It’s a new chapter, but the formula should be familiar. The events of the last chapter ended violently and Geralt found himself rather abruptly transported to a new area. We’ve burnt a bridge as far as the Order-Scoia’tael conflict goes and we’ve found out that Salamandra is in cahoots with Adda… Or rather, in all likelyhood Adda is being used by Salamandra to further their political aspirations in Temeria. Either way, we’ve got a young, impetuous, and frankly bestial princess who wants us dead. So much for that famous Witcher’s neutrality. If anything, this scenario has to be the last thing Geralt wanted.
If that’s not enough, however, we’ve also found out that Alvin-the source-child from Chapter 1-is pratically overflowing with Elder Blood. Salamandra hasn’t failed to notice this, and has tried to abduct him on two occassions-although fortunately thus far they’ve only managed to set a handful of guards against us to contend our possession of Alvin. Unfortunately, the two main women in Geralt’s life have decided to use Alvin as the trophy in their Geralt tug-of-war. Another bridge was burned last chapter, as we had to send Alvin (not only a dangerous Source we need to protect, but a token of our favor) to either Triss or Shani. The loser is none too happy, and the winner views us as some distorted family unit.
Considering that our ability to act in Vizima has been frustrated, we have no other recourse but to wait out the storm, as it were-hurricane Adda. When Foltest returns we should have the ability to counter Adda, as surely the king will be keen to put down his daughter’s coup. Until then, we’ll do what our journal advises-we take a break, lie low, and wait for things to calm down in Vizima. Of course, how much do you want to bet that things will get messy in this quiet back-water?
The chapter starts by showing you some yokels gawking at a submerged city. Geralt will unceremoniously fall from the sky thanks to another bit of expert teleportation from Triss. When he rises, he’ll immediately be bothered by a nosy blonde girl who knows everything. You can ask her about your current location-the village of Murky Waters… the place mentioned in the Professor’s writings (good job, Triss!).
She’ll also talk about a love… square… between Alina, Celina, Adam, and Julian. It’ll come up again… and again… trust me. You can also ask about the city, and she’ll continue on about the fish people, some "Lady", and silly adults and their constant "yearning". Once you’re done talking to her, the "Resolute Girl" will walk away, and Geralt will be left with more than a little unfinished political business we can’t do anything
about in Vizima, and a whole new area to explore.
First things first, head across a bridge to the north-west to find a rather large statue carved into a cliff. Nearby is an altar and a Vodyanoi Priest. Previous experience would encourage us not to expect too much, and sure enough, as soon as we talk to the critter, it garbles at us in its incomprehensible language. Surprisingly, however, it switches to our langauge. Before it gets too chatty, however, it wants us to pay tribute to its pretty statue.
Do so (everybody knows Geralt has no problem bending a knee to a pretty lady) and it’ll have more dialogue options. Ask for work and it will-as most people seem to-have a task for us. Apparently the Vodyanoi aren’t getting along well with the nearby humans, and a Witcher was hired to resolve the issue… in a decidedly unfriendly way. Fortunately, this Witcher is a procrastinator, and is instead busily slaying critters in a nearby crypt. To find out more about the matter, it seems like we’ll need to hunt this Witcher down. This is but one of many ways to start the quest "Ripples" , one of the main quests for this chapter.
Note (Spoilers): The Vodyanoi Priest will be chased off by Dagon worshippers-other Vodyanoi-as you advance quests during this chapter. The game makes it seem like this is a random event, but as far as I can tell, it’s not. You’ll need to advance the quest "Alvin" to be able to advance "Ripples" , and the Vodyanoi Priest will not show up again until you’re actually able to advance "Ripples" . He’ll be back when we need him, and that’s all we need to care about.
