The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt is filled to the brim with quests that take players on a journey to a distant land and immerse them in an unforgettable experience. ‘A Deadly Plot’ in The Witcher 3 is one of the most interesting quests in the game and also reminds you of its predecessor – The Witcher 2 (of course, if you have played it beforehand). Moreover, it dives into the political side of things even though Geralt is known for being reluctant to take part in politics.
This side quest makes you aware of Dijkstra’s ‘Deadly Plot’ against the ruler of the land and offers you an opportunity to earn a Gwent card. While playing the quest does not commit you to anything, your choices here will influence the character endings in the game.
Plus, let me warn you: If you make the wrong choices in this quest, the subsequent quest, namely ‘Reason of State’ would become inaccessible. Yikes!
That is why in this walkthrough, I will explain how to complete ‘A Deadly Plot’ the right way so that you do not face any trouble later. Read on to find out more.
How to Start ‘A Deadly Plot’ Quest?
The quest will automatically start when you speak to Dijkstra after finishing ‘Now or Never’.
Nevertheless, there is a little catch: if you fail to fulfill a few prerequisites, you will not be capable of playing ‘A Deadly Plot’ hassle-free.
Firstly, if you do not complete this quest before playing ‘The Isle of Mists’, it will fail.
Besides, you must finish this quest (along with a peaceful solution with Dijkstra during the conclusion of another quest, ‘Blindingly Obvious’), or else, you will not unlock ‘Reason of State’.
Also, you must at least obtain the other two Assassins’ quests forming a trio with this quest, known as ‘An Eye for an Eye’ and ‘Redania’s Most Wanted’. If not, you will not be able to play ‘A Deadly Plot’. Why did I say ‘obtained’? Well, it is because it does not matter if you finished or failed them.
Remember another thing: I have noticed that if you finish Novigrad and sail to Skelliga, the quest will auto-fail.
Where to Find Sigismund Dijkstra?
Once the quest is active, you will need to go to Passiflora. For the unaware, Passiflora is an upscale house of ill-repute situated in Novigrad. You can easily locate it by heading towards the east of St. Gregory’s Bridge in northern Novigrad.
When you enter it, you will find Marquise Serenity greeting you. After you talk to her for a bit, she will tell you that if she is not among the connivers, she at least knows about the conspiracy that has been occurring.
Then she will take you to a secret door passing through which will unveil a staircase before your eyes. After going upstairs, you will reach the room on the third floor, where you will meet Sigismund Dijkstra. Here, you can pick any choice during your conversation, as it does not affect the outcome.
Regardless of what you pick, Dijkstra will introduce you to Vernon Roche – his co-conspirator. At this stage of the quest, you may wonder if these two have the plan all figure out, what the need for the Witcher is. Well, you are not alone. I wondered that as well before being acquainted with the actual issue there.
Someplace in Velen, a third co-conspirator who was gathering significant info under the guise of a shoemaker has gone missing. Both Dijkstra and Vernon know that Witchers are proficient in tracking people down using their sharp senses. That is why they decided to request your assistance.
To collect more info about what the matter is, you have to go talk to Gregor – a Redan soldier whom you can find at the Frontier Post. Gregor is an associate of the conspirators. So, he will help you with all the information he possesses. At this point, the dialogue will end. That means you will fast-travel to the ‘Border Post’ signpost straightaway.
Navigate to the north across a bridge to locate Gregor. Talk to him to know more things about the assassination plan. Also, he will tell you the real reason behind his assistance to the conspirators plotting the coup d’état if you are interested. Listening to his perspective makes you understand how evil Radovid truly is and the prevailing motivation behind his assassination.
However, sorry to say, he does not know anything about the whereabouts of the shoemaker. But he gives you a valuable piece of info. He tells you that the patrol came across a deserted wagon on the southeastern side of the post.
And you may have already inferred, this is the wagon of the shoemaker you are looking for. Thus, finding it can be beneficial in getting hints to figure out where the spy-cobbler went.
Interestingly, before you say goodbye to Gregor, he will offer you a security certificate. As I already possessed it in my inventory, the game auto-rejected his offer. But then again, if you do not have the certificate, you are free to take it. Once the conversation is over, it is time to find the cobbler’s wagon.
Where to Find the Shoemaker’s Wagon?
Finding the shoemaker’s wagon should not be a difficult task. By heading towards the southeast side of the Border Post, you can locate the abandoned wagon.
