The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt

Pearls of the North - Novigrad

No one can claim to have traveled the Northern Realms who has not been to Novigrad. If I were forced to list what during my many meanderings has made the greatest impression on me, it would be precisely this great, and yet at the same time free, city.

A metropolis worthy of the Empire, its only flaw is that the civilization Nilfgaard carries within her has not yet enlightened it. That is why hordes of reactionary cultists of the Eternal Fire dwell in the midst of its excellent buildings and superb commercial infrastructure. One feels as though superstition is how the local Hierarch and his temple guard cement their power over the city dwellers. And many they are to control, for the city counts no less than thirty thousands of inhabitants.

While strolling through its fabulous port, surrounded by marvels of architecture, it is hard to imagine that centuries ago Novigrad was a mere minor elven townstead. When the city fell into the hands of the Nordlings, its problems grew exponentially, for as is well known the people of the North can do a great many things, but peaceful and orderly cohabitation is not one of them. And so Novigrad first belonged to Redania, and then fell under Temerian rule, until finally, after endless compromises and bargains, it at last became a Free City.

But is the city truly free? I dare to doubt it. Redanian influence makes itself felt too strongly on every street corner, and the fact that the city is located within Radovid's territory speaks for itself...

While wandering the city's streets I came across four water mills, eight banks and nearly nineteen pawn shops. There are also a great many houses of simple pleasures such as taverns and brothels, and Novigrad's commitment to matters of faith is borne witness to by the fact that the city contains no less than - I kid you not - nineteen temples to the Eternal Fire!

What more can be said... I think Novigrad has all the makings of the capital of the world, and perhaps that is what it will one day become. First, however, someone needs to bring order to within her walls.


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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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