals don't like
       bad folk.
  Kid: Tomcat ever hiss at you?
  Kid: You stoled many kids?

 It's utterly false.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: No. It's not true.
  Kid: He's a liar.
  Kid: He ain't a liar, witchers don't lie.
  Kid: They can lie because they're not knights. When you gotta kill a dragon,
       you summon a knight. But if there's a zeugling in the trashheap, the
       knight won't wanna go, so you gotta call a witcher...

Marabella: Enough! That is all for today. Gather your things and I shall see
           you in the morning.
Kid: Yeah!
Marabella: Bid farewell to Master Geralt.
Kid: It's great you came.
Kid: Hmph. I'da rather had the ratcatcher...
Marabella: So please do tell me -- why are you here?

 I'm looking for Dandelion
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  (skip to "I know you saw Dandelion recently.")

 Way to put me on the spot.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Thanks. That was an ordeal. Think I'd rather face a swarm of nekkers
          than a class of 10-year-olds.
  Marabella: The ratcatcher had no objections.
  Geralt: Oh, yeah -- how's he feeling?
  Marabella: He's dead. Bubonic plague, it seems -- I didn't want to upset the
             children... But you wished to speak of Dandelion.

[On either path:]

Geralt: I know you saw Dandelion recently.
Marabella: Oh yes. Longest afternoon of my life.
Geralt: He read you his poems?
Marabella: No. We perused the Illustrated Guide to Fungi.
Geralt: Hmm... Maybe... Nope. Won't even try to guess why he wanted to do that.
Marabella: Mold -- that was his interest. When his hand abandoned him my knee
           to point at a figure of penicillium, I knew the fire between us had
           died, permanently.

 See him later?
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: See Dandelion after the...fungus incident?
  Marabella: No. I even considered granting him another chance... His heart of
             hearts is pure gold, he simply needs a bit more discipine in his
             life. But he never came back to see me, so I thought if it's done,
             it's done.

 He wrote a poem about you.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Found a poem Dandelion wrote about you. Portrayed you as an unusually
          talented individual.
  Marabella: Really...? Did he mention my poetry? Horses have always fascinated
             me. I've always longed to extoll their noble beauty... Did you see
             any of my work at Dandelion's? Mere exercises, true, but I'd be
             curious to know what you thought of them.
  Geralt: Uhh... No, no, didn't see any.
  Marabella: "Gee-up! Her snakely whip rose skyward. Gee-haw! Crack! She reined
             the beast in! The stallion danced betwixt her thighs! Lather
             bathed its chinny-chin-chin."
  Geralt: Sorry, don't know much about poetry...

 Farewell.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Thanks for you help. Farewell.

[Finally, Geralt goes to the var Attre household. He can hear the guard detail
 conversing out front.]

Guard: Then, I chased the pansy all the way to the garden!
Guard: Did you catch 'im?
Guard: No luck! Writhin' and slippery the bugger was, quick as a tomcat.
       Scrambled out the hole in the back wall.
Guard: Sounds like he might've been an acrobat...
Guard: Maybe so. Both misses are fond of freaks...

Captain: What do you want?

 I'm the new swordplay instructor.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Rosa var Attre's expecting me. Supposed to give her lessons in
          swordplay.
  Captain: Come with me. Miss Rosa awaits.

 Looking for Rosa var Attre.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Wanna see Rosa var Attre.
  Captain: Oh, mate, if you only knew what I want... Miss Rosa don't see just
           anybody.
  Geralt: I'm Geralt of Rivia, a witcher.
  Captain: Soon as Miss Rosa turns into a striga, I'm sure her papa'll send for
           you. But she's not showin' any symptoms yet, so I venture you're not
           needed. On your way, now.

 I'm the new cook.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: I'm the new cook.
  Captain: And them pointy things stickin' out behind you, they your cleavers?
  Guard: Away with you, vagrant.

 Wrong house, on my way.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Nothing. Wrong house.

[If Geralt breaks in, he sees a woman and guard in the backyard]

Man: ...you fancy men like me -- whole town's goin' on about it. So no point
     playin' hard to get, sugarpuss.
????: Its Lady var Attre to you. And I'd advise you to sod off, sugarpuss,
      before I report this to papa.

[She notices Geralt.]

????: Who are you? Why are you here? Answer this instant or I'll summon the
      guards!
Geralt: Uh, sorry to sneak in, miss. I'm Geralt, a friend of the bard
        Dandelion...
????: Geralt of Rivia? The famed witcher of the ballads?
Guard: What're you doin' here, vagrant?! Who let you in?! I let no one in the
       front, milady, I swear it on the Great Sun!
????: Not a word. I'll handle this. Hold your tongue, sir! This... This is
      Frederic Francis de Bergerac. My new swordplay instructor, correct? Show
      him to the training room. I shall join him shortly.

[If Geralt dupes the captain, he'll be let inside:]

Captain: Hope you realize what you've gotten yourself into.
Geralt: Hope so too...
Captain: Miss Rosa's got a downright beastly temper. Shows no mercy once she
         grips a sword. Grab a wooden one. And take care not to hurt the little
         miss, or you'll earn the ambassador's ire. Follow me.

[They go into the dojo downstairs.]

Rosa: You're my new instructor? Well, well, papa clearly went out of his way
      this time. Wood to start with. I must know your worth.

[After the battle:]

• Rosa: I win! Is there not one competent instructor in this entire city?
• Rosa: Well fought. You're much better than the last one.

Geralt: I'm not actually your swordplay instructor.
Rosa: Really? Then who are you? And how on earth did you get in?!

 Didn't we just talk?²
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Am I imagining things? Didn't we just have this conversation? In the
          garden?
  Rosa: The garden...? Yes, yes! In the garden. So, what was it you said? Why
        are you here?

  You're not bad with a sword.²
  ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
   Geralt: Before I ask... Gotta admit -- you do pretty well with a sword. One
           pointer -- don't expose your left flank when you dodge.
   Rosa: Oh, I know, terrible habit. Can't seem to get rid of it. I'd hoped to
         find someone in Novigrad who could help me to do so. Buuuut -- don't
         you dare try to dazzle me with advice. Already admitted you're not
         here to give me lessons.

 I'm a witcher, here on business.²
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: I'm a witcher. I'm looking f--
  Rosa: A witcher! That's splendid! I always wanted to meet a witcher! This is
        so exciting!

  What's exciting about it?
  ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
   Geralt: Uh, what's so exciting about it?
   Rosa: Living on the edge, tracking, then facing down beasts, sleeping under
         the stars! Oh, it must be wonderful!
   Geralt: Mhm, try fighting a zeugl while up to your neck in sewage... Nothing
           quite like it.
   Rosa: Not one of the high points, I suppose... Wait, weren't you about to
         ask me something?

  Very. I'm looking for Dandelion.
  ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
   Geralt: Incredibly. But we oughta discuss that another time.
   (skip to "Need to ask you about Dandelion.")

 Need to ask you about Dandelion
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Came to ask about your rhetoric tutor, Dandelion.
  Rosa: Rhetoric tutor? Good one. That is why papa hired him, but not at all
        what the bard had in mind. He mostly played his lute and sang for us.
        I believe he thought he was wooing...
  Geralt: Mean he wasn't? But you had some sort of...relationship?
  Rosa: If you call him chasing after me a relationship... Even so, there was
        nothing between us. Seems my sister's had a bit of fun at our expense.

 Guards let me in.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Guards aren't up to muster. Let me right in -- just had to tell them
          I was here to teach you swordplay.
  Rosa: I told father they're a band of imbeciles! But if you're not the
        instructor, then who exactly are you? Have you come to rob? Kill?
        Speak!
  Geralt: Neither, so whaddaya say we stay calm.

Rosa: But enough chatter! Stand and fight! I demand a rematch!

[If Rosa wins:]

Rosa: Ha! I win! My, you really are a lousy swordsman. In fact, I believe I
      could teach you a thing or two...

 Maybe another time.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Nice of you to offer, miss. Very. Afraid I have to say no.

 Gladly take you up on that.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Not sure I can possibly pass up lessons from such a skilled young
          lady...

[If Rosa loses:]

Rosa: Well, if you're not an instructor, you should certainly be one. Fancy
        giving me a few private lessons?

 Gladly.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Can't rightly refuse a request from a lady.

 Sorry, too busy.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Sorry, gotta say no. Schedule's packed just now.
  Rosa: As you wish.

[A woman comes downstairs.]

Edna: What are you two lovebirds whispering about?
Rosa: You asked about my relationship with Dandelion? Well, here's the mix-up's
      mastermind: Edna var Attre, the greatest mischief-maker north or south of
      the Yaruga!

• Geralt: Hang on. So it was you in the garden.
  Edna: Hahah, of course it was me. Why, did Rosa try to play you for a fool?
  Rosa: Don't be mad. We've done this since we were children. People have
        always mistaken us for one another.

 Not sure I understand.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Sorry, you lost me...
  Rosa: You're not the first to be confused... I'll explain.

 Care to explain what this is about?²
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Can someone please explain what this is all about? Which of you met
          with Dandelion?
  Rosa: No need to get angry, instructor. I'll explain.

 Dandelion have trouble keeping you straight?²
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Take it Dandelion did too...?
  Edna: On occasion, yes. But then Rosa would quickly set him straight.
  Rosa: If you'd shut your catty mouth for a moment, dear little sister, I
        could explain.

 Dandelion mixed you two up?²
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Wait a minute: mean to say Dandelion mixed you two up?
  Edna: On occasion, yes. But then Rosa would quickly set him straight.
  Rosa: If you'd shut your catty mouth for a moment, dear little sister, I
        could explain.

Rosa: Edna sent Dandelion some love letters. She signed my name. Conceited as
      he is, naturally he fell for it. I was left to repel the aging bard's
      advances.
Edna: Rosa, I had the best intentions, you know that! I felt you needed help
      taking the first step... You blushed every time he sang a ballad.
Rosa: He'll next sing at your funeral if you don't stop it right now!

 Easy, ladies.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Calm down, ladies. No poet's worth worth two sisters nipping at each
          other's throats.
  Rosa: Especially not this one...

 Quiet!
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Quiet!
  Edna: Ooh, now that's a mentor! Strong and decisive... Perhaps it's time I
        took up swordplay?

Geralt: Listen. I just wanna know one thing -- either of you seen Dandelion
        lately?
Rosa: Edna might have. I certainly have not.
Edna: My dear sister, I would never spend time alone with the man for whom you
      burn with a secret passion.
Rosa: Burn with passion? For one who incessantly praises another woman's
      talents? Afraid I've more sense than that!

 Dandelion -- whose talent did he praise?
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Who'd Dandelion sing about? Know anything about her?
  Rosa: I believe she's a poetress or trobairitz... Very skilled and
        exceptionally talented, of course.

  • Rosa: But who knows! The "bard" might've invented her just to make us
          jealous. Pitiful chorister.
    Edna: I'd say it worked. You've gone all red in the face just talking about
          it.
    Rosa: Your face'll be red when I scratch your eyes out!

  • Geralt: This woman -- not a local, right?
    Rosa: Hmm... I seem to remember him praising her "melodious Koviri
          accent"...
    Edna: Makes sense -- he referred to her as "Callonetta" a few times.
          Bizarre names are common in Kovir.
    Geralt: Gotta ask Zoltan about this Callonetta.

 Dandelion act strangely lately?
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Dandelion act any differently lately? Notice anything strange?
  Rosa: Strange? Not really...
  Edna: It's no use, Geralt. She's so enamored she'd hardly notice if he turned
        into a werewolf.
  Rosa: Edna!
  Edna: What? You needn't pretend he followed convention! Remember when he took
        us to the cemetery?
  Geralt: Rhetoric lessons in a cemetery? Unusual even for Dandelion.
  Edna: We set out to visit the graves of celebrated Oxenfurt professors. He
        ended up quizzing us about Margrave Henckel.
  Geralt: Who?
  Edna: Eccentric old coot. Died recently.
  Rosa: He'd apparently been an important and generous patron of the arts as a
        young man.

 Interested in politics?
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Bet sophisticated young ladies like you know a bunch about politics.
  Rosa: We've picked up a few things. What would you like to know?

  I want to ask about something else.
  ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
   Geralt: Changing subjects...

  Wonder how the war's going.
  ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
   Geralt: Wonder how the war's going. Any outcome looming?
   Edna: Papa says much depends on Radovid, and on who captures Novigrad first.
   Geralt: What's Novigrad got to do with it? Free city -- never taken sides,
           always stayed out of conflicts...
   Rosa: Oh, even children know Novigrad's home to the world's largest fleet.
   Edna: And they say the city's treasury's bursting with enough to equip two
         armies.

  Emperor and his cohorts -- must be ecstatic...
  ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
   Geralt: Emperor continuing to push north. Courtiers must be ecstatic...
   Edna: His confidants must be. But papa says that's not likely to last much
         longer.
   Geralt: Why not?
   Rosa: Papa says the war's disrupting trade. And people are tired of
         financing the emperor's adventures.

 I should go.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Been a pleasure, but I've got stuff to take care of.
  Edna: Exceedingly nice to meet you. Please come again.

[If Geralt didn't lose his second fight:]

Rosa: Well? Can I expect any more lessons in the future?

  Sorry, no can do. / Sorry, changed my mind.²
  ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
   Geralt: Sorry, Rosa, afraid I can't at the moment.
   Rosa: Farewell, then. Oh, payment for your time.

  You convinced me. / Where and when?²
  ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
   Geralt: Awfully convincing, miss. Wonder where you learned it. Name the time
           and place.
   Rosa: How's here, tomorrow? Same time as today?
   Geralt: See you then.
   Rosa: See you, master witcher.

[With all women met, Geralt returns to the Rosemary, finding it cleaned up.
 Zoltan's talking with a masked pet owl.]

Zoltan: How're you keepin', Poppy? Miss your Zoltan, you old bird? What's
        this? Haven't even drunk our water? Naughty bird! Now repeat: Savorrrry
        crrrrrackerrrrs.

[Geralt walks over.]

Zoltan: Ah, you're back! You met Poppy? She ought to start talkin' any day now.

 Where'd you get her?
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: That Field Marshal Duda's replacement? The marshal was a parrot --
          you do remember, right? Where'd you get her?
  Zoltan: At auction. Some mage's estate went under the hammer. Witch hunters
          and the Eternal Fire joined forces, staked out his place and rounded
          the sorry sap up. Put his things up for sale. Happened to be passin'
          by and saw this owl... Came with her own cage...
  Geralt: How could you resist?
  Zoltan: Couldn't. 'Tweren't possible. Ach, but Dandelion's what matters now.

 She's an owl, not a parrot.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Zoltan, venture to say a mage would have trouble turning that owl
          into a parrot...
  Zoltan: Sure you know me that well? Mark my words, she'll be playin' gwent
          with us in no time. But we were to talk about Dandelion.

 To the point.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Nice bird. But to the matter at hand.

Zoltan: So. How'd you do? Learn much?

 Think I got something.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Women on my list hadn't seen Dandelion in a while. All claimed he'd
          been acting strange. Also mentioned he'd been seeing someone else.
          Thing is, mystery woman wasn't on my list.
  Zoltan: What's she supposedly like, this lass?
  Geralt: Blonde, from Kovir. A trobairitz, apparently. Named Callonetta or
          something like that.

 You first.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Tell me what you've got first.
  Zoltan: A few bruises and a torn doublet... Otherwise, no' much of note. He
          wasn't stayin' with any of 'em, they'd seen neither hide or hair of
          'im in ages... All I learned was a few of Dandelion's pick-up lines
          -- of dubious worth.

  Think I might have something interesting.
  ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
   Geralt: Hmm... Think I might have something better.
   Zoltan: What're you waitin' for? Let's have at it!
   (skip to "Women on my list...")

  Let's hear them.
  ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
   Geralt: Let's hear 'em. I'm all ears.
   Zoltan: Ah, know how he wooed a lass studyin' natural history? Asked her
           about the habits of trolls. Hmph. And know where he went with the
           cook from the Passiflora? The Oxenfurt-Novigrad road, which is just
           now bein' repaired. Made her stare for hours as laborers crushed
           boulders into cobblestones, and tried to pass it off as a romantic
           outing! Don't know about human women, but that would bore a dwarven
           lass to tears. He's growin' old, that poet of ours...
   Geralt: Maybe...or maybe he did all that for a reason.
   Zoltan: Sounds like you've found somethin' out...

Zoltan: Ach, that makes it clear as crystal! It's Priscilla, aye -- must be
        her.

 Who's Priscilla?
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Who's this Priscilla?
  Zoltan: A trobairitz, like you said. Quite popular of late. Picture Dandelion
          with a pair o' tits and you've got the general idea.
  Geralt: Interesting image. So how'd Dandelion handle meeting his female
          double?
  Zoltan: I think he fell in love.

 Why wasn't she on the list?
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Why wasn't she on the list?
  Zoltan: Hmm, this Priscilla was'ne like the others... Think Dandelion more'n
          fancied her, think it was fervor...
  Geralt: He lusts after every other woman he meets.
  Zoltan: How can I explain...? Who does Dandelion love most?
  Geralt: Himself.
  Zoltan: Exactly. And she's his mirror image.

  That's big news...
  ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
   Geralt: What can I say -- could be he finally met his match.
   Zoltan: She's his match, all right -- maybe more.

  Doubt it.
  ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
   Geralt: Hm. Dandelion in love? Actually, truly in love?
   Zoltan: Ooh, yes.

Zoltan: The laddie's head's on fire! Lassy's got him whirlin'.
Geralt: All right. Guess we gotta talk to her.
Zoltan: Priscilla works with a mummers' troupe -- "Renarde and the Foxen."
        Whenever they're in town, she performs nightly at the Kingfisher.
Geralt: Meaning we've been sentenced to an evening of poetry?
Zoltan: Must ye always? This'll be true poetry, Geralt. You'll see.

[They meet at the Kingfisher later that night.]

Zoltan: Ah, here already! Come on, let's find some arse-rests. Should start
        soon.

[The audience watches as a pretty girl comes and starts singing:]

Priscilla: These scars have long yearned for your tender caress.
           To bind our fortunes, damn what the stars own.
           Rend my heart open, then your love profess.
           A winding, weaving fate to which we both atone
           You flee my dream come the morning.
           Your scent -- berries tart, lilac sweet
           To dream of raven locks entwisted, stormy.
           Of violet eyes, glistening as you weep
           The wolf I will follow into the storm.
           To find your heart, its passion displaced
           By ire ever growing, hardening into stone.
           Amidst the cold to hold you in a heated embrace
           You flee my dream come morning.
           Your scent -- berries tart, lilac sweet
           To dream of raven locks entwisted, stormy
           Of violet eyes, glistening as you weep
           I know not if fate would have us live as one.
           Or if by love's blind chance we've been bound
           The wish I whispered, when it all began.
           Did it forge a love you might never have found?
           You flee my dream come the morning.
           Your scent -- berries tart, lilac sweet
           To dream of raven locks, stormy
           Of violet eyes, glistening as you weep

[The woman from White Orchard's inn recognizes the witcher.]

Elsa: I know him! Twas¹ him murdered some Temerian boys back in White Orchard!
Man: Silence, woman. We've come to hear music.
Woman: A murderer?
Woman: There's a war on. Some die.
Man: Oh, please argue this out elsewhere.
Man: Squabbles and rows again! And I was told this was a decent establishment!
Zoltan: If I know Geralt, he risked his noggin to save someone else's arse!
Elsa: Save, you say?! He murdered folk!
Geralt: Don't let 'em provoke you.
Man: There's the door! Settle this outside!
Priscilla: Come.
Woman: I wish to listen to music! Music!
Man: Cultural capital of the world -- the fuck it is.

[Priscilla pulls Geralt and Zoltan aside.]

Zoltan: Permit me...to introduce...err... This here's Priscilla, known also as
        Callonetta. As lovely as she is talented. And this...
Priscilla: ...is Geralt of Rivia, I know. Dandelion's told me a great deal
           about you, and I've listened with bated breath. Don't be surprised.
           After all, doubt I could think of a more fitting subject for a
           ballad than a witcher's love for a sorceress... Or should I say --
           sorceresses?

 Bards -- not people I confide in.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: There's a good reason I don't pour my heart out to bards -- they
          always babble, as you just demonstrated. But listen, besides giving
          you the details of my affairs, did Dandelion mention his own plans,
          where he might be going?

 Seems Dandelion left nothing out.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Seems Dandelion was meticulous in telling my story, down to personal
          and insignificant details. Did he offer anything about himself --
          like where he was going?

Priscilla: Hahahahah! Splendid! Very funny, truly! So, see you later!

[She whispers to Geralt.]

Priscilla: Not here. Come with me.

[They go upstairs to her room.]

Geralt: There a reason for all this sneaking around?
Priscilla: An excellent one... When last I saw Dandelion, he told me he was
           planning a heist -- Sigi Reuven's vault...
Zoltan: ...sheep dip...
Priscilla: ...And I've not seen him since.

 Take it the heist was a bust?
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Lemme guess -- attempted heist was a failure?
  Priscilla: Well he's not driven up in a gilded carriage laden with jewels,
             so I should think so. I've asked after him everywhere, but it
             seems an army of tongue-stealing cats has overrun the city. I
             learned only that he'd raised a ruckus at Whoreson Junior's lair.
             Then Whoreson's men chased him all over town.

 Reuven? Who's that?
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Reuven... What's he like?
  Zoltan: Tall... Fat... Dangerous as hell.
  Priscilla: Limp in his gait -- left leg.
  Geralt: Sounds like a lame rock troll.
  Priscilla: If trolls were devilishly intelligent and had a flair for crime,
             yeah, I'd agree.

 Breaking into a vault...what was Dandelion thinking?
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Dandelion breaking into a vault...I'd sooner expect him to choose a
          life of celibacy.
  Zoltan: True... Forgot to pay for his wine at the Passiflora once. He laid
          awake the next three nights worryin' about it.
  Geralt: Any idea what got into him? He have debts he needed to pay off?
  Priscilla: He claimed he was helping someone. An urgent matter that couldn't
             wait, he said.
  Geralt: This "someone" -- Dandelion mention their name?
  Priscilla: No... But if I know Dandelion, it's "her" name he failed to
             mention. As he failed to mention "her" slender waist and ample
             bosom.

Geralt: Whoreson Junior... Doesn't ring a bell.
Zoltan: Biggest prick in Novigrad. Not literally, but...
Geralt: Got it. You're no fan. But what'd he do to you?
Priscilla: Try the whole town. He's one of four bosses who control the city's
           underworld -- the others being Sigi Reuven, Carlo "The Cleaver"
           Varese and the King of Beggars.
Zoltan: The rascal... At least he didnae cross the Church as well, bring that
        venerable institution into it. We'd be in deep, then.

 Looks like I gotta rescue Dandelion...again.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Here I go again, rushing to Dandelion's rescue... He oughta pay me
          a salary.
  Priscilla: Wherever he is, I sincerely doubt he's in the mood for jokes. Nor
             am I, in fact.

 Hope Dandelion gets out of this alive...
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Dammit... Hope Dandelion gets out of this alive...
  Priscilla: And in one piece. Know what they do to bards? Break their fingers,
             or tear out their tongues... Or both.

Geralt: Relax, I'll get him out of this. Gotta talk to this Whoreson first --
        and Sigi Reuven. Know where I might find them?
Zoltan: I don't know about Whoreson but Reuven runs a bathhouse. Careful,
        though...he's a dangerous character.
Geralt: So am I.
Priscilla: I don't doubt it...but Dandelion's not. I beg you to hurry. Let me
           know as soon as you learn anything.
Zoltan: Well, I've got bugger all to do here. Headin' back to the Rosemary. Got
        Poppy to feed, and then I suppose I'll wait -- see if our warbler don't
        come home on his own. Take care, now.

                                 ____________________________________________
________________________________/ MAIN QUEST: IN CIRI'S FOOTSTEPS (NOVIGRAD) |_
¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
7d) GET JUNIOR                                                           [WK7D]
_______________________________________________________________________________
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[With Sigi Reuven as a lead, Geralt approaches his bathhouse, conveniently
 located down the street. The door's locked, however.]

Geralt: Anybody there?! Open up!
Voice: What's the fuss? The bathhouse is closed.
Geralt: Need to talk to the owner. I know he's here.
Voice: I'm not sure that matters, as he's terribly busy.

 Don't care.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Tell him Geralt of Rivia wants to talk to him.
  Voice: I cannot promise Mr. Reuven will have time to see you.
  Geralt: Wanna bet?

 Busy with what?
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Busy? With what?
  Voice: Entertaining important guests.
  Geralt: In that case, tell him there's another one at the door. Geralt of
          Rivia. And I'm not leaving till I see him.

Voice: Teeheehee. Very well, I shall try. Please wait.

[Soon, the door opens.]

Happen: Sigi Reuven cordially invites you to join him. I'm Happen. The meeting
        is in the baths. We will pass through the dressing room, so you can
        leave your clothes.
Geralt: Let's go.
Happen: You may disrobe here. Your equipment will be safe.

[Geralt comes out in a towel.]

Happen: Splendid. Sigi Reuven awaits in the next room.

[Geralt can hear voices in the VIP bath. Inside is Sigi Reuven and Carlo "The
 Cleaver" Varese, plus the King of Beggars.]

Varese: Whoreson got an invite, chose not to come. I'll show you what he thinks
        of us.
Reuven: Easy, Cleaver...
Varese: Whoreson Junior's a dead man. I'll have my scribe send you a notice.
Bedlam: You don't have a scribe. And we'll eliminate Junior when, and only
        when, all of us say "aye."

[Geralt enters.]

Bedlam: Reuven -- your guest.
Varese: Why the fuck you let him in here?
Reuven: Because I want to talk to him. This is Geralt of Rivia.
Bedlam: Good to see you again.
Varese: As always I'm out of the swivin' loop. Who the fuck are you?

 Reuven can introduce me.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Think I'll let your host introduce me.
  Reuven: He's a witcher. The very one who first foiled my attempt on Foltest's
          life and then killed that monarch.
  Geralt: Allegedly. But I didn't kill Foltest. And hello to you, too,
          Dijkstra... Reuven -- whatever they call you these days.
  Reuven: Last we met, Geralt thrashed me silly and crushed my ankle. I really
          wonder what he's got in store this time.

 I'm a witcher.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: I'm a witcher.
  Varese: Problems with your plumbing?
  Reuven: Nah. It's under control. Geralt's a friend from the old days.
          Although...

 Need to talk to Sigi.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Got something to discuss with Dijkstra...I mean, Sigi Reuven.
  Bedlam: I think it can wait.
  Geralt: Yeah, probably can.

 None of your business.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: None of your business.
  Varese: Your friend got a death wish?
  Reuven: Heheheh, nah, just short on manners. Witchers aren't exactly the
          sophisticated urban types.

[Geralt's witcher senses prick up.]

Geralt: Got intruders. Someone just snuck inside the bathhouse. Several men...
Varese: What the fuck's he on about? Ploughin' fortuneteller.
Voice: Assassins! Please, no! Aaaaaa-!
Varese: Bloody hell, I fucking knew it!
Bedlam: Any weapons tucked away?
Reuven: Just a few.

[They all arm themselves.]

Varese: First ever barney with my prick hangin' out. Harrr!
Assassin: Whoreson Junior sends his regards!

Reuven: We need one alive!
Bedlam: No one escapes, got it!
Reuven: All right, come on.

[They finally eliminate the assassins.]

Varese: Good work, gents.
Reuven: Terribly sorry for that incident. My security failed. I'll get to the
        bottom of who, why and how.
Varese: They were Whoreson's scum. That's the bottom of who and how right
        there.
Bedlam: Don't start that again. Especially not in front of our guest.
Varese: Who pranced in right before they attacked. Coincidence? Why do I doubt
        it?
Reuven: Let's give him a chance to explain.

 Gotta see Whoreson. Talk to him.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: I'm looking for Whoreson Junior.
  Bedlam: Interesting.
  Varese: What do you want with him?

  Personal matter.
  ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
   Geralt: It's personal.
   Reuven: Hahaha, Geralt takes his privacy very seriously. Spyin' on him,
           havin' him followed, was a bloody nightmare.
   Bedlam: Still, uh, he was lots more trusting when he was looking for
           Merigold.

  He's gonna help me find someone.
  ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
   Geralt: Junior's gonna help me find someone.
   Bedlam: Whoreson's not helped a soul in all his miserable life.
   Geralt: I'll ask him nicely.
   Reuven: See, Cleaver? Perhaps if you'd not called Junior an uncle-fucker and
           "asked him nicely," he'd 'ave showed up today.

 Don't believe I know your friends.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Not gonna introduce me to your friends?
  Reuven: Good thing Happen's not here. He'd tan the hide on my arse for being
          so rude. Francis Bedlam you know, but then, who's not heard of this
          patron of the fine arts and supporter of entrepreneurs of limited
          financial means. And the dwarf's Carlo Varese, known also as Cleaver.
          Carlo's in entertainment, mostly.

Varese: Gentlemen, you out of your fuckin' minds? A chat session? Whoreson's
        out to get us, and he'll succeed, eventually. We've got to kill him
        first. So by all means, you sit here, soak, fart and watch the bubbles
        rise, while I send my boys to Whoreson's hidey-holes. They'll make some
        noise, flush the bugger out. And you, Geriatric, or whatever your
        ploughin' name is -- wanna find Whoreson? Find me first.

[Carlo leaves.]

 So where will I find Junior?
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Any clue on Junior's whereabouts? Be grateful for any lead.
  Bedlam: Sigi?
  Reuven: It's worth a try. Geralt's got a knack for finding people. And he's
          discreet -- a value in itself.
  Bedlam: Leave you to it, then.
  Reuven: I'll, uh, look in on you tomorrow, Francis. Finish our talk.

 Hope I find Junior before Cleaver does.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: I need to find Whoreson. Now looks like I gotta get to him before
          Cleaver does.
  Reuven: Cleaver won't find him easy. Junior's good at hiding. He's got...
          peasant smarts.
  Bedlam: Look at the time. Good luck in your search, witcher.
  Reuven: I'll call on you tomorrow, Francis. We'll finish our chat.

[The King leaves.]

Geralt: So, how about we get dressed?
Reuven: Sure, sure -- and then we'll talk. In private.

[Later, the two meet in Reuven's study.]

Reuven: Right mess that was... Never thought I'd be glad to see the man
        responsible for my taking frequent baths.
Geralt: If you're any cleaner for it, gotta say it was worth breaking your
        ankle.
Reuven: It healed poorly -- can you believe it? I must soak it in hot water
        at least six times a day now... Failing that, it bloody pounds like
        the bells of Beauclair at dawn.

 Sorry to hear that.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Sorry to hear that.
  Reuven: You're sorry? Well, consider it resolved, then. Now, mind showing me
          some added compassion? Could mean a miraculous recovery for me.

 I had my reasons.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: I had my reasons. Your leg'd be fine if you hadn't gotten in my way.
  Reuven: I see. Well, I promise you that if I could go back in time, I'd do
          things quite differently on Thanedd. For example, I'd have my men
          kill you instead of just tying you up.

Geralt: Listen, Reuven... No, Dijkstra -- just not in the mood for your code
        names, passwords and other bullshit. I'm here on specific business. If
        you wanna listen, listen, if not -- I'd rather you spared me your wit
        and threw me out now.
Reuven: Ah, what's the harm? Talk.
Geralt: Think Cleaver'll find Whoreson?
Reuven: He might, he might not. But he'll burn down half the city trying. What
        waste. Leave him to it, I say, work alone.
Geralt: Any ideas?
Reuven: Junior's got areas of the city where he's strong. Penetrate them, look
        around. But be discrete¹ -- none of this speed and fury and swinging
        your steel cock about.

 Whoreson -- what's he own, where's he strong?
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Hmm, makes sense to ask around, I guess... Junior might be in hiding,
          but he's gotta be collecting income, couldn't afford to cut himself
          off.
  Reuven: Gambling -- that's his biggest earner. Junior controls the largest
          casino in town. I'll never forget -- Heirarch Himmelfart raised all
          kinds of hallowed hell there once. Bugger bet and lost his ruby ring.
          Then there's the arena in the city's bowels. Betting scheme generates
          near as much as the casino. They're always looking for hired muscle
          there. Suppose you could always search Whoreson's house, though I
          doubt you'll find there. Maybe some clue, though.

  Casino -- where is it?
  ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
   Geralt: Where's Junior's casino?
   Reuven: Near the Temple Watch towers... Whoreson's got nowt to do with the
           casino officially, so careful what you say, try not to arouse any
           suspicions.

  How do I find the arena?
  ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
   Geralt: Arena sounds promising. Where's that?
   Reuven: Sewers beneath Gildorf, but you'll have to enter through the Bits,
           endure the stench of poverty on the way. Now, Junior loves a good
           fight. Wager he'd give a lot to see a real witcher in action.

  Where's he got this house?
  ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
   Geralt: Mentioned Whoreson's got a house. Where is it?
   Reuven: Solid townhouse on Temple Isle, just the other side of the bridge.
           Wouldn't wager me knickers on finding him there, though. Junior's
           not that stupid.

  Time I went to look for Whoreson.
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   Geralt: See if I can't find Whoreson at the casino or the arena. Might talk
           to Cleaver as well, though.
   Reuven: Do what you will, just be cautious. Whoreson's expecting payback,
           I've no doubt.
   Geralt: Thanks for your help, Dijkstra.
   Reuven: Just go, witcher. And if you can't find the slimy bastard, come and
           see me. I know him well, might figure something out.

 Intent on avoiding a war with Whoreson? Why?
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Pretty clear you and Bedlam don't want a war with Junior. Why?
  Reuven: Let me tell you what I told King Vizimir time and time again: war
          doesn't solve problems. It breeds trouble, trouble you then have to
          solve by other means. Make no mistake -- someone's behind Whoreson's
          actions. I'll not end him until I know who.

 Your colleagues aware of your past?
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Your partners aware of your past? They know you're Sigismund
          Dijkstra, former head of Redanian intelligence?
  Reuven: Heheh. Cleaver, Bedlam and Junior, well, I'd call them my partners
          if we'd built a mill to grind flour for the folk in nearby hamlets.
          But we just need to stay out of each others' ways, agree from time
          to time. That doesn't make us partners. Do they know who I am, was?
          Bedlam -- sure. The others most likely suspect. But we just don't
          talk about it. No need to.

[Geralt goes to visit Junior's house, already ransaked by Cleaver's cronies.]

Dwarf: We gots to make sure the pricklicker's not here.
Dwarf: Ach, I'd expect teeth to grow out me arse before I'd expect to find
       Whoreson hidin' in his house!
Dwarf: Cleaver said to be thorough, so we look everywhere.
Dwarf: Ought to burn the corpses, though. Else rats'll congregate to feast.

[Geralt can look around.]

• Nothing interesting here.
• Place's been scrubbed clean.
• Dwarves were thorough as debt collectors. Didn't leave a scrap.

[Next, Geralt goes to the casino.]

Guard: Why you even here?
Geralt: Same reason anyone comes here. Play a bit, have a good time.
Guard: Invite only, mate. Shit out of luck.

 Make a deal?
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Think we can make a deal?
  Guard: Hear that? Another one.
  Guard: No, we don't make deals.
  Geralt: How much?
  Guard: Oy. Remember what I told you? We're to be polite-like.
  Guard: Just my patience -- runnin' a bit thin. We don't want your coin, we
         don't want anything else.
  Guard: On your way, afore we get ploughin' angry, stop bein' all nice.

 Going in, over your dead bodies, if necessary.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Gonna get in there. Better for you to let me in.
  Guard: And if we don't, then what?
  Geralt: I'll kill you.
  Guard: D'you get that?
  Guard: Got it, all right. He threatened us and reached for his weapon.
  Guard: Die, you ploughin' bastard!

 (200 gold) Here's my invite.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Here's my invite. All yours if you want it.
  Guard: Yeah, gladly take it.
  Guard: Incidentally, bloody useless, those crowns. In Temeria, you could say,
         "You met my friend Foltest?" Down in Nilfgaard, it'd be "Emperor'd
         like to vouch for me." With this shite? Nothin'.
  Guard: That's true. What we got here -- some fuckin' ship? Ship couldn't
         vouch for you. What're you gonna say -- "Meet my friend, this ship?"
         Bloody barmy.
  Guard: Downright stupid.
  Guard: All right, you can go in.

 [Axii Sign] Think you'll let me in anyway.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: I think you're about to let me in.
  Guard: By all means, please.
  Geralt: And you...wish me luck.
  Guard: Luck be with you at the tables.

 Farewell.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Tough luck. Fair enough.

[If Geralt gets in without violence, he can talk to the NPCs normally.]

Geralt: May I?
Dealer: Why not?

 Looking for a high-stakes game. Any going on here?
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Hankering to play. But I'm only interested in high stakes.
  Dealer: I don't know you. Perhaps you have coin, perhaps not. Perhaps you can
          behave, perhaps you cannot. Stay out of trouble and you'll eventually
          play for high stakes. For now -- plenty of tables for commoners
          upstairs. Don't lose it all too quickly.

 Looking for the owner.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Owner in? Something I gotta talk to him about.
  Dealer: I'm all ears.

  Wanna talk to Whoreson.
  ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
   Geralt: Wanna talk to Whoreson Junior, not you.
   Dealer: Bernie! Dusty! This one's looking for the boss! You have your
           orders!

  I'll look for a free table.
  ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
   Geralt: It's all right. I'll look for a free table.
   Dealer: Splendid idea. The gaming tables are upstairs.

  Farewell.
  ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
   Geralt: I'll come back later.
   Dealer: As you wish.

[If Geralt decides to blend in by playing cards: the first player...]

Geralt: Cards lining up today?
Player: A mutant? What the hell's a witcher doing here? See any drowned dead,
        or other shitzards around here?

 We playing or not?
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Nope. No monsters. Great opportunity to play cards.
  Player: Clever man, eh? All right, we'll play, provided you've coin.
  Geralt: I do.
  Player: Fisstech? They've got the best powder in the city right here.
  Geralt: Just wanna play.

  Let's play.
  ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
   Geralt: If you insist...
   Player: I believe I will plough your arse like a cheap whore's...
   [Afterwards]
   Player: Hee hee hee! Took a beating, lad. But come back with coin, and
           you'll get a chance to win it all back.

  No thanks.
  ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
   Geralt: Sober up. Then we'll play.
   Player: Hahah -- that never happens.

 The owner -- where is he?
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Not hunting shitzards tonight. Looking for the owner of this
          establishment.
  Player: Awww... Someone asked after him yesterday.
  Geralt: Who?
  Player: You know, I don't know. They crushed his head before I could get a
          good look. Man's swimming with the fishes now. Whoreson's always been
          touchy. But this, this is going too far.

  Gotta talk to Whoreson.
  ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
   Geralt: Really gotta talk to the owner. Know where I can find him?
   Player: I don't know squat. But wait a moment... Gentlemen! This here rogue
           wishes to speak to the owner! Any of you know where Junior is?

  Let's play.
  ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
   Geralt: Thanks for the warning.
   Player: Someone's nice to me, I try to be nice to them. At any rate, let's
           play, shall we?

  No thanks.
  ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
   Geralt: Sober up. Then we'll play.
   Player: Hahah -- that never happens.

[Geralt finds a second card player.]

Geralt: May I join you?
Player: I've never seen you here before.

 Wanna talk to the owner.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Heard Junior comes in here sometimes.
  Player: Did you, now...? What else have you heard?
  Geralt: Whoreson around or not?
  Player: Junior was right! Someone's after him! Disarm this man!

 So what?
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Is that important?
  Player: All who come here do so by either invitation or recommendation. Who
          recommended this establishment to you?

  They let me in. Isn't that enough?
  ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
   Geralt: Men at the door let me in. Not good enough?
   Player: No. Preferable if someone vouched for you...soon. Until then -- I'll
           have my eye on you.

   Just wanna play.
   ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
    Geralt: We done talking? I'd like to play.
    Player: All right, take a seat.
    [Afterwards]
    Player: The luck! Hah! Jolly good hands!
    Geralt: I noticed.
    Player: I've a mind to let you win some back if you bring more coin.

   Farewell.
   ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
    Geralt: Changed my mind. Rather not sit down to a game right now.
    Player: No one's compelling you. Return once you get the urge.

  Here to see Whoreson.
  ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
   Geralt: The owner -- tell me where he is. Gotta talk to him.
   Player: Oh my, you see... Junior's a dear friend. I spoke to him today.
           Know what he said? "You find anyone sniffing around for me, they're
           to stop sniffing, for good." Take him! Alive!

 Haven't seen you here, either.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Never seen you here, either.
  Player: You've clearly no notion who I am. Don't be clever with me. We don't
          like clever men around here. How did you even learn of this place?

  They let me in. Isn't that enough?
  ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
   (same as above)

  Here to see Whoreson.
  ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
   (same as above)

 First time here.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Course you haven't. It's my first time here.
  Player: This seat is taken. And anyway, high-stakes at this table.

  I got coin.
  ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
   Geralt: Got the coin for it.
   Player: I couldn't care less if you've coin or not. What concerns me is how
           you got in.

   They let me in. Isn't that enough?
   ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
    (same as above)

   Here to see Whoreson.
   ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
    (same as above)

  Here to talk to Whoreson.
  ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
   (same as "Here to see Whoreson.")

[If Geralt goes to the third player...]

Geralt: Cards being kind today?
Player: Matters little. I don't play plebs.

 I was knighted once.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Actually, I was knighted.
  Player: Ahem. Indeed? Not to pry, good sir, but who bestowed the accolade?
  Geralt: Meve, Queen of Lyria and Rivia. During the Second War. Skirmish broke
          out on a bridge. Happened to be there with friends. We drove the
          Nilfgaardians back, then Queen Meve told me to kneel, recite an oath.
  Player: The Battle for the Bridge? Oh, yes, heard of that. Ahem. Consider my
          objections withdrawn, sir.

 Looking for the owner.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Nice place, isn't it?
  Player: Indeed. More the pity so much rabble comes here. Ahem. Sign of the
          times, perhaps -- coin makes the world go 'round.
  Geralt: Owner must've invested a lot.
  Player: He's no miser, although...he might've banned fisstech. It attracts
          the lowest sort. Ahem. I asked him once if it was absolutely
          necessary, he just laughed.
  Geralt: Maybe I could have a word with him?
  Player: A word of advice, friend. Never, ever ask after Junior. Even let you
          in on a little secret: I've been asked to inform whomever it concerns
          the moment anyone started asking after the owner. Be too insistent,
          and that's exactly what I'll do.

  Thanks for the warning.
  ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
   Geralt: Forget I said anything.
   Player: Ah, a reasonable man. And reason is man's most important virtue.
           Where would we¹ be today were it not for reason?
   Geralt: Nowhere.
   Player: Ahem, verily! Nice chat, dear chap. Now what about a game?

   Let's play.
   ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
    Geralt: Wanna play?
    Player: Naturally. Good luck to you!
    [afterwards]
    Player: Beautiful game, ahem.
    Geralt: Congratulations.
    Player: I thank you. Naturally, you're entitled to a rematch.

   Changed my mind.
   ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
    Geralt: Not in the mood for cards. Maybe later.
    Player: I shan't force you, but should you change your mind, I'll be
            waiting. Ahem.

  Gotta find the owner.
  ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
   Geralt: Don't have a choice. I gotta meet Whoreson Junior.
   Player: Ah well. Gentlemen! This man is asking after the owner. Adamantly
           so.
 Farewell.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  (same as "Changed my mind.")

[Geralt goes upstairs, finding a bound, roughed-up halfling.]

Geralt: Beat you half to death... Hey, can you hear me? You alive?
Rico: Don't...finish me...
Geralt: Don't intend to.
Rico: Who the hell are you? Heard screaming downstairs...
Geralt: It's all right now.
Rico: Will you help me?

 Let's chat first.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: You're not hurt all that bad. Let's talk first. Why are you here?

 Who are you?
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: What's your name?
  Rico: Rico. Rico Meiersdorf.
  Geralt: Why're you here?

Rico: Eh, what's it look like? Came here to sit and think. All right, clever
      and tough's not working for me. They took me for one of Bedlam's moles.
Geralt: Are you?
Rico: Well...kinda. Yeah.
Geralt: So, what have you...kinda...learned?
Rico: Whoreson's working hand in glove with the Redanians. I don't know the
      details, but he's on their side. And that's all I know.

  Run.
  ¯¯¯¯
   Geralt: Take care of yourself.
   Rico: Thanks. I'll lay low until things settle down. Bedlam'll learn you
         helped me. See him -- he's sure to reward you.

  Stay a while.
  ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
   Geralt: Don't trust you an inch.
   Rico: Told you all I know, I swear!
   Geralt: You'll have to stay a bit longer.
   Rico: No, please... Think about it. It's not too late, hear me?!

Geralt: Wonder if Dijkstra knows Junior's made a deal with the Redanians?

[Geralt next visits the arena's entrance.]

Guard: You hear? They raided Cleaver's house.
Guard: Don't be daft. Cleaver weren't born yesterday. War's on. Bugger kips
       down somewhere
Guard: Hmph. Whoreson's in for it now. Cleaver's spiteful -- won't let it
       slide.
Guard: Whoreson's gets ploughed up the arse, we'll be next, you know.
Guard: We had peace, peace was good. Who found it a fuckin' bother?
Geralt: Greetings.
Guard: Don't know you. Not lettin' you in. And don't you fucking stand there.

 My name's Zdenek and I have a contract.²
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Recognize this piece of paper?
  Guard: A fight contract.
  Geralt: Good, you can read. So who's this contract made out to?
  Guard: Says, uh, Zdenek. Made out to Zdenek.
  Geralt: Mhm. I'm Zdenek. Any more questions?
  Guard: In you go.
  Guard: Don't you go wanderin'. Straight to Igor now.
  Geralt: Fair enough.

 (100 coins) I'll pay.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Sure we can't work this out?
  Guard: How's that?
  Geralt: I pay you, you let me in.
  Guard: Give it here. Get in. And remember, we've an eye on you.
  Geralt: Who runs the fights?
  Guard: Igor.
  Guard: Down the corridor, then left.

 [Axii Sign] Hear me out. You'll want to let me in.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: I want my chance in the arena.
  Guard: Come in.
  Geralt: Who's in charge?
  Guard: Igor. They call him Hook.
  Guard: What the bloody hell was that?
  Geralt: A bout of sudden sincerity.

 Let me in or die.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Love to chat it up with doormen. In fact, often come to an agreement
          with them. Thing is, I'm short on patience today. So either let me
          in, or I'll let myself in, over your dead bodies.
  Guard: Oooh, hear the cockerel? Kickin' and standin' his comb on edge...
  Guard: Cock a doodle do, what am I to do? Shit myself?
  Geralt: All right...

 All right.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Fair enough.
  Guard: Oi! Beat it!

[If Geralt goes to meet Igor, the pit boss:]

Geralt: I need work.
Igor: What can you do?
Geralt: Good with a sword. Wouldn't scoff at working as protection.
Igor: And who here would you protect?

 How about Whoreson Junior?
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Whoreson Junior's made a load of enemies, I know that much. Maybe I
          can be of use.
  Igor: Junior can take care of himself, you needn't fret about him. But I
        can't help but wonder how you know this place belongs to him.
  Geralt: Heard it does, that's all.
  Igor: Forget you heard of Junior, keep healthy. That's my advice.

  Don't need your advice.
  ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
   Geralt: Not your hireling. Won't take your orders, don't need your advice.
   Igor: You're not my hireling, that's true. But soooo uppity, afraid you need
         to die. Kill him!

  Forget I said anything.
  ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
   Geralt: Fine. All in all, don't really care who I'm gonna protect. Just
           looking for work.

 Someone's gotta keep folk in check.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  ---

Geralt: Crowds can spin out of control. Somebody's gotta keep the peace.
Igor: Hm... Claim any kind of experience?

 Monsters, I kill them.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: I'm a witcher. I kill monsters for coin. Been doing it all my life.
          Humans won't be a problem.
  Igor: A guard must fight sometimes. But that's not most important. The
        essential question is, can you control yourself? And can you control a
        crowd?
  Geralt: Been taught how to slow down or speed up my heart rate, how to dilate
          my pupils and alter my metabolism. My medallion vibrates when
          danger's near, and I know a few simple spells.

 Done my share of fighting.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Done my share of fighting. Wouldn't carry a sword if I didn't know
          to use it.
  Igor: Have you killed humans?
  Geralt: Sometimes.
  Igor: Why not come out and say you're a witcher? It's plain to see.
  Geralt: Not looking for any monster contracts. Need a regular job. For a
          while.

Igor: Hmm... I'll have to test you. I want to see how you manage in a fight, if
      you can fight at all. You shall fight in the arena. Survive three bouts,
      and I'll put you to work.

 All right.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Set me up.
  Igor: Already have. Shall we start right away, or do you need time to
        prepare?

  I'm ready.
  ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
   Geralt: Always prepared.
   Igor: Excellent! Let's see what you're worth. Remember, you fight to the
         death. The crowd doesn't take kindly to those who spare their foes.
   Geralt: Let's do this.

  Not yet.
  ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
   Geralt: Need a moment to get ready.
   Igor: Don't keep me waiting.

 No thanks.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Not about to slaughter people I don't even know.
  Igor: No work in protection until I've made sure you are who you say you are.
        You know where to find me should you change your mind.

[If Geralt agrees to fight in the underground arena, he's lead into the ring.]

Igor: Ready your purses! Betting is open! From the far east, where a man's
      life is worth less than a cup of water, a witcher! A murderous mutant!
      His opponent - Gustav Roene! A man who cut his way out of his mother's
      womb -- with a knife! As ever -- a fight...to the death!

Gustav: Don't kill me... Got kids... Three...

[If Geralt spares Gustav:]

Geralt: I will not kill him!
Mob: Weakling! Let him die!

[If Geralt kills Gustav:]

Gustav: Thre--three children...

[Geralt kills the wave of wild dogs.]

Igor: The witcher wins! Next fight! Born brawlers in battle -- a fracas, a
      rumpus, a fray!!! The witcher versus...the Hairy Brothers straight from
      the wild isles of Skellige! Sired by a mountain bair, they live to kill!
Geralt: Yield, or end like your brother.
Hairy Bro: Never!

Igor: • The witcher wins again!
      • The witcher and Gustav Roene defeat their opponents!
      Next fight! The witcher doing what he does best! Face to face with
      beasts!

[Geralt slays the wyvern.]

Mob: Boo-oooo! More blood! More blood!
Igor: Want more? Release the beasts!

[Geralt slays the endregas.]

Mob: We want Bor-is! We want Bor-is!
Igor: Shall I release Boris?
Mob: Bor-is! Bor-is! Bor-is!
Igor: Especially for you, for the first time in a long time...release Boris!

[Geralt slays the gigantic bear.]

Igor: Yet another win for the witcher!

[The man Geralt's been looking for looks down from the upper ring.]

Junior: Bravo! Ploughin' scragged 'em up thorough. They told me a true
        bruiser'd come to the arena. Would you believe it? They were right!

 Who are you?
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Thanks. I'd like to know who's congratulating me.
  Junior: Heheh, slow, ain't ya? Came here to end me, and you've no notion
          what I look like?

 Thanks.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Thanks.
  Junior: Cyprian Wily, known to most as Whoreson Junior, appreciates good
          handiwork.

Junior: Well, we've nattered enough. Now--
Igor: Cleaver's dwarves are in the sewers! They've slaughtered the guards!
Junior: Don't stand there like a soddin' prick at a wedding! Muster the men
        and get at those midgets! And would someone please kill the blasted
        witcher?
Igor: You heard the man. Kill him!

[Geralt slays the guards, one way or another.]

Geralt: Should search this hole.

[Geralt eventually finds a suspicious wall.]

Geralt: Floor's worn by a moving door -- something behind this wall.

[Geralt collects evidence of Wily's location and returns to his bathhouse bud.]

Geralt: Wily, Whoreson Junior -- he's working with Radovid.
Reuven: Huh. If this is reliable information, Whoreson's neck-deep in shit.

 Got it from a reliable source.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Source seems reliable.
  Reuven: Hm. It would certainly explain how he had the nerve to break with
          the Big Four.

 What're you talking about? Spent years serving Redania.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: You fallen out with Redania?
  Reuven: My sympathies have nowt to do with it. Whoreson wiped his arse with
          our agreement. That's betrayal regardless of his current allegiance.

Geralt: Need someone who can get me in to see Junior. You must still have some
        contacts among the Redanians.
Reuven: I don't... But you do.
Geralt: Enlighten me.
Reuven: Temarian... Former commander of the Blue Stripes... Ring a bell?
Geralt: Vernon Roche.
Reuven: He's holed up with his men in a camp near Oxenfurt. Pay him a visit.
        You're sure to cheer him up, at least.

[Geralt ventures into the Oxenfurt wilderness, eventually finding the ex-Blue
 Stripes' craggy hideout.]

Geralt: Lookin' for Roche.
Sentry: No one here by that name. Anythin' else?

 What do you do here?
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: I see. And behind you -- that's a berry pickers' camp?
  Sentry: We're, uh...birdwatchers.
  Geralt: Lemme guess: that sword's in case you run into a hornbill?
  Sentry: No. Hornbills aren't endemic to this area. Don't migrate here,
          either.

 Out of my way.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Move.
  Sentry: No, sorry. We talked, it was amusin', now about face and forward
          march.

  [Axii Sign] You'll let me in. Now.²
  ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
   Geralt: Gonna walk in the camp now.
   Sentry: Aye, naturally.
   Geralt: And you're gonna go look for hornbills.
   Sentry: Aye, I'm goin', indeed.

  Gotta admit, I am amused.²
  ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
   Geralt: I get it. You're the local funny man.
   Sentry: What was that? Funny? How you mean that?
   [Geralt beats Hortensio in a fist fight.]
   Sentry: Gray old vagrant, but you got a fist of stone.

[Roche may interject after the "...face forward and march" line.]

Vernon: You blind, Hortensio? That's Geralt, old friend of mine. Come in,
        Geralt.

[Once let into the camp, Geralt finds his old acquaintance by a campfire.]

Vernon: Geralt of Rivia. Safe and sound.
Geralt: Vernon Roche. Temeria's last hope.
Vernon: Laugh all you want. Temeria will rise again.

[A woman walks over.]

Ves: Roche, I cannot abandon them. I--
Vernon: You can and must. Because those are your orders.
Ves: They'll die. Please.
Vernon: We're done. Dismissed.

 I'm looking for Wily, known also as Whoreson Junior.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Looking for Whoreson Junior.
  Vernon: I've heard of him. Though I'm not sure why you think he might be in
          my camp.
  Geralt: Heard some birds chirping. You've got some of the same friends. Both
          seem to count Radovid among your allies.
  Vernon: These birds, they're terribly talkative. I'll need to see them,
          you'll have to point them out--
  Geralt: Mhm. Meantime, Vernon, willing to help, or do I need to keep looking?
  Vernon: Hmm. As always, you've more luck than you deserve. I'm on my way to
          meet my Redanian contact. We're meeting near Oxenfurt, at a chess
          club.
  Geralt: Thanks. Knew I could count on you.

 What do you do these days?
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: What do you do here? Hunt Scoia'tael?
  Vernon: You jest, right? Who cares about the Scoia'tael anymore.¹ Temeria --
          that's what matters.

 How'd you wind up here?
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: How'd you wind up here?
  Vernon: Came with the army, of course. Its remnants. When Nilfgaard crossed
          the Yaruga, I dropped everything, threw it all away to hell and rode
          for the front to fight the invader. Joined the 2nd Temerian Army
          under John Natalis. We were to stop the Black Ones' advance along
          the Dol Blathanna-Mount Carbon line. And we did. For three days. Then
          they smashed us into splinters. Soon after, I heard Radovid was
          assembling his forces near Novigrad. That he'd promised to fight for
          a free North. Broke through with the remnants of Natalis' army,
          but...
  Geralt: But?
  Vernon: But Radovid proved no better than Emhyr. So I decided I would mount
          my own fight.

 Take care.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: So long.

[Geralt and Roche ride to Oxenfurt.]

Vernon: My contact should be here.
Geralt: Ready?
Vernon: My contact awaits at the chess club. Let's get this over with.

 Let's go.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Come on.

 Who's this contact?
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Your contact -- who is it?
  Vernon: Slippery little bugger. I'd have nothing to do with him were the
          circumstances any different.
  Geralt: Mean you don't trust him?
  Vernon: I trust no one. Including you.

[They reach the club. Redanian military is standing around, watching them.]

Vernon: Something's not right.
Geralt: Let's see what.

[They go inside, finding none other than King Radovid himself, sitting at a
 chess table in an empty room. He kills enemy pieces and advances his own,
 not bothering with the rules.]

Radovid: Checkmate.

[He sees the two have entered.]

Radovid: They say it's the game of kings. That chess teaches one to think
         strategically. What a load of rubbish! Both sides have identical
         pieces, the rules stay invariably the same. How does this mirror real
         life? Witcher, do you know why I play chess?

 For practice?
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: For...practice? To hone your thinking?
  Radovid: No.

 Time killer?
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: To kill time?
  Radovid: I have no time to squander, let alone kill.

 For company?
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: To spend time in good company?
  Radovid: A king cherishes no one's company.

 No idea.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: I have no idea.

Radovid: I play chess to reveal the game's secret. Blood thumps inside these
         chessmen. You need only listen -- and you will hear. Lub-dub, lub-dub,
         lub-dub... A heart pumping with life. I take a pawn -- and I¹ hear
         flesh being rent. I win a piece -- and hear screams from the depths
         of its bowels. I want to break the chessman open, squeeze the truth
         from them. Do you see what I mean?

 Yes, I do.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Yes, Sire, I believe I do.
  Radovid: You know shit. You're merely humoring me. I was not speaking
           literally. First hidden truth: a monarch is always surrounded by
           fools.

 No, I don't.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: No, I don't.
  Radovid: You do not because you are not a king. Pawns see only their comrades
           at their sides and their foes across the field. A king has a
           different view of the chessboard. His greatest foes surround him.
           His own chessmen might trap him. And that is check -- and death. You
           see, witcher, chess is the art of sacrificing your own pieces.

Radovid: • Understand?
         • Now do you see?

Yes, I do.
¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
 Geralt: I think I do now.

No, I don't.
¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
 Geralt: No, still don't get it.

Radovid: Unimportant... Let us speak. Why have you brought the witcher here?
Vernon: I think he'd best explain.

 Looking for Whoreson Junior.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: I'm looking for Cyprian Wily, Whoreson Junior. I know Redania
          supports him.
  Radovid: Why do you seek him?
  Geralt: It's personal.
  Radovid: Fair enough. I'll not pry.

 Had no idea I was going to meet a king.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Expected a Redanian spy. Had no idea we'd be meeting a king.
  Radovid: When you've an opportunity to omit intermediaries, I'd suggest you
           avail yourself of it.

Radovid: I've placed Junior in a mansion in Oxenfurt. Very few know this.
         They'll not let you in unannounced. Thus, you must tell them you've
         come about the new whores. Junior constantly requires fresh women. I
         hear he doesn't treat them well.

 Why would you just give me Whoreson?
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: You'd just give me a man? After investing coin and time in him? Can't
          help but wonder why.
  Radovid: Consider it a gesture of goodwill...almost. I'll expect you to
           return the favor.

 Appreciate the gesture.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: I appreciate the gesture, Your Majesty.
  Radovid: A king should be severe towards his foes, generous to his friends.
           Apart from which I'll expect you to return the favor.

Radovid: And also, Junior has lost his purpose. The Big Four is no more. I
         shall contact you to collect in due course. Now go. And you, Roche
         -- we must speak another time.

[The two leave Radovid to his own devices.]

Vernon: Radovid's sinking ever deeper into madness, as I see it.
Geralt: I know where to find Junior. Don't really care beyond that.
Vernon: Geralt. Come to think of it, I too wanted to ask a favor. I've a
        terrible problem with Ves. Need someone to talk some sense into her.
        Come see me at the camp -- I'll tell you more.
Geralt: Let me think about it. See you, Roche.

[Geralt approaches the Oxenfurt mansion's gate.]

