Our hero has just fought his way through a now blazing Temple Quarter and a zeugl-infested sewer, not to mention several greater brothers with the help of his ally (Yaevinn, Siegfried or Triss) and then inside the gates of the Cloister of the Order of the Flaming Rose. Now for the Grand Master... Geralt confronts Jacques, whom he finds surrounded by those few "selected" by the Order to receive sanctuary inside the Cloister. De Aldersberg makes one last (conventional) attempt to convince the witcher that his plan is for the "good" of mankind, but our hero will not be swayed.
This results in both Geralt and Jacques being transported to a dream world of the Grand Master's making, the Ice Plains. De Aldersberg explains that what Geralt sees are the remains of Vizima, now more or less encased in ice and snow. He lays out how his grand plan was to gather "humanity" and migrate south to avoid this precise eventuality. Of course the fact that any non-humans would be stepped on in the process poses no moral dilemma for the delusional. The witcher quite rightly cuts to the heart of the matter and exposes the insanity of this plan. Seeing that he can not convince Geralt, Jacques summons a number of ifrit to deal with the witcher and teleports away.
Having dispatched the immediate threat, Geralt realizes that he can not go back. He can only proceed further into this strange vision. He moves on and is soon joined by an unexpected ally.
- If Geralt sided with Shani: Shani appears and tells him that they are currently inside a projection of a madman's mind. This is the Grand Master's twisted vision of the future. She promises to help the witcher by accompanying and healing him as he continues on his journey. She also tells him that any death here will be very real, despite the "unreality" of the setting.
- If Geralt sided with Triss: Triss appears and tells him that they are currently inside a projection of a madman's mind. This is the Grand Master's twisted vision of the future. She promises to help the witcher by accompanying him as he continues on his journey. She also casts "Lightning Storm" on him which causes blue thunderbolts that will strike any opponents they meet along the way. She also tells him that any death here will be very real, despite the "unreality" of the setting.
- If Geralt saved Abigail: She tells Geralt about future generations of humans and the news is not good at all. She also gives him five Swallow potions.
- If Geralt left Abigail to be lynched: After giving Geralt the news that these anthropoids are the descendants of humanity, she informs him that she intends to avenge her own death and our hero is forced to fight her specter.
But more obstacles have yet to be overcome. Our team moves on, this time encountering wraiths of the hunt, skullheads, as well as being subjected to more raving by the Grand Master. Geralt can discern twisted versions of his own words in these sermons but he casts aside any doubts and keeps going. And what journey would be complete without an appearance by the King of the Wild Hunt? That wraith just can not help himself! The usual sort of exchange ensues.
It seems that Jacques is not content to leave his argument stand and throws yet another curve ball in the witcher's direction.
Appease Toruviel: Toruviel appears and enchants Geralt's swords with the magic of fire, a useful thing in this ice-bound realm.Insult Toruviel: Toruviel appears and she decides to fight alongside you for a short while.
Appease Rayla: Rayla appears and when Geralt tells her that there are worse things than death, she joins the team.Insult Rayla: Rayla appears and when Geralt tells her that their relationship is in the past, she casts "Soulcatcher" on our hero which restores his vitality with each opponent killed. She then disappears.
This event is followed by a few more encounters with some monsters and yet another "conversation" with the Grand Master. He does go on! There is really nothing new, he is still delusional and Geralt knows it, but Jacques keeps disappearing, forcing our hero to forge ahead lest he be consumed by the deadly blizzard dogging his heels as he climbs ever higher into the icy mountains. De Aldersberg pulls every trick he has to try to persuade Geralt: guilt, self-doubt, flattery, ... anything. More skullheads, wraiths and mutants attack as our duo advances until the past once again rears its ugly (revisionist) head:
More mutants. Then, suddenly, Alvin appears, but says nothing. Geralt is again tormented by his past decisions and the consequences of his choices, but he keeps moving, only to be "rewarded" with yet another lunatic rant by the Grand Master. The monsters that follow are actually a welcome relief from the evangelizing. Just when things seem endless, some unexpected help materializes.
- If Geralt saved the striga/princess: Princess Adda appears in the form in which she feels best - as a bloodthirsty striga and offers her assistance to the witcher.
- If Geralt killed the striga, but not the werewolf: Vincent appears as a werewolf and offers to fight at Geralt's side.
- If Geralt killed the striga, and the werewolf: Who would have expected Count Roderick de Wett to appear? But he does, claiming to share the same convictions, the same objectives, the same enemies as the witcher. He also offers to help in the upcoming battle, and any help is good help at the moment.
After a spectacular leap across a collapsing ice bridge, Geralt and his entourage now must face some Knights of the Order as well as a few greater brothers. Once the battle is over however, his allies inform him that they can not follow him farther into the Grand Master's vision. The witcher must go on alone, but that is what witchers do anyway. He proceeds into the ruined temple and faces de Aldersberg who still chooses to hide behind smoke and mirrors.
