Snakes…I hate snakes
If you’re just starting out with The Witcher 3 and you’re bouncing around White Orchard looking for decent gear before you head out into the larger world, finding the diagrams for these two swords is a good place to start.
The quest is called “Scavenger Hunt: Viper School Gear,” and the rewards for completing it are the diagrams to the Serpentine steel sword and the Serpentine silver sword. The two locations for these quests can be tackled in either order, and when either diagram is found the quest will trigger. The locations are a crypt in the White Orchard Cemetery, and a bandit camp near the Ransacked Village. Let’s start with the cemetery, where you will find the silver sword diagram.
Head to the Mill signpost north of your starting location. Head north from there to reach the cemetery. You’ll find a place of power right outside a large crypt. As you try to use it, a Wraith will pop up and fight you. The wraith is fairly strong, so you may want to prepare by using some Specter oil on your blade. You’ll also want to use the Yrden sign to slow it down and keep it from disappearing.
After you’ve attacked the wraith, it will retreat into the crypt. Use your Aard sign on the door to blow it open. Walk down to the bottom of the crypt, and face off against the Wraith again to kill it. Search for a body near the back wall. Take the Serpentine silver sword diagram, and a note from Kolgrim of the Viper School. You’ll find two of these notes during the quest. They tell the story of a Witcher from the Viper School who was looking to reforge legendary weapons from his clan. He wasn’t so lucky in his quest, and now we’re picking of the slack with said weapons.
The second location is the bandit camp, which is located west of the Ransacked Village. The camp is situated in a crumbling fort atop a small hill. You’ll want to approach the camp from the south, until you find a fallen piece of the fortress, which you will climb up to reach the top of the hill.
There are some relatively easy bandits in the fort. Dispatch them, and search for a large chest that will contain the diagram for the Serpentine steel sword, and another part of the note from Kolgrim. Once you have both diagrams, the quest is complete.
Both swords are pretty good upgrades in the beginning of the game — especially with regards to the silver sword. They also add a chance to poison enemies on hit, which is useful. The silver sword requires emerald dust to craft, which you can get off the Wraith you killed at the cemetery, or the Noonwraith in the Devil by the Well contract.