Guard: Whores only ever go in. Not one's comes out!
Guard: Boss's got a voracious appetite. I hear 'em squealing like sows bein'
       slaughtered.
Guard: Ah, I could do with a little fleshy diversion myself.
Guard: Mhm, yeah...
Guard: What do you want?
Geralt: Where's Whoreson Junior?
Guard: Ooh, this one's got bollocks, don't he?
Guard: I know you, you motherfucker. Saw you kill Olgard and Vick.

 Misunderstanding.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Uh, must be a misunderstanding.
  Guard: Flank the bastard!

 Mhm. And now I've come for you.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Believe I did have the pleasure to meet those two gentlemen. What
          were the names again? Olgard and Vick? Give them my regards.

[Geralt eliminates the guards and goes to the mansion's second floor. He sees
 dead whores and blood smears all over the place.]

Geralt: Fucking degenerate. He so much as touched Ciri, he'll pay.

[He goes into the next room, finding Wily cleaning up after decorating his
 bedroom with more slain whores.]

Junior: What the sandwich fuck is this?

[Geralt clocks him, sending him to the floor, then beats on him a bit more.]

Junior: Oh fuck me... Help me, for fuck's sake!
Geralt: No one's coming.
Junior: Oomph! Stop... What... What do you want?

 I'm here to kill you.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Hello, Junior. Been looking for you a while now. I've come to kill
          you.
  Junior: I'll give you all I got...

 I've come to talk.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Hello, Junior. I've come to talk.
  Junior: I'll do whatever you want...

Geralt: Got a few questions to start with.
Junior: I'll tell you everything...
Geralt: I'm looking for a young woman and a minstrel. I know you've met them.
Junior: A bird? What fucking b--?

[Geralt backhands him.]

Geralt: Ashen-haired with a sword on her back. Just like me.
Junior: Yes, yes... Her, that was... I remember...

 Tell me about her.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: I'd like to know how the ashen-haired woman ended up meeting you, and
          what happened to her.
  Junior: What happened to her? She attacked me!
  Geralt: Lie one more time, and I'll cut your balls off.
  Junior: Heheheh... We'd made a deal. I was to repair their magic
          phyla-whatsit. The...girl and the songster were to bring me Sigi
          Reuven's treasure. They didn't, so I might've flown off the handle a
          bit, I admit...
  Geralt: What did you do?
  Junior: I nabbed their flunky, Dodo, and waited for them to come for him.
          Look...this. Here's what they wanted fixed.

 Lemme tell you why you shouldn't lie.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Pay attention now. You'll tell the truth. Wanna know why?
  Junior: I won't lie, honest!
  Geralt: Took me a long time to find you. Wasn't an easy road to travel. I'm
          angry and tired. Had to kill a lot of people along the way. Some of
          them tried to cheat me, some tried to lie. I didn't like it one bit.
          I feel like one more lie'd be the last bitter drop in a chalice full
          of sorrow. And then...then I'd do something I would later regret. Now
          you know why you can't lie to me?
  Junior: Yes...
  Geralt: Good.

[Geralt picks up the ornate box from the dresser.]

Geralt: A phylactery? You can fix something like this?
Junior: Not me. I know a guy...
Geralt: Wasting my time, Junior. I need details.
Junior: I'll tell you, tell you all! Just the way it happened...

["Ciri's Story: Visiting Junior" begins at this point -- see the section for
 the full write-up. The mission picks back up after hearing the flashback.]

Junior: That's what happened. Told you true.

 What happened to the ashen-haired woman?
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: What happened to the woman?
  Junior: Fuck if I know... One of the boys -- got her in the back... But she's
          alive, I swear it!

  Is that all?
  ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
   Geralt: Got anything else to say?
   Junior: I've told you all I know! Everything...

 Dudu -- what happened to him?
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Dudu -- what happened to him?
  Junior: I don't fucking know... Prick vanished! There one moment, gone the
          next...

Geralt: You hurt the woman I'm looking for... You tortured her friend.
Junior: She attacked me! I've a right to defend myself! I beg you... Got what
        I deserved... Have mercy... Please...

 You gotta die.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Lemme tell you where things stand. I'm looking for this woman, 'cause
          she's like a daughter to me. And that's why I just can't let this go.
  Junior: Noooo!

 Refuse to sully myself with your blood.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: I'm no executioner.
  Junior: Thank you... I'll make it up to you, I will... This is my city, and--
  Geralt: Shut up. Know what? Gotta wonder what your friends from the Big
          Four'll say when they find out you're working with Radovid...
  Junior: Hey! Wait! What're you saying? Waaait!

[As Geralt leaves the mansion, Radovid's soldiers stop him.]

Sentry: Seems you've resolved your matters. It's time you returned the favor.
Geralt: Radovid doesn't like to wait much, does he?
Sentry: No, he does not. You'll come with us.

[They take Geralt to the warship docked in the harbor.]

Sentry: The HMS Oxenfurt-Tretogor, once the crown jewel of the Redanian fleet.
        Decommissioned now, though.
Geralt: Nice boat.
Sentry: You'll need to leave your weapons if I'm to let you aboard. Follow me.

[They head onto the topdeck.]

Sentry: Ship was funded with donations. From noblewomen. Ladies from the most
        prominent families gave up their jewelry.
Geralt: A spur-of-the-moment, patriotic impulse?
Sentry: You're a homeless wanderer. Can't understand what it is to truly love
        one's country.

[He's brought before Radovid.]

Radovid: There you are.
Geralt: Need something from me, Your Majesty?
Radovid: You've never been one to mince words. Very well. Find Philippa Eilhart
         -- that's my wish. I ordered her eyes gouged out once. But apparently,
         blindness troubles her not. My hunters have detected Lady Eilhart
         hiding east of Oxenfurt. They have further established that she has
         magically sealed the entrance to her shelter. Entering it will be
         difficult. I believe you might succeed in doing so. Bring her to me
         -- alive.

 Lemme think about it.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Need to think about it.
  Radovid: Don't take too long. We wouldn't want Philippa to escape...again.
           You may go.

 Mages are more likely to succeed.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Philippa's using magic? You'd be better off sending mages after her.
  Radovid: I agreed to the Conclave's revival -- but what has this brought me?
           The mages at my side are mediocrities, cowards. They can't hold a
           candle to the likes of Eilhart, Laux-Antille or Merigold.
  Geralt: There's always your witch hunters.
  Radovid: You are the best witch hunter. You've proven it clearly. Síle de
           Tansarville and Philippa Eilhart's plan -- you were the one to foil
           it. I want you to finish what you started. Now go to the mountains
           and bring me Philippa Eilhart.

 Why's Philippa here?
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Philippa Eilhart. What's she looking for here?
  Radovid: I suspect she wants to find her old friends, reconvene the Lodge.
           Perhaps she seeks revenge, on me. Lady Eilhart is known for her
           persistence. At times I recall the lessons she gave me when I was a
           child -- her teachings as memorable as the punishments she meted
           out. She was subtle and patient in her cruelty. I took her sight,
           but she remains dangerous. I'd advise you to be cautious.

Sentry: Your arms.
Geralt: Thanks.
Sentry: Never seen better steel in my life. Blade must strike true, no?
Geralt: It's a matter of the hand, not the steel it's holding.

[With Junior taken squeezed of info, Geralt returns to Priscilla's quarters.]

Geralt: Listen, I tracked down Whoreson Junior.
Priscilla: Yes? And? Did you learn somethin'?
Geralt: Yeah. Ciri and Dandelion set out to steal Sigi Reuven's treasure for
        Whoreson. He promised to find someone who'd fix Ciri's phylactery in
        exchange.
Priscilla: I can't believe she parleyed with that bastard! Why, it's widely
           known how anybody who pacts with Wily ends.
Geralt: Ciri was desperate. But you're right, it wasn't the best idea. Whoreson
        ended up wounding Ciri, just after he'd tortured Dudu--
Priscilla: Dudu? Well... Ho--how is Dudu related to this in any way?
Geralt: Seems Dandelion got him involved, to help Ciri. Luckily, Dudu managed
        to escape. Probably hiding somewhere now.
Priscilla: Ooh... What of Wily?

 • Geralt: He's dead.
 • Geralt: I'd expect him to lay low, not do any business for some time.
   Priscilla: Certainly hope you're right. Though his type never forgives and
              rarely relents.
                                 ____________________________________________
________________________________/ MAIN QUEST: IN CIRI'S FOOTSTEPS (NOVIGRAD) |_
¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
7e) CIRI'S STORY: VISITING JUNIOR                                        [WK7E]
_______________________________________________________________________________
¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
[This segment takes place a few weeks earlier, in Novigrad. Dandelion and Ciri
 are on the streets at night, similar to the dream Geralt had earlier.]

Dandelion: Got a bad feeling about this.
Ciri: Calm down, Dandelion. We can't leave Dudu in Whoreson Junior's hands,
      you know that.
Dandelion: I know, I know. But my gut can't be reasoned with, and no amount of
           sympathy I feel can silence it, blot it out.

 I'll go in alone, you know.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Ciri: I'll go in alone, you know. You'll stay outside.
  Dandelion: I can't let you go in alone. Anything happens to you, Geralt'll
             rip my head off!
  Ciri: Someone must secure our retreat. There's bound to be a struggle, things
        could get intense. We'll need to flee fast, disappear in the crowd.

 We'll manage this. I'm sure.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Ciri: Cheer up. We'll manage this, I'm certain.
  Dandelion: Famous last words, right there.

 Pull yourself together.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Ciri: Get a grip, Dandelion. We must focus on the task at hand.
  Dandelion: I'm just saying...
  Ciri: Well then be silent.

Ciri: Have you learned where Whoreson is keeping Dudu?
Dandelion: Room on the top floor. One with the balcony.
Ciri: I'll need to cross onto the roof. Wait for me in front of Junior's house.
      And I know it's difficult, but do try to look inconspicuous.
Dandelion: If they... If they hurt you... Whoreson will pay.

[Dandelion goes to his spot.]

Ciri: Must climb onto the roof.

[Ciri climbs the scaffolding to get higher.]

Ciri: Room on the top floor. One with a balcony. There's the balcony. Let's
      see what's inside.

[She opens the window, getting a bird's-eye view on Junior's torture session
 with her friend.]

Junior: And now, my dear Dodo... I believe I'll try a different tool. Afraid
        I'm bored with this one.
Dudu: You're fucking barmy, Junior... Anyone tell you that?
Junior: No, most say I'm nice...once they get to know me.
Dudu: So you enjoy good company, like to make new acquaintances?
Junior: Hehehehee. Plan to introduce me to someone interesting?

[He whirls around to see Ciri standing there.]

Junior: There you are. Good of you to come. I've been waiting for you.

[They start fighting.]

Junior: • Fuckin' kill you, cunt!
        • Where's Reuven's treasure?
        • I'll gut you, you little whore!

[Ciri soundly defeats him. He lunges one more time, giving her a chance to
 wound his face, which sends him plummeting to the floor.]

Junior: Aaarrgghhh!!
Ciri: An eye for an eye.

[The doorknob shakes.]

Dudu: Th-they're coming..
Ciri: Dudu, listen. This is what we'll do...

[As enemies come up the stairs, Wily runs out of the room, covering his face.]

Junior: Arrrrgh... Get that fuckin' whore!

[As the henchmen stream into the room, "Junior" nods at Ciri and uncovers his
 face, revealing Dudu simply transformed into him for the ploy. Ciri slays
 foes all throughout the hideout, revealing it wasn't Cleaver's men who did
 it when Geralt visited earlier. The flashback ends when Ciri exits.]

                                 ____________________________________________
________________________________/ MAIN QUEST: IN CIRI'S FOOTSTEPS (NOVIGRAD) |_
¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
7f) COUNT REUVEN'S TREASURE                                              [WK7F]
_______________________________________________________________________________
¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
[This quest can begin after meeting Dijkstra in "Get Junior."]

Know what happened to Dandelion?
¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
 Geralt: Listen -- Dandelion's missing. Any idea what might've happened to him?
 Reuven: Same thing that happens to anyone who steps on Junior's toes...
 Geralt: Meaning?
 Reuven: He's surrounded by splendid virgins who ply him with sparkling wine
         and pastries stuffed with nightingales' tongues. Come, Geralt, what
         do you think happened to him? I reckon he's at the bottom of the
         Pontar, trussed up with the strings of his own mandolin.
 Geralt: Lute.
 Reuven: Far as I'm concerned he might as well be rotting down there with a
         goddamn trombone.

 Why so irritable?
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Seem a bit prickly... Something bothering you?
  Reuven: Sorry, I know I've been unbearable lately. But at my age, the
          menopause, what with hot flashes and violent mood swings...
  Geralt: Dijkstra, men don't get menopause. You know that, don't you?
  Reuven: Yes, you moron. I also know you don't actually give a shite about my
          problems. What do you want?
  Geralt: You got me... Need work, thought you might throw some my way. Monster
          trouble, that sort of thing.
  Reuven: Yeah... Might be able to help me, in fact.

 What about you? Any beef with Dandelion?
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: You wouldn't happen to have a bone to pick with Dandelion, would you?
  Reuven: Course I do.
  Geralt: You serious?
  Reuven: Dead serious... Dandelion published a sonnet recently. Second stanza
          -- the shit uses paired couplets instead of an inserted rhyme! Surely
          you understand how deeply offended the poetry lover in me was. The
          bastard shan't get away with it!
  Geralt: I was being serious.
  Reuven: As am I when I say I have no time to worry about your gigolo
          boyfriend. Got my own problems... Problems you might be able to help
          me with.

  And if you did, why then I might be inclined to ask after Dandelion,
  establish what happened to him.

  Maybe I can help... Whaddaya need?
  ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
   Geralt: Maybe I can help... What do you need?
   Reuven: I'd rather show than tell. Picture's worth a thousand words and all
           that tripe. Ah, and you do realize if you say anything about what
           you see here to anyone, it'll mean a razor between your ribs?
   Geralt: Figured as much.
   Reuven: Excellent. One last request... Oh, let's call it what it is -- a
           command. Don't draw your sword unless I ask you to.

  You'll pay me on top of that, right?
  ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
   Geralt: I'll get paid on top of that, right?
   Reuven: Nothing for free, eh? Did you bargain this hard when Emhyr wanted
           to hire you?

   Don't know what you're talking about.
   ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
    Geralt: No idea what you're talking about.
    Reuven: You are the worst liar I've ever known... Glad I don't need you to
            win a poker game for me. But we've chatted enough. Yeah, I'll pay
            you -- count on it. So, can I count on you?

   Who told you?
   ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
    Geralt: Who told you?
    Reuven: What do you mean "who"? Emhyr did.
    Geralt: Hahah.
    Reuven: I could never reveal my sources, to you or anyone else. It would be
            fucking unprofessional. But we've chatted enough. Yeah, I'll pay
            you -- count on it. So, can I count on you?

  Don't have the time just now.
  ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
   Geralt: Don't have time right now.
   Reuven: Then come back when you do.

You in contact with Radovid?
¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
 Geralt: You in contact with Radovid?
 Reuven: Hahahaha. See you're witty as ever. No, I'm not in contact with him
         and I prefer it remained that way.
 Geralt: Never quite forgave you for conspiring with Philippa Eilhart?
 Reuven: Radovid doesn't forgive. Not anything. Not anyone. And especially not
         the sorceress of the Lodge.

 Any news of Philippa?
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Philippa Eilhart -- had any news?
  Reuven: Just good.
  Geralt: Meaning?
  Reuven: After Radovid popped her eyes out, she disappeared without a trace.
          If I've any luck, she's finally eating dirt.
  Geralt: Thought you two were close...
  Reuven: We were. Until Philippa sent assassins after me.

Master spy to master criminal... Interesting progression.
¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
 Geralt: From mastery spy to master criminal... Interesting progression.
 Reuven: Why? Truth be told they're awfully similar. Both about maintaining a
         net of informers, being tough in negotiations, bribing officials...
         the occasional assassination. Same old shit.
 Geralt: Yeah... Except you used to do that in the name of some ideal. And now?
 Reuven: Now I've decided I've slaved enough for ideals. It's time I worked for
         myself. And thus far, it's been going rather well.

Farewell.
¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
 Geralt: Time I was on my way.
 Reuven: Got things to do myself. So long!

[Reuven leads Geralt into the deserted bathhouse. Using a special key and a
 rotating pillar segment, he drains a bath, revealing a hidden passage into
 his vault.]

Reuven: Be so kind as to follow me.

[They walk into the vault area and hear heavy thudding against the walls.]

Reuven: Oh, Bart! Not again!
Geralt: ...Bart?

[Near the back, a rock troll is banging his head on the wall.]

Reuven: Bart! Stop that! Now!
Bart: Bart bad... Bart make Sigi lose chorfun.
Reuven: Beating your head against the wall won't change that.
Bart: Bart hurt, Bart less thinky. Bart less thinky, Bart sadless.

 Why'd you bring me here?
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Don't seem to have trouble communicating with the troll.. Why'd you
          bring me down here?
  Reuven: Take note of that hole. We'll come back to it later.

 Where'd you get a troll?
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Where'd you get the troll?
  Reuven: From Zerrikania. Won him. Card game with a camel merchant.
  Geralt: Your jokes are getting better by the minute.
  Reuven: See me smiling? I'm dead serious.
  Bart: Bart eye bumpy horses. Hot there. Sigi Bart take. Good Sigi.

Reuven: And see that door? Vault behind it -- until recently filled with
        Novigrad crowns and countless other valuables.
Bart: Bart guard! Then boom! Chorfun go.
Reuven: Translating into Common, someone fuckin' made off with nearly twenty
        tons of my gold, and all the lighter stuff. And you...will help me get
        it back.

 Fine. I'll help you.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Fine. I'll help you.
  Reuven: You're not exactly bursting with enthusiasm.
  Geralt: Witcher mutations. They strip us of emotion. I'd be jumping for joy
          otherwise.

 Can't take care of this yourself?
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Why don't you handle this? Gotta have connections in the underworld.
          Whaddaya need a witcher for?
  Reuven: Agh. The gold wasn't mine alone. See, I run a members-only savings
          club, a bank for the initiated. For reasons that should be obvious,
          I'd prefer it if my temporary liquidity problems remained private...
          So I need an outsider.
  Geralt: How do you know you can trust me?
  Reuven: I don't... Counting on your survival instinct. Slip up, and I'll kill
          you, feed you to Bart.
  Bart: Bart sorry. Bart job that got.

 Need to think it over.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: It's a tall order, Dijkstra. Need to think it over.
  Reuven: Fine. Just remember...what you saw here -- mum's the word. That's
          very important. I might even say it's a matter of life and death.
          Understood?
  Geralt: Understood.
  Reuven: Excellent.

Geralt: All right. Oughta look around. But first -- some questions.
Reuven: I'm all ears.

 Thieves got in through the hole?
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Take it the thieves got in through the hole behind you?
  Reuven: You're a regular fucking master sleuth. Any other brilliant
          deductions you want confirmed? The year, maybe? Bloody name of
          Redania's king?
  Geralt: No. But I am wondering, for instance, how that hole got there...

 Any witnesses?
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Anyone see what happened?
  Reuven: Other than Bart? No. And the vault's location is known only to the
          treasure's co-owners. Well, and the thieves.
  Geralt: What about upstairs? Anything unusual happen in the bathhouse the day
          of the break-in?
  Reuven: No. Happen swears it was calm as ever. The usual customers, no
          incidents. Bloody bucolic.

 What're we saying was the value?
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: How much was it all worth? Got an approximate idea?
  Reuven: Why the fuck do you care? Figuring your finder's fee? Don't get your
          hopes up.
  Geralt: Know you too well for that... Just prefer to know what I'm looking
          for.
  Reuven: Three crates of Nilfgaardian florens, a chest of emeralds, rubies,
          and topazes, silver candlesticks and platters... I could go on...
  Bart: Shiny chorfun... All gone.

Bart: Hole no. Boom! Hole. Bart want look go... Bart look no, only sleep. Bad
      'shrooms -- head foozz.

 Boom? Care to elaborate?
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Boom? Can you elaborate?
  Bart: Boom... Big... Er...this like.
  Reuven: I'll elaborate. Explosion -- big enough to blow that fucking hole in
          the wall separating the vault from the sewers.
  Geralt: Gotten pretty good at communicating with this troll...
  Reuven: Lots of prior experience -- worked with idiots my whole life.

 Bad mushrooms? Whaddaya mean?
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Bad mushrooms -- what's that about?
  Reuven: Pops mold. The spores are highly toxic -- one whiff and you're dead.
          Unless you're a troll, that is.
  Bart: Yes... Bart. Bart troll...
  Reuven: Not talking to you, dimwit. Where was I? Ah, mold spores. They cover
          the walls of the sewers other side of the vault. Actually thought it
          was a good thing, you know, a bit of extra protection. Thieves found
          a way through it.
  Geralt: Bart, you see them?
  Bart: Bart through hole, want see boom got what. Breath 'shroom. Sleep go.
        Chorfun gone. Bad troll...
  Reuven: Now, now. Stiff upper lip...

 Try to track down the thieves?
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Try to track down the thief yourself?
  Reuven: Of course. Hired this lummox, Fonce -- thick enough not to ask
          questions. We knocked back some pops antidote and entered the sewers.
          Soon after, I returned alone.
  Geralt: What happened?
  Reuven: Lad started belchin' something horrendous -- I mean, burps with so
          much mass the walls shook. Told him -- Fonce, stop, you're in the
          presence of a count...well, former count, but still. And then he
          puked up. Up came most of the antidote, lost his protection. Tried
          to pull him out, then I heard a bubbling... Something crawled out of
          the water. I value the lives of my men, I do... But I value my own
          even more. Dropped Fonce and ran like hell.

  Gotta look around the sewers.
  ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
   Geralt: Should look around the sewers. Got any more of that pops antidote?
   Reuven: I've a few vials left. Got the formula, too. Disgusting swill, to be
           honest. But it'll save your life. Here.
   Geralt: Thanks.
   Reuven: You've naught to thank me for -- literally. You're no good to me if
           you suffocate.

  What kind of "something"?
  ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
   Geralt: Mind describing this "something" that crawled out of the water?
   Reuven: No. Doesn't mean I can, though. Air in the sewer's thick with
           spores, can hardly see a thing down there.
   Geralt: Musta noticed something. Was it...?
   Reuven: No, didn't notice a fucking thing. Didn't do a taxonomic field
           analysis either. I know it's an inconvenience to you, but I felt I
           should get the hell out of there as fast as I could.

Reuven: Listen, I'll be upstairs if you need me. Sight of this empty vault's
        giving me an ulcer. Good luck to you!

[Dijkstra leaves.]

Geralt: Dandelion... What the hell have you gotten yourself into...

[He drinks the antidote.]

Geralt: Ugh... And I thought witcher's potions were vile...

[There are several spots to inspect in/near the sewers.]

• Edges curled out... Something inside blew it wide open -- wall, too. Hmm...
  Bathhouse drain pipes seem to converge here...
• Pipe's grate... Explosion crumpled it like a piece of paper, and there's
  mortar on the bars. So, it was in place at the time of the explosion... Blast
  tore it from the wall. No traces of magic. This was no spell, it was a
  bomb... Now why am I not finding pieces of it...? Could be the current swept
  them away.
• Bits of pipe clear over here. Must've been one powerful blast.
• Fine grating... Couldn't push much through that.
• Hm... Definitely came through here.
• Another trinket.
• The thug Dikjstra hired.
• Dikjstra didn't mention anyone else... Must be one of Dandelion's crew.
  Vomit everywhere. Guess he had the antidote, too...couldn't keep it down
  anymore than the other guy. Need to burn the corpses. Otherwise drowners'll
  never stop congregating. There... Maybe now the drowners'll go feed
  elsewhere.
• Hm. Bottom of a container. Silver cylinder, most likely. Runes etched in the
  bottom. It's warped, probably by the explosion. Bomb part, must be. Smells
  like...wyvern oil...and...caramel?
• Gold coin. Trail ends here. Dandelion must've loaded the treasure onto a
  boat...

Geralt: That'd be it down here. Time to see Dijkstra.

[Geralt reports back.]

Geralt: Done. Examined every nook of the sewers near your vault.
Reuven: Well? Learn anything?

 Found pieces of the bomb.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Seems to me a bomb blew the wall open. Look.
  Reuven: Bottom of a silver cylinder, probably. Covered in runes...
          Interesting... Any idea what it contained?
  Geralt: Recognized some ingredients by their scent -- wyvern oil and sugar.
  Reuven: Sugar?! Geralt, I'm in no mood for jests.

  Nor am I. That's what I observed.
  ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
   Geralt: Nor am I. Just saying what I found -- bomb contained sugar.

  Could be wrong.
  ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
   Geralt: Guess I could be wrong. Smell was weak, barely detectable.

 Found one of the thieves' corpses.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Found a second corpse -- one of the thieves. Threw up the antidote,
          just like your man Fonce.
  Reuven: A beautiful death. Find anything on the body?
  Geralt: Not much. Empty vial.
  Reuven: Hmm... Wouldn't have left him behind if he was anybody. Common
          porter, must be. Knew nothing, means nothing. Dead end. Literally!

 Thieves loaded the treasure onto a boat.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Bits of the treasure dropped out of the crates. Left a clear trail.
          You know, the fairy tale...with the crumbs.
  Reuven: Mhm, I know the one. Hansel, Gretel, burning witches. Very fitting
          for Novigrad.
  Geralt: Trail leads to the river where the sewer lets out... Breaks off
          there. My bet -- they loaded the treasure onto a boat.
  Reuven: Yeah, a cart drawn by sewer rats does seem unlikely. And since boats
          don't leave trails...it amounts to fuck all.

Reuven: Let's think... Sugar would react violently with sulfuric acid... But
        not so violently to cause an explosion.
Geralt: Didn't know you were versed in alchemy.
Reuven: Dabbled in it a bit while at Oxenfurt Academy... But this is no time to
        reminisce. You're to find my treasure, not write my biography. Know
        anything else about this bomb? Anything at all?

  Bomb was inside the pipe.
  ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
   Geralt: Bomb went off inside a drainage pipe embedded in the vault wall.
           But the grate at the end of the pipe was in place when the blast
           happened, meaning...
   Reuven: The bomb must have found its way into the pipe from inside the
           bathhouse.
   Geralt: Exactly. Mighta gone something like this: perpetrator started
           emptying one of the pools, then dropped the bomb down the drain.
   Reuven: The bomb flowed down with the run-off, came to rest on the grate
           and, to quote Bart -- big boom.

 Let's see which drain they dropped the bomb down.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Drain pipe's our only promising lead. We just need to know which
          pool it's connected to.
  Reuven: Yes... Happen keeps a record of guests, should be able to tell us
          who used that pool the day of the break-in... You've not done badly.
  Geralt: Feel honored to be acknowledged.
  Reuven: Oh, that famous sarcasm... I'd missed it.
  Geralt: Really?
  Reuven: Mhm. About as much as I'd miss a knife in my knickers.

[They go into the bathing area.]

Reuven: All right. You inspect the pools on the right, I'll take the ones on
        the left. Holler if you find anything!

[Geralt inspects the first pool.]

Geralt: Nothing interesting.

[He goes to the next one.]

Geralt: Something floating on the surface... Oil, looks like...

[He inspects the area thoroughly.]

Geralt: Silver lid... Matches the cylinder bottom I found in the sewer...
        Dijkstra! Come here!
Reuven: Got something?
Geralt: Yeah. Bomb part.
Reuven: Happen! Drain pool four! And bring me the guest book! Chop-chop!

 Let's see what's on the bottom.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Let's see what's on the bottom...

 By the way -- Happen's not a suspect?
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: By the way... What about Happen? Could've overheard you mention the
          vault, has access to the bathhouse whenever he wants...
  Reuven: Happen has numerous flaws. He's pompous, pretentious, can be a real
          prick at times, ironic as that may sound... But his loyalty's beyond
          question.
  Geralt: How can you be so sure?
  Reuven: Witchers know their monsters, spies know their men.
  Geralt: You trusted Philippa Eilhart once, too...
  Reuven: True. But I didn't pull Philippa Eilhart out of a Kovir prison the
          night before her execution.

[Happen returns with the logbook.]

Geralt: Grate's been removed from the drain, meaning they flushed the bomb down
        here.
Reuven: Happen! Who used this pool the day of the break-in?
Happen: Let me see... Berthold Heintz -- town councilman, Josef Schveik --
        brewer...and Margrave Henckel...
Reuven: Henckel? That's impossible!

 Henckel? Who's that?
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Margrave Henckel? Who's that?
  Reuven: Who was that, you mean!

 Impossible? Why?
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Impossible? Why?

Reuven: Old coot's been eating dirt since last winter! Couldn't have been here
        the day of the break-in!
Happen: He's dead? I'd not heard...
Reuven: Not surprisin'. The honorable margrave croaked in a brothel, decked
        out in leather lingerie, so the family held a hush-hush funeral. But I
        have my sources.
Happen: Yet... Yet I saw him that fateful day, Mr. Reuven. I'm certain of it.
Reuven: Did you speak to him? Get a good look at him?
Happen: No... He merely passed by on the way in...
Reuven: So you didn't see Henckel -- you saw an impersonator! Think for once!
        They scooped out your balls, not your brain! And you, Geralt, start
        lookin' into this.

 Where do I start?
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  ---

 Hey. Be nice.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Gotta ask me nicely. I'm not one of your delivery boys.
  Reuven: Pardon my tone. I've grown accustomed to ordering folk around and
          barking as I do it.

Geralt: Fine. Where should I start?
Reuven: Henckel's home -- derelict townhouse south of the main square. You
        might happen on some trace of this scoundrel we're looking for there.
        Well, off with you!

Geralt: What a dump. Looks more like a beggar's hovel than a margrave's
        townhouse. Dandelion made some interesting friends...

[There are several inspection points in the house.]

• Footprints...
• A letter...and a bottle. "The wine from your birth-year -- it's absolutely
  excellent. Startling bouquet. You absolutely must try it. But afterwards,
  please place the bottle back where you found it." Your birth-year... Could
  be Dandelion's...or Ciri's.

[Geralt puts the bottle into the wine rack.]

Geralt: 1245 to 1254... Hm. Satisfying click...in the next room over, I think.

[The footprint trail leads into a hidden room.]

Geralt: Secret room... Probably where Dandelion and his cohorts planned the
        heist.

• Stain... Wyvern oil.
• Instructions on how to build a bomb... Signed by one Kalkstein.
• Sugar...and lumps of a substance dipped in wyvern oil. Hmm...potassium? Looks
  like they made the bomb here.

[Geralt finds a letter from Dudu.]

Geralt: "Ciri... Menge is following me... He has seized the treasure... He has
        Dandelion... You must flee." Footsteps... Not good.

[Exiting the room, Geralt finds...]

Geralt: Dijkstra...and Triss? Didn't expect to see you here... Certainly not
        with Triss.
Reuven: I decided we could use someone who knows a bit of magic. The runes on
        the bomb -- I'm absolutely dying to know what they mean...
Geralt: You dying to know too, Triss?
Triss: No. Just here for the coin.
Reuven: Ah, Merigold playing the cynical materialist. I like it. In truth, her
        ideals brought Triss here. She needs gold to save her colleagues...
        When I recover my treasure, I'll be in a position to help her. Simple
        as that. Speaking of which, and, pardon my Beauclairoise, have you
        found who fucking nicked my gold?

 All signs point to Menge.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Bothered Triss for nothing. No point examining the bomb.
  Reuven: Because?
  Geralt: Cause¹ I already know who nabbed your treasure. Commander of the
          Temple Guard. Caleb Menge.
  Reuven: Well, well, Merigold... Your coin stands to come with a side of
          revenge.

 Wait... Why'd you come here?
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Hang on. Gotta tell me why you're here first. We agreed -- if I
          learned anything, I'd take it to you.
  Reuven: So we did... But I was concerned about you. Stopped by to see if
          everything was all right.

  You don't trust me.
  ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
   Geralt: Bullshit. You don't trust me.
   Reuven: I trust you as much as you trust me -- not at all. Believe me, it's
           a healthy relationship.

  Thanks. Really.
  ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
   Geralt: Thanks. You can breathe easy now. In the future, though, remember
           this -- I can look after myself.
   Reuven: Fine. You look after yourself, and I'll look after my interests.

  Triss: Gentlemen... Really privileged to witness your battle of wits...but
          try to remember -- unlike you, I put my life at risk every time I
          venture out into the streets. Did the same just coming here. So I beg
          you -- can we get to the point?

Reuven: Geralt, would you be king enough to tell me what you've learned? I'm
        terribly curious.

 Margrave Henckel told me everything.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Henckel told me. Old man's alive and well -- faked his own death to
          escape his creditors.
  Reuven: Strange... I had no idea he was in debt.
  Geralt: He was. And Menge promised to take care of things in exchange for
          help with the heist, so...
  Reuven: Geralt, how can I put this delicately... Bollocks. If you thought I'd
          fall for that tale you just pulled out of your arse, you don't know
          me one bit.

  Menge's got the treasure, really.
  ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
   Geralt: All right, I lied... But only partly.
   Reuven: Heard of beasts that are half-lion, half-eagle, maidens who are
           half-fish... But you'll never convince me there's such a thing as a
           half-truth.
   Geralt: I'll give it a shot anyway. Didn't actually see Henckel -- but Menge
           does have your treasure.
   Reuven: Take it you learned this by peering into a crystal ball?
   Geralt: Maybe. Trade secret.

  I know you... You care about results.
  ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
   Geralt: Know you well enough to know what matters: results... So I lied.
           Still say I can lead you to your treasure.
   Reuven: Forgive me, Geralt... But after what you just pulled, I'd sooner
           believe a whore who proclaimed her undying love.
   Triss: Would you believe a sorceress who stands to gain if you get your coin
          back?
   Reuven: Perhaps... I'd still prefer the whore, though.

  Reuven: You're hidin' somethin'. And that's one thing I can't stand. Even
          more than Nilfgaard. But ultimately, this is a business deal, not a
          marriage. Besides, there must be some truth in those lies -- you're
          too dense to make it all up on your own.

 Doesn't matter.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: What I've learned doesn't matter.
  Reuven: Doesn't matter?! Yet you agreed to help me.
  Geralt: I am. Doesn't mean I have to confess everything.
  Reuven: I'll let your insolence fly this time -- but only because his honor
          the margrave might indeed have something to do with the theft.

Reuven: Hm, Menge has been spending heaps of coin lately, though to my
        knowledge he shouldn't have a copper to his name...
Triss: So. What now?
Reuven: From what I've heard, Menge spends his nights at the docks, witch
        hunters' quarters... Maybe pay him a visit, ask where he's holding my
        gold for me.

 I doubt Menge will say anything willingly.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Doubt Menge'll say anything willingly...
  Reuven: As do I. Luckily I hired a witcher and a sorceresss who've been
          through so much together to get this done...
  Triss: What's our past got to do with it?
  Reuven: A great deal. Lovers will jump into the abyss for one another...
          Suits my needs perfectly. Namely, it greatly increases your chances
          of getting out of the hunters' barracks alive -- with my treasure.

  Triss and I -- that's all in the past.
  ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
   Geralt: Information's out of date. We are not...
   Reuven: Yes, I know. You parted a week after the summit at Loc Muinne, in
           the woods near where the Lixela flows into the Pontar. But you know
           what they say... Old love never dies.
   Triss: First. First love. Now how the hell...?
   Reuven: Mha, now that's my secret, lovebirds... Really must be going. Good
           luck.

  You're using us.
  ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
   Geralt: In other words, you're using us.
   Reuven: Using you? Never! Merely makin' the most of your mutual bond.
           Hahaha. Well, lovebirds...I really must be going. Good luck.

 While you sit here twiddling your thumbs?
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Mhm. So we do your dirty work while you sit around twiddling your
          thumbs?
  Reuven: Darling, when I'm able to make use of someone, I always do. It's
          convenient.
  Geralt: And safe... Come on, admit you're scared of Menge.
  Reuven: Of course I'm scared... Bloody dangerous whoreson. Triss would
          concur, I think.
  Triss: Not in those words... But I do agree with the statement overall.

[Reuven leaves with his guards.]

Triss: • Didn't have to disagree so...strongly...
       • Thought you'd correct him... Say that we... You know.

 Dijkstra doesn't need to know everything.²
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Dijkstra doesn't need to know about my love life.
  Triss: Wise... I'd never choose his shoulder to cry on either.

 What would you have said in my place?²
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Put yourself in my shoes. What would you have said?
  Triss: In your shoes, I wouldn't be worrying about what to say to Dijkstra.
         At all.

 You didn't say anything either.²
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Could've corrected him yourself.
  Triss: True... But it's not an easy thing to say, is it?

 Didn't mean to hurt you.²
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Sorry, didn't mean to hurt your feelings...
  Triss: Hope not.

Triss: But we've strayed from our topic... Got a treasure to recover.
Geralt: Triss, gotta tell you something... Dijkstra's gold -- it's the last
        thing I could care about.
Triss: Thought as much... This is about Ciri, isn't it?
Geralt: Mhm. Menge's got Dandelion locked up somewhere... And Dandelion saw
        Ciri.
Triss: That changes everything. Listen, meet me at midnight by the chapel of
       the Eternal Fire east of the harbor. We'll figure out a way to get into
       the hunters' barracks together.
Geralt: All right. See you then... And thanks.

[They reconvene at midnight.]

Triss: Glad you're here. Listen... Took a look at the building and it does not
       look good.
Geralt: Mean it could use a bit of paint and spackle?
Triss: I mean it's a damned fortress. High walls, guards at the gate, armed men
       everywhere. We could never sneak in, and fighting our way in won't work
       -- Menge would have plenty of time to escape.
Geralt: What do you suggest?
Triss: Take these shackles... Put them on me.

 Mind explaining what this is about?
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Mind explaining what all this is about?

 Uh, Triss. Sure about this? Here and now?
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Uh, Triss... Sure you want to do this? Out here? With everyone
          watching?
  Triss: This might come as a surprise to you, but shackles do have their uses
         outside the bedroom.

Triss: Think... Bring the hunters the vile Triss Merigold, they won't just open
       the gate for you, they're likely to let you present her to Menge
       personally.
Geralt: No way. Too risky.
Triss: Dandelion's life is on the line...Ciri's too. No such thing as too
       risky.

 All right... But what then?
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Fine, let's say they take the bait... What then? We go in, I put a
          sword to Menge's throat and ask him where Dandelion is?
  Triss: Might not work. Menge's scum, but you have to admit... Death doesn't
         scare him.
  Geralt: Always found that annoying in fanatics.

 Really wanna do this?
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Triss, think about it... Really want to walk into the lion's den of
          your own free will -- and in chains?
  Triss: Yes.
  Geralt: No. Can't allow it.
  Triss: Nice of you to worry... But I've made my decision, and I won't change
         it.

Geralt: So we gotta trick him into talking. Any ideas?
Triss: Uh... Maybe tell him you have information about the Lodge -- or about
       Philippa, even better, he hates her most of all. You'll think of
       something.

 Let's go.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Still got a bad feeling about this... But tough. Let's go.

 Wait, wanted to thank you.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Wait. I wanna thank you.
  Triss: Come on. Anyone would do this...
  Geralt: No. Not anyone.
  Triss: Stop. It doesn't befit a sorceress to blush.

 What about the treasure?
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: What about the treasure?
  Triss: If we learn anything, great. If not...
  Geralt: Thought you need coin from Dijkstra to help the other mages.
  Triss: True, I do... Lots of ways to get gold, though. It's just not the most
         important thing now.

[The two start walking to the barracks.]

Triss: Geralt, remember, I can take care of myself.
Geralt: What're you talking about?
Triss: The hunters... They won't treat me like a lady. But I'll survive. Might
       hurt a bit, but... Ciri -- she's what matters. Do what you need to do,
       no matter what happens.
Geralt: Can't promise that.
Triss: I'm still asking you to. All right?
Geralt: All right.

[At the harborside entrance, they put the plot in action. Geralt knocks on the
 front door.]

Sentry: Whaddaya want?
Geralt: Here for my reward!
Sentry: What the hell for?
Geralt: For a witch! Recognize who I got? It's Triss Merigold!
Sentry: Merigold?! Come in, then!

[They enter. Hunters surround them.]

Hunter: Well, well... Triss Merigold. Given up drowners for sorceresses?
Geralt: Pay's better.
Hunter: It's 'cause they do more harm. What's a drowner do? Pull the odd
        fisherman from his boat? But the witches, they murder kings. Scheme.
        Start wars.
Triss: Don't forget turning your cows' milk sour straight out of the udder.

[A hunter backhands her.]

Triss: Aaaah!
Hunter: You're done jesting, Merigold. For good. Put her in a cell.

 Wanna talk to Menge.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Not so fast. I hand her over to Menge himself -- or not at all.
  Hunter: You reckon we don't what to do with this witch?
  Triss: Let go, you bastard.
  Hunter: Vulgar tongue's got no place bein' in such a pretty mouth. I guess
          we'll have to rip it out.

  Got something to offer Menge.
  ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
   Geralt: Try to loosen it, if I were you. Might learn something interesting.
   Hunter: For instance?
   Geralt: For instance, where Philippa Eilhart's hiding.
   Triss: I'll get you for this, you...
   (skip to "Shut your gob...")

  Might know your witches, but you're shit at catching them.
  ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
   Geralt: Yeah -- you might know how to handle witches, when they're brought
           to you in chains.
   Hunter: What's that supposed to mean?
   Geralt: That you're crap witch hunters if a witcher's gotta do your hunting
           for you.
   Hunter: Listen here, mutant... Since we entered this town, we've made ashes
           of over a hundred mages, alchemists, dopplers and other vermin. So
           don't you be tellin' us how to do our jobs, got it?

   I can lead you to Philippa.
   ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
    Geralt: Actually, think I could tell you a thing or two... It's not just
            Merigold. I've also tracked down Philippa Eilhart.
    Triss: I'll get you for this, you...
    Hunter: Shut your gob, ginger whore! And you spit it out -- where's
            Eilhart?!

    I'll tell your boss. No one else.
    ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
     Geralt: Thought I made myself clear -- I'll only talk to Menge.
     Hunter: Menge don't talk to the likes of you.
     Geralt: Well then you be sure and tell him I came by. With my friend
             Merigold.
     Hunter: Fine... Grab her and come with me. But be sure to stay right
             close.

    Don't talk to her that way.
    ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
     Geralt: Don't talk to her that way.
     Hunter: Why not? She's a whore, ain't she?

     Maybe, but for now, she's my whore.
     ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
      Geralt: Maybe, but for now she's my whore and I say you can't insult her.
      Hunter: Funny you feel that way, but so be it... Now. Philippa. Talk.

     Was I unclear? Don't call her that.
     ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
      Geralt: Last time I say this. Don't call her that.
      Hunter: Why not? Would you be bothered if I cut off her pinky?
      Geralt: Yes.

   It's about quality, not quantity.
   ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
    Geralt: What's it they say? Quality over quantity? 'Cause if it were about
            numbers, you might as well burn herbalists, village healers, hell,
            entire villages, black cats included...
    Hunter: You must think you're funny.
    Hunter: Maybe he is, fuck if we know. Thing is, we've no sense of humor.

  You're not gonna do any ripping.
  ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
   Geralt: You're not gonna rip her tongue out.
   Hunter: Cause¹ why?
   Geralt: Cause¹ this.

 Hands off.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Hands off.
  Hunter: What'd you say?
  Hunter: Agh, sensed it. Knew we couldn't trust him... Witcher, witch... One
          and the same.
  Hunter: So they can burn at one and the same stake.

====================== IF GERALT GOES WITH TRISS' PLAN ========================

[If Geralt succeeds in talking the guards into letting him meet Menge:]

Geralt: Here's where we split up. Go meet Menge. Merigold'll be next door.
Hunter: You can't have her until I get--
Geralt: You don't set the terms here! Dirk! You know what to do.
Triss: You won't get a word out of me. Not you, not him.
Hunter: Playin' tough, eh? Just you wait... We'll take a fingernail or three.
        That oughta get you singin'.

 Fine, take her. / Take her.²
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Do what you want.
  Hunter: Come on, witch... Show you the wonders a pair of pliers can work.
          You'll be surprised.

 Fine. But no torturing.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Fine. Take her. I'd rather she didn't interrupt my conversation. But
          hands off, don't touch her.
  Hunter: Why? Feel sorry for the bitch?
  Geralt: No. Couldn't give a shit about her... But if I don't get what I want
          from Menge, I'll want to sell her to someone else. Don't want you
          damaging the goods.
  Hunter: Keen nose for enterprise. You'd make a great madame. Don't you worry,
          Menge'll give you your coin... And Merigold will get what she
          deserves.

 [Axii Sign] Don't start torturing her without me.²
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: No torture till I get there. Got it?
  Hunter: Got it... No torture...
  Hunter: Wha...? Whoreson's castin' spells! Get him!

 I've had enough of this shit. / Enough.²
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: All right, had enough of this charade.
  Hunter: What're you on about?
  Geralt: Watch and learn.

[If Geralt manages to fool the hunters enough to get a meeting with Menge:]

Menge: I believe I told you not to let anyone in.
Hunter: Unless they had information concernin' Philippa Eilhart... This witcher
        says he's got just that.
Menge: Anyone can claim that.

[Geralt can hear the torturer next door.]

Torturer: We'll start with your pinky nail. Nah, let's go for your ring finger.
          This little piggy went to market...
Triss: Aaaach!
Hunter: But it's not that easy to bring us Triss Merigold.
Menge: Is that who I hear...? Very well. I'll go see her shortly. But first --
       let us talk. Sit, sit. Have a drink, witcher.

 Why not.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  (Geralt drinks from the goblet)

 Not in the mood.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Not in the mood.
  Menge: You've two choices, witcher... Drink, or die.

  Fine.
  ¯¯¯¯¯
   (Geralt drinks from the goblet)

  There's a third option -- I could kill you.
  ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
   Geralt: There's a third option.
   Menge: Oh yeah? What might that be?
   Geralt: I'm going to kill you.
   Menge: Guaaaaards! In here!

 Why?
 ¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Why the drink?
  Menge: Triss Merigold has been captured... An occasion worthy of a toast,
         don't you think?

 You can't torture Triss. I won't allow it.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Tell your boys to leave Triss alone first.
  Menge: Not a chance. The bitch must howl.
  Geralt: I've tried to be polite. You just won't let me.
  Menge: Guaaaaards! In here!

Geralt: Cidarian.
Menge: A 1261 vintage. Year of the massacre of Cintra.

Torturer: Ah -- stop squirming. Heh. This little piggy went home!
Triss: Aaah! Stop!

Menge: Kurt, please see why Miss Merigold squeals so convincingly. Perhaps she
       needs something? Hot irons, for instance?
Geralt: Speaking of metal...this goblet's silver. Making sure I'm not a
        doppler?
Menge: Ah, it's immediately apparent -- a professional. I find that refreshing.
       But to answer your question -- one can never be too careful. You'd be
       surprised how many who come here turn to rancid jelly as soon as they
       grip the goblet.

 Your hunters are torturing Triss, but I haven't been paid.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Still haven't paid me for the witch... Yet your hunters are already
          torturing her.
  Menge: What of it?
  Geralt: You're damaging goods you haven't paid for yet.

 Tell them to release Triss.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Enough. Let Triss go. Now.
  Menge: What? Who are you to give me orders?
  Geralt: A man with a sharp sword who doesn't like to repeat himself.
  Menge: Guaaaards! In here!

 Got a silver sword on my back. Not enough?
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Got a silver sword on my back. That not enough?
  Menge: It proves nothing. Dopplers can change their bodies at will, into
         materials that look and feel like silver as well... Materials that
         have none of silver's useful properties, naturally.
  Geralt: See you're an expert on dopplers.
  Menge: I'd expect a witcher of all...things...to understand the value of
         knowing one's enemy.

 No other way?
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: No way around this?
  Menge: Of course there is. Dopplers also assume their true form when
         subjected to horrific pain... So I could have you flogged. Effective,
         true -- but the goblet method is much quicker. Now let us get down to
         business.
  Geralt: See you're an expert on dopplers.
  Menge: I'd expect a witcher of all...things...to understand the value of
         knowing one's enemy.

Torturer: This little piggy had roast beef...
Triss: Aaayye...! You bastard... No...
Torturer: This little piggy had none...
Triss: Aaa... Aaaaa...

Menge: • Now, let us talk shop.
       • Don't worry. You shan't leave empty handed¹.
       I shall pay you twice the usual reward for Merigold.
Geralt: Awfully generous. Why?
Menge: Well...you've turned in your lover. The emotional trauma it must
       entail...you deserve compensation.

 Witchers do anything for gold.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Yeah, I've ploughed Triss. But what does it matter if you're paying
          gold for her head?
  Menge: Oh yeah...haha. Nearly forgot -- the mutations strip witchers of
         feelings.

 Don't know what you're talking about.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: No idea what you're talking about...
  Menge: You underestimate me. You see, I know everything about Merigold --
         her special talents, what she fears, who she's quarreled with, who
         she's shagged and who's ploughed her. Sensed from that start that this
         might be a provocation. Your inept lie just confirmed my suspicions.
         Guaaaards! In here!

 Triss betrayed me first.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: You seem well informed... So you have to know Triss betrayed me
          first -- used me as a pawn in the Lodge's game. As I see it, she's
          getting what she deserved.

 Changed my mind. Let her go.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Think I just changed my mind. Let her go.
  Menge: Didn't take much to get you to break. Guaaaaards! In here!

Triss: No... No more... I can't...
Torturer: Be brave, dear -- just one more fingernail and we'll move to the
          other hand. This little piggy went wee, wee, wee... Ow! Bitch bit me!
          Haha! The bitch bites! Let's put a collar on her. Dimeritium ought to
          calm her down.
Menge: You surprise me... Geralt. Perhaps we can do deal after all. So. You
       know something about Philippa... But I wager you won't share this
       information for free. What do you want in return?

 Free my friend Dandelion.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: It's simple... Free Dandelion.
  Menge: A degenerate bard for information about Philippa... Tempting offer, I
         must admit. But I must say no. You see, I've a magnificent execution
         planned for Dandelion. In Oxenfurt. A breaking wheel, flaying alive
         and so forth... It should work wonders on the mores of the academic
         youth and townsfolk.
  Geralt: When's this morally instructive spectacle due to take place?
  Menge: When I issue the order. In person. Dandelion will remain in the
         dungeons beneath Temple Isle until then. So sorry I can't be of
         help... Perhaps we can agree different terms?

  [Picking this after talking about the treasure is different:]

  Geralt: All right. So free Dandelion.
  Menge: First you ask me about a criminal's treasure... Now you want me to
         let loose a blaspheming degenerate. And here I had you for a man --
         that is, a being...of some moral principle.
  Geralt: No doubt we're cut from the same cloth. But we don't have to agree
          on everything to make a deal.
  Menge: We need not agree any terms, either. I could simply force you to tell
         me what you know of Philippa.
  Geralt: Doubt that. I really doubt that.
  Menge: Whereas I'm a man of great faith. Guaaaards! In here!

 I'm looking for this treasure...
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: I'm looking for a treasure. Was Sigi Reuven's until recently...
  Menge: Well, well... Furthering the cause of the Eternal Fire on one hand,
         working for criminals on the other...
  Geralt: I work for whoever pays me.
  Menge: Like a whore?
  Geralt: More or less. Just offer a different range of services. Where's the
          treasure?
  Menge: Secure in a Koviri bank. Far and safe from you, far and safe from
         Reuven.
  Geralt: Got information about Philippa. Thought you might want to buy it...
  Menge: I do. But not at any price.

 Fuck it. Had enough of this masquerade.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Know what? Fuck you. Had enough of this masquerade.
  Menge: Guaaaards! In here!

Menge: But first let's see how Miss Merigold fares. Its... It's grown
       suspiciously quiet in there. Come.

[They go into the torture chamber to find the attending guards slain. Triss
 approaches from the corner and catches Menge in her spell, before he can even
 cry out. She starts boiling him from the inside.]

Triss: He say where Dandelion is?
Geralt: Yes... But...

[She stabs him in the neck with a blade. She keeps him caught in her spell as
 he looks on in horror. Geralt eventually has to snap her out of it; Menge's
 lifeless body collapses to the floor.]

Geralt: Triss...

 Rushed a bit...
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: How do I say this... That was just a bit premature.
  Triss: What do you mean?
  Geralt: Menge said Dandelion's locked up on Temple Isle. Dungeon right under
          the temple. He was planning to execute him in Oxenfurt... Also said
          they'd only let Dandelion out of his cell once Menge gave the order
          ...in person.
  Triss: Shit... I'm sorry, Geralt... I...should've thought this through,
         but... When I saw him, I...

  We can't undo it.
  ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
   Geralt: What's done is done.

  No need to explain.
  ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
   Geralt: After what they subjected you to... No need to explain.

 Gotta see to your wounds.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: I should tend to your wounds...
  Triss: No need. I'm fine. Well...mostly fine. Should heal in time for my
         wedding.
  Geralt: Sorry. Shoulda gotten you out sooner...
  Triss: Don't apologize. I knew what I was signing up for.

Triss: He... He'd never have agreed to help us... Even if I...
Geralt: I know. Let's not dwell on this. We should think about what to do
        next...
Triss: Dandelion's safe for now... Though out of reach. We don't stand a chance
       of breaking him out -- Temple Isle's impregnable... And Menge's not
       likely to order his transfer, or anyone's for that matter...

 Let's search Menge's body.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Let's search his corpse.
  Triss: Right... Could find something that'll help us... Just his office key
         in his pockets. Here...nothing under the belt... Wait! Something's
         sewn in the lining...
  Geralt: What is it?
  Triss: The key to a vault. Here. Give it to Dijkstra with my regards. 

 Necromancy seems like our only hope.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Could you...revive him?
  Triss: Maybe... If I actually practiced black magic. Haven't sunken that low
         just yet.

 Menge burned a sheet of paper.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Saw Menge burn a sheet of paper -- right before we came in here.
  Triss: Could've been something on it that would've helped us. Argh, too late
         now.
  Geralt: So, there's no way you can recover the note...?
  Triss: Sadly, no. I'm a sorceress, not a miracle worker.

Triss: Nothing but dead ends... We'll need to make do...

 Don't have much to work with.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Menge's the only one who could've ordered Dandelion's release.
  Triss: Yes... Or someone who looks exactly like him...
  Geralt: A doppler?
  Triss: Mhm. Your old friend, Dudu Biberveldt -- impersonated the halfling
         merchant? Dandelion claimed he'd seemed more real than the original.
         So much so Vivaldi gave him a loan of several thousand crowns without
         batting an eye.
  Geralt: Yeah. Except Dudu's in hiding now. Priscilla might know something,
          though.
  Triss: Fingers crossed.

 Maybe breaking Dandelion out's our only option...
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Breaking Dandelion out's starting to look like our last option...
  Triss: Geralt, you know me... I'm all for finding solutions. I don't give up
         easily... But in this case, there's no hope, not a shred. No one
         escapes the dungeons beneath the temple.. And no one's ever been
         broken out.
  Geralt: Anyone actually tried?
  Triss: They've tried, Geralt -- I've tried, to be exact. Shortly before you
         arrived. It almost cost me my life.

Triss: Listen, there is one other thing I wanted to talk about. But not here,
       not now. Come by when you have a moment? I'd appreciate it. All right...
       we need to get out of here.

[If Geralt approaches the guard-infested front area.]

Geralt: I either go out another way...or ready my sword.
Triss: Geralt, over here...
Guard: What the... Over here!

======================= IF GERALT IGNORES TRISS' PLAN =========================

[If the cover's blown, Triss and Geralt simply fight all the guards, then kill
 Menge in his upstairs office. There's no notable dialogue.]

Triss: Think that's all of them... That was close.

 • I must say, trickery and deceit -- not your strong suits.
   Geralt: True. I prefer straightforward solutions.
   Triss: Yeah. Fight first, ask questions later.

 • What happened? I thought Menge took the bait...
   Geralt: No, he didn't. Sensed right off it was all a front.

 • What happened? I thought Menge took the bait...
   Geralt: He did... Until I asked about the treasure.
   Triss: Geralt... We talked this over, you agreed... Ugh, fine. Never mind.

Triss: We should search the office. Maybe we can find some documents mentioning
       Dandelion... I'll search his body. You search the room. I'd start with
       the desk.

[Geralt plucks a letter from the commander's desk, which tells about a dead
 drop involving a holy tome. It's signed "Yamurlak".]

Geralt: Find anything?
Triss: Just his office key in his pockets. Here...nothing under the belt...
       Wait! Something's sewn in the lining...
Geralt: What is it?
Triss: The key to a vault. Here. Give it to Dijkstra with my regards.

 I found a letter... From a spy.²
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: I found a letter to Menge, from someone important. A spy, I think.
  Triss: A spy?
  Geralt: Take a look.
  Triss: Drop boxes, secret signals... Yeah... Strong stench of spy craft
         here... This agent could know more about Dandelion.
  Geralt: Be he does. Letter explains how to signal for a meeting -- no mention
          of where it would take place.
  Triss: Maybe Dijkstra can help. He knows everything.
  Geralt: Everything? Slight exaggeration there.
  Triss: I'm not so sure.

 Kinda doubt the key'll be enough.²
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Key to a vault? No address? Why do I doubt this'll make Dijkstra
          smile?
  Triss: Well, might keep him from setting his thugs on us, breaking our legs
         for failing to fulfill our part of the bargain.
  Geralt: Meaning, glass is half full?
  Triss: Of something strong, I hope...

 Let's get going.²
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: All right. Nothing left for us here. Let's go.
  Triss: Be glad to. Just not by way of the main gate.

========================== PATH SPLITS REJOIN HERE ============================

[They sneak out the back way.]

Triss: This is where we split up. But first...let's burn this shack down.
Geralt: Agreed. We've left too much evidence.
Triss: Yeah. But I also need to blow off some steam.

 • Listen, there's one other thing I wanted to talk about. But not here and
   definitely not now. Come by later, when you have a moment? I'd appreciate
   it. All right. We need to get out of here.

[Triss wastes no time launching fireballs at commodity stacks and the doors.]

Triss: That should do it. I'm going. You should too.
Geralt: Mhm. Not about to use the teleport, though. See you, Triss.

[Geralt escapes the burning fortress. He's soon hailed by Dijkstra's man.]

Lackey: You there! Mr. Reuven wants a word.
Geralt: Impatient old bastard...
Lackey: Wha?
Geralt: Nothing. Be there soon.

[The guard takes Geralt to the docks where Dijkstra's waiting.]

Reuven: Who do I spy? Why, it's Geralt of Rivia!
Geralt: Ugh... Will you stop following me already?
Reuven: I will. Soon as you tell me where my treasure is.
Geralt: Me and Menge...didn't see eye to eye.
Reuven: How badly?
Geralt: Badly.
Reuven: I suppose that explains the smoke... My treasure's not in there, is it?
        Burning with the witch hunters...?

 • Geralt: No. Your gold's in a Koviri bank. Here's the key to the vault that
           holds it.
   Reuven: Well, well... Would've earned yourself a medal if I was in the
           position to bestow them.

 • Geralt: Didn't see it anywhere... And twenty tons of gold is hard to miss.
   Reuven: You mean to say you've come to me empty-handed?
   Geralt: First of all, you came to me. Second, I do have something in my
           hand... The key to a vault. Found it on Menge.
   Reuven: A vault? That I need to find on my own? You've not made things much
           easier for me. Gimme that.

 That's it? No witticism in parting?
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: That's all you're gonna say? No wry remark? No scintillating joke?
  Reuven: Hahaha... You want a knee-slapper? Fine, I'll tell you one. Ready?

 What about my reward?
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Spare me... I want my reward.
  Reuven: Geralt... Do all you witchers have such nerve?
  Geralt: Whaddaya mean?

Reuven: You lied to me.

        • Again.

Geralt: What?
Reuven: You knew from the start who robbed me. But you didn't deign to share
        that information with me.

 Stop crying. You'll get your treasure back, won't you?
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: No, I didn't. But I did deign to help you find your treasure, so stop
          moaning.
  Reuven: I jest you not, Geralt. You abused my trust.
  Geralt: I can live with that.
  Reuven: This time, yes, you'll live.

