|Important Items in this Area|
|Key Attached to a Crumpled Note|
|Slightly Bent Key|
Contract: Missing Brother (Level 33)
Fast-travel to the Inn at the Crossroads and visit the notice board and grab the notice "Missing: Mikel" to start the quest "Contract: Missing Brother" if you haven’t done so already. When you’re ready head into the inn and talk to Bruno to learn of his troubles - apparently his brother went missing during an act of altruism. Haggle for more coin if you want to pile on his misery, then make your way to the derelict mine, which is along the coast south-west of the bridge leading to the Border Post, on the Velen side of the Pontar River.
When you reach the mine search a pile of gore outside, then use your Witcher Senses to pick up a trail of odd prints leading into the mine. Things aren’t looking good for poor Mikel Head into the mine and climb down a ladder, then turn east and head in that direction until you find the dry land - and the tracks - again. Follow the passage when it turns south and when you find a side-passage to the east be sure to search it to score a chest. Continue following the tracks south and until they split, leading east into some water and south-west to several bloody smears on the floor of the mine.
Ignore the water for now and examine the blood instead to prompt Geralt to ask an obvious question. Continue west through a gate and examine some bodies, then loot some crates and climb a ladder to the north. Turn south-west and walk across some planks to find a chest near a table, then ascend up a ramp to the south-east and turn north-east to find another pair of chests and a parcel. Return to the ladder and head north to find a room occupied by a Farmer’s Wife, one of the recipients of Mikel’s ill-fated benevolence. She’ll do little more than implore you kill whatever large beast preyed upon the refugees. Talk to her, loot a chest up here, then head west and north to find a raised drawbridge. Pull a lever to lower it to create a shortcut back to the beginning of the mine, which the woman wisely takes advantage of.
Return east to the pool that the monster tracks lead to and dive on in, where the tracks continue underwater. Follow the tracks as you swim through the passage and loot several chests along the way, then surface in a cavern. Examine some eggs and Geralt will identify the monster dwelling in these mines before declaring that they must be destroyed, prompting you to blast any eggs you see with Igni. Do so, then continue south-east to find another pool of water. Dive in and you’ll find a chest immediately to the south, but otherwise you’ve got a long, dull, lootless swim ahead of you, at the end of which you’ll surface in another nursery chamber where four more eggs await, guarded by a Young Arachas (level five).
|For identifying the monster in the mines||25 XP|
Destroy the eggs and swim back to the previous chamber, then continue south-west to find another cavern housing four eggs, again guarded by a Young One (level five). Kill all the bugs and make your way west (looting another chest as you go!) to find out what happened to Mikel, as evidenced by his unique shoes. After the examination is over, the monster haunting these mines - the Venomous Arachas, Harrisi - will arrive. She fights like the other, few Venomous Arachas you’ve encountered so far, and like the name suggests, she uses poison almost exclusively to deal damage. Golden Oriole will greatly mitigate this damage, or, if you have a Superior Golden Oriole potion, it’ll make it all but impossible to lose this fight. Kill the beast and loot it for some "Mahakaman Trousers" , an "Arachas Mutagen" and an "Arachas Trophy" .
Now all you need to do is return to Bruno and tell him the bad news… but first, you might as well loot the mine. You’ll find numerous corpses lying about which can be looted for… well, junk, mostly. To the north you’ll find a more lucrative chest, while to the south-west you’ll discover another chest and the body of a Nilfgaardian, on which is the Steel Sword "Gwyhyr". Finally, head down into a small side-chamber to the south to find a third chest.
Return to Bruno and tell him the grim tidings, after which he’ll test his luck by fundamentally misunderstanding a Witcher’s profession; they’re not rescue workers, they’re monster slayers, and they don’t like being stiffed. Either demand some compensation for risking your life to earn a partial reward, use the Axii Sign to claim what you’re owed, or tell him you’re not going to beg and walk away without adding any more coins to your purse.
|For demanding a reward for the risk you incurred||200 XP / 84 Crowns|
|For using Axii to claim your reward||200 XP / 210+ Crowns|
|For leaving without securing your due||300 XP|
Before you move on to the next contract, there are a few more map markers to cross off the "to do" list. West of Oxenfurt are four islands, on each one of which you’ll find some quest or event. The southern-most one houses the "White Eagle Fort" and was the home of the troll from the quest "The Volunteer", while the center one had a Hidden Treasure event where you could start the quest "Blood Gold". Those two have already been covered, but now it’s time to deal with the final two.
