|Important Items in this Area|
|Diagram: Enhanced Feline Armor|
|The Mage Aeramas' Last Journal Entry|
Enhanced Feline Armor
Backtrack north to the fork and follow the north-eastern path. When the road forks again, continue north-east, and when it forks a third time, head south-east to find the "Aeramas' Abandoned Manor" signpost. Continue south-east to reach the manor grounds, then head over to the ruined manor, itself. This starts the quest "Of Dairy and Darkness", if you didn't talk to the Merchant in Novigrad and start it there. In either case, the case will be ignored for a moment, as there's some loot worth collecting.
Head up two flights of stairs (one wooden, one stone) to find what once was an enclosed room, still littered with furniture and now missing its roof. And walls. And much of the floor. Anyways, search by a bookshelf to the north to find chest, which contains the "Diagram: Enhanced Feline Armor" . Also search the floor near a desk to find "The Mage Aeramas' Last Journal Entry" .
Of Dairy and Darkness (Level 9)
Now, hopefully you've talked to the Merchant in Novigrad and started this quest. If so, you should already have the "Lizard Figure", in which case you're good to go. If not... go back and get it! Return to the first floor of Aeramas' manor (the floor below the one where you found the Diagram: Enhanced Feline Armor) and use your Witcher Senses to investigate a magic circle. Activate it to get a portal to pop up (if you have the aforementioned artifact in your possession) and head inside.
The Trial of the Cheeses
Inside, you'll discover that the mage who used to live here was... a tyromancer. What's a tyromancer? Well, let's look it up. Hmm... according to Occultopedia, it is "the art and practice of divining the past, the present, and the future by interpreting omens found in cheese". He was a cheese mage. The quest name makes sense now, doesn't it?
Below you to the east is a collection of his cheeses, some of them so toxic they'll cause Geralt to run out of breath rapidly. The goal is simple, clear the maze by sticking to the good cheese (or less bad cheese, as the case may be) and avoiding the bad. You can tell the good cheese from the bad by the (admittedly hard to see) clouds that surround the bad cheese. Simply run towards cheese, and if your breath meter shows up, run back to the good cheese and pick another direction... or you can just run through it. There are enough reprieves to survive. You start out along the western edge of the level, and your goal is to climb onto a ledge to the south-east. Once on the ledge head up some stairs (and a wooden ramp) until you find a doorway to the east.
|For surviving the Trial of the Cheeses||50 XP|
The Flooded Dungeon
Continue through the doorway and interact with a portal to start it up, then head on through to reach another part of the dungeon, this one being flooded. Continue down some stairs, then down a rock ramp to reach the water. From here you can swim south, then east (never having to dive) to reach a chamber to the east surrounded by unscalable, taunting ledges. There's a chest along the southern edge of this chamber, but otherwise, there's little to recommend it.
Instead swim north from where you first reach the water and dive until you reach a chamber where you can surface. Do so and swim to the east to find shallow water near a scalable ledge. Climb up some ledges and continue south-east, then east until you find another ledge to climb. Climb it, then continue south-east to find a ledge you can jump across (or you can be a sissy and drop down some ledges to the north-east, then, while on lower-ground head south to find some more ledges to climb).
On the other side you'll find a Foglet (level eight) prowling a laboratory. Kill it and search around. To the south-west you'll find a "Bull Figurine" on a table as well as "Aeramas' Notes" . Continue west to find some rocks you can dispel with the Eye of Nehaleni, beyond which you'll find some containers you can loot. North of the rocks you can dispel is another portal, which you can activate with the "Bull Figurine" and pass through.
|For passing through the flooded dungeon||50 XP|
To the south-west you'll spot a large, angry, red magic barrier that stands between you and lootage. Well, that just won't stand! Head south along the eastern end of the chamber to find some more rocks that can be dispelled with the Eye of Nehaleni, then blast the pyramid-on-the-pedestal with Igni. Another one lies along the wall to the north, but this one is unburdened by illusions. Once both have tasted some Igni, the barrier will fall. Head up some stairs and grab a "Snake Figurine" from a chest, and take the sword from near the statue... which Geralt dubs "The Emmentaler" .
...Yes. The Emmentaler is named after cheese. From Wikipedia: "Emmentaler or Emmental is a yellow, medium-hard cheese that originated in the area around Emmental, in Switzerland. It is one of the cheeses of Switzerland, and is sometimes known as Swiss cheese." Oh Geralt... why?
Anyways, head down the stairs that lead up to the statue and turn north to find another set of stairs to the south-west, which wrap around the back of that statue and ultimately leads to another portal, which - with the help of the Snake Figurine - will take you out of this cheesy dungeon.
|For claiming the Swiss cheese sword, Emmentaler||75 XP|
Guarded Treasure (Level 20)
There's one more thing you can do east of Oxenfurt right now, and you might as well get it out of the way, since you're nearby and all. Head north-west from the "Aeramas' Abandoned Manor" signpost and into the woods, dispatching whatever stupid Wolves (level five) and Wargs (level eight) pester you along the way. Eventually you'll come across a "Guarded Treasure" event, where a Leshen (level twenty) stands in front of a chest on some high ground.
The Leshen is a rare beast, indeed, rare enough that you may want to save before fighting it so you can try to harvest its Leshen Mutagen. It's melee attacks are fairly slow and not terribly impressive, damage wise, but it has a number of attacks to shore up its offense. It often shifts location by cloaking itself in mist, occasionally teleporting by turning into a flock of birds (which can damage you if they fly near you). It'll also shove its arms into the ground, causing a mass of roots to burst from the ground, all vicious and spike-like. Not particularly damaging or hard to dodge, but it does have range. Its most annoying ability, however, is to summon a pack of Wolves to assist it. Their health seems to be linked to the Leshen's current health, and their not all that dangerous, but they can be annoying. Fortunately the Leshen's root spike attack will probably kill them off fairly regularly. Use Relict Oil if you have it, and setting it on fire with Igni will drastically speed matters up. Other than that, the tried-and-true strong attack/dodge/Quen combo works wonders.
Kill the Leshen - and perhaps the Wolves (level twenty-two) that it summons - and loot the chest it was guarding, which is to the west of a large tree on high ground. Inside is the steel sword "Lune" . If you can handle this, you'll be find to tackle whatever quests await in and around Benek, in south-eastern Velen. Speaking of which...