The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt Strategy Guide

Guide Information

  • Publisher
    CD Projekt
  • Platforms
    Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 4, Xbox One
  • Genre
    Role-playing
  • Guide Release
    24 June 2015
  • Last Updated
    18 March 2018
  • Guide Author
    Nathan Garvin (Haeravon)

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Blood and Wine

Blood and Wine

Warble of a Smitten Knight

Important Items in this Area
Geralt of Rivia's Armor
Ravix of Fourhorn's Armor
Geralt of Rivia's Crossbow
Ravix of Fourhorn's Crossbow
Geralt of Rivia's Saddle
Ravix of Fourhorn's Saddle
Vivienne's Notes
Geralt of Rivia's Sword
Ravix of Fourhorn's Sword

Entering the Tourney

Make your way back to the Tourney Grounds north of Beauclair, and once there travel to the eastern end of the grounds to find Guillaume. Talk to him and he’ll tell you about some maiden - nay, a lady! - whom Guillaume suspects of suffering from a curse. After telling his somewhat creepy, stalkery story (where you’ll gather the symptoms are that the woman is elusive and has an unfortunate tendency to make bird-like noises at odd times) he’ll make an obvious suggestion. Tourney participants shall gain an audience with this Vivienne, and since he’s all injured from his bouts with Golyat and the Shaelmaar, he’ll ask you to take his place. Haggle over price if you wish, or agree to take up the task out of sheer curiosity.

Unfortunately, he’s not confident that a century or so of Witchering has adequately prepared his stand-in for the important task of prancing about at a tourney, so he’ll offer that you partake in some training in the three areas of competition: horsemanship, marksmanship and fencing. Taking part in the horsemanship trial, at the very least, comes highly recommended, as it does require a bit of finesse, and… well, frankly, the game hasn’t really required or encouraged mounted combat up until this point.

The horse-racing can throw a lot of people off, especially if you’re dead-set on getting the "A Knight to Remember" trophy/achievement, and much of this is due to the… questionable horse controls. The key to the horse race is to be patient, take your time, and to not try to do everything at any significant speed. The time lost on missing a target or running off the track will set you back more than simply cantering up to a target, taking care to aim, hitting your mark, then running off towards the next one. With the dummies, be sure to swing ahead of time to hit your target - swinging as you pass by will regularly result in a miss, and with the crossbow targets, just take your time and aim. The other two events - archery and "fencing" - aren’t much to talk about, as the archery only really requires patience, and the fencing will pit you against a spearman, against whom you can’t make use of bombs, oils, potions or signs.

After you’re done training, Guillaume will direct you next to the Inscription Tent to make sure your scrolls are in order. When you arrive, talk to the Scribe and you’ll make your first major choice of the tournament, where you’ll be informed that, having been knighted twice, you can enter as either Geralt of Rivia, or as Ravix of Fourhorn. The choice you make will have some cosmetic effect on the gear your wear during the tournament, and on the rewards you receive, but they’re not major. There are, however, two different encounters that will occur during the tournament depending on which alias you choose. By picking to enter as Geralt of Rivia, you’ll get a chance to prove you possess the knightly virtue of Honor. Not a huge deal, either way, so make whatever choice you will. Once done you’ll get the opportunity to ask about the challenges, the tournament’s rewards, and finally, you can make a vow, although the choice here is irrelevant.

Note: For joining the tournament you’ll be given some proper knight’s armor, including either Ravix of Fourhorn’s Armor or Geralt of Rivia’s Armor** and some Toussaint Knight’s Gauntlets, Toussaint Knight’s Boots and Toussaint Knight’s Trousers. None of this is above junk-tier gear, and fortunately you can switch out of it for superior, Witcher armor if you prefer.

The Archery Challenge

Now that you’re all properly registered and kitted out in cumbersome armor, make your way to the first challenge - the archery competition - to the north and east. When you arrive on the scene, you’ll be greeted by Palmerin de Launfal and informed you’re in a for a bit of a wait. He’ll also inform you that given the time of contest you’ll have the sun in your eyes, which he imagines to be a hindrance to a northerner like Geralt. Fortunately, he’ll offer to play a game of Gwent to pass the time… and if you win, he’ll swap times with you, allowing you to shoot unencumbered by the light of the sun.

Play Gwent or not, after which it’ll be time for you to compete. The archery event is pretty simple, you’re competing against another knight, each trying to shoot down their targets before the other. You’ve got plenty of time to aim your shots - Geralt’s crossbow far out-classes the speed of his opponent’s bow - making the sun in your eyes the only complication worth mentioning, and even then, only in as much as it makes it more difficult for you to tell which targets are yours and which belong to your opponent. Take your time, land your shots, and pass this incredibly easy challenge, after which Vivienne will present you with your prize… and Geralt will notice that his amulet detects magic about her.

