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The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt

At the Mercy of Strangers

Nathan Garvin

Deserting is usually frowned upon by militaries, and while the punishment is harsh, it rarely involves a Witcher. When a deserter is left at the mercy of monsters, however, the line between a Witcher meddling in politics and a Witcher doing his job becomes pretty blurry. Decide the fate of a deserter in the freeform quest At the Mercy of Strangers in The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt.

Quest Objectives

Starting At the Mercy of Strangers

You’ll find this quest just by stumbling across it as you travel. Follow the road west from Mulbrydale and it’ll intersect with another road running north and south. At this intersection you’ll hear somebody calling for help - head southwest to find a bound man being menaced by a pair of Drowners. You’ll get an exclamation point on your map when you get close enough, but despite this marker this quest doesn’t have an entry in the quest log and isn’t properly named in-game.

Save the Deserter

Approach the Drowners (Lv4) and their buddy and the necrophages will decide that they’re not keen on sharing, and will rudely attack. Teach them some manners courtesy of your silver sword, and once they’re dispatched talk to the bound man, John Verdun. After he tell his tale you’ll get two options, if you say “I won’t help you.” Geralt will coldly abandon the man to his fate. If you leave and return (heading to Mulbrydale and back should suffice) you’ll find that another pair of Drowners found John Verdun in your absence and he’s quite dead now. Alternatively if you say “I’ll untie you.” Geralt will follow through, and while John Verdun has no money to give you, you will earn some EXP for your trouble.

Meet Up With John Verdun

If you freed John Verdun, there’s a second part to this quest, but you’ll need to cross the river to the north to trigger it. This likely means you’ll need to acquire a Transit Pass, which you can do by completing several quests, including [Fake Papers], [Contract: Woodland Beast] or [Family Matters]. Cross the river at the Border Post and make your way northwest to Ursten. You’ll find John Verdun northwest of Ursten and he’s doing quite well for himself in both wealth and companionship thanks to his new… ah… vocation. Unfortunately it’s not entirely above board, and saving a man from monsters merely unleashed another type of monster upon the world.

Pick the dialog option “I’ll take the coin.” and Geralt will sully his coin purse with 50 Crowns gain some EXP and wash his hands of the matter. If you instead respond with “Should’ve left you back there on the bank…” and John Verdun will considerately try to unburden your conscience with a bit of murder. Put John Verdun (Lv5) and his fellow Bandits (Lv3) down - there’s a shield-bearing Bandit, one armed with a spear and another with a two-handed axe - and you’ll gain the same amount of EXP as if you took the money, but of course, no money. You can loot the bandits, which should count for something. Either way, loot their camp to find a Letter from Toben, which shows the ramifications of letting people like John Verdun loose.

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Guide Information
  • Publisher
    CD Projekt
  • Platforms,
    PC, PS4, Switch, XB One
  • Genre
  • Guide Release
    24 June 2015
  • Last Updated
    21 July 2024
    Version History
  • Guide Author
    Nathan Garvin (Haeravon)

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You are Geralt of Rivia, a professional monster-hunter known as a Witcher. You’ve fully regained your memories since your miraculous revival and escape from the Wild Hunt, and have cleared your name of the false accusations of regicide. In the wake of the assassination of Foltest, king of Temeria, the north have been rent by warfare as Nilfgaard launches its third major invasion, and the northlands have been united under the insane king Radovid. Overshadowing these petty politics is the mysterious return of Ciri - Geralt’s adopted daughter, who is now being pursued by the Wild Hunt.

The guide offers the following:

  • A full walkthrough that’s more than just a listing of quests-it’s an “ideal chronological order” that will get you through the whole game and allow you to see and do everything the game has to offer.

  • Side quests, including monster contracts and treasure hunts for obtaining powerful Witcher sets.

  • Descriptions of decisions, quests, and events that influence the various endings of the game.

  • Crafting and Alchemy information.

  • General strategies on how to take down foes large and small, monstrous and humanoid, boss or mundane.

  • Information on how to complete all the Gwent quests and obtain all the Gwent cards, including detailed Gwent strategies.

  • Trophy/Achievement information.

MASSIVE UPDATE: 7th September 2016 ongoing

  • Added DLC quests “Fool’s Gold” and “Scavenger Hunt: Wolf School Gear”.
  • Organisational changes in the Velen section of the walkthrough to reflect the increased level of Griffin School Gear.
  • Organisational changes throughout the walkthrough to provide a “no skulls” path through the game.
  • Added Death March difficulty tips and commentary throughout the guide.
  • More XP reward numbers included.
  • Walkthrough now includes additional information based on patch changes.
  • Various typo and grammar fixes.
  • Added DLC pages for Blood & Wine, Heart of Stone
  • Lots more quality of life improvements

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