Where is Triss Merigold? is one of the primary quests in The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings.
After his battle with Letho in the ruined elven baths, Geralt rushes back to Flotsam to try to save Triss, but he is too late. Meeting Dandelion at the inn, the witcher learns that Triss was last seen on her way to see Síle. The two men then decide to check Síle's room.
Inside Síle's room, they find a sight of carnage: a dead bodyguard, a smashed megascope and obvious signs of a scuffle. They also find a peephole from the brothel next door and depending on Geralt's alliances so far,
- Roche's Path: They see Derae, alive and alone.
- Iorveth's Path: They see Margot and Derae's corpse in the adjoining room.
They then rush over to find out if the woman has seen anything that might help them locate Triss. She tells them that she saw Triss and Cedric enter the room and that Cedric killed the guard. Geralt also learns that Cedric then left, staggering.
- Roche's Path: If Geralt is interrogating Derae, she tells him that Triss spoke to Dethmold via the megascope and a flashback of that conversation is shown. At one point, he agrees to answer one question. You are presented with 3 choices:
- If you ask about the assassination, he knows nothing.
- If you ask about Henselt, he reluctantly tells you that Henselt is planning to take over the Ponsar valley. He gives a fair amount of detail, none of which has any obvious bearing on the game.
- If ask about Sile, he tells you she wants three profitable alchemy shops and a seat on the royal council.
- After this, Derae says that Margot has gone missing and the quest "Margot's Disappearance" is launched. At this point, Geralt can try to find Margot. Afterwards he has to find Cedric. Note: this is the only chance to do Margot's Disappearance. When you find Cedric, "At the Crossroads" begins, and "Margot's Disappearance" will be marked Failed if not complete.
- Iorveth's Path: Geralt is speaking to Margot, she tells him that Triss then spoke to Philippa via the megascope and a flashback of their conversation is shown, after which Margot gives Geralt a letter for Iorveth and reveals that she has helped Iorveth on occasion in the past. Geralt then decides to go look for Cedric.
Cedric's trail can be found using a Cat potion, which will highlight blood on the ground (Alternatively, if you're a cheapskate with plenty of time to kill, you can also use the medallion, which also highlights blood). From the gate between Flotsam and Lobinden, Geralt finds a trail of blood leading into the forest. After following the trail, he is led to a location near the waterfall in the forest where he finds Cedric wounded and lying on the ground. The witcher gets the rest of the story from Cedric and then the elf dies.
Chapter II (Iorveth's Path)
After "The War Council" Geralt continues his search for Triss in order to get a rose of remembrance for Saskia's antidote. He decides to get Philippa's help to find Triss. Upon his arrival, he surprises the sorceress and her apprentice, Cynthia. He then asks her to locate Triss but she says she can't do anything without some item which belonged to Triss. Only then can she pinpoint her magically.
A few more enquiries about town reveal that a dwarf is telling tales of seeing a woman fall from the sky. Geralt locates the dwarf, Mantas Birut at The Cauldron. Mantas then relates his tale of two persons falling from the sky, a man and a woman. He also reveals that a troll found the woman after the man abandoned her.
The witcher then proceeds towards the troll lair in the neighbouring ravines, and there he finds a troll enjoying a bit of elf and onion soup. A few more questions reveal that the troll did find a red-headed woman and nurse her back to health, but had to let her go due to his wife's jealousy. He says that if Geralt wants something belonging to the red-head, he'll have to convince the she-troll to come back home. This will net you the achievement "Friend of Trolls" and they will appear later in the quest "Vergen Beseiged." Alternatively, the witcher could just kill the troll. This will get you the "Trollslayer" achievement if you killed the troll in Chapter I as well.
Continuing south, Geralt comes upon the she-troll (specifically, he goes south then takes the left turn at the crossroads and climbs up a ledge). Once on the top he witnesses the she-troll and some mercenaries fighting. He then must choose to support the mercenaries by killing the she-troll and looting her body for Triss' bandana (but this leads to bad-will with her husband if Geralt had not also killed him earlier), or he can defeat Pangratt and his men. Pangratt surrenders once his health drops below 50% at which point Geralt can speak with the she-troll and receive Triss' bandana.
