|Important Items in this Area|
|Diagram: Superior Feline Armor|
|Diagram: Superior Feline Gauntlets|
|Diagram: Superior Feline Trousers|
|Diagram: Superior Feline Boots|
|Diagram: Wolven Silver Sword - Mastercrafted|
|Gwent Players in this Area|
|Quartermaster Eggebracht - Random Card|
You're off to a good start, but there's still a good bit left to do. The focus of this section is dealing with unfinished business in the south-eastern corner of Velen, particularly quests in and around the huge Nilfgaardian army camp.
Superior Feline Armor
Follow the road running south and follow it through the forest where you encounter the Chort. When the path splits, follow the south-eastern fork and cross a bridge. After the bridge turn your gaze south to find a house you can loot. More importantly, from this house head off south-west into the wilderness to find and isthmus connecting to a hunk of land upon which some ruins lie... ruins guarded by an Earth Elemental (level twenty-seven). You've defeated such beasts before - they can take a great deal of punishment, but they're slow and ponderous enough that the ol' strong attack and dodge combo should whittle it down. When the Earth Elemental is deactivated, search the ruins to find a chest containing the "Diagram: Superior Feline Armor" , the "Diagram: Superior Feline Gauntlets" , the "Diagram: Superior Feline Trousers" and the "Diagram: Superior Feline Boots" .
Bandit Camp (Level 9)
Your next goal is Downwarren, which can be reached by following roads south-east then north-east, or by backtracking to a signpost and fast-traveling there. Depending on your choices earlier on you may have to dispatch some Wraiths (level seven), which are barely even nuisances anymore. Banish them, then follow a trail east from the "Downwarren" signpost until you find a road running north-east. Follow this road faithfully, ignoring all other forks and eventually the road will turn east, then merge with several other roads which now run south.
Follow this road south, then east to find a Bandit Camp off the road to the south. Here a group of Deserters (level nine) have set up their operations is a large, ramshackle building. What's worth, there's numerous archers here, including two jerks on the second story of their building, from which they'll gladly harass you. Make your way to the south-eastern side of the building, however, and you can find a ramp up to them - dispatching them early will make the rest of the fight much easier. Once they and their mutts are dead, search the interior of their building to find a haul of loot. Score a chest on the second floor, and another chest, some barrels
Guarded Treasure (Level 24)
Leave the Bandit Camp and follow a road to the east until you reach a fork, at which point turn south-east. You're goal now is to follow this road south-east, past Benek, and ignore any pesky forks in the road until you hit the "Kimbolt Way" signpost. At this signpost turn down a road to the east, then when you hit a fork continue east and south to find a Guarded Treasure event. Dismantle an Earth Elemental (level twenty-four, loot the nearby houses, then search a corpse and a chest near a triangular stone.
House of Respite
Backtrack north and west to return to the previous fork, then follow the unexplored road south until you reach the "House of Respite" signpost. Nilfgaard is a tiered society, and they take that ideal with them to the battlefield, too, The House of Respite is a place where the Nilfgaardian elite can whore away the days while the grunts wallow in crude tents on muddy ground before waiting to do their job and die for their emperor in battle.
Read a sign outside of the walled grounds and note the last line; "full regimental dress mandatory". If you go and put on some Nilfgaardian attire (an Elegant Courtier's Doublet, Nilfgaardian Trousers and Elegant Nilfgaardian Shoes will suffice) the guards outside will let you pass. Inside the grounds of the House of Respite you can find Nilfgaardian nobles and officers frolicking with bards and prostitutes of both genders, as well as a few things to loot. Just be wary of the guards if you've got a mind for larceny. Otherwise, however, there's not really anything of interest inside.
Nilfgaardian Army Group Center Signpost
Continue down the road to the south-east to reach the outskirts of the Nilfgaardian Army Group "Center" Camp, where you may encounter a Nilfgaardian Soldier. He'll update you on the condition of Lena, the peasant girl in White Orchard who was attacked by the Griffin. If you gave her a potion you'll find out that your efforts did indeed save her life, but little else.
Shortly into the encampment you'll reach a four-way fork in the road, at which point turn east to an elderly Nilfgaardian Woman. Talk to her she just so happens to be waiting to find a do-gooder with too much time on their hands and too little coin in their purse. Seems her son went missing, and she isn't satisfied with the answers she's been getting from her countrymen. Ask about the soldier, then agree to look for him to start the quest "Blood Ties". It's one of two few quests you'll pick up down here, which will give you an excuse to explore further west.
To further this quest you'll need to talk to the Quartermaster, which is a good idea, since he's got the other quest you'll pick up here. There are a few merchants you can bother while you're here, but they sell little more than junk, so just continue south-east down the road, following it south, then south-west to find the "Nilfgaardian Army Group 'Center' Camp" signpost.
Continue south-west, then south from this signpost until you find a comparatively large white tent with a Notice Board outside of it. Grab the notice "Patrol Gone Missing - Reward" and read it to start the quest "Contract: Patrol Gone Missing" .
Note: You may have noticed the notice "Appeal to Sir Geralt of Rivia, the Bridge his Crest" on various signposts throughout Velen and Novigrad if you have the Blood and Wine DLC installed. Ignore it, as it updates a quest that is probably far above your level. It'll be covered in the "Blood and Wine" section of the guide.
