|Important Items in this Area|
|Diagram: Ursine Silver Sword - Superior|
|Diagram: Ursine Steel Sword - Superior|
Forefathers Eve - Part 2 (Level 7)
Head over to the edge of the swamp where the search area for this quest is, then turn on your Witcher Senses and look around. Near the center of the search area you'll find a corpse to investigate, guarded by a trio of Rotfiends (level seven). Kill the critters, then examine the corpse. Once done, hit it with Igni to incinerate it. Now for some pain in the ass back-tracking. Head back to the pellar's hut north of Blackbough. Hear the pellar's side of the story, then collect a reward for your good deed.
|For getting rid of the ghost haunting the pellar||50 XP / 50 Crowns|
The Trail of Treats
Travel to the shrine where the Trail of Treats begins (again, this is south-west of Downwarren, far to the south-east of Lindenvale, so fast-travel from the Pellar's house to the closest signpost your have). Once there, examine the shrine. It's called the Trail of Treats for good reason, and if it's simple enough for children to follow, it should be cake for a Witcher. Activate your Witcher Senses and follow the trail along the path more or less to the east, then south, continuing along the trail until you reach a small village in the middle of the swamp.
When you reach the village you'll discover a pack of children... doing what children do. Ask them some questions and endure their silly (although perhaps humorous) responses until Gran shows up to break up the fun. Neither of them are helpful, but at least the kids were amusing. When they depart follow Gran and the more talkative boy into a hut to the south. Gran proves she's going to continue to be a pest, so you'll need to find a way to distract her...
Head outside and talk to one of the other kids to find out that this mysterious Johnny is only friends with the boy Gran is protecting. Whoever - or whatever - this Johnny is, you'll need to talk to him, and that means talking to the boy. Ask the kids to help you and they'll make a counter demand of you. Sadly, they don't know who they're playing with.
Activate your Witcher Sense and head near the house to the east, in front of which you'll find some footsteps running to the north, then up onto the roof. Climb onto the roof, then down the other side, where you'll find signs that the child slid down the roof and into a hay pile on the ground. Talk to the child and they'll come out of the hay. Now continue clockwise around the house to find more tracks near the southern edge of the house that lead behind a nearby bush, where another child hides. More tracks can be found leading into the northern house, inside of which another child fails at hiding by some barrels (he gets the Darwin award for hiding skills). Finally, you'll spot more footprints leading into the southern house. You can follow them into the house, but they lead out a back window, so circle around to the southern side of the house and follow the tracks north-west along the house to find the kid hiding in some bushes.
The kids will come through and Geralt will take the opportunity to talk to the kid. The kid will tell you about Johnny, and more importantly, he'll confirm that Johnny has seen Ciri. Leave the village and head east to find a search area. Dispatch a Water Hag (level six) and some Drowners (level six) then activate your Witcher Senses to find Johnny's trail near the northern part of the search area. Examine them, then follow the trail west, then north, fending off another group of Drowners (level six) as you go. Eventually you'll reach Johnny's den, to the north-east of the "The Orphans of Crookback Bog" village, and south of Downwarren.
Call for Johnny and the gross little Godling will emerge from its burrow. Geralt will try to question it, and will get pantomimed responses in return. Looks like you're going to have to help it out to learn about Ciri.
|For locating Johnny||150 XP|
Follow Johnny and kill some Drowners (level six) along the way as he leads you to a ledge - a ledge you'll need to climb in order to find Johnny's voice. If you look up, you should spot a circling beast in the sky, so dispel any thoughts that this might be a bloodless task... unless you already killed the Harpies (level six) and Wyvern (level nine) during our run to Dragonslayer's Grotto, in which case, you merely have to pick your way up the cliff. Once there, kill whatever needs to be killed and loot a nest near the cliff edge to recover a "Sealed Bottle" and a "Raven's Feather". The former object is what Johnny needs, while the latter is something you may be able to make use of shortly. Grab both.
Carefully climb down the cliff and the Godling will open the flask and, unfortunately, get his voice back, which he wastes no time in using. Get him to tell you about Ciri, which he'll do, as well as implicate some Crones who seem to govern everything in the swamp. At length you can ask him to help you learn what Gran knows. Follow him south to the swamp village, killing another Water Hag (level six) and another pair of Drowners (level six) along the way.
Again, Johnny will keep his word and help you convince Gran to take you to the Ladies. Under Johnny's guilt trip, she'll relent, and lead you to the Ladies, who, of course, have their own demand to make of you. Once the Ladies are done talking to you, you'll be furnished with the "Crones' Dagger" , which you'll need to convince the Ealdorman of Downwarren that you're working for the Ladies. Loot the shrine, then make your way north and slightly east to Downwarren... or fast-travel there using "The Orphans of Crookback Bog" signpost.
|For meeting with the Crones||150 XP|
Along the way, there's some additional loot you can score (if you don't fast travel, that is). By following the breadcrumb trail you'll eventually reach a road south of Downwarren that leads to the edge of the swamp, where some buildings are busy collapsing into the bog. At this spot there's a group of Bandits (levels five and six). Kill them, then search around a house to the west to find a chest submerged in the swamp water, under the remains of a thatched roof.
