Our (almost) final post-chapter recap. Don’t worry, you’re almost done! Lets run down our laundry list: Alvin is gone, having vanished when the battle of Murky Waters broke out. Salamandra has be located in the city of Vizima, and now that we know where to strike, we can finally attempt to settle the score with Azar Javed.
The city itself, however, is up in flames due to the conflict between the Scoia’tael and the Order… we are certainly not through dealing with the politics of the two factions. Even if we decided to remain neutral, we’ll at least have both sides hostile towards us as we go about our business, and of course, if we sided with the Scoia’tael or the Order, you can bet we’ll have to deal with our friends beseeching us for aid.
Last but certainly not least, Adda still wants us dead. How she (and Salamandra, for that matter) are responding to the fighting has yet to be seen, and of course, whether such devastation will prove enough to lure Foltest back to the city is also of interest. There’s still alot of work to be done, to be sure, but at least we have something to look forward to, we haven’t been guaranteed thus far-some resolution.
This chapter is unlike any other-it’s fairly short, especially compared to Chapters 2 and 3, anyways. Also, given the weight of our quests and the variability of the reactions of the NPCs it’s just easier to split this chapter up by whichever Geralt we happen to be playing: While going through Old Vizima, you’ll consult different blocks of text depending on your political affiliations-either follow the text under the heading "Hope Burns Bright" (Scoia’tael-Aligned Geralt), "The Flame that Cleanses" (Order-Aligned Geralt) or "Under a Fiery Sky" (Neutral Geralt), as appropriate.
It’s not my favorite solution to the complexity of this chapter, but it is the simplest-the branching steps will begin when we leave the Castle, and end when we leave Old Vizima… or functionally, to cover the quests "Hope Burns Bright" , "The Flame that Cleanses" , and "Under a Fiery Sky" .
Returning to Vizima
When you arrive, Dandelion will chat with you, generally being unnerved by the violence. He also serves an important function, for once. You can access your stash via him, and since he’s not going to be with us for very long, we should take advantage of him now. Drop off everything which is not important-the only things you should have in your satchel are potions and strong alcohol-in your alchemy sack, get rid of all the ingredients that are not common and useful… Potions will be very, very useful in this chapter, in a way they haven’t really been on the normal difficulty thus far. Below is a list of pointers-given to you by somebody who knows what lies ahead… and isn’t that the point of following a guide?
Bring ten units of strong alcohol with you… less if you already have potions of Cat, Blizzard, Wolverine, Wolf and White Raffard’s Decoction. You will, of course, need to make some White Gull to serve as the base for your stronger potions, but this shouldn’t be too much of an issue. If you have any Silk Scarves, Red Shawls, Rubies, or Fool’s Parsley, bring them with you, too, as they can all be traded for potions later. You have no further use for them, so you might as well bring them along to trade for potions, which you will have a use for.
Head up to the shore, and along the way you’ll be bothered by good old Vincent… or a "Guard Captain", if you… ah… allowed him to perish in Chapter 3. If it’s Vincent, he’ll state that Dandelion is needed by King Radovid, if it’s the Guard Captain, Dandelion will be arrested for being a foreign spy-either way, Dandelion will not be coming with you to Old Vizima. You haven’t lost his services yet, however.
Ignore the nearby planks leading to the shore and instead follow the docks to the north and cross to the shore there. Here you’ll find Radovid and Carmen. Radovid will ask about your goals, and Carmen will either be amiable, or angry, depending on whether you’ve killed Vincent or not. It’s altogether trivial.
Now head to the southern shore, where your old pal Zoltan Chivay will talk to you and explain what’s going on. Apparently the Order instigated the riot by killing nonhuman women and children-and with such provocation Yaevinn had little trouble getting most of the nonhuman population to join him. More importantly, Shani has started up a clinic in Old Vizima.
Three Witchers, Three Quests
This starts one of three quests, depending on your politics. If you sided with the Scoia’tael, the quest "Hope Burns Bright" begins. If you sided with the Order "The Flame that Cleanses" starts. Finally, neutral characters will have the quest "Under a Fiery Sky" begin. If you’ve sided with the Scoia’tael, Zoltan will offer to come with you, if you’ve sided with the Order, he’ll be rather abusive… allergic to bastards… priceless…
Head up to the bridge connecting Old Vizima to the Temple Quarter. Depending on who you sided with, you’ll have to deal with hostile Scoia’tael rebels, Order zealots, or both. Don’t bother trying to kill them all-they keep coming, and they don’t really drop anything worthwhile-not that you could make use of it if they did, anyways. Head to the gate to Old Vizima and leave the Dike behind-forever. Once you leave, you’re done stashing things for the rest of Chapter 5.
