‘Of Swords and Dumplings’ is a side quest in The Witcher 3, but like many of the game’s side quest, it’s nonetheless an important one. This is the master blacksmith quest that enables the creation of Master-crafted Witcher Gear.
Geralt can pick up this quest by inquiring with any blacksmith about getting some master-crafted gear made or happening by Hattori’s home in Glory Lane. Unfortunately, it’s not as simple as locating the master blacksmith and convincing him to craft you something.
Updated on December 10, 2022 by Quinton O’Connor: ‘Of Swords and Dumplings’ isn’t just narratively compelling. It’s downright necessary if you want to deck Geralt out with high-end gear. Read ahead and you’ll ace this opportunity, sporting some stylish and durable attire thereafter.
Meeting With Hattori
The renowned craftsman, Hattori, has been run out of business by a rival blacksmith backed by the Cleavers, one of Novigrad’s local gangs, and needs some help out of a tight spot before he can reopen the shop.
Hattori’s shop can be found east of the Novigrad Docks. It is tucked across from the Putrid Grove in the same district as Crippled Kate’s and Dandelion’s Rosemary & Thyme.
Geralt will arrive to find the so-called legendary swordsmith running a dumpling shop out of his once-master forge. The elven smithy-turned-cook will offer Geralt a sample to which the Witcher can accept or decline with no repercussions.
After some brief dumpling talk and listening to Hattori’s smithing woes, Geralt will be forced to oblige the blacksmith in his negotiations with the King of Beggars in order to gain access to master-crafted weapons.
Geralt can head to the docks as early as 8 pm to join Hattori at the vaguely allotted meet-up time of “around dusk.” Finding and approaching Hattori at the docks around the dusk hour will trigger the next cutscene where Hattori leads Geralt to the meetup.
Negotiations With The King of Beggars
When striking negotiations with Tinboy, he will initially demand 50 percent of Hattori’s profits. You’re presented with three dialogue choices:
- “Let’s negotiate.”
- “Are you crazy?”
- “Fine, let’s get this over with.”
By not fighting for Hattori’s earnings and opting to move things along, the deal will stand at 50 percent. But you can choose to respond with either of the first options to continue negotiations. After brief indignation, Tinboy will lower the cut to 35 percent. This triggers another dialogue choice:
- “Fine, not likely to get a better deal.”
- “Still too much.”
Geralt can again choose to end negotiations by resigning to not getting a better deal. Or he can continue pushing, in which case Tinboy will begin walking away, and a timed choice will trigger:
- “Fine, no deal.”
- “No, wait.”
Geralt’s made it this far in negotiations, so it would be a shame to falter now. If the Witcher sticks to his guns and counters Tinboy’s bluff by saying, “Fine, no deal.” the bandit will turn around, and upon commending Geralt’s negotiation skills, will finally agree to a 25 percent cut from Hattori’s earnings. In other words, it’s in your best interest to do this!
However, this is only a minor victory as the negotiations incite an ambush by the Cleavers. Applying some Hanged Man’s Oil to your blade coupled with some swift foot and sword work should get the Witcher out of this predicament easily enough. But if you stumbled into this quest too early on, it’s likely Cleaver’s men significantly out-level Geralt and may be marked as red-skulled enemies.
If this is the case, surviving the ambush will take a bit more finesse. In this instance, Hanged Man’s Oil will be essential in order to make the utmost of every successful strike, and visiting a grindstone beforehand isn’t a bad idea, just to incur every boost possible. Geralt can easily be worked into tight spots when fighting in the narrow alley, so having an upgraded Yrden sign to entrap the Cleavers and buy Geralt a much-needed reprieve could be the difference between life and death.
Interim Protection For Hattori
Though the new deal between Hattori and the King of Beggars still stands, Tinboy will inform Geralt that Hattori should seek out his own protection until the gangs reach an agreement. This segment of the quest concludes with a 25 experience and a 20 crown reward.
Meanwhile, Hattori has spooked and booked it back to his shop during this conversation, so it’s off back to the dumpling shop to coax the dumpling chef out of hiding. Through talking to Hattori again, Geralt will be presented with a new objective: Enlist Sukrus, a brawler from Skellige, to serve as Hattori’s bodyguard.
