Skellige’s islands have many secrets hidden around their coasts and hills. Some of which are rather important to the Witcher’s that wonder the land. In this case, Geralt has plenty of interest in the rewards, larely thanks to the various Diagrams and optional upgrades to craft gear he can stumble upon. If you’ve got a particular build in mind, chances are, you will need one of the diagrams around Witcher 3’s Kaer Gelen and other nearby regions.
|Important Items in this Area|
|Arrest Warrant for the Witcher Gerd|
|The Knight Chalimir’s Letter|
|Diagram: Ursine Silver Sword|
|Diagram: Feline Steel Sword - Mastercrafted|
|Diagram: Ursine Silver Sword - Enhanced|
|Diagram: Mastercrafted Griffin Armor|
|Diagram: Mastercrafted Griffin Gauntlets|
|Diagram: Mastercrafted Griffin Trousers|
|Diagram: Mastercrafted Griffin Boots|
|Letter Sealed with Impermeable Wax|
You’re done in Novigrad and in Velen. A few quests and map markers remain, but as they’re all level thirty-one or higher, they can wait until you’ve strengthened up a bit. So, time to move on with the main questline then? Well… not quite. When you were exploring Ard Skellig you were somewhat weaker than you are now, and interspersed with some map markers and quests that weren’t too difficult were plenty that were just out of your league. Not so much any more. So, before running off to save Ciri, let’s go and apply the same standard of questing and exploration to Skellige that was recently applied to Velen and Novigrad. On the plus side, this will leave you in possession of most of the Witcher set diagrams (save some for the School of the Wolf) and allow you to complete all but two of the Witcher Contract quests.
Use any convenient signpost to travel to the “Giants’ Toes” signpost along the north-eastern end of Ard Skellig. From the signpost head south and keep your eyes to the west until you see a trail you can follow uphill. The trek west is fairly long, but it can be as uneventful as you want it to be; to the south of the road early on you’ll find a flock of Harpies (level thirteen) you can provoke, while later on in the forest you’ll find some Endrega Drones (level twenty), neither of which are likely to bother you if just just ignore them and stay on the trail.
Eventually you’ll discover the “Yustianna’s Grotto” signpost, south of which is a cave the signpost marks. One would think hidden places like this would stay hidden better if they didn’t stick signposts out in front of them. Yeah, yeah, gaming conventions… anyways, head into the cave and follow a passage south and slightly east until it bisects a larger chamber. Loot a chest along the southern end of the room (behind a column) then note the illusory wall to the north-east. Don’t whip out your Eye of Nehaleni just yet, however - those illusions will be your egress, not your ingress.
Instead turn south-west and go through a doorway, following the passage as it turns south (at which point loot a chest along the eastern wall) and continue down some stairs to find some Bandits camped on these subterranean elven ruins. One of the Bandits will chat with you and charitably offer to let you leave with your life - if you pay a bribe of 150 Crowns. Failing that, you can just use the Axii sign on him, or pick a fight. If you really want to drain all the experience you can out of this, use the Axii sign, then return to the Bandits, who won’t be so forgiving the next time around.
|For using the Axii sign on the Bandit||40 XP|
Kill the Bandits (level twenty-five) and loot one of them for a Highwayman’s Journal . Despite what the journal says, there’s plenty of treasure in these ruins… albeit probably treasure the Bandits have been looting off travelers along the nearby roads, but for an adventuring Witcher, it’s all the same. Loot the numerous chests and parcels on the elven ruins, then descend some stairs to the south-west to find even more treasure on the cavern ground around the ruins. Plunder your way counter-clockwise through the chamber until you find a doorway to the north-east, which leads to an illusory wall.
Pop out your Eye of Nehaleni and wave it at the illusion to cause it to vanish, then follow the passage beyond to the north-east. Stop to loot a chest in a small dead-end tunnel to the south-east, then continue north-east until the passage turns north-west. Loot two chests, head north-west, then turn west to find another doorway, beyond which is the first illusory wall you neglected earlier in order to go plunder the Bandits.
Truth and Consequences
The next goal is the village of Rogne, which is to the south-west. Now, you can follow the road there (and likely deal with several Endrega Drones (level twenty) along the way), but it’s much quicker to just fast-travel there. First, head to the north-western end of the village to find a group of gathered Skelligers at a funeral, apparently for a man named Gretter. They’ll bad-mouth his killer, Yorg, after which the murderer’s sister will run off. Track her to the west and talk to her to find out that her brother was the man chained to the rocks, whom you could have either left to his fate or freed. Tell her about her brother’s status (perhaps after asking for more information about what happened) or let her stew in her sorrow, after which she’ll make a promise she can’t keep… ironic, given the situation.
Guarded Treasure (level 30)
Once that diversion’s been dealt with, it’s time to turn your attention to something more lucrative. Earlier you took the road north-east out of town and followed it to some ruins, where you found the “Diagram: Enhanced Ursine Gauntlets”… at least, you did if you’ve been following this guide. There was another map marker to the north-west of that, however, which was avoided simply due to the power of the beasts dwelling nearby.
