Walkthrough for the Side Quest There Can Be Only One in The Witcher 3 Blood and Wine, including information about how to prove you possess the five knightly virtues and how to obtain and upgrade Aerondight.
|Important Items in this Area|
How to Start There Can Be only One
There are a few ways you can start this quest, and more interestingly, you can make progress in the quest before it has even started, depending on your actions. More on that later, but to start the quest you can either nab the Test Yourself With Trials of the Virtues! notice from near the The Gran Palace Notice Board in Beauclair, which will tell you to head to “the isle on Lac Celavy”, or just head directly to the aforementioned island on Lac Celavy itself. See the map below for the location of this lake island.
Whether you read the aforementioned notice or not, make your way to Lac Celavy, which can be found north, northwest of Beauclair Palace, or west, northwest of the Tourney Grounds, and almost due west from Corvo Bianco. When you reach the lake, swim to an island in the middle of the lake (west-of-center, if we must be pedantic) and on this lake you’ll find a pond… a pond with water you can walk on. In the middle of this pond you’ll find a patch of dry land on which sits a Hermit.
Approach the Hermit and after a bit of religious humor, 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.
How to Prove You Possess the Five Knightly Virtues
Proving you possess each virtue is something of a long-term goal, as you’ll need to make various choices during a number of quests to prove each virtue. The number of opportunities you have to prove you possess each virtue are finite, but you only have to prove each virtue once you’ve made a choice or taken an action that proves you possess a virtue, further actions are irrelevant. In other words, you can’t prove yourself unworthy after you’ve demonstrated a virtue.
For many reasons it’s best to start this quest early, as you’ll have more opportunities to prove your virtues and some proofs in earlier quests are really quite painless. Also, you’ll be informed once you’ve proven you possess a virtue if this quest has been started, and while you can prove you possess virtues without starting this quest, you won’t be informed of the fact ahead of time. Case in point, if you completed The Beast of Toussaint before starting There Can Be Only One, there’s a good chance you’ll have proven the virtues of Compassion and Wisdom based on your choices regarding the Shaelmaar and the location of the Beast’s fourth victim.
A list of ways to prove you possess the five knightly virtues can be found below, and proving these virtues makes up the majority of this quest’s content:
|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.|
|Make your way to The Gran Palace signpost in the middle of Beauclair and a messenger boy will deliver you a letter, staring the quest Turn and Face the Strange. Pay him 5 Crown by picking the dialog option “(5) Here, your tip.“ to prove you possess the virtue of GENEROSITY.|
|During [La Cage au Fou], lift the curse afflicting the Spotted Wight and Geralt will bring Marlene to Corvo Bianco. A few days later the quest [The Hunger Game] will start. Talk to Marlene and allow her to spend the rest of her days at Corvo Bianco to prove you possess the virtue of GENEROSITY.|
|During the quest [A Portrait of the Witcher as an Old Man], near the end of the quest while talking to the Painter about his work he’ll offer to sell it to you for 1,000 Crowns. But it 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, after discovering Vivienne’s secret you’ll get the choice to drop out of the tournament or continue. You must continue and win the tournament to prove you possess the knightly virtue of VALOR.|
|Killing the Basilisk during the contract [Mutual of Beauclair’s Wild Kingdom] will 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 Lac Celavy. 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.
How to Defeat the Hermit
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.
Be given Aerondight by the Lady of the Lake.