Romance Triss Merigold and rescue the mages of Novigrad in the second quest of this short but eventful sequence.
The Witcher 3: Now or Never
Now or Never is the second quest required to romance Triss Merigold and to secure her help for Brothers in Arms: Velen in Act Two. You must complete A Matter of Life and Death to trigger it. Completing the quest opens new options in a later quest called Blindingly Obvious, and prevents the slaughter of Novigrad's mages in Act Three.
- You should complete Gwent: Playing Innkeeps before starting this quest.
- You should have at least one point of Axii: Delusion equipped before starting this quest.
- It is recommended that you complete The Soldier Statuette and The Nobleman Statuette (find these by picking up the jade statue while completing A Dangerous Game) before beginning this quest. You should also consider doing Redania's Most Wanted.
As you approach Triss's lodgings you may meet a group of guards and Witch Hunters; you can approach them and have a chat, and very likely a brawl, if you like.
Visit Triss in her lodgings to learn that she is finally ready to evacuate the last of Novigrad's mages, thanks to a generous payment from the Vegelbud family. She's in the middle of a confrontation with her hosts when you arrive; you can do and say whatever you want regarding this matter, but it is imperative that you offer to help Triss in the matter of evacuating the mages, or the quest simply ends.
Now that you've agreed to help, Triss will ask your opinion on a tricky matter: should you rescue two missing mages, potentially putting the whole group at risk, or go straight to the Kingfisher and continue without them? This choice has a serious knock-on effect on at least one other quest - read the italics below if you wish to know what you might be ruining.
If you choose to save the two missing mages, Olivier, the innkeeper at the Kingfisher, will be killed. If you are yet to play Gwent with him, you'll fail the Gwent: Playing Innkeeps and Collect 'Em All quests.
Rescue Berthold and Annise
This is the lengthier option. Follow Triss out into the streets, staying just behind her. When she says to hide and kneels behind a wall, stand beside her and wait patiently for up to two minutes until she indicates its safe to go on. There's usually one Witch Hunter who trails the rest by a substantial margin, and if you get bored and rush out you'll have to battle the lot, which doesn't impress Triss much.
Continue on behind Triss and save before entering the building; when you get to the top floor, the witch hunters immediately attack the mages you are here to rescue, and letting either of them die is a Bad Thing indeed. Whether you saved one or both, you have trouble getting them to accompany you; use Axii to get them to shift, or have all your effort wasted.
Off to the Kingfisher
Whether you opted to rescue the two mages or not or are coming straight from Triss's lodgings, your next goal is the Kingfisher Inn. Wait quietly when Triss warns you to hide from patrols on the way there.
What you find inside depends on your actions so far - if you stopped to save Berthold and Annise, you'll need to battle three Witch Hunters. Otherwise, the path to the cellar, and the sewers beyond, is clear.
In the cellar, Triss inspires the mages to confidence, and you can have a chat with Dijkstra (Reuven). Agree to go ahead with Triss and clear a path for the survivors. Save before you start; there are several annoying bugs in here that will block progress if triggered, such as Triss blocking the path forward or failing to accompany you.
Head north through a gate and then a ramp in a tunnel, curving around until you battle a couple of Drowners. When you come to a junction, head west until you reach a room with scaffolding and barrels. From here, go North again until you hit a dead end, then use Aard on the west wall to access a library. Grab anything you like - there's no rush - then look for another breakable wall on the southwest side of the room to continue on.
You'll be attacked by another Drowner; beat it down and move forward through the iron gate to a room filled with rats. Battle a few more Drowners, and move down into the rat room. Use Igni to clear them if they bother you as you proceed, but just keep moving forward and looting bodies, eventually heading for a set of wooden stairs to the south. Climb up, and then take the tunnel heading upwards. There are only two paths out of this area; the east one is a dead end you should visit to clear out the Drowners, but the path you ultimately want leads south.
In the chamber beyond, take the west path and continue on, following your HorsePS along the linear route until you start to spot corpses. use Witcher Senses to investigate as you continue and Geralt will conclude there's a vampire lurking nearby. Use Vampire Oil to prepare for the fight, and equip Black Blood if you fancy it.
With Triss to help you the battle with the Katakan isn't too hard; any time things get worrying, roll as far away as you can and let her draw its attention, then go paddle its backside.
When the beast is down, continue on and out of the tunnels to the docks. Have a chat with Dijkstra, and then kill the six Witch Hunters who attempt to ruin your day,
Triss Merigold romance critical decision point
When Triss says goodbye, you have one brief opportunity to secure her as your romance option. To succeed despite her protestations, you must answer:
- Stay with me.
- I love you.
And then just don't be a shithead by telling her she's changeable or whatever.
Triss will board the boat, but don't despair; return to Dijkstra and if you were successful Triss will bound back, suggesting the two of you go somewhere pleasant to watch the ships. A romantic interlude follows.
Otherwise, and also afterwards, you and Dijkstra swap words and he repeats his request that you join the secondary mission A Deadly Plot. You should agree; you can always back out later.