Note: This quest will fail if not completed before going to the Isle of Mists.
After the feast in the wake of the late King Bran at Kaer Trolde citadel for the main quest, The King is Dead – Long Live the King, Jarl Crach took Geralt and Yennefer aside to discuss matters regarding the search for Ciri. Unbeknownst to Geralt, this also included a request by the Jarl to assist his children, Hjalmar and Cerys, on their adventures to win support worthy of a king or queen in each of their bids for Skellige's throne. For Cerys, this meant going to Spikeroog to investigate Jarl Udalryk's mental afflictions which she believes is a curse waiting for her to lift so Crach asked Geralt to convince her to come back. As thanks to the jarl's dedication at helping to find Ciri, the witcher nevertheless agreed to help any of Crach's children.
Once the witcher landed in Spikeroog, he visited the mad jarl's home in Svorlag in search of Cerys where he was allowed entry by the guards with a mild warning while Jarl Udalryk was speaking with his seer, Hjort, about his strange dreams from the gods. Upon speaking with the witcher, a brief lapse of attention led the jarl away to which Hjort was able to instead answer the witcher. If Geralt asks about Cerys's whereabouts, Hjort can tell him that Cerys might be in the village talking to folk but feared that she might've instead went to the jarl's old haunted family home. If the witcher instead inquires about the jarl's health, his conversation with the seer will be cut short with Udalryk's sudden screams leaving Geralt to instead ask around the village.
If Hjort left Geralt to ask around, the witcher can then find a fisherman and a skellige woman just by the signpost of Svorlag to which both will respond kindly that Cerys was just in the area but the woman will mention more about Cerys's inquiries into the jarl's childhood so she directed her to see Bergthora and Eiric who were once close with the jarl years ago for it was the jarl who helped Eiric win Bergthora's hand. Geralt can then find the couple's house at the east end of the village just to the right of where the witcher talked to the previous woman. Geralt then talked to Bergthora sitting by the house who told him that Cerys was looking for Eiric who should be on the beach on the other side of the isle north of Svorlag. Once Geralt reached the beach, he found Eiric cowering on a rock surrounded by three drowners to which the witcher quickly slew (400). Geralt can choose to ridicule him and even cast Axii (Level 2) (40) or not but whatever he told the man, he eventually revealed that Cerys asked about the jarl's family and went up the jarl's old family home on the hill northwest of Svorlag.
Either from Hjort's reckoning or from Eiric's word, the witcher one in the same decided to look for Cerys in the jarl's old abandoned home. Upon entry, the ruined Brokvar manor had an eery vibe to it but Cerys's footsteps no less lead the witcher to a passed out Cerys by the end of the hallway. Geralt carried her out the manor as she awoke. The witcher surmised that a heavy object must've hit her head and told her that he came to bring her back but as expected, the young lady explained that she wouldn't leave until she's helped Udalryk. Apparently, she had gone inside to find Udalryk's clan ancestral sword, Brokvar, who she claims could lift the curse gripping the jarl on the grounds that long ago, Udalryk had a history of fighting with his little brother over the sword. This was because his father had given the clan sword to his little brother, Aki, despite custom dictating that it should be passed to the firstborn son, Udalryk. Due to this, Udalryk had apparently broken a sacred law in Skellige which was to openly question his father's decision so as punishment, he was chained to a pile waist-deep in the middle of the sea for three days. After this had ended, his father figured a sea outing to mend their relationship as brothers would solve things so he and Aki sailed out to fish. Sadly this bore no fruit as a storm broke out and Aki fell overboard as Udalryk had his hands full with the sails and didn't hear his brother until it was too late. Some wagered though that Udalryk simply didn't want to hear and instead left his brother to his fate so Cerys believed this was exactly what was bothering Udalryk that it was actually Aki's ghost who was troubling the jarl. The young lady so then thought that she could instead bring back the sword to Aki who perhaps would've wanted it back for it was impossible to think that the gods were the ones commanding Udalryk to hurt himself as Hjort would also affirm with Cerys. The witcher had his doubts for it was the house that was haunted and not the sea but inevitably followed Cerys's plan to retrieve the sword.
After offering to get the sword himself, Geralt descended into the haunted house once more after finding the key to the cellar in the room just at the back of the oven. As he climbed down into the dark basement cellar, he found the sword just on the table but as soon as he grasped it, a strange shadow creature mildly showed itself by the table side (400). The witcher soon quickly reported back to Cerys after the haunting descent and went with her back to Udalryk who was resting on the porch. They explained to the jarl Cerys's belief that it was Aki's ghost haunting him rather than the gods and that they or at least Geralt must bring Brokvar back to Aki's hands so the jarl pointed the witcher to Aki's watery grave just by Ulula's Needle at the mouth of the bay after currents had swept them there from the storm's eddies.