Objective Reward
For winning the archery competition 100 XP / Geralt of Rivia's Crossbow / Ravix of Fourhorn's Crossbow

Invasion of Privacy

Vivienne’s excuse regarding the magic Geralt’s amulet picked up may be plausible, but fortunately, creepy Guillaume has been snooping about and after the competition he’ll show up and suggest raiding Vivienne’s tent. You know, for clues. Because that’s what a good guy does.

Follow Sir Boundary Issues to Vivienne’s tent, and after agreeing to a warning sound, enter the tent and examine a variety of objects, including some claw marks on a cabinet or a dressing screen (there are two of these marks), some oriole feathers on a desk, some naezan salts on another cabinet, some concealing ointment and a dress draped over some furniture. You can only examine four of these, after which Guillaume will bungle his one job, and you’ll find yourself ushered outside by a servant. Oh well, time to head on to the next event - the dreaded horse race!

The Horse Race

Make your way to the appointed spot, where the other tourney-going knights will be gathered. After everybody is introduced, you’ll be accosted by one knight or another, depending on your alias. If you compete as Ravix of Fourhorn a man named Tailles of Dorndal will threaten you, while if you entered as Geralt of Rivia, you’ll be pestered by Prince Anseis.

That threat will have to wait for another time, as the actual horse race is up next. The advice given above is worth repeating, and you’ll be better prepared for this if you practiced earlier, as per Guillaume’s request. The key to winning is patience, as you’ll hurt yourself more by running off the track or missing a target (the two usually go together) than you will by slowing down, taking your time to aim, and hitting the target… even if you move at a canter or come to a full stop to ensure your make your target. The time gained by hitting a target more than makes up for all but the greatest of delays. Just hold down [Square]/[X] as you ride past dummies to slow down time and improve your odds of hitting the dummy, and for archery targets slow down as you approach and hold down [R1]/[RB] to similarly slow down time for a clean shot.

All you need to do is pass through all nine checkpoints with time remaining to win the race, and although there are splits in the path at a few points, they’re largely cosmetic, and you shouldn’t fret over them too much. If you fail to complete the race with time left, you can always reload an auto-save and try again, and when you emerge victorious you’ll be rewarded with a customized saddle, which is on par with the Caed Myrkvid Saddle, and superior to a Zerrikanian Saddle.

Objective Reward
For winning the horse race 100 XP / Geralt of Rivia's Saddle / Ravix of Fourhorn's Saddle

Old Grudges at the Tourney

After the race, Vivienne will have some words with Geralt, after which the Witcher will end up drinking with Guillaume, talking about the information he found in the lady’s tent. Your chat will be interrupted by whatever man accosted you before the horse race, either Tailles of Dorndal (if you compete as Ravix of Fourhorn) or Prince Anseis (if you were identified as Geralt of Rivia).

In the case you’re confronted by Tailles - who literally throws down his gauntlet to challenge you - you’ll have to endure some fisticuffs with him and his two goons, accompanied by Guillaume. Don’t expect much of Guillaume, as he’s a time-buying distraction, at best, and if you end up having to fight three-on-one, things could get hairy. Fortunately, Tailles is the only competent fighter involved besides (hopefully) yourself. With any luck you should be able to focus on one of the goons and eliminate him quickly, even if it means being sloppy and just spamming offense until he falls. The same tactic can be repeated for the other goon, so long as you act quickly and take advantage of the distraction Guillaume provides while he’s still standing, after which you’ll need to fight Tailles more traditionally; parry, then riposte with two attacks, repeating until you’re victorious.

If you entered the tourney as Geralt of Rivia, Prince Anseis will also throw down his gauntlet and demand satisfaction, this time in the form of a mounted duel. Accept Prince Anseis’ challenge and best him in the mounted duel (just treat him as a moving dummy, hold down [Square]/[X] as you approach to slow down time and swing somewhat ahead of time to compensate for the shoddy hit detection), after which Geralt will justify his past actions to Anseis’ satisfaction. Not only will this clear the air, but it’ll prove you possess the knightly virtue of Honor.

Note: Accepting Anseis’ challenge and besting him will prove you possess the virtue of HONOR.

Did You Know?: Geralt encountered Tailles twice, once in the novel "The Last Wish", and again near the end of the prologue of The Witcher 2. The first encounter ended with Tailles gaining a new scar, and the second may have - at the player’s discretion - also gone poorly for Tailles. As for Anseis, Geralt was knighted by his mother, queen Meve, for his involvement in the Battle for the Bridge on the Yaruga, as depicted in the novel "Baptism of Fire". Geralt’s involvement in the battle was more of a means to an end (he was on a quest to find the then-missing Ciri - some things never change) than a purposeful political act, and Prince Anseis clearly took his departure poorly.

