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Family Matters

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Family Matters is the main quest in Act I of The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt. In this quest Geralt is asked by Baron Philip Strenger to help him find his missing wife (Anna) and daughter (Tamara) in exchange for information regarding Ciri's whereabouts. What would seem to be a rather simple quest is actually quite long and will take Geralt all over Velen and briefly into Novigrad.

Quest Description Edit

"The baron turned out to be a tough negotiator who knew of the full value of the information he possessed. He agreed to tell Geralt about Ciri on one condition: Geralt had to find his wife and daughter first. The women had mysteriously disappeared a short time before. Though the baron had moved heaven and earth to find them, all his efforts had proved fruitless."
Dandelion

WalkthroughEdit

Follow the Baron Edit

The Baron is a tough negotiator and won't give Geralt any more information about Ciri until his wife and daughter are located. Geralt's first stop is the bedrooms as they went missing in the middle of the night. When the Baron agrees to let you search the two rooms (his own and his daughters) follow him up stairs while listening to his joke about his daughter.

Search the Rooms Edit

Map barons room

Baron's Room

Map tamaras room

Tamara's Room

Use your witcher senses to find items of interest in the rooms. The items are the Baron's chamber are sufficient to complete this objective, any searching in Tamara's room is purely optional providing additional details and background story.

Note: There are many chests and containers to loot inside the castle.

Baron's Chamber:

  1. Wooden Candlestick - Stem's broken
  1. Fresh Flowers - Baron hopes they will return soon
  2. Wall Off-Colored - Something used to hang here
  3. Picture of Baron and Wife - Who wanted to hide the hole, what's on the other side
  4. Wardrobe Behind Painting - Missing piece of broken candlestick, fight might have happened here
  5. Wooden Pillar near desk - Deep nicks, hit with heavy object
  6. Return to Candlestick (1) - Wine stains from smashed bottle

Once all the clues have been found, follow the scent of the wine down to the first landing below the current floor where a talisman can be found hidden under a floorboard.

Tamara's Room (Optional):

  1. Ugly Doll - The kind you'd stick with pins
  2. Letter to Tamara - On a sideboard, gives clues on background
  3. Incense and an Old Key - In wardrobe, wonder what it unlocks

After locating the incense, follow the scent of saffron down to the bottom floor of the castle into a locked back room where there is a secret alter to the Eternal Fire. Examine the coals and read a small prayer that appears to be written by Tamara. This is the best time to accomplish the quest Ciri's Room as it is located in the Castle as well and Geralt can quickly search the room and talk to Gretka in the nearby kitchen.

Talk to the Baron Edit

Take the talisman back to the Baron and question him about all that has been found. The will tell Geralt that he made the doll that was found with his own hands, he was drunk the night his wife and child disappeared so he doesn't know anything about a fight, and he may have spilled the wine on the landing himself. When asked about the talisman he will respond that he has no idea where it came from, but that a Pellar lives nearby in Blackbough and there is a cunning woman in Midcopse.

Find the Pellar Edit

Confront men

Men surrounding Geralt outside the Pellar's hut

Head to Blackbough and find the Pellar's hut nearby the village at the point marked on the map. When approaching his house there will be several of the Baron's men outside and they are angry about a treatment gone bad that the Pellar handed out to one of their friends named Eldric. There are a few options for dealing with the men:

  • It is possible to deceive the men (requires Axii Delusion Level 2) awarding 35XP
  • If Geralt inquires further about what the men seek he will be given the opportunity to choose to offer a cure to their friend's ailments.
  • The men will not accept payment so try this option if desired but it will not work
  • Fight or die. The men will choose the latter and Geralt will have to kill so more.

Talk to the Pellar Edit

Once Geralt has dealt with the men outside the hut, knock on the door to start a cut scene. The Pellar will claim to have known the witcher was coming to save him and he'll recognize the talisman he made for Anna Strenger. He'll claim to be able to help locate Anna but will require his missing and say that he can cast an incantation which will help you find the missing women. However, to do it, he needs his goat back. Guess who has to go and find a goat now? That's right, Geralt. This triggers the A Princess In Distress sub-quest.

