|This article is about the quest in the Hearts of Stone expansion. For the quest in The Witcher's Side Effects module, see Open Sesame! (Side Effects).|
Upon reaching the Borsodi Brothers' Auction House, you'll be confronted by two guards who inform you no one is admitted without an invitation. Thankfully, Vimme Vivaldi steps in and adds you as his +1. Once inside, Vivaldi will converse until you head upstairs where, upon reaching the auction floor, he offers to introduce you to some of his fellow business associates.
The Art dealer
If you say you know a bit about art, Yaromir will challenge your knowledge as he'll assume you know as little about art as Vivaldi, who only buys to invest rather than loving the artwork. Prove him wrong by choosing the correct painting - the Portrait of a Merchant.
For pointing out the correct piece, the dealer will give you a tip: a painting by the unpopular artist, van Rogh, is going on auction but you could earn a nice profit by selling it to an avid admirer and collector in Novigrad. Afterwards, Vivaldi will ask what Yaromir told you; if you tell him the truth you'll have to outbid him for the painting, otherwise you can lie without any consequence. (100Side Effects)
Countess Mignole, an aging widow, is a collector of rare and valuable witcher gear after meeting a witcher in her youth.(100)
Exclusive Witcher Gear
Don't miss this opportunity to acquire some rare witcher gear only available during this one interaction in Hearts of Stone. Purchase the diagrams for the Viper School gear from the Countess when the "Merchant" icon appears during the conversation.
The Gwent Player
This interaction is fairly straightforward, though you'll want to have a solid gwent deck assembled if you want to stand a chance at defeating Hilbert. He may use a Monster deck, and is effective at utilizing its ability for his close combat units, or may select a different deck depending on what you gave as your preferred faction. Decide whether or not to give Vivaldi a fraction of your winnings before you play (he won't take any offense if you don't), then lay your cards on the table. If you beat him, he will give you the unique gwent card, Gaunter O'Dimm. (100)
The auction will start after meeting Vivaldi's acquaintances or by choosing to go sit and wait. There are three items up for auction:
- "Starry Night Over the Pontar" by the artist van Rogh - 20 (60 if you have to outbid Vivaldi)
- A rare statuette of an eagle - It will unlock a treasure hunt if you do a little extra work - 300
- A pair of spectacles that once belonged to the hired assassin known as The Professor - 350
Once bidding on these items has ended, the auctioneer will announce an intermission and Vivaldi will attempt to introduce you to the establishment's proprietor, Horst Borsodi. Be as charming or as indignant as you like as there's no version of this conversation that ends well and Geralt is "escorted" out by the guards.
Once outside, defeat the two would-be tough guys to trigger a cutscene introducing The Stranger, who instructs Geralt to meet him at the herbalist's hut outside of town. (200) Upon arrival, you will notice three Fallen Knights pounding on the hut's door, who will turn their attention towards you as you get closer; dispose of them, and the herbalist will let you in. Give him the password, and he will open a trap door leading to the Stranger.
Planning the Heist
The Stranger will inform you you'll need more people to help and you'll need to also prepare a way to get rid of as many patrolling guards as possible. This will make the follow quests available and all must be completed before you can continue:
Once you've completed the 3 sub-quests, you can now proceed with the heist. If you show up a little earlier than the actual time, the Stranger will make a remark on this, but otherwise carries on as normal. (100) After Eveline successfully scales the tower, you discover the tower is not empty after all. However, it's too late to back out, so respond however you like and Geralt will then arm himself with a wooden sword to prevent killing anyone before donning masks. Head downstairs to stumble across some guards and customers along with Horst Borsodi. After a fight with the guards, during which a civilian rings the alarm bell and is consequently killed by the Stranger, things end in a stalemate with guards outside the auction house and Horst Borsodi locked away in his vault.
The Stranger grabs a hostage and leaves the negotiating to Geralt, while the safecracker goes to work on the vault's doors. Depending on who you recruited for your safecracker, the next part plays out a bit differently:
- If you recruited Quinto: he'll quietly work on breaking through into the vault. To buy him time you must negotiate with the guards outside and will lead to several timed responses. Choosing "Pull back..." then "Bring us a wagon..." then "Doesn't matter..." and finally "Release one..." will make sure you don't have to fight any guards. "Tell me a joke" and "Actually, kinda funny" works, too. If you choose any other option, like asking for Radovid's carriage, the guards will burst in and you'll have to fight before continuing. Afterwards, with everything getting too dicey, Eveline explains this isn't what she signed on for and uses the chimney to escape. However, Geralt's not quite so small so you must continue on to the vault.