 How'd you find out?
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: How'd you find out?
  Reuven: I ask the questions here.
  Geralt: Not true. That was a statement. Come on, Dijkstra. This tough-guy act
          -- doesn't work on me. We're both adults. Act like one.
  Reuven: Hahahah! Ah, Geralt... I should have you strangled, but I like you,
          you bastard.

  I like you too.
  ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
   Geralt: I like you too...you count without a county.

  Can't say it's mutual.
  ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
   Geralt: That makes one of us.
   Reuven: I know, I know... Oh, the sleep I lose because of that...

  Geralt: Now that we've professed our mutual feelings for each other... How'd
          you figure it out?
  Reuven: Sensed from the start you were up to something. You didn't haggle
          about your pay. And then I heard from my sources that Margrave
          Henckel and Dandelion had rubbed elbows. Wasn't hard to connect the
          dots.

Reuven: And now... Time to settle things.
Geralt: That a threat?
Reuven: Quite the contrary. You helped me, witcher, so in spite of everything
        you've earned your reward.

 • Geralt: Don't bother. I know what happened to Dandelion.
   Reuven: Then take my coin. I always pay my debts... Even to liars.

 • Reuven: I take it you've still no idea what happened to Dandelion?
   Geralt: None. Found someone who might know, though. A spy, I guess -- signs
           his name "Yamurlak." Found a letter of his. Just one problem -- it
           only details how to arrange a meeting with him. Makes no mention of
           where--
   Reuven: A ruined house in Farcorners. Give the signal, and he'll show up
           there the same day, just before midnight.

   Thanks for your help.
   ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
    Geralt: Thanks for your help.
    Reuven: No need to thank me. Just paying off a debt. I always do, you know.
            Even to liars.

   How the hell do you know this?
   ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
    Geralt: Probably shouldn't ask, but...Dijkstra, how the hell do you know
            all of this?
    Reuven: I draw it all from the flight patterns of birds.
    Geralt: Your sarcasm -- it gets tiring, you know?
    Reuven: I've far worse qualities than that. Believe me.

Reuven: And a final humble plea. Don't try to fool me again...ever.

[The quest ends here if Geralt already knows of Dandelion. If one took a tome
 from Menge's desk, there's an extra step: meeting the spy in Farcorners. This
 requires approaching an Eternal Fire area and locating a drop box behind the
 torch shrine.]

Geralt: Must be the drop box. Gave the signal. Spy should show up in Farcorners
        before midnight.

[Geralt visits the meeting point early.]

Geralt: Now just to hide...and wait...

 • A blind man would even spot me here...
 • Behind the door... Best place to hide... Classic.

[At midnight, he sees Triss enter.]

Geralt: Triss? How'd you know to-- Ah, Dijkstra, huh?
Triss: None other. I couldn't resist... Really want to see this through to the
       end.
Geralt: Perfect place for a tryst...with Triss...
Triss: Mhm... Ceiling's collapsed, mold on the walls, mouse droppings in the
       corner... Lips almost pucker on their own...
Geralt: Shh. He's coming. Hide.

[Soon, a man walks in.]

Spy: Menge?
Geralt: Indisposed. Very indisposed.
Spy: I don't know who you are... But you're in deep. Shit right up to your
       nostrils.
Triss: You're in deeper, I assure you... But answer our questions, and we'll
       help you get out.
Spy: My answer to each question will be the same: sod off.

 That's no way to talk to a lady.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: That's no way to talk to a lady.
  Spy: To a lady, I'd never...but to a witch?
  Triss: You can. Wouldn't recommend it, though.

 Don't play the tough guy. Not worth it.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: You'll talk. Just a matter of time. So save us some, yourself some,
          too, and stop acting tough.
  Spy: Or what?
  Geralt: Or I'll have to hurt you. Permanently.
  Spy: I see you know your way around an interrogation... So do I. You're the
       bad one, all threats and torture, and the red one's the good one, full
       of sympathy and sweet promises...
  Triss: That's where you're wrong.

[Using her magic, she traps him in an agonizing paralysis spell, just like she
 may have done to Menge.]

Spy: Aaaaaargh!
Triss: Had enough?
Spy: Ffffff... Fffffuck off... I can take this...
Triss: Of course you can. But I'm just getting started.
Spy: Aaargh!

 [Don't react.]
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Triss: You must be thinking: this can't possibly hurt any worse... Oh, it
         can.
  Spy: Aaarrgh! Enough...ugh! Enough!

 Triss... That's enough.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Triss, stop.
  Triss: First, let him--
  Geralt: Please.

Geralt: So? Gonna talk?

 • Spy: Depends...on the question.
 • Spy: Yes, yes! Just tell me what the fuck about!

 We're looking for Dandelion.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: We're looking for Dandelion. We know Menge captured him.
  Spy: Th-that? That's what this is all about? A fucking minstrel? You might've
       said so from the start. Before you bloody started mucking my mind with
       magic?

 Who do you work for?
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Pure curiosity... Who do you work for?
  Spy: Won't say. No way.
  Triss: Sure about that?
 
  • Spy: Yes. No matter what you do, witch... That I will never reveal.
  • Spy: Hgh ugh hghgh... Radovid. I work or Radovid.

  What did Radovid hope to achieve?
  ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
   Geralt: Radovid -- what'd he hope to gain by helping Menge?
   Spy: He seeks to clear the field. Before he arrives.
   Geralt: Makes sense. Easier to take a city whose mages are gone.
   Triss: Bastard...he'll pay for this.

Spy: I can't believe it... For a miserable sap like that...

 Get to the point.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Get to the point.

 Expect an apology?
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: You expect an apology?
  Spy: No... But I've a right to be surprised, don't I?

Spy: Dandelion is on Temple Isle. In the dungeon beneath the shrine. Menge's
     planning to execute him in Oxenfurt... Positively spectacular.
Geralt: Afraid you'll have to call off the show.
Triss: How can we free Dandelion?
Spy: Those who leave Temple Isle do so only on Menge's orders... Issued in
     person.
Geralt: Dammit...
Triss: We'll find a way. I have an idea. Tell you later.

 Enough.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Enough... We've learned everything we wanted to.
  Spy: Glad to hear it. Can I assume we can put this unfortunate incident
       behind us and...
  Triss: Not so fast. Geralt...
  Geralt: I know. He's seen too much.
  Spy: But why... I told you... I'll never...

Triss: Either he dies... Or I wipe his mind.

 Kill him.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: As good as lit the pyres with Menge in the square. He deserves to
          die.
  Spy: But... But I helped you... I help--
  Triss: Faeren, angau.

 Take his memory.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Strip him of his memory.
  Spy: But... But I helped you... I help--
  Geralt: It's not so bad. I promise.
  Triss: Caesle, angaef.

[The spy topples over, dead or unconscious.]

 Triss...how are you?
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: How do you feel?
  Triss: Base. Cruel. Vile. I could go on...but I need to get out of here --
         now. Go home, bathe...then drink myself to oblivion.

 Showed your claws today.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Really showed your claws today...
  Triss: Is that how you see it? I'd put it differently. I showed how little I
         differ from these bastards. I... Let's finish up and leave. I want to
         go home, bathe...and get drunk.

  Mentioned you have an idea about how to free Dandelion.
  ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
   Geralt: Said you had an idea -- about freeing Dandelion...
   Triss: Yes... We know he's on the island. And he'll stay there until Menge
          orders him transferred to Oxenfurt, right?
   Geralt: Mhm. Problem is Menge's dead, so...
   Triss: No one else knows that. He could've escaped in the fire... He could
          reappear... Him, or someone very, very similar.
   Geralt: A doppler?
   Triss: Mhm. Your old friend, Dudu Biberveldt -- impersonated the halfling
          merchant? Dandelion claimed he seemed more real than the original.
          So much so Vivaldi gave him a loan of several thousand crowns without
          batting an eye.
   Geralt: Yeah. Except Dudu's in hiding right¹ now. Priscilla might know
           something, though.
   Triss: Fingers crossed.

  I'll walk you home.
  ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
   Geralt: Walk you home...?
   Triss: Not today, Geralt. Not today. But... There is this one other thing I
          wanted to talk about. So, mind coming by later? Menge's dead, true,
          but that hardly marks the end of my troubles.

• Triss: Listen, there's one other thing I wanted to talk about. But not here
         and definitely not now. Come by later, when you have a moment? I'd
         appreciate it. All right. We need to get out of here.

                                 ____________________________________________
________________________________/ MAIN QUEST: IN CIRI'S FOOTSTEPS (NOVIGRAD) |_
¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
7g) THE PLAY'S THE THING                                                 [WK7G]
_______________________________________________________________________________
¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
[After learning about Dudu in "Count Reuven's Treasure," Geralt returns to see
 Priscilla at the Kingfisher.]

Geralt: Think I know how to free Dandelion. Got a plan, but we need Dudu, gotta
        find him.
Priscilla: This...plan? What is it?
Geralt: Our doppler friend will assume Menge's form, order Dandelion moved to
        Oxenfurt. We can grab him on the way.
Priscilla: Brilliant, but how do you aim to find Dudu?
Geralt: You're his friend -- any idea where he might be hiding?
Priscilla: With a doppler, the question is never "where," but "as whom." In
           the past, facing trouble, he'd disappear, then reappear on the
           morrow as someone else. But this time...? This time he hasn't
           returned.

 We gotta convince Dudu to come out of hiding.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: We need to convince Dudu to reveal himself. Any friends we could
          leave a message with, someone he trusts...?
  Priscilla: Dandelion, Irina Renard's¹ troupe -- that's all, really. I'm not
             certain he was friendly with anyone else. Spent dawn to dusk with
             the troupe, on stage or in the crowd...

 How long've you known Dudu?
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Known Dudu long?
  Priscilla: I know this might sound strange but...I can't be sure. It seems
             he'd been circling me for some time in various forms, trying to
             attract my attention...
  Geralt: Can't blame him for making the effort.
  Priscilla: Thank you. I failed to notice him at first. Then he decided to
             shoot the moon, assumed Dandelion's form.
  Geralt: What tipped you off? How'd you know it wasn't Dandelion? Dudu not
          much of a singer?
  Priscilla: No, he simply spoke about something other than himself.

Geralt: So he liked going to the mummings...?
Priscilla: Yes. I'm actually surprised he didn't come to us after it all
           happened. He certainly could've counted on the foxen's help...
Geralt: Hmm... So if these mummers are ready to help...
Priscilla: We need only mention Dudu. Irina and company are deeply indebted to
           him.

 Maybe a play's the thing...you know.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Maybe we could use a play. You know, work a message to Dudu into
          something. Lure him out of hiding that way.

 Dudu and the mummers -- what's the link?
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Dudu and the mummers -- how'd they meet?
  Priscilla: That was my doing. Some opening night. Maxim lay comatose in his
             wardrobe, drunk as an otter. I thought of Dudu. Hard to imagine a
             better actor than a doppler.
  Geralt: And Dudu revealed himself to them, just like that?
  Priscilla: I didn't think it wise to tell anyone, but Dudu and Irina took to
             each other completely and right away. He fell so hopelessly in
             love with the theater...
  Geralt: That he started performing with you?
  Priscilla: Yes. Now Irina feels terribly guilty. They let him put himself in
             danger. She can't forgive herself.

Priscilla: Not a bad idea, but I doubt a few lines would suffice. Besides, do
           you really think Dudu whiles away his days attending mummings he
           knows by heart?
Geralt: So what do you suggest?
Priscilla: We must write an entire new play, from scratch. Something grand,
           something that will grab Dudu's attention. So most importantly, it
           must have a splendid title. It must be the talk of the town. If you
           wish, we can start on it right away.

 All right. We can work on the play.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: All right. Guess we can start writing the play.

 Don't know that I can write a play.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Not sure I'm cut out to write a play. Maybe you're better off doing
          this on your own.
  Priscilla: It's sure to go quicker if you help me. You'll see, we'll have a
             grand time together.

 Let's write later.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: We'll write the thing later.
  Priscilla: Good. I'll have more time to prepare. You may wish to speak with
             Madame Irina and her troupe first. You'll find them in the
             Butchers' Yard off the main market square.
  Geralt: Be back soon. See you.

Priscilla: Any ideas for the plot?
Geralt: Actually, I was hopin'--
Priscilla: The key is to convince Dudu that he can rely on you. And that we
           wish to free Dandelion. The message must be clear, though naturally
           woven into the play's dramaturgical essence, meaning we need an
           appropriate dramatic structure. Following along?

 More or less.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: More or less.
  Priscilla: That'll do.

 Not entirely.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Not entirely.
  Priscilla: Tough, you'll need to pick it up as we go along. There's no time
             to explain everything to you.

 Yes, all clear.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Yeah, all clear.

Priscilla: Now to find the proper expressive form for our content. A gripping,
           contemporary story -- that'd be best. Perhaps about the condotteiri
           of Poviss? I know: Lorenzo Molla. A tale of a handsome but ruthless
           bandit...and the doppler who manages to fool him. But now the
           doppler must hide and can only count on the help of his friend,
           who's a witcher...who in turn is prepared to do anything to save his
           daugh'... No, better -- his beloved. Hmm... What do you think?

 Good idea.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Sounds great.
  Priscilla: Really think so? Lorenzo Molla, yeah... Hm... Or perhaps not.
             Wait.

 Need something different.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Let's keep thinking. That seems a bit...
  Priscilla: Too fresh? Right you are. Wait, give me a minute... I've got it!

Priscilla: We shall stage a story of the Urcheon of Erlenwald! Secret lovers,
           their betrothal, a curse, a cruel queen, bells sounding midnight...
Geralt: But--
Priscilla: At which point he reveals his face! He's a monster, there to steal
           Princess Pavetta! They want him dead, but at that instant a witcher
           steps in! And everything ends splendidly. So, it's settled, yes?
           You wished to say something?

 Need a good title.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: We need a good title. Venture to say that's more important than the
          story itself.
  Priscilla: I've some ideas -- perhaps you can choose.
  Geralt: Gonna consider my opinion this time?
  Priscilla: Of course. We're partners in this. I'm just in charge.

 Do I get a say in any of this?
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Will I get a say in any of this? Or have you decided everything
          already?
  Priscilla: Why are you cross? It's the nature of the creative process -- we
             toss around ideas and choose the best ones.
  Geralt: Meaning yours.
  Priscilla: Well, you must admit I'm better acquainted with the theater.
             Naturally, you'll play a part in shaping this play, contribute to
             the work as a whole. Dandelion will explain how it works later.

Priscilla: I've too really good ones: "The Doppler's Salvation" and "A
           Changeling Rescued, or the Witcher's Triumph." Which do you prefer?

 "The Doppler's Salvation."
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Let's go with "The Doppler's Salvation." It's shorter, catchier.

 "A Changeling Rescued, or the Witcher's Triumph."
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: "A Changeling Rescued, or the Witcher's Triumph" -- really emphasizes
          the message we're trying to get across.

Geralt: Just one problem -- no dopplers in that story. Just a princess and a
        cursed urcheon.
Priscilla: Nothing simpler. We need merely swap the doppler for the urcheon.
           The message -- that's what's important. a witcher arrives and saves
           the doppler. Got it?
Geralt: All right. So it's a comedy?
Priscilla: I was thinking more along dramatic lines, but if you'd prefer
           something lighter... Listen, merely decide and I'll get to work.

 Drama.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Hm, you're right. A drama'd be better.

 Comedy.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Think comedy's the safer option.

Priscilla: Very well. I must get to work. While you...must pick a corner, sit
           down, read silently...or just think? All right?
Geralt: Fine. Since you don't need help with the writing...
Priscilla: Geralt, wait. A rhyme for "witcher"?
Geralt: Err..."did itch her"?
Priscilla: Ugh. Just keep quiet.

[Hours later, Priscilla wakes up Geralt from where he'd fallen asleep.]

Priscilla: Ahh, done. I could make a small masterpiece of this had I a bit more
           time, but...
Geralt: We're fresh out of that. The hidden message to Dudu -- what'd you weave
        it in?
Priscilla: Hidden message?
Geralt: You were gonna work something in, like "Come to the Kingfisher at dawn"
        or...
Priscilla: That wouldn't be in keeping with the tone of the play! Not at all!
Geralt: You wrote it to contact Dudu! That was the purpose... Fine, so how do
        you see this working?
Priscilla: I don't know. I was counting on recognizing him by his scar...or
           just improvising. Shall we worry about that later? First, you must
           take the script to Madame Irina. Sure you know where to find her?
           The troupe performs in the Butchers' Yard, off the main square.
Geralt: Join us later. See ya.

[Geralt approaches the locked Butchers' Yard theater. A ticket taker's nearby.]

Geralt: This where Madame Irina's troupe performs?
Seller: Yeah. But you can only enter with a ticket. There's no performance now,
        mummers're just rehearsin'... Process is interestin' to observe,
        though. So. Want a ticket?
Geralt: No performance, said so yourself.
Seller: You can still get a ticket. What'll it be? Need a ticket?

 (50 coins) Yeah, I'll take one.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Yeah, one.
  Seller: Here. Just stay outta sight, eh? Awful bashful, these mummers in
          rehearsal.

 No. Don't want a ticket.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: No. No need.
  Seller: So be it. But you'll not get in. Whores through a window -- them you
          can watch gratis. These here're artistes.

[Geralt goes in to find rehearsal underway. Irina Renarde's nearby.]

Irina: Almost. That was almost it, but-but--
Actor: Well? What was wrong that time?
Irina: I don't know anymore... It simply needs more fire!
Geralt: Madame Irina? Can we talk?
Irina: Geralt of Rivia! Dandelion's told us so much about you! Is he with you?
Geralt: No, but I hope to bring him back soon. Here to talk about Dudu.
Irina: Hm. Let's speak in my quarters, at the back of the theater. We'll be
       undisturbed there.

[The two visit that location.]

Irina: How can I help? We've not seen Dandelion or Dudu recently...

 I'd like to put on a play.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: I wanna stage a play. Something that'll really draw the crowds.
  Irina: I see... And you hope it will get Dudu's attention as well, draw him
         here. So it must be an entirely new play? And...who will write it?
  Geralt: Priscilla, actually. She's done writing it. Tells the story of a
          witcher who saves a doppler from certain death.

 Dandelion's in trouble.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Dandelion's in trouble.
  Irina: That much I guessed -- though I am curious how serious it is. Did he
         seduce a powerful man's wife and go into hiding? Or did he write an
         offensive couplet about the priests of the Eternal Fire?
  Geralt: Worse. Lots. I'm gonna try to help him. Gotta contact Dudu first.
  Irina: But he's disappeared as well.
  Geralt: Have a plan to lure him out of hiding, but I need your help. Can I
          count on you?
  Irina: Naturally, but can we possibly do...?

Irina: Hm, sounds interesting. I'll gladly have a glance, but first we must
       think about getting the word out and organizing some protection --
       ushers. Would you mind tending to these matters?

 Why the ushers?
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Think we need ushers? A play about dopplers could be controversial...
          but are ushers absolutely necessary?
  Irina: Can't be sure if you've attended many performances, but Novigrad
         crowds can be particularly...difficult.
  Geralt: Rotten apples, tomatoes, eggs -- that sort of thing?
  Irina: Axes, butchers' knives and bricks, usually.
  Geralt: All right... Know anyone appropriate?
  Irina: Try the docks, perhaps. You're bound to find some men willing to do
         any work for a few crowns.

 How do I help you publicize the staging?
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: How can I help you spread the word about the premiere?
  Irina: Well, we'd like all the city to hear about it, so we must clearly talk
         to the Puffins.
  Geralt: Who're the Puffins?
  Irina: Street artists. Get them to announce the premiere and even the mussels
         on the harbor piling will hear about it.
  Geralt: Where'll I find them?
  Irina: They did occupy some room in the Bits, in a townhouse, but I can't be
         sure they're still there. I've not seen them in the streets lately.
         They may very well have hung up their body hose...
  Geralt: See if I can find them, and if they'll work for us.

 Thanks. See you.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Thanks for helping. I'll come back once I've found some ushers.
  Irina: See you then.

[Geralt goes to a dockside fighting arena in his search for ushers. Solus the
 Bull is the bookie/fighter there.]

Geralt: Good fight. Some nice footwork there.
Solus: Challenging me or is it Hal you wanna face? A witcher versus the Beast
       of Metinna! Killer instinct versus primal rage!

 Got a job for you. As ushers.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Like to hire you to help out. We're staging a play.
  Solus: Need us to kick some arse on stage?
  Geralt: Actually want you to usher, keep the peace, make sure no one's ass
          gets kicked -- on stage or off.

 You from Nilfgaard?
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: You guys really from Nilfgaard?
  Solus: We's from ploughin' Metinna, dammit. Not Nilfgaard. Raised by wolves
         on the windswept plains of Mag Deira! Brothers forged in bloodshed,
         veterans of Metinna's infamous, filthy arenas! Who dares face the wild
         men of the South?! Who will look the beasts in the eye?

Solus: Got the wrong men. Arse-kicking's what we do.

 (70 coins) I'll pay you. / (70 coins) Rather pay you.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: I'll pay you well. Stand to make more than you do here.
  Solus: Expecting trouble? Will we need to bust some heads?
  Geralt: Can't rule it out. Bricks could start flying -- heard that from a
          reliable source.
  Solus: Hal! Wanna smash some bricklayers? Oh, he does, he does! Or I don't
         know me own brother. Gimme that coin. And don't fret, we'll be there
         before any of the, uh, dancin' starts.

 What if I fight you and win?
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: How about a wager? If I beat Hal, you'll come work for me -- gratis.
  Solus: Hmmm, see, Hal's no fan of mummings. Failed romance, spare you the
         details. You'll need somethin' special to convince him. Here's an
         idea: take us both on, same time. Fight of the century -- a witcher
         'gainst the two-headed dragon of Metinna!
  Geralt: What if I lose?
  Solus: Oh, you'll lose. But we'll still do your little job. You'll just pay
         us double.

  (70 coins) Rather pay you.
  ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
   Geralt: Not in the mood for a fight. Can't I just pay you?
   Solus: How it always is with you ploughin' Nordlings. Hal! Finish up, will
          you? We're gonna take in some high culture! I'd never agree to this
          shite, normally. But I must say I'm curious why a mutant's hirin'
          two boys from Metinna to keep peace at a performance in Novigrad.
          Give us the coin. Hal! For fuck's sake, finish the bugger already!
          We're going! We'll be there before any of the dancin' starts.

  Agreed. Fight you both.
  ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
   Geralt: Fine. Fight you both.
   Solus: Cough up the coin first. Lose, and it stays with us.

   (140 coins) Here -- double your usual take.
   ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
    Geralt: Double your wages. As promised. But if I win, I get it back.
    Solus: Hal! Finish 'im! Got somethin' special lined up!

 Need to think about it. / Lemme think about it.² / Changed my mind.²
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Gotta think about it.
  Solus: Go and think. Much as you want.

[If Geralt beats Solus and Hal in the fight:]

Solus: Well, well... Ain't often you get such a lovely thrashin', eh, Hal?
       Man's speechless, but I can see it on his mug. Bugger likes you. Time
       we got some rest -- we'll guard whatever you want. For free, eh, Hal?
       Your coin -- have it back. And don't fret, we'll be there before any of
       the, uh, dancin' starts.

[If Geralt loses the fistfight:]

Solus: Fought well, white one. Hal liked you. Can see it in his smile. We've
       time for a rest, then we'll guard whatever it is you want. Don't fret,
       we'll get there before any of the, uh, dancin' starts. And we'll keep
       that coin, right Hal?

[After locating ushers, Geralt seeks out the Puffins at their townhouse. He
 enters to find a group of sadsacks lazing about the ground floor.]

Geralt: Nice tune... Damn sad, though.
Woman: Then it successfully conveys my mood... What do you seek here?

 Looking for the Puffins. This the place?
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Looking for the Puffins... Have I found them?
  Woman: We've no coin. Leave us be!
  Geralt: Think there's been a mistake...
  Woman: Sorry... Thought our landlord had hired another thug to collect from
         us...

  Got a job for you.
  ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
   Geralt: Don't want any coin from you. In fact, I'm willing to pay you,
           provided you agree to get the word out about Madame Irina's new
           play.
   Man: Oof, afraid that's impossible... Ever since we premiered our fateful
        ballad about "Holy Hemmelfart, who his faith ignores, gorges himself,
        diddles old whores," Fatso's gang has been harassing us incessantly...

  Another thug? Thanks.
  ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
   Geralt: Another thug? Flattered. Thanks.
   Woman: Forgive us... You look threatening, and we've had our fair share of
          trouble lately.
   Man: Nissa's on edge these days. We all are.

 Never mind.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Never mind... So long.

Geralt: Fatso's gang?
Man: Common thugs in the Church's pay. City's full of gangs like that now.
Woman: They threatened Nissa -- said they'd round off her pointy ears with a
       carving knife.
Nissa: They don't let us perform, chase away spectators, destroy our
       instruments. Lately, they've taken to lurking outside our home. We're
       at wit's end, no clue what to do...

 Will you publicize the play if I help with Fatso?
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: All right... Say I get Fatso and his boys to leave you alone. Will
          you publicize Irina's play then?
  Nissa: Of course, but... You shan't find it easy. There's no talking to that
         lot...
  Geralt: I'm not a great talker anyway.

 They harm any of you?
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: They harm any of you?
  Man: No, not yet. But it's merely a question of time.
  Woman: Nissa overheard talking about setting fire to something.

[Geralt tracks Fatso's bandits hanging around the block.]

Geralt: So you're the ones...
Bandit: Oi, Fatso, look what we got here. Is it just me, or you got cat eyes?
Bandit: Right he does! Stray cat must've fucked his mum! Heheheh!
Bandit: Now what you doin' in the city of the Eternal Fire, catshit?

 Leave the Puffins alone.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Leave the Puffins alone.
  Bandit: Worms that insulted Heirarch Hemmelfart? Called him a whoremonger?
          I'd sooner snuff out the Holy Flame itself!
  Bandit: Tell them fuckin' poets to come down here. Shove their flutes up
          their blasphemin' arseholes!
  Bandit: Yeah, they'll play a different tune then -- every time they fart!
          Hahah!

  Go away. Now.
  ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
   Geralt: Get out of here. Now.
   Bandit: Wha?!
   Bandit: Fuck yeah!

  (50 coins) I'll pay you to go away.
  ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
   Geralt: Give you coin to leave.
   Bandit: Fine. Give 'er here.
   Bandit: Cept¹ we're not goin' nowhere. Well, Yohan might run and get some
           wine, now we've got the means.
   Geralt: I really dislike being cheated.
   Bandit: Come on then. Gonna rip me?

   Guessed it.
   ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
    Geralt: You guessed it.

   Not worth it.
   ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
    Geralt: Trash like you -- not even worth bruising my fists.
    Bandit: Look at that! Tough guy's turned coward! Harharharharhar!

  [Axii Sign] Leave them alone.
  ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
   Geralt: Leave the Puffins alone.
   Bandit: Aye... We will... Alone...
   Bandit: What the hell?
   Bandit: Black magic! He's a fuckin' witch, get 'im!

 See you.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Never mind. I'm going.
  Bandit: Fuck off then! No one's keepin' you!

[After Geralt forces the bandits to vamoose, the Puffins approach.]

Man: Ah, what a sight! You really showed them! One, two... Over the back! Then,
     pow! Right in the noggin...
Nissa: I'll finally be able to leave my home without hiding beneath a hood.
       Thank you...very much!
Geralt: C'mon... It was nothing...
Woman: Oh, it was something all right! And don't dare think we've forgotten our
       promise. We'll strip our voices ragged praising Irina's new play!
Geralt: How much'll I owe you?
Nissa: Not a copper! Helped us out. See no reason why we shouldn't help you.
       Get half the town to come to the play, wait and see!
Man: Some quick preparations and we'll be out in the streets! Till the next!

[If Geralt visits the gangbangers before finding the Puffins:]

Bandit: I dare you to say it again!
Man: I...I didn't say nothin'...
Bandit: Not enough he's a heretic, he's also a liar! What'll we do with 'im?
Bandit: We'll bruise his kidneys... Unless he's got somethin' in that pouch...
Geralt: What the hell's this?
Bandit: What's it to you, you prancin' freak?
Bandit: Look, he's scared off our new friend. Can't have a civil conversation
        in public these days without some dreg buttin' in.
Bandit: This is the city of the Eternal Fire. No room for his kind here.

Bandit: Ah, oh! All right -- enough! Dammit, enough! Boys, leg it!

[If Geralt eliminates the gangbangers before being asked by the Puffins, when
 he visits those jugglers...]

Man: Who... Who are you?
Geralt: Geralt. A witcher. Looking for the Puffins -- that you?
Woman: Yeah, that's us...but...you thrashed Fatso's boys. We saw everything
       from the window.
Geralt: They your friends?
Man: No! The opposite! They'd been hounding us, we dared not leave our home
     because of them.

 I want to hire you.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Got a job for you. Madame Irina's preparing a premiere. Need you to
          spread the word.
  Man: Why, we'd be delighted!
  Geralt: How much I need to pay you? We want the whole town talking about it.
  Woman: Argh, nonsense. We shall do it for free. You rid us of those bullies
         -- consider it payment.
  Geralt: All right... You'll want to see Madame Irina to get the details.
  Man: We'll see her right away. You know it's heartening -- a witcher not just
       partaking of cultured diversions, but aiding them.
  Geralt: Shit happens. See you at the premiere.

 What did they want from you?
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: What'd they want from you?
  Man: We premiered a ballad recently -- "Holy Hemmelfart, who his faith
       ignores, gorges himself, diddles old whores..." they'd¹ been hounding us
       since.
  Nissa: They broke our instruments, dispersed our crowds... Lately, they took
         to lurking outside our home.
  Geralt: Didn't look terribly pious to me. Church of the Eternal Fire hire
          thugs like that now?
  Man: Yes, the city's full of such gangs.

 Bye.
 ¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Glad I could help. Farewell.

[Geralt revisits Irina after contacting the ushers and Puffins.]

Irina: Ah, there you are!
Geralt: Managed to hire some ushers.
Irina: Wonderful. That's one matter resolved.

 The text -- need to discuss that.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Wanted to talk about the text itself.
  Irina: Hm, it's not at all badly written. In fact, I quite like it! I was
         willing to relax my standards to help Dudu, but we may have something
         very interesting here.

 Thanks. See you.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: See you later.

Irina: I've very clear ideas on who to cast as the Servant, the Witcher and
       the Queen. But I'm not certain who should play the Prince and the
       Princess...

 Who's gonna play the Witcher?
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Who's playing the Witcher?
  Irina: An amateur -- it'll be my first time working with him. But I'm
         confident he'll pull it off.
  Geralt: Newcomer to the troupe?
  Irina: In a sense... Oh, stop pretending you don't know. I'm talking about
         you.

  Good idea.
  ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
   Geralt: It's a good idea. Doubt I'll get a standing ovation, but Dudu'll
           see me. That's the key.
   Irina: But...you will make an effort, won't you? Learn your lines, at least?
   Geralt: I'll give it a shot, of course.

  Not an actor. No talent.
  ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
   Geralt: I'm no actor. Might not have noticed, but I'm a little low on
           emotional expression.
   Irina: But that's perfect. After all, you're to play the Witcher, not the
          Princess. Besides, you must appear on stage. Dudu must see you. It's
          the crux of this entire endeavor.
   Geralt: You're right. Just never thought I'd have to do something like
           this...
   Irina: You'll be fine, dear. You need only strut on stage, great sword in
          hand, furl your brow, make some threatening faces, then deliver a few
          lines in a gravelly voice. Think you can manage?

 Let's talk about the Princess.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: So, about the Princess -- small part, but an important one. Any idea
          who could play her?
  Irina: Priscilla would be the obvious choice -- she's young and beautiful.
         Yet I do have more stage experience...

  Have Priscilla do it.
  ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
   Geralt: Let's have Priscilla do it. No offense, but most people...
   Irina: ...greater importance to appearance than to talent. I understand. I
          shall let her know... I'm certain she'll be wonderful.

  You should play the Princess.
  ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
   Geralt: Role's yours. Talent and experience trump looks in my book.
   Irina: I'm honored. I shall give it my all.

 Let's talk about the Prince.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: So who do you see playing the Doppler-Prince?
  Irina: I'm finding it hard to decide between two candidates. Abelard Rizza
         would be the safer bet. He's been part of our troupe for ages, has
         flawless technique...but he doesn't exactly captivate the crowds.
  Geralt: Who's your other option?
  Irina: Maxim Boliere. Outstanding actor and audiences love him, but sadly I
         can never be sure he'll show up sober. Or that he'll show up at all.

  Let's go with Abelard.
  ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
   Geralt: Let's go with Abelard. I'll take a reliable artisan over an
           unpredictable artist anyday.
   Irina: Rightly so... The project is risky enough without our casting Maxim.

  I prefer Maxim.
  ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
   Geralt: Let's risk it and give the role to Maxim.
   Irina: He's had a good spell of late, so maybe he won't let us down.

 Getting rich off this?
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: These performances bring in much coin?
  Irina: Well, it varies. On good days the square is barely capable of
         accommodating everyone, other times we're lucky to earn a handful of
         coppers. Of course, we shall pay you a fee as well. You're a member of
         the ensemble now.
  Geralt: Hm, thanks.

 See you.²
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: See you later.
  Irina: Remember to study your lines. We've no prompter, so you must know them
         backwards and forwards.
  Geralt: Right.

 Got the cast figured out.²
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: All right, got the cast figured out.
  Irina: It seems so. Prepared to plunge headlong into your career as a mummer?

  We can start now.
  ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
   Geralt: We can start now. Looked over the script, out of curiosity... We can
           start any time, even now.
   Irina: Well, we've no time to lose. Come to the stage.

  Still need to learn my lines.
  ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
   Geralt: Working on it. Still need to learn my lines. It's a lot to
           memorize...
   Irina: One who knows an entire bestiary and can blend dozens of alchemical
          brews can surely memorize a few lines of rhymed verse. Good luck!

[Zoltan walks in.]

Geralt: Zoltan? What are you doing here?
Zoltan: Prissy told me you lot're puttin' on a play, with you playin' the
        lead...
Geralt: I'm not the lead...
Zoltan: So I thought to meself, I'd sooner shave me beard than miss that! Tell
        me, witcher -- you gonna wear hose and a codpiece?
Irina: Come, Geralt. You must focus your mind before you go on stage.
Zoltan: Good luck!

[Finally, the play starts. An actor walks to the fore.]

Actor: Ladies and gentleman! Most honorable citizens of Hallowed City of
       Novigrad! Welcome!

       • We have for you a tale moving and heartbreaking...
       • We have for you an exquisite comedy...

       • Its title: "The Doppler's Salvation"...
       • Its title: "A Changeling Rescued, or the Witcher's Triumph."

       The players: Witcher Geralt as Himself, Catarina as the Queen, Leo Ribe
       as the 'Umble Servant! Appearing as the Prince...

       • ...a veteran of the Novigrad stage, Abelard Rizza!
       • ...the delight of audiences far and wide, Maxim Boliere!

       And as the Princess...

       • ...renowned artiste, beloved queen of the stage, Irina Renarde!
       • ...the lovely trobairitz with the voice of a nightingale, Priscilla!

[The first scene begins in the throne room.]

Servant: Majesty! The monster slayer awaits!
         Your summons he's answered and stands at the gates!

Queen: Show him in, I must speak to the man.

       • Lest that dread beast take my daughter's hand.
       • But first -- some wine -- to steady my hand.

       Witcher! Your task is a matter most tender.
       A monster shall show at midnight's feastly splendor.
       Stand guard, beware, kill the beast if he shows...

       • And a grateful queen shall reward your woes.
       • Your reward you'll receive on my finest pillows.

 I kill monsters for pleasure...
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: I kill monsters for pleasure... And...
          And... No man is my measure...

 To slay beasts most foul...
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: To slay beasts most foul -- 'twas for this I was made,
          I kill as my calling, not just to get paid.

Servant: He's swallowed the bait, this fool of a witcher!
         I'll ensure the foul beau reveals his true figure.
         The monster revealed, the witcher shall strike,
         the beast will he slay, thrust his head on a pike!

Queen: Ah... My child will pity her love, this beast.

       • But a fiend and a maid? No, this must cease.
       • Though at least, ere he goes, he'll enjoy a last feast!

[Geralt and the Servant appear in the second scene.]

Servant: Gathered are we, a host fair and noble,
         to celebrate this day the princess's betrothal!

Geralt: Alas, no monster do I see or hear...

 Perhaps 'midst the guests...
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Perhaps 'midst the guests he hides, in fear?

 Maybe he's hid...
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Maybe he hid...in the cellar... Or a barrel of beer.

[The third scene has all the characters at a feast. If Maxim's the prince, he
 bungles the lines in his drunkenness:]

Prince: My dear! Long have we -hic- hid our love's tender fires.
        In stealth we'd kiss...uh...deceitful, like liars.
        Tonight shall it end -- be my wife, that's my plea!
        Our hearts' torment over, we shall love for centuries!

[If Abelard was chosen, he'll say the lines right:]

Prince: My dear! Long have we hid our love's tender fires.

        • In stealth we'd meet, in deceit, like liars.
        • Months we've restrainted our loins' hot desires!

        Tonight shall it end -- be my wife, that's my plea!

        • Our hearts' torment over, we shall love for centuries!
        • That having said -- I'll get down on my knee.

Princess: Oh, darling, I will, I will, I will!

Servant: Wait! With wine must we toast this moment joyful.
         If not, a foul curse shall rend your lives woeful.

Prince: Treason! 'Tis not wine, but a brew spiked with silver!

        • Soon all shall see my true monstrous figure!
        • My bowels contract, a foul beast to deliver!

Geralt: Hark! Hark! 'Tis no prince, but a doppler impostor!

 If the maid loves him...
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: If the maid loves him... It seems we've lost her...

 Seems men's hearts...
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Seems men's hearts can love for changelings foster!

Queen: Behold, witcher, the beast of which I spoke!
       Unleash your sword! Let fly the killing stroke!

Princess: Stop! Stop! Beast or man, 'tis my love, my betrothed!

Geralt: Sheathe your blades! Fear a doppler? 'Tis a thing most foolish.
        Changing one' shape does not make one ghoulish.
        Remember! 'Tis not flesh a monster makes...

 But a lack of morals...
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: But a lack of morals... And a surfeit of cakes...

 But a base heart...
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: But a heart that is base, such as in this knave aches!

Queen: Witcher, 'tis true! This wretch's foul suspicions...
       ...tainted my mind with this plan so malicious.
       The doppler must live, my daughter he'll wed.
       Beast or man, she loves him truly, without dread.

Geralt: Tis¹ our tale's end, good folk, and it's moral is this...

 No monster is he...
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: No monster is he whose shape can shift.

 Show love for the dopplers...
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Show love for the dopplers... As well as for fish.

Queen: The witcher is just -- a true doppler's friend.
       But you, foul page, in chains you shall end.

Princess: Guard! Call the guard! Remove the traitor at once!

[Geralt points to the onlooker with the suspicious scar Dudu was supposed to
 have, and who he noticed earlier in the play.]

Geralt: Hey! Hear the princess' command? Come up here!
NPC: Come on then, guv'nor! Up you go! On stage!
NPC: Toss the traitor scum in the dungeon!
Geralt: Don't be afraid. In the end, everyone'll live happily ever after.

[The disguised Dudu gets on stage.]

Geralt: Doppler and princess wed the same night.
        The servant's heart melted, he wept at the sight.

[Guard Dudu takes the traitor off stage. If the play's a drama, the crowd soon
 becomes outraged, culminating in a bloodbath:]

NPC: Dopplers to the stake! Burn 'em all!
NPC: He's right! Oy, mummers! Don't know the Eternal Fire's commandments?
NPC: Blasphemers! Oughta teach them respect for the faith!
NPC: What you on about! Shut the fuck up and clap, afore I tear you new
     arseholes.

 • NPC: Take more than threats to keep us quiet!
   NPC: S'all right. I'll try me knuckledusters. Come here!

 • NPC: Tear me a new one? We'll see about that! On your feet, boys! Give 'em a
        taste o' hell -- in the name of the Church!
   Solus: Give us a hand, witcher! Can't take 'em on our own!

Solus: All right, lads. Fun's over, back to your places. Come on, Hal!

[If the play's a comedy, the spark of outrage quells early:]

NPC: Dopplers to the stake! Burn 'em all!
NPC: Give it a rest, mate. Can't you see it's all in fun? It's a comedy -- a
     ghoul could play the prince. Lighten up, for gods' sake.

[After the play, Geralt meets with Dudu and Irina in her quarters. Priscilla
 will be there, too.]

Dudu: Geralt! You recognized me! How'd you do it?
Geralt: Greetings, Dudu. Heard about that souvenir Whoreson left on your face.
Dudu: So...you know...everything? Have you seen Ciri?
Geralt: No. Still looking for her.
Zoltan: Geralt! Masterful! You did great! Haven't laughed that hard in ages!
        Lads won't believe it when I tell 'em!
Geralt: Explain one thing to me: how'd you and Dandelion manage to displease
        Reuven, Whoreson, and the Temple Guard all at the same time?
Dudu: It's not as if we planned it...
Zoltan: Heheheh.

 How'd you escape after the fight at Whoreson's?
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: I know Ciri went back to Whoreson's to get you. How'd you manage to
          escape?
  Dudu: I ran after her, wanting to keep up, but...I'd 'ave been a hindrance.
        She called out to me, entreated me to shape shift and disappear...

 You didn't contact Priscilla. Why?
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Why didn't you find Priscilla or the mummers, contact them?
  Dudu: I came to a few performances, different shape each time, but I dared
        not show myself... Feared I'd put them at risk. Then I got word of the
        new mumming, saw it as my chance to learn something, anythin' about
        Ciri and Dandelion.

Dudu: I tried to find them -- Ciri and Dandelion. It was as if they'd turned
      to vapor. Fearing for my life, I shifted each day, becoming someone
      else. Even considered turning into Ciri, to trick her pursuers, but--
Zoltan: Slow down, marmalade. Hmmm. Geralt, when'd you last see Cirilla, hm?
        Been a while, hasn't it?
Geralt: A while, yeah.
Zoltan: For me, likewise. Must be a full grown lass by now. Dudu, do us a wee
        favor -- show us Ciri, for a moment.
Dudu: Geralt?

 No need.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: No, no need. I'll recognize Ciri when I see her. Sure of it.
  Zoltan: I, uh...just thought you might want to see...

 Show us.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Transform...change into her.
  [Dudu transforms into Ciri, only he retains his scarred right eye.]
  Dudu: I feel strange, both of you staring at me bug-eyed. Is that enough?
  Geralt: Yeah, plenty. Bad idea.

Zoltan: Not angry with me, are ye, Geralt?
Geralt: No.
Zoltan: I feel relieved.
Dudu: And Dandelion? Were you able to find him?
Geralt: Witch hunters nabbed him. But there's good news, too.

 We can free Dandelion -- with your help.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: We think we can free Dandelion. Just need your help.
  Dudu: What could I do?
  Geralt: Take on Menge's appearance. Then go and give the order for Dandelion
          to be moved to Oxenfurt.
  Zoltan: We'll lay an ambush in the ravine en route. Spring Dandelion from
          the convoy when it rolls by.

 Menge's dead.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Menge's dead.
  Dudu: Ugh, a fiend. Good thing someone finally killed it. Though another just
        as bad or worse will likely take its place.
  Zoltan: Wouldn't be so quick to assume. Got a feelin' it could be a decent
          fellow.
  Dudu: What's he talkin' about?

Dudu: Wait... Not so fast. How am I to be Menge? And I've no notion where
      Dandelion's being held...

 You'll be fine.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Listen, you'll manage. Everybody believes Menge's missing. You can
          make up any story you want.
  Zoltan: My lads and me'll lie in the ravine. Geralt'll then join us and we'll
          await word from ye.
  Dudu: But how am I to contact you as Menge? Send word that the convoy's left?
  Geralt: You'll need to figure that out. Come on, guile's your middle name.

 Dandelion's on Temple Isle.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Dandelion's on Temple Isle. Imprisoned there. You'll need to find
          out exactly where.
  Dudu: But what if they grow suspicious? Start asking questions?
  Zoltan: I'll bet my best axe no one'll pester the commander of the Temple
          Guard. Besides, you're a doppler and an actor -- and an actor and a
          doppler. Got double the spark to improvise your way outta any
          situation. Things get spicy you'll just nip round the corner and
          transform into a buxom wench, a jackdaw or whatever else strikes your
          fancy.
  Dudu: Of course. It's that simple. Thanks.

 No one else knows Menge's dead.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: No one knows Menge's dead. Don't need to worry about being exposed.
  Dudu: No one...save you? Would this have anything to do with the fire at the
        witch hunters' barracks?
  Geralt: We were in the area.
  Zoltan: Heheh... I sorely regret not seein' that!

Zoltan: So? We all clear? Dudu, get your arse to Temple Isle. I'm off to
        assemble my crew, and we'll be waitin' for ye, Geralt.

 Yeah. Meet you in the ravine.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Yeah. See you in the ravine.

 We could use some help. Lemme talk to Dijkstra.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: We could use a bit of support. Lemme talk to Dijkstra. Catch him in
          a good mood, and he just might lend us a few bodies.
  Zoltan: We'd manage, we would, with just my lads, but if you miss Sigi that
          much...
  Geralt: He's the one's got a soft spot for me. Said so himself recently.

Dudu: Whoa! Wait! Hold on! What happens after? I-I hope you don't expect me
      to continue as Menge, live like Chappelle, burning the occasional heretic
      to keep up appearances...?
Geralt: No, once it's over, we expect to see you at the Rosemary and Thyme,
        where we'll all meet...
Zoltan: ...to get pissed like wild badgers. So? Settled? Let's get to work!

[After the meeting, Irina talks about his play performance.]

• Irina: You were marvelous! Not a single mistake!
• Irina: Not bad, not bad at all...for your first time out. Just a few minor
         trip-ups.
• Irina: Oh, Geralt, Geralt... I fear I'd be more successful hunting a beast
         than you were on stage.
  Geralt: Could be. You'd still be wiser not to try.

Geralt: The performance in general -- what'd you think?
Irina: I doubt the audience understood it all, but that's to be expected.

 • I'm just pleased the Puffins got the word out. That was quite the crowd.

 • You were right to cast Abelard as the Prince. It's likely Maxim would have
   shown up drunk as a fish, or forgotten about the premiere altogether.

 • Such a shame Maxim went on stage inebriated and all... Some of the crowd
   demanded refunds.

Irina: Here you are -- your fee. I must admit, your style of mumming, well,
       it's quite...minimalist. Did you study anywhere?
Geralt: At Kaer Morhen. Minimum expression means maximum effect. Thanks for
        the coin. Take care now.
                                 ____________________________________________
________________________________/ MAIN QUEST: IN CIRI'S FOOTSTEPS (NOVIGRAD) |_
¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
7h) A POET UNDER PRESSURE                                                [WK7H]
_______________________________________________________________________________
¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
[With Dudu found and informed, Geralt need only visit Zoltan at the proposed
 ambush site. It's possible to ask Dijkstra for help, however, if his loot
 was found to be in Kovir...]

Geralt: Recently mentioned you, uh, have something of a soft spot for me.
        Gotta ask you a favor...
Reuven: Oh-hoo! That's quite the start, Geralt. What is it you want?
Geralt: Need to carry out an ambush. Could use a few of your men.
Reuven: An ambush? What's this about?
Geralt: Gimme men who'll survive the fight -- they can tell you afterwards.
Reuven: Heheh...I really do like you, Geralt. That's why I'll give you not one,
        not two, but three of my best men.

 Three's good.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Three's enough.
  Reuven: Then it's settled.

 Was hoping for a number ending in "teen."
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: I was hoping for a number ending in "teen."
  Reuven: Teen? How many "best men" you think I have?
  Geralt: Hm -- more than three, maybe?
  Reuven: I'll give you your "teen" once you tell me what you're planning.

  Can't say.
  ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
   Geralt: No can do.
   Reuven: So, where should this elite trio of my best meet you?
   Geralt: Dijkstra...
   Reuven: Shush! Remember: I'm Sigi.
   Geralt: Here of all places, I'd think we can talk freely. Or are you afraid
           your own men spy on you?
   Reuven: Of course they spy on me. I'd be disappointed if they didn't --
           after all, I do choose the very best.
   Geralt: So how many of your best can you give me, Sigi?
   Reuven: Ah, all right, you've convinced me. Four.
   Geralt: Fine.

  I want to attack a temple guard transport.
  ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
   Geralt: Need to attack a Temple Guard convoy.
   Reuven: Hm, wouldn't have any other favors to ask, would you? Search your
           heart, let me know, hm?
   Geralt: You can only give me three men, really?
   Reuven: Since you aim to stick your prick in the Eternal Fire itself, I
           can't even give you that number.
   Geralt: Mean you refuse to help?
   Reuven: I mean at the appointed time and place, you will find six men
           waiting, who have absolutely nothing to do with me. Is that clear?
   Geralt: As a bright summer day. Thanks.

[Geralt eventually finds the ambush site, along the Novigrad-Oxenfurt road.
 Zoltan and some henchdwarfs are by the small campsite.]

Geralt: Seems everything's ready.
Zoltan: Aye. Soon as we catch site of 'em, we'll block the road, 'gainst the
        whole unit, if need be. And...you know I think it's a great plan all
        around, and I'm always glad to help... And it's not like I'm not eager
        to crack some holier-than-thou buggers' skulls, but... Seein' as we've
        got a doppler, wouldn't it've been easier to have him release Dandelion
        and -- and be done with it?

 Woulda raised suspicion.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Too suspicious. Think about it -- Menge disappears, then shows up
          with a scar on his face to release Dandelion?

 This ambush is simpler.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: This ambush is simpler -- 'cause Menge was already planning to move
          Dandelion to Oxenfurt. Dudu just confirms an order Menge was planning
          to give. If he released Dandelion, he'd need to explain why, probably
          raise suspicions in the process.

Zoltan: Ehh, I suppose you're right.

[Priscilla approaches.]

Geralt: Priscilla? What're you doing here?
Priscilla: Some child brought a note from Dudu -- the convoy will leave at
           dawn. May I stay with you? I can't stand it, sitting at home,
           worrying about Dandelion.
Zoltan: Never fear, my dear, you'll get your warbler back, just hope he's got
        his p-- Dammit! Gotta watch the rhymes in the presence of a lady.
Geralt: Go back to town.
Priscilla: Please...I shan't be any trouble.
Zoltan: Aw, c'mon, Geralt, leave it go, let her stay. Look at her, all
        weepy-eyed... Like my Muttsie when his guts knotted up.

 This is no place for her.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: This is no place for her. Something happens, I don't wanna have to
          explain to Dandelion why she was here to begin with.
  Priscilla: Need I remind you you're here to rescue Dandelion, not me? Seems I
             can take care of myself.
  Geralt: Fine. But remember...

 Fine, she can stay.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Fine, she can stay. On one condition...

Priscilla: I know. As soon as the fighting starts, I'm to stand at a distance.
Zoltan: Not much happening just yet. And it might be some time 'fore it does...
Priscilla: Well, how about a game of gwent?

 Let's play.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Sure, let's play.

  [Later...]

  • Priscilla: Have I won again? My goodness. So, another hand? If you've no
               more coin, we could play for...

  • Priscilla: This was a stupid idea.
    Geralt: You're the one who wanted to play.

 Don't feel like it.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Don't really feel like it. You two play.
  [Later...]
  Zoltan: Hm, all right, you know the basics, that's clear. Now we can play
          for real.
  Priscilla: Hahahah!

Dwarf: They're comin'! They're comin' now!
Geralt: Priscilla, stay here.

[A carriage and armed escorts trots down the road at dawn, as planned.]

Hunter: Heeey-rup!

[The dwarves' falling log trap blocks the road, spooking horses and clobbering
 at least one witch hunter. One horseman puts the prisoner over the saddle and
 rides off.]

Dandelion: Heeeeeeelp!
Geralt: Dandelion! Dammit...
Zoltan: Geralt! Go after him! Leave these here to us!
Dwarf: Watch out! Three more shits out the hole!

[Geralt does his witcher senses while riding, tracking the horse.]

• Rode through here. 
• Shit, lost him. Gotta look for tracks.
• Prints're deep. Horse was carrying a heavy load...
• Hoofprints.

[Optionally, Geralt has an opportunity to question an NPC at a roadside camp.]

Geralt: Anyone ride through here? Two men, one slung over the saddle like a
        sack?
NPC: Oh, aye, somethin' o' the kind dashed by. Turned left, there. But 'twere
     a wench he were carryin', swear it on me 'ead. Squealin' and wailin'
     so...

[If Geralt goes down the wrong path:]

• Dammit, followed the wrong trail. Gotta look for a single set of hoof marks,
  heavily laden horse.

[Geralt gets back on the trail.]

• Hm, looks like it might've started limping.

[Near an out-of-the-way cabin, Geralt finds a dead horse. Two halflings and a
 dwarf are nearby, arguing.]

NPC: What did you expect me to do? Chop his legs off at the knees? Didn't
       even know what he was after...
NPC: Think someone let somethin' slip?
NPC: If Big Willy got pissed and again and went to jabberin' about the
     workshop...
NPC: And just who'd he get pissed with? Witch hunters? Even Big Willy's not
     that daft.
NPC: By the by...how'd he get that nickname? I mean, he's even short for a
     dwarf...
NPC: Think they'll confiscate the paintings?
NPC: They'll never find them all.
NPC: Argh, who the fuck's this now? Hey, you! What the hell's afoot here?

[Geralt walks over.]

Geralt: What is it?
Dwarf: You tell me! One o' them hunters barged into our hut, turned us out
       'fore we could so much as fart in protest!
Geralt: There another man with him? Tall, dark-haired?
Dwarf: Aye. Jabberin' the whole time.
Geralt: Mhm, Dandelion. So, hunter's barricaded himself inside? There another
        way in?
Dwarf: Truth be told, there is...

 Wanna get rid of this hunter or not?
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Wanna get rid of this hunter or not?
  Dwarf: Honest? We'd see you all gone, but he'll do for a start. Here. The
         key. Cellar door 'round the back.
  Geralt: Thanks.

 This other way, where is it?
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Where's this other way in?
  Dwarf: Aren't you curious? It's an ordinary tunnel, back way out in case o'
         trouble...
  Dwarf: We don't let strangers in there, show it to 'em, even! And there's--!
  Dwarf: Hrmph. Shut it!

[Geralt can hear Dandelion and his captor arguing inside.]

Hunter: Sit there. There, I said. And shut it!
Dandelion: All right, all right. But what then? How long do you think you can
           keep me in this hut?
Hunter: Quiet!
Dandelion: Don't worry about me, I'll be quiet. But those halflings? You can't
           trust them, you know... Once I saw one of them... Ouch!

[While infiltrating the dwarven cellar, Geralt can hear the two discussing.]

Hunter: And how can I be sure you won't try anything?
Dandelion: I'll go with you. Not like I have a really have a choice now, do I?
Hunter: And there'll be no trickery along the way? I could wring your neck like
        a fat hen's, you realize...
Dandelion: Yes, but I also realize you won't. My corpse is worth nothing to
           you, whereas alive...! Like I said -- a hundred gold ingots. One
           hundred gold ingots -- no more, no less, or I'm not Julian Alfred
           Pankratz, Viscount de Lettenhove!
Hunter: Viscount? Come on, everybody calls you Dandelion...
Dandelion: That, my friend, is what we call an assumed identity. Can't expect
           me to reveal my full title to every goitered idiot I run across.
           Now, if you could just unbind... You've made a wise choice. Very
           wise. Might not be more than a sergeant today, but tomorrow...
Hunter: Quiet! I thought I heard something...
Dandelion: What? No, no, no! You see, me and gags, we don't-- Mff mmmmff!

[Geralt goes upstairs and slays the captor.]

Dandelion: Geralt! Must you ruin everything? I had him right where I wanted
           him... Ahh, hahaha -- it's good to see you, friend! Been a while
           since you were last in Novigrad. What's--
Geralt: Come on. We'll talk outside.

[They go outside, seeing Zoltan and Prissy approaching.]

Dandelion: Priscilla? What are you doing here?
Priscilla: Are you all right? You had me worried sick!
Zoltan: Dandelion, you rascal! Got this lass to thank for us racin' after
        youse. She chivvied and chivvied...!
Dandelion: Shame you arrived too late to see us hoodwink that hunter! I had a
           plan all set, but then Geralt...
Geralt: Dandelion, I need to ask you something. It's important, so focus.
        Where's Ciri?
Dandelion: Ciri? I thought, seeing how you're here... You haven't seen her?
           I...well I don't know where she is.

 When'd you last see her?
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: When'd you last see her?

 I know you tried to help her.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: I know you tried to help her. Gotta say I'm having trouble
          understanding why you went to Whoreson Junior of all people...
  Dandelion: No one else came to mind. Maybe, given more time, I'd have done
             things differently, but Ciri said the Wild Hunt was on her trail.
             Whoreson seemed pretty harmless by comparison.
  Geralt: Something went wrong...
  Dandelion: So you've heard everything? I hope you're not mad, you can't be...
             My plan was perfect...until we put it in motion. How was I
             supposed to know Menge was after Dudu?
  Geralt: Heard enough about your plan. Need to know what happened to Ciri now.

Dandelion: We were on Temple Isle, running from Whoreson's men...

[Dandelion tells of the flashback in "Ciri's Story: Breakneck Speed."]

Dandelion: Ah, what an adventure! One minute we were pulling off the heist of
           the century, the next we were the prey, a pack of hunters on our
           tail...
Priscilla: Yes, a splendid story, but I think I've had my fill of this
           boasting. Come, Zoltan, we must convince the halflings they saw
           nothing at all.
Dandelion: Gave me enough material for a volume of ballads! And this one'll
           sell like hotcakes!

 Nobody's gonna read that.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Nobody's gonna read that drivel.
  Dandelion: Sheesh, what crawled into your britches and bit you?
  Geralt: I'm just...worried.
  Dandelion: About who? Ciri? Have a little faith, Geralt.

 That's your interest in this? What about Ciri?
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: That all you care about -- the ballads this'll inspire? Ego swell a
          bit lately? Getting more and more selfish with age.
  Dandelion: What is that about?
  Geralt: It's about Ciri!
  Dandelion: Why would I ever worry about her?

 Yup, you'll make a fortune...
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Right... Best bit's when the guard draped you over the saddle like a
          sack of corn. Stands to make you a fortune.
  Dandelion: Time will tell. You're getting to be grumpy in your old age.
  Geralt: I'm just...worried.
  Dandelion: About who? Ciri? Have a little faith, Geralt.

Dandelion: You have any idea how she fights?! The girl can take care of
           herself, believe me. Anyway, she's gotta come back for that little
           box. The trinket that started it all.
Geralt: Mean this?

[He shows the phylactery.]

Dandelion: You get it from Whoreson?! Whoa, Ciri'll be overjoyed. Whoreson on
           the other hand's gotta be pre-tty furious!

 Any idea what the phylactery's for?
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Ciri ever tell you what it is? And Whoreson -- why'd she go to him
          with it?
  Dandelion: She went to Whoreson because I took her there.
  Geralt: Coulda guessed that was your idea.
  Dandelion: What? Her magic bauble was broken -- Whoreson had access to the
             mages who could fix it.

 Whoreson's dead.²
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Whoreson's dead.
  Dandelion: Oo, guess you're no stranger to fury, either. Weeell, can't say I
             regret the man's abrupt passing. Deserved it as much as he
             deserved that...awkward nickname.

 True, Whoreson wasn't thrilled.²
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Well, he wasn't exactly thrilled.
  Dandelion: Hey, while you were at it, you didn't think to put in a good word
             for me, did you? Something like, I never intended to cheat him and
             if he harms a hair on my head he'll have you to deal with?

  Didn't have time.
  ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
   Geralt: Ran outta time.
   Dandelion: You don't care a lick about your friends.

  Gotta problem? Solve it yourself.
  ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
   Geralt: You've made your bed -- lie in it.
   Dandelion: You don't care a lick about your friends.

  No, but I'll be sure to next time.
  ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
   Geralt: No, but I'll make sure to mention it next time.
   Dandelion: Thanks! Adventures are great, but they can be¹ hard to write up
              if you're fingerless. Which is not to say Whoreson would stop at
              that.

