One of the most compelling characters throughout Witcher 3’s lengthy story is Phillip Strenger, better known as The Bloody Baron. You meet him during the Velen section of the game, and despite being a morally questionable individual, it’s hard not to get wrapped up in his arc. It’s all about the fractious relationship he shares with his now absentee wife and daughter.
In the “Family Matters” quest, you help The Baron find his loved ones. It turns out his daughter Tamara has become a Witch Hunter, and his wife Anna is looking after a group of orphans as a servant for the Crones. However, you don’t get to see how this tale ends unless you play the “Return to Crookback Bog” quest. And the choices you make earlier in the game affect what happens to The Baron during it. This guide includes all you need to know to give one of the game’s most controversial characters the ending you feel he deserves.
The Baron Takes Anna To The Blue Mountains
The Bloody Baron’s story is filled with shades of gray as there are no heroes or villains. Thus, there’s no true ‘good’ ending, but this is the best from The Baron’s perspective.
Getting this ending depends on the decision you make during “The Whispering Hillock” quest. You get to choose between freeing the ghost in the tree or killing it, and it’s among the hardest decisions in the game. By going for the kill option, you receive this ‘Blue Mountains’ conclusion.
However, it’s also possible to free the spirit and still get this ending. To do so, you’re required to complete “The Whispering Hillock” before it becomes a part of the main questline. Initiating it means heading to the Ancient Oak, which is southeast of where Anna and the Orphans live. Once there, head into the cave that runs under the tree to find the spirit. This method doesn’t change the Baron’s fate, but it’s nice to have an alternative option.
Later during “Return to Crookback Bog,” Geralt and The Baron go to retrieve Anna from the evil Crones. When you get there, you find the woman in a crazed state as a result of your actions during “The Whispering Hillock.” The Baron, however, remains confident he can save his wife by taking her to a hermit in the Blue Mountains. After Tamara reluctantly agrees to let them go, The Baron takes Anna away.
By returning to the now Baron-less Crow’s Perch, you can see how ruthless his henchmen have gotten without his leadership. The place is still arguably one of the best areas in war-torn Velen, though.
The Baron Dies
For the Baron to perish after the events of “Return to Crookback Bog,” all you need to do is release the spirit in the tree during the main questline – the specific quest is still called “The Whispering Hillock.” While this decision confirms The Baron’s death, you still affect exactly how it all plays out.
If you’ve freed the spirit, then once you meet Anna in the “Return to Crookback Bog” quest, she’ll be in the form of a water hag. The friendly godling named Johnny reveals it was unsurprisingly the Crones’ who cursed her. So, it’s up to you to change her back.
Lifting The Curse
To lift the curse, you have to grab the doll that the Crones created for Anna. There are four dolls to choose from:
- A Doll with a red bead
- A Doll with bird feathers
- A Doll with a human ear
- A Doll with a violet hollyhock bloom
The correct doll is the one with a violet hollyhock bloom as it is Anna’s favorite flower, as The Baron mentions previously.
Picking The Right Doll
By choosing the correct doll, Anna is turned back into a human being. Unfortunately, the curse is tied to her life, meaning even though the spell is broken, she still dies. However, she gets some time to say goodbye to both The Baron and her daughter.
Picking The Wrong Doll
If you select any of the other three dolls, Anna immediately bursts into flames. As a result, her final moments are spent in agony while her family watches on in horror. And The Baron never gets to apologize for the terrible things he’s done. It’s one of the most tragic outcomes for any character in the game.
Regardless of how Anna dies, you have to go back to Crow’s Perch to collect your payment. Once there, you find The Baron in the middle of the courtyard swinging from a tree. It turns out a mixture of regret, grief, and inebriation caused him to kill himself. Few scenes in The Witcher 3 are more heart-breaking, especially as his people don’t seem to care at all.
NEXT: The Witcher 3: A Complete Guide To The Ladies Of The Wood Quest
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Ben Jessey spends all his time playing video games, watching TV, watching movies, watching football aka soccer (which I guess counts as watching TV) or writing about those things. He has a degree in Film and Television studies and is now a freelance writer.
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