- Contract: The Apiarian Phantom
- Calling all bounty-hunters, trackers and witchers!
- Misfortune has fallen on Honeyfill and the apiary which for five generations has provided a livelihood for the entire Meiersdorf family! The apiarian phantom has descended upon us and has begun to destroy our hives, slay our bees and wreak general havoc all around! I shall be grateful for any help you can provide and guarantee a reward awaits you for work well done.
- -Holoferens Meiersdorf & Sons
This quest can be started several different ways:
- find the notice on Yantra's notice board
- find Holofernes at Honeyfill Meadworks
- find the beast's tracks (sometimes doesn't work)
If you do one of the first two options, talk to the halfling at his home and after a short conversation he'll mention they're being plagued by something called the apiarian phantom and nobody saw the beast but one of the farmhands was killed by what appeared to be frostbite and even had frost in his hair. Two of the sons will then lead you out to the site of one such attack on one of the hives, explaining that the apiarian phantom is said to attack and kill off hives if the owner doesn't treat the bees with respect.
At the site you'll find one of the hives is indeed covered in frost. Examine it and the blood pile, then the nearby tracks that you can follow to a small pond. While they initially disappear here, head towards the southeast part of the pond to pick the trail back up, and where quite a few drowners and drowned dead are gathered. Deal with the monsters or just run around them, following the tracks a short distance until they disappear down a small tunnel. Geralt can't fit through this, so head around the ruins to a locked cellar. A small cutscene starts where one of the sons appears, explaining it was a house the father had been funding but ran out of coin, before giving you the cellar key to unlock it, earning 25 . The cutscene will play out similarly if you had found the hive and tracks on your own as well.
With this, unlock one of the doors and you'll soon find the monster is a lone hound of the wild hunt. Note: If you're not quick enough, or back out of the way before trying to engage it, the hound will run past you and start running across the countryside. If this happens, Geralt will automatically whistle for Roach, so mount up and chase it, where it'll eventually stop running and fight back near the Dancing Windmill. It's ok if you lose sight of it in this chase: unlike other quests, no matter how much distance there is you'll still be able to find and kill it, rather than the quest failing.
Once it's dead, loot it for the Wild Hunt hound trophy, then head back to let them know the news. Holofernes will be grateful, and after explaining how they saw the Wild Hunt a few weeks past, will reward you with 250 and 249 , completing the quest.
- If Geralt finds the notice first:
- While traversing the outskirts of Novigrad, Geralt happened across a contract on a creature known as the Apiarian Phantom. It had been hung by a certain Holofernes Meiersdorf, owner of the Honeyfill beekeeping plantation. Geralt decided to pursue the bounty.
- If Geralt finds Holofernes Meiersdorf first:
- While traversing the outskirts of Novigrad, Geralt came across a beekeeping plantation called Honeyfill tucked amidst some flowering meadows and fields. The owner of these lands, a halfling named Holofernes Meiersdorf, told Geralt that his apiary had been haunted for some time by the Apiarian Phantom, a wraith which kills the bees and destroys the hives of wayward beekeepers. Geralt decided to look into the matter.
- If Geralt finds the tracks left by the Apiarian Phantom first:
- While traversing the outskirts of Novigrad, Geralt came cross tracks which did not resemble those of any creature he knew from his world. His witcher instincts buzzing, he decided to investigate what had left them.
- If Geralt finds the notice first:
- Geralt's investigation revealed the monster was hiding in the basement of an unfinished home near the Meiersdorf estate. What Geralt had to do was clear: enter the basement and kill the beast.
- Once Geralt had forced his way in, he was greeted to an unexpected sight: the house's interior was completely frozen, and standing amidst the frost - a giant and terrifying creature Geralt knew to be one of the Wild Hunt's hounds. The beast put up quite the fight, but in the end Geralt proved stronger and bested his opponent. When he showed the beekeeper the trophy he had taken from the hound, he received a handsome reward.
- Ask Holofernes Meiersdorf about the contract on the Apiarian Phantom.
- Follow the halfling.
- Examine the area in search of clues using your Witcher Senses.
- Follow the footprints using your Witcher Senses.
- Search the area around the lake using your Witcher Senses.
- Follow the tracks using your Witcher Senses.
- Open the basement.
- Defeat the hound of the Wild Hunt.
- Take a trophy from the hound of the Wild Hunt.
- Collect your reward from Holofernes Meiersdorf.
- There's a known bug where if one finds the hive area first, they can follow the tracks but the cellar door won't trigger the cutscene to get in and Holofernes can't be interacted with. So far the only known fix is to load a previous save before you followed the clues and talking to them directly instead.
- If you inspected the hive but did not yet follow the trail to the beast's hideout, you can simply go to Holofernes first and proceed with the quest as usual, and then follow the tracks to the basement which should get the cutscene to play as intended.
- If you saved Rico during The Gangs of Novigrad, Geralt will mention him when talking to the family, but nothing of note comes from it.