|Important Items in this Area|
|Dead Soldier's Letter|
It's time to finally pay attention to the Ransacked Village, itself. All around you'll find peasants mourning their losses. Life is hard when you're on the bottom. Of course, it'll be even worse if monsters are terrorizing them. With that logic, feel free to loot whatever minor possessions they still had. One of houses will have to be opened by gentle application of the Aard Sign to the door.
Bandit Camp (level 5)
Once the looting is done, head to the Ransacked Village signpost, and from there head up the road to the north-west. Follow it west, then when it joins with another road, continue along it to the north-west. Along the way you should find a ruined wagon along the western side of the road, including a chest which can hold some superior gear. Continue north along the road until you find a Bandit Camp consisting of three weak bandits. Smite them, and loot their chest west of the road, near a bridge. The loot was nice, but mostly you eliminated this camp just to clear the way for a quest you can do, one that'll give you an excuse to explore further north.
Missing in Action
First, however, you need to return to the Ransacked Village. Along the road south of the sign (near where the road turns from running mostly south to south-west) you'll find Dune, sitting alone save for his dog. Talk to him and he'll tell you that his brother, Bastien, was involved in a battle with the Nilfgaardians a while back, and has since gone missing. Tell him to walk the battlefield and he'll relate the not-so-surprising news that necrophages prowl around there, and almost made a meal out of him when he last went searching. He just so happens to be in need of somebody who can fight such critters. Offer to help out, then follow him to the battlefield, which is north-east of the Crossroads signpost.
Along the way you'll find the wholesome sights of war, including impaled corpses and the remains of a military camp. The impaled corpses, one should note, are all wearing Temerian blue. The Nilfgaardians aren't always as civilized as they claim. Search the bodies along the road and in the camp to find a variety of sub-par weapons (which can be either sold or broken down for components) ashes, or water.
Talk to Dune and you'll plan a course of action - searching for Bastien's body won't be easy, but it's what we've come to do. For now, Dune and his dog will follow you around... although the dog does like to make a nuisance of itself by nudging you occasionally... Continue north past a large tree and scour the camp for some intact chests. There are four of them in total, one in the remains of a ruined Temerian tent along the western end of the camp, another rests to the south, along some stakes, the third third is east of a tree that stands in the center of the camp, while the forth and final chest is even further east, at the end of the camp, in a tent.
Once you're done looting the four chests, you can turn your gaze north, where you'll find a fine test for your OCD. Bodies litter the ground, obviously the remains of a not-so-long-past battle. Bodies that can be looted. Do you really need that many Blunt Axes? Probably not. You can also get a "Dead Soldier's Letter" from one of the corpses lying around, which talks about some stash buried along the beach. Draw your silver sword and dispatch a trio of Ghouls, then activate your Witcher Senses to search for the shields that might bear the mark that identifies Bastien. There are four shields you can search, one is north-east of the center of the search circle, another is near the north-western edge (at about 10:00), a third is at the southern end (6:00) while the final one is also at the edge of the search area, at about 8:00.
After searching the shields Dune will explain that the dog has found Bastien's scent, and the search area will greatly expand. Head south-west to find a cabin in the woods. When you approach you'll overhear a Nilfgaardian soldier talking to a Temerian soldier. Geralt interrupts, and Dune shows up to identify Bastien. Apparently the two are fellow deserters, although originally from different camps, they found common cause... which of course complicates things, because now Bastien won't desert his friend. The rebel Bastien can chuck his armor and stand a chance at recovering anonymously, but the deserter will be hanged if he is caught... and so will any who aid him, as Dune points out.
If you talk Bastien into abandoning his friend, he'll agree to leave, but persist in trying to help. Rhosyn will hear none of it though - he knows he's being left to his inevitable fate. On the other hand, you can convince Dune to show what Nordlings are really made of and show some compassion, which will convince Dune to take the Nilfgaardian in. Either way, the quest is complete.
|For convincing Bastien to abandon Rhosyn.||25 XP|
|For convincing Dune to take Rhosyn in.||25 XP|
Monster Nest/Place of Power (level 2)
Return back to the battlefield and explore to the north-west, where you'll find a couple of things. First, there's a road that leads to the Cackler Bridge signpost, which is of limited use to you now, since the gate west of it is closed, and must be opened from the other side. North-east of here you can find a Ghoul Nest (complete with four new Ghouls waiting to be smote). While you can clear the Ghouls, you can't yet deal with their nest... not until you can make bombs, anyways. On a more positive note, just north of the Ghoul Nest rests a Place of Power. Be sure to clear the former and activate the latter, as it'll bestow one Ability Point to you when you do so, which is very win.
Note: Places of Power in the first two games simply gave temporary stat bonuses. They're far, far more interesting in The Witcher 3.
There's one more thing you can do here before we turn out attentions elsewhere, under the Cackler Bridge you can find a corpse and a chest to loot. Trouble is, both sides of the river are pretty steep. If you travel back to the Ford signpost (where the merchant was attacked by the Griffin) you can head north along the shore to reach the treasure.