Now that you've got even more reason to talk to this quartermaster, head into the nearby tent and strike up a conversation with Quartermaster Eggebracht. He's sharp enough to identify your profession, if not your exact identity and promises you work. Fair enough. Ask him about the Nilfgaardian woman's son and either pay him 150 Crowns to talk or use the Axii sign on him (it should be obvious which one is preferable). After that, ask about the missing patrol to acquire the background information you need to move on with this quest, as well. Lastly, play Gwent with him if you wish - surprisingly he doesn't use a Nilfgaardian deck!
Hidden Treasure (Level 22)
Use the "Nilfgaardian Army Group 'Center' Camp" signpost to fast-travel back to the "Kimbolt Way" signpost and from there follow a road to the south-west. Shortly you should run into an abandoned village next to a swamp... Abandoned by peasants anyways. The place is now occupied by a group of Bandits (level seven), which aren't wise enough to leave a Witcher in peace. Kill them, loot the various containers in and around the houses, then head south into the swamp to find a Hidden Treasure event.
A Fiend (level twenty-two) prowls around the area, and it's likely (if you've been following this guide) that this is the first one you've fought since the quest "Return to Crookback Bog", also making it the first one you've fought on your own. That being the case, some notes on these beasts are in order. They'll use their massive horns to counter-attack if you're pressuring them too much and perform charging attacks you can easily roll out of the way of. Other than that it'll use magic to reduce your visibility, but all in all the Fiend isn't a terribly aggressive or dangerous foe. Use Relict Oil to hasten the inevitable and like with most large foes try to inflict damage-over-time effects, especially with Igni.
Once it's dead loot some bodies near where it was prowling to find a "Bandit's Key" and some "Bandit's Notes" . Read the letter if you wish, then head north to find some wooden doors which can be opened with the key you found. Do so, then plunder a sack and a few chests beyond to find - among more mundane loot - the "Diagram: Wolven Silver Sword - Mastercrafted" .
Blood Ties (Level 12)
Leave the looted bandit den behind and head east into the swamps to find the remains of the Nilfgaardian cavalry patrol that tried to desert. Dispatch the Ghouls (level nine) prowling around, then turn on your Witcher Senses and survey the carnage that undoubtedly lured the necrophages here. As it turns out, most of the things that highlight with your Witcher Senses active aren't helpful at all. Instead, turn your attention to some hanged corpses gently swaying in the breeze to the west of the center of the search area and investigate them, then pick up an "Unsent Letter" nearby to confirm you've found the evidence you're looking for.
Contract - Patrol Gone Missing (Level 7)
Before you return to the Nilfgaardian Army Group 'Center' Camp, you might as well finish Quartermaster Eggebracht's contract. Make your way north-west back to the swamp-side village where you kill the Bandits earlier, then follow the road running through it to the south-west until you hit a bridge. Cross the bridge to the west and turn north to find a watch tower, under and upon which loot lives. Score treasure from the various containers, then head south-west through the swamp from the watch tower to find a search area - an abandoned Nilfgaardian camp.
Loot some parcels in and around a chest, then plunder a chest near a boat before investigating and following some tracks. Follow the tracks east, then south along a road into the wood, and when Geralt smells something leave the tracks behind and follow a scent trail to the north-west. Kill some Wolves (level five) if they bother you and at the end of a scent track you'll discover a concentrated patch of draconid musk. Things aren't looking good for this patrol.
Backtrack south-east to the road and continue following the prints along it to the south until you find the body of a Nilfgaardian. Investigate it, then follow the tracks down a road to the east, which shortly loops back around west. Eventually you'll find a Wyvern stalking around near the road, which you should be able to easily dispatch. Do so, then loot it for a "Wyvern Trophy" before you continue west along the road to find another body, this one suggesting the work of necrophages. Explore a short ways to the north to find some graves, which reveal the Nilfgaardian's nasty purpose here. Return to the road to find a blood pool you can search, then follow the blood trails west and south-west down a path an into a ravine.
Drop down a ledge to the east then turn north to find a cave. You should remember this cave, as you're close to the "Crossroads" signpost. During the quest "The Whispering Hillock" you may have ventured down here to find the spirit in the cave a new body to inhabit, and in the process you were encouraged to grab the "Diagram: Griffin Silver Sword - Enhanced" from this very same cave. Good thing, too, because who wanted to wait this long to get their hands on an upgraded silver sword? Anyways, head into the depths of the cave to find the corpses the necrophages dug up and investigate them. Seems like a chat with Eggebracht is in order - about more than just business.
Leave the cave and climb back up a ledge to the west, then continue west through a more humble ravine. Climb over some rocks and keep heading west to return to the "Crossroads" signpost, which will make getting back to Eggebracht much quicker. First, stop over and give the Nilfgaardian Woman news about her son and either tell her the truth or... embellish a bit. Either way, the reward is the same.
|For finding out what happened to the Nilfgaardian woman's son||50 Crowns|
Make your way back to the quartermaster's tent and tell him you found his men, after which Geralt will automatically confront him about the activities of his soldiers. Eggebracht is unapologetically Machiavellian, and you can turn down a reward from such a monster... but there's no point in helping him out and leaving him with his coin. You can't eat pride, after all.
|For killing the Wyvern||50 Crowns|