Having made sure to complete the "With Flickering Heart" side quest, Geralt returns to Philippa Eilhart's house. He gives her Triss' bandana and she promises to try to find Triss. (1500XP reward). After finishing that task, the witcher hears a commotion outside and upon investigating, learns that the peasants have accused Prince Stennis of poisioning Saskia (allowing Royal Blood to continue).
He later reenters Philippa Eilhart's house and again interrupts a little scene between the sorceress and Cynthia. Philippa tells him that Triss is now on the other side of the mist, but that she can help the witcher cross over with the help of a medallion. Geralt then proceeds toward the battlefield, leaving via the west gate. (Note: crossing the mist is the same as it was at the beginning of the chapter, with the witcher having to periodically defeat wraiths while avoiding draugirs and dead soldiers).
Finally on the other side, he finds Vernon Roche and his men cleaning up after a Nilfgaardian ambush. They decide that Geralt must get to Nilfgaardian camp. Vernon then says he'll meet the witcher there and tells him that there are two ways to get there:
- By way of the cave under the camp which is accessed through the brothel to the south.
- or sneaking through the Kaedweni camp by using a path from the north. (This earns you the Black Ops achievement (Steam), as well as the "Child of the Night" ability)
Note: Approaching the prostitutes and talking to Madame Carole saves a rather sneaky adventure through the camp to get to the caves, but it is rather costly (a bribe of a minimum of 500 orens).
Or you can search for the small path leading to the coast. When entering the camp pass the canteen, head straight ahead through the alley of tents until you can turn left to the path alongside the palisade. Continue until you reach an entrance (notice the Autosave just before the spot) where 5 guards will enter. Wait for them to pass, then continue straight ahead along the palisade (beware the peeing soldier). Continue on until you see the cook (the trickiest part), run in and rapidly begin clicking on him to fill a meter which will cast the Axii sign on him, or kill him by throwing a poisoned harpy claw. Do not try to remotely cast Axii, it will not work and will alert the guards, you must run up to him and fill the meter. Continue along the palisade to the right and continue to the 2nd entrance, where another 5 soldiers may be encountered. Go through this door, then walk down to the shore and into the cave, avoiding the soldier to the right.
In either case the cave is the same - a few Rotfiends and a Bullvore along the way. You should also kill the golem at the end of the cave. He is on the right side across a small gap which separates his area from the main part of the cave. Jump over it to fight him. Beware, the golem is not to be underestimated; the room holds some nice loot.
After exiting the cave you will be brought into a tent and after a short flashback and some news about Triss, sentenced to death. Vernon Roche and Ves will come to your aid at the last possible moment. Fight the remaining forces by firstly focusing on the mage, Vanhemar. He will protect himself by repeatedly casting Quen and teleporting away, but is also able to use the other signs as well.
Once all enemies are defeated there will be 2 possibilities what happen next, depending on your choices in Royal Blood:
- If you killed Stennis, Vernon Roche will pretend you are a prisoner to get you through the camp. There is no difficulty in finishing the quest this way, just watch out for a patrol coming from the left and wait for them to pass before even starting to walk. Exit through the door ahead of you. Done.
- If you let Stennis live, you have to get to Henselt for the royal blood.
Return to Philippa and pass through the mist with her again (you know the drill). Back in Vergen, talk to Philippa in her house. She will tell you that Cynthia escaped, but left the rose of remembrance behind. Philippa can now cast the spell to resurrect the sleeping beauty. (XP 2250 - the story continues with Vergen Besieged)
Chapter III (Iorveth's Path)
After successfully defending Vergen and following Philippa and Saskia (along with Iorweth), you will see a cutscene of Triss being decompressed from her figurine prison and returned to human form.
This quest is generally completed, except if you decide to leave Philippa in the dungeons and search for Triss at the end of the quest For a Higher Cause!.
