The Witcher: Outcast was a planned add-on for The Witcher that was in development by roXidy.
It was going to be released as DLC in most countries and have a disc release in some countries, like Poland and Russia. It was in development from late 2007 until around mid-2008, when it was cancelled by CD PROJEKT RED.
The story takes place in the early part of Geralt's life, before he is established as a Witcher, during the reign of King Videmont of Aedirn (around 1190). It takes place in the Skellige Isles off the west coast, on an island ruled by jarl Harald. Many years ago, a monster attacked Harald's pregnant wife Morganna. In return, Harald went out to slay the monster, with the help of the gnome Shiltzen. As payment, Shiltzen demanded Harald's firstborn, but when Morganna gave birth, she bore twins. Seeing that the second child was monstrous, Harald gave that child to Shiltzen instead of the firstborn Astrid.
We open with a cutscene; a meeting between Geralt and the impressive jarl, Harald. "It started with a regular contract, to find and kill a beast that was hunting the villagers of Lublow." We see a pregnant woman on a wagon, and then nearby, a huge beast creeping down an alley. As the beast leaps out to attack the woman, another masked woman jumps out of the shadows to confront it. They face off, the woman with a sword, the beast standing, unsure. Geralt springs down the street to attack the beast, but as he passes the masked woman, she jumps at him and we see her sword slash down and a great gash open in Geralt's face. As Geralt falls, the beast springs on the pregnant girl and bites her, then flees. The masked into an alley and we are left with the pregnant girl screaming in the street, and Geralt lying in an increasing pool of blood. We zoom into his face, and the huge gash in his face fades into his scar as the background drops away. "This time it was personal".
Act I: Kaer Karreg, Lublow & Woodland
Geralt begins the story recovering in the Sanctuary of Freyja in Lublow. Ylva the priestess tells him he is healed, and that jarl Harald, who employed him, can be found up at castle Karreg. Both Harald and Ylva will also point Geralt towards Ingrid, the pregnant woman that Geralt was trying to save in the opening cutscene. Ingrid confirms that she also saw the Masked Woman. As Ingrid begins to show signs of illness following the attack, Geralt tracks down another woman who was attacked many years ago by the beast. Her story is similar to Ingrid's, and she suggests that Ingrid may suffer the same fate as she did – to give birth to a monster. Ylva is unable to offer a cure for Ingrid, and in desperation, Ingrid and her husband beg Geralt to visit the Wise Woman in Han Cross. This opens Act II.
In parallel, Geralt investigates Lublow and its surroundings and takes on regular contracts. Astrid, Harald's daughter, fearing that her father will continue to blame the non-humans for the disappearances around Lublow, offers her help to Geralt, becoming available for several of the monster hunts as the game progresses.
Gisla, Lord Harald's second wife, also urges Geralt to find the monster and the Masked Woman he saw. The villagers confirm to Geralt that Gisla has hired Bounty Hunters to do the same task in the past, and Gisla confirms this, telling Geralt that the Bounty Hunters were killed or that one, a woman, disappeared. She asks Geralt to purchase swords quietly from the smith in Han Cross, in order to form a militia to defend Lublow from the beast. Geralt must be circumspect however; thralls are not entitled to bear arms, and Gisla would rather not have to explain herself to Harald until such an action has proven its worth.
Act II: Opens Han Cross & Southern Shores
Act opens with two cutscenes: the ferryboat from Lublow to Han Cross, and a cutscene showing a Forktail eating the body of a peasant in the fields of Han Cross. The villagers of Han Cross fear the beast has struck again. Geralt will reveal that the forktail is not the beast he seeks – but he may reveal that the body it took had been both long dead, and the victim of a sword slash. The body belongs to the steward of Harald, killed many years ago.
As Geralt continues to investigate Lublow and Han Cross, he discovers more cases of mysterious births. The Wise Woman of Han Cross will detail other mothers that gave birth to beasts, including one who went into the wild with her Spawn, and may be the Masked Woman. Several of these leads give rise to Spawn quests; boss monster style fights where Geralt (and potentially Astrid) face a powerful foe.
