The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt

Gilian Alboco's Lesser Key

The essence of Evil is to cause suffering. There exist many varieties of suffering: from common corporeal pain through the rarefied torment of the psyche to deep wounds dealt to the soul. Whence then does Evil arise? Does it appear on its own? Or does it only spread when conditions are ripe? And finally, the most important question: How can Evil be defeated?

Most believe Evil has always existed, for none remember a time when it did not. Yet is that sufficient proof? I dare to doubt it, for I am a scholar, and the essence of scholarship is to question all hypotheses until they have been rigorously proven.

The appearance of Evil is closely tied to the existence of Good, its opposite and antithesis. Good without evil is dimensionless and therefore imperceptible. Evil, then, is an integral part of our lives.

Evil wears many faces and appears in many different forms. One of them wears a skin of flesh. This Evil incarnated as man travels the world, sowing death and suffering. Such Evil is devious and difficult to discern. We usually only note its presence when its already too late.

In my scholarly wanderings through the myths and legends of a great many cultures, I've come across descriptions of a certain individual which all display a striking similarity. I do not mean in terms of this individual's outer appearance or name, but of his modus operandi. This Evil works through trickery, tempting at first with the offer of something seemingly good. The price one must pay for this object of temptation, however, is enormous and nonrefundable, and the promised good often contains horrifying hooks and treacherous traps. Beware, then, of any who promise the impossible, for such can only be delivered through the machinations of Evil.

   

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The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt

Geralt rejoins his long-lost lover, Yennefer, in the town of White Orchard. Yennefer tells him that Emperor Emhyr has summoned him to the city of Vizima. Emhyr tasks Geralt with finding Ciri, who has recently been seen in several places. Ciri is a Child of the Elder Blood, the daughter of the emperor and the last heir to an ancient elfish bloodline with the power to manipulate space and time. Geralt first hears that Ciri was in Velen at Crow's Perch, the Bloody Baron's fort. The baron refuses to help, but Geralt's acquaintance, the sorceress Keira Metz, tells him that an elfish mage was looking for Ciri. Keira directs Geralt to the Crones of Crookback Bog: malicious, ancient spirits living near Velen. The Crones say that they captured Ciri for the Wild Hunt before she escaped and have enslaved Anna, the baron's missing wife. Geralt returns to the baron, who tells him that Ciri went to Novigrad.

He discovers that the Church of the Eternal Fire, a militant religious organization, is purging mages in Novigrad. Meeting his former lover, Triss Merigold, Geralt learns that Ciri had contacted his friend Dandelion. Geralt navigates Novigrad's criminal underworld to rescue Dandelion, and learns that Ciri teleported to the Skellige archipelago. In Novigrad, Geralt may help Triss to free fugitive mages. He sails to Skellige and rejoins Yennefer, who has been investigating a magical explosion linked to Ciri. They track Ciri to the island of Lofoten, which has been attacked by the Wild Hunt. Geralt and Yennefer realise that Uma, a deformed, cursed creature at Crow's Perch, was present after Ciri's escape. Before leaving Skellige, Geralt can help determine who will rule Skellige after the king's death. Yennefer severs the magical bond between her and Geralt, giving him the option of affirming his love for her or ending their relationship.

Launch Year: 2015
The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt Cover

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