Strenger served in several wars fighting for Temeria throughout his life meaning he spent a lot of his time away from his family. Upon returning from a war, he discovered that his wife, Anna Strenger, had cheated on him and intended to leave him. In his rage, Strenger had the man murdered and torn to pieces, for which his wife would never forgive him.
During the conquest of Temeria in the Third Northern War, Strenger realised that resisting Nilfgaard was impractical and declared loyalty to them. In return for his loyalty, the Nilfgaardian emperor appointed Strenger temporary control over Velen from his seat in Crow's Perch.
He is first encountered in The Witcher 3 during the quest Bloody Baron where he meets Geralt and sends him on a quest for information on his family in return for information regarding Ciri whom Geralt is seeking at the time.
Geralt's investigation into the disappearance of the Baron's family revealed that Strenger had physically abused his wife in his drunkenness, causing both his wife and daughter to leave him while he was passed out.
Whenever Geralt returned with information pertaining to his family, Strenger told him what he knew of Ciri. Apparently, Ciri came from the east of Velen, and came across an abandoned child named Gretka, whom she helped by killing an alpha werewolf dominating a pack of wolves. A villager brought the two girls to the Baron, thinking one of them might be Tamara Strenger, Philip's daughter. Despite it not being the case, the Baron was very hospitable to the two girls. During Ciri's stay at the Crow's Nest, the Baron took her out hunting, during which she slew a wild boar with only her sword. Later on, he invited Ciri to join him and his men around the campfire.
Ciri soon got into a disagreement with one of his men, determined to prove she could race a horse and wanted to race for the black mare in the stables, which happened to belong to the Baron. They agreed to a race at daybreak, at which if Strenger won, she would surrender her sword. Upon reaching the finish line at an abandoned tower, they are attacked by a basilisk. As they drew their swords, Strenger told Ciri that should he not survive, she would be free to take whatever she wants from the fortress.
In the middle of the fight, the basilisk knocked the Baron down and carried him to the top of the tower. Strenger then drew his dagger and prepared to defend himself, at which Ciri teleported in between and slew the monster. Stunned, Strenger struggled to put his dagger back in its sheath. Later on, Ciri got prepared to depart for Novigrad, as using the Power was surely to draw the Wild Hunt to her location and advised Strenger to have all doors and windows barred and a curfew enforced.
Developer comments Edit
Phillip Strenger, better known to many in Velen as the Bloody Baron, is one of the interesting and ambiguous characters Geralt encounters during his search for Ciri. He is a stocky man with a dark beard streaked with gray and the rough face of a bandit, though in truth he is a former Temerian soldier who has taken over a local lord’s castle called Crow’s Perch and declared himself its new ruler. The baron’s attire is a personalized mix of military gear—a well-worn gambeson, a studded jacket, a metal breastplate and greaves—with sumptuous, expensive outer robes that undoubtedly once belonged to the former lord of Crow’s Perch. Completing the ensemble are a leather belt and a shoulder strap from which hang a knight’s short sword and a bandit’s knife.
|— The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt Artbook|
Associated quests Edit
- Bloody Baron
- Family Matters
- Gwent: Velen Players
- Ciri's Story: The King of the Wolves
- Ciri's Story: The Race
- Ciri's Story: Out of the Shadows
- Return to Crookback Bog
Journal entry Edit
- During his first encounter with "Baron" Phillip Strenger, Geralt found the man's many contradictions puzzling. This former Temerian soldier was clearly an opportunist who, after his army's resounding defeat, served, dealt and negotiated with the occupying Empire of Nilfgaard. The local peasantry anointed him the "Bloody Baron," a clear indication that he did not handle his vassals with kid gloves. On the other hand, he proved a surprisingly gracious host to an unexpectedd guest who was also a stranger and a hired monster slayer.
- His treatment of children and young women, towards whom he demonstrated wholly sincere, near fatherly-concern, likewise contradicted his bandit-like appearance and terrifying monicker. Ciri had learned this for herself, finding care and shelter under his roof.
- In exchange for information about Cirilla, the baron ask Geralt to find his wife, Anna, and their daughter, Tamara. Both had disappeared without a trace some time ago, and Phillip was slowing losing hope of ever seeing them again. Under these circumstances, a witcher was a gift from the gods.
- Yet the baron had hid certain facts from Geralt, such as his wife's recent pregnancy, her subsequent miscarriage and his own predilection towards strong drink and violent quarrels.
- It turned out the baron would drink regularly and to excess, and Geralt got a first-hand view of how dangerous he can be to those around him during such moments when he returned to talk to the baron about what he had learned from the Pellar. Phillip had known from the start that his wife and daughter had fled, not disappeared, but, torn between shame and concern over their fate, he had tried to save face while still doing all he could to find them.
- On this subject there was no denying his determination. Paying no heed to the fact that a confrontation with the Crones might end tragically for him, he decided to ride into the swamps and try to free Anna from their clutches.
If the Baron's wife survives:
- They say that a man's true nature is revealed in times of crisis. The baron's reunion with his wife was certainly such a time – her deplorable state shook Phillip to the core. Yet when he learned there was a sliver of hope that Anna could be cured of her madness, the baron seized that though with all his strength and decided to rid [sic] with his wife to the very end of the earth, to the Blue Mountains, and seek help for her tortured mind there.
If the Baron's wife dies:
- Despite the combined efforts of the baron, his men and Geralt, Anna could not be saved. Alas, this was not the end of the bad news - Tamara, who had also ventured into the swamp to save her mother, made it painfully clear to the baron that she no longer wanted to have anything to do with him. Having lost on all fronts and without uttering a single word, he trekked back to Crow Perch alone...
- Not long afterwards Geralt learned that Phillip Strenger, the one-time terror of all of Velen, had hanged himself out of grief and despair, desolated by the loss of all that he had loved in his lifetime.
- After Return to Crookback Bog is completed (no matter the outcome), Sergeant Ardal takes the Baron's place and begins a harsher reign of terror.