So I just finished up this quest recently, and I have to say I was utterly blown away by it. The writing is so incredibly powerful, and the characters so complex. Somehow the Witcher manages to tackle current day issues, and touch on the human condition we often read about in the news and weave a brilliant tale in one of its first major quest lines. Warning mild spoilers for the game to follow. Did anyone else find the Bloody Baron quest line to be slightly disturbing but brilliantly written? Seeing the botchling for the first time hit me pretty hard, seeing what once a life full of opportunities and endless possibilities could have been, turned into a gruesome monster by those that should have cared for it properly even after death.
At the same time I also felt repulsed and disgusted at the sight of the Lubberkin and wanted to kill it the first chance I got. This wasn’t just another shallow quest, with a superficial story attached. When I first began the quest I was convinced the Baron was just some drunken piece of trash who deserved everything that has happened to him. But when I started digging deeper into the quest the more I found I had pity for the Bloody Baron. He was not innocent not by a long stretch, in many ways he was a horrible person, but at the same time parts of him were filled with love and caring for his wife and daughter. For all intensive purposes, he felt real.
I do think he was redeemable and in my play through of the game I was very sad he didn’t get a chance to do that. And despite me thinking he was a horrible person in many ways, I liked him and he was a better person than many other characters in the game. It is later revealed that his wife actually had the baby aborted and she cheated on him, not to mention the murder attempts. This does not condone the actions of the Baron who is an alcoholic and a wife beater. But it begins to show that there are more factors at play than we realize in this quest, and that not everything so just black or white. The scene with the Baron and Geralt sitting next to the fire and he explains everything that happened to him, I will not lie, I teared up.
He sounded like a broken man, so sad, and filled with endless remorse for what he has done. The drinking, the miscarriage, and how he was abusive towards his wife, and how he loved his daughter with everything he had. It was one of the greatest, most powerful quests in a role playing game I have ever experienced. I think the best thing about the Bloody Baron quest line is that it tells a very personal story between a small group of people and their troubles. You also had to make a multitude of decisions that might seem small but they change the entire landscape of the story entirely which affected the ending you might or might not have gotten depending on your choices. Bioware should take note this is how you tell a story and make the players choices matter.