Azar and the Professor both barely escaped our grasp, but we sent them running. After recovering from the Professor’s assault we’ll find ourselves in Triss’ care-after getting an update about the escalation of the fighting between the Order and the Scoia’tael. Triss talks ominously with a figure in the mirror and mentions things we shouldn’t hear-but do. If you were hoping for some kind of resolution to the last chapter, you’re surely sorely disappointed. All is not lost, however, as we have access to a new quarter of Vizima, and if that weren’t enough, there’s new things to see, people to talk to, quests to do, and stuff to loot in all the old areas, too.
The first thing we should do, however, is grind, which can be done with less fuss in this chapter than in any previous chapter, and this time we’re hunting Cockatrice. Although they’re a bit more dangerous than the Graviers were last Chapter, our Strong Silver Style should serve us well. Best of all, they’re worth many times more experience-at level 25 they’ll be giving an even 700 experience per kill… which is about three times more than a Gravier would give.
Another goal of ours in this chapter is to obtain a sizable fortune-we still can buy that Excellent Leather Jacket (which will set us back 5,000 Orens), and we’ll have to cover the typical new-chapter expenses: bribes, books, gifts, and other pocket-emptiers. Fortunately, we’re getting paid more than ever for most jobs (both monster hunts will get us 600 Orens each, and Kalkstein still owes us a whopping 1000 Orens).
Also, we’ll be fighting more Salamanders in this chapter than previously, and they always drop weapons-some of which sell very well-if you’re willing to drag them back to a blacksmith. If that’s not enough, boxing at the New Narakort can be pretty lucrative-there are two Tough Fist Fighters who will bet up to 50 Orens a fight, and two Fist Fighters who will bet up to 20 Orens. That’s a potential 140 Orens per visit. The specifics of money gathering will be left up to you-with notes provided whenever a particularly profitable situation is at hand.
New Chapter, New Quests, New Critters
Triss will come over and make sure Geralt’s got his strength back in a most pleasant way. Afterwards, she’ll tell you that-because of your reactions while unconscious-she decided to read your mind to see what was going on. She’ll suggest that you establish your personality more firmly by taking a stance on local politics. She’ll also babble on about magical auras, something which she wants you to investigate, and a banquet which will attract high-rollers, which we really should attend. Then there’s the matter of martial law restricting movement in the Trade Quarter, and… long story short, we’ve got a whole new quarter of Vizima to explore, and more things to do-even though we haven’t exactly resolved everything we started earlier. Such is life. Talking to Triss starts "A Posh Reception" , "Identity" , "All the Kings Men" , and "The Source" -a new batch of quests for a new chapter.
Of course, our first goal is to grind. Grinding is good, and in this chapter we’ll make our Geralt even more stupendously strong. In Triss’ House you’ll find a Teleporter, with which you can return to the Mages’ Tower in the Swamp Forest (you can also go to Kalkstein’s House, but there’s not really any point.) Teleport to the Swamp Forest and ignore Kalkstein for now-he owes us a lot of money, and talking to him will complete "A Mysterious Tower" , but we might as well save that stable experience reward for after grinding, right?
You’ll notice the Swamp Forest has changed. Insectoid critters called Kikimores roam about in packs, and Kikimore Warriors are imposingly large-but not terribly dangerous. You might be excited to see the great experience they give-but they’re small game. At night you’ll be more likely to encounter Archespores than you were in Chapter 2, and where the Alghouls were last chapter you can now encounter Cemetaurs.
Ultimately you’ll want to head to the Swamp Cave-that’s where we’ll be hunting this chapter, but some obstacles are in your way. Namely, on Wyvern Island you’ll find that the old Wyverns have been replaced by Royal Wyverns, led by a unique beastie named Moa . South of there, near the Fireplace where we hunted Alghouls last chapter, you’ll find a pack of Wolves led by another critter named Voref .
