This quest can be started several different ways:
- talk to Otto Bamber at the Herbalist's Hut near Oxenfurt
- talk to Yolar (the druid merchant) at Gedyneith
- just happen across Gremist sitting outside his cave at Gedyneith
However you start it, go see Gremist, who's being chastised by another druid about how he should pass on his skills before it's too late but he'll just tell the druid to bug off. You can then talk to Gremist who will initially refuse no matter what you say, but will eventually relent and give you 3 tasks before he'll accept you as his apprentice:
- Search for a pimpernel from the Morskogen Forest
- Get a bottle of spirit from the old distillery on Hail Hill
- Convince Fritjof, a vaedermakar druid in Blandare, to help perform the rite
You can ask him to elaborate on any of the tasks, but in short he won't reveal what he's planning, you just need to do the 3 tasks.
This is the only task out of the 3 that you could possibly have done beforehand if you found the cave while exploring, in which case you won't need to do this if you already gathered the pimpernel.
If you didn't get it though, head to the marker far south of the Druids' Camp to the Morskogen Forest and look for pimpernel, only to see the blooms have all been picked. As one is examined, a druid approaches and explains how Gremist has sent countless young druids to bring back pimpernel and they all returned with a blank look on their faces with no flower in hand. Furthermore, none of them ever speak of what happened to them. However, the latest one, Ramund, hasn't returned, so the druid came out to find him or kill the monster he believes is responsible.
Find the tracks, which will take you through a group of wolves, before the tracks split on a path: one set going up hill and one set going down. Head downhill and Geralt and the druid will find an armored arachas near a neat pile of stones, under which is a dead body, and the druid remarks that it's Jorre the White. Now head back up the hill and follow the tracks where eventually Geralt hears a male's voice. Turns out Ramund is safe and sound with a succubus, who resides in the area.
If Geralt didn't find the body, the succubus explains she hasn't harmed anyone and the young druids find her by themselves to the point she has to use magic to send the unwanted admirers away. However, as Ramund is nice, she decided to let him stay. If Geralt found Jorre, the succubus will reason that he was very old and even when she warned him his heart was too weak to continue, he kept returning and died, so she buried him as custom dictates.
Convinced that the succubus uses bewitching charms, the older druid tells her that he'll kill her. Geralt can agree and kill her or stand down. If he agrees, the pair kill the succubus and Ramund becomes bitter about it. Geralt must then follow the scent to her lair, which she decorated with pimpernel flowers, and take one. If Geralt stood down, the older druid storms off, promising to bring someone willing to kill her. The succubus will then lead Geralt to her lair and allow him to take a pimpernel flower as repayment. Regardless how you obtain the flower, you'll earn 80 .
While you might have been able to gather the necessary items for this one before starting this quest, it wouldn't have let you use the distillery until you actually agreed to help Gremist.
Head to the abandoned distillery on Hail Hill to find a cave inhabited by a cyclops where the distillery is located. After defeating the cyclops, look inside the small shack to find the Distiller's Log and the Distiller's letter detailing the instructions on how to distill the alcohol. There is one sample of mash left up on the scaffolding to the left of the machinery. To make the spirit:
- put the mash in the evaporator (the center vat) and ignite the fire underneath to boil it
- once Geralt remarks that should be enough, go to the levers and use the right one, then left
Despite commenting to cool it down, this appears to have no effect on the outcome if you skip putting out the fire, nor does it ruin the alcohol if you pull the levers in the wrong order as long as you then pull the left after the right one is down.
Now retrieve the alcohol from the barrel next to the condenser, earning 80 .
Go to Blandare to find Fritjof, who's warning a villager about the dangers of the ritual he's about to perform. When approached, he explains the village is suffering from a drought and, as a vaedermakar, he can call forth rain, but at the cost of also summoning monsters. Agree to help him and he will lead you to an altar in a field where , once close enough, a cutscene starts and he will sacrifice a sheep and start the ritual, causing foglets to appear.
They'll appear in groups of 2 until you kill off the second group, in which 3-4 will appear at once. While Fritjof also has a health meter, they tend to ignore him. His wolf will also help you fight and is immune to damage, helping you if you're having difficulties. Once the third group of foglets are dead, Fritjof will finish the ritual then agree to go help Gremist, earning 80 .
Go see Gremist
Once all favors are completed, head back to Gremist. However, even though the old druid accepts Geralt as his official apprentice, he will still refuse to tell him about the ritual and instead tells Geralt he must wait a day while he and Fritjof conduct the ritual in his workshop.
Come back in 24 hours to find that it wasn't a ritual at all but rather two old friends hanging out and getting drunk. While drunk, the master alchemist finally decides to teach Geralt all he knows about alchemy and drinking toxins. The quest finishes some time later, leaving Geralt a bit drunk as well and earning a final 80 .
- At one point during his travels Geralt learned of a master alchemist named Gremist. Rumor had it this druid knew more about alchemy than most men know about the contours of their own members. Geralt, ever eager to polish his skills, decided to find this learned druid and absorb whatever knowledge from him he could.
- This Gremist proved to be a strange individual, but then so do most mages and druids - routinely staring into the abyss of otherworldly power has that effect. Rather than let Geralt learn from him right away, he first forced him to undergo three trials. Geralt passed all three with flying colors and the druid had no choice but to take him on as an apprentice. Thus Geralt, showing an admirable commitment to lifelong learning, gathered his chalk and prepared his slate for some advanced alchemy lessons.
Note: The order in which these objectives appear may differ depending on the order in which the locations are visited.
- Find Gremist's workshop.
- Talk to Gremist.
- Find a pimpernel in the woods using your Witcher Senses.
- Find Fritjof the druid in the nearby village and convince him to talk to Gremist.
- Find the abandoned distillery.
- Return to Gremist.
- Wait till the next day.
- Talk to Gremist about your reward. (80)
- Despite a "!" appearing on the local map when first approaching Gremist, it'll disappear off the world map if too far away from it, unlike other quest markers.
- If you find mash before you find the instructions you won't be able to make the alcohol. In order to workaround this bug you have to load a previous save, read the instructions first, then find the mash.
- The quest doesn't limit the possible weather conditions when talking to Fritjof. It's therefore possible for it to be raining when he explains that a drought is gripping the village.
- The word "Vaedermakar" is likely derived from Swedish word "Vädermakare", which translates to "Weather Maker".
- The chants uttered by Fritjof in his ritual is in "Gammelsvenska" also known as Old Swedish.
- If Geralt spared the succubus in the quest Deadly Delights , this is the last chance to obtain the Succubus mutagen needed to make the Succubus decoction. Otherwise, multiple playthroughs are needed to acquire the mutagen and spare both succubi.