Make your way to the Tailor's Workshop's to pick up some suitable clothes if you wish, or head straight for Mountebank Alley. Either way, you'll run into some thugs at one point to learn Damien's earlier words were true. You can loot them as well to find a contract, just to clarify the point.
If you don't have any suitable clothes and want to, go to the tailor. Any formal attire works, even other formal wear like the Ornate robe from the Hearts of Stone expansion (which will lead to a remark from Anna Henrietta later). Don't bother buying a mask as none of them are correct, though if you do wear one, again Anarietta will make a comment about it when you meet her. Once you have everything, equip your new attire and head to the alley.
When you arrive, the duchess is nowhere in sight, so you must wait for her. When she does, she'll comment on your attire and then give you the appropriate mask to wear. You can then talk to the doorman to learn a bit more about the performances before heading in.
Here, you can take part in a number of activities. As it doesn't matter how few or many you do (what happens in the quest will happen regardless) feel free to look around some. The optional activities include:
- throwing paint balls at the canvas (just to the left of the stairs)
- interacting with the mimes (just in front of the stairs)
- absinthe sample on various tables
- light a lantern on the back railing
There's several others you can do that don't show up as markers, like watching the master illusionist. Once you're ready, head into the first alcove on the left side (if facing towards the back railing) to find a painter at work. You can talk first about the painting that leads to some interesting tidbits. Regardless, you learn this isn't Cecilia, but she did see Cecilia with the Cintrian wander off to the refreshment tables. Head over there where there's a few things to examine, but what you want is on the table, the heart-shaped box. Using your Witcher Senses, follow the scent all the way around the courtyard and through a door to find a bodyguard. However, before you can figure out another way, the bodyguard recognizes the duchess' voice and offers to help, letting you go upstairs. While there's several doors, the perfume trail (and the other two being locked) indicates the middle door as Cecilia's room. Head in for a cutscene.
You can examine the body and a handprint on the door frame. Head out onto the balcony and cross over to the next balcony where you can also examine the broken pot and footprints before heading around and climbing up the ladder and entering the next room. Here, there's a number of things you need to examine: the mirror, blood stain, jewelry box, broken necklace (which will then let you pick up the valuable jewel beside it), the slashed painting, the knife near the door, the knocked over inkwell, the candelabrum near the window, and the blood on the window's ledge. Once you've examined all of them, a cutscene and a long conversation begins. Respond however you wish to everything before Regis and Dettlaff appear. You'll have a timed reaction choice here before pulling Regis aside for a private conversation, then back to the others before eventually ending the quest.
While the quest may be finished, you can go find the Cintrian's body if you wish for a small comment by Geralt. To find it, go to the intersection that's east of Orianna's estate and look among the lower part of the cliffs to find the body.
- It seemed as if matters had come to a head and the witcher would finally face he who had for some time succeeded in slinking from Geralt's grip like a snake. The Cintrian was to appear at a soirée hosted by "Mandragora" - an exclusive club that brought together all manner of artists who thought very highly of themselves. As I see it, they were a host of individuals whom nature had denied any significant talent. Thus, they opted not to produce more and better work, but instead to whimper into the ears of wealthy patrons - a practice for which I have always had the utmost contempt. But back to the Cintrian - Geralt and Anna Henrietta decided they would attend the soirée and nab this scoundrel dog.
- The witcher was largely unaccustomed to battles in which lies, flattery and the occasional petty insult served as the combatants' chief arms. Yet with the aid of Anarietta (much better acquainted with this type of combat - mean retorts being her weapon of choice), he managed to blend into the members of Beauclair's boheme who had assembled and mingle largely unnoticed. Together, the duchess and the witcher searched for the Cintrian. He had reportedly arrived for the evening with the famed singer Cecilia Bellante on his arm. Alas, poor Cecilia had not known the evening would end in tragedy for her. Geralt found her, her throat cut just moments before, and set off in pursuit of her murderer.
- The Cintrian had appeared that evening to steal the Heart of Toussaint, a ducal jewel in the possession of Orianna, the soirée's host. The witcher could not interrogate the thief, as he had died tragically while attempting to make off with his loot. Yet he had left behind a clue leading to Dun Tynne Castle, which the witcher made his next destination. Yet the assault on this fort manned by many knights would not prove easy. Ironically, Anna Henrietta made this so by giving Geralt an additional objective. You see, the thief had first obtained a barrel of ducal wine and then attempted to pinch a jewel that had in the past belonged to Syanna, Anarietta's sister. The fact of said sister's existence surprised me as much as it must surprise you, my readers. Who knew Anarietta had a sister, and what's more, one even more fiery than the duchess herself? These facts caused the duchess to suspect Syanna could herself be at Dun Tynne. So she ordered the witcher to go there and find her. As if these revelations were not enough, the evening ended in a philosophically complex scene featuring the duchess of Toussaint, several ancient higher vampires and a grumpy witcher sharing a table. The conversation proved both lively and varied, spanning matters ranging from the intricacies of combating monsters to the propriety of wearing deep-cut formal dresses.
- [Optional] Put on clothes Anna Henrietta will consider appropriate for the soiree.
- Meet Anna Henrietta in Mountebank Alley.
- Search the alcoves for a woman with a Koviri orchid in her hair.
- [Optional] Take part in the soiree's entertainments.
- [Optional] Grab some paint balls.
- [Optional] Throw paint balls to express your inner artist. (15)
- Use your Witcher Senses to search the refreshment tables.
- Use your Witcher Senses to follow the scent.
- Using your Witcher Senses, follow the tracks across the balconies.
- Use your Witcher Senses to search the room and find out what happened there.
- If you visit the tailor and wear a set of fancy clothes when you meet Anna Henrietta, she will compliment you for your style. If you also have all your weapons removed and wearing a mask (like the one you use for the masquerade ball in the quest A Matter of Life and Death, you can also buy it from the tailor) she will further compliment you for your forethought, but will still give you a different mask saying yours is not the required kind.
- If you go for shock and awe by choosing to wear just your breeches Anna does not even notice and treats you the same as if you had worn your armor.
- The optional objective will not always be completed immediately, like with Elegant Beauclair doublet, if you put on other proper clothes like those you get during the Imperial Audience, however it will be marked as completed after meeting Anna Henrietta, who will praise them just like the clothes that do work immediately.
- After the mission you can find the Cintrian's body east of Mandragora, down the slope.