We have three major objectives now-to complete various monster hunt quests, like the ones we got off the notice boards and “Bloodthirsty Vegetation” , to deal with Azar Javed, and of course, to settle any new quests that may pop up while we’re exploring. Confronting Azar Javed ends this chapter, so we’d better do everything else before we bother with that. To that end, we’re going to avoid the tower in the swamp like the plague. Then there’s the quest “Force Recon” , which introduces you to the struggle between the Order of the Flaming Rose and the Scoia’tael and the two characters representing either side-Siegfried and Yaevinn, respectively.
A Stroll with Gramps
As soon as you get off the boat talk to the Ferryman, who will tell you that somebody named “Yaren Bolt” has a job for you. Nearby there’s a bounty hunter named Jean-Pierre, who will tell you about some human named Leo Bonhart who was supposedly skilled enough to dispatch Witchers. No Leo we ever met was quite so impressive, and he had the benefit of training from Witchers.
While you’re here, if you want to use Igni on the nearby Fireplace and rest until night, you can kill the Drowners near the dock for Leuvaarden. If it’s already late, you’ll probably end up having to fight them off anyways, just to get by. Either way, kill the annoying non-threats and return to Leuvaarden at your leisure.
|For killing the Drowners by the docks||500 XP|
|For reporting your success to Leuvaarden||2000 XP 400 Orens|
Now, before we get into exploring the Swamp Forest in depth, we might as well discuss some of the features here. In the south-eastern corner are the Docks-where we presently stand. To the north is a Brickmaker’s Village, and to the west are some Clay Pits. West-and-south of the Clay Pits is a Cave, near which are Echinops. Further west you’ll find a Lumberjack Camp (where you can find Yaren Bolt.) North of the Lumberjacks, in the north-western corner of the map is a Druid Grove, which contains a few interesting characters, and near which you can find Wolves to hunt. South-East of the Druid Grove is a Golem Clearing, and east of that is our Mage’s Tower. North-east of the Druid Grove is a clearing where you can find Wyverns-by far the most difficult normal monster we’ve yet encountered. In the north-eastern corner of the map is Gramp’s Hut, and south of it is the Brickmaker’s Village.
That’s more or less how we’ll explore this area, coming full circle. In most areas where specific enemies aren’t mentioned, you can expect to find Bloedzuigers, Drowers, and Drowned Dead. There are also plenty of plants to harvest around. The reward for the monster hunt and fetch quests will be given when they’ve likely been fulfilled, but you’ll be expected to return to town to claim the reward on your own time… or you could just wait until the quest “Worth its Weight in Gold” forces us to return to town. Since there’s so many Drowned Dead around, you’re likely to complete “The Drowned Dead Contract” just wandering around, so its rewards are noted here.
Oh, and just to avoid leaving anything out, there’s a “Nosy Dog” that will follow you around for a while… If it serves any purpose besides becoming monster food, it’s not readily apparent.
|For collecting ten Drowned Dead Tongues||500 XP|
|For giving Siegfried the Drowned Dead Tongues||2000 XP 150 Orens|
Before you do anything else, head to the north-west until you find a unique Archespore named “Coccacidium” . This critter can be downright unpleasant, especially if you get poisoned by it-an unlucky Geralt can lose half of his life to is poison alone (over time) and that’s with a leveled Geralt. Use the Igni Sign and the Strong Silver Style to take it down. The good news? It gives you over 2,000 experience at any reasonable level in this chapter, and more rewards are forthcoming from Vincent if you bring back its head.
|For bringing the Archespore Head to Vincent Meis||3000 XP 400 Orens|
Near the Docks you’ll spot an old man named “Gramps”. Talk to him and ask for work and he’ll ask you to escort him to the shrine for his prayers. Might as well accept, for the experience and all.
If you want to milk this quest for as much dialogue and experience as possible, take Gramps to the following sites around the Swamp Forest; the Clay Pits, Three Islands (take him near the Oth Obelisk, north of the Clay Pits), the Swamp Cave, the Druid Grove, and the Mages’ Tower. He’ll talk about the Vodyanoi and the crazy Brickmakers who worship them near the Clay Pits, he’ll give you two recipes* at Three Islands, he’ll talk about the treasures of a dead Vran warrior in a cave and the pack of Wolves that inhabit it near the Swamp Cave, he’ll talk about Places of Power and the types of rituals that can be performed at them near the Druid Grove, and finally, he’ll mention the Sentry Golem and the Sephirot and Obelisks, near the Mage’s Tower. respectively.
