It’s time to discover the nature of the beast, and to uncover the real monsters stalking this community. These quests lead us headlong into the climax for this chapter, and once started, there’s really no point in turning back. Make sure you’ve got all your loot stashed, all your potions prepared, and generally, ensure that you’re ready to go. It might be wise to make a safety save here, just in case you don’t like how something played out, or in case you later want to make more potions, stash some loot, and so on. You’re the only one who is going to regret it later if you don’t.
Born of Sin
Now that you’re prepared, return to Abigail’s Hut and talk to her about the Beast. She confesses that the Beast is beyond her, but Alvin, the little dork we rescued at the beginning of the chapter, might be able to divine the Beast’s origin. To make a potion that will allow Abigail to get this information out of Alvin, however, we need to bring her five White Myrtle Petals. If you haven’t been keeping up with your books, here’s where the game demands that you do so. Pay Abigail 200 Orens for the book “Field Plants” , (if you’ve been following this guide) you should already have it… and hence, you should also have the White Myrtle Petals, as well. If not, they’re all over the place, just go outside and search for them. Once done, return and she’ll take some time to brew the Potion.
Leave and return and she’ll have it done. Alvin will do his job admirably-enough so that Geralt decides to pull the plug on the divination when it starts to sound like a possession, rather than a divination. After ending the spell, Abigail will give us “Berengar’s notes on the Beast”. Now it’s time to return to the Reverend, but who’s willing to wager he won’t like what we found?
Return to the Reverend, who will seem to accept what Geralt has to say rather stoicly. Even better, he’ll pay you, and tell you about Salamandra. Apparently they’ve taken over the tavern, and you need to get a key to their hideout from the Innkeeper. Ignore the fact that the more prominent villagers have been harboring Salamandra for now, and head over to the Country Inn.
|For telling the Reverend about the origins of the Beast||500 XP|
Inside you’ll find that the Innkeeper has been murdered, but more importantly, Shani is being harassed by a band of “Troublemakers”. Don’t people in this village have anything better to do than try and rape women? Anyways, head over there. For this encounter, you don’t have a choice, you’re going to pick a fight and rescue Shani. Use the Group Style and you shouldn’t have too much trouble putting them down. Once they’re dead Shani will chat with you. Grab the Key off the Innkeeper and loot the bodies of the slain before leaving the Country Inn.
|For rescuing Shani||500 XP|
It’s time to deal with the Salamanders in the outskirts. Head past the Royal Huntsman and go down the path that leads to the southern cave. Near a house you’ll find two Salamandra Lackies, who will demand tribute in the form of children. Not having any in his pockets, Geralts instead decides to pick a fight. Use the Strong Style to take them down and loot their bodies.
Switch to the Group Style and enter the house they were guarding. Inside you’ll get attacked by four Salamanders. The Group Style will kill off the weaker ones quite quickly, then switch to the Strong Style and finish off the heavier two, including the Salamandra Boss. Loot and allow yourself to recover any lost Vitality and Endurance before going down the trapdoor in the corner. Before Geralt complies he makes a note about the frustratingly familiar goods in the Salamandra abode-apparently Haren isn’t just a Hawker, he trades with Salamandra, too.
If you fought the Frightener in the Prologue, the cave will contain some equipment stolen from Kaer Morhen. If not, it’ll just contain the Salamanders and their abducted children-including Alvin. Somebody has some explaining to do, but we’ll get to that later. Move forward and the Salamandra Boss will chat with Geralt and inform him that he’s working for rapists and murders, and spills the beans on Odo’s fratricide. The conversation appropriately ends in a fight, and if you repeat the tactics used upstairs you’ll be fine.
Once they’re dead Alvin will talk to you and tell you that the Reverend sent him into the clutches of the Salamanders. Apparently his idea of dealing with the Beast didn’t include getting the villagers to repent for their sins. Alvin also suggests that we break down a nearby wall with the Aard sign. First, loot the dead, the crates, the coffers… just about anything that can be interacted with. You’ll score two Books of the Tawny Owl and a chunk of Blue Meteorite .
|For rescuing Alvin||500 XP|
Go find Alvin and smash the wall near him, then continue down the newly opened corridor to find Abigail brewing something. Geralt’s initial accustations are confirmed when Abigail outright admits that she’s casting a spell against the Villagers, but in her own defense, the Villagers have gathered outside the cave, forming an angry mob eager to murder her in a vain attempt to blame others for their crimes.
