A Matter of Life and Death is one of the more important secondary quests of The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt. You will help out Triss Merigold with evacuating Albert Vegelbud, son of Lady Ingrid Vegelbud, from the Vegelbud Residence and saving him from the Witch Hunters as they are hunting him for dabbling in alchemy.
Once you complete Count Reuven’s Treasure quest, Triss will invite you over to her hideout in The Bits for further talks. The hideout can be found northeast of the Hierarch Square signpost in Novigrad, on the third floor of the house marked on the map below.
There are also numerous other secondary quests that are tied to A Matter of Life and Death. There is a certain order in which you need to complete all of these quests, or else most of them will either fail or become unavailable for a long while. Moreover, screwing up the order or if you make the wrong choices will also make it difficult to romance Triss in The Witcher 3
Speaking with Triss at her hideout will automatically begin the A Matter of Life and Death quest. However, you need to take note of a few things before starting the quest.
Make sure you complete The Soldier Statuette, The Nobleman, and Redania’s Most Wanted side quests before starting A Matter of Life or Death, or they will be disabled.
If you start The Isle of Mists main quest before completing this, you will automatically fail A Matter of Life and Death.
At Triss’s hideout, she informs Geralt that she received a letter from Lady Vegelbud’s servant, which stated that the Lady was interested in helping the mages flee from Novigrad. However, she asked a favor for it in turn, which was not mentioned in the letter.
A meetup was arranged for Triss with the Lady’s servant to talk about it, but it was too risky for Triss to go by herself. Geralt offers to meet with the servant to discuss the matter himself.
Meet the informant at the fish market
You must travel to the fish market as part of the initial objective in a Matter of Life and Death quest in The Witcher 3. There you will observe that specific NPC servant who will be wearing a blue shirt and will have a bunch of keys hanging around his belt.
While there will be many people there wearing blue shirts, you will be able to pick the odd one out with the keys – or simply use your Witcher Senses if you are not in the mood to play hide and seek.
Once you find the servant and talk a bit, you must follow him a little farther. Not long after, you will be met with a few bandits that you need to take care of.
Triss will appear soon after, and the servant will reveal that the reason for the discreet meeting was because Lady Ingrid was afraid that the Witch Hunters might track her down.
You will get to know about details about Albert’s latest interest in alchemy, for which he has been targeted by Witch Hunters. She asks for Geralt and Triss’s help, which they agree to.
Moreover, Lady Ingrid Vegelbud has devised a master plan that would her son escape unnoticed – during the masquerade ball.
Dress for the Masquerade Ball
Geralt and Triss must now prepare for the Masquerade Ball. For this, you will require a fox mask for Triss, any mask for Geralt, and maybe a set of good clothes for Geralt himself if he wants to impress Triss.
Buying the doublet, trousers, and boots for Geralt is completely optional though, but doing so will play a part in romancing Triss Merigold in TW3. You can get yourself some good clothes and the masks down at Elihal’s Tailor Shop.
If you don’t want to spend some money on good clothes, know that you can get them for free during The Play’s The Thing quest from Madame Irina Renarde.
After the preparations are done, it’s time to enter the ball and meet with Lady Ingrid Vegelbud. You will be informed by the guard at the gate that the lady wears a parrot mask – and that’s how you find her.
Note that here you must also deposit your weapons. There won’t be much trouble inside other than a few hostile humans, so you won’t really need them anyway. However, you don’t have to directly meet the Lady, enjoy the ball a bit first!
If you stick to the main path from the entrance, Triss is stopped by a man who mistakes her for Vivian. This man gets hostile, and you have a choice either to leave him alone or fight him. You can choose either; it doesn’t really change any outcomes.
Along the way, you will meet another man by the name of Moritz Diefenthel, who is a mage but refuses to accept Triss’s offer for help.
You will also run into Djikstra and General Voorhis during the masquerade. You can have a chat with them, but they don’t have anything to do with the quest, so even if you ignore them, the quest outcome will be the same.
There’s a lot you can do here other than just arguing or fighting, like playing and winning Gwent to obtain an awesome Dandelion Gwent card.
There are three opponents here – Vladimir de Cret (Nilfgaardian gwent cards), Gomo Seeling (Scoia’tael deck), and Marius Florin (Monsters gwent cards). Winning the Gwent tournament will reward you with the Dandelion Gwent card.
This is a missable card so if you want to complete the Collect ‘Em All quest and earn the Card Collector achievement, you need to make sure you participate and win the Gwent tournament during A Matter of Life and Death.
Meet with Lady Ingrid Vegelbud
If you want to jump directly to the next objective, then you can find Lady Ingrid Vegelbud on the left side of the house’s main stairs. She wears a parrot mask. Upon talking to her, she will inform you that Albert Vegelbud wears a panther mask.
You will find Albert Vegelbud to the stairs’ right, not far along bushes, boasting about his alchemy expertise to a few people. Find him later at the hedge maze, and you will get to know that the plan is to escape the estate when everyone is busy watching the fireworks.
You must now wait for the fireworks to start. Triss will suggest sitting at a place nearby. Here you can talk with Triss. You can even choose to say that she’s charismatic, which will help sweep her off her feet. Not long after, she will get drunk, though, and will run into the garden maze, asking Geralt to follow.
In the maze, you will see her falling over a fountain. You will now have a choice to kiss Triss or not. This is a timed option, so make up your mind quickly.
If you wish to romance Triss in The Witcher 3, make sure to kiss her at this point, or she will leave at the end of A Matter of Life and Death.
Escort Alber Vegelbud out of the Vegelbud Estate
Soon after the timed choice, Albert will come through. Geralt and Albert then switch their masks for caution. Triss and Albert then walk out of the hedge maze first, followed by Geralt after a few minutes.
The Witch Hunters will mistake Geralt for Alber and attack you. This is not going to be a difficult fight. You will be limited to a fistfight, but you can use Quen for a shield.
Once Geralt deals with the witch hunters, he must go over to the stables to meet Triss and Albert. They have already prepared the horses, and the three ride off, hence marking the end of this quest.
Your mask of choice for the masquerade ball will now be in your inventory and can be used whenever you want. However, you can’t sell it to get your money back.