|Important Items in this Area|
Earlier in the guide we took a diversion to start this quest during “The Beast of Toussaint, but if you haven’t started this quest yet, you can do so now:
Open your map and look northwest of the Tourney Grounds to spot a lake/island recursion - an island within a lake, with a body of water on the island, in this case. Or, to be crude, a donut-shaped island. Put a quest marker ([Square]/[X]) on the body of water on the island in the lake and make a beeline there. You shouldn’t come across any monsters, map markers or special events along the way.
Once you reach the island, walk out onto the pond in the middle of it. Yes, you read that right - walk ON the water. After a bit of religious humor, head over to the hermit who is sitting on a small fleck of land in the middle of this pond (an island in a pond in an island in a lake on a continent surrounded by the sea? That’s a lot of recursions…) and talk to him to learn about the lake and the prize it holds. All you need to do is prove that you possess the five chivalric virtues of Generosity, Valor, Compassion, Honor and Wisdom. To learn a bit more about them, you can consult some stones north of the lake. The point of this endeavor? Simple - now that you have this quest, you’ll be able to keep track of your actions more easily and ensure you prove your virtue. Opportunities to do this will arise - and will be pointed out - as you complete quests in Toussaint.
The Five Knightly Virtues
If you’ve been following this guide, you’ve had the opportunity to prove you possess each of the five knightly virtues over the course of the quests and exploration covered thus far. As a refresher, these were:
Compassion: During the quest The Beast of Toussaint, spare the Shaelmaar.
Generosity: After completing the quest “Blood Run“, when you run into the messenger-boy bearing you the letter that starts the quest Turn and Face the Strange, be sure to pay the kid for his trouble.
Honor: During the quest Warble of a Smitten Knight. Enter the tourney as Geralt of Rivia and after the horse race you’ll be confronted by Prince Anseis. Agree to fight him and win the mounted duel to prove you have this virtue.
Valor: During Warble of a Smitten Knight, after discovering Vivienne’s secret and reporting back to Guillaume you’ll get the opportunity to continue the tourney or quit. Continue on with the tournament and win.
Wisdom: Near the end of the quest The Beast of Toussaint, after gathering the clues with the duchess correctly guess the answer to the riddle by responding with “It’s a greenhouse!”.
Of course, if you didn’t prove you have all the virtues already, never fear! There are more opportunities, but you’ll obviously need to postpone completing this quest for now in order to complete other quests where these opportunities arise. A more comprehensive list of all the opportunities for proving you possess the five knightly virtues can be found below:
|During the quest The Beast of Toussaint you'll have to fight a rampaging Shaelmar. Defeat it, then choose to spare it to prove you possess the virtue of COMPASSION.|
|During the quest Goodness Gracious Great Balls of Granite!, when you track down the location of Reginald's stones you can choose to let Hughes keep them indefinitely (respond with "Fine."). This proves you possess the virtue of COMPASSION.|
|During the quest Big Game Hunter, use Axii on the trapped Panther to free it without having to fight it. After escorting Count Beledal around he'll invite you to an expedition of his works. Accept by saying "Sure, why not.", and at said exhibition when you're talking to Beledal be sure to ask him "Your daughter, how's she doing? to prove you have the virtue of COMPASSION.|
|During the quest The Beast of Touissant, when you're in Beauclaire you'll get a letter from either Triss or Yennefer (depending on who you romanced in the main game). Give the delivery boy five Crowns for his services to prove you possess the virtue of GENEROSITY.|
|During the questPortrait of the Witcher as an Old Man, after your painting is completed and exhibited, buy it from the Painter for 1,000 Crowns to prove you possess the virtue of GENEROSITY.|
|During the quest Warble of a Smitten Knight, when you are registering for the tourney, enter as Geralt of Rivia. After the race you'll be challenged by Prince Anseis to a duel. Defeat him to prove you possess the virtue of HONOR.|
|During the quest Goodness Gracious Great Balls of Granite! you'll need to recover Reginald's stones and give them back to the Art Curator. Do this by responding to Hughes with either "Willing to lend them to you." or "Nope. Need to take 'em." Either way, once you have Reginald's stones, give them back to the Art Curator to prove you possess the virtue of HONOR.|
|During the quest Till Death Do You Part, resolve the quest by siding with whichever spouse you wish, then return to Charles Lanzano and tell him the truth by saing "Actually, just a marital spat." to prove you possess the virtue of HONOR.|
|During the quest Warble of a Smitten Knight you'll learn about Vivienne's condition. Choose to continue the tourney, and win the tournament to prove you possess the virtue of VALOR.|
|Defeat The Maestro during the quest Raging Wolf to prove you possess the virtue of VALOR.|
|During the quest The Beast of Toussaint, acquire the Key from the Golden Fish and the Clue from the Horn of a "Unicorn", then talk to Anna Henrietta and respond to the riddle with "It's a greenhouse!" to prove you possess the virtue of WISDOM.|
|During the quest Father Knows Worst, after rescuing Hugo, escort him out of the cave. As you're about to exit, respond to Hugo's concerns with "No one dies. Not today." will prove you possess the virtue of WISDOM.|
|Win the Gwent tournament during the quest Gwent: To Everything - Turn, Turn, Tournament! to prove you possess the virtue of WISDOM.|
Assuming you’ve completed those tasks and proven you possess the five knightly virtues such deeds epitomize, head back to the island/lake recursion northwest of the Tourney Grounds. In the small bit of land at the heart of the island/lake recursion you’ll find the hermit waiting for you. Talk to him and he’ll disappoint you by informing you there’s one more trial before you can claim your prize; possessing the five knightly virtues isn’t enough on its own, you must prove yourself martially competent enough to wield the blade.
