Return to Windbluff Tower, which, having twice been ignored, you might as well explore now. Head through the guarded gateway to Windbluff Tower, one of the few active garrisons held by the duchy. Although the western facade is intact enough, over to the east large parts of the fortifications lie in ruins-the entire south-eastern corner of the keep has fallen into the sea. The soldiers wisely decide to camp in tents, rather than bothering with any of the crumbling structures. To the south lies a ruined structure with a locked door you cannot open. Ignore the glowing, taunting chests beyond, there’s nothing you can do about them, now.
North of the collapsed wall-due east of the gate you entered through- stand some stairs leading to the walls around the keep. Head upstairs and turn north-east, going through a partially-collapsed doorway to the north-west to enter the keep. Continue north-west through another doorway and head downstairs, where you’ll find two square chests, which can contain loot. Head back upstairs and when you’re at the landing inside the keep again, go up another flight of stairs. When you reach the next landing go through a doorway to the north-east and turn north-west to spot another square chest.
|Square Chest||Square Chest|
|Iron Helm||Chain Mail|
Backtrack to the walls outside the keep and continue around the battlements-ignore a tower in the north-eastern corner of Windbluff Tower and head north-west, entering a tunnel. At the far end of the tunnel, the wall runs west. Ignore another tower and turn south, where you should climb up a ladder to reach the gate. Continue south back onto the walls and follow them south-east, then climb atop another tower, only to drop back down onto an east-running wall below. At the end of this wall you’ll find another square chest.
The Eastern Cliffs
Now leave Windbluff tower, where your further explorations northward can begin anchored by the familiar Deos Hills and Windbluff Tower to the south. There’s quite a bit of new ground to cover, and almost every inch of it is occupied by Direwolves and Snow Harpies. Just remember that there’s a Healing Spring to the south which can cure any wounds you accumulate whilst exploring. Also be aware that enemies will likely be far more numerous at night, making it one of the few areas that’s genuinely more dangerous once the sun sets. The first area you’ll explore is a large area north of Windbluff Tower, east of the road, and bounded in the east by sheer cliffs overlooking the sea.
At the southern end of these grassy, cliffside hills is a shelter with a tarp over it. Head uphill to the north-east, where many life-giving apple trees grow. A square chest lies near some crates and a cart just off the road. If you’re unlucky, a Griffin might descend down on you here, but this is relatively uncommon, so the full details on fighting a Griffin will be postponed until a more guaranteed encounter occurs. Besides, this lion-bird is flighty, and is unlikely to stick around, if it even appears at all. You also might encounter a Cyclops lurking around up here, and at night, Undead Warriors. Still, you’re much more likely to encounter a pack of Direwolves prowling these hills. The current extent of your explorations will be marked by a large boulder to the north, which almost completely fills the area between the road and the cliffs.
The Western Hills
From the arbitrary boundary rock, turn north and head across the road, uphill to familiar Hillfigure Knoll. Again, be wary of the common foes - Direwolves and Snow Harpies - as well as Undead Warriors, who will pop up around the hillfigure at night. Return to the spear of the hillfigure, and from there head north to find a small campsite. Loot a square chest for some junk, and continue north until you hit the cliffs.
Follow the cliff-face west, dealing with whatever Snow Harpies are roosting there. On a boulder next to the cliff you’ll score a Coin Pouch (1000 G). Your way west will be impeded by a cliff looking over a depression, in which a nest of Snow Harpies waits. Follow the southern end of the ledge and make your way down to the Snow Harpy lair, where a square chest can be found south of the large boulder upon which they rest. An ore vein lies along the cliff face north of this boulder.
From the Snow Harpy nest, head south to find a short and, honestly, rather useless road. Again one must wonder how Gransys looked in ages long past to find such a relic of civilization so far removed from the present pockets of civilization. If you continue due south you’ll find the rock formations that mark the entrance to the Dragonforged’s Sanctum-which you probably didn’t get to search much the first time around, what with the cutscene and all… not that you missed much. A square chest lies along the side of the western-most 'horn' outside the entrance to the Sanctum. Beyond that… well, there are some apple trees, in case you need a snack.
Return to the northern cliffs and continue following them westward to reach a short ridge overlooking the rock formations around the Dragonforged’s Sanctum, to the south. On this ridge you’ll find a few lootable sarcophagi and more apple trees. Continue west along the cliffs and you’ll eventually reach the elbow of the road, which you can follow either south or west. Stick to the high ground and continue along the cliffs to the west. South of the road are rocks upon which a flock of Snow Harpies lurk, and beyond them a ledge overlooking a cage. Continue west and loot more sarcophagi, pick up more fruit, and kill ever more Snow Harpies… and if it’s night, kill some Undead Warriors, too.
Follow the cliffs-and hence, the road-south, then south-west, and finally down a steep hill to the south. The road will loop to the east, where a campsite sits. During the day you’ll encounter Hobgoblins here, and during the night, Undead Warriors. Smite whatever dares to oppose you and loot two square chests full or garbage.
Now to paint in broad strokes, because you’ve seen most everything of interest in the southern part of Northface Forest… Back too the north-east lies the hillfigure, albeit, over monster-infested hill, which fractured roads do nothing to help you navigate. In the other direction, a road runs south-west from the camp you just explored, running along the cliffs. If you follow it until it ends, you’ll end up quite close to the Healing Spring. Due south from the camp you’ll only find miserable hills crawling with Direwolves, eventually leading back to Windbluff Tower. The hills south of the camp can-at night-also be occupied by a Chimera, which can range far and wide.
