The Witcher 3 A Deadly Plot Quest Guide

Continue the Assassins' questline and meet Thaler.

A Deadly Plot is part of a series of secondary quests that determine the fate of the Nilfgaardian Emperor Emhyr in The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt. Despite its name, there is little plotting to be done during this quest. Rather, it is a quest that leads to it. In fact, Geralt has to track down and rescue someone who turns out to be an old friend.

The choices you make here impact the character endings of the base game. It is also important to know that making the wrong decisions in A Deadly Plot will permanently lock out the next quest, Reason of State. This means A Deadly Plot can have a major consequence regarding who your allies are at the end of the main story due to the conclusion of Reason of State.

You will automatically start A Deadly Plot by speaking with Dijkstra at the end of Now or Never. However, there are several prerequisites here to know of.


If you fail to find a peaceful solution with Dijkstra in Blindingly Obvious, you will not unlock Reason of State even after completing A Deadly Plot. Furthermore, you also need to complete An Eye for an Eye and Redania’s Most Wanted quests before you can do A Deadly Plot.

A Deadly Plot is definitely a missable quest, so make sure you finish it before doing The Isle of Mists. Thankfully, you can still go to Skellige and explore it without having to worry about missing out on A Deadly Plot in The Witcher 3, as long as you don’t start The Isle of Mists.

Head to the Passiflora brothel

You will need to head over to Passiflora, an upscale brothel that is located next to the St. Gregory’s Bridge signpost in northern Novigrad.

Enter it, and there you will be greeted by Marquise Serenity, who will know the purpose of your visit and take you through a secret room to meet Dijkstra. A cutscene will play in which Dijkstra will talk about plotting the assassination and the murder history associated with the venue as well.


A Deadly Plot quest in The Witcher 3 can sometimes bug out here, and you are unable to talk to Marquise Serenity. To fix that bug, reload an earlier save and enter Passiflora in the afternoon. Instead of talking to Marquise where you see her standing, go up to the first floor and explore the rooms, and the cutscene will trigger.

After that, he will introduce you to his associate, whom you will immediately recognize as Vernon Roche. He will share his thoughts and intentions on killing Radovid to free Temeria of his rule.

He will task you with finding an informant who has gone missing in action. He was last seen traveling across the Pontar via the Redanian checkpoint, but after that, there has been no sign of him.

Of course, Geralt, being a skilled tracker, is chosen to find him. The pair will tell you to speak with a contact named Gregor for more information.

Speak with the Redanian liaison

You can travel by road or take the option to fast travel from your location at the St. Gregory’s bridge to the Redanian Border Post. There you will meet “Gregor”, a cynical Redanian soldier who has grown ill with Radovid’s rule. He has decided to join in on his assassination by providing intel.

He will tell you that the cobbler came through the check post on his way out but didn’t make it back through here. Furthermore, the patrol reported an abandoned cart that was way off the road but couldn’t find anyone there.

After this, he will mention something about a pass that you can use to go through, and then you will take your leave.

Find the cobbler’s wagon

You will need to head towards the southeast side of the Border post. There, you will discover the shoemaker’s overturned wagon near Hindhol and Hanged Man’s Tree.

Using your Witcher senses, you can determine that there was some sort of scuffle and that someone was dragged off. As you look around for tracks, you will discover a shoe that most probably belongs to the missing shoemaker.

Proceed southwest using your senses, and you will come across a rock troll. He will be entranced with the shoes on the ground and will have some words to say. 

Speak with the troll

The rock troll “Rogg” will be standing next to some shoes, and you will have to interact with him to inquire about them. He will say something funny, as all trolls do in the game. But as you ask him about the shoes, he will say that his troll friends “Ogg and Pogg” have taken the shoemaker to their cave.

They have not harmed him and just want him to make shoes for them. After you say farewell, you need to find the troll cave.

As you proceed straight, you will find the troll cave. Enter it and move onwards and you will come face to face with the two trolls. Upon approaching them, a cutscene will play in which you can talk to the trolls.

You will have two options here. You can either trick them to let Thaler go or kill the trolls to free him.

Should you kill the trolls or not in A Deadly Plot?

If you wish to rescue Thaler without killing the trolls, tell them that you need him for a short while to get leather and that he will return to make shoes for them. Being not so bright, the trolls will fall for this trick and will allow you to take Thaler with you. After you exit the cave, you will have to escort Thaler back to Witcher 3.


Take note that you can find the superior version of the Ursine armor set in this cave. For that, you will have to travel on the left side of the cave until you come across a small room. You will find the superior diagrams here.

If you choose to kill the trolls in A Deadly Plot, then you will have to deal with two quite challenging enemies that will keep charging at you without giving you much breathing space.

Apart from that, they will also throw rocks at you, cutting your recovery time short. Liberal use of the Quen sign and Ogroid Oil will increase your chances of defeating them.

Ogroid Oil+10% attack power against Rock Trolls1x Bear Fat, 4x Ginatia Petals
Enhanced Ogroid Oil+25% attack power against Rock Trolls1x Ogroid Oil, 2x Bear Fat, 1x Cave Troll Liver, 1x Longrube, 1x Ranogrin, 1x Ginatia Petals, 1x Ribleaf
Superior Ogroid Oil+50% attack power against Rock Trolls1x Enhanced Ogroid Oil, 2x Alchemy Paste, 1x Enhanced Ogroid Oil, 1x Cave Troll Liver, 1x Arenaria, 1x Ranogrin, 1x Ribleaf, 1x Aether

After you manage to kill them both, you can take Thaler and exit the cave.


In my opinion, the best choice regarding the trolls is to not kill the trolls, simply trick them and take away Thaler. Sure, trolls might be monsters, but these ones didn’t hurt anyone, so would be wrong to kill them. You can get troll materials from other sources.

Escort Thaler

After you have dealt with the rock trolls in the manner of your choosing, you will be tasked with escorting Thaler to his wagon. You can chat with him along the way as well. He will confirm that he is working as a spy for Dijkstra and Roche against Radovid.

As you make your way back to Thaler’s wagon, the quest “A Deadly Plot” will finish, and you will be rewarded with 25 XP in The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt.

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