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The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt

In the Heart of the Woods Walkthrough - Best Choice: Harald or Sven?

Nathan Garvin
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Now its time for some classic withering in the Skellige lands. There is a quest players can get fairly early on called In the Heart of the Woods. Moreso, this is a quest where players can take two choices, both of which affect the outcome of the story. Here is a Witcher 3: In the Heart of the Woods walkthrough and best choices explained.

Important Items in this Area
Leshen Trophy
Gwent Players in this Area
Blacksmith - Random Card
Merchant - Random Card

In the Heart of the Woods (Level 22) Walkthrough

Head south-west to find a search area and activate your Witcher Senses. Study some tracks on the ground, then investigate a dog’s corpse. Follow some tracks west from the dog’s corpse, then trail them along - and through - a stream. Search another corpse run afoul of some roots, then continue following the tracks until they lead to a series of monoliths, where you’ll have to put down some White Wolves (level fifteen). Investigate some claw marks on one of the monoliths along the western edge of the search area and Geralt will identify his target.

Objective Reward
For identifying your target 10 Crowns

Looks like Witcher’s Work (left). Track down the villager marked by the monster (right).

In the Heart of the Woods: Best Choice

Read your bestiary, then return to town, where you’ll have to talk to Sven and/or Harald. Both have different ideas of how to proceed. Harald wants to preserve the old traditions that kept them strong for so long while mitigating the monster’s damage. Sven’s goal is to kill the beast, which isn’t so simple as just tracking the beast down and stabbing it a few times; you’ll have to find the villager it marked, first.

You’re not committed to either course of action yet, however. Activate your Witcher Senses and search near the western edge of the search area to find that the Leshen marked a villager named Hilde. Return to Sven and tell him the news and… well, it’ll seem like the Leshen is more of a means to an end. You can try to spare Hilde by advocating banishment, if you wish. Anyways, now it’s time to pick a side. If you want to help Sven and his young-bloods, follow the text under “Siding with Sven” if you want to support Harald, follow the text under “Helping Harald” .

No matter which oiption you chose, teh Elder dies regardless. However, the rewards for In the Heart of the Woods are slightly different. The best choice for the more earthly matters i is the Sven side, as it rewards better, and you can get a PSN trophy as well. Meanwhile you get a Leshen trophy as well. It does come with more annoying fighting though, but its nothing Geralt can’t handle if you have the oils and skills with the signs, which you will do.

If you help Harald, kill some White Wolves (left) and sacrifice their hearts on an altar to appease the Woodland Spirit (right).

Helping Harald in Heart of the Woods

Head south from Harald to find an altar on a hilltop. As you approach a pack of White Wolves (levels fifteen and twenty-three) will attack. Kill them, and loot them for their hearts. Once you have five place them on an altar to the north, where a flock of birds will make their approval known. Return to town and talk to Harald, who will pay you. After this Sven will show up and make a power-play. Either let him perform his petty coup, or defend Harald.

Objective Reward
For helping Harald 50 XP / 60 Crowns

If you choose to side with Sven, head into the woods and destroy some totems (left) then confront the Woodland Spirit (right).

Siding with Sven in heart of the Woods

Head south-west into the woods, where you’ll have to find - and destroy - three altars. They’re easily spotted by the flock of birds flying over them… and, you know, the quest markers. They’ll defend themselves by shooting roots at you, but they’re a simple Aard away from oblivion. The first one is unguarded, but the next two both have White Wolves (level fifteen) nearby.

Destroy the altars and continue south-east to find the Leshen’s stomping grounds, where the Leshen will materialize out of a swarm of birds. You know the drill; it’ll summon Wolves (level twenty), teleport around by turning into a flock of crows, borrow root spikes at you, and swipe at you in melee. Use Igni to set it on fire and greatly increase the rate at which it’ll die and use Quen to protect yourself if necessary. In this fight your silver sword and Relict Oil will increase the damage your sword strikes do to both the Leshen and its minions. Once it falls, loot it for a “Leshen Trophy” .

Objective Reward
For slaying the Leshen, Woodland Spirit 50 XP
Trophy/Achievement Icon

Woodland Spirit

Complete the contract on the Woodland Spirit.

Trophy icon

Return to town to find out that Sven, in your absence, has enacted his true agenda. He’ll pay you, then rather rudely tell you to leave.

Objective Reward
For helping Sven 50 XP / 60 Crowns / Assassin’s Boots
1 Comment
User profile pic

"To the south-west of Rannvaig you can find the village of Farylund, where you can peruse the wares of - and play Gwent with - a Merchant and a Blacksmith."

But the Blacksmith must be saved during the "Person in Sistress" event. And at this moment he is not in the village.

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User profile pic

"To the south-west of Rannvaig you can find the village of Farylund, where you can peruse the wares of - and play Gwent with - a Merchant and a Blacksmith."

But the Blacksmith must be saved during the "Person in Sistress" event. And at this moment he is not in the village.

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

Share this free guide:

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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