The Witcher 3 Bloody Baron quest, Family Matters, is widely considered one of the best in the game, and forms a pivotal part of your search for Ciri. In it, you'll meet and help Baron Phillip Strenger, aka the Bloody Baron who currently runs Velen for the Nilfgaard. It's a long, involved quest in The Witcher 3, with a lot of branches to take and plenty of potential to affect the outcome. Obviously, because you want the best ending, and to find Ciri’s whereabouts, a walkthrough is going to be hand. So here's how to help the baron find his wife, Anna, and his daughter, Tamara.
How to start the Witcher 3 Family Matters quest
Accept the quest, and then follow the Baron up the stairs to where you’ll investigate both Anna and Tamara’s rooms.
- You can ignore Tamara’s room completely if you so wish as only Anna’s room progresses the quest, but we advise you search there all the same as they’ll be a number of hints of her whereabouts if you do. Plus...all that loot!
Search Tamara’s Room
Searching Tamara’s room won’t turn up much until you search one of the chests, where you’ll discover a key as well as incense. Geralt will make a comment about the scent being particularly strong, and you’ll be prompted to follow it.
Head out of Tamara’s room and down the stairs, making sure to follow the trail until you come across a narrow corridor with one Baron guard at the very end of it. Once you get there, you’ll discover a door. Press on through.
When you step inside, you’ll see that you’re practically in the Baron’s storage room.
- Loot to your heart's content, none of the Baron’s guards will stop you and you’ll find some pretty neat things to either sell or dismantle later on.
Once your inside and looked around, you’ll see another door. This one will be locked, but will open with Tamara’s key. Step in and you’ll see an altar, as well as a prayer that talks about punishment of some kind.
Geralt will comment that the prayer, as well as the altar, looks to be dedicated to the nonhuman-hating religious faction, the Eternal Fire. Just the kind of cult you’d want your daughter to potentially join, right?
Search The Baron’s and Anna’s Room
A lot of things stand out immediately when you investigate Anna and the Baron’s room.
The first is the slightly discoloured paneling on the wall, which Geralt speculates once hung a painting. Once examined, turn left and you’ll see the painting but don’t examine it just yet. Instead, head over to the table and examine the candlestick, where a chunk of it is missing.
Now head over towards the painting of the Baron and Anna. Examine it, and it’ll be removed, revealing a huge hole in the wall and in the wardrobe behind it. Investigate the wardrobe and you’ll discover the chunk of the missing candlestick. Something fishy is definitely going on here, and it’s only about to get fishier.
Examining the candlestick again will reveal more: spilled wine, and a lot of it. Which means you’ve got yet another scent to track!
Head out of the Baron’s and Anna’s room and go down the stairs, only this time you won’t need to go far. Just down one flight of stairs and the trail will stop at a single floorboard. Pulling it up will reveal that a talisman of protection has been stashed there.
With that found, it’s time to tell the Baron what you found.
Tell the Baron What You’ve Found
Speak to the Baron and tell him what you’ve found, such as the wine and the missing candlestick. Geralt will also mention the amulet of protection and ask where Anna may have gotten it from.
The Baron will give two leads: the pellar that lives near Blackbough or a cunning woman (a much nicer name for a witch) in Midcopse.
- Don’t bother going to Midcopse as Anna was never there and you’ll just waste your time. You will have to see the witch later on to progress, but meeting her is never directly involved in the quest ‘Family Matters’. So instead head out to see the pellar.
Meeting the Pellar
You’ll find the pellar’s house just outside of Blackbough, but before you can head on inside, you’ll find yourself surrounded by the Baron’s men. What’s worse is that none of them look too pleased and are adamant that once they get their hands on him they’ll kill him.
As usual, it’s up to Geralt to try and calm the situation down.
You can either handle this peacefully by paying the men to leave, using the Axii sign to tell them to go or threaten them, leading them to fight you.