Since we want to add that stable experience onto our leveling gains, you’d have to try and steer between the two… or you could just head east to Gramps’ House, and take the long way down to the Brickmaker’s Village, then head west to the Swamp Cave. Then again, considering the experience you’ll get from the Cockatrices is so good, jumping the gun and killing one of the beasties might just be worth the time-saver. Voref is painfully easy, gives no noteworthy experience (at least, not from killing) and is by far the more annoying of the two. Just don’t kill both before turning one in-you can only carry one trophy at a time.
The Cockatrice Grind
Regardless of how you get there, inside the Swamp Cave you’ll find a diminished supply of Wolves being decimated by an encroaching pack of Cockatrices. The Wolves are just a nuisance-you’re hunting Ornithosaurs. Each Cockatrice gives 825 experience, and even adjusted for your level, they’re still giving you more experience per kill than the next most rewarding creature (Kikimore Warriors) in this chapter-before the latter is even adjusted.
If you were modest last chapter and grinded Graviers until you were level 15, you should have at least reached level 20 by the end of Chapter 2. If so, you’ll be getting around 700 experience per Cockatrice, and even if you wanted to level up until you were level 50, you’d still be earning 575 experience per Cockatrice upon reaching your goal. Best of all, there can be as many as ten Cockatrices in this cave at once-although you should only have to deal with three or four at a time. Of course, there could be as few as five or six, depending upon how diligently you hunt them, and how much time you wait between runs.Frankly put, you can get some great experience very quickly, and really, your imagination is the only limit to how high you can level.
When you hit level 30 you’ll start earning Gold Talents, with which you should immediately purchase Strength (Level 5), Dexterity (Level 5), Fast Silver Styles, and anything else you think might speed up your grinding. To this end, getting a decent Igni comes highly recommended. If you get Intelligence (Level 5) and Endurance (Level 5), Intensity, Mental Endurance, Added Endurance, and Added Efficiency for Igni, you can destroy groups of Cockatrices in two castings-which will take up less than half of your Endurance.
Decide what you absolutely must have-whether you want to turn yourself into a melee meat grinder, power up your Signs, or whatever else strikes your fancy-and purchase those talents. To make a strong Witcher, you should hit at least level 35, which isn’t nearly as painful as it sounds… it’ll get you a handful of wonderful, wonderful gold talents, which will significantly boost your power.
Our grind this time works like so-enter the cave, kill the Cockatrices, and whatever Wolves remain to annoying you-and leave. The Cockatrices don’t respawn as fast as the Graviers, and there’s no Fireplace inside the Swamp Cave, so after killing the Cockatrices head outside and rest at the nearby Fireplace for twenty-four hours. You’ll probably be harassed by Drowners, Bloedzuigers, Drowned Dead, and Kikimores outside, and Wolves will spawn in the cave somewhat regularly, all of which will bother you and generally waste your time. If you set your rest schedule so that you wake in the morning, you’ll have to face less swamp monsters in between runs, which is a good thing. As an added bonus, if you’re diligent in looting your enemies, you can obtain a number of alchemical ingredients-Beast Liver and Sewant Mushrooms, in particular, have Rubedo as a secondary ingredient, which will allow you to make potions that speed up Vitality regeneration.
Of course, as you collect loot and fill up your inventory you’ll need to travel back to town to drop stuff off. The cheapest way back to town is via the Teleporter in the Mage’s Tower. If you leave Triss’ House you’ll have a minor encounter with the guard (discussed in more detail later in the guide) which updates "All the King’s Men" . So long as you don’t talk to anybody, you won’t start any quests out of order. Stash your loot at the New Narakort, box once in a while, and all that fun stuff. If you want to ensure you don’t run into anything new, you can always teleport to Kalkstein’s Laboratory and store your loot at the Hairy Bear. Do yourself a favor and grab some Fool’s Parsley while you grind-one plant of it is located on the island north of the Swamp Cave, which is easily obtained between runs. Get yourself at least five units of it, as we’ll need some in a quest later.
