The Witcher 3 is practically overflowing with some of the best side content gaming has to offer. Even other games try to live up to them. Nearly everywhere he goes, Geralt of Rivia is inundated with every type of request imaginable. Is a desperate vampire killing the local noblemen? Call Geralt. Need to clear a hex placed by a jealous ex-lover? Call Geralt. Need fresh herbs picked? Yes, call Geralt! The variety is simply incredible, but it is the consistent quality of quests that sets The Witcher 3 apart from the pack.

One of the most common types of these quests are the various contracts that Geralt will come across in nearly every backwater town and major city on the continent. These jobs are a witcher's bread and butter, though many of them are not always as straightforward as they may seem. "Patrol Gone Missing" is one of those quests.

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Starting Patrol Gone Missing

At the Nilfgaardian camp in southeast Velen, Geralt is tasked with locating a missing Nilfgaardian patrol by the Quartermaster Tavar Eggebracht. What at first seems like a straightforward monster quest is later revealed to be something far more sinister.

Like many of the contracts in The Witcher 3, "Contract: Patrol Gone Missing" can be initiated in multiple ways:

  • Visit the Quartermaster at the Nilfgaardian army encampment in the southeast of Velen. An exclamation mark pinpoints his location.
  • A written request from the Quartermaster can be found at the notice board in the same encampment.

Regardless of Geralt's choice, he must speak to the Quartermaster to receive the details of the contract. The witcher learns that a group of Nilfgaardian solders had been dispatched for patrol, but did not return when they were supposed to. The Quartermaster tasks Geralt with locating the men, sending him to a location northwest of the House of Respite.

The Hunt for the Missing Patrol

Arriving at the patrol's campsite located near the House of Respite (marked on the map above), Geralt will notice that there is clearly something amiss. Activating his witcher senses will reveal a series of footprints that he must investigate further.

Following the footsteps into the woods will eventually lead Geralt to an area marked by what appears to be draconid venom accompanied by a pungent odor. Here the footsteps will disappear, forcing Geralt to follow the aroma and venom markings to his next destination. It appears that the patrol was attacked by some kind of serious predator.

Geralt vs. Wyvern

Once Geralt has covered enough ground, the scent will put Geralt face to face with a deadly wyvern. These formidable draconids may not look as large as some of their cousins, but do not underestimate their lethality, especially at higher difficulty levels. The wyvern will fall to these standard tactics:

  • Use draconid oil liberally, the added boost to damage can make all the difference. Do not forget to reapply often when using low-tier oils.
  • Aard is Geralt's best tool against airborne enemies. A single blast at the right moment will bring the wyvern crashing down from the heavens. It is also useful when used on grounded draconid, the brief stun making them vulnerable to melee attacks.
  • The crossbow can also be used to bring down flying enemies.
  • Stay mobile. Standing in one place is a sure-fire way to get killed in any fight.

Using a combination of these tactics will make short work of the wyvern. Once it is dead, Geralt will be prompted to take his usual trophy, but it is here that this quest hides a secret. Very close to the location of the wyvern sit several freshly dug-up graves, each one unmarked.

Geralt Investigates Further

Once Geralt has collected his trophy, it is possible to simply return to the Quartermaster and receive the promised reward for the contract. However, if Geralt chooses, further investigating the area will reveal a much darker conclusion.

Checking the graves will lead Geralt to a cave (marked on the map above) which is inhabited by several necrophages. Once these have been killed, Geralt notices the bodies that were dragged from the graves to that location were not Nilfgaardian, setting off alarm bells in. In the end, Geralt realizes that the patrol he was tasked with finding had been killing prisoners of war and burying them in the woods. Had the wyvern not caused the entire chain of events, the secret would likely not have been uncovered.

Confront the Quartermaster About the Missing Patrol

With the knowledge of war crimes fresh in his mind, Geralt will have the choice of not taking the reward money from the Quartermaster when he finally approaches him at the end of the quest. Eggebracht will not deny the deed, commenting that it is hard enough to keep his own army fed, never mind the prisoners.

Like so many of the best quests in the game, "Patrol Gone Missing" presents a difficult situation with a morally ambiguous outcome. It is possible to miss the entire hidden aspect of the quest if players are too eager to claim their prize. This is one of the quests in the game where curiosity pays off, and lets the player discover more of the story.

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