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The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt

Witcher 3 Payback: The Great Escape, Horse Race & more

Nathan Garvin
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Payback is a main quest that players is needed to the complete the Final Preperations main story umbrella quest. Here, Geralt needs to help Ciri, an go on some adventures, an get some payback on some annoying witches.

Important Items in this Area
Stable Key

Witcher 3 Payback Walkthrough

Before you deal with Dijkstra’s scheme, let’s help out Ciri. Why Ciri? Because she’s better than Yennefer, of course. Head to Gildorf square (in case you forgot, it’s south-east of the Passiflora) to find Ciri along the southern end of the square. She’ll ask you for some help to set matters right. Agree and you’ll find out that your first target is Whoreson Junior. Seems Ciri has some unfinished business of her own…

Whoreson Junior

If you let Whoreson Junior live, you’ll find him in The Bits, drunk and in such a state that even children torment him. He’s still got some bark left in him, but no bite. Seems letting him live was no mercy. Good.

Alternatively, if you killed Whoreson Junior, Ciri will take you to the Temple District, where you’ll find some of his goons. Either pick a fight them (level twenty-five) or use the Axii Sign to get past. Either way, head into the house and go to the top floor to find Whoreson Junior. Talk to him to sort things out, for a somewhat surprising turn of events.

Objective Reward
For using Axii on Whoreson’s guards 40 XP
For finding out what happened to Whoreson Junior 200 XP


Next follow Ciri to the Golden Sturgeon to find some men harassing Ciri’s friend. Pick the dialogue option “Leave on your own…” to scare them off, or pick “Or I’ll throw you out.” to pick a fight with them (level twenty-six). Once they’re gone Bea and Ciri will catch up and Bea shows more than a passing interest in Geralt, to Ciri’s chagrin.

Objective Reward
For bantering with Bea 200 XP

Payback: Horse Race

Travel with Ciri to the outskirts to meet her next friend, Valdo. After a bit of dissent, Ciri and Valdo will be caught in an impasse, which they decide to settle with a horse race. Agree to race or not (it’s a short enough race to complete in one stamina bar) and you’ll be invited to stay for a party, during which Ciri and Geralt will chat some more.

After a while, Aeger will show up and complain about his failed errand. If you refuse to help them, you’ll end up in a fist-fight with Aeger, and afterwards, you’ll be ejected from the party. If you agree to help, however, you’ll make your way to the western side of the central district, near the docks.

Head north reunite with Aeger and Ciri, then continue to the stable. Climb onto a wooden platform along the building’s south-western side, then climb onto the roof. Head south-east onto another wooden platform and go through a doorway. Drop down to the bottom floor and fisticuffs a guard (level twenty-eight) then grab the “Stable Key” off a table in the north-western corner of the stable. Open the door for your friends, then hit all the horses with the Axii Sign to calm them down, after which the three of you will make good your escape. Everybody parts on happy terms, and all is good… except, perhaps, for the merchant you robbed. Oh well.

Objective Reward
For visiting Valdo 300 XP
Important Items in this Area
Magic Trinket from Yennefer
Sewer Key
Cell Key

Time to pay Yennefer a visit and see if she needs anything. Head over to Crippled Kate’s to find Yennefer, who is sitting in a corner on the first level. It seems like she’s about to scold you, but unlike Triss, she’s more pragmatic. Address the giant pink elephant in the room and ask why she’s here and she’ll tell you.

The Great Chase

When her target arrives she’ll confront him, and he’ll bolt, forcing you to chase him. Follow him south-east, then climb some ladders after him when he makes his way to the roofs of the buildings north of Putrid Square. Climb some ledges and chase him onto the roofs until you either catch him, or Yennefer puts an end to the chase. Yennefer and Geralt will ask him some questions over drinks concerning his escape and form a plan based on what he tells them.

Objective Reward
For interrogating the fugitive 200 XP

Head over to Dandelion’s Tavern and talk to Zoltan. If you didn’t complete “Now or Never” , he’ll agree to help you get the guards drunk here. If you did, he’ll decline on account of the attention the Witch Hunters are now paying to nonhumans. No big deal either way.

Fast-travel to the “Novigrad Gate” signpost and head west across the bridge into Oxenfurt, where you’ll find Yennefer near a building just south-west of the gate. Talk to her, then follow her through the city, her destination being a well north of the “Western Gate” signpost. Yennefer will give you an item aptly named a “Magic Trinket from Yennefer” , after which you’ll be on your own.