Head back across the bridge and explore to the south to find a Naiad hanging out between the island and the mainland shore. Looks a lot like our friend Morenn from the Swamp Forest, doesn’t it? Talk to her and she’ll tell you that she lost a precious necklace while swimming-stolen, apparently, by a Drowner named Zephyr . To lure Zephyr out, you’ll need to provoke him by killing enough of his Drowner friends. She can’t offer us much of a reward, but you know what? Naked green ladies don’t have to. They are reward enough in themselves. This starts the quest "Old Habits Die Hard" , and we’ll need to terminate three groups of Drowners-one group near the river, one near the village, and one on an island.
Continue south to reach the mainland. If you head east from here, along the shore, you’ll find a fireplace near a "Circle of Waning Magic" . Keep heading east, past the circle, and you’ll eventually find a trunk containing some goodies. To the west you’ll find the boat you need to cross to "Black Tern Island". For some reason, Geralt has a twinge of morality, and decides he should ask the boats’ owner before sailing off with it.
Head across a bridge and search the western side of the hut to find the door. Handy things, those doors. Enter the house and talk to the Fisher King (it should still be night, if so, he’ll be in his bed, if not, he’ll be outside, near his boat.) He’s not very talkative… but he will communicate well enough to allow Geralt to borrow his boat whenever we wish. Also, if you haven’t started the quest "Ripples" , he will allude to the fact that the Vodyanoi and the peasants of Murky Waters aren’t getting along… which merely invites you to talk to one side or the other. Loot his hut for some goodies and leave.
Continue to the west, along the shore, to find the area marked on your local map as "Lakeside - naiad’s bathing spot". Here you’ll find the first group of Drowners you need to trounce to provoke Zephyr . Merrily do so. Killing Drowners should need no explanation at this point in the game. Once they’re dead the quest will update. Head south up a hill to find a cave guarded by a lone Elf-provided he wasn’t stupid enough to get killed by Drowners. He has nothing of interest to say to us, but a dark cave is always worth exploring.
What better to inhabit an Elven Cave than Elves? Nothing, of course, that’s what makes it an Elven cave! Unfortunately the Elves within are not in good shape. Talk to Toruviel, the same Elf who gave Dandelion his lute-and who was probably somebody pre-amnesia Geralt would have called a friend. Ask about your past and she’ll explain that you had previously made her doubt her hatred of humanity-a fact that might be amusing now, considering how Geralt often refuses to accept that he still counts as a human (a consideration that many humans themselves seem all too willing to grant.) Ask how you can help this sorry, suffering bunch of Elves and she’ll give you twenty Orens, and request that you visit the nearby village to buy bread-an endeavor that the Elves themselves failed at. This starts the quest "Daily Bread" .
You can also find the elf Chireadan here, another sad-sack who failed at assimilation with humanity. He did, however, pick up quite a skill at dice poker in his tavern-owning days, and is a Sharper. No Elf is too poor and hungry to lose Orens at a game of dice, apparently. Lastly, there’s an "Elven Craftsman" here, who is not important just yet.
|For defeating two Sharpers||400 XP|
A Long Lost Witcher
Immediately upon entering the crypt, Geralt will point out the man standing ahead as Berengar. Funny how he can so readily identify somebody he has never met… then again, what other Witcher could it be? Walk forward to talk to him-Berengar can be summed up in two words- inferiority complex.
We’ll mix chatting with our long-lost Berengar with fighting off various mid-to-high level undead-Bruxae, Alps, and Wraiths. After the first bit of chatter, fight off three Alps and a Bruxa, then follow Berengar deeper into the crypt-he clearly doesn’t care to wait to entertain your questions. Catch up to him again, he’ll chat-and be a bit more aggressive this time-before more undead show up. This time you’ll be entertaining a trio of Alps. Pursue Berengar a third and final time. He’ll allude to Salamandra before a Wraith and three Alps interrupt you. Dispatch them and he’ll agree to chat-back outside.