Treasure Hunt: Battlefield Loot (Level 20)
Make your way to the north-western island to find a Hidden Treasure marker along the northern end of the island, where a Bilge Hag (level eighteen) prowls. Put the hag down, then search the abandoned fortifications to find a ballista, from which you can follow a blood trail north-east to find a corpse. Loot the body to find a "Key Attached to a Crumpled Note" and some "Crumpled Notes" and read the latter to start the quest "Battlefield Loot" . Backtrack south to the ballista, then continue following a blood trail south to find three barrels. Aard them out of the way to reveal a chest, which you can loot to complete this quest.
Treasure Hunt: Dowry (Level 32)
On the eastern-most of these four islands (the island due north of the island with the "White Eagle Fort" signpost on it) you’ll find a Hidden Treasure event along the eastern end of the island, where a Basilisk (level thirty-two) prowls. Draconid Oil, an upgraded Silver Sword and the Quen sign should see you to victory over Velen’s most powerful beastie, after which you can search a corpse south-east of a boat along the shore to find a "Slightly Bent Key" and an "Unsent Letter" . Read the letter to start the quest "Dowry" , then search the chest near the boat to claim your treasure and finish the quest.
Contract: The Creature from Oxenfurt Forest (Level 35)
Only one more contract left to complete. Use the "Inn at the Crossroads" signpost to fast-travel to the "Herbalist’s Hut" signpost north-east of Oxenfurt. From there head south-east to find a small, fortified camp where some mercenaries are encamped. Talk to their leader - Hans of Cidaris - who knows of a beast that needs slaying, a task they failed at earlier. Squeeze more money out of him, then loot the camp… view it as an advance on your well-deserved reward.
Exit the camp by heading east, then follow a road south. Take the first fork to the east and follow this road as it turns south, killing a Bear (level twelve) and a pack of Wolves (level five) if necessary. Eventually the road will fork again, at which point take the eastern path, and at the next fork (the eastern branch of which leads to Aeramas’ Abandoned Manor) veer off to road to the north to find a search area.
Near the center of the search area you’ll find a body and three blood puddles. Search one of the puddles and the body, then head north-east to find a severed arm on a rock. Examine the arm and a small blood spatter nearby and follow the gruesome trail to the east (perhaps exterminating another pack of Wolves (level five) along the way) until it ends, courtesy of some scavenging ravens. Look up to the east and you’ll see the birds in the distance circling, presumably marking the location of the rest of their meal. Continue east and you’ll find a large feather you can examine, which will reveal the identity of the beast you’re hunting.
|For discovering the identity of the mercenary-eater||25 XP|
Continue east and scale three ledges to find the nest of the Archgriffin, where you’ll find the scant remains of the missing mercenary. Examine it to find the "Mercenary Contract", which reveals that the mercenaries aren’t as honorable as they let on. Something you’ll have to have a chat with Hans about… after the Archgriffin has been dealt with.
Speaking of which, abandon the nest to find a search area on the plain nearby, where you’ll have to rest until nightfall. Do so and the Archgriffin - Opinicus - will arrive. You’ve defeated a high-level Archgriffin not too long ago, so you should be well-versed in killing such foes; they fight like normal Griffins, save they spit venom. Punish it with Igni and use Hybrid Oil and if it starts doing fly-by attacks, shoot it down with your crossbow. When the beast is smote, claim a "Griffin Trophy" an "Archgriffin Mutagen" and a suit of "Zireael Armor" .
Return to Hans and tell him of your mighty deed and he’ll go to give you the agreed upon reward, paying you from the larger advance he got to do the same job… Unsuccessfully, one might add. Either take whatever sum you agreed upon or demand the full pay for the job you did for them; you’ll get a base of 221 Crowns (if you didn’t haggle), whatever you talked Hans up to if you did haggle, or 495 Crowns if you demand the full contract. In the latter case Geralt will also give Hans some free advice for the future.
|For defeating the Opinicus||300 XP / Crowns 221 - 495|
That should be it for all the contracts in the game, and every bit of exploration in Velen and Novigrad, really… not including any of the Hearts of Stone content, of course. There’s still some more to do in Skellige, but only a few isolated bits, and the main story will take you back there eventually. That being the case, it’s time to return to the Dandelion’s tavern in Novigrad and start helping people make their final preparations.