STORY 21 - Ugly Baby
Recommended Level: 19
Objective: Tell the Baron's sergeant you want to take Uma
Fast travel to the Crow's Perch in Velen and enter the Baron's castle. Depending on which story choice you picked regarding the baron (if he left with his wife or died), the conversation with the sergeant will differ slightly, but either way you will pursuade him to let you take Uma.
Objective: Tell the person minding the stables that you are taking Uma
Head back outside to the stable area to find a the stablemaster tending to a horse. He'll be sad to see Uma go (tell him to find another diversion during the dialogue to hear some interesting methods of entertainment from Geralt). After the chat a scene will take over and Geralt will take Uma to Kaer Morhen... with a detour to the Royal Palace, naturally.
When you regain control after arriving at the witcher stronghold, you will be presented with three objectives that trigger subquests and can be completed in any order. All three must be completed to advance this story quest.
Objective: Help Yennefer fix the megascope
Walk through the main hall and up the tower to find Yennifer swearing at her megascope. I've had days like that.
Recommended Level: N/A (none listed)
Objective: Find and help Yennefer
Should already be complete when you trigger this subquest.
Objective: Find the source of the magical disturbance using the potesaquisitor
After obtaining the potestaquisitor from Yennefer, descend the tower and march back into the main hall area where Lambert, Eskel and Vesemir are working. The item you are looking for is inside a crate beside the cage next to Vesemir (bombs inside the crate).
Objective: Return to Yennefer
Objective: Let Yennefer know you removed the source of the disturbance
Clamber back up the stairs to the tower and inform Yennefer that the line is now clear (ugh, dial-up). so she can contact the lodge. Talk to the contact with Yennefer to find out about a few things and finish this subquest.
Objective: Talk to Lambert about journeying to the circle of elements
You should find Lambert in the middle of the main hall, talk to him to trigger another subquest.
SUBQUEST: The Final Trial
Recommended Level: 19
Objective: Follow Lambert
After the conversation ends, Lambert will be off. Follow him out of the main hall and through the giant hole in the fortress wall. Trail after him down the path and ledges. On the way, you will be attacked by a group of three or four harpies, however they shouldn't pose much of a threat due to weak attacks. Use your crossbow or light attacks to knock them to the ground before finishing them off with your sword or instant finishers (this will occasionally trigger upon a knock-down). After the battle, resume following Lambert until you reach a dilapidated hut on the shore of a lake.
Objective: Find the boat
After the scene, begin following the trail marked on the mini-map.
Note: Examining the drowner corpse found here will unlock the sidequest - Monster Slayer
A short distance away you'll find a circular search area on the mini-map. Enter it and head for the water's edge where you'll find five drowners guarding the missing boat. Cut and slice your way through the mob like usual until they have all fallen. When the last drowner drops, a water hag will rise up out of the mud and attack. Slice her up and a scene will trigger in which Geralt and Lambert board the boat.
Objective: Sail across the lake with Lambert
Listen to the idle talk as the pair cross the lake. On the far side you'll be given a choice to rush to the aid of someone calling for help, or to ignore them.
Optional Objective: Check where the boy's voice is coming from
Turns out the voice was merely an illusion caused by a trio of foglets. Foglets act in a similar fashion to wraiths, vanishing and attacking from behind. Use quen to protect against back attacks or the yrden sign to reveal the hidden foglets for a retaliatory strike. Once the third foglet is dead, return to the mouth of the cave where you were previously.
Objective: Enter the cave
The cave network is fairly linear (despite it's initial appearance). Make sure to look for chests scattered in the cave as there are a few diagrams to find (one is in the lit area next to Old Speartip at the back of the cave. You will need to climb up several ledges and use the Aard sign to blast through a few fallen rock piles blocking your path as you progress.
You can battle old speartip if you want to (be ready to deal with a level 20 cyclops) but he doesn't drop anything special upon death, so you may just want to ignore him. Finish following the mini-map trail up the final set of ledges and out of the cave.
Objective: Get to the circle of elements
Once you are in the outside air again, start following the dirt path along the cliff edge and up the hillside. A few hundred yards up the path, you'll see a troll moving away from you ahead. Shortly after this, a scene will trigger where a group of troll will begin to fling rocks at Geralt and Lambert.
Objective: Seek shelter in the tunnel
When you regain control, sprint along the trail shown by the mini-map towards the nearby tunnel entrance. Getting inside will shield you from the troll's projectiles.
Objective: Get past the blockage
Aard...blast...no more blockage (or you can just climb over it and be a dick to Lambert). Climb up out of the tunnel to face off against the trolls that attacked earlier.
We'll leave our swords. Come back for them later - Trolls let you pass peacefully
Not gonna happen - Battle the trolls
Objective: Get to the circle of elements
Either way, once you've dealt with the trolls, follow the trail upwards to finally reach the circle of elements.
Objective: Light the torches around the altar
Objective: Place the phylactery on the altar
Simply light all four large metal brackets on the altar and interact with the stone altar (between the candles) to put down the phylactery and trigger a scene with Lambert. After the ritual ends, you will get your swords back from the trolls (or not, if you fought them) and get the dialogue option to fast travel back to Kaer Morhen or to make your own way back. Once you arrive back at the keep, the subquest is over.
