The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt created by CD Projekt Red.
Images used for educational purposes only.
Part Two: Lilac and Gooseberries

Main Walkthrough

Location: Sawmill
Prerequisites: Speak to the commander at the Nilfgaardian Garrison during Lilac and Gooseberries
Suggested Level: 3
Reward: Varies; see below

This quest will only trigger once you’ve gotten far enough into Lilac and Gooseberries. Once the Nilfgaardian Commander speaks to you about an herbalist and a hunter you’ll trigger this quest, and receive two new waypoints on your map.

The Hunter

- The hunter lives in a house just south of White Orchard. Pretty easy to find, with no risk involved - except he’s not home. Use your Witcher Senses to track him a short distance away.

- The hunter, Mislav, wants your help killing some Wild Dogs. Follow him a short distance away and you’ll have to take out four of the beasts. Quick bursts of Igni will murder ‘em nice and simple, as will plain old sword strokes. Talk to Mislov again once he settles down by a body, then follow him through the woods until he leads you to a bloody battle site.

- Inspect the site with your Witcher Senses until you find footprints leading southwest. Follow them across the Broken Bridge (check beneath the bridge for a few lightly-stocked chests), then take a left at the bridge. After hopping up some rocks you’ll find the Griffin’s former nest. There are plenty of things to inspect here - and you can find some loot in the nest itself - though the main draw is the body of a dead Griffin. Inspect it thoroughly.

The Herbalist

- The herbalist you need to find is located to the west of White Orchard, near Sawmill. Her home is just east of the Fast Travel signpost.

- (Sawmill itself is currently abandoned, save for a small pack of Ghouls and perhaps a few Wolves on the outskirts. If you decide to clear out the monsters the people will return and repopulate the place, including a Merchant with some fairly minor goods. Not amazing, but it doesn’t take long, either.)

- Speak to Tomira, the herbalist. She’ll give you a location for the Buckthorn Geralt needs, as well as provide an optional quest: On Death’s Bed. If you poke around the grounds of her house you can also find a large number of craftable items, no surprise.

- Head to White Orchard and dip into the water to the northwest of town. You can find a fair amount of Buckthorn growing on the seabed, easily located with your Witcher Senses. You can also find a chest down here that’s chock full of goodies, again easily found with your Senses. 

- Once you have some Buckthorn, take it to Vesemir, back by the tavern where you left him. He’ll ask if you’re ready to go. Agree and he’ll head off. (At this point you’ll get a tutorial on creating the Thunderbolt potion, if you have tutorials activated, but you don’t have to use it to kill the Griffin.) Follow Vesemir northeast of White Orchard and speak to him, then prep yourself for some fun. Also, a Crossbow!

The Royal Griffin of The Witcher 3,
prepping itself to om a sheep. A trap sheep.
Royal Griffin

Nasty beast. The Royal Griffin looks a lot worse than it is, but it’s still powerful enough. Its attacks boil down to two options, really: either it swoops down at you and tries to rake you with its claws or it gets onto the ground and lunges at you. Both are dangerous, but as long as your timing is okay it shouldn’t hit you often with either. Sidestep both attacks and use sword swipes to keep it on the ground. Stay locked on and you can shoot it out of the sky with the Crossbow, as well. Vesemir helps you here, so he’ll probably take most of the thing’s attacks.

After a while the Griffin will take off and try to escape. Hop on Roach and use your Witcher Senses to track it across an adjacent field. Go in for the kill once you catch up. It’s no more difficult in this second round.

- Check the Griffin’s body after the fight for, among other things, a Griffin Trophy. (These other things include Griffin Mutagen, which can be used as part of levelling up.) Then use the Mill’s Fast Travel signpost (you probably activated it during the fight) to return to the Nilfgaardian Garrison. After a conversation you’ll have a choice: accept the reward for the kill (150 gold) or turn it down. You get experience either way, but you get more experience (100+) if you turn it down.

Lilac and Gooseberries / The Incident at White Orchard

Head back to White Orchard and speak to Vesemir at the tavern. A cut scene cuts in, and when it's done you'll face a tavern brawl with a bunch of soldiers. Standard stuff - use signs and fancy sword work to get the job done. Beating them will complete both of the quests above (you'll barely even know The Incident at White Orchard started) and continue the main quest line.

Part Four: Imperial Audience

Main Walkthrough