There aren’t many people that would argue with the Witcher 3 being considered one of the greatest games of all time. It’s a masterpiece from start to finish, in every respect, which is why I’ve put well over 300 hours into the game across multiple systems and saves.
Across those 300 hours, Bald Mountain stands out as a high point for the game’s main story. It’s a phenomenal setpiece, has two climactic boss fights, and almost immediately follows the heartwrenching Battle of Kaer Morhen.
In this Witcher 3 Bald Mountain guide, I’m going to run you through the entire quest step by step and give you some tips on how to beat both bosses. It’s a tough quest, so if you need some help, read on.
Quest Details Up Front
- Location: Bald Mountain.
- Requirements: Complete Blood on the Battlefield.
- Quest Length: Short.
- Quest Rewards: Magic Acorn.
- Difficulty: Hard.
After Vesemir’s death at the battle of Kaer Morhen, a grief-stricken Ciri was consumed by a rage only vengeance could quench. After learning that Vesemir’s killer, the Wild Hunt general Imlerith, would be attending a feast hosted by the Crones, she and Geralt set off to gatecrash the party.
Gain Access to the Mountain’s Summit
When you arrive at the mountain, you’ll be greeted by one of the Crone’s followers. He’ll instruct you to meet with a woman named Thecla in order to obtain permission to climb the mountain.
When you arrive at Thecla’s tent, she’ll grant Ciri permission, but Geralt will have to go through an additional trial of obtaining an Oren from the bottom of a nearby body of water. This whole process takes no longer than a minute and is incredibly simple – so don’t fret about it. Just take the coin back to Thecla and she’ll have her handmaiden lead you to the mountain passage gate.
Go through the gate and you’ll bump into a Sylvan named Fugas. He serves as a gatekeeper for the Crones. Despite being in possession of the coin, he’ll attack Geralt and Ciri, forcing the pair to kill him.
After dealing with Fugas, Geralt and Ciri will split up. Geralt will climb the mountain to find Imlerith while Ciri descends beneath it in an attempt to find the Crones.
Defeat the Crones
At this point in the Bald Mountain quest, you’ll be put in control of Ciri. After a brisk swim, you’ll encounter the three Crones and a boss fight will commence. This fight has you at a three-on-one disadvantage, but you do have Ciri’s teleportation abilities to even out the odds.
After the fight, you’ll discover that the Weavess survived the battle. She’ll snatch Vesemir’s Medallion from around Ciri’s neck before making her getaway – marking the end of the Ciri section in the Bald Mountain quest.
After finishing up with the Crones, you’ll be put back in control of Geralt as he makes his way up the mountain to find Imlerith. Along the way, you’ll find a place of power. Meditate at it and continue to the mountain’s peak.
Imlerith will greet you here before starting his boss battle. This fight is one of the toughest in the entire game, so be prepared to suffer – especially on Death March.
After you defeat Imlerith, Ciri will meet up with you and ask you if you’re ready to go. Tell her no and return to Imlerith’s body to loot a magic acorn that will award you two skill points. Return down the mountain and you’ll have a final discussion with the Crone’s followers before you and Ciri return to Novigrad.
Find a Way to the Mountains Summit
When you arrive at the base of the mountain, your main objective is going to be making it to the summit so you can fight Imlerith. Using your Witcher senses, you’ll see some red footprints on the ground leading you to where you need to go. These are hardly necessary, though – the path is pretty obvious.
Make your way up the rough mountain path and you’ll be met by Stregomir. He’ll explain that Geralt won’t be allowed up to the mountain’s summit, but that he’s more than welcome to sit around a fire with the other peasants. These loonies worship the Crones and are chomping at the bit for the opportunity to catch a glimpse of them.
Agree to sit with them and you’ll get to have a bit of conversation with Stregomir. You’ll have a few different dialogue options to exhaust. Over the course of the conversation, you’ll learn that three young men and women are allowed to the summit every festival. He’ll also tell you that they tend to return looking radiant and quickly leave Velen to speak their fortune in the wider world.
You’ll learn a few other interesting tidbits about the relationship between the Crones, or Ladies, and the people of Velen, but this information isn’t necessary to move on with the Bald Mountain quest.
Once you’ve had enough of the chit-chat, tell Stregomir that you’re done talking. Before you leave, he’ll tell you to go and seek out Thecla. She’s apparently the one that decides who is worthy of visiting the Ladies, so that’s where you’re off to next.
