The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt

The Aen Seidhe and the Aen Elle

Sad as it may be, to many in our time the word "elf" is a synonym for pauper, bandit or layabout. "She-elf" is used by many to denote a prostitute or woman of loose morals. The adjective "elven", in turn, describes damaged, needlessly complicated or useless goods. Statistics, for their part, show that one in three elves living in Redania has spent time in prison, and a full one half of them have been fined at least once. The average lifespan of elves, though still thrice that of humans, grows shorter each year.

Given the above it is easy to forget that elves - or Aen Seidhe, as they fashion themselves - were once a proud race that ruled the lands stretching from the banks of the Great Sea in the west to the Blue Mountains in the east, and from the Dragon Mountains in the North to the Mahakam range in the south. The ruins of their cities scattered throughout the known world bear witness to their former might (cp. "Monumenta Elforum" by Istredd of Aedd Gynvael).

Many of the most outstanding mages, artists and poets of recorded history have been of this race. And we have elves to thank for dozens of ingenuous items we rely on each day, from screw pumps to cosmetics. Those elves who dwell amongst men have largely forgotten their history and culture - the sole sliver of elven identity left in them being a burning hatred for humans, whom they refer to as dh'oine. The elves of Dol Blathanna, that puppet vassal of Nilfgaard, and of the wild highlands of the Blue Mountains have retained much of the old knowledge and culture, though they, too, are condemned to perish. This death sentence was handed to them by biology - for men, though short-lived, are several times more fertile than elves. Thus, while the Aen Seidhe's numbers continue to dwindle, ours grow at an alarming and ever-increasing rate.

Some elves believe that the tide of events can be turned, that they can put a stop to human expansion and, ultimately, to their oppression by men. They look to their mythical cousins for salvation - to the Aen Elle, the Alder Folk. The Aen Elle are said to dwell in another world or possibly another plane to which they traveled during the mythic Age of Migration, and from which they at times journey to visit our world. Legend claims a gate between the worlds could be opened, allowing the Aen Elle to ride to their downtrodden brethren's rescue. These are, however, mere fables, naïve fairy tales this race condemned to extinction uses to provide itself small comfort in these, their last, sad moments.


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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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