The job of a Witcher is never as cut and dry as it seems. Even when hunting monsters in The Witcher 3, Geralt will often discover the situation to be far more complex than originally thought, and forced to make a tough moral choice with no clear answer. There’s few better examples of this than the Ladies of the Wood quest, and your choice of whether or not to kill or free the spirit. The quest itself isn’t a long or difficult one, but the ramifications of your choices will be felt across the game world. No need to toss us a coin, we’ll show you all the ways this quest can play out in our guide free of charge.
Witcher 3 Ladies Of The Wood
While you’re in the middle of the Wander in the Dark quest with Keira, you will receive a special book called Ladies of the Wood, and if you happen to read through its pages you will automatically begin the quest proper. It is part of the main story, so you will eventually need to do this to advance the story.
The beginning of the quest itself is very straightforward. You are essentially just following waypoints and using your Witcher sense to find a shrine and follow the Trail of Treats. You’ll encounter a bunch of kids living in a swamp with a…questionable old woman, and be forced to play a game of hide and seek.
You’ll need to complete a few steps of quests here with the kids and Johnny before you eventually get the task to figure out what has been killing the Downwarren villagers. Head toward your new waypoint where you will get a new map marker for the Ancient Oak and get attacked by a Werewolf. Take it down and head into the cave leading below the tree.
It’s a straight shot under the water to trigger the cutscene with the Ghost in the Tree.
Witcher 3 Ladies Of The Wood Conversation Options
You’re immediately asked why you have come to the spirit, and must first make the choice of whether or not you want to free the spirit by choosing “I’ll help you” or kill it by selecting “I don’t believe you.” Both answers have long and rippling consequences for this quest, and many others that will follow.
Free The Spirit
If you choose to help the spirit, you will need to do a few things to free it from its imprisonment. The spirit will ask you to perform a ritual with three items you need to collect: raven feathers, the spirit’s bones, and a horse.
You should already have the raven feathers from earlier in the quest when you were helping Johnny recover his voice, which just leaves finding the bones and a horse.
To find the spirit’s bones, exit the cave and follow your waypoint back to the swamp. Kill off all the Drowners and the Water Hag here so you can use your Witcher sense to find the headstone you need to search for the bone. You will find it in the Southern edge of the circle on your map.
Next, because there’s no way you’d sacrifice Roach, head to the waypoint to get a wild horse. Have your Axii Sign at the ready and cast it one on of the horses. You will be free to mount up and ride it back to the Whispering Hillock.
Once you make it back you’re given one last chance to reconsider your choice before performing the ritual, either by tricking the spirit or outright killing it. Choose to carry on with it and the spirit will be freed.
Kill The Spirit
The other option, killing the Spirit, is much easier. Once you decide to do so, a fight will start on the spot between you and the tree monster. It will cast a magical shield around itself and call on Endrega to come fight you. They should pose little threat, so cut them down and then start hacking away at the heart in the three once the shield falls.
It will take a few rounds of this before the fight ends, but isn’t terribly difficult.
Report Back To The Ealdorman
Whether you chose to free or kill the spirit, you will need to go back to the Ealdorman of Downwarren to tell him you solved the problem. Depending on what you did, however, his reactions will be quite different.
Witcher 3 Kill Or Spare – Ladies Of The Wood
So, which correct one? Is the spirit telling the truth, or are you better off killing it? In terms of the story, you’re able to continue on no matter what, so it will all come down to your personal preference, but here are all the differences that this choice creates.
What Happens When You Free The Spirit?
Freeing the spirit will lead to the spirit taking out its vengeance on the town of Downwarren, which you will find completely destroyed when you return there. Not only that, but it also prevents you from having the possibility of saving Anna, the Bloody Baron’s wife, or the Baron himself.
What Happens When You Kill The Spirit?
Killing the spirit will ensure that Downwarren remains intact and goes on with their business, for better or worse. You can also save the Baron and his wife in the quest “Return to Crookback Bog” if you make the correct choices.
While there’s no clear “best” choice, you are able to save more lives by choosing to kill the spirit rather than free it, but it is up to you whether or not those lives are actually worth saving.
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