The Matron and the Whore
Talk to Vaska to learn that new trouble has beset the Brickmakers-this time more interesting to Geralt than just some Drowners. Men with Salamander Badges have driven off the Lumberjacks and have been forcing Brickmakers they capture to gather herbs. They are led by an evil man named Roland Bleinheim. Our job? Find the enslaved Brickmakers, drive off the Salamanders, and save the day. But first…
Head south to the Docks to find Carmen, of all people. Given Carmen’s profession, she can’t be out here for the work. I doubt the Brickmakers had much money even in the best of times. Since she’s a pretty lady, and she’s obviously got something to say, talk to her and she’ll tell you that her man is a Werewolf. She came here to get a cure from the local Druids, but her chances of making it through the swamp-and more importantly, its monsters-are slim. Be a good gentleman and Witcher and offer to talk to the Druids for her. This will start the quest aptly named "Beauty and the Beast" . It’s one of those rare jobs that’s entirely suited to Geralt’s profession.
Note: If you’re playing a hard-line, consummate Witcher (the "neutral" Geralt as far as this guide is concerned) and think that the only good lycanthrope is a dead lycanthrope, you might not want to start this quest at all. If you plan to "cure" Carmen’s lover with death, there is no way you can complete this quest… and having a ghastly red mark in your quest-log… it’s just incomprehensible! On the plus side, killing the Werewolf is the only way you can obtain the "Werewolf Fur" reagent, and hence, the only way you can make the "Werewolf’s Wrath" potion… and hence-hence, the only way you can obtain the "Predator" talent.
Liberating the Brickmakers
Now to kill two birds with one stone-we’ll head over to the Druid Grove, stopping at various locations inhabited by Salamanders along the way. First stop is the Swamp Cave in which we spent so much time productively turning Geralt into an unstoppable killing machine… er… more of one.
Inside the Swamp Cave you’ll find an Overseer and several of his attendents, who are laughably weak. Dispose of them and afterwards a Brickmaker will tell you that some of his fellows are being held at the Lumberjack’s Camp. There’s also a "Boy" in the cave that you should talk to, and when you do Geralt will recognize him as the missing Brickmaker kid we’ve been looking for. Instead of being captured by Druids or Dyrads, he was apparently an early Salamandra abductee. Geralt will tire of his mindless cult ramblings, but at least we found him, eh?
|For finding the lost Brickmaker boy||500 XP|
|For freeing the Brickmakers in the Swamp Cave||1000 XP|
Leave the Swamp Cave and head north, north-east to find a small island north-west of the Altar of Melitele. It’s distinct because it’s absolutely swarming with Bloedzuigers. Kill them, and loot a corpse on the island to find a "Family Ring" , amongst other goodies.
It’s a new chapter, so you should know a few things by now-there’s new people to sleep with, new people to box, new people to play poker with, and a new character who has lost a ring you need to gather. We’re doing this quest backwards-getting the ring before we get the quest to get the ring-but it all works out in the end, and cuts down on the running around we have to do. The experience listed below is technically incorrect-you won’t actually get this experience yet (you have to start the quest to get the experience for getting the ring as part of the quest) but since it’s fresh in our minds, it migh as well be recorded here. You’ll get it when the quest actually starts. Honest.
|For recovering the Family Ring||500 XP|
Now it’s time to deal with more Salamanders. Head south-west to the Lumberjack’s Camp to find that, while the Lumberjacks have indeed been displaced, there are plenty of guilty Salamanders about. Same deal as before, several "Overseer’s Helpers" and an "Overseer" need to be slain, which is cake. Afterwards, a Brickmaker will chat with you and tell you that the Salamanders are based in the old Nonhuman camp… which you probably already noticed running around between grind sessions.
|For freeing the Brickmakers in the Lumberjack's Camp||1000 XP|
Before we eradicate the last group of Salamanders in the swamp, go to the Druid Grove and talk to the Hierophant. Not surprisingly, he seems to remember Geralt, too. Everybody knew Geralt! You can get him to whine about pollution and defend his defense of the Scoia’tael by picking dialogue option #3, and you can find out that he plays poker at a professional level by picking dialogue option #2. Most importantly, ask the Hierophant about cures for lycanthropy, and after he chastises you for not knowing them yourself, he’ll make three suggestions, which we’ll follow in order; have a shirt made of Fool’s Parsley (which we should have already gathered), get an alchemist to craft a cure, or… true love.
|For defeating three Professional players||200 XP|
After enduring the gambling Druid’s hippy crap, it’s time to kill some politically dissident drug dealers. See? The Witcher isn’t a fantasy game-it’s a commentary on modern society-except for the Druid part.
