What is In the Heart of the Woods?
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In the Heart of the Woods is a contract quest available in The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt.
- Contract: Woodland Spirit
- Warriors of Skellige!
- If there's man of ye brave enough to face the Woodland Spirit, the cruel oppressor of the inhabitants of Fayrlund, he'll get a reward that'll keep him in mead for a long while. We're not rich, but we've gathered a fair bit of coin between us.
- Come to Fayrlund and ask for Sven
- Geralt's first clue? A brutally murdered and mangled body. The villagers all agreed the Woodland Spirit had killed the man - but their explanations of this creature's motives could not have been more different. The elders among them claimed the Spirit, who had cared for their village for generations, was now punishing them for having broken the pact they had once made. As for the youth present, they claimed the Woodland Spirit was nothing but a cruel brute that killed for its own pleasure - and that rather than worship it, they should get rid of it once and for all.
- Geralt promised to help with their problem - though he did not yet know which side was right. The witcher exercised his better judgment and decided his first move must be to find out what this Woodland Spirit really was - and why it had begun to kill.
- If Geralt sides with Sven:
- Fayrlund's supposed guardian turned out to be a leshen - a rare and dangerous monster that can force animals, plants and, as soon became clear, even people to do its bidding. For generations the villagers had worshipped it and offered it sacrifices, and all the while it leeched off their life force, a parasite masquerading as a guardian. A band of young warriors led by Sven questioned the old order and asked Geralt to take care of the monster in the manner of witchers.
- Geralt agreed. While he was away tracking the leshen in the nearby woods, Sven decided to usher in the new era himself by murdering all the village elders. When Geralt arrived back in the settlement it was too late to save it from fratricidal bloodshed. He thus collected his reward from a man who had killed more people in one afternoon than the monster had in years and walked away from the village without a backwards glance.
- If Geralt renews the pact...
- Geralt made two discoveries during his investigation. First of all, the Woodland Spirit turned out to be a leshen - a rare monster, though one known to witchers. Secondly, to his great surprise Geralt found that this beast truly did help the village of Fayrlund, training the villagers in dark rituals how to become unequaled hunters and warriors. Those who didn't survive its trials never returned from the woods - though it exacted a price in human lives.
- ...but then walks away at the end:
- The monster had become intertwined with the village - so integral to their way of life that Geralt decided it was safer to renew the old pacts made with the beast than to kill it. The village youth, however, could not be reconciled to a return to the old order. Though lacking the courage to kill the hated Woodland Spirit themselves, they mustered enough bravery to rise up against the elders who worshipped it. Geralt left the village before the bloodshed started. After all, the role of a witcher is to protect men from monsters, not from themselves.
- ...then defends Harald:
- Even so, the witcher decided more good would come from renewing the old pact between the villagers and the leshen than from killing the beast. Harald, leader of the village elders, rewarded the witcher for keeping the old traditions alive. The village youth, however, with Sven in the lead, could not be reconciled to a return to the old order. Though lacking the courage to kill the hated Woodland Spirit themselves, they mustered enough bravery to rise up against the elders who worshipped [sic] it.
- ...then defends Harald:
- It fell upon Geralt yet again to choose the lesser evil. He defended some men by killing others - even more, perhaps, than the monster he was supposed to protect them against.
- Check what happened
- Examine the tracks in the woods using your Witcher Senses and find out what's killing the villagers of Fayrlund (10)
- Learn more about the Woodland Spirit by reading the Bestiary
- Talk to Sven about the contract on the Woodland Spirit
- Siding with Sven
- Talk to Sven about the leshen
- Find the person marked by the leshen by using your Witcher Senses
- Talk to Sven about Hilde
- Destroy the leshens totems (3)
- Find the leshen using your Witcher Senses to follow the sounds it makes
- Kill the leshen
- Collect your trophy
- Collect your reward from Sven
- Siding with Harald
- Talk to Harald about the leshen
- Kill the wolves
- Collect the wolf hearts (5)
- Approach the altar
- Place the offerings on the altar
- Collect your trophy
- Collect your reward from Harald
- Choosing to side with Harald will prevent the player from obtaining the Woodland Spirit achievement (as well as the Ancient leshen mutagen necessary for the Ancient leshen decoction) for that playthrough.
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