The Secrets of Loc Muinne is a quest in Chapter III of The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings. It was added to the game as part of the Enhanced Edition. This quest can only be accessed if you took Iorveth's path.
This quest is activated once you reach Loc Muinne's square. Two scholars Gaspar and Farid are looking for someone who can protect them from monsters. If you accept they will wait for you in the second level of the Crypt of Mages.
Crypt of Mages
The scholars reveal to you they are searching Dearhenna's laboratory below Loc Muinne, surely filled with danger. If you accept their offer, they tell you to meet them in the Crypt of Mages in the basement of the square's tower. Once there you learn their friends are Cynthia and another Nilfgardian mage, Adalbert.
You can attack them but be ready for a hard fight. However, this will cause the quest to fail. Otherwise you can accept the job and start your search for the laboratory.
As you talk to them you learn that they are tunnelling through the crypt to the sewers to access the laboratory underneath the redanian encampment. You can also ask Adelbert about Triss and discover that he interrogated her. You can ask several more times for more details of her interrogation at his hands or just punch him there and then. You ultimately punch him anyway even if this was not selected.
When Cynthia removes an illusion, a guardian's eye appears, which ask you a riddle. Gaspar tries to answer the first one but he makes a mistake and dies. Then your turn will come - eye may ask you one of three riddles:
- I'm seen to fly, described as hard. I can be your currency and heal all wounds, but not many things can stand my test. Answer: Time
- Pleasant or terrible, I come at night or in daytime. Short or long, but yours alone, essential, I am... Answer: Dream
- Capable of kindness and cruelty, I take victims when I sour. I can be on your side or wrong you. I bring gifts, though you already have me. Answer: Fate
Each time you can ask rest of expedition which one they think is a proper answer.
The third requires you and two of your companions to stand next to specific frescos. The circular room has nine frescos, each showing a different image. You will need to choose the right combination of three to get past the guardian, if you get it wrong you get attacked by three Gargoyles (you can collect their hearts and dust and make some money).
The third riddle goes like this:
"A group of travellers wandering through the dark, three guides above them so three were marked, at night they trailed a Drake Serpentine,
And a silver lady, shining and fine, if only her Visage she would deign to unfold,
By day they followed a mountainside vault - its riches untold."
- Verse 1
- The Hourglass
- The Dragon Constellation
- The Allegory of Alchemical Transformation
- Verse 2
- The White Rose
- The Full Moon
- The Deaths Head
- Verse 3
- The Ravine
- The Tower
- The Mine Entrance In The Mountainside
The answers for each verse are:
Verse 1 - The Dragon Constellation, Verse 2 - The Full Moon, Verse 3 - The Mine Entrance In The Mountainside
You then gain access to Dearhenna's Laboratory where a Talking Golem now resides.
You can try to charm him, but he states that he is an automaton and is immune to all charms, he then considers you a threat and attacks you. He also sees trying to find out his name-word as an attack and states he will consider you an intruder (Note however that you are allowed to ask if he is allowed to reveal his name-word). Investigate all avenues and you get the conversation choices based on that, anything invasive and he will attack.
- If you state its going nowhere, he will attack you.
- If you offer to free him with Dearhenna's notes, he will attack you.
- If you select that you are a guest, and then invoke hospitality, he states that it is a human law and he attacks you.
- If you try to learn his name, he attacks you.
- If you talk about lies and delusions and state you're Dearhenna, he attacks you.
- If you state that only the master's will exists, you finally break him with a paradox. He drops a Golem's trophy and two Elemental stone.
If you choose to fight the Golem instead, thus bypassing all the dialogue, two additional Golems would come to life and join's the battle. This would award you with the Golem's trophy and two Elemental trophy as drops.
After you dealt with the golem, you can search the room for Dearhenna's Notes 1-5. You then begin a conversation with Cynthia about your past, where she reveals Geralt was a rider of the Wild Hunt, the mysterious device you found in the laboratory and at the end you get three conversation options which affect the quest, A Tome Truly Rare, and what quest items you obtain:
- "We are even."
- "I can't let you leave with that."
