Practicum in Advanced Alchemy is a secondary quest in The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt. Geralt is tasked with assisting the master alchemist Gremist with his all-important ritual.
If Geralt talked to the herbalist at Herbalist's Hut northeast of Oxenfurt, he can point Geralt to a master alchemist named Gremist who can teach him more about alchemy. The witcher eventually finds Gremist outside his cave workshop near a pond north of the Gedyneith Grove in the path from Henge towards the Whale Graveyard in Ard Skellig.
Upon arrival a druid tells Gremist that he is getting old and must pass his knowledge but the alchemist refuses even as Geralt speaks to him. Geralt asks him to share his knowledge but Gremist laughs at him to be an apprentice, saying that he's devoted his life to alchemy and does not want to simply give away all that he has worked to gain the knowledge he knows. The witcher tries to convince him so the alchemist asks of him three favors to help him perform a ritual before becoming an apprentice. The favors he must do:
- Search for a pimpernel from the Morskogen Forest.
Gremist explains that he needs spirit from the old distillery as a base to make high quality potions from the superior alcohol once produced there while he needs the secret of the pimpernel that specifically grows in the Morskogen Forest as a forest creature jealously guards all the herbs growing there.
Once the witcher agrees to do the favors, Geralt travels to the Morskogen Forest south of the Druids' Camp and Redgill in the eastern region of Ard Skellig. Around the roads in the area near the cave where A Bard's Beloved takes place, the witcher finds all the pimpernel blooms recently picked. As Geralt examines them, a druid approaches him telling how Gremist has sent countless young druids for the pimpernel. Apparently all the young druids return drained with a blank stare without the flower, never speaking of what happened. The druid further tells how one of their novices, Ramund, hasn't returned and he was to find him dead or alive as a monster has made its lair in this unknown forest of the island. Geralt and the druid together track hoof prints leading to a road. If the witcher goes opposite the path from where the hoof prints lead in towards where an armored arachas might appear at the end of the road, Geralt can find a pile of stones carefully but unskillfully piled over a body of an old man, named Jorre the White of Kaer Trolde, drained presumably by the succubus. Following the hoof prints back to the road where they converge with other footprints, they eventually find what appears to be a succubus engaging Ramund. If Geralt didn't find Jorre the White, the succubus and the young druid will explain how she hasn't harmed anyone and young druids come to her by themselves. It's come to a point that she uses magic to make them go home but she let Ramund stay because he was nice. If Geralt found Jorre, the succubus will reason that she's buried him as custom dictates and that Jorre was very old. She warned him that it could end badly for his weak heart but still, he kept returning. Convinced that the succubus uses bewitching charms, the older druid tells her that he'll kill her. If the witcher agrees that the succubus needs to die, Geralt will reason that all succubi he meets never intend to hurt anyone but eventually kill and suck the life force of their lovers. The witcher and the older druid fight the succubus. After killing her, Ramund will become bitter for the succubus' death even as Geralt reasons with him that the succubus would've eventually killed him or some other. The older druid will thank the witcher and suspect that the succubus was the one picking and hording all the pimpernel flowers for herself. Geralt can follow the footprints and the scent of the flower pollen back to a cave at the end of the road where the succubus has been decorating the place with flowers. If Geralt sides with the succubus and tells the druid that she's harmless, the druid will leave promising to return with another willing to rid the succubus. The succubus then tells the witcher that she doesn't couple with witchers who slay chorts and fiends who are her brethren as repayment but Geralt instead offers her to give pimpernel. The succubus will guide the witcher herself to her lair where she shows the witcher how she's decorated the place with assortments of flowers. Whichever decision Geralt made on the fate of the succubus, the witcher can then find and take the pimpernel flower (80).
The witcher then moves on to the abandoned Distillery on Hail Hill south of the succubus' cave, northwest of Grotto, and northeast of the Ruined Inn signpost where Geralt fights with some alghouls on the remains of what Geralt remarks as a destroyed chapel. Exploring further, the witcher finds a cave inhabited by a cyclops where the distillery is based on. After dealing with the cyclops, Geralt found the Distiller's Log and the Distiller's letter detailing the instructions on how to distill alcohol and how a cyclops had repeatedly come back to the distillery for some spirit presumably attracted from the scent of rotten malt dumped behind the distillery. The distiller planned to call for a witcher to deal with the cyclops but as evidenced from the dead bodies, the people who tried to face the cyclops did not survive. Geralt then follows the instructions in the letter and finds some remaining mash up a ladder on a scaffolding to the left of the machine. He then put the mash in the evaporator in the center vat and ignited the fire to boil it. He turned the right lever first then the left lever making Skellige spirit in the barrel resulting from the condenser in the right vat. Geralt took the freshly brewed spirit and headed to the next objective (80).
