So before anything else, I have only just finished this quest. I have not gone on to complete the final HOS quest yet! I just wanted to put my thoughts out there now.
Overall, I just have to say, I think this quest has been hands down one of my top quests in the game as a whole, base game and DLC. (Still haven't played B&W, that's up next). This quest was so entertaining even from the beginning.
You started by traveling through the garden in search of the rose, to quickly transition into a exciting fight sequence with the caretaker of the von Everec Estate. I am not the most skilled when it comes to combat, but, I know my way around, and this fight proved to be quite enjoyable for me. Figuring out the mechanics of the caretaker was not too difficult, but was unique enough to provide a nice little boss fight.
You further converse with the black dog and cat who aide Geralt in his journey through the mansion, and the quest itself. Upon reaching the top floor of the house, the wraith fight sequence provided neat graphics, even though it was primarily a simple wraith fight.
Upon finding Iris and burying her, you enter the Painted World. I had not done any research on this quest before entering this world, and it proved to be worth the surprise. You are tasked with restoring memories that Iris wished to forget, in an attempt to alleviate her suffering. You are shown through several bad memories of a marriage that have tormented Iris since death. As you travel through the house, there are some small fights, but nothing too challenging. The quest shows you some of Olgierd's true colors, aiding in the decisions to come later in the questline.
When you finally defeat Iris' worst nightmare, you engage in some conversation after. Iris recalls the torment she has faced while trapped in this painted world she created after the last bit of life bled from the rose she received from Olgierd at their parting. I chose to take the rose from Iris, which she willingly allows, which let her dissipate to whatever comes next. I believe that it was the right thing for me to allow her to be free, as the memories you visit during the quest display such negative emotions which have tied her down thus far.
While all quests in the HOS have been enjoyable so far, this has absolutely been my favorite. From start to finish, you are taken on a journey with so much detail saturated in every line. The animation creates a great viewing experience, and the playthrough follows. I really just wanted to take a minute and appreciate the beauty of this quest, and I hope that some of you share the same ideas as me.
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