- You are forced to fight and kill both Cynthia and Adelbert who splits into three opponents. This fight can be quite a challenge, and it's not made any less frustrating by the fact that if you die, you'll have to go through all of the dialogue again. One tactic is to give whoever's about to attack--or simply closest--a nice hard Aard to the face: if your critical effect chances are high, there is a chance you'll get an instant kill. Moreover, don't bother attacking Cynthia when she looks like she's even considering teleporting, because she'll be entirely untouchable for an obscene number of frames, so while you're swinging away at her with mighty impotence, a number of Adelbert's projectiles are likely to have snuck up on you. At any rate, wearing a trophy that increases Vitality doesn't hurt, as your 4 enemies can whittle it down in a matter of seconds--also an excellent reason to constantly keep dodging no matter your build or gear or difficulty setting.
- A Tome Truly Rare, Dearhenna's Notes IV and The Bane of the Vrans are available.
- You can use the prototype megascope three times.
- "I want to try the device."
- Note that this is the only option to give a possibility to a have love scene with Cynthia. You are forced to fight and kill Adelbert, who splits into three opponents, with Cynthia's help on your side. Cynthia, true to her word, allows you to look at one person. Here you get the choice of Triss, Vernon, Dandelion, Saskia or Radovid.
- The quest, A Tome Truly Rare, and Dearhenna's Notes IV are available but The Bane of the Vrans is not.
- You can use the prototype megascope once.
The options for the megascope are:
- Triss - This option is not available if you have rescued Triss before this quest.
- You see Triss in prison being interrogated by Shilard.
- Roche reports that Geralt has sided with Iorveth and asks if termination is required. Instead he was asked to verify a large force of Nilfgaardians on the South Bank of the Yaruga.
- Unsurprisingly, Dandelion is in bed with a woman, possibly a whore, telling stories about Geralt and himself. A very entertaining and humorous scene to watch.
- Radovid defeats Carduin at chess, and they draw parallels to Radovid's plans for the Summit.
This quest will net you 500 XP and start the Quest "Dearhenna's Journal."
- Not far from the large tower located at the center of Loc Muinne, Geralt ran into a peculiar pair of gentlemen whom I may already have mentioned. If I did not, know that they were alchemists, shady characters calling themselves scholars, though they certainly were not known in academic circles. They informed the witcher that the great Dearhenna's laboratory was nestled some where beneath the ruined city. Although this mage had died many centuries earlier, he remained quite famous. If Dearhenna's laboratory contained scholarly treasures documenting but a fraction of his knowledge, or even more tantalizingly one of the sorcerer's creations, an expedition in search of it would certainly be worth the effort. Geralt was intrigued, took the alchemists up on their offer, and entered the tower to meet the expedition's other members.
- As it turned out, the "other members" were are Nilfgaardians - namely, the mages Cynthia and Adalbert. Though he found it hard to control himself, as the Black Ones had rattled his chain recently, Geralt engaged in a civil conversation. Before he knew it, he had joined the expedition. It's possible he hoped to get something interesting out of Cynthia along the way, though truth be told he was also curious to see what Dearhenna had left behind. The expedition promptly entered the sewers in a bid to find the sorcerer's laboratory.
- The sewers, however, were crawling with monsters. Geralt, Cynthia and Adalbert had to fight off a horde of necrophages.
- Once the sewers were safe, the explorers could move on towards the laboratory.
- An illusion masked the door to Dearhenna's workshop, but the team boasted two mages. Cynthia demonstrated some of what she could do by dispelling the mirage.
- The group then encountered another obstacle. A guardian eye, one of Dearhenna's creations, was poised above the door. Clueless, Geralt approached it and...
- The eye asked him a riddle. It turned out that Dearhenna could at times be both childish and witty. This eye would only let pass those who solved its riddle. One of the alchemists, Gaspar, rushed in with an answer. Little did he know that the punishment for being wrong was death.
- Luckily, Geralt was up to the task and managed to solve the eye's riddle. Everyone breathed a sigh of relief. The entrance to Dearhenna's laboratory stood open.
- Yet the witcher and company had to set aside marveling at the chamber. A group of Redanian rivals had beat our hero's expedition to the room. There is little sentiment between treasure hunters. If two competing groups find themselves simultaneously in a single subterranean chamber, well, only one can survive.
- Ever wondered where the skeletons often found in abandoned cellars come from? Me neither. In any case, the skeletons in this cellar would be those of some Redanians who tried to mess with the witcher. Leaving behind a small stack of corpses, the team moved on only to encounter yet another guardian. Cynthia worked her magic once more, and as expected the guardian she revealed asked another riddle.
