|This article is about the quest in The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt. For the quest with the same name in The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings, see A Matter of Life and Death (The Witcher 2).|
Journal entry Edit
Of all the so-called "witches" they hunted, there was none the witch hunters wanted more than Triss Merigold, a sorceress of unequaled power. Even in hiding she had proven a thorn in their side, masterminding an underground net of hideouts and covers, keeping other mages out of the hunters' blood-stained hands. When Geralt entered the city, he met up with his dear friend and sometime love. And when the time came that she needed his help with her endeavor, she did not hesitate to ask.
Their contact revealed that the son of Ingrid Vegelbud, scion of a wealthy Novigrad family, dabbled in alchemy. For that reason he had become a person of much interest to the witch hunters. When Ingrid learned of Triss' operations, she sent her servant to ask the sorceress to spirit her son somewhere far away from his persecutors. The hunters kept a close eye on her residence, so they would need a distraction - and her upcoming masquerade ball promised to provide just that.
Young Albert's rescue did not prove to be Triss' slickest extraction ever. First, she had trouble even finding the young alchemist amidst the throng of revelers, and then Geralt ran into trouble with a group of witch hunter infiltrators. Still, with a bit of luck and a bit of cunning, or heroes managed to escape the residence and smuggle Vegelbud out without a scratch on him. Mission accomplished. Geralt and Triss proved once again how well they work together as a team - but as a couple, well, events at the Vegelbuds' only complicated that matter...
Meet Triss Merigold at her hideout Edit
Knocking at the door, Geralt is greeted by the landlord. Despite the landlady's complaining, he was allowed to enter. Approaching Triss, she asks him is they can have a chat. It seems that Triss has a problem.
Asking her about the problem, it is revealed that Triss received a letter from Lady Ingrid Vegelbud's servant. The letter states that the lady wants to help the mages escape from Novigrad by donating a tidy sum. However, in return, she needs a favor from Triss. As to what the favor is, it was not stated on the letter. Instead, she must meet with a servant. Considering the situation in Novigrad, where witches and mages are being hunted, Triss is hesitant if she'll meet with the servant, worried it may be a trap. Geralt offers to help Triss, stating he'll first talk to the servant on his own just in case it does turn out to be a trap.
Meet the Vegelbuds' servant at the fishmarket Edit
Geralt must search the fish market to look for the servant who is wearing blue tunic and carrying a lot of keys on his belt. There may be a few people wearing blue shirt but using his witcher sense, he can easily find the servant if he spots his keys.
Upon talking to him, Geralt can tell him the passphrase. Although he is not what the servant is expecting, in the end he asks Geralt to follow him.
Follow the Vegelbuds' servant Edit
Following the servant, they are ambushed by a couple of bandits. Triss appears and tells them that one of the bandits is working for witch hunters. After asking the servant,the man tells them the reason of the discrete manner they contacted Triss is because lady Vegelbud was afraid the witch hunters would follow her. It is also revealed that the lady's son, Albert Vegelbud has taken interest in alchemy and Temple Guards know it. The guardsmen aren't that much of a problem though since they were bribed, but the witch hunter are already on to Albert. Geralt and Triss then decide it's time for the young Vegelbud to 'disappear'.
Preparation for the ball Edit
They must get Albert outside the mansion discretely first though. Fortunately, lady Vegelbud already has a plan in getting his son out without being noticed: a masquerade ball. Geralt and Triss are required to prepare, and Triss must have a fox mask for this. Triss tasks Geralt to visit the tailor shop owned by Elihal to buy the fox mask, he can also buy other masks and some elegant outfits he can use. Elegant outfit can be also obtained for free from madame Irina Renarde. Head back to Triss to give her the fox mask and continue with the quest.
The masquerade Edit
Once everything is ready, Triss and Geralt head to the ball. Inside the estate, they must find lady Vegelbud. The guard outside told them they would find the lady by searching for a parrot mask.
Upon approaching the house, Triss is approached by a drunk man who mistakes her for a woman named Vivian. Once the man is dealt with, they continue their search for the lady. During their search they might run into Moritz Diefentel. Triss offers him a way out of Novigrad, but he refuses the offer.
Eventually they meet Ingrid Vengelbud. She tells them that her son is wearing a panther mask. Once Geralt and Triss find Albert, while he is boasting loudly about his alchemy skills, he tells them that they must meet in the hedge maze once everyone is drunk and distracted by the fireworks. Triss suggests that they should wait at a nice spot nearby. There, Geralt and Triss had a little chat and some wine, causing Triss to get drunk. She invites Geralt to wander around the maze. Geralt will have the (timed) option to kiss Triss in just before the fireworks are lit. Kiss or no kiss, they are interrupted by Albert. He and Geralt switch masks as added precaution. Triss and Albert leave the maze first, followed by Geralt after about 15 minutes. As expected, Geralt is ambushed by witch hunters thinking he's Albert. Once they are defeated, he must get out of the maze and look for Albert and Triss in the stables. Arriving there Geralt finds that Triss and Albert are done preparing and they ride off, which concludes the quest.
Warning: several side quests involving Triss will become temporarily inaccessible (i.e. The Soldier Statuette and The Nobleman Statuette, plus one of the optional outcomes of Redania's Most Wanted), once this mission begins. It is advised that these be completed before choosing the dialogue option with Triss that begins this mission. If you choose not to, it may not be until later in the game before these can be completed, depending on choices made in this mission and Now or Never.
- If you're intent on completing the quest Collect 'Em All, be sure to play in the Gwent competition at the party BEFORE finishing A Matter of Life and Death. Otherwise once you've left the grounds the quest will fail.
When you first enter through the door, turn to your right and you'll see a crowd around a Gwent table. You have only one shot in the game to win cards from them (though you can repeat each game if you fail,) so make sure you have a strong deck before starting this quest otherwise the Collect 'Em All quest will fail. Speak to the Croupier and you'll be able to challenge three noblemen to a round of Gwent. There are 3 players you have to fight against; the first is Vladimir de Cret, who uses the Nilfgaardian deck, the second is Gomo Seeling who uses a Scoia'tael deck, and the last, is Marius Florin, who uses the Monsters deck. Their decks aren't terribly strong, especially if you've been playing Gwent since the start of the game and gotten a number of unique cards. Watch out for Scorches (though you should be fine if you bait out the scorch). Each time you win, you will receive a card for your efforts. After you've finally beaten the final player, you will receive the Dandelion unique card.
- You can run across and have a talk with Morvran Voorhis wearing a lion mask, near the Gwent table, as he searches for his friend. In the garden of the mansion, near a showing of trained dogs, you can find the Baroness La Valette.
- You can also find and talk to Sigismund Dijkstra wearing a pig mask at the buffet table at the left side of the ball. This will not have any significant impact to the quest.