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I just finished Chapter 1 and I have some (probably stupid) questions about parts of the storyline that are unclear to me, so thanks in advance for your help.

First, after fighting The Beast and then saving Abigail from the villagers, all the peasants in the outskirts are dead. Did I miss something, or is it implied that they were killed by Barghests while I was fighting the beast?

Secondly, while doing the Dead Hand of The Past quest, some spectre showed up and Geralt talked to it like I already met it during the prologue. But.... I've never seen this ghost before, not was it ever mentioned during conversations. Was this spectre what caused the magic storm during the prologue or something?

Thirdly, the reverend's journal entry after killing him makes no sense. He attacked me after killing The Beast because I chose to save Abigail, yet this is what I'm getting in the journal: "The witch Abigail was probably gone by the time I arrived at the Reverend's. Irreconcilable differences is all I can call it. We argued and I had to kill the priest." I can't make any sense of that, especially the first sentence.
Post edited May 11, 2011 by Kangaxx
All of those things happened to me too, and I assumed that it was at least partly bugged. Especially the journal entry about the Reverend, since that's not how it happened.

For the dead villagers, I assumed it was either barghests, Abigail's spell, or the Salamandra bandits that killed them all. As for the spectre, I assumed it was from the magical storm at the beginning of the game. Part of the confusion there might be that the English translation is, as far as I can tell, not fully complete. I was playing with Polish audio and English subtitles and I could tell that characters were often saying a lot more than what was being translated.

Does anyone know if the original Polish dialogue makes these events any clearer?

I'm on Chapter 4 now and I can report that there have not been any more confusing plot elements like this; it was only in Chapter 1. But throughout it seems that there's more Polish dialogue than has been translated in the subtitles, which is a little disappointing. Still, at least we get the Polish audio, and often I was able to guess about what was being said.
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Kangaxx: I just finished Chapter 1 and I have some (probably stupid) questions about parts of the storyline that are unclear to me, so thanks in advance for your help.

First, after fighting The Beast and then saving Abigail from the villagers, all the peasants in the outskirts are dead. Did I miss something, or is it implied that they were killed by Barghests while I was fighting the beast?

Secondly, while doing the Dead Hand of The Past quest, some spectre showed up and Geralt talked to it like I already met it during the prologue. But.... I've never seen this ghost before, not was it ever mentioned during conversations. Was this spectre what caused the magic storm during the prologue or something?

Thirdly, the reverend's journal entry after killing him makes no sense. He attacked me after killing The Beast because I chose to save Abigail, yet this is what I'm getting in the journal: "The witch Abigail was probably gone by the time I arrived at the Reverend's. Irreconcilable differences is all I can call it. We argued and I had to kill the priest." I can't make any sense of that, especially the first sentence.
1. Yeah, it's implied that the barghests killed them.

2. He's an old acquaintance of yours. You'll meet him again, too. At the end of the game, you will want to reflect on what he said at this meeting.

3. Some of the journal entries are non sequiturs like that. Whoever wrote the journal and whoever storyboarded the quest weren't on the same page. This isn't a spit-and-polish LucasArts job; it's a remarkable first effort from the CDPR team.
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cjrgreen: 2. He's an old acquaintance of yours. You'll meet him again, too. At the end of the game, you will want to reflect on what he said at this meeting.
See, I thought that might be it, but wasn't Geralt supposed to have lost his memory? Why does he remember this spectre but nothing else?

Maybe this is explained later; as I said I'm only on the beginning of Chapter 4 now. No spoilers please!
The spectre (King of the Wild Hunt, I assume) is known from the books. With Geralt they are no strangers to each other.
Unfortunately the game does not do the best job of explaining some things like this, mostly due to the translation job - better in the Enhanced Edition, but still not perfect, so you'll get some odd conversations here and there and bits of semi-important information left out.

The most important villagers (Reverend, Odo etc.) and some of the peasants attack you after killing the Beast if you sided with Abigail. The rest of the villagers are apparently told to stay in their homes by the Reverend, and they either do that, or end up dead (I imagine having them mostly disappear is just for convenience's sake, and the chapter is over at that point anyway, no use talking to anyone else).

The King of the Wild Hunt is more or less Death/the Grim Reaper in The Witcher's fiction. The game does not do a good job of explaining this until later, when there is a beastiary entry you get after reading a certain book. Suffice is to say that Geralt is killed but comes back to life through some unexplained means, and the King is hunting him down after cheating his destiny (not really a spoiler, he says this in the first dialogue you have with him). The "magic storm" mentioned is actually the King on one of his "hunts", chasing after Geralt.

Regarding the journal entries, my guess is that some of the incorrect ones were made earlier in development, and never changed as the story did. It's possible it was intended for Geralt to chase after the Reverend and then have the option to fight with him, or something along those lines. I'm actually a little surprised a patch didn't fix this one.

Hope that helps answer your questions.
I play in Polish and I killed the priest so I will try to remember to check what it says in Polish.

EDIT: here's what I found on wikia:

http://witcher.wikia.com/wiki/Reverend
The witch Abigail was probably gone by the time I arrived at the Reverend's. Irreconcilable differences is all I can call it. We argued and I had to kill the priest.

The escalating conflict between the Reverend and the local soothsayer ended grimly. A lynch mob accused Abigail of summoning the Beast and then burned her at the stake.

After tending to the witch Abigail, the Reverend unleashed his congregation on me. I had to kill the priest."
Perhaps there were supposed to be three endings to the chapter?

EDIT2: Knew it! ;) Polish version does not have this strange sentence about "irreconcilable differences", it only has the two outcomes - Either witch is lynched, or reverend and peasents are killed:

http://wiedzmin.wikia.com/wiki/Wielebny
Post edited May 12, 2011 by Simplex
Thanks for the help guys. So the problem with the reverend's journal entry is probably a glitch in the english version of the game, as it seems everyone is having the same problem. The wiki indeed states there are three possible endings.
"After tending to the witch Abigail, the Reverend unleashed his congregation on me. I had to kill the priest" would be a much better entry, but no matter what I try, I always get "The witch Abigail was probably gone by the time I arrived at the Reverend's. Irreconcilable differences is all I can call it. We argued and I had to kill the priest". Oh well.

Also, apparently, there is an easily missed optional dialogue during the prologue in which Lambert says that the Wild Hunt spectres were around when they found Geralt. I guess this is why he knows who that spectre is despite his amnesia, the game assumes you had this conversation with Lambert.
Post edited May 12, 2011 by Kangaxx