Pellar ritual

The Pellar performs an augur

Note: If you refuse to help find the goat you will be given an objective to "Agree to help find the missing goat..." There's apparently no getting around this one.

Once Princess has been returned to the Pellar he will perform the ritual augur and tell Geralt that Anna was pregnant and had miscarried, owing to the abuse she'd suffered at the hands of the Baron. The "dead" child was buried but was somehow cursed and became what is known as a botchling. The Pellar tells Geralt that he can either remove the curse from the botchling and it will help him find Anna and Tamara or Geralt can find and kill the botchling and bring its blood back to the Pellar who will be able to use the blood of kin to locate them.

If Geralt inquires about lifting the curse the Pellar will explain that it must be buried under a threshold and given a name using the ritual of Aymm Rhoin, an elven ritual of naming. Alternatively, the Pellar will explain the ritual he will complete if given the blood of the botchling to reconcile kin even after they have died. This will presumably allow Geralt to find Anna and Tamara who are kin of the miscarried fetus.

Read the Bestiary Edit

Read the new bestiary entry about botchlings to learn they are vulnerable to Axii and Cursed Oil.

Talk to the Baron Edit

Head back to Crow's Perch to confront the Baron. As Geralt approaches the castle notice there's a fire raging in the inner bailey and the townsfolk are stirred up. When reaching the portcullis the witcher will be told that there are horses and a stable hand (Oswin) trapped in the stables.

Note: It is purely optional for you to rescue the stable hand. If you do choose to save him, you will be rewarded in terms of crowns.

Burning stables

The stables are alight!

Save the stable hand (Optional) Edit

Note: There is some loot to be had inside the stable and you'll get a reward of 20 Oren3a little later for saving Oswin.

Race over to the stables and climb the exterior ladder to reach the hay loft. Have Aard ready to cast in order to remove debris that blocks the path. Head through the smoke across the hayloft using Aard to clear the path. Climb down the ladder into the barn proper to find the scared stablehand and the horses. He'll say that the roof has caved in and he can't open the stable door. Head to the main stables door and open it to save the man and his horses.

Defeat the Baron Edit

When approaching the baron or after saving the horses a cut scene will play after which Geralt will have to defend himself from the aggravated and obviously drunk lord. Quickly put him down and bring him to his senses so that you can get the real story about his wife's miscarriage, his constant domestic abuse and anger management issues.

Note: Awarded 50 XP at the conclusion of this fight.

Inside the baron's chambers respond in whatever way feels right, it will only affect the baron's verbal responses. The baron will reveal his recollection of finding the still born child and supposing that it was his drunken abuse that led to his wife's miscarriage. Offer him the two choices on how to deal with the botchling and he will plead for Geralt to lift the curse instead of killing the beast.

Follow the Baron Edit

At the witching hour, follow the baron out of the castle to where he buried the fetus. The grave is empty and the botchling is on the prowl. At this point Geralt must choose between lifting the curse on the botchling to turn it into a Lubberkin or killing the botchling and drawing its blood for the pellar to perform his ritual.

Note: Your choice here will affect how you complete this quest but will have minimal impact on the Baron's storyline overall.

Life for a Lubberkin Edit

Disgusted baron

Ewww!

If Geralt chooses to lift the curse, the Baron will pick up the botchling, and the witcher will be tasked with protecting him all the way back to the threshold of the manor.

Protect the baron Edit

On a number of occasions while walking back to the castle, the botchling will start to wriggle and a collection of wraiths will attack.

Use Axii to Calm the Botchling Edit

They're easy enough to deal with, but make sure as soon as they've been dispatched to cast Axii on the botchling, otherwise it will become enraged thus forcing the witcher to kill it and choose the opposite path.

Summon the Lubberkin Edit

Upon reaching the threshold, another cutscene will play out as the Baron names the child Dea and Geralt takes him through the incantation to lift the curse. With the curse lifted Geralt may choose to continue on elsewhere until a day and night have passed of my sit and wait until the time when a lubberkin will appear from the now buried botchling corpse. When the time has come, a Lubberkin will rise as a spirit from the grave. It'll shoot off to lead Geralt on the trail of Anna and Tamara.