Battle Atop the Water
Accept the Hermit’s challenge and the fight will begin. The hermit isn’t a foe to be trifled with, as he’s capable of blasting you with water and knocking you back (he enjoys starting the fight this way). He can also shoot cones of water at you and summon arcs of water to indirectly pelt you. His most impressive water attack, however (aside from the watery barrier the surrounds the pond, anyways) involves the Hermit conjuring a spout of water around himself and moving slowly towards you. You can easily keep out of range of this attack, but proximity will hurt you, and even Quen won’t fully protect you from a direct hit. On top of all that, he’s fairly skilled with his staff in melee!
Dodge towards him to deprive him of the opportunity to pelt you from afar with magic, and if he uses his water spout attack, keep your distance. If you are injured, back off and use the active version of the Quen spell, as you can absorb his long-range spells and heal yourself. Other than that, just close in on him and use fast attacks to deal damage. If he starts to get the best of you in melee, dodge away and assault him again.
Prove your prowess against the Hermit and he’ll descend into the lake, never to return. In his stead, the Lady of the Lake will appear and present Geralt with sword Aerondight, entrusting that he will not lose it again. Pick up your prize… and the surface of the lake will yield to the proper forces of nature, putting Geralt in a foul mood.
Did You Know?: Geralt originally obtained the sword Aerondight from the Lady of the Lake in The Witcher, where it’s arguably one of the best Silver Swords in the game. You can even import it over to The Witcher 2 with you, albeit with much reduced stats to the point of the weapon being obsolete in Chapter 1. The Lady of the Lake’s parting taunt is an inside joke, presumably about the tendency of RPGs to retcon most of the stat-and-loot gains between games.
|Reward: For proving you possess the five knightly virtues|
|300 XP / Aerondight|
Embodiment of the Five Virtues
Be given Aerondight by the Lady of the Lake.
Geralt has got no reason to complain, however, as Aerondight is a prize worth some wet clothes. The first of its many virtues is that it levels up with Geralt, so it should start out at whatever level you’re currently at. You can also improve the weapon’s power through proficient usage, as it’ll temporarily gain power as you strike foes with it. Every enemy hit with the weapon will give it a charge, which increases damage by 10%, and the blade can store ten charges. At maximum capacity every hit with the sword will also automatically be a critical hit. The only downside is that you lose these charges over time, or when you take damage.
If you kill a foe with a fully-charged Aerondight (ten charges - they are tracked under your life bar, like any other buff/debuff) your charges will be reset, but Aerondight’s damage will be permanently increased. The maximum amount of permanent, bonus damage Aerondight can possess is equal to ten, plus an additional ten per level you gain after obtaining it, which essentially means you don’t need to worry about out-leveling Aerondight, nor need you wait to obtain it. As long as you keep powering it up, it’ll remain a viable weapon.
As for charging Aerondight up, using the Quen sign will make this much easier, as will picking on weaker monsters and grinding up your damage. An ideal spot for this is in Velen, in the fields south of the Devil’s Pit signpost, as you’ll find numerous Nekkers prowling about. They’re weak and numerous enough that it should be a trivial matter to use them to charge Aerondight, especially if you protect yourself with Quen. You can also kill the bandits in the Devil’s Pit fort itself, as they’re weak enough that they can be slain even with a silver sword, and most of them are not competent enough foes to parry your attacks. Just spam attacks on any foes with single-handed weapons and charge up Aerondight.