Of Monsters and Men is the first major quest following the Prologue (which was essentially a game tutorial). It spans the entirety of Chapter I and introduces several major characters.
As Chapter I opens, we see a woman (Caroline) accompanied by a child (Alvin) walking through the outskirts of Vizima in the dark. They seem hurried and Alvin is tired, but Caroline will not relent - they must reach their destination. Dogs gather, seemingly hungry...
Caroline soon realizes that these are no ordinary dogs, and orders Alvin to run as fast as his feet will carry him - the Country Inn is near. Alvin barely reaches the palisade surrounding the inn, but Caroline is not so lucky - the guards close the gate, leaving her to the barghests.
Geralt has just witnessed Alvin's dramatic entrance and the barghest attack. He quickly dispatches the hounds, but the disturbances are not over yet...
- Note: While killing the barghests, it is easy to accidentally attack the guards. While not catastrophic, this is best avoided - but even should it occur, Geralt/guard relations will return to normal after the battle.
- Killing mercenaries (as opposed to militia or guards) seems to result in Geralt being pursued by a headhunter. This headhunter is apparently quite a tough opponent.
Just when things seem to be calming down, Alvin's body glows, levitates and delivers a prophecy in an otherworldly growl. After this, the healer Shani may briefly mention Salamandra and the Reverend to Geralt. She looks after Alvin for the time being, hoping to find a local woman who'll take the orphan boy in.
Through the Reverend, Geralt will gain access to other influential residents of the Outskirts; it will also be the Reverend who divulges the existence of the nearest Salamandra hideout. So Geralt must complete several tasks, first placing lights at five local shrines of the Eternal Flame. This must be done at night; the Reverend believes this will stop the barghest attacks.
Geralt should seek out Abigail, the local witch. He finds that she has taken in young Alvin (whom both he and Abigail suspect is a source). Here Alvin will again prophesy, under the influence of a certain tea - but for this tea Geralt must bring Abigail five petals, either purchased from a Viziman herbalist or gathered via Herbalism and proper study.
After confronting the Salamandra in their hideout, Geralt finds Alvin, who leads him to a cave where Abigail is hiding from a village lead by the Reverend. She asks Geralt for help from the mob, who wish to lynch her, even offering sex for aid, leading to a possible sex card.
Regardless of what he says or does with Abigail, once Geralt leaves the cave, he is faced a choice with the mob, either siding with them and letting the witch burn, or siding with Abigail and leading the herbalist from the cave. Each choice leads to a different outcome.
Regardless of his choice, Geralt fights the Beast within an impenetrable circle of fire, endless barghests joining the fight until it is defeated.
If Geralt saved Abigail, she helps him fight. After killing the Beast, the Reverend leads his guilty party to stop you, initialting a fight.
If Geralt sided with the villagers, the Reverend's group helps Geralt fight, and afterwards the Reverend thanks him.
- Alternatively to Field Plants, one of the nameless old women wandering the outskirts can teach Geralt to recognize white myrtle in exchange for some food or 20 orens, if you ask her to teach you about local herbs.
- All side quests and anything else that needs doing which require speaking to any NPCs must be completed before Waiting for a Solution. Basically, do not speak to the Reverend about where the beast comes from until you are ready to finish this chapter and move on to the next. After that, you can only finish this quest and further a couple of quests which span more than this chapter.
- Leaving Abigail to be lynched results in a different healer appearing in Murky Waters in Chapter IV, and a different conversation with her in Frozen Reflections. It also impacts The Heat of the Day.
- Making sure that you develop your skill with Aard is very helpful and it is possible to knockdown the Beast.
- If you sided with Vesemir in Defending Kaer Morhen, you should be able to have a three red meteorite sword made, which is a very powerful damage-dealing sword.
The Beasts Beyond the Gate
I must kill the creatures that attacked the woman and child before they slaughter everyone inside the palisade. I must kill the beasts that attacked the woman and child. (500 XP)
The Good Shepherd
When the Beast attacked, the boy was terrified. He went into a magical trance and uttered a prophecy. It seems the Outskirts have mysteries of their own. To fathom them, apparently I should see the Reverend. I must see the Reverend if I want to solve the mysteries of the Outskirts.
The Holy Flame
The Reverend asked me to slay the Beast. He believes that the Holy Flame should be lit in all the chapels around the village. I doubt that will help, but I've decided to do it, as a favor for him. I must visit the five chapels at night and light a flame in each. I must visit the five chapels of the Eternal Fire at night and light a flame in each.
The Dying of the Light
I lit the fires in the chapels but, as I expected, that didn't do any good. I should tell the Reverend he was mistaken. Lighting the fires did not drive the barghests away. I should inform the Reverend.
I lit the fires in the chapels but that didn't help. The Reverend wants me to learn where the Beast came from. The local witch is his chief suspect. I should call on her. I should visit the witch. (100 + 500 XP)
The Witch's Innocence
The witch claims she had nothing to do with the appearance of the Beast, denying the Reverend's charge. The witch says she is innocent.
White Myrtle Petals
The witch Abigail claims she can learn more about the Beast if she can encourage Alvin's prophetic abilities by having him drink a magical potion. I need to bring her five measures of white myrtle petals. I must bring the witch five white myrtle petals.
I have the myrtle and should take it to Abigail. I should see the witch again.
I brought the witch white myrtle petals. She needs some time to prepare the concoction. I should look around for other work. The witch promised to brew the potion. I should return in a while.
- It is possible to skip this phase, Geralt will receive Berengar's notes later in that case.
Alvin's prophecy is clear. The Beast was born of human wickedness and evil. It will continue to haunt the Outskirts as long as those who have wronged others remain unpunished. Prophecies be what they may, Abigail decided to help me in case I need to face the Beast sword in hand. She gave me Berengar's notes, which may help me defeat the monster. It's time to report what I've learned to the Reverend. I must see the Reverend, tell him what I've learned about the beast.
Waiting for a Solution
The Reverend promised to deal with the Beast. It's time I did what I need to do and dealt with Salamandra... It's time I dealt with Salamandra. There are some things I need to do... (200 + 500 XP)
The Witch is Cornered
I found the witch inside this cave where she's hiding from a mob of villagers who are out to lynch her. Apparently, she knew of the villagers' crimes but did nothing about them. I must go outside and pass judgment. I must face the mob of villagers outside and pass judgment.
The Beast is Dead
- Killed the beast, let the reverend lynch Abigail:
- Killed the beast, let the reverend lynch Abigail:
- Killed the beast and saved Abigail:
- I passed judgment and killed the Beast. It was a hard fight. There's nothing keeping me here now. I must see the Reverend and get a letter of safe conduct that will get me inside Vizima.
- Abigail thanked me for saving her. It's time I was on my way. I should go to the inn and get Shani as we agreed. I must go to the inn and get Shani. (2500 XP)
- The name of the quest is a reference to the novel Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck.