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 daughter's) follow him upstairs while listening to his joke about his daughter.
Search the Rooms Edit
Use your witcher senses to find items of interest in the rooms. To progress, you just need to search the Baron's chamber, but searching Tamara's can provide more details and background story.
Once all the clues have been found, follow the scent of the wine down to the first landing to find a talisman hidden under a floorboard.
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 altar to the Eternal Fire. Examine the coals and read a small prayer that appears to be written by Tamara.
Talk to the Baron Edit
Take the talisman back to the Baron and question him about all that has been found. He'll tell Geralt that he made the doll 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
Head to Blackbough and find the Pellar's hut nearby the village at the point marked on the map. As you near his home, some of the Baron's men will be outside, 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:
- Use Axii (requires Delusion Level 2) gives 35
- Geralt can inquire what they want and can choose to offer a cure to their friend's ailments (Note: If you chose to kill the Baron's men at the Inn at the Crossroads the men will ask who you are and will attack when you tell them you are a Witcher.)
- The men will not accept payment
- Fight or die
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, 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 quest, A Princess In Distress.
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 informs Geralt that Anna was pregnant and had miscarried, owing to the abuse she'd suffered at the hands of the Baron. The "dead" baby was then buried and became a botchling. The Pellar tells Geralt that he has two options:
- Remove the curse from the botchling by burying it under the family's threshold and giving it a name using the ritual of Aymm Rhoin, an elven ritual of naming
- Find and kill the botchling and bring its blood back to the Pellar, who will then be able to use the blood of kin to locate the missing women
Before heading out, read the new bestiary entry about botchlings to learn more.
Head back to the Baron EditHead back to Crow's Perch to confront the Baron. As Geralt approaches the castle he'll notice there's a huge fire raging near it. When you get close to the area of the fire, the witcher will be told that there are horses and a stablehand (Oswin) trapped in the stables.
If you wish to save the stablehand, 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. 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.
When approaching the baron (or after a cut scene if you rescued the stablehand), 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.
Inside the baron's chambers respond in whatever way feels right as it will only affect the baron's verbal responses. The baron will reveal how he found the stillborn and guess 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 it. You can then choose to start the next portion or wait and come back here.
Once you agree to start the next part, the two will wait for midnight, then the baron will lead Geralt out to where he buried the fetus. However, the grave is empty and the botchling appears. You have a timed reaction here to make your choice: lift the curse by making it a Lubberkin or kill the botchling.
Note: Your choice here will affect how you complete this quest but will have minimal impact on the Baron's storyline overall.
Lift the Curse Edit
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 manor. While walking back, several times the botchling will start to wriggle and a collection of wraiths will attack. 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.
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, or may sit and wait until the time when the lubberkin will appear. When the time has come, a lubberkin will rise as a spirit from the grave and will fly off, showing Geralt the trail of Anna and Tamara.
Don't worry about it getting too far away as it will wait for Geralt to follow. It's first stop is just outside of town at a smokehouse. Search the area for a few clues: clothing, a bracelet, and a horseshoe.
With the search complete, 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. The clues include: bones, the saddle, ribs, head, and a missing horseshoe.
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 chose to lift the curse.
The lubberkin will then lead Geralt to the final location: 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.
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 becomes 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 regenerating 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 then gather a vial of blood from which he hopes the pellar can use to help find Anna and Tamara.
See the Pellar EditHead 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. When ready, follow him into the woods and defend him from any wolves that might attack. He will lead Geralt 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 will require a bit of work from Geralt.
Light the three braziers when ready to begin the ordeal and time will fast forward to midnight. Ensure Geralt has full health and is ready to face several wraiths. 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 the fires three times.
Tip: Position yourself close to the fires so that they can be re-lit quickly. Use Igni as an interaction rather than a sign to light the fires, this will not consume any stamina thus making the fight a bit easier.
After the ritual is complete, 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, who Geralt suspects may have provided shelter to the missing women. 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 100 for his actions. Now follow the objective marker to the fisherman's hut to learn what happened to Anna and Tamara.
Talk to the Baron Edit
Note: this is where the two choices re-merge.
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 talk to the Baron first before searching for Tamara, he will run after you with a doll to give to her, making for an emotional conversation when you find her. Additionally, he will make it easier for you to gain entry to Oxenfurt.
If you've already completed A Towerful of Mice by this point, the pellar will talk to you as you near the armorers to give you the side quest, Forefathers' Eve. Then, if you saved the stable hand earlier, he will stop you to give a bit of coin as thanks right after the archway.
