The Witcher 3 Bloody Baron quest, Family Matters, is a big story and a pivotal part of the search for Ciri. It involves meeting Phillip Strenger, aka the Bloody Baron, who runs Velen for the Nilfgaard. It's a long The Witcher 3 (opens in new tab) moment with a lot of branches, and lots of different ways you can affect its multiple edgings. A walkthrough is going to be useful here given the numerous ways you can change things, especially if you want the best outcome. So here's how to complete The Witcher 3 Bloody Baron Family Matters quest in the best way possible. More or less.
How to start the Witcher 3 Family Matters quest
Once you've reached Velen, seek out the Baron and accept the quest. 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 plenty of loot!
Search Tamara’s Room
Searching Tamara’s room won’t turn up much apart from when you search one of the chests, where you’ll discover a key as well as incense. Geralt say the scent is particularly strong, and you’ll be prompted to follow it.
Head out of Tamara’s room, down the stairs and follow the trail to a narrow corridor with one guard at the very end of it. Once you get there, you’ll discover a door. When you step inside, you’ll see that you’re practically in the Baron’s storage room. Loot to your heart's content here as 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 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 notice that the prayer and altar look to be dedicated to a nonhuman-hating religious faction, called the Eternal Fire. Not exactly the kind of cult you want your daughter to join.
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 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. Examining the candlestick again will reveal spilled wine, and a lot of it. Which give you 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 a talisman of protection has been stashed there.
Now 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, including the wine and the missing candlestick. Geralt will also mention the amulet of protection and ask where Anna could have got it from.
The Baron will give two leads: the pellar that lives near Blackbough or a cunning woman (read: witch) in Midcopse. Don’t bother going to Midcopse as Anna was never there so it's just a waste of time. You will have to see the witch later on but meeting her is never directly involved in the quest’. 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 the Baron’s men are there and want to 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 ask whether the pellar knows anything about the talisman he found. 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’. 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 reveals that Anna was pregnant, but miscarried due to the Baron beating her.
Worse, the child was thrown into a grave with no ceremony or name - transforming it into a botchling. This small creature roams 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 and then feeding on their blood.
With that revealed, Geralt will have to ride back to the Crow’s Perch and confront the Baron.
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 and you’ll find out that in a drunken stupor, the Baron decided that lighting the stables on fire would be a 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 and 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. 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
Depending on if you saved the stables or not, the Baron will comment about your actions. Geralt, however, is in no mood to laugh 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.
Fortunately fighting the Baron isn’t all that hard as he's 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 here, 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 to see if it’ll help.
Whatever you choose, you’ll go to where the baby is buried with the Baron. 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.
The botchling will also start to freak out in the Baron’s arms and you'll have to cast Axii to stop it going feral - if you don’t cast the sign in time, the Botchling will turn nasty and you’ll have no choice but to kill it.
So protect the Baron by killing the wraiths and calm the botchling when it starts to cause trouble.
When you make it to the threshold, a cutscene will trigger and the Baron will bury the baby and name it ‘Dea’ to complete the ritual. Afterwards, there isn’t much to do but wait a day and night until you can call out the lubberkin to lead you to Anna and Tamara.
Follow the Lubberkin
When you call the lubberkin it will fly in the air and move through Crow’s Perch. It’s up to you to follow where it leads you but worry - the lubberkin will wait for you if you want to stop fight enemies or collect resources.
It will lead you to a couple of places, the first being a smokehouse.
The smokehouse has a few clues scattered around, and 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 tracks 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
Killing the botchling is also an option. 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 so 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 if you’ve got the botchling snapping at your heels. Make sure to use the Yrden sign to slow the wraiths down so you can circle them and defeat them. 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 attack. Don’t worry about protecting the pellar as he can handle himself and often deals 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 light the flame, but that might not be easy when you have multiple different wraithsattacking at once. Do whatever you feel works best.
Once you’ve defeated a number of wraiths, and kept all the braziers lit, a cutscene will trigger with the pellar being possessed by spirits. They’ll explain what happened to Anna and Tamara, and you can talk to the pellar afterwards to learn 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 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 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 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. So for Anna it seems like a dead end, so 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. Here are the two main options to consider:
- 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.
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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