Anyways, head over to the Collapsed Tower, which is east of the Druid Grove to find the third and final group of Brickmakers. Once the Salamanders are dead, one Brickmaker will uselessly tell you that one group is being kept in the Swamp Cave, and that Salamandra was forcing them to manufacture Fisstech. Why Geralt is surprised after Chapter 2 is beyond me.
|For freeing the Brickmakers near the Collapsed Tower||1000 XP|
Now that the Salamanders are dead and the Brickmakers are liberated, return to Vaska for your reward. She’ll give you a book for your trouble… and after dealing with the Bookseller in Vizima, we know how valuable those can be. As for tackling the Salamandra base, she’ll refer you to the Hierophant, who may be willing to help us in our endeavor. Be sure to talk about the missing boy while you’re here and finish "A Lost Lamb" .
|For reporting to Vaska after freeing all the Brickmakers||3000 XP Hymns of Madness and Despair|
|For telling Vaska you found the missing boy||2000 XP|
The Butchering of Roland
We were warned earlier that we’d need an army to storm the Salamandra camp. If that’s the case, Geralt is clearly an army. Storming the camp is actually easier than the route the game wants you to take, which is to complete the quest "Diplomacy and Hunting" by the letter. It is, however, more rewarding to complete the quest.
The Salamanders in the camp can be easily dispatched by luring them one or two at a time away from the rest of the camp, then slaughtering them. You can then take their gear and sell it (Illegal Swords sell for 70 Orens each.) Or, if you don’t care to painstakingly carry swords back to town, you can set up a Yrden Sign on the bridge and lure the Salamanders unto it. It’s a natural bottle-neck, and despite their numbers, you’ll only have to fight one or two at a time (although the Salamandra Mage might summon an Ifrit to harass you, it’s not a serious threat). So long as you don’t kill Roland Bleinheim, there’s no problem… although to this end, it’s easier to just do the quest first, then clear out the stragglers at the Salamandra camp.
Head over to the Druid Grove again and talk to the Hierophant. He’ll ask you to gather a Psilocybe for him, from which he can brew a potion to entice the Salamanders. This ingredient is found in the Swamp Cave, in the furthest room where we spent plenty of time killing Cockatrices. If you got it earlier during your runs, great. If not, go grab it now. On the plus side you’ll get to kill more Cockatrices!
Bring it back to the Hierophant and he’ll elect to set out when you’re ready. Be prepared. If you don’t have an uber Geralt, brew up some potions like Swallow, Blizzard, Wolf, and Petri’s Philter, depending on what sort of leveling scheme you’ve pursued.
|For convincing the Hierophant to help you ambush Salamandra||1000 XP|
Tell the Hierophant when you’re ready and follow him south to the ambush spot. He walks painfully slow, stay a good distance away from him, and when he stops save the game. This way if anything goes awry you don’t have to follow his slow ass again.
When ready, approach him and he’ll warn you-belatedly-that you had better be ready. After the conversation is over, the Salamanders will show up, and since Geralt is near, they don’t even bother chatting with the Hierophant. They come in two groups, and accompanying them are a pair of Kikimore Warriors-which more or less serve as tanks for this fight, and break up your tactics. On your side you have the Hierophant (who sucks in combat, but can heal you) and some Wyverns.
With a 35th-level Geralt, this fight is cake, just blast them with a high-powered Igni a few times to reduce their numbers, and cut up the survivors. If you’re lower-leveled, drink your potions before approaching the Hierophant at the ambush site, and use the Group Steel Style with Harvall to reduce the number of Salamanders. Ignore the Kikimores since they’ll be difficult to kill without switching to the Silver Sword, and the crowd of Salamanders are just more dangerous. When the Salamanders are dead (or at least severely reduced) switch to the Silver Sword and use the Strong Silver Style to kill the Kikimores.
After the slaughter is over, loot Roland’s body (which can be rather difficult to find) for the "Scroll of Werewolf’s Wrath" , a "Royal Letter of Safe Conduct" , and an "Encrypted Message" . Talk to the Hierophant again and tell him that the job’s over to complete "Diplomacy and Hunting" . This also updates the long-running quest "Witcher’s Secrets" . These documents don’t hold any signifigance for us now, but they’ll streamline a few quests later on. The Letter of Safe Conduct should be especially worrisome for Geralt, as it just stinks of political intrigue. At best they have a very good forger, or at worst Salamandra is in league with the as-of-yet absent king.
|For killing Roland Bleinheim||4000 XP|
It’s time to return to Vizima-and we can make this mundane task rewarding if we head to the Dike and work our way back through the Temple District. If you’re incredibly cheap you can teleport to Kalkstein’s Laboratory and walk-or you could just take the ferry. Ferryman’s got to eat too, right?
Once there, talk to the "Desperate Merchant" and inquire about his curiosity. He’ll ultimately ask you to recover a Family Ring that was lost in the Swamp Forest-which we already did. Hand over the ring to resolve this quest, nice and painless like. Note that at night the Dike is all but abandoned, so make your trip here during the day.
|For returning the Family Ring to the Desperate Merchant||2000 XP 100 Orens|