Ahead of you are two knights who are blocking your way. Approach and a fight ensues. Search them for a key (both carry one) and unlock the nearby door leading to the ‘Grand Master’s Chambers. Beyond you’ll see an ideallic banquet, the Grand Master admires an infant-it’s almost as bogus and cheesy as a political campaign commercial.
Geralt informs the Grand Master that women and children won’t prevent him from fighting, and the Grand Master spills the beans-Ithlinne’s prophecy is unfolding, and the Grand Master dreams of the ice age that will destroy humanity. Jacques de Aldersberg fancies himself a comic-book villain, the savior of humanity-by any means necessary. When negotiations fail (Geralt becomes pushy and obstinant) the Grand Master will teleport them both away.
The Ice Plains
You’ll find yourself in an icy cave, after the Grand Master’s teleportation. Head over to him and he’ll speak some more, and invite you to follow him outside, where he’ll explain. He didn’t take you somewhere else, he took you into the future. Merely behold the ice-encased towers of Vizima, the “White Frost” of Ithlinne’s prophecy has come. The Grand Master will explain himself-the Order was created to save humanity. Geralt will have none of it, and when negotiations break down the Grand Master will again teleport away-far away-and summon some Omens of Fire to pester you. Dispatch them like the over-glorified Ifrits that they are.
Continue to the north-east and your lover will appear. She’ll explain this place more fully than Jacques did-it’s an image born of his fears and foresight-perhaps not a where OR a when, but a what-if. Of course, Geralt’s will has some pull here, too, hence Shani/Triss showing up.
They’ll resolve to help you out, and in this regard, Triss is superior to Shani, as she’ll give you the“‘Lightning Storm“ ability, which will give you chance of causing lightning damage to enemies as you fight. Continue north-east and you’ll encounter some Skullheads-brutes that deal respectable damage, but can be chopped down with the Strong Silver Style. They shouldn’t seriously pose much of a threat. This would be a good time to note the blizzard that follows you. It exists to… ah… “discourage” you from back-tracking. Not that there’s any point in doing so, but just be forewarned that running too far into the blizzard will result in a game-over. Geralt is immune to diseases, not to cold.
Now that we have a linear path ahead of us, I can just say ‘go forward’ instead of expecting you to have to follow directions! Yay! Ease for the guide-writer. Continue forward and dispatch any more Skullheads you encounter until you find Abigail on an ice bridge.
She’ll comment on your past actions, and mention the Skullheads-what humans have apparently devolved into in this little fantasy of Jacques’. If you saved her from the mob in Chapter 1, she’ll give you a Swallow potion and a Tawny Owl potion. If you let the mob kill her she’ll end up attacking you. When she falls, a pack of Barghests will appear. By this point in the game, they’re just fodder. Kill them all and move on.
The First Encounter
Continue in the magic direction until you find some large ice shards that contain Skullheads. Kill the three that emerge, then continue into a cave, where the Grand Master awaits again. His words to you will vary depending on what advice you gave Alvin pertaining to his “gift” during the quest ‘Alvin’ in Chapter 4.
Travel through the cave and put down a Wild Hunt Wraith when it appears. Shortly thereafter, big daddy “King of the Wild Hunt” will show up and tell Geralt he can’t stop the inevitable, before he summons a group of Wild Hunt Wraiths to pester us. Kill them and continue on until you escape the cave.
As you near the cave exit, you’ll get another politically variable encounter. If you sided with the Order, White Rayla will appear, and she’ll admit to being happy to see you-you know, even with that whole killing her thing. Pick option #1 and she’ll offer to fight at your
side. Pick option #2 and she’ll grant you the “Soulcatcher” ability, which “Restores Vitality with each opponent killed.”
If you sided with the Scoia’tael, Toruviel will appear. When you get the chance to respond to her, pick option #1 and she’ll grant you the “Fiery Swords” ability, which deals “Additional fire damage”, pick option #2 and she’ll join you.
If you remained neutral Celina the Nightwraith will show up. When you get the chance to respond pick option #1 and she’ll give you the “Soulcatcher” ability, same as White Rayla, pick option #2 and she’ll aid you in battle.
The Second Encounter
Keep going uphill, killing Skullheads and Wild Hunt Wraiths as you go up the side of a mountain. Eventually you’ll run into the Grand Master again. This time his response depend on what you told Alvin about Elves when he was captured by the Scoia’tael in Chapter 4, during the quest “Free Elves” .
Advance uphill and kill some Mutants along the way. Eventually you will encounter one of your former faction-aligned friends. If you sided with the Order, you’ll meet Yaevinn, who will resort to violence. If you sided with the Scoia’tael, you’ll have to deal with an equally hostile Siegfried. If you remained neutral you’ll have to fight both of them. Look! They’re finally getting along!
Nothing to do but move forward. Kill a Mutant Assassin and advance until you meet Alvin. Your lover will exclaim, but Geralt realizes that it’s only an illusion. Alvin will depart without incident.
The Third Encounter
Further on you’ll have your final peaceful encounter with the Grand Master, and like earlier, his response will echo what you told Alvin earlier. This time, the Grand Master has made use of the advice you gave Alvin when he asked about Witchers.