Seek Out Thecla’s Permission to Visit the Crones
Your quest marker will point you towards Thecla who’s located over the other side of the Peasant camp. Along the way, you’ll find a blacksmith and a merchant if you’re in need of supplies.
Before reaching Thecla, you’ll stumble across the Godling Johnny, as well as Sarah if you kicked her out of her house during Novigrad Dreaming. Go through Johnny’s dialogue and you’ll learn a few more details regarding Thecla’s selection process. Chiefly – that Ciri would probably be allowed up the mountain, but that Geralt is far too old and ugly. However, you’ll also learn that anyone refused entry is allowed to undergo a trial as an alternative to the entry process, leaving that as Geralt’s only real option.
Say your goodbyes to Johnny (and Sarah if you’re a monster) and be on your way.
Your interaction with Thecla will be a rude, albeit brief, one. She’ll accept Ciri on account of her youth and beauty, but she won’t be half as kind to poor old Geralt. Regardless of what dialogue options you choose here, you’ll be forced to accept the alternative challenge.
Thecla will lead you to an overlook over a deep, murky body of water. She’ll throw an old coin with a depiction of Falka into the depths and demand that Geralt dive in to retrieve it. Only then will he be allowed up to see the Crones.
There isn’t too much to worry about here. There’s a Drowner or two in the water, but nothing more. If you’re playing on a difficulty like Death March, you might want to pop some Killer Whale, but it isn’t really necessary.
Dive into the water and swim into the cave beneath using your Witcher sense to retrieve the coin. You can continue through the cave, but you’ll end up at an unclimbable ledge with no loot for your troubles. Instead, turn around and climb out of the lake you dived into initially.
When you’re out of the water and back in the woods, you’ll be able to hear the menacing sound of a Fiend (like the Drowners, this is a detail Thecla left out when she told you about the challenge). This Fiend is down the wooden path you should now find yourself on – so if you want to fight it like a masochist, go for it. If you’re not a glutton for punishment, follow your objective marker for a short jog back to where Thecla and Ciri are waiting for you.
Following another pleasant talk with Thecla, she’ll have you follow her handmaiden up the mountain where you’re to show the Falka coin to a gatekeeper.
Deal With the Gatekeeper
After the handmaiden opens the gate for you, follow the mountain path until you encounter a Sylvan named Fugas. This chubby little waste is the Gatekeeper. He’ll have no problem letting Ciri on through, but upon showing him the coin, he’ll attack (something you really should have seen coming at this point).
You and Ciri will have to fight the Sylvan. On lower difficulties, this isn’t too bad. Make a point of evading his strikes and using Yrden rather than parrying him and only get hits in when an opening presents itself. It shouldn’t take more than a minute or two to dispatch of him.
Afterward, Geralt and Ciri will share a lovely father-daughter bonding moment by arguing over who kills Imlerith and who kills the Crones. The two will play rock, paper, scissors for the choice but the result will always be the same – Geralt goes after Imlerith and Ciri goes after the Crones.
The two will then split up as Geralt climbs the mountain while Ciri descends beneath it.
Defeat the Crones
You’ll now be in control of Ciri. After a short walk, you’ll encounter a waterfall that you’ll need to dive into. Follow your objective marker and you’ll eventually reach the three Crones as they prepare a delicious bit of grub for dinner. Needless to say, they’re not in the mood of sharing and will promptly attack you, triggering the boss fight.
The Crones’ fight can be particularly tricky for anyone not used to Ciri’s style of combat. You’re outnumbered three to one, so make a point of abusing Ciri’s Blink teleport to do hit and run attacks.
You’re going to want to focus-fire the two smaller Crones first. They’re more agile, and thus more dangerous if left unchecked. Make a point of teleporting as much as possible, ideally behind your target of choice. Get a hit or two in and dash away before the other two have time to retaliate. A combination of this, combined with Ciri’s area-of-effect combo attack should be enough to carry you through the fight – just make sure you don’t spread your damage out. Even the numbers as soon as you possibly can.
After dealing with the three lovely ladies, it’ll turn out that the Weavess is still alive. She’ll snatch Vesemir’s Witcher Medallion from around Ciri’s neck before disappearing in a murder of crows.
The scene will not transition and you’ll be in control of Geralt. Follow your map up the mountain making sure not to miss the place of power on the way.
Continue on and you’ll encounter Imlerith lounging in a chair by a fire enjoying the company of some modest and respectful ladies. They’ll flee in disgust as you approach, leaving Geralt and Imlerith alone to catch up like a couple of old buddies.
