Encountering Count de Wett
Immediately ahead you’ll find Count de Wett and some of his aides. He’ll chat with you as you approach, first asking if you killed the Striga. When he stumbles, he’ll spill the beans-he has been working with Salamandra the whole time, and it was he who caused Adda to become a Striga again… it seems fairly safe to say that it was probably De Wett that influenced Adda to join with Salamandra earlier.
When Geralt refuses to side with him, the Count and his minions will attack. With your spiffy new swords and armor, it should be a simple matter to dispatch the sad little Count and his knights. Loot his body to obtain the book "Experiment Notes" which will detail the creatures we’re about to face… be sure to read it now.
|For learning who caused Adda to become a Striga (again)||3000 XP|
Murdering Mutants Near the Manor
There are all kinds of critters here-the typical Drowners, Drowned Dead, and Bloedzuigers, as well as some Vodyanoi. If you need to harvest any more ingredients for potion-making, do so now. Head east, then north to find a distinctive tree on your local map (not your minimap). East of this tree is a campfire, near which is a corpse that can be looted for all kinds of goodies. This is nothing short of a gift from the developers-they might as well have been saying "here’s some crap, in case you’re under-prepared!" Loot our wealthy corpse for Zerrikanian Mix, some Alchemists’ Powder, two untis of Diamond Dust, Soldier’s Hooch, Dried Fruit, Bottled Water, an Earth Stone, some Flint, two bottles of Temerian Rye, a Torch, and 50 Orens.
If you haven’t already, take advantage of the nearby fireplace to prepate up 10 Blizzard potions, 10 White Raffard’s Decoctions, and at least one Wolverine potion. You might be tempted to create some White Honey potions, but you’ll have plenty of chances to rest before every major fight-simply put, if you need to take so many healing potions that you’re in danger of ramping your toxicity too high, you’re just not fighting well enough. For the meantime, drinking a humble Swallow Potion should be enough to easily get you through all the fights leading up to the bigger, more potion-intensive fights.
Once you’re all rested and ready to go, head south, then east, up a ramp. Kill any "Masked Warriors" you might find in your path, and eventually you’ll come across Azar Javed and Mutant Rayla. Javed will taunt Geralt shortly, before sending Mutant Rayla to attack us. She’s nowhere near as dangerous as Captain Jean-Pierre was, although she is fairly fast and can inflict pain and blinding. Take her out with the Fast Steel Style. When she dies, loot her for two vials of White Raffard’s Decoction, some Alchemists’ Powder, random food, and 42 Orens.
Continue north and smite another Masked Warrior, and an Armored Hound (Strong Silver Style). Continue uphill, smiting Salamanders until you reach a gate, where opposition will stiffen. Masked Warriors, Armored Hounds, and Salamandra Mages await. Take out the latter quickly (a few blasts of Igni should do it) then destroy the former in melee.
Once this opposition is defeated your chosen allies will show up in the courtyard of the Old Manor, and will be attacked by a host of mutants. The Scoia’tael-aligned Witcher will be joined by Yaevinn and some Scoia’tael, the Order-aligned Witcher will welcome the company of Seigfried and some Order knights, and the neutral Witcher will find Triss leading Temerian soldiers. Your enemies are Mutants (like the one we fought in Old Vizima), Mutant Assassins (somewhat stronger mutants), and Greater Mutants… the "greater" in this case is dubious. Use the Strong Steel Style on the former, and the Fast Steel Style on the latter. When they’re all dead, you’ll chat with your ally. Ask about the "situation in Vizima" first to get an update.
Before talking to your ally again, go loot some barrels along the eastern side of the front of the manor, and a trunk along the western side. The latter, in particular, contains another Moon Rune and piece of Yellow Meteorite . By now, if Meteorite Swords or Rune Swords still interest you, you went seriously astray at some point during the guide. If you’re really a loot-monger, you can go down a natural ramp to the east to reach the waterfront. Near a boat along the southern shore you can score two more barrels… it’s also worth noting the Place of Power nearby, if you’re overly fond of signs.
Talk to your companion again and talk about gaining access to the Salamandra Hideout in the Old Manor. Your means of entry varies depending on who you sided with earlier… Either way, follow your companion wherever they lead you, fend off a mutant assault, then proceed alone into the depths.
|For breaching the Salamandra Hideout in the Old Manor||3000 XP|
The Koshchay in the Catacombs
You’ll appear in different locations depending upon your politics… you know, that happens when you take different routes. If you sided with Yaevinn you’ll find yourself at a dead-end in the north-eastern corner of the level. If you sided with the Order, you’ll enter in the south. Finally, if you remained neutral you’ll start out in crypt to the north-west. Neutral Geralt will initially have to fend off some undead, including Bruxa, Cemetaurs, Garkains, and Wraiths, but the other two are more or less safe.
