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Some quests in the Witcher 3 can make you really struggle with questions of morality — lượt thích In The Heart Of The Woods.

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Some quests in The Witcher 3 can make you really struggle with questions of morality và deciding what is right & wrong. A witcher contract quest in Skellige titled 'In the Heart of the Woods' is one of the best examples of this in the entire game.

As part of this quest, Geralt will need khổng lồ choose sides between two factions in a local village. How you decide to lớn act will determine the life & death of in-game characters, as well as deciding the fate of the village for years khổng lồ come. Here's everything you need to know about In the Heart of the Woods.

Updated on January 17, 2023 by Quinton O'Connor: We've done some routine maintenance on this article, including a new feature image & some basic formatting alterations, to help it sparkle for all it's worth.

How to lớn Activate


There are two ways khổng lồ begin this quest. The first involves finding a cảnh báo on a notice board requesting help. This notice board is at the Kaer Trolde Harbor. Just look for the notice titled "Contract: Woodland Spirit." You can also activate this quest by running into the group of people on the road just southwest of Fayrlund, which is where the quest takes place as well.

It turns out there is some type of quái dị in the area that has been harming và killing hunters. Two groups, one led by Harald & one led by Sven, are arguing over what to vị about the problem.

Approach the area & you'll see a body that has been seemingly attacked by tree branches, with a group of people arguing.

Two Sides


So, what's going on? The village is split on how lớn handle the problem. Harald & the other elders believe the spirit should be left alone. Their idea is that it makes villagers into strong warriors. Sven, one of the younger men in the village, believes it khổng lồ be a common beast that is killing anyone who gets too close.

You don't have to decide who to side with quite yet. First, you'll need khổng lồ figure out what exactly the creature is. After a short investigation into the trail, you'll find a dead dog và another body. Soon enough, you'll have to lớn face off against some wolves near a ring of stones.

After they've been dealt with, Geralt will notice some scratch marks. He'll deduce that it's a leshen, an ancient woodland creature with immense powers. Check the bestiary to learn more about these creatures.

Take A Side

The time has now come that you must choose a side between the elders and the younger villagers. Harald believes the leshen is helping create strong warriors from the villagers, maybe the strongest in Skellige, even if it is killing some of them. He says you should offer a sacrifice lớn reinstate the ancestral pact with the leshen. Sven believes it should be killed. However, you'll need to vì something about the "marked" one in the village, or the leshen will just be reborn again.

If you decide lớn side with Harald, you'll need to khung the pact with the leshen. If you choose with Sven, you'll need to find the marked individual.

Unless you're playing The Witcher 3 on the Nintendo Switch (in which case trophies are nonexistent so this doesn't apply), bear in mind that if you side with Harald, you'll miss out on an achievement.

If You Side With Harald


Head to the altar in the forest và five trắng wolves will appear. You'll have to lớn defeat all five and collect their hearts. Place them on the altar và wait for the leshen to lớn accept the offering, which will then give you 20 experience points. Return lớn Fayrlund và speak with Harald.

During this conversation, Sven will approach with another person, và they'll say that they killed the other elders, and they are coming for Harald next. You can choose khổng lồ intervene or not. If you decide to lớn protect him, you'll need to fend off Sven & the other man before they get khổng lồ Harald, as they still can if you choose this option. If you choose not lớn get involved, the other two will kill Harald. Either way, you'll earn 50 experience points và 60 crowns.

If You Side With Sven


The first thing you'll need to vị is find the marked person. Since you're dealing with a leshen, you'll want to follow the crows. You'll find a bunch of them on the roof on the western side of the village.

Using your Witcher Senses will reveal the marked person, Hilde. This young woman seems khổng lồ have a thắm thiết involvement with Sven, complicating matters. Return to lớn Sven with this news và tell him that the person can be killed or exiled. Then, tell him it's Hilde.

Sven will agree to lớn whichever method you choose. After this, you'll need to lớn head back into the woods. Find three totems and destroy them, summoning the leshen. Now, you'll have lớn fight it.

Fighting The Leshen

Leshens are not easy foes. They will summon crows & wolves as part of their attack arsenal. They'll also use their arms to lớn stab at you through the ground via tree roots. This attack is pretty strong, causing good damage khổng lồ Geralt and hitting a wide area. They'll also swipe at you with their claws.

Watch for them khổng lồ raise both of their arms in the air. This signifies a move where the leshen disappears in a swirl of smoke and rematerializes nearby. A Moon Dust bomb can prevent this move from occurring.

You can use relict oil, Dragon's Dream bombs, Igni, & other fire-based attacks to lớn get the upper hand on the leshen. While on fire, they're unable lớn attack.

After you've defeated it, you'll earn 50 experience points. Grab the leshen trophy & return to the village. As you're approaching Fayrlund, though, you'll notice that something's very wrong. Sven, while you were gone, decided to round up the elders & kill them off.

Sven will tell you that your work is done, và so is his. There's nothing you can vị from this point. The quest completes, earning you another 50 experience and 60 crowns.

A lesser evil is still evil, but as shown in The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt’s "In the Heart of the Woods" quest, sometimes there’s no better option.


