Take the boat back to the mainland and you’ll be accosted by a creature called "White Rayla". She’s a rather over-zealous bitch that has been sent here to deal with Toruviel and her Elven unit. Even the Order-aligned Geralt can’t help but find this person unpleasant.
She’ll helpfully inform you that the Scoia’tael have turned Vizima into a warzone (Yaevinn’s been busy since we left!) and that Toruviel’s band of Elves have taken hostages in the village of Murky Waters. Don’t be content to simply label White Rayla a racist, however, as she informs Geralt that the peasants here are guilty of treason for feeding the Elves.
To be fair, Rayla is a mercenary-not a monk-and by her admission she kills non-humans for revenge… but the fact that the Order sullies itself by dealing with such people just makes it look worse. To prevent an all-out massacre of both humans and non-humans, Geralt offers to go speak to Toruviel. This starts the quest "Free Elves" .
Head to the village area. Near the area transition from the Lakeside area to Murky Waters, you’ll be accosted by an Order Footman if you sided with the Order during "Gold Rush" last chapter. He’ll invite you to continue helping the Order, and try and convince you to view the situation with typically dangerous moral relativity-just pretend the Elves here are like any other monsters threatening humans. For the Order-aligned Geralt, he’s preaching to the choir.
Once you cross into Murky Waters, you’ll again be pestered by Dandelion, who will inform you that Alvin is one of the hostages. Nothing is ever simple, is it? Head into Murky Waters and find the Scoia’tael near Celina’s House. If you sided with the Scoia’tael during the quest "Gold Rush" last chapter, you’ll be approached by a "Scoia’tael leader", who will implore Geralt to get involved in the fight. He’s not quite as bad as White Rayla, but his insistence that Toruviel has "no right" to avoid deeper immersion in this conflict is grating enough in its own right… also the Scoia’tael will be much better equipped. Vivaldi’s gold clearly went towards warfare, rather than welfare.
Alvin Asks About Elves
Keep heading through the throng of Scoia’tael and their hostages until Alvin pesters you. Apparently he can "hear" what the Elves are thinking, and he doesn’t like it one bit. He’ll ask Geralt another question, this time about Elves, and Geralt can respond in one of three ways:
"They’re fighting for their freedom, for an ideal. Humans have them up against the wall and they see no other way…"
"The Elves refuse to concede that the world has changed. They cannot win but they still fight. It’s their sad, desperate attempt at halting evolution."
"They’ve lost their lofty, beautiful veneer. One can clearly see the deep hatred they hold for humans."
It’s a pretty easy choice, and by now the Witchers Three are touting their party lines. The Scoia’tael-aligned Geralt picks option #1, the Order-aligned Geralt picks option #3, and the neutral Geralt picks option #2.
|For explaining the actions of the Scoia'tael to Alvin||1000 XP|
Talking to Toruviel
Talk to Toruviel, who will be wandering about. She’ll reveal that she resorted to holding the children hostage because adults didn’t prevent Rayla’s aggression-just typical stake-raising during warfare, at it’s best.
Depending on how you acted earlier in the game, you’ll get various options-first, she’ll flat-out refuse to let Alvin go, so we can just ignore that. If you’ve been Order-friendly, you can try to convince her to surrender in return for a "fair" trial. If you’ve been Scoia-tael friendly, you can try to convince her to let the hostages go. In the former case, she’ll respond unfavorably-and smartly so. In the latter case, she’ll agree to let the prisoners go and reveal that she just wishes to escape… which seems like the best option for all sides. Either way, we need to talk to Dandelion to determine how to act.
You’ll find Dandelion skulking near the northern side of Celina’s House. Tell him that everything is going to hell, and you’ll eventually get two choices-and Dandelion will even be kind enough to inform you that this is a pivotal moment. You can side with whomever you sided with during "Gold Rush" , or take Alvin and run off… and become the enemy of both sides (this is what passes for neutrality at this point.)
The decisions of the Witchers Three are pretty straight-forward, whomever was sided with during "Gold Rush" , will be side with again… except for the neutral Geralt, who decides to just take Alvin and let the two factions bloody each other up.
|For making a major political decision||3000 XP|
All Hell Breaks Loose
Whatever choice you make, Geralt wisely talks to Toruviel and asks her to let Alvin go… and for some reason, it works this time. Intending to clear Alvin from the board before the upcoming fight, Geralt goes to lead Alvin away… when the Order bungles everything by attacking. Humans in chainmail are pretty sneaky, it seems, but a fight inevitably breaks out, and Alvin-under duress-teleports away. So much for that amulet.
When the cutscene ends, Geralt will be left to deal with whatever his politics have left him-if you’re playing neutral, feel free to run from the whole scene entirely. Kill whomever you wish, then loot as you please. It’s interesting to note that no matter who you "decide" to side with, everything plays out the same way-even if you don’t lift a single finger to help one side or the other, every member of the organization somehow knows-intuitively-what you said to Dandelion in private.
Return to the Lakeside area and head to where the Fisher King’s boat is. You can find White Rayla along the way, on the beach north of the Fisher King’s Hut. She’ll reveal that the adjutant striped her of her command (by presenting a letter from Siegfried, no less) which led to the mess. Guess we can’t really fault her for this one… Anyways, talk to Dandelion-if you’ve read Berengar’s Letter you can talk to Dandelion about it-but ultimately, you’ll end up heading off to Vizima.
Time for the final chapter to begin.
|For returning to Vizima||12000 XP|