This page covers The Beast of White Orchard, Mislav, dead soldiers, buckthorn, griffin fight. If you're looking for more assistance, our Witcher 3 walkthrough can help.
In order to complete the contract and discover more about Yennefer, you'll need to defeat the griffin that's terrorising the area. There are two tasks to complete before you can tackle the beast, however. First, you must visit Mislav the hunter to learn more about the griffin. Next, you need to locate Tomira the herbalist and secure some buckthorn.
The Beast of White Orchard
Follow the on-screen instructions to switch between objectives and to highlight their respective mini-map markers.
Ask the hunter where he found the bodies
As the rain and wind pick up around you, exit the tower and backtrack through the camp. Make your way through the gate and descend the steps until you reach ground level once more. At the bottom, you'll be given a quick introduction to the game's fast travel system. Approach the sign and then fast travel to Woesong Bridge. This takes Geralt back to White Orchard village, so mount your trusty steed and begin the final leg of your journey to the hunter's cottage, using the objective marker as your guide. Once you arrive, dismount and knock on the shack door.
Use your Witcher Senses to find the hunter
As nobody appears to be home, activate your Witcher Senses and look for the red footprints on the ground nearby. Examine them and you'll see the footprints begin to stretch further off into the distance. Continue following them through the undergrowth and eventually you'll reach Mislav, out tracking wild beasts. Begin talking to him and work your way through the dialogue options, agreeing to help him hunt the wild dogs in the vicinity.
Kill the wild dogs
Once the conversation ends, follow Mislav through the trees until you reach your prey. Annihilate the wild dogs that attack (they should pose no real threat, particularly if you upgraded your weapon back at the garrison), then congratulate yourself on a job well done.
Talk to the hunter
As soon as the wild dogs are put to rest, Mislav makes his way over to the corpse lying on the ground. Talk to him - either by getting straight to the point or by inquiring of his past - and, eventually, he'll take you to the place where the Nilfgaardian bodies were found. Completing this conversation, incidentally, should earn you 350 Experience Points, as well as your first Ability Point, which can be used to acquire new abilities or improve existing ones in the Character menu.
Find the Nilfgaardian bodies
Follow the hunter
Once you've finished chatting, follow Mislav through the forest until you reach the clearing where the Nilfgaardian bodies were discovered. There's a bit more conversation to be had, after which Mislav bids his farewells.
Examine the site of the Nilfgaardian soldiers' death using your Witcher Senses
Now it's time to survey the blood-soaked scene and piece together the last moments of the unfortunate Nilfgaardian soldiers. Activate your Witcher Senses to highlight the areas around you that are worthy of investigation.
Examine the blood smears, the discarded bottles and, finally, the abandoned bonfire to get proceedings underway. Next activate your Witcher Senses again and head up the hill, following the path to the south-west. You'll soon spot some more footprints in the dirt - follow their trail until you reach the broken bridge, then leap over to the other side of the dried-up stream.
The footprints continue a little further up the path, so activate your senses once again and follow them as they move into the undergrowth to the left of the main road. Once the trail stops, scramble up the rock face and reactivate your senses. The footprints continue forward and you'll again need to scramble up some rocks to follow their trail. When the footprints disappear next, head up the sharp rocky slope to your right. Sprint and jump to clear the chasm, then continue upward until you reach the bloody remains of the griffin.
Where to find the griffin's corpse
Search the griffin's nest using your Witcher Senses
As you proceed up the hill towards the large animal carcass, activate your Witcher Senses and look for the human corpse on the crest of the hill. Examine the body, then investigate the pile of assorted bones nearby. Finally, interact with the large griffin corpse, working your way through the various investigation options that you're presented with. Once your work is complete, you're rewarded with 500 Experience Points, and a note about preparing for combat encounters. Basically: visit blacksmiths and craftsmen to improve your weapons and armour, stock up on supplies and potions, and complete side quests to increase your XP.
With that taken care of, it's time to track down the herbalist and acquire some buckthorn.
Ask the herbalist about buckthorn
You're some distance away from the herbalist's location, but you can decrease your journey time by heading to the nearest fast travel sign. Retrace your steps back down the hill - heading north-west - and, at the bottom, look for the signpost close to the broken bridge. Interact with it and locate the 'Sawmill' fast travel icon on the over world map, north-west of your current location.
Once you arrive at your new destination, summon your horse and head east until you reach the small cottage highlighted by the objective marker on your mini-map. Look for the door and make your way inside to begin talking to the herbalist. She's currently rustling up something for Lena, another victim of the griffin, but work your way through the conversation tree all the same.
How to get the buckthorn for the quest
Find some buckthorn on the riverbed using your Witcher Senses
Next, you need to head to the riverbed nearby. Leave the cottage, summon your steed and begin travelling north-east in the direction of the objective marker. Once you hit the path running alongside the river, dismount and make your way down to the water's edge. Look for the objective marker on your mini-map, and slowly swim towards it until you're in the middle of the river. Dive beneath the surface and activate your Witcher Senses in order to make foraging a little easier. Look for the glowing plant clusters and search them until you've located the buckthorn you need.
