In the Heart of the Woods Walkthrough
This quest can be acquired via a notice posted on the Kaer Trolde Harbour Notice board on Ard Skellig.
Once you have obtained the contract from the Kaer Trolde Harbour notice board, make your way to the objective marker to the south. It is located southwest of the town of Rannvaig, just by the ‘Fayrlund’ fast travel marker (if you have that unlocked).
Upon arriving at the village of Farylund, cross the small bridge on the south side of town and approach the crowd of NPCs on the far bank for a scene.
Following the conversation with the villagers, we’ll now need to examine three objective markers on the map to the west. Each of these markers represents a search area that we’ll need to investigate.
The first search area you come across has numerous objects to inspect. Activate Witcher Sense and you can inspect the following:
- The monster tracks leading to the west.
- A dead dog by the monster tracks.
Once you have investigated all points of interest listed above, you can then follow the monster tracks. They’ll lead you to the second search area. Activate Witcher Sense and you can inspect the following:
- The monster tracks leading to the west.
- A corpse pinned to a treeby the monster tracks.
After investigating all points of interest in the second area, you can then follow the monster tracks again. They’ll lead you to the third search area. There is a good chance that you’ll be attacked by a pack of 2-3 White Wolves at this point so be sure to defend yourself if the encounter eventuates. When it is safe to do so, activate Witcher Sense and you can inspect the following:
A series of scratches on the large rocks in the area.
Now that we have done enough investigation for Geralt to figure out what he is up against, the game will prompt you to read the Woodland Spirit entry in Geralt’s bestiary. This will update our objectives.
At this point, we’ll need to head back to the village of Farylund and speak to both Sven and Harald. Both will offer a different solution to the problem and both conversations will lead to additional objectives.
Note: There is an achievement/trophy ‘Woodland Spirit’ available in this quest. You’ll only be able to unlock it if you follow Sven’s plan.
Note: Sven’s Path also allows you to earn the Ancient Leshen Mutagen, this side-quest is the only place in the game where you can earn it.
- Option 1: Sven’s Path
- Option 2: Harald’s Path
Option 1: Sven’s Path
After identifying the Leshen as your monster and returning to the village, speak with Sven to update him on your discovery. He’ll give you a new objective to find and locate the Leshen’s target within the village.
To do so, wander around the search area of the village with your Witcher Senses active until you spot the woman with the red aura. She can be found by the bridge crossing the river on the south side of the village.
Return to Sven once you have identified the target and during the conversation, he’ll convince the villagers to kill/exile her. Once this conversation has run its course, your objectives will update once again.
We’ll now need to examine three objective markers on the map to find the Leshen’s Totems. Each of these totems can either be identified by the group of crows circling overhead or by using Geralt’s Witcher Senses within the search area to determine the location of the totem. Once you have located a Totem, pull out a sword and cut the totem down, blast it with AARD or IGNI to destroy it.
The totems are progressively harder to deal with as we’ll be dealing with White Wolves which are a little sturdier than your standard Wolves in terms of health and can also dish out more damage.
When you fight a group of them, they’ll often attack in tandem and as such you are going to want to try and monitor the position of all of them and be prepared to attempt hit and run tactics whilst being ready to roll/dodge pretty much constantly until you get the numbers down a little and you can focus on individuals.
The first totem is completely unguarded and can be destroyed without difficulty, the second will be guarded by a group of three White Wolves and the third will be protected by a group of four White Wolves.
After destroying the third and final totem, the Leshen will spawn nearby. You’ll want to take this opportunity to rest up and prepare yourself for quite a tough boss battle. When you are ready to continue, use Witcher Sense to locate the red ripple representing the boss and approach it to start the fight.
Boss: Woodland Spirit (Ancient Leshen)
The Leshen is a tricky fight due to its Wolf underlings and its ability to teleport around the area by transforming into a flock of crows. Despite having some fairly heavy hitting melee attacks if you get in close, the Leshen will for the most part keep its distance. This is because from range it has several damaging attacks. It will frequently pummel the ground to summon roots that will emerge below Geralt causing a good deal of damage if it hits as well as sending its swarm of crows to attack.
Fortunately, the Leshen is relatively slow and aside from the crow swarm attack, his other moves are quite obvious and telegraphed in such a way as to be easy to avoid. The other element you’ll want to be aware of in this fight is that it will initially start with four Wolves but the Leshen will summon additional Wolves periodically when the originals fall – so keep your eyes open for them!
This fight is actually one of the tougher fights in the game and it can be brutal unless you are able to successfully navigate through the boss’s attacks and deal with the additional Wolves as soon as possible before focusing on the boss himself. When there is an opportunity to take on the boss, use a combination of IGNI and Dimetirium Bombs to damage the boss quickly. AARD will knock him back temporarily, opening him up for some follow up melee attacks and YRDEN will slow his movements.
Note: For defeating the Ancient Leshen, you’ll earn the achievement/trophy ‘Woodland Spirit’.
Once the Woodland Spirit is dead, loot the body for the Leshen Trophy, Ancient Leshen Mutagen and any other goodies it was carrying.
With the boss dead, we can now make our way back to Farylund and speak with Sven once again to end the side-quest. During the conversation you have a couple of dialogue options but unfortunately, neither will change the outcome.
Note: For completing the side-quest, you’ll earn 200XP, 60 Crowns and Assassin’s Boots.
Option 2: Harald’s Path
After identifying the Leshen as your monster and returning to the village, speak with Harald to update him on your discovery. He’ll give Geralt an alternate way to deal with the monster that will not require us to kill it. Accept his offer, or tell him that “you’ll think about it” and your map will be updated with a new objective marker.
When you are convinced Harald’s path is the right way, make your way to the objective marker to the south. This marker indicates the location of a large, dead tree and some standing stones where we’ll need to make a sacrifice. Harald wants us to defeat five White Wolves and as soon as you arrive at the objective marker, wouldn’t you know it, a pack of five White Wolves will attack you.
This fight can be quite difficult as the White Wolves are a little sturdier than your standard wolves in terms of health and can also dish out more damage. Due to the large number, you are going to want to try and monitor the position of all of them and be prepared to attempt hit and run tactics whilst being ready to roll pretty much constantly until you get the numbers down a little and you can focus on individuals.
Once all of the Wolves have been defeated, loot their bodies for Wolf Hearts. Locate the altar by the dead tree here (it’s the large, flat stone to the left of the tree). Approach it and interact with it to place the Wolf Hearts atop it. Hit the Wolf Hearts with a blast of IGNI.
After a brief scene, our objectives will update. We can now make our way back to Farylund and speak with Harald once again to hand in the side-quest. During the subsequent conversation and scene, you have a couple of conversation options. Depending on your choice, you’ll either watch a brief scene, or fight against three armed opponents.
Either way you choose to play, once the final scene has played the side-quest will be completed.
Note: For completing the side-quest, you’ll earn 200XP, 60 Crowns.