Walk down the stairs with the ambassador as a hostage and turn left on the first crossing at the bottom. Some guards will see you and back away while shouting at you. Follow them through the door up the stairs and out to a yard. The commander of the Nilfgardian soldiers will then shoot the ambassador then send the entire camp of soldiers after you. Dodge around, you have a lot of space to fight and your adrenalin should soon be filled up so you can lighten up their ranks.
Ensure you don't kill Renauld with igni, or a bug will stop you from releasing Triss afterward.
Walk to the ladder and follow the path into the other yard. Here are even more soldiers as well as a mage and the commander himself. Kill them all and take the commanders key to free Triss out of her prison in the dungeon nearby. Talk to her and take her with you, which will conclude this quest (XP 2500).
You will unlock A Summit of Mages.
- In Chapter II on Iorveth's Path, be sure to do your side quests (like With Flickering Heart) first before giving Triss' bandana to Philippa. Doing so will trigger an 'event' and will prevent you from completing some of your side quests.
- In Chapter II while sneaking through the Nilfgaardian camp, should you get caught, no matter what you do when going through the door at the end and trying to go down the path, try re-loading to a previous save to reset.
- If Geralt does not give Iorveth his sword during the quest "The Assassins of Kings":
- Triss was in danger. The kingslayer wanted to grab her and force her to open a portal to Aedirn. Geralt rushed full pelt to Flotsam - every second was precious. A single heartbeat could decide the sorceress' life or death.
- Loredo consecrated the victory over the Scoia'tael by announcing a great celebration. There were barrels of beer and free sausage – what more would the people of a shithole town need to love their new heroes? Geralt was in no mood to celebrate, however. He ran for the inn where I awaited. Only I knew what was happening with Triss.
- If Geralt gives Iorveth his sword during the quest "The Assassins of Kings":
- Triss was in danger. The kingslayer wanted to force her to open a portal to Aedirn. Geralt ran to Flotsam as fast as he could - there was no time to lose. A single heartbeat could decide whether the sorceress lived or died.
- And what of Flotsam? Iorveth had won and his victory wrought bloody revenge upon the people of Flotsam. They, in turn, avenged themselves on the nonhumans living in the trading post. It was a pogrom that would echo through Temeria for years to come. Thatched roofs set alight, the street were piled with corpses and smashed barricades. Geralt ran through blood and flame to the inn, to find me waiting there. Only I knew what was happening with Triss.
- Somewhat surprised by Geralt's haste and preoccupied with the events occurring at the trading post, I answered the witcher's stern question with surprise, telling him that Triss had gone to see Síle. Then I looked at the witcher's face and understood that this was no joke. I joined him for moral support.
- And Síle's room? It looked like the devil had danced there. My trained eye immediately recognized that a fight happened. Feverish, we searched for any clues to tell us what had happened to Triss.
- The Good Book says he who seeks shall find. In the wall separating the sorceress' room from the neighboring den of pleasure, we found a hole with at least one purpose. Someone could peek through it and see what was happening in Síle's room! Never had the witcher run so fast to a brothel.
- Today I know what happened in that room, but back then we had a difficult riddle to solve. At the brothel we were told that Triss had entered the room with the elf Cedric and spoken with someone through a magical device called a megascope. We learned that our sole witness had fled through the trading post's gate, wounded. Because of the darkness, ordinary people would have had to wait until morning to search, but for a witcher with a Cat potion at his disposal, no night is too dark. Without wasting a moment, Geralt left to search for Cedric, following a trail of blood.
- Unfortunately it was too late for the elf. Before he died, he managed to explain that he tried to fight the kingslayer in Síle's room. Letho had forced Triss to open a portal through which the tormentor and his victim departed for the town of Vergen in Aedirn. I had a feeling Triss was dead, but the witcher had to find her, of course, or at least her body.
