Three boss fights, a silly treasure hunt, and a definite sign that this is a Witcher game.
The Witcher 3: Blood and Wine - The Beast of Toussaint
The quest kicks off during the cutscenes at the end of Envoys, Wineboys. Seek more information from Palmerin and Milton if you like. Accept the contract or choose to think about it if you want to wait a bit. This automatically takes you to Toussaint. At the end of the dramatic cutscene you’ll battle a giant, Golyat.
Boss: Golyat the Giant
New players may be interested to learn they can apply Ogroid Oil to make this battle easier; just open your inventory and look for it in the potions section.
Golyat usually opens with a three spin swinging melee attack that tracks towards Geralt. His other moves include a blow which sends a wave of force directly forwards, knocking you and the knights back if you’re caught by it; a sideways roll works well.
For best results, close with the giant. Staying at range to cast signs enrages it and makes it more likely to use its three swing attack, which is difficult to dodge in the narrow sheep pen. The slow overhead strike and right to left swings it does when you're closer to it are well telegraphed and can be avoided with rolls. Watch out for backhands from its empty hand; stay on his mace side for best results, and circle clockwise.
If you’re in the right level range with endgame equipment it’s not too hard to beat this guy, actually – as you’d expect from a fight you have no time to prepare for. He takes decent damage from Igni and your swords, and your pals help. You’ll soon remember your skills if it’s been a while.
Welcome to Toussaint
When the battle is over, you’ll have to follow Milton to a new victim. As you ride, you’ll be prompted to take advantage of a new craftsman who can make you even better gear, and a new source of witcher mutations. Keep this in mind for a free moment in the future; we'll point out both secondary quests when they become available.
When you arrive at the fishing hut and little dock, search upstream; there are a few minor loot containers around but nothing meaningful, and Milton won’t wait for you before engaging a nearby pack of scurvers (necrophages). What you’re looking for are some bootprints that start near the dock.
Examine the crate along your trail to learn about the currents in the area. Further on you can find some scraps of clothing, a blood stained net, the rut left by a boat, and a net tether. Under the water, you can pick up a bunch of minor loot, raid on treasure chest, and on the far side of the nets area, grab a monogrammed handkerchief, which is the item you’re after. Return to Milton once you have it.
Have a chat with Milton and tell him what you found (optionally mentioning the nearby bystanders). Turns out the dead man may be Milton’s old friend de la Croix. Follow Milton to the Cockatrice Inn. Chat to anybody you fancy on your way in. During the conversation that follows you can obtain extra information by picking the optional dialogue lines.
When you're done talking to Milton and his friends, you can speak to the innkeeper to browse his wares, fight about cuisine and play Gwent. If you’re playing the DLC standalone, the innkeeper will have a stack of Gwent cards missing from your deck; buy them all, as there are very few cards for sale around Toussaint, and you seriously need them to supplement your bare bones starting cards. Be aware that this DLC introduces the Skellige set, so there are new cards to worry about.
Winning the match (or any match) will earn you a place in an upcoming tournament, via the quest Gwent: To Everything – Turn, Turn, Tournament (recommended level 38, and you need a Skellige deck). It also opens the quest Gwent: Never Fear, Skellige’s Here.
Before you leave the inn, open some minor loot containers and collect all the books and notes. Outside the inn, take a left out the door to find a notice board. Browse the notices to collect the quests Wine Wars: Belgaard (recommended level 37), Knight for Hire (no level) and Mutual of Beauclair’s Wild Kingdom (recommended level 46), as well as Witcher Contract Big Game Hunter (recommended level 37).
New map markers await you from here on, indicating new types of open world activities. A skull on a tower is a Hanse Base. A barrel above an exclamation mark is a Vintner’s Contract. A knight’s helmet indicates a Knight Errant in Distress. A bunch of grapes with a monster symbol is a Vineyard Infestation. Finally, a statue is Big Feet to Fill.
