When it comes to The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt quest count, the only thing that comes to my mind is ‘a lot’. Yes, besides the 60 main quests, the action RPG has a huge number of side quests. However, ‘a lot’ does not necessarily mean ‘bad’. The quests in The Witcher 3 are among the most interesting quests you will ever find in a video game. One perfect example of what I am saying is the ‘Cabaret’ side quest.
The quest sees Dandelion – a bard trying to refurbish the ill-reputed Rosemary and Thyme inn that had inherited not long ago. Those who have been fans of The Witcher 3 for a while already know that while Dandelion is a careless, self-absorbed womanizer, he has a different side too. Dandelion has shown the world that he can be a sensible man on multiple occasions. ‘Cabaret’ is one of those instances which bring out that other side of Dandelion.
Below, I will provide you with a walkthrough of this side quest so that you can complete it hassle-free.
Where to Find Dandelion?
The ‘Cabaret’ quest will begin on its own after you have completed the main quest, ‘A Poet Under Pressure’. Nonetheless, remember to start this quest before you give ‘The Isle of Mists’ an attempt. Otherwise, it would fail.
You will find Dandelion at the Rosemary and Thyme Inn. When you initiate a conversation with the bard, Dandelion will ask for your help to collect the funds he needs to renovate the Rosemary and Thyme Inn into a cabaret.
When you – as Geralt – save Dandelion from the Witch Hunters in ‘A Poet Under Pressure’, it triggers the ‘Cabaret’ secondary quest. As soon as you enter the inn, you will witness Dandelion and Priscilla arguing about the nature of the business.
The bard will then tell you that he dreams of owning a cabaret. But he needs a good amount of money for that, and staying true to his character, the man already has a plan. Now all you have to do is play ball.
Remember Madame Irina from ‘The Play’s the Thing’? Your foremost objective is to get a prop sword from the actress.
How to Get the Prop Sword from Madame Irina?
Finding Irina can become hard to locate sometimes. At least, I struggled a good amount before finding Irina. Here is a little tip: look for the building in the highlighted region.
In some cases, it may seem that she is outside. Needless to say, this is inaccurate and might baffle the player.
Enter the theatre south of Hierarch Square and go to its backstage. There, you will find your old friend Irina, who will give you the prop sword you want.
Should You Fight Dandelion at the Cabaret or Not?
After you have got your hands on the sword, it is time to meet Dandelion at Sophronia’s house. Note that Dandelion will not show up until dusk. So, wait till the sun sets, and Dandelion will appear to elucidate his plan.
What is the plan? Well, you have to play the role of a bandit and attack Sophronia. Dandelion will pretend to be the Crimson Avenger who will save her. The bard will give you a script that you may or may not choose to follow. If you decide not to utter Dandelion’s lines, you are free to improvise.
Fight the Crimson Avenger with the prop sword and let him land a few blows on you for a bit. If you are done with all the stupidity and decide to fight back to show Dandelion his place, he still receives the coins from Sophronia, albeit as an act of sympathy.
Nevertheless, letting him win is a win-win for both of you (see what I did there?). This way, Dandelion gets the coins for his valor, while you get more XP.
The entire situation seemed funny to me, and I could not resist cracking a laugh.
Also, I noticed that although it is all an act, Dandelion’s hits become dangerous at higher difficulty levels and with the Enemy Upscaling enabled. Blows from Dandelion’s blunt sword, in such instances, can even kill you.
In case you find yourself in such a circumstance, fighting back no longer remains a choice but becomes a necessity for your survival.
In addition, you can even flee the scene, which will have the same consequences as Dandelion winning.
After the fight ends, return to Rosemary and Thyme and wait until dawn. There you will see that Dandelion has hired contractors for the redecoration of the inn, despite lacking even a penny.
Seems like his plan worked, or he had high confidence in his scheme. But there is a little problem. Dandelion has not told the builders about the style of the cabaret, yet they cannot wait anymore to start working. Now, you can save the day by either choosing the style of renovation or letting Priscilla make the decision.
While picking the style, you will get three different options – Theater, Boudoir, and Priscilla’s Pick. The first is the option that Dandelion prefers the most. The second option makes the establishment look like a lady’s private room (something that Dandelion will not like). And the last one makes Priscilla pick a random design. What I find interesting here is the fact that no matter what Priscilla chooses will satisfy Dandelion.
Then Priscilla will send you to find Dandelion at Polly’s house to visit Polly, their choreographer.