Vivienne’s Secret

Defeat your opponent, after which you’ll return to your business with Guillaume, Vivienne will appear and announce the events of the next day - which apparently includes a battle with the silent giant, Gregoire de Gorgon - after which everybody will be left to their devices… which of course gives Geralt a perfect opportunity to follow Vivienne and see what she gets up to at night, when she normally becomes elusive.

Make your way west to Vivienne’s tent, which you’ll find vacant save for a rather noisy bird. Grab Vivienne’s Notes of a table and read them if you wish - she’s spending an awful lot of money on "magic cream" - then head out back to find the bird, which will fly off when you approach.

Damn bird. Oh well, might as well follow it. Best case scenario, it’ll lead you to a Bruxae, you can smite the vampire, then tell Guillaume to get a new hobby. Follow the bird west along the northern edge of the lake, then along a river running west. Don’t worry about keeping up with the bird, it’ll wait for you at its destination. That’s not to say there’s not complications along the way, however, as you’ll likely have to deal with the odd Panther (level thirty-four), which seem… almost comically common here.

After smiting half a dozen or so Panthers, you’ll find the bird waiting for you near a bridge. At your approach, it’ll again fly off over a hill to the south, which provides you with some options; either take the long way around the hill, or go through a nearby cave. If you choose the latter, just follow one of two roads along a circuitous route to reach the quest marker. Not too exciting, save for the wildlife you’ll encounter.

If, on the other hand, you opt for the more adventurous route, head to the apparent end of the river, climb some rocks to the south, southwest, and lo’, a cave. Draw your Silver Sword, apply some Necrophage Oil to it, then venture into the darkness, for beyond, near a fork in the cave, you’ll find a Wight (level thirty-four). The Wight very much resembles a Hag in general body shape, and like the Hag it’s capable of raking with its claws, but much prefers staying at a distance and spitting. In the Wight’s case, it has two forms of spittle, a caustic fluid that’ll deal minor damage on contact, and an "ectoplasmic solution" which shortly will materialize into a Barghest, a spectral wolf-like monster.

Dispatch the Wight, then plunder the cave (including a side-chamber to the west) to score some ore veins, loot some skeletons, and grab any alchemical ingredients you may desire. Once done, exit the cave to the south and follow the bird south and west until it lands near a pond, and Vivienne reveals her true form.

Respond to the first dialogue option however you wish, after which she’ll request that you keep what she tells you a secret. Again, respond however you wish - although you’ll only have your conscience to blame if you make a liar out of yourself! Promise or not, after which she’ll tell you her tale, after which Geralt will offer various solutions to remove her curse. Neither option is perfect, however, as one requires a willing subject to transfer the curse to (which Vivienne is greatly opposed to) while another involves some subterfuge involving an egg which may reduce Vivienne’s life span to that of the subject bird. No immediate solution is agreed upon, however, and until one is decided upon, Vivienne decides to return to the Tourney Grounds.

Objective Reward
For learning Vivienne's secret 50 XP

Return back to the Tourney Grounds - either with Vivienne or not - and return to your tent, where Guillaume stands. Geralt will be vague, and Guillaume insistent, which brings you to another major choice in this quest. If you tell Guillaume Vivienne’s secret ("A powerful curse afflicts her.") he’ll get involved in the quest’s resolution, otherwise you can keep the secret from him by saying "Sorry. Promised her I wouldn’t tell."). In the latter case, Guillaume will become understandably angry, and either way you’ll immediately be presented with another choice: stay in the tournament (respond with "Wanna finish the tourney") or drop out and wait for Vivienne’s decision ("Backing out of the tourney. Gonna wait for Vivienne’s decision.).

There’s no going back once you make these decisions, so consider them carefully. Skipping the tournament will resolve the quest faster, but void any additional rewards, not to mention the trophy/achievement "A Knight to Remember" and another chance to prove you possess the knightly virtue of Valor. If you continue with the tourney, regardless of whatever other decisions you’ve made, continue with the section "Continue the Tourney", below. If you skip the rest of the tourney, skip ahead to "The Egg Method" if you kept Vivienne’s secret, or to "The Reflection Method" if you told Guillaume about Vivienne’s affliction.

Continuing the Tourney

Accept to continue the tourney and in the morning you’ll find yourself at the final event… barring the battle with the defending champion, that is. First, however, you need to emerge victorious from this event, which is a team melee that takes place in the arena. Your team of five - including Geralt - is led by Prince Anseis against Palmerin’s quintet.

You cannot make use of signs, oils, bombs, potions, or any other Witcher’s tricks here, it’s all a matter of swordplay. You’ll need to play the numbers game to your advantage, as if you let too many of your allies fall, you could find yourself in for a difficult fight against multiple foes. Once the fight begins, immediately head to the left-most enemy wielding a spear, hopefully drawing other foes nearby. There’s no need to be fancy here, just perform a heavy strike, dodge (not roll) back, and repeat. If one enemy blocks, another nearby might just take the hit, and repeating these heavy attack/dodge combos should suffice to dispatch a few of your foes. After that, don’t be afraid to keep the same strategy against a single foe, or withdraw, let the enemy engage one of your allies, then attack the occupied foe’s flank. Nobody said you had to play fair, after all.