The reason we hunted Coccacidium earlier was to prevent having that critter show up while we were escorting Gramps… even though Gramps can’t die, it’s just one more nuisance we don’t need. Once you reach the shrine he’ll tell you about a Circle of Elements guarded by the Druids (in the north-western corner of the level) and he’ll mention another Witcher who was haunting the swamps. Our missing Berengar, perhaps?
|For taking Gramps to the Clay Pits||200 XP|
|For taking Gramps to Three Islands||200 XP|
|For taking Gramps to the Swamp Cave||200 XP|
|For taking Gramps to the Druid Grove||200 XP|
|For taking Gramps to the Mage’s Tower||200 XP|
|For escorting Gramps safely to the Shrine of Melitele||1500 XP|
Clearing the Clay Pits
Let’s backtrack to the Docks and head up to the Brickmaker’s Village to see what they might know. Like always, talk to everybody, you never “ba ba ba…” know who has something to say and who doesn’t. The “Old Brickmaker”, for example, will give you a brief rundown of the Swamp, which we don’t really need anymore.
In one of the houses there’s a female Brickmaker who’ll offer to teach you how to recognize swamp plants for 50 Orens. She will, however, also accept a Honeycomb instead, or a Shawl. The former is by far the cheapest way to get her information, which is useful, especially if you haven’t been keeping up on your book reading. Above all else, there’s plenty to loot in and around the houses.
Like the Old Brickmaker said, the Eldress is the one you need to see, so enter Vaska’s House and talk to Vaska. Ask about monster problems and she’ll tell you that some critters have made nests in the clay pits where they make bricks. She’ll offer you 50 Orens to clear out the beasts, which Geralt identifies as Drowners. Accept to start the quest “Clay Pits” .
Ask about Berengar and she’ll tell you that he was indeed around, probably working for Kalkstein. They found his gear in the Clay Pits-and it didn’t look like he parted with it peacefully. This updates ‘Berengar’s Secret’. Finally ask her about the Mage’s Tower to get a fairy tale about the builder, but more importantly, she’ll tell you about the Golem guardian-the Sentry-which apparently needs to be reactivated before we can enter the tower. She’ll give us the “Tower Tarot Card” and the quest “The Sentry” begins. A most productive conversation, indeed.
Once you’re done talking to Vaska head to the south west to find the Clay Pit. Outside you’ll find a “Little Boy” who babbles about the “Water Lords” if you talk to him, but mostly he’s there to get in your way when the Drowners attack. There’s about ten of them, give or take. Kill them and the quest “Clay Pits” will update.
Before heading off to the Brickmaker’s Village explore the south-western corner of the Clay Pits to find a pair of Mutilated Corpses. Search them to come to the conclusion that Berengar is dead, updating the quest “Berengar’s Secret” . Now return to Vaska to claim your reward for clearing out the Clay Pits. She’ll stiff you on the Orens, but instead she’ll fork over the “Kezath Sephirah” , a good enough substitution by any standards.
|For clearing the Clay Pits of Drowners||500 XP|
|For reporting to Vaska after clearing out the Clay Pits||2000 XP Kezath Sephirah|
Now, unfortunately, it’s time to backtrack to Vizima so we can talk to Kalkstein. Before you go, make sure you’ve gathered enough Drowned Dead Tongues to complete the quest “The Drowned Dead Contract” . We’re going back to town anyways, and if you complete the quest now, you won’t have to worry about messing it up later.
Anyways, Kalkstein will tell you that to awaken the Golem we need a lightning rod, which a smith can forge for us. Head over to whichever smithy will service you-either the Dwarves in Little Mahakam, or to the Order blacksmith and ask them to forge you a lightning rod (this time you’ll need to talk to the smith/armorer, not the trader/merchant). Agree to pay 50 Orens upon completion of the rod, leave the area, re-enter, and claim your lightning rod.
|For having a lightning rod forged||500 XP|