The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt

Radovid v the Stern - The Hard Slog to Greatness

(...) Which brings us to the epithet of the current ruler of Redania – "the Stern." Allow me to diagnose the causes and consequences of this appellation.

Firstly, the seeds of Radovid's Sternness were surely planted in his childhood. When Radovid was born to King Vizimir and Queen Hedwig in 1255, his care was immediately entrusted to Philippa Eilhart, the court sorceress. While none dared question if she was fit for the role of tutor, few now envisage her as having been a warm caregiver to a young child – and whatever harsh lessons she gave Radovid clearly left a lasting mark.

The next step on Radovid's path to becoming the Stern? The death of his father when Radovid was but 13 years of age. Though rumor has it father and son barely knew one another, the mere fact of being thrust into one's inheritance at such an early age and in such murky circumstances must have had a hardening effect.

Finally, the regency finished schooling Radovid towards becoming the Stern. Led by Sigismund Dijkstra of Tretogor, the Regency Council imparted upon Radovid a style of politics seeped [sic] in Dijkstra's aggressive, no-holds-barred, reason-of-state-first principles.

Such are the causes of Radovid's temperament – now on to the consequences. Most manifestations of his fierce manner are well known, however, a few illustrative examples might prove useful here. They include his summoning of the Order of the Flaming Rose to be his armed enforcers, his later support for the witch hunters in their zealous cause, and finally, there is the massacre at Loc Muinne...

Yet it is in the fight against Nilfgaard that Radovid has proven himself truly the Stern. While the forces of other realms disintegrated in the face of the empire's onslaught, he has strengthened his own realm and taken command of the joint armies of the North. Whatever their opinion of him before, all clear-eyed observers now agree: Radovid V, known also as Radovid the Stern, is the North's last bulwark against Emhyr's expanding power.


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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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