Talk to Vesemir
When you're ready, return to the riverbank and summon your horse to continue. Trot towards the nearby dirt track and follow the objective marker all the way back to White Orchard village. Vesemir is waiting patiently outside the inn, so dismount and engage him in conversation. Work your way through the dialogue tree, then begin preparing for your confrontation with the griffin.
Prepare to fight the griffin
Before you can tackle your first mighty foe, you need to gather a few additional supplies. The first of these is the Thunderbolt potion so, as instructed, enter the Alchemy menu and scroll down to the Thunderbolt potion. Luckily, you've already got all the ingredients necessary to brew the concoction, so craft it, then equip it as directed. Exit the menu screen when you're done.
Meet Vesemir in the filed where you plan to ambush the griffin
With your preparations complete, it's time to join Vesemir in the field nearby. Climb onto Roach and cross the river, following the objective marker to your destination. When you arrive, locate Vesemir and talk to him, confirming that you're ready to begin the battle. After a short cut-scene (during which you're gifted a handy crossbow), the confrontation begins.
Our Witcher 3 walkthrough and guide can help you with the main story, including the Wandering in the Dark and Family Matters missions, and eventually, one of several Witcher 3 endings. There's plenty of side content, too, including Witcher 3 Contracts, White Orchard quests, Velen quests, Novigrad quests and Skellige Isles quests. Elsewhere, learn about the best Witcher 3 builds, the best Witcher 3 mods, how to make money in Witcher 3, find Places of Power locations, and learn how to do Witcher 3 crafting and Witcher 3 Alchemy And when you're done with all those - we can help you through expansions with our Hearts of Stone walkthrough and Blood and Wine walkthrough.
How to kill the griffin in The Beast of White Orchard
Follow the on-screen directions in order to equip your crossbow, then immediately take a swig of your Thunderbolt potion. This dramatically increases your attack power, and proves essential when fighting the griffin. While the creature circles through the air, listen out for its piercing shriek - this indicates that it's about to dive down towards you, and attempt rip at you with its claws.
Launching a crossbow bolt at the creature as it swoops down will cause it to fall from the sky, giving you a few moments to rush on in and attack unhindered. If you miss, however, be prepared to dodge out of the way to avoid injury.
Once the creature touches down, aim a few crossbow bolts at it as you close in, then begin launching an assault of quick and heavy attacks with your silver sword. If your Thunderbolt potion runs out, take another swig immediately (you should have three in your possession) and continue your ambush, circling around to the griffin's rear where possible in order to avoid its claw attacks. If it attempts to take off again, you can fire another crossbow bolt at it to keep it grounded, resuming your sword attacks if you're successful.
Once you've damaged the griffin enough to deplete two thirds of its health bar, it takes to the sky and begins to flee. Immediately give chase, running in the direction of the objective marker. If you lose sight of the beast, activate your Witcher Senses and follow the sound of its cries, as well as the pulsating red marker.
Navigate the rock face when you reach it and approach the griffin perched on the hillside. As you close in, the creature takes to the skies once more, circling above your head. Attempt to bring it down with a shot from your crossbow, then take another swig of your Thunderbolt potion (if possible) before laying into it for one final flurry of sword attacks. When the griffin is finally defeated, speak with Vesemir.
Take a trophy from the griffin's corpse
With the griffin dead, approach its corpse and loot the glowing remains in order to secure some griffin feathers, infused dust, griffin mutagen and the griffin trophy. This latter item is proof of your victory and must be taken to the Nilfgaardians in order to claim your reward.
Collect your reward from the Nilfgaardians
Hop onto Roach and begin the trek back towards the Nilfgaardians' garrison, using the objective marker as a guide. Alternatively, you can explore the area immediately to the north-west, unlocking the nearby Mill fast travel marker and enabling you to return to the garrison more quickly.
Back at the garrison, ascend the wooden steps and pass through the gate to rendezvous with the Nilfgaardian's commander. Once you've made your way through the first few dialogue options, you're given a few moments to decide whether to accept the commander's monetary reward. Make your choice to gain 300 Experience Points and complete the current story quest.
Prepare to leave White Orchard with Vesemir
Now that you've learned the whereabouts of Yennefer, it's time to return to Vesemir, back at White Orchard tavern. Leave the camp and use the fast travel sign at the bottom of the steps to jump to Woesong Bridge. From here, make the short journey west to the inn and head inside. You'll find Vesemir swigging beer at a nearby table, so engage him in conversation to proceed.
- Our walkthrough continues with a step-by-step guide to completing The Witcher 3 - The Incident at White Orchard.
- You can find the rest of our Witcher 3 walkthrough from the first page of this article.
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