Follow the Lubberkin Edit

Follow it. Don't worry about it getting too far away or getting stuck in a fight, it will wait for Geralt to follow. The lubberkin will leave Crow's Perch heading Southeast towards a smokehouse with a strange smell.

Lubberkin trail

The flight path of the lubberkin

Search the Area Edit

Using witcher senses find the following objects of interest:

  • A bracelet - One of the Baron's kin must have dropped it
  • Clothing - They must have changed in this hut
  • Horseshoe- No simple pitch burned could afford a horse, must have been them

With the search complete, it is time to continue following the trail of the missing women, the lubberkin will then lead on to the next area, which just so happens to be an eviscerated and decapitated horse, Anna's horse. Investigate the corpse and listen to the grim conclusion about what could have done this.

  • Deadhorse

    This horse had its head torn clean off

    Bones - Have been here a while
  • Saddle - Chew marks possibly from necrophages
  • Ribs - Giant claw marks, not from a necrophage
  • Missing horseshoe - Might be the animal that lost a shoe at the smoke house
  • Head - Torn off, must have taken incredible strength

Note: This horse corpse will be here even if you haven't started the Family Matters quest yet. You won't be able to search it though unless you choose create the lubberkin during this quest.

Luckily the trail goes on and the lubberkin will then lead Geralt to a fisherman's hut. Enter the hut and talk to the people inside. They'll tell Geralt how Anna was carried off by a beast, having been attacked on the journey, but Tamara is safe and well in Oxenfurt.

Note: This quest line which splits when you decide whether to kill the botchling or save it now mergers when you reach the fisherman's hut. 300 XP is award at the completion of this objective.

Death to the Botchling Edit

Kill the Botchling Edit

This sequence of this quest is triggered by either deciding to kill the botchling outright or taking too long to pacify the creature when it begins to squirm in the Baron's hands. Geralt will have a decent amount of time to calm the botchling so it usually isn't a surprise when it become enraged and he is forced to kill it. Once enraged it cannot be pacified and must be killed.

Tip: The botchling is vulnerable to cursed blade oil and axii sign. When it drops below half health the spikes on its back will protrude further and it will begin regnerating health. Hit it with axii to stop the health regeneration and retract the spikes.With the botchling dead, the Baron will admonish the witcher for killing his child. Geralt will gather a vial of blood from the which he hopes the pellar can use to help find Anna and Tamara.

Talk to the Pellar Edit

Head back to the pellar's house and give him the botchling blood and convince him to perform the ritual. He will luckily have all the ingredients necessary to perform the ritual and will await Geralt's word that he is ready to proceed.

Follow the Pellar Edit

When ready, follow him into the woods, defending him from any wolves that might attack. He will lead Geralt deep into the forest to a location known as the Wolven Glade where he will conduct the ritual. Once at the correct spot, the pellar will explain a bit about the ritual to be performed which it seems will require a bit of work from Geralt.

Prepare for the Ritual Edit

Light the three braziers when ready to begin the ordeal. Ensure Geralt has full health and is ready to face several wraiths.

Relight the Fires Edit

Ritual 2

During the ritual a wind will whip up a flock of black birds that will snuff out the fires in the braziers thus breaking the circle of protection. When this happens wraiths will enter the circle and Geralt will have to fight them off. Relight the brazier as quickly as possible to keep more wraiths from entering the circle. Expect to relight fires three times.

Tip: Position yourself close to the fires so that they can be re-lite quickly. Use Igni as an interaction rather than a sign to light the fires, this will not consume any stamina thus making the fighting a bit easier.

Ask the pellar about the visions he had, some of which appear to reference Geralt's own quest to find Ciri and the destruction the Wild Hunt has wrought upon the land. He will tell the witcher of a fisherman named Voytek which Geralt suspects Anna and Tamara sought shelter with. Choose whether to walk the pellar home or leave him to find his own way. If Geralt escorts him home he is given a small reward of 100XP for his actions.
Postritual

Find the Fisherman Edit

Follow the objective marker to the fisherman's hut where this quest line merges back with the one if Geralt choose to lift the curse on the botchling.

