The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt

On Hunting Basilisks: A Compendium

In our lands - that is to say, in the fair Duchy of Toussaint - the hunting of basilisks has a long and storied tradition, one reaching back to the dawn of our present history. Attesting to this is a note written by one Xenon of Trytion, a leatherworker, in the year 1023. In it one finds mention of a commission for a corset, to be fastened from "hide of that winged serpent, called basilicus by some" (see Vedetto Fiari, Manuscripts through the Ages, 1278). While lesser hides could come from beasts felled by age or hunger, the costliness and expanse of this corset would have necessitated the skin of a basilisk taken in its prime - and therefore required a hunt.

Without the engagement of a witcher, or, as a last resort, a knight or a mercenary, such a hunt would have perforce meant the gruesome death of the foolhardy hunter.

Yet those adept at the task - witchers chief among them - hunted basilisks and their cousins, cockatrices, with great success, thinning their numbers till a mere handful remained.

To give but one example, in the year 1100 basilisks of the regulus platinum subspecies dotted skies all across our land, yet in the present day only one exemplar still lives.


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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
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