Before you go, loot a trunk to the east, two sarcophagi and a mutilated corpse in the last room you and Berengar were in, and a crate in a room south of the stairs that exit the crypt. One of these sarcophagi contained a "Piece of Armor". It’s a quest item, it’s important, and it will be mentioned shortly in the game. Note that completing this Step began and significantly updated the quest "The Paths of Destiny" and "Berengar’s Secret" .
|For helping Berengar fight off the first wave of undead||500 XP|
|For helping Berengar fight off the second wave of undead||1000 XP|
|For helping Berengar fight off the third wave of undead||2000 XP|
Leave the crypt and follow Berengar to his campsite, which is along the road leading to Murky Waters. Combining his quips now and before, it’s evident that Berengar is less than satisfied with his life of becoming a Witcher. Perhaps it’s being a perpetual outcast, or perhaps it’s the sterility… either way, Berengar obviously would have prefered to remain mundane, and capable of reproducing-nothing like having the possibility of living vicariously through the next generation if you yourself are a screw up.
And that’s exactly what Berengar is. If we take Vesemir’s account seriously, Berengar ran away from Kaer Morhen repeatedly until finally completing his training. Becoming a Witcher isn’t a simple process, so the thought that anybody could "force" him to become one seems a little absurd. The diet, the trial, the mutation… these aren’t things that can be achieved with thumbscrews, they have a low enough rate of success on willing participants. Then again, who knows? Maybe Witchers are less than honest about their methods.
Our history with Berengar, however, has been one of a Witcher-apologist. How many times have we had our own progress impeded by Beregar’s clumsy diplomacy and lack of follow-through? His dealings with the people in the outskirts of Vizima tainted their opinion of Witchers, and it was Geralt who ultimately had to take out the Beast-a contract
that Berengar skipped out on. Then he stumbled his way through Vizima, his complicity with Salamandra caused us to be burdened with suspicions, particularly from Ramsmeat.
Ask about the conflict he’s currently ignoring, and he’ll simply hand off the quest to resolve the differences between the humans of Murky Waters and the Vodyanoi. This will update "Ripples" . Ask him about the armor he was looking for, and he’ll hand this quest over to you, too. This starts the quest "Armor" , where we’ll be looking for some light, durable armor that offered increased protection, while still being light enough to allow a Witcher to fight. We’ll need to talk to the blacksmith in Murky Waters and the Elven Craftsman in the Elven Cave to advance this quest.
Finally, ask about your faulty technique and Berengar will reveal you leave yourself open in combat-the lingering symptom of formerly having a crushed leg. After this, Berengar will no longer be talkative-your journal eludes to the fact that we’ll need to give him time (read: do other things) until he feels like talking… one question should be playing around in your head; how, exactly, did Berengar get away from Salamandra? A group that has gained political favor with Adda, made a serious attempt at taking control of the Viziman underworld, and with apparent ease robbed the Witchers of Kaer Morhen somehow can’t apprehend an under-achiever like Berengar? Whatever, we’ve waited long enough, it’s time to head into Murky Waters. Follow the road south to cross from the Lakeside to Murky Waters.
Adam, Alvin and Alina
As soon as you cross from Lakeside to the outskirts of Murky Waters you’ll run into Dandelion. He’ll babble about how much he loves this area, the people (especially impressionable country women-folk), the upcoming marriage between Alina and Julian, and he’ll inform us that Alvin-our Alvin-is here… or rather, he’s at Alina’s House. Why did we think leaving him with Triss would make him safer? Oh right, the whole sorceress thing… next time we should try to find a competent sorceress. This starts the quest "Alvin" . Hey, not every quest can have a catchy name. We might as well head to the village and check up on the boy-plus this will streamline a few more events. Gotta love being efficient. Immediately to the east you’ll find another, smaller road heading to the village of Murky Waters itself. Head there, and check your local map, which will have changed to focus on the village, rather than the entire outskirts. Alina’s house is the south-eastern most house.
