Calling in Favors
Make sure you’re done with everything else this chapter before you talk to Declan. Store excess loot. Make potions. All that fun stuff. Mandatory warning aside, head upstairs and talk to Declan, who will inform you they’ve found out more about Salamandra. He wants to storm the Salamandra headquarters, but this is no simple affair. Their power and influence are greater than Leuvaarden had thought, and it seems we’ll need a force of our own with which to attack. The army and the guard won’t do a thing-whomever is issuing the royal edicts and has sided with Salamandra is effectively keeping the organs of the state paralyzed as far as Salamandra is concerned. That means it’s up to us to recruit either the Scoia’tael or the Order to help us. One of them owes us a favor, and the other… well, isn’t an option any more. So begins the terminal quest of Chapter 3, "The Unforgiven" .
Head to the Temple Quarter and talk to either Siegfried or Yaevinn- whomever you sided with during "Gold Rush" and ask for their help in destroying Salamandra. Siegfried can be found at his post, and Yaevinn is hiding out at Vivaldi’s House, and whichever one you helped during "Gold Rush" will return the favor, here. Now that this little errand is out of the way, return to Triss’ House and tell her you’ve found some allies. She’ll respond by suggesting that you carry on with the plan-but even she will warn you to finish up any business you have in Vizima. Last warning.
|For enlisting aid against Salamandra||500 XP|
Assaulting Salamandra Headquarters
Return to the New Narakort… What happens when you arrive is determined by what action you took regarding Vincent earlier. Long story short-a fight breaks out. If Vincent is still alive, he’ll be here to assist you against a group of rather potent Salamanders-either as a Werewolf, or simply as himself. Whatever your disposition towards the guy, you can’t say that he lacks for courage. If you killed Vincent earlier, his men will be out for blood, and will attack-assisted by a Salamandra Mage. The fight against Vincent’s Guards is fairly rough, even for a Geralt that had over 800 Vitality at the time (those Halberds hurt, and letting that Salamandra Mage sit back and blast you is not a good idea.) If you can get to the mage, take him out quickly with the Strong Style, otherwise use the Group Style on the Masked Warriors or the guards, whichever you face. It’s a battle that can be very worthy of a potion. After it’s done, watch a little illustrated narrative about the whole Vincent matter, then head upstairs.
Once upstairs you’ll meet your fellow conspirators-Triss, Declan, and either Seigfried or Yaevinn. They’ll bicker shortly over the details of the impending assault… until Count de Wett shows up and decides the issue for them. The attack begins now, and Triss performs a risky teleportation to get us out of trouble.
Two points to think about now. First, in Kaer Morhen, Savolla was almost impotent against a relatively weak Geralt after using a teleportation spell, so one has to wonder how much help Triss will be. Second, how did de Wett know where we were, and what we were doing? An anonymous tip seems unlikely, and the only toes we’ve stepped on so far have been Salamandra’s… Anyhow, Geralt will appear-alone-in a tunnel. He’ll complain about Triss, but there’s little to do but carry on. So much for mister "Witchers work alone."
Head to the east, where you’ll find a group of Salamanders in a cavern, beyond some roots. Blast the roots with Aard, then proceed to slaughter the low-quality enemies. After slaughtering and looting the hapless Salamanders, loot the room and continue up a tunnel to the north. You’ll eventually stumble across Yaevinn or Siegfried, who tells us that Triss stayed behind to deal with de Wett, and that we need to activate a portal to let our allies in.
Fortunately, we have a way to do this, but unfortunately, this means fighting a mage. By now, it’s something Geralt should be used to-consider it practice for if you ever come across Azar again. Oh, and apparently Triss was able to filch some of the information we uncovered in the Swamp Tower off of us. Peachy.
Turn west to look into a large cavern. You can see plenty of Salamanders ahead, and the group near the curtain of lightning in the distance consists of some low-quality Salamanders, two mages, and some Commanders. It’s quite possible to take them on and win, and beyond them lies the real prizes-the Professor and Azar Javed.