Elven Ruins Under Oxenfurt

Dive into the well, then dive underwater to find four chests scattered around, one of which is hiding behind a pillar. Once you’re done looting continue swimming east to find some elven ruins. Ascend one flight of stairs and go through a doorway to the south-east to reach a chamber in which a Grave Hag (level twenty-six) resides. Kill it, then search a wall to the south to find a lever… or at least the slot where one goes. Looks like you’ll need to find a replacement.

Head north-east through a doorway and head into a submerged tunnel. Swim north-east, through another doorway, then climb out of the water and follow a tunnel until you reach a large chamber occupied by Drowners (level twenty-four). Kill them, then search around to find three chests; one along the northern end of the room, near the passage you used to enter this chamber, one near a doorway to the south-west, and one on a ledge to the north. Loot them, then search the wall near the doorway you entered the room through (to the north-east) to find an intact “Lever” . Grab it and head south-west through another doorway, go up some stairs, turn south-east, and go through a doorway, stopping to examine some “tomb raider” bones on the ground. Heh. Continue south-east into the room where the Grave Hag lurked, then insert the new lever into the slot to open a doorway nearby.

Go through said doorway and you should spot a “brittle wall” to the south-east. Before you go blasting anything with Aard, however, turn north-west and swim west into a cavern to find a submerged chest and body for your looting pleasure. Surface and return to the north-east, then blast the weak wall.

Beyond the wall you’ll find some Ghouls (level twenty-four) and a Necrophage (level thirteen)… technically, they’re all Necrophages, and the “Necrophage” here is just a Rotfiend (it even drops Devourer’s Blood!), but… whatever. Demolish them and head down a tunnel to the south-east and follow it until it terminates at a fork. Go up a slope to the south-east and, at the apparent end of the tunnel, turn south-west to find a ledge you can scale.


Congrats! You’ve successfully broken INTO prison. Kill two Witch Hunters (level twenty-six), loot a chest, then grab the “Sewer Key” off a table in the western corner of the room. What does this wonderful key do for you? Why, it unlocks the gate at the fork back in the sewer, which leads to the cellar under the house near the Blacksmith, for what that’s worth.

Go through the door to the south-west, then head up some stairs and through another door to reach the business end of the prison. Put down three more Witch Hunters (level twenty-six) then talk to Margarita, who has clearly been roughed up by her captors. Looks like you’re going to need to find a key, so head through a door to the north-east and go up some stairs to reach a landing where you can go through a gate to the south-east, or through a doorway to the south-west. Go through the doorway to the south-west first, head up some more stairs and kill a pair of Witch Hunters, then search the two chests in the room.

Head back downstairs and go through the gate you neglected earlier to reach the courtyard, where you’ll have to face some more Witch Hunters (level twenty-six) and Redanian Soldiers (level twenty-nine). Your foes here are numerous and varied, including archers on the walls, halberdiers, and sword-and-shield warriors. The former should be your priority, and it should be a relatively simple matter to sprint past the rest, up some stairs and onto the wall where you can hack down the archers before they cause you too much grief. Kill your foes, any reinforcements that later show up, and the Prison Warden (level twenty-six).

When they’re all dead loot the parcels in the courtyard, and be sure to grab the “Cell Key” off the dead warden. Once done, head up some stairs to the south-east and follow the wall back south-west until it terminates at a tower, inside of which is a chest. Backtrack along the walls to the stairs that descend to the courtyard and head north-east to reach the Prison Warden’s office, where you can find the note “List of Prisoners” on his desk. Head back to the cells and open the door to Margarita’s cell, at which point Geralt will use the trinket Yennefer gave him. If you told Voorhis that Sile is still alive during your first visit to Vizima, she’ll be in the cell with Margarita… but she’s in no shape to come with you. She is, however, well enough to make a a request - grant her request yourself, or let somebody else do it.

Objective Reward
For freeing Margarita 300 XP

Return to the courtyard, ascend the south-eastern stairs to reach the walls again, then head to the south-western side of the prison where you’ll find a hole in the walls which you can leap out of. Doing so completes this quest.

Objective Reward
For escaping from prison 300 XP

It’s now time to consider tackling the quest “Reason of State” , which sees Geralt (and a few choice allies) playing kingmaker for the north. If you don’t care to dabble in politics, don’t do the quest… which results in a defacto victory for Radovid. If you’d prefer to see somebody other than a madman in control of the north… well, where there’s a will, there’s a way. If you don’t want to bother with “Reason of State” , skip ahead to “Final Preparations” .

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The first part of this section is another copy of the Ciri "Payback" quest already written in the previous section.

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User profile pic

The first part of this section is another copy of the Ciri "Payback" quest already written in the previous section.

Back to top
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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