At The Mercy Of Strangers


At the Mercy of Strangers is a Secondary quest in The Witcher 3. In it, you get a chance to save a Temerian deserter from certain death.
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Key Facts

Category:Side Quest
  • If you save him, he’ll show north of the Pontar river with some friends, and reward you when he next sees you.
  • If you let him die, you’ll get no reward.

Quest Text

Starting NPC

Additional Info

Go west from Mulbrydale, towards the river. You’ll hear screaming – follow it.


Following contains quest spoilers. You’ve been warned

Kill the drowners

Kill the drowners surrounding the tied soldier. He’ll tell you what got him in that mess.
Choice 1

Untie him

Untie John Verdun. He has nothing to reward you with, except his eternal gratitude.
Choice 2

Leave him to the drowners

Leave John Verdun to the drowners. If you come back after some time, you’ll find his corpse.
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Written by:
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  1. R
    Richárd Ötvös

    If you save him, he will become a bandit and reward you with money taken from refugees he killed. If you read the letter you find at his camp, you will be very guilty you saved him.
    **spoliler end*

    1. I
      Intense Autism

      You can’t look at what he does after you save him as a reason not to save him, because at the time of saving him you can’t know that is what he will do, I would feel more guilty leaving a poor man to be eaten alive by Drowners because I would never find out he was a bandit, therefore I let him die for no reason, whereas I kill him later with reason and my conscience is clear.

      To me there is only one morally right path, to untie him.

      1. N

        A bit of healthy suspicion will do far more good for everyone. If you do not untie him geralt says that he doubts that they tied him up just for being a deserter.
        Brainless idealism just gets innocent people killed.

        1. S
          shmelly welly witcher king

          “Brainless idealism just gets innocent people killed.”

          Thats obama & the democrat party in a (very rotten) nutshell.

          1. A

            lol that’s a stretch. It has nothing to do with Obama or the US administration. It is a classic dilemma like the one that says “Would you go back in time and kill baby Hitler?”

            On one hand you know what happens when Hitler grows up, on the other you know that a child technically hasn’t done anything wrong and that the future might be changeable. Is it justice to kill someone BEFORE they commit a crime?

            It’s a thought study that in Witcher 3 becomes a real thing.

          2. B

            That’s exactly what it’s about.. You’ve unlocked the seedy secret message of the Witcher saga. It’s 100% “Obama and the Democratic Party”… written by Antifa, obviously 🙄

        2. M

          There is nothing to suspect, because the mob had no reason and was just being a mob and full of shit. And it’s a shitty way of punishment except for the vilest monsters, which he is not even necessarily (deliberately vague and open to interpretation) because of being 1. A bandit 2. Out on revenge (and “disillusioned” about these poor people). In the situation itself, it is incorrect to leave him and just be a confused, spiteful, gullible dick…

  2. A
    A Man Who Gives Zero Fukks

    I dont give a shit about anyone in this witcher so i’ll take the coin. A witcher isnt a moralist. You killed the Griffin and a slave got 15 lashes for giving rotten grain. It is what it is. You still got paid.

    1. A

      That’s interesting. There’s a neat inverse going on with the quest. You can keep him for the drowners and others will live and you get no coin. But no work is completed.

      Or you can save him and initially get nothing for your effort. Witcher’s don’t do anything without being paid typically. So by that logic you shouldn’t free him. Happening to run into him later is luck and not a part of any initial deal.

  3. T

    save him get 50 coin later or kill him for the loot.
    let him die you get nothing and the refugees camp don’t even appear.

    Also why people concerned about the refuges ? they are so cruel they din’t even kill give John and the dwarf a quick painless death instead they left they defenseless to be eating alive by drowners.

    Lets say if was a group of bandits that did the same thing and john kill the bandits would you kill him for that? but because they are refugees they can do the same thing a bandit would do and everything is well?

    At least he killed them,dint let them to see other guy be eating alive screaming in pain while you wait your turn to have a painful death.

    1. A

      It’s they moralistic grey area of the Witcher universe. There isn’t an exact “right” answer for those things. It’s what you feel. You’re responsible for John killing the refugees for gold and maybe taking revenge as penance or you aid in capital punishment for a bunch of refugees that reward you with nothing.

      Neither outcome is what I would call “desirable”.

  4. M

    Actually, I think after what happened to him, he should be able to do something like this. It is not ideal but still alright…

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