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The Witcher Saga

The Witcher (Wiedźmin) is a series of fantasy novels and short stories 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.

Sapkowski's saga includes the following novels:

  1. Blood of Elves (original: Krew elfów)
  2. Time of Contempt (original: Czas pogardy)
  3. Baptism of Fire (original: Chrzest ognia)
  4. Swallow's Tower (original: Wieża Jaskółki)
  5. Lady of the Lake (original: Pani Jeziora)

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.

Geralt

witcher game screen001 Geralt of Rivia is the main protagonist of the The Witcher series created by Polish writer Andrzej Sapkowski. In the film (2001) and the subsequent television series (2002) Geralt was portrayed by Michał Żebrowski. In the video games he is voiced by Doug Cockle (English version) and by Jacek Rozenek (Polish).

He was born from the druidess healer Visenna and a mercenary named Korin. Visenna gave her son to the witchers, and he was raised at their citadel Kaer Morhen (lit. "Fortress of the Old Sea").

Witchers, as a matter of fact, are mercenaries specializing in destruction of monsters and supernatural beings, and in removal of hexes or curses. Each witcher from the very childhood receives a special training - exercises in dexterity, fencing, studying of magical Signs (type of weak spells), and do monsters research. All kids undergo a mutation to gain superhuman abilities that are necessary for fighting with monsters. The few ones who survive mutation become truly extraordinary fighters. As a side effect, witchers are sterile.

Witcher preparation consists of two stages:
  • Trainings and a special diet to improve metabolism. Secret mushrooms and herbs are added to the food.
  • Trial of the Herbs. Youngsters are given multiply injections of strong elixirs under the constant magical control which considerably changes human metabolism, endocrine and nervous system.

It is an extremely dangerous process. Out of 10 people only 4 can survive the whole procedure.

Geralt passed the Trial of the Herbs quite well, therefore he had been subjected to even deeper mutations. Therefore it's quite probable that Geralt was the strongest witcher alive. After Kaer Morhen was attacked by the army of fanatics (it happened before the beginning of the main storyline), most witchers were killed. The rest of them lost almost all knowledge of herbs and other artifacts needed for mutation.

Personality

It is very hard to sum up Geralt's personality, because he's a complex character, who evolves and changes over time.

His name was given by his mother, although Geralt believed that he had been named by his instructor, the old witcher Vesemir. Geralt decided to call himself 'of Rivia', as such appendix gave more credibility with potential customers. He said that people trusted Geralt of Rivia more than 'Geralt from nowhere'.

Most witchers avoid politics and court schemes, although many do try to involve them, as obviously it could be pretty useful to have such a fighter at your side. Although many people tried to use Geralt in their intrigues, he does his best to keep neutrality stating that
To be neutral doesn't mean to be indifferent and insensible. It does not require killing all feelings inside you. You just have to kill the hatred.
After completing his witcher training in Kaer Morhen, he received a Wolf mediallion as the symbol of Kaer Morhen. Because of his pale skin and white hair, is known as Gwynbleidd, the White Wolf.

Abilities and skills

  1. Superhuman reaction
  2. Superhuman force and speed
  3. Complete control over breath and heartbeat
  4. An ability to control pupils. Geralt's pupils become vertical, like a cat he is able to see in total darkness.
  5. Accelerated regeneration. They survive mortal wounds.
  6. Immunity to the majority of known illnesses and toxins
  7. Slowed aging
  8. Limited magic abilities. Witchers use so-called Signs, small spells that not require knowledge of a magical formula. Concentration and the hand gesture are enough.

For strengthening his abilities Geralts drinks various elixirs, which are extremely poisonous and deadly to ordinary people. Andrzej Sapkowski mentions only three elixirs in the novels: White Gull, like a soft alcoholic beverage for witchers, Black Gull, strong hallucinogen, and Oriole from ptomaine poisoning.

Witchers's fencing skills are outstanding. They are trained specifically to kill monsters that a bigger, stronger, faster than humans.

From all variety of cold steel weaponry, witchers prefer swords. Each has two swords — silver and steel, because some monsters can be killed only by a silver blade, while others are yield to the steel. Steel sword of Geralt, according to his own words, was made from the fallen meteorite. It was broken during the fight with Vilgefortz of Roggeveen.

Relationship with other characters

Geralt had a long lasting relationship with Yennefer of Vengerberg, a powerful magician. She appears in short story Last Wish described as a woman of outstanding beauty (magnificent black hair, tempting body) and equally great cunning. Initially very cold-hearted, Yennefer warm up towards Geralt over time. It is explained that female magicians usually chose most ugly girls as their apprentices, but all deformities were later fixed with magic. Yennefer, for instance, was a humpback. She is wise, cynical and authoritative, but she is capable of very strong love.  After several attempts to break up, Geralt and Yennefer rejoin in the last novel of the series.

A travelling bard nicknamed Dandelion (real name stays unclear) is the best friend and loyal companion of Geralt. Dandelion had written numerous ballads and verses, but only fragments are cited in the novels. He represents a bright contrast to the main protagonist - he doesn't know how to fight and cannot defend himself at all, he is talkative, easy going and amorous. He tries to seduce almost every woman he sees. Dandelion makes an appearance in TV series and The Witcher video dames.

      Partially translated from ru.wikipedia.org.