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"Do you really wish to know?"
Spoilers from the books and/or games to follow!

Pomp and Strange Circumstance is a quest in the Blood and Wine expansion for The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt.

Walkthrough Edit

After fighting and finishing off Dettlaff while keeping Syanna alive, the duchess is very grateful and plans to bestow Toussaint's highest honor, the Order of Vitis Vinifera, on Geralt. However, Regis ponders over who the intended 5th victim is, to which you can respond 3 different ways: to go immediately to see the bootblack, say you'll meet him later at the bootblack's station, or that you don't care to find out who the 5th victim was to be.

Important: if you went to see the Unseen Elder, even if you do all the next optional steps, you won't be able to sway what happens in the end. You can do it though to learn more and get some XP. See the Ceremony section for full list of requirements to save both sisters.

The 5th Victim Edit

Head to the bootblack who will shine your shoes while you ask him questions. Even if you don't have any on, Geralt will equip some. He'll then reveal the letters came from beggars and after some prodding, Regis gets him to reveal they likely came from the shelter nearby. Go upstairs to the shelter and enter the courtyard to find 2 men arguing with the shelter owner. Knock out the 2 men and the shelter owner will let you stay to wait for the beggars to appear to question them. The one with the 5th letter eventually reveals he still has it. No matter the choice, he hands it over and you learn the last victim was to be Syanna's own sister, Anna Henrietta. Respond however you like to Regis and he'll go wait for you after the ceremony.

Talk to Syanna Edit

Head to the palace and go with whichever choice to get the guard to let you through. The conversation that unfolds here will have an effect on the outcome if you met the previous requirements (went to the Land of a Thousand Fables, read all the entries in the journal, and listened to all of Syanna's story). Otherwise, no matter what you choose, the outcome will be the same. If you did all previous requirements though and wish to save the sisters, the correct conversation choices are:

  1. Cause she turned her back on you, forgot about you.
  2. Ever thought to forgive her?

After the conversation, the guard will tell you Damien de la Tour wishes to talk to you. You can then reveal to him the truth or withhold it, but again, this has no bearing on the outcome.

Ceremony Edit

Once you're ready to begin the ceremony, approach Damien and let him know. If you'd changed out of the fancy clothes, they'll be re-equipped. During the ceremony, you have the chance to tell Anarietta personally that her sister wished to kill her, but this won't change anything. When Syanna is brought in, choose whichever options you wish, which change slightly if you had gone to the Land of a Thousand Fables but, again, has no effect on the outcome. What happens next depends on several factors.

To save the sisters you must have:

  • Done the quest Beyond Hill and Dale...
  • Read every entry in the governess' journal
  • Agreed to listen to Syanna's story while finding the magic beans
  • Decided to investigate the 5th victim then ask Syanna about it
  • Used the correct responses when talking to Syanna after learning the 5th victim (see previous section)

Anything else (didn't listen to her story, chose the wrong responses in the tower, etc.) will lead to both their deaths.

If you didn't do any of the above requirements, Syanna will kill her sister and Damien shoots a crossbow bolt, killing Syanna. Time passes and Geralt will talk to a local seller. No matter what you say, she'll give you the flowers she intended to leave at Anarietta's grave herself. Make your way to Temple Cemetery, where Damien is taking it really hard. Answer however you like. Damien then reveals Syanna is also buried in the same room before you enter. You can place a flower on both graves or just Anarietta's. After a moment, Regis will come to retrieve you and head out to Mère-Lachaiselongue Cemetery.

However, if you managed to get Syanna to forgive her sister, the two will instead argue in front of the court before forgiving each other and that will be the end and Geralt will join Regis at the cemetery.

Hunting Mandrakes Edit

Whatever the outcome, Geralt will discuss it with Regis around the campfire before Regis decides to go get more mandrake roots. As fresh mandrake is toxic, even to witchers, he gives you some gloves and a mask to help pick some. Note that if you don't don them on, Geralt's toxicity levels will rise when one is picked and picking both without protection or lowering the levels after the first one will kill you. After you pick two roots, go to Regis' spot only to find him gone. Use Witcher Senses to track him through the cemetery and find him under attack by several bruxae. After they're killed he explains he must soon leave the area as, while viewed as a traitor by vampires that were loyal to Dettlaff, vampires operate by a basic principle of "out of sight, out of mind" and thus won't chase him if he goes somewhere else. The two will then head back and have more discussions.