Objective: Find Eskel and help him hunt the forktail
Head towards the drawbridge at the entrance to Kaer Morhen where you'll spot a yellow search circle waiting on the mini-map.
SUBQUEST: To Bait A Forktail...
Recommended Level: 19
Objective: Search for Eskel's tracks near the entrance to Kaer Morhen using your witcher senses
While you are in the yellow circle, use your senses to check the dirt path at your feet and examine the hoof-prints on it.
Objective: Follow the tracks left by Eskel's horse using your witcher senses
Jump on your horse's back and canter along the path, keeping your witcher senses active to follow Eskel's trail. You should follow it along the path, cross a river and then swerve off the dirt trail into the scrub shortly afterwards. Continue following the tracks up the hillside until you reach Eskel's camp and find his horse.
Objective: Examine the area around Eskel's horse for tracks using your witcher senses
Note: You can pick up some enhanced draconoid oil from the pile of bottles on the blanket. Applying this oil to your weapon will help in the battle against the forktail shortly.
Directly in front of Eskel's horse, you should spot Eskel's tracks leading away and further up the hill.
Objective: Look around for more tracks left by Eskel using your witcher senses
If you follow the tracks carefully, you'll see they lead to the base of a tree which the goat rubbed against. Examine the tree to pick up the goat's scent.
Objective: Follow the smell using your witcher senses
After smelling the goat hair, a floating smell trail will appear in the air leading up the rocky slope. Follow it along (dealing with the small group of wolves on the way).
Objective: Follow Eskel's footprints using your witcher senses
Note: If you want to apply the draconid oil for the forktail battle, make sure you use it before getting too close to the goat.
After finding Eskel's trail again by following the smell, approach the bleating goat tied to the stake at the end of the trail to find Eskel.
Objective: Fight the forktail
After a brief chat with Eskel, time will advance and the forktail will show up. Time for battle. Forktails are vulnerable to the Golden Oriole potion, Grapeshot bomb, Draconid Oil (which you should have) and the aard sign. You can use the aard sign to knock-back or knock down the forktail if it is powerful enough, Use quick light attacks (hitting once or twice) before rolling away from the forktail's damaging counterattack.
If the forktail is focused on Eskel, you can get in a few heavy strikes without much risk, so take advantage of this if it happens. Once the forktail is reduced to less than half health, it will fly off to lick it's wounds.
Objective: Chase the forktail
Start running in the direction of the escaping forktail, following the trail on the mini-map.
Objective: Follow the forktail's blood trail using your witcher senses
When the forktail is no longer visible, you will need follow the bloodtrail it left instead. Move to the yellow search area on the mini-map and examine the blood splatters with your senses to pick up the trail again. Trundle up the rocky trail after it and down the other side of the hill until you turn off onto a ledge overlooking a dirt path below and locate the entrance to the forktail's lair.
Objective: Find and kill the forktail
Make your way into the depths of the cave, until you have to climb up a ledge near the deepest area. When you reach this spot, the forktail will be waiting in front of you. Resume the tactics you used when fighting it earlier to quickly bring down it's remaining health and finish it off. Afterwards, you'll obtain the spinal fluid for Yennefer.
Objective: Return to Kaer Morhen
Leave the cave the way you came and as you approach the horses at the entrance, Eskel will challenge you to a race.
Objective: Beat Eskel back to Kaer Morhen
Kaer Morhen is a fair distance away, but if you have a saddle upgrading your horse's stamina you should be able to reach the keep without running dry. The hardest part of the race is crossing the narrow wooden bridge just before the finish line. I've attempted this race a couple of times and each time Roach would automatically stop when he neared the bridge, allowing Eskel to rush past and win. So if you manage to get across before him, well done.
Objective: Spend the evening with the other witchers
Gwent Card: During the drinking session, you can challenge the other witchers to a game of Gwent. Winning will award you the Triss Merigold card.
Enter the main hall and walk over to the table near the fire to trigger a long dialogue scene with several choices (they don't affect anything but some of the responses are quite funny, especially during the "I've never..." drinking game and the megascope escapades). Watch the drunken group chug the evening away, making them do whatever until Eskel fails to return with more booze (how dare he).
Objective: Find Eskel using your witcher senses
The trail is easy to follow (despite the drunken screen effects), follow it to the main doors of the hall and then out and to the left to find Eskel lying on the ground. After finding him, you can take part in the megascope shenanigans or just go to bed. In the morning, everyone's up and about and ready to get to work on removing the curse on Uma. Geralt on the other hand probably just wants to stay in bed.
SUBQUEST: Va Fail, Elaine
Recommended Level: 19
Objective: Gather the necessary ingredients and brew the decoctions of the grasses
Yennefer will give you the recipe, so grab the ingredients off the nearby table and use the alchemy tab to brew up the required potions.
Objective: Bring Yennefer the potions
Walk back to where Uma is bound to trigger the next scene. During it you will be asked to administer the potions (the order doesn't matter). Do so, and then watch the rest of the scene play out as Uma's true identity is revealed.
Once the scene ends and you have a new lead on Ciri's location, the quest is over.