Imperial Audience is a main quest in The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt and the final quest in the game's prologue. This quest takes Geralt to Vizima where he has an audience with the Emperor of Nilfgaard, Emhyr var Emreis.
If the player chose not to import, but to simulate choices from The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings, they will get the chance to set them during the conversation with Morvran Voorhis, who is the imperial general and the commander of the Alba Division.
This quest begins nice enough as you are bathed by several lovely ladies with the wealth and luxury of the Nilfgaardian Empire surrounding you in the capital city of Vizima. Your bath is soon interrupted by Emhyr's chamberlain, Mererid, and his assistant Cledwyn. The chamberlain's exacting standards and distaste for facial hair requires that you have your beard shaved off.
In the middle of being shaven Voorhis walks in and begins to question you and, depending on if you chose to import a save or not, the dialogue will be different here.
If you chose to import a save or simulate one:
- Voorhis will simply ask a bit about what happened to his men and you can tell him whatever you wish.
If you chose to not simulate a save or import one, the conversation is much longer, where Voorhis will ask a number of questions:
- Did you kill Aryan La Valette, during the siege of La Valette Castle? The only effect this has is a slightly different interaction with Maria Louisa La Valette and Molly's status during Broken Flowers.
- Did you go with Roche or Iorveth? This has a small effect on a conversation choice during Get Junior, when you visit Roche's camp for the first time.
- Did you save Triss Merigold or Anaïs La Valette? (If chose Roche Path)
- Did you save Triss Merigold or Saskia? (If chose Iorveth Path)
- Note: Triss lives no matter whether you saved her or not. By choosing Roche's path, Saskia will not be cursed but Geralt will not know Saskia's true form, Triss is then saved by Letho. By choosing Iorveth's path the "optimal" choice is straight forward, saving Saskia, because Triss lives anyway.
- Did you spare Sile de Tansarville? If she survived she'll have a small appearance in The Great Escape.
- Did you kill or spare the witcher Letho? If you mention that Letho is dead, Ghosts of the Past cannot be accessed nor will he be available to help during The Battle of Kaer Morhen.
After your interrogation you will be allowed to choose your outfit for the audience from among three not very distinct choices. Loot various bookshelves and chests nearby and pick your favorite outfit to wear. Prepare to learn how to bow and greet the emperor.
Once you've demonstrated that you are capable of following directions, follow the chamberlain through the castle to meet the emperor.
Note: There are many containers that may be looted throughout the castle as you see fit, most contain books but there are some manuscripts and useful alchemy ingredients.
Once in front of Emhyr var Emreis you can choose whether to bow or not, resulting in a slight change in the beginning of the conversation. In your private audience with the emperor he proposes a contract for you to find Ciri, his daughter who has recently returned to the area and is being pursued by the Wild Hunt. With the promise of a substantial payment he sends you on your way.
After the meeting you'll continue to follow Mererid through the castle as he comments on whether you choose to bow or not. Feel free to chat with Voorhis in the throne room before you are directed to Yennefer's quarters.
Talk to Yennefer
Inside the quarters, ignore ambassador var Attre for now and go speak with Yennefer in the nearby room. She confirms Emperor Emhyr's story and fills you in on her own attempts to locate Ciri thus far. Together you devise a plan to split forces where you'll start your search in Velen by asking for a merchant named Hendrick while she investigates a magical explosion in Skellige. Yennefer also recommends you link up with your mutual acquaintance Triss in Novigrad.
Once Yennefer leaves you can pickup any loot you might have missed, speak to ambassador var Attre for an update on current events, and then depart to get your gear back from the Mererid and finish the quest.
- Geralt had spent years looking for Yennefer, only to have her find him. She had appeared outside the tavern in White Orchard, escorted by Nilfgaardian soldiers. The one-time lovers could not enjoy their reunion, for the sorceress had insisted they make haste.
- Geralt and Yennefer had then left White Orchard accompanied by the Nilfgaardians, but only the witcher and the sorceress reached Vizima. Along the way their column was attacked by a cavalcade of wraiths: the omen of war - the Wild Hunt.
- Geralt's head was abuzz with questions. What had Yen gotten into? How had the Hunt found them? Why was it looking for them? Why had he been summoned to Vizima? He was to get his answers from none other than the Emperor of Nilfgaard himself, Emhyr var Emreis, the White Flame Dancing on the Graves of his Foes. The most powerful man in the known world.
- Short though it was, Geralt's audience with Emhyr proved substantial. The emperor's daughter and Geralt's erstwhile ward and friend, Cirilla, had returned from... a faraway land. She was in danger, her life was threatened - the Wild Hunt was pursuing her. Emhyr knew he had to finding his long-unseen progeny before the wraiths did. First he had sought Yennefer's help. Yet they soon discovered that the sorceress' locating spells attracted the Hunt's attention. It was clear - they had to find Ciri without resorting to magic, employing only conventional means. Few men are better trackers than my old friend Geralt of Rivia, so Emhyr promised him a mountain of gold in exchange for his help. Yet Geralt accepted the task willingly - for personal, not material, reasons. This I know for certain, because of all the people in the world, Ciri was dearest to Geralt. He would do anything to save her.
- Get dressed and talk to the chamberlain.
- Follow the chamberlain.
- Talk to Yennefer.
- Retrieve your equipment from the chamberlain.
- It is a good idea to keep the clothes you get from the chamberlain as they will come in handy for all other quests that require Geralt to wear proper attire.
- On PS4, it's possible to have the dialogue with Voorhis as if you imported a save from the second game, despite not being able to do so.