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At the Mercy of Strangers is a secondary quest in The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt which can be started in Greyrocks. This quest will not appear in your quest log and as such has no stated objectives. It can result in rewards and follows the brief story of John Verdun.
Note: This quest is ideally completed while enroute to the Inn at the Crossroads during The Nilfgaardian Connection quest as it along the same route.
Along the riverbank on the road between Mulbrydale and the Inn at the Crossroads shouts of a man in distress can be heard. John Verdun is tied up on shoreline surrounded by drowners. Dispatch the enemies and speak with John to decide his fate. It appears that the man was a former soldier but his army was destroyed by the NIlfgaardians after which he escaped. When the refugees he was fleeing with found out that he was a deserter they tied him up and left him. The witcher may decide to either:
- Untie him, receive his thanks but no coin.
- Leave him to his fate, come back a day or two later to find additional drowners and the man's corpse
At this point the quest concludes, however if Geralt decides to untie the man and let him live the story can continue later in Novigrad.
If allowed to live, John Verdun can be found Northwest of the Border Post in Novigrad in a bandit encampment formerly a refugee camp. It appears that John and a group of bandits he's gathered have caught up with the fleeing refugees that had initially tied him up on the riverbank. He and his bandits attacked, killed and looted the area and John now has sufficient coin to pay Geralt back for his previous kindness. The witcher may choose to accept the coin payment (50 ) or fight John and his friends (random loot drop).
- If John Verdun is allowed to live and you visit the refugee camp you can find a letter from a refugee, likely intended to make you feel guilty for allowing John Verdun to live resulting in the murder of so many innocents.