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Witcher Wiki

At the Mercy of Strangers is the official name for an unmarked secondary quest in The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt.

This quest is ideally completed while en route to Inn at the Crossroads during The Nilfgaardian Connection quest as it is along the same route. If the player advances too far in the main quests, this will no longer show up as he'll be dead by then.

The XP earned based on the Story and Swords! difficulty level rewarded in this quest is unaffected by the ±5 level constraint and difficulty level.


Along the riverbank, on the road between Mulbrydale and Inn at the Crossroads, shouts of a man in distress can be heard. The man in question, John Verdun, is tied up on the shoreline and surrounded by drowners. Take care of them, then speak with John to decide his fate.

It appears that the man was a former Temerian soldier but his army was destroyed by the Nilfgaardians after which he deserted. When the refugees he was fleeing with found out that he was a deserter they tied him up and left him. If Geralt should point out he doesn't believe refugees would tie him up to die simply for being a deserter, John insinuates there may be a bit more to the story but doesn't say anything else. The witcher may decide to either:

  • Untie him and receive his thanks, but no coin (earn 25 XP earned based on the Story and Swords! difficulty level)
  • Leave him to his fate and come back a day or two later to find additional drowners and the man's corpse

At this point the quest concludes, however if Geralt decides to untie the man and let him live the story can continue later in Novigrad.

If allowed to live, John Verdun can be found later, northwest of the Border Post on Grassy Knoll, in a bandit encampment that was formerly a refugee camp. It appears that John and a group of bandits he'd gathered had caught up with the refugees that had tied him up and, in retaliation, proceeded to kill them and loot the area. Now that he has coin again, John then offers to pay Geralt for his previous kindness. The witcher may choose to accept the coin payment (50 XP earned based on the Story and Swords! difficulty level and 50 Oren3.png) or fight John and his friends (50 XP earned based on the Story and Swords! difficulty level). Regardless of choice, the quest will then end.

Journal Entry[]

This quest has no journal entry.


This quest has no journal objectives.


  • If John Verdun is allowed to live and you visit the refugee camp, you can find a letter from a refugee here.