SPOILERS AHEAD! YOU’VE BEEN WARNED!
The Witcher 3: Hearts of Stone’s main quest, Scenes From a Marriage, tasks Geralt with collecting a violet rose that Olgierd had given to his wife many years ago. This will lead you to the von Everec estate where you’ll face what has to be the creepiest creature CD Projekt Red has thrown into not only Hearts of Stone, but the entire game.
After checking the front of the manor in your search for the rose, you will be prompted to check the garden to the rear of the house. It is here that you will see a tall figure digging graves. What looks like a simple undertaker at first turns itself around to reveal a most frightening visage. This creature with no eyes or nostrils is one seriously terrifying foe that will keep on your toes.
To prepare for this battle, you’ll need equip Quen, no need to ever switch to another sign. Just make sure to always cast Quen when it either expires or the Caretaker manages to hit you. If you have Relict Oil, be sure to put some on your blade before heading to the back of the manor. This will greatly increase your damage output against this boss.
Once you have that situated, it’s time to note the attacks you need to be on the lookout for. For starters, if you don’t have Quen active, do not get near the Caretaker for any reason whatsoever. The spade that the Caretaker wields heals him whenever he lands a hit (hits against Quen don’t count). This applies to his standard wild swings when you’re near him, as well.
There are two attacks where the Caretaker’s spade glows blue. One is an overhead swing that will send blasts of energy out of the ground in a wide area in front of him. This attack leaves him struggling to pull his spade out of the ground for around five seconds, which is when you should move in to get off as many hits as possible (usually three or four). When he is about the get back up, the floor around him will glow, letting you know it’s time to get out of there.
The second glowing attack is a charge that does lots of damage, steals your health, and stuns you. You can avoid this with a simple sidestep. Make sure not to roll, since that will put you out of range to attack him for the few seconds where he’s vulnerable.
The last skill to be on the lookout for is triggered whenever a lot of damage is done to the Caretaker. A dark fog will appear and spirits will rise from the ground. These spirits will not attack Geralt at all, but you should kill them immediately. If the Caretaker kills them first, they will heal him for a sizable chunk of his life bar. He can easily gain 100% of his health back during this event, so don’t focus on him (but keep an eye on his whereabouts) and kill the spirits instead.
Now that you know what attacks and skills to look out for, you are all set. The battle is a test of patience and reflex. You’ll get the urge to constantly charge the Caretaker but you’d do best to not. He uses his big attacks often enough that the fight won’t drag on for too long. Just keep backing away while walking a large circle around the garden until he goes for a blue spade attack. Once he starts the animation, move close and dodge to get to his side so you can inflict a world of hurt upon him. Rinse and repeat.
Once this creature is defeated you’ll be treated to an interesting little cutscene involving some peculiar furry friends. Afterwards, you’ll be free to continue the mission, but do yourself a favor and pick up the Caretaker’s Spade. This steel weapon will heal you for 10% of all damage inflicted on enemies (not too shabby).
There you have it, another powerful creature tread underfoot by our hero. How did you fare against the Caretaker? Be sure to let us know in the comments below!
For more guides, tips, tricks, features, and information on the Witcher 3: Hearts of Stone, be sure to check out our constantly expanding wiki.