 Dandelion: What about Sigi Reuven...how's he doing?
 Geralt: Fine, last I heard.
 Dandelion: That's too bad. 'Cause I have a sneaking suspicion he might be a
            teeny bit mad at me...

Dandelion: Besides, she needed help deciphering a curse...its incantation.

 Know any more about the curse?
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Know any more about the curse? Something specific, a detail?
          Anything?

 Why was Ciri interested in a curse?
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: What was Ciri's interest in this curse? Did she want to cast it or
          lift it? She tell you?
  Dandelion: She wasn't all that willing to talk about it. I didn't want to
             pry.
  Geralt: The one time when it might've been useful.
  Dandelion: But I'm almost positive she meant to lift it.
  Geralt: Off who, what? Or was it about her directly?
  Dandelion: No... I don't think so... I mean, she didn't look cursed. But boy
             was she in a hurry.

Dandelion: Hmm... Well, I know the words.
Geralt: You're kidding.
Dandelion: No. They were elven. Ciri was constantly repeating them to herself,
           probably not to forget. Went like this: "Va fail, elaine, ceàdmil
           folie! Gleaddyv dorne aep t'enaid, bunn'droh ithne i'yachus."

• Geralt: Doesn't mean a thing to me.
  Dandelion: Even less to me.

• Geralt: Hm, the curse invokes ugliness... My entire life, I don't think I've
          seen anyone uglier than--
  Dandelion: Stunning Gemma?
  Geralt: No, a certain deformed midget who appeared out of the blue on the
          shores of Hindarsfjall... And now wanders around the baron's
          castle...
  Dandelion: Argh, you and Ciri -- like two water droplets. Never know what
             either of you are talking about.

 I need to find Ciri.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: She slipped away, again... I was so close.
  Dandelion: Hmm... She came here from Velen. Somebody there helped her,
             apparently. Maybe she went back?

  • Geralt: Doubt it. Talked to the baron there -- he's the one helped Ciri.
            Said she rode off to Novigrad to look for Yen and me. And Yen's in
            Skellige, looking into traces she thinks Ciri left behind there.
    Dandelion: So? Skellige?
    Geralt: Skellige.

  • Geralt: Maybe... Besides, the curse might've had something to do with Uma.
            I should collect him from the baron.
    Dandelion: Uma -- the, uh, deformed midget? What will you do with him?
    Geralt: First, lift the curse. Maybe I can get some help at Kaer Morhen.
            After that -- who knows.

 Ciri say anything else?
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Dammit, that's just not enough. Ciri say anything else?

 Ciri ever mention him?²
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Ciri ever mention him?
  Dandelion: Some deformed midget? No.

 Dandelion: Didn't say much at all, to be honest. Geralt, she's no longer that
            little girl who ran around Kaer Morhen. Sure, she's still
            impulsive, alive, but she's also stubborn and sulky... Apple
            didn't fall far from the tree, lemme tell you.
 Geralt: Right...

[Priscilla and Zoltan return.]

Priscilla: You two have chattered enough. Now it's my turn to talk to
           Dandelion.
Zoltan: And I'll gladly have a go at him when you're done. Let's get back to
        the Rosemary and Thyme.
Dandelion: Weeell, I've certainly had my share of excitement for one day. A
           juicy roast and a soft bed with fluffy pillows -- I think that's
           the least I'm owed... We haven't seen each other, talked, in ages.
           Consider dropping by if you're in the area.
Geralt: I'm sure to be by sometime soon.
Dandelion: I'll hold you to that, Geralt. See you soon. And thanks again for
           today.

[Priscilla and Dandelion ride off.]

NPC: But why ever would he want that?
NPC: Man'll be thrilled. Come on! Go!
NPC: Oy, Master Witcher! We've a gift for you! Uhh, hmhm... We're, uh,
     grateful -- we wanted to demonstrate that. So...we got this wee gift for
     ye.
Geralt: Portrait of the heirarch. Nice.
NPC: Oh, it's nothing, really -- got oodles of 'em. Just...if you wouldn't
     mind not mentioning where you got it... All right?
Geralt: All right. Farewell.

                                 ____________________________________________
________________________________/ MAIN QUEST: IN CIRI'S FOOTSTEPS (NOVIGRAD) |_
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7i) CIRI'S STORY: BREAKNECK SPEED                                        [WK7I]
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[This Ciri flashback is recounted toward the end of "A Poet Under Pressure."
 Ciri has just slaughtered everyone in Whoreson's hideout, and now has to flee
 from the remaining lot.]

Henchman: Grab the bitch!
Dandelion: They've barred all the gates! We have to run! Grab a horse! To the
           temple!

[They ride further into Temple Isle, toward the Eternal Fire's hilltop castle.]

Dandelion: Leave the horse! We have to! We're almost there!
Henchman: Got 'er right where we want 'er! Ready! Wait for it... Wait... Now!

[They slay more of Junior's ambushers, then enter the temple's grounds.]

Guard: They're headed for the square! After them!
Priest: Guards! Guards!
Ciri: Dandelion!

[Ciri slays more lackeys and gets roughed up a bit.]

Dandelion: Ciri!

[Just before she would be hit by a crossbow bolt, Ciri disappears from the
 temple with her powers, leaving Dandelion in the enemy's clutches.]

Dandelion: Ciri...

[...and completely surrounded.]

Dandelion: Dammit!
Priest: Arrest that man!

[The quest ends with the armed men approaching the bard.]
                          ____________________________________________ ______
_________________________/ MAIN QUEST: IN CIRI'S FOOTSTEPS (SKELLIGE) | WK08 |_
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8a) DESTINATION: SKELLIGE                                                [WK8A]
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[To reach the island chain where Yennefer went, Geralt needs to find passage.
 He heads to Novigrad, the largest port in the area, to do just that. If one
 checks the southernmost target:]

Geralt: You captain of this tub?
Liglad: What's it to you?

 Need to get to Skellige.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: I'm Skellige bound. Need to get there.
  Liglad: Start swimmin'. Islanders, the Black Ones -- all attack us in those
          waters. No one sails the route these days.
  Geralt: Come on. Clans are ready to deal, leave you alone if you do.
          Someone's done it, gotta have.
  Liglad: Not likely. 'Cept maybe that daft bastard Wolverstone from the
          "Atropos." A liar, a thief and a bugger, that one. He mighta parleyed
          with the sea-swine.
  Geralt: Hm. Where can I find him?
  Liglad: In a pigsty, most times. Others -- the Golden Sturgeon. Ask for Flask
          -- everyone knows 'im.

 Wanna hire this ship.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: How much would it cost me to hire this ship?
  Liglad: The "Harmony of Nations" ain't for hire. Ship's owners got plans for
          it.
  Geralt: There anyone in Novigrad who'll take me to Skellige?
  Liglad: Tsk, you mean anyone here off their gourd? Aye, Wolverstone. Goes by
          the name of Flask. Ask at the Golden Sturgeon. Man's a sheep bugger,
          like the Skelligers. Sure they get along great.

[If Geralt tries the northeastern ship target:]

Sentry: Where you scurryin' to, you wretch? Lemme see your pass.
Geralt: Pass? What pass?
Sentry: Kind of pass that confirms you ain't no mage. Can't enter or leave
        Novigrad without it.

 Don't have a pass.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Sorry. Don't have a pass.
  Sentry: You'll scurry no further, then. Next!
  Geralt: Hang on... How do I get one?
  Sentry: Start by makin' an offerin' to the Church. Then you'll need three
          pure souls to confirm...
  Sentry 2: Let him through. Here's his papers.
  Sentry: Wha? But where'd...
  Sentry 2: Not your concern. Back to your post.
  [He whispers to Geralt as he walks by.]
  Sentry 2: Regards from Sigi Reuven.

 Why the lockdown?
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Why've you shut the city gates?
  Sentry: So's we can clean it of mages, witches and other scum that's crawled
          here since the war began. Aim to catch every last one of 'em, toss
          'em on a flamin' pyre, like poxy livestock.

[Geralt finds a woman near the boat.]

Geralt: Who's captain of this ship?
Woman: Lookin' at 'er. Aye, her. That's right: I, a woman, am captain --
       shockin' as shit, I know.

 Take me to Skellige?
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Need to get to Skellige.
  Woman: Not on this boat, you won't.
  Geralt: Pay you well.
  Woman: The islanders live off plunderin' the seas. Not willin' to risk that.

  Ever been there?
  ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
   Geralt: Ever sailed there?
   Woman: Listen -- the islanders attack all ships. When they hate someone --
          Nilfgaard, for instance -- they attack 'em more, but truth be told
          not much more. Boarded me once. Expected they wanted to see if I had
          captain's bollocks. That spot o' fun gave me enough Skellige for a
          lifetime.

 Farewell.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Farewell.

[After being tipped off to Wolverstone, Geralt finds him at the fishermen's
 local tavern. He's already sauced.]

Geralt: You Wolverstone, captain of the Atropos?
Flask: So you want to know...if I'm Atropos, cap'n of the Wolverstone...? No
       fuckin' clue, mate...
Geralt: I need to get to Skellige.
Flask: My Atropos and me, we're due to sail for Ard Skellig. Carryin' grain.
       But that's hush-hush. Got any coin?

 (1000 coins) I'll pay you.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Here. That enough?
  Flask: Hefty sack, like a bull's. When do we sail?
  Geralt: Not sure you're ready. You can barely stand.
  Flask: Know this, stranger. Captain Wolverstone never sails sober. The sea
         goes one way, Wolverstone goes the other. Makes the rockin' bearable.
         So, ready to sail?

  Let's go.
  ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
   Geralt: Let's go.
   Flask: Ah-ah-ah. First we must drink to the wind, to good fortune, and to
          the strength of my Atropos. Ah. Anchors aweigh!

  Give me a bit.
  ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
   Geralt: Gimme some time to prepare.
   Flask: Prepare all you want. She's not done loadin' as it is.

 Gotta get some.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Gotta get more coin.
  Flask: You sure do. For I won't even wet me arse in a bath without payment
         in advance.

[The Atropos pulls out of the harbor en route to the islands. Geralt can be
 seen trying to get some shuteye belowdecks. He later wakes up to the clanging
 of swords and men's yelling, and rushes out to find a pirate attack underway.
 After fleeing the battle, Wolverstone's Atropos runs into a rock. Geralt's
 just enough time to see the mast before it tumbles on him, knocking him out
 cold. Several hours later, he washes up ashore on Ard Skellig, the largest of
 the islands. An islander flips his body over intending to loot the corpse,
 only to be startled when the witcher wakes up and grabs his hand.]

Geralt: Back off, or I'll kill you.
NPC: I'm not afeard of dyin'.

 Rob corpses much?
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Rob every corpse that washes up on shore?
  NPC: Takin' from corpses ain't theft. I'm a man o' the Isles. I don't reap,
       I don't sow -- the waves bring me my harvest.

 You of clan an Craite?
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: See I've landed on Ard Skellig...
  NPC: How you figure that?
  Geralt: You're wearing Clan an Craite colors. Ard Skellig's their island.

NPC: On the Atropos, were you?
Geralt: Yeah. Thought the captain had a deal with you.
NPC: With us? Meanin' who, exactly? Might've arranged somethin' with Lugos, but
     Crach? Nay. Clearly should've, though. Outlander ships aren't welcome in
     these waters. What about you? What do you seek in Skellige, eh?
Geralt: Agreed to meet a sorceress here -- Yennefer of Vengerberg. She's
        supposed to be on Ard Skellig.
NPC: There's a witch at Kaer Trolde -- Crach's guest. Could be the one you're
     meetin'.

 What's Crach's guest look like?
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Seen her? Know what the sorceress looks like?
  NPC: Aye. Wears black and white. If not for her tits you'd think she was a
       beached orca. Fact is, even those who see her for a wench'd gladly push
       her out to sea, tits and all.

  Sorceresses can be like that.
  ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
   Geralt: Yennefer's not all bad. Once you get to know her.
   NPC: Heheh, take your word for it.

  I'm gonna slap you.
  ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
   Geralt: What's your name?
   NPC: Steingrim.
   Geralt: Well, Steingrim, I don't like you. In fact, I feel like slapping
           you.
   NPC: Go ahead, drifter. You try.

 Don't like her?
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: That scorn I hear in your voice?
  NPC: You've good ears. Folk say this witch's got Crach wrapped around her
       finger. Orders everyone about. Word is she's vicious at it, but a hag's
       a hag.

[If Geralt wallops Steingrim:]

Geralt: Had enough?
NPC: Best finish me now, 'cause you'll be fucked once I catch my breath.
Geralt: It was a good fight. That's enough for now.

[Either way:]

NPC: Know the way to Kaer Trolde?
Geralt: Expect I'll find it.
NPC: Head north, then turn west towards the bay before you come to the bridge.
     You'll find the jarl portside today. Your sorceress oughta be there, too.
Geralt: Thanks. So long.

[Geralt walks to Kaer Trolde, Clan an Craite's seat of power. Many people are
 at the harbor to say goodbye to Bran, Skellige's king who recently died. One
 of Geralt's acquaintances, the druid Ermion, is presiding over the funeral.]

Ermion: Our time amongst the living is but the wink of an eye. What's left when
        we are gone? How shall we be remembered? Will they speak of us with
        respect? Or disdain? Bran was a great man. We shall remember him as a
        hero.

[Pallbearers take the king's corpse and lay it onto a longboat. Bran's wife,
 up with the local dignitaries, leaves their viewing spot.]

Ermion: You need not do this, child.
Cerys: I know. But I want to.

[She goes onto the boat with her dead husband. The pallbearers push the boat
 free, with her on board.]

Woman: Tis¹ madness, such a young lass...
Man: Birna shold be the one goin', they shared a bed longer.
Ermion: Silence. 'Tis her decision.

[Crach fires a flaming bowshot onto the drifting boat, catching it aflame.
 Geralt catches sight of Yennefer nearby.]

Geralt: You look beautiful.
Yennefer: Thank you. Nice to see you again. The eulogy.

[Ermion addresses the crowd.]

Ermion: King Bran of Clan Tuirseach has embarked on his final voyage. At its
        end, our glorious ancestors await him. Together they will hunt and
        raid. They will sit 'round the fire and praise the deeds of ages past.
        For now, he lives in our hearts. One day, we too shall stand at his
        side and face the sea together. That will be a good day.

 You knew Bran?
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: You knew Bran?
  Yennefer: Yes. He was well respected. Unlike his wife.

 You smell wonderful.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: You smell wonderful.
  Yennefer: Geralt -- we're at a funeral.
  Geralt: You smell wonderful at this funeral.

[Crach addresses the crowd next.]

Crach: Skellige is its clans. In times of war, tradition holds the clans unite
       under the leadership of their king. We've bid Bran farewell. Time to
       pick his successor, who will lead us against the Black Ones. The gates
       of Kaer Trolde stand open to all who held Bran of Clan Tuirseach dear.
       Meat and mead will be plentiful. During the wake, those who believe
       themselves worthy of the crown will step forth.

 Go to the wake with me?
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Come to the wake with me?
  Yennefer: Gladly. Feasts in Skellige -- so predictable. Slobbering drunks,
            brazen boasting, and the inevitable rows that result...
  Geralt: Yeah, nothing like the banquets mages attend. Remember the one on
          Thanned?
  Yennefer: You were there -- how could I forget? I also remember
            excruciatingly well what happened after the banquet.

 Not in the mood for a wake.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Hope we don't have to go to his wake.
  Yennefer: Well... We don't have to go... Feasts in Skellige -- so
            predictable. Slobbering drunks, brazen boasting, and the inevitable
            rows that result...
  Geralt: Yeah, nothing like the banquets mages attend. Remember the one on
          Thanned?
  Yennefer: You were there -- how could I forget? I also remember
            excruciatingly well what happened after the banquet.

 Wanna run away with you, spend some time alone.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Haven't seen each other in two years. I want a solitary cottage by
          the sea. I wanna lock myself in with you, stay there for a week.
  Yennefer: What would we do there for a week?
  Geralt: Got so many ideas...
  Yennefer: The one with the rope you use for trophies, that one seems
            interesting.

[Either way:]

 Reading my mind?
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Reading my mind again?
  Yennefer: Mhm. What's more, I like what I see.

 Really hate it when you read my mind.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Stop reading my mind.
  Yennefer: Something to hide?
  Geralt: Don't like secrets?
  Yennefer: No.

[The funeral ends and the people start dispersing.]

Yennefer: Did you learn anything in Velen?

 What've you learned?
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: How about you? What've you learned?
  Yennefer: Something strange happened on Ard Skellig a time ago. A disaster
            brought about by a burst of magic. Extraordinary, really, a natural
            anomaly. Never seen anything like it. My intuition tells me Ciri
            was its cause.
  Geralt: As much as I respect your intuition, Yen, we need something specific,
          evidence.
  Yennefer: I'd know for certain if I was able to inspect the disaster zone.
            Unfortunately, Ermion and his druids aren't letting anyone near.

  Why won't they let you examine the zone?
  ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
   Geralt: So why won't Ermion let you inspect the area of the anomaly?
   Yennefer: Call it a difference of opinion. A large, loud difference.

  Ermion is the chief druid here?
  ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
   Geralt: Ermion's head of the Skellige circle? Haven't seen him since...
           hmm...
   Yennefer: Since Ciri was a little girl. I doubt he'll do you any favors.
             Not even for old times' sake.

 As far as Velen's concerned...
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  • Geralt: I'm not done searching Velen yet.
    Yennefer: Thought you'd tend to that immediately.
    Geralt: Change of plans.

  • Geralt: Didn't learn much in Velen. Ciri wound up at the home of a local
            baron. She also quarreled with some witches. That's about all I've
            learned.
    Yennefer: Good. You'll need to tell me more when we have some time.

  • Geralt: Velen -- awful place. Somehow Ciri wound up at the castle of the
            local ruler -- a baron, self-proclaimed. This was after she was
            injured.
    Yennefer: Injured? Was it serious?
    Geralt: Don't think so. Must've recovered, because this baron sent her to
            Novigrad. Think she was looking for you at the time. These witches
            Ciri came across -- she was lucky to escape them.
    Yennefer: Witches?
    Geralt: Creatures, more like. Can't say exactly what they are. But they're
            dangerous. Very. Also ran into an old friend of ours in Velen --
            Keira.
    Yennefer: What on earth is Keira Metz doing in that wasteland?
    Geralt: Hiding from witch hunters. Listen, she told me an elven mage had
            been there, looking for Ciri.
    Yennefer: Good. You'll need to tell me more when we have some time.

 As for Novigrad...
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  • Geralt: Ciri found Dandelion in Novigrad. They met up.
    • That's everything.
    • Ciri found Dandelion in Novigrad. They met up. Dandelion got them in
      trouble. Ciri made an enemy of Whoreson Junior, one of the city's crime
      bosses.
    Yennefer: So Dandelion knows what happened to Ciri?
    Geralt: Yeah. Gotta find him.

  • Geralt: Been to Novigrad. Ciri was there, looking for a way to lift some
            curse. She's not there anymore.
    Yennefer: You're certain?
    Geralt: Heard it from Dandelion -- with no embellishments.
    Yennefer: Do you know any more about this curse?
    Geralt: Not much. Ciri ran into some trouble, never finished what she went
            there to do. I recovered a phylactery -- she was looking for a way
            to enchant it.
    Yennefer: I'll look at it later.

Yennefer: Look, it's Crach.
Crach: White Wolf!
Geralt: Greetings, Crach.
Crach: I shall see you at the wake. And I'll not accept any excuses -- I've an
       important matter to discuss with you.

[The clan leader leaves.]

• Yennefer: Guess our solitary hut will have to wait. Crach an Craite's someone
            we want on our side.

Yennefer: I shall wear black and white for the feast. I count on you to don
          something complimentary. Something that doesn't reek of a thousand
          hunts.
Geralt: Yen, you know I can't stand new doublets. Just too tight till you break
        them in...
Yennefer: And just like Crach, I'll not accept any excuses. We're not here to
          enjoy ourselves -- we've matters to resolve and should dress
          appropriately. I've rented a room at the inn. Took the liberty of
          laying some clothes for you there. You ought to go, choose something.
          In the meantime, I've something to attend to. We'll meet at the
          entrance to the feast hall.
                                 ____________________________________________
________________________________/ MAIN QUEST: IN CIRI'S FOOTSTEPS (SKELLIGE) |_
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8b) THE KING IS DEAD -- LONG LIVE THE KING                               [WK8B]
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[Before the wake, Geralt goes to Yen's rented room.]

Geralt: This's gotta be Yen's room. She always did like space. And luxury...

[If Geralt dresses up:]

Geralt: Riiight... Just not something I'd ever wear. Buuut, what don't we do
        for our-- Hm... Who exactly is she to me?

[Geralt goes to the mountain keep where Yennefer awaits at the gate. She's
 talking with the former king's wife.]

Brina: Lady Yennefer. So pleased you've come to pay your respects to my dead
       husband.
Yennefer: I knew Konung Bran well. His passing is the Isles' great loss.
Brina: It is... We must do all we can to minimize its tragic consequences.
Yennefer: Bran was a great ruler.
Brina: He needs a worthy successor.
Yennefer: You speak as though you have someone in mind.
Brina: Skellige's troubles very much derive from it not being a hereditary
       monarchy. Any upstart can be king and destroy his predecessor's legacy.
Yennefer: The King of the Isles is a more symbolic position.
Brina: And that should change as well. A strong leader who wields true power --
       that is what the times require.

 Introduce me, Yen?
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Introduce me?
  Yennefer: This is my friend Geralt, and this is Birna -- widow of the dear
            departed Bran.
  Birna: The Queen Mother. It's a pleasure to meet you, Geralt. You must
         forgive me, but on a day like today, I'm afraid I cannot indulge in
         my penchant for long conversations.

 I'm Geralt.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: I'm Geralt. A witcher.
  Birna: Birna. Queen of Skellige. I'm glad we've met, but you must forgive me.
         Duty calls.

[The queen leaves.]

 • Yennefer: I can see you chose your own outfit. You know, of course, that
             together we look about as good as lace frills on a battle axe.
   Geralt: Everyone's got their style.

 • Yennefer: Lovely outfit. You look...dashing.
   Geralt: Thank you. You're...dazzling.
   Yennefer: You know I really missed your candidness. I'm glad we're here,
             together.

 Let's find Crach.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: We should mingle before they all get drunk. There'll be no talking
          to anyone then.
  Yennefer: Good thinking. I don't know what Crach wants, but when we meet with
            him we should have clear minds.
  Geralt: I'm not gonna drink. Why dull my senses when I'm in such pleasant
          company?
  Yennefer: Do you plan to compliment me all evening?
  Geralt: I plan to tell you what I think.

 Really hate occasions like this.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Ugh, don't like funerals, don't like feasts.
  Yennefer: I know. You also like underdone meat and being teleported. But
            sometimes we must overcome our disgusts and prevail.

[They head toward the keep's feast hall.]

Yennefer: Geralt, there's something I've been meaning to ask you.
Geralt: Hm?
Yennefer: Your beard. Why'd you decide to grow it out?
Geralt: Don't really know.
Yennefer: Hm. Must say it suits you.

[They reach the gathering.]

Arnvald: Lady Yennefer. Sir.
Yennefer: Greetings, Arnvald. My companion is Geralt of Rivia.
Arnvald: I am honored.

 Where can we find Crach?
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  ---

 Nice to meet you.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Nice to meet you, too. Quite a few guests.
  Arnvald: They come to bid their king farewell. They come to see the claimants
           to the crown.

Geralt: We wanted to talk to Crach an Craite.
Arnvald: The jarl will join us shortly. He's assigned you a place of honor at
         the table, just beside his daughter, Cerys. Follow me, please.

[He leads them to the table of mostly twenty-somethings.]

Yennefer: They've seated us here?
Cerys: I asked them to. Wanted to meet the notorious witcher, Geralt.
Geralt: We've met. Don't remember?
Cerys: That was ages ago. Hjalmar and I were children when you last visited our
       da. But you should meet your feast-mates. Allow me the dubious honor.
       That's Halbjorn, son of Holger Blackhand. Blueboy Lugos, Madman Lugos'
       firstborn. And chokin' down the stockfish over there's Otrygg an Hindar.

 And what's your name? Sorry, forgot.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Forgive me, I remember our meeting those years ago, but I don't
          recall your name.
  Blueboy: Cerys an Craite. Crach, her da, and her big brother Hjalmar call her
           Sparrowhawk. A jarl's daughter she is. Fat lot of good it does her.

 You're jarls' sons, all.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Seems they sat us with the sons of the jarls, exclusively.
  Yennefer: Cerys an Craite is the daughter of the jarl, Geralt. Jarls'
            daughters are in no way inferior to their sons.
  Cerys: Do you know every last one of 'em dreams of bein' Bran's successor?
         Look at 'em -- likely lot.

Halbjorn: Cerys is jealous, for the one among us who perform the greatest feat
          will be crowned king.
Cerys: We all know the feats are a sideshow. Our fathers will choose who will
       wear the crown. What d'you think they spoke to Crach about?
Halbjorn: You talk like that 'cause you're short on strength and skill.
          Remember when Hjalmar challenged us all to a race up the mount? You
          didn't stand with us then. As he buried his axe in that stump at the
          top to mark his victory, you were warmin' your chicken bones by the
          fire.
Cerys: Had my reasons for not participatin'. But I woulda won then, as I'd win
       now.
Geralt: Hm, now that you mention him...just noticed Hjalmar's not here.
Cerys: My brother walks his own paths. But about the race...why don't we repeat
       it? I'm willin' to challenge any of you, witcher included. If I beat him
       to the top, venture to say that'd be a feat, eh? So, you in?
Blueboy: If the witcher's in.
Yennefer: Geralt?

 Sure. I'll race.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Gladly. What're the rules?
  Cerys: Whoever pulls Hjalmar's axe from the stump at the top of the hill,
         wins. Stray off the path, and you lose.
  Blueboy: And here I was ready to puke from all the boredom! Let's go!

 Another time.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Honored to be asked, but maybe some other time.
  Halbjorn: Shame.

[If Geralt decides to race, him, Yennefer and the youngsters travel the race's
 starting point, part of the peak behind the castle.]

Blueboy: We're here. From this spot you must reach the top of that mount. At
         the summit you'll see the stump of an oak, Hjalmar's axe buried in it.
         Whoever pulls the axe from the stump first, wins.
Cerys: I'm ready.
Blueboy: You'll start when I sound the horn.

[If Geralt clambers up the mountain to win:]

Geralt: I won, but only by a hair.
Cerys: No such thing. There's winnin', and there's losin'. And I lost. We'd
       best go back to the wake.
Geralt: Let's.

[If Cerys reaches the summit first:]

Cerys: I'm first! Behold -- Hjalmar's axe. I beat the famous White Wolf.
Geralt: Congratulations.
Cerys: Let's go back.
Geralt: Be glad to tell everyone about your victory.

[The party returns to the wake:]

Geralt: See the wake's in full swing.
Blueboy: Lost sight o' youse. Who won?

 • Geralt: Cerys, proving she's her brother Hjalmar's equal in every way. She
           retrieved the axe from the cliff.
   Halbjorn: Cannot be!
   Blueboy: Now I know why Hjalmar named you Sparrowhawk!

 • Cerys: I lost.
   Otrygg: Lost to a witcher, Sparrowhawk. That'd likely happen to any of us.

[Regardless of whether the race occured:]

Otrygg: Enough of the natterin'. Let's drink!

  Let's drink.
  ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
   Geralt: To Cerys!
   Blueboy: Pass the mead and a tankard for the man!
   Otrygg: To Bran! May he want for nothing in the world beyond!
   Geralt: To my beautiful companion!

  Not me.
  ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
   Geralt: Can't today, for good reason, believe me.
   Halbjorn: If not today, then when?!

Yennefer: You've been great company. Sadly, it's time we moved on.
Geralt: Really...?
Yennefer: Indeed. We must talk. But not here. You shall learn all beyond that
          door.

[They approach the door leading to Crach's den. Two older men are arguing.]

Donar: Tell me, Lugos, why're you sendin' your vermin to my isle?
Madman: That squealin' swine sounds uncannily like Donar. Too bad I don't talk
        to swine.
Donar: Not talkin' to you, shitbrains. I'm warnin' you.
Yennefer: Allow me to introduce Geralt of Rivia, a witcher. Jarl Donar an
          Hindar and Jarl Madman Lugos.
Donar: Callin' Lugos a madman's an insult to madmen. He's a common goatfucker.
Madman: Call me a goatfucker one more time, and I'll chop off your head, stick
        it on a pike, and piss down your neckhole.
Donar: Enough. Time to settle this -- here and now.
Madman: Oh, hahahah! Givin' me a true fright right now! Shat me best trousers!
        Put that away before you cut yourself, you cunt.

 Calm down.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Thought Skelligers called a truce for feasts.
  Donar: I know the hallowed customs. But Lugos oughta know that I'll not let
         him raid my Hindarsfjall bare.
  Madman: You don't scare anyone, Donar. I'll be by soon to plough your
          priestesses, drink from your tankard and shit on your table. Be sure
          to leave a candle lit for me.

 Take this outside.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Settle this outside.
  Madman: Who the fuck are you to advise me, eh?
  Yennefer: Someone with better manners. You insult Bran's memory and Crach's
            hospitality with this.

Yennefer: Emperor would be very pleased to hear you quarrel.
Madman: His Imperial Majesty is more than welcome to visit.
Donar: Let 'im sail over here. We ain't afeard o' the Black Ones.
Yennefer: Raiding coastal villages is one thing. Total war with the empire is
          another.
Madman: Awfully mouthy, this one. Go stir your cauldron and pierce some boils,
        witch. Don't talk when you haven't got a fuckin' clue.

 Gone too far, Lugos.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Know what, Lugos? Just realized I don't give a damn about your
          hallowed rules of hospitality.
  Madman: Finally! Some diversion! And here I was ready to puke from all the
          boredom. Come on, freak. Show us what you're made of!
  Donar: Move the benches! There's to be some gob slappin'!

 Let's calm down.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Calm down, Lugos.
  Madman: No wench'll teach me how to fight.
  Yennefer: That was not my intention.

[If the discussion ends peaceably:]

Yennefer: Come, Geralt. I believe this discussion's run its course.

[If Geralt challenges and loses to Madman, he gets an after-battle lecture
 while recovering:]

Madman: What do ya say to that, eh? Fat lot o' help they did you, them...
        mutations or what's it you call 'em. We Skelligers got our own ways.
        We live, eat, breathe, drink and fuck in the bracin' air of these
        isles. Strength follows naturally. And wenches like strong lads, am I
        right?
Yennefer: What wenches don't like are boors. High time you learned that.
Madman: Your loss.

[If Geralt challenges and defeats Madman in fisticuffs:]

Geralt: Had enough?
Madman: Argh, aah, ye got me good. That were quite a wallop. Still seein'
        spots... Room rockin' like a leaky tub in a hurricane.
Geralt: We'll call it even, then, soon as you apologize to the lady.
Madman: Don't hold it against me, m'lady. It's my deep conviction
        sorceresses're needed, deeply so.
Yennefer: No offense taken. Forget about it.
Madman: That I like. And the knockin' -- it's what men do. Gimme your paw,
        witcher, lemme squeeze. It's a worthy one.

[Either way, after the fight:]

Madman: Witcher, have a drink with me. Proof there's no hard feelings. And
        visit me atimes, I insist. Jorund's been jabberin' about bringin' in a
        witcher for that haunted lighthouse. Do me a favor, meet 'im for an
        ale at the tavern near Arinbjorn. Then you've but a short jaunt to find
        me so's we can knock back somethin' stronger. Here's to our next!

 Gladly.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Sure, I'll knock one back with you, Lugos. Nothing wrong with having
          a drink in good company.

   • Yennefer: Geralt, I'd have nothing against drinking yourself stupid if
               we had nothing important planned...
   • Geralt: Nothing wrong with having a drink in good company.
     Yennefer: I remind you we've important matters to discuss later. Matters
               that require a clear mind.
     Geralt: I remember.

  Madman: Drink like you fight, and we're in for a good time. To Bran!
  Geralt: To Jarl Madman Lugos and his madness! Forgive us. We should mingle,
          talk to some of the other guests.

 Can't.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: No hard feelings, but we'll have to drink another time.
  Yennefer: Yes. We've important discussions ahead.
  Madman: You land rats're all the same -- afeard o' your wenches.

[Yennefer leads Geralt into the empty corridor outside Crach's chamber.]

Geralt: What now?
Yennefer: Now we pay a visit to Ermion's laboratory.
Geralt: Didn't know we'd been invited.
Yennefer: Because we've not been.

 Let's go.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Take it Ermion won't be there?
  Yennefer: That's right.
  Geralt: And what's the purpose of this visit?
  Yennefer: We're looking for an object -- the Mask of Uroboros. We'll need it.

 We shouldn't.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: We shouldn't be breaking into Ermion's workshop.
  Yennefer: If I didn't know you better I'd say you needed to grow a pair. But
            I know that you simply enjoy complaining -- it's the only reason
            you said that.
  Geralt: Why would we go there?
  Yennefer: To retrive an item -- the Mask of Uroboros. We need it and,
            therefore, must steal it.
  Geralt: Right, 'course.

Yennefer: Come, Geralt.
Geralt: Now you'll tell me why you need this mask.
Yennefer: Oh, I shall. In due course.
Geralt: Take it¹ you'll decide when.
Yennefer: Correct.

[They head down the stairs toward the laboratory, but--]

Yennefer: Footsteps. Shh... Guards. Hide behind the tapestry.
Guard: Sparrows chip, while starlings chirp.
Guard: What do jackdaws do?
Guard: Jackdaws caw. Goldfinches warble and cranes whoop, whereas peacocks
       screech. Hawks scream, larks trill, and doves, they coo. That's all of
       'em.
Guard: Hmm... What about nightingales?
Guard: Ahh, right. Nightingales croon.

[The bird-loving guards pass by without noticing the hiding duo.]

Geralt: That was close.
Yennefer: Mhm.

[They come to a large door. Birds sit on an antler mount above it.]

Geralt: This'll be tough to open.
Yennefer: Surprises never end. See the ravens?
Geralt: Hard not to.
Yennefer: Ermion's spies. An indication that we're near his laboratory. I also
          sense a clear magic aura. Come. There's a ledge outside the window.
          We must pass along it.

[The balcony has a vista showcasing the harbor below.]

Geralt: Seen uglier sights in my life.
Yennefer: Geralt of Rivia, being romantic.

[They enter a large chamber filled with stuffed bears and deer.]

Yennefer: Amazing how a hobby can render a man mysterious, fascinating.
Geralt: Especially a druid. Must be a real nature lover.

[Geralt can animals in the the mystery room:]

• Looks alive.
• A hunter'd loose an arrow if he saw that in the woods.
• Had one at Kaer Morhen.
  Yennefer: Please.
• A basin of water?
  Yennefer: For teleprojection. A reflection of Ermion appears on the surface,
            supplicants speak to it.

[Geralt tries the handle on the exit.]

Geralt: Aaa...
Yennefer: Are you all right?
Geralt: Cut myself. The door's locked.

[His vision starts to blur.]

Geralt: The animals -- they're alive! Yen, watch out! Monsters... Can feel
        'em... Coming closer... They're everywhere...
Yennefer: That's one less!
Geralt: Strange. Smells of...mushrooms in here.
Yennefer: No... To my mind it's the smell of sweet grass drying in the sun.

[Geralt's daze ends; he wakes up on the floor.]

Geralt: What's happening?
Yennefer: You were hallucinating. You ran at Ermion's animals, sword flailing.
          I had to calm you.

 Must've looked funny.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Uh, must've looked strange.
  Yennefer: Your years of vigorous training at Kaer Morhen finally paid off.
            Bested nearly all the stuffed beasts in here.
  Geralt: Please...
  Yennefer: Fine. We've passed the Trial of Taxidermy. The door stands open.

 We never mention this again.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Mind if we, uh, never mention this again?
  Yennefer: Naturally. Door's open. We'll proceed as soon as you've collected
            trophies of your kills.

Yennefer: Let's go inside, Geralt. I'll lock the entrance. We don't want to
          raise suspicions. Ah, our dear druid's laboratory. We must search it
          thoroughly. The Mask of Uroboros must be here.

[They look around the massive room.]

Yennefer: "Wondrous World of Insectoids," "Ritual Plants"... Ah, what do you
          know... "Raymond Maarloeve -- A Biography Enhanced."

[Many objects are inspectable:]

• Dwarven triple mead.
• Pine cone. Didn't expect this. A large female.
• Yennefer: Ermion's wand. He's one of the few druids to use one.
• Laboratory worthy of an imperial alchemist.
• A child's skull?
• Seems Ermion has real tobacco brought in.
• Goes in for light reading too. "The Corpse of Novigrad" by Sasha Hahdy.
• Look at this -- a detailed map of the Northern Kingdoms. Even shows spheres
  of influence over the ages...
  Yennefer: Out of date.
• Letter bearing Ermion's seal... To the druids. Warns them about you. "...that
  brazen manipulator?"
  Yennefer: Hrmph. That shameless schemer.
• A goat carved out of linden wood. Signed "To Uncle Ermion."
  Yennefer: Little Ciri's handiwork. That's what she called him when he was her
            tutor.
• A sword in a stone... Thing's begging me to pull it out.
  Yennefer: It's not in the stone, don't you see? It's held there by a vise.
• Skelligers' tales about the Wild Hunt...
  Yennefer: The islanders believe the wraiths sail on a longship built of the
            claws of dead men.

[Geralt comes to a huge statue of a thinking person.]

Geralt: Looks like Ermion places something in the statue's hand.

 I'll try a pine cone.²
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Whaddaya say we give it a pine cone...? Nothing.

 I'll try the skull.²
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: So, statue, how about a skull...? Hm... Guess you're no indecisive
          prince.

 Maybe a mug of mead.²
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: How about a mug of mead? Statue or not, everybody needs a drink
          sometimes. Hm, seems like it worked. Who woulda thunk?

 Need to look around some more.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Need something else. Gotta look around.

Yennefer: Ermion enjoys jests achieved at the expense of others. I've a
          sneaking suspicion the mask will be in here.

[They enter the secret chamber.]

Yennefer: Geralt, come here! I've found the mask! This is it!

[Yen takes the floating mask.]

Yennefer: We've got it. We must return to the feast quickly, before...
Geralt: Careful, now!

[An earth elemental springs to life and a portcullis shuts the duo inside.]

Yennefer: It's a trap! We're imprisoned!

[They slay the golem, but a wind-like sound occurs.]

Yennefer: Geralt. Hear that?
Geralt: Smelled it. Gas. Grate's still closed. Gotta think of something quick.
Yennefer: The damned druid will poison us! This vapor's deadly, we've but a few
          minutes!
Geralt: Teleport us outta here.
Yennefer: Think of something! Quickly! First thing to come to your mind!

 We're gonna choke and die.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  ---

 Damn, I wanna kiss you, Yen.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  ---

Yennefer: Hold on tight!

[The teleportation spell drops them in Yen's room at Kaer Trolde's inn, if
 Geralt chose the "wanna kiss you" option.]

Yennefer: Hm. Damn. I tore a hole in my dress. Wait a minute, I must mend it.
Geralt: Know how to sew?
Yennefer: Please. I'll enchant a needle.

 Wouldn't mind watching...
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  [Geralt disrobes and sneaks up behind her, lifting her onto the vanity.]
  Yennefer: Wait.
  Geralt: For what?
  Yennefer: We must talk to Crach.
  Geralt: Why? Think he misses us? Because I missed you.
  [Yen looks at the unicorn.]
  Geralt: Oh no.
  Yennefer: I missed you too.
  [They get on the 'corn.]
  Geralt: When are you gonna finally burn this piece of junk?
  Yennefer: My heart couldn't take it. So many memories. Dammit, Geralt. Do
            you have any idea how much they cost?
  Geralt: Come here. We gotta hurry. Crach's waiting.
  Yennefer: Is that so?
  Geralt: Yen, let go of the mane.
  Yennefer: I know you. I let go -- you throw us off.
  Geralt: Mhm.
  Yennefer: Don't even try it.
  [Afterwards, they lounge in bed.]
  Yennefer: My oh my.
  Geralt: Missed you.
  Yennefer: I missed you too.
  Geralt: We oughta get back to the wake.
  Yennefer: I must dress. Turn around.

 We should get back to the wake.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Really wonder if Crach'll be willing to help...
  Yennefer: He knew Ciri well. She and Hjalmar played together as children.

Yennefer: There. Good as new.
Geralt: Let's get back to the wake.

[They return to the feast hall.]

Arnvald: Crach an Craite asked about you.
Yennefer: We went out...for a breath of fresh air.
Arnvald: Ahem, the claimants to the throne will step forth in a moment.

[They hear the tail end of a priestess' pre-ceremony address. If Geralt chose
 "choke and die" when teleporting, the two teleport into the feast hall here
 instead of the inn.]

Woman: ...now heed my words. There is no greater act of valor than to fight a
       beast cursed by men and gods. No greater deed than that done to serve
       the goddess.
Crach: Words of uncommon beauty. We thank you all and will take them to
       heart... But now -- let's begin! We have seen Bran off into the beyond
       and must now choose his successor. A king must be wise. A king must
       command respect. A king must have bollocks. We've no lack of men like
       that. Let those who feel worthy of the throne of Skellige step forth.

[Several men step forth, throwing their axes onto the table as a symbolic
 gesture to enter.]

Crach: My son could not be here this day. Behold his axe. Behold his will.

[Cerys throws her dagger onto the table, earning sidelong glances from many.]

Crach: May the best man...or woman...win.

[He finishes addressing as the crowd disperses.]

Crach: What's got into her?
Yennefer: She's your daughter, is she not?
Crach: Now I know why she said she'll sail to Spikeroog. Ah, children! The
       older they grow, the more trouble they are. Come with me. All the more
       essential we talk now.

[They go out onto a balcony for peace and quiet.]

Crach: How was it, Geralt, when Ciri was nearing womanhood? I remember well her
       nan, her mother...what they were like. They say the apple doesn't fall
       far from the tree...
Geralt: Ciri was impossible to control. No telling her what to do. Had to have
        things her own way, almost always. Why do you ask?
Crach: No specific reason. She and Cerys -- they're of a similar age. But we'll
       speak of my children later. First, let's speak of yours. Yennefer claims
       Ciri's in trouble, and you seek her.
Geralt: That's right.
Crach: If your require aid -- gold, ships, anything -- merely say the word. 
       I'll give you all I can. And I know the lass lives. I'm sure of it. When
       the blood of Rhiannon's daughters is shed, the sea grows white with
       fury. I'd mark such a storm.

 Need your help with Ermion.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Need your help. Ciri probably came here to Skellige...
  Yennefer: And very likely caused the cataclysm along the coast. The site
            upon which the druids focus so intensely now.
  Geralt: A site Ermion refuses to let us explore.
  Yennefer: Specifically, he won't let me explore it. We fought, we're not
            friendly now.

 We know where Ciri might've been.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Magic anomaly on Ard Skellig's somehow related to Ciri, or so
          Yennefer believes.
  Yennefer: It's my strong suspicion. But I can only know for certain by
            examining the site.
  Crach: I saw the twisted forms -- right unnatural. The druids were barely
         able to contain it. Explain to me, Yennefer, how Ciri might've caused
         this great catastrophe.
  Yennefer: I'm intent on learning that very thing. Which I will do as soon as
            Ermion stops hindering my investigation.

Crach: Don't concern yourself with him. Druids have little trust for mages, but
       Ermion's heart is in the right place. Am I right to assume he does not
       know you seek Ciri?
Yennefer: It's of no concern to him.
Crach: As I thought. At any rate, Ard Skellig's my isle. You've my permission
       to investigate as you see fit.

 Thank you.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  ---

 Do I need to talk to him?
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Wondering if I should talk to Ermion...
  Crach: Leave that to me. Go, seek and find your Cirilla. If any ill befell
         her here, on Ard Skellig, on my watch, I'd never forgive myself.

Geralt: Thank you.
Crach: No need. I swore an oath once. I aim to keep it. Arnvald! Tell the druid
       I must speak to him. At the usual spot.

[Arnvald goes to relay the mission. Crach's next lines change depending on if
 Hjalmar's quest was already completed or not.]

• Crach: I've one more matter to broach -- my child, my lass. You remember
         Cerys? Well, recently she declared she must set off on an adventure.
         To bolster her chances of winning Skellige's crown. Got it in her
         head that Udalryk is not mad, but cursed...

• Crach: I've one more matter to broach -- my children. You remember Hjalmar?
         Well, he swore an oath to kill the giant of Undvik, set off and has
         yet to return. Whereas Cerys announced that she's to set off on an
         adventure of her own. Got it in her head that Udalryk is not mad, but
         cursed...

 Thought all giants died ages ago.²
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Giants...they've been extinct for ages. Anyone actually seen the one
          on Undvik?
  Crach: Aye. Dozens of refugees have. The giant drove everyone off the isle.
         I've welcomed what remains of Clan Tordarroch here on Ard Skellig.
  Yennefer: I heard a rumor -- that an unnatural frost gripped Undvik before
            the giant appeared.
  Crach: Tis¹ true. At any rate, Hjalmar decided to kill the giant and give
         the isle back to its people. A deed worthy of a king, he believes.
         My son gathered a hearty crew at the New Port. They were to sail to
         Undvik, then travel on foot to Urskar, a village. But that many lads
         should've killed the giant long ago. Thus I though¹ to ask you...
  Yennefer: You should start at the New Port. Ask around. Hjalmar might've
            told someone there his plans.

 Cerys intend to lift Udalryk's curse?
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Take it Cerys wants to lift the curse.
  Crach: There's no curse to speak of. Cerys has decided she must match Hjalmar
         and has sought out a deed worthy of a queen.
  Geralt: Think she might need my help? You did plan to ask me for it. Why?
  Crach: The thing is, I don't trust Udalryk further than I can spit. Cerys
         won't listen to me or her brother. Yet confronted by a professional
         who will explain why she's mistaken, she just might come to her
         senses. So, yes, I ask that you explain things to her and bring her
         back.

 No desire to be king yourself?
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Can't help wondering -- got no plans to vie for the crown yourself?
          Think a good number of the jarls would support you.
  Crach: A good number? Those opposed would be fierce, rabid. Madman Lugos
         would sooner see a Nilfgaardian on the throne. Besides, a man should
         know when to step aside, hand the tiller to the youth among us.

 I'll help your children.²
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: If either Hjalmar or Cerys need help, I'll help them.

 I'll help Cerys.²
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: I'll talk to Cerys. Count on it.
  Crach: I thank you.

Crach: I thank you.
Yennefer: Now that we're done thanking one another, let's get to work. We must
          determine of Ciri is still on Ard Skellig. I'll change into travel
          attire and find you. Head south. The anomaly we should investigate
          destroyed a stretch of forest along the shore of the bay. A
          successful feast on all counts, Crach. I will see you later.

                                 ____________________________________________
________________________________/ MAIN QUEST: IN CIRI'S FOOTSTEPS (SKELLIGE) |_
¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
8c) ECHOES OF THE PAST                                                   [WK8C]
_______________________________________________________________________________
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[Geralt journeys to the forested eastern region of Ard Skellig. As he reaches
 a druid encampment, he sees Ermion and Yen already at each other's throats.]

Ermion: You're mad, woman! Mad, I say!
Yennefer: Maybe. But I've got good reason.
Ermion: I hold Ciri dear too. You know this! Damned well! But the Mask of
        Uroboros is no trifle! Have you any idea what could happen if it is
        used? Any idea of the consequences?
Yennefer: No, but neither do you. So stop panicking.
Geralt: Can hear you two clear on the other side of the island.
Ermion: Good! May all Skellige know Yennefer of Vengerberg is a common thief!
Yennefer: Control yourself, druid. I haven't stolen anything. I've merely
          borrowed it and fully intend to return it.
Ermion: Hah! The generosity! Just one small problem -- once used, the mask is
        rendered completely worthless! Not to mention the risk you'll bury us
        alive! And all the Isles with us!

 What're you talking about?
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Bury? What're you talking about?
  Ermion: She's not told you? Might've expected as much!

 Sure you're not overreacting?
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Don't exaggerate. It's just--
  Ermion: No, Geralt. This is¹ no "just"!

Ermion: The myth is Uroboros created the Mask when the envious Sea swallowed
        his beloved. Unable to bear the prospect that he would never again see
        his betrothed, Uroboros made the Mask, which would allow him to peer
        into the past. He knew, however, that he could only use it once. So he
        waited. Waited until his longing grew so strong that it became
        unbearable. When the Sea learned of the Mask, it was quick to respond.
        It made known its threat that whosoever used the Mask would bring the
        Sea's wrath down on them. For in vengeance the Sea would rise and flood
        all the lands and drown the living.

 Anyone ever used it?
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: So... No one's ever used the Mask?
  Ermion: No... But...
  Geralt: So you don't actually know if it works, how it works?
  Ermion: Of course I do. The myths tell me.

 How'd you get this mask?
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Where'd you get this mask?
  Ermion: Sailors from clan Dimun pulled it from the sea. Near the Njord
          Trench.
  Geralt: Yeah, but how can you be sure this is Uroboros' mask?
  Ermion: Its appearance is exactly as described in the myths.

Geralt: You believe the myths?
Ermion: Only ignorant fools belittle their significance. Besides, it's not the
        myths on trial here! It's the thief!

 Try to understand Yen.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: I'm not about to justify when Yennefer did...
  Ermion: Then don't!
  Geralt: ...but try to understand her. She's not doing this to anger you,
          she's doing it for Ciri.
  Ermion: I know there are maternal feelings at play, but this is no excuse,
          no justification. The Mask of Uroboros belongs to Skellige and should
          be used for the good of the Isles! If Yennefer uses it now, it shall
          lose its power, not to mention--

 She did it for Ciri.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: On the one hand a theft. On the other, Ciri's life...
  Ermion: I also care deeply for the girl. I proposed a series of other
          methods. Yennefer refused to listen! She claimed they would take too
          long, whereas she wants, she needs immediate results! She has always
          been hot-headed.
  Geralt: True. Least this time she's got a valid reason for it.
  Ermion: Never mind that she might bring--

 We've got Crach's permission.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Theft or no theft, Crach gave us free rein.
  Ermion: First off, this might indeed be his isle, but we the druids watch
          that no alien magic takes hold here. Secondly, after the cataclysm
          occured, Crach turned to us for help, entrusted this site to our
          care. Third--

[They turn around to see lightning striking in the cataclysm zone, with a storm
 erupting out of nowhere. Yennefer's already gone ahead.]

Ermion: Wha...what was that? No! Yennefer's used the Mask! Quickly! Follow me!
        We must neutralize the Mask, mute its power!

[Ermion leads the way down the rain-slick mountainside with the druid acolytes
 in tow. They start chanting to mitigate Yennefer's actions.]

Ermion: Eine glav'echen virti adem!

[Geralt searches for Yen, and soon finds her fighting off foglets.]

Yennefer: Geralt, watch out!
Geralt: Great.

[They slay the mistborn creatures.]

Geralt: What was that?
Yennefer: Unicorns.
Geralt: Dammit, Yen, I saw the foglets. I mean how'd they get here?
Yennefer: The power of the Mask summoned them.

 What do we do now?
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: What now?
  Yennefer: The Mask reveals the past, but only in certain places. Places where
            past events left a strong magical imprint. Take it.

 Ermion's furious with you.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Ermion says the Mask might cause a natural disaster.
  Yennefer: Fortunate he's here then. He can jump right in, try to tame it.
  Geralt: Realize he won't let this pass?
  Yennefer: Oh, I'll survive, somehow.

[She gives him the legendary mask.]

Geralt: Want me to wear it?
Yennefer: Yes. I'll cast a spell that will let me see through your eyes.

 Gonna read my mind?
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Gonna read my mind again?
  Yennefer: You object?

  Nope.
  ¯¯¯¯¯
   Geralt: You do it whenever you want anyway.
   Yennefer: No harm in it then, is there? Let's go.

  Yes.
  ¯¯¯¯
   Geralt: You know I don't like it.
   Yennefer: Let it go. I just want to see what happened. Besides, you know
             there are things I'd rather not know about you... Let's go.

 Let's go.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Well, let's go.
  Yennefer: This way.

Yennefer: Already found the first spot.

[They walk further into the forest. The site of the cataclysm has warped the
 treeline, stripping the greenery from the trees and upturned the earth.]

Yennefer: This is the spot. Put on the Mask.
Geralt: Any instructions?
Yennefer: Keep it on until we've seen everything. And don't stray far.
          Telepathy is limited in range.

[Looking through the artifact, Geralt sees the site's imprint: an open portal
 and two figures walking out of it.]

Geralt: What's that? A portal?
Yennefer: Two people emerged from it.
Geralt: The woman was Ciri.
Yennefer: How can you know?
Geralt: The way she moved. Like a witcher. Seems they went that way.
Yennefer: Come, let's find the next spot.

[They nix another foglet at the second site.]

Yennefer: Well? Ready? Use the Mask.

[Using the artifact, the two peer into the past again -- this time, seeing the
 two portal-users being surrounded by many fighters. The man uses an ability
 to blow the attackers away with enough power to crater the area. After, the
 portal-users escape.]

Yennefer: Watch out!
Geralt: What was that?
Yennefer: Hmm... A magic explosion of some sort. So powerful even that echo was
          dangerous. I wager it destroyed the forest.
Geralt: But Ciri and her companion weren't harmed... I saw them escape.
Yennefer: Let's see where to.

[They continue trekking to the third site.]

Geralt: Place is creepy. Don't like it.
Yennefer: Nor do I.
Geralt: Anyone here when this happened had a slim chance of surviving.
Yennefer: I know what you're thinking... But don't worry. Ciri can take care
          of herself.

[They reach the next point of interest.]

Yennefer: Don the Mask.

[This time, the Mask reveals the woman, likely Ciri, fighting mano e mano with
 an attacker. After a moment, she escapes into another portal.]

Geralt: Someone chased Ciri. See that? Might've wounded her.
Yennefer: She escaped. Through another portal.
Geralt: Know where it led?
Yennefer: Magic residue trail leads to...Velen.
Geralt: Any chance you can figure out where Ciri's companion fled to? His
        portal's gotta be nearby.
Yennefer: I'll try to find it. Come.

[They find the fourth site.]

Yennefer: Well? Ready? Use the Mask.

[The imprint reveals another one-on-one fight, ending abruptly when Ciri's
 companion powerfully throws the attacker back.]

Geralt: Nice fight.
Yennefer: One repelled with powerful magic, then fled through a portal.
Geralt: A mage?
Yennefer: Most likely. It's Ciri's companion and the one who wounded her.
Geralt: How do you know?
Yennefer: I don't. Making an educated guess. They both appeared in the previous
          visions.
Geralt: Ciri's got a powerful ally.

 Let's see where the attacker landed.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: May be something left of the one who got hit by the spell.
  Yennefer: It's clearing up.
  Geralt: Ermion must be getting a handle on the weather.
  Yennefer: Which means he'll be free to attack us again.

 Where did the mage flee to?
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: The mage who was with Ciri fled, too. Know where?
  Yennefer: Hmm... His trace path leads to Velen as well... But the target
            coordinates of his portal differ from those of Ciri's... The
            explosion must have disrupted his teleportation...
  Geralt: Hm, ran into Keira Metz in Velen. Coincidence maybe, but... She
          claimed a mage came to her looking for Ciri. Be surprised it it
          wasn't the same one.
  Yennefer: Hmm... Whoever he is, he grows more interesting by the minute...

[At that moment, they see the master druid stomping towards them.

Ermion: Are you pleased with yourselves?! Look at what you've brought down on
        us! If someone's death were to help you find Ciri, would you start
        making human sacrifices as well?!

 We're ready to do anything for Ciri.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Just so happens I'm willing to do anything for some people.
  Ermion: Everyone else, everything else be damned, is that it?!

 Calm down, nothing happened.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Relax. Storm's died down, you've clearly got things under control.
  Ermion: For now! But who knows what will be a week or two on!

Yennefer: Stop panicking! Here's your Mask.
Ermion: It is worthless. It's an unwieldy ashtray at best. I hope you've
        learned something useful at least.
Yennefer: Very.
Ermion: I'm talking to Geralt. You... You I'll deal with later. So?

 We need to examine one more trail.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Got a feeling we've found something interesting. Just need to examine
          one more thing.
  Yennefer: In the vision he went flying in that direction.

 We learned something about Ciri.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: We think a powerful curse was cast here.
  Ermion: Hmm... Plausible, considering what happened to the wood. Do you know
          upon whom?
  Geralt: Not yet. But we know Ciri was here. She stepped out of a portal. A
          mage was with her. Someone chased them, they fought. Ciri was wounded
          but managed to escape.
  Ermion: Where to?
  Geralt: Velen, probably -- the mage opened a portal for her. Then he fought
          her attacker.
  Ermion: Yes? Is that it?

[They walk a short ways to where the attacker was flung, seeing the earth's
 grooved where the person slid.]

Geralt: Something's pinned under that tree. Can you...?
Yennefer: I can.

[She levitates the overturned tree and moves it aside. Underneath, an empty
 suit of plate mail is seen.]

Geralt: Armor's clean -- no blood, no sword nicks. Ciri's friend must've...
        What do you call it?
Yennefer: Vaporized him.
Ermion: Exquisite, the armor... Though the workmanship's unfamiliar. Can't
        even tell where it's from.
Geralt: Probably because it belonged to a rider of the Wild Hunt.
Ermion: What?! So it's true...the Wild Hunt...I feared as much. First here,
        then on Hindarsfjall. What did they want?
Yennefer: They're looking for Ciri.
Ermion: But...why?

 Tell you later.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: It's a long story that involves the Elder Blood, Ciri's abilities...
  Ermion: Did she, perchance, inherit her mother's skills?
  Yennefer: Ciri can do much more than her mother could. But right now we're
            much more interested in what the Wild Hunt as doing on
            Hindarsfjall.

 Wild Hunt wants her because of the Elder Blood in her veins.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Elder Blood flows in Ciri's veins.
  Ermion: Hmm... 'Tis true she can trace her lineage clear back to Lara Dorren
          -- which is why the women in her family have always had extraordinary
          abilities... But could that truly be so important?
  Yennefer: Ciri's exceptional. She travels between places -- here and other
            worlds. Space is no obstacle for her.
  Ermion: Huh?
  Geralt: Which is why the Wild Hunt wants to capture her.

  You said the Wild Hunt was on Hindarsfjall.
  ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
   Geralt: Speaking of the Wild Hunt -- mentioned it appeared on Hindarsfjall.

Ermion: Well, it happened at least a fortnight after the cataclysm struck here
        on Ard Skellig. The wraiths raided Lofoten, at dusk, in a blizzard.
        Itself a strange occurance for that time of year. The islanders said
        the wraiths, they barged into their huts. Killed anyone who resisted,
        then galloped inland, laughing fiendishly.
Yennefer: Anyone survive?
Ermion: A dozen or so women and an old man.
Geralt: Next stop -- Hindarsfjall.
Yennefer: I'll meet you on the beach near Lofoten.

 Let's go together, right now.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Wait. Can't we go together? Right now?
  Yennefer: But you detest being teleported.
  Geralt: Don't exactly like potions either, but I drink 'em when I have to.
  Yennefer: Mhm...you also drink them when there's no need at all. Very well,
            let's go. Stay close to me.

 See you there.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Mhm. See you there.

Ermion: Good luck to you. Inform me once you've learned anything new.

                                 ____________________________________________
________________________________/ MAIN QUEST: IN CIRI'S FOOTSTEPS (SKELLIGE) |_
¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
8d) MISSING PERSONS                                                      [WK8D]
_______________________________________________________________________________
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[Hindarsfjall is the large island just east of the main one. Geralt either
 teleports with Yen or boats there himself. Going the latter route offers a
 bit more exposition:]

Geralt: Greetings, Yen.
Yennefer: Good thing you're here... The frostbite was starting to set in.

