Can I Escape Est Taiyar without portals?
I've completed Redanias Most Wanted and returned to Est Taiyar to continue the Cats Gear quest.
Through a combination of skill and bad luck I managed to make my way to the lower levels without the use of portals. I foolishly manually saved my game at this point as I thought it was quite the achievement to get that far.
After exploring a bit I have realised I have missed where I need to be for the Cat Silver Sword and I now seemed to be trapped without portals and my next most recent save is two (real time) days ago and the auto saves are all after the most recent manual save.
Is there anyway to reactivate the portals? Can I escape without them? Is the Gerald in that timeline now stuck in those ruins forever?
I had the same problem, and luckily there is a way to get out, but it involves a lot of precise platforming.
You jump up small ledges and holds. It took me about an hour of pressing B, and making and reloading saves, and dying.
But there is a path to jump up and out.
You start with using Aard on some stalagmites, getting on top of the broken pieces, then jumping up to a cliff, across to another cliff, around a broken bridge, then up some rocks, out through a wall. Then you jump up, to drop in through the ceiling of the level you can walk out from.
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According to this forum post this user is having the same issue you were. It looks like there may be destructible walls in the area you're in. Use your Witcher vison to find the cracked walls and then use your Aard magic to break through it. This should open up a passage to help you traverse the ruin.
If you still are stuck, and are playing on PC you can press either your ` (tilde key) or F2 to open the console commands menu. Enter a console command such as
gotoNovigrad to be teleported away. Note that using console commands may invalidate Steam Achievements for this playthrough.