Tuesday 24 January, 2017
Today I played through the conclusion of the Hearts of Stone Expansion for the Witcher 3. In this quest I was faced with a major decision that directly determined the fate of Olgierd von Everec. When I first met Olgierd, I knew little about him besides the fact that he was the charismatic leader of a band of outlaws who seemed to be responsible for the deaths of at least a few innocents. I soon learned that he was blessed (or rather, cursed) with immortality; Nothing could kill him. Gaunter O'Dimm, also known as "Master Mirror" was a mysterious individual whom I first met at a small inn at the very outset of The Witcher 3's main story. At the behest of O'Dimm, who had cursed me with a strange scar upon our second meeting after freeing me from the Ofieri who had captured me, I helped Olgierd to fulfill 3 wishes which initially seemed impossible. In accomplishing the third task (bringing him the rose he gave as a parting gift to his now dead wife, Iris) I subsequently learned of Olgierd's dark past. The grief of Iris' spirit was so powerful that she had created a realm within a painting and now lived in this strange world between worlds. Her distorted memories showed how over time Olgierd had developed a heart of stone, becoming more distant and uncaring towards his wife in his pursuit of unlimited power, a pursuit that robbed him of all his emotions. After defeating Iris' fears incarnate and awakening her fully I was able to obtain the violet rose as proof that Olgierd's third wish had been fulfilled. Now I was left with a significant choice: I could either allow Olgierd's soul to be claimed by Master Mirror, and have a wish of my own granted in return, or wager my own soul and attempt to defeat him to save Olgierd's life. I chose the latter, taking pity on Olgierd despite his deplorable actions. I was forced to enter the mirror world and solve O'Dimm's riddle to defeat him. After accomplishing this difficult task, O'Dimm vanished with a scream of rage, gone for now but perhaps not forever. Olgierd's emotions and mortality immediately returned and he was overcome with remorse for what he had done. I consoled him, saying that perhaps Iris would have forgiven him for what he had done to her. He gave me his family's prized heirloom, a saber he had named "Iris" after his late wife, and walked off into the sunrise, a free and mortal man. I found the consequences to my actions and the resolution to this story to be extremely satisfying, and in line with the other 2 parts of The Witcher 3 in terms of storytelling and the realism of its moral dilemmas.