Unfortunately, this entire area is just here to show us that Salamandra does indeed have an army, and that one Witcher cannot defeat them all. It’s not as cheap as the insta-kill that Azar did if we called him out while impersonating Raymond last chapter, it’s more like the Crisis Core cheapness-throw infinite hordes of enemies at you until you die or get bored enough to let them kill you.
Note also that there’s "Alvaro’s Portal" a safe distance between you and the Salamanders. This is the portal we’re supposed to activate to summon our allies. If you look to the north, along the north-eastern edge of the chamber you’ll find a lone Salamandra Mage who guards the Stone of Power we need. Kill him, and grab the Stone of Power . You can also read the book "Prohibita, list of forbidden artefacts, Ars Magica" on the stand nearby, if you want to know more about Alvaro’s Portal and the Stone of Power. Finally, loot the nearby crate for its various goodies, including a Sun Rune .
|For activating Alvaro's Portal with the Stone of Power||2500 XP|
Head over to Alvaro’s Portal with the Stone of Power in your inventory, and activate it. Once done, some allies will show up, and you can assault the Salamanders guarding Azar and the Professor. When the magical barrier around the two is gone, head up to them and Azar will start talking, rambling on about some grand plan. Literally, this is what he calls it. He complains about Foltest, Adda, Nilfgaard, and the Lodge of Sorceresses, and of course claims that Salamandra isn’t evil.
Endure his disappointingly cliche speech of grandoise delusion and conversation will thankfully yield to conflict. Azar claims to have learned better than to underestimate us, and prepares to crush Geralt with some spell or another-only to find that Geralt is (much to Geralt’s own surprise) utterly immune to it. Alzur’s Shield-some magic we found in the Swamp Tower that was taken from us by Triss-preserved Geralt. Azar wisely remembers what happened last time he decided to melee with Geralt, and flees, leaving the Professor behind.
When we recover from Azar’s foiled spell assault, our ally will check on us. It seems that whatever happened, we are on the right side of a magical barrier that now prevents our allies from reaching us. Just as well, we have a date long overdue with the Professor, and these affairs are best resolved alone.
Best Served Cold
Go down a tunnel along the north western side of the room and follow it until you enter a room with the Professor. If you’re at all uncertain about fighting him, drink some potions and continue forward. As you enter the chamber, some rocks will fall, conveniently blocking our way back, and some Salamanders will attack-the Professor’s last line of defense. Note how Alzur’s Shield continues to work its magic by zapping our attackers. Nice.
Approach the Professor and he’ll have some words for you-last words, as it were. He persists in calling you an abberation and a freak, and complains that you’re trying to prevent the creation of new Witchers-obviously referring to some of Salamandra’s plans with the stolen mutagens.
If you indulge him, he’ll reveal the supposed flaw of Witchers-they have emotions. According to the Professor, we should be mindless, emotionless, monster-slayers. The Professor’s slip about the creation of new Witchers, and his ideaology of what a Witcher should be raises a worrisome question-what would happen if Salamandra were able to create their own Witchers? Mindless super-soldiers, as it were.
Enough conjecture, however. After his speech the Professor attacks. If you were worried about him… well, you were wrong to be. He’ll die fairly quickly, obviously not having improved much since the swamp. He does summon some Kikimore Warriors to defend him, but just ingore them and go after the Professor. When you’ve put him down, a cutscene will ensue.
Note: According to the official manual he’ll be capable of using some spells if you botched the confrontation with Azar at the end of Chapter 2. I didn’t, you didn’t, and it simply requires me to fail or inadequately complete too many quests in Chapter 2 to bother with.
|For defeating the Professor||1500 XP|
The Professor will beg for mercy, and when Geralt casually dispatches a wounded Salamander, he realizes his number is up next. He’ll attempt to shoot Geralt with a hand-crossbow, only to witness that true Witchers CAN parry bolts in flight. In desperation, he’ll shoot some nearby equipment and cause an explosion.
