|This article is about the quest in The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt. For the quest with the same name in The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings, see A Matter of Life and Death (The Witcher 2).|
A Matter of Life and Death is a secondary quest in The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt. After escaping the witch hunters' outpost during the events of the quest Count Reuven's Treasure, Triss asked Geralt to come to her hideout in The Bits to discuss something.
Important: several secondary quests involving Triss will become temporarily inaccessible (i.e. The Soldier Statuette and The Nobleman Statuette, plus one of the optional outcomes of Redania's Most Wanted), once this mission begins. It is advised that these be completed before choosing the dialogue option with Triss that begins this mission. If you choose not to, it may not be until later in the game before these can be completed, depending on choices made in this mission and Now or Never.
Note: this quest will fail if not completed before starting The Isle of Mists.
Knocking at the door, Geralt is greeted by the landlord. Despite the landlady's complaining, he is allowed to enter. He walks up to the third floor to Triss's room. Approaching Triss, she asks him if they can have a chat. It seems that Triss has a problem.
Asking her about the problem, it is revealed that Triss received a letter from Lady Ingrid Vegelbud's servant. The letter states that the lady wants to help the mages escape from Novigrad by donating a tidy sum. However, in return, she needs a favor from Triss. As to what the favor is, it was not stated on the letter. Instead, she must meet with a servant. Considering the situation in Novigrad, where witches and mages are being hunted, Triss is hesitant if she'll meet with the servant, worried it may be a trap. Geralt offers to help Triss, stating he'll first talk to the servant on his own just in case it does turn out to be a trap.
Meet the Vegelbuds' servant at the fishmarket
Geralt must search the fish market to look for the servant who is wearing blue tunic and carrying a lot of keys on his belt. There may be a few people wearing blue shirt but using his witcher sense, he can easily find the servant if he spots his keys.
Upon talking to him, Geralt can tell him the passphrase. Although he is not what the servant is expecting, in the end he asks Geralt to follow him.
Following the servant, they are ambushed by a couple of bandits. Triss appears and tells them that one of the bandits is working for witch hunters. After asking the servant, the man tells them the reason of the discreet manner they contacted Triss is because Lady Vegelbud was afraid the witch hunters would follow her. It is also revealed that the lady's son, Albert Vegelbud has taken an interest in alchemy and Temple Guards know it. The guardsmen aren't that much of a problem though since they were bribed, but the witch hunters are on to Albert. Geralt and Triss then decide it's time for the young Vegelbud to 'disappear'.
They must get Albert outside the mansion discreetly first though. Fortunately, Lady Vegelbud already has a plan to get her son out without being noticed: a masquerade ball. Geralt and Triss are required to prepare, and Triss must have a fox mask for this. Triss tasks Geralt to visit the tailor shop owned by Elihal to buy the fox mask, he can also buy other masks and some elegant outfits he can use. Elegant outfit can be also obtained for free from madame Irina Renarde. Head back to Triss to give her the fox mask and continue with the quest.
Note: if the quest Carnal Sins still active and the player must go to the Vegelbud Estate, but has not reached yet, Triss will say that the ball is postponed and the quest will be in stand-by. The player must finish at least the part at Vegelbud Estate of Carnal Sins to continue.
Once everything is ready, Triss and Geralt head to the ball. Inside the estate, they must find Lady Vegelbud. The guard outside told them they would find the lady by searching for a parrot mask.
Upon approaching the house, Triss is approached by a drunk man who mistakes her for a woman named Vivian. Once the man is dealt with, they continue their search for the lady. During their search they might run into Moritz Diefenthel. Triss offers him a way out of Novigrad, but he refuses the offer.
Go through the door to the main courtyard. To the right is a gwent competition. Speak to the croupier to enter the competition. There are three rounds, with a card being awarded to the winner each round. Don't worry about losing these matches; there is no penalty for losing, and you can keep playing each opponent until you win. The prize for winning the third round is a Dandelion gwent card. Important: if you do not end up beating all opponents in the competition, you will lose the ability to complete the Collect 'Em All quest, and its associated achievement. To the left from where you enter the main courtyard, you can run into Dijkstra wearing a pig mask, and have a brief conversation with him. You can also meet Maria Louisa La Valette who is nearby some dogs at the far right of the party. After completing the Gwent competiton, you can meet Morvran Voorhis and have a quick conversation with him.
Eventually they meet Ingrid Vengelbud. She tells them that her son is wearing a panther mask. Once Geralt and Triss find Albert, while he is boasting loudly about his alchemy skills, he tells them that they must meet in the hedge maze once everyone is drunk and distracted by the fireworks. Triss suggests that they should wait at a nice spot nearby. There, Geralt and Triss had a little chat and some wine, causing Triss to get drunk. She invites Geralt to wander around the maze. Geralt will have the (timed) option to kiss Triss just before the fireworks are lit.
Important: If you wish to romance Triss then you must kiss her, otherwise she will leave Geralt after completing the following quest no matter what you do.
