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The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt

Exploring Skellige - From Rannvaig to Arinbjorn

Nathan Garvin
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Important Items in this Area
Cage Key
Chest Key
Journal of a Thief, Part II
Holger Blackhand’s Horn
Unsent Letter

The next leg of the quest “The Family Blade” requires a different approach. while its location (along the eastern coast of Skellige) seems to give you a great excuse to explore your way there, the simple fact of the matter is that many of the map markers you might want to clear along the way involve dealing with foes who are probably quite a few levels above you. Skellige, however, is an island nation (if nation is the right word), so perhaps it’s time to turn your attention to the sea? There are, after all, plenty of map markers aren’t on dry land.

Person(s) in Distress (Level 12)

Fast-travel back to Rannvaig (backtracking to Fyresdal and using the signpost there is probably the quickest way) and commandeer a boat, then sail it along the shore to the west. Why west instead of north? Why not? Don’t worry, there’s a method to this meandering madness - and that method is exploration!

At some point along the shore you’ll find a “Person(s) in Distress” event. Land and kill the Bandits (level twelve), then loot them to find a “Cage Key” . Use it to free a Blacksmith, who will invite you to meet him at Farylund when you wish to do business. Fair enough. Loot some containers near a jetty for some minor loot, then get back on your boat and embark.

Hidden Treasure (Level 19)

Sail west to find some small islands, the skies over which are populated by Ekhidna (level nineteen), which act like larger Harpies that can poison you. Land the ship on an island where you can engage them, knock them out of the sky with your crossbow, the Aard Sign or a well-timed parry and dispatch them on the ground.

When the Ekhidna are all dead, continue sailing to the western-most island to find a “Hidden Treasure” event. Explore the eastern edge of the island to find a rotten corpse, on which is a “Chest Key” . Now you just need to make your way onto the north-central part of the island. There’s no clear path up, but if you make your way west onto the southern part of the island, you can determinedly jump your way over the rocks to reach the northern half of the island, where you’ll find a chest unlocked by the key you just picked up.

A good bit of exploration in Skellige will by done by boat, instead of on foot (left). Be sure to seek out Smuggler’s Caches as you go to score sweet loot (right).

Smugglers Cache(s) (Level 13)

Board your boat again and pilot it north and slightly east to find a “Smuggler’s Cache”. You know how this works by now, three chests are anchored by some barrels, swim down and score the easy loot. There are some Sirines (level thirteen) below the surface, but they can be easily dispatched with your crossbow. There are several similar events to the north (the entire coast of Skellige must just be littered with smugglers) just sail north-west and loot another three chests, then go north-east and score another three.

Sirines aren’t much of a threat on land (left) but at sea, they are more than happy to tear your boat to pieces (right).

A Hallowed Horn (Level 12)

If you remember back to Novigrad, you once promised a man named Nidas that you’d help him to recover a Black Pearl. To the west you’ll find three sizable islands forming a broken line running north-south. Nidas awaits you on the southern end of the middle island. Sail west and slightly south and land towards the middle of the eastern end of the central island… more specifically, on a small bit of land to the south-east of the central island, which is connected to the larger bit of land by a small land bridge.

On this small almost-island you’ll find some Renegades (level fifteen). Kill them, then loot a campsite where, in a chest you’ll find the “Journal of a Thief, Part II” and “Holger Blackhand’s Horn” . Picking these up begins the quest “A Hallowed Horn” , normally started by picking up the notice in the village of Holmstein, far to the south. Getting the horn directly just skipped an inconsequential step.

Treasure Hunt: Pearls of the Coast (Level 13)

Cross the land-bridge connecting the land you’re on to the larger part of the island to the north-west. Continue west until you find a road, then follow said road until you come across some Pirates (levels twelve and fourteen). Search uphill to the east to find the Pirate’s main camp, which also happens to be the site of a “Hidden Treasure” event. Kill the Pirates and search the camp to find a bag of loot on some board, which contains an “Unsent Letter” . Take it and read it to start the quest “Pearls of the Coast” .

Time to get wet again! Either head east and dive off a cliff (if you’re foolhardy) or return to the land bridge and safely wade into the water like the granny you are. Swim north past the bit of land where you found “Holger Blackhand’s Horn” and dive at the mouth of the inlet between this smaller slice of land and a larger part of the island to the west to find the chest the Pirates were looking for, wherein you’ll find the steel sword “Inis” , amongst other goodies.

Meet Nidas and Skellige (left) then dive into the water and search for the elusive Black Pearl (right).

Black Pearl (Level 13)

Swim to shore and make your way back up to the road running across the central island, this time following it south until you reach a broken bridge. Near this bridge you’ll find Nidas, patiently waiting for you. Talk to him and confirm your willingness to help him, then follow him north along the western coast. Once you arrive at the coast Nidas will deliver the news that you’re the one who is going to have to exhaustively search for the elusive black pearl.

Swim west until you find a search area, then dive to find the oysters you’ll need to search. Kill some Sirines (level thirteen) with your crossbow so you can hunt in peace, then start investigating the shells on the sea floor. The Black Pearl in a an oyster east of the center of the search area, but it doesn’t hurt to loot other shells, first, as you’ll get a Pearl as your consolation prize each time.