You should be capable of handling it now, however, and it might just be the most dangerous bit of exploration you’ve done in the entire “Unfinished Business” section. Anyways, enough scare tactics; time to gird your loins and get on with it. Make your way along the road running north-east out of Rogne, turning north-west down another road when you get the chance. Follow the road north-west to return to the ruins where you found the “Diagram: Enhanced Ursine Gauntlets”.
From those ruins continue north-west along a trail as it meanders along and through a stream then cross a bridge. Eventually the trail will lead you to some more substantial ruins, where two Gargoyles (level thirteen) and an Ice Elemental (level thirty) lurk. The Gargoyles are obnoxious enough, as they can spit poison and do impressive damage with their fists, but they’ll also make use of the fact that they’re not bound by a ceiling to jump up and slam down near you, stunning you and blasting away your Quen barrier.
Fortunately you can fight these two nuisances one-on-one, and you should endeavor to pick each of these elementals off one at a time. When the Gargoyles are dead, turn your attention to the Ice Elemental, which fights much like any other elemental you’ve fought, albeit with one caveat; it does absurd, stupendous damage with its melee attacks. With most enemies you can use Quen to deflect the odd hit here and there, but with this beast you’re better off ensuring you just don’t take damage. Fortunately, although it’s as slow as an Earth Elemental, it’s nowhere near as sturdy, so if you’re careful you should be able to cut it down before it can hit you.
Once it’s dead, turn to the north-east to spot a partially intact tower. The doorway to the tower is filled with rubble, so it doesn’t appear that you’re going to be climbing anywhere. Instead turn north-west from the tower doorway and head north-west up some stairs, immediately turning north-east to spot a chest full of goodies.
That completes the Guarded Treasure event, but the best loot yet remains; return to the tower doorway and head south-east around a wall and turn north-east to find another doorway. Go through said doorway to find a skeleton which can be searched for The Knight Chalimir’s Letter and the Diagram: Ursine Silver Sword . You can also grab the Arrest Warrant for the Witcher Gerd , which is near the skeleton.
That’s an awful lot of work to obtain one basic Witcher set diagram, but they all can’t be easy, can they? Return to Rogne and use the signpost to fast-travel south-east to the “Miner’s Camp” signpost. Don’t worry, you’re not here to do that contract just yet… you’ll get to it soon enough. For now, let’s keep exploring and crossing off map markers in the search for more diagrams.
From the “Miner’s Camp” signpost head south along a road until you find a road - the first road, the only road north of Blandare - branching off to the east. Kill any Bandits (level thirteen) that may be lurking around and follow the road uphill to the east. Shortly on your trip up this road you may have to fend off a Bear (level twelve) or two, and after that - as the road turns north-east - you’ll run under a flock of Harpies (level nineteen). Survive these hazards and continue uphill to the north-east to encounter a Noonwraith (level eighteen)… or perhaps a Nightwraith (level eighteen), depending on whether it’s night or not.
Banish whatever Wraiths you must and continue north-east to reach a fork, at which point continue east along a path that’ll shortly turn north and lead you to the ruins of Kaer Gelen, as identified by its signpost. A ruined mountain top keep in Skellige? What could go wrong?! Well, for starters, the damn portcullis is lower. You’ll have to fix that. Head north-east along the edge of the keep, pass a campsite inside a collapsed section of the fortress, and head west through a gate when you spot it.
Once inside the keep you’ll have to fend off four Wraiths (level twenty-nine), after which loot some sacks then climb a ladder to find a barrel on top of some scaffolding before turning north to find a second barrel. Make your way back to the floor and head down a hallway to the south, turning north-east to reach the other side of the portcullis. Go through a doorway to the south-west to score a chest, then head into another room to the north-east to find a lever you can pull to raise the portcullis. Neat.
Exit the gate-adjacent room and backtrack down the hallway to the north-west, turning down a passage to the west and heading up some stairs. As you ascend the stairs, keep your eye to the left to find a hole in the wall, wherein you can find another chest. Loot the “Diagram: Feline Steel Sword - Mastercrafted” from the chest then continue upstairs to reach the roof of these ruins, if you can count an upper floor exposed to the sky by time a roof.
Note the bodies strewn about and make your way to the north between two collapsed wooden structures. Loot a chest to the north-east, then turn west and go through a doorway to find the lord of this keep - a Katakan (level twenty-nine). Apply some Vampire Oil to your sword and don’t be afraid to lay on the Igni and the vampire should die soon enough. After you’re the new, undisputed master of Kaer Gelen, loot two chests and return to the “Kaer Gelen” signpost.
Ursine Silver Sword - Enhanced
This next area might be a little tricky to find, as there are no roads going to it. On your map, however, you should be able to spot a structure to the north-east of Kaer Gelen, just south of the eastern end of these mountains… or, if you’re being clever, you could just track the objective “Find the silver sword upgrade diagram using your Witcher Senses” for the quest “Scavenger Hunt: Bear School Gear Upgrade Diagrams - Part 1”. However you prepare for your journey, travel east from Kaer Gelen and don’t be afraid to slide down the blindingly white slopes. Once you pass the treacherous rocky cliffs that prevented you from just heading north-east in a straight line from Kaer Gelen to your destination, turn north and you should see some more ruins above you. Yep, you’ll be making your way north-east from Kaer Gelen by making an “L”, first traveling east, the north to reach the second ruined keep these mountains house.
