Like Hope Burns Bright and Under a Fiery Sky, this quest sees Geralt fight his way to the field hospital aided by his ally (in this case, Rayla), deal with the street fighting, and make it to the swamp cemetery. It is the framing quest for Chapter V as Geralt officially declares that he has chosen a path, the Order path.
This quest begins when Geralt meets Zoltan on the dike, having first spoken with the presiding official, and the dwarf basically spits on him and leaves our hero to his fate, but not before letting him know that Shani has set up a field hospital in Old Vizima. The Witcher then sets off to find Shani, but first he must fight his way through the Scoia'tael blocking the only path to the gate.
As our hero reaches the gate, we are treated to a cut scene of King Foltest himself, recently returned from abroad. As the regent and his retinue make their way through the chaos inside the gate, they are suddenly ambushed by more Scoia'tael intent on assassinating the king. Victory, and indeed the monarch's survival, seem far from assured when who but the Grand Master of the Order of the Flaming Rose should appear to save the day.
De Aldersberg warns the king that his aid might not be so timely in the future and demands total control over the Viziman forces. Foltest rejects this proposal outright and the two part coolly. The king and his entourage are about to return to the castle to discuss further strategies when the main gates open revealing Geralt.
At first, Foltest seems hardly pleased to see the witcher and grumbles about it to Velerad, but ultimately demands that Geralt accompany the entourage back to the castle for a chat.
Back at the castle, the king sets two tasks for the witcher: deliver the princess from the striga's curse and dismantle the evil Salamandra organization. He tells Geralt that Triss Merigold, Velerad and Count de Wett are at his disposal as trusted advisors of the court and then dismisses him telling the witcher that he will summon him again later to speak (...at his whim, presumably. Monarchs can be so rude!)
Geralt takes the opportunity to converse with the royal advisors. After consulting each of them, he decides to explore the castle a bit more. A group of courtiers is dancing and watching them is a noblewoman who seems to be alone. The witcher introduces himself and learns that his newest acquaintance is Antoinnette, from the duchy of Toussaint.
She suspects they have met before, but amnesiac as our hero remains, he has no memory of the event and just shrugs off the idea. Undeterred, Antoinnette cuts to the chase and asks the witcher if he would be willing to render a small service, in return for a reward, of course. Geralt agrees and bids her farewell. Just then, he is summoned once again to speak with Foltest, but this time in the regent's private chambers.
The two revisit the tasks at hand and the king gives Geralt leave to kill Adda, if necessary, but admonishes him that this should be done only as a last resort and must absolutely spare the princess any pain or suffering. Otherwise, Foltest tells the witcher that his friends will suffer a similar fate. He then takes a moment to sneak in a little chit chat about women and a quick round of dice poker and then sends our hero on his way, telling him to speak with the chamberlain about travel arrangements back to Old Vizima.
Once back in the old part of town, Geralt is met by White Rayla. She explains that Siegfried is at the field hospital being tended by Shani and that they must reach to get further instructions, but the path is blocked by all the fighting in the streets. She tells the witcher that she bets he can not kill as many Scoia'tael as she has. Her current count stands at twenty squirrel tails. The witcher takes her bet and soon has enough tails to win that little wager. A few choice words are exchanged as the two realize they have made it to the hospital. Mission accomplished.
... or is it? Geralt barely has time to speak to Shani (a potentially hostile encounter depending on his actions regarding Alvin's care in Chapter III) that a militiaman bursts in looking for a witcher. He immediately spies our hero and begs him to follow him to a part of town where it seems the striga has been cornered. Geralt obliges and follows the man, but the creature he finds looks nothing like a striga, which is not to say that it does not look dangerous.
The creature leaps from its perch on the solitary tower and the battle is on. The witcher springs into action and after a tough battle, kills the monster. Then, much to his surprise, he spies his old friend Kalkstein observing the proceedings. The two exchange a few pleasantries but quickly determine that the creature was most definitely not a striga, but a likely a mutant. Having dispatched the immediate threat, Geralt decides to head back to the hospital to speak to Shani some more.
