Ripples is the framing quest for Chapter IV of The Witcher. It sees Geralt resolve a conflict between the human inhabitants of the village of Murky Waters and the vodyanoi who live in the Underwater City in the nearby lake.
This quest is given to Geralt by the either the Friendly vodyan priest or the Fisher King at the beginning of Chapter IV, on the Lakeside. Geralt can either approach the Fisher King or the priest first. If he approaches the vodyanoi priest, he must first kneel before the altar to the Lady of the Lake before the priest will speak with him.
The formalities concluded, he asks the Friendly vodyan priest if he has any jobs for a witcher. The priest informs Geralt that another witcher has been around and taken what work there was and that witcher is most likely in the crypt at the moment. It turns out that this witcher is Berengar.
Geralt finds Berengar inside the crypt and after some impromptu monster-slaying and a heartfelt discussion, decides to take over the contract from errant witcher. Berengar suggests that the easiest thing to do would be to let the two sides just fight it out. This would basically eliminate one side or the other, and the conflict in the process.
Geralt then begins gathering information about the conflict. He speaks to Tobias, who directs him to Julian, saying that it is the merchant who is dealing with those negotiations. Julian explains that the vodyanoi have recently massacred a boatful of fishermen and have taken to human blood sacrifices to a deity known as Dagon. He wants the witcher to kill the vodyanoi acolyte at Dagon's altar to summon the beast and then kill it.
The witcher then goes see the Friendly vodyan priest a second time. He tells the cleric that he has taken the contract back from Berengar and ask to hear the vodyanoi side of things. The friendly vodyanoi does not like Dagon or his worshippers any more than the villagers, but rather than killing a human or a vodyan, they want Geralt to lure the villagers' prize-winning cow to altar and sacrifice it to summon and then kill Dagon.
Geralt may also decide to have a chat about things with the Fisher King. He has been around for a while and knows what is going on. The Fisher King directs the witcher to Black Tern Island to ask the Lady of the Lake for guidance. There, the Lady of the Lake asks the witcher to resolve the conflict between humans and the Vodyanoi. She asks him which side is in the right, and if he replies that the point is to reconcile the two sides, she will be pleased and tells him to speak with the informal leaders of both factions and obtain a gift from each. These gifts should represent some sort of sacrifice and would be symbolic of the groups' good will. She adds that there is a clue to the nature of these gifts inscribed on her altar. Once Geralt brings her the correct items, she gives him a drop of her own blood in form of a ruby to summon and kill Dagon.
Geralt has three options for completing this quest:
- Side with the Vodyanoi:
- Geralt goes to the enclosure where the cow, Strawberry, is kept and gives her some dried fruits and nuts, her favorite treat. She only needs one treat and she starts to follow him. He leads her out of the village, down to the lakeside, to the boat landing - yes, to the boat. Once on Black Tern Island, he keeps leading her all the way to the Dagon's altar.
- Side with the Villagers:
- Do as the Lady wishes:
- Geralt finds Julian (not difficult, he is always at the Inn) and tells him that it is possible to make peace with the Vodyanoi. He asks him for an alabaster figurine. Next, he goes to see the Friendly vodyan priest and tells him that the Lady of the Lake wants to help them solve the problem. He asks the cleric for the gold bracelet. Finally, he returns to see the Lady of the Lake once again and asking her if the gifts are worthy. They are and she gives Geralt a ruby.
Then it is off to the altar, if Geralt is not already there (as he would be if he lured Strawberry there, or killed the acolyte). Again, his next step is governed by his earlier choices.
- Side with the Vodyanoi:
- He whips out his steel sword and kills Strawberry.
- Side with the Villagers:
- He kills the acolyte who is innocently standing there.
- Do as the Lady wishes:
- He places the Lady's ruby on the altar.
Whichever path Geralt chooses, this will summon Dagon and about 13 or 14 more acolytes. He fells them one by one, and having killed them, Dagon falls. The witcher loots his body for a Sun Rune, a piece of amber (sometimes) and some Dagon secretions.
- Sided with the Vodyanoi:
- Sided with the Villagers:
- Did as the Lady wished:
- If Geralt placed the ruby on the altar, then it is the Lady of the Lake to whom he must report his deed. As a reward she will bring back a piece of his memory, which is manifested as one silver talent.
Then, the quest line Alvin can be advanced to its conclusion.
Another Witcher / Conflict
- Talk to the vodyan priest first (or Julian first):
- The humans and the vodyanoi seem to be in conflict. Another witcher agreed to solve the problem, but then did nothing. They say I can find him in the crypt. I must go to the crypt, talk to the witcher who took this job before me.
- Talk to the Lady of the Lake first (or Fisher King first):
- It seems there is friction between the humans and the vodyanoi. I should talk to the leaders of both races, maybe I can help. I should help the human and vodyanoi leaders settle the conflict between their two races.
Berengar told me about the conflict between the humans and the vodyanoi. The humans are led by Julian, while the vodyanoi follow their priest. I need to talk to both. I should talk to Julian and to the vodyan priest.
Julian / The Cow / The Lady of the Lake
- Side with the villagers:
- Julian wants me to kill Dagon. I can summon the beast by killing his follower who lives in the temple on Black Tern Island. I doubt this will improve relations between the races... To summon Dagon, I must kill his follower who lives in the temple on Black Tern Island.
- Side with the vodyanoi:
- The vodyan priest wants me to kill Dagon. To summon him I must kill the villagers' champion cow. Somehow I doubt this will improve relations between the races... I should go to the village and grab the cow. They say it likes fruit and nuts.I must go to the village and lure the cow away. They say it likes fruit and nuts.