Geralt will find Sukrus in the midst of a brawl outside The Golden Sturgeon in the Harborside district, west of Glory Lane. If only locating Sukrus was the real challenge. By interrupting the fight, Sukrus will force Geralt into a fistfight and only after, agree to talk over a drink — regardless of who comes out on top.
Unfortunately, this isn’t a clean-cut deal either. Due to Hattori’s outstanding debt with the Skelliger and Sukrus’ own troubles with his brother-in-law, a merchant, Geralt is yet again hired out as a well-armed errand boy.
Finding The Merchant
This time, Geralt must get money from the merchant or torch his goods; it’s all the same to Sukrus. Regardless of the Witcher’s chosen approach, the destination is the same. Geralt will find the merchant on a boat docked at the main pier at the Novigrad Docks.
In order to settle the brother-in-laws’ dispute peacefully, you will need a minimum Delusion level of two in order to use Axii and convince the merchant to pay up for a 35 experience point reward. Otherwise, Geralt will be forced to destroy the merchant’s goods, which are stacked in barrels on either side of the ship.
Naturally, Aard is going to be the most efficient method when taking this approach. But be ready to take on the ship’s entire crew as well, as they will immediately aggro upon Geralt’s assault on the merchant’s wares.
Taking the aggressive approach will forfeit the 35 experience points, but Sukrus will reward ten experience and match that meager generosity in crowns, regardless of how Geralt gets the job done.
The Van Hoorn Dock Heist
With both scores settled, return to Hattori to inform the elf his new protection is in place. The only thing now is the master swordsmith has no supplies to craft with. With an air of vindictiveness, Hattori schemes a plan to rob his rival, Van Hoorn. A plan which Geralt and Sukrus are to execute, of course, with a down payment of ten experience and ten crowns for the Witcher’s cooperation.
Sukrus should be waiting just outside at this point, so head out and inform him of his first duty as Hattori’s bodyguard. The Skelliger will round up his men and tell Geralt to meet them at the warehouse in question after dark. Note here, despite “after dark” seemingly occurring after “dusk,” Geralt can meet Sukrus and his men at the quest location as early as 6 pm, rather than having to wait until 8 pm as before.
Geralt will find the Van Hoorn warehouse back near The Golden Sturgeon, where he’ll run into Sukrus’ brother-in-law once again. Though the merchant is wary, the dwarf standing guard over the warehouse recognizes Geralt as a mutual friend of Yarpen Zigrin’s, making Geralt’s task of getting into the warehouse much simpler.
The Witcher can convince his dwarven acquaintance to let him into the warehouse using any of these three methods:
- “Yarpen sends his regards.” (pay 200 crowns)
- “Oughta let me through.” (Axii)
- “Gotta get inside.”
Paying the guard off earns Geralt 20 XP while using Axii to persuade him instead earns 40 experience, though you will need a Delusion level three to pull it off. The third option is only available if you’re running an imported The Witcher 2 save in which Geralt allied with the elf, Ivoreth.
Once inside, you shouldn’t have a difficult time locating and tagging the proper crates using Witcher senses. Still, the heist turns sour upon leaving when he walks into a stand-off between Sukrus and Van Hoorn, accompanied by Sukrus’ brother-in-law and several ruffians. In this instance, neither of Geralt’s timed reactions will defuse the situation, and the Witcher will be forced to draw his sword regardless.
At this point in the quest, it is extremely crucial that Geralt does not run out on the fight or maneuver too far from the initial battle area while engaging his enemies. This is because leaving the quest zone will trigger an automatic failure of the quest, and there is no way to pick it up again. Meaning you’ll lose out on access to master-crafted weapons the entire game unless you reload an old save.
With all the threats quelled and a fresh stock of supplies, return to Hattori, who’s already got his workshop up and running again. The master swordsmith will tell Geralt to return later to collect his promised master-crafted sword. Though there’s no indication of how long “later” is, Geralt can revisit the elf in about six in-game hours to collect the “Blade From The Bits.”
It is a frankly underwhelming blade in appearance and boasts some pretty awful stats, some of the weakest in the game, in fact. This would rightly infuriate any Witcher who was made to jump through as many hoops as Geralt just did. However, the real reward is unlocking the ability to bring those diagrams for Mastercrafted Witcher gear to life. Just consider that gift blade from Hattori a fancy bit of scrap metal to be dismantled for a valuable stock of crafting supplies…