Published on June 3rd, 2015 | by Tom May0
The Witcher 3: Geralt’s Diary (Part II)
If this is your first time reading Geralt’s Diary, be sure to check out Part One beforehand! As before, be warned that there are some spoilers for the early parts of the game ahead, though nothing too major.
The Royal Dance
Diary, I’ve only got a few minutes to sit down and write this before I have to set off again. If I don’t have saddle sores already, I’m sure to by the time I get to my next destination. But I’m getting ahead of myself, let me tell you how I got here.
Last time we talked I’d just casually ran into Yennefer after three whole diary entries worth of searching for her. It wasn’t exactly the warm reunion I was hoping for. I’m willing to be the adult and shoulder some of the blame seeing as I was a little miffed about the whole wasting my time thing. But let’s not pretend that Yennefer was making any attempts at being conciliatory either. Evidently Vesemir saw the writing on the wall and made a run for it. Haven’t seen him since.
Yennefer didn’t waste any time in telling me that she was now working with the emperor of that little invading force they call Nilfgaard and that I’d better come with her. There technically wasn’t an ‘or else’ included, but the small gang of Nilfgaardian soldiers accompanying her might as well have had it painted on their funny helmets.
So here I am in the city of Vizima at Yennefer’s behest. Technically the royal palace of Vizima, but it’s not like any other part is worth visiting these days. Things have certainly changed since my last visit. A lot more black banners and courtiers that speak like they’re from Nilfgaard. Probably because they are.
But I wasn’t there to soak in the ambience. Someone must have realised how famous and important I am because I was due for an audience with the Emperor himself! The kind of audience where you have to wear tight, uncomfortable clothes and know how to bow. They provided the clothes, and I provided the stubborn refusal to bow. Come on, I’d just been riding a horse for five hours and my back was killing me. (Still is. Thanks for asking, diary.)
I think I hit it off pretty well with the Emperor personally. He’s a bit of an odd duck, sure, but there’s something about that dour, no-nonsense demeanor and deep, menacing voice that just tells me that he’s the trustworthy sort. His name is really long, complicated, and Nilfgaardian so I’ve taken to calling him Emperor Charles Dance instead. Don’t ask me why, I’m not sure I could tell you.
With the requisite witty back-and-forth out of the way, Charles Dance got down to brass tacks. The kind of brass tacks I can appreciate: a quest! I assume you remember the kid I mentioned in that dream I had a while back? That was Ciri. I may have neglected to mention that she’s Emperor Charles Dance’s actual daughter. And my figurative one. It’s complicated, don’t worry about it. She disappeared a while ago and Charles wants her found again, since those skeletal blokes who also featured in my dream are after her. If they get ahold of her, I’m told bad things will happen. But if I find her first, good things will happen! Namely me being paid in untold riches. This is the kind of quest I can get behind.
Of course, finding Ciri is going to be a little more complicated than hunting down her adoptive mother Yennefer. (Again, it’s complicated, don’t worry about it.) Charles Dance’s spies have spotted her in three different locations over the past few weeks, so it’s up to Yennefer and I to divvy the regions up and begin the search. Yennefer’s taking the far off Skellige Isles, and I’m to start in the nearby countryside of Velen. She only had to teleport herself there, I’ve got to get back on my horse and ride for half a day. Must be nice being a mage. Talk to you later, diary.
Settling In (And Joining the Circus)
Well, diary, here I am. Sunny Velen, also known by the welcoming nickname of ‘No Man’s Land’. First impressions are mixed, though I’ve got to say it’s a lot more impressive than White Orchard was. They’ve certainly trumped them in the ‘indiscriminately hanging people’ department, with a whole tree of poor strangled schmucks being one of the first things I saw when I got here.
It’s also ridiculously huge. I really wish Emperor Charles Dance’s spies had narrowed down Ciri’s possible location a bit beyond “Velen, I guess, maybe”. Right now there’s a number of places that might be worth looking into. There’s the local, self-appointed Baron set up smack dab in the middle of the region who might know a thing or two, though I’m not exactly drawn to a man that seems to while away his days terrorising his unwilling subjects. To the East it sounds like a number of witches have set up shop. Rumour has it three in particular live in a lovely, boggy swamp and are practically worshipped as goddesses by the local folk. And down South is cannibal country. Let’s hope Ciri didn’t take a wrong turn.