 You should've worn warmer clothing.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: You should've dressed warmer.
  Yennefer: Mhm. Next you'll be pinning mittens to my coat. Can we go?
  Geralt: Yeah.

 Had something that needed taking care of.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Had a matter to tend to.
  Yennefer: A matter that brooked no delay, I presume... What was it? A nekker
            contract?
  Geralt: Something like that. Can we go?
  Yennefer: Mhm.

[Either way:]

Yennefer: Quite a few years since I was last on Hindarsfjall. But if I remember
          correctly, Lofoten should be this way.

[They quickly find the ruined town and its dejected remnants.]

Yennefer: Razed huts and fresh graves. Hm, this must be it.
Geralt: Gathering of some kind... We've come at a bad time.
Yennefer: There's no good time to talk about the Wild Hunt.

[They see some women holding a ceremony for their lost loved ones.]

Geralt: Ritual of some kind... We'll have to wait.
Yennefer: We'll do no such thing. Dear sisters... Pardon the interruption, but
          we've an important matter to discuss.
Woman: Can you not see we're commemorating the dead? So...
Yennefer: And we're looking for someone who's still alive. Please... This is
          urgent.
Woman: Ugh. Then speak.

 We're looking for an ashen-haired young woman.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: We're looking for a young woman, name of Ciri. Ashen hair, green
          eyes...
  Woman: I'm sorry. She is not here.
  Woman: Unless she lies in a grave... That is, I do not recall one by that
         name, but I've buried so many... I may have forgotten.

 They say the Wild Hunt destroyed your village...
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: They say the Wild Hunt destroyed this village...
  Woman: That is true... Though few believe us. You don't either, I'm sure.
  Yennefer: Did you see riders on skeletal horses? Wearing frost-covered armor?
  Woman: Aye... That's how it was... They landed on our shores in a ship made
         of the claws of dead men... Like in the ballads. Leif yelled to grab
         the children... Then they came... Cut him 'cross the face. He tried to
         whisper... Only blood came out...
  Woman: You were to ask about someone, not prod their wounds. That's enough.
  Yennefer: What happened then?

  Go on.
  ¯¯¯¯¯¯
   Geralt: Go on.
   Woman: I ran out... To get help, to get Leif... But... So many bodies. Jole,
          Ingvar... Little Nekki...
   Yennefer: Which way did the riders go?
   Woman: Towards the sea... Through the ravine...on horses made of bones...
          bones and ice...and...
   Woman: Enough. Get to the point. Now.

  Yennefer... Enough.
  ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
   Geralt: Yen... Leave her alone.
   Yennefer: You don't understand. If we can learn where--
   Geralt: I understand. And I'm still asking you to stop.
   Yennefer: You're right.
   Woman: Get to the point. Now.

Woman: This... This Ciri... Has she a scar? Here, on her cheek?
Yennefer: Yes, yes. What happened to her?
Woman: Don't know. Saw her for a moment, right before...before it all. She was
       in the stables with...Craven.
Woman: A thousand curses upon him.

 Craven? Who're we talking about?
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: This Craven you mention... Does he have a name?
  Woman: He did... Until the elders struck him from the Saga of Ancestors.
  Woman: It's as if he has ceased to exist. The law forbids anyone from
         touching him, speaking to him... Even uttering his name.
  Yennefer: What did he do to deserve that?
  Woman: He fled from the Wild Hunt... He alone!
  Geralt: We need to talk to him... Even if it's not in keeping with your
          customs.

 What was Ciri doing here?
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Remember anything else? Anything at all?
  Woman: Only that she seeme tired. Very tired. And...and her hair was wet.
  Yennefer: Great. So we know she bathed. Progress.
  Woman: I'm sorry. Skja--
  Woman: Craven.
  Woman: My apologies. Craven. Craven could've told you more.

Woman: You've come too late. He went to the garden, to fight Morkvarg.

 Morkvarg? What's that?
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Morkvarg? What's that?
  Woman: Who, you mean--
  Woman: The vilest man ever to inhabit Skellige. Nothing was ever sacred to
         him. He attacked his own clan's lands, took gold from Nilfgaard,
         killed children, pregnant women...
  Geralt: Mhm. Know the type.
  Woman: They said he feared only one thing -- the wrath of the gods. Morkvarg
         sought to prove how wrong they were. So he sailed to Hindarsfjall to
         ransack the goddess' garden. This was over a decade ago.
  Woman: Arch priestess Ulve stood in his way. He thrust a blade between her
         ribs and cast her down in the mud. As her lifeblood left her, she
         cursed him... And Morkvarg transformed into a beast.
  Yennefer: A curse, a monster... You've got some work to do...

  I can rid you of Morkvarg.
  ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
   Geralt: I can get rid of Morkvarg. Don't know what he's turned into, but a
           silver sword should do the trick.
   Woman: It's not that simple. There have been those that bested Morkvarg...
          Yet he always returns.
   Geralt: So, it's a complex curse... Meaning I need more information.
   Woman: I understand... But I've told you all I know.
   Woman: Speak with Toradar's son, Einar. He was in the garden when Morkvarg
          and his men attacked. He saw what happened. Of all the pilgrims there
          at the time, he alone escaped with his life. He settled in Larvik.
          You'll find him there at the landing, provided he's not out to sea
          when you arrive.

  I'm not here to work.
  ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
   Geralt: I'm not here to work.
   Yennefer: I doubt Morkvarg cares. Monsters prowl when they will and where
             they will.
   Geralt: Fine. He comes within reach of my sword, I'll deal with him... But
           only then.

 Where is the holy garden?
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Where is this holy garden?
  Woman: Not far from here... North. We cultivated healing herbs there once...
  Yennefer: And now?
  Woman: Now we walk only as far as the tree the goddess planted. We place our
         offerings and make our pleas before it.
  Woman: Those who venture below...remain in the garden, forever.

 Cowards don't usually fight monsters...
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: A coward who willingly seeks battle... Am I the only one who sees the
          contradiction?
  Woman: That's why he did it. Craven knew he could prove the elders wrong only
         if he killed Morkvarg.
  Geralt: And thus regain his honor -- and his name.
  Yennefer: Trial by ordeal. Very Skelligan.
  Woman: I do not mock your laws -- please also respect ours.

 Thanks for your help.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Thanks for your help.

Woman: I understand you intend to enter the garden? I dislike it when
       foreigners enter the sacred grounds... But so be it.
Woman: Custom demands pilgrims make an offering of their own blood before the
       tree. Craven surely did so... Unless he lacked not only courage but
       respect for Freya as well.
Yennefer: You needn't worry about us. Geralt and I always give the gods the
          respect they are due.

[With info about the garden in hand, Yen and Geralt set out for it.]

Geralt: Worried this trail might've gone cold...
Yennefer: Even if Craven's dead... We'll manage.
Geralt: How, exactly?
Yennefer: You'll see when the time comes.
Geralt: You could stand to be nicer sometimes.
Yennefer: I suppose...but then I wouldn't be the woman you fell in love with,
          would I?

[They reach the destination.]

Yennefer: My, my... That must be Morkvarg... Quite the appetite.
Geralt: Mhm. Might even call it wolven...

                                 ____________________________________________
________________________________/ MAIN QUEST: IN CIRI'S FOOTSTEPS (SKELLIGE) |_
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8e) NAMELESS                                                             [WK8E]
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[Yen and Geralt approach Freya's Garden's entrance. Through the portcullis,
 they spy a werewolf scrounging on the ground, talking to himself.]

Morkvarg: Hrrr a bite... Just one morrrsel...hrrr... Hrrr one piece...hrrr a
          crrrrrumb...hrrr food, food...hrrr... Hrr akh akh akh...! Shite!
          N-not again! Not again! Blhrrraugh bleugh hrrleugh...

[The creature scampers off.]

Yennefer: He doesn't seem happy to see us.
Geralt: Wait till he gets a closer look at me.
Yennefer: So, where shall we start?
Geralt: Let's go to that tree the sisters mentioned.
Yennefer: Plan to bleed yourself for the goddess?
Geralt: Not necessarily. But Craven did... We might just pick up his scent.

[The couple uses the high ground and bridges to reach the famed tree in the
 garden's center.]

Geralt: Craven was here. Look...the impression -- kneeled down on one knee...
        And cut himself to make an offering. Bloodstains...see them?
Yennefer: No... I may be inhumanly beautiful, but I don't have supernatural
          senses. Not like you.
Geralt: Which is why you should stay up here. No offense, but in that
        undergrowth and mud, you'd be like a...
Yennefer: Ball and chain?
Geralt: Planned to say it gentler, but yeah, that's basically what I had in
        mind.
Yennefer: Fine... We'll do as you say. If the need arises, I can cast spells
          from up here.

 See you later.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Fine... See you later then.
  Yennefer: Don't get hurt. Remember, I need you if I'm to find Ciri. Oh, come
            on, I was just teasing. Fool. I need you -- period. Better?
  Geralt: Mhm. Better.

 Expected you to object...
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Thought you might object...
  Yennefer: Me? Please. I can be extraordinarily conciliatory.
  Geralt: Yen, look me in the eye... What're you plotting?
  Yennefer: Many things... How to seize the Temerian crown, how to sell Kaer
            Morhen out from under you. Go, already.

[Some things can be inspected near the tree.]

• Something down there. Can't see a thing.
• Craven's blood. Flowing profusely... Trail's clear. Should lead me to him.
• Light prints... Craven trod carefully.

[Geralt follows the blood trail down into the lower garden.]

• No bite marks... Morkvarg doesn't eat his victims. Strange.
  Yennefer: Is it Craven?!
  Geralt: No, this one's been here a while!
  Yennefer: What?! I can't hear you! If you want to chat, come closer!
  Geralt: Her senses are really dulled...
• Monster tracks... Running, chasing something.
• Looks like Morkvarg got tired of sneaking around... And attacked.
• Craven's blood...
• Craven was injured. Started running.
• Door won't budge... Craven must've blocked it...or it's just locked. Gotta
  go around.

[Geralt can check in with Yen if he wants:]

Yennefer: Well? What is it?

 What do you know about this garden?
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Whaddaya know about this garden?
  Yennefer: Let me think... That it's dreadfully overgrown.
  Geralt: Had its history in mind.
  Yennefer: They say Freya herself planted it. When the world was young the
            goddess strode across Skellige, sowing seeds among the rocks. But
            Uroboros, the snake, bit a hole in her basket. All her seeds poured
            from it and landed here. Thus, this garden is bounteous, while the
            rest of Skellige is barren.
  Geralt: You believe that?
  Yennefer: Is that a serious question? Of course not. Favorable microclimate
            for plant life, end of story.

 Transformed into a werewolf...it's a dog's life.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: To transform into a werewolf... It's a dog's life, eh?
  Yennefer: Well, there's not a youth out there who doesn't have a wolf in his
            belly.
  Geralt: Then the curse confined him to this garden? Couldn't really cut his
          wolf loose.
  Yennefer: No question he was top dog here...
  Geralt: Just wolfin' things down...or not.
  Yennefer: Geralt... That's enough, hm?
  Geralt: Fine. Still had a few good ones on the tip of my tongue.
  Yennefer: I'm sure you did. We'll say you won.

 I found a body... But it wasn't Craven's.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: I found a corpse...not Craven's, though.
  Yennefer: Aha. And you thought I'd find this interesting because...?
  Geralt: Because...no bite marks on it... Doesn't seem strange to you?
  Yennefer: Zerrikanian cuisine, Dandelion's fame and shoes with curly toes
            seem strange to me, yet I don't discuss them with you.
  Geralt: Reading between the lines here -- think I'm wasting your time?
  Yennefer: I mean merely that we should focus on what's most important at the
            moment.
 See you.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: All right. Going back down.
  Yennefer: Be careful.

[Since the door was locked, Geralt works in the opposite direction, following
 Morkvarg's other tracks.]

• Lots of prints...old and new. His lair must be nearby.

[Climbing an old ladder, Geralt finds some canal controls.]

Geralt: Can't cross that... Gotta go down, provided I can open the sluice.
        Mechanism looks pretty standard. One lever to choose the sluice gate,
        the other to work it.

[If Geralt explores a canal cave:]

• Bones fell through the crevice... Years ago.
• Air's moving here... Must be another cave above, or a way out.

[Eventually, the witcher figures out a way to get on the other side of the
 locked door.]

• These prints should lead me to Craven...or his body.
• Prints lead to the well. Guess Craven didn't want to be eaten, preferred to
  drown.
• Roots... So I'm right under Yen. Hey! Can you hear me?
  Yennefer: Geralt! You scared me!
  Geralt: Sorry, didn't mean to.
  Yennefer: I hope not! Let me know once you find Craven!
• One of Freya's priestesses. No signs of violence. Must've died of hunger...a
  while ago. Must've hid here when Morkvarg raided the garden. A key -- could
  come in handy.

[Geralt finds Craven's corpse.]

Geralt: Damn... Dead...has been for a while. Yen! Found him!
Yennefer: And?
Geralt: And I've seen rotfiends in better condition than this.
Yennefer: Shit... Fine, scrape together what you can and haul the bits up here!

 What's the point?
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Yen...there's no point...
  Yennefer: There's no point in discussing this through a grate!

 I'm guessing you have a plan...
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Take it you've got a plan?
  Yennefer: No, I just like to stare at rotting flesh!

Yennefer: We'll talk when you get here, all right?
Geralt: That's Yen... Charming as ever. C'mon. Someone wants to meet you.

[Awhile later, Geralt's managed to lug the corpse up to the central tree.]

Yennefer: Putrefaction's set in...but the vocal cords are intact. We might
          still get something out of him...
Geralt: Doesn't look like the talkative type.
Yennefer: Anyone can be made to talk, even a corpse... One must simply know
          how.
Geralt: Thought necromancy was strictly forbidden.
Yennefer: So is premarital sex. But I'm not about to be bothered by such
          foolishness.

 Need any ingredients for the spell?
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Need any ingredients for the spell?
  Yennefer: Mhm. The blood of a newborn, a virgin's tongue and the eye of a
            newt.
  Geralt: Mind trying again, without the sarcasm?
  Yennefer: I don't need a thing. I'm a sorceress, not a village herbalist. All
            I need is energy...a great deal of energy. We're very lucky this
            place is saturated with magic.
  Geralt: It's also considered sacred. Priestesses'll be furious if you use
          the garden's Power to revive a corpse.
  Yennefer: Geralt, you're getting on my nerves. I offer you solutions, you
            try to poke holes in them.

  Fine. Let's get to work.
  ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
   Geralt: Let's get to work.

  Just thinking about the consequences.
  ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
   Geralt: I'm not poking holes, just thinking about the consequences. How
           about you? Given them any thought?
   Yennefer: No. Geralt, I'll say it again... We're short on time. Ciri is
             short on time.
   Geralt: Mhm.
   Yennefer: Fine. You busy yourself pouting. I'll handle the rest.

 Black magic's no joke.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Black magic's no joke. Casting those spells never ends well. Never.
  Yennefer: I don't like it any more than you do, believe me. But the thought
            that Ciri's in danger? I like that even less.
  Geralt: I understand. Still doesn't give us the right to--
  Yennefer: Geralt, please. This is not the time to debate ethics.

[She stands over the man's corpse.]

Yennefer: Celain, celain, deffraen! Celain, celain, davedar!

[The bright weather almost immediately turns gloomy and misty. A smoke-like
 substance seeps out of the corpse, and it sits upright in agony.]

Craven: Aaaaaaach!
Yennefer: Are you Craven of Lofoten?!
Skjall: Nnn... Nnoooo... Iiiii... Haaaavvvve...a naaaammmme...Ssssskjall!
        Skjalllll! Iiiii aaaammmm Skjaaaallll!

 We're looking for Ciri.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: We're looking for Ciri. Ashen hair, green eyes... Have you seen her?

 You died in battle. You've recently recovered your honor.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: You died in battle. You've recovered--
  Yennefer: Geralt, this is not the time to cheer up a corpse. A young woman,
            ashen hair, green eyes. What happened to her?

Skjall: Ssssshhhheeee...sssshhhheee's wwwwhyyyy thhhheeeyy currrssssed meeee...
Yennefer: I don't care about that! What happened to her? What was she doing
          here? Speak!
Skjall: Nnnnoooo...
Yennefer: Speak!
Skjall: Aaaaacch!
Yennefer: Speak!
Skjall: Thhhe...sssseeeeeaaa... Sssshhheeee fffeeeell... Alllmooost
        drrrrooowned...

[The flashback chapter "The Calm Before the Storm" plays in its entirety at
 this point -- see that section for details..]

                                 ____________________________________________
________________________________/ MAIN QUEST: IN CIRI'S FOOTSTEPS (SKELLIGE) |_
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8f) THE CALM BEFORE THE STORM                                            [WK8F]
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[This is a Ciri flashback chapter. It begins with Skjall, very much alive, in
 the shallows near Lofoten, as he looks for white crabs to catch. While his
 back's turned, Ciri's portal opens and he hears a splash. He looks over a rock
 to find her being carried by the "mysterious elf" companion.]

Elf: Don't stare, help me. Help us both.

[Skjall agrees. The next scene is in Lofoten; a dazed Ciri is laying on the
 bed, recuperating.]

Elf: Ciri... Zireael... Can you hear me?
Ciri: I can...
Elf: I must leave you now. We will meet beneath Drowned Dead Rock. Can you
     remember?
Ciri: Mhm...
Elf: Repeat it.
Ciri: Drowned... Dead... Rock...

[Some time later, the elf's nowhere to be seen. Skjall watches over Ciri as
 she comes to.]

Skjall: You're awake... And I thought you'd...
Ciri: Where am I? And who are you?
Skjall: It's alright. You're on Hindarsfjall, village of Lofoten. They call me
        Skjall.
Ciri: But how'd I... What?
Skjall: We fished you out of the sea... Me and that friend of yours.

 Help me up.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Ciri: Help...help me stand.
  Skjall: I don't...I don't think you should--
  Ciri: Less talk, more giving me a hand.

 Was I out long?
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Ciri: How long did I lie there?
  Skjall: All day, nearabouts -- 'twas morn when we brought you in, night's
          near come now.
  Ciri: Damn... Too long...
  Skjall: You needed the rest, desperately. Been through a lot, eh? Got some
          nasty fresh-lookin' scars...

  What? You undressed me?!
  ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
   Ciri: What's this?! Did you undress me?!
   Skjall: I -- I'd no choice! Soaked through, you were, and I had to see if
           you'd any wounds that needed tendin'.
   Ciri: Mhm. And if my breasts needed smearing with fox tallow...
   Skjall: Nay, nay--! T-that was mum and sis! I -- I'd never dare. I swear.
           On my honor.
   Ciri: Easy. I believe you.

  Yeah, a whole lot.
  ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
   Ciri: Yes... I've been through a lot.
   Skjall: I never thought women on the Continent did any fightin'.
   Ciri: Sometimes they have no choice.

 Where is my companion?
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Ciri: And where is he? My...friend?
  Skjall: Stepped out a while ago. Said he needed to find a boat. Why's he wear
          that mask? Somethin' not right with his mug?
  Ciri: No. He simply doesn't like others to see it.

[A woman walks into the house.]

Astrid: Ah, that's me brother for you. Outta sight for a second, and he's
        already putting his paws on a girl.
Skjall: Dah. Astrid, you're as dim as dishwater! You know perfectly well I'm
        helpin' her up.
Astrid: It's a shame, I know, but I've got to interrupt your courtship. Come,
        we're off to the sauna.
Ciri: Where?
Astrid: Why's your mouth agape like you're noodlin' for an eel? The sauna!
        Girl... You was blue as a whale when we brought you here! Your blood
        needs thawin'!

 I must get to Drowned Dead Rock.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Ciri: I'm sorry, but I must get to Drowned Dead Rock...as fast as possible.
  Skjall: Shan't force you to stay... But the Rock's a way off, and you can
          barely walk. You best take a horse.
  Astrid: True! Skjall can prepare a horse for you. You'll have to wait a
          spell, but even so you'll get there faster than on foot.
  Ciri: Fine... That will do. Thank you both very much.
  Astrid: Pish-posh, there's no need... Now come, we gotta sweat the sick
          outta you!
  Ciri: Where are my clothes?
  Astrid: I've taken 'em already. Come on!

 I feel fine now.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Ciri: Really, there's no need... I feel fine now.
  [She pushes her backwards onto the bed with ease.]
  Ciri: Hey!
  Astrid: Fine? You can't stand on your own two feet... And it's no surprise
          with your muscles frozen stiff. But don't you worry... Mum and I will
          take care of you.

[Ciri goes off with Astrid toward the sauna.]

Astrid: That man in the mask...he's from afar, isn't he?
Ciri: Oh, yes... From very far away.
Astrid: Where exactly?
Ciri: Aren't you nosy!
Astrid: Surprised? Been sittin' in this fish puddle me whole life... I'd love
        to travel like you..
Ciri: Like me? No, you wouldn't like that... Trust me.

[They reach the hot springs bathhouse.]

Astrid: All right... In you go and get out of those rags!
Ciri: All of them?
Astrid: I should think so!

 [Undress.]
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  ---
  [Wrap yourself in a towel.]
  ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
   ---

   [Remove towel.]
   ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯

  [Go to sauna.]
  ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
   ---

  [Dress and leave.]
  ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
   ---

 [Leave the changing room.]
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Astrid: What's takin' you? Ye need help?
  Ciri: No, I'm almost ready.

• Let's go... I'm gettin' goose pimples...
• You wrap yourself in a towel? Well, whatever makes you comfortable...

[They go join Astrid's ma in the sauna.]

Mother: Finally! I was so worried she'd--
Astrid: Ach, Mum, you always worry. Everything's fine. Ain't it?
Ciri: Mhm. Yes. It's fine.
Mother: Good, that's good... 

 • Mother: But why've you got the towel, child? It'll just get wet...
   Astrid: Mum...she's from the Continent...she's shy.

   I'm not shy, not at all.
   ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
    Ciri: I'm not at all shy. I just wanted something to sit on...
    Astrid: Mhm. Expect me to believe that?
    Mother: Astrid! Behave yourself or I'll send you out to gut fish with your
            pa!

   I'm still cold.
   ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
    Ciri: I was worried about drafts... A lung infection's the last thing I
          need right now...
    Mother: See, Astrid. Girls your age can be sensible after all.
    Astrid: Sensible girls aren't tossed on shore by the waves.

 • Mother: What's on your thigh, child? That a bruise?
   Ciri: This? No... It's a tattoo.
   Astrid: So it is... A red rose... It mean anythin'?

   I got it for someone special who's dead now.
   ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
    Ciri: It's a souvenir...of someone special who's dead now.
    Astrid: I picture it already... You were promised to a handsome lad... He
            gave you a red rose before sailin' off, but the cruel sea swallowed
            him...
    Ciri: Close.
    Mother: Eeh, child... Those bards've stuffed your head with their foolish
            romances...

   No. I was young and drunk.
   ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
    Ciri: No, it means I was young and drunk... And it happened. At least it's
          not terribly visible.
    Astrid: I like it. Wouldn't mind one myself...here, right above me rear...
    Mother: Ach, you need a man, girl. Get more foolish every spring...

Mother: Here we are, gabbin' away... Steam's gone...gotta douse the coals.
Astrid: Say...back home...have you got saunas, too?

 I have no home.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Ciri: You know...I don't really have a home. I'm a traveler.
  Mother: Ah, that's right... Where was your ship headed?
  Ciri: Ship?
  Mother: We fished you out of the sea. We thought you were in a shipwreck.

  Yes...of course.
  ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
   Ciri: Yes, my ship... We set sail from Novigrad.
   Mother: And what brings you to Skellige?
   Astrid: Not your betrothed, I hope...
   Ciri: Why?
   Astrid: It'd break Skjall's heart...

  No, I wasn't in a shipwreck.
  ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
   Ciri: No, that's not right...I wasn't in a shipwreck.
   Mother: Hmm. So what brings you to our shores?
   Ciri: I'm here looking for someone.
   Astrid: Not your betrothed, I hope...
   Ciri: Why?
   Astrid: It'd break Skjall's heart...

 I'd rather not talk about myself.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Ciri: I'd rather...not talk about myself.
  Astrid: Why's that?
  Ciri: Someone might come looking for me. I wouldn't want to cause you any
        trouble.
  Astrid: It's too late for Skjall...
  Ciri: What?

Astrid: He's head over heels for you, girl. Sat at your bedside all the day,
        starin' like you was painted by a master!
Mother: Astrid! I asked you not to tell her!
Astrid: Oops... Well, now the milk's spilt...do you fancy Skjall?

 He's not half bad.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Ciri: I must say, he's rather handsome...
  Astrid: Half the village sighs when he passes, but he likes you. A mysterious
          beauty, arose outta the sea foam...
  Mother: Give it a rest. You're intolerable today!

 Seems nice.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Ciri: Well...he seems nice.
  Astrid: Oh, my... He's that bad?
  Mother: Leave it, Astrid. Who she likes is her affair, and it's naught to
          you.

 To tell the truth, I prefer women.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Ciri: To be honest...I prefer women.
  Mother: Aye, now I see. The skald sings true. Love bears many guises.

Ciri: Listen...it's lovely sitting here with you, but...I really must go now.
Astrid: I understand. Who'd want to stay in this hole? We're all related three
        times over and the air stinks of fish.
Mother: I can't see how you're related to anyone here. No one in Lofoten groans
        and bitches quite like you do! Sit down and be quiet. Child... Skjall's
        certain to have readied the horses by now, but before you go, you ought
        to take a quick jump in the water. It'll do you good.

 I really should go.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Ciri: I'm sorry...but I really must go.

 Well...why not.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Ciri: I suppose...why not?
  Mother: Head through the door and you'll see the pier. Be careful, it's
          slippery.

Ciri: Thank you once more.
Mother: And, once more, there's no need. Gods bless your journey!

[If Ciri jumps in the water:]

Ciri: Brr... Cold...

[Ciri dresses, gets her equipment and heads for the stable.]

Skjall: Oh... You're here... The horses are ready.
Ciri: As am I. Shall we ride?
Skjall: Listen, I...I hope... My sister, she didn't talk any nonsense to you,
        did she?

 No, just said you like me.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Ciri: No... Except to mention that you fancy me.
  Skjall: Wha? But I asked her... Besides, it's not... O' course, y'are very...
          But... But -- Y'know what? Let's ride. You're in a hurry, and it'll
          be dark soon.

  I'm not in that much of a hurry.
  ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
   Ciri: I'm not in that much of a hurry...
   [She smooches him.]
   Ciri: Your first kiss, wasn't it?
   Skjall: O' course it weren't. Argh... Aye. Me first.
   Ciri: We don't have much time... But it's enough for you to learn a few
         things...

  You're right. Let's go.
  ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
   Ciri: You're right. I hope to come back here one day... We can finish our
         conversation then.
   Skjall: Sounds dangerous...
   Ciri: I didn't intend to...

 I'm sorry... But I really don't have time right now.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Ciri: I'm sorry, but I can't bring myself to chat right now.
  Skjall: Right. Besides...it's not important.

Skjall: I'll take Njord, you can ride Grayback. She's old, but she'll make
        the--
Voice: Run for your lives!

[Ciri looks outside to see a familiar frost gripping the village. Wild Hunt
 soldiers start attacking townsfolk.]

Skjall: You stay here! I'll go and--!
Ciri: I can look after myself.

[Ciri slays several warriors and hounds, but more keep coming.]

Skjall: Ride, Ciri! Don't look back!

[The two back to the stables.]

Skjall: What... What was that?!
Ciri: The Wild Hunt.
Skjall: Ragh nar Roog... The world's end...
Ciri: No... Not yet... But I must go. They're here for me.
Skjall: Get on the horse. I'll show you the way to the Rock.

 Thanks, Skjall.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Ciri: I don't know how to thank you...
  Skjall: You can thank me once we get there safe... Let's ride!

 What about your family?
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Ciri: You should stay, see to Astrid, your mum...
  Skjall: Afterwards... Once I'm sure you'll make it. Let's go!

[The two saddle up and head out onto the trail.]

Skjall: Watch out! They're right behind you! Ride, Ciri! Don't look back!
        Faster! Faster, they're catchin' up!

[Eventually, the two get far away from Lofoten and reach the destination.]

Skjall: Pull up!
Ciri: What?!

[They stop. The elven mage is standing on the shore by a boat. Ciri gets off,
 and Skjall rides on, the Hunt trailing behind him. From the clifftop path, he
 can see the mage stun Ciri with a spell in order to calm her enough to enter
 the boat. Skjall dismounts and tries to follow, but a Hunt rider slashes him
 in the back. Meanwhile, the rowboat disappears out to sea. Later, Skjall
 wakes up, just in time to see a certain hideous, deformed creature notice him
 and scamper off.]

[The flashback ends, and the scene shifts back to Freya's Garden again.]

Yennefer: What became of that creature?! Where is he?!
Skjall: Ssss-tooo-pp... Hhh-urrr-tssss...
Yennefer: What?!
Skjall: Sss-aawwww hhhh-iii-mmmm...aaaa-tt...Dddd-ooo-nn-arrr-sss... Bbb-utt...
        hhh-eee...sss-ooo-llldddd...hhh-iii-mmm...
Yennefer: To whom?!
Skjall: Ddd-ooo-nnn't... Knnn-owwww...
Yennefer: Begone.
Skjall: Ttt-elll...thhhh-emmmm... Ccc-llleeearrr...mmm-yy...nnn-aaa...
Yennefer: Begone I say!
Skjall: Aaaaaach!

[Skjall's screaming voice trails off and he topples over, dead once more. With
 the spell over, the two can now notice their surroundings -- Freya's wondrous
 garden is now withering at breakneck speed.]

 Let's get outta here. Now.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Yen...let's get out of here. Now.
  Yennefer: You needn't ask me twice.

 What happened to the garden?
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: What...what happened to the garden?
  Yennefer: It died. Like I said... The spell, it requires a great deal of
            energy.
  Geralt: You knew it would end like this, didn't you? Didn't consider it
          worth mentioning?
  Yennefer: No -- I knew you'd protest. Your sense of dency is charming, but
            it does get in the way sometimes.

 How are you feeling?
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Yen...are you all right?

  • Yennefer: I'm fine now. The spell... Imagine putting wriggling cockroaches
              in your mouth... Or swimming in manure. That's more or less how
              it felt.

  • Yennefer: I'm splendid. I'll feel even better if I hadn't had to remind you
            to ask that question.

 You could've shown a little sympathy.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Could've shown some sympathy for the boy. He--
  Yennefer: That was no boy, Geralt. It was a hunk of rotting, rancid flesh
            that spoke through my magic.
  Geralt: Didn't just speak. It howled in pain.
  Yennefer: I know it seemed real... But it was no longer human. Do you
            understand?

  • Yennefer: Nice of you to be so concerned for the corpse. Much more than
              you were for me.

[Lofoten women they talked to earlier approach.]

Woman: The garden... Our garden! How could you...? We helped...and you --
       Inconceivable.
Yennefer: Now, now...
Woman: Don't you dare try to calm me. We've every right to be furious. And
       you... You will pay for this.

 We had no choice.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: We had no choice. We'd never have learned what happened to our--
  Woman: Do you really think you're justified?! That your hunt for a foreign
         woman gives you the right to destroy our garden?
  Yennefer: I'm sure it doesn't in your eyes.

 I'm sorry.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: I'm sorry.
  Woman: Is that all? Will you say nothing else?
  Geralt: Nothing that would help.

Woman: I shall make sure all of Skellige hears what you did here.
Yennefer: Wait...I did this. I alone. Geralt tried to stop me...I refused to
          listen.
Woman: I might have known. They warned me about you...
Woman: Sorceresses...
Woman: None shall open their door to you, none shall feed your hunger, and none
       shall tend to your wounds.

[The women leave a dejected Yen to her thoughts.]

Geralt: Yen...you didn't have to do that.
Yennefer: But I wanted to. I'd rather not talk about it. We must focus on what
          Skjall told us.

 We know Ciri's not in Skellige.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Didn't learn much. Though...though we can be sure Ciri's not in
          Skellige anymore.

   • Not in Velen or Novigrad, either... She's disappeared. Again.
     Yennefer: Perhaps we should reexamine what we've learned. We might've
               missed a clue that would push us forward...
     Geralt: Certainly hope that's the case.

   • She disappeared from Novigrad, too. Checked that... Maybe she's in Velen,
     hiding somewhere.
     Yennefer: Better to have some idea where to look than none.

  Geralt: Ugh. Makes me wonder what she's gotten herself into.
  Yennefer: Can't even begin to imagine. But we will pull her out of it, safe
            and sound. That I promise you.

 The ugly creature -- it's linked to Ciri somehow.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Key to finding Ciri is that ugly...thing Skjall saw on the beach.
          That's what I think.

   • (skip to "Tell me... Do you think..." if Uma hasn't been met during the
      Bloody Baron's sidequest.)

   • Geralt: You know...I saw something...or someone who looked just like that.
     Yennefer: Where?
     Geralt: In Velen... Local ruler, a baron, keeps him at his castle. Told me
             he won him in a card game in Novigrad.
     Yennefer: You must go and get the creature. I don't know -- buy him,
               kidnap him...
     Geralt: Won't be necessary. Baron owes me a favor. A big one. The thing's
             clearly cursed -- its mind is a jumble... Can't have anything
             resembling a normal conversation with it.
     Yennefer: Grumbling won't get us anywhere. All will be well. A curse?
               Please. Nothing a sorceress and a witcher couldn't handle. Now,
               tell me -- do you...? No, never mind.

  What did you want to say?
  ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
   Geralt: You were gonna ask me something. What was it?
   Yennefer: Tell me... Do you think... Is there a chance that thing might be
             Ciri? That...well...she's transformed by some curse?
   Geralt: Don't even wanna think about it.
   Yennefer: Geralt... We must.
   Geralt: Might be... From what I know she was looking to cure a powerful
           curse while in Novigrad.

    • Yennefer: We must see Donar, ask him to whom exactly he sold the...thing.
      Geralt: Not coming with me?
      Yennefer: You know...I'm better off not showing myself to him right now.

    • Geralt: But I'll lose it if I try to deal with that possibility now. We
              have to do what we can... See what happens.

 What now?
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Ciri's trail in Skellige -- we've followed it, exhausted the
          possibilities... Might be time to go back to the Continent.
  Yennefer: Before you do, there's one thing... It's important.
  Geralt: What's that?
  Yennefer: Let's meet in Larvik, at the warriors' hall. We'll speak there.

  Fine. See you in Larvik.
  ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
   Geralt: Fine. Larvik. See you there soon.
   Yennefer: Thank you. For that...and for your help in the garden. I'd not
             have managed without you.
   Geralt: It was nothing.
   Yennefer: Geralt, you know me. I'm rare to praise, but when I do, it is
             sincere.

  Need a bit of time. Gotta tend to something first.
  ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
   Geralt: Can we do this later...? Sorry, need to take care of something.
   Yennefer: Well, if you must, you must. I shall wait for you in Larvik for a
             time. If you don't make it, we'll meet in Vizima. After all, we
             do owe the emperor a report.
   Geralt: Ciri's our concern. Ours alone.
   Yennefer: Perhaps. But that is not what we agreed with Emhyr. We must see
             him.

   So be it.
   ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
    Geralt: If we gotta, we gotta. So be it.
    Yennfer: We'd never have known Ciri had returned if not for Emhyr and his
             agents. We owe him this.

   I refuse to report to him.
   ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
    Geralt: I refuse. Don't have the slightest intention of reporting to him.
    Yennefer: Fine... I can't force you.

   Awfully loyal of you...
   ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
    Geralt: Being awfully loyal to your patron.
    Yennefer: He's your patron as well, dear. Don't forget that lest he remind
              you of it himself.

Geralt: See you, Yen. Take care of yourself.
Yennefer: Wait. This matter in Larvik -- it really is important to me. I'd
          appreciate it if you didn't tarry.

[If Geralt follows after Yen on horseback. She'll respond differently if one
 tries following on foot.]

Yennefer: Decided to keep me company?
Geralt: Never know what might come at you deep in a dark forest.

• Yennefer: Ugh, witchers. I see you're inclined to respond to the call of the
            wild... Ah, fine. In that case, meet me at Larvik.

• Yennefer: You think someone may wish to hurt me?
  Geralt: Think I should warn off anyone who'd be dumb enough to try.

                                 ____________________________________________
________________________________/ MAIN QUEST: IN CIRI'S FOOTSTEPS (SKELLIGE) |_
¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
8g) A MYSTERIOUS PASSENGER                                               [WK8G]
_______________________________________________________________________________
¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
[This quest will only occur if Geralt learns of Ciri's Hindarsfjall adventures
 without having met Uma at the conclusion of Velen's "Family Matters" quest.
 Geralt will go to Larvik to question Donar, the isle's jarl, about the weird
 creature.]

Geralt: Apparently, there was an ugly creature here. Showed up the day after
        Lofoten was destroyed.
Donar: Ah! True! Crawled up from the beach. Gob looked like eels had been
       nibbling it. And he walked as if he had a barrel between his legs. A
       good deal of fun, that one.
Geralt: You sold him? Did I hear right?
Donar: Aye, I sold 'im. This merchant comes here from time to time. Buys
       narwhal horns off us. Uses them to make earrings and other such baubles
       for the wenches.
Geralt: We were talking about the creature.
Donar: Ah, yes. This merchant -- his eyes lit up as soon as he saw the beast.
       Said a freak like that'd be the pride of any court. Proud of that -- can
       you imagine? Foreigners! I didn't wanna sell 'im. But he offered a slew
       of coin.

 Where can I find this merchant?
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Where will I find this merchant? And the creature?
  Donar: Why d'you ask? Wanna buy him for yourself?
  Geralt: Mhm. Looking to train a new witcher.
  Donar: Hah! Good one. The merchant... He asked about the route to Novigrad,
         if there was pirates. So I reckon that's where he sailed.
  Geralt: Just as likely to be staying there as it is he moved on. Either way,
          my chances of finding him are slim. Well, thanks anyway. Take care.

 You trade in slaves in Skellige?
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Didn't know there was a slave trade in Skellige...
  Donar: This weren't no human, Geralt. If you'd seen him -- if you'd seen the
         mad things he does...
  Geralt: Tell me. What's he do?
  Donar: Deh, raa... Long bloody story. Suffice to say my hound's wiser than he
         was... And my hound eats his own shite sometimes.

[The quest ends with the trail going cold. Optionally, though, Geralt can ask
 Donar about restoring Skjall's honor posthumously.]

Geralt: Listen, need to broach a difficult topic... A young man from your clan
        -- Skjall.
Donar: Craven, you meant to say.
Geralt: That's just it. It was unjust of you strip him of his name. He didn't
        run away, flee out of fear, he--
Donar: Only blood can clear one of shame. Words change nothin'. Not his, not
       yours.

_______________________________________________________________________________
¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
UGLY BABY                                                                [WK09]
_______________________________________________________________________________
¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
[Geralt goes to Crow's Perch to fetch Uma. If the baron's not there due to
 "Return to Crookback Bog" being active but unfinished:]

Geralt: Need to talk to you.
Sergeant: About.

 Uma -- I'm here to take him away.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Uma -- gonna take him with me.
  Sergeant: Gotta ask the baron's permission. Thing is, he ain't 'ere.
  Geralt: Not about to ask for anything. I'm telling you. You can try to stop
          me. But that'd be an error. A mortal one.
  Sergeant: Think you got me shakin' in my boots?
  Geralt: You sure as hell should be.
  Sergeant: Fine. Cripple's not worth no blood. See the groom. He oughta be
            glad to give 'im up, bugger's been eatin' from the feedbags. And a
            pleasant journey to you both.
  Geralt: Thank you kindly.

 I'll come back later.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Never mind. We'll talk later.

[The witcher finds the stablemaster.]

Geralt: I'm taking Uma.
Man: There ain't a--

• Geralt: Got the baron's permission.
• Geralt: Sergeant Ardal said I could.

Man: Bring 'im back, though, won't you? Be awful dull without 'im.

 Out of my way.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: No. Not about to bring him back.

 Find some other diversion.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Find something else to laugh at. I dunno, catch some frogs and shove
          straws up their asses...?
  Man: Huh. That one of your witcher games?
  Geralt: Witcher version's different. Don't make me show you.

Geralt: Open the door. Now.

[Geralt goes inside to find the pitiful creature.]

Geralt: Hey, little guy. This here's Roach. She'll take us to Kaer Morhen.
        Well, come on.

[The pint-sized person walks towards, then under, the horse, ignoring Geralt.
 He picks him up from the other side.]

Geralt: What the...? Quit playing around. Let's go.

[They set on the trail to Kaer Morhen, Uma draped over the saddle like a sack
 of grain. Geralt's hears riders approaching.]

Geralt: Uhhh. Looks like we got company. Nilfgaardian battle mounts. What do
        you want?
Rider: The emperor's displeased with you.
Geralt: Then he oughta ask somebody else for help.
Rider: The emperor does not ask -- anyone for anything. You will ride with us
       to Vizima.
Geralt: Sure about that?
Rider: Don't even try.
Geralt: Fine. Lead the way.

[Once at the palace, Geralt has another audience with Emhyr. The emperor and
 Morvran Voorhis are already discussing battle strategy on a map.]

Emhyr: ...and the Third Army will sweep in from the west and take Ban Gleán.
Morvran: If I may, Your Imperial Majesty... Our spies report that the garrison
         at Ban Gleán consists almost wholly of mercenaries.
Emhyr: Bribery, then?
Morvran: We stand to lose exactly no men in battle.
Emhyr: And we stand to lose less time. Very well, give the orders. Then set
       sail.
Morvran: As you wish. At once.

[Yennefer arrives at that time.]

Geralt: Your Imperial Majesty... Yennefer...
Emhyr: I did not have you brought here for an exchange of courtesies. Report.

 Have it your way, Your Majesty.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: As you wish, Your Majesty.

 I don't take orders from you.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: No courtesies needed? Perfect. But remember, I'm not your soldier,
          or page, or dog. So don't give me any orders.
  Emhyr: Would you prefer I order my guards? Look around. I need only beckon.
  Yennefer: Geralt!
  Emhyr: Now report.

Geralt: Ciri... Well, this...man is the key to finding her.
Uma: Ummamamama...
Emhyr: I give you three solid leads, trails as fresh as morning dew, the aid
       of my spies and my court sorceress. Yet in my daughter's stead, you
       bring me this...monstrosity? I hope you have more to say -- for your
       sake.
Geralt: Listen, I'm looking for a needle in a haystack. A needle that at any
        moment can--
Emhyr: It's a difficult task, I know this. What of it? Listen to me. I rule
       the largest empire the world has ever known. I wage a war against the
       North, command men in the tens of thousands, while at home, the trade
       corporations and nobles seek to depose me. You cannot expect me to pity
       you the difficulty of your task.

 This monstrosity might be your daughter.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: This "monstrosity" may well be your daughter. Its body is the product
          of a curse. Someone hides inside it.
  Emhyr: Can you lift this curse?

 I know where Ciri was, what she did.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: I pursued those leads you gave me. Ciri first reappeared in Skellige.
          With a mage, an elf. Yen knows more.
  Yennefer: The Wild Hunt tracked them down, found them there. They were forced
            to flee to Velen.
  Geralt: Where they were separated. Ciri spent some time with a local warlord,
          a self-styled baron who--
  Emhyr: Yes, yes. I know my vassals.
  Geralt: ...who helped her get to Novigrad, where Ciri crossed some of the
          city's underworld bosses. She had to flee, went back to Skellige.
          Ran into her elf companion there.
  Yennefer: And into the Wild Hunt, again. Ciri and the elf fled, out to sea
            this time. Their boat returned to shore the next day with only him
            on board.
  Emhyr: Hm... The information appears of little use. Though, at least, it
         seems you kept busy.

Yennefer: I've done a great deal of research, made inquiries...but to lift it,
          I would need to know the words to cast it, and that--
Geralt: "Va fail, elaine -- ceàd'mil folie! Gleaddyv dorne aep t'enaid,
        bunn'droh ithne i'yachus." Dandelion told me. Ciri talked to him about
        it.
Emhyr: At last, you provide a pleasant surprise. Lady Yennefer, my question
       stands.
Yennefer: Yes, I believe I can. But I must--
Emhyr: The details do not concern me. Geralt, you've achieved precious little
       -- yet admittedly more than the bumblers in my spy corps have. I give
       you half the promised reward. You will receive the other when you bring
       me Ciri.

 I don't intend to bring her here.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Wouldn't count on that happening.
  Emhyr: That was no request. It was an order, Geralt. And I advise you well...
         Do not disobey me.

 So be it.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Fine.

Emhyr: This audience is over. Till the next.

[They leave the chamber.]

 This curse. How do we lift it?
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: So, how do we lift Uma's curse?
  Yennefer: We must take him to Kaer Morhen. I'll explain once we get there.
            Oh, and Geralt... Forgive me, but I'm unable to teleport you, Uma
            and Roach, so...
  Geralt: Don't worry. We'll ride there. Never did like teleporting.
  Yennefer: Take care of yourself.

 Your biting wit -- where'd it go?
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Could've used some of that famous biting wit of yours. Where'd it
          disappear to? I mean, you were meek as a novice at Aretuza called
          in to the dean's office.
  Yennefer: I merely know when to indulge my pride, and when I must swallow it.
            Unlike some others I know.
  Geralt: Ah, I see. So you show your claws to me because I'm a lowly witcher,
          but--
  Yennefer: Do you really wish to do this now, Geralt? We can fight another
            time, in another place. Where the walls have no ears.

 Yen, sorry I refused to help you in Skellige.²
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Yen, what happened back there -- in Skellige...
  Yennefer: Please, Geralt. There's nothing left to say.
  Geralt: Yen...
  Yennefer: No more. Please.

Geralt: Wait. Here. Probably better if you keep it.

[He gives the phylactery.]

Yennefer: Of course. I'm off.

[A week later, Geralt finally enters familiar territory: the mountainous Kaer
 Morhen reaches. A forktail flies overhead, startling the horse.]

Geralt: Whoa there, Roach. It's all right. Forktails this close to the
        fortress? Someone's been slacking off...

[Geralt rides to the fortress. Vesemir opens the portcullis for him.]

Vesemir: Well, look who the wind blew in! Been away quite a while.
Geralt: Too long.
Vesemir: And your journey -- how was it?
Geralt: Calm, if you don't count the forktail that flew over our heads a few
        miles back. Passenger got a little restless.
Uma: Uuuuummmma...
Vesemir: Hm, what do we have here? Multiple deformities. Eyes, ears, nostrils.
         A harelip. And is this...?
Uma: Uuuuumamamama!
Vesemir: Now, now. Calm down... Yennefer was right on one count... Thing sure
         isn't pretty.

 Yen's already here?
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Yen's here already?
  Vesemir: And how.
  Geralt: Huh... You two argue?
  Vesemir: Geralt... I understand she's a -- well, how do I put this?
           Emancipated, strong-willed woman... But do manners count for
           nothing? She teleports in, not even a "nice to see you." Jumps right
           into, uh -- "We've a curse to lift. There's this to do, and that --
           so Eskel and Lambert, get going." Then she went to the guest room,
           to rearrange things...threw the bed off the balcony.

  Where is everyone?
  ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
   Geralt: So where is everyone?
   Vesemir: Eskel's hunting forktails. Gotta nip that infestation in the bud,
            and since Yennefer needs to distill some ingredients from their
            organs... Well, like they say, two birds, one stone. Lambert's
            still in the keep, preparing to venture into the mountains to
            enrich the phylactery with elemental power.
   Geralt: Mhm. And Yen?
   Vesemir: Assembling her megascope. Wanted my help -- running around with
            some chirping contraption, searching for something. But I'm too old
            for that...nonsense.

  What's Yen planning?
  ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
   Geralt: So what's Yen planning?
   Vesemir: Wish I knew.
   Geralt: Mean she didn't tell you?
   Vesemir: She told us what she needed to lift the curse, not what she plans
            to do with it. Despite our asking.

   Sounds suspicious...
   ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
    Geralt: She's up to something...
    Vesemir: Glad you noticed.

   Must have her reasons.
   ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
    Geralt: She's gotta have a good reason...
    Vesemir: Huh, more than one, most likely... In any case, she's set her mind
             on something. Needs us to stay out of her way, mostly.

  That was a good bed.
  ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
   Geralt: Shame, that was a good bed.
   Vesemir: Said the same myself. Solid oak frame, down mattress. Triss always
            said she-- Aaah... Now I see.
   Geralt: It's either that, or Yen really hates oak furniture.

 Why so dirty?
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Don't look all that nice yourself. How'd you get so dirty?
  Vesemir: Huh? Ah, this... I was mixing some lime for the mortar. Need to
           patch up the walls before they crumble.
  Geralt: Lotta work for one person. Lambert and Eskel not willing to help?
          Don't see the sense in it?
  Vesemir: No. Yennefer's found more important things for them to do.

Geralt: I should let her know I'm here.
Vesemir: If you say so. But... Don't go thinking she'll her arms around your
         neck.
                                                      _______________________
_____________________________________________________/ MAIN QUEST: UGLY BABY |_
¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
9a) DISTURBANCE                                                          [WK9A]
_______________________________________________________________________________
¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
[Geralt goes upstairs to meet Yen. He can hear a magic explosion and her curse
 as he approaches.]

Yennefer: Gods dammit! You piece of shit!
Geralt: Uh-oh...

[He finds her laboring over a smoking megascope. If he's on good terms, the
 "Something wrong?" option automatically occurs and the rest of the "on bad
 terms" dialogue options disappear.]

Yennefer: Akh akh akh... Damned crystal! Akh akh...
Geralt: You decide to blow us up?

 • Yennefer: Geralt...I'm sorry, but I'm in no mood for jests.
 • Yennefer: Geralt, I'm in no mood for jests. Especially dull ones.

  Something wrong?
  ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
   Geralt: What's eating you?
   Yennefer: Let me think -- that was the...third crystal to explode. It's been
             a week and Lambert's still not done what I've asked. Vesemir
             spitefully insists on repairing the wall just beneath my window
             and starts hammering at the crack of dawn, while Eskel seems to
             have gone mushroom picking, not forktail hunting.
   Geralt: The guys...well, they're not exactly happy with you.
   Yennefer: Mhm. Why is that?
   Geralt: Because...you aren't willing to say what you're planning. You're
           treating them like pages, not including them -- us, actually, 'cause
           I feel that way, too.
   Yennefer: I shall explain everything -- when the time is right. First, we
             must finish our preparations.

  Calm down.²
  ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
   Geralt: Need to blow off steam? Go ahead, just not on me. Find some other
           target. I don't know...throw another bed off the balcony.
   Yennefer: Ha, ha, ha. So it's to be dull jokes after all?
   Geralt: Rather have a serious conversation? We can do that, if you prefer.
           So upset about Triss you gotta take it out on the furniture?
   Yennefer: Would you prefer I take it out some other way? Know what...? We
             should end this discussion -- before I say something I'll regret.

   Come on. What's on your mind?
   ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
    Geralt: But I'd love to hear what you have to say.
    Yennefer: Is that so? Very well then. Listen. You shagged my friend. For
              upwards of a year. I cannot know what your witchers' code says
              on the matter, but ordinary folk would consider it obscene, base,
              vile. I try not to think about it... That stupid bed was making
              it difficult. That's that.

    I won't grovel.
    ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
     Geralt: Not about to grovel, if that's what you're after.
     Yennefer: I tire of this conversation. It ends. Now.
     [She pushes him into a portal; he drops into the lake by the keep.]
     Geralt: Aaaaaaaargh!!!! Whoa... She's really not in the mood.

    Made a mistake. I'm sorry.
    ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
     Geralt: That...was a mistake.
     Yennefer: I'm glad you realize it. A mistake engaged in regularly for more
               than a year, an apology well after the fact, but...I'm glad.
               Very well... On to more pressing matters. We've a great deal of
               work to do.

    Told you...I lost my memory.
    ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
     Geralt: Yen... Told you already. I lost my memory.
     Yennefer: And I've lost my patience.
     [She pushes him into a portal; he drops into the lake by the keep.]
     Geralt: Aaaaaaaargh!!!! Whoa... She's really not in the mood.

   Fine. Let's change the subject.
   ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
    Geralt: If that's what you want.
    Yennefer: Knew I could count on your better judgment. Very well... On to
              more pressing matters. We've a great deal of work to do.

===============================================================================
[If Geralt pisses Yen off enough to be teleported to Kaer Morhen's lake, he'll
 have to wander all the way back to the keep's guest room.]

Yennefer: Ah, Geralt... Anything you'd like to say?

 Sorry.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Sorry... Pretty dumb excuse.
  Yennefer: Extremely stupid. I'm glad a mere whiff of fresh air helped you
            realize that.

 That was some view.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Mhm. The view from there -- spectacular.
  Yennefer: Perhaps I should've teleported you two miles higher. Breathtaking,
            that view! To die for, really.

["What do I do" starts automatically here.]
===============================================================================

 What do I do?
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Fine... What do I do?
  Yennefer: Firstly, help Eskel and Lambert. One was supposed to get me
            forktail spinal fluid, the other was to fortify the phylactery with
            elemental power. I've yet to see anything from either of them.
  Geralt: All right, I'll talk to them. Anything else?
  Yennefer: Yes. There's one other trifling matter. As you saw, my megascope is
            acting up...in rather spectacular fashion. I'm certain there's an
            energy source nearby, generating disturbances, making the crystals
            malfunction. We must find and neutralize it...quickly -- I must
            contact someone, it's urgent.

  How do I do this?
  ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
   Geralt: All right, how do I find the source?
   Yennefer: Use this potestaquisitor.
   Geralt: Potesta... Potestaquisitor? Sounds fancy, complicated.
   Yennefer: Yet it's ever so simple. Grasp it firmly, move it around, and the
             louder it squeals, the closer you are.
   Geralt: Mhm...
   Yennefer: Spare me your juvenile wit, please. Well? What're you waiting for?

  Who do you plan to contact?
  ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
   Geralt: Who you plan to contact? Or is that a secret, too?

   • Yennefer: No secret at all.
   • Yennefer: First off, stop pouting. Second -- no, it's not a secret.

   Yennefer: Ida Emean. Remember her?
   Geralt: How could I forget. Member of the Lodge... Elven Sage.
   Yennefer: Exactly. A Sage. As the name suggests, she should know a great
             deal. I'd like to ask her for advice about Uma. Satisfied?
   Geralt: Hmph... Your sorceress friends -- the sage and not so sage --
           they've let me down before. But if we gotta, we gotta.
   Yennefer: If only you'd been this cautious with all of them... But no
             matter. Thank you for your permission.

 Don't trust us?
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Hm. You got trust issues with us?
  Yennefer: Ugh. No... Actually, I fear you don't trust me. So I'd rather keep
            certain things secret -- for the time being.
  Geralt: Pretty tortured logic...
  Yennefer: It may seem that way now... But you'll understand in time.

 Heard what you did with the bed...
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Heard about the bed... Really prefer to sleep on the floor? Wouldn't
          recommend it. That stone can get awfully chilly.
  Yennefer: Frankly, I prefer a chill to bedding littered with red hair.

  • Geralt: So upset about Triss you gotta take it out on the furniture?
    Yennefer: Would you prefer I take it out some other way? Know what...? We
              should end this discussion -- before I say something I'll regret.
    (starts "Come on. What's on your mind?" and "Fine. Let's change...")

  • Geralt: Ah. So it is about Triss.
    Yennefer: Yes. It's about our dear darling Triss. Geralt... I don't want to
              seem like a vindictive shrew, but that very bed is where you just
              happened to fuck a dear friend of mine. Yes, I know. You'd lost
              your memory. Whatever... Let us agree that I will refrain from
              scolding you, while you will stop mentioning that stupid bed.
              Agreed?
    Geralt: Agreed.
    Yennefer: Splendid. On to more pressing matters.

[If Geralt did "The Last Wish" and got together with Yen, there'll be one last
 line:]

Yennefer: Ah! One more thing...
Geralt: Mhm?
Yennefer: Thank you, Geralt.

[Geralt takes Yen's potestaquisitor -- a handheld magical doohickey that looks
 like a weird tuning fork -- and starts looking for the source. He wanders
 aimlessly, then goes to the main hall.]

Geralt: Oh, got a signal... Signals growing stronger...
Vesemir: So, Yennefer found a volunteer to walk around with that chirping stick
         after all.
Geralt: Shhh.

[The gadget beeps like crazy near a crate stack.]

Geralt: Ahh. There you are. Disturbance is coming from there. What's in these
        crates?
Vesemir: Dimeritium bombs. Lambert made 'em.
Geralt: No wonder the megascope doesn't work. All right, gotta get 'em outta
        here.
Vesemir: I can do that. Rather you not make a mess of my shelves. Just keep an
         eye on Uma.
Geralt: Yes, Uncle Vesemir.

[Geralt babysits Uma in the meantime.]

Geralt: How goes it? Vesemir's not working you too hard, I hope?
Uma: Uma.
Geralt: Thought so.

[A short while later...]

Vesemir: All done. You can go. Now...let's check your conditioned reflexes...

[Geralt goes to report the good news.]

Yennefer: Thank you. Seems to be working now. What was it?
Geralt: Dimeritium bombs. Lambert left them by the beds.
Yennefer: Mhm. I suppose he had no idea they could interfere with my megascope?

 Pulling your ponytail, I suppose.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: No, he probably knew... But that's the sort of prank you only pull on
          someone you like.
  Yennefer: You don't suppose he--? Lambert? Really? I'm flattered.

 Lambert doesn't know shit about megascopes.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: You know...Lambert's not exactly an expert on megascopes, so--
  Yennefer: Please. Lambert is mean, not stupid.

• Yennefer: Enough. Ready for this conversation?
  Geralt: Sure you want me here?
• Yennefer: But no matter... More importantly, I shall finally be able to
            contact Ida.
  Geralt: The Ida? Elven Sage? What do you want from her?
  Yennefer: Stay and you'll learn for yourself.

Geralt: Members of the Lodge don't let just anyone in on their secrets...or so
        I've heard.
Yennefer: Consider it a token of our trust. Now, let's begin. And, Geralt,
          behave -- please?
Geralt: Didn't you just say you trust me?
Yennefer: Stop twisting my words.

[Ida Emean's monochromatic picture is shown on the megascope.]

Ida: Cáed'mil, Yennefer aep Vengerberg. Gwynbleidd.

 Cáed'mil, Aen Saevherne.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Cáedmil, Aen Saevherne.

 Hey, Ida.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Hey there, Ida.
  Yennefer: Geralt...
  Ida: It matters not, Yennefer. I've grown accustomed to human...decorum.

Ida: Why have you summoned me?
Yennefer: We've come up against a curse, one we must lift. It was uttered in a
          dialect of Elder Speech unfamiliar to me.
Ida: I see... The words of the curse?
Yennefer: "Va fail, elaine -- ceád'mil folie! Gleaddyv dorne aep t'enaid,
          bunn'droh ithne i'yachus."

 Heard the words before, haven't you.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Take it you've heard the words before.
  Ida: Yes... In legends. Of the kind that do not end happily.
  Yennefer: Can you help us...with the curse?
  Ida: To a degree. Agnes de Glanville's incantation combined with Eldar's
       Triangle -- inverted, of course -- they are your only possible recourse.
       But I cannot guarantee that even they will suffice.

 Know the dialect?
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Recognize the dialect?
  Ida: Laith aen Undod.
  Geralt: Meaning?
  Ida: The so-called One Speech... A forgotten language dating from before the
       Migration.
  Geralt: The Migration?
  Yennefer: Later, Geralt.

Yennefer: Thank you, Aen Saevherne. Va fail.
Ida: That does not conclude our conversation.

 Guessing you want something in return.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Lemme guess...you want something in return.
  Ida: If I may, Gwynbleidd, I'd like to request -- stop guessing. Just listen.

 What's the problem?
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: What is it?

Ida: The Time of the White Frost and White Light is nigh...
Geralt: ...and the world will perish amidst ice. I know Ithlinne's prophecy.
Ida: I don't doubt you know it. But do you understand it? The Elder Blood can
     initiate the Final Age, the Time of the End...or stop it. Remember this,
     Gwynbleidd. For you will be the one to determine if the seed bursts into
     flames.

[She bows and cuts the connection.]