While exploring the world of The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, Geralt comes across multiple contracts. Each of these requires the player to lớn track down a monster và kill it. That said, some Witcher contracts aren’t as cut và dry as they seem. While a monster is always involved in these quests, there are some contracts wherein killing it isn’t the only option, & the decision ultimately falls on Geralt. One example of this is the “In the Heart of the Woods” quest in Skellige.

In the village of Fayrlund in The Witcher 3 world, a man is dead, entangled in a clump of tree branches. Harald, an elder of the village, speaks of a Woodland Spirit. He says that the murdered villager is a sign that the Spirit is seeking revenge because Fayrlund has strayed from the “old paths.” to this, Sven, a younger villager, retorts that the Spirit is nothing but a monster. It doesn’t care about the village or its way of life. Given the two sides, the player must decide how to giảm giá khuyến mãi with the mysterious Woodland Spirit.

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Killing the Malevolent Beast — Sven’s Route


Sven believes the Spirit is nothing more than a monster, so he wants Geralt lớn kill it. Should the player opt for this option, the Witcher explains to lớn Sven that they first need khổng lồ get rid of the villager that had been marked by the creature as this will prevent it from coming back to lớn life in the woods. Upon hearing this, Sven immediately accuses the elders, even naming Harald specifically. Clearly, he disdains how much the older townsfolk revere the ancient leshen. When Geralt names his sweetheart as the marked one, Sven is taken aback but still goes along with killing or banishing her.

With the marked one gone, Geralt can kill the ancient leshen. Though by the time he returns lớn the village, Sven & the other younger townsfolk have slaughtered the village elders. “You rid us of the beast, we rid ourselves of its accomplices,” Sven tells the Witcher. Geralt then receives his payment and the quest ends.


Harald, on the other hand, views the ancient leshen as a benevolent entity that brings blessings khổng lồ the village of Fayrlund. Despite Geralt’s warnings that the Spirit is a dangerous old leshen, Harald is unfazed. The elder states that it was the Woodland Spirit that made them powerful, invincible warriors. It was also the Spirit that filled the forest with wildlife, ensured that their women gave birth lớn strong children, & made them the best hunters in Skellige. Thus, it would be a disservice to lớn the village to kill it. Harald then offers an alternative khổng lồ killing the ancient leshen — undertaking an old hunting ritual.

Accomplishing this ritual would supposedly bring Fayrlund back to the “old ways” & appease the Spirit. Even as Geralt considers this option, he has his doubts on whether it will work as hinted by his dialogue lines. Still, Harald sends him on his way to lớn the altar. The ritual requires the player to lớn collect five white wolf hearts và sacrifice them at an altar in the woods. Doing so will trigger a cutscene where, in one shot, the ancient leshen can be seen watching the Witcher from a distance.

When Geralt returns khổng lồ Harald, the elder will hand over his payment, và the player will be given one last chance lớn caution Harald on what the ancient leshen is capable of. In doing so, Geralt will warn the elder that so long as the ancient leshen resides in the woods, the killing will never end. Even so, Harald doesn’t listen. Sven and company then show up, announcing that they killed the rest of the elders và have come for Harald. The Witcher is then given one last choice between defending Harald or letting him be before the quest comes lớn a close.

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What sets this Witcher contract apart from the rest is that it presents a compelling moral dilemma. The question of right or wrong is a tricky one, as both sides have their fair chia sẻ of good points and clear faults.

On one hand, Harald & the other village elders want to stick lớn their old way of life. Alongside traditional hunting and gathering, these “old ways” also entail the worship of the Woodland Spirit. No matter how much Geralt tries khổng lồ warn Harald of the leshen’s power, the elder stubbornly refuses lớn pay heed to lớn the Witcher. Instead, he chooses khổng lồ believe that the Spirit is a force of good for the people of Fayrlund. Its mysterious rituals, after all, made them the best hunters on the island, even though it cost the lives of some of the townsfolk.

In stark contrast, Sven and the younger townsfolk want to vày away with the old traditions. They believe the village’s worship of the ancient leshen is absurd as it is nothing but a monster. The supposed blessings that the beast brings vì chưng not justify its killings. While this stance on its own would seem like the sounder option among the two, the situation is muddied by how Sven chooses to lớn achieve it. For Sven & his allies, the best way to move forward was through bloodshed. Based on his actions at the kết thúc of the quest, it’s clear that he had no intention of making any sort of compromise with the elders. Sven is a murderer — one who killed more in one day than the leshen ever had in years.

The question then becomes which is the lesser evil. Playes need khổng lồ decide whether it would it be better khổng lồ try and appease a creature with questionable motives và leave an entire village khổng lồ its mercy, or if it would it be better lớn kill it off and allow another murderer lớn spring forth in its wake. Whatever the player decides, there is no happy ending here.

In Andrzej Sapkowski’s book The Last Wish, Geralt openly states, “Evil is Evil… If I’m khổng lồ choose between one evil & another… I’d rather not choose at all.” Yet in the quest, he does exactly this — choose one evil over the other. In fact, the Witcher does this in many of the other quests in the game. Granted, player choice is a huge factor lớn consider, and it can be argued that it’s not Geralt’s choice, but instead, the player’s. However, the Geralt of the game ultimately makes a decision & sticks with it. Despite not wanting lớn choose between two evils, it seems Geralt still does so when push comes to lớn shove. So much for Witcher neutrality.

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The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt is available now on PC, PS4, Switch, và Xbox One.

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