After a very brief exchange, Imlerith will put on his helmet before picking up his shield and massive mace. This looks intimidating, and it should – Imlerith is absolutely terrifying. This is arguably the toughest fight in the entirety of the base game. It’s harder than the final boss, in any case.
This boss fight is a marathon, not a sprint, so prepare to pace yourself. You’ll get your head smashed in if you try to just run it down. Make sure you’re stocked up on potions, too, because you’ll need all the help you can get.
Imlerith makes great use of his teleport ability throughout the fight. He’ll often attack you out of the teleport which leaves you little time to retaliate. You’re going to be on the defensive for a lot of the fight, so keep mobile. Keep Quen active at all times. Igni will get rid of the ice armor that Imlerith gains after he teleports, so keep that sign on hand, too.
The slow from Yrden can also be beneficial in this fight if you’ve invested into that sign but don’t over-rely on it. If you need to put space between yourself and Imlerith – do. He’s not the fastest boss in the world, but he hits like a truck. If you have them, Samum bombs also work great here as Imlerith isn’t immune to blinding. Abuse them if you can.
Imlerith is completely immune to frontal attacks, so you’ll need to constantly get behind or beside him. His attacks, while powerful, have a narrow hitbox. Rather than rolling, sidestep these attacks to get in behind him during his attack animations. That’ll give you a short window to get some hits in and will be your main strategy for the first phase of the fight. Make sure you only hit him twice per window, though. A third attack will prompt him to spin and parry you with his shield.
After you whittle him down to 30% of his health bar, he’ll throw away the shield and start two-handing the mace. His attack patterns change dramatically here as he goes full aggro. He’ll be teleporting constantly – giving you practically no time to retaliate at all as he chains teleport-combos together. However, a damage window opens up every third teleport during which you’ll have a few seconds to lay into him before the cycle starts again.
Only go for damage during that window. Otherwise, dodge his teleport attacks, keep Quen active, and be ready to hit him with an Igni whenever you need to get rid of his frost armor.
Keep that up and at 5% health, you’ll be rewarded with a satisfying cutscene after which the fight concludes.
Finish Bald Mountain
After slaying Imlerith, Geralt will be taking a breather on the side of the mountain. He’ll be joined by Ciri and the two will share a genuinely touching moment. She’ll ask if you’re ready to go, to which you can reply yes or no. Choose no and head back up to the peak of the mountain where you killed Imlerith. He’ll have a magic acorn on his body that will give you two skill points. Alternatively, you can give it to the peasants at the base of the mountain, but who honestly wants to do that?
The acorn doesn’t actually despawn, so if you decide to leave straight away, you can come back later to grab it – so don’t feel pressured.
Once you’re finished up, the game will time-skip one week into the future with Geralt and Ciri back in Novigrad and Bald Mountain will complete.
As a main quest, Bald Mountain doesn’t really have any rewards to speak off beyond an experience point bump. However, there is a Magic Acorn on Imlerith’s body after you kill him. Using this acorn will award Geralt two skill points, which is honestly a more valuable quest reward than most other items in the game.
If you leave Bald Mountain before looting the acorn, you can return at a later date and it will still be there.
Question: What Happens if you let Ciri Fight Imlerith?
Answer: After defeating Fugas at the gate to Bald Mountain, Geralt and Ciri will bicker over who gets to fight Imlerith. Regardless of what dialogue options you select here, Geralt will always go after Imlerith and Ciri will always go after the Crones. There is no way to circumvent this.
Question: How do you Open the Door in Bald Mountain?
Answer: The door in Bald Mountain is unlocked by a key looted from Fugas’ body after his death.
Question: Can you Loot Imlerith’s Body?
Answer: Yes, regardless of whether you decided to stay at Bald Mountain or returned alter, Imlerith’s body can be looted for a magic acorn.
That’s it for this Witcher 3 Bald Mountain quest guide. It’s one of the best quests, bar none, in the main story of the Witcher 3. It serves as a climax to the Crones’ story (for the most part), and the fight with Imlerith is among the most intense in the entire game. Its set pieces are awesome, too. It’s an all-around great quest that is as challenging as it is impressive.
Hopefully, this guide helped you get through it. The hardest part of Bald Mountain is easily the Imlerith fight. A lot of players, myself included, struggled massively the first time we went up against the giant elf. If you’re patient, though, you’ll be able to get through it. Just learn, persevere, and keep fighting until you win.
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