As Geralt approaches, Jacques first summons a ring of greater mutants which surrounds our hero, forcing him to fight them first. Seeing that his first ploy was wasted, the Grand Master then surrounds the witcher with a magical (and deadly) ring of fire complete with ifrit. Our hero is not so easily stopped though, and makes his way to his target. The two men finally face each other, but just as Geralt manages to knock Jacques to the ground, the King of the Hunt decides to interfere. Are we surprised? I should think not!
The specter spins all of Geralt's choices so far in the ugliest possible manner and throws each and every one of them back in the witcher's face. He also demands the Grand Master's soul for himself. Another choice!
- Geralt has had enough and kills the King of the Wild Hunt: It is a tough fight, but of course our hero prevails.
- Geralt, disgusted with everything, leaves him to it: He lets him take the Grand Master's soul.
Geralt then proceeds to eliminating the wounded Grand Master once and for all. He draws his steel sword and attempts to deliver the fatal blow when the Grand Master, in a last pitiful attempt at saving his life, uses magic to deflect the blade and sends the sword flying out of reach. Without any hesitation, Geralt then draws his second silver sword and while he positions the blade right on top of the terrified Grand Master, the latter objects that this sword was only made to slay monsters. Of course, it couldn't have been more appropriate.
Back in the real world once more, Geralt is met by Dandelion who has been standing vigil the whole time unable to do anything but wait. The bard points out that the Grand Master is indeed lying dead, just a few paces away in the courtyard of the Cloister. They discuss what became of Yaevinn (or Siegfried, or Triss) and then the witcher searches the remains of Jacques de Aldersberg, retrieving the stolen secrets and revealing an amulet, identical in every way to the dimeritium amulet Geralt had given Alvin in Murky Waters, only much older and worn.
So ends the quest and the game. Geralt has recovered the stolen witchers' secrets thereby completing the mission Vesemir gave him.
- Any potions you consume before you enter the The Cloister, right after the quest notes say "I must prepare for a fight to the death.." will have a greatly extended duration in the Grand Master's dreamscape - tens of hours, more than enough to finish the entire quest with their effects intact. However, in the second to last mob-battle, you will be struck by lightning from (the brother mutants/they sky?) that will dispel your buffs one at a time. Though you will have the opportunity to rebrew potions immediately afterwards.
- The duration boosts also apply for Secondary substances, but still shorter than for regular potion effects, however even Albedo should gain +12 hours of duration. Same goes for any weapon upgrades you are using, so no need to refresh your Perun effects.
- However it seems that meditating in The Cloister may shorten the boosts, so it's best you have all potions already brewed.
- Sometimes the effects will not be removed when you reach the final battle, but you will still lose other effects like Alzur's shield etc.
- It is possible to Blind the Grand Master during the fight using the Yrden sign if it has the Blinding Sign talent unlocked. Thus allowing for a few easy hits while he can't defent himself. Zerrikanian Sun should probably work too.
- The characters that appear and whether they help or attack, are based upon the choices Geralt has made during the game. Thus a different list of phases, or different text for those phases may be listed below. For example, Shani or Triss will assist Geralt depending on whom he allowed to care for Alvin. Even within the conversations with the people he encounters, there are more choices. He can (inadvertently) insult a potential ally and thereby diminish their contribution to his campaign.
- The conversation with the King of the Wild Hunt seems to vary based on your responses to him in Chapter I during the Dead Hand of the Past quest, but the end result is still the same choice.
- Also, there seems to be an error in the game text of one of the phases. Even though one phase is named "Noonwraith", and the all text references are to a "noonwraith", Celina (not Alina, the noonwraith) appears to assist Geralt, and she is a nightwraith. It also makes more sense narratively to have Celina do something as her story is left hanging if Geralt chose to save Abigail in Chapter I.
- If you do not kill the King of the Wild Hunt and then let him take the Grand Master's soul, then finish off the Grand Master. You can also, with skill, kill the King of the Wild Hunt after.
- Regardless of whether you chose to save Abigail, leave her to be lynched or killed both parties, the King of the Wild Hunt will claim that you caused a massacre in the Outskirts.
- It is possible for de Aldersburg to be bugged from the very start of the Ice Plains. He will still be standing where you first speak to him upon exiting the cave even after teleporting. After killing the ifrits you can continue on, but once you reach the cave after encountering Abigail you will teleport back to the beginning instead of the encounter in the cave and cannot continue onward as you instantly die if you try.
- If Adda is the one who assists Geralt she will cause "friendly fire" by inflicting Pain on him if he stands near her. This can be avoided by gaining Pain Immunity with Altered Metabolism or Buzz or by keeping your distance from her if neither is possible.
