Published on May 26th, 2015 | by Tom May0
The Witcher 3: Geralt’s Diary (Part I)
Greetings consumers, and welcome to Geralt’s Diary! You may have already heard but The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt is turning out to be a pretty big game. Big enough that I haven’t been able to finish it yet to be able to do a review! So for the time being, here’s a brief look at the early hours of the game in the words of Geralt of Rivia himself. Please note that there will be some spoilers to the early story of the game, though I’m generally trying to keep it as vague as possible. And look forward to some more Witcher 3 content on the site next week, with the review not long after!
Dear diary, I just had one terrible nightmare! It began with my sort-of-ex-girlfriend sneaking a snapping lobstrosity into the water while I was bathing and just kind of went downhill from there. Bad haircuts, gassy old men hitting me with sticks, and a young brat that just had to run everywhere and disobey everyone. Not even the timely arrival of some grim reaper-looking fellows turning everything into ice (neat trick!) could salvage it. If nothing else, they managed to wake me up from that horrible ordeal, so I think I owe them one for that.
As it turns out, the only thing I had left to worry about was the previously mentioned gassy old man. Thankfully he’d grown out of hitting me with the sticks a while back. Now Vesemir mostly contents himself with sniffing my ex-girlfriend’s stationery, getting all nosey about my ‘feelings’, and complaining about how old he is. Why did I let him tag along on my search for Yennefer, the sometimes love of my life? It seemed like a good idea at the time, diary. But even I, the world famous Geralt of Rivia, have been known to very rarely make the occasional mistake.
Eventually Vesemir managed to read between the lines of my sullen non-answers and we broke camp. A small altercation with some monsters followed (as it usually does), but that’s not really worth getting into. We’re witchers! It’s what we do! Though Vesemir mostly just stood on the sidelines and whined about the perils of advanced age. Hard to tell how effective that was. Of course, he was more than happy to join me afterwards as we rode off into the sunrise like cool guys, both of us having forgotten that you’re only meant to do that with sunsets.
New in Town
Hey diary, it’s me again. Been a busy couple of days while Vesemir and I got the lay of the land and waited for our burnt retinas to heal over. Not long after my last entry we were attacked by a wild griffin! Usually not a problem but you’ll understand that we weren’t exactly at our best. The old man got a few scratches for his trouble before we managed to chase the thing off. He’s been getting better the traditional Witcher way since, which is sitting in the tavern all day getting drunk. Sounds ridiculous, I know, but don’t knock it until you’ve tried it.
It turns out that we’re in a region known as White Orchard, supposedly for – you guessed it – its many orchards of trees with white petals. Why would you need an orchard’s worth of pretty white trees? What could you possibly grow on them? I wish I knew, diary, but I’m only a humble Witcher, and I wasn’t paying attention when Vesemir explained it. So that’ll just have to remain a mystery. The name is a bit of a misnomer anyway, since I stumbled upon some much more striking landmarks on the way into the local village. Then again I’m not sure I’d want to stay in a place called the Gibbet Gardens, as catchy as that might sound.
Once we got to the tavern, I took the opportunity to ask around for some leads on Yennefer’s whereabouts. I wasn’t really expecting much, but it actually turned out to be fairly productive! The nice lady who owns the tavern pointed me towards some people who had seen Yen heading to a nearby military garrison a few days ago. I barely even had to use much of my creepy mind control magic to make them cooperate. Even managed to get myself embroiled in a bar brawl with some of the local hicks afterwards! Okay, it was outside, but since we were still technically in the vicinity of the tavern, I think that still counts. I’m sure you know who came out on top, diary. (Me. I won.)
So far, so good, right? Well, yes, but if I’m being honest with myself, I might have gotten the tiniest bit distracted from following up on the whole Yennefer thing at the garrison. Plenty of stuff is going on in White Orchard, and it’s not like chasing after my ex is the most lucrative occupation in the world. Maintaining these fancy swords ain’t cheap, diary, and I am a sucker for the occasional hopeless cause.
Take this one guy I came across, who enlisted me to help search for his missing brother at the site of a recent battle against Nilfgaard. (That’s the invading empire from the South, if you’re not up on current events, diary. They’re real popular in these parts.) I totally assumed that there wasn’t a chancey in hell his brother wasn’t among those mountain of corpses being gnawed on by monsters. But I’m a big enough man to admit when I’m wrong. And I’m glad I was because the search was starting to drag on and that unpleasant, muddy mire was stinking up my armour. We followed a trail to an out-of-the-way shed and found my employer’s brother, alive and… mostly just alive. With a friend to boot, who my employer was a lot less happy to see since he was a Nilfgaardian soldier. It turns out that they had both barely survived the battle and had since helped each survive their rather serious wounds.
