9. Hearts of Stone
I will tackle the DLC walkthroughs by getting over the miscellaneous achievements that aren't story related first, then getting into the meat of the story. Oh yeah...you are in for a treat with these gem of a DLC! Fabulous story.
If you already had the DLC while playing the main game, chances are that you might have already unlocked a couple of achievements as I did. By the time I got to Hearts of Stone, I had gotten Killed It for winning a game of gwent with a score of 187 or more. With a full strength deck, it should be quite easy to do that. Just load up on the commander horns and with the Northern Realm, utilise the Tight Bond cards and play the amateur players in Velen. Hopefully you wont get ‘Scorched’ and will get the achievement.
Win a round of gwent with a total strength of at least 187.
Another achievement that was a pleasant surprise was Rad Steez Bro. I got this doing The Path of Warriors quest when you get to the top of Mount Aardeklove in Yngvar's Fang you will need to get to the cave down below. It’s a long way down, but just hop over the edge and slide all the way to the bottom.
For sliding for more than 10 seconds downhill, you will unlock Rad Steez Bro.
Rad Steez, Bro!
Slide downhill uninterrupted for at least 10 seconds.
Fast-travel to St Gregory's Bridge in North-East of Hierarch Square in Novigrad and get the Potion of Clearance from the shopkeeper who sells it (refer/remember Dendrologist achievement) and make a manual save. Use your potion of clearance to clear your abilities and focus them on the Alchemist tree to acquire Heightened Tolerance, Acquired Tolerance and Side Effects. Now you need to imbibe 7 potions with the lowest toxicities, that have 15 and 20 toxicity. Black Blood, Cat, Pheromones, Killer Whale and Pop's Mold antidote have 15 toxicity while Swallow, Tawny Owl and Maribor Forest have 20 toxicity. Once you have 7 potions in you, you will unlock the Can Quit Anytime I Want achievement.
Return to Sender is another achievement you might have unlocked in normal gameplay. This is for killing archers with their deflected arrows 3 times. Acquire the Arrow Deflection ability, and upgrade it to at least level 2. Now when you come around to bandit camps, kill off everyone first and leave the archers. You will need to perfectly time your parries to redirect an arrow back at the archer. It’s not difficult and time the arrows as you would a counter-attack. Deflect the arrows until you kill the archer. When you do this 3 times, you will unlock Return to Sender.
Go to Garnin Estate and after a bit of banter (and possibly a fist fight), you will eventually meet and talk to Olgierd von Everec about the contract. The contract will get you back to familiar grounds in the sewers of Oxenfurt, where you’ll also meet Shani. The search for the monster will follow a familiar pattern until you find its lair. I will actually say this was the toughest contract fight I had encountered in a while. Found the trick was using Northern Wind bombs and Igni, to take it down. Once done, you will get...
Somehow or other, you will find yourself on a ship on your way to Olfiri to answer for your actions. You’ll have a cellmate who’ll attempt to teach you the language. When the guard come to you and you have the QTE to ask them to meet the captain, choose the last option for some extra XP. Soon after you will be on a beach in a fight. Best way is to draw the swordsmen away from the mage and dispatch them first. Then focus on the mage, who is quite powerful. This was a pretty challenging fight the first couple of times. Dodge his sand attacks and at all costs, stay away from his whirlwind. It’s certain death. Use Quen mostly, but when you can, hit the mage with Igni. Axii also helps stun him for you to attack. Sword attacks work best, just after he completes his whirlwind sequence.
You will have a promise to fulfil and meet up with Gaunter O’Dimm at the Crossroads at midnight, where you will be tasked with completing some requests that you will get from Olgierd concluding Evil's First Soft Touches.
Before proceeding with the tasks for Olgierd, you can look for all the Fallen Knights campsites, defeating them all and looting them for the Wild Rose Dethorned achievement. There are 8 camps and you must defeat all the knights in these camps. Here are the locations of the camps and thanks to Foxfire49 for these locations;
#1. (Bandit Camp) Straight north of the "Upper Mill".
#2 and 3. (Bandit Camp) North of and Southeast of Zuetzer Castle fast-travel post.
#4. (Bandit Camp) Southeast of Est Taiyar fast-travel post.
#5. (Bandit Camp) West of Erde fast-travel post.
#6. (Bandit Camp) Northwest of Sarrasin Grange fast-travel post.
#7 and 8. (Bandit Camp) Both are to the Northeast of the Bowdon fast-travel post.
When kill the last knight and loot the camp, you will unlock Wild Rose Dethorned.
Next, we will take Geralt to a field near Yantra, as shown in the map, and have him kill all the cows in this meadow! There are likely to be 7-8 cows, but they respawn after meditation. So respawn and kill the cows any way you want. Once you kill 20 cows, you will unlock...