- "A group of travelers wandering through the dark. Three guides above them, so three were marked. At night they trailed a drake serpentine, and a silver lady shining and fine, if only her visage she would deign to unfold. By day they followed a mountain-vault- its riches untold." Thus ran the riddle. Geralt consulted his companions, concluding that the three guides of the riddle would need to be found in the allegorical frescoes on the walls of the chamber. Stone plates lay at the foot of each fresco. It was clear the group could solve the riddle by occupying the plates of the frescoes which they thought presented the guides.
- The riddle proved quite challenging, but the explorers put their heads together and solved it. Another door stood open before them. Unfortunately, only those standing near a fresco were safe. Still shaken by his companion's death, Farid the alchemist chose not to take part and fell victim to more of Dearhenna's malice. The remaining members of the party paid their respects in silence and moved on.
- Yet our fearless treasure hunters encountered an obstacle of a different sort inside. A golem crafted by Dearhenna guarded access to the sorcerer's legacy. Geralt was amazed by Dearhenna's mastery. The golem he had created proved a sharp conversationalist and keen logician - hardly fortunate for our heroes. Still, as clever as the golem seemed, Geralt decided he would try to dupe it.
- I must commend Geralt - he treated the talk with the golem like a duel and proved as effective at rhetoric as he was at swordplay. Our hero probed his opponent, discovered a weakness in his defenses and exploited it mercilessly. As it turned out, the artificial being, armed to the teeth with logical axioms, lacked common sense. The witcher laid down some bait and then led its reasoning astray. The golem knew not what to do and was neutralized. The way to Dearhenna's laboratory was now clear.
- As one would expect, the sorcerer's laboratory was saturated with magic. Ever careful, Cynthia sensed the aura and, as she had done before, cast a spell to reveal the surprises Dearhenna had in store for intruders. Geralt and Adalbert stayed sharp and waited patiently.
- Another illusion melted away to reveal a marvelous machine - clearly more of Dearhenna's handiwork. The expedition had reached its goal and it was time for the witcher and the Nllfgaardians to settle up. Yet the artifact stood there, begging them to look closer, beckoning them to touch it.
- Not asking to use the Megascope:
- Then Adalbert brought up his reservations about the witcher. He was simply unwilling to let any part of Dearhenna's legacy slip from his emperor's grasp. Having had his fill of fighting during the expedition, Geralt let the Nilfgaardians take the artifact and leave. He did not go unrewarded, however: before she left Cynthia spewed information like a mountain spring - and it was nothing to scoff at. The information was about Geralt personally. Facts from the witcher's past, previously lost to him through amnesia, now resonated in his head. And they would continue to do so for a long time.
- Asking to use the Megascope once:
- As Cynthia told it, Dearhenna's artifact would tap into the emotional bond between its user and another individual to establish a magic connection, even over a great distance. Intrigued, Geralt was eager to use it, if only to resolve one of the mysteries that still plagued him. Cynthia did not protest. Adalbert, on the other hand, categorically forbade the witcher from approaching the contraption. This was the last straw. The tension that had been building between the mage and the witcher exploded in a single act of anger. Adalbert hurled an especially nasty curse at Geralt and a fight ensued. Yet Geralt was not alone. Cynthia had had enough of Adalbert's behavior, and she and the mage had been unable to agree on how to divide the loot. The fight could very well rid her of a whole set of problems, so she simply took the witcher's side.
- All Adalbert's objections died with him. Cynthia let the witcher use the artifact just once, which pleased Geralt anyway. The information he gleaned through this bit of magic proved most valuable.
- His work done, it was time for Geralt to go. The witcher and the sorceress parted on peaceful, one could almost say friendly terms. Cynthia disappeared through a portal, Dearhenna's artifact in tow, while our hero went back to his own matters, urgent in and of themselves.
- Refusing to let Cynthia and Adalbert take the Megascope:
- Then Adalbert brought up his reservations about the witcher, granting them the form of an especially nasty spell. He was simply unwilling to let any part of Dearhenna's legacy slip from his emperor's grasp. In addition, he had never really warmed to Geralt. The cat was out of the Nilfgaardian bag, and our hero had to face the two treacherous mages.
- Geralt defeated the Nilfgaardians. It had been an exhausting fight, so he cooled off before approaching Dearhenna's artifact.
- Using the machine, Geralt managed to listen in to the lives of several individuals – some closer, some farther away. The information he gained was valuable. Yet the artifact's energy was not limitless. It went silent after three connections, and the witcher knew not how to revive it.