Another late-game Velen Witcher Contract best left for after you've been to Skellige.
The Witcher 3: The Mystery of the Byways Murders
Suggested level: 22
You may unlock this Witcher Contract early in the game, and you'll probably pass through Byways in pursuit of lower-levelled side quests - but don't tarry, because this one's pretty damn tough.
Where to find The Mystery of the Byways Murders Witcher Contract
The Mystery of the Byways Murders is available via the notice board in Oreton, a village almost directly north of Fyke Island, in the southern part of the Velen (No Man's Land) map. Look for the "Missing Soldiers" notice.
Speak to Milan, the commander of the Nilfgaardian forces in Oreton, to advance the quest. Then make your way to Byways.
You may want to apply Necruphage Oil before you get to the tiny hamlet, because the streets are filled with Ghouls. Kill them off, then approach the building to the northwest and check the doors to eventually find two survivors who prove about as useful as teeth in a butthole.
Seach Byways using your Witcher Senses, starting near the dead Nilfgaardian soldiers the Ghouls were gnawing on. There are two showing signs of injuries not inflicted by any Ghoul. You should also find a scent trail.
Follow the trail to a locked door. Return to the survivors and interrogate them to receive the key. Inside, search around for a piece of fur on the ground before descending into the tunnels. Stop by the first torch to check out a body. This allows you to determine the target is an Ekimmara named Sarasti.
Move onwards into the tunnels to confront the beast. When it's dead you can optionally let the Byways survivors know it's safe to come out before heading back to Oreton to collect your reward.
How to kill Sarasti the Ekimmara
Like all vampires, Sarasti is quite vulnerable to fire. Igni and weapons that cause burning are a big help; Igni especially will interrupt the creature's attacks.
Sarasti is very fast, but if you can hit it with a Dancing Star bomb (or a Dragon's Dream, which you then ignite with Igni), that's another good way to get some heat on it. Otherwise, all vampires are vulnerable to Devil's Puffball.
Black Blood is a massive help here; down one as you start fighting and every time Sarasti hits you it will take damage.
As ever, you should apply Vampire Oil to your silver sword before engaging a vampire enemy.
How to make Vampire Oil, where to find Ducal Water
Vampire Oil is an easy recipe - you just need Dog Tallow and Ducal Water. Both of these are available commonly in herbalist stores or as loot. You can also harvest Dog Tallow from wolves and wild dogs.
This is a very high level vampire, so it's recommended you use Enhanced or Superior Vampire Oil if possible. Here's what you'll end to upgrade all the way, assuming you have the recipes:
- 1x Ursine Tallow: kill bears or buy from herbalists
- 1x Alchemy Paste: buy from herbalists or common loot
- 2x Fifth Essence: buy from herbalists or uncommon loot
- 2x Wine Stone: buy from herbalists or uncommon loot
- 2x Cortinarius: mushroom in forests in all regions
- 2x Wolfsbane: tall flowers in fields, forests in all regions