Journal entry Edit

The witcher had, at last, defeated the Beast of Beauclair. Her Enlightened Highness Duchess Anna Henrietta invited him to a ceremony where she would award him the Vitis Vinifera medal, Toussaint's highest honor. Geralt, famous for being one of the world's leading scruffs, possessed no outfit that would not violate protocol or be remotely suitable for such an occasion. In her generosity, the duchess agreed to fund a new robe. Regis, having nothing better to do, accompanied the witcher to the tailor's for his fitting. There, the vampire revealed the thought that was tormenting him. Nameily, he believed Syanna had planned five murders from the start. He wished to know the identity of the fifth intended victim. He suggested to Geralt that they investigate the matter to the end.
If Geralt investigates the intended fifth victim:
They first sought out the bootblack. The boy directed them to a poorhouse. It was there they learned Syanna had indeed planned five murders. All to wreak vengeance upon those who had caused her to be banished from the court and the Ducal Palace. The final victim was to have been her very own sister, Duchess Anna Henrietta. Geralt considered confronting Syanna.
If Geralt confronts Syanna:
Geralt reached the tower where Syanna sat confined. After speaking to her, he made his way to the ceremony, during which he was to receive his distinction.
On her own behalf and that of her subjects, Anna Henrietta thanked Geralt for slaying the Beast of Beauclair and awarded him the Vitis Vinifera Medal. Thankfully, the ceremony was brief, so the witcher lacked time to demonstrate his ignorance of protocol and thus violate the majesty of the court.
If Geralt convinced Syanna to forgive her sister:
After the ceremony, Sylvia Anna faced her accusers. When Geralt had spoken to Syanna earlier, he had broached some sensitive issues. These now came to the fore, and a heated argument erupted between the sisters. Those valuing convention and decorum undoubtedly considered it an unsavory public airing of matters private. Yet my own heart inclines me to think it a fortunate turn of events. For we cannot know what might have happened had there been no release of resentments that had accumulated over decades. Upon quitting the palace Geralt rejoined Regis at his crypt. The indulged in some well-deserved respite while sipping Regis' exquisite (as they both assured me) mandrake hooch.
If Geralt did not convince Syanna to forgive her sister:
After the ceremony, Sylvia Anna faced her accusers. Alas, her interrogation ended in tragedy. Though her murderous scheme had been thwarted when her "murder weapon," the vampire Dettlaff, had been removed, Syanna decided to see the matter through. Feigning a willingness to reconcile, she tricked all those present and ran a hair pin through her sister's heart. Anarietta died instantly, and no one, not even the witcher with his lightning fast reflexes, could prevent it.
A woman of great beauty, in the prime of her life, Anna Henrietta breathed her last at the foot of her own palace. As she died her thoughts went to the undersigned... Grief grips my heart as I write this, tears flow of their own from my eyes.
The bad seed, Sylvia Anna, perished immediately afterwards, without trial or due process cut down by a ducal guardsman loyal and true.
Geralt visited the crypt where both sisters had been laid to rest. Then he rejoined Regis to enjoy some well-deserved respite, aided by a jug of the vampire's mandrake hooch.

Objectives Edit

  • Talk to Damien.
  • (Optional) Talk to the bootblack during the day.
  • (Optional) Find the shelter.
  • Defeat the attackers.
  • (Optional) Talk to Syanna.
  • (Optional) Follow the guard to Syanna's cell.
  • If Syanna kills her sister:
    • Place a flower on Anna Henrietta's grave.
  • (Optional) Put on a mask and gloves.
  • Collect mandrake roots. (2)
  • Return to Regis.
  • Use your Witcher Senses to find Regis.
  • Help Regis defeat the vampires.