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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White Orchard

White Orchard

The Beast of White Orchard

Important Items in this Area
Manuscript Page: Cursed Oil
Of Sweat and Blood
Torn-Out Page: Nightwraith Decoction
Torn-Out Page: Noonwraith Decoction
Formula: Thunderbolt
Crossbow
Griffin Mutagen
Griffin Trophy

All the optional quests are done for now, so it’s finally time to go pay the Nilfgaardians a visit. Fortunately, they’re nearby, just swim back west and head to the northern part of the island to find the Nilfgaardian Garrison signpost. From here head up several flights of wooden stairs and you’ll be accosted by a pair of soldiers, with whom Geralt will exchange banter. When Geralt mentions he’s a Witcher, however, their disposition changes, and they tell you to head on inside. Fun thing, that. There’s only one reason for this… seems like the Nilfgaardians have a monster problem.

First, however… if you’re feeling adventurous turn north-west and head onto a wooden bridge. Run to the end and you’ll discover that… well, the bridge is out of commission. Still, a good jump will get you to the far side, where a lootable chest and some other containers await. Just remember, as far as loot around Nilfgaardians is concerned, a "no-touching or we’ll murder you" rule prevails. The stuff on the far side of the bridge is safe enough, however.

Head past the guards and into the garrison, where you’ll find plenty of Nilfgaardians loitering around, but surprisingly little to do here. You can loot herbs freely, but you need to be careful with anything else. Head to the west to find a Grindstone, with which you can enhance your weapons.

More interesting, however is the nearby Quartermaster (marked on your map as a Blacksmith). If you talk to him, he’ll ask for a password, and when Geralt admits to not knowing one, he’ll get cheeky. Geralt retorts with a barb of his own, and the Quartermaster decides you’re alright. He doesn’t sell much that Willis doesn’t, but he can craft weapons for you, unlike Willis. If you have some Emerald Dust, it might be worthwhile to craft the Viper Silver Sword. It’s a decent upgrade, and well worth the Crowns it costs to craft. The Viper Steel Sword isn’t a bad upgrade, either, but if you’ve only got one unit of Emerald Dust, the Silver Sword is the better choice.

Once you’re done with the Quartermaster, head up the nearby stairs and into the tower. Here you’ll find the commanding officer negotiating with a peasant. He shows a more compassionate face of Nilfgaard, but one should keep in mind that all those corpses probably didn’t end up hanging or impaling themselves on spikes without his knowledge.

When he turns his attention to you, respond to him however you wish. Geralt will ask about Yennefer and the Nilfgaardian’s angle becomes clear; in exchange for information about Yennefer, he wants you to kill the Griffin, something he’s already tried to do and failed at. Half-measures haven’t worked, and he can either keep his garrison around to watch over the Temerians, who are primed to rebel at any moment, or he can send the garrison to hunt the Griffin. Given those options, he decided to do the former, but now that there’s a profession monster-slayer in the area, his options have expanded. Accept his offer and Geralt will ask some job-related questions. The takeaway from these is that Geralt needs to question one Mislav, the hunter who found the men the Nilfgaardian sent to kill the Griffin earlier, and Tomira, an herbalist.

Note: If you discovered the Griffin’s nest on your own, you won’t have to bother with Mislav, and if you already acquired Buckthorn you won’t need to see the Herbalist. You will, however, need to return to the Griffin’s nest and investigate it. You should still go visit the herbalist either way, and the following sections "On Death’s Bed " and "Hunting With Mislav" will cover meeting with the herbalist and hunter, respectively.

Leaping from one of the bridge to the next to score some loot (left). Talk to the garrison commander and accept to kill the Griffin terrorizing White Orchard in exchange for information (right).

On Deaths Bed

Head out of the garrison and use the "Nilfgaardian Garrison" signpost to fast travel to the "Sawmill" signpost. From here, head east over a hill to find the herbalist’s house, which you can now enter. Unsurprisingly, there’s a fair amount of herbs to loot outside. Take what you wish, then head inside.

Talk to Tomira and ask about her past to find out that she studied under one Nenneke, until a boy - and a related summer of passion - ruined all that. Next ask her about Claer, and the she will tell the story about what happened there. Not really anything you didn’t already know, but to prevent things from ending on a bad note, she’ll give you some goodies. If you haven’t already harvested it, you can also ask Tomira about the Buckthorn you’ll need to serve as bait for the Griffin.

Objective Reward
For asking Tomira about Claer 10 XP / Saltpeter x4 / Berbercane Fruit x8 / Hellebore Petals x8 / Cortinarius x6

Talk to the Herablist to learn about some bait you can use to lure the Griffin (left). Mix up a Swallow potion to try to heal the injured woman (right).