You'll notice that the marker is directing you to the garden area, where the sergeant will stop to ask Geralt what happened on the night he and the baron dealt with the botchling, but Geralt won't reveal it. Now head into the garden to talk to the baron. He'll eventually talk to Geralt in his office and start the next part of Ciri's story, The Race. Then, if Geralt hasn't found Tamara yet, will then ask you to go find her before he reveals anymore information.
Find Tamara in Oxenfurt Edit
Note: this objective can be skipped, in which case Geralt won't be able to learn Tamara's side of the story. If that's the case, one won't meet her unless they do Return to Crookback Bog.
Head to Oxenfurt to speak with Tamara. You have several choices to get in:
- If you spoke with the baron beforehand, he'll have given you a letter of safe conduct, which will let you in (75 )
- If you got the fake transit pass during the secondary quest, Fake Papers, the guards will let you in (75 )
- If you don't have either pass, swim across the river (no )Once in the city, follow the marker on the map to find the house Tamara is hiding in. Tamara will come out and be very curt initially, but once Geralt explains he just wants to make sure she's fine, she'll open up about her life 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 Eternal Flame, has organized a band of witch hunters to go and find her mother and save her. Note: it has little bearing on the conversation if you found Anna already.
A witch hunter named Graden will eventually interrupt, who you can converse with for a bit before ending the conversation. If you talked to the baron beforehand, this is when Geralt will bring up the doll, though Tamara will state one gesture can't make up for her horrible childhood. Graden and Tamara will then leave, finishing this part of the quest. This will give a maximum of 150 .
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 Ladies of the Wood is completed, which has several prerequisite quests of its own.
Note: This will be the last time that Geralt will be able to obtain the Baron's gwent card. At the conclusion of the conversation below, the Baron will no longer be available to play gwent. However, as of Patch 1.20, his unique card can be retrieved from a box in his office when this quest is completed.
Note: If you talked to Tamara and found Anna before returning to the baron, you must tell him about Tamara first, otherwise, when you tell him where Anna is, a series of conversations happen, preventing you from telling him about Tamara.
After completing the Ladies of the Wood, Geralt must travel back to Crow's Perch to tell the baron of the news regarding his wife Anna. If inquired, the baron will tell the downward spiral of their relationship: how he was constantly away as a soldier and started to drink too much even when he was home with Anna, his wife's infidelity, how the Baron killed Anna's lover when he discovered their relationship, and Anna trying to kill him for it, which marked the point in their relationship where things turned abusive. This will give 15.
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 the baron that he must still tell him about where Ciri went after leaving Crow's Perch. This starts the quest, Ciri's Story: Out of the Shadows, and will point Geralt where to search next.
The Baron then makes one final request of the witcher: help him save his wife from the Crones in Crookback Bog, giving the secondary quest, Return to Crookback Bog. Before the witcher can depart however, a small and incredibly ugly creature bursts into the room babbling on in a nonsensical language. When asked, the baron explains that this creature is named Uma. Afterwards, the quest will complete. Note: If Geralt has completed the main quests in Novigrad and Skellige already, the main quest Ugly Baby will begin before the baron leaves.
Journal entry 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.
- 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 also 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.
- If Geralt turns it into a Lubberkin:
- 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.
- If Geralt kills the botchling:
- 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. 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 drawn 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.
- Follow the baron.
- Use your Witcher Senses to search the room.
- Use your Witcher Senses to locate where the scent is coming from.
- Talk to the baron about what you found.
- Find the pellar's hut.
- Talk to the pellar.
- Lead the goat to the pellar.
- Read the bestiary to learn more about botchlings.
- Talk to the baron.
- Save the stable hand and the horses trapped in the burning stable. (only if you choose to)
- Open the main gate to the stables
- Defeat the baron in a fistfight.
- Tell the baron to show you where he buried his child.
- Follow the baron.
- If Geralt kills the botchling:
- Kill the botchling.
- Protect the baron from wraiths.
- Protect the baron from the wraiths.
- Talk to the pellar.
- Follow the pellar.
- Prepare for the ritual and light the fires. 0/3
- Relight the fires in the braziers if they go out during the ritual. 0/3
- Find the fisherman Voytek's hut.
- If Geralt chooses to make it a lubberkin:
- Follow the baron to the castle's entrance.
- Protect the baron from the wraiths.
- Use the Axii Sign to calm the botchling.
- Summon the lubberkin where the botchling is buried.
- Follow the lubberkin.
- Examine the dead horses.
- Follow the lubberkin.
- Look around the fisherman's hut.
- Talk to the baron about his family.
- Find Tamara, the baron's daughter, in Oxenfurt.
- Talk to the baron about Tamara.
- Investigate all remaining leads in Velen and find the Baron's wife.
- Tell the baron what you've learned about Anna.
- If the Lubberkin option is chosen, when first encountering the wraiths on the way to the 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.
- 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