She now gives you the whole story, Mikul raped Ilsa, who killed herself, Odo murdered his brother, Haren sold a Squirrel to the guards for gold and the honest Reverend banished his daughter for getting pregnant. And of course, he led this mob of rapists and murders against Abigail and sold Alvin to Salamandra. Abigail benefited from their misdeeds, but who’s the greater criminal, the one who supplies the means for mischief, or those who have the desire to seek out and use those means? She then attempts to seduce Geralt and prove her innocence.
The moral Witcher has no trouble siding with Abigail, but the consummate Witcher knows well enough to avoid a desperate witch. Either obtain the “Abigail” Sex Card or not, then head outside. Honestly, there’s no reason not to obtain it-just because you allow yourself to be seduced here doesn’t mean you can’t side with the villagers shortly.
Once outside the Villagers have gathered, and the worst of the perpetrators-Odo, Haren, and the Reverend, will spin their tales in such ways as to blame Abigail for their crimes. It’s really quite a stretch to believe that all their actions were under the duress of magical compulsion, but the consummate Geralt has no desire to get involved in politics. On the other hand, these savages, murderers, liars, rapists, and thieves, have already managed to conjure one supernatural evil by their actions. Should they be allowed to live to conjure another? No matter what Witcher you’re playing, it’s difficult to side with the Villagers. Geralt’s no paladin, but at the end of the day he doesn’t like being screwed over, and while politics later in the game seem safely outside the bounds of the Witcher, this kind of evil is the sort of thing that should be stopped.
If you side with the Villagers, Geralt will get Abigail and leave her to her fate. If you stick up for Abigail and condemn the Villagers, Geralt will threaten the townsfolk and escort Abigail away. If you help the Villagers, they’ll aid you in your fight against the Beast, if you save Abigail, she’ll help you instead. Only the neutral Witcher leaves Abigail at the mercy of the mob.
After deciding Geralt goes to confront the Beast, which shows up presumably either because the sinners have been exposed, or because Abigail was killed, and another atrocity drew its ire. Tactics vary slightly depending on who you sided with earlier. If you sided with the Villagers, go right after the Beast and use the Strong Style to take it down. The Villagers should distract the rest of the Barghests. If you sided with Abigail, run to defend her by killing the Barghests near her with the Group Style. After they’re dead, focus on the Beast. Abigail will heal you during the fight, provided she isn’t knocked out by the Barghests or Beast. Either way, with the Potions and Oils we have, killing the Beast should be a breeze. The Beast can inflict Stun and Pain, but with Willow, we don’t have to fear the worst of its attacks.
|For slaying the Beast||2500 XP|
After the Beast dies, the Villagers will show up and attack you (if you sided with Abigail.) Kill them and loot them for gold and the “Letter of Safe Conduct” we need to enter Vizima. If you sided with the Villagers, the Reverend will thank you for defeating the Beast, and pay you 300 Orens and give you the “Letter of Safe Conduct” . Or you could attack him and kill him for the money and the “Letter of Safe Conduct” . If you let him live, Geralt warns him not to squander his second chance, and chastises him for selling the children to Salamandra. Be sure to loot the Beast before you go to obtain the ingredient “Trace of the Beyond” . In any event, head back to the Country Inn to get Shani. It’s time to leave the Outskirts for good.
Exiting the Outskirts
Talk to Shani and Geralt will tell her how the Beast was created, and express his disdain for the outskirts. With Shani following us, all we need to do is make our way to Vizima and talk to Mikul, who is near the Miller’s Gate. Mikul will apologize, and Geralt misconstrue’s Mikul’s apology as a sign of repentence. When we get to the gate, it becomes clear that Mikul set us up, and nothing more. Chapter 1 ends with us surrendering ourselves at the gates of Vizima. If only we knew that to gain entry into Vizima all we had to do is get arrested…
|For entering Vizima||3000 XP|