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The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt

On Death's Bed

Nathan Garvin

A relatively short quest that can be missed if you don’t ask the right questions, On Death’s Bed nevertheless offers surprisingly good rewards for completion and has some minor story implications later down the line. This page will provide a walkthrough for On Death’s Bed in The Witcher 3, including how to start it, how to craft a Swallow potion, and what the outcomes of your choices for this quest are.

Starting On Death’s Bed

To start On Death’s Bed you must have progressed the main questline far enough to begin The Beast of White Orchard, whereupon you’ll be tasked with talking to an herbalist who lives east of the Sawmill signpost. If you already harvested some buckthorn you won’t get this objective, but you can still talk to the herbalist and hence start this quest, although if you advance the main questline too far (to the point where you leave White Orchard) it may become inaccessible. Talk to the herbalist, Tomira, and pick the dialogue option “Griffin do that?”. If you fail to start this quest here, you can always talk to Tomira again after your initial conversation and pick the dialogue option “Did the griffin injure this woman?” instead. Either way, you’ll start On Death’s Bed.

You can start “On Death’s Bed” by talking to Tomira and asking about the injured woman.

Choice: Give the Injured Woman A Swallow Potion or Not?

The vast majority of this quest’s content is simply deciding whether you should hand over a Swallow potion or not. The Griffin injured Lena, the bed-bound girl in question, and despite Tomira’s attention Lena will perish without greater aid. A Witcher’s healing potion - Swallow - may just keep Lena alive, but as Geralt explains, such potions aren’t meant for non-Witchers, and the potion could just as easily lead to Lena’s agonizing demise. If you decide to do nothing, you must do exactly that - nothing. Ignore the quest and it’ll fail when you leave White Orchard.

Swallow Potion Crafting

On the other hand if you want to help you’ll need to craft a Swallow potion, one of the potion formula Geralt begins the game with knowledge of. To do this you’ll need to bring up the game menu, enter your “Alchemy” tab, then scroll down to “Potions”. To craft the potion you’ll need 1x Dwarven Spirit, 5x Celandine and 1x Drowner Brain. Dwarven Spirit can be found by searching various containers, but this is random, or you can buy Dwarven Spirit right from Tomira herself. Celandine can be picked while roaming around the wilderness of White Orchard, and Drowner Brains are regularly dropped by Drowners - they regularly spawn in the swamp along the northwestern edge of the map.

(1 of 2) You can buy Dwarven Spirits from Tomira, while the other Swallow components can be harvested around White Orchard.

You can buy Dwarven Spirits from Tomira, while the other Swallow components can be harvested around White Orchard. (left), Craft the Swallow potion and you can give it to Tomira, completing the quest. (right)

Once you have a Swallow potion, talk to Tomira and say “Got a potion for Lena”. The outcome won’t be immediately apparent, but Tomira will still reward you handsomely, giving you 50 Crowns, 2x Venom Extract, Manuscript Page: Cursed Oil and the tome Of Sweat and Blood, the latter of which will give you some bestiary entries (Nightwraiths, Noonwraiths and Plague Maidens). Most importantly you’ll gain 300~ EXP for completing this quest, a significant amount, especially for such a simple quest. If you do pretty much everything possible in White Orchard, this single source of EXP will account for around 10% of your total EXP by the time you leave White Orchard! Helps one get motivated to craft a Swallow potion, it does.

Give Lena a Swallow Potion OutcomeShow Spoiler

If you give Lena the Swallow potion and later visit the Nilfgaardian Army Group ‘Center’ Camp in the southeastern corner of Velen, you’ll be confronted by a Nilfgaardian soldier - the man whom Lena was sneaking out to meet when she was attacked by the Griffin. Lena’s body survived, but her mind was irreparably damaged by the Swallow potion, and she’s now a husk of her former self… perhaps a fate worse than death?

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Guide Information
  • Publisher
    CD Projekt
  • Platforms,
    PC, PS4, Switch, XB One
  • Genre
  • Guide Release
    24 June 2015
  • Last Updated
    24 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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