When the dust settles, a superhuman regenerating mutant recovers faster than a douche with stupid glasses. Geralt heads over to dispatch the Professor, but a Kikimore Queen springs out of the ground and beats Geralt to the punch. That’s right, an ant sniped our Professor!
The Kikimore Queen
Save your game before continuing on. You noticed those giant eggs, right? Queenie will get mad when we try to make a break for it, and she doesn’t fight fair. Here’s how things work-you’re going to make a mad dash to the east, and the Kikimore Queen is going to chase you. If she catches you, you are really going to wish she hadn’t. She might not one-hit-kill you, but she can easily do over 800 points of damage a hit, which means she might as well kill you. Interestingly enough, Quen might protect you from a hit, but since it goes away if you use a sign or attack, it’s not really useful here.
Get the Aard sign ready, and head across the large chamber to the east. When you’re near the small tunnel, a cutscene will show the Kikimore Queen emerging to defend the nest, and Geralt will comment on the supports holding up the tunnel walls and ceiling. The idea is to get past the supports, blast them with Aard, and hence buy yourself some time to make it to the next pillars. Don’t get all worked up, take this methodically, move past each set of supports then blast them. Ignore the other Kikimores in the way-they’ll just get you killed if you bother swinging at them (and you could run out of Stamina if you bother to use Igni on them too much). Instead, just double tap the movement button in their direction (with your sword out) to jump over-or-around them. Destroy three sets of supports on your way to a cavern full of support beams.
This is where this encounter really gets assy. You need to knock out some of the supports and bring the roof down to crush the Kikimore Queen. As soon as you get into this room go around and blast… say… three support beams. Then you need to run to the tunnel to the west. You know the ceiling is coming down if you see it covered in a coat of white dust. The only problem is, there’s no real indication if you’ve hit a support or not, or how many you’ve hit… Added onto that, if you destroy them too fast and don’t get into the tunnel quick enough, you’ll be crushed by the collapse, too. On the other hand, if you’re too conservative or cautious, you could retreat to the corridor too early or without collapsing enough supports, and the Queen will follow and kill you.
With that ordeal over with, there’s only one thing left to do-search the Kikimore Queen. Apparently we’re supposed to believe that it might have gobbled some important things off the Professor? Anyways, search it to find "The Professor’s Letter, Ready to Send" , an interesting note that not only has the Professor berating Azar, but mentions Alvin-obviously an important part of Salamandra’s plans, and the agent sent after him-Berengar. You’ll also find a Scroll of Kikimore’s Ire , the Kikimore Queen’s Nerve (to be used in creating said Kikimore’s Ire potion), The Book of the Wolverine , and the Professor’s Report , which discusses Salamandra’s alliance with Adda (and their subsequent displeasure at her incompotence) and their use of the stolen mutagens to control the Kikimores (if you were wondering why Kikimores and Salamanders seemed to be getting along so well… except for the Queen, apparently.)
There’s no longer any need to wonder why de Wett showed up at the New Narakort, and the rival faction in court that has been issuing phoney edicts and working with Salamandra is-as you probably expected-Adda. Although Adda’s coup was predictable, it doesn’t make it any less inconvenient for us. Nothing left to do now but head up to the surface and do what we must.
Note: Next chapter, mix up a "Kikimore’s Ire" potion with the following ingredients: Vitriol/Quebrith/Hydragenum/Vermillion and the Kikimore Queen’s Nerve . Consuming it will get you the 'Mutation' ability.
Once you surface you’ll be greeted by a squad of guards led by none other than Adda. Sure, Geralt can parry bolts in flight, but unless he can parry several at once, this might be a problem. Adda questions Geralt about what he knows, and obviously it seems she prefers that he would know less than he did. Geralt, however, is in no mood to play meek, and spills the beans. Adda sentences him to death, but agrees to fulfill Geralt’s last request-a kiss from Adda. Triss, watching Geralt remotely decides to deprive him of this pleasure and whisks him away.
|For killing the Kikimore Queen and thwarting Salamandra and Adda||5000 XP|