Ask about the injured woman and she’ll confirm that she’s another victim of the Griffin. The victim is terminal, and beyond the herbalist’s power… but perhaps not beyond a Witcher’s potions. The risks are serious, however, as… well, there’s a reason the Witchers go through the training they do. Those mutations aren’t just to increase their reaction times - they also allow them to withstand their own potions. Offer to help her and the herbalist will point out the poor options for the girl; a certain but easy death at the hands of the herbalist, or a choice between a Witcher’s potion, which might grant a full recovery, or an agonizing death.

Exit the conversation, then prepare a Swallow potion via your Alchemy menu. If you’ve been diligently harvesting plants as you’ve explored, you should have more than enough ingredients for this by now. Once done, talk to Tomira again and pick the option "Got a potion for Lena." You won’t see the outcome yet, as the potion will take longer to affect a normal human, but the rewards are immediate. Tomira decides she likes you, and decides to give you a reward. For giving a damn. It’s a pretty hefty reward, too. Reading the book she gives you will update the bestiary with an entry on Nightwraiths and Plague Maidens and allow you to learn how to craft the Nightwraith and Noonwraith decoctions. Score.

Objective Reward
For giving a damn 350 XP / 50 Crowns / Venom Extract x2 / Manuscript Page: Cursed Oil / Of Sweat and Blood

Finally… as an herbalist, she sells herbs. Amazing, right? She also sells formula for White Gull and Troll Decoction, should you need them. Sadly, she won’t give you a good deal on herbs you wish to sell, but she will pay six Crowns per Honeycomb. If you were diligent about searching for it, earlier, you could have a couple dozen of them, which will improve your financial situation a bit… even if you have to rest a bit to get her to replenish her cash.

Track Mislave down (left) and get him to lead you to where the Griffin attack the Nilfgaardian patrol (right).

Hunting with Mislav

Now it’s time to check in with Mislav, whose house is outside (south-west of) the village of White Orchard, just south of Odolan’s house. Knock on the door and Geralt will come to the conclusion that the hunter must be out hunting… which seems perfectly reasonable. Use your Witcher Senses to spot some tracks east of the dour, then follow the meandering path south to find Mislav, who is crouched over, possibly tracking some beastie?

Interrupt him and, after shushing you, he’ll proceed to tell you why Wild Dogs are more dangerous than Wolves, in his silly opinion. Ask him to lead you to where he found the Nilfgaardians and he’ll agree… after he kills the Wild Dogs, who might pose a danger to the village. He’ll then ask you to join him, and… well, it would be a shame if he were to die hunting dogs, so… agree to help him.

Follow Mislav on his crusade and he’ll continue to bad-mouth dogs as you walk. Eventually you’ll stumble across a pack of Wild Dogs, who make all dog-kind look bad by preying on a human. Kill the doggies and Mislav will investigate the body, which belongs to a man he once knew. Ask him about his past if you want to know exactly why Mislav lives outside of the village.

Objective Reward
For hunting with Mislav 350 XP

Next stop is the site where the Nilfgaardians died, to which Mislav will lead you. It’s a bit of a jog to the south-west, on the road south-west of his house. Once you get there Mislav will describe the scene, then wish you luck. Activate your Witcher Senses, then investigate the remains of a campfire, the blood, and some bottles, then continue down the road a bit and examine some tracks - older, deeper tracks. Follow the tracks south-west, past the "Broken Bridge" signpost, then over the broken bridge itself. The tracks will veer off the road to the south, uphill, over a few stone ledges, and across another gap you have to leap across. Keep heading uphill to find the Griffin’s nest.

Use your Witcher Senses to highlight the dead Griffin and the nest, and search them, examining the dead Griffin’s wounds, determine its age, and its type. All the signs point towards humans being the culprits, and the surviving Griffin - a male whose life-mate was murdered - might just be justified in its rampage. You can also examine a dead body and some bones nearby to learn more. Loot the skeletons in the nest, then a corpse sitting up against a tree before returning to Vesemir in the tavern in White Orchard.

Objective Reward
For examining the Griffin 500 XP

Geralt examines the corpse of the Royal Griffin, and solves the mystery of why its mate is rampaging around White Orchard.

Battling the Beast (level 3)

Return to the tavern to find that Vesemir has decided to play outside. He also seems to have cleaned up his armor (and presumably mended his wound) while you were out busy doing ALL THE WORK. Ahem. Tell him about the Griffin contract and he’ll show off his perceptiveness, then tell him you have both the Buckthorn and the information and - after Vesemir makes fun of you and amateur monster hunters both - he’ll say he’s ready to go. Pick the dialogue option "Time to set the trap" and Vesemir will tell you about an ambush location he picked out. Maybe the old man has been busy after all? He’ll give you the formula for the Thunderbolt potion then run off to the ambush location.