Note: This quest line which splits when you decide whether to kill the botchling or save it now mergers when you reach the fisherman's hut. 300 XP is award at the completion of this objective.

Talk to the Baron Edit

Return to Crow's Perch to speak with the Baron regarding what Geralt has found or optionally go to Oxenfurt to locate Tamara.

Note: If you go find the Baron first before searching for Tamara, he will give you a doll of her's making for a more emotional conversation when you find her. Additionally he will make it easier for you to gain entry to the Velen territory where Oxenfurt is located. You may just as well not go find Tamara, but finding her before the main quest Return to Crookback Bog yields alternate dialogue but nothing critical. To obtain the doll, just leave the house, and the Baron runs after you to give you the doll.

Find Tamara in Oxenfurt Edit

Meeting witch hunters

Geralt meets Tamara and Graden

Head to Oxenfurt to speak with Tamara. If Geralt spoke with the baron before heading there he will have with him a Letter of Safe Conduct that will give Geralt access to bridges that cross the Pontar river to the North. Without this letter Geralt will be forced to swim across the river which is only a minor inconvenience but he'll miss out on 75 XP by showing a transit pass to the gate guards.

Once in Oxenfurt, follow the marker on the map to find the house Tamara is hiding out in and speak to her. She'll tell Geralt more about her reasons for leaving and the life that she has had at the hands of her father. She is adamant that she won't go back to him and instead, thanks to the help of the leader of the order of the Eternal Flame, has organised a band of mercenaries to go and find Anna and save her if possible. This explains the altar Geralt found back in Crow's Perch. During the conversation, a witch hunter named Graden will interrupt which will prompt Tamara to leave. 

Talk to the Baron Edit

Return to Crow's Perch yet again. The baron will be disappointed that Tamara will not return home but he demands that Geralt find his wife in order to get more information about Ciri. This quest cannot be progressed any further until completing Ladies of the Wood which has several prerequisite quests of its own. It is time to move on to the second lead Geralt found from Hendrik' notes that may reveal information about Ciri in the quest Hunting a Witch.

Tell the Baron about Anna Edit

Note: This will be the last time that Geralt will be able to obtain the Baron's gwent card. At the conclusion of this conversation below the Baron will no longer be available to play gwent.

After completing the Ladies of the Wood quest Geralt must travel back to Crow's Perch to tell the Baron of the news regarding his wife Anna. Tell the baron that his wife is alive, living in a clearing in Crookback Bog, Geralt can further inquire about the Baron's marriage if desired. The Baron will tell the whole story about the strain his life as a soldier put on his relationship with his wife, his wife's infidelity and eventual evolution into a spiteful hatred of Philip after Philip killed her lover when he discovered their relationship. The marriage took a turn for the worst when Anna attacked Philip and the relationship turned abusive and the baron became an alcoholic.

When the witcher tells the baron of the pact that Anna made with the crones he will immediately decide to march on the bog and retrieve his wife from the crones' clutches. Geralt reminds Philip that he still must tell him how the tale with Ciri ended and where Ciri went after leaving Crow's Perch. This starts the quest, Ciri's Story: Out of the Shadows. The cut-scene continues and explains that Ciri used some of her powers to save the Baron when he was attacked by a Basilisk following the end of the mission, Ciri's Story: The Race. Knowing that the use of her powers will attract the Wild Hunt, Ciri is forced to depart Crow's Perch and Philip sends her on to Novigrad with his blessing.

Receive 300 Tw3 icon xp during the middle of this conversation cut-scene.

One final request from the baron is that the witcher help him save his wife from the crones in Crookback Bog. If Geralt agrees to help, the secondary quest Return to Crookback Bog is started. Before the witcher can depart however, a small incredibly ugly creature bursts into the room babbling on in a nonsensical language. When asked, the Baron explains that this creature is named Uma. If Geralt has completed the main quests in Novigrad and Skellige already the main quest Ugly Baby will begin before the Baron leaves. Receive 200 Tw3 icon xp after the cut-scene ends.

Additional Info Edit

Closing Quest Description Edit

"Geralt's search for the baron's wife and daughter took him to the local pellar, a sort of soothsayer and folk mage whom Geralt rightly suspected would be well informed about all local goings-on.