 What now?
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: All in all, interesting conversation. What now?

  • Yennefer: You can start by apologizing for acting like a boor. Despite my
              asking you not to.
   Sorry.²
   ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
    Geralt: I'm sorry. It's just, when Ida started in with that patronizing
            tone--
    Yennefer: You decided to prove she was completely justified to adopt that
              attitude? Well done, Geralt. Bravo. Ugh. Oh enough.

   Not gonna happen.²
   ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
    Geralt: Don't really see why I should apologize. I know sorceresses expect
            me to bow down before them...
    Yennefer: So you refuse to bow and thumb your nose at them instead. Very
              mature. Ugh. Oh enough.

 You understand that?
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Any idea what she was talking about?
  Yennefer: Ciri, of course.
  Geralt: Wish everyone'd just leave her the hell alone.
  Yennefer: Wouldn't count on it.

 The Migration -- what was that about?
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: What was that about...the Migration?
  Yennefer: Good gods! Did they teach you no history here?
  Geralt: No. Vesemir figured sword work'd be more useful on the Path. Gonna
          answer me?
  Yennefer: Naturally. One's never too old to learn. The Aen Seidhe and the
            Aen Elle elves were once one folk, the Aen Undod. Then came a
            cataclysm, no one knows its nature. The Aen Undod were forced to
            leave their world. They split along the way.
  Geralt: So if Uma's curse was uttered in this Laith aen Undod...
  Yennefer: Then it's old. Very, very old.

• Yennefer: All is ready. We should gather the others and begin.
• Yennefer: Finish whatever it was you and the boys were planning to do... Then
            we'll begin.
                                                      _______________________
_____________________________________________________/ MAIN QUEST: UGLY BABY |_
¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
9b) THE FINAL TRIAL                                                      [WK9B]
_______________________________________________________________________________
¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
[Geralt finds Lambert in the main hall, fiddling with a contraption.]

Geralt: What's this? Brewing potions?
Lambert: No. Booze. From potato peels.
Geralt: Mm. For my welcome back feast?
Lambert: Actually, more like my farewell feast... Haven't heard? Madame
         sorceress has requested I fortify the phylactery with Power from the
         Circle of Elements. Says it's essential to lifting the curse from that
         monstrosity of yours.

 Don't sound thrilled about this.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Don't sound too thrilled about all this.
  Lambert: I'm not. You know the trek to the Circle's no walk in the park. In
           more ways than one.
  Geralt: Lemme go with you.
  Lambert: Well... Might have more spring in my step with the famous White Wolf
           at my side. So...you ready?

  Let's go now.
  ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
   Geralt: No reason to wait. Let's go.

  Got one thing to do, then we can go.
  ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
   Geralt: Gotta take care of something. Wait for me.
   Lambert: Sure.

 Monstrosity might be Ciri...
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Realize that monstrosity, as you put it, might be Ciri?
  Lambert: Yeah. I heard.
  Geralt: Mind showing a bit of sympathy?
  Lambert: I call 'em like I see 'em. That's how I am.

  Irritating?
  ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
   Geralt: Irritating, you mean?
   Lambert: Thought you like people with bitchy streaks.
   Geralt: So long as they're women.
   Lambert: Then you found the best of 'em. Enough about that. The Circle of
            Elements awaits.

  Fine... Don't wanna fight.
  ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
   Geralt: Know what? Never mind. Not gonna argue with you.
   Lambert: Right, no time to lose. The monstrosity awaits.
   Geralt: Lambert!
   Lambert: Oh, sorry. The potential Cirilla.

[The witchers set off.]

Lambert: Oh, mean to tell you... Can't get to the Circle through the mountains.
         Rockslide blocked the pass last spring.
Geralt: So we approach from the pond side... Like when we did the Trial of the
        Medallion?
Lambert: Exactly. Remember the way?
Geralt: Not easily forgotten, that.
Lambert: "He who returns with his medallion will prove himself worthy and may
         set off on the Path."
Geralt: Vesemir ever hear you impersonate him?
Lambert: Yeah. Old man can't stand it.

[They walk through a crumbled part of the fortress wall.]

Geralt: Savolla's breach. Still haven't patched it up?
Lambert: Vesemir'd like to. Doesn't bother me, though. Not expecting anyone to
         lay siege and...this way I got a shortcut to the pond.
Geralt: Shame those Salamandra assassins didn't punch a few more holes in our
        walls.
Lambert: Or finish the job and reduce these ruins to rubble.
Geralt: Been thinking... We gotta swim across the pond?
Lambert: No, I got a boat there. You know, for fishing.
Geralt: Wow... Never took you for the fishing type.
Lambert: I use bombs. Drop 'em in, then scoop up whatever floats to the
         surface.
Geralt: Hm. That makes sense.

[They slay a whole herd of harpies with little effort.]

Lambert: Well, well. Color me impressed. Where'd you learn them tricks?
Geralt: It's an art. Learned it from this old master down in Zerrikania.
Lambert: Pfff. Yadda yadda. Save that tale for your next sorceress.
Geralt: Tell me about Vesemir -- things any better between you?
Lambert: Seems so... Old man's dropped the moralizing, and I try not to piss
         him off too often.
Geralt: Mhm. Working out well?
Lambert: Moderately. Castle's pretty big. Easy to stay out of each other's way.

[The shortcut path leads them down the mountain to a lakeside hut.]

Lambert: Dammit... Moored it right here, I swear.
Geralt: Line must've come loose.
Lambert: Really? Here I thought the boat untied itself, to go for a jaunt on
         its own. Dammit, in this fog we'll never--
Geralt: There a storm before I arrived?
Lambert: Lemme think... Yeah. Five days past.
Geralt: Mhm... Wind must've grabbed the sail, tugged the boat off its mooring,
        boat drifted into the bushes...

[They find the boat near a drowner nest. A water hag appears soon after.]

Geralt: Water hag...
Lambert: Great. Last thing we needed.

[They slay the final creature.]

Lambert: All right. Cave entrance is just opposite. See it? Gotta sail across
         the pond, go through the cave, climb Troll's Head...and we're there.
Geralt: Doesn't seem like such an ordeal now, does it?
Lambert: No... Still gives me shivers, though. You know only two boys returned
         from my group?
Geralt: You were the ones who ran into Old Speartip in the caverns, right?
Lambert: Mhm.

 Jump in the boat.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Let's go. Jump in the boat.
  Lambert: All right. I'm taking the tiller, though.
  Geralt: Because...?
  Lambert: Cause¹ it's my boat. Not up for discussion.

 That still bother you?
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: That still gnawing at you?
  Lambert: Gnawing? No. Straight old pisses me off. What the fuck was that
           Trial for? Most who returned from the Circle of Elements died within
           a year in some swamp, hunting drowners for a crown thirty a head.
           So exactly what was the point?
  Geralt: Oughta ask Vesemir.
  Lambert: Oh, I have, many times. Believe you me.

[The boat sets sail.]

Geralt: Make this boat yourself?
Lambert: Yeah. Something you don't like about it?
Geralt: Besides the water up to our ankles? Nothing.
Lambert: Quit whining... It'll make it across the lake.
Geralt: Provided we don't smash into something first. Barely see the tip of my
        nose. Fog's thick as curdled milk...
Lambert: Never took you for a poet.
Geralt: Oh, but I am one. Wanna hear a limerick?
Lambert: Sure.
Geralt: Lambert, Lambert -- what a prick.
Lambert: Not bad.
Geralt: Fall off a bit, sail's fluttering.
Lambert: Don't teach your grandma to suck eggs. Right... Almost there.

[They disembark in front of the cavern entrance.]

Lambert: Ready for the caverns?
Geralt: Almost. Before we go inside--
Lambert: Ugh, drink a dose of Cat, I know. Any more words of wisdom? Like "Step
         softly or you'll wake Old Speartip?"

 You're pricklier than Yen.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Sheesh. You're pricklier than Yen...
  Lambert: Ugh. Don't fall in love with me. Let's go.

 Old Speartip's still around?
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Old Speartip's still down there?
  Lambert: Yeah, he is -- unless he's done us a favor and keeled over on his
           own. Could come at us at any moment.
  Geralt: How'd the rhyme go? Old Speartip's a deep sleeper...
  Lambert: Wake him up and you'll sleep deeper. C'mon.

Voice: Aaaah! Help!
Geralt: Hear that? Sounds like a kid...
Lambert: You know this valley's uninhabited except for us. Gotta be an
         illusion.
Geralt: What if it's not?
Voice: Aaa... Aaaaaah!
Lambert: Whatever you want to do...

 We should investigate. Just in case.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: We'll investigate. Just in case.
  Lambert: You know, Vesemir's right. You do poke the damn hive, almost always.
           Fine. Let's go.

 You're probably right... Let's go to the cave.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: You're probably right... Let's go -- straight to the cave.
  Lambert: Finally, something reasonable.

[If Geralt and Lambert investigate, they find a young boy on the shoreline.]

Geralt: Hey, little guy...
Boy: Aaaaah!
Geralt: It's all right. You're safe now.
Boy: No... No... Help!!!!

[The illusion of the boy disappears.]

Geralt: Fine, consider yourself vindicated. You were right...
Lambert: Well, well... Whaddaya know!
Geralt: We can talk about that later. Got the foglets to take care of now.

[They slay the misty intruders.]

Lambert: An illusion... Who woulda thunk?
Geralt: You're not gonna let this drop any time soon, are you?
Lambert: No, I will not. In fact, whole world should hear about the time the
         famed Geralt of Rivia was duped like a child. Think we oughta get
         Dandelion to write a ballad about it. How's that sound?

 Should sing about you instead.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Dandelion should sing about you instead. "Lambert, the Smart-Ass
          Witcher."
  Lambert: Better that than naive. Smart asses live longer.

 Better safe than sorry.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: When someone's life may be threatened, I'd rather be safe than sorry.
          Enough said.
  Lambert: Course. The noble White Wolf never abandons a man in need. He's more
           saint than witcher!

Geralt: Changing subjects... Did I see right? Was that boy--?
Lambert: Yeah. One of ours. Must've drowned during his Trial... Foglets
         remembered his voice and appearance.
Geralt: Charming... Let's get out of here.
Lambert: Needn't ask me twice. In fact, I didn't even wanna come here.
Geralt: Lambert, enough.

[Either way, the two eventually enter the cave, approaching a high ledge.]

Geralt: Bones... Pulverized.
Lambert: Mhm. Old Speartip's never been kind to guests.

Geralt: Shit... Too damn high.
Lambert: Not if I give you a boost. Remember? Part of the Trial. "A witcher is
         a lone hunter--"
Geralt: "...but even a lone hunter can use a helping hand sometimes." Vesemir.
Lambert: Ready? Ooooff... You fat fuck.
Geralt: One... Two... Three... You're no feather, either. C'mon, let's go.

[Geralt pulls Lambert up and they continue on.]

Lambert: Hmm... Wall looks a little shaky... Aard, maybe?
Geralt: Mhm. And wake Old Speartip?
Lambert: What? You afraid?
Geralt: No. I just think before I act. Mind not stomping like that?
Lambert: Relax... I slipped. Ugh!
Geralt: What?
Lambert: Something fell in my eye. A splinter, I think.
Geralt: Hope it wasn't from a broken mirror... That'd make you even nastier.
Lambert: Ha, ha. Oof, place reeks of mould...
Geralt: What'd you expect? Scent of violets?
Lambert: Would've been nice...

[If Geralt makes noise the Aard sign further in:]

Geralt: We need to be quiet... I could do without a warm welcome from Old
        Speartip.

[Climbing a ledge, the two spot the cyclops -- Old Speartip -- fast asleep.]

Lambert: Ah, so soft and sweet, just sleepin' there... Makes you wanna make
         this moment last forever...

[If they provoke Old Speartip:]

Geralt: Lost the element of surprise.
Lambert: Couldn't care less. I'm up for the challenge. You miss me, you
         whoreson?

[If they kill Old Speartip:]

Geralt: You gonna live?
Lambert: Mhm. Probably.
Geralt: Let's get out of here.
Lambert: Wait. That's for Voltehre, you whoreson. Ptoo!

 Done?
 ¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: You finished?
  Lambert: Let's move.

 Voltehre...who's that?
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Voltehre... Who's that?
  Lambert: Ya don't remember? Little guy, scar on his chin, right here.
  Geralt: Oh, yeah. I remember.
  Lambert: All we can do now. Never made it outta here. Let's go.

[They finally reach the upper cave exit.]

Lambert: Oof... Good to be back above ground.
Geralt: Mhm... Still trouble ahead.
Lambert: Mean the trolls? They're in for trouble, not us.

 Trying to impress me?
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Dunno who you're trying to impress. Tough-guy stuff's just not
          working on me.
  Lambert: Heh, look who's talking. Vesemir told me about that job you did for
           those Nilfgaardians in Velen. What...what are you doing?! "Killing
           monsters." Haha, good one.
  Geralt: Just came out that way... C'mon.

 I'd rather be careful.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: We oughta be careful. This is their turf.
  Lambert: Couple of trolls got you soiling your knickers?
  Geralt: Was bold and brash once, like you. Then I took a pitchfork in the
          gut. Peasant kid, not a troll -- I almost died. Hard way to learn,
          but I did. C'mon.

[A ways on the path, a troll spots 'em and scampers off.]

Lambert: Hah! See 'im shit and run as soon as he saw us?
Geralt: Mhm. Never known a troll to do that.

[Soon, a couple trolls on a ridgeline yell at them.]

Troll: Oooo. Witcherses two, walk no more...stops! This mountain trolly
       mountain.
Troll: Troll mountain.
Troll: Huh? Ah... Aye. This troll mountain!
Lambert: Ugh... You talk to these idiots.

 Just want to get to the Circle.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Stay calm... We just wanna get to the Circle.
  Troll: Witcherses thing one say, thing two do.
  Troll: Thing three do. Sometime.

 Let us pass, or regret it.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Take my advice. You don't want to mess with us.
  Troll: Trolly advice take!
  Troll: No... Trolls' advice! And witcherses takes must it!

Lambert: Argh, enough. Outta my way, dimwits, or I'll grind you to gravel!
         Understand?!

[The troll tosses a torso-sized rock at Lambert, who dodges.]

Geralt: Mhm. They understood all right. Congrats.
Lambert: Run for the cave...before they stone us to death!

[The two enter the cave, climbing up to the same level as the trolls.]

Troll: We rocks throws -- yous go no farmore. Witcherses understanded?!
Geralt: We understanded. But we still gotta get to the Circle of Elements.
Troll: Listen, Butwe. Trolls come no to witchersy castle.
Troll: Rocks lots there. Pretty rock.
Lambert: Enjoying this little chat? 'Cause, er, it's not getting us anywhere.

 Right... We've talked enough.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Yeah. Gonna have to agree to disagree.
  Lambert: Finally. My brain's gonna ooze out my ears if I have to listen to
           this bullshit any longer. All right, calcites and dolomites. Who
           wants to taste some witchers' silver?
  Troll: I itsay. No should trusty witcherses!

 Lemme talk, all right?
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: I'm talking. Fact is you know as much about negotiating as they do
          about grammar. We're not here to hurt you. We don't want to touch
          your rocks. Just let us pass.

  • Troll: Witcher say hurt no. But before at troll hit! So hit hard big ouch!
           Spot!
    Troll: Before throws too trolls. Trolls throws first, witchrses¹ hit then!
    Troll: Witcherses throws on trolls -- ouch... Trolls on witcheres throws
           -- ouch. Ouch here, ouch there...

  • Troll: Troll rock throw... Witcherses strike no back. Just talkie-talkie.
           Witcher...good?
    Troll: Dummy you. Witcherses monster kills. Trolls monsters... Yes, true it
           is, no face make!

  Troll: Hmmm... We do go this. Yous sharp backclubs leave here, yous pass. No
         agrees -- we smash.

  We'll leave our swords. Come back for them later.
  ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
   Geralt: All right. We'll leave our swords here. Pick 'em up on the way back.
   Troll: We them want no.
   Troll: Ick metal. Mouth stings.
   Lambert: You nuts?!
   Geralt: Shut up and follow my lead.

  Not gonna happen.
  ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
   Geralt: No way. Witcher without his sword -- it'd be like losing an arm.
   Troll: Better arm lose than head!

[The veteran swordsmen deal with the trolls, one way or another, and head to
 the clifftop shrine.]

 • Lambert: Think you might've missed your calling.
   Geralt: Hm?
   Lambert: If I remember Pappy Vesemir's lessons correctly, witchers kill
            monsters.
   Geralt: Your memory's shit. They only kill harmful monsters.
   Lambert: They threw stones at us, Geralt.
   Geralt: Whine about it to Eskel later.

Lambert: Just...a few steps more...and we're there.
Geralt: Oo, that's some serious panting. Out of breath, out of shape.
Lambert: Nah... Just a bit...hung over.
Geralt: Been hitting the hooch with Eskel again?
Lambert: No... Been hitting it alone...

[They finally reach the destination, built to overlook the valley.]

Geralt: Well... We made it.
Lambert: No denying that. Damn... Beautiful view.

 High praise coming from you.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Must be if you noticed it.
  Lambert: Geralt, who do you take me for?
  Geralt: Lemme think...a sourpuss?
  Lambert: Hah! Fair enough, but save the rest of your compliments for later.
           Let's get to work.

 Soak it in later.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: We can soak it in later.
  Lambert: Of course. Duty before pleasure.

Geralt: Remember how this Circle works? Been a while since I activated my
        medallion here...
Lambert: It's fine, old man, no need to make excuses. Light the torches and
         place the phylactery on the altar. I'll handle the rest. How'd it
         go...? Water, then earth...then air?

[Geralt prepares the altar properly.]

Geralt: All right... Phylactery's in place.
Lambert: Then all we gotta do is wait. The container'll absorb the Power of
         the elements...while we catch a breather. Oof... So, how'd you deal
         with the trolls when you passed the Trial of the Medallion?
Geralt: Lemme think... Oh yeah. Used Axii. But I only had to get past one
        troll. Other two were busy.
Lambert: Yeah, useful sign, Axii. Saved my life a short while ago.

 Useful...and dangerous.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Yeah, Axii's useful...and dangerous.
  Lambert: Hmph. What makes you say that?
  Geralt: It tempts you to overuse it. Force a merchant to reduce his price,
          make an arrogant noble drink from the gutter, teach someone to show
          you respect... Can become hard to resist.
  Lambert: I don't. Life's too short.

 Axii saved your life? How?
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Sense a good story coming...
  Lambert: One of the best. A couple of road robbers stopped me -- one pointed
           a crossbow at me and the other started rummaging through my satchel.
           Made the man with the crossbow shoot his friend...then hang himself.

  Didn't have to kill them.
  ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
   Geralt: Didn't have to kill them...
   Lambert: But I could, so I did. Two whoresons less in the world. Big deal.

  Yeah. Great story.
  ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
   Geralt: Wow...truly great story.
   Lambert: Isn't it? Real side-splitter, I think.

Geralt: Tell me... You always been such a cynical bastard?
Lambert: No. I was adorable before Vesemir brought me to Kaer Morhen.

 Hate being a witcher that badly?
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Think it's that bad being a witcher?
  Lambert: Guess I could've been someone worse... Just a shame I had no choice.

 We all went through it...
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: We all went through it...
  Lambert: That's just it -- not everyone made it. Lots of boys died here.
           Boys taken against their will.

Geralt: It was our destiny...
Lambert: Destiny? Let me tell you about destiny. My dad was a drunk. He'd knock
         a few back, then beat me and Mom bloody. We prayed for his death,
         every night. One day our prayers were almost answered. Dad lost his
         way coming home from the tavern, walked smack into a nest of
         nekkers... But some witcher saved him. Know what he wanted in return?
         "Give me the first thing you see when you get home." My life... For
         the life of that prick? I say fuck that kinda destiny.

 Didn't know... Sorry.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Didn't know... I'm sorry.
  Lambert: Next time you wonder why I'm so bitter...well, there's your answer.
           All right. We've griped enough. Let's get out of here.

 Let's go.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Know what... Let's get outta here.
  Lambert: Don't like what you're hearin', huh? Witchers shouldn't talk like
           that. Know what else you won't like? After the Trial of the
           Medallion, I rode straight home. To thank my daddy for everything.
           Wanna hear what I did to him?
  Geralt: Lambert... Please.
  Lambert: Thought we were opening up, having an honest talk... But fine, let's
           continue pretending everything's just peechy¹. The road beckons, my
           good man! Our companions await!

[If they negotiated with the trolls, there's an extra scene:]

Geralt: Need to get our swords. Witcher with no sword's like a man without an
        arm.
Lambert: Sure thing, brother.
Troll: Witcherses sharp backclubs takes. And home goes.
Lambert: Mhm. Don't worry, I don't need convincing. Come on, Geralt. Let's go.

[Either way:]

 Right. Back to the fortress.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Right. Let's get back.
  Lambert: After you, sir.

 Go. Gonna stay here a bit.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: You go ahead. Gonna stay here for a bit.
  Lambert: Mhm. Not too long, though. Remember, we¹ got ourselves a cripple to
           cure.
                                                      _______________________
_____________________________________________________/ MAIN QUEST: UGLY BABY |_
¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
9c) TO BAIT A FORKTAIL...                                                [WK9C]
_______________________________________________________________________________
¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
[Eskel isn't at Kaer Morhen when Geralt gets there, having been sent out to
 kill a forktail. Geralt exits the fortress to begin tracking him.]

• Must be Eskel's prints... No one else has left the keep recently.
• That's his horse... What's it's¹ name? Scorpion? Beautiful animal...
• Eskel made camp here... Looks like he planned to stay outside a while.
• Footprints...and hoofprints. A goat. Interesting...
• Rocks...tracks end here. Great. Could try to follow my nose. Can't smell
  Eskel, but there is the goat... Just gotta find a sample of its scent.
• Bits of bark... Looks like Eskel's goat rubbed against the tree. A clump of
  goat hair. Oof, the stench...

[Geralt follows the faint scent up into the mountains.]

• Ha, Eskel's tracks... The nose knows.
• Didn't tie itself to this stake...

[If Eskel finds Geralt by the goat first:]

Eskel: Supposed to be forktail bait! Guess it works for witchers as well!

[Either way:]

Geralt: "As for forktails, bait them thusly: pound a stake in the soil, bind a
        goat to it, then hide ye in nearto shrubbery posthaste."
Eskel: Brother Adelbert's bestiary, page eighty-two. See your memory's back in
       full, and sharp as ever, in spite of your years.

 • Geralt: You're as old as I am, wise guy. Don't let the gray hair fool you.
 • Geralt: Whereas you're getting hard of hearing in your old age... Squawking
           grouse could've snuck up on you.
   Eskel: Nah, heard you panting from three miles away. Just didn't want to
          give up that vantage point.

Eskel: Good to finally see you again.

 Yen keeping you busy?
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Yen's keepin' you pretty busy, huh?
  Eskel: Mhh. Started shouting out orders with just one foot outta the
         teleport. I tried to get a word in edgewise, to which she said--
  Geralt: "One should not interrupt a lady."
  Eskel: Exactly. Times like these I'm glad this ugly mug of mine keeps the
         women away.

  You're not that bad looking¹.
  ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
   Geralt: Come on. You're a handsome guy in your own way...
   Eskel: Geralt, please... Cut the crap.

  Looks aren't everything to all women.
  ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
   Geralt: Looks aren't everything -- certainly not to all women.
   Eskel: You're right... But most like a full purse, too. Don't have much to
          brag about in that domain either.

 You too.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: You too. How are thing?
  Eskel: Same ol', same ol'. Another day, another drowner.
  Geralt: That it?
  Eskel: I'm a simple witcher, Wolf. Don't fight dragons, don't fraternize with
         kings and don't sleep with sorceresses... Unlike some.

  Consider yourself lucky.
  ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
   Geralt: Fame's not all it's made out to be... Consider myself lucky if I
           were you.
   Eskel: You're right. Takes a lot of champagne to wash down that all that
          caviar. That is tough goin'.

  Try to limit myself to sleeping with sorceresses.
  ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
   Geralt: Try to limit myself to the sorceresses from now on.
   Eskel: No doubt the most pleasant part...though I'm not sure it ain't the
          most dangerous, too.

[A forktail's shrieking can be heard nearby.]

Eskel: Shh! Hear that? Incoming!

[They battle the forktail. Soon, the wounded creature tries fleeing.]

Eskel: Dammit! It's taking off! Hit the wings! Foul, overgrown reptiles -- hate
       it when they do that...Mighta saved us some trouble, let us kill it now.
Geralt: Mhm. Then maybe gut itself, run a spit down its throat and out its ass?
Eskel: Damn straight. Doubt the beast's that well-mannered, though... We gotta
       climb.
Geralt: Bit of exercise'll do you good.
Eskel: Huh?
Geralt: Well...you've rounded out a bit... Still got some of last winter's
        blubber on you.
Eskel: Speak for yourself, funny bunny...
Geralt: Not scared to leave the horse down below? Forktail could decide to have
        at him...
Eskel: Bah... Scorpion's a war horse, a purebred Kaedweni. He'll be fine. Have
       I told you how I got him?
Geralt: No...don't think so.
Eskel: Saved this lost knight once... You know, woods, dark, wolves. The
       standard. Told him "Give me what you find at home" and all that... No
       kid this time, but his mare had just foaled.
Geralt: Eskel and Scorpion... Bound by fate. An enchanting tale.
Eskel: Mock me all you want. You're just jealous.

[Geralt finds a blood trail.]

Geralt: Bleeding heavily...

[They continue on:]

Eskel: De ole hen she cackled, she cackled on de fence... De ole hen she
       cackled, an she ain't cackled sence.
Geralt: What's that song?
Eskel: Some old hill-folk tune, perfect for hiking... My mom sang it to me.
Geralt: You remember her?
Eskel: Just that silly song. Nothing else.

[They find some markings near a cave]

Geralt: Landed here.
Eskel: Not very gracefully, look at the tracks. We broke its wing, I think.
Geralt: Fled to its lair, looks like.
Eskel: Good. Means it's done fleeing, gonna make a stand.

[Finally, they trap and kill their prey.]

Eskel: All right. Let's collect the spinal fluid and get outta here. Cut into
       its back, just below the skull.

 You don't say...
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Gonna tell me which side of the knife to cut with next?
  Eskel: The sharp one. C'mon, hurry up.

 Yen mention why she wants this?
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Yen tell you why she wants this?
  Eskel: Mean you don't know? And that, uh...doesn't bug you?

  Of course it bothers me.
  ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
   Geralt: Course it does... Don't see us lifting the curse without her,
           though.
   Eskel: We could've gone to Triss for help.
   Geralt: Put it to you this way... If Yen can't help Uma, we can always go to
           Triss -- she won't hold it against us. But if we'd done it the other
           way around...
   Eskel: Oof... There'd be hell to pay.
   Geralt: Exactly. Enough of this talk. Let's go.

  No. I trust her.
  ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
   Geralt: No, it doesn't. I trust her.
   Eskel: And they say people learn from their mistakes...
   Geralt: What was that?
   Eskel: Nothing, nothing.

   Great. Let's go.
   ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
    Geralt: Great. Let's go.

   Got something against Yen?
   ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
    Geralt: Something about Yen bothering you? C'mon, grow a pair, give it to
            me straight.
    Eskel: You grow a pair and admit she tricked you. More than a few times.
    Geralt: That was then. Yen's changed.
    Eskel: Right. Fine, never mind... Let's go.

[They leave the cave with the spinal fluid.]

Eskel: Hey. Whaddaya say to a little race? Maybe see who's faster -- Roach or
       Scorpion. And who's the better rider.

 Gladly.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Not really a challenge, 'cause I could beat you riding a lame sow...
          But why not.
  Eskel: You're a lame sow yourself. First to Kaer Morhen wins!

 We shouldn't.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: We shouldn't. Rather not tire out my horse for no reason.
  Eskel: Ah... Honestly can't see what all those dames see in you. You're a
         stick in the mud.
  Geralt: Pretty damn handsome stick, though.
  Eskel: Debatable... Let's go.

[The quest ends at Kaer Morhen automatically if no race occured. There's an
 extra scene if Geralt wins the race, though:]

Geralt: Finally. Took you a while.
Eskel: Saddle kept sliding...
Geralt: Mhm. Not a crappy show dancer out there who doesn't blame her shoes.
Eskel: You're a fucking show dancer -- but one who's damn good on horseback.
       Didn't wager anything, but can't help thinking you deserve a prize.

 Don't need anything...
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: C'mon, not gonna take anything from you. Buy me a round some time and
          we'll call it good.
  Eskel: Done deal.

 If you insist...
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Since you insist...
  Eskel: Here. Use it wisely.

[If Geralt loses the race:]

Eskel: "I could beat you riding a lame sow"... Good one.
Geralt: Underestimated you... Or should I say Scorpion. One fast mount.
Eskel: And I overestimated you. If I'd known it would be that easy I'd 'ave
       bet something on it...

 Whaddaya want?
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: All right. Name your prize. Earned it.
  Eskel: Hm... Had this craving for Mahakaman spirit a while now. Nothin' burns
         quite like it.

  Got some on me. All yours.²
  ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
   Geralt: As luck would have it, got a bottle with me... Here.
   Eskel: Damn... Must've read my mind long range!
   Geralt: Nah. Enjoy a swig from time to time, just like you.
   Eskel: Right... Vesemir used to say he couldn't tell us apart. Like
          brothers, two drops of water... A long time ago, that. Thanks.

  Have some for you next time we meet.²
  ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
   Geralt: Have a bottle for you next time we meet. Promise.
   Eskel: Hold you to that.

 Next time.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Bet you next time. Thing is, I'll win.
  Eskel: Yeah. Sure.
                                                      _______________________
_____________________________________________________/ MAIN QUEST: UGLY BABY |_
¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
9d) NO PLACE LIKE HOME                                                   [WK9D]
_______________________________________________________________________________
¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
[This quest occurs after finishing Yen, Lambert and Eskel's quests in the area.
 Geralt returns to Kaer Morhen to sit with his witcherly comrades and Yen.]

Geralt: Got you everything you need.
Yennefer: Splendid. Lambert, prepare the apparatuses. Eskel, go--
Vesemir: Last I heard, my dear, I give the orders around here. Not you.
Yennefer: I believe we made an agreement. To seek to cure Uma my way.
Vesemir: I said we would help you. That's it. I don't know what you want to do
         with him -- you haven't deigned to inform us. But it's not safe, is
         it?

[She doesn't answer.]

Vesemir: Just as I thought. Which is why I think we should first try another,
         less invasive method.

 What's this other method?
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: What's this method?
  Vesemir: Derives from folk traditions. I've used it many times, in 1211, to
           lift the curse that held the Swan of Poviss, for instance.

 Clock's ticking...
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Don't take this the wrong way, Vesemir, but clock's ticking.
  Vesemir: I ask only one night's delay. If nothing comes of it, we'll do what
           Yennefer wants.

Vesemir: I'll take Uma into the mountains.
Yennefer: What then? Will you howl at the moon together?
Lambert: A bit of respect. You're not talkin' to Geralt.
Vesemir: No, we will not howl at the moon. I'll lay him down on a grave stone.
         Come midnight, I'll give him a tea made of hemlock harvested from...
         But I don't see that I need to explain this to you.
Yennefer: In my opinion--
Vesemir: I know your opinion. But I'm not asking anyone's permission. I'm
         saying what will happen. I'll be back at dawn. With Uma...or whoever
         hides inside him.

[Vesemir and Uma leave. Yennefer glowers at Geralt.]

 What now?
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: So...got the evening off. What do we do with it?
  Eskel: Vesemir mentioned some roof beams in the tower need replacing. Maybe
         we could see to that. Or...we could have a drink.

         • Geralt gave me a bottle of Mahakaman spirit... That'll hit the spot
           for me.

  Lambert: Sounds a lot better than the beams.
  Geralt: Wouldn't mind a shot myself. Or two.
  Eskel: Nothing I can do -- been outvoted. Let's go.

 Vesemir's become a grumpy old man.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Vesemir's gotten a bit grumpy in his old age.
  Eskel: That was nothing. Shoulda been here last winter when Lambert tried to
         convince him we oughta abandon Kaer Morhen for good.
  Lambert: What good's this old ruin anyway? Moldy walls, leaky roof, and it's
           one big fucking ice cube in the winter.
  Eskel: Vesemir didn't say a word. Stood, grabbed his sword, and slammed the
         door on his way out. Didn't come back for a month.

===============================================================================
[If Geralt is on good terms with Yennefer, a scene occurs here:]

Yennefer: Do as you will... But in a moment. Geralt and I must talk.
Eskel: Oo, sounds serious. C'mon, Lambert... See you in a bit Geralt.

[Yen drags Geralt around the corner.]

 What'd I do now?
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: All right. What'd I do this time?

 Something wrong?
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Something not quite right?

Yennefer: No, nothing. I just wanted to take you aside...without cluing the
          others into what we're up to.
Geralt: Mhm... And what are we up to?
Yennefer: Sneaking upstairs to make love.
Geralt: Wow, you don't exactly mince words...
Yennefer: I'm too old to play the blushing bride... Unless you ask nicely.
          Shall we go? You can rejoin them afterwards. In an hour...or two.

 Sounds great.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Or three...
  Yennefer: I'll hold you to that.

 Don't get mad, but...
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Yen... Don't get mad, but--
  Yennefer: Stop. Suddenly, I've an immense desire to drink.

[If Geralt/Yen go upstairs, later they come back down:]

• Lambert: So? Head Sorceress box your ears again?
  Geralt: You could say that.

• Lambert: Well, well... Lovebirds decided to join us. Enjoy yourselves?
  Eskel: You heard the answer to that question, Lambert... Besides, not our
         business.
===============================================================================

[Either way:]

Eskel: Uh, Yen, we don't have glasses. You all right drinkin' from a mug?
Yennefer: I'd drink from an old boot tonight.

[She drains her tankard in a single motion.]

Yennefer: Urghgh... Perhaps instead of getting crocked in a deep glum, we could
          do some catching up?

 Well, I...
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Eventful times for me, recently. Kings, dragons, conspiracies and,
          then, I found Yen.
  Lambert: We're thrilled for you. But why don't you tell us about Uma instead?

 Where've you been, Lambert?
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: What've you been up to, Lambert?

          • On your way west last time I saw you.
          • Any interesting contracts before you set off in search of Karadin?

  Lambert: Uh, yeah. Contract in Lan Exeter. Not to boast, but a pretty
           lucrative one.
  Eskel: Yeah, Kovir's where the gold's to be made. Know how much they pay
         there for a drowner?
  Lambert: Shush, I'm talking now. So this giant was giving 'em trouble.
           Attacking convoys, dragging folk off into the swamps...
  Yennefer: ...and relieving himself on the highway, rendering it dreadfully
            slippery. You've built enough suspense, get to the point.
  Lambert: Fine. Turns out it wasn't a giant, just a fat forest troll. And a
           group of bandits were ambushing the convoys.
  Geralt: What did you do?
  Lambert: Killed the bandits to keep the roads safe. Then I killed the troll.
           Needed its, uh, head to collect the bounty.

  Pragmatic, as ever.
  ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
   Geralt: Pragmatic as ever...
   Yennefer: You could stand to show some of Lambert's expediency, set ideals
             like justice for trolls aside, keep yourself out of poverty
             instead.
   Lambert: Knew the sorceress would see it my way.

  Might've spared the troll.
  ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
   Geralt: Could've spared the troll...
   Lambert: Pff. To eat roots and sleep in roadside ditches? I needed the coin.
            And not a soul mourned that troll's passing.
   Eskel: Let's raise a mug to his memory -- the least we can do.

 Eskel, care to share?
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Where'd you go while you were away, Eskel?
  Eskel: Aldersberg. Hunted a higher vampire.
  Lambert: Oh-ho-ho... Dangerous whoresons, those.
  Eskel: Finicky, too. Specimen in question only went for young women from the
         upper classes.
  Lambert: That's like me.
  Yennefer: We've no interest in your fantasies, Lambert. Whereas the vampire
            ...even I'm curious to know how you managed.
  Eskel: My client threw a masquerade ball for the city's notables -- to lure
         the vampire out of hiding. I was there, too, disguised. Lemme tell
         you, never had so much success with the ladies as I did that night.

  Get the vampire?
  ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
   Geralt: What about the vampire?
   Eskel: I'd made a deal with this young alchemist. She really loaded up --
          fisstech, vodka, magic mushrooms. Went out into the garden, vampire
          found her and drank his fill. Fight was an afterthought.
   Yennefer: Hm... A fairy tale on gluttony for modern times.
   Geralt: Alchemist come out of it all right?
   Eskel: Fine. Lost a bit of blood, I suppose. Hangover was the worst part.
          She drank nothing but pickle juice for the next month.

  Mixing business and pleasure? Bad idea.
  ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
   Geralt: Mixing work and romance? Bad idea. Vampire coulda caught you with
           your pants down.
   Eskel: Suppose so. But you look the way I do, you gotta grab every chance
          you get.
   Lambert: Hahaha, maybe you should wear a mask permanently.
   Eskel: Huh! And maybe you should wear a gag.
   ("Get the vampire?" continues from here)

Geralt: Pff. Long story. I was on Ciri's trail -- went to Velen, Skellige,
        Novigrad -- where Dandelion needed saving again.
Eskel: He get caught ploughing somebody he shouldn't 'ave been?
Lambert: Right. Speaking of old friends, Novigrad and ploughing... How's Triss?

 Fuck off.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Fuck off, Lambert.
  Lambert: Whoa! Hit a sore spot, I guess.

 I was talking about Uma.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: We were talking about Uma, weren't we?
  Lambert: The night is young. Got time to talk about everything.

 Triss is managing.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Triss is...managing all right.
  Lambert: How're those scars she got at Sodden? Still there?

Eskel: Lambert. Not funny.
Lambert: Fine. Conversation turned serious? Let's talk. Yen, what do you plan
         to do with Uma?
Yennefer: I said I'll tell you tomorrow.
Eskel: So tell us now. It's after midnight.
Yennefer: I'll subject him to the Trial of Grasses. But only--
Lambert: You'll fucking what?!

 Mind your manners.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Mind your manners, Lambert.
  Lambert: Did you hear what--?
  Geralt: Not gonna ask you again.

 [Don't react.]
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  ---

Eskel: Uh, sorry...looking to turn him into a witcher?
Yennefer: Of course not. As I was about to say, I'll only apply the first half
          of the Trial, because--
Lambert: Because you want to watch him suffer?
Yennefer: Stop interrupting, or I will watch you suffer. To restore Uma's
          former appearance, we must first... Hmm... How do I explain it...
          Imagine a lump of clay. In order to shape it, you must first moisten
          it or it will crumble. The Trial's initial part does just that. It
          opens the body to change, so to speak. Only then can mutagens produce
          a witcher.

 It'll be the first Trial in years.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: It'll be the first Trial in years...decades.
  Yennefer: I knew you'd be wary.

 What're the chances Uma'll survive?
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: What are the chances Uma will survive?
  Yennefer: Not great. But we've no choice.
  Lambert: Unless Vesemir can do the trick with his hemlock.
  Eskel: Might be surprised. Old man knows his stuff.

Lambert: Wary? That's not the problem. Those secrets have been forgotten. And
         that's how they should stay.
Yennefer: I'd be the last to suggest you start producing hordes of witchers.
Eskel: You hardly need to. See, till now we had a great excuse not to take in
       apprentices. Seems we'll need to talk it over.
Geralt: Maybe later. Who's up for another round?
Eskel: Oh, I am. But we're all outta stuff to chew on. Geralt, mind raiding the
       kitchen?
Geralt: Not at all.
Yennefer: Gentlemen, pleasure drinking with you...Lambert especially. But the
          hour is late. Don't stay up long. Tomorrow's an important day.

[Yen retires for the night. Geralt later returns with some munchies.]

Lambert: Heh. Didn't listen, did he?
Eskel: They never do.
Geralt: What're you talking about?
Lambert: Samovila contract Eskel got a while back. Good story.
Eskel: Finish it in a minute. First, some more fuel.
Geralt: Ooooo.... Now that's a kick in the liver... What is it?
Lambert: "The Gauntlet" -- equal parts spirit and White Gull. What's that look
         about? Yen's gone to bed, time for some serious drinking.
Eskel: Damn straight! Pour us another. Bottoms up!

 So -- this samovila?
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: So, what's this about a samovila?
  Eskel: Snared this peasant in her dance. Instead of bein' happy he escaped
         with his life, yokel fell head over heels in love. Wanted me to trap
         her. Turned him down, so he tried it on his own, with a fishing net.
         Bet you they're still dancing a mazurka in some fallow field.
  Lambert: Great story. With a moral, too!
  Geralt: Really? What's that?
  Lambert: Stay away from dangerous women.

  You guys ever gonna lay off Yen?²
  ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
   Geralt: Will you ever lay off Yen?
   Lambert: Yeah. Soon as I trust her.
   Eskel: You'd brave a fire for her... Whereas she plays you like a cheap
          fiddle. Way it's always been.
   Geralt: Listen to you two goddam¹ relationship experts. Neither of you's
           been with a sorceress...
   Eskel: For good reason...
   Lambert: Fine, leave pretty boy alone before he gets grumpy. Already has
            that pouty look on his face. Can't stand it. Drink up, Geralt. To
            you and Yen -- happily ever after!

  Yennefer and I -- we're not a couple.²
  ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
   Geralt: You can breathe easy. Yen and I -- we're not a couple. And we won't
           ever be one...
   Lambert: Ah, explains why the Sorceress Superior was so damn sulky.
   Eskel: Lambert, drop it... Sorry, Geralt, that was, uh, insensitive. We
          didn't know. You wanna...wanna talk about it?
   Geralt: No. I wanna drink.
   Lambert: Doable. Definitely doable.

  Right, let's change the subject.
  ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
   Geralt: All right, change the subject.
   Lambert: Cause¹ you refuse to admit I'm right? Whatever. Fine.
   Eskel: Stop being a smart ass and pour.

 Let's have some fun.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: C'mon... Let's have some fun.
  Eskel: We boring you?
  Geralt: No, it's just kinda...
  Lambert: Slow. Pretty boy's right. Listen...there's this game, student from
           Oxenfurt taught me.
  Geralt: Hm?
  Lambert: Someone starts by saying "I've never..." -- and finishing the
           sentence however they want. Whosever done that thing, downs a shot.
           Then it's the next guy's turn.
  Eskel: Sounds great. You start.

 How about a round of cards?
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: How about a round of cards?
  Lambert: Why not. Playin' for coin, though, right?

  Agreed.
  ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
   Geralt: Yeah... Unless you'd rather play strip gwent.
   Lambert: Maybe I'd finally come to understand what women see in you...
   Eskel: Compare your trouser snakes later. Pouches on the table!
   Lambert: Hahaha!
   Eskel: What's with him?
   Geralt: Don't worry about it. Let's play.

  I'd rather not.
  ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
   Geralt: I'd prefer to play for pleasure.
   Lambert: Pleasure? You should really talk to Yen about that.
   Eskel: Got a one-track mind, Lambert. What are you, twelve?
   Geralt: His voice has started cracking. Haven't noticed?
   Lambert: Very funny.
   Eskel: Very funny! Hahaha!
   Geralt: All right, that's enough. Let's play.

   Lambert: Huh. So, Geralt, seems to me you got your ass whooped.
   Geralt: Unlucky at cards, lucky in love. And vice versa.

 Time to go to sleep.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: All right, guys... Bed time.
  Lambert: Speak for yourself. Night's still young as I see it.
  Eskel: Huh, but we're not... And tomorrow's a big day.
  Lambert: Fine... Drinkin' with my mirror image is just no fun. Least it
           wasn't last time.
  Geralt: See? Even you can't stand yourself... Good night.

===============================================================================
[If the lads play the "I've never" game:]

Lambert: I've never...slept with a succubus.

 [Drink.]
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  ---
 [Skip a round.]
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  ---

[At minimum, Eskel drinks.]

Lambert: How 'bout that!

 • Lambert: Expected Geralt might've, but you?

Lambert: Eskel, Eskel... Still waters run deep.
Eskel: I'm a sucker for women with horns. Right, my turn. I've never, after a
       bender, woken up wearing nothing but my knickers.

 [Drink.]
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Eskel: Geralt? Lambert's a lost cause, but you... What would Papa Vesemir
         say?
  Geralt: Think Papa Vesemir woulda...drank that round, too.

 [Skip a round.]
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Eskel: Oh, Lambert, Lambert... Kaer Morhen's black sheep...
  Lambert: Wanna know the best part? They weren't even my knickers!

Eskel: All right, Geralt, your turn. I've never...?

 Never taken fisstech.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: ...Taken fisstech.
  [Eskel drinks.]
  Geralt: Eskel... Really?
  Eskel: Once... With that succubus.

 Never jumped out a lover's window.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: ...jumped out a lover's window.
  [Lambert drinks.]
  Eskel: That so... Must've been one tough character whose wife you were
         ploughing...
  Lambert: That wasn't it... He was a friend. Didn't want to hurt his feelings.
  Eskel: Yeah, you're a true friend.

Geralt: Right, men, let's end on that. Or else I'll never be able to look you
        in the eyes again.

===============================================================================

[After the samovila or "I've never game" chat:]

Lambert: Brr... Colder'n up an ice giant's ass in here. Gentlemen, I shall
         return. Gotta go drain the dragon.

 You get along with Lambert?
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: You and Lambert get along?
  Eskel: In a way... I've learned not to talk to him about certain things.
  Geralt: Guessing that's quite a list.
  Eskel: It is.

 Not cold in here to me...
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Gotta say I'm pretty warm...
  Eskel: He's always been a wuss about the cold. Remember winter, fifteen
         years ago, when the snow stayed all around Belleteyn?
  Geralt: Mhm... Lambert sat by the fire, wrapped in a blanket. Cussed
          copiously every time it started to snow...

Lambert: Hello, young 'uns! Got your own little carnival going, eh? Alcohol,
         my good man, is a witcher's worst enemy!
Geralt: Where'd you dig up that bonnet?
Lambert: Vesemir's trunk! The height of fashion in 1112! Old man probably put
         it on when he went courting! Or, in the jargon of the time, "wooing
         the damsels." Men, a witcher's life is not all cards and liquor. It is
         toil, it is labor. No gurgling babes to wean for us, nay, not for us.
Eskel: All right, one Vesemir's enough. Take that off before you get it
       dirty... And pour.
Lambert: Oh, I'll pour, Eskel, I'll pour. To the brim. 'Cause without vodka,
         you're as stiff as a bookkeeper in a body cast.

===============================================================================

[After doing all options besides "go to sleep":]

Lambert: Aah... Vodka...vodka's gone. Who's gonna go get some more?
Geralt: Already went...to get food.
Eskel: All right... I'll do it... Kitchen... It's that way, right?

 Lambert...I like you, you know that, right?
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Lambert... Bud... Gotta tell you something...
  Lambert: Yeah??
  Geralt: Sometimes you're...a real jackass...but...I love you, brother...
  Lambert: And sometimes you're a real blowhard. But dammit...I'd go to hell
           and back for you. Come here, you oaf!

 Have you got some beef with me?
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Lambert... Listen... You... You got a problem with me?
  Lambert: Me? Why...why would you say that?
  Geralt: Well...just seemed that way. And you know...you're like my little
          brother. Dumb and annoying. But a brother.
  Lambert: Geralt...dammit! You're gonna make me cry! Come here!

[He goes to get up and give a hug, but knocks his bottle off the table.]

Lambert: Damn... Broke...
Geralt: Good thing it was empty... Eh... Where's Eskel? Shoulda been back by
        now. We oughta...look around.
Lambert: This is a job...for Vesemir!
Geralt: Not again... Take that hat off...
Lambert: Where's that whippersnapper wandered off to? He could be...beleaguered
         ...I wager! Come, men, to the rescue! Eskel, you drunk! Get out here!
Geralt: Eskel! Chop, chop!

[Geralt can drunkenly observe things on Eskel's trail.]

Geralt: Spilled some wine...and crawled through it.
Lambert: Had to kneel down to see that?
Geralt: If I'd a' bent over, I'd 'ave puked...

[The trail leads outside.]

Lambert: Hey... Hic! You hear that?
Geralt: Sounded like...panting...of a wounded wyvern...
Lambert: Dammit... We missed a fight!

[They get back on the trail.]

Geralt: Think he...he hurt himself.
Lambert: What's one scar more or less in his case? Makes no difference, as I
         see it.
Geralt: Aha... Eskel's close.
Lambert: Hang in there, brother. We're coming!

[They find Eskel sleeping outside, near the goat used as forktail bait.]

Geralt: Heeeey... Look... Here he is!
Lambert: With his ever faithful Lil' Bleater! Hellooo, Eskel! Wake up!
Eskel: Hm? What? What happened?
Lambert: Got sloshed, stewed and fifty-seven other varities of drunk -- that's
         what happened. Get up, time to have a drink.
Eskel: Le' me alone... Gonna puke... The three of us get together, always ends
       like this...
Lambert: Let's find a fourth! Better! A woman!
Geralt: None here but Yen... And we don't wanna wake her up. Believe me.
Lambert: What about that sorceress you talked to? Think about it. We turn on
         the megascope, cordially invite her...she teleports here...maybe
         brings some friends! How's that sound?

 You're a genius!
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Lambert... You're a genius!
  Lambert: Course I am! So? We inviting the Lodge to our bash?
  Eskel: Fuck yeah! Summon the bitches!

 Think you've had your last drink.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Lambert... Believe you've had your last drink.
  Lambert: You're just jealous you didn't think of it first... But is that any
           reason to spoil it for us?
  Geralt: I don't have the strength to argue.
  Lambert: Course you don't, cream puff. Bet I could take you with one finger.
  Eskel: Hey... Relax, Lambert...
  Lambert: Wanna fight? Huh? Wanna? C'mon!
  Geralt: Good night.

[If Geralt agrees to the megascope hijinx, they go up to that room.]

Eskel: All right...how's this work?
Geralt: Well... A twist here, a turn there... Then you gotta say something in
        Elvish.
Lambert: Easy-peasy. Let's do it.
Eskel: Hey. Hang on. When this...Ida sees us...we'll scare her off. I mean,
       we don't look anything like sorceresseswes...
Lambert: I know! Yennefer's clothes! Let's dress up. Bags're over there.
Eskel: What's this thing you got for dressing up?
Lambert: Shut it, wiseass, or I'll lace your corset up so tight you'll shit in
         your bloomers.

 We're squeezing into those dresses.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Stop whining, Eskel. Times you gotta squeeze into some fr-fr-fr...
  Lambert: Frippery.
  Eskel: Uuugh... We don't tell a soul, understand? This stays here.

 Don't like the idea, either.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Don't really like the idea, either...
  Lambert: Fine... But if this Ida refuses to talk to us, it'll be your fault.

[If they decide to go ahead with the bonehead plan:]

Lambert: Sure brought a lot of crap... You'd think she was moving in...
Eskel: Shh, you'll scare Geralt...

[If they all dress up in Yen's clothes:]

Lambert: Yes! Perfect! Like it was made for you!
Eskel: Sure... Soon as I let it out a bit in the waist...
Lambert: Stop talking, get dressed. Not that one... Won't compliment your
         complexion...

[Soon, all three are ready.]

Lambert: Damn, Eskel... You got an hourglass figure...
Eskel: And you're an ass. C'mon, go, thing's tight as hell.

[Either way:]

Geralt: Now... I'll do the talking, you two fiddle with the crystals. Cáed'mil,
        bloede dh'oine... Hocus-pocus... Abracadabra... Arse blathanna...

[The megascope contacts some random mage.]

Man: What is this...? Who's that?
Geralt: So sorry... We were never here...
Man: Guaaaaards!!!
Guard: More paper, Excellency?

 • Man: No, you oaf! Witchers! Witchers attacking!
 • Man: No, you oaf! The Lodge! The Lodge has come for me!

Witchers: Hahahahaha!

[Yennefer wanders in.]

Yennefer: I trust you have an explanation for this. A very good one. Go to bed.
          Now.

===============================================================================

[The next morning, Geralt awakens to find everyone already gathered around Sad
 Albert, a.k.a. the table used to induce mutations for the Trial.]

Geralt: Damn... What a dream.

[He gets dressed and goes over.]

Geralt: See everyone's up and at 'em.

• Vesemir: Mhm. And reeking of booze. That hat was a memento, Lambert.
  Lambert: Relax, old man. It'll come out in the wash.

• Vesemir: Mhm. Take it you had a productive evening?
  Eskel: Yes. We talked about Uma. Till late.
  Vesemir: So I guess you didn't get a chance to see to the beams in the tower?
  Eskel: Uh... No... But we'll, uh, get to that, I promise. Right, Lambert?

Yennefer: You can give the boys a rap on the knuckles later. Let's get to work.

 Vesemir, you learn anything?
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Vesemir, learn anything?

 Method didn't work, Vesemir?
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Guess your gravestone and hemlock method didn't work...
  Vesemir: Not entirely. But I did learn something interesting¹.

Vesemir: While you were out hunting forktails and playing with the megascope,
         I examined Uma. Noticed one thing -- at moments of, what's the term...
         relaxed consciousness, he behaves differently. While falling asleep,
         he'd pause awake for an instant. Something different about his
         movements, his gaze, then. But only for a moment. So I induced a
         trance, hypnotized him, essentially. No effect at first, but as he
         dropped into deep lethargy, I heard something...a sigh or a moan. And
         it wasn't Uma's voice.
Lambert: All right. I just don't get how that helps us.
Yennefer: Then keep silent. Thank you, Vesemir... And... I apologize for what
          I said earlier. Have the boys told you what we plan to do?
Vesemir. Yes. Don't like it one bit. But I suppose I have to trust you.

 What now?
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Right, so what now?
  Yennefer: We can begin. We need only brew the potions.

 Thought that table was long gone.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Thought we got rid of that table ages ago.
  Eskel: Huh. Must be fifty years since I last saw Sad Albert.
  Vesemir: Couldn't bear to part with it. Thought we might find a use for it
           one day. You know how old people are.
  Lambert: Sure. Every grandpa out there's got an attic full of torture
           devices.

Lambert: Wait. Why couldn't we--
Yennefer: Do it earlier? Because the preparatory potions for the Trial are
          strongly reactive. They must be administered immediately after
          they're brewed. Satisfied? Geralt, make the potions. Here are the
          formulae. Eskel, take a bottle of spirit...
Eskel: Oh, no. After last night, I--
Yennefer: ...and disinfect the tools. Well? Chop-chop!
Vesemir: You don't know who's trapped in Uma's body. How did you figure the
         proportions?
Yennefer: Performed a series of complex calculations... Extrapolated some
          data... Ran simulations...
Vesemir: Meaning you guessed?
Yennefer: Mhm.
                                                      _______________________
_____________________________________________________/ MAIN QUEST: UGLY BABY |_
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9e) VA FAIL, ELAINE                                                      [WK9E]
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[Geralt brews the Decoctions of the Grasses for Uma's ceremony, then reconvenes
 with everyone in the main hall. Only a sulky Lambert stands apart from the
 group.]

Geralt: Potions ready.
Eskel: Tools, too.
Yennefer: Good. Vesemir...
Vesemir: Hookweed extract to deaden the pain. I know. Done this before.
Yennefer: Eskel, make the incisions in his veins, insert the tubes. Geralt,
          place the potion vials in the feeders.
Uma: Umauma!
Geralt: Ready.
Yennefer: Open the valves. It doesn't matter in which order.

 [Administer Mother's Tears.]
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Uma: Aaaach... Aaaaaach! Ummmmamamama... AAaaaaa... AAAaaaach!

 [Administer Wildrye Juice.]
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Uma: Aaaa... Aaaaaach! Aaaaaaaa!!! Ummmmmmama... UUUuuu... Umamama...

 [Administer Speargrass Sap.]
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Uma: Yyyyyyyyyyaaaaaa!!! Aaaa... Aaaa... Ummmmmmamamamaaaaa...

 Stop. This is a bad idea.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Listen... We should stop this.
  Yennefer: Then Uma dies. Very painfully.
  Vesemir: Yennefer's right.
  Yennefer: Open the next valve.

[After the first valve:]

Geralt: The hookweed work?
Vesemir: If it hadn't, the pain would've sent him into shock, killed him.
Lambert: So, everything's going smoothly.
Vesemir: No... But it's within known norms.
Yennefer: Administer the next potion.

[After the second valve:]

Vesemir: I had hoped... I'd hoped I would never have to watch this again.
Lambert: Why'd you keep the table, then?
Yennefer: Geralt. Next potion.

[After the third potion, Yen calms the monstrosity with a spell.]

Yennefer: Oesi, caefyn!
Geralt: What now?
Vesemir: Now we wait for the potions to do their work. Might take a day. Might
         take more.
Yennefer: You need only wait, true. But I must maintain the stabilizing spell.
          Uma's body is not nearly as resilient as a young candidate witcher's.
          Without this he'd--

[Uma suddenly vomits all over Yen.]

Uma: Bueeeeergh...
Yennefer: Eskel, I'm sorry... Would you mind...?
Eskel: Getting some rags? On it.

[Later, Eskel and Geralt are shown scrubbing the floor like scullery maids.]

Eskel: Ugh. I can't believe we're doing this.
Geralt: Wiping vomit off the floor?
Eskel: No. The Trial. If that's Ciri in there...she could come out of this
       crippled, wrong in the head, just emotionless. Thought about that?

 Yen knows what she's doing.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: I trust Yen. She knows what she's doing.
  Eskel: Don't doubt that. But do we know what she's doing? She tell you how
         likely this is to work?

 Don't have a choice.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Course I have. Thing is, we don't have a choice.
  Eskel: Not any more, we don't. But...we rushed it. Should've started by--

Yennefer: Gentlemen, the floor's as clean as it'll ever be, and I need to be
          wiped down as well.

 • Eskel: Geralt... Maybe you oughta...?
   Yennefer: Come now, Eskel. I shan't bite you. Just do it.
 • Yennefer: No offense, but I'd rather Geralt did it.
   Eskel: Understood. I'd prefer that, too.

[Several hours later, Yen is still stabilizing Uma, while the witchers idle
 and/or sleep nearby. Uma lays still and groaning.]

Uma: Ummmma...
Geralt: That normal?
Yennefer: Yes. Uma's body is disintegrating from the inside. Once that's
          complete, we'll need to reform it...or he'll die. You witchers were
          given mutagens. We will use spells.

[Later on...]

Geralt: Hey... Yen... You're dozing off.
Yennefer: No. Just...resting my eyes.
Geralt: Yeah, it's called sleeping.
Yennefer: Then do something to keep me awake.

 • Yennefer: I don't know... Tell me a story.
 • Geralt: Pinching's apparently effective.
   Yennefer: Mh. Later perhaps. For now, talk to me. Tell me a story.

 Heard about my time ice skating with Ciri?
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Heard about the time Ciri and I went ice skating?
  Yennefer: No... Not that I recall.
  Geralt: The winter she trained here. Couple months in, she started
          complaining I was too harsh a teacher. Brushed it off at first. Then
          she asked me to go skating with her. Didn't really want to, I'd never
          been before... But she insisted. Soon as we hit the ice, she started
          skating circles around me, hollering "No, not like that! Footwork!
          One, then the other!" "Crossover! No! Wrong!" "Brake with the heel
          of your skate, not the toes!" Needless to say, from then on--

 Ever tell you about Dandelion buying me a sword?
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Ever tell you about the time Dandelion bought me a sword?
  Yennefer: Was that in Kerack? Just after we'd...
  Geralt: Decided to take a break. Yeah. My swords had...disappeared, doesn't
          matter how. And Dandelion insisted I had to be armed. Decided he'd
          buy me a weapon. Came to me, beaming. "The truest Viroleda steel!
          Good price, too, so good it felt like I was stealing!" Naturally,
          blade shattered first parry I threw.

Uma: Uuuuma...?
Yennefer: He's awake. It's time...time to lift the curse. Prepare the
          phylactery.

[Yen's spell starts drawing out the curse.]

Yennefer: Nevid, cyvir! Caniatad... Nevid... Cyvir... Coalle... Ariva...
          Aendir...

[Her spell is blown back; Uma appears lifeless.]