Let's get one more achievement out of the way before proceeding with the main quests; I Wore Ofieri Before it was Cool. If you've been looting the Fallen Knights camps you have probably collected Ofieri crafting diagrams that need to be translated which start the From Ofier's Distant Shores side quest. Take these diagrams to an Ofieri merchant, located at the Upper Mill fast travel point. The merchant will explain that the diagrams are part of a set stolen from him, and you will need to collect any you don't have to complete the set. Before setting off in the treasure hunt, look at his wares and buy the Decorated Saber (2,500), Ofieri Saddlebags (233) and the Ofieri Blinders (233). Also, talk some more to the merchant and talk about his horse, that will lead to a horse race. Win the race to get an Ofieri Saddle. Once you have all the diagrams, the merchant will translate them and you can collect after 24 hours. Return/meditate after 24 hours and collect your translated diagrams. Take these to Yoanna, the armourer in Crow's Perch, and once crafted the achievement is yours.
Now proceed with the main quests of the game. You may tackle Olgierd's tasks in any order, but let's start with Open Sesame. When you get into the auction house, offer to speak to the guests. The art expert will give you a test, and choosing 'The Portrait of the Merchant' painting will get you a piece of advice from him. When you’re asked what the advice was by your companion, do not share, otherwise you’ll pay about 3 times the price at the auction. Now, when you are given the option to take part in the auction, answer that you will. Buy all the items that come under the hammer. They’re only three and it should cost you 670 crowns. After you get the third item, you will have this achievement.
Buy all the items put on the block at the Borsodis' Auction House.
Once you conclude Open Sesame, take on the Dead Man's Party quest. You will find yourself eventually at a wedding party, where you will need to take part in the activities at the party. Once you have done 3 of them, our friend Master Mirror will appear and ask to speak to you. DON"T speak to him yet. Make sure you complete all the activities at the wedding first. These are the activities (Thanks Desosav for this list)
1 - Pig Herding
2 - Talk to old woman by tree
3 - Lake swim
4 - Gwent with halflings (you don't have to win)
5 - Find fire eater
6 - Drink with women outside
7 - Talk to young woman between buildings
8 - Climb ladder to barn and talk to Shani (might be confusing because the activity icon overlaps the quest icon on the map. You have to climb the ladder outside the barn for the activity)
9 - Drink with dwarfs inside
10 - Dance
Though this won't officially count as an activity, choose to make a speech at 'The Capping' in the barn after dancing with Shani. This achievement seems to glitch for those who did the activities but didn't make the speech. It's a good speech anyway! Now you can go speak to Gaunter O'Dimm and complete the quest to unlock...
You can continue on with the partying together with Shani, which will inevitably lead to a romantic encounter if you play you cards right. After the party, find Olgierd for his final request in the Scenes From a Marriage quest. At some point in the quest, you will need to step into a painting to reconstruct memories. Once you get into the Painted World, immediately in front of you will be a gazebo in the courtyard. This memory is not part of the quest and is MISSABLE, so start with it. It will involve placing the paint palette on the table and the book in Olgierd’s hand. After that do all the tasks until the last memory. After the cut-scene from last memory with the bowls, you will unlock...
You will then need to go on and face Iris’ greatest fear in the next room, and you’d best prepare for this. You will fight six phantoms which you can fight one at a time. But you need to fight them ALL at the same time to get the achievement. Usually, the other phantoms are in a dormant state unless you attack them. So attack them all until they are all active, then fight them. You can go up to them and attack them or hit them with bombs. This is a damn difficult fight. Always have your Quen shield up and move around all the time. Get your hits in when you can, but you shouldn’t go all kamikaze. This guys will finish you before your finger has left to get that Quen up! Just before you completely exhaust the phantom’s health, a cut-scene will kick in and soon after, you unlock...
Find Gaunter to trigger the final quest, Whatsoever a Man Soweth. After speaking to him, go and see Shani, who will tell you of a professor who may know about the Master of Mirrors. This is an optional quest, but I suggest you go and see this professor.
You can now head for the final showdown at the Temple of Lilvani
. If you met with Professor Shakeslock, you will have the option to either save Olgierd or not do anything. You may choose to help Olgierd or not. There’re good rewards if you take on O’Dimm at the end and this is the easiest ending of all. But, you can be a sport and help Olgierd out. He also gifts you an amazing sword! Helping Olgierd involves solving a riddle of sorts and you will be taken into Olgierd's world to solve the riddle.
Either way, you will unlock Pacta Sunt Servada for completing Hearts of Stone.
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