To be precise, cross the bridge to the southeastern side, and you will come back to central Velen. Upon reaching central Velen, keep proceeding towards the southeast again.
Along the way, you will see a fork to the southwest. Please do not take it into account and continue moving along the southeast path, followed by the east.
After a while, you will see a second fork. Opt for a southeast turn there, and on the way, you will find the shoemaker’s wagon. You can easily recognize the cart from a massive shoe atop it.
However, finding the cart alone will not be enough. You have to discover the location of the spy shoemaker, namely Thaler, and see what he is up to.
Here, you will come face to face with a few level-five Wolves and level-eight Warg. Upon killing them, activate your Witcher senses and try looking for traces of a brawl.
Follow the shoe trails on the ground and move towards the southwest direction. On your path, you will witness a Troll called Rogg being agitated over a pile of shoes.
Question Rogg about the shoes, and he will show you the direction you need to go. He will also ensure the safety of the cobbler, saying that they did not hurt him and had no such intention. All they want from him is to make shoes for them.
Visit the Monster Den northwest of the Hanged Man’s Tree signboard. In case you were unaware, while Nekkers previously resided in the place, Trolls now inhabit it.
Go inside the cave to reach a huge hollow where you will see the spy-cobbler Thaler as well as two other Trolls, Ogg and Pogg.
What I find funny is when you reach the cavern, you will find Theler teaching the Trolls to cuss. It is, in fact, one of the funniest moments in the entire game. You can either wait and listen to their funny tête-à-tête for a bit, or approach them pronto.
No matter what you do, this will lead to a brief conversation between you and the Trolls. The next steps you take will be dependent entirely upon what route you choose to go for rescuing Thaler. And guess what? Either way will work just fine.
How to Rescue the Shoemaker from the Rock Trolls’ Cave?
You can rescue the cobbler Thaler from the Rock Trolls’ cave by opting for either of the two available means – violent and peaceful.
The first method is freeing Thaler from the Trolls’ custody by force. This way, you threaten them and declare that you will kill the Trolls if they do not let the cobbler go. Needless to say, none of the Trolls take your words of hostility too kindly and charge at you. Rogg will also join his friends Ogg and Pogg to beat you up.
What I find most annoying about these rocky opponents is that they keep pouncing on you repeatedly without giving you much space to regroup. Besides that, they also fling rocks at you, making it difficult for you to recover.
Nonetheless, using the Quen sign and Ogroid oil frequently can dramatically boost your chances of winning the bout. Once you succeed in killing the three Trolls, you can exit the cave with Thaler. Note that the cobbler will disapprove of this method.
My preferred way of rescuing the cobbler is, however, by going the diplomatic route. The Trolls are kind and mean no harm. So why kill them for no reason? Plus, they are incredibly easy to trick. Therefore, all you need to do is tell them you need some leather for big shoes, and Thaler will soon return to the cave.
Being plain stupid, they will believe you and allow Thaler to leave the cave. In my opinion, this is the best way to save the shoemaker, as it eliminates the need for unnecessary bloodshed.
While killing the Trolls can help you obtain rare livers that you can use to make potions later, it is not prudent. You can get such livers elsewhere in the game. So, why do that?
Also, the cave houses the superior version of the Ursine armor set. You can get that by moving towards the left side of the cave until you reach a tiny room that contains the superior diagrams.
How to Escort Thaler Back to His Wagon and Finish the Quest?
Regardless of your method of rescue, you must escort Thaler to his cart to end the quest successfully.
Gosh, Thaler’s slow walking speed annoys me! And I am sure that you will feel the same way when you see him walk. He will never match your speed.
But if your patience runs out, run/sprint back to Thaler’s wagon, triggering the cutscene. Once Thaler reaches the wagon, the quest ends.
Now, you are free to leave at once or ask him questions about him being an undercover spy and what he plans to do next.
Plus, you can challenge him to a Gwent match and win his unique Geralt of Rivia card.
To conclude, ‘A Deadly Plot’ is not only a fun mission to play, but also the right choices taken in it contribute to unlocking the later ‘Reason of State’.
In this guide, I discussed how you can complete this quest with ease. I also told you about the best alternative to opt for while rescuing Thaler from the Rock Trolls’ cave.
Follow this walkthrough, and you should have zero trouble finishing the quest the proper way. Good luck, Witcher!
The Cabaret side quest in The Witcher 3 is another interesting mission from Novigrad, and follows the exploits of Dandelion as he attempts to open his own cabaret theater!