- If you recruited Casimir Bassi: he'll go to work on breaking into the vault and, like with Quinto, you need to start negotiating and choose from several timed responses. However, even if you successfully get to asking for any wagon, an explosion will occur and you'll still have to fight the guards as if you said the wrong thing. During this, Eveline will flee and you and the Stranger must take out the guards. Afterwards, the Stranger will explain Eveline fled.
Make your way downstairs towards the vault where, along the way, you can find a few interesting notes. However, what happens next depends, once more, on your safecracker:
- Quinto: while you didn't have to fight the guards if you successfully negotiated, and he broke into the vault, he apparently didn't find the trapdoor. Prepare yourself because as soon as you pass the small door the floor will collapse beneath you and you'll land in a pit with several arachnomorphs. Once you've dealt with them, you'll be helped back up and then you can approach the vault door safely on the other side.
- Casimir: while his explosion caused you to have to fight the guards upstairs, they incidentally took out the mechanism for the floor trap, thus preventing you from falling into the arachnomorph pit so you can traverse the floor safely to the main vault door.
Interact with the door for a cutscene where the Stranger reveals himself to be the other Borsodi brother, Ewald Borsodi. React however you like and eventually Horst tries to bribe Geralt to switch sides, upon which Geralt may choose from three options: Stick with Ewald, switch to Horst, or try and remain neutral. However, the latter option will be dismissed by Horst, as it's too late to try and remain neutral now, so you're forced to pick a side. Who sides with who depends on you and the safecracker:
- Side with Ewald with Quinto as safecracker: you'll have to fight both the guards, Horst, and Quinto, as he'll side with Horst.
- Side with Ewald with Casimir as safecracker: you'll fight the guards and Horst as Casimir stays with Ewald.
- Side with Horst with Quinto as safecracker: you'll just have to fight Ewald as Quinto sides with Horst as well.
- Side with Horst with Casimir as safecracker: you'll have to fight Ewald and Casimir.
After dispatching one of the brothers and a cutscene, it's revealed that Maximilian Borsodi's house contains the will of their father and neither brother will give it up as it means they'll lose all their fortune due to the binding clause that wasn't kept. If you still wish to take it, you'll have to fight once more, and if the safecracker survived from earlier, you'll now have to kill them and the remaining brother. However, if you don't want to fight, you can make a deal where you can take the physical object but not the documents within.
- Olgierd's wishes were unusual, to say the least. One demand was for Geralt to bring him the house of Maximillian Borsodi. He didn't supplement this request with such key details as where this house was located or just how the witcher was to transport said real estate. Geralt only knew his first stop should be Oxenfurt, the city to which the Borsodi family had moved their world-famous auction house...
- Horst Borsodi did not demonstrate a flare for hospitality. He greeted Geralt with unmasked disdain, then, upon hearing the witcher had come for Maximilian Borsodi's House, had him summarily tossed into the gutter. Geralt was still picking himself up when he discovered a stranger awaiting him there... a man who could help him fulfill Olgierd's wish.
- The mysterious stranger revealed that he was planning to rob the Borsodis' Auction House. He swore Geralt would find Maximilian's House within it, as impossible as that sounded. First, however, the witcher would have to help him put together a full break-in crew of daring professionals and find a way to weaken the Redanian garrison. Though Geralt usually tried to live within the bounds of the law, this time he had no choice but to agree to help in this criminal enterprise.
- Not everything went according to plan... to say the least. Geralt successfully broke into the vault, though at the cost of some nerve-wracking moments and a good deal of bloodshed. Once in the bowels of the auction house, he found out that his partner-in-crime was none other than Horst Borsodi's long-missing brother, Ewald. Cheated by his brother out of his inheritance, Ewald had planned his revenge during his long years of exile.
- Geralt stands with Ewald...
- Ewald had planned his revenge during long years of exile - and the witcher helped him bring this plan to fruition.
- ...but also demands the papers:
- Yet when Geralt realized the remaining Borsodi brother was using him as well, he made sure he joined his recently murdered sibling in the afterlife. With no one left to lay a competing claim on it, Geralt took the golden casket known as Maximilian Borsodi's House and the will hidden inside it. Now he was set to fulfill Olgierd's request.