What Happens at Polly’s House?
When you visit Polly’s house, you will find Dandelion knocking on the door. Once you are there, he will tell you that Polly’s fiancé Hubio is against Polly’s working for Dandelion, prompting him to lock the door of the house.
Hubio thinks that Dandelion’s new establishment is a brothel. That is why he is refusing to let her work for Dandelion.
To open the door without demolishing it, you have to find a spare key hidden in the vicinity. Use your Witcher senses to look for the key, and soon you will locate it inside a bucket placed nearby. After you have found the key, use it to open the door and enter the house with Dandelion.
The bard will utilize his charm to convince the man. If you become impatient with the whole state of affairs, you can choose to step in. Keep in mind that this will lead to a brawl with Polly’s fiancé, and then you have to beat him.
Still, I suggest you be patient and not interfere to avoid the unsought fistfight, as Dandelion is capable of convincing him.
No matter what you do, Polly will come to the inn, and Dandelion will send you to obtain the advertising placards from Rautlec.
Where to Find Rautlec?
When you go to Rautlec’s house, you will not find Rautlec there. Instead, you will encounter two bandits looking around the house to retrieve the money he owes them.
It does not matter what you do or say, as a fistfight is unavoidable. It also does not matter whether you win or lose the scuffle. Because in the end, the bandits will inform you about Rautlec’s whereabouts. One can find Rautlec near the Vegelbud Residence.
I have found fighting with these bandits pretty problematic because of the size of the room. It is so tiny. So, if you are standing in the middle of the room, focusing on both your opponents can be next to impossible. The only correct way is to stand with your back towards the door. This will make the fight easier.
After meeting Rautlec, you will get to know about this dire financial situation. If you want to acquire the placards you came for, you can either pay his debts, (that is, 200 Crowns) or take part in a race where Rautlec will bet on you and be victorious.
I have always preferred the latter option as it comes with cool rewards (I will talk about it shortly). Even if you lose the race, you can still get the placards by paying off Rautlec’s debts. But here is the catch: the payable amount increases a bit (275 Crowns) this time.
Additionally, you are free to leave the place without the placards if you wish. Leaving Geralt to deal with the situation on his own will force him to work for the noble.
Rewards for Winning the Race
As I have mentioned before, winning the race is decently rewarding. When you are the victor of the race, you not only free Rautlec from his burden of debt but also receive some great rewards.
For the unaware, there are three opponents that you will face in a series of races. They are Seamus Holt, Viscount Rommer, and Luc Vegelbud. There are different rewards for winning each of the races.
Defeating Seamus gives you 10 XP, 160 Crowns, and a Superior Racing Saddle. Defeating Viscount gives you 10 XP, 160 Crowns, and a Rugged Saddlebag. And finally, defeating Luc gives you 25 XP, 200 Crowns, and a Superior Cavalry Saddle. Plus, there are additional rewards for becoming the champion (yes, the champion of the Erasmus blah blah Derby). These are 25 XP and 80 Crowns.
Once everything is said and done, it is time to return to the inn and finish the quest.
How to End the Quest?
Going back to the Rosemary and Thyme – which Dandelion has renamed as ‘The Chameleon’, tell him about the things you did. Even if you do not have the placards with you, Dandelion will not mind. Priscilla will move to her place to get ready for the grand opening of ‘The Chameleon’ cabaret.
Meanwhile, you and Dandelion will take a seat, gulp down a few drinks, and have a conversation. But you will not be able to converse for long, as one of Dandelion’s servants will butt in to inform you two about an attack on Priscilla and her subsequent hospitalization. And that is the end of the quest.
As you can see, the ‘Cabaret’ side quest is one of the most fun, interesting quests in The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt (both main and side quests included). The quest revolves around the narcissistic bard, namely Dandelion trying to achieve his cabaret dream and Geralt deciding to cooperate.
Even though he is ultimately able to refashion the Rosemary and Thyme tavern into The Chameleon Cabaret, the quest does not end on a high note. Instead, Geralt and Dandelion receive the news of Priscilla being a victim of an attack and requiring immediate hospitalization.
In this guide, I explained how you can finish the ‘Cabaret’ side quest without any trouble and obtain the good rewards that come along with it. Hope this will help you progress a little more in your The Witcher 3 journey, and get close to finishing the game. All the best!
You can also read about another one of The Witcher 3’s interesting quests; A Towerful of Mice, which involves lifting Annabelle’s curse.