- Roche's path:
- The witcher didn't find any traces of Triss Merigold in Vergen, but Fate smiled upon our hero as he was exiting the ghastly mist. Geralt ran into Roche and his men, who were searching Nilfgaardian bodies. It turned out that the Emperor's troops attacked the Blue Stripes, a deed strange in itself and most likely resulting from nervous tension. But Vernon saved the most interesting bit for the end: he saw a miniature figurine bearing an uncanny resemblance to Triss Merigold in the Black Ones' hands. The witcher, of course, heard of artifact compression - a spell allowing to polymorph a living being into an inanimate item. Without wasting time, he followed the Nilfgaardian survivors to their camp, hoping he will find the sorceress there.
- Geralt reached the Nilfgaardian camp, but he was too late. He could only watch as the Nilfgaardian vessel sailed away. The camp was deserted and bereft of any clues as to whether the Black Ones had indeed kidnapped Triss or not. The witcher had no way to follow the escapees up river, so the trail went cold. The witcher clenched his fists and decided to finish what he had to finish, and then venture off in pursuit of the Nilfgaardians.
- Iorveth's path:
- Further reading will tell you that Geralt accomplished a lot in Aedirn. He fought wars, killed monsters, obstructed kings and caused unhealthy arousal in sorceresses. You have to keep in mind, however, that his priority was finding Triss. Sorceresses, as all other women do, keep in packs. Thus, in his search, Geralt headed for Philippa Eilhart's house. Unhealthy arousal, however, was out of the question in that case.
- If Geralt talks to Philippa Eilhart about Triss:
- It turned out that someone in Vergen might have encountered Triss. A dwarf had seen a redheaded woman fall from the sky. The witcher decided this had not been the passenger of an unruly broom, and assumed instead that it had been Triss falling out of a portal. He immediately went to see that dwarf.
- If Geralt hears Mantas Birut's story:
- Someone who falls from the sky is likely, in a general sense, to have numerous misadventures and get in trouble at the drop of hat. The dwarf told the witcher that after dropping from the heavens, the woman had been kidnapped by a troll from the forested ravines. It seems only knights get to deal with dragons and damsels in distress. The witcher had to content himself with a troll and a sorceress.
- If Geralt agrees to help the he-troll:
- It was one of those gloomy trolls that neither build bridges nor harass sheep and shepherds, but sit on a stone, brooding until they turn into rock themselves. Geralt only managed to learn that the troll indeed found a woman who fell from the sky, but only a piece of cloth remained. The garment was in the hands of the troll's wife, however she had left her husband. To recover the sorceress' clothing, Geralt had to bring the female troll back. What choice did he have?
- If Geralt agrees to help the he-troll without hearing Mantas Birut's story:
- In Aedirn, Geralt continued his intrepid search for Triss Merigold. Near the town of Vergen, he chanced upon a troll who had met the sorceress. It was one of those gloomy trolls that neither build bridges nor harass sheep and shepherds, but sit on boulders, brooding until they turn to stone. The troll had indeed found a woman who had fallen from the sky, but only her bandana remained. The garment, however, had been stolen by the troll's wife just before she had left her mate. To recover the sorceress' bandana, Geralt had to bring the she-troll home. What choice did he have?
- If Geralt fights the he-troll:
- Even a brooding troll can be a dangerous troll, a fact Geralt learned the hard way when he infuriated the monster. His intentions were good, but as usual, things got out of hand. The witcher was once again saved by the training he had received at Kaer Morhen. When the troll fell, Geralt could look for its better half, and for Triss' bandana.
- If Geralt helps Adam Pangratt fight the she-troll:
- Having found his way to the she-troll's lair, Geralt was surprised to encounter humans there. They were mercenaries commanded by one Adam Pangratt, a soldier of fortune who had made a name for himself at Brenna. The soldiers and she-troll were at each other's throats. As a witcher should, Geralt decided to help the mercenaries defeat the beast.
- As it turned out, the witcher was not the sole human in the area to be interested in trolls. A group of Adam Pangratt's mercenaries was hunting the brooding troll's wife. Facing a conflict of interest, Geralt stood with the humans, as a witcher should. The female troll fell, and our hero took Triss' bandana from the beast's still warm body.
