Geralt has reason to dislike Olgierd von Everlec, but there’s more to Gaunter O’Dimm than meets the eye. What will you do?
This page, part of our The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt guide and walkthrough and The Witcher 3: Hearts of Stone guide and walkthrough, takes you right through the main story quest of the first DLC, Hearts of Stone.
The Witcher 3: Hearts of Stone begins when Geralt reads the notice board at the Seven Cats Inn near Novigrad. The adventure that follows is lengthy, convoluted, and completely stand-alone. It’s also pretty tough, with nastier enemies than most you will have encountered in your career, and some quick and hard choices to be made.
But the rewards – and the story – are worth it. Our walkthrough won’t go into exhaustive detail on ever location and random encounter (you’re a grown-up and can follow a waypoint) but will take you through from woe to go, noting likely side quest points, highlighting the best loot, and never missing an opportunity to play Gwent.
One top tip is to get the Ofieri runecrafter quest done before you start the main story, assuming you have the 5,000 gold needed to kick it off; his gear will be very useful in the battles ahead. Additionally, if you pick up the quest From Ofier’s Distant Shores from the nearby merchant before you start you’ll find you collect many of the needed items as you progress. Let’s get going.
Evil’s Soft First Touches
You begin this quest by visiting the Von Everec estate after reading the board at the Seven Cats Inn. You’re sent to Oxenfurt to dispatch a monster in the sewers.
Save before entering this dungeon, as you may find yourself outclassed by the enemies you meet and realise you need to level before tackling the expansion. You’ll encounter Shani in here; be sure to choose positive dialogue options if you want to romance her later. There’s little else of note in the dungeon – lots of trash loot, a linear path, and then the boss fight.
How to beat the Toad boss fight
Potions, consumables like Golden Oriole and abilities that strengthen you against poison are helpful here, but make sure you’ve also got plenty of health consumables on hand. Cursed Oil helps and the Toad does not like Northern Wind bombs.
Igni works fairly well against the Toad, especially if you have the burning chance variant equipped, as it’ll do damage while you get out of its way. Otherwise, Thunderbolt’s never a bad idea.
Be conservative; hit once or twice and roll far away. The Toad has multiple ground pound attacks which can stagger you. Try to keep to one side or behind it – it’s not easy, the way it jumps around – to avoid its poison spits and tongue attacks.
After the fight, you awaken on a ship. You’ll encounter a limited time decision in the dialogue with the guards. There don’t seem to be any consequences to this choice but the correct option is the third one.
How to beat the Olfieri mage
You’ll face a tough battle when you make landfall. The best tactic is to keep your distance and pick off the easy enemies first, then get the guy with the shield, using Aard to stagger him quickly, before going for the mage. You need to stay very mobile to avoid the magic constantly spammed throughout the fight, so keep rolling.
Meet with Gaunter at the indicated location at midnight – meditate if necessary – and then return to the Von Everec estate to advance the story. There are now two possible quests to pursue. Both of them kick off in Oxenfurt where you’ll want to be next, but only one ends there, so I recommend kicking off Dead Man’s Party first by visiting Shani.
Dead Man’s Party
This is a fun mission. After talking with Shani in Oxenfurt, meet her at the crypt (remembering to be nice to her if you want to initiate a romantic encounter later). Apply spectre oil to your silver sword before descending. Search the crypt thoroughly for some nice loot – mostly coins – before equipping the Censer and filling the room with incense smoke. When you activate the fount in the round central chamber you’ll have to battle half a dozen ghosts at once.
Converse with the remaining ghost for a while and you’ll find you’re off to a party. Your conversation choices here may affect your chances with Shani, so try to balance letting her know your feelings while remaining respectful.
After talking to the happy couple you can engage in various merrymaking activities. You can play cards, fetch a boot out of a lake (use Witcher senses and collect everyone’s shoes, if you like), herd some pigs into a pen (for best results don’t use Signs here), fetch back a fire eater who has gotten lost in the woods, juggle for the crowd’s entertainment, attempt to woo a woman, drink with two different groups, dance with Shani, optionally dance again and finally flirt with two different women. You also need to speak with Gaunter. Watch the capping ceremony to end this part of the mission.
How to romance Shani
If you’d like to complete Shani’s romance mission, A Midnight Clear, be sure to say that you can stay a little longer after the wedding ends. Pretty easy to complete if you’ve been pleasant and respectful so far; just look for a rowan tree in one of the three search zones and bring her some of its blossom as a gift, instead of a drink. Be honest about your intentions to lover her and leave her, and you won’t find her uninterested.
Whether you romance Shani or not, report back to Olgierd in Oxenfurt. Be sure to challenge him to Gwent while he’s here, if that’s your thing, then head onto his second mission.