Obtain the Black Pearl then swim to shore, where you’ll find that Nidas is under attack by some Drowners (level twelve). Dispatch them then talk to Nidas, who will reveal that he kinda sorta forgot to bring your reward. Certainly it was just an oversight. Whatever you say in response to this unwelcome revelation, he’ll promise to pay you back in Novigrad. Heard this one before, eh? Anyways, on your own time return to Novigrad and meet Nidas in the Golden Sturgeon, who will tell you his sad tale, then give you a paltry reward for helping him out.

Objective Reward
For giving Nidas a Black Pearl 25 XP / 10 Crowns

The Shepherd Outside of Sund

There’s another outstanding quest on these isles that you might as well see to while you’re here. Get back on the road running the length of this isle and follow it south to the broken bridge, which you can leap over easily enough. Once you’re on the northern end of the southern island immediately head to the western shore to find a beached ship - a common sight on these islands, despite the light house on the northern tip of the northern island. Anywho, dive into the water near the boat and swim to the broken end of the vessel to find two submerged chests, then board the remains of the ship to find a third chest. Neat.

Now, to continue exploring the island and score more loot. If you make your way to the south-western end of the island you’ll find a small, unmarked bandit camp where three Bandits (levels thirteen and sixteen) dwell. Kill them, then make your way back to the center of the island to find the road running through it, which you should follow south-east until it ends at ANOTHER broken bridge. Nothing on this island but ruined ships and collapsed bridges. Kill the host of Ekhidna (level nineteen) flying around, then continue east along the road and broken sections of bridge until… well, until the way is impassible.

You’re just going to have to get wet here, and sure, you could swim south to get to the larger town there, but a round-about route will get you an extra signpost or two. From the last broken section of bridge on the island dive into the water and swim east past another section of bridge. Reach shore, then continue east and climb up on a final section of bridge which connects to a road, which you should follow uphill to the south-east, then south, and finally east to reach a small village named Sund. Along the way you’ll find a Shepherd being hassled by some Sirines (level thirteen). Kill the pests then talk to the Shepherd to learn that the critters fly in from Undvik, which sounds like a nasty enough place.

Objective Reward
For helping the Shepherd fight off the Sirines 50 XP

Abandoned Site (Level 13)

Loot the houses that make up the village of Sund, make sure you get the signpost, then continue south from the village along a road to the south-west. Eventually you’ll come across a fork to the south, which leads to an “Abandoned Site”… or so the game calls it. The horde of Bandits (levels twelve and thirteen) would probably disagree. Kill the squatters to ensure this site becomes inhabited by a more productive sort of Skelliger, including a Merchant.

Objective Reward
For liberating the Abandoned Site 170 XP / 50 Crowns

After reclaiming the Abandoned Site return north to the road running east-west and follow it west. Along this road you’ll find a child with that tried-and-true quest marker over his head. Talk to him and he’ll tell you that a bear attacked his father, and for once Geralt just decides to be helpful… even though this isn’t really Witcher’s work. Follow the kid a short distance and some ne’er-do-wells (level thirteen) will emerge from the woods. Put them down and notice that the little bastard has run off. Jerk. Oh well. Continue west along the road and you’ll find a fork - a four-way fork this time. Take the road to the north to reach the town of Arinbjorn.

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"Continue west until you find a road, then follow said road until"

..then follow said road north until..

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"Continue west until you find a road, then follow said road until"

..then follow said road north until..

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Guide Information
  • Publisher
    CD Projekt
  • Platforms,
    PC, PS4, Switch, XB One
  • Genre
  • Guide Release
    24 June 2015
  • Last Updated
    18 July 2024
    Version History
  • Guide Author
    Nathan Garvin (Haeravon)

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You are Geralt of Rivia, a professional monster-hunter known as a Witcher. You’ve fully regained your memories since your miraculous revival and escape from the Wild Hunt, and have cleared your name of the false accusations of regicide. In the wake of the assassination of Foltest, king of Temeria, the north have been rent by warfare as Nilfgaard launches its third major invasion, and the northlands have been united under the insane king Radovid. Overshadowing these petty politics is the mysterious return of Ciri - Geralt’s adopted daughter, who is now being pursued by the Wild Hunt.

The guide offers the following:

  • A full walkthrough that’s more than just a listing of quests-it’s an “ideal chronological order” that will get you through the whole game and allow you to see and do everything the game has to offer.

  • Side quests, including monster contracts and treasure hunts for obtaining powerful Witcher sets.

  • Descriptions of decisions, quests, and events that influence the various endings of the game.

  • Crafting and Alchemy information.

  • General strategies on how to take down foes large and small, monstrous and humanoid, boss or mundane.

  • Information on how to complete all the Gwent quests and obtain all the Gwent cards, including detailed Gwent strategies.

  • Trophy/Achievement information.

MASSIVE UPDATE: 7th September 2016 ongoing

  • Added DLC quests “Fool’s Gold” and “Scavenger Hunt: Wolf School Gear”.
  • Organisational changes in the Velen section of the walkthrough to reflect the increased level of Griffin School Gear.
  • Organisational changes throughout the walkthrough to provide a “no skulls” path through the game.
  • Added Death March difficulty tips and commentary throughout the guide.
  • More XP reward numbers included.
  • Walkthrough now includes additional information based on patch changes.
  • Various typo and grammar fixes.
  • Added DLC pages for Blood & Wine, Heart of Stone
  • Lots more quality of life improvements

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