Make your way to the north-eastern end of the keep to find a gateway - this one with a welcomingly raised portcullis. Head into - and through - the courtyard beyond to find a doorway that leads to the still-intact interior of the keep. Unfortunately, the darkness beyond is now home to four Alghouls (level twenty-one), and the hallway they dwell in makes for a relatively small battleground for such foes. You’ll really need to manage your stamina here if you intend to use signs; using Axii to force them to retract their spines and stop regenerating, Quen to protect yourself, and perhaps the odd Igni to set them on fire. Mix in some Necrophage Oil and you’ve got yourself a hectic little brawl. Or, you can take advantage of the fact that the necrophages are loathe to wander out into the courtyard to perform guerrilla warfare of sorts; just get close to their lair, pop them with Igni and retreat until you stamina regenerates… repeat until their numbers have been reduced to acceptable levels.
Once you remain the only surviving critter in this hallway, loot a chest to the south-east, then drop down some ledges to the north-west and follow the root-curtained passage beyond to find a roughly circular chamber occupied by another pair of Alghouls (level twenty-one). Kill them and a third, more powerful Alghoul (level twenty-three) will dig itself out of the ground and attack. Kill it, then loot two chests to the south-west. The bland chest contains a variety of goodies, while the ornate chest hold the “Diagram: Ursine Silver Sword - Enhanced” . Score.
Mastercrafted Griffin Armor
You’ve collected a fine haul of diagrams so far, but there are more out there. Climb out of this vile necrophage lair and leave the keep, heading north from the gateway to return to the road connecting Yustianna’s Grotto to the “Giant’s Toes” signpost. Make your way to either one and fast-travel down the coast to the “Whale Graveyard” signpost and kill any filthy Drowned Dead (level eighteen) that dared to respawn in your absence.
Head east along the coast until you find a road that picks up near the carcass of a dead whale. Follow the road east and it’ll shortly turn south and lead you uphill under a flock of Harpies (level thirteen). Kill the flying pests and continue south to reach some ruins that now serve as the home to a Cyclops (level thirty).
Don’t worry, this Cyclops might be a high level brute, but it’s nowhere near as deadly as the Ice Elemental you tangled with earlier. It fights like any other Cyclops you’ve come across, and as usual Igni will greatly speed up the process of defeating the beast. The only real complication is the fact that its home isn’t an ideal battlefield, as it’s somewhat small for a Witcher who wants to be dodging the swatting arms of a giant… and that open air ledge to the east is just begging for trouble. You can, however, take advantage of this Cyclops’ unwillingness to leave his lair by running up, blasting him with Igni, then retreating back south along the road, all the while letting the burn damage do its work… just like the Alghouls you fought earlier.
Once the Cyclops is dead head west through a doorway to reach a room the Cyclops clearly couldn’t have been making use of. Ignore another doorway to the west, as it’s just a dead-end, and instead turn your attention to the south-western corner of the room, where you’ll find a series of stone ledges you can climb to reach the upper floor. On the upper floor you’ll find a Place of Power just waiting to be claimed, and to the south-east lies two ornate chests, one of which happens to contain the “Diagram: Mastercrafted Griffin Armor” , the “Diagram: Mastercrafted Griffin Gauntlets” , the “Diagram: Mastercrafted Griffin Trousers” and the “Diagram: Mastercrafted Griffin Boots” . Well… hello, there.
Well, that was a rather profitable area there, wasn’t it? Leave the Cyclops lair by continuing to follow a road south and south-west along the coast, dispersing another flock of Harpies (level thirteen) along the way. They’re joined this time by a pair of Erynia (level thirteen), so if you still need any of those Erynia Eyes for crafting… here’s a place to get them. Once they’re dead, continue unmolested down the coast until you find the village of Redgill, complete with its own signpost. Huzzah! Aside from looting the abandoned houses here, there’s not much do do.
From a Land Far, Far Away - Part 1 (level 13)
When you’re done plundering Redgill, commandeer the docked boat and sail east and slightly south to find a small island, which you can clearly see from the docks of Redgill. Land on the northern end of the island and make your way to the island’s lone tree, west of which lies a corpse you can examine. Do so, then pick up and read the nearby “Journal” to start the quest “From a Land Far, Far Away” .
Loot some sacks near the tree, then turn west to find part of a ship, which you can examine with your Witcher Senses to find an unfamiliar cred on its hull. Do so, then make your way to the southern-most point of the island and look down into the sea to find the mast of a ship. Dive in and search the wreck to find a chest containing a “Letter Sealed with Impermeable Wax” and the “Captain’s Log” . The former will update the quest, which now directs you to travel back to Novigrad. That being the case, it’ll be postponed for now while you finish up your unfinished business in Skellige.