Yennefer: No...no, I won't let you go! Geralt! Yellow flask! In my satchel!
Vesemir: Quiet. Listen.

[A voice from inside Uma's lifeless body can be heard.]

Voice: Coalle... Coalle... Caniatad...
Yennefer: Nevid, cyvir! Coalle, coalle caniatad! Nevid! Ariva! Aendir! Geralt!
          The phylactery! Open it! Caniatad! Taron Anede! Dis!

[She forces the curse into the phylactery and seals it. Where Uma once lay,
 there's a different being -- not Ciri, but a tattooed elven man.]

Geralt: Avallac'h?
Vesemir: You know him?
Geralt: Yes. An elf, Aen Elle. A Sage...
Yennefer: Where is Ciri?
Avallac'h: Hidden...the Isle of Mists... But...it's not...she's not safe...
           The Hunt...

 The Isle of Mists -- where's that?
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Isle of Mists -- where is it?
  Avallac'h: Everywhere...and nowhere...

 What does the Hunt want from her?
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: The Hunt -- what's it want from Ciri?
  Avallac'h: Her blood... Elder Blood...to open the gate. We cannot...cannot
             allow this.

Lambert: Listen, Sage. We didn't lift that curse to play riddles with you.
Avallac'h: Praevein, arwein, cyrraen...

[His spell conjures a small ball of light.]

Avallac'h: In Skellige... Follow it... Into the mists... Hurry... Hurry! I
           tried to protect her... But the curse... The Hunt has not found the
           Isle... As yet... 'Tis a matter of time. But if she leaves... They
           will detect her... At once...
Yennefer: Enough, Geralt. He's not yet free of death's grip.

 I'm going after Ciri.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: I'm going to get Ciri.

 Will he recover?
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Is he gonna make it?
  Yennefer: I can't...know. You saw. Not all went as planned. I lifted the
            curse, but...
  Vesemir: The Trial has wrought havoc in his body. Violently twitching
           fingers, pupils that don't react to the light... Seen it many times
           before. Too many.
  Yennefer: Toxins have permanently damaged his nervous system. Even if he
            does pull through... Do you understand?

Eskel: Hold up. Don't you think you owe us some answers? How do you know this
       Avallac'h? What's Ciri been doing with him?
Geralt: Yennefer can tell you, just keep an eye on him. He's not a friend.
Vesemir: Perhaps not, but Ciri apparently trusted him. We should at least take
         his words seriously. You heard what he said -- take Ciri from that
         Isle of Mists and the Hunt'll pick up her trail immediately. What
         then?

 What do you suggest?
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: What's your suggestion?
  Vesemir: Ciri can't flee forever. One day she'll stumble. And she won't get
           a second chance.

 We'll see.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: I dunno. Guess we'll see.
  Vesemir: Geralt, you're in a hurry to get her, I understand. But you-- We
           can't act blindly.
  Lambert: You got something in mind, don't you? Come on, spit it out.

 We'll be waiting.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: We'll be waiting for them. Swords in hand.
  Vesemir: Yes...

Vesemir: Time we the hunted became the hunters. Geralt will find Ciri and bring
         her here...and the Hunt will follow. They'll expect to catch us by
         surprise -- and they'll be sorely disappointed.
Yennefer: We plan to fight them? We five? In a crumbling castle?
Vesemir: Do we have a choice? Besides delaying the inevitable?
Lambert: Pretty boy could try to round up a few others who know how to swing a
         sword...
Yennefer: ...or wield magic.

 I'll gather allies.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Fine. I'll get Ciri, and recruit some allies. Bring everyone here.
          Got a few favors I can call in.
  Lambert: Any good looking¹ women in that batch?
  Geralt: Mhm. Exclusively.

 What'll you do?
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: And you? What do you plan to do?
  Yennefer: I've Avallac'h to care for. He's certain to die without gentle,
            gradual magic treatment. There's hope if I help him. Not much, but
            better than naught.
  Vesemir: The boys and I'll consider how we should greet our uninvited guests.

Geralt: All right. Time I was on my way.
Vesemir: Good luck, Wolf. And give Cirilla our love.
Yennefer: Come back quickly, Geralt.

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9f) THE ISLE OF MISTS                                                    [WK10]
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[Armed with Avallac'h's magic firefly, Geralt makes for Undvik's coast, where
 the destination apparently is. As he sails into the fog, he uncorks the tiny
 light -- it guides him into a strange land of shipwrecks. After landfall, it
 guides Geralt up the twisted landscape to a cabin.]

Geralt: Firefly's stopped at the hut. Oughta look inside.

[He tries the door.]

Geralt: Locked... Anybody in there? Damn...
Voice: Achoo!
Geralt: I'm not gonna hurt you. Open up.
Voice: Ach! Ye blew our fuckin' cover.
Voice: Who are ye and whaddaya want?

 I'm looking for a young woman with ashen hair.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: I'm Geralt, a witcher.
  Voice: Argh. Go away!
  Geralt: Looking for a young woman -- ashen hair, scar on her face. Will you
          let me in?
  Voice: No!

  I'm starting to get angry. / Starting to lose my patience.²
  ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
   Geralt: Running short on patience.
   Voice: Wonderful. Means you're about to go the fuck away.

  How many of you are there?
  ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
   Geralt: How many of you are in there?
   Voice: Why d'ye need to know? Ye takin' a bloody census?

 Who are you?
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: They call me Geralt. Who are you?
  Voice: Ach! It's that witcher! I heard a ballad about this 'un and that
         sorceress -- what's her name...?
  Voice: Shut it!

  Sorceress' name is Yennefer.
  ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
   Geralt: Sorceress' name is Yennefer of Vengerberg.
   Voice: Aye, that's it! "Her eyes flashin' lightnin', her heart an icy
          berg..." Errm...how did it go?

Voice: By me mum's beard, get yourselves together, lads. You there! Outside
       the door! Geralt -- that right?!
Geralt: Yeah. Geralt.
Voice: Listen, Geralt. Let's cut to the thick of it. We survived a shipwreck --
       recently. Beasts from the depths ate some of my lads, and the rest of
       us found shelter here. Not too special, that, as dangers litter this
       isle. But it does go to explain why we're a wee bit distrustful.

 Not gonna hurt you.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Got nothing to fear from me...
  Voice: ...Said the fox to the gaggle o' geese. I've lost too many mates
         already. I won't risk it, I can't.

 What do you want?
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: This conversation's getting tiring. Listen, let's make a deal.
  Voice: If that's a demon, it'll try to dupe us now.
  Geralt: I'm not a demon. You don't need to fear me. Gimme a chance, I'll
          prove it.

 How'd you find your way here?
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: No way you can get to this isle conventionally.
  Voice: Crikey. Ye call a shipwreck conventional?
  Voice: Leave it be, mate. Ye know what he means.
  Voice: Achoo! Achoo! Let me explain. A short while past we was en route from
         Skellige to Novigrad. And Ferenc got talkin' with the captain, who
         sold 'im a magic firefly purported to know the way to a hidden
         treasure.

Voice: How do ye aim to do that?

 I'll look for your lost mates.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Say I find your mates, will you believe I mean you no harm?
  Voice: Aye, but I'd not count on either comin' too easy...
  Geralt: How many are there?
  Voice: Three: Ivo, Gaspard and Ferenc.

 Open up before I get angry.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Open the door, or I'll open it myself.
  Voice: You try! These hinges, this lock -- they'll withstand anythin'!
         'Course, you could always come back with a platoon of engineers, a
         batterin' ram and a Mahakaman locksmith. Why the threats? We's all in
         one cart! We'd do better to help each other than argue.
  Geralt: All right. What do you want?
  Voice: I want you to find our mates -- Ivo, Ferenc and Gaspard. They ventured
         off, but they're on the isle, missin' and probably lost. Help 'em,
         help me. Please. If anyone can find 'em, I know you can.

[Then:]

 Where'll I find Ivo?
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: This Ivo... Where do I look??¹
  Voice: Idgit insisted he'd explore the caves to the east. Tried to knock it
         out his head -- literally! Bugger wouldn't budge.

 Gaspard -- where do I look for him?
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Gaspard -- where'll I find him?
  Voice: He said it was defeatist to sit and wait to be rescued. We had to take
         action, or at least he did. Claimed to have spotted a lantern out at
         sea, so he said he'd climb the highest peak to look out for ships.

 Where'd Ferenc go?
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Where'd Ferenc go?
  Voice: West. In search of a ship that's said to be out there.
  Voice: Ferenc, he's, uh, handy. Thought he might fix it up, make it
         seaworthy.

 Fine. I'll try to find your friends.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: All right. See if I can't find all three. See ya.
  Voice: I'm content ye understand.

[Ivo's the closest, so Geralt seeks him out first. He can hear him shouting
 on a cliff while water hags circle below. Geralt dispatches the enemies.]

Ivo: A man! Hah! Am I ever pleased to see you!
Geralt: I talked to your friends! Come down!
Ivo: Right! I'm comin'! You lucky devil, you. You know, I've one regret --
     that -- Aaaargh!

[Ivo slips and falls to his demise with a sickening thud.]

Geralt: Dead. Damn.

[Next, the witcher searches for Ferenc. In his last-known location, he finds a
 prowling Fiend. The dwarf's corpse is nearby.]

Geralt: Tried to flee the fiend. Tsk. Stubby legs, too slow.

 • Hm. Wonder how he wound up here.
 • One of the missing dwarves. Shame he's dead.

[Lastly, Geralt searches for Gaspard by the lighthouse. He finds the sleepy
 bugger at the very top.]

Geralt: Hey, wake up.
Gaspard: Shoo... Back to bed, Nibbles.
Geralt: Wake up!
Gaspard: Wha-- What's happening? Who-- Who're you?
Geralt: I'm Geralt.

 Your friends told me to find you.²
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Your friends asked me to find you, Ferenc and Ivo.
  Gaspard: I'm afeard they're dead. Some horrors swarmed Ivo, saw it with my
           own eyes. And Ferenc...I heard him -- a blood-curdling cry, then
           the roar of a beast.
  Geralt: Let's get back to the hut. I'll protect you along the way.
  Gaspard: Shame about the lads, really, but what can ye do...? Come on.

 You and your friends -- who are you, exactly?²
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: You and your friends -- what's your story?
  Gaspard: Rabenick and Company. Real estate appraisal, insurance, mass event
           organization. Gaspard Sutter -- my mates call me Sleepy. I even
           slept through that storm. It's a shame so many died...

 Looking for an ashen-haired woman.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Any chance you've seen an ashen-haired woman around here?
  Gaspard: Here? Nay, not a soul. But...a lot passes me by on account of my
           sleepin'.

 Wanna explore the island a bit. Come back and get you later.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Wanna explore the island a bit. Come back for you after, take you to
          your friends. Unless you care to come with me now?
  Gaspard: I'd only be a burden. You know, the narcolepsy... This place seems
           safe enough. Just be sure and come back. And make it quick, eh? Not
           that much to see here.

Gaspard: But, I should warn you, I suffer from narcolepsy, meaning-- Oah...
Geralt: I know what it means. Don't worry, I'll keep you awake.
Gaspard: Off we go, then.

[If Sleepy lives up to his namesake, Geralt has to wake him up. Some of the
 reply segments are randomized. Examples:]

Gaspard: Driftin off! I'll soon snnnneeeerrr...
Geralt: Come on, get up.
Gaspard: Oh, Nibbles, youse a naughty kitty, aren't ye? All right! I'm up!

Gaspard: Fle-felyin' a wee bit drowsyyy...
Geralt: Wake up.
Gaspard: Neh! I don't -- don't want to go to school.

Gaspard: Aaaahh... It's stronger than me, so sorrrrrrry... Zzzzzz...
Geralt: Wake up.
Gaspard: Right, right...just a wee bit longer...

[As they walk:]

Gaspard: Know much about this isle?
Geralt: Almost nothing.
Gaspard: Ye know it ain't on my map.
Geralt: A common characteristic of enchanted islands.
Gaspard: Ye think it's enchanted?
Geralt: It's the one thing I'm sure of.

Gaspard: So what is it brought you to this strange place?
Geralt: Looking for someone.
Gaspard: Here?
Geralt: Mhm. Just kind of turned out that way.
Gaspard: Not too keen on talkin' about it, are ye?
Geralt: Not really.

[Geralt knocks on the cabin door when all crewman whereabouts are known.]

Geralt: Brought you your friend.
Voice: That so? Let's hear him, then.
Geralt: Wake up.
Gaspard: I'm awake!
Voice: Hahah! Gaspard! Stand back, I'm openin' the door!

[The dwarven comrades come out.]

Dwarf: Gaspard! Hah! You seem a bit muddled.
Gaspard: Beh, err, muddled? A bit drowsy, that's all.
Dwarf: What of the others?
Geralt: Found one near a monster's den. He was already dead, sadly. Saw another
        fall from a cliff. Broke his neck.
Dwarf: Shit. Rabenick told me to have an eye on the snot. 'Twas his nephew.
       Thanks for helpin'. And, uh, sorry I didn't trust ye.
Dwarf: Argh. Everything's gone wrong. What'll we do now?
Geralt: Got a boat, you can leave with me. But I need to find someone first.
Dwarf: An ashen-haired lass?
Geralt: Yes.
Dwarf: Oh -- dreadfully sorry.

 Step aside.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Step aside.
  Dwarf: She's cold, spirit's left her. Nothin' we could do.

 Why are you sorry?
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: What do you mean?
  Dwarf: She's cold. Spirit's left her.
  Dwarf: Must've passed shortly before we found her.

Dwarf: Let's wait by the boat.

[The solemn dwarves leave Geralt to enter the cabin alone. Inside, he finds
 Ciri's lifeless body laying on a bed. He cradles her, thinking she's dead.
 At that moment, Avallach's magic firefly enters her body and she returns the
 embrace. Later, the two sit by the fire while Ciri cleans her sword.]

Geralt: Guess not all of Vesemir's teachings've receded into oblivion.
Ciri: "A witcher can forget to eat, to drink, to breathe, even, but a witcher
      never, ever forgets to care for his blade."
Geralt: Huh. Uh, yeah, used to repeat that incessantly. Never tired of doing
        it, either.
Ciri: What creature was it?
Geralt: Huh? Creature?
Ciri: One that gave you the scar over your left eye. It's new, I don't remember
      it.
Geralt: Souvenir from the cockatrice of Spalla. Another addition to the
        collection, nothing special. Yours has healed beautifully, though.
Ciri: Avallac'h -- he prepared some special ointments for me. But that was
      before the curse gripped him... Wonder where he is now.

 We lifted the curse. He's at Kaer Morhen.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: We lifted the curse. He's at Kaer Morhen, waiting for you.
  Ciri: Are you serious? You must be. You'd not jest about something like
        that... Hah! A nice thing to wake up to.

 We need to go. The Wild Hunt can find us.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Waiting at Kaer Morhen with the others.
  Ciri: You lifted the curse?
  Geralt: Yeah, tell you on the way. Got a boat on the beach. Once we land,
          we'll head for Kaer Morhen. On horseback.
  Ciri: Right. Conventional means of travel. They're just better. Though a
        portal would be quicker...
  Geralt: And draw Eredin to us immediately. Rather not risk it. Besides, I
          hate portals.

[If Geralt doesn't immediately cut the convo short:]

Geralt: You trust him?
Ciri: Avallac'h? He's not let me down to date. Not once.

 Your voyage with Avallac'h -- how'd it start?
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: How'd you ever start traveling with Avallac'h?
  Ciri: As soon as I'd left you and Yen on the Isle of Avalon, I found myself
        pursued. Eredin and his Red Riders were on my heels. I fled through
        many worlds, many times... They came very close to catching me, once.
        It was then that Avallac'h appeared, out of nowhere. He found a portal
        and took us to a world where Eredin couldn't find us for...oh, perhaps
        half a year.

  So why'd you return?
  ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
   Geralt: So why'd you return?
   Ciri: I thought the Hunt had lost my scent for good. I thought I was safe.
         Besides, I...I wanted to find you, you and Yennefer.

  What was that world?
  ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
   Geralt: The world where Eredin couldn't find you, what was it like?
   Ciri: You wouldn't believe me if I told you.
   Geralt: Try me.
   Ciri: People there had metal in their heads, waged war from a distance,
         using things similar to megascopes. And there were no horses, everyone
         had their own flying ship instead.
   Geralt: Ciri, stop fooling around.
   Ciri: Told you you wouldn't believe me. Ah, we should've stayed there...

 Why is Avallac'h helping you?
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Why exactly is Avallac'h helping you? Sages've never been fond of
          humans...
  Ciri: He doesn't do it for me, it's about my power. As if it could ever be
        about anything else. Avallac'h tried to teach me how to control my
        ability. He was also making sure I didn't fall into Eredin's hands.

  Any idea what Eredin wants from you?
  ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
   Geralt: What's Eredin after? What's he want from you?
   Ciri: What everyone wants -- control of my powers. His home world faces
         annihilation. Eredin's decided to invade ours. Brilliant, wouldn't
         you say? Can't achieve much on his own, so he needs to bring an army.
         Except his navigators can't possibly move him and thousands of Aen
         Elle between planes. Their abilities won't allow it.
   Geralt: Whereas yours will...
   Ciri: Exactly. And if I die in the process -- well, that's a necessary
         sacrifice.

 We gotta go. / We should go.²
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: We should go. Got a boat on the beach. Once we land, we'll head for
          Kaer Morhen. On horseback.
  Ciri: Right. Conventional means of travel. They're just better. Though a
        portal would be quicker...
  Geralt: And draw Eredin to us immediately. Rather not risk it. Besides, I
          hate portals.

Geralt: You were looking for us, we were looking for you... Times I thought you
        were just a step away. Other times, I felt like I was going around in
        circles...
Ciri: I'm not surprised. There were times I fled pell-mell head first and
      forward.

 Tell me everything -- step by step.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: So tell me how it happened. Step by step.
  Ciri: Eredin located us mere moments after we landed on Ard Skellig. Soon
        after, he and his riders surrounded us. I thought it was over, the end.
        Turned out Eredin had other plans. He produced the phylactery, uncorked
        it. A fog enveloped us, and Avallac'h began gasping for air.
  Geralt: That's how Eredin cursed Avallac'h, triggered his transformation into
          Uma?
  Ciri: Yes. He didn't wish to kill him. Humiliation, that's what he was after.
        But Avallac'h refused to succumb without a fight. He cast a spell that
        wrought havoc in the Hunt's ranks.
  Geralt: And in a full half of a forest on Ard Skellig.
  Ciri: Yet it also gave us time to flee. Avallac'h opened a portal, I leapt
        in. He was supposed to follow, right behind me, but something went
        awry. Impaired by the curse, he failed to reach the portal in time. We
        had agreed that if anything went wrong and we were separated, we would
        meet at his hideout in Velen.

  I know. I followed your tracks.
  ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
   Geralt: But you failed to meet there...
   Ciri: Yes, we failed to. Once through the portal, instead of Avallac'h's
         hideout, I landed right in the middle of Crookback Bog. I barely
         escaped the Crones. And then there was the baron. You know he took me
         hunting? I killed a wild boar with my sword.
   Geralt: I heard.
   Ciri: A coincidence, really. I had no desire to hunt that day, but it felt
         wrong to refuse. I'd taken nothing remotely resembling a hunting
         weapon. I simply hadn't intended to hunt. I was wandering through the
         forest, breathing deep the air, and then I heard a strange sound,
         unsettling.
   Geralt: Boar attacked you?
   Ciri: Mhm. Big as a bison and lumbering straight at me. All I had was my
         sword. Had to manage.
   Geralt: Did just fine judging by how the baron's men remember it.
   Ciri: Simple soldiers, the whole lot, but we got along splendidly. A shame
         I had to leave, flee, but I didn't want to bring the Wild Hunt down on
         them. Apart from which, I knew by then the curse was progressing, so
         instead of looking for Avallac'h, I decided to find you and Yen.

   How'd you meet Whoreson Junior?
   ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
    Geralt: So how'd you even meet a man like Whoreson Junior?
    Ciri: You and Yennefer were nowhere to be found. And I needed someone who
          could fix the phylactery. No ordinary craftsman would do. I needed a
          mage, one with extraordinary powers. Dandelion took it upon himself
          to help me. It was as if his honor depended on it. He arranged a
          meeting with a mage, but it proved a trap set by the Temple Guard.
    Geralt: Hm, failed to mention that.
    Ciri: Eh, probably didn't want to worry you. Later we learned the Guard did
          that sort of thing regularly, in the hope of nabbing anyone who
          collaborated with mages. We needed to find another way. That was
          clear. The Dandelion said he knew a man who owned a piece of
          Novigrad, as he put it, could do more than others. He was certain to
          know someone who could fix the phylactery.
    Geralt: Whoreson Junior.
    Ciri? Mhm. I suspected it might not be the best idea, but I was desperate,
          had no choice.

    Junior cheated you in the end.
    ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
     Geralt: You suspected right. Whoreson was not the ideal partner in crime.
     Ciri: Damned simpleton got it in his head that we'd cheated him and
           kidnapped Dudu.
     Geralt: Who you promptly freed only to have to flee to Temple Isle. Great
             idea.
     Ciri: We hadn't planned it, had no time to consider. We just bolted. I
           didn't even realize the guardsmen were driving me into a trap.
           Suddenly, there I was -- and I knew I had to disappear. At once.

     You did, and landed in Skellige.
     ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
      Geralt: And that's when you landed back in Skellige.
      Ciri: The shore of Hindarsfjall -- the first pleasant place that came to
            mind. Hjalmar and I used to swim there.
      Geralt: Wait, so...you actually wound up there by accident? I thought you
              and Avallac'h had arranged something.
      Ciri: No, he simply sensed me use my power. Just as Eredin can sense
            where I am, where I travel. In fact, Eredin arrived soon after I
            did, his riders in tow... Once again, things happened quickly:
            Lofoten, the Hunt's attack, my flight... And then...dreams, just
            dreams...

  I know the rest.
  ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
   Geralt: Hmm... Think I know the rest. We should get going.

 I know your story. Tell me how you would up here.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: How'd you wind up here? What happened?
  Ciri: Last I remember, I was on the Skellige shore, arguing with Avallac'h.
        He wanted to take me somewhere safe. After that, nothing but dreams.

[Either way:]

 What did you dream?
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: What did you dream? I've had nothing but nightmares lately, pretty
          horrible.
  Ciri: Likewise, for the most part. In one, a monster grown from a stillborn
        child chased you. Ugh, that was horrible... Had a few nice dreams. For
        example, in one we sat around a fire, drinking good wine, and all
        around people danced and laughed.
  Geralt: I like that one a lot better.
  Ciri: Me too. But these dreams, and the others, ended in some tower. No
        matter what I'd dream, in the end I would enter a tower...

  Recognize the place?
  ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
   Geralt: Recognize it? Know where it might be?
   Ciri: Not sure... I don't think so, but there was something familiar about
         it...and something terrifying. The tower was stark and dead, but at
         the same time I felt I had to enter it.
   Geralt: Did you?
   Ciri: No, dreams all ended with me searching for the entrance. And the last
         time, instead of the tower, I saw your grizzled face. If not for the
         scar over your eye, I'd have thought I was still dreaming.

   I was afraid you were dead.
   ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
    Geralt: I was afraid you were dead. Found some dwarves here. Said they'd
            tried to wake you, but you were cold as ice, and you weren't
            breathing.
    Ciri: And yet you came in.
    Geralt: Who listens to dwarves these days? Speaking of which -- they're
            probably getting antsy. We should go.

Geralt: Got a boat on the beach. Once we land, we'll head for Kaer Morhen. On
        horseback.
Ciri: Right. Conventional means of travel. They're just better. Though a
      portal would be quicker...
Geralt: And draw Eredin to us immediately. Rather not risk it. Besides, I hate
        portals.

[They go the beach, finding the dwarves have already casted off in it.]

Geralt: Damn... Listen, we gotta think of a way to...

[He suddenly realizes the air is turning chillier. Strange noises are heard in
 the distance as Eredin's ship comes into view.]

Geralt: Get us outta here.
Ciri: They'll know where we've gone, they'll know how to find me!
Geralt: They already do. Ciri, take us home.

[She teleports them out.]

_______________________________________________________________________________
¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
10) THE BATTLE OF KAER MORHEN                                            [WK11]
_______________________________________________________________________________
¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
[Meanwhile, at Kaer Morhen, Yennefer is impatiently pacing on an upper parapet,
 watching for Geralt's return. Vesemir is taking care of the horses, one of
 which starts spooking...]

Vesemir: Whoa, now. There, there, it's a-- What the--?

[Geralt and Ciri emerge from a portal. Vesemir and Yen start running over.]

Vesemir: Welcome back, child...
Yennefer: Ah! Ciri! Haha... My, you've grown beautiful.
Vesemir: No point standing around. Come on, time to greet the others.
Ciri: You've not changed a bit. Any of you... All just like I remembered.

[Yen stares at Geralt.]

Geralt: What?

[She gives him a big kiss as Triss runs over. NOTE: This always occurs.]

Triss: Little sis!
Vesemir: They're all here, everyone you asked for help. Avallac'h's resting in
         the tower -- still in pretty bad shape. No reason to do it out here.
         Come inside.

 Hunt'll be here soon.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Time's short. Wild Hunt'll be here soon.

 Good to see you again.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Damn, it's good to see you again.

[Depending on who Geralt's romancing, the convo will split.]

• Yennefer: Would you like a moment to yourselves?
  Geralt: Sorry, we didn't mean to--
  Yennefer: I know. It's a simple question. Do you want some time alone?

  No, let's go.²
  ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
   Geralt: No...let's go. They're waiting.

  Only if you really don't mind...²
  ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
   Geralt: Long as you really don't mind...
   [Yen gives them privacy.]
   Geralt: Seemed to take that pretty well.
   Triss: Or wants us to think she did.
   Geralt: Haven't been here in a while, have you?
   Triss: Too long. How's the guest room? Anything changed?
   Geralt: Mhm. The bed...it, uh, broke.
   Triss: Not a problem. We'll sleep on the floor. Spread out a hide and...
   Yennefer: Ahem.
   Geralt: Guess we should go.

• Triss: I-- Maybe I'll give you two a moment.
  Yennefer: Triss, please...
  Triss: No, no. You must've missed each other terribly. A minute's delay won't
         hurt anyone.

  No. We'd better all go now.²
  ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
   Geralt: No, we should get going. They're waiting for us.

  Fine. A minute, then we go.²
  ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
   Geralt: Fine. So a minute, then we go, all right?
   [Triss gives them some privacy.]
   Geralt: Hmph. This is just a little awkward...
   Yennefer: Forty-five seconds...
   Geralt: Huh?
   Yennefer: We've forty-five seconds left. Well, thirty by now. And then we
             throw the gauntlet at the Wild Hunt. So I beg you, use these
             seconds well.
   Geralt: Yen, I adore you.
   Yennefer: Hm. No points for creativity. But for your candor... Time to go.

[Geralt follows the sorceresses back to the keep.]

Triss: Yen, you know the Wild Hunt better than anyone else. Tell us about the
       magic they use.
Yennefer: Their navigators open portals, rifts that we might counter with
          dimeritium or our own magic. They also summon the frost that
          occupies the voids through which they travel.
Triss: There's just not enough of us. It'll be a hard fight.

[They pass comrades going about their preparations. Conversations depend on
 who Geralt invited. Some conversations may not occur or are superseded if
 more allies join up.]

 • Geralt: Thanks for coming.
   • Hjalmar: We've spent our lives preparin' to face the shadows Morhogg.
     Vigi: We slew the giant, we'll slay the wraiths as well.
     Folan: Aye!
   • Hjalmar: Imagine we'd miss a chance like this? Never!
     Vigi: Cryin' shame Folan ain't with us.

 • Geralt: Hunt'll be here soon.
   Vigi: Tedd Deireadh is upon us. The Final Age, the Time of the End.

 • Hjalmar: Damn shame Vigi and Folan aren't here.

 • Get ready, Folan. Wild Hunt's near.
   Folan: So Ragh nar Roog is upon us.

 • Zoltan: Hah! You found her. They told me the Hunt was after her, that those
           buggers might burst in uninvited. So I've made a Mahakaman mix. When
           this ploughin' blows, it'll be bits and pieces, nothin' more.
   Geralt: Bring all your tools with you?
   Zoltan: Thought to myself, a battle approaches. Blades'll need honin',
           plate'll need some hammerin'. That sort o' thing.
   Geralt: Thought right. Thanks, Zoltan.
   Zoltan: Plan to top that by brewin' some more Mahakaman mix. Shite's so
           volatile, ye need but glance at it to set it off like a flamin'
           fart. Very useful durin' sieges.

 • Geralt: Huh. You seem to be in a good mood...
   Vesemir: If they can bleed, they can die.

 • Geralt: Vesemir.
   Vesemir: Welcome home.

 • Lambert: She's one of us, Geralt. No way we'll let 'em take her.

 • Geralt: Eskel.
   Eskel: Greetings, Wolf.


===============================================================================
[If Ermion's invited, he and Vesemir will be talking instead. The heirophant
 has created a crack in the stone where flammable gas leaks out.]

Vesemir: I certainly hope this gas will work.
Ermion: It shall. We must just ignite it at the right moment.
Vesemir: And that hole...is that there for good?
Ermion: We shall worry about the hole once it is all over. And now, step back,
        master witcher. Anair, anadar, vallanda!
Vesemir: Never thought gas could stink so much. We need to warn the others,
         make sure no one comes through here with an open flame. What's next?
Ermion: I could use a drink.
Vesemir: So could I. We'll find something after the council.

[Geralt walks over.]

Ermion: Whoever repaired these walls did a shoddy job of it.

 Walls aren't exactly our area of expertise.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: We're not masons.
  Ermion: A shame. We'll not be able to keep the Hunt outside the fortress.
  Vesemir: That's no loss. We don't know much about breaking sieges, either.
           We'll face them in the courtyard.

 We should patch up the holes.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Maybe we can still patch up these holes?
  Vesemir: We've got the materials.
  Ermion: I can help you if you wish.
  Geralt: What about Lambert?
  Vesemir: Hm, I know exactly how he'll take to bricklaying.

 Why'd you free the gas?
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: What's the gas for?
  Ermion: It's highly flammable. I aim to detonate it, incinerate a few of the
          Hunt's riders in the process.
  Geralt: Castle walls won't suffer?
  Ermion: The fortress walls are in ruin. They cannot be harmed any more than
          they already are.

===============================================================================
[If Letho is invited, there'll be a longer scene where the other Wolf School
 witchers are unhappy.]

Lambert: Still got time to leave.
Letho: I do, but I don't wanna.
Eskel: Think it over.
Letho: I will. I do my best thinking alone.
Eskel: You should have said no.
Letho: None of your business.
Lambert: Wrong -- it is his and mine. Rather not have you behind our backs
         during the battle.
Geralt: What is it now?
Lambert: Why did you even bring him?

 I need Letho.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: I need Letho.
  Eskel: Our opinions count, too.
  Geralt: I need anyone who can face the riders of the Hunt in battle. Your
          likes and dislikes -- they count for a lot less than that.
  Lambert: You're making a mistake.

 I'll keep an eye on him.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: I'll keep an eye on Letho.
  Letho: And I promise to be a good boy.
  Lambert: Oh, fuck off.

Eskel: Geralt, this is a problem. Don't dismiss it.

[After:]

Geralt: Big fight ahead of us. How's morale?
Letho: Remember our encounter with them at the Hanged Man's Tree? We'll thrash
       'em again this time.

===============================================================================
[If Keira was recruited, he can find one of her illusions in the main hall.]

Geralt: An illusion.
Keira: Greetings, Geralt. If I'm to die today, I wish to look smashing for the
       occasion.
Geralt: Getting all gussied up for the Wild Hunt?
Keira: Women only ever beautify themselves for their own satisfaction.
Geralt: Glad you're here.
Keira: It's good to see you again.

 Thought you'd arrive earlier.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Expected you earlier.
  Keira: I started off heading in the opposite direction, but then turned
         around.
  Geralt: What made you change your mind?
  Keira: There are times when a woman should simply not explain her decision.
         That goes doubly for sorceresses.

 Make yourself at home.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Won't find too many comforts, but try to feel at home.

===============================================================================
[If Vernon Roche and Ves are recruited:]

Vernon: You're here.
Geralt: Thanks for coming, both.
Ves: No need. By the way, it seems you forgot to invite me.
Vernon: Hold your excuses, Geralt. Ves vented on me all the way here, she's
        almost over it. Are we really to be so few?

 Yes.
 ¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Yes.

 Yes, but we'll win.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Quality's what counts, not quantity.
  Vernon: A witcher's approach. Works when hunting and fighting beasts, not
          necessarily in full-scale battles.

Vernon: I certainly hope you know what you're doing.
Ves: We'll scout around a bit. Need to acquaint myself with the battlefield.


[If Vernon/Ves AND Letho are invited, the intro dialogue changes:]

Geralt: Glad to see you.
Vernon: Hmph. Set out alone, Ves tracked me down. Insisted on coming.
Ves: I ought to give you a hiding for not asking my help. But I took it all out
     on Roche along the way.
Letho: Ah, some old friends.
Ves: What's this whoreson doing here?
Geralt: We need him.
Ves: You might've forgotten what he did. I haven't.

 You gotta understand him.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Gotta save Ciri -- whatever the cost. And Letho's faced the Hunt
          before.
  Vernon: I don't question his abilities. I simply don't trust him.
  Geralt: Letho won't betray us.
  Vernon: You're naïve, always have been. Usually I don't give a shit, but this
          time it could kill Ves and me both. Think this through before it's
          too late.

 I'll keep an eye on him.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: I'll keep an eye on Letho.
  Letho: And I'll behave, I promise.
  Vernon: Watch this murderer, and you won't be watching the enemy. Why is the
          kingslayer so important?
  Letho: Eredin's a king, ain't he?
  Vernon: Fuck you. Both.

 I'm in charge here.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: I'm in command here. I make the decisions. You both know there're no
          debates when you're at war.
  Vernon: You know what, Geralt? I've done many things in my life I wish I
          hadn't. But I've always respected those who I served, always put my
          trust in them. Here, at Kaer Morhen, this will be the first time I do
          neither.

Ves: We'll stay and help. But we don't want him at our backs.

[After, Ves may practice archery while Vernon watches.]

Vernon: Elbow higher.
Ves: It's high enough.
Vernon: You drop it a bit every time you release the string. Apart from which,
        flaming projectiles require a different trajectory.

===============================================================================

[Later, Geralt finds Vesemir.]

Geralt: Get everybody together. Time to talk.

[The allied forces are assembled in the main hall. Default allies: Yennefer,
 Triss, Eskel, Lambert, Vesemir, Ciri.]

Geralt: Thank you for coming. The Wild Hunt'll be here soon. They're coming
        for Ciri, want to take her. We'll stop them.
Lambert: How do you even know the Hunt'll show?
Ciri: They always know where I teleport to, and they move from place to place
      in an instant.
Lambert: So what's our plan?

 Gotta take the initiative.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Eredin, the King of the Hunt -- he's confident, he'll strike hard,
          hoping to defeat us with the force of the blow alone. We've gotta
          take the initiative away from him, foil his plan.
  Yennefer: I'll generate a magic dome over the fortress. It will scatter them,
            force them to land in the woods.

 We'll all have a task.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: There aren't many of us, but I'd trust any of you with my life. Work
          together, and we'll defeat the Hunt. When they attack, Yen'll dome
          the fortress with a magic shield. Hunt'll be forced to land outside
          the walls.

Lambert: If they're dispersed out in the woods, we could hunt down small groups
         of riders.
Geralt: Got our first volunteer for the hunting party. I'm the second.

 • Letho: Count me in, too. Always believed attack was the best defense.

Yennefer: The Hunt will try to penetrate into the fortress through navigator
          portals. I can do nothing against this kind of magic, so you'll need
          to find and close as many as you can while hunting in the woods.
Geralt: Lambert'll make us dimeritium bombs. Remember the formula?
Lambert: Course.
Yennefer: Excellent. Yrden should work on the portals as well. I shall also
          give you each an amulet. Snap them in half and you'll become
          invisible, at least while you remain still or move slowly. Move
          abruptly, engage any foes, clash with them, and they will see you.
          Apart from that, they will be able to hear and smell you. If you
          come across a large unit, do not attack. Signal Triss, and she will
          provide support.
Triss: I'll look for your signal. Soon as I see it, I'll rain fire on the
       forest.

 Ciri's most important.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Ciri's most important in all of this. The Hunt's after her, and we
          have to defend her at all costs.
  Ciri: What do I do?
  Yennefer: Stay inside the keep. If they break through, come inside, we'll all
            converge to help you.
  Ciri: Out of the question. I can look after myself.
  Vesemir: No one doubts that, child. But remember the most important moment
           when hunting a monster?
  Ciri: "Wait for an opportunity."
  Triss: After the council, I'll give you an amulet. If you use it, a ball of
         fire will land where you're standing. Just in case.

 We have to work together.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Remember, there's only a few of us. We have to help each other, work
          together. If anything goes wrong and the Hunt puts us on the
          defensive, we pull back, make a stand at the gates of the fortress.
          The inner courtyard is our last line of defense. If we don't stop
          them there, we're doomed.

 Now for the rest of the plan.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: What else do we have that we can use?

  • Ermion: Do you know we stand on a vast deposit of gas? If need be, I could
            open cracks in the earth, create explosions. I would need to
            prepare, though.

  • Vernon: Since you plan to ambush the Hunt in the woods, I could dig some
            trapping pits. Blue Stripes style.
    Vesemir: Meaning?
    Ves: Deep as the dark abyss. Bottoms bristling with sharpened stakes.

  • Zoltan: I brought this Mahamakam mix -- flammable as bone dry saltpeter and
            ploughin' sticks to anythin'. We fill some barrels, stack 'em in a
            narrow passage, and fire 'em up at an opportune moment.

  Vesemir: There's a laboratory...and the workshop.
  Eskel: One thing to remember -- we've got limited resources and even less
         time. We oughta decide what kind of weaponry'll be most useful against
         the Hunt.
  Vesemir: Absolutely. We need to assign one type of weaponry each to the lab
           and workshop.

  What'll the lab get us?
  ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
   Vesemir: I started brewing some potions. Like to finish if you don't mind.
   Eskel: I could prepare more of those witchers' traps. But I'd need all the
          lab equipment.

   Potions'll be the most useful.
   ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
    Geralt: Always relied on potions. We should brew as many as possible.

   Witchers' traps -- that's the best idea.
   ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
    Geralt: There aren't many of us, so we'll need to prepare as many traps as
            possible.
    • Vesemir: Let's talk about the workshop.

  Let's talk about the workshop.
  ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
   Geralt: Anyone have any ideas for the workshop?
   Vesemir: Been wanting to fix that breach in the wall. But we'll need the
            same tools to clear the rubble from the armory.
   Geralt: Rubble?
   Vesemir: Haven't you heard? Roof caved in a couple years back. There's some
            excellent swords in there. Swords we could use.
   Lambert: Filling in the breach seems just as important. They come through
            there, the siege'll be over awfully quick.

   Patch up the wall.
   ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
    Geralt: Fixing the breach in the wall's a priority.

   Let's clear the armory.
   ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
    Geralt: We'll need weapons that can pierce the Hunt's armor. Gotta clear
            the armory.
    • Vesemir: Let's not forget the laboratory.

Vesemir: We won't have time to do much else. Everything settled?

 Yes, let's get to work.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Yes, settled. We don't have much time, so let's get to work.

 Like to change something.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Hm. No, we should do it differently.
  Vesemir: What do you want to change, Wolf?

  About the lab...
  ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
   Geralt: We should use the lab differently.

   Potions will be the most useful.
   ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
    Geralt: We've always relied on potions. Need to brew as many as possible.
            That'll take all the equipment we got.
    • Vesemir: Let's talk about the workshop.

   Witchers' traps -- that's the best idea.
   ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
    Geralt: There aren't many of us, so we should prepare as many traps as
            possible. Devote all our efforts to that.

  About the workshop...
  ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
   Geralt: Oughta use the workshop for something else.

   Let's fix the wall.
   ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
    Geralt: Need to patch the breach in the wall first and foremost. Worth
            using the whole workshop to do it well.

   Let's clear the armory of rubble.
   ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
    Geralt: Gonna need weapons that pierce the Hunt's armor. Let's clear the
            rubble out of the armory.
    • Vesemir: And the laboratory?

Vesemir: Let's sum up: Yennefer will create a magic barrier to repel the main
         assault. That should push the opposing force into the woods.

         • Where Lambert and Geralt'll be waiting. 
         • Where Lambert, Geralt and Letho'll be waiting.

         They'll use dimeritium to close the navigator's portals, stop as many
         warriors as possible from entering the fortress. Triss'll be waiting
         for their signal, then give the riders hell. All others will repel any
         foes who make it inside the fortress walls.

Geralt: If anything goes wrong, we abandon the outer courtyard, pull back to
        the keep. Remember -- Eredin can't get his hands on Ciri. That's most
        important. Let's look at the map of the fortress, figure out the
        details.

[A couple hours later...]

Geralt: Can't help feeling we've overlooked something important...
Lambert: Don't think about it.

 Preparations coming along?
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: What's ready?
  Lambert: Haven't had much time to prepare, so not much, honestly.

 Let's talk about what to expect.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Wanted to talk about what we can expect...
  Lambert: Thanks, not interested. You should talk to Ciri -- fine mood she's
           in.

• Geralt: I'm exposing you all to danger. Unnecessarily.
  Lambert: You worry too much. Wipe that frown off your face. We'll make it.
  Geralt: Thanks. For everything.

• Lambert: Your potions.
  Geralt: Can't help but worry. We're short on meteorite steel swords.
  Lambert: Got enough for everyone. Here, Vesemir dug this up for you.
           Gnome-forged blade, cross-guard's elven handiwork. Cuts through
           armor like butter.
  Geralt: Thanks. For everything.

Lambert: I'll saddle the horses. Come once you're ready to head into the woods.

 • Geralt: Takin' Letho with us.
   Lambert: You know my opinion.

[If Geralt talks to Ciri:]

Geralt: Got a minute?
Ciri: Oh. Serious talking coming.

 Remember, you can't put yourself in danger.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: They're after you. No matter what happens, you can't put yourself in
          danger.
  Ciri: Want me to sit and wait while others risk their lives for me?
  Geralt: Listen to me this once -- don't take matters into your own hands.

 I won't let them take you.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: I won't let them take you, you know that?
  Ciri: I know.
  Geralt: You gotta keep clear, stay out of trouble.

Ciri: Don't treat me like a child.
Geralt: Didn't even do that when you were one.
Ciri: I like it when you smile. Come here. Everything will be all right.

[Geralt walks outside, seeing his comrades preparing. He's barely into the
 courtyard before the sudden chill -- the Hunt's harbinger -- creeps into the
 area.]

Lambert: See that?
Geralt: It's starting. Woods! Now!

[On the rooftop, Yennefer uses dual staffs to help create the magical dome,
 stopping gale-force winds from ripping through Kaer Morhen's environs. Soon,
 the sorceress expands the dome to encompass both the castle and the entire
 mountain behind it. The hunting party, now invisible, can see this from the
 lower woodland.]

Lambert: Gonna have to thank Yen once this is all over. That spell -- really
         something. And the invisibility.
Geralt: Hounds could sniff you out, so don't get too close. And you'll be
        visible as soon as you start fighting. Remember that.

 • Letho: He always talk this much?
   Geralt: Only when he's nervous.

Geralt: Good work with these bombs, by the way.
Lambert: Aim at the portals, be precise. I'm out of dimeritium.
Geralt: Yen mentione casting Yrden at the rifts. Said the sign could seal them.
Lambert: They're here. Time to say hello.

[They can see Hunt soldiers crossing a stream nearby.]

Geralt: Slow down. Element of surprise is key. Stay hidden, give Triss a chance
        to show them what she can do. Then we'll hit 'em.

 • Letho: Mean to say Merigold can conjure up more than a cloud of butterflies?
   Geralt: Lots more. Wait and see.

[They watch as Triss carpet-bombs the interlopers with fiery explosions, one
 after another, until all are slain and smoking.]

Lambert: Next time you get the feeling I'm about to piss off Merigold, make
         sure and knock me upside the head.

 • Letho: Love these moments. The air before a battle -- nothin' smells as
          sweet.

[Geralt destroys the first of the targets.]

Geralt: I hate portals.

[They nix the second.]

Geralt: One less to worry about.

[The final one is closed soon after.]

Geralt: Problem solved.
Lambert: Geralt! C'mere! Look! They're regrouping!
Geralt: See the commander? Name's Imlerith. I remember him from back when I
        rode with the Hunt.
Lambert: Damn it, spell's waning. We're becoming visible.

 • Letho: We gonna try to kill him?
   Geralt: Too risky.
   Letho: Pansy.

[Geralt fires a flaming crossbow flare to signal Triss, but nothing happens.]

Lambert: What's with Merigold?!
Geralt: Shit.

[Meanwhile, back at Kaer Morhen, Ciri sees the flare's dying breaths. She runs
 into Vesemir on the wall.]

Vesemir: You were meant to wait inside!

 I must confront them.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Ciri: I cannot hide forever. I must face them!
  Geralt: Back inside, now!

 I want to fight, too.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Ciri: I refuse to sit idle while you risk your lives for me.
  Vesemir: Back inside!

Ciri: No! Geralt gave the signal from the woods, and Triss hasn't cast the
      spell!
Vesemir: Dammit! All right! Run to her!

[If Zoltan's with, he'll knock a Huntsman off the wall.]

Zoltan: Duvvelsheyss! Ciri! Watch out!

[Ciri finds Triss being swamped by Hunt members at her position.]

Ciri: Hold on, Triss!
Triss: Ciri! Get back to the Keep!
Ciri: No!
Triss: Give Geralt the signal!

[Ciri eliminates the attackers, giving Triss the time she needs.]

Triss: I'm ready!

[Suddenly, a Rider jumps from a portal and disarms Ciri. As he's about to lay
 the killing blow, Triss enchants the airborne sword and plunges it right into
 his abdomen.]

Ciri: Dammit!

[Meanwhile, Geralt and Lambert were spotted and are fighting off an entire
 horde of Hunt swordsmen, with more coming still.]

Lambert: Geralt!

[He forces Geralt to kneel and traps them both in a Quen bubble, just as the
 long-awaited fireballs rain down and fry Imlerith's cronies.]

Geralt: Head back!

[The two whistle for their mounts and gallop toward Kaer Morhen.]

Lambert: Yennefer's spell is waning! Blizzard's almost at the fortress! Wonder
         if they took him out?
Geralt: Imlerith? Doubt it.

[The witchers finally make it back to the fortress' stable area.]

Vesemir: Large detachment approaching from the woods! We need to close the gate
         before they get inside!

[Geralt hastily climbs up the wall and hits the portcullis switch, just in
 time to stop the detachment from entering.]

Imlerith: Ladd nahw!

[Lambert is fighting several enemies below.]

Vesemir: Lambert! Don't be a hero! Geralt, go to Lambert! Now!

[If Keira's recruited, she'll save Lambert by levitating all his attackers and
 flinging them into the wall at lethal speeds. If she's not with, Geralt, and
 Letho if he's recruited, will do it instead.]

• Keira: Azar! Anatha! Vellos!
  Lambert: That was amazing. Thanks.
  Keira: You'd never have managed without me, would you? Come, now, admit it.

Vesemir: We gotta pull back! Yennefer's strength is waning!

[The two flee to the second courtyard.]

Vesemir: Heads up!

[He fire a ballista bolt, collapsing the entrance on the pursuers.]

 • Vernon: Plough it! Not a second too soon!
   Geralt: Get back to your position!
   Ves: Zoltan sends his regards, you bastards!

Vesemir: Fall back! Through the gate, into the courtyard! Check the passage to
         the courtyard!

[They find the innermost courtyard's doors shut fast.]

Geralt: Where's Eskel?
Vesemir: Dammit. We agreed he'd open that gate.
Geralt: Hasn't done it yet, means...
Vesemir: He'll be fine. We've got Triss to worry about now.

[The three run to Triss' position, where she's burning Hunt attackers alive.]

Triss: Just in time!

[They slay the wave of frigid intruders.]

Geralt: Everything all right?
Triss: Yes, thanks. Things were looking shaky.
Vesemir: We had to fall back. They tried to get in through the main gate. I'm
         afraid they could succeed next time.

[They spot Ciri watching them from the upper parapet.]

Triss: What's with Eskel? We have to retreat!
Ciri: He's in trouble! I'm going to help him!
Triss: Remember the stone I gave you!

[The Wild Hunt's Navigator, Caranthir, and some men appear from a portal right
 in Eskel's courtyard. The veteran witcher holds his own somewhat, but can't
 do much against area-of-effect magic and Caranthir's teleportation. Ciri goes
 to his rescue, using her own teleportation and slashes to draw blood.]

Ciri: See? I can do it, too.

[A guttural noise, like a large foghorn, rings out, drawing the attention of
 Caranthir and the cronies. The navigator teleports away soon after, giving
 extra time for Eskel to recover. Together, they both start eliminating the
 foot soldiers.]

Eskel: I'll take these!

[The spill the remaining enemies' blood.]

Eskel: Should've stayed in the keep, sat your ass down like you were supposed
       to.
Ciri: Hmph. Who would've saved yours, then?

[They kill another wave.]

Eskel: Thank you!
Ciri: We have to open the gate for them!

[Triss' party outside sees the good tidings.]

Vesemir: Eskel's opened the gate! We can retreat beyond it!
Geralt: Fall back!

[He sees Ciri at the gate's controls.]

Geralt: You're not supposed to be out here!
Ciri: Too late now.
Eskel: They're coming in through the gaps!
Vesemir: Dimeritium bombs. You'll find more in the crates by the walls.
Geralt: We gotta close the portals! If we don't, we die!
Eskel: Geralt! They're coming in through Savolla's breach!

• Eskel: The wall stopped 'em!
• Eskel: Damn the dogs! We should've patched up that wall!
• Ermion: Geralt, hold them back! I must form a Circle of Vitality!

[Geralt quickly closes all the nearby portals.]

Triss: Geralt! I can't hold them any longer! They're swarming the yard by the
       main gate!
Geralt: On my way!
Lambert: Bastard wants to break through! Get inside!

[Just as they go to the main gates, Yennefer collapses on the roof, and her
 barrier along with her. Vesemir dives to get Ciri out of the frosty shockwave
 that freezes Geralt, Triss, Eskel and Lambert in place. Caranthir and his
 cronies stream through the broken gate.]

Vesemir: Come!

[The old witcher takes Ciri to a deserted spot nearby.]

Ciri: Geralt... Where is he...? We must--

[Imlerith appears out of nowhere and knocks Vesemir aside with his gigantic
 shield. As Ciri's attention is focused, Eredin appears behind her, grabbing
 her hair.]

Eredin: You can't escape me this time!
Ciri: Aaaargh!

[As Eredin drags Ciri toward a portal, Vesemir's wily tactics knock Imlerith
 to the ground. Eredin is mostly unprepared, and gets slashed across his back
 for the trouble. When Imlerith approaches, Vesemir blows Ciri away from him
 with Aard. Ciri gets up, finding her position completely surrounded, and her
 "uncle" captured by Imlerith.]

Eredin: Imlerith!
Vesemir: Run!

[Imlerith raises Vesemir up by his throat.]

Eredin: She'll not abandon you. You humans are so...impractical.

[Eredin extends his hand, the implication being Vesemir will live if she goes
 with him.]

Vesemir: Ciri! No!

[She throws down her sword.]

Vesemir: Aargh! I forbid you! You always were an unruly child. I adored that
         about you.

[Vesemir takes a dagger from his belt and stabs Imlerith in the gut.]

Vesemir: Now fly.

[An angered Imlerith snaps Vesemir's neck, killing him.]

Ciri: Nooooooooooooooo!

[The sight of her dead teacher and imminent capture causes her powers to run
 wild. Her screaming causes time-space distortions, easily killing the lackeys
 and causing the big names to clutch their heads in pain. Eredin dares approach
 her in the state, and has to be dragged into a portal before her disruptions
 kill him. Even with the enemy gone, the portal made from her anguish continues
 stripping and drawing in planks, rocks and other loose items. Eskel, still
 frozen, even loses an ear. The intense noise draws Avallac'h to the balcony
 above her.]

Avallac'h: Gvaed, gvaed uncym, cym'morth!

[His magic closes the portal; Ciri falls over unconscious. Soon after, those
 frozen by the sudden frost thaw out, finding the battle's ended and the Hunt
 already gone. Geralt finds Yen and Ciri by Vesemir's body in the courtyard
 nearby. Geralt puts the old witcher's missing sword back in its holster.]

Ciri: I...I was too late...to help him.
Geralt: It's not your fault.
Ciri: I should not have fled here to Kaer Morhen.
Yennefer: Avallac'h is weak, but alive. Triss is tending to the others.
Ciri: I nearly killed you... Killed everyone...

 There's no blame, just grief.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: I can't cry, don't know how...

 You saved us.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: We'd all be dead if not for you.
  Ciri: No, Geralt. The Hunt would never have come to Kaer Morhen if I wasn't
        here.

Geralt: Vesemir's funeral -- we should prepare.

_______________________________________________________________________________
¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
12) BLOOD ON THE BATTLEFIELD                                             [WK12]
_______________________________________________________________________________
¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
[At midnight, all the surviving allies go to the Vesemir's mountain pyre. The
 White Wolf finally lights the thing, then goes to stand by Ciri.]

Geralt: Don't blame yourself. No witcher's ever died in his own bed.
Ciri: You don't know how it is. To see someone you love die...because of you,
      for you.
Geralt: We all knew what we were signing up for.
Ciri: Yes, and you saved me. For how long? A week? A month?
Geralt: We'll hide you, cover your tracks...
Ciri: No. I will flee no more.

[She takes Vesemir's medallion on the edge of the pyre. The elf approaches
 Geralt afterward.]

Avallac'h: Va fail. For those who remain, death should never take precedence
           over life. Pay your last respects to your friend. Then we must hold
           council.

[Avallac'h leaves. Geralt can talk to the other allies to get their thoughts.
 If Geralt recruited no allies, only his fellow witchers will remain.]

===============================================================================
[If Geralt interacts with the pyre:]

Geralt: I'll remember your teachings always. And the sacrifice you made.

===============================================================================
[If Geralt talk to Ermion:]

Geralt: Thank you.
Ermion: Please. She was my ward, too. And the old should only ever stick around
        to help the young. You know this hardly ends your struggle?
Geralt: I know.
Ermion: Whatever you aim to do now, remember you'll always find souls willing
        to aid you in Skellige. Myself, Crach, his children...

 Don't know what to do next.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Don't really know what I'll do next.
  Ermion: When doubt plagues your mind, follow your instincts. Should they
          steer you wrong and land you in muck, you'll land at peace with
          yourself. And that's most important.
  Geralt: Good advice.
  Ermion: Bah! 'Course it is! I am a hierophant, aren't I? I must pick a
          course for home soon. Take care of yourself, and Ciri.
  Geralt: Thanks again, for everything.

 I'll remember that.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Thanks, I'll remember that.
  Ermion: I shall take another look at the wounded, but I'll need to go soon.
          I'll leave you some medicines.
  Geralt: Go in health, Ermion.
  Ermion: Till we meet again.

===============================================================================
[If Geralt talks to Hjalmar:]

Hjalmar: There y'are. Cryin' shame about Vesemir. I'm sorry.
Geralt: Thanks for your help.
Hjalmar: I'd a debt to pay.

 Straight back to Skellige?
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Heading straight back to Skellige?

  • Hjalmar: Wouldn't be right to tarry -- war with the Black Ones won't wait.
             You can count on me, you know? Always.
    Geralt: I know. Thanks.

  • Hjalmar: Duty calls. But listen, Geralt, you've a king for a mate. Rare's
             the man who can claim that. If you, or Ciri, or you and Ciri...if
             yous ever need help, the gates of Kaer Trolde stand open.
    Geralt: Thanks, I'll remember that.

 Farewell.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: So long, Hjalmar.

===============================================================================
[If Geralt talks to Eskel:]

Geralt: What's on your mind?
Eskel: Kaer Morhen. Can't imagine this place without Vesemir. I'll head down to
       the valley soon. Then find somewhere else to winter next year.

 Stay.
 ¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Come on. It's the only home we've ever had. Stay.
  Eskel: No, Geralt. Place has been dying a while now. Last nail in the coffin
         today. Time we accepted that.

 I understand.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: I get you.
  Eskel: Try my luck in Lormark. There's always work where there's war. After
         that, we'll see.
  Geralt: Till next time.
  Eskel: See you, Wolf.

===============================================================================
[Lambert has a special solo conversation only if Keira isn't recruited:]

Geralt: How are you feeling?
Lambert: Please.
Geralt: Thanks for everything.
Lambert: Sure.

 Rest up, get well.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Get your health back.
  Lambert: Leave me alone.

 Something wrong?
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: What's eating you?
  Lambert: Do you seriously not know? Get lost. I'm done with this idiotic
           conversation.

[If Keira's recruited, she and Lambert's conversation will overlap.]

Geralt: Thanks for everything you did for me and Ciri.
Keira: May I be honest? Had I known what would happen here, I'd never have come
       anywhere near Kaer Morhen. I'm glad I could help, but I shall leave as
       soon as Lambert feels better.

 Going together?
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: You going together?
  Keira: I've an idea, but I need a witcher to help me see it through. Lambert
         has agreed to assist me.
  Geralt: Hm. Good luck. And thanks again.
  Keira: We're even now.

 Happy trails.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Take care of yourselves. And thanks again for everything.

===============================================================================
[If Geralt talks to the ex-Blue Stripes:]

Geralt: So? Tell me.
Vernon: I can say I've seen it all now.
Ves: I still don't believe everything that happened.

 Thanks for your help.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Thanks for coming. Thanks for risking your lives for me.
  Ves: Take care of the girl. Don't let anyone harm her.

 How can I thank you?
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Risked your lives for me. How can I repay you?
  Vernon: We'll think of something, right?
  Ves: Definitely.

Geralt: What will you do?
Vernon: We're bound for Novigrad, to fight the next fight.
Ves: If you miss us, look for us at the camp.

===============================================================================
[If he talks to Letho:]

Geralt: That was tough.
Letho: We managed.
Geralt: Thanks for helping.
Letho: You're welcome.

 Wanna stay at Kaer Morhen?
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Would you consider staying at Kaer Morhen?
  Letho: It'd be nice. At least for a while, till I figure out what's next.
  Geralt: Agreed. Do it.

 What will you do?
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: What will you do now?
  Letho: Probably head east, cross the mountains. After that? We'll see.
  Geralt: Farewell.

===============================================================================
[If Geralt talks to Zoltan:]

Zoltan: Come to see how I'm feelin'? Thanks, not bad.
Geralt: That's good.
Zoltan: Argh, son, horrible about Vesemir. I know you were close.
Geralt: Thanks. We were.
Zoltan: Listen, far be it from me to stick my beard where it'll scratch no
        itch, so don't take this the wrong way. I want to help, whatever you
        decide. But to my mind, we've got to counterattack. We've got to find
        the Hunt, Eredin, and charge 'em both like a bull at a heifer.

 Not that simple.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Not that simple, unfortunately. We have no way of finding them, they
          find us easily. Can take us by surprise whenever they want.

 Too few of us.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: There aren't enough of us. Sure, we repelled the Hunt's assault, but
          that was a miracle, plain and simple. Won't be so lucky next time.

Zoltan: Forgive me, Geralt, but that's the blatherin' of a man who clearly
        can't snap out of it after a tragic loss. Drink it off, sleep it off,
        whatever it takes... Just get yourself together and think things
        through.
Geralt: I'll do that, Zoltan.

===============================================================================

[Geralt eventually walks back toward Kaer Morhen. He finds the elven Sage in a
 conversation with the sorceresses.]

Avallac'h: Zireael can harness immense amounts of the Power. Why has no one
           taught her to control this?
Yennefer: Actually, some did teach her.
Avallac'h: Clearly to no effect.
Yennefer: I'll gladly argue you about this -- some other time.

[Geralt walks over.]

