Defending Kaer Morhen is the very first quest of the game and it spans the entirety of the Prologue. It is the game tutorial. In this quest, our hero Geralt of Rivia learns (or re-learns) to use a sword, fight, cast signs, brew potions and skin monsters. He learns the basics of what he can do and gets a taste for what he could do. All this as he and his fellow witchers try to fend off an attack on Kaer Morhen by the nefarious Salamandra.
After being found, unconscious in the woods outside Kaer Morhen, Geralt is taken back to the fortress and nursed back to health. The witcher is just beginning to get his bearings when the fortress is attacked by a bloodthirsty gang led by at least one mage and a notorious outlaw known only as the "Professor" seeking riches from the 50 bounties placed on the Witchers' heads.
Lambert is the first to notice that something is wrong. He cautiously makes his way to the main gate of the keep where he is met by the first wave of the attack. He fends off several of the raiders, but realizing that there are quite a few more, he retreats to warn the others of the attack.
Realizing the immediate danger, Vesemir assesses the situation and takes charge. He presses Geralt into service, telling him to grab a sword from one of the training forms and help fend off the assault. The Witchers, with the help of Triss, manage to hold off the onslaught long enough to reach the gate to the upper courtyard, but to combat the raiders, the witchers must get past a closed gate to the inner courtyard.
Vesemir orders Geralt to get to the winch and open the gate by using the back way through the tower. As he works his way along the battlements, he encounters multiple enemies grouped alone or in pairs. Reaching the tower, he stops short just in time to avoid falling into the pit which has replaced a large portion of the former tower. He runs up th remaining stairs, triggering a collapse that kills multiple pursuers and cuts the remainder of them off.
Finally reaching the upper courtyard, a few more bandits attempt to stop Geralt as he progresses, but he finally defeats the raiders guarding the winch and opens it, allowing his beleaguered allies to enter the inner courtyard. Triss then collapses the entrance to keep their attackers out, allowing for a short breather in the fighting.
The group learns that the Professor has killed at least 17 people and is wanted in several of the Northern kingdoms. Triss has heard of the mage, Savolla, but does not have very much information other than the fact that he is mad.
On Vesimir's orders, Leo and Geralt run into the keep to protect the lab holding the famed witcher mutagens. They work their way through the keep, fighting though multiple groups of enemies. They find the lab only to see it being ransacked by the Professor and the mage and their path blocked by a magical barrier. When the mage collapses the stairs out, the Witchers have no choice but to continue into the Crypt of Kaer Morhen.
Leo then suggests that Geralt clear the side passage so that they can advise the others of what has happened. Leo explains that he can not clear it himself because he broke his hand training and can not form the Aard sign. Worse still, Geralt can not remember the Aard sign, so Leo proposes they go to the circle of elements and see if that jogs the witcher's memory. Thankfully, it does, so they return and Geralt clears the passage to the main keep.
At this point, Geralt is faced with a choice. He can help Triss save the lab, or help Vesemir and the other witchers fight the frightener.
- Triss: Triss, Leo and Geralt go head inside the keep. Geralt takes on and kills Savolla. Triss goes on ahead to try to save the lab. Leo and Geralt catch up to an injured Triss who warns them that the Professor and an even more powerful mage are in the lab.
- Vesemir: Geralt and the other witchers take on the frightener and kill it. Triss then teleports in, wounded and advises them that the Professor and an even more powerful mage are in the lab.
Meanwhile, the nameless mage has already escaped through a magic portal with the witchers' secrets, leaving the Professor behind to "clean up". Some typical bad guy posturing and then Geralt sets out to kill the Professor, but so does Leo, and less expertly so. The Professor spies his opportunity and fells Leo with a single shot from his crossbow. He then makes his own exit through the magic portal, leaving Geralt to tend to the dying young man.
As nothing can be done for Leo, Vesemir tells Geralt to rest. Afterwards, Geralt makes his way back to the main hall to help Lambert, triggering the quest A Potion for Triss. Afterwards, the group meets at Leo's funeral pyre, and decides to split up to search for the men behind the attacks.
