A Matter of Life and Death Walkthrough
From Triss in The Bits in Novigrad after completing the ‘Count Reuven’s Treasure’ quest.
This quest will begin by speaking to Triss at her hideout in The Bits in Novigrad. This can be tricky to find as she is holding out in some friendly family’s home for protection. As such, activate the quest from the quest menu so that your objective marker can lead you there easy!
When you arrive at the objective marker, interact with the door. Enter the building and climb to the third floor to meet Triss. Offer to help her with her problem.
Once you are ready to continue, leave Triss’s joint and head for the Fish Market. Here we need to find a fellow in a blue tunic with keys hanging from his belt. Activate Witcher Sense for his keys to appear in red to make things easier! Speak to him.
After a brief bit of banter, we’ll need to follow him.
Head across the bridge and enter the stone archway to the left. As you reach the stone archway you’ll be ambushed by a group of three witch Hunters. Help the contact take them all out for another conversation.
Now that we have a new goal, we’ll get an optional objective to get some new clothes (it’s easy XP though, so it’s worth doing!). Make your way over to Elihal’s shop in south-eastern Novigrad. Here you’ll want to purchase Triss’s Fox Mask, an Elegant Courtier’s Doublet, some new Nilfgaardian Trousers and Elegant Nilfgaardian Shoes and a Mask of your choice.
Note: During the next section of the quest, we’ll be going to a bit of a masquerade shindig, during which you can partake in a Gwent Tournament that ONLY occurs during this quest. For beating all of the participants you will earn three rare Gwent Cards you cannot get elsewhere that are required to complete the ‘Card Collector’ achievement/trophy. As such, if you are interested brush up on your Gwent before continuing!
When you are ready to go, equip your new clothing and then return to Triss. Speak with her to initiate the next portion of the quest.
Once you arrive at the estate, make your way to the fountain in the distance. As you approach you’ll be engaged in conversation once again. During the chat the fellow will insult your partner and if you choose to come to her defence, it will start a fist fight.
Either way, once the discussion/fist fight ends, they’ll walk off and allow us to continue.
Keep moving forwards and when you reach the gate at the top of the stairs a scene will play. Afterwards continue through the gate.
Note: As soon as you enter you’ll find a Gwent Tournament off to the right. Head over and talk to the NPC named Croupier to take part. Winning each round will net you some rare cards that are found nowhere else in the game, so if you are trying to collect them all you need to take part!
The first challenger you come up against runs a Nilfgaardian Empire deck with some high value hero cards such as ‘Letho of Gulet’ and his deck has a focus on infantry/ranged units and Tight Bond cards. He’ll most likely use a Spy Card at some point and will also use a Medic card or two to revive either Spy cards or high value strength cards – so be ready for that! He has an inclination to stack a bunch of unit cards in a single row before using a Commander’s Horn to blow up the damage significantly. It’s also highly probable that he’ll use Scorch at some point so try to keep your card strength values in line with or preferably below the opponent’s highest strength unit card. With a well-constructed Northern Realms deck featuring some Decoys and Spy/Medic cards, you should be able to beat him at his own game and out-manoeuvre him.
Defeating him will earn you the ‘Milva’ Gwent card.
The second opponent is much trickier than the first and has a decent Scoia’tael deck to give you a run for your money. He has three of the four Scoia’tael hero cards and complete sets of the Haevekar Smuggler and Dwarven Skirmisher Muster cards which he’ll wheel out at some point. Annoyingly he also has a number of Medics in his deck, so prepare to see some familiar cards across rounds. To add to all of that, he also has the Mysterious Elf/Avalla’ch Spy card and will use Decoy/Medic abilities to pinch and use any spy cards you place on his side of the table.
To take him on, you’ll either need a pretty good Northern Realms deck (or another faction if you have the cards for it) or a lot of luck. I defeated him using my Northern Realms deck featuring some Tight Bond Units (Blue Stripes Commando + Catapults), Decoys and Spy/Medic cards. The trick to beating him is to try to get him to use as many Musters as possible early on – use high level units and Decoys (if possible) to get him to overcommit in the first round. After that, if your draw is good and you can get around Scorch, the Tight Bond units should have no trouble overwhelming him. It’s also a wise move to switch your leader variant to Foltest with the ability to cast clear weather to help out if you get in a bind in the later rounds.
Defeating him will earn you the ‘Vampire: Bruxa’ Gwent card.
The third opponent plays with a Monsters faction deck and he focuses on the Muster ability. He the full set of Vampires, Arachas and Crones and will try to wheel them out in quick succession. In addition to this, he also has access to most of the Monster Heroes. He’ll also use Scorch at some time before the end of the game. I found that the best strategy against him, as with the second opponent, is to throw the first round, but do so whilst trying to get him to use as many Musters as possible early on – use your high strength units, heroes and Decoys (if possible) to get him to overcommit in the first round. A Northern Realm deck (which should be stacked with heroes and Tight Bond cards by now) should have little trouble against him.
Defeating him will earn you the ‘Dandelion’ Gwent card.
Note: For winning the Gwent tournament you’ll earn 50XP.
When you are ready to progress with the quest, head to the northern end of the courtyard and approach the woman indicated by the objective marker.
We’ll now have to search three search areas for a man with a panther mask. You’ll find him at the southernmost of the three investigation areas. Speak with him for a conversation.
Make your way to the next objective marker and interact with the chair for a brief bit of chit-chat. Once that is done, follow Triss as she works her way through to the centre of the hedge maze.
During the scene that follows you’ll have an opportunity for another timed decision. You can either:
- Kiss Triss
- Don’t kiss Triss.
Note: If you wish to romance Triss, you will need to kiss her at this point.
Once the next scene is over, we’ll need to follow the objective marker to leave the maze. Soon after leaving the fountain you’ll be attacked by a group of thugs. Unfortunately you don’t have your weapons, but you can fist fight and use your signs to make things quicker.
After the fight, leave the maze.
Note: This is your last opportunity to take part in the Gwent Tournament. As soon as you finish this quest, you’ll not be able to attempt it again.
When you are good to go, follow the objective marker to reach the stables for a scene to end the quest.
Note: At this point, you’ll earn 50XP.