You can ignore all that for now if you're comfortable with your level and gear for the challenges ahead. Follow your HorsePS to the vineyard to just miss a battle. Examine the slumped bodies and don’t miss the one you can loot. Examining a few others convinces Geralt he’s dealing with a Bruxae, so prepare accordingly:
- Bruxae vulnerabilities
- Bomb: Moon Dust
- Oil: Vampire Oil
- Potion: Black Blood
- Signs: Yrden
Don’t miss the coat on the ground as you head towards the encounter marker. You can check out a few more clues as you progress through the cellars. You’ll see a cutscene, which makes it very clear that this is definitely a Witcher game (sign the first).
The Bruxae is very fast and although it seems to skip over Yrden, without the sign it can barely be hit. Start the fight by throwing a Moon Dust or dropping two Yrden rings down side by side, and stay within the area of effect. Alternate Yrden will trap her in place if you manage to get her to move over it, but it’s not easy to pull off.
Dodge the Bruxae’s assaults, some of which involve teleports, by listening for the audio cues, and counter attack after a successful dodge. If you're taking a lot of damage Black Blood will help you end the fight faster, but the real trick is just to be conservative with your attacks. You remember how this is done - dodge, hit, dodge. Keep your stamina charged to replenish Yrden.
The Bruxae has a couple of attacks worth watching for. If she's standing outside your Yrden zone and not approaching, it's likely that she'll scream, which emits a shockwave that spreads put as it travels forward. She can't adjust aim once the long casting animation begins, so just dodge or roll to one side and towards her for a great chance to get a few hits in.
Watch out for her grab attack, which triggers with a short leap onto you. Black Blood will turn this in your favour but its best not to get caught at all, obviously.
To the tournament
When the Bruxae is down, be sure to loot a nearby guard’s body, then check out the corpse, examining all the pieces. There’s a clue in the head and one in the hand.
Leave and follow your HorsePS to Palmerin (it’s a nice walk; you don’t need Roach). There’s a blacksmith and armorer close by, and both play Gwent. A little further afield there’s an innkeeper and a barber, who likewise play Gwent. The armorer uses a Niflgaard deck which is quite tough if you’re playing the DLC standalone and therefore have a pretty mediocre deck at your disposal (try going in really aggressively; in general, Niflgaard players will throw everything they have at the first round).
After speaking to Palmerin you’ll have a couple of conversations and cutscenes before kicking off another battle.
There’s no time for oil or other preparations but queue up Aard and pause to equip Samum bombs if you have them. Don’t worry about Palmerin; he won’t die if his health runs out.
This is a very slow battle if you just duke it out. The beast blocks and staggers you with almost every hit, but you can roll in, hit it with Aard and get a flurry of fast attacks in before dodging away. You can also attack its belly and flanks when it rears up, but it's a bit hit and miss.
It’s better to keep your distance from the beast to lure it into rolling attacks; if it hits a wall it will be stunned and you can give it a good whacking before it recovers.
Watch out for its burrowing attack; it has a wide and deadly area of effect. The other attack you need to watch for is a ground pound that sends a wave of earth forward in a straight line; if you’re always circling this won’t be an issue.
To the palace
At the end of the battle, you can choose to put the beast out of its misery or argue for mercy. The side quest The Warble of a Smitten Knight (recommended level 35) opens automatically during the cutscenes. You’ll then have a chat with the duchess and unlock secondary quest No Place Like Home as you ride after her.
At the palace, chat with the duchess again. You'll have to choose Choose Golden Fish or Unicorn Horn when the timed cue comes up; it doesn’t matter as you still hear about them both. Start with the Golden Fish; the easiest way down into the gardens is by the path that winds around the tower where you chat with the duchess. Swim around in the search area and check all the pottery fish floating on chains; eventually a cutscene will trigger and you can head to the unicorn.
After the cutscene look for some nobles having a picnic and steal their basket of carrots. Geralt auto-equips it so just stroll down to the beast. You can ride the unicorn back to the duchess if you like, who is collecting the phoenix egg with the other clue. The answer is “greenhouse”. Feel free to be wrong though, it’s pretty funny.
This quest closes during these cutscenes and Blood Run kicks off automatically.