- ...but does not take the papers:
- Ewald killed his older brother, avenging years of poverty and humiliation in one furious moment. The blood still on his hands, he gave Geralt the golden casket known as Maximillian Borsodi's House in compensation for his help, though not before taking for himself the will hidden inside it. With this is his possession, Geralt was set to fulfill Olgierd's request.
- Geralt stands with Horst...
- Yet now, on the cusp of his plan's completion, the White Wolf stood in his way. Geralt hadn't trusted Ewald from the very start and decided to hold his nose and support the disagreeable Horst rather than help Ewald commit fratricide.
- ...but also demands the papers:
- ...but does not take the papers:
- Yet fratricide occured nonetheless -- for Horst killed his younger brother. The blood still on his hands, he gave Geralt the golden casket known as Maximillian Borsodi's House in compensation for his help, though not before taking for himself the will hidden inside it. With this is his possession, Geralt was set to fulfill Olgierd's request.
- Go to the Borsodi auction house in Oxenfurt and ask for the owner.
- Go to the upper floor of the auction house.
- (Optional) Meet Vivaldi's friends (3).
- Find Countess Mignole's earring using your Witcher Senses.
- Wait for the auction to start.
- Defeat the guards.
- Go to the herbalist's hut near Oxenfurt and give the password.
- Talk to the Stranger.
- Return to the Stranger to discuss the details of the robbery.
- Recruit the rest of the crew and prepare for the robbery (3).
- Go to the herbalist's hut to prepare for the robbery.
- Be at the gateway to the Borsodi Auction House around midnight.
- Defeat Horst Borsodi's men.
- Fight off the Redanian soldiers' attack.
- Go down into the vault.
- Defeat the monsters.
- Search the vault for Maximilian's House.
- Defeat Horst/Ewald Borsodi. (which brother is based on your choice)
- Take Maximilian's House.
- Defeat Horst/Ewald Borsodi. (only appears if you insist on taking the House)
- Find the secret way out of the vault using your Witcher Senses.
- Get out of the auction house.
- Take Maximilian Borsodi's House to Olgierd.
- Many items in the auction house make references. For more detailed explanations see easter eggs page:
- The painting The Battle of Anghiari is clearly a tribute to the well known painter Leonardo da Vinci.
- The painting The Spice Merchant is an obvious reference to artist Vermeer.
- The painting Starry Night Over the Pontar is a reference to Van Gogh.
- One object in a display case, the Goblet of Fire, references the Harry Potter series.
- The falcon statuette is a reference to The Maltese Falcon.
- An armored gauntlet with circles on the knuckles and in the center of the hand is a reference to the Infinity Gauntlet from Marvel Comics.
- In the fistfight with the guards, one of the guards say "And your mum smells like gooseberries!", a reference to Monty Pythons' movie The Holy Grail.
- In the conversation with Hilbert, the phrase "nudge nudge wink wink" comes up, which was popularized by a Monty Python sketch.
- You can find Excalibur inside the stone in the Borsodi Brothers' Auction House treasury.
- The artist who's painting you need to guess for Yaromir is a lewd joke from the developers, as his name is "Edward van der Knoob." His last name comes from the word "knob" which can refer to a penis. While it can mean other things too the Polish (Original) version leaves no doubt to the meaning, as the name of the artist is changed to "Edward van der Hooi." Where "Hooi" is pronounced exactly like "chuj" which simply means "dick" in Polish.
- You can opt not to use hostages if you so choose, but know that if you do, no harm will come to them.
- There is a full set of New Moon armor in the Herbalist's secret basement, on the shelf next to the paintings.
- If both Borsodi brothers die in the heist, the auction house will be acquired by Vivaldi and will become an (inaccessible) branch of his bank.
- The Viper venomous steel sword diagram is found within the Borsodi vault.
- A Letter from Master Matthew can be found before entering the vault, where the person foresaw the events that were going to happen during the quest.
- Even if you have the Skellige deck, it's not possible to tell Robert Hilbert it's your favorite.
- Upon completing the quest, you may return to the basement of the herbalist's hut to claim the three other masks used in the heist (Emhyr var Emreis mask, King Henselt mask, King Radovid V mask), besides the King Foltest mask you receive.