Old Debts and New Hunts
Since we’re already here in the Swamp Forest, we might as well deal with the two monster hunts in this chapter. Voref -a unique Wolf-is north-west of the Mage’s Tower, and Moa is a Royal Wyvern on Wyvern Island. Be sure to only kill one at a time, as Geralt can only carry around one trophy. Kill whichever one you find the most annoying ( Voref being the preferred target, as killing it serves to get it out of the way during grinding runs) and head back to the Mage’s Tower.
While we’re here, talk to Kalkstein to claim your reward for getting him access to the tower, and finish up the quest "A Mysterious Tower" . That gold will help out shortly. You can also talk to Kalkstein about his research to discover that he’s apparently on the verge of discovering that all things are made of atoms. Groovy. Activate the Teleporter in the tower and travel back to Triss’ Laboratory. Once there, exit out into the Trade Quarter.
|For talking to Kalkstein after granting him access to the Mage's Tower||2000 XP 1000 Orens|
When you leave Triss’ House you’ll immediately be confronted by a Guard Officer who demands to see your pass. Although of little consequence, it does update the quest "All the Kings Men" , so it’s worth mentioning.
From Triss’ House head south east until you come to an intersection past the "Workshop". From there, head south until you find the Royal Huntsman. Talk to your old buddy from the Outskirts to find that there are two monsters lurking around, a Wolf and a Wyvern. Big surprise. Turn in Voref’s head to gain a surprisingly large reward. A new standard of rewards for a new chapter, eh? Talk to the Royal Huntsman again to get another reward-a Perun Runestone -for slaying a total of five monsters.
Note: To get the Royal Huntsman to give you your well earned-reward for brutally murdering five beasties, you may have to leave the area and return… enter any house, another district, whatever. Just get a loading screen and talk to him again.
|For bringing the Wolf's Head to the Royal Huntsman||5000 XP 600 Orens|
The Notice Board and Marketplace
Now, we don’t need to explore the Trade Quarter yet, but before we return to the Swamp Forest there’s one place we should check out-the Marketplace. It’s surrounded by buildings south-east of Triss’ House, and it can be easily identified by the swarm of green circles denoting the various merchants.
Speaking of which, there’s a Bookseller who will swallow vast amounts of your Orens if you buy the new books he sells. There’s also an Arms Dealer who sells new weapons you don’t need, a Booze Merchant who doesn’t sell any alcohol, a Zerrikanian Trader who sells alchemical ingredients, food, drinks, flowers, and a few books, an Alchemist who sells a wide variety of alchemical ingredients and books, a Blacksmith who will trade with you if you give him a precious stone (any sort will do, but there’s no need to waste your resources, since he doesn’t do anything that the blacksmiths in the Temple Quarter don’t do), and several Merchants who sell gems, jewelry, clothes, and flowers. There’s also a Merchant who will brazenly threaten you on behalf of Salamandra. Brave guy. What you buy is up to you, but being able to gather ingredients from Kikimores will come in handy.
And of course, since we’re here we might as well grab the Notices off the Notice Board by the New Narakort, which is south-west of the Marketplace. We’ll complete these jobs as we interact with the quest-givers, but you might want to collect the Notices now so you’ll know what you need beforehand. Many of the contracts can be fulfilled by killing critters in the Swamp Forest, and we should have incidentally completed more than a few before we’ve actually started the quests. To satisfy these quests you’ll need to collect some Archespore Juice in the Swamp Forest at night, Wyvern Meat can be obtained from the Royal Wyverns and Wyverns on Wyvern Island, Kikimore Workers can be found in the Swamp Forest as well, and we should already have obtained plenty Cockatrice Feathers from grinding.
After shopping as much or as little as you’d like, return to the Swamp Forest and dispatch Moa . The Royal Wyverns that surround her can be tough if you get too many on you at once, but if you’re patient you can lure them away so you’ll have to fight them singly or in pairs. As for Moa herself… she’s no stronger than the rest of the Royal Wyverns. Kill her and take her head, but don’t bother returning yet. We’ve got some Salamanders to deal with before we go back to Vizima. Head over to the Brickmaker’s Village.