Snow and Ice
Vizima is ice-bound, all is covered in snow. The Grand Master claims this awaits us in the future... I must proceed, find an escape or a way to disperse this illusion. I must move on and face the Grand Master no matter what appears in my way.
The Master's Vision
- If you sided with Shani: Shani has come to help me. She claims that I am inside a vision born of the Grand Master's mind. She promised to aid me by treating my wounds. I must go on and find the Grand Master. I must go on carefully - death here will be very real.
- If you sided with Triss: Triss claims this world is the Grand Master's vision of which I am a part. I must move on carefully, as death here will be very real. Thankfully, the sorceress decided to assist me with her magic. Blue thunderbolts will strike my opponents. I must go on carefully - death here will be very real.
- If Geralt saved Abigail: So these huge anthropoids are the remnants of humanity? I wonder what else awaits me in this strange land. I must go on, pay no heed to the ghosts of the past.
- If Geralt left Abigail to be lynched: Abigail claims these anthropoids are the descendants of humanity. I think she wants to avenge her own death. I will have to fight her. A fight with Abigail is unavoidable.
The Spirit Defeated
I defeated Abigail, or rather her spirit. I can proceed. I must go on, pay no heed to the ghosts of the past.
So these huge anthropoids are the remnants of humanity? I wonder what else awaits me in this strange land. I must go on, pay no heed to the ghosts of the past.
A Conversation with the Master
The Grand Master's words seem familiar, though I'm not sure to what... I can't let myself be deceived by his visions. I must move on. I cannot let myself be deceived by the Grand Master's visions. I must go on.
The King of the Hunt
I spotted the King of the Wild Hunt. That can't be a good sign. It's getting colder... I must move on. Death follows me. I must go on.
Toruviel / Rayla / Noonwraith
(Appease Toruviel): Toruviel appeared on my path. She enchanted my swords with the magic of fire, which might prove useful in this ice-bound realm. I need to move on before I freeze.(Insult Toruviel): Toruviel appeared and decided to join me. I need to move on before I freeze.
(Appease Rayla): I met White Rayla. She decided to join me. I need to move on before I freeze.(Insult Rayla): Rayla appeared on my path. She has cast a magic shield around me that drains energy from my enemies and passes it to me. I need to move on before I freeze.
I've heard this speech about nonhumans before... If I could only remember where... The Grand Master speaks with great conviction, though his words are the ravings of a mad man... I must move on. He cannot flee eternally.
Siegfried's Spirit / Yaevinn's Spirit / The Spirits of Siegfried and Yaevinn
This land distorts everything, even memories. It is empty, cold, the wind is biting... If it is the reflection of the Grand Master's thoughts, of his soul, I can begin to understand his behavior. Understanding doesn't necessarily bring forgiveness. The way is clear, I can move on.
I saw little Alvin's spirit. I wonder where he is now... I cannot be distracted. I must go on.
The Master's Eloquence
Where does he get these ideas? Well, no point in debating him. I must fight him as soon as I'm able to catch up. It won't be long now. I can feel it. Onward.
- If you saved the striga/princess: Princess Adda in the form in which she feels best - as a bloodthirsty striga. I've gained an ally. She'll be useful during the fight ahead.
- If you killed the striga, but not the werewolf: Vincent, true to form. A tough, cynical cop whether in uniform or covered in fur. I'm glad I met him of all people here. I've gained an ally. He'll be useful in the fight ahead.
- If you killed the striga, and the werewolf: De Wett. Surprising... He claims we have the same convictions, the same objectives, the same enemies. Perhaps... One thing is clear, we wound up at opposite ends of the same sword. Unlucky for him... I've gained an unlikely ally, one who's sure to be useful in the fight ahead.
The Heart of the Vision
I'm nearing the heart of the Master's vision. I must go alone. The confrontation draws near. I must go alone. The confrontation draws near.
Fighting the Master
Somehow I doubt we'll make a deal. We can only fight. May the best man win. I must defeat the Grand Master in combat.
Confronting the King of the Hunt
- Kill him: I defeated the Grand Master. Evidently, that wasn't enough as I must now face the King of the Wild Hunt. That's like fighting death itself. I must now face the King of the Hunt.
- Don't kill him:I give Spirit of the Grand Master Of The Order Of The Flaming Rose to the King of the Wild Hunt and i don't need to fight him.
In the real world again... I must recover the stolen secrets and end this story. The Grand Master should have them. To end this story, I must recover the stolen secrets. The Grand Master should have them.
I've recovered the stolen witchers' secrets, completing the mission Vesemir gave me. Time to close this act. I wonder if Dandelion will find it inspiring... Something ends, something begins (10000 XP)