Help the an Craite family secure the throne of Skellige after a conspiracy to discredit the clan results in bloodshed at a feast.
The Witcher 3: King's Gambit
King's Gambit automatically becomes available once you have completed both Possession and The Lord of Undvik, cementing Cerys and Hjalmar an Craite's bids for the throne of Skellige.
To proceed with the quest, visit Kaer Trolde and speak with Arnvald at the portcullis. You will then enter the feast.
The feast begins with a confrontation between Cerys and Hjalmar, after which you are free to wander if you like. You can approach the fist fight in one corner and agree to challenge the Vilkaarl; he's a tough opponent and slams through your guard with his heavy attacks, so be confident in your level and your skill with ripostes and dodges if you have a go.
If you'd like a bit of an advantage shortly, apply Cursed Oil to your silver blade.
When you're done chatting with guests, head for Crach an Craite. On the way you'll meet Birna Bran and should have a chat with her. When you reach an Craie's chambers he gifts you with a sword as a thank you for helping his children, but your discussion is interrupted by a commotion in the feasting hall.
Bears! Giant bears! Attack them with your silver sword. Use standard bear tactics - stun or stagger them so you can get to their side, and keep circling, dodging away if they stand to do an area of effect attack.
When the bears are down you have a choice to make: assist either Cerys or Hjalmar.
SPOILER ALERT: Skip past the italics if you don't want to know the consequences of this action.
Which of the siblings you choose now determines who will hold the throne of Skellige.
This is the famous CSI: Skellige case. Use Witcher Senses to look at anything you like, including the corpses of the fallen, but what you want to check out is one of the bears. Look at everything to determine that the bear is a shapeshifter, and particularly check out its mouth.
Your next goal is to check out the empty mead horns, one of the mead bowls present at each table, and the mead bowl closest to the door. Geralt concludes that the mead was drugged.
Speak with Cerys, who suggests checking in with Hjolt; follow her to the seer. He identifies the substance used, and Cerys suggests you explore the cellar where the drinks are stored to see if you can figure out where the drug was introduced to the mead supply.
Follow Cerys into the cellar, and use Witcher Senses to find the correct barrels. As soon as you find them, someone sets the cellar blaze; with all that strong spirit around, you're likely to be killed. Look where Cerys is standing to spot a stack of barrels in front of a tunnel; use Aard to clear them, then get inside quick. As you pass through the tunnel, don't forget to draw on the Place of Power you pass on the way.
Back in the hall, you return to the cellar entrance to try and track the arsonist. Luckily, they broke a bottle and tramped through the puddle; follow the footprints till they dry out, then look around to find a piece of cloth torn off and hanging on a wall sconce. Investigate this and show it to Cerys to pinpoint the culprit - Arnvald.
When you go after Arnvald, he flees - jump on Roach and chase him down. You need to cut him down with a sword to proceed; don't worry, he survives. When you aqtch him, interrogate him and he reveals the masterind behind the plot - Brina Bran.
If Aarnvald evades you all the way to the beach, you'll have to battle a bunch of his mates before you can speak with him. If you're really late they'll have killed him, and you must search his body, and then his room back at Kaer Trolde, for evidence of his betrayal. Look for an envelope with a scent trail to find a hidden compartment with the letter you need.
When the investigation is complete, you meet with the Jarls to discuss what you've discovered. The evidence isn't enough to convict Brina Bran, but her son, Svanrige, is an honest sort and speaks out, horrified at his mother's actions. The quest is complete, and you can continue to Coronation.
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Hjalmar sets out without asking questions for the village of Fornhala, home of the Vildkaarls. Follow him at a gallop. When you arrive, you can talk to him about the clan - he suspects they are Berserkers, warriors who turn into bears.
Look around the area, including up the hill, and use Witcher Senses to find a corpse at a shrine, clothing from six men near a weird bowl, carvings dedicating the shrine to the bloodthirsty god Svalblod, and a scent trail leading to a few more corpses and a longhouse on the hill.
Inside, you'll find dried mushrooms and a trapdoor under a bearskin rug. Re-apply Cursed Oil if you need to and descend into the lower regions, where you meet a man named Halgrim. He'll attack you no matter what you do, transforming into his bear shape part way through the battle.
You can't stop Hjalmar now; he's livid. Follow him to witness a transformation ritual and begin a battle. Your focus here is the Druid; if you defeat the bear he summons, he'll just bring in another one.
When you are victorious, check the Druid's body for an unsigned letter, and return to Kaer Trolde to meet with the jarls. There's not enough evidence to identify the real culprit, but the an Craite clan is cleared.
The quest is complete, and you can continue to Coronation.
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