Geralt of Rivia has no shortage of activities to enjoy while exploring the Northern Realms, from playing Gwent to finding treasure. In addition, you will discover a variety of monster contracts on Notice Boards all over the world. Accept and then search for clues until you come face to face with a nasty creature that’ll require a high level of skill to defeat in exchange for different rewards. 

This particular contract pits Geralt against a Leshen, a forest-dwelling giant that attacks its prey with roots from the ground. 

Contract: Lord of the Wood 

You’ll find this contract on a Notice Board outside The Cunny of the Goose Inn. Alternatively, you will set this contract in motion by taking down leshen totems in the woods, but the first option is by far the easiest. 

Travel south of Novigrad until you reach The Cunny of the Goose Inn, where you discover the Lord of the Wood contract on the Notice Board; the title reads Devil in the Woods. 

Apparently Brean Hotsch heard of a beast in the local woods. Dwarf loggers went there for lumber and one came back, crazed out of his mind and rambling about a creature.

Look for Bean Hotsch near the bar. Agree upon a price for Geralt’s services, then go in search of the terrified lumberjack.

While at the inn, look for a dwarf in the corner smoking a pipe. Speak with him and he’ll tell Geralt about his deceased friends.

From here go west and slightly north into a woodsy area in Velen, then go deep into the forest until you reach a cluster of buildings. The easiest way to get there is to travel along the river bank while keeping Novigrad’s walls to the north. 

When you arrive, get off the horse and activate Geralt’s Witcher Senses to discover: 

  • Wagon tracks.
  • Follow these tracks west along a trail near the water, then back into the woods. Prepare to fight Nekkers along the way. 

Geralt discovers a wagon with no one nearby. A battle occurred between two dwarves and a large creature. 

Once again use Geralt’s Witcher Senses. Doing this reveals… 

  • A wounded dwarf attempted to escape and bled all over the place. You see a rock with claw marks. 
  • Follow the trail of blood to find a deceased dwarf. The poor guy has nasty cuts on his back. 
  • Now follow some footprints to a campfire and another dead dwarf. Someone or something strangled him with roots. 

Geralt feels a Leshen is responsible. In order to confront the monster, you must first destroy its totem. 

Bring up the World Map to identify four totem locations. Some don’t lead anywhere, and you may encounter some wolves during your travels. The totem you want is a skull-topped bone weaving at the bottom of an old-looking tree. Bring up Aard Sign magic and use it to destroy the totem. This causes Kernun, Lord of the Wood to appear, a 10-foot-tall monstrosity. 

Leshens are vulnerable to Igni Sign magic, Relict Oil and Dimeritium Bombs, so make sure you have all of these on hand to make the fight easier. In addition, be on guard for enemies the Leshen may summon; crows and wolves, specifically. If you see the monster put its hands into the ground, this means roots are about to appear. Dodge to avoid taking damage! Thankfully a Leshen cannot defend itself while on fire, so use this to your advantage. 

After defeating Kernun, Lord of the Wood, take the Leshen Trophy, Leshen Resin and Leshen Mutagen, then go back to The Cunny of the Goose Inn. Tell Brean you slaughtered the creature and he will hand over the reward.  

Continue with Prima’s Monster Contracts Guide for The Witcher 3, then visit the game’s hub for a complete Romance Guide, along with a list of the most powerful Gwent cards in the game.