Welcome to How The Wind Howls, the TFL-approved fanlisting dedicated to Emhyr var Emreis, a fictional character from The Witcher book series created by Andrzej Sapkowski. Emhyr, also known as Duny or Urcheon of Erlenwald, is one of the main antagonists in the series.

If you like this fascinating character, please, join us! If you want to update your fanlisting information, please use the update form instead.

from 4 countries
i. Last updated: 25th December 2023
ii. Pending members: 0
iii. Newest members: Mal
iv. Script used: Enthusiast [Robotess Fork] v. 1.0.6 (Beta) (original version)

Please be advised that this website contains unmarked spoilers!


The Witcher Saga

The Witcher (Wiedźmin) is a series of fantasy short stories and novels by Polish writer Andrzej Sapkowski. His first short story from the series was published in 1986 and was enormously successful both with readers and critics. Accodring to the official website of The Witcher video game,
... it is into his [Andrzej Sapkowski] unique world of pervasive magic, bitter conflict, and occasional dark humor, that you will be immersed.
The books have been adapted into a movie and television series, a video game and etc. The Witcher short stories and novels have been translated into several languages. In 1993-1995, they were adapted into six graphic novels (comic books) by Bogusław Polch.

the character

Emhyr var Emreis, Deithwen Addan yn Carn aep Morvudd (the White Flame Dancing on the Graves of his Foes), the Emperor of the Nilfgaardian Empire, is a villain in the saga and a very-written character. A fine warrior and a cunning strategist, the Emperor seizes the throne of Nilfgaard after overthrowing the usurper. Unlike many other rules in the Continent, he dislikes sorcerers (not without a good reason) and does not want to share power with them. However he always choses his vassals wisely, it does not matter what their background may have been since anyone who proved their worth would be promoted. Emhyr manages to create the excellent army and effective government in Nilfgaard. Surprisingly, Emhyr is also fluent at the Elder Speech, the ancient language of elves, because it is somewhat similar to Nilfgaard's language.

From the game:

...he was ruler of half the civilized world and aspiring conqueror of the other half. He was a personage whose deeds and decisions shaped the fates of whole kingdoms and populations.

the past

Emhyr was born presumably in 1221, He was the son the Emperor of the Nilfgaardian Empire Fergus var Emreis. When the boy turned 13, his father was dethroned as a result of the mutiny. The throne was taken by the usurper whose name is never revealed in the books. Fergus was tortured because he refused to cooperate, while Emhyr was turned into a monster by the court sorcerer, who noticed that Emhyr's name translated to “hedgehog” in the local dialect and turned him into a creature resembling a humanoid hedgehog. Eventually Fergus was killed, his son was "released" in the forest, and the usurper's people sent dogs after him. Nevertheless the boy survived, partially due to the fact that no one believed he could pose a real threat, and no one knew that he turned human at night. With the help of those few who stayed loyal, Emhyr fled from the country. He started calling himself Urcheon of Erlenwald. Luck favored him on the day he saved Roegner, the king of Cintra in the Erlenwald forest. The king twisted his leg and could have easily become a prey for predators, if not for the help of Urcheon. When asked about the reward, Urcheon used the Law of Surprise: he asked for "whatever you have left at home without knowing or expecting it". This was in fact king's daughter princess Pavetta, because his wife (the queen of Cintra) was pregnant at that time. When he found out about his daughter, the king decided not to tell the queen about his recless promise.

the present

In 1250 Urcheon meets the 14-year-old Pavetta, and they fall in love. Pavetta calles him Duny. The affair is obviously kept in secret, because Pavetta's future husband is to inherit the throne of Cintra. Roegner dies and finally tells his wife Calanthe about Urcheon and the Law of Surprise. Calanthe is enraged. As a sensible woman, she is against such a bridegroom for her daughter. She tries to assassinate Urcheon at Pavetta's 15 birthday feast (the plot of the short story A Question of Price from the collection The Last Wish (original: Ostatnie życzenie) published in 1993), and hires the professional monster hunter (witcher) Geralt of Rivia to do it. He refuses, though, because Urcheon is innocent. Urcheon suddenly comes to the feast himself and openly askes for Pavetta's hand explaining that she was promised to him by Roegner a long time ago. A fight with Calanthe's guards begins, during which Urcheon is wounded. Pavetta has a nervous breakdown followed by an uncontrolled release of ancient magic, and almost destroys the palace. The magic is neutralized by the witcher Geralt. After this Calanthe reluctantly agrees to the wedding, thereby removing the curse from Urcheon/Emhyr. He is human again. When asked about a reward for all his help, Geralt of Rivia half jokingly uses the Law of Surprise, but it turns out that Pavetta is pregnant. A year later, Emhyr's daughter Cirilla (Ciri) is born.

When Ciri is 5 years old, Pavetta tragically dies in a shipwreck, and Emhyr barely survives himself and is presumed dead. Ciri never sees her parents again (not until the very end of the books, anyway). She safely grows up in Cintra as the heir to its throne. Meanwhile Emhyr rightfully gets Nilfgaard's throne back. He learns that Ciri is the carrier of the ancient and incredibly powerful elven gene Hen Ichaer ("Elder Blood") - Ciri inherited incredible magic abilities from her elven ancestors, particularly from the legendary sorceress Lara Dorren. At the beginning of the novel Blood of Elves, the Nilfgaardian armies invade Cintra, starting the Northern War aka the First Nilfgaard-Nordling War. Emhyr wants to capture Ciri and actually marry her out of political considerations and for her magical genes, and to deal with the clamoring of the nobility and military, who are pressuring him to seize more land. Calanthe dies in a siege against Cintra, but Ciri escapes and hides with Geralt of Rivia. Emhyr spends the rest of the books trying to capture her for this incestuous marriage.

He believes that conceiving a child with her will save the world:
"'An emperor who will beget a son. A son, who will be the ruler of the world and will save the world from destruction. Thus speaks the prophecy whose exact contents only I know.'"

In the novel Lady of the Lake he finally captures Ciri, Geralt and Geralt's lover Yennefer. He grants Geralt and Yennefer the option to commit suicide in a bath together as an act of goodwill. Geralt, without much of a choice, accepts, and Yennefer and Geralt take a bath, preparing to die. However Emhyr in the end has a change of heart and lets them all go. During their last conversation, he bids Ciri farewell in the Elder Speech, addressing her as "luned", meaning "daughter".

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Discaimer and credits

The fanlisting exists for nonprofit entertainment purposes only. Everything belongs to its respective owners, no copyright infringement intended. How The Wind Howls is a part of sleety.org and TFL, layout version 2.0.
The website was done by me (deerstop) in Adobe Photoshop CS5 and coded in Notepad2. Fonts used: Parma Petit SC Italic and Stone Informal Std, images from witcher.wikia.com. The name of this fanlisting was inspired by this Chinese proverb: "No matter how the wind howls, the mountain will not bow to it."