His second attempt is no more success as the hospital is attacked by Scoia'tael commandos hell bent on getting rid of the "human filth". Once again, the battle is on and Geralt must route quite a few Scoia'tael, but as expected, he does.
- If Geralt spared the werewolf:
- If Geralt killed the werewolf:
- The presiding official who greets him at the dike will be a new guard captain - the same faceless and nameless chap who took so much pleasure in arresting Geralt at the end of Chapter I.
- Said new guard captain arrests Dandelion on a charge of spying for foreign governments.
- Carmen is (unsurprisingly!) incensed that the witcher killed her lover. When he tries to explain, saying "I had to kill him, he was a werewolf...", she responds with "piss off, bastard!".
The Knights' Intentions
The knights of the Order and the Scoia'tael are battling in Old Vizima. Zoltan mentioned some nonsense about the Order's evil intentions. I should make sure they're not killing civilians. I must make sure the knights of the Order aren't killing civilians.
I ran into White Rayla in the streets of Old Vizima. We must get to the hospital where Siegfried is a patient. Rayla suggested a bet: she thinks she can kill more Scoia'tael than me. Her tally so far is twenty. I bet Rayla that I could kill more Scoia'tael than her. I need to collect squirrel tails as proof.
Winning the Bet / A Talk with Shani
Compete with Rayla:
- I think I've killed more Scoia'tael than Rayla has. Time to see Siegfried at the hospital. Time to see Siegfried at the hospital.
A Talk with Shani
Refuse such nonsense:
- I refused to take part in Rayla's elf killing spree. More important things on my mind. I really need to speak with Shani. I'd better go talk to Shani.
I met Shani at the hospital, but we were interrupted by a messenger who told us that a striga was seen in town. I have to tend to the monster. First and foremost, I must deal with the striga.
To the Hospital
I slew the striga... Now back to the hospital. Shani and I need to have a conversation, in relative calm. I can now return to the hospital and speak with Shani.
The Scoia'tael Assault
The Scoia'tael have overrun the hospital. I must defend the wounded. I must defend the wounded against the Scoia'tael.
Scoia'tael Lay Siege to the Hospital
I killed a group of attacking Scoia'tael. Others have surrounded the hospital. I need to tend to them. I must face the Scoia'tael outside the hospital. (3000 XP)
White Rayla in Need
The Scoia'tael have surrounded White Rayla by the hospital. I must help her! I must help White Rayla. She's near the hospital.
White Rayla and I easily dealt with the Scoia'tael commando. She's invited me to join her in the command post she established in a nearby building. Rayla invited me into her hideout.
A Talk with Rayla
Follow the knight outside and skip the sex. (2000 XP)
We are going to assume positions on the barricade. I need to speak with White Rayla first. I need to have a word with White Rayla. (4000 XP)
Taking the Barricades
We're on our way to take the barricade. Yaevinn, mad with grief after Toruviel's death, is sure to attack, condemning himself to certain death... We're off to take the barricade and drive the nonhumans out of Old Vizima.
Siegfried and I are attacking the left flank. We'll break through that way. Siegfried and I are attacking on the left!
The Other Flank
Rayla is on the other flank! We must reach her, join ranks! We must break through to Rayla on the right flank!
A Last Line of Defense
We have joined ranks with Rayla to attack the Scoia'tael, their last line of defense. One final push! The Scoia'tael! We must break their last line of defense!
We defeated the Scoia'tael but suffered a great loss in the process. White Rayla is dead, brought down treacherously by Yaevinn's arrow. We are victorious, but Yaevinn killed White Rayla.
The Swamp Cemetery
The Scoia'tael have been driven out of Vizima. Siegfried and I managed to get to the swamp cemetery. The Grand Master himself is said to be fighting in the vicinity. We managed to reach the cemetery in the swamp. (8000 XP)