You don’t need your hand held as we go through this dungeon-don’t worry, you’ll be fine. There’s precious little worth looting, and the enemies are all things you’ve seen before-Armored Hounds, Greater Mutants, Mutants, and Mutant Assassins. Ultimately, you want to end up in a room in the south-western corner of the map. You’ll know when you’re there, because you’ll have to pass through a cage door.
To get here, Order-aligned Witcher just needs to head north a bit, and ignore the tunnels leading east, which are blocked for him (but not for Socia’tael and neutral Witchers). The neutral Witcher heads east through the crypt, then through a door to the south (the northern door is locked for him, and the Scoia’tael-aligned Witcher). Turn west, then go down a tunnel to the south to reach the caged doors. The Scoia’tael-aligned Witcher just heads across a natural bridge to the east, then turns south until he reaches his door-destination.
Drink up a Blizzard potion and a Wolverine potion before you go through the cage door. Once through, Azar Javed will appear, taunt Geralt, and summon a Koshchay-a badass crab-like creature that will probably maul you in a fair fight. With our potions, however, we should be able to reliably hit it with the Strong Silver Style (if it’s not working, Fast Silver Style will have to suffice.) Keep an eye on your health-however. With Wolverine and Blizzard, we can go toe-to-toe with it and probably win, but it will still deal horrendous damage, and can inflict bleeding and pain. If it’s putting too much pressure on you, hit it with an Aard sign to knock it down and give you time to knock back a White Raffard’s Decoction. If for some reason you’re still not doing well, note the pillars in the middle of the room-you can run around them and play keep away from the Koshchay. Igni can also do a bit of damage, but the real winner here is the Strong Silver Style. When it falls, loot its corpse for a Koshchey Heart .
Now, depending on how well you came out of the Koshchay fight, you should either rest (if your potion effects are about to expire, your toxicity is high, or your health is low). Or, if you’re still fairly well off, head off to confront Azard Javed. Fireplaces can be found near where the Scoia’tael-aligned and the Order-aligned Witchers arrived-in the north-western and south-western corners of the map, respectively.
If you sided with the Order, you still have most of the Catacombs to explore, as the Laboratory you are trying to reach is in the south-eastern corner of the map. The simple route east along the southern edge of the map is blocked (but not for the Scoia’tael-aligned and neutral Witchers). The Order-aligned Witcher must head through another cage door, travel north, then turn east. Go through a door leading into the Crypt, then through another door to the north, and continue until you reach a cage door. The neutral and Scoia-tael-aligned Witchers simply go through a cage door to the south, then down a tunnel to the east to find another cage door.
Note: If you rest here, you might as well create the Koschay’s Core potion (Aether/Hydragenum/Hydragenum and the Koshchay’s Heart .) Drinking it will get you an additional Gold Talent.
Showdown with Azar Javed
Go through the cage door and you’ll be confronted by Azar Javed again. He’ll threaten you, then summon a pair of Greater Brothers-big ass armored mutants that die easily enough with the application of the Strong Steel Style. Kill them, and he’ll teleport you into his lab for the final showdown. He’ll say some rather mean things about your lover, but Geralt will refuse to buy into his bluff.
Azar Javed isn’t much of a mage-he’ll fight with two over-sized flaming maces, with which he’ll commonly cause knockdown and blinding. He doesn’t do nearly as much damage as the Koschay, however, and if you have a Blizzard Potion active, there’s just not much he can do to you.
If you killed Berengar last chapter and took his amulet, it’ll release its magic during this fight-a little device Berengar got for himself to ensure his safety from Salamandra, it seems. If you spared Berengar, he’ll show up to help you fight Azar Javed. As said earlier, he’ll inflict Blinding and Knockdown, but a potioned-up Geralt aggressively apply the Strong Steel Style probably won’t be too threatened by Azar Javed.
When he falls, loot his body for the books "Koshchay’s Core" , and "Greater Brothers" . Also loot Berengar, if he showed up and subsequently died in combat with Javed. He’ll leave behind a Cat Potion, a White Raffard’s Decoction, and 22 Orens.
|For killing Azar Javed||3000 XP|
Azar Javed is dead, there’s nothing left to do but search the lab. Examine the mirror and the Grand Master himself will appear in the mirror, asking for more mutant reinforcements. Geralt will approach the mirror menacingly, and promise to pay a visit to the Grand Master-very soon. Geralt will then shatter the mirror with the Aard sign.
You’ll appear outside, where you’ll get to chat with your ally. Siegfried will not like hearing that the Order of the Flaming Rose and Salamandra might as well be the same thing-one a legitimate (if racist) front and the other a criminal organization-two arms of the same monster.
Either way, your allies suggest you find a boat to take you back to Vizima, so you can warn King Foltest. This boat can be found north-east of the Old Manor, by the waterfront… just follow your companion and you’ll get there. Talk to your ally on the dock and and ask about the boat to go over to the other side.
|For discovering the identity of Salamandra's mastermind||6000 XP|