Anthony "Tony" Magestro--or known on the field of battle as Metzge--is an avid writer, gamer, and entrepreneur. When he's not writing, gaming, or entrepreneuring, he enjoys cooking, trippy movies, and trying to be awesome to varying degrees of success. Feel free to check out his LinkedIn page, especially if you need freelance help with content writing or digital marketing. Or just like to network, that's fine too.
For those familiar with the world of The Witcher, you know that isn’t the cheeriest place to visit. Between all the war, pillaging, xenophobia, and errant magi, witches, and priests running amok on top of it, it does paint a rather dreary picture. But as the Blood and Wine mini-expansion has proven with the fairytale locale of Toussaint, the sun does seem to shine from time to time on this nameless world. In fact, it even reaches the magnificent Free City of Novigrad but less so as rays of sunlight and more as witty prose and great showmanship. Naturally, I’m talking about “The Play’s the Thing,” a story quest that gives you a break from all the sword-fighting and monster-slaying in favor of putting on a play with the help of Priscilla.
Now I’ll admit, this quest might not be nearly as exciting as “A Towerful of Mice,” another quest whose story and related lessons I’ve already explored. What makes “The Play’s the Thing” worth talking about, however, is that it shows Geralt’s professional flexibility: he “helps write” the piece, pitches it to a local acting troupe, recruits the talent, and even stars in it. Aside from seeing one of the most feared witchers to ever live dress up and put on a play which is entertaining all its own, I couldn’t help but draw connections between Geralt’s process and my own as a freelance writer. Come to think of it, freelancers are their own kind of mercenaries, marketing and negotiating their services with all sorts of people for all kinds of work. And that’s what I’m gonna talk about today.
But first, before drawing broad comparisons between what Geralt does and what today’s civilian contractors do, we have to get everyone caught up on the story so far. Of course, that means there’s spoilers for “The Play’s The Thing” ahead, but what did you really expect? One of us has to know what I’m talking about by the end of this article anyway and what better place to start than the beginning?
The Story Thus Far
On Geralt’s quest to find Ciri, he finds that in order to get to her, he must first track down the person who saw her last: his dear friend Dandelion the bard. Unfortunately for Geralt, Dandelion’s been locked away and the only man who can order his release was recently stabbed in the face. But not-so-unfortunately for Geralt, he has yet another friend to call upon named Dudu, a doppler who’s taken up residence in Novigrad among its acting troupe. Of course, when dealing with a shapeshifter, it’s, as Priscilla put it, “not a matter of where, but as whom.”
With the xenophobic sentiment of Novigrad’s Church of the Eternal Fire whipped into an armed fervor, Dudu has been in hiding lest he be rooted out among the rest of the non-humans. Knowing his love for the theater, Priscilla suggests luring Dudu out with a new play, written with a message he’d understand, signal that it’s safe to show himself. Agreeing, Geralt helps Priscilla outline the play and, after coming up with a few clever plot devices, our favorite witcher is off to get things in motion.
To save on time (and spoilers), the next few tasks aren’t the most exciting: you go to the acting troupe Dudu once belonged to and enlist their help in putting on the play; find ushers to keep the peace (as Novigrad theater patrons tend to get rowdy, especially when they didn’t like the show); and acrobats to market the play and attract an audience. After clarifying a few last details like the cast line-up, it’s showtime. And yes, Geralt does star in this production.
Whether you opt for drama or comedy, Dudu eventually comes forward and after the performance, you get him up to speed with the whole Ciri and Dandelion situation.
And curtain. But wait…