Now, Geralt's task was to sail to Ulula's Needle and dive down in search of Aki's bones distinguished by his clan ring. After diving down and even dealing with a couple of siren, the witcher was able to find Aki's headless skeleton just by a flipped longboat off the seabed by Ulula's Needle and finally placed Brokvar in its rightful hands. Though with a sliver of doubt, Geralt returned yet again to the jarl's home with the sound of another scream from Udalryk (550). Apparently, the tormented jarl had poked out his eye by order of the gods again under guilt of failing to sail out to beg for Aki's forgiveness after he had slept when the witcher left for Aki's bones. Udalryk described how he receives his messages from the gods always when he is asleep and orders him to go back to his old home to light torches where they speak from the shadows wrought by the light.
This led the witcher to notice a pattern where the gods only appear by shadow and are fixated with Udalryk's pain so since returning the jarl's sword to his brother solved nothing, Geralt identified how the problem was actually a very rare and dangerous post-Conjunction creature who latches and feeds on men who commit vile deeds known as a hym. They apparently feed on their hosts guilty conscience for years and eventually force them to mutilate themselves. These exact symptoms led the witcher to think of only two methods to rid them. One was the witcher's way which the bestiary advises to stay a night in the hym's lair with the host to draw the creature out of the shadows in order to slay it but the host might not be able to take it for too long in there. Another was to trick the hym and pretend to do something horrible in order for it to move onto the trickster as its next victim with the added caveat that the trickster can't know about the trick so he can feel true sorrow until the trick is revealed so when the hym realizes it's been tricked, it'll be forced to leave.
With all this told to Cerys, the young lady expressed her interest in tricking the hym with the witcher's way as backup if her plan fails. Geralt and Cerys now then headed back to the jarl's old home to investigate how to trick the hym so after careful inspection of some furniture in the house such as an oven, a cradle, and even an unsightly illusion of Ciri, Cerys was finally able to think of a way to trick the hym. Now from here, Geralt either trusted Cerys or not.
If Geralt refused to trust Cerys and preferred the witcher's way, Cerys will acquiesce and agree for Geralt to return to Udalryk to tell him about the witcher's method. The witcher then returns and tells the jarl all about the hym and to get rid of it, he must come back to his old home after Geralt prepares the house by illuminating it with torches. Hjort will then provide Geralt the torches he needs after reassuring the jarl of the witcher's intentions. After the witcher comes back to the haunted house and places all four torches around the main hall, Geralt can finally come back to Udalryk waiting just outside to start the battle. Once ready, Geralt either advised the jarl of what's to happen or not then came back in the house to light the torches for the jarl to arrive back at his old home, now turned hym lair. Geralt locked all the doors and lit the torches as the battle began when the hym emerged from the shadows. As the witcher swang at the shadowy creature, Geralt had to calm Udalryk with some Axii until the hym began to weaken and retreat deeper into its lair in the basement. The witcher descended once more into the basement now to finally end its horrors. As the witcher finally dealt his rending blows unto the hym, ultimately killing it (750, Crystalized essence), Geralt went back up to happily reassure Udalryk that he was finally free and it was over.
If Geralt trusted Cerys to trick the hym, Cerys will go on with her plan and allow the witcher to prepare if he so wished. Once ready, the witcher was asked to prepare a fire in the oven without prior knowledge to anything as Cerys ran back to Udalryk's home.
To everyone's surprise as hours passed, this plan had actually involved Cerys stealing the jarl's baby, Aki, and handing it over to the clueless witcher while being chased by Udalryk and his guards. As the enraged jarl and his warriors burst in, Cerys ordered Geralt to throw the baby in the oven. With little choice, the witcher either diligently followed Cerys's mad orders or handed the baby back to the jarl.
If Geralt throws the baby in the oven and seals it tight, Udalryk will run at the oven and bang at the door while the witcher fights the jarl's three warriors. After dispatching the warriors (750, Crystalized essence), the hym will move in shock towards Geralt as Udalryk falls in despair but soon Cerys will come out announcing relief as Hjort comes carrying the unharmed babe.
Cerys will declare all despair and guilt gone as only shock and relief set in, banishing the hym from the household as it dissolves from Geralt. The witcher can then finally assure Udalryk that he was free and it was finally over as they had tricked the hym into thinking that Geralt had killed the child, abandoning the jarl to feed on the witcher where in the end, the creature could not handle the load of the realization of the guilt's actual non-existence.