Watch a cutscene showing King Foltest taking an ill-advised tour of the battlefield that is his city. He’ll be saved by the Grand Master of the Order of the Flaming Rose-apparently an armored knight, but also a mage of some power. Foltest refuses to put his military power in the hands of the racist Order, and when Geralt shows up, Foltest will command that he be brought with him.
You’ll be whisked away to the Castle, where he’ll tell you that he wants you to lift the curse that has once again caused Adda to become a Striga. They’ll also talk a bit about politics, based upon Geralt’s decisions thus far. When the conversation is over, you’ll be left to chat with Triss, Velerad, and Count de Wett about removing Adda’s curse. This starts the quest "Her Highness the Striga" .
Questing the Court
Talk to Triss first… she’ll be less than happy if you didn’t give Alvin over to her in Chapter 3, and ironically states that Alvin would never have vanished had you given him to her (of course, that’s not true). If you gave Alvin to Triss in Chapter 3, however, she’ll be a bit more friendly. You can declare your hokey love for her, or tell her things can’t work out.
Finally, if you’ve been neutral thus far, you can ask about Raven’s Armor you’re trying to recreate. Whatever the case, ask about the Striga problem and she’ll suggest that somebody recast the curse… or otherwise managed to counter your original work. Being neutral and getting a lead on Raven’s armor will update the quest "Armor" .
Next talk to Velerad and de Wett. Neither are terribly interesting, (and thankfully not as variable as Triss was in her responses). Velerad will try and strong-arm you, and suggest that the Striga was seen in Old Vizima. De Wett will be less combative now, and will suggest that if you killed Adda (rather than lifting her curse) interested parties would be rather generous… and he doesn’t seem fond of Foltest, either. When the cat’s away, the mice will play… Once you’re done talking to the three of them, a Chamberlain will show up and tell you to meet the king in his chambers…
But first, talk to a lady named Antoinette. She’ll babble a bit before she gets to business-her cousins have fled, for reasons she’s vague about, and she wants you to deliver some aid to them (in this case, she means money). She’ll give you 900 Orens to distribute, and
suggest you find them in caves within the Swamp Cemetery. This starts the quest "Mud and Velvet" . Don’t be tempted to say that you don’t meddle in politics, either. You can get a badass sword from this quest, so it wouldn’t be wise to decline.
The Legendary Poker Player
Head through a doorway to the north-east and go down a swanky hallway to reach some stairs leading to Foltest’s Chambers. Talk to the king and the two of you will babble on about Adda and Salamandra before Foltest decides to get more personal by talking about your relationship with Triss/Shani. Your response will update "Identity" .
Lastly, before Foltest allows you to go he’ll sheepishly ask if you’ll play Dice Poker with him. Despite his claims of not getting to play very often due to the squeamishness of his opponents, he’s the best player in the land… but you only get one chance to play him. Defeat him, and you’ll be the best poker player around, and you’ll finally finish off "A Game of Dice" . The bets are a minimum of 50 Orens, and can go as high as 400, and if he’s got a good hand (or if you do, for that matter) you can ante up to 600 Orens each round… Needless to say, this can get pricey, and you were earlier advised to have at least 2000 Orens to fund this game.
|For realizing how you truly feel about Triss/Shani||3000 XP|
|For becoming a Dice Poker legend||3000 XP|
When you’re done with Foltest, talk to the Chamberlain and head off to Vizima. This is where our paths split for the rest of this Sequence. During the next sections we’ll be skipping everything that’s not essential to making it through Old Vizima, in an effort to reunite the guide under a common goal more quickly. After leaving for the first time, it’ll become easier to explore, and with access to the Swamp Cemetery, we’ll be able to complete all the quests in Old Vizima. Also, don’t bother with looting until we reach the Swamp Cemetery, if indeed you must bother with it at all. We shouldn’t need most of what we find (although extra strong alcohol might come in handy, for potion-making), we can’t store anything we find and most of it’s not worth selling in any event. If you must loot, do so when you return after entering the Swamp Cemetery-it’ll be quieter, and easier.
With all that said, remember that you want to read "Under a Fiery Sky" if you’re playing a neutral Witcher, "The Flame that Cleanses" covers the path of the Order-aligned Witcher, and consult "Hope Burns Bright" if you’ve sided with the Scoia’tael.