If you ask what they want from the pellar, they’ll explain that the pellar’s ‘cure’ for their friend Eldric left him worse. This conversation will open up another dialogue option that’ll allow you to help their friend.
- If you choose to help Eldric but killed the Baron’s men at the Crossroads, you will make mention that you’re a Witcher. They’ll recognize that it was a Witcher that killed their fellows at the Crossroads inn and will turn on you. Otherwise, they’ll listen to what Geralt has to say and will leave the pellar, unharmed.
Once the Baron’s men have gone, head back to the pellar’s door and he’ll let you in.
Geralt will explain what he’s doing there, and ask whether the pellar knows anything about the protective talisman that he found at the Baron’s place. He confirms it indeed belongs to Anna, but can’t tell Geralt more about Anna and Tamara without his best goat friend, Princess.
This will open up the quest ‘Princess in Distress’. Try as you might, this quest is unavoidable and needs to be completed, otherwise Family Matters will not progress. It’s short, and ultimately asks you to bring the pellar’s goat back from wandering in the forest.
Once that’s done, the pellar’s ritual can start.
The pellar will augur, and what he reveals proves to be very interesting. According to the spirits, Anna and Tamara are gone from Velen, but a child remains. Further questioning will reveal that Anna had been pregnant, but miscarried due to the Baron beating her.
What’s worse, the child was thrown into a grave with little to no ceremony and without a name - transforming it into a botchling. This is a small creature that resembles a fetus, but is highly deformed. They roam the land to enact vengeance on those that spurned them, and can even kill pregnant women and their child by sapping their strength from them, then feeding on their blood.
With that revealed, Geralt will have to ride back to the Crow’s Perch, where the Baron resides, and confront him.
Return to the Baron
On your ride back to the Crow’s Perch, you’ll see that the whole place looks to be on fire. Ride like the wind, Roach!
Arriving at the Baron’s place, you’ll find out that in a drunken stupor, the Baron decided that lighting the stables on fire would be a pretty good idea. None of the Baron’s men can do anything, in fear of being killed trying to put the stables out.
However, one of the guardsmen’s brother, Oswin, is trapped inside and pleads for you to help.
- It’s up to you whether you do or not. But doing so will have Owsin reward you later on for rescuing him, as well as the horses.
Saving Oswin (Optional)
Rush over the stables. You’ll see that there is a ladder leading up to the very top of the stable, so climb up it.
As expected with a fire, smoke is everywhere and your breath meter is depleting fast.
Make your way through the smoke and you’ll hear Oswin calling that he’s trapped. Despite that, all you need to do is make your way down the ladder to where the horses are, and rush to the stable door. Opening that will save the horses and Oswin, and trigger a cutscene with the Baron.
Confront the Baron
The Baron is much more obnoxious drunk than he is sober, and depending on if you saved the stables or not, will comment about your actions. Geralt however, is in no mood to laugh and joke with a man who beat his wife. He’ll reveal he knows everything, and in doing so, the Baron will fly into a murderous rage.
Fighting the Baron isn’t all that hard as he is pretty slow. All you’ll need to do is dodge and weave before laying the pain down on him.
Once he’s down, a cutscene will trigger and you’ll have the rest of your meeting with the Baron inside his office.
During this talk, the Baron will confess that he knew Anna and Tamara had run away and was not kidnapped. He will also reveal that he knew of Anna’s pregnancy and further on, her miscarriage.
Exhaust all the dialogue options, which will lead to the two of you talking about plans for the dead child and how it can help to reveal the location of Anna and Tamara.
- You can choose to be comforting to the Baron, or rip him a new one for his abusive behavior. This doesn’t affect anything apart from how he reacts.
Geralt will tell the Baron that there are two options regarding the dead baby, That they can bury it under the threshold of the fort to make the baby a lubberkin - a friendly guardian spirit that protects the household it is buried under. Or they can kill the botchling outright, and give its blood to the pellar and see if it’ll help.
Regardless, you’ll go with the Baron to where the baby is buried. There, you’ll have to make a decision.