Arriving at the village of Blandare of Ard Skellig, Geralt introduced himself to Fritjof who was busy telling a peasant about a dangerous ritual he was about to perform. The witcher tried to convince him to help Gremist but he was busy with important matters relating to a drought afflicting the village. Before agreeing to help Gremist, Fritjof asked the witcher if he could help defend him while performing his ritual to bring a storm on the village. After the witcher agrees, Geralt follows him to the altar stone where the vaedermakar druid sacrifices some sheep and calls the storm. Waves of foglets will start to appear and the witcher and Fritjolf's pet wolf defends the druid until his ritual is complete. Once Fritjof successfully conjures up the storm, he gladly thanks the witcher and agrees to help Gremist with his ritual (80).
Whichever order Geralt did the favors, he completed them all and returned to Gremist in his workshop. Now that Geralt has been accepted as Gremist's official apprentice, the alchemist still refuses to tell him what the ritual is all about so he must wait outside till the next day as only Gremist and Fritjof, members of the "Inner Circle", are allowed to conduct the ritual. The witcher came back the next morning to find that Gremist and Fritjof were actually just drinking using the pimpernel from the Morskogen Forest and Skellige spirit from the Hail Hill Distillery. While drunk, the master alchemist finally decided to teach Geralt all that he knew about alchemy and drinking toxins. The quest finishes some time later as both Gremist and Fritjof finish teaching Geralt and leave him a bit drunken as well (80).
Journal entry Edit
At one point during his travels Geralt learned of a master alchemist named Gremist. Rumor had it this druid knew more about alchemy than most men know about the contours of their own members. Geralt, ever eager to polish his skills, decided to find this learned druid and absorb whatever knowledge from him he could.
This Gremist proved to be a strange individual, but then so do most mages and druids - routinely staring into the abyss of otherworldly power has that effect. Rather than let Geralt learn from him right away, he first forced him to undergo three trials. Geralt passed all three with flying colors and the druid had no choice but to take him on as an apprentice. Thus Geralt, showing an admirable commitment to lifelong learning, gathered his chalk and prepared his slate for some advanced alchemy lessons.
- Find Gremist's workshop.
- Talk to Gremist.
- Find a pimpernel in the woods using your Witcher Senses.
- Search the woods for the missing apprentice and some pimpernel using your Witcher Senses.
- Kill the succubus. (If Geralt sided with the older druid)
- Follow the succubus to her lair. (If Geralt sided with the succubus)
- Use your Witcher Senses to find and pick a pimpernel. (80 )
- Find Fritjof the druid in the nearby village and convince him to talk to Gremist.
- Go to the ritual site with Fritjof.
- Defend Fritjof while he completes the ritual. (80)
- Find the abandoned distillery.
- Clear out the distillery.
- Use your Witcher Senses to search the distillery for instructions on how to produce alcohol.
- Read the instructions for distilling alcohol.
- Find some mash.
- Use the machine to produce alcohol.
- Take the spirit. (80)
- Return to Gremist.
- Wait till the next day.
- Talk to Gremist about your reward. (80)
- If Geralt discovers the succubus' cave before meeting the druid in the Morskogen Forest, Ramund can be found sleeping in the cave while the succubus cleans her lair. Geralt can ask who the sleeping man is which she will reveal as one of her many lovers who she hasn't chased away because he doesn't snore. The forest succubus can also reveal how she collects her flowers to make honey and for aesthetic preferences. She also offers to share her flowers which Geralt can take the pimpernel in advance.
- The word "Vaedermakar" seems to be a combination of Swedish väder (weather) and Scots makar (maker).
- The chants uttered by Fritjof in his ritual is in "Gammelsvenska" also known as Old Swedish.
- The song played while defending Fritjof is called Naranca, a Slavic song played by Percival.
- There's a bug where the quest available marker on the map gets stuck on the druid that first talks to Gremist when Geralt first finds them.