Objective Reward
For winning the team melee competition 100 XP

If your team emerges victorious you’ll get to face off against last year’s champion, Gregoire de Gorgon. This massive armored brute might look tough - and he can hit fairly hard, if you’re not over-leveled and playing on the higher difficulties - but he’s not a very dynamic foe. He’s got great reach, but you can dodge everything he throws at you by dodging around him, but not away from him. If you dodge away, you might not be in a position to counterattack when he misses, but dodging sideways and letting those generous invincibility frames do their work will allow you to immediately follow up with attacks of your own. That’s all there really is to it. Keep dodging, and after he attacks and misses, respond with a strong attack of your own, perhaps getting more aggressive when he does his massive overhead swing.

Whittle down the former champion’s health and you’ll emerge victorious, and consequently be subjected to all the pomp and ceremony that goes with such an achievement. It’s not all bad, however, as you’ll earn some coin for your prowess, and gain a sword bearing whatever name you entered as. Perhaps more importantly, however, winning the tournament will prove you possess the knightly virtue of Valor.

Objective Reward
For defeating the previous tourney champion 250 XP / 200 Crowns / Geralt of Rivia's Sword / Ravix of Fourhorn's Sword

Note: Winning the tournament will prove you possess the virtue of VALOR.

Now that the tournament is done, it’s time to deal with Vivienne’s curse. Continue with the text under "The Egg Method" header if you kept Vivienne’s secret, or skip down to "The Reflection Method" header if you told Guillaume about Vivienne’s affliction.

The Egg Method

Once you’re out of the tourney - one way or another - and have kept Vivienne’s secret from Guillaume, you’ll find yourself in Vivienne’s tent. As Geralt and Vivienne begin to speak of matters of import, however, Geralt’s Witcher senses pick up a lurking Guillaume, who will find himself evicted by an exasperated Vivienne. Creep. Geralt and Vivienne discuss the costs of the ritual, after which, with the sacrifice of an unborn bird decided upon, the two set out to pilfer aforementioned egg.

You’ll next find yourself near the pond where you met Vivienne in her half-bird state. Make your way to the quest marker to find the oriole nest you’re after. Unfortunately, you’re not the only ones hungry for delicious baby birds, as a Panther (level thirty-four) has done most of the work for you. Kill the beast, then Geralt will find an egg that the Panther damaged and use that as the ritual’s sacrifice. Sometimes karma gives you a freebie, eh?

After the ritual, Vivienne will give you some words to pass on to Guillaume before departing, seemingly to make the most of whatever life she has left. Return to the tourney grounds and tell Guillaume about Vivienne. No matter how nicely you put things, however, Guillaume is clearly not - despite his professions to the contrary - happy to see Vivienne cured if he’s not the recipient of her favor. At least he has the decency to pay you before sulking off, however.

Objective Reward
For resolving the curse with the egg method 250 XP, 500 Crowns

The Reflection Method

Assuming you told Guillaume about Vivienne’s curse and agreed to attempt the reflection method, finish up your obligations in the tourney or skip them, after which you’ll find yourself in Vivienne’s tent, talking to the lady about her curse and her chosen method of mitigating its effects. Shortly, Guillaume will make a dramatic entrance, much to Vivienne’s chagrin. When you get the opportunity to speak, defend Guillaume and suggest attempting the reflection method, after which the three of you will depart for the pond where you encountered Vivienne in her half-bird form.

When you’re back in control, follow the two to the pond and kill the Panther (level thirty-four) you encounter there. Afterwards, a cutscene will occur where Geralt will conduct the ritual. Although the long-term effects remain to be seen, the two seem happy enough for now… and it’s no wonder, considering the silly secondary condition that Geralt doesn’t mention until afterwards. Maybe, sometimes, there are happy endings?

Objective Reward
For resolving the curse with the reflection method 250 XP, 500 Crowns

Depending on your actions thus far, you may have demonstrated all five knightly virtues, in which case, you can finish up the quest There Can Be Only One. If you didn’t prove you possess these virtues yet, no worries - opportunities to do so will still be pointed out as you continue on other business, but for those extra chivalrous souls, feel free to peruse the quest There Can Be Only One. For you less accomplished knightlings, now is a fine time to check out your new estate, Corvo Bianco, which will be covered below in the section No Place Like Home. If for whatever reason you can’t be bothered with either of those, then it may be time to head back to Beauclair and start working through the quests there, starting with Till Death Do You Part.