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Witcher 2 - In the Claws of Madness

by: Aaron R. ; edited by: Michael Hartman ; updated: 4/17/2012 • Leave a comment

There's an old haunted insane asylum that two foolish adventurers just wandered into. That pretty much sounds like our bread and butter. If you need help finding Gridley in the burning asylum, or lifting the curse on the land and the two men, just check out this article.

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    You can pick this quest up by talking to Cedric and asking about work in the area. He'll mention the two adventurers that decided to go into the old burned out asylum haven't come back, and that there would probably be a reward for their safe return. It's a good place to start, at least.

    Track the quest to have the ruined mansion appear on the map. Just walk along the path. As usual, watch out for monsters along the way. Although, if you don't have the gear to kill an endrega without any trouble, then you really aren't strong enough for this mission.

    When you approach it, you'll find a man outside. Rupert will run toward you and explain that horror has befallen them, as expected.

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    Entering the Asylum

    Rupert's Waiting Outside the Asylum   For the time being, there's a horde of nekkers moving in, so it's time to fight them. Don't worry about Rupert, he'll survive just fine. Draw a silver sword and start swinging. They should just be basic nekkers, so I wouldn't worry. There's plenty of room to move, so just keep running around and smashing the nekkers. They'll die in a few hits from a silver sword, as usual, so take out the groups of three and then get ready for our expedition.

    It's not a bad idea to meditate and take a Swallow potion now. The fights ahead can be a little tough, so you may want a little extra protection. Also, I really hope that you didn't sell your specter oil, because that's going to come in really handy in a moment.

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    Finding Gridley

    The Wraiths in the Asylum   Go down the steps and enter the asylum. It's very haunted and cursed at the moment, so stay alert. Move down the path carefully and drop down into the big room. Loot the chest in the corner to trigger an attack. Two wraiths will appear. They can do a lot of damage, but they're a little slow. You should be able to outmaneuver them, although it may be unnecessary. If you have specter oil, use it now. Your sword should cut through them much better, and stun them fairly well.

    I found it fairly easy to just stay on the attack. Roll away from them after a few solid fast hits, and then keep up the harassment. If you get a chance, Quen doesn't hurt. Fast attacks are fine for now. Also try to focus on one. Once it's one-on-one, it's fairly easy.

    When the fight's over, read the papers that you got to clear away the first fire and open a path deeper into the mansion. Once again, we're basically just moving along and around. It's a fairly linear path. Keep an eye out as you go for chests in the side rooms with other files in them. They're not vital, but it's good for the backstory. You'll find Gridley at the end of it, though he seems to be in a bit of a sad state at the moment. We need to find some sedatives.

    This isn't actually that hard either. Just walk down a bit and swing into the room on the right. Cast a Quen on yourself, and then approach the glowing desk with the alchemy equipment on it. There will be two wraiths that will spawn and approach. If you really need new specter oil, go ahead and use it. You can always make more.Gridley on the Floor  

    The tactics will be roughly the same though. Once they're dead, you can grab the sedatives from the desk and walk out. Talking to Gridley this time will reveal more of the story. After a bit of a conversation, and with a little persuasion, he'll reveal the whole truth. It seems like Rupert and Gridley were not very good men in their earlier years.

    Don't actually follow Gridley, as he'll run back down the hallway to hide for a bit. You need to go to the end of the hallway down the newly opened path. You'll find the Nilfgaardian's ghost in this room, kneeling over his old body. If you talk to him, he'll ask that you honor his request for revenge. For now, just note it and walk back out to Gridley. He'll automatically take you back out to see Rupert.

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    A Big Decision

    Killing the Nilfgaardian Ghost   If you feel like the ghost is justified, you can just end this right now. Tell Rupert and Gridley that you have something to show them, and you'll take them to the trap. He'll claim his vengeance and let you escape. Just take the stairs out and leave.

    If you don't want to help the ghost, then you have the option to just try and trick him. You need to lift the curse somehow, so you'll need to get creative. You need two hearts and two sets of eyes. Unless you just sold all of your nekker parts, I'm sure you probably already have enough. If you don't, and don't feel like trying to hunt more nekkers, just go to the butcher and buy the relevant ox parts for the quest.

    Walk back inside and approach the ghost. You will then automatically trick him and hand over the fake parts. Once the loophole is sealed, he'll try to attack you. This is actually not that bad of a fight. It's one-on-one, and he fights in a standard style with a sword. A simple parry and counter attack system will work wonders. Throw in a little specter oil and he'll die fairly quickly. Loot the body and then take the ladder up out of the pit and to the surface.

    At this point, you'll have a few options. You can choose to let Rupert and Gridley go, or insist that they meet justice in Flotsam. If you take them to Flotsam, they'll wind up in Marietta Loredo's care. She's the very woman that they were looking for, and the woman that they had taken so many years ago.A fairly poetic end to a confusing case, if nothing else.

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    All information and screenshots from Witcher 2

    Due to the branching nature of the game, your experience may be different. Please feel free to note any differences in the comments below.

Witcher 2 Walkthrough - Chapter 1 Side Quests

There are a lot of missions available for a Witcher in a dangerous frontier town. If you want to learn how to handle Troll Trouble, the Nekker and Endrega contracts, Malena's nvestigation or In The Claws of Madness, then you can just look here.
  1. Witcher 2 - Troll Trouble
  2. Witcher 2 - In the Claws of Madness
  3. Witcher 2 - Nekker Contract
  4. Witcher 2 - Endrega Contract
  5. Witcher 2 - Hung Over

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