The Witcher 3 players really come to grips with the RPG when The Nilfgaardian Connection kicks off.
The Witcher 3: The Nilfgaardian Connection
The Nilfgaardian Connection is the first quest where you really have freedom over your destiny. There are just a few stops between us and the open world beyond the castle borders.
On your way out of the room where the last mission ended, optionally speak with the ambassador to get caught up on current events. Then head outside to collect your equipment and begin free gameplay again.
There’s a Nilfgaardian nobleman you can play Gwent with nearby; you’ll get a deck building tutorial to help you out if this is only your second game. Save before you start, and bet low; this guy’s much tougher than your friend in White Orchard, but not unbeatable by any means.
Feel free to explore the castle; there’s very little you haven’t yet seen (and looted) unfortunately; most of the doors are cosmetic. When you’re ready, use the fast travel point at the door indicated by your waypoint and travel to No Man’s Land in Velen (and watch a story sequence and scene on the way).
Travelling triggers the In Ciri’s Footsteps main quest, which involves three major questlines. Only The Nilfgaardian Conneciton is level-appropriate at this stage of the game, so we’ll just keep going.
Follow the road ahead of you (ignore your HorsePS for a second) and pass through the village, continuing along the indicated route. You’ll see a quest marker on the right; have a chat to grab the secondary quest Funeral Pyres.
Continue along the road until you reach a junction; there’s another quest marker to grab nearby. You’ll be attacked by a couple of Drowners you’ll need to dispatch before you can approach it. It’s not actually a quest; just a guy you can choose to save, or not, for no reward.
Follow the path along the indicated route and you’ll eventually arrive at the Inn at the Crossroads. Enter and talk to the innkeeper to trigger a cutscene. You’ll have to make timed dialogue choices; I was able to avoid a fight by buying around (it didn’t cost me anything) and saying I was on my way to Novigrad.
When you’ve resolved the situation, speak to the innkeeper again; he’s retreated around the corner. He’ll send you to a village across the way; there’s not much of interest on the journey.
When you arrive, you’ll see a pack of wild dogs attacking a man. Kill them off and have a chat with him.
Afterward, head to the indicated hut. You can use Witcher Sense to check out footprints, the body (search the boots for a key) and the rubble on the floor. There’s also a sack you should loot before you head down the trap door.
In the basement, loot two containers before using Witcher Sense to examine the candle on the doorframe. This unlocks a cabinet at the back of the room where you can find a ledger.
Read all the entries and you’ll complete the quest, unlocking two more: Hunting a Witch and The Bloody Baron. Don’t worry about the level recommendation; it’s best to go for The Bloody Baron first.
Back to The Witcher 3 guide and walkthrough.