Now the brother wanted to take his new buddy home with him since the Nilfgaardian would be seen as a deserter by his own. It’d mean certain death if he got left behind, but that didn’t bother my employer much since he thought that if they were ever caught looking after the Nilfgaardian that they’d be subjected to one of those village pitchfork mobs you hear so much about. Gosh, what a moral quandry! It was a good thing that they had a Witcher with them, even better that it was Geralt of Rivia. I’m pretty renowned for Deciding Things. I felt optimistic about their chances, so I nudged my employer to take the Nilfgaardian home with him. It’s really quite lucky that we live in the sort of world where only good things can happen to good people, and everyone gets exactly what they deserve, eh diary?
Okay, enough goofing off. Tomorrow I’ll check in with the Nilfgaardian garrison about their run-in with Yennefer. Promise.
Farewell White Orchard
Alright, alright, don’t give me that look, diary. I know it’s several days past tomorrow but I was busy. What kind of sucker would I be to let all that hidden treasure go to waste? I didn’t hear Vesemir complaining. That guy was perfectly content to R&R it up in the tavern, though I get the sneaking suspicion that his shoulder healed up days ago.
But you’ll be pleased to know that, yes, I did finally drop in on the local garrison to get my super important quest back on track. Not sure what to make of these Nilfgaardians, to be honest. They wear dark armour and big, grandiose helmets with scary birds on, and everyone calls them the ‘Black Ones’. Pretty morally ambiguous if you ask me. They’re also the only people who seem annoyed when I start rummaging through the nearby boxes and chests for anything remotely valuable. Look, I don’t know how they do things in Nilfgaard, okay? But up here in the North, we take every loaf of bread and broken rake that isn’t nailed down. Our entire economy is based upon it!
The guards at the gate certainly didn’t look too happy to see me. Accused me of looking to start some trouble. Luckily, I had just the right answer to defuse that hostile situation.
They were awestruck by that one, I could tell. Ever the gentleman, I helped them pick their jaws up off the floor and then they were gracious enough to guide me inside. Definitely think I scored big with the foreign invaders there. I walked in on the garrison captain doing his ‘man of the people’ bit with a local peasant so they’ll hand over a considerable chunk of their crops without a fuss. He seemed nice enough until he decided to use his information on Yennefer as leverage for me solving the local griffin problem. What a jerk! But I guess out of all the things he could have blackmailed me into doing, slaying a monster I probably would have killed for some pocket change anyway wasn’t so bad. I had to spend a little time tracking the critter down, but that’s 90 percent of what hunting monsters is anyway. Then I managed to convince Vesemir to get off his butt for five seconds to help me kill the thing. Piece of cake when your eyes aren’t in blinding agony.
With the monster dead, I marched off back to the garrison to deliver the good news and get the information was due. This time I walked in on the captainn sending the same peasant from before off for some mild torture because some of the food handed over to the Nilfgaardians had a little mould on it. So much for being a man of the people. He at least managed to keep his word and tell me that his boys had carted Yennefer off to the nearby city of Vizima. He also offered to pay me for slaying the griffin. I would have liked to have thrown the coin back in his face, but hey, Geralt of Rivia gotta eat. And gotta pay for what Vesemir eats too.
The information I needed was finally in hand! I hightailed it back to the tavern to deliver Vesemir the good news. But my Witcher senses were practically tingling as I walked through that door. Trouble was brewing.
It was mostly just arguing and name-calling to begin with, but beating up the nice innkeeper lady who helped us before was crossing a line. Vesemir may have grumbled, but I’m sure it was the right thing to do. So I started another bar brawl. Starting fights in taverns and being easily manipulated by sorceresses are really my only two weaknesses of note. And let’s be honest, those are pretty cool weaknesses to have. In retrospect, I might have taken this particular brawl a tad too far, but in my defence: screw those guys.
I was in the middle of thinking up some quip that’d be along the lines of ‘sorry for the mess’ to give to the innkeeper but she totally freaked out and told us to leave! Man, I really almost had something too. So Vesemir practically dragged me out before I could sarcastically retort that yes, she was entirely welcome that we had just saved her from her crazy neighbours. People, diary. I just don’t get them.
And after all that – all the monster slaying, and treasure hunting, and talking – just guess who was waiting for us outside the whole time? Yennefer!
Ugh, that is so like her.
The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt is out now on PC, PS4, and Xbox One.