The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt

My Evening With a Vampire

You will no doubt call me a liar, a cheat and a madman. You will shake your head in pity and snort in disbelief. But I promise you, I swear by all the gods: everything which you shall read in the pages to follow is the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.

I met the vampire of which I write years ago, in an inn in Beauclair. He introduced himself to me as Regis and said he was a barber and a medic. Since he looked in every aspect like a mortal man, I might never have even suspected his true nature – had not a fire broken out shortly thereafter in the establishment in which we were residing. This Regis, if that truly was his name, stood completely untouched by the flames, whereas my own clothing quickly caught fire. The vampire carried me out of the burning inn, saving my life from certain death, then treated my numerous wounds.

At first Regis refused to answer my query as to how he had miraculously survived the furnace-like temperatures inside the burning inn without so much as a scratch on his body or a hair singed on his head. Eventually, however, he must have sensed I was a man of the world, one who would not jump to hasty judgments based on appearance or species, and revealed his identity – along with a great number of highly interesting facts.

According to Regis, not all vampires are alike. This vast family contains both mindless katakans, fleders and ekimmaras, who in form resemble overgrown bats far more than humans, as well as alps and bruxae, who look remarkably like comely maids. In addition to these, there are the even more powerful higher vampires, to which genus belonged my unexpected acquaintance.

Not even a witcher can discern a higher vampire from a mortal man. Contrary to popular belief, they cannot be killed by pounding aspen stakes into their chests nor by cutting off their heads, nor, as I can vouch for based on personal experience, by fire. They do not fear running water, garlic or the symbols of any creed. It might be some consolation to learn a vampire's bite does not turn a human into one of their number, and they do not in any way need our blood in order to survive – to them, it is merely a delicacy in which they indulge from time to time, like men do with fine wine.

Regis asked me to keep his tale to myself. But now, as I lay on my death bed, I feel that I must share this secret knowledge, even if it means breaking my word to this most noble individual...

   

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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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