The Witcher 3 presents your first boss fight in The Beast of White Orchard.
The Witcher 3: The Beast of White Orchard
The Beast at White Orchard is a main story mission triggered in your pursuit of the earlier quest Lilac and Gooseberries. To obtain it, talk to the commander at the Nilfgaardian garrison to the north of White Orchard. Exhaust his dialogue to trigger two quest objectives.
The griffin is a level three target, but don’t worry – you’ll be able to manage it when the time comes.
I’ll assume you visit the Hunter first. Follow the waypoint to his home in White Orchard – use the green signpost to fast travel there, if you like – then use Witcher Senses to track him into the woods. After a brief chat you can agree to join him to hunt some dogs. The resulting fight is pretty easy; the dogs go down to a single arrow from the Hunter, so if you approach slowly half of them will be dead before you get there.
After this battle, you’ll have to follow the hunter to a scene of carnage. Use Witcher Senses to spot clues – blood, bottles, and a campfire – but most importantly look for the footsteps at one end of the area. Follow these, climbing up a ledge and jumping across a gap, to find a slain griffin in a nest.
Examine the griffin's corpse in detail and then loot everything nearby; there’s a place of power down the hill where you can draw an extra ability point and strengthen your Quen sign.
Visit the herbalist next; she’s quite an interesting character. Feel free to loot her garden to the max. In conversation with her you can offer to do something for her patient to trigger the secondary quest On Death’s Bed.
The herbalist sends you to the river. Dive to the bottom anywhere in the search zone (hold Square/X) and then use Witcher Senses to spot the Buckthorn. Gather one, then return to the surface (hold Circle/B). You cna speed up your swimming by holding the sprint button.
Now we have to speak with Vesemir. He’s outside the inn, chatting about a nearby field. Give him the information you’ve got and enjoy reminiscing about Geralt’s adventures. If you’re ready to go after the griffin, tell Vesemir it’s time to go. You have several opportunities to back out and save if you need to; don't worry.
The game will prompt you to craft Thunderbolt potions, which are useful. Equip one and use it when the battle starts. Don’t forget the Quen sign, too.
When you’re ready, meet Vesemir at the new waypoint and start the fight. Select your crossbow and pepper the griffin with bolts whenever it dives towards you; it will smack into the ground and you get a small opening in which to hit it hard.
Otherwise, just circle, dodging the griffin’s wing swipes and darting in to attack once afterwards. If it focuses on Vesemir, use the opening to hit it hard. Halfway through the battle you’ll have to trek across the fields to a nearby windmill and resume the battle.
When you’ve won, loot the corpse for a trophy and a new mutagen. Enter the Character menu to learn how to use them and also spend any ability points you’ve earned.
Head back to the Nilfgaardian garrison; it’s a pretty quick ride, or there’s a fast travel signpost nearby. In your dialogue with the commander you’ll have a limited time period to accept or refuse a cash reward for killing the griffin in addition to information on Yennefer’s whereabouts.
This ends The Beast at White Orchard. Note: once you start the next mission you won’t be able to complete any pending quests, so get anything optional done before proceeding. Check out our White Orchard secondary missions guide.
If you're good to leave White Orchard now, potentially failing secondary missions, head back inside the inn to trigger The Incident in White Orchard.
Onwards to The Incident in White Orchard, or back to The Witcher 3: Prologue (Kaer Morhen and White Orchard).
Back to The Witcher 3 guide and walkthrough.