Important: this quest can easily be missed by either passing through the area and not intervening then or reaching the secondary quest A Favor for a Friend, where it'll automatically be too late to help.
The peasants will not listen to your request for leniency, so you have two choices:
- Save the deserter by killing the peasants
- Leave him to his fate
If you let the mob hang the deserter you can loot the body and find a letter from his wife in which she says she wishes for him to desert and return home to her and their daughter. You won't earn any here though.
If, however, you kill the peasants, the soldier will be grateful and explain how his wife gave birth to a daughter shortly before he had to leave and he now just wants to return home to them. He'll then set out, ending the quest and earning 25 .
- Should a soldier be held responsible for the decisions of his commanding officers? Is collective responsibility justice? To us, dear reader, these are rhetorical questions. Geralt, however, often found himself forced to answer them - and quickly. For example, once in Velen he happened across a group of villagers preparing to lynch a captured Nilfgaardian deserter. Not for the first time, the witcher had to decide which was the lesser evil...
- The witcher made his decision. He defended the deserter and earned the peasants' ire. They attacked at once, and thus in order to save one man he had to kill many others.
- Kill the peasants.
- If you let the mob hang the deserter, this quest and its journal entry will not appear in the player's logs.