Geralt: Haven't had a chance to talk. Thanks for your help. And for looking
        after Ciri.
Avallac'h: You will thank me later. Now, we must take Zireael away from here,
           hide her. And then gather a greater force.
Triss: Anyone, everyone we could count on came here to Kaer Morhen.
Yennefer: Which is why we must seek the help of enemies. Magic is our best
          defense against the Hunt. We need sorceresses. Archmistresses of
          magic.
Triss: You mean the Lodge?

 I don't wanna involve the Lodge.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: I don't want the Lodge anywhere near Ciri. Just don't trust those
          women.
  Yennefer: What would you have us do instead? Fight alone, and die a beautiful
            but pointless death? No, Geralt. By some miracle, we survived that
            fight, eking out a measly victory at enormous cost. No more
            guerilla warfare -- time to face the enemy in open battle.

 Doesn't look like we have a choice.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Don't trust the Lodge one bit, but doesn't seem like we have a
          choice.
  Yennefer: Because we don't.

 The Lodge is in shambles.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Many of the Lodge's members are dead, the rest are in hiding.
  Yennefer: Philippa Eilhart, Margarita Laux-Antille and Fringilla Vigo are
            likely still alive.
  Triss: And Francesca and Ida? Think they'd agree?
  Yennefer: I think they'll take convincing. Would you rather speak to Keira
            alone?
  Triss: That would probably be best.

Yennefer: I've made an agreement with the emperor. In exchange for its help,
          the Lodge will be granted amnesty and find asylum in Nilfgaard. That
          will be our bargaining chip. Triss, I wish to leave today to find the
          sorceresses. Will you help me?
Triss: Of course. Even got an idea where you could start.
Ciri: Dammit! Again you plan without even asking what I think! I've had enough
      of this! I won't be taken somewhere like a...bundle! I will not sit and
      twiddle my thumbs! I'm sick of waiting, sick of hiding!

 Gotta protect you.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: You can't expose yourself.
  Ciri: Am I a banner to be held aloft and kept from the enemy? That's how you
        treat me. None of you has the courage to face this threat! Yet we must
        kill them, or sooner or later we will all die.

 You're right.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: You're right. Proved today you can take care of yourself.
  Avallac'h: Easier to pat someone on the back and hope things will work out
             than it is to face the truth.

Avallac'h: Zireael possesses a great power she cannot control. She is a danger
           -- to herself, to others. Until she learns to control it, she should
           remain isolated.
Ciri: First of all -- bollocks. Second -- if you're going to speak of courage,
      at least address me directly, and not through Geralt. I'm gone.

[Ciri storms off.]

 I'll go after her.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Better go after her.
  Avallac'h: Wait, she needs time. We must let her resolve her grief on her
             own. Then we should start training as soon as possible.

 Let her go.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Ciri needs time.
  Avallac'h: True. But she also needs training.

Avallac'h: She must learn to control her abilities.
Geralt: This training really necessary?
Yennefer: You saw what happened. She could be a greater threat than the Hunt.
Geralt: Fine. We'll stay here a while longer. Then join you and Triss in
        Novigrad. Meet at Dandelion's inn.
Triss: Come on, Yen. The sooner we leave, the better.
Geralt: See you.

[The sorceresses leave for Novigrad. A few days later, Geralt is sitting out
 in the courtyard, sharpening his blade, when he sees Ciri and Avallac'h argue
 about training.]

Ciri: Da-hah! It's not working, don't you see?!
Avallac'h: Discouraged after a mere eight attempts? Zireael...
Ciri: How many times must I try?
Avallac'h: As many as it takes.
Ciri: But I'm not getting anywhere.
Avallac'h: We shall return to this later.

[He leaves.]

Geralt: Didn't make it far first time out on the Gauntlet, either.
Ciri: Geralt, please. Not now. By comparison, the Gauntlet was a walk in the
      park. But that's not the point.
Geralt: What is?
Ciri: Avallac'h says nothing will come of this until I stop thinking about the
      battle. But at the moment I find it impossible to fill my head with
      kittens and vanilla pudding. Tell me... How do you do it?
Geralt: What?
Ciri: Always manage to pull yourself together, focus, no matter what's
      happening?

 Relax. You don't have to be good at everything.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Hmm, don't know about vanilla pudding. Could work, but nothing picks
          me up like Lambert's famous homebrew.
  Ciri: Suppose it can't kill me... Might as well try.

 Think I know what might lift your spirits.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Hmm, there's a certain ancient method. Vesemir taught it to me, and
          Barmin taught it to him.
  Ciri: Will you take me into the mountains and make me drink hemlock?
  Geralt: The Skellige druids have used it for centuries. It always works...
  [He throws snow in her face.]
  Ciri: Heeeeeey! You'll regret that!

===============================================================================
[If they decide to drink together...]

Ciri: Whew, that's strong.
Geralt: Maybe you oughta try a different method.
Ciri: We've tried at least twenty.
Geralt: Wouldn't let it worry you... Not like you need to excel at everything.
        You're great with a sword, an excellent archer... Leave the magic to
        mages.
Ciri: Yeah... Pour me another.

===============================================================================
[If they have a snowball fight, she starts teleporting.]

Geralt: Hey! That's cheating!
Ciri: Wimp!
Geralt: We'll see about that!
Ciri: Haha! Come and get me!

[If Geralt's hit by a snowball:]

• You'll regret that!
• Oof! Good shot!
• Done playing nice!

[If Ciri's hit by a snowball:]

• Hey! That's cheating!
• Hahaha! Oh, I will thrash you!
• Oh, you're in for it now!

[After the snowball fight:]

 • Ciri: Hahaha!
 • Ciri: Ha-ha! Geralt of Rivia defeated! Need to work on those dodges.
   Geralt: Sure I didn't let you win?
   Ciri: Sure you're not smarting from a defeat by a true maestro? Heheh.

Ciri: You were right. That really works! Thanks.
Geralt: Glad to be of service. So what now?
Ciri: I'll go see where our dearest Sage is...

===============================================================================

[The next morning, he finds Ciri whispering to him by his bedside.]

Ciri: Geralt! Geeeraaalt! Wake up!
Geralt: Wha...what? What's happening?
Ciri: Get up, we must go. I've saddled the horses.
Geralt: Ciri, it's the crack of dawn. Where do you wanna go?
Ciri: To Velen. Bald Mountain. But a few days till the witches' sabbath. And
      guess who's the guest of honor.

 Enlighten me.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Dunno, enlighten me.
  Ciri: Imlerith. We'll have no better chance to get him.

 Don't care.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Don't know and don't really care, to tell you the truth. After this
          training with Avallac'h, we were gonna ride to Novigrad. Remember?
  Ciri: Change of plans. Imlerith will be at the sabbath. We'll get him there.

Geralt: Where'd you get this idea? What's gotten into you?
Ciri: I must avenge Vesemir. The sabbath -- it's the perfect opportunity.
      Imlerith will be drunk, among cohorts, caught up in the revelry. He'll
      not expect the blow.

 Know what you're doing?
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Ciri... Sure you know what you're getting into?
  Ciri: Yes. And I must do this.

 What's Avallac'h say?
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Why do I doubt Avallac'h's a fan of this idea?
  Ciri: Do you see him here? I left him a letter, we'll rejoin him in Novigrad.

 How'd you learn about the sabbath?
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: How'd you learn all this? Imlerith, the sabbath...
  Ciri: Avallac'h. He told me of those who chase us. Claims knowledge itself
        can tip the scales.

Ciri: Come, we shall talk on the way.

 Gotta visit the emperor first.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Wait, something I gotta tell you before we go. You know the emperor
          really wanted you found?
  Ciri: Yennefer...mentioned something.
  Geralt: Wanted you to visit him.
  Ciri: Why would you tell me now?
  Geralt: Cause¹ this could be your last chance to see your...father.
  Ciri: Think I should go?

  Yeah, you should.
  ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
   Geralt: Probably just wants to talk.
   Ciri: How can you be sure? What if he wants something more?
   Geralt: Promised me he wouldn't force you to do anything.
   Ciri: So I should go?
   Geralt: He is your father...
   Ciri: Vizima is on the way... I suppose we can drop in.

  Wouldn't if I were you.
  ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
   Geralt: Ahh. You don't look good in black.
   Ciri: What do you mean?
   Geralt: Think he wants to meet you because he missed you? As I see it, he's
           got plans for you.
   Ciri: Ugh. Might've expected it... Geralt, I'm fed up. I won't have others
         deciding for me behind my back. We ride for Velen.

  Gotta make your own decision.
  ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
   Geralt: Oughta decide for yourself.
   Ciri: But I want your opinion -- should I go or not?

 All right, Velen it is.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Lead on.

[They hurry to the stables.]

Ciri: Ready?
Geralt: Let's go.

[If Geralt convinced Ciri to see Emhyr, there's an extra scene before the next
 mission begins. They meet with the emperor in the garden sitting area.]

Mererid: Your Imperial Majesty, Geralt of Rivia and...
Emhyr: Cirilla Fiona Elen Riannon, Queen of Cintra, Princess of Brugge and
       Duchess of Sodden, heiress to Inis Ard Skellig and Inis An Skellig, and
       suzeraine of Attre and Abb Yarra.

[The nobles with him kneel upon hearing her lofty title.]

Emhyr: Get used to it. Before long every soul from Nilfgaard to the Dragon
       Mountains will kneel before you. I did not expect you to keep your word,
       witcher.

 I always keep my word.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: I always keep my word.
  Emhyr: As do I.

 We're here thanks to Ciri.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Ciri wanted to hear what you have to say.
  Emhyr: And she will.

Emhyr: Your reward.

[A chamberlain returns with a wooden urn, presumably filled with gold.]

 Thanks. Definitely need it more than you do.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Thanks.
  Ciri: Geralt...
  Chamberlain: Ten... Twenty... Thirty... Forty... Fifty... Sixty... Seventy...
               Eighty... Ninety... ...and that makes an even one hundred. That
               is all of it. Initial here, please.

 Didn't do this for the coin.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Didn't come to collect on a deal. You asked me to bring your daughter
          here. I did just that.

Geralt: Ciri will hear you out. Then we leave.
Emhyr: Are you sure? Never again would you need to stalk monsters while wading
       through sewage.
Geralt: I'm sure.
Emhyr: I understand. Honor prevents you from accepting coin. In that case, a
       stallion, a thoroughbred Nilfgaardian, awaits you in the stables. Treat
       it as an expression of my gratitude.
Geralt: Thank you.
Emhyr: Now forgive me. I wish to speak to my daughter.
Mererid: Follow me, sir.

[Geralt leaves the two alone and waits in the palace's main hall. His old bud
 Voorhis approaches.]

Morvran: White Wolf! Good to see you!
Geralt: Greetings, General.
Morvran: You had no trouble crossing the Pontar, I trust?
Geralt: None.
Morvran: I take it you crossed via the ford at Ban Gleán. It's fortunate you
         did not choose to ride through Rinde. A troubled region, still.
         Radovid seeks to branch the front in the west. But he'll not succeed.
         Not before the princess becomes empress and we bring order to the
         area.

 Yeah, pretty clear it's a done deal.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Of course.
  Morvran: While we're on the subject, how is our future ruler? Must admit I'm
           curious how she'll react when she hears the throne will be hers. I
           venture to say she'll be delighted...
  Geralt: You never know...

 Can't be sure Ciri'll agree to that.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Ciri hasn't agreed to that yet.

Morvran: Yes, of course, she's tactful, not one to celebrate an offer not yet
         made... But this is not the kind of offer one refuses.

 Of course it's not.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Indeed.

 Isn't it?
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Isn't it?
  Morvran: Do you know any who would not like to be emperor of Nilfgaard?

Morvran: Can you imagine? I thought only the wine-addled minds of bards and
         poets could give birth to such stories. The prodigal daughter of the
         most powerful ruler in the Continent's history returns, on the eve of
         his final triumph, to embrace her inheritance. Simpletons adore such
         stories -- as they do the princesses, ever beautiful and delicate,
         who are their--

[Ciri emerges after her talk.]

Ciri: Geralt! We're leaving!
Morvran: So nice to see you, my lady.
Ciri: Likewise. Time we were on our way.
Morvran: A shame you can't stay. I hope to continue this on another occasion.
Ciri: That makes one of us.

[They walk away.]

Geralt: Well?
Ciri: If he thinks he can buy me, he is sorely mistaken.

 • Geralt: He offer anything specific?
   Ciri: Yes, very specific. And thoroughly absurd. Sorry. I don't want to talk
        about it. Not now, at least.
   Geralt: Won't pressure you. When you're ready. Let's go.

 • Ciri: By the way, that spectacle with the coin -- what was that?
   Geralt: Emperor's got lots. Couldn't see why he shouldn't share some with
           us.
   Ciri: Is that what this was about -- from the start?
   Geralt: No. It's always been about you. Only you.
   Ciri: It sure seemed like it was about the coin in there.
   Geralt: Ciri, I...
   Ciri: If it wasn't, you shouldn't have accepted it. Say no more. I'll be
         over it by the time we reach Velen.

[They leave the castle.]

_______________________________________________________________________________
¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
13) BALD MOUNTAIN                                                        [WK13]
_______________________________________________________________________________
¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
[Five days later, the duo is seen rowing toward Bald Mountain, a massive peak
 in the southern reaches, notable for the mammoth tree on its summit. Finally,
 they disembark at the base's village.]

Ciri: The men at Crow's Perch, they spoke of this place. Aard Cerbin. Home of
      the Ladies of the Wood. The peasants feared coming here. And the baron
      thought the Ladies of the Wood a terrifying tale for naughty children.
      Incidentally, I wonder how the baron is.

 • Geralt: Hanged himself after his wife died. Daughter's in Novigrad.
 • Geralt: He found his wife, took her away, somewhere far. Anna...she was
           unwell.
 • Geralt: Ventured into the swamp to look for his wife. No idea if he ever
           found her.

Ciri: A true shame.

[Either way:]

 Let's go.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Let's get this done.
  Ciri: We must reach the peak, we'll find Imlerith there.

 You actually know Imlerith will be here? How?
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: We stand to find Imlerith here? You sure?
  Ciri: Avallac'h told me of beings who commune with the Aen Elle elves. They
        can be found in every part of our world. In Velen, the Crones do this.
        Apparently, Imlerith came here at Eredin's behest, to order the Crones
        to keep their eyes open and ears pricked. In case Avallac'h were to
        seek shelter in his Velen hideout.
  Geralt: Took the order literally judging by all the ears hanging in the
          woods. Think Imlerith might still be here?
  Ciri: He craves the pleasures of the flesh -- wine, sex... The Crones indulge
        him, flatter his ego. I'm certain he'd not let this opportunity pass,
        and will be on Bald Mountain for the Sabbath.

 Familiar with this place?
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: You actually know this area?
  Ciri: Centuries ago it was a hallowed site for druids. But then the Crones
        arrived -- destroyed the Velen Circle and deformed the sacred oak atop
        the mountain. An important feast is observed here annually. The
        Sabbath, they call it -- all the local folk attend. I suspect Imlerith
        attends, too -- as the Crones' guest.
  Geralt: Seems to know it well.
  Ciri: Avallac'h's a good tutor.

Ciri: The peasant folk of Velen call this night the Feast of Gifts. I've no
      idea why. Avallac'h claims vanity is Imlerith's greatest weakness.
Geralt: Vanity?
Ciri: Any foe he faces, he strives to impress. The other one, Caranthir, is
      said to be secretive and pragmatic. Hardly surprising given he was
      Avallac'h's student.

[They approach the entrance to the revel.]

Guard: Should I shoot?
Man: Nay, the White One once served the Ladies.
Guard: But...he's an outsider!
Man: Let him approach.
Guard: But...
Man: They've come for the feast. Wouldn't do to cast them out.
Geralt: Didn't come to celebrate. We need to get to the top of the mountain.
Man: The gate is shut -- you'll not pass. But we've fires down thataway, with
     food and drink aplenty. Sit down beside one and perhaps this year the
     Ladies will descend, give us the privilege of seein' 'em.

 We'll sit down by a fire.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: We thank you for the invitation. Be glad to sit down, right?
  Ciri: Speak for yourself.
  Man: Come with me.

 Time we were on our way.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: We won't join you at your fires, though we thank you for the
          invitation. Time we were on our way.
  Man: You wish to see the Ladies. I, too, hope to, afore I die. Go up the
       mountain and face old Thecla. She'll decide if you're worthy.
  Geralt: Do just that. Farewell.

===============================================================================
[If Geralt decides to sit by the fire with the man (Stregomir) and Ciri:]

 We should go.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: We should be going.
  Man: Eager to see the Ladies. I share your yearnin'.
  Ciri: We're afire with yearning. Come, Geralt, we must get there before
        daybreak.
  Man: Go to the tent and stand before Thecla. She's the one who decides who's
       worthy to face the Ladies.

 What's the feast celebrate?
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: This celebration -- what's it about?
  Guard: Why d'ye need to know, wanderer?
  Man: No need for anger. The White One served the Ladies, as we do now. We
       send 'em gifts all year long, and on this night they repay us with their
       blessing.
  Ciri: I met one of your gifts to the Crones -- sniveling, scared to death,
        and about eight years old.
  Geralt: Stay calm.

  Why do the Ladies need your children?
  ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
   Geralt: Your children -- why do the Ladies need them?
   Man: We know not and never ask.
   Ciri: You don't know? Then let me tell you.
   Man: Tell us instead what a peasant, his own young 'uns starvin', is to do
        with a wanderin' war orphan? You're not from here. Don't judge us by
        others' laws.

  The Ladies' blessing -- what's that about?
  ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
   Geralt: Said the Ladies bestow blessings on you...
   Man: Aye, for our lives turn thus -- first a summer of laborin' 'neath the
        hot sun, then autumn rains, then a winter of death. Then we await
        spring, when all that is dead is born anew. And from our blood and
        sweat the oak bears acorns -- atimes few, atimes a handful.
   Geralt: What do you do with the acorns?
   Man: The Velen elders gather, hold council. Some favor grindin' 'em to
        spread on the fields for a rich harvest. Others want 'em given to a
        cunning woman, who'd make medicine for consumption.
   Ciri: A handful of enchanted acorns is enough for all Velen?
   Man: Tis¹ never enough.

  Changing topics...
  ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
   Geralt: Heard enough about this. We've got other questions.

 This gate -- why can't we get past it?
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Mentioned a gate. Said we wouldn't pass.
  Man: Only the Chosen visit the Ladies. Every year young lads and lasses climb
       the mount, but never more than three.
  Geralt: Let me guess -- the young lads and lasses don't return.
  Man: No, they return, happy and radiant. But rare is the one who then stays
       in Velen. Off they go to seek fortune in the wider world.

 The Ladies descend to you? What then?
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Ladies of the Wood visit you?
  Man: If they favor us. My father told me they descended once, passed from
       fire to fire, listenin' to hopes and grievances. So each year we wait
       for them to walk amongst us once more.
  Geralt: Haven't done it in a long time, then.
  Ciri: No point waiting to see if we'll get lucky.
  Geralt: Yeah, we gotta try to reach the peak.

===============================================================================

[Geralt and Ciri head toward Thecla's tent. Ciri catches sight of a kid. If
 Sarah from "Novigrad Dreaming" was evicted, she'll be here, too.]

 • Ciri: Look -- a child.
   Geralt: No -- a godling. I know him. Name's Johnny.

 • Ciri: Look over there -- children.
   Geralt: Both godlings. Ran into them before.

[Geralt narrates a godling "quest end" here if Sarah's with:]

Geralt: They say ghosts are manifestations of inner fears. Hauntings are said
        to be longing and loneliness, grown to vast proportions. There's no
        truth to that. It is true, however, that monsters can be as lonely as
        humans...and that to conquer one's loneliness one must first conquer
        one's fears. Some manage to do just that.

[They go over to Johnny and/or Sarah.]

 • Johnny: Well I'll be, you're back! And I see you've found your lass! I'm
           Johnny -- we've had the pleasure already, a bit one-sided though it
           was. See, I saw you runnin', your back to me, as it was, heh, havin'
           the pleasure of... 'Tis a long story.
   Ciri: They call me Ciri. Nice to meet you.
   Geralt: How're things, Johnny?
   Johnny: Health's good, so no complaints. What brings you here?

 • Johnny: He the one who kicked you out of your house?
   Sarah: Yes.
   Johnny: Well, I must have a word with 'im.
   Sarah: Don't hurt 'im!
   Johnny: Who do you think you are? Kickin' Sarah outta her home! How could
           you?
   Geralt: Wasn't her home, and besides--
   Sarah: Please, it worked out in the end. If I'd not left Novigrad, I'd never
          'ave met Johnny.
   Johnny: Fine, I'll let you off this time. See you found your lass. So what
           brings you here?

 Looking for a path to the summit.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: We gotta climb the mountain. Can you help?
  Johnny: I'd rather try to dissuade you, but I'm certain that would be in
          vain. The lass -- she as stubborn as you?
  Ciri: Even more so.
  Johnny: Figured as much. Sigh¹. Path to the peak starts here, past the gate.
          But only old Thecla's got the key, so since you shan't ever get it,
          you'd best turn back now.

 Looking for a path up the mountain.²
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: We're heading up the mountain. Any advice?
  Sarah: Yeah -- don't do it. Johnny says the Crones aren't to be fooled with.
  Johnny: You've barely found your lass. Didn't find her just to lose her now,
          did you?
  Ciri: We'll be fine.
  Johnny: Do as you will. Path up the mountain starts t'other side of the gate,
          so you'll need the key. Old Thecla only gives it to those she deems
          worthy of the Ladies' presence.

  We gotta try.
  ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
   Geralt: Gotta get to the summit. Simple as that.
   Johnny: It's Thecla you'll need to convince. She's blind as your bum, but
           she won't be fooled.
   Ciri: We shan't try to trick her.
   Johnny: She sits in that tent over yonder. I wish you luck and do hope we
           meet again...someday.

  Thanks for the advice. Let's go.²
  ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
   Geralt: Thanks for the advice. We should go.
   Sarah: Good luck.
   Johnny: Visit us sometime. We've a place not far from here.
   Ciri: We'll be certain to stop by. So long.

  Why won't we get the key?
  ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
   Geralt: The key -- why do you doubt we can get it?
   Johnny: Good grief, you're worse than children! Three souls are allowed atop
           the mountain -- and only strapping young lads or comely lasses among
           them. They get the key, open the gate and meet the Ladies.
   Ciri: I believe I qualify.
   Johnny: But he's old and ugly. What good is he?
   Geralt: Pretty damn good at finding lost voices.
   Johnny: Then go find the voice of reason. It'll tell you to turn back.
           There's no foolin' with the Ladies.

  The key -- what's that about?²
  ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
   Geralt: Gate's locked? Why?
   Johnny: Good grief, worse than children, these two. Durin' each Sabbath the
           Crones demand to meet three beautiful youngsters. Old Thecla picks
           'em and gives 'em the key to the gate.
   Sarah: She's young and beautiful.
   Johnny: But he's sure not.
   Geralt: Let us worry about Thecla.
   Johnny: Don't lie to her, she'll sniff it out at once. If she refuses to
           help, you must tell her you wish to undergo the trial.
   Ciri: The trial?
   Johnny: Uh, Thecla will explain.

  The Crones got any guests?
  ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
   Geralt: We're here to find an elf named Imlerith. Ciri thinks he might be a
           guest of the Crones.
   Johnny: Big bloke, in full plate? Goin' the right way -- he's atop the
           mountain all right.
   Ciri: You've seen him?
   Johnny: Saw him in the bog first. Water froze beneath his horse's hooves.
           Then I saw him again yesterday, heading up this path. Why're you
           looking for him?
   Ciri: He killed my friend.
   Johnny: Wouldn't seek revenge, if I were you. Even the Ladies bow and scrape
           before that one.

   *** alternate version ***

   Geralt: We're looking for an elf named Imlerith. Ciri thinks the Crones
           might've invited him.
   Sarah: The big knight? He near trampled me!
   Ciri: On his way up the mountain?
   Johnny: Yeah. What's it you want from him?
   Ciri: He killed my friend.
   Johnny: Out for vengeance, eh? Let it go. Dyin' foolishly won't help. Even
           the Crones bow and scrape before that one.

 Why're you here?
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: What are you doing here? Last we met, you and the Crones weren't
          exactly friends.
  Johnny: I got an invitation I couldn't refuse -- same as every year. In their
          peculiar way, the Crones tolerate my presence and wish to see me at
          their Sabbath... So I come, wander about, and go home with the rising
          sun. What about you?

 What're you doing here?²
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: What're you doing here? And how'd you two end up together?
  Johnny: Got an invitation we couldn't refuse. Around the Sabbath the Ladies
          get nicer of a sudden. Or maybe they're just out to show me who's in
          charge?
  Ciri: Did I hear right? You walked here all the way from Novigrad?
  Sarah: Weren't no trouble for someone who talks to birds. A blackbird told
         me about Johnny, so I puttered over.

[They go to Thecla's tent. Only the old woman and her attendant are there.]

Thecla: Hm... Who's that? Well, c'mon, come closer, girl! Aye. What's she like?
Marica: Narrow hips, sparkly eyes -- a strikin', feisty lass.
Thecla: Never had a man? Mff. Never mind, got me answer. I choose you, girl.
        This night you shall see the Ladies.

 I'm going with her.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: If she goes up the mountain, I go with her.

 Ciri, what do you think?
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Ciri?
  Ciri: Wonderful. Who wouldn't want to meet the Ladies? My companion comes
        with me.

Thecla: Hmhm. What else has the cat dragged in?
Marica: It's gray and veiny. Got a scar. And eyes like a viper.
Thecla: Aye, mff... Stinks of clotted blood and corpses. Plus it's old and
        infertile. I reject ye, freak -- the girl will ascend alone.

 I'm going with her. That's that.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: I'm going with her.
  Thecla: Heheheh, he's fire in his gut. What do ye see?
  Marica: He's determined. He loves the girl, but he seeks to hide it from us.

 Appearances can be deceiving, I'm worthy.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: You misjudged me. I'm worthy as anyone.
  Thecla: Mmm... Girl?
  Ciri: He's sprier than any youth. Only smells like corpses because he kills
        monsters. And he'll kill any who stand in his way.

 What's this about?
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: What's this about? What've you chosen her for?
  Thecla: Tell 'im.
  Woman: Each year three Chosen have the honor to meet the Ladies.
  Geralt: What happens after they've had this honor?
  Woman: When they return, they speak o' the past no more. Joy rules them and
         they start life anew. The lass were not the first to be chosen this
         day. But the moon hangs high, so she's like to be the last.

Thecla: Perhaps I was mistaken. Perhaps there's life in 'im yet? By ancient
        rite, you may appeal my choice. But to do so you must best the
        challenge.

 I'll take your challenge.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: I accept the challenge.
  Thecla: Heheheh. Come.

 What challenge?
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: What kind of challenge?
  Thecla: Tell 'im.
  Marica: You must descend into the cave and bathe in the waters below the
         earth.
  Ciri: What's the catch?
  Thecla: The waters're deep, the waters're murky.

[After accepting Thecla's challenge, the four go and stand overlooking a huge,
 flooded cave.]

Thecla: Look this over -- a coin from days of yore. Falka burns on its reverse,
        so they call it the Defier's Oren.

[She drops the coin into the murky waters below.]

Thecla: Now bring me the coin.

[Geralt retrieves the coin from the waters and returns to Thecla's tent.]

Ciri: I was beginning to worry. Come, let's get the key.
Marica: They're back.
Thecla: Whaddaya want?

 Retrieved the coin from the lake bottom.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Got that coin you tossed in the lake.
  Thecla: It reeks of sludge.
  Geralt: Nothing I can do about that. So, gonna keep your word?
  Thecla: I always do, my boy. Show the coin to the gatekeeper past the
          threshold -- he'll know its meanin'. Marica will open the gate for
          ye. Now go.

 What's on the peak?
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Can't help but be curious -- what's at the summit?
  Thecla: Tell 'im.
  Marica: The Ladies dwell there. But only the Chosen may look upon them.
  Geralt: I know that, I want--
  Marica: You'll learn nothin' else here.

 Bye.
 ¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Farewell.

Ciri: That went smoothly.
Geralt: Weren't the one to do the diving in the cave.
Ciri: Stop whining. You're a witcher, you've dived in murkier waters.
Geralt: Yeah. Have to tell you about the time I hunted a zeugl.
Thecla: The last of the Chosen will now ascend the mount to the peak, to meet
        the Ladies! Let the festivities begin! And let them last till the crack
        of dawn!

[Marica opens the huge gate into the mountain, then leaves. Inside, they soon
 meet the gatekeeper -- a sylvan named Fugas.]

Fugas: Hm... What's your name, girl?
Ciri: What's yours?
Fugas: Hmm... Your name doesn't matter. Atop the peak you'll lose it and get
       another. You may go. And you?

 I passed the trial. Here's proof.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  ---

 Let us through.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Got something to do up there. So just let us through.
  Fugas: Hahaha! Heh, givin' me orders? You? A human?

Geralt: I passed the trial. Here's proof. Recognize it?
Fugas: The Defier's Oren. A death sentence.

[They slay the gatekeeper when he attacks.]

Geralt: One tough son of a bitch.
Ciri: We've no time to lose. I'll tend to Imlerith, you take the Crones.
      Avallac'h said they dwell below the oak, among its roots.
Geralt: No chance. I'm going after Imlerith.
Ciri: Fine, let's play for it -- rock, paper, scissors.

[Ciri loses in the end.]

Ciri: Dammit! Two out of three.

 Fate has decided.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Out of the question. I'll climb the mountain, you face the Crones.
  Ciri: Hardly a challenge.
  Geralt: They're extremely dangerous. Be careful.
  Ciri: You too.

 Imlerith is dangerous, I'll take care of him.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Imlerith's a bigger threat than the Crones. I should face him.
  Ciri: I'm no worse a fighter than you.
  Geralt: We both know that's not true. Listen to me this once.
  Ciri: But--
  Geralt: No buts.
  Ciri: Fine. Be careful.
  Geralt: You too.

[Geralt and Ciri split up -- the former to scale the mountain, the latter to
 delve into the caves. Ciri's portion begins first.]

Ciri: I must get down there.

[Soon, Ciri encounters the three witches. They stand amidst the roots, standing
 in bloody water, around a cauldron of blood and gore -- likely the first of
 the Chosen.]

Brewess: How was he?
Weavess: He lived a life of love, and knew no bitterness.
Whispess: Yum-yum.

[Ciri jumps down. The witches change from their nude human forms into their
 disgusting usual ones.]

Whispess: Welcome, Child of the Elder Blood.
Weavess: We knew you would return.
Brewess: Your taste lingers on our tongues.
Ciri: You've talked enough.

[Ciri defeats the Crones. As she pokes their bodies to make sure they're dead,
 Weavess suddenly grabs her neck, stripping her of Vesemir's wolf medallion.]

Ciri: Argh! Come here!

[From where she toppled over, Ciri throws Zireael at the Crone, only for the
 enemy to explode into a flock of crows which escape with the necklace.]

Ciri: Dammit.

[Meanwhile, Geralt is climbing the rocky crags on the mountain's face.]

Geralt: Imlerith's at the summit, gotta be.

[Geralt climbs up to the sacred oak's clearing. His presence makes the succubi
 around Imlerith flee.]

Imlerith: The sisters said you would come. They saw you arrive in the water's
          surface. They did not see the girl, but she is with you, is she not?

 I came alone.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: I'm here alone.
  Imlerith: A lie which will change nothing. First you, then her.

 Yeah, she's here.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Yeah. We're both here.
  Imlerith: Where is the girl?
  Geralt: Doesn't matter. You'll never get her.
  Imlerith: You fought bravely in the ruined keep, to the bitter end. I trust
            this time will be no different.

Imlerith: Raargh!

[Imlerith puts on his helmet and picks up his maul, doing battle with Geralt.
 Eventually, Geralt gains the upper hand, and blowing the maul away with Aard,
 he stabs the elven warrior in the chest. However, Imlerith manages to pick up
 the witcher and hold him over the cliff.]

Imlerith: Who taught you to fight like this?
Geralt: The witcher you slew.

[Geralt forces an Igni stream inside Imlerith's helmet. The surprised warrior
 has no choice but to remove the red-hot helm from his burned face.]

Imlerith: Ugh...

[Taking the dropped maul, Geralt smashes Imlerith's head, killing the baddie.
 By morning, Ciri has joined Geralt where he's sitting at the peak.]

Ciri: We did it.
Geralt: Barely. How'd it go down there?
Ciri: I slew only two of the Crones. The third fled...with Vesemir's medallion.
      My sole memento.

 Good idea to come here.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Coming here? Good idea.
  Ciri: I knew we'd succeed. From the start.

 You avenged Vesemir.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: You avenged Vesemir.
  Ciri: Avallac'h claims vengeance is only ever satisfying when served cold.
        He's wrong.

 We were lucky, very lucky.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: We got lucky this time. Hope it stays with us.
  Ciri: It's not luck. You're a professional killer, and I'm a chip off the
        old block.

Ciri: Now to find Eredin and kill him. An oren for your thoughts?
Geralt: Wondering what to tell Yennefer when we get to Novigrad.
Ciri: Tell her the truth. Always. I wonder if Triss and Yennefer have found the
      sorceresses of the Lodge. We ought to rejoin them.

 Yeah, let's go.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Yeah, let's get going.
  Ciri: Thank you -- for coming with me.
  Geralt: C'mere.
  Ciri: Heh, let's go.

 Not quite yet.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Gimme a minute. I'm old, need more rest.
  Ciri: Hm. You are and you do. Let's stay a bit longer.

[They walk down the mountain. The men they met at the feast before are there.]

Stregomir: The oak is dead!
Ciri: The oak, the Crones. I fear that was your last feast.
Man: What of our acorns?

 Got one. Yours if you want.²
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: I've got one. Take it.
  Guard: But one? What'll we do now?

 I don't know.²
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Your acorns? No idea. Path to the summit's clear -- you can always
          go looking for them.
  Ciri: Or just go home.

 You'll need to live without them.²
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Don't know, don't care.
  Ciri: You must learn to live without them.

 Learn to live without them.²
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: There won't be any more acorns. Need to get by without them.
  Guard: What now?

Geralt: This is no longer no man's land, it's no longer the Ladies' land. It's
        all yours.
Stregomir: But...what're we to do?
Ciri: Come, Geralt. It's time.
Geralt: Manage...on your own.

_______________________________________________________________________________
¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
FINAL PREPARATIONS                                                       [WK14]
_______________________________________________________________________________
¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
[A week later, Geralt and Ciri arrive in Novigrad. They see corpses impaled and
 burned by the roadside -- either mages or nonhumans, depending on how Triss'
 subplot went earlier.]

• Ciri: They're...nonhumans. Thought it was mages the hunters and the Temple
        Guard were after.
  Geralt: Mages left...hunters needed a new quarry.

• Ciri: It's changed a bit since I last left.
  Geralt: Radovid's growing bolder.
  Ciri: They say whoever takes Novigrad will take the north.
  Geralt: A free city, full of riches -- tempting prize.

[Geralt narrates the end of the Novigrad mage story arc now if they escaped:]

 • Hatred and prejudice will never be eradicated. And witch hunts will never
   be about witches. To have a scapegoat -- that's the key. Humans always fear
   the alien, the odd. Once the mages had left Novigrad, folk turned their
   anger against the other races...and, as they had for ages, branded their
   neighbors their greatest foes.

[Later, Geralt and Ciri visit Dandelion's inn.]

Zoltan: Dandeeelion! Ready some tankards! We've guests.
Dandelion: Geralt! Ciri! When I learned Geralt had found you--
Ciri: Glad to see you in one piece, too, Dandelion.
Zoltan: Where've you two been?

 Imlerith -- we hunted him down.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Just finished hunting down the Crones of Velen and a general of the
          Wild Hunt.
  Zoltan: Well, you've had a busy morn, then, haven't you...

 Here and there...
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Went to Kaer Morhen first, then Velen...
  Dandelion: Leave 'em alone, Zoltan. Can't you see they're beat?

Dandelion: In fact, you look terrible! Like you could really use some rest!
Ciri: Gladly take some. Point me to a room.
Zoltan: Course. Come on, little swallow, I'll take ye.
Ciri: Let's meet later, Geralt. I've a little matter to resolve. I'll freshen
      up, then await you in the square in Gildorf.
Geralt: Right.

[Zoltan and Ciri leave upstairs.]

 The sorceresses -- where are they?
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Anyone here besides us?

 Anything interesting happen?
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Anything happen while we were away?
  Dandelion: Uh, Pretty Polly came down with a fever, Matt Oyster caught a
             knife between the ribs, and they're late delivering the Sodden
             triple mead...
  Geralt: Dandelion...

Geralt: Lodge of Sorceresses -- Triss and Yen were supposed to gather the
        remnants.
Dandelion: They're working on it. Triss is upstairs, waiting for you.
           Yennefer's gone to Crippled Kate's.
Geralt: Yen? At that portside dive? Why?
Dandelion: Didn't inform me. Imagine that. Ah, and that elf of yours moved into
           the Ruby Suite. Told me to tell you he's waiting, too.

 Gave him your best room?
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Gave him your best room?
  Dandelion: He didn't exactly ask. I'd prepared another room for him, but he
             blew past me and locked himself in the Ruby. Hasn't peeked out
             since. Barely eats, drinks only water, and the only thing I've
             heard from him is, "I wish to know when Gwynbleidd and Zireael
             arrive."

 Thanks, see you.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  ---

Geralt: Thanks. Looks like I'll have my hands full...

[Geralt meets with Triss on 2F.]

Geralt: Greetings, Triss.
Triss: Have you lost your mind?! You went after Imlerith by yourselves?! To
       the sabbath?! How could you put Ciri in danger?!

 Calm down. It went well.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Come on, we came out of it fine. Can't say the same for Imlerith.
  Triss: That's the sole comfort I find in this. But it's no justification.
         You know what might've happened?

  • Geralt: But it didn't. I was there.
  • Geralt: Yeah. But I'd never let Ciri come to any harm. You know that.

 Sorry, shouldn't have.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Shouldn't have... I'm sorry.
  Triss: It ended well, luckily. But it didn't have to.
  Geralt: I know. But Imlerith's gone. That's what matters.

  • Besides, I was there the whole time.
  • Besides, I'd never let anything happen to Ciri. You know that.

 We had to do it.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Ciri had to do it. I couldn't let her go alone. You'd have done the
          same in my boots.

  • Besides, I was there the whole time.
  • Besides, I'd never let anything happen to Ciri. You know that.

[If Geralt romanced Triss, he'll give her a kiss instead of the next line:]

• Geralt: Had the situation under control. Mind if we change the subject?

 Any success summoning members of the Lodge?
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Any success with the Lodge? Anyone out there willing to help?
  Triss: It doesn't look good... Ida outright refused, while Francesca won't
         budge from her little realm with a war raging. We don't know about
         Fringilla. Haven't been able to contact her.

 Passed a unit of witch hunters on the way in.²
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Town's decked in Radovid's colors. And we passed a sizable force of
          witch hunters on the way in.
  Triss: Novigrad's a lost cause. Unless by some miracle the emperor takes the
         city.
  Geralt: Hm, never thought of mages as fond of Emhyr.
  Triss: Better predictable Emhyr and his semblance of freedom than crazy
         Radovid, brimming with hatred for anything even remotely related to
         magic.

 Passed some pyres on the way in. Nonhumans.²
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Passed burning pyres on the way into town. Nonhumans on them.
  Triss: Things grow worse by the day. No mages left in the city, so the
         hunters had to find someone else to victimize. We need to resolve
         everything as quickly as possible and leave Novigrad.

• Geralt: And the others? Keira? Margarita? Philippa?
• Geralt: You can count Keira out...
  Triss: I sincerely hope we can contact Philippa and Rita in time.
• Geralt: Yen and I rescued Margarita.
  Triss: I know. Dandelion set her up in a room upstairs. She's resting,
         slowly recovering.

[If Geralt didn't kill Keira, there'll be another line:]

 • Triss: Keira? I thought you of all people'd know... I sincerely hope we can
          contact Rita and Philippa in time.
 • Triss: Keira was seen in Velen at one point. No word of her since. She could
          be dead...
 • Triss: Keira...thought too much of her charm. Tried to buy her way into
         Radovid's graces, offered to make a powerful weapon for him... I tried
         to talk her out of it, but she refused to listen... Radovid laughed in
         her face, ordered her captured, then...impaled. Nothing I could do...

===============================================================================
[Geralt will narrate the end of Keira Metz's subplot here. If she was sent to
 Radovid:]

Geralt: Keira Metz was manipulative, a schemer -- and loved every minute of it.
        She was also stubborn, even for a sorceress. But she had quite the
        gift -- boy, could she be convincing. Deep down, though, Keira was a
        little girl. She expected far too much from life and demanded instant
        satisfaction. Little girls end badly when they fall in with the wrong
        crowd.

[If Keira was sent to Kaer Morhen, she'll live instead, having gone on a nice
 journey with Lambert.]

Geralt: Few can refuse a sorceress. And Keira Metz certainly had her ways...
        But when she demanded the mage Alexander's notes, I had to turn her
        down. Keira needed that, as she needed the impetus to start anew. She
        found it where she least expected to. Years later, known for
        discovering the cure for the Catriona plague, she was thankful none
        remembered her time in hiding as a village witch.

===============================================================================

[If Keira was executed:]

 Didn't deserve that.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Just his style... Coulda had her hanged, decapitated -- even a
          burning pyre would've been a quicker death. He wanted to watch her
          suffer...

 Had it coming.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Keira played with fire. Had to know she might get burned.
  Triss: Singed hands, maybe...but impaled?

 Don't blame yourself.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Don't blame yourself. Keira wasn't one to listen to reason.

Triss: Before we leave, we have to bury her. I won't let crows pick her rotting
       flesh off a stake. I can do that much, at least...
Geralt: Guards'll hand over the body given the proper incentive.
Triss: I really hope we contact Rita and Philippa -- before they meet a similar
       fate.

[If Keira survived:]

Geralt: I've seen worse matches... Hope things work out for them.
Triss: I hope things work out for us, and we find Philippa and Rita.

[Either way:]

 Where are Philippa and Margarita?
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  ---

 Don't worry, we will.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: We will. We have to.
  Triss: I'll rest easier when they're both here, with us.

Geralt: Know where they are?
Triss: Yennefer's looking into Rita's whereabouts. I have to figure out where
       Philippa is.

 Learned anything about Philippa?
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: So, learn anything?
  Triss: A few things that could be interesting. Prefer the long version or
         the short?

  Short, to the point.
  ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
   Geralt: Guess.
   Triss: In short, she was here, at this inn, under our noses the whole time.
          Transformed, seated on her perch, with a dimeritium band on her leg.
   Geralt: Zoltan's owl?
   Triss: Mhm.
   Geralt: So why isn't she here anymore?
   Triss: Because Zoltan lost her in a card game a few days ago.

  Long. Wanna know the details.
  ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
   Geralt: Tell me everything. I want the details.
   Triss: After fleeing Loc Muinne Philippa ended up here in Novigrad. She
          sought help from a former lover -- the sorcerer Arthur de Vleester.

   • Geralt: De Vleester? Rings a bell...
   • Geralt: Philippa and a former lover? Something tells me "happily ever
             after" is not how that story ends.

   Triss: Philippa'd made a fool of him once. Arthur was out for revenge. He
          convinced her she'd be safest as an owl. She transformed, and he
          placed a dimeritium band on her leg. The mage hunts started shortly
          afterwards. Sadly, Arthur fell victim. They auctioned off his estate.
          Just so happens a certain dwarven acquaintance of ours stumbled on
          the auction...
   Geralt: Zoltan. Huh. So Philippa was here, under our noses, the whole time?
   Triss: "Was" -- precisely. Zoltan lost her in a card game a few days ago.

 Yen figure anything out about Rita?
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Know what Yen's found out?
  Triss: You'll need to ask her, I've been busy trying to find Philippa.

[After learning about Zoltan's card game:]

 No way.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Kidding, right?
  Triss: Sadly, no.

 Figures.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Yup. That's Zoltan for you...

Triss: A man showed up here, fleeced Zoltan bare, then proposed they play for
       the owl. Naturally, he won. The politely thanked Zoltan for the game and
       left.
Geralt: Who was it? Know where he lives?
Triss: He's not from here. No one knows him.
Geralt: Great. We got any leads?
Triss: We have this.

[She produces a bird feather.]

Geralt: That Philippa the owl's feather? Thinking divination?
Triss: Specifically, hydromancy and a form of sortilege. We need a fountain
       where we won't be disturbed.

 Let's go now.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: One outside the Passiflora could work...
  Triss: Good idea. Let's go.

 Meet you somewhere later.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Need to take care of something first. Meet you somewhere later?
  Triss: Fine. The fountain outside the Passiflora. And...hurry, please.

 Let's get Keira first.²
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Don't you think we oughta get Keira first?
  Triss: Hmm... Right... Meet you on the main square at midnight.

[The search for Philippa occurs in "Blindingly Obvious" below. Unrelated to
 that, if Geralt speaks with Ciri at the square near the la Valette manor, or
 finishes "Through Time and Space," her "Payback" mission preamble begins.]

 • Geralt: Couldn't help it. Grew curious about this "little matter" you have
           to resolve.

 • Geralt: Looking for something in particular?
   Ciri: Hmm. A pretty little trinket...
   Geralt: Wanna give someone a present?
   • Ciri: One of the people I told you about... A gesture of gratitude.

Ciri: When I was last in Novigrad I had my share of troubles...
Geralt: So I heard.
Ciri: A few people helped me then, others...not so much. Now I mean to repay
      them both. Coming with?

 Sure, let's go.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Lead the way.

   •Ciri: We'll start with the Bits.
    Geralt: Who're we gonna visit?
    Ciri: You'll see...

  • Ciri: We need to go to Temple Isle.
    Geralt: Don't remember you being religious...
    Ciri: Nor am I now. Let's go.

 Gotta do something first.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Love to accompany you, but I gotta do something first.
  • Ciri: No problem. I'll wait here.
  • Ciri: In that case, I'll await you there -- the market in Gildorf.

[Yennefer, Avallac'h and Ciri's quests each have their own section. Same goes
 for Triss' Keira-related one. Read those sections first for continuity. After
 they're done, the quest concludes by speaking to Ciri on 3F of Dandelion's
 inn.]

[After completing Avallac'h, Yennefer, Triss and Ciri's quests, the rescued
 sorceresses -- Philippa and Margarita -- have had enough time to recover. The
 witcher goes upstairs to visit, finding Ciri waiting in the stairwell.]

Ciri: Geralt!
Geralt: What is it?
Ciri: Nothing yet, but something's afoot. Philippa and Margarita with to speak
      with me.

 What about?
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: They say about what?
  Ciri: No, but I have my suspicions.

 They don't bite.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Then talk to them. Not like they're out to bite you.
  Ciri: If they do, I'll bite back.
  Geralt: So what's the problem?

 Not good.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Don't waste any time, do they.¹ I don't like this.
  Ciri: Neither do I.

Ciri: I bet they have plans for me. And they're deigning to inform me of them.

 Going with you.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Not a conversation you're likely to avoid. I'll go with you if you
          want.
  Ciri: Hmm... They'll weigh their words more carefully with you there.
  Geralt: Wouldn't be so sure... But two heads're better than one. Let's get
          this over with.

 You'll do fine on your own.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Got nothing to be afraid of. Just go, listen to what they have to
          say.
  Ciri: And if they try to force me into something?
  Geralt: Can't believe you'd ever let them. Margarita's only ever cared about
          your education. Doubt she'll try to drag you into politics.
          Philippa's tougher. Plays a mean game, but ultimately respects those
          who hold their own views. If she makes you an offer, and you firmly
          turn it down, she'll respect that.
  Ciri: Thanks, Geralt.
  Geralt: Well, go. Don't give 'em any more time to strategize.

===============================================================================
[If Geralt goes with Ciri to her meeting:]

Ciri: You wished to speak.
Philippa: To you. Not to Geralt.
Ciri: Geralt stays or we both leave.
Rita: Let him stay, Phil. He'd learn all of it anyways, eventually.
Philippa: Ekhem. Fine then. So long as he does not interrupt.

 I'm all ears.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Think of me as part of the decor.

 Not up to you.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: I won't. Until Ciri decides otherwise.

Philippa: The Lodge once had great plans for you, important plans. Surely you
          remember. You were to complete your studies and become one of us.
          Unfortunately, that did not come to pass. We intend to revive the
          Lodge. And we renew our...offer -- you must join us.

          • We are saddened our dear
            • Síle will not join in this endeavor,
            • sisters, Keira and Síle, will not join us in this endeavor,
           but the circumstances preclude any prolonged mourning. What is your
           decision? Will you join us?

Ciri: As before? I'm to marry some princeling and become your puppet?
Rita: You were a child then, and we...misjudged the situation. This time we
      offer you a partnership.

 With the Lodge, someone's always in charge.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: No equality in the Lodge. That's garbage. Some have always taken the
          reins, while others politely nodded.
  Rita: A wise and capable sorceress finds the role, the position that best
        suits her.
  Philippa: And yours should be supreme, you deserve to lead.

 The Lodge is wanted by the law, you'll be on the run again.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: The Lodge of Sorceresses has been outlawed throughout the Continent.
          Joining them means facing persecution, always being on the run.
  Philippa: Kings die, realms fall, but magic endures.

Philippa: Realize, please, that you were made for great things. Work with us
          and you shall achieve them... Just as soon as we teach you to control
          your power, channel--
Ciri: I have Avallac'h for that...
Philippa: You allow this? Do you truly believe his intentions are pure?

 No, but better him than you.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: I don't, but I'd rather deal with one Sage than the entire Lodge.

 Yes. Avallac'h can be trusted.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Purer than yours, that's certain.

 I don't trust anyone. It's Ciri's decision.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: I don't trust him, I don't trust you, but that doesn't matter. Ciri
          decides.

Rita: Sages invariably have hidden agendas. Altruism is simply not part of
      their constitution. You're a tool in his hands, even if you don't see
      it.
Philippa: We will assure you knowledge and protection, but you shall be your
          own rudder, captain and ship. And unlike Avallac'h, we can promise
          you this.
Rita: We don't expect you to commit now. Think it over, what you've heard, what
      you feel. We will speak when you're ready.

 • Ciri: If that is all, then...
 • Geralt: ...We need to go to Skellige, find the Sunstone. Avallac'h awaits
           down at the port.

[They leave to find Yennefer waiting outside.]

Yennefer: So?
Ciri: I don't know... Don't really want to talk about it... I'm going for a
      walk.

 • Geralt: I could use a little rest myself...
   Yennefer: Good idea. Get some sleep.

===============================================================================
[If Geralt sends Ciri in alone, Yen will find him.]

Yennefer: Not going with her?
Geralt: Can't hold her hand if they're gonna take her seriously.
Yennefer: True. Good decision.

 Don't worry, she'll be fine.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Relax, she'll be fine.
  Yennefer: Rita won't hurt her, but Philippa... She can be ruthless.

 Pacing's making me nervous.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Calm down. You'll wear a hole in the floor.
  Yennefer: I'll calm down once she comes out.

Geralt: Ciri's been in tougher situations and come out of them all right.
Yennefer: True, we managed to instill some principles, skills that have
          helped...
Geralt: Exactly, so there's nothing to be afraid of.
Yennefer: Of course. I'll just have a peek.

 Stop spying.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Don't spy on her. You really have that little faith?
  Yennefer: I don't trust Philippa and Rita.
  Geralt: So why'd you even allow this meeting to happen?
  Yennefer: For the same reason you did: if they're to respect her, she can't
            be seen to be hanging on to my apron strings.

 Expected as much.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Knew you couldn't resist...
  Yennefer: Pots and kettles, Geralt. You were dying to do the same, I saw you.
  Geralt: You're the one with your face to the door.
  Yennefer: Mmm, which is why I can see what's happening.

 Finally. Thought you didn't have the gall.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Finally. Thought you wouldn't do it, didn't have the gall.

[Then:]

 What do you see?
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  ---

 Lemme see.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Lemme have a look.
  Yennefer: In your dreams.

Geralt: What do you see?
Yennefer: Philippa pontificating. Ciri pacing wall to wall. She's stopped.
          She's saying something. Philippa's turned pale!

[Then:]

 What now?
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: What now?

 Bravo, Ciri!
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: That's my Ciri. Probably gave her an earful.

Yennefer: Quiet! Hear she comes.

[She barely pulls herself away from the keyhole before Ciri exits.]

Yennefer: So?
Ciri: You were eavesdropping.
Geralt: Yes.
Yennefer: No.
Ciri: You haven't changed a bit.

 What happened. Tell us.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Tell us what you talked about?
  Ciri: I'd rather not. Not yet, at least.
  Yennefer: Of course, when you're ready.
  Geralt: Take a walk, get some air... We need to sail to Skellige. Avallac'h's
          waiting at the port.
  Ciri: Of course. I'll be there soon.
  Geralt: Just wanted to...
  Yennefer: Go meet Avallac'h. He wished to see you, apparently.

 If you wanna be alone...
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: If you wanna be alone for a while, to digest, process...
  Ciri: Yes. I shall go for a walk. I must unwind.
  Geralt: Remember, we need to go to Skellige. Avallac'h awaits at the port.
  Ciri: I remember. I'll be there soon.
  Geralt: I hope she's...
  Yennefer: She'll be fine. She's tougher than we think. You ought to visit
            Avallac'h. He wished to see you, apparently.
                                             ________________________________
____________________________________________/ MAIN QUEST: FINAL PREPARATIONS |_
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15) BLINDINGLY OBVIOUS                                                   [WK15]
_______________________________________________________________________________
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[Triss and Geralt visit the Passiflora's isolated fountain for their search.]

 • Triss: We're here.
   Geralt: Nice and quiet. Shouldn't be any disturbances.

 • Triss: Sure you weren't followed?
   Geralt: Yeah.

Triss: Let's begin. Observe the water's surface carefully. We can't let
       anything go unnoticed.

[Images will show as Triss uses her divination spell.]

Triss: Graeme et dwyr! Rhobeir'me gelle a failte!

       • Geralt: What's that?
         Triss: Uhh...nothing. A preliminary image.
         Geralt? What?
         Stop interrupting! I have to focus.

       Graeme et dwyr! Deagnis cair-ile ess pyr'shena a et cleytte!

Geralt: Looks familiar... A bathhouse. I know the place. Dijkstra! He has her.
        At his bathhouse. Might've guessed as much.

===============================================================================
[If Geralt is romancing Triss, he'll ask her about the mysterious first image
 of a house.]

Triss: That was the recent past. Anything might happen to her in Dijkstra's
       hands. Let's go.
Geralt: Not so fast. The first image... What was that?
Triss: Nothing, really.
Geralt: Don't brush me off. I know how hydromancy works. Image appeared because
        you're thinking about it.
Triss: It was... Kind Tancred asked me to be his court advisor, in Kovir.

 What did you say?
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: You mentioned Kovir in the lighthouse. I understand why, now... Did
          you accept?
  Triss: Only a fool would refuse. Tancred's been supportive of the mages from
         the start. The evacuation was only possible with his help! Now he
         wants to revive the Council and the Conclave. And I'm to head both.

  King of Kovir -- what's his motive?
  ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
   Geralt: Tancred's picked a strange battle... All the North's hunting down
           mages, and he's out to revive the Council?
   Triss: These are troubed times, and Tancred could be alone in remembering
          that mages are a powerful force. And that we know how to show
          gratitude.

  Any idea what you're getting yourself into?
  ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
   Geralt: It's a great opportunity... Congratulations...
   Triss: You don't exactly sound thrilled...
   Geralt: Bit worried, that's all. You really ready to dive into politics
           again?
   Triss: I wasn't sure at first... Ultimately, though, it's something I've
          always dreamed of. The dreams'¹ within reach now. I'm not about to
          let it go.

  Congratulations, you'll be great.
  ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
   Geralt: You deserve it. Best decision Tancred ever made.
   Triss: Thank you. I hope I can rise to the task.
   Geralt: You will. With you leading it, the Council might actually do some
           good, start helping people.

 You turned him down, of course.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: You mentioned Kovir in the lighthouse. I understand why, now... Huh.
          Hope you turned him down.
  Triss: I didn't... I said yes.
  Geralt: Triss... These last few months, they've really taught you nothing?
  Triss: Tancred's been supportive of the mages from the start. The evacuation
         was only possible with his help! Now he wants to revive the Council
         and the Conclave. And I'm to head both.
  [Same extra options as "What did you say?"]

 Hope you agreed.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: You mentioned Kovir in the lighthouse. I understand why, now...
           Generous offer. Hope you took it.
  Triss: Only a fool would refuse. Tancred's been supportive of the mages from
         the start. The evacuation was only possible with his help! Now he
         wants to revive the Council and the Conclave. And I'm to head both.
  [Same extra options as "What did you say?"]

 The house -- what was that? / What was that house?²
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  • Geralt: You mentioned Kovir in the lighthouse. I understand why, now...
  Geralt: The vision was of a house, not a royal court...
  Triss: It's the house that awaits us in Pont Vanis.

Triss: When we're done here, when all this is over, once we've defeated the
       Hunt and Ciri's safe, I'd like us to live there. Together.

  Of course.
  ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
   Geralt: Guess you've got everything planned out...
   Triss: You don't like it?
   Geralt: I like it. A lot.

  Have to think about it.
  ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
   Geralt: I'm...surprised... Don't really know what to say...
   Triss: You don't need to decide right away. But I'm glad you know. I was
          afraid how you'd react. It's a big deal, resettling, to a permanent
          home. If you don't want this, I'll turn it down. What I really want
          is to be with you, to...to be together and...
   Geralt: Triss?
   Triss: Yes?
   Geralt: We'll be together. And you don't need to turn anything down.

  A witcher's life for me.
  ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
   Geralt: I dunno, Triss... The life of a witcher, it's no fairytale. But I
           like being on the Path, sleeping under the stars, waking up with dew
           on my face...
   Triss: I'm not asking you to sacrifice anything. You're not cut out to be a
          courtier, I know that... You can set out on the Path whenever you
          want, for however long you want... It's just...you'll have somewhere
          to come home to.
   Geralt: Always used to be Kaer Morhen... House in your vision looks a lot
           cozier...

[They make out for a bit]

Triss: Ha... I'll tell you the details later. Right now we need to get
       Philippa.
Geralt: Right.
Triss: Come on.
===============================================================================

[If Geralt isn't romancing Triss, the conversation is far more basic:]

 Bathhouse. Let's go.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Let's go to the bathhouse, might not be too late.
  Triss: Come on.

 Was that the past or the future?
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Was that the past or the future?
  Triss: The recent past. We have to hurry.

[Either way, the pair sprints toward Sigi Reuven's bathhouse.]

Triss: I hope we get there in time. I hope Dijkstra hasn't already hurt her.
Geralt: The possibilities are many. Could be Dijkstra that got hurt.
Triss: Not likely. Dijkstra never forgave her for sending assassins after him.
       And Philippa's weakened, no doubt about it.
Geralt: Weakened, maybe, but still a powerful sorceress. If Dijkstra's men take
        the dimeritium off, Philippa'll kill them before they can say "Oh
        shit."

[They approach Dijkstra's domain, feeling tremors from the battle within.]

Geralt: Guess they underestimated Philippa...
Triss: You were right. She must've changed back into human form. Quick! I sense
       strong magic. We have to get inside.

[They enter, finding Dijkstra hiding in the entryway. Philippa's fireballs
 blow up part of the decorative latticework.]

Reuven: Surrender! This place is a maze, witch! You'll never get out! Goddamn
        fools! After her!

[He barely manages to avoid catching a fireball with his face.]

Geralt: We'll handle this.
Reuven: Oh, no! No, no! The sorceress stays here.

 Fine.
 ¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: Stay here, Triss. In case she tries to flee this way.
  Triss: Be careful. She might be blind, but she's still dangerous. And don't
         hurt her.

 Triss goes with me.
 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Geralt: We're going together.
  Reuven: Not a chance.
  Triss: It's fine, Geralt. I'll stay. In case she tries to flee this way.
  Geralt: Fine. Be right back.

[In the baths proper, the h