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)

Share this free guide:

Get a Gamer Guides Premium account:

White Orchard

White Orchard

Imperial Audience

Gwent Players in this Area
Nilfgaardian Noble - Random Card

When the game continues, Geralt will be in the midst of a much-needed bath, doubtless not for his sake, but rather to avoid offending the senses of Emperor Emhyr. In addition, Geralt will be subjected to other Nilfgaardian scruples on cleanliness, including a shave. A ranking Nilfgaardian named Morvran Voorhis will interrupt, and decide a shave is a fine time to ask about your past… namely the choices you made in the last game. As this might not be familiar to everybody, it’s probably best to discuss these questions in a bit of detail. Background on the questions will be provided, but the actual choice will be left up to you.

The Fate of Aryan La Valette

Aryan was the son of Maria Louisa La Valette - a Temerian noblewoman who rose up against Foltest - and half-brother to Maria’s younger children, Foltest’s bastard twins. At the time Geralt was serving Foltest, owing his position of prominence to both Triss’s influence as Foltest’s adviser, and to thwarting an assassination attempt on Foltest earlier. During the siege of La Valette castle, Geralt encountered the brash young noble, and could have either slain him and his troops, defeated Aryan in single combat, or convinced the youth not to throw his life away. If the latter course was chosen, Aryan and Geralt helped one another escape from the La Valette castle dungeon. Thought to have perished in a fire at the castle, Aryan had actually set out to find his missing siblings, and heirs to the throne of Temeria.

Note: Your response here has only a very superficial impact on the game.

How Did you Reach Vergen?

The big choice at the end of chapter one, you could either side with Iorveth, an elven rebel and leader of the Scoia’tael who helped Foltest’s murderer or Vernon Roche, leader of Foltest’s "blue stripes" special forces, who sought both the Scoia’tael and the kingslayer. If you sided with Iorveth, you ended up on the nonhuman side of a conflict between Aedirn and Kaedwen. If you sided with Vernon you found yourself at the service of King Henselt of Kaedwen.

Note: Your response here has only a very superficial impact on the game.

Did you Rescue Triss, or Anais/Saskia?

Depending on the choice you made earlier, at the summit at Loc Muinne, did you rescue Triss (who was kidnapped by Nilfgaardians) or did you either help Iorveth lift a curse on Saskia (leader of the Aedirnian rebels and high dragon in disguise) or help Vernon rescue Anais (Foltest’s surviving daughter and heir). If you saved Triss, Anais died and Temeria was split between Redania and Kaedwen, or Saskia either had to be slain, or was spared, but remained under magical control. Otherwise, you could have rescued Saskia and freed her from magical control, or if you saved Anais, you could choose to give her to Radovid (king of Redania) at which point Temeria became a protectorate of Redania, or given her to the Temerians, which allowed Temeria to remain independent… for all the good that did in the long run.

Note (Spoilers!): Triss survives the events of The Witcher 2 no matter what, so there’s no need to have saved her, yourself, and there will be no hard feelings between the two of you if you didn’t. Anais La Valette’s fate is of more significance, technically, since her survival affects the technical details of Temeria’s sovereignty, but since events later in the game will truly determine Temeria’s ultimate fate, Anais’s claim to the throne is moot. If you didn’t save Saskia, Geralt will never know about her secret true form, although neither she, nor Iorveth, appear in The Witcher 3, and it’s implied later that she extricated herself from her predicament she was in at the end of The Witcher 2.

Sile de Tansarvilles Fate?

Sile de Tansarville was one of the sorceress conspirators that set the events of The Witcher 2 in motion, and Geralt - and all the north - suffered for their schemes. At the summit at Loc Muinne, Letho - the Kingslayer - sabotaged Sile’s megascope. Geralt had the option to put old grudges aside and save Sile, or let the sabotage kill her in dramatic fashion.

Note (Spoilers!): If you let Sila die at the end of The Witcher 2, she obviously won’t be in The Witcher 3, where she’ll otherwise make a brief, ill-fated appearance.

What Happened to Letho?

Letho, the Kingslayer, murdered Foltest and Demavend, and allowed the murder of the former to be pinned on Geralt. He was ultimately working for Nilfgaard, and Geralt chased him to Loc Muinne, where he could either have let Letho go, or killed him in single combat. Letho’s life had once been saved by Geralt, and despite their political animosity, Letho returns the favor later on. His motivation for serving Nilfgaard was the promise of the resources to restore the Viper School of Witchers.

