| || "But chief, we hid invisible-like."|
"Your balls will be invisible-like when I shove them up your arse."
|- conversation between Thaler and one of his inept spies|
Thaler is the local fence, or is he? It seems he rubs elbows with the rich and powerful as well as the underworld. What is his game?
During Chapter II, Thaler can be found in his house and sometimes walking around through the streets of the Temple Quarter. His house doubles as his shop, in the south-eastern section of the Temple Quarter, just around the corner from the dungeon. There he can be called upon to buy and sell a variety of goods. He also plays dice and offers a quiet drinking atmosphere and a free place to stay.
Thaler will buy and sell:
When Geralt gives Shani the roses, before he sleeps with her and after the party, she is surprised and embarrassed, saying she does not usually get gifts from admirers. The witcher is surprised and says so, prompting her to tell him a little story about her dating history with a "gloomy fellow " who scared any other potential admirers away. Turns out it was Thaler, and the two had been on a few dates together but, on their last date, it was accidentally revealed that he was actually the head of Temerian Intelligence, having been "unmasked" by one of his own, rather inept, staff. So... Thaler is not just a fence after all, he is much more. Later, two things come of this piece of information:
- The first piece of information surfaces when Geralt mentions to Thaler that he knows about this little tryst, Thaler's reaction is a little surprising. He tells the witcher "Fuck off! Some of us have depth you know. We are not all plowing philanderers." And he does have a harp in the basement ... perhaps he has a more sensitive side as well...
- The second tidbit is revealed when Geralt meets, either inside Thaler's place, or just outside, a "Mysterious man" who tells him "You didn't see me." One of the inept aforementioned staff perhaps? (Mentioning that encounter to Thaler before any other investigations turn up evidence is one way to clear him of suspicion in the murder of the crown witness).
During A Posh Reception Thaler admits to the witcher that he is a very highly placed spy. King Foltest himself, in his absence, has entrusted the well-being of the city of Vizima to none other than Thaler. It is Thaler's team that sees to all things required by the royal family, be that security services, intelligence gathering, or hunting catoblepas to satisfy a princess' midnight craving.
The fact that he is also a world-class drinker seems to have no effect on his official, and unofficial, duties. Also at this point (in the English audio version) Thaler reveals his "true" accent which is that of an upper class Englishman, rather than the lower class cockney used in his guise as a fence. Subsequently, he switches between the two freely.
- In the Temple Quarter of Vizima lives a fence named Thaler. He has many things that belonged to Berengar, and also deals in illegal goods. The fence is a repulsive man and uses particularly foul language.
- During the day he can be found in his store, which is located in a house in the Temple Quarter.
- Thaler put Berengar's witcher equipment up for sale. I wonder how he acquired these things.
- The fence's circle of influence is really wide. It also includes city guards.
- For a fence and a thug Thaler has surprisingly extensive contracts, not only with thieves, but also among the affluent.
- There was a lot of circumstantial evidence suggesting that Thaler was working for Salamandra, yet he proved to be innocent.
- To my surprise Thaler the fence was invited to Leuvaarden's reception, at which only the rich and influential were present.
- It turned out that Thaler is the chief of Temerian intelligence and his fence guise is simply one of many assumed personalities.
- If Geralt stays neutral when Count de Wett and Thaler are in the courtyard:
- When Count de Wett accused Thaler of treason, I did not object. The former head of Temeria's Intelligence Service was summarily executed.
- If Geralt defends Thaler from Count de Wett in the courtyard:
- Thaler is interested in the political situation in Vizima. He's also investigating an important case involving forgeries.
- not actually in the game:
- I met Thaler again in the chambers of the royal castle. Foltest seems to be satisfied with the doings of his master spy, and Thaler is pleased with our collaboration.
Geralt will receive a message and a package from a randomly named man near the market square in Flotsam claiming to be one of Thaler's agents. He sends his greetings and informs Geralt he is doing his best to keep the peace in Temeria.
He also tells him to trust Vernon Roche and that the witcher "really fucked up at the castle". The package is Dragon's Dream formulae (normal difficulty, no Witcher save game). When playing from a Witcher save game where you helped Thaler, the package may contain: The Arachas - A Study and Reinforced leather enhancement instead (easy difficulty).
After Nilfgaard invaded Temeria, they quickly dismantled the kingdom's secret service and Thaler barely escaped with his life. Not knowing what else to do, he proceeded to drink away his sorrows until his "liver screamed bloody murder" then decided he had to do something about the situation. Shortly thereafter he got into contact with Vernon Roche and Sigismund Dijkstra and the three decided something extremely drastic had to be done: King Radovid V of Redania had to die.
Using his experience as Temeria's former spymaster, he began to recruit new spies and took on the role of a traveling cobbler by the name of Clogs, noting that cobblers didn't attract any attention while still being able to see and hear all the people around them while they worked.
If Geralt takes part in A Deadly Plot: while relatively safe from being harassed by soldiers, Thaler found himself instead attacked by a group of rock trolls who wanted shoes of their own. Geralt eventually found and extracted Thaler from them and Thaler made it safely to the Seven Cats Inn.
- If Geralt takes part in Reason of State: He later met up with his co-conspirators to tell them of the information they'd been waiting to hear about and included Geralt in on their plans, who was needed to lure Radovid off his ship and into an ambush. As Thaler and Dijkstra weren't very adept fighters like Geralt, Vernon, and Ves, he and Dijkstra remained at the butcher's yard in Novigrad to wait on the outcome of the attempted assassination.
- If Geralt protects the Temerian patriots: thanks to Geralt, Thaler survived Dijkstra's betrayal and was able to continue negotiations with Nilfgaard for Temeria to become a vassal state to the Empire and made plans to return to Vizima once Emhyr cleared out.
- If Geralt lets Dijkstra kill the Temerian patriots: unfortunately Thaler didn't foresee Redania's former spymaster turning on them and was subsequently killed with Vernon and Ves.
- Geralt was not expecting to meet Bernard Ducat, former head of Temerian intelligence, in such circumstances. Their relationship went back a long ways, to the time when Ducat was leading an espionage operation in the Vizima Temple District disguised as a fence named Thaler. Thaler the fence was known for his gruff manners and extremely filthy tongue.
- Much had changed since those days, but Clogs the cobbler (as Ducat now called himself) was as rude and vulgar as Thaler had ever been.
- His exact role in the attack on Radovid was not clear, but considering his experience and professionalism, one could hardly expect him to share that information, not even with an old friend.
- Spycraft leaves no margin for error, sentiment or dropping one's guard...
- If Geralt chooses to intervene and fight Dijkstra:
- ...Thaler should have known this, but instead he left himself exposed and only escaped death thanks to Geralt's intervention, his life saved by the witcher's departure from his usual neutrality.
- If Geralt chooses to not intervene and lets Dijkstra kill Thaler:
- ...Thaler died in a violent bout of political maneuvering when it turned out his plans conflicted with the greater good of Redania.
- In the Polish version, his real name is revealed as "Bernard Dukat".
- Both Thaler's real and fake name reference currency. A ducat and thaler (also spelled "taler") were coins once used throughout Europe.
- Regardless of whether or not he died in The Witcher, he still plays a role in The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, even with saves imported throughout the series.
- In the third game, it's implied that he's the stranger that borrowed the pan during the secondary quest A Frying Pan, Spick and Span.
- See the GWENT standalone game version card: Thaler