- If Geralt helps the she-troll fight Adam Pangratt:
- Having found his way to the she-troll's lair, Geralt was surprised to encounter humans there. They were mercenaries commanded by one Adam Pangratt, a soldier of fortune who had made a name for himself at Brenna. The soldiers and she-troll were at each other's throats. Always sensitive to injustice, even that perpetrated on beasts, Geralt decided to help the she-troll drive off her assailants.
- If Geralt did not fight the he-troll:
- All happy families are alike. Including trollish families. Thanks to Geralt the couple was together again, and the trollish woman rewarded our hero with Triss' scarf for all his efforts.
- As it turned out, the witcher was not the sole human in the area to be interested in trolls. A group of Adam Pangratt's mercenaries was hunting the brooding troll's wife. Facing a conflict of interest, Geralt stood with the female troll, whom he was supposed to bring back to her mate. Furious, the soldiers of fortune attacked the witcher, and our hero had to defend both himself and the beast. We could debate whether he did the right thing. As it was, he forced Pangratt to yield and could reunite the she-troll and he-troll.
- Geralt turned out to be smarter than some of his deeds would suggest. He may have not found Triss, but he certainly knew a crafty sorceress could locate a missing person using said person's clothes. And Philippa Eilhart was, beyond all doubt, a crafty sorceress.
- The witcher gave the scarf to Philippa, but the search for Triss had to wait. Friendship is all fine and dandy, but politics was always more important to Philippa. At that time, the Redanian sorceress put all her effort into the attempts to cure Saskia, and no-one could blame her for that.
- Following the confusion with Prince Stennis, Geralt was forced to seek Philippa's advice. The sorceress had more time for him and helped the witcher with a very important matter...
- I am forced to admit that once Philippa rolled up her sleeves and finally got to work, the results proved miraculous. Using her megascope, she ascertained that Triss was in an area shielded from divination magic, that is, either on the cursed battlefield or on the other side of it. The reader may ask if this was the limit of what this mistress of magic could do under the circumstances. But the learned among you know that cursed places are naturally saturated with chaotic energy and immune to penetration. Philippa gave Geralt an amulet that would lead him safely through the spectral mist, so the witcher resumed his search for Triss without further ado.
- The path through the mist was a path through a battle, through a clash of two wraith armies born of soldiers who had died in a struggle between Kaedwen and Aedirn many years ago. Death and chaos ruled that cursed soil, and Geralt was an intruder. But he was also a witcher, so he managed to get to the other side. To say he did so unscathed would be to say that the elves had benefited from human colonization. Vernon Roche awaited Geralt on the other side of the deathly cloud, and believe me, the witcher would rather have crossed the mist back and again than talked to Roche. Yet despite their differences, they shared a goal - both wished to find Triss. Vernon claimed the sorceress could be in Henselt's camp, among the Nilfgaardians. Geralt could not enter through the front gate. He had a choice: to use an eastern entrance, by the river, along the cliffs, or to ask the camp followers about another way in.
- If Geralt enters the cave under the Kaedweni camp through the old tower's cellar:
- Once more the madame proved priceless as a source of information. Sometimes I think that if prostitutes were placed in charge of training witchers at Kaer Morhen, more of the boys would survive that ordeal and they would emerge into the world armed with all sorts of additional knowledge - and not just the kind you thought of first. But I digress. The witcher found the cave entrance, boldly strode inside, and began looking for the tunnel that would lead him straight to Shilard Fitz-Oesterlen's camp.
- If Geralt enters the cave under the Kaedweni camp by going through the camp:
- Our hero decided to make for the tunnel leading to the Nilfgaardians by going straight through Henselt's camp. Obviously, he couldn't simply walk between the soldiers' tents. He crept through the shadows, looking for cover behind tent walls, and gave a wide berth to the guards. He tried to be as silent as snowflakes falling onto drifts.
- The western part of the camp really contained an entrance to a cave that lead Geralt to the Nilfgaardian camp.