Objective Reward
For telling Vesemir you're ready to hunt the Griffin Formula: Thunderbolt

Now is as fine a time as any to prepare potions, if you think you’ll need them. With a level three Witcher and an upgraded Viper Silver Sword, however, you should be fine. Swallow will provide healing, and Tawny Owl will improve your Stamina regeneration, allowing you to use Signs more frequently. Head over to where Vesemir went (north of the island east of White Orchard) and talk to him. Tell him you’re ready and Vesemir will apply the Buckthorn bait to a sheep decoy, and the two Witchers will settle down in the brush to chat while they wait.

The Griffin will show up eventually, and the two Witchers will move to attack. Before things get violent, however, Vesemir hands you a Crossbow he won in a card game, which might just come in handy. Chastise Vesemir about his gambling and he’ll change the subject… rightly so, as you do have a Griffin to kill, after all.

Vesemir uses a clever bit of bait to lure the Griffin (left). When it arrives, attack the Griffin (right).

The Crossbow will serve you well in this fight; press and hold [R1] to aim the crossbow and use it for when the beast is airborne. It should line itself up with you and charge, at which point shoot it out of the sky. If you wait until it’s close enough (but not too close!) you can ground it near enough that you can score a few cheap hits before it recovers. This is very handy in any difficulty, but especially in Death March mode, where you’ll want to do as much damage as possible when it’s recovering from being shot down or distracted by Vesemir. Your big damage-dealer, however, will be the Viper Silver Sword with it’s chance to poison, which will do hefty damage to the Royal Griffin over a satisfying period of time.

Even should you fail to shoot it down, it’ll land to melee you once in a while. It’s ultimately safer to play defensive at this point, keep the Quen Sign up to deflect hits, and dodge its attacks until it flies off again. Repeat as necessary until it decides to seek a better battleground, near the mill to the north-west.

At this point summon Roach and chase the critter up to near the mill and finish it off. It’s a little more aggressive now that it’s been injured, but Quen, a Crossbow and a Silver Sword are just too much for it. Once it’s dead, Vesemir will lecture you on your swordsmanship. Yeah, yeah… when he leaves, cut yourself off a trophy. The Nilfgaardians should be pleased. From the Griffin’s corpse you’ll score a Griffin Trophy and a Griffin Mutagen , amongst other treasures.

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Return to the Nilfgaardian Garrison where you’ll see the normally flexible commander punish a peasant for delivering the grain he was ordered to bring earlier. Unfortunately for the peasant, he brought rotten stores. You can give the officer a hard time, for what that’s worth. Tell him you’ve killed the Griffin, and he’ll tell you that Yennefer was, in fact, close by the whole time, in the capital city of Vizima - a place Geralt knows well. Geralt will get pissy about not being told how close Yennefer was, and as he turns to leave the commander will call out to him and offer fair payment for his services. Take the money or not, as you wish

Objective Reward
For taking the payment 350 XP / 150 Crowns
For turning down the payment 500 XP

The Incident at White Orchard (Level 2)

You should now be done with White Orchard, although you still have time to finish up any quests you wish. When you’re ready to leave return to the tavern to collect old man Vesemir. Vesemir smells trouble brewing in the form of drunken patriots nearby just waiting for something to trigger them. That trigger occurs when a patron asks the innkeeper what happened to the lilies. The situation escalates into an argument between the innkeeper and her patron. Vesemir, despite his own advice, interferes when things turn violent, and despite his warnings, a fight breaks out. Slaughter your assailants, then leave the tavern.

Objective Reward
For surviving a tavern brawl in White Orchard 300 XP

Geralt and Vesemir respond to the escalating violence in the tavern with brutal efficiency (left). Fortunately they are met by Yennefer afterwards and escorted to Vizima (right).

Once outside, Geralt and Vesemir will be confronted by Nilfgaardians. Fortunately, they also have Yennefer in tow. Seems like you could have just sat around and waited for her. Oh well. Yennefer promises you an explanation… when you reach Vizima. It’s not just Yennefer who wants to talk to you in Vizima, however; Emhyr var Emreis, the Emperor of Nilfgaard himself awaits. Vesemir and Geralt will say their farewells, and Geralt will head off to Vizima, with Yennefer and an escort of Nilfgaardians.

Objective Reward
For reuniting with Yennefer 150 XP
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