Dispatch three more Mutant Assassins that have the poor fortune of being in your way and in time you’ll run into Adda. She’ll comment on the narrow gap that divides humans and monsters-a subject she knows only too well-and if you saved her in Chapter 5, she’ll decide she wants tohelp you… and by help you, she means turn into a Striga and maul things.
If you killed her in Chapter 5 Count de Wett will show up, and will profess to be the embodiment of your hatred for monsters… and will decide to help you in battle. Regardless of who wins, there’s going to be one less monster. If you killed Adda but didn’t kill Vincent, Vincent will appear, and aid you as a Werewolf.
Head across a flimsy looking natural bridge, and it will predictably collapse.. it’s just the game’s way of saying you can’t go back anymore. Wasn’t the blizzard sufficient? Anyways, you’ll have to deal with some Greater Brothers, and two Order Commanders. If you’re wondering why you keep getting afflicted with Blinding, Pain, Knockdown, it’s because of Adda-not your enemies. Apparently her attacks discriminate damage, but not status effects. Note that if you have Triss’ ‘Lightning Storm’ ability it’ll target Adda, too. Apparently the status-effect hatred goes both ways.
Kill your foes and your lover will tell you that you must do this last part alone-the Grand Master will not allow anybody else into the heart of his vision. One has to wonder why he allowed anybody else in here at all… anyways. Geralt will reveal a convention of this game to be bogus by meditating without the aid of a fireplace. So much for needing a fire to meditate, you liar. Eh, still, it’s nice they gave us one final chance to rest, heal, and prepare. Be sure to have some White Raffard’s Decoctions, Blizzard Potions, and perhaps some Wolf and Wolverine, if you’re the melee type, or some Petri’s Philter and Tawny Owl if you’re the sign-using type.
Showdown with the Grand Master
Now for the big final fight. You’ll speak with Jacques de Aldersberg one final time. He’ll reveal his plans-he stole the mutagens to make superhuman knights. Not, as he claims, to carve an empire for himself, but to safeguard humanity during its long sojourn across the icy wastelands. Witchers are too few, and too full of doubts and emotions to have served his purpose.
It doesn’t matter what you say-and your options are limited-this ends in a fight. And that’s just as well, we didn’t just play this much game to have a philosophical debate. You heard me, Mass Effect 3. Anyways, no reconciliation is possible. Geralt attacks, and Jacques teleports away, but summons five Mutants to fight in his stead.
Round one of this fight is simple-kill the five Mutants. They’re no stronger than the Mutants we’ve been butchering, and granted, five-on-one are odds we’ve rarely faced with Mutants, but that doesn’t make this fight difficult. Group Steel Style will kill them with ease… as will a few blasts from a high-powered Igni sign. Three blasts, in fact, was all it took to dispatch them all. No potions, no buffs, no sweat.
After they die, Jacques will show up with more Omens of Fire. My advice? Ignore them, use the Strong Steel Style, and focus solely on Jacques. As the Omens of Fire advance, they’ll constrict the battlefield with a magical barrier, and can cause Knockdown, but the Grand Master himself has few tricks up his sleeve. He can hit you with his shield to cause Knockdown, and he’s surprisingly resistant to magic (for reasons we’ll discover shortly). If his Omens of Fire are being a bother, switch to the group style and take them out.
Defying the Wild Hunt
When you’ve inflicted enough damage, the King of the Wild Hunt will show up and strike down the Grand Master, then turn to accost Geralt. He’s again demeaning and cryptic, and points out all of the death and destruction that follows Geralt in his wake, ennumerating all of our “crimes” as we hunted down Salamandra. He’ll claim us to be his greatest champion before finally getting to the point-he wants the soul of Jacques de Aldersberg.
If you acquiesce the spectre will merely declare the soul of Jacques de Aldersberg-whom you knew by another name-to be his, and let you finish your messy business. If you refuse, you’ll have to fight the King of the Wild Hunt-and this time, he can be beaten. He’s been a pain in the ass all game, and there’s no reason why he should get to avoid a thrashing when everybody else who crossed Geralt didn’t. Ignore whatever Wild Hunt Wraiths he summons and focus on him-abuse him with the Strong Silver Style, and he should be smote in short order. All that’s remains to be done is to finish off the prostrate Grand Master…
Something Ends, Something Begins…
When you’re done chasing off the King of the Wild Hunt and slaying Jacques de Aldersberg, you’ll appear back in the Order of the Flaming Rose cloister-bothered by Dandelion. He’ll explain the outcome of the battle, your side won (or Foltest bled both sides before victoriously taking control of matters with his fresh Temerian army, if you were neutral), and the Grand Master is dead.
Loot the body of Jacques de Aldersberg to discover a familiar Dimeritium Amulet, and the “Secrets Stolen from Kaer Morhen” . This finally ends the quest “Witcher’s Secrets” , and if you haven’t guessed it by now, gives another huge smack-in-the-face hint about the Grand Master’s true identity. Head over to the door that exits the cloister, and Dandelion will sum things up.. and ask what you intend to do next. Answer however you wish, and Dandelion will comment on your answer. Watch the ending cutscene you’ve earned, then watch the ending cinematic that sets up the sequel: The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings