The Witcher

I’m up to the “decide the fate of the tree spirit” part of the Ladies of the Wood quest. Wanting to get more info I went back to the orphan’s town…and no one’s there. No/minimal spoilers please, I just want to know if this is part of the story, a gamey way to stop you talking to them, or a bug.

TheWitcher4 - I'm up to the "decide the fate of the tree spirit" part of the Ladies of the Wood quest. Wanting to get more info I went back to the orphan's town...and no one's there. No/minimal spoilers please, I just want to know if this is part of the story, a gamey way to stop you talking to them, or a bug.
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Most of what's below is just me randomly musing on what might be happening. If you read it, please don't spoil the answers for me. Confused as I am I'm really enjoying trying to wrap my head around what is happening :). And apologies in advance if this turns out to be something there are a lot of posts on here; searching for anything regarding this game is a massive pain since spoilers are so common, even in post titles and stuff, so I didn't search particularly thoroughly for whether this has been asked about before.

Might be some spoilers below for anyone happening on this post who's just started this quest.

 

 

Again as few spoilers as possible please, but is there anyway to find out more info about what the spirit might be, if there was a druidess of Velen ages ago, what else has been happening in Downwarren, what the Crones might be?

While looking for everyone I went into the building where the Crones talk to you through Gran. There's a door into a cellar you can open, and in the cellar there's very obviously like 5+ human skeletons in the cellar… So it seems to me like some weird shit's going down? But Geralt didn't comment on it and there was no updating to quests or character info or anything?

I know the spirt talks about how there are some children who are gone, off to Aard Cerbin which no one apparently comes back from. But I thought she was talking about different children? But maybe she meant the orphans in the bog that we met, and that's why they're gone? But also also, the quest info mentions something about the spirit saying she can help save the kids in the bog, so maybe she's talking about different batches of kids, and the orphans have been taken by the Crones but are still alive somewhere? BUT the forest spirit quest is apparently one you can start before you find the Crones, and I assume you can only find them via Gran, so if advancing the side quest is what triggers the kids disappearing, then how would you proceed the main quest afterwards, especially if you killed the spirit (and so presumably had no one even theoretically able to help find the Crones)? As is probably obvious this quest is doing my head in a bit 😬

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My thinking is that, given the indifferent way the spirit described killing all the villagers around the tree, if I let her go it's likely that all life, in general, might improve in Velen, but I suspect that will involve a trade-off of human life since all life seems to be of the same value to her. Whereas the Crones seem to be working from a perspective of putting human life first, if only because humans can do more for them.

But it also seems like someone's BSing here. The problems with Downwarren are supposed to have started 3 years ago. And I doubt the druidess was that recently interned, and I also doubt anything changed in the conditions of her captivity under the tree in the last 3 years. Not to mention the Earldorman mentioned the deaths around the tree, as well as babies increasingly born with deformities, women fighting more etc. Which could all be just a confirmation bias thing, and maybe the war with Nilfgaard has been going for 3 years. But if it hasn't, and the spirit under the tree isn't new…then what actually happened to start shit 3 years ago?

The Crones even apparently claimed responsibility at first, saying people stopped respecting them. Which could be true or BS. I'm getting the impression that you're trading between greater and lesser "evils", but (and this is why I'm hoping you can find more info on what the crones are) I don't actually know if the Crones are doing anything. It's all the same nebulous crap that's easy to pretend is "help" given cause and effect are so far apart it's impossible to prove either way. And if they aren't helping then it seems they're just taking lives for their own purposes, maybe throwing curses down on the land only to then remove them and claim they've "saved" everyone.

 

Ok, last question (again minimal spoilers please!): is it possible to kill the tree spirit and kill the Crones?

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