Talk to the Ealdorman and flash your pretty dagger to get him to open up more, at which he'll attribute all manner of inconsequential happenstances as signs of the benevolence - or wrath - of the Ladies. Get him to tell you about the village's problems and he will-with great detail. Seems you need to check out some Whispering Hillock. Before you go, however, be sure to play Gwent with the Merchant here if you haven't already, and grab the notice "Contract: Monster from the Swamp" from the notice board to start the quest "Swamp Thing" which you might as well do while you're down here and all... and you might not get another chance to do so later if you continue on with the quest "Ladies of the Wood" .
Swamp Thing (Level 12)
Head south-west from Downwarren where, at the edge of the swamp (west of the "Orphans of Crookback Bog") you'll find Leslav making an attempt at building a house. Listen to his story, haggle for a few more Crowns, then head south-east further into the swamp to find a search area. Turn on your handy-dandy Witcher Senses and you'll find a body near the center of the search area. Investigate it and the nearby rocks, and with the Eye of Nehaleni you'll be able to dispel the rocks and study the monster tracks underneath.
Follow the tracks west to a camp, where you'll discover some of the mystery fog. It's not quite as toxic as the swamp gas you've seen before, as it won't poison you, it'll just suffocate you. Wonderful. Search along the northern end of the shelter here to find a body, which, once investigated will allow Geralt to identify his prey.
|For discovering the identity of the swamp monster||25 XP|
Head south-west from the camp with your Witcher Senses active to find a rock face, which just so happens to be another illusion, which conceals the entrance to a cavern (there are no fewer than three entrances to this cave). Dispel it and head inside the cave, where the smothering fog will no longer affect you. Continue south into the cavern until you reach a small, foggy chamber, where this ancient Foglet - Ingis Fatuus - awaits.
He fights like a common Foglet, turning into fog and making fog clones (two of them) regularly, and trying to attack from the relative safety of the fog. Not hard tactics to counter. He also hits like a truck, which makes Quen your friend here. When he falls, loot his corpse for the Steel Sword "Carabella" and a "Foglet Trophy" . In the eastern-most of this cavern's three chambers you can find - in the south-eastern corner - a corpse propped up against a chest, with a sack nearby. All of them can be looted. The chest, in particular, contains the "Diagram: Ursine Silver Sword - Superior" . You'll be finding another Silver Sword Diagram shortly, closer to your level, but this is still a welcome find.
Once you're done looting, return to Leslav and collect your reward... which isn't as much as promised. Listen to Leslav's excuses and make a choice; either bully the full pay out of him now, or give him a week to get the coin together. If you're generous and patient, you'll be rewarded, as Leslav keeps his promise to pay twice the agreed upon sum... which could end up well over 500 Crowns, depending on your haggling skills. War is hell, the rest of Velen is starving, but the peat business clearly is doing well enough!
|For slaying the Foglet, Ingis Fatuus||240 XP / 136+ Crowns|
Monster Nest (Level 9)
If you're feeling frisky and want to do more Witcher-work to make sure Leslav remains safe, head west through the swamp until you reach the edge of the lake. Here, near a boat, you'll find a Drowner nest. Kill the Drowners (level nine) - six in total, but never more than four at a time - then blow up the nest. You may also have to deal with a particularly nasty Drowned Dead (level nine) who shows up to avenge the nest. Once the monsters are gone loot the nest and a nearby corpse, the latter of which is particularly generous as far as loot goes. If you want to get into more trouble you can swim to a tiny island to the south-west, where you'll find a quartet of Mucknixers (level fifteen), but there's no treasure to be had by dispatching them.
|For destroying the monster nest||20 XP|
|For killing the nest's guardian Drowned Dead||50 XP|
Bandit Camp (level 9)
There's one more thing you might as well do while you're over here; follow the meandering coastline south a distance until you find a Bandit Camp. Kill the Deserters (level nine) then search under a crude shelter to find a chest, which is the object of this event. There's also a barrel near the chest and some parcels by a small boat to the west.
Time to start heading towards this Whispering Hillock. Make your way back to Downwarren and from there leave Downwarren via the road to the south, and when the road splits the first time head south-east. Continue south-east until you spot a wagon wagon stuck in the swamp with a barrel and several sacks to loot. Search them, then explore some abandoned houses to the north-east, where an Alghoul (level fourteen) prowls. No single Alghoul is much of a threat, regardless of its level. Kill it and loot the houses that you can access for some meager loot.
Guarded Treasure (Level 8)
Continue south-east along the road until it turns more south than east. Be wary of the swamp to the east, as a Bilge Hag (level twenty) likes to make her home there, and she's not above harassing traveling Witchers. West of the road you'll find a more modest threat in the form of Drowners (level six). If you're up for a bit of extra exploration and you're confident in your ability to defeat (or avoid) the powerful Water Hag, you can venture east of the road into the swamp to find a "Guarded Treasure" event. Here a less impressive Water Hag (level eight) guards a chest full of worthwhile loot. Why isn't the more powerful hag guarding the loot? Who cares, just be wary of the explosive gas and the un-even terrain, which are honestly more of a threat than the Water Hag herself. Once she's dead take the treasure and return back west to the road.
From the part of the road where you encountered the Bilge Hag turn south-west and continue off in that direction until you find the "Ruined Tower" - the signpost and the object. Search the eastern-most corner of these ruins to find a chest on an elevated ledge near a large tree, a chest which contains the "Diagram: Ursine Steel Sword - Superior" . Score. When you're done ogling diagrams you can't make use of yet, return east to the road.