Note: If you say Letho is alive, the quest "The Fall of House Reardon" will be affected, and you’ll be able to complete the quest "Ghosts of the Past" . Not to mention you’ll be able to secure an ally for yourself later on.

The Emperors Request

Make your choices, sign on the dotted line, then pick out your choice of outfit… after you loot the area, of course. Plenty of books to be obtained and read at your leisure. Grab an outfit (or all three!) then talk to the chamberlain when you’re ready to proceed with the meeting. After some bowing lessons, follow the chamberlain out of the room, as he continues to lecture you on proper etiquette.

Shortly you’ll reach your destination. If you were expecting a huge audience chamber, or something elegant… well, that’s not the case. Choose to bow when prompted, or refuse. Either way, the emperor will send everyone else away to talk to you one-on-one. His demand of you is simple; his daughter Cirilla has appeared again, and she’s being pursued by the Wild Hunt. You are to find her, and bring her back to Emhyr. The story between the parties involved is complicated, but to put it simply: Geralt once saved Emhyr in his youth, while in exile, when he went by the name Duny. The price for Geralt’s aid was the as-of-yet unborn Ciri, who was brought up to be a Witcher. Geralt, too has been pursued recently by the King of the Wild Hunt, and given the incident outside of Vizima, it doesn’t appear this pursuit has ended. Finding Ciri might help discover why the Wild Hunt is chasing you… and one doesn’t really say "no" to the Emperor of Nilfgaard.

Respond how you wish, as long as it’s in the affirmative, then the audience will be ended by Emhyr, who summons his chamberlain to escort you to Yennefer. Follow him through the throne room, where workers are busy destroying the lilies on the floor, then through a garden, where the chamberlain will leave you to your own devices. Go through a nearby door and loot the rooms beyond.

Get pampered before you interrogation (left) then go meet the Emperor of Nilgaard (right).

Getting Caught Up

Go into a room to the north to find Yennefer, who teases you about your apparel before talking business, and in this case, business means Ciri. The Wild Hunt is on to Yennefer, and she can’t risk using more magic to track her down. You need to track down Ciri, before the Wild Hunt finds her. There are two places to search, Velen, being the most likely, and Novigrad, where Triss Merigold resides. Yennefer herself will investigate a magical incident she believes is tied to Ciri in the Skellige Isles. With that, Yennefer will advise you to speak to Ambassador var Attre to learn about what’s been going on in the world before you leave, then she’ll teleport away after an awkward farewell kiss. Wait, wasn’t she supposed to be keeping the whole magic thing to a minimum? Oh well…

Loot Yennefer’s room, especially taking time to score a chest in a cubby to the west, then take her up on her advice and talk to the ambassador, who is standing by a fire in the room to the south. Ask him about how the war with Radovid is going, then get caught up on the game’s three main areas; Velen, Novigrad, and Skellige. A Bloody Baron in Velen, the Eternal Fire cult inciting pogroms against nonhumans and mages in Novigrad, and in Skellige… well, Skellige is just the home of some lovable semi-civilized barbarians.

Leave these rooms and return to the garden, where you can talk to the chamberlain to get your gear back, which he had the audacity to freshen up! With one last warning not to keep Emhyr waiting he’ll leave you to your own devices. There’s surprisingly little left to do here - there’s some more minor loot to be had if you look around, and you can play Gwent with a Nilfgaardian Nobleman, but his cards are so strong you’re probably just throwing away Crowns. On a more cash-flow positive note, activate your Witcher Senses and search a pillar to the east to find a brick highlighted in red. Press the brick and turn north to find a secret doorway, beyond which you’ll find a sack you can loot. Inside you’ll find a random bit of armor and an "Old Letter" .

Did You Know?: Roderick de Wett - mentioned in the Old Letter you can find in the secret passage in the garden - was one of the antagonists of the first Witcher game. The subject of lifting Adda’s curse was covered in the first short story in The Last Wish - the first Witcher novel, and her relapse was a major plot point in the first game. Unfortunately, Adda was dropped for later Witcher games, despite the fact that (depending on choices made in the first game) she should be a rather important character.

When you’re ready to head out on your journey, return to the throne room and go through the doors along the southern edge of the throne room. You can now fast-travel to any signpost in the game that you’ve discovered. Base on what Yennefer told you, a good first stop would be Velen, and this is also supported by the suggested level for the story quests that are available. Given this sensible way of going about things, your next quest objective should be "The Nilfgaardian Connection" , in Velen. Fortunately for you, the "Hanged Man’s Tree" signpost in that area has been made available. How convenient You can also fast travel back to White Orchard, if you so desire… but to get on with the game, you’ll need to head on to Velen.