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The Beast of White Orchard is the third main quest of The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt. It acts as a sub-quest to Lilac and Gooseberries as it must be completed before the player can continue that quest. Geralt and Vesemir must complete a contract to rid the village of White Orchard of a griffin in order to obtain information about Yennefer's whereabouts.
Quest Description Edit
- "The commander of the Nilfgaardian garrison in White Orchard knew where Yennefer had gone. Shrewdly, he was unwilling to share this information for free. A man with substantial experience, he knew full well Geralt would do anything to find the sorceress. As luck would have it, there was a griffin about, a beast the commander's soldiers had been unable to hunt down. The commander could demand but one thing: the monster's head in exchange for his help.""
While the quest objectives indicate that you must ask the relevant individuals for help locating Geralt's intended goal this is not actually the case. If you happen to know the locations or happen upon the locations of the patrol that was attacked or the buckthorn is growing you can simply go to those locations. This bypasses some interesting story parts and may affect some side quests so it is not recommended.
Ask the hunter Edit
Head to the hunter's hut as marked on the map. Turns out he went out hunting so you'll have to go find him.
Use your Witcher Senses Edit
Look around near the hunter's front door to find and examine the tracks he left. Follow the tracks in the woods and talk to Mislav, the hunter, when you reach him. You can either tell him you're in a hurry and he'll take you straight to the site of the attack on the patrol or you can help him put down some wild dogs.
Kill the Wild Dogs Edit
If you choose to help take down the dogs you can follow Mislav to a pack of dogs. You'll receive typically 9 XP for your troubles in helping to eliminate the wild dogs. Note: You don't have to actually help kill the dogs. If you stay at a distance and let Mislav shoot arrows at the dogs he will eventually kill them all. It can take a while though as his aim isn't too sure.
Talk to the hunter Edit
Once the dogs are defeated talk to him again and he can be coaxed into revealing a sad tale of his love life and the fall into ruin of the local lord's house. Geralt will receive 350XP when Mislav has finished his story.
Follow the hunter Edit
Follow Mislav to the site of the griffin attack.
Examine the site Edit
Once you're at the site of the griffin attack you'll need to examine a few clues which can be revealed to you using your witcher sense.
- Bottles on the ground indicating a celebration
- Camp fire indicating the Nilfgaardians were staying the night in the area
- Blood soaked ground indicating there was substantial carnage
- Nilfgaardian tracks leading away from the camp
Follow the tracks Edit
Once you've found the tracks they're pretty easy to follow across the broken bridge and up the hill until you come upon the griffin's nest.
Search the nest Edit
At the griffin's nest examine the mutilated human body, the bones on the ground and the griffin's corpse to complete this section of the quest and receive 500XP. You learn that a group of nilfgaardian soldiers killed the female griffin in here nest while she was sleeping. This explains the surviving male griffin's hostility and aggressiveness towards people in the nearby town.
Ask the herbalist Edit
Go to Tomira and talk to her. You can unlock a secondary quest, On Death's Bed, by asking about the dying girl, Lena, she is helping to treat. The quest requires that you choose whether to give a Swallow potion to possibly save Lena (you should already have one if you are playing on the top 2 difficulties, if not you will have to brew one). Tomira will direct you to the riverbed where the river is the widest to find the buckthorn you seek.
Find some buckthorn Edit
Go to the quest marker and dive below the water. Using your witcher vision find some of the buckthorn that grows on the river bed and collect it to complete this objective.
Note: On the river's edge near where you find the buckthorn is a short side quest, A Frying Pan, Spick and Span, which is convenient to complete at this time. Talk to the old lady standing outside an abandoned home to start the quest.
Talk to Vesemir Edit
Return to the tavern at White Orchard to find Vesemir outside speaking to a peasant about the habits of a local farmer named Boyan. If you haven't spoken to Vesemir since receiving the griffin contract you will have to tell him you accepted a contract to kill the griffin before you can tell him about your findings to setup the trap. He's already picked out a spot to spring the trap, a farmers field presumably owned by the man named Boyan. After the conversation, meet Vesemir at the objective location to start the ambush cut scene.
Kill the griffin Edit
Have a short conversation with Vesemir in which he gives you a crossbow while you wait for the Boss Battle.
Note: Difficulty varies substantially with difficulty level set. If you do the side quest to get the Viper school swords that can make the fight much easier. Make sure to get Swallow and Thunderbolt potions ready. Sword oil is optional. The griffin is vulnerable to grabpeshot bombs, hybrid oil and the AARD sign.
After the cutscene the battle begins. You can use the cross bow to shoot the griffin with a bolt that will make it stop flying and land. Don't hit the griffin directly from the front because it can cause some major damage. Use signs when needed.
After it is down to half health, it will fly to a nearby ridge. You can follow it on foot or on horse back. The same strategies apply to the second half of the fight. After it is dead, loot it to chop the head off and hang it on your horse (one of the 2 trophies in the White Orchard area, the other one is from the Noonwraith).
Collect your reward Edit
Go to the Nilfgaardian garrison to turn in the mission. The captain will tell you the Yennefer has gone to Vizima and offers you some coin as compensation for your help. Accept the money (300 XP + 150) or turn down the money (500 XP). This completes the quest and forwards the main story quest Lilac and Gooseberries.
Quest Map Edit
Additional Info Edit
Closing Quest Description Edit
- "The witcher investigated and learned that the griffin he had encountered along the high road outside of White Orchard had good reason to prey on the local populace. The soldiers the Nilfgaardian commander had sent out to scout had, in fact, killed the griffin's brooding mate. Griffins are known to mate for life, and Geralt thus felt a pang of pity for the beast. But, ever the professional, he could not let his feelings interfere with his work.
Once it came to ambushing the feathery widower, Geralt turned to Vesemir for help. With two witchers lunging at its throat, the griffin of White Orchard proved a lamb for the slaughter. As is the way of his order, Geralt took the beast's head as his trophy and delivered it to the Nilfgaardian garrison for his reward, which, as you might remember, was to be information about Yennefer."
- The cross bow awarded at the conclusion of this mission is the only weapon Geralt has available to him when swimming in water. As a result, before completing this quest it is thought that no enemies will attack Geralt while in the water so it may be a good idea to take care of as much underwater looting as possible prior to completing this quest.
- If you have happened to stumble upon some buckthorn before visiting the herbalist, Tomira, it is possible to entirely skip that portion of the quest altogether. Unfortunately, if you never visit her hut for her guidance on the buckthorn, Geralt will never meet Lenna and have a chance to save her for the On Death's Bed quest. Subsequently, if Geralt speaks to Tomira for the first time (after the griffin has been killed) the game will automatically assume the he has chosen not to give the dying girl the swallow potion. Even without prior knowledge the player will have a prompt to ask about Lenna, to which Tomira will inform Geralt that she has died. This can be very confusing and somewhat upsetting to players that have had no idea about the sidequest.