|The Walls Have Ears|
Royal Blood is a quest in Chapter II of The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings.
After the conversation in which you give Philippa Eilhart Triss' bandana in order to locate her, a noble outside the sorceress' house will alert you to a commotion outside of Stennis' quarters. A peasant mob is demanding his death, believing him guilty of poisoning Saskia. Upon arrival, Dandelion and Zoltan will brief you on the situation; Iorveth will then step in to stall the rising violent tensions, asking you to investigate the matter.
You will not have time to question every relevant party during this quest. You may talk to:
- The nobles outside Stennis' quarters, which is unnecessary.
- The peasants, who will tell you to talk to the servant who served Saskia's wine, triggering the sub quest The Walls Have Ears.
- A man leaning against the wall who exhorts you to think of maintaining the established political order, also unnecessary.
- Dandelion and Zoltan again, also not necessary.
- The three dwarves, who point you toward Thorak, who supposedly made the goblet, triggering Suspect: Thorak. Depending on the outcome of the Baltimore's Nightmare quest you either speak to Thorak directly or investigate his home.
- The guards outside of Stennis' chambers: using Axii will grant you access to Stennis himself, who flat out refuses to give you some of his blood for Saskia and attempts to bribe you, without directly implicating himself.
All in all you can pursue at least two of three avenues of inquiry before a cutscene triggers and the mob demands Stennis be brought out to face them. To maximize the experience it is best to talk to the dwarves and the peasants, then leave, finish the two sidequests, then return to Stennis' quarters.
Theoretically, this would look like the ideal order with the most dialogues, evidences, quest entries and experience.
- Geralt has finished with Hunting Magic up to a point where Baltimore's Nightmare has been opened.
- Geralt has resolved Baltimore's Nightmare and has determined the final location of the quest but is holding from going in.
- Geralt now talks to these 4 parties:
- Peasants, leading to unlocking The Walls Have Ears;
- Zevro Hayek, the Dwarf Craftsman, leading to unlocking Suspect: Thorak;
- A well-dressed man leaning on the wall who asks for Geralt's ear, explaining the need of not having Prince Stennis lynched; and
- Dandelion and Zoltan Chivay, for realising a need to speak to Prince Stennis.
- After speaking with them, Geralt departs and proceeds to resolve The Walls Have Ears and Suspect: Thorak, until the need to "Wait for events to unfold".
- Geralt now goes to the final meeting place of Baltimore's Nightmare, should a deal be proposed, Geralt rejects and a fight ensues.
- From the body of a dead individual resulting from the above fight, Geralt finds a key and Suspect: Thorak is updated.
- Thus, Geralt proceeds to resolve Suspect: Thorak by unlocking the relevant box.
- Geralt may choose to see Cecil Burdon for the reward of Baltimore's Nightmare, or may return to the riot for the cumulation and may receive the reward later.
- Geralt may still choose the outcome of this quest at the end.
- The individual whom evidences have pointed against should appear in a new Character entry in the Journal.
Upon returning a cutscene will be triggered, wherein Silgrat (of A Score to Settle) will question you in defense of Stennis - depending on how much you found out, you will either automatically counter his arguments, or you must choose between conceding the point ("That's a good question") or supporting Kalten and the mob ("That makes sense"). Following the investigation properly insofar as possible nets you more experience, but in the end Geralt can still make the decision to set the mob loose on the Prince or see that he faces trial without having collected any evidence.
If you let the mob lynch the prince, you get the blood right then. If you let him live, you'll later have to convince Henselt to give it to you.
- It's a shame Philippa didn't demand a crocodile's tears and a sorceress' smile as ingredients of the antidote for Saskia. I believe the witcher would have had an easier time obtaining either of those. As it was, he had to acquire some royal blood - literally. There were only two potential donors in the area: Henselt and Stennis.
- The blood coursing through the veins of Stennis, son of Demavend, was royal without a doubt. When a messenger arrived bearing news of a riot in front of the prince's abode, Philippa dispatched Geralt there immediately. Peasants recruited into the army were accusing Stennis of poisoning Saskia and threatening to lynch him, so there was no time to lose.
- Luckily, Iorveth was faster than Geralt and managed to subdue the excited mob before any blood was shed. Yet the peasants were still furious. Left to their own devices, they would sooner or later force their way into Stennis' house. The witcher decided to see if the accusations of poisoning were justified. He began talking to those gathered in the square and also went inside to speak with the prince.
- The nobility had their opinion, the peasants theirs. The man accused by the nobility was not guilty. They blamed Stennis for poisoning Saskia, as the peasant movements initiated by the Dragonslayer were not to his liking.
- The noble born thought that a peasant bribed by Henselt poisoned Saskia. Serfs are always greedy for coin - the notables standing before Stennis' chamber claimed - they have no honor, they would sell their own mothers for a handful of copper.
- If Geralt finds the peasant:
- Geralt found the allegedly bribed peasant but could not convince him to talk. Well, if bad luck haunts you, you're very likely to find that just when you're ready to get up and dance, the musicians need to leave to take a dump.
- The craftsman claimed that the people of Vergen adored Saskia. Their love was so great, that they had a beautifully adorned goblet fashioned for the Dragonslayer. The dwarf so highly lauded the quality of the adornments inside the goblet that Geralt had a terrible thought: someone could have placed the poison within the goblet, and not in the wine Saskia had consumed.
- If Geralt dissuades the peasants from lynching the prince:
- Geralt ruled that the Virgin of Aedirn should decide Stennis' fate. Of course the peasants did not like it, but nobody was keen on angering a witcher, nor to question Saskia's right to pass judgment. Everyone thought the girl's verdict would be just, that is condemning.
- Stennis was captured and led away under guard. Geralt had only one source of royal blood remaining - Henselt of Kaedwen.
- If Geralt allows the peasants to lynch the prince:
- Geralt passed judgment, and a stern judgment it was! The peasants ripped the prince apart. The death of the rightful heir to Aedirn's throne set in motion events the consequences of which affect us to this day. However, at that moment Geralt could think of nothing but obtaining a vial of royal blood. He hid it away in his jacket pocket as he walked away from the scene of the murder.