If you fancy being a vampire hunter for once, and even assisting the Nilfgaardians on a missions, and some local villagers too, then here’s the quest for you. The Witcher 3’s Mystery of the Byways Murders is a quest that requires to be around level 20 to complete, but with the right vampire slaying oils, you can do this on around level 13 if you so wished. Anyway, here’s a guide on how to complete the Mystery of Byways Murders.
|Important Items in this Area|
|Key to Burned Down House|
Contract - The Mystery of the Byways Murders (Level 22)
Sate your vengeance on the Griffin, if you’re the petty type, then find a signpost and use it to fast-travel to the “Oreton” signpost, which is south of Crow’s Perch. Make your way to the southern part of town to find the Nilfgaardian officer Milan Noran, who is busy standing around near the Blacksmithy. Chat him up and he’ll do his best to sell you on the idea that a missing Nilfgaardian patrol in wartime should be something that requires a Witcher, after which haggle for more coin.
Fast travel to the “Duen Hen” signpost and follow a road south until it forks, at which point follow another road to the south-east. As you travel uphill along this road you may remember the Griffin (level twenty-five) that may have harassed you when you were exploring this place earlier, a threat so dire that the road was abandoned to avoid such a beast. The power dynamics have certainly changed by now, so confront the beast and teach it not to pester poor, low-level Witchers.
Once it’s dead, continue following a road south until it bisects a road running east/west. Head along the eastern road to reach the village of Byways, which seems to have a monster problem alright. Kill around a half-dozen Ghouls (level twenty-three), and wait a few moments, after which some peasants will come out to make a few weak lies concerning what happened to the Nilfgaardians. Call out their lies, either directly or snarkily, then you’ll be presented with three dialogue options. If you say “So be it.” you can return to Milan Noran and claim you reward - oddly he’s satisfied with your work.
Pick the option “I’m nosy. Very.” if you want to earn a reward later on (saying “It’s my job.” forfeits this reward) after which Geralt will resolve to look around. Pop on your Witcher Senses and examine a human corpse near a small garden west of where the villagers stand, then investigate another corpse near the doorway of a house to the west. After examining these two corpses Geralt will pick up a scent trail, which leads north to another house. Head over to the house and one of the peasants will stop you, coming clean about what’s really going on after Geralt warns of danger.
After the conversation Geralt will be in possession of a key to the house, and a clearing understanding of what happened to the Nilfgaardians. Enter the house and search a bloodstain in the house to identify your prey, then open a cellar door and descend down a ladder.
|For discovering the nature of the beast||20 XP|
Make your way south-west down a crude dirt tunnel - seems these “brickmakers” spend less time making bricks than they do digging for ancient elven treasure. Shortly the passage will fork, but aside from some subterranean plants and another corpse, there’s not much to see down here. Drop down two ledges to the south-west then climb down a ladder to find the Ekimmara’s lair through a doorway.
Examine the Ekimmara’s grisly handiwork, being joined by the beast shortly thereafter. You should know what to expect by now; this beast can turn invisible and attacks with basic claw strikes. Protect yourself with Quen, dodge its attacks and immediately counter after it attacks, not getting too greedy. You can use Vampire Oil and Igni to speed things up, and all in all, the beast doesn’t do too much damage. Once it’s dead loot it for the steel sword “Bloed Aedd” and an “Ekimmara Trophy” , then search the room to find a chest along the south-western wall and another, freshly-excavated chest to the north-east.
Complete the contract on Sarasti.
Return to the surface and talk to the peasants, who seem amazed that you’re alive. One Witcher is clearly worth more than a patrol of Nilfgaardians… just don’t go picking a fight with any guards and put that to the test. Geralt will shake them down for a reward… at least if you picked the option “I’m nosy. Very.” earlier. If you said “It’s my job.” the peasants will rightfully tell you to go get paid by your employer. Stingy jerks. Anyways, after the peasants pay you or stiff you, return to Orten via the convenient “Byways” signpost to claim another reward from Milan Noran. All in all, it can end up being a rather nice payday.
|For telling the peasants about the Ekimmara||20 XP / 210 Crowns|
|For killing the Sarasti||240 XP / 195+ Crowns|
Guarded Treasure (Level 19)
That’s one contract down, one more to go in this Velen wrap-up section. First, though, take a break from that Witcher’s work and fast-travel to the “Frischlow” signpost, which is south of the “Fyke Isle” signpost, or south-east of the “Byways” signpost. Head south from the village through the cemetery and the swamps beyond to find a Guarded Treasure event, south of another Guarded Treasure that was previously explored. Here you’ll find a Gargoyle (level nineteen) wandering around a candlelit tombstone. Kill the elemental, then loot a corpse and a small chest near the tombstone.
Guarded Treasure (Level 19)
Fast-travel back to Heatherton and head north-east into the hills to find a Guarded Treasure event. Kill the Cyclops (level nineteen), then search its shelter to find a chest.
Treasure Hunt - A Plea Ignored (Level 28)
Find a convenient signpost and use it to fast-travel to the “Condyle” signpost along the south-western reaches of Velen. From here follow a road south-east, ignoring every fork until you find a road running to the west. Go west along this road and eventually it’ll turn south and run down a peninsula, near the end of which is a Hidden Treasure event. Near a burned-down house you’ll encounter a Grave Hag (level twenty-eight), which was avoided during previous exploration, but is now well within your means to dispatch. Do so, then loot a body lying near a fence to find the “Key to Burned Down House” and a “Crumpled Note” . Read the latter to start the quest “A Plea Ignored” . Continue south to find a chest along the western end of the house which contains the sword “Harvall”. If you’re not quite satisfied with killing yet, continue south, the west to the true end of this peninsula you’ll find a small, unmarked Bandit Camp, where three Bandits (level seven) await their demise.