The common folk blame this apparent curse on many varying causes; straying from the gods, adultery, a curse from a druid, and other variations. The women themselves have either kept quiet or hidden, or have been spurned by the commoners. As Geralt begins to unravel the individual tales, he finds the common link in all of these cases is that the mother was bitten by a specific beast whilst pregnant. Many of the monsters that were subsequently born are still at large.
Geralt will have deduced there is more than one monster: they kill on some occasions, and on others only bite the pregnant women.
Geralt is forced towards making a choice between the old ways of the Wise Woman and the zeal of Ylva of Freyja, but it starts to become clear that Ingrid cannot be healed by either of them. In the meantime, more theories are presented as to what is happening around Lublow. Harald believes it is down to the gnome Shiltzen, who leads the non-humans. He presents as his reason a story of how some of his karls defiled an elvish holy site when they got drunk. The beast was Shiltzen's revenge, and the Masked Woman is one of the elves.
Astrid tells Geralt that the elves are not at fault and that she also believes Shiltzen to be blameless. She has grown to know Shiltzen well, and cannot understand her father's hatred of the gnome. A good relationship will also prompt Astrid to reveal the whereabouts of the elven leader Ellevander. If Ellevander has already been discovered, he will have revealed to Geralt that he saw the Masked Woman kill one of the Bounty Hunters. If not, he does not do so.
Gisla awaits the delivery of the swords she requested of Geralt, but whether Geralt accepted or not (or failed the quest), Gisla disappears for the rest of the Act. Instead the Hunt Master (or a bonde) fills her shoes (as well as performing more regular functions). The Hunt Master reveals to Geralt that Gisla looked very fearful before she disappeared.
The Act closes after Geralt has killed at least two of the Spawn. At this point, Harald tells Geralt he (and Gisla) has seen the heads that Geralt brought in, and they bear an uncanny resemblance to the monster Harald slew so many years ago. Harald tells Geralt he must get Shiltzen's whereabouts out of Astrid, for the gnome has committed some devilry – perhaps even brought about the original monster he helped to kill. Astrid agrees to take Geralt to find Shiltzen; either because she is convinced he can cure Ingrid, because of her strong relationship with Geralt, or because she needs to demonstrate to Geralt that her father's claims are false.
Act III: Opens Shiltzen's location
Cutscene to be determined. This Act has two parallel threads: one dealing with Shiltzen, and the other with Gisla.
Shiltzen's thread: It seems there is no hope for Ingrid, except to turn to the gnome Shiltzen. But here Geralt is faced with a dilemma: Does Geralt believe jarl Harald and want to kill Shiltzen, or does he believe Astrid and believe the beast has another cause? Shiltzen is adamant that all those years ago he helped Harald slay the monster and has nothing to do with this new beast. To prove it he offers a cure for Ingrid, stating that what has struck her must be some kind of lycanthropic disease. The potion fails to work.
Now Shiltzen becomes convinced it is something far rarer. He begins to muse that it might be hereditary or parasitic, since there is a clear link between the original monster and the new. If Geralt allows him to survive, Shiltzen will tell the story of a Prophecy, that the firstborn of Harald would be the saviour of the original inhabitants of Skellige. He tells how he was given Hafnir, Harald's deformed son.
Shiltzen admits to bringing up Hafnir, hoping that somehow this would save the elves from extinction. Shiltzen tells how Hafnir escaped to become the very monster that has been haunting the island. Desperate to prevent harm to Hafnir because of the Prophecy, he tells Geralt that Hafnir is Astrid's brother. Geralt must then decide whether Shiltzen should live or pay in some way for his part in this affair. Killing Shiltzen however will seriously damage Geralt's relationship with Astrid.