When fighting Savolla, take out the henchmen powering his shield quickly to counter Savolla's high damage output. Quick style can take out the henchmen quickly, and then Savolla is open to attack. Be knowledgeable about Savolla's ability to teleport as well to effectively fight him.
I must remove the sword from the training form. I need the sword that's in the training form.
The First Sword
I need to help the witchers kill the bandits! I need to attack the bandits!
Assault on Kaer Morhen
The other witchers and I managed to kill the bandits. Though I lost my memory, I'm certain of one thing: the bandits were after me and my friends. I should follow Vesemir, the oldest and wisest of us all. I should follow the witchers.
The Gate is Shut!
The bandits have closed the gate to the Upper Courtyard. We are cut off from the keep. I need to lift the gate. Vesemir suggested that I follow the fortress walls to the tower. I must get to the courtyard, climb the stairs and run along the top of the wall to the tower. When I arrive in the Upper Courtyard, I can try to open the gate from inside.
Opening the Gate
I disposed of the bandits guarding the gate. Now I need to open it. I must open the gate.
Preparing to Fight
We're safe for now. Vesemir told me to drink the potion he gave me and to check the fortress interior. I must drink the Thunderbolt potion and explore the fortress interior.
I drank the Thunderbolt potion. Now I need to enter the fortress and find the underground laboratory. I should pass through the main hall before descending the stairs. I drank the Thunderbolt potion. Now I need to enter the fortress and go to the underground laboratory.
The Aard Sign
One of the bandits is a mage. He cut off our way out. Leo will lead me to the Circle of Elements, where I can learn the Aard sign, a telekinetic spell that will help me clear the exit. I must follow Leo and learn the Aard Sign.
The Circle of Elements
I learned a Sign called the Aard. I can use it to remove the stones blocking the passage. I should use the Aard Sign on the stones blocking the exit.
Moving Inside Kaer Morhen or The Courtyard
Triss: Moving Inside Kaer Morhen
- Triss and Vesemir argued, and I backed the sorceress - we should defend the laboratory. We ran inside Kaer Morhen to see what was happening. I should see what's happening inside Kaer Morhen. (2000 XP)
Vesemir: The Courtyard
- I must kill the frightener in the courtyard. It's susceptible to sound... Those bells and siege cauldrons should produce some noise if I target them with the Aard Sign. I must slay the frightener in the courtyard. I can use sound to kill it. (2000 XP)
To the Laboratory! and Triss Wounded or To the Laboratory!
Triss: To the Laboratory!
- I killed Savolla. Now I need to get to the laboratory. I must run to the lab.
- Triss clearly lost the fight. I found her, heavily wounded, near the entrance to the laboratory. I must stop the intruders alone. Triss couldn't stop the intruders. I must descend the stairs to the lab.
Vesemir: To the Laboratory!
- I killed the frightener. I must run to the laboratory, see how Triss and Eskel dealt with the intruders. I killed the frightener. I must get to the laboratory.
- Leo perished at the hand of the Professor, the bandits' leader. I need to rest and then explore the fortress. I should make sure Triss and the other witchers are all right. Any surviving intruders - well, I'll make them regret Leo's murder. I must explore the fortress, make sure the others are allright!
Talking to Triss and Revenge or Revenge
Triss: Talking to Triss
- Triss had a lot to say... Leo's funeral will be soon. I should talk to Triss again, or to Vesemir... I should speak with either Triss or Vesemir and then go to Leo's funeral.
- The bandits who attacked Kaer Morhen shouted the word "Salamandra" - probably the name of their organization. I won't let Salamandra get away with attacking the witchers. I'm a witcher myself. I'll avenge Leo's death and recover the secrets stolen from Kaer Morhen. I aim to avenge Leo's death and punish those thieves called Salamanders, who stole the witchers' secrets. (4000 XP)
- The bandits who attacked Kaer Morhen shouted the word "Salamandra" - probably the name of their organization. I won't let Salamandra get away with attacking the witchers. I'm a witcher myself. I'll avenge Leo's death and recover the secrets stolen from Kaer Morhen. I aim to avenge Leo's death and punish those thieves called Salamanders who stole the witchers' secrets. (4000 XP)