Practicum in Advanced Alchemy Quest is a side quest in The Witcher 3 that occurs during the Kaer Trolde storyline. This quest has Geralt completing some tasks to gain an apprenticeship under a highly skilled Druid alchemist, Gremist.
To start the Practicum in Advanced Alchemy quest, you can either talk to the druid Yolar, found in Gedyneith, or Otto Bamber, found in the Herbalist Hut, Oxenfurt. Both would point towards Gremist the alchemist found in Gedyneith. You can also find the alchemist by himself in front of the cave and talk to him to start the quest.
Completing the Practicum in Advanced Alchemy is necessary if you want to play Gwent with the alchemist in The Witcher 3. Without completing the quest, if you try talking to Gremist for Gwent he will simply say “Leave me be“
Once you find Gremist in The Witcher 3, ask him to teach you his alchemy skills. He would refuse several times but when Geralt would offer to do something that would change his mind, he gives three tasks to Geralt to complete. The tasks are:
- Find the Pimpernel found in the Morskogen Forest
- Get the Spirit from the oil distillery found on Hail Hill
- Talk to Fritjof and convince him to help Gremist perform the ritual
Once you get these tasks, you can choose to do them in any order you see fit. If you want, ask Gremist for more information regarding the ingredients, and he will tell you a little bit more. Once done, continue with the tasks.
Find the Pimpernel in Morskogen Forest
To find the Pimpernel for Practicum in Advanced Alchemy, you need to go towards the quest marker pointing towards the end of the land. You need to reach the Morskogen Forest, which is on the southern side of the Alchemist and Druid’s Camp. Once you reach there, examine the plants, and you’ll realize that someone else has picked them already.
At this point, another druid will approach you and tell you how the Gremist has sent many others to fetch him a pimpernel, and none of them managed to find it. As he learns that you are here to get that too, Geralt offers to go together to search for his lost friend, Ramund, and also find the monster responsible for this.
After finding the right track using Witcher senses, you’ll see a split path. If you take the downhill path, you’ll come across a dead body buried under a pile of stones. This body is revealed to be that of Jorre the White, another druid. You’ll also find some wolves and arachas nearby, so be prepared.
Now, take the upper path, and you’ll eventually hear a man’s voice. Follow it and meet a succubus and Ramund talking. Succubus explained that she meant no harm and even charms men to go back because she doesn’t want them to come back.
If you found Jorre’s body on the other path, the succubus says that the man was an old person who used to come to see her, and as he was going back once, he died, so she buried him.
After listening to the succubus, you have to choose between killing the succubus or letting her go. You will get the Pimpernel flower in The Witcher 3 whether you decide to kill the succubus or spare her life, so your choice will depend on your morality and whether you believe her to be innocent or not. Both choices will also earn you 80 XP.
- If you choose to kill the succubus, a fight will start. After she is killed, use Witcher senses and follow her scent to the lair. Here, you’ll find the pimpernel flowers. Take one.
- If you choose to reason with her, the druid with you will leave angrily and vow to bring back more people to kill her. The succubus will take you to her lair and give you a pimpernel flower.
I think the best choice would be to kill the succubus in Practicum in Advanced Alchemy. Not only can she not be trusted, but killing her will also give you the rare Succubus Mutagen.
Get the spirit (alcohol) from the distillery
The second task in the Practicum in Advanced Alchemy quest is to get the spirit. For this, you need to visit the distillery present on Hail Hill in The Witcher 3. Go southeast from the village or Gremist’s location, and you’ll find the distillery. Before you reach the location, you’ll come across some alghouls in the path, so be prepared. As soon as you reach the distillery, you’ll find a Cyclops inside.
Defeat the Cyclops, making sure to dodge its attacks. Cyclops’s attacks can be quite strong, and a simple parry or roll won’t save. Make sure to dodge and then use the after-attack pauses to land your hits. After the cyclops is defeated, look inside the small wooden room on the right side of the distillery.
Inside this distillery room, you’ll find a sample of mash and Distiller’s notes, which are the distillery instructions required to make the spirit. Here’s what you need to do with the machine to produce alcohol for Practicum in Advanced Alchemy
- Put the mash in the center pot.
- Use Igni to ignite the flame under it to start the process.
- Wait for a while until Geralt says it should be enough.
- Go towards the right side of the whole system, and you’ll find two levers. Pull the right lever first and then wait a second to pull the left one.
You can now get the alcohol from the barrel present on the left of the levers. Here, there is no chance for the process to go wrong. If you skip any step or pull the wrong lever, nothing will happen other than you not getting the end product. If you think you’ve messed up, ignite the fire and pull the levers in the right order.
Convince the Vaedermakar, Fritjof
Next, you need to talk to the Vaedermaker, Fritjof. Go west from the location of Gremist, and you’ll find the Blandare village. As you approach the village, you’ll find a man talking. Go up to him, and he would introduce himself as Fritjof. He accepts your request to visit the Gremist, but only if you help him.
Fritjof asks you to guard him while he manipulates the weather to rain so the village can escape its drought. Once you accept, he takes you to an altar and starts performing his ritual. Once it starts, some foglets would start to appear from the mist.
Your job is to pull them away from the Vaedermaker and kill them as fast as possible. After almost 10 to 12 froglets, the ritual will end, and he will agree to head towards Gremist.
Go back to the Gremist and give him all the items. He would be with Fritjof and ask you to come after a while, as this ritual is for the elders. Leave his house and wait outside for a while. You can rest for 24 hours or more.
Once done, go back inside, and you’ll find that both friends are just drunk, and their ritual was drinking and talking. After this, you can now visit Gremist at any time in the game to buy various alchemy-related items or potions, including Potion of Clearance, to respec. He also becomes available to play Gwent.