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King's Gambit

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King's Gambit is a secondary quest in The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt.

Journal Entry Edit

With Geralt's help, both Hjalmar and Cerys had defied death and won glory, greatly improving their chances in the race for Skellige's throne. Crach decided the news was an excellent excuse to host a great feast, during which skalds would sing the praises of the young an Craites and tables laden with mead and meat would sway those islanders who were still undecided, convincing them to support this generous and powerful family. Geralt was also invited to the celebration, where he was to receive a token of Crach's gratitude.
A Skellige saying holds that at a good feast, blood and mead flow in equal measure. Sadly, it seems someone took the saying literally and orchestrated a terrible massacre during the banquet at Kaer Trolde. Between the third and fourth courses of roast ram, massive, enraged bears suddenly appeared amidst the merrymakers. Before the hooch-dazed warriors could draw their weapons, the animals tore dozens of guests to shreds, including most of the claimants to the throne.
Geralt managed to save most of the other attendees, but could do nothing to stop the torrent of accusations and calumnies directed at Crach once the dust had settled. The other jarls accused him of conspiring to put one of his own on the throne. If an Craite could not prove his innocence, his family would forever lay buried beneath a mountain of shame.
Hjalmar and Cerys immediately took action, each in their own way. If he wanted to investigate how the massacre had come to pass, Geralt would need to choose which an Craite to support.

If Geralt decides to help Cerys:

Geralt decided to help Cerys. This was not surprising - her calm and systematic approach to the matter bore a strong resemblance to how the witcher himself conducted investigations.
Their thorough investigation led Cerys and Geralt to an unexpected discovery. It turned out Arnvald, the an Craite family's hitherto faithful servant, had had a hand in the massacre. It was he who spiked the mead with the blood and herbs that caused certain guests to transform into bears. It was he who then tried to kill Geralt and Cerys in a most underhanded manner when they were close to finding him out.
Arnvald tried to save his life by fleeing, but he did not get far - for Geralt, accustomed to chasing down griffins and wyverns, outrunning a clumsy and panicked rider proved no challenge. Cerys interrogated him adroitly and got from him the identity of his patron. It turned out the culprit was none other than Birna, King Bran's widow and mother to one of the claimants to the throne, Svanrige.
Birna was tried by a council of jarls. Though Geralt and Cerys presented damning testimony against her, for a moment it seemed the sly widow would escape justice. In the end, the final nail in her coffin was pounded in by her own son, Svanrige, who sensed her lie at once when she denied the accusations. Birna was given the sentence she deserved and disgrace covered the name of the once-proud Tuirseach family.

If Geralt decides to help Hjalmar:

In the end Geralt decided to help Hjalmar. Like him, the witcher felt there was no time to go over everything with fine-toothed comb - they had to act now, while the trail was still fresh.
Geralt rode of with Hjalmar to the Vildkaarls' village located in the wildest Skellige highlands. Young and Craite was convinced these mysterious warriors had transformed into the bears that massacred the Kaer Trolde feastgoers. It turned out his intuition had not led them astray. Geralt found a hidden passage in the village leading to a vast cavern. WHen they entered it, the whole gruesome riddle unraveled before their very eyes...
The dark legends about the Vildkaarls were true. Geralt and Hjalmar saw this for themselves when they got a hidden peek at a terrifying ritual in which a man who wished to join the ranks of this bizarre warrior society let a bear devour him alive. Geralt tried to get the druid who conducted the ceremony to tell him who was responsible for the Kaer Trolde massacre. The druid refused to answer - and Hjalmar showed that it was vengeance more than testimony that interested him. He killed the druid, who took the knowledge of his patron's identity with him to the grave.
Though Hjalmar was not able to uncover who stood behind the massacre at Kaer Trolde, the testimony he and Geralt provided clearly showed the hosts had not had a hand in it, and that those murdered during the feast had been properly avenged - thus clearing the an Craite family name of all suspicion. Crach and his children were still far from safe, however - the traitor responsible for the bloodshed remained at large, uncaptured and ready to strike again.

Walkthrough Edit

  • At the entrance to Kaer Trolde, the portcullis will be closed but it will open when the player approaches.
  • Cutscene with Arnvald.
  • Follow Arnvald to the feast hall.
  • Take up Hjalmar's gamble and defeat the Vildkaarl in a fistfight to win Hjalmar's steel sword. Lose and Geralt either forfeits the sword to Hjalmar or pays 350 crowns to keep it.
  • Challenge the Vildkaarls separately in a sequence of three fistfights to earn more XP. These brawlers hit very hard and the second and third fighters are capable of countering the player if too many attacks are thrown. They always start off with a heavy punch when the player regains control so counter that and work from there.
  • Talk to Crach An Craite to receive XP and a new sword, Fate.
  • After the cutscene, defeat the three bears. These berserkers are Cursed beings and require the silver sword to defeat.
  • Make a decision to help Cerys, Hjalmar or neither.

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