First Option: Make the Botchling a Lubberkin
With this option, the Baron will have to take the botchling into his arms and bring it back to the threshold of the fort. The walk there will be fine, right up until the botchling starts to attract some very unwanted guests.
That’s right, you’re going to be fighting wraiths as you make your way to the fort. What starts as a straightforward walk just had a little bit of death and destruction sprinkled all over it.
Even worse? The botchling will start to freak out in the Baron’s arms and only casting Axii will stop it from going feral. If you don’t cast the Axii sign in time, the Botchling will turn nasty and you’ll have no choice but to kill it.
For now though? Just protect the Baron by killing the wraiths that appear.
When you make it to the threshold of the fort, a cutscene will trigger and the Baron will bury the baby and name it ‘Dea’ in order to complete the ritual. Afterwards, there isn’t much to do but wait for another day and night until you can call forth the lubberkin to lead you to Anna and Tamara.
Follow the Lubberkin
When you call forth the lubberkin it will fly up in the air and rush throughout Crow’s Perch. It’s up to you to follow where it leads you. Don’t worry, the lubberkin will wait for you if you want to stop to either fight enemies or collect some herbs.
It will lead you to a couple of places, the first being a smokehouse.
The smokehouse has a few clues scattered around, and if you want to you can head inside to grab some loot, but most of the evidence is outside.
You’ll find a change of clothes, which Geralt surmises must belong to Anna and Tamara, as well as horse indents that lead away from the smokehouse. You won’t need to follow these as, after a while, the lubberkin will start to circle again and lead you further down the road.
Keep following the lubberkin and it will eventually stop a little way along the road. There will be rotfiends around here, so take them out and use your Witcher senses to find out what happened.
You’ll come across a horse that’s head has been torn from its body, investigating that will cause the lubberkin to circle again and then take off once more.
Keep following it until it stops outside of a fisherman’s hut. Knock and head inside.
Second Option: Kill the Botchling
For those who’d like to be a little daring with their decision making, killing the botchling is also an option. If you’re a little squeamish about killing the botchling, then we’ve done it for you: say thank you GamesRadar.
Geralt will attempt to just stab the botchling in the head the first time but it is surprisingly fast when it comes to avoiding lethal blows and so, will transform instead.
Once it’s transformed, you’ll have to fight it. Which can prove quite difficult if you don’t know the weaknesses. A quick look in the bestiary may help.
- The botchling will have spikes on its back, protecting it from your silver sword. Use the Axii sign to cause the spikes to retract. You should also use Cursed Oil, as it is susceptible to that and will take extra damage when you use it.
As you continue to fight the transformed botchling, it will attract the attention of other creatures: namely, wraiths.
The wraiths can be tricky to deal with, especially if you’ve got the botchling snapping at your heels all the while. Make sure to use the Yrden sign to slow the wraiths down so you can circle around them and defeat them. If you’re struggling, there’s no shame in turning down the difficulty or eating all the food in your inventory. Especially if you’ve run out of potions.
Once you’ve defeated the botchling and wraiths, a cutscene will trigger. Let’s just say the Baron is not at all pleased with you killing his child, but at the moment you’ve got bigger fish to fry.
Grab the botchling’s blood and head back towards the pellar, which is marked on your world map.
Return to the Pellar
When you’ve arrived at the pellar’s door, you’ll give him the botchling’s blood. After exhausting all conversation options about what the ritual will need and if the pellar needs any ingredients, you’ll have to follow the pellar to the ritual grounds.
As you follow the pellar, you may come across a number of creatures that are willing to pick a fight. Don’t worry about protecting him, the pellar can handle himself and can often deal with most of the enemies if you’re struggling.
After travelling through the village and into the woods, the pellar will stop and a cutscene will trigger.
Start the Ritual
The pellar will use the forest and the botchling blood to call forth spirits that will help guide Geralt to where Anna and Tamara is.