Gisla's Thread: In parallel, Gisla has returned to Kaer Karreg. Gisla has seen the heads that Geralt brought in, and has deduced that they must be the offspring of Hafnir. She tells Geralt that she saw the boy at birth, as she was the midwife present at the birth. She remembers that the gnome Shiltzen took him away. The heads that Geralt has brought in, and the features of Hafnir, were identical. However Geralt may also have discovered some of Gisla's own history from Ellevander, the leader of the Elves. Ellevander may have revealed that Harald's steward was murdered long ago when he discovered Gisla was buying poisons from a trader. Ellevander will reveal that he was commissioned to kill the steward.
It seems that Gisla may have poisoned Morganna, Harald's first wife, in order to take her place. Gisla's defence is that Morganna's blood was tainted when she was attacked by the original monster. She knows this because she saw Hafnir, and she feared that Sven, Morganna's second son, could also be a beast. Geralt may attempt to report Gisla, leave her in place or kill her. This will affect who becomes lord at the end of the game. Geralt returns to Harald with the knowledge that Hafnir is Harald's son.
With this presented to him, Harald admits that he gave the wrong child to Shiltzen. It becomes clear to Geralt that Astrid is the one that is crucial to the prophecy, and not Hafnir. Hafnir however, is still nowhere to be found. Geralt may also opt to tell Astrid that Hafnir is her own brother. At which point Astrid will admit to being the Masked Woman, and beg for Geralt not to kill Hafnir. She tells Geralt she has been protecting Hafnir, so she knows that the beast is not responsible for any of the killings – only for biting pregnant women. Astrid may attempt to pay off Geralt, or use her relationship to get him to leave. Geralt's responses determine whether Astrid agrees to help Geralt slay Hafnir, or leaves him in favour of her brother. Geralt discovers that Hafnir is now hunting him, determined to finish this.
After dark, as Geralt goes up to the castle, the beast is waiting for him, the body of Harald at his feet. Having refused to recognise his son, and return his birthright, Harald has paid with his life. Depending on Geralt's course of actions, Astrid may already be with Hafnir, or may arrive with Geralt. In the following combat, who Astrid sides with is determined by Geralt's prior actions.
Unless Geralt has already slain all the Spawn, Hafnir will also call them to his aid. Astrid cannot be killed in this battle, only knocked out. As Hafnir dies, he calls out to Astrid: 'only you can see our race live on'. If Geralt has left Gisla in place, then she will bring a mob of villagers to the bridge as the monster dies, calling for the tainted blood of Morganna to be cleansed, and all of her male line to be cleansed. The mob demand that Sven is surrendered to them. If Geralt delivered the swords requested by Gisla, the mob will arrive fully armed. Geralt must choose to fight the villagers and kill Gisla, or let them take Sven and hang him.
Closing: Following the final battle we then enter the final cutscene depending on the choices Geralt has made:
- The beast is dead. We see Sven take the Jarl's position and Geralt receiving payment.
- The beast is dead. We see Sven's corpse hanging on the hilltop and Gisla's son Ragnar take the Jarl's position.
- The beast is dead. We see Sven take the Jarl's position. The dead villagers are skattered across the bridge, and Geralt is a fugitive.
All the endings will see the prophecy regarding Astrid is fulfilled: we see Astrid, pregnant. Hafnir's prophetic words are replayed: 'only you can see our race live on'. Geralt understands the Prophecy refers to the race of beasts to which Hafnir belonged.
The story of Outcast takes place on the isle of Faroe, the southernmost and most isolated of the islands of Skellige. The whole island is ruled by jarl Harald, and comprises 3 main villages as well as the keep at Kaer Karreg. There are several clans on the island, mostly clustered in a particular village. The village of Stromsgard will not feature in Outcast.
The full design document was originally posted at GameBanshee, but CD PROJEKT RED's law agency issued a cease and desist letter on October 22, 2010 forcing the site to take it down.
- The Witcher Outcast (PC - Cancelled) at Unseen 64
- GameBanshee Feature: The Witcher: Outcast Design Document