I’ve at least found some monster hunting contracts in the nearby villages to pass the time while I decide on where to go. They even paid pretty well, enough that I forced myself to bite my tongue over some of the more unscientific names that the local peasantry have given these terrors. Shrieker? Howler? Come on, guys. Leave it to the professionals.
I also stumbled upon some new gear in my travels. It’s in a much better state than my old stuff, so I suppose that’s a good thing. There’s just the one tiny downside of the new armour making me look slightly… clownish.
I feel like an idiot.
The Demon, The Witch, and the Statue
I’ve been keeping busy, diary. Taking this quest to find Ciri very seriously. Well, for the most part.
I decided to follow up with the witches to the East first, running into one witch in particular. Keira Metz, an old friend of Yennefer’s who happens to be less of a witch and more of a full-blown sorceress pretending to be a witch so that she doesn’t draw any unwanted attention from the overzealous religious types that are baying for sorceress blood. I’m not sure that they like witches any better, but Keira seems to think that the villagers will keep her safe as long as she continues to rip them off with herbal remedies, daisy chains, and fertility curios.
After receiving some customary sorceress sass, she actually seemed willing to help me look for Ciri. At least I think that’s what we were doing, we went poking about in some elven ruins and honestly got a little sidetracked from the Ciri thing. Found a cool magic lamp though, a lamp that Keira seemed to have a particular interest in, almost like we’d gone there for that and not for Ciri. But nah, I’m sure things are totally on the up and up.
I also did my good deed for the day. Hold your applause, diary, it was almost literally nothing. It happened as I was leaving the village of Blackbough this morning. In the distance I heard an old lady shrieking like she was in the process of being eaten by a monster (you get an ear for that sort of thing). It turns out she was just expressing her extreme displeasure at having the wooden idol of her obscure god knocked over by vandals. Close enough. It’s not exactly what you’d call Witcher’s work, but good Samaritan that I am, I did what the old lady could not and set the statue up right again.
But you know what they say about good deeds. No sooner had I righted this lumpy monstrosity than the old woman took it as a sign that I’d be willing to roam the rest of the countryside rescuing any other wooden idols I found imperiled. Sap that I am, I immediately agreed. She didn’t even ask nicely! And I’ve got enough quests to be getting on with already. Bad Geralt.
It just so happens that I did run across another statue later that day. But this one wasn’t toppled over. Instead it was talking to some nearby villagers! It was also a good deal uglier than the one from before.
The villagers weren’t exactly the brightest tools in the shed and had taken to meekly worshipping it some time ago. But the quality of their offerings had started to suffer thanks to the war, enough for the almighty statue to start throwing a major wobbly and make all manner of biblical threats. Luckily, Geralt of Rivia isn’t quite so gullible as your average peasant. Smelling something fishy I decided to poke around the ruins until I found a hidden-away nook that housed the real man behind the statue. Not a wizard, diary, no, but a demon!
He was taking advantage of the godfearing villagers and their soft, susceptible brains to get himself fed a veritable feast in exchange for providing some religious sounding proverbs. It wasn’t exactly the height of demonic evil and he hadn’t gotten around to asking them to start seasoning their babies yet, so I kept my swords out of it for the time being. And the villagers did seem like they needed some sort of guiding hand, so ratting out the demon didn’t seem like it would do the poor idiots much good either. I settled on strongarming him into being less of a picky eater, and he became all too understanding once I threatened to get stabby, so I think I can mark that one down as a job well done.
I don’t know if you’ve noticed, diary, but Velen is a pretty weird place. I better get back to it. Talk to you later.
The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt is out now on PC, PS4, and Xbox One. If you’re hankering for more Witcher 3 content on Need To Consume, look forward to tomorrow with Mica’s article about some of the game’s best easter eggs, and for my review of the game sometime next week!