The only thing Geralt has to do is keep three braziers lit, otherwise evil will come and wreak a lot of havoc and potentially kill the pellar in the progress. It’s your job to make sure that doesn’t happen.
But, as expected, there are a number of enemies who are going to go out of there way to kill you. You guessed it: the wraiths are back.
Keep all three braziers lit as fast as possible, as the wraiths around you will be doing their best to put them out. If they manage to do so, rush up to the nearest one and cast Igni.
Alternatively, you can also use Igni as an interaction to ignite the flame, but that may not always be easy when you have seven different wraiths trying to stab you. Do whatever you feel works best.
Once you’ve defeated a fair number of wraiths, and kept all three braziers lit, a cutscene will trigger with the pellar being possessed by spirits.They’ll make mention of what happened to Anna and Tamara, but if you weren’t listening you can easily talk to the pellar afterwards and he’ll tell you more about the happenings between the Baron and his wife and daughter.
Ultimately, he’ll state that the two of them met up with a fisherman called Voytek and will mark on your map where the fisherman is supposed to be.
- This is where the two choices between Killing or saving the Botchling merge
Meeting the Fisherman, Voytek
You’ll find Voytek located further north, not too far from the Crow’s Perch. If you don’t think you’ve found the right place, check for a river and you’ll know you’re on the right track.
Head on inside the hut and you’ll trigger a cutscene. Voytek and his family will at first act as though they never met Anna and Tamara and will try to get you to leave, but their young son will eventually spill the beans once you push a little more.
The family will not be pleased you’re working for the Baron as they don’t have a high opinion of him, but will reveal some good news all the same. Tamara, the Baron’s daughter, made it to Oxenfurt and is currently staying with Voytek’s brother.
On the other hand, Anna was kidnapped during their escape and since then Voytek has no clue where she could have vanished to.
For Anna it seems like a dead end. But for now it’s best to go visit the Baron. Alternatively, you can go visit Tamara before telling the Baron where Tamara is, but you’ll miss out on the scene where The Baron gives you Tamara’s doll to present to her.
(Optional) Head to Oxenfurt to find Tamara
Getting to Oxenfurt can be tricky depending on if you decided to speak to the Baron first or not.
- If you speak to the Baron, he’ll give you a pass that’ll allow you into the city with no problem.
- If you don’t speak to the Baron first, you’ll either have to pay for a fake pass or swim to Oxenfurt’s shore.
Once you’re there, follow the map to where Tamara is.
Surprising nobody, Tamara will not be happy to see you once she realizes that you’re there on the Baron’s orders. She’ll give her own telling of the events that happened between her, her mother and her father. From her perspective, her father is an abusive man and the only option was for her and her mother to flee.
After you’ve exhausted all dialogue options with Tamara, Graden, a witch hunter, will appear and make clear that Tamara is under his protection and that of the other witch hunters at his command.
Luckily for Graden, Geralt only passes the information he’s looking for Anna along and won’t force Tamara to accompany him back to her father in Crow’s Perch.
If the Baron gives you the doll, Geralt will present it to Tamara who is not at all pleased at seeing it.
Talk to the Baron
Head back to the Crow’s Perch to talk to the Baron about Tamara. He won’t be happy about Tamara being in cahoots with the witch hunters, but will respect her wishes to not come home.
- As for Anna, this is where the trail runs cold until you complete ‘Hunting a Witch’, ‘Wandering in the Dark’ and ‘The Ladies of the Woods’. Then you can return to the Baron and tell him of Anna’s location. Once you do so, return to this guide.
Talk to the Baron about Anna
As you may expect, telling the Baron about Anna’s unfortunate circumstances will not put him in the best mood and he’ll accuse you of not doing your job.
The Baron will also take the opportunity to try and sway Geralt’s opinion of Anna’s situation being all The Baron’s fault. Whether that works is entirely up to you.
Afterwards, the Baron will ask your help in taking Anna back from her captors and the quest, Family Matters, will conclude.
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