The pellar shared some juicy gossip with Geralt: supposedly the baron was a drunk and a terror to his family, and his wife's recent pregnancy had ended in a mysterious miscarriage.

The pellar's augurs showed that the miscarried fetus, undoubtedly discarded without a proper burial, had transformed into a dangerous monster: a botchling. The beast was murderous and foul, but could yet do some good. if its curse could be lifted and the monster could be turned into a lubberkin, this latter being, a friendly household guardian, could lead Geralt to the baron's wife and daughter.

Geralt's bosom boiled with wrath as he went to confront the baron. He was ready to drag the truth out of the man with a sword, force him to confess to what had truly happened that fateful night. A witcher in this state is even more effective than usual, so Geralt accomplished this in short order. The baron admitted that his wife had miscarried after one of their frequent rows, and that she and his daughter had fled Crow's Perch. he aslo agreed to show Geralt where he had buried the miscarried child's remains. When the clock struck midnight, both men set off to find the botchling's grave.

Once Geralt and the baron had reached the babe's place of burial, they did not have to wait long for the botchling to show up.

The beast hissed and howled and threatened to assume its more monstrous and vicious form, but the two men completed the naming ritual before it could. Then following ancient custom, they buried the creature under the threshold so that in time it might be reborn as a lubberkin, a household guardian spirit. Geralt hoped this would help him find the baron's family.
OR
When it did, the monster slayer slew the monster and collected some of its blood - this time not as a trophy but for use in an ancient ritual that, the witcher hoped, would provide him with more information about the fate of the baron's wife and daughter.

The baron's wife and daughter had not fled Crow's Perch unaided - a fisherman living nearby had provided key assistance. geralt went to the man's hut, where he learned a fiend had attacked the two women during their flight. The beast had torn Anna's horse to shreds, then carried her off into the woods.

One detail the fisherman mentioned rankled in the witcher's mind: it seemed Anna's hands bore strange marks that had burned with fire just moments before the fiend appeared. what could have caused them? What did they mean?

Geralt would have to endure this rankling until he found Anna, who, if still alive, had to be somewhere in Crookback Bog. Tamara, on the other hand, had made it to Oxenfurt, where the fisherman had helped her find shelter with his brother.

Upon hearing this, the baron revealed another scrap of information about Ciri. He told Geralt of a certain afternoon when he and his retinue had decided to celebrate a successful hunt with a bit of horse racing. The race had come to an abrupt halt, however, when a basilisk attacked. here the baron employed an old storyteller's trick, breaking his tale off at a crucial moment and announcing he would not utter another word until Geralt found his wife.

At long last, after Geralt had fulfilled his part of the bargain and found the baron's wife and daughter, the lord of Crow's Perch relieved the suspense and finished his tale. He recounted how Ciri had been forced to use her powers to save the baron's life. This had dwawn the Wild Hunt's attention, so Ciri had had no choice but to flee once more - this time to the Free City of Novigrad. Geralt's search in Velen was at an end.
"
—Dandelion

Bugs Edit

Glitched botchling

Glitched botching

  • If the Lubberkin option is chosen, when first encountering the Wraiths on the way to castle, if the cutscene is skipped then you will be moved back to the grave site and a fight with the Botchling will be triggered.
  • Sometimes after this quest has been completed, a botchling can be found in the same location where Geralt and the baron found it in the quest. This botchling cannot be interacted with and appears to not have any reason to exist besides an accidental glitch.

Trivia Edit

  • Inside the baron's study you can find a letter called: Nilfgaardian Demands. This letter hints at supply problems that Philip has been having and threatens to remove him from power should he not fulfill his side of the bargain he struck with the black ones.
  • In the courtyard of Crow's Perch you can find a few of the baron's men in line to use the outhouse, while one is locked inside. If you interact with the closet you will be told that Eldric has been on this toilet for some time. This is presumably the same Eldric that went to seek a remedy from the Pellar that is mentioned when you first reach the Pellar's house in this quest.
  • Developer Interview of the story behind this quest: http://kotaku.com/the-story-behind-the-witcher-3s-bloody-baron-quest-1736090893

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