So, instead of all that boring, tedious, unrewarding, monster hunting, just follow the road north-east from Windbluff Tower. When you reach the large boulder near the north-east to east bend of the road (the one that formed the northern exploration boundary earlier), stop and look around. To the east you’ll see another cage, while to the north-east lies a grassy ledge overlooking the road. Once again, veer off the road and head uphill. Instead of going north-west to the hillfigure, however, head to the north-east to reach the ridge overlooking the road. Follow it north until you find a way to scale the ridge to the east. Up here you’ll find a stupidly named campsite-which is anything but abandoned. Instead it houses some of the strongest Bandits you’ll encounter in the game-only rivaled by the ones in Pastona Cavern, further east. Engage them very carefully, as they can easily dispatch even mid-level characters. Once they’re dead, loot the camp, around which you’ll find four chests-two square, one round, and one ornate, the latter two of which can contain loot.
|Rounded Chest||Ornate Chest|
|Bandit's Mask||Frozen Tomorrow|
|Ring of Purpure||Gossip's Mask|
Wilderness Outside the Dukes Manse
Abandon the camp so that it can justly earn it’s name and return to the road in the south. Follow it east past the landmark boulder and past the ridge you cleared earlier. During the day you’ll encounter more Bandits near the wooden cage-mostly archers hiding in nearby bushes of middling potency. At night-all the Direwolves in Gransys seem to congregate here. A square chest can be looted near the cage, and another can be found on a lower ledge south of the cage.
Continue following the road, which will stop running east and turn north-east. Behind a large boulder south of the road hides another square chest full of junk. Once done looting, return to the road and follow it until it forks. The path to the east leads to Windworn Valley, which is little more than the entrance to the Pastona Cavern. The northern-most path, however, continue uphill into the northern-most part of the Northface Forest, which also mark the northern-most reaches of Gransys.
Follow the road north until you see some large boulders to the east, along the eastern side of the largest of which lies another junk-filled square chest. The road will break briefly, but continue thereafter, eventually turning east and leading to a magnificent keep that, unlike everything else in Gransys is completely intact. This is nothing less than the duke’s northern mansion-The Blighted Manse.
There’s nothing you can do here now, and the road is no longer any help to us… but that’s just as well. Continue to the north-east, where your path is naturally constrained by cliffs rising in the west, and falling in the east. After passing between two boulders to the north-east another trail will appear to guide us. Direwolves and apple trees make familiar sights as you head uphill, and sarcophagi eventually appear west of the trail-one of which contains a bit of loot. The trail eventually terminates at another Healing Spring, with all the goodness that brings. Like the last one, this Healing Spring is crawling with Deer, should you care to hunt them. North of the larger pond making up the Healing Spring are some boulders. East of the largest of them sits a rounded chest, which contains more goodies.
|Flutter Padding||Brigandine Jerkin|
The Healing Spring marks the northern-most reaches of the Northface Forest, and hence, the end of your travels, right? Well, surely you’ve noticed the land below us, to the east; you’ll explore down the eastern pass to wrap this area up. For now, however, head north through the Healing Spring and, when you reach the cliffs to the north, follow them to the east until the ledge you’re on terminates near an apple tree. From here turn south and slide down to a lower ledge. Be cautious as you explore this area, as a Chimera skulks around to the south. Other than that, apple trees wait to be harvested, and a few square chests sit near the southern cliffs, and along the western cliffs you’ll find the 'Blighted Manse Rear Entrance', which you cannot enter yet. A series of trails that run through this ledge hint at the locations of the aforementioned points of interest.
When you’re done killing, looting, and shaking your fist at areas you can’t yet explore, follow the road north. Along the way, leap on a sloped rock formation east of the road to find some Warrior Remains on top of it. Continue following the road-it’ll head down a slope, then turn abruptly to to the south-east. As you follow the road you’ll encounter your old friends, Direwolves, but for a change they’re the least annoying hazard confronting us. At the point where the road turns from running north to south-east search north of the elbow of the road to find a rounded chest.
Now follow the road to the south-east. For the first time you’ll encounter strong winds, which will impede your progress south to various degrees, depending on your character’s weight. Force your way south through the pass (running will gain you ground more efficiently than walking), pass under the bridge leading to the Blighted Manse. Shortly south of the bridge you’ll find a Traveler’s Camp, which, like the one you found in Devilfire Grove houses a Riftstone, a Knowledge Chair, and a Gran Soren guard (Ser Octavio) who will stash items for us, allow you to learn/set skills, and let you rest for 100 gold.
After resting and stashing loot, as needed, continue along the trail to the south-east to reach a wind-swept area dominated by a hill, capped by a cage and swarming with Snow Harpies. On top of the hill you can score a square chest and warrior remains. The hill itself is surrounded by passes-north of the hill is a pass running south-east, impeded by heavy winds. If you continue south-east down that pass, you will eventually reach Windworn Valley, en-route to the Pastona Cavern… but that’s exploration for another day. Make your way back to Gran Soren and prepare for your next - and last - Wyrmhunt quest.