|This article is about the quest. For the achievement, see Lilac and Gooseberries (achievement).|
Lilac and Gooseberries is the second main quest and the first following the tutorial quest in The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt. Geralt and Vesemir continue to follow Yennefer's trail, obtaining news on her whereabouts from a Nilfgaardian captain in return for completing a contract on a griffin that has been terrorizing the locals.
Upon waking from his dream of Yennefer and Ciri at Kaer Morhen, Geralt has a short conversation with Vesemir about the dream and on how to proceed searching for Yennefer. When Geralt and Vesemir break camp they are immediately attacked by a pack of ghouls, so take care of them with the silver sword.
Note: at this point you are free to explore an open world. You may follow the quest markers to complete the main quest or go your own way. To unlock other areas you will have to progress the story. The lands are full of side quests and contracts which you may take up at various times. The area is also full of plant life that is able to be harvested for alchemy.
Once the area has been cleared of enemies, inspect the area close to the path with a glittering light to obtain the crystal skull seen in the opening cinematic, then saddle up to travel along the main road with Vesemir. Note: You can let your horse steer automatically when you are following a road or path.
As Geralt crosses the bridge on the opposite side of the Ransacked Village, a cutscene occurs where the witchers encounter a merchant trapped by a griffin. In a short fight, Vesemir is lightly wounded before the griffin grabs the dead horse and flies off. Now free to come out from hiding, the merchant thanks the two before asking if they seek a reward. Geralt may either accept the 50 reward or refuse, in which case the innkeeper at White Orchard will provide him with some free food and the merchant will later give you a discount on his stuff.
Mount up again and follow the road into White Orchard, a village that was once formerly part of Temeria but is now under Nilfgaardian control. Enter the inn and talk with the owner, but she'll reveal she doesn't know anything about the woman Geralt is seeking and will suggest asking other travelers instead. At this point Vesemir will take a backseat to tend to his wound, leaving Geralt to handle this on his own.
Ask travelers about Yennefer
There are three possible conversations in the tavern marked as objectives. Geralt actually only needs to talk to Gaunter O'Dimm to complete the objective and the conversations may be had in any order.
- Mikah and Dromle are the two peasants sitting nearest to Vesemir's table. Selecting the Axii option confers additional details and a bonus 25.
- Aldert Geert is a scholar who won't provide any useful information regarding Yennefer but tells an interesting tale and will introduce Geralt to gwent, a trading card game. Talking to Aldert starts the secondary quest Collect 'Em All.
- Gaunter O'Dimm - a merchant turned vagrant recognizes Yennefer by the description and tells Geralt that she spoke with the local Nilfgaardian captain before riding off again. Geralt will receive an item, Nilfgaardian Lemon, during the conversation if he lets O'Dimm order him a drink. O'Dimm then suggests heading to the Nilfgaardian garrison to seek more information.
Head out to the Nilfgaardian Garrison
Note: for achievement hunters, this is an early opportunity to get the Fist of the South Star achievement, so you might want to make a save here. The next fight is one of the easier ones to earn the achievement on.
After exiting the inn, 3 men from a former cutscene will corner Geralt. Using the Axii option would yield a bonus 25 and incapacitates one of the three opponents. Selecting the option to take on just one person will cause the other two to not join the fight until after the first is defeated. Regardless of choice, Geralt will receive the same 350 at the fight's conclusion.
After the fight go to the Nilfgaardian Garrison, located north of the village, and talk to Captain Peter Saar Gwynleve. Note: that on this route (along the river) you can come across the secondary quest, A Frying Pan, Spick and Span which is easy to complete.
On learning Geralt is a witcher, the captain will ask him to take care of the griffin in the area in exchange for information about Yennefer. He will then recommend talking to the hunter, Mislav, about the patrol that was attacked recently, and asking the local herbalist, Tomira, for help finding the bait that is needed to set a trap. Note: Tomira is not available prior to this conversation. Her door will be locked if you try to visit her first.
Following this conversation your quest objective will be changed to Complete the Griffin Contract and a new quest will be added called The Beast of White Orchard. You must complete this new quest before continuing on with this one.
Prepare to leave White Orchard
Once the griffin contract quest is done, meet with Vesemir at White Orchard's inn. In the inn the usual crowd has been replaced by bandits itching for a fight.
Note: once you begin your conversation with Vesemir a sequence of events will activate which takes you away from White Orchard. There are some secondary quests in the area that will fail if you have not completed them before you leave. Also the innkeeper, Elsa, will become unavailable, though the gwent cards she had for sale may still be obtained from Bram if you have not already bought them.
By talking to Vesemir, a cutscene will lead to a group of bandits ambushing Geralt and Vesemir inside the inn. This launches the minor main quest, The Incident at White Orchard, which requires that Geralt kill the bandits.
After the fighting is over, the locals are so terrified that they demand the witchers leave at once. When they do, they're greeted by a Nilfgaardian patrol just outside the inn, who are led by none other than Yennefer, who insists that Geralt follow her to Vizima as the emperor has requested a personal audience with him. However Vesemir, knowing it's better to not mingle with political powers, decides to make his way to Kaer Morhen.
A cutscene will unfold where Geralt and Yennefer talk as they make their way to Vizima, only for their party to be attacked by the Wild Hunt. Yennefer will then destroy a bridge to prevent the Wild Hunt from following her and Geralt to Vizima. The quest will then end, ending the prologue.
- Yennefer had contacted Geralt - finally. They had not seen each other in years. And then she'd sent him a letter, smelling of lilac and gooseberries, of course, asking him to meet her in the village of Willoughby. "About a matter of great importance," she had written.
- So as was his wont when it came to all things Yennefer, the witcher raced off at breakneck speed. Alas, he arrived too late. Pasing armies had razed Willoughby to the ground. Yennefer was nowhere in sight. With the help of Vesemir, whom Geralt had encountered along the way, Geralt picked up her trail, which the two witchers then followed. Yen had ridden north, traversing wild lands and battlefields at great speed. She was in a hurry. Perhaps she was in trouble...
- Ultimately it was Yennefer who found Geralt. The one-time lovers had not even a moment to enjoy their reunion, for Yennefer insisted they ride to Vizima as quickly as possible. The emperor of Nilfgaard awaited them there. Though Temeria's former capital was but a few miles from White Orchard, the journey was to be rife with drama...
- Kill the ghouls.
- Follow Vesemir.
- Go to the tavern in White Orchard.
- Ask travelers about Yennefer.
- Ask the Nilfgaardians about Yennefer.
- Complete the griffin contract.
- Prepare to leave White Orchard with Vesemir.
- Bram, the merchant you encounter and rescue from the griffin at the beginning of the mission, has several dead bodies surrounding his cart. These people appear to have been killed by the griffin but the merchant makes no indication of this, saying only that he feared he would end up dead like his horse.
- The exercising troops near the Nilfgaardian Garrison can be found "resting" only between the hours of midnight and one in the morning.