Kiss or no kiss, they are interrupted by Albert. He and Geralt switch masks as an added precaution. Triss and Albert leave the maze first, followed by Geralt after about 15 minutes. As expected, Geralt is ambushed by witch hunters thinking he's Albert. Once they are defeated, he must get out of the maze and look for Albert and Triss in the stables. Arriving there Geralt finds that Triss and Albert are done preparing, and Triss hands him back his weapons. The group then rides off, which concludes the quest.
- Of all the so-called "witches" they hunted, there was none the witch hunters wanted more than Triss Merigold, a sorceress of unequaled power. Even in hiding she had proven a thorn in their side, masterminding an underground net of hideouts and covers, keeping other mages out of the hunters' blood-stained hands. When Geralt entered the city, he met up with his dear friend and sometime love. And when the time came that she needed his help with her endeavor, she did not hesitate to ask.
- Their contact revealed that the son of Ingrid Vegelbud, scion of a wealthy Novigrad family, dabbled in alchemy. For that reason he had become a person of much interest to the witch hunters. When Ingrid learned of Triss' operations, she sent her servant to ask the sorceress to spirit her son somewhere far away from his persecutors. The hunters kept a close eye on her residence, so they would need a distraction - and her upcoming masquerade ball promised to provide just that.
- Young Albert's rescue did not prove to be Triss' slickest extraction ever. First, she had trouble even finding the young alchemist amidst the throng of revelers, and then Geralt ran into trouble with a group of witch hunter infiltrators. Still, with a bit of luck and a bit of cunning, or heroes managed to escape the residence and smuggle Vegelbud out without a scratch on him. Mission accomplished. Geralt and Triss proved once again how well they work together as a team - but as a couple, well, events at the Vegelbuds' only complicated that matter...
- Meet Triss Merigold at her hideout.
- Meet the Vegelbuds' servant at the fishmarket. He's wearing a blue shirt and has keys hanging form his belt.
- Use your Witcher Senses to find the Vegelbuds' servant. Dressed in a blue tunic, he has keys strapped to his belt.
- Follow the Vegelbuds' servant.
- Help the servant fight off the bandits.
- Buy a mask to wear to the masquerade ball.
- Buy a fox mask for Triss Merigold.
- Bring Triss the fox mask.
- Visit Triss and prepare for the masquerade ball.
- (Optional) Buy a new outfit. Doublet, trousers and boots.
- Meet Ingrid Vegelbud.
- Go to the Vegelbuds' residence after dusk and talk to the guard.
- Find Albert Vegelbud. He's wearing a panther mask.
- Wait on the bench with Triss Merigold.
- Find Triss Merigold in the labyrinth.
- Get out of the labyrinth.
- Defeat the witch hunters.
- Meet Triss and Albert in the stables.
- Return to Triss Merigold.
- Warning: several side quests involving Triss will become temporarily inaccessible (i.e. The Soldier Statuette and The Nobleman Statuette, plus one of the optional outcomes of Redania's Most Wanted), once this mission begins. It is advised that these be completed before choosing the dialogue option with Triss that begins this mission. If you choose not to, it may not be until later in the game before these can be completed, depending on choices made in this mission and Now or Never.
- When you first enter through the door, turn to your right and you'll see a crowd around a Gwent table. You have only one shot in the game to win cards from them (though you can repeat each game if you fail,) so make sure you have a strong deck before starting this quest otherwise the Collect 'Em All quest will fail. Speak to the Croupier and you'll be able to challenge three noblemen to a round of Gwent. There are 3 players you have to fight against; the first is Vladimir de Cret, who uses the Nilfgaardian deck, the second is Gomo Seeling who uses a Scoia'tael deck, and the last, is Marius Florin, who uses the Monsters deck. Their decks aren't terribly strong, especially if you've been playing Gwent since the start of the game and gotten a number of unique cards. Watch out for Scorches (though you should be fine if you bait out the scorch). Each time you win, you will receive a card for your efforts. After you've finally beaten the final player, you will receive the Dandelion unique card and 100
- You can run across and have a talk with Morvran Voorhis wearing a lion mask, near the Gwent table, as he searches for his friend. Oddly enough, he still has his sword (likely in an oversight by the developers) even though the guard at the front is tasked with letting no guests possess weapons. In the garden of the mansion, near a showing of trained dogs, you can find the Baroness La Valette.
- You can also find and talk to Sigismund Dijkstra wearing a pig mask at the buffet table at the left side of the ball. This will not have any significant impact to the quest.
- Take advantage of all the free food under the pavilion where you find Dijkstra, and on tables east of the fountain.
- At the beginning of this quest if you have Triss look at the crystal from Redania's Most Wanted, but don't give it to her it could cause a bug where the Vegelbud Servant won't spawn in the Fish Market. That is if you go on to other quests after that, but before you finish this one. Should this happen, a fix would be to find Triss in her hideout, and give her the crystal (the option is there even if you already gave the crystal to Yennifer after The Last Wish)
- After this quest, you can find Moritz Diefenthel, the masked mage who knew Triss from the ball, prepared to be burned alive by witch hunters outside Glory Gate. You can choose to save him, or let him burn.
- Geralt's mask of choice will remain equipped in one of his pockets when the quest concludes and must be uneqipped manually in order to remove it.