If Geralt handed the baby back to the jarl or ran out of time as the jarl approached, the witcher will decide to abandon Cerys's plan and tell the jarl that he's decided to do it the witcher's way but was inevitably punched in the face by the enraged jarl. As they left in disgust, Cerys revealed her plan that if Geralt had only trusted her, she would've pulled the baby out of the oven from the oven's other door at the room in the back before the fire could even warm the infant, forcing the hym to move then leave after she showed the baby to be fine. Geralt accepted the scheme but nevertheless stubbornly claimed to stay with the witcher's way.
To make up for it, the witcher instead went out to convince the jarl of Cerys's intentions to help banish the voices that haunted him. The witcher will then go on to do the same as the events if he had not initially agreed to trust Cerys's plan starting with explaining to the jarl again about the hym that actually haunts him and that he must also come back to his old home after Geralt prepares the place by illuminating it with torches. The only difference then from this point is that Hjort will instead tell the witcher to get the torches from an old storage shed beside the house.
Either method Geralt and Cerys employed, Udalryk was finally free from the hym and was only suffering some minor disorientation from the hym's long bond with him. With Udalryk's farewell, Cerys offered then to remain to make sure of his assured recovery and said her own farewells too as the quest completes.
Journal entry Edit
- Concern filled Crach's voice. And something else... pride? The jarl had pulled Geralt aside during King Bran Tuirseach's wake to confess his worries about his daughter, Cerys. She had sailed to Spikeroog, seeking to cure Jarl Udalryk's mysterious affliction. A dangerous mission, though one that would certainly be less so with a witcher's help. Geralt eyed his old friend over carefully, then made his decision.
- After analyzing all the evidence, Geralt came to the conclusion that Udalryk was not haunted by a ghost, as Cerys had thought, nor was he insane or touched by the gods, as many Skelligers believed. The situation was far more grave: a particularly malicious wraith, known as a hym, had latched onto the jarl. Geralt and Cerys thus faced the challenge of finding a way to free Udalryk from this evil being's power.
- Geralt tricks the hym (follow Cerys' plan):
- Cerys hit upon an idea. They would trick the hym. Geralt decided to trust her. Cerys ran off, snatched Udalryk's infant child from its cradle and ran back towards the abandoned home, with the jarl and his honor guard hot on her heels. Meanwhile Hjort, whom Cerys had informed of her plan and asked for help, slipped into the house unnoticed.
- Once inside, Cerys commanded Geralt to toss the babe into a burning stove. Caught off-guard by this seemingly-mad request, Geralt nevertheless acquiesced, hoping it was all part of the plan. To his great relief, it was. The hym, thinking Geralt an infanticide, left Udalryk to latch onto this new, even more guilt-ridden victim. Yet when it was revealed the child had survived unharmed, the evil being had to depart into the ether. Cerys' trickery and the witcher's cold blood had saved Udalryk, freeing him from his torment at long last.
- Geralt fights the hym (the witcher's way):
- Geralt decided to take care of the hym using tried and true witcher methods. This meant, as it often does, waiting until after dusk and gathering a generous supply of torches. Only then did he and Udalryk journey to the abandoned home to set about forcing the wraith to reveal its true visage. The fight lasted the entire night. Though at times Geralt feared Udalryk would not withstand the torture the hym dealt in its last throes of self-defense, by the time dawn came our heroes had triumphed and the hym had dissolved back into the ether.
- Ask Udalryk where Cerys is.
- If Geralt asked Hjort what happened to Udalryk:
- Look for Cerys in the abandoned home using your Witcher Senses.
- Find the sword named Brokvar. (400)
- Tell Cerys you found the sword.
- Go to Udalryk with Cerys.
- Place Brokvar near Aki's bones.
- Return to Udalryk. (550)
- Meet Cerys in Udalryk's old home.
- Search the house and find a way to drive off the hym.
- See what Cerys has found.
- If Geralt decides to trick the hym:
- If Geralt decides to fight the hym:
- It's possible to get stuck in combat after finishing this quest, preventing the player from saving, meditating, or drawing their sword. This is caused by not killing all three guards during the 'Trick the Hym' path before the cutscene begins; it can be either prevented by killing the guards using area effect attacks such as bombs or signs, or, after the quest has concluded, resolved by fast traveling to a different map, such as White Orchard or Velen.
- It is also possible that a warrior gets stuck in the basement after Geralt trusted Cerys but handed the babe to Udalryk.
- The most attainable amount of xp from this quest is 2,140 which is attainable only if Geralt was left to ask around the village to end up killing drowners for Eiric after asking Hjort what happened to Udalryk in the first choice and after using Axii to convince Eiric to tell him where Cerys is.
- The least attainable amount of xp from this quest is 1700 which is attainable only if Geralt proceeded to ask Hjort where Cerys is in the first choice thus skipping asking the villagers.