Blood & Wine is the second DLC from The Witcher III: Wild Hunt and far more vast than I imagined. It is recommended that you do not start this DLC’s content until you are at least level 40.
It opens up an entire new area to explode: Toussaint. The first thing I noticed was that things were a lot more bright and cheery there, sunny all the time and colorful. The region is best known for its wine and vineyards. Well, I’ll take the vineyards, hold the wine please! It’s also the only place in the Witcher universe that has the most traditional Medieval approach with knights and all that jazz so I was looking forward to exploring.
Unlike Hearts of Stone this is a whole new region so there’s tons to do in terms of side quests and I think I spent weeks tackling all of those before advancing too far into the DLC’s main storyline. New monsters, new features, it doesn’t get any better.
My favorite side quest is The Warble of a Smitten Knight where onto the Duchess’s ladies in waiting is under a curse. I will talk about it more in another article where I will cover my favorite side quests in the game as whole. Geralt also gets his own house after clearing a bruxa out of it. You hear that? He finally has a place to stay! We can decorate it as we please.
So, let’s get to the main event of this article, the DLC’s main story!
Geralt is summoned to Toussaint by the Duchess herself Anna Henrietta to take care of an unknown beast killing her knights. But as Geralt pursues the contract, he runs into an old friend and learns there is much more to this beast than meets the eye.
The search leads us to learn that our beast is a high vampire named Dettlaff whose primary targets so far have been specific knights serving the Duchess. Geralt enlists the help of another high vampire and old friend Regis, who looks like Count Olaf to me as well as the Duchess herself.
Eventually the trail leads to them having to rescue who is supposed to be Dettlaff’s lover. I had put off doing this part of the DLC until I had explored almost every nook and cranny in Toussaint to a point where the main quest was literally all I had left!
But, when I got to this part, I couldn’t stop playing from here. We then meet Syanna, the older sister of Anna who is revealed to be the mastermind behind it all and blackmailed Dettlaff into killing all those knights.
This is where I had to choose who to help, cause you know these games, you can’t have your cake and eat it too. I felt really bad for Dettlaff being blackmailed, but I went with Syanna because I felt like there must have been some reason why she wanted Dettlaff to kill those specific knights and I was just curious about her in general. I mean she’s Anarietta’s older sister and she’s not living in luxury, when we see that it’s either because of personal choice or being cast out by the family.
After reading a diary and traveling through a world full of classic fables with a dark twist to each of them; like Longlocks a.k.a Rapunzel hangs herself after her prince never comes and turns into a wraith, in fact the “prince” was killed from a fall in attempting to climb the tower!
I learned of Syanna’s estranged relationship with her sister, how their practical jokes went too far and eventually led to Syanna being cast out and stripped of her title and grew up among gangs believing her sister had forgotten and never stood up for her. Syanna was born during a solar eclipse which put in the myth that she was under the Curse of the Black Sun and she had a lot of issues growing up like having nightmares. Since then she came to rely on her sister the most so no wonder she was hurt most by her sister’s apparent negligence.
The fablesphere was a place the sisters used to play in as children. When I learned more of this backstory, I wanted her to forgive her sister. If sex in the clouds didn’t help, then perhaps my silver tongue would.
Of course, before I get to that, let me just say that we have our vampire attack on the city and then a confrontation with Dettlaff later on which took one epic turn after another, high vampires look sick in this game, why aren’t there any female ones? What if I wanted to be a vampire in the Witcher universe but didn’t want to be one that runs around naked all the time while in true form?
I bet I could have learned more if I chose to help Dettlaff instead because I’m sure there were some things I missed in this DLC like Orianna for instance.
Finally, it took some persuasion and I was at the edge of my seat as Geralt spoke to Syanna one last time and realized after all I had learned from her and on my own how big her grudge was, and that her own sister was to be the fifth target for Dettlaff.
The entire scene where I have that conversation with her and then later stand by the Duchess as she speaks to her sister, I just feel those scenes were very well done from the setting to the dialogue which made me hope desperately that I had said and done enough to get Syanna to reconcile with her sister.
I kept worrying at the last minute that she was going to do something but thank goodness she didn’t and forgave her sister. You have no idea how relieved I was.
After that, it was nice to see Yennefer join me at the house but there’s not much you can do with her after that. That’s why I saved this DLC for the very end. I also wish Regis could have stayed too because he clearly showed a lot of remorse in killing Detlaff.
Oh and I wish I got paid a little more because only 5000 crowns for killing the so-called beast? Yeesh I was expecting more from a Duchess!
Nevertheless this DLC was fantastic, great environment, side quests and the main story was also well done with many intense moments which I think I enjoyed more than the other one. Well done.