Enter Alina’s House and you’ll find yourself talking to the freckled bride-to-be. Oooh… a unique face, she must be important. She’ll ask about Witchers, chat about her marriage, and talk about Alvin. The latter is evidently a source of some friction between the not-yet-married couple, as Alina wants to adopt Alvin, but Julian, typically, wants to start his own family. Don’t let the suffering of existing children get in the way of your desires to bring more children into the world. How is this even a topic? Wasn’t Triss was using Alvin as a
trophy to show off that she’s in a "relationship" with Geralt? He’s our unwanted adoptee, dammit! Finally she’ll ask you to check up on her fiance and her sister, Celina. This starts the quest "The Heat of the Day" .
Chat with Alvin, who will be sleeping nearby if it’s still night-time, and he’ll say some… rather disturbing things. Seems we need to talk to folk around here, lest their racism rub off on Alvin even more. Talk to Alina and ask her about Alvin’s behavior to learn that he was also talking about some morbid story-ghosts bound by unrequited love. The boy isn’t just creepy, he’s cliche. Talk to Alvin some more and he’ll be more talkative. He’ll tell you about how he got here, and you can also tell him to stop playing "Kill the elf", if your Geralt believes in that sort of thing then loot and leave.
Outside you’ll run into Adam, Alina’s beloved. Apparently a fiance isn’t enough, she needs a lover, too. You can ask him about the progress of his rather awful poem (although almost every poem sounds awful to me) and about local elves to learn that despite being wounded and starving, the Elves apparently have too much pride to accept aid and food… you know, the things that would stop them from being "wounded and starving". You can also ask about the impending marriage of his lover to another, which he dismisses as a trivial obstruction, and one not likely to stop their wanton fornication. Since he’ll run off after talking about the Elves or the wedding, this seems like a good idea to explore his house, so finish the other diagloue option off, and loot the place.
The Butcher, the Baker, Celina and the Chief
And… while we’re in town, we might as well just visit everybody. Enter the Blacksmith’s House to find him and his wife-in seperate beds (you might notice). Talk to the Blacksmith’s wife first. She’s a nice lady, who will give you Pork if you ask about her cooking. She also has a bit of a problem. Her husband has recently come into the possession of a Succubus, of all things, and she understandably is tired of his philandering. She’ll ask you to bring her nine handfuls of "shimmering dust" collected from Noonwraiths out in the fields, in return, we’ll get a book. She had me sold with the Pork.
Talk to her husband, and he’ll have a counter-offer for you. Bring him nine handfuls of "shadow dust" obtained from local Devourers so he can quiet the Succubus down and rouse her again when his wife’s annoyance has passed (and presumably, when Geralt himself has left the area, preventing her from hiring any more Witchers.) It doesn’t really matter what you choose-the book you’ll get "Plants of Barren Lands" you should have already purchased, while the Blacksmith’s offer of Red Meteorite (which we’ve long neglected) and 500 Orens (which we can get by boxing) is no more compelling.
Admittably, keeping a Succubus around as a screw-toy is probably not the safest move, and the neutral Geralt is all for helping the Blacksmith’s wife… the other two, however… eh… Witchers who slept with vampiresses really can’t throw stones. Talk to the Blacksmith at length to learn that he has a variety of skills, including the hobby of attempting to build a flying machine. Try inventing the ICE first, buddy. Most importantly, ask him about the legend of Raven, and he’ll babble about the properties of the armor, before he gets around to suggesting a useful course of action. Since most of the armor needs to be rebuilt, we’ll need to find pieces of similar armor that can be used to recreate Raven’s armor-he suggests looting the crypts of knights. Good news! We already did that. Because we’re super awesome.
Now head to the Baker’s House, which can be found north of Alina’s House. Talk to the Baker and ask about his "secret ingredients" and he’ll tell you he needs some "White Honey" to make his secret recipe. If you give him a White Honey potion (Vitriol, Rebis, Aether), he’ll give you… a Sugar Doll, in return. Wonderful. He’ll then waste your time whining about giving up the Sugar Doll. What a moron. Ask about the bread and he’ll tell you that five loaves cost twenty-five Orens. Buy the five loaves of bread to make Toruviel happy (and you’ll get to be happy in return!)… or note that the Baker keeps four loaves of
bread in the nearby Wardrobe. Also, you can just grab any bread you might have stored in your stash… it doesn’t matter where the bread comes from, a rare lack of pickiness from the Elves this time.
