As part of the Velen storyline you get to meet a character called the Bloody Baron. I have to say that this storyline did not pan out quite how I expected. It deals with two main quest lines near the start of the game. These are Family Matters and Ladies of the Wood.
If you haven’t finished everything for the main storyline in Velen then stay away from this post..
Whereas it seemed as though these two quests were completely separate they actually coincided with each other, something that pleasantly surprised me. I started out by going to see the baron first where I agreed to find the Baron’s missing wife and daughter in return for some information about Ciri. Straight away it seemed as though something was amiss as my investigation seemed to suggest domestic abuse at the hands of the Baron. With all of this done Geralt found some a talisman and went to talk to the Baron about all of this information. He seemed to deny knowing anything but we didn’t believe him and silently decided that even if finding them was successful there was no way we were forcing them to come back. Despite that silent promise, the Baron provided us with information about the talisman we’d found and off we went to see a pellar.
We found him being harassed by a group of people and, with a little bit of help from Axii, got them to disperse. Naturally, nothing is ever freely given, and before the pellar would help Geralt we had to go an find his goat, Princess. Goat found, successfully defended and herded back to him, he did some weird magic to help us find them (it wasn’t very useful) and off we go back to the Baron to report. When we get back there’s a fire happening so – being the hero – we rush into the stable and save the horses and the stable hand by blasting open the doors with trusty Aard before beating the drunk Baron into submission.
It all comes to light and he admits beating his wife when he gets drunk. Needless to say, Geralt wasn’t very sympathetic about “Anna pushing his buttons”, but it turns out she also miscarried. The choice was made to not kill the Botchling but instead turn it into a Lubberkin. With the Baron on-board we walk him through the town (late at night after warning everyone to bolt their doors and not leave at all) and defend him from wraiths that come and attack, as well as calming the botching so it doesn’t kill daddy dearest, before he names the baby-thing and we wait for morning.
With the Lubberkin successfully formed, we ask for its help and follow its guidance. The first place it takes us to has a bracelet, change of clothes and lots of horse tracks so it seems we’re on the right path. We carry on, defending off a fair few attacks along the way, before coming up against a horse carcass. It appears someone didn’t survive this trip, but the lubberkin is continuing onwards, and we arrive at a fisherman’s hut. They explain that Tamara reached their hut alive and well, before heading off to Oxenfurt, but Anna didn’t make it. With this information in hand we decide to go and see Tamara, before heading back to the baron. We’d managed to buy a pass earlier on so had no trouble getting past the guards and found the fisherman’s brother’s house where we also come across Tamara. Seems she’s joined the witch hunter’s in order to find her Anna. She tells us in more details that her mother’s palms started burning and she was dragged off by some creature! With that knowledge in hand, we head off back to the Baron, who gets a bit mad that we didn’t drag her back – but the deal was to find her and we found her.
We get our information about Ciri but he’s holding more back until we find Anna too. This is where we also have to do Ladies of the Wood, which I’ll detail in a different post. After that quest line, we return to the Baron and tell him that we found Anna. She traded her life to them in return for them to get rid of her unborn child. It backfired for her a bit, but usually happens when you make deals with suspicious characters! Happy to know where Anna is the Baron heads off to get her back after giving us the rest of the information we want. Knowing how bad those ladies of the wood are we agree to go along with him and off we hop, skip, and jump too.
When we get there, the crones have punished Anna for choices we made during that quest line and she’s been transformed into a water hag. Tamara arrives with the witch hunters having also tracked her mother to this point and we have to fend off attacks from lots of monsters. Tamara asks us to lift the curse and, this being what we do, we agree. Heading off into the swamp to find Johnny again, and fending off more drowners along the way, he tells us what happened to Anna. Returning to the crone’s lair we find the altar and there’s a lot of options to pick from. We found the right one, however, and took it outside where Anna has returned to her original form. The curse isn’t over though, it’s far more deadly than originally seen and there’s no way to save her at all. Anna dies, Tamara goes off to join the witch hunter’s and we head back to the Baron’s castle. When we get there, however, he’s hanging from the nearby tree.
Sad ending there but it was quite an emotionally investing one. He lost everything he cared about because he was a violent drunk (and partially my decisions in Ladies of the Wood).