- If Geralt needs to get Henselt's blood for the "Royal Blood" quest:
- The witcher managed to enter the Kaedweni camp, and since he was already there he decided to sneak into Henselt's tent and get the royal blood he needed to cure Saskia. A plan worthy of a vampire, but Geralt was no bloodsucker (though he killed many). Our hero decided he needed the services of an ace spy and asked Vernon Roche for help.
- If Geralt used Stennis' blood for the "Royal Blood" quest:
- Entering the Kaedweni camp was much easier than leaving it. Therefore Geralt asked Vernon Roche, who had already proven his ability to extract the witcher from hostile territory in the dungeons of Castle La Valette, for help.
- Keeping their multinational Empire in check required much craftiness from the Black Ones, and Shilard Fitz-Oesterlen was known as one of the craftiest Nilfgaardians for a reason. While looking for Triss, Geralt fell into a trap the emissary set. But that was only the beginning. Geralt spat all elixirs out when he learned that he found a compressed Triss some time ago, and carried her, in the form of a figurine, on his person through the whole time. The sorceress-turned-item changed hands, and Fitz-Oesterlen took her to Loc Muinne. Geralt was furious, and Philippa Eilhart was now in deep trouble.
- Who had cast the artifact compression spell and turned Triss into a figurine? Philippa denied all charges, claiming it had been the work of her lover, Cynthia. The witcher was willing to believe her, for Philippa was not one who would readily admit to an error, yet it was obvious that her lover, on Nilfgaard's payroll, had made a dolt of her. The Empire thus gained a powerful enemy, and Geralt gained an ally.
- Small comfort though it was, Geralt spotted the rose of remembrance he gave to Triss among the sundries Cynthia had left behind. Now he could use the flower's petals as an ingredient for Saskia's cure.
- Geralt reached the ancient elven city of Loc Muinne. Ages earlier the sorcerer Geoffrey Monck had brought a group of human children gifted with spontaneous magical abilities here for training. Taught by elven Wise, the Sources became legendary sorcerers who aided the human pioneers. When humans had finally settled the continent, they repaid their debt of gratitude by destroying Loc Muinne and slaughtering its inhabitants. The scenic city ruins now ironically played host to a summit of sorcerers. The Nilfgaardian delegation was also taking part, and the Black Ones had brought the kidnapped Triss Merigold with them. Pondering the fickleness of history, Geralt searched for any trace of the sorceress. Shilard Fitz-Oesterlen was the key to her freedom.
- If Geralt chooses to rescue Triss:
- Geralt took Shilard Fitz-Oesterlen prisoner, and with a hostage like that, he hoped to force the Nilfgaardians to free Triss Merigold. The witcher and his captive headed towards the Nilfgaardian camp.
- Renuald aep Matsen, commander of the Nilfgaardian knights, showed Geralt what he thought about his "trump card" - he simply killed Shilard Fitz-Oesterlen. A sad end, for what else do we call the death of a man reputed to be the most cunning diplomat of his time by the hand of his countryman? The witcher, however, had little time to reflect on the downfalls of great figures. Surrounded by the Black Ones, he fought for his life and for Triss' freedom.
- And he won both. Displaying presence of mind, he searched Aep Matsen's body and found a key. The sorceress was free - finally!
- However, there was not time for embraces, explanations and thanks. Brave as ever, Triss helped Geralt gather his wits and they retreated from the enemy camp with utmost speed.
- If Geralt chooses not to rescue Triss:
- Here, I must reproach our hero. Geralt had been intent on freeing Triss and tracked her with immense effort, but in the end he failed in this task. In truth, the sorceress' kidnapper had freed her in his stead. You should know that Letho, though capable at times of mindless cruelty and often undiscriminating in the means he employed, had no personal quarrel with Merigold. He had abducted her when he needed to, but as the tale of the assassins of kings came to a close, he decided he could afford to be generous and freed the sorceress from the Black Ones. Thus, blinded by his obsession of catching Letho, the witcher met Triss somwhat[sic] by chance, safe and unharmed. He immediately told her to stand aside, for at that moment he was interested in only one person – the kingslayer.