- Black Tern Island
- The fruit and nuts worked. The cow follows me around everywhere. I have to lead her to Black Tern Island and sacrifice her on Dagon's altar. I admit I feel somewhat sorry for the bovine... I must take the cow to Black Tern Island by boat.
- Side with the Lady:
- The Fisher King believes the Lady of the Lake can help me resolve the conflict between the humans and the vodyanoi. I should see the Lady of the Lake
A Gift for the Lady
- The Lady asked me for gifts from the humans and the vodyanoi. I must now get Julian and the vodyan priest to agree. I must go see Julian and the vodyan priest and persuade both to agree to a compromise.
- An Alabaster Figurine / Gramps' Diamond / Alina's Garland
- Gift #1 (correct gift) : Julian gave me an alabaster figurine from the vodyan city, a gift for the Lady of the Lake. If she rejects this offering, I will have to find something worthier of her. I must see which of Julian's gifts suits the Lady of the Lake.
- Gift #2: Julian gave me his grandfather's diamond, a gift for the Lady of the Lake. If it doesn't suit her, I will have to find a worthier offering. I must see which of Julian's gifts suits the Lady of the Lake.
- Gift #3: Julian gave me Alina's bridal wreath to present as an offering to the Lady of the Lake. If she rejects this gift, I will need to find something else, something worthier of her. I must see which of Julian's gifts suits the Lady of the Lake.
- A Gold Bracelet / The Golden Calf / The Priest's Staff
- Gift #1 (correct gift): The vodyan priest gave me a masterfully crafted gold bracelet to present as an offering to the Lady of the Lake. If she rejects this gift, I will need to find something worthier of her. I must see which of the vodyan priest's gifts suits the Lady of the Lake.
- Gift #2: The vodyan priest gave me a golden calf, an idol to offer to the Lady of the Lake. If it is not to her liking, I will need to find another gift, one worthier of her. I must see which of the vodyan priest's gifts suits the Lady of the Lake.
- Gift #3: The vodyan priest gave me his staff to present as a gift to the Lady of the Lake. If she rejects this offering, I will have to find a gift worthier of her. I must see which of the vodyan priest's gifts suits the Lady of the Lake.
- The Ruby
- The Lady wants me to be her champion in the fight against Dagon. I must take a drop of her blood, magically enclosed in a ruby, and place it on Dagon's altar on Black Tern Island as a sacrifice. I must place the Lady's ruby on Dagon's altar on Black Tern Island. (2000 XP)
Dagon's Demise / Dagon Eradicated
- I killed Dagon at Julian's request. I should see Julian about my reward. I should see Julian about my reward. (2000 XP)
- I killed Dagon at the vodyan priest's request. I need to see the priest to collect my reward. I must see the vodyan priest about my reward. (2000 XP)
- I killed Dagon. I must tell the Lady, she will be pleased. I must tell the Lady of Dagon's death. (2000 XP)
- Julian rewarded me for killing Dagon. The vodyanoi will never trouble the humans again. Julian rewarded me for killing Dagon. (5000 XP)
- The vodyan priest rewarded me for killing Dagon. With the bloodthirsty deity dead, the vodyanoi should cease fighting the humans. The vodyan priest rewarded me for killing Dagon. (5000 XP)
- The Lady rewarded me for killing Dagon. She seemed content that I managed to bring the two races together. The Lady rewarded me for killing Dagon and bringing the races together. (6000 XP)
- If the friendly vodyan priest is not by the altar when you want to speak with him, it is because he has been chased away by the hostile Vodyanoi. He may seem hard to find, but you simply have to wait until the resolute girl speaks to Geralt a second time (she initiates the conversation). He reappears at that point, or his reappearance triggers her to speak with Geralt, either way, he is now available again. Sometimes this will not happen until you advance the quest, The Heat of the Day.
- Once you've taken the quest from Berengar, you have to wait until you have given Alvin the Dimeritum pendant, since the friendly vodyan priest is absent and Julian is "busy with wedding preparations", so you can't continue the quest right away.
- Of course, if you are confident that you want to support one side in particular and not go for the reconciliation route, you do not have to complete all the phases - only the ones leading to the desired solution. Regardless of your choice, Dagon appears along with around 13 or 14 acolytes and you have to fight them all.
- The Bestiary tells you that Dagon is a god and can not be killed easily. Take care of his followers as he summons them first, once they are all dead, he dies. You do not need to fight him directly. It is unclear whether such a battle is even possible.
- When you do lure Dagon for the duel at the altar, depending on how many of the quests you have completed in Chapter IV, some of the outstanding quests may be forfeit (still being investigated).
- Once this quest has concluded, the door to the Country Inn is locked and the Innkeeper is unavailable. This can be problematic if you need to store the Aerondight so that you can go back to Black Tern Island to retrieve your other silver sword. Make sure all your business with the Innkeeper is complete before selecting the dialogue option "I think I am needed in Murky Waters..." during conversation with the Lady of the Lake.
- Although it is stated that Dagon is a god and can't be hurt, he can be killed quickly by placing two Dragon's Dream bombs by his entrance near the altar and using the Igni sign to ignite them as soon as the first Worshipper of Dagon appears.
- If you talk to Julian, he says that the underwater ruins are human and therefore (as humans) they are entitled to the salvage. However, since the Friendly Vodyan Priest claims to have acquired the sword he gives you as a reward from the underwater city, the city may therefore be elven.