We might as well mention these houses… is it cheap to group them up? Yes and no. Both have a bit of loot in them, but nothing to get excited over. We’re really looking for Tobias Hoffman, the village chief. At night, he’ll often be sleeping at Celina’s House, during the day, he tends to be in the Village Chief’s House. He’ll tell you about some monster hunts in the area (apparently we’re looking for a fish-man and a mother-in-law) which we won’t complete for a while, but his most important function right now is as a professional dice poker player… should you need to get another professional win under your belt. If you are already a professional before you talk to him, he won’t offer to play you. As for Celina, the only reason to seek her out is if you want to give her a ring later… which we’ll deal with later.
During the day you can find the Blacksmith outside, with his son. The Blacksmith’s son will sell you weapons, runes, and other goodies. Gwalhir is a pretty good steel sword, that’s a clear upgrade over Harvall -although it’ll set you back 3000 Orens. We’re nearing the end of the game, and should be expecting to find some of the best weapons available… still, if you’re a loot horder, you can pick up Gwalhir and the Mahakaman Rune Dagger, as well as three Sun Runes , three pieces of Blue Meteorite , an Earth Stone , and a piece of Red Meteorite .
Even More People Worth Talking To
And of course, random peasants will sometimes be rather talkative:
An "Old Peasant" will talk about the Vodyanoi.
Another "Old Peasant" will complain about Nightwraiths.
An "Old Peasant Woman" will offer to chat about Vampires if you give her some food. Do so, and she’ll babble a bit.
An "Old Peasant Woman" will complain about the drought and mention some plants she grows. Giver her "something sweet" (Honeycomb works) and she’ll tell you about Verbana. You can also bribe her to tell you… but it costs quite a bit of Orens.
An "Old Peasant Woman" with a head-dress will (apparently at Dandelion’s behest) tell you about some plants-Ginatia, Berbercane, and Honeysuckle.
An "Old Peasant Woman" with a head-dress will ask if you know where she can get a Shawl for her soon-to-be-married daughter. If you give her one, she’ll give you the recipe for White Honey she recently stole from the Baker. Heh.
A "Peasant Woman" will talk about seeing a Rusalka by the lake, and telling Berengar about it-only to have him reveal it to be a Bruxa. She’ll then tell you some myths about Bruxas. Geralt is sarcastic, as usual.
A "Peasant Woman" will ask if you have any perfume, and will pay you 100 Orens for some.
A "Peasant Woman" will babble about a poisoned relative in Vizima.
A "Peasant Woman" will outright proposition you when you talk to her. Give her a Sugar Doll and you’ll get the "People of the Outskirts" Sex Card .
A "Boy" will question Geralt about some of Alvin’s claims.
Finally, another "Peasant" will complain about Noonwraiths. The Noonwraith-whiner will give you a Grindstone if you go out and kill some Noonwraiths in the fields and return to talk to him.
Note: Try to do the most important of these early on, as some encounters seem to stop occuring after you progress the main quests of this chapter far enough ( "Alvin" , "Ripples" , and "The Heat of the Day" ). In particular, the "Old Peasant Women" with head-dresses stop occuring at all, and the Sex Card encounter may not trigger later in the chapter. You have been warned.
It’s almost time to head over to the Country Inn, and deal with… various people. Before you go, however, note that there’s plenty of containers to loot, and random houses where you can find the odd bit of food, alochol, and books. You can also loot Celina’s House and the Village Chief’s House, although if you find Tobias in either of the two houses, don’t bother talking to him. You can also have an